"Treehouse of Horror VII" is the first episode of The Simpsons' eighth season and originally aired October 27, 1996. In the seventh annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Bart discovers his long-lost twin, Lisa grows a colony of small beings and Kang & Kodos impersonate Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in order to win the 1996 Presidential election. It was written by Ken Keeler, Dan Greaney and David S. Cohen and directed by Mike B. Anderson. Phil Hartman provided the voice of Clinton.
Lisa performs a science experiment to see if cola will dissolve a tooth and Bart shocks Lisa as part of his project to prove that nerds conduct electricity. The tooth was also shocked and it undergoes an unusual reaction and creates a race of miniature beings. Lisa discovers this the next day and marvels at how the people in her universe evolve at a rapid rate, going through the various ages humans have gone through into modern times and eventually, the future. Bart destroys some of the ecosystem in Lisa's tub universe and the people respond, sending a squadron of space ships to attack Bart. Bart vows revenge on the small universe and Lisa wonders what to do. Suddenly, she is beamed down into the tub where the citizens explain that they regard her as god and they want her to do something about Bart. However, Bart grabs the tub and submits it in the science fair and Lisa is forced to watch from within as Bart wins first prize. She asks to be returned to her normal size, which the citizens explain is impossible, and she realizes that she is stuck in the tub for the rest of her life.
While fishing, Homer is abducted by the aliens Kang and Kodos. When they demand that Homer point them towards Earth's leader, Homer tells them about the then-upcoming election and that the winner could be either Bill Clinton or Bob Dole. Kang and Kodos kidnap both Dole and Clinton, placing them in suspended animation tubes. Kang and Kodos take on their forms to ensure that one of them will become the next leader. Before returning Homer to Earth, the aliens soak him in rum so nobody will believe him. Later on, Homer stumbles upon the badly hidden spaceship and tries to save the real Dole and Clinton, however he accidentally ejects them into space. On the day before the election, Homer successfully reveals the candidates' real identities. Realizing it is too late to get new candidates, one man in the crowd decides to vote for a third-party candidate. However, Kang and Kodos convince the crowd that doing so would be a wasted vote. Kang is elected President and forces the citizens of America to build a giant ray gun to aim at another planet, while Homer, forced to work just as much as the next person, tells others around that he for one is free of blame: his vote was for Kodos.
The 1996 Presidential election occurred a few days after the airing of this episode. According to Cohen, the "Citizen Kang" short violated every rule of The Simpsons as it locked the episode in one time and named specific candidates.
The sequence where tiny spaceships attack Bart marks one of the first uses of computers in Simpsons animation. The computer was used to build models for reference and the animators later retraced it.
"We've reached the limits of what rectal probing can teach us" is one of Matt Groening's favorite lines. Kang/Bob Dole's line "Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!" was named one of the best lines in the history of the show by the A.V. Club. There is a ska band named I Voted for Kodos, which got its name from this episode.