‘The Simpsons’ Once Messed With Justin Timberlake By Making Him Say The Same Word Over And Over Again

Many of the most explosive details in Britney Spears‘ new memoir, The Woman in Me, revolve around Justin Timberlake. The pop stars, who met on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, started dating in 1999. They broke up three years later after he reportedly called things off with a two-word text. During their time together, Spears claims that the NSYNC member cheated on her with an unnamed celebrity. She also wrote that he encouraged her to get an abortion, but “if it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it.”

While Timberlake and Spears were dating, NSYNC appeared as themselves on The Simpsons. It’s rare when the guest stars are bigger than the show, but that might have been the case with the season 12 episode “New Kids on the Blecch.” The boy band — Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, and Joey Fatone — had recently released No Strings Attached, which sold 2.4 million copies in its first weekend of release. It’s a record that would stand until 2015 (Adele: never been on The Simpsons). NSYNC was so popular, even Tom Hanks dropped by their recording session to meet them.

Timberlake, who recorded his lines separately from the rest of the group due to a personal matter, has the most memorable non-“Yvan Eht Nioj” line from the episode: “Word.” He repeats “word” multiple times. Like so:


On the episode’s DVD commentary, a member of The Simpsons team (I can’t tell who; I’m sorry but it’s been awhile since I’ve committed them to the memory, and the all-male voices blend together) shared that Timberlake wasn’t a fan of the joke. He sarcastically but politely let them know that “he would never in a million years say ‘word.’” The lil’ stinkers on The Simpsons may or may not have promised they wouldn’t use it, but they had it on tape, “so when we were putting the track together, it just seemed funny to me to keep using it over and over again at the end of all his lines.”