Let me know if there are any more I should throw into the mix, or if I'm missing YOUR favorite Halloween Special!
The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror V"
"At the end of the world, only cockroaches, Twinkies, and The Simpsons will survive." Ok, so I made that up. But as we're well past The End Of Days, and the Simpsons are on their TWENTIETH Treehouse of Horror, it feels pretty accurate. We chose Volume V because of the classic "The Shinning" segment. ("You have the Shinning, boy!" "Don't you mean the Shining?" "Shh! Do you want to get sued?")
No one does Halloween quite like Satan. And no one does Satan quite like South Park. Satan throws the biggest Halloween party the world/heaven/hell has ever seen. Especially when he comes up with something that "Diddy didn't do."
Castle - "Vampire Weekend"
Despite the fact that this episode aired barely a week ago, and I've already forgotten what the actual mystery was, it's already a classic in my book. Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) dressing as a "space cowboy," (aka: his very own cult character, Captain Mal Reynolds from "Firefly") is perhaps one of the most perfect moments of television ever filmed - at least for us Whedon-Geeks. Throw in the following Buffy nods, and sneaky Dr. Horrible riff, and it was an episode to die for.
Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School
There's an old TV myth that says the 6th episode of a series is THE most important episode. By this point the show has fully come into its own and if it's bad, it's never going to recover. But if it's GOOD, well, then this show is something to pay attention to. It's very telling that the 6th episode of HIMYM is this highly memorable Slutty Pumpkin episode. It's hard to tell what's better, Barney dressed as a penguin drinking root beer and Kahlua, or Ted dressed as a "hanging chad." In 2005.
Growing Pains - "Happy Halloween Parts 1 & 2"
WHY you ask, is this Growing Pains episode on the list? When we think of Growing Pains do we think of frights and scares? No. But this episode that features the Seaver family each trying to one up each other with a scary story inspired me in my later years. This is why the girls and I always try to one up each other with acts of destruction. Very important in my formative years, you see.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer - "Halloween"
In a series full of horror and monster stories, there are three specifically designated Buffy Halloween episodes. We chose this one because of the clean lines, and simply classic Halloween plot. Kids dress in cursed costumes. Turn into said costumes. Scooby Gang saves the day. It's magically delicious!
Quantum Leap - "The Boogieman"
leaps into a horror novelist (supposedly Little Stevie King's mentor) and is given some bad advice from the Devil masquerading as hologram Al. This episode even comes with its very own Macbeth-esque curse - fans refuse to call it by name, instead referring to it as "The Halloween Episode."
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." No holiday TV special list is complete without a Peanuts Even in our darkest hours here in the Apocalypse, we an always count on Charlie Brown and friends to make us smile.
And with that, I bid you all a happy, spooky, and safe Halloween.
PS: If you haven't guessed it yet, I'm TOTALLY going to be a Slutty Pumpkin tonight.