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Recap: The Simpsons S 4 E 5 Treehouse Of Horror III
Episode - 9F04
First Aired - 10/29/1992

The Simpsons family hold a Halloween party and tell scary stories.

Clown Without Pity: Homer buys a talking Krusty doll for Bart on his birthday, but the doll ends up trying to kill Homer.
King Homer: The classic horror film King Kong gets a Simpsonized parody.
Dial Z for Zombie: Bart is sentenced to redo his book report (after trying to use a pop-up book for preschoolers), and finds a book in the Occult Section of the school library that can raise the dead — and ends up causing a zombie apocalypse when he and Lisa intone a spell to revive their dead cat, Snowball I.


  • Amusing Injuries: Bart and his friends use the front door to play `Pin the Tail on the Donkey'. During Milhouse's turn Homer bursts in, crushing the poor kid into the wall.
  • Berserk Board Barricade: The family board up the windows in this manner, but when Marge asks Homer if he's boarded up the front door, he absent-mindedly mentions that he hasn't.
  • Brain Food: Zombies!
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Bart says he has "a story so scary you'll wet your pants". Grampa tells him he already did.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: "King Homer". Justified in that the parody is based on the 1933 black-and-white film.
  • Demoted to Extra: Kang and Kodos, who had major roles in the previous Halloween specials, get only a Mandatory Line in this one and the next few. They wouldn't get another major appearance until Treehouse Of Horror VII.
  • The Doll Episode: Homer gets Bart a cursed Krusty doll from a Chinese man's curio shop filled with cursed and weird objects from around the world.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Flanders scaring the kids by dressing up as a zombie and actually having fun on Halloween is wildly out of character with the straw religious guy he'd become later.
  • Evil Laugh: In Kang and Kodos' obligatory cameo appearance, they laugh at the thought of humanity being overrun by zombies. Bart also gets one for raising the dead.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Bart intones brand name condoms for a magic spell ("Trojan, Ramses, Magnum, Shiek!") to get the town's zombies back to their graves.
    • Smithers' line in "King Homer": "I think women and seamen don't mix." Mr Burns' response: "We all know what you think."
  • Halloween Special
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": See Not a Zombie below.
  • Interspecies Romance: Between Marge and King Homer, ending with a wedding!
  • "King Kong" Climb: King Homer attempts to climb the Empire State Building, but only makes it up a few feet. By the time he collapses from exhaustion, the pilots circling around the top of the building head off to refuel.
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller Parody: Bart and Lisa resurrect the dead, while Bart wears the album cover of Thriller on his head, a shout-out to the iconic music video.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Homer is dressed in a sheet, resembling Julius Caesar, but the sheet catches on to a nail and he stands butt naked in front of everybody.
    • Later, the Krusty doll scares him out of the bathtub and he runs past Marge, Patty and Selma.
  • Not a Zombie
    Bart: Homer, you shot the zombie Flanders!
    Homer: He was a zombie?
  • Number of the Beast: All of the numbers in the library.
  • The Operators Must Be Crazy: Marge tries to let the toy company know the Krusty doll is attempting to drown her husband as she speaks. She gets "Everybody Loves a Clown" as the hold music.
  • Perverse Puppet: The killer Krusty doll. Subverted in that he's only evil because of a switch on his back, despite that the Chinese man that sold the doll to Homer said it was cursed.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Lisa says to Bart that the zombies have risen, but Bart corrects her: "Please Lis, they preferred to be called the `Living Impaired'."
  • Pretend We're Dead: Homer spots Barney eating an arm and exclaims "Barney, not you too!" to which Barney replies: "I'm not a zombie, but hey, when in Rome..."
  • Properly Paranoid: Grampa in the first segment, in which he calls the Krusty doll evil.
    Marge: Grampa, you said that about all the presents.
    Grampa: I just want attention.
  • See You in Hell: "See you in Hell." "Still pushing that boulder?" "Uh-huh."
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening shows Homer in the outline shape of Hitchcock at the start of every Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode. He even says Hitchcock's famous line: "Good eeeevening."
