Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope and Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins in Parks and Recreation

Let’s Rank the Best Halloween Episodes From Mike Schur Shows

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I’m using Mike Schur as a bit of a blanket term because the three shows we’re looking at, Parks and Recreation, The Office, and Brooklyn 99, were also created by Dan Goor and Greg Daniels (respectively). But the common denominator between all three happens to be producer, writer, and actor Mike Schur. (Schur also created The Good Place, for which we can recommend all episodes as having a nicely Halloween-y vibe, since everyone is dead!)

Some of my favorite shows in all the world are the aforementioned Parks and Recreation, The Office, and Brooklyn 99. So let’s take care of your Halloween binge-watching by ranking all the Halloween episodes from these three shows. I should note that this list made me feel bad having to rank these because I love each and every one of them so if your favorite is not at the top, do not take it personally. I’m probably mad they couldn’t all be number 1.

And away we go:

18. Parks and Recreation: “Greg Pikitis”

The only reason this episode is last is because of Louis C.K. Otherwise, this is a fun episode. But Louis C.K. is in it as Dave the cop so that’s two strikes against it right there. (The only time I’ll allow Louis C.K. to stay is when Ben Wyatt makes him look like a mean cop. Then that’s fine.)

The episode focuses on Leslie Knope trying to take down Greg Pikitis. A genius prank master, Knope has met her match and she misses Ann’s Halloween party because she’s trying to take down a teenager.

17. The Office: “Koi Pond”

The Halloween aspect of this episode was cut (and rightfully so) because of a depiction of suicide in a misguided attempt by Michael Scott to try and convince everyone that there should be a lesson for Halloween (and frightens a bunch of children). But it remains on the list because of Jim Halpert’s Facebook costume.

The cold open (which is what has been cut from the episode) features the employees of Dunder Mifflin doing a haunted warehouse thing for kids and Jim’s costume is just “book” written on his face. Honestly, the best of lazy costumes.

16. The Office: “Employee Transfer”

This is just a cold open Halloween treat. With everyone dressing like the Joker and Andy coming up to Jim as a cat (but being a kitten?), it is cute because everyone in Scranton dresses up, even Jim with his “Dave” name tag, and Pam calls from New York to discover that no one at corporate dresses up. And, as she used grease paint for her Charlie Chaplin mustache, she can’t take off her hat or she’s just Hitler.

Other than that? Get ready to be sad because Michael and Holly break up and Michael and Darryl sing the blues about it.

15. Brooklyn 99: “Halloween III”

It’s extremely hard ranking all of the Halloween Heist episodes of Brooklyn 99. The reason this one is fifteenth has nothing to do with the actual episode and everything to do with so many other things happening in the other heists that this one just got pushed back aways.

The third heist win was fun because it was the first episode that wasn’t just Holt vs. Peralta and getting to see them fight it out amongst the other members of the 99th precinct? Honestly, kind of fun! But sadly, it falls into last place for me out of the heists, and I already feel bad about it.

14. Parks and Recreation: “Meet N Greet”

Andy and April have a Halloween party and refuse to tell Ben that it is happening. Why it isn’t higher up on the list is just because there are too many good episodes to choose from. I have to make sacrifices and this is one of them.

The entire episode, Ron is fixing problems in their home with Ann while Ben refuses to tell Andy why he’s mad, so it results in Andy and Ben fighting in the middle of the party and Ben accidentally breaking Andy’s nose. All while Leslie is being betrayed by Tom (because his business is shutting down so he takes over her event to promote himself).

Overall? A good episode! Just not the best of all the Halloween eps.

13. Brooklyn 99: “Cinco De Mayo”

Terry hates heists! But this time, he’s getting his revenge.

Set during Cinco De Mayo (because of Terry’s plan) and when the 99 thinks that they’re distracting him from his lieutenant’s exam, the entire episode is a fun twist from the Heists that we’re used to. Granted, it happened because of the show having a weird season but still. It’s a fun episode with a new winner of the Halloween De Mayo Heist and finally got Terry involved in one of the events!

12. Brooklyn 99: “Halloween II”

Raymond Holt goes above and beyond to defeat Jake Peralta and watching as these two battle it out at the start of the Halloween heists is a fun look at their dynamic as coworkers. This episode also demonstrates how every single member of the 99 loves the Halloween heists and want to fight each other.

The episode has everyone seemingly not involved, but as we learn, everyone was rooting for Jake to lose (except of course for Charles) because of how he reacted after beating Holt the first time around.

11. The Office: “Spooked”

Robert California wants a cool Halloween party and Erin is freaking out about which to do. With Dwight doing too much with his costume and Pam feeling self-conscious about being pregnant with her and Jim’s second child, this is a fun Halloween episode with some weird things happening at Dunder Mifflin.

It’s a pretty run of the mill holiday episode, but watching Erin try and think of scary things is delightful.

10. Brooklyn 99: “Halloween IV”

Look, Gina Linetti is maybe one of the best television characters ever created, and watching her destroy all the detectives in order to prove that the award shouldn’t be exclusively for them? It was exactly what you’d expect from her as a character, but also she was right.

