While decorating their house as "742 Everscream Terrors" the family finds their old plastic skeletons melted together by the furnace. Homer goes to Apu's Official Halloween Headquarters to buy a replacement. When Apu's seasonal employees offer him a deal they can only afford to give because they're stealing from Apu, Homer cluelessly tells Apu about it and gets them fired. The three swear revenge.
Lisa, for her part, is excited about going to Krusty the Klown's haunted house. When they go she finds the animatronic horrors too real and Homer's chaperoning too lax and suffers from PTSD. With Lisa traumatized, the Simpsons remove all signs of Halloween from their house. Marge tries to make it up to Bart by taking him to an exclusive Halloween party, then trick-or-treating, failing at both. Meanwhile Homer's new enemies show up while he's staying home with Lisa.
- Adult Fear: Homer, knowing that creeps are trying to break into the house while comforting an already scared Lisa, who at first has no idea of the creeps. Even worse, it's implied that they don't have any qualms in harming Lisa either.
- Call-Back: The Lovejoys wear the goth costumes from last season's episode "Sky Police".
- Comically Missing the Point: When the seasonal temps vow to get revenge on Homer for inadvertently getting them fired:
- The Dreaded: Tailie, Lisa's Security Blanket, in that Homer and Marge are beyond horrified when they realize Lisa's so frightened she's taken it from Marge's scrapbook of family photos. When it spontaneously regenerates at the end of the episode, it's implied they've got a good reason to be scared of the thing.
- Halloween Episode: The first one that isn't a Treehouse of Horror.
- It's All About Me: Marge lampshades this while comforting Bart:Marge: Honey, I knew you'd be upset and think only of yourself.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Homers Halloween tradition is to tell 3 scary stories in the treehouse.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The laid-off seasonal temps break in while wearing masks and are seriously scary at some points.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Both Homer and Marge when they see that Lisa has taken Tailie from the scrapbook, because of her PSTD.
- Homer when he sees that the three seasonal temps have come to their home to get even. He and Lisa have a bigger one when they encounter the three right inside the house.
- Marge as all the houses in the neighborhood turn off their lights and Grown-Up Halloween begins.
- Papa Wolf: Homer does his best to protect Lisa from the three men.
- Protect This House: Homer's and Lisa's plot is a (somewhat comedic) home invasion thriller played straight.
- Reality Ensues: Lisa becomes terrified of Krustyland's Halloween show, and despite the fact that she knows everything is objectively harmless, she is traumatised by the incredibly realistic effects and too scared to celebrate Halloween, seeking comfort in an old stuffed animal. Lisa might be smart, but she's still eight, and she doesn't have the emotional maturity to handle scary stuff, even if she knows they aren't real.
- Security Blanket: Lisa has "Tailie", a tail that fell off some stuffed animal or other.
- The "NC-17 Halloween" song most of Springfield's grown-ups sing is In the Style of... the big numbers from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Lisa gets attacked by classic horror icons such as Jason, Leatherface and a Xenomorph at Krustyland. You can also see Cthulhu roaming behind Homer.
- Apu's shop has a box of fake skulls saying Bulk Skulls