In The Simpsons universe, there are 125 recurring characters (not including celebrity appearances). Out of these 125, we can’t help but think that there are some characters who could pull off some pretty good spin-off shows themselves. So we’ve taken the liberty of putting together this list, along with writing a potential plot to try and give it some legs.
Since 17 December 1989, The Simpsons have kept us laughing and entertained. Now, even in their 32nd series, we all turn a blind eye to the fact Bart, Lisa and Maggie should be in their 30’s/40s. And that they would probably own Snowball #15 by now and just enjoy the storylines and characters.
Could our ideas be in the running to beat The Simpsons as the longest-running scripted series in U.S history?
1. Bart Simpson – The BMX Years
Now, we didn’t really want to take a character from the actual Simpsons family to start this list for a spin-off. But after thinking about it, there is one member that could have a pretty good series all on their own… Don’t have a cow, man.
Throughout the years, we have had several glimpses of grown-up Bart: from as early as season 6, with Lisa’s wedding, to season 11’s Bart To The Future and season 27’s Bart Hood, among others. How cool would it be to have a whole show dedicated to Bart in his 20s? I’m sure he would still be up to his usual tricks.
By his mid-20s, following the storyline from ‘Bart Hood’, Bart has his own BMX bike shop, which he lives above. Naturally, Milhouse has also moved in with him. After Nelson dares Bart to attempt an almost impossible BMX jump, he manages to land it and decides to take up professional BMX stunting again. Bart, along with Milhouse – who calls himself his manager – take off to join the competition world. Each episode is set in a different city around the world as they explore and get up to no good.
2. Comic Book Guy – Best. Superhero. Ever.
From his first-ever appearance in season 2’s “Three Men and a Comic Book”, Jeffrey Albertson, better known as Comic Book Guy, has given us deadpan line, after deadpan line.
He is now a regular in the show, appearing in over a hundred episodes, plus Simpsons games and The Movie. So, what’s stopping the writers giving him a spin-off? Superhero TV series are big at the moment. So one about the biggest-superhero-fan-turned-crime-fighter would fit in perfectly and could have legs to go all the way.
After figuring out the secret of being a crime fighter – hiding in the shadows and jumping out when the bad guys least expect it – Comic Book Guy decides to give it a go. As he is widely known as ‘Comic Book Guy’, he just uses his own name as his alias: enter Super-Jeff.
A whole heap of storylines would ensue. Between running the comic bookstore, meeting other superheroes and fighting crime on the side. Maybe he could find a girl that has his favourite qualities. I mean that she’s near mint and comes from a very limited edition — females who will talk to him!
3. Side Show Bob – No Longer The Side Show
Dr. Robert Underdunk Terwilliger, also known as criminal Side Show Bob. He has been in The Simpsons since the eighth episode of the first season, ‘The Telltale Head’. Yet, his antagonistic character wasn’t revealed until the twelfth episode, ‘Krusty Gets Busted’. This is the one when he framed his employer, Krusty the Clown, for the Kwik-E-Mart robbery. Found out and thrown into prison due to Bart’s detective skills, Robert’s evil intentions turned towards Bart, and in time the whole Simpson family.
But that was so season 1 – 17.
Now, he is a full-time criminal mastermind with a wife Francesca Terwilliger and Child Gino Terwilliger. So, what better way to get back at The Simpsons than to try to steal their ‘longest-running scripted series in U.S history’ title away from them in his own family spin-off? The voice of Side Show Bob, Kelsey Grammer, knows all too well about leaving one show – Cheers – for his own spin-off – Frasier – and outlasting the original.
Pretty much like The Simpsons, but only more scheming and only one child.
4. Groundskeeper Willie – The Backstory
Arguably, one of the best characters in The Simpsons is Groundskeeper Willie. In fact, he was famously voted the person most Americans associate with Scotland. He beat Sir Sean Connery, Ewan McGregor and many other famous Scottish personalities to the top spot!
He is also known for his sassy comebacks like the below interaction with Priceable Skinner in Season 18’s “Yokel Chords”:
Groundskeeper Willie: I’ll bring those kids back dead or alive!
Skinner: Not DEAD!
Groundskeeper Willie: Aw, you never let Willie be Willie!
But his mysterious past is what keeps us intrigued for a Simpsons spin-off. Especially as there has been many contradictory mentions about his past. It took until Season 23 to finally find out that Groundskeeper Willie is from Kirkwall in Orkney, not Aberdeen or Edinburgh as presumed! When conversations about his likeness to the Aberdeen Strangler arise, he responds by whistling…
His elusive past got me thinking about an intriguing spin-off, delving into his backstory. We could even give Willy back some of his hair, as we explore his 20s before he heads to America.
