The spooky season keeps getting spookier with every day that passes. Before you start blasting This is Halloween you might want a try a lowkey build-up to the spookiest holiday of the year. In between all the costume hunting and horror marathons, you might want a more bite-sized spooky experience as a breather. Halloween-themed episodes of your favorite shows give you just that!
It’s always fun to see how your favorite shows incorporate real holidays, like Halloween, into their stories. Seeing the characters you know and love, celebrating a spooky holiday you also know and love, almost makes it feel like they are celebrating it with you (even if you watch those episodes on completely different times of the year).
Here are 15 episodes from shows that were able to do the Halloween spirit justice.
1. Epidemiology (Community, season 2 episode 6)
The study group finds itself in a zombie-like infested Greendale after the dean purchases some army surplus food for a college Halloween party. As the school is locked down, everyone must save themselves from infection. This episode has it all: action, drama, “zombies”, and hilarious lines all in less than 30 minutes.
Another Community Halloween episode worth mentioning may also be Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps from season 3 (episode 5). Britta’s anonymously answered personality tests reveals that one member of the beloved study group is actually a homicidal psychopath. What better way to find out who it is by telling scary stories and watching everyone’s reactions.
2. Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak (Stranger Things, season 2 episode 2)
Already a slightly unnerving show without the Halloween theme, this episode is one of many in season 2 that allowed Stranger Things to meet the incredibly high expectations that viewers had after devouring and loving the first season.
Will is readjusting after returning from the Upside Down, which has left some lingering effects. Eleven wants to go trick-or-treating while Nancy and Steve talk about Barb. This chilling episode was endowed with its trademark nostalgia and sense of reality that makes things more relatable and a tad bit spookier.
3. Halloween (The Office, season 2 episode 5)
The Office had numerous Halloween episodes during its 9-season run worth mentioning but it was this one that may be considered the cream of the crop. Michael’s desire to be liked by his employees is tested as he is tasked to fire someone before the day ends. Jim and Pam’s prank on Dwight might have gone a bit too far. It’s also filled with some fun and creative costumes (which more than one person may or may not have dressed up as).
4. Halloween (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, season 1 episode 6)
What Brooklyn Nine-Nine fan could ever forget one of the longest running gags on the show: the Halloween heist. The development of the Halloween heist gets increasingly funnier as the squad gets more and more chaotic. Once Halloween comes, it’s every person for themselves. While almost all Halloween heist episodes deserve to make this list, there is no beating the originator.
Jake challenges the uptight Holt to a spirited competition where he bets that he can steal Holt’s Medal of Valor before midnight. Whoever has the medal at the end of the night will be hailed as an “amazing detective/genius”.
5. The One with the Halloween Party (Friends, season 8 episode 6)
Monica decides to throw a Halloween party and boy does a lot happen. Phoebe invites her twin sister Ursula and meets her kind fiancée who Ursula seems to be deceiving. Chandler and Ross have a battle of the brawns that doesn’t really do any good for either of them. Rachel tries to prove that she’s ready for motherhood but instead ends up making trick-or-treaters cry. There are many reasons to love this episode which Lisa Kudrow herself dubbed as her own personal favorite.
6. Tricks and Treats (Freaks and Geeks, episode 3)
The show, gone too soon, only had one Halloween episode in their 1 season run, but dang did they make it count. Sam, Bill, and Neal walk the streets to go trick-or-treating for one last time. Being freshmen in high school, they find themselves in a weird crossroads when they aren’t exactly adults, but they aren’t children anymore either. While Sam’s trying to hang on to his childhood, Lindsay tries letting it go by ditching her mom who she was supposed to be handing out candy with to instead hang out with her new friends for some risky fun.
7. Treehouse of Horror (The Simpsons)
With The Simpsons running for as long as it has (34 seasons, believe it or not), they’ve made a fair share of high-quality Halloween episodes. Their Treehouse of Horror series is iconic, each containing vignettes of original and spoof/parody stories. For this spooky season you might want to check out the og episodes. Special mentions include of course the 1st Treehouse of Horror episode which started it all but also Treehouse of Horror IV and Treehouse of Horror V make for some great spooks and laughs. These episodes include shorts like their The Shining spoof, Homer making a deal with the devil, and Bart and Lisa investigating if Mr. Burns is a vampire.
