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The Simpsons

Season 4 Episode 5

Treehouse of Horror III

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 29, 1992 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
253 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Treehouse of Horror III
In this year's scarifying special, the Simpsons gather for a Halloween party and exchange ghost stories. Clown Without Pity Lisa tells the tale of how Homer purchases a Krusty doll for Bart's birthday. Homer's life is quickly in danger though, when the possessed doll goes on a mission to kill him. King Homer Grampa spins a Simponsized version of King Kong, with Homer cast as the title ape, Marge as King Kong's object of affection and Mr. Burns as the millionaire entrepreneur trying to capture King Kong and make a profit from him. Dial "Z" for Zombies
Finally, Bart tells a story in which he casts a spell from a book of witchcraft and accidentally brings Springfield's dead to life. The only thing that can send them back to their graves is the right spell.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • this was a great treehouse of horror

    in this annual treehouse of horror ep number 3 it starts off with a killer krusty doll that homer purchase for barts birthday and it starts to try to kill homer in the tub and then they realize it was just turned to evil. and the second part was about homer who is like king kong and it tells the story of like king kong but homer is the ape it was a good story i thought. and it has some humor in it and the third was the zombies in the town when bart goes to read a book from the restricted section and all the people are becoming zombies and killing others this was a good treehouse of horrormoreless

    The Simpsons have a Halloween party and tell 3 stories:

    Clown Without Pity- For Bart's birthday, Homer needs to get him a present at the last minute because he forgot. He ends up getting a Krusty Doll that is seemingly evil and wants to kill Homer.

    King Homer- A parody of King Kong. Not my favorite, it is actually my least favorite. Not very funny.

    Dial Z For Zombies- Bart raises the undead and now the Simpsons need to get rid of all the zombies before it is too late.

    The first and last segments are the best but the third is weak IMOmoreless
  • "The Simpsons" continues its annual Halloween tradition with the third installment of the "Treehouse of Horror" series.

    In my opinion, this episode is the best of the "Treehouse of Horror" series since the original. There are a number of reasons for that. Having the episode set during a Halloween party is a great idea. Seeing who is dressed in what costume was hysterical in and of itself. Another great point about this episode is that all three stories work. The first story has a number of great laughs. "King Homer" is yet another great "Simpsons" parody (and has an ending scene you won't soon forget). The highlight of the third story was Bart reciting the hysterical spells.moreless
  • Awesome and funny

    This is the 3rd treehouse of horror.This episode includes three stories as well of the other treehouses of horror. This one consists of, "Clown without Pity","King Homer" and finally, "Dial Z For Zombies" The first one (Clown without pity) is a parody of a twilight zone episode. King homer is a parody of King Kong and Dial Z for zombies is a parody of a Steven King Book. Now the episode is basically good but the best segment would have to be Clown without pity.King homer was funny and okay.Dial Z for Zombies is very strange and funny at the same time.I give this episode a 7 out of 10-VaughnD Productionsmoreless
  • This Halloween Special set a new high for the series with "True" Horror themed stories, like ZOMBIES!

    Whoa! This set a new quality of Halloween Specials. Two horror themed stories and one well written story. My favourite by far is Bart's zombie one because it was the one that felt the most like a Halloween story. All of them are excellent. The build up is that The Simpsons have a Halloween party in their house and they tell stories.

    "Clown Without Pity"

    Grade: A (2nd)

    This one defined Horror and could be scary if you were younger. This is Lisa's story. It didn't really have that many jokes but definatly had that Halloween theming surrounding it. This one's one of the more memorable Halloween stories and as usual another Simpsons classic.

    The story is about Homer getting Bart a present for his birthday. He buys him a Krusty doll. However, this is no ordinary doll! It tries to murder him with a knife! Marge gets worried that the doll is really trying to kill and and sends customer support in. It turns out that the doll's default setting was on "Evil" and not "Good". Once its switched the doll starts to be nice to Homer.

