This weekend, we accidentally ended up watching ‘The Simpsons Movie’, starting from the scene where hundreds of minor characters marched on The Simpsons’ home carrying torches, leading the child to wonder who the heck all these people are.  In the 356 seasons of the show, there have been hundreds of characters introduced, making for a literal cast of thousands, a common problem with long-running series.  Even shorter-run shows like ‘The Transformers’ have that issue, though in their case it was because of a need to introduce the new toys characters. leading us to today’s legionary query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) especially loves when someone suddenly appears again for no reason to mock the very idea, as happened with a brief cameo by Gift Shop Girl on ‘Scrubs’, asking: Which series featuring a large group of characters is the best overall Cast Of Thousands?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. DamienR
    November 14, 2016 at 11:46 am — Reply

    Jim Henson’s Muppets (not necessarily including Fraggles).

  2. Frank
    November 14, 2016 at 12:07 pm — Reply

    Justice League Unlimited. They did a great job using known and unknown characters. I have high hopes for the upcoming Justice League Action.

  3. November 14, 2016 at 2:59 pm — Reply

    Probably Star Wars. Every single minor character appearing in the movies has at least about short novels amount of fiction written about them, not to mention all those who didn’t appear in the movies. Honorable mentions to Transformers and Justice League Unlimited.

  4. November 14, 2016 at 10:20 pm — Reply

    If I include both the “Legends” material as well as the new canon, Star Wars. Not only are there lots of characters in the movies, but even more when you go into all the other content (video games, RPG supplements, books, comics, cartoons, magazine/web articles written in-universe, the “Holiday Special”, etc.).

    And then there are the various long-running Japanese superhero series. For example, while Super Sentai might only have about 220+ actual Rangers, there are also the Extra Heroes (the Rangers that aren’t Rangers or are just similar heroes), the villains (including the big bads, the henchmen, the monsters of the week, etc.), the supporting casts (mentors, friends/family of the heroes, etc.) and so on, you’ve got a pretty big combined cast of characters. Heck, sometimes even the mecha are distinct living characters and not just machines to be controlled. Kamen Rider and Ultraman have a similar, if not slightly smaller, sizable overall cast.

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