I love holiday-themed sitcom episodes. Why not, you know? They're endearing. And while not every sitcom participates every year in every holiday, most will venture into festive territory at least once in the duration of their time on the small screen.
In honor of Halloween today, I thought I would recount my favorite Halloween episodes.
My top two are no-brainers. For the third and fourth, I crowd-sourced.
1) Friends, Season 8 - "The One With The Halloween Party"
This has actually long been my favorite episode of Friends, period. Which is saying a lot.
This episode is a perfect representation of each of their characters. Monica makes everyone dress up and come to a Halloween party at her house, in true Monica fashion, and each person dresses up as something that encapsulates their personalities:
Joey: Dresses up as Chandler. ["I'm Chandler! Bleharhhrrrr!"]
Monica: Dresses up as catwoman in a black catsuit [and later tries to convince Joey she could beat up Phoebe by telling him to punch her in the stomach as hard as he can.]
Phoebe: Dresses up as superwoman
Rachel: Wears a cocktail dress because she is pregnant and wants to get use out of it before she can't wear it again.
Ross: Spud-nik (or as everyone else calls it, Space Doodie)
Chandler: The Velveteen Rabbit aka Pink Fluffy Bunny [Monica: "Well, it was either pink bunny or no bunny at all!" Chandler: "No bunny at all! Always no bunny at all!"]
I've memorized this entire episode, so I won't quote the whole thing to you, but the episode features Rachel trying to be good with kids in preparation for being pregnant but terrifying them instead, Ross and Chandler engaging in a pathetic arm wrestling match, and Phoebe hitting on her twin sister's sweaty boyfriend (Sean Penn) who is dressed as a solar system.
It's a fantastic representation of Friends as a whole, and I love it.
2) Community, Season 1 - "Introduction to Statistics"
I think this episode won a lot of people over on Community.
Britta wears a full body squirrel costume (note that this is not "sexy squirrel." Just squirrel.) and carries around a giant acorn the entire time, which is priceless in light of her personality, but the real shining star of this episode is Abed's spot-on Christian Bale Batman impression. His moment arrives when Pierce, in his usual attempts to be hip, trades pills with Starburns and gets high, then constructs a fort out of study room furniture and needs to be rescued from his own nightmare. Abed/Batman swoops in and saves the day, dragging Pierce out of the crumbling fort just before it collapses on top of him.
The whole thing is overdramatic and silly, in the way only Community can accomplish.
3) Modern Family, Season 2 - "Halloween"
I was reminded of this episode on Facebook, and I can't believe I didn't remember it sooner.
Mitchell has the impending-disaster storyline (which always make me anxious) of wearing a costume to work and realizing no one else does it, then attempting to conceal it all day.
Gloria gets made fun of by Manny and Jay for her accent, so she spends the entire end-scene at Claire's haunted house doing a hilarious version of an American accent and over-enunciating the phrase "Welcome to your nightmare! Ha ha ha ha!"
The episode culminates in Claire (who for some reason adores Halloween) assigning everyone a task at the haunted house, and of course no one is cooperating well due to the day's earlier traumatic events. Phil is worried that Claire is going to divorce him because his neighbor got a divorce, so he's emotional and misreads everything she does and says. Cam recounts his traumatic halloween experience which until then he'd been to falsely-proud to tell the story even though he desperately wanted to all day. Hayley is of course being a tool because she's a teenage girl. It's mayhem.
Until somehow it all comes together, of course, the storylines merge and they have a successful haunted house.
4. Boy Meets World, Season 5 - "And Then There Was Shawn"
This isn't technically a "Halloween" episode, but it's a parody of scary movies, so I say it counts.
In this episode, the gang is stuck in a school with a mysterious killer on the loose. Corey and Topanga are broken up, Angela screams a lot, and the best part--Jennifer Love Hewitt guest-stars as Jennifer Love Fefferman. It's filled with references that break the 4th wall and ultimately they learn something about friendship that is currently escaping me.The guys also have some image-shattering conversation about virgins being the ones to live, in which Eric and Jack say they're dead and Shawn says he'll get as sick as you can get without actually dying. Why can't they just let me go on thinking they never do anything unwholesome?
What are your favorite Halloween episodes?