Halloween’s not just a time for gobbling up bite-size candies by the fistful. It’s also a time for devouring large quantities of Halloween-themed TV episodes: some spooky, some silly, some classics that follow us and invade our thoughts like howls in the night.
Every year brings a new batch of wannabe classics, like “The Office’s” annual Halloween episode, "Modern Family"'s trick or treat escapade and the 21st installment in “The Simpsons' ” creepilicious “Treehouse of Horror” series on Nov. 7, featuring a “Twilight” sendup in which Lisa falls for a vampiric new kid guest-voiced by Daniel Radcliffe. (Harry Potter as a cartoon vampire? There’s just no way that’ll suck.)
But there’s nothing quite like those old favorites, the ones that send you back to your youth -– or to, um, a couple of years ago. Here's a list of 10 Halloween-themed TV episodes that rise up like zombies from beyond and demand to be remembered, and to be watched again and again and again. (Clips are embedded below if available.) They’ll leave you glowing like a jack-o-lantern.
And if you have a favorite that's not included here, chime in and treat your fellow Showtrackers to it in the comments section.
1) The Simpsons: “Treehouse of Horror” (aka “The Simpsons Halloween Special”): It’s hard to pick just one installment in the annual “Treehouse of Horror” series, but the very first one, featuring a segment in which James Earl Jones reads Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” with an assist from Bart, Lisa, Homer and Marge, is in a class by itself. Will you be able to think of the poem the same way ever again? Nope, never more. (Original air date: Oct. 25, 1990.)