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Those Guillermo Del Toro (And More) Simpsons References Explained!
Here's what we spotted in the director's opening sequence; how many did you catch?

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Lisa’s music lesson has been crashed by four Phantoms of the Opera – a sort of original, “classic” design, plus Lon Chaney, Herbert Lom and Claude Rains...


...Lisa’s unruly sax playing reveals that Winslow Leach, The Phantom of the Paradise, is leading the session. (Forumite Whazzupfrogzntoadz points out that the paintings visible on the wall as Lisa leaves all refer to previous Treehouses of Horror).


Dodging a zombiefied Nelson, Bart skateboards over Cthulhu (is this a hint of del Toro's At The Mountains Of Madness plans? Probably not really)...


...who it’s revealed is having tea with his creator HP Lovecraft.


As Bart skates on, we also see Edgar Allen Poe with his Raven, Ray Bradbury illustrating a man...


...and Richard Matheson, shaking his head sadly because his I Am Legend vampire looks the way they do in The Omega Man.


A mob of villagers (Mo and Skinner at the head) is chased by torch-bearing Universal monsters: the Frankenstein creature, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, The Creature From Black Lagoon...


The Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Metalunen from This Island Earth.


On the bridge, Maggie is driving the car from The Car...


...with Milhouse the unfortunate cyclist.


Driven into the river, he’s munched by a giant Blinky. Incidentally, this whole sequence (apart from the fish) is from The Car, but Milhouse on the bike is also giving us flashbacks to It and In the Mouth of Madness. Is that just us? 

An incredibly busy panning wide-shot. We’ve got Del Toro’s giant Lovecraftian Elemental from Hellboy 2; the Lost in Space robot escorting Rod Serling from the scene (a joke that works even better if you know that CBS cancelled The Twilight Zone and replaced it with Lost in Space); Kang and Kodos crashing their saucer into the power plant stacks; Ray Harryhausen’s Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth; Lon Chaney in London After Midnight... 

...Geiger’s Alien almost hidden behind a wall; a Morlock from The Time Machine; Ro-Man from Robot Monster (the gorilla in the fishbowl helmet); Hans Moleman painting Hitchcock’s silhouette on a wall; three Ray Harryhausen / Jason and the Argonauts skeletons (also a possible nod to Army of Darkness)...


...two Saucer Men (from Invasion of the Saucer Men); Nosferatu; The Fly; Gort and a flying saucer from The Day The Earth Stood Still; a pinhead and Johnny Eck from Tod Browning’s Freaks... 

...The Mummy and the Invisible Man again; Rondo Hatton; and The Grim Reaper. The lizard-like creature writing “El Muerto” next to Hans is one of The Mole People, reckons our commenter Dellamorte Dellamore; the satellite thing is the spaceship from The First Men On The Moon (thanks, Drew42); and the bald green guy in the foreground is the original 1951 The Thing From Another World (good spot, Hammerfan).

Here we are at the house, does Lisa’s red hat refer to something? We’d suggest Don’t Look Now, but that was a raincoat, not an ensemble with a pillbox hat...


...With Maggie still driving in the black car, she illuminates the inside of the garage. Are there always gas masks and an axe in the garage?


Homer doing a Blade 2 Reaper again just before Maggie runs him over, leading to…


...The couch! Homer’s re-appeared as the ghost from The Devil’s Backbone. Marge is still a roach....


Lisa gets sucked into the sofa and falls down an Alice-like rabbit hole.


Lisa lands and is confronted by Futurama’s Hypnotoad, playing the role of Pan’s Labyrinth’s giant amphibian, after which, mesmerised... 


we find ourselves back in Pan’s Labyrinth, with Homer and Marge recast as the King and Queen of the Underworld... 


...and Bart as The Faun.


The sequence ends with Lisa smiling surrounded by fairies from Pan's Labyrinth. Fancy watching it all again?


