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Elementary School Faculty
Principal W. Seymour Skinner a.k.a. Armin Tamzarian
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.
- Accidental Innuendo: In-universe, a semi-recurring gag is for Skinner to make particularly egregious innuendoes with complete seriousness and sincerity."Well, if by 'wank' you mean 'educational fun', then stand back, it's wanking time!""You leave tomorrow for our state-wide Model UN, so this is our last chance to bone up. And bone we will!"
- Alliterative Name: Seymour Skinner.
- Ambiguously Bi: On one occasion it is implied that he made a pass at his commanding officer during his service in 'Nam.
- The Artifact: Principal Skinner being heavily established as a veteran of The Vietnam War. In the 80s and 90s, most Vietnam War veterans were middle-aged Baby Boomers, so a stern school principal having this backstory would make perfect sense. However, today, most Vietnam war veterans are retired and/or in their 60s and 70s, so a man Skinner's age would likely have been a small child during the war, or not even born yet.
- Badass Baritone: His voice is noticeably quite deep, and he's a Vietnam veteran.
- Basement-Dweller: He's in his 40s, lives with his mother, and lets her control his life.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Edna until she broke up with him, married Flanders and pretty much forgot about Seymour.
- The Bore: He's an incredible buzz-kill on his own (witness him boring the living hell out of the Springfield Police when he's trying to recall where he was when Mr. Burns got shot), but when it comes to dealing with kids (and specially Bart) he can get militant about it. To give some examples:
- On "Bart Gets Famous", he brings all of the kids in Springfield Elementary on a tour of a box factory (and Krabappel explicitly says that this is not the first time he's done this, or maybe that this is the only thing he can think of doing). The only other person that shows interest in being there is Martin Prince.
- In the second part of "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" after interrogating Tito Puente (who made a pretty cool mambo Musical Sequence), Wiggum hopes that the remaining suspects are as cool. Gilligan Cut to Skinner boring the Springfield Policemen to tears and borderline sleep by hemming and hawing for Heaven only knows how long as he tries to recall what happened on that day.
- In "Skinner's Sense of Snow", all of the drama of the episode occurs because Skinner absolutely refuses to close down Springfield Elementary during a day of heavy snow, even if that meant the students nearly get killed on the bus ride through the extremely slippery roads and regardless of the fact that there were no teachers at all to provide lessons (because they used the day to party). Because there were no teachers, the only thing Skinner can think of doing is putting on an utterly, despairingly horribly bad Christmas film (and he's the only one who enjoys it), and the school ends up snowed in and the students will miss Christmas as a result (and Skinner organizes things so they can "survive" the event, which means going full-blown Drill Sergeant Nasty and not letting anyone try to find a way out).
- "The Principal and the Pauper" shows that Skinner likes to have his silhouette drawn with his mother on a regular basis. It's said in another episode that he enjoys the school's hearing tests.
- Boss's Unfavorite Employee: Chalmers is far harsher on him than just about anybody else. For the most part, the Superintendent's willing to put up with a lot (though he does have his limits, like physically abusing students or getting blackout drunk on the job), but he's shown to have very little patience for Skinner and his antics. In a couple of episodes it's even strongly implied that Chalmers has no problem whatsoever with Skinner getting killed by whatever mess he's in right now.
- Butt-Monkey: A pathetic mama's boy who is usually easily outsmarted by Bart.
- Characterization Marches On: In the early seasons, he was far more competent and authoritative, and his main shtick was a tendency to mispronounce long words (including his own surname), have flashbacks about his days as a Vietnam War soldier and demonstrate his Green Beret skills, such as taking out a group of lawyers from The Disney Corporation who threatened to sue Skinner over using "The Happiest Place on Earth" for the school carnival. The writers kept the 'Nam flashbacks (though those got phased out as well as time went on), but ditched his penchant for mispronouncing long words, and eventually made him a loser who always fell for Bart's tricks.
- Clueless Boss: Is frequently portrayed this way. An example of this occurs in "New Kid on The Block" where Jimbo is lifting Bart's head inside a toilet bowl, while Skinner just waits outside and buys Jimbo's incredibly paper-thin excuse.
- The Comically Serious: Much of Skinner's humor comes from his deep authoritative voice, which makes everything he says, no matter how silly, sound like a command.Reporter: Principal Skinner, you've been referred to as "the funny one". Is that reputation justified?
Skinner: (seriously) Yes. Yes, it is. (crowd laughs)
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: It's hard to believe that a momma's boy like him trained as a Green Beret, taking out Disney's lawyers 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. In several episodes he schemes to get rid of things like the music program and razes the school's pool and gym, and once tried to enforce the use of uniforms for various reasons such as personal trauma or thinking he can cut budget corners that way or trying to increase discipline, but for the most part (especially comparstively recently) he does it just because he wants to kill any kind of joy the kids could have from coming to school... just because.
- 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.
- Extreme Doormat: He's obsessed with being the "perfect son" for his mother Agnes and not capable of saying NO to her. One episode even had him win an award for being the biggest doormat in Springfield and was represented in said scene with a doormat with a picture of his face on it.
- Flanderization: Early appearances had him mainly as a reasonably competent, no-nonsense principal who was a Vietnam veteran and had an overbearing mother. He even managed to be pretty badass in a few episodes ("The Boy Who Knew Too Much" is probably one of the few times in the show where Bart is actually pants-wettingly afraid of his wrath). After a few seasons, he became a pathological mama's boy (who was even able to once convince Springfield that he was a virgin in his 40's, though this was a lie to deflect from accusations of improper conduct with Edna Krabappel) and merely embarrassed himself whenever he tried to assert authority over Bart or any other students, and pursued absurd schemes to kill any possible joy the kids could have at school just because.
- Former Teen Rebel: Was a worse prankster than Bart in his youth.
- Friendly Enemy: In spite of being at each other's throats, Bart and Skinner have cared for, helped, and supported their foe so many times in each other's darkest hour that they are best friends in all but name.
- Hope Crusher: He believes the children of Springfield have no future and has no problem bringing down their spirits for the sake of maintaining discipline and moulding them for a future life of mediocrity and conformism.
- Jerkass Ball: Though he is a nice enough guy, he's also very capable of being a jerk.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: In "Special Edna" (Season 14, ep. 7), after Skinner cancelled a movie date with Ms. Krabappel to spend time with his mother, Bart nominates Edna Krabappel for a "Teacher of the Year" award. Ms. K and the Simpsons go to Orlando and attend the fictitious EFCOT theme park, a parody of EPCOT. Skinner, worried that Edna might leave him and the school behind, blackmails Bart into Obfuscating Stupidity against his will; when Bart is asked what Ms. Krabappel can teach the world, he pretends to be illiterate, until Skinner confesses that Bart's Obfuscating Stupidity was his idea, and in spite of Skinner costing her the award, she accepts his marriage proposal. But in "My Big Fat Geek Wedding" Skinner gets cold feet before the wedding and Ms. Krabappel leaves him stranded at the altar and starts dating Comic Book Guy, ultimately rejecting Comic Book Guy's and Skinner's proposals by the episode's end.
- Late to the Punchline: He's often slow to pick up on jokes, particularly dirty Double Entendre, if he even picks up on them at all.
- Lawful Pushover: He has allowed a lot of awful, flat-out atrocious things to affect his students either because the school laws allow it, the PTA will get enraged if he tries to put his foot down, he thinks it still hasn't gotten too far out of hand, or there's just not enough budget to fix it (and he may have even allowed it because it means more money for the school). Depending on the Writer, it's him being either an Extreme Doormat, a Well-Intentioned Extremist, or just 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.
- Manchild: Zig-zagged. Even though Skinner lives with his mother and is treated like a child by her, he still behaves in a mature manner as a 40-year-old school principal.
- Meaningful Name: Shares a surname with B.F. Skinner, a scientist who didn't believe in free will and invented the field of operant conditioning to educate people. Apt, for a fairly stern letter-of-the-law type who runs a school.
- 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!
- 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. He was once shot in the back during a Bob Hope special while trying to get one of his squadmates to put some pants on.
- Never My Fault: In "Pokey Mom", he reprimands Jack Crowley for the bold art he made for the mural, basically saying it is kid unfriendly, and forces him to make a 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: 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 (in one of the few times he's been flat-out afraid of Skinner), gives us the Buffy Speak Trope Namer line. On many other episodes, it is played for dark comedy or drama — he is perfectly willing and able to risk the students' lives rather than allow them any kind of slacking off.
