- For Willie Nelson, see that article. For the character Willie Nelson plays, see Willie Nelson (character).
| Dr. William "Willie" MacDougal III|
|Occupation||Groundskeeper and Janitor at Springfield Elementary School|
|Relatives|| Parents: Mr. and Mrs. MacDougal|
|First Appearance||"Principal Charming"|
|Voiced By||Dan Castellaneta|
- “Then, grease me up woman!”
- “Guess there's some stones in your leaf bag, after all.”
- “*Screaming* Save Me from the weak Turtles! They were too big for me!”
- “Uh oh! That little Fat Boy and His Family are havin' trouble!”
- ―Treehouse of Horror V
Dr. William "Willie" MacDougal III, also known as G.K. Willington Esquire, and William MacMoran is the groundskeeper and janitor of Springfield Elementary School. Willie's job is to supervise the children of the School during recess, and clean the halls. He is recognizable with his red hair and thick Scottish accent. He is often either a formidable enemy or an invaluable ally to Bart and Lisa Simpson; mostly, he has a strained relationship with Principal Seymour Skinner. Willie was originally from Kirkwall, in Scotland .
Willie is the groundskeeper at Springfield Elementary School and is a stereotypical angry Scotsman with a heavy Scottish accent. He worked in the same amount of years as Principal Skinner. He was originally hired at Springfield Elementary as "Swim Teacher Willie." Unfortunately, after Skinner was trapped in the worm-filled pool for three days, he had the pool destroyed, and made Willie a groundskeeper. During weekends and vacations, he also tends the golfing greens at the Springfield Glen Country Club, giving himself the appropriate name Greenskeeper Willie. He has claimed to originate from several different places in Scotland, and frequently gives contradictory accounts of his past life before arriving in Springfield. Willie once told a story of working at a mine that caved in, saying "No one made it out alive, not even Willie!" Also Willie once told Skinner that he had seen his own father hanged for stealing a pig although both of his parents can be seen alive in Scotland later. It is possible that Willie has a murderous past as we are told he is the spitting image of the Aberdeen strangler, an affirmation which he doesn't deny, innocently whistling by. However, it is likely he only kills unintentionally: he accidentally killed the boy who became the playground ghost of Springfield Elementary, all because of his sassy mouth.
Willie is incompetent and is quick to anger for little or no reason. He has shown great animosity towards both Principal Skinner and Bart Simpson, the latter of whom is often more than willing to make Willie the butt of his jokes. Twice, Bart destroyed Willie's shack: the first out of revenge for taking his skateboard; the second accidentally. Superintendent Chalmers once said that he never yelled at Willie like he does at Skinner because he liked him. At one time, Skinner quit and Chalmers replaced him with Willie as both Principal and Groundskeeper, though he never increased his salary, much to the Scotsman's disappointment.
Willie once discovered an oil well by accident because he was attempting to bury the school hamster. Because of the school's new wealth, he requested a crystal pail. However, after Mr. Burns stole the oil, which not only resulted in the loss of the school's newly gained fortune, but also causing the school to go into an even worse financial state than before due to the cost of dismantling the oil tower, Skinner was forced to lay off Groundskeeper Willie, in order to preserve the remaining school budget, causing Willie to wish to murder Mr. Burns and seriously injure Mr. Smithers. When interrogated by the police, he answers that he wasn't able to because of arthritis in both of his index fingers, preventing him from utilizing a pistol, which he got "from space invaders in 1977" and implying right after that he doesn't even know what a video game is, asking ignorantly "Video game?" and therefore pretending to have fought aliens for real. However, he fired a rifle at a weather balloon vandalized by Bart; it's as if handling a pistol and handling a rifle are two separate things to him. Later, he was seen shooting an empty pistol in the Springfield County Court House with pinpoint accuracy, indicating that his arthritis may have been fixed. He once had a cache of "screw you money", but he ended up losing it all, presumably due to Artie Ziff cheating out ZiffCorp's shareholders.
