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Friends and Neighbors
Nedward "Ned" Flanders
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
- Affably Evil: If he's a villain in a Treehouse of Horror short, he's still as genial as he usually is. Such as when he turned out to be Satan, or became the dictator of the world in an alternate timeline.
- Always Someone Better: Is this to Homer, which was why Homer doesn't like him (add to the fact that Flanders has a prettier wife — or used to and kids that aren't a pain in the ass to him). Was played up a lot more in the early seasons.
- As the Good Book Says: Flanders quotes the Bible often.
- Beta Couple: With Maude, until Maude's death, to Homer and Marge.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The nicest guy you could ever wish to meet, but as his Precision F-Strike shows, you do NOT want to push him too far. He straight up knocks out Homer with one punch after he relentlessly teases him! On two different occasions!
- Broken Ace: Officially becomes this after the episode "Hurricane Neddy" and after Maude's death.
- Cartwright Curse: Ned Flanders has been twice-widowed. His first wife, Maude, was killed in a freak accident by a t-shirt cannon. Later on he married Edna Krabappel. But in an episode following the death of her voice actress Marcia Wallace, Ned is seen wearing a black armband and looking at a picture of Edna while mentioning that he'll miss her, heavily implying that she died off camera.
- Catch Phrase: "Hidely ho!" and "Diddly!"
- Cerebus Retcon: His Verbal Tic is his way of expressing repressed anger.
- Costumes Change Your Size: He appears far heavier when wearing his outfit than he actually is.
- Egocentrically Religious: Sometimes becomes this in his Christian overzeal, sometimes showing a condescending view of God's treatment towards others or praying for his good will for even minor things like winning a game of bowling. He's usually not nearly as bad as Homer thinks he is however (who actually turned into a far more prominant example in one episode).
- Flanderization: Trope Namer. At first he was simply Homer's well-off neighbor who was polite, friendly, had a loving family, and happened to be a devout Christian. In later episodes he's a complete zealot whose only defining trait is his religious followings. This only REALLY happened after his wife died, and is implied by Rodd and Todd in one episode to be the direct result of "Daddy needing a new Mommy".
- The Fundamentalist: Later episodes had him as this. In the early days, he was just a religious man who was so nice (and a bit boring) that Homer couldn't stand it.
- Gag Penis: Debatable. Homer's dating video for Ned had his penis digitally blurred. The blurs reached to the bottom of the screen. Either Flanders really is gifted downstairs or Homer did that to entice the female audience. Very likely, actually, and partially also a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar. In one episode where Flanders plays a nude Adam for a biblical video, he has a huge fig leaf to cover his private parts. In another he comments on how impractical foot-long hot dogs are (refering to actual hot dogs), while Maude adds that they indeed are "uncomfortable".
- Hollywood Nerd: While he's not the hottest guy in the world and is certainly a bit nerdy, he's still kind of.... handsome. His hair is neatly combed without a single gray strand, he has a thick moustache, he's hygenic and he's muscular, especially considering the below Older Than They Look trope.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: In the early seasons at least. In the later and current seasons after Maude's death: Not so much.
- Knight Templar: At his worst. When it involves something he takes a religious stance about, he is unshakable in pursuing his goal.
- Last Name Basis: Homer usually calls him by his last name.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded by Homer: "I'm a big four eyed lame-o. I wear the same stupid sweater everyday and…" Doubles as Hypocritical Humor on Homer's part.
- Nice Guy: Well before his Christian background was established, Ned was simply the nice guy that lived next door.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He does attempt to follow the Christian faith and be a kind neighbor, even renting out his room to people who need it. Unfortunately for him, many of the people of Springfield have a tendency to take advantage of his kindness and make it even worse. This eventually reached a breaking point when, after he allowed some college girls to rent out one of the guest rooms in his house, they ended up repaying his kindness by filming a softcore webcam video called "sexy slumber party" without Ned's knowledge, and Homer also leaked this to every single person in the town, to the extent that, when Ned Flanders ousts the college girls out of the room upon finding out about this, they cheer the girls on, thus shocking him about how all this time, the townspeople actually mock him behind his back.
- No Man Should Have This Power: In "To Surveil with Love", Ned takes charge of a surveillance system and he becomes insufferable and soon realises that he caused Bart and Homer to create the chaos corner. He agrees to help homer destroy the cameras once he realises that he tried to play god by forcing people to abide by the rules by nagging.
- Older Than They Look: Ned looks around Homer's age, but he's actually sixty years old. How does he retain his youthful appearance? By following the "three Cs" — clean living, chewing thoroughly, and a daily dose of vitamin church.
- Overprotective Dad: More prominent in the early episodes than in the later ones (with Maude's death being the reason behind it).
- Pals with Jesus: Even though his religious zeal didn't develop until later seasons, even the early seasons had Ned being in obvious favor with God, to the point that politely stating skyward "It's me, Ned" helped him win a bowling match (and shock Homer in the butt) and a quick prayer to God helped save his son from being swept up by a river.
- Parting Words Regret: "I can't believe my last words to (Maude) were 'no footlongs.'"note
- The Pollyanna: Definitely. Now that he's twice a widower, it might get worse.
- Precision F-Strike: "Hurricane Neddy" has one. Well, for Flanders, anyway."OH, HELL, DIDDLY-DING-DONG CRAP! CAN'T YOU MORONS DO ANYTHING RIGHT?!"
- Rage Breaking Point: In the episode "Hurricane Neddy", the Flanders' house got destroyed by a hurricane, and isn't impressed with the rather shoddy result of the rest of the townspeoples' efforts to rebuild it for him. He tried to be nice as usual, but, when his glasses broke as he tried to clean them, that was the last straw: he snapped and went on a tirade, delivering a mass "The Reason You Suck" Speech to everyone present. Particularly notable in this case, because he'd been building up his rage for decades. Hell, it's the reason he has his Verbal Tic.
- Ridiculous Procrastinator: Inverted: He manages to start, and finish, his tax returns as early as New Year's Day, which is exactly 105-106 days (depending on whether the year is a leap year or not) before the last day of taxes (April 15). It should also be noted that he is the only one, or at least one of the few, Springfielders to actually deliver their taxes before the deadline, as the episode that revealed this also had what is implied to be everyone in Springfield rushing to the Post Office to get their Tax Returns in at the last possible moment.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Sings like one, too, which Bart finds very disturbing.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Homer's Manly Man.
- Sex God: He has sex once with a movie star who is in town to shoot a film. He tells her that the first one's free, but if she wants any more she'll have to marry him. She almost does.
- Stepford Smiler: "Hurricane Neddy" reveals that his niceness and his Gosh Dang It to Heck! Verbal Tic is from being spanked every day for a full year while in therapy to curb his violent behavior brought on by his beatnik parents who didn't raise him right (or at all).
- Strawman Political: In later episodes. It's justified, however, when you take into account that a few times, his attempts at being a good neighbor often result in his good nature being exploited.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Trope Namer
- Took a Level in Badass: By the episode "The Squirt and the Whale", Ned has officially stopped taking crap from Homer.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In later seasons, he became more of a religious elitist who openly mocked other religions while refusing to take criticism himself.
- Ver-diddly-erbal Tic: Later revealed to be his way of dealing with his repressed anger. Given how often he tends to utter them, one could infer that the antics of the people around him have him seemingly locked in a state of Tranquil Fury.
- Debut: "Dead Putting Society"
- Beta Couple: With Ned, until her death, to Homer and Marge.
- Disney Villain Death: Non-villainous example. Homer bent down to pick up a bobby pin and in a cruel twist of fate, got shot by a t-shirt cannon and fell over the edge of the bleachers.
- The Fundamentalist: Just as much so as her husband. She once attended bible camp to learn how to be more judgmental.
- Killed Off for Real: In an untimely manner in Season 11's "Alone Again, Natural-Diddily".
- Out-of-Character Moment: She's not all that nice when she's not around her family. Why, when Marge made her own franchise around pretzels (with Homer's indirect help by hiring Fat Tony and his cronies to stop all other businesses behind her back), she and the other women hired Yakuza to stop her. It didn't work, apparently, and everything was forgotten about that incident.
Rod and Todd Flanders
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (Todd), "The Call of the Simpsons" (Rod)
- Ambiguously Gay
- Lampshaded by Bart when he got them to tell Ned they were gay (though Bart tricked them into thinking "gay" means "scared" rather than "homosexual")
- "Bart to the Future" pretty much revealed that the two will be gay when they grow up.
- In "The Man Who Grew Too Much", they announced their plans to marry and lose their virginities to each other.
- Cheerful Child: Who see the light side of the bible.
- Children Are Innocent: They don't see a lot of bad in life.
- A Day in the Limelight: Todd shares some screentime with Bart for Season 2's "Dead Putting Society".
- The Ditz
- The Dividual: The Syndividual type.
- Everyone Has Standards: While they may be God-Fearing, just like their dad, both boys do have their limits with Ned - In "You Kent Always Say What You Want" both of them feel that Ned is going too far by reporting Kent Brockman to the FCC for swearing, even though nobody saw it and Brockman apologized for it.
- Innocent Swearing: Todd picks up Homer's bad language on "Bart the Lover" and in "Homer Loves Flanders," the two exchanged rude words when they got hooked on Pixie Stix.
- New Transfer Student: Edna pulled them out of private Christian school and enrolled them in Springfield Elementary as of "Ned 'N' Edna's Blend", though "Bart the Lover" showed both Rod and Todd in Springfield Elementary (Todd got poked in the eye with Bart's paper airplane) and a lot of later episodes before "Ned 'n Edna's Blend" implied that Rod and Todd were home-schooled, yet they have been seen around the school on a few occasions. In fact, Ned is even a member of the school's PTA.
- Older Than They Look: They are said to actually be 8 and 10.
- Pure Is Not Good: Because of their religious upbringing by their father, they are judgmental towards the faiths and ideals of others, and view Bart and Homer as worse than they really are.
- Screw Your Ultimatum!: Homer and Flanders bicker back and forth about the outcome of a miniature golf tournament featuring their respective sons. Todd and Bart confer and both decide to quit the tournament on good terms.
- Those Two Guys: The two aren't often seen apart.
- Too Dumb to Live: Lampshaded on the season eight episode where Lisa begins babysitting the neighborhood kids when Rod and Todd freak out over a moth and Lisa sighs, "Those two are gonna get eaten alive in middle school."
- Debut: "New Kid on the Block"Voiced by: Pamela Reed
- Demoted to Extra: She appears prominently in Season 4's "New Kid on the Block" and Season 5's "Marge on the Lam," but was otherwise relegated to background appearances for many seasons. She made a return speaking appearance in "Strong Arms of the Ma"note , revealing that Ruth went to prison (for an unknown crimenote ), became a bodybuilder, and won a beauty pageant called "Miss Mexican Mafia."
- The Lad-ette: She smokes, drinks, curses, fights with men, and likes guns. Also, when she comes back from prison in one episode, Ruth has become a bodybuilder.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Implied, at least. In "Marge on the Lam," she tells Marge that she divorced her husband because he was lazy ("All he ever did was eat, sleep, and drink beer") and never paid her for child support, though "New Kid on the Block" implied that she divorced her husband because he was too into his career to be a family man.
- Retcon: The flashback episode about Maggie's birth shows Ruth Powers has already met Marge before moving next door.
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"Voiced by: Dan Castellaneta
- The Alcoholic: Was arguably worse than Homer early on. He has tried to overcome it, but does relapse now and then.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: As expected, he's done a few acts that can be attributed to this.
- Broken Ace: A former Harvard-bound jock, his alcohol addiction coupled with his high school girlfriend breaking up with him left him in shambles. He doesn't really care all that much, though.
- Carpet of Virility: Type 2, with chest hair usually coming out the neck of his shirt.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He is actually an exceptionally talented person when sober, being both surprisingly intelligent and athletic.
- A Degree in Useless: In one episode Barney is seen standing in line at an unemployment agency. Barney claims that he hasn't been able to find a job in years, and when Kent Brockman asks him what his qualifications are, Barney replies "Five years of modern dance, six years of tap."
- Disappeared Dad: His father is implied to be dead, according to the episode "Mr. Plow" ("Ah, dying's not so bad. I'll be reunited with my loved ones, my dad, and that plant I never watered.") This was later confirmed when we learn Arnie Gumble was one of the deceased Flying Hellfish.
- The Ditz: Justified, as he's usually drunk.
- Fat Best Friend: To Homer.
- Fat Idiot: Mostly because he drinks a lot.
- Fat Slob: When he's drunk.
- Gasshole: His signature belch is practically his catch phrase. See a compilation here.
- Genius Ditz: In Homer's Barbershop Quartet we learn that even though Barney has a strange speaking voice, he has a beautiful singing voice. This was likely inspired by actor Jim Nabors (better known as Gomer Pyle from The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.), who despite his best-known character had a rich, baritone singing voice. Also, in A Star Is Burns he managed to create an independent film so moving that it drove the film festival judges to tears.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: His hair is neater, and his diction clearer when he isn't drinking.
- Hidden Depths: Despite being a drunk, he created a short film about how his alcoholism has ruined him that became so popular that he was featured on Entertaiment Weekly, has amazing drawing ability, and teamed up with Linda Ronstandt for his "Plow King" commercial. What's worse is that Barney in his teens was a Harvard-bound honors student who became a drunk after Homer offered him a beer.
- Military Brat: His mother is a naval officer and his father was a Private Fifth Class in the Flying Hellfish.
- Naked People Are Funny: Went streaking at the Springfield High School senior prom in 1974, had his diaper blown off (in bone-chilling winter weather) while passing out flyers for a baby furniture store called "Lullabuy$", woke up naked when the Springfield Cat Burglar was terrorizing the city, and took a job as a male stripper when Mr. Burns replaced everyone who worked at the nuclear plant with robots because The Full Monty taught him that, during times of economic hardship, ugly people will strip for money (and if that doesn't work, he can always play "Three-Card Full Monty" where players have to find his penis underneath one of three shuffling hats).
- Off Model: In the really early episodes, Barney was a blond, meaning that his skin color was the same color as his hair. Later episodes had him with brown hair, as the animators didn't like Barney as a blond.
- Off the Wagon
- Out of Focus: There was a time when he was Homer's best and most frequently seen friend.
- Pink Elephants: One of them is named Stampy (no relation to the elephant Bart got as a pet) and protects him from demons who don't normally appear in his alcoholic hallucinations (like the ones he saw when he drank the peyote-spiked hippie juice Homer was churning out).
- Real Men Wear Pink
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Although he has a slurred speaking voice (from years of drinking), Barney has a beautiful singing voice (much like Jim Nabors).
- Smarter Than You Look: Was studying for the SAT exam, hoping to go to Harvard, when Homer introduced him to beer. He started drinking more as a result of his high school girlfriend Chloe leaving him to pursue her journalism career.
- Status Quo Is God: In a rare subversion on the show, Barney sobered up in season 11 and stays that way for nearly three years.
- Too Dumb to Live: Once charged a tab to Mr. Burns. He later woke up in a landfill."Yeah, but it was worth it."
- Trash of the Titans: His apartment is such a mess that he can't even find his dog."He's in here somewhere."
Springfield Nuclear Power Plant
Mr. Charles Montgomery "Monty" Burns
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
- 0% Approval Rating: Aside from Smithers, just about everyone in Springfield hates him. In fact, in one episode where he's thought to be dead, various people showed up at his funeral just to spit on his grave, to the extent that said grave had to be drained afterwords.
- Abusive Parents: His father and mother were sweet and caring... but unfortunately young Burns went to live with his grandfather, who was not the nicest or morally upstanding of men, if he had any morals at all. His father wasn't that nice either, complaining he should be outside hurting dogs instead of reading comic book.
- Ambiguously Bi: Probably the most homoerotic character on the show if you know where to look. While his romantic ventures have been based around women, Burns has been shown that he is not above flirting with the same sex - whether it is the Smithers facsimile named Phillip from season 18's Kill Gil vol.1&2, stating outright he enjoys the smell of other men in season 3, a brief mention of him marrying a boxer while drunk in the comics or the running gag of his occasional flirtation with Homer Simpson (both comics and show,) the question of 'is he or isn't he' is still a valuable cornerstone of his core character.
- Angry Guard Dog: "Release the hounds".
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Has mentioned that his twin was shot by him or one of his siblings in order to get the family inheritance.
- Antiquated Linguistics: He does this all the time in his version of Two Decades Behind. In one example, from "Mother Simpson", he went to the post office in order to send a letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by the 4:30 auto-gyro. The person working at the post office even informed him how historically out of touch he is. Naturally, his mother—who apparently had a torrid affair with President Taft—uses even more outdated language than her son:Smithers: Hello, Mrs. Burns? This is Waylon Smithers; I have your son Montgomery on the line.
Mrs. Burns: That improvident lackwit? Always too busy striding about his atom mill to call his own mother! I'll give him what-fors 'till he cries 'brassafrax!'
- Anti-Villain: Occasionally, such as when he started a recycling business — and recycled sea life into slurry.
- Bad Boss: Has a trap door in his office to dismiss employees and is fond of villainous demotivators.
- Bald of Evil: Well, balding. Flashbacks show he used to have a comb-over in the sixties.
- Big Bad: Whenever the show needs one, anyway.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Many examples.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He may be senile, but he is a brilliant businessman... when he can remember what century he's living in, at least.
- The Caligula: Mr. Burns usually treats his workers, and even his own workplace, far too shabbily to even be considered a sane boss, never mind a good one.
- Caligula's Horse: The power plant is actually owned by a canary, as a way for Burns to avoid responsibility when it's investigated for illegal activities. This tendency was also implied in earlier episodes when he made a Dog vice president (even after nominating a far more eligible person), and made a carbon rod Employee of the Month instead of Homer.
- Card-Carrying Villain: At least whenever declaring his own evil doesn't compromise its effectiveness. Or sometimes, even when it does.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Release the hounds!"
- "Smithers! Who is that <insert colorful insult>?"
- The Chessmaster
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Poster boy for this trope. He's dumped radioactive waste at public parks and playgrounds, sold weapons to the Nazis, stolen a trillion dollars in foreign aid money from the U.S. government, and (most famously) built a giant sun-blocking device to keep Springfield shrouded in perpetual darkness, all so his electric company could have a truly complete monopoly over the town's energy supply.
- Cruella to Animals: He has to brainwash Santa's Little Helper to retrain him as a guard dog. And in "Two Dozen And One Greyhounds" he attempts to make a tuxedo out of a litter of puppies.
- Dastardly Whiplash
- Dark Is Evil: He once had a plan to block out the sun permanently.
- Dirty Old Man: Towards Marge, when she briefly works at the nuclear power plant.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Parodied. In C.E.D'oh it turns out while Burns technically runs the Power Plant, he has named a Canary as the "real" head of the Plant, to protect him from taking responsablility for the Plants wrong doings. Then Homer lets the Canary go and Burns becomes the real head of the Plant.
- Epic Fail: The filming of the Mexico scene in his film "A Burns For All Seasons". They had to do 20 takes, and the best one had Burns falling off his donkey and then getting dragged around with his foot caught in the stirrup.
- Even Evil Has Standards:I want your legal advice, I even pay for it, but to me you're all vipers! You live on personal injury! You live on divorces! YOU LIVE ON PAIN AND MISERY!
[horrified] What are you doing, man?! That's Carl!
- He pays Homer to throw pudding cups at Lenny, much to their amusement. Then Homer throws one at Carl:
- In "Midnight Rx," he announced that the nuclear plant health plan was going to be cut to remove prescription medication costs. After the party, he asked Smithers if he saw a female coworker hooking up with a man she's been after for a while. Once Smithers says that the man she's after is married, Burns orders Smithers to turn the Plywood Pelican around so he can warn her.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: His moral compass is so far off-kilter that when he's actually trying to do something good, he's even more evil than when he's trying to be evil, as seen in "The Old Man and the Lisa."
- Evil Is Hammy: "Moments from now, I will wreak a terrible vengeance on this town! NO ONE WILL BE SPARED! NO ONE!
- Evil Laugh: The page image!
- Evil Old Folks: The Trope Codifier for the comedic version. He's done every evil deed imaginable, from blotting out the sun to stealing candy from a baby, and that was just in one episode.
- Expy: Of Charles Foster Kane. Burns has a lot of moments and traits that are almost directly transplanted from Orson Welles' character. He also draws a lot from Ronald Reagan, Rupert Murdoch and Lionel Barrymore, among others.
- Faux Affably Evil: Though Depending on the Writer Mr. Burns can be Affably Evil.
- Fiction 500: The God of Old Money.
- Finger Tenting: Possibly the most prominent and well-known example in all fiction.
- Flanderization: Although he had always played an antagonizing role, he originally didn't expand much from being a Jerkass, a Bad Boss, and a Corrupt Corporate Executive who shown little concern about how his actions and company effects the environment, compared to his role later on in Who shot Mr. Burns? Part One where he was not just effecting the environment, but the town's activities as well (such as crushing the Springfield's retirement home and Bart's treehouse drilling for the pursuit of oil). And as stated previously above, Mr. Burns started out as being in his eighties. His senile state has also been exaggerated in the recent seasons, as well as his aging, to the point of him not even having enough strength to stomp an ant.
- Forgot to Feed the Monster: His league of evil.
- Freudian Excuse: His father refused to let him have comic books and burned down the company to teach him a lesson (with the people still in it). He also apparently taught him how to be an asshole. He was also taken by his grandfather, a corrupt and selfish businessman.
- Hero with an F in Good:
Lisa: You're evil... and when you try to be good, you're even more evil!
- Lisa invokes this, when Burns' temporary Face–Heel Turn to environmentalism and recycling turns out to be literal, revealing that he's been farming sealife and turning it into industrial multi-purpose slurry.
- One time he tried giving away money, to show up a Richard Branson expy, by throwing silver dollars from a hot-air balloon, causing injuries and property damage below.
- Subverted when he is the fruit bat-man, most of his rescues are staged but he does end up doing the right thing in the end.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: This is how he views his relationship with Smithers, much to the latter's dismay.
- Hidden Depths: He's a fan of Nancy Drew and owns every book.
- Historical Injoke: He is stated to be responsible for many atrocities in the history of the world such as preventing Hitler's assassination, caused the Opium War and made the French become forever rude to Americans.
- Horned Hairdo: Sported one in "She of Little Faith".
- Insistent Terminology: When the nuclear plant begins to melt down in "Homer Defined," Burns laughs off the notion that anyone would call it a meltdown: "It's one of those annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an 'unrequested fission surplus'."
- Intergenerational Friendship: Seems to be very friendly with the child millionaire, Simon Woosterfield.
- Jerkass: He's greedy and corrupt most of the time.
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Whenever Mr. Burns shows any sign of a softer side, he almost always ends up reverting to form by the end of the episode.
- Lack of Empathy
- Large Ham: Even a good game of Pac-Man can get him going.
- Last Name Basis: His first name (Charles) is hardly ever used. When people wish to refer to him informally, he goes by his middle name, Monty.
- Laughably Evil: Honed to an art form:Burns:Men, there's a little crippled boy sitting in a hospital who wants you to win this game. I know because I crippled him myself to inspire you.[Cut to Milhouse in a hospital stretcher with his leg in a cast]Milhouse: I hope they win or Mr. Burns said he's coming back.
- Lean and Mean: He is an excellent example.
- Long Lived
- Looks Like Orlok: He looks like Orlok even when he's not a vampire. Especially when he wriggles his fingers...
- Manipulative Bastard: However, many seem acutely aware of Burns's evil ways so sentiments may vary here.
- Mean Boss: He's a classical stereotype. In fact, he's such a Bad Boss that he's fired Smithers — the only man who (usually) has Undying Loyalty to him — twice.
- Nominal Hero: Whenever he happens to be on the same side as the good characters — which is not that often.
- Pet the Dog:
- Has moments of these, such as letting Maggie keep his old teddy bear, or raising Smithers (Jr.) himself after Smithers (Sr.) performed a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Helped Marge in "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays." Subverted in that it's for their "supple young organs."
- In "The Seemingly Never Ending Story", he willingly pulls a Go Through Me to protect Lisa from a goat.
- Phrase Catcher: "That's Homer Simpson sir, one of your <insert derogatory worker slang> from Sector 7G." Followed by "Simpson, eh?"
- The Power of Hate: This is what's keeping him alive.
- Sadist: He's been known, out of sheer sadism, to drop certain of his employees down a seemingly bottomless trapdoor - with the express intention of killing them (although they inevitably survive).
- Scatterbrained Senior: Dips his toe in and out of this trope. Sometimes he's quite clever and shrewd, but other times he seems unaware that it's not still the 19th Century, and he's never able to remember who Homer is, even after being reminded that "all the recent events of your life have revolved around him in some way". This is also played for laughs.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He uses his wealth to get away with a lot of things.
- The Scrooge: The very definition of this trope.Burns: Anybody have change for a button?
- Smug Snake: Again, depending on the writer.
- The Sociopath: He's got a supreme Lack of Empathy and a sense of charisma around him.
- Stalker with a Crush: To Marge, when she was his employee.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: His villainy goes into this level when he does things like block out the sun or trying to kill a child.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Until he (almost literally) dropped everything for money.
- Vague Age: He has personally stated his age as 81 years, but Skinner and Homer later separately refer to him as being 104. Compounding matters, he was old enough to be twenty-five years out of Yale in the fifties, while in World War 2 Abe Simpson is clearly several decades older than him.
- More recent episodes have implied his age to be in the thousands or the millions. Smithers tells him his ATM code is his age (We hear Burns enter a four-digit number) and he has stated his birthplace to be Pangea.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Especially in the earlier seasons. Freudian Excuse aside, his Kick the Dog moments are much more frequent than those of other Simpsons villains. The few excuses he is given seem so disconnected from his evil, he is hated throughout Springfield, (Who Shot Mr. Burns has even Snake Jailbird apologizing for not being around to shoot him).
- Villainous Crush: One time Marge got a job at the nuclear plant and Mr. Burns developed a thing for her.
- Villains Out Shopping: Invokes this during a lull in one of his schemes, when he takes a moment to ask how Lisa's life was going. When she responds by calling him out on his evil schemes and how she's morally outraged, he irritatedly comments;Burns: *Sighs* My god, are you always on?
- Wealthy Yacht Owner: Has one that Homer uses while house-sitting and gets attacked by Ruthless Modern Pirates.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The episode "Last Exit to Springfield" implies that the reason why he wanted to end the Nuclear Worker's Union was because they were getting corrupt, based on something an atom worker said when he was with his grandfather.
- Would Hurt a Child: He has hurt Bart on several occasions with "Bart Gets Hit By A Car" and "Lady Bouvier's Lover" being prime examples of this. He also had a tendency to dump nuclear waste in parks. He only stopped because the number of bald children was getting suspicious. He also implied he kidnaps kid for their organs.
Waylon Smithers, Jr.
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (voice only), "Homer's Odyssey" (full appearance)
- Adaptational Villainy: In the arcade game, he robbed a jewelry store, wore a cape filled with bombs, and was prone to evil laughter.
- Anti-Villain: Type IV.
- Battle Butler: In the arcade game.
- Butt Monkey: Smithers gets a lot of badgering and punishment from Burns.
- Deadpan Snarker and Servile Snarker: He's had a few good lines of this nature.
- The Dragon: Depending on whether Burns is on the good or bad side of the episode's events.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Though usually a bit of a doormat to Burns, some of the schemes Burns comes up with will have Smithers objecting to them at the risk of losing his own job.
- Extreme Doormat: Most of the time. See above.
- Flanderization: Smithers was originally an exaggeration of the Yes-Man (the guy who always sucked up to his boss). Come season three, the writers started playing with the notion that Smithers was in love with his boss, yet was heterosexual (in "Secrets to a Successful Marriage," Smithers was married to a woman who looked like Elizabeth Taylor's character from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof). This got milked for all it was worth, and now Smithers' sexuality is Ambiguously Gay (or just plain gay) with definite shades of Single-Target Sexuality, though it has been implied that Mr. Burns isn't the only man he loves.
- Ignored Enamored Underling: Mr. Burns doesn't reciprocate.
- Last Name Basis: Rarely referred to by his first name, Waylon.
- Only Sane Employee: Smithers is pretty much the only person at the power plant who actually knows what he's doing. Several episodes show that Homer is just the worst of an extremely stupid and incompetent workforce.
- Only Sane Man: Smithers has no emotional outbursts at all. Aside some odd details about his love for Burns (his screensaver and the reveal that he raised Smithers after his father died) he is the most reasonable and sane person in the show.
- Punny Name: His full name, Waylon Smithers, sounds a lot like "Weyland the Smith" from Germanic/Norse mythology.
- Race Lift: In his first appearance ("Homer's Odyssey"), Smithers was dark-skinned with blue hair due to an unfortunate mistake when the show was sent overseas to Korea to be colorized and animated. The production crew did think about leaving him this way, but the thought of a black man who sucked up to his white boss wouldn't sit well with a lot of people, so they made it known that Smithers would be white (er, yellow) for all subsequent episodes. On the DVD Commentary for this episode, director Wes Archer said that he made Smithers black by expressing his interest towards including black characters in his episodes. Jokingly handwaved by some of the writers, that in "Homer's Odyssey", Smithers had just come back from holiday with a heavy tan.
- Single-Issue Psychology: It was implied in one episode that Smithers' sexuality was caused by Mr. Burns telling him, when he was young, that his father died in the Amazon, killed by a tribe of savage women. It would explain his freak out in a strip club.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Smithers admires Mr. Burns way too much for it to be just a sycophant to his boss.
- Silent Snarker: Sometimes his expressions are speaking in place of words.
- Straight Gay: He's gay, but he isn't flamboyant. He does join dance and musical number with joy but only on few occasion.
- Subordinate Excuse
- Sycophantic Servant: Again, see above.
- Yes-Man: Often to Mr. Burns.
- Undying Loyalty: While there are times Smithers will draw the line with Burns' cruelty, he will always end up back by his side by the end of it. Even when Burns was bankrupt and no longer his employer, he immediately moved him to his house and continued to serve his whims.
Lenny Leonard and Carl Carlson
Lenford "Lenny" Leonard and Carlton "Carl" Carlson
- Debut: "Life on the Fast Lane" (Lenny), "Homer's Night Out" (Carl)
- Alliterative Name
- Ambiguously Bi: Lenny seems to be legitimately attracted to Carl, though he has also shown interest in women.
- Ascended Extra: They were initially just background characters that appeared at the plant. Over time, they became some of Homer's most frequently seen friends.
- Bad Boss: Parodied when Mr. Burns lost his fortune, the bank took over the Nuclear Plant and put Lenny in charge. We never really see what goes on, but Homer gets sent home early to think about a bad mistake he made and Smithers describes him as "a real bear on tardiness." Even Mr. Burns takes notice, and the whole thing is referred to as "Lenny's reign of terror."
- When Carl was promoted to being Homer's supervisor he was no better, as he turned Homer into his Beleaguered Assistant, made Homer do all his work and obey his whims, while Carl jetsetted over the world and hung out with the rich and famous.
- Beware the Nice Ones: They're both generally friendly and easy-going, but don't badmouth their friends (in Frank Grime's case), or see their friendship as meaningless. Carl learned that the hard way in The Saga of Carl.
- Black Best Friend: Carl.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: They both have masters degrees in nuclear physics but prefer bumming around with Homer at Moe's rather than do any real work. Their former principal even bribed them by making sure they can't enter any great universities and threaten to send a recommendation letter to a good one if they talk about it in "Take My Life, Please" .
- Clear Their Name: Carl goes to Iceland in "The Saga of Carl" so he could repair the bad reputation his family had.
- Deadpan Snarker: Carl.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "I'm Lenny. This is Carl and Homer. I'm Lenny."
- The Dividual: Homer needs to write down which one is the black one and which one is the white one due to how similar they are.
- Eye Scream: Lenny is way too prone to this type of injuries."Ow, my eye! I'm not supposed to get [object name] in it!"
- Happily Adopted: Carl is from Iceland and he was ready to betray Homer and crew to restore the family honor.
- Hero of Another Story: Both of their personal lives are supposedly incredibly exciting, though we never get to see any of it.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ambiguously Bi aside, they are usually just friends.
- Hidden Depths: Their status as relatively unimportant side characters allows for several of their fantastical accomplishments to be mentioned, but never shown. Carl apparently possesses an IQ of 214 and is deeply in touch with his Icelandic heritage, while Lenny is a war hero who is also a highly successful novelist. Both also have masters degrees in nuclear physics.
- Homoerotic Subtext: In the post-Scully years. Ramped up even further during Al Jean's tenure.
- Informed Ability: Their skills and accomplishments on paper make them seem like they'd both be highly competent, when in reality both are lazy blue collar workers who spend most of their time drinking.
- Lust Object: Marge is occasionally implied to view Lenny as one, keeping a picture of him in her hair and having a shrine dedicated to him when she thought he was injured. During a non-canon future photo album, Marge is shown to have briefly re-married to Lenny.
- Mistaken for Gay: It might not be mistaken, though.
- Only Sane Man: Both of them are quite a bit more together than most, particularly the people they hang out with, but Carl more so.
- Repetitive Name
- Salt and Pepper: Carl= black, Lenny= white.
- Satellite Character: Though Carl has gotten one spotlight episode, both tend to simply act as Homer's friends and little else.
- Smarter Than You Look: Both may seem no smarter than generally anyone else, but they did earn master's degrees in nuclear physics.
- Someone Else's Problem: They are amazingly indifferent to the goings on at the power plant, such as where nuclear waste gets dumped.
- Those Two Guys: The original Trope Codifiers.
- Token Minority: Carl.
- Too Dumb to Live: There are times they can be sucked into Homer's reckless antics. As Frank Grimes pointed out, they are only really sane and competent by comparison.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Not seen that often, but they can be very dismissive of each other (like in "Mountain of Madness").
Comic Book Guy
Jeff "Comic Book Guy" Albertson
- Debut: "Three Men and a Comic Book"
- Asshole Victim: In "Worst Episode Ever". Not killed, but he did suffer a severe heart attack. This was right after banning Bart and Milhouse from his store.
- Berserk Button: See the article on Canon.
- Big Bad: Of "Brick Like Me", as he represents the part of Homer's psyche that wants him to remain in the LEGO World rather than head back to the real world.
