Credit: Simpsons Wikia

Halloween is long gone (it’s been three weeks), and that makes me a sad Sylent Mari. I’m bummed out that my plans for posting a new article each day up until and the day of were foiled once again by…every random thing you can think of. On the plus side – I’ve got a new boss at work who’s a fellow geek that likes a lot of the same things that I do, and Firefly fans – he’s a Browncoat! And a fellow Whedonite and part of the Clone Club (Orphan Black fans). I lucked out on the New Boss Lottery for sure.

But y’all don’t mind if I still publish a few belated posts in honor of my favorite holiday/celebratory day, right? I’m posting some of the major articles starting this weekend, with The Simpsons making their first appearance in the belated countdown and getting a long-deserved shout-out on Geeky Voyage. When the show first aired back in 1989, I was eight. Sure, I’ve admitted my real age on here (not the first time), but to this day I can still watch and enjoy The Simpsons and feel like that little girl that fell in love with the show when I first saw it (thanks, Dad!).

One of my favorite things about Halloween and The Simpsons is seeing what television shows, films, novels, etc. the show will tackle & reference in the yearly tradition known as the annual Treehouse of Horror episode. Always a fan highlight no matter how “meh” the seasons have been in recent years, there’s always something funny and spooky (for the kiddos in the audience) in these episodes that pay tribute to the macabre. It’s also quite fun to watch what type of wacky scenarios for our favorite animated family encounters and hopefully survive the outcome. I missed this year’s episode because I was mentally preparing myself for the Lost Girl finale that aired on the same night (still not over that finale), but I’ve seen all of the episodes throughout the many years the show’s been on. Episodes that I really liked are marked below and even have my special brand of somewhat-witty commentary.

Credit: Simpsons Wikia

So why do I (and a decent amount of the world’s population) enjoy the Treehouse of Horror episodes? ‘Cause there’s TONS of pop culture references from all over popular media that can be seen in each episode. The fun in watching an episode is trying to see how many references you spot and recognize, and many will slip by you unnoticed. That’s why I’ve included the nifty Wikipedia link right below so that you can identify and go “ahh!” when you recognize the ones that surprised you, or the ones you’re experiencing for the first time.

If you’re in the mood to binge-watch these episodes, it’ll take you roughly thirteen hours to watch all twenty-five of them. It’s a great way to spend a day off or scare your little ones if you have them. Not that I’m encouraging parents to frighten their little ones with slightly-horrific cartoons, but get them ready for real-life horrors at a young age. Totally kidding…ish.

I do apologize for the quality of some of the videos that you’ll see below, all grabbed from YouTube and uploaded from some very kind uploaders. The videos give you a small glimpse of each episode, which you should watch. Make it a new Halloween tradition in your family or your eclectic group of friends. Take a gander at the guide below to check out the list of all the Treehouse of Horror episodes that have aired so far over the past twenty-five (!) years.

TREEHOUSE OF HORROR Episodes List on Wikipedia

Guide Note: Any episodes with “*” next to it denotes an episode that I love. 

HONORABLE MENTION (non-“Treehouse of Horror”)

Season Eight’s “The Springfield Files” *
Originally Aired:
January 12, 1997

If you’ve never seen this Simpsons episode, you have to watch it because it’s a series highlight and a favorite of my fellow X-Philes. This fan-favorite episode features Leonard Nimoy, Gillian Anderson, and David Duchovny in a story that combines the popular “unsolved cases” TV shows from the 1990’s and The X-Files.

Leonard Nimoy (R.I.P.) plays the host of a TV show that features a case involving Homer Simpson and his close encounter with a purported “alien” that he encounters after a drunken night out. Which is like every night for Homer. The FBI takes an interest in the mystery, with Fox Mulder & Dana Scully making an appearance in Springfield as they question Homer and his friends and family about what he saw that night. So – was it really an alien that Homer encountered? You’re going to have to watch to find out the truth, ‘cause it is out there, you know…

Easily a fan-favorite episode and one of the best episodes from the earlier seasons, “The Springfield Files” deserves a name drop in this list because it was too good of an episode to pass up. There’s lots of funny scenes between Mulder, Scully and Homer that can’t be missed, and there’s also a small subplot featuring Moe trying to smuggle out an orca that he has in a backroom at his bar that’s absurd and too good to pass up. The scene where he’s running across a field with his associates as they carry the orca and are spotted by Scully is one of my personal highlights.

