Popular television shows have actually shaped scientific experiments? Mental Floss provides 9 examples of when researchers used TV shows to study test subjects' behavior.
The shows include classics like Cheers, Miami Vice, SpongeBob SquarePants, and The Cosby Show.
Here's one example featuring The Simpsons:
The Scientists: Joel Cooper and Grant Cooper, Journal of Applied Social Psychology 32.11, 2002
The Show: The Simpsons
The Conditions: People watched an episode of The Simpsons with subliminal messages related to thirst embedded in it. The messages were verbal or pictorial.
The Result: They got thirstier. The Oversimplified Takeaway: Got a subliminal message to send? The Simpsons can deliver it.
To check out the other experiments, head over to Mental Floss.