Kang and Kodos are a duo of recurring characters in the animated television series The Simpsons, voiced respectively by Harry Shearer and Dan Castellaneta. They are a pair of alien siblings from the planet Rigel IV who appear almost exclusively in the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes. Sometimes their appearance is the focus of a plot, other times a brief cameo. Kang and Kodos are often bent on the conquest of Earth and are usually seen working on sinister plans to invade and subjugate humanity.
An unofficial rule for the writers is that Kang and Kodos must appear in every Halloween episode. Despite this rule, the writers say the duo will often be forgotten and are added at the last second, leading to brief appearances.
Traditionally, Kang and Kodos appeared in every single Treehouse of Horror episode as a part of a story's plotline or as cameos. They almost did not make the cut in "Treehouse of Horror VIII", but David X. Cohen managed to persuade the producers to keep the scene.
Kang and Kodos were originally going to make regular appearances in the show. One idea was that only Homer could see them and everyone else would think he was crazy whenever he talked about them. However the concept was "too far out", leading to the characters only appearing in the "Treehouse of Horror" specials. In some appearances, Kang and Kodos will laugh hysterically for several seconds, due to the episodes running short during production.
Virtually identical in appearance, one of the few distinguishing characteristics concerns the duo's voices as Kang's is deeper. In "Treehouse of Horror VII", it is revealed that Kodos is Kang's sister; this has rarely been mentioned in subsequent appearances, but is frequently brought up in their appearances in the Simpsons comic books.
Appearances in Halloween episodes
Kang and Kodos have appeared in every "Treehouse of Horror" episode to date and have played major roles in "Treehouse of Horror I", "Treehouse of Horror II", "Treehouse of Horror VII", "Treehouse of Horror IX", "Treehouse of Horror XVII", "Treehouse of Horror XVIII", and "Treehouse of Horror XXX". The rest of their appearances were cameos, although both appeared in the opening segment of "Treehouse of Horror X", "Treehouse of Horror XIV", "Treehouse of Horror XV" and "Treehouse of Horror XVI". Kang and Kodos's cameo appearances normally occur in the midst of the segments which will suddenly cut away to the duo.
Kang and Kodos have made rare appearances in non-"Treehouse of Horror" episodes, such as "Behind the Laughter" and "Gump Roast", and had a non-speaking cameo in "The Springfield Files" on a line-up with other aliens. Their most prominent appearance outside of the "Treehouse" episodes was in "The Man Who Came to Be Dinner", in which the Simpsons accidentally blast off in a rocket ship that takes them to Rigel IV (their appearance there is lampshaded by Homer saying "This isn't Halloween!").
- "Treehouse of Horror" - In their debut appearance, Kang and Kodos capture the Simpson family and feed them exquisite cuisine. Lisa becomes suspicious of their intentions and, after finding a cookbook seemingly titled How to Cook Humans, accuses Kang and Kodos of wanting to eat the Simpson family. However, unlike later appearances, Kang and Kodos actually have no villainous intentions and are outraged by this accusation (the cookbook was actually titled How to Cook for Forty Humans).
- "Treehouse of Horror II" - In their second appearance, Kang and Kodos appear in Lisa's nightmare. They decide to take over the Earth after the citizens had declared world peace due to a wish that Lisa makes on a monkey's paw, but are ultimately foiled when Ned Flanders uses the monkey's paw to wish for them to go away.
- "Treehouse of Horror VII" - In the episode that ran before the 1996 presidential election, Kang and Kodos impersonate Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and run against each other. When Homer exposes them, the Americans declare they will just vote for a third party candidate, but Kang convinces them that would be a waste of a vote. In the end, Kang is elected president.
- "Treehouse of Horror IX"
- "Treehouse of Horror XVIII"
- "Treehouse of Horror XXX"
- "Treehouse of Horror III" - In the segment "Dial 'Z' for Zombies", Kang and Kodos observe the zombies attacking Springfield from their spaceship and laugh maniacally.
- "Treehouse of Horror IV" - In the segment "Terror at 5½ Feet", Kang and Kodos observe Bart being unable to convince anyone that there's a gremlin on the side of the school bus and laugh maniacally about it.
- "Treehouse of Horror V" - In the segment "Time and Punishment", Kang and Kodos observe how Homer keeps messing up history due to his accidental time-traveling escapades. They proceed to laugh maniacally about this, when suddenly their heads are replaced by those of Mr. Peabody and Sherman from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
- "Treehouse of Horror VI" - Kang and Kodos appear in the segment "Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores".
- "Treehouse of Horror VIII"
- "Treehouse of Horror X" - Kang and Kodos appear only in the title sequence.
- "Treehouse of Horror XI" - Kang and Kodos appear at the very end of the episode, lamenting the fact that they were left out of the show. They then receive a phone call offering them to do a commercial for Old Navy.
- "Treehouse of Horror XII" - Kang and Kodos appear as guests at the wedding of the Fortune Teller and the Leprechaun at the end of the first segment.
- "Treehouse of Horror XIII"
- "Treehouse of Horror XIV"
- "Treehouse of Horror XVI" - At the beginning of this episode, Kang and Kodos are watching FOX's broadcast of an exceedingly long, boring World Series baseball game and impatiently waiting for it to end so the Simpsons Halloween special can air. Frustrated with the slow pacing of the game, Kang fires an accelerator beam to speed it up, despite his sister's warnings. He ends up creating a black hole that sucks up the entire universe and leaves a post-it note on the now-blank screen displaying the episode's title.
- "Treehouse of Horror XVII"
- "Treehouse of Horror XIX"
- "Treehouse of Horror XX" - Kang and Kodos appear among the audience members watching the musical There's No Business Like Moe Business.
- "Treehouse of Horror XXI"
- "Treehouse of Horror XXII"
- "Treehouse of Horror XXIII"
- "Treehouse of Horror XXIV"
- "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" - Kang and Kodos once again appear only at the very end of the episode to lament their cameo status. Their shot is then suddenly windowboxed to the 4:3 aspect ratio. ("Just because it looks like Season 4 doesn't make it Season 4!")
- "Treehouse of Horror XXVII" - Either Kang or Kodos appear as one of the villains (alongside Sideshow Bob, the ghost of Frank Grimes, and the Leprechaun from "Treehouse of Horror XII") who team up to kill the Simpsons in the opening segment.
- "Treehouse of Horror XXXII"
- "Halloween of Horror" - In the series' first and currently only non-"Treehouse" Halloween episode, Kang and Kodos seemingly appear at the end to lampshade the fact that it was not the Simpsons' typical Halloween experience; however, they are quickly revealed to actually be Lenny and Carl in costumes.