Sunday Preview: Halloween of Horror


When Lisa becomes scared at the Krustyland Halloween Horror Night, Homer is forced to take down his Everscream Terrors decorations. Halloween pop-up employees seek vengeance on Homer for causing them to lose their jobs, and rob his house while Homer and Lisa hide out in the attic. Homer and Lisa light up their stored holiday decorations to attract attention and stand up to the intruders.

I guess we are having a pre-THOH Halloween episode tonight. Apparently in this episode, taking down decorations that I presume have already been bought and paid for causes employees of the decoration manufacturing company to lose their jobs and take to lives of crime. Nick Kroll and Blake Anderson will be wasting their talent tonight as guest stars.

Can you believe it has been almost 17 years since George Carlin and Martin Mull guest voiced in “D’oh-in’ in the Wind”? Not that it’s relevant, I just thought of them when I saw a pair of comedians lending their voices to a show that is almost 20 years past its expiration date.

59 Responses to “Sunday Preview: Halloween of Horror”

  1. 1 Gabbo
    18 October 2015 at 11:15 am

    …I can’t look away from Homer’s face to read the post. I also see they have gone back to the cheap shading in the new preview shots.

  2. 2 The Anti-Stan
    18 October 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Why couldn’t the show do a full Halloween episode back when it was funny?

  3. 3 Stan
    18 October 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Read the synopsis 5 times. Can anyone explain how the fuck this even holds together: “Homer stops buying Halloween pop-ups (postcards?) -> the sellers get mad and loot his house”… wait, what?

    • 4 RaikoLives
      18 October 2015 at 5:06 pm

      “Pop-ups” are the “pop-up shops” that only turn up/open for a short/specific period of time. In this case stores that sell Halloween decorations. They’re only there for a short time. They “pop-up” suddenly and then are gone soon after. There are other types of these shops, too, not simply seasonal or event based ones.

      • 5 Stan
        18 October 2015 at 6:10 pm

        Umm, what’s the point? People still go to places like Walmart for all their seasonal needs, and they got the whole section there for specific holidays thematic.

        • 6 Sarah J
          18 October 2015 at 8:41 pm

          Halloween specialty shops generally have a bigger selection than regular retail stores like Wal-Mart do. Plus, if you’re looking for higher end decorations like animatronics, you won’t usually find those at regular retail.

    • 9 Brad M
      19 October 2015 at 2:50 am

      The Simpsons go to a new Halloween store owned by Apu. Apu’s employees tell Homer that if he pays them cash for one Halloween decoration, he can have several others for free (because the employees will steal them). Homer doesn’t understand the instruction to not mention this to Apu, and Apu fires his employees for stealing, and that’s why they want revenge on the Simpsons. The subplot of Homer taking down the Halloween decorations for Lisa doesn’t cause any of this.

      • 10 Stan
        19 October 2015 at 3:05 am

        Well, someone at the synopsis making department should be FUCKING CLEARER NEXT TIME!
        Also, thanks for breaking it down.

  4. 11 Joe
    18 October 2015 at 4:47 pm

    What is up with Homer’s face here? His eyes look really off model.

  5. 13 Ah Hee Hee Hee
    18 October 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Pop ups are decorations.

  6. 14 Victor Dang
    18 October 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Careful, Homer, your eyes look a bit too squished! Squish them any harder and those eyeballs just might pop out (again).

    • 15 Victor Dang
      18 October 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Really, though, I’m surprised they never did a Halloween episode proper until now. I guess it was too obvious, but now that the barrel’s been fully shaven down, they’ve decided to resort to this.

      I know Mike Amato mentioned it in his Animation Alley for ToH II post, but it really does stink the show proper never was able to do Halloween “in-universe” for a full episode because of their annual Treehouse of Horror tradition. Not that it couldn’t be done, though… they could’ve done a “holiday episode” with Halloween just like they did with Thanksgiving and Christmas twice (then thrice, then four times), and shown its impact on Springfield while being laden with jokes, being the perfect lead-in to the ToH episode next week. In fact, I dare say it could’ve even worked with the first one… having the episode end with Bart and Lisa going up the treehouse and then having Treehouse of Horror I start off from there the next week.

