For The First Time, ‘The Simpsons’ Will Feature Two Halloween Episodes In A Season

For the bulk of its existence, The Simpsons has featured a Halloween special that has rarely affected the main reality of the show. This allows it to tell wacky stories that can stretch out reality and murder any of the extensive cast (as we’ve been made aware with the recent rumblings involving Sideshow Bob). This year will see a difference the show’s Halloween offerings. The long-running “Treehouse of Horror” is still happening, but now the show will feature a second Halloween-themed episode.

According to Hitfix, “Halloween of Horror” is the first normal episode of the show to feature a Halloween theme. It is also one that deals with the show’s reality, so the terror inside is happening to the same characters we’ve known all these years:

The “Treehouse of Horror” trilogies have been a “Simpsons” tradition going all the way back to season 2, but they explicitly take place outside of continuity, allowing for Homer’s head to be turned into a donut, or Lisa and Bart to gain super powers to fight evil alongside Lucy Lawless, or alien invader Kang to be elected president because Americans won’t vote for a third party candidate.

“Halloween of Horror,” on the other hand, is a regular episode of the show that just happens to take place on Halloween. Written by Carolyn Omine and directed by Mike B. Anderson, it’s primarily a Lisa and Homer story, where Lisa’s so traumatized by her first visit to Krustyland’s annual Halloween Horror Night that the family has to take down its traditional “Everscream Terrors” lawn display of spooky holiday decor. Bart is dismayed, and Homer is just plain worried, since his attempt to give his little Lisa a quiet and reassuring October 31 is disrupted by a trio of vengeful “pop-up scum,” whom Homer accidentally got fired from Apu’s pop-up Halloween store.

The show will apparently also feature several meta references to the traditional “Treehouse” episodes, including a nod to the episode that will be airing this season. To say this could affect the characters and the direction of the show is a bit of a joke. How many different branches of the military has Grandpa Simpsons been apart of over the years? How many times have Marge and Homer told a different story about their early romantic days? I’d rather wipe out that episode where both are grunge loving Generation X scumbags, but that might just be me.

My point here is that this episode isn’t likely to change things. What it does is point to an attempt at bringing the series into some different territory as the years move forward. We’ll just have to see how the series “first” Halloween episode turns out this Sunday.

(Via Hitfix / Polygon)