Here at Pop Culture Spin we refuse to accept that Halloween is only one day. We’re going to be celebrating Halloween all month, by highlighting one of our favorite Halloween episodes every day. Today’s we’re looking at the That 70s Show episode “Too Old To Trick-or-Treat, Too Young To Die.”
Directed by: David Trainer
Written by: Jackie Filgo & Jeff Filgo
Episode Number: Season 3, Episode 4
Where to Watch It: Netflix
Why It’s Great
This episode is an homage to the horror films of Alfred Hitchcock and packs in as many iconic visual references as possible. Films referenced include Rear Window, Vertigo, The Birds, North by Northwest and Psycho.
The caveat for all this is a Hitchcock marathon on TV. Kelso turns out to be a big fan. While North by Northwest is on, he tells Red, “See, those guys think that Cary Grant is a secret agent but he’s not. It’s a case of mistaken identity.” Red replies, “Right. Like you’ve mistaken me for someone who wants you here.”
Throughout the episode we get to see adorably low-stakes versions of Hitchcock scenes. Kelso spills Laurie’s condition in the shower, he’s chased by a toy plane, a scary bird poops on Laurie, Eric is consistently afraid of falling from a height of just a few feet and Fez thinks Bob has murdered his wife when he’s actually just carved up some Jack-o-lanterns.
Why It’s Full of Halloween Spirit
In addition to the spookiness care of the Hitchock imagery, this episode also taps into the weird feeling of being a teenager at Halloween. As Eric morbidly puts it in the titular quote, they’re too old to trick-or-treat and too young to die.
While complaining about the lack of fun things to do on Halloween in a small town, Eric inadvertently implies he’s bored of Donna. This puts her on a mission to have an exciting Halloween that involves putting on a disguise and sneaking off to the water tower.
Kelso is being dragged to a Halloween party by Laurie. He complains, “Not only do I have to wear a suit, but all her guy friends act like they’ve done it with her before.” The others politely don’t explain to him why this is.
This episode embraces the cheesy side of Halloween episodes of sitcoms, giving us a special logo with a Jack-o-lantern and a creepy organ version of the theme song.
The only costume in this episode is Fez as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. It’s a real quality over quantity situation.