When A Simpsons Episode Almost Changed What Australia Called Their Currency

By Jacob Shelton


(20th Television)

The 1995 Simpsons episode "Bart vs. Australia" nearly started an international incident, but more importantly, it was almost responsible for renaming the Australian dollar the "dollarydoo." Why would a cartoon make such an impact on another culture? And why would Australians want their dollarydoos? To answer that requires a little knowledge about the country and its currency.

The Australian Dollar

In 1966, the global shift toward decimalization (the system under which 100 cents equals one dollar) inspired the land down under to replace the Australian pound with the Australian dollar. Three years before, the Australian government proposed naming their new currency the "royal," but widespread outcry forced them to withdraw with a proverbial "Okay, okay, it was just a suggestion."

Australia has good reason to be serious about their currency, and it doesn't have anything 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 banknotes are also water resistant and therefore cleaner than the cotton fiber notes used in backwater countries like the United States, and each denomination is differently textured so the visually impaired can tell them apart. Canada, Vietnam, and the U.K. have all since adopted properties of Australia's groundbreaking currency.