On November 2, FOX will air the newest installment of "The Simpsons'" annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode. With this beloved show in its 20th season
, and 19 Halloween specials under its belt, we wanted to take a moment to remember some of the best Treehouse tales. It's scary how funny these segments are!
10. B.I.: Bartificial Intelligence (Treehouse of Horror XVI)
When Bart ends up in a coma, the family adopts David, a robotic boy. When Bart wakes up and returns home, he's irked that his parents decide to keep both boys. David consistently one-ups Bart with his family and friends, making Marge realize that the two will never be able to peacefully co-exist.
Homer abandons Bart out in the country, where he happens upon a gang of old, discarded robots (imagine Sid's weird creations from "Toy Story" on the Island of Misfit Toys) who befriend him. In the morning, the robots aren't too happy to find that their new friend harvested their parts to turn himself into a giant cyborg. Bart then returns home to claim his rightful place in the family.
"What the F-prompt??" - Harvested Robot
9. Monkey's Paw (Treehouse of Horror II)
In this segment, based on the early 1900s short story of the same name, Homer buys a monkey's paw that grants four wishes, despite being warned that the wishes usually come with unwanted consequences. Maggie wastes the first wish on a new pacifier, then Bart wishes for the family to be rich and famous. Parodying the real-life over-merchandising of "The Simpsons," the newly famous family finds that everyone is sick of them and their shenanigans.
When Lisa wishes for world peace, all weapons are destroyed, allowing Kang and Kodos to take over Earth with only a bat and a slingshot. Afraid to wish for anything "big," Homer asks for a turkey sandwich, which turns out to be a little dry. He then pawns the monkey's paw off on Ned, who becomes a hero when he wishes away the alien overlords. He then uses a second wish to turn his house into a palace, as Homer jealously wishes that he had a monkey's paw.
"Your superior intellect is no match for our puny weapons!" - The Aliens
The Simpsons - Tree House of Horror Preview
8. Starship Poopers (Treehouse of Horror IX)
When Maggie starts growing fangs and tentacles, Marge can't figure out what's wrong with her. After the baby contacts Kang and Kodos (via super-fast pacifier sucking), the aliens visit The Simpsons. When Kang reminds Marge about that one crazy night he abducted her, she realizes that Kang is Maggie's real father.
When Kang wants to take Maggie back to Rigel 7, he and Homer argue. Bart suggests that they settle their dispute the American way - by going on "The Jerry Springer Show." Chairs are thrown, obscenities are hurled, and the entire audience winds up on the business end of Kang's ray gun.
"Holy flurking schnit!" - Kang
7. Nightmare Cafeteria (Treehouse of Horror V)
As the third segment in one of the most solid Treehouse episodes ever, this parody of "Soylent Green" is often unjustly overlooked.
With the school's detention hall at maximum capacity and the cafeteria using Grade F meat due to budget cuts, Principal Skinner and the lunch lady devise a cannibalistic solution to both problems. Bart and Lisa become suspicious when the cafeteria starts serving "Sloppy Jimbos" and "Üterbraten" right around the time that Jimbo and Üter go missing. With their parents of no help and most of the student body ground up for meat, Lisa, Bart, and Milhouse try to escape the evil lunch lady's clutches. When the whole thing turns out to be a dream, Bart is relieved, until a fog that turns people inside out seeps into the Simpson house.
"Oh relax, kids. I've got a GUT feeling that Üter's around here somewhere. (laughs) After all, isn't there a little Üter in all of us? (laughs smugly) In fact, you might even say we just ATE Üter…and he's in our STOMACHS…right now!! (laughs more; then realizes he went too far) Wait….scratch that one." - Principal Skinner (responding to Lisa and Bart's concern over Üter's disappearance)
6. Bart Simpson's Dracula (Treehouse of Horror IV)
During a dinner party at Mr. Burns' creepy castle in Pennsylvania, Bart and Lisa snoop around the castle and stumble upon a basement full of vampires. Lisa high-tails it back upstairs, but Bart can't resist the Super Happy Fun Slide, which slips him right back down to the vampires' lair.
Once back home, Bart turns all of his friends into vampires and they try to get Lisa. When Homer learns that Bart can be saved if they kill the head vampire, Mr. Burns, he muses, "Kill my boss? Dare I live out the American dream?" He does, but it turns out that Marge was the head vampire all along.
"Oh, Lisa, you and your stories. Bart's a vampire…beer kills brain cells." - Homer
5. Citizen Kang (Treehouse of Horror VII)
Although the title is a reference to "Citizen Kane," this segment is more like "Independence Day" meets every alien B-movie ever made, with a heaping helping of political humor.
