Friday, October 11, 2013

Treehouse of Horror: Part Two



After being cheated out of a gigantic donut, Homer steals the donut attached to a giant statue in front of a donut shop, setting into motion the destruction of Springfield by giant advertisements, featuring Paul Anka was the key to the giant advertisement's defeat!

The strength of this segment is that, unlike a lot of the Treehouse of Horror segments, it ends up being a sort of ensemble segment featuring a lot of the different Springfieldians, and they all have great moments. Especially Wiggum, who ends up shooting the captain of Springfield's basketball team, who he claims was "turning into a monster." Easily one of my favorite Wiggum moments.

This is one of my favorite segments, in part because I am a gigantic kaiju fan, and it was nice seeing Simpsons bring in some kaiju parodies, including the use of the iconic, always awesome, Godzilla roar. Even better that the roar comes from a gigantic Kent Brockman.


Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace: Groundskeeper Willie, having died in an accident caused by the carelessness of the parents of Springfield (especially Homer), begins killing the students of Springfield Elementary in their dreams, in this awesome parody of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

Maybe I'm biased as a giant fan of ol' Mr. Krueger, but this segment is just fantastic. There's actually something creepy about the sequence in which Martin is strangled to death by Groundskeeper Willie's tongue. Also the fucking hilarious moment immediately after where his corpse is accidentally shown to two difference classes, traumatizing them all. This also gave us the classic "Lousy Smarch weather" and "Don't touch Willie, good advice" lines, in the hilarious sequence showing off exactly what happened to Groundskeeper Willie.

This is a classic. It's a great parody of Nightmare on Elm Street, it's hilarious, it manages to be creepy at the same time, altogether just a really amazing segment.

In his attempt to avoid Pattie and Selma, Homer ends up stuck inside of the third dimension. Jesus Christ this segment... maybe for younger viewers the visuals will seem really lame and dated, but I can remember when this first aired, being a kid, and just having my mind absolutely blown by how fucking beautiful the whole thing was. It's still really beautiful to me, but that might just be nostalgia goggles.

I think this may be my favorite Treehouse segment of all, partly just for the visuals and the really sweet, beautiful, Myst-like soundtrack (fitting, given that one of the buildings from Myst makes an appearance), despite the relative lack of jokes. Not that there aren't some funny moments, I love the sequence where Homer asks if anyone sees Tron, followed by everyone answering nope one after the other, save for Wiggum who says yes, before correcting himself and saying no.

There's also something kinda disturbing about seeing 3D Homer fall apart the way he does, even if he ends up with a sort of, remotely happy ending when he enters our dimension. I can't put my finger on it, but it's still fairly creepy looking to me.


This is my second favorite Treehouse episode, and one of my favorite Simpsons episodes in general, easily. This was originally my favorite episode as a kid, and I have fond memories of rewatching a recording I'd made on VHS over and over. All three segments are fantastic, the third segment's CG was amazing for the time, the odd animation the second segment uses for a few of its dream sequences is interesting... altogether it feels like an experimental episode, but an experiment gone right. It's odd, but it's amazing.



After hearing strange sounds coming out of the attic, Bart and Lisa discover that Bart's evil twin has been chained up and living above them this whole time, eating fish heads. Although the commentary for the episode references Basketcase as being the intended parody, I personally don't see it. It reminds me more of Castle Freak, which was based on an awesome HP Lovecraft story.

This episode is just full of amazing lines, most of which come from Dr. Hibbert, who just completely steals the whole episode with great bits like "Too crazy for Boy's Town, too much of a boy for crazy town." I've always loved him as a character, and it's nice seeing him finally get some time in a Treehouse episode, and man is he on his A-game for the whole thing.


After leaving a tooth in a container of soda, Lisa ends up growing an entire microcivilization that worships her as a god and fears that Bart is the devil.

I'm not normally too much of a fan of Lisa centric episodes, but this segment is just hilarious, and Lisa gets some of her best lines in the show's history. I love her reaction to her mom lying about waffles, serving her waffle shaped pancakes. It's nice seeing her as still being a kid, even if she is a genius, something the show ended up forgetting as the years went on.

Although the segment is just chockfull of hilarious lines, for some reason the thing that stuck with me the most is where a crowd of the microcivilization's people ask Lisa theological questions, and an enormously fat man, in a really fat voice, asks "Why am I so fat?" I don't know why I find it so hilarious, but it's become something I quote whenever I'm watching a movie or show and there's someone who is extremely obese.


Citizen Kang: Homer stumbles upon a conspiracy by Kang and Kodos to replace the presidential candidates and take over the earth in what may be one of the most memorable and quoted Treehouse of Horror segment of all time, and certainly one of the funniest.

Oh where to begin with this segment, there's just so many great moments that it feels hard to really point out anything in particular. Homer referring to Bob Dole as "Mumbly Joe", the image of both Bill Clinton and Bob Dole suspended naked in space goo, Kang's and Kodos's messages to the American people while disguised as the candidates... there's just so much.

My favorite moment is probably Kodos-Dole trying to gain favor with the audience by promising abortions for all, which they boo, then "abortions for none", which they boo, and he appeases them by promising "abortions for some, tiny American flags for others."

One thing I really love about this episode is that, despite featuring both Bob Dole and Bill Clinton, the show doesn't particularly make a jab at the politics of either of them, and still manages to make both of them absolutely hilarious. This is much like the fantastic episode "Two Bad Neighbors" where George Bush Sr. moves in near the Simpsons family. I've never been too much of a fan of political humor, with some exceptions, because I've found that it quite quickly becomes dated, so it's nice seeing writers that took a different route to insure that the material would stay funny.


Overall: This is probably the most memorable of all of the Treehouse episodes. I see and hear references to this one all the time, and especially the final segment seems to be quoted more often than almost any other Simpsons episodes. "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos" seems to pop up after any election here in America, and I love it.



After Mayor Quimby insults France, Springfield gets nuked and Homer finds himself to be the last man alive earth in this parody of the Charlton Heston classic "Omega Man."

Every time I see this episode I wish more time had been spent showing Homer goofing off in the destroyed Springfield, it's probably the highlight of the whole segment but doesn't really go on for that long. Still, there's some hilarious bits, like Herman's line about the bunker standing a six megaton blast, "no more, no less." Also Homer's fantasies about his family all involving them swinging at a baseball with a bat.

For some reason, a lot of this segment makes me think of Futurama. I think part of it is that it starts a trend Futurama had of having people randomly shout "Silence!", something I really love for some reason, and want to start doing in real life. The segment was written by Futurama creator David X. Cohen, so I guess it all makes sense.


After Homer buys a teleporter from Prof. Frink's yard sale, an accident causes Bart's head to be placed on a fly's body , and a fly's head on Bart's body.

It's an altogether alright segment. It's got some funny moments, like Homer accidentally punching Lisa with the teleporter, or Bart accidentally making Catdog years before that show went on the air. The fly, with Bart's body, ends up being fairly creepy at least, but it doesn't really save the segment from mediocrity.

Prof. Frink is also great in what short moments he gets in the segment, but to be fair when isn't he hilarious? It's funny, I hate who he's based off of, but I love Frink. I also love Freakazoid. I'm not really sure why it is that parodies of Jerry Lewis are so funny to me.


In easily one of the weakest Treehouse of Horror segments of the first ten episodes, we get a glimpse into the origin of Halloween. In the early 19th century, the puritan versions of Springfieldians are involved in a witch hunt that ends up revealing that Marge Simpson (and her sisters) is a witch. After being revealed, she goes door to door kidnapping kids to eat them, before the Flanders' family tempt her and her sisters with snacks instead.

It's altogether just really, really lame. There's a few kinda funny moments, but nothing really laugh worthy, just sort of mildly amusing.

This was, sadly, a pretty meh episode beyond the first segment. It's not exactly an -awful- episode, but it's not one I really ever care about, and will often skip it when I'm watching the series.



Snake gets arrested after robbing the quickie mart, and is executed on live TV as it's his third strike. Homer has his hair sewn to his head by Dr. Nick, and ends up being possessed by the spirit of Snake, who wants him to murder everyone that witnessed the crime: Apu, Moe, and Bart.

After the disappointment that was Treehouse of Horror VIII, this segment gave me a lot of hope when it aired. It's pretty amusing, the deaths are surprisingly horrific, and the writing is pretty damn good. It's not one of the better segments, but it's certainly pretty good. Also hey, Homer trying to kill his family again. This seems to be a minor recurring thing in the Treehouse of Horror episodes.

One thing that always stood out to me with this segment, even now, is that it looks darker than a lot of episodes. I'm not sure if it actually is, but it just seems like the coloring is off, or maybe it's intentional.


