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Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

Top 10 Best ’90s Halloween Sitcom Episodes

Halloween means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the showy costumes. For others, it’s a chance to party with friends and strangers. And for children everywhere, it’s a time of ghosts, goblins, witches, pumpkins… and candy. I like to think there’s still a little bit of child in all of us—a child who remembers the anticipation of the holiday and the fun of it all. That’s why Halloween movies and television episodes mean so much to so many—they remind us all of the pure fun it can be to celebrate the holiday and get a little scared.

No one does Halloween episodes like TV sitcoms from the 1990s did them. They were everywhere—almost every show in the ’90s had at least one Halloween-themed episode. Below are ten of the best Halloween sitcom episodes from the ’90s, ranked and discussed for your trip down memory lane. Who knows? Maybe you’ll want to start up a Halloween marathon yourself this weekend! 

Credit NBC/Universal

10. Will and Grace – “Boo! Humbug” (1998)

Will and Grace took a bit of time to find its footing—and, in my opinion, wasn’t quite there yet when “Boo! Humbug” aired. After all, it’s the fifth episode of the entire series! So you have to cut them a bit of a break, with that in mind. In this episode, Will and Grace are planning to spend Halloween together watching old movies instead of celebrating, but are interrupted when one of Will’s clients needs emergency babysitters. Meanwhile, Jack and Karen dress up and spend a night on the town, making some drag queen friends. It’s a fun episode, but nothing to write home about—the cast is still finding their footing, and the main four members spend the majority of it apart. Good to enjoy during a Will and Grace rewatch, but not really worth seeking out every Halloween.

Credit ABC

9. Sabrina the Teenage Witch – “Good Will Haunting” (1998)

Given that the entire premise of Sabrina the Teenage Witch revolves around, well, witches, you’d expect the show to have its fair share of Halloween episodes. And it does! They range from somewhat decent to enjoyable, and the best of the group is Season 3’s “Good Will Haunting.” In this episode, Sabrina is given an evil doll named Molly Dolly, who terrorizes her and her friends. Plus, Hilda and Zelda are trapped at a party in an insane asylum. It’s a nice combination of cute with only a little creepy, though again, this one also probably scarred those poor people with a fear of dolls. But the episode retains its typical Sabrina charm and humor the whole way through—and the episode gives us Salem in a ghost costume, which is just too cute. It’s definitely an enjoyable entry on this list.

Credit ABC

8. Family Matters – “Stevil” (1997)

Family Matters was certainly classic 90s television—weekly episodes full of hijinks and lessons learned. But “Stevil”, the first of two episodes featuring the scary Steve Urkel-lookalike ventriloquist dummy, is more creepy than funny. In the episode, the dummy doppelganger comes to life after being struck by lighting, and then spends the episode killing the members of the Winslow family in disturbing ways. Looking back, it’s a wonder that millions of Family Matters’ younger viewers ever purchased a doll again. I wonder if “Stevil” helped contribute to (or even cause) the often-described fear of dolls that so many people experience? Though this episode isn’t nearly as fun as many of the others on this list, it does deserves points for doing exactly what it set out to do: be frightening. After all, you have to appreciate a Halloween sitcom episode that really tries to scare you!

Credit NBC/Universal

7. Frasier – “Halloween” (1997)

Frasier put out three Halloween episodes, and by far the best one was from Season 5. “Halloween” sees the gang heading to Niles’ Halloween party, all dressed up as famous literary figures—it’s great to see Niles playing a drunken Cyrano! Roz thinks she may be pregnant, and tells a couple of people… and the information spreads throughout the party in the most confusing ways possible, with misunderstandings everywhere. It’s a real comedy of errors, and it’s brilliant to watch the way the storylines weave together and to follow who knows what and what they think they’ve learned. It’s the Frasier characters at their best, hands down. The episode is full of laughs and clever writing, and considered by fans to be one of Frasier’s classic episodes. The only reason the episode isn’t ranked higher is because, while Halloween is the backdrop, it isn’t exactly a story about Halloween. It’s just a damn good piece of television, period. Watch this one any time of year.

Credit NBC/Universal

6. Saved by the Bell – “Mystery Weekend” (1991)

Surprisingly, Saved by the Bell only put out one real Halloween-esque episode—and it wasn’t even aired at Halloween! “Mystery Weekend” originally aired in January, though now it’s often rerun in October, so I think it fits nicely on this list. “Mystery Weekend” sees the Bayside High gang staying at a mansion for the weekend, participating in a murder mystery party. Things get spooky, however, when someone really turns up murdered! It’s fun to see the Saved by the Bell characters in a murder mystery—watching them play detective and hunt down the killer all while being suspects themselves (and all while Zach flirts with the maid, of course!). It’s a bottle episode, meaning that it has no real bearing on the show as a whole—it’s a one-off, more or less. But it’s a fun one, and certainly worth digging out every Halloween.

