One of arguably the most exciting holidays of the year is right around the corner. Accompanied by falling leaves, pumpkin spice, and sweater vests, nobody seems to mind the crisp autumn wind as they celebrate in the costumes they’ve spent weeks working on. Yes, that’s right – we’re talking about Halloween, of course!
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best sitcom Halloween episodes from all of our favorite comedies – both new and old! So if you haven’t decided what you want to be for Halloween this year, here’s hoping that you’ll be able to find some inspiration in the episode below.
In no particular order, let’s kick it off!
The Office Season 2 Episode 5 “Halloween”
The Halloween episodes of The Office are nothing but comedic gold, if only for the costume creativity and regular, everyday drama that surrounds it every single year.
In this particular episode, we get our first glimpse of Jim’s minimalistic approach to the holiday as he shows up as a “three-punch hole”. On the other hand, you have Dwight, whose costume is just as nerdy as viewers could have ever expected it to be. This is also the episode where we meet Michael’s Siamese twin costume which, to be honest, looks more creepy than it is funny.
Filled with all the typical Jim-Dwight pranks, cautious flirting between Jim and Pam, and a scheme that has Michael procrastinating the firing one of his employees, it’s definitely a Halloween special for the books.
How I Met Your Mother Season 7 Episode 8 “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns”
Can we really talk about HIMYM Halloween specials without talking about the Slutty Pumpkin? I mean, it is an extremely iconic part of the overarching story – the Slutty Pumpkin was not the mother. What it was, though, was a decade-long story in the making.
After Ted meets the Slutty Pumpkin at a rooftop party – a story which he retells to Robin early in the first season – he spends every year hoping that he’ll meet her again. In this episode, Ted tells his children the story of how he finally managed to track her down again, albeit 10 years later. Sadly, Naomi, although beautiful, was a story that ended on the same night.
Parks and Recreation Season 2 Episode 7 “Greg Pikitis”
While the Halloween theme is not as dominant in this episode, it’s still filled with the costumes and pranks that come with the holiday territory.
Ann plans a Halloween party that ends up sounding more exciting than it actually turned out to be. That is, until Tom shows up and gets things started with a dance floor. While all of that is going on, Leslie and Dave spend hours watching a high school vandal who manages to stay one step ahead of them the entire night, unraveling a series of events that’ll have you cracking up at every turn.
Community Season 2 Episode 6 “Epidemiology”
Complete with creative costumes and the ever-enduring zombie trope, “Epidemiology” is by far the most iconic Halloween episode of the series and one of the best sitcom Halloween episodes in general.
After the dean accidentally serves an unknown substance from the army surplus store at the campus Halloween party, some of the guests start to feel strange. Those who get sick turn into violent, zombie-like people who try to pass on the sickness through bites. Our favorite motley study group formulates a plan to help those infected and though the episode ends with everyone being cured, the vague memories of the event are assumed to have been caused by drugs.
That 70’s Show Season 3 Episode 4 “Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die”
Any fan of the horror/suspense/thriller genres should know Alfred Hitchcock and will truly appreciate this episode of the classic early 2000s sitcom, That 70’s Show. Here, the writers pay homage to one of the greatest filmmakers of all time with a ton of references to some of Hitchcock’s more well-known works.
These include a scene between Fez and Eric reminiscent of both Vertigo and Rear Window, Kelso’s trouble with mistaken identity similar to that of Cary Grant’s in North by Northwest, and his mishap in the shower that reflects a very similar shower scene in Psycho. Even Kitty Forman has some trouble with birds – a very obvious reference to, well, The Birds!
The Big Bang Theory Season 5 Episode 7 “The Good Guy Fluctuation”
Of course, a sitcom featuring a group of nerdy scientists is going to have the best costume ideas, whether it’s from a Halloween episode or not! From superheroes to scientific concepts (i.e. Sheldon’s Doppler effect costume) to the hobbits of Middle-Earth, it’s a gold mine!
Ironically enough, our favorite TBBT Halloween episode involved more pranks than it did costumes. Outside of the drama that happens with Leonard’s relationship with Priya, they decide to play a prank on Sheldon. He repeatedly tries to get revenge, but thanks to his inherent inability to be cunning, it backfires every time. Finally, Sheldon succeeds with Leonard just as the latter is ending his relationship.
Seinfeld Season 4 Episode 9 “The Opera”
Seinfeld doesn’t technically have specific Halloween-themed episodes, but this one is definitely creepy enough to fit the bill. In fact, some fans would argue that it’s one of the darker episodes of the entire series.