Willie's hobbies include videotaping couples in cars, something which proves to the benefit of Homer Simpson when he is wrongfully accused of sexual harassment. At one time, Willie was engaged to Shary Bobbins until she recovered her eyesight—at which point, in Willie's words, "Suddenly the ugliest man in Glasgow wasn't good enough for her!" Willie was once given the job of teaching Bart Simpson. Lisa had taken a restraining order against Bart, so he couldn't legally go to the same school. Willie became Bart's teacher because, according to Principal Skinner, Willie's shack is the only place on the school grounds that "falls outside all laws of Man or God."
He also took part in the Medieval Festival, but he disrupted it and Principal Skinner expelled Bart who had mistaken him as the one who disrupted it; Willie later explained to Skinner that he was the one who was disrupted the festival. Principal Skinner then realized his mistake and welcomed Bart back as an apology and was then scolded along with Willie by Superintendent Chalmers for expelling the wrong culprit.
Willie's years of heavy work have given him amazing strength and a very muscular physique, which has been observed many times as he often tears his clothes off, before accomplishing hard tasks or because of outbursts of rage. For example, he rescues Bart from a marauding Alaskan timber wolf by wrestling it into submission. Much like Ned Flanders, though, his physique is unremarkable when he is clothed, and seemingly morphs as soon as he is partially nude. Apparently, he has had sexual attractions to Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (more commonly known as "Fergie"), as he had mentioned while hallucinating as an after effect of Seth and Munchie's Peyote-laced juice (which was thanks to Homer) that he waited a long time for the moment where he could embrace Fergie passionately.
Non Canon AppearanceEdit
Treehouse of HorrorEdit
Willie has a tendency to get killed in the Treehouse of Horror episodes, getting killed three times in Treehouse of Horror V (by Homer Simpson, Maggie Simpson and Principal Seymour Skinner), each time he attempts to be helpful or heroic, and each time he is felled by an axe in the back (he mutters, " Ach, I'm bad at this. " after the third time). He is also killed in Treehouse of Horror VI by accidentally being burned to death (and later attempting to get revenge on the PTA's children in their nightmares as Freddy Kruger, although he somehow ends up being revived shortly after Maggie kills him in their dreams), in Treehouse of Horror XI by a dolphin, in Treehouse of Horror XVI he is strafed and killed by Burns, in Treehouse of Horror XVIII by getting his head cut off by the tractor, and in Treehouse of Horror XIX by being eaten by the Grand Pumpkin although this doesn't really kill him as the Grand Pumpkin is hollow inside.
The Simpsons GameEdit
Willie appears as one of the contestants in the Duff Ultimate Eating Challenge in the level Around the World in 80 Bites - he blocks off the Scotland area from the other contestants until it is opened by Bart. He also appears in Mob Rules as one of the people Marge can use in her mob to protest the sales of the Grand Theft Scratchy videogame to minors.
Behind the LaughterEdit
Groundskeeper Willie's first appearance was in the season two episode "Principal Charming". Originally, the character was just written as an angry janitor, and the fact that he was Scottish was added during a recording session. Dan Castellaneta was assigned to do the voice. Castellaneta didn't know what voice to use and Sam Simon, who was directing at the time, told Castellaneta to use an accent. He first tried using a Spanish voice, which Simon felt was too clichéd. He then tried a "big dumb Swede", which was also rejected. For his third try, he used the voice of an angry Scotsman, which was deemed appropriate enough and was used in the episode. Originally thought by the directors to be a one-shot appearance, Willie has since become a common recurring character. Matt Groening would later reveal that the character was based on Angus Crock, a kilt-wearing chef from the sketch comedy show Second City Television, who was portrayed by Dave Thomas.
A recurring joke, which was first shown in "Radio Bart", is that Willie appears to have a pot belly, but whenever he takes off his shirt, he is quite muscular. One of Willie's trademarks is a gruffly-spoken insulting retort, which take the writers a long time to come up with, although they do not consider them that funny.
