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August 16, 2012 8:52 PM   Subscribe

Simpson Writers Pick Their 10 Favorite Obscure Characters (via)
posted by The Whelk (213 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Never bringing back Hank Scorpio is just one of the many failures of the more-recent Simpsons.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:02 PM on August 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Never bringing back Hank Scorpio is just one of the many failures of the more-recent Simpsons.

I'm pretty sure it's actually one of the (few) successes; if he started showing up again he'd become a gimmick and ruin the goodwill I have for him.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:06 PM on August 16, 2012 [18 favorites]


Technically no one past season 10 or so counts as a character.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:16 PM on August 16, 2012 [25 favorites]


Never bringing back Hank Scorpio is just one of the many failures of the more-recent Simpsons.

No kidding. Especially since they set episodes on the east coast all the time.
posted by hwyengr at 9:18 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


My friend's got a hammock. Every time we pass buy it, one of us says to the other, where'd you get this hammock? And thus starts the Scorpioising.
posted by Brainy at 9:18 PM on August 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm partial to off-screen characters that sound like Charles Bronson: "Hey fatty, I've got a movie for ya: a fridge too far!"
posted by unsupervised at 9:21 PM on August 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


I like "Smithers."
posted by griphus at 9:22 PM on August 16, 2012


Frank Grimes FTW.
posted by neuron at 9:23 PM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Begin Slideshow" was one of my least favourite characters. NEVER bring that guy back!
posted by slater at 9:24 PM on August 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Bingo-bango, sugar in the gas tank. Your ex-husband strikes again!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:24 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hank Scorpio? After what he did to the Eastern Seaboard?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:25 PM on August 16, 2012


"We're going to sell him to Mr. Nikopopolous?"

"You're a dull boy, Billy."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:29 PM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Only a few of these were obscure. No love for Soul Smithers?
posted by infinitewindow at 9:30 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I posit that neither Scorpio and Grimes are obscure. Also, without knowing which current Simpsons writers contributed, I'm not sure what level of sour dismissiveness I should express about most of these picks.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:30 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also,

"Why must you turn my office into a HOUSE OF LIES?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:31 PM on August 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


Shocking, shocking lack of Allen Wrench, inspiration for classic family game Things That Are Real In The Simpsons.

Itchy and Scratchy! Jockey elves! Marvin the Martian, Gort, Chewbacca, ALF and Kang in a non-Halloween context!
posted by emmtee at 9:33 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also,

"Why must you turn my office into a HOUSE OF LIES?"


And that's the tooth!

(Personally, my vote would have been for Leopold--"This is one substitute you're not going to screw with...Marge Simpson!")
posted by MoonOrb at 9:37 PM on August 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


Neither Scorpio nor Bleeding Gums Murphy are obscure. Grimes deserves to be obscure; that episode sucked.
posted by kenko at 9:42 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the Grimes episode was one of the first that made me think that the writing, especially the writing for Homer, was getting lazy.
posted by kenko at 9:42 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Goons... Hired goons.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:45 PM on August 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


Two of my favorites are Sphir and Seronzh, who appear in the excellent episode with Gabbo. GaBBo, GABBO! (which, I shouldn't have been surprised, is based on an actual thing).

Endut! Hoch Hech!
posted by benito.strauss at 9:46 PM on August 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


INANIMATE CARBON ROD!!!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:46 PM on August 16, 2012 [39 favorites]


For fun I wrote a "Final Episode" of The Simpsons where Frank Grimes conquers the underworld after dying and commands the forces of hades to unleash hell on earth.
posted by hellojed at 9:47 PM on August 16, 2012


Sideshow Raheem, Guy With Giant Hand, that guy in the back of the union hall who says "Let's get him, fellas" in Last Exit, and Guy Incognito, mentioned in the metachat thread, by far my favorite one-off character / fake name to use on the internet.

Oh, and Hugh Jass! "Uh, look, I'll level with you, Mister. This is a prank call that sort of backfired, and I'd like to bail out right now."
posted by Lorin at 9:49 PM on August 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


Hans Moleman isn't that obscure but I'm a fan.
posted by kenko at 9:58 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


THEIR. ; )
posted by ericb at 10:01 PM on August 16, 2012


I've always been partial to Sideshow Raheem.
posted by LionIndex at 10:13 PM on August 16, 2012


Aren't these just buzz characters that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that.

I'm fired, aren't I?
posted by box at 10:15 PM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Apparently everyone forgets mr. McGregg, with a leg for an arm and and arm for a leg!
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 PM on August 16, 2012 [14 favorites]


I have to go now. My planet needs me.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:25 PM on August 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


In our house, we've gotten ~20 years of amusement from the "Borts" in the Itchy & Scratchy Land episode: (frostily) "No, my son is also named Bort."
posted by rodeoclown at 10:25 PM on August 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


Catty Hank Azaria South American

The Borts
posted by dgaicun at 10:26 PM on August 16, 2012


Haha

Go the Borts!
posted by dgaicun at 10:27 PM on August 16, 2012


Milhouse

For that matter the Shelbyville dad
posted by dgaicun at 10:36 PM on August 16, 2012


I'm partial to off-screen characters that sound like Charles Bronson

"Don't like the old-time bikes, huh?"
"Oh, a fat, sarcastic Star Trek fan. You must be a real hit with all the ladies."

