Meet Frinkiac: The cromulent picture search engine for Simpsons quotes

Prinskipper Skipple! Prindipple Skimpster! We've found something! A search engine that matches your favourite quote from "The Simpsons" to more than 3 million episode screenshots. Set your faces to stunned...

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
Expertise Space | Futurism | Robotics | Tech Culture | Science and Sci-Tech Credentials
  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly
3 min read

Frinkiac will make you laugh, and make you think...

21st Century Fox

When it comes to everyone's favourite four-fingered family, there are Simpsons fans, and then there are Simpsons fans. The latter normally spend their days dropping endless quotes into conversation, leaving others furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand the situation. For those die-hards, we now have Frinkiac -- a searchable database of Simpsons quotes.

The premise is simple: Quote goes in, screenshot comes out. That's what Frinkiac is all about. And for a true Simpsons fan, discovering this website is like finding a box of expired medicine, old newspapers and a free tramampoline all on the same day.

Creators Paul Kehrer, Sean Schulte and Allie Young have taken TV's most quotable show and re-dorkulated it into a fully searchable database of more than 3 million screenshots. Your favourite moments from Seasons 1 through 15 are all back (in POG form) and can be found by typing your favourite quote into the search bar.

From Diamond Joe Quimby down to Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo, Bumblebee Man to Señor Ding Dong the novelty doorbell king, Frinkiac has you covered.

You might also surprise yourself. Search for the word "Kaboom" and you'll find gay divorcée Luann Van Houten setting fire to a box of her ex-husband's stuff, Rex Banner awaiting a banana split on his birthday and a picture of Martin Prince's geode (yes, Frinkiac even acknowledges that one).

Stuck in a flame war but there's no emoticon for what you're feeling? You can make your own memes from Frinkiac's screenshots, with the matching quote printed in Simpsons font across the bottom. Or add your own words using the text input tool -- what am I, a doctor?

You may think trawling through 15 seasons of Simpsons references would be tiresome, (can't someone else do it?) but Kehrer explains on his website that the screen clips were generated "in a fairly naïve way." Frinkiac cuts scenes into parts and compares the average colour of each part to the screenshot before. If there's enough of a difference, Frinkiac saves a new clip. At its heart, Frinkiac knows whether you're looking for "Swish" or for a sweaty and ashamed Gil Gunderson wearing a sexy basketball costume.

Frinkiac also sifts through the subtitle files of each episode and matches the timestamps on dialogue with the timestamps of the image. That way, by typing your favourite quote into the search bar, you can actually pinpoint the second when Ralph's heart rips in half.

Sure, there are still some bugs, and the search isn't totally smooth, but this engine fills a Lard Lad-sized hole in our lives. And stopping at Season 15 gives us all the golden years of "The Simpsons" that are worth remembering (I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognise Season 25).

But get in quick. We suspect Fox might try and throw a copyright claim on this one at lightning speed, while you're still grappling with the pickle matrix. Though it does seem to have seven thumbs up from at least one of the show's ex-writer/producers: