There’s no other way to say it. I love Halloween Specials! Whether they’re animated or live-action, I’m always in the mood to watch ’em. And with all the TV shows out there, it’s nice to know that they’re still being made. Today, though, I’ll be talking about some of the ones I watched as a kid and still love to this day. This is the biggest blog post yet, so let’s get started!
“It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is a timeless classic that reminds us of what it was like to be young and celebrating Halloween. With its beloved characters, memorable scenes, and fun trick-or-treating atmosphere, how can you resist this one? It’s good fun that anyone can enjoy. It captures the feeling of Halloween perfectly and is sure to bring back a lot of memories.
I can’t get through this post without mentioning Disney! They did a bunch of seasonal cartoons that formed a big part of my childhood. They even made televised specials that gathered these cartoons into a nice little package. In addition, they made “DTV” presentations that featured cartoon clips set to popular music. This particular one includes songs such as Thriller, Ghostbusters, and many others. Another cartoon that I’ve always enjoyed is their adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. No matter what you watch from Disney, there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy.
There’s no other way to say it… Bugs Bunny is easily one of my all-time favourite cartoon characters. I’ve always loved this short where he goes into a haunted castle and has a run-in with a vampire Count inspired by Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Dracula. Another good one is this short where Bugs meets Witch Hazel. She’s a really funny character, and any cartoon that includes her is sure to make you laugh. If you want something zany and, well… looney, you can’t go wrong here!
Of course, what’s a Halloween without The Simpsons? To this day, they’re still doing Treehouse of Horror episodes. The newer/recent ones have mostly had mixed to low reception, but the old ones are still around and they hold up. The ones I like the most are from seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7, but the earlier ones are good too and, in my opinion, can even be a little creepier at times. If you want a great mix of humor, parodies, and occasional freakiness, The Simpsons is a solid go-to.
As far as live-action sitcoms go, there’s this episode of Roseanne where Dan kept coming up with funny ways to scare Rosie. It captures the mischief element of Halloween in a way that makes for a lot of funny moments with the characters, especially with John Goodman’s acting. I could only find this clip and there are others on Youtube, but if you’re able to catch the full episode, I highly recommend checking it out! There were also other Halloween episodes in the show and many of them are just as funny.
Boy Meets World is one of my favourite shows from abc’s legendary TGIF lineup. A lot of the shows in the TGIF block had Halloween episodes (Family Matters had a notable one called “Stevil.”), but this one in particular always comes to mind. The episode is titled, “And Then There Was Shawn,” and it’s a very entertaining episode that spoofs Scream. An interesting thing, though, is that it actually didn’t air during October. It fits the horror mood though and is widely considered to be one of the funniest episodes from the whole series. Everybody does a great job in it and there’s a brilliant cameo from Jennifer Love Hewitt. With great jokes and each character at their best, this is one you’ve gotta watch!
Then there’s this episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in which a psychic (played by the late Glenn Shadix) places a curse on the entire Banks family after Will expresses his skeptic views to annoy the guy. It has that silly otherworldly feel and makes great use of it, bringing a lot of laugh-out-loud moments to an already fun episode. Another thing I love about this one are the outtakes at the end. Many of them are just as funny as the episode itself.
When I think about all these specials, I remember the surprise and overall enjoyment I felt when I first saw these characters celebrate Halloween and/or get caught up in spooky supernatural occurrences. While I can’t rank them in any specific order, I often find myself drawn to the ones where someone gets caught up in a comedic horror-themed misadventure of some sort. I also like it when there’s that freaky otherworldly quality that someone wakes up from at the end before realizing it was all a nightmare.
Obviously, those kind of plots can’t be officially canon with a series, but it’s fun seeing what the creators come up with. And as long as there continue to be supernatural tales, monsters, horror movies, and many more relevant subjects, there will always be endless potential for Halloween specials in the years to come. I’d love to make one myself, but until I’m able to do that, I’ll be enjoying the hell out of these.
Until next time, feel free to share your favourites in the comments below and have a great weekend! o/