"Treehouse of Horror XI" is the first episode of The Simpsons' twelfth season, as well as the eleventh Halloween episode. The episode aired on November 1, 2000, beginning a practice of the Halloween episodes debuting after the holiday itself due to the FOX network's World Series coverage. This was also the first Simpsons episode to have mixed-case closed captioning.
The opening sequence features a spoof on The Munsters
, with Homer
as Herman Munster
as Lily Munster
as Marilyn Munster
with a book on copyright law
as Eddie Munster
, and Abe
as Grandpa Munster
. At the front of their mansion, an angry mob of townspeople confront the Simpsons. They stab Marge and Grampa, set Homer on fire, and set a leghold trap on Bart. Then they shower off, leaving Lisa, who walks away. The intro was done in black-and-white
and the Simpsons
theme was done similar to the theme of The Munsters
At breakfast, Homer
reads his horoscope
), where it states that he will die that day, and someone will compliment him at work. Marge's horoscope says that her husband will die. Homer dismisses it and leaves for work. On his way to work, he narrowly escapes death several times. When he gets to the power plant Lenny compliments him... about the rattlesnake on his arm. Since he is still alive at the end of the day (despite multiple injuries and close calls) he scoffs at the horoscope, but is finally killed after eating some broccoli
, which Dr. Hibbert informs Marge is "the deadliest plant on Earth--why, it tries to warn you itself with its TERRIBLE taste!". When Homer reaches Heaven
, St. Peter
informs him that he hasn't done a good deed in his life, and in order to enter Heaven he must return to Earth as a ghost and do a good deed within 24 hours. Over the next 24 hours he tries to do good deeds but succeeds only in getting a noogie from Nelson and accidentally dropping Agnes Skinner to her death (Homer's claim that he's pretty sure she was going to be the next Hitler doesn't pass muster with Heaven) but with only one minute left, he grabs a baby from a runaway pram which then rolls into traffic and explodes. Confident that he will now get into Heaven, he returns to St. Peter, who apologizes as he had not been looking during Homer's good deed. Thus Homer is sent to Hell
, where Satan gives him noogies and asks him to stop yelling because he'll wake up John Wayne
, who it turns out has already gotten up for his Day in Hell.
Scary Tales Can Come True
are peasants living in a pumpkin cottage, with Homer as the village oaf. When Homer is fired and they cannot afford food, he vows that no child will go hungry in his home. He then tosses out Bart and Lisa into the nearby woods, where they find a former son and daughter pair who were also tossed out by Homer and are now skeletons. Lisa, using her book of Grimms' Fairy Tales, guides them through the forest's many dangers, including a troll
(portrayed by Moe
) hiding under a bridge and the Three Bears
. Meanwhile, Marge admonishes Homer for throwing out the kids, and orders him to get them back. While Homer is looking for his children he finds Rapunzel
's tower. Rapunzel asks Homer to rescue her and lowers her hair so that he can climb up to her window. But Homer is too heavy, and he is only able to climb part of the way up over Rapunzel's pained cries before his weight separates Rapunzel's hair (and possibly scalp
) from her head, causing Homer to plummet to the ground. Homer pushes the pile of hair behind a bush with his foot and runs away. The kids go to a gingerbread house where a witch
invites them inside. Soon Lisa is in chains and sweeping and Bart is being fattened up to be eaten, in a reference to Hansel and Gretel
. Before the witch can cook them, they distract her by saying she has no one to look good for, and when she claims her date (George Cauldron) is coming by soon for a date, Homer shows up eating his way into the gingerbread house. The witch zaps Homer repeatedly, making him part-chicken and part-fish among other things. She tries to stuff him in the oven, but Homer overpowers her and shoves her in, locking the door. As she dies, Homer reverts back to normal, and the family's surprised when a very handsome man named George Cauldron shows up for a date with "Suzanne". Later, the family is eating supper. Marge says that although they are poor, they will never go hungry again thanks to Homer, who can lay eggs with his chicken-lower body half.
The Night of the Dolphin
Lisa goes to Marine World
, a SeaWorld
-like park where she takes pity on a dolphin
called Snorky. Lisa sets Snorky free, but unknown to her, he is the king of the dolphins, and resents humans for forcing him to do tricks. He plots to take over the world. The dolphins begin their war by attacking Springfield, killing Lenny in the ocean (Chief Wiggum sees Lenny's obviously dolphin-caused wounds and blames rowdy teens for his death) and marching towards the town on their tails. Snorky interrupts a town meeting, takes the stage and tells Springfield that dolphins used to live on land, but were banished to the ocean by humans. As dolphin king, he then banishes all humans to the ocean. After a speech by Homer about mankind's many achievements, the humans decide not to submit to the dolphins' will without a fight. As the humans are walking out of the hall, Lisa sees a small dolphin with a set of bottle rings around its face, she takes it off and it bites her, making her say "Son of a..." but is cut off by Homer and a battle ensues between the dolphins and the humans. In the end the dolphins win the fight, and we see the Simpsons and other residents of Springfield floating in the ocean. Lisa regrets that her actions "doomed mankind", while Marge tells her that she is exaggerating and that they will just have to adjust to living in the ocean. Then Krusty's corpse floats over to her, disgusting her and making her nudge it away. Krusty's body floats over to join many other corpses; an overhead shot then shows the floating bodies are lined up to spell "THE END?". The beginning was based on the movie Free Willy
After the last story, the two aliens, Kang and Kodos, complain that they have been left out of the Halloween special. Suddenly, they receive a phone call from Old Navy, asking if the Rigellians can do a commercial, which they accept.
There is a scene from Kent Brockman's report on the dolphins that was cut out in syndication. After the dolphins warn him not to mention their attacks, he "corrects" himself with him saying "Killer Dolphins" and says "Killer Italians" (and features a photo of Luigi the chef).
This was the first episode to air on Channel 4 on November 5, 2004 as part of the show's UK terrestrial television relaunch evening.
- The title and plot of G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad is inspired by the Bill Cosby film, Ghost Dad.
- The scene in which a baby's carriage is sliding down the steps is a parody of a famous scene of the 1925 Sergei Eisenstein film The Battleship Potemkin.
- The plot of 'Scary Tales Can Come True' is mostly based on the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, and references other fairy tales as Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Bears, and Rapunzel, among others.
- When the Three Bears walk back into their house they are humming the tune "Teddy Bears' Picnic". The song was previously sung by Bart in the episode "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk".
- When the witch looks at her cauldron and says her date's name is George Cauldron, it references a Brady Bunch episode where Jan made up a boyfriend named George Glass after looking at a glass of water.
- Alex Albrecht sometimes makes a weird noise in the podcast Diggnation. In episode 95 (recorded April 26, 2007), he accredited the noise to the witch from Treehouse of Horror XI.
- The title of the third segment is a parody of George C. Scott's The Day of the Dolphin (1973). The voice Snorky uses at the beginning of his speech ("Snorky speak man") is similar to the way Fa speaks in the film.
- The scene in 'Night of the Dolphin' where Lenny is killed by dolphins is a parody of the opening scene of Jaws.
- The scene in 'Night of the Dolphin' where there are lots of dolphins in the street staring at the humans parodies Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.
- The scene in 'Night of the Dolphin' in which Snorky jumps over Lisa after she frees him is based on a similar scene in Free Willy.
- The third segment is recreated in The Simpsons Game, however the level is titled, The Day of the Dolphin, unrelated to the book of the same name.