The Simpsons Episodes

1989, TV Show

The Simpsons Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XX"

Season 21, Episode 4
Episode Synopsis: In "Treehouse of Horror XX," Lisa is drawn into a Hitchcockian revenge plot when she isn't chosen for an academic honor; Krusty invents a ghastly fast-food item that unleashes a plague of zombies; and Moe's microbrew has a vile secret ingredient.
Original Air Date: Oct 18, 2009
Guest Cast Maggie Roswell: Muncher Helen Lovejoy
Full Episode
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Season 21, Episode 4
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Length: 07:12:32
Aired: 10/18/2009
Also available on Amazon Instant Video
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The Simpsons Episode Recap: "Treehouse of Horror XX" Season 21, Episode 4

The twentieth "Treehouse of Horror" episode included spoofs on Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder, zombie movies like 28 Days Later and I Am Legend, and lastly a musical, similar to Phantom of the Opera.

We weren't really all that impressed with this year's "Treehouse" episode.  Initially, we were so excited to watch it after Randall and I purchased The Simpsons Deluxe "Scene It" DVD game, the newly released "The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History" book, and the new Playboy with Marge on the cover. However, this new episode was kind of a let down...so unexciting that it's difficult to sum it all up.

Dial "M" for Murder (or Press # to Return to Main Menu)

The first Halloween spoof begins with Lisa landing in detention for a meltdown over Ms. Hoover selecting a different student to attend the "Reading Rodeo."  Of course when Lisa shows up for detention, Bart is already there serving time for his latest infraction against his own teacher, Ms. Krabapple.  Bart wants to "criss-cross" revenge on Ms. Hoover and Mrs. Krabapple, meaning that Lisa pranks Ms. Krabapple (Bart's teacher), and Bart pranks Ms. Hoover, Lisa's teacher (since neither would be a logical suspect for their respective pranks).  Lisa agrees to the criss-cross and they plan their revenge on the two teachers.  Lisa shows up at Mrs. Krabapple's house and rings the doorbell and runs away (the ding-dong ditch) while Bart is busy creating his alibi, mooning the crowd at a tennis match. 

That evening Lisa tells Bart that she has done her part in the criss-cross revenge.  However, after Bart shows Lisa Ms. Hoover's decapitated head, Lisa reveals with horror that she was unaware that by "prank" Bart meant murder.  Bart wants Lisa to fulfill her end of the deal and kill Mrs. Krabapple, but Lisa is unwilling to do so.  Bart insists that if Lisa doesn't kill Mrs. Krabapple then he would have Willy kill Lisa (Willy made a criss-cross deal with Bart so that Bart would kill Principal Skinner).  Lisa decides that she needs to end the craziness, so she will have to kill Bart.  In Alfred Hitchcock fashion, Lisa chases after Bart and (has a change of heart and then accidentally) kills him.

Big twist ending...Lisa and Mrs. Krabapple were in cahoots the whole time with their own "criss-cross" to kill Bart!

Don't Have a Cow, Mankind

In a send-up of the movies 28 Days Later, I Am Legend, and any of a number of similar (and lame) zombie movies, The Simpsons writers turn to an old Hollywood standby for the second installment of the show.

It all starts with Krusty Burger attempting to create the perfect burger. The perfect burger, "Burger Squared," is made from cows that eat cows. Once consuming the burger, each person turns into a zombie. Cut to "28 days later" (wink, wink) and the town is over run by zombies. The Simpsons are barricaded in their home to stay safe from the zombies. Overcome with hunger, Bart seeks out the last Krusty Burger and eats one of the zombie creating hamburgers. As a result, it is discovered that Bart is immune to the transformation and is declared the "chosen one," meaning he has the ability to not only resist, but cure those with the zombie making disease. Dr. Hibbert (as he's being overrun by zombies) tells the Simpsons to get Bart to the safe zone in order for the town of Springfield to survive the outbreak. On the way to the safe zone, Homer finds a "dead" Mr. Burns — who attacks Homer and transforms him into a zombie.

Once in the safe zone, the scientists find a cure for Homer. In order to cure Homer and everyone else, everyone has to eat from food that has been washed in Bart's bath water.

This wasn't all that great of a segment, but it WAS better than most actual zombie movies I've seen.

There's No Business Like Moe Business

The final segment was a musical/play a la Phantom of the Opera set in Moe's Tavern, but also clearly a spoof on stage productions as evidenced by the visible stage scenery set changes, the actors occasionally missing their cues, the stage hands running into scene to put out a small fire on Moe's head, etc.

As everyone knows, Moe has a thing for Marge. Luckily for Moe, Homer falls into Moe's basement (where Moe is brewing his own beer) and dies landing on a big beer fermentation vessel. Homer's blood slowly drips into the beer, making everyone that drinks it experience a euphoric feeling. Moe convinces Marge to be with him since Homer is dead anyway. It is later reveled that Homer is alive and all is restored to normal.

Favorite LOL moments

  • The real Werewolf, Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, and Mummy dressed up for Halloween as, respectfully, Harry Potter, Spongebob Squarepants, Ironman, and Jack Sparrow
  • Bart, startling Lisa by waiting for her in the girl's restroom and telling her that "I've been waiting for you - and also trying to figure out how girls pee."
  • McBain (the Simpsons longtime caricature of Arnold Schwarzenegger) telling the Simpsons (hiding from Zombies) "Come with me if you want to live," and then being overrun and consumed by zombies while Homer looks on and says, "Another politician who can't keep his promises!"
  • Marge, after someone suggests that the zombie disease survivors eat Bart to immunize themselves, indignantly saying, "What kind of a civilized people eats the blood and flesh of their own savior?"
  • Marge (after successfully being wooed by Moe) declaring to him, "I've never felt so un-creeped out by you!"
  • Homer, after being grotesquely combined with Moe's beer-making equipment, asking Marge if she "can love a man who's half beer," and Marge answering, "I always have."
  • Hank Azaria's name in the closing credits being listed as "Yank my Area."
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The twentieth "Treehouse of Horror" episode included spoofs on Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder, zombie movies like 28 Days Later and I Am Legend, and lastly a musical, similar to Phantom of the Opera.

We weren't really all that impressed with this year's "Treehouse" episode.  Initially, we were so excited to watch it after Randall and I purchased The Simpsons Deluxe "Scene It" DVD game, the newly released "The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History" book, and the new Playboy with Marge on the cover. However, this new episode was kind of a let down...so unexciting that it's difficult to sum it all up.

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Premiered: December 17, 1989, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Matt Groening's subversive, animated satire about Springfield's hapless first family became a cult favorite when it premiered on Fox in 1989 after first being seen in 1987 as a short on 'The Tracey Ullman Show.' That was then; now it's TV longest running comedy. Not since 'The Flintstones' in the '60s has a cartoon series drawn such a large adult audience, and, ay caramba, given us pop-culture expressions for the ages. And in 1999, Time magazine called it the best TV show of the 20th century.

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