Cultural influence and legacy Edit
Groundskeeper Willie's description of the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" from the episode "'Round Springfield" has become widely used, particularly in the run-up to the war in Iraq. The New York Post used the phrase "Surrender Monkeys" as the headline for its December 7, 2006 front page, referring to the Iraq Study Group and its recommendation that U.S. soldiers be withdrawn from Iraq by early 2008. The line was "most likely" written by Ken Keeler.
The Times reported in late 2005 that "he is the most instantly recognizable Scot in the world: better known than Billy Connolly or Ewan McGregor, even Sean Connery." The same article quotes Simpsons creator Matt Groening as saying "We wanted to create a school janitor that was filled with rage, sort of our tribute to angry janitors all over the world".
In 2006, Groundskeeper Willie would be named the fourth best peripheral character in the history of the show by IGN, who said "high-points for the character were being trained to be civilized, wrestling a wolf that was let loose in the school and becoming a substitute for the French language teacher - 'Bon jourrr! You cheese-eating surrender monkeys!'" IGN would also name "My Fair Laddy", the only episode which centers around Willie, the best episode of the seventeenth season. Jim Slotek of Sun Media would call Willie the ninth best Simpsons supporting character, and also made a Top Ten quotes list, which included Willie's quote "Och, back to the loch wi' you, Nessie." from "Selma's Choice".
There have been some moments in the show where he has been known to imitate Montgomery Scott of Star Trek fame.
Treehouse of Horror VIEdit
[after Willie explodes into flame and screams, he becomes a skeleton]
Groundskeeper Willie: You'll pay for this! With your children's blood!
Chief Wiggum: Yeah, right. How ya gonna get 'em, skeleton power?
Groundskeeper Willie: I'll strike, where ya cannot protect them... In their dreams!
[while Bart is playing frisbee with Santa's Little Helper, Willie arrives at his front yard]
Groundskeeper Willie: Glad to rake your acquaintance. [laughs evilly and cuts Bart with his rakes]
[Bart wakes up screaming]
Bart Simpson: [sighs] Ohh... it was only a dream.
[Bart sees the scratches on his body and screams again]
Homer Simpson: [from elsewhere, sounding worried] Bart! Is that you?
Bart Simpson: Yes!
Homer Simpson: Take out the garbage.
[in his dream, Martin is dressed as a wizard]
Martin: I am the wondrous wizard of Latin! I am a dervish of declension and a conjurer of conjugation, with a million hit points and maximum charisma.
[Martin spots a blackboard with verbs written all over it]
Martin: Aha! "Morire": to die. "Morit": he, she, or it dies.
[Willie morphs out of the blackboard; Martin gasps]
Groundskeeper Willie: "Moris"? You die!
Martin: [runs off] Aah!
Groundskeeper Willie:[laughs] You've mastered a dead tongue, but can you handle a live one?
[Willie's tongue shoots out of his mouth, wraps around Martin, and squeezes him]
[in class, Martin twists and screams, then collapses on the floor]
Nelson: Ha ha!
[Principal Skinner is having a meeting with parents, but burning Willie rushes into the room]
Groundskeeper Willie: Help! Please, help me!
Principal Skinner: Willie, don't worry! Mr. Van Houten has the floor.
Mr. Van Houten: I, for one, would like to see the cafeteria menus in advance so parents can adjust their dinner menus accordingly. I don't like the idea of Milhouse having two spaghetti meals in one day.
[before anyone could answer, the entire class looks directly at Willie, who explodes into flame and screams]
Treehouse of Horror VEdit
Bart Simpson: Hey! I found a shortcut through your hedge maze.
Groundskeeper Willie: Why you little...
Groundskeeper Willie: [thinking] No, no, go easy on the wee one. His father's going to go crazy and chop 'em all into haggis!
Bart Simpson: What's haggis?
Groundskeeper Willie: [gasps] Boy... you read my thoughts! You've got the Shinning.
Bart Simpson: You mean "Shining".
Groundskeeper Willie: [sotto voce] Shh! You want to get sued? Now look, boy: if your Dad goes gaga, you just use that... Shin of yours to call me and I'll come a running. But don't be reading my mind between four and five. That's Willie's time!
Groundskeeper Willie: [after being hacked in the back with an axe for the third time in the third act] Oh, I'm bad at this.
[falls down dead]
Marge: [Bart awakens from a nightmare] Relax, honey. You were just having a crazy nightmare. You're back home with your family now, where there's nothing to be afraid of... except that fog that turns people inside out.
[the fog starts coming in]
Homer: Uh-oh it's seeping in. STUPID CHEAP WEATHER STRIPPING!
[everyone screams as the fog turns them inside out; then they stop screaming, looking at each other. Music plays, and they start dancing and singing]
Marge, Bart, Homer, Lisa: One chorus line of people, dancing till they make us stop!
Groundskeeper Willie: [Willy, also turned inside out, jumps on stage] Too...! Marge, Bart, Homer, Lisa,
Groundskeeper Willie: Many dancing people, covered in blood, gore, and glop!/Just one sniff of that fog and you're inside out!/It's worse than that flesh-eating virus you've read about!/Vital organs, they are what we're dressed in, the family dog is eyeing Bart's intestine!/Happy Halloween!
Groundskeeper Willie: You're still not in your own world, Homer. I can get you home, but you have to do exactly as I...
[Gets killed by Maggie who hits him with an axe]
Maggie Simpson: This is indeed a disturbing universe.
Principal Skinner: Willie. Go get those kids and bring them back!
Groundskeeper Willie: I'll bring 'em back dead or alive!
Principal Skinner: NOT dead.
Groundskeeper Willie: Aww, ya never let Willie be Willie!
Marge Gets a JobEdit
Groundskeeper Willie: [a wolf is attacking Bart] Hey, Wolfie! Put down that hors d'oeurve, it's time fer tha main course!
[Willie shares a flask of Scotch with the whipped wolf]
Groundskeeper Willie: Don't feel bad fer losin'. I was wrestling wolves when you were still suckling at yer mother's teat.
Homer the HereticEdit
[on Sunday, the church doors are frozen shut by the blizzard outside; as the congregation waits, Willie applies a blowtorch]
Reverend Lovejoy: How's it going, Willie?
Groundskeeper Willie: Miracles are your department, Reverend!
Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss SongEdit
Groundskeeper Willie: Lunchlady Doris, do you have any grease?
Lunchlady Doris: Yes. Yes we do.
Groundskeeper Willie: [rips open his shirt] Then grease me up woman! Doris:...OK.
The Cartridge FamilyEdit
Groundskeeper Willie: Ach! They call this a soccer riot? Come on, boys, let's take 'em to school!
Who Shot Mr. Burns?: Part 2Edit
Groundskeeper Willie: I'm tellin' ye. I could ne'er have shot Burns. [...] It's impossible for me to fire a pistol. If you check me medical records, you'll see I have a crippling arthritis in me index fingers. [holds up his fingers, which are misshapen] LOOK AT 'EM!!! I got it from space invaders in 1977.
Chief Wiggum: Oh yeah, that was a pretty addictive video game.
Groundskeeper Willie: Video game?!
[while digging a mine shaft to rescue Bart from a well]
Apu: [gasp] The canary.
Groundskeeper Willie: GAS. OUT OF THE HOLE. [everyone runs out yelling; above ground, Dr. Hibbert examines the canary]
Dr. Hibbert: Gentlemen, this canary died of natural causes.
Groundskeeper Willie: BACK IN THE HOLE. [everyone runs back in, yelling]
Postcards from the WedgeEdit
Groundskeeper Willie: Hoisting a bag. Aye, there's no better feeling on Earth.
