The Simpsons, a show well-known for being not only the longest-running American sitcom and animated program, but for its uncanny ability to predict the future over the past 30 years, may have just hit peak Internet status.
The show’s latest episode went incredibly meta when it featured Homer Simpson using a popular GIF of himself walking backwards into a bush. The GIF, which became a viral meme in recent years, comes from a memorable episode in the fifth season when Homer becomes friends with his much-maligned neighbor, Ned Flanders. Now, in episode 12 of season 30, it appears the Homer and the rest of The Simpsons are acknowledging the Internet clout that the image has accrued by having Homer use it self-referentially during a text exchange with the always wise Lisa.
As the show prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary, this meta viral moment for Homer shows just how much The Simpsons has become a part of our cultural landscape — and the never-to-be-underestimated power of the Internet.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does
- Column: The New Antisemitism
- The 13 Best New Books to Read in March
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Write to Cady Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org