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Sideshow Bob Roberts
Treehouse of Horror V
Bart's Girlfriend
Treehouse of Horror IV
Treehouse of Horror V
Treehouse of Horror VI
Donut Homer This episode is considered non-canon, and the events featured are not part of the timeline of the series' continuity.

For the continuing series of Halloween specials, see Treehouse of Horror series.

"Ach, I'm bad at this."
Groundskeeper Willie[src]
"This is indeed a disturbing universe."

"Treehouse of Horror V", also known as "The Simpsons Halloween Special V", is the sixth episode of the sixth season, and the fifth episode in the Treehouse of Horror Series.


In this, the fifth Treehouse of Horror (and the first one to not have a framing device and the last one to have Marge's viewer advisory introduction and the funny tombstones), The Simpsons house-sit for Mr. Burns and Homer comes down with a nasty case of murderous cabin fever in "The Shinning", Homer's attempt at fixing the toaster takes him back in time where anything he does in the past affects the future in "Time and Punishment", and the Springfield Elementary School staff resort to cannibalizing the students as a means to solve their food budget and class overcrowding crises in "Nightmare Cafeteria".

Full Story[]


The Simpsons Halloween Special V - Title Card

The logo for this episode.

Marge appears and explains to viewers how scary this Treehouse of Horror episode is. She then gets a letter from Congress saying this episode is so scary that it could not be shown on TV. Instead, they intend to show an old movie called 200 Miles to Oregon. The movie is then cut off and Bart's voice is used in radio waves to tell us that he is controlling the programming. Homer also cuts in and plays with the radio waves using his voice, much to Bart's annoyance. Bart manages to introduce the episode. During the intro, Moe Szyslak hangs himself, Patty and Selma, disguised as witches, are burned at the stake, but still light their cigarettes one last time, and Bart beheads Principal Skinner. After that, a lightning bolt flashes to the couch, where The Simpsons were built as a Frankenstein’s monster with each other's body parts, and they swap heads until they match closely.

The Shinning[]

The Shinning - Title Card

"The Shinning" Title Card.

In a parody of the late Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror classic The Shining, the family is hired as caretakers of Mr. Burns' summer estate. On the way, Homer is forced to drive all the way back home to lock the front door to the house, and on the second drive, he is again forced to turn around to go and lock the back door to the house. On the third drive, Lisa points out that they left Grampa behind, but everyone ignores her and Homer keeps driving. Upon arriving, Burns takes them on a tour of the house. He tells them the long, colorful history of the house. It was built on an ancient Indian Burial Ground (like the Overlook Hotel in The Shining) and was the setting of Satanic rituals, witch burning, and five John Denver Christmas specials. (Homer feels a chill when the last fact is mentioned.) An elevator opens up and blood spills out all over the floor (like in The Shining), but Burns only comments, "Usually the blood gets off at the second floor."

While outside, Bart 'discovers' a 'shortcut' through the hedge maze using a chainsaw to cut his way through, infuriating Groundskeeper Willie and reads his thoughts. Willie tells him that he has "the shinning". Bart corrects him as it is 'the Shining' but Willie simply shushes him, warning him that they don't want to get sued. He then tells Bart to use his 'shin' to call on him if his father should go insane.

The Shinning - 77

"This is less encouraging."

In the meantime, Mr. Burns and Smithers cut the cable for television and remove all the beer. Burns believes it will make Homer more efficient at his job but Smithers worries that this is what caused the previous caretakers to go insane and kill their families, but Burns just bets him a Coke and they leave.

The Shinning - 91

No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy!

The Shinning - 126

"Heeeere's Johnny!"

