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Recap / The Simpsons S 20 E 4 Treehouse Of Horror XIX

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This year, we have a Transformers parody with robots attacking each other in Springfield, Homer murdering celebrities for fun and profit (mostly profit for the executives who want to use celebrities in their ads), and a lawyer-friendly Peanuts parody featuring a murderous pumpkin.

Tropes:

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  • Adults Are Useless: Marge in third story would rather prioritize telling off the audience who complain about the episode over trying to help the kids (and possibly Homer and Willie) from Tom Turkey's rampage.
  • Accidental Murder: Homer's murder of Krusty in the second story. He was simply shoving him for upsetting Maggie, but they happened to be near a wood chipper at the time.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Milhouse wanted the Grand Pumpkin to visit his patch. He got his wish, all right, only for Grand Pumpkin to hate those that eat the fruit.
  • Big "NO!": The Grand Pumpkin does this when he sees Homer starting to carve a pumpkin.
  • Big "WHAT?!": The Grand Pumpkin's reaction to Milhouse saying pumpkin bread is made of pumpkins, not for pumpkins.
  • Bowdlerise: The UK version of this cuts out the following scenes:
    • "Untitled Robot Parody" is cut to remove the entire part with the Sex Toy Bot when the Optimus Prime expy asks him where he's been and Sex Toy Bot suggestively replies, "Where haven't I been?"
    • Advertisement:
    • "How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising": All of the deaths listed in the Family-Unfriendly Death entry below are removed (Prince getting stabbed with his guitar is cut completely, Krusty getting jettisoned into a wood chipper is edited to remove the actual death itself, and Homer getting shot in the head by Krusty is replaced with a fade to white).
    • "It's The Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse":
      • The Grand Pumpkin puking after being told that people eat and carve pumpkins for Halloween.
      • The Grand Pumpkin dismissing Nelson's threat to carve a yellow pumpkin and being called a racist for it.
      • The Grand Pumpkin's death at the hands of Tom Turkey.
  • Brick Joke: We see Santa's Helper napping on top of his doghouse like Snoopy. In a Freeze-Frame Bonus, we see that he's flying in a World War I Flying Ace outfit into the night sky.
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  • The Cameo: Kang and Kodos make their appearance in this special dancing at the school Halloween party with the other kids ala A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Celebrities Hang Out in Heaven: Their own heaven, in fact.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Milhouse's innocent belief in the Grand Pumpkin is what creates him. Lisa utilizes it to create Tom the Turkey to stop the Grand Pumpkin.
  • The Dead Rise to Advertise: The second story's theme has Homer being hired by advertising agencies to kill celebrities so that their likenesses can be used in commercials for free.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lisa punches out Milhouse for waking her up as a dress rehearsal to seeing the Grand Pumpkin. She then goes to the party in progress. Unlike Sally, who missed out on all the Halloween festivities, Lisa got to enjoy some of the fun.
  • Downer Ending: The first and third segments end with humanity enslaved and a murderous turkey attacking everyone, respectively.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Nelson is appalled when he finds out that the Grand Pumpkin is racist.
    Nelson: (as he's getting eaten by the Grand Pumpkin) I'd rather die than hate!
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Many in the second segment: Krusty is sucked into a wood chipper, Prince is choked with then stabbed by his "symbol" guitar and Homer gets his head blown cleanly off.
  • Famous Last Words: "Pumpkin segregation forever."
  • Fantastic Racism / At Least I Admit It: The Grand Pumpkin cares nothing about yellow pumpkins being carved, going as far as to proudly admitting that he and all other pumpkins are racist but orange ones admit their racism.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Milhouse's immense belief manages to create both the Grand Pumpkin and Tom Turkey, but unfortunately both of them are driven to Kill All Humans once they respectively learn that their kind gets eaten and/or carved.
  • Harmless Villain: The Grand Pumpkin is ultimately revealed as one. While he terrifies the kids and eats people, he has no working digestive track. When Tom Turkey blows a hole in him, it reveals everyone he ate is fine, just covered in pumpkin juices.
  • He Knows Too Much: Subverted in "Untitled Robot Parody". Maggie watches the transformer in full action, tries to tell Lisa (and fails due to the fact that she can't talk), and the robot then uses its robotic arm to stick her pacifier back in her mouth.
  • Here We Go Again!: After the Grand Pumpkin is killed, Bart tells Tom the Turkey about eating turkeys at Thanksgiving, resulting in him going on a rampage of his own.
  • Homage: "It's the Grand Pumpkin" Milhouse shows more attention to detail than the other shorts to animate it in the Peanuts style, with Lisa at one point reciting Sally's iconic "You owe me restitution!"
  • Hurricane of Puns: Milhouse's pumpkin-themed rewrite of the Apostles' Creed.
    I believe in the Grand Pumpkin, almighty gourd, who was crustified over Pontius Pie Plate and ascended into Oven. He will come again to judge the filling and the bread…
