It’s spoooooky season, and TV shows are premiering their latest Halloween episodes. But can you really beat the classics? We’ve collected the best Halloween episodes from our favorite TV shows spanning the years.
Addams Family – “Halloween with the Addams Family” (1964)
On Halloween, two robbers knock on the Addams’ door after their getaway car runs out of gas. Unaware of the circumstances in which their guests arrived, the Addams’ invite them in as their strange Halloween fun and games begin. The robbers unhappily settle for it…until they catch a peek of Gomez’s cash. While they attempt to hatch a plan to rob, The Thing thankfully takes Things into its own Hand.
M*A*S*H – “Trick or Treatment” (1982)
The 4077th prepare for a Halloween party, expecting a night of fun. But when the OR receives an influx of injured soldiers and drunken Marines — including one who put a billiard ball in his mouth…and couldn’t get it out — they quickly get to work, telling ghost stories to keep the spooky spirit. The biggest shock of the night, however? A soldier given a toe tag…but, perhaps, not when he needed it.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch – “Good Will Haunting” (1998)
Looking for a TV episode that encapsulates the fear and hijinks of Halloween? Sabrina’s “Good Will Haunting” is the one for you. When the aunts arrive at a Halloween party, they find it’s hosted at an insane asylum — and they can’t escape. At the same time, Sabrina, who is hosting a double date, is sent a doll named Molly, who terrorizes her and her guests. It’s lighthearted, but it still gets in on the creepy fun.
Friends – “The One with the Halloween Party” (2001)
Monica and Chandler host a Halloween party, but things are off to a rough start when Monica can only find a pink bunny outfit for Chandler. Phoebe ends up breaking her friend’s heart (though it’s justifiable, arguably), while Rachel gives out too much candy, eventually shelling out money to trick-or-treaters. The episode ends with an arm-wrestle, but is there really a winner?
Frasier – “Halloween” (1997)
Niles hosts a Halloween costume party to raise funds for the Library Association, with the specific request that each guest dresses up as their favorite literary character. After Frasier learns from Roz that she may be pregnant, he convinces her to attend Niles’ Halloween party. But when Frasier accidentally lets her secret slip, gossip quickly spreads, culminating in a drunken proposal.
Black-ish — “Jacked o’ Lantern” (2015)
Dre loves Halloween, but even he’s spooked by his cousin Junebug’s presence — and Dre’s children are equally scared of the physical and psychological pain caused by Junebug’s kids. Diane decides that enough is enough and that Junebug and his family deserve to feel what the Johnsons have felt. Eventually, the truth comes out about Junebug’s treatment of Dre. Will the Johnsons reconcile with the cousins? The truth can certainly change perception.
The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror V” (1994)
An Anthology episode, the intro is dark, setting the stage for the ultimate Halloween episode filled with parodies. It begins with “The Shinning,” a parody of “The Shining,” with the fabulous quote, “Usually the blood gets off at the second floor.” Next is “Time and Punishment,” a parody of “A Sound of Thunder,” in which Homer can’t seem to fix the past. Finally, “Nightmare Cafeteria” is a take on “Soylent Green,” with officials concocting a plan to clear detention halls.
How I Met Your Mother – “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns” (2011)
In “The Slutty Pumpkin,” Ted meets a woman dressed as a pumpkin and hits it off with her…but loses her number. Showing up every year to the party in the same costume, he hopes to see her again but is left disappointed each time. In “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns,” Ted tracks the pumpkin down. Will they have chemistry like they did 10 years prior, or have they changed more than Ted would like to admit?
The Office – “Spooked” (2011)
Erin organizes a Halloween party at the office, but her hopes for a successful party are dashed when Robert arrives with his son and states that the party is set up for kids, not the employees. Erin recruits the Party Planning Committee to help fix it, while Robert manages to collect each employee’s deepest fear. The result: a ghost story that terrifies everybody to their core (as well as an extremely disturbing short film from Gabe).
Modern Family – “Halloween” (2010)
Claire’s favorite holiday is Halloween, and this year, her goal is to run a genuinely scary haunted house. She gives each member of the family a role in the house, but the lack of enthusiasm hurts and discourages Claire. Of course, it’s Modern Family, so you know the family comes together in the end, and that’s what makes it so good. And in case you were wondering: Claire’s haunted house is a success.
That ‘70s Show – “Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die” (2000)
Kelso says it would be cool to be in an Alfred Hitchcock film without knowing it. (Not sure Marion would agree, but I digress.) What proceeds is an episode filled with Hitchcock movie references, including Vertigo, The Birds, and Psycho. But the show stays true to its comedic roots, despite an episode referencing some of the best scary movies in cinema history, making a perfectly-’70s-Halloween episode.
Cheers – “Fairy Tales Can Come True” (1984)
It’s Halloween at the bar, everyone is dressed up, and Cliff is talking everyone’s ear off about his (boring) trip to Florida. But he soon shuts his mouth when a woman dressed as Tinkerbell arrives. They have a fantastic night at the bar — so fantastic that they agree to meet the next evening without costumes. Cliff arrives nervous, suited-up, and clean-cut. But will Tinkerbell show up too? It’s a question Cliff asks as hours pass, and a call reveals the answer.
What do you consider the best Halloween TV episodes? Tell us in the comments!
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