The lack of television and beer prompts Homer to go insane. He attempts to occupy himself, first suggesting he'll go look at the axe collection the mansion has and then going to the bar where Moe, as a ghost, says he will only let him have a beer if he murders his family. Homer is at first hesitant to the notion of murdering his family and questions Moe, who responds that they would be much happier as ghosts. Later Marge goes downstairs looking for Homer and discovers a typewriter with paper in it. Marge reads it, seeing that Homer has typed "Feelin' fine", which she finds is a relief. However, lightning flashes in the room, revealing that Homer has written "No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy" all over the lounge. Homer then barges in through a door, startling Marge. He says he only needs a title for what he was typing. She recommends "Go crazy?" and Homer snaps, lunging for her. She rushes towards a conveniently placed case containing a baseball bat (labeled "Break glass in case of spousal insanity") and swings it at him as he follows her up the stairs. Homer makes a hideous face at her, but then foolishly looks in a nearby mirror and scares himself silly, falling down the stairs and knocking himself unconscious. Marge locks him in the pantry, saying he'll stay there until he regains his sanity and grabs some canned chili to make for dinner. Later, Homer has calmed down and happily eats. Moe reminds him of their deal on the other end of the pantry door. When Homer refuses to comply ("Can't murder now, eating!"), Moe and the gang of ghouls (including Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolfman, and Pinhead) carry him out against his will.

While the family is eating dinner, Homer breaks down a door with an axe ("Heeeere's Johnny!"), only to find the room vacant (a "D'oh!"). He breaks into another room ("Daaavid Letterman!"), only to find Grandpa (another "D'oh"). And finally into the right room with a stopwatch in his hand ("I'm Mike Wallace, I'm Morley Safer, and I'm Ed Bradley! All this and Andy Rooney tonight on 60 Minutes!") and grinning evilly, prompting his family to scream in terror and flee to escape the rampaging Homer. After Marge attempts to contact the police to no avail, Bart uses his "shinning" to call Willie to help. Willie immediately rushes to assist, dropping his tiny, portable TV in the snow. When he bursts into the mansion, he immediately gets an axe in the back by Homer (his first time being axed in the episode). Homer grabs another axe from the collection hanging on the wall and pursues the family outside into the snow and is ready to kill them until Lisa discovers Willie's TV radio in the snow. Homer immediately sinks to his knees to watch Kent Brockman on Channel 6 News. The return of television restores his sanity. He calls his family to sit in the snow with him to "bask in television's warm, glowing, warming glow" and they freeze while watching. However, Bart tells Homer to change the channel when the announcer informs them that the upcoming programming will be The Tony Awards, hosted by Tyne Daily and Hal Linden, Homer replies, "Can't. Frozen!" As the theme music plays, they all scream in terror, and Homer says, "Urge to kill... rising..."

Time and Punishment[]

Time & Punishment - Title Card

"Time and Punishment" Title Card.

Time & Punishment - 71

"What the hell are YOU smilin' at?"

Time & Punishment - 143

The Simpson family home resembling a retro-style (and oldest surviving) McDonald's restaurant in Downey, California.

In a parody of A Sound of Thunder, Homer is sitting down at the table, eating breakfast with the family, commenting that despite his troubles, where he feels that he is a really lucky guy sitting down with them in their cozy home in this beautiful free country. Lisa characteristically spoils the mood by yelling at Homer saying that his hand is stuck in the toaster, and Homer frantically attempts to free it. He succeeds and throws it across the room, but Bart alerts him that his hand is in the toaster again, causing another panic to free it. Homer attempts to fix it using the tools in the basement. He test-toasts it, and modifications to the toaster turn it into a time machine, and Homer is teleported into a time-travel continuum. Homer travels back to the time of the dinosaurs and discovers that touching anything will affect the future. However, when he accidentally kills a mosquito, he returns to find out that Flanders is the unquestionable lord and master of the world.

After escaping his "Re-Neducation" (a process that includes a glass of warm milk, a lie-down, and a total frontal lobotomy), he goes back to the time of the dinosaurs in hopes to resolve the future and is immediately attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Homer flees but seals the fate of another timeline when he sits on and kills a walking fish after miraculously avoiding everything else in his path. He returns only to discover that Bart and Lisa are giants that mistake him for a bug, then try to smash him.

Time and punishment poster

"Time and Punishment" Promo Image.

