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Recap / The Simpsons S 27 E 5 Treehouse Of Horror XXVI

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Treehouse Of Horror XXVI is a Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode of The Simpsons and the fifth episode of the 27th season.

The episode opens with a Kricfalusi-style animated short where the Simpson children are trick-or-treating before being set upon by soul-hungry spirits with a monstrous Frank Grimes among them. The spirits chase after the Simpson children into their house, with the Frank Grimes monster taking Homer's soul in return.

It contains the following segments: Sideshow Bob finally kill Bart, then revives him when he realizes that the thrill of defeating his mortal enemy is gone in "Wanted: Dead, Then Alive"; Homer once again plays a famous movie monster (see "King Homer" in "Treehouse of Horror III") in "Homerzilla"; and "Telepaths of Glory", a Chronicle parody where Bart, Milhouse, and Lisa gain powers from a strange hole.


Tropes associated with the opening
  • Art Shift: Guest director John Kricfalusi once again brings his unique surreal look to the Simpsons.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The kids are attacked by a 25-foot zombie called Frank Grimes.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Maggie, disguised as a bee, saves Bart and Lisa by stinging Grimes in the tongue.
  • Creepy Children Singing: During "The Soul Candy Song", after the zombie Frank Grimes peels Bart like a banana and exposes his gooey red soul, the singer shifts to the little children singing like this:
    He's hungry for your vitals;
    He likes you moist and ripe.
    And should he find you spiced with sin,
    Then you're his favorite type!
  • Deranged Animation: A John K. specialty.
  • Mondegreen: The lyrics of "The Soul Candy Song" say, "He'll chew your juicy insides, / Masticate you till you're pulp". Of course, with the zombie Frank Grimes chewing Bart's soul like gum, it could be easier for those listening to mishear it as the other m-word.
  • Advertisement:
  • Shout-Out: Bart and Lisa wear colourful Huckleberry Hound and Cindy Bear masks respectively.
  • The Something Song: "The Soul Candy Song", written by Kricfalusi, of course.
  • Title, Please!: This is the first Halloween opening-title that does not even show the "Treehouse of Horror" title!
  • Wicked Witch: One is seen flying on her broomstick, amongst the ghosts chasing the Simpsons kids.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Zombie Grimes and the ghosts want to eat the Simpsons kids' souls during it. In the end, Grimes manages to eat Homer's.

Wanted: Dead, then Alive

Bart is killed by Sideshow Bob, who then goes on to become a professor at Springfield University. However, he is disappointed by his lazy students, and misses the thrill of killing Bart, so he decides to revive him so he can kill him again.
  • Acquitted Too Late/Death by Cameo: Snake Jailbird. Lisa mentions in the family's search for Bart that Snake was tried and executed for Bart's murder, though she knew that Snake had nothing to do with it, and that it was Bob all along.
  • And Show It to You: After impaling Bart with a Harpoon Gun, Bob adds insult to injury and twists it further by yanking the projectile from Bart's chest, ripping out his heart as he does so! Bonus points as Bart sees the hole in his chest, then looks at Bob holding his heart as he utters out his Famous Last Words before dying.
  • And This Is for...: Homer, after he has bludgeoned Bob to death with an antique lamp:
  • Axes at School: Played with: Bob brings a Harpoon Gun to Springfield Elementary's music room, and not only does he kill Bart with it, but Principal Skinner sees the spectacle and lets him get away with it, since it's after-school hours.
  • Back from the Dead: Bart at first, when he's brought back with the Reanimator machine so that Bob can kill him over and over again. The Simpson family eventually finds Bart's remains and brings him back from the dead, this time for good.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: So what would happen if Sideshow Bob finally killed Bart? This segment provides an answer.
  • Belated Injury Realization: Played with: After Bob impales Bart in the chest with a Harpoon Gun, Bart seems unfazed and shrugs it off as if it was nothing... at first. Then he suddenly realizes he's dying, and Bob points it out further by pulling the spear projectile and his heart out of his chest. Ouch!
  • Bewitched Amphibians: Bob grabs the potions needed for the Reanimator machine and says, "Those bastards know how to par-tay!", then drinks one and turns into a frog. He's back to human form in the next scene, though.
  • Bland-Name Product: At one time Bob takes a selfie with Bart's body during the "Largo al factotum" part and posts it on Fiendbook (parody of Facebook); he even updates his status from "attempted murderer" to "murderer".


A parody of Godzilla; the grandfather of the Simp-san family frequently sacrifices a doughnut to a giant sea monster to keep it at bay. When he dies and no more donuts are sent, the monster comes to shore and wrecks the city.

