The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror has been a tradition for 25 years. I have watched them all, and have seen every episode of the series more than once. Although the Simpsons have changed over the years the one thing that is a constant and never a disappointment is the Halloween episode. The best part of these episodes are all the possibilities that are open due to them not being part of the shows continuity. Each episode always consists of three separate, self contained segments. Picking only 10 segments out of 24 Treehouse of Horror episodes was not an easy task, but after careful thought and watching each episode multiple times, I finally made my decision. I’m sure not everyone will agree with me on this list but one thing i’m sure we can agree on is, The Simpsons is one of the greatest animated shows of all time, and the Halloween Specials are definitely some of the best episodes of each season.
Now on to the list.
#10 The Grand Pumpkin
Tree House of Horror XIX
A parody of a Charlie Brown Halloween classic. Milhouse waits up all night in the pumpkin patch hoping to see the grand pumpkin who is supposed to appear on Halloween and give kids who believe candy. The Grand Pumpkin ends up coming to life and learns that people cut pumpkins on Halloween to make funny faces, and we “roast the unborn” (pumpkin seeds) and make pumpkin bread out of them. To get revenge The Grand Pumpkin starts eating people. Luckily Lisa tells Milhouse about Tom Turkey and he believes in him enough for him to come to life and stop the Grand Pumpkin, unfortunately Tom Turkey learns of what we do to turkeys on Thanksgiving and he gets Revenge by eating people too.
The Grand Pumpkin goes to eat Nelson who grabs a knife and holds it up to a yellow pumpkin and says:
Nelson: “Touch me and I’ll cut your friend”
The Grand Pumpkin: “What do I care, that’s a yellow pumpkin”
Nelson: “You’re a Racist!”
The Grand Pumpkin: “All Pumpkins are racist. The difference is I admit it” (then the GP eats nelson)
Nelson: “I’d rather die than hate!”
#9 Terror at 5 1/2 Feet
Treehouse of Horror IV
A parody of Twilight Zone’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”. Bart has a nightmare where the bus crashes and wakes up very paranoid. On the bus Bart keeps seeing a gremlin outside his window that is destroying the bus but no one else can see it. Bart ends up fighting the creature and hitting it with a road flair which Ned Flanders hits it with his car and stops to pick it up and check to see if it’s ok. In the end Bart was right and saved everyone but Principal Skinner sends Bart to a mental institution to teach him some manners. In the ambulance Bart sees the gremlin outside his window and it has Ned Flanders severed head.
Principal Skinner “Hello Simpson, i’m riding the bus today because mother hid my car key for talking to a woman on the phone. She was right to do it.”
Willie: “Me mule wouldn’t walk in the mud, so I had to put 17 bullets in him
#8 The HΩmega Man
Treehouse of Horror VIII
Springfield gets hit by a neutron bomb, which kills many but leaves the buildings and cars still intact and skeletons everywhere. At first, it appears that Homer is the only survivor. After some appropriate mourning, he then has some fun doing things he couldn’t do otherwise. However, he soon comes into conflict with skin-eating mutants. Marge and the kids turn out to be alive saved by all the layers of lead paint that their house is covered in, at the end when given the choice between living in peace with the mutants, Marge, Bart and Lisa all shoot and kill them as Marge says sarcastically “Friend’s with mutants, right?”
Comic Book Guy: (Reading a comic aloud while walking down the street.) “But Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills. You’re from two different worlds!” (A nuclear missile closes in on him) “Oohh, I’ve wasted my life…”
Homer Simpson: “Oh, Spade… why did you put Farley in charge of the bees?”
#7 Citizen Kang
Treehouse of Horror VII
Kang and Kodos abduct Homer and he tells them of a presidential election after being asked for their leader. The aliens then steal the identity of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole to be elected and take over Earth. Homer tries to save the two candidates, but accidentally launches them into space killing them. When Homer gets back, he reveals Kang and Kodos true identities, but due to our 2 party system we have to vote for one of them for President. At the end of the episode the human race is enslaved and forced to build a ray gun to aim at a planet no one has heard of all for President Kang.
This episode has one of the most repeated lines of dialogue from The Simpsons it’s in the quote below, but I’m sure you already know which one I’m talking about.
Marge: “I understand why we have to build a ray gun to aim at a planet no one has ever heard of.”
Homer: “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.”
Kodos (as Bill Clinton): “My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.”
