Treehouse of Horror XX: Wikis

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"Treehouse of Horror XX"
The Simpsons episode
LABF14.jpg
Promotional image for the episode.
Episode no. 445
Prod. code LABF14
Orig. airdate October 18, 2009
Show runner(s) Al Jean
Written by Daniel Chun
Directed by Mike B. Anderson and Matthew Schofield

"Treehouse of Horror XX" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' twenty-first season. The episode first aired on October 18, 2009 on Fox.[1] The twentieth Treehouse of Horror episode, it contains three self-contained segments. An estimated 8.59 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode.[2]

Contents

Opening

Traditional horror movie characters such as Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, and Dracula roam the streets of Springfield on Halloween night. After they are teased by Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney, they get new, more modern costumes from a Halloween store. They then go to an adult Halloween party thrown by Homer and Marge, but are soon confronted by their wives, who are angry that their husbands lied about going to kill children. Homer tries to intervene as the wives begin to assault their husbands, only to be decapitated. Homer's head falls into a bowl of punch with each of his eyes says "XX". Treehouse of Horror appears over his eyes making it say "Treehouse of Horror XX", the title of the episode.

Segments

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Dial "M" for Murder or Press "#" to Return to Main Menu

In this black and white segment, Lisa wants revenge after being sent to detention by Ms. Hoover for disrupting class as she claims another student topped her through a tutor. Bart hatches a "criss-cross" plan and tells Lisa that if she pulls a "ding-dong ditch" on Mrs. Krabappel, he will do the same to Ms. Hoover. Lisa thinks this means ringing the bell at Mrs. Krabappel's apartment and leaving. However, Lisa soon learns that Bart meant for her to kill Mrs. Krabappel (and dump the corpse in a ditch), as he has killed Ms. Hoover. Bart attempts to coax Lisa into killing Mrs. Krabappel with a paper cutter, but she refuses. Eventually, Bart decides to blackmail her into it with help from Willy, who would frame Lisa for the decaptitated Skinner to honor his side of the "criss-cross" in which Bart killed Skinner. Pretending to submit to his demand, Lisa instead attempts to kill Bart with a knife, beginning a chase sequence. Bart finally finds shelter at a crowded playground carousel, but is left at Lisa's mercy when the other children leave to get ice cream. Lisa, however, says she will never be a murderer, and attempts to throw the knife away. It cycles over, though, and impales Bart through the forehead as Krabappel shows up. Lisa and Mrs. Krabappel walk away smiling.

Don't Have a Cow, Mankind

Krusty the Clown introduces a new version of his Krustyburger, the Burger2, made from cattle that have eaten other cattle in their feed. Upon eating a burger on live television, Kent Brockman becomes undead and begins biting everyone around him, triggering a zombie apocalypse. Twenty-eight days later, Springfield has become overrun by "munchers", with the Simpson family being some of the few survivors. One day, Bart, tired of eating fruits, escapes from his family's barricaded house and eats one of the burgers, but turns out to be immune to its effects. Over the phone, a besieged Dr. Hibbert (who is fighting back quite well until the end of the phonecall) tells them that Bart's immunity may be the key to developing a cure to the epidemic, a genetic "chosen one", and that they must bring Bart to a so-called "safe zone" outside the city. The Simpsons are attacked by the munchers after a failed attempt to sneak out. They are saved by Apu, driving an armored off-road truck (Apu was never infected because as a Hindu and vegetarian, he does not eat any tainted burgers, and who was prepared for the apocalypse since, as a convenience store clerk, he's armed to the teeth). The group tries to leave Springfield, but Apu winds up crashing the truck over a pile of smashed cars. Apu goes to push the car off the pile, but the Simpsons drive away thinking Apu sacrificed himself, when he actually wanted the Simpsons to wait for him. After Apu gets killed, the Simpsons drive on but run out of gas, walking the rest of the way to the safe zone. During their journey, Homer is bitten by a zombie Mr. Burns after picking off his nose, thinking he was dead, thus turning him into a zombie himself. The family decide not to kill him in the hopes of finding a cure. They reach the safe zone, where Bart – being immune to the zombie virus – is worshipped as the "chosen one". However, the people there believe that cannibalizing Bart will save them from the virus. The Simpsons, however, think of another solution: vaccinating the remaining populace by having Bart bathe in their food before eating it, thus saving Springfield.

There's No Business Like Moe Business

In Broadway musical style (the entire story is a stageplay-within-a-show and the violence is all fake), Moe is lonely and upset that he doesn't have a girlfriend and is jealous when he sees Homer and Marge together. When Homer falls into the basement of the bar and is impaled by pipes, his blood becomes the secret ingredient in Moe's new beer. Everyone loves this new beer, saying that it makes them feel warm, secure and cozy on the inside. Moe uses this to his advantage and woos Marge, tricking her into thinking that Homer walked out on her because he's gay. Homer emerges, alive, despite being impaled by Moe's microbrew machine and hurls Moe (or rather, a dummy of Moe) across the room, and reunites with Marge.

Cultural references

The first segment includes parodies of the Alfred Hitchcock films Psycho,[3] Strangers on a Train,[4] North by Northwest, and Spellbound, as well as a reference to the film Vertigo (in particular the Vertigo effect). Also the title of the segment takes its name from the film Dial M for Murder. The second segment features elements of the films 28 Days Later and Children of Men. The final segment was inspired by Sweeney Todd.[5]

Reception

"Treehouse of Horror XX" was watched by 8.59 million viewers and was the most watched of "Animation Domination," ahead of American Dad and The Cleveland Show.[2] The show was the fourth most watched episode on Fox after House, The OT, and Family Guy in the 18/49 rating.[6]

Robert Canning, of IGN praised the episode by saying "it was a fine addition to the series' Halloween specials". He enjoyed all of the stories, and said the Sweeney Todd segment was "a nice treat". Robert Canning also mentioned that it was nice for a change to be aired before Halloween.[7]

Catholic League president Bill Donohue issued a press release in response to the segment "Don't Have a Cow, Mankind," taking issue with the line, "What kind of civilized people eat the body and blood of their savior?" Donohue stated, "mocking the heart of any religion always crosses the line, and mocking the Eucharist does it for Catholics. They know this at Fox, which is precisely why they did it."[8]

The episode is currently a nominee for "Best Writing in a Television Production" at the 37th Annie Awards.[9]

References


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