  • Ad Bumpers: Parodied at the very end of this segment after all the Homerzilla merchandise gets dumped into the ocean where the sea monster wakes up and roars in anger:
    Narrator: [voice-over] Homerzilla will return... as soon as people have forgotten about the last one. [Homerzilla's roar is heard once more]
  • Anachronism Stew: Though the film was set in the 1950s, the citizens watch a karaoke singer perform Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" near a karaoke machine before the power is cut off. Karaoke machines didn't exist in Japan until the 1970s. And the song was actually released as a single on February 19, 1973.
    • Mr. Burns is seen wearing samurai armor, which have been rendered obsolete by the late 19th century. It's appropriate as Mr. Burns is always lagging a hundred years behind.
  • Apocalypse How: 1950's Japan starts becoming Regional Societal Disruption or Collapse by the end of the first part of the segment because of Homerzilla's rampage.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: As a panicked and depressed scientist sees Homerzilla's rampage on TV, a scrolling news caption says, "Breaking News. Tokyo: Homerzilla Stomps the City! Ramen Prices Skyrocket! Geishas Giggle Coyly."
  • Bland-Name Product: Among the Homerzilla merchandise being thrown into the sea are Zilla Wafers, a parody of Nilla Wafers.
  • Breath Weapon/Kill It with Fire: Homerzilla breathes fire! Duh!
  • Cassandra Truth: Grampa sent out a doughnut offering every day to appease Homerzilla, while everyone else disbelieved him. After he passed away and the doughnut offerings stopped, Homerzilla attacked Japan. Despite this, Moe refused to admit that Grandpa was least until Homerzilla killed him.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Miss Hoover and the students hear Homerzilla's faint roar beneath the ocean, but she calms them down by telling them it's just "excitement over the cherry blossoms":
    Lisa: Of course! The cherry blossoms! They're so beautiful, [looks around] and yet...
  • Continuity Nod: Among the guests at the Homerzilla remake premiere are Lurleen Lumpkin, Dredrick Tatum, and the Grumple.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: The townspeople all ridicule Grampa Simp-san for his ritual of sacrificing doughnuts to Homerzilla, since they don’t believe the creature to be real. Until the monster comes ashore...
  • Deliberately Monochrome: 1950s Japan in the first part of the segment.
  • Do Not Taunt Homerzilla: Played straight with Moe; averted with Lisa.
  • Foreign Remake: An in-universe example; an American movie studio decides to make a big budget remake of the old Japanese Homerzilla movie. It bombs at the box officenote  .
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The title screen is this, as katakana letters spell out "Hōmājira" (ホーマージラ), with the English title appearing on the bottom.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The execs reason that since the original Homerzilla was so popular because of how cheap and cheesy it was, then a remake that does the exact opposite will be even more successful.
  • Insurance Fraud: When the Zilla film remake bombs, the executives drop everything related to it at the ocean and falsely claim to have lost the items so the insurance will cover the movie's expenses.
  • Kaiju: Homerzilla, of course.
  • Man in a Rubber Suit: Homerzilla is revealed as this when he falls off the set and has to be propped back up.
  • Product Placement: Parodied in the American remake of "Zilla" when Homerzilla picks up a tanker truck of Buzz Cola.
  • Proscenium Reveal: The whole black and white segment at the start of the segment turns out to be an old Japanese movie that the executives of an American movie studio are watching.
  • Pun: Homerzilla makes a bad one when he stomps on one of the houses of the Springfield Prefecture:
    "D'oh-jo!" [lifts up his foot to reveal a crushed dojo]
  • Real After All: At first it appears Homerzilla only exists in movies, but at the end of the episode, when all the merchandise for the failed American Homerzilla movie is tossed into the ocean, the creature is revealed to be real after all.
  • Sedgwick Speech/Tempting Fate: When Homerzilla arises from the beach and incinerates Moe for having ridiculed Grampa Simp-san's beliefs about the sea creature:
    Moe: [raises his fist in anger] Ha! I still refuse to admit the old man was right! [the monster's fire breath incinerates him to a skeleton] Legitimate difference of opinion. [one more fire breath reduces him to ashes]
  • Seppuku: When Grampa dies he joins the previous Simp-san grandfather, who commits hara-kiri and dies again rather than spend eternity with him.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Square-Cube Law: Invoked by Prof. Frink, who claims that Homerzilla will collapse under his own weight once he leaves the water. He is immediately proven wrong. note 
  • Take That!: To the two American remakes of Godzilla (mostly the 1998 version directed by Roland Emmerich note , down to the shortening of the title to "Zilla"), and to the upcoming Star Wars film The Force Awakens, which Comic Book Guy says he wanted to get a good seat for, and which he believes "will stink to high heaven!" Oh, and PETA for the lizard burgers.
  • Talking the Monster to Death/Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Lisa tries reasoning with Homerzilla not to destroy the town. When that fails, she goes for the latter trope by telling him he needs a breath mint; see below.
  • Translation Convention: It's pretty obvious that the inhabitants of 1950s Japan speak very good English, since the first part is a film.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Lisa tells Homerzilla this after his fire breath incinerates a wheelbarrow:
    Lisa: Right, right. The city's the only place you can get tuna rolls at five in the morning... because you do have fishy breath! I'm just telling you!

