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Recap / The Simpsons S22 E17: "Love Is A Many Strangled Thing"

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After tickling Bart into Potty Failure, Homer is sent to parenting therapy — and is put through shock treatment (by having Kareem-Abdul Jabbar strangle him near-constantly) after admitting that he strangles Bart as a means of discipline.


Tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch: After revealing to the class that he strangles Bart, Homer remarks that he is just raising Bart in the same manner that he was. We then see an Imagine Spot of a young Homer sitting at the kitchen table with Abe. Abe is looking at Homer's report card, which has bad grades on it. Abe tells Homer he's not allowed to watch TV for a week... prompting Homer to jump onto the table, and begin strangling Abe.
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  • Broken Aesop: The show seems to finally address long-time complaints regarding Homer's physical abuse of Bart by strangling him. However, they handle this quite poorly since the moment Homer stops abusing his son, Bart becomes an absolute sociopathic terror, literally torturing his own father and many of the citizens of Springfield (including his teachers, the school principal, and even the police chief). It pretty much strongly insinuates some children deserve to be abused to curb their otherwise dangerous behavior. Could also be seen as a Family-Unfriendly Aesop in the long-term since Homer does return to strangling Bart in future episodes.
  • Edgy Backwards Chair-Sitting: Homer's shrink sits this way when he wants to explain that strangling of a child is inexcusable. Strangely, he sits backwards to appear more intense and serious, other than to have the usual connotation of being relaxed.
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  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: When the therapist loses his patience with Bart after seeing the boy not caring that his father was about to die in front of him and begins strangling him himself, Homer sees this and leaps to his son's defense since only he's allowed to strangle his son.
  • Kids Are Cruel:
    • It turns out that Homer's abusive disiplining of Bart are actually keeping Bart's bad boy tendencies from going Up to Eleven.
    • A quick Imagine Spot has Homer strangling Abe when he was a child.
  • The Shrink: A therapist attempted to cure Homer of his Bart-strangling obsession (or at least make him understand it's not acceptable to strangle children) by having somebody strangle Homer all time. When Homer was "cured", the therapist said the road of recovery was far from over but had a change of mind when Homer confessed to have lied about having insurance.
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