Originally, Fox planned to honor the late Marcia Wallace — who passed away last weekend — by re-airing “Bart the Lover,” the Simpsons season 3 episode for which Wallace won her first and only Emmy Award. Unfortunately for classic Simpsons fans, “technical issues” ultimately prevented the network from playing the 21-year-old heartbreaker; instead, it was replaced with “The Ned-Liest Catch,” the 2011 season finale in which Wallace’s Mrs. Krabappel begins dating widower Ned Flanders.
But despite the last-minute bait-and-switch, The Simpsons still managed a touching goodbye to Wallace.
After the rerun, Fox aired a new Simpsons episode coincidentally called “Four Regrettings and a Funeral.” (The funeral was for some guy named Chip Davis rather than Mrs. K; Wallace’s character will eventually be retired, though the show hasn’t yet said how.) The tribute kicked off with Bart’s opening credits chalkboard gag, which eschewed jokes for a simple, heartfelt sentiment: “We’ll really miss you Mrs. K.” (Edna would have sighed and rolled her eyes at the missing comma.)
And just before the credits rolled, the show closed with this moment, helpfully giffed by Uproxx.
Really says it all, doesn’t it?