Say what you want about the quality of The Simpsons over the past decade or so, but the long-running comedy has given the internet a trove of memes: steamed hams; Marge’s various adages; Ralph in danger on the bus; Bart beating a bathing Homer ... the list goes on and on.
The Simpsons never shies away from getting a bit meta, and with the most recently aired episode, “The Girl on the Bus,” the writers decided to get in on the meme action. A brief text message exchange features Homer Simpson himself using one of the most famous Simpsons memes — the GIF of Homer sinking into a hedge — in response to Lisa. The official Simpsons Twitter account shared a GIF of the scene, in which Homer uses the GIF (even more meta!).
Even Homer uses that GIF. #TheSimpsons pic.twitter.com/Gw7V6mbxID— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) January 14, 2019
The hedge scene appeared in the 1994 episode “Homer Loves Flanders,” and occurs when Homer is trying to avoid his diddly-do-gooder next-door neighbor Ned Flanders. He sinks into the hedge, a la the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
This particular reaction has been in use across the internet since 2010, in both GIF and screenshot form. People couple it with text to illustrate specific reactions and feelings (it perfectly encapsulates exiting from an exchange that you didn’t want to be a part of), or simply edit it so that Homer Simpson sinks into various backgrounds.
The Simpsons is currently in its 30th season (Ed. note: Oh, lord, give me strength). It continues to air Sundays on Fox at 8 p.m. EST.