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The Office, “Halloween”
Halloween at the Dunder Mifflin office means obligatory costumes, a mandatory party (with Michael approving overages for extra decorations) and unfortunately an employee dismissal. "And somehow I'm supposed to put on a costume and smile?" asks a highly-stressed Michael (Steve Carell). The highlight of the episode is the costumes: Dwight (Rainn Wilson) comes as a very convincing Sith Lord, Michael as a two-headed man (one regular, one paper mache), and Jim (John Krasinski) as three-hole-punch Jim — perhaps a joke that's only funny if you work at a paper supply company. Meredith (Kate Flannery) may be the unsung hero, though — try to catch a glimpse of her exposed brains as she leaves the office. And of course there's also some Jim and Pam (Jenna Fischer) gooey moments to keep the horrors at bay.
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Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, “Two Guys a Girl and a Psycho Halloween”
With Psycho Breg (Ryan Reynolds) on the loose, this may be one of the best Halloween episodes to ever haunt television sets. Everyone dies. Gruesomely. But, it's oh so funny. For example, Pyscho Berg kills Sharon (Traylor Howard) then stuffs her in the pizza oven, leaving only the tail of her mermaid costume on display, Johnny (Nathan Fillion) ends up dead in the juke box, and Pete (Richard Ruccolo) has a painful showdown with a meat cleaver and some cornflakes. By the end, there's no guys, no girls, but there's still at pizza place, and that is the most important thing.
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Halloween”
When the inhabitants of Sunnydale are turned into their Halloween costumes all hell breaks loose in the small Californian town (not literally — though that's pretty standard for a Tuesday in Sunnydale). Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) becomes a Victorian damsel in distress and Willow (Alyson Hannigan) disappears completely when her not-so-sexy-sheet-over-the-head costume turns her into a ghost. Thankfully, Xander's (Nicholas Brendon) army getup gives him the skills and the cool head to calmly navigate the frightening turn of events. It's definitely the not most "wiggins"-inducing episode of Buffy out there ("Hush"!), but it is as much fun as cramming your face with candy nonetheless.
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How I Met Your Mother, "Slutty Pumpkin"
In an age when any object/person/animal can be turned into a slutty costume version (see the Sexy Kenneth Bone getup) it's not surprising that Ted (maybe one of the most basic dudes on television) is enamored with a girl (Katie Holmes) dressed as a Slutty Pumpkin. He bumped into her back in 2001 and has been entranced by her strategically carved holes ever since. Each year he's waited at the same party in the hope of meeting her again. But this is Ted and he's not exactly the luckiest in love so, of course, she doesn't show. But, it's not the end of the Slutty Pumpkin — she returns to more deeply carve out her role in later seasons.
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Happy Endings, "Spooky Endings"
The gang hits up a warehouse party putting maximum effort into their costumes, only to have them largely misinterpreted. Dressed as Marilyn Monroe, but suffering from a sore throat, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) is mistaken for a transvestite, and Dave (Zachary Knighton) isn’t quite as groovy as he hoped in a dated Austin Powers costume. The real scene stealer, however, is Penny (Casey Wilson) and Max's (Adam Pally) mommy-and-baby-combined costume which, while certainly a serious contender in any best costume competition, isn’t the most practical when it comes to using the bathroom or flirting. A+ for effort though, and an A+ episode all round.
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Modern Family, “Halloween”
If you ever dreamed of being part of the Dunphy household, this episode seals the deal. Obsessed with Halloween, Claire (Julie Bowen) transforms the family home into a haunted house with an abundance of decorations in a single-minded attempt to scare trick-or-treaters. Meanwhile, Phil (Ty Burrell) is experiencing his own personal horror, when he learns of his neighbor's divorce and becomes terrified his marriage will end the same way. Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) is delighted then horrified to discover his firm allows employees to dress up for Halloween, only to show up as Spider Man and learn that "only tools and douches wear costumes."
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Parks and Recreation, “Meet ’n Greet”
Andy (Chris Pratt) and April (Aubrey Plaza) decide to throw a Halloween party at their house but despite sharing every detail of how awesome the party’s going to be with the camera crew, they fail to let their roommate Ben (Adam Scott) know it’s happening. Instead of confronting them about it he opts for a healthy doze of passive aggression instead. Since Ben won’t admit that’s he annoyed about the party, Andy wrestles with him, puts him in a headlock and drags him around the party with him until he snaps and says that he’s mad. Then there’s this sound logic from Ron (Nick Offerman), when asked by Andy if he wasn't also a pirate last year: "Yes. This is my Halloween costume.” A great money-saving tip to keep in mind.
