Episode - 7F04\\
First Aired - 10/25/1990

The beginning of an annual ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' tradition! It begins with Marge giving a warning to viewers in a parody of ''[[Film/{{Frankenstein1931}} Frankenstein]]'' (1931). Then the episode proper opens with Homer out trick-or-treating on Halloween night, disguised as a ghost, when he notices that Bart, Lisa and Maggie are up in the treehouse, with Bart and Lisa attempting to scare each other with their own horror stories, and he decides to listen in. Noteworthy as the ''[[ArtifactTitle only]]'' "Treehouse of Horror" episode [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin that actually has a treehouse setting]].

!! Bad Dream House

Bart, unimpressed with Lisa's first story, tells this parody of ''TheAmityvilleHorror''. The Simpsons move to an inexpensive house, unaware that it carries an evil curse. They notice that in the house, items being moved are being thrown at the Simpsons on their own, and the kitchen contains a vortex into another dimension. The house's inhabitant, a malevolent spirit, then demands that the family leaves. The family discusses the idea of leaving, but Homer insists that they stay in the house. The house then possesses the souls of all the Simpsons and causes them to attempt to kill each other. Frustrated, Marge then declares the family is leaving the house. As they are about to leave, Lisa discovers that the basement contains tombstones of many Native Americans (and Mahatma Gandhi), indicating that it was built on an ancient Indian burial ground. The house then starts threatening them, saying it will kill them all in horrific ways if they don't leave. Marge then yells at the house, demanding to him, "We're all going to have to live together, so you'd better get used to it." The house, realizing that she is right, asks the family to go outside for a moment, so he can think about it. After contemplating living together with the Simpsons for a few seconds, the house opts to self-destruct instead.

!! Hungry Are the Damned

After Bart's tale of macabre is finished, Lisa argues that it wasn't that scary, and Bart considers it a "warmup" for his next story, a parody of the ''TwilightZone'' episode "To Serve Man". As the family is having a barbecue, the Simpsons are then [[AlienAbduction abducted by a U.F.O.]] and sent into space. They are then introduced by an alien named Kang, who then introduces his UFO partner Kodos [[EarlyBirdCameo in their first appearances]], and will be taking the Simpsons to their [[ShoutOut home planet of Rigel-4]] for a celebration. The family questions this, but are enticed into having a dinner cooked by the third alien, Serak the Preparer (who has never appeared in any subsequent "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, unlike Kang and Kodos). As they have their own dinner and they give the Simpsons another dinner, the aliens then inform the Simpsons that they will be at a feast when they reach Rigel-4, appearing as the 'guests of honor'. Serak then says that when the spaceship arrives, there will be enough time to "chew the fat". Lisa then becomes suspicious, convinced that the aliens are fattening the Simpsons so the aliens can eat them. She discovers a book titled ''How to Cook Humans'' in the spaceship's kitchen. The family then believes Lisa as she holds up the book, only for Kang to blow some "space dust" off the cover, revealing the title to be ''How to Cook For Humans''. [[RunningGag Lisa then blows some more dust off, revealing the title to be ''How to Cook Forty Humans'']], then Kang blows even more dust off, revealing it as ''How to Cook for Forty Humans''. Kang then reveals he, Kodos and a crying Serak were only trying to provide the Simpsons a big banquet, and were promising them with paradise that is now impossible due to their distrustful nature. The spaceship then leaves. Lisa concludes that [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters their family were the real monsters on the spaceship]], ''not'' the aliens. The rest of the family asks her to shut up.

!! Literature/TheRaven

ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, in the form of Lisa's DramaticReading of the classic Creator/EdgarAllanPoe story with Creator/JamesEarlJones as the narrator, Bart as the titluar Raven, Homer as the protagonist, Marge as TheLostLenore, and Lisa and Maggie as two seraphim. The episode then closes with Bart being left entirely unimpressed by the story, and Lisa commenting that since the poem she just read was written in 1845, people were probably easier to scare back then. But meanwhile, Homer sits outside the treehouse, deeply terrified by the story, he then notices the children returning into the house, and he then returns inside himself. Still being scared when going to bed, he begs Marge not to turn off the light, but she reminds him what he heard were just childrens' stories. The episode ends with [[CallBack Bart appearing as the Raven]] staring outside the window, while a scared Homer mumbles that he ''hates'' Halloween.

