When an episode of The Simpsons nearly changed what Australia called a currency

The   1995 Simpsons episode “Bart vs. Australia” almost started an international incident, but more importantly, he was almost responsible for renaming the Australian dollar the “dollarydoo”. Why would a cartoon make such an impact on another culture? And why do Australians want their dollarydoos? To answer that, a bit of knowledge about the country and its currency is needed.

the australian dollar

In 1966, the global shift towards decimalization (the system where 100 cents equals one dollar) inspired the country to replace the Australian pound with the Australian dollar. Three years earlier, the Australian government proposed calling their new currency the “real”, but widespread outcry forced them to withdraw with a proverbial “Okay, okay, that was just a suggestion”.

Australia has good reason to take its currency seriously, and that has nothing to do with its name. The Australian dollar is one of the most advanced in the world when it comes to counterfeit protection. The polymer notes are also water-resistant and therefore cleaner than the cotton fiber notes used in backward countries like the United States, and each denomination has a different texture so that the visually impaired can tell them apart. . Canada, Vietnam and the United Kingdom have since adopted properties of Australia’s innovative currency.

bart vs. Australia

On February 19, 1995, “Bart Vs. Australia”. In the episode, Bart makes a collect call to Australia to prove his sister Lisa wrong about the Coriolis effect, i.e. why objects moving in a circular direction tend to move to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left. the left in the southern hemisphere. After failing to pay the bill and insulting the poor family left holding the $900 bag (or “dollarydoo” as they call it in the episode), Bart is tasked with traveling to Australia to receive punishment via a quick kick in the ass. giant boot bread.

The  Simpsons team  received over 100 complaints from Australians, articles peppered Australian newspapers about the indignity of the Simpson family’s Outback trip, and the episode was condemned by the Australian Parliament. The episode skewers Australian culture pretty hard – there are  Mad Max jokes  , koalas and an incredibly surreal  Crocodile Dundee reference  – but the country also has laws regulating what time a person can vacuum and how many potatoes they can sell, deliver. or buy , then living in Australia requires a healthy sense of humour.

The Dollarydoo

One Australian who certainly seems to own one is Thomas Probst, who started a Change.org petition in 2015 to rename the Australian dollar “dollarydoo”. That year, the Australian dollar was on a downward trend, trading at just US$0.726, and Probst expected that the rebranding would raise interest rates and boost the economy. “Millions of people across the world [would] want to get their hands on some Australian currency due to the  real -life Simpsons reference  ,” he explained. Sadly, the petition closed with only 69,440 supporters, less than 10% of the country’s population.