It’s hard to imagine Halloween without the annual “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons. There’s been one every year since 1990 (to put that into context: Taylor Swift, who as you might have heard was born in December 1989, has never experienced a Halloween without a “Treehouse”). This year’s installment, which includes riffs on The Exorcist and Coraline (it airs Sunday, October 22), is the show’s 28th overall. To honor the occasion, we ranked the first 27 “Treehouse of Horror” episodes from worst to best.
27. “Treehouse of Horror XXII” — October 30, 2011
From top to bottom, is this the lousiest “Treehouse of Horror”? Maybe not (“Dial D for Diddily” is fine), but it does have the worst “Treehouse” segment. That would be “The Diving Bell and Butterball,” a belated parody of Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, in which a paralyzed Homer communicates through farting. We’re a long way from “Clown Without Pity.”
26. “Treehouse of Horror XXIII” — October 7, 2012
“Treehouse of Horror XXIII” also scrapes the bottom because of an unfortunate segment. The Paranormal Activity movies are easy, potentially fruitful targets for mockery — but “Un-normal Activity” ends with Homer having a threesome with two demons. Oh yeah, and the sex is so rough that one of the demons uses his safe word, “cinnamon.” Even if the other two segments, “The Greatest Story Ever Holed” and “Bart and Homer’s Excellent Adventure,” were all-timers (they’re not), there’s no coming back from… that.