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The Shape of things to come.
"I met him 15 years ago. I was told there was nothing left; no reason, no conscience, no understanding in even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this... six-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and... the blackest eyes - the Devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up, because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil."
Dr. Samuel Loomis on Michael Myers, Halloween (1978)

In 1978, writer/director John Carpenter and producer Debra Hill made Halloween, a low-budget independent horror film. The film was a massive hit that effectively popularized the Slasher Movie genre and inspired other similar franchises such as Friday the 13th, and it also turned the film into the first of a successful major horror film franchise. Since then, the original film, and the series overall, have become a celebrated, iconic staple of horror and wider pop culture.

Despite its enormous influence and enduring popularity, the series is also rather infamous for having perhaps the single most confusing timeline in the history of the horror genre (if not all of cinema), with five distinct alternate continuities. With the sole exception of the Oddball in the Series Halloween III: Season of the Witch (more on that below), the one common thread in the various timelines is the psychopathic murderer Michael Myers, who lives solely to make All Hallows' Eve a night of horrific carnage and mayhem.

All of the timelines (except for the Zombie reboot) flow from the original film:

  • John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) — At the age of 6, Michael Myers stabbed his older sister Judith to death on Halloween night, 1963; this led to his incarceration at a mental hospital. Fifteen years later, Michael escapes from the asylum on the night before Halloween and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois in order to go back to his childhood home. Teenager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) steps onto the Myers property and thereby stirs Michael's bloodthirsty fascination, causing him to begin stalking her and her friends throughout the day and ensuing night until he finds his chance to begin murdering them one by one. Only Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's former psychiatrist, stands any chance of stopping him.

The original continuity then continues with the original sequel:

  • Halloween II (1981) — On the same night as the original film, Laurie gets taken to a hospital to recover from Michael Myers's attack, but the serial killer follows her there. The film soon reveals/retcons the reason why Michael is stalking Laurie.

The next movie was meant to proceed from Carpenter's original vision of the Halloween series as a kind of Genre Anthology, featuring different unrelated stories of horror connected only by being related to the spooky holiday that gave the series its name. Thus, this film is the only one in which Michael Myers is not part of the main story at all (although he does appear on television briefly).

  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) — A toymaker uses rocks from Stonehenge to create masks that cause children's heads to rot into writhing piles of snakes and bugs if they watch a certain program being hyped up for broadcast on Halloween night. This plan also involves robots and lasers.

With the poor reception of the third film, the "Halloween Anthology" idea was scrapped completely, and all the other films returned to the saga of Michael Myers and the Strode family. From there, the films go off into a few different continuities. First, we have three direct sequels to the first two films which have been informally dubbed "The Thorn Trilogy":

  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) — Michael Myers awakens from a ten-year coma just before Halloween to return to Haddonfield and kill Laurie Strode's young daughter, Jamie, who lives with a foster family.
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) — After the events of the previous film, Jamie lands in a mental hospital to help her recover. Michael uses his psychic link to Jamie to lure his young niece to him by stalking her friend Tina.
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) — Years after the previous film, a group called the Cult of Thorn tries to kidnap an adult Jamie's newborn baby, Steven, as part of a plan involving Michael (who keeps trying to kill his niece). The film also reveals the reason behind Michael's madness and immortality.

Completely ignoring the events of the previous three films, the first Alternate Continuity came next:

  • Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998) — Twenty years after the first two films, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her Star-Making Role)invoked — who faked her death to escape her brother Michael — now runs a California boarding school under the assumed name of Keri Tate and is still traumatized by the memories of that horrific Halloween night in 1978. After years of searching for her, Michael finally manages to track her down to finish the job he started two decades ago.
  • Halloween: Resurrection (2002) — Michael returns to Haddonfield to find participants of an internet reality show have set up shop in his old house and gives the contestants and crew more than what they bargained for.

After Resurrection nearly killed the series, the franchise laid dormant until Rob Zombie brought it back and completely rebooted the story:

  • Halloween (2007) — This film, directed by Rob Zombie, reimagines the original film while adding a more extensive look at Michael's childhood in the first half of the film. The second half follows the events of the original film, albeit at a quicker pace and with bloodier violence.
  • Rob Zombie's Halloween II (2009) — On the night of the previous film, the body of Michael Myers — who had been shot point-blank in the face — disappears en route to the morgue. Two years later, Laurie Strode continues to struggle with nightmares about Michael, Dr. Loomis attempts to spin his experiences with Michael into fame and fortune, and the still-alive Michael returns to finish what he started...

Rob Zombie's second film ended up under-performing at the box office, so Zombie instead moved onto other projects, and thus the franchise once again fell into dormancy — until John Carpenter was approached by Jason Blum in 2016 for his input into a new Halloween film, targeted to be released in 2018, for the original film's 40th anniversary. Carpenter ended up working with Blum, director David Gordon Green, and Green's writing partner Danny McBride to create:

  • Halloween (2018) — This film is a direct sequel to the original Halloween only, meaning every sequel, including Halloween II (1981), gets tossed from continuity in this timeline. For the past 40 years, Michael has been incarcerated following his recapture on Halloween 1978. While being transferred to another facility, Michael escapes to once again wreak havoc in Haddonfield. Meanwhile, Laurie has spent all that time preparing for his inevitable return. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode.
  • Halloween Kills (2021) — The sequel to the 2018 film. Continues the story of the night Michael returned to Haddonfield, as the townsfolk attempt to rally to take him down for good.
  • Halloween Ends (2022) — The third and final installment of the new official sequel trilogy, set four years after Kills. Curtis has gone on record saying that this film contains what will be her final performance as Laurie Strode.