    "King Homer"

    Grade: B (3rd)

    Not really into the Horror theming. This is Grampa's story. It's basically a Simpsons styled King Kong, with Homer being the star and Marge being the lead actress. Mr Burns and Smithers are also there. I'd say this is the weakest one out of the three but it's still pretty good. Has a strange ending as well (not a typical King Kong ending).

    The story is about Marge, Mr Burns, and Smithers going to this island to find a large gorilla. They find him "King Homer" and Homer falls in love with Marge. Homer gets knocked out and sent to New York. He escapes and finds Marge and then they get married at the end.

    "Dial "Z" For Zombies"

    Grade: A* (1st)

    The best story by far. This is Bart's story. It definatly has the Horror/Halloween theming inside and is easily one of my all-time favourites. This one has the most jokes and is the most developed story out of the three. I liked it when Bart goes "Dad you killed the zombie Flanders!" and then he says "He was a zombie?" lol. Loads of memorable moments and definatly a Halloween story you can't miss out on.

    The story is about Bart, who finds a mysterious spell book in a school library. He goes to the graveyard with it and uses it to resurrect his old dead pet Snowball. However, he casts the wrong spell and resurrects the dead! Zombies start taking over Springfield and the Simpsons have to fight through them (Homer who's armed with a shotgun) and find the right spell book to reverse the spell. Bart and Lisa succeed and everything goes back to normal.


    This really set a new high for Halloween Specials back in the days. I really liked this one, because it really defined what a Halloween Special is. It's a big favourite to lots of people and you can't miss this one out!moreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace

Edna Krabappel

Recurring Role

Russi Taylor

Russi Taylor

Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Goof: In "Clown Without Pity", when Homer leaves to buy Bart's gift, he exits to the left. However, he doesn't disappear entirely as the animators paused the frame and part of Homer's white shirt can still be seen on screen as he is heard running out the door and leaving in his car.

    • In "Dial 'Z' for Zombies," you can see Pinchy's (from "Lisa Gets an A") grave saying "Eaten by Mistake" with a picture of Pinchy on it.

    • "Dial Z for Zombie" explains how Snowball I died. He was run over by Mayor Quimby's drunk brother Clovis.

    • The monkey's paw from "Treehouse of Horror II" can be seen on a counter behind the Asian merchant in the "Clown Without Pity" segment.

    • In "King Homer", the newspaper headline reads: Woman Weds Ape. It also says: Dick Cavett Born. There is a photo of an adult Cavett.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • (Homer pulls the Krusty Doll's string.)
      Krusty Doll: I'm Krusty the Clown, and I don't like you.
      (Homer chuckles.)
      Krusty Doll: I'm Krusty the Clown, and I'm going to kill you!
      Homer: (Chuckles) Didn't even pull the string that time...
      Krusty Doll: I said I'm going to kill you! (Points to Homer) You, Homer Simpson!
      Homer: Oh yeah? (Tosses the doll aside) With what?
      (The Krusty Doll pops up from the other side of the couch, holding a knife; Homer screams.)

    • (Homer throws the Krusty doll into a bag of socks.)
      Krusty Doll: You think your dirty socks can stop me?! Well, they are...making me...dizzy...ugh!

    • Zombie Flanders: Hey Simpson! I'm feeling a mite peckish. (Evilly) Mind if I chew your ear?
      (Homer shoots Ned and the others gasp.)
      Bart: Dad, you killed the Zombie Flanders!
      Homer: (Surprised) He was a zombie!?

    • (Homer finds Barney chomping on a severed arm)
      Homer: Barney, not you too!
      Barney: I'm not a zombie, but hey, when in Rome.

    • Burns: Smithers, this is a golden opportunity. If we get him alive, we can put him on Broadway. Dead, we can sell monkey stew to the army!

    • Homer: To the book depository!

    • Lisa: Dad, we did something very bad!
      Homer: Did you wreck the car?
      Bart: No!
      Homer: Did you raise the dead?
      Lisa: Yes!
      Homer: But the car's okay?
      Lisa / Bart: Uh-huh.
      Homer: All right then.

