Which costume would you pick?


In continuing with the Spooky October theme here at lyriquediscorde, this Thursday’s Halloween on TV feature is the Freaks and Geeks Halloween special entitled “Tricks and Treats”. Keep reading to discover my picks for the best moments, music, costumes and any other tricks or treats that can be found in this episode of one of my favorite “short-lived” shows. “Tricks and Treats”, Episode 3, airing originally on October 30, 1999.


There comes an awkward time in most people’s lives, that typically hits during adolescent, when the childhood joys of Halloween become questionable, and many “not kids/not adults” teeter on that razor’s edge of whether they should dress-up and “trick or treat”, or dress down and terrorize said “trick or treaters“. This is the age, too, when most teens have not yet graduated to the Halloween parties because, well, most teens are still living at home and a cool party and a chaperoned party are never the same thing. Lindsay and Sam are at that crossroads and choose different sides of the edge, neither enjoying their Halloween choices in the end.


We’re not adults. We’re kids until we turn 18.” ~ Sam

Maybe you are, but when I hit 13, I became a man.” ~ Neal 

That’s only in your temple, Neil, not in the real world.” ~ Bill


Favorite moments:

If I were the Bionic Woman, what would I wear?”

Without any doubt or question, it is Bill as the Bionic Woman who just makes this episode for me. His conviction to his costume and character, even if honestly he is just wearing his Mother’s clothes, is perfect. I adore Bill and his sincerity and naivete, the one character that really seems unaffected by the confusion and conflictions of being a teenager on Halloween, no, on the contrary, he just seems in it to have fun.

Elsewhere, it is a more painful experience. Sam and Lindsay’s Mother feeling the inevitable rejection of your kids not wanting to be with you for Halloween, especially Lindsay. Re-watching it now it reminded me of the last Halloween when my younger daughter chose to take off with her friends instead of the routine and traditions we had. In the end I was happy to see her enjoying her friends and her small sense of freedom (I remember that first time trick-or-treating with just my friends, it was so exhilarating and “grown-up” feeling), but I also had a notable pang of sadness and hurt that I recognize in this episode.

Lindsay chooses to not dress-up, to hang with her friends, and to take on all the tricks of smashing pumpkins and egging costumed kids, including her brother and his friends. She always frustrates me in this episode. Though I get her pull and her motivations, and her inner conflict, I just can’t stand the choices she makes. Maybe this comes from growing up in a neighborhood where Halloween pranks were unheard of, and then also being the Mom of a young son who had his pumpkin smashed, and how devastated he was from it.


Favorite Music:

There are four songs used in the episode, and I’d credit two as my favorites.

Sam and Lindsay’s Mom singing Monster Mash, and the cringing that is conveyed so well as your Mother sings at the table, it is palpable, you can feel it watching it, that second-hand embarrassment. It sets up the disappointment that she will inevitably feel when her plans with Lindsay are squelched.

Good thing my kids still know that it’s my favorite Halloween song, and don’t seem to mind me singing, or at least they humor me into believing.

Gonna Raise Hell :: Cheap Trick

The best part is that Gonna Raise Hell plays over Sam and his friends costuming-up, and not over Lindsay and Daniel and Kim and the gang driving off to actually raise Hell.


Favorite Costume


Have I mentioned Bill’s epic Bionic Woman costume? I wish I could hangout with Bionic Bill for a Halloween. I wouldn’t mind borrowing his lipstick.


Do you have a favorite moment from this episode? A favorite costume? A favorite character, or story arc? Who would you have wanted to have spent Halloween, in 1999 (or in this case, 1980), with, in this episode?


3 thoughts on “Freaks and Geeks :: “Tricks and Treats” :: Thursday’s TV Halloween

  1. “That’s only in your temple, Neil, not in the real world.” ~ Bill, That made me laugh out loud so hard just now.

    I’m going to go with Bill too, for his costume and his character in the episode.
    I hate Lindsay’s choices too and I’m afraid I would’ve done the same as her but then felt so guilty.

    I definitely remember trick-or-treating without my Dad and just friends and then the first year I wore all black instead of a costume and met friends in town to hang out, walk around and we armed ourselves with bottles of shaving cream-a tradition in our town for high schoolers, I wonder if they do that elsewhere.

    That must be tough to see through the eyes of the Mom on the episode & relate so much to her. Makes me wish I could go back to so many moments and stay home with my parents instead. =(

    1. Bill just rules this episode. Just thinking of him dressed up as The Bionic Woman makes me laugh – and that link – “…not in the real world” 🙂

      What did everyone do with the shaving cream?

      1. We sprayed each other with it, probably sounds lame! The black was to hide ourselves and everybody would creep around town and jump out & spray each other.

        The problem was that some classmates filled spray bottles with Nair, I hate those kinds of kids.

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