|Binomen||Unknown (Solanaceae Family)|
|Body type||The same as a tomato plant|
|Aggressivity||Harmless (if not ingested)|
|Related species||Solanum lycopersicum|
Nicotiana tabacum (probably)
|Behind the Scenes|
Tomacco was a fictional plant from a 1999 episode of The Simpsons titled "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", a hybrid between tomatoes and tobacco.
In the episode, the tomacco was accidentally created by Homer Simpson when he planted and fertilized his tomato and tobacco fields with plutonium. The result is a tomato that has a dried, brown tobacco center, and, although being described as tasting terrible by many characters, is also immediately and powerfully addictive. The creation is promptly labeled "tomacco" by Homer and sold in large quantities to unsuspecting passersby. A cigarette company, Laramie Tobacco Co., seeing the opportunity to legally sell their products to children, offers to buy the rights to market tomacco, but Homer demands one thousand times as much money as they wish to pay him, and the company withdraws. Eventually, all of the tomacco plants are eaten by farm animals - except for the one remaining plant, which later goes down in an explosive helicopter crash with the cigarette company's lawyers.
In real life Edit
The process of making tomacco was first revealed in a 1959 Scientific American article, which stated that nicotine could be found in the tomato plant after grafting. Due to the academic and industrial importance of this breakthrough process, this article was reprinted in a 1968 Scientific American compilation.
A Simpsons fan, Rob Baur of Lake Oswego, Oregon, was inspired by the episode. Remembering the article in a textbook, Baur cultivated a tomacco in 2003 by grafting together tobacco and tomato plants. The plant produced fruit that looked like a normal tomato, but Baur suspected that it contained a lethal amount of nicotine and thus would be inedible. Testing later proved that the leaves of the plant contained some nicotine. Both plants are members of the same family, Solanaceae (nightshades). The tomacco plant bore tomaccoes until it died after 18 months, spending one winter indoors. Baur was featured on the "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)" audio commentary in the Simpsons Season 11 DVD box set discussing the plant and resulting fame.
- The 2004 convention of the American Dialect Society named tomacco as the new word "least likely to succeed." Tomacco was a wordspy.com "Word of the Day".
- Tomacco juice is shown with Marge's other groceries in the new opening theme. Also, there is a tomacco field in The Simpsons Hit and Run.
- The Tomacco plant is also part of the Simpsons app "Tapped Out" and can be chosen to plant and grow on Cletus' farm.