First Aired - 10/29/1995
The opening features Krusty the Clown as the Headless Horseman. He throws his head at the camera, and the blood runs off to reveal words- The Simpsons Halloween Special VI. Then we cut to the Simpsons house, where the family drop from the rafters, hanged.
Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores
Springfield is overrun by oversized advertising after Homer takes the Lard Lad statue's giant doughnut.
Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace
While Lisa and Bart are at school, Martin dies after falling asleep at his desk. Later, they find out from Marge that Groundskeeper Willie swore to kill the town's children in their dreams as revenge for being ignored while burning to death. Bart and Lisa at first try to stay up to avoid this, but they can't do it for long. Bart decides to take the fight to Willie in his dreams, while Lisa stays awake to wake him up if there's trouble.
Bart fights Willie, but the fight goes badly. Lisa appears to help him out. Bart's happy at first, and then realizes that if she's there, then she has fallen asleep, which she wasn't supposed to do. Willie attacks again, and the two are saved by Maggie and her pacifier. The next morning, it turns out that Willie has come back to life, but he's significantly less threatening than he was as a spirit. He leaves his gun on the bus and has to chase after it, while a Yakety Sax-style Simpsons theme song plays.
Patty and Selma are coming over, and Homer tries to hide. He goes for the closet, but the kids are already there. He looks under the rug, but that's where the pets are. He ends up hiding behind a bookshelf, and discovers that there's a portal in the wall behind there. Desperate to escape his in-laws, he goes through the portal, and ends up in a strange place where everything is depicted in CGI.
Homer explores his new surroundings, while the rest of the family is forced to deal with Patty and Selma. He tries yelling to see if anyone can hear him. They can (and he can hear them), but they don't know where he is. Come to think of it, Homer doesn't know where he is either. He's not in the linen closet (he doesn't see towels), and he doesn't seem to be in the shower. He also appears to be trapped wherever he is. Marge decides to call Ned, as he has a ladder.
Homer walks around in the place he's trapped in, and remarks on how expensive it looks. A bouncing cone sticks him in the butt, and he throws it away. Unfortunately, it lands point in, and creates a black hole in the dimension that's slowly expanding, making everything else there fall in.
Back in the Simpsons' home, Ned has no idea where Homer is. Reverend Lovejoy instructs Homer to "move into the light," which turns out to be a bad idea. Dr. Hibbert asks him what it's like, and Homer describes it as being like TRON. Unfortunately, absolutely no one else has seen that movie. Professor Frink explains where Homer is—he's in the 3rd dimension.
Homer demands they actually help him. Wiggum fires his gun at the portal-wall. This just gives Homer some 3-D bullets to avoid. Homer has to quickly run away from the now rapidly-expanding black hole, and Grandpa Simpson walks up in an old-fashioned diving suit, declaring that he'll save Homer. Frink stops him, but when Homer again pleads for help, Bart ties a rope to his waist and goes in after Homer.
Bart enters the 3rd dimension, which by now has almost entirely been sucked into the black hole. Bart tries to save his father, but unfortunately he and Homer are on the opposite sides of the black hole. Homer is not able to jump to Bart. Bart is pulled back into the 2nd dimension, and Homer falls into the black hole. Bart explains what happened, and Lovejoy consoles Marge by saying he's gone to a better place.
Well, he has, if by 'better place' you mean 'our universe'. Homer lands in a dumpster in West Hollywood and explores his new surroundings. He doesn't seem too worried about it after he discovers an erotic cake shop.
Treehouse of Horror VI contains examples of (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- Abandoned Playground: Bart battles Willy at night in a foreboding, nightmare playground which is empty until the battle.
- Adults Are Useless: Not only are the parents responsible for Willy going on his road to vengeance (choosing to talk about school lunch menus rather than save his life), but they do nothing to help their children and downplay the threat he poses to them.
- Alternate Universe: The infamous third short, "Homer³", shows Homer entering another dimension, which collapses and leaves him stuck in another universe, namely ours.
