FOX’s “The Simpsons” has officially retired one of the longest-running gags in its arsenal – an enraged Homer reprimanding his son Bart by squeezing his neck to the point his eyes and tongue bulge out.
The series has made references to the controversial interaction over the years which has been criticised for its brutality, though the show kept going with the gag all the way up through its thirty-first season airing 2019/2020.
In the recent third episode of the new season, titled “McMansion & Wife,” Homer and Marge meet their new neighbor Thayer. After shaking hands, Thayer comments on Homer’s firm grip.
Homer jokes: “See, Marge, strangling the boy paid off” before quickly adding: “Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
Fans noticed the previously unannounced move away from the extreme disciplinary measure on social media after the clip was posted on social media. So far a good chunk ot the sentiment seems to be in support of it.
In fact, the show tackled the topic of parent-on-child violence head on with the Season 22 episode “Love is a Many Strangled Thing” in which Homer attends a fathering enrichment class.