The Color YellowEdit
Groundskeeper Willie: Well done, boy!
Bart Simpson: [after blowing up a tree stump] Wait! Here comes the My Kia!
Groundskeeper Willie: What's a "My Kia?"
[The stump falls on Skinner's car.]
Principal Skinner: My Kia!
Lisa the VegetarianEdit
- Principal Skinner: Uh oh. Two independent thought alarms in one day. The students are overstimulated. Willie, remove all the colored chalk from the classrooms.
- Groundskeeper Willie: I warned ya! Didn't I warn ya? That colored chalk was forged by Lucifer himself!
Home Sweet Home-Diddily-Dum-DoodilyEdit
[Skinner watches as Willie burns Bart's lice-infested clothes]
Groundskeeper Willie: See you in hell, you wingless bloodsuckers!
Principal Skinner: What kind of parents would permit such a lapse in scalpal hygiene?
Groundskeeper Willie: Well, you better check out his sister. She could be rife with them bugs too!
Treehouse of Horror IVEdit
[Bart is hanging out the window of the school bus. Principal Skinner and Groundskeeper Willie are trying to pull him back in]
Principal Skinner: Pull, Willie!
Groundskeeper Willie: I'm doin' all the pullin', you blouse-wearin' poodle-walker!
Moms I'd Like to ForgetEdit
Groundskeeper Willie: You call that a scar? This is a scar!
Nelson Muntz: That's a bellybutton. Everybody's got one.
Groundskeeper Willie: [sad] I thought I was special.
Groundskeeper Willie: [speaking about Scottish history and culture] Now, the kilt was only for day-to-day wear. In battle, we donned a full-length ball gown covered in sequins. The idea was to blind your opponent with luxury.
Groundskeeper Willie: I have some information for you, but it's gonna be hard to hear.
Bart Simpson: Why, because of your stupid accent?
Groundskeeper Willie: Ach, nay! Because of its upsetting nature.
Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your LifeEdit
Lisa Simpson: [Walking down the hall at school] Ugh. What's the point of getting rid of all the distractions at home if I have to do my learning here?
[Walks into the library and opens a book, smiling because it's quiet]
Groundskeeper Willie: [Walks into the library, running a loudly whirring floor waxer. Sings] Oh, I'll wax the upstairs and I'll wax the downstairs, and I'll get drunk in the library!
Lisa Simpson: [Annoyed] Willie! Do you have to wax this floor now?
Groundskeeper Willie: [Turns off waxer. Apologetically] No, no. I can come back later. [Turns around to leave and slips on the waxed floor, landing with a loud crunch. He screams in pain]
Groundskeeper Willie: Aaah!
Lisa Simpson: [Concerned] Oh! Should I get the nurse?
Groundskeeper Willie: Nay, just keep studyin'. I'll scream this out. [Writhing on the floor]
Groundskeeper Willie: Aaah! Oy! Aaaahh!
Mypods and BoomsticksEdit
Bart Simpson: You're new here, so here's what you need to know: we call Principal Skinner "Principal Skin-rash", Professor Weiner is "Professor Whiner", and Groundskeeper Willie is Grounds-Creepier Stupid.
Groundskepper Willie: That's not even clever. There are so many aspects of my personality you can mock. I'm poor, I'm illiterate, I think movies are real...
Groundskeeper Willie: Shary Bobbins and I were engaged to be wed back in the old country. Then she got her eyesight back. Suddenly the ugliest man in Glasgow wasn't good enough for her.
Shary Bobbins: It's good to see you, Willie.
Groundskeeper Willie: [angry] That's not what you said the first time you saw me!
Monty Can't Buy Me LoveEdit
Mr. Burns: [after draining Lake Loch Ness, he sees something resembling it] That's it! I see the monster!
Groundskeeper Willie: [once all the water is drained] Nay! That's merely a Loch Ness discarded Homecoming float.
Homer: [they walk into the drained lake and Homer sees, STOMP ABERDEEN inscribed on it] No way! Aberdeen rules!
