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Brinkley Binges: The Best Halloween Specials of All Time

Halloween entertainment typically leans toward the spine-tingling and spooky, but there’s plenty of options for those who’d rather be possessed with laughter than terror. Some of the most beloved sitcoms from this millenium offer up a slew of specials guaranteed to provoke a giggle fit. Here are four of my favorites:

Community: “Epidemiology”

It’s just an average Halloween for Jeff Winger and his study group - although where Greendale Community College is concerned, everything is below average. Such is the case for the Halloween dance, where the music is exclusively ABBA and refreshments are expired military rations. The latter, though, becomes the catalyst for an outbreak of zombies amongst the student body. Suddenly, the group has only six hours to reach the thermostat, which will lower both the building’s temperature and that of the zombies’ fever. However, with multiple infected persons among their party and a conflict of interest between Troy and Abed, they’re about as likely to reach the thermostat as ABBA is to stop playing (yes, the Swedish songstresses are on repeat throughout all of this hoopla). Like all episodes of Community, the characters are the greatest strength of this special, feeding off of each other figuratively (and in this case, literally as well).

South Park: “Hell on Earth 2006”

At long last, an answer to the age-old question: if you say “Biggie Smalls” in a mirror three times, will he appear? Yes, he will - and he’s extremely annoyed with Butters’ summons of him, as his entrapment in Colorado derails his attendance at Satan's Halloween party. It’s probably for the best that he’s late, though, as the Prince of Darkness is determined to emulate the lavishness of My Super Sweet Sixteen with his limited-edition earthly appearance. This means boldly going where P. Diddy has never gone before: serving a Ferrari cake to his guests. His diva-like antics may have been fruitful had he not entrusted retrieval of the cake onto John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer. Each storyline is wackier and more laugh-inducing than the preceding one in this Satanic South Park caper.

Parks and Recreation: “Greg Pikitis”

Leslie Knope fears no man, with one exception: Greg Pikitis, a local teen who takes it upon himself, Halloween after Halloween, to vandalize the statue of a former mayor. In order to subdue her archnemesis once and for all, Leslie stages a stakeout, with aid from the slobbish, goofy, Andy as well as her fling, Dave, a member of the Pawnee PD. The rest of the Parks Department wishes to engage in some good, legal fun at Ann’s Halloween party. And maybe they would have, if someone hadn’t spilled the beans to Tom about the event. Pawnee transitions from hospitable to haunted on the most frightening of nights, with secrets seeping through the seams of both plots.

Big Mouth: “Horrority House”

Within the walls of Kappa Kappa Kill (whose oft-repeated abbreviation is even more unsettling), a “haunted” sorority house, the pubescent players of Big Mouth have different yet equally terrifying reactions to the questionably-named juice they are served. Nickywise the Dancing Clown terrorizes his younger self with the supposed inevitability of his disastrous future, while Andrew is stuck in a Russian Doll-esque infinite loop of various iterations of his death (and an animated Natasha Lyonne makes a cameo). In Matthew’s hell, his “Beelzebubbe” forces him to choose between the approval of his boyfriend and his homophobic mother, while Missy is confronted by versions of her past self in the most accurate visual of an identity crisis there ever was. This excellent homage to horror proves that the most frightening demons are the ones of our own making.

That’s a wrap, binge watchers! I’ll see you soon, from the other side of the small screen.