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The 7 Best Halloween-Themed Episodes on TV

Halloween is the best season: The candy, costumes, weather and, of course, the entertainment. Holiday-themed episodes are always exciting, and Halloween episodes are no exception. These seven episodes do a great job of capturing the spirit of the season:

How I Met Your Mother: “Slutty Pumpkin” (Season 1, Episode 6)

This is an absolute classic of television. The plot of this episode continues into many following episodes, and there’s even “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns.”

Ted meets a girl in a pumpkin costume, and they hit it off. Every year after, Ted goes back to that same Halloween party, wearing the same costume, hoping to find the girl he met that night, who was dressed as a “slutty pumpkin.” While this is happening, Barney is also trying to get with a girl; every time he fails, he tries again in a creative way: costume changes.

This episode is not only funny, but it also appeals to romantics who want to believe in love at first sight. 

Friends: “The One with the Halloween Party” (Season 8, Episode 6)

The episode takes place at Monica and Chandler’s apartment as they host a Halloween party. Chandler is dressed as a pink bunny (Monica bought him the costume), and Ross is dressed as “Spudnick,” with a potato on his head. Rachel and Phoebe have their own plot lines – Rachel, while giving candy to kids trick-or-treating, begins to doubt how good she’s going to be as a mom; meanwhile, Phoebe invites her twin sister Ursula’s fiancé to the party.

This episode is a fan-favorite, as it showcases each of the characters’ individual, classic, and well-remembered personalities. 

Modern Family: “Halloween” (Season 2, Episode 6) 

Claire turns the Dunphy home into a haunted house for trick-or-treaters and puts the entire family to work, giving them costumes and roles in the house.

The episode goes through both highs and lows; it touches on Cameron’s bad memories of Halloween, Gloria’s complicated relationship with her accent, and Mitchell’s bad day at work, where he was the only one wearing his costume to work – a relatable, embarrassing experience for any watcher.

The family dynamics of this episode, like every Modern Family episode, are why I’m such a fan. 

The Office: “Halloween” (Season 2, Episode 5)

Because of his procrastination, Michael is forced to fire one of his employees by the end of the day – and that day is Halloween. This “spooky” situation is complemented by the hilarious characters and creative costumes. The classic image of Jim dressed as three-hole-punched paper comes from this episode, as well as Pam dressed as a cat, and Michael with a paper decoupage head on his shoulder. As in almost every episode, Jim plays a prank on Dwight by putting his resume online.

The iconic costumes that appear in this episode are, for me, why it ranks on this list; even though the episode aired in 2005, the costumes are timeless.

The Office: “Costume Contest” (Season 7, Episode 6)

Another one of the funniest episodes of The Office: the employees participate in a costume contest where the winner gets a coupon catalog, which they believe is worth $15,000. Oscar, the only one who understands the coupons are actually worth $25,000 in savings, does not dress up and ends up winning the costume contest anyway, as his coworkers voted for who they thought was least likely to win.

The costumes – Gabe as Lady Gaga, Michael as MacGruber, Jim and Pam as the Popeye family, and Dwight as the Scranton Strangler – are also iconic, and they add another wholesome layer of comedy to an already hilarious show. 

Community: “Epidemiology” (Season 2, Episode 6) 

This is the most unique episode on the list by far. The dean of Greendale Community College throws a Halloween party for students and serves taco meat that he mistakenly bought from an army surplus store. The food is hazardous, and those who ate it turn into violent zombies. The dean, while trying to contain the situation, locks those who aren’t zombies inside the library.

The main plot line follows the study group as they try to save themselves and the others by turning down the thermostat, thus lowering the zombies’ fevers. The episode is different from most Halloween episodes because it’s a parody of a classic horror movie. It’s extremely entertaining, and I would 10/10 recommend watching the episode – or the entire show – if you haven’t already!

New Girl: “Halloween” (Season 2, Episode 6)

This episode of New Girl intertwines the romantic relationships of each character with the Halloween festivities. Jess is dressed up in an elaborate zombie costume and working in a haunted house, Winston is dressed as a police officer, and Schmidt is dressed as a young Abraham Lincoln. Nick takes on his fear of haunted houses in order to help Jess, but accidentally punches her in the face when she jumps out and startles him.

Overall, the episode is hilarious, showcases all the great characters, and balances friendship, romance, and Halloween. 

All in all, my favorite Halloween episodes are funny, not scary. Halloween is a great time to celebrate with friends and family and to laugh. For some people, scary movies might be the way to go, but for others (like me!) comedies do the trick!

Abby Blick

U Penn '24

Abby Blick is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying the Biological Basis of Behavior. She is from Long Island, New York and loves her dog, the NY Rangers, and Netflix.
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