[the real Loch Ness Monster appears, crushes the float and roars, Mr. Burns, Homer, Groundskeeper Willie and Professor Frink all gasp. Homer looks at the Nessie like "Macarena Monster" doll, then looks at Nessie]
Homer: God, it's him!
Mr. Burns: Come on boys, overpower it.
[Groundskepper Willie, Homer, and Professor Frink walk away, whistling]
Mr. Burns: Fine. I'll do it myself.
[takes off his coat and tie and rolls up his sleeves, the next thing you know, Nessie is being held in a net under the helicopter]
Groundskeeper Willie: [in the helicopter] That was amazing, Mr. Burns.
Mr. Burns: I was most worried when he swallowed me, but then, well, you know the rest. And now for my triumphant return to Springfield!
The Joy of SectEdit
Groundskeeper Willie: [Homer, Bart and Lisa are tied up in a dark room with only a small dim light on] Oh, you're gonna break like matchsticks, I promise you that.
Ned Flanders: [coming through the door, turns on the big light] Hey, I made some Rice Krispies Squares for our hungry deprogram-erinos.
Groundskeeper Willie: Oh, man! You ruined the atmosphere, you daft pansy!
Ned Flanders: Well, this is my rumpus room.
Groundskeeper Willie: Don't call it that!
- In the Simpsons Comics, it is implied his last name is MacMoran. However, in "My Fair Laddy", he claims he does not have a last name. In another episode, he gives his name as "Dr. William MacDougal" to a customs official at Ellis Island.
- Willie thinks movies and video games are real, such as an incident in 1977 when he thought he was saving the world from a real alien invasion by playing Space Invaders.
- Willie lives in a shack behind the Elementary School.
- Willie uses Propecia, a drug for male pattern baldness, to keep his chest hairy.
- Willie was implied to have a sociopathic hatred of the town, as when he was running for mayor during Do What You Feel Day, claimed in a stump speech that, as soon as he was made mayor, he will kill all of the citizens and then burn the entire town to the ground, and mentioning that he is fully aware that the microphone was on.
- In "Bart-Mangled Banner", Willie claims to have been deaf all along since the Boiler Explosion of 1988, saying that any time he is seen replying to someone, he is simply reading their lips. He spends the rest of the episode misunderstanding most everyone who speaks to him despite the fact that Willie has never been shown having this problem before or since. This is disproved in "Grade School Confidential", where he says he can hear Seymour Skinner talking through a megaphone on the school roof, despite facing away from him.
- In the Italian version of the show, he speaks with a Sardinian accent.
- It is generally regarded that the character's name is spelled "Willie" but his riding lawnmower has his name spelled as "Willy" on the side.
- He framed Bart twice. The first time he disrupted the Medievel Festival which Principal Skinner mistakenly blames Bart and expels him but he was welcomed as an apology and he and Groundskeeper Willie are then suspended for blaming him. The second he disrupts the Easter and he is then fired.
Note: Bold letters are for Willie-centered episodes or new relevant details about the character in an episode. Regular parenthesis indicate nonspeaking appearances or pictures.
- ↑ The Daughter Also Rises
- ↑ The Principal And The Pauper
- ↑ Pranks and Greens
- ↑ Lost Verizon
- ↑ The President Wore Pearls
- ↑ I Love Lisa
- ↑ Monty Can't Buy Me Love
- ↑ The Dad Who Knew Too Little
- ↑ Homer the Father
- ↑ Girly Edition
- ↑ My Fair Laddy
- ↑ Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life
- ↑ Flaming Moe
- ↑ Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)
- ↑ Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)
- ↑ Bart's Comet
- ↑ The Great Money Caper
- ↑ The Ziff Who Came To Dinner
- ↑ Homer Badman
- ↑ Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious
- ↑ On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister
- ↑ The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star
- ↑ Marge Gets a Job
- ↑ D'oh-in' in the Wind