Kang and Kodos abduct Homer and give him the old "take me to your leader" routine. Homer points them in the direction of President Clinton and "Mumbly Joe" (aka Bob Dole), whom K&K promptly kidnap and assume their identities. No one believes Homer's story that two aliens are running for president, so he finds the spaceship and tries to set the real candidates free. Of course, being Homer, he ends up killing them, forcing Americans to REALLY have to choose between the lesser of two evils in the election.
"These candidates make me wanna vomit in terror!" - Homer
"Go ahead, throw your vote away!" - Kang (responding to a guy who says he'll vote for a third party candidate)
4. Dial Z For Zombies (Treehouse of Horror III)
When Bart finds a black magic book in the school library's hidden "Occult" section, he uses a spell to try to resurrect Lisa's dead cat, Snowball I. When he mistakenly raises all of the corpses from the Springfield cemetery instead, the town finds itself under attack from the walking dead. With all of their neighbors turning into zombies, the family heads for the library to find a reversing spell. After going through some unsuccessful incantations, Bart finally finds the one that works: "Trojan, Ramses, Magnum, Sheik!"
Flanders: "Hey, Simpson. I'm feeling a might peckish. Mind if I chew your ear?"
(Homer blasts Flanders with a shotgun.)
Bart: "Dad, you killed the zombie Flanders!"
Homer: "He was a zombie??"
3. Clown Without Pity (Treehouse of Horror III)
This is essentially a Simpsonized version of "The Twilight Zone" episode "Living Doll," with bits of "Gremlins," "Cape Fear," and "Child's Play" thrown in for good measure.
After Homer forgets to give Bart a birthday present, he runs out to the House of Evil, a one-stop evil shop run by a mysterious Asian man who sells forbidden objects and cursed frogurt. The store doesn't have any Mogwais, but Homer buys a talking Krusty the Klown doll for a very happy Bart. The doll loves Bart, but repeatedly threatens to kill Homer. After the second attempt on his life, Homer drops the doll down a bottomless pit. Of course, it escapes and keeps trying to kill Homer until Marge calls the manufacturer to have someone come and fix the doll.
"Yep, here's your problem. Someone set this thing to Evil." - Repairman
2. The Shinning (Treehouse of Horror V)
A pitch-perfect parody of "The Shining," this segment follows The Simpsons to Mr. Burns' lodge, which they have signed on to oversee for the winter. Burns cuts off the TV and beer supply to ensure that the family doesn't slack off on the job, despite Smithers' insistence that it might have been the lack of entertainment that caused the previous caretakers to go insane and murder their families.
After evil ghost Moe convinces Homer to kill his family, Marge finds that he has written "No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy" all over the walls of his "writing room." Homer chases after Marge and the kids, intent on killing them all.
When Groundskeeper Willie tries to save the family, he literally gets the axe. As fate would have it, Willie does end up saving everyone (indirectly), when Lisa finds his portable TV lying in the snow. Once Homer sees his "teacher, mother, secret lover," his urge to kill disappears. The whole family then "basks in television's warm, glowing, warming glow" for hours until they're all frozen.
Homer (referring to the writing on the wall): "So what do you think, Marge? All I need is a title. I was thinking along the lines of 'No TV and No Beer Make Homer…something something.'"
Marge: "Go Crazy"?
Homer: "Don't mind if I do!"
(Homer goes nuts.)
1. Hungry Are The Damned (Treehouse of Horror I)
The best segment ever comes from the very first Treehouse episode ever! Inspired by the classic "Twilight Zone" episode "To Serve Man," this installment finds the Simpsons abducted by polite aliens (Kang, Kodos, and some friends) from a Utopian planet, who delight in lavishing the Earthlings with sumptuous buffets.
When Lisa becomes suspicious of the aliens' motives, she snoops around the spaceship and finds a book called "How to Cook Humans." Thinking it's a cook book, she warns the rest of the family that the aliens are just fattening them up to eat them - an accusation that hurts their hosts' feelings and gets them thrown off the ship. The aliens tell the Simpsons that if it weren't for their distrustful nature they could have lived for eternity in paradise, leaving everyone pretty miffed at smarty-pants Lisa.
After Lisa shows the title of the book to her family, one of the aliens comes in and blows some "space dust" off the cover, revealing the true title. As Lisa and the alien take turns blowing off more and more dust, the title of the book changes from "How to Cook Humans" to "How to Cook For Humans" to "How to Cook Forty Humans" to, finally, "How to Cook For Forty Humans."
Did we miss your favorite Treehouse segment? D'oh! Let us know!
Story by Becky Broderick
Starpulse contributing writer