Homer Simpson will continue to strangle Bart, show co-creator confirms

The Simpsons co-creator has confirmed that Homer Simpson won't be changing his parenting techniques just yet. Earlier this month, the popular animated sitcom seemed to confirm it had retired a long-running joke which saw Homer (Dan Castellaneta) strangle his son every time he did something wrong.

The reveal was made in the season 35 episode McMansion & Wife which saw Homer and his wife Marge (Julie Kavner) meet their neighbor Thayer (Hank Azaria).

Homer introduces himself to Thayer with a handshake, to which the neighbor then comments on the strength of his grip. This prompted the beloved television character to respond: "See, Marge, strangling the boy paid off," before adding: "Just kidding, I don't do that anymore. Times have changed."

Watch the scene below:

Once viewers watched the episode, they took to social media to share think pieces. Some praised the show for making Homer more of a good dad, while others complained about the changing times.

"They should keep it in the show. It's always funny when Homer does it," one user wrote.

Another interjected: "Tbh I don't really know how to feel exactly because on one hand it's an iconic thing for the Simpsons and on the other it's not exactly something I'd want my viewer base to emulate."

The executive producers behind The Simpsons have responded to the frenzy in animated form.
The illustration (which has been obtained by PEOPLE) revealed Homer strangling Bart, who was holding a smartphone with a headline that read, "Simpsons: No more strangling." Text in a word bubble showed the father yelling at his son, "Why you little clickbaiting-!!"

In addition to this, co-creator James L. Brooks told the publication: "Don’t think for a second we’re changing anything," adding, "Nothing's getting tamed. Nothing, nothing, nothing."

"He'll continue to be strangled - [if] you want to use that awful term for it," Brooks continued. "He'll continue to be loved by his father in a specific way."
Homer strangling Bart had been a long-running gag since the original animated shorts on the Tracey Ullman Show. Per the Simpsons Wiki - a fan-run Wikipedia on the show - Bart has been strangled over 100 times.

However, despite Brooks' announcement, the father hasn’t actually committed this strange act of love for his son (played by Nancy Cartwright) on air in some time. According to IGN, the last time Bart was stifled on-screen was during the show's 31st season, which aired from 2019 to 2020.

But for some reason, viewers just noticed the eye-brow-raising news earlier this month which is why the show’s producers had to address a swift response.

Nevertheless, I'm sure we will see more of Homer's parenting ways next year as the show was renewed for a 36th season - extending its standing as the longest-running scripted series in television history.

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