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The 25 Best Simpsons Characters Who Only Appeared In One Episode

Few shows have such a large and varied cast of colorful characters as "The Simpsons." Many of these characters have become pop-cultural icons. As a testament to the show's superior writing quality, each person featured on "The Simpsons" has a unique personality, appearance, and background, with no two characters exactly alike in Springfield (with the exception of Patty & Selma and Sherri & Terri).

For over 30 years, "The Simpsons" have continuously delighted viewers through the antics of its sprawling collection of Springfield residents, ranging from main characters like Homer and Bart to famous secondary characters like Mr. Burns or Moe.

With how many unforgettable main and recurring characters there are on "The Simpsons," it can be easy to overlook some of the more minor characters who appeared in a more limited capacity on the series — especially those characters who only appeared in a single episode. Here are some of the greatest "Simpsons" characters who were only ever prominently featured in a single episode (not counting silent background roles in later episodes or in "The Simpsons Movie").

25. Frank Grimes, Jr.

Frank Grimes is one of the all-time classic "Simpsons" side characters. Old Grimey pops up every so often in the show, but his far less prominent son, Frank Grimes, Jr., only appears once. Debuting years after his father's appearance in Season 8's "Homer's Enemy," Frank, Jr. shares many of the same characteristics as his father, appearing physically identical to Frank, Sr. while also inheriting his father's fierce hatred of Homer.

Driven to homicidal revenge for the death of his father, Frank, Jr. appears in Season 14's "The Great Louse Detective," having grown up motivated by the singular desire to avenge Frank, Sr. In the episode, he makes several attempts to kill Homer from afar, using a theatrical mask and other costumes to keep his identity a mystery. The repeated murder attempts eventually cause the desperate Simpsons to enlist the help of Sideshow Bob to find out the identity of Homer's would-be killer ("Silence of the Lambs" style).

Ultimately, like Frank, Sr. before him, it's Frank, Jr.'s irrational hatred of Homer that proves his undoing. When Homer is unable to recall who Frank, Sr. is at first and appears to forget that he's dead, the incensed Frank, Jr. lashes out, growing gradually more addled with each passing moment he spends with Homer. He was last seen being trucked away to prison by Springfield's police, although his fate remains decidedly better than his father's.

24. Mr. McGreg

A minor character in the otherwise massive "Simpsons" universe, Mr. McGreg is one of the many unlucky patients who found themselves being treated by the completely incompetent Dr. Nick Riviera. Appearing in a brief scene in Season 4's "Homer's Triple Bypass," Mr. McGreg confronts Dr. Nick about the results of his own operation after Nick's successful surgery on Homer. Holding Nick by the collar of his jacket, Nick reacts with his trademark indifference to his patient's hostility, cheerfully answering, "Well, if it isn't my old friend, Mr. McGreg! With a leg for an arm, and an arm for a leg!"

Aside from Dr. Nick's Dr. Seuss-esque introductory rhyme, Mr. McGreg serves as a humorous illustration of just how astronomically bad a doctor Nick is. Fans had already witnessed Nick in action doing more harm than good, but had never before seen the long-term effects of Nick's ineptitude as a medical practitioner.

Arguably the greatest thing about McGreg's inclusion here, though, is the timing of his appearance. Just as we see Nick perform his successful operation on Homer, we almost get the sense that Nick isn't actually as bad a doctor as we thought — that is, until Mr. McGreg steps into the scene, restoring any prior notions we had in regards to Nick's limited medical knowledge and surgical skills.

23. Godfrey Jones

When Homer is falsely accused of sexually harassing his babysitter in Season 6's "Homer Badman," he searches for a way to clear his name. Help seemingly comes in the form of Godfrey Jones, the disingenuous host of the TV tabloid program, "Rock Bottom." Inviting Homer to tell his story on his show, Jones then re-edits the story to frame Homer as a lustful, violent predator who ends his interview by attacking Godfrey.

