Like many, I grew up watching The Simpsons. My dad found Homer’s antics quite hilarious, lol.
And like many, something I looked forward to each year was watching the annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween special—each episode filled with three mini stories, many based on existing scary stories, sci-fi and horror pop culture.
I always loved catching the Treehouse of Horror marathons in the days and weeks leading up to the new Halloween episode each year, but overtime I stopped watching both the weekly episodes and the holiday specials regularly.
I’m not sure what exactly prompted my desire to re-watch all Treehouse of Horror episodes this year—whether it was the compelling promotion of this year (2022)’s Treehouse of Horror XXXIII (33), or that The Simpsons “Horror Collection” episodes were so neatly catalogued within Disney+, but for Halloween weekend, Mike and I embarked on this 32-episode adventure (approximately 736 minutes or 12 hours, plus XXXIII), and lived to tell the tale. 👻
I’ve decided to rank the best Treehouse of Horror episodes, along with some of my favourite Simpsons Halloween stories, in this blog! So you don’t have to pour through 12 hours of episodes (and 99 mini stories) if you only want to watch the good ones. *
(* good being entirely subjective, based on my preferences lol).
The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror – Top 10 Best Episodes and Favourite Stories
Note: some spoilers as I explain story plot and what I love about some stories
Too Long Didn’t Read It:
Basically, my favourite Treehouse of Horror episodes primarily ranged from:
- Treehouse of Horror V (5) – Season 6 to Treehouse of Horror XIV (14) – Season 15
Almost all the Treehouse of Horror stories from Season 6 to Season 15 were excellent!
(Note there was no Halloween special for Season 1 of The Simpsons so every Treehouse of Horror number is one less than what the actual season was that it aired).
I base ‘excellence’ mostly on whether I found the episode funny and whether the story / concept was interesting. Now there is probably a nostalgia factor that played a role into that ranking, but I do think we got some great stuff during this time (and you know, every show has a range where the seasons were all just so, so good, before it starts just becoming okay lol).
I basically rank these episodes between 10/10 or 9/10. So if you start from Treehouse of Horror V and watch through to XIV, I think you’ll have a great time. Most of the newer season Treehouse of Horrors I didn’t find that great, with the exception of the most recent Treehouse XXXII (32) and XXXIII (33). I also include a list of my favourite stories from all Treehouse of Horror episodes at the bottom of the blog too if you just want to watch a good story!
Top 10 Treehouse of Horror Episodes
1. Treehouse of Horror V (5) – Season 6, Episode 6 – 10/10
Treehouse of Horror V (5) Stories:
- The Shinning
- Time and Punishment
- Nightmare Cafeteria
This is a Treehouse of Horror must-watch! All stories are so good.
In ‘The Shinning’ (parody of The Shining), Bart has telepathic powers with Groundskeeper Willie, who he calls on for help when Homer goes crazy without TV and beer.
Favourite exchange in this story is from Homer and Marge:
- Homer: “No TV and no beer make Homer something something…”
- Marge: “Go crazy..??”
- Homer: “Don’t mind if I do!??!?!”
In ‘Time and Punishment‘ Homer goes back in time to the prehistoric era and does his best not to change anything so that the future doesn’t change, but with each accidental change he returns to a different future which includes Ned as an overlord, or the family being rich but living in a world with apparently no donuts.
I love when Homer says “I wish, I wish I hadn’t killed that fish” and I also love when in the rich Simpsons world the rain is donuts.
In ‘Nightmare Cafeteria‘ the school staff starts killing kids and serving them as food in the cafeteria. Love when Principal Skinner basically outright tells the kids they’re eating the exchange student Uter, and when Bart says something will happen to save The The Simpson kids after Milhouse falls to his death lol.
2. Treehouse of Horror VIII (8) – Season 9, Episode 4 – 10/10
Treehouse of Horror VIII (8) Stories:
- The Homega Man
- Fly vs. Fly
- Easy-Bake Coven
In ‘The Homega Man‘ Homer ends up surviving a nuclear attack because he was browsing a bunker when the bomb hit. There’s a fun twist as to what protects The Simpsons family too.
In ‘Fly vs. Fly‘ Bart accidentally switches bodies with a fly that tries to kill him. This is one of those Treehouse of Horror classics that make it a must-watch. I like how they revealed to Lisa that Bart is a fly.
In ‘Easy-Bake Coven‘ Marge is accused of being a witch and it turns out she is one! This is a fun Halloween origin story.
