You can make an argument for 1-10, but for me “The Simpsons” had 8 great seasons. Sure, even today you can get a decent episode here and there, but those first 8 were prime Simpsons. So let’s take a look at the first seven Halloween specials, the beloved Tree House of Horrors.
TREE HOUSE OF HORROR
Season 2, 10/24/90
Frame: Bart and Lisa tell each other scary stories in the Simpson’s tree house. James Early Jones has a voice cameo in each story, most notably narrating “The Raven.”
1. “Bad Dream House” – The Simpsons move into a haunted house.
Quote: “This family has had its differences and we’ve squabbled, but we’ve never had a knife fight before and I blame this house.” –Marge
2. “Hungry Are the Damned” – The Simpsons are abducted by seemingly friendly aliens, but Lisa suspects they feed on humans.
Quote: How to Cook Humans; How to Cook For Humans; How to Cook Forty Humans; How to Cook for Forty Humans
3. “The Raven” – The Poe classic is retold with Homer recast as the protagonist and Bart as the taunting Raven.
Quote: “Come here, you little raven!” –Homer
TREE HOUSE OF HORROR II
Season 3, 1/31/91 (Weird, right?)
Frame: Sick on too much candy, Homer, Bart and Lisa have nightmares.
1. “Lisa’s Nightmare” – Homer purchases a wish-granting monkey paw, but the wishes never turn out exactly the way he intends.
Quote: “Homer, there’s something I don’t like about that severed hand.” –Marge
2. “Homer’s Nightmare” – Mr. Burns transplants Homer’s brain into a robot.
Quote: “Look at me, I’m Davy Crockett!” –Mr. Burns
3. “Bart’s Nightmare” – Bart acquires telepathy and mind reading, and quickly takes control of Springfield.
Quote: “Hey everybody! I’m a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt, and my butt smells, and I like to kiss my own butt.” –Moe
TREEHOUSE OF HORROR III
Season 4, 10/29/92
Frame: The Simpsons gather to tell scary stories at a Halloween party.
1. “Clown Without Pity” – Lisa buys Bart a Krusty doll for his birthday, but the doll turns out to be sentient—and murderous!
Quote: “There goes the last lingering thread of my heterosexuality.” –Patty
2. “King Homer” – A recreation of KING KONG with Homer playing the giant ape.
Quote: “Well the ape’s going to stand around for three hours or so. Then we’ll close with the ethnic comedy of Doogan and Dershowitz. Sensational!” –Mr. Burns
3. “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombie” – In an attempt to bring Snowball I back to life, Bart accidentally raises the dead.
Quote: “Please Lisa, they prefer to be called the living-impaired.” –Bart
TREEHOUSE OF HORROR IV
Season 5, 10/30/95
Frame: Bart examines three horrifying works of art in a haunted gallery.
1. “The Devil and Homer Simpson” – Homer sells his soul to the devil (Flanders) for a donut.
Quote: “Webster’s defines a contract as ‘an agreement under the law which is unbreakable.’ Unbreakable! Excuse me, I must use the restroom.” –Lionel Hutz
2. “Terror at 5 ½ Feet” – Bart seems to be the only person aware of a monster terrorizing the school bus.
Quote: “I’m riding the bus today because Mother hid my car keys to punish me for talking to a woman on the phone. She was right to do it.” –Skinner
3. “Bart Simpson’s Dracula” – The town of Springfield is turning into vampires, and Lisa suspects Mr. Burns is behind it. But she’s wrong.
Quote: “We think we’re dealing with a supernatural being, most likely a mummy. As a precaution, I’ve ordered the Egyptian wing of the Springfield Museum destroyed.” –Chief Wiggum
TREEHOUSE OF HORROR V
Season 6, 10/30/94
1. “The Shinning” – A parody of Stephen King’s novel sees Homer go crazy with no beer or TV.
Quote: “Oh goodie, the new sea monkeys I ordered have arrived. Look at them cavort and caper!” –Mr. Burns
2. “Time and Punishment” – Homer accidentally travels back in time while repairing the toaster.
Quote: “If you ever travel back in time, don’t step on anything, because even the tiniest change can alter the future in ways you can’t imagine.” –Grandpa Simpson’s wedding advice
3. “Nightmare Cafeteria” – The Springfield Elementary faculty develops a taste for the flesh of their students.
Quote: “Are you saying you killed Jimbo, processed his carcass and served him for lunch? Hah!” –Mrs. Kabappel
TREEHOUSE OF HORROR VI
Season 7, 10/30/95
1. “Attack of the 50-foot Eyesores” – The giant, stone advertisements of stores around Springfield come to life and wreak havoc.
Quote: “Chief that wasn’t a monster, that was the captain of the high school basketball team.” –Lou
2. “Nightmare On Evergreen Terrace” – Groundskeeper Willie is invading the dreams of Springfield children and killing them Freddie style.
Quote: “Kids, it’s time we told you the true story and put your fears to rest. It’s a story of murder and revenge from beyond the grave.” –Marge
3. “Homer [cubed]” – Homer stumbles into the mythic third dimension.
Quote: “Ooh, erotic cakes!”
TREEHOUSE OF HORROR VII
Season 8, 10/27/96
1. “The Thing and I” – Bart and Lisa are wary of strange noises coming from the attic, which turn out to be coming from Bart’s evil twin brother.
Quote: “Crazy? Well perhaps we’re all a little crazy. I know I am.” –Hugo
2. “The Genesis Tub” – Lisa’s science fair project results in a lost tooth gathering fungus which rapidly evolves into a miniature civilization.
Quote: “Unshrink you? That would require some sort of a re-bigulator, which is a concept so ridiculous it makes me want to laugh out loud and chortle.” –Frink
3. “Citizen Kang” – Aliens take over the bodies of President Clinton and Bob Dole days before the election.
Quote: “Don’t eat me, I have a wife and kids! Eat them!” –Homer