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Thread: Why do you think Barney lost so much relevance?

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  1. #1

    Why do you think Barney lost so much relevance?

    In the first seasons he was Homer's best pal. He appears right since the first episode in Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.
    He used to hang out with Homer much more than Lenny and Carl during the first 3 or 4 seasons.
    Lenny and Carl were Homer's co workers more than actual friends and didn't even hang out at Moe's that much.
    Starting from around season 5 he didn't hang out so much with Homer as he used to since Lenny and Carl got more important, however he still was an important character, he got stellar episodes like A Star is Burns.
    Until at least season 10 he had important roles even if he was no longer portrayed as Homer's Best friend, but he started losing relevance since then.
    He became sober and didn't have much to do. He became drunk again but mostly dissappeared from the show except for some cheap gags.
    He isn't even showed as Homer's friend in some episodes that are set in the past. Now it's usually Lenny, Carl and even Moe that are shown as Homer's pals when he was a teenager.

    Why did Barnie almost dissappear?

  2. #2
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    Jul 2017

    I think you did a really great analyze and the answers are implicitly in your post. Two reasons: first, because Carl and Lenny worked a lot better as Homer's friends; second, because the permanent change from drunk to sober didn't work and the character already had lost his place as the city's alcoholic, once again, with Carl and Lenny, and never recovered the importance he had.
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  3. #3

    The RealJims talked about this recently. Another thing is that Barney was the guy that the writers used for things too degrading for Homer. But over the years, they've been willing to use Homer for wackier things that Barney lost his relevance.

  4. #4
    . Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
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    I can't help but feel in some way it might have had something to do with Homer's flanderisation? In the earlier seasons, I think Barney's main role was someone to make Homer look more respectable. The Ed to his Shaun, if you will. Sure Homer had his vices and wasn't too bright but next to Barney he seemed like the perfect man. As time went on, Homer ended up being more of a wreck either comparable to Barney or even making the latter look good (outside of Sobering up) so I think that dulled his point a little bit, doubly so after he sobered up. While they could have done something with his more artsy side, it seems like they'd rather use Moe in cases like... whatever that one was where Moe became a poet. Granted, it'd be nice to see more moments with Barney and Moe, they made a pretty great pair together.
    Season 31 thus far

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    Thanksgiving of Horror 0/5 / Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? 4.5/5 / Bobby, It's Cold Outside 3/5 / Hail to the Teeth 2/5 / The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson 3/5 / Frinkcoin 4/5 / Bart the Bad Guy 1/5 / Screenless 4.5/5 / Better Off Ned 4/5 / Highway to Well (not sure yet, pending rewatch)

  5. #5
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Spittle County

    A lot of things tend to be changed or be scrapped after a few seasons of new shows and I think Barney is a character who was a victim of these changes on this show. To me it feels like one reason is that the crew saw more possibilites with Moe, Lenny & Carl as Homer's best friends than Barney, who is more tied to a certain gimmick than the other three who are more versatile. Also, seeing as Homer is a big fan of beer himself I can guess it was felt that it was sort of redundant to have two drunks as a duo so Homer as the fat drunk of the gang was deemed a better fit and Barney got pushed aside (and got even less relevant due to turning sober for several seasons before randomly having a relapse).

  6. #6

    I guess Barney was a character that felt tired and expendable to the writers. He drinks a lot, but there wasn't too much you could do with him. They were able to get a lot of use out of him in the classic years, but after he sobered up, his one notable trait was gone. Then he relapsed, but they didn't try giving him any other character traits beyond being a drunk.

    I forgot who said it, but it was either Bill Oakley or Josh Weinstein that said that at one point, Barney was their favorite character, but the drunk jokes wore thin and there was nothing else to him than that. I'm assuming a lot of the other writers felt the same way and figured it was best to stop using him.

  7. #7
    Truly Outrageous ! Tilly's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Over the Rainbow

    They made a mistake with him and the whole coffee thing. It's a fucking coffee addiction. He should be struggling and suffering from mood swings and feeling like he always needs that boost to cope. But no ? He just drinks coffee now. That's all. Now he's just back to drinking beer again, and they clearly don't know what to do with him without him feeling already done so they just push him aside.

    Since Homer is pretty much the lazy jerkass now, they should bring him back and make him what Homer originally was and be a sort of rival to Homer that he sort of was during the early seasons. Make him be the "better Homer". He loses weight, he gets off the beer addiction again, he gets a decent career, he goes back to college, he's good with Lisa and Bart.

    Make Barney good so Homer can question himself and have a rival. There's already Ned, but Homer can have another one.

    But I'm also asking too much for seasons 30 + of The Simpsons.
    Last edited by Tilly; 03-25-2020 at 01:18 AM.
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