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Nightmare Fuel / Treehouse of Horror

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The annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween Special of The Simpsons, while mostly Played for Laughs, still has had its fair share of disturbing images, horrifying scenarios and Downer Endings over the years.

The intros/Couch Gags

  • 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 (as seen above). She still sucks her pacifier, though.note  (THOH VI)
    • This one comes right after a Headless Horseman Krusty throws his own head at the screen, with the resulting blood splatter spelling out the title card.
  • 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)
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  • 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 TV. (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)
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  • 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 Specials

  • The redone Gracie Films logo. At the end of II and III, it's just a pipe organ version of the logo's jingle, which actually sounds badass... but then, come IV, they added a woman's bloodcurdling scream to accompany it, which is just bone-chilling. This has stayed in almost every Treehouse of Horror special ever since.
  • 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 a silly 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".
  • 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".
    • Also, Mayor Quimby points out that the people who were bitten by the zombies are rotting in the streets, while the previously dead residents have simply returned to their graves. Taking that into account, over half the town has died. The kids who survived could very well be orphans.
      • The still human Barney straight up eating an arm. We don’t blame Homer for being shocked.
      • “And bring your big juicy chess club brains with you”...
    • Clown Without Pity: The Doll Episode where the Creepy Doll role is played by Krusty the Clown. The episode's apex is arguably the line following Homer's remark about a doll saying "I'll Kill You!" supposedly being "cute": "I said I'm going to kill you! You, Homer Simpson!".
    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 (1959)'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 growls and his fangs elongating in his month as he's about to do it. Not to mention his shadow looming over Bart who can only scream as Burns closes in on his neck. Heck the fact that Burns has no qualms about feeding on a child and adding him to his undead ranks is spine-chilling.
      • Vampire Bart nearly biting Lisa. Had Homer barged in one second too late, Lisa would've been next! Before then, he tries to allow her to turn her willingly as he floats outside with a few of the kids (Namely Janey, Ralph, Milhouse, and Martin) he's turned. From his tone, it's hard to tell if he's being mind-controlled by Burns or actually likes being a vampire (Though considering this is Bart. Likely the latter).
    Bart: Come join us Lisa, it's so cool. You get to stay up all night drinking bloood!
    (After Milhouse does his little quip)
    Lisa: No! NO!
    Bart: Lisa, It's not like you have a choice here. (He promptly breaks through the window, pins her down as she screams and elongates his fangs)
    • The ending of "The Devil and Homer Simpson", 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:
    • From "Nightmare Cafeteria", the Simpson family is infected by a mist that causes people to turn inside out. And then they break into a song and dance about it. If that's not demented enough, Santa's Little Helper drags Bart away to eat him. All set to a rewritten version of "One" from A Chorus Line: "The family dog is eying Bart's intestine...". That aside, the main plot of that short was even worse, as it involved the teachers of Springfield Elementary eating all of the students, and Marge telling them to defend themselves (saying 'don't eat us' is up to you!) when they told her.
      • The fact the teachers are eating one of the children from detention and don't seem to care and resume to eating Jimbo's processed carcass, is really unsettling.
      • The view down at the meat grinder had blood splatter fanning out from the "collection vat" even BEFORE Milhouse fell in, immediately following an absolutely demented look on Skinner's, the teachers', and Lunchlady Doris' faces when they began advancing on them.
    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"...
    • Lunchlady Doris in the doorway, holding an egg beater and snarling maniacally with blood all over her clothes. This was considered too scary for the UK broadcast and they had to tone it down. However, other versions still show the blood.
    • Mrs. Krabappel sends Wendell to detention simply for dropping a pencil. We never see him for the rest of the episode.
    • The fact that we never see what happened to Ralph.
    • Martin trembling in a cage like a scared dog.
    • From the “The Shinning” 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:
    • The Big-Lipped Alligator Moment in the same short, when Maggie whacks Groundskeeper Willie in the back with the axe and says "This is indeed a disturbing universe" in James Earl Jones' voice. He dies via axe in all three shorts, but the “Nightmare Cafeteria” one is the worst, since he was about to rescue the kids.
    • 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.
    • Martin's death itself. The sounds he makes are disturbingly realistic.
    • 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.
