From the iconic, trend-setter “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons in 1990, The Simpsons have produced these Halloween Three-Parters every season since and they aren’t showing a sign of stopping. In this annual tradition we see the Springfield characters, that we’ve grown to love, take part in non-canon stories to scare, amuse and to reference popular Horror and Non-Horror movies. Over the 28 years we’ve seen 84 segments (including the segments of this year) so whilst there is a gold-mine of hilarious, iconic and chilling segments there are also the segments that are just randomly annoying or just passable so over October I decided to rewatch all of the Treehouse of Horror episodes to familiarize myself with each one and to give a fun ranking of ALL 84 segments.
There are so many factors to take into consideration when I ranked these segments and because of the vast amount of segments there are surely going to be segments that are interchangeable and may change as time goes by so doesn’t quote me on this ranking. This post is my opinion and I may or may not have opinions different to yours or to other places so please just respect that and enjoy …
84. The Diving Bell and the Butterball (Treehouse of Horror XXII)
There’s nothing overly fun or enjoyable about this segment whatsover. A parody of “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” seems very bland and hardly linked to horror or Halloween. Everything about this segment just seems lazy and rushed – the fart joke is never funny and the spiderman ending just had me questioning why they’ve done this over the many horror movies that would be perfect for THOH
83. In the Na’vi (Treehouse of Horror XXII)
Another movie parody from the same episode as above just seems boring and hardly funny. When you’re stretching to parody a non-horror movie you’ve got to make up for it with comedy, originality or something but this segment doesn’t. Solid sigh.
82. Untitled Robot Parody (Treehouse of Horror XIX)
You know a segment isn’t going to be good when it’s set at Christmas, parodies a Non-Halloween franchise and doesn’t use the crapiness of this franchise in any comedic way. Even the title screams that this segment was rushed or had very little time put into it.
81. Frinkenstien (Treehouse of Horror XIV)
Now to be honest there’s nothing unwatchable about this segment, it’s just annoying how much time they “fluff” this segment with unnecessary backstory when the whole Treehouse of Horror series is non-canon. Just a big “meh” segment with a story that nobody ask for filled with violence and bad jokes/
80. WizKids (Treehouse of Horror XII)
I think it was clear from this episode that the team behind the show knew very little about Harry Potter as this segment was just a generic wizard and witch story with badly attempted references to Harry Potter. Has it’s good moments – it’s just sad to see The Simpsons take an attempt at a series which could be twisted to be scary in some way,
79. Dry Hard (Treehouse of Horror XXVII)
If this segment stayed at either a “Hunger Games” or “Mad Max” parody then I guess it could be placed higher in this list as it’s just annoying to see this segment unnecessarily jump between stretched references that don’t seem clever or funny in any way. This came from the most recently watched episode, before I went on a THOH marathon, and I had completely forgotten what actually happened in this segment.
78. Reaper Madness (Treehouse of Horror XIV)
I love the idea of Homer taking the role of Death, don’t get me wrong … it’s just sad that Family Guy did it first and, arguably, did it slightly better. Whilst this segment has a few great lines, it lacks in meat and is just badly paced – that unnecessary Benny Hill chase to the quickly escalated, badly executed ending.
77. How to get Ahead in Dead-Vertising (Treehouse of Horror XIX)
I really like the idea of this segment and whilst it was fun seeing all these dead characters fight against Homer, the majority of the segment is really forgettable as I can’t remember much about this segment. Not many solid jokes or solid moments, to be honest, but a great “Mad Men” referencing intro!
76. Married to the Blob (Treehouse of Horror XVII)
Homer as the Blob seems like a perfect story that just writes itself … and I think that’s the problem. This segment just feels bland and lazy. Meh!
75. Homerzilla (Treehouse of Horror XXVI)
For some reason this segment REALLY annoyed me! Maybe it’s the horrendous accents, the pathetic twist or the fact that we’ve already had a Black and White Homer as Godzilla segment which is great and actually memorable. The “The whole thing was just a movie” twist just seemed a lazy way for the show to end it without having to think of an ending to the havoc. Way too long and way too annoying.