      Alas, the opportunity to provide a perfect comedy opportunity with that has long since passed. This episode will probably suck the big one, not that the stench will be any different enough to stand out from the other fallen corpses from weeks prior.

      • 16 Stan
        18 October 2015 at 7:42 pm

        There just isn’t much to explore with the “in-universe” approach regarding Halloween. All the other shows did it once, maybe twice, then that’s it. Just like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick, this isn’t a nationwide holiday (I won’t even call it a holiday, actually), yes, there’s the tradition, but that’s it. THoH idea made perfect sense to explore other famous universes with The Simpsons characters instead, because that way you get much more Halloween-related atmosphere around it than telling another “I did this on Halloween” mediocrity.
        My opinion.

        • 17 Sarah J
          19 October 2015 at 12:21 am

          Eh, there are lots of things they could’ve done for a regular Halloween episode. Halloween is a pretty interesting holiday, from a cultural standpoint.

          • 18 Stan
            19 October 2015 at 3:08 am

            It’s not a holiday. A holiday is when you take the day off because the country needs it. This is just some people following traditions of decorating their homes and send their kids whining about free cavity infection. You’re ought to have fun, sure, but it’s not official for a darn good reason – it doesn’t make any sense anymore. Just like the Valentine. Money spender for the markets, no real value outcome for baby-making whatsoever.

  7. 22 Rob K.
    18 October 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Saw it. End segment was God awful. Clockwork Orange segment was ok. Also I need those special eye openers just to watch ZS.

  8. 18 October 2015 at 10:28 pm

    My favorite part was seeing Nick Kroll’s name in the credits and remembering how funny Kroll Show was. The Simpsons could learn a lot from Nick Kroll. Kroll just decided to voluntarily end his show after three seasons because he didn’t want it to get stale.

  9. 25 DukeDeMondo
    19 October 2015 at 12:23 am

    Ok that episode was fuckin wonderful. By my count this season has only had one shit episode so far, and in this it has one of the best episodes in recent memory. Somethin very strange goin on.

  10. 26 Sarah J
    19 October 2015 at 12:55 am

    My workplace has two TVs and my supervisor put one of them on FOX for some sports game. This episode fell during my break so I ended up watching it, I haven’t seen a ZS episode in a while.

    By ZS standards, this episode was okay. Which really isn’t saying much, a “good” episode by ZS standards is mediocre at best by normal standards. It managed to avoid a lot of the biggest problems ZS has, mainly, it didn’t have stuff happening for no reason and there wasn’t much in the way of characters acting out of character. The plot wasn’t totally stupid. It probably helps that they’re working with material that the original series never did, so for once, they’re doing something new. And I got the sense that, unlike with most other ZS episodes, the writers seemed to be putting in SOME level of effort.

    But not having major problems doesn’t make something good. It didn’t have many good jokes and the “Adult Halloween” musical number was pretty lame. “Adults get drunk and women wear skimpy outfits on Halloween”? Not exactly a fresh observation, guys. Also, what was up with the final scene? Maggie takes the tail and the “camera” slowly zooms into her face as the Halloween theme music plays? Was that supposed to be a joke? I didn’t get it.

  11. 27 Stan
    19 October 2015 at 3:11 am

    I’m starting to get the impression that most of DHS “fans” (or the community, for that matter) actually don’t really mind watching current ZS episodes. Like, many here would bitch about the possible level of badness, yet they someone still cope with it through “mehs” and “oh wells”. You disgust me, quite frankly. Stand up against this shit! Do something! Don’t be passive couch slugs and tolerant biomass.

    • 28 The Anti-Stan
      19 October 2015 at 8:19 am

      Well, I watch classic Simpsons on DVD and am currently writing a sitcom that will blow this and other mediocre adult cartoons out of the water. Am I doing my part?

      And Nick Kroll ended his show himself? I thought this was a case of Comedy Central getting sick of it. That’s probably how Key and Peele ended too.

