The Simpsons

Season 23 Episode 3

Treehouse of Horror XXII

6
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 30, 2011 on FOX
5.8
out of 10
User Rating
138 votes
12

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Homer takes a dangerous dive into an isolated canyon on Candy Peak, but when a crashing boulder traps his arm, he channels Aron Ralston (guest voicing as himself) to save himself. In "The Diving Bell and the Butterball," the first of three hair-raising Halloween tales, a venomous spider bite leaves Homer paralyzed, but when Lisa discovers Homer's ability to communicate through natural gases, he is able to express his love for Marge. The killer spells continue in "Dial D for Diddly," when Ned Flanders, devout preacher by day, transforms into a cold-blooded vigilante by night. In the final terrifying tale, "In the Na'Vi," Bart and Milhouse are sent on a mission to obtain a sacred extract on a distant planet. They morph into the land's indigenous one-eyed avatars, but when Bart finds love and an eternal mate abroad, he is caught in planet warfare.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Mediocre TOH episode

    5.0
    I hasn't seen that much Treehouse of Horror episodes, but this is one of the weakest in this installment. I kinda agreed with the people giving it bad reviews. The opening was okay at first, but then it started a little funny when Homer got his hand stuck on a rock. But it was too violent (almost Family Guy/South Park violent for me) to be the funniest part of this episode. As for the first segment of this TOH, it was mediocre. I felt like the farting plot was similar to watching an extended scene on Family Guy (I hope the writers doesn't do that on an episode), which is annoying. Had some laughs but not the worst segment in this installment. Next, on to the second segment, it was the best even though it was religious related...again sometime that usually come up on Family Guy (so that's why the show is often hated because of it similarness). Had some funny parts while there's only a few boring/bad parts. The last one however was dreadful and unwatchable. I didn't laughed whatsoever. Overall, this TOH was mediocre and is not worth watching again. One of season 23 worst. 5/10moreless
  • Disappointing

    1.0
    A sad sad day that the Simpsons have stooped to fart jokes now in a misguided attempt at Family Guy-style humour. While Homer has done many stupid things in the past at least the writers never resorted to toilet humour before. So it was really disappointing that they devoted an entire act to Homer farting. Lost me as a fan.
  • One of the Worst ToHs Ever

    1.0
    This was probably one of the worst Treehouse of Horror episodes ever. It wasn't even funny, more like painfully boring. For most of the episode, all they did was parody popular movies. They even had to reference one of their older episodes too. Overall, this episode wasn't funny or interesting. This is an episode you want to miss. 4/10
  • For whatever reason, these Halloween specials STILL haven't improved.

    6.5
    Ah, the Treehouse of Horror series. This is one of main reasons why I love the show. But I can't help but feel like they've been going downhill recently, and this is no different. Every year I hope that each Treehouse of Horror episode will be an improvement to what we've been seeing recently, but no, same old thing.

    The first segment "The Diving Bell and the Butterball" was in my opinion, the absolute WORST of the entire Treehouse of Horror series, even worse than the Twilight spoof they did in last year's Treehouse of Horror XXI. Aside from there being absolutely nothing scary about it whatever, it has some ridiculous story about Homer getting paralised after being bitten by a spider, and then having the ability communicate through farting. WTF? And then it just ends with Homer being bitten a second time then becoming Spider-Man and saving Marge. Seems to me like they recycled Homer becoming a superhero (Pie-Man) from the episode "Simple Simpson". Whatever the writers were smoking while making this segment I can't even explain. Worst Treehouse of Horror segment yet.

    Now the second segment "Dial D for Diddly" was a slight improvement, though there wasn't anything particulary special or funny about it. Ned Flanders becomes a serial killer basically, thinking he's serving God well by killing evil people, though he is then told by "God" to start killing more innocent people, until Ned discovers that Homer is using a voice warper to sound like God to get him to kill his enemies. Then the real God shows up and kills Homer by choking him to death, followed by Marge asking God to set everything right, though it turns out that he is actually under Satan's control when he shows up with Ned's dead wife, much to his disgust. This segment was mediocre at best. I was hoping for the murders to be more violent and intense. The ending was poor as well.

    The third segment "In the Na'Vi" was a good Avatar spoof that put the previous segments to shame. Like Avatar, Bart and Milhouse are sent on a mission to Rigel 7 (Kang and Kodo's home planet) and disguised as Rigellians to infiltrate the planet and find something called "hilarium". Bart falls in love with Kang's daughter Kamala, just like Avatar. Milhouse ends up ratting Bart out and telling the location of the hilarium to the army, in which they attack. The wildlife on the planet turns out to be stronger and mostly wins. One funny moment is when Superintendent Chalmers punches himself in the face and falls off a cliff when Bart tells him he has something on his face. Despite being more "sci-fi" than "horror" this segment was much more enjoyable and saved the episode from being the worst TOH yet in my opinion (which would go be Treehouse of Horror XXI).

