Halloween is now exactly two weeks away, and I couldn’t be more excited! Watching scary or Halloween-themed movies is one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit, but sometimes, you just don’t have enough time to sit down and watch a film that’s over an hour long. Fortunately, there is a quicker alternative to getting your Halloween fix: watching the Halloween special(s) of your favorite TV show. From sitcoms to anime, there are countless series that feature a Halloween episode or two, and seeing familiar characters celebrate the holiday can be even more gratifying than watching a new movie. Here are some of my personal favorite Halloween episodes!
1. iCarly – “iScream on Halloween” (S1 Ep7)
Seeing Miranda Cosgrove in this ridiculous insect costume back in 2007 is a core memory from my childhood, and I think about it every Halloween. The impossibly gigantic pumpkin Spencer’s faceless pal Socko gives him to carve, the random “treats” Spencer hands out to trick-or-treaters, and Lewbert the unhinged doorman always have me laughing along with the audience laugh track, even 15 years later.
2. Parks and Recreation – “Meet n Greet” (S4 Ep5)
This is actually not the first, or last, Halloween episode of Parks & Rec: the first one, called “Greg Pikitis,” occurs in season 2. Part of the series finale also takes place on Halloween. However, “Meet n Greet” is my personal favorite, particularly because of this conversation between Andy and April in the opening scene. “Someone will die…” “…of fun!” “And of murder.” Their dynamic cracks me up!
3. Letterkenny – “The Haunting of MoDean’s II” (Special between S3 and S4)
One of the many things I love about Letterkenny is that they often occupy the time between new seasons with a holiday special. The Halloween special features the ghost of a man that had intimate relations with the bar owner at the age of 90, a seance held by two skids and a pastor, and actress Kamilla Kowal sporting a series of costumes that are not actually for Halloween, but rather for multiple charity events.
4. SpongeBob SquarePants – “Scaredy Pants” (S1 Ep13)
The image of SpongeBob’s exposed brain absolutely horrified me as a kid, and frankly still gives me the creeps today. I mean seriously, what was Nickelodeon doing showing this to children??? It certainly did its job as a creepy Halloween surprise, though.
5. WandaVision – “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!” (Ep6)
This episode was a special treat for old-school Marvel fans thanks to Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Quicksilver donning costumes in the style of their classic comic book counterparts. We were also able to see that not only is Wanda (SPOILER) powerful enough to create a whole town out of nothing, but she is also able to animate said town with intricate details including town-wide Halloween decorations and a whole population of costumed residents celebrating the holiday.
6. Ouran High School Host Club – “Until The Day it Becomes a Pumpkin!” (Ep21)
I’m not usually a fan of the romance genre, but Ouran has a special place in my heart as one of the first anime I ever watched in full. While Halloween is mostly a time for tricks and scares, it also opens up a lot of opportunities for cheesy romantic encounters. Participating in a frightening test of courage to impress your crush, getting lost and trapped alone in the dark with the person you like… How romantic! Personally, I prefer the guts and ghosts part of Halloween, but this is nice, too.
7. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – “The Dark Baptism” (S1 Ep2)
Halloween is an extra special occasion for Sabrina Spellman since it’s her birthday. This birthday in particular is even more monumental, as it is on her sixteenth birthday that she must sign her name in the unholy book of the Dark Lord. But first: a costume party! After all, it’s always important to get in some dancing with friends before satanic rituals. #justgirlythings
8. Banana Fish – “To Have and Have Not” (Ep12)
With a major character’s death still fresh on watchers’ minds, this lighthearted Halloween celebration serves as a much-needed respite for both the fans and the cast. That’s all I have to say about this one because every time I think about this anime, I break down. BRB, sobbing like a baby.