From This Might Be A Wiki
Performed live on Jimmy Kimmel Live

song name Brontosaurus
artist They Might Be Giants
releases BOOK
year 2021
first played December 15, 2022 (58 known performances)
run time 3:04
sung by John Linnell; John Flansburgh harmonizes


A dinosaur is a metaphor for something that is ancient or extinct, and there is this notion that artists or bands can be dinosaurs and that just means that they're "old hat". That's part of the idea. Then there is this thing that was [not] at all explicit, but was in my mind: the name "Brontosaurus" itself has also kind of gone extinct. They are not called Brontosauruses anymore for some reason. I think they were lumping together creatures that should [not] have been lumped together and called them Brontosaurus. So that's not really essential to appreciating the song, but that is part of my understanding. Even the name Brontosaurus is from the past and no one uses it anymore.

  • The lyric "I was skinny at first, then I got thick, and then back to being skinny again" may reference a 1972 Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, "Anne Elk's Theory on Brontosauruses," in which the title theory states, "All brontosauruses are thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end."

Song Themes

Age, Animals, Body Parts, Circus, Creative Drought, Funny But Sad, Music, Occupations, Puns, Questions, Sadness, Stories


  • Watch it on Youtube.png - On Jimmy Kimmel Live, April 24, 2023

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Brontosaurus is currently ranked #13 out of 1009. (135 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.24)