The Bizarre Afterlife of ‘The Simpsons’ Frank Grimes
There are obviously countless memorable supporting characters populating the town of Springfield within the world of The Simpsons — from Mr. Burns to Bumblebee Man to Handsome Pete, the diminutive accordion-playing clown who dances for nickels.
But one of the most surprisingly beloved personalities from the show is Frank Grimes, the nuclear plant executive vice president who is immediately driven mad with rage at Homer’s incompetence-defying success and unquestioned social privilege in the eighth season episode “Homer’s Enemy.”
According to The Simpsons executive producer Josh Weinstein, the episode was wildly controversial at the time and made “half the audience very mad.” To be fair, the show’s creatives were striving to craft an episode that “really pushed the envelope, conceptually” initially by imagining what would happen if “a guy, seemingly from the real world, had to come deal with Homer?”
What really stood out about “Homer’s Enemy” at the time was its shockingly dark ending, in which poor Grimey fatally electrocutes himself while ranting about Homer's stupidity.
But even in the wake of his untimely demise, this character has somehow endured over the years — so much so that, reportedly, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s depiction of the villainous M.O.D.O.K. in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was reportedly inspired in part by Frank Grimes. And in The Simpsons itself, the deceased Grimes, who was clearly designed as a one-off character, has had a shockingly persistent presence within the show’s mythology — even returning as a ghost in Treehouse of Horror XXVII.
And before that, a Season 14 episode introduced his vengeful son: Frank Grimes Jr.
Junior also showed up in the Simpsons comics — as did Frank Grimes Sr., who was inexplicably alive and electrocuting himself again, in one issue.
Most bizarrely, The Simpsons Tapped Out — the mobile game equivalent of a “wallet inspector” — literally brought Frank Grimes back from the dead, revealing that he was merely buried alive while in a deep coma.
But presumably, this isn’t considered part of Simpsons canon, lest the show with killer theme park robots, and where time doesn’t exist, seem unrealistic.
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