"Treehouse of Horror XVII" is a Halloween-themed episode from the eighteenth season of the animated comedy series The Simpsons. It was first broadcast in the United States on the Fox Network on November 5, 2006.
In common with all previous Simpsons Halloween episodes, the program is composed of three self-contained stories; "Married to the Blob", "You Gotta Know When to Golem" and "The Day the Earth Looked Stupid". In the first story, which references the 1985 horror movie The Stuff and the 1958 horror movie The Blob, Homer Simpson transforms into a gigantic man-eating monster when he eats a gooey substance that he finds inside a meteorite. In the second story, which features the voices of the Jewish American performers Richard Lewis and Fran Drescher, Bart Simpson takes possession of a golem and orders it to do his bidding. The final story references both the panic caused by Orson Welles' radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, which was broadcast on the day before Halloween in 1938 and led many people to believe that aliens were invading the Earth, and the Iraq War which began in 2003.
The opening sequence features the Simpsons regular characters Mr. Burns, Smithers and Moe the bartender in unusual roles. In a parody of the opening credits of the late 1980s/early 1990s TV show Tales from the Crypt, the viewer is led into a crypt which contains several coffins. One of the coffins opens and a great many rats, snakes, spiders and finally rabbits emerge, before Mr. Burns as the "master of sare-emonies" rises up from it. It is revealed that Burns and the zombie Smithers are keeping Moe as a prisoner. The bartender is locked in an iron maiden, his blood emerges from the bottom of it and forms the words "Treehouse of Horror XVII"; Moe is very impressed that his "genius" blood can shape itself into words and Roman numerals.
"Married to the Blob"
A meteorite lands near the Simpsons' home and cracks open to reveal that it contains a green goo. Ignoring the protestations of his children and his wife Marge, Homer Simpson puts the goo on a stick and eats it. He is undeterred by the fact that the goo is obviously alive and tries to get away from him.
Later that evening, Homer wakes up feeling extremely hungry. He eats all of the food in the house before eating the cat and attempting to eat his son Bart, Marge stopping him before he can eat the boy. Homer, now hideously obese, goes out in search of more food, showing a preference for eating fat people. He soon transforms into a gigantic yellowish green blob.
Homer continues to go on a man-eating rampage until he is confronted by his family and celebrity doctor Phil McGraw. Dr. Phil tells Homer that he risks alienating his family through his behavior. Homer promises to change his ways, but eats Dr. Phil anyway.
Homer promises to use his monstrous hunger "only for good". A new homeless shelter is opened in the town of Springfield, the vagrants who enter it find themselves being swallowed by Homer.
"You Gotta Know When to Golem"
Bart Simpson goes backstage after a taping of The Krusty the Clown show to complain to its star about a dangerously defective Krusty the Clown alarm clock. Bart notices a clay statue which Krusty tells him is the original Golem of Prague. Krusty explains that the golem has been passed down through generations of his family and that the living statue obeys his every command. Krusty further explains that all commands for the Golem of Prague have to be written on a scroll and placed in the golem's mouth. Having learnt how to command the clay statue, Bart writes a command telling the golem to come to his house.
Bart uses the golem to torment his father and his principal, who is eventually killed. His sister Lisa thinks that the golem does not like carrying out Bart's unpleasant tasks. She writes the command "Speak" and passes it to the golem. Once the golem is able to talk, he reveals that he is indeed ashamed of the things which Bart made him do. To cheer him up, the Simpsons make a female golem out of colorful modeling clay. The two golems are married at a ceremony performed by Rabbi Krustowsky, Krusty the Clown's father. The female golem persuades Springfield's chief of police, Chief Wiggum, not to arrest the Golem of Prague for his crimes, promising the police chief some pan-fried latkes in return.
"The Day the Earth Looked Stupid"
On October 30, 1938, Marge and Homer Simpson are listening to the radio and dancing to Billie Holiday's "Gloomy Sunday". The radio broadcast is interrupted by the announcement that an alien invasion of the Earth has begun. The citizens of Springfield panic and begin rioting and looting. The police throw away their guns, assuming that they will be useless against the aliens' advanced weaponry. Marge Simpson says that the aliens have only attacked people, not animals, so far. To pass themselves off as animals, the people of Springfield take off all their clothes and spend the rest of the day making animalistic noises and rolling around in mud.
The following day, Lisa Simpson tells the muddy naked people of Springfield that there was no alien invasion. What they had heard was a radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds directed by Orson Welles. The furious citizens of Springfield vow that they will never be conned in such a way again.
The aliens Kang and Kodos see the perfect opportunity to begin an invasion of Earth, knowing that the people of Springfield will think that it is just another hoax from Orson Welles. They begin to attack the town but its people refuse to believe the aliens are really there, even when Orson Welles comes to Springfield to say that this time the alien invasion is genuine.
The final scene of the story takes place three years later. In the smoldering remains of Springfield, Kang and Kodos comment that "Operation Enduring Occupation" has not been easy and say that they cannot understand why they were not welcomed as liberators after they destroyed all of Earth's weapons of mass destruction.
- ↑ An anochronism, since Billie Holiday's version of "Gloomy Sunday" was not recorded until 1941.