A 20-something Willie shows us his reasons for leaving Scotland and answers the now age-old question: is he the ‘Aberdeen Strangler’?
5. Lurleen Lumpkin – The Wonder Years
She has been in the least number of episodes on this list (just 17 episodes in total), but as a bit of a wild card, let’s add Lurleen Lumpkin into the mix for a spin-off from The Simpsons.
On the 55th episode, Lurleen sung herself into ours and Homer’s lives, and since then has popped up several times, leaving a lasting impression. From her first episode, you could tell there is more to her story than meets the eye, therefore a perfect candidate for a spin-off.
There has never been a cartoon about a famous country singer before. Perhaps Lurleen is a struggling musician, but after her brief stint with Homer as her manager, her career gains some traction as she hits highs and lows of the music industry. From washed-up bars to sold-out shows, think Nashville, but yellow and with more bar fights.
6. Keeping Up with Mr Burns and Smithers
It’s the unrequited love story that just keeps giving. So, why wouldn’t we want to take a closer look into the inner workings of their endearingly one-sided relationship?
Both characters have been in the show since the very first episode and have been through a lot both individually and together. I mean Mr Burns has been shot, had his heart broken several times, and turned into an alien, all by the tender age of about 118 years old.
Whilst he’s never been shot, Smithers has also had it pretty rough, from his thyroid condition to being hopelessly in love with Mr Burns. Oh, and changing skin colour through the years.
It’s easy to see the comedy and entertainment qualities that could come from a series around Charles Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers.
This series could be filmed like a reality show, so you can see what both sides are thinking, much like ‘Kardashian’-Esque interview segments.
So, there you have it for individual and pairs of characters. Fox Broadcasting Company, hit us up! If you’ve loved these ideas, here are a couple more around groups of people and places that could also carry their own Simpsons spin-off too.
7. Teaching at Springfield Elementary
Now, unfortunately, as much as I wanted to I couldn’t quite see a full spin-off around just Principle Skinner, but, that doesn’t mean he can’t be in one!
Between 2001 – 2004, there was a British series called ‘Teachers’, starring Andrew Lincoln, who is now better known as playing Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead. ‘Teachers’ was incredibly funny and relatable, so let’s do what The Simpsons do best and recreate that in Springfield.
The show won’t include any of the Simpsons family, as it would have been filmed after Bart and Lisa have left school. Though it would be interesting to have some remanence of Bart and Lisa around the halls as Easter Eggs, such as Bart’s graffiti and Lisa’s awards.
But, all the teachers we know and love will be there, and maybe even Groundskeeper Willie too (giving him two well-deserved roles in these spin-offs). Or, we could set this series earlier and resurrect the awesome Mrs Krabappel.
Come on… you knew this was coming! We couldn’t talk about possible spin-offs without mentioning Moe’s Tavern! Like Frasier came after Cheers, let’s flip the switch and Bring Moe’s after The Simpsons. It’s already been mentioned in The Simpsons itself that this establishment could have a spin-off of its own, so come on Matt Groening, let’s get it sorted!
There would also be a whole host of The Simpsons characters involved, including Homer Simpson, Barney Gumble, Carl Carlson, Lenny Leonard and the main man himself, Moe Szyslak. All among other new and old characters that were often seen in the Tavern.
A group of people from different paths of life meet at Moe’s, a bar run by Moe in Springfield. They share their experiences while working and drinking at the bar (okay, this was taken from the Cheers plot-explanation on Google… I mean if Cheers could last 275 episodes across 7 seasons, I know Moe’s could give it a pretty good shot too!). It was all briefly teased in the epic Flaming Moe’s episode, make it happen.
“¡Ay, caramba!” so that’s it for our list of The Simpsons characters who deserve their own spin-off show. But let’s face it, there are a lot of colourful characters in The Simpsons too.
We thought these were the ones that really could take off like Santa’s Little Helper, how did we do? Can you think of any others and what plots they could have? Comment below!
More of our TV articles HERE.
Read IMDB information on The Simpsons HERE.
Squid Game – Review
The Players and Games
On 17 September 2021, South Korean, Netflix series Squid Game was released. Unbeknown to many including writer and creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, this nine-part drama quickly became the most talked about and watched show around the world.
The extremely well written, staged and thought-out show is a mix of ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Battel Royal’ all rolled into one. To make an intense and binge-able series from start to finish.
The series can be watched with subtitles or dubbed. We would suggest watching it subtitled as some of the dubbed voiceovers don’t quite match up to the characters and you can lose some of the intensity in the scenes. With both options, however, you will still be able to get a good handle of the story, as you follow hundreds of money-poor contestants take on the deadly childhood games.
SPOILERS: If you haven’t watched the whole of Squid Game yet. Stop reading here as we are about to review the players and the games, with some hefty spoilers added in.
All dressed in green tracksuits the players are the focus of the story, and the costuming made sure they did just that. In Screen Rants video Squid Game: 15 Things You Missed, we find out that Dong-hyuk wanted the players in school uniforms. But after realising they would have to wear shorts and skirts, he went with the PE style tracksuits in green, the opposite colour to red on the colour wheel… to make sure the blood stood out.
The game starts with 456 players, but there are eight main characters, who we are invited to find out more about within the story.
Seong Gi-hun (player 456)
The very first player we are introduced to is gambling addict Seong Gi-hun, Played by actor and successful model Lee Jung-jae. Gi-hun lives with his mother, bets all her money on horses, has a lot of debts, and gets his own daughter’s birthday gift from an arcade game. Which cleverly links to the boxes they use for coffins, within the game.
Gi-hun, is a great main character because through his lies and bad habits, his narrative is written to show that he has a compassionate side too, which you can relate to.
Kang Sae-byeok (player 067)
The next character we meet is Kang Sae-byeok, portrayed perfectly by model Jung Ho-yeon, in her first ever acting role. The character arc of the strong, independent, pickpocket, is so interesting and endearing to watch. She goes from depending on herself to becoming part of a team and putting her trust in others.
Her back story is of wanting money to help her brother leave an orphanage and to move her mother from North to South Korea. This puts her in a very sympathetic light which urges us the viewer to root for her.
Cho Sang-woo (Player 218)
The next player we are introduced to is Cho Sang-woo, this complex character played by popular TV actor Park Hae Soo. His own story and mannerisms are what make him such an interesting and confusing character who one minute you like, for example when he helps the team out in tug-of-war game or the other minute you despise especially after the stunt he pulled with Ali, in the marble arena. This makes him one of the best characters to have in a show like this as he is unpredictable, like we saw at the end of game six.
Oh il-Nam (player 001)
The heart and soul of the team… or so we thought! Was Oh il-Nam player 001- we should have known!
One of the smartest players in the game was expertly played by actor and writer, Oh Young-soothe. The likable old man had us going all the way to the end and even made some of us cry in the marble game making the twist at the end of the series even better.
Jang Deok-Su (Player 101)
All good games need a villain, luckily there were a lot within the 456 players, but none were as bad as actor Heo Sung-tae’s portrayal of tatted Jang Deok-su.
Player 101, comes in hitting one of the female players and leaves being dragged down by another one! His well-written character had us shouting at the screen and hoping for a worthy death, and after his betrayal to Han Mi-nyeo before tug of war, she served him the cruel departure from the game we had all hoped for.
Abdul Ali (Player 199)
After saving Gi-Hun in the red light, green light game. Abdul Ali showed not only his strength but his love and trust in others which unfortunately would also become his demise…Thanks to snaky Sang-woo.
Actor Anupam Tripathi took his first big TV role and ran with it becoming one of the most loved characters in the series. Even getting a barrage of meme’s made for the character following his wrongful and underhanded death.
Han Mi-nyeo (Player 212)
Due to the copious amounts of death and blood, it’s always wise to have a little comic relief. Han Mi-nyeo’s character was certainly that, with her frequently used catchphrase of ‘I’m good at everything, except for the things I’m not’. Portrayed by Californian born actress Kim Joo-ryeong, the loud and obnoxious character really gave the competitive edge to the game, especially in the honeycomb games when she cheated, using a lighter to melt the candy! Her character, however, did get a little grating at times.
Ji-yeong (Player 240)
Our biggest issue with this character was that there was simply not enough screen time! Played by Lee Yoo-mi in her first major role, the character of Ji-yeong captured our hearts in just three episodes. Particularly as we got to know more about her harrowing backstory if only there was a way that both Ji-yeong and Sae-byeok could have left the marble arena together!
The main part of the story of Squid Game, is the six schoolyard games, which the players must play and win to get their hands on the life-changing sum of money.
Game 1: Red Light, Green Light.
