The Top Places in Ireland visited by The Simpsons.
In the fourteenth episode of Season 20, the Simpsons visit Ireland. It aired on St. Patrick’s Day in 2009 and I remember the excitement that the famous cartoon characters, which have featured episodes in the likes of Brazil, were going to do an episode featuring our little county.
The title of the episode, “In The Name of the Grandfather”, is in reference to the Irish film “In the name of the Father.” In the episode, the Simpsons travel to Ireland so that Grampa Abe can have a final drink at O’Flanagan’s Pub, one of his fondest memories.
But when the small (fictional) town of Dunkilderry isn’t quite how Grampa remembers it, and O’Flanagans has become a rundown, empty pub, he and Homer choose to buy it and make some repairs to the bar.
At the time the show’s executive producer, James L Brooks, said the tale was inspired by a newspaper article he had read.
“I read this article in the New York Times about the smoking ban and the fact that the pubs were closing. People were also working so hard and crunching hours to the point that the pubs were really suffering. It was based on these facts,” he said.
Executive producer Al Jean also said at the time that he was not worried about the reception of the episode, which also features yuppie Leprechauns and claims Guinness is made from chocolate syrup and bog water.
He said: “I’m Irish American and I know Irish people have an excellent sense of humour, so we weren’t very worried. We wanted to do something very affectionate that was about us hearing about Ireland for years, and we come over here, and it isn’t quite the way we imagined, but it’s still really nice.
“I first visited in 2001 and what I couldn’t believe was how technologically forward Ireland was, it was so amazing to me. It was beautiful but also advanced past America.”
In typical cartoon style in this episode, Marge, Lisa, Bart and Maggie travelled to attractions in Antrim, Dublin and Cork all in one day. We also get a glimpse of Irish countryside with the typical patchwork fields as they arrive in Ireland.
It’s nice that they also put a little fact into the show about each tourist attraction they visited. Here are all the places in Ireland the Simpsons visited in the episode.
1. The fictional town of Dunkilderry
Homer and Grandpa spent all their time in O’Flanagan’s pub in the fictional village of Dunkilderry.
While the episode is full of Irish stereotypes, such as references to potatoes, leprechauns and alcohol, it also shows Ireland in a good light.
While driving through the fictional town of Dunkilderry, the Simpsons show upscale boutiques, how Ireland is at the forefront of Europe’s tech boom, that smoking is banned in pubs and shows Ireland to be progressive regarding gay rights.
There’s a restaurant called Taco Belfast beside O’Flanagan’s pub. There’s also a reference to Galway made when the Simpsons enter the pub, the publican is watching videotapes labelled with an old Galway horse race.
2. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim
When they arrive, Marge tells Bart and Lisa: “The Giant’s Causeway is a result of a volcanic eruption. Well kids isn’t that an informational fact.”
However, Bart and Lisa couldn’t be less interested and are busy climbing the stones. Thanks to this episode I’m no longer able to picture the Giant’s Causeway without imagining the Simpsons jumping from stone to stone like a video game.
3. Guinness Brewery, County Dublin
The three take a tour of the Guinness Brewery where the tour guide tells them: “Guinness has been brewed since 1759.”
Lisa sneaks into the brewing room and sees the fake ‘secret ingredient’ that Guinness is made with half bog water and half chocolate syrup. We see the famous gates of the brewery as well.
4. The Blarney Castle, County Cork
The Simpsons lined up to kiss the Blarney Stone. They do a great job of capturing what it really looks like and feels like to line up to see this famous stone.
Ironically, Marge rambles on to a security worker: “they say if you kiss the Blarney stone you get the gift of gab, which is great but I’m not sure if I like the idea of getting a gift in return for kissing. What kind of a message is that for Lisa and Maggie? Those are my daughters. But on the other hand America doesn’t have any stones worth kissing, except for Stone Phillips, do you have one of him here? If so he’s our your him.”
If you love The Simpsons, then you’ll love the video below of their Irish references: