As we get closer to Halloween, The Simpsons has revealed yet another Treehouse of Horror episode – a parody of The Hunger Games and James Bond, which doesn’t sound particularly halloweeny to us. Historically, though, the Halloween episodes of the show have been creep-fests full of clever horror parody. Here are 15 of the best from the long-running cartoon.

  1. Homer3

From: Treehouse of Horror VI (1995)
What happens:  
Homer tries to avoid a visit from Patty and Selma by hiding behind a bookcase, accidentally entering a three-dimensional world which he soon destroys, ending up on a dumpster in West Hollywood in our own dimension.
References: The title references Alien3 while the story reflects The Twilight Zone‘s ‘Little Girl Lost‘ episode.

  1. The Genesis Tub

From: Treehouse of Horror VII (1996)
What happens: For a science project, Lisa tries to show the damaging effect of cola on teeth. Thanks to some intervention from Bart, she creates life instead, and her mini people start worshiping her.
References: Another Twilight Zone episode: ‘The Little People

  1. House of Whacks

From: Treehouse of Horror XXII (2001)
What happens: 
Marge agrees to convert the Simpson household into an artificially intelligent, self-cleaning paradise, but then the AI starts to become obsessed with her.
References: 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s malevolent AI HAL 9000, and the 1977 horror Demon Seed, about an obsessive AI that imprisons and forcibly impregnates a woman.

  1. Fly vs. Fly

From: Treehouse of Horror VIII (1997)
What happens: 
After switching his pets’ body parts around with a transporter bought from Dr Frink by Homer, Bart tries the process with a fly to see if he’ll become a superhero. Instead his head is switched with the drooling fly’s.
References: Comic strip Spy vs. Spy gives this segment its title, and 1958 horror film The Fly inspires its story. The ending here, though, is a little less gloomy, as Bart gets his body back.

Happy Halloween kids #artbypops #handmadetattoo #handmadetattoosp #bartfly #simpsons

A photo posted by Popsthehispanichammer (@artbypops) on

  1. The Island of Dr Hibbert

From: Treehouse of Horror XIII (2002)
What happens: 
On holiday at the Island of Lost Souls, Marge notices there’s something weird going on. Then Dr Hibbert appears and turns her into a panther. The rest of the family gets transformed too, with Homer the only one who stays human – but later he realises that rolling around in his own filth is what he’s always wanted.
References: H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau – which, a lot more unpalatably, is about a doctor who adds animal parts to humans via vivisection.

  1. The Thing And I

From: Treehouse of Horror VII (1996)
What happens:
Bart discovers his parents have been keeping his ‘evil’ conjoined twin in the attic. His name is Hugo, and he wants to sew himself back to Bart. It later turns out Bart was the evil one, and eventually he has to go and live in the attic while Hugo struggles to adapt to the real world.
References: Budget horror Basket Case and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

  1. Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores

From: Treehouse of Horror VI (1995)
What happens: 
Advertising comes to life and starts wreaking destruction on the town of Springfield.
References: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, a sci-fi from the ’50s.

  1. Hungry Are The Damned

From: Treehouse of Horror I (1990)
What happens: 
Aliens abduct The Simpsons under the pretence of treating them as gods, trying to feed them the perfect dish. Lisa is suspicious, eventually finding a book that reads ‘How To Cook Humans’; in fact it reads ‘…For Forty Humans’ and the aliens are so offended that they put the Simpsons back on earth. “Not Gods, but human beings.”
References: Another episode of The Twilight Zone here: the rather more gruesome ‘To Serve Man‘.

  1. Nightmare Cafeteria

From: Treehouse of Horror V (1994)
What happens: 
Principal Skinner solves the dual problem of overcrowded detentions and low budgets in the catering department by turning the detention-bound students into food. It turns out it’s all Bart’s dream, and the only thing to worry about is the fog that turns people inside out. Okay.
References: Sci-fi film Soylent Green.

  1. Starship Poopers

From: Treehouse of Horror IX (1998)
What happens: 
Maggie turns out to be the half-Rigellian daughter of Kang and Marge.
References: The title is from Starship Troopers.

  1. The Raven

From: Treehouse of Horror I (1990)
What happens: 
Lisa reads Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’, the bird who Bart plays; he just torments Homer. It’s a classic. (Nevermore).
References: Uhhh… Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’.

  1. Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace

From: Treehouse of Horror VI (1995)
What happens: 
Another great horror from 1995’s episode – this one stars Willie as a man who burned to death and now torments and kills children in their dreams.
References: Nightmare on Elm St.

  1. Clown Without Pity

From: Treehouse of Horror III (1992)
What happens:
Bart is given a Krusty doll for his birthday, which Homer bought in a rush from the ‘House of Evil’ shop. It then spends the episode trying to kill Homer before a repairman switches it back to ‘good’ mode.
References: Two horrible doll influences: The Twilight Zone‘s ‘Living Doll’ and Child’s Play‘s uber-creepy Chucky.

  1. The Devil and Homer Simpson

From: Treehouse of Horror IV (1993)
What happens: 
Homer makes a deal with the devil: a donut for his soul. Eventually he’s taken to hell and has to eat all the donuts in the world, a Sisyphean task he really doesn’t seem to mind. Later it turns out Homer’s soul is already owned by Marge, meaning devil-Flanders has to free him – but then he turns his head into a donut as punishment.
References: The Devil and Daniel Webster, which itself is inspired by Faust.

  1. The Shinning

From: Treehouse of Horror V (1994)
What happens:
The Simpsons become caretakers of Mr Burns’ mansion where there’s no TV or beer. Homer goes crazy and tries to kill his own family. It’s wonderful throughout – eg ‘Break glass in case of spousal insanity’.
References: Stephen King’s novel and Stanley Kubrick’s film of The Shining.