Dingoes ate my baby
"A dingo ate my baby" is a phrase attributed to Lindy Chamberlain and also to Meryl Streep's depiction of Chamberlain in the movie A Cry in the Dark (1988) – also known as Evil Angels – about the death of Azaria Chamberlain, an Australian baby girl who died in 1980 at Uluru in the Northern Territory. The Chamberlain family had been vacationing at Uluru when their daughter was taken from their tent by a dingo. The authorities disbelieved the family's story about a dingo, and prosecuted and won convictions against Lindy Chamberlain for murder and against her then-husband Michael Chamberlain as an accessory after the fact. Ultimately, the courts found both parents innocent, and the coroner found Azaria's death was "the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo".
The phrase "A dingo ate my baby" was not actually used by Chamberlain, nor is it used in the film. Chamberlain is reported to have called out to her husband, "a dingo took my baby", or either "That dog's got my baby" or "My God, My God, a dingo has got my baby." In the film, Streep's character, upon discovering her daughter missing, cries out, "A dingo's got my baby."
In popular culture
- Dingoes Ate My Baby is the name of a fictional band in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- In The Simpsons episode "Bart vs Australia" (Season 6, Episode 16) Bart says to an Australian farmer "Hey! I think I hear a dingo eating your baby!"
- In The Simpsons episode "Lisa Gets an A" (Season 10, Episode 7) While home from school due to illness, Lisa plays the "Dashed Dingo" video game in which the main character is a dingo. As the game begins, the dingo is instructed by a large, floating Australian head that he must "find and devour the seven crystal babies".
- In "The Stranded" episode of Seinfeld (Season 3, Episode 10), Elaine does a mock Australian accent and exclaims "Maybe the dingo ate your baby!"
- In "Flour Child", an episode of Frasier (Season 2, Episode 4), Eddie is attacking a bag of flour that Niles is using to simulate an infant. Daphne puts on an Australian accent and exclaims "That dingo's got your baby!"
- In the "Mystery Spot" episode of Supernatural (Season 3, Episode 11), Dean refers to what Sam is saying as "Dingo-ate-my-baby crazy."
- In the "Good Queen Fun" episode of Project Runway (Season 5, Episode 6), guest judge RuPaul responded "Oh, did a dingo eat your baby, mate?" to contestant Keith Bryce after Bryce apparently took offense to critique from the rest of the judging panel.
- In the Mother Tucker episode of Family Guy (season 5, episode 2), Brian and Stewie host a radio show named "Dingo and the Baby".
- Modern Family's episode "Australia" references this joke when Claire's computer, previously being used for a project referenced as her "baby", is nabbed from a tent by a wild dog.
- In the Hot in Cleveland episode titled "That Changes Everything," when Joy's grandchild goes missing, Regis Philbin's character says "Maybe a Dingo ate it."
- In the Psych episode titled "The Old and Restless," Shawn tries to get into a retirement home by saying, "Dingo ate my baby."
- In the original "Rugrats" movie (1998) a news reporter on the scene of the Pickle's house asks Didi: "Is it true that a dingo ate your baby?"
- In season three episode five of The Tick, titled "Devil in Diapers", Mr. Mental, disguised as a baby and being cared for by The Tick, is attacked by government agents disguised as dingoes. For a moment a newspaper can be seen with a picture of The Tick and the headline "dingoes stole my baby!"
- In the 2008 comedy film, Tropic Thunder, character Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson) references the line in a conversation with Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.).
- "Inquest into the death of Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain  NTMC 020" (PDF). Coroners Court of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Government of Australia. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Using the Chamberlain Case to explore evidence in history at the Wayback Machine (archived June 11, 2011), National Museum of Australia, p. 7, 2001. Accessed 2014-10-25.