Save it for the Commercial Break special – Happy Halloween!

Save it for the Commercial Break loves Halloween! Around this time of year, people get to dress up in fun costumes, carve pumpkins, go on haunted hay rides, and best of all – fun Halloween themed TV! So in honor of one favorite holiday we came up with a list of our top Halloween themed episodes.

Tom’s Picks

Modern Family’s “Halloween”-In the second season, this episode reminded me of everything I used to love about Halloween as a kid. The haunted house that the family staged was fun and exciting. I used to have someone in the neighborhood who did this, and the episode made me nostalgic about that. The costumes were so well-done and creative. And it made you laugh so hard when Claire got so upset about her plans not working out.

Felicity’s “Spooked”- Felicity dressing up as Bride of Frankenstein was perfect! And having someone dressed as the pink ranger was so tongue-in-cheek, since Amy Jo Johnson starred on the show. In the same way Modern Family embodied everything that makes Halloween such a family affair, this episode, with the dorm party, embodied exactly why college students would love the holiday. Fun, fun, fun.

Funmi’s Picks
Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of the Lonely Ghost
Are you Afraid of the Dark’s “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost” – So technically this isn’t a Halloween themed episode or even aired around Halloween, BUT I wanted to go with a throwback because Are you Afraid of the Dark was one of my favorite shows as a child. Plus this episode stood out to me as one of the scariest. Amanda is sent to live at her aunt’s house for the summer and gets stuck hanging out with her bossy cousin Beth. Beth is like a perfect storm of terrible; she’s bossy, mean and controls her friends through fear. She refuses to let Amanda hang out with her until she can prove she’s not a “zeeb” by spending a night in the vacant house next door. The house is said to be haunted by a mute girl who died inside. Do ya’ll remember the girl as a ghost in the mirror! She looked pale and sick! So scary!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer  “Fear Itself”-Please, did you really think a Buffy Halloween episode wasn’t going to make it on this list? I think this show always got Halloween done right and this episode was no different. Buffy and the “Scooby Gang” are in college and go to a frat party. There is a ritual drawing in the house’s attic and a drop of Oz’s blood activates the ritual to summon the demon Gachnar that feeds off the fear of everyone in the house. Oz begins to change into a werewolf!  Xander becomes invisible! Anya is a bunny costume! Havoc and fear overpowers the house!  The Gang discovers the symbol in the attic is what is causing all the horror. Buffy destroys it, but that brings about the scary Gachnar! The demon arrives, but he’s only a few inches tall. Like Xander says, “Big overture, little show.” Buffy says “he’s cute” but then squashes him with her shoe. The gang ends Halloween eating candy at Giles’s apartment.

Mark’s Pick

Buffy the Vampire slayer – “Halloween” When I think of Halloween-themed episodes, this one immediately comes to mind.  It’s the epitome of a great Halloween episode, and feels like an R.L. Stine Goosebumps story!  Remember that one about the scary green mask that gets stuck on Carly Beth’s face and turns her into a demon?  Same sort of thing happens here in the Whedonverse.  Buffy and the gang get their costumes for Halloween in Sunnydale at Ethan’s Costume Shoppe, run by the mysterious Ethan.  Buffy chooses a beautiful 18th century pink gown, Willow a ghost costume, and Xander a toy gun to go along with his army outfit at home.  The creepster Ethan casts a spell on them, and that night, everyone who’s wearing his costumes turns into their personas!  So Buffy becomes an actual 18th century lady, Willow a ghost who can walk through walls, and Xander a soldier!  Can it get any more fun?!?!

It’s always fun to see your lead characters in a different look or outfit, and even more fun to see them out of their element.  Buffy, in her long, brunette wig, is so fun to watch as the scared, weak 18th century woman who doesn’t know how to fight or lead the group in the modern world.  Xander is in full-on soldier mode, serious and threatening to shoot anyone and anything.  Cordelia is still her normal “Betch, please!” self because she bought her cat costume at another store… which helps the “Scooby Gang” realize that this is Ethan’s evil doing!  Willow was going to be a slutty girl at first (Buffy’s idea), which was hilarious.  But, because she chose the ghost costume, she’s still her normal do-good self, and tells Giles everything.  Giles is our hero by fighting Ethan and getting the spell reversed.  This of course happens just as Spike is about to kill Buffy in her whimpering state.  Gotta love the timing!

It’s by far one of the most fun, memorable episodes in a very fun, memorable show.  Although there is another Halloween-themed episode later in the series, this is my favorite.

