Remember back in the 2000s, when The Simpsons would never get to run its annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes anywhere near Halloween? Sports broadcasts, usually baseball-related, would take up the back half of October’s schedule and make it impossible for anything else to run on Sundays. This trend lasted long enough for the show itself to goof on it a couple times.
Fortunately, in 2011 the show was able to escape that fate and start running Halloween-themed episodes in October again, as nature intended. That streak lasted until this year. Fox has announced that this year’s Treehouse of Horror will be delayed by one week because the MLB National League Championship Series has stretched itself to an unexpected seventh game.
Fortunately, this kind of thing doesn’t happen all the time, so we don’t expect this to be a regular occurrence. This also means that the Halloween-themed episodes of the other shows on the Animation Domination block, like Bob’s Burgers, will see those episodes air November 1.
From its basic description, Treehouse Of Horror XXXI doesn’t sound very horrific. Its centerpiece is a CGI-animated parody of Pixar movies where Bart’s toys get revenge after he mistreats them Sid-style. Then Homer gets into parodying that classic tale of macabre terror, Into The Spider-Verse, when he meets inter-dimensional versions of himself. The closest this episode might get to actual frights is a Russian Doll spoof where Lisa’s birthday keeps repeating. This is definitely one episode Marge won’t have to step in front of a curtain to warn anyone about.
Like the series itself, the Treehouse of Horror specials may never again reach the heights of quality they achieved in the 90s. But it’s still a Halloween tradition, and when you consider the recent fate of It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, we have to say…better late than never.