In the near thirty years that the Simpsons has been around, the show’s numerous catchphrases and quotes have made their way into everyday life. But trying to find images from the show to match the quotes hasn’t always been easy; Google searches often offer grainy YouTube stills recorded straight from a TV. Now, a brilliant new search engine dedicated to the dysfunctional family has been released, and it’s named after everyone’s favorite professor: Frinkiac.
The online tool contains an amazing three million screengrabs from the Simpsons’ first fifteen seasons. As you start typing in a line from the show, the engine will display the corresponding images from the episode – the more you type, the more accurate your search result becomes. Then it’s just a matter of clicking on the picture you want and hitting ‘Make Meme,’ which will overlay the quote onto the image. Best of all, you can edit the text yourself.
The project is the work of Paul Kehrer, Sean Schulte and Allie Young. "We had the idea several years ago when we were quoting The Simpsons at each other all day long, and it was surprisingly difficult to find an image of the scenes we were quoting on Google," Schulte said.
Kehrer explains on his website that the engine determines what are relevant screens to capture in a “fairly naive way.” Frinkiac cuts scenes into 100 equal-sized parts and compares the average color of each part to the screenshot before. If the total difference is large enough, the image is saved.
The engine pairs the quote with the image by searching through the subtitle files of each episode. Once it finds the corresponding text, it matches the subtitle line’s timecode with the timecode of the screenshot.
I’ve already used Frinkiac to capture a few glorious Simpsons moments (“feels like I’m wearing nothing at all!” and “Mmmm…erotic cakes” are two favorites) and it really is one of those things that you never knew you needed until it arrived.
Providing that Fox, which is notoriously protective of the Simpsons license, doesn’t take it down, Frinkiac could become the number one site for all your Simpsons meme needs. Good Glavin!