- “I'm not your buddy, Simpson. I don't like you. In fact, I HATE you! Stay the hell away from me, because from now on, we're enemies.”
- ―Frank Grimes[src]
- “I'm saying you're what's wrong with America, Simpson. You coast through life, you do as little as possible, and you leech off of decent, hardworking people like me. Heh, if you lived in any other country in the world, you'd have starved to death long ago. You're a fraud, a total fraud.”
- ―Frank Grimes, after being invited to the Simpsons' house[src]
- “I can't stand it any longer. This whole plant is insane. Insane, I tell you! (stammers, screams)”
- ―Frank Grimes, just before losing it[src]
- “What's this? 'Extremely high voltage.' Well, I don't need safety gloves, because I'm Homer Simp-!”
- ―Frank Grimes' last words just before his death[src]
Franklin "Frank" A. Grimes, Sr., or "Grimey", (born 1962) (died May 4, 1997) was an employee of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and the self-declared enemy of Homer Simpson. Grimes served as the main antagonist of the episode Homer's Enemy. Frank Grimes was a hard worker, who had to earn everything the hard way. He was also irritable, grumpy, and easily annoyed, particularly by the actions of his co-worker, Homer.
Frank Grimes was a hard worker with perpetual bad luck. He was abandoned by his family at the tender young age of four, and never went to school. He spent his childhood days working as a delivery boy, presenting gifts to children from wealthy and loving families.
On his eighteenth birthday, Grimes was severely injured in a silo explosion. It's never revealed what he was doing in the silo, or how it exploded. A flashback narrated by Kent Brockman shows Grimes simply seen running toward the silo, which then erupts. His recovery was long and painful.
Grimes worked long and hard consistently, and what few spare moments he had, he used to study science by mail. His long years of toil and suffering left him bitter, resentful, and arrogant among his peers.
In 1992, Grimes received a degree in nuclear physics from a distant college. A bird attempted to steal it from him when it arrived. Grimes holds an integrated Masters's degree in Physics (MPhys), and is a Chartered Physicist (CPhys).
Grimes was said to be unmarried, but he happened to have a son named Frank Grimes, Jr. who was born as a result of one of Grimes' visits to an unnamed hooker. Grimes' son grew up and became a mechanic known as "Junior".
Job at the Springfield Power Plant
A week after receiving his college degree, Grimes was featured in an episode of "Kent's People", which highlighted his lifelong determination. After seeing the report, Mr. Burns insisted that Grimes be hired to work at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant as Executive Vice President. Unfortunately, just as Waylon Smithers, Jr. found Grimes the next day, Burns saw another story on TV about a heroic dog who saved a child from becoming roadkill and pushed a criminal into the street in the kid's place. Forgetting any admiration for Grimes, Burns awarded the position to the dog and assigned Grimes to work in Sector 7-G with Homer Simpson.
Grimes took an intensely growing dislike to Homer Simpson, finding him obnoxious, idiotic, and dangerous. Initially, Grimes minded his own business, but after Homer intruded upon Grimes' personal space with actions such as unintentionally stealing his lunch (Grimes was on a special diet) and Grimes' personalized stationery, this caused Grimes to increasingly dislike Homer. In direct contrast, Homer started to admire him, even giving him the nickname "Grimy" (which he thought Grimes liked, when in fact Grimes despised the moniker). When Grimes ended up accidentally destroying a wall after smacking a beaker full of sulfuric acid out of Homer's hands right before he drank it, Homer immediately pointed out Grimes was responsible for the damage (without explaining how the man saved his life, or that it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't recklessly reached for the oddly placed beaker full of highly corrosive liquid, only pointing at Grimes and saying "He did" when Burns asked who destroyed the wall). As a result, Grimes was given a stern warning and a severe pay cut by Mr. Burns, and he told Homer that they would be mortal enemies from that point on.
Homer attempted to patch things up by inviting Grimes to dinner at his house. He arranged everything to be absolutely perfect (much more than usual), telling his neatly-dressed kids to behave and having Marge cook an exorbitant number of lobsters. Unfortunately, it only served to further infuriate Grimes as he saw Homer's possessions as satisfying yet undeserved for an incompetent person like him; Homer had a comfortable life, a polite family, a genius daughter, a beautiful wife, a son who owned a factory (at the time), a dream home, two cars, could afford lobster for dinner, won a Grammy, toured with the Smashing Pumpkins, was friends with Gerald Ford and had even been to space. In comparison, Grimes had to struggle for everything all his life, was working a second job at a foundry, and yet all he had to show for it was his briefcase, his haircut and a one-room apartment wedged between two bowling alleys (the latter of which impressed Homer). He declared Homer a "total fraud" who leeched off hard-working people like himself, being undeservingly rewarded for a lifetime of sloth and ignorance while he himself had few material possessions. To enrage Grimes even further, it appeared as though none of the other employees at the nuclear power plant seemed to mind Homer or care about the severe problems his actions had caused, simply telling him that it was best not to think about it and that Homer was a good person.
