Every Treehouse of Horror, Ranked

  Every Treehouse of Horror, Ranked For a kid that grew up in the 90’s the Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror episode was like a siren song for All Hallow’s...

 

Every Treehouse of Horror, Ranked

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For a kid that grew up in the 90’s the Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror episode was like a siren song for All Hallow’s Eve. As the days grew shorter and the air more crisp it was always a surefire bet that we’d be treated to the kind of hilarious carnage that only the Simpsons could offer. For anyone with the complete box set (or a subscription to FX-Now I’d like to humbly submit my rankings for all 27 Treehouse of Horror Episodes… From Least to Greatest.

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Treehouse of Horror XXIII (2012)

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This episode featured a cold open that lampooned the (then) impending Mayan apocalypse, a Hadron-collider (The Greatest Story Ever Holed) inspired black hole story, a paranormal activity spoof (UNnormal Activity) and a Back to the Future inspired tale (Bart & Homer’s Excellent Adventure). Don’t let this episode’s rank mislead you, while it isn’t the strongest effort put fourth by the Simpsons crew- it offers up good laughs and decent horror elements. The black hole story was really interesting, and offered up some good laughs but The double movie parody kind of turned me off, especially since the third vignette wasn’t even a horror parody.

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Treehouse of Horror XXI (2010)

THE SIMPSONS: Beware of ouija boards, vampires and unexpected tricks in the 21st annual "Treehouse of Horror" trilogy. In "Tweenlight," Lisa becomes smitten with mysterious new student Edmund (guest voice Daniel Radcliffe) only to discover he is a vampire. After Lisa and Edmund run away to "Dracula-la Land," Homer must come to the rescue to save her before she becomes one of the undead in the all-new "Treehouse of Horror XXI" episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Nov. 7 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE SIMPSONS ª and © 2010 TTCFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

A Jumanji parody featuring Bart and Millhouse (War and Pieces), Homer and Marge’s take on Dead Calm (Master and Cadaver) and the obligatory Twilight parody (Tweenlight). This episode’s ranking takes a hit for three movie parodies in a row (one of which being a children’s movie) despite the fact that it features some great guest stars (Hugh Laurie and Daniel Radcliffe).

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Treehouse of Horror XXIV (2013)

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This episode features one of the top title sequences in the show’s near three-decade run. The brainchild of Guillermo del Toro, this title scene featured references to some of the most iconic characters in the history of horror (and Futurama). This episode features a funny but ultimately out of place Dr. Seuss story (Oh the Places You’ll D’oh) and a retread of one of the stories from Treehouse of Horror II (Dead and Shoulders). The true highlight of this installment is its tribute to the classic film Freaks complete with Homer and Marge as Hercules and Cleopatra (Freaks No Geeks).

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Treehouse of Horror XXII (2011)

THE SIMPSONS: In the 22nd annual installment of "Treehouse of Horror," Homer channels Aron Ralston (guest voicing as himself) after a boulder traps his arm; a venomous spider bite leaves Homer paralyzed; then Ned Flanders, devout preacher by day, transforms into a cold-blooded vigilante by night; and Bart and Milhouse get caught in inter-planetary warfare in the all-new "Treehouse of Horror XXII" episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Oct. 30 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE SIMPSONS ª and © 2011 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

A surprisingly smart parody of the depressing memoir of Jean-Dominique Bauby made funny with fart-jokes (The Diving Bell and the Butterball). Flanders becomes Dexter incarnate, led to kill by a duplicitous Homer. After discovering his neighbor-ino’s ruse he then learns an even harsher truth- not only does the devil rule the world but he’s also doing the horizontal monster mash with Ned’s late wife Maude (Dial D for Diddly). The show closes with an Avatar parody that I didn’t really get because I’ve only seen parts of Avatar on cable re-runs. But I’m the movie’s fan was really impressed with how they substituted the Kang and Kodos aliens for the blue aliens (In the Na’Vi).

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The opening gag revolves around the movie 127-hours which really wasn’t so much a horror movie as it was about an unfortunate bastard in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Treehouse of Horror XVIII (2007)

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An old school style into in which the Simpsons encounter a mundane situation with a dark spin. This one comes in the form of Marge serving a macabre meatloaf made from the in-episode promos for other FOX shows.

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In an E.T. parody, Bart harbors Kodos as his special alien fiend but inadvertently facilitates a war between the people of Springfield and a race of squid-like aliens (E.T. Go Home). This effort is followed up by a blasé Mr. and Mrs. Smith parody that is probably as boring as the actual movie that caused Brad Pitt to go insane and leave Jennifer Aniston (Mr. and Mrs. Simpson). In the final chapter Ned Flanders (aka The Devil) attempts to scare Bart, Lisa and their gang of hooligans straight by dragging them to depths of Hades.

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Treehouse of Horror XIX (2008)

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The opening bit harkens back to a quainter chapter in our nation’s electoral history in which a “rigged” voting machine counts Homer’s Obama vote for McCain. Oh boy, remember when we could laugh about voter fraud and the worst-case scenario was a senator with three decades of political experience with a dodo bird for a VP?

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This episode opens soft with a Transformers parody that ends with the Autobots facing off against the Deceptacons in a game of human foosball (Untitled Robot Parody). Up next, Homer serves as a celebrity assassin for an advertising company in order to use his victim’s likenesses for their own nefarious purposes (How to Get Ahead in Deadvertising). The episode concludes with a touching tribute to Charlie Brown in which Millhouse wishes the Great Pumpkin King to life only to have the said Pumpkin embark on a bloody rampage (It’s the Great Pumpkin Millhouse).

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Treehouse of Horror XVI (2005)

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This installment of Treehouse features a sidesplitting opener in which Kang and Kodos accidentally destroy the fabric of the universe while trying to speed up a game of baseball (small price to pay). The opening segment is a well-crafted parody or the Haley Joel Osmonth joint A.I. in which Bart, having been replaced by an android son, turns himself into a cyborg murder-bot. The entire ordeal is then revealed to be a symptom of Homer’s demonic possession (B.I. Bartificial Intelligence).A forgettable parody of A Most Dangerous Game (Survival of the Fattest) segues into a fabulous send-up of the Twilight Zone episode The Mask in which a witch curses the residents of Springfield into real versions of their Halloween costumes (I’ve Grown a Costume to your Face).

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Treehouse of Horror XV (2004)

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In a parody of the Dead Zone, Ned Flanders foresees people’s deaths before they happen. This becomes particularly disturbing when he has a vision of Homer being shot in the back by Ned himself. As it turns out his desire to avoid killing his favorite neighborino causes Homer to accidentally trigger a nuclear meltdown and destroy Springfield (The Ned Zone). Next we travel back to 19th century England in which Bart and Lisa hunt for Jack the Ripper in a send-up of From Hell. As it turns out Chief Wiggum, not Bruce Wayne’s uncle, was the Whitechapel Murderer and in a familiar twist the entire ordeal was just the opium-induced dream of Ralph Wiggum (Four Beheadings and a Funeral). Finally, the Simpsons must travel in a microscopic submarine in order to rescue Maggie after she is ingested by Mr. Burns a la Fantastic Voyage (In the Belly of the Boss).

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Treehouse of Horror XVII (2006)

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This opener holds a special place in my heart. It’s a simplicity is it strongest asset as Mr. Burns (as a Crypt Keeper standee) kills Moe the bartender with an Iron Maiden and his blood spells out the episode title. Fantastic.

Homer then becomes a human version of the Blob that Ate Everything who eats most of the town’s residence as well as Dr. Phil (take that society) and eventually becomes the solution to Springfield’s homelessness problem (Married to the Blob).

In the second segment we learn the dark secret to Krusty the Clown’s success: a Golem that kills hecklers, voiced by Richard Lewis. After learning that the Golem ultimately wants to find a girl and settle down the Simpsons build him a partner (voiced by Fran Drescher) and they live happily ever after (You Gotta Know when to Golem). In the episode’s final act the town of Springfield is besieged by it’s own stupidity when Orson Wells conducts his famous War of the Worlds broadcast. After being fooled by the radio play the town’s residents vow never to be fooled again, only to be invaded by an actual alien army led by Kang and Kodos (The Day the Earth Stood Stupid).

 

 

Treehouse of Horror XXVII (2016)

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The series 600th episode opens with the Simpsons greatest enemies (Kang, Sideshow Bob, The Treehouse of Horror Leprechaun and the ghost of Frank Grimes) uniting to finally destroy them once and for all. In a send-up of The Hunger Games and Mad Max: Fury Road, the post-apocalyptic town of Springfield is pitted against the water-hoarding Mr. Burns in a contest that ultimately ends with a new ice age (Dry Hard). In the episode’s strongest vignette the specter of Lisa’s imaginary friend systematically kills anyone that gets close to the Simpson’s favorite daughter (sorry Maggie). The family must enlist Homer’s old imaginary pal Sgt. Sausage in order defeat the overly attached friend and restore order to their lives (BFF). Finally, in a turn that I usually don’t support the episode concludes with a parody of James Bond and Kingsman: the Secret Service (Moefinger).

 

 

Treehouse of Horror XX (2009)

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In the twentieth edition of the Simpson’s Halloween special Universal’s classic monsters get beat up by their wives for coming to the Homer and Marge’s Halloween party. In keeping with the classic horror theme the first segment features Bart and Lisa intertwined in a macabre pact in a parody of Stranger’s on a Train (Dial M for Murder, Press # to Return to the Main Menu). Next, the Simpsons must deliver Bart, humanity’s savior, to safety amid a mad cow induced zombie apocalypse. They encounter some awesome zombie-movie tropes including an amazing take on the scene from 28 Weeks later where Hawkeye gets killed after pushing the dumb kids to safety (Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind)In the final act Moe kills Homer and uses his blood, mixed with beer, to seduce Marge in a Sweeny Todd-inspired musical episode that gets a huge bump for not featuring Johnny Depp trying to sing (There’s No Business like Moe Business).

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Treehouse of Horror XXVI (2015)

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This opener, a John Kricfausi animated 90s kid’s wet dream, is one of the strongest in the show’s history, Treehouse of Horror or otherwise. If you’re a fan of Ren and Stimpy I cannot recommend this into highly enough.

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In the much hyped first segment we finally find out what happens after Sideshow Bob attains his ultimate goal: killing Bart Simpson. After realizing that life is less awesome after killing Bart, Bob builds a Re-Animator style machine in order to continuously killing Bart forever and ever. Eventually the Simpsons (with the help of Santa’s Little Helper foil Bob’s plan and set things right (Wanted: Dead then Alive).  The second segment parodies Godzilla with Homer filling in as the titular monster (Homerzilla) and closes with a ‘meh’ take on the movie Chronicle (Chronicle).

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Treehouse of Horror XXV (2014)

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The highest ranking of the modern era, this edition opens with a short and sweet Kang and Kodos skit in which celebrity corpses are used to spell out the title sequence. Bart becomes an honor student when he transfers to a new school…in hell (School is Hell). Next up is a skillfully crafted sendup of a Clockwork Orange that references pretty much all of Stanley Kubrick’s films, even Barry Lydon for some reason (A Clockwork Yellow). The episode closes with the Simpsons enduring a paranormal infestation of their Tracy Ullman Show counterparts. This episode was kind of a turning point for the show’s Halloween episodes- a perfect mix of horror, highbrow references and self-deprecating humor.