- Catch Phrase: "Worst. (insert noun here). Ever."
- Deadpan Snarker: Comic Book Guy seems to live by the philosophy "If you can't say something snarky or sarcastic, don't say anything at all."
- A Degree in Useless: He has a masters' degree in folklore and mythology, and for his thesis he translated The Lord of the Rings into Klingon.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": For over a decade, he was just known as "Comic Book Guy" until he gave his real name out in random conversation in "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass" (Word of God says that episode was chosen for the task because it was post-Super Bowl and thus would have such a large audience).
- Fat Bastard: A snobby and overweight shopkeeper who insults others that aren't of his IQ level, and even acts like a jerk to Bart and Milhouse even after they saved his life from a heart attack.
- Fat Slob: Eats a lot and spends all his time lazing around with his geeky stuff.
- Flanderization: Like everyone else's personality on the show, being a Deadpan Snarker got exaggerated to the point that it's his only personality trait.
- Freudian Excuse: It is heavily implied, if not outright stated, that the reason why Comic Book Guy often is sarcastic and insulting to people is because he himself is a victim of it in regards to his obesity.Now if you'll excuse me, I'm heading back to my own store, where I dispense the insults rather than absorb them.
- Genius Slob: Obese, dirty, has an IQ of 170.
- Happily Married: With Kumiko.
- Insufferable Genius: He has an IQ of 170 and is a member of the Springfield chapter of Mensa. However, he also has a snobby, superior personality that prevents him from making friends.
- Jerkass: Overprices comics, bans Milhouse and Bart from his store, and is a general jerk to everyone.
- Likes Older Women: Once dated (and lost his virginity to) Agnes Skinner.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Worst/Best __ Ever.
- Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: When he meets a female nerd at "Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con" in "Mayored to the Mob":Comic Book Guy: Tell me, how do you feel about 45-year-old virgins who still live with their parents?
Female Nerd: Comb the Sweet Tarts out of your beard and you're on!
Comic Book Guy: Don't try to change me, baby.
- Nerds Speak Klingon:
- "Three Men and a Comic Book": Jeff mentions that he has a Masters in Folklore and Mythology, part of which involved translating The Lord of the Rings into Klingon.
- "Worst Episode Ever": After he gets thrown out of Moes, he asks himself "Is there a word in Klingon for loneliness?", looks in his pocket dictionary. "oh, yes. Garr'dock!".
- "My Big Fat Geek Wedding": When Jeff tries to get married to Edna Krabappel it is conducted in Klingon; apparently the guests (sci-fi convention attendees) can all understand it.Jeff: Edna, the Klingons have a romantic saying. (speaks Klingon) Roughly translated it means I would kill the children of a thousand planets just to see you smile.
Edna: Oh, that is the most romantic thing I've ever heard. Which is kinda sad if you think about it.
- "Moms I'd Like to Forget"Jeff: The answer is no, and I can say it in Na'vi and Klingon, which are pretty much the same. I have some theories about that, which I will share with you never.
- Proud to Be a Geek: "I've spent my entire life doing nothing but collecting comic books. A life well spent!" Although in "Treehouse of Horror VIII", Comic Book Guy admits "I've wasted my life" the instant before he is killed by a Neutron Bomb. It probably doesn't count as Treehouse of Horror episodes are never canon.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
- Bart: How come I've never seen that Itchy & Scratchy before?
Comic Book Guy: Perhaps because you are a prepubescent ignoramus.
- Straw Fan
- Take That: The writers have been using Comic Book Guy to lampoon the show's Unpleasable Fanbase ever since "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show," though most viewers didn't notice this until the season 11 episode "Saddlesore Galactica."Comic Book Guy: Last night's Itchy & Scratchy was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.Bart: Hey, I know it wasn’t great, but what right do you have to complain?Comic Book Guy: As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.Bart: For what? They’ve given you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? If anything, you owe them.Comic Book Guy: Worst. Episode. Ever.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: "Married to the Blob" is all about this. See below for details.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: In the season 25 episode "Married to the Blob", he meets, charms - no, really -, and marries an improbably sprightly young Japanese woman. They're still married at the end of the episode.
- Ungrateful Bastard: To Bart and Milhouse for saving his life. Eventually, he does apologize though.
- Worst Whatever Ever: Trope Namer.
- "You're Not My Type": Was ultimately on the receiving end of this from Mrs. Krabappel in "My Big Fat Geek Wedding." He was oddly okay with it."There are a million valid reasons. Which one did you choose?"
- Debut: "The Telltale Head"
- Ascended Extra: Was simply the convenience store clerk that only knew the family because they shopped there. Over time, his screentime grew and he got several focus episodes ("Homer and Apu", "Much Apu About Nothing", "The Two Mrs Nahasapeemapetilons", "Eight Misbehavin'"). He is now, arguably, one of the most important non-Simpson family member characters.
- Asian Store-Owner: Indian, specifically. Asia is such a large continent that the Indian subcontinent (which includes India and Sri Lanka) counts as part of Asia.
- Beta Couple: With Manjula to Homer and Marge in later season.
- Bollywood Nerd: Doesn't come up a lot, but he graduated as top of his class in computer science at Cal Tech (Calcutta Tech)—a class of 7 million.
- Bumbling Dad: A downplayed example - he shows traits of this.
- Catch Phrase:"Thank you, come again!" (even to store robbers!)"I can't believe you're not shutting up!"
- The Chew Toy: He's been shot so many times that it's just a $100 fine.
- Chick Magnet: Apu enjoyed a reign as Springfield's most eligible bachelor — until he got married.
- Determinator: In one early episode, Apu says that the town government should hire more police officers, since he'd been shot 8 times that year. As a result, he almost missed work. Almost. And then there was the time when he managed to work a 96-hour shift without having a break. It ended when he started thinking he was a hummingbird and tried to drink nectar out of his brother's head.
- Funny Foreigner: When it needs Indian stereotype joke.
- Immigrant Patriotism: He started his stay in America as an illegal immigrant.
- Made of Iron: Has been shot so many times that when he was shot saving James Woods, the bullet ricocheted off another bullet that had previously been lodged there.
- Manipulative Bastard: One Season 4 episode shows Apu curries Homer's favour in order to stop him going to the much cheaper store next door.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: While their marriage is far from perfect (the stresses of raising eight kids and Apu's infidelity), Apu and Manjula got off to a great start and do love each other. However, many fans worry that this has been subverted, as some bitterness still remains (yet future episodes suggest they worked it out).
- Sixth Ranger: Was this to the main Simpsons family in The Simpsons: Hit & Run.
- Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: Can show signs of this at times, as part of his personality as The Determinator.
- Too Many Babies: When he and Manjula could not conceive a child, they underwent IVF and Manjula had octuplets. It also helped that Apu, Homer, Marge and Bart were each slipping her fertility drugs.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Manjula with the Squishee lady, and signs up for "Sassy Madison", a dating website for married people.
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Marge and not just her. Moe's romantic attractions have resulted in criminal behavior and run-ins with the law; he has stalked Maude Flanders and other townspeople, he must register as a sex offender, and has had a restraining order placed upon him.
- Accent Relapse: Even though he is not a spy.
- Alien Blood: Has been shown to bleed green but claims that's only the first few drops and it will come out red afterwards.
- Ambiguously Human: Claims to be "half Monster-Half Armenian", his father was once shown to be a Yeti, in one episode he cut himself and green stuff came out and he once showed Bart and Milhouse a jar containing his tail.
- Ax-Crazy: He has his moments.
- Back-Alley Doctor
- Badass: Sometimes, like in the couch gag where the couches attack, Moe is seen as the one of the few fighting back, blasting at his bar seats with a shotgun and knocking away his stools.
- The Bartender: It's his job.
- Berserk Button: Whoever that one punk kid is that keeps bothering his place with prank calls. The second he gets even the slightest clue who it is he drops everything to get sweet, sweet revenge.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Moe Goes from Rags to Riches shows that his father was a yeti.
- Child Hater: "See, this is why we should hate kids!"
- Except during his Friend to All Children moments.
- Creepy Good: Even when portrayed as a fundamentally good person, he's often quite unnerving.
- Deep-Fried Whatever: Ordered a giant, military-grade deep fryer for his restaurant Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag. It can flash-fry a buffalo in 40 seconds (which, according to Homer, is too long to wait).
- Did Not Get the Girl: His easy-to-lose harsh temper usually turns down women and finding a girlfriend for Moe has therefore been a running joke, from indulged sexual abstinence to unsuccessful suicide attempts to dating generally rejected women.
- Driven to Suicide: The later episodes play up the fact that Moe is so depressed that he keeps trying to kill himself — to the point that Suicide Prevention has to block his number. It is also implied at least once that the only reason why he constantly attempts to commit suicide is because Reverend Lovejoy keeps on telling him that he has nothing to live for.
- Eye Scream: Apparently has a tendency to do this to people he invites to his house.
- Flanderization: His suicidal tendencies, how repulsive he is around the opposite sex (later episodes even imply that Moe is a registered sex offender), and his secret criminal doings all have been greatly exaggerated and become all there is to his personality as of the Al Jean-run episodes.
- Friend to All Children: Despite being a disgusting, miserable creep to adults, children actually love him (and are the only thing keeping Moe from being a complete bastard). He's the nicest babysitter Maggie's ever had and he reads (or used to read) to sick children at the hospital on Wednesday nights.
- Gonk: A running gag is that he is ugly.
- Grumpy Bear: His default mood.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: YES. He is very impulsive.
- Hero of Another Story: After "Das Bus" ended he Somehow saved the kids who were stuck on an island, not to mention his adventures at the end of "The Homer They Fall". Apparently one Christmas he while attempting suicide he was shown what the world would be like had he never been born.
- Hypocrite: Once railed against "immigants", despite being an immigrant of some ambiguous kind himself.
- I Coulda Been a Contender!: Moe is frustrated by the failure of his once promising boxing career, which he blames on politics, rather than the fact he couldn't take a punch.
- Informed Deformity: While Moe is quite odd-looking compared to other characters, people act like he's hideous and even inhuman.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Played with.Ned Flanders: *in an uncharacteristic bout of rage* You ugly, hate-filled man.Moe: Hey! I may be ugly and hate-filled but-....what was that third thing you said?
- I Was Quite a Looker: Then he started boxing, which is the explanation for why he became so ugly that women find him repulsive."They called me Kid Gorgeous. Then I was Kid Presentable. Then Kid Gruesome. Then finally, Kid Moe."
- Jerkass: Many times he is downright unpleasant.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his somewhat angry attitude at times, he does show a soft spot towards children and his close friends and customers. He also does very noble acts in the credits of "The Homer They Fall", he is seen saving multiple people, putting out a forest fire, and giving food to a famished village... Sadly, he starts off as this in most of his episodes, goes back to full-blown Jerkass by backstabbing anyone who helped him achieve some high level of importance among famous people, and then reverts back to having a heart of gold only to get his progress tossed down the drain.
- Knife Nut: Keeps a rusty and dull butcher's knife under the bar, kept in case whoever it is that keeps taunting him with those phone calls slips up.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Several episodes contradict each other as to what his nationality actually is.
- Non-Specifically Foreign: Has an ambiguous ethnic background - has variously been implied or described as Dutch, Italian, Armenian, Arab, Polish...
- Parental Neglect:
- Implied in "Pokey Mom".Moe: Now I can focus on my crippling emotional pain. Oh daddy, why? Why won't you hug me?! You hugged the mailman!
- One episode implied that Moe's parents left him at a summer camp and never came to pick him up.
- Implied in "Pokey Mom".
- Perpetual Frowner: He's a fairly depressed individual, as shown when he attempts to commit suicide in "Moe Baby Blues".
- Punny Name: Not Moe himself, but he's always being asked for Al Coholic, Jacques Strappe, I.P. Freely, Seymour Butz, Homer Sexual (NOT Homer Simpson), Ivana Tinkel, Mike Rotch, Amanda Huggin-Kiss, and Hugh Jassnote .
- Sadist: Implied.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Keeps one behind his bar and uses one as part of his self defence through dance class.
- Stalker with a Crush: He has long been infatuated with Marge (whom he often refers to as Midge) and has on occasion professed his love for her and tried to win her away from Homer. His infatuation was intense enough to enter stalker territory. Ironically, she's one of his most frequent customer's wife.
- They Killed Kenny Again: He was hit by a train in "Lisa Goes Gaga", but is back alive and well in "Moonshine River".
- Toxic Friend Influence: In several instances, Moe shows he deliberately manipulates Homer and Barney into drinking, confident in his belief that they'll be back. And if they turn against him, Moe quickly becomes incredibly sour, slapping Barney when he tries to point out Moe insulted Homer behind his back.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: He once mentions owing $64,000 and asks the Simpsons for funds to dig himself back up. But he too is a Loan Shark, matter-of-factly telling Homer when he needs a loan that if he can't provide collateral, he will have to break his legs right then and there. Homer escapes with his lower appendages intact and borrows the money from Patty and Selma instead.
Elementary School Faculty
Principal Seymour Skinner
Principal W. Seymour Skinner a.k.a. Armin Tamzarian
"Elementary school is where I wound up, and it's too late to do anything about that!"The highly put-upon principal of Springfield Elementary School, a former Army officer and Vietnam survivor, harassed by Bart Simpson, put upon by his Superintendent, challenged by his groundskeeper, and under the thumb of his domineering, overbearing mother. It's eventually revealed that he is actually Armin Tamzarian, a hoodlum who was sentenced to join the Army and served under the real Sergeant Seymour Skinner. When Skinner went missing in action, Armin took up Skinner's identity and came back to America. This revelation was not popular at all, and is even ignored in-series. To the point where when the real Skinner returns, he's put on a train and everyone agrees to keep calling Armin Tamzarian, Seymour Skinner. Voiced by Harry Shearer.
Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
- Alliterative Name: Seymour Skinner
- Basement-Dweller: A mild example: he does live with his mother in her house, but he has a bedroom and he's not a nerd or a social outcast.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Edna until she break with him, married Flanders and pretty much forgot about Seymour.
- Butt Monkey
- Clueless Boss: Is frequently portrayed this way.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: You don't believe that a momma's boy like him trained as a Green Beret and took out Disney's lawyer and hired goons to avoid being sued for using "The Happiest Place on Earth" for the school carnival.
- Dean Bitterman: He can be one of these in his less sympathetic moments.
- Determinator: Once parodied The Terminator. See "Non-Giving-Up School Guy"
- Disproportionate Retribution: In the early seasons, he would give Bart several months/years of detention for anything he did wrong, even when it wasn't that big of a deal.
- Everyone Has Standards: The teachers can do a lot to children (mostly crush their self-esteem and bore them with inane lessons), but lay a hand on them (like Mrs. Krabappel did in "The Nedliest Catch") and you're done.
- Former Teen Rebel: Was a worse prankster than Bart in his youth.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he was a nice enough guy, he was also very capable of being a jerk.
- Malaproper: He was quite prone to these in his early appearances:Skinner: Welcome kindergarteners, I'm Principal Sinner— Skinner! (kindergarteners laugh) Well, that's it. I've lost them forever.
- Mistaken for Prank Call: Played with, as whenever Bart tries to prank call him it backfires.Skinner: Well, as a matter of fact, my refrigerator wasn't running. You've spared me quite a bit of spoilage: thank you, anonymous young man.Bart: D'oh!
- Momma's Boy: Which leads to…
- My Beloved Smother: Trope Namer; he lives with, and is co-dependent with, his mom.
- The Neidermeyer: During his Vietnam days, he commanded about as much respect from his troops as he does from the students at Springfield Elementary.
- Never My Fault: In "Pokey Mom", He reprimands Jack Crowley for the bold art he made for the mural basically saying it was Kid Unfriendly and forced him to make an Stylistic Suck Tastes Like Diabetes drawing he put together on a napkin. When that understandably blows and Chalmers chews Skinner out, Skinner says "This isn't what I wanted! Where is the boldness?" and starts putting down Jack again when he points out it was Skinner's idea, sending Jack over the edge and effectively ruining an Ex-Con's shot at redemption.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Even when Bart genuinely tries to change his ways, Skinner then simply screws him over For the Evulz. Which considering that Bart's his worst nightmare made flesh, is not wise.
- Non-Giving-Up School Guy: Trope Namer. He once tracked Bart across Springfield (even climbing a cliff and walking straight through a river after Bart cut the rope bridge over it) to get him back to class. Bart, upon seeing this, gives us the Buffy Speak Trope Namer line.
- Noodle Incident:Skinner: I've been hoping I could find something that would be named after me.
Bart: And you've never found anything?
Skinner: Once. But by the time I got to the phone, my discovery had already been reported by Principal Kohoutek. I got back at him, though … him and that little boy of his.
- Odd Friendship: With Bart during "Sweet Skinner's Badasssss Song".
- Phrase Catcher:Chalmers: SKINN-ER!!!Skinner: S-Superintendent Chalmers!Agnes Skinner Seymour!
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Depending on the Writer, he can either be an Obstructive Bureaucrat, but he is usually a well-meaning (if nerdy) principal constrained by excessive budget cuts and apathetic teachers.
- Refugee from Time: Is still a 'Nam vet, despite that meaning he would now be around twenty-five years older than he was at the beginning of the series.
- Retcon: His real identity as Armin Tanzarian is never brought up again but it goes so far as to rewrite past events to include Seymour in them all and not the real one. This doesn't stop Lisa from getting on his nerves by making an off-hand mention about it much later in the show's run, which means it's not entirely forgotten.
- Retired Badass: Former army sergeant. He also mentions in one episode that he's an ex-Green Beret (US Army Special Forces).
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Gives Bart detention for trying to bribe him.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Chalmers' Manly Man.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Parodied. Frequently has flashbacks to his experiences in Vietnam.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Bart.
- Stern Teacher: He has it in for Bart Simpson, but it's hard to blame him when you realize just what Bart's put him through for so long. He's generally a lot nicer to the other students, and can even be civil to Bart when the latter isn't pranking him.
- That Came Out Wrong: "This is our last chance to bone up. And bone we will!" (In this case, he doesn't catch the unintentional innuendo, but the kids do.) After the kids trap him in the dodgeball sack and the class hamster Nibbles helps rescue them. "Good work Nibbles! Now, chew through my ballsack!" The hamster gives him a squicked expression, then runs away.
- Trading Bars for Stripes: Chose to serve in Vietnam rather than do time.
- The Vietnam Vet: He served in the Vietnam War as a Green Beret. The conflict clearly traumatises him at times.
- Vocal Evolution: His voice sounds much deeper in the earlier seasons.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His plan to cut Springfield Elementary's expenses in "The President Wore Pearls" consists of cutting art, physical education and music from the curriculum and framing student president Lisa.
Edna Krabappel, now Flanders
- Debut: "Bart the Genius"Final Episode: "The Man Who Grew Too Much"
- Apathetic Teacher: Edna has completely gone to town on this trope. She and Bart still bond a lot more than either of them would like.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: She develops a secret romance with Seymour Skinner, a relationship that almost leads to marriage. Since then, Krabappel's attitudes to Skinner have vacillated between passion and disdain in various episodes. Until she break with him, married Flanders and pretty much forgot about Seymour.
- Broken Bird: Her husband left her for "something small and fluffy down a rabbit hole" and Bart Simpson is one of her students. It's a miracle she didn't kill herself or quit in disgust.
- Catch Phrase: "Ha!"
- Dude Magnet: Krabappel appears to be desired by many men (and in one case even women, when Patty Bouvier once had a sexual fantasy with Edna), as seen in Sideshow Bob's outrage (in "Brother from Another Series") wherein his romantic date with her is ruined by a spying Bart: "You only get one chance with Edna Krabappel!"
- Friendly Enemy: To Bart in few episodes when he goes out of his way to help her with something.
- Hot for Student: Not as often as one would believe, but it was played with in various ways with Bart. One sad example in Bart the Lover, Edna mentions that Bart is the closest thing to a man in her life, but she finds that more depressing than disturbing. In Future Drama, 18 year old Bart nearly dodges a bullet when he and a then single Homer double dates with Edna and Miss Hoover. In this example, she's all for it but when Bart politely rejects it, she encourages him that both of them could do so much better with other people. The real icing on the cake though was in Black Eyed Please. As a means to find out why the new teacher Mrs. Cantwell hates Lisa, they send Bart in as a means of interrogation. Upon introducing him, Cartwell accuses her of this trope, to which Edna replies in a Sarcastic Confession.Mrs. Cantwell: Are you dating this boy?
- Hot Teacher: She was presented as Bart's attractive teacher mostly in seasons 2 and 3 (she tried to seduce Mr. Bergstrom; Homer finds a provocative picture of her and tells Bart that he's going to start going to Parents' Night), but eventually this characterization faded, as she became more sarcastic and bitter.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She does genuinely care about her students from time to time.
- Killed Offscreen: She dies off screen in the middle of Season 25's "The Man Who Grew Too Much," possibly involving Homer, according to Season 23's "Holiday's of Future Past."
- Knight in Sour Armor: Her life dream once was to teach to young students; however, after years of teaching jaded her positive image, and after her husband left for another woman, their marriage counselor, Edna started drinking her days away. She got fired from teaching in a prestigious private school, and eventually made her way into Springfield Elementary.
- Lady Drunk: "Dinner for one, wine for three…"
- Meaningful Name: "Krabappel" is clearly a reference to "crab apple", a species of apple notorious for its bitter, sour taste — and which is also used in America to denote a person who is extremely bitter, sour, cranky or generally bad-tempered. Oddly, the only people that have ever called her "Mrs. Crab-apple" are the real Seymour Skinner in "The Principal and the Pauper" and Milhouse in "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore", where it is lampshaded:Kearney: Crab apple?Jimbo: I never thought of that!
Donny: Hey Krabappel, your name sounds like "crab apple"! Do you go sour waiting for someone to pick you?Krabappel: Mmmm, pretty much.
- Lampshaded again in "The Debarted".
- Mrs. Robinson: In early episodes, she is shown as very sexually aggressive and promiscuous. Also lampshaded to hell and back.
- Really Gets Around: Mrs. Krabappel has hooked up with quite a few people when she wasn't married or dating someone. Ned Flanders wonders if he should stay with her because of everyone she's been with. In Season 23, they marry.
- Signature Laugh: "HA!"
- Worthy Opponent: Bart considers her this.
- Debut: "Brush with Greatness"
- The Alcoholic: Once graded her kids' Wind in the Willows tests while drinking flavored liqueurs (Kahlua and Drambuie).
- Apathetic Teacher: She hates her job and seemed to be dangerously unaware of how a teacher is supposed to act and is gullible at times relating to teaching.
- Brainy Brunette: Not the brainiest one though. And before, she wasn't even a brunette.
- Broken Bird: Has zero passion for her job.