His second attempt to resolve the past succeeds in him wiping out all the dinosaurs by sneezing on the T. Rex, who in turn sneezes on a Stegosaurus, which also sneezes on another dinosaur and so on, and they all fall like dominoes while the pterosaurs drop from the sky, causing him to grimly remark "This is gonna cost me". Homer returns to the future in the basement. He goes upstairs to discover a large, fancy kitchen. His family greet him; in this timeline, Bart and Lisa are well behaved, the family is wealthy, in possession of a brand new Lexus and are about to attend the funeral of Patty and Selma that day. Homer counts these perks on his fingers and is ecstatic and believes he's hit the jackpot until he is shocked to discover that donuts don't exist in this timeline. He runs back to the basement and the sound of the time machine zapping is heard. After he is gone, donuts begin to fall from the sky and Marge says, "It's raining again," implying that donuts are the rain in this timeline.

Homer returns to his basement and repeats the process, now discovering Groundskeeper Willie in his kitchen. Willie attempts to help Homer, but he suddenly screams and falls dead, showing that Maggie has killed him with an axe (his second time being axed in the episode). Maggie takes out her pacifier and says in the deep, distinctive voice of James Earl Jones, "This is indeed a disturbing universe."

Upon returning to the dinosaur era, Homer goes on a mad bender. Holding a club, he destroys anything in the past that he can before returning to the future. The family's house in the present ends up changing multiple times (as well as Kang and Kodos's heads being replaced with Mister Peabody and Sherman). Homer finally stops and returns to the present. He returns to the kitchen and asks Marge three questions: his name, the color of the sky, and what are donuts. Marge answers them all accurately. Homer, now satisfied, sits down to eat with the family. Everything appears to not be what it seems when the family begins eating a breakfast with snake tongues, but Homer gives in, stating that it is close enough and settles in with this universe.

Nightmare Cafeteria[]

Nightmare Cafeteria - Title Card

"Nightmare Cafeteria" Title Card.

In a parody of [Soylent Green], the pretty and beautiful boy Bart suggests that his class turn their desks away from the door before his teacher Mrs. Krabappel arrives. The students all support the idea, but when Mrs. Krabappel enters the room, only Bart's desk is turned away from the door, and she sends Bart to detention. When Bart arrives at the detention room, the strict Principal Skinner approaches him, requesting him to spend his detention in the cafeteria as the detention hall is becoming dangerously overcrowded with students. Meanwhile, in the cafeteria, Principal Skinner expresses himself worried that a critical amount of students are in detention. the annoyed Lunchlady Doris berates him, saying that because of the latest budget cuts, she is reduced to serving Grade F meat (composed of circus animals and filler) in the cafeteria.

Nightmare Cafeteria - 56

"Isn't there a little Üter in all of us?"

Principal Skinner discovers a common solution to their problems: eating the detention students. The bully Jimbo Jones trips Lunchlady Doris, accidentally spilling stew all over his clothes. Skinner tastes the stew, and is impressed with the Jimbo/stew combination. Skinner instructs Jimbo to assist Lunchlady Doris in the cafeteria, and Jimbo is assigned to clean a large pot when meat tenderizer is spilled on him. Eventually, the lid is closed and Jimbo is killed and cooked, ending up being served as a "Sloppy Jimbo" in the teachers lounge and the cafeteria. Everyone likes the new dish, especially the teachers. In the cafeteria, Bart realized Jimbo hasn't beaten them for their lunch money as usual. Suddenly, Üter cuts in line for another Sloppy Jimbo, and Skinner after noticing how fattening Üter has gotten immediately sends him to detention.

The girly Lisa becomes suspicious when Üter disappears and is served as "Üterbraten" in the cafeteria. Lisa asks Bart if he finds that to be strange. Skinner, overhearing the conversation, says he's got a "gut feeling" that Üter is still around, and asks, "Isn't there a little Üter in all of us?", and then says "You might even say we just ate Üter and he's in our stomachs right now!" Skinner then backpedals, telling Bart and Lisa and to "scratch that one," but it is too late: Now they all think that something is up.

At home, Bart and Lisa try to tell their mother Marge what is happening at school, but Marge does not believe them. She says since they are now eight and ten years old that she could not be fighting all of their battles for them, punishing them until they understand.