----
''Treehouse of Horror'' has the following tropes:

* AdultFear: ''The Raven''. The kids aren't scared, but the idea of a beloved wife who may have [[CameBackWrong Come Back Wrong]]? Terrifying to Homer.
* AnimatedAdaptation: Exactly what ''The Raven'' segment was.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Marge is amazed that the aliens speak English, but it turns out they actually speak "Rigelian", which, by "an astonishing coincidence" is exactly similar to their language.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Serak the Preparer has never returned as, unlike Kang and Kodos, "he costs money."
* TheConscience: Exploited by the cursed house.
-->'''Ominous voice''': They are all against you, Bart... You must kill them all... They all must die!\\
'''Bart''': Are you my conscience?\\
'''Ominous voice''': I- ''Yes!'' I am!
* DivergentCharacterEvolution: Kang and Kodos were peaceful aliens. But in later appearances, they become invaders.
* DramaticReading: James Earl Jones' narration from ''The Raven''.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The cast and crew don't use the "scary names", and the Gracie Films VanityPlate doesn't have organ music and a scream replacing its usual sound effects; both of these traditions began the following year. Additionally, all three segments have different directors; every other Treehouse just has one.
** All three segments are told from inside Bart's treehouse, thus illustrating the episode's title. Later "Treehouse of Horror" episodes don't use this location as a FramingDevice anymore.
** Kang and Kodos are actually peaceful beings who don't want to conquer Earth. Maybe they changed their mind after Lisa thought they wanted to eat them and, as a result, became revengeful ever after.
** Compared to later ''Treehouse of Horror'' editions the horror elements in this first episode are pretty tame and not that graphically violent. The comedy still holds up perfectly, though.
* FramingDevice: All three segments are told in Bart's treehouse, thus explaining the PunBasedTitle "Treehouse Of Horror".
* HauntedHouse: "Bad Dream House."
* HeyItsThatVoice: Creator/JamesEarlJones voices the mover in "Bad Dream House", the third alien, Serak the Preparer, in "Hungry Are the Damned", and the narrator in "The Raven".
* IndianBurialGround: The house in "Bad Dream House" was built on one. Though Homer claims to have never been told that, it turns out the former owner "mentioned it five or six times."
* TheLostLenore: Marge's role in "The Raven".
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The family blames Lisa for missing a chance for happiness on another planet by believing the aliens were evil. And she agrees, [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters to a point]].
* NothingIsScarier: Dismissed by Bart during "The Raven."
-->'''Bart:''' You know what would've been scarier than nothing?\\
'''Lisa:''' ''(annoyed)'' What?\\
'''Bart:''' Anything!
* RedHerring: "Hungry are the Damned" is loaded with them, to the point of making no sense at all on rewatches.
* RunningGag: Blowing away the space dust from the cookbook in "Hungry are the Damned".
* ShoutOut: Many.
** The grave stones have shout-outs to Music/PaulMcCartney (referencing the ''"Paul is dead"'' urban legends), NewspaperComics/{{Garfield}}, Music/TheGratefulDead, [[WesternAnimation/CasperTheFriendlyGhost Casper the Friendly Boy]], Music/ElvisPresley and [[DeaderThanDisco disco]].
** The haunted house where The Simpsons has references to ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' (the shape of the house), ''Film/TheAmityvilleHorror'' (blood oozing down the walls) and ''Film/{{Poltergeist}}'' (a portal to another dimension and the house being built on an Indian burial ground) and ''Literature/TheFallOfTheHouseOfUsher'' (the way the house dies).
** Homer planning to kill Marge with an axe references ''Film/TheShining'', which is also a horror film about a haunted house.
** Maggie spins her head like the girl in ''Film/TheExorcist''.
** Among the names in the Indian burial ground we can read Hiawatha, Cochise, Pocahontas, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, [[Radio/TheLoneRanger Tonto]], Crazy Horse, Not-So-Crazy Horse, Sacajawea and [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers MahatmaGandhi]]. Also note that both Hiawatha and Tonto are fictional Native Americans.
** The names of Kang, Kodos and Serak are all shout outs to names of ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' characters.
** The plot of the aliens cooking for the humans is a reference to Series/TheTwilightZone episode ''"To Serve Man"''.
** Kang shows their advanced alien technology, which turns out to be nothing more than a ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'' game. Even the Simpsons are not amazed by this primitive game.
** "The Raven" is a word-for-word retelling (or almost word-for-word, as a few stanzas were cut for time) of the original Creator/EdgarAllanPoe poem, to the point where Poe was even given a (posthumous) writing credit for this segment alongside producer Sam Simon.
** Many other Poe stories are referenced in "The Raven". The stories which Bart (as the Raven) pulls off from the bookshelf are ''Literature/ThePitAndThePendulum'', ''Literature/TheTellTaleHeart'', and ''Literature/ThePurloinedLetter''.
** Bart references the first ''Film/FridayThe13th1980'' film at the end of the episode as being "...pretty tame by today's standards."
* SophisticatedAsHell: "Quote the raven: 'Eat my shorts!'"
* SpecialGuest: Creator/JamesEarlJones as the mover, Serak the Preparer, and the narrator of "The Raven".
* SureLetsGoWithThat: When Bart asked the Ominous voice (the haunted house) if it was his conscience, it hesitated before answering: "Yes".
* ValuesDissonance: InUniverse- when Bart scoffs at ''The Raven'' poem's ''supposed'' scariness, Lisa then suggests that maybe people were easier to scare at the time it was written (like with the first ''Friday the 13th'' movie, which, according to Bart, is: "pretty tame by today's standards.")
----