Recap: The Simpsons S 6 E 6 Treehouse Of Horror V

Episode - 2F03
First Aired - 10/30/1994

In this year's collection of frights, Homer comes down with a nasty case of Stanley Kubrick-esque cabin fever in The Shinning, Homer goes back in time and causes a temporal butterfly effect for every prehistoric animal he kills in Time and Punishment, and Springfield Elementary has a grisly solution to its food budget and delinquent student crises in Nightmare Cafeteria.

This episode contains examples of:

  • All Crimes Are Equal: The teachers soon look for any excuse to send students to detention, such as dropping a pencil in class.
  • All Just a Dream: "Nightmare Cafeteria"
  • Anachronism Stew: "Time and Punishment" not only had Jurassic and Cretaceous dinosaurs living together, but also Dimetrodon and what looked like a giant ground sloth.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Mr. Burns' lodge was built on an Indian Burial Ground, and was host to several witch burnings, Satanic rituals, and five John Denver Christmas specials. Homer is only creeped out by John Denver.
  • Ax-Crazy: Homer, quite literally, in "The Shinning"
  • Bad Future: Most of the futures Homer ends up creating in "Time and Punishment". Zigzagged with the "perfect" reality: The Simpson family is rich, the kids are well-behaved, he has a luxury sedan, Patty and Selma are dead...but no one's ever heard of a doughnut. Homer freaks out and runs off — just as it starts raining doughnuts (which everyone else believes is just rain).
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: In the Bad Future where Flanders is a dictator, Homer was being chased by dogs and pulled a string of sausages to use something he said he saw on TV; he'd eat the sausages to run faster.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: In the first alternate time that Homer goes to, Flanders is now the ruler of the world and if anyone complains about him, Flanders will send them to a re-education camp.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: In "Nightmare Cafeteria."
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In response to critics who said the "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween specials were too bloody and gory, Matt Groening urged writers to make this (episode) the bloodiest and goriest "Treehouse of Horror" ever, which is why the beginning had Marge stating that the whole episode was going to be banned and replaced with an old Western movie about a train.
  • Body Horror: The weird gas that turns people inside-out turns everyone inside-out.
  • Brick Joke: The family accidentally leaves Grandpa behind at the gas station on their way to the lodge. During Homer's second attempt to reenact the famous "Here's Johnny!" moment from The Shining, Grandpa shows up at the lodge with his suitcase.
    • Also, as bizarre as the ending musical number may seem, it was preceded by "One" being the musical number performed at the Tony Awards at the end of "The Shinning".
  • Butterfly of Doom: The entire premise of "Time and Punishment"
  • Close Enough Timeline: The Trope Namer; Homer comes back to his own reality where doughnuts are plentiful and Fridays is TGIF night on ABC, but everyone (except Homer) has long, lizard tongues that they use for eating. Rather than try to go back to his normal time, he says, "Eh, close enough," and eats along with the family.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Marge, in regards to Willie being axed in the back (the first time).
    Marge: Oh my!...I hope that rug was Scotchgarded.
  • Companion Cube: Homer towards television: "Television! Teacher! Mother! Secret lover..."
  • Crashing Dreams: The end of "Nightmare Cafeteria"
  • Creative Closing Credits: The Simpson family (who has been turned inside out by toxic gas) singing a new version of "One".
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Homer keeps travelling back to "the time when dinosaurs weren't just confined to zoos."
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Mr. Burns, in regards to the elevator full of blood.
    Mr. Burns: Hm, that's odd...usually the blood gets off at the second floor.
  • For Want of a Nail: Homer squishing one mosquito creates a totalitarian society run by Ned. Attempts to fix this lead to weirder changes.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: Homer stumbles upon a world that seems perfect via time travel (his family is wealthy, his kids are well-behaved, he has a luxury sedan, and his sisters-in-law recently died). However, when he finds that Marge doesn't know what a doughnut is, he goes back in time. Marge then notes that it is raining again as doughnuts fall from the sky. Even David Mirkin felt bad for Homer here.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Groundskeeper Willie tells Bart not to read his mind between 4 and 5. He labels it as "Willie's Time". It is left open to the viewer what that exactly could mean, but the most likely explanation is that he is on A Date with Rosie Palms during that particular hour.
    Willie: ....You can use that....shin of yours to call me and I'll come a' running. But don't be reading my mind between 4 and 5! That's Willie's time!
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: In the universe ruled by Ned Flanders, anybody suspected of being negative is taken for "re-Neducation".
  • Hedge Maze: In "The Shinning", obviously. Bart "finds" a shortcut with a hedge trimmer.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Springfield Elementary teachers become this in "Nightmare Cafeteria" in order to kill two birds with one stone (to solve the food budget crisis in the cafeteria and to deal with the excess of delinquents in school).
  • In Spite of a Nail: For all the changes Homer creates through time travel, his family is still together and live on the same property. Eventually, he gets to a Close Enough Timeline.
  • Kubrick Stare: Homer does this during when he goes crazy. The DVD Commentary discusses this trope extensively.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One of the tombstones from the opening sequence is for "Amusing Tombstones". This was the writers' way of showing that they were tired of coming up with ideas for humorous tombstone messages. Similar sequences had been used as introductions in all four previous "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, but have not been used since this episode.
  • Lobotomy: Ned Flanders is an overlord and several of his subjects get lobotomised. Homer is horrified.
  • Madness Mantra: "No TV and no beer makes Homer go crazy!"
  • Oh, Crap: When the frozen Simpsons are forced to watch The Tony Awards.
    Homer: Urge to kill... rising...
    [Maggie looks at him. Cuts to black]
  • Psychic Powers: "The Shinning". Although they don't do much good.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After three or four bad changed timelines, Homer goes back with a baseball bat and just starts angrily smashing everything in sight.
  • Rivers Of Blood: The Shining bit was parodied:
    Mr. Burns: Hmm, that's odd. The blood usually gets off at the second floor.
  • Rule of Three: Along with the below mentioned Running Gag, The Shinning takes great joy with this, with the family having to make three long trips to the hotel due to Homer failing to lock up their home and Homer doing three variations of the "Here's Johnny" routine due to him axing down the wrong hotel door.
  • Running Gag: Willie taking an axe to the back while trying to rescue someone in all three segments.
  • Sanity Slippage: Homer descends into madness and back again in The Shinning.
  • Shout-Out: The opening Do Not Adjust Your Set is from The Outer Limits.
  • Special Guest: James Earl Jones as Alternate Timeline Maggie.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex, Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, Pteranodon, Ornithomimus, Apatosaurus, and Dimetrodon all appear in "Time and Punishment".
  • Take That: To the Tony Awards. "Urge to kill...rising..."
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Homer's reaction after he sneezes on a Tyrannosaurus rex and inadvertently causes the extinction of all the dinosaurs.
    Homer: [As dinosaurs are dropping dead left and right] This is gonna' cost me.
  • Time Travel: Oh, take a guess.
  • Whole Plot Reference: "The Shinning" is one to The Shining
    Willie: Ya read my thoughts! Ya got...the Shinnin'!
    Bart: You mean "shining".
    Willie: Shh! Ya wanna get sued?!
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: Willie provides the Trope Namer in "The Shinning".