For many people, myself included, The Simpsons feel like they’ve more than outstayed their welcome. What used to be one of the most-watched sitcoms of all time that had Americans enthralled every Sunday has grown to become old in the tooth and tiresome. Whether you think the series went downhill at season 10 (or possibly earlier/later), there is the consensus that the series has gone downhill. Even when The Simpsons gets bad -and it can get bad-, people will usually return to the series once a year for its annual holiday tradition: the Treehouse of Horror.
Beginning in Season 2, the Treehouse of Horror was an anthology subseries that took the cast of the show and put them into three original shorts, usually with everyone being placed in more sinister situations. Sometimes they would have adaptations of horror classics. Other times they would tell more original “what if” scenarios. Other times still, they would just do a pop culture parody of something that was popular at the time. All of these approaches have their positives and negatives, but each episode is also almost consistently the most popular of each season. Sometimes they’re even the most viewed episode of each season.
Not all Treehouse of Horror episodes are created equal, however. Some are regarded as the best episodes in the show’s entire history. Many are not. Oh god, many are not. I decided to watch all 32 of them to let you know which ones were the best and which ones were horrific to experience. Keep in mind that I’m not ranking the individual segments. There are so many of them we’d be here all day. The ranking for this list will be determined by how well the segments work together. I’ll be sure to mention the best of the three segments for each episode, but the episode’s place is going to be how strong the overall package is.
So without further delay, let’s take a look at how each of the Treehouse of Horror episodes stands up to each other.
32) XXII (Best: Dial D for Diddly)
By far the worst episode of this subseries. The Simpsons doesn’t often border on poor taste like Family Guy does, but this is really close. The best segment, based on The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, makes fun of a real-life person who was left with locked-in syndrome, effectively making them a prisoner of their own body. Making light of such a tragic real-life story just rubs me the wrong way, regardless of the other segments just being dull and lifeless. “Dial D for Diddly” makes Flanders into a hitman, which would be interesting if it weren’t for the fact that other specials tried this subversion with him and did it better. Meanwhile “In the Na’Vi” is just a dull parody of Avatar, which no one was asking for. A clear low-point for the entire series, not just Treehouse related.
31) XXIX (Best: Multiplisa-ty)
Tired is the word of the day here. Outside of a pretty good Cthulhu-inspired intro, all of the shorts feel exhausted with no real bite to them. “Intrusion of the Pod-y Switchers” feels obligatory more than anything, mixing some Body Snatchers vibes with a lampooning of Apple that was done to death in 2018. “Geriatric Park” is even worse, turning all of Springfield’s senior citizens into dinosaurs because… well there was a new Jurassic World movie that year so why not do a parody? “Multilisa-ty” barely ecks out as the best since Lisa is more lively and given more material than in virtually any Treehouse of Horror skit up until this point, though it still feels like an underdeveloped Split parody that needed a bit more time. Get used to seeing a lot of the modern entries during this part of the list.
30) XXXI (Best: Be Nine, Rewind)
I know by this point to expect anything purely horror-related from the Treehouse of Horror segments is a fool’s task, but seriously man, what is even the point of keeping the tradition alive if all of the shorts barely encroach on horrific ideas. To make matters worse, some of these shorts straight-up repeat better segments from earlier episodes. “Toy Gory” features killer toys who want to murder a Simpson, just like an earlier segment. “Into the Homerverse” features reality-bending mechanics and multiple Homers like two different segments but not nearly as charming. “Be Kind, Rewind” is the best of the three since it at least tries to do something different with a time loop story and lets Lisa and Nelson kill sadsack Gil. For that alone, it saves it from the near bottom of the list.
29) XXVI (Best: Homerzilla)
The problem with doing pop-culture parodies is that they aren’t evergreen. After a certain point, they’ll become dated and unable to get a laugh. To its credit, Treehouse of Horror XXVI has only one segment that feels dated, a spoof of Chronicle called “Telepaths of Glory.” But the other two, despite being easily watchable, don’t make them particularly great. “Wanted: Dead, Then Alive” is the only segment in the subseries to star Sideshow Bob who relentlessly kills Bart. The short is good for the first couple of minutes but runs out of steam remarkably quickly. The biggest disappointment though is actually its best short, “Homerzilla.” A Godzilla parody should be a slam-dunk seeing as how the show nailed King Kong in one of its earlier Treehouses, but the segment oddly switches gears into a diatribe about reboot culture that damages the strong elements that came before. Maybe they weren’t confident in a pure Godzilla parody?
28) XXVII (Best: BFF R.I.P)
Not only is this a Treehouse of Horror, but this was the 600th episode of the series and as far as celebrations go, it’s just okay. “Dry Hard” is the laziest pop culture parody in the entire Treehouse of Horror series, combining The Hunger Games with Mad Max: Fury Road in a blend that should be better than it is. “BFF R.I.P” gets points for originality, having Lisa’s imaginary friend go on a murder spree that feels like it was inspired by more classic Treehouse of Horrors. “Moefinger” is a basic James Bond piece that gets points for some of its visual humor, like how Homer got his Blofeld scars and all of the pickled eggs. I mean it works, but the show really does drive the fact that “wow, this has been going on for 600 episodes?” and it’s hard not to feel the exhaustion that Frank Grimes shows here too.
27) XXI (Best: Tweenlight)
The more I think about Treehouse of Horror XXI, the more that I think something was here that could have worked. The Jumanji parody “War and Pieces” is kind of fun just from a visual perspective, and “Tweenlight,” for as simple as it is, went beyond making fun of Twilight and gave a few good jabs at vampires in general. “Master and Cadaver” was forgettable, but I think with maybe a little bit more elbow grease, this episode could have been a lot more interesting than it ended up being.
26) XXXII (Best: Dead Ringer)
XXXII tried to spice up the classic Treehouse of Horror formula after 32 years. Instead of having three segments, XXXII went for five, but for as much variety as there was, that meant that most of the shorts felt even more underdeveloped. A Parasite parody, A Vincent Price interlude, an original short that, again, rips off of earlier segments, a Bambi (???) parody, and a Ring parody are all featured in 23 minutes. I will admit, “Dead Ringer” was the best of the bunch and I may actually consider it to be one of the best segments in well over a decade, but quantity does not equal quality.
25) XV (Best: The Ned Zone)
Treehouse of Horror XV is boiler-plate for a lot of reasons. After marathoning 32 episodes over the course of a week, this was the one episode I remember virtually nothing about. I didn’t actively hate it, but I could only muster pure apathy for all of the shorts. “The Ned Zone” got a couple of laughs from me with how Flanders was able to foresee tragedies and could do nothing to avert them. “In the Belly of the Boss” was one of the few Treehouse segments to blatantly homage more pulpy sci-fi films from the 50s and 60s, but everything just gets dragged down by the middle short “Four Beheadings and a Funeral.” The Holmesian-inspired segment may not be the worst segment in the Treehouse’s history, but it’s down there. Just underwhelming all around.
24) XXVIII (Best: Mmm… Homer)
Let’s get this out of the way right now; “Mmm… Homer” is the darkest Treehouse of Horror segment and I have to applaud the show for going as dark as they did with Homer eating himself. Like… that’s hardcore. “Coralisa” also gets points for just how much I love Coraline, but the third short, “The Exor-sis”, AGAIN, rehashes earlier and better segments. However, this is a turning point for the list where I don’t think these episodes are all-around awful, just nothing special to write home about. Except for “Mmm… Homer” being as dark as it is. Seriously, what the hell?
23) XXIV (Best: Oh the Places You’ll D’oh!)
I always have a sweet spot for dark twists and childhood classics, and “Oh the Places You’ll D’oh!” is right up my alley. Featuring a rhyming scheme, more colorful visuals, and Homer as a homicidal Cat in the Hat make me beam the entire time it was airing. The other two segments “Dead and Shoulders” and “Freaks no Geeks” were perfectly okay, if forgettable. “Dead and Shoulders” probably more so since, while it was stronger than “Freak no Geeks,” is only for the relationship between Bart and Lisa, but “Freaks no Geeks” had such a drab color palette that even remembering what happened is a challenge. Kind of confused why The Simpsons would put two shorts together that have wildly different color palettes and expect them to mix well together, but there you go.
22) XIX (Best: It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse)
Sigh… insert another diatribe here about how segments like “Untitled Robot Parody” just rip off earlier, better segments, and have nothing else going for them besides their pop-cultural lampooning. Even then, it’s not all that funny or enjoyable. However, the other two segments, “How to Get Ahead in Dead-Vertising” and “It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse,” are both good for different reasons. Seeing Homer murder celebrities for ad agencies is pretty entertaining, especially in the ways Homer tries to kill certain people and the inevitable brawl it leads to. Meanwhile, “It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse” has just enough levity and fun to make you feel good inside, mostly due to the Charlie Brown energy the segment embodies. Might not be the funniest segment of the bunch, but it does make me feel the best.
