20 of the Most Memorable Halloween TV Episodes of All Time

Martha Sorren | Oct 18, 2019 TV
20 of the Most Memorable Halloween TV Episodes of All Time

Boy Meets World cast
Buena Vista Television

Many people watch horror movies to celebrate the Halloween season, but there are plenty of spooky things to watch on TV as well -- or on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime. (So many options!) There are also Halloween-themed episodes for every level of horror fan -- from sitcoms that take the holiday in more of a comedy direction to dramas that go to serious places with their Halloween tales to episodes that will straight up terrify viewers. (In the best of Halloween-y ways of course. It's kind of fun to be a little scared every once in a while.)

For those of us who haven't yet watched all of these specific episodes, there are some mild spoilers ahead to set the context for the memorable-ness of the episodes. But the good thing is that, even if we haven't all watched the full seasons of these shows, no one has to miss out on watching them now. We can all hop right into these Halloween episodes and enjoy them as much as a die-hard fan would. Fortunately, that's how many holiday-themed TV episodes work. They often break from the show's regular plot to deliver on the theme, so they're easier for newbie fans to watch and understand.

Don't overlook these memorable Halloween TV episodes this October. From old classics to brand new tales, television has delivered a lot in the way of scary stories over the years.

With these 20 Halloween-specific episodes to watch, and less than that amount of time until October 31, these shows will give us all plenty to view to get into the holiday mood this year. We can even knock out two or three a night. Who needs sleep when there's holiday TV to enjoy? We can rest when the spooky season is over.

Gotta enjoy it while we can!

  • 'Boy Meets World' - 'And Then There Was Shawn'

    1

    Originally aired: February 27, 1998

    When: Season five, episode 17

    Technically, this episode didn't air during Halloween (it actually came out in February), but it's such a fun parody of horror slasher films that fans love to rewatch it during the Halloween season. Everything goes down when the students are locked in the school by themselves for detention, and things quickly turn spooky.

  • 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'

    2

    Originally aired: October 27, 1966

    This Charlie Brown special is still a classic 50 years after it first came out. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown follows Linus' attempt to find the Great Pumpkin in a pumpkin patch on Halloween.

  • 'Friends' - 'The One with the Halloween Party'

    3
    Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow in the Friends Halloween Party episode
    NBC

    Originally aired: November 1, 2001

    When: Season eight, episode six

    This Friends episode is most memorable for Ross' punny costume "spudnik" where he dresses as a Russian satellite potato. It's also the episode where Rachel tries to show off her maternal side but totally terrifies one of the children by yelling at him to "shut up." Technically, if she had to scare a child any time, Halloween is a good night to do that.

  • 'Martin' - 'The Night He Came Home'

    4

    Originally aired: October 29, 1992

    When: Season one, episode 10

    What starts as an innocent Halloween night ghost story session ends in terror when the group contacts a ghost. Shouldn't have had a seance if they couldn't handle the outcome.

  • 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Slutty Pumpkin Returns'

    5

    Originally aired: October 31, 2011

    When: Season seven, episode eight

    In the past, Ted had met a woman dressed as a slutty pumpkin at a Halloween party. He searched for her every year after that, convinced she could be his soul mate. When he finally tracked her down, they turned out to be totally incompatible. But the Katie Holmes cameo made this episode super memorable.

  • 'Living Single' - 'Trick or Trust'

    6

    Originally aired: October 27, 1994

    When: Season two, episode eight

    Queen Latifah's character, Khadijah, has the Halloween scare of a lifetime when she thinks her boyfriend is cheating on her. Talk about a Halloween trick instead of a treat!

  • 'Girlfriends' - 'Trick or Truth'

    7
    Jill Marie Jones as Toni in Girlfriends
    UPN

    Originally aired: October 29, 2001

    When: Season two, episode seven 

    Toni's Halloween is ruined when she finds out that Greg took her back only to try to get his revenge on her by cheating on her. (She previously cheated on him with a wealthier guy.) To add insult to injury, she also wasn't invited to Joan's Halloween party.

  • 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Halloween Surprise'

    8

    Originally aired: October 25, 2012

    When: Season five, episode five

    Leslie's big surprise in this episode is that Ben proposes to her. Now that's a Halloween treat with no tricks about it.

