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Top 10 Stories The Simpsons Should Adapt for Treehouse of Horror

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Nick Spake Are we the only ones that find it weird that they’ve done a “Treehouse of Horror” for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” but none of these? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Stories The Simpsons Should Adapt for Treehouse of Horror. For this list, we’re taking a look at movies and shows that seem perfectly tailored for the Simpsons to parody on their annual Halloween special.
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Are we the only ones that find it weird that they’ve done a “Treehouse of Horror” for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” but none of these? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Stories The Simpsons Should Adapt for Treehouse of Horror.

For this list, we’re taking a look at movies and shows that seem perfectly tailored for the Simpsons to parody on their annual Halloween special.

#10: “Goosebumps” (2015)

In the 2015 film adaption of “Goosebumps,” author R.L. Stine’s most famous characters escape from their individual books and wreak havoc upon a small town. It’s a clever premise that could also be applied to a “Treehouse of Horror” segment. Just imagine if the Simpsons crossed paths with their creator, Matt Groening. After rummaging through Groening’s sketchbook, they accidentally release characters from previous Halloween episodes. There’s potential here for several great callbacks, as Hugo, Lard Lad, Devil Flanders, and other dastardly foes team up to take over Springfield. We’d definitely be in for a scare, as well as a laugh.

#9: “The Monster Squad” (1987)

In this 80s cult classic, a group of kids use to their knowledge of horror stories to defeat some of the most iconic monsters of all time. Now what if the film was recast with “Simpsons” characters? The students of Springfield Elementary would naturally make up the titular Monster Squad. Mr. Burns could once again fill the role of Count Dracula in a pursuit to plunge the world into darkness. Meanwhile, Homer could play the part of Frankenstein’s monster while Blinky the fish evolves into the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Plus, couldn’t you see Bart saying, “Wolfman’s got nards?”

#8: “Gremlins” (1984)

Bart already faced off with one gremlin that nearly destroyed the school bus. Of course that segment was a parody of a classic “Twilight Zone” episode as apposed to Joe Dante’s 1984 creature feature. That being said, “Gremlins” is already kind of like a “Treehouse of Horror” story, mixing elements of horror and humor. Thus, the possibilities are practically giftwrapped for the writing team behind “The Simpsons.” Bart gets a new pet that’s every bit as lovable as a Funzo doll. After Homer accidentally spills beer on the critter, though, it begins to multiply. Then when the little menaces eat a box of donuts after midnight, anarchy and hilarity ensue.

#7: “Halloween” (1978) & “Friday the 13th” (1980)

Since the “Treehouse of Horror” series has been going on for so long, you’d think that the writers would’ve parodied one of these classic slasher flicks by now. While Jason Voorhees has made an occasional cameo, “The Simpsons” has never gone all out with a “Friday the 13th” spoof. Picture this: a trip to Kamp Krusty takes a turn for the worse when Homer drops by with his new chainsaw and hockey mask. Of course if “Friday the 13th” is too tame by today’s standards, “Halloween” is another obvious choice. Lisa’s babysitting business becomes a bloodbath after Sideshow Bob escapes from an insane asylum. Now that would be a memorable run-in with the “Booger Man.”

#6: “Carrie” (1976)

The Simpsons are no strangers to Stephen King. “The Shinning” remains one of the show’s best Halloween segments and the horror author even portrayed himself in an episode. On top of all that, you might’ve noticed a parallel between “Under the Dome” and “The Simpsons Movie.” Given the series’ numerous ties to King, “Carrie” seems like an ideal fit for “Treehouse of Horror.” As the kids at school make her life a living hell, Lisa begins to develop telekinetic powers. She’s finally pushed to her limits on prom night when some bullies douse her in a bucket of pig blood (Spider-Pig blood, perhaps?). After that, Lisa leaves the fiery gymnasium covered in red and yellow.

#5: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

On multiple occasions, the folks behind “The Simpsons” have joined forces with the “Robot Chicken” crew for some stop-motion fun. Wouldn’t it be amazing if these two creative teams came together once again to parody Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s animated classic? Growing tired of Halloween, Homer stumbles into a series of holiday-themed worlds. There are the more traditional holidays, such as Christmas, Valentine’s, and Easter. Of course Homer could also learn about the more obscure holidays, like Love Day, Whacking Day, and Scotchtoberfest. Since composer Danny Elfman wrote the music for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Simpsons” main title theme, a couple songs would also be in order.

#4: “Stranger Things” (2016-)

Seeing how “Stranger Things” has evolved into a pop culture phenomenon, we’d be amazed if “The Simpsons” didn’t parody it somewhere down the line. The jokes would pretty much write themselves. In the same vein as Will Byers, Bart gets trapped in the Upside Down and attempts to communicate with Marge through letters on a chalkboard. As Milhouse, Nelson, and the other boys try to figure out what happened to their friend, they meet a psychokinetic girl with limited speech, a role either Lisa or Maggie could fill. Chief Wiggum is also on the case, channeling Jim Hopper. As for the Demogorgon, this sounds like a part either Kang or Kodos were destined to play.

#3: “Twin Peaks” (1990-91; 2017)

“The Simpsons” has poked fun at “Twin Peaks” a few times over the years, but a “Treehouse of Horror” spoof has never come into fruition. Since David Lynch’s surreal drama series recently had a comeback on Showtime, now seems as good a time as any for a full-on parody. Either Chief Wiggum or Homer could assume the role of Special Agent Dale Cooper, who’s called to Springfield to solve a murder mystery. It soon becomes clear, however, that something even stranger is taking place behind the red curtain. The premise would not only make leeway for killer satire, but also a lot of inventive imagery, as well as some damn fine coffee and donuts.

#2: “Alien” franchise (1979-)

In every “Simpsons” Halloween special, you can count on seeing Kang and Kodos pop up. Since these aliens have become such an integral part to this series, casting them as Xenomorphs would seem like a forgone conclusion. While we have gotten a couple nods to the “Alien” franchise, “Treehouse of Horror” has yet to take advantage of this obvious setup. Either Marge or Lisa could fill Ellen Ripley’s shoes while little Maggie steps in for Newt. Meanwhile, Homer goes the same way as John Hurt’s Kane with an alien bursting out of his chest. Ironically, this actually sounds like more fun than “Alien: Covenant.”

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Clue” (1985) & “And Then There Were None” (1945)
- “The Walking Dead” (2010-)
- “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)


#1: “It” (2017)

We’ve seen Krusty the Clown in the form of a killer doll. So we wouldn’t have any trouble buying him as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Krustywise, if you will. Between Bart, Lisa, and their friends, there’s no shortage of great characters to make up the Losers’ Club. Then you could have Jimbo and his fellow bullies stand in for the Bowers Gang. Whether it mainly draws inspiration from the original novel, the 1990 miniseries, or the 2017 film adaptation, this idea is just floating with potential. On a side note, it’d be fitting if former writer Jon Vitti returned to pen this segment, seeing how he’s been known to use “Penny Wise” as a pseudonym.
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