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The Homer Moment On The Simpsons That Hasn't Aged Well At All

"The Simpsons" premiered in 1989, and since then the venerable animated sitcom has aired 33 seasons and more than 700 episodes as of 2022. That's a run that spans five decades and six presidential administrations (and counting). For any show with that kind of longevity, it's inevitable that some moments just age very well. Society changes a lot in 33 years, and something that was funny in the early 1990's might no longer be acceptable.

This is doubly true with a show like "The Simpsons," which is a satire that deliberately pushes the envelope with its humor. From the earliest seasons, "The Simpsons" has dealt with subjects like alcoholism, family abuse, and mental health issues with a cavalierness that doesn't fit their severity.

To be fair, that's part of why "The Simpsons" is such a classic. It makes difficult subjects hilarious. But that doesn't mean they're not also offensive to some viewers. Here's one Homer (Dan Castellanetta) moment that didn't age well.

Homer putting on a suicide bomber vest just wouldn't fly today

The moment happens during the Season 12 episode "Tale of Two Springfields." Early in the episode, Homer learns that Springfield is using two different area codes for its phone numbers, 636 and 939, and that 636 coincides with "the rich side of town." Outraged, Homer brings up the issue at a town hall meeting–while wearing a homemade dynamite vest. Homer threatens to blow up the town hall out of spite, but when his vest fails to detonate, he leads a revolt that divides the town in half.

There's no getting around it: Homer is trying to be a suicide bomber. Even though he fails, it's still disturbingly close to real-life terrorism. "Tale of Two Springfields" aired in 2000, before 9/11 and the War on Terror in the United States. It's difficult to imagine any TV show making light of terrorism after 9/11 like this, even a show that deliberately pushes the envelope like "The Simpsons."

It's an absurd overreaction to a relatively minor local political issue–which is, obviously part of the reason why it's funny. The only thing that somewhat mitigates the gag is that Homer's bomb vest doesn't seem to be motivated by any kind of awareness of real-life terrorism, but rather a fondness of dynamite. Earlier in the episode, when Bart and Lisa discover a badger living inside the family dog house, Homer suggests they get rid of it by dynamiting the dog house. Maybe Homer just had dynamite on the brain?