Big Mouth Billy Bass is an Animatronic novelty item first made in 1998-1999 and popular throughout 2000. He's a realistic looking rubber Largemouth Bass mounted on an ordinary looking plastic plaque with a wood design. When activated by pushing the red button, or passing by the motion sensor, Billy Bass will spring to life! He flaps his tail, turns his head outward to face you and moves his mouth to the words of the song. Billy Bass sings "Take Me To The River" by Al Green and "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin (some earlier models only sing "Take Me To The River") Billy Bass was Gemmy's most popular item ever, with most stores selling out quickly and millions of units made. After Billy Bass' success, Gemmy went on to make Holiday versions such as Big Mouth Billy Bass Sings For The Holidays (a Christmas version of Billy Bass) and Big Mouth Billy Bones (the singing skeleton fish for Halloween). Gemmy also produced a giant 28" World Record Billy Bass exclusively for KB Toys stores. After his initial discontinuation, Gemmy still released special editions (Such as the 15th Anniversary Edition in 2014) and an Alexa compatible Billy Bass for the 2018 Holiday season. There are a few different variants/releases of Billy Bass, which are listed below.
“Definitely Big Mouth Billy Bass put Gemmy on the map,” said Steven Harris, vice president of product development at Gemmy.
Big Mouth Billy Bass The Singing Sensation: The original singing fish released in 1998-1999 and popular in 2000 and 2001. Sings "Take Me To The River" and "Don't Worry Be Happy" though earlier models only sing "Take Me To The River"
Big Mouth Billy Bass Sings For The Holidays: A Christmas themed version of Billy Bass. He wears a Santa hat and has a small jingle bell wrapped around his tail. 2 versions were made. The 1st version released in 1999 sings a Blues version of "Twas The Night Before Christmas" (which is a parody of "Trouble" by Elvis Presley). The 2nd version released in 2000 sings Country versions of "Jingle Bells" and "Up On A Housetop"
Big Mouth Billy Bones: A singing skeleton fish made for Halloween. Released in 2000, Billy Bones appears to be the deceased brother of Billy Bass. He sings "Bad To The Bone" by George Thorogood. His bones also glow in the dark.
Big Mouth Billy Bass Musical Keychain: A very small static version of Billy Bass that is attached to a clip. Made in 2000, This version lacks a plaque and doesn't have movement. You activate him by pressing a small button near his tail. sings "Take Me To The River" and "Don't Worry Be Happy" just like the original. This spinoff version of Billy Bass is very rare and hard to find, though there are many knockoff Singing Bass keychains which are much more common.
Big Mouth Billy Bass Cupholder: a VERY, VERY RARE item that was made in 2000. it only had the front half of the fish with the mouth open so you can put your cup in it. its sings don't worry be happy and take me to the river. this is an EXTREMELY RARE ITEM. and possibly one of the rarest big mouth billy bass item ever made
Big Mouth Billy Bass Superstar: A special edition of Billy Bass released in 2001-2002. He now stands by his tail on a stage (Black round base) and holds a microphone. He taps his tail, sways his body and sings into the microphone. This version of Billy Bass sings "Act Naturally" by The Beatles and a parody of "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. There is an extremely rare model that plays a longer version of "Act Naturally" and "Stayin' Alive" by The Beegees. This rare model has an anal fin which is not present on the usual Billy Bass Superstar. This version may possibly be an earlier model, probably from around 2001. A 3rd model exists that sings "I Will Survive" and "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin (same recording as the original Billy Bass) It is highly possible that this model was not sold in America, and was sold in other countries since all videos of it on youtube are either in French, German or Italian.
Big Mouth Billy Bass Jr: A smaller version of Billy Bass on an oval plaque released in 2004. This version was made to mark his 5th Anniversary, and was sold until 2006-2007. This version sings a parody of "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor and "Take Me To The River" by Al Green (same recording as the original). Some uncommon models sing "Take Me To The River" and "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin. These models were sold mostly in the UK, Germany and Australia.
Mini Big Mouth Billy Bass REC+PLAY: A miniature version of Billy Bass released exclusively for Cabela's in 2009. This much smaller Billy Bass was made to mark his 10th Anniversary. This version can record a message (up to 9 seconds) and play it back, followed by him singing "Take Me To The River" (The recording it plays more closely resembles the original version of the song by Talking Heads rather than the more upbeat version by Al Green). This version is very fragile and known to break easily.
Big Mouth Billy Bass 15th Anniversary Edition: Made in 2014 and sold through 2015, This special version of Billy Bass was made to mark his 15th Anniversary. He's mounted on an oval shaped plaque and has a shiny nameplate with his name and logo. Billy Bass now sings a different version of "Don't Worry Be Happy" and a parody of "I Will Survive". He was first sold at CVS in December of 2014, and later sold throughout 2015 at retailers such as Walmart, Spencer's Gifts and BJ's Wholesale Club. Some models only played "I Will Survive" and had different movement patterns. This model was mostly sold outside the USA. The 2014 models were recalled shortly after release due to the rubber skin being very thin. This caused the mouth area to tear after several uses. Gemmy released a much better quality model with thicker rubber in early 2015.
Big Mouth Billy Bones 15th Anniversary Edition: During the 2015 Halloween season, Gemmy released a new version of Billy Bones for his 15th Anniversary. This new version sings a slightly different recording of "Bad To The Bone" and has Red LED's in his eyes and mouth. This special Billy Bones was only sold at Walmart (Though Sunstar released him to the UK in the 2016 Halloween season under the name Rockin' Rotten Fish). This Billy Bones is mounted on a black oval shaped plaque and lacks a nameplate. Gemmy also released another skeleton fish exclusively for Target in the same year. This fish was known as the Singing Zombie Fish (though Target had it under the name Singing Skeletal Fish) and sings a parody of "I Will Survive". This is the only singing fish that lacks head movement and instead, only moves its mouth and tail. This fish also has LEDs (1 Blue and 3 green (one is in the mouth)) Interestingly, The Zombie Fish does not have an eye on the opposite side of his head (side facing the plaque) which could indicate that he is indeed a zombie fish.
Big Mouth Billy Bass 15th Anniversary Christmas Edition: Following the 15 year trend, Gemmy released a Christmas version of the 15th Anniversary Billy Bass for the 2015 Holiday season. This Santa hat wearing Billy Bass sings a funny Billy Bass themed parody of "Jingle Bells" and a parody of "I Will Survive". This version lacks the jingle bell on the tail, and was only sold at 2 places (Meijer's and Lowe's Canada). Due to this, this version of the Christmas Billy Bass is extremely rare and hard to find. Gemmy also produced an Airblown Inflatable Christmas Billy Bass for the 2015 Holiday season that moves it's head inward and outward. It also has a soundbox that plays a parody of "I Will Survive". This Inflatable version was exclusively sold at Lowe's, making it very rare. A small ornament version was made as well (meant to be used as a Christmas tree ornament). This version is similar to the Musical Keychain from 2000 as it has no movements and is just static (it does have a plaque however). This one plays the Billy Bass themed parody of "Jingle Bells" and a shorter version of his "I Will Survive" parody. It was sold at Meijer's and The Home Depot for the 2015 Holiday season. It was also ironically sold at Menard's for the 2016 season, though the box still said 15 years and still singing.
Big Mouth Billy Bass Survivor Edition: A 2018 remake of Billy Bass that was sold exclusively at Cracker Barrel. This version sings a parody of "I Will Survive" with improved movements. This version was sold from May through August of 2018.
Big Mouth Billy Bass The Speaking Sensation: A special version of Billy Bass that is compatible with Alexa via Bluetooth to an Amazon Echo device. This version was sold exclusively on Amazon.com for the 2018 Holiday season till early 2019. This version included a power adaptor (the first singing fish made since Billy Bass Superstar to include a secondary power source) and an exclusive song called "Fishin' Time". He moves his mouth in sync with Alexa's voice and turns his head outward when saying the wake word. He also dances to music by moving his head and tail to the beat. This version was possibly made for his 20th Anniversary, though it is not stated.
notes: this list is incomplete so if you have any billy basses that are not in the list post them here. also the gallery is uncomplete so if you have any pictures that are not in the gallery post them. one more thing that there are no videos on this page