Halloween episodes are a chance for TV shows to break with the formula and serve up something a little different and a little spooky. Here are ten of the greatest Halloween episodes of your favourite shows.
1. Friends: “The One with the Halloween Party”
Season eight may have been the Rachael is pregnant year, but all that took a backseat as the gang played dress up to hilariouseffect. Of the best costumes there is Joey dressed as Chandler, Monica and Phoebe keeping up the DC interest as Catwoman and Supergirl, but the prize has to go to Chandler as the giant bunny. Sorry Ross, no gets the Sputnik joke.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Fear Itself
For some reason Buffy only did a Halloween episode every two years. While season two’s “Halloween” deserves a mention (especially for Giles’ “ghost of what?” question), but the winner is season four’s “Fear Itself”. Mostly for the inspired costume choice by Oz. It was the label that launched a thousand lazy costumes.
3. The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror IV
With so many to choose from, of the first ten years at least, Treehouse of Horror IV fills The Simpsons place on this list. It’s a no brainer (actually that was Treehouse of Horror II), what with Bart’s Night Gallery intros, the greatest Dracula story ever told, and Blackbeard’s immortal complaint about the chair situation.
4. Freaks and Geeks: Tricks and Treats
Whether you considered yourself a freak or a geek there is something to take from the show’s Halloween episode. Whether it’s trick or treating when you feel too old to do it, the trouble you can get into when you’re old enough to do something else, or when you pick a costume that you think will be funny, but it’s used to make you a laughing stock. To real guys!
5. Parks and Recreation “Halloween Surprise”
Parks and Rec is a perfect comedy show: something that is proven by how easily they can have an episode with an extended fart joke (poor, poor Jerry) end with Ben proposing to Leslie. Yes, I was desperate for them to get together too.
6. Modern Family “Halloween”
Halloween is the holiday that you can make your own, at least that’s what Claire wanted in this episode of Modern Family. Back when the show could do no wrong, came this episode that examined Cam’s trick or treating childhood trauma, and Gloria go old testament on some neighbourhood kids. Good times.
7. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “Who Got Dee Pregnant?”
The gang perform their own Treehouse of Horror as Mac, Charlie and Dennis try to figure out if any of them got Dee pregnant. The problem is, it happened at the bar’s Halloween party, leading to three tales of chaos, and lots of drinking, that actually have nothing to do with Dee.
8. Brooklyn Nine Nine: The Halloween series
It’s hard to pick which Halloween episode holds the title of “best episode/super genius example of great comedy”, so don’t pick at all. Watch every one of them an bask in the detective/espionage skills of the Nine Nine.
9. Angel: “Life of the Party”
For a show that lived in the darkest arts of the paranormal (and also Los Angeles), it’s surprising that it took so long for Angel to attempt a Halloween episode. The basic premise is that Lorne removes his sleep in order to plan the biggest party that Wolfram and Hart has ever seen. The problem is that Lorne’s powers morph into the power of suggestion leading Fred and Wesley to be drunk, for Spike to have the best time, for Angel to have sex with a woman he hates, and best of all, Gunn pisses everywhere. “Life of the Party” provided a brief nugget of comedy before the darkness closed in once again.
10. Community, “Epidemiology”
Community was never a show to shy away from a themed episode, and “Epidemiology” rises to that challenge. Thanks to the Dean cutting corners and serving contaminated army surplus food at the Greendale Halloween party everyone becomes zombies. What follows is a celebration of horror movie tropes, and a heroic adventure for Troy.