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Every Community Halloween Episode Ranked Worst To Best

Like most every other sitcom in existence, "Community" was known for its holiday specials. With Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rash) in charge, you knew the students at Greendale would have some fun activities planned that would inevitably descend into chaos. Even something as warm and charming as a Christmas special received the "Community" treatment on several occasions, with perhaps the best example coming from Season 2's "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas." Most people may remember the episode for involving claymation, but at its heart, it's about overcoming the loss of a parental figure and finding your own meaning in the holiday season.

This is precisely why "Community" remains so beloved with audiences to this day. Sure, there were plenty of jokes and hijinks across its six seasons (no movie yet, sadly), but the show also knew how to hit you in the heartstrings. It had a way of making you feel something when you least expected it. And that holds true for all of the "Community" Halloween episodes.

"Paranormal Parentage" (Season 4, Episode 2)

No "Community" Halloween episode is downright bad, but "Paranormal Parentage" hits just a tad different from the rest of the entries on this list. It still holds a 7.5/10 rating on IMDb with a story involving much of the Greendale crew going to Pierce's (Chevy Chase) house after he locked himself in the panic room, and he reportedly saw the ghost of his father. They spend the rest of the episode on a Scooby-Doo-like quest to find the code to open the door, all while Jeff (Joel McHale) confronts his own issues with his dad.

There's a ton to love with this episode, like the all-time great Abed (Danny Pudi) quote, "I remember when this show was about community college." However, it just can't escape its connotation with the much-maligned fourth season of "Community" (via Screen Rant). This was the year Dan Harmon was removed as showrunner, and many fans believe the episodes contained therein just aren't as good as classic "Community." "Paranormal Parentage" may be part of the "gas leak year," but that doesn't mean that season lacks merits. And "Paranormal Parentage" is an excellent example of that.

"Introduction to Statistics" (Season 1, Episode 7)

At its core, "Community" is a show about finding your own family and realizing your friends can be just as much your loved ones as people related to you by blood. The first season really exemplifies this theme the best, especially in the episode "Introduction to Statistics." The show's very first Halloween episode sees Annie (Alison Brie) hosting a Dia de Los Muertos party and hopes that Jeff's presence will entice other students to show up. The only problem is that Jeff wants to score with his statistics teacher, Michelle (Lauren Stamile), so he blows off the party to be with her.

"Introduction to Statistics" earns points for laying the groundwork for every other Halloween episode to come. Not only would viewers look forward to the story of the Halloween episode, but they'd also anticipate what the main characters would wear as costumes. Abed going all in with Batman while Jeff thinks he's too cool for a costume line up perfectly in nature while offering up plenty of hilarious bits. Moreso than almost any other sitcom out there, "Community" came out of the gate strong with great episodes in its first season.

Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps (Season 3, Episode 5)

"The Simpsons" made it fashionable to do an anthology episode for Halloween with its "Treehouse of Horror" series. Sometimes, one tale of terror just isn't enough, and you have to cram in as much as possible. That's the path "Community" decided to take for its Season 3 Halloween episode, "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps."

The set-up is relatively straightforward. Britta (Gillian Jacobs) conducted a psychological personality test on her friends and discovered one is homicidal. To determine which one it is, she decided to tell a scary story to see how everyone reacts. Misinterpreting the situation, everyone goes around the table to tell their own spooky story, resulting in plenty of laughs and a suitable twist at the end.

"Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps" helps cement the show's status as something different than anything else on cable during its time. It wasn't afraid to get bonkers with a premise, and you have to appreciate the attention to detail this episode exhibits. For example, it opens with Annie saying the word "Beetlejuice," the third time it's ever said in the series. Right on cue, a guy dressed in a Beetlejuice costume walks by the window behind her. You just have to appreciate that level of commitment to a bit.

Epidemiology (Season 2, Episode 6)

"Community" was at its best when it parodied heavily from existing genres. Its paintball episodes were classics for a reason for the way they incorporated genuinely exceptional action movie sequences into the storyline. And "Basic Rocket Science" remains an underrated gem for how it expertly takes plot points from space biopics. During Season 2, the show decided to borrow liberally from zombie movies for arguably the best Halloween episode it ever put out, "Epidemiology."

Greendale Community College hosts a party where the food consists of old army rations bought from a surplus store. The tainted food soon turns students into zombie-like monstrosities, and it's up to the study group to figure out how to save everybody. The episode's a ton of fun, and it's impressive how genuinely scary things become, like when Chang (Ken Jeong) breaks a window and a horde of zombies descend upon Annie. It's chilling to watch, but "Epidemiology" never loses its pacing, perfectly balancing elements of horror and comedy.

The quality of this episode wasn't lost on critics, with Sean Gandert of Paste Magazine writing at the time of its release, "This is one of those special episodes that really pushed the boundaries of the show, and honestly, I even preferred it to 'Modern Warfare' — this may be the best episode of the show so far." To be honest, we couldn't agree more.