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Treehouse of Horror IV

Treehouse of Horror IV

Rating: 4.1 (174 votes)


Bart presents this year's Halloween Special. In a Night Gallery parody, he uses paintings to tell the horror stories. First up is "The Devil And Homer Simpson". Homer is out of donuts at work, so he sells his soul to the Devil, who turns out to be Ned Flanders. Homer saves the last bite of the donut so that Flanders does not get his soul, however, he eats it the next night during a sleepwalk. Lisa argues that her father has the right to a fair trial - where Marge shows the jury a photo, signed by Homer, promising Marge his soul forever. Flanders loses, but converts Homer's head into a donut. The next story is "Terror At 5½ Feet". On the way to school, Bart sees a gremlin on the side of the bus, but no one believes him. Bart takes an emergency flare and throws it out the window at the gremlin, knocking it off the bus. When the bus gets to school, it falls apart, and Bart is sent to a mental institution because of his disruptive behaviour. The final segment is "Bart Simpson's Dracula". The Simpsons visit Mr. Burns' mansion in Pennsylvania, where Lisa suspects something odd. She and Bart stumble across Mr. Burns' secret vampire lair, and Bart is captured by the vampires. Mr. Burns returns Bart to his parents, who don't believe Lisa that he is a vampire. However, they soon realize and go to kill Mr. Burns. It turns out, though, that Burns is not the head vampire, Marge is. The whole family are about to turn on Lisa, when they cheer "Happy Halloween" and start singing a Christmas song.

Memorable quotes

Bart: Paintings: lifeless images rendered in colorful goop. But at night, they take on a life of their own. They become portals to hell, so scary and horrible and gruesome that--
Marge: Bart! You should warn people this episode is very frightening. And maybe they'd rather listen to that old "War of the Worlds" broadcast on NPR, hmm?
Bart: Yes, mother.

Homer: (reading note) "Dear Homer, I. O. U. one emergency donut. Signed, Homer." Bastard! He's always one step ahead!

Homer: Mmm... forbidden donut.

Lionel Hutz: Mr. Simpson, don't you worry. I watched Matlock in a bar last night. The sound wasn't on, but I think I got the gist of it.

Lionel Hutz: That was a right-pretty speech, sir. But I ask you, what is a contract? Webster's defines it as "an agreement under the law which is unbreakable." Which is unbreakable!

Blackbeard: This chair be high, says I!

Blackbeard: (trying to read) 'Tis some kind of treasure map.
Benedict Arnold: You idiot, you can't read!
Blackbeard: Aye, 'tis true. My debauchery was my way of compensating.

Marge: Homer, stop picking at it!
Homer: Oh, but I'm so sweet and tasty!

Skinner: Hello, Simpson. I'm riding the bus today because Mother hid my car keys to punish me for talking to a woman on the phone. She was right to do it.

Bart: We come now to the final and most terrifying painting of the evening. To even gaze upon it is to go mad.
Homer: Aah! They're dogs... and they're playing poker! Aah! (screams hysterically then runs off)
Bart: We had a story to go with this painting, but it was far too intense. So we just threw something together with vampires. Enjoy!

Kent Brockman: Another local peasant has been found dead, drained of his blood with two teeth marks on his throat. This black cape was found on the scene. (It is labeled "Dracula.") Police are baffled.
Wiggum: We think we're dealing with a supernatural being, most likely a mummy. As a precaution, I've ordered the Egyptian wing of the Springfield museum destroyed.

Marge: Lisa, stop being so suspicious. Did everyone wash their necks like Mr. Burns asked?

Lisa: Ew! Dad, this is blood!
Homer: Correction - free blood.

Homer: Oh, Lisa, you and your stories: "Bart is a vampire, beer kills brain cells." Now let's go back to that... building... thingy... where our beds and TV... is.

Homer: Kill my boss? Do I dare to live out the American dream?

Willy: Me mule wouldn't walk in the mud. So I had to put seventeen bullets in 'im!


  • Gravestones in the opening sequence read: "Elvis - Accept It," "A Balanced Budget," "Subtle Political Satire," and "TV Violence" (which gets riddled by bullets and bleeds).
  • The creature that serves Homer the donut has an apron labelled "Hell's Kitchen."
  • Bart's test, with an F+ grade, is attached to the fridge.
  • Lionel Hutz combs his hair with a fork.
  • Homer and Marge got married out of state somewhere, not in an emergency room.
  • In the last story, the painting of dogs playing poker (that was too scary to make a story about) appears above the couch.
  • Eddie the cop tosses the Mona Lisa into the fire at the museum.
  • The foreword of Burns' book is by Steve Allen.


  • The set up for this episode (the paintings) parodies Night Gallery.
  • The title for the first segment comes from Steven Vincent Benet's "The Devil and Daniel Webster."
  • The second segment gets its title from, and parodies, the Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet."
  • The title and general plot for the third segement are taken from Bram Stoker's "Dracula"
  • The music over the opening credits is a combination of The Addams Family theme and the regular Simpsons theme music.
  • The family singing at the end, with Milhouse on piano and Santa's Little Helper dancing, parodies "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown".