7 Of The Best Halloween TV Episodes Of All Time

From “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to “The Simpsons.”

Each year, everyone obsesses over the perfect scary movies to watch for Halloween — but what about when TV shows give us their take on the holiday? In the vast landscape that is television, there are many instances when it also takes the spooky aspects film does to become essential pop culture viewing.


We here at A Plus wanted to choose a few installments of some popular series both semi-new and classic that you can queue up on some dark and stormy night. When you aren't obsessing over your favorite celebrity costumes or figuring out what your squad's group Halloween costume will be, maybe you can revisit one of these episodes — or discover something new.

So, grab some Halloween candy and get to streaming:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Halloween"

While many choose "Fear, Itself" as their Buffy the Vampire Slayer Halloween pick, it's the show's first crack at the spooky holiday that captures our hearts. Sunnydale should be quiet for Halloween, as the vampires usually take that night off, so instead, we see trick-or-treaters transform into whatever they're dressed as thanks to a costume shop owner who has cursed the outfits. For Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) that's an 18th century noblewoman, Willow (Alyson Hannigan) a ghost, and Xander (Nicholas Brendon) a soldier. Of course, the Scooby Gang is able to overcome this but we have to admit that seeing kids turn into demons is quite scarring.

Where you can watch it: Hulu

Community: "Epidemiology"

Community got Halloween right whenever it tackled it, but its first horror-themed attempt is perfection. Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) — dressed as Lady Gaga — got bad taco meat from the army surplus store and, when partygoers at Greendale eat it, they start acting like zombies. It's a great take on that genre and we get to see Abed (Danny Pudi) help Troy (Donald Glover) become "the first Black man to make it to the end" — while rocking their Aliens-inspired costumes.

Where you can watch it: Hulu

Glee: "Rocky Horror Glee Show"

What could you want more than seeing the Glee kids take on the quintessential cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Nothing, that's what. The New Directions deliver seven of the movie's famed songs, with the role of Dr. Frank N. Furter — typically played by a man — played by Mercedes (Amber Riley). Finn (Cory Monteith) and Rachel (Lea Michele) assume the lead roles of Brad and Janet, naturally. In addition to John Stamos in a guest spot, we also see Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf — who were in the original film — as well.

Where you can watch it: Netflix

How I Met Your Mother: "The Slutty Pumpkin"

How I Met Your Mother was always known for its ability to carry hilarious gags throughout various seasons — Slapsgiving, anyone? — but one of its best-known running jokes is that which begins in "The Slutty Pumpkin" (and ends with "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns"). Ted (Josh Radnor) dresses as a "hanging chad" — a reference to a Florida presidential ballot from the 2000 election — each year in the attempts to reconnect with a random woman he saw at a party dressed as a "slutty pumpkin" (deemed this nickname because of the strategic cut-outs the jack-o'-lantern costume had). Years later, he finally meets her again — with Katie Holmes playing the role — and finds out they weren't meant to be after all.

Where you can watch it: Netflix

The Office: "Halloween"

Michael (Steve Carell), being the incompetent but well-meaning boss he is, has waited until the last day of the month to fire someone after being told to do so earlier in the month. This, of course, just so happens to fall on the day of the office's Halloween party. Michael is donning two heads for a costume while Dwight (Rainn Wilson) is a Sith Lord from Star Wars, Jim (John Krasinski) is "Three Hole Punch Jim," and Pam (Jenna Fischer) is a cat — as are two other women in the office. This is The Office's first crack at Halloween and is a home run.

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Roseanne: "Boo"

Roseanne was famous for tackling Halloween quite a few times, so to be fair we just chose the first attempt. It features Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan (John Goodman) competing to see who can out-scare the other. There are creative and elaborate costumes, with the married couple's undead ventriloquist and dummy combo being quite memorable. You can't go wrong with any of this show's Halloween episodes, but it only makes sense to start at the beginning to trace the Conner family prank war in its entirety.

Where you can watch it: TV Land

The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror V"

There has been a "Treehouse of Horror" installment on The Simpsons ever since its second season, resulting in nearly 30 thus far in the show's long run. Each episode is split into three separate, self-contained segments each telling a different story, and having a horror, sci-fi, or supernatural feel. "Treehouse of Horror V" is one of the most popular and it features "The Shinning," a reference to Stephen King's The Shining. Elsewhere in the episode we get "Time and Punishment" and "Nightmare Cafeteria." Given how many attempts The Simpsons has had for Halloween specials and the quality of them, this show has definitely put its stamp on the holiday.

Where you can watch it: FXX

Cover image via ABC | NBC


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.