74. Survival of the Fattest (Treehouse of Horror XVI)
I think segments that work with cannibalism are really hard to get right because you need to get it perfect on the spectrum of Annoyingly Babyish to Unnecessarily Graphic. Just doesn’t really work for me and I think the reason this segment didn’t land worse on the list was because of the too relate-able line from Comic Book Guy …. “Five Minutes of Running?… Shoot me now!”
73. Life’s a Glitch, Then you Die (Treehouse of Horror X)
I really can’t explain why this episode annoys me but it just does. Nothing really works for me and the pacing is just terrible and annoying to watch. Would liked to have enjoyed it but really didn’t.
72. Hex and the City (Treehouse of Horror XII)
This segment is far from unwatchable, it’s just far from amazing as well. I feel like the writers did far too much in this segment as we go from a Fortune Teller’s Curse to a Leprechaun’s Marriage to the Fortune Teller, now with Yoda!
71. The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms (Treehouse of Horror XIII)
I feel like this segment was trying to say something about gun violence but it just didn’t. This half Zombie, half Western story lacks meat, comedy and consistency. Add in some annoying Time Travel and we get a segment that falls short.
70. Mr and Mrs Simpson (Treehouse of Horror XVIII)
Whilst this segment is somewhat enjoyable visually, it just doesn’t work. The segments that really annoy me are the ones that take random movies and parody them and don’t match characters due to similarity. Homer and Marge becoming assassins and then trying to kill each other is something that doesn’t make sense to the relationship that we love and whilst these segments are non-canon, I think there’s a line where they might as well not be Simpsons characters – if you get what I mean?
69. Dead and Shoulders (Treehouse of Horror XXIV)
I really don’t understand why the show took a few iconic seconds of Mr Burns being sewn to Homer and stretched it into a full blown segment but with Lisa and Bart. Whilst I like the fact this segment doesn’t go full cuckoo banana brains like some of the first segments on this list, it’s just really boring to watch!
68. Master and Cadaver (Treehouse of Horror XXI)
I have to admit, I haven’t watched “Dead Calm” and from doing my research it looks like a good film … just not for a Treehouse of Horror segment. There are elements that work and there are elements that don’t.
67. Wanted: Dead then Alive (Treehouse of Horror XXVI)
I’ll admit … it’s satisfying to see Sideshow Bob finally get to kill Bart. But OH BOY, does this segment get boring and repetitive after seeing him doing it over and over again with very little jokes to pad it out.
66. MoeFinger (Treehouse of Horror XXVII)
There are a few good jokes in this segment and a “Kingsman”/”James Bond” segment seemed very topical at the time but it’s a VERY simple spy story with some annoyingly unnecessary gore as if the writers forgot this was for Halloween until the end.
65. Telepaths of Glory (Treehouse of Horror XXVI)
I really can’t remember much about this segment so I won’t say much. I liked the idea of the children getting powers and whilst elements, like Milhouse getting power hungry, worked, it just felt like a waste of a good idea. The reason it is this far down though is because it was SO short so there was very little time to get annoyed by it.
64. The Island of Dr Hibbert (Treehouse of Horror XXIII)
Story isn’t great but it has some memorable visual comedy scattered around.
63. Desperately Xeeking Xena (Treehouse of Horror X)
This superhero story is another predictable one but it has it’s fun moments and funny jabs at nerd culture. It’s fun to see Bart and Lisa have powers – don’t get me wrong – it’s just then annoying to see them pushed aside when Lucy Lawless comes into play.
62. In the Belly of the Boss (Treehouse of Horror XV)
I remember really enjoying parts of this story and I think it’s because we see the Simpsons family just being their usual selfs but being put into an unusual scenario. The pacing in this segment is quite bad as we see needlessly long parts followed by disappointingly short parts. Plus, the more you think about the story behind this segment, the more random and un-halloweeny the story really is!
61. E.T Go Home (Treehouse of Horror XVIII)
With very little reference to the original source, this segment really didn’t work for me. Kang and Kodos have always been introduced as maniacal so trying to imagine one of them as the tear-jerking E.T just doesn’t really fit for me. And to be honest, I can not remember much about this segment apart from Bart’s trying to help one of them build something.
60. War and Pieces (Treehouse of Horror XXI)
I liked this segment. It had some fun gags but I really do feel like that was all it had. The story is very weak and comes across as unfinished.
59. BFF R.I.P (Treehouse of Horror XXVII)
I really do like the idea of Imaginary Friends getting jealous and trying to kill off real friends! There’s just parts of the segment which seem meh, giving a whole “meh” vibe to the whole thing. Yet Sarah Silverman did a great job as Lisa’s imaginary friend.
58. Mmm … Homer (Treehouse of Horror XXVIII)
There are far too many storylines which result in Homer eating himself and whilst I haven’t minded other cannibal themed segments, this segment took it way too far. Honestly had to look away at some parts because I just didn’t expect it. Al Jean said he wanted to respond to all the people saying THOH wasn’t dark anymore and whilst I applaud that, this segment just sent an uncomfortable shiver down my spine the whole time.
57. You Gotta Know when to Golem (Treehouse of Horror XVII)
Enjoyable. It was okay … I really don’t know what else to say about this segment.
56. The Exor-Sis (Treehouse of Horror XXVII)
This segment relies on visual gags and references and for me it works. There are parts which don’t work for me but there are some fun lines and some great references.
55. Dial ‘D’ for Diddly (Treehouse of Horror XXII)
Another segment which relies too heavily on an amazing intro. It’s just annoying that the great intro clashes so strongly with the story that follows it. It just felt really weird to watch as it felt poorly executed.
54. Tweenlight (Treehouse of Horror XXI)
This segment would have been alright if it stook with a Twilight parody with some clever Simpsons wit and jabs at how bad the Twilight movies are, but this segment steers to generalize the story into vampires so we suddenly get Count Dracula. Which is nice but really could have been two segments.
53. Heck House (Treehouse of Horror XVIII)
Probably one of the most forgettable segments of them all because as soon as I finished the segment I had to rewatch it because I couldn’t actually remember the actual meat of the story. It’s nice to see a story actually set on Halloween where we see the children trick or treating, it just doesn’t work for me.
52. Freaks, No Geeks (Treehouse of Horror XXIV)
Another segment which doesn’t really work for the Simpsons characters. Lacks in comedy whilst walking on a fun idea.
51. Four Beheading and a Funeral (Treehouse of Horror XV)
Being a massive lover on all things crime like Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I would have really liked to love this segment but I just didn’t. It’s fun and watchable, it’s just not funny or actually clever – the reason why crime is a popular genre.
50. The Others (Treehouse of Horror XXV)
It is so fun, in this segment, to see the return of the Tracy Ullman Style Simpsons – very satisfying to hear the difference in voices side by side – but when you look back at the story, it just falls short of the upcoming segments …
49. Bart and Homer’s Excellent Adventure (Treehouse of Horror XXIII)
Whilst it’s satisfying to see the many links back to “golden” episodes, this segment lacks in Spook factor or consistency.
48. The Greatest Story ever Holed (Treehouse of Horror XXIII)
Who knew that watching the whole of Springfield getting sucked into a black hole would be SO satisfying?? Again, I like the “Local to Normal Springfield” vibe to this segment. It just needs more horror!
47 UNnormal Activity (Treehouse of Horror XXIII)
This segment came out on the peak of the Paranormal Activity hype train and whilst I love the overall feel and style of this segment, the segment really does lack something and I really can’t work out what it is!
46. There’s no Business like Moe Business (Treehouse of Horror)
There’s something really fun about watching this little stage show style segment – seeing the costumes and seeing Marge and Homer act etc. – and this episode feels fun it’s just the songs and part of the story fall flat. I can’t remember any of the songs which is a real shame when it comes to The Simpsons.
45. Scary Tales can Come True (Treehouse of Horror XI)
This segment is really fun (don’t get me wrong!) it’s just sad when you look at the darkness of classic fairy tales and how little this segment referenced these. It would have be so much MORE fun if we saw the iconic stars of these fairy tales make meaningful cameos to the segment.
44. A Clockwork Yellow (Treehouse of Horror XXV)
Stylistically fun and enjoyable whilst feeling overstuffed with many references and jokes that don’t land.
43. Stop the World, I want to Goof Off (Treehouse of Horror)
I think I enjoyed this segment because I’ve always loved the idea of being able to stop time – it honestly fascinates me! And it’s really enjoyable to see Bart and Milhouse have fun but it’s a very hit or miss segment.
42. The Raven (Treehouse of Horror I)
This segment is literally just a rereading of a poem with Homer and Bart making cameos. The laggy animation also doesn’t really match with the fast pace of the poem. Just feels a tad unoriginal which is a shame because the narration was fun and I think rhyming needs to be used more in segments.
41. B.I Bartificial Intelligence (Treehouse of Horror XVI)
A fun segment that plays with darkness whilst making enough references to A.I. However this darkness doesn’t always work and can feel a bit comforting at times.
40. Homer’s Dream (Treehouse of Horror II)
The only thing that elevates this segment is the iconic seconds of Mr Burns being sewn to Homer because the rest of this segment is just a classic retelling of Frankenstein. Proof that even the “Golden Era” had it’s meh moments!
39. Cora-lisa (Treehouse of Horror XXVIII)
A really fun segment and truly refreshing to see the change in animation and the references to a really good movie – in my opinion! The only thing that annoyed me – a tad – was how the show didn’t use stop motion animation to mirror the style of Coraline but hopefully we’ll get a Nightmare Before Christmas parody one day which uses the show’s past experiences with Robot Chicken to make a stylistically beautiful segment 😉
38. The Ned Zone (Treehouse of Horror XV)
I really enjoyed this segment. Whilst it had it’s flaws, I thought it was enjoyable and was refreshing to see a segment where the characters aren’t being so unrecognisably different to their usual self’s.
37. Hell Toupee (Treehouse of Horror IV)
Humour was a bit too dark for me at places but it was good. Original (arguably weird?) but still watchable.
36. The Genesis Tub (Treehouse of Horror VII)
Whilst this segment is really enjoyable and surprisingly satisfying to see a birth of a new land, it doesn’t really fit with any Halloween theme and lacks surprise of any kind.
35. Send in the Clones (Treehouse of Horror XIII)
An enjoyable episode that takes a simple story and makes it fun to watch. Delightfully good. Just not great!
34. G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad (Treehouse of Horror XI)
Really enjoyed watching Homer try to earn his way into heaven and whilst this segment isn’t perfect, I liked how local and acceptably sane this segment was.
33. Night of the Dolphin (Treehouse of Horror XI)
I highly applaud this segment for it’s originality (you can’t say it’s not original!), it just falls flat on many places whilst constantly elevating it with fun visual or one-liner gags.
32. School is Hell (Treehouse of Horror XXV)
There is something really entertaining about this whole segment. It just feels The Simpsons whilst still fitting the Horror genre perfectly as well. It’s just great and fun to watch as the visuals and attention to detail in this segment is just great whilst the story rarely stumbles.
31. The Day the Earth looked Stupid (Treehouse of Horror XVII)
A segment that feels clever and enjoyable in many, many ways! This allegory to the Iraq War feels refreshing stylistically and comedically. Just seems overdue and random in places – with a Kang and Kodos ending that only seemed added for need time in the episode.
30. Oh, the Places You’ll D’oh (Treehouse of Horror XXIV)
This segment is SO beautiful to watch with the freshening Dr Seuss style and the perfect rhyming almost distracting from the somewhat poor episode. It’s hard to not like this segment because it’s so clear that the writers and animators put a lot of time into this really fun episode! Plus, this segment made me realize how creepy some children’s books, including The Cat in the Hat, are.
29. Don’t Have a Cow Mankind (Treehouse of Horror XX)
This starts as a really great and really enjoyable Zombie story which really does play on the darkness of Zombies more then other Zombie segments. But, for me, this segment falls short quite quickly when we see Bart have to reach the “Safe Zone” as it’s just gets a tad boring. But never unwatchable!
