The Simpsons aired its first “Thanksgiving of Horror” special on Sunday, November 24, which was also the longest episode of the series. Created by Matt Groening, The Simpsons debuted in 1989 and has become the longest-running American sitcom with 31 seasons and a 32nd already confirmed. Over the course of 30 years of adventures in Springfield (and beyond, in some cases), the series has established some traditions of its own, such as the annual “Treehouse of Horror” specials.
Like many other cartoons, The Simpsons also has episodes set during other holidays, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, though they don’t have the same relevance and impact as the Halloween specials. But if there’s something the Simpsons always do is break the rules and reinvent themselves (sometimes successfully, others not so much), and this year they decided to add some leftover Halloween horror to Thanksgiving in what they appropriately called “Thanksgiving of Horror”.
This blend has been well received by critics and viewers so far (maybe turkeys and cranberry sauce needed a horror twist), and aside from being the first time the series brought together Halloween and Thanksgiving, it also ended up being The Simpson’s longest episode ever.
The Simpsons’ Thanksgiving of Horror Special Is Its Longest Episode
The Simpsons’ episodes are usually between 21 and 24 minutes long (there has to be some space for ads, after all), but “Thanksgiving of Horror” went a bit further and had some extra seconds of holiday nightmares. As revealed by The Simpsons’ executive producer Matt Selman, this special episode was 24 minutes and 45 seconds long, making it the longest episode of the series to date. Selman added that this was possible at “huge expense in extra animation and lost ad revenue” but fans seem to be just fine with that.
In “Treehouse of Horror” fashion, “Thanksgiving of Horror” was divided in three segments. The first one was “A-Gobble-Ypto”, which saw the Simpsons and other citizens of Springfield turned into turkeys. Then came “The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow”, which took inspiration from Black Mirror’s special “White Christmas” and adapted it to the series' peculiar style of humor, storytelling, and to Thanksgiving (of course). Finally, there was “The Last Thanksgiving”, which took the children to space and brought a new type of threat in the shape of a sentient cranberry sauce. The Simpsons’ “Thanksgiving of Horror” episode will go down in Springfield-history as the first time they brought horror to another holiday and as the longest episode of the series - until another one decides to take the throne, that is.