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The 20 Best Halloween Episodes of TV to Watch When You Need a Dose of Nostalgia

While I realize that the target audience for about half of these Halloween episodes is somewhere around the age of 10, the supreme era of cartoons in the late '90s and 2000s is simply unmatched for any age. It was a golden period of time within Nickelodeon and Cartoon NetworkHey Arnold!, Drake & Josh, and Courage the Cowardly Dog are just a few that defined it. But things didn't just stop there—there's a slew of other perfect Halloween episodes from classic sitcoms of that time period, as well.

We've rounded up 2o of the greatest Halloween episodes that we've ever seen, and between the classics and others you might've forgotten about, there are bound to be at least a few you'll want to stream this Halloween.

1. 'SpongeBob SquarePants': "Scaredy Pants" (1999)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 10/10

Season: S1, E13

Runtime: 11m

In this Season 1 classic, SpongeBob decides that he wants to become a different type of sponge on Halloween: one who's doing the scaring instead of being the one frightened by everything. Because of this, he shaves his body into the shape of a ghost, though he goes a little too far and ends up revealing his brain for everyone to see.

Watch now on Paramount Plus

2. 'Drake and Josh': "Alien Invasion" (2006)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 6/10

Season: S3, E16

Runtime: 30m

Although this isn't an outright Halloween episode, it may as well be given the basis of the plotline. After Megan gets a new telescope and hooks it up to her laptop, Drake and Josh decide to go all in on a prank to get back at her for getting them in trouble with Walter. Once they photoshop pictures of UFOs onto Megan's laptop, she becomes convinced that there's an incoming alien invasion.

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3. 'Courage the Cowardly Dog': "The Demon in the Mattress" (1999)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 7/10

Season: S1, E4

Runtime: 30m

To be fair, every episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog is Halloween-themed, and looking back, it's sort of insane that we were even watching this as kids.

In "The Demon in the Mattress," Muriel orders a mattress, but when it's delivered by two creepy rats, Courage starts to get suspicious. Nevertheless, after Muriel sleeps on the mattress for the first time, she quickly becomes possessed and wild things begin to occur around the house.

Watch now on HBO Max

4. 'Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius': "Nightmare in Retroville" (2003)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 10/10

Season: S2, E5

Runtime: 30m

On Halloween, Jimmy decides to try out his new monster-making machine to turn Carl and Sheen into creatures instead of wearing regular costumes to go trick-or-treating. Though when Carl and Sheen start to exhibit signs that their costumes have taken over their DNA, Jimmy has to figure out a way to turn them back into their original selves.

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5. 'Hey Arnold!': "Arnold's Halloween" (1997)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 9/10

Season: S2, E7

Runtime: 11m

With Grandpa's Halloween Party coming up, Arnold and Gerald come up with the idea to stage an alien invasion to prank the partygoers by using the radio and a nearby tower to control the effects.

At the same time, Helga has convinced everyone in the fourth grade to dress up as aliens for Halloween, and they eventually head over to the party in a horde. With both of these plots converging, it ends up being broadcast on television, adding even further to the (at first) harmless prank.

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6. 'iCarly': "iScream on Halloween" (2007)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 9/10

Season: S1, E7

Runtime: 30m

When Carly accidentally receives mail from a different apartment that turns out to be abandoned, she decides to make it a segment on her web show. Carly, Sam, and Freddie livestream their way through apartment 13B, but when the lights go out, they quickly begin to feel like they aren't the only ones in the apartment.

And though iCarly has two Halloween episodes, this one is definitely the best of the bunch.

Watch now on Netflix

7. 'Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends': "Bloooo" (2004)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 7/10

Season: S1, E11

Runtime: 30m

With Bloo resting in bed with a bad cold and the rest of the crew settling in to watch a horror movie, it seems like it'll be a quiet night at Foster's. But when the group starts believing that the movie is real, they barricade all of the entrances into the house. After Frankie has a frightening encounter on her way home and as Bloo's condition worsens, things around the house get chaotic pretty quickly.

Watch now on HBO Max

8. 'Fairly OddParents': "Scary Godparents" (2002)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 8/10

Season: S2, E12

Runtime: 11m

As Timmy goes trick-or-treating in his toilet paper mummy costume with Vicky , he ponders his sad state of affairs and decides to make a wish for everyone to have genuinely real and scary Halloween costumes. However, he didn't fully think through his wish: everyone fully becomes their costume, which means that there are some pretty hefty consequences coming Timmy's way.

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9. 'The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy': "Billy & Mandy's Jacked-Up Halloween" (2003)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 7/10

Season: S2, E15

Runtime: 11m

In this two-part special episode, Grim's scythe is stolen by a villain, Jack O' Lantern, who plans to use it to destroy the town and make everyday Halloween as an act of revenge. With the power of Grim's scythe, Billy and Mandy have to figure out a way to retrieve it and put an end to Jack's plans.

Watch now on HBO Max

10. 'Zoey101': "Haunted House" (2005)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 7/10

Season: S2, E4

Runtime: 30m

Each Halloween at PCA, someone is in charge of setting up a haunted house, and this year, Logan gets the job. When he makes the haunted house a little too scary, Zoey's brother, Dustin, gets lost in it and Logan has to head inside to find him.

