An underrated part of Halloween is breaking out the hundreds of different Halloween episodes that have aired on TV and streaming services over the years.
While we’ve covered some absolute classics in the past, there’s still more gold to be mined from decades of television. So here’s some more good stuff to get you in the Halloween spirit.
The Simpsons ‘Treehouse of Horror III’ (Season 4, Episode 5. Now streaming on Disney+)
For more than a decade, the “Treehouse of Horror” episodes of “The Simpsons” were untouchable parodies of classic and modern horror movies, gothic literature and history. “Treehouse of Horror III” was the series within a series hitting its stride. With parodies of “The Twilight Zone,” “King Kong” and “Night of the Living Dead,” it’s almost nonstop hilarity.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine ‘Halloween’ (Season 1, Episode 6.
Now streaming on Hulu)
The cop sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” made it a custom of every Halloween special being a battle of wits between Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) trying to steal a special item belonging to Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher). In this initial episode, it’s his Medal of Valor. The show’s ability to create a puzzle of a search between its characters while being consistently funny and in the Halloween spirit shows why this episode became an annual tradition.
Bob’s Burgers ‘Full Bars’ (Season 3, Episode 2.
Now streaming on Hulu)
Remember being a kid and discovering the neighborhood that gives out full, not fun-sized, candy bars? The kids of “Bob’s Burger’s” Belcher family happen upon this childhood rite of passage. Unfortunately, it has them run into some unruly teens. Meanwhile, their parents inadvertently get stuck in a fake murder mystery. It’s all in the “Bob’s Burgers” canon of being crude, silly and hilarious.
Tina Belcher, the sad sack of the show’s main family, has a grand idea that may finally win her top prize at the costume contest. Unfortunately, she tells the wrong person about it and gets it stolen. Meanwhile, someone is stealing all of the pumpkins carved by Bob, the patriarch of the family. It’s crude, sweet and silly — all the reasons that have made the show a hit.
‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ (Now streaming on Apple TV+)
For the first year in a long time, this classic special will not be airing on TV (Blame it on Disney/ABC for not re-upping their deal).
If you’re still yearning for that classic Halloween tale, you can stream it for free on AppleTV+ through Nov. 1 (no subscription necessary) or any time with a subscription. I’d say do it because it still holds up. It’s a nice mix of child-like silliness with a balance of wonder and melancholy that made it oddly relatable, regardless of your age.