Some people dress up for flashy costume parties. Others have a few beers and let off some fireworks on their driveway, occasionally while wearing flashy costumes. But for me, there is only one Halloween tradition I care about: every year, The Simpsons do a Halloween episode titled Treehouse Of Horror, made up of three short, comedically horrifying stories.
Here are seven of my favourite Treehouse Of Horror tales - share yours in the comments section below.
Hungry Are The Damned
Treehouse Of Horror I (Season 2)
The very first Treehouse Of Horror segment is still one of the best - if only for the classic How To Cook Humans/How To Cook For Humans/How To Cook Forty Humans/How To Cook For Forty Humans sight gag.
Clown Without Pity
Treehouse Of Horror III (Season 4)
Homer forgets to buy a birthday present for Bart, so buys a cursed Krusty The Clown doll. This is one of my faves because of the number of laugh out loud moments (a worker from the toy company realises the doll has been set to "evil mode", the doll lives with Lisa's Malibu Stacey) and for this brilliant exchange:
Shopkeeper: Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse!
Homer: Ooh, that's bad.
Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!
Homer: That's good.
Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.
Homer: That's bad.
Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings.
Homer: That's good!
Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.
Shopkeeper: That's bad.
Homer: Can I go now?
Desperately Xeeking Xena
Treehouse Of Horror X (Season 11)
Our very own Lucy Lawless turn in one of the great celebrity guest spots, being rescued by superhero versions of Bart and Lisa (called Stretch Dude & Clobber Girl) from the clutches of The Collector (aka Comic Book Guy), before flying away and insisting "I told you, I'm not Xena - I'm Lucy Lawless" after Lisa points out that Xena can't fly.
The Greatest Story Ever Holed
Treehouse Of Horror XXIII (Season 24)
One of the latest, airing on Four a few weeks ago, was also one of the funniest: after Lisa convinces the town to build an LHC-style particle accelerator instead of a new sport stadium, Professor Frink accidentally creates a black hole ("... can we call it that?" - Homer) which is used as a rubbish dump before sucking up everyone in town (except Maggie) and transporting them to an alien planet where sentient beings are worshipping their junk. Fun times.
Life's A Glitch, Then You Die
Treehouse Of Horror X (Season 11)
Remember how silly the whole Y2K Bug fears were? Well, you can enjoy a hilarious parody of the hysteria ahead of New Years Eve 2000 in this segment, which is also the source of one of my most quoted Simpsons lines - as Homer says to Lisa, "remember me as I am right now - FILLED WITH MURDEROUS RAGE!"
Dial D For Diddly
Treehouse Of Horror XXII (Season 23)
If there's one thing The Simpsons has always done well, its parodies of television shows - and last year's parody of Dexter, with Ned Flanders taking the role of the righteous serial killer who, in this version, believes he is doing God's good work, until Homer reveals he has been manipulating Ned with a walkie talkie. Well played, Simpsons writers. Well played.
Treehouse Of Horror V (Season 6)
"No beer and no TV make Homer go ... something something."
"DON'T MIND IF I DOOOOO!"
What are your favourite Treehouse Of Horror shorts from The Simpsons' history? Happy Halloween!
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