Reptiles and The Simpsons

Last Update 17 September 2006

Homer and Western Diamondback

Homer Simpson pictured here, no thanks to Fox, who holds the copyright.  If you represent Fox and wish me to remove this image, contact me (via any email addressed to the domain).

The popular animated television show The Simpsons has aired since 1989, boasting over 335 episodes.  In addition to the standard cast of characters, two kinds of animals seem to hold a special place in the heart of the writers--monkeys and reptiles.  

Since this is not a page about monkeys, I have compiled a list of references to reptiles in The Simpsons, organized by season and episode. A reference can be an appearance of a reptile in the show, either as part of a joke or incidental, or a mention of a reptile by one of the characters. 

So far, from amongst my various sources, I've discovered 76 different reptile references in 63 episodes, which amounts to roughly one reference every 5 episodes, and roughly 18 percent of all Simpsons episodes containing reptilian humor! In fact, several episodes have used reptiles as a key element in the storyline:  "Whacking Day," "Bart the Mother," "Monty Can't Buy Me Love," and "Kill the Alligator and Run."

Here's a quick breakdown of which reptiles seem most popular with the writers:

Cobras (6)
Rattlesnakes (7)
Constrictors (3)
Other (16)

 NOTE:  I've included such quasi-reptiles as dinosaurs, dragons, Godzilla, and the Loch Ness Monster in the count and the descriptions here.

If you know of a reference I haven't included, please email me and I'll add it with a credit to you.


A person and fake TV show which bear an uncanny resemblance to Steve Irwin of "The Crocodile Hunter" fame.  This scene is from Season Fifteen.
Season One

Season One (1989-1990)

No known references.


Season Two (1990-1991)

7F06, "Bart the Daredevil:"  Lance Murdoch jumps his motorcycle over a pool filled with a variety of animals, including an alligator.

7F08, "Dead Putting Society:"  Bart has a toy Godzilla in his room.

7F20, "War of the Simpsons:"  The stereotypical criminal named Snake makes his first of many appearances.

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Season Three (1991-1992)

8F02, "Treehouse of Horror II:"  As a gravedigger, Homer digs such a poor grave that Groundskeeper Willie wouldn't even bury his turtle in it.

8F11, "Radio Bart:"  In the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, Scratchy is eaten by an alligator.

8F16, "Bart the Lover:"  The Twirl King Yo-Yo Company visits Springfield Elementary.  One of the performers is known as "The Cobra," because he pops out of a basket and shoots a yo-yo from his mouth.

8F22, "The Otto Show:"  Bart writes "I Will Not Spin the Turtle" on the blackboard.

8F24, "Kamp Krusty:"  The camp theme song states the camp is located "by the shores of Big Snake Lake."  Also, when Bart and Lisa first enter their cabin, a rattlesnake slithers over their feet and out the door.

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Season Four (1992-1993)

9F01, "Homer the Heretic:"  Moe Szyslak, holding up his fang-scarred hands, proclaims his religion:  "I was born a snake handler, and I'll die a snake handler."

9F04, "Treehouse of Horror III:"  In the King Kong parody, Homer (as a giant ape) battles a dinosaur.

9F11, "Selma's Choice:"  Three separate references:  1) Homer attempts to complete a maze on a restaurant placemat (several times), only to fun into a dead-end with an alligator drawn on it.  2) Selma takes Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens, where Lisa drinks the water from one of the rides and "trips out," proclaiming in a Morrison-esque fashion, "I am the Lizard Queen."  3) Aunt Gladys Bouvier dies and leaves her pet iguana Jub-Jub to her sister Jackie, but Selma later assumes custody of the pet as a substitute for not having a human child.

9F12, "Brother from the Same Planet:"  Homer and Bart's "Bigger Brother" get involved in a fistfight, for which preliminary reports indicate one of the participants is a giant lizard (Godzilla is pictured).

9F14, "Duffless:"  Jub-jub the iguana makes another appearance, this time scared of Selma, who has just put her whole head into a 128-ounce Tupperware bowl.