Marge takes Maggie out trick r treating, but not before taking the remote's batteries and telling the kids they aren't allowed to watch the Itchy and Scratchy Halloween special. Bart takes some of Homer's plutonium to use in place of the batteries, and ends up getting both himself and Lisa sucked inside of the Halloween special, causing them to have to try and survive Itchy and Scratchy as they run through the basic cable lineup.

I kinda love this segment, it reminds me of one of the segments in Amazon Women on the Moon, wherein an old man ends up stuck inside of tv land. Possibly intentional, as this was another segment written by David X. Cohen, who has referenced the movie on Futurama (including an episode named Amazon Women in the Mood.) It's a great comedy and it's nice to see it referenced. I also just really love Itchy and Scratchy.


And here it is, the worst segment across the first ten Treehouse episodes. Maggie loses her "baby legs", revealing monstrous tentacles and a large, sharp fang in her mouth. Kang and Kodos come to earth, revealing that one of them impregnated Marge earlier, and that they are the true parents of Maggie. In order to resolve the issue, they all go on Jerry Springer, and the viewing audience is left wondering how a segment so stupid managed to make it to air.

I absolutely, truly hate this segment. There's almost nothing funny in the episode beyond Homer's reference to baby legs, and Dr. Hibbert's response to Marge asking what he prescribes for Maggie, "Fire, and lots of it." Jerry Springer feels out of place, and alongside the groaner of a name just feels like an attempt by the writers to show how "hip" they are with entertainment today, which is amusing considering Poochie's appearance in the previous segment.


Beyond the third segment, it's an alright episode, I'd just suggest ending the episode immediately after the second segment ends. There's no reason to watch Starship Poopers, and I'd be happy just pretending it never happened.



The title had me worried back when this first aired, as the movie the title parodies is probably one of the worst slashers of the 90's. Which in itself is an accomplishment, I guess. Thankfully, it's not so much a parody of that, and more of a parody of numerous horror films and some original twists here and there.

The Simpsons family, after getting their Sugar Crisp cereal back in some amazing story we'll never know the details of, accidentally run over Flanders because Homer forgot to put the fog lights in. Homer has to stage an accidental death for Flanders in an awesome sort of Weekend at Bernies type deal, and then the family finds themselves threatened by someone who seemingly witnessed the murder.

This segment is everything that Starship Poopers wasn't. It's hilarious, it's clever, it's well written... I love it, and the reveal of Flanders being a werewolf was an awesome twist that strengthens the whole thing.


In what is unquestionably the best segment of the episode, and one of the best Treehouse segments ever, Bart and Lisa gain superpowers from a freak accident involving a candy scanner and have to save Lucy Lawless from Comic Book Guy.

This segment is just so full of catchy quotables that it's insane. This is what gave us the be all end all answer to all continuity problems and plot holes in entertainment history: Wizard did it. Even the theme song given to Bart and Lisa's superhero alteregoes, Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl, is extremely catchy. This was so good it basically came back in Futurama in a plot where Fry and Leela gain superpowers from an ointment, complete with their own similar sounding and equally catchy themesong.

Lucy Lawless does a great job in her cameo role as herself, and ends up getting some of the funniest lines of the episode, and Comic Book Guy is just fantastic in his role as "The Collector." I especially love his decision to die in a Lorne Green pose from the original Battlestar Galactica.


Y2K happens, and partly due to Homer's incompetence the world ends up doomed. Electronics come to life and wreak havoc, planes crash, nuclear plants meltdown, massive looting and riots. Only Lisa and Marge survive, taken aboard a rocket for the world's best and brightest, while Homer and Bart end up on a rocket full of the worst of humanity: Tom Arnold, Rosie O'Donnel, Paulie Short, Spike Lee, etc., which gets shot into the sun.

While not as good as the first two segments of the episode, this segment is still full of hilarious bits, my personal favorite of which is a hair metal band that is confused over if they're Ratt, Quiet Riot, or Poison, though they seem to be visually based off Spinal Tap (which Simpsons VA Harry Shearer was a member of.) I also just really love the kind of disturbing ending, with Homer and Bart deciding they'd rather die in space than spend another moment with Rosie O'Donnel, Tom Arnold, and the like. The final shot, of their heads inflating onscreen and then exploding offscreen, is kinda disturbing and hilarious all at the same time.


Overall: This is not only one of the better Treehouse episodes, but also the best episode of Season 11. It's hilarious, it's full of memorable moments, and all three segments are great.

Here's what I've got for the first ten Treehouse of Horror episodes, rated from best to worst.


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