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A longtime recurring character — groundskeeper Willie — found love on The Simpsons Sunday, and to honor the Scottish character the episode came complete with famous Scotland-born guest stars and even a famous Scottish musical act.
With actors David Tennant and Karen Gillan lending their voices and brand new original music from Belle & Sebastian, the Scottish-centric episode brought the laughs, the drama, the tunes and left fans satisfied and not to mention happy for Willie.
Here’s a look at how the love unfolded for groundskeeper Willie.
When groundskeeper Willie, voiced by Dan Castellaneta and whose real name is William MacMoran MacDougal, vanishes from Springfield and ends up in Scotland, his friend Bart is under the impression that Willie is in trouble and needs his help.
So the whole Simpson family travels across the pond — with Homer’s ulterior motives involving trying to get out of going to a destination wedding with Marge — in an effort to help Willie. But when they arrive, they soon discover that the school groundskeeper is actually getting married to a character named Maisie, voiced by Marvel star Gillan, and much to the dismay of Homer.
Turns out Willie used to work for her family harvesting peat in the peat bogs, which is used for making Scotch. And when Bart finds out that the family might just be using Willie for his excellent peat-sniffing nose, Bart tries to intervene at the wedding to help his friend.
But with a solid break of Willie’s nose by Maisie, thus ending his peat-sniffing future, Maisie proved her love for Willie and the wedding would presumably go on before cutting to the final credits.
The guest stars
Along with Gillan as Maisie, the episode featured the voice of Tennant as Pa MacWeldon, the patriarch of Maisie’s family. It’s the first Simpsons appearance for Tennant, who is best known for starring in live-action shows like Doctor Who and Broadchurch, and for voicing Scrooge McDuck on the Disney XD show DuckTales.
Performing at the rehearsal dinner was Scottish band Belle & Sebastian under the guise of The Belle and Sebastian Experience. Their appearance came with a brand new original song, “Willie and the Dream of Peat Bogs,” complete with a music video that aired after the episode.
Given Willie's tenure on the long-running animated series, viewers reacting on social media were pleased to see him finally find love.
I love that Groundskeeper Willie, has finally found love! #TheSimpsons
— Rockin’ Bubbles “Can’t Tweet That” Rialto🐈🌻 (@PippiTheCat1) December 4, 2023
— Ghostbusters316 (@StarTrek1018) December 4, 2023
— billyrulez (@billyrulez) December 4, 2023
— Joshy Claus 🎅🏼🎄⛄ (@JoshMarino420) December 4, 2023
Popular characters finding love on The Simpsons has happened before, most recently and notably with Waylon Smithers in 2021. And while the show is probably best known for its ability to predict the future, creating new love stories for its secondary characters is a nice tradition to keep alive as well.
The Simpsons airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Fox.