- Deadpan Snarker: Even more so than Edna.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Just like Smithers, she went through a lot of revisions to her character model (coincidentally, being the same as Smithers). She was black with blue hair, then she only had blue hair, and eventually they settled with the look shown in this entry.
- Jerkass: Probably the biggest one in the school. Frequently, especially toward Ralph. A typical response to one of his difficulties is, "The children are right to laugh at you, Ralph." She even once told Lisa to turn her desk around and stop learning just because she was mad at her (though to be fair the entire town was treating the Simpson family this way).
- Race Lift: Like Smithers, she was black with blue hair in the first seasons.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her early character models had this until she was made a brunette.
Groundskeeper William "Willie" MacDougal
- Debut: "Principal Charming"
- Ascended Extra: Thought to be a one-shot character for "Principal Charming," but Dan Castellaneta's performance led to him coming back and becoming a fixture in the recurring cast.
- Ax-Crazy: On his bad days, he can become dangerously violent. For example, during "Bart's Inner Child", he seizes a plinth and declares that if he was elected mayor, he'd kill everyone in Springfield, then burn the town to the ground, all aware the microphone was on and not caring.
- Badass Beard
- Bald of Awesome
- Boomerang Bigot: "Damn Scots, they ruined Scotland!"
- Brave Scot: In "Marge Gets a Job", he fights a timber wolf with nothing but his bare hands (and chest), then consoled it with whiskey. As he does, he mentions he used to fight wolves when he was younger.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: His comedy routine about Scottish golfers, though he did get a laugh when he sarcastically told the audience that he's only funny when he's cleaning kids' puke.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Trope Namer. In the episode Round Springfield. Having been forced to sub as a French teacher, the brief snippet of his "lesson" plays out as follows:"Bonjourrrrrrrrr, ya cheese-eating surrender monkeys!"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Not always on the best of terms with reality.
- Covert Pervert: Was revealed in the season six episode "Homer Badman" (the episode where Homer is accused of sexually harassing a babysitter by grabbing her butt and calling her "Precious Venus") to be a camera-toting Peeping Tom. ("But every Scotsman does it!")
- Culture Equals Costume: Frequently seen in a kilt and plaid hat.
- A Day in the Limelight: The episode "My Fair Laddy" where Lisa training him into being a proper gentleman.
- Fan Disservice and Fanservice: On the one hand, his occasional shirtless scenes reveal he's ripped like no one else in Springfield (except for maybe Ned). On the other hand, the episode "Bart's Girlfriend" had people passing out and reacting with disgust when his kilt came off. It may be more possible that he's just hung and no one was really expecting to be blasted in the face with a very good look at his "Scottish heritage" like that.
- Fiery Redhead
- Football Hooligans: He and his similarly-looking relatives in "The Cartridge Family" (though for some reason he calls it "soccer"note ):Willie: Ech! Ya call this a soccer riot? Ke'mon, boys, let's take 'em ta skewl!
- Fluffy Tamer: When an escaped wolf began roaming the halls of Springfield Elementary, Willie ended up getting into a fistfight with it. At the end of the episode, it seems that Willie defeated the wolf and began bonding.
- Funny Foreigner: The stereotypical angry Scotsman. Though in earlier seasons the trope was a bit subverted because he wasn't portrayed as thrifty or walking around in a kilt.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Oh, so many examples of this.Willie: Brothers and sisters are natural enemies like Englishmen and Scots, or Welshmen and Scots, or Japanese and Scots, or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!Skinner: You Scots sure are a cantankerous bunch.Willie: Ya just made an enemy for life!
- Hidden Depths: According to "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" he managed to make millions of dollars in software.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Extremely angry, dangerously violent, always yelling at, threatening or outright attacking people — and yet he has a lot of Pet the Dog moments and seems to have a soft spot for children and animals (except when it's funnier that he hates and wants to kill them, that is).
- Multiple-Choice Past: He hails from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Loch Ness, and North Kilt-Town. Even his name is unclear; the comics imply it is MacMoran, the animated series gives it as MacDougal. In another episode he claims not to know his surname. He's also claimed at various points to have a Doctorate and be Illiterate. Once while recounting a miner's strike and cave-in: "Nobody made it out alive, not even Willie!" He also claimed his father was hung for stealing a pig, but his father is shown to be very much alive in a later episode (unless his living father is his stepfather and he knew him as "Dad" until his mom told him that his real father was hung for stealing a pig). Or his father survived the hanging. Chalmers at one point implies that Willie is an escaped mental patient.
- Testosterone Poisoning: Is sometimes portrayed as being ridiculously manly, such as in "Lard of the Dance" where we see that he washes with Ajax and scrubs himself with a Brillo pad. Then of course it's followed up with:Willie (upon noticing Bart and Homer watching him): Eeek! I mean, och!
- Third-Person Person: Occasionally.
- Unwitting Pawn:
"Ya used me, Skinner! YA USED ME!"
- After he finds out Skinner made up Scotchtoberfest as a sting for Bart.
- In "The Great Money Caper," Willie stands trial and is found guilty for stealing Homer's car. Homer and Bart had actually been grifting, lost the car to a better grifter and lied about it. It was all a con by Marge, Lisa and the townspeople to teach them a lesson about grifting.Homer: I can't believe everyone was in on it.
Willie: WILLIE WASN'T!
- Violent Glaswegian: His belligerence and sociopathy leads to him declaring Scots to be the natural enemies of Englishmen, Welshmen, Japanese, and even other Scots, in the quote at the top of the page. Willie has been identified as a Glaswegian ("...the ugliest man in Glasgow...") on at least one occasion, but has an accent of indeterminate origin and had been, at various points in time, said to hail from Edinburgh, Loch Ness, and "North Kilt-Town", before Willie himself finally cleared things up by declaring that he was actually from Kirkwall in Orkney.
Superintendent Gary Chalmers
- Debut: "Whacking Day"
- A Day in the Limelight: "Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts," where Chalmers becomes a teacher so he can make Bart excited about learning.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Shauna (Chalmers) is confirmed to be his daughter.
- Catch Phrase: "SKIN-NER!"
- Foil: To Skinner, of course.
- Freudian Excuse: His attitude toward Skinner is that his father put him in a human-size "SKINNER box" as he was interested by the eponymous psychologist's research.
- Incoming Ham: "SKINNER!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He likes to yell. A lot. Especially at Skinner for even the smallest mistakes. But he's also the only person who bothered (and succeeded) to teach Bart anything.
- No Indoor Voice: SKIN-NER!
- Odd Friendship: Surprisingly, with Bart Simpson.
- Not So Above It All: Although he still goes on a Zany Scheme with Skinner every so often, and complains about ice buckets not being in hotels like everyone else. He also falls for Skinner's Blatant Lies about the Aurora Borealis being in his kitchen.
- Only Sane Man: The writers have noted unlike other characters, Chalmers is above the zaniness of the other characters and is a (relatively) normal guy, aside from his pathological habit of bellowing any word that sounds even remotely like 'SKI-NEEER!.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Skinner's Sensitive Guy.
- Debut: "Homer's Odyssey"
- The Alcoholic: When introducing himself to an Alcoholics Anonymous group, Otto says "My name is Otto, I love to get blotto!"
- Berserk Button: Call him a bum? He'll accept that, no problem. Call him a sponge? BIG mistake.
- Catch Phrase: "All right!"
- Disco Dan: Otto dresses and talks like a perpetual 1980s teenager. He even still wears a portable cassette player on his hip despite the fact that they've been obsolete for years.
- Drives Like Crazy: Luckily, nobody gets hurt.
- I stand on my record: Fifteen crashes and not a single fatality!
- Genius Ditz: Although he's not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, it is shown from time to time that Otto has artistic talent. He is a very skilled guitar player, and he even created his own comic book called Bus Man about a bus driver who fights vampires in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. He's also an excellent bowler. And he almost got tenure at Brownnote .
- Metal Head: Otto is passionate about Heavy Metal and Classic Rock music, to the point where he actually left his bride at the altar because she tried to make him give up Heavy Metal.
- Military Brat: Otto's father is an Admiral in the United States Navy who disapproves of his lazy, pot-smoking son.
- Punny Name: "Otto Mann" sounds like both "Auto Man" and the "[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire Ottoman Empire] of World War I fame.
- Species Surname: Rare human example.
- The Stoner: In "The Seven-Beer Snitch", Otto's urine sample contains so many illegal drugs that when Otto looks at it, it resembles a scene from The Beatles film Yellow Submarine. And only actually contains "trace amounts of human urine".
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
- Apathetic Teacher: Like any long time teacher.
- Ambiguously Gay: He "carpools" with Smithers among other thing.
- Classical Music Is Boring: His boring choice of music often drives Lisa to spontaneous jazz solos in class.
- Heh Heh, You Said "X": "Do you find anything funny about the word, Tromboner?!"
- Jerkass: He often yells at his students and treats them pretty crappily. He especially has it out for Lisa and the opening scene when the full version's shown is him kicking Lisa out for playing her saxophone with some passion.
- Meaningful Name: A Largo is a slow tempo.
- Start of Darkness: Not getting into Juilliard (because the mailman had been frozen solid) seemed to have made him dispassionate towards music, he is hinted to have been quite talented before.
- Debut: "Lisa's Pony"
Elementary School Students
- Debut: "Bart the General"
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: His short-lived romance with Lisa.
- Barbaric Bully: Not as tall as Dolph, Kearney, and Jimbo, but definitely heavier and more thuggish-looking than the other kids. In later seasons he his given Hidden Depths and his bullying is largely restricted to taunting.
- The Bully: Introduced this way, though Hidden Depths and Character Development have led to this trope being downplayed. In most recent episodes, he's just an average guy in Bart's social circle who likes to taunt people (with the occasional punch thrown).
- Catch Phrase: "Haw haw!"
- Character Development: Though it lead to Menace Decay, Nelson has become softer and is often one of Bart's friends now, while the position of bullying tormentor have been passed onto Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph. Nelson's mother meanwhile cleaned up her act, and his Disappeared Dad came back.
- The Dreaded: He was this to the other kids in the early seasons.
- Enemy Mine: A couple of times has had to work with Martin — much to his chagrin.
- Fat Bastard: He is a big fat bully (though he does have some moments of decency, especially when he's interacting with Lisa).
- Freudian Excuse: The main reason why Nelson is the way he is is because he is from a poor neighborhood, is neglected by his mother, has a Disappeared Dad, and is looked down upon by his peers and teachers even though he is implied to have high potential.
- Genius Bruiser: He is large, and noted above, he is implied to have high potential (although the school fails to recognize it). He also was once shown to be very good at planning, actually giving Marge some tips on how to organize a method to get rid of a sport when she decided to get rid of mixed wrestling.
- Hidden Depths:
- Even in episodes when his bullying hasn't been sidelined, he's still quite gentlemanly to women, including female authority figures like Ms. Krabappel and Marge.
- He has a noted fondness for the work of Andy Williams.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Nelson is revealed to have no friends at all. Due to this, he becomes obsessed with Bart Simpson.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In later seasons he's shown to bully kids for good reasons like "wasting teacher's time".
- Kids Are Cruel: Initially.
- Menace Decay: The Nelson of today is wimpy and pathetic compared to the Nelson of the earlier episodes. In his first appearance he was so fearsome Bart had to band together an army to stand up to him because the school was so terrified of him, and before that he regularly beat Bart bloody after school.
- Parental Abandonment: His dad left him long ago.
- Pet the Dog:
Nelson: *gasp* You're blind?! *to the class* If anyone messes with this kid, I will destroy them!
- Usually towards Lisa. When he goes to live with the Simpsons for a time, he sees that Sherri and Terri's constant teasing has really affected her, so he proceeds to bully/prank them.
