Believe it or not, The Simpsons has now been on for 28 years and counting. And that's not even including the couple of years that The Simpson appeared in short cartoons on The Tracey Ullman Show. Some people have remained lifelong fans for each of the show's seasons, while others may have drifted away after the show's classic era came to an end. However, even if you only watch episodes from the show's first ten years or so, there's a strange connection between a few of the characters that you may or may not have missed.
If you're a longtime viewer of the show, you're no doubt well acquainted with Sideshow Bob. Krusty's former sidekick has always carried a grudge against Bart for finding out that Bob robbed the Kwik-E-Mart. As a result, Bob has tried to kill Bart on numerous occasions.
Of course, Bob's not the only one with violent tenancies towards Bart. His own father has been known to viciously strangle him on numerous occasions. When you really think about it, it's actually quite disturbing.
Sideshow Bob, of course, has been in (and occasionally out of) jail for more many years. Robbery and frequent attempted murder of a 10-year-old boy will do that to a person. But despite that, Bob actually married Bart's Aunt Selma.
Well, if you're a fan of musical theater, you probably knew the answer this whole time. But if you didn't know, 24601 was the prisoner number of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. The Simpsons writers apparently decided that when anyone on the show was a prisoner, they should also have his number.
The prisoner number gag has been used on more than just The Simpsons. On South Park, there was naturally an episode where Cartman spent some time in the slammer. And initially, his prisoner number was also 24601.
And it happened again on Arrested Development, when it was revealed that Oscar Bluth also had the iconic prisoner number. As it turns out, 24601 references are the comedy gift that keeps on giving. (Or at least to the people who get the reference.)
So the next time you see "24601" mentioned on a TV show, you can be in on the joke. And if you're someone who doesn't like musicals, you now get the know the reference without having to actually see Les Mis. For saving you all that time and money, you're welcome.