Hollywood New England: Both Johns are originally from outside of Boston, so they both will slip into the accent on occasion in songs. Linnell most blatantly does it in "A Self Called Nowhere," and also in "Wicked Little Critta."
No Hit Wonder: Never hit the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, though they scored hits in the UK and Australia
They also didn't have a Top 40 album until Join Us in 2011, 25 years after their debut album.
Old Shame: They don't believe the album version of "She's Actual Size" stands up so well anymore, especially compared to the live versions they've performed since then.
Sampled Up: The saxophone hook in "Number Three" is a loop taken from Lou Monte's "Skinny Lena." The band found it on a record they discovered while cleaning out an abandoned apartment.
An example: when asked what their first single "Don't Let's Start" was about, they responded that it was "about not let's starting"...
So My Kids Can Watch: Their four children's albums, No!, Here Come The ABCs, Here Come The 123s, & Here Comes Science.. Then subverted when the puppets made for the latter two were then used for a video of their cover of "The Long Grift" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
The puppets have, in the past, also been used for a very child-unfriendly song in a few live performances. The title? "Puppet's Gonna Fuck You Up".
They've now released a fourth, Here Comes Science. The band is now at a steady clip of alternating regular albums and children's albums.
There's an EP that goes with the book Bed Bed Bed, too. Four tracks, the title one later reworked for No!
A couple of the songs also have this going on. The version of "Four Of Two" that you hear on No! is much more child-friendly than the original.
They had a new song (Details are currently unknown) created for use in Recess: School's Out to play while T.J. rode his bike alone after his friends left for camp. The song was replaced with "One" by Three Dog Night for the final film.
They Might Be Giants originally wrote an entire movie's worth of songs for the film version of Coraline. Only the Other Father's Song made the final cut. The director blamed Executive Meddling (although one planned song was never even written because the Johns decided the joke song the writers came up with for the scratch track was good enough), and he's expressed a desire to work again with the band to do a movie based on their music. They released the song "Careful What You Pack" over a year prior to the movie's release. What originally sounded like a metaphorical song about cautiously moving on in life turned out to be a direct summary of the movie/book's underlying themes.
Joe Strummer was supposed to sing the bridge of "Cyclops Rock", but he was unavailable for some reason, so the band instead settled on Cerys Matthews, singer for Welsh indie band Catatonia because she just so happened to be in the same studio at the time.
Elvis Costello was apparently supposed to produce Apollo 18 at an early stage.
Four songs, titled "Dawn Divine", "Stalker In Reverse", "Prepare", and "Lucky You", were recorded for Nanobots, but scrapped before the album's release. Little about these songs is known, except that Dawn Divine was to feature Mike Doughty. Of course, knowing TMBG, there's still a good chance they'll be released someday...