The Simpsons is my favourite TV show ever of all time and their annual Halloween specials are definitely some of my favourites episodes. I don’t really keep up with the show as much as I did when I was a kid, I always make sure to watch the Treehouse of Horror episodes because they are always the best episodes, even in the later seasons.
I already did a list of my favourite Treehouse of Horror episodes a long time ago, but I feel like that list is outdated now. So why not revisit the series, especially since I am super hyped up for Treehouse of Horror XXX, which is also the 666th episode of The Simpsons altogether.
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR V, SEASON 6)
As I’m writing this, I still have not seen The Shining. I’ve read about a quarter of the book three times but I keep losing my patience, so the only way I know the story is through this Simpsons parody. And I don’t really mind that because as I get older, the less I’m bothered about reading everything Stephen King has ever written. Getting back on topic, this episode is obviously a parody of The Shining, with Homer playing the role of Jack Torrence but going mad from a beer and TV outage, rather than just being isolated and stuck indoors. If anybody was going to be given that role, it had to be Homer and the fact that it is just makes it a million times funnier.
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR, SEASON 2)
If you thought that The Simpsons wouldn’t do their own adaptation of a classic poem, you very obviously thought wrong because this episode is from the very first Treehouse of Horror way back in 1990. The Raven is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe, who is often miscalled the “original Goth” or is said to have invented Gothic fiction. He didn’t. Horace Walpole did. And I will not stop telling people that. Anyway, in The Simpsons‘ version, we have Homer is the Narrator, Bart is the raven, Marge is Lenore, and James Earl Jones provides the actual narration. Yes, that James Earl Jones. Because who else would you get to narrate a creepy poem for a cartoon?
BART SIMPSON’S DRACULA
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR IV, SEASON 5)
This episode is a mix of two vampire movies that I absolutely adore: Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Lost Boys, and the way it manages to blend the two together to make a new story is actually pretty cool. We have the Simpsons family going to Mr Burns’ castle in Pennsylvania for dinner, where Bart is bitten by Burns and turned into a vampire, but only Lisa realises it at first. Later on, Bart and the other Springfield kids turn up at Lisa’s window so they can turn her into a vampire, but he later escapes and the family conspires to kill Mr Burns who is the “head vampire”. Even though the two stories are blended, it is a little more obvious to tell where one parody ends and another begins. But I can’t not put a vampire episode on this list because that would be sacrilege.
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR IX, SEASON 10)
When I was a wee one, I always remembered this episode as “the Jerry Springer one” because, well, Jerry Springer appears about halfway through when the Simpsons and Kang the alien appear on his show to argue over Maggie. It is a million times funnier than it sounds, and now I can only associate Jerry Springer with this even though I haven’t seen a single episode of the real show. This episode actually has nothing to do with Starship Troopers and instead is about Maggie being the illegitimate child of Marge and Kang, after Marge was abducted and “seduced” into carrying his child, but it’s always fun to see cartoon Jerry Springer get mauled to death by an alien-human hybrid baby.
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR XII, SEASON 13)
This episode came out in the early days of Harry Potter mania (2001, as Wikipedia is telling me), and at that time I was very into HP despite only having seen the first two movies and hardly reading the books because I was too young for them at the time (i turned 6 years old in august of 2001). But, even though I didn’t know much about HP other than the characters and what they looked like in the movies, I always enjoyed this parody, even when one scene from the end of the episode was censored out on Channel 4.
IT’S THE GRAND PUMPKIN, MILHOUSE
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR XIX, SEASON 20)
As much as I do love Snoopy, the Peanuts holiday specials aren’t something that I grew up with. They were on TV every year back when Boomerang actually showed classic cartoons instead of whatever runover crap from Cartoon Network they show these days. I don’t have anything against the kid characters from Peanuts, I’d just rather watch Scooby-Doo instead. So anyway, this episode is a parody of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and here we have Milhouse being a devout believer in the Grand Pumpkin, who turns out to be a total buttmunch after finding out what people do to pumpkins during Halloweentime. Also, the Grand Pumpkin is racist. All pumpkins are.
THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE MOE BUSINESS
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR XX, SEASON 21)
I’m not a big fan of musicals, but I do like the movie version of Sweeney Todd, which this episode is a parody of. What I mainly love about this episode is that it’s staged like a Broadway musical, complete with the “actors” changing costume backstage, Moe having to stall the audience, and ragdolls being substitutes for people who are thrown about. For some reason, I just love references to special effects and stunt people.
THE DAY THE EARTH LOOKED STUPID
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR XVII, SEASON 18)
If there is one thing the world needs to hear more of, it’s Maurice LaMarche’s perfect impression of Orson Welles. The guy’s so good at it that Tim Burton hired him to dub over Vincent D’Onofrio because poor Vincent couldn’t do the voice well enough. This episode is an original story in which Springfield breaks out into mass panic after listening to Welles’ famous War of the Worlds broadcast, only for Lisa to tell them all that it was a hoax. Then a real alien invasion happens because of course it would, this is Treehouse of Horror. Apart from LaMarche’s Orson Welles appearing, the story of this episode is so good that it makes me that that the other two episodes it appears alongside aren’t as good.
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR XIV, SEASON 15)
Two of my favourite things are Frankenstein and Professor Frink. Put them together and add Jerry Lewis? Boom. You get Frinkenstein. I haven’t seen any version of The Nutty Professor so I only kind of get where Frink’s character comes from, but to me, he’s always been Professor Frink and not a parody of Jerry Lewis in that one movie from a long time ago. In this episode, Frink wins a Nobel Prize but is sad that his dad isn’t alive to see him achieve it. So he brings him back to life, but his dad decides to steal other people’s body parts for himself which is gross. I promise it’s funny, though.
(TREEHOUSE OF HORROR III, SEASON 4)
I have seen a grand total of one King Kong movie, and it might not even be properly considered a Kong movie because it wasn’t an adaptation of the 1930’s movie, which this episode is a parody of. Treehouse of Horror III is probably one of my favourite TOHs because every single mini-episode ends with the same cheesy love heart blackout and it makes me howl laughing every time I see it. And that’s saying a lot because this episode is older than I am. Also, the idea of a tiny human lady deciding to marry a gigantic ape instead of the ape dying is just hilarious to me.