"Treehouse of Horror IX" is the ninth Halloween episode of the animated sitcom The Simpsons, produced and aired in the show's tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 25, 1998.
Hell Toupée EditSnake Jailbird is arrested for smoking inside the Kwik-E-Mart. Chief Wiggum explains that after burning down an orphanage and blowing up a bus full of nuns (which Snake claims was self-defense) this is Snake's third strike, so he will be executed in accordance with the three strikes law. Before hauling Snake away, Chief Wiggum helpfully points out that Apu, Moe and Bart are all witnesses; Snake threatens to kill all of them. Snake is executed in the electric chair on World's Deadliest Executions, hosted by Ed McMahon and proudly broadcast on Fox. Chief Wiggum then sends the body to the hospital to be carved up for organ donations. Shortly afterwards, Homer visits Dr. Nick Riviera, who gives him a transplant of a full head of still-smoldering hair. The hair is Snake's, and when Homer goes to sleep the following night, it plants its roots in Homer's brain. With the hair controlling his mind, Homer murders Apu by stuffing him in his own Squishee machine. Homer later removes Moe's heart with a corkscrew and leaves him slumped face first in a bowl of Penicill-Os cereal. Bart realizes that the other two witnesses have been killed, but is shocked when his own father comes after him. He begs Homer to fight the hair and, after a struggle, Homer rips the hair off his head. The hair tries to smother Bart and then, as Wiggum bursts through the door with Eddie and Lou, jumps toward the window. Wiggum opens fire and the hair is riddled with bullets and is thus used as a blanket by Maggie. The story closes with Wiggum remarking, "That's what I call a bad hair day!"
The Terror of Tiny Toon EditMarge forbids Bart and Lisa from watching the Itchy and Scratchy Halloween special, even going to the lengths of taking the batteries out of the remote control. They refuse to go trick-or-treating with Marge as Homer is dressed as a hobo and Maggie is dressed as a pirate. But when Marge goes, Bart finds a small piece of highly unstable plutonium in Homer's toolbox and hammers it into the remote's battery slot. When they use the remote, the kids actually enter the world of Itchy and Scratchy. They watch Itchy decapitate Scratchy when he trick or treats at his house and use his head in the manner of a Jack-o-lantern. While the two laugh, Scratchy's head asks why Bart and Lisa are laughing to which Itchy replies that they are laughing at his misfortune. Scratchy re-attaches his head to his body, declares what the duo did was mean, and forms a partnership with Itchy to "teach them a lesson". They then throw deadly objects at Bart and Lisa. As they try to escape, the hated character Poochie (voiced again by Dan Castellaneta/Homer Simpson) passes by, but he is run down by their car. They escape from the car, and wind up on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee in a pot of soup because Homer changed the channel. Bart and Lisa return to Itchy and Scratchy's house when he changes the channel back. Lisa urges Homer to press the "exit" button, which gets her and Bart (whose body was devoured from the neck down by piranhas, leaving only his skeleton) out of the TV. She presses the "rewind" button on the remote to restore Bart's flesh, but unfortunately, Itchy and Scratchy smash through the screen. However, they emerge the same size as their real animal equivalents, and they are therefore harmless. Homer decides to make Itchy a pet, and Snowball II falls in love with Scratchy. However, Marge decides to neuter him, causing Scratchy to scream while covering his crotch.
Starship Poopers EditOn an ordinary day, Marge discovers Maggie's first baby tooth, which appears to be a sharp fang. Maggie later loses her "baby legs" and grows green tentacles. Marge decides to take her to Dr. Hibbert, who prescribes "Fire, and lots of it!" after Maggie crunches his equipment with her fang. At home, it is found that Maggie can contact somebody by sucking extra-rapidly on her pacifier, which appears to be the alien duo, Kang and Kodos. They arrive at the Simpson house, coming to retrieve Maggie. Marge reveals that Kang is Maggie's real father and retells the story: Kang and Kodos abducted her while she was doing laundry, selecting Marge for a cross-breeding program. She says the aliens used mind-control techniques on her (Kang simply pointed and said "Look behind you!" before zapping her with an insemination ray). She recalls that nine months after the abduction, Maggie was born. Kang and Kodos demand that the Simpsons give Maggie to them and a struggle ensues. Both Homer, Marge, and aliens start to fight over Maggie until Bart (who is angered by this) stops them and suggests that there can be only one way to solve the problem: let the Simpsons appear on The Jerry Springer Show, with Homer and Kang fighting it out. When they appear to discuss things, Kang uses his ray gun to vaporize an annoying audience for criticizing him. During Jerry's "final thought" Maggie attacks Jerry and kills him while Homer and Kang resume fighting.
Jerry, Homer and Kang swear a lot in the process with Marge swearing once to express the humiliation of it all. Kang and Kodos now threaten to kill every American politician unless the Simpsons give Maggie to them. Marge and the Simpsons slyly imply that the aliens couldn't possibly kill every politician, and as they fly off to do so, Bart reminds them not to forget Ken Starr. Just when they're about to leave, Maggie takes out her pacifier and tells everyone in an alien voice "very well, I'll drive! Ha ha ha! I need blood!".
Like the other Treehouse of Horror episodes to that point, the segments of "Treehouse of Horror IX" were credited to different writers. "Hell Toupee" was written by Donick Cary. "Terror of Tiny Toon" was written by Larry Doyle. "Starship Poopers" was written by David S. Cohen and was the last writing credit he ever received for the show. The episode continues the Treehouse of Horror tradition of having the credits re-written as "scary names". David S. Cohen's executive producer credit is "David 'Watch Futurama' Cohen" is a reference to the show Futurama, created by Cohen and Matt Groening, which premiered the following year.
