When a program has been on the air for as long as The Simpsons, 30 seasons and counting, it tends to produce an overfilled cast of characters that appear for one episode to help push the Simpson family along into a new adventure. Of course, these characters aren't always other humans which have resulted in a number of different pets that have called the Simpson's house on Evergreen Terrace their home.
Today we are going to take a look at the various animals the Simpsons have called pets over the years to see how they stack up against each other. Defining characteristics for their ranking will include longevity, number of appearances in the series, and general fan reaction to their time on The Simpsons.
While Bart briefly owned and raced a horse named Duncan in the season 13 episode "Saddlesore Galactica," there's only room for one equine pet on this list. Princess first appeared in the eighth episode of the third season, "Lisa's Pony."
Princess is given to Lisa by Homer in the hopes that he can win her love, but the financial cost forces Homer into the night shift at the Kwik-E-Mart. Princess would later appear in a flashback and as a couch gag, bumping her further past Furious D's singular appearance.
11 CHIRPY BOY AND BART JUNIOR
In what would prove to be a positive character-defining moment, the usually mischievous Bart tasked himself with hatching what he believed to be two bird's eggs, following the accidental death of a mother bird at Bart's hands. Aided by Marge, the eggs hatch to reveal a pair of Bolivian Tree Lizards who could prove fateful to Springfield's bird population.
Bart named his lizard kids Chirpy Boy and Bart Junior, which is technically the second Bart Jr. as the first was a frog Bart brought to Australia, which later overpopulated the country.
10 GREYHOUND PUPPIES
One of the Simpson's family main pets (we'll get to him soon) has fathered a number of puppies over the years, first with fellow racing greyhound She's the Fastest. The first litter of 25 puppies proved to be more than the Simpson's could handle, and they were sold/stolen by Mr. Burns, who planned to turn them into a tuxedo before deciding to raise them into prize-winning race hounds.
The second litter of puppies was with the Hibbert family's poodle Rosa Barks, and those eight were given to various characters in The Simpsons like Krusty the Clown and Snake.
Arguably one of the more dangerous pets on this list, Strangles continues Bart's trend of unusual pets when Marge buys him a python in season 18's 20th episode, "Stop or My Dog Will Shoot!" Strangles becomes very protective of Bart, and even chokes out Homer following one of Homer's "Why you little!" patented choking gags.
Unfortunately, Strangles unleashes a toxic gas cloud on Springfield Elementary after Bart brings him in for show-and-tell, and eventually becomes Groundskeeper Willie's new pet.
Nibbles first appearance in the twelfth season's "Skinner's Sense of Snow" was as the class hamster of Springfield Elementary, who singlehandedly saved Skinner, Homer, and Ned Flanders from a dangerous snow storm.
Nibbles somehow became a pet of the Simpson's before the 13th season's "She of Little Faith," where Homer shot him off in a rocket. Unfortunately, Nibbles died in the 27th season's "Lisa the Veterinarian," due to vet-in-training Lisa's neglect of her own pet.
The Simpson family have had quite a few "normal" cats and dogs in their house over the years, but none have been as well-trained as Laddie, Bart's $1,200 mail order service collie he obtained with a fraudulent credit card.
First appearing in the 20th episode of the eighth season "The Canine Mutiny," Laddie proved to be more capable than most of the Simpson family at household duties. He would later go on to work with the Police department and then live with blind Mr. Mitchell. Laddie was voiced by animation legend Frank Welker.
6 MOJO THE HELPER MONKEY
After seeing Apu with a helper monkey after he injures his arm, Homer uses his father's name to receive one named Mojo in the ninth season episode "Girly Edition." Mojo may have begun his career with the Simpsons as a specially trained service animal, but after Homer orders Mojo to burglarize donut shops, the monkey begins to take on a few of Homer's more unhealthy habits.
Soon enough poor Mojo is morbidly obese, having trouble breathing, wearing diapers, and has to be returned before he gets any worse. "Pray for Mojo."
First appearing in the tenth season's seventh episode "Lisa Gets an 'A'," Pinchy was a small lobster bought by Homer in order to fatten up enough to feed the whole family. Over the course of the episode, Homer becomes attached to the growing lobster, who he names Pinchy and even takes for walks on the beach.
Unfortunately, Pinchy doesn't have too many other appearances on The Simpsons, after he was accidentally cooked in a hot bath by Homer, who then devoured his buddy in front of his family. Touching, really.
Bart has had a few interesting pets over the years, but none have caused as much damage as the African elephant won from the Bill and Marty Morning Show on KBBL Radio in Springfield. Bart named the elephant Stampy, who was initially supposed to be a gag gift, with the real prize of $10, 000 being rejected by Bart in favor of the elephant.
Stampy proved to be too costly and damaging to keep, and the Simpsons were forced to give the elephant away to a wildlife reserve, though Stampy appears again every few years.
Plopper is an interesting pet of the Simpson family, as he first debuted in The Simpsons Movie before moving to occasional appearances on the series and in the comics. Plopper is probably most famously known from a scene in the film where Homer is walking Plopper on the ceiling and singing a version of the classic Spider-Man animated series, called "Spider-Pig."
After a few appearances in the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, Plopper began appearing with other citizens of Springfield and even helped Maggie rescue a possum from the Spuckler clan.
2 SNOWBALL I-V
The Simpson's have had quite a few cats over the years, though they were already onto Snowball II by the time the series started. Snowball II was the main family cat until she was run over by Dr. Hibbert, after which Lisa adopted Snowball III (who drowned in the aquarium trying to catch the goldfish) and Coltrane/Snowball IV (who jumped out a window after Lisa started playing jazz on her sax).
Finally, the Crazy Cat Lady threw a cat who looked similar to Snowball II at Lisa, and the family decided to name it Snowball II (instead of Snowball V) to avoid confusion.
1 SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER
Finally, we get to the Simpson's faithful and loyal good dog and the best of the best when it comes to the Simpson's various pets, Santa's Little Helper. A former racing greyhound, he joined the Simpson's family in the classic first full-length episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire."
Since then SLH has starred in a number of episodes focused on his many adventures that range from police dog to one of Burns' attack hounds. SLH has saved the family, and Bart specifically, numerous times, and is a valued member of the family, despite his occasional behavior issues.
With more seasons on the way for The Simpsons, we can expect the long-running family to take on a few more pets before the series is over. For now, you'll be able to rewatch their former pets in all their glory when the entire run of The Simpsons is made available for streaming on Disney+.