Top 24 Secondary Simpsons Characters

Since the show just reached its 500th episode, we felt it was time for us to take a look at The Simpsons here at Culture Brats. So for this week's Ranked!, we decided to rank our two dozen favorite Simpsons secondary characters (in other words -- characters you don't see in the image on the right).


24. Principal Seymour Skinner
23. Barney Gumble
22. Dr. Nick Riviera
21. Disco Stu
20. Patty And Selma
19. Itchy & Scratchy
18. Nelson
17. Duffman
16. Lionel Hutz
15. Edna Krabappel
14. Milhouse
13. Otto
12. Chief Clancy Wiggum
11. Moe Szyslak
10. Troy McLure
9. Apu
8. Groundskeeper Willie
7. Waylon Smithers
6. Comic Book Guy

5. Krusty The Clown

Hey hey, kids!

In a show that is chock-full of incidental characters, Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofsky (aka Krusty the Klown) somehow manages to be a major minor character. Bart's childhood hero, Krusty actually made his debut before the Simpsons had their own show--one of the Tracey Ullman shorts featured Krusty's show.

Even when he's not around physically, Krusty is all over the show. Bart's room is full of Krusty memorabilia, the Springfield landscape is full of Krusty Burger restaurants, tons of Krusty brand household products (like Krusty's Non-Toxic Kologne and the Krusty Home Pregnancy Test), and there are even Krusty products on the Simpsons' breakfast table. (Watch out for the bonus jagged metal Krusty-O!) Despite the fact that his show has been cancelled more times than we can count, that he faked his own death, and that he's an alcoholic manic depressive, Krusty is still going strong, still cracking jokes that no kid under the age of 50 could possibly understand. And still introducing Springfield to their favorite cartoon carnage in the form of Itchy And Scratchy.

I'm definitely not alone in my admiration for Krusty. Dan Castellaneta (who voices Krusty as well as Homer) won an Emmy for his performance as Krusty in 2004. In the list of top 10 Simpsons episodes, "Krusty Gets Kancelled" (the first and most spectacular cancellation) ranks number 9. And, to top it off, Krusty was included in a special history of Jewish entertainers exhibit at the New York Jewish Museum in 2003.

Not bad for a washed up cartoon clown!--Dave

4. Ned Flanders

I got my assignment to write about Ned and I said, "Okily dokily do!"

Who doesn't love Ned? Even with his hyper-religious beliefs and annoyingly good persona, he is hard not to love. Especially when a man as nerdy as Ned sports a six-pack.

And who could fault a guy who sets up his entire living on selling things to lefties? I'm a "normal" rightie myself, but my mom and my sister-in-law suffer from the leftism. It's a pain in the ass to sit next to them at a table when we're eating. Did Ned ever invent a table where righties and lefties could eat together?

Ned's optimism and values make him a perfect contrast to Homer. He's a guy that can say things like, "Looks like we're boat buddies huh? Want me to zinc your sniffer?" without a hint of sarcasm or innuendo.

If you can't sprinkle a few Nedisms into your daily life, that's just a dilly of a pickle. I'd rather see you put the shaz in shazam!--Heather

3. Mr. Burns

Charles Montgomery Burns is like the animated love child of Charles Foster Kane (you know, of Citizen Kane) and nasty Mr. Potter from It's A Wonderful Life, but older and yellower. With his sycophantic sidekick, Smithers, Mr. Burns is the regular antagonist of Homer Simpson, and man oh man is he hilarious.

When he's not yelling "release the hounds!" he's taking candy from babies, stashing radioactive material about town, drilling for oil underneath elementary schools, kidnapping Tom Jones to seduce men's wives, and generally misbehaving in the way that only a truly evil billionaire can. Any man who says he wants to "die quietly on my own term crushing as many of those baby sea turtles as I possibly can" gets major ups in my book.


2. Sideshow Bob

When Sideshow Bob started out as Krusty's mostly silent suffering sidekick and foil, there was no way of predicting the criminally insane masterminds full potential.

Robert Underdunk Terwilliger is a Yale graduate, a member of the Republican party, and a criminal mastermind who seems to mysteriously fail every single time he hatches a plot to ruthlessly murder the cause of nearly every single one of his misfortunes (Bart). Repeated prison stays fail to dampen his enthusiasm for high cultural pursuits or world domination and he makes several successful runs for office (Mayor of Springfield, Mayor of a village in Tuscany) and more than his fair share of attempts at becoming an upstanding citizen. Sadly, any and all accomplishments are usually destroyed by a member of the Simpson family and once again he succumbs to a life filled with rage and revenge plots.

As evil geniuses go, Sideshow Bob is probably one of the best and his personality (made all the more delicious by Kelsey Grammer's portrayal) makes him the psychopathic lunatic you love to see make an appearance on a Sunday night. Seriously, who doesn't look forward to a Sideshow Bob episode?--Dufmanno

1. Ralph Wiggum

Not only is Ralph the Brats' favorite Simpsons character, creator Matt Groening has said that Springfield's resident weirdo savant is his favorite as well.

Son of Chief Wiggum, Ralph made his debut on The Simpsons with the sixth episode (Season 1) titled "Moaning Lisa." The eight year old does have a pretty big crush on Lisa Simpson, but as of late, it seems that he's pretty much accepted the fact that she is out of his league. What makes Ralph so popular? It's probably because most of us have known our own "Ralph Wiggum" while growing up.

Ralph's favorite food is school supplies, and often plays with imaginary friends, my favorite being the pyro leprechaun. I wonder if he shares his grilled crayon sandwich with a side of thumbtacks with his make-believe buddies. And the poor kid does wet his pants. He's one of those kids where you wonder if he was dropped on his head as a baby, and apparently, one flashback episode shows that he was indeed dropped on his noggin as an infant.

Despite calling his teacher his "School Mommy" or declaring that it's "Unpossible" for him to be failing English, once in a great while, the boy will have moments of clarity. On stage playing George Washington, Ralph gave a flawless performance. He even brought the audience to tears. Ralph seems to live in a world of his own, but it's a rich imaginative world and that's why we love him.--Jay

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