- For the song by The Bloodhound Gang, see Ralph Wiggum (song).
- "Ralph" redirects here. For other uses of "Ralph", see Ralph (disambiguation).
- "Me fail English? That's unpossible!"
| Ralph Wiggum
Artwork of Ralph by Matt Groening
| Character Information
Ralph Wiggum is a student who attends Springfield Elementary School. He is best known as the town's resident oddball, and has been immortalized for his non sequiturs and erratic behavior. His lines range from purely nonsensical, or bizarre interpretations of a current event, to surprisingly profound statements that go over people's heads. For this, Ralph is somewhat of an outcast among his peers, although he seems to be on good terms with a fair number of the other kids at school such as Bart, Lisa, and Milhouse.
The son of Police Chief Clancy and Sarah Wiggum, Ralph is rarely picked on or bullied due to his unscrupulous father's position. He purportedly has immense potential as a musical performer (school roles attained for him, however, by his police chief father's extorting Springfield teachers, including Miss Hoover, which may explain her dislike for Ralph). He also manipulated the Republican and Democratic parties in Springfield to join forces in their support of him for public office in "E Pluribus Wiggum", a parody of voting and elections.
Ralph's character folder in the Hall of Records on The Simpsons website.
Ralph suffers from learning disabilities of some sort, as evidenced by his apparently slow grasp of things in the world around him, his difficulty in studying, and his sporadic speech impediments. His unique manner of speech is often the source of the character's trademark random quotes, where Ralph may make a comment such as "What's a battle?", "It tastes like... burning!", or "Mr. Flanders, you're blindeded!", as well as his tendency to call his teacher "School Mommy", and, on one occasion, calling Superintendent Chalmers "Super Nintendo Chalmers"; neither was happy with the moniker. He may not be as unintelligent as he normally appears and has strong performing talents. An incredible tap dancer and played the role of George Washington in the school play, he not only recited his lines perfectly but also managed to play the role so well that he brought the audience to tears. When he was a baby, his father dropped him on his head. After that, Ralph had trouble bringing a baby bottle to his mouth.
Ralph is often seen eating paste, crayons, worms, knobs, lamps, and the Easter bunny. He has a rather immense imagination and is seemingly oblivious to the world around him. As such, he is generally a cheerful boy. However, in one episode Ralph displays a dark side (pyromania). After seeing Ralph cry over not receiving a Valentine's card, Lisa gave him one out of pity. He then developed a crush on her, which eventually becomes so annoying that she breaks up with him but the pair eventually become friends again. On one occasion, Bart is forced by his mother Marge to play with Ralph. At first bored, Bart ends up having fun after they steal Ralph's father's master key to the city, the convoluted consequences of which almost result in the electrocution of Mayor Quimby. Ralph's relationship with his parents seems to be loving and affectionate. Clancy, in particular, rather adores his son as the two do much together, such as various road trips or Ralph's first trip to a major league baseball game.
Ralph has a multitude of imaginary friends such as Wiggle Puppy and a pyromaniacal leprechaun. His teacher, Miss Hoover, will often correct him in a dull, condescending manner ("The children are right to laugh at you, Ralph", she tells him at one point) but he always misses the point.
Ralph was also part of a rather infamous hoax where Homer, Skinner, Apu, Lenny, Carl, Chief Wiggum and others had become so fed-up with the whole issue of voting early for the election that they decided to cast all of their votes to someone who was not only unbelievably small, but also so young and unbelievably unintelligent it would be impossible for him to be considered a candidate (they unsurprisingly chose Ralph). Ironically, Lisa discovers that Ralph is not only aware of what being nominated means, but is also taking the idea of being elected seriously. Using his childish behavior, he intentionally manipulated the Republican and Democratic parties to join forces in their support of him.
Ralph's friend the Leprechaun
During class, Ralph's teacher Miss Hoover will stop lecturing the class for a moment to question Ralph's actions such as eating something he shouldn't, or saying something bizarre or oblivious. Another common 'Ralph' moment is that Ralph will be at a major event, and will say something to either perplex everyone present or point out something so glaringly obvious it's funny. Ralph has quite a knack for getting himself into sticky situations as well. Examples of Ralph moments include him gorging himself with chocolate, being profiled by a scary dentist, pretending to be a firetruck, pretending he is an imaginary puppy see This Little Wiggy, and proclaiming that he will attend "Bovine University". He has been shown wetting himself in public.
Similarly, in the future, he can be seen talking to a classmate by the punchbowl, saying "I can use the potty now.". Also, Skinner looked at the building sadly and remembers touching moments with kids saying things like "I know how to read" and "Thank you, Principal Skinner". Ralph's distinctive voice saying "Principal Skinner, I got carsick in your office", is heard. This seems to have subsided a little recently, although appearances by Ralph himself have been lighter. He demonstrated signs at being borderline psychotic, seeing a leprechaun who tells him to burn things. When he later helps save the Mayor of Springfield with Bart and Lisa, the leprechaun appears and tells him, "You've done grand laddie. Now you know what you have to do? Burn the house down! Burn them all!", with Ralph smiling vacantly and nodding in agreement.
When Ralph saw Bart skateboarding naked, he said, "I like men now!"
In Ralph's first credited appearance in the show was the episode "Moaning Lisa", he was considerably different in both appearance and behavior from his later appearance, although he also briefly appeared in the first episode" Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".
Ralph's signature use as a character in the show is to deliver either an odd bit of behavior, or dialogue which either perplexes others or merely gives the audience a quick laugh. Originally intended to be a "Mini-Homer", Ralph eventually took on a life of his own. The staff figured that he'd also fit perfectly as the son of Chief Wiggum, a fact made canon in "I Love Lisa", (although he is referred to by his last name of Wiggum in "Kamp Krusty" before). Ralph was named after comedian Jackie Gleason's character on The Honeymooners Ralph Kramden. Matt Groening considers any lines for Ralph "really hard to write."
Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Ralph, raises her eyebrows whenever she performs Ralph's voice.
Ralph's popularity as a character has even spread so far that the rock band The Bloodhound Gang made a song called "Ralph Wiggum," dedicated to the character and comprised solely of some of his most famous quotes for lyrics. The song can be found on their album Hefty Fine. Another band, Trillium Circle, has a member named Ralph Wiggum. Ralph also became a prominent pop-culture figure in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election after "E Pluribus Wiggum" aired in January 2008. Show creator Matt Groening has stated that Ralph is one of his personal favorite characters on The Simpsons, and whenever someone asks who writes specific characters (a common misconception about the writing process), writers will most likely take credit for writing for Ralph.
Ralph has his own book in the series The Simpsons Library of Wisdom. He also had presidential posters and merchandise for the 2008 election, a'la "E Pluribus Wiggum".