When watching back old episodes of The Simpsons, it struck me that there is a catalogue of characters whose arc never extend beyond a single episode.
Some of these characters are now prominent memes, some are underrated, some are barely characters at all but represent some of the many underappreciated moments in the history of the show.
Let’s be clear, there are plenty of lists that exist on the internet in this style, and while we have gone for a few of the better-known characters, this list is more about shining the spotlight on some of the lesser-known, but still equally fantastic one-off episode characters.
To all those who are fans of Grimey aka Frank Grimes, he was referenced in more than one episode so unfortunately, he doesn’t fit the criteria.
So let’s do this!
I am kind of cheating here, but seeing as they are in the same scene I’m ranking them both equal #10. Two of Mr Burns’ star employees. Who are uncovered by the department of labour.
9. Mr McGreg
Another character who barely utters a word, Mr McGreg, with a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg, is one of Dr Nick Reveria’s failed surgery patients.
8. Crazy Vaclav
The Owner of Crazy Vaclav’s Place of Automobiles, this is the legendary bloke who’s lines get funnier as you get older. “She’ll go three hundred hectares on a single tank of kerosene” definitely went over my head as a kid, but that’s the beauty of The Simpsons. So many layers of humour.
7. Cayman Islands Banker
We’ve all been there at some point, haven’t we? The Cayman Islands Banker helps to expose Krusty’s off-shore tax evasion scheme.
6. Handsome Pete
Krusty The Clown lookalike Handsome Pete lives at the docks with the Sea Captain and has made a comeback into popular culture as a meme in recent times. Don’t give him a quarter though, he’ll be dancing for hours.
Not all the characters on this list are here because they are funny. The story arc of Homer’s one-time assistant Karl is one of the most wholesome over the history of The Simpsons. After helping him reach the level of executive at work, Karl takes the fall for Homer ends up getting fired. What a good guy.
4. Gentle Ben
The best part about Gentle Ben is that you could seriously imagine Americans creating a talk show hosted by a bear. “No Ben, noooooo!”
3. Linguo The Robot
What can we say about Linguo. From being used as a projectile to correcting the grammar of mafioso mobsters, Linguo is an all-time great character on the show. “Shut up your face!”
2. Hank Scorpio
“Ya jokin, should’ve been higher!” I hear you say. Well, take solace in the fact that the incomparable Hank Scorpio is the highest human on this list. His episode is definitely in the top 10 all time episodes on the show.
1. Alan Wrench
This may be controversial, and some of you might not even remember him, but Alan Wrench is hands down the greatest single-episode character on The Simpsons. When Bart is left alone in the hardware story, Alan comes after him for Tungsten, which he requires to live.