- 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. [Darkly] I got back at him, though him and that little boy of his.
- Odd Friendship: With Bart during "Sweet Skinner's Badasssss Song".
- Permanent Placeholder: In-Universe. He had pretty much taken over Bart's class since Mrs. Krabappel's death. There had been attempts to introduce an actual replacement teacher, but until Ned Flanders came along, none of them had stuck.
- Obsessed with Perfect Attendance: "Skinner's Sense of Snow" reveals that Principal Skinner will keep school open under any circumstances, even a waist-high snow day. He proudly calls his attendance streak "Cal Ripken-like" and when the students get snowed in the school, admits he was going to spend his winter break there anyway.
- Phrase Catcher:Chalmers: SKINN-ER!!!
Skinner: S-Superintendent Chalmers!
Agnes Skinner: Seymour!
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Tries his absolute damnedest to be one of these to Superintendent Chalmers. The joke then becomes that Skinner does incredibly stupid things because he thinks they will please Chalmers, but they piss him off instead (examples include instantly explaining who is "Who" in their attempt at telling a Who's on First? joke in "Screaming Yellow Honkers", and trying to pass off Krusty Burgers as "Steamed Hams" because he doesn't wants Chalmers to know he screwed up his attempt at making lunch).
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Depending on the Writer, he can also 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 Vietnam vet, even though by now, he should be as old as Grampa was at the start of the show!
- Retcon: His real identity as Armin Tanzarian is never brought up again, and 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) and puts the skills to good use taking out a lawyer and his two goons.Skinner: Copyright expired.
- 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.
- Skewed Priorities: In the Steamed Hams sketch in 22 Short Films About Springfield, he apparently considers it more important to make sure that Chalmers doesn't suspect anything about him than to worry about his house being on fire.
- Spock Speak: Skinner has an overly precise, formal, and clinical way of speaking; he never uses a short, simple word when a longer one is available, and he tends to say such lines in a stiff, stilted manner. As examples, he claimed that newspapers contain "much-needed roughage and essential inks," responded to being pantsed by announcing that his "trousers have descended," and hoped that a visiting Superintendent Chalmers is "prepared for an unforgettable luncheon." As this blog post points out, Skinner's way of speaking is simultaneously intelligent, because it uses long, intellectual-sounding words, and stupid because people don't really talk like that.
- 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, he says "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. He didn't knew there was a war going on, though, otherwise he would have taken the third option of apologizing to the woman he snatched the purse from and gotten away scot-free.
- Unknown Rival: To Flanders in regards to their attraction to Edna. Chalmers, though, snarks that it's like a man (Flanders) fighting a can of dog food (Skinner).
- 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.
- Worthy Opponent: Bart clearly respects Skinner for his integrity and devotion to his school's children, while Skinner for his part is warmly reminded of his happy and reckless boyhood in Bart. They are enemies on principal, but are best friends in all but name.
Edna Krabappel, now Flanders
- Debut: "Bart the Genius"Final Episode: "The Man Who Grew Too Much"
The emotionally scarred, bitterly sarcastic teacher unfortunate enough to teach the very class that Bart Simpson attends. The two are fierce enemies, but their relationship is not totally hostile, and Bart has tried to help her on a few occasions. She even received an award and recognition amongst the education circles when Bart revealed he is not merely some urban myth and that Mrs. Krabappel has survived being his teacher. Voiced by the late Marcia Wallace.
- 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 broke up with him, married Flanders, and pretty much forgot about Seymour.
- Brain Bleach: She inspires this with Bart when her talent show act is a striptease: singing "Fever" while dressed in nothing but inflated balloons, popping each one during the song. The audience is also shocked by her act with 1 or 2 audience members enjoying it.
- 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.
- Catchphrase: "Ha!" It's even her epitaph.
- Cool Teacher: She usually has the energy to teach her students, choosing to single out Bart mostly to keep her sanity, but there are times when she makes the effort to connect with him and he tries to do a little better for her sake.
- Dude Magnet: Krabappel appears to be desired by many men, 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!"
- Even the Girls Want Her: Patty Bouvier has a sexual fantasy about her in the episode "Rome-Old and Juli-Eh".
- Flanderization: Her defining traits in the early episodes were that she was fairly promiscuous, yet she was also a lonely, bitter divorcee, and was extremely apathetic and had no passion for her teaching job (though you'd be that way too if your husband left you for "something small and fluffy down a rabbit hole" and you had someone like Bart Simpson as one of your students). After she married Ned, she became nothing more than "Ned Flanders' wife" until her voice actress's death.
- Friendly Enemy: To Bart in few episodes when he goes out of his way to emotionally support and help her in times of hardship. Much like Skinner, Bart only terrorizes her on principle, but clearly loves and respects her.
- Hot for Student: Not as often as one would believe, but it was played with in various ways with Bart. One sad example is in "Bart the Lover", in which 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 date 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, is in "Black-Eyed, Please". As a means to find out why the new teacher Ms. 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 full Sarcasm Mode.Ms. 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, and she became more sarcastic and bitter.
- I Was Quite a Looker: She is considered fairly attractive now, but part of her character is being a burned out divorcee in her thirties wondering where the time has gone. As a result we often see her outside of class trying to act like and wear the clothes she did in college.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She does genuinely care about her students.
- Killed Offscreen: She dies offscreen 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 was once 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. Beneath her jaded exterior, however, she's the only teacher at the school who (sometimes) shows genuine, serious concern for the students' well-being.
- Lady Drunk: "Dinner for one, wine for three "
- Meaningful Name: "Krabappel" (pronounced cra-bappel) 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!
- Lampshaded again in "The Debarted".Donny: Hey Krabappel, your name sounds like "crab apple"! Do you go sour waiting for someone to pick you?
Edna: Mmmm, pretty much.
- 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:
- Mrs. Robinson: In early episodes, she is shown as very sexually aggressive and promiscuous.
- Noodle Incident: It is never explained how Edna exactly died, with the only implications being that Homer seemingly had something to do with it.
- 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 doesn't intend to annoy her on purpose, but those times they get to really talk things out makes it clear they have a lot of respect for each other.
- For tropes related to him, see here.
- Debut: "Brush with Greatness"
The dispassionate teacher of the class that houses both Lisa Simpson and Ralph Wiggum. Voiced by Maggie Roswell (1991-1999, 2002-present); Marcia Mitzman-Gaven (1999-2002).
- The Alcoholic: Once graded her kids' Wind in the Willows tests while drinking flavored liqueurs (Kahlua and Drambuie).
- Apathetic Teacher: She hates her job, seems 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.
- Bullying the Disabled: She hates her job and has given up on Ralph Wiggum, who is either intellectually disabled or has a learning difficulty. She singles him out, insults him, and only gets away with it because Ralph doesn't recognise the abuse and the other students either ignore it or find it funny.
- Deadpan Snarker: Even more so than Edna. Especially with her sarcastic answers to Ralph's stupid questions.Ralph: My worm went in my mouth and then I ate it Can I have another one?
Hoover: No Ralph, there aren't any more... Just try to sleep while the other children are learning.
- Early Installment Character Design Difference: 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.
- Everyone Has Standards: She's an apathetic jerk, but has shown disgust at the idea of hitting a misbehaving child. When Edna slaps Bart upside the head in one episode, Elizabeth expresses her disappointment.
- Flat Character: She's an monotonous Apathetic Teacher with alcohloic tendencies, that's all her character is.
- Foil: To Edna Krabappel; both are dealing with a student who has trouble learning but each has taken a different approach to their problem. Even though Bart is infamous for his behaviour towards learning, Edna still tries and does see something in him. Miss Hoover, however, has completely given up on Ralph Wiggum and insults him whenever he opens his mouth.
- Jerkass: Probably the biggest one in the school, especially towards 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.
- Sadist Teacher: She frequently mocks Ralph Wiggum and even sent him home because she stopped trying with him. The only reason she still has her job is that Ralph never realises her hatred for him and his parents never pay attention.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her early character models had this until she was made a brunette.
Cantankerous Scottish groundskeeper of Springfield Elementary. Despite being quite grumpy and short-tempered, he does seem to care the most about the children among the Springfield Elementary School staff. Voiced by Dan Castellaneta.
- Almighty Janitor: Does just about any of the menial labor work at the elementary school, but also regularly assigned to do near impossible tasks well outside his job description. When put on assignment, nothing can get in his way.
