In the midst of swirling speculations suggesting a shift in Homer Simpson’s parenting approach, the co-creator of “The Simpsons,” James L. Brooks, has unequivocally declared that Homer’s enduring tendency to strangle his son, Bart, will persist unaltered.
Addressing the conjecture surrounding a potential deviation from this long-standing comedic motif, Brooks, in an exclusive statement to People, firmly stated, “Nothing’s getting tamed. Nothing, nothing, nothing … He’ll continue to be strangled — [if] you want to use that awful term for it. He’ll continue to be loved by his father in a specific way.”
I just found out that, after over 30 years, The Simpsons has finally retired their long-running gag of Homer strangling Bart.
Took them long enough lmao pic.twitter.com/JuHyNu1eiK
— Simon A. (Baby Lamb Creations) (@BabyLamb5) November 2, 2023
The recent speculation gained momentum following an episode titled “McMansion & Wife,” which premiered on October 22 on Fox. In this particular episode, The Simpsons hinted at a potential departure from Homer’s distinctive form of discipline. A new neighbor complimented Homer on the firmness of his handshake, prompting Homer to jest with his wife, Marge, saying, “See, Marge, strangling the boy has paid off. Just kidding. I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
Contrary to such insinuations, the website IGN asserted that Homer has refrained from strangling Bart since Season 31, which aired between 2019 and 2020. This apparent change in dynamic, however, did not dissuade James L. Brooks from affirming the continuity of Homer’s iconic father-son interaction. His statement aligns with the essence of a meme posted by The Simpsons X (formerly Twitter) account just last week, offering a humorous response to the ongoing “strangle saga.”
Homer Simpson was unavailable for comment as he was busy strangling Bart. pic.twitter.com/Yh6koeqTQS
— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) November 9, 2023
The ritualistic act of Homer strangling Bart has been a recurring comedic motif since the inception of The Simpsons in the form of animated shorts on “The Tracey Ullman Show” back in 1987. Despite the evolving landscape of television and shifting cultural norms, this peculiar aspect of the father-son relationship has endured as a hallmark of the show’s distinct humor.
As discussions surrounding the future trajectory of The Simpsons continue, James L. Brooks’ affirmation of Homer’s unwavering paternal methodology adds a layer of certainty to the show’s commitment to preserving its comedic roots. The co-creator’s resolute declaration serves as a reassurance to fans that, despite the winds of change blowing through the animated landscape, some aspects of The Simpsons will indeed remain untouched, ensuring the perpetuation of the timeless dynamic between Homer and Bart.