Watch now on Paramount Plus

11. 'Parks and Recreation': "Greg Pikitis" (2009)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 10/10

Season: S2, E7

Runtime: 30m

Not only is "Greg Pikitis" one of the best episodes of Parks and Recreation, but it's also one of the greatest Halloween episodes, period.

Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) follows around a local Pawnee high schooler, Greg Pikitis, for the bulk of this episode as she's determined to prove that he's responsible for defacing a park statue every year on Halloween. At the same time, Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) is attempting to throw a poppin' Halloween party at her house, but when the vibes turn stale, she has to rely on Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) to revive the party.

Watch now on Peacock

12. '30 Rock': "Stone Mountain" (2009)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 5/10

Season: S4, E3

Runtime: 30m

While not every storyline in this episode of 30 Rock revolves around Halloween, the largest involves Frank (Judah Friedlander), Toofer (Keith Powell), and Lutz (John Lutz) as they're absolutely determined to throw the greatest Halloween party ever. However, this proves to be tougher to accomplish than they initially thought, which leads them to recruit Jenna (Jane Krakowski) and her plethora of gay friends in order to get the party really going.

Watch now on Peacock

13. 'The Simpsons': "Treehouse of Horror V" (1994)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 10/10

Season: S6, E6

Runtime: 30m

Widely regarded as one of the greatest "Treehouse of Horror" episodes ever created, The Simpsons' fifth iteration of the series-within-a-series tracks three different tales: one, which is a spoof of The Shining, the second, which tracks Homer as he travels through time, and a third, that finds Principal Skinner using students as food for the cafeteria.

While it's one of the best Simpsons episodes ever created, it's also one of the greatest Halloween episodes we've ever seen.

Watch now on Disney+

14. 'The Office': "Halloween" (2005)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 9/10

Season: S2, E5

Runtime: 30m

In typical Michael Scott (Steve Carell) fashion, he waits until the last possible day to fire someone, and that day happens to be Halloween. So, with everyone all dressed up and ready to celebrate, Michael tries to fire just about every staff member, though nothing sticks until he actually fires Devon (Devon Abner).

Watch now on Peacock

15. 'Freaks and Geeks': "Tricks and Treats" (1999)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 10/10

Season: S1, E3

Runtime: 45m

Freaks and Geeks approaches Halloween from two different angles: from that of teenagers who wreak havoc on the holiday as they're too old to trick-or-treat, and that of slightly nerdy kids who go overboard with their costumes.

Even though Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) had agreed to help her mother hand out candy at their house, she's a little "too cool" for that now since she has a whole new group of friends to hang out with. Lindsay's younger brother, Sam (John Francis Daley), dresses up with his friends to go trick-or-treating, but things go awry while walking around the neighborhood.

Watch now on Hulu

16. 'Stranger Things': "Trick or Treat, Freak" (2017)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 9/10

Season: S2, E2

Runtime: 1h

While the entirety of Stranger Things is already home to some major spooky vibes, "Trick or Treat, Freak" definitely takes the cake. The crew is perfectly dressed as the characters from Ghostbusters, though the fun doesn't last too long after Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) notices a new creature in the distance coming to terrorize both him and Hawkins, Indiana.

Watch now on Netflix

17. 'WandaVision': "All-New Halloween Spooktacular!"

Halloween Vibes Rating: 9/10

Season: S1, E6

Runtime: 38m

Even though the cast of WandaVision is already technically in costume since the majority of them are superheroes, the show takes Halloween to an entirely new level despite that. As WandaVision episodes play off of typical TV tropes from decades of the past, this episode harkens back to the typical Halloween specials of the '90s and 2000s.

Watch now on Disney+

18. 'Curb Your Enthusiasm': "Trick or Treat" (2001)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 10/10

Season: S2, E3

Runtime: 30m

Easily one of the best episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm ever, "Trick or Treat" finds Larry David on the receiving end of a classic Halloween property destruction. After he refuses to give two teenagers candy because they weren't dressed up and were too old to be trick-or-treating, his entire house is defaced and TP'd, leading him to search for the girls to pin them for the crime.

Watch now on HBO Max

19. 'Friends': "The One with the Halloween Party' (2001)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 9/10

Season: S8, E6

Runtime: 22m

It's not a complete list of the best Halloween episodes without a mention of the iconic Friends episode that takes place on the holiday.

Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) host a cheerful Halloween bash at the apartment, although dozens of conflicts end up breaking out within it as Rachel refuses to wear a costume, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) has to deal with her twin sister, Ursula, and Ross (David Schwimmer) and Chandler have an arm-wrestling fight.

Watch now on HBO Max

20. 'Modern Family': "Halloween" (2010)

Halloween Vibes Rating: 10/10

Season: S2, E6

Runtime: 21m

While Modern Family stopped being funny after the third season, I have to admit, their Halloween episode from Season 2 is actually incredible. Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) go all out for Halloween, meaning that they basically force everyone in their family to be actors in their fully-immersive haunted mansion. The only problem? They take things a little too far.

Watch now on Peacock
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