8. Full Bars (Bob’s Burgers, season 3 episode 2)
Louise, Tina, and Gene are given permission to go trick or treating alone for the first time as Bob gets dragged to Teddy’s Halloween party which quickly becomes a murder mystery. Straying from their usual route, the kids find themselves in King Head’s Island. In this posh neighborhood, residents give out full-sized chocolate bars. But their sweet discovery soon turns sour when they see the hell hunt – some teenagers’ annual tradition of attacking kids on the streets. The kids now need to find a safe way home, avoiding getting hit by any urine-filled water balloons.
Another Bob’s Burgers Halloween episode honorable mention may be The Hauntening episode 3 of season 6. Louise never gets scared but this year the family is determined to get a scream of fright out of her.
9. Mr. Peanutbutter’s Boos (BoJack Horseman, season 5 episode 8)
BoJack is hosting his 25th annual Halloween Party and Mr. Peanutbutter is eager to bring his new (and much younger) girlfriend, Pickles. As we explore the party, time starts melding as we are shown parties of the past along with Mr. Peanutbutter’s partners of the past—even including a one, Jessica Biel. Usually the jolly character in the show, we see Mr. Peanutbutter’s relationship woes and how he contributes to these issues too. But the show is still able to do what it does best, sprinkling in the melancholy with its classic dry and offbeat humor (along with some nostalgic and fun Halloween costumes too).
10. Keaton (New Girl, season 3 episode 6)
Another show with a lot of memorable Halloween episodes. Though, for New Girl season 3’s Keaton may take the cake. In this episode we learn that Nick has been catfishing Schmidt for years, allowing him to believe that he has become a close intimate pen pal of the Michael Keaton. Since Schmidt is in a bad mood, they all try cheering him up as Michael Keaton, but the more they lie and try to fix things, the weirder (and funnier) it gets.
11. Slutty Pumpkin (How I Met Your Mother, season 1 episode 6)
More than seeing the amazing couples’ costumes that Lily and Marshall cook up, Halloween is the time for Ted to look for the “Slutty Pumpkin” who he met years ago wearing a pumpkin costume that was designed in a very risqué manner. In an attempt to find her, Ted goes to the same Halloween party every year dressed as the same thing he was in when he first met her: a “Hanging Chad” costume. Barney tries getting Ted to ditch the party while Marshall and Lily meet Robin’s new boyfriend. Ted does eventually meet the Slutty Pumpkin in season 7 but the reunion isn’t everything he hoped it would be.
12. Fright Knight (Danny Phantom, season 1 episode 13)
Another show with an already “spooky” premise, let’s take it back old school with the original animated teenage ghost himself (besides Casper ofc). Danny tries to best bully Dash at a haunted house decorating contest, but he ends up facing the formidable Spirit of Halloween, the Fright Knight. Get some spooks and a bought of nostalgia with this episode.
13. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Peanuts TV special)
Continuing with childhood classics, Peanut’s Halloween special may unlock some core memories in your mind and heart. While the rest of the Peanuts crew is preoccupied with what costumes to wear and trick or treating, Linus dedicates his night to what he believes Halloween it’s all about: waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive at their pumpkin patch. Originally airing in 1966 this sweet special makes you wonder if Linus has stayed loyal to the Great Pumpkin even after all these years.
14. The Rocky Horror Glee Show (Glee, season 2 episode 5)
It seemed only right that Glee would choose to do an homage to the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show for Halloween. The episode’s plot is filled with people walking in their underwear, Will and Carl trying to woo Emma, and the conniving cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester at it again. But what makes this episode most memorable are the covers and performances. Mercedes’ take on Sweet Transvestite is so sweet you might get a cavity. We also have Carl belting out Hot Patootie as he tries to impress Emma while Emma rehearses Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me with Will.
15. All-New Halloween Spooktacular! (WandaVision, episode 6)
The Maximoffs were supposed to spend Billy and Tommy’s first Halloween as a family – including extended family with Uncle (recasted) Pietro who suddenly showed up – but this Halloween night was more eventful than Wanda anticipated. Vision patrols the streets as a member of the neighborhood watch and sees some disturbing things the farther out of town he goes.
Watch your favorite shows spice it up with some tricks and treats. Maybe you’ll get some costume inspo from your favorite characters too.
Add these episodes to your list of rewatches for the Halloween season along with your horror and thriller movies. Happy Halloween!
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