An upcoming episode of the Simpsons will feature a major character coming out as gay.

***Spoilers below!!***

In the upcoming episode, which will air on Fox in the US on 3 April after a short break, Waylon Smithers will finally come out as gay.

Other characters appear to be familiar with the fact that Smithers has romantic feelings towards his boss Mr Burns, and the show has featured his fantasies about the power plant owner, but he has never openly discussed it.

Episode 17, titled ‘The Burns Cage’, will focus on the relationship between the two characters, and it is understood that he will come out in the episode.

The official synopsis for the episode reads: “When Smithers is devastated by Burns’ lack of affection towards him, Homer makes it his mission to find him a boyfriend.

“Meanwhile, after Bart orchestrates the removal of the lead in the school’s stage production of Casablanca, Milhouse serves as a terrible understudy, which frustrates his co-star, Lisa.”

The long-serving personal assistant has worked for Mr Burns for 26 years.

He will take to using a dating app to try to find a boyfriend, according to reports.

The former executive producer Al Jean has previously said that Mr Burns does not know that Smithers is gay.

Speaking to TV Line he said: “In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t. We deal with that in two episodes… We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options.”

Smithers joins Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in coming out of the closet.

Mac came out in an episode earlier this month, after a gay couple he tries to “cure” turn the tables on him, and he revealed his own feelings.