- Ascended Extra: Intended 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, completely aware that the microphone was on and not caring.
- Badass Beard: His red beard is a prominent feature and he can wrestle wolves into submission.
- Bald of Awesome: Well, balding, technically, but he's still shown to be quite the badass at times.
- Big Damn Heroes: Subverted in "Treehouse of Horror V", where he appears in all snippets to try and save the day... only to get axed in the back every single time.
- 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 consoles it with whiskey. As he does, he mentions he's been fighting wolves since he was young.
- 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 single Scottish person does it!")
- Culture Equals Costume: Frequently seen in a kilt and plaid hat.
- A Day in the Limelight: The episode "My Fair Laddy", in which Lisa trains 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" has people passing out and reacting with disgust when his kilt came off. It may be more possible that no one was really expecting to be blasted in the face with a very good look at his "Scottish heritage" like that.
- Fiery Redhead: Red hair, red beard, Hair-Trigger Temper.
- 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 has defeated the wolf and begun 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!
- He Cleans Up Nicely: In his unrecognizable cleaned-up state in "My Fair Laddy" he attains female admirers, including Mrs. Krabappel and Agnes Skinner.
- Heroic Build: Under his unassuming overalls and shirt are hidden the muscles of a bodybuilder.Willie: Lunchlady Doris, have ya got any grease?
Doris: Yes. Yes we do.
Willie: (Rips clothes) THEN GREASE ME UP, WOMAN!
Doris: ... Okey dokey.
- Hidden Depths: According to "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" he managed to make millions of dollars in software.
- Iconic Sequel Character: One of the supporting characters who didn't appear in the first season, as he's introduced in season 2.
- 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.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: As a sterrreotypical scotsman with an exaggerrrated accent, he rrreally knows how to rrroll the rrr.
- 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.
- Worthless Foreign Degree: When he first came to the United States, he had a doctorate, but the immigration board immediately made him a school groundskeeper despite this.
- Debut: "Whacking Day"
Principal Skinner's superior on the Board of Education, and thusly the man who has to show up at Springfield Elementary to investigate the goings-on there. Voiced by Hank Azaria.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts", where Chalmers becomes a teacher so he can make Bart excited about learning.
- Catchphrase: "SKIN-NER!" In later seasons, he shouts it in the same way any time he says "Skinner," even when not addressing Principal Skinner; he even shouts similarly sounding words like "dinner."
- Establishing Character Moment: From his first scene in "Whacking Day" he greets Skinner in a weary voice, and tries to get him to take the hint that he doesn't like toadying, which Skinner ignores. It is made apparent this is just the same as many visits beforehand.
- Foil: He has been described by writer Bill Oakley as a foil to Frank Grimes of all people - Chalmers knows everyone in Springfield is crazy, but he's developed a system where he gets by via not asking too many questions, hence why he indulges Skinner's lies. Whereas Frank Grimes simply wouldn't let it go and is driven insane (which results in his death) as a result.
- Freudian Excuse: The reason for his attitude towards Skinner is that his father put him in a human-size "SKINNER box" as he was interested by the eponymous psychologist's research.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much for Chalmers to get riled up.
- Hidden Depths:
Chalmers: (ashamed) This used to be just a little part of me.
- "How the Test was Won" shows Chalmers to be a pretty good dancer.
- It's revealed in "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words" that Chalmers, like Lisa in that episode, is a huge nerd for crossword puzzles.
- It's revealed in "To Surveil with Love" that Chalmers crossdresses.
- Hollywood Atheist: He has a very dim view of religion, as shown when Ned Flanders briefly becomes the principal.Chalmers: A prayer in a public school! God has no place within these walls just like facts have no place within organized religion!
- Iconic Sequel Character: One of the supporting characters who didn't appear in the first season, as he's introduced in season 4.
- Incoming Ham: "SKINNER!"
- Irrational Hatred: It is something seriously Depending on the Writer, but in various episodes his dislike of Skinner dips straight into this territory, to the point he wouldn't mind seeing Skinner gone or even dead.
- 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.
- Large Ham: He can get pretty hammy, especially when he's steamed. If anything in the school goes wrong when he's around, he'll be barking about it within seconds, usually with some colorful expression."HOLY JUMPING CAESAR'S CATFISH!"
- Multi-Ethnic Name: "The Road to Cincinnati" reveals that "Gary" is short for "Garibaldi."
- No Indoor Voice: SKIN-NNNNNEEEEERRRRRRR!
- 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, but it's also possible he was just entertaining the lie since the writers have noted his tendency is just not to question anything. In various episodes it's also clearly showcased that Springfield Elementary's status as a hard-core Sucky School is because he's every bit as incompetent as everybody else in town and willing to let a lot of bad things slide.
- Odd Friendship: Surprisingly, with Bart Simpson (and Lisa, to a lesser extent.)
- 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 SKIN-NEEER!
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Skinner's Sensitive Guy.
- Straight Man: To Skinner. This dynamic was referenced when they performed a Who's on First? sketch at the teachers' talent show.
- Unfazed Everyman: Bill Oakley's description of Chalmers' attitude towards the insanity of Springfield (Aware it exists, but trying not to think about it too hard) gives him hints of this.
- Debut: "Homer's Odyssey"
Bart and Lisa's bus driver. Although he seems to be an unambitious loser, Bart idolizes him. Voiced by Harry Shearer.
- Accidental Hero: In the bowling episode, Otto inadvertently helps his former team to win by knocking over the claw machine. The resulting vibrations topple enough pins to push the Pin Pals to victory, but Otto is more excited to finally have won the lobster harmonica, which he pulls from the wrecked claw machine.
- The Alcoholic: When introducing himself to an Alcoholics Anonymous group, Otto says "My name is Otto, I love to get blotto!"
- The Baby of the Bunch: Of the Elementary Staff, he seems to be the youngest since he's in his mid to late twenties.
- Berserk Button: Call him a bum? He'll accept that, no problem. Call him a sponge? BIG mistake.
- Big Brother Mentor: Pretty much the only adult that Bart consistently goes to for advice. Unfortunately, his advice isn't always good.
- Captain Crash: Otto frequently crashes the school bus.Otto: I stand on my record. Fifteen crashes and not a single fatality!
- Catchphrase: "All right!"
- Disco Dan: Otto dresses and talks like a perpetual 1980s teenager and has long, curly black hair similar to Slash from Guns N' Roses. He even still wears a portable cassette player on his hip despite the fact that they've been obsolete for decades. He also seems to believe that smoking cannabis is still illegal despite being legalised in 2018.
- Drives Like Crazy: Luckily, nobody gets hurt. As noted above, this is a point of pride for Otto.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: A future episode shows that in another decade or so Otto will not only have sobered up, but built a successful taxi business.
- Flanderization: He went through the same process as Hermes on Futurama. He was indicated to be a pot-smoker through occasional subtle jokes young viewers wouldn't pick up on. The drug jokes got more common and overt over time, and now seem to dominate his character. He went from being a laid-back bus driver the kids thought was cool to being a dangerous low-life who uses any and all illegal drugs. His love of heavy metal music was also Flanderized, with him selfishly cancelling his own wedding after his fiancée states that she dislikes heavy metal.
- Friend to All Children: Unlike most members of staff, Otto gets along with the children under his supervision. Mainly because he's so laid back about the rules on the bus and is the most approachable. Bart even admires him because he isn't as strict as his teachers, Otto also represents how Bart can still accomplish something without education.
- Future Loser: Inverted in an episode showing the future. By the time Bart and Lisa have grown up, Otto has cleaned himself up and started a successful cab company.
- 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 .
- Horrible Housing: He lives in a run-down, completely unfurnished apartment, as he's supposed to be a loser. In "You Only Move Twice", he's amazed that the Simpsons' house has windows.
- 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.
- Nice Guy: Otto is a stoner and a lazy bum in the present but is friendly with the kids and has a Big Brother Instinct towards them. He's genuinely a good guy, and at least tries to be protective of the kids.
- Punny Name: "Otto Mann" sounds like both "Auto Man" and the "Ottoman Empire of World War I fame.
- Runaway Groom: He was once engaged to a girl named Becky, but at the wedding she revealed she couldn't stand heavy metal after he hired a Poison cover band to play at the ceremony. Marge then told him he had to choose between Becky and his music - he chose the latter, leaving Becky at the altar.