- Aluminium Christmas Trees: When Homer is trapped in the Third Dimension, he asks everyone if they saw the movie TRON; no one didnote . This caused many fans to believe that Homer made up the film until the release of Kingdom Hearts II over a decade later, which includes a world based on the film, and then TRON: Legacy in 2010, which caught many Simpsons fans by surprise.
- Ambiguous Syntax: "'Do not touch Willie.' Good advice."
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When the advertisements lose their power and become inactive, they inadvertently destroy the general hospital, the orphanage, and the birthplace of Norman Vincent Peale.
- Art Shift: "Homer³" contains probably the most notable example in Simpsons history, with Homer (and later, Bart) being depicted in CG animation for the first time courtesy of a pre-Shrek Pacific Data Images. Homer lampshades how expensive it was.
- Artistic License Physics: Played for Laughs. When Homer tries to flee from Patty and Selma, he lifts the carpet, only to see Santa's Little Helper and Snowball hiding underneath the nevertheless totally flat surface.
- Atomic F-Bomb: Downplayed; Homer's last audible words in his home dimension are a rapid-fire "Crap!", followed by one long, loud "CRAAAAAAAAAAAAP!!"
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: Giant advertising mascots in "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores".
- Attention Whore: In "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores", the ad company executive claims this is true of the giant advertising mascots and advertisements in general, and that they need attention to live; if people stop paying attention to them, they lose their power. (And indeed, isn't that how advertising works?) Of course, it's hard for the townsfolk not to give attention to a group of monsters destroying the city, but Lisa and Paul Anka are able to convince everyone to ignore them.
- Bad Liar: Homer, to the Lard Lad on his stolen donut: "I TOLD you! Flanders has it!... Or Moe. Go kill Moe."
- Bittersweet Ending: "Homer³" has the dimension collapse and Homer fall into the hole and wind up in our world. But hey, he found an erotic cake store seconds after arriving...
- Buffy Speak: "It's like something out of the twilighty show about that zone."
- Caffeine Failure: In "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace", Bart & Lisa drink coffee to stay awake so Groundskeeper Willie won't kill them in their sleep. Eventually, they fall asleep anyway.
- Cartridges in Flight: In "Homer³", Chief Wiggum fires his pistol into the third dimension. The bullets appear in 3D, casing and all, before being sucked into the black hole.
- Comically Missing the Point: During the flashback in "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace", Homer reads "Do not touch. Willie" written above the thermostat. He thinks it's "good advice" and cranks the thermostat up, burning Willie alive.
- Continuity Nod: The first act ends with Homer saying "We'll be right back" during a Kent Brockman report.
- Deadline News: In "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores", Kent Brockman gets attacked by a giant advertising-icon-turned-moving-rampaging-monster version of himself before it cuts to a We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties card featuring a puppy unplugging an electric cord. However, he appears to be fine by the end.
- Dimensional Traveler: Homer in the third act of this episode.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: After Willie is burned to death, Chief Wiggum makes a big mistake in mocking him.
- Dream Sequence: The second act is full of them, with Bart fighting Groundskeeper Willie in his dreams.
- The End... Or Is It?: Lisa thinks that Willie will come back... And he does. Subverted in that he left his gun on the bus he arrived at the Simpsons house on, and he has to run back and get it.
- Epic Fail: Homer trying to jump to Bart near the end of "Homer³". If you can call it that, anyway...
- Erotic Eating: Inverted into Fan Disservice in "Homer³" when Patty and Selma find out that they can suck the many-days-dead conches and hermit crabs out of their shells to clean their seashell collection.
- Evil Laugh: Willie gives one. Krusty in the opening also does one when he reveals his severed head, before flinging it at the camera.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Martin's death throes. No violence discretion shot for him.
- For Want of a Nail: Martin really shouldn't have fallen asleep after completing his test, as it costs him his life.
