The Simpsons writers have stated that one of the show’s most well-known gags will be formally retired in the future.
The US comedy, which is presently in its 35th season, has been on the air since 1989, but Homer will no longer strangle his son Bart because “times have changed.”
The humour, which was initially presented at the end of the series’ very first episode more than 30 years ago, became one of The Simpsons’ most frequent recurring gags.
Homer would yell ‘why you little!’ before grabbing Bart by the throat whenever he made a witty joke or did anything wrong.
The joke was broadened over time, with Homer strangling other characters in the same manner – The Simpsons even referred to it as an outmoded means of punishment.
But it now looks like Homer will never strangle Bart again, with a recent episode clarifying that Homer ‘doesn’t do it anymore’.
Homer and Marge welcome a new family to Evergreen Terrace in the third episode of the 35th season, with Homer shaking the other dad’s hand.
When Homer’s new neighbour compliments him on his firm handshake, he goes to Marge and says, “The years of strangling the boy paid off.”
However, the Simpson patriarch turns back to his new friend, saying: ‘Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore – times have changed.’
I just found out that, after over 30 years, The Simpsons has finally retired their long-running gag of Homer strangling Bart.
Took them long enough lmao pic.twitter.com/JuHyNu1eiK
— Simon A. (Baby Lamb Creations) (@BabyLamb5) November 2, 2023
The authors have tackled Homer’s poor parenting abilities on multiple times throughout the years, but maybe never so openly.
In response, people who actually still watch The Simpsons praised the writers’ decision, remarking that it’s ‘considered child abuse nowadays’.
Another viewer said: ‘Homer is the gentlest and sweetest he’s ever been. As the show proceeds through its quiet silver age, a gentler tone is fine.’
The Simpsons is available to stream on Disney Plus.