    • Bart: From A-Apple to Z-Zebra, "Baby's First Pop-up Book" is 26 pages of alphabetic adventure!
      Edna: Bart, you mean to tell me you read a book intended for preschoolers?
      Bart: Well, most of it.

    • Bart: Nice try, Mr. Flanders. But I've got a story so scary you'll wet your pants!
      Grampa: Too late.

    • Carl: Hey, I heard we're goin' to Ape Island.
      Lenny: Yeah, to capture a giant ape. I wished we were going to Candy Apple Island.
      Charlie: Candy Apple Island? What do they got there?
      Carl: Apes. But they're not so big.

    • Homer: So then his wife comes through the door…!
      Bart: So?
      Homer: Did I mention that she was dead?
      Lisa: No.
      Homer: Well, she was! And then, she hit him in the head with a golf-club…!
      Bart: And?
      Homer: Don't you remember? He went golfing all the time, and it really bugged her.
      Lisa: You said he went bowling!
      Homer: D'oh!
      Grampa: Homer! I've coughed up scarier stuff than that!
      Bart: Hey, Grampa. Why don't you tell us a story? You've led an interesting life…
      Grampa: That's a lie, and you know it! But I did see a lot of movies…

    • Patty: (As a naked Homer runs past) There goes the last lingering thread of my heterosexuality.

    • Homer: My baloney has a first name, it's H-O-M-E-R. My baloney has a second name, it's H-O-M-E-R...

    • Grampa: That doll is evil, I tell ya! Evil! Evil…!
      Marge: Grampa, you said that about all the other presents.
      Grampa: I just want attention…

    • Homer: Do you sell toys?
      Shopkeeper: We sell forbidden objects from places men dare to trade... We also sell frozen yogurt, which I call "frogurt".
      Homer: Yeah, well I need something for my son's birthday.
      Shopkeeper: Ah... Perhaps this will please the gentleman...
      (The shopkeeper reaches the shelf and takes the Krusty doll.)
      Shopkeeper: Take this object... But beware, it carries a terrible curse.
      Homer: Ooo, that's bad...
      Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!
      Homer: That's good!
      Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.
      Homer: That's bad...
      Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of topping!
      Homer: That's good!
      Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.
      (Homer stares at the shopkeeper.)
      Shopkeeper: That's bad.
      Homer: Can I go now?

    • Lisa: It's a story of a boy and his doll.
      Homer: That's not so scary.
      Lisa: A doll... from Hell!
      Homer: I'm gonna go to the store...

    • (Homer imitates the opening of Alfred Hitchcock Presents)
      Homer: Good eeevening. I've been asked to tell you that the following show is very scary, with stuff that might give your kids nightmares. You see, there are some "crybabies" out there - religious types mostly - who might be offended. If you are one of them, I advise you to turn off your set now. Come on, I dare you. (flapping his arms) Buck buck-buck-buck-buck-buck-buck, buck buck-buck-buck! Chicken!
      (The screen goes black; all we see is a dot in the center)
      Homer: Hey!
      (we hear Marge entering)
      Marge: Homer, did you just call everyone "chicken"?
      Homer: No. I swear on this Bible!
      Marge: That's not a Bible! That's a book of carpet samples!
      Homer: Ooooh... fuzzy.

    • Homer: Marge, the doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me!

    • Marge: Am I going too?
      Mr. Burns: Of course! We can't go without the bait...-thing beauty, the...bathing beauty. Ah, I covered that up nicely.

    • (Bart opens Grampa's gift, a box of cash)
      Marge: Where'd you get all the money?
      Grampa: The government. I didn't earn it, I don't need it, but if they miss one payment I'll raise hell.

    • Repairman: Yep, here's your problem. Someone set this thing to "Evil."

    • Mr. Burns: What do you think, Smithers?
      Smithers: I think women and seamen don't mix.

  • NOTES (4)

    • In the movie, 28 Days Later, a joke said by Mr. Smithers from this episode was specifically referenced. The joke (featured in the segment, "King Homer": "Women and seamen don't mix" - a pun, of course, for semen) was mentioned as being the favorite joke of the whole series by the character Sgt. Ferrell in the movie.