9F18, "Whacking Day:"  The whole episode revolves around the Springfield tradition of Whacking Day, in which the town's snakes are beaten to death.  Lisa talks guest star Barry White into helping corral the snakes into the Simpson home to keep the townspeople from killing them.

9F20, "Marge in Chains:"  There is an alligator in the kitchen.  Later, the alligator is in the toilet.

9F22, "Cape Feare:"  Bart cannot escape from Sideshow Bob by jumping off the boat into the river because the water is teeming with electric eels and alligators.

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Season Five (1993-1994)

1F15, "Bart Gets an Elephant:"  Homer hallucinates from the fumes of various household products, and the "Terrapin Wax" turtle attacks him.

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Season Six (1994-1995)

2F03, "Treehouse of Horror V:"  A Tyrannosaurus snaps at Homer when he travels back in time.

2F04, "Bart's Girlfriend:"  Groundskeeper Willie is attacked by turtles after he rescues them.

2F05, "Lisa on Ice:" Bart wins his hockey game, pleasing Homer, who says, "Well, boy, you won.  So I'm going to live up to my side of the agreement:  here's your turtle, alive and well."  He hands Bart a turtle.  Also, Lisa is chased by dinosaurs in a fantasy sequence. 

2F06, "Homer Bad Man:"  Homer reminisces about a postcard from Florida depicting an alligator biting a woman.

2F08, "Fear of Flying:"  Moe gets bitten repeatedly by a cobra in his cash register.

2F32, "'Round Springfield:"  The school charter states that teachers aren't held accountable if Milhouse gets eaten by Lumpy, the school snake (which happens shortly after the charter is read). 

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Season Seven (1995-1996)

3F02, "Bart Sells His Soul:"  Bart sells his soul and buys a small foam "just add water" dinosaur, which he fantasizes will swell large enough to eat Lisa.  Also, Marge notices an alligator wearing sunglasses decorating the wall of Moe's short-lived restaurant.

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 Season Eight (1996-1997)

3F24, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer:"  During a hot chili-pepper-induced hallucination, a large snake encircles Homer; later, Homer follows a tortoise in his search for his soul mate.

3G01, "The Simpsons Files:"  Three frogs emulate the "popular" Budweiser ad, only to be collectively swallowed by an alligator who bellows, "Coors."  Also, a turtle has Grandpa's false teeth in its mouth and, when chased, bites Grandpa with his own teeth.

3G03, "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala-D'OH!-cious:"  When Homer tells Marge she has his "undivided attention," a cutaway of his skull reveals a cow, a duck, and a turtle dancing to "Turkey in the Straw" in a campy 1930s-style black and white cartoon.

4F20, "The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase:"  In one short story, Chief Wiggum is attacked by an alligator, which Principal Skinner subdues.

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Season Nine (1997-1998)

5F01, "The Cartridge Family:"  Homer classifies alligators as weapon-like tools, like guns, harpoons, and butcher knives.

5F08, "Bart Carny:"  Marge finds a snake in the family's overgrown backyard.  When she throws it over the fence, it bites Ned Flanders.

5F23, "The Joy of Sect:"  Marge flees the Movementarian cult compound by vaulting over an alligator-infested river.

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Season Ten (1998-1999)

5F19, "When You Dish Upon a Star:"  While parasailing, Homer is chased by snapping turtles.

5F22, "Bart the Mother:"  Bart accidentally shoots a robin, and takes it upon himself to hatch her orphaned eggs.  However, when the eggs hatch, they reveal "Bolivian Tree Lizards," a cuckoo-like reptile which soon makes itself a pest in Springfield.  A proposal to eradicate the lizard plague includes introducing "Chinese needle snakes."

AABF15, "Mom and Pop Art:"  Marge asks Homer to remove the snake hiding in the piano.

AABF17, "Monty Can't Buy Me Love:"  Mr. Burns is eaten by the Loch Ness Monster, which he later captures.

AABF18, "They Saved Lisa's Brain:"  Otto is eaten by a snake.