Worst. Slideshow. Ever.
posted by yerfatma at 10:41 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I love you, Lord Daftwager." "Yes, and I you."
posted by emmtee at 10:46 PM on August 16, 2012


José Flanders!
posted by dgaicun at 10:49 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


All of you who did not say "Serak the Preparer": If you wanted to make Serak the Preparer cry, mission accomplished.
posted by Flunkie at 10:51 PM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Roy
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:58 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Señor Spielbergo
posted by timelord at 11:03 PM on August 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


According to the Simpsons wiki, the sarcastic Charles Bronson-sounding man is named Raphael.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 11:10 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've always been partial to Sideshow Raheem.

Angry, angry young man.

Anyhoo, this list is a travesty without Pops Freshenmeyer and Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo.

Hey! Joey Jo-Jo! Come back!
posted by gompa at 11:16 PM on August 16, 2012 [16 favorites]


Why schlep refrigerators and televisions in pants when you can do it in afterpants?
posted by chinesefood at 11:28 PM on August 16, 2012


Satan
posted by dgaicun at 11:30 PM on August 16, 2012


Mr. Glascock
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:31 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


"My mother taught me never to kiss a fool!"
posted by Defying Gravity at 11:33 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


José Flanders!

Señor Spielbergo

And while we're listing the Spanish versions of characters:

A-yessss guy: less obscure
A-siiii guy: more obscure
posted by dgaicun at 11:43 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm partial to the Frank Nelson-esque "Yes" guy. Not to be outdone by the "Yes I like to chew" guy.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:45 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know who the name of Bart's classmate who always wears sunglasses and a sportcoat?
posted by erskelyne at 11:47 PM on August 16, 2012


"We nuns cannot fly."
"Oh, too much junk in the trunk, eh?"
"...yes."

posted by emmtee at 12:08 AM on August 17, 2012


> "My mother taught me never to kiss a fool!"

Yes. Karl's one of the my most beloved characters in any show.

That article says Karl kissing Homer is the first male-to-male kiss ever aired on network television. Can that be true? And a decade before any non-animated such kiss?
posted by churl at 12:14 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ok. For you, McGarnicle!
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:43 AM on August 17, 2012


Mendoza!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:15 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does Professor Frink count as obscure? I remember he had his own episode back in season 15 where we got to know his father (played by Jerry Lewis). Anyway, I always liked that guy (Frink, that is).

</nerd>
posted by MattMangels at 2:16 AM on August 17, 2012


I know he wasn't obscure but I miss Troy McClure. You may remember him from such films as "Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun" and "Alice's Adventures Through The Windshield Glass."

RIP Phil Hartman.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:16 AM on August 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


"Linguo is dead." Good-night, sweet prince!
posted by dialetheia at 2:35 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Editor: Thanks to modern editing techniques, we can use existing footage to complete the film without Milhouse! (the assistant and director stare at him blankly)…Watch!
----
Editor: Seamless, huh?
Assistant: (pause)…You're fired.
Editor: And with good cause!

posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 3:05 AM on August 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Put it in H!
posted by Egg Shen at 3:38 AM on August 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


rodeoclown: "In our house, we've gotten ~20 years of amusement from the "Borts" in the Itchy & Scratchy Land episode: (frostily) "No, my son is also named Bort.""

In Universal Studios Florida there is a Simpsons area with a Kwik-E-Mart that sells Simpsons themed souvenirs. Including name tagged key-rings. Guess what name my brother and I immediately searched for?

...And guess what? They don't stock Bort key rings. At all. There's not even an empty shelf with a "Sorry, we're all out of Bort" sign. But it's so obvious that it needs to be there!

Why didn't they get someone at least a little bit Simpsons-geeky to design the place? They'd have sold thousands of these! Know your audience, guys!
posted by Nossidge at 3:41 AM on August 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


Lyle Lanley has got to be on any obscure Simpsons best of list. He's been to Brockway! Ogdenville! And North Haverbrook! And by gum, it put them on the map!

I also was partial to Brad Goodman and Colonel Leslie "Hap" Hapablap.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 4:04 AM on August 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Nto sure if he's obscure, per se, but I love the tremulous-voiced red-haired kid who does all the menial jobs of Springfield.

In a similar vein, the deadpan ginger kid in King of the Hill has perfect pithy comic timing.
posted by mippy at 4:14 AM on August 17, 2012


Zombie Shakespeare, were that not your end.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:21 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


That article says Karl kissing Homer is the first male-to-male kiss ever aired on network television. Can that be true? And a decade before any non-animated such kiss?

We had gay characters in soaps in Britain in the early-90s (even in Byker Grove which was fro kids), I'm trying to work out whether this episode predated them here. The Simpsons was only on satellite TV until 1996 or so so I didn't see many episodes first-run.