Despite his animosity towards Homer, Grimes held no grudge against the rest of the Simpson family; as he stormed out of their house, he briefly turned back and politely said that it was nice meeting them before leaving.
Back at work, in an effort to prove that Homer was a truly undeserving buffoon and to humiliate him, Grimes tricked him into entering a nuclear power plant model-building contest intended for kids. When Homer won the contest with his own entry (a copy of the current power plant, with added fins to lower wind resistance and a racing stripe) and received thunderous applause from the audience, Grimes finally snapped, declaring everyone in the plant to be insane. Clearly having lost his mind, Grimes ran through the plant, psychotically impersonating Homer in a mocking fashion, and ultimately spotted some high-voltage power cables, saying, "What's this? 'Extremely high voltage.' Well, I don't need safety gloves, 'cause I'm Homer Simp--" He touched the cables before he could finish his sentence and was fatally electrocuted.
Grimes was buried in Springfield Cemetery. Homer unintentionally managed to make a mockery of the funeral ceremony by falling asleep and, half-waking up, telling Marge to change the channel in a drowsy voice, causing the entire funeral congregation (including Reverend Lovejoy) to erupt in laughter as the coffin was lowered into the Earth.
In "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday", it's revealed that Grimes was sent a Val-U-Qual coupon book before his death. It became un-deliverable mail after he died and was placed in Springfield's dead letter room. Bart later picked it out and gave Grimes' coupon book to Homer.
A long time after Grimes' death, Homer was subjected to repeated murder attempts by a mysterious man. It's revealed that these were carried out by Grimes' illegitimate son, Frank Grimes, Jr. Junior revealed the previously unknown fact that while his father never married, he did "happen to like hookers", leading the viewer to assume that one of them was his mother.
Junior was trying to avenge his father's death by killing Homer, but he ultimately failed and was arrested. When Junior told Homer of his plan, Homer recalled the day of Grimes' death through a flashback. However, Homer seems to have trouble remembering that "Grimey" is not still alive and well; as he asked Junior, "How is old Grimey anyway?"
Grimes' tombstone has made frequent appearances since his death. It appears in the HD opening theme used for most episodes since February 2009. In it, Ralph Wiggum can be seen playing on Grimes' grave like a sandbox. In "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story," the tombstone is one of the items that Mr. Burns collects on a scavenger hunt. In "Looking for Mr. Goodbart," a Peekimon Get creature is located on top of Grimes' tombstone, leading a large number of Springfield residents to walk all over it to capture the creature.
In the Treehouse of Horror XXVI opening sequence, a monster version of Frank Grimes emerges from his grave and seeks revenge on the Simpson family (primarily Homer and Bart, although Bart never wronged him).
Frank Grimes appears in Treehouse of Horror XXVII. In the opening sequence, Frank's ghost joins Sideshow Bob's army of the Simpsons' enemies along with Kang and the Leprechaun. However, after being tricked alongside the others into dancing, Maggie decapitates all of them. However, Frank "survives" and puts his head back on due to already being dead, although he is forced to watch all of the Simpsons episodes that were ever made in a row as his punishment in Hell as he looks at a huge mosaic saying "600" with all 600 episodes playing in the background.
In The Simpsons: Tapped Out, it is revealed that the electrocution only left Grimes in a coma. He was buried alive and, upon waking up, learned to meditate in his coffin. He dug himself out of the grave sometime later and returned to Springfield, where Homer attempted to befriend him again.
In "The Serfsons", Frank's head is seen severed on a pole.
Behind the Laughter
Grimes was created as a surrogate for the audience, a real person with a realistic personality designed to highlight how absurd it would seem to a "real-world" hard worker, just how lucky Homer is to be alive, let alone so well off. It also served to show how above-average Homer's life really was despite being portrayed as the 'every man'.
