With a growing October chill in the air and the end of the month fast approaching, signs of Halloween are beginning to appear around every corner. One of my favorites has always been the Halloween-themed TV events that crop up this time of year, from Great Pumpkins and horror movie marathons to the spook-ified episodes of regular television shows. If you were a kid in the early 90’s, no show did it better than The Simpsons with their annual Treehouse of Horror special. First airing on October 25, 1990, during the show’s second season, the episodes are split into three tales of terror parodying everything from classic horror to current headlines in their annual spooktacular. Although the overall writing quality in the show has suffered in recent years and the World Series has regularly pushed Treehouse of Horror episodes to air after Halloween, for this year’s 25th anniversary, Fox will be airing Treehouse of Horror XV on October 19th and there looks to be a least one good old-fashioned ghost story in the mix:
“Bart and Lisa are transported to a demon-filled alternate universe after Bart reads a set of Aramaic symbols he finds on the underside of his desk; Moe’s “Clockwork Orange”-style gang is disrupted when Dum (Homer) falls for a girl (Marge) who wants him to give up the thug life; and, in a parody of The Others, the Simpson family are haunted by a family of ghosts, which turn out the be the family from the shorts, who were murdered and buried in the house.”
With 24 years of episodes and limited syndication, I suspect that some younger viewers may have never seen the early episodes, some of which were simply brilliant. Now that Fox’s FXX station has started airing Simpsons marathons, perhaps newer viewers will be able to catch a few classics like The Devil and Homer Simpson or Clown Without Pity during the Treehouse of Horror marathon planned for Oct. 26. For old fans of the show, I suppose we can just sit back and reminisce about some favorite moments…which one of these 13 make your list?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite out of so many memorable Halloween moments, but if I had to pick a top five, I would go with The Thing and I (Tree House of Horror VII), The Devil and Homer Simpson (Tree House of Horror IV), Clown Without Pity (Tree House of Horror III), The Shinning (Tree House of Horror V), and Bad Dream House (Tree House of Horror I). Wait, did I leave out the Raven one? Make #5 every story in Tree House of Horror I, then. And also an honorable mention for Citizen Kang (did I say it’s hard to pick a favorite)? Take a look through these 31 highly gif-able moments from Treehouses of Horror past and let me know your favorite episodes in the comments below!