    • One of the graves in the graveyard belongs to inventor and architect R. Buckminster Fuller. His grave is even shaped like his most famous invention, a geodesic dome.
    • Bart dresses as Alex DeLarge.
    • The Asian shop keeper selling cursed stuff is a reference to Gremlins.
    • The "murderous doll" plot is specifically based on the The Twilight Zone episode "Living Doll", hence the lines "My name is Krusty, and I love you very much" and "I'm Krusty the Klown and I don't like you." It also contains elements of Trilogy of Terror and Child's Play.
    • Psycho Strings play when the Krusty doll raises a knife.
    • The Krusty doll belts himself to the bottom of the car.
    • King Kong: Well, duh!
    • Homer throws the doll in a bottomless pit, followed by a mafioso (who, surprisingly, isn't Fat Tony or any of his men) dumping a corpse, and a man throwing in a box of nude photos of Whoopi Goldberg, which are immediately thrown back again.
    • The natives on Kong Island shout "Mosi Tatupu" (which translates to "The blue-haired woman will make a great sacrifice") which is a wink to an American football player from Samoa.
    • Shirley Temple (voiced by Russi Taylor using the voice she uses for Martin Prince) is devoured by King Homer.
    • Mr. Burns claims that King Homer's career is over, because Al Jolson's was too when he ran amok at the Winter Garden and climbed the Chrysler Building.
    • Cheesy music plays and a heart-shaped iris frames the Krusty doll with Malibu Stacy. This also closes out "King Homer".
    • Bart tries to read a Where's Waldo? book (titled "Find Waldo Yet Again" and has become so easy that Bart comments, "Man, he's not even trying anymore.") for his book review.
    • Raising the dead apparently requires wearing a copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller album on your head. This is a reference to the famous music video in which Jackson dances with zombies.
    • Bart and Lisa trying to raise their dead cat is similar to the plot of Pet Sematary.
    • Some of the graves in the pet cemetary are names of early 1990s animated TV series that were made as competitors to The Simpsons and cancelled after only a few episodes: Fish Police, Capitol Critters and Family Dognote .
      • Speaking of canceled shows being shown as "dead" in a graveyard, one of the tombstones reads, Drexell's Class, which was a live-action show that aired on FOX that had Dabney Coleman (the voice of Peter Prickley from Recess) as the title character.
    • The zombie apocalypse was mostly a shout-out to Night of the Living Dead.
    • The spell to bring zombies to life are the last names of game show hosts (Cullen, Rayburn, Narz, Trebek) and the names of department stores (Zabar, Kresgenote , Caldor, Walmart note ).
      • The spell to turn Lisa into a snail are names of 1970s detectives (Kolchak, Mannix, Banaceck, Danno), and the spell to return zombies to their graves are the brand names of condoms (Trojan, Ramses, Magnum, Shiek)
    • Homer shockingly shoots the walking corpses of George Washington, Albert Einstein and William Shakespeare down.
    • When the zombies return to their graves one of the corpses says: "You still pushin' that rock?", a nod to the ancient Greek mythological character Sisyphus.
  • Skewed Priorities
    Lisa: Dad, we did something very bad!
    Homer: Did you wreck the car?
    Bart: No!
    Homer: Did you raise the dead?
    Lisa: Yesss!
    Homer: But the car's okay?
    Kids: Uh-huh.
    Homer: All right then.
  • Smelly Feet:
    Krusty Doll: You think your dirty socks can stop me? Well...they are making me dizzy...
  • Spelling Song: "My baloney has a first name, it's H-O-M-E-R. My baloney has a second name, it's H-O-M-E-R..."
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Tribe Leader (in tribal language): The blue-haired woman will make a good sacrifice.
    Marge: What's he saying?
    Mr. Burns: Aaaaaaaaah... he's saying... ummmmm... "We wouldn't dream of sacrificing the blue-haired woman!"
  • Too Dumb to Live: The zombies ignore Homer because he apparently hasn't got (enough) brains to eat.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: When zombie Sideshow Mel attacks Krusty the Klown on the air, a technical difficulties title card (featuring a drawing of a drunk cameraman) pops up for a few moments.
  • Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal: A zombie horde clamoring for "Braaaains" inspects Homer's head, then abandon him in disgust. Most ridiculously, the zombie taps Homer on the head and a very hollow sound is heard before it moves along.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Spoofed.

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