Every October, a wave of horror movies, creepy gore and spine-chilling stories unfurls with overwhelming force to usher in the Halloween season. It’s a time for fans of all things strange and terrifying to rejoice in a bounty of petrifying options — and a time for the rest of us wimps to retreat into our cobweb-free corners until it’s all over. Luckily for those who watched “Scream” through our fingers because our horror-loving friends told us it “isn’t that scary,” there are plenty of options for Halloween-themed entertainment that won’t give us nightmares.
For years, TV comedies have used Halloween as a way to think outside the box, break their own formats and make their characters have some fun while, in many cases, pretending to be someone (or something) else entirely. Maybe sitcoms love Halloween because it’s fun to watch characters dress up in costumes that will be outdated by the end of the season. Or maybe they love it because, in the words of “Living Single” savant Synclaire, “of all the pagan holidays, Halloween is the most Christmas-y.” Either way, those of us who can’t watch a scary movie without jumping through the ceiling are grateful for their service.
For those who are in the market for an extremely mild set of scares this year, here are 13 (spooky!) great Halloween sitcom episodes that are available to stream right now.
(Note: no, we’re not including “The Simpsons,” because “Treehouse of Horror” is its own formidable beast and would take over this list entirely were it allowed.)