    • It's funny when he just calmly sits down Skinner tells him to. And then his spirit sweeps up his body's ashes.
    • 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...
    • “Easy Bake Coven”. The women accused of witchcraft are being burned at the stake. Later, Marge is pushed off a cliff but flies back up on her broom. Later, after trick-or-treating with Patty and Selma, Marge wishes they hadn’t filled up on kids before they hit the Flanders house. At the end, Homer sends an angry mob after a terrified Lisa.
  • 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 standard 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 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?
    • Than what immediately follows. Moe's death isn't much better,
    • 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 skeletal 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...
    • The idea that such innocent animals suddenly abuse, murder, and force mankind to the sea.
  • 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: The scene in the "Send in the Clones" segment where Homer nods at his clone after he appears to gesture that he's going to return Ned Flanders' power tools, only for the Homer clone to then hold up Ned's decapitated head. Brief, but very unnerving.
    • The fact the clone really did think this was what Homer wanted. And how proudly it shows this off.
    • "The Island of Dr. Hibbert": When everybody is at the dinner table, it becomes slowly appearant that Dr. Hibbert really has become mad.
    Marge: Dr. Hibbert, this is a topnotch resort. Can you recommend some activities?
    Dr. Hibbert: Well, one activity you might enjoy is not asking questions *chuckles*.
    Lisa: But man's inquisitive nature is what separates us from the animals.
    Dr. Hibbert: And why must we be separated, damn it?! Think what Shakespeare might've accomplished if he'd had the eyes of an eagle or could spray stink on his critics!
  • Treehouse of Horror XIV: In the "Reaper Madness" segment, Homer becomes The Grim Reaper and must kill Marge, but instead kills Patty.
    • 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. And there were Patty and Selma dressed up as a horse, with the curse fusing the horse parts onto their bodies, with the horse head being a seperate entity. If that isn't scary, imagine what would've happened if they actually sticked their costume halves together.
  • 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: 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 (who's usually the most level-headed member of the family) killing all of these characters with a sadistic smile on her face.
  • Treehouse of Horror XIX: Krusty being fed through a woodchipper in "How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising". His constant agonized screaming, the fact he attempts to pull himself out even when he's over halfway in, ending with a pile of an organs in the end... and somehow his entire head. That death wasn't even funny, it was downright horrifying. It was Bowderlized out of the UK version, and for good reasonnote ).
    • 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.
  • 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/munchers, after eating the commercialized product. Made even creepier by the complete lack of background music.
    • Dr. Hibbert and Apu are devoured alive by the munchers.
    • 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 or turning him into one of them. 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 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 [[AndShowItToYou 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 the first five TOHs, and suggests you watch Game of Thrones to calm down.
  • "Treehouse of Horror XXIX":
    • "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.
  • "Toy Gory" ends with Bart's toys having killed him and converted his lifeless corpse into a talking doll. It doesn’t help that unlike other segments which involve one of the Simpsons dying, the condition Bart is left in is played entirely straight (with the exception of Homer eating Bart’s substitute brainnote ). Even worse, Bart's organs are gone, but his soul is presumably still in his body, meaning that he’s aware of everything happening to him.

The Comic

  • In the story “Willie: Portrait of a Groundskeeper”, Homer kidnaps and cooks Groundskeeper Willie’s mail-order emu (don’t ask) and causes Willie to go mad with grief, locking Homer in a basement and eating Marge’s corpse while Homer is Forced to Watch, though things quickly go off the rails when Bart saves the day by breaking Willie’s back with his rampant (and prehensile) chest hair (again, don’t ask)
  • "The Slipsons" from from Treehouse of Horror #15 seems to take inspiration from actual nightmares. It starts with Homer and Marge sitting in the living room (which is depicted as as a White Void Room), and Groundskeeper Willie peering at them through the window. Willie then breaks in through the window, stating that the Simpson's house is filthy. He then discovers broomsticks with Bart and Lisa's heads at the end. He prods at Homer's side with the Bart-staff (his head inverted and greatly enlarged for this panel alone, seemingly for Rule of Creepy), cause his upper half to come off, revealing a massive cockroach underneath. Roach!Homer runs off, Marge lamenting his exit. Willie then does the same thing to Marge with the Lisa-staff, revealing a tomahawk missile, promptly counts down and explodes. It then cuts to Ned Flanders, who then takes off his glasses and his eyes and announces that's all there is.

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