“Eat my shorts!” is one of Bart Simpson's trademark catchphrases. Bart uses it to express his rebellious attitude, usually towards authority figures. He pulls his shorts down, and shakes his butt at people, just to offend them.
On some occasions, the phrase was taken literally, such as when Bart was teasing a donkey and the donkey really did eat his shorts.
When Bart developed his own line of novelty T-shirts, he used the phrase on one of his shirts: "Stop World Hunger, Eat My Shorts!"
Variations/Use by Other Characters
- When the teachers and staff at Springfield Elementary School are eating students in a non-canonical Halloween episode (Treehouse of Horror V), Principal Skinner tells Bart he's going to enjoy devouring him, and adds, "I believe I'll start as you've so often suggested, by eating your shorts."
- In "The Lastest Gun in the West", Bart jams his storybook into the rabid dog's mouth, saying, "Eat my short stories!"
- Another instance of Principal Skinner using the phrase (this time canonically) was during the Do What You Feel Festival; perched upon a tree, Skinner pelts Bart with an acorn and proclaims "Eat my shorts, young man!"
- When Bart is cast as Mozart, he says "Eat my pantaloons!" just before he passes away.
- One Chinese spy boy, being fake Bart Simpson, said, "Feast on my shorts, stupid 'father man'!"
- Jenny used that phrase, and after that, slams the door on Bart in Moonshine River.
- In the third level ending for The Simpsons: Hit and Run, after Lisa finds Bart as an incoherent mess on a ship, she tries to snap him out of his state by getting him to say his favorite catchphrase. Bart attempts to say it, but it ends up instead saying "Kiss my Grits!" before resuming his gibberish state, causing Lisa great concern.
- In "Lemon of Troy", Bart and Homer say, "Eat my shorts!" together as they leave Shelbyville with the lemon tree. Ned Flanders follows it up with, "Yes, eat all of our shirts!"
- In "The Fat and the Furriest", when Homer buys a Kitchen Carnival machine, Bart wants to use it, saying, "I'm going to pour caramel on my clothes, and then finally I can eat my shorts!"
- In "On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister", when Bart wakes up, he says, "Eat my shorts", followed by Wiggum saying, "There will be no shorts eaten today, young man."
Behind the Laughter
The real history behind the phrase is that Nancy Cartwright, Bart's voice actor, improvised the line during a table read. She first said it as a prank when she was in her high school marching band at Fairmont High School. The band was supposed to chant, "Fairmont West! Fairmont West!" Instead, she and the entire band chanted, "Eat my shorts! Eat my shorts!" Thus, an icon in popular culture was born.
The phrase has also been used outside of The Simpsons. For example in the Futurama episode, "A Big Piece of Garbage," Fry sees a pile of talking Bart Simpson dolls, and Bender pulls the string on one that says, "Eat my shorts." Bender obliges, and then says, "Mmm... shorts." Another example is in the 1993 film "Grumpy Old Men", where deuteragonist Max Goldman, played by actor Walter Matthau, utters this phrase in response to a comment made about him, hoping that his son takes after his mother more than he does Max.
More recently on the show, the phrase has been seldom used as many of the crew feel as if the many catchphrases have worn out. (This fact was parodied in the episode "Bart Gets Famous.")
There has been speculation that Matt Groening got this phrase from the stoner rebel John Bender in The Breakfast Club. In Futurama there is also a mischievous character by the name of Bender. The phrase "Don't have a cow" appears in another John Hughes film, Sixteen Candles. "Eat my shorts!" is also exclaimed by a main character in Stephen King's 1986 movie "Maximum Overdrive", coincidentally starring Yeardley Smith.
In The Simpsons Hit and Run, after Bart was talking gibberish after Bart had somehow managed to escape from Kang and Kodos and started talking gibberish, he said "Kiss my griss!" when Lisa told him to say his famous catchphrase, "Kiss my griss" was used in "The Front".
- Episode – "Bart the Genius" * Episode – "Moaning Lisa" (Arcade game)
- Episode – "Lemon of Troy" * Episode – "Lisa's Sax"
- THOH – "Treehouse of Horror V" (Variation)
- Episode – "The Lastest Gun in the West" (Varition)
- Episode – "Bart-Mangled Banner" * Episode – "Margical History Tour" (Variation)
- Episode – "Fat Man and Little Boy" * Episode – "On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister"
- Episode – "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer" * Episode – "Moonshine River" (said by Jenny)
- Episode – "The Simpsons Guy"