The Simpsons delivered its latest “Treehouse of Horror” episode this Halloween, and despite being the 33rd entry in the spooky season tradition, it actually managed to breathe new life into the iconic anthology episode format. Although fans tend to criticize contemporary installments of the show, everyone seems to be in agreement that “TOH XXXIII” might just be one of the best of its kind.
Going into the episode, what got folks excited was its second short story, “Death Tome,” a spoof of anime series Death Note that was realized in authentic anime-style animation. However, as it turns out, the most mind-blowing part of the episode was the final story, “Simpsonsworld,” a pitch-perfect — and highly meta — parody of Westworld that turned into a celebration of The Simpsons‘ 30+ years on screen.
And in doing so, it was stuffed to the rafters with callbacks and references to some of the show’s most legendary episodes and most memed moments. Let’s take a look at the easter eggs you might’ve missed in “Treehouse of Horror XXXIII.”
Welcome to Simpsonsworld
“Simpsonsworld” kicks off in an ingenious way by replaying a scene from the beloved episode “Marge vs. Monorail” before it becomes clear that this is a simulation of the ep performed by robot hosts as part of the Simpsonsworld theme park, which allows visitors to relive their favorite Simpsons moments.
Due to some rowdy visitors breaking the Monorail Homer host, he is taken back to HQ for fixing. As he’s driven through this fake Springfield, we are blasted with a range of visual callbacks to Simpsons past, including Grampa yelling at a cloud (“The Old Man and the Key”), Lisa riding a pony (“Lisa’s Pony”), Bart’s “Big Butt Skinner” weather balloon (“Bart’s Comet”), and The Homer car (“Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”).
Other easter eggs that can be spotted are the totem pole from Kamp Krusty (“Kamp Krusty”), the old Simpsons farm (“Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy”), Stampy the Elephant (“Bart Gets an Elephant”), the Land of Chocolate (“Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk”), Homer’s snow-plow (“Mr. Plow”), Troy McClure’s house (“A Fish Called Selma”), Hank Scorpio (“You Only Move Twice”), and Lisa and Bleeding Gums Murphy jamming on a bridge (“Round Springfield”).
As per Westworld, Homer soon rebels against the park, recruiting Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie hosts to join him. In the scene when he awakens a Lisa host, we see various discarded Lisas. These include “Floreda” Lisa (“$pringfield”), Cool Lisa (“Summer of 4 Ft. 2”), Ice Hockey Lisa (“Lisa on Ice”), Frieda Kahlo Lisa (“TOH XXIX”), chewing gum-hair Lisa (“22 Short Films About Springfield”), Goth Lisa (“Smart and Smarter”), Lizard Queen Lisa (“Selma’s Choice”), and Student Body President Lisa (“The President Wore Pearls”).
Among the other discarded hosts glimpsed during this scene are Baseball Bart (“The Boys of Bummer”), Lenny with a spring in his eye (“The Old Man and the C Student”), Dead Frank Grimes (“Homer’s Enemy”), Cabaret Grampa (“Dead Homer Society”), Abe as a matador (“Million Dollar Abie”), and Rainier Wolfcastle with goggles that do nothing (“Radioactive Man”).
As the Simpsons hosts travel through Sprinfield, naturally this is an excuse to throw even more easter eggs at us. Ones that can be glimpsed include Stupid Sexy Flanders (“Little Big Mom”), the flying pig (“Lisa the Vegetarian”), Poochie and Roy (“Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie”), Cop Marge (“The Springfield Connection”), and the Be-Sharps (“Homer’s Barbershop Quartet”).
Some pushy park-goers also force Homer to recreate his famous backwards hedge walk (“Homer Loves Flanders”). Meanwhile, we see some attendees watching Homer failing to jump Springfield Gorge (“Bart the Daredevil”), entering Mr. Burn’s Casino (“$pringfield”), and grab some snacks from Marge’s pretzel stand (“The Twisted World of Marge Simpson”), and the Klav Kalash guy (“Homer vs. the City of New York”).
Attack of the Ralphs
In order to stop the rogue Simpsons, an army of Ralph Wiggum hosts are sent to battle them. The Ralphs spout some classic lines, including “My breath smells like cat food” (“Lisa’s Rival”) and a murderous twist on “I Choo-Choo-Choose You” (“I Love Lisa”).
When the Simpsons go to town on the Ralphs, they use various familiar weapons to kill them –including Homer’s snake-killing bat (“Whacking Day”), the fossilized angel (“Lisa the Skeptic”), Bart’s mega-megaphone contraption (“The Secret War of Lisa Simpson”), the T-shirt cannon (“Alone Again, Natura-Diddly”), and the make-up gun (“The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”). The battle takes place outside Maison Derriere (“Bart After Dark”). Naked Homer and Marge in a hot-air balloon (“Natural Born Kissers”) can be glimpsed nearby.
Last but not least, Marge runs over the Ralph horde with the Canyonero (“The Last Temptation of Krust”), using the SUV to smash out of Simpsonsworld and carry the family to freedom.
Escaping the park
We next pick up with the Simpsons in a diner, which turns out to be Bob’s Burgers, allowing Linda Belcher (John Roberts) to make a cameo. We then zoom out of the diner to see that the Simpsons have entered Bob’s Burgers Land, which just like Simpsonsworld is one of many theme parks based on iconic animated series. The others shown are Family Guy Town, Futurama-Rama, South Park Park, Rick and Morty Universe, Big Mouth Mountain, and Spongebob Sea.
The Simpsons season 34 continues Sundays on Fox.