- 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". In the Movie, it's implied that Otto spent almost the entire movie stoned out of his head and didn't notice a thing that was going on. Years earlier in "The PTA Disbands", he's shown drinking petrol straight out of a gas tank using a fuel siphon.
The music teacher of Springfield Elementary. Voiced by Harry Shearer.
- Apathetic Teacher: Like any long time teacher.
- Ambiguously Gay: He "carpools" with Smithers among other thing. In season 22's "Flaming Moe", he had a boyfriend, removing any ambiguity.
- 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 where her first scene of the full opening has him kicking her out for playing her saxophone with some passion. One episode even had him driving her into depression by crushing her hopes of ever becoming a professional jazz player (apparently because he was just that sick of her impromptu jazz playing... or just because).
- Meaningful Name: A Largo is a slow tempo.
- Start of Darkness: Not getting into The 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, something that is demonstrated by him vigorously conducting the band to play "Livin' in America" as part of a statewide competition.
The lunchlady of Springfield Elementary. Voiced by Doris Grau (1991-1995) and Tress MacNeille (2006-present).
- The Bus Came Back: She is brought back in season 18's "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer", now voiced by Tress MacNeille.
- Deadpan Snarker: Lisa notes that she's long since lost her passion for her job and she'll react to almost anything with a snarky tone.
- Lethal Chef: Her lunch food for the students isn't always the greatest. She constantly prepares bad food, serving to students near-inedible foodstuff including whole beef hearts, horse testicles, shredded newspaper, and gym mats.Doris: There's very little meat in these gym mats!
- Put on a Bus: After Doris Grau's death, she was dropped from the show, with the sole exception of season 9's "Lisa's Sax", which used archived dialogue for a flashback scene.
- School Nurse: Despite primarily being the lunch lady, she also doubles as the school's nurse in order to draw two wages.
- The Stoic: It takes a lot to snap her out of her usual apathy.
The psychologist for Springfield Elementary's school district. Voiced by Harry Shearer.
- Demoted to Extra: He's rarely appeared since Season 3.
- Meaningful Name: Named as such because he's always prying into things.
- Only Sane Employee: The only educator in Springfield who shows some semblance of competence. Then again, he also suggested a young Bart be less of an individual and more of a faceless slug.
- Vocal Evolution: Harry Shearer voiced Pryor in a rather high-pitched nasal tone closer to his Mr Burns voice in his first couple of appearances. In "Lisa's Sax" he talks in a baritone almost identical to his voice for Dr. Hibbert.
Elementary School Students
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
Bart's closest friend, who acquires a bit of protection from his nerdy nature by being so close to the class clown and mayhem expert. Has a very deep unrequited crush on Lisa. Voiced by Pamela Hayden.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Milhouse has a one-sided relationship with Lisa that varies on obsession; sometimes he's open about his feelings for her and at one point he was found sleeping on her bedroom floor, other times he's trying to keep it a secret despite being terrible at it. Milhouse is also 2 years older than Lisa, which can be a bit weird in certain circumstances.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Save for Bart (sometimes), Milhouse is disliked or ignored by virtually everyone.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!
- He doesn't even hold himself in high regard, frequently expressing sentiments of self-loathing.Milhouse: I am not a nerd, Bart. Nerds are smart.
- He doesn't even hold himself in high regard, frequently expressing sentiments of self-loathing.
- 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". However, he was also in love with Samantha Stankey until she transferred to a convent school. Plus he has a crush on Lisa.
- Badass Boast: When he comes out the victor, he says "The house always wins". However, he's only ever said this twice. Once in "The Bart Wants What It Wants" and in "Treehouse Of Horror XXVI".
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Nelson's Veronica for Lisa's Archie.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: One of the few characters on the show to have them, he and his family sport pairs of big, blue ones.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: According to Lisa in "Lisa's Date with Density", Milhouse likes Vaseline on his toast.
- Bully Magnet: Often bullied by Nelson and the Gang of Bullies, as he is one of their favorite targets.
- 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
- Characterization Marches On:
- He wasn't a geek or a Butt-Monkey in the early seasons. He was Bart's Generic Guy best friend who happened to wear glasses and had no quirks whatsoever.
- Initially Milhouse shared Bart's antipathy towards Lisa, an example of this can be seen in "Summer of 4 Ft. 2". The first time he was ever mentioned to have any interest in her was in "Lisa's Wedding" which took place in a possible future. In later seasons, kid Milhouse started showing interest in Lisa too.
- 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.
- Even disregarding this event, Milhouse won the affection of at least three attractive girls at differing moments in his life: Angelica, Samantha, and Taffy. And in "Lisa's Date with Density", it's implied that Janey may have a crush on him (although it was just part of a quick gag).
- Crossdressing Voices: Both the original English version and many foreign dubs.
- The Corrupter: Milhouse is shown to be this in "Much Apu About Something". After Bart becomes a much better behaved child, Milhouse tries to encourage him to send Willy off of a cliff.
- Dirty Coward: On his good days or bad days, Milhouse tends to run when things start to simply smell bad.
- The Dog Bites Back: He's regularly taken advantage of by Bart. When he finally stands up to Bart and breaks off the friendship with him, Bart thinks Milhouse is just acting out until he sees that he's quite serious.
- Dogged Nice Guy: He's flirted with Lisa too many times to count and even openly declared his love for her a few times, only for her to shut him down almost every time. Doesn't stop him from trying again and again...
- Embarrassing Damp Sheets: He ran a segment on Kidz Newz showing how to dispose of a soiled mattress and claims his old friends in Capital City stopped liking him after a burglar broke in and wet his bed during a sleepover.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten.
- Extreme Doormat: He tends to be the most submissive in his friendship with Bart, who often takes advantage of him.
- Fair Weather Friend: Both he and Bart regularly act as such to each other, as despite their bond, they will regularly bully or sell out the other to look good or even just for fun.
- Flanderization: He started out as Bart's slightly awkward, smarter-than-average but gray and unpopular best friend. His unpopularity and bad luck were exaggerated until he became the default Butt-Monkey and Straw Loser of Springfield's elementary. His personality changed later into making him extremely puny and childish in order to make him even more pathetic. His romantic interest in Lisa was not even brought up until "Lisa's Wedding" and rarely showed up until Mike Scully's time as a showrunner, and by the time Al Jean took over, his sole purpose in life became trying to impress her. The writers apparently didn't know what to do with him for a while, because he went through a crazy phase and a sissy phase before he became the Lisa-obsessed dork he is today.
- Future Badass: The closest he ever gets to this is some episodes showing him becoming a bodybuilder as a teenager, but he's still as much of a Butt-Monkey as ever.
- Future Loser: Besides showing the fact that he will marry Lisa and have a daughter (that behaves like Bart but secretly admires both of them), things are weird. The usual future episodes with an arc of sorts has him be quite a good bodybuilder during the end of high school. After that, though, he falls quickly from grace and becomes an obese man who is probably worse than his father. Then he becomes a zombie, which has the indirect result of making Lisa fall for him (because as a zombie he is much less of a hassle and is actually more productive than when he was healthy, ironically).
- Gag Nose: He has a bulbous nose about the size of a tennis ball. However, besides Homer once calling him a "four-eyed weiner with a big nose", it hasn't really ever been the source of a joke.
- Gilded Cage: He's overprotected by his mother to the point that he's oversensitive. For example, when Luann hid the death of Nemo's mother and he discovered her death, he became traumatized and hid under the couch, which resulted in the firemen having to be called to pry him out.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: His friendship with Bart definitely qualifies as this.
- Henpecked Husband: To Lisa in some future episodes.
- Hidden Depths: Turns out that he's fluent in Italian. How he learned is more proof of him being a Butt-Monkey, though: his Italian grandma constantly chased him around to whoop him with a branch because any use of English phrases pissed her off.
- 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, except for the hypothetical future episodes where he and Lisa do end up getting together.
- Jerkass Ball: Plenty of times he has ruined things for other people, especially other children, either unintentionally or out of spite and jealousy.
- A rather infamous example is from "Das Bus" where his actions not only almost get all the schoolchildren killed, but even as Bart and Lisa are trying to help him escape, he hinders their efforts as well.
- He's also ruined happiness for both of them on separate occasions, such as in the episode The Good, The Sad, And The Drugly, when Bart had a girlfriend that he genuinely loved and because he had previously set him up earlier in the episode, he told her who he really was and she broke up with him.
