Although Halloween-themed episodes are a standard (and oft-abused) television trope, they’ve yielded some extraordinary TV moments. This list spotlights some of the most memorable ones that have withstood the test of time.
1. How I Met Your Mother – “The Slutty Pumpkin”
“The Slutty Pumpkin Returns” — Ted (Josh Radnor) and Naomi (Katie Holmes) revisit the rooftop Halloween party where they first met on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Monday, Oct. 31 (8:00 – 8:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS √?¬© 2011 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Ted heads to the same party every year hoping to find a girl he met there years ago who he only knows as “The Slutty Pumpkin.” This marked the first of many references to the said pumpkin, who’s revealed to be Katie Holmes six seasons later. And in case you (like Robin) are wondering how a pumpkin costume can be sexy, “It was carved in strategic places.” –JB (COURTESY OF CBS)
2. Boy Meets World – “And Then There Was Shawn”
Cory, Shawn, Topanga, Angela and Kenny get detention and are locked alone in the school. They discover a dead body and the message “NO ONE GETS OUT ALIVE” written on the blackboard. After failed attempts to find the killer, they realize it must be one of them. The episode — a teen slasher parody — helped a heartbroken audience come to terms with Cory and Topanga’s breakup. –JB (COURTESY OF ABC)
3. Parks and Recreation – “Halloween Surprise”
Leslie and Ann give Jerry a heart attack, while Ron’s relationship goes south when he’s forced to take his girlfriend’s kids trick-or-treating. But once the episode’s extended fart joke finally ends, what’s left is the sweet smell of romance: Ben gets down on one knee and proposes to Leslie in one of the NBC comedy’s most touching scenes. –JB (COURTESY OF NBC)
4. Friends – “The One With the Halloween Party”
Sean Penn guest stars in the famous episode (the series’ only Halloween special) as Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula’s fiance. Phoebe and Monica, dressed as Catwomen and Supergirl, argue about who would win it in a fight, Chandler or Ross, which leads to an episode-long armwrestling competition. Ross’ “Spud-nik” costume (a cross between the Russian satellite Sputnik and a potato) will live in infamy. –JB (COURTESY OF NBC)
5. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – “Hex and the Single Guy”
The Banks are forced to attend a seance so Hilary can communicate her undying feelings for her late fiance, Trevor. Carlton goes blond in an effort to stay true to his Macaulay Culkin costume. Will’s loud mouth gets the family cursed when he mocks the psychic with a rendition of Patti LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade.” –MH (COURTESY OF YOUTUBE/NBC)
6. The Office – “Halloween”
Michael is being pressured into firing someone, but doesn’t want to ruin the Halloween party fun. Some of the office costumes include Dwight as a Sith Lord, Kevin as Mr. Incredible and Jim as 3-Hole-Punch Jim. And, as always, there’s plenty of drama among the women of the Party Planning Committee. –JB (COURTESY OF NBC)