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Which Character Has Died the Most in Treehouse of Horror?

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The Simpsons’ annual Treehouse of Horror specials have always been non-canon (although some were given technical ties to the more grounded regular continuity), allowing all sorts of supernatural and sci-fi elements to invade the series. This also means the shorts have a far more liberal approach to mortality, casually killing off plenty of central characters and then quickly bringing them back for the next segment. Season 6’s “Treehouse of Horror V” even poked fun at this concept by killing Groundskeeper Willie in the same way (with an ax to the back) in each episode’s three segments.

With over thirty entries in the Halloween anthologies — along with two additional episodes like Season 32’s “Thanksgiving of Horror” and Season 34’s “Not It” — this has meant plenty of characters have gotten killed in plenty of ways. There are certain segments that have destroyed the town or even the entire world, presumably killing the entire extended cast of the show. Some examples include the nuclear plant destroying the town in “The Ned Zone” from Season 16’s “Treehouse of Horror XV” or when the Mayan Gods destabilize the planet in the opening segment to Season 24’s “Treehouse of Horror XXIII.” Still, implied deaths and transformations (like Homer’s transformation into a Jack-in-the-Box in Season 3’s “Treehouse of Horror II”) notwithstanding, here is a breakdown of the biggest casualty counts of the Treehouse of Horror specials.

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How The Simpsons Meet Their Ends

As the central characters of the show — and often the focus of the horror-tinted segments — the Simpsons family have among the highest death counts in the specials. As an infant, it makes sense that Maggie would have the lowest death count of the family, but she’s still died 12 times. Marge has died a few more times, for a total of 15. Both typically die with the entire family, but Marge has also died twice by her own hand. Lisa has 21 deaths, largely stemming from the Russian Doll parody starring her and Nelson from Season 32’s “Be Nine, Rewind.” Bart likewise has a similar higher count with 26 deaths, thanks to his multiple demises at the hand of Sideshow Bob in Season 27’s “Treehouse of Horror XXVI.”

By far, the central family member with the most character deaths is Homer Simpson. As arguably the show’s main character and biggest punching bag, Homer makes for an ideal target in these episodes. His general buffoonery also means Homer can die in particularly gruesome ways, which means that compared to his family, Homer has died 36 times. This doesn’t include the numerous clones of Homer who die in “Send in the Clones” from Season 14″s “Treehouse of Horror XIII,” which would have placed Homer well into the triple digits. However, the clones are treated as separate entities to Homer himself.

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How The Rest Of Springfield Dies

Despite the Springfield Elementary School characters being typically children, this doesn’t exempt them from getting some shockingly high death counts. Bart’s frequent bullies have died multiple times, notably, Jimbo — who has 12 deaths across the episodes — in one of the show’s scariest segments. Ralph has died 13 times in often comically over-the-top ways. Milhouse by contrast has died a total of 13 times in a typically more brutal fashion. The most consistent child causality is actually Nelson, who has died 17 times. Similar to Lisa, this can be largely seen as the result of his numerous deaths in “Rewind, Be Nine.”

Most of the rest of the town has been shown to be killed at some point or another, as well, though not to the level of Homer and the rest of the family. Krusty has died 11 times, most recently at the conclusion of the show’s It parody. Groundskeeper Willie has been shown dying frequently as a joke, reaching 14 deaths thanks in part to his four on-screen confirmed deaths in “Treehouse of Horror V.” Homer’s friend and local bartender Moe has died 16 times, usually in a gruesome manner.

As the typical villain of many storylines, it’s not surprising to see Mr. Burns with a decent death count, having died 18 times across the various anthologies. Ned Flanders — the family’s consistently nice neighbor, arguably Homer’s best friend and a frequent Treehouse villain — has died 19 times on-screen. In addition to that, he’s appeared as the villain in multiple segments, even sometimes taking on the role of the devil. However, thanks to their central role in the show, the Simpsons have, by far, the highest death count in the “Treehouse of Horror” specials.

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