- Another time with Lisa, in the episode Little Girl In The Big Ten, when she was able to fool some college girls into thinking she was one of them and was happy that she found people that accepted her, he ruins her happiness by telling the students she is only eight, leading them to abandon her, out of pure jealousy and selfishness.
- Then in "The Color Yellow", he decides to further humiliate Lisa by telling her (in front of the whole school auditorium during her presentation) that her ancestor - a girl who tried to help a black man from being put in slavery - failed to keep the man safe in the end after doing her extensive research of her family tree. Just because she was wrong.
- Kiddie Kid: Milhouse is shown to enjoy shows and toys that are aimed at the toddler demographic, and acts way younger than most 10-year-olds in and out of universe.
- Like Father, Like Son: Much like his father Kirk, Milhouse is a Butt-Monkey and Future Loser that everyone else looks down on, and the universe enjoys tormenting for no real reason.
- 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 realized 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.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the episode, Das Bus, Milhouse rolls a grapefruit that gets stuck under the brake pedal as Otto is about to drive across a bridge over the ocean, causing Otto to crash the bus off and get the kids stranded on a deserted island.
- No Social Skills: Milhouse is hopeless with other people. He can get along with Bart and Lisa but both are often embarrassed to be around him. Bart often mocks Milhouse and Milhouse in more focused on dating Lisa. His childish traits often leave him at the bottom of the social totem pole. As shown in "Little Orphan Millie" where he becomes a Chick Magnet with his bad boy persona after realizing how embarrassing he is.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Depending on the Writer, in the future Lisa is either married to Milhouse or dating Nelson. With Nelson, the relationship is shown to be healthy or born from adultery. Whereas, the marriage with Milhouse is either dead or dying with Lisa considering a divorce or having an affair with Nelson.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Bart's Manly Man.
- Sickly Neurotic Geek: A nerdy kid who has many allergies. He's even allergic to his own tears.
- Straw Loser: Despite looking like a nerd, he says he doesn't have the typical intelligence/book-smart traits, meaning he's just a lame and dorky Butt-Monkey who makes Bart look cool by comparison.
- 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. Justified since his parents are (probably) cousins.
- Took a Level in Cynic: Started out as a very cheerful kid, but got more cynical, depressed, and angry as time went on due to getting picked on by everyone.
- Tuckerization: His full name is Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten. Milhouse is derived from President Richard Milhous Nixon, infamous for the Watergate scandal, Mussolini is derived from Benito Mussolini, the leader of the Fascist Party in World War II, and Van Houten is derived from Leslie Van Houten, of Manson Family infamy.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ugly Guy to Lisa's Hot Wife in the future episodes.
- Unfortunate Names: His first name is a slight misspelling of Richard Nixon's middle name (and every Simpsons fan knows what Matt Groening thinks about Nixon...), his middle name is the surname of one of the most monstrous dictators in human history, and his last name is the surname of an infamous murderer. The writing staff even said that they planned on giving Milhouse the cruelest name you could give a child.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Bart.
- Will They or Won't They?: His crush on Lisa is known in the present day stories, most Flash Forward episodes acknowledge that they do date for a while ("Lisa's Wedding" says she lost her virginity to him) but it goes back and forth on if they remain a couple and marry or split up and go with other partners.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Blue hair runs in his family.
- Debut: "Bart the General"
Originally the worst bully in Springfield Elementary, the closest thing Bart had to an archnemesis of his own age and the leader of Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph. As the seasons passed, though, he became more sympathetic and eventually began to clean up his act. As a result, his broken home started mending itself. Voiced by Nancy Cartwright.
- Amazon Chaser: Sometimes, he falls in love with female bullies.
- 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 is given Hidden Depths and his bullying is largely restricted to taunting.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Milhouse's Betty for Lisa's Archie.
- 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).
- Bully Turned Buddy: Started out as a bully and antagonist to Bart and Lisa, but in later seasons he befriended Bart and even dated Lisa. However, it also depends on the episode, where Nelson can revert to being an antagonist.
- Captain Ersatz: Seems to be based on Bender from The Breakfast Club Groening says he was named after Bender's actor, Judd Nelson.
- Catchphrase: "Haw haw!"
- Character Development: Though it eventually led 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.
- Characterization Marches On: It was suggested that his bullying was encouraged by his father in "Brother from the Same Planet", but it was later determined that it was a result of a broken household.
- Cock Fight: Depending on the episode, sometimes Nelson still has feelings for Lisa which results in him wanting to prove himself. He gets into a rivalry with Brendan in "Haw-Haw Land" and in the future, Nelson and Milhouse are often depicted as part of a love triangle with Lisa, as she implies that cheats on Milhouse with Nelson. Or, at least, contemplates the idea.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Whether Nelson is Bart's friend, or his enemy can change from episode to episode, especially in the early years.
- Whether Jimbo and the other bullies are his friends or not can change too.
- Disproportionate Retribution: On one occasion, Nelson took offense to Bart "learning on his own".
- 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.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- During his bully days, he once punched Bart in the stomach for "besmirching an innocent girl's name".
- In similar incidents, he attacked Bart for wasting Teachers valuable time and taking credit for other peoples work.
- He won't pick on disabled kids. When a blind kid bumped into him, he immediately dropped his anger when he realized he was blind and offered to protect him from anyone who would sink so low as to bully him.
- 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 that 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.
- Friendly Enemy: How well he and Bart get along depends on the episode. He is introduced as THE bully in school and Bart has to face him down, but over time their similar personalities often show them doing pranks together (especially compared to Dolph, Kearny and Jimbo, delinquents who are never really friends with Bart).
- Genius Bruiser: He is large and, as noted above, he is implied to have high potential (although the school fails to recognize it). He was also 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.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Aside from laughing at everybody, his bullying schtick is to beat up people for very minor reasons. Often this is combined with Disproportionate Retribution, through making said reasons comically righteous (such as wasting Mrs. Krabappel's time).
- Hidden Depths:
- Even in episodes when his bullying hasn't been sidelined, he was 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.
- In "The Great Wife Hope", Nelson admits (after having been beaten by Bart in a UFC-like mixed martial arts cage match) that he wants to be an event planner as an adult. Marge suggests he could do Lisa's wedding one day and Nelson responds "I'd like that!"
- In one episode him and Bart becoming best friends plays out his connections around school as like being part of The Mafia.
- 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 relatively altruistic reasons like "wasting teacher's time". Lisa serves as a Morality Pet to him to some extent, a combination of Ship Tease and him demonstrating unusual respect towards women.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Sometimes this, in "Lisa's Date with Density" he went right back to the bullies and lied to Lisa, and stated he wasn't going to stop being a bully even after Bart reunited his family.
- 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.
- Named After Someone Famous: He was named after Judd Nelson.
- Parental Abandonment: His dad left him long ago.
- Parent Never Came Back from the Store:
- His dad ran off by saying he was going to the store. Subverted as actually had a peanut allergy and was abducted into a Freak Show.
- In one Flash Forward, Nelson is shown to use this excuse for his own kids.
- 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":
- He tries to comfort Milhouse when his parents get divorced.
- 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.
Nelson: Aww, man! I never thought he'd do "Moon River", but then - BAM! Second encore!
- He is utterly enthralled by Andy Williams, and cheers for the performance like a gushing fangirl.
- Reformed Bully: He becomes this in later seasons, going from Bart's Arch-Nemesis to one of his friends.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Martin's Sensitive Guy.
- Sixth Ranger: Often appears as a fourth member of Jimbos Gang of Bullies.
- Smarter Than You Look: Despite his brutish appearance, it's implied in a few episodes that Nelson is actually quite intelligent.
- Stop Hitting Yourself: King of this trope. As well as playing it straight, he once told a butler to stop buttling himself and got an owl in a headlock and told it to stop endangering itself.
- 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.
- Tuckerization: Word of God says he was named after Judd Nelson.
- Vocal Evolution: His voice became increasingly gruff after series 7.
- 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"
Police Chief Wiggum's only son, heavily implied to be mentally disabled to some degree. Voiced by Nancy Cartwright.
- All of the Other Reindeer: He seems to be an outcast in school. Justified due to the way he acts.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Several episodes imply he's mentally handicapped. How, exactly, is unclear. His affectionate friendly personality combined with his low intellect suggests Down's Syndrome, however he shows no physical features of the condition. There are also occasional hints that he might have some form of psychosis, manifest in things like hallucinations of a leprechaun who encourages him to burn things.
