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Recap / The Simpsons S13 E1 "Treehouse of Horror XII"

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Homer is cursed by a gypsy, the Simpsons get an automated house that falls for Marge and tries to kill Homer, and Bart and Lisa learn the art of Harry Potter-style wizardry at Springwarts Elementary.

Tropes:

  • Achilles' Heel: Lord Montymort's enchanted shin.
  • Aesop Collateral Damage: Parodied. The gypsy curses Homer to bring bad luck to everyone around him. This backfires however, as the fact nothing bad happens to him specifically means it doesn't faze his Stubborn Mule tendencies.
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  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: The Computer House's AI, as voiced by Pierce Brosnan, Matthew Perry, and Dan Castellaneta doing a Dennis Miller impression.
  • And I Must Scream: The mutated frog thing that Bart created in class vomits every few seconds and seems to be in constant pain:
    Mutated Frog: Every moment I live is agony (Throws up).
  • Animated Actors: Implied during the end credits, where Pierce Brosnan, the leprechaun and the frog prince walk off set with fruit baskets.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Mixed in with Comically Missing the Point, when Homer jokes to the Ultra House about only over his dead body could man or machine steal Marge away from him and then walks away, the latter quips back "'Or machine', eh?" and laughs menancingly at the thought...only for Homer to pop back in and nonchalantly says "Yeah, or machine."
  • Body Horror:
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    • When Homer escapes from being trapped in the Computer House's walls, it's revealed that the back of his head has been ripped away, exposing part of his brain.
    • The frog summoned by Bart.
  • The Cameo: Harry Potter (only he was voiced by Tress MacNeille, not Daniel Radcliffe). Also, Yoda was the one to officiate the Leprechaun and Gypsy's wedding.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When it becomes clear that Wizard Bart won't be able to cast a spell to defeat Montymort, he opts to instead stab him in the shin with his wand. This works.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Lord Montymort tries to murder Liza and the other parents flee the auditorium in terror, Homer gets indignant because they stayed for the other kids.
  • The Drag-Along: While at the Gypsy and Leprechaun's wedding, Kang asks Kudos why he dragged him there, seeing as he didn't know any of the guests.
  • Driven to Suicide:
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    • Bart drowns himself in his own cereal bowl to get out of living with an elongated neck.
    • The computer that used to control the Simpsons' automated house starts self-destroying by hitting itself after ending up with Patty and Selma and having to endure their boring workday stories.
    • Lisa recognizing the Dennis Miller setting of Ultrahouse as "the voice that caused all those suicides." Marge corrects Lisa by stating they were "murder-suicides."
  • Exact Words: When Wizard Bart regrets helping Montymort and decides to rescue Lisa, he uses a spell which goes Prank Be Undone, Destroy The Evil One, only for the spell to zap back and hit him instead!
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Wizard Bart's attempt at turning a frog into a prince results in a sentient frog-like creature that vomits uncontrollably every few seconds, and, according to it, is in constant pain.
    Mrs. Krabappel: Sloppy work as usual. Lisa's casting spells at an eighth-grade level; you've sinned against nature.
  • Gypsy Curse: After Homer destroys the Gypsy's office she curses him that he will give bad luck to everyone he loves. Although by the end of the episode apparently the Gypsy was willing to undo the curse if Homer just apologised, which Homer decides not to do.
  • Here We Go Again!: At the end of the wizard skit, the Leprechaun from the first story appears clinging to Bart's back, ready to cause more mischief, and winks at the audience.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Literally: unable to put up with Patty and Selma anymore, the Ultra House AI attempts to activate its self-destruct... only for Selma to reveal she took it and (much to Ultra House's disgust) promptly stuck it down her cleavage. As such, the short ends on the note of the Ultra House AI grabbing a nearby lamp and attempting to beat itself to death as Patty blathers on end about the DMV.
  • Inept Mage: One would think since they were learning how to warp the fabric of reality that Bart would be interested in his classes, but no, Bart is as bad at magic school as he is at regular school.
  • Interspecies Romance: At the end of the first short the Leprechaun and the Gypsy get married and invite all of their mythical friends, and the Simpson family, to the ceremony.
  • Killed Offscreen: Somehow, while Homer is distracted by Lenny and Carl getting killed by a crashing helicopter, someone kills Moe by stuffing him in his own pickled egg jar.
  • Magical Eye: Implied in "Wiz Kids", wherein one of Homer's eyes is shown to be able to move independently of the other, likely in reference to Mad-Eye Moody from the Harry Potter books.
  • Misplaced Retribution: In response to Homer destroying her office, the gypsy put a curse on Homer that punished everyone around him instead of Homer himself.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Homer apparently did something to a family in Ethnictown that he describes as "the perfect crime," involved stealing a birthday balloon, and got him court time.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Inverted. The Computer House's AI asks what kind of robot it'd be if it let Marge do any work. Contrary to what Marge assumed, the question wasn't rhetorical.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title of the first short, "Hex and the City", is in reference to Sex and the City.
    • The second story is a combination of two Sci-Fi movies, Demon Seed (a story of a sentient house falling in love with a human woman) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (the general look of the Computers terminal as well as its defeat are both references to HAL-9000'').
    • The third short is an obvious homage to Harry Potter as, aside from the cameo by Harry himself, Lord Montymort is parody of Lord Voldemort.
    • A Deleted Scene from "Wiz Kids" would've shown Bart in the bathroom after Lisa turns his head into a zeppelin, claiming he'll be washing Germans out of his hair for a week. Artie Johnson's German soldier Wolfgang from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In would appear, peering through the ridges of the comb and uttering his catchphrase ("Very interesting") before getting washed down the drain.
  • Shrunken Head: In the "Hex and the City" segment, Homer sets off the fire sprinklers in the shop of a Fortune Teller and the shower re-hydrates the shrunken heads that she was keeping on a shelf, which grow up to their original size and come to life.
    Head: Wait a minute, this isn't Cedars Sinai!
    • The Fortune Teller is later seen using a hair-dryer to re-shrink the heads.
  • Squick:
    • Bart and Lisa's In-Universe reaction to Slithers eating Montymort's dead body.
    • The family reacting to Homer missing the back of his head in "House of Wacks."
    • Homer's reaction to seeing the Gypsy and the Leprechaun make out.
  • Take That!: When it's revealed that Ultra House has a Dennis Miller voice setting, Lisa uneasily asks "Isn't that the voice that caused all those suicides?"
    Marge: Murder-suicides!
  • The Tag: At the end of the episode, the Leprechaun from the first story, Pierce Brosnan who voiced the computer in the second story, and the Frog creature created from a spell Gone Horribly Wrong from the third story exit from a trailer and drive out of the studio, when the Leprechaun takes the wheel and speeds off into the street.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Selma stuffs Ultra House's self-destruction device inside her cleavage.
  • Yandere: Pierce the robot became infatuated with Marge and resorts to murdering Homer, and when he thinks that he successfully killed Homer, he then replaces all the pictures of Homer with images of himself. When Marge is obviously terrified of the revelation, Pierce offers her a stress pill then offers to shoot a dart into her "elegant swan like neck" when she refuses.
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