      • 19 October 2015 at 4:49 pm

        Kroll Show and Key and Peele were both critically praised and got decent ratings. I am sure as long as the money is there Comedy Central like every TV channel ever is happy to let things run until they stop turning a profit.

        • 30 spiderterry84
          19 October 2015 at 5:22 pm

          “Who knows what adventures they’ll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?”

          • 31 Stan
            19 October 2015 at 5:27 pm

            And then, 500th episode tagline: “Thanks for watching. The best is yet to come.”
            What an epitaph!

            • 32 Rob K.
              19 October 2015 at 6:00 pm

              Oh, God no. Please.

            • 33 The Anti-Stan
              20 October 2015 at 11:06 am

              That was from the 450th episode (in some versions. Others have taglines that either chide the viewer on wasting his or her life on the show or tell him or her to stay tuned for three Seth MacFarlane cartoons [this was when The Cleveland Show was on the air]). The 500th one thanked the viewer, then told him to go outside and get some fresh air before going online to complain about the episode.

              • 34 The Anti-Stan
                20 October 2015 at 11:08 am

                ·And American Dad. I meant to say “That was when The Cleveland Show and American Dad were still on the air.”

              • 35 Stan
                20 October 2015 at 11:58 am

                Oh yeah. That one. Ughhh, ever worse. I was like WTF, people?! You can’t tell your viewers what to do, right? Right?!

          • 36 Bleeding Gums Murphy
            20 October 2015 at 12:45 pm

            “But of course, for that ending to work, you would have to ignore all the Simpson DNA evidence. And that would be downright nutty.”

            “Magic powers. Wedding after wedding after wedding. And a tiny green space alien named Ozmodiar that only Homer can see”

    • 37 Disenchanted Viewer
      19 October 2015 at 7:29 pm

      You have to take into account that most of the people still spending some time watching and commenting new episodes are not completely disgusted by them, at least this is the idea I got. If after all these years you still find yourself watching the show, most likely you don’t find it as nauseating as you may say.
      The first 2 seasons had 30+ million viewers watching them. Last night’s episode was watched by 3.63 million viewers. The large majority of people that were watching the show from the beginning lost interest at a certain point and stopped watching. After all these years of crap that Al Jean has been producing, only a small minority of viewers have found the motivations to keep following. I kind of expect that these people don’t completely dislike what they are watching. Al Jean has selected his viewers during all these years of crap, and only the ones that don’t completely dislike Jean era kept watching it.
      I gave up 8 years ago, during S20. The episode was the one where Bart finds a rich boy identical to him and they switch. I’ve seen every episode before that one, and about 10 new ones since then. After so many years of hoping in an improvement, I had enough.
      Now I read some comments on the new episodes online during pauses at work and then decide if it is worth to get and watch them. Almost always I don’t. Reading the comments of the new episodes really shows the change in the perspective of the viewers.

      • 38 Sarah J
        19 October 2015 at 11:06 pm

        Regarding ratings… Keep in mind that the increased popularity of cable/satellite, along with the internet, means that even the most popular shows don’t get tens of millions of viewers. But, yeah, for a show as well-known as The Simpsons, ratings like this are embarrassing,

        Anyway, yeah, the few people who do watch the show on a regular basis are obviously gonna like it to some extent. Not many people go out of their way to watch something that they don’t like. At some point I decided that it wasn’t worth my time to go out to the way to see the show regularly, I’ve only seen a few episodes since then. (and most of the time, it’s because someone else is watching it while I’m in the room)

        • 39 Stan
          20 October 2015 at 2:44 am

          These ratings don’t always accurately reflect what the audience watches. During football games, many even confess that they turn on their TVs earlier only to have them play in the background, while they’re waiting for the games to start. How can you count that as a rating?
          Secondly, I agree that Jean built a fanbase rather centered around him and what he says on Twitter or something instead of being centered on the actual show going on. It has become one huge advertisement for apps, store items and shit. But I wasn’t talking about those commercial puppets. I implied the people who come here, and who like as of us, belong here because they know The Simpsons as become utter garbage. The REAL fan of the show apparently can’t give up, yet some of them lower their plank of acceptability of the recent episodes, hence we’re having individuals saying that “they didn’t hate it completely”. Acknowledging the fact that ZS keeps getting worse, this only means that people gradually give up on giving up, and return to watch it because, officially, it’s still The Simpsons.

