Bart Simpson’s best friend Milhouse reveals one of his secrets in an episode: “I sleep under my bed every night because I'm scared of the cars from Cars.” This was in reference to the popular trilogy of Pixar films. He then raises one of his hands to cover his mouth and lowers his voice, saying “If gasoline is their food then why do they have teeth?” (YouTube user TV References).
The Simpsons have been providing audiences with laughs—many of which appear as jabs at mainstream pop culture—for 30 years. Not one or thing is safe from getting lampooned—not even automobiles or the major brands behind them. The show has even made up their own automobiles throughout the show’s history, which were really just references to actual cars.
With so many allusions to cars, it’s clear that the creators behind the show have a deep love for cars. Like the friend or family member someone teases, really the show’s badgering of cars is just another way of showing their affection for automobiles.
Fans of the show will notice, however, that there are certain car brands the Simpsons never draw attention to. For whatever reasons, they avoid these cars like the plague. On the other hand, there are brands they’re incredibly fond towards and have no reservations about featuring them on the show.
We’re going to look at all the cars they constantly reference, along with major ones they tend to avoid and haven't had the kindest jokes in mind when they do happen to make it on the show.
18 The Simpsons Avoid Ford
Ford may be one of the most respected and longest running automakers around, but that doesn’t stop the Simpsons from blowing up one of its vehicles. To be fair, it’s also just as much of a jab towards EVs as it is the Ford Motor Company. According to the New York Post, Homer gets a hold of an Elec-Taurus and ends up driving it into the ocean where it ends up electrocuting a bunch of dolphins.
That’s not all that happens though. Once he’s able to drive it up onto the beach (yes, he’s been in it this whole time), the car suddenly blows up.
17 The Simpsons Love CarGo
In a more recent episode, the Simpsons tackle self-driving vehicles. Less to do with cars and more about the actual company behind them, the episode was about CarGo, a new company that landed in Springfield. Mostly it’s a parody of startup companies and the kind of culture they foster. Later on, the cars start driving on their own and everyone has to try and stop them.
It reminds one of the self-driving cars in The Fate of the Furious that we talked about in Fast and Furious: 25 things that make no sense about the cars. It must be something people are really worried about (WikiSimpsons).
16 The Simpsons Avoid Dodge
Is there no love from the Simpsons for the Dodge brothers? There are only a few cars throughout the show that have looked like famous Dodge vehicles, though aren't explicitly said to be belonging to Dodge. One example includes the Lil’ Bandit, a car that belonged to Snake Jailbird.
In one episode, the Springfield Police Department decided to put the car up for auction after they've abducted it. There are a few different options for what kind of make and model this is, though it looks like a 1969 Dodge Charger. Whatever the car is, it’s definitely modified with its engine sticking out the hood (WikiSimpsons).
15 The Simpsons Love Chevrolet
It would seem like the Simpsons love Chevy based on the show’s history. Other than Homer’s car, Marge’s ends up featuring the most. Hers was a Chevy station wagon that had enough room for the whole family to pile into for road trips and commutes across Springfield. It served the Simpsons as the stereotypical family car for a majority of the show.
The first time it ever showed up was the show’s first episode ever, called “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.” From there, the show became a huge success and would have plenty more opportunities to show off—and make fun of—more cars (Simpsons Wiki – Fandom).
14 The Simpsons Avoid Tesla
Even though Elon Musk appeared on the Simpsons, it doesn’t mean Tesla got any screen time. The episode had more to do with Homer teaming up with Musk to change his workplace than anything else. Considering The Simpson’s love for automobiles, it seems like a Tesla would’ve been a given in the episode. Then again, the creators have made fun of EVs in past episodes, so they probably would have been harsh towards a Tesla if it had made the episode.
The Model X launched in 2015, which was the same year this episode of the Simpsons aired (Simpsons Wiki – Fandom).
13 The Simpsons Love Powell Motors
One of the episodes centers around Homer reconnecting with his brother, Herb Powell. Powell runs an auto company, which leads to Homer giving some tips for their vehicles. He ends up designing a car, which Wired makes a case for actually being ahead of its time. In his design, Homer made sure the antenna had a ball on it, that the engine was monstrous and that there was a bubble dome for the driver's seat.
It was even meant to keep the interior quiet. As expected, with Homer behind the car’s design, the final result turned out to be one strange ride.
12 The Simpsons Avoid Ferrari
This next one is a classic example of how the Simpsons likes to parody well-known automobile brands. While they never flat out reference Ferrari, they do so in an indirect but obvious way without actually saying "Ferrari.”
It’s a clever method of satire. Used in the car video game "The Simpsons: Hit and Run,” Bart drives a Ferrini 308 GTS. This kind of car, like its real-life counterpart—supposedly the F40 model—focuses on performance and style above all else. It’s exactly the kind of car Bart would drive too. With a noticeable hood scoop and spoiler in the back, this is a Simpsons car we wouldn’t mind owning in real life (Simpsons Wiki – Fandom).
11 The Simpsons Love Kumatsu Motors
Not all of the automobile brands ever featured on the Simpsons were real. Many of them ended up being fake ones that took some inspiration from actual brands. Take Homer’s red plow truck, for example. He ended up getting this and started his own business that revolved around it. The brand of the truck was Kumatsu.
It’s a big red truck with roof lights up top and a giant plow in the front to clear away snow and anything that comes in its path. He ends up competing with Barney, who also happens to have his own plow truck and business (Simpsons Wiki – Fandom).