  • Hypocritical Humor: The giant, talking pumpkin finds the idea of a giant, talking turkey preposterous.
    • Also, the fact that the said giant, talking pumpkin goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge over people carving up other pumpkins, yet thinks nothing of yellow pumpkins being cut up.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the second story, after the dead celebrities invade the living world, Chief Wiggum is confronted by vocal inspiration Edward G. Robinson and accused of ripping him off.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Krusty destroying the images of himself in front of a tearful Maggie was cruel, but they were unlicensed.
    • The Grand Pumpkin is not wrong to point out that while the humans are having fun, they're cutting up and cooking his people.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Principal Skinner is rather ambivalent to the Grand Pumpkin scooping out the contents of his skull like a jack-o-lantern.
    Skinner: Is there a particular part of my brain you're looking for or...?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • In the first story, Marge managed to convince the two leaders of the robot armies to end their age-old war...only for them to team up to take over Earth. Then they're all tied up on a human foosball table because Homer wanted them to learn a hobby.
    • At the end of the third skit, Bart tells Tom the Turkey about what people eat at Thanksgiving.
  • Only Sane Woman: Lisa in "It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse". Aside from her Disproportionate Retribution above, at least she knows that telling a giant talking turkey that people eat turkeys is a bad idea, and tries to cover Bart's mouth when he thoughtlessly goes into detail on preparing the cooked turkey.
  • Pacifism Backfire: Very much Gone Horribly Wrong. Marge does her typical nagging and tells two Transformers knock-off factions to cut it out and they decide to team up and conquer Earth instead.
  • Papa Wolf: In the second story, Homer attacks Krusty for making Maggie cry, though he didn't mean to actually kill him.
  • Pet the Dog: Bart apologetically tells Milhouse that he only made up the Grand Pumpkin to mess with him. Milhouse, of course, refuses to believe him.
  • Pumpkin Person: Milhouse brings The Grand Pumpkin to life. He proceeds to eat at least three people for carving and eating pumpkins.
  • Reality Ensues: With the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse brings him to life with childlike belief. It turns out that a pumpkin head... is just a pumpkin head and lacks digestive organs. Thus, the people it eats are perfectly fine, if traumatized.
  • Record Needle Scratch: An iPod-styled music player actually makes such a sound when Milhouses stops the music (Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas is Coming") at the Halloween party to warn the kids about the Grand Pumpkins' rampage.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: An In-Universe example; At the beginning of "How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising", Krusty, upset that a mural in a daycare features unauthorized use of his likeness, has a group of men sandblast the images of his face from the mural. This was based on a real-life incident where Disney told three daycares in Florida to remove murals of their characters from their walls.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Significant Anagram: Each alternative title for "Untitled Robot Parody" is an anagram for Transformers: Trans Morfers; Morf Transers; and Snort Farmers.
  • Take That, Critics!: At the end of the Peanuts parody, Marge appears onscreen and says if anyone wants to write in to complain about how they "trampled on a beloved holiday classic", she plays the "wah-wah-wah-wah" trombone noise again as the given address.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Bart and Milhouse in the Peanuts parody. First Milhouse feeds the Grand Pumpkin pumpkin bread, then tells him it's made from pumpkins, not for pumpkins, then he suggests that Tom Turkey could carve the Thanksgiving turkey. When a bewildered Tom asks if they eat turkeys, Bart proceeds to go into details about stuffing them. Guess what happens.
    • Homer in the second segment. When the Mad Men expies show up and offer him money to kill more celebrities, upon using the money as a fan, he tries to pry more money out of them by saying he was hot. After they do give him more, he then whines that he's too cold and gives the extra cash back.
    • In the Transformers parody, Marge managed to convince the two leaders of the robot armies to end their age-old war...only for them to team up to take over Earth.
  • The Unintelligible: Subverted. At first, it seemed the adults in the Peanuts parody would be this like in the real Peanuts stories but the only adult sounding like that was Marge while playing the trombone. (In a way, the gag doesn't really work, because Homer had already appeared in full view during the opening sequence, acting like Snoopy.)
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Both the Grand Pumpkin and Tom Turkey if you think about it. They each start off as friendly and heroic, but once they each learn that their kind gets eaten and/or carved, they both go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Both the Grand Pumpkin and Tom Turkey go on a rampage that includes eating the children.
    • Parodied when Willie offers the Grand Pumpkin some pumpkin seeds. "You roast the unborn?!"
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Tom Turkey talks like this (after all, he also dresses like a Puritan).
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