Godfrey Jones is one of those characters you just love to hate. A lying journalist who will do whatever it takes to get a good story, he's certainly not above fabricating his interviews so long as it means boosting his ratings. However, it's how obviously fabricated his stories are that remains the best aspect of Godfrey's character, right down to the hopelessly poor quality of his edited interview tapes with Homer. That people seem to believe them in spite of how fake they look is also part of the joke. 

Aside from that, there are a few other great takeaways from this dishonest tabloid anchor as well. His introductory line, "Homer, this is God ... frey Jones" remains one of the better character introductions on "The Simpsons," and you can't help but crack up at the brief "Dramatization may not have happened" warning that flashes across the screen after Homer supposedly attacks Jones. There have been so many unethical reporters in film and TV over the years, but Godfrey Jones has to rank among the best and sleaziest.

22. Hollis Hurlbut

The curator of the Springfield Historical Society, Hollis Hurlbut (voiced by Donald Sutherland) is a kindly old man with an enthusiastic appreciation for local history, especially for his town's founder, Jebediah Springfield. Appearing in Season 6's "Lisa the Iconoclast," Hollis initially welcomes Lisa to the Historical Society, offering her johnnycakes and giving her a guided tour around the museum. When Lisa uncovers a note written by Jebediah confessing that he was really an infamous pirate before assuming the identity of the town's founder, Hollis reacts poorly, banning Lisa, her children, and her children's children from the Historical Society — for three months.

Hollis' anger at Lisa is obviously misdirected, but you also can't blame the man for being angry. He's spent his whole life idolizing his town's mythic hero, only to discover the horrible reality that Jebebiah wasn't the romanticized historical figure he always believed him to be. Luckily, Hollis redeems himself when he reconciles with Lisa, confronting the truth behind Jebediah's identity head-on. Together, they attempt to tell the town who Jebediah really was, only for Lisa to have second thoughts at the last moment, deciding to keep the truth a secret so that Jebediah's legacy can live on.

Hollis is the somewhat stereotypical elderly scholar figure. Appearing as a gentlemanly professor with his tweed jacket and elbow pads and his affinity for hot johnnycakes, he's the kind of local antiquarian you'd love to spend an afternoon touring the town with. Even his lapses of anger last only a short while, with the more rational, even-tempered Hollis stepping in a moment later.

21. Leavelle

After Homer rescues Mayor Quimby and Mark Hamill from a sci-fi convention in Season 10's "Mayored to the Mob," Homer is approached to serve as a bodyguard for the Mayor. To become properly certified, he enrolls in Leavelle's Bodyguard Academy, enduring grueling and often unorthodox training methods to ensure he has what it takes to become a professional bodyguard.

Leavelle (voiced by Mark Hamill) only appears in a handful of scenes, but his appearance, loud voice, and unusual approach to teaching his students make him one of the more interesting instructors in "The Simpsons" history. As part of his students' training, they're expected to care for and protect a personal "celebrity watermelon" (a watermelon with a celebrity's name written across it), which almost none of them successfully do. At the end of their program, Leavelle even says none of them are fit to become a bodyguard — but since all of their checks have cleared, he passes each of them with flying colors.

There's a lot to love about Leavelle, from his strong Texan accent, matching suit and cowboy hat, and his complete indifference to the training and qualifications of his students. You get the sense that he doesn't care about much, only looking forward to receiving his students' tuition so he can get started filling his next class. Still, you have to hand it to him, he does seem a pretty mean cover of Whitney Huston's "I Will Always Love You" (the main theme from "The Bodyguard"), which is reason enough for him to make this list.

20. Mark Hamill

"The Simpsons" have had a ton of celebrity cameos playing parodic versions of themselves over the years. Perhaps one of the strongest and most comedic cameos comes from "Star Wars" actor Mark Hamill, who appears in Season 10's "Mayored to the Mob" playing a fictional character (Leavelle) and a satirized version of himself.