#6 Dial Z for Zombies
Treehouse of Horror III
Bart is in the Springfield Elementary library searching for material for a book report, but finds a book of black magic in the library’s Occult section. That night, when Lisa reminisces about the family’s dead cat, Snowball I, Bart suggests that he could use the book he found to resurrect Snowball. Unfortunately Bart ends up raising the dead buried in the Springfield Cemetery. The zombies start attacking the town and turning other towns folk into Zombies. In the end Bart reversed the spell and the zombies go back to their graves. Their is a nice twist in the end of the episode. The last scene shows the Simpsons family gathered around the tv eating, completely absorbed into the show they are watching (like a bunch of brain dead zombies). They then begin speaking in a zombie-like monotone as a man falls down on the show they are watching.
John Smith: “Excuse me I’m John Smith.”
John Smith: “John Smith 1882?”
John Smith: “My mistake.”
Bart: “Dad you killed the zombie Flanders”
Homer: “He was a zombie?”
#5 Time and Punishment
Treehouse of Horror V
Homer destroys the toaster and while repairing it he invents a time machine. He ends up back in the prehistoric era and remembers some great advice his Dad gave him on his wedding day. “If you ever travel back in time, don’t step on anything. Because even the tiniest change can alter the future in ways you can’t imagine” Unfortunately Homer does squash a mosquito and when he gets back to his time Flanders is the unquestioned lord and master of the world. Homer goes back in time a few times. He even comes back to a perfect world for The Simpsons, they are rich, Patti and Selma are Dead, the kids are well behaved and it rains donuts. But know one knows what a donut it is, to them it’s just rain and Homer freaks when he asks for one and Marge responds “Donut? what’s a Donut.” In the end Homer basically returns to his normal time except for one small difference where everyone has long lizard like tongues they use to eat, to which Homer basically just accepts the world the way it is.
Homer: “I’ve gone back to the time when dinosaurs weren’t just confined to zoos!”
Marge: “Good morning, dear.”
Homer: “What’s my name? What color is the sky? What of donuts? What?! For the love of God, tell me!”
Marge: “Homer, the sky is blue, donuts are plentiful, Friday is T.G.I.F.night on ABC. What’s gotten into you?”
Homer: Nothing…nothing at all. Let’s just eat.
(everyone but Homer eats with long forked tongues)
Homer: “Ehh, close enough.”
#4 Bart Simpson’s Dracula
Treehouse of Horror IV
After a news story about several vampire attacks, Lisa begins to suspect that Mr. Burns is a vampire. But the rest of the family dismisses her concerns, even though it is very obvious. The family is invited to Burns’ castle in Pennsylvania. Where Bart and Lisa discover a secret vampire lair in the basement of the castle. Lisa escapes but Bart decides to pull a lever that says “super fun happy slide” which sends him right back into the arms of the vampires. Later that night, Lisa is awakened by a now undead Bart and his vampire friends. The rest of the family discover that Bart is a vampire when he tries to bite Lisa. Lisa claims that the only way to break the curse is to kill the head vampire, Mr. Burns. They all return to Burns mansion, where Homer drives a stake through Mr Burns heart and kills him for good, but not before he fires Homer. After killing Burns, Bart still remains a vampire. In the end the family is in the kitchen of their home and Lisa discovers that everyone in her family except herself is also vampire, and that the true head vampire is Marge. The entire family swoops in to get Lisa and then immediately stops and looks at the camera to wish everyone a Happy Halloween. The segment then transitions into a parody of A Charlie Brown Christmas as the entire family including Santa’s Little Helper portraying Snoopy and dancing on the piano Milhouse is playing as the Simpsons all sing the song from the Peanuts special.
Here is a screenshot of the end of the episode:
[Lisa takes a sip from her chalice and gasps]
Lisa Simpson: “Dad, this is blood!”
Homer Simpson: “Correction: FREE blood.” [Homer guzzles it down and sighs]
Lisa Simpson: “Dad, do you notice anything strange?”
Homer Simpson: “Yeah, his hairdo looks so queer.”
Montgomery Burns: “I heard that!”
Homer Simpson: [quickly points to Bart] “It was the boy!”
#3 Clown Without Pity
Treehouse of Horror III
It’s Bart’s Birthday and Homer forgets to buy him a present. He runs out to a very odd store and picks up a talking Krusty doll which the shop keeper warns is cursed. The doll comes to life and tries to kill Homer which some of the scenes between Homer and the Krusty doll are hilarious. When Homer is in the tub and the doll appears in the tub with a knife and Homer runs through the kitchen naked where Marge, Patty and Selma are sitting. and Patty says “There goes the last lingering thread of my Heterosexuality.” In the end Marge calls the doll company and as a repairman comes to the house he informs the Simpsons that someone had switched the doll to evil. He switches it back to good and from then on Homer uses the doll to do all the chores he doesn’t want to do. For the Krusty doll it’s all worth it since he gets to come home to Malibu Stacy and there doll house.
This is one of the most quoted scenes between myself and my friends. It is one of my favorite scenes out of any Simpsons episode.
Store Owner: “Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible” curse…
Homer: [worried] “Ooooh, that’s bad.”
Owner: “But it comes with a free Frogurt!”
Homer: [relieved] “That’s good.”
Owner: “The Frogurt is also cursed.”
Homer: [worried] “That’s bad.”
Owner: “But you get your choice of topping!”
Homer: [relieved] “That’s good.”
Owner: “The toppings contains Potassium Benzoate. [Homer stares] That’s bad.”
Homer: [worried] “Can I go now?”
#2 The Devil and Homer Simpson
Treehouse of Horror IV
Homer falls asleep at work and their are no more donuts left. He ends up selling his soul for one to the Devil who is Ned Flanders “It’s always the one you least suspect”. After Homer finishes the donut Lisa demands that Homer should get a fair trial. The Devil agrees but while waiting for the trial Homer must spend the day in Hell. At the trial Lionel Hutz defends Homer but leaves after his opening statements, which does not help Homer. In the end Marge proves that Homer had pledged his soul to her first on their wedding night which makes here the actual owner of his soul so The Devil loses the case, but Curses Homer by changing his head into a giant donut.
The torture scene when Homer is in Hell and is force fed Donuts until he eats them all (The scene is in the video below). This episode also has one of my favorite lines of dialogue.
(Lionel Hutz is trying to convince Homer that he is in good hands and says:)
Lionel Hutz: “Mr Simpson don’t you worry. I watched Matlock in a bar last night, the sound wasn’t on but I think I got the gist of it.”
#1 The Shinning
Treehouse of Horror V
A parody of Stephen King’s novel and Stanley Kubrick’s film, The Shining. This is the #1 Treehouse of Horror segment. This episode in a matter of 8 minutes manages to hit all the major scenes of The Shining and adds it’s own unique Simpsons twist to them. Homer and the family are going to house sit Mr Burn’s haunted hotel during the winter. After Mr. Burns cuts off the cable and takes all the beer, Homer looses it. No tv and no beer make Homer, go crazy! He goes on a homicidal rant and tries to kill his family. Bart uses his psychic gift “the shinning” to call Willy who gets killed immediately after showing up to help. Homer ends up chasing the family out of the hotel and into the snow, where they find a portable tv that willy had dropped when heading the hotel. Homer’s violent urges fade away as the Simpson family gather round the portable tv which Homer describes as “teacher, mother, secret lover”. From beginning to end this is by far one of the best segments not just in the Treehouse of Horror episodes, but out of all the Simpsons Episodes.
I love the opening of this segment when they are all driving to the hotel here is the dialog from that scene:
Homer:”Well it was a long trip but were almost there.
Marge: “Homer did you remember to lock the front door of the house?”
Homer: “Well it’s been 2 long trips but were finally almost there again.
Marge: “When you locked the front door, did you remember to lock the back door?”
Homer: Doh! Doh!
Lisa: “We Forgot Grandpa at the gas station!”
Lisa: “What about Grandpa?”
Homer Simpson: “No tv and no beer make Homer, something, something.”
Marge: “Go Crazy!”
Homer: “Don’t mind if I do!”
Well I hoped you all enjoyed my top 10 list of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror segments, I know I didn’t choose many from the later seasons, but I did consider them, they just didn’t make the top 10. This Sunday the Simpsons will air the 26th Annual Treehouse of Horror and I can’t wait! If you agree or disagree with the list, you can let me know on Twitter or here on Ripps Corner. Please include why you agree or disagree and if you convince me I should of put a different segment on the list, I will owe you a coke.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY!
This article was originally written for and published on therealmcast.com