Bart and Lisa reluctantly return to school the next day and see more students arrive in "permanent detention", and the remaining students have all been merged into one class, taught by a now-noticeably obese Mrs. Krabappel, stuffed from a recent meal. Only Bart, Lisa, Milhouse, Ralph and Wendell remain. The kids are scared naturally, enough that Wendell starts shaking his desk, 'cause he knows he is dead meat. When Wendell's pencil rolls off his desk, Mrs. Krabappel gleefully sends him to detention. Milhouse sees her reading a book titled The Joy of Cooking Milhouse, and suggests to Bart and Lisa that they should make a run for it, since any one of them could be next, with only Ralph left behind.

Nightmare Cafeteria - 101

Hungry teachers.

The trio rush down the hall and observe Martin and other kids cringing in hamster cages with Skinner keeping an eye on them. The trio is then intercepted by Lunchlady Doris, who rushes at them with a spinning eggbeater. Groundskeeper Willie attempts to come to their rescue, but is instantly killed by Skinner striking him in the back with an axe, (his third time being axed in the episode) retorting on how he fails at rescues before collapsing. Skinner and Doris advance on the three remaining students, and they are immediately cornered on a ledge above a giant food processor, which Skinner turns on and switches to the "Gooify" setting. But as they are forced closer to the edge, Bart tells Lisa and Milhouse not to worry and says that something always comes along to save them. Milhouse falls into the food processor and is instantly "gooified," killing him. Bart changes his statement to "Something will come along and save the two Simpson children." No rescue comes, however, and Bart and Lisa fall over the edge into the rapidly spinning blades of the food processor, killing them as well.

Nightmare Cafeteria - 91

Evil Lunchlady Doris.

Immediately after falling into the processor, Bart screams and wakes up only to discover it was all a dream. Marge reassures him that there is nothing to worry about except the mysterious fog that turns people inside out. The fog then seeps in through the window and does just that (interestingly, the drawings of the skinned characters show a discontinuity in the bottom area suggesting an earlier version of the animation was retouched so to erase the buttocks). The family and Grounskeeper Willie all begin to do a musical number (to the tune of "One" from A Chorus Line) about being turned inside out. At the end, Santa's Little Helper drags Bart offstage by his intestines and devours him.

Behind the Laughter[]


This episode is one of the most graphic episodes of The Simpsons because of the third segment: "Nightmare Cafeteria", which contains blood and gore, as well as Willie being stabbed with an axe in all three segments, and Mr. Burns' wave of blood in "The Shinning"

This episode is rated PG in the UK, despite being more graphic than the 12-rated "Treehouse of Horror X". This episode was originally rated TV-PG-D in America, but was eventually re-rated TV-14-DV. In all airings, the episode's ending is not removed but the blood is removed from Lunchlady Doris's apron. The episode is rated M in Australia's Fox 8 channel, however is rated PG on the home media release.


The episode has been deemed the best Treehouse of Horror episode due to a great mix of satirical parody, goofy humor, and creepy suspense, all in one large convenient package.

It was ranked #1 on WatchMojo’s “Top 10 Best Halloween Special Episodes,” while “The Shinning” was ranked #1 on WatchMojo’s “Top 10 Best Treehouse of Horror Episodes.”

This episode has the highest Treehouse of Horror rating on IMDB, currently with a 9.2/10 rating, the third highest rated episode of the series overall.



Treehouse of Horror series
Season 5 Season 6 Episodes Season 7
Bart of DarknessLisa's RivalAnother Simpsons Clip ShowItchy & Scratchy LandSideshow Bob RobertsTreehouse of Horror VBart's GirlfriendLisa on IceHomer BadmanGrampa vs. Sexual InadequacyFear of FlyingHomer the GreatAnd Maggie Makes ThreeBart's CometHomie the ClownBart vs. AustraliaHomer vs. Patty and SelmaA Star is BurnsLisa's WeddingTwo Dozen and One GreyhoundsThe PTA Disbands'Round SpringfieldThe Springfield ConnectionLemon of TroyWho Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)