Gina takes the Heist for the first time because she’s tired of having to buy things for it and constantly seeing the word detective over it despite helping in the previous ones. So, she takes matters into her own hands and comes up with one of the best plans yet to win the heist and, apart from Jake and Amy’s engagement (and Rosa), there really isn’t a better win.

9. The Office: “Halloween”

Three-hole punch Jim is a staple among fans of The Office. Get it? Because he’s paper? Anyway, this is the first Halloween episode of The Office and is still in that sweet spot of the show where Jim and Pam are clearly in love with each other but will not admit it.

8. Brooklyn 99: “Halloween”

The first-ever Halloween Heist has to be up here because it is ALSO one of the first times that Jake Peralta showed that he was a great detective. (Even if his detective work is outsmarting Holt so that he doesn’t have to do any of his paperwork for a week.) This episode set in motion a tradition that every Halloween needs. The Halloween Heist.

What I love about Brooklyn 99 is that even when the show isn’t airing at Halloween, they find a way to do an episode about the Halloween Heist and pass something off as “oh this is why it didn’t happen on Halloween this year” and that’s all thanks to this first episode.

7. The Office: “Here Comes Treble”

Andy is the manager of the Scranton branch and he dresses like George Michael. The problem? He’s trying to teach the new members of Cornell’s acapella group Here Comes Treble about the good ol’ days. But when his old teammate (Stephen Colbert) seems to be taking over his spot in their old team, Andy begins questioning everything about his Cornell days.

Meanwhile, Jim is off trying to give money for a new company with his friends, and when Pam realizes he gave money when he didn’t have to, the two fight and the film crew captures Oscar and the Senator kissing each other while dressed up as the electoral college and Ronald Reagan. So … you know, epic.

6. Brooklyn 99: “Halloween VallowEaster”

Look, if it wasn’t for Jake and Amy getting engaged, this would be the best of the Halloween Heists. Rosa Diaz did her waiting. She made sure to be there for Jake to win. She helped Holt win. She applauded Amy winning and even was a wonderful teammate to Amy when she needed it.

But watching Rosa literally own everyone and winning three titles in one? Iconic.

5. Parks and Recreation: “Recall Vote”

Not going to lie, this episode and I have a special relationship. My favorite Halloween costume is when I went as “Recalled Leslie Knope.”

But this episode is special because I’m also convinced that it is the episode that inspired Ben and Leslie to name one of their sons Wesley.

Leslie Knope is recalled from City Council and Ben and Ann make it their duty to protect Leslie and make sure she doesn’t dive off the deep end. But Ben starts to fail and the two get drunk while at a Halloween event for City Hall. Ann is then in charge of making sure that she’s there for her best friend and … stops Ben and Leslie from getting tattoos dressed as Princess Buttercup and Westley from The Princess Bride.

4. The Office: “Costume Contest”

Throughout all of The Office, Jim Halpert has hated dressing up. He always did the bare minimum and never really tried. But when Pam gets called a “nerd” by a man she went on one date with before she ended up with Jim, he decides to make Pam happy by finally giving her what she wants: Jim to wear his Popeye costume so that he can be the Popeye to her Olive Oil.

It’s one of the reasons why I find Jim and Pam to be so cute. They’re not perfect and the relationship does have its ups and downs but watching Jim see what Pam needed in that moment and putting his own hatred of Halloween aside to be there for her? It’s incredibly sweet.

3. Brooklyn 99: “HalloVeen”

Do I have to spell out why this is the best Halloween Heist? Well, since I do, JAKE AND AMY GOT ENGAGED! Mike Schur comedies sure do love a Halloween engagement! But the episode is all about the fancy cumberbund (it’s just a belt) and when Amy thinks she has Jake’s trick figured out, she’s surprised by the entire thing being a set up so that Jake could propose to her.

Will it make you cry into your candy corn? Yes, of course it will. But also HEIST!

2. Parks and Recreation: “One Last Ride”

Shhh, I’m including this.

In the series finale for Parks and Recreation, we see a glimpse of a few different Halloweens. One where Leslie is Sandra Dee O’Connor and Ben is a character from the new version of The Cones of Dunshire and another when April and Andy are having their son Jack.

While this episode in general ranks extremely high for me in series finales, the Halloween aspect is high on my list because it fits perfectly with April and Andy (in my opinion). Their love for each other and April’s love of the weird and out there makes it a wonderfully fun aspect of their story that their son is born on Halloween.

1. Parks and Recreation: “Halloween Surprise”

This is first because I cannot watch this episode without crying. When Jerry has a “fart” attack on Halloween because Ann and Leslie scare him, the Parks and Recreation department of Pawnee have to try and raise money for his hospital bills. Meanwhile, Ben is in a dilemma because he’s being offered a new job in Florida for a new campaign right when he and Leslie are meant to move in together.

So sure, it’s not the most Halloween of episodes. but watching as Ben Wyatt comes back to Pawnee and proposes to Leslie Knope? That’s something that will always mean the world to me, so HAPPY HALLOWEEN! And maybe get engaged if that’s on the table? Do it for Mike Schur.


Which are your favorite episodes from these fantastic comedies? Do you wish The Good Place had a Halloween-themed episode? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

(image: NBC)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.