Bart won the elephant in a radio contest called "KBBL Wants to Give You Something Stupid." The listener was supposed to take $10,000 cash instead of the elephant (which was offered as a gag prize), but Bart caused a major uproar when he insisted on taking the elephant and was denied by the DJs Bill and Marty. KBBL management forced Bill and Marty to give Bart an elephant by threatening to fire them and replace them with a machine. Under the threat, the DJs got an elephant to give to Bart, and Stampy came to live with the Simpsons.
Stampy quickly proved to be too much for the family to handle, however, as they didn't have enough room for him and couldn't afford the enormous quantities of food he needed. A poacher and ivory dealer, Mr. Blackheart, offered to buy him, but the Simpsons decided to donate him to a wildlife preserve after Stampy rescued Homer and Barney from drowning in a tar pit. Apparently Stampy disliked being at the wildlife reserve and fought with the other elephants. At Apu's wedding, Bart saw him riding an elephant. Bart commented, "I wish I had an elephant." Lisa replied, "You did. His name was Stampy. You loved him." His memory thus jogged, Bart simply replied, "Oh, yeah." Stampy also was involved in a plan by Bart to help Krusty the Clown restore his public image. It was where Stampy puts Bart and Milhouse into his mouth so that Krusty can say the word Magombo and they will be released. During Trappuccino, Stampy helped the townspeople to break the dome. He was the first to make a crack in it and the only one known to have done so.