ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times
When I was young, one of the things I looked forward to most about the Halloween season was seeing the “Treehouse of Horror” episodes of “The Simpsons” on TV. Not only were there some legitimate scares for my young self, but there were also a lot of laughs. So for this week I decided to indulge in a little nostalgia and talk about some of my favorite “Treehouse of Horror” episodes. Enjoy!
The Thing and I (Treehouse Of Horror 7)
This segment, all the way from Treehouse of Horror 7, focuses on the revelation that Bart has an evil twin, Hugo, who lives in the Simpsons’ attic and has done so since birth. I love this one because when I was young, not only did the idea of having an evil twin absolutely terrify me, but the voicework throughout the episode is great and there are also several laughs. My favorite part is at the end when it’s revealed Bart is the evil twin and the deadpan way in which he says “Oh, don’t be so shocked” had me rolling in hysterics and continues to do so.
Wiz Kids (Treehouse Of Horror 12)
This segment is a favorite of mine and I’ve loved it since the premiere. I love it because of how it parodies the “Harry Potter” series, which I’ve loved since elementary school. The Simpsons and the various side characters are perfectly cast in their respective roles in the Potterverse and I love the show’s take on the famous series. There are plenty of laughs throughout this segment for everyone and I would say my favorite part of the episode is near the end when Bart’s spell actually turns on him.
Easy Bake Coven (Treehouse Of Horror 8)
This segment is one of the earliest ones I fully remember and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. It takes place during colonial times and ultimately, Marge is accused of being a witch, which turns out to be true. I love the humor throughout the segment and I love how the end turns out to tie into an early Halloween celebration. My favorite thing about the episode is how it also has Marge’s twin sisters Patty and Selma as fellow witches – that alone never fails to make me laugh.
Tweenlight (Treehouse Of Horror 21)
The most recent entry on this list is a parody of the “Twilight” series, which I was a huge fan of in high school (I know, I’m showing my age here). While the episode isn’t particularly original, the voicework throughout is great (particularly from Daniel Radcliffe as the mysterious vampire Edmund) and the humor is enough to make this the strongest segment in this particular Treehouse of Horror episode.
The Terror of Tiny Toon (Treehouse Of Horror 9)
This segment is another one of the earlier ones I remember and another one I remember fondly. This segment shows Bart and Lisa traveling through different TV channels while running away from their favorite cartoon characters Itchy and Scratchy. What I love about this segment is how absolutely 1990s it is, particularly when Bart and Lisa run through the set of the “Regis and Kathy Lee” show. The humor is also great throughout, making this one of my favorite “Treehouse of Horror” segments.
The Shinning (Treehouse Of Horror 5)
This segment, which parodies Stephen King’s famous work ”The Shining” (one of my favorite books of all time) makes me laugh every time I think about it. Homer makes a hilarious version of Jack Torrance’s character, the ‘shinning’ conversations between Bart and Willie the groundskeeper are hilarious and overall, it’s a great adaptation of the book. I would even go so far to say it’s even better than the Stanley Kubrick film, which I actually rather loathed (but that’s a conversation for another time.)
Time and Punishment (Treehouse Of Horror 5)
This one always stuck out to me mostly because of the writing done in this segment, which finds Homer traveling through time thanks to his “repaired” toaster. The various time periods he comes across and the various creatures and everything he faces are actually rather startling and it’s just overall very well written. My favorite parts of this segment are when Homer comes across his “perfect” universe in which his sisters-in-law are dead and it rains donuts, and the very end when he returns home to a semi-reptilian family and just shrugs and says “Eh, close enough.”
Citizen Kang (Treehouse Of Horror 7)
This one makes me laugh even more now because it’s more of a reflection of how people view the democratic system than back in the 1990s, when this originally aired. The segment focuses on aliens Kang and Kodos taking the forms of presidential nominees Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and ultimately taking over planet Earth. Overall, it’s very well written and makes me laugh every time I remember it.