I Love You, Edna Krabappel
It’s easy for animated characters to become stagnant and dull; they never age or grow up and at the end of an episode, everything is back to normal. The Simpsons have graced our screens for over twenty years and while Maggie still is a baby, a lot of change has taken place. Ned Flanders became a widower, Millhouse’s parents got divorced and stayed divorced, Barney has tried to stay away from his beloved Duff and Apu traded his bachelor lifestyle for life as husband and father of eight.
One character who women can easily pity and sympathise with is Bart’s fourth grade teacher, Ms Krabappel. Throughout the years, we see her enthusiasm for teaching waning and we see her love life go from bad to worse. She is a woman crippled by lonesomeness in a dead-beat town, crippled by a dead-end job and exhausted by a man who won’t commit and this can be seen from her numerous hangovers at school.
Her disenchantment is clear when she advises her pupils, “Most of you will never fall in love, and marry out of fear out of dying alone.” as she marks their tests in a comatose state. Edna’s diet consists of “soup for one, salad for one and wine for three,” which is usually served on cafeteria trays she has stolen from work.
Edna is a heavy smoker, hell-bent on finding love, with mummy’s boy Principal Skinner always remaining her option B. Throughout the years we have seen Edna trawling bars, trying to reduce rock stars like the Aerosmith drummer and even engages in a steamy affair with her pen pal Woodrow, who of course ends up being Bart.
Her signature laugh “Ha!” is often used when torturing her class with a surprise test, which she marks with her pen “old red”. As a teacher, she is aggravated by class know-it-all Martin and sympathises more with Nelson Muntz who somehow understands her frustration. Her relationship with Bart has become mellower in later seasons.
She is a caricature of the American public education system and a caricature of a lonely teacher, but there is hope for Edna. Although she has dated the obese comic book guy, Moe, and has tried to get back stage at a Green Day concert and had Skinner leave her at the altar; Edna has become happily married in season 23 to Ned Flanders. Fans had a chance of voting their opinion on this unexpected coupling of Nedna (Ned and Edna) and it appears that their romance could be a permanent fixture.
So how can Edna and Ned make it work? Edna is a brazen woman and Ned is a man who can’t eat vegetables longer than three inches; yet they are both lonely individuals with good intents. Ned is able to offer Edna love, security and a chance at a stable relationship, while Edna will hopefully get churchy Ned to ease up. Perhaps Edna will not be as bitter and Ned will fill the void in his heart since Maude’s death, and hopefully his kids will become sassier because of Edna.
So while Edna’s days of lonely dinners, meddling mother-in laws, revealing boob-tubes, attempts to seduce substitute teachers and disappointing dates are over; I am excited for the future of his woman, yet I’m comforted that I have the ability to look back at her more memorable and embarrassing moments from the rich tapestry of The Simpsons. Go Edna K!
Featured image via FairfaxUnderground