Recap / The Simpsons S 9 E 4 Treehouse Of Horror VIII

The annual Three Shorts Halloween Episode starts with Fox Censor, the FOX network censor, editing this year's Halloween special to a TV-G rating (removing all the NBC-style sexual innuendo and CBS-style action violence), but the TV rating bug fights back by stabbing Censor until it reaches TV-666. Afterwards, the Simpson family enters the living room where they get executed on the couch.

The Homega Man
A parody of The Omega Man (aka the second movie adaptation of I Am Legend). France threatens to destroy Springfield in response to a racist "frog legs" joke Mayor Quimby made, and Marge convinces Homer to look into getting a proper bomb shelter just in case. As it turns out, while he's inside one to examine it, the French see their threat through with a Neutron Bomb, and he emerges to discover he's apparently the last man in Springfield.

He indulges in all the town's leftover pleasures (such as watching a David Spade/Chris Farley movie in an abandoned theater, sitting in his boss's office [Deleted Scene only], and dancing naked in church) until a mob of Springfieldians mutated by the bomb (including Moe, Dr. Hibbert, Principal Skinner, Chief Wiggum, Krusty, Sideshow Mel, and Mr. Burns) and plot to kill him to get rid of the mistakes of the past for a better future. A car chase through town ensues, and Homer winds up back at his own house to discover his family alive and well — the house's multiple coats of lead paint created "the perfect bomb shelter." The mutants are touched by the reunion and Marge suggests the two groups can be friends — but it's a ruse to ensure the mutants' guards are down, as she and the kids promptly kill the mutants with shotguns. "Now that's the Marge I married!", exclaims the impressed Homer and the family decides to steal some Ferraris.

Fly vs. Fly
A parody of both the fifties and the eighties versions of The Fly. The Simpson family attends Professor Frink's garage sale and Homer winds up buying a matter transporter. He promptly puts its two pods to good (to him, anyway) use and forbids Bart from trying it out for himself. In the middle of the night Bart tries to send Snowball II through it; instead both it and Santa's Little Helper go through at once. When Bart sees the result — two hybrids, one combining dog and cat front ends and one combining dog and cat rears ("Ewwww, you can be Lisa's!") he's intrigued by what would happen if he and an ordinary housefly buzzing past went through together...

Expecting to come out as "Superfly", Bart is disappointed to find that he and the fly's heads have been proportionally swapped. Still, the undaunted Bart!Fly heads out to cause mischief while grotesque Fly!Bart is reluctantly accepted by the other Simpsons. When Bart!Fly realizes that Fly!Bart's usurped his place in the household, he reveals himself to Lisa and she agrees to help him reverse the process. Fly!Bart attacks them both, but Lisa manages to knock it into the transporter with Bart!Fly and both are restored to normal. Homer, seeing what the transporter has wrought, grabs an ax and vows to do what he "should have done a long time ago" — and chases Bart around the house for playing with the machine.

Easy-Bake Coven
A parody of The Crucible. In 17th-century Springfield, Marge is accused of witchcraft. She pleads innocent, and it's decided to toss her off of a cliff to reveal the truth — if she's innocent, she'll fall to her death, if she's guilty, she'll be able to magically escape. As it turns out, she is a Wicked Witch, and flies off on her broomstick to her family and the townsfolk's horror. At their mountain hideaway, Marge reunites with her sisters/fellow witches Patty and Selma, and soon they head out to find some delicious kids to eat.

