The Ribwich was a limited time menu item at the fast food chain Krusty Burger.
The Ribwich consisted of only the meat, the bun, and barbecue sauce. It was specifically not marketed as being nutritious or healthy. In the TV commercial for the Ribwich, the voice-over said, "We start with authentic, letter-graded meat, and process the hell out of it." The box the Ribwich was served in advertised it as "Now without lettuce!" and "Will cause early death!"
After being approached by Rib-It the ribwich mascot; Homer tried a Ribwich and quickly developed a voracious appetite for them. He became hooked on Ribwiches, making frequent trips to Krusty Burger to eat more of them.
Much to Homer's dismay, the Ribwich was a limited-time offer. However the Ribwich was being test-marketed nationwide, it was essentially on tour and would soon be served at another Krusty Burger. Homer got a copy of the schedule and joined up with a large throng of "Ribheads" who were following the Ribwich from place to place.
The last stop of the Ribwich's tour was in San Francisco, where Krusty the Clown appeared in person and announced that the Ribwich is being discontinued, because the unnamed animal whose meat was used for the burger is now extinct. Krusty held up the last Ribwich and threw it to the crowd.
Homer caught the last Ribwich, but he gave it to another person in exchange for his car, because he needed the car to get to the Spell-Lympics.
In The Simpsons: Hit and Run, the Squeaky-Voiced Teen offers Lisa to try a new version of the Ribwich. He believes she will enjoy it despite being a vegetarian because it does not actually contain meat, "just paste and MSG."
- The Ribwich is an obvious parody of the McDonald's McRib sandwich, which is also noted for its intermittent availability and the less than obvious origin of its meat.
- The "Ribheads" following the Ribwich are a reference to Deadheads, fans of the Grateful Dead who followed the band as it toured.
- When Krusty finishes talking to the crowd, he says, "What a long strange product rollout it's been," which is another Grateful Dead reference.
- In the PS3 and Xbox 360 version of The Simpsons Game, if Homer eats some food, he will say various foods, one of which is the Ribwich.
- The animal from which the Ribwich is made is never specified, but when someone mentions a pig as a possibility, Krusty replies, "Think smaller, and more legs." It could possibly be an insect, arachnid or some other multi legged invertabrate. This contradicts both the name "Ribwich" (invertabrates have exoskeletons, not ribs) and the commercial claiming they use "letter-graded meat" (the USDA and FDA do not have letter grade standards for insect-based products), although it's possible that it was a case of false advertisement. It is entirely possible that the Ribwich is made from a fictional creature, or one possibly even created by Krusty Burger specifically for the Ribwich.
- The Mascot covered in what could be BBQ at Krusty Burger sauce is a frog called "Rib-It".
- The Krusty Burger at Universal Studios has the Ribwich as a menu item.
- The scene depicting Homer's pupil dilation following eating a Ribwich is a direct reference to the film Requiem for a Dream.