Halloween is a time for tricks, treats, costumes, and some of your favorite TV shows. Whether you’re watching in preparation for the big night or planning to curl up on the couch the evening of October 31, grab your popcorn (or Halloween candy of choice), the remote, and a blanket (for protection, of course) and settle in for the best Halloween TV episodes, some of which you can stream now on Netflix, HBO Max, and other major streaming services.
In 2022, watching these popular shows’ takes on the classic holiday will get you right into the spooky spirit. They may not be your childhood faves, but they are this generation’s soon-to-be classics — and anyway, haven’t you seen the Friends Halloween episodes a million times already? Some of these are lighthearted comedy while others stray more into the horror genre, so if you’re watching these alone on Halloween night, get ready to lock your doors, close the blinds, turn off the lights, and be prepared for a scare.
- Euphoria (Season 1, Episode 6) “The Next Episode”
One of the biggest shows of this generation, Euphoria’s Halloween episode begins after many chaotic events. The characters take this spooky holiday occasion to dress up in costumes that just so happen to be symbolic to their characters. Rue and Jules are Romeo and Juliet, Cassie is Alabama Whitman from True Romance, and my personal favorite, Lexi, is dressed as Bob Ross. As the night goes on, the tension builds up for an unexpected ending that will leave you with your jaw on the floor.
- Stranger Things (Season 2, Episode 2) “Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak”
Who knew that the ’80s would be such a hit in the 2020s? Every new season of Stranger Things brings great nostalgia from music to fashion but in this episode, Stranger Things gives the ultimate ’80s Halloween with Mike, Will, Lucas, and Dustin dressed as the Ghostbusters — or at least, three-quarters of them. Also, who could forget Max scaring the boys dressed as Michael Myers? And it wouldn’t be an episode of Stranger Things if there weren’t monsters, the Upside Down, and Steve Harrington’s luscious hair.
- Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (Season 1, Episode 5) “Chapter Five: The Night He Came Home”
This new series didn’t disappoint during the fifth episode, when Imogen decides to throw a Halloween House party to raise money in hopes to keep the house her mother raised her in. The pregnant Imogen had no choice but to dress as the title character Rosemary from Rosemary’s Baby. She nailed the look, but this is Pretty Little Liars after all, so there wouldn’t be a party without A. Let’s just say that A left their mark by the end of this episode.
- Scream Queens (Season 1, Episode 5) “Pumpkin Patch”
Chanel Oberlin is the Queen of Halloween (and being mean), but in this episode of Scream Queens, Chanel’s Halloween is canceled. Dean Munsch sets a curfew on Halloween night that means the campus is closed, and no one is willing to take the risk of being on campus when the Red Devil is still at large. This only makes Chanel angry and she always gets her way but she may have met her match when she gets arrested. Being that this show is already a horror fest, this episode has more suspense than blood and gore. It is a nice touch for a show that killed off Ariana Grande in the first episode!
- Ginny and Georgia (Season 1, Episode 5) “Boo, Bitch”
The mother-daughter duo, Ginny and Georgia, made this Halloween-themed episode a date night. Ginny meets Hunter’s family, while Georgia goes on a date with the mayor — aka her boss. These dates go shockingly well for the two, but the aftermath is what makes this episode one for the books. The episode ends with a surprise visit from an unwelcome guest that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Also, did I forget to mention that Ginny and her friends dressed as Britney freaking Spears?
- Cobra Kai (Season 1, Episode 3) “Esqueleto”
In this Halloween episode of Cobra Kai, Johnny decides to advertise the new dojo as his only student at the moment is Miguel. Speaking of Miguel, the Halloween dance is here and he has no costume. Johnny being the cool sensei that he is, gives Miguel a costume that may or may not give you flashbacks to The Karate Kid. Daniel, on the other hand, is worried about Sam and her relationship with Kyler.
- Big Mouth (Season 4, Episode 9) “Horrority House”
In this episode, Nick, Lola, Jay, Andrew, Jessi, Missy, and Matthew all decide to go to a haunted sorority house to celebrate Halloween. The costumes are top-tier ,with Andrew as Jack Nicholson from As Good As It Gets, Jessi as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Matthew as Gianni Versace, and Jay and Lola as Bonnie and Clyde. There are so many spooky twists and turns as the group is split up and put through their worst fears.
- Riverdale (Season 4, Episode 4) “Chapter Sixty-One: Halloween”
The episode begins with the town already on edge, as all the residents of Riverdale receive a strange tape showcasing their house for hours upon hours. Jughead narrates this episode like a novel, telling the story of Archie and Mad Dog, Veronica, Betty, Cheryl and Toni, Kevin, and Reggie, as well as himself. Each group deals with a series of unfortunate events. With Riverdale already being a spooky show, this episode will keep you on your toes.
- On My Block (Season 1, Episode 4) “Chapter Four”
Where to begin with this episode? There is a lot to unpack. Monse and Cesar are fighting, Jamal is trying to find clues as to where the RollerWorld money could be, and Ruby is trying to make Olivia fall in love with him. The group would usually stay in, watch scary movies, and eat candy, but they decide they want to try something different this year. So, they travel to Brentwood for some upscale trick or treating. Monse and Jamal end up going one way to give a visit to a connection to RollerWorld while Cesar, Ruby, and Olivia crash a Halloween party. By the end of the night, the group might’ve wished they just stayed at home.
- American Horror Story (Season 8, Episode 3) “Forbidden Fruit”
The ultimate horror show of this generation and with many episodes to choose from, “Forbidden Fruit” takes the cake as one of the most iconic episodes of American Horror Story. This Halloween-Themed episode takes place during the Apocalypse season and has the characters set inside a bunker away from the rest of the world as the world is crumbling to pieces. Ms. Venable and Ms. Mead are tired of their house guests, and decides to throw a Halloween bash that would end the night with a few bodies, if you get what I’m saying. This episode is also the first time that the creators of American Horror Story have placed a story in the same timeline as a past season.
- Scream (Season 2, Episodes 13 & 14) “Halloween” and “Halloween II”
This Halloween special is dark, scary, and everything you would want in a Halloween-themed TV episode all wrapped into one. The start of the episode introduces a new killer by having them slash the throat of the past Ghostface with no mercy at all. Brutal! I would also like to mention how this episode takes place on an island that is far away from civilization, there is a storm, and they are unable to reach anyone by phone. By the end of these episodes you will be shocked, and a rewatch is even better because it gives you more time to focus on the scares than trying to figure out whodunit.
- Trinkets (Season 2, Episode 4) “Ghouls Just Want To Have Fun”
Tabitha loves Halloween, but is too overwhelmed to celebrate as her ex is bothering her, the subject of her project suddenly disappears, and she must now find a replacement before her project is due. Moe is not particularly thrilled about the holiday, but is ready to party when Elodie asks the girls to join her at Rachelle’s party so she can hangout with a girl she is crushing on. Elodie somehow convinces her father to let her go to the party after being grounded. She is given 90 minutes of free time, and let’s just say the girls didn’t waste any second!
- All American (Season 4, Episode 19) “Murder Was The Case”
This show decided to stay away from the tricks and instead highlight the treats that Halloween can offer. JJ throws a murder mystery Halloween party for his friends. Everyone is thrilled initially hearing about the party until they see what the objective of the night is. JJ has to convince his friends to participate and after many disagreements, they all come together in the end. Though, the episode ends abruptly with a cliffhanger for the next episode that will make you do a double take.
- Dear White People (Season 1, Episode 1) “Chapter 1”
A show that is not afraid to go all out, Dear White People has its Halloween episode take place as the start of its series. In this episode, several characters are introduced as some of the few black students at Winchester University. Samantha White is the host of a radio show called Dear White People, and many students find the show to be problematic. The students decided to take matters into their own hands and think it is a good idea to throw a Halloween “Blackface” party. Yes, I did type that correctly. Sam uses her platform to call out this racist behavior, but it only leads to her getting called out for having a boyfriend who just so happens to be white. Sam then has to navigate speaking up for her culture and explaining her relationship to her friends.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 1, Episode 6) “Halloween”
The nine-nine takes Halloween very seriously, and I think it is fair to say that this episode is a great introduction to a series favorite: the Halloween Heist. Jake is out to prove that as a detective he would make a better criminal than most criminals. Captain Holt takes him up on that bet — and the rest is history.