Top 10 Favorite ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Moments

I have a tradition every Halloween. I like to sit down and take in as many ‘Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror’ episodes as I possibly can. Since I revisit these every year, I thought that I’d make a list of my favorite ‘Treehouse of Horror’ moments.

I’ve always loved the ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episodes. I’m most partial to the actual horror- or Halloween-themed segments, rather than the simple parodies of popular movies such as ‘Untitled Robot Parody’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror XIX’. While there have been some duds over the years (such is the case with ‘The Simpsons’ in general, anyway), there have also been some fantastically memorable episodes.

10. ‘Terror at 5 ½ Feet’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror IV’

Parodying the Season 5 episode ‘Terror at 20,000 Feet’ of the original ‘Twilight Zone’, ‘Terror at 5 ½ Feet’ remains one of my favorite ‘Treehouse’ segments. Not only does it have funny one-off gags like Martin’s “Wang Computers” T-shirt and another unfair demise for Hans Moleman, it also captures the spirit of the original ‘Twilight Zone’ episode really well. It spoofs the scary monster outside plot, and it also tries to re-imagine the slow descent into madness as Bart gets crazier and crazier when he finds out that no one will listen to him. Plus, the gremlin in the episode is a much better-looking monster than the weird yeti thing that William Shatner faced on his plane.

9. ‘Clown Without Pity’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror III’

Another ‘Twilight Zone’ episode gets a send up here. This time, it’s for the episode ‘Living Doll’. In the original, a sinister doll threatens to kill the father of the family because he’s not very nice. Here, Homer buys Bart a Krusty doll for his birthday, which turns out to be a homicidal maniac. No one believes Homer that the doll is trying to kill him. My favorite part of the episode has to be the end when the repairman comes to fix the doll and finds that it’s accidentally been set to its “Evil” setting.


8. ‘Time and Punishment’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror V’

This is the only segment on my list that doesn’t really have a Halloween theme to it, but I love it so much that I had to include it anyway. After Homer mysteriously gets his hand stuck in his toaster not once but twice, he decides to fix the appliance. Instead, he accidentally turns his toaster into a time machine and travels back to a time when “dinosaurs weren’t just confined to zoos.” So long as Homer doesn’t touch anything, everything from his present life should stay the same. But then he kills a mosquito, and gets transported back to a present day where Flanders is the new world overlord. Traveling back and forth through time, Homer finally ends up causing the extinction of the entire dinosaur species. There are many classic moments packed into this short segment, my favorite of which is when Homer falls down, squishes a prehistoric fish and then laments, “Oh, I wish, I wish, I wouldn’t have killed that fish.”

7. ‘Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror VI’

“Lousy Smarch weather!”

I don’t think a winter goes by without me saying that line at least a couple dozen times. Most people look at me confusedly, but ‘Simpsons’ fans always give me a sly smile. This is one of the most memorable ‘Treehouse’ episodes simply because of how funny it turns out to be. As a take on the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ movies, ‘Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace’ has Groundskeeper Willie in the Freddy Krueger role, killing children in their dreams. I laugh every time a dead Martin gets wheeled out and the sheet inadvertently comes off to reveal his frozen, horrific face: “No, not into the kindergarten!”

6. ‘House of Whacks’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror XII’

As a parody of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘House of Whacks’ tells the horrific tale of how the Simpson family turns over the home to a completely automated system voiced by the suave Pierce Brosnan. They could’ve picked Matthew Perry, but that would have been even scarier. The house soon becomes enamored with Marge and is determined to kill Homer at all costs, luring him to his death with the aroma of “unexplained bacon.”


5. ‘Hungry Are the Damned’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror I’

Ah, the very first ‘Treehouse of Horror’. The tradition has come a long way since this episode, but there’s one segment that really stands out. The Simpson family has been abducted by the aliens Kang and Kodos (who quickly became ‘Treehouse’ staples after this). Lisa is convinced that the aliens are trying to fatten them up to eat them. This episode contains one of the best ‘Simpsons’ gags of all-time. It’s so simple, yet it’s also unforgettable. Lisa finds a cook book titled “How to Cook Humans.” Everyone gasps, until one of the aliens blows off a little space dust to show that the book really says “How to Cook for Humans.” Then more space dust: “How to Cook Forty Humans.” Even more space dust: “How to Cook for Forty Humans.” That gets me every time.

4. ‘It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror XIX’

What starts out as a parody of ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ quickly turns into a monster movie send-up. The Grand Pumpkin that Milhouse has been waiting for grows into a giant murderous gourd that attacks the school and eats people due to the revelation that people carve pumpkins for Halloween. The only way to combat the monster? A giant Tom Turkey (a symbol of Thanksgiving), of course. Tom Turkey kills the Grand Pumpkin, but after learning that humans eat turkeys on Thanksgiving, he begins devouring school children whole.