21) XXX (Best: When Hairy Met Slimy)
In truth, Treehouse of Horror XXX, just based on the segments present, should probably be placed lower. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t help but appreciate the creativity on display in certain segments. “Danger Things” is exactly what you would expect from a Stranger Things parody, but you can tell the writers had a lot of fun coming up with ways to homage the series. “Heaven Swipes Right” may be eye-rolling to explain. Homer is able to change bodies due to a mishap in Heaven, but seeing Homer live as different supporting characters was fun in the jokes that it could tell. Then “When Hairy Met Slimy,” the best segment of the three, has Selma fall in love with Kang, one of the recurring alien characters in every Treehouse of Horror episode, with some lines that stand as some of the Treehouses’ best. Okay, it’s nothing revelatory, but there’s just something here that works that other modern Treehouses just don’t have.
20) XX (Best: Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind)
Okay, so I hate the last short, “There’s No Business Like Moe Business” a lot. Like, really hate it. It’s the worst segment if you ask me. If you want to hear seven minutes of Moe singing poorly then this is for you, but I completely hate it. Thankfully, the other two shorts work really damn well. “Dial M for Murder” is a lovely send-up to Alfred Hitchcock that calls back to some of the better horror moments from earlier Treehouses in a way that isn’t obtrusive. But “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind” is simple in its execution. It’s a zombie apocalypse and the Simpsons have to survive it. Yes, this trope was done back in an earlier Treehouse, but there’s enough here to differentiate it from that one where I’m okay with it. Plus the ending here is infinitely funnier and tickles me just right. If it wasn’t for “There’s No Business Like Moe Business” this short would have probably jumped into the top half of the list.
19) XII (Best: House of Whacks)
Growing up, I had a Treehouse of Horror DVD that collected four episodes in one case and this was always my least favorite of the four. As someone who does not care at all about Harry Potter, “Wiz Kids” does absolutely nothing for me besides introducing an abomination of a toad prince that wishes for death. Not gonna lie, I love that little guy to death. “Hex and the City” has a fun concept with the Simpsons being cursed by a gypsy, but I feel that it doesn’t go too far with its premise. As for “House of Whacks”, seeing Pierce Brosnan do his best Hal 9000 and attempt to murder Homer was a fun little segment that, admittingly, could have used just a wee bit more screentime. If you were a Harry Potter fan you may place this one way higher than I did, but I’m not, so down here it remains.
18) XVI (Best: I’ve Grown a Costume on Your Face)
It’s always a shame when an excellent short is surrounded by weaker ones, but that’s the case with XVI. “I’ve Grown a Costume on Your Face” is a wonderful melding of several different sources to make a segment I found fantastic from beginning to end. Everyone in Springfield becomes the costumes they’re wearing, which makes some great gags and jokes, even if the ending is kind of meh. The other two shorts are not quite as good, but “Survival of the Fattest” was overall fun, despite not being all that ambitious. As for “B.I. Bartificial Intelligence,” it never amounts to more than a half-hearted shrug for being mediocre. But look, if you just want to watch Treehouse of Horror XVI for “I’ve Grown a Costume on Your Face” I wouldn’t fault you.
17) XIV (Best: Reaper Madness)
I don’t think I view this episode as highly as others do, despite the praise that gets thrown at a few of these segments. “Reaper Madness” sees Homer becoming the Grim Reaper, but the short is over before it really has a chance to do anything good with the idea. Your enjoyment of “Frinkenstein” will be based heavily on just how much you can tolerate Jerry Lewis, but I think that only a few minutes of him is easily worth it. Meanwhile, “Stop the World, I Want to Goof Off” is, like a lot of these shorts I’m coming to realize, a good premise (Bart and Milhouse get a watch that allows them to stop time) but doesn’t really know how to end things. I mean the episode still comes out in the okay range, but not by a whole lot.
16) XI (Best: G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad)
Like Treehouse of Horror XIV, there’s nothing really technically wrong with any of the shorts here, but they don’t do much to stand out from the crowd. The first short, “G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad” has Homer dying and trying to perform one good deed to keep him from getting into hell, which works if only for its set-up of how Homer died and what happens once he does his good deed. “Scary Tales Can Come True” feels like an obligatory Grimm fairytale adaptation which doesn’t do anything really of note to warrant praise or scorn honestly. Then you have “Night of the Dolphin” which I know people love, but feels rushed and doesn’t have too much going for it besides the obvious The Birds parody. Between the two, I think I give the nod to XI if only because I laughed more during this episode than the other, but consider the two of them interchangeable depending on my mood. At least we’re in the top half now! Woo-hoo!
