The Simpsons scene in Moe's Tavern meant to look like The Last Supper

‘The Simpsons’ Creators Apologize for Killing Off Character We Nearly Forgot Existed

Pour one out for Larry Dalrymple, a.k.a. Larry the Barfly. On the latest episode of the long-running animated series The Simpsons, an oft-seen yet seldom heard character joined fellow offed characters Maude Flanders, Frank Grimes, and Edna Krabappel by passing away. In an arguably surprising turn of events, fans were shocked and saddened by Larry’s sudden death.

Recommended Videos

If you don’t even remember Larry, join the club! He’s the balding, perpetually beer-slugging barfly who hangs out in Moe’s Tavern alongside fellow permanent residents Barney and Sam. Although he appears in the background of many scenes, including the very first episode in 1989, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” he only spoke two or three times throughout his entire 35-season run. When he did speak he was voiced by Harry Shearer, who also lends his voice to characters like Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and others.

In Season 36, episode 15, “Cremains of the Day,” the whole “Moe’s Bros” gang was gathered at the tavern watching a football game when Moe got mad and kicked everyone out. That’s when we learned the difficult truth. Larry died while sitting at the bar, doing what he loved: drinking during the day with men he rarely spoke to but whom he considers his best friends.

Here’s the crux of the episode: At Larry’s funeral, Homer and the other guys realize that they, like us, don’t know much about him. Fans had a hard time moving past the death, immediately taking to social media to mourn Larry, the character we all knew, yet didn’t know at all.

With all the “RIP Larry” tweets rolling in, The Simpsons co-executive producer Tim Long felt the need to extend a heartfelt apology to fans. Speaking to Variety, he explained, “I’m sorry if some fans are upset, but we really wanted to use Larry’s death as a way to show that even the most peripheral people in our lives have dignity and worth, and that we really shouldn’t take anyone for granted.”

Long went on to say that the episode was meant to explore our “fear of death,” and to encourage people to learn more about the people closest to them while they are still here. Still, even Long couldn’t resist a jab at all of the sudden Larry fans who came out to harangue the showrunners’ choices. “Again, we’re sorry if anyone is upset about Larry’s demise—we certainly didn’t kill the character off lightly. But I also have to point out that Larry was never really one of the show’s breakout stars. I don’t remember any kids wearing a ‘Larry’ t-shirt, or doing a ‘Larry the drunk lonely barfly’ dance. It would have been cool if they had.”

We would totally rock a Larry t-shirt while doing a “Larry the drunk lonely barfly dance,” no question about it. Long does have a point, though. Using a lesser-known character to explore a tricky topic like death creates a poignant sense of nostalgia. As viewers, Larry’s death makes us realize that like Moe’s Bros, we never bothered to get to know who Larry was either. That’s kind of sad, yet now that there’s been an entire episode that centers around his untimely demise, Larry is finally getting the fan attention and recognition he deserves. RIP, Larry!

(featured image: Fox)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Characters Don’t Have To Be Bastions of Morality To Be Interesting!
Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, played by Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke, in their confrontation in season 1 of House of the Dragon. Max
Read Article ‘House of the Dragon’ Characters Ranked by the Only Thing They Love: Being the Worst
Ser Criston Cole stands in his armor in "House of the Dragon"
Read Article I Have To Say It: This Is My Biggest ‘Bridgerton’ Pet Peeve
Eloise Bridgerton very calmly urging her sister Daphne to get a move on in the first season of Bridgerton.
Read Article ‘X-Men ’97’ Directors Answer Some Important Questions…Like Do the X-Men Wear Wigs
The X-Men stand together in 'X-Men '97'.
Read Article I Need Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 To Give Us More of One Thing Teased in Part 1
Kate and Anthony as married Viscount and Viscountess in the third season of Bridgerton
Related Content
Read Article Characters Don’t Have To Be Bastions of Morality To Be Interesting!
Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, played by Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke, in their confrontation in season 1 of House of the Dragon. Max
Read Article ‘House of the Dragon’ Characters Ranked by the Only Thing They Love: Being the Worst
Ser Criston Cole stands in his armor in "House of the Dragon"
Read Article I Have To Say It: This Is My Biggest ‘Bridgerton’ Pet Peeve
Eloise Bridgerton very calmly urging her sister Daphne to get a move on in the first season of Bridgerton.
Read Article ‘X-Men ’97’ Directors Answer Some Important Questions…Like Do the X-Men Wear Wigs
The X-Men stand together in 'X-Men '97'.
Read Article I Need Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 To Give Us More of One Thing Teased in Part 1
Kate and Anthony as married Viscount and Viscountess in the third season of Bridgerton
Author
Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.