Halloween is a great time of year. Girls dress up in revealing outfits, we eat lots of candy without feeling bad about it, articles use terrible Halloween puns, and tv shows put out awesome Halloween specials. I personally find the Halloween episodes of many shows to be some of the best episodes. There is something inherently entertaining about seeing our favorite fictional characters dress up as other fictional characters. Some shows know how to create a better Halloween special than others, perfectly encapsulating the essence of the holiday. These episodes have scares, costumes, and are just an all around good time. Here are some of the best Halloween specials to ever be shown on television.
The Simpsons – Treehouse of Horror V
The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror has become a staple in Halloween programming. Every year The Simpsons parodies famous scary movies and books with the residents of Springfield, and these episodes are consistently hilarious. Perhaps the best Treehouse of Horror installment was the fifth, which featured parodies of Ray Bradbury’s story A Sound of Thunder and Stephen King’s The Shining. Homer’s line of “No tv and no beer mak Homer go crazy” captured his insanity in a way Jack Nicholson wishes he could have. Well maybe that is a bit of an overstatement, but it is very rare that watching a man try to murder his family is as entertaining as this.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is one of the best Halloween specials ever made. While it wasn’t part of an ongoing series, it has become an annual television tradition to show this episode on Halloween. Charles Schulz had great success with his Charlie Brown comic strip, Peanuts, and it made the transition to television beautifully. The show had all the innocence of the comic strip, along with the bittersweet feelings of childhood. Watching Linus wait for the Great Pumpkin to appear is one of the sweetest things to ever be shown on tv. If that’s a little too sappy for you, you also get to see people call Charlie Brown a blockhead and give him rocks instead of candy. I still think he should have thrown those rocks at some windows.
South Park – Spookyfish
South Park has had some great Halloween episodes. My personal favorite was the episode entitled Spookyfish. Stan gets a pet fish who somehow manages to go on a killing spree. Perhaps more terrifying than that is Stan’s mom’s reaction, who buries all the bodies she believes her little boy has killed. The highlight of this episode though is Cartman’s evil twin, complete with a goatee. Of course Cartman’s evil twin is one heck of a nice guy, which leads to some great misunderstandings.
Scooby-Doo – Headless Horseman of Halloween
Scooby-Doo was essentially an entire series of Halloween specials, but one actual Halloween episode stands head and shoulders above the others. The episode Headless Horseman of Halloween was great for several reasons. First off, the mystery part of the show was pretty good. Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and the rest of the gang go to a regular 70′s Halloween party, where Fred is definitely planning on putting a move on Daphne. Unfortunately he is interrupted when the Headless Horseman crashes the party. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy get scared, and most likely high, eat some Scooby Snacks. What separates this episode from the standard ones was the inclusion of Scooby-Dum, who is apparently Scooby-Doo’s mentally handicapped cousin. That’s great television.
The League – Ghost Monkey
The League is surprisingly hilarious for a show about friends who play fantasy football. The second season Halloween special is one of the funniest Halloween specials ever made. First, Taco steals a monkey, who subsequently gets accidentally thrown for a moving car. Strange things begin to happen and Taco suspects the vengeful spirit of the monkey. Ruxin goes absolutely insane when Pete gives him access to his fantasy football line-up, and Jenny tries to be sexy in the “fat old frog” costume her six year old daughter makes her wear. Oh yeah, Pete also starts to date a girl in a witch costume, who turns out to be an actual Wiccan. The episode culminates in a seance for the ghost monkey. As you have probably guessed by now, hilarity ensues.