Ned Flanders of The Simpsons-fame might as well be a Minion from the Despicable Me movies, because he seems to speak his own particular language with all the "Diddilie" and the "okalie dokalie." And you know what? We Simpsons super fans wouldn't have it any other way. When I wrote my article on 12 Simpsons characters that make me laugh (almost) as much as Bart and Homer, I of course put Ned Flanders on that list, since he’s hilarious. His holier-than-thou earnestness (and goodwill) make him the oddball of Springfield, which just makes him all the more loveable.
In fact, when it comes to the best episodes of The Simpsons, I’d say that Ned definitely plays a part in a few of them. The Simpsons’ casuals can likely tell you that Ned is super religious, and that he’s Homer Simpson’s next-door neighbor, but I’m not writing this article for The Simpsons’ casuals. I’m writing it for The Simpsons’ diehards, because we know the real Ned Flanders. And, as superfans, we also know that his gargantuan spirit embiggens the entire town of Springfield. So, here are eight facts about Ned Flanders that only the superfans know. Okalie dokalie?
Ned Flanders Is A Doomsday Prepper
In the excellent episode “Bart’s Comet,” which plays out like an even funnier version of the disaster comedy, Don’t Look Up, Bart accidentally discovers a comet is heading toward Springfield, and everybody is panicking. That is, of course, everybody except Ned Flanders, who has built himself and his family a “sheltereenie.”
The shelter is relatively modest, with some cots, a TV, and some provisions, but it’s apparently big enough to fit (crammed, but fit) pretty much every resident of Springfield, as Ned is forced out of his own shelter. Funnily, a tiny bit of the comet hits the shelter, crushing it completely, but thankfully, all of the residents of Springfield left it to die with Ned. See? They’re not all bad in Springfield.
Ned Has A Calm Exterior, But He Bottles Up His Rage
One of Ned Flanders’ most defining traits is his patience. Homer Simpson pretty much walks all over Ned, and in true Christian fashion, Ned turns the other cheek, smiles, and gets down on his knees and prays to God. Thus is the Ned Flanders way. But, true Simpsons’ fans know that Ned is really a ball of rage just waiting to explode, which is exhibited in one of my favorite episodes, “Hurricane Neddy.”
In “Hurricane Neddy,” Ned, the most religious man in town, is the only person who loses everything in the hurricane. And, since the residents of Springfield are incompetent – loving at times, but also incompetent – they try to rebuild his home, and well…they probably should have left it to the professionals.
This moment causes Ned to snap, and he opens up and tells most of the town what he really feels about them. This moment reveals that beneath all of Ned’s diddilies, he’s likely covering up F-bombs left and right in his head. I’ll tell you. I just watched these clips again to write this article, and I was laughing just as hard as when I first watched them years ago. And, that’s why The Simpsons is still the best part of Disney+ right now.
While Incredibly Religious, He Has Actually Questioned His Faith
I actually regret that I didn’t mention “Hurricane Neddy” in my list of the ten best Simpsons episodes, because upon re-watching it, it really is one of the strongest, since Ned Flanders goes through so many different emotions. Case in point: toward the end of the episode when Ned goes inside the church and actually gets angry at God for, as he believes, putting him through this catastrophe, seemingly all alone.
Ned considers how he’s been such a good person, and he doesn’t fully understand how so many problems can get heaped upon him while the other denizens of Springfield, like Homer, get off scot-free. It’s a really powerful moment, and one that shows just why The Simpsons, in its prime, was one of the greatest shows on television.
He’s, Unfortunately, Twice A Widower
Ned Flanders lost the love of his life in the episode “Alone Again, Natura-Diddily” when his first wife, Maude Flanders, was struck by a flying t-shirt at a Nascar event, and that was sad enough. But, what was probably even sadder is when his second (actually, his third, but I’ll get to that) wife, Edna Krabappel, died, which we actually didn’t see (thankfully).
Her voice actress, Marcia Wallace, had died years ago prior to it fully being made canon on the show, and Ned daydreams about himself and Edna doing a tango, before we see him muttering how he misses her laugh. It’s really heartbreaking, and yet another reason why Ned Flanders is definitely one of the best characters on the show to pull out all of these emotions from the audience.
Ned Flanders Has Actually Been Married Three Times
In The Simpsons episode, “Viva Ned Flanders” we get two startling revelations. One, Ned Flanders is 60(!) years old, and two, he actually gets intoxicated. So intoxicated, in fact, that he gets married in Las Vegas to a cocktail waitress. That’s right, just like in the Bradley Cooper movie, The Hangover, Ned gets so drunk that he doesn’t even realize that he had a Vegas wedding.
Of course Ned finds a way to get out of it, but Ginger returns again in the episode “Brawl in the Family,” but she eventually decides that Ned is too goody-goody, and she leaves him again. Oh, well. He was too good for her anyway.
Ned Flanders Is A Southpaw, And Opened Up His Own Store In The Mall For Other Left-Handed People
In the episode, “When Flanders Failed,” we learn that Ned is not only left-handed, but that he also has the business sense to open up a store for left-handed people. But, as the title suggests, the store is a failure, until Homer gets people to go to the store, making it a booming success.
Here’s the interesting thing, though. When I went to San Francisco, I actually SAW a left-handed store called Lefty’s San Francisco: The Left Hand Store on the pier. According to the website, the original store was created in 1978, which was way before the episode “When Flanders Failed.” So, whether this was the inspiration for the episode or not, I’m not sure, but what I do know is that a left-handed store does in fact exist, so Ned wasn’t too far off with his idea!
Ned Flanders Is Actually Incredibly Swole
From all outside appearances, Ned Flanders looks like he has a bit of a gut. In fact, almost every male member in Springfield looks like they have a gut. Like Jessica Rabbit in her sexy red dress, they’re just drawn that way.
But, when Ned Flanders actually takes off his green sweater, he’s buff as hell. In fact, Homer isn’t wrong to get aroused by Ned when he says, “Stupid, sexy Flanders,” since Ned IS sexy. Not bad for a dude in his 60s.
Ned’s Parents Were Beatniks
And finally, in the episode, “Black Eyed, Please,” Ned Flanders actually PUNCHES Homer Simpson in the eye after Homer smokes pot with Ned’s parents, who we learn in a much earlier episode were beatniks.
Again, we learn a lot about Ned here, since it is implied that he was once a very angry child because his parents really didn’t discipline him, and a lot of the hidden rage he has inside of him could be because he’s so outrageously angry at them. Again, Ned Flanders is complex, yo.
I know you’re all super Simpsons fans, but did you learn anything about Ned Flanders from this list? For all things The Simpsons, make sure to swing by here often!
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.