Donning a Luke Skywalker costume, Hamill attends Springfield's sci-fi convention, unenthusiastically using his lightsaber to knock down cutouts of stormtroopers and rattling on about the benefits of Sprint services. When the restless crowd begins calling for him to talk about "Star Wars," Hamill unwittingly causes a riot. His only hope comes when Homer rescues him from the ravenous "Star Wars" fans, helping him escape the convention and go on to star in a local production of "Guys and Dolls."

Hamill's appearance in "The Simpsons" is an almost complete inversion of everything we've come to know and love about the real-world Hamill. In real life, Hamill seems more than willing to discuss "Star Wars." This version of Hamill seems to be reluctantly tied to it. Even when he tries to do another project, like "Guys and Dolls," he still can't seem to get away from his most famous role, singing on stage in Luke's costume while brandishing a lightsaber. Arguably the best aspect of his appearance, though, is seeing Homer carry him off to safety while "I Will Always Love You" plays in the background — that or Hamill screaming at the rioting sci-fi fans, "Back off, you freaking dweebs!"

19. Walter Seymour Skinner

One of the most shocking revelations ever depicted in "The Simpsons" came in Season 9's "The Principal and the Pauper." In the episode, the man Springfield residents had come to know as Principal Skinner was actually a man named Armin Tamzarian. While serving in Vietnam, Tamzarian assumed the identity of his commanding officer,  Seymour Skinner, who had been captured and presumed killed. Returning to Skinner's hometown of Springfield, Tamzarian decided to simply pick up where Skinner left off, pretending to be the son of Agnes Skinner and pursuing Skinner's dream job as the principal of the town's elementary school.

It was a surprising development for Skinner's character, made all the more dramatic when the real Skinner (voiced by Martin Sheen) returned to Springfield to confront the man who had stolen his identity. For a brief time, the real Skinner took up his doppelganger's place, serving as the school's principal, only for the town to tire of this new Skinner, tying him to a train car and forcing him out of town so that Tamzarian can live out his days as the one and only Skinner in Springfield.

Compared to the other residents of Springfield, Skinner is one of the more strait-laced and normal town occupants. He has little patience for the antics of certain students like Bart, nor does he obey the demeaning whims of his mother as the fake Skinner does. Unfortunately, Springfield residents don't really go for the whole "normal person" thing, prompting his banishment at the end of the episode.

18. Gentle Ben

After Homer is wrongfully accused of sexually harassing his babysitter in Season 6's "Homer Badman," he faces a media trial that overwhelmingly portrays him in a villainous light. One of the many programs to publicly condemn him is the TV talk show, "Ben," hosted by a gigantic brown bear named Gentle Ben. The show consists of Gentle Ben walking into the series' showroom with a microphone attached to his head and venturing up to guests and audience members so they can vent their opinions.

In the "Ben" episode seen in "Homer Badman," Gentle Ben interviews only a few audience members before he becomes distracted by the catering food area. When his trainer tries to get Gentle Ben back in front of the audience, Ben swats him away, prompting the more heavily equipped "Ben Control" to step in. This team fires tranquilizer darts into the bear, causing him to topple over unconscious on several nearby audience members.

Gentle Ben is one of those throwaways characters that really shouldn't be as funny as he is. The genius of "The Simpsons'" Gentle Ben is that he's just an average bear. His intelligence and attention span are limited when dealing with his human handlers or viewers in the studio. It's a goofy concept, to be sure, but how seriously "The Simpsons" depicts the entire show — right down to the "Ben Control" team — makes it undeniably absurd and hilarious. 

17. Roy

A lovable teen party animal, Roy appears as a minor guest character in Season 8's "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show." In the episode, Homer gets a job voicing the new character of Poochie, a sunglasses-wearing, backward-baseball-cap–clad dog on "The Itchy & Scratchy Show." With the next introduction of a new character to a beloved series, the ratings for the show drop significantly. As Lisa meditates on how many fans react negatively whenever a new character is forced into a series to generate renewed popularity, the college-aged frat boy Roy enters to some enthusiastic fanfare from his housemates, the Simpsons.

Little is known about who Roy is and where he comes from, but judging from his interactions with the Simpsons, he seems to have somehow been staying with them for quite some time. Of course, his entire introduction into the show serves as a meta-commentary on having new characters being forced into a series in order to boost viewership numbers almost never works (it's not an accident that Poochie looks almost exactly like Roy, after all).

As one-dimensional as Roy is, his single episode appearance remains an entertaining one. His cliched attitude, appearance, and one-liners are all something straight out of a bad '90s teen movie, creating a clear contrast between the stereotypical Roy and any one of the more fleshed-out Simpson family members.

16. Brad Goodman

"The Simpsons" is populated by a number of medical quacks and frauds, including Brad Goodman (voiced by Albert Brooks), a self-help guru whose years of experience are put to the test when he meets the ultimate rule-breaker, Bart Simpson.

Advertising his professional help through a cheesy infomercial that plays round the clock, Brad Goodman appears in Season five's "Bart's Inner Child," describing himself as an expert able to treat all things under the "Feel Bad Rainbow" (depression, insomnia, etc.). He arrives in Springfield as a guest lecturer with his signature "Brad Goodman's Inner Child Seminar," encouraging all of the attendees to pay attention to the voices of their internal children. He uses Bart as an example of this carefree method of living. Unsurprisingly, Goodman's suggestion causes pure anarchy in town, with all of the residents acting as selfishly and recklessly as Bart. 

Lisa probably sums up Goodman's character best by saying, "He's just peddling a bunch of easy answers." He lacks any formal training or experience in psychiatric medicine, claiming that his only qualification is that he has a "PhD in pain." He may look like a wise expert thanks to his homely turtleneck sweaters, quiet voice, and Bob Ross-like frizzy hair, but he's just as dangerously inept as Dr. Nick, if not more so.

15. Mr. Black

There have been numerous villains in "The Simpsons" motivated by greed, a lust for power, selfishness, or simply the joy of being evil. Every once in a while, a "Simpsons" antagonist will be portrayed in a more sympathetic light, showing themselves to have a softer side. Mr. Black, the amoral director of the titular camp in Season 4's "Kamp Krusty," is not one of these characters.

An irredeemably bad man, Mr. Black is the administrative overseer of Kamp Krusty, which he runs like a prison. Mr. Black is an unfeeling man we know little about, except for his singular motivation to rule Kamp Krusty with an iron fist. He even hires a group of bullies to enforce his rule over his tiny dominion. Perhaps the scene that best showcases his character involves Mr. Black (now clad in a dark robe) and his fellow counselors enjoying a huge feast, which ends with Mr. Black proposing a toast by saying, "Gentlemen, to evil."

It's always good fun to see a character who knowingly views themselves as a horrible person. Mr. Black is a perfect example of this. He has no sympathy for his campers and prefers to let his sadistic henchmen carry out his tasks for him. He's as despicable as they come, and yet, in a strange way, you enjoy his badness in much the same way as you do the equally unapologetic villainy of Mr. Burns.

14. Ray Patterson

It's ironic to think that the most normal one-off character ever featured on "The Simpsons" was played by an actor known for his manic, in-your-face roles. Appearing in Season 9's "Trash of the Titans," Ray Patterson (voiced by Steve Martin) is the all-business sanitation commissioner in Springfield. After Homer triggers a fight with his garbage collectors, he leads a campaign against Patterson for his elected seat in office, making all kinds of outlandish promises and bashing Patterson for his age and ineffectiveness. Despite Ray blatantly pointing out to the town's residents how ridiculous Homer's claims are, Homer ends up winning his seat. 

Ray is the kind of character whose normalcy stands in stark contrast to the unruly, chaotic personalities of so many Springfield residents. He's a man who harkens back to other normal characters, like Frank Grimes, almost offering a meta-critique of Homer's outrageous campaign promises. He's a likable, plain, hardworking public employee, and someone for whom you certainly feel bad when you see how he's disrespected during the campaign.