15) XVIII (Best: Mr. and Mrs. Simpson)
I don’t think I’ll ever really enjoy the parody Treehouse of Horror segments, but at least Treehouse of Horror XVIII delivered probably its best. “Mr. & Mrs. Simpsons” sees Homer and Marge as rival assassins keeping their professions secret from each other, but the inevitable revelation of their secret lives was funny, exciting, and entertaining to watch unfold. “E.T., Go Home” actually utilizes Kang and Kodos in a way that the Treehouse hasn’t done in years, giving a brief escapade that, while nothing great, is a good enough time. I have to bash my head in for “Heck House” seeing Flanders, yet again, be subverted into a role that was done better in earlier Treehouses. Here he becomes a demon to teach Bart and other delinquents a lesson. The seven sins of Springfield aside was fun, but again, it was done way better in another Treehouse. That said, I didn’t regret my time spent with Treehouse of Horror XVIII.
14) XXIII (Best: Un-normal Activity)
Now “Un-normal Activity” is how you do a modern-day Treehouse of Horror spoof. “Un-normal Activity” takes the Paranormal Activity franchise and lampoons it in such a way that it actually made me want to go back and watch the first film in the series because of how it made me feel nostalgic for it. “Bart and Homer’s Excellent Adventure” is a better “Into the Homerverse” with multiple different Homers across time and space fighting Artie Ziff in a glorious brawl. By comparison, “The Greatest Story Ever Holed,” a story about a man-made black hole that the people of Springfield just keep throwing garbage into until it consumes them all, might not be laugh-out-loud hilarious but has enough moments to make me chuckle for me to give the episode a half-hearted thumbs up. Honestly one of the best Treehouses of the past decade (but not THE best).
13) VIII (Best: Easy Bake Coven)
The original ten Treehouse of Horror episodes are more often than not touted as being the best, but I don’t think it’s unpopular to say that out of those excellent episodes, Treehouse of Horror VIII is the weakest. It’s by no means bad, but more so unremarkable. “The HΩmega Man” has Homer as the last man in Springfield from a nuclear blast (at least he thinks he is). Fly vs. Fly has Bart and a fly combine their bodies and go to war with each other, while “Easy-Bake Coven” parodies The Crucible with Marge revealed to be a witch and explains the origins of Halloween. None of these shorts are bad by any stretch of the word, but there’s really nothing here to gravitate me towards them. They get the job done, they don’t overstay their welcome, but they don’t really do anything to personally excite me.
12) X (Best: I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did)
The phrase “one bad apple spoils the others” is a scientifically true one. Apples, when damaged, can secrete a chemical that will speed up the process of how quickly the other apples rot. I bring this up because one short in Treehouse of Horror X, “Desperetaley Xeeking Xena,” is a bad apple. A veeeeery bad apple. The short is corny, cheesy, hasn’t aged well, and even knowing that most of the later episodes wouldn’t be good, I dreaded this short more than any others. And spoilers, it wasn’t very good. The only thing keeping this episode from the bottom half was “Life’s a Glitch, Then You Die,” which took your basic Y2K fears of the time and gave us a short which is perfectly fine until its hilarious and morbid ending, and “I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did,” which had the Simpsons stalked by a mysterious person who was aware that they killed Ned Flanders. Both shorts are perfectly fine, on their own, but “Desperately Xeeking Xena” is cringe in all of the bad ways.
11) XXV (Best: The Others)
Ladies and gentlemen, the best Treehouse of Horror of the past decade. I know the competition was really weak, but that isn’t to disparage how good XXV is. “School is Hell” sees Bart going starting to go to school in Hell, which is fun enough that I’m surprised it took 25 times to actually do it. “A Clockwork Yellow” is the weakest of the three, but its constant Kubrick references and highly entertaining Clockwork Orange references make the experience a net positive. But it’s “The Others” that take home the cake. Seeing the modern-day Simpsons be harassed by ghost versions of their counter-parts from The Tracey Ullman Show is a stroke of genius. It allowed for the core cast of characters to really go outside and attempt performances that feel dated, yet fresh. Old, yet new. I admit, your mileage will vary depending on how long you’ve been with the show, but older fans will almost certainly love what “The Others” has to offer.
10) XVII (Best: I’m Married to the Blob)
Treehouse of Horror XVII stands up amongst the original ten episodes as being one of the best the subseries has ever produced and rightly deserves its place in the Top 10. Its strengths come from just how varied the shorts all are and how this episode leans into more sci-fi flavored offerings. “I’m Married to the Blob” has Homer become a gigantic blob always eating and consuming, which I’m again shocked wasn’t done in earlier years. “The Day the Earth Looked Stupid” was a great homage to Orson Welle’s War of the Worlds broadcast, only this time performed for the morons of Springfield to naturally escalate into pure pandemonium. “You Gotta Know When to Golem” isn’t quite as good as the other two, opting to tell a Simpsons version of the Golem myth to not quite universal success, but two out of three ain’t bad!
9) VII (Best: Citizen Kang)
Probably the most original of all of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, Treehouse of Horror VII is probably the most understated of the bunch. “The Thing and I” has a fairly obvious twist to it related to a monster living in the Simpsons attic, but the fact that no one is surprised by it just drives the joke home more. “The Genesis Tub” isn’t exactly a powerhouse and it’s the weakest of the three shorts by a mile, seeing Lisa create a civilization in a Petri dish and defending them from Bart. “Citizen Kang” is in a league of its own though standing as arguably one of the best shorts ever done in the Treehouse. It takes a while to grow on you but watching the aliens Kang and Kodos impersonate then-presidential candidates Bob Dole and Bill Clinton is ripe for great political commentary that still hits today. Lambasting third party votes, abortion, ridiculous campaign speeches, and general voter apathy are all targets here and they all hit their mark. Plus this is the episode that gave us the legendary line “don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.” A classic that elevates the whole package.
8) XIII (Best: The Island of Dr. Hibbert)
Treehouse of Horror XIII is one of the few Treehouses where all three shorts are winners, but for different reasons. The first short “Send in the Clones” is simply hilarious, showing what an army of braindead clones of Homer is capable of. From beginning to end, it was just a delight to watch. “The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms” is more conventional, zombie cowboys attack Springfield, but it throws in some time travel shenanigans to add some flavor to the proceedings, with even the promise of caveman hookers thrown in. But they saved the best for last yet again with “The Island of Dr. Hibbert,” which just brilliantly parodies The Island of Dr. Moreau and has fun animal gags. I don’t really know what else to say here besides that this is consistently good, which was a rarity for the Treehouse of Horrors at the time. Fun fact, this was also the last Treehouse of Horror where each segment was written by a different writer. From XIV onwards, all three segments in each episode were written by the same writer.
7) I (Best: The Raven)
The one that started it all had to be up high, but the question was where. What was originally made to allow the writers to stretch their creative talents and offer up a bit more violence than usual turned into a Halloween tradition for decades to come. But people tend to forget about the majority of shorts here except for one. We’re introduced to Kang and Kodos in “Hungry are the Damned” and see some kind of tense interstellar encounters. “Bad Dream House” has the Simpsons besieged by a haunted house that tries to murder them before eventually destroying itself at the prospect of having the family live within him. Both of these episodes are dripping with atmosphere, a lot more than any other Treehouse of Horror to be perfectly honest, but the best segment, and contender for one of the best segments period, is “The Raven.” It’s nothing more than a rendition of the Edgar Allen Poe poem with a few liberties taken here and there, but it’s a wonderful one narrated by James Earl Jones. The whole episode does feel dated compared to everything else that comes after it, but what’s here is probably the moodiest and most effective trio of segments that ever graced a single Treehouse episode.
6) VI (Best: Homer³)
Treehouse of Horror VI has a lot going for it, not only in terms of the shorts on offer but for the technical achievements it was able to pull off. “Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores” is a fun little short where gigantic mascot characters come to life and destroy Springfield, something that future shorts would replicate with much lesser success. “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” is probably the best Nightmare on Elm Street parody I’ve seen, with the best moment being highlighting Groundskeeper Willie’s continuously escalating death, culminating in him burning alive and having to sit to listen to a PTA meeting in silence. For as great as that segment was, I couldn’t take my eyes away from “Homer³”, which featured CGI animation that, for the time, was really well handled. The crew of the show were really proud of this segment and did a lot to promote it and while it has definitely aged a lot since then visually, it’s still a fun watch that holds your attention well.
5) IX (Best: Hell Toupe)
I’m once again in the minority on this, but I don’t care, I love Treehouse of Horror IX. “Hell Toupe” is such a weird concept for a segment, but the final results are really damn entertaining. Snake dies from the electric chair and vows revenge on the people who sent him there, and he does so by controlling Homer’s mind via a hair implant. I don’t care how that works, I love it all the same for as stupid as it is. “The Terror of Tiny Toon” has Bart and Lisa running away from Itchy and Scratchy, who are attempting to murder the two Simpsons. It’s a perfect premise for a one-off Halloween episode that makes the violence as gruesome as they can get away with. By comparison, while “Starship Poopers” isn’t an immediate hit, it gets by from giving Kang and Kodos some significant screentime and a Jerry Springer brawl fit with a plethora of cursing that doesn’t normally get implied during a regular episode. You could almost certainly argue that I’m putting this segment way too high, but it’s my list and I love these three shorts like they were my kids and I must protect them.
4) Treehouse of Horror II (Best: The Bart Zone)
Treehouse of Horror II is unique in the fact that it tried to organically connect all three of its shorts together through a single narrative device. The first Treehouse had the stories present as literal ghost stories in the eponymous treehouse, but here they all come from candy-induced nightmares. And these shorts, weirdly enough, aren’t titled in the episode themselves. Odd. Anyway, all three shorts are great, with one short featuring Homer getting a monkey’s paw and bungling every single wish, including his final wish in one of the most definitive Homer moments. The second segment is an adaptation of the legendary Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life,” giving Bart nigh-omnipotent powers to bend reality to his will. The last short sees Homer dying and having his brain implanted in a robot body which, admittingly, is the weakest of the three, but still manages to contain enough gags and unsettling moments to make me think fondly of it.
3) IV (Best: The Devil and Homer Simpson)
So you know how I’ve been saying throughout this piece that any attempt to subvert who Ned Flanders is just fails to impress? Yeah, that’s because of “The Devil and Homer Simpson,” a short which casts Flanders as the literal devil who swindled Homer into a deal for his soul. I mean, if that isn’t the best Treehouse of Horror segment, it’s a strong #2. The other two shorts are equally as strong, with “Terror at 5 ½ Feet” sees Bart contending with a mysterious gremlin on the side of his bus, and “Bart Simpson’s Dracula” casts Mr. Burns as a vampire who needs to be stopped by the Simpsons after realizing that he was, in fact, a vampire. Truthfully, if the first segment was any other one besides “The Devil and Homer Simpson” this would still rank in the Top 10, but having such an amazing segment firmly puts this into the Top 5.
2) III (Best: Dial Z for Zombie)
I struggled to decide if III or IV would take this slot, but this goes to show you the power of a single line. “Clown Without Pity” does the killer toy shtick beautifully and features one of my favorite Simpsons exchanges ever that I still use in casual conversation. “King Homer” is a King Kong parody that manages to capture a lot of the tone of the original movie while mixing in some amazingly clever writing. To see Mr. Burns ask Smithers if Marge should be let onto a boat only for him to reply “I don’t think women and seamen mix” deserves some kind of Emmy, I don’t care who you are. But “Dial Z For Zombie” takes the cake in expert delivery. I won’t spoil the joke, but it is the funniest line in the entire show’s history and easily earns a cackle from me followed by a slow clap each and every time. This episode is why you should never give Homer a shotgun and proves just how powerful a single line can be in influencing my opinion.
1) V (Best: Really, all of them are the best)
Unquestionably the best Treehouse of Horror. Actually, probably one of the best episodes of The Simpsons period. Treehouse of Horror V is virtually perfect from beginning to end and there wasn’t a single doubt in my mind it would take top honors. “The Shinning” is the best Stephen King parody I’ve ever seen, with brilliant quote after brilliant quote all culminating in a climax that every Simpsons fan knows front to back. Who doesn’t know “no TV and no beer make Homer something something” if you’re a longtime fan of the show? “Time and Punishment” has a hilarious concept, Homer gets a time machine and screws up the past continuously, which never lets up. The best moment is easily when Homer reaches what seems to be a utopia, only for it to be shattered in his mind, only to then be revealed that it actually was a utopia for him and he just missed out on it. Even “Nightmare Cafeteria,” which is the least funny of the three, makes up for it with its more gruesome concept and equally gruesome execution. I mean, how do you do cannibal teachers in a light-hearted way? Plus it’s implied that a character is shredded by a gigantic blender. That’s still pretty damn dark today. I can’t think of any faults to Treehouse of Horror V. It’s a masterpiece of television and animated horror that makes this entire subseries worth it in my eyes.