Halloween movies are a great way to get in the mood for the spookiest time of the year, but what happened to celebrating the countless TV shows that have created specials based around the holiday? Whether you’re looking for horror or a nostalgic family classic, check out these episodes for a quick dose of Halloween spirit.
“The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” —“The Ghost in Suite 613” (Season 1, Episode 19)
If you’re feeling nostalgic for your Disney Channel days, this “Suite Life of Zack and Cody” episode will do the trick. When they learn about the potential existence of a ghost in an abandoned hotel suite, Zack (Dylan Sprouse), Cody (Cole Sprouse), Maddie (Ashley Tisdale), London (Brenda Song) and Esteban (Adrian R’Mante) place a bet on who will be able to spend a night there. As far as kids’ shows go, “The Ghost in Suite 613” holds up especially well — gags like Esteban being put on hold during a seance land just as well upon rewatch as an adult.
“Community” — “Epidemiology” (Season 2, Episode 6)
If a sitcom episode featuring a zombie outbreak set to the songs of ABBA doesn’t sound appealing to you in 2018, then I don’t know what to tell you. In this delightfully quirky episode, the study group finds themselves at a Halloween party where bad taco truck meat is causing people to turn into zombies. After this summer’s “Mamma Mia!” renaissance, watching people transform from monsters into college students while “Fernando” plays is the perfect way to get ready for a spooky night out.
”Stranger Things” — “Trick or Treat, Freak” (Season 2, Episode 2)
After debuting in summer 2016 and inspiring a deluge of Demogorgons and Elevens (Millie Bobby Brown) that Halloween, “Stranger Things” capitalized on its nostalgic creepiness and rolled out more episodes the following October. In an ambitious second season that was notorious for overstuffing itself with nostalgia and fan service more than once, this episode harkens back to the wide-eyed ‘80s pulp of the show’s first act. As the townies of Hawkins prepare for Halloween and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) struggles with visions of a mysterious monster in the otherworldly Upside Down, we’re given poignant insights into our favorite characters’ lives since we left them almost a year earlier. Plus, who could resist Eleven’s ghost costume, or the montage of the boys’ “Ghostbusters” outfits?
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” — “HalloVeen” (Season 5, Episode 4)
Decoy corgis! A proposal! Since its first season, the police precinct’s competition to win their annual Halloween heist and be named “amazing detective slash genius” has become a quintessential part of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” The fifth, and ostensibly the best Halloween installment in the series, serves as a perfectly paced reminder of the puckish relationships and running jokes that have sustained the show over the years. “HalloVeen” gives each character a time to shine, culminating in a sweet moment between the two romantic leads.
”Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” — “Chapter Two: The Dark Baptism” (Season 1, Episode 2)
Halloween itself has a special significance in Netflix’s dark young adult reimagining of the hit ‘90s comedy, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” When half-human, half-witch Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) turns 16 on Oct. 31, she is expected to leave her human friends behind to train as a witch after her “dark baptism.” Her two worlds come to a head for the first time in this episode, a fun showcase of the series’ Giallo-esque horror aspirations.
Edited by Siena DeBolt | firstname.lastname@example.org