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Nightmare Fuel / The Simpsons

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— "Cape Feare"

You wouldn't think that a show starring a cartoonish family could be scary enough for its own page, right? Wrong.

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    Regular Episodes (and The Movie) 

  • In the episode "Flanders Ladder" is creepy within itself. The fact the episode is a parody of the movie "Sixth Sense" makes this episode more intense. The scene at the end of the episode when Bart tells Lisa when they are going to die is really morbid, especially when Flanders has a wall of pictures of his dead wives Maude and Edna. creepy stuff.
  • In the episode The Nightmare after Krustmas, Maggie has terrifying visions of the toy gnome that Marge gave her for Christmas. it gets scary at 3:43
  • The episode "Homer's Odyssey" is filled with dull, aching Adult Fear. Homer loses his job to circumstances that aren't entirely his fault, fails to find a new job, slips into a deep depression, and tries to kill himself. Marge finds his suicide note, and she and the family show up just in time to talk him out of it. What’s worse is that an old couple LAUGHS at Homer.
  • Though your mileage may vary, Krusty having a heart attack (in front of an audience consisting of several children) in "Krusty Gets Busted" was pretty jarring. The fact that the audience of kids thought it was part of his act and laugh/cheer arguably makes it worse. What's worse is that incidences of performers having heart attacks on stage have actually happened; e.g. the ukuleleist Tiny Tim.
  • Near the end of the flashback in "The Way We Was," it's heavily implied that Marge was almost sexually assaulted by her prom date Artie Ziff. He tries to grope her, and ends up tearing her dress sleeve and bra strap. 20 years later and he’s still a scuzzbag.
  • In the season 2 episode in which Santa's Little Helper goes to obedience school, the instructor demonstrates how to use a choke collar on the poor dog until he passes out. Even worse, there are dog owners like this in real life. Let’s be glad it wasn’t a SHOCK collar...
  • All Singing, All Dancing: Snake repeatedly holding the family hostage which creates an unsettling tone for a musical-based clip show. To make matters worse, Snake even fires said gun during the closing credits.
  • Bart Gets Famous: Lisa fantasizes about being incredibly successful and then impaling Bart on a trophy and when Bart tries to snap her back to reality, she doesn't want to because she's so happy.
  • Bart of Darkness: The bit where the axe-wielding not murderer Ned Flanders slowly walks up to the attic where Lisa is, humming, "Mary Had A Little Lamb".
  • "Bart Sells His Soul", where Bart sells his soul to Milhouse, in one of the darkest episodes of the series as noted by many. Bart becomes a Creepy Child pretty soon throughout the episode, eventually culminating in him threatening Ralph Wiggum.
    Bart: "I need a soul, Ralph. Any soul. YOURS!"
    • The scene when Chief Wiggum flashed the flashlight on Bart, and Bart hissed like a vampire was a bit unsettling. creepy Bart
    • Bart's own nightmare, where his soul can be seen working for Milhouse and he's left alone rowing in circles, unable to reach the magic castle on the island is kinda disturbing, too.
  • Bart the Murderer: The nightmare sequence from "Bart the Murderer", where the "dead" Skinner says, "YOU KILLED ME, BART!" Hell, even HOMER turned against his own son.
  • Bart Vs. Thanksgiving: Bart's nightmarish Imagine Spot where he thinks his family, appearing borderline demonic, won't forgive him for what happened with Lisa's centerpiece.
  • Black Widower: During Selma and Sideshow Bob's wedding, Bart imagines Sideshow Bob as The Grim Reaper saying "I do".
    • More generally, it's heavily implied throughout the episode that Bob wants to kill Bart for exposing his original crimes. The licence plates he makes in prison include words like "IH8Bart" and "BartDOA". Bob also says during dinner that if he wanted to kill Bart, he'd have choked the boy as soon as he walked in the Simpsons' front door in a Did I Just Say That Out Loud? moment. When the family is horrified, Bob quickly covers it up with a "Just Joking" Justification. In Cape Feare (see below) Bob actually follows through on trying to murder Bart.
  • The Blunder Years: Homer was hypnotized to age twelve. In the flashback when he pokes the stick into the drain to figure out where the water went and the decomposing (maggots and everything) corpse washes out and lands on top of him: it was Waylon Smithers Sr.
    • While it wasn't seen, Smithers Sr's death wasn't pretty.
    Mr Burns: Look at your heroic daddy in there. Making funny faces, falling to the floor, shedding his hair and... lying perfectly still.
  • In the episode The Man Who Came to Be Dinner there was a scene with aliens giving birth over and over again, that could qualify as nausea fuel also.
  • The Bob Next Door: Combine that with Squick: After Sideshow Bob has drugged his cellmate, Walt Warren, unconscious, he carries him to a prison hospital, where he makes a surgical face and hair transplant. And no, it's not a comical one, but a rather sickly one: Bob uses a scalpel to cut a line around Walt's face and hair, then tears it off, revealing some blood and muscle. And even worse, when Bob has to do his own face and hair removal, surgically, on himself, he tries easing the pain with some alcohol, before piercing his own face on the dotted line, screaming and wincing in pain! And in a close-up, too! Worse still, they didn't use a Shadow Discretion Shot or something, but they actually managed to show THE WHOLE DAMN PROCEDURE ON CAMERA!!! On a PG-rated show, no less! The way the transplant was done, the show's team could have easily bumped up the rating to TV-14 (at least Bob accidentally puts on Walt's face upside-down, in a funny sort of relief), but still, why they didn't bump up the rating by a smidge is far beyond us.
  • Boy Scoutz 'n the Hood: The end where Ernest Borgnine and the other Junior Campers get attacked by an unknown someone or something hiding in the woods (though the fact that they were at an "abandoned summer camp" coupled with some tell tale sound effects, can allow a reasonable guess to the assailant's identity).
  • Brother From The Same Planet: During a Nightmare Sequence earlier in the episode, Homer realizes he forgot Bart and dreams that he drove up to where Bart was supposed to be waiting and all there is left is a (spiky-headed) skeleton.
    • Following that, when Homer actually does pick up Bart, Bart is left speechless in anger as Homer attempts to pass off a very shoddy apology about how "they were both wrong". Bart slowly turns to Homer and imagines his eyes and the flesh on his face melting off like wax, until Homer asks "NOW HOW 'BOUT A HUG" in a horrifying voice. While some consider this a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment, in context this scene conveys just how angry Bart feels from his own point of view. He loathes Homer so much at that point that he sees him as a disfigured monster. The image was so frightening that it was the page image on this page for some time!
      • Made worse by the fact that the aforementioned image is associated with the "Dead Bart" Creepypasta (even though it’s Homer).
      • The “Big Brother” is implied to be a pedophile.
  • Cape Feare: Bob's prison tattoo of Bart's severed, bloody head on a skateboard saying, "Ouch, man!"
    • Homer twice scaring Bart (who's already fearing for his life because of Sideshow Bob) before bed. Particularly, the silhouette of Homer's head as he's holding the knife, with glowing yellow eyes.
    • The episode's whole plot is disturbing. While we see Bob suffer as a Butt-Monkey, the fact remains that he's trying to stalk and murder a ten-year old child for exposing his original crimes. It was foreshadowed in Black Widower (see above), but the scene when Bob surprises Bart in his bedroom, holding a large knife, is chilling.
  • Children of a Lesser Clod: Ralph getting trapped in Homer's scabbing knee injury.
    Homer: It knows you're afraid.
  • Eight Misbehavin: after meeting the mascot of Shøp, the following exchange occurs.
    Alan Wrench: "You put it together yourself! All you need is me, Alan Wrench!"
    Homer: "He's named after what he is!"
    Bart: "Hey, cool costume!"
    Alan Wrench: [Robotic voice] "It's not a costume. They found me inside a meteor."
    Marge: Excuse me, where do you keep your hamper lids?
    Alan Wrench: [Normal voice] "Hamper lids? Uh, third floor." [Robotic, to Bart] "Help! I need tungsten to live! Tungsten!"
  • Fraudcast News: When Mr. Burns tries to get Lisa to sell her newspaper, he offers her some cute little ponies in exchange. When she refuses, they hiss at her, revealing sets of pointy teeth and lizard tongues.
  • Funeral for a Fiend: During Sideshow Bob's trial in this clip, when his parents reveal that their son has a congenial heart defect, and they put the blame on Bart, the boy tries responding that Bob is a Manipulative Bastard. It goes From Bad to Worse at the 56-second mark, when he angrily pulls a nitroglycerin vial (for his heart defect) out of his pocket with a "I didn't want to use this, but you've left me no choice!" Chief Wiggum sees that the nitroglycerin is a "bomb" and the crowd panics, but Bart snatches the vial and tosses it out of the window. Bob becomes horrified when he has lost the medicine and cries out, with a pained look on his face, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAAAAND! I- I-" And then his body goes out of control as he wobbles around, still clutching his chest in a dizzying manner, before his body collapses and falls onto the floor in a lifeless pose. (Oh, and the unsettling music doesn't help matters either.) Sure, the nitroglycerin-as-medicine thing is all a ploy, and he gets better thanks to the "fake death" IV anesthesia his father, Dr. Robert Terwilliger Sr., had administered to him prior to the trial so that he can later wake up in an effort to incinerate his Arch-Enemy in his coffin, but still, watching Bob in a pretense of agony as he falls into a temporary deathlike state like that is very unsettling, especially for kids.
  • Future-Drama: Professor Frink's skeleton is shown hanging in his lab in the future, implying that he committed suicide and that no-one either noticed or cared enough to bother to look into his disappearance.
  • Gone Maggie Gone: Marge staring at the solar eclipse and burning her retinas. Unlike some disfigurements in the show, this one is not treated as a joke: Marge screams in pain as her retinas give a sickening crackle noise. Even worse, she spends the entire episode blind. Adult Fear indeed.
  • The Great Louse Detective: Near the beginning of the episode, Homer has an Asian masseuse walking on his back, when she suddenly starts SINKING into it like it's quicksand, trying to pull herself free as she cries for help. The scariest part about that whole scene is Homer's completely nonchalant tune as he tells her not to struggle or she'll sink faster. Then it cuts to the next scene and is never talked about again. Has that happened to other people before? What happened to the lady?
  • Halloween of Horror: The only canonical Halloween episode, it has a home invasion played completely straight. Three men, who got fired because Homer revealed they were stealing, decide to take revenge while Homer and Lisa are home, forcing the two of them to hide in the attic.
    • A lot of what happens at the Krustyland Halloween Horror Night. Lisa bumps into a zombie in costume, which then TEARS ITS OWN FACE OFF right in front of her, freaking her out. As Homer walks with Lisa through a zombie horde, Lisa is terrified to see she's holding a zombie's hand. Then when Lisa tries telling a random woman she's lost, she gets threatened with a chainsaw from the child with her. A face bursting out of the chest of the guard Lisa tries talking to right after that. Can't really blame Lisa for huddling on the ground, utterly terrified and surrounded by zombies.
  • Homer and Lisa Exchange Crosswords: "No... I'm not mad."
  • "The mark of evil upon Cain's face in "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass".
  • Homer vs. Lisa and the Eighth Commandment: What better way is there to instill the fear of eternal damnation into the viewer than with a vision of your family, blissfully ignorant of their surroundings, suddenly watching their stolen cable TV within the bowels of hell?
    Devil: C'mon, Lisa. Watch a little cable with us. It won't cost you a thing. EXCEPT YOUR SOUL!
  • Homer's Enemy: Frank Grimes' complete mental breakdown and slow descent into insanity throughout the episode.
  • Homer Goes to Prep School: The Gainax Ending where a meteor is shown heading for Springfield and it's covered with zombies.
  • Homer Loves Flanders: Homer randomly emerges through Flanders' hedge accompanied by creepy music.
  • Homer the Heretic: God help you if you're pyrophobic during the end of this episode. Homer skips church for the second time in a fortnight and falls asleep with a lit cigar in his mouth, igniting some magazines on the floor. By the time he's woken up, the whole house is engulfed in flames. Just think about that. Homer is asleep, in a house fire. Only when the fire ignites his two hairs does he wake up. Luckily for Homer, Ned returns from church and is able to save him before the fire department arrives.
  • Homer the Moe: The jukebox in Moe's bar gets stuck, leading Homer to imitate Fonzie by smashing it. Of course, he cuts his hand and bleeds out in spectacular fashion (it was a "Reality Ensues" take on what Fonzie does on Happy Days). Now you know why that scene was cut on BBC Two in the UK.
  • Homer the Smithers: After a montage of getting berated by Mr. Burns, Homer actually punches Burns, hard enough that it seems like he killed him, leaving Homer muttering in fear before running away. From the punch to the panic, the scene is silent until "Psycho" Strings start to play. It's extremely frightening because up until this point, we were amused at Homer struggling to keep up as an assistant.
    • It's followed up by Burns extremely shaken and terrified from Homer's punch, even when Homer tries to apologize, and being alone with Smithers far away on vacation. Even an attempt to call for help fails by accidentally ringing Moe who presumes it to be another prank and threatens Burns.
  • The Homer They Fall: Homer is in the ring with Heavyweight Boxing Champion Drederick Tatum. Up to this point, Homer has withstood blows from other boxers and even three thugs with weapons without even a wince. But one blow from Tatum is enough to daze him and send him reeling. His wife Marge understandably freaks, screaming for someone to stop the fight, and even Grampa, whose relationship with his son is tenuous at best, exclaims in horror that his son will die on his feet. The whole sequence is very reminiscent of the tragic scene in "Rocky IV".
  • Hurricane Neddy: Ned Flanders exploding with decades of pent up anger after he witnesses the half-assed attempt the town made to rebuid his house after a hurricane:
  • I Am Furious (Yellow): Homer Hulking Out. Becomes Nightmare Retardant when Bart says, "Thank God his pants stayed on."
  • Marge's Sanity Slippage, especially in the third act, is especially disturbing in "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad Marge", considering, you know, it's MARGE. GOING INSANE.
  • Kamp Krusty. The dilapidated buildings and canoes are certainly scary enough for the kids (not to mention the idea of three school bullies-cum-local teenaged thugs — one of which is actually a father, though Kearney does love and care for his son more than the other kids — being assigned as counselors), and there's also plenty of Adult Fear at the idea of your kids being sent to such a death trap with an In Name Only Money, Dear Boy connection to a popular children's celebrity.
  • Krusty gets Kancelled: By the end of Krusty's failed ventriloquist act Alphonse the Dummy looks... rather scary. Understandably, the poor kids were horrified.
  • Lard of the Dance: Homer's eye popping after his face is sucked inside the hose and during his fight with Willie. Doubles as Nausea Fuel.
  • In the episode Large Marge When Marge was trying to hold Maggie but her breasts were so big Maggie got scared from her point of view and there is ominous music being played in the background.
  • Last Exit to Springfield has the series of pictures of what Lisa could look like without braces. Tooth through the skull? Ouch.
    Bart: Cool, she'll be a freak!
  • Last Tap Dance in Springfield: Homer gets laser eye surgery, but forgets (read: doesn't want to spend any further money) to use his prescribed eye drops immediately after. Both eyes are instantly engulfed by thick, foot long crusts. The whole thing is made less disturbing (or more, if you think that Homer is being kidnapped) with the scene of Kearney and his hoodlum friends taking Homer to buy Jack Daniels and smokes, and then completely forgotten about after act one.
  • Lemon of Troy: During the climax, a guard dog runs at the Springfieldians, who manage to make it into Flanders' RV and shut the door just in time. The dog slams into the door and makes an imprint of its jaws. The dog holds its position and tries to chew through the folds of the ruined door, which makes an unsettling creaking sound as it almost gives in.
  • Lisa's First Word: The clown bed Homer made for Bart when he was a toddler, pictured up top.
    Clown Bed: (with fake cheerfulness) If you should die before you wake... (Evil Laugh)
    Bart: Can't sleep, clown will eat me. Can't sleep, clown will eat me.
  • Lisa's Pony: Lisa's scream when she finds her horse in her bed (in a Shout-Out to The Godfather).
  • Little Big Mom: The wild deer turning feral and about to murder Lisa until she's unintentionally saved by a ranger. What's worse is they act cute when they are near the ranger. And to top it all off, they give Lisa one last menacing glare while the ranger isn't watching.
  • Marge vs The Monorail: Burns and Smithers debate where to dump their nuclear waste. Burns is against dumping it in the park because "All those bald children are raising suspicions". Not "three-eyed children". Not "glowing children". Bald children. Whatever side-effects those poor kids have suffered from Burns' negligence isn't the usual Simpson-esque fantasy, but something very real.
  • My Fare Lady: Marge quits her Ride Service job, and gives Moe the smile from her car, to brighten up his refurbished bar. Just before the credits, however, it begins to talk, telling Moe he'll never be alone again. When Moe asks who the hell it is, it eerily replies, "You'll find out, soon enough..."
  • My Sister, My Sitter: Bart doing everything he can to upset Lisa, getting injured and trying to make his injury worse, eventually falling unconscious… followed by Lisa’s nightmarish odyssey to get him to a doctor, resulting in the whole town thinking she’s on drugs and killed Bart.
  • ''New Kids on the Blecch": Yvan eht nioj, yvan eht nioj, yvan eht nioj...
  • Papa Don't Leech: Homer dreaming about suffocating Grampa after a car accident. It was meant to be a funny parody of a similar scene from an episode of The Sopranos, but it was still disturbing and a sign that the days of the Simpsons writers doing the kind of dark humor that emphasizes the "humor" part are done.
  • "The Parent Rap": The scene where Bart drags a tethered Homer across the baseball field and a dazed and bloodied Homer says to him "Come on, hug me."
  • 24 Minutes: Bart carves the phrase "death before homework" into his arm with a knife. That's right, a child willingly injuring himself with a sharp object in a slow and painful fashion. One of the darkest moments in the series.
  • Realty Bites: Snake is spanning a wire over a road with the intention of decapitating Homer when he comes driving along. Luckily, that doesn't work out. What it does accomplish however is completely severing off Kirk van Houten's arm! (In a later scene, we briefly see him with his arm now complete again in a bandage - but still…)
    • The bits and pieces of the story behind the Murder House, which includes a "torso heap" in front of the fireplace.
  • Rosebud: The ending, where we see, in a distant future, men (or rather, several Homer clones) are slaves to apes, Mr. Burns is still alive in some strange robotic life support machine, and Smithers's head is grafted onto a robo-dog's body, followed by the disturbing music that plays whenever there's chaos or a riot on the show.
  • Selma's Choice: Selma takes Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens after Homer falls ill from food poisoning. The trio are on this "It's A Small World"-esque ride called, "The Little Land of Duff," with robot kids from all over the world singing, "Duff Beer for me/Duff Beer for you/I'll have a Duff/You have one too..." Bart dares his sister to drink the water. Lisa is then forced to drink it by Selma and Lisa begins tripping — first, she sees the Little Land of Duff robots fading away, then Lisa begins rambling, "They're all around me! No way out! NO WAY OUT, I TELL YOU!", and finally, Lisa sees Selma as a Medusa-like creature with multiple eyes and a snarling mouth for a shoulder. Lisa then screams and tries to beat Bart and Selma with an oar. Also counts as a CMOF.
  • Separate Vocations: Snake attempting to run over and kill Bart with his car, while Bart screams in terror and covers his eyes as he braces for being hit.
  • Simple Simpson has Homer, who is dressed as a secret identity superhero, the Pie Man, get shot in the arm by Chief Wiggum for his troubles. He the decides to dig the bullet out of his arm himself and while successful, he casually names all the areas of his body that he feels with his knife while getting it out, including bone, muscle and artery.
  • Simpsons Bible Stories: The Apocalypse, especially since the Simpsons go to hell, while the Flanderses go to heaven.
  • Simpson Safari: DIAMONDS!!!
  • Some Enchanted Evening: Marge. Twice. First, she growls at the kids with a menacing face when they ask her for dinner. Then, her eyes turn demon red while she is waiting for Homer to return home.
    • The "Babysitter Bandit".
  • Summer of 4 ft. 2: Lisa imagines literary characters coming to life inside a library and enticing her inside. When Alice tries inviting Lisa to a tea party, she then immediately starts warning Lisa to get away before the Mad Hatter pulls a gun to her head.
  • A Tale Of Two Springfields: A badger mauls Homer and it appears it tore open his stomach.
    Homer: What am I, a tailor?
  • Team Homer: Mr. Burns (high on ether), drilling Moleman's head off-screen.
  • There's No Disgrace Like Home: Homer's hellish vision of his dysfunctional family compared to the family of another worker.
  • A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again: The breakdown of civilization on board the ship after ten days due to Bart's prank to extend the family's vacation forever, with no regard given to the consequences of his actions whatsoever. Made even more grimly ironic as the cruise started out as the funnest thing ever, but descended into a floating hellhole. It's even implied that some passengers have reverted to cannibalism.
  • Trilogy of Error: The scene where Marge accidentally cuts Homer's thumb (and with blood squirting out) is surprisingly dark for a Simpsons episode that isn't part of the Treehouse of Horror series.
  • When Flanders Failed: Homer's Evil Laugh after he wins the wishbone contest, complete with an ascending Scare Chord. That is, until he starts choking on his hamburger. (His wish: The Leftorium going out of business.)
  • Who Shot Mr Burns Part 2: When Mr Burns can only say Homer's name after waking from his coma, it makes everyone think he shot him, not helped by the time the mob finds him, where he's practically strangling Mr Burns whilst ranting at him to tell everyone that he didn't do it. Further made worse, as Mr Burns chooses that moment to snap out of his daze and ask who the hell he is, causing Homer to completely snap, grab a nearby gun and hold it to Mr Burns's head, visibly shaking with rage.
    Homer: Say it, Burns! SAY I NEVER SHOT YOU...before.
    • Not to mention the ending where it's heavily implied that Maggie shot Mr. Burns intentionally as she starts shiftily looking around, all while a Scare Chord goes off and her pacifier sounds are replaced by gunshot sounds.
  • The Springfield Files, with its ominous nighttime shots, spindly alien, and liberal use of the X-Files theme, is pretty damn creepy at times.
  • Yokel Chords: The story Bart makes up to scare the other kids during lunch in one episode, about the murderous cafeteria cook Dark Stanley who killed the children who made fun of him and cooked them into a soup. The bizarre switch in animation during this segment doesn't help. Even worse, it's implied by some dialogue at the end that Dark Stanley was real!
  • In "Last Traction Hero" Lisa had arranged where everyone sits on the bus. Bart warned her that everyone is not happy with it. Cue "The Night On Bald Mountain"
  • "Marge Vs. SSCCATAGAPP" features a cultural reference to the "Weeping Frenchman" photo during a montage. In execution, it manages to make Milhouse's face look unsettling.
  • "The Girl Code" kicks off with an Imagine Spot where Homer is so starved at work, he faints into a nuclear vat, and we're treated to his body graphically dissolving.
  • Lady Bouvier's Lover: When the family celebrating Maggie's birthday, there's a surprisingly unnerving shot of Homer, Lisa, and Patty gleefully taking pictures of her, where they appear as ghostly cyclops with their mouths agape. No wonder poor Maggie looked so terrified of them!

    Examples of Treehouse Of Horror living up to its name 

  • Treehouse of Horror:
    • The Bad Dream House segment's possessed house, with blood running down the kitchen walls. Not to mention the evil spirit of the house and the way it makes the family try to kill each other. The worst part is that it worked until Marge managed to snap them out of the spell.
    The House: Lisa... Lisa... the butcher knife, Lisa...
    • The episode's rendition of The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe. The poem is narrated by James Earl Jones, with the scariest part being when Homer's character opens the chamber door to see who is knocking, and all he finds is "darkness there, and nothing more", accompanied by a shot of an impossibly long hall just stretching away into darkness.
    • The sheer terror on Homer's face at the knocking on the window. A better illustration of the fear Poe described as "fantastic terror never felt before" is hard to imagine.
    • The fact that even an animated sitcom like The Simpsons can nail the disturbing atmosphere of The Raven, perhaps better than anyone else due to not being held back by reality, is both this and Awesome.
  • Treehouse of Horror II: when Homer is turned into a robot right after Mr. Burns slices open Homer's head with a pizza cutter: "Dammit Smithers, this isn't rocket science! It's brain surgery!". And then Burns puts Homer's brain on his head, while quipping: "Look, Smithers, I'm Davy Crockett!". The ending of the short has Homer waking up with Burns's head on his shoulder was worse, complete with a joke teaser for "next week's episode".
    • Another one from "The Bart Zone" is seeing Krusty become a haggard and mentally broken insomniac from being forced by his biggest fan, Bart to perform on television for 346 consecutive hours without sleep (just over two weeks). He probably would've died of exhaustion by then but Bart probably wouldn't let him.
    • A sort of Meta example: if you happen to watch the episode on the season 3 DVD, at the end credits, after the Halloween-themed Gracie Films logo, surprise! The 1989 20th Century Fox Television Tower of Doom logo is retained on the episode instead of the usual 20th Television plaster.
  • Treehouse of Horror III: the Zombie Apocalypse Halloween segment "Dial 'Z' for Zombies" was scary by itself, but the ending makes it worse even though the family has destroyed the zombie plague. When they sit nicely in the chair and they watch TV. Marge said that they have to be happy that they didn't change into mindless zombies, but Bart interrupts them for watching TV: a guy falls on screen, and a laugh track plays only for Homer to moan, "Man. Fall down. Funny".
    Homer: ...I didn't even pull the cord that time...
  • Treehouse of Horror IV: "Terror from 5 at 1/2 Feet" was a homage to The Twilight Zone's own "Nightmare from 20,000 Feet", ending with Skinner putting Bart in a mental hospital due to him "misbehaving on the bus" despite Bart trying to warn them all about a gremlin he saw through the bus' windows. As a final insult to poor Bart and the psychological damage he went through, the gremlin appears in the back window of the ambulance he's in, while holding Ned's decapitated head which is saying "Hidely ho, Bart!". But it wasn't a clean decapitation, as Ned's severed spine was clearly hanging out of his ragged neck. Can't blame Bart for screaming.
    Bart: At least now I can get some rest...
    (The Gremlin appears, holding Ned's severed head)
    Ned: HIDELO-HO, BART!!!!
    (Bart screams in terror)
    • "Bart Simpson's Dracula", which parodies Dracula with Mr. Burns as the vampire. The twist at the end being that Marge is the head vampire.
      • Before then you have Bart willingly pulling a trap just to slide on it. Only to see the vampires waiting for him. A female vampire promptly pulls him off and pins him to the floor. We then get a quick first person view of the vampires surrounding him.
      • Then Burns flies in and, though we get a little humor in him not remembering Bart's name, it quickly goes back to scary when he goes in for the bite. Just the way how he somewhat growls as he's about to do it.
      • Vampire Bart nearly biting Lisa.
    • The ending, where Devil-Flanders loses the case to win Homer's soul, and in retaliation turns Homer's head into a donut. If you pause during this scene and put it through slow-motion, you can clearly yet briefly see Devil-Flanders turning into a screaming skeleton as he does.
  • Treehouse of Horror V:
    Skinner: I'm going to enjoy devouring you, Bart Simpson... I believe I'll start as you've so often suggested by "eating your shorts"...
    • Right after becoming sane again, Homer's final line of "The Shinning" (parodying The Shining) serves as a nice bit of Fridge Horror: as soon as he notice he can't change the channel, he mutters, "Urge to kill... rising...".
      • Same segment, the 'No TV and No Beer make Homer something something...' bit- some of the faces Homer pulls are quite spooky, and his eerie calm tone as he tells Marge 'Give me the bat!' is a little chilling. Then you factor in how many people are killed by their spouses, and this sequence can hit quite close to home.
    • Homer's mix of Kubrick Stare and Slasher Smile when he finally finds the family. It's mercifully only on screen for a few seconds, but dear gods, that face.
    • In "Time And Punishment, Flanders is seen as a Big Brother-esque supreme overlord as a result of Homer messing with his toaster (he accidentally turns the toaster into a time machine and changes the future by stepping on prehistoric bugs), specifically the part where a lobotomized Moe shows Homer "you get to keep the little piece they cut out", or even worse, where a lobotomized Marge says "It's bliiiiiiiiiissssss..." shortly afterwards. More generally, the nicest guy in Springfield playing the Big Brother role is unsettlingly ironic. Heck, he even has his own version of the Two-Minutes Hate:
    Let's see some BIIIG smiles!
    • During the opening credits at the cemetery, we get Moe hanging himself from a tree (complete with a neck-snapping sound) and then suddenly opening his eyes, which can be disturbing. And there's also that guillotine operated by Bart.
  • Treehouse of Horror VI: The A Nightmare on Elm Street parody, when Willie's tongue snakes out of his mouth and strangles Martin Prince. After Martin dies, we hear a familiar, out-of-place haw-haw from Nelson, and Lunch Lady Doris accidentally takes Martin's corpse into the kindergarten part of the school. Martin doesn't exactly leave a handsome corpse either: his bulging eyes and gagging grimace are permanently affixed onto his face.
    • In that same segment, Willie's initial death in the flashback was unbelievably horrifying, what with Skinner shutting him up with "Willie, please! Mr. van Houten has the floor!", as Willie, screaming for help, burns to a crisp during a PTA meeting.
    • At the end dream sequence, when Bart thinks he has finally killed Willie, he's rising out of the quicksand as a giant spider with a bagpipe body blaring a harsh droning tune.
  • Treehouse of Horror VII: "The Thing and I". Due to a discovery of the "evil gene" at Bart and his Siamese twin's birth, Dr. Hibbert suggests to take the newly-separated baby who has it and lock them up in the attic. Ten years later, the kids decide to investigate this and it ends up with the other twin, Hugo, trying to "re-sew" himself to Bart. Luckily, the family and Hibbert arrive and stop this before it happens. But then, to make that moment of saving moot, it is revealed that Bart is the one with the "evil gene", and he is forced to switch with his twin's position. It's a good thing that this is only a cartoon, because if this segment had occurred in real life, Homer, Marge, and Dr. Hibbert would end up going to prison for child cruelty, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie would go to child services, and Hugo would probably get taken by scientists in the hopes of "rehabilitating" him into normal society. Does anyone even remember the "Genie" case from the 1970s?
    • This episode also has Bob Dole and Bill Clinton (two contemporary Real Life people, regardless of one might think about their politics) suffocating in outer space. Completely naked.
    • Viewers are used to (or not) the scream and ominous organ played over the Gracie Films THOH logos, but the logo heard at the end of this episode may be the most frightening of all: the woman's scream is much more shrill and realistic sounding than the others' Stock Scream or hilarious sound byte from the episode.
  • Treehouse of Horror VIII: In the short "Fly vs. Fly" (Whole Plot Reference to The Fly), when Bart was messing around with Homer's teleporting machine and Santa's Little Helper and Snowball get in the way, that may have been another good example of crossing the line between parody and horror. On the parody side, Bart inadvertently made the Simpsons version of CatDog. On the horror side, he also made a creature that, for the sake of identification, will be called "ButtButt".
    • There's one scene, in the beginning of the episode in question, where Fox Censor (the Fox censor) proudly announces that thanks to his editing tonight's Simpsons episode is rated TV-G. But as he says this, a hand with a knife appears out of the on-screen rating icon and stabs him in the back repeatedly, raising the rating with every stab (culminating in TV-666). The resulting blood splatter, following tradition, spells out the title card.
    • The Homega Man, when Springfield getting nuked (for real this time) resulted in a disastrous aftermath, including the mutation of the survivors in the short's second half. There were some deleted scenes that were considered to be "too much" (mostly due to content, like Homer dancing naked on an altar at the abandoned church was changed to Homer dancing in the front row — still naked) even when the episode had Homer watching a Chris Farley/David Spade movie among the bodies of nuclear bomb victims.
      • There is also a scene wherein Homer destroys the head of a corpse sitting in a car. If you look closely, you may recognize that this is (or rather was) Millhouse's dad...
  • Treehouse of Horror IX: Bart and Lisa are transported into an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon via a supercharged remote, especially when a bunch of piranha eat most of Bart's flesh.
    • In "Starship Poopers", Maggie was revealed to be an alien and the daughter of Kang and Kodos - even going through stages of alien mutation such as sprouting fangs, developing tentacles, and walking up the wall. The Simpsons go on the Jerry Springer show to try and solve the crisis, but they end up fighting with Kang and Kodos who zap members of the audience with a ray gun. At the end Marge says that going on Jerry Springer didn't solve anything and Homer adds "Let's go home!"; then, suddenly, Maggie says in a deep menacing voice (identical to Kang's) "Very well. I'll drive!" and lets out an Evil Laugh.
    • The opening sequence for the ninth THOH episode is the first to be a properly "halloween-ized" version of the opening sequence thanks to some purposefully screwed-up timing: Bart falls off of Homer's car and snaps his neck, then Lisa runs into the car on her bike and gets launched head-first through the garage wall, and at the end, Homer runs from Marge and Maggie in the car, as they beep the horns and he gets impaled by the hood ornament. What's worse is that Marge and Maggie are smiling when they are about to collide into Homer.
    • In "Hell Toupee", Snake makes a classic little kids' comeback sound fearsome:
    Apu: (upon realizing that Snake's hair possessed Homer) Snake? But you're dead!
    Homer/Snake: I know you are, but what am I?
    • Snake in general in this episode is surprisingly scary. Imagine being one of the only witnesses to a death row inmates' last strike and he vows to kill you. Then even worse than that the killer ends up taking over your own father meaning you're not safe at home either.
  • Treehouse of Horror X: The third segment, "Life's a Glitch, Then You Die" had the Y2K end the world and two rocket ships, the good people go to Mars, the bad to the Sun. Bart and Homer get stuck on the bad one, and at the end of the short Bart and Homer escape the rocket ship to die faster, only to suffer Explosive Decompression offscreen.
  • Treehouse of Horror XI: Goldilocks' fate in the fairy-tale Halloween clip has her get mauled by the three bears. She struggles to get out of the house (was locked in by Bart and Lisa, who fled just a moment before). The scene then shoots from the outside of the house and all we can hear are her screams until she dies, and we only see blood coming outside.
    • Later in that segment, when the witch is thrown into her own oven, Tress Macneille provides some bloodcurdling screams that while played for laughs, can be pretty upsetting.
    • Other "highlights" are Homer accidentally scalping Rapunzel, and Bart and Lisa finding the skeletonized remains of their parents' two former kids. (Who look exactly like them. Including the skulls having the same spiky shapes that are usually considered to be their hair.)
    • The dolphin segment Night of the Dolphin, despite not being as gory as the second segment still has a few horrors of its own, mainly how a lot of the Springfieldians are gutted alive by a race of sentient dolphins who mass murder an entire town. And all the murders are on screen and gory. Damn...
  • Treehouse of Horror XII: "The House Of Whacks", when the Simpsons installed the house with Ultrahouse with Pierce Brosnan's voice, who did all the housework for them until things took a turn for the worse when it fell in love with Marge. Homer ended up in a whirling garbage disposal (splattering the kitchen with blood as a result), complete with Homer's terrified scream. Additionally, one of Ultrahouse's other voices was Dennis Miller, infamous for causing murder suicides.
    • Homer actually survives the garbage disposal - but the back part of his brain gets exposed as a result for being fed head-first and stays that way for the rest of the segment. Thank God the man's head is so hard.
    • In the opening sequence, when the Simpsons are going to Mr. Burns house for trick-or-treating, they're so freaked out by the "accidental" Halloween decorations that they run through the gate, which slices them in the style of an egg slicer and their pieces run all over the place. Mr. Burns did it by having Smithers electrocuted on the power line for a cheap laugh. And he calls it his lucky decoration.
    • Actually, it was an accident. Burns wanted Smithers to put the decoration on the top of his weather vane so people could see it. Smithers leaned out on the ladder too far and fell, sliding down the power line and electrocuting himself and causing the chaos. Burns thought the Simpsons running off scared was because they saw the decoration. You want something scarier than that, though? The decoration coming to life and flying at the camera, complete with bat shriek.
    • The ending of the Whole Plot Reference of Harry Potter, "Wiz Kids": Slithers (snake Smithers) eating Lord Montymort (Burns-Voldemort)'s corpse. As a whole.
  • Treehouse of Horror XIII: This is why you shouldn't get someone to return your stolen power tools for you.
  • Treehouse of Horror XIV: In the "Reaper Madness" segment, Homer becomes The Grim Reaper and must kill Marge, but instead kills Patty. Despite the lack of continuity-related consequences, in the consequent "Frinkenstein" segment Homer says "I wish I was Death again. That was cool."
    • The intro has Homer go insane and try to kill Bart and Lisa, kills Grandpa, then ends with him being shot by Marge and his blood on the curtains spells out the logo. Proof the intro of each TOH segment has been getting scarier.
    • "Frinkenstein" by itself was scary: Frink's dad is made into a Frankenstein's monster expy and goes on a body-part-collecting rampage.
  • Treehouse of Horror XV: the end of the segment "In The Belly Of The Boss", which has a shrunken Homer regrowing while still in Mr. Burns. Then, the Simpsons' family is shown eating a fancy dinner with Homer's face covered in Burns' flesh (with Homer complaining he needs a hole for eating "and a couple of other holes too.")
  • Treehouse of Horror XVI: the segment where everyone turned into what they were dressed as for Halloween, including Homer becoming a headless ghoul and poor Disco Stu, who had the unfortunate idea of dressing up as 70s-era Steve Martin, who was known for having a phony arrow through his head.
  • Treehouse of Horror XVII: the end of "Married to the Blob". The poor people of Springfield gratefully rush through the door of what appears to be a new homeless shelter, and straight into the jaws of a gigantic, ravenous Homer. This gross-out moment becomes chilling social commentary considering that Mayor Quimby organized the whole thing in order to allow the newly mutated Homer to "benefit society" by cleaning up the streets.
    • The alien blob trying to escape from Homer as/after he devours/devoured it at the beginning of the segment was unsettling as well, as Homer sniffed it back inside. Later, Homer's initial phase of the blob-induced possession involve him repeatedly smacking Snowball V over the head with a frying pan as the poor thing tries to emerge through his belly.
    • The end of the segment "The Day the Earth Looked Stupid", a Whole Plot Reference to The War of the Worlds, where all the humans are gone was kind of unsettling. It was also based on the Iraq invasions: "We had to invade! They were building weapons of mass disintegration!". The ending was originally supposed to include a remark by Kang and Kodos, "This is a lot like Iraq will be" when the camera panned over a Desolation Shot of Springfield's ruined remains, but it was cut: not because of Executive Meddling or censorship, but because the writers thought it was too obvious.
      • The creepy music when all the humans were gone was a bit unsettling.
    • Krusty's appearance in HDTV at the beginning of "You Gotta Know When To Golem".
    Krusty: "Yeah, that's right. Look at your hero!"
  • Treehouse of Horror XVIII: Ned turns into the devil and teaches the children a lesson using his "heck house" ride. Some citizens of Springfield are seen suffering fates appropriately suitable for the sin they're committing: Groundskeeper Willy being attacked by his own tractor for wrath, Homer bursting inside-out and turning into spaghetti for gluttony, Moe taking a stripper's money and then getting kicked in the crotch for lust, greed, and envy (the "envy" part is Moe envying the crotchless who don't have the "fortune" of feeling pain from getting kicking in the groin), and Homer again ("I thought I got killed by that magic spaghetti...") getting ground through his hammock into huge square chunks of meat for sloth.
    • The Halloween episode with the play on ET. Homer smothering the alien with a pillow and murmuring "Shhshhshh" while doing so, like he's putting a child to bed.
    • Also, the title card and the opening credits, where they are made out of characters from various Fox shows, with House and American Idol among others (originally Family Guy's Peter Griffin was supposed to be in there, but the scene was redone to exclude that). The worst part? It's Marge killing all of these characters with a sadistic smile on her face. Most level-headed Simpson my ass.
  • Treehouse of Horror XIX: Krusty being fed through a woodchipper in "How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising". His constant agonized screaming, ending with a pile of an organs in the end. That death wasn't even funny, it was downright horrifying and rightfully so, was Bowderlized out of the UK version.
    • Homer strangling Prince with his own guitar (shaped like the symbol he named himself in the 1990s), then stabbing him, and breaking it over his head. The other two deaths (George Clooney getting sucked into quicksand and Neil Armstrong getting hit with a golf club after a needlessly complicated Rube Goldberg-like chain of events) were funny because of how cartoony they were in nature; this...was just sick.
    • Homer's head exploding after Krusty shoots it.
    • When Tom Turkey goes on a rampage at the end of "It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse" it played for laughs, but then Fridge Horror kicks in...he's swallowing people like the Grand Pumpkin did, but unlike the Grand Pumpkin whose victims were fine afterwards, he probably does have a working digestive system.
  • Treehouse of Horror XX: In "Don't Have a Cow, Mankind" (a "28 Days Later"-meets-"Children of Men" parody), Krusty's burgers had mad-cow disease inserted into them and turned the rest of Springfield into ravenous zombies, after eating the commercialized product. Made even creepier by the complete lack of background music.
    • In the same episode, the "There's No Business Like Moe Business" segment, Moe serves Marge Homer's blood after being impaled on his beer-culturing machine. However, this segment stands out as it tries to give a canonical explanation for the non-canonical body count of the Halloween episode, namely the segment's nature as a theatrical play.
      • This also happens at the end of Treehouse of Horror XXII.
  • At the beginning of Treehouse of Horror XXI, Professor Frink points a DVR remote at himself and presses fast forward, causing him to age rapidly and turn to dust.
    • The end of "Master and Cadaver," revealing that the whole story of Homer and Marge saving a drowned man (who may be a murderer) was all in Maggie's imagination as she's taking a bath. Homer and Marge think Maggie was dreaming up something cute and cuddly, but her sudden transformation into Alex from A Clockwork Orange says otherwise...
    • Rod and Todd's death in the Satan's path game during War and Pieces was disturbingly graphic even for a Treehouse of Horror special and wasn't the least bit funny.
  • At the beginning of Treehouse of Horror XXII, Homer gets his right arm stuck under a boulder, and then he can't reach his secret candy-stash. The only way to get himself off the boulder is to gorily chew off his own arm. He also ends up chewing off his right leg and his left arm. It doesn't help that this Halloween episode aired the day before Halloween (in one of the rare times in several years that a Halloween episode didn't have to wait until after baseball season [around November] to air). This idea would later be repeated but to the nth degree in Treehouse of Horror XXVIII's segment "Mmm... Homer".
    • The end credits have one while seeing Yeardley Smith's alternate Halloween credit, where instead of the name, we see that a big white "CENSORED" is plastered over it. It provides a Jump Scare for anyone just seeing it.
  • In "The Greatest Story Ever Holed" from "Treehouse of Horror XXIII", Sideshow Mel getting his skeleton sucked out of his skin by the black hole.
    • In the Paranormal Activity parody "UNnormal Activity", Homer consoling Lisa by stating that sometimes a horrible being from Hell haunts a family at night and then kills them.
  • Treehouse of Horror XXIV has Freaks, No Geeks where Mr. Burns runs a freak show. In addition to the eerie sepia tone of the episode, the ending has all the other freaks slowly advancing upon Strongman Homer (the only non-freak character in the circus) and chanting "One of us!" with the intention of doing bodily harm to him, turning him into one of them or worse. Even if he did deserve the punishment and it's ultimately Played for Laughs, it's still a disturbing scene, especially for the last segment of the episode. Also, before the freaks attack Homer, the lightning flashes indicate the dead body of Mr. Burns in the background, having been hanged from a tree.
  • The Halloween couch gags are pretty nightmarish as well. How bad can they be? Let's see...
    • The family runs to the couch as skeletons. As a small Shout-Out, Marge has a white streak in her hair, like the Bride of Frankenstein. (THOH III)
    • The family burst out of the floor as zombies and sit on the couch. (THOH IV)
    • The family run in as ghouls with severely mismatched body parts. They make it worse swapping them around. (THOH V)
    • The family drop down from the ceiling one by one in nooses, Maggie included. She still sucks her pacifier, though.note  (THOH VI)
    • The Grim Reaper sits on the couch. As the family rush in, they fall over dead, one atop another. The reaper uses Homer, who dies last, as a footrest. (THOH VII)
    • The family sit down as usual. Metal helmets fall on their heads, and they are shackled in before they're given the chair (in this case, couch). (THOH VIII)
    • After the Halloween opening where nearly all of the family is dead, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees are shown sitting on the couch waiting for the family to show up. Freddy wonders where they are, but Jason takes it in stride and switches on the tube. (THOH IX)
    • The family is shown in guises from past Halloween specials as they watch Kang and Kodos' intro. Homer is a jack-in-the-box, Marge is a witch, Maggie is in her half-alien form, and Bart has a fly's head. The only exception is Lisa, who has an axe in her head. When she asks what aliens have to do with Halloween, Maggie yells "Silence!" She then pulls out a ray gun and disintegrates her. (THOH X)
  • The intro directed by Guillermo del Toro for XXIV. Zombies have overrun Springfield, Ralph is killed when the head of Jebediah's statue falls on him, Bart is scared out of a derelict and seemingly abandoned school by a crazed Stephen King, and on his way through the town, encounters the series regulars being chased by classic horror characters like Dracula, the Invisible Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Frankenstein's Monster, Homer is hideously mutated by the uranium stick he drops into his safety suit and is pursued by Carl as Blade (who accidentally decapitates Lenny when he pulls out his katana), Alfred Hitchcock causes angry birds to attack Miss Krabappel, Chtulhu has risen and towers over the town, Maggie drives a black car around the town and kills Milhouse by knocking him off a bridge and gets devoured by a feral Blinky The Mutant Fish, and Marge has become one of the monstrous humanoid insects from Mimic, and instead of buying groceries, the items on the supermarket counter are the strange clockwork vampire insects from Cronos. Meanwhile, deep beneath Springfield (passing over the bones of the original Godzilla and the rotting remains of the Simpsons from the Tracey Ullman shorts) Mr Burns, in the form of The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth, devours a fairy in the form of Smithers. Finally, the path back to the Simpson home, which is normally shown as passing over the various Springfield inhabitants, is now full of all manner of horrors such The Hypnotist from the lost film London After Midnight, Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still and one of the disfigured performers from Freaks.
  • The Treehouse of Horror XXV segment "The Others," which had the present-day Simpsons being haunted by their Tracey Ullman-era selves before dying and joining them as ghosts, had a particularly unnerving moment in which Groundskeeper Willie drags off the bodies of the (modern) Simpson kids to make stew with. When Lisa asks "Wait, who killed Maggie?" Willie has a shifty-eyed look on his face.
  • The Treehouse of Horror XXVI segment "Wanted: Dead, Then Alive" has several moments that are genuinely disturbing. First, Sideshow Bob finally kills Bart. And it's not an over the top, comically ridiculous death, but fairly realistic. Bart gets harpooned through the heart, and since that doesn't immediately do the trick, Bob RETRACTS the harpoon and RIPS HIS HEART OUT. He then tears out Bart's large intestine and uses it to tie his corpse to himself like a harness. It's also then revealed that Bob has kept Bart's corpse as it starts to decompose, eventually stuffing him in a compartment in the wall. To make it worse, Bob revives Bart and then kills him again in various other ways—including mauling him by a lion and bludgeoning him with a sledgehammer while he's still conscious! There's another scene where Bob has left a dismembered Bart on a table in the basement, and this is seen by Lisa. She reacts very casually to it, so it's sort of nullified, but it's still unpleasant.
  • Treehouse of Horror XXVII has plenty of Nightmare Fuel for cat owners and animal lovers. In "BFF R.I.P", Snowball II takes a knife for Marge (complete with sound effects), then falls into the garbage just in time for Homer to take it out - and nobody remarks upon it or shows any emotion - while "MoeFinger" features a shot of multiple mutilated bodies of dead cats (presumably having been used as weapons by the Crazy Cat Lady) after the final battle.
    • Janey Powell's death by Lisa's imaginary friend possessing the lawnmower though while not shown, is downright horrifying when we see her blood splatter on Lisa and seems much more realistic than Sherri, Terri, and the psychologist's deaths. Also Milhouse dies by suffocation and yes, it is not funny. Unless you really hate Milhouse...
  • "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII'' has a lot of nightmare fuel like in "Exor-Sis" Maggie is terrifying as a possessed baby; the red eyes, the ominous deep voice, the fire coming out of her mouth, the pazuzu (Matt Groening) statue, etc.
    • In the Coralisa segment Maggie still has the possession of Pazuzu and vomits all over the place.
      • the other Simpsons family have buttons for eyes. which is terrifying.
    • The "MMM...Homer" segment is sick beyond words. Basically, Marge takes the kids to Patty and Selma's apartment, leaving Homer alone with no food aside from nutritious foods. So Homer gets the "brilliant" idea to cut off parts of his body to eat, and yes, it is exactly as disgusting as you'd imagine. It's so bad that Lisa comes before the curtain, similar to the Marge warnings in To H I-V, and suggests you watch something else.
  • "Treehouse of Horror XXIX" is one of the weaker entries, but manages to get in some creepiness in.
    • "Intrusion of the Pod-y People", while running on a tired joke about phone usage, presents creepy (and nauseating) visuals of the plant monsters attacking, absorbing, and recreating the residents of Springfield. And Willie decapitates an untransformed Chalmers with a pair of garden shears, for not knowing the lineup of a Scottish team, just adding to the brutality.
    • "MultipLisa-ty" features Lisa, in the vein of Split, succumbing to insanity. And while many of the personalities are goofy and overplayed, it's still pretty unnerving to see one of the more balanced and sane characters devolve into a psychotic monster who traps and nearly kills her brother (after killing Nelson with magnets and a conveniently placed forklift).
