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Album Information
Artist: Michael Jackson
First Appearance: "Stark Raving Dad"

Thriller is a 1982 album by American singer Michael Jackson. It included hit songs such as "Thriller", "Beat It", "Billie Jean", "Human Nature" and "P.Y.T.". In 1983 Jackson made a short film around the song "Thriller", in which he transforms into a werewolf and a zombie, dancing along with zombies. While it wasn't the first music video ever made, it served to popularize the genre and has been credited with transforming music videos into a serious art form. First released in theaters, Thriller quickly saw regular airplay on MTV. It is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential music videos ever made and was the first music video to be selected for the National Film Registry.

Both the Thriller album and music video have been referenced several times in The Simpsons.

References to Thriller in The Simpsons[edit]

Picture Season Episode number Episode name Reference
Thriller.png 3 36 "Stark Raving Dad" When Homer Simpson says he never heard about Michael Jackson as Leon Kompowsky (who thinks he's Michael Jackson) lists several things which made him famous, among them Thriller and Beat It. However, Homer still has no clue, so Leon sings and dances Billie Jean for him. Later in the episode Bart tries to show Leon what "Jackson really looks like" by showing him the album cover of "Thriller".
Treehouse of Horror III - Bart, Lisa, Thriller.png 4 64 "Treehouse of Horror III" Bart raises the dead through a magic spell, while wearing the album sleeve of Thriller on his head. Just like in the music video the zombies rise from the cemetery.
7 132 "Bart Sells His Soul" Bart tells Milhouse a soul is just something made up to scare kids, "like the bogey man or Michael Jackson". This could be a reference to Jackson's real-life persona or his scary image in the music video of "Thriller".
22 468 "Treehouse of Horror XXI" David Silverman is listed in the credits of this Halloween episode as "David "Thriller" Man".
27 578 "Halloween of Horror" An instrumental version of "Thriller" can be heard at the block party Marge and Bart pull up to .

References to Thriller in The Simpsons Arcade Games[edit]

Picture Arcade Game title Reference
Picture The Simpsons Arcade Game The zombies break into dance after rising.

References to Thriller in The Simpsons Comics[edit]

Picture Comic Book Comic Book title Reference
Picture Bart Simpson 60 Zombie Moves! Michael Jackson is inspired by teenage Homer and Barney's zombie dance moves for Thriller. Decades later, when Homer watches a memorial show about Jackson on TV he wonders where the pop star got his inspiration from?

Special guest voices[edit]

Picture Name Role in Thriller Role on The Simpsons
Michael Jackson.jpg Michael Jackson Portrayed himself in Thriller. Voiced Leon Kompowsky in Stark Raving Dad.

External links[edit]