The only thing I love more than a TV show’s holiday episode is a TV show’s Halloween episode—it’s when we see just how creative the writers are when it comes to costume choices. If you think about it, it may be more difficult than writing the actual plot. It’s the perfect combination of creativity while also hitting the nail on the head with “Yes! That’s exactly what this fictional character (that I feel like I know personally) would dress up as!”
There have been so many good ones over the years—the Three Hole Punch version of Jim in season two of The Office will forever be my favorite for its simplicity and brilliance—but I typically love to see what the ladies end up with. I re-watched a few of my favorite Halloween episodes on Hulu and narrowed it down to five that I particularly admire (and want to copy!).
1. The Mindy Project – Mindy as Lil’ Wayne on the Prairie
In a last ditch effort to come up with a Halloween costume that is funny enough to impress the guy she’s dating, Mindy tries out a number of pun-tastic costumes: Tinkerbell + Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy = Tinkerbell Tailor Soldier Spy… Dirty Harry + Harry Potter = Dirty Harry Potter.
But of course, as a fan of the 1970s Melissa Gilbert series, my favorite was Mindy’s take on a prairie ensemble remixed with a Lil’ Wayne wig and grill. She dubbed it: Lil’ Wayne on the Prairie. I am so not that creative and I love it.
2. Modern Family – a pregnant Gloria as an alien
A pregnant Gloria’s answer to dressing up for Halloween in your third trimester? Flaunt it! Her metallic green body suit, cape, and antenna make her the cutest space alien, bar none.
3. Blackish – the Johnson family as the Jackson 5 (+ princess)
The only thing better than a perfectly executed couples/best friends costume? A whole group costume! The Johnson family really impresses when they step out together as the Jackson 5. I may not have kids yet, but the idea of a family theme is now high on my future goals list.
4. Community – all of Britta’s Halloween costumes
As soon as we see feminist Britta Perry dressed up as a squirrel in Community’s first Halloween episode, we hear her opinion on women’s costumes:
Annie: Oh, Britta! You look adorable.
Britta: Thank you! I hate when women use Halloween as an excuse to dress up like sluts, you know?
A bold statement she held fast considering year after year she’d go out of her way to completely conceal her female figure on Halloween. From her season one squirrel outfit complete with giant nut, to a t-rex costume the next year, and an oversized ham hock the next… the girl stuck true to her word. I love them all.
5. Parks & Recreation – Leslie Knope as Rosie the Riveter
Of course Leslie Knope finds a way to personify female empowerment for Halloween. Her Rosie the Riveter costume in season 5 is perfectly on point while still looking like she whipped it up at home last minute.