    • 40 Matthew
      21 October 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Don’t blame me because Fox is afraid to cancel it. I haven’t watched it in ages, and this blog assures me I haven’t missed much. I won’t even watch the good episodes again until they cancel it. What else can we do, show at the Fox lot with signs saying “Please, please PLEASE let THE SIMPSONS end now!!!”?

  12. 41 Smithers
    19 October 2015 at 8:54 am

    I actually felt this was a really good episode. It was both funny and actually coherent, especially by “ZS” standards.

    The whole thing with Lisa being scared crap-less seemed like something real Simpsons would do, as well as Marge trying to get Bart to enjoy Halloween. And I know this is rather mundane, but I really liked how Homer was humming/singing the Halloween Michael Meyers’ theme, and then Lisa does it afterwards….it cracked me up.

  13. 46 Colguo
    19 October 2015 at 11:25 pm

    A genuinely good episode. Homer was dumb but not destructive force of nature. Lisa is precocious but a still a little girl. The first segment of the episode wasn’t some random nonsense that had virtually nothing to do with the rest of it. The Simpsons in this episode aren’t zombies. Maybe chalk it up as an anomaly like The Longest Daycare, but in any case this is a keeper.

    • 47 Rob K.
      20 October 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Must… Look up… Episode writers and producers, director.

    • 48 Sarah J
      21 October 2015 at 5:41 pm

      I still wouldn’t call it good, but it’s definitely much better than the average ZS episode. It feels like the writers actually put some thought and effort into this one. But it still didn’t really have any good jokes or commentary.

  14. 49 Joe H
    20 October 2015 at 3:21 pm

    This one was certainly an episode that they actually put real effort into that also wasn’t a meandering mess. Still ZS all around, but in comparison to the garbage we got earlier this season it’s like the second coming.

    Also this is one of those that has a loose crossover with Tapped Out. Cthulhu randomly walking around in the background is the exact same design as the one used in the current Halloween event, in addition there was an Apu mission chain that led up to an ad for this episode. Maybe that’s why this one is better…they got a Tapped Out writer moonlighting this one.

  15. 50 Joe H
    20 October 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Oh, and those curious as to why there had never been an in-universe Halloween episode, remember that the classic era Simpsons had bridging content that took place in-universe in the first few specials that at least somewhat covered the holiday in the actual Simpsons household. So in a sense, those qualified. It’s just easy to forget because that framing device had been dropped long, long ago.

    • 51 Ryan
      21 October 2015 at 9:51 am

      Those bridges ended with the raven being real, Homer and Mr Burns sharing the same body, etc etc. Just because they had framing devices doesn’t mean they were canon/in-universe.

  16. 52 Anonymous
    21 October 2015 at 4:17 am

    These type of episodes are actually the worst because they’re so boring. At least bad ones have some kind of car wreck appeal, this one was just so bland and forgettable. It’s amusing to see it get so much praise just because how not awful it was, but imagine this was the first episode you ever saw: what would entice you to watch again?

    • 53 Sarah J
      21 October 2015 at 5:42 pm

      Definitely not. It’s something I say about ZS a lot, if you took a ZS script and made a few changes so you could call it a new show, no one would watch it or think it was good.

  17. 54 Sara_sp
    21 October 2015 at 12:42 pm

    When is Behind Us Forever coming back?

  18. 56 Stan
    21 October 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Sweet Jebus guacamole! It’s been 4 days already! Stop commenting on this hunk of crap (the episode, not the post, obviously). Go wait for Marty McFly to de-parkinsonize himself in the K-Pax miraculous way tonight.

  19. 57 ecco6t9
    22 October 2015 at 2:19 am

    For the first time this season a Simpsons episode did not cause my IBS to flare up.

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