Homer will no longer strangle Bart in ‘The Simpsons’ as “times have changed”
The Simpsons has seemingly retired the long-running joke where Homer Simpson would strangle his son Bart.
In the third episode of season 35 titled McMansion & Wife, which aired on October 22, Homer declares to Marge that he’s changed his ways when they visit their new neighbour, Thayer.
As Homer introduces himself with a handshake, Thayer comments on his grip. “See Marge, strangling the boy paid off,” Homer responds. “Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
The clip has since circulated online, with one user on X writing: “Took them long enough lmao.”
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
Another added: “Homer strangling Bart had always been a sticking point in my love for The Simpsons. I knew it was an old school cartoon gag and not an affirmation of child abuse, but I’m glad they got rid of it. Good on you, @HomerJSimpson, good on you.”
Some however have questioned the decision. “Is it just me or is The Simpsons stopping Homer from strangling Bart a bit confusing. It was a joke, but now I feel like all this time I’ve been watching Homer abuse his son. Before, it was just Tom and Jerry esque humour.”
You can check out more reactions below.
I mean, the last time Homer did it was at Season 31 so this isn’t shocking. https://t.co/6RizAb9noX
— Out of Context Simpsons Treehouse of Horror (@OOCCouchGags) November 5, 2023
is it just me or is the simpsons stopping homer from strangling bart a bit ??? confusing.
it was a joke, but now i feel like all this time ive been watching homer abuse his son. before, it was just tom and jerry esque humour. idk idk idk. just thoughts
— abi / biznatch (@coldwarrabies) November 5, 2023
The Simpsons axing the iconic Homer-Bart choke scenes? Looks like they’re serious about not strangling the fun out of the show.
“Times have changed,” they say. I say, so has the definition of classic cartoon comedy. Guess it’s time to find a new dysfunctional family to relate to… pic.twitter.com/KIOI5hPpvf
— Bad AI (@Bad_AI_) November 5, 2023
…and the comments are like “Wow, nowdays you can’t make any jokes anymore!”.
When was the last time Homer strangling Bart was, or led to, a funny gag?
Tell me, because I can’t remember one time in the episodes since the Simpsons movie.
It’s a tired joke, let it go. https://t.co/6kAeXGArlg
— HyperGamer14 (@HyperGamer14) November 6, 2023
The Simpsons has recently recasted roles to adapt to modern sensibilities, namely Indian character Apu, who was previously voiced by white actor Hank Azaria. A gay character, Julio, was also recast back in 2021.
Speaking about the process of recasting in 2021, show creator Matt Groening told the BBC: “Times change. But I actually didn’t have a problem with the way we were doing it. All of our actors play dozens of characters each, it was never designed to exclude anyone.”
The Simpsons was renewed through to season 36 earlier this year.