28. Bart’s Dream (Treehouse of Horror II)
You could argue that The Simpsons have done too many parodies of The Twilight Zone but since this is probably the first one of them, you can’t really mark it down because it of! On one hand you have some great moments but there are moments, including the ending, that just feel pointless of uninspired.
27. Bad Dream House (Treehouse of Horror I)
When I first watched this segment it honestly creeped me out heavily! I love the darkness of this episode but I do have to say that this is hardly an original story and stays quite comfortable in terms of style and story.
26. House of Whacks (Treehouse of Horror XII)
Yes, the plot is predicable but that doesn’t make this segment creepily good. I think with THOH segment you either need to highlight the horror and darkness of a segment or make it stylistically or comedically enjoyable (preferably both!). Unnerving in places but fun at the same time.
25. It’s the Grand Pumpkin Milhouse (Treehouse of Horror XIX)
Another segment which just thrives due to the style and how that references a commonly known franchise among horror or non-horror lovers! Filled with solid jokes and whilst this story isn’t scary at all, it makes up for it with the vibe of Halloween night and seeing the children in costumes.
24. Dial ‘M’ for Murder of Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu (Treehouse of Horror XX)
A really good segment with some really funny and genuine reference to the works of Alfred Hitchcock. You could argue that the addition of it being in Black and White is not needed and whilst I agree, to an extent (!), it definitely adds something.
23. Fly VS Fly (Treehouse of Horror VIII)
When you think about the idea behind this story (a hybrid of Bart and a Fly) you can’t help but wonder the inside joke amongst the writers that sparked this story. Although it is very uncomfortable at times, it has some great visual jokes and is fun. Just don’t think to hard about the story.
22. The Terror of Tiny Toon (Treehouse of Horror IX)
Itchy & Scratchy … I’m so happy that The Simpsons haven’t played with these characters too much because the overuse of characters can make them annoying. The violence of the TV show inside a TV show works perfectly for a THOH segment, making an enjoyable segment which I wish was a whole episode about how Bart & Lisa get trapped in a TV.
21. Lisa’s Dream (Treehouse of Horror II)
There’s nothing overly original about this segment because the “Be careful what you wish for” story is far from mind blowing yet it’s still fun seeing Simpsons characters have their wishes and actually quite satisfying to see how these wishes can lead to their downfall. The comedy ranges from some solid joke to some good attempts. But overall, it’s a fun and memorable segment.
20. Easy Bake Coven (Treehouse of Horror VIII)
There’s a lot of fun in this episode whether it be from seeing Springfield’s discovery into Halloween or it be the fun 1949 re-imagining of Springfield. There’s a good twist within a twist where we find that Marge is actually a witch when the original twist was that she could be a witch. Fun and feels somewhat traditional to this season.
18. I Know what you Diddly-Iddly Did (Treehouse of Horror)
For me, this segment get’s a lot of things right. The tension that is built up with the first act and the writings on the wall seems truly creepy and the overall parody is just really fun!
19. I’ve Grown a Costume on your Face (Treehouse of Horror XVI)
I really enjoy this segment every time I rewatch it because it really does feel like a Halloween story with a Simpsons twist. Whilst the comedy relies on visual gags there are so many times I laughed out loud seeing some of the costumes and the jokes that came with it (“APU-D2”). A solid Halloween segment!
17. Dial Z for Zombies (Treehouse of Horror III)
This segment is solid all around. Some good jokes and some great moments even though it sticks with a pretty predictable Zombie story. But, hello?…. Zombies!
16. Bart Simpson’s Dracula (Treehouse of Horror IV)
Stuffed with some great jokes BUT the comedic irony went on a little too long for which is why it didn’t go further down the list as some other fans might say.
15. The Homega Man (Treehouse of Horror VIII)
A classic “Last Man on Earth” story with a really original (and great IMO!) start that seems consistently fun whilst you go on this fun little adventure with Homer.
14. The Thing & I (Treehouse of Horror VII)
The character of Hugo seemed very well developed and is very memorable. It’s a journey of emotions and is fun, mysterious and tense all the way!
