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Why Frank Grimes From The Simpsons Actually Had A Point

It feels like there have been so many characters on "The Simpsons" that viewers could pack them all into a football stadium, and still not have enough seats. Some of them were interesting enough to bring back, while others were just one-offs, having their spotlight for just a single episode – like Hank Scorpio or Rex Banner. Another one-time character is Frank Grimes, whose dark storyline ultimately resulted in his demise, yet left plenty of fans believing his viewpoint was justified. 

Frank, who was voiced by Hank Azaria, shows up in Season 8, Episode 23 ("Homer's Enemy") as a newly hired employee at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. The character's backstory showed that he had a difficult life before finally earning his college degree, and eventually landing a new management job at the power plant. This is where Frank meets Homer and quickly learns how difficult it can be working with the Simpson patriarch. However, to Frank's dismay, Homer's lazy and careless attitude continues to result in rewards, while his own efforts go unnoticed.

Even with Homer attempting to impress Frank, whom he actually admires, Frank's desire for success becomes motivation to ruin Homer's career. Not able to handle the unfair situation, Frank wishes to humiliate Homer and expose his poor work ethic to the world. However, this never happens, as Frank is eventually killed after he breaks down and accidentally grabs some electrical wires. The episode's conclusion left a bitter taste in many fans' mouths because, in reality, Frank really did have a point.

Frank thought Homer was everything wrong with America

In just that one episode, the character of Frank Grimes came and went, but his storyline and the ending of "Homer's Enemy" left some fans feeling, well, grimy. With the comedy obviously coming from Homer just being Homer, yet raking in rewards that should have gone to the hard-working Frank, the episode felt familiar. However, Frank believed that Homer was "what's wrong with America" by not putting in any effort, yet still reaping the undeserved benefits. Twenty-five years after the episode aired, there are plenty of people whose frustration is totally in line with Frank's viewpoint.

Let's face it: Homer absolutely did not deserve all the praise he received, while Frank did. On the other side of the coin, however, it was Frank's handling of the situation that was also an issue. Over on Reddit, u/longcolddark seemed to understand Frank's frustrations by writing, "Frank was unique because he pointed out the insanity of Homer, yet no one listened." However, Frank shifted all his energy from concentrating on his own hard work to destroying a man he just met. On YouTube, @kraziesinner22 wasn't okay with this. "I always despised Frank's bitterness and jealousy. He hates Homer because Homer has what he wants, not what he needs," they wrote.

Fans aren't the only ones left with a reaction to that 1997 episode. In an interview with The Television Academy Foundation, Hank Azaria broke down the original premise of the episode by simply stating, "What if a real person had to deal with Homer Simpson?" Azaria, as a long-time "Simpsons" voice actor, saw this episode as a unique opportunity to play with this interesting dynamic. "It was fun to play someone who is sort of calling the character on how ridiculous he was and is," he said. "So, it was fun to do."