  • 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - 'HalloVeen'

    9

    Originally aired: October 17, 2017

    When: Season five, episode four

    All of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine Halloween episodes are memorable, but this one stands out for the heartwarming ending. At the end of the episode, Jake finally proposes to Amy. Another sweet Halloween sitcom proposal in the books.

  • 'Beverly Hills, 90210' - 'Halloween'

    10

    Originally aired: October 31, 1991

    When: Season two, episode 13

    This Beverly Hills, 90210 episode went a more serious route with its Halloween episode. Kelly nearly got assaulted by someone who felt that her costume gave him permission to touch her.

    Super creepy.

  • 'Modern Family' - 'Halloween'

    11

    Originally aired: October 27, 2010

    When: Season two, episode six

    This episode made a splash just for how all-out Claire went on her haunted house. She's definitely one to spend a spooky Halloween with.

  • 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' - 'Who Got Dee Pregnant?'

    12

    Originally aired: October 28, 2010

    When: Season six, episode seven

    Always Sunny had to write in actress Kaitlin Olson's real-life pregnancy, so the show had the father of her baby be a mystery. The episode flashes back to the Halloween party where she got pregnant, and the gang tries to figure out who the dad might be.

  • 'Community' - 'Epidemiology'

    13

    Originally aired: October 28, 2010

    When: Season two, episode six

    Tainted food at the community college Halloween party turns all the guests into zombies ... and they're all zombies in costume, which makes it even more Halloween-y.

  • 'American Horror Story' - 'Halloween'

    14

    Originally aired: October 26, 2011 and November 2, 2011

    When: Season one, episodes four and five

    American Horror Story is always scary, but it dedicated two episodes in its first season specifically to the spooky holiday of Halloween. On this special night, the Murder House is filled with even more ghosts than usual, and things are even more terrifying. 

    "Part One" of this two-episode special was actually nominated for an Emmy for outstanding costumes.

  • 'The Office' - 'Halloween'

    15
    Jenna Fischer in The Office Halloween episode
    NBC

    Originally aired: October 18, 2005

    When: Season two, episode five

    The Office's first Halloween episode is one of its most memorable ones. The costumes are classic -- like three-hole punch Jim -- but the real scares come from Michael trying to decide which employee to fire. Why did he wait until Halloween? Well, it's a fitting day to deliver bad news.

  • 'Stranger Things' - 'Trick or Treat, Freak'

    16

    Originally aired: October 27, 2017

    When: Season two, episode two

    Stranger Things brought viewers back to Halloween in the '80s where Ghostbusters costumes were everywhere. Fortunately the terrifying monsters Will sees on Halloween night didn't actually exist back then (or now).

  • 'That '70s Show' - 'Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die'

    17

    Originally aired: October 31, 2000

    When: Season three, episode four

    This Halloween episode paid homage to one of the great masters of horror: Alfred Hitchcock. Throughout the episode, references are made to Hitchcock's famous films like The Birds, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo, and even Psycho -- where Ashton Kutcher's character gets surprised in the shower.

  • 'Cheers' - 'Fairy Tales Can Come True'

    18
    John Ratzenberger and Bernadette Birkett in Cheers
    NBC

    Originally aired: October 25, 1984

    When: Season three, episode four

    This heartwarming episode sees Cliff finally finding love -- with a Tinkerbell he meets on Halloween. He just has to pluck up the courage to meet her out of costume, too.

  • 'Frasier' - 'Halloween'

    19

    Originally aired: October 28, 1997

    When: Season five, episode three

    This episode features a Halloween party with a telephone game gone wrong. Roz tells Frasier that she thinks she's pregnant, and her news is overhead and quickly shared throughout the party -- except the contents of the secret get changed when people begin to mishear the information. Soon, her secret has morphed into something completely crazy.

  • 'The Simpsons' - 'Treehouse of Horror V'

    20

    Originally aired: October 30, 1994

    When: Season six, episode six

    The Simpsons is known for its Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" episodes. The fifth one was especially memorable as it contained a parody of The Shining. In his version of the classic film, Homer tries to "off" his family after losing access to his beer and TV.

    Classic Homer.

halloween tv nostalgia

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