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Guillermo del Toro’s SIMPSONS Cold Open References Everything

Horror maestro and all around cool guy Guillermo del Toro was put in charge of the title sequence for this year’s “Treehouse of Horror,” the 24th installment of the annual Halloween-themed episode of The Simpsons. To say that he’s had some fun with it is an understatement. In the 2 minute and 45 second sequence, del Toro has put in literally dozens, if not hundreds, of references to movies, horror and otherwise, that he himself has made or not. Below, I’m going to attempt to tally them all up. Surely I will miss some, so if you find some I miss, feel free to add them in the comments.

1. Three-eyed raven, likely a reference to Game of Thrones.
2. Buncha guys killing zombies. I feel like this is something specific but I can’t tell.
3. In the wide shot you can see a Jaeger fighting a Kaiju from Pacific Rim.
4. Chief Wiggum as the Cyclops is a reference to The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
5. Alfred Hitchcock throws birdseed on Ms. Krabappel.
6. Bart writes the famous line from The Shining on the blackboard.
7. Stephen King is insane.
8. Groundskeeper Willie is Hellboy fighting Kroenen.
9. Homer turns into a Reaper from Blade II.
10. Carl turns into Blade.
11. Godzilla’s skeleton is buried underground.
12. Mr. Burns is the Pale Man and Smithers is *ahem* a fairy from Pan’s Labyrinth.
13. Maggie is on the conveyor belt with the vampire devices from Cronos.
14. Bunch of references to Mimic, or possibly Naked Lunch but I think it’s the first one.
15. All the different versions of the Phantom of the Opera (Lon Chaney, Herbert Lom, Claude Raines, a fourth guy)
16. The Phantom of the Paradise playing organ.
17. Cthulu
18. On the sidewalk there are H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man, Richard Matheson, and a light-sensitive mutant from The Omega Man.
19. Everybody’s being chased by the Universal Classic Monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Mutant from This Island Earth in the background, not the Gill Man but something like it, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man). That’s TWO Claude Raines references.
20. My favorite reference: Maggie drives the titular demonic automobile in The Car (and even kills Millhouse in a fashion from that film).

Here’s where I’m really going to get into trouble: From left to right –
21. Rod Serling.
22. The Robot from Lost in Space (not Robby from Forbidden Planet)
23. A weird green tentacle thing
24. The Xenomorph from Alien
25. Something spray painting “El Muerto.”
26. Graffiti of Hitchcock’s silhouette
27. Lon Chaney in London After Midnight
28. Skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts
29. Kang and Kodos way in the back
30. A Morlock from The Time Machine
31. The stupid creature from Robot Monster
32. Nosferatu
33. I think another Harryhausen creature (the lizard guy)
34. The Saucer Men from Invasion of the Saucer Men
35. The Fly
36. Gort and the ship from The Day the Earth Stood Still
37. I don’t know who that green guy in the foreground is
38. A couple of Freaks from Tod Browning’s Freaks
39. The Mummy
40. The Invisible Man
41. Rondo Hatton
42. The Grim Reaper
43. At the sofa, Homer is the kid from The Devil’s Backbone
44. Lisa falls through the couch and is all Alice in Wonderland-y
46. The end of Pan’s Labyrinth.

So, those are all the ones I caught, and clearly I missed some. I’d like to brag that I didn’t look any up, either, hence missing a few. Which ones did I not catch? Comment me, folks! And Happy Simpsonsween!


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  1. joe says:

    There’s a painting of the evil Great Pumpkin in the Phantom of the Opera scene.

  2. Rico says:

    Green guy is James Arness in the original The Thing from 1951, and the dude with the spray repellent may be from Mole People (Mole man is behind him).

  3. Joshua See says:

    Could the flying creatures at the very end be Kif’s for a second Futurama reference?

  4. Matt says:

    33 is the creature from 20 Million Miles to Earth

  5. Gorthaur says:

    Lard Lad Donuts fugure comig to life could be a reference to ghostbusters’ marsmallow man … i guess 🙂