The Simpsons is known (and beloved) around the world, and also happens to be one of the most critically acclaimed animated series of all time. Beyond its mind-boggling popularity (and financial success), there are quite a few dark secrets that might shock even the most diehard fans of the show. 

Not only are there countless times where The Simpsons predicted the future, but there are also more than a few fascinating secrets that most people simply don’t know about one of the most long running shows of all time. Below we detail over ten of the show’s hidden secrets and stunning facts. 

1. God Has Five Fingers (Not Four)

It’s no secret that the characters in The Simpsons only have four fingers on each hand. Like characters in most animated TV shows, the characters in The Simpsons are purposefully different from humans. However, it may surprise you to learn that there is at least one character in the show that’s more human than others (physically, anyway). The character? God. 

In one of the show’s episodes, it shows God/Jesus (who happens to have five fingers/digits per hand - just like us). Whether or not the creators did this on purpose or not isn’t really a debate. Most people agree that this was done on purpose, in order to set the God character apart from the normal characters of the show. 

2. Michael Jackson Secretly Appears in One Episode 

In the third season of The Simpsons, one of the episodes features a character played by Michael Jackson. The episode that he appears/plays in is actually the premier episode of that season. The big secret behind this though, is that Michael Jackson doesn’t even show up in this episode’s credits. 

Although Michael was the one who actually wanted to be on the show (going as far as to contact the producers and ask to be involved), he did not want to be explicitly named in the credits. The reasons for this request of anonymity are still unknown to this day (which is quite odd, considering it’s pretty obvious that it’s Michael Jackson performing in that episode). 

3. One of the Characters Appeared in an Issue of Playboy

Yes, you read that correctly. One of the main characters of the show actually graced the cover of the notorious adult magazine Playboy. Who was the character? None other than Marge Simpson. 

The Marge Simpson issue of the magazine features numerous sexy photographs of the cartoon star (both on the cover, as well as inside the actual magazine). However, it should be noted that none of the pictures feature a nude Marge (which was relatively uncommon for the magazine at the time). 

This was intentional on the part of the show’s producers. Their reasoning behind this decision was that they didn’t want too much controversy around the magazine’s feature of one of their main characters. Another reason why the producers didn’t want Marge to be nude, was because of the potential for fans to abuse the naked images (by superimposing other Simpsons characters over Marge’s body). 

4. The Simpsons vs. George Bush

Did you know that The Simpsons were involved in a heated feud with the first family of the United States (the Bush family)? Back when the show got its start (in 1990), then President Bush essentially did everything besides declare open war on The Simpsons. 

Both the show and the first family ended up doing tit-for-tat attacks on one another, with no clear winner in the end. Bush went so far as to blame the TV show for the country’s lackluster economy. The writers made fun of the president’s negative opinion of the show in subsequent episodes. 

5. There Used to be a Replica Simpson House

Not a lot of people know this, but a few decades ago there was a contest that had a main prize of owning/living in an exact replica of the Simpson house. The contest was held by 20th Century Fox, with the actual house being in Nevada. Who hasn’t dreamed of living in a cartoon family’s house? 

The winner of the contest didn’t exactly want to uproot her entire existence just so she could move to Nevada and live in a replica of the Simpson house (and we don’t blame her to be honest). She opted for a cash prize instead. Ownership went back to the studio, who decided that it would be best to do away with this bizarre contest (and demolish the house).