While I love Halloween I’m someone who is more likely to curl up with something a bit less scary and a bit more humorous. This often means that I make time to watch Halloween specific episodes of some of my favorite shows. While they might get a little spooky they are still more fun than actively scary. I thought I would share my Halloween tv show go tos in case you are also looking for some fun watches over horror movies.
Now this list really just boils down to two different television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bob’s Burgers. They have been my Halloween go tos for years and I actively make sure to watch the episodes. I thought I would give my quick rank of the absolute must watches of the their Halloween episodes so that you can make a watch list. Buffy is always top of the list every year and I definitely recommend watching these in chronological order. The first is of course my favorite, Halloween, which is the sixth episode of season two. Now my primary reason for liking this episode so much is that Spike and Drusilla are in it. Beyond that Willow as the ghost is fantastic. For those who don’t know this episode like that back of your hand, the plot is that everyone becomes what they dressed up as for Halloween, but only if they bought their costume from a new place in town called Ethan’s. This leads to the reveal that Ethan is a former friend of Giles’ who does some dark magic. Buffy winds up thinking she is a woman from 1775, who really just wants to be protected from the evil demons attacking them, Willow becomes a real ghost, and Xander winds up thinking he is in the military (which gets randomly used in later seasons to give him a ridiculous amount of local knowledge pertaining to a military base). This one is early Buffy and fun to watch everyone playing a different version of themselves.
The next Buffy episode I always watch is Fear, Itself. This episode doesn’t appear until season four and is the fourth episode of the season. Now this one is focused a lot on Buffy having had her heart broken in a recent episode, but there is still Halloween happening. She is not really feeling celebrating, but winds up going to a frat party with Willow, Oz, and Xander. When they get there the party has turned into a nightmare with the props used to decorate coming to life and people’s greatest fears becoming a reality. The best part of this episode is the demon reveal, which is hilarious. There is a third Halloween episode, which is a surprisingly small amount of episodes for a show that revolves around a vampire slayer. This one is episode six of season six and focuses on Dawn, who sneaks out to be with two seemingly cool guys and her friend. While out she winds up in serious danger and Buffy and Spike wind up having to save her. The opening sequence at the Magic Box is my favorite part of the episode and Willow thinking a little girl is cute in her witch costume. I don’t always remember to watch this episode, but it is still a solid Buffy Halloween.
Bob’s Burgers is a holiday episode delight for a variety of seasonal events. Their Halloween episodes are always fun and what I love about them is that there are tons of great costumes for the characters. I even have keychains of some of the characters in their Halloween costumes on display in my office. I have currently watched 7 of the Halloween episodes. I had thought the most recent season would have a Halloween episode, but if it did air on actual television I missed it because it has yet to become available on Hulu, which is how I watch the series. These I typically watch in chronological order, but I thought I would share my ranking of them since I do like some more than others.
My absolute favorite episode is Fort Night. There is just something about that episode that feels like a perfect Halloween episode. The kids wind up trapped in their fort and Bob and Linda wind up going trick or treating in the costume they made for them. Millie Frock, who is Louise’s frenemie is in true enemy form in this episode and the comeuppance she receives by the end of the episode is really well done. While the kids might not get to do a lot of Halloween themed things this episode, we do get the Candy Randy song which totally makes up for that.
The next episode in my ranking is The Hauntening. This one is fun because it focuses on Louise really wanting to feel scared. What unfolds is this eerie episode, that while still very fun, does some takes on standard scary movie tropes. I love the reveal at the end and how Louise reacts when she finds out this entire plan was all for her. For my next pick, I’m going all the way back to the first Halloween episode, Full Bars. This one is just a classic and would have been higher, but I’m not a huge fan of the Teddy plot. I love that we see all the adults dressed up, but that poor guinea pig. We get the kids in costumes all going trick or treating and we get to see them enjoying the perks of super rich kid life when the take the ferry to the land of full bars.
In keeping with the trick or treating theme unexpectedly is Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street. This episode is very much focused on trick or treating and the kids doing their best to find Sugar Booms. When candy keeps being stolen they have to make it through a frightening haunted house to figure out just who has it out for their candy. We also get a fun Teddy and Bob plot with dueling decorations happening between Teddy and another handy man. My next one involves Linda being out with the kids on Halloween night, which is something new. The Wolf of Wharf Street is a spookyish episode with a possibly wolf loose in town. Linda has promised to take the kids trick or treating since Bob injured his leg and can’t go with them. While she’s out Teddy will keep an eye on Bob, which leads to pain meds making Bob paranoid and him thinking that Teddy is a werewolf. While that is happening, Linda and the kids wind up on a wolf hunt when she tries to be a cool mom and make up for the lack of candy they’ve been getting. This has some light horror elements that make it fun and the costumes in this one are great.
Starting our venture into Tina specific Halloween episodes is Tina and the Real Ghost. In this one Tina starts dating a box that might have a ghost in it. This ghost though gets taken by Jocelyn, who insists that he wants to date her instead. After that Louise and Gene plan to get revenge for their older sister, but things do not go as planned. This one is a little spooky and does give you a fun scare moment at the end of the episode. These next two don’t feel super Halloween themed to me, which is odd because I know they have a lot of Halloween nods in them. The first is Teen-a Witch, which I really do think is a fun episode, but for some reason just feels like it isn’t specifically set on Halloween. Tina wants to win the Halloween costume contest and winds up using magic to try and win. This leads to her casting a lot of spells and then getting into a feud with the crossing guard, who is totally a super powerful witch. Again, still a solid episode, but every time I watch it I just don’t super think Halloween. The final one on this list is Pig Trouble in Little Tina. Now I love Tina, she is the character I am probably the most like, but somehow her Halloween episodes just never seem to feel as centered on Halloween as the others. This one I don’t super like solely because the creepy pig weirds me out. I know that is the point, but while there are some great Nightmare on Elm Street touches I just really don’t like thinking about pig dissection. The episode does have a hay ride and the older kids trying to do Halloween things, but it isn’t the most Halloween focused of the episodes.