- In the episode Wild Barts Can't Be Broken, when the kids all break curfew to sneak into the drive-in to see the The Bloodening, Nelson kicks Milhouse in the butt to get him through a hole in the fence, while pulling it back as much as possible to make it easier for Lisa to crawl through.
- He makes friends with a blind kid named Kevin when the fourth grade classes are temporarily merged in "Stealing First Base":
- Real Men Wear Pink"The thing about huckleberries is, once you've had fresh, you'll never go back to canned". (Skinner walks by) "So, anyway, I kicked the guy's ass." (Skinner leaves) "Now, if the berries are too tart …"
Nelson: Hey, keep it down, man.
- He's shown to be failing History and Maths, but is doing quite well in Home Ec.
- He is utterly enthralled by Andy Williams, and cheers for the performance like a gushing fangirl.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Martin's Sensitive Guy.
- Smarter Than You Look: Despite his brutish appearance, it's implied in a few episodes that Nelson is actually quite intelligent.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In his first appearance, he was downright monstrous and cruel, providing Bart with some in-universe Nightmare Fuel. But over the years, he generally just beats up other kids to keep up appearances rather than out of any actual malice.
- Vocal Evolution: He sounds much gruffer in more recent episodes.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: This is one of Nelson's traits, as explained in Bye, Bye, Nerdie. He does help Lisa in order to understand why bullies like him pick on nerds.
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
- Ambiguously Gay: After seeing Bart naked in The Movie, he says … "I like men now!". Though he did love Lisa…
- A Day in the Limelight: "I Love Lisa", "This Little Wiggy", and, to an extent, "E. Pluribus Wiggum".
- Cloudcuckoolander: Ralph is known for saying several Non Sequitur lines.Lisa: Hey Ralph, want to come with me and Alison to play "Anagrams"?
Ralph: My cat's breath smells like cat food.
- Determinator: Ralph is too scared to enter the abandoned prison in "This Little Wiggy", until the bullies steal the police master key and throw it in. Ralph ignores his fear and enters the prison to get the key. Bart congratulates him for it.
- The Ditz: To the extent that he was formerly the Trope Namer.
- Fat Idiot: Much like his father.
- Flanderization: Ralph is merely odd and ditsy in the earlier seasons, whereas in later ones he's presented as being mentally challenged.
- Genius Ditz: Despite being…well…The Ditz, Ralph is an amazingly talented actor ("I Love Lisa"), tap dancer ("Last Tap Dance in Springfield") and nose flutist ("Round Springfield").
- Malaproper: Him fail English? That's definitely NOT "unpossible."
- Nobody's That Dumb: In season 14, "The Dad Who Knew Too Little", when Lisa is framed for a crime she didn't commit and the cops sees her and Homer flees when they arrive to arrest her, Chief Wiggum said something that even he knew the answer to:Chief Wiggum: (to Marge) Would an innocent person flee?
Chief Wiggum: No, really. Tell me. I honestly don't know.
Lou: Chief, no.
Ralph: Even I knew that.
Chief Wiggum: Yeah, yeah, I'm not... I'm not good.
- Non Sequitur: The living epitome!
- Spanner in the Works: He is most likely this if befriended by any of the Simpson children.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: At the end of "This Little Wiggy," Bart, Homer and Marge congratulate Ralph for saving the day, even though it was Lisa's plan. Lisa goes along with it after Bart says, "C'mon, let him have this one, Lis. After all, it's Ralph."
- Too Dumb to Live: Easily the stupidest character on the show, even more so than his own daddy. So much, he once a trope named after him, which was intended for characters that go ''right past'' The DitzRalph: Look, daddy. I made a Ralphwich! Uhh, it tastes hurty!Chief Wiggum: That's cause it's not food, Ralphie!
- Vague Age: In "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", Chief Wiggum describes him as "between the ages of six and ten".
Sherri and Terri Mackleberry
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
- Alpha Bitch: Sort of. They often tease and taunt other students amongst other things but don't seem to be especially popular nor in charge of any group of girls.
- Always Identical Twins
- Creepy Twins: They are a little bit strange and sometimes they speak in their own language. Speaking in perfect unison doesn't help.
- The Dividual: It's never made clear which is which. They even go to the model UN as Trinidad and Tobago (a single country). However, they do insist that they're individuals, and Bart apparently has a crush on one of them. One episode even uses the line "Sherri, but not Terri" as a gag by itself.
- Evil Twin: The school psychologist tells Bart that they were originally conjoined triplets and the third one is out for revenge.
- Flanderization: While Sherri and Terri weren't exactly the nicest girls, nowadays they seem to pretty much hate anyone who's not them, though they do seem to have softened on Bart a little in favor of being worse to Lisa.
- Out of Focus: In +20 seasons, they have never received a single A Day in the Limelight episode where they are the protagonists.
- Single-Minded Twins: They have the same personality.
- Theme Twin Naming: Their names rhyme.
- Those Two Girls
- Tsundere: In one episode, one of them states the other has a crush on Bart. Given how they'd both acted towards him especially in the early seasons, the one with the crush could count as this.
- In the episode "Barthood" (set in one of possible futures) a teenager Bart make out with Sherri, but but stated Terri is his actual girlfriend.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Sherri and Terri have long, purple hair.
- Debut: "Bart the Genius"
- Bi the Way: In an Imagine Spot, he sees himself as the star basketball player, with a female cheerleader on one arm and a male cheerleader on the other. He appears more interested in the male.
- Butt Monkey: He gets bullied a lot, especially by Nelson.
- Child Prodigy: Has an IQ of 216.
- The Dog Bites Back: In the movie, thinking he was going to die, he knocks out the bullies with one swing of the 2 by 4.
- Insufferable Genius: Especially in his earliest appearances, when he never passed on a chance to flaunt his superior intelligence, usually in Bart's face. This was heavily toned down in later appearances, and he even got to be on somewhat friendly terms with Bart.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: Just as smart as Lisa, and just as unpopular as Milhouse.
- School Newspaper News Hound: Sometimes.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Nelson's Manly Man.
- The Smart Guy: Easily the smartest character on the show.
- Spock Speak
- Transsexual: in one of the ambiguously canon future episodes
- TV Genius: A condescending nerdy Teacher's Pet with a Improbably High I.Q..
Milhouse Van Houten
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
- Ambiguously Bi: He was very jealous when Bart spent much time with Nelson and once jumped over a waterfall while exclaiming "I can't live in a world without Bart!". His file in the school psychiatrist's office says that he has "flamboyantly homosexual tendencies".
- Butt Monkey: Milhouse has suffered everything from inheriting Bart's permanent record (which will disqualify him from all but the hottest and noisiest jobs) to being beaten into a coma by Nelson after he mistakes a love note Milhouse passes him from Lisa as coming from Milhouse himself, to having his manliness insulted in an episode set in the future when an adult Lisa is about to get married:Lisa: I feel kind of weird wearing white, Mom. I mean, Milhouse…Marge: Oh, Milhouse doesn't count.They both laugh
Children: Lisa likes Nelson!Milhouse: She does not!Children: Milhouse likes Lisa!Janey: He does not!Children: Janey likes Milhouse!Uter: She does not!Children: Uter likes Milhouse!Mr. Largo: NOBODY likes Milhouse!
- This gag really shows how the series tends to treat Milhouse:
- Chick Magnet: Briefly when his parents were lost in the sea and presumably deceased, the kids at the school were impressed by Milhouse's stoicism and the girls became attracted by him, including Lisa.
- Crossdressing Voices: Both the original English version and many foreign dubs.
- Dirty Coward: On his good days or bad days, Milhouse tends to run when things start to simply smell bad.
- Henpecked Husband: To Lisa in some future episodes.
- Hollywood Nerd: Though he claims he's not a nerd because "nerds are smart".
- Hopeless Suitor: Milhouse harbors a hopeless crush on Lisa throughout the series, even going so far as to make awkward attempts to impress her. His feelings are unrequited.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Started out as a very cheerful kid, but got more cynical and angry as time went on.
- Mistaken for Gay: In addition to the taunt mentioned in the Butt Monkey section, there's also: Nelson mistaking Lisa's note reading "Guess Who Likes You" as a love note from Milhouse (with Milhouse getting wheeled off into an ambulance in the next scene) from "Lisa's Date with Density," and the school psychiatrist having notes about Milhouse's "flamboyant tendencies" in his permanent record.
- Nerd Glasses: It wasn't until season 5 he actually realised he looked like a nerd.
- Nerdy Inhaler: On the season nine episode "Das Bus," Bart takes Milhouse's inhaler (which he needs to live) and uses it as a snorkel. He doesn't come back with it, nor does Milhouse suffer a fatal asthma attack from it.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Bart's Manly Man.
- Straw Loser: Milhouse makes his friend Bart (and pretty much everyone else) look better. Despite looking like a nerd, he doesn't even have the typical intelligence/book-smart traits, he's just a lame and dorky Butt Monkey.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Lampshaded in an episode where Bart gives Milhouse a haircut after getting epoxy stuck in his hair — and ends up making Milhouse look like his loser father, Kirk, and using the likeness to do adult activities.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ugly Guy to Lisa's Hot Wife in the future episodes.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Everyone in his family has blue hair.
Jimbo Jones, Dolph Starbeam, and Kearney Zzyzwicz
- Debut: "The Telltale Head"
- Ambiguously Jewish: Dolph goes to Hebrew school and yelled at his friends for missing out on his bar mitzvah.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: Dolph Starbeam.
- Barbaric Bully: All three of them. They were even hired to be camp counselors at Kamp Krusty (as run by heartless accountant, Mr. Black)
- No Last Name Given: Kearney's and Dolph's last names weren't revealed until the season 18 episode "24 Minutes." And, for those struggling, Kearney's last name is pronounced "jeez-WICH," implying that he may be Polish.
- Odd Friendship: Kearney and Homer, though Kearney only considers Homer an associate and it's not so much a "friendship" as it is "Kearney uses Homer to buy beer (as seen in "The Springfield Connection"note and "The Last Tap Dance in Springfieldnote ), so Homer can get busted on buying tobacco and alcohol for minors."
- Older Than They Look: Kearney. Despite looking high school-aged and being held back in elementary school, he's actually somewhere between 20 and 39 (if you ignore the show's many continuity snarls). He's the only Springfield Elementary student who was around to see the Watergate scandal and the 1976 Bicentennial happen, he shaves, he has custody of a child from a divorce (who also may be older than he looks, since "She of Little Faith" had Kearney refer to his son as "a teenager"), has a Hyundai (yet rides the school bus with his kid on the rare occurences that he does go to school), has been in an actual prison (though "Lisa the Skeptic" and "Marge Be Not Proud" had Kearney in a juvenile hall), is old enough to smoke tobacco products and drink in a bar (yet needs fake IDs or Homer's help to get beer and cigarettes from either a liquor store or the Kwik-E-Mart), votes in U.S. elections, and pays taxes (despite heavy clues that he doesn't have a job. He might get child support from his kid).
- Paper Tiger: Jimbo. Despite picking on kids, he cowers in the face of real threats. When Bart sent Moe after Jimbo, the bully tearfully begged for mercy.
- Would Hurt a Child: Kearney has no probably bullying and beating up kids despite being a father. However, he does try to be a good dad to his kid, despite not having a job and still being in elementary school.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: They were helpless on dealing with Francine on the grounds that Francine is a girl like her victim, Lisa. They admits they have a weakness that includes falling in love cause on it.
- Younger Than They Look: Dolph. Dolph looks about 13 or 14, but is said to be in the sixth grade (which would make him between eleven and twelve). Whether or not this is because Dolph got left back is unknown.
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
Richard and Lewis Clark
- Debut: "Bart the Genius" (Richard), "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (Lewis)
- Demoted to Extra: Early on, they regularly hung out with Bart and Milhouse. Over the first few seasons, they faded to the background. They're frequently seen, but get so little dialogue that they don't even have assigned voice actors.
- Out of Focus: Lampshaded in "Das Bus," where Bart confuses one of them with Wendell.
- Those Two Guys: Richard and Lewis are often always seen together.
- Token Minority: Lewis is the only black male student in the school.
- Debut: "Treehouse of Horror IV", "Lisa's Rival" (canonical)
- Debut: "The Telltale Head"
- All Love Is Unrequited: Janey may have had a crush on Milhouse who has a crush on Lisa.
- All There in the Manual: According to The Lisa Book, Janey is considered to be one of the most popular girls in second grade in a poll that she conducted herself. She is very fashion-conscious, being particularly wary of clothes that look Canadian.
- Black Best Friend: Started out as this to Lisa.
- Pink Means Feminine: Wears pink clothes.
- Token Minority: The only black female student in the school.
- With Friends Like These...: While Janey is the only friend Lisa has (if any at all), she is basically this in a nutshell. She is often seen hanging out with Lisa, but at other times she teases her along with the other children for her misfortunes or idealistic views.
Kyle & The Superfriends
- Debut: "Krusty Gets Busted" (Data), "Bart's Comet" (the rest of the Superfriends)
- In Universe Nickname: The students of Springfield Elementary refer to Kyle as "Database".
- It's pretty much implied that all the members go by nicknames. Report Card's real name for example is Booker T. Report.
- The Leader: Kyle is this for the Superfriends.
- Nerd Glasses: Kyle wears a pair of red glasses.
First Church of Springfield
Reverend Timothy Lovejoy
- Debut: "The Telltale Head"
- Badass Preacher: Has saved Homer's life on at least one occasion, as well as Flanders' in another occasion.
- Butt Monkey: His trains are always getting destroyed.
- Catch Phrase: "Damn Flanders..."
- Christianity Is Catholic: Averted. Although he wears a clerical collar, the church the Simpsons belong to is a weird pastiche of Protestantismnote , Lutheran, and Presbyterian, specifically, the Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism. In fact, a lot of episodes show that Reverend Lovejoy thinks Catholicism is a pagan religion ("Homer Simpson in: 'Kidney Trouble'" had Reverend Lovejoy sarcastically reply, "Why don't you ask me to do a voodoo dance?" after Marge asks Reverend Lovejoy to give Grampa his last rites, which is common in Catholicism). In fact, he does get into a nasty brawl with an Irish Priest after the two quarrel about the subject of Catholic vs. Protestant practices.
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: His daughter doesn't listen to his teaching .
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: For some reason, he still carries on with his job, despite his passion for Christianity and preaching being slowly eroded through the years by Ned Flanders' overbearing ways.
- Hiding Behind Religion: He does have faith but most of his actions is for money and influence, he admits at one point the fundraising for a higher bell tower is simply compensating on his part.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: After Ned's constant whining got to him, he just stopped caring (of course, by then, it was the 1980s, and no one really noticed).
- Let's Get Dangerous: His description of his fight with the baboons at the zoo.And that's when I got mad.
- Odd Friendship: With Rabbi Krustofsky of all people, and they even did a public radio show every Sunday night.
- Parental Neglect: Apparently the reason why Jessica Lovejoy was not a good girl.
- Preacher Man: It's his job.
- Rail Enthusiast: His off-job hobby is model trains, though he rarely gets a chance to enjoy them.
- Debut: "Life on the Fast Lane"
Police And Government
Chief Clancy Wiggum
"I'd rather let a thousand guilty men go free than chase after them."Chief of Springfield Police Department, Chief Wiggum is portrayed as lazy, gluttonous, out of shape, incompetent (if not mildly corrupt) and dim-witted. Voiced by Hank Azaria.
Debut: "Homer's Odyssey"
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: Parodied. He's known to misuse his gun in ways that would surely get him killed. Whenever it does go off, it just barely misses him, which doesn't deter Wiggum in the slightest.
- Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: By himself, if he gets lucky or motivated enough to catch you he can be bribed anyway.
- Bait and Switch: When Marge says she wants to become a cop, Wiggum and the rest of the station begin laugh hysterically for several moments... before he gladly welcomes her aboard. When she resigns, they again start laughing, before saying that she'll be missed.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: The episode "Pranksta Rap" reveals that if he's motivated enough, he can make some great police work.
- Catch Phrase: Played with in "Behind the Laughter", in which he claims to have one.Wiggum: N'yeah! Wah! Wah-wah-wah! No, I lost it.
- Dirty Cop: He accepts (and often expects) bribes.
- Doting Parent: His saving grace is his interactions with Ralph: Clancy is very encouraging of his son, and they have a very close and healthy relationship. Arguably, they're the most well-adjusted parental relationship on the show.
- Fat Bastard: Apathetic, self-interested, and more than willing to abuse his authority for his own gain. He does love his son though.
- Fat Idiot: He is one of the fattest character and one of the dumbest.
- Fat Slob: Big eater and out of shape.
- Flanderization: Was not such as incompetent in the first season. Wasn't really present either.
- Genre Savvy: Is the Trope Namer for the Retirony trope, telling his financial advisor in the Season 12 episode "Homer Vs. Dignity" that he's not going to save his money for the future because, like all cops on TV shows and movies, he'll be killed in the line of duty days before he retires. … Which is actually a Running Gag regarding the Springfield Police Department's equipment.
- Hidden Depths: Actually managed to outwit the FBI and Mr Burns. And while he is a completely inept and corrupt cop, he does it to provide for his family.
- Inspector Javert: Sometimes.
- Inspector Lestrade: When Bart or Lisa play Amateur Sleuth.
- I Owe You My Life: In "Mother Simpson," flashbacks reveal Wiggum had asthma, but Mona and her group's releasing Burns' germs cured him—allowing him to join the police academy. Years later, he repaid the favor by tipping Homer off about the authorities coming for Mona.
- Juggling Loaded Guns: Has a frequent tendancy to do this.(on Homer) "Well, if it isn't that stupid cop from TV." (proceeds to scratch his ear with the barrel of his gun) "Oh yeah, that got it."
- Nobody's That Dumb: He tends to have these types of moments.
Chief Wiggum: You really thought you could fool me with that Burns and Smithers getup. I mean, I'm not the sharpest pencil in the pencil thing, but I'm least as smart as a cat. Right, Lou?
- In season 23 "At Long Last Leave", after the Simpsons were banished from Springfield, Homer and Marge sneak back into Springfield under the disguise of Mr. Burns and Smithers. When Chief Wiggums first spots them, it appears that he fell for it but it's later revealed that he had seen through their disguises and only pretended to be fooled in order to have time to rally the people to arrest Homer and Marge.
Lou: Uh, what breed, Chief? I mean, I saw an Abyssinian once who could change channels.
Chief Wiggum: Eh, that is pretty smart.
- Police Are Useless: He has a few competent moments, but these are far and between. When Homer briefly replaces him as Police Chief and decides to quit, Homer takes off his badge and says he'll offer it to the next person he sees, which turns out to be Wiggum. He's amused because this was actually how he first got the job.
- Suspect Is Hatless: He provides the Trope Namer in "Homer's Triple Bypass".
- Stripper/Cop Confusion: Went along with it for the money.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Sometimes, when played sympathetically.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Earlier in the show, he had black hair. Became blue as the show evolved in later seasons.
- Debut: "There's No Disgrace Like Home"
- Catch Phrase: "Uh, Chief?"
- Only One Name:Guy: Now what are your last names?Lou: We don't have them. We're like Cher.
- Only Sane Man: Zigzagged. He is sometimes portrayed as more competent than Wiggum, but he is also capable of being corrupt.
- Salt and Pepper: The Pepper to Wiggum's and Eddie's Salt.
- Those Two Guys: With his partner, Eddie, though Eddie hardly ever speaks and it's Lou that gets the bulk of the characterization.
Mayor Joe Quimby
Joseph Fitzgerald O'Malley Fitzpatrick O'Donnell the Edge "Diamond Joe" Quimby
- Debut: "The Call of the Simpsons"
- American Accents: Joe Quimby and his family speak in a broad Boston (Kennedy-esque) accent, humorously picked up on by Jon Stewart whenever he's discussing the Kennedys.
- Catch Phrase: "Vote Quimby!"
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Despite his ways, he does have his limits like having a woman thrown in jail for her nervous breakdown note , and holding the town hostage for monetary reasons note .
- Though a huge womanizer, he was horrified at the idea of sleeping with his niece.
- Fat Idiot
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Diamond Joe would have you know that though he is a tax-cheat, a wife-swapper, and a pot-smoker (and grower, since he has a marijuana plant in his office closet that he tends to every day), he is no longer illiterate.
- Kavorka Man: He is the mayor what he looks like doesn't matter much
- Mayor Pain: Trope Namer for Type B. An outright corrupt, opportunistic, embarrassing, sleazy politician who couldn't care less for Springfield.
- Noble Demon: He blatantly violated the law by getting Marge released without charges after she blocked a bridge with her car, and did it for purely selfish reasons, but after everything Marge went through she arguably didn't deserve to go to jail.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Quimby clan displays many of the hallmarks of the seamier sides of the Kennedys, although Diamond Joe in some stories also resembles other Democratic politicians, most notably former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis in "Sideshow Bob Roberts"note . Mrs. Quimby dresses like Jacqueline Kennedy.
- Overly Long Name: Joseph Fitzgerald O'Malley Fitzpatrick O'Donnell the Edge "Diamond Joe" Quimby
- Pet the Dog: He was willing to sacrifice television if it meant stopping Sideshow Bob from detonating a nuke.
- Really Gets Around: Some are escorts other are mistresses.
- Sleazy Politician: In fact, he provides the image page of this trope. He has constant extra-marital affairs, takes bribes, dodges taxes and embezzles city funds. During an outbreak of the flu, he flees to a Caribbean island and mocks the beach up as his office saying that he won't leave the city and also goes on a "fact finding mission" to Aruba, where he determines that a supertrain directly connecting it with Springfield is unfeasible.
- A darker side of this is revealed in "Krusty Gets Kancelled" when he openly admits to having had his political opponents killed and dumped in the Springfield harbor.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: When Marge suffered a nervous breakdown and blocks traffic on a bridge, she was arrested. Mayor Quimby immediately pulled some strings to get her released without charges, claiming that if she went to jail, he could kiss the "chick vote" goodbye.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When his nephew Freddy was Wrongly Accused of beating a French waiter half to death, Mayor Quimby began bribing witnesses to testify on Freddy's behalf. It didn't work, however, because of Freddy's Hair-Trigger Temper.
- The Stoner: Smokes pot, and even grows several plants in his office.
- Strawman Political: As the series' most prominent recurring Democratic politician, he serves as the primary target for Take Thats aimed at Democrats and liberals.
- Verbal Tic: He always begins his sentences with "Er um uh". Even his offspring has this verbal tic (see below). Lampshaded when Homer plans to use Bart to take advantage of the situation, Bart uses this verbal tic to trick Quimby into thinking he's his son.
- Your Cheating Heart: Has a wife, but has had several gazillion different mistresses throughout the series (one of which is a squawky-voiced beauty queen for whom he bought an opera house, like Charles Foster Kane did for his mistress, whose singing voice was good, but not good enough for opera).