Oh, looks like we had one here in 1987. On BBC1's flagship soap, no less!
posted by mippy at 4:21 AM on August 17, 2012


...oh my! How could I forget The US State Department Undersecretary for Protocol: Brat and Punk Division?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:36 AM on August 17, 2012


(Sigh.) No love for Hollis Hurlbut?
posted by El Brendano at 4:57 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


You'd think a professional writer would know the difference between "obscure" and "one-shot".
posted by Legomancer at 5:00 AM on August 17, 2012


Tab Spangler:
Homer: I am not too fat. I'm alive, aren't I?
Tab Spangler: Mr. Simpson, you're suffering from P.S.I. {points to the PSI sign} Poor Self Esteem. That's not I. Every sign is wrong!
Homer: Oh that's terrible.
Tab Spangler: We got a long drive ahead. You wanna pull off at a motel? We'll split a room.
Homer: Where will I sleep?
Tab Spangler: We can worry about that when we're standing naked before the bed! My goodness! No wonder you eat. What are you eating now?
Homer: Cheeseburger.
Tab Spangler: You're a catastrophe! Let me have half of it.
Homer: I don't wanna.
Tab Spangler: I just want the cheese. I don't want the meat. I do want the meat!
Homer: Here's a corner.
Tab Spangler: Let me just bite it. Don't rip it! Let me have the whole thing. You'll get some later.
Homer: You're a selfish jerk.
Tab Spangler: I've smelled it. It has to be eaten!
Homer: But it's my burger.
Tab Spangler: I'm driving. I'll kill us.
Homer: Fine. I'd rather die.
posted by Ritchie at 5:15 AM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Oh crap, I shouldn't have said he was a customer. Oh crap, I shouldn't have said it was a secret. Oh crap, I certainly shouldn't have said it was illegal.

"Ahhhh.... It's too hot."

posted by graphnerd at 5:34 AM on August 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


That article says Karl kissing Homer is the first male-to-male kiss ever aired on network television. Can that be true?

This can be disproved simply by pointing to any number of Looney Tunes shorts. Bugs Bunny was a pansexual trickster god.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:40 AM on August 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


What? No love for "Number One?" Featuring the greatest voice-acting cameo that Patrick Stewart ever did?

Remove the Stone of Shame, and attach the Stone of Triumph!
posted by Mayor West at 5:53 AM on August 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Karl was actually the first fictional character I acknowledged as gay after being explained what 'being gay' was around maybe fifth or sixth grade. Before that I would watch the episode and know that something was up, but I couldn't put my finger on it, but all I knew was that it was a little strange and rather heartwarming.
posted by griphus at 6:13 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


You'd think a professional writer would know the difference between "obscure" and "one-shot".

Good point. The art of naming the obscure character is finding characters that have re-occurring roles across multiple seasons yet are still relatively unknown, even to Simpon's fans. (Although the reason they are unknown is because they are boring, so there is a paradox in finding good ones.) State Comptroller Atkins is probably a good example. Homer's non-Lenny and Carl co-worker Charlie has had a role in more than five episodes. Krusty's assistant is an obscure character with repeated appearances. Patches and Poor Violet are the stock orphans. Richard is seen in almost every episode as one of Bart's classmates, but is so undeveloped he has no fixed hair color or voice actor.
posted by dgaicun at 7:01 AM on August 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


A little love for Handsome Pete, please. And honorable mentions for Guy Incognito and Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:03 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Karl's episode is so strange, I know the Didn't Have The Tone Figured Out early episodes are wonky but man, that episode doesn't feel like another show, it feels like another planet.
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 AM on August 17, 2012


Worker and Parasite.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:06 AM on August 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


" doctor says I'm sick" is the standard response for feeling I'll in this house.
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on August 17, 2012


Homer: "All right, pal: where’d you get the sugar for that tea?"
Thief: "I nicked it when you let your guard down for that split second,
and I’d do it again. Goodbye."
posted by obscurator at 7:09 AM on August 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


What about Johnny Tight Lips?

"Where'd ya get hit Johnny?"

"I ain't sayin" nuthin"

"what do we tell the doctor?"

"Tell him to go suck a lemon"
posted by Max Power at 7:09 AM on August 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


posted by Max Power at 9:09 on August 17 [+]
posted by obscurator at 7:11 AM on August 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh and that UN guy from the Scorpio episode who really wants to take a chance. "Maybe it just collapsed on it's own.

And the Englishman who nipped Homer's sugar.

And Colonel Hap Hapablap.

And the punks at Hullabalooza who don't even know if they're being sarcastic anymore.

And Kathleen Turner's Stacey Lavelle had a whole episode about her so maybe not that obscure, but she's basically my hero. "I just told them who I was, and who you were, and they couldn't resist." "Really?" "Well, I didn't tell them who you were."
posted by yellowbinder at 7:12 AM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I wrote for the Simpsons these days I'd just submit scripts with zero main cast members in them. Just like, follow Krusty's secretary around or Richard and Lewis having adventures in the woods and see how long it took until they got produced or until anyone noticed.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Homer: "All right, pal: where’d you get the sugar for that tea?"
Thief: "I nicked it when you let your guard down for that split second,
and I’d do it again. Goodbye."


