While the first two entries of The Simpsons‘ Treehouse of Horror TV specials are worth noting for kicking off an annual holiday tradition of watching America’s favorite nuclear family gone awry, it wasn’t until the third season that the special really began to become an event onto itself complete with tailor made intros (otherwise known as “couch gags”) et al.
In fact, the opening sequences have become almost as fun to watch as the actual episode with writers always trying to up the ante from previous years. Here are a few personal favorites curated for your Halloween enjoyment. Feel free to name a few of yours as well!
#5 Treehouse of Horror III
As the first Halloween episode to actually have a specially made opening sequence (Frankenstein homage in I and II aside), Treehouse of Horror III deserves recognition for kicking off the tradition of over the top cartoon violence on Halloween. There’s a nice ode to Alfred Hitchcock thanks to Homer plus we get to see what the Simpsons are really made out of… turns out its bone.
#4 Treehouse of Horror IX
Shortly before dropping the actual “couch gag” altogether, two of horror’s favorite sons (Freddy and Jason) made a prime time cameo. Unfortunately for them each Simpson already had an untimely Final Destination picked out for them. It’s probably important to note that this is before Family Guy (and even the Simpsons) turned pop culture cameos into a mandatory occurrence in each episode.
#3 Treehouse of Horror XVIII
Remember those annoying, full motion ads that Fox used to run during other shows? Well, the Simpsons sure did and in this opening Marge really sticks it to them in a surprisingly uncharacteristic slaughtering of the networks top shows before baking them into her pumpkin spice bread (I’m just assuming its pumpkin spice because its Halloween) in one of the most creative Treehouse of Horror credits ever.
#2 Treehouse of Horror XX
What could be better than a cameo by Freddy and Jason? How about the original Universal Monsters “living” it up at a Halloween party complete with pop culture relevant costumes? Yeah, I’d say that would about do it. Plus, there’s just something about seeing Frankenstein in a Spongebob costume that seems so wrong, and yet… so “right.” Abbott and Costello would be proud.
#1 Treehouse of Horror XVII
I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for that signature Tales from the Crypt jingle. Besides, it did always have one of the creepiest intro sequences in existence (still sends chills up my spine), so its only natural that the Simpsons would ultimately spoof it at some point. Turns out that Mr. Burns makes for quite a convincing Cryptkeeper stand in too.
Got a favorite Treehouse of Horror opening of your own? Share it with us and leave a comment below.
This article is part of the Countdown to Halloween blogathon, a month-long blogging marathon dedicated to honoring the Halloween season. For more information and a full list of participating sites, please visit www.countdowntohalloween.com.