    Overall, the first two could have been so much better, but failed miserably. The first segment was unspeakably AWFUL, and felt completely out of place in a TOH episode, as well as being a perfect example of how much worse these horror-themed segments are getting. Despite the third segment saving the episode, if you compare this to a cla$$ic like Treehouse of Horror V (one of the BEST TOH episodes of all-time), you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. These Halloween specials have been dropping in quality for a few years, and there seems to be NO effort whatsoever in improving them.

    I really did try to like this episode, but it just felt like yet another hit-and-miss. Maybe the staff should take a look at some cla$$ics like "Clown Without Pity", "The Shinning" and "I Know What You Diddily-Iddly-Did" to find out what they're doing wrong. The problem with these new segments is that they just don't feel suspenseful, in other words, the "horror" just doesn't seem to be there.moreless
  • The annual "Treehouse Of Horror" anthology is usually a highlight of the season, where the writers and animators put logic and continuity on hold in service of the almighty joke.

    7.5
    The best episodes have at least one segment that tears through a sacred cow or otherwise raises the satirical and comic stakes to a fever pitch. This year's anthology, however, is not one of those. The targets are safe and easy. The humor is broad. The jokes are, for the most part, too feeble to land their punch. I'm not going to lie: It's disappointing, especially since the episode is actually playing the night before Halloween rather than in its usual early-November, post-baseball slot.

    The first segment opens with the Simpson children arriving home from trick-or-treating, only to have Marge, calling herself the Switch Witch, swoop in to trade their candy for healthier fare. Homer is dressed as Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen, a somewhat clever reference, but better is having Maggie, dressed as an alien, burst out of Bart-as-an-Astronaut's chest. The next day, Homer is supposed to go give their candy to the troops, but he drives past the drop-off spot while Hitchcockian music plays. Despite the suspicious eyes of Chief Wiggum and Reverend Lovejoy, Homer heads out to a barren wasteland to enjoy his ill-gotten candy in private, only to have the show shift into a parody of 127 Hours. He reaches 911 easily, but when the dispatcher tells him that the rescue will take 20 minutes, Homer decides that the rational choice is to bite off several limbs to reach his bag of candy. The kids have switched the candy out for vegetables, though. Stupid Homer moment: He tells the kids on Halloween night that their mother is the Switch Witch, but the joke in the very next scene revolves around him being unaware of this fact.The next segment, titled "The Diving Bell And The Butterball," parodies another movie that was based on someone's real-life suffering. Homer has been paralyzed by a spider bite, and the only way that he can communicate with the world is through passing gas. Fart jokes aplenty follow. As he becomes satisfied with his lot in life, a second spider bites him. The segment proceeds to parody both Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, although the joke of seeing a paralyzed Spider-Man is simply not very funny.The third segment, titled "Dial D For Diddly," starts quite promisingly. Ned Flanders drives through a noir version of Springfield where the crazy cat lady sells "Barely Beagles" and Apu turns several species of endangered animals into hot dogs. In the best joke of the episode, Ned tells a prostitute, "Spend less time on your back and more time on your knees!" Deciding that she is no longer one of those who can do, she heads off to the Yale School of Prostitution. Unfortunately, the segment veers into a parody of the Dexter credits and then a God-like voice is telling Ned to kill people. This segment had a lot of promise for the funny, but it started to sag fast and then sank altogether. First off, Homer is the voice instructing Ned to kill, then when Ned catches on, God kills Homer and blames Ned. Then God is subservient to the Devil, and then Maude appears, begging the Devil to come back to bed. The entertainment world has come a long way to the point where a major network can air that sort of potentially offensive stuff in prime time, but it all seems beside the point when it doesn't bring any humor or even satire to the plate. The last segment is a parody of Avatar where Bart and Milhouse take on the appearance of the inhabitants of Rigel VIII, best exemplified by Kodos and Kang, as part of a mission to help Krusty locate the rare element hilarium. Bart ends up impregnating one of the local gals and takes their side when the rest of the mission comes stomping in. As Bart and his new in-laws survey the damage, they remark that they would have gladly given over any hilarium that the humans asked for. "In Rigelian," says Kodos, "there is no word for 'yours' or 'mine.'" Adds Kang, "That's the reason we didn't enjoy the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours."It's a shame that this wasn't a better episode. Considering that there will be at least two more seasons of The Simpsons after this one, one would hope that the writers would, at least, nail the annual episode that is usually among their funniest. This episode is like watching someone try to punch soup, though. The writers seem unwilling to mock the more outrageous aspects of the movies they are sending up and settle for weakly batting at the obvious. Some of the jokes land, but none land too solidly. This does not bode well for the rest of the season, nor the next, nor the next.moreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

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

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

Jackie Mason

Jackie Mason

Unknown

Guest Star

Aron Ralston

Aron Ralston

Himself

Special Guest Star

Chris Edgerly

Chris Edgerly

Voice of Unknown

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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