Timmy was created when Bart used his Superstar Celebrity Microphone and a radio to make Groundskeeper Willie think that a boy had fallen down an old well near Springfield Elementary School. The prank quickly grew to include the whole town when Willie went for help. After everyone had gathered at the well, Bart said that his name was Timmy O'Toole.
Timmy, according to Bart, had just turned ten and did not have a family. Also, Timmy had tried to enroll at Springfield Elementary, but Principal Skinner had turned him away because his clothes were too shabby.
A carnival-like atmosphere developed as the townspeople converged on the well site, and the media got involved with Timmy. Kent Brockman gave frequent news updates about Timmy on Channel 6. Krusty the Clown assembled a bunch of his friends in the entertainment/celebrity community (among them Sting, Sideshow Mel, and Rainier Wolfcastle) to record a benefit video called "We're Sending Our Love Down the Well." Finally, The Itchy & Scratchy Show produced an episode titled "Cat Splat Fever" which was dedicated to Timmy O'Toole.