My family and I quote this frequently, along with:

Homer: "In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..."

Clip of the scenehere.
posted by Defying Gravity at 7:17 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


You'd think a professional writer would know the difference between "obscure" and "one-shot".

I feel you. But it's "Favorite Obscure Characters". Not "Favorite Obscure Recurring Characters".

I have more of an objection - on "obscurity" grounds - to those nominees like Karl who were the plot engine of their episode. And Bleeding Gums Murphy was in the opening credits, for crying out loud.

If we must restrict ourselves to obscure recurring characters, yeah, Raphael - whom I have heretofore referred to as "the Mystery Spot ticket vendor".
posted by Egg Shen at 7:29 AM on August 17, 2012


Mendoza

Don't you mean "MEEENNNNDOOOOZZZAAAAAAAA!!!!"?
posted by vibrotronica at 7:31 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Very Tall Man.
posted by brand-gnu at 7:33 AM on August 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


The very tall man in the little car always seemed like it was a parody/homage/reference to someone but I could never place it.
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'll get you for this, Midlerrrrrr!!!"
posted by yellowbinder at 7:36 AM on August 17, 2012


clicked on the FPP thinking they would be discussing their 10 favorite obscure characters from all fiction, everywhere. Once again the Simpsons have let me down. got to stop being surprised by that
posted by coolxcool=rad at 7:37 AM on August 17, 2012


"Stickin' together's what good waffles do."
posted by yellowbinder at 7:43 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


PRAY-FOR-MOJO
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:48 AM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just remembered Lieutenant L.T. Smash.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:49 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Maybe single people eat crackers, we don't know. Frankly, we don't want to know."
posted by yellowbinder at 7:50 AM on August 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Shake harder, boy!"
posted by rollick at 7:51 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I am not a clumsy, Clouseau-esque waiter!"
posted by King Bee at 7:52 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I am tired of these jokes about my giant hand. The first such incident occurred in 1956 when..."
posted by yellowbinder at 7:54 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I tell you, I won't live in a town that robs men of the right to marry their cousins! "
posted by rollick at 7:56 AM on August 17, 2012


Hard to say why, but I really liked Mr. Snrub. Something about that guy. Just seemed really down to earth.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:58 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I tell you, I won't live in a town that robs men of the right to marry their cousins! "

Even better that his name was Shelbyville Manhattan. Hilarious.
posted by King Bee at 7:58 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hard to say why, but I really liked Mr. Snrub.

Me too! I like the way Snrub thinks.
posted by King Bee at 8:00 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"My children need wahn!"

(I think that's a case where the line is stronger than the character for me though.)
posted by rollick at 8:03 AM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Senor Xtapolapocetl
posted by Zerowensboring at 8:09 AM on August 17, 2012


> And Kathleen Turner's Stacey Lavelle had a whole episode about her so maybe not that obscure, but she's basically my hero.

I'd like to go on about how much I love that character, but...not right now, I'm...too drunk.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 8:22 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, I like that a one-off slideshow from a D-list entertainment website is all that it takes to get the entire user base to start quoting 15-year-old obscure bits of TV trivia. I love you guys.
posted by Mayor West at 8:52 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


What? No love for "Number One?" Featuring the greatest voice-acting cameo that Patrick Stewart ever did?

And also Homer Glumplich, from that same episode.

"It's called 'No Homers', we're allowed to have one."

And the name "Stewart" reminds me to mention the duck who works at the Nucleon Plant.
posted by King Bee at 9:00 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ooh, and even though it's from a "later" season (12), I must mention Phony McRingRing, the phone in the PSA that they show to the townspeople when the possibility of introducing a new area code to to Springfield comes up.

My favorite line of his is something like, "scientists have discovered that even monkeys can remember ten numbers. You're not dumber than a monkey, are you?" I think of this every time I try to spell out how little memorization they should be doing in mathematics courses, careful to check my tone so that I don't sound too much like Mr. McRingRing.
posted by King Bee at 9:05 AM on August 17, 2012


I was kind of shocked to learn that the satirical pianist guy Bart throws a rock at in Washington was actually a real person (whose name now escapes me entirely).
posted by rollick at 9:11 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also nominate the Krustyburglar, from the Homie the Clown episode, and the crying kid who watched Homer pummel him (Stop! Stop! He's already dead).
posted by MoonOrb at 9:12 AM on August 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I was just thinking about Very Tall Man whilre reading a nearby thread on the blue, about the problems of being very tall.

"In certain American cities, large crowds of children will just bust up laughing when they see you coming."
posted by RobotHero at 9:14 AM on August 17, 2012


> Also, I like that a one-off slideshow from a D-list entertainment website is all that it takes to get the entire user base to start quoting 15-year-old obscure bits of TV trivia. I love you guys.