"The Terror of Tiny Toon" includes a live-action segment starring Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. The segment was directed by Donick Cary. In the sequence, Itchy, Scratchy, Bart and Lisa fall into a pot of soup that Regis and Kathie Lee are making. The soup splash was created by dropping an item into the pot, then adding the animated characters over it. The taping of this segment took longer than expected, so a news broadcast that was to take place had to be moved to another studio. Jerry Springer also guest stars in the episode as himself. His lines were recorded by Julie Thacker.
Much of the animation in "Hell Toupée" was worked on by assistant director Chris Clements. Moe's death scene was originally more violent, but it was toned down at the request of Mike Scully. The animators looked forward to working on "The Terror of Tiny Toon" because they were fans of Itchy & Scratchy.
In "Starship Poopers", there is a shot of sound waves emanating from Springfield. At one point, there is a shot of North America and it appears that Springfield is located in Louisiana. The mystery of the location of Springfield is a running joke in The Simpsons, and a number of fans assumed that Louisiana was where the family lived. However, the animators had drawn the waves so that there were coming from the center of the screen, and they never intended to have them emanate from a specific location. In one scene, Marge is abducted by Kang and Kodos, who lasso her then pull her into the ship. According to David Cohen, it is a running gag that Kang and Kodos' abduction methods are never the same. Maggie has a line at the end of the episode, where she sounds like Kang. She was voiced by Harry Shearer.
Cultural references Edit
Poochie from the Simpsons episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" is seen during the "Terror of the Tiny Toon" segment. Also, the title of the segment "Terror of the Tiny Toon", is a reference of the Animated television series Tiny Toon Adventures, as well as the movie The Terror of Tiny Town. The couch gag features Freddy Krueger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series and Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th series. Freddy is voiced by Robert Englund, who portrayed the character in eight films. Two talk shows appear in the episode. Bart, Lisa, Itchy and Scratchy accidentally visit Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, while the Simpson family and Kang appear on The Jerry Springer Show. The title of the third segment, "Starship Poopers", is a reference to the film Starship Troopers.
In its original airing on the Fox Network, the episode had an 8.6 Nielsen rating and was viewed in approximately 8.5 million homes. It finished the week ranked 35th. It was the fifth highest rated show on Fox that week, after two games of the 1998 World Series, a World Series pre-game show, and Ally McBeal.
The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, wrote, "Another collection of horrors, of varying degrees of wit. The Itchy and Scratchy one is by far the best, and Starship Poopers is only really amusing once the Jerry Springer segment begins." Colin Jacobson of DVD Movie Guide gave the episode a positive review saying "The series usually rises to the occasion of its Halloween episodes, and “IX” doesn’t disappoint. Each of the three stories satisfies, as they offer a lot of clever, amusing moments. "Toupée" is probably the best, though, as it’s the most creative of the bunch. While funny, the other two can be a bit predictable." Kay McFadden of The Seattle Times wrote that the episode is "certainly not on a par with that all-time doppelganger classic, "Treehouse of Horror VII", [...] still, No. 9's dialogue is sharp and there's reassuring continuity to such beloved institutions as Itchy and Scratchy."
In 2008, "Starship Poopers" was named the tenth best Treehouse of Horror segment by IGN. They wrote that "While [it is] not the best Kang & Kodos segment, "Starship Poopers" delivers consistent laughs and a great ending, as Kang & Kodos vow to destroy all the politicians in Washington (to the Simpsons' delight) and Maggie creepily laughs and says, "I need blood." In 1999, composer Alf Clausen was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for his work on the episode.
- The Three Strikes Law that served as the reason for Snake's execution was later used in The Simpsons: Hit and Run for a certain mission in Level 3.
- This is the first episode to use the new production code design, xABFxx.
- ↑ Treehouse of Horror IX. The Simpsons.com.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Cary, Donick (2007). Commentary for "Treehouse of Horror IX", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Hauge, Ron (2007). Commentary for "Treehouse of Horror IX", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Cohen, David X. (2007). Commentary for "Treehouse of Horror IX", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Moore, Steven Dean (2007). Commentary for "Treehouse of Horror IX", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Scully, Mike (2007). Commentary for "Treehouse of Horror IX", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Template:Cite book
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Cult - The Simpsons: Season Ten Episode Guide - Treehouse of Horror IX. BBC.
- ↑ "Ho-hum series still puts Fox on top", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Associated Press.
- ↑ The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season (1998). Dvdmg.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-28.
- ↑ McFadden, Kay (1998-10-29). "The Simpsons still deliver house of everyday horrors", The Seattle Times.
- ↑ Iverson, Dan, Goldman, Eric, Zoromski, Brian (October 28, 2008). Top 10 Segments from The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror. IGN. Retrieved on 2010-08-28.
- ↑ Primetime Emmy Award Database. 'Emmy.com'.
- "Treehouse of Horror IX" at The Simpsons.com
- "Treehouse of Horror IX" at the Simpsons Archive
- "Treehouse of Horror IX" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Treehouse of Horror IX" at TV.com
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Treehouse of Horror IX. The list of authors can be seen in the . As with Halloween Specials Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|
|The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror|
See also: Halloween of Horror