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Boy Meets World, “And Then There Was Shawn”
What is it about high schools after dark that gives them extra creep factor? In this Halloween special, Cory (Ben Savage), Topanga (Danielle Fishel) and co. all end up in detention and things get creepy when the words "No one gets out alive" appear in blood on the classroom’s chalkboard. Ugh, like, detention wasn’t bad enough. Then, pretty much everyone dies: Kenny (Richard Lee Jackson) is stabbed through the head with a pencil (ouch), Feeny (William Daniels) takes some scissors to the back, Feffy (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Eric (Will Friedle) are killed by an avalanche of books in the library and Angela (Trina McGee) and Jack (Matthew Lawrence) are pushed from a window ledge by the killer. Luckily, it’s all part of a vivid nightmare Shawn’s (Rider Strong) having in detention. Still, you can’t un-hear the lyrics to the creepy song playing over the PA system: “Welcome to John Adams High, Where you are gonna die, That's right, fall right this way. Here's a knife, here's a gun, There'll be fun for everyone, Death is on the menu tonight." Yikes.
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Angel, "Life of the Party"
Halloween may be the one day a year it really pays to be a green-faced, horned demon with a flair for the dramatic à la Lorne (Andy Hallett) in Angel. However, things go a little awry when he throws a party for the gang and his spoken advice literally starts happening. This leads to Fred (Amy Acker) and Wesley (Alexis Denisof) getting drunk when Lorne suggests they loosen up, Gunn (J. August Richards) urinating all over the office in an attempt to "stake out his territory," Angel (David Boreanaz) and Eve (Sarah Thompson) hooking up, and Spike (James Marsters) and Harmony (Mercedes McNab) tearing up the dance floor. But then a huge hulking demon form of Lorne appears as a manifestation of his subconscious and puts a general damper on the festivities. Still, not really a bad result for a Wolfram and Hart shindig.
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It's time for the annual Greendale Halloween party! Dressed as David Beckham, Jeff (Joel McHale), and Pierce (Chevy Chase), arrive at the gathering to discover that all the songs being played are by ABBA because they’re using Pelton’s (Jim Rash) iPod for music, and that the snacks are subpar because they were purchased at an army surplus store. If that wasn't terrifying enough, a mysterious sickness strikes, inciting guests to bite one another zombie-style. Panic ensues and ultimately the army has to intervene and erase everyone's memory. The main takeaway? A thermostat set to just the right temperature can stop the spread of infection. Somebody tell the kids over on The Walking Dead.
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Charlie Brown, “It's the Great Pumpkin”
It's on television every Halloween. It's a classic. There's a pumpkin patch. Need we say more? Check your local listings.
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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “Who Got Dee Pregnant?”
The big scare in this episode is the revelation that one of the guys is the father of Dee's (Kaitlin Olson) unborn child. To try and figure out who it might be, the guys cast their minds back to a recent halloween party, but their various versions of events are massively impaired by alcohol. Through the different characters' recollections, they try to piece together the "Who’s the Daddy" mystery. The best part of the episode isn't the reveal though, it's the fact that Dee becomes more and more bird-like in each guy's memory. She starts off with just a few feathers and end up portrayed by a real-life ostrich just pecking about at the party.
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New Girl, “Halloween”
There's no place like a haunted house to DTR. Dressed as a Joey Ramone-a Quimby — let's pause one moment to fully appreciate the genius of a costume that combines a '70s punk rocker and a fictional character from a series of children's novels —Jess (Zooey Deschanel) heads to her annual gig working at a haunted house in the hopes of telling Sam (David Walton) she wants their relationship to be more serious than the occasional hook-up. Sadly he doesn't have the same outlook and Nick (Jake Johnson), who is already aware of Sam's position, bids to overcome his fear of haunted houses to warn Jess. In the end he gets so agitated that he accidentally punches Jess in the face. But, hey, he had good intentions.
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Supernatural, “It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester"
While investigating two mysterious deaths in a small town, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) discover a witch is sacrificing people to summon a dangerous demon. Turns out that demon is Samhain who has the nifty ability to raise other frightening things from hell. Yay, a pending unstoppable bloodbath! Well, it is Halloween. On his arrival, Samhain comes across some high schoolers partying in a mausoleum, and locks them inside to be attacked by zombies and ghosts. The bros manage to put a stop to the demon's shenanigans though doing so takes a great physical toll on Sam.
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Sabrina the Teenage Witch, “A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It"
You'd think a teenage witch would be a pro when it comes to Halloween, but Sabrina is more than a little stressed when she somehow finds herself hosting a party at her aunts' house. You see, there's talking furniture (a mix up with the delivery), an accidental river of candy corn when a spell goes awry, and some monstrous "Halloween carolers" decide to come to visit from the Other Realm. Think a deluge of candy sounds kinda fun? Think again. Melissa Joan Hart told EW it was one of the more difficult episodes to shoot. "There was literally a dump truck full of candy corn dumping it on us,” she said, "and the talking furniture — that was hard to do."