Dawson’s Creek – “The Scare” This episode was absolutely the most fun to watch in the series, maybe because it didn’t really have anything to do with the storylines!  Season 1 was really the best season of the whole show (detention episode, hello!).  Because of Kevin Williamson’s huge success with the horror hits “Scream,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and “Scream 2,” it was only appropriate for his show to have a horror episode! It’s not Halloween-themed, but it is Friday the 13th-themed! Once Dawson and Joey finish watching SMG get killed in “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (isn’t this episode awesome already?) they see on the news that a serial killer, known as “The Lady Killer,” is on the loose in Capeside!  Dawson of course takes this opportunity to scare the frumpy grumpy Joey with his Jason hockey mask.  Cue the Paula Cole music…

The next day at school, Dawson is having fun scaring everyone on Friday the 13th (just like I would have) and announces that tonight he wants to have a party.  The guest list includes Joey, Pacey, and Jen, but Jen is feeling left out because Dawson isn’t scaring her (oh boohoo!)  The airhead jock Cliff (played by pre-Felicity/pre-Scream 3 Scott Foley!) asks Jen out on a date and she accepts.  Just then, she gets scary notes in her locker a la “I Know What You Did Last Summer”… could it be Dawson?  or maybe Cliff?  In an epic scene out of “Scream,” she is home alone and gets a very creepy call by someone asking “What’s your favorite scary movie?”  She grabs a knife when she hears a noise… but it’s just that old crone Grams.

At the grocery store, Dawson and Pacey meet a very strange, somewhat trashy broad named Ursula who fights with her boyfriend.  Simultaneously, Joey sits in the car outside, and a stranger pops up and scares her.  This is David, an average Joe, who’s looking for a hotel on his way to Providence… he tells her she has great eyes… Dawson comes to her aid and scares the creeper off.  Back inside, the loud woman Ursula steals Pacey a bottle of wine, and then gets in their car with him when her boyfriend starts screaming again.  Over at Jen’s house, Cliff picks her up and announces he’s taking her to Dawson’s seance party.  Jen gives the “Waah Waah” face.

Let the games begin!  Everyone’s at Dawson’s house, filled with booby traps and dummies falling out of the closets. They tell scary stories, and when it’s Ursula’s turn, she takes it a little too far… The actress, Jennifer McComb, is great at creeping them all out.  Of course, right before the commercial break, the power goes out!  The couples split up to lock the doors and windows, and there’s a note on the mirror… “You’re Going to Die Tonight!”  Ursula creeps Dawson out as she jokes that she doesn’t have a knife in her bag, but instead a pistol.  But she makes an important observation that links back up with the show’s main storyline – Ursula can tell that Dawson loves the girl he’s been scaring all night, and she loves him too.  Dawson corrects her – he’s been scary Joey all night, not Jen – but Ursula says he’s dating the wrong girl! Awwww.  They hear something and go back inside… to find a bloody Joey fall out of the closet!  A dark figure appears behind Dawson and he screams!  A-ha, it’s just Jen, who’s seeking revenge on Dawson for the notes and phone call.  Dawson seriously tells her that he did not scare her, which brings the two of them together in his room where things get emotional and Jen asks “Well, why didn’t you scare me?”  They almost kiss, but hold back, and Jen makes him promise that he doesn’t cross her off his friends list.  Ugh just go make out with Scott Foley, Jen!

Meanwhile, downstairs, Ursula’s insane boyfriend Eddie appears and breaks in!  Joey luckily hits him over the head with a pot, but Ursula helps him to his feet and says “Let’s go, these kids are weird.”  Whatever Ursula!  She and her weirdo boyfriend leave, and the party’s over.  Cliff walks Jen home and admits he’s the one who has been scaring her… she admits she doesn’t really want to date him.  Joey sleeps over Dawson’s, and things get sappy when Dawson tells her he would be inconsolable if Jen really did get murdered, and she says she’d be sad if he died too. Then they turn on the news to see that David from the grocery store parking lot was arrested… he’s the Lady Killer!  Cue the shocked, wide-eyed stare.  The end.  Can you tell I’ve seen this episode at least five times?!

A few seasons later in the “college years” there was another scary episode, titled “A Winter’s Chill.”  This one was good, sort of an anthology episode… but “The Scare” is much more fun.

So what are your favorite Halloween episodes? Leave some comments and be safe this Halloween!

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