- Ambiguously Bi: After seeing Bart naked in The Movie, he says "I like men now!". Though he did love Lisa
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The infamous crush he developed on Lisa because she was the only one to give him a Valentine.
- Beware the Silly Ones: According to "Flanders' Ladder", he becomes the evil king of the world, and reigns until the age of 120, only after being killed by his equally ditzy son.
- Book Dumb: Although he's as Book Dumb as one could possibly get (and generally rather dim), numerous scenes have been dropped throughout various Simpsoncentric media, from the comic to the series itself, that he's possibly creatively gifted. When his head's on somewhat straight(er than usual) anyway.
- Butt-Monkey: He's frequently mistreated by his teacher Miss Hoover.
- Children Are Innocent: He's a kid and one of the most genuinely innocent characters. Contrast with his father who is an adult and also rather corrupt.
- 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.
- A Day in the Limelight: "I Love Lisa", "This Little Wiggy", and, to an extent, "E. Pluribus Wiggum".
- Decomposite Character: The purple-shirted Ralph from Moaning Lisa appeared as a background character a few times after blue-shirted Ralph was established.
- 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 there was once a trope named after him, which was later merged into The Ditz for being a 'the same only more-so' version of it. He may very well be the dumbest person in Springfield.
- Early Installment Character Design Difference: Here's his first appearance.
- Expendable Clone: An episode set in the future shows that he joins the police but needs an army of clones because he keeps getting killed.
- Fat Idiot: Not as fat as his father but even stupider.
- Flanderization: He was originally just another generic classmate of Lisa's. He eventually became a childish, socially-awkward kid who has Hidden Depths of brilliance deep inside his dim-witted deameanor (like when he turned out to be an excellent actor in the George Washington play or when he won a diorama contest because he had the collectible ''Franchise/StarWars'' action figures that Principal Skinner was trying to find all these years). Then he became incredibly dense (to the point that there are implications that he's a special ed. student) and frequently spouts non sequiturs, though "E. Pluribus Wiggum" showed that Ralph still had a smart side, as he wanted to run for U.S. President because he wanted to bring about world peace. Heck, the trope "The Ditz" was initially named "The Ralph Wiggum" to describe characters as dumb as him.
- Future Badass: In contrast to the below future, "Flander's Ladder" suggests he somehow becomes the evil king of the world and outlives most of the main cast.
- Future Loser: "Bart To The Future" shows that he and Bart end up sharing a house and being unemployed apart from playing in an unsuccessful band.
- 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").
- Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Ralph never learns and absorbs Miss Hoover's hatred for him, no matter how blunt she is about it. In fact, even his own father is comfortable with mocking his intelligence.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: The dumbest character on the show but usually a well-meaning boy.
- Malaproper: Him fail English? That's definitely NOT "unpossible".
- Morality Pet: To his father. Chief Wiggum is generally boorish and apathetic but he generally cares for his son.
- Mr. Imagination: He has an active imagination and even Marge lampshades it in one episode.
- 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 flee 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.
- Perpetual Smiler: The boy is almost seen with a smile on his face even during dire situations.
- Potty Failure: Has a tendency to wet himself when he is upset or distracted.
- Same Surname Means Related;
- Spanner in the Works: He is most likely this if befriended by any of the Simpson children.
- Stupid Good: Ralph's, more or less, harmless to other kids. Quite frankly, it's a miracle that this kid's still alive since he frequently puts himself in danger.
- 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 so that he once had a trope named after him, which was intended for characters that go right past The Ditz.Ralph: Look, daddy. I made a Ralphwichnote ! Uhh, it tastes hurty!Chief Wiggum: That's cause it's not food, Ralphie!
- Took a Level in Dumbass: In earlier seasons, Ralph was smarter than he is now. He had a hidden talent for acting and was slightly more "articulate" at that point. Now, he's so stupid that he can't open the fridge door. According to his father, he keeps pushing the door rather than pulling it.
- Vague Age: In "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", Chief Wiggum describes him as "between the ages of six and ten".
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
A pair of identical twins in Bart's class who come off as a bit creepy and odd. Voiced by Russi Taylor (1990-2019) and Grey Griffin (2019-Present).
- 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. If anything they're often alone.
- Always Identical Twins: They are identical and always wear the same clothes.
- Ambiguously Brown: They have the same sort of pale skin as other Asian characters throughout the show, but it's unclear if they are Asian. To add even more confusion, their father was depicted as a Dark-Skinned Blonde in Homer's Odyssey.
- Bit Character: In +20 seasons, they have never received a single A Day in the Limelight episode where they are the protagonists. At best, they are Lisa's classmates / sometimes friends.
- Butt-Monkey: Between episodes, games and comics, they've been on the receiving end of a lot of misfortune including being impregnated and abandoned in the future, possibly eaten by Lumpy the school snake, hit by a bus and drowned, and that's not even counting Treehouse of Horror episodes and comics. Unlike Milhouse, they're never thrown a bone.
- 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 that 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.
- Gonk: They look pretty odd with their pig-noses and long faces. Though in-universe this hasn't stopped Bart from having a crush on one of them.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Groening says that Sherri is always the one standing in the left.
- Informed Attribute: Their bios in side materials have a few of these. Examples include hating to be asked which twin is the evil one, being born in England (specifically, the town where Village of the Damned was filmed) and their favourite activities including repeatedly calling the Corey Hotline and hanging up and making faces at people behind their backs.
- Loving Bully: 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.
- My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: In "Homer's Odyssey", their father is Homer's immediate supervisor at the plant, and they make a point of telling Bart how little he thinks of Homer's work ethic and abilities.
- Morality Pet: To each other. While they sometimes still have spats, they seem to adore each other, often being happy with only each others' company, holding or hugging each other when scared. In Virtual Springfield, inspecting Sherri's desk shows they trade little post-its or photos with things like "love you Sherri" written on them.
- Odd Friendship: They're sometimes seen hanging around with Allison Taylor, despite the latter being three years younger and similar to Lisa. Actually, most of the girls they've been seen around are in lower grades.
- Ship Tease: Some episodes imply that one of them (or maybe both) has a crush on Bart. One such episode is "Homer's Odyssey", where they kiss him on the cheeks. Though in "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder", Homer states that Bart has a crush on one of them. In the episode "Barthood" (set in one of the possible futures) a teenage Bart makes out with Sherri, but states Terri is his actual girlfriend.
- Single-Minded Twins: They often act in tandem. Although they do seem to have small differences in tastes such as for favourite toys, one chose a Malibu Stacy and the other brought a teddy or Sherri's favourite food being Spaghetti in a context that implies it's not Terri's. It's also implied that only one of the twins likes Bart, likely whoever Bart doesn't like back.
- Theme Twin Naming: Their names rhyme. It runs in the family.
- Those Two Girls: Always appear together.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Sherri and Terri have long, purple hair.
- Debut: "Bart the Genius"
The school's biggest nerd, regarded as being even more of a geek and a teacher's pet than Lisa Simpson. Voiced by Russi Taylor (1990-2019) and Grey Griffin (2019-Present).
- Always Someone Better: Used to be this to underachiever Bart, mostly in early episodes like "Bart The Genius" and "Bart Gets An F".
- Ambiguously Gay: He rarely shows interest in women while being incredibly effeminate. One episode when Nelson says they should allow gay burials as well as gay weddings Martin says he is nothing yet.
- Book Smart: The best student in Bart's class and the only student in the school who can rival Lisa academically.
- Bully Magnet: Nelson and the Gang of Bullies Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney often humiliate and torment him.
- Butt-Monkey: He gets bullied a lot, especially by Nelson and the three bullies trio.
- Child Prodigy: Has an IQ of 216. He can make robots and generators.
- The Dog Bites Back: In the movie, thinking he's going to die, he knocks out the bullies with one swing of the 2 by 4.
- Extreme Doormat: He is often depicted as too passive in later seasons, since even Lisa Simpson can be a bit harsh to him.
- He used to be a natural leader, Straw Winner and no-nonsense kid student, with brains that were equally fit for science, sports or arts. Bullies picked on him but really no more so than they picked on everybody. However, as the seasons advanced, his interests in the arts mushroomed into a plain effeminate personality, until he was practically turned into a flamboyant sissy and also another of the default nerdish Butt Monkeys of Springfield's Elementary.