    • This episode was nominated for two 1993 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special.

    • Some of the Halloween names of the show staff, included on this Treehouse of Horror:

      Bat Groening,
      Matt "Merchandising" Groening,
      Somewhat Shocking Sam Simon,
      Decaying Dan Castellaneta,
      Julie Kadaver Kavner,
      Nocturnal Nancy Cartwright,
      Yeardley Psycho Smith,
      Scare Ya' Hank Azaria,
      Fearsome Harry Shearer

    • Opening: Homer comes in a la Alfred Hitchcock from Alfred Hitchcock Presents and tells the audience that the following Halloween episode is too scary for younger viewers. Homer then mocks those who are offended by this show to change the channel and the screen goes black.

  • ALLUSIONS (21)

    • Rescue from Gilligan's Island
      Homer and the shop owner have an exchange where Homer replies with "That's good," and "That's bad" a number of times. The same device is used between Gilligan and the professor in Rescue from Gilligan's Island.

    • Psycho
      The Shrill-Violin-Knife-Attack-Music used when the Krusty doll raises his knife is a nod to the music cue used in the 1960 Hitchcock film Psycho.

    • Famous TV Detectives
      Bart's magic words "Kolchak, Mannix, Banacek, Danno" are actually names of TV detectives of the 1970s.

    • Store Names
      Bart's magic words "Zabar, Tresge, Caldor, Wal-Mart" are actually names of real life stores.

    • Game Show Hosts
      Bart's magic words of "Cullen, Rayburn, Narz, Trebek" are actually the last names of real life game show hosts.

    • Oscar Mayer
      Homer is singing in the bathtub, "My bologna has a first name it's H-O-M-E-R, My bologna has a second name is H-O-M-E-R," putting his spin on the infamous song from Oscar Mayer advertisement campaigns.

    • Bart: Great Caesar's ghost!
      This is a reference to the Superman comic book character Perry White, who often used this phrase as an exclamation.

    • Mosi Tatupu
      In "King Homer," the natives shout "Mosi Tatupu," a reference to former NFL player Mosi Tatupu, who was a running back for the New England Patriots from 1978-1990 and the Los Angeles Rams in 1991.

    • Love, American Style
      The heart zoom-in and music that conclude both "Clown Without Pity" and "King Homer" are from Love, American Style, a show from the 1970's that featured short segments that always ended with the heart zoom-in and music.

    • Shirley Temple
      In "King Homer," Homer the giant ape, eats a child actress who looks a lot like Shirley Temple.

    • Little Caesar
      In "Dial Z for Zombie," the line "Is this the end of zombie Shakespeare?," is a reference to Edward G. Robinson's death scene in Little Caesar.

    • Segment Title: "Dial Z For Zombie"
      The title of the final segment is a parody of the title of the 1954 Hitchcock movie, Dial M For Murder.

    • Cape Fear
      Krusty belted to the bottom of the car is a homage to the 1962 film Cape Fear.

    • Homer: Good Evening.
      The opening sequence with Homer is a parody of the opening to the famous thriller show Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

    • Bart's Costume: Alexander de Large
      At the Halloween party Bart is dressed as Alex from A Clockwork Orange.

    • Segment Title: "Klown Without Pity"
      The title of this story is a parody of the horror 1961 film Town Without Pity.

    • Krusty Doll: I'm Krusty The Klown, and I'm going to kill you!
      The line the Krusty doll says is a parody from an episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Living Doll."

    • Night Of The Living Dead
      The Zombies rising from the dead and go on a rampage just like the classic 1968 film, Night Of The Living Dead.

    • Gremlins
      Homer buys the doll from an foreign antique shop which is just like the one in the 1984 film, Gremlins.

    • Child's Play
      A Krusty doll, bought by Homer as a gift, comes to life and starts to terrorize Homer, similar to the 1988 film, Child's Play.

    • Segment Title: "King Homer"
      The title, and pretty much the entire premise for the second story is a parody of the 1933 film, King Kong.