Of course Buffy does Halloween right --- every day in Sunnydale is a vampire-infested horror. While there are a few to choose from, the show's most fun Halloween episode is definitely its first one in season 2, in which a spell turns every character into the costume that they are wearing. For more Halloween fun from the Hellmouth, season 4's "Fear Itself" turns a frat house Halloween party into an actual house of horrors.
Though this Boy Meets World episode is technically not centered on the holiday of Halloween, it deserves a spot on this list for being one of the most entertaining and legitimately frightening half hours of murder mystery ever. In an homage to slasher films, the whole cast of main characters get locked in school as a mysterious killer starts picking them off one by one. Not only is it a surprisingly chilling turn from the normally heartwarming sitcom, but it brilliantly adds layers of hilarious self-referential moments about the genre, such as Cory informing the one-time side character Kenny that he'll probably die next since the audience doesn't know him, and a tongue-in-cheek appearance by I Know What You Did Last Summer's Jennifer Love Hewitt.
If you love comedy and you've never seen Happy Endings, then get on it right away! The cult sitcom consistently delivered more laugh-out-loud jokes in a 5 minute span than most TV comedies will do in a full episode, and its Halloween episode is a perfect example of that. From Penny and Max's hilarious mother and baby costume to Brad and Jane's exploration of trick or treating hell in the suburbs, it's impossible to pick a highlight.
The first season of American Horror Story was definitely one of the most genuinely nightmare-inducing shows to air, so you just knew it was going to kill it with its Halloween episode. The two-parter allows the dead to walk freely in the world (which is a big deal given that half the characters from the season are dead), and we get a shocking visit from the murdered high school students that Tate (Evan Peters) massacred.
I mean, you could really just choose any of the annual Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" specials from The Simpsons and find some spooky treasures, but for my money, the 7th iteration is the best all-around. All of the specials contain three segments, and for the most part, one or two of them can really drag, but VII's slate is entirely winners. Sci-fi lovers will get into Lisa's Twilight Zone-inspired shrinking adventure, and it brings the jokes with the still-relevant political satire of aliens Kang and Kodos running for president. But the moment of pure creepiness comes in the episode when Bart's evil twin Hugo reappears and attempts to sew them together.
Like Buffy, Sabrina the Teenage Witch also loved to do a ton of Halloween episodes. Its most memorable is probably its first, in which Sabrina uses her magic to clone herself so she can make an appearance at Harvey's Halloween party. The catch is that the clone is only able to say three phrases, which leads to things escalating pretty quickly.
This gem of an animated miniseries is definitely something you should check out, especially around Halloween. The whole 10-episode story of Over the Garden Wall has a surprisingly dark and profound vibe for what appears to just be a children's cartoon. Imagine if Tim Burton created his version of Adventure Time --- it's kind of like that. Though the whole miniseries is perfectly spooky, its second episode about ominous living pumpkins is the best bet for a Halloween watch.
Just because its not scary doesn't mean Friends' Halloween episode isn't worth a rewatch this October. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from the frights and just enjoy the silly humor of Rachel completely failing at interacting with children, Ross and Chandler arm wrestling, and a surprise appearance by Sean Penn.
The thing that Community is best at (aside from meta jokes) is spoofing film genres, and in their second season Halloween episode they take on the zombie apocalypse trope. While obviously hilarious throughout, the episode does actually manage to also be incredibly thrilling and even pretty frightening, as the study group attempts to combat their infected classmates.
Parks and Rec had a number of episodes where characters threw Halloween parties, but obviously April and Andy came through with the best one. The strange but somehow perfect couple are at their best in the episode as they torture a passive aggressive Ben. Plus, there's a really sweet and touching moment between Ron and Ann. It's got everything you could want!
Modern Family began a tradition of going all out for Halloween episodes with its spectacular first one. Claire Dunphy's maniacal love for the haunted holiday is actually pretty infectious, and you'll definitely be ready to start carving pumpkins or scare your family members after watching it.
Yet another show that lends itself well to Halloween episodes, The Vampire Diaries made the absolute most of the holiday in its first season with one of its most shocking episodes ever. Not only is Elena trying to deal with the fact that her friend Vicki was turned into a vampire, but viewers are also floored by the death of what seemed to be set up as a main character.
We can't forget about The Office's hilariously specific approach to mundane work parties around Halloween. In their second season episode, the Dunder-Mifflin workers get to show off their creative flair by dressing up in costume for work, but tensions run high as Michael is forced to choose an employee to fire. It also begins Jim's hilarious annual tradition of putting in as little effort as possible into his Halloween costume (he goes as a guy with a three-hole punch mark on his side), which culminates later on in him writing the word "Book" on his face and being confused as Bookface by his coworkers.
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