From Jim’s, um, minimalistic costumes, to the annual Halloween office party, any The Office fan can agree that the Halloween specials are some of the most beloved episodes of the show. With nine seasons worth of content and a stash of leftover candy to eat from 2018 spooky season, consider this your ultimate guide to the best The Office Halloween episodes, ranked using the (evidently) most scientific means possible -Halloween candy.

5. Licorice - Season 8 Episode 5: Spooked  

Having Andy become the Scranton Branch Manager was controversial and never really worked; Andy’s character went from being a lovable goofball with a passion for all things Cornell (#GoBigRed) to a Michael Scott knock off. Especially with all of the weird tension between Andy and Erin, and this being the first Halloween episode without Michael, it’s no wonder this particular special struggles to find its footing.

That being said, there are some truly awesome parts of the episode, like Jim and Pam’s teasing over whether ghosts exist, as well as Dwight’s Starcraft costume. This unique mixture of good and bad is best described by what is arguably the most disappointing of all Halloween candies to receive - licorice. While people usually concur that some types of licorice, like Twizzlers, are pretty great, it's still pretty disappointing to receive licorice when trick or treating, especially since so many other great options exist.  

Iconic Moments:

- Meredith and Kelly’s Kate Middleton costume in the cold open.

- Kelly, Toby, and Gabe’s glow in the dark skeleton costume and choreographed dance.

4. Candy Corn - Season 9 Episode 5: Here Comes Treble

While the cold open is arguably the most iconic of the Halloween specials, this particular episode is ranked so low for it’s two major flaws: the lack of Michael Scott, and Jim and Pam’s argument over Athlead throughout the episode.

Dwight’s pumpkin prank is hilarious and sets a great tone for the episode, but seeing the show’s most quintessential couple without their usual funny yet loving banter is definitely jarring. In this way, the episode is most like candy corn - it’s emblematic of the holiday and for that reason everyone feels obligated to like it, even if in reality it’s actually just okay.

 Ionic Moments: 

- Dwight’s pumpkin prank gone wrong in the cold open.

- Pam using the Monster Mash as a metaphor for her fight with Jim, and Kevin actually believing that Pam just really dislikes the song.

- Stephen Colbert's guest appearance as Broccoli Rob.

3. Starbursts - Season 2 Episode 5: Halloween

There’s a lot that this episode, as the first Halloween special, gets right: it sets the precedent for Jim’s costumes being the right balance of clever and minimal effort; it establishes Dwight’s costume as being too nerdy and niche for anyone in the office to really appreciate; and it gives Michael a weird scheme that puts someone’s job in jeopardy.

Plus, watching Jim and Pam nervously flirt in the earlier seasons is always delightful, and it’s impossible not to root for their union as Jim pines for her from afar. Just like the mini-size Starbursts that are given out to trick or treaters, it’s not necessarily ionic or unforgettable, but (especially if you get lucky and get two red Starbursts) leaves you with a vague sense of craving more.

Ionic Moments: 

- Dwight ruins his interview with Cumberland Mills by arguing with his interviewer about the importance of martial arts.

- “I'm a three hole punch version of Jim. 'Cause you can have me either way. Plain White Jim, or Three-hole Punch.”

2. Sour Patch Kids - Season 5 Episode 6: Employee Transfer

Granted, the majority of the episode is not really focused on Halloween, but the cold open is fantastic, and the episode as a whole represents an important turning point in the show for Michael. Michael and Holly’s devastating break up due to their realization that a long distance relationship isn’t practical for them is an interesting parallel to Jim and Pam as they navigate being engaged with Pam still living in New York while attending art school.

Jim and Pam have already experienced what it was like to be apart when Jim was transferred to the Stamford branch; they know firsthand how much better they are together, even if that means when separated physically by distance. The episode does a lot to really illustrate the strength of their relationship through Pam’s prank with Jim’s brothers and how readily they accept her into the family. Pam realizes how quickly Jim comes to her defense, and Jim’s brothers are impressed with Pam’s ability to stand her ground when getting picked on.

There are definitely some sour moments that dampen the lighthearted Halloween mood, like Michael’s heartbreak over Holly. But there are also some super sweet scenes, with the characters dressed up in their costumes, and cute moments between Jim and Pam, that make the episode definitely worth a re-watch, just like the ionic Halloween favorite, Sour Patch Kids.  

 Ionic Moments: 

- Pam’s extravagant Charlie Chaplin costume (with a grease-painted moustache included), while no one else in the office is dressed up.

- Creed, Kevin, and Dwight all dressed as Heath Ledger’s the Joker, with Creed’s costume being the far superior one of the group.

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup - Season 7 Episode 6: Costume Contest

 Just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, this episode is the cream of the crop of Halloween specials. The bitesize chocolate and peanut butter concoction is utter perfection at every morsel, and this episode is equally nuanced, fun, and perfect for a chill Halloween night in.

The competition over the coupon book is hilarious, plus Pam finally convinces Jim to wear a proper costume. What’s not to love about this episode? Especially as each character leaves the office to change into something more entertaining, and in some cases, more provocative, in order to win the costume contest.

The twist of who actually gets the coupon is unexpected, but great all the same. In this sense, “Costume Contest” is definitely the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of Halloween episodes - they’re both dynamic, nuanced, and all around an amazing blend of perfection and spooky Halloween fun. 

Ionic Moments: 

- Jim’s jealousy over Danny and Pam’s dating history.

- Dwight’s Scranton Strangler costume.

The Office is largely considered the pinnacle of modern television and a master of the mockumentary format, and so it was always a treat when the show had entire episodes dedicated to everyone’s favorite spooky holiday. While some were better than others, it's hard to deny that these episodes were some of the most enjoyable of the show’s run. So, if you're feeling nostalgic for Halloween 2k18 already, make sure to watch all of the best The Office Halloween episodes while devouring your leftover candy.