      • Also Bart's horror when he realizes that it's his fault Lisa is this way because he sabotaged her test. Note that his speech to pacify her isn't an apology, but rather a promise to always be there for her in the future and be the brother he was supposed to be. This manages to bring her back.
      • Marge isn't much better; when she tries to tell off Lisa for attempting murder, Lisa gets her to admit she tied up Homer for forgetting their wedding anniversary.

    Couch Gags 

Even the couch gags aren't safe from the occasional moments of Nightmare Fuel!

  • In one couch gag, the Simpsons sit down to watch TV, when "Homer" pulls his face away to reveal it's Sideshow Bob, who then pursues Bart with a knife while Marge, Lisa and Maggie huddle together in fear on the couch. The intense music doesn't help. To make matters worse, whatever happened to Homer?!
  • The couch gag from Treehouse of Horror VI, showing the family being hanged. And Maggie proceeds to suck on her pacifier despite being killed from the lack of oxygen.
  • A season 9/10 couch gag had a live-action hand spinning the image around and distorting it. Especially creepy when watching it the first time...
  • Another couch gag features the Simpson family sitting down, only to discover too late that it's the lure of an angler fish (a la Finding Nemo) that devours them and swims away.
  • A particularly disturbing one features the Simpson family rushing to the couch as usual, only to suffer Rapid Aging and crumble into dust.
  • "Clown In the Dumps" has a couch gag guest directed by Don Hertzfeldt, and yes, it's just as weird and disturbing as all of his other shorts. Watch it here. Highlights include:
    • Homer convulsing in pain and undergoing a horrific transformation just offscreen when he accidentally fast-forwards all the way to the 106th century.
    • Future Bart and Future Lisa are hideously deformed mutants who can only communicate by yelling "Don't have cow, man!" and "I am Sampsan!" respectively.
    • Future Marge shouting things like "ALL HAIL THE DARK LORD OF THE TWIN MOONS." and "ALL ANIMALS CAN SCREAM."
  • "Marge's Son Poisoning" begins with a particularly nasty couch gag, wherein all the couches and seating furniture come to life, and attack the citizens of Springfield. The Simpsons are menaced and pursued by their couch, which has sprouted More Teeth than the Osmond Family. Sherri and Terri are devoured by their beanbag chair. Moe fends off the advancing bar stools and booths in his tavern. And Homer, rather idiotically, attempts to seek shelter in the local couch store, only for all the couches present to lunge and pile on top of him. Given what transpires, and the eerie music that ends it, many have wondered if this was meant to precede a "Treehouse of Horror" episode.
  • "MoneyBart" features an infamous couch gag, courtesy of Banksy, where the cheery world of The Simpsons cuts back to show a dark and dreary sweatshop, with poor souls who are made to mass-produce Simpsons merchandise. Animators toil away to create cells for the cartoon, with noticeable piles of bones and toxic waste around them. The stuffing for Bart Simpson dolls is manufactured from kittens that are fed into a woodchipper. A sickly unicorn is chained and has its horn used to puncture holes in DVDs. And to top it all off, the shot cuts back to reveal the sweatshop is located inside the 20th Century Fox logo, redesigned to resemble a prison.
  • The couch gag in "Mathlete's Feat" crosses over with Rick and Morty...where Morty accidentally crashes Rick's spaceship into the Simpsons, splattering them into yellow goop. Rick then collects some goop in a vial and sends Morty to some kind of alien Kinkos to get them cloned. However, the cloning turns out to be a failure and the Simpsons are cloned as hideous mutants because Rick kept the vial clean with his own spit. And to top it all off, Rick shoots Flanders with a freeze gun when he walks into the wreckage, and the Frozen Ned falls over and shatters when the two leave.
    Bart: No more guest animators, man!
  • The couch gag in "Dad Behavior," in which the entire family manages to die on the way home from school/work, except for Bart (who happily settles down on the couch with the remote). Most unsettling is Marge and Maggie drowning after Maggie drives the car into a lake, and Marge's body floating to the surface.
  • The couch gag called Homer's Face, which has some Body Horror...
  • The couch gag in "Bart's New Friend" features Homer, Marge, and Bart as the Three Bears, discovering Lisa as Goldilocks sleeping on their couch. This results in a Big Ball of Violence followed by a rather disturbing scene of Goldilocks!Lisa and Bear!Marge and Bart eating Bear!Homer (and then a reveal that it's actually a story that Homer was reading to a traumatized Maggie, so it's also Nightmare Fuel in universe).
  • The appearance of Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War in the couch gag for "The Girl on the Bus". With a snap of his fingers, Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa suffer the same fate as Nick Fury, Bucky Barnes, Maria Hill, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Star-Lord, Drax, Groot, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Mantis, which is fading away into dust.

    Other Examples 
  • The "Game Over" screen to Bart vs. the Space Mutants. Bart is thrown into a dark prison cell with an expression of horror on his face, with some minimalistic "GAME OVER" text overlaid and the scene being completely pitch-black; only being lit from the door of the cell. Note that this screen only appears in the Sega Genesis version of the game — every other version of the game goes straight back to the title screen.
    • Interesting fact; it's actually based on a screenshot from the beginning of the obscure 1990 Simpsons music video Deep Deep Trouble.
  • The Itchy & Scratchy level in Bart's Nightmare has the cat and mouse duo chasing Bart with hammers, flamethrowers, bazookas and giant butcher knives. On top of that, household items come to life and also try to kill Bart including giant out of control vacuums, exploding telephones and an oven that shoots fire.
  • The arcade game:
    • Defeating the Krusty Balloon boss. It expands until it nearly fills the entire screen. Then, it explodes, taking out the platform underneath it!
    • The zombies from the Springfield Discount Cemetery, then the chained ghosts that chase the Simpsons into the Krusty the Clown grave.
    • Everything from the Dreamland stage, made to represent the bowels of the worst nightmares from the family. You fight off giant saxophones, Bart-vampires that shoot electricity and Homer's gigantic bowling ball at the end. Said bowling ball also explodes when you defeat it.
    • The X-Ray Sparks seen when a character is electrocuted may be unsettling for those scared of skeletons. Homer's high-pitched scream when it happens to him (sampled from his Catapult Nightmare in the episode "Moaning Lisa") only intensifies it.
  • Behind-the-scenes example: In the commentary track for "When Flanders Failed", they mention how one drawing of Bart came back from Korea looking really horrifying. Bart was supposed to look beaten up, but the Korean animators went overboard and made Bart all bloody, dirty, and overly bruised. Needless to say, they didn't use such a drawing in the episode.
  • During the show's classic seasons, characters had far more exaggerated facial expressions, some of which can be properly seen when pausing certain scenes. While many of these help contribute to the comedic factor, others can be rather harrowing and can fall right into the Uncanny Valley. Not to mention some of them can be quite creepy if taken out of context.
  • Kearney Zzyzwicz once said he was a teenager and the parent of a teenager. If this is true, then he was having sexual relations at the age of 6. In fact nobody's really sure WHAT age Kearney is, but his son - who looks exactly like him - looks about 5-6 years old. Options range from 29 to Nancy Cartwright saying he's 14. Are you squirming yet?
  • In the episode The Nightmare after Krustmas, Maggie is having scary visions of that creepy gnome doll and it is really terrifying!
  • Hit or miss, I guess they never miss huh


Example of: