More than any other show in television history, The Simpsons have made cameos not only a unique, but regular part of the show; they’ve paraded celebrities and musicians through the streets of Springfield year after year for 27 seasons. A cameo alongside America’s most revered animated family has become more of a privilege than an extra paycheck to supplement already inflated bank accounts.
No one cameo had more of an impact on the future of the show than that of one of The Beatles. Except for Lennon, each member of the Fab Four had their animated selves pay a visit to Springfield, but it was Paul McCartney who influenced a main characters story arc more than any other.
In 1995, during the shows seventh season, McCartney and his then wife Linda appeared in the episode “Lisa the Vegetarian.” You can watch a poor version of that clip below.
The “meat is murder” attitude has always been present in Lisa Simpson’s character, but McCartney — who has been a vegetarian for about 30 years now — made sure Lisa’s oath would never be broken. Hank Azaria, who voices Apu and many others on the show, revealed McCartney’s one stipulation for appearing on the show: make Lisa a vegetarian for life.
“I thought it was really cool that he stuck that [in],” Azaria told the Huffington Post. “I can tell you, over the years, they were tempted a bunch of times to have Lisa break her vegetarian vow.”
Azaria would add “they made a vow to Sir Paul. No, you don’t break a knight’s vow. As we’ve learned from Game of Thrones, you do that at your own risk.”