Luckily, he's one of the few guest characters to get the last laugh at the expense of the town. When Springfield tries to reinstate him to his former office after Homer's disastrous tenure as sanitation commissioner, the rightfully smug Ray dismisses their request, telling them, "It's so gratifying to leave you wallowing in the mess you've made. You're screwed, thank you, bye." It's satisfying to see someone finally stand up to Springfield and get away with it, making Ray one of the more unique and unforgettable characters to date on "The Simpsons."

13. John

One of the most forward-thinking episodes of "The Simpsons" came with Season 8's "Homer's Phobia," in which Homer and the family become friends with a gay man named John (voiced by John Waters). The owner of Cockamamie's Collectibles Shop at the mall, John is a friendly person who enjoys all things "camp," resembling in personality and appearance his real-life counterpart. When Homer discovers John's sexual orientation, however, he begins ostracizing John, fearing that somehow John is having a negative effect on his family. By the end of the episode, Homer and John have reconciled their differences, just after John saves Homer and Bart from being mauled to death by a group of reindeer.

John is easily among the most charming guest characters ever seen on "The Simpsons." He's a lovable personality who's amazed by the slightest piece of junk he sees as having "camp" value. Watching him walk through the Simpsons' house and point out all the family's hidden treasures is a lot like watching an elated kid opening presents on Christmas morning. His joy is infectious.

There's really not one bad thing to be said about John, the character being an all-around great guy who's able to withstand a number of homophobic insults from Homer. More than simply a nice person, he also makes Homer reconsider his homophobic thoughts, encouraging him to grow as a person and reevaluate his views on homosexuality. He's a great character, in addition to being an important one.

12. The Cayman Islands banker

A fan-favorite bit player in the Season 7 episode "Bart the Fink," the unnamed Cayman Islands banker appears for less than 30 seconds, yet still manages to steal the entire episode. As his name would suggest, he is a banker located in the Cayman Islands, specializing in tax evasion for wealthier clientele (Krusty is one of his top customers).

When Bart accidentally alerts the Springfield bank to Krusty's tax fraud, the IRS contacts the Cayman Islands banker, asking him about Krusty's account. Smiling smugly, the banker dissuades the IRS agent by saying he knows nothing about Krusty's "secret, illegal account," before promptly hanging up. Realizing his mistake right away, the banker momentarily panics at his poor choice of words on the call, then sighs in defeat and blames the heat for his mistakes.

It's a simple, subtle, throwaway joke, and yet somehow it just works so well on so many levels. His quick transitions from confidence to panic to self-pity and the casual way he fans himself with a palm frond are uproarious. The banker might not be the greatest minor character in all of "The Simpsons," but he is arguably the best shady banker that we know (as well as one of the most inept).

11. Lyle Lanley

Phil Hartman was nothing short of a national treasure whose life and career were tragically cut way too short. His time on "The Simpsons" provided the series with some of the show's most hilarious characters, from the ambulance-chasing Lionel Hutz to washed-up B-movie star Troy McClure. Aside from those two popular characters, one of Hartman's other, lesser-known contributions to "The Simpsons" was featured in Season 4's "Marge vs. the Monorail," in the form of Lyle Lanley.

A two-bit conman who preys on cities with too much money on their hands, Lyle Lanley appears in Springfield in an effort to convince the town to purchase one of his faulty monorail sets, using a flashy song-and-dance number to sell them on the idea. Once the town is on board, he opens up a phony monorail conductor training school to teach volunteers how to properly operate a monorail, choosing the worst student (Homer) as the conductor at the end of the course. Lanley then throws a big celebration commemorating the opening of the monorail, ditching the ceremony early with the town's money in his pocket.

A parody of Harold Hill from "The Music Man," Lyle Lanley is one of the slimiest, greedy, amoral antagonists to ever appear on "The Simpsons." His elaborate songs and gentlemanly behavior are just a means to an end for him — part of his method to disarm his marks and get them to fall for his ploys. As awful as Lanley is, his charm still shines through even when his motives become clear, with everyone (viewers and Springfield residents alike) taken in by his charisma and vocal talents — especially his rendition of that catchy earworm, "Monorail."