3. Treehouse of Horror XXXIII (33) – Season 34, Episode 6 – 10/10
Treehouse of Horror XXXIII (33) Stories:
- The Pookadook
- Death Tome
There are few later season Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes that make it into my Top 10, but I was so delightfully surprised that the 2022 Treehouse of Horror XXXIII (33) does!
In ‘The Pookadook‘ Marge becomes possessed by an evil spirit and almost murders Maggie. There’s a really cute way Maggie tries to bring Marge back.
In ‘Death Tome‘ The Simpsons are transformed into anime characters in this ‘Death Note’ parody. Lisa finds a notebook where she can write any name and a manner of death, and the person will die that way. It’s really cool seeing The Simpsons drawn as anime characters and the different deaths are pretty creative, lol.
In ‘Simpsonsworld‘ a take on Westworld, The Simpsons family become self-aware that they are characters at an amusement park for super Simpsons fans. It starts off using original footage from an old Simpsons episode, and includes some amazing nods to some popular Simpsons scenes (and memes) as the family tries to break free from the park.
Death Tome and Simpsonsworld are really the star stories of this episode but Pookadook is a great opening act too and as I said, it was a delightful surprise how good these were as most of the newer episodes haven’t been all that compelling to me. I can confidently say Treehouse of Horror XXXIII (33) is fantastic, speaking from experience having just watched 32 previous Treehouse of Horror episodes lol.
4. Treehouse of Horror VII (7) – Season 8, Episode 1 – 9/10
Treehouse of Horror VII (7) Stories:
- The Thing and I
- The Genesis Tub
- Citizen Kang
I love first two stories in this Treehouse of Horror (including The Genesis Tub, which is probably one of my favourite Simpsons episodes in general). The third story Citizen Kang is not really a fav which is why this isn’t a 10/10 lol.
In ‘The Thing and I‘ Bart and Lisa learn that Bart had an evil conjoined twin that was separated from him at birth and grew up living in their attic. The twist at the end is fun!
In ‘The Genesis Tub‘ Lisa does a science project with her baby tooth that ends up creating an entire mini civilization inside the tooth. Just a super cool concept that has seriously stuck with me for two decades lol.
In ‘Citizen Kang‘ our friendly Simpsons aliens Kang and Kodos duplicate themselves as American presidential candidates Bill Clinton and Bob Dale to try and rule America.
5. Treehouse of Horror XI (11) – Season 12, Episode 1 – 9/10
Treehouse of Horror XI (11) Stories:
- G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad
- Scary Tales Can Come True
- Night of the Dolphin
In ‘G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad‘ Homer dies and has 24 hours to do one good deed in order to make it into Heaven. This proves harder than you would expect, lol.
In ‘Scary Tales Can Come True‘ The Simpsons enter some of your favourite fairy tales—including interacting with the witch in Hansel and Gretel, and making things worse for Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
In ‘Night of the Dolphin‘—which is Mike’s definitive favourite Treehouse of Horror story—the dolphins attempt to take over land (which we’re told is where they once roamed before humans came along).
A very solid episode!
6. Treehouse of Horror X (10) – Season 11, Episode 4 – 9/10
Treehouse of Horror X (10) Stories:
- I Know What You Diddly-Iddly-Did
- Desperately Xeeking Xena
- Life’s a Glitch, Then You Die
In ‘I Know What You Diddly-Iddly-Did‘, Marge accidentally runs over Ned Flanders. The family tries to cover up the death but then in ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ style, get terrorized by someone who claims to know what they did. There’s a cool twist at the end!
In ‘Desperately Xeeking Xena‘ Bart and Lisa get superpowers and have to save Xena the Warrior Princess from Comic Book Guy. There’s some fun comic and geeky references in this one.
In ‘Life’s a Glitch, Then You Die‘ Springfield is counting down to the year 2,000 but Homer forgot to set something at the Power Plant which causes a glitch and world destruction.
These are all fun stories!
7. Treehouse of Horror XII (12) – Season 13, Episode 1 – 9/10
Treehouse of Horror XII (12) Stories:
- Hex and the City
- House of Whacks
- Wiz Kids
In ‘Hex and the City‘ Homer is cursed by a gypsy so bad things keep happening to those around him. This is my least favourite story of the three (why it’s not a 10/10 lol) but it’s still good fun.
In ‘House of Whacks‘ The Simpsons’ home gets an artificial intelligence / robot upgrade but the AI falls in love with Marge and tries to kill Homer so it can be with Marge instead. I like seeing futuristic scenes in The Simpsons so this was a cool house and features, and the ending is pretty funny lol.
