Warning: This article contains minor spoilers for The Simpsons season 35, episode 7.
- The Simpsons season 35 episode 7 mocks recent headlines by having Bart strangle Homer instead, flipping the infamous dynamic.
- The show’s creators contradicted previous statements about Homer strangling Bart and caused confusion among viewers.
- The episode shows that consistency isn’t a big deal in the cartoon world of The Simpsons, as it depicts Bart’s death and gives him the drumstick he always wanted.
While The Simpsons season 35 made the news thanks to the show’s handling of Homer strangling Bart, episode 7 mocked this news cycle by flipping the infamous image on its head. It is tough for The Simpsons to keep up with the times. After all, the show has been on the air for three and a half decades now, and none of its characters have aged a day, resulting in Homer and Marge’s birthdates changing from somewhere in the late ’50s to somewhere in the late ‘80s without warning. This might be why the show recently landed itself in hot water over an infamous recurring gag.
Although season 35, episode 3, “McMansion and Wife,” saw Homer claiming that he no longer strangles his son because “times have changed,” this was not necessarily evidence that the show would drop this controversial gag. The Simpsons retconned this season 35 development almost instantly when co-creator James L. Brooks clarified in an interview with People that Homer would continue strangling his son despite objections from viewers. Obviously, this came across as confusing and contradictory to casual audiences. However, season 35, episode 7, “It’s A Blunderful Life” saw the show seemingly mocking its headline-baiting controversy by subverting expectations.
The Simpsons Season 35, Episode 7 Features Bart Strangling Homer
After “McMansion and Wife” featured Homer promising not to strangle Bart anymore, only for Brooks to retcon this and say that the abuse would continue, “It’s A Blunderful Life” saw Bart turning the tables on his father. In The Simpsons season 35, episode 7, Bart strangled Homer instead when he learned that Homer made him sign a contract as a baby. The contract stipulated that Bart gave up any rights to drumsticks from the family’s annual Thanksgiving turkey, but it was signed with Bart’s footprint, as he was clearly too young to know what he was reading. This angered Bart so much that he began strangling Homer.
The shots of Bart strangling his father were clearly intended to replicate the iconic image of Homer strangling Bart, which appeared in everything from The Simpsons Movie to the show’s celebratory 500th couch gag. While there is still a certain level of discord between Brook’s comments and the show’s version of Bart and Homer’s dynamic, “It’s A Blunderful Life” proved that consistency isn’t a big deal in the cartoonish world of The Simpsons. The episode even depicted Bart’s death, something that would be a huge deal in a more serious series. Here, it was just an excuse for Bart to finally get that drumstick he always wanted.
Bart Strangling Homer Proves Season 35’s Strength
The Simpsons keeps surprising viewers, which is a pretty big achievement when the show has been on the air for three and a half decades now. This latest case of the series flipping a recent controversy on its head and parodying a headline-making story was just one of many instances wherein season 35 episodes proved more inventive and original than even longtime fans expected. Earlier episodes in season 35 saw The Simpsons taking on a mockumentary format, rewriting a classic episode in a Halloween special, and even turning Homer into the show’s villain. Needless to say, The Simpsons season 35 has kept the show relevant despite the odds.
- Release Date:
- Tress MacNeille, Julie Kavner, Harry Shearer, Pamela Hayden, Nancy Cartwright, Hank Azaria, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith
- Animation, Comedy
- Story By:
- Matt Groening and James L. Brooks
- Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Sam Simon
- Streaming Service(s):
- Sam Simon
- The Simpsons
- David Silverman, Jim Reardon, Mark Kirkland
- Al Jean