The Simpsons honour late cast member Mrs Krabappel with opening credit message
The Simpsons used the weekly chalkboard gag in the opening credits for a more serious purpose this week.
Featuring a glum-looking Bart, he scribbles just one message on the board that reads; 'WE'LL REALLY MISS YOU MRS. K'.
The episode aired after "technical difficulties" prevented the re-airing of 'Bart the Lover', a famed episode in which Bart becomes Mrs. Krabappel's pen pal after a cruel prank goes awry.
In its place, they had Bart pay tribute to the character on the chalkboard where the teacher would make him write lines when he misbehaved.
Edna Krabappel became the second wife of Ned Flanders after doomed romances with both Moe Szyslak and Principal Skinner. The writers left the decision up to the viewers, who voted in favour of the relationship. It was then revealed that they married in secret in the episode 'Ned 'n Edna's Blend'.
The show had announced recently that they were planning to kill off a 'veteran' character, but it was not intended to be Mrs. Krabappel. Following the death of Marcia Wallace, who voiced the character, the show decided to "retire" the "irreplaceable" character.
The show has retired characters due to voice actor's death in the past. Following the death of Phil Hartman in 1998, lawyer Lionel Hutz and failed movie star Troy McClure characters were both removed from the show.
A screenshot of the chalkboard memorial has amassed over 3,000 'upvotes' on the link-sharing website Reddit, in the subsection of the site dedicated exclusively to The Simpsons.