When I get my own TV show, I’m writing a Halloween episode every year, not only because I live and breathe Halloween but because, surprisingly, not a lot of shows do a Halloween episode. Then sometimes when shows do have Halloween episodes, the spooky holiday ends up being only a background element in the story.
But luckily for you fellow Halloween and television-loving people out there, I’ve composed a list of some of the best Halloween episodes of tv shows around – no lurking in the background here. From scary to funny to a mixture of both, these episodes are sure to satisfy your Halloween craving, whenever you watch them.
“Fear, Itself” | Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I know that I would not get along with the supernatural creatures on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As we learn in “Fear, Itself,” they find Halloween “too crass.” But Buffy should appreciate it because it gives her a free pass to unwind and hang out with her friends. Until increasingly strange things start happening at the frat party they go to.
Equal parts hilarious and horrifying, “Fear, Itself” is a good Halloween episode for anyone to watch. Especially when you get to the twist. It not only delves into the gang’s interpersonal relationships but sets up plot points for seasons to come, including Anya’s fear of bunnies.
“Epidemiology” | Community
Walking Dead fans and general fans of zombies, this one’s for you. One of Community’s earlier parody episodes, “Epidemiology” puts the entire plot of a zombie movie into a 22-minute episode of a comedy, and surprisingly, it completely pulls it off.
Filled with tons of great jokes and movie references, “Epidemiology” is a blast and one of the best episodes of Community. Highlights include Jeff always being cool and Troy and Abed teaming up to try and save the day. Throw this on at a Halloween party, and it’s sure to be a hit.
P.S. If your name is Kevin, you’ll definitely want to check “Epidemiology” out. You can thank me later.
“A Halloween Hassle at Dracula’s Castle” | The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries
A Halloween episode of Scooby Doo might seem strange. The gang solves mysteries – usually spooky ones – all the time, how much different could Halloween be? Well, mostly the fact that in “A Halloween Hassle at Dracula’s Castle,” the monsters are real. Dracula and Frankenstein show up as well as the Invisible Man, the Wolfman and the Mummy. And it doesn’t stop there!
With “A Halloween Hassle at Dracula’s Castle,” you can relive your childhood or maybe introduce some younger family members to the show. I may be a little biased because I watched this episode all the time when I was growing up, but trust me, Scooby Doo is never a bad choice, especially not on Halloween.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester” | Supernatural
Supernatural goes all in on Halloween in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester,” the show’s only true Halloween episode. (Yes, I know that parts of the pilot take place on Halloween.) I always loved the witch episodes of Supernatural, but you should be warned that there could be gore so if that’s not your thing, maybe choose a different episode.
For those people who don’t mind a little gore, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester” delivers that in the form of Halloween-related deaths, including someone boiling to death while bobbing for apples and the classic razor blades in the candy. It’s nice to see a show that embraces Halloween tradition by showing kids trick-or-treating and Halloween parties. And for Supernatural fans, there are a few treats as Sam struggles with his powers and the angels’ plot moves further along.
“Halloween Surprise” | Parks and Recreation
“Halloween Surprise” isn’t so much a great Halloween episode of Parks and Recreation as a great episode of the show, period. But Parks and Recreation still embraces Halloween, putting its characters in costume and having Ron go trick-or-treating.
The major draw here is the final scene – at least for long-time viewers of the show – but there are a lot of good moments in between that move characters like Ann, Tom and Ron forward in life. Also, I am absolutely dying to try that late Halloween trick-or-treating thing. I’ll trick-or-treat whenever.
I know that I have a ton of favorite Halloween movies, ones that I watch every year, but this year, even just for one day, you should switch it up a little! Watch an episode or two of great Halloween television with your candy and costume, and that might become your new favorite Halloween tradition. I guarantee that it’s a great way to celebrate.
Have a favorite Halloween episode? I’d love to hear it! I’m always up for anything related to the best day of the year. Just let me know what you think in the comments below.