No show does Halloween quite like The Simpsons. Ever since the series’ second season in 1990, the annual “Treehouse of Horror” episodes have been a sacred tradition for fans of horror, gore and laughs. These episodes feature three, horror-themed short vignettes stuffed inside a chilling half hour of humor. They've transcended the gimmicky premise to become some of the best Simpsons episodes ever produced.

With the show’s 25th “Treehouse of Horror” episode coming up this Sunday, we here at Tech Times thought it would be appropriate to take a look back at the 10 best “Treehouse of Horror” segments from the past 24 seasons. It took a lot of couch-sitting and Simpsons watching to pare the 70+ vignettes down to the top 10, but we’re just that dedicated to all of you.

10. “Bart Simpson’s Dracula”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror IV
Memorable quote: “Kill my boss?! Do I dare live out the American dream?” - Homer
In this short, obviously inspired by Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Simpson family heads to Mr. Burns’ ominous castle in Pennsylvania (gasp!) for a late night meal. Unbeknownst to them, Homer’s boss is actually a blood-sucking vampire, although the haircut should have been a dead giveaway. This vignette is more geared toward humor than horror—especially when Homer drives a stake right through Burns’ crotch while he’s in his coffin—but it’s still a classic for horror fans and longtime followers of the show.

9. “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror VI
Memorable quote: “Lousy Smarch weather.” – Homer
The “Treehouse of Horror” episodes are at their best when they are directly parodying classic horror movies, and in “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” The Simpsons takes aim right at Freddy Kruger. In it, Groundskeeper Willie takes Kruger’s place as the malevolent dream menace as he gets revenge against the town of Springfield by going after its children in their sleep. There are some genuinely horrifying scenes here, most notably the sight of a dead Martin Prince being accidentally wheeled into a kindergarten classroom. Still, this short is high on laughs despite the death and mayhem.

8. “Citizen Kang”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror VII
Memorable quote: “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.” - Kang/Bob Dole
"Citizen Kang" eschews the normal "Treehouse" protocol of parodying horror films and TV shows by centering on something much more sinister and terrifying: American politics. In this segment, which took place right before the 1996 presidential election, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole are kidnapped and replaced by Kang and Kodos, the one-eyed, tentacled aliens from the original special. Their plan is to masquerade as the candidates and then rule the world as whichever one wins. Of course, this is Springfield after all, and even after the ruse is exposed, the citizens still vote for Kang, rather than settle for Ross Perot. This segment, like all great Simpsons episodes, absolutely eviscerates our political system, while still managing to pile on the laughs no matter where you reside on the political spectrum.

7. “Nightmare Cafeteria”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror V
Memorable quote: “Oh, relax, kids. I've got a gut feeling Uter's around here somewhere. After all, isn't there a little Uter in all of us? In fact, you might say we just ate Uter and he's in our stomachs right now! Wait. Scratch that one.” – Principal Skinner
Oh, where to start? "Nightmare Cafeteria," despite being hilarious, is absolutely terrifying. The premise is simple: when Lunchlady Doris finds herself with a slashed budget for food, and Principal Skinner finds himself with an overcrowded detention hall, they come to a solution that solves both of their problems. Unfortunately, this solution literally involves the student body. Here, delinquent students don't find themselves in detention; instead, they are all slaughtered and processed for lunch, making a number of dishes including Sloppy Jimbos and Uterbraten. It's a scenario every kid has thought about while chowing down on mystery meat Friday during grade school, and The Simpsons presents it in all of its blood-splattered splendor. The short is also famous for one of the series' best sight-gags with a book titled The Joy of Cooking Milhouse.

6. “King Homer”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror III
Memorable quote: “Hey, Homer, cut it out! Come on! Quit eatin' me!” – Lenny
Oh, "King Homer," there is a part of us that wishes you got your own spin-off series. This vignette isn't just a classic "Treehouse of Horror" piece; it's a crash-course in everything that's great about The Simpsons. It's incredibly sardonic and mean-spirited at points (Shirley Temple does get devoured, after all), but it's just so funny that you don't mind the countless deaths that occur on screen. The whole short is obviously a riff on King Kong, with the appropriate black and white ambiance, and it makes for the perfect story of beauty and the beast, with Marge's title obviously being the former. It all ends with King Homer's climactic climb up the side of the Empire State Building, which falls a few (dozen) stories short.

5. “Clown Without Pity”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror III
Memorable quote: “Marge! The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me!” - Homer
When the "Treehouse of Horror" shorts aren't busy ripping off classic monster movies, they're busy parodying timeless Twilight Zone episodes. In "Clown Without Pity," the show sets its sights on the iconic "Living Doll" episode from Rod Serling's O. Henry-esque drama. Here, it's a Talking Krusty doll that comes to life and immediately goes after Homer. In less than 15 minutes, this short provides fans with numerous unforgettable Simpsons moments, including the introduction of Frogurt and the hilarious "Evil/Good" switch ending.

4. “Time and Punishment”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror IV
Memorable quote: “I'm the first non-Brazilian person to travel backwards through time.” – Homer
In this segment, Homer's attempts to fix the family's toaster go horribly wrong, leading him to inadvertently create a time machine instead. Homer in the present is dangerous enough, but when he's sent back to the age of the dinosaurs (when dinosaurs weren't just confined to zoos), he repeatedly alters the present in ways no one can imagine. This segment is all about sight gags, from Homer jamming his hand in the toaster to begin with, to the bizarre alternate universe he created where Flanders is the unquestioned lord and master of the universe.

3. “The Devil and Homer Simpson”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror IV
Memorable quote: [Marge] "Homer, stop picking at it." [Homer] "But, I'm so sweet and tasty."

When Homer sells his soul to the devil for a doughnut (in this parody of "The Devil and Daniel Webster"), he is greeted by none other than Ned Flanders, who has been revealed to be Satan all this time. Homer signs his soul away and is quickly banished to hell once he finishes the demonic doughnut later that night. "The Devil and Homer Simpson" is full of classic quotes and physical comedy all the way through, but the most memorable part of the episode is when Homer is strapped to a chair and forced to eat an endless barrage of doughnuts in a section of hell called the Ironic Punishment Division. We can't do this bit justice, so check it out in the video below:

2. “The Shinning”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror V
Memorable quote: "Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover." – Homer

There may be no more quotable Simpsons episode in existence than "The Shinning" from "Treehouse of Horror V." Here, the Simpson family is hired as caretakers for Mr. Burns' upstate hotel, but the lack of beer and television immediately drives Homer into a murderous rampage aimed at Marge and the kids. Sound familiar? It's a direct take on Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining, and it's likely filled with some of your favorite Simpsons moments. From Homer's calamitous take on Nicholson's iconic "Here's Johnny" line, to Groundskeeper Willie's ill-fated attempt at a rescue and the family's reaction when they realize they left Grandpa at the gas station, "The Shinning" is the blueprint for all movie parodies the show has taken on since then.

1. “The Raven”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror I
Memorable quote: [Narrator] “Quoth the Raven.” [Bart] “Eat my shorts.”
No, "The Raven" is not the funniest or scariest "Treehouse of Horror" segment on this list, but it's easily the most creative and artistically fulfilling. This short retells Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem with Homer taking the place of the distraught lover and Bart as the sarcastic talking raven. Narrated by James Earl Jones, this vignette is everything that is wonderful about The Simpsons Halloween episodes: it's clever, funny and unexpectedly chilling. This is more than a "Treehouse" segment; it's a genuinely endearing piece of animation. "The Raven" has been retold countless times in numerous different mediums, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one that rivals what The Simpsons did here in the debut "Treehouse of Horror" episode.

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