Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 16: Invading the Treehouse of Horror!


By Shawn Robare

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

Today’s spooks, though not terrible scary are kind of neat in that I’m pretty darn sure they’re some sort of weird reference to the Simpsons.  They’re also linked to a monster I shared on last year’s countdown, that I’ve reposted below…

Hailing from episode 121, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, we have Foul and Peg, the parents of two precocious rag-a-muffins and a dog/tick creature that are all looking for a new place to live.  Apparently, while the Ghostbusters are on a camping trip, a supernatural real estate agent starts showing the firehouse and this nuclear family decides they’ll take the place.  They throw out all the Ghostbusters equipment and remodel the place to look like the Munster’s or Addams’ family estates and of couse, the guys return and hilarity ensures.  Well, kind of.

I was kind of bummed watching this episode because of the obvious missed opportunity.  See, instead of featuring a story about a supernatural real estate agency showing potential properties for ghosts to haunt, the writers took the gag to literally and actually had the monsters move in.  It would have been so much more interesting had it been more of a haunting that the guys were unaware of until the ghosts starting making themselves at home.  Instead we get weird squatters that let loose all the ghosts in the containment unit because they feel that they’re the real squatters.  It just comes of convoluted and werid.  Sigh.

  

Anyway, what I find the most interesting about this episode is the similarity in character design to the Simpsons.   At first I thought that this was just one hell of a coincidence and that the Ghostbusters episode was released before the Simpsons debuted, but after digging a little I noticed that this episode premiered in November of 1990.  Heck by then we’d already had our first glimpse at the Treehouse of Horror episode of the Simpsons, and by then they were practically a full blown phenomena!  There’s no way that these ghosts are just coincidentally linked to the designs of the Simpsons, but why?  I don’t get the homage or the gag.  Just weird.

Oh, and this crazy Bart monster above is named Bob (at least I believe his is, the audio was kind of garbled in the episode…)

Come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I count down towards one of my favorite on Halloween day!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

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  • Alexander

    Judging from the names of the parents it sound like they tried to sneak in a Married with Children reference as well.

  • Both Fox

    Married with Children and Simpsons were both FOX shows at that time-late 80s, early 90s. My guess would be their most popular sitcoms, I can\\\’t think of any others off the top of my head during those years. What station had the Ghostbusters cartoon?

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