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.
Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review
Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!
Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.
This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.
Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.
Shades of grey
This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.
With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.
This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.
Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.
Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10
Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.
Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.
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