"'Treehouse of Horror XX" is the fourth episode of Season 21. The episode first aired on October 18, 2009 on Fox and features three self-contained segments. An estimated 8.59 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode.
As various Gothic monsters Frankenstein's Monster, Count Dracula, a Mummy, and the Wolfman take a stroll around town on Halloween, they are bullied by Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney for having "lame costumes". Deciding to buy actual costumes at a shop (Spongebob Squarepants, Iron Man, Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series and Harry Potter, respectively), they put them on and go over to the Simpson house. At the house they meet various women at the Halloween party, they begin flirting with them, and then suddenly the monsters' wives gatecrash the party and accuse that their husbands are cheating instead of going to kill children. When Homer then tries to convince the female monsters that their husbands weren't cheating because they were wearing costumes, the wives tear his head off and throw it into a bowl, having his eyes turn into the Roman numeral XX, which stands for 20.
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In a parody of Strangers on a Train, Lisa gets angry at Miss Hoover for not choosing her to represent the class at a reading roundup is is given detention. When in detention, she notices Bart is there too, upon which they concoct a plan together, during which Bart tells her that he'll get revenge on Miss Hoover if she gets revenge on Mrs. Krabappel for putting him in detention. Lisa ding-dong-ditches Mrs. Krabappel, but Bart kills Miss Hoover. When Bart wants to work out how girls Lisa finds out Bart killed Principal Skinner, after which Lisa decides she has to kill Bart herself. When chasing him with a knife, they eventually get on a merry-go-round. Ultimately deciding not to kill him, Lisa throws her knife in the air instead, which then plummets back down, killing Bart. Lisa and Mrs. Krabappel then walk off, smiling at one another.
In a parody of 28 Days Later and Children of Men, Kent Brockman is reporting Krusty's new Burger², which is a new burger invented from cannibalistic cows. Despite this madness, everyone seems eager to eat the new burger, jokingly labelled a "crime against nature" by Kent who is the first person to have a bite. Unfortunately for him, Nature will be vengeful. Within seconds, he transforms into a pale, red-eyed zombie called a Muncher. He bites Krusty, who also becomes a Muncher. When a Muncher bites another person, that person also becomes infected with the virus and turns into another Muncher, giving them extremely pale skin and red eyes. Soon, the virus conquers Springfield with a vast majority of its inhabitants as Munchers, including Ned Flanders, Lurleen Lumpkin, Jack Marley, Cookie Kwan and Cletus and Brandine Spuckler; Moe is captured by the Munchers, but does not put up any resistance (seemingly because he has nothing to lose) and instead advises them to wash him before eating him, which they appreciate. In response, the Simpsons have boarded up their house completely and refuse to let anyone in; however, Bart sneaks out and against all common sense a Burger², without suffering any ill effects, leaving his parents puzzled.
Homer uses Bart's head to dial buttons on the phone to call Doctor Hibbert who is besieged by Munchers in his office. While fighting them off with a variety of medical equipment, and eventually getting bitten while requesting that they tell his wife that he loves her, Hibbert says that it's possible that Bart is immune to the burgers' virus and instructs them to go to a "safe zone". When the family tries to sneak out of the house to the car (which is inexplicably unharmed when everything else is destroyed) to take Bart to the safe zone, Homer exclaims loudly his relief for getting out of the house, attracting virtually the entire Muncher population of Springfield. Homer tries to hold the door shut, but it collapses under the onslaught. Fleeing through the living room, Homer shouts to flee to the non-existent panic room as Munchers come down the chimney. They are forced to detour through the kitchen when a zombie Rod and Todd come through the cat flap, barely avoiding Grampa when he bursts through the window. Rainier Wolfcastle kills the Munchers blocking the door and says in Terminator fashion "Come with me, if you want to live", but is immediately swarmed and eaten as Homer remarks on "another politician who can't keep his promises". At that moment, Apu (who is uninfected due to his vegetarianism, and the fact that, as a store clerk, he has weapons stocked, while his wife was seen as a muncher) arrives in an armored SUV, driving the family out of Springfield; on the way, Helen Lovejoy attacks the car and, though initially reluctant because Helen is Lisa's godmother, Marge relents and shoots her off the truck after Apu tells her to "Apologize in Hell!". However, the SUV gets stuck on a pile of junk at the city dump. Apu sends the vehicle on its way by pushing it down the pile, (unintentionally) staying behind as he gets devoured. When the SUV runs out of fuel, the Simpsons are forced to travel the rest of the path on foot with Homer guarding them with an m14.
On the way, they notice Mr. Burns and Smithers lying unconscious by the road. Homer takes the opportunity to make fun of his boss, who springs to un-life and bites Homer's hand, infecting him as well. When Homer rejoins the family, they all notice his changes. Bart rips the rifle out of his hands threatens to kill him, until Marge takes the gun for herself and points out that he can be cured, once at the safe zone. With Homer seemingly being able to hold back his urge to kill, they make it to the safe zone, wherein a stationed soldier says they need to eat Bart to gain his immunity. Not wanting to sacrifice her son, Marge advocates for an alternative.
Some time later, Lisa narrates that the world has returned to normal, as the survivors gained immunity to the Muncher plague and the surviving Munchers were cured, by taking soup with Bart's antibodies (something made possible due to putting him inside the cooking pot) Only Homer remains infected and locked up in a cage, seemingly because he refuses to eat food his son has been bathing in leaving him not complaining.
In a parody of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, in which is the style of a stage play, Homer and Marge are at Moe's Tavern together. Homer falls down the door that leads to the boiler room, and is impaled on a brewing machine. Moe doesn't want Marge to know that this happened, so he tells her that Homer wants to leave her to see what it's like to be gay. They drink beer together (which got mixed with Homer's blood). Marge decides to say yes, but later, Homer appears with what pumps the beer at the bar attached to him and attacks Moe. Even though Homer has a pump through his back Marge still loves Homer.
During the intermission, Kang and Kodos are within the massive audience. Kang says that this is the best play in lightyears, while Kodos reminds him that lightyears is a measure of distance.
At the end, in a parody of the show's closing sequence, everyone in the segment except for Kang and Kodos sing "Number XX". To the tune of the Simpsons Theme Song, the cast sings to the audience, telling them that they hope they enjoyed this years Halloween episode. Where Kodos then shushes the audience, gesturing at Kang, who has fallen asleep with the playbill over his helmet.
The episode was watched by 8.59 million viewers and was the most watched of "Animation Domination," which was ahead of American Dad! and The Cleveland Show.
IGN praised the episode by saying "it was a fine addition to the series' Halloween specials". The Sweeney Todd segment was "a nice treat". "Treehouse of Horror XX" won an award for "Best Writing in a Television Production" at the 37th Annie Awards.