For some of us, Halloween lasts the entirety of October. The moment the clock hits 12:00 AM on October 1st, we already have decorations up, candles lit, and candy consumed. While there are some who like to take advantage of every opportunity to dress up in costume, there are others (myself included) who prefer to skip the parties, bars, and trick-or-treaters. If you’re the kind of twenty-something who prefers to spend Halloween curled up with a bowl of candy while binge-watching Halloween movies and TV shows, then look no further! In the spirit of haunting and laughing without having to leave the couch, here are 13 Halloween-themed TV episodes you must see before November sneaks up on you. Trick or treat! (or Netflix!)
1. New Girl – 2×06 “Halloween”
Be still my beating, pun-loving heart. Nick dresses up as “Bee” Arthur and reveals that he hates haunted houses. In an effort to prevent Jess from getting her heart broken, Nick voluntarily goes through the haunted house where she is working, to warn her about Dr. Sam’s intentions. Bonus points for all the Schmidt vs. Robbie moments. Double bonus points for this being one of the first hints that Jess and Nick will become a thing. A million bonus points for Nick’s clown-induced screams. Honorable mention: Nick compliments Jess’ costume in true Nick Miller fashion, “I don’t know, the costume kinda works for me. Kind of a sexy, undead drivers ed teacher. My sweet spot.”
2. Brooklyn Nine Nine – 1×06 “Halloween”
“Brooklyn Nine Nine’s” first Halloween episode is one of their all-time best of the series. On a busy night at the precinct, Halloween-hater Amy gets paired up to go undercover in costume with Halloween-enthusiast, Boyle. Meanwhile, Jake bets Captain Holt that he can get away with stealing his Medal of Valor by midnight. The episode takes some hilarious twists and turns, thanks to Jake cleverly enlisting the help of his coworkers to win the bet.
3. Will & Grace – 1×05 “Boo! Humbug”
Jack persuades Karen to go out with him to a Halloween parade by telling her she’s basically an icon to gay men, because she’s got “the sass, the class, and the ass.” They go out in a couples costume as Body (obviously) and Soul (as in David Soul, as in Starsky & Hutch). Meanwhile, Will and Grace have plans to stay in with food, wine, and a movie, but end up entertaining Will’s boss’s kids. Bonus points for Will’s Halloween advice to Jack: “Have a good time. And remember, wear reflective tape, get lots of candy, and don’t put anything in your mouth that isn’t wrapped.”
4. Parks And Recreation – 2×07 “Greg Pikitis”
Who knew one could find so much enjoyment in watching Leslie Knope put all of her energy into going head to head with her punky teenaged nemesis? While Leslie tries to take down Greg Pikitis (who still manages to pull off numerous Halloween pranks), Ann hosts a mildly lame Halloween party, much to April’s dismay, “I passed up a gay Halloween party to be here. Do you know how much fun gay Halloween parties are? Last year I saw three Jonas Brothers make out with three Robert Pattinsons. It was amazing.” Everything about this episode is hilarious.
5. How I Met Your Mother – 1×06 “Slutty Pumpkin”
It’s a classic. And a perfect example of what made “How I Met Your Mother” so enjoyable to begin with. Ted is still on the lookout for his Slutty Pumpkin, the “perfect woman” he met at a rooftop Halloween party four years ago. Marshall and Lily are dressed as a pirate and his parrot for a costume contest. And then there’s Barney, who’s up to his usual hijinks—rocking multiple costumes to meet as many women as possible (or to make a second first-impression).
6. Friends – 8×06 – “The One With The Halloween Party”
Monica throws a last-minute Halloween Party, where Chandler unhappily dresses as a bunny, Joey dresses as Chandler, and Ross, in all his nerdy glory, dresses up as “Spud-nik,” a potato with antennas. At the party, Rachel puts her maternal instincts to the test while handing out candy (and money) to kids and Phoebe starts to fall for her twin sister’s fiancé. This one is a classic must-see.
7. Community – 1×07 “Introduction to Statistics”
Jeff is determined to get a hot professor to go out on a date with him, despite Annie demanding he attend the Dia De Los Muertos party she’s hosting at Greendale. This episode is worth watching solely for Abed’s Batman impression. And Joel McHale dressed up as a cowboy.
8. Modern Family – 2×06 “Halloween”
Claire is obsessed with Halloween, so naturally she has to create the spookiest, most-memorable haunted house for visiting trick-or-treaters. Like with any family, the high expectations for a holiday to run smoothly are shot down by everything going awry. Honorable mention that elsewhere, Mitchell wears a Spider-Man costume to work, only to find out that his coworkers think costumes are for tools, and repeatedly fails to take the costume off.
9. Happy Endings – 2×05 “Spooky Endings”
Some says it’s an overrated show, but you can’t deny that their Halloween episode is one of the best. Jane and Brad end up house sitting while the rest of the gang parties at a warehouse. Max offers to be the second half of newly single Penny’s couples costume—a mother and her newborn in a Baby Bjorn (can we PLEASE talk about how hysterical his toy baby arm maneuvers are?). Dave excitedly rocks his Austin Powers costume and a super sick Alex surprises the group by showing up dressed as Marilyn Monroe. Disasters, enjoyable awkward flirting, and hilarity ensue.
10. The Office – 2×05 “Halloween”
A lot of people say that “The Office’s” first Halloween episode is where the show really began to take off. Michael Scott has to lay off someone—in costume, no less. Pam and Jim are plotting to get Dwight a new job out of state by putting a fantastically exaggerated resume up online for him. Bonus points for Jim’s first minimal-effort costume, “Three Hole Punch Jim.”
Sabrina gets to ditch her Aunt Beulah’s annual Halloween celebration after Valerie invites the boys over to her house to watch scary movies. Her Aunt Beulah sends her a magical “Molly Dolly” as a result of her absence. Turns out, Aunt Beulah has other plans for Sabrina and her Aunts Zelda and Hilda. Not only does Molly Dolly terrorize Sabrina’s party, but also Zelda and Hilda are trapped in the insane asylum where the Halloween celebration is being held. This episode packs a whole bunch of crazy into half an hour.
12. Parks And Recreation – 4×05 “Meet N Greet”
Ok, yes, this is the second Parks episode on this list. Trick or treat yo self, am I right? April and Andy, the unofficial King and Queen of Halloween, host the perfect Halloween party, without letting a high-strung, stressed out Ben know. At the party, Andy uses his brotherly love attitude to get Ben into the holiday spirit, Chris hooks up with Jerry’s daughter, Ann joins Ron in repairing April/Andy/Ben’s house, and Orin lurks around. We may or may not get to see Ben break Andy’s nose.
13. Boy Meets World – 5×17 “And Then There Was Shawn”
“And Then There Was Shawn” aka the best episode of “Boy Meets World” to ever exist. The comedy is on point, the scary movie spoofing is brilliant, and there’s just the right amount of spooks and drama. The kids are all locked in the school with a murderer on the loose. Hello, every childhood nightmare, is that you? Not to mention, there are a lot of memorable Eric moments and we see the iconic scared Cory gif come to life. What better way to end your Halloween night than to settle in with TGIF like you did as a kid? Not to mention, even as a “grown-up,” who isn’t totally creeped out by the janitor? PSA: you can watch this episode on Youtube.
Do you have any Halloween episodes you consider a must-see every year? Share them with us below or by tweeting @litdarling!