In ‘Wiz Kids‘—a parody of Harry Potter (p.s. J.K. Rowling sucks), Bart and Lisa are enrolled in magic school. Bart messes with one of Lisa’s spells and causes some shenanigans. It’s cute seeing them cast spells lol.
8. Treehouse of Horror XIII (13) – Season 14, Episode 1 – 9/10
Treehouse of Horror XIII (13) Stories:
- Send in the Clones
- The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms
- The Island of Dr. Hibbert
In ‘Send in the Clones‘ Homer is able to create clone versions of himself to help do different chores and spend time with his family, but things get a bit murderous and he has to find a way to get rid of them. This is pretty funny all the way through, and the twist at the end is great!
In ‘The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms‘ Lisa works to get guns banned in America but once that happens, some criminals rise from their graves to take over and no one can do anything about it because they got rid of all their guns. There is some time travel in this and nods to notorious past criminals. It’s my least favourite story of the three but still entertaining.
In ‘The Island of Dr. Hibbert‘ residents of Springfield find themselves merged with animals when they visit a resort island. Do they embrace their mutated animal ways or????
9. Treehouse of Horror XIV (14) – Season 15, Episode 1 – 9/10
Treehouse of Horror XIV (14) Stories:
- Reaper Madness
- Stop The World I Want To Goof Off
In ‘Reaper Madness‘ Homer kills the Grim Reaper and becomes the next one. There’s a fun scene that shows what the world is like when no one can die before Homer takes over. The rest of the episode is Homer killing whoever is on the Death List, until it lists Marge. What does he do?!
In ‘Frinkenstein‘ Dr. Frink is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and shares with Lisa that he wishes his father could see. We learn about Frink’s relationship with his father and that despite having died, Frink keeps him around in his lab and decides to bring him back to life so he can attend the prize ceremony—but as you might expect when you bring someone back from the dead, things go a bit awry as Frink Senior starts killing people and harvesting their body parts.
In ‘Stop The World I Want To Goof Off‘ Bart and Milhouse get their hands on a magic stopwatch that stops time. They have some fun playing pranks with Springfield residents until the stopwatch accidentally breaks while time is still frozen!
10. Treehouse of Horror XXIII (23) – Season 24, Episode 3 – 9/10
Treehouse of Horror XXIII (23) Stories:
- The Greatest Story Ever Holed
- Unnormal Activity
- Bart & Homer’s Excellent Adventure
In ‘The Greatest Story Ever Holed‘ a little black hole is created that slowly sucks up everything in town. There’s a fun twist at the end as to where all the stuff has gone.
In ‘Unnormal Activity‘ a spin off of Paranormal Activity, we see ‘found footage’ of Homer trying to catch what creepy happenings are going on in the house, which shows some scenes of Marge being possessed.
In ‘Bart and Homer’s Excellent Adventure‘ Bart travels back in time ‘Back to the Future’-style and prevents Homer and Marge from getting together which changes everyone’s future.
11. Treehouse of Horror XXXII (32) – Season 33, Episode 3 – 9/10
Treehouse of Horror XXXII (32) Stories:
- Bong Joon-Ho’s This Side of Parasite
- Nightmare on Elm Tree
- Dead Ringer
I know I said Top 10 Favourite Episodes and this makes 11 but this was the last one that got a 9/10 from me so I figured I would include it! Another later season Treehouse of Horror that was surprisingly delightful,
In ‘This Side of Parasite‘ a spoof of Parasite, The Simpsons work for a wealthy family only to discover that people have been living in the basement of the home. Like Parasite, it’s a good commentary on rich vs. poor, capitalism, inequities, etc.
In ‘Nightmare on Elm Tree‘ trees come to life and go on a killing spree in Springfield.
In ‘Dead Ringer‘ a Ring parody (honestly surprised it took them this long to do a spoof on the Ring!) people who watch a TikTok video keep getting killed seven days later. Lisa happens to be around each person as they die which raises suspicions that Lisa may be involved.
Favourite Treehouse of Horror Stories
I thought along with this Top 10 (er—11) list of favourite episodes, I would also note my favourite Stories of each Treehouse of Horror that has ever aired, in case you’re more in the mood for watching individual stories versus entire episodes (as some entire episodes just aren’t that good).
Remember there was no Treehouse of Horror in Season 1 of The Simpsons so Treehouse of Horror I (1) starts in Season 2.
Favourite Stories by Treehouse of Horror Episode:
- Treehouse of Horror I (1)
- ‘Bad Dream House’ – where the family moves into a haunted house.