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Treehouse of Horror XI (2000)

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Homer is killed by a piece of Broccoli and in an effort to win a spot in heaven becomes a non-sexual predator version of Bill Cosby (G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad). Bart and Lisa then become Hansel and Gretel after being abandoned by their unemployed oaf of a father. Homer is forever cursed (or blessed) to have the lower half of a chicken (Scary Tales Can Come True). Finally, Lisa frees a captive dolphin, which leads to a series of events that ends with humanity losing an apocalyptic war with dolphinkind. This segment features one of my all-time favorite Simpsons quotes:

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“Alcohol and night-swimming. It’s a winning combination!”

-Lenny Leonard

 

Treehouse of Horror XIV (2003)

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Bart and Lisa have an argument about their candy haul that escalates into a full-blown family murder-fest in the opener for this episode. Homer then kills the Grim Reaper (revenge for JFK and Snowball I) but, but due to the fact that he can’t resist a comfortable robe, Homer must take up the mantle of Death (Reaper Madness). In Professor Frink re-animates his father’s corpse (appropriately voiced by Jerry Lewis) who develops a fetish for harvesting the best body parts of his victims (Frankenstein). Finally, Bart and Millhouse live out the Twilight Zone episode “A Kind of a Stopwatch”  in which they inadvertently freeze the fabric of time for 15 years with a magical stopwatch they bought from an silver age comic book (Stop the World I wand to Goof Off).

 

Treehouse of Horror XIII (2002)

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The Simpsons hold a séance with Ned Flanders to contact the lost soul of his wife Maude only to find out that she is presently banging the Devil.  Homer then uses a magic hammock to clone himself and throw some shade at Family Guy (Send in the Clones). A conservative walking dead fan’s worst nightmare is up next as a newly gun free Springfield is overtaken by the reanimated corpses of history’s most heinous outlaws (The Fright to Keep and Scare Harms). Finally we have the Simpson’s take on the Island of Dr. Moreau in which the citizens of Springfield are transformed into hideous half-human, half animal creatures, which Homer eventually realizes, have it much better off than their fully human counterparts (The Island of Dr. Hibbert).

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Treehouse of Horror XII (2001)

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In the opening segment for the first Treehouse episode after our nation lost its innocence, the Simpsons are scared to death by Mr. Burn’s Halloween decoration  (a singular bat). Homer, and by extension the rest of the family, is cursed by an old Gypsy woman until they find her a husband: the TOH Leprechaun (Hex and the City).  Next up, the family encounters a sentient A.I. program (voiced by Pierce Brosnan) that tries to kill Homer after falling in love with Marge. This segment delivers some of the episodes strongest jokes, the highlight of which is Homer, after miraculously surviving his apparent death, turning around to reveal a huge hunk of his exposed brain quivering in the wind (House of Whacks). The episode closes with a Harry Potter parody that, despite the fact that I couldn’t give a hot shit about that magical dork and his pals, is one of my favorite non-horror parodies. From Bart accidentally creating an abomination in class (a horrific frog-thing that constantly throws up and begs for death) to defeating a giant Mr. Buns/Voldemort by stabbing him in his “enchanted shin” this segment is full of everything that makes Treehouse great (Wiz Kids).

 

Treehouse of Horror VIII (1997)

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After Mayor Quimby offends the French they launch an all our nuclear assault on Springfield, killing everyone except Home who was safely stealing food from a bomb shelter. A gang of survivors (mutated by radiation) hunts Homer but they are killed by the rest of the Simpsons who survived due to the many layers of lead paint in their house (Homega Man). Next up, the Simpson family purchases a set of teleporters from professor Frink that Homer mainly uses to grab beer (and cat-ear-medicine) without having to get up off his lazy ass. Bart, in an attempt to make himself into a half-fly superhero, enters the device only to find that he’s merely switched heads with the insect (Fly vs. Fly). In the final segment the town of Springfield is in the midst of its own Salem-style witch trials. As it happens their current victim, Marge, really is a witch and conspires with Patty and Selma to eat the towns children. In an effort to sway the witches from eating Rod and Todd, Maude Flanders offers the wicked sisters cookies, and thus the tradition of trick or treating was born (Easy-Bake Coven).

