For all the flak suburbs get for being stale, boring, and decidedly uncool, Halloween is the strongest counterargument for the cul-de-sac life. Kids actually get to go outside — after dark! — and run around streets decked in stuffy polyester, with their friends, with tons of parents watching, all to score scores of candy. It’s a near-universal childhood and parental experience, a touchstone for families.
So it’s no surprise to see how incredibly stoked Louis is to have his first spooky night in Orlando. He storms home from the costume store with his-and-hers B.A. Baracus (a.k.a. Mr. T) get-ups. Don’t worry: The lady’s version is gendered with a bow-hawk in lieu of the classic masculine mohawk. Jessica is less than thrilled; she’s more interested in applying the final moves on her future home to flip. “Don’t you want to experience the one thing white people do better than us?” Louis poses. “Begging for candy in disguise to hide your shame?” Jessica retorts. “No thank you.”
Meanwhile, Eddie and his buds are detailing the best houses to hit: Trent breaks down the neighborhood in a way that’s reminiscent of a general preparing for war. As for costumes, Eddie sticks with his hip-hop love and rolls as Humpty Hump. At the very least, this outfit prompts maybe my favorite line of the series, from tiny Brian, concerning restrooms of fast-food joints.
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However, both Louis and Eddie’s Halloween dreams are jeopardized upon learning they live on a dead street. Eddie plans to go elsewhere, but Louis scrambles to earn a podium spot at the most-recent neighborhood meeting despite Evan’s concerns. He mobilizes the wives and concentrates their efforts on overturning the somber, spooky-less street with an A-Team-like effort fueled by Field of Dreams aplomb. Eddie is nearly derailed by Jessica’s insistence to scoop everyone up to protect the renovated house from petulant, evil teenage boys. Instead, he has to bring Evan and Emery on his sugar run.
This leaves Jessica alone to stave off the advances of the annoying teens. She poured in substantial money, time, and dedication into house-flipping — she has to protect it. Louis eventually realizes he needs to help her; he rounds up the boys to pile in a van and get over there for a counterattack: a revenge of the eggs. Thanks to teenage boys’ one weakness — snide teenage girls, led by Nicole — the Huangs are successful. Revel in your knee-high candy mountain in peace, Eddie.
NEXT: A ranking of the most ’90s Halloween costumes
This was Fresh Off the Boat‘s first-ever Halloween episode. None of the costumes disappointed, and they warranted ranking. Please note that any flashback costumes were disqualified (sorry, Louis as a rejected and fake Kiss member).
16. Jessica, as Mrs. T: Her T-shirt was uninspired, but at least she tried.
15. Marvin, as Kermit the Frog: The cheese factor was impossibly high.
14. Trent, as a ninja: Will you please remove that freaking Browns jacket?! Someone might take it from you, and you don’t want your other TV dad to get involved.
13. Brian, as The Mask (again): On the first day of school? Awkward, but nice. On Halloween, a month later, and being called “Jazz Gumby” by Evan? Try harder.
12. Dave, as Tom Petty (with cardboard Wilburys): Dave’s Petty was hard to look at, and the whole ensemble was pitiable. Stupid Jeff Lynne!
11. Grandma, as Garfield: She brought more life to it than Bill Murray.
10. Honey, as Ms. Piggy: I wonder what the costume’s sake/network mate thought of Honey’s take.
9. Emery, as the lamb: A classic pairing with No. 1 (below). But where’s the Chianti?
8. Officer Bryson, as TMNT’s Donatello: Would not trust Bryson enough to even file an incident report. To track down a perpetrator due for vigilante justice, promising pizza for pay? That’s an easier sell.
7. Random trick-or-treaters, as Waldo and Carmen Sandiego: Louis calls the little girl “Diego Sanfrancisco” to confused looks. Besides that, solid costumes!
6. Walter, as Apollo Creed: NICE. Rocked the star-spangled gear and was decked to deck the teens, if needed.
5. Louis, as B.A. Baracus/Mr. T: This is such a “hip” dad move that mostly works. But it does run the risk of annoyed “Daaaaaad!” yells.
4. Nicole and friends, as Catholic schoolgirl zombies: Points for not digging into an existent property and for pulling of a legitimate group effort. Great detail on the zombie makeup. Totally would intrigue and induce self-esteem issues in hormonal boys.
3. Eddie, as Humpty Hump: Louis’ unawareness of his kids’ culture first shows up in mistaking the Digital Underground rapper for former presidential candidate Ross Perot. It’s because of the nose.
2. Crew of teenage boys, as the Reservoir Dogs posse: Their time in the episode was limited, but this homage was perfectly timed and funny. Fourteen-year-old boys in 1995 totally would have thought Quentin Tarantino was their god and catered movies for them. Kudos for the same song and visual aesthetic. There’s not a five-man Pulp Fiction crew that would have sufficed, so the Messrs. of color cut it. Plus, they weren’t Dave.
1. Evan, as Hannibal Lecter: This combination — a precocious, young child and the star cannibalistic shrink of Silence of the Lambs — was a superb, hilarious contrast. Sweet, innocent Evan restrained and affixed with the Lecter mask is the best costume.