Edna Krabappel

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The Simpsons character
Edna Krabappel.png
Edna Krabappel
Gender Female
Job Fourth grade teacher at Springfield Elementary School
Relatives Ex-husband: Mr. Krabappel
Husband: Ned Flanders
Step-sons: Rod and Todd Flanders
Voice actor Marcia Wallace (1990–2013)
First appearance
The Simpsons "Bart the Genius"

Edna Krabappel /krəˈbɑːpəl/ is a cartoon character from the animated television series The Simpsons, who was voiced by Marcia Wallace until her death in 2013. She is the teacher of Bart Simpson's 4th grade class at Springfield Elementary School, and Ned Flanders's wife in later seasons. Krabappel was the only character that Wallace voiced on a regular basis. Following Wallace's death, the show's producers announced their intention to retire the character.[1][2] Episodes featuring the character following Marcia Wallace's death have been small no-dialogue cameos, until the epilogue (which includes Wallace's voice) of the 25th season episode "The Man Who Grew Too Much".

Profile[edit]

Edna Krabappel holds a Master's from Bryn Mawr College. She is a grumpy[2] and jaded caricature of the American public school system. In "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story", it is revealed that she was once a very optimistic woman who genuinely wanted to help people in need. It would seem that after years of frustration thanks to the school, and Bart Simpson in particular, this wore away.

There is some inconsistency about Edna's origins. She is said to have come to Springfield to begin teaching in "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story". However, in a case of retconning, she can be seen in "Springfield Up" as a student running through the background at Springfield High School while a young Chief Wiggum is filmed carrying out his duties as a hall monitor, as part of the documentary featured in that episode.

Krabappel smokes heavily, especially during school hours. In the episode "Grade School Confidential", she and Principal Skinner have a romance after they are invited to Martin Prince's party. They are witnessed kissing in Martin's playhouse by Bart. Principal Skinner then sends Bart to relate a message to Edna in front of his classmates who laugh at him making him furious. He then shows them what they are doing and tells them not tell about their romance to anyone, especially Superintendent Chalmers. Unknown to Bart they lose their jobs when Superintendent Chalmers finds out about their affair via Chief Wiggum and they lock themselves in the school with Bart until they are reinstated. They also apologize to Bart for embarrassing him. After getting their jobs back they resume their romance in the Janitor's closet. In "Bart Gets a 'Z'", she is fired from teaching after getting drunk (Bart spiked her coffee) and decides to open a muffin store. She is later rehired when the substitute teacher gets drunk. In "Moms I'd Like to Forget", she gets into a fight with the fifth grade teacher, Mike who talked badly about her students, leading to a massive teacher brawl. In "The Ned-Liest Catch", she is suspended from teaching for spanking Bart and is put in the Teacher Holding Facility; when Bart attempts to free her, she falls off a ladder but is saved by Ned Flanders.

Love life[edit]

A recurring theme is Ms. Krabappel's desire for a romantic partner. She is divorced; in "Separate Vocations", she implies that her husband ran off with their marriage counselor. In early episodes, she is shown as very sexually aggressive and promiscuous: in "Flaming Moe's", she is shown with her arms around two sailors in the parody of the famous Cheers theme, and tries to pick up both Joey Kramer (Aerosmith's drummer) and Homer Simpson, even after learning he is married and is Bart's father. In "Bart's Friend Falls in Love", while the children are watching a Sex Ed film, she says to the children in disgust, "She's faking it". Also, when asked by Nelson Muntz about why she does not live with "Mr. Krabappel" in the same episode, she tells him that her ex-husband "chased something small and fluffy down the rabbit hole". In "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish", she has a "hot encounter" with local Japanese sushi chef Akira in the backseat of her car. The episode "Bart the Lover" was the first episode to give Krabappel a central role, and also to expand her character and personality. Krabappel appears to be desired by many men (and in one case even women, when Patty Bouvier once had a sexual fantasy with Edna), as seen in Sideshow Bob's outrage (in "Brother from Another Series") wherein his romantic date with her is ruined by a spying Bart: "You only get one chance with Edna Krabappel!"

Another theme is her relationship with the school principal, Seymour Skinner. In the episode "Grade School Confidential", she develops a secret romance with Skinner, a relationship that almost leads to marriage. Since then, Krabappel's attitudes to Skinner have vacillated between passion and disdain in various episodes. In The Simpsons Movie, she can be seen at the Green Day concert on top of Seymour's shoulders wearing a T-shirt saying "Not my boyfriend" with an arrow pointing down at Skinner.

