Halloween

The Greatest Trick-or-Treat Scenes in Film History 

Ranker Film
Updated September 3, 2019 117 votes 35 voters 16 items

Trick or treat movie scenes come in a variety of styles. Obviously, horror movies have long capitalized on Halloween and its potential for scariness. Other genres have made use of the tradition, too. Comedies have played trick-or-treating for laughs, dramas have used it to advance characterization, and science-fiction films have utilized it to contrast life on Earth with aliens and their technology. 

The best Halloween scenes in movies are not gratuitous. They add something of value to the story or help us see their heroes -- and sometimes their villains -- in an important way. A number of these moments have become classics. Who doesn't remember the titular alien gazing at trick-or-treaters in wonder in E.T.? Or Boo Radley saving Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird? There's real power in these sequences. Others are gems from smaller, lesser-seen films. American Splendor, for example, uses trick-or-treating as a way to help show how the main character proudly marches to the beat of his own drummer. 

This is your chance to weigh in on the cinematic trick or treat scenes that you think are the best. We've assembled a list of the most memorable examples from various genres. Vote up all of your favorites. 

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Although it wasn't a big hit in its initial release, Hocus Pocus has become a cult favorite in the intervening years. Its beloved trick-or-treat scene finds siblings Max (Omri Katz) and Dani (Thora Birch) fighting and then making up as they struggle to accept moving to a new town.

Actors: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Thora Birch, Penny Marshall, Kathy Najimy, + more

Released: 1993

Directed by: Kenny Ortega

Is this a great scene?

More Hocus Pocus 

#123 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #588 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time What Happened To The Cast Of Hocus Pocus?

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

E.T. is covered in a sheet and taken trick-or-treating with Elliott and Michael. When he sees a kid in a Yoda mask, he moves toward him, saying "home, home." This is a nod from director Steven Spielberg to his friend, Star Wars creator George Lucas. 

Actors: Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger, Robert MacNaughton, C. Thomas Howell, + more

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Is this a great scene?

More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

#41 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Dark Story Behind The Cancelled Sequel To E.T. The Extra-Terrestriallisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

In a humorous twist, Jack Skellington's three minions -- Lock, Shock, and Barrel -- ring Santa's doorbell. When he answers, they say "trick or treat," then throw a bag over his head and kidnap him, thereby setting the plot in motion.

Actors: Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman, Greg Proops, Glenn Shadix, + more

Released: 1993

Directed by: Henry Selick

Is this a great scene?

More The Nightmare Before Christmas 

#32 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #117 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies Every Song in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ranked by Singability

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

A darkly funny scene in Trick 'r Treat finds school principal Steven Wilkins trying to dispose of the body of a child he poisoned. This is interrupted when candy-seeking kids ring his doorbell. Wilkins' shirt is covered with blood, but the Halloweeners think he's just wearing a costume. 

Actors: Anna Paquin, Leslie Bibb, Brian Cox, Tahmoh Penikett, Lauren Lee Smith, + more

Released: 2007

Directed by: Michael Dougherty

Is this a great scene?

More Trick 'r Treat 

#105 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #37 of 84 Great Movies That Take Place in Autumn