Cheese-eating surrender monkeys
"Cheese-eating surrender monkeys", sometimes shortened to "surrender monkeys", is a derogatory term for the French people. The term was coined in 1995 by Ken Keeler, then-writer for the television series The Simpsons. The term has entered two Oxford quotation dictionaries. The term was made popular by National Review journalist Jonah Goldberg during the early phases of the Iraq War.
The term "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" first appeared in "'Round Springfield," a 1995 episode of the American animated television show The Simpsons. In the episode, budget cuts at Springfield Elementary School force the janitor, Groundskeeper Willie, to become a French teacher. Expressing his disdain for the French people, he exclaims to his class in his Scottish accent: "Bonjoooouuur, ya cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys!." On the audio commentary for the episode, executive producer Al Jean said the line was "probably" written by The Simpsons staff writer Ken Keeler. Keeler confirmed this in an interview in 2012 and stated that he considers it to be his best contribution to the show. Jean commented that the staff did not expect the term to become widely used and never intended it as any kind of genuine political statement. When "'Round Springfield" was dubbed in French, the word "surrender" was omitted and the line became "singes mangeurs de fromage" ("cheese-eating monkeys").
Use in journalism 
In the run-up to the war in Iraq, the term was popularized by Jonah Goldberg, a conservative National Review journalist, to criticize reluctance on the part of Europeans and the French in particular to military action in Iraq. However, Goldberg used the term first in April 1999, not with respect to the Iraq War, but as the title of a column in the National Review called "Top Ten Reasons to Hate the French." Goldberg used the term several times in what he called his "French-bashing columns."
In July 2002, he noted that other journalists used the term; he took "some pride in its wide currency, as I believe I am its most successful popularizer." By July 2003, Goldberg lost what he called his "taste" for writing columns criticizing the French. He added: "Oh, I haven’t lost my distaste for the French," he wrote, "but French-bashing is so clichéd these days, I feel like I’m doing schtick when I talk about Cheese-eating surrender monkeys and the like."
Ben Macintyre of The Times wrote in 2007 that the term is "perhaps the most famous" of the coinages from The Simpsons and since Goldberg's usage it "has gone on to become a journalistic cliché." The term was used by the New York Post (as "Surrender Monkeys") as the headline for its December 7, 2006, front page, referring to the Iraq Study Group and its recommendation that U.S. soldiers be withdrawn from Iraq by early 2008. Articles in the Daily Mail have used the term in reference the French's "attitude problem" and the "muted" European reaction to the death of Osama Bin Laden, while The Daily Telegraph has cited it in relation to Anglo-French military cooperation.
See also 
- Anti-French sentiment in the United States
- Freedom fries
- Axis of weasels
- List of battles involving France
- Younge, Gary; Henley, Jon (2003-02-11). "Wimps, weasels and monkeys - the US media view of 'perfidious France'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
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- Du Vernay, Denise; Waltonen, Karma (2010). The Simpsons In The Classroom: Embiggening the Learning Experience with the Wisdom of Springfield. McFarland. p. 12. ISBN 0-7864-4490-8.
- Jean, Al (2005). The Simpsons The Complete Sixth Season DVD commentary for the episode "'Round Springfield" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Du Vernay, Denise (2012-02-14). "Best 'Simpsons' Moments: Castmembers Share Their Favorite Contributions to Celebrate the 500th Episode". OC Weekly. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
- Macintyre, Ben (2007-08-11). "Last word: Any word that embiggens the vocabulary is cromulent with me". The Times. Retrieved 2011-08-03.(subscription required)
- Goldberg, Jonah (1999-04-16). "Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys From Hell". National Review. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Goldberg, Jonah (2003-07-14). "Bastille Day". National Review. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Goldberg, Jonah (2002-07-16). "Frogs in Our Midst". National Review. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Lathem, Niles (2006-12-07). "Iraq 'Appease' Squeeze on W.". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
- Phibbs, Harry (2009-05-08). "Capitulation, collaboration and the cheese-eating surrender monkeys". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "'Cheese-eating surrender monkeys': Anger grows at 'arrogant' Europeans' muted reaction to Bin Laden killing". Daily Mail. 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- Rayment, Sean (2010-11-02). "Anglo-French force: Cheese-eating surrender monkeys? Non". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-08-03.