In season 17 ("The Seemingly Never-Ending Story"), a flashback showed that Krabappel was in a serious relationship with Moe Szyslak when she first moved to Springfield, before meeting Skinner or even becoming a teacher. She was about to elope with him, but then changed her mind when she met Bart Simpson, a student she believed needed help. Consequently, Moe breaks up with her. At the end of the episode, Moe and Edna are a couple once again, much to Skinner's jealousy when he catches them making out on school property. In "Regarding Margie", she and Principal Skinner are seen making love on a golf course. Then he climbs off and she says, "Birthday is over, Seymour", and lights up a cigarette.

Edna is in a relationship with Ned Flanders. During the 22nd episode of the 22nd season, "The Ned-Liest Catch", Ned and Edna began dating. The fate of the couple was left to a fan vote, to be revealed during the 23rd season opener. When "The Falcon and the D'ohman" debuted, it revealed that the fans voted in favor of the relationship. At the close of the episode, a disclaimer appeared on screen which stated – "What our fans have joined together, let no writer rip asunder". It is also revealed in "The Ned-Liest Catch" that she has "dated" in addition to Skinner, Moe Szyslak, Lenny, Carl, Comic Book Guy, Joey Kramer, Krusty the Clown, Cletus Spuckler, and several others.

It is revealed in the episode "Ned 'n Edna's Blend" that Edna and Ned married in secret (although she continues to use her first married name, Krabappel, as a teacher), and the town throws them a proper reception.

Character[edit]

Marcia Wallace, the voice of Edna Krabappel.

Krabappel's name was chosen by early Simpsons writers Wallace Wolodarsky and Jay Kogen as a play on the fruit "crabapple" and as a reference to the teacher Miss Crabtree from the 1930s Our Gang shorts.[3] Also, there was an initial joke of no one mispronouncing the character's last name as "Crabapple" until Milhouse uses it in a later episode, stunning the other children. In one episode, Homer is horrified to learn that no one has corrected him for calling her "Krandal".[3] Like many characters, Ms. Krabappel has a memorable catchphrase, used often in the series: her derisive laugh ("HA!").[citation needed]

Retirement[edit]

Marcia Wallace died on October 25, 2013; according to her son, the cause of death was related to pneumonia.[4][5] Staff on The Simpsons had reportedly been aware of her illness.[6] Showrunner Al Jean said, "I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace." He also announced that the show would retire the character.[7] The series first acknowledged Wallace's passing in the episode "Four Regrettings and a Funeral", in which the chalkboard gag in the opening sequence was changed to read a single "We'll really miss you Mrs. K".[8] The episode "The Man Who Grew Too Much" later showed Ned Flanders wearing a black armband and mourning Edna, whose portrait joined that of Maude, Ned's first wife.

Cultural impact and reception[edit]

Marcia Wallace won an Emmy Award in 1992 for voicing Krabappel in the third season-episode "Bart the Lover".[9] IGN called "Special Edna" the best episode of the fourteenth season of the show.[10] Tilda Swinton modeled her hairdo in the film Burn After Reading on Krabappel's.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marcia Wallace, actress from 'The Simpsons' and 'The Bob Newhart Show', dies at 70". Entertainment Weekly. October 26, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "The Simpsons pays tribute to late actress Marcia Wallace". BBC News. November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013. "Sunday's edition of The Simpsons was preceded on the Fox channel in the US by a re-run of 2011 episode The Ned-liest Catch. Wallace appeared in 178 episodes in all, voicing grumpy fourth-grade teacher Edna in all but three of them. The actress's death was confirmed on 26 October by The Simpsons' executive producer Al Jean, who said she had been "brilliant and gracious." "She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character,' he said in a message on Facebook."" 
  3. ^ a b Groening, Matt; Wolodarsky, Wallace (2001). Commentary for the episode "Homer's Odyssey", in The Simpsons: The Complete First Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ "Marcia Wallace, Star of ‘The Bob Newhart Show’ and Voice of Mrs. Krabappel, Dies at 70". Variety. October 26, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ "R.I.P. Marcia Wallace". Deadline. October 26, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Marcia Wallace, actress from 'The Simpsons' and 'The Bob Newhart Show', dies at 70". Entertainment Weekly. October 26, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ "'Simpsons' star Marcia Wallace dies at 70". Chicago Tribune. Reuters. October 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ Hughes, Jason (November 4, 2013). "'The Simpsons' Pays Tribute To Marcia Wallace With Final Chalkboard Message". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Briefing–'Simpsons' score big in Prime-Time Emmys". Los Angeles Daily News. August 3, 1992. p. L20. 
  10. ^ Goldman, Eric; Dan Iverson, Brian Zoromski (September 8, 2006). "The Simpsons: 17 Seasons, 17 Episodes". IGN. Retrieved November 6, 2008. 
  11. ^ Verner, Amy (September 8, 2008). "Bad hair days welcomed on set of Coen brothers film". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 14, 2008. 

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