Credit NBC/Universal

5. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – “Hex and the Single Guy” (1993)

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s earlier seasons are clever, entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny; Season 4’s “Hex and the Single Guy” is all of those things. At the beginning of the episode, Hilary reveals that she’s paid a medium to hold a séance on Halloween, allowing her to communicate with her dead fiancé, Trevor. Of course, she needs the whole family to go with her for support. Will doesn’t believe in mediums and séances, and calls the medium a fake—and boy, he doesn’t like that. He curses the whole family, and sure enough, bad things start to happen to them. The episode ends in some sort of Groundhog Day-esque fashion, which either hurts it or is the icing on the cake, depending on your personal tastes. But all in all, it’s an enjoyable Halloween offering from Fresh Prince—and it gets bonus points because it gives us Carlton dressed up as his hero, Macaulay Culkin. What could be better than that?!

Credit NBC/Universal

4. Friends – “The One With The Halloween Party” (2002)

It’s almost astonishing that in ten seasons, Friends only did one truly Halloween-themed episode. And sadly, it aired in 2001—so it technically doesn’t belong on this list. However, I believe most people think of Friends as a ’90s show… and honestly, it’s my favorite ’90s show. So I’m cheating a little and including this episode. Fortunately it’s a good one, with Monica and Chandler throwing a Halloween party while Rachel satisfies her new maternal instincts by giving out candy to trick or treaters. Of course, in typical Friends fashion, “The One With The Halloween Party” has some amusing moments—Chandler and Ross arm wrestling in the most ridiculous costumes ever certainly comes to mind! Ross dressing as “Spudnik” absolutely goes down in the Top 10 Ross Moments Of All Time (another list I will surely make at some point). It’s fun to see all the other characters in their Halloween costumes, too, and the episode even features and appearance by Phoebe’s narcissistic twin sister, Ursula. Definitely worth enjoying around Halloween!

Credit ABC

3. Roseanne – “Halloween IV” (1992)

You’d be hard-pressed to find another sitcom family that goes as hard for Halloween as Roseanne’s Conner family. Their house is always decorated to the nines and they have inventive costumes every year—and they gave us eight solid episodes full of Halloween fun. But the best of the best is “Halloween IV,” Season 5’s episode that acts as a Halloween take on the popular A Christmas Carol story. Having had a hard year, Roseanne just can’t get in the mood for Halloween—until she’s visited by the Ghosts of Halloween Past, Present, and Future. It’s fun to see the story told in flashbacks (newly shot flashbacks, of course—this is no clip show!) and to see all the reasons Halloween is so important to Roseanne. It’s both heartwarming and hilarious—two qualities that make up the very best sitcom episodes.

Credit ABC

2. Home Improvement – “I Was A Teenage Taylor” (1996)

Home Improvement is one of the ’90s sitcoms with the best Halloween episodes out there—period. They put out six Halloween episodes in their eight seasons, and each one is worth a watch. Honestly, a Home Improvement Halloween marathon is on my October schedule every year. Any of their six Halloween episodes could be on this list, but I chose my personal favorite: Season 6’s “I Was A Teenage Taylor.” In this episode, it’s a battle of Halloween pranks: everyone is scaring everyone else on the lead up to Halloween. But it’s Tim and Jill who get the best scare, using Brad and Randy’s intelligence against them and giving their prank multiple layers to ensure they get the last laugh. It’s entertaining, it’s clever, and it’s even a little creepy. Plus, the episode features a subtle little nod to the Disney characters that Home Improvement stars Tim Allen and Jonathan Taylor Thomas voiced—I love little meta winks like that. “I Was A Teenage Taylor” is the best in a group of great Halloween episodes—all of which deserve a mention and a watch.

Credit ABC

1. Boy Meets World – “And Then There Was Shawn” (1998)

How could anything other than “And Then There Was Shawn” be ranked number one? It’s got everything going for it: humor, genuinely scary moments, spoofs of horror movie tropes, and a bottle episode-esque plot that still winds up relating to the rest of the season. In “And Then There Was Shawn”, a psycho killer traps the Boy Meets World gang in their school and he’s picking people off one by one. Between the ever-quotable lines (“We’ll always remember he was this tall.”), a clever cameo by Jennifer Love-Hewitt, and that incredibly creepy janitor, this episode is beloved by all Boy Meets World fans. It scared us when we were younger, and now, looking back, we can appreciate the many references and jokes on a whole new level. Even though this episode, too, wasn’t technically aired for Halloween, it doesn’t matter: it’s the best 90s Halloween sitcom episode ever!

Do you have a favorite Halloween episode or film? What’s your Halloween tradition? Tell us in the comments below!

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One Comment on “Top 10 Best ’90s Halloween Sitcom Episodes”

  1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan October 29, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Great article. A blast from the past really. Thanks for covering the TV side of Halloween. I’ve been movied out with my series BOOBS, BLOOD & THE BEAST: 31 Nights of Horror. Good to see a puppet Steve Urkel as the Beast instead of a masked slasher like Jason Vorhees ;)

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