The Flanders family finds themselves a target of the witches' intent, but before the threesome can haul off Rod and Todd, Ned and Maude offer them gingerbread kids instead. The witches find the cookies sufficiently tasty and spare the Flanders children, wishing they hadn't filled up on kids at their previous stops. According to Captain McAllister, placating witches with treats was the origin of trick-or-treating, and the following year kids all over town happily go door-to-door for goodies. Homer, on the other hand, decides to egg a house — which Lisa points out is his own. So he accuses her of being a witch and a mob promptly runs her out of town.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: This applies to Homer perfectly in "Fly Vs. Fly" when he tries to kill Bart with an axe, caring more about the transporter more than his own son.
  • Accidental Misnaming: When Marge tells her sisters about being exposed as a witch, one of them comments that this means she finally left "Durwood", and Marge corrects them about Homer's name. But they don't care.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: In "Easy Bake Coven," Wiggum's statement that Marge will "fall to an honorable Christian death" if she isn't a witch is presented as a bit of Insane Troll Logic, but this attitude actually is consistent with how real-life witch hunters reasoned on both sides of the Atlantic. As they saw it, it was safer to just kill anyone suspected of being a witch, since you'd be ridding the world of a demon if the accusation was true, and if they were innocent then they'd be sent to heaven as a martyr.
  • And the Rest: When Homer believes he's the last man alive, he bemoans losing his family, saying "Little Bart... little Lisa... little Marge... And all the rest!" Tellingly, this not only includes Maggie, but also the pets and the TV.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: In "Fly vs. Fly", Fly!Bart tricks a spider into thinking that he's caught in its web. When he's about to be eaten, he slaps the arachnid and flies away. The spider watches him in anger, shaking its four legs in synchronized movement, probably swearing revenge.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: Homer really enjoys being the last man alive. He goes dancing to the church, completely naked.
  • Apocalypse How: Type 0 in "The Homega Man". The nuclear warhead destroys only Springfield.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When revealed as a witch in "Easy-Bake Coven", Marge proudly declares she withered the village's livestock, soured their sheeps' milk, and made their shirts itchy.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the end of "Fly vs. Fly", after Bart and the fly are turned back to normal via the transporter, Homer decides to pick up a fire axe and does "something [he] should have done a long time ago"...
    Homer: (looks Bart dead in the eye) I'll teach you to mess with my machine!
    (cue the episode ending with Homer chasing Bart with the fire axe back and forth across the living room)
  • Blatant Lies: "Fly vs. Fly" ends with Homer promising to not hurt Bart... while in the middle of chasing him with a fire axe.
  • Body Horror:
    • The effects of Bart crossing into the matter transporter with the fly's head on his body.
    • The mutants in "The Homega Man," who appear to be rotting. Wiggum at one point says that it "really brings a tear to your eyesocket" just before his eyeball falls out.
  • Bowdlerization: The scene of Homer dancing naked in church was originally (as in, "as written in the script") going to be Homer dancing naked on the church's altar (though the church The Simpsons go to doesn't have an altar, as it's not a Catholic church), but the censors objected to the location (they were already wary about Homer dancing naked in church, but they only allowed it if the altar scene was changed to Homer dancing naked in the front row).
  • Burn the Witch!: What accused witches are sentenced to in old Springfield until they are deemed fit to return to society again.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: At the end of "Easy-Bake Coven", when Lisa points out Homer is egging their house (prompting the crowd behind him to mock him), Homer sics the crowd on Lisa by calling her a witch.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: In "Fly vs Fly", Homer warns Bart not to play with the matter transporter - which Bart then does anyway.
  • *Drool* Hello: Done by Bart!Fly in "Fly vs Fly".
  • Eats Babies: Zigzagged in "Easy-Bake Coven". Played straight when, after eavesdropping on Maude Flanders fears about what witches do, Marge, Patty and Selma decide that eating kids sounds like a great way to get back at the villagers. Subverted when, upon reaching the Flanders' house, the witches are quite happy to accept a bribe of candy, cakes and other treats instead of eating Rod & Todd. Then double-subverted when, after finishing collecting their bribes from the Wiggums, Marge complains that she wishes they hadn't filled up on children before snagging all these goodies, belching before leading her sisters off into the sky.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The FOX censor, appropriately enough, utters these each time he is stabbed.
  • HA HA HA No: The Fox Censor's reaction to one of the lines in the script he is editing in the intro.
  • Irony: As it happens, Homer didn't need to buy a fallout shelter in "The Homega Man"; the house has enough layers of lead paint to protect them.
  • Idiot Ball: Marge in "Fly vs Fly" by not getting up to stop Homer from killing Bart and Homer in Easy Bake Coven for throwing a rock at his own house.
  • MAD: The title "Fly vs Fly" is a parody of Mad Magazine's "Spy vs. Spy", written in the Spy logo font.
  • Meaningful Name: The FOX Network censor named Fox Censor.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Maude Flanders talking to her husband about how witches steal and eat children in "Easy-Bake Coven" gives Marge and her sisters the idea to do just that, as originally they were just going to steal peoples' shoes.
  • Ninja Prop: The TV rating stabbing the FOX censor.
  • Not Me This Time: In "Easy-Bake Coven", Marge the witch insists that Lenny's turnip crop was destroyed by gophers and she had nothing to do with it, after having boasted about the things that she did do.
  • Oh, Crap!: The mutants, right before Marge and the kids shoot them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Homer watches a Chris Farley/David Spade movie at the theater, most likely Tommy Boy, as Homer gleefully says "Oh, Spade... why did you put Farley in charge of the bees?".
    • Witch!Selma refers to Witch!Marge's husband as "Durwood" a la Bewitched's Endora referring to Darrin by that name (among others).
    • Witch 1 Marge and her witch sisters click their back heels on the brooms to make them fly a la Witch Hazel.
    • Wearing a black hood and with paling skin, Mutant Burns says to Homer "And now, you must die."
    • In "Easy-Bake Coven," Mrs. Krabapple is wearing a Scarlet A on her chest.
    • Mike Scully's scary nickname in the end credits is Mike "Agent" Scully.
    • "Fly vs Fly" is an Whole Plot Reference to The Fly (1958) and its remake. When Bart stepped into the teleporter with the fly, he was going for the latter but got the former.
  • Take That!: In "The Homega Man", the "Withstandinator" bomb shelter includes a Gary Larson calendar. Homer flips through each page, saying "I don't get it."
  • The Un-Favourite: Lisa in "Easy-Bake Coven"; Homer even goes so far as to accuse her of witchcraft just because she told him he was egging their own house, causing the other villages to laugh at him.
  • Three Shorts: As per usual.
  • The Weird Sisters: In "Easy-Bake Coven", Marge and her two elder twin sisters Patty and Selma are witches who intend to eat the children of the Springfieldians.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Homer does this twice in two segments by trying to kill Bart in Fly vs Fly and telling everyone his own daughter Lisa's a witch in Easy Bake Coven.
  • Wicked Witch: Marge, Patty, and Selma in "Easy-Bake Coven".
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the second and third shorts; Homer attempts to kill Bart for messing with his transporter in "Fly vs. Fly", and then accuses Lisa of witchcraft to cover up for his own stupidity in "Easy-Bake Coven".
  • Your Mom: Yeardley Smith's (voice of Lisa) name in the end credits, which, in Halloween specials, are usually gag names.