Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘The Simpsons’ Showrunners Clap Back at Reports of Retiring Long-Running Joke

‘The Simpsons’ Showrunners Clap Back at Reports of Retiring Long-Running Joke

The Simpsons creative team is taking issue with recent reports that Homer will no longer be strangling Bart in the long-running series. The producers of the show reached out to Variety, sharing an image to answer all of the internet hoopla surrounding the story. The outlet shared the image on Twitter.

It seems the producers of The Simpsons don’t want fans having a cow of the stories circulating. The frenzy ensued following the airing of the episode “McMansion & Wife” on October 22nd on Fox. In the episode, the Simpsons greet a new family who has moved into the neighborhood. When one of the newcomers compliments Homer on his firm handshake, the animated dad quips, “See, Marge, strangling the boy paid off.” However, Homer adds, “I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”

Once online users got wind of it, social media posts and think pieces started popping up everywhere. Some people loved how the show portrayed Homer as a more responsible dad, while others were like, “Whoa, man. Things are changing!”

Nevertheless, loyal The Simpsons fans have observed that Homer ceased his act of strangling Bart a few seasons back, with the most recent documented incident transpiring in Season 31. The recent fervent response from both the show’s creators and devoted viewers is quite astonishing, considering that this revelation went unnoticed until now.

‘The Simpsons’ Extended Its Tenure as the Longest-running Scripted Series

It’s unclear why the producers of The Simpsons took such offense to the story. The gag seemed to have organically run its course, and fans noticing Homer acknowledge the change is a testament to the show’s continuing legacy. However, maybe the producers simply want to have the joke in their back pocket should they decide to return to the well.

Despite criticism that it has “run its course,” The Simpsons keeps coming back with more stories of Springfield residents. Since Disney acquired Fox, The Simpsons has gained a new audience on Disney+, with the entire classic episode catalog available for streaming.

The Simpsons has already been renewed for the 36th TV season, extending its record as the longest-running scripted series in TV history. This renewal ensures that the show will continue through the 2024-2025 season.

Although The Simpsons was praised for acknowledging the end of a long-running joke, it faced criticism for how it portrayed the character Apu, an Indian shop owner voiced by white actor Hank Azaria. This casting decision and portrayal received significant backlash, as highlighted in Hari Kondabolu’s 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu.