If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, a new Treehouse of Horror episode is like a holiday. You might have friends over, make fancy thematic snacks, imbibe intoxicants of your choosing—it’s always a good time. Depending on what else FOX is showing—the new Treehouse of Horror episode might happen any time between the end of September and early November. Lately though, it’s been an October thing, and fans are hoping it stays that way.
We ranked each ep as a whole, so all three segments (and when applicable) the wraparound story. We left intros and hilarious scary nicknames out of our ranking, since that’s not what anyone is tuning in for (except maybe James “Hell” Brooks). Spirited commentary is welcome, but if you “haven’t watched The Simpsons in forever,” it might be better to keep that to yourself. All that shows us is that you have no taste. Here’s Every Single Treehouse Of Horror, Ranked Worst To Best.
26. XI. G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad; Scary Tales Can Come True; Night of the Dolphin
This ep caused many die hard fans, en masse, to say ‘wow, that wasn’t very good,’ for the second time ever. Shame, that. The best thing about this Treehouse of Horror XI is the opening sequence, which perfectly spoofs The Munsters. After that, it’s a bunch of lazy tropes we’ve seen in other milieus. The basic theme of G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad is that newspaper horoscopes can’t accurately predict the future. Scintillating, right? Conversations with St Peter have been happening to cartoon characters since before Bugs Bunny was a thing.
It doesn’t get much better from there. Spoofing fairy tales is also one of the oldest and laziest forms of comedy. Sure, they can be hilarious if done well. But not this time. And finally, Lisa the know-it-all decides to release a captive dolphin from a SeaWorld tank. This seems like a great idea to anyone who has seen Blackfish. But if you haven’t, you might think an 8-year-old girl wouldn’t have the knowledge of a professional animal trainer. The biggest problem with this episode though, is that it lacks the traditional Twilight Zone spoof.
25. IX. Hell Toupee; The Terror of Tiny Toon; Starship Poopers
We just covered the second-earliest example of an unsatisfying Treehouse of Horror episode. This is the first. It’s also lacking in the customary Twilight Zone episode parody. Worse still, Hell Toupee was profoundly uninspired, and not especially scary. The best bit by far happens when Homer, possessed by the evil spirit of Snake Jailbird, whacks a terrified Bart in the face with a mallet. But wait—Bart making a terrified face was actually his school picture. Okay, that’s pretty funny. But the rest? Eh, not so much. Though we do like the couch gag with Freddy and Jason, totally getting along.
Bart and Lisa finding themselves in an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon should have been hilarious, but it was just more of the same. And a guest cameo from Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford? Are they TRYING to make Simpsons fans feel older than dirt? Regis is about as appealing to Simpsons fans as Frasier is to fans of Monday Night Raw. We do hope, though, that Scratchy and Snowball II have a long and happy life together. They won’t though, because Treehouse of Horror is not canon.