Continuing with my Halloween theme, I wanted to talk about television and my favorite Halloween TV episodes and specials. I originally had intended to put only 13, y’know, because it’s a spooky number, but I completely forgot about the New Girl episode “Keaton” and expanded it to 14. I regret nothing. Anyway, most if not all of these are available for viewing on Netflix, Hulu, and, of course, YouTube. Watch them if you dare!
“Tricks & Treats”, Freaks and Geeks
S01.E03 Original Air Date: 30 October 1999
Ah, what a classic. Sam and the Geeks go trick-or-treating and the community isn’t too psyched to give candy to a bunch of high schoolers. Lindsay and the Freaks go out and smash some mailboxes. Two very different and very real sides of what goes on during Halloween night.
“The Haunted Mask, Parts 1 & 2”, Goosebumps
S01.E01, S01.E02 Original Air Date: 27 October 1995
I had nightmares about “The Haunted Mask” for years. I think it’s part of the reason I’m so freaked by masks (the other part being the sweaty, icky-ness of them).
S02.E06 Original Air Date: 28 October 2010
Lots of ABBA, lots of rabies. This episode runs true to the ongoing theme of Community using different directorial styles as a way of effective storytelling. This episode is filmed like a zombie apocalypse and it’s nothing short of brilliant.
“Horror Fiction in 7 Spooky Steps”, Community
S03.E05 Original Air Date: 27 October 2011
“Horror Fiction in 7 Spooky Steps” is quite similar to my all-time favorite episode of Community, “Remedial Chaos Theory”. The gang is sitting around in the library, each telling their own horror story, in order for Britta to find out who in the group is a psychopath. Cue hilarity.
“Halloween”, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
S02.E06 Original Air Date: 27 October 1997
When I first saw this episode of Buffy (recently, mind you), I smiled the entire time because it’s just that good. The plot is awesome: Buffy & Co. buy costumes at a new costume shop in Sunnydale. On Halloween night, a spell is cast and everyone who bought a costume from that shop becomes the character they are dressed as. It’s so much fun, and it’s a very Willow-centric episode, and I’ve begun to notice that the Willow-centric episodes are my favorite episodes.
“The Tale of the Twisted Claw”, Are You Afraid of the Dark?
S01.E04 Original Air Date: 31 October 1991
It makes me sad that Are You Afraid of the Dark? doesn’t exist for this generation. I’m sad that it didn’t continue on, powering through the decades. “The Tale of the Twisted Claw” is a spin on the classic horror story The Monkey’s Paw. It’s a scary episode that also teaches children not to disrespect their elders.
“The Slutty Pumpkin”, How I Met Your Mother
S01.E06 Original Air Date: 24 October 2005
The episode that launched a thousand jokes, The Slutty Pumpkin is the root of many ongoing HIMYM gags. It’s essential viewing.
“Halloween”, My So-Called Life
S01.E09 Original Air Date: 27 October 1994
One of my favorite Halloween episodes of any show ever! Angela learns of a former student who died in the 50s, dresses up in the clothes of one of his classmates, and starts to see visions of him wandering the school. So, obviously, she relates him to Jordan Catalano. Also, some pretty hot stuff happens with Rayanne and Brian. He watches her shave her legs.
“Stone Mountain”, 30 Rock
S04.E03 Original Air Date: 29 October 2009
This episode is great because Tracy learns that two celebrities have died. He then learns the myth that celebrities die in threes, believes it, and spends the episode fearing for his life in the most hysterical Tracy Morgan way possible (the world misses you, Trey). Liz and Jack also visit Kenneth’s hometown of Stone Mountain, Georgia, and it’s a hilarious and somewhat terrifying world of Kenneth clones. Another scary thing, Jeff Dunham is in the episode and he isn’t ever funny at all.
“Halloween”, New Girl
S02.E06 Original Air Date: 30 October 2012
The best thing about the Halloween episodes of New Girl are the costumes. We’ve seen Jess as Joey Ramona Quimby in season 3 (GENIUS), and as Zombie Woody Allen in season 2’s episode “Halloween”. Let’s just talk about how fantastic that Zombie Woody Allen costume is.
“Keaton”, New Girl
S03.E06 Original Air Date: 22 October 2013
I had a hard time choosing between “Halloween” and “Keaton”, so I am including both. Cool? Cool. For starters, JOEY RAMONA QUIMBY is the most amazing costume ever. Okay. In this episode, Jess, Nick, & Winston write Schmidt letter’s under the guise of Michael Keaton, his childhood hero. The episode premise in and of itself is incredible.
“Diane’s Nightmare”, Cheers
S04.E05 Original Air Date: 31 October 1985
Diane has a nightmare that an ex-boyfriend, Andy Andy, who is also a convicted murderer, has escaped from a mental institution. The next day at the bar, he’s there. It’s a hilarious episode, and the dude that plays Andy Andy, Derek McGrath, is excellent. He looks so cherubic, but man, he’s got crazy behind those eyes.
“Halloween, Parts 1 & 2”, American Horror Story
S01.E04, S01.E05 Original Air Dates: 26 October 2011, 2 November 2011
I was completely blown away by these two American Horror Story episodes. But, without spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, how could a show with HORROR in the title produce a bad Halloween episode? I mean, you kind of have high expectations to live up to when it comes to that. For those of you that keep up with all things AHS the next two episodes are this season’s Halloween episodes, and I’m super psyched. Are you?
“Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?”, Boy Meets World
S02.E06 Original Air Date: 28 October 1994
This episode is best known as the episode where Cory and Topanga have their first kiss. It’s a cute episode where Cory believes he is turning into a werewolf. Topanga tells him that he’s the Cory he’s always been, she kisses him, “aww”s ensue.