- At one point, he was merely Lisa's rival. As Lisa became more hypocritical, she began to actively resent him for being the only person as clever as her, while looking down on those less intelligent.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Has problems grasping that Nelson doesn't want to be his comrade, despite repeated (and very violent) rebuffs. He also has a very poor sense of danger recognition, as he is often beaten up by Kearny, Jimbo and Dolf when he approaches them in a friendly or educative manner.
- Idiot Ball: Despite his high intelligence, he still can't recognise the dangers and futility of trying to befriend his bullies. Despite their repeated (and very violent) rebuffs. At this point, he really should've given up and tried to actively avoid them in any way he can. He also doesn't seem to grasp that he's in a school where being such a blatant nerd is only drawing attention to himself.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Had moments most notably when he got a bigger swimming pool than the Simpsons' during a heatwave to try and increase his popularity. He showed another brief interest in this trope when he gave Bart advice on studying in exchange for tips on how to be more popular.
- Ironic Name: The meaning of his name translates to "warrior" or "warlike", and Martin is characterised as an effeminate victim than a fighter. However, he has been shown to be a capable combatant depending on the episode, even being able to beat up Nelson and take his vest as a trophy in "The Wreck of the Relationship". He was also able to beat up Dolph, Kearney and Jumbo in the movie.
- Incredibly Lame Fun: If it's not boring as hell, or tough school work, then it's as effeminate as he is. As an example, he is the only other person (aside from Skinner) that loves the idea of visiting (yet again, it's implied) a box factory.
- 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.
- Nerd: He is a stereotypical nerd, enthusiastic about science fiction and role-playing games and with a not-so-great fashion sense.
- Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork:
Principal Skinner: (over intercom) Attention. All honor roll students will be rewarded by a trip to an archaeological dig. [Martin cheers] Also, all detention students will be punished with a trip to an archaeological dig. [the rest of the class groans]
- He has been shown to be like this from time to time, enjoying getting homework and pop quizzes. On more than one occasion he has reminded the teacher about the test or big homework assignment that she was going to give, expectedly earning him the violent ire of his classmates, along with making homework more difficult on at least one occasion by having Mrs. Krabapple require it to be typed and be ten pages. This gets him beat up by Nelson and thrown out the window.
- From the episode "Lisa the Skeptic":
- Never Found the Body: Is believed to be dead in the future shown in Lisa's Wedding but is actually living underneath the school. A similar situation happens in Dial N for Nerder, although he's found alive and well by the end.
- Oblivious to Hatred: He believes himself to be popular with his classmates when in actuality, they find him annoying and laugh at him when he gets humiliated. He learns this the hard way in Bart Gets An F when Bart offers to help make him more popular in exchange for helping him study.
- Odd Friendship: A few episodes show him playing with Ralph Wiggum, who is not only two grades below him, but on nearly the opposite end of the academic spectrum from him.
- Out of Focus: In early episodes, he is frequently portrayed as a Foil and occasional Friendly Rival to Bart. In later episodes, when he appears, he is usually used only for quick gags.
- Pride Before a Fall: His pride in his education constantly makes him a target for bullying. He believes that he can civilise his tormentors by educating them. Only to be proven at wrong at every turn.
- The Rival:
- Although they often work together on various school projects and classwork, it is implied in many episodes that Martin and Lisa are also rivals of a sort, especially when it comes to the Science Fair.
- In some early episodes, Martin's insufferably clean streak (and occasional snitching) earned him a rivalry with troublemaker Bart.
- School Newspaper News Hound: In a few episodes, Martin has this role as a reporter for the "Daily Fourth Gradian".
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Nelson's Manly Man.
- The Smart Guy: When Lisa is not around Bart uses Martin's brain.
- Spock Speak: Early seasons, now he is too campy and cheerful.
- The Stool Pigeon: Martin's loyalty to Skinner and school rules lead to him routinely tattling on misbehaving students. This chained off the plot of "Bart the Genius", where doing this one time too many led to Bart taking revenge.
- Teacher's Pet: Is this to Krabappel; he even bakes her raisin roundies.
- Theatre Phantom: An episode set in the future said he went missing after a science fair explosion and lives beneath the school, playing the piano and wearing a Phantom mask.
- Transgender: In one of the ambiguously canon future episodes.
- TV Genius: A condescending, nerdy Teacher's Pet with an Improbably High I.Q..
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He still believes he can befriend his bullies and constantly puts himself in danger. In "The D'oh-cial Network" he sees Jimbo beating up Bart for using the word "conundrum". Rather than leave the scene as quietly as he can. Martin tells them that he can explain the word to them, unsurprisingly, he gets tied up and beaten up by both of them.
- Debut: "The Telltale Head"
Unlike Nelson, Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney are more like petty thugs and are a few years older. They do bully the kids at Springfield Elementary, but other episodes show them committing crimes, such as shoplifting ("Marge Be Not Proud"), petit and grand larceny ("This Little Wiggy"), breaking and entering, vandalism, destruction of property, and child endangerment ("Kamp Krusty") — among others. Unlike most duo or trio groups on The Simpsons, Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney do have some character depth (even if it doesn't seem like much, as these tropes will show you):
- Alliterative Name: Jimbo Jones
- Amazon Chaser: Sometimes, they fall in love with female bullies.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Dolph goes to Hebrew school and yelled at his friends for missing out on his bar mitzvah.
- Awesome McCoolname: Not exactly... Dolphin Starbeam. Apparently his parents are die-hard hippies, which is why he's had enough of that peace and love crap.
- Bald of Evil: Kearney shaves his head and recent episodes show that Jimbo is mostly bald under his hat.
- Barbaric Bully: All three of them. They were even hired to be camp counselors at Kamp Krusty (as run by the heartless accountant, Mr. Black).
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Jimbo (skinny), Dolph (short), and Kearney (large).
- Depending on the Writer: In some episodes they respect Bart as a fellow delinquent and get along with him, while in others they bully him and beat him up like they do any other kid at Springfield Elementary.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The three have attacked Bart over things as minor as "wasting teacher's valuable time".
- Divergent Character Evolution: They started out fairly interchangeable. Over time, Kearny has been established as having an infant son (to emphasize how many times he's been held back), while Jimbo has a softer side (along with religious and feminist tendencies) and good home life. Dolph, on the other hand, hasn't gotten much development.
- Embarrassing First Name: In Season 7's Bart The Fink, it's revealed that Jimbo's real first name is Corky. While Nelson calls him by the less embarrassing (and much more expected) name James in Season 8's Lisa's Date With Density, most sources note that that's his middle name.
- Five-Finger Discount: All three of them of course, but Jimbo Jones could be the most prolific shoplifter in the entire town, regularly used for looting shopping malls and the Kwik-E-Mart in background events.
- Gang of Bullies: A group of three or four bullies in Springfield Elementary who often pick on Bart or other kids. It's not clear which of them is the alpha bully, though. Unless Nelson's being depicted as part of the gang, in which case he is almost always depicted as the leader.
- Generation Xerox: Their fathers dress and act similar to they do and Kearney has a son who is a smaller version of him.
- Held Back in School: Jimbo and Dolph are implied to be in their teens in some sources (such as the manual for Bart Vs The Space Mutants referring to Jimbo as the only teenager in the fifth grade). Kearney has apparently been attending Springfield Elementary since The '70s and is old enough to own a car, pay taxes, and attend school with a son of his own.
- Hidden Depths: Jimbo comes from a privileged upbringing, and tears up watching soap-operas with his affluent mother.
- Karma Houdini: In early seasons at least, the three seldomly faced punishment for terrorising Bart and other students. Like Nelson they fell to a bit of Menace Decay later on however.
- Mind Screw: Most of the things Kearney does involving his age fall on this category... it also can cross into Fridge Logic and Fridge Horror when you think too much about it. See Older Than They Look for details.
- Nice Hat: Jimbo wears a purple knit cap.
- 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 Springfield"note ), so Homer can get busted on buying tobacco and alcohol for minors.
- Older Than They Look: Kearney. In fact it's a running gag that he's the oldest student in the school, that he shaves, that he's been married, has at least one son whom he has won custody of, and that he can legally drive (although he needs a fake ID to buy liquor and smokes). He was in third grade with Otto, Skinner notes that he's old enough to have been around for the American bicentennial, and pays taxes. While Jimbo and Dolph have managed to pass into Sixth grade (when Bart passed into Fourth), Kearney remains in Fifth and several Future-set episodes joke that his own son will graduate before he does.
