Not every show can be a horror show, but plenty do dip into the realm of Halloween when it becomes that time of the year again. Plus, it’s just a good excuse to dress your cast up in awesome costumes. Here are my picks for my favorite Halloween episodes of TV shows!
Parks and Recreation: Greg Pikitis (2×07)
Before there was Ben having to put up with April and Andy throwing a Halloween party or the Halloween Surprise that made me cry like a baby, there was ‘Greg Pikitis.’ This is probably one of my first favorite episodes of Parks and Recreation, with Leslie in complete overdrive to catch her “arch-nemesis” in the act of defacing a statue, the first appearance of Burt Macklin, and Ann throwing a super boring party that only Tom can save. Also, it features Ann’s then boyfriend Derek dressed as “a straight person” in one of my few favorite jokes featuring Mark Brendanawicz. I didn’t really like Mark, so jokes at his expense are my favorite.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Halloween (2×06)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer has a few good episodes specifically about Halloween, but the episode ‘Halloween’ from the second season tops them all. Starting with some very teenage moments of Buffy wanting to impress Angel, Xander wanting to prove his masculinity, and Willow being shy, it all comes back to bite them when the owner of the costume shop they got their costumes from curses them and turns them into their costumes. Of course, chaos happens when a bunch of little kids are turned into demons and Buffy is too frightened by everything since she’s dressed as a nobel woman from Angel’s time. Not only is it an amazing concept, but the first time we really get to see Willow take charge, which gets the attention of a certain werewolf later in the episode.
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror V (6×06)
There are plenty of ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episodes to choose from all on a sliding scale of quality. However, my absolute favorite till this day is ‘Treehouse of Horror V.’ When I think of my favorite segments from the ‘Treehouse of Horror’ series, V has two of them: The Shinning and Time and Punishment. The Shinning is a parody of The Shining in which the Simpson family is designated to be caretakers of Mr. Burns’ mansion, but Homer quickly goes crazy without beer and TV. In Time and Punishment, Homer accidentally turns the family toaster into a time machine that sends him back to a prehistoric period that he keeps messing up in a series of gags that remind of the dangers of time travel. Nightmare Cafeteria is pretty quality as well, even if Soylent Green parodies aren’t my favorite thing ever. Plus, it does have the running joke of Groundskeeper Willie getting axed in the back.
Gravity Falls: Summerween (1×12)
This is actually the clever way Gravity Falls got around the series taking place in the summer in order to have a Halloween episode. The town of Gravity Falls loves Halloween so much that they celebrate it twice a year, including a date in June known as “Summerween.” Mabel and Dipper are excited to celebrate, but Dipper tries to back out in order to go to a party and impress Wendy. This not only upsets Mabel, but the Summerween Trickster, a monster that comes out every year at Summerween that demands to be appeased with candy. It’s a super clever episode as well as one that tells kids not to be in a rush to grow up and enjoy these kind of Halloweens while you have the time. It’s a sweet message paired up with a creepy villain and Jack-O-Melons, which I will make one of these years.
Futurama: The Honking (2×18)
While not specifically a Halloween episode, it’s the closest Futurama has in terms of one. When Bender stands to gain a large inheritance, he has to spend the night in a large and creepy castle. He ultimately fails when he’s scared out by “ghosts” and is then run over by a car. Not just any car though. A were-car. It’s a silly premise for sure, but one that Futurama pulls off beautifully. Full of bad puns and weird friendships that only exist with these characters, ‘The Honking’ is definitely classic Futurama.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Who Got Dee Pregnant? (6×07)
When It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia star Caitlin Olson became pregnant before the filming of the sixth season, the show decided to incorporate her pregnancy and turn it into a plot point for the season. It lead to some brilliant episodes, but the Halloween episode ‘Who Got Dee Pregnant?’ might be my favorite. Determined to figure out who knocked Dee up, the gang tries to recall the Halloween party from the year before to retrace their steps and figure out who did the deed. Of course, in their varying states of drunkenness and personal opinions of themselves and the rest of the gang, no one can actually recall what actually happened. It’s comedic brilliance to say the least, especially when they have to bring in outside help to try and remember what happened.
South Park: Spookyfish (2×15)
South Park is another one of those series that has had a lot of Halloween episodes over the years, but my favorite to this day is season 2’s ‘Spookyfish.’ Partially a parody of the Star Trek episode ‘Mirror Mirror,’ the episode features a nice goateed Cartman from an evil parallel universe, a killer fish that was a gift from Stan’s Aunt Flo, a horror movie-esque metaphor for menopause that only South Park could get away with, and overuse of the word “hella.” It’s weird, but the funny kind of weird that put South Park on the map in the 90s and has helped it become one of the longest running shows on TV.
The Venture Bros: A Very Venture Halloween (5×00)
Has anyone edited this episode into ‘What Color Is Your Cleansuit?’ yet?
A special episode that takes place during the season 5 premiere, this episode is probably one of my favorite Venture Bros. episodes. There are several innocuous plots, with the Ventures boys (including the illegitimate Dermott) exploring a haunted house, Dr. Orpheus hosting a party with fellow necromancers that leads to the raising of a zombie army, and Dr. Venture and friends taking bets on if any trick-or-treaters can make it through the defense system put in place at the Venture compound. It’s a funny as hell episode that features great writing from Doc Hammer, but it also features Dean finding out a massive secret that has been kept from him and his brother since Season 2. It’s intense, to say the least.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Halloween (1×06)
The most recent entry on this list, it’s probably my favorite episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine so far. With Halloween being the craziest time of the year for the precinct, it brings out some interesting and funny moments out of our favorite cops. Peralta, believing that he could do a better job than any of the criminals he catches on Halloween, extends a bet to Captain Holt that he can steal the Medal of Valor from Holt’s office before midnight. It leads to some extremely funny moments in the episode, including Peralta trying to smoke Holt out of his office with pigeons. Meanwhile, Boyle tries to convince Santiago about how great Halloween is and Jeffords tries to figure out why Diaz left Catholic school. Laugh out loud hilarious, the episode definitely makes Halloween fun for these cops. It also features people dressed as Kim Jong-Un and Hilary Clinton making out, so there’s that.
What are some of your favorite Halloween episodes?