Dolphin "Dolph" Starbeam, also known as Dolph Shapiro, is one of the school bullies of Springfield Elementary, with Kearney Zzyzwicz, Jimbo Jones, Nelson Muntz, and the Weasels. He is of Jewish origin and can speak multiple languages. Bart Simpson later became friends with Dolph. He is a 14-year-old sixth grader and is the youngest of the trio of bullies.
Dolph is considered the "softest" of all the bullies and has sometimes been seen running away once overpowered by the enemy. He is also the smartest education-wise, as he has quite a long list of secondary skills ranging from horse-riding to playing the guitar, and has been held back the least of them.
The son of aging, die-hard hippies, Dolph had taken all the flower power he could stomach by the age of six. He had given peace a chance but chose that hitting other kids was more fun, so he traded in his Birkenstocks for a pair of Doc Martens. Dolph drinks alcohol and smokes cigarettes with Jimbo. Dolph's brutish behavior and distaste for authority eventually led him to kindred souls Kearney, Jimbo, and Nelson. Dolph can frequently be seen in the Springfield Elementary restroom, flushing the toilet while someone's head is in it.
Dolph is recognised by his asymmetrical haircut which covers one side of his face, and a dolphinlike mouth. He wears cutoff shorts and Chuck Taylor All-Stars style basketball shoes. Dolph is 13-14 years old. He is also left-handed. Depending on the shade used, Dolph's hair can appear either a deep red, or brown.
Getting held back a couple years, Dolph is a sixth grade student at Springfield Elementary. Dolph once attended Hebrew school, and according to a school profile in 24 Minutes, he speaks "Spanish, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Korean, Latin, Old English, Klingon, and Esperanto", he is "friends with: Jackie Chan (unverified)" and his "special skills" include "horse riding, tap dancing, British accent, stage fighting.".
Despite having appeared since the first season of the show, Dolph's name is not mentioned on screen until the fourth season episode Kamp Krusty. In the episode he becomes a counsellor at Kamp Krusty with Jimbo and Kearney. He serves the campers gruel and plays the guitar to force them to sing.
It is implied that Dolph may have suffered from child abuse. In Black-eyed Please, after getting a detention from Ms. Cantwell, Lisa asks Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney and Nelson why one becomes a bully, and Dolph's response is "abuse". Dolph's mother and father are now divorced and he has two fathers who are presumably homosexual. Theoretically one would be the 'die-hard-hippy' mentioned previously, while the other has an eye-patch and has been seen beating up Homer. When reading the then-recently released Angry Dad comics, Dolph saw Angry Dad's behaviour as being similar to those of his own dads (he may have been referring only to the latter). He also has a sister who is constantly watched by the police ( via surveillance camera ).
The Simpsons Game
Dolph appears as one of the three museum thieves that Bart and Homer must defeat.
DS: Bart has to shoot targets in the dark three times before stopping him.
All others: Bart has fire a crystal at a target on a skeleton of a dinosaur, thus trapping him.
Dolph heard about the Duff Eating Contest and would like to enter it but his Trainer would kill him. Later he becomes impressed about Homer and tells it to Bart.
Dolph saw Loggers in the Forrest and doesn't want them to hurt the Trees and later told Bart it was a good thing he did for the Trees.
Afterwards he bought the New Grand Theft Scratchy Game and assisted the other kids in Attacking Anyone that gets in their way. Later When the Aliens Arrive in Springfield Dolph saw the Dolphins, Lard Lad and the aliens attacking Springfield, sometimes whenever Bart encounters Dolph in Springfield he tells him that he can't believe the Dolphins left without squealing. He then congrats him for Hazing Lard Lad and calls Lard Lad a nerd. And remarks because Bart saved the mall Captalism can once again Flourish.
Dolph has a card in The Simpsons Classic Collection Volume One.
"With long, greasy brown hair, slovenly attire and a soul to match, Dolph is the perfect yes-man, provided your questions involve petty thievery, cheesing people off, and beating up science geeks. Yet, Dolph's sensitive side is sometimes revealed when he lies on his back and talks to clouds." Favorite job: Serving pine cones to campers at Kamp Krusty.
- Good Listener: 2
- Personal Hygiene: 5
- Intelligence Quotient: 91
- Shamelessness: 40
- Huggability: 3
- Prone To Mayhem: 78
Zombie Dolph also has a card in The Simpsons Horror Edition.
"As a zombie, Dolph is slack-jawed and sullen. A greasy hank of hair slashes across his pale face. His speech is gutteral and filled with a hungry moaning. And without a trace of conscience, he preys upon the small and the weak. In other words, not much has changed."
- Stupendous Strength: 72
- Sheer Evil: 37
- Blazing Speed: 4
- Graveyard Compatibility: 164
- Brains: 1
- Fashion Sense: 31
Behind the Laughter
Dolph was named after one of Matt Groening's classmates from Lincoln High School named Dolph Timmerman. Groening stated that Timmerman was not a bully but just a real cool guy.
During much of the series, Dolph was generally regarded as the most mysterious of the bullies and never really had a big part. We learn he is Jewish as shown in See Homer Run. He is also considered the best looking out of them. He's starting to have more speaking parts and he could be the softest out of the primary bully trio, although this is mainly due to less development. Some fans have offered criticism for the show's writers, citing that in The Simpsons' nearly twenty year run, Dolph is one of the very few characters to be almost entirely undeveloped and has significantly less lines than Jimbo or Kearney despite sharing adequate screentime with them. However in more recent seasons he is gradually speaking more and we are finally learning more about him.
Dolph's family name was revealed in Simpsons Comics #75. However, in the Simpsons World episode guide, Dolph is listed only by his first name along with Kearney (page 156). However in Season 25 Episode 7 "Yellow Subterfuge" his name is shown as Dolph Shapiro, which is a name with Jewish origins.
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