The Simpsons: Treehouse Of Horror XXVII Review

The Simpsons splurges its Halloween Show money on a 600th episode celebration.

The Simpsons: Season 28 Episode 4

This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.

Every year I, and millions of viewers, look forward to the annual Halloween episode of The Simpsons because, no matter how bad the season is, it is worth watching. It is usually the best episode of any given season, even in the midst of their funniest, most classic years. This year, I was more than enthused, because so far Season 28 has been consistently almost wonderful. But “Treehouse Of Horror XXVII” is not the best episode of the season. It would have won hands down last year, but that’s really not saying much.

The episode opens up promisingly enough with four of The Simpsons’ most reviled and revered villains: Sideshow Bob, Bart’s nemesis; either Kang or Kodos, Springfield’s nemesis; the angry Leprochaun, the scourge of stars, hearts and clovers everywhere; and Frank Grimes, the guy who hated Homer so much he died in a safety drill gone horribly awry rather than accept him, warts and all. Still, Homer greets him with a hearty “good old Grimey” after he finally remembers him. Maggie, dressed in the most horrorshow of nadsat fashion, woke up from her nap to sap the life out of that.

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The couch gag was imaginative, but nowhere near as classic as the musical Planet of the Apes parody that starred the late great Troy Maclure. But the gag still has the same underlying message: you’ll never make a love-seat out of, Dr. Zaius.

And this was before the episode actually began.

Dry Hard

Oh what a feeling, Mr. Burns is running a lethal Hunger Games-inspired splash-dance-to-the-death contest in the post-dystopian future Springfield and none of the cute little children are safe. If only they didn’t keep reelecting the miserly master, but what can you do? It’s a one party system.

Representing Nevergreen Terrace in the cruel games is the saddest little girl in the whole second grade She immediately faces a tough choice, pita or PETA, one is a healthy meat-free snack, the other keeps animals safe from cruelty. Both are close to Lisa’s heart. Neither are very effective fighters. Even the has-been hero Homish can get the jump on them and he’s not even in that sober in-between stage of drinking.

The episode drifted from the source material as the solution becomes the problem and the town is submerged. The quick cuts became their own running gag, but the segment ultimately treads water.


Lisa is at the center of the second installment as all of her friends come down with a case of chronic death. The first is unexpected. Taken so young and before tea is even served. When Lisa becomes interesting enough to hang with Springfield’s exclusive Twin Set, and the headstone takes them both out in a header, we sense there is a pattern happening. Sherri and Terri’s brother’s names are Jerry and Larry and their parents’ names are Barry and Mary. Of course, the eulogy is performed by Drew Carey.

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Lisa goes through a therapist and Millhouse, imaginatively suffocated with a double wrapped sandwich bag, before Chief Wiggum applies the sparkly nail polish to put the pieces together, though he still can’t get through an acronym without the help of officer Lou. Don’t blame the chief. He lost his son Ralph in the first segment as the first casualty of Burns’ Thirsty Games. Here Wiggum takes a shiv gratefully just to get out of explaining dinner time.

You might notice that, when the list of all the people and things that Lisa loves appears, Bart is absent. Very telling. Almost as telling as the idea that Chief Wiggum only believes in one invisible killer: God.

Lisa ultimately marries her imaginary best friend Rachel off to a dentist, fighting childhood terrors with grownup night sweats. On the way, she and Bart struggle through the backwash of thousand prison harmonicas. All in all, this is a tepid installment.


The Simpsons close the 600th episode with a James Bond spoof. Moe’s bar doubles as the central controls of an international spy agency and the boys in the bar never looked so suave. Bart is out to avenge the death of his father, the best covert agent to belly up to the gig. The budding spy takes his cue from the old man as he learns that revenge is a dish best served like a cold war. The real hero of the episode was the cat sitting on Homer’s head. I know it’s a cartoon, but I still physically cringe every time the animators go for an eye. But I have to admit, it made for the best visual gag of the night.

Bond has always played well on The Simpsons, whether they present stirred up parodies or shaken satires like the Scorpio episode. That episode went from great to classic because of the closing song. This episode also teases a little Shirley Bassey out of the band to celebrate 600 episodes, though it’s a little clunky. In hell they make you watch them all in a row. That would make the FXX marathons purgatory and that’s a religion I can get behind.

“Treehouse of Horror XXVII” was written by Jowl H. Corpulent and directed by Steven Mean Mooredor. The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays Chief Wiggum and Moe. Harry Shearer is Mr. C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers. Guest stars: Drew Carey as himself, Donald Fagen as himself, Sarah Silverman as Rachel and Judith Owen as herself

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Chalkboard: No need for a chalkboard punishment when we have a Planet of the Couches opening gag. But damn it all to hell, did homo reclinus have to blow the whole damned sofa up? There might have been an old snack in the cushions.

But It All Went By So Fast: Splosh and Splash: Hours of soggy fun. Pee-soaked baby dialers: $100. Despair Heights, Thirsty Pines, Nevergreen Terrace and Dusty Springfield. Logan’s Rum. Amstel Blight. Dusty Burger. The Late Miss Springfield. Discount grief counselor. Springfield Cemetary: Lisa Simpson Wing. Twelve day cleaners. Henrich’s Monocle Shop. Neat and Tidy Piano Movers. Springfield Costume Shop. Lifeless Slug. Yale Teaching Assistant. Secret Lair. How to Lose Friends and Unimagine People.

Tonight: Steely Dan. Admission: Free. Wine: Free. Hidden Agenda: None. Project Vulcan Afterparty.


3.5 out of 5