“The Simpsons” is apparently retiring one of the show’s longest-running bits.
In a recent episode that aired on Oct. 22, Homer Simpson revealed he would no longer choke his eldest son, Bart, as “times have changed.” A clip of the episode titled “McMansion & Wife” from season 35 went viral on X, formerly known as Twitter, days after the episode aired.
“I just found out that, after over 30 years, The Simpsons has finally retired their long-running gag of Homer strangling Bart,” the viral tweet read. “Took them long enough.”
The 10-second clip shows a new neighbor named Thayer complimenting Homer’s grip during a handshake.
“See, Marge, strangling the boy paid off,” Homer replies before saying “Just kidding. I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
While Homer’s formal declaration to stop strangling Bart is recent, the character has not choked his 10-year-old fictional son in several years, according to fan-run sites.
The gag, which follows Homer’s famous catchphrase “Why you little!” has been a part of the show since its first season in 1989. However, the last time Homer is seen strangling his son on screen was during the show’s 31st season, according to IGN.
It isn’t the first time the show, created by Matt Groening, has reimagined its humor to keep up with the times.
In 2020, actor Hank Azaria announced he would no longer voice Apu, the Indian immigrant convenience store owner, on “The Simpsons.” The recurring character voiced for years by Azaria, who is white, had drawn criticism for reinforcing racial stereotypes.
“We all made the decision together,” Azaria said at the time. “We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and (feel) good about it.”
Dan Castellaneta has voiced Homer Simpson since the show’s debut. “The Simpsons” is the longest-running American animated series on television.