Fox’s The Simpsons has quietly retired the recurring scene in its hit cartoon, in which Homer Simpson strangles his son Bart, saying, “times have changed.”
New episodes of The Simpsons will no longer feature the common scene in which Homer strangles Bart has been retired in an attempt to keep up with modern times, according to a report by Daily Mail.
As many fans of the show know, the scene is one of the most recurring gags of the sitcom’s three-decade history, transpiring whenever Bart does something wrong.
Homer yells “why you little” and wraps his hands around Bart’s neck, resulting in the younger character’s eyes bulging out of his head. But lately, this scene hasn’t been happening in The Simpsons.
During season 35’s episode 3, titled, “McMansion & Wife,” a new family joins the Evergreen Terrace. At one point, Homer introduces himself to a character named Thayer, who comments about how firm Homer’s handshake is, saying, “That’s quite a grip.”
“See Marge? Strangling the boy has paid off,” Homer jokes, before immediately adding, “Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
A hint that Homer’s strangulation stunt might soon be phased out occurred during an episode in season 22, titled, “Love Is a Many Strangled Thing,” in which therapist Dr. Zander tries to get Homer to understand that strangling Bart is bad behavior.
In the episode, basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a friend of Zander’s, shows Homer what it feels like “to be young, small, and terrified” by strangling him multiple times.
This is not the first time The Simpsons have made a change in response to an ever-increasing irascible society.
In 2018, the show’s producers announced that their long-running Indian character, Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, would be written out of The Simpsons due to increased complaints that he reflects an insulting racial stereotype.