I understand that all cartoons are generally a stylised drawing however many western style cartoons follow similar patterns.

Why then are the Simpsons dawn in yellow? Why not pink like most other American shows?

2 Answers 2


In an interview with BBC, Matt Groening told them

They're yellow because when it was time to pick the colour for the cartoon I didn't want the conventional cartoon colours.
An animator came up with the Simpsons' yellow and as soon as she showed it to me I said: 'This is the answer!' because when you're flicking through channels with your remote control, and a flash of yellow goes by, you'll know you're watching The Simpsons.


A simple copy/paste of the title of this topic to Google reveals:

To finish, Matt took questions from his hugely appreciative audience.


One audience member asked why the Simpsons are yellow.

'Yellow wasn't my choice. You initially work in black and white, and one of the animators suggested that we colour them yellow, and it looked right. Then again, she also made the trees purple, which we didn't go for. It means the Simpsons look like no other cartoon characters, though. I don't like that skin colour they use in cartoons. I loved Mickey Mouse when he had a white face, not the strange pink Caucasian colour he is now.'

Source: BBC - Cult - The Simpsons - Matt Groening's Desert Island Flicks


The choice of color for the Simpsons characters was very strategic, actually. As soon as Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, was given a drawing of the characters in yellow by an animator, he knew it was perfect.

The idea was that whenever someone was flipping through the channels, they would automatically know The Simpsons was on when they saw the yellow bodies flash by. Speaking of characters, all of them are a digit short of a full, human-like hand. Actually, the only character to ever have five fingers on a hand was God.

Source: Ever wondered why the Simpsons are yellow? - OMG Facts

  • 4
    "Speaking of characters, all of them are a digit short of a full, human-like hand". That's by no means unique to The Simpsons, of course; many cartoon characters (human or otherwise) are drawn with only three fingers and a thumb.
    – calum_b
    Commented Oct 20, 2013 at 15:43
  • 7
    Of course. I have a feeling that 4 fingers is at least as common as 5, when it comes to cartoons. Just a random character: Donald Duck (I've included this because there is a picture of him from 1934, more than 50 years before The Simpsons, having only 4 fingers). I assume it's too hard to draw 5 fingers clearly enough without making the fist look too big. Commented Oct 20, 2013 at 15:53

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