3. ‘The Ned Zone’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror XV’

After getting bashed on the head with a bowling ball that Homer was using to get a Frisbee off his roof, Ned can see the future. In this spoof of Stephen King’s ‘The Dead Zone’, not only can Ned see the future, he can see when people are going to die. I love the hilariously creepy way that Ned’s visions are presented, and the way the segment quickly builds a mysterious story where Ned sees himself shooting Homer, but not knowing when or why it will happen. Homer desperately wants to know how he’ll die: “A naked girl avalanche?!” Fun story aside, I totally forgot that this episode comes up with a completely different meaning for “WTF”: “What the Family Circus?” Oh, Ned…

2. ‘The Devil and Homer Simpson’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror IV’

‘Treehouse of Horror IV’ is one of my favorite episodes altogether. Even though I didn’t include it in this list, ‘Bart Simpson’s Dracula’ is really funny too – especially the ending that suddenly switches to a parody of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ without any warning at all. It was just too hard for me to include three segments from the same episode in one list.

In ‘The Devil and Homer Simpson’, Homer sells his soul to Satan (played by Flanders) for a donut. In order to take his soul, Flanders summons a jury of the damned consisting of a still-alive Richard Nixon, Benedict Arnold, Blackbeard the Pirate and John Dillinger, among others. A great appearance by incompetent attorney Lionel Hutz makes the experience even better, and makes me miss Phil Hartman even more.

1. ‘ The Shinning’ from ‘Treehouse of Horror V’

This ‘Simpsons’ take on ‘The Shining’ (“It’s The Shinning. Do you want to get sued?”) is, in my opinion, the best ‘Treehouse of Horror’ segment ever. As soon as the Simpson family arrives at the hotel in order to work as caretakers, Mr. Burns informs them that this hotel was built on an old Indian burial ground, served as a place for witch burnings, was the site of Satanic cult rituals, and has hosted a number of John Denver musical specials. So, we know the place is evil, right? Taking all the beer and disconnecting the cable TV is the last straw for Homer, which sends him on a murderous rampage with an axe. This episode perfectly captures a creepy vibe, all the while having that simple ‘Simpsons’ charm and humor.

I’m sure that many readers may disagree with my list. That’s what the Comments are for. Just remember that unconstructive criticism makes Aaron go something, something…

Happy Halloween!


  1. Lahrs

    One of my favorite dialog exchanges in all of Simpsons has to be between Mr. Smithers and Mr. Burns in ‘The Shinning’:

    “Mr. Burns: Yes, by cutting off cable TV, and the beer supply, I’ll be able to ensure an honest winter’s work out of those low-lifes…

    Smithers: Sir, did you ever stop to think that maybe it was doing this that caused the previous caretakers to go insane and murder their families?

    Mr. Burns: Mmm, perhaps. Tell you what, we come back and everyone’s slaughtered, I owe you a Coke.”

    Makes me laugh every time, and I now bet people a Coke if something tragic may happen. Thank you Mr. Burns.

  2. Vinnie

    Homer: “No TV and no beer make Homer something, something.”

    Marge: “Go Crazy?”

    Homer: “Don’t mind if I do!”

    One of my favorite Simpsons lines of all time.

  3. I think your list here is great! I can’t even remember every Treehouse of Horrors, but I do think one of my favorites was The Raven from the first one. But I really couldn’t think of a single segment to pull off your list to put that one in. There were just too many great moments.

    One question – you do know that Wang is an actual computer company, right?

  4. Scott H

    This years tree house of horror wasn’t as good as previous ones, maybe a couple laughs but not many.

  5. as a Penguins fan it makes so much sense that the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers are on the jury of the damned. they sold their souls for the Cup and will never win it again

  6. After Chief Wiggum shoots a tall basketball player in Treehouse of Horror VII:

    “Um, Chief, that wasn’t a monster. That was the captain of the high school basketball team.”
    “Uh, yeah, well, he was turning into a monster, though.”

    But for me nothing tops “A Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace.” I used to have every line from between Martin going to sleep and Willie declaring vengeance memorized. That entire segment is unadulterated liquid comedy.

  7. Brian Haney

    Great list, havent watched it in a couple of years ( love the no beer make homer go something something, his face that he does is classic), but I am still in love with the 3d episode (oooh adult cakes)

  8. Drew Whatley

    Like Lahrs, I think one of my top 5 favorite Simpsons lines is “If we come back and everyone’s slaughtered, I owe you a coke.”

    It’s the inflection burns puts on it that’s so funny. Also, urge to kill rising…rising…

  9. “The paw carries an awful curse.”

    “That’s bad.”

    “But it comes with a free frogurt!”

    “That’s good!”

    “The frogurt is also cursed.”

    “That’s bad.”

    “But you get your choice of topping!”

    “That’s good!”

    “The toppings contain potassium benzoate.”


    “That’s bad.”

    “Can I go now?”

  10. Willie: “I’ll get your children where you can’t protect them… in their DREAMS!”

    Wiggum: “What are you going to use? SKELETON POWER????”


    • Brian H

      Excellent- Wiggum antagonizing the just burnt to death Willie while all of the PTA members are sitting in tiny second grade desks listening to Millhouse’s dad worrying over “the idea of Millhouse having two spaghetti meals in one day.”

  11. Excellent choices, Aaron! Ten unforgettable segments.

    One of my favourite exchanges from a Treehouse-episode is the following:

    Homer : Um, it’s like, uh … did anyone see the movie Tron?

    Dr. Hibbert : No.
    Lisa : No.
    Chief Wiggum : No.
    Marge : No.
    Bart : No.
    Patty : No.
    Chief Wiggum : No.
    Flanders : No.
    Selma : No.
    Prof. Fink : No.
    Rev. Lovejoy : No.
    Chief Wiggum : Yes. I mean, uh, I mean, no. No.