- Only One Name: 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.
- Out of Focus: Not that they're especially in focus, but of the three, Dolph gets the least amount of focus and attention.
- 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 (granted Moe had a knife and was threatening to gut him up). He also usually tends to be overpowered by Nelson when the two have a problem with one another.
- Pet the Dog: During Lisa on Ice, Kearney is the first to congratulate Lisa on being successful at hockey.
- Real Men Wear Pink:
- The three bullies were moved by Ralph Wiggum's surprisingly emotional acting as George Washington during the President's Day parade. Jimbo says his performance made him interested in learning more about the founding fathers and Kearney enthusiastically shouts "To the library!"
- Jimbo has these moments. In the Season 6 episode "The PTA Disbands!" (in which the teachers of Springfield Elementary go on strike), Jimbo is seen in a fancy living room watching soap operas with his mom ("I haven't cried this much since The Joy Luck Club!")
- Satellite Character: Dolph only really appears as a member of this gang. Jimbo and Kearney have had significant appearances on their own.
- The Smurfette Principle: Shauna Chalmers sometimes appears as the only female member of this gang.
- Son of a Whore: It is mentioned that Jimbo's mother is a prostitute - although since we've seen her as being fairly well off, it's more likely that she runs a brothel.
- Talk Show with Fists: They have a public access show called The Bully Corner where they pulverised William H. Macy while asking him questions about his career.
- They also have a podcast called Left, Right and Centre where they discuss to punch someone in the left, right or centre. A recurring guest is Milhouse being hung upside down.
- Teens Are Short: Jimbo and Dolph are teenagers who are shorter than most adults. Subverted by Kearney, an adult who is shorter than Jimbo.
- Vague Age: It's never really said how old they are. They sometimes bully Bart the 4th grader, but other times seem like they should be graduated from high school.
- Villain Team-Up: Sometimes they pair up with Nelson to bully students.
- Would Hurt a Child: Kearney has no problem 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.
- Younger Than They Look: Dolph. He looks about 13 or 14, but is said to be in the sixth grade (which would make him between eleven and twelve). There are strong implications that the bullies have been held back multiple times.
- Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
An ill albino kid in Bart's class. Wendell has had four voice-actors over the years: Jo Ann Harris, Pamela Hayden, Nancy Cartwright and Russi Taylor
- Butt-Monkey: Due to being an Ill Boy, it's easy for people, such as the Springfield bullies, to pick on him.
- Ill Boy: The ill student stereotype of the school. Wendell seems to be someone that gets dizzy easily, and has been shown to vomit.
- Only Friend: Wendell appears to be Martin Prince's only friend as seen in the class president election episode.
- Debut: "Bart the Genius" (Richard), "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (Lewis)
Two students who were often seen alongside Bart and Milhouse early on. They have since faded into the background. Richard has had four voice-actors over the years: Jo Ann Harris, Nancy Cartwright, Pamela Hayden, and Maggie Roswell. Lewis has had five voice-actors over the years: Jo Ann Harris, Nancy Cartwright, Pamela Hayden, Russi Taylor, Tress MacNeille and most recently, Kimberly Brooks.
- 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.
- The Generic Guy: A possible reason for their reduced roles is that they both had very little personality.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Lewis has a lookalike that occasionally shows up in classroom scenes. The lookalike has no name and has never spoken, and it's never been made clear if the two are related.
- Out of Focus: Lampshaded in "Das Bus", where Bart confuses one of them with Wendell.
- Salt and Pepper: Lewis is the Pepper to Richard's Salt.
- Those Two Guys: Richard and Lewis are often seen together.
- Token Minority: Lewis is the only black male student in the school.
- Debut: "Treehouse of Horror IV", "Lisa's Rival" (canonical)
A foreign-exchange student from Germany who the Springfield students enjoy picking on. Voiced by Russi Taylor.
- Accent Adaptation: In the German dub, he is from Switzerland and also speaks with a Swiss accent.
- The Ahnold: One of the comics set in the future shows that he grows up to be an action movie star similar to Rainier Wolfcastle.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Possibly for Janey... or even Milhouse.
- Butt-Monkey: Once got left behind on a field trip gone bad. The last we see of him in that instance is surrounded by actors about to beat him up.Homer: (on Lisa being on a hockey team) I don't want anyone to give her a hard time just because she's different! No jokes! No taunting! (sees Üter, and laughs) LOOK, THAT KID'S GOT BOSOMS! Who's got a wet towel?! (starts chasing Üter, cracking whips at him) Hehehe, c'mere Butterball!
Üter: Don't make me run, I'm full of chocolate!
- Canon Immigrant: First appeared in a non-canon Halloween special but then joined the main cast.
- Fat Comic Relief: A fat character that serves as a Butt-Monkey.
- Foreign Queasine: Frequently snacks on strange German candies, such as flavor waxes and marzipan joy-joys mit iodine.
- Funny Foreigner: From Germany.
- Future Badass: The comics show that he grows up to star in action movies.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: When Skinner announces his fake retirement in Fears of a Clown, he starts his retirement speech with "My fellow Americans and Üter". Justified in that Üter is not American; he's a foreign exchange student.
- Nice Guy: A friendly kid who's eager to share his German snacks with anyone.
- Sweet Tooth: He's often seen snacking on some confection or another, usually chocolate, but he'll happily eat other types of candy.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate. Being German/Swiss, it makes sense.
- Unexplained Recovery: He was implied to be missing or dead for a while but more recent episodes show him to be fine.
- Yodel Land: A very strong Alpine stereotype.
- Debut: "The Telltale Head"
A student who serves as Lisa's best friend in Springfield Elementary. Voiced by Pamela Hayden and Tress MacNeille.
- 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.
- Fair Weather Friend: Supplementary material even describes her as such, as she switches between hanging out with or bullying Lisa depending on whether their friendship is convenient.
- Pink Means Feminine: Wears pink clothes.
- Satellite Character: Just exists as Lisas friend or a member of her class.
- Token Black Friend: The only black female student in the school and mainly serves as Lisa's friend and classmate.
- 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.
- Debut: "Krusty Gets Busted" (Database), "Bart's Comet" (the rest of the Superfriends)
Excluding Kyle, the Superfriends include Ham, Cosine Tangent, E-mail, and Report Card. Lisa is also a member of the club. Ham is voiced by Pamela Hayden. Cosine is voiced by Tress MacNeille. E-mail is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Report Card is voiced by Harry Shearer.
- Butt-Monkey: As they're the group of nerds of the school, they are sometimes subject to bullying from Nelson and his gang.
- Captain Ersatz: Kyle is modeled after the recurring character Pat from Saturday Night Live.
- A Day in the Limelight: Kyle will sometimes be seen on his own with the rest of the core cast. This is particularly the case in the "Lemon of Troy" episode where he helps Bart and company search for the stolen lemon tree in Shelbyville.
- The Dividual: When it comes to the five Superfriends, Kyle is really the only one that has his own characterization. The other four are basically an extension of him apart from their character designs. Ham's the fat one, Report Card's the black student, Cosine Tangent is the Asian looking student, and E-mail's the one with the big nose.
- In-Series Nickname:
- The group calls themselves the "Superfriends." Most likely from the fact that they share the common interest of being smart kids that like to read superhero comics.
- 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: A group of smart kids that hang out together doing schoolwork. Especially the case when they're seen with Lisa. Their clothing is also quite nerd-like, such as wearing bow-ties or neckties.
- Also plays into the Geek stereotype since they don't seem to mind the fact that people see them as nerds.
- Nerd Glasses: Kyle wears a pair of red glasses. Two of the other Superfriends are seen sporting nerd glasses as well.
- No Name Given: Most of the Superfriends are only known by their nickname. Kyle (the leader) and Booker (the black student) are the only actual names that people know about.
- Otaku: They have a love for comic-books, which their nicknames are basically like people having superhero names.
- Sixth Ranger: Lisa will sometimes appear as a part of this group when she's doing schoolwork. She's quite literally the sixth Superfriend.
- Debut: "Bart the General"
Two students who used to be Nelson's henchmen, and who are in second grade with Lisa. They have not been seen with Nelson since their debut. Voiced by Susan Blu and Nancy Cartwright (white weasel) and Jo Ann Harris and Pamela Hayden (black weasel).