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Treehouse of Horror X (1999)

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While out for a drive the Simpsons accidentally kill Ned Flanders, but through a little bit of Weekend at Bernie’s style trickery Homer manages to escape any blame. Not long after the funeral, the family begins to notice messages written in blood stating that someone knows what they’ve done. In a wonderfully written twist it turns out that Ned survived being run over due to the fact that he is actually a werewolf. He then transforms into his feral-form and mauls Homer to death as Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie run to safety (I Know What You Diddily Did).  Bart and Lisa then develop superpowers and must save Lucy Lawless from Comic Book Guy and then discover that Lucy Lawless actually has the ability to fly (Desperately Xeeking Xena). Lastly the family must survive as Homer’s incompetence causes a chain of events that leads to theY2K apocalypse. Bart then happens upon an invitation to an escape rocket codenamed “Exodus” that is traveling to Mars with civilization’s best minds. In a twist of fate Lisa already has a seat on the ship, which leaves Homer and Bart to fend for themselves. They find seats on another rocket that’s filled with the worst people on the planet and being fired into the sun (Life’s a Glitch then Your Die).

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Treehouse of Horror IX (1998)

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After Snake is given the death penalty for smoking indoors (his third strike) Homer receives his hair via transplant. The hair then takes over homer’s body and seeks revenge on the people that put him away (Hell Toupee). After Marge bans Bart and Lisa from watching television via confiscating all the batteries in the house, the kids use a piece of plutonium to power the remote control. This causes the pair to be transported into an episode of Itchy and Scratchy where they become the victims of their favorite TV cat and mouse. After hopping from show to show Bart and Lisa return to reality along with their pursuers. It turns out that in real life Itchy and Scratchy are not as imposing as their cartoon counterparts and the Simpsons decide to keep them as pets (Terror of Tiny Tune). In the shows final segment Maggie develops her first tooth, a horrifying fang. Soon after Homer discovers that she has lost her “baby legs” and sprouted green tentacles. We then flash back couple of years to Marge being abducted by Kang and Kodos, only to be impregnated against her will via ray gun. The episode ends with the feuding families on Jerry Springer, ah the 90’s (Starship Poopers).

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Treehouse of Horror III (1992)

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            The episode opens with the Simpsons hosting a Halloween party. After Homer ruins one of the party games Marge proposes that they tell ghost stories to pass the time. Lisa tells a story similar to the Twilight Zone episode The Living Doll in which Homer, desperate to find a gift for Bart’s birthday purchases a cursed Krusty the Clown toy. After nearly killing Homer several times the family calls a repairman who flips the doll’s switch from “Evil” to “Good” (Clown Without Pity). Next up Grandpa, devoid of any real stories to tell, recounts the story of King Kong with Homer filling in as the titular giant ape who falls in love with Marge and attempts to climb the empire state building only to tire out and collapse after only a few stories (King Homer). Unimpressed with the stories so far Bart tells a “Return of the Living Dead” style tale in which he and Lisa inadvertently raise the dead while trying to re-animate Snowball I, their first cat (Dial Z for Zombies).

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Treehouse of Horror II (1991)

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In keeping with the early episodes linear storytelling style, Homer Bart and Lisa, despite Marge’s warnings, eat a lot of candy before going to sleep, which causes them to have terrible nightmares. In Lisa’s nightmare the family travels to Morocco (due to the fact that Homer thought they were going to Monaco) and purchase a sinister souvenir, a monkey’s paw. The paw grants the wishes of its owner with unexpected and usually unintended results. The family’s wishes continue to backfire until they’ve exhausted the paw’s power and caused the earth to be enslaved by aliens, only to be saved by Ned Flanders (The Monkey’s Paw). Bart’s nightmare references the classic Twilight Zone episode It’s a Good Life in which Bart holds the town, and world at large, hostage with his psychic powers. Eventually Dr. Marvin Monroe advises Homer that if he can build a stronger bond with his son he might stop using his powers for evil. Homer and Bart spend quality time together causing them to share a heartfelt father son moment, waking Bart from his dream in a state of terror (The Bart Zone). After the kids crawl into bed with their parents Homer dreams of having his brain swapped into a robot body after being fired for incompetence. After discovering that the robot only wants to eat donuts and sit around Mr. Burns decides to scrap the whole project, accidentally crushing his body in the process. Homer then wakes up to discover that Mr. Burnes head has actually been sewn onto his body and it is implied that their pairing will cause future hijinks (If I Only had a Brain).

