The 15 Most Popular Halloween TV Show Episodes

Netflix / Netflix

If you need something light to break up your Halloween horror movie marathon, turn on your favorite TV show. Many beloved television programs—from sitcoms to dramas—have been known to get scary around late October. In some cases, a show's Halloween special is remembered as one of the best episodes in the series. For binge-watching inspiration this spooky season, check out this list of the top Halloween TV episodes from the last 30 years.

USDISH crunched data from IMDb and TV by the Numbers to determine the top-rated Halloween episodes of popular television series. They only considered shows made between 1990 and 2020 that had a rating of 7.5 or higher and over 1500 votes on IMDb. The finale ranking is based on viewership numbers during the episode's premiere.

Fans of The Simpsons look forward to the show's “Treehouse of Horror” anthology episodes each year, and the Halloween specials claim 10 of the 15 slots on the list. The first “Treehouse of Horror” ends up at the top of the ranking, with 27.4 million viewers when it first aired in 1990.

The Friends Halloween episode is the only non-Simpsons show to break the top 10. “The One with the Halloween Party” aired later in the series—episode six of season eight—but it still managed to attract 27 million viewers in 2001. The Halloween episodes of Stranger Things, the Big Bang Theory, and Criminal Minds were also a hit with audiences.

You can check out the full list of the 15 most popular Halloween episodes below. If you're already itching for December, you can get started early on these holiday specials from classic TV shows.

  1. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror”
  2. Friends // “The One with the Halloween Party”
  3. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror III”
  4. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror IV”
  5. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror V”
  6. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror II”
  7. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror VI”
  8. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror VII”
  9. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror VIII”
  10. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror XIII”
  11. The Simpsons // “Treehouse of Horror XIV”
  12. Stranger Things // “Chapter One: MADMAX”
  13. The Big Bang Theory // “The Holographic Excitation”
  14. Criminal Minds // “About Face”
  15. The Big Bang Theory // “The Good Guy Fluctuation”