The episode centers on the group’s plans to watch Pagliacci, an opera literally translated to “clowns” and about murder. Almost reflective of that, Elaine discovers that her boyfriend “Crazy” Joe Davola has been secretly taking pictures of her and putting it on a wall in his apartment, prompting her to end the relationship. She also finds out that he’s the same Joe who’s been leaving threats on Jerry’s telephone recorder. Even further, Joe dresses up in the Pagliacci clown costume and scares Kramer into getting the extra ticket to the opera.
The Conners Season 1 Episode 3 “There Won’t Be Blood”
The Conners may be a fairly new show but as a spinoff from Roseanne (which got canceled in 2018 due to a controversy surrounding the actress in the lead role, Roseanne Barr), it holds a lot of promise for awesome Halloween episodes – just like Roseanne.
Since it’s only on its second season, there’s really only one Halloween episode from The Conners thus far, but it didn’t disappoint. As Darlene promised in the series premiere: it certainly seemed like they “[Spent] every dime on Halloween”! With the Conner house all decked out for the holiday, Darlene starts an argument with her father Dan when she receives a notification from Mark’s school that certain “offensive” costumes – including her son’s – have been banned.
Friends Season 8 Episode 6 “The One with the Halloween Party”
In all the awesome Friends episodes throughout its decade-long run, can you believe that there’s only one Halloween-themed episode? As expected, it’s filled with creative costumes and the antics that only the Central Perk gang could get up to. Making it one of truly the best Halloween sitcom episodes of all time.
Monica and Chandler host a costume party for their friends, with Monica surprising Chandler with a baby pink rabbit costume – a failure at her attempt to dress him as The Velveteen Rabbit. Meanwhile, Rachel gets into trouble giving away candy (and money) to trick-or-treaters, Ross and Chandler test their masculinity in an arm-wrestling match that goes on too long, and eventually, Chandler ends up almost losing to Monica as well.
Full House Season 7 Episode 1 “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night”
Though this episode doesn’t specifically happen on Halloween, it’s got a scary story that still makes perfect for the holiday.
It starts with a scary story from Steve Hale on the last day of camp about a “Mud Man” named “Cropsy Maniac” – the name alone is enough to scare the kids into falling asleep. After a series of events that lead Steve and the girls back to camp, they get stranded there during a thunderstorm. Michelle begins to freak out, and a case of unfortunately mistaken identity almost turns into a fistfight against the Mud Man.
Last Man Standing Season 6 Episode 5 “Trick or Treat”
Having trouble deciding on a theme for your Halloween party this year? Maybe this episode can be your inspiration!
When the Baxter family talks about their plans for their annual party, Vanessa lets Mike decide on the theme for the year. Reluctantly, Mike agrees but hopes to make it the family’s last Halloween party by making sure it’s a theme that’ll make everyone hate the holiday.
He decides to have everyone swap roles because it’ll have everyone making fun of each other and bickering. Lo and behold, he was spot on. Not to worry, though, as the family comes together again in the end.
Young Sheldon Season 2 Episode 6 “Seven Deadly Sins and a Small Carl Sagan”
In The Big Bang Theory, they all take their costumes uber seriously – but none more so than Sheldon (whose dedication to The Flash astounded me every time). Young Sheldon is only two seasons in but already, we can see where Sheldon’s penchant for costumes no one understands started.
In the series’ first Halloween special in season 2, Sheldon dresses up as Carl Sagan who of course, no one knows. Meanwhile, Pastor Jeff, Mary, and Mr. Lundy set up a Halloween Hell House with a ‘Seven Deadly Sins” theme intended to warn the youth of the consequences of sin.
It’s definitely amusing to see all the horror house rooms dedicated to reflecting pride, gluttony, lust, greed, envy, sloth, and wrath – as well as how young Sheldon’s scientific costume fits into it all!
Black-ish Season 1 Episode 6 “The Prank King”
Halloween at the Johnson family household is less about costumes and much more about pulling pranks. In its very first Halloween special, it’s pretty apparent that the family’s patriarch, Dre, is more than a little in love with the holiday.
Apparently, there’s an ongoing Johnson family tradition that involves a competition on who can pull the most outlandish pranks on each other. He starts to worry that his kids are going to ruin the fun for him by not participating in this tradition. To be honest, that sounds like a family tradition that even I would be hesitant to jump into!
The second season’s Halloween special of this family-friendly TV show (“Jacked o’ Lantern”) shows a little more of that family tradition, so you might want to check that out, too!
Boy Meets World Season 2 Episode 6 “Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?”
Going back old school, Boy Meets World is a 90s classic show whose Halloween specials use the typical horror tropes of the 90s as well: witchcraft, clowns, and werewolves, of course!
In this flashback-type episode, Cory narrates being attacked by an unseen predator that he thinks may have been the escaped wolf from the zoo. Out of paranoia, he visits a fortune teller and all her predictions regarding his “condition” come true: a strange appetite and body hair included.
After going through the motions of ensuring he doesn’t accidentally harm Topanga, he finds out it was merely paranoia and it wasn’t actually the wolf that lunged at him.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 3 Episode 10 “Mac is a Serial Killer”
Okay so strictly speaking, this one isn’t a Halloween-themed episode. In fact, It’s Always Sunny doesn’t really have those and to be honest, the show tackles such “taboo” and generally untouched topics in media that it doesn’t need Halloween episodes to stray from the mainstream – and that’s why we love it so much!
In this episode, the gang is torn in half by differences in opinion on the serial killer they’ve been reading about who preys on beautiful young blondes. Charlie and Frank suspect that Mac may be the serial killer, while Dennis and Dee think Mac just isn’t smart enough and seek to find the real killer. Cue back-and-forth scenes of Charlie and Frank stalking Mac while the latter two attempts to lure the serial killer to come out from hiding. In the end, they all end up catching the killer by accident.
Superstore Season 4 Episode 4 “Costume Competition”
When you have a sitcom set in a big-box store and it’s time for Halloween, you just know that its employees are going to get creative. After all, you can probably make almost any kind of costume from what you can find at a retail store.
In case you missed the episode title, the Cloud 9 Store 1217 employees find themselves in a costume contest in order to win a paid vacation day. And boy, do they take this seriously.
Employees are sabotaging each other’s’ costumes, forming cliques to gang up on others, and even guilt-tripping colleagues for “culturally inappropriate” costumes. From wild costumes like Super Mario, Superman, Dracula, a hula dancer, and even a Smurf to speeches to support their choice of costume, see if you can judge this competition for yourself!
Modern Family Season 2 Episode 6 “Halloween”
Halloween is a huge deal at the Dunphy household and Claire’s enthusiasm has spawned a multitude of specials throughout the series, making it mighty hard to choose the best one. In this case, though, it would definitely have to be the show’s first in season 2.
Claire and Phil go all-out on the Halloween decorations, and Claire makes sure everyone in the family has a specific role to play to spook the young trick-or-treaters. Despite Claire’s best efforts and amped up control freak tendencies, nothing seems to be going right. Gloria and Jay are fighting, Cam can’t get past the retelling of childhood trauma, Phil is obsessed with “staying sexy and spontaneous” for Claire, and Haley just can’t tone down her costumes.
Frasier Season 5 Episode 3 “Halloween”
Like its predecessor on this list, this Frasier episode is aptly titled “Halloween” and plays on a theme that really should be used more often given its endless possibilities.
Niles decides to host a Halloween fundraising party and considering the beneficiary is the Library Association, it seems only proper that the theme is literary characters. From personalities in The Canterbury Tales to Sherlock Holmes and even Waldo from Where’s Waldo, you’re bound to draw plenty of inspiration from this theme – whether historical or fictitious, you’ll never run out of options!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5 Episode 4 “HalloVeen”
Now, I already know what all the B99 fans are thinking: Halloween Heists! As one of the running gags of the show, I’d personally recommend watching all of the B99 Halloween specials. Basically, the gang competes every year to determine who is The Ultimate Detective/Human/Genius through a series of complicated tricks and schemes to steal specific objects, from Holt’s medal of valor to his watch, a crown, a plaque, and a cummerbund.
This particular edition in season 5 is the best, in my personal opinion, because this is when Jake comes up with a ruse to finally, finally propose to Amy. *swoon*
New Girl Season 2 Episode 6 “Halloween”
Last on this list of the best sitcom Halloween episodes is from New Girl. At this point, the loft mates are all still dating other people: Jess and Sam, Nick and Amelia, Cece and Robby, Winston and Shelby, and…Schmidt.
At the carnival where Jess is working, Winston and Shelby start arguing because he doesn’t understand her costume. Meanwhile, Nick is trying to overcome his fear of commitment by first overcoming his fear of the haunted house. Not the brightest of ideas to begin with, Nick’s trip through the house of horrors goes horribly wrong when he ends up accidentally sucker-punching Jess as she jumps out to scare him. Oops.
Hopefully, this round-up of the best Halloween episodes has given you all the inspiration you need for your next costume party – whether hosting or attending! Have a spooky Halloween, everyone!