5 “Starship Poopers,” Treehouse of Horror IX
Honestly, who would have pegged Marge for an intergalactic hussy? Forced to choose between the most common human mating habitats, Marge decides on the ally behind a porno theatre for her intimate (if excessively brief) encounter with Kang. Years later, Maggie’s “baby feet” fall off, replaced by a healthy set of slimy tentacles. Naturally, there’s only one person who can detangle all these extraterrestrial, extramarital escapades: Jerry Springer! A fistfight ensues, complete with bleeped profanities, leading the Simpsons to rue going on Springer’s show. Until Kang and Kodos “threaten” to destroy all the politicians in Washington. Guess they haven’t done that much research on Earth after all.
4 “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace,” Treehouse of Horror VI
Another scary movie parody, “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” features Groundskeeper Willie delivering some of the wittiest Simpsons dialogue, Treehouse of Horror or otherwise — “You’ve mastered a dead tongue, but can you handle a live one?”… “When I’m done with you, they’re going to have to do a compost mortem!” Also, this episode introduced us to the oft forgotten 13th month, Smarch. And, it provided insight into Bart’s normal dreams, winning the Super Bowl with Krusty. “Woah, kid, don’t dream about me anymore!” The episode gets goofy at the end, when Willie tries to spook the children after getting off a bus.
3 “Dial “Z” for Zombies,” Treehouse of Horror III
Struggling to find a good a read? Just check out the Occult Section of your elementary school’s library! As Bart peruses a necronomicon-like volume, he and Lisa get the idea to resurrect poor Snowball I. The spell, however, only works on the humans in the cemetery, and soon most people in the town are converted to zombies. For a Bart and Lisa centered episode, Homer gets involved in its two funniest moments: 1) He heroically offers his life to the zombies if they’ll spare his family; the zombies tap on his head like a watermelon, and then move on, wailing, “Brains! Brains!” 2) Flanders, now zombified, turns on Homer. Homer downs him with a shotgun, to which Bart says, “Dad, you shot zombie Flanders.” Homer honestly replies, “He was a zombie?”
2 “Citizen Kang,” Tree House of Horror VII
More Sci-Fi than Horror (but more political satire than either), “Citizen Kang” is the best segment featuring Treehouse of Horror mainstays Kang and Kodos. The loveable cyclopes, tentacles and all, abduct the 1996 presidential candidates, Bob Dole and Bill Clinton. While this dates the segment, Dole and Clinton are such memorable candidates that the humor never seems stale — Bob Dole speaks in the 3rd person, Clinton gets abducted in his bed (“Is it noon already?”). Complete with a cameo by Ross Perot (breaking his hat when the viability of 3rd Party candidates is mocked), the episode is a time capsule of things so memorable, that it’s refreshing to laugh about them once again.
1 “The Shinning,” Treehouse of Horror V
An obvious parody of a movie you may have heard of (Quiet! You want to get sued?), “The Shinning” is one of the best examples of balancing horrifying drama with warped hilarity. This episode is packed with classic moments: when Homer chops down the wrong door (twice), when the blood pours out of the elevator (“That’s odd — usually, the blood gets off at the second floor”). But nothing is quite as hilarious as when Homer “goes crazy,” flailing about and contorting his face. Plus, it’s completely relatable… if you took away their beer and TV, who wouldn’t want to go on a murderous rampage? Like any other father, though, Homer’s murderous rage is finally tamped by his discovery of a functioning TV.
Scream-larious! These horrifying send-ups, spoofs, and satires are some of the funniest material ever produced by the Simpsons’ grade-A writers. No wonder, according to Matt Groening, the most popular episode among the writers is the Halloween special year after year. We get a little giddy ourselves whenever one comes on in July, say… it’s like finding a forgotten piece of caramel corn and chomping it without hesitation! But maybe you’ve got a particular favorite that you think belongs on this list Don’t have a zombie cow, man. Just write about it below. If your choice is spooky and funny enough, it might just make the list. But first, take a look at our honorable mentions — from beyond the grave!!!
“Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores” — This episode comes with Paul Anka’s guarantee. (Guarantee void in Tennessee.)
“G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad” — Confirms our deepest fear… That hell is an endless series of noogies!