AABF20, "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo:"  On the return flight from Japan, Godzilla attacks the plane.

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Season Eleven (1999-2000)

BABF03, "Eight Misbehavin':"  Homer rides a tricycle in a stage act featuring cobras, some real and some robotic.

BABF06, "Faith Off:"  A preacher owns several rattlesnakes, apparently as part of a snake-handling act.

BABF10, "Alone Again, Natura-Diddly:"  A chameleon changes colors to match an STP can, then gets eaten by a snake.

BABF16, "Kill the Alligator and Run:"  The entire show revolves around Homer accidentally airboating over a large alligator  named Captain Jack.  Also, at the beginning of the episode, Homer asks a question from a quiz magazine concerning what to do if a rattlesnake is on the phone.

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Season Twelve (2000-2001)

BABF21, "Treehouse of Horror XI:"  Lenny and Carl point out to Homer that he has a rattlesnake biting his arm.  He's not worried about the venom, because the snake will eventually give up and let go--"nature's quitters," he calls them.

BABF22, "HOMR:"  Cletus wants to check out a library book to use to crack open a turtle.

CABF13, "Simpson Safari:"  A crocodile attacks the family's safari boat.  Homer reassures them by saying being eaten by a crocodile is just like going to a blender.

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Season Thirteen (2001-2002)

CABF13, "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love:"  A dragon in a Chinese New Year parade gets shot with tranquilizer darts by Animal Control officers.

CABF19, "Treehouse of Horror XII:"  In one short story, Lisa attempts to control a dragon with magic, to no avail.  The dragon later morphs into Mr. Burns.  Smithers appears as a snake.

CABF22, "The Parent Rap:"  Homer has nightmares about cobras.

DABF03, "Sweets and Sour Marge:"  Homer plays a banjo using a cobra as a pick.

DABF07, "The Lastest Gun in the West:"  Bart is frightened by a stuffed cobra.

DABF10, "Blame It on Lisa:"  Bart is eaten by a boa constrictor in Rio de Janeiro.  Also, Lisa tries on a bracelet only to find out it's really a colorful snake.

DABF15, "Little Girl in the Big Ten:"  Lisa studies gymnastics under "Lugash," who tells her to pretend there are lots of snakes below the balance beam in order to keep her from falling.

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Season Fourteen (2002-2003)

DABF18, "Large Marge:"  Homer's wedding ring winds up inside a turtle.  Also, in a transition showing activity on two different floors of the house, dinosaurs can be seen hatching from eggs in the space between the floors.

EABF01, "The Great Louse Detective:"  A turtle is used as a back scratcher.

EABF13, "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"  A rattlesnake is depicted guarding its eggs; whether this in itself was meant as a joke is indeterminate, as I don't know if the writers know rattlesnakes don't lay eggs.

EABF14, "Old Yeller Belly:"  Krusty is attacked by a toxic pricker snake.

EABF15, "Brake My Wife, Please:"  Bart is attacked by a turtle.

EABF16, "The Bart of War:"  Milhouse's dad plants a flag, and in doing so impales a turtle.

EABF17, "Moe Baby Blues:"  Marge screams after discovering Maggie is missing.  Homer asks if she is screaming because she discovered his snake farm, because he can explain:  "I am going to farm and sell snakes."  Thanks to Andy Maddox for pointing  out this episode to me.

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Season Fifteen (2003-2004)

FABF03, "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens and Gays:"  A crocodile attacks Steve Irwin himself!

FABF06, "Margical History Tour:"  In one mini-story on this episode, Dr. Nick tells Marge her womb is full of sea serpents.  Also, a man's belt turns out to be a venomous snake.

FABF13, "The Way We Weren't:"  In a flashback sequence, a rattlesnake rattles at a young Homer.

FABF18, "Fraudcast News:"  Homer inadvertently drives into the middle of a rattlesnake sanctuary.

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Season Sixteen (2004-2005)

FABF23, "Treehouse of Horror XV:"  Hans Moleman is pushed down a manhole into the sewer where he is eaten by alligators.

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