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Your Comments

1 Ralph
Ralph's fate and the ice-cream is an obvious reference to Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy and that one scene under the church with the reporter in Hot Fuzz. More

Posted by oldmanrupee on Monday October 21, 2013, 22:52

2 RE: Nelson?!?!
Giger's alien, not Geiger, and, for good measure, it's pronounced Geeger, just in case there was any doubt. More

Posted by Sebstantial on Wednesday October 16, 2013, 22:15

3 Nelson?!?!
Unless I'm mistaken, isn't the "zombified Nelson" actually a zombified Comic Book Guy? Hate to be picky but they are different. More

Posted by cos1042 on Wednesday October 9, 2013, 21:30

Could the flying dragons be Nazgul / Ring Wraiths on Wings from Lord of the Rings? More

Posted by neale76 on Wednesday October 9, 2013, 07:28

In the same panel as Gort (and a xenomorph) Moleman is painting the logo from Alfred Hitchcock Presents on the wall next to El Barto. More

Posted by djdarrenjames on Tuesday October 8, 2013, 03:39

6 Millhouse eaten by giant fish
Is this a nod to The Host? When the guy at the beginning is committing suicide by jumping off the bridge and then gets eaten by the monster before he hits the water? More

Posted by Vin Kelly on Monday October 7, 2013, 13:42

7 lisa's red hat
lisa's red hat is a cinema ushers from the states. thought it had something to do with the shining. but try googling cinema usher red hat and just get usher the 90's pal of trousersnake. anyone confirm creepy cinema ushers with red hats in movies? cheers More

Posted by neildfraser on Sunday October 6, 2013, 23:33

8 lisa's red hat
lisa's red hat is a cinema ushers from the states. thought it had something to do with the shining. but try googling cinema usher red hat and just get usher the 90's pal of trousersnake. anyone confirm creepy cinema ushers with red hats in movies? cheers More

Posted by neildfraser on Sunday October 6, 2013, 23:33

9 Maggie & Gerald
Isn't this a reference to Naked Lunch? More

Posted by Stuart Cooper on Sunday October 6, 2013, 21:45

10 Price Tags
The only reference I've been able to find to $75, $50 and 2 cents are the bounties on bears, foxes and rabbits respectively in 1949's 'Rebel Rabbit' cartoon - one of the rare Bugs Bunny cartoons where he "loses" at the end. Absolutely no idea how or why it's linked, if it is at all! More

Posted by elyoda on Sunday October 6, 2013, 19:34

The binoculars in the garage, rear window? More

Posted by lozz_c on Sunday October 6, 2013, 10:59

12 RE:
L: Youshouldberunning Isn't that a Morlock (from The Time Machine) climbing out of a hole behind Hans Moleman's wall? hey've already got that one. More

Posted by Osric on Saturday October 5, 2013, 21:57

Isn't that a Morlock (from The Time Machine) climbing out of a hole behind Hans Moleman's wall? More

Posted by Youshouldberunning on Saturday October 5, 2013, 13:44

14 Paintings when Lisa leaves the music room
The other paintings on the wall when Lisa leaves the music room all refer to previous Treehouse of Horror episodes, on the left is a group shot of the cast as animals from ep XIII 'The Island of Dr. Hibbert', and the two on the right are of a giant pumpkin from ep XIX's 'It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse' and Homer sat in an armchair from the first Halloween special's 'The Raven'. More

Posted by whazzupfrogzntoadz on Saturday October 5, 2013, 11:01

15 Military vs Zombies
I am not 100% sure about this, but when I saw soldiers vs zombies, I remembered "28 days later", the part where Cillian Murphy and the two girls are "rescued" by Christopher Eggleston and his men, when they leave London. More

Posted by micheltorres on Friday October 4, 2013, 23:17

16 oil drum
in the garage on the right hand side at the rear is an oil drum with something leaking from it is this a nod to return of the living dead perhaps? More

Posted by The Waco Kid on Friday October 4, 2013, 21:44

17 We also see Clthuthu
And we know GDT REALLY wants to make At The Mountains of Madness More

Posted by Teamwak on Friday October 4, 2013, 20:46

18 Is that Calumet baking powder?
in the garage on the left More

Posted by Gram Woods on Friday October 4, 2013, 20:30

19 Tod Browning's Freaks
That's not "a midget from Tod Browning's Freaks". That is Johnny Eck, the half-boy. And I learned that from Empire Magazine :) (although I can't find which issue the article was in). More

Posted by matsnowie on Friday October 4, 2013, 19:45

20 The First Men in the Moon
Same panel as Gort and the Day the Earth Stood Still. The ball with the segments is from the 1964 film based on HG Wells book. The panels were coated with Cavorite. More

Posted by !ntervention on Friday October 4, 2013, 19:32

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