In an interview with Simpsons fan site "NoHomers.net", Josh Weinstein said:
- “We wanted to do an episode where the thinking was "What if a real life, normal person had to enter Homer's universe and deal with him?" I know this episode is controversial and divisive, but I just love it. It really feels like what would happen if a real, somewhat humorless human had to deal with Homer. There was some talk [on NoHomers.net] about the ending—we just did that because 1. it’s really funny and shocking, 2. we like the lesson of "sometimes, you just can't win"—the whole Frank Grimes episode is a study in frustration and hence Homer has the last laugh and 3. we wanted to show that in real life, being Homer Simpson could be really dangerous and life threatening, as Frank Grimes sadly learned.”
- ―Josh Weinstein
- His gravestone has been shown with several different inscriptions: Grimes ("Homer's Enemy"), Frank "Grimey" Grimes ("Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" and "My Mother the Carjacker"), Frank Grimes (Homer's enemy) ("The Great Louse Detective"), and Frank Grimes ("Treehouse of Horror XXII").
- He prepared himself a "special dietetic lunch" each day (which Homer ate).
- While working at the plant he also had a second job, working nights at a foundry.
- If he was 35 years old when he died in 1997, he could have been born in 1962.
- His degree in nuclear physics reads that his full name is Franklin A. Grimes.
- When he received his diploma, the film showed him to be living in a small house on a terrace. However when in Homer's house, Frank says that he lives "in a single room above a bowling alley, and below another bowling alley".
- A likely explanation is that he moved after getting the job offer at the nuclear plant.
- His appearance was similar to Noah Levenstein, played by actor Eugene Levy, in the American Pie film series. However, he was originally based on the character William Foster (played by Michael Douglas) from the movie Falling Down.
- In the series, Ugly Americans on Comedy Central, the police officer of the DOI is named Frank Grimes. The show was created by David M. Stern, a former writer for The Simpsons.
- His appearance and behavior are strikingly similar to Dr. Joel Fleischman played by Rob Morrow.
- Frank is the opposite of Homer: While Homer is fat, bald, lazy, idiotic, and a good-natured person; Frank is skinny, has hair, hard-working, intelligent, and a bitter person. However, the common thing Frank and Homer have is they both have anger issues.
- Per Bill Oakley's Twitter feed, they originally sought out Steve Martin to voice Frank Grimes, but he declined. Martin, however, would later play Ray Patterson, another rational character baffled by Homer's antics.
- Hank Azaria felt that William H. Macy was better suited for the role of Grimes but it was ultimately decided that the person voicing Grimes needed to be someone intimately familiar with the Homer Simpson character to make it most effective. Azaria based his performance on as much of Macy as he could.
- In the mid Season 20-present opening of The Simpsons, Ralph can be seen using his grave as a sandbox.
- When you purchase the premium item "Forgotten grave" in the app-based game The Simpsons: Tapped Out, it will unlock a quest in which you have to dig into Frank Grimes's grave and find him alive. Frank reveals that he was in a coma only, leading to him being buried alive.
- HD Opening Sequence — (tombstone)
- Episode – "Homer's Enemy" (debut and death)
- Episode – "Natural Born Kissers" (photo)
- Episode – "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" (name written on mail)
- Episode – "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" (tombstone)
- Episode – "Behind the Laughter" (cameo)
- THOH – "Treehouse of Horror XII"
- Episode – "The Great Louse Detective" (flashback from Homer's Enemy)
- Episode – "C.E. D'oh" (photo)
- Episode – "My Mother the Carjacker" (tombstone)
- Episode – "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story" (tombstone)
- Episode – "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind" (flashbacks)
- THOH – "Treehouse of Horror XXII" (tombstone)
- Episode – "White Christmas Blues" (Couch gag; tombstone)
- Episode – "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" (Couch gag; tombstone)
- Episode – "My Fare Lady" (Couch gag)
- THOH – "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" (Couch gag)
- Episode – "Barthood" (tombstone)
- THOH – "Treehouse of Horror XXVII"
- Episode – "Looking for Mr. Goodbart" (tombstone)
- Episode – "Dogtown" (Dream; tombstone)
- Episode – "The Serfsons" (severed head)
- Book – Planet Simpson
- Book – Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide, Seasons 1-20
- Book – The Homer Book
- Book – The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family
- Book – The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer
- Book – The Simpsons Guide to Springfield
- Book – The Simpsons: One Step Beyond Forever
- Comic book – The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror 20)
- Comic book – Simpsons Comics 108
- Comic book – Simpsons Comics 122
- Comic book – Simpsons Comics 211
- Comic book – Simpsons Illustrated (Issue 3)
- Comic book – The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis
- Video game – The Simpsons: Tapped Out
- Video game – The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield