'The Simpsons' Killed off a Beloved Background Character in Season 35 and Fans Are Heartbroken

'The Simpsons' is known for its wide cast of major and minor characters, and even the death of a minor one shakes up the main cast.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Apr. 24 2024, Published 10:12 a.m. ET

For several decades, people have gotten to know the vast array of colorful characters of The Simpsons. The long-running animated sitcom follows the titular Simpson family of foolhardy patriarch Homer; his loving wife Marge; and their three children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie as they run into all sorts of satirical and outlandish antics throughout the town of Springfield and beyond. And while the family on Evergreen Terrace has plenty of love, so too do the other citizens of their humble town.

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Throughout the years, plenty of other characters have shared in the spotlight of the Simpson family. Side characters like friendly neighbor Ned Flanders, Principal Seymour Skinner, and young and nerdy Milhouse Van Houten are just a few of the many characters on whom the show has focused for over 30-plus years of television. However, Season 35 sheds a bit of light on Larry "Barfly" Dalrymple, a minor character who has been on the show since the beginning. Unfortunately, his spotlight comes posthumously.

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R.I.P. Larry Barfly, a staple minor character of 'The Simpsons'.

More often than not, Homer can often be found lounging at Moe's Tavern, a run-down dive bar in Springfield tended by the eponymous Moe Szyslak. He's often accompanied by his work buddies Carl and Lenny as the three of them discuss hot topics and personal troubles over copious glasses of Duff beer.

Though the focus is mainly on the three nuclear plant pals and Moe, there are other frequent customers who eagle-eyed fans will have noticed for a while. One of them was Larry Barfly.

You may not have known his name, but longtime Simpsons fans will most certainly recognize him as the balding man in the orange jacket often situated at the far end of the bar. He first appeared in the very first episode of the series back in 1989. Since then, he's been a semi-permanent fixture of Moe's Tavern despite never having an active role in the series for more than 30 years.

His first and only major role came in the Season 35 episode, "Cremains of the Day," which focuses on Larry's death.

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At the start of the episode, Moe and the others are having their usual interactions before Moe kicks them all out after losing a bet on a sports game. He goes to kick Larry out as well, only to find that he died while sitting at the bar. Homer and his buddies later attend Larry's funeral, which is notably absent of any other attendees. Larry's mother introduces herself during the ceremony and reveals that Larry thought of Homer and the others as his best friends, despite having never spoken to them.

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Homer, Moe, Carl, and Lenny spend the rest of the episode learning how much they meant to Larry without ever actually interacting with each other. Subsequently, they realize that even their nightly drinking sessions don't feel quite the same without Larry drinking silently to himself in the background.

Fans of the show were surprisingly devastated by Larry's passing, recognizing him as an unsung staple of Moe's Tavern. On the r/TheSimpsons subreddit, one user wrote, "In many ways, Larry was a supporting player in our lives. He didn't grab our attention with memorable catchphrases or comical accents. But whether you noticed him or not, Larry was always there and we thought he always would be."

The Simpsons is no stranger to character deaths, but even for minor characters, they don't become any easier to deal with. New episodes premiere every Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.

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