For decades, The Simpsons universe has cultivated its own motley crew of brand mascots that are unique to the citizens of Springfield. Look a little closer, and you’ll notice that many of these characters share a similar resemblance to the icons we grew up with. Join us for a look at the characters that jumped on the couch with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie as we check out how early episodes of the show depicted brand mascots.
McGriff the Crime Dog
When Marge gets a job as a policewoman, Lisa questions her mother about her growing concern that law enforcement exists for the benefit of the wealthy elite. After a long pause, Marge pulls out a McGriff the Crime Dog puppet to distract Lisa. Obviously a play on McGruff, McGriff would rather have you help him bite crime than “take a bite out of crime.”
Whale of a Wife Cake
Flashbacks to Homer and Marge’s casino wedding include a look at their wedding reception where Homer buys pregnant Marge a wedding cake dedicated “to a whale of a wife.” This cake bears a striking resemblance to Carvel’s Fudgie the Whale, although it is never specified whether their wedding cake was made of ice cream and filled with crunchies.
Wall E. Weasel
In the ‘90s, kids headed to Chuck E. Cheese where a kid could be a kid. The characters on The Simpsons went to the one place where fun was crammed down your throat: Wall E. Weasel.
I mean, who wouldn’t be dreaming of this place? There are games, prizes, pizza, and tired employees walking around in costumes telling the kids to go bug their parents. Top it off with an out of tune, robotic orchestra led by Wall E. and Señor Beaverotti — they’re ready to sing you a birthday song because you’re the birthday boy or girl.
Pop ‘n’ Fresh
This was one of the rare moments in the series where a brand mascot is depicted just about the same as they are in our own world. Under the influence of a rag soaked in ether, Mr. Burns hallucinates Homer as the Pillsbury Doughboy and pokes him in the tummy. He also cuts Homer a check to sponsor his bowling team which he makes out “to my pal Pop ‘n’ Fresh.” The spelling might differ slightly from Poppin’ Fresh, but they’re definitely talking about the Doughboy.
The official mascot for Lard Lad Donuts, this iconic Springfield character takes revenge on Homer in a Treehouse of Horror episode after Homer steals his colossal donut. Once he gets his donut back he’s a happy camper — and kind of resembles Frisch’s Big Boy icon, don’t you think?
The Mt. Useful Visitors Center Bear
Only who can prevent forest fires? The next time you pick between the Mt. Useful Visitors Center Bear’s button choices of you or me like Bart did, don’t pick you. That’s incorrect because you actually refers to “me,” AKA the bear. The correct answer is… you. Got it?
Mr. Cashew, the Koobler Dwarfs, Snip, Crinkle and Poof, and Twinkle the Kidd
We’ll close by branching out from the early episodes into one of the more recent ones where Marge is in a cooking contest to become the next Auntie Ovenfresh. Homer imagines that her winning will allow him to meet all of his favorite food personalities including Twinkle the Kidd whom he accidentally squeezes the cream out of in a big bear hug.
Mr. Cashew, the Koobler Dwarfs, Snip, Crinkle and Poof, and Twinkle the Kidd are all obviously plays on their real-life counterparts — Mr. Peanut, the Keebler Elves, Snap, Crackle, and Pop, and Twinkie the Kid. It still stands as the one episode to feature the most brand mascots on screen all at once!