This thread has me thinking I'd like to see an AskMe about the Simpsons phrases that have entered everyone's personal vernacular.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 9:15 AM on August 17, 2012


I was kind of shocked to learn that the satirical pianist guy Bart throws a rock at in Washington was actually a real person

It's a play on Mark Russell. When I occasionally drunk text one of my older sisters, it's almost always with the lyrics to "The Deficit Rag".

The deficit rag, oh yeah the deficit rag
Those budget gaps can be a twelve-digit drag, I'm tellin' ya!
That's the deficit, they've really made a mess of it, that's the deficit raaaaAAAAaaag!

posted by King Bee at 9:15 AM on August 17, 2012


We should have some sort of off-site MeFi trivia contest where it just ends with me and the Whelk and this.
posted by griphus at 9:20 AM on August 17, 2012


"To the Beemobile!"
"You mean your Chevy?"
"Yes!"
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:20 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


er, Simpsons trivia contest.
posted by griphus at 9:20 AM on August 17, 2012


I told you about the time I accidentally answered every question in a Simpsons trival pursuit game right?
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM on August 17, 2012


Senor Ding Dong actually would have been my first choice, so as far as I'm concerned that's at least one they got right!
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:22 AM on August 17, 2012


You'd think a professional writer would know the difference between "obscure" and "one-shot".

Good point, but I’d happily watch more Worker and Parasite.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:23 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, one of my first internet handles that stuck was THRILLHO.
posted by griphus at 9:25 AM on August 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


It absorbs everything it touches, like this bathroom rug.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on August 17, 2012


What's the name of Maitre d' Guy? Yeeeees! Yeeeeeeees! Noooooo! I had a stroooooke!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:26 AM on August 17, 2012


Two Guys From Kabul: "Sometimes I think you WANT to fail!"
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 9:34 AM on August 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Booooooooobs!
posted by sexyrobot at 9:34 AM on August 17, 2012


JUST from the Malibu Stacey/Lisa Lionheart episode:

All right, I've been waiting nine years to get my frisbee back! [immediately throws it back over gate] AWWWWWWWW!

Stacy, please, I must have you back. Just come for a ride with me in my Mobile Command Unit.
Stacy: Joe, I told you, it's over. Release me from your Kung-Fu Grip.

Also, this has nothing to do with this thread but I just love the scene so much I can't take it:

Doll: Trust in yourself and you can achieve anything!
Lisa: All right. Now all we need is a name.
Bart: How about Blabbermouth, the jerky doll for jerks?
Lisa: How about Minerva, after the Roman goddess of wisdom?
Stacy: Ehh, not enough commercial appeal.
Bart: Wendy Windbag? Ugly Doris? Hortense the mule-faced doll!
Stacy: I think we should name her after Lisa. We'll call her Lisa Lionheart.
Bart: No, Loudmouth Lisa! Stupid Lisa Grabage Face! [no one pays attention] I can't stand this any longer. Somebody please pay attention to me! Hello, pay attention to me! Look at me! I'm Bart, I'm Bart! Look at me, look at me, look at me! [waggles tongue]
posted by clockzero at 9:36 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


YOU ALL HAVE HIDEOUS HAIR.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on August 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I mean, from a design point of view.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:41 AM on August 17, 2012


I guess he doesn't count as a character, really, but in You Only Move Twice (the Hank Scorpio) episode features a video with a "magic" renovation of the company city where the potholes disappear, and the storefronts are remodeled and a homeless man turns into a mailbox.

I was told that in a similar (but real!) commercial about neighborhoods getting better, the tattooed guy's tattoos disappear as the neighborhood cleans up.
posted by griphus at 9:41 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"FREEDOM! HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE FREEDOM!"
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 9:43 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


IN ROD WE TRUST
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on August 17, 2012


Baby Gerald
posted by obscurator at 9:48 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Frankie the Squealer!
posted by moonmilk at 9:50 AM on August 17, 2012


Poor Aunt Hortense.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 9:50 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Hellooo? Mrs. Pummelhorse? I'd like to get down now."
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:53 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lester and Eliza.
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 AM on August 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Hey, Salvatore, guess who's here-ah? Mister Kookalamanza, and some real-ah ugly kid!"
posted by yellowbinder at 9:55 AM on August 17, 2012


YES LESTER AND ELIZA FTW.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:55 AM on August 17, 2012


Eh, this show ain't no good.
posted by griphus at 9:57 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


" there's somethng ....unsettling about that."

Settle a bar bet from ten years ago, does Ralph Wiggum's mom every actually talk?
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 AM on August 17, 2012


does Ralph Wiggum's mom every actually talk?

Yup - "Clancy, use the remote!"
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:58 AM on August 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sarah Wiggum is really an unexplored character. Does she even appear more than once?
posted by yellowbinder at 9:59 AM on August 17, 2012


Yeah, she calls him Clancy in the town hall meeting during the bordello episode, too.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 9:59 AM on August 17, 2012


Clancy! Clancy! Claaaaaancy! Clancy Clancy!
posted by yellowbinder at 10:01 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stewart.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:03 AM on August 17, 2012


Crazy Cat Lady is another good one!
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:12 AM on August 17, 2012


I also hear his name as Yancey but that's not a name so I don't even know why my brain does that.
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM on August 17, 2012


"Hey, kid: one more thing. If you ever set foot in this store again, you'll be spending Christmas in juvenile hall. Capisce?"
[Bart looks blank]
"Well, do you understand?

"Everything except "capisce"

Some time later?..

"I hope you're going to the Valley Vista Try-N-Save, kid, 'cause you don't want to come to my store. Catfeesh?"


One of my all-time favorite Simpsons moments.
posted by mjklin at 10:12 AM on August 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh boy a book of carpet samples!
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 AM on August 17, 2012


No Frank Grimes? Another injustice for ol' Grimey.
posted by Frank Grimes at 10:19 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


You have chosen a three wood. May I selected a putter?

Three wood.

Now enter the force of your swing. I suggest feather touch. You have selected power drive.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:36 AM on August 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


This thread has me thinking I'd like to see an AskMe about the Simpsons phrases that have entered everyone's personal vernacular.

Since I mentioned Very Tall Man, if my friends are snickering at something I'm doing or wearing, I will sometimes explain myself in Very Tall Man voice, "Do you find something comical about my appearance? Everyone needs to wear pants, and these are the only pants that I could afford getting paint on."
posted by RobotHero at 10:40 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I should just favorite every comment in this thread and get it over with.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 10:40 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


You have chosen a three wood. May I selected a putter?

No! Use an open-faced club! A sand wedge!
posted by griphus at 10:41 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The very tall man in the little car always seemed like it was a parody/homage/reference to someone but I could never place it.

Very Tall Man is based on writer Ian Maxtone-Graham.
posted by Lorin at 10:44 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your ball is in. PARKING LOT.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 10:45 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why yes, I did just watch 10 seasons worth of Simpsons commentaries, funny you should ask.
posted by Lorin at 10:45 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


“That is the rarest gummi of them all, the gummi Venus de Milo, carved by gummi artisans who work exclusively in the medium of gummi.”
posted by yellowbinder at 10:47 AM on August 17, 2012


SEE YOU IN HELL, CANDY BOYS
posted by griphus at 10:48 AM on August 17, 2012


STOP SAYING GUMMI
posted by The Whelk at 10:49 AM on August 17, 2012


Do you find something comical about my appearance? Everyone needs to wear pants

Not during Scotchtoberfest.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:51 AM on August 17, 2012


This thread has me thinking I'd like to see an AskMe about the Simpsons phrases that have entered everyone's personal vernacular.

Some that come to mind immediately:

I can't promise to try, but I'll try to try.

It takes two to lie Marge, one to lie and one to listen.

A little from column A and a little from column B.

I can't help but feel partly responsible.

Stupid bird, I never should have left you in charge.

The secret ingredient is salt.

It's just a little airborne, it's still good.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:02 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those are all perfectly cromulent!
posted by TwoWordReview at 11:10 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


At this point it's easier to separate out the parts of my speech that aten't Simpsons related
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on August 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


By the way, this makes me wonder: is there some alternate universe where people run around making references to and quoting from Seasons 9 (or thereabouts) to the present?
posted by MoonOrb at 11:18 AM on August 17, 2012


In that place the living envy the dead.
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 AM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


By the way, this makes me wonder: is there some alternate universe where people run around making references to and quoting from Seasons 9 (or thereabouts) to the present?

There are still plenty of gems from season 9 onward. The "stupid sexy Flanders" line is from season 11, if memory serves. I think the Max Power episode is season 10. Homer's hunger strike is season 12 ("I'm kinda like Jesus, but not in a sacrilegious way").

They're fewer and further between, natch, but don't write off the whole show after season 8.
posted by King Bee at 11:24 AM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I guess everyone draws the line somewhere (I remember people complaining that season 5 - SEASON FIVE! - wasn't that good), but Season 9 is all right in my book. My sister likes to quote "The Trouble With Trillions"; "There won't be any prison movies where you're going - PRISON!"
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 11:25 AM on August 17, 2012


My sister likes to quote "The Trouble With Trillions"

All we can ascertain from satellite photos is that it's not on the roof!
posted by King Bee at 11:27 AM on August 17, 2012


Personally, I think season 11 was the first bad one...although even it had Behind The Laughter and the one where Maud Flanders dies.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 11:31 AM on August 17, 2012


Some that I use:

"So I says to Mabel I says..."

When explaining something: "And to shake one's booty means to wiggle one's butt. Permit me to demonstrate."

Just this morning I used "Again with the Klingons..." to indicate that I am so very tired.

In high school and uni I would often try to slip subtle references into my essays. You'd be surprised how often you can work in "... which was the style at the time" a la Grampa's onion belt.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:34 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't written the whole show off in a "I'm a Simpsons purist and refuse to watch an episode past Season Eight kind of way," but it's only through Season Eight that I have watched, and re-watched, and watched again, and annoyed my wife by watching yet again, the show to the point where I can so fluently quote or refer to it. And I was wondering if there were people who maintained that same level of fanatacism up through the more recent seasons. Because the references and quotes are so routinely part of my conversation that it amused me to think that there could be a bunch of people out there doing exactly what I'm doing, but doing it for seasons from the last decade or so, and I may have no idea what they're talking about. Sort of like, they can understand my language but I can't understand theirs.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:36 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Homer's hunger strike

One of my favorite moments.

"Who are you?"
"I am Cesar Chavez."
"Why do you look like Cesar Romero?"
"Because you don't know what Cesar Chavez looks like."
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:37 AM on August 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


> In Universal Studios Florida there is a Simpsons area with a Kwik-E-Mart that sells Simpsons themed souvenirs. Including name tagged key-rings. Guess what name my brother and I immediately searched for?
I'm guessing it was this one?

Today also marks the day I typed "yo soy señor burns blah blah blah" into a YouTube search.
posted by chinesefood at 11:38 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ah, I get it. I'm a lot like you MoonOrb, only I stopped watching around 2000 (which is season 12, I think) since that's when I went to college and it was harder to make sure I was in front of a television at 8, 7 central on Sunday night.

Luckily, I had already spent every year up to that point recording every episode on VHS and watching them over and over again whenever I was doing homework.
posted by King Bee at 11:40 AM on August 17, 2012


I can't dig it up right now because of Reddit/imgur's memory hole, but there was a picture on there once of another Simpsons gift shop at Universal where the Bort hook was always empty. A stroke of genius on the part of whoever designed the place.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:41 AM on August 17, 2012


I guess I can dig it up after all.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:44 AM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well if it isn't my old friend Mr. McGregg—with a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 11:46 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's awesome, yellowbinder. I was recently looking at personalized key chains in a souvenir shop, and although they didn't have Bort (I always look) they did have one that said "THEY DIDN'T HAVE YOUR NAME" and I thought that was brilliant.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:47 AM on August 17, 2012


Does a poshumous David Foster Wallace count? Because that would be mine.

Also, there are plenty of quotable moments from recent seasons. Two that spring to mind from last season are "The Book Job" (starring Neil Gaiman as himself) and "The Food Wife" (in which Marge, Bart, and Lisa become food bloggers) are absolutely wonderful.

In fact, I just quoted "The Food Wife" yesterday. Homer's line, "Sorbet? SORBET?! My kids eat sherbet, and they call it "sherbert," and they wish it was ice cream!" has become embedded in my consciousness.
posted by ErikaB at 11:51 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cletus the slack-jawed yokel. "hey ma, get off the dang roof!"
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:53 AM on August 17, 2012


Step, Pause, Turn, Pause, Pivot, Step, Step!
posted by svenvog at 11:54 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


And I was wondering if there were people who maintained that same level of fanatacism up through the more recent seasons

Yeah, it is hard to imagine people debating the merits of Season 22 vs Season 17 with the same fanatacism as people arguing over the show's initial descent into zany antics from say S4 to S8. There's no shortage of quotable bits though, at least up to S16 when I stopped following the show religiously.

"Thomas Pynchon loved this book, almost as much as he loves cameras!"
"Covet some chili fries?" "You bet."
"No, you c'mere a minute!"
"I'm a level 5 vegan, I don't eat anything that casts a shadow." (You mean you don't pocket mulch??)
"Subliminal, liminal and superliminal [...] Hey you, join the navy!"
posted by Lorin at 11:56 AM on August 17, 2012


I will exclaim, "I am so smart! S-M-R-T!" if I finally figure something out.
posted by RobotHero at 11:58 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


You'd be surprised how often you can work in "... which was the style at the time" a la Grampa's onion belt.

"Give me five bees for a quarter," you'd say. "Oh yeah, where was I...?"
posted by MoonOrb at 12:00 PM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I use "Turn that frown upside down" sometimes with the response "That's a smile, not an upside-down frown" implied.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:05 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I REGRET NOTHING!
posted by svenvog at 12:08 PM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good lord, that Grampa Simpson story is so awesome, my family is known for interrupting anyone else in the family who is telling a long story with pieces of it.
One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere, like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. "Give me five bees for a quarter," you'd say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. All you could get was those big yellow ones...
posted by King Bee at 12:17 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Grampa talk reminded me of one of the saddest obscure characters, the woman from the home who looks a little like Marge's mother.

"Can I come too?"
posted by yellowbinder at 12:19 PM on August 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Mr. Burns' "...as was the style at the time" finds its way onto the end of a lot of sentences at my place. Obscure character-wise, there's that janitor who watches Mr. Burns and his college girlfriend's daughter express their love physically.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 12:23 PM on August 17, 2012


Weren't it Abraham Simpson that said "...as was the style at the time?" He had tied an onion to his belt.
posted by RobotHero at 12:56 PM on August 17, 2012


They both said it.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 1:01 PM on August 17, 2012


Look Marge, I just tripled my productivity!
posted by arcticseal at 1:39 PM on August 17, 2012


This thread reminded me that we used to use Simpson's characters as a drinking game in college. You'd sit in a circle and everybody got 10 seconds to name a character or you had to take a drink.

Also in college I remember taking part in a Simpson's quiz and was disturbed to find that me and my friends were not the biggest Simpson's nerds in college as we didn't even place in the top three teams (we came fourth).
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:41 PM on August 17, 2012


You'd sit in a circle and everybody got 10 seconds to name a character or you had to take a drink.

Day 4, 12:37:50: "Richard Simmons robot." BAC: 0.0
posted by griphus at 2:04 PM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Er, sorry, official name is "Robotic Richard Simmons."
posted by griphus at 2:04 PM on August 17, 2012


Yeah, seriously. Worst drinking game ever. But it would be a good way to pass time stuck in an elevator for 3 days or something.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:27 PM on August 17, 2012


who could forget Diabetty? "It's mah re-ward!"
posted by sexyrobot at 2:54 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The frogurt is also cursed."

"You've broken nothing! To the hydrofoil!"

"I'm ever so pissed!"

"Mr. Simpson, we all have nosebleeds."

"Crystal! Wake up!" (Ok that doesn't really count because we never see her, but what volumes about Otto's life are contained in those three words!)
posted by chaff at 3:07 PM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aww, no love for Mr. Bergstrom? That moment where Lisa is running after him on the train platform, and then reads the note he gave her that says "You are Lisa Simpson" is one of my favorite moments of anything, ever.
posted by malapropist at 3:26 PM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I feel like Mr. Bergstrom is way too important to the series to be considered obscure. Even with only one appearance, his episode really established who Lisa was. To me at least he's way too fundamental to her character to be obscure. I remember watching it on first airing when I was 9 and I got Lisa, even if I didn't know what rapport meant.

(I also love the callback in a much later episode. Lisa's in a funk and Marge tries to get her out of it with a "You are Lisa Simpson" note. Lisa says "I've already got one of those." and points to the original note, now framed. Awww I'm getting all gooshy over cartoons again. Definitely time to dig out the DVDs.)
posted by yellowbinder at 4:22 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, a couple more that I really like that popped into my head today:

Virtual Doctor (unfortunately, I could only find a video in French, but it's good in any language)

Mr. Sparkle
posted by Flunkie at 4:32 PM on August 17, 2012


At this point, what with the vastness of the Simpsons canon, isn't it fair to say that any character who appears in only one episode is obscure? I mean, there are legal drinkers who were born after that episode came out.
posted by malapropist at 5:26 PM on August 17, 2012


Lady: I'm teaching your daughter riding, grooming, and at no extra charge, pronunciation.
Lisa: Fahther, you've made me the happiest gahl who ever lived!
posted by Ritchie at 5:46 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I assure you my heart is breaking.
posted by The Whelk at 5:49 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Baron von Wortzenberger

ooo00 ooo00 mInD c0nTr0l
posted by dgaicun at 6:35 PM on August 17, 2012


"IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A CHIT, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A GIFT!"

"Ahh cool, a soiled wig!"

(muffled) "Merrychristmas, happynewyear."
posted by werkzeuger at 7:22 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


TwoWordReview: "I use "Turn that frown upside down" sometimes with the response "That's a smile, not an upside-down frown" implied."

"The ruined my fortune! I said make a frown your umbrella and they changed it to smile! A frown is a much better umbrella than a smile!"

"...Marge, this is ELIZAbeth, GilliAN, Patreeseeah, RoberTA, and SuSINN..."
posted by IndigoRain at 10:59 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


you sicken me
posted by moorooka at 11:35 PM on August 17, 2012


I've used the Very Tall Man voice anytime it's been pointed out that I, as a big moosey sort of figure, look amusing driving my tiny tiny red Miata, which I, too, had because it was the largest car I could afford (or at least because it was the best deal ever when I picked it up in minty shape three years ago for a sweet sweet song and couldn't afford to not take it). Mind you, I'm not actually a Very Tall Man myself at 6' even, but I am built like a gigantic dwarf, with a 29/30" inseam, so I'm a Very Tall Man when I'm sitting in, say, a car seat.

Bought myself a more appropriate car for my size and motoring demands—a '96 F150—and now I don't get to do the voice, as the car and I seem to match perfectly. I miss the dramatic moments, alas. I do, however, whine like Hans Moleman every time I put gas in the thing and enter my numbers into Fuelly.
posted by sonascope at 1:50 PM on August 18, 2012


Warren the junior camper...well whats left of him.
posted by The Whelk at 5:07 PM on August 19, 2012


Very Tall Man is so much better than that Sarah, Plain and Tall.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:51 AM on August 20, 2012


"That's in Juvenile. This is Young Adult."
posted by box at 6:42 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's an alternate universe where Langdon Alger is the central character played by James Franco.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 PM on August 20, 2012


Oh Database, we hardly know ye.
posted by dgaicun at 4:14 AM on August 22, 2012


Are Simpsons comics canon? Because Langdon Alger looks nothing like Lisa describes.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:26 AM on August 22, 2012


The Whelk: "I also hear his name as Yancey but that's not a name so I don't even know why my brain does that."

Don't tell that to this guy.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:10 PM on August 27, 2012


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