The 20 Best Halloween Releases — from “Friends” to “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

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Television loves a special holiday. Whether it’s a classic “Friends” play for Thanksgiving or a Community Christmas gift, the special themed edition has been a staple of television for decades, a comforting reminder that those depicted on the box are just like us.

And Halloween is no different. From the delicious delights of long-running Simpsons Horror Treehouse specials to a one-off Larry David movie, the creepy season has proven to be ripe material for television writers, especially when it comes to sitcoms.

Curb Your Enthusiasm – “Trick or Treat” (2001)

Where to broadcast: NOW

Larry David was born to take apart the social quirks of cheating or treats. Those who love Larry’s rants are treated to one of the best, as he targets annoying candy hunters who, in his opinion, play with unwritten rules and regulations. Wearing too ordinary clothes? Get lost. Too old for tricks or treats? Don’t count on a Hershey bar.

Bob’s Burgers – “Tina and the Real Ghost” (2014)

Where to broadcast: Disney+

The most emotionally mature animated sitcom on television proved that he really has a great understanding of his characters, as he explored the unhappy Tina and her personal life in the image of Jeff, who does not really exist. Those with particularly strong hearing, see if you can catch Bubbles from The Wire as a pest exterminator.

Friends – “Halloween Party Episode” (2001)

Where to broadcast: Netflix

For some reason, the only issue of “Friends” on Halloween. This more than makes up for it by giving us a guest video of Sean Penn, in which he dresses up as the solar system, Phoebe and Ursula’s love triangle, and Ross as a satellite, but looks like a potato with a colander on his head. Matt LeBlanc gives the impression of a Chandler, and that’s great.

New Girl — “Keaton” (2013)

Where to broadcast: Disney+

The “New Girl” had her share of good Halloween specials, but it’s Keaton who steals them, because it turns out that Schimdt based his whole life on the fact that he is pen pals with Batman and Beetlejuice himself. And yes, Zooey Deshnael gives the impression of Batman.

The Simpsons – “House of Horrors V” (1994)

Where to broadcast: Disney+

Glow. James Earl Jones as Maggie. The Skinner principle eats poor Uther. The fifth Simpsons Halloween special is a tornado of jokes and references that range from Dostoevsky to Terminator 2. Stanley Kubrick’s incredibly detailed parody of The Shining is still considered one of the greatest parodies of all time.

Family Guy – “Halloween on Spooner Street” (2010)

Where to broadcast: Disney+

Only in Family Guy can a basic premise, such as that Brian accepts Stewie’s trick or treats (dressed as a duck), turn into a smorgasbord of squeamish jokes in which Peter gets a kamikaze attack mixed up with the Culture Club hit “Karma Chameleon”. An episode for hardcore fans.

Fraser – “Halloween” (1997)

Where to broadcast: All4

Oh, these crane boys love their Halloween, especially when Niles throws a party to which all the guests must come in the image of their favorite literary character. Fraser disguises himself as Geoffrey Chaucer, and Niles assumes the role of Cyrano de Bergerac with a false nose to end all false noses.

Two and a Half Men — “Hello, Mr. Horned” (2005)

Where to broadcast: Prime Video

Before the show and its star dropped, “Two and a Half Men” was a funny and neurotic look at middle-aged anxiety, and this Halloween installment was a particularly humorous look at an old scoundrel voluntarily entering the curse just to be with a younger woman. Holland Taylor in the role of an Evil Witch is especially worthy of laughter.

It’s always sunny in Philadelphia – “Who is Dee pregnant with?” (2010)

Where to broadcast: Netflix

The old school mystery “who is Daddy?” gets a suitably sunny twist, hinting that Dee got pregnant by one of the gang members. Although the answer is revealed a few episodes later (Mac’s ex—lover Carmen), the real pleasure is an alcohol-weakened structure similar to Rasemon, where Dee was confused with an ostrich at some point.

Freaks and Geeks – “Tricks or Treats” (1999)

Where to broadcast: Currently unavailable in the UK

Freaks and Geeks

The cult classic one-season wonder could only handle one Halloween episode, but it’s a cracker as Lindsay and the freaks get caught up in a whirlwind of vandalism all over Detroit, dressed in deliberately shabby costumes. An early look at Linda Cardellini’s star.

Gossip Girl – “How to Succeed in Bass” (2009)

Where to broadcast: BBC iPlayer

Rich beyond all imaginable realities, the characters of “Gossip Girl” never needed an excuse to dress up, but its festive episodes always took it to a new level. Here the guys dress up as 1920s gangsters and look more boyish than Bugsy Malone. Girls, including Blake Lively to Ryan Reynolds, are more convincing with their cotton clothes.

League – “Ghost Monkey” (2010)

Where to broadcast: Apple TV+

All the characters in the “League” are adults masquerading as children, but no more so on Halloween, when they realize that country houses and children mean that you can’t have exactly the same fun as before. They decide to have one last fuck with a monkey who is going to die soon, a playlist with a lot of Kesha and a girl scout on ecstasy.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer — “Halloween” (1997)

Where to broadcast: Disney+

You can’t have a vampire show without a Halloween episode, especially one as self-aware as Buffy. In a graceful twist, the residents of Sunnydale transform into their costumes, and Willow outshines everyone after her outfit with a sheet on her head turns her into a virtually invisible ghost. The best of Buffy.

Hooray – “Fairy Tales can come true” (1984)

Where to broadcast: Paramount+

Greetings were also good for a seasonal episode, but in the very first Halloween episode — in the third season— panic was avoided in favor of sentimentality. Despite reading Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “The Raven” and “Kelsey’s Grammar” in a Mad Hatter costume, the episode actually belongs to John Ratzenberger’s Cliff, who arranges a date and a slow dance with Tinker Bell.

The Cleveland Show – “It’s a Great Pancake, Cleveland Brown” (2010)

Where to broadcast: Disney+

In this episode of the Cleveland Show, capturing the eternal awkwardness of being too old to do what you loved as a child, Cleveland Jr. ignores social norms and goes for a trick or treats dressed like a pancake. Stay for the sake of a kid singing “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails at a Halloween party.

Malcolm in the Spotlight — “Halloween” (2005)

Where to broadcast: Disney+

Before Bryan Cranston broke down, he had a paralyzing fear of ghosts in “Malcolm in the Spotlight.” The neurotic dad of five children begins to go crazy at the thought of living in a house where a murder has occurred, while his sons (in very lazy suits) continue to terrorize the neighborhood and go to war with an elderly neighbor by throwing eggs. Old-school mischief from an old-school sitcom.

South Park – “Hell on Earth 2006” (2006)

Where to broadcast: Paramount+

A surreal later recording for South Park, in which somehow manages to echo My Super Sweet 16, Candyman and the death of Steve Irwin. Satan is planning a Halloween party to put an end to all Halloween parties involving a former crocodile hunter with a stingray sticking out of his chest. Then he is kicked out for the lack of a suit. Don’t laugh…

I Can Destroy You – “Social Media is a great way to communicate” (2020)

Where to broadcast: BBC iPlayer

Not a standard Halloween episode. Michael Coel’s masterpiece presents Halloween with a twist, when Arabella puts on a costume suitable for the Paris catwalk, before tensions flare over the topic of sex and consent.

Community – “Epidemiology” (2010)

As for TV Halloween costumes, Joel McHale as David Beckham, not even bothered about football uniforms, should be there with the best ever. The gang attends a party where only ABBA songs are played, and there is a zombie panic on campus in the style of the “Walking Dead” after the infection spreads. The need for thermostating to the right degree stops the transmission of the disease — if only this were true in real life.

This is us – the “20th” (2017)

Where to broadcast: Disney+

A flashback episode and a Halloween special, all in one, that seems to elicit unintended laughter thanks to the fact that a group of 40-year-old actors are dressed to look down on children. The favorite drama of American network television has proved that there is one thing scarier than ghosts, ghouls and goblins — your 20 years.

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