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Recap / The Simpsons S 8 E 1 Treehouse Of Horror VII

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Episode - 4F02
First Aired - 10/27/1996

Treehouse of Horror VII is a Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode of The Simpsons and the first episode of the eighth season.

This year's tales of terror include Bart meeting his long-lost Siamese twin who lives in the attic and has gone insane, Lisa becoming a goddess to a small civilization she created out of a tooth, some cola, and Bart zapping her with static electricity, and Homer trying to stop Kang and Kodos from posing as Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and running for U.S. President.

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Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Homer and Marge's solution to Hugo being "evil" is to lock him up in the attic and feed him fish heads once a week. Once Bart turns out to be evil, they do the same to him.
  • Accidental Discovery: Lisa accidentally creates miniature life-forms by putting one of her teeth into a glass of cola. It's implied Bart helped contribute by accidentally zapping it with static electricity.
  • Alien Abduction: Kang and Kodos abduct Homer while he's out fishing. Though instead of eating Homer or rectally probing him as he initially feared, the two aliens simply ask to know who the leader of Earth is. Homer replies that it's US President Bill Clinton, though he may be replaced by Senator Bob Dole in the then-current 1996 presidential election. So Kang and Kodos abduct Clinton and Dole in order to impersonate both of them, and they run in the election. They successfully take over America (and the Earth).
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  • Alien Invasion: Kang and Kodos kidnap Clinton and Dole and take their places (infiltration method). In the end they are discovered but still win because they have both major candidates and "It's a two party system. You have to vote for one of us." Someone suggests voting for a third party candidate: Alien: Sure, THROW your vote away!" In the end they are our rulers.
  • Aliens Never Invented Democracy: Kang and Kodos kidnap Homer and ask him to Take Me to Your Leader. Homer hesitates, because they are about to have an election between President Bill Clinton and Senator Bob Dole, so Homer doesn't know what to tell them. The aliens Kang and Kodos are apparently familiar with the concept of an election, having monitored human activity for years, but when they kidnap Clinton and Dole and impersonate them, their campaign styles make it clear that they have no direct experience with elections. Once Kang is elected, he enslaves the human population and converts the United States into a dictatorial monarchy.
  • Amazing Technicolour Population: The miniature people of the tub are a grey-ish blue.
  • Anal Probing: Homer assumes Kang and Kodos want to do this, and starts to take his pants off before they make it clear they really don't.
    STOP! We have reached the limits of what rectal probing can teach us!
  • Anti-Climax: The ending of "The Genesis Tub".
  • The Bad Guy Wins: "Citizen Kang" ends with the Rigelian alien race enslaving the Earth.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • After their first encounter with Hugo, the episode cuts to Bart, Lisa, and Maggie all apparently hiding in vases, but then reveals that they were hiding out in the closet instead.
    • Dr. Hibbert presents Hugo with a mirror so he can see himself for the first time, but it's just an empty frame so Hibbert can deliver a knockout punch instead.
    • After taking the form of Dole and Clinton, Kodos declares they'll have to dispose of Homer, and seemingly activates a massive laser cannon. Homer finds himself staring down the barrel...which promptly sprays him with rum.
  • Brick Joke: Kang and Kodos spray Homer with rum to make sure no one believes him. When Homer tries telling his family what happened, Bart dismisses his claims ("Sure ya were, rummy.").
  • Brutal Honesty: Kang and Kodos bluntly describe their intentions.
    Kodos/Clinton: As overlord, all will kneel trembling before me and obey my brutal commands.
    Kang/Dole: It makes no matter which one of us you vote for! Either way, your planet is doomed! DOOMED!
  • The Cassandra: Kang and Kodos sprayed Homer with booze to make sure nobody would believe him. Probably nobody would have believed him anyway given that he was ranting about an alien invasion.
