The best Halloween-themed episodes of TV, according to members of the Redhawk Radio and Reel Talk.
Annie Eyre | Senior Editor
Freaks and Geeks “Tricks and Treats”
As someone who has absorbed an inordinate amount of television, it was pretty hard for me to pick just one Halloween episode of TV to deem my favorite. However, after some extensive soul-searching, I’ve decided that the “Tricks and Treats” episode of Freaks and Geeks really tops it all. In just 45 minutes, Freaks and Geeks explores that terrible age in which you are too old for trick-or-treating, but too young to party all Halloweekend long. Teenage siblings Lindsay and Sam both attempt to squeeze into those categories, but ultimately end up recognizing that there is no fun in a high school Halloween. This episode is simultaneously sad and ridiculous; it’s a perfect reflection of how growing old ruins everything (or at least seems to, when you’re a painfully awkward teenager).
Meg Matthias | Co-General Manager & Business Manager
New Girl “Halloween”
Though the New Girl loft celebrates Thanksgiving every year on screen and Christmas occasionally, season two holds the show’s only true Halloween episode. In a very spooky combination of plotlines, each character is struggling with a new or old relationship: Jess decides to become more serious with Dr. Sam, Nick is visited by an old college crush, Winston and Shelby realize they’re no longer compatible, and Schmidt tries to break up CeCe and Robbie (who we finally discover is actually a very normal, nice guy). Even as the group navigates their way through a haunted house, it’s clear that the true fear-factor is the idea of navigating adult relationships—something none of the characters know how to do. The episode is funny and scary and very, very Halloween, but mostly it’s a reminder that treating people right is more important than avoiding conflict.
Sam Keeling | Featured Writer
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “Who Got Dee Pregnant”
When Dee reveals that she got pregnant after a Halloween party, the gang tries to figure out which of them is the father. The only problem? They were all belligerently drunk. What’s spookier than possibly getting your friend (or, in Dennis’s case, your twin sister) pregnant? The episode serves as a whodunnit, and each cast member’s memory is clouded by drunken haze and damaged egos. It’s got everything you could want in a Halloween episode, including hilarious costumes and general depravity utilized for black humor. Add in most of the show’s most hilarious recurring characters, the gang’s top-notch drunk acting, and the most extreme “Dee is a bird” running gag yet, and you’ve got the recipe for a great Halloween comedy.
Alec Hoelker | Featured Writer
The Office “Halloween”
The Office has countless number of memorable episodes, but for the holiday spirit, this Halloween episode will bring out the laughs in everyone. After a friendly reminder from his boss, Michael Scott must fire someone. Of course, Michael doesn’t want to because it would ruin the holiday spirit, but he must, so his day is filled with fake fires, advice from employees about who he should fire, and bragging about his two-heading costume. And not to mention the creative three-hole punch Jim Halpert, the Sith Lord Dwight Schrute, and other beautiful costumes. This is a great episode filled with laughs and the indecisiveness of Michael is comical.
Hannah Priebe | Programming & Internal Relations Director
The Middle “Halloween VI: Tick Tock Death”
The Middle has been my favorite show for years now (only partly because it features my spirit animal Sue Heck), delivering killer Halloween episodes from season 2 until its recent end. For me, though, season 7’s “Halloween VI: Tick Tock Death” is the clear Halloween-themed winner. It’s told by Brick, dressed as Rod Serling, in the vein of The Twilight Zone. To emulate such an iconic show would be a feat in itself for a drama, but especially so for a comedy. It features Sue and Frankie egging their terror-inducing neighbor’s house, as well as Axl and his friends thinking they’re being haunted by a Grim Reaper. The highlight of the episode, though, is the storyline with Mike and Brick trick-or-treating, especially the reveal about Brick’s supposed future that comes at the end of the episode. Ultimately, the episode pays homage to The Twilight Zone without straying too far from The Middle’s comedic roots, a perfect Halloween combo.
Quinn Karrenbauer | Featured Writer
Bob’s Burgers “The Hauntening”
One of the things that sets the animated series Bob’s Burgers apart from others is the often tangible sense of danger as the characters are plunged into very real, but always comedic, danger. While their Halloween episodes typically involve the kids running off to get into some major trick-or-treating shenanigans, this season six episode brings the whole family together for an episode that goes way beyond the spooks and scares of Halloween episodes past. Not a lot of sitcoms want to change their characters for fear of breaking the chemistry, but Bob’s Burgers breaks the mold in this episode as it attempts the impossible: Scare the aggressive and unflappable youngest child Louise. Spoiler: It does, and it manages to take us with her in between trademark punny costumes and always flawless voice acting.