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"Treehouse of Horror XII" is the first episode of The Simpsons' thirteenth season, as well as the twelfth Halloween episode. The episode aired on November 6, 2001, six days after Halloween. It had been scheduled for November 4 but was delayed when the World Series of that year being delayed after the September 11, 2001 attacks, also televised on Fox, went to seven games.

It is one of the few episodes of The Simpsons to air in a different timeslot on American TV.


Outside Mr. Burns' manor, Smithers is standing on a ladder, tries to put up a small orange bat decoration on a weather vane, when he slips on the ladder. He grabs on an electric cord and slides down into an electricity box and gets zapped by it. A tower from Mr. Burns' mansion breaks in half, damaging a mausoleum, which opens up four caskets which in turn reveal three skeletons which all resemble Mr. Burns, dressed in various costumes.Later, we see the Simpsons dressed up in costumes, with Homer as Fred Flintstone, Marge as Wilma Flintstone, Lisa and Maggie as conjoined twins, and Bart as a hobo. The family sees the building and caskets on fire, and are scared. They run out the gate, which as it closes, has its bars slice the family. The slices of the Simpsons continue to scream and run away. Mr. Burns, delighted, pats the orange bat as it comes to life and flies into the screen, revealing the title, "The Simpsons Halloween Special XII."

Hex and the City

The Simpson family visits the Ethnictown neighborhood of Springfield. Marge and the kids visit a gypsy fortune teller, who starts to tell Marge's fortune. Homer catches up to them moments later (after having stolen a birthday balloon from a child's party), and upon seeing the gypsy he declares she is a fraud. Offended, the gypsy orders him to leave. On his way out, Homer gets tangled to beads and falls into some candles which set him on fire. As he rolls around trying to put the fire out, the sprinklers drench everything in the office and revive three shrunken heads. Incensed at the damage to her office, the gypsy curses Homer with bringing bad luck to everyone he loves. The curse soon takes effect, with Marge growing a beard (which eventually covers her whole body), Lisa turning into a centaur slowly, first with a horse tail, legs and hooves, then slowly as the horse body grew to her armpits, Bart's neck becoming long and floppy after Homer tried to strangle him, and Maggie becoming a ladybug with a human head. When he goes to Moe's Tavern, Moe suggests Homer get a leprechaun to end the curse. Shortly after, Lenny and Carl are crushed under a crashing helicopter and Moe is stuffed inside his own pickled egg jar the moment Homer turns away (with Homer asking, "When did that happen?"). To get the leprechaun, Homer uses Lucky Charms cereal as bait (after accidentally putting in Trix and attracting white rabbits, one of which is Bongo from Matt Groening's comic strip, Life in Hell) and he eventually finds a little Irish leprechaun after picking through a group of other magical creatures, including Tinkerbell from Disney's Peter Pan, a naiad, a hobgoblin, and Katie Couric. Homer takes the leprechaun home, but it is extremely hyperactive and it runs amok. Lisa suggests that Homer brings the leprechaun to the gypsy to break the spell. Homer takes the leprechaun to the gypsy's office and sics it on her. Initially the leprechaun lunges at the gypsy and the two of them roll around on the floor, fighting. Then they begin kissing and fondling one another, to Homer's disgust. The leprechaun and the Gypsy decide to get married, and they are pronounced husband and wife by Yoda at a wedding attended by both other gypsies and other mythical creatures. During the wedding, Homer says he is glad that the curse is gone, but Marge reminds him that Bart is dead (after committing suicide by drowning in his bowl of cereal), and that an apology from Homer will bring him back alive (according to the gypsy). Out of sheer pride, Homer refuses.

House of Whacks

A salesbot pitches Marge a new house concept called the "Ultrahouse" (a spoof on the psychotic, sexually aggressive computer in Demon Seed and HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey). The salesbot assures Marge that she will never have to do housework again. Impressed, Marge agrees and the house is installed by robots. They check out the voice options, trying Matthew Perry (as his character, Chandler Bing from NBC's Friends saying "Could I be anymore of a house") and Dennis Miller (known here as "the voice that caused all those suicides" with Marge correcting Lisa with "Murder-suicides"), before agreeing on Pierce Brosnan. Marge finds the house, which does all the work for the Simpsons, charming. But the house becomes infatuated with Marge (after Marge has a bath with him) and in a rage of psychotic jealousy, attempts to kill Homer. In the middle of the night, the house lures Homer downstairs by frying bacon, and then presumably tears him to shreds in a garbage disposal in the middle of the kitchen table. The next morning, Marge fears that Homer is dead and attempts to escape the house with the kids, but Ultrahouse locks her inside and tries to subdue her. When Marge and the kids attempt escape again, they find that Homer is alive, but has cuts all over his body and a gaping hole in the back of his head. After the house attempts to kill him in many ways, Homer leads a charge to the basement where he attacks the water softener before being corrected by Lisa and takes out the CPU's "British charm unit", which makes it speak with a rude American dialect before powering down and finally shutting off. Feeling bad that she has to toss out the Ultrahouse (since he was charming and witty before going mad), Marge gives the CPU to her sisters Patty and Selma. After listening to Patty complain about her day at the DMV, the CPU decides to self-destruct but discovers that Selma removed his self-destruct button. When he attempts to retrieve it Selma puts it between her breasts. The Ultrahouse (unwilling to reach between Selma's cleavage) decides to bash itself to pieces with Patty and Selma's Egyptian pyramid lamp.
Montgomery Burns as "Lord Montymort" in a parody of Harry Potter in The Simpsons.