10. Larry Burns

The illegitimate son of Mr. Burns, Larry Burns (voiced by Rodney Dangerfield) pops up in Season 8's "Burns, Baby Burns." Upon finding his long-lost father, Larry tries to reconnect with Mr. Burns and bond with him. Things go well initially, only for Mr. Burns to become fed up with Larry's constant drinking, partying, and crude behavior. Ultimately, Mr. Burns banishes him from his home. After a failed attempt to get his father's attention through a fake kidnapping (with help from Homer), Larry and Mr. Burns finally acknowledge their differences while saying how much they still love and care for each other.

It's always fascinating to see what Mr. Burns' family is like, and Larry Burns is no exception. Resembling Rodney Dangerfield in personality, sense of humor, and appearance, Larry Burns is the usual Dangerfield character archetype as seen in "Back to School" and "Caddyshack." A loud, slovenly party animal with a sarcastic sense of humor, he makes for an ideal best friend for Homer and a natural enemy for the more refined Mr. Burns. While he may appear to be just a riff on Dangerfield's regular brand of characters, he still makes for a fun and interesting one-off who helped humanize the typically unsympathetic Burns. 

9. Karl

The mysterious temporary assistant to Homer in Season 2's "Simpson and Delilah," Karl (voiced by Harvey Fierstein) is more of a guardian angel looking out for Homer's best interests than a simple right-hand man performing secretarial duties. When Homer undergoes a new treatment that sees his hair rapidly and miraculously regrow, his fellow employees notice the change. Mr. Burns even gives him a promotion on the basis that he's a youthful breath of fresh air. Out of his element, Homer begins relying extensively on Karl to help him through numerous work-related jams. Karl serves his employer faithfully beyond the limits of his position, even taking the blame for a mishap caused by Homer and voluntarily getting himself fired in the process.

Karl is one of the most standup guys we've seen employed at the nuclear power plant. He's the kind of assistant who always knows what you need hours before you need it. He's prepared, professional, and dependable to no end. Never one to question Homer's skills or qualifications for his job, he believes wholeheartedly in Homer's potential as his boss, serving him the way Smithers does Mr. Burns. He's an assistant we can only ever dream of having in real-life. Many Springfield Nuclear Power employees have come and gone since Karl, but few have ever surpassed him. 

8. Don Brodka

The head of security employed at the Try-N-Save department store, Don Brodka (voiced by Lawrence Tierney) is a man who takes himself and his job far too seriously. Making his appearance in Season 7's "Marge Be Not Proud," the gruff, perpetually grumpy Brodka arrests Bart after he tries to steal an expensive video game from the store. Brodka calls Bart's parents and bans him from the Try-N-Save for life.

A former Marine judging from the tattoo on his arm, Brodka seems like a guy that would be more at home as a detective in some major crime-ridden city than as the small-town security supervisor for a department store. He's crass, surly, and doesn't cut any slack for criminal offenses, meting out punishments severe enough to deter criminals from ever trying to steal from the Try-N-Save again. 

He's one tough customer who prides himself on his discipline and authority. Step out of line, and the results are swift and often uncompromisingly unfair. To Brodka, it's nothing personal. It's just his job.

7. Number One

Often cited as one of the best guest stars "The Simpsons" has ever had, Number One (voiced by Patrick Stewart) appears in Season 6's "Homer the Great." Introduced as the all-powerful head of the Springfield sect of the Stonecutters, Number One takes obvious pride and joy in his work as a leader, using his post to oversee initiation rituals for recruits and conduct festivities for the Stonecutters' members. 

It takes charisma to be the leader of a secret society. Thankfully, Number One has this quality in spades. Virtually nothing is known about his background or who he is outside of the Stonecutters, but such little backstory only makes him that more enjoyable to watch on screen. All you need to know about him is that he loves and is dedicated to the principles of the Stonecutters above all else. 