- One cone caused the collapse of the alternate dimension.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores" ends with Kent Brockman warning viewers that "the next advertisement you see could destroy your house and eat your family!" And then...Homer: (leans into frame) We'll be right back. (shit-eating grin)
- Giant Spider: Willie's final form: a giant bag-pipe version.
- Go into the Light: In "Homer³", when Lovejoy tries to help Homer.Lovejoy: Do you see a light, Homer?
Lovejoy: Move towards the light.
(buzzing sound with Homer screaming in pain.)
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Inverted in "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores", with Bart (a human) on the giant devil mascot's shoulder telling it to destroy the school rather than urging him to destroy the school and convincing him not to do it.
- Headless Horseman: Appears in the opening, holding Krusty's head.
- Humiliation Conga: Willie, after he inexplicably returns at the end of the episode, makes a pitiful attempt to scare Bart and Lisa, then realises he left his gun on the bus and tries pathetically to chase after it on foot, losing his shoe in the process.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: When Bart and Lisa bring up Martin dying in school, Marge says that she doesn't see how it involves Groundskeeper Willie. Note that they never brought him up.
- Jerkass: Nelson's reaction to Martin being killed in his dreams by Willie? Ha-ha!
- Just Ignore It: How Paul Anka and Lisa fight back against the giant ads in "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores".
- Kick the Dog: Marge convinces Homer to return the giant doughnut to the Lard Lad in order to end the destruction. Lard Lad gets back his doughnut, smiles at it contently, and then KICKS THEIR DOG IN THE NEXT STATE and walks away down the street smashing the roofs of every house with his giant doughnut along the way.
- Earlier, a neon cowboy mascot crushes a group of hippies with his neon bottle despite cheering for him.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Homer, while in the third dimension (and being depicted by CGI): "Man, this place looks expensive. I feel like I'm wasting a fortune just standing here."
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the rather grisly fifth THOH special, THOH VI is pretty light. That said, it still has some very dark moments, such as Martin and Willie's death.
- Men Are Uncultured: Homer is, anyway. When he's driving through the town in the beginning of "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores", he mentions how glad he is that there isn't "a single church or library to offend the eye."
- Negative Space Wedgie: A disturbance in the Earth's Van Allen Belt and an ion storm causes the statues to come to life.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- Homer throwing the cone away, tip first, causes the dimension to collapse.
- In a way, so does him running away from the side of the dimension where he entered when the collapsing speeds up. He was too far away from Bart when he went in to get him. And his attempt to jump to Bart failed.
- Homer giving Lard Lad his doughnut back at Marge's behest. Rather than put an end to the monsters as she thought, it just gives Lard Lad a weapon that he can cause more destruction with.
- Homer stealing the donut in the first place seems to have been what motivated Lard Lad and the other mascots to come to life.
- No Flow in CGI: When the pool in the third dimension falls into the black hole, the water doesn't slosh out.
- No Sympathy: What kickstarts Willie's desire for revenge is the fact that he was literally on fire and the PTA refused to help him out of little more than cold indifference.
- Off-Model: In the "Homer³" segment when Bart rushes into the 3D world to save Homer, Marge's lower half is unfinished as he runs past the couch.
- Offer Void In Nebraska: Mentioned during Paul Anka's song, currently the page quote."To stop those monsters, one-two-three
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble-free.
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee...
Guarantee void in Tennessee."
- Oh, Crap!:
- Bart gets one in his dream when Willie appears, before holding up a sign that says "Yipes!"
- Martin gets one in his dream when Willie morphs out of the blackboard behind him and finishes his sentence.
- A flipping cone hits Homer's butt. He tells it to "[w]atch it" and throws it away, landing point first, causing the dimension's collapse.
- Overly Long Tongue: Willie uses his to constrict Martin to death in his dream, which causes him to die in the real world.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Kang and Kodos' obligatory cameo in this episode has them trying to pose as "newlyweds on our way to Earth Capital," which basically consists of them hitchhiking undisguised with a sign reading "Earth Capital."
- Passed in Their Sleep: Discussed here, which is where the page quote comes from.Lisa: Bart, do you realise what this means? The next time we fall asleep, we could die!Grandpa: Ehhh, welcome to my world.
- The Power of Apathy: In "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores", giant billboard mascots come to life and rampage through Springfield, and the only way to make them inanimate again is by not paying any attention to them.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Willie, when he appears in Martin's dream, shouts after him as he runs away, "You've mastered a dead tongue, but can you handle a live one?!", before stretching out his tongue to catch Martin and kill him with it.
- Real World Episode: Homer is sucked out the Simpsons universe and disappears. According to Reverend Lovejoy he has gone "to a better place", which turns out to be our universe.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The advertising mascots in "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores" attack Springfield because Homer stole the Lard Lad donut. Marge figures that giving the donut back will make them stop, so they do. For a second. And the rampaging continues regardless.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: The episode ends with 3D Homer being transported into the real world (if you can call Los Angeles real). If you pay attention to the people around him, they seem very well aware that the strange, yellow man walking down the sidewalk isn't normal. None of them seem to do anything more than stare, however, and Homer freaking out over being in the real world is cut short when he goes inside an erotic bakery.
- Scenery Porn: The third dimension, arguably. Notably the library from Myst and Homer's drool rippling the pool of fish.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Willy returns in his One-Winged Angel form, Krusty decides to get away as fast as he can.Krusty: Don't dream about me no more, kid!
- Shoot the Money: Invoked with "Homer³", with CG animation.Homer: Gee, this place looks expensive. I feel like I'm wasting a fortune just standing here! ... Better make the most of it. Beat (scratches himself) *BURRRRRRRP*
- When the Lard Lad Donut mascot comes to life, he lets out a Mighty Roar, which is actually Godzilla's Signature Roar.
- "That's weird...it's like something out of the twilighty show about that zone...". Incidentially, this line is from "Homer³", and its plot is a Shout-Out to The Twilight Zone episode "Little Girl Lost", where a little girl ends up in the fifth dimension.
- "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace" is one long reference to the A Nightmare on Elm Street films.
- The library from Myst is in the third dimension. A rendition of the closing theme and the music over the Gracie Films logo are also done in the style of Myst.
- The title of "Homer³" is a homage to Alien³.
- The title of "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores" is a reference to the B-Movie Attack of the 50-Foot Woman.
- Going the other way around, Homer's "Holy macaroni!" from "Homer³" got sampled at the end of the Bloodhound Gang song "Mope".
- The third dimension itself partly resembles a colored version of the computer system from TRON. This is even brought up by Homer himself when he asks everyone if they saw the film; no one did.
- Groundskeeper Willie taking on different forms before he sinks into the abyss references the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where the Terminator does the same while melting away.
- As Groundskeeper Willie runs after the bus, the music is the Simpsons theme done in the style of "Yakety Sax", The Benny Hill Show closing theme.
- Three of the monsters in "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores" are the Zip Boys, three bobbleheads based off the Pep Boys automobile repair shop line. They don't actually do any damage, though, as their bobbleheads stop them from moving. They are last seen harmlessly running through the town, using shopping carts to prop up their giant heads.
- The Headless Horseman throws Krusty's head at the camera in a way similar to how the Horseman threw the pumpkin at Ichabod in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
- Sins of Our Fathers: When no one bothered to help Willie as he was burning to death, he vowed to kill their children through their dreams.
- Skewed Priorities:
- Marge is horrified by the destruction caused by the mascots, then she tells the kids to put jackets on since it's cold outside.
- Even when Willie bursts into the PTA meeting screaming for help, Kirk Van Houten would rather grumble about school cafeteria menus. Earlier, the parents also turned down the replacement of a broken door knob costing 12 dollars and a free refill of an empty fire extinguisher, implying that they turned them down the last time as well, either of which could've saved Willie's life and prevented the events of the segment from taking place.
