The Simpsons co-creator James L. Brooks has confirmed that Homer Simpson will continue to strangle Bart on the show.
Earlier this month, the animated sitcom appeared to confirm it had retired the long-running joke, which saw Homer frequently strangle his son.
The reveal was made in season 35 episode McMansion & Wife, in which Homer tells wife Marge that he’s changed his ways when visiting a new neighbour.
However, Brooks has suggested to People that the gag will continue to run after all, saying: “Don’t think for a second we’re changing anything.”
The producer then shared an illustration of Bart holding a smartphone as Homer strangles him, accompanied by the headline: “Simpsons: No more strangling.” Homer yells to his son: “Why you little clickbaiting-!!”
Brooks added: “Nothing’s getting tamed. Nothing, nothing, nothing. He’ll continue to be strangled—[if] you want to use that awful term for it. He’ll continue to be loved by his father in a specific way.”
In the recent Simpsons scene, Homer shakes the hand of new neighbour Thayer, who comments on Homer’s grip. “See Marge, strangling the boy paid off,” the Simpsons patriarch responds. “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 Simpsons has gone through a number of changes in recent years as it adapts to modern sensibilities.
Most notably, the show recast Indian character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who was voiced previously by white actor Hank Azaria, while white star Harry Shearer stepped away from voicing Black character Dr. Hibbert, and gay character Julio was also recast.
“Times change,” show co-creator Matt Groening told the BBC in 2021. “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.”
In other Simpsons news, the show recently killed off long-running character Sideshow Bob in the latest Treehouse Of Horror episode – though as it’s set in an alternate universe, the death isn’t permanent.
Meanwhile, the show was renewed for season 36 earlier this year.
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