Oh, The Simpsons 🎶. The animated sitcom with its quirky yellow characters has been running since 1989 and is still going strong.
Naturally, at various points, the Dutch have popped up — and their stereotypes have made the punchlines.
Curious? Here are just five moments where The Simpsons referenced, featured, or made fun of the Dutch.
Grab a doughnut (or five), lean back à la Homer at his work control panel, and enjoy! 🍩
1. When the Simpsons accidentally went to The Hague
Court officer: “You are NOT in Oslo. You’re in Holland. Specifically, The Hague.” 👮🏻♂️
Homer: “Did you say Hey-Hey-gue?” 😱
In “Elementary School Musical” (Season 22, E1), Krusty the Clown is delighted to discover that he has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Together with Bart and Homer Simpson, Krusty boards a plane to Oslo to collect his honours.
But, surprise, it was a “ruuuseeee” and instead the three are shipped off to the Netherlands! 🇳🇱 Specifically, to The Hague, the city of peace and justice. Why? Well…
2. Krusty gets put on trial
Once in The Hague, Krusty is taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The building illustrated beautifully is the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis), home of the ICJ.
Pssst: If you read the signs closely, it says: “International Court of Justice. Formerly International House of Pancakes.” What a fun tribute to the Dutch love for pannekoeken. 🥞
Spoiler alert: Krusty does not get trialled. Instead, he makes friends with his judge — a true recognition of the lax Dutch attitude at the workplace. Hierarchy? What’s that again? 😉
The two also decide to celebrate their newfound friendship in true Dutch fashion: weed. 😮💨
🤡 Krusty: “Where is the nearest place I can score a little victory-weed?”
👨🏻⚖️ Judge: “That would be the courthouse cafeteria. I’ll be right there. Order me a raspberry-crêpe and a brick of hash.”
And how does our totally cool, non-authoritarian judge smoke his hash? He melts it and injects it into his eyelid. Because that’s an ordinary sight found in any Dutch coffeeshop. 😂
(Also, you really shouldn’t inject hash. Just saying.)
3. Homer reveals his secret addiction (not weed)
Bart: “Ohhhh, so THAT explains his mysterious trip to Holland.” 😂🌷
In “Burn’s heir” (Season 5, E18), Mr Burns almost drowns himself in a bathtub (by placing a wet sponge on his head) and decides he needs to find someone to inherit his fortune.
His eyes fall on Bart Simpson, who then ends up spending a considerable amount of time with the crooked millionaire. At one point, Burns wants to prove to Bart that his family doesn’t care about him anymore.
He sets up secret cameras in every house in Springfield, including the Simpsons’ home and this is when they discover Homer’s secret shame: he hides in the bathroom to gulp bouquets of tulips. 🌷👀
To be honest, we’re not sure if this is mocking the Dutch or merely an attack on Homer’s gluttony. Of course, the Netherlands are known for their beautiful tulip fields. But maybe Homer just misunderstood the meaning of edibles? 🤔
Note: the Netherlands is already referred to as ‘Holland’ for the second time. There is a whole history behind the difference (and confusion) between the two terms.
But, in short: the Netherlands is the country’s official name. Holland only describes two provinces in the Netherlands, North-Holland and South-Holland. 🤓👆🏻
But because Amsterdam (North-Holland) and Den Haag (South-Holland) are in the Holland provinces, the Simpsons technically got it right!
4. Bart falls in love with Milhouse’s Dutch cousin
You might not have been aware of it, but The Simpsons have a very prominent Dutch character: Milhouse (Mussolini) van Houten! Well, at least somewhat. Milhouse’s mom is Greek and Italian, while Milhouse’s dad is Danish and Dutch. But it still counts!
Anyway, the Dutch side of the family (and all the stereotypes) manifests in the form of Milhouse’s cousin Annika who comes to visit in “Let’s Go Fly a Coot” (Season 22, E20) .
Annika’s appearance comes with a vast array of Dutch references so there is loads to unpack here. Let’s start with Annika, who is heel cool.
Not only does she wear loads of piercings and smokes e-cigarettes, but she is also very openly sexual towards Bart, who falls immediately in love with her. We’ve already touched upon the liberal Dutch attitude towards drugs, and an open approach to sexuality is no different.
Bart: “God, I love spijkerpoepen. Annika, you’ve introduced me to a whole new world of butt games!”
Well, for once, it’s not as close as sensual as it sounds (to non-Dutch ears). Spijkerpoepen (nail/spike pooping) is an old Dutch children’s game whereby a string with a nail on the end is wrapped around the hips of the player, who then tries to get it into a bottle.
We have to admit, this is a pretty niche reference, but The Simpsons did their research! 😂
Another Dutch game also features in this episode: sjoelen. Sjoelen is the Dutch version of the American shuffleboard and is definitely more common than spijkerpoepen.
Annika also leaves the scene in classic Dutch manier (fashion): swearing and cursing at the stomme Americans. (Her words, not ours.)
5. When a Dutch piece of art almost kills the Simpsons
In “The Nightmare after Krustmas” (Season 28, E10), Dutch artist Theo Jansen comes to Springfield to display his most famous artwork at the Pagan Winter Carnival.
Homer: “Is it science? Or garbage?”
Jansen: “Dutch art.”
Lisa: “Ohhhh, and I bet it’s environmentally conscious.”
Jansen: “No. It is not.” 😂
Fun fact: the Strandbeests (beach beasts) featured in the episode actually exist!
Jansen first envisioned the bony artworks in the 1990s, and ever since, the creatures have haunted the shores of Dutch beaches. They are made from yellow plastic tubes and move quite similarly to how they are depicted in The Simpsons.
6. Bonus! Moe confesses he’s also a Dutchie
So, that’s it for the five moments we spotted where The Simpsons made fun of the Dutch! There are plenty more, of course.
Did you know, for instance, that barkeeper Moe Szyslak is actually Dutch? In “Bart-Mangled Banner” (Season 15, E20), Moe announces — “What? What are you all looking at? I’m Dutch!” — and proceeds to stomp out from behind the counter in chunky, wooden clogs.
Ah, how we love a good Dutch stereotype. 😂
Did we miss any of your favourite Dutch references in The Simpsons? Tell us in the comments!
Feature Image: DutchReview