10 The Simpsons Avoid Nissan
It’s pretty obvious that the Simpsons have referenced Nissan before. Those who’ve seen episodes like “Adventures in Baby-Getting” will remember the fake dealership name Marge Simpson paid a visit to. Located in Springfield, the dealership goes by the name of Tissan. That’s just one letter difference between its real-life counterpart.
Marge ended up going there after losing her former car in a sinkhole. The fact that Marge ends up buying a new Tissan likely indicates that the creators behind our favorite Springfield family aren't so opposed to Nissan in real life. We just feel bad for whatever automaker Marge’s last car was.
9 The Simpsons Love The Canyonero
This one is a slight cheat. Not only is it a fake automobile, but technically a model and not a brand. It looked like a red SUV that literally towered over other sedans. Krusty The Clown was the owner of one. the Simpsons loved it so much, they even gave it a catchy song.
During the episode, in a YouTube clip uploaded by vespersven6, Krusty and Bart are sitting up front when the clown turns on the radio and steps on the gas pedal. “Can you name the truck with four wheel drive, smells like a steak and seats thirty-five—Canyonero! Canyonero!” That just about sums up the stereotypes surrounding SUVs and pickups.
8 The Simpsons Avoid Bugatti
It might be an exaggeration to say the Simpsons avoid Bugatti entirely, considering there's at least one reference. Looking over the entire show though, they hardly seem to bring much attention to this legendary automaker. One reference comes by way of the show’s richest character. It makes sense considering out of all the characters, who else would have once owned a Bugatti?
Mr. Burns, of course. Only visible in a photograph, Mr. Burns’ Bugatti Royale ends up getting stolen. They even estimate the car’s worth at nearly $10 million. That price tag lines up perfectly with the real-life Bugattis of today (WikiSimpsons).
7 The Simpsons Avoid GM
If you haven’t yet you need to check out 25 cars that should’ve buried GM. There we covered a GM vehicle the Simpsons made fun of. It seems that the show and its creators aren’t too fond of the major automaker based on that particular reference. Yet another episode lends evidence to the contrary.
In it, Homer has to go get his Plymouth Junkerolla fixed—a car we featured elsewhere on this list. He ends up telling the mechanic he wants to them to use “quality GM parts” for the repair. Other than that though, these vehicles aren’t featured much (WikiSimpsons).
6 The Simpsons Avoid Toyota
While the Simpsons had a more direct connection with Toyota in real life, we couldn’t find any times they actually referenced brand's vehicles in the show. The real life connection we’re referring to is an early commercial advertising the Toyota Corolla. The ad actually inserted a real photo of a Corolla parked in The Simpson’s own driveway.
With the Corolla still chugging along today as strong as ever, it makes one wonder whether this ad helped to keep the brand's model going. Perhaps they don’t make fun of Toyotas because they’re still honoring that former ad collaboration and want to remain on good terms (WikiSimpsons).
5 The Simpsons Love Plymouth
There’s something special about the first car you ever owned. Homer’s was a Plymouth, which suggests the creators of the show have an affinity for these types of cars. He loved it so much, in fact, he decided to get another one later in life. Then again, the creators decided to call that pink one Homer owns for most of the show a 1986 Plymouth Junkerolla.
According to Digital Spy, audiences didn’t know what brand Homer’s car was for years. Many were anxious to know and finally found out in the episode titled “Pork and Burns back in January 2017.
4 The Simpsons Avoid Jeep
Other than video games, Jeep doesn’t seem to get much attention, at least from the Simpsons. There have been a number of video games to come out starring the Simpsons, a few of which are actually based on cars or racing.
In the game “The Simpsons: Hit and Run,” a WWII-styled Jeep is one of the playable cars. Appropriately, it’s driven by Abraham Simpson, Homer’s father. It’s one of those hidden vehicles though that players will have to unlock if they want to add it to their fleet of playable cars. Other than that, the well-known brand doesn’t get much love from the Simpsons (Simpsons Wiki – Fandom).
3 The Simpsons Love Volkswagen
It’s easy to make a case that the Simpsons actually love Volkswagen, particularly Beetles. While these cars tend to get ridiculed in real life, they end up belonging to tough drivers in the Simpsons. As the site Car Sales notes, one episode featured Nelson getting a taste of his own medicine when someone pantses him. A tall man commits the act, making it all the more embarrassing for the show’s resident bully.
What does this all have to do with VW though? We’re glad you asked. The artists behind the show made sure to show that the tall man got out of a Beetle before pantsing Nelson.
2 The Simpsons Avoid Mercury
Remember the episode with Homer’s rich brother, Herbert, who was an executive working for a successful automobile company? Well, there’s a scene in it where Herb is in a meeting with other execs discussing what they should name their next vehicle. After turning down the name “Persephone,” Herb makes a jab about naming vehicles after “vicious animals.”
As Jalopnik points out, there were several cars that came out during this time that fit this reference, such as the Mercury Cougar. Although there are plenty of models and brands to pick on, Mercury happened to be one of them included in this joke.
1 The Simpsons Love Pontiac
While this next episode didn’t necessarily paint Pontiac in a positive light, it’s a recurring brand the Simpsons love to feature. In one episode, it ended up being the center of an insurance scheme. To no one’s surprise, the ones behind it were Homer and Moe, who runs the local bar called Moe’s Tavern.
That’s where Homer and all his friends go to grab drinks after work. Homer attempts to use Moe’s Pontiac Bonneville to try and trick the insurance company into giving them money. Let’s just say it doesn’t end well for the Bonneville, which ends up driving off a cliff (Simpsons Wiki – Fandom).
Sources: YouTube, New York Post, WikiSimpsons, Simpsons Wiki - Fandom, Jalopnik, Digital Spy, Wired, Car Sales