In the words of Michael Scott, “Halloween is about celebrating monsters and not being mad at each other.” Even before there were entire sagas about vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other American Horror Stories, Halloween has always provided memorable moments in episodic television. As the scariest night of the year approaches, you may find yourself getting a little misty thinking about a few of them.
Best Halloween Episodes on Netflix
Isn’t it wonderful that, with a little modern technology, we are free to watch the best Halloween episodes on Netflix anytime?
If you’re not familiar with Loren Bouchard’s wily animated comedy, get thee to a streaming device forthwith! The Halloween episode “Full Bars” (series 3, episode 2) has the Belcher kids taking an unauthorized ferry ride across the bay for trick-or-treating how the other half lives. On Kingshead Island, trick-or-treaters are indulged with “full bars” of real candy instead of the bite-sized and dental floss they get in their own neighborhood.
Naturally, there are scary consequences to being on unfamiliar ground, and not even Gene’s Queen Latifah costume can save him from the local pack of high school bullies whose annual humiliation ritual makes no exception for visiting candy seekers from the mainland.
Parks and Recreation
“Halloween Surprise” (series 5, episode 5) pairs gruff and grumpy über-macho Ron Swanson with the girliest, pinkest-wearing, fairy-princess-iest two little girls in all of Pawnee, Indiana. Hilarity ensues, but so does Lucy Lawless, as Ron’s clearly-shoulda-been-together love interest.
It’s also the episode where [SPOILER ALERT] Ben surprises Leslie by proposing to her, after it appears he may not be coming back from his trip to Washington, DC any time soon.
More of a vignette than an entire episode, series 2, episode 10’s “Halloween” is a frank look inside the life of a working, single dad in the inner city. Louie’s time with his two young daughters falls on Halloween and he takes them trick-or-treating around to local merchants.
Ever thoughtful big sister Lilly is dressed as Frederick Douglass, whom she recently read about. But when it starts getting dark, Louie shepherds his girls toward home with increasing urgency as some genuinely ghoulish creatures start following them.
Freaks and Geeks
Not just one of the best Halloween episodes on Netflix, but perhaps one of the best Halloween episodes of all time, particularly for Gen-Xers and -Yers. The aptly titled “Tricks and Treats” zeroes in on the inherent highs and lows, pressures and expectations of celebrating Halloween as both a teenager and a parent. Sam, Bill, and Neal feel that they may be too old for trick-or-treating now that they are in high school, Sam’s lingering pre-pubescence notwithstanding. They compromise with their own not-so-secret delight at dressing in costume by declaring it will be one last hurrah of trick-or-treating.
Meanwhile, Lindsay is still desperate to fit in with her new social group so ditches her mum and their annual treats-giving ritual for a joyride in Daniel’s car with the other “freaks” looking for mischief. Back on the home front, Mum and Dad Weir learn a few hard lessons of their own. You have to kind of just ignore that the “nighttime” adventures take place in broad daylight (child actors – what are ya gonna do?). But definitely pay attention to Bill’s fan-tastic “bionic woman” costume.
The episode “Costume Contest” (series 7, episode 6) features the classic cold open of escalating pranks designed to see just how little office misanthrope Stanley pays attention. “Spoiler alert” not at all. In the main episode, the entire office is dressed in costume hoping to win the coveted Scranton coupon book worth $15000 in savings. Well, everyone except Jim, who has “never been a costume guy” which leaves Pam’s Olive Oyl without her Popeye and totally out of place. Danny, too, foregoes imagined attire because, let’s face it: he’s just too good-looking to hide under a mask.
Trouble bubbles over, however, when a Lady Gaga-clad Gabe announces that the company’s drivers can now also sell Dunder Mifflin products, a proposal warehouse manager Darryl had previously pitched to Michael and that Michael rejected. Naturally Michael, in the paraphrased (and surprisingly astute) words of Kelly Kapoor, tries to ruin the party and make it all about his own issues when he feels betrayed by Darryl having gone over his head to get his idea heard.