The aim of the game is not to move when the ‘creepiest doll in history’ is looking, otherwise you are eliminated, and in this game, this doesn’t just mean out! When the ‘creepy doll’ isn’t looking you need to run as quick as you can and try and cross the line within the time frame. Sounds easy right? Not when you realise if you move… you die!
Red Light, Green Light is where the players realise what kind of game they are involved in and where we lost over half to the players too!
The schoolyard set and creepy doll voice just add to the tension of this game, which is also amplified by the visuals of the game in play accompanied by the switch over to the Front Man as he watched the game through monitors whilst listening to the song ‘Fly me to the moon’.
Game 2: Honeycomb/Dalgano Candy
To be safe in this game you need to successfully cut out a shape from Honeycomb, without damaging or breaking the shape. The only tool you are given to help you is a needle.
At the beginning of this game, we truly see the back-stabbing side of Sang-woo, as he realises what game it is, as the players start to pick their shape, before knowing what they need to do.
In the know, Sang-woo goes for the easiest shape, a triangle, and neglects to warn the others as Gi-Hun walks over to pick the hardest shape, the umbrella. This game separates the cheaters from the thinkers as Mi-nyeo and Deok-su use a lighter and Gi-Hun uses his brain and licks the shape free.
The climbing frames, bright colours, childish music and gunshots provide the perfect setting to make this whole scene completely unnerving for the players and the viewers.
Game 3: Tug of War
In teams of ten, it’s time for the players to play Tug of War. The main basis of this game needs no introduction, but instead of being pulled into a pile of mud like the classic game… you get pulled to your death.
Due to the Dr, Player 111, and his extra gameplay with some of the guards. (That involved selling body parts) Deok-su and his team know what game was coming up and managed to put together a team of strongmen to win their heat. Unfortunately, Gi-hun and his team didn’t have the same knowledge and in turn looked to have a weaker team than others. Luckily Il-Nam and Sang-Woo had solid gameplay ideas which saved the team.
The setting for Tug of War, took a bit of a dark turn and away from the schoolyard setting. With yellow and grey platforms set in a pitch-black room. Within this game, we lost half the players.
Game 4: Marbles
With this series, we all had the fear that at one point out favourites would be pitted against each other but not this early! Asked to pair up the players thought they would be playing together in teams like the last game, but that was not the case.
In the game of Marbles, the pairs were left to decide for themselves what game they wanted to play, with the loser being eliminated!
Probably one of the hardest games to watch as most pairs were playing a game of chance. If you were anything like us, we were hoping there was going to be another twist where some of the characters would survive in pairs but instead, we lost some big players and learned who were not to be trusted.
Having two games back-to-back where we lost half the players each time really helped keep the momentum of the story.
Game 5: Glass Bridge
To start this horrifying game of chance, the players had to pick their order, before knowing what the game was which led to a very tense moment where Gi Hun, almost went first. His indecisiveness helping him hugely here.
The aim of this game is for the remaining players to make their way across the glass bridge hopping from glass square to glass square, hoping to land on the tempered glass, rather than the normal glass which would break instantly sending them plummeting to their death.
Again, set in a pitch-black room with a few lights this game was intense! But it did however whittled the players down to three and showed Sang-woo’s ‘do anything for the money’ character again.
The added glass blasts at the end of the game also added an extra twist of tension as front runner Sae-byeok got severely injured.
Game 6: The Squid Game
With only two players left after Sang-woo eliminated Sae-byeok with a dinner knife, it was on to the final game and namesake of the series, Squid Game.
This game is divided into attacker (Gi-hun) and defender (Sang-woo). The attackers’ objective is to reach the “home” square marked on the opposite side of the field, while the defender’s purpose is to block them and push them out to win.
However, let’s be honest we saw very little gameplay as it ended up in a fight between the two finalists. The end of the game was gripping to watch, particularly with the knives in play and Gi-huns indecisive personality. Just as we think it’s all over, rather than putting his foot in the home square Gi-hun tries to get an injured Sang-woo to walk away from the game so they can both survive, giving up on the money.
But it a massive twist Sang-woo picks up the knife from the floor and instead of killing Gi-hun, like we anticipated, he kills himself. This was a great call from writer Hwang Dong-hyuk as it was unexpected and gave us a little extra from Sang-woos character. However, we can’t help but think that maybe it would have been a bigger twist if Sang-woo did kill Gi-Hun and won the games as no one was routing for him.
What do you think about our thoughts on the players and games within Squid Game? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out book to movie adaptations coming soon HERE.
Read IMDB information about Squid Game HERE.
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