Czech-built tram makes an appearance on The Simpsons

A Škoda 10T tram, built in the Czech Republic for the U.S. city of Portland, makes a brief appearance in a season 31 episode of the hit show

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 21.08.2020 12:12 (updated on 07.10.2020)

Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed a familiar Czech vehicle in a recent episode of the long-running American TV series The Simpsons: a Czech-built tram, specifically the Škoda 10T, built by the famed carmaker for the U.S. city of Portland.

Marge the Lumberjill, the fourth episode of the 31st season of the show, includes a brief second-long shot of the tram, depicted after the family travels to Portland from their Springfield home.

“For Americans, Portland is the epitome of modern, environmentally sensitive cosmopolitan life, where almost everyone would like to live if they had the chance to do so,” The Simpsons’ Czech translator Vojtěch Kostiha told e15.

“It is a great honor to have a Czech tram in the city of the future in the most successful American animated series of all time.”

The Škoda 10T trams were built by the Czech automaker specifically Portland, Oregon and Tacoma, Washington, and only made from 2000-2002.

The vehicles were built in the Czech Republic and shipped complete to the U.S. Of the 13 trams produced, ten were shipped to Portland and three to Tacoma.

Interestingly enough, the version of the tram in The Simpsons looks more like the familiar red, white, and gray Škoda 15T trams that can be spotted in Prague rather than what might be Portland’s most recognizable 10T, a Portland Streetcar with a blue front and red body (though other versions also have a red front).

Portland Streetcar via Wikimedia / Cacophony
Portland Streetcar via Wikimedia / Cacophony

The Škoda 10T isn’t the first Czech reference on the long-running TV show.

In the third-season episode Flaming Moe’s, Aunt Selma complains about “ungodly Czechoslovakian sockets” during a travelogue slideshow. This was not a goof: Czechoslovakia was still a country when the episode first aired (the sockets shown, though, are wildly inaccurate.)

In Treehouse of Horror XVII, Bart resurrects the Golem of Prague.

Treehouse of Horror XXVII: Lenny: “So, how did things go in Prague?” Carl: “Oh, quite well. I… cancelled a few Czechs.”

I’m Dancing as Fat as I Can: Marge: “I made a welcome wagon basket for our new neighbors from Eastern Europe.” Homer (with checklist): “Check.” Marge: “No, Slovenian.”

Catch these references below:

And in the season 20 episode In the Name of the Grandfather, Czech singer and actress Markéta Irglová appears alongside Glen Hansard, with whom she won an Oscar for the original song Falling Slowly from the movie Once: