Author Topic: The 5 Greatest Simpson Characters (We'll Never See Again)  (Read 4162 times)

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You've all seen "The Simpsons" top lists... well, here's another!


This time we'll explore the greatest Simpsons characters that most likely will not reappear on television in any meaningful capacity. While Phil Hartman's stable of retired characters could easily fill this list, this is more about one-offs who came and went too quickly. These characters existed for exactly one episode, before disappearing forever into the abyss. The abyss filled with over twenty years' worth of unused Simpsons character fodder.

Now there's an idea for a spin-off.

Without further ado, here are the five greatest* Simpsons characters we'll never see again!

*In my expert opinion.

5.) Mr. McGreg


Who is this?

We never even learned his first name.

Mr. McGreg appeared during a scene with the disturbingly inept, yet inexplicably beloved Dr. Nick. As Dr. Nick goes about his business of being a horrible, horrible Doctor, he's interrupted by an angry voice. Cut to Dr. Nick's "old friend Mr. McGreg, with a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg!"

That's right, he's a victim of botched surgery. Nick is apparently such a terrible surgeon that he jumbled McGreg's limbs while reattaching them.

Or maybe he purposefully swapped them.

We'll never know the true depths of Dr. Nick's gruesome experimentation...

When was this?

"Homer's Triple Bypass" - December 17th, 1992

Why is this fantastic?

Because he has a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg!

His misplaced foot and hand seem to function perfectly. While I'm sure this is medically impossible, I'm even more sure that I don't care.

Imagine all of the sight gags, slapstick, and awkward situations related to a character with this malady. With his seemingly gruff and understandably angry disposition, he could have been the visually hilarious character that you do not want to mess with.

He'd kick-punch your lights out with his foot-fist.

4.) Martha


Who is this?

When Lisa takes to the Library to clear an ancestor's name, she recieves some assistance from a plain-looking, helpful Librarian named Martha.

Though one would expect that to be the end of this one-off character, we then see a second equally plain librarian appear. In the short exchange that follows, we discover that the room Lisa heads to is where the duo had previously "hooked up".

Before you can say, "Wait, what?" we quickly move on.

When was this?

"The Color Yellow" - February 21, 2010

Why is this fantastic?

Firstly, the casual nature of the relationship, even to the point of forgetting where they "hooked up", brings to mind any given office romance. Such romances are not something you'd expect in a place considered as stodgy as a library. It makes one wonder what other "inter-office" classics could be explored in such a mismatched setting.

Secondly, while The Simpsons does not shy away from exploring topics regardless of public acceptance, the show is stunningly lacking in lesbian characters. We've met plenty of men who are out and proud, but same-sex female relationships are oft treated as exploitative (Like friends of Marge who make out in her absence or in Homer's mind) or repellant (Marge's hideous sister, Patty). Where's "normal" in that mix?

Thirdly, we avoid the "hot librarian" trope. No taking off Martha's glasses and letting down her hair to reveal supermodel looks and sexkitten attitudes. Er, unless it's magic like Ned Flanders and his miraculously concealed musculature.

Lastly, there's a huge untapped resource of comedy and future plotlines. Maybe the book "Bobby Has Two Mommies" is banned. Maybe Lisa and the Library ladies join forces to prevent a conversion to "digital only". There's potential.

You know, if the characters weren't just a throwaway gag.

3.) Buck McCoy


Who is this?

When Bart is pursued by a seemingly murderous neighborhood dog, he finds himself seeking shelter on the estate of the gruff and growling Buck McCoy. Buck is a washed-up western film star who has now faded into obscurity.

Buck is a drunkard, a drug addict, a pervert, and a failure. He's given up on life and seems to be about one step away from suicide, though waiting to die of old age seems to be his ultimate decision.

Even his horse is a fraud. That's just how far this man has fallen. When he's called upon to do anything of any real value, he arrives completely wasted. Only when the all the chips are down and he's hit rock bottom does Buck manage to round up his senses and wrangle a victory.

Then he essentially tells Bart to go away forever. Presumably so he can finally die alone.

When was this?

"The Lastest Gun in the West" - February 24, 2002

Why is this fantastic?

The worst Simpsons character, in terms of amoral behavior, will have some spark of goodness that redeems them at the end of the day. Buck is almost a reversal in that you want to like him, you root for him, you know he can be great... but then he shows up blitzed out of his mind and accidentally shoots someone.

Buck could've been played as a recurring gag, screwing up on film and in 'real life', disappointing children with a drunken rage even Krusty couldn't muster. He could've told them about the universal truths of life... truths that would leave them sobbing on the floor in a fetal position.

Buck's last-minute redemption came in the form of nonsensically stopping a high-tech bank robbery. Other than that, Buck is a wonderfully grim walking reminder that, no, not everything is going to be okay at the end of the show. Not everyone's going to overcome their demons, not everyone wants to be a better person.

"So long, Bart. Never bother me again."

2.) Gravedigger Billy


Who is this?

When a cemetery moves in next to the Simpson house, Lisa finds herself with the only window facing the grim boneyard. This horrific situation is made all the more unsettling by the appearance of Gravedigger Billy, a white-haired, limping Scotsman with one glass eyeball.

Gravedigger Billy may at first seem like a misunderstood soul performing a necessary role in society. Any semblance of likability is quickly undermined, however, when he kills a man for his watch.

A man who has been prematurely buried and is seen only as a desperately writhing hand that has burst forth from the soil.

Gravedigger Billy is some serious sh*t.

When was this?

"The Girl Who Slept Too Little" - September 18th, 2005

Why is this fantastic?

Oh, by the way, he's the cousin of the much more well-known Groundskeeper Willie... and tries to murder him in cold blood, for no obvious reason.

The Simpsons has a cast of characters larger than any other production in television history. However, outside of "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, they're a bit lacking in creepy serial killers. Gravedigger Billy could've been an excellent recurring character, lending a touch of blood-chilling horror to a group of characters that are not prone to actually commit a murder first-hand.

I guess at the end of the day there are only so many ways to inject a graveyard into the plot.

1.) Hank Scorpio


Who is this?

When Homer leaves the employ of C. Montgomery Burns, he finds himself working for one Hank Scorpio. Hank is yet another mega-rich Billionare with a power plant, but whereas Burns is frail and humorless, Scorpio is younger, phsyically fit, boistrous, and demented.

Scorpio seems to genuinely care about his staff, and wants to provide them with the best things in life. The Simpson family moves into an ultra-modern pre-fab house in a Utopian neighborhood and it seems as if every member of the family gets exactly what they want or need.

Of course, things don't turn out as planned. Lisa is vexed by nature, Marge is driven to drink by a self-cleaning house, and Homer's boss? Well, Hank turns out to be a despotic supervillain bent on world-domination.

When was this?

"You Only Move Twice" - November 3, 1996

Why is this fantastic?

He's still an astoundingly nice guy. He's a peach. A peach that blows up landmarks and murders hundreds - if not thousands - just to show he means business.

Even when he's in the midst of a life-or-death struggle with the forces of Justice, he still takes the time to speak with Homer who is tendering his resignation. Sure it's a hurried conversation, but Scorpio doesn't blow him off, even as his overarching plot is at its more critical point.

It's this duality that makes Hank Scorpio the greatest Simpson character we'll never see again. When Mr. Burns has some evil scheme, it just doesn't carry the same punch as a James-Bond-Level villain on the verge of eradicating mankind.

Plus we don't really want Burns to succeed... but I kind of want to see what Hank would actually do if he were in control of the Simpsonverse.

I have the distinct feeling his acts as Ultimate Dictator would be very well-recieved.
« Last Edit: 06:39:59 PM 03/22/12 by chwolf »
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.


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Funny thing, Hank Scorpio was supposed to be the villain of the movie, originally. But they scrapped him, because ironically, he was just too likable.