The All-Star Treehouse of Horror Episode

29 Oct

Unless you’ve been living in the remotest part of the Nubian desert for the last quarter of a century, then you… wait, no… even if you have been living in the remotest part of an obscure desert, then you’ve probably still heard of The Simpsons. It is, after all, the longest running American sitcom, it created the most well known fictional beer, and it has been translated into several languages. Every single season (besides the first season) has a Treehouse of Horror episode. Released around Halloween, these episodes are a delightful treat for the viewer. They are darker than a normal episode and take place outside of the regular Simpsons continuity. Being that this once a season occurrence throws all rules aside, writers get much more creative than they do with a run of the mill Simpsons episode, making for memorable and anticipated TV. In a typical Treehouse episode, alien brothers Kang and Kodos generally have cameos, and everyone has some fun with their names in the credits (e.g. Morbid Matt Groening, James Hell Brooks). Every episode is comprised of a unique opening sequence and three independent stories. I’ve done my best to compile the best of the best to create my version an All-Star Treehouse of Horror episode.

Opening Sequence from Treehouse of Horror XXIV

The opening from Treehouse of Horror XXIV is the most recent and the best so far. Director Guillermo del Toro recreated the traditional Simpsons opening sequence shot for shot but with numerous horror and fantasy references.

Best Gag: Edna Krabappel (rest in peace) sits on a bench next to Alfred Hitchcock. He throws seeds on her and immediately birds attack her.

“The Shinning” from Treehouse of Horror V

When Bart asks, “Don’t you mean The Shining?” Groundskeeper Willie abruptly responds with, “Shhhh! You want to get sued!?” This segment recreates the story and several shots of The Shining but with hilarious twists. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you can still appreciate this animated parody.

Best Joke: When Willie gets an axe to the back and falls to the floor, Marge says, “Oh my! I hope that rug was scotchguarded.”

“Homer³” from Treehouse of Horror VI

Homer in 3D

“Mmmmmm. Erotic cakes.”

Dancing Baby hadn’t arrived yet, and Toy Story was a few weeks away when “Homer³” premiered. 3D animation was in its infant stage, and The Simpsons incorporated the technology to make a visually unique and unforgettable clip.

Best Joke:

“Homer, this is your physician, Dr. Julius Hibbert. Can you tell us what it’s like in there?”

“Umm… It’s like… uuhh… did anyone ever see the movie Tron?”



“No.” (Police Cheif Wiggum)






“Yes, I mean, no.” (Wiggum again)


“The Raven” from Treehouse of Horror I


Narrated by James Earl Jones, who could have made “Green Eggs and Ham” sound terrifying, this famous clip uses Homer and a Bart-looking raven to depict Edgar Allen Poe’s chilling poem of a man’s descent into madness after a frightening bird speaks “nevermore” on repeat. The perfect blend of scary, humorous, and smart, “The Raven” is the epitome of a Treehouse of Horror segment.

Best Joke:

“Lisa, that wasn’t scary, not even for a poem.”

“Well, it was written in 1845. Maybe people were easier to scare back then.”

“Oh yeah, like when you look at Friday the Thirteenth Part One. It is pretty tame by today’s standards.”

To compile this All-Star Treehouse of Horror episode, I rewatched every single Treehouse of Horror. Yes, this is a great job. No, I do not get paid for this job. You’ll notice the segments I chose are from season 7 and earlier. Starting in season 10 of The Simpsons (when writers started using Family Guy-isms*), the Treehouse episodes started going downhill. Some are even painful to watch. In recent seasons, writers opt for using these to just parody anything and everything besides what is normally considered Halloween worthy, including Transformers, Mad Men, Peanuts, and The Diving Bell & the Butterfly. Do yourself a favor this Halloween and either watch this All-Star version, a Treehouse of Horror before season 10, or a good movie.

What would your All-Star Treehouse of Horror episode be? Let us know in the comments below.

*A Family Guy-ism is taking 10 seconds to show something when 1 second would do.

Derek is a life long lover of The Simpsons and hater of Family Guy. Follow him on Twitter at @derekwgilmore.


4 Responses to “The All-Star Treehouse of Horror Episode”

  1. Carl Wells October 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Yes to all this. Usually I get my Treehouse of Horror fix in the weeks leading up to Halloween. When the syndicated reruns air all the old Treehouse of Horrors, but FOX has decided to deny us that right this year because of the stupid World Series. One of my old favorites also features James Earl Jones voicing an axe murdering Maggie Simpson “This is indeed a disturbing Universe.”


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