- After being crumbled into dust, Willie swept himself up and dumped into a garbage bucket.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Skinner exhibits this with the rest of his staff after Martin's death:Skinner: Wheel him out quietly. It's best the children don't see. [Lunch Lady/Nurse Doris starts wheeling out the trolley; unfortunately, the sheet, stuck under Skinner's foot, comes off and the 4th grade children, seeing Martin's twisted features, start screaming] Oh, just get it out of here. [Doris exits] Not into the kindergarten! [more screams from outside. Skinner groans and Face Palm]
- Sweeping Ashes: After Willie turns to ash in "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace", he handily sweeps himself into a dustpan and throws himself away.
- Talking with Signs: Seen in "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace": After seeing Groundskeeper Willie (playing the role of Freddy Krueger) for the first time, Bart holds up a sign that reads: "Yipes!"
- Take That!: When Homer asks if anyone saw TRON, everyone says no. (Chief Wiggum even says it twice, then says "yes" before correcting himself.)
- Tempting Fate: "Hey, Lard Lad! I got your giant donut, and there's nothing you can do about it!" Except coming to life and wrecking the town, and bringing along other mascots with him.
- The End... Or Is It?: Subverted in "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace": Right after Lisa says that she doesn't thinks Willie is gone for good Willie walks up to them and makes scary faces — but now that he no longer is in the dream world, he's a whole lot less threatening to a comically humiliating degree.
- 13 Is Unlucky: The story of "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace" starts "on the thirteenth hour of the thirteenth day of the thirteenth month" with a meeting to discuss the misprinted calendars bought by the town.Homer: "Oh, lousy Smarch weather."
- Trapped in Another World: Homer stumbles into another dimension (the 3rd dimension) and is unable to get out.
- Unexplained Recovery: Willie is alive again without explanation after his ghost is defeated. This is possibly a reference to how Freddy Krueger always came back, only as a regular living human somehow.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
- Homer doesn't freak out at all when the Lard Lad statue comes to his door.Homer: He came to life. Good for him.
- Likewise, the Old Jewish Man is just annoyed at their coming to life.OJM: Hey, fellas, where are you going at this hour? Hey, don't scratch up dem heads!
- The real world people have only a mild reaction to Homer's presence.
- The PTA act insanely indifferent to Willie burning to death, shushing him to continue debating. Even when the undead skeleton of Willie curses them and threatens revenge for their apathy, it only gets unimpressed sneers from Wiggum.
- Homer doesn't freak out at all when the Lard Lad statue comes to his door.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: If Homer hadn't messed with the thermostat, Willie wouldn't have died and sworn vengeance against everyone.
- Also, while Homer taking the Lard Lad statue's donut didn't technically bring it to life, it was the reason it and all the other mascots went on the rampage.
- Up the Real Rabbit Hole: "Homer³" ends with Homer landing in our world, which he calls "the worst place yet".
- Villain Decay: Willie has come back to life (somehow) and attempts to threaten the Simpson children again but is now much less competent than he was while he was a spirit, losing both his gun and one of his shoes. This is likely a reference to Freddy Krueger becoming a more comical figure over the many sequels to A Nightmare On Elm Street.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Groundskeeper Willie in his segment, if you think about it—he dies a horrible, painful death whilst begging the other adults for help and they all just stand there and do nothing to help him. Can one really blame him for wanting revenge? Certainly more sympathetic than the actual Freddy Krueger. But he still goes after their kids, who had nothing to do with it.
- Would Hurt a Child: Willie, after the parents ignored him burning to death, swears revenge by threatening this by going after their children in their dreams.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Marge tells Homer to give Lard Lad back the doughnut in order to stop the rampaging advertisement mascots, so Homer reluctantly does. At first, it looks like that Lard Lad turned back into a normal statue...but then he started using the doughnut to cause even more destruction.Homer: (to Marge) Don't you get tired of being wrong all the time?Marge: Sometimes.
- Xanatos Gambit: The three-hour test that Martin somehow completes in under a minute is this for the school. If the students pass, it gives them higher grades and makes the school look good. If the students fail, the school receives more funding. Either way, the school wins.