Telepaths of Glory

While Bart, Lisa, and Milhouse are on a hike, Milhouse falls down a hole. Bart and Lisa follow to rescue him, and they find a load of radioactive ooze down there. A bubble of the stuff pops and blows them back out of the hole. Lisa and Milhouse quickly discover that the goop gave them Mind over Matter powers. Bart didn't get any powers despite going through the same experience, as they're linked to intellect and Bart doesn't have much of that.

Cut to a montage of Lisa and Milhouse using their powers. Lisa uses hers to cheat at a gym examination by flying up the rope she was supposed to climb, Milhouse drops Dolph into a volcano after Dolph bullies him, Lisa turns Bart's 'Skinner is a wiener' graffiti into 'Skinner is a winner' (only for Skinner to change it back as he thinks someone misspelled wiener), plays the background music on all her instruments, and Milhouse plays Whack-A-Mole with his bullies, merges his parents into Two Beings, One Body, and gives Apu and Snake multiple arms. Yup, he's gone mad with power.

Milhouse then fills the Simpsons' yard with moai statues of him and gathers many citizens of Springfield into a giant ball, before the ball and statues are zapped away, and Milhouse is brought low with another zap. Bart congratulates Lisa on doing that, but she didn't. Turns out, it was Maggie, who'd sucked on a nuclear rod instead of a pacifier and now has powers of her own.

The rest of the short is Maggie's changes to the world, set to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

  • Disproportionate Retribution: When Dolph Starbeam gives Milhouse a wedgie, the latter floats upward, talking Dolph with him and dropping him into a volcano nearby. Dolph even lampshades this:
    "This is not a proportional punishmeeeeent!"
  • Drunk with Power: Milhouse of course, which is lampshaded by Lisa.
    Lisa: Milhouse has gone mad with power. Frankly, I thought it wouldn't take this long.
  • Found Footage Films: It's from the point of view of the camera that Lisa takes hiking.
  • Funny Background Event: Scrat gets run over by a boulder right when Milhouse jumps into the hole.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: How Lisa and Milhouse get their powers.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Milhouse ends up losing his powers by being struck by Maggie with a nuclear rod mistaken for a pacifier.
  • Left the Background Music On: Jazz music plays in the background during the montage where Lisa and Milhouse use their newfangled powers. Later on, the same music is played when she makes all the musical instruments fly and play the same jazz music, before Homer arrives and becomes angry, making her drop all the instruments to the ground and stop playing the background music.
  • Mandatory Line: Much like they did in Treehouse XI (and an Ironic Echo at that, considering that said cameo was on the Halloween episode after the one where they hosted a Milestone Celebration), Kang and Kodos appear at the end of the segment to complain about the fact that they weren't included in this episode.
  • Mind over Matter: Lisa and Milhouse's powers.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Milhouse uses his powers to give both Apu and Snake Jailbird multiple arms. Snake uses them for wielding multiple guns at once....
  • Multi-Armed Multitasking:...while Apu claims he can now diaper all his kids at once.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Neither Lisa nor Milhouse use Telepathy in this episode. Their powers are more like telekinesis.
  • No-Sell: The radioactive goo doesn’t have any effect on Bart, much to his chagrin since it gave his sister and friend superpowers.
  • One-Man Band: Lisa uses her new powers to play all her favorite instruments at once, effectively becoming a one-girl-orchestra.
  • Personality Powers: Lisa notes that the telepathy powers are linked to intellect, which is why she and Milhouse have it and Bart doesn't.
  • Shout-Out: When Milhouse falls into the hole, Scrat is seen running after his acorn in the background. Also, Milhouse shouts, "Everything's coming up Milhouse!", which is a parody of the song title "Everything's Coming up Roses" from Gypsy, and the way he summons moai statues of himself is a reference to the Tartaros Arc of Fairy Tail. When Bart and Lisa go down the hole to save Milhouse, Fred Flintstone's car can be briefly seen.
  • The Cameo: Kang and Kodos. At the end of the segment, they appear to complain about doing this trope.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Milhouse goes mad with power, using it to literally force his parents back together (by fusing them into a Two Beings, One Body), taking revenge on his bullies and making giant statues of himself.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To Chronicle.

How well does it match the trope?

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