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Gilbert and Sullivan

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki

Gilbert and Sullivan were a duo consisting of librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900). They were renowned for their comic operas. Among the most famous are H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado.

One of the staple references of The Simpsons is that Sideshow Bob is a huge fan of Gilbert and Sullivan.[1] In the Simpsons universe, Gilbert and Sullivan and their works have been referred to several times.


Television episodes[edit]

Picture Season Episode number Episode name Reference
FBISingsGilbertandSullivan.png 5 83 "Cape Feare" When the Simpsons leave for their safehouse provided by the Witness Relocation Program, in the car Lisa finds a set of audio tapes titled "The FBI Light Opera Society Sings the Complete Gilbert and Sullivan". During the drive, they sing "Three Little Maids from School" from The Mikado.
H.M.S. Pinafore.png When Sideshow Bob is about to kill Bart and asks if he has any last requests, Bart's request is for Bob to sing the entire score of H.M.S. Pinafore.
GilbertSullivanManuscriptFree.png 88 "Bart's Inner Child" When Homer finds the free trampoline ad in the Springfield Shopper, one of the other items being given away is a Gilbert and Sullivan manuscript, the original draft of H.M.S. Pinafore. It appears a few entries below the "FREE TRAMPOLINE" ad.
BarneySingsModernMajorGeneral.png 96 "Deep Space Homer" To demonstrate his fitness for astronaut duty, a newly sober Barney performs a series of handsprings while singing "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" from The Pirates of Penzance, in order to show off his improved balance and diction.
Three Little Maids from School (The Bob Next Door).png 21 463 "The Bob Next Door" When Bart believes his new neighbor Walt Warren to be Sideshow Bob in disguise, he and Milhouse, knowing of Bob's fondness for Gilbert and Sullivan, sing "Three Little Maids from School" in an attempt to draw him out. The attempt fails. However, "Walt" later gets Bart alone, reveals himself to be Sideshow Bob, and says, "And now I am free to sing all the Gilbert and Sullivan I damn well please!"
Pirates of Penzance.png 25 534 "YOLO" Homer acts in Springfield Dinner Theater's production of The Pirates of Penzance.
I Have a Song to Sing, O!.png 29 627 "Gone Boy" Sideshow Bob gets Milhouse to reveal Bart's location by singing "I Have a Song to Sing, O!" from The Yeomen of the Guard.

Comic stories[edit]

Picture Comic issue Story name Reference
GilbertSullivanCultureShame.png Simpsons Comics #229 Itchy & Scratchy Live! At the beginning of the performance of Itchy & Scratchy Live, the actor portraying Scratchy (later revealed to be Sideshow Bob) culture-shames the audience: "You wouldn't come to see Gilbert and Sullivan, but you'll come to this! For shame!"
Pirates Without Pants.jpg Bart Simpson #38 Ralph Learns a Lesson One of the comics that Ralph sells to Comic Book Guy is Pirates Without Pants, a pun on The Pirates of Penzance.


Picture Book Reference
The Bart Book In his character profile of Sideshow Bob, under "Musical likes" Bart cites "The whimsical stylings of Gilbert & Sullivan."

Video games[edit]

Picture Game Reference
Level 40 Tipsy-Turvy Part 1.png The Simpsons: Tapped Out In the Level 40 content update, Mr. Largo appears immediately after the player builds Lotto 'N' Liquor. Lisa reminds him that he should be working on the band musical, along with Mr. Smithers. She adds that since Smithers writes the words and Largo writes the music, that makes them Springfield Elementary School's "Gilbert and Sullivan".
TSTO Terwilliger Update-Bob Clone-GilbertSullivanFaceOff.png During the Terwilligers content update, Comic Book Guy announces the organization of the Sideshow Bob clones into a Cosmic Wars storm trooper platoon. One of the clones then says, "Simpson... Gilbert and Sullivan... Face/Off..." and Comic Book Guy proclaims the successful formation of the platoon.
TSTO Captain Bob-Unteachable Children.png The Terwilligers content update also includes the premium quest Sea Students, where Sideshow Bob (costumed as Captain Bob) buys a boat, only to find it needs extensive repairs. To fund the repairs, he offers educational cruises to the children of Springfield for $249 each, beginning by singing the score of H.M.S. Pinafore. When Bob gets no takers, he laments, "These Springfield children are unteachable." He then becomes angry and says, "How dare they scoff at the witty wordplay and century-old references of Gilbert and Sullivan?!"


External links[edit]