7 of the best halloween tv episodes of all time
From 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' to 'Stranger Things,' these shows will get you in the spooky spirit.
Photo by Jerry Fitzgerald/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images.
Spooky szn is here, and with it comes the resurgence of every classic TV show episode that has ever even mentioned the word “Halloween.” Though there are only 31 days to truly enjoy this content, because as we all know, our attention spans are way too short to focus on anything other than the current holiday at hand.
From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Stranger Things, we’ve outlined our seven favorite Halloween TV episodes of all time.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Halloween” Season 2
In the realest of childhood Halloween fantasies: everyone who dresses up in a costume actually becomes their character. So Xander, who went as Rambo, starts fighting people in the streets, Willow, who went as a ghost, can walk through walls, people, random objects, etc. And Buffy, who decided to be an 18th century noblewoman, reaps absolutely no benefit. Classic. Chaos, of course, ensues.
Boy Meets World “And Then There Was Shawn" Season 5
This is the most Halloween TV episode that is not actually a Halloween episode. The show aired in February, but it’s got all the makings for spooky szn. “And Then There Was Shawn” takes place almost entirely inside Shawn’s imagination, revealing that not only is he already the high school bad boy, his mind is also actually pretty dark. The students are trapped in the school, hiding from a masked murderer. One by one, each main character is killed. And there’s a Jennifer Love Hewitt cameo because this show couldn’t get any more 90s.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch “The Phantom Menace” Season 4
All episodes of Sabrina are basically Halloween episodes, but the show still outdid itself every October. This time around, Sabrina decides she’s over Halloween and chooses to work at the coffee shop instead. Of course, the Halloween spirits are not happy. It’s basically illegal to ignore Halloween when you’re a witch, for obvious reasons. So, zombies show up to teach her a lesson. Oh, and Edgar Allen Poe joins Hilda and Zelda for dinner.
Stranger Things "Trick or Treat, Freak" Season 2
First, we find out that Will is somehow STILL connected to the Upside Down. Poor kid can’t catch a break. And the episode does a good job of illustrating that bittersweet in-between stage: when you’re probably a little too old to be trick-or-treating but you’re not quite ready to give it up for the rest of your life. (But, hey, at least they’re not in high school). Apparently no one has told the Hawkins kids about all the fun adult parties that will soon replace the bags of Reese’s.
Freaks and Geeks “Tricks and Treats”
We were sadly only given one season of what should’ve been a long-running coming-of-age series, but luckily one of those 18 episodes was Halloween themed. Sam, Bill, Neal and Harris refuse to give up trick-or-treating as high school students, and Lindsay ditches her mom to partake in illegal activities. Also, “Monster Mash” plays.
Parks and Recreation “Halloween Surprise” Season 5
Ron shows his softer side and takes Diane’s daughters trick-or-treating. Donna live tweets “Death Canoe 4: Murder at Blood Lake” (which should be an actual movie). And Jerry has a fart attack. Also, Ben proposes to Leslie, a perfect Halloween surprise.
Brooklyn 99 “Halloween” Season 1
Season 1 started one of the greatest traditions in 99’s history. Jake competes to be the Ultimate Detective™ by trying to steal the Medal of Valour from Holt’s office. Peralta, always schemin, dresses up as a janitor, gets Rosa to pick the lock to the safe and even pretends to climb up the side of the precinct with a blow torch.