  • Cassandra Truth: Homer is abducted by Kang and Kodos, who glean the identities of presidential candidates Bill Clinton and Senator Bob Dole from him and abduct them and take their place in order to Take Over the World during the 1996 Presidential campaign. Homer tells the aliens that he is going to tell everyone and put a stop to their evil plan. They spray him with rum and then send him back to Earth, saying that no one will believe him. When he gets home and tells the family, no one believes him because they think he got drunk at Moe's.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Homer believed "Citizen Kang" would have a different ending had Kodos won: "Don't blame me; I voted for Kodos!"
  • Conjoined Twins: Bart's Evil Twin, Hugo, who had been separated from Bart at birth and kept in the attic. Hugo, having gone insane after being locked up in the attic his entire life, plans sew the two of them together again.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The tub people shrink Lisa in order to speak with their "God"... and have no way to unshrink her again (in fact it seems it wasn't even planned), rendering her powerless to protect them from Bart.
  • Downer Ending: All three stories.
    • Bart is thrown into the attic after discovering he's the evil twin.
    • Lisa is stuck in the micro-city with no way of being changed back to her normal size (what's more, Bart steals her project for his own and wins the science fair). And Bart also threatened that he would flush the tub into the toilet.
    • The U.S. (possibly the entire world) is enslaved by Kang and Kodos.
  • Evil Twin: Bart and Lisa discover an evil twin of Bart, named Hugo, living in the attic and obsessed with "reuniting". Their parents and Dr. Hibbert admit that the boys were born conjoined, but were separated at birth and Hugo was locked away after they realized he was evil. However, it's subverted when Hibbert looks at their scars and realizes that Bart is, and always has been, the evil one ("Oh, don't look so shocked"). The segment ends with their situation reversed, Hugo being accepted into the family while Bart is locked in the attic and fed nothing but fish heads.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Bart apparently never noticed that large, easily noticed surgical scar on his side.
    • Homer kicks a bush in a rage. It's only after he hurts his foot that he realizes there's a giant spaceship parked right there.
  • Foreshadowing: Dr. Hibbert's flashback to when Bart and Hugo were born shows that the twin on the right was the evil one (as he kept biting the twin on the left). When Bart discovers his scar, it's on his left side.
  • Gender Reveal: Kodos is apparently female.
  • Hope Spot: In Citizen Kang, Homer discovers where the real Bill Clinton and Bob Dole are being held and manages to reawaken them. Once he does, they decide to put aside their differences and work together. Unfortunately, when he tries getting them out of their tubes, he instead winds up shooting them up into outer space to their deaths.
  • I Have a Family: Subverted.
    Homer: (to Kang and Kodos) Please don't eat me! I have a wife and kids! Eat them!
  • In One Ear, Out the Other: While the miniature spaceships from the "The Genesis Tub" are attacking Bart, one of them flies into his left ear and exits his right.
  • Insistent Terminology: Lisa tries to correct Dr. Hibbert's use of the term “Siamese twins", but Hibbert’s having none of it.
    Lisa: I believe they prefer to be called "Conjoined Twins".
    Dr. Hibbert: And hillbillies want to be called "sons of the soil", but it ain’t gonna happen.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: The male-sounding Kodos is female, according to this episode.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • During The Thing and I, Bart points out the story of Hugo doesn't make any sense.
    • The commentary for Citizen Kang notes how the tubes have bands covering Dole and Clinton's midsections, but don't conceal their butts.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Lisa inadvertently creates life when she discharges static electricity on her tooth.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Parodied with Bart's Evil Twin, Hugo, locked up in the attic. The Twist Ending was that Bart was the Evil Twin, so Hugo was allowed to go free (even though he was clearly insane - then again, you'd be insane too, if in his shoes) and Bart is locked up in his place.
  • Man on Fire: During the opening segment, Homer lights a "Jack O' Lantern" pumpkin and accidentally lights himself on fire.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Played rather seriously, as Bart's playful poking at Lisa's petrie dish ends up wrecking much of the micro-world. When the little people strike back at him, Lisa even lampshades it.
