Our final Halloween-themed Friday Five features five of my favorite Halloween TV episodes. This list was pretty hard to narrow down, but I think we've got five wonderful episodes here, and a few from shows you might not watch. Take a look at five of my favorite Halloween TV episodes (and a bonus that came up from a last minute episode that just aired!). Then let me know what your favorite Halloween episodes are.
And, of course, as we go into Halloween week, have fun and stay safe!
Boy Meets World: And Then There Was Shawn
I remember watching Boy Meets World as a kid, and one of the episodes that continues to stick with me is this one. Their best Halloween episode — and one of their best episodes over the course of seven seasons — starts after Cory and Topanga have broken up. While in Feeny's class, a fight between them escalates, causing them, Shawn, Angela a student named Kenny to end up in detention. Things start to get weird when Feeny leaves them alone and the words "No one gets out alive" appears on the chalkboard in blood. From there, madness ensues. The end of the episode, when the killer is revealed, is a good shock, as is the final couple of minutes ... (Spoiler: Shawn is the killer, upset by Cory and Topanga's breakup, but it's all a dream ... we also get to see Feeny dreaming about everyone being able to answer his questions in class, except Topanga, who he finally stumps. Then he wakes up to chaos ensues ... he menacingly picks up a pair of scissors with a crazed look ... and earlier in the episode, he dies after being stabbed by scissors. End spoilers.). The episode poked fun at the scary movie cliches, like how the lights quickly turn off and on and someone's dead (and we get Eric's great "They killed Kenny!" line, mimicking "South Park," which has just premiered ... and of course Kenny died by pencil, which he had asked Topanga for earlier in the episode), or that all of the doors are locked (and everyone runs around checking them to make sure), or when they accuse someone of being the murdered and that person turns up dead (the janitor, Feeny, etc.). There's also a great cameo by Jennifer Love Hewitt (called Jennifer Love Fefferman in the show).
Buffy: Fear Itself (season four) and Halloween (season two)
Despite the fact that vampires take the night off on Halloween, there's definitely a lot for Buffy to do on Halloween in Sunnydale. An often spooky show in itself, Buffy is made for Halloween specials. Two of the best, though, are the appropriately-named Halloween in season two and Fear Itself in season four. Since the first season premiered in the spring, season two was our first foray into a Sunnydale Halloween. Buffy learns from Giles that most bad guys take the night off, and she gets enlisted by Principal Snyder (the amazing Armin Shimerman) to take a group of young kids trick or treating (why he would trust kids with her, I'll never know!). The Scoobies go out and find their costumes from this new costume store, Ethan's ... but in the middle of trick or treating, everyone who bought their costumes from the store become who — or what — they're going as ... kids become monsters, Xander becomes a military guy, Willow a ghost and Buffy a scared Victorian-era girly girl. It's fun to see the actors play these different versions of their character, but we also get to see growth from Willow and even Buffy, who learns that Angel likes her as her kick-butt self, not some helpless girl from his past. It's a great first look into Halloween with the Scoobies. Fear Itself, though, is definitely the opposite of the season two episode. It is creepy and gross, but with a great comedic ending! The gang attend a Halloween party at a school fraternity house, but when they enter, something's off. Turns out the boys drew a mystic symbol on the floor and summoned a fear demon, who's turned the house into a labyrinth of terror. Despite the scary, there are a few funny scenes, and who couldn't forget Anya's amazing bunny costume! One thing both episodes do have in common, though, is bringing issues the trio are facing with each other to light and forcing them to deal with those issues.
Stitchers: When Darkness Falls
Stitchers was one of those shows that not many people knew about, but was incredibly fun. The show focuses on Kristen, who is recruited by a secret government agency because of her ability to "stitch" into the memories of people who've recently died to investigate murders and mysteries that would otherwise remain unsolved. The short-lived show did air a one-off Halloween episode in which Kristen, who doesn't do spooky (or so she says), investigates the apparent suicide of a young man who may also be responsible for kidnapping a fellow college student. After the stitch, though Kristen is continually haunted by the man, even though he's dead. Of course things end happy, and Camille gets to throw her kick but Halloween party, all ending with a nice mystery twist. The episode is also fraught with great Halloween-y things, like candy corn (and arguments over whether candy corn is tasty or gross, and what it's made of) and a nice "Here's Johnny" line from Cameron.
Charmed: All Halliwell's Eve
A show that should have great Halloween episodes, this is one of its few Halloween episodes. On Halloween, the three witches dress up as actual witches — Prue as a nature witch, Piper as Glinda the good witch and Phoebe as Elvira (she is not happy with the warty way witches are portrayed, but finds power in her Elvira costume). They are about to head to a costume party at P3 (Piper's club) when they are transported back to the 1600s to protect a coven ... and, as it turns out, keep their lineage in tack by helping during the birth their great-great-great-possibly more greats- grandmother, Melynda, the first in their line. There's a lot of interesting storyline surrounding the witch-ness of their lives, and having to get back to the original roots of magic. In addition to everything fun with the chosen three, there's a lot of fun scenes with Leo and Darryl (pre-Darryl knowing about Leo's Whitelighter-ness). :)
Pushing Daisies: Girth
The facts were these: In the town of Coeur d'Coeurs, things aren't what you'd expect. Pie maker Ned has the ability to touch dead people and bring them back to life. When he touches them again, they die. If he keeps someone alive for more than a minute, though, someone else in proximity dies instead. And so is how Ned's childhood sweetheart Chuck is alive. In this first-season Halloween feature, Ned detests Halloween, but Chuck loves it, decorating the pie shop with all forms of Halloween horrors. Olive is giddy over the semi-fight that ensues, but becomes concerned when a former fellow horse jockey is killed, seemingly by a ghost of someone they wronged years ago. It's up to Olive, Emerson, Ned and Chuck to solve the mystery, before Olive becomes a victim herself. While this isn't my favorite Pushing Daisies episode, it's a great Halloween story. In a series that is sort of a ghost-show in itself (I mean, Chuck is sort of a corporeal, minded, returned from the dead ghost), it's fun to see the writers play with the idea of a real-life ghost, as well as see the ramifications of Chuck being alive (Olive thinks she faked her death), and how she handles knowing her aunts miss her. There's also a great duality in a subplot with Ned and how his own father sent him to boarding school after his mother died and coming to terms with his childhood (and why he hates Halloween).
Honorable Mention — The Resident: Belief System
Last week, "The Resident" aired probably its best episode to date, and it just so happened to be a Halloween episode, so I wanted to give it honorable mention status. The episode started out with a patient coming back from the dead, with Conrad doubting Devon's judgement of having pronounced him dead. Turns out the person lives a vampirism lifestyle. Strange. And then there's Hades, a well-known racist (and all around evil guy) arrives in the hospital and reveals he has multiple personality disorder. Cain believes he can remove the evil personality, while Nic thinks he should wait for Hades' psych records ... and we all know this one won't end well. Hades' cronies are also more than happy to threaten Dr. Bell in some creepy stormy lightening scenes. Finally, the Raptor and Mina are traveling for a conference and get stuck in what appears to be a racist town, but is actually a town of people who hate doctors and hospitals. And the town is creepy! It was fun to see all of the characters in this environment, pushing the plot, but with the added creep factor of a Halloween episode.