Nedward "Ned" Flanders, Jr. is the Simpsons family's extremely religious next door neighbor. He is a genuinely well-meaning good-natured person and is one of the few in Springfield to whom that description applies. Though firmly religious, he can be timid and something of a pushover. He is a devout Christian and strictly follows the Bible as literally as possible and is easily shocked when challenged on any point of dogma. He also owns the Leftorium, a shop for left handed people. He is 60 years old and attributes his youthful appearance to his conformity to the "clean living, chewing thoroughly, and a daily dose of vitamin church."
Flanders is a widower, having been married to the equally religious Maude. They had two children together; the sheltered and naive Rod and Todd. Maude dies an untimely death in a freak accident involving a t-shirt cannon, leaving Ned alone and grieving. While still married to Maude, Ned married Ginger, a waitress, while on a drunken bender in Las Vegas. Ginger came to live with Ned and his sons for a brief period following Maude's death, but she quickly grew tired of the Flanders' sickly-sweet personalities and fled. Flanders has also been connected romantically with a beautiful Christian-rock singer, Rachel Jordan, and Sara Sloane, a movie star.
Homer generally loathes Ned, because Ned's family, job, health and self-discipline are of higher quality than he could ever hope to attain himself. Homer has since come to have a love-hate relationship with Flanders, sometimes being his best friend, partly due to Ned's selfless tolerance of him, and other times treating Flanders with complete disregard. Homer seems to genuinely care for Ned, despite still expressing and often acting on feelings of loathing. Nowadays Homer seems to regard Ned as more of a nuisance. Sometimes, Marge considers Flanders to be a perfect neighbor and usually sides with him instead of her husband, which always enrages Homer.
Ned has the odd habit of attaching "diddly," "doodly" and other nonsensical phrases to his sentences. "Hi-diddly-ho, neighborino," is a common example.He also has the habit of saying "Okally-Dokally", when replying to someone - meaning OK.