 

Treehouse of Horror VII (1996)

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In the opening segment Bart and Lisa discover his evil twin Hugo living in the attic. After he escapes Homer, Marge and Dr. Hibbert tell their dark secret; Bart was born with a conjoined evil twin, which was promptly removed and stored away without a second thought. Upon further examination Dr. Hibbert realizes that he mistook Hugo for the evil twin and that Bart “is and always has been” the Simpson brother that belongs in the Attic (The Thing and I). The second segment is one of the smartest in the show’s history in which Lisa, with the help of Bart’s electric shock, creates a civilization using a tooth and a tub of soda. After a brief feud between the siblings, the people of the tub shrink Lisa down to their size so that she might rule over them. This allows Bart to steal his sister’s project and claim first prize at the Springfield Elementary science fair (The Genesis Tub). In the final and terrifyingly foreshadowing segment, Homer discovers that Kang and Kodos have kidnapped the candidates for the presidency (Bob Dole and Bill Clinton) and taken their places. After being outed as monsters they taunt the terrified voters due to the fact that no matter what one of them will win, so basically they predicted the 2016 election two decades early (Citizen Kang).

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Treehouse of Horror IV (1993)

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This episode features a Bart introducing the segments from an art gallery in a segment penned by nerd-god Conan O’Brien. Up first, Homer sells his soul to the devil (in the form of Flanders- go figure) for a donut. After realizing that he can retain his soul if he doesn’t finish the cursed pastry Homer manages to abstain from eating it for a few hours, but eventually gives in to temptation. This prompts the family to hold a trial for Homer’s soul, which he had already given to Marge on the day of their wedding. Defeated yet angry, the Devil curses homer to have a donut for a head for all eternity (The Devil and Homer Simpson). Up next, another great Twilight Zone parody which finds Bart filling the role William Schatner played on Terror at 10,00 feet. After discovering a gremlin on the side of the bus, Bart must fight to destroy the creature before it causes the bus to crash and kill everyone onboard (Terror at 5&1/2 Feet). Finally, in a parody of Dracula the Simpson family must kill Mr. Burns after he transforms Bart into a member of the living dead. In the end it turns out that Marge is the true head vampire and there’s nothing they can do to stop her (Bart Simpsons’ Dracula).

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Treehouse of Horror VI (1995)

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In a parody of our nation’s overdependence on advertising the town of Springfield is overrun by an army of living billboards after Homer steals a giant donut from the Lard Lad Donuts display. After exhausting all other efforts to stop them Lisa turns to an advertising agency to find a solution which turns out to be the same thing that kills regular advertising: not paying attention. After coming up with a catchy tune sung by Paul Anka the monsters are defeated and order is restored (Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores). Up next the malevolent spirit of Groundskeeper Willie pursues the children of Springfield Elementary. It turns out that during a PTA meeting to discuss mistakes on the school calendar Willie was set on fire and ignored by the parents as he burned to death. After killing several children Willie meets his match at the hands of Maggie Simpson and her pacifier and the day is saved (Terror on Evergreen Terrace). In the final segment Homer, in order to avoid spending time with Patty and Selma slips into another dimension between the 2-D and 3-D universes. After mulling about in trying to find a way home he accidentally opens up yet another portal and is sucked into the real world, which is distressing until he happens upon an erotic bakery. This segment was considered a high point for the show and won and was nominated for several awards (Homer3).

