Professor John Frink is a secondary character on The Simpsons
who has grown to have a larger role. Like many of the show's other secondary characters, Frink is a parody of an element of popular culture
- in this case, Jerry Lewis
' characterization of the absent-minded professor.
In most of his early appearances, Frink has little effect on the show's plot. He often showed up to dispense scientific knowledge when the main characters need it most, and for other science related humour. He's a parody of the common geek stereotype, complete with thick glasses, a lab coat, carefully parted hair, and bright pink pants.
Throughout the course of the series, Frink has invented an impressive number of objects, including a death ray, the Gamble-Tron 2000, the baby plane, a robotic replacement for Mr. Burns' beloved bear Bobo, a hyper-sour lemon gumball, and the rocket that was intended to obliterate the Bart Simpson comet. He also discovered the Frinkahedron, which is essentially a cube.
Professor Frink is married and has a son. His son is seen in at least two episodes, and he makes several references to his wife during the course of the series. During Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy, he is seen with a female doctor, whom he propositions after consuming Simpson and Son's Revitalizing Tonic. It's generally assumed by most viewers that this is his wife, even though it's never explicitly stated. A recent episode introduces viewers to Frink's father, who was voiced by Jerry Lewis.
Psychic visions of Springfield's future (as seen in the episode Lisa's Wedding) indicate that Frink will aid in the hunt for a cure for seventeen stab wounds in the back, the ailment that will allegedly kill Mr. Burns.
Professor Frink has an IQ of 199, which is believed to have decreased to 197 after he hit his head against a pillar during They Saved Lisa's Brain. During this same episode, it was revealed that Frink was a member of Mensa.
When Lisa Simpson inadvertently creates her "little universe" in Treehouse of Horror VII, a Frink-like character is among its inhabitants. This character is responsible for the creation of the "debigulator" which shrinks Lisa to the size of the small universe's inhabitants. He is similar to Frink in appearance and voice, though his skin and hair is blue.
Many of Frink's appearances involve Lisa in some way, undoubtedly because of her high level of intelligence and interest in scientific pursuits. Other collaborations between the two include Lisa's presentation at the scientific convention in which she presents her discovery about how nerd perspiration enrages bullies.
Overall, Frink is a very intelligent man who appears to be able to become desirable to women after consuming aphrodisiacs or being hypnotized. Frink also knows that desperate times call for desperate measures, which was displayed after he announced that "pi is exactly three" in order to gain a group of scientists' attention. (He later apologized for his statement).
Frink's trademarks, aside from his stereotypically nerdy appearence, include several catchphrases. The most common of these is "Glavin" or some variation thereof.