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The Ralph Detail That Has Simpsons Fans Looking Twice At Chief Wiggum

"The Simpsons" is filled with so many memorable side characters that it sometimes feels like many of them could have their own shows. With over 30 years now in the can, and a major motion picture in tow, the animated sitcom has become one of the most successful television shows ever produced and has opened the door for many more animated series with its insane level of popularity, per Statista.

Though the franchise is nowhere near as popular as it once was, to even keep a show going this long at all is a huge achievement. With that in mind, the huge cast of characters in "The Simpsons" is one of its biggest trump cards, as with so many cast members to choose from, there's always a new story to tell somewhere in Springfield. However, eagle-eyed fans are beginning to wonder if a big secret regarding some of these characters has been hiding in plain sight for years. And that might be the case with Ralph Wiggum, the dimwitted yet innocently charming second-grader son of Springfield Police Chief Clancy Wiggum.

Fans think Eddie the cop might be Ralph's read dad

On the r/TheSimpsons subreddit, one fan posted an image that might hint at a shocking reveal regarding Ralph Wiggum's (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) real parentage. u/NES87 shared the image in meme format, and it seems to show that Ralph bears a certain similarity to Chief Wiggum's (Hank Azaria) subordinate, Eddie (Harry Shearer/Greg Berg). The image shows how Ralph's hair is drawn exactly the same as that of Eddie, who can be seen above to the left of the Springfield police chief. While this might appear somewhat innocuous at first when viewers remember that both of Ralph's parents have blue hair, it suddenly seems like this could mean more for "The Simpsons" than we may have initially thought.

uTarsierBoy scored the top comment with a riff on a classic Ralph Wiggum quote, saying: "I choo-choo-choose not to believe this!" However, u/lookcloserlenny was quick to pop in and debunk the theory. "Heh, Ralph's hair is like that because originally this was supposed to be his dad," the user clarified, sharing a picture of a forgotten character from early on in "The Simpsons." u/storm2k doubled down on this assessment, reminding us that "People forget how different some things were in the very early episodes." They've got that right. From skin tone to relationships to even the voices of the characters, the original versions of some of the iconic Springfield residents are very different from how we see them today.

Nancy Cartwright has a soft spot for Ralph

For her part, Nancy Cartwright, who voices Ralph Wiggum told The Emmys that she has always enjoyed playing the character. "He can sort of say anything and get a laugh, he's a walking non sequitur." She's certainly right about Ralph's comedic value as the character is often at his funniest in "The Simpsons" when he says something totally out there that has nothing to do with what's going on in the scene.

Cartwright went on to demonstrate her unfailing prowess as the voice of Ralph, announcing, "When I grow up I want to be a principal or a caterpillar." However, despite the silliness of the character, the voice actor feels for him. "I kind of have a soft place in my heart for poor ol' Ralphie," she said. "But he's a pretty funny character." Well, he oughta be. Anyone who can show up for over three decades on a TV show and still make the audience laugh with essentially the same bit is a character well worth keeping around on "The Simpsons."