Halloween is a special time in TV land, where shows go crazy with spooky, scary theme episodes unencumbered by the heartwarming tinge required of Christmas episodes. This year, that will include the Slutty Pumpkin (now played by Katie Holmes!) revisiting the "How I Met Your Mother" gang, "American Horror Story" (appropriately enough) promises to be even scarier with a special two-parter, and "The Simpsons" takes another trip to the "Treehouse of Horror." But will any of these be remembered for years to come alongside these modern classics?
"Castle": "Vampire Weekend" (2009)
Nathan Fillion dressing in a space-cowboy costume that looked suspiciously like his wardrobe in his brilliant but canceled show "Firefly" made this episode a lock for our list. Hearing Castle's daughter say that he'd worn it five years ago and that it was time to get over it was just icing on the cake.
"Community": "Introduction to Statistics" (2009)
This featured each cast member wearing costumes that revealed so much about their inner characters and ended with a heavily medicated Pierce -- dressed as Beastmaster -- and Jeff getting rescued from a collapsing cocoon of chairs and tables by Abed, doing a perfect Batman imitation, gravelly voice and all.
"Chuck": "Chuck Versus the Sandworm" (2008)
There was a plot about some sort of techy whiz kid whom Chuck bonds with, but we were too distracted by the sight of Sarah in a Princess Leia costume to really pay much attention.
"Supernatural": "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester" (2008)
When Halloween fun turns deadly (razor blades in candy, bobbing for apples in boiling water), Sam and Dean discover a witch's hex bags at the scene of each crime. The angels believe she's trying to raise Samhain, a demon who's one of the 66 seals that will raise Lucifer, and want to nuke the town, but the brothers persuade them to let them handle it. They fail to stop Samhain from rising, but masks made of blood keep them alive long enough to exorcise him.
"Bones": "Mummy in the Maze" (2007)
Not only did we get to see the cast members in their Halloween costumes -- including Brennan as Wonder Woman and Booth as a nerdy Squint -- but they had to wear them while investigating two mummified women left in Halloween-themed locations.
"The Big Bang Theory": "The Middle Earth Paradigm" (2007)
In preparation for Penny's "Boy-Girl" Halloween party, Wolowitz filled his Peter Pan costume's quiver full of condoms, Sheldon dressed as the layman-confusing Doppler Effect, Koothrappali went as Thor, and Leonard endeared himself to all of us by going as Frodo.
"The Office": "Halloween" (2005)
The papier-mâché head on Michael's costume that kept telling him to fire Dwight -- and Dwight's simultaneous freakout and indictment of said head -- made it a truly special "Office" Halloween.
"How I Met Your Mother": "Slutty Pumpkin" (2005)
Like Linus in the Peanuts Halloween classic, we learned that Ted returns to his roof every Halloween in the hopes that a girl dressed like a sexy jack-o'-lantern, whose number he lost four years ago, will return. One of the show's best episodes, period.
"Freaks and Geeks": "Tricks and Treats" (1999)
So many great things in this episode: Bill Haverchuck's "Bionic Woman" one-man show in his bedroom, Neal's "I'm looking for Chaplin; only seeing Hitler" line while applying his Groucho mustache, Mama Weir's perfectly dorky "Monster Mash" rendition, and, most of all, Lindsay's apprehension about rebelling with her new freak friends and blowing off her good-girl handing-out-candy duties for the first time.
"South Park": "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery" (1999)
The rock-metal band Korn. "Scooby-Doo" Mystery Machine. Pirate Ghosts. An inflatable Antonio Banderas doll. "Robocop" ED-209. Necrophilia. What do all of these things have in common? Absolutely nothing, and yet they all fit together in this hilarious episode of "South Park," which combines the gang's sick and twisted revenge on the fifth-graders with Korn's "Scooby-Doo"-style adventures, for some reason.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer": "Halloween" (1997)
The Scoobies bought cursed costumes that turned them into literal versions of whatever they were dressed as: a helpless damsel (Buffy), a soldier (Xander), and a ghost (Willow). Refreshingly, it was Giles who had to eventually come to their rescue and reverse the spell.
"The Simpsons": "Treehouse of Horror VI" (1995)
A lot of the early "Treehouse of Horror" episodes are great, but this one is by far the weirdest and most memorable of them all, thanks to all of Springfield's advertising statues that have come to life to attack the town's inhabitants, Groundskeeper Willie terrorizing children in their dreams like a Scottish Freddy Krueger, and, best of all, Homer entering a computerized world before busting through into our live-action reality.
"Roseanne": "Halloween IV" (1992)
This "Christmas Carol"-inspired episode had Roseanne going to a Halloween Past to show us how she met teen Dan at a party; then a Halloween Present, where Dan dressed as a headless Marie Antoinette; and finally a Halloween Future, in which Roseanne has turned into a man-pleasing Stepford wife who does the unthinkable: hands out toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters.
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