While watching television characters dress in costume and sip on Transylvania Iced Tea might not be as exciting as actually partaking in the action, television certainly has shown its viewers some over-the-top holiday fun. From comedic to profound, here are a few favorite Halloween-themed television episodes:
10. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- Hex and the Single Guy (Originally aired 10/25/1993)
This episode is the epitome of unrealistic entertainment, as the entire episode takes place in Will's dream. With Hilary's insistence, the family visits a psychic who is supposedly able to reach out to Hilary's late fiancé, Trevor. When Will disbelieves the psychic's abilities, a curse is brought upon the whole family and inevitably, they all blame Will. The ridiculous hexes the family members encounter paired with Carlton's portrayal of Macaulay Culkin made for a Halloween episode that was literally out of this world.
9. Beverly Hills, 90210 - Halloween
(Originally aired 10/31/1991)
One thing about Halloween parties on TV is the array of costume ideas viewers can obtain. This episode of 90210 is no exception. Perhaps the funniest parts are when Donna is shown constantly stumbling in her mermaid costume… leave it to Donna. Ultimately though, this episode brings about the serious issue of rape when Kelly shows up in a revealing "friendly witch" costume and catches a college student's attention. Fortunately, Donna and Brenda come to her rescue and Steve's fist makes contact with the guy (Shocking!). One thing missing from the party: Brandon Walsh.
8. Home Improvement - The Haunting of Taylor House
(Originally aired 10/28/1992)
The little details are what make this episode hilarious. Keep in mind: Most of this occurs during Tim's "Catacombs of Terror," his version of a haunted house. When Brad's girlfriend Jennifer shows up to the house with another boy (the two are even dressed alike), Tim makes it his mission to scare him the most. Solely with Tim dressed as a woman, Jill as a carrot, Brad as Raggedy Andy (a "doll") and Mark as his father, there is no reason this episode would go without laughter. And, did anyone else catch Wilson's carved pumpkin… of himself?
7. Will & Grace - Boo! Humbug
(Originally aired 10/26/1998)
If Jack and Karen weren't outrageous enough in every other episode, Glen 125th and Shu Shu Fontana should be. Dubbing their "drag names" at a downtown parade, the two quickly befriend drag queens, who give much attention to Karen at Jack's detriment. Meanwhile, Will and Grace have a low-key Halloween which includes movies, babysitting and Jawbreakers. This episode is just as wacky, if not more, than their non-themed ones.
6. The Office - Halloween
(Originally aired 10/18/2005)
Seldom does the Office lack inappropriate comments from Michael Scott. This episode does - for the most part. It also lacks significant Halloween content, but the show makes up for it in three ways. One, Creed talking his way out of being fired is hilarious. We can all learn a thing or two from him. Two, the costumes - only Jim could pull off dressing as a three-hole punch. Finally, I have to wonder how many employees threw pumpkins on their supervisors' cars after watching this episode.
5. Boy Meets World - And Then There Was Shawn
(Originally aired 2/27/1998)
So even though this episode is not technically the Halloween episode, it has enough horror flick clichés to be included in this list. The plot, actually Shawn's dream, revolves around the kids being in detention for overreacting about Corey and Topanga's break-up. Unrealistic dead bodies, a creepy janitor, girlish screams and Eric's "dun dun dun" all make this episode unique in the Boy Meets World series.
4. The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror V
(Originally aired 10/30/1994)
Although there is a new Treehouse episode every year, the season six episode includes the segments The Shinning, Time and Punishment and Nightmare Cafeteria. This series is turning into a classic with millions of viewers tuning in for these episodes every Halloween. Homer goes insane from lack of television and beer, he breaks a time machine time and time again and Principal Skinner decides to eat the students. How much more can go wrong in Springfield this October?
3. Friends - The One with the Halloween Party
(Originally aired 11/1/2001)
A typical episode of Friends with uptight Monica and Chandler's one-liners, this episode truly relied on the characters' Halloween costumes to get laughter. Although the three women were not dressed very uniquely, the men sure made up for it. With Sputnik "Doody" Ross and Chandler the pink bunny arm wrestling, and Joey coming dressed as Chandler, this Halloween episode is not surprisingly in the top three.
2. Roseanne - BOO!
(Originally aired 10/31/1989)
Halloween is obviously the Connor family's favorite holiday, as it is evident in their home décor, the costumes and especially the pranks they play on one another. One can never go wrong with the "fake cut" prank that Dan played on Roseanne and although dressing up as Freddy Krueger seems a bit too traditional for the Connor's, Dan makes it work. Every Halloween episode of Roseanne goes all out, but this one takes the cake.
1. How I Met Your Mother - Slutty Pumpkin
(Originally aired 10/24/2005)
If waiting for a slutty pumpkin isn't hilarious enough, add a gay pirate to the mix and you have a small taste of this number one Halloween episode. Once again, Ted's friends must hear the story of the slutty pumpkin and how he attends the same party year after year in hopes of finding his mystery woman. Even though Ted never finds his pumpkin, the episode is filled with hysterical jokes and fun costumes… and there's no doubt we'll be hearing a lot more of the slutty pumpkin in the years to come.
Story by Rebecca Kruse
Starpulse contributing writer