13. Starship Poopers (Treehouse of Horror IX)
A fun segment that does a great job of a lot of things. And whilst I was ready to cover my own eyes when the thought of Kang/Kodos making Marge pregnant, I was relieved that The Simpsons made it into a comfortable and funny joke that I didn’t expect.
12.Hungry are the Damned (Treehouse of Horror I)
This segment is a truly perfect introduction to the iconic Kang and Kodos characters. The references, the jokes and the comedic timing of this segment seem great in a lot of ways. The whole “How to Cook for Forty Humans” joke seemed a perfect parody of “To Serve Man” (The Twilight Zone) and other memorable moments like this made it a truly fun segment.
11. Homer3 (Treehouse of Horror VI)
Whilst many have argued that this segment is weak and was only popular due to the mind-blowing change in animation of that time, I disagree as I think the story is great and truly enjoyable. I really don’t think that the animation is thrown in willy nilly and neither does the segment rely too heavily on the “milestone”. I really enjoyed this segment due to the refreshing nature and the solid nature of it all.
10. Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores (Treehouse of Horror VI)
An impressively fun and memorable segment that just feels true to The Simpsons and the bar that the show had laid with previous Treehouse of Horror episodes to this one. It contains a solid balance of laughs, story and darkness.
9. King Homer (Treehouse of Horror III)
There is something that I just love about this episode and I think it’s how fun it is to see characters we love play characters that seem new whilst staying true to themselves. And this has possibly some of the greatest lines in Simpsons and Treehouse of Horror history like “Wow … look at the massive podium” and … “Women and SeaMen are never a good mix”.
8. Nightmare Cafeteria (Treehouse of Horror V)
I think this is a cannibal segment does well as it uses implication to make it enjoyably uncomfortable. Plus the quick and escalated end makes it truly tense and scary! Everything about this segment happens unnervingly fast and I loved that.
7. Terror at 5 1/2 Feet (Treehouse of Horror IV)
Another segment that plays with tension and truly makes you feel sorry for Bart. I always find it so funny how attached we get to drawn fictional characters but this segment is just great and scary whilst staying local and true to The Simpsons.
6. Time and Punishment (Treehouse of Horror V)
Have you ever realized how scary time travel is? Whilst this segment doesn’t rely on gore or violence, the segment does a solid job of tackling the Butterfly Effect (by no means an original idea) in a fun, funny and memorable way. So many great lines as well!
5. Devil and Homer Simpson (Treehouse of Horror IV)
Everything about this segment is so memorable, enjoyable and the image of Devil Flanders and images like Hell have never been topped when it comes to images from down under. Throw in Lionel Hutz, some truly iconic lines, images and moments and you have a great segment!
4. Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace (Treehouse of Horror VI)
A truly dark and scary element that I love watching around this time of year because the amount of scares and the unbelievable Simpsons feel in perfect harmony is so enjoyable. Willie is such a great character and is just perfect for characters like Freddy. Definitely get’s your heart going!
3. Citizen Kang (Treehouse of Horror VII)
Just a great political segment that doesn’t rely on rude jabs on leaders. Some great lines and just a perfect Kang and Kodos segment. So memorable in many ways!
2. Clown without Pity (Treehouse of Horror III)
Love this segment! Whilst it isn’t full of references, I think like the “local” vibe of this segment means it never crosses the line into cuckoo banana brains territory when it’s recognizably The Simpsons. It has some great lines and some great characters. Truly creepy whilst being truly fun!
1. The Shinning (Treehouse of Horror V)
EVERYTHING about this segment just works so perfectly. It is so fun to watch and truly refreshing to keep coming back and seeing the perfect blend of comedy, reference and The Simpsons style. With Homer’s obsession to beer and TV, the character of Johnny and his descent into madness seems inevitable and I think that’s what makes this segment so good – the characters aren’t overly different to what we know and love. Filled with fun and genuinely hilarious one-liners.
I really hope you enjoyed this post as it took a long while to produce. What are your favourite and least favourite segments? Have you watched every single Treehouse of Horror segment? What did you think of my ranking? Tell me down below and …