So, you think Halloween is super cool and quirky except for the fact that you’re actually terrified of blood, gore, and horror? Don’t stress, I have the solution for you: Sitcom Halloween specials! A way to get into the spooky season minus the sleep paralysis and nightmares. They’re fun, light-hearted, and best of all, you get to see your favourite characters dressed in hilarious costumes.
Brooklyn 99 – Halloween IV
(Season 4, Episode 5)
Arguably one of the best continuing series traditions – the Brooklyn 99 Halloween heists. With each season, a new twist, and a new competitor to be claimed ‘The Ultimate Detective/Genius’ or rather, ‘The Ultimate Human/Genius,’ thanks to the one and only Gina Linetti. As the unsuspecting underdog, and organiser of the heist’s plaque award, it’s about time she hijacked it; playing a prank on the entire squad with her “broken teeth” whilst creating a more inclusive award. The pairings of the teams are really fun in this episode: the classic Jake and Gina throwback, the hyper-organised Amy and Rosa, and the unlikely duo, Charles and Holt. Whilst I could give the best heist episode award to the two-parter in Season 8 – because it was pretty darn amazing – and I think it was a great way to wrap up the series, although it wasn’t for Halloween so, unfortunately, doesn’t make the cut for this list.
The Office – Halloween
(Season 2, Episode 5)
* Content warning: Readers are advised that the episode of The Office discussed below makes brief reference to suicide *
Chaotic energy is probably the best term to describe The Office Halloween specials. Out of the 6 produced, the best is 100% the OG – “Halloween” in Season 2. Tasked with firing someone by the end of the day, Michael – with his paper mache second head – asks for help from his employees, who charm and convince him not to fire them. We hear the iconic Michael Scott scream “arghhh I’m going to kill myself,” when Jim turns the tables. The symbolism of Michael’s costume is well done – wanting to be friends and liked by everyone on the one hand (or head), whilst being the boss and making tough decisions on the other. Meanwhile, we see Jim and Pam continue their “will they, won’t they” relationship with the excuse to play another prank on Dwight, in an attempt to get him to accept a new job elsewhere. This episode is just chock full of classic Office vibes, with an underlying fearful tone, very suitable for the Halloween theme. The costumes, besides Jim’s of course, are worthy of a watch in themselves.
Friends – The One With The Halloween Party
(Season 8, Episode 6)
Surprisingly, we don’t see much Halloween content in Friends – not properly, at least – until Season 8, where Monica and Chandler host a party for the holiday. For a mandatory costume party, Rachel justifies not dressing up because of her soon-to-be pregnant belly, and is in charge of handing out candy to the children trick or treating. This does not go well for her to say the least. Meanwhile Phoebe, who’s in a supergirl outfit, develops a crush on Eric, her twin sister’s boyfriend…yikes. A highlight of this episode is when Chandler, who’s wearing a pink bunny suit, and Ross, who’s dressed as Spudnik (or doody), have an arm wrestle to impress/prove a point to their respective partners, Monica and Mona. During this very long arm wrestle, Monica says that Chandler is pulling his “sex face” and the bloopers of this scene are absolutely hilarious, because nobody can seem to keep it together – especially David Schwimmer. All in all, a great Halloween special.
Some other favourite sitcom Halloween specials I’d recommend include Modern Family – Halloween s2 e6, How I Met Your Mother – The Slutty Pumpkin Returns s7 e8, and New Girl – Keaton s3 e6.
Hey, I’m Mel Jenkins, your Editor of the Opus Magazine and fellow student, studying a Bachelor of Communications. When I’m not working, studying, or playing netball, you’ll find me at the beach, having a boogie at the club, or napping. I also LOVE camping and exploring new places, so if you have any suggestions for a uni girl on a budget—send some ideas my way!