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Treehouse of Horror IV

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki
Season 5 Episode
085 "Rosebud"
"Treehouse of Horror IV"
"Marge on the Lam" 087
III "Treehouse of Horror III"
"Treehouse of Horror IV"
"Treehouse of Horror V" V
Treehouse of Horror Episode

Donut Homer.png This episode is considered non-canon and the events featured do not relate to the series and therefore may not have actually happened/existed
For the continuing series of Halloween specials, see Treehouse of Horror series.
"Mmmm ... forbidden donut."
Homer Simpson
Treehouse of Horror IV
Treehouse of horror iv title.png
Episode Information
Episode Number: 86
Production Code: 1F04
Original Airdate: October 28, 1993
Couch Gag: The Simpsons are zombies. They rise up out of the ground (breaking through the floor) and take their seats on the couch.
Show Runner(s): David Mirkin
Written By: "Watch" Conan O'Brien
"The Late" Bill Oakley
"The Estate of" Josh Weinstein
Greg "It's Alive!" Daniels
"The Disfigured" Dan McGrath
"Bilious" Bill Canterbury
Directed By: David "Dry Bones" Silverman
DVD features

Treehouse of Horror IV is the fifth episode of season 5 and the fourth episode in the Treehouse of Horror series of Halloween specials.


"When Homer announces he will sell his soul for a donut, the Devil, disguised as Ned Flanders, shows up to take him up on the offer. Second Act, while riding to school, Bart believe he sees a malevolent gremlin on the side of the bus. And final act, Mr. Burns is Dracula, in a spoof of Francis Ford Coppola's vampire film."


Opening sequence[edit]

The camera zooms into a graveyard showing various tombstones and the Simpsons home. The Simpsons break the floor and sit on the couch as zombies.

Wraparound part 1[edit]

Bart's seen walking around a room with paintings in light of Rod Serling's Night Gallery and tries to introduce the show but Marge and Maggie interrupt telling Bart to tell the viewers the show's scary, but Bart ignores, and we watch the first part.

The Devil and Homer Simpson[edit]

Homer being force-fed donuts in Hell, much to his happiness

Homer falls asleep at work, dreaming of donuts. When he wakes up to get one to eat, he finds out from Lenny and Carl the remaining donuts were already eaten. Homer declares he'll sell his soul for a doughnut, causing the Devil (in the form of Ned Flanders) to appear. After signing a contract, Homer's given his doughnut, with the provision soon as it's finished, the Devil will own his soul. However, Homer finds a loophole: if he doesn't finish the doughnut, he's safe. Homer openly mocks this loophole, to which the Devil promises he'll go to Hell eventually. One evening, Homer goes down to the kitchen, and, without realizing it, eats the last of the doughnut.

As expected, the Devil comes to take Homer's soul, but Lisa asks him to hold a trial. The Devil agrees. However, Homer must spend the day in Hell being severely tortured. Aside from being chopped into pieces, a demon in the Ironic Punishment Division laughingly plans to feed Homer all of the donuts in the world (this plan backfires when Homer gleefully keeps eating, much to the confusion of the demon). Back on Earth, Marge already has the trial area set up and hires the incompetent charlatan Lionel Hutz to defend Homer.

The Devil and Hutz barter on specific terms before the trial begins: The Devil agrees to Hutz's request for bathroom breaks, and Hutz agrees the Devil can choose the jury. The Devil's jury includes Benedict Arnold, Lizzie Borden, Richard Nixon (still alive at the time), John Wilkes Booth, Blackbeard the Pirate, John Dillinger, and the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers. The Devil gives the evidence of the contract Homer signed, pledging his soul for a doughnut. Lionel Hutz counters with the definition of a contract according to the dictionary, stating it as something unbreakable. Realizing he put his foot in his mouth, Hutz asks to be excused to the bathroom. When he doesn't return immediately, Marge finds the bathroom window open, and Hutz long gone.

As the judge prepares to sentence Homer, Marge shows the jury a photo album showing their wedding day, where Homer's having eaten the entire wedding cake sent him to the emergency room. On the back of a photograph, however, it is revealed in a statement of love to Marge that Homer had pledged his soul to her. This causes the jury to declare Homer's deal with the Devil void. However, the Devil is unwilling to let Homer best him. With a zap of his power, the Devil turns Homer's head into a doughnut. The next morning, Homer can't stop eating parts of his head. As he decides to go to work, Lisa cautions him to stay home ... because standing outside the house is the Springfield Police Department, waiting to enjoy his doughnut head with their morning coffee.

Terror at 5½ Feet[edit]

Bart has a nightmare where the bus crashes and wakes up very paranoid. Bart and Lisa get on the bus one rainy morning with Principal Skinner on the bus. Lisa informs everyone Bart's acting paranoid, and asks they act nice to him, causing everyone to laugh at him instead. In the middle of the ride, Bart hears tapping on the window, but it's only Groundskeeper Willie, who says he had to kill his mule and needs a ride. Bart's nightmare comes true when a gremlin is attacking the bus. Bart keeps trying to warn everyone, but every time anyone but Bart looks out the window, the gremlin hides, and it even causes Otto to destroy Hans Moleman's AMC Gremlin.

Bart becomes very annoying to the people on the bus, and it causes Skinner to close the window, and he forces Bart to sit next to Üter the German foreign exchange student. Bart eventually gets the emergency flares and throws one at the gremlin, knocking it off the bus, only to be picked up by Ned. After arriving safely to the school, everyone notices severe damage done to the outside of the bus. Bart stopped the gremlin from destroying the bus, but with no one as an alibi, he's declared insane for his behavior and is sent to the New Bedlam Insane Asylum for the rest of his life. On the way, Bart begins to relax at the thought of never having to worry about the gremlin. At that moment, the gremlin shows up at the ambulance's back window and shows Bart Ned Flanders severed head, causing him to scream uncontrollably.

Wraparound part 2[edit]

The Simpsons attack Lisa, as vampires.
They originally had a story to go with the famous Dogs playing Poker picture (Homer's frightened at this painting), but Bart said it was too twisted and scary to show on TV. So they had to put a random story about vampires together.

Bart Simpson's Dracula[edit]

The Simpsons are watching TV to find out a vampire attacked, and this convinces Lisa vampires are real. The Simpsons are invited to Mr. Burns's mansion for a midnight dinner in Pennsylvania (substituting for Transylvania). There, it is obvious Burns is a vampire, but no one seems to believe Lisa. She and Bart find Burns's secret lair, accessed by a staircase with a lever, doubling as a fun slide, and Bart (while fleeing from a horde of vampires) says, "I shouldn't... But when am I going to be back here?" and is turned into a vampire after pulling the lever.

The Simpsons appear worried Bart may get worse. Then they go home. Lisa is tormented by nightmares and, hearing something, opens her bedroom curtain and sees Bart, Milhouse, Martin, Ralph, and Janey, all vampires who are hovering in the air. Bart flies through her window violently, only to be rebuked by Homer and Grampa. The other vampires have dispersed. The family drives back to Burns' lair in Pennsylvania and Homer places a stake in Burns' heart and kills him but gets fired in the process. They go back home. The next morning at breakfast (evidently the daylight hibernation doesn't apply), Lisa finds the rest of the family are vampires. It turns out that Marge is the real head vampire ("I do have a life outside of this house, you know"); the vampire family surrounds and corners a terrified Lisa ... but then stop suddenly. The whole family then happily wish the audience a Happy Hallowe'en in a Charlie Brown-style ending, singing and with Milhouse playing a tiny piano like Schroeder.

Title Cards[edit]


"Treehouse of Horror IV" was directed by David Silverman and co-written by Conan O'Brien, Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein, Greg Daniels, Dan McGrath, and Bill Canterbury.


The episode finished 17th in the ratings for the week of It originally aired, with a Nielsen rating of 14.5. It was the highest-rated show on the Fox network that week.

Since airing, the episode has received positive reviews from TV critics and fans alike. The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide said it was "probably the best" Treehouse of Horror episode in the show. It has since been given an A grade by many online DVD critics and Kim Nowacki named it his favourite Treehouse of Horror episode.


The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to "Treehouse of Horror IV".
Season 5 Episodes
Homer's Barbershop Quartet Cape Feare Homer Goes to College Rosebud Treehouse of Horror IV Marge on the Lam Bart's Inner Child Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood The Last Temptation of Homer $pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling) Homer the Vigilante Bart Gets Famous Homer and Apu Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy Deep Space Homer Homer Loves Flanders Bart Gets an Elephant Burns' Heir Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song The Boy Who Knew Too Much Lady Bouvier's Lover Secrets of a Successful Marriage