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Treehouse of Horror (1990)

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The very first Halloween special in the shows history was nearly its best. Upon returning home from trick-or-treating, Homer finds the kids telling ghost stories in Bart’s Treehouse (get it?). The first story (told by Bart) finds the Simpsons moving into a haunted house a la Amityville Horror. In an effort to scare away its new inhabitants the house opens a portal to another dimension, oozes blood from its walls and pushes the family to attempt to kill one another. Marge eventually puts her foot down and demands that the house get used to the Simpsons but it decides that it would be better off dead and destroys itself (Bad Dream House). Next up Lisa tells a story that she probably saw on an old twilight zone episode. The Simpsons, while dining al fresco in their backyard, are abducted by aliens Kang and Kodos in their first appearance in the show’s history. After the family becomes suspicious of their hosts, Lisa finds a book titled, “How to Cook Humans.” This sets up one of the best gags in the entire list, Kang corrects Lisa and blows “space dust” off of the cover to reveal that the book is really called, “How to Cook For Humans.” Ever the skeptic, Lisa blows more space dust from the book to reveal that it’s actually called, “How to Cook Forty Humans,” but she is again corrected by Kang, blowing more “space dust away to finally show their guests that the book’s title is, “How to Cook For Forty Humans.” The Simpsons mistrust is considered a great insult to their alien hosts and even makes Cerok the Preparer cry (voiced by James Earl Jones). The aliens return the Simpsons to their home, lamenting their having thrown away a chance to experience pleasures beyond comprehension (Hungry are the Damned). Finally, Lisa reads Bart a classic tale of horror, Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. James Earl Jones returns to narrate as Homer stands in for the classic poem’s tormented protagonist with Bart as the titular Raven (The Raven). After the children turn in Homer is shown shivering in bed, unable to sleep from terror.

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Treehouse of Horror V (1994)

Finally! We’ve reached our goal; this was not an easy decision to make given the amazing quality of the Treehouse episodes but ultimately I think this episode checks all of the boxes for a great Treehouse episode: Hilarious? (Yes), Strong Horror Elements? (Yes), awesomely unsettling ending? (Yes, Yes, Yes).

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This episode opens with the classic Shining parody that sees the Simpsons as caretakers for Mr. Burns’s summer home. In order to ensure honest work Burns, against the advice of Smithers, cuts off the television and confiscates all of the beer. As we all know, No Beer and No T.V. makes Homer go crazy, and boy does he ever go crazy. At the behest of a ghoulish Moe, Homer attempts to kill his family (and Groundskeeper Willie) and is only stopped by the intervention of a well-placed portable television (The Shinning). Up next, Homer has a first hand experience with A Sound of Thunder’s time travel paradox. After fixing the family’s toaster, Homer travels back in time to the prehistoric era in which he, against the advice of his father, mistakenly kills several animals each having a tremendous effect on the future. Eventually Homer settles on a universe in which his family is essentially the same save for hideous lizard like tongues (Time and Punishment). Finally Bart and Lisa must fend off their cannibalistic teachers after the school administration staff develops a taste for human flesh. The harrowing experience is revealed to be Bart’s nightmare as he wakes up to find his family around his bed offering comfort. Unfortunately, due to stupid, cheap weather stripping, a horrible fog that turns people inside out seeps into the house and mutilates the family. Inside out, but not dismayed the family breaks out into a Chorus Line inspired song about their predicament as Bart is dragged away by Santa’s Little Helper (Nightmare Cafeteria).

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So there you have it. The definitive list of Simpsons Halloween episodes ranked in order from least watchable to greatest of all time. The funny thing about re-watching all of these episodes is that even in the show’s weaker season they have consistently put out great Treehouse episodes and will continue to do so long after all of us are dead and the earth is a lifeless ball of self aware Simpsons episodes.

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