After 34 years of Homer strangling his son Bart when things go wrong, ‘The Simpsons’ has seemingly stopped this shtick.
On the 3rd episode of the show’s 35th season, The Simpsons family patriarch Homer was seen to declare that he’s a changed man/father while on a welcoming visit to their new neighbor, Thayer.
Prior to his statement, Thayer had commented on Homer’s strong grip while the two were shaking hands. To which Homer said, “See Marge, strangling the boy has paid off,” later adding, “Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) November 5, 2023
Since the inception of ‘The Simpsons,’ Homer Simpson and Bart Simpson’s father-son dynamic has always involved physical violence—a.k.a, the thing where Homer takes out his anger on Bart by means of strangling him to the point where his eyes and tongue bulge out of their crevices.
Seeing how this was their normal dynamic, many weren’t pleased as to how this had continued on for 30+ seasons. However, the change in Homer’s demeanor towards his son was a welcome change for many viewers. The last time that Homer Simpson actually strangled Bart on TV was in the first episode of Season 31, which aired about 4 years ago.
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 SIMPSONS’ has reportedly retired the running joke of Homer strangling Bart.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) November 6, 2023
Homer Simpson will no longer choke Bart on the Simpsons anymore because “times have changed.” I’m sorry when was it considered okay to choke out your son again? 1989?
— God (@thegoodgodabove) November 5, 2023
I think a lot about how Homer choking Bart was a long time running gag in the Simpsons, then they did an episode where he goes the therapy after everyone realized how fucked up it is and just stopped doing it pic.twitter.com/o35AutVEaS
— Cjelex (@cjelex_) October 29, 2023
The long-standing scene of Homer strangling Bart will no longer be featured in The Simpsons. pic.twitter.com/7cNarlA5To
— OutKick (@Outkick) November 4, 2023
Me watching cynical neckbeards in the comments getting butthurt that their precious cartoon child abuse gag isn’t continuing anymore and The Simpsons should end.
Y’all call it “woke”, I call it good character development for Homer.
Times have changed. Get over it. pic.twitter.com/XovQqTqhNi
— Simon A. (Baby Lamb Creations) (@BabyLamb5) November 4, 2023
People complaining that The Simpsons changed but havent watched the new episodes to know that it's been rare for Homer to strangle Bart ever since the 2000's and the last (actual) time he did was over four years ago.
The real story is that the show is kind of entertaining again https://t.co/pix3lhP1aP
— Eric Milzarski (@EricMilzarski) November 6, 2023
I knew my man Homer was gonna learn.
He's a smart fella.
— Sebastian Ortiz Ramirez (@SebastianGOR3) November 2, 2023
Well TBF Disney wants to make The Simpsons family friendly so getting rid of old gags that would be considered offensive or abusive by today's standards is a very good call imo.
— Watterjet (@waterrjet1) November 4, 2023
I'm obsessed with all the replies that seem to think homer choking Bart is central to the Simpsons. https://t.co/WJNdO3Fw11
— 12 Mg Xander (@UsagiCola) November 5, 2023
Times have changed…
No strangling kids has always been frowned upon..
It’s a CARTOON
— RhiClare (@Rhiannon_clare_) November 5, 2023
Though, not everyone was pleased with how one of the most iconic running gags in TV history was removed, and even went so far as to say that ‘The Simpsons’ have become ‘woke’.
The Simpsons have made it clear that Homer will no longer strangle Bart. "Times have changed" they said. Acting like when The Simpsons first started it was socially acceptable? Nothing has changed in regards to strangling your kid 💀 Removed one of the most iconic TV gags. pic.twitter.com/DPd4rWv6KI
— Saammuel (@Saammuel) November 6, 2023
The Simpsons accused of going 'woke' as it stops long-running Homer and Bart strangling jokehttps://t.co/Y8ZlJZoNoY
— GB News (@GBNEWS) November 6, 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
Why would they stop doing it? Homer Strangling Bart is one of the founding gags. It’s never premeditated, always a snap decision based on how angry Bart Makes Homer. Plus Bart has no right to be upset at Homer for it because Bart does the things that set Homer off. Makes no sense
— Matthew Tanson (@RasenganFin) November 2, 2023
Really? Got rid an iconic gag from The Simpsons? Now I’m glad I did stop watching their newer content in 2016
— Eskimo Fett Requiem (@EFR501) November 2, 2023
I can't believe we'll never see this again! pic.twitter.com/twfNLdyz8L
— Oscar Smith #SupportTheSAGAFTRA (@OscarSm61194655) November 2, 2023
Ehh…it was one of the best gags. The people praising it sound very unfunny. What can be more iconic to what comes next after hearing Homer say “Why you little…?!” 😑
The Simpsons just needs to retire as a whole. If you’re going to be happy and remove iconic things, why? 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/8PQyOsGq1m
— 子羊 (@Gyokuza_no_Lamb) November 2, 2023
One of the most iconic things in television history all because people can't take jokes anymore 🤦♂️
— Pyo 5️⃣ (@mrpyo1) November 5, 2023
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) November 5, 2023
We’ve got some questions for those people crying about it: Since when was it okay for a show to broadcast literal child violence? Do you see something funny about it, especially when that’s the reality for some children in the world?
What kind of human are you to find some joy and entertainment in a kid getting strangled on television even if they were animated? Would you laugh if it were a real kid? No, right?
So, if animated it’s fine, then if it’s a real one, no. Okay, got it.
So what if ‘The Simpsons’ is removing a problematic thing about the family’s dynamic, does that make the show less entertaining than it already is? This show has shown more longevity than most of its generation, and it still keeps its humor while staying true to the times. It’s not called being woke, it’s called being aware and learning anew about what’s okay and what’s not.
It’s not ‘woke’ to call out brutality against children, nor is it ‘woke’ to call out racist undertones in the show. Yeah, we’re also talking about how ‘The Simpsons’ portrayed an Indian character named Apu and how he was voiced by a white man.
‘The Simpsons’ phased Apu’s character out in 2018, and his voice actor Hank Azaria also stated in an interview this year, “Through my role in Apu and what I created in Hollywood messaging – which is a big deal in this country and around the world – I helped to create a pretty marginalizing, dehumanizing stereotype.”
So again, no. It’s not woke. It’s just the creators of ‘The Simpsons’ realizing that they need to be better at what they show to their audiences.
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