    Lisa: Well, you practically destroyed their whole world!
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Homer crashes the spaceship into the Capitol and successfully reveals the candidates' real identities. However, despite being exposed, Kang and Kodos declare to the people that they have to choose between one of them because "it's a two-party system" since it's too late to get new candidates. One man in the crowd announces that he will vote for a third-party candidate, but Kang and Kodos tell him: "Go ahead, throw your vote away."
  • Oh, Crap!: Homer has this when he realizes that he just launched Bill Clinton and Bob Dole out of the UFO tubes and into space, killing them and dooming the Earth to vote between their alien impersonators.
    Homer: Oh no.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: No one seems to realise the disguised Kang and Kodos aren't Dole or Clinton, despite their bizarre statements and Creepy Monotone voices.
    Kodos/Clinton: I am Clin-ton! As overlord, all will kneel trembling before me and obey my brutal commands! (crosses arms over chest) End communication!
    Marge: Hrrm, that's Slick Willie for you. Always with the smooth talk.
  • Pun-Based Title: "The Thing and I" references The King and I, while "Citizen Kang" references Citizen Kane.
  • Scenery Censor: the bio-duplictation fields neatly cover Dole and Clinton's nethers.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While bringing fish heads to Hugo Homer sings "Fish Heads", the biggest hit of Barnes & Barnes.
    • The Genesis Tub segment is a reference to the The Twilight Zone episode "The Little People". This plot would be referenced too in the South Park episode "Simpsons Already Did It" where the characters point out that Cartman bringing a bunch of "sea men" alive in an aquarium is similar to the plot of this Simpsons Halloween episode.
    • Citizen Kang is yet another Simpsons reference to Citizen Kane.
    • When the little people Lisa created are nailing commandments to the wall of a church, Lisa says: "I created Lutherans". Martin Luther started the Lutheran/Protestant movement when he nailed commandments and statements, famously known as the Ninety-Five Theses, to the wall of a church, criticizing the Roman Catholic Church.
    • Homer crashing the UFO into the US Capitol Dome references Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: The Frink look-alike laughs at Lisa's idea of unshrinking her...and then quickly grovels when he realises his "god" is giving him a Death Glare.
  • Take a Third Option: The voters consider voting for a third candidate when Kang and Kodos are revealed, but get mocked for it.
    • Ross Perot, Reform Party candidate in the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections, is then seen punching his straw hat open.
  • Take Me to Your Leader: Kang and Kodos to Homer, who explains there's about to be an election.
  • They Look Like Us Now: Kang and Kodos use a machine which disguises them as Clinton and Dole, allowing them to run in the election and take over the USA (and soon the whole world). For some strange reason, nobody really notices how "Clinton" and "Dole" are behaving so weirdly and unearthly, and it's only until when Homer rips off their disguises in public does everyone see that they're actually aliens. Though this doesn't stop Kang and Kodos from telling the voters that they still had to pick one of them.
  • Time Marches On: The 1996 presidential election provides the basis for "Citizen Kang".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Bart deliberately destroys large parts of Lisa's micro universe, then when he gets mad at Lisa for her people taking revenge against, he's essentially admitting that he knew that the world in the dish had actual living people in it rather than a model, and not only did he destroy a lot of it regardless, he's going to throw the dish into the toilet and kill all of them when Lisa isn't watching.
  • Uranus Is Showing: Kang and Kodos tell Homer that they come from "A nearby ringed planet whose name we'd prefer not to mention".
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Hugo's "surgery" was for the sake of becoming one with his twin brother again. He even practiced on a "pigeon-rat".
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Lampshaded when Kang and Kodos abduct Homer and spray him with rum before releasing him so that his warnings will be dismissed as drunken ravings.
    Homer: Why won't anyone believe my crazy story?
  • You're Insane!: Bart tells his conjoined twin Hugo, "You're crazy!", to which Hugo replies, "Am I? Well, perhaps we're all a little crazy. I know I am."

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