The Simpsons is arguably the greatest cartoon series ever created. Although the newer episodes lack the charm of the earlier ones, it is still the king of cartoon comedy.
A large part of this is the countless classic characters that have unique, bold, and hilarious personalities. There are many different types of characters in Springfield, ensuring that all kinds of strange and comical interactions and storylines can develop between them.
Although not a major character, Lenny brings plenty of humor to The Simpsons. He is often used for gags. He is seen both at the Nuclear Power Plant and at Moe’s Tavern, which are the two places Homer spends most of his time.
Lenny forms a duo with Carl Carlsen. The unique relationship that these two share is often a source of comedy, including Homer constantly confusing the two. There have been instances that suggest that they share a sexual relationship, but this has never been made entirely clear. Although they are usually seen together, Lenny features more prominently than Carl and has a more developed role.
Although not as hopeless as Homer, Lenny is often seen struggling with day-to-day life. He is often the victim of bad luck, but will always be along for the ride when Homer is executing a drunken plan.
Hans Moleman is used sporadically throughout The Simpsons. In fact, it is rare for him to appear in more than one scene in an episode. Despite having a minimal presence, his scenes often steal the show.
Hans is just four-feet four-inches. He has the appearance of an old man — complete with a cane. However, in one episode, he admits, “I’m 31 years old.” The running gag throughout the show is that Hans has extremely bad luck. As such, he is usually involved in huge accidents, but will always reappear unharmed.
His bad luck, funny visual appearance, and only being used at the right time make Hans a fantastic character.
Whilst the humor in The Simpsons is largely delivered by the male residents, there are some excellent and funny female characters too. None more so than Ms. Krabappel. She is Bart’s teacher at Springfield Elementary.
Ms. Krabappel’s desire for a partner is a recurring theme. Therefore, she’s had several relationships with male citizens of Springfield. The most notable of which is with Principal Skinner. Despite that, she would later marry Ned Flanders.
While her love life is the key source of Ms. Krabappel’s humor, she has an interesting relationship with Bart. She is apathetic towards teaching and very antagonistic to Bart.
In order to honor the passing of her voice actor Marcia Wallace, Mrs. Krabappel would pass off-screen. Her passing would be mourned by Bart and Ned.
Springfield’s police chief, Clancy Wiggum is exactly what you would not want in a policeman. He is obese, lazy, ignorant, corrupt, and, of course, has a love for doughnuts. His hopelessness as the chief of police provides plenty of comedy. It also allows Springfield’s residents to get away with anything. Despite these flaws, Chief Wiggum is a likable character that can be sympathetic at times.
Playing such an important role in Springfield, Chief Wiggum is used heavily. He has entertaining relationships with a number of residents such as Snake, Mayor Quimby, Fat Tony, Apu, and Homer. He is also usually accompanied by two other cops, Eddie and Lou, who are marginally better at their jobs but still lazy.
On top of this, Chief Wiggum is father to Ralph Wiggum, which gives his character added value and importance.
Moe is the owner and sole bartender of Moe’s Tavern, which is Homer’s favorite local haunt. While Moe is rude and quick to anger, he has low self-esteem — particularly around women.
His non-existent love life, inability to fall for the prank calls, run-down bar, the shady operations he is involved with, occasional moments of sensitivity, and relationship with Barney and the other bar regulars are just a few examples of where Moe shines.
As principal of Springfield Elementary School, Seymour Skinner is constantly battling a school that is falling apart, full of unruly kids, and hopeless teachers.
Principal Skinner served in Vietnam, which explains the strict, militaristic attitude he attempts to use at school. Despite this, he lives in fear of his boss, Superintendent Chalmers, as well as his mother Agnes Skinner.
Seymour’s relationship with his mother is the source of much humor. He lives with her and is completely controlled by her demands, despite him being a fully grown man. It is said that their relationship is based on the relationship Psycho’s Norman Bates has with his mother. This inspiration is alluded to in several scenes throughout the series.
Springfield’s friendliest “neighbor-eeno,” Ned Flanders is the next-door neighbor to the Simpson family. He and his family are extremely religious. Although, Ned is good-natured and polite — a rarity in Springfield — he sometimes struggles to maintain this.
Despite his good intentions, Ned irritates Homer to no end. As a result, their interactions are a main source of humor for the show.
Plus, Ned’s strange way of speaking (“okilly-dokilly,” “hi diddly-ho,” etc.) makes him a highly quotable character.
Due to his severe learning difficulties, Ralph has difficulty grasping things happening around him. As such, he fails to fit in with the other students. Despite being an outcast, Ralph has some unrelated, yet brilliant, lines such as “my cat’s breath smells like cat food.” He is also happy and enjoys life, adding to his charm and humor.
There are only a few episodes centered around Ralph. He is mainly used in classroom scenes where he will say something stupid or be seen eating glue.
Although Mr. Burns is the main antagonist in The Simpsons, he is one of the funniest characters on the show.
As the owner of the Nuclear Power Plant, he has an enormous fortune. This wealth and power allow Mr. Burns to carry out his evil plans. However, his old age and frailty contrast this power. Mr. Burns is out of touch with reality and relies heavily on his assistant, Smithers.
Being the main antagonist and Homer’s boss, Mr. Burns is used in most episodes. He will always forget Homer’s name, “release the hounds” on those that step foot on his property, and do everything he can to increase his wealth and power.
There could be no other character at the top.
Homer is the main character of The Simpsons for good reason. He is a character that everyone can relate to in some way.
Homer possesses all the traits for a hilarious, yet extremely likable, character. He is lazy, overweight, slow, and crude. However, he is also caring, loving, loyal and brave. His daily struggles in fatherhood, his career, and life, in general, provide both comedy and central plotlines. There are many moving episodes centered around Homer. Most notably, the brief return of his mother.
The entire show revolves around Homer. Therefore, he is a key factor in what has made it such a successful cartoon series.