- Treehouse of Horror II (2)
- ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ – where the family makes wishes using a cursed Monkey Paw
- Treehouse of Horror III (3)
- ‘Dial Z for Zombie’ – A parody of Return of the Living Dead, Bart raises the dead using a book of black magic.
- Treehouse of Horror IV (4)
- ‘Bart Simpson’s Dracula’ – Lisa suspects that Mr Burns is a vampire and the family tries to kill him.
- Treehouse of Horror V (5)
- I love all three stories!! ‘The Shinning’, ‘Time Travel Changes’, ‘Nightmare Cafeteria’
- Treehouse of Horror VI (6)
- ‘Homer3’ – where Homer enters a different dimension and we experience 3D Homer.
- Treehouse of Horror VII (7)
- ‘The Genesis Tub’ – where an entire civilization grows in Lisa’s science project tooth.
- Treehouse of Horror VIII (8)
- ‘Easy Bake Coven’ – where Marge is accused as a witch in this Halloween origin story
- Treehouse of Horror IX (9)
- ‘Hell Toupee’ – where Snake’s hair comes back and murders citizens
- Treehouse of Horror X (10)
- ‘I Know What You Diddly-Iddly Did’ – where Marge kills Ned and the fam is terrorized
- Treehouse of Horror XI (11)
- ‘Scary Tales Come True’ – where The Simpsons enter Fairy Tale stories
- Treehouse of Horror XII (12)
- ‘House of Whacks’ – where an AI/robot house tries to kill Homer to be with Marge
- Treehouse of Horror XIII (13)
- ‘Send in the Clones’ – where Homer clones himself to do chores but it turns murdery
- Treehouse of Horror XIV (14)
- ‘Reaper Madness’ – where Homer becomes the Grim Reaper
- Treehouse of Horror XV (15)
- ‘The Ned Zone’ – where Ned can see the future including where he kills Homer
- Treehouse of Horror XVI (16)
- ‘B.I. Bartificial Intelligence’ – where the family replaces Bart with a robot son
- Treehouse of Horror XVII (17)
- ‘The Day The Earth Looked Stupid’ – a spoof on the ‘War of the Worlds’
- Treehouse of Horror XVIII (18)
- ‘Mr. & Mrs. Simpson’ – where Homer and Marge are secret spies
- Treehouse of Horror XIX (19)
- ‘Untitled Robert Parody’ – where transforming robots wage their battle in Springfield
- Treehouse of Horror XX (20)
- ‘Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind’ – where Springfielders turn into Munchers (like zombies)
- Treehouse of Horror XXI (21)
- ‘Tweenlight’ – a take on Twilight and vampires
- Treehouse of Horror XXII (22)
- ‘Dial D for Diddly’ – where Ned Flanders becomes a killer in the name of God
- Treehouse of Horror XXIII (23)
- ‘Un-normal Activity’ – where found footage shows strange happenings in the Simpson house
- Treehouse of Horror XXIV (24)
- ‘Oh, the Places You’ll D’oh!’ – a rhyming Dr. Seuss take on The Simpsons
- Treehouse of Horror XXV (25)
- ‘School is Hell’ – where Bart finds he excels in Hell School
- Treehouse of Horror XXVI (26)
- ‘Wanted: Dead, Then Alive’ – where Sideshow Bob kills Bart, brings him back to life, and repeats this a lot
- Treehouse of Horror XXVII (27)
- ‘B.F.F. R.I.P.’ – where Lisa’s imaginary friend keeps killing people
- Treehouse of Horror XXVIII (28)
- ‘The Exor-Sis’ – where Maggie is possessed by a demon named Pazuzu
- Treehouse of Horror XXIX (29)
- ‘Geriatric Park’ – a spin on Jurassic Park, where Springfield’s elderly become dinosaurs
- Treehouse of Horror XXX (30)
- ‘Danger Things’ – where you see Springfield in the Upside Down
- Treehouse of Horror XXXI (31)
- ‘Toy Gory’ – where toys take revenge on Bart
- Treehouse of Horror XXXII (32)
- ‘This Side of Parasite’ – where The Simpsons work for a wealthy family
- Treehouse of Horror XXXIII (33)
- Tie between ‘Death Tome’ and ‘Simpsonsworld’—they are so good!
Find all Treehouse of Horror episode synopsis and details on:
Remember you can watch all Treehouse of Horror (and episodes of The Simpsons) on Disney+!
This is not a Disney+ ad, lol it’s just very convenient.
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