Road to Halloween: Danielle’s Top 5 Halloween Episodes

Written by Danielle Sing October 28, 2015

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As Halloween slowly creeps up on us, our favourite shows on the small screen try to discover new ways to incorporate this holiday for our viewing pleasure. Some television shows try to force the holiday on you at full throttle, and others have only subtle mentions, like the characters being in costume. The truly great Halloween themed television episodes are the one were Halloween is central to the plot or the episodes that were specially created for the holiday. Sorry, but Halloween episodes in which the character’s only wear a costume will not be considered – though I did love seeing Nathan Fillion dawn his Captain Malcolm Reynolds brown coat once again for “Castle”.

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5. Treehouse of Horror – “The Simpsons”

Treehouse of Horror is a classic Halloween television special that “The Simpsons” has done (almost) every season since the show’s creation. The reason Treehouse of Horror is classic is even non-Simpsons fans will love these episodes. Yes. I do not like “The Simpsons”. I do not think that I have ever liked “The Simpsons”. I do not like the humour of “The Simpsons” but Treehouse of Horror is amazing. Treehouse of Horror is usually done in three short segments that are not connected to one another. Most Treehouse of Horror episodes have some small connecting details, such as Kang and Kodos (the aliens), the names in the credits, and the many references to films. While I am including all episodes of Treehouse of Horror into this list in this one spot, the best episode is Treehouse of Horror V and Treehouse of Horror XXVI aired recently on the 25th of October.

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4. Edward Mordrake Part 1 & 2 – “American Horror Story: Freak Show”

While the connection to Halloween is a little more subtle in this two part Halloween special of “American Horror Story: Freak Show”, the day of Halloween is quiet central to the plot. In these two episodes, the performers of Elsa Mars’s freak show refuse to perform on Halloween because the spirit of Edward Mordrake (a two faced man) will come claim one of them for his collection. Their warnings are ignored and Edward Mordrake appears. These episodes are particular good for the series because it was an effective way to learn the backstory of many of the different characters, as Mordrake would demand to hear their stories. Wes Bentley’s Edward Mordrake is a very calm man, but terrifying at the same time – but this is enforced by that fact that I am still scared of Wes Bentley’s character in the film “Ghost Rider” (stop laughing). This episode is also great because the condition that Edward Mordrake could have had is real, craniopagus parasiticus, adding another layer of spookiness. Again, Halloween is subtle in these episodes but the date it is central to the plot.

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3. The One with the Halloween Party – “Friends”

Okay, Chandler in a pink bunny suit is all you need to know about this episode and it already sounds like a masterpiece. In this episode, Monica and Chandler host a Halloween party, a pregnant Rachel embraces her maternal side, and Phoebe breaks up her twin sister, Ursula, and her fiancé, Sean Penn. It sounds like the typical drama of an episode of “Friends” but with a Halloween twist. While this episode does seem like a lot of character’s just dressing up in costume, no matter how obscure the costume is – Ross… – Rachel does uses the Halloween tradition of giving candy to children as a way to nature her maternal side and Phoebe would not discover that Ursula was lying to her fiancé if she did not invite them to the Halloween party. Like the last episode on our list, The One with the Halloween Party is more subtly related to Halloween but the plot focused around Halloween. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see a giant pink bunny arm wrestle a potato? I told you Ross’s costume was obscure.

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2. Halloween – “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Wait, wait, wait, Danielle! Why Halloween over Fear Itself? Okay, yes, Fear Itself is a great Buffy episode but I believe that Halloween is much more creative. I mean, summoning demons is cool and all, but when do you get to see magical costumes that turn you into what you are dressing up as? If this was real, I’m dressing up as Xena: Warrior Princess every year for Halloween (do not steal my costume idea). This episode was pretty important in itself though: Cordelia learns that Angel is a vampire, the Oz and Willow relationship slowly starts, and Xander learns some badass military knowledge. The idea for Halloween is quite unique and it was done in an interesting way that revealed information about Giles’s past. If I wanted to see demons being summoned, I’d watch any old episode of “Supernatural”.

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1. The Honking – “Futurama”

We are back to another Halloween special of the animated comedy variety. The Honking is not only my favourite Halloween television episode, it is one my favourite “Futurama” episodes. In this episode of “Futurama”, Bender spends a night at his Uncle Vladmir’s castle and gets run over a car. This car has caused him to transform into a werecar, similar to a human turning into a werewolf. The Honking has several dozen cultural and horror film references coming out of Bender’s shiny metal ass, including the “The Wolf Man”, “The Car” and “An American Werewolf in London”. One of the biggest cultural references is that of Project Satan, the original werecar, as he is created from parts of evil cars, including both Hitler’s and Charles Manson’s cars. If you have not seen this episode of “Futurama”, I insist that you do.

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