Favorite scene:

With the Cigarette Smoking Man standing in the background, Scully is preparing to ask Homer some questions with the aid of a lie detector. He fails the first question in epic fashion, as only he can. Oh, Homer!


Treehouse of Horror I October 25, 1990 *
Episodes: “Bad Dream House” / “Hungry are the Damned” / “The Raven”

Pop Culture References: The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist (“Bad Dream House”), the introduction of recurring alien characters Kang & Kodos (“Hungry are the Damned”), Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” with narration by James Earl Jones (“The Raven”).

Favorite Segment: “The Raven”

Random Musing: “The Raven” is one of my favorite segments in the Treehouse of Horror series. One of my top five favorite segments from the entire run (so far), and an instant classic.

Treehouse of Horror IIOctober 31, 1991 *
Episodes: “Lisa’s Nightmare” (“The Monkey’s Paw”) / “Bart’s Nightmare” (“The Bart Zone”) / “Homer’s Nightmare” (“If I Only Had a Brain”)

Pop Culture References: Author W.W. Jacobs and The New Twilight Zone’s “A Small Talent for War” (“The Monkey’s Paw”), The Twilight Zone’s “It’s a Good Life” (“The Bart Zone”), Frankenstein, The Thing with Two Heads (“If I Only Had a Brain”).

Favorite Segment: “The Monkey’s Paw”

Treehouse of Horror IIIOctober 29, 1992 *
Episodes: “Clown Without Pity” / “King Homer” / “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombie”

Pop Culture References: The Twilight Zone’s “Living Doll” (“Clown Without Pity”), King Kong (“King Homer”),  famous people including George Washington, Albert Einstein, and William Shakespeare, among a few others (“Dial ‘Z’ for Zombie”).

Favorite Segment: “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombie”

Treehouse of Horror IVOctober 28, 1993*
Episodes: Wraparounds / “The Devil and Homer Simpson” / “Terror at 5 1/2 Feet” / “Bart Simpson’s Dracula”

Pop Culture References: The Devil and Daniel Webster (“The Devil and Homer Simpson”), Richard Matheson and The Twilight Zone’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (“Terror at 5 1/2 Feet”), Lost Boys and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (“Bart Simpson’s Dracula”).

Favorite Segment: “Terror at 5 1/2 Feet”

Treehouse of Horror VOctober 30, 1994 *
Episodes: “The Shinning” / “Time and Punishment” / “Nightmare Cafeteria”

Pop Culture References: The Shining and various horror icons like Freddy Krueger, Dracula, and Pinhead (“The Shinning”), A Sound of Thunder (“Time and Punishment”), Soylent Green (“Nightmare Cafeteria”).

Favorite Segment: “The Shinning”

Random Musing: “The Shinning” is my favorite Treehouse of Horror segment. It’s classic Simpsons and while other segments have come close to matching it, none will ever surpass it, IMO.

Treehouse of Horror VIOctober 29, 1995 *
Episodes: “Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores” / “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” / “Homer3 (Homer Cubed)”

Pop Culture References: Attack of the 50-Foot Woman (“Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores”), A Nightmare on Elm Street (“Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace”), Tron and The Twilight Zone’s “Little Girl Lost” (“Homer3 [Homer Cubed]”).

Favorite Segment: “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace”

Random Musing: “Homer3 (Homer Cubed)” was my favorite segment from this episode when I first caught it as a 14-year-old (!!!). 20 years later (egads! It’s been that long and wow do I feel old…), that’s been pushed aside for “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” because it pays homage to my favorite horror franchise. Groundskeeper Willie is quite creeptastic as the Freddy Krueger-esque dream killer in the segment, and it holds up quite well today.

Treehouse of Horror VIIOctober 27, 1996
Episodes: “The Thing and I” / “The Genesis Tub” / “Citizen Kang”

Pop Culture References: The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Basket Case (“The Thing and I”), The Twilight Zone’s “The Little People” (“The Genesis Tub”), Bill Clinton and Bob Dole (“Citizen Kang”).

Favorite Segment: “Citizen Kang”

Treehouse of Horror VIIIOctober 26, 1997
Episodes: “The HΩmega Man” / “Fly vs. Fly” / “Easy-Bake Coven”

Pop Culture References: The Ωmega Man (“The HΩmega Man”), The Fly (“Fly vs. Fly”), The Crucible (Easy-Bake Coven”).

Favorite Segment: “The HΩmega Man”

Treehouse of Horror IXOctober 25, 1998
Episodes: “Hell Toupée” / “The Terror of Tiny Toon” / “Starship Poopers”

Pop Culture References: Alien (“Hell Toupée”), Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (“The Terror of Tiny Toon”), The Jerry Springer Show (“Starship Poopers”).

Favorite Segment: “Starship Poopers”

Treehouse of Horror XOctober 31, 1999 *
Episodes: “I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did” / “Desperately Xeeking Xena” / “Life’s a Glitch, Then You Die”

Pop Culture References: I Know What You Did Last Summer (“I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did”), Lucy Lawless and her most famous alter-ego, Xena, and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (“Desperately Xeeking Xena”), Dick Clark and his New Year’s Rockin Eve, and many special guests including radio personality Dr. Laura, scandalous former skating champion Tonya Harding, former MTV VJ/actor/comedian Paulie Shore, Courtney Love, actor Tom Arnold, former presidential candidate Ross Perot, and Rosie O’Donnell.

Favorite Segment: “Desperately Xeeking Xena”

Random Musing: Lucy Lawless as herself and as Xena in the same segment = geekdom galore. Did you know that Lucy Lawless can fly? It says so in the episode, so it’s gotta be true. Lucy Lawless is the shit.

Treehouse of Horror XINovember 1, 2000
Episodes: “G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad” / “Scary Tales Can Come True” / “Night of the Dolphin”

Pop Culture References: The Munsters (opening sequence), Ghost Dad (“G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad”), Grimm’s Fairy Tales (“Scary Tales Can Come True”), The Day of the Dolphin (“Night of the Dolphin”).

Favorite Segment: “Scary Tales Can Come True”

Treehouse of Horror XIINovember 6, 2001
Episodes: “Hex and the City” / “House of Whacks” / “Wiz Kids”

Pop Culture References: Stephen King’s Thinner (“Hex and the City”), Demon Seed and 2001: A Space Odyssey (“House of Whacks”), the Harry Potter universe (“Wiz Kids”).

Favorite Segment: “House of Whacks”

Treehouse of Horror XIIINovember 3, 2002 *
Episodes: “Send in the Clones” / “The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms” / “The Island of Dr. Hibbert”

Pop Culture References: Multiplicity and Family Guy (“Send in the Clones”), The Terminator (“The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms”), The Island of Dr. Moreau (“The Island of Dr. Hibbert”).

Favorite Segment: “The Island of Dr. Hibbert”

Treehouse of Horror XIVNovember 2, 2003
Episodes: “Reaper Madness” / “Frinkenstein” / “Stop the World, I Want to Goof Off”

Pop Culture References: The Santa Clause (“Reaper Madness”), Frankenstein (“Frinkenstein”), The Twilight Zone’s “A Kind of a Stopwatch” and former boxer Oscar de la Hoya (“Stop the World, I Want to Goof Off”).

Favorite Segment: “Reaper Madness”

Treehouse of Horror XVNovember 7, 2004
Episodes: “The Ned Zone” / “Four Beheadings and a Funeral” / In the Belly of the Boss”

Pop Culture References: The Dead Zone (“The Ned Zone”), From Hell (“Four Beheadings and a Funeral”), Fantastic Voyage and the song “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (“In the Belly of the Boss”).

Favorite Segment: “The Ned Zone”

Treehouse of Horror XVINovember 6, 2005
Episodes: “B.I.: Bartificial Intelligence” / “Survival of the Fattest” / “I’ve Grown a Costume on Your Face”

Pop Culture References: A.I. Artificial Intelligence (“B.I.: Bartificial Intelligence”), The Most Dangerous Game (“Survival of the Fattest”), The Twilight Zone’s “The Masks” (“I’ve Grown a Costume to Your Face”).

Favorite Segment: “I’ve Grown a Costume on Your Face”

Treehouse of Horror XVIINovember 5, 2006
Episodes: “Married to the Blob” / “You Gotta Know When To Golem” / “The Day the Earth Looked Stupid”

Pop Culture References: Tales from the Crypt (opening sequence), The Blob and Sir Mix-A-Lot (“Married to the Blob”), The Golem (“You Gotta Known When To Golem”), Orson Welles and The War of the Worlds (“The Day the Earth Looked Stupid”).

Favorite Segment: “The Day the Earth Looked Stupid”

Treehouse of Horror XVIIINovember 4, 2007
Episodes: “E.T., Go Home” / “Mr. & Mrs. Simpson” / “Heck House”

Pop Culture References: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (“E.T., Go Home”), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (“Mr. & Mrs. Simpson”), those creepy & controversial church alternatives to traditional ‘haunted houses’ (“Heck House”).

Favorite Segment: “Mr. & Mrs. Simpson”

Treehouse of Horror XIXNovember 2, 2008 *
Episodes: “Untitled Robot Parody” / “How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising” / “It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse”

Pop Culture References: Transformers (“Untitled Robot Parody”), random famous people including George Clooney, Prince, and Neil Armstrong (“How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising”), It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (“It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse”).

Favorite Segment: “It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse”

Treehouse of Horror XXOctober 18, 2009
Episodes: “Dial ‘M’ for Murder or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu” / “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind” / “There’s No Business Like Moe Business”

Pop Culture References: Strangers on a Train (“Dial ‘M’ for Murder or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu”), mad cow disease – not a pop culture reference, but relevant to the segment (“Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind”), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (“There’s No Business Like Moe Business”).

Favorite Segment: “There’s No Business Like Moe Business”

Treehouse of Horror XXINovember 7, 2010 *
Episodes: “War and Pieces” / “Master and Cadaver” / “Tweenlight”

Pop Culture References: Jumanji (“War and Pieces”), Dead Calm (“Master and Cadaver”), Twilight (“Tweenlight”).

Favorite Segment: “Tweenlight”

Random Musing: The only time I’ll ever admit to liking anything related to Twilight is if it’s a Twlight parody, which this episode offers. Also featuring the voices of Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Laurie as our son-and-father team-up in the segment.

Treehouse of Horror XXIIOctober 30, 2011 *
Episodes: “The Diving Bell and Butterball” / “Dial D for Diddly” / “In the Na’Vi”

Pop Culture References: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (“The Diving Bell and the Butterball”), Dexter (“Dial D for Diddily”),  Avatar (“In the Na’Vi”).

Favorite Segment: “Dial D for Diddily”

Treehouse of Horror XXIIIOctober 7, 2012
Episodes: “The Greatest Story Ever Holed” / “Un-normal Activity” / “Bart & Homer’s Excellent Adventure”

Pop Culture References: The Greatest Story Ever Told “The Greatest Story Ever Holed”), Paranormal Activity (“Un-Normal Activity”), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (“”Bart & Homer’s Excellent Adventure”).

Favorite Segment: “Bart & Homer’s Excellent Adventure”

Treehouse of Horror XXIVOctober 6, 2013 *
Episodes: “Oh the Places You’ll D’oh!” / “Dead and Shoulders” / “Freaks, No Geeks”

Pop Culture References: Gullermo del Toro’s brilliant opening sequence featuring tons of really awesome imagery, Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat (“Oh, the Places You’ll D’oh!”), The Thing with Two Heads (“Dead and Shoulders”), Freaks (“Freaks, No Geeks”).

Favorite Segment: “Freaks, No Geeks”

Random Musing: Easily my favorite opening sequence. Guillermo del Toro adds so many references to his inspirations and films that it’s fun to try and see how many you spot. Can you guess them all? I have to give him a billion geek points for adding Cthulu to the opening sequence, as an homage to his biggest passion project that I hope sees the light of day soon, in several years, or at least before I die: In the Mouth of Madness.

Treehouse of Horror XXVOctober 19, 2014 *
Episodes: “School is Hell” / “A Clockwork Yellow” / “The Others”

Pop Culture References: A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut (“A Clockwork Yellow”), The Others and The Tracey Ullman Show version of the Simpsons (“The Others”).

Favorite Segment: “A Clockwork Yellow”

Treehouse of Horror XXVIOctober 25, 2015
Episodes: “Wanted: Dead, Then Alive” / “Homerzilla” / “Telepaths of Glory”

Pop Culture References: Godzilla (“Homerzilla”), Chronicle (“Telepaths of Glory”)

Favorite Segment: Uhh… I have yet to watch this episode. *hangs head in shame*