The Simpsons: how Barney Gumble became the most tragic figure on the show

Barney Gumble has lost much of his prominence over the course of The Simpsons, probably due to his undeniable status as a tragic figure in the series.

The Simpsons is full of shockingly tragic characters, with many important figures from across the series suffering deeply painful defeats, but one of the saddest characters might be the one who comes closest to the Simpson family, as the show has morphed into one of the oldest of Homer. friends in the sad sack of Springfield residents. Barney Gumble might be the most tragic character in Springfield, and his struggle with alcoholism might be the reason why he became an increasingly less prominent character on the series.

Barney first appeared in the first full-length episode of The Simpsons, “The Simpsons roasting over the fire”. Barney quickly established himself as one of the regular bars in Moe’s Tavern, a close friend of Homer, and a frequent drinker. The first few seasons of the show leaned towards this, with Barney being portrayed as Homer’s best friend from high school. Homer even introduced Barney to beer when they were teenagers, which led directly to Barney’s current status in Springfield as a drunk out of work. In the early seasons, Barney was also described as having difficulty keeping a steady job, often turning to drink at every available opportunity, even if it meant participating in medical experiments.

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Despite this, flashes of Barney’s intelligence and artistic ability would shine through, such as starting a successful snowplow company in Season 4, Episode 9, “Mr. Plow,” his time with Be Sharps in Season 5, Episode 1, “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet,” and even making a powerful short about himself in season 6, episode 18, “A star burns. “Titled Pukeahontas, the short is a surprisingly raw and artistic look at Barney’s alcoholism and the ways it has destroyed his life. Yet despite a brief moment when his top honors at the Springfield Film Festival might have inspired him to be sober, his grand prize, a lifetime supply of Duff beer, led him to drink more.

Barney actually tries to stay sober in Season 11, Episode 18, “Days of Wine and D’oh’ses,” and he stayed that way for a while, but eventually, he relapsed heavily. In later seasons, Barney has been increasingly diverted to the side instead of Lenny and Carl, with episodes even focusing on the close friendship between Homer, Moe, Lenny, and Carl, ignoring Barney entirely. Not surprisingly, as Barney has transformed over the years to be one of Springfield’s most tragic figures, and introducing him in the most comical situations becomes impossible to do without his drink also playing a major factor in the performance. character.

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His great potential could have made him someone who could have escaped Springfield and made a bigger impact on the world, with Season 5, Episode 15, “Deep Space Homer” revealing that he had the makings of an impressive astronaut after being sober and train for a short period of time, but lose control when drinking non-alcoholic champagne. The sheer tragedy of his relapse, and the way that no one in town seems committed to helping him, makes his situation darker. Moe, one of his best friends, even manipulates him in multiple episodes to make sure he continues to drink and bring money to the bar.

Barney’s troubles could also draw more attention to Homer’s liberal drinking, which the series has long juggled as a comic and dramatic element in Homer’s life. With Barney’s out of control actions by his side, Homer’s drink would be painted in a much more serious and painful way. Barney’s place on the show’s main cast may have come early, but the implications he brought with his presence could be too sad to see on a regular basis, especially after the series revealed that Barney is aware of the toll it has taken. alcohol consumption in your life. .

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