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‘Times have changed’: The Simpsons drop Homer strangling Bart gag

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 4 Nov 2023, 4:43PM
The Simpsons has become the longest-running series in US TV history. (Photo / File)
The Simpsons has become the longest-running series in US TV history. (Photo / File)

‘Times have changed’: The Simpsons drop Homer strangling Bart gag

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 4 Nov 2023, 4:43PM

The Simpsons has retired one of its recurring scenes, saying Homer strangling his son Bart is no longer appropriate because “times have changed”. 

The decision was revealed in the third episode of the long-running show’s 35th series, in which Homer indicates he is a changed man after more than 750 instalments about life in fictional Springfield. 

Titled McMansion & Wife, the episode sees Homer and his wife Marge decide to drop in on their new neighbour, Thayer. 

Homer, who works as a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, reaches out to shake his hand, and Thayer remarks what a strong grip he has. 

“See, Marge, strangling the boy paid off,” says Homer. “Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.” 

Homer strangling Bart had been a regular feature of the animated comedy sitcom ever since it first aired in 1989. 

His son had angered him 

“Why you little….”, a hapless Homer would often yell if his son had angered him, while squeezing his neck until Bart’s eyes could be seen bulging out. 

Homer’s behaviour was addressed during an earlier episode in series 22, when a therapist attempted to get him to see the error of his ways. 

The joke reappeared in later instalments before seemingly being phased out. 

Some fans of the show welcomed news of the scene seemingly being finally retired, saying the joke had worn thin. 

Homer strangles Bart in the regular scene in The Simpsons. Photo / 20th Century Fox

Homer strangles Bart in the regular scene in The Simpsons. Photo / 20th Century Fox

“I knew my man Homer was gonna learn. He’s a smart fella,” one social media user said. 

‘Homer finally learnt’ 

“Took him … years but he [Homer] finally learnt,” another added. 

The award-winning show, created by Matt Groening, has largely stuck to its ways for much of its long and successful history. 

Indeed, it was only earlier this year the show removed a cigarette machine from the rear of Moe’s Tavern, where it had stood for 30 series. 

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