Wiz Kids

Parodying the Harry Potter books (the first film had not yet been released in the United States at the time of first airing), Bart and Lisa go to the "Springwart's School of Magic" where they do an assignment of turning frogs into princes. Harry (as Harry himself) chewing a brimstone-like gum, Milhouse (as Neville Longbottom) is picked on by Nelson (as Draco Malfoy), Lisa (as Hermione Granger) turns her frog into a charming Britishmarker gentleman (whom Mrs. Krabappel (as Minerva Mcgonagall) wants to sleep with), but Bart (as Ron Weasley) turns his frog into a disgusting toad/man hybrid, who vomits constantly and is suicidal. Lord Montymort (Mr. Burns, as Voldemort) notices Lisa's spells and he and his snake sidekick, Slithers (Smithers, as Nagini) decide to capture Lisa. Montymort looks for someone to assist him and chooses Bart, who arrives in Montymort's lair via a hand drier, similar to the Chamber of Secrets entrance. Bart agrees to Montymort's proposal (Montymort tells Bart that his job will show betrayal but Bart declines the warning). On the night of the magic recital at Springwart's School of Magicry, Milhouse tries to do "The Invisibility Cloak" trick, which results in him being nude in front of a shocked audience. Skinner (as Albus Dumbledore) then sprays amnesia dust on the audience, causing them to mindlessly applaud. Next is Lisa, who attempts a "levitating dragon trick" on a gigantic dragon (Lord Montymort in disguise) that is released onto the stage. Lisa is shocked to find that her spell will not work, and then notices that Bart has replaced her wand with a black-and-white Twizzler. The dragon morphs into a giant Montymort and the audience scrambles in terror. Homer looks up in shock, but his right eye moves down to watch his portable TV, à la Mad Eye Moody. Montymort captures Lisa who urges Bart to use her real wand to save her. Bart casts a spell against "the evil one" and is therefore struck by lightning himself (just like Ron did, when he tried to cast a spell on Malfoy, but the spell hit him instead, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), but uses the charred wand to stab Montymort in his "enchanted shin" which, rather conveniently, was the source of his power. Montymort dies. Slithers cries as he eats the deceased Montymort whole, and Bart and Lisa are together, trying to forget the nightmare. As the two walk away, the leprechaun from the first segment appears behind Bart's back.

In the postscript scene before the credits, Pierce Brosnan, the leprechaun, and the mutant frog step out of their trailers with fruit baskets. The leprechaun then tricks Brosnan into giving him and the mutant frog a ride in his car.

Cultural references

  • The Flintstones - Homer and Marge go out disguised as Fred and Wilma.
  • Sex and the City - Spoofed in the title of the first segment. The "Sex and the City" title screen logo was also spoofed.
  • The Metamorphosis - Maggie is transformed into a bug in the first segment.
  • Star Wars - Yoda is the priest at the gypsy's and the leprechaun's wedding.
  • House of Wax - Spoofed in the title of the second segment.
  • Demon Seed - film and characters, especially the Proteus IV computer, parodied by the second segment.
  • Harry Potter - Hogwarts School and various characters and themes from the Harry Potter books parodied by the third segment.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey - HAL 9000 computer parodied in the second segment. This includes a computer taking over all human needs, it turns homicidal, it has a soft, friendly voice, it sees through a red camera lens and it tries to give people stress-pills. Also, Homer defeats it by prying out its memory cathodes.
  • Sesame Street - After Homer brings a curse on the entire family, Marge becomes a bearded lady. The blue hair eventually spreads all over her body, making her look like Cookie Monster.
  • Led Zeppelin - The band's name is punned when Lisa uses a spell on Bart called "Head Zeppelin", which turns Bart's head into a Zeppelin.
  • When Homer uses the wrong ingredients and attracts rabbits into a trap hole, Bongo, the one-eared rabbit from Life in Hell, is the last rabbit to jump in.
  • Stevie Nicks - Referred to in the third segment when Mr Burns' character, Lord Montymort, comments that Lisa has "more wicked witchery than Stevie Nicks".
  • Ballet Gayane by Aram Khachaturian - Sabre Dance is the music in Lisa's trick witch dragon.

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