Even though he has only a few minutes of screen time, there are so many things to love about Number One. His proper mannerisms and speaking voice emit an aura of mysticism. However, it's his childlike tendency to break out of his character as the domineering leader of the Stonecutters and announce impromptu parties that makes him such fun to watch, especially when he formally announces the foundation of the Ancient Mystic Society of No Homers. With a speaking voice like Patrick Stewart's, he can make anything sound official, no matter how ridiculous it is.

6. Molloy

An elderly cat burglar whose physical appearance and role in "The Simpsons" harken back to David Niven in "The Pink Panther" and Cary Grant in "To Catch a Thief," Molloy (voiced by Sam Neill) is a resident of Springfield Retirement Castle who appears in Season 5's "Homer the Vigilante." After numerous Springfield residents report missing items from their households — including Lisa's prized saxophone and the largest cubic zirconia in the world — Homer leads a neighborhood watch group to find the guilty party. Eventually, his investigation leads him to the local retirement home, where Grampa Simpson reveals that Molloy is the burglar who's been running rampant throughout town. 

Molloy is very much the stereotypical gentleman thief. He possesses an air of sophistication, right down to his proper elocution and curled handlebar mustache. Charming, likable, and intelligent, Molloy also has the wits to match his personality. He's able to evade the town's police with little effort. He confidently declares his desire to steal the zirconia before he actually does, giving the town a sporting chance at trying to stop him. Even after he's imprisoned, he is still able to think on his feet: when speaking to Homer and Chief Wiggum, he alludes to treasure he buried in Springfield, sending the entire town on a wild goose chase while he manages to escape unseen. Now that's a criminal mastermind right there.

5. The Space Coyote

An ethereal creature Homer meets in a hallucination after eating a ridiculously spicy chili, the Space Coyote is Homer's self-professed spirit guide who appears in Season 8's "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)." Space Coyote walks Homer through his hallucination, offering him existential advice to find his soulmate. When Homer questions the Space Coyote about this, pointing out he's already found his soul mate in Marge, the Space Coyote mysteriously disappears before Homer awakens from his dream.

Voiced by the legendary blues singer Johnny Cash, the Space Coyote is the epitome of cool, from his deep voice to his hallucinogenic outward appearance. The Cheshire Cat by way of Hunter S. Thompson, Space Coyote speaks in riddles and demurs from answering questions head-on, leaving many of his words open to interpretation. He's also the complete antithesis of everything a spirit guide should be, insisting that Homer obtain more material possessions and briefly giving in to his animal urges to try and eat Homer's leg.

So what if he nearly causes Homer to break up with Marge, falsely leading him to believe he hasn't actually his soulmate? Given how awesome the Space Coyote looks, sounds, and acts, we can only dream of having a spirit guide as cool as this otherworldly canine. It's just a shame you have to go into a chili-induced coma to interact with him.

4. Chester J. Lampwick

The father of cartoon violence, Chester J. Lampwick (voiced by Kirk Douglas) is the elderly co-creator of "Itchy & Scratchy" who had his character stolen from him in the 1920s, ending his career early and forcing him to live on the streets until Bart and Lisa discover him in the Season 7 episode "The Day the Violence Died."

An old man who seems kindly at first, Lampwick wallows over his poor predicament, though his luck soon changes when Bart and Lisa help him sue Itchy & Scratchy Studios for the wealth he's long been owed due to the cartoon's success. After winning $800 billion in court, though, this newfound fortune goes right to Lampwick's head, leading him to splurge on extravagant items like a solid gold house and a rocket-powered car. When Bart and Lisa try to get him to invest some of his money in the now-bankrupt Itchy & Scratchy Studios by mentioning the royalty checks he'll receive, Lampwick balks, saying, "I don't need any more money. I'm not greedy. As long as I've got my health, my millions of dollars, my gold house, and my rocket car, I don't need anything else." 

You can't help but feel bad for Lampwick at first — until he refuses to part with his newly acquired fortune to help Bart and Lisa. Even then, for all the years of hard living Lampwick had to endure to get where he is today, you also can't help but feel he's slightly justified in his sudden stinginess as well.

3. Rex Banner

"The Simpsons" has never been above using stock characters in the occasional episode or two, a notable example being Rex Banner, the no-nonsense Federal agent sent into Springfield to enforce the town-wide ban of alcohol in Season 8's "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment." A spoof of the famous U.S. lawman Eliot Ness, Banner is (like his historical counterpart) a Treasury agent assigned to Springfield after a drunken Bart appears on a live television broadcast, leading residents to pressure Mayor Quimby into banning all alcoholic beverages.

When Homer — operating under the secret alias of "The Beer Baron" — begins producing and selling alcohol of his own to Springfield's residents, Banner is ordered to stop him. As part of his duties, he briefly replaces the ineffective Chief Wiggum as the head of Springfield's Police Department, interrogating many of Homer's friends and clients in an effort to find the true identity of The Beer Baron. Unfortunately, Harrison's use of '40s slang only leads to confusion during his intense questionings, with Barney visibly unsure of what Harrison's talking about during his interrogation.

A man obviously out of his element in more ways than one, Banner's stereotypically outdated personality and appearance lead the town's residents to take him about as seriously as they took Chief Wiggum — which is to say, not at all. Decked out in a Prohibition-era fedora and suit, Harrison may have looked and acted like a credible figure of authority to Springfield's rum-runners, but he was clearly anything but.

2. Mr. Bergstrom

The most kindhearted teacher to ever arrive at Springfield Elementary School, Mr. Bergstrom (voiced by Dustin Hoffman but credited as Sam Etic) is a substitute teacher who briefly fills in for Ms. Hoover after she catches Lyme disease in Season 2's "Lisa's Substitute." During his time there, the intuitive and compassionate Bergstrom forms a particularly strong connection with Lisa, soon becoming a surrogate father figure to her for a short time.

They say the best teachers are the ones who encourage their students, inviting them to explore their strengths and boosting their self-confidence. If that's the case, Mr. Bergstrom is a great teacher and then some, fundamentally touching each of his students' hearts any way he can, even if they make fun of him for it. He takes his duties seriously and feels his loyalties lie with his students. 

A touching and important figure in Lisa's life, Mr. Bergstrom provides some incredibly emotional scenes in a single episode. His final parting with Lisa is arguably one of the most poignant moments of "The Simpsons" there is. The love she feels for him even encourages Homer to be a better father to Lisa, as demonstrated by the way he comforts her after Bergstrom leaves town. If that isn't the sign of a great teacher, we don't know what is.

1. Hank Scorpio

One of the greatest characters to ever appear in "The Simpsons," Hank Scorpio (voiced by Albert Brooks) is the jovial, kind-natured, endlessly enthusiastic CEO of Globex Corporation. He makes his first — and, to date, only — appearance in Season 8's "You Only Move Twice." A parody of the over-the-top, megalomaniacal villains of the "James Bond" series, Scorpio uses his company to routinely try and take over the world. Despite his status as a power-hungry terrorist, however, he is an otherwise perfect boss, briefly hiring Homer and warmly welcoming him and his family to Cypress Creek (a town constructed to house all of his employees).

The contrast between Scorpio's role as a de facto supervillain and his actual, kindly personality makes him easily among the most clever and original "Simpsons" characters ever created. Every scene he appears in remains a highlight. He's shown to care about each and every one of his workers, offering them words of wisdom and encouragement and going out of his way to make them feel as comfortable and happy in their positions as possible.

Scorpio is one of the few Simpsons characters to possess no flaws — he's consistently funny in every scene he appears in, thanks to his energetic personality, fast-paced speaking voice, and the heart-to-heart talks he has with Homer while casually plotting the end of the world. Though he was only featured in a single 1996 episode (well, technically two, as he popped up in an episode intro from Season 22), fans continue to hold out hope that Scorpio will once again appear in the series.