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Comic Books
  • Halloween — A three-part miniseries by Chaos! Comics.
  • Halloween: 30 Years of Terror
  • Halloween: Nightdance
  • Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode
  • Halloween: Sam — Focusing on Sam Loomis and detailing the 20-year gap between Halloween II and H20.


  • Halloween: The Scream Factory
    • Halloween: The Old Myers Place
    • Halloween: The Mad House

Video Games

The Halloween franchise provides examples of:

  • The Adjectival Man: Before any of the characters knew Michael Myers' name, they simply referred to him as "The Boogeyman".
    Laurie: ...It WAS the Boogeyman.
    Dr. Loomis: As a matter of was.
  • All There in the Script: Michael is never called "The Shape" in the movies until Halloween (2018), despite the script, credits and certain DVD covers referring to him as this.
  • Anachronism Stew: It is a slight case, but in the remakes it is utterly baffling to try and figure out just when they take place. The openings with Michael Myers as a child are definitely somewhere in the early 1980s, judging from the clothing and hair styles, but after the Time Skip to "Seventeen Years Later" (which should put the events with Laurie somewhere in the mid to late-1990s), people talk on post-2004 cellphones, make references to Austin Powers, and watch flatscreen TVs as if they are in 2007 (when the film was made). To confuse things even more, no one references music beyond 1990, all the cars are pre-2000, and nearly all the things seen on TV are pre-1970. No one at all seems to know when the movie actually takes place. Word of Godinvoked says this was deliberate. In a deleted scene from the sequel, Mya says she was born in 1990, though.
  • Axe Before Entering: Michael Myers likes this trope.
  • Big Bad: Michael Myers aka The Shape.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: See page quote.
  • Bloodier and Gorier:
    • The original, being a John Carpenter film, is pretty tame when it comes to blood, instead relying on an incredible amount of effective tension-building. The original Halloween II, however, was written with this concept in mind. It even has a character slip in a pool of his co-worker's blood!
    • While all of the sequels are this to an extent, it especially stands out with The Curse of Michael Myers and the remake. The new Halloween II, meanwhile, is even more violent, bloody and brutal than the remake.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The original film only contains two shots with blood, and neither is particularly explicit. This is mostly because the film relies on lighting and suspense for its scares. The sequels avert the trope to an increasing degree, and Rob Zombie's versions also avert it.
  • Bottle Episode: Most of the movies take place over October 30/31.
  • Breakout Character: Michael Myers himself. After killing Michael Myers in the sequel, series writer and producer John Carpenter wanted to transform the series into a yearly anthology of films centered around various aspects of Halloween. But Michael proved too popular and became synonymous with the Halloween franchise. When Halloween III: Season of the Witch was made without Myers, fans stayed home and the movie tanked. The next Halloween movie, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, would return the Michael Myers character and the anthology idea would be dropped.
  • Broken Bird: Laurie is enveloped in fear and unhappiness by Halloween II, as is Jamie by Halloween V and Lindsay Wallace gets a really nasty mental breakdown in one comic strip. It seems for female characters in the Halloween universe, the lucky ones are the ones who DON'T survive.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Halloween: H20, the seventh film in the franchise, completely ignores the fourth, fifth, and sixth films. H20 was originally written as loosely but blatantly acknowledging 4-6, but only one reference remained in the final film (Laurie faking the death those films claimed she suffered), since it was too ingrained into H20's basic story and themes.
      • The third film may or may not be ignored as well, considering that it has nothing to do the Michael Myers plot of the other movies, although clips from the first film appear on TV screens, as well as a commercial for it. Many a fan says it could be an in-universe made-for-TV movie, based on the events of the first two films.
    • Halloween 2018 takes a page from H20 and ignores every single sequel, only canonizing the 1978 original, although Danny McBride says it still references them in some way.
  • Caretaking is Feminine: Babysitters are repeatedly seen throughout the franchise, starting from the very first movie. Laurie Strode and Annie Brackett in the first movie and its remake, Rachel in the fourth movie (though she only babysits her foster sister in place of another girl who was supposed to), and Vicki in the 2018 film. It isn't until Halloween Ends, 44 years In-Universe (or at least in this continuity) and out that we finally get the first male babysitter in the franchise in Corey Cunningham, who himself is not that bad a babysitter, save that his charge calls him a bad babysitter and a horrible event happens that night, though it wasn't Corey's fault by any means.
  • Cassandra Truth: Dr. Loomis's career in regards to Michael is this. No one ever listens to his warnings about the danger Michael poses to society...even after the bodies start piling up.
  • Character Development: Laurie Strode.
    • She goes from shy wallflower to action girl between Halloween II (1981) and H20 (1998).
    • In Halloween (2018) Laurie's PTSD and 40 years of waiting for Michael's inevitable (in her mind) escape, causes her to progress all the way to Crazy Survivalist.
  • Chase Scene: Lots of chasing happens when Michael Myers makes himself properly known.
  • Clean Cut: Michael is quite fond of this trope.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Michael's mask and boiler suit.
  • Continuity Reboot: For a franchise that has ended up with several different timelines of events, there's only one full reboot: Halloween (2007), the first Rob Zombie film, which is a retelling of the first film. The other films all connect to the original, but drop various sequels as they see fit. H20 doesn't acknowledge the Thorn Trilogy films, and Halloween (2018) drops all the other movies before it except the original.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Conal Cochran of Season of the Witch.
  • Cut Phone Lines:
    • Michael does this in practically every Halloween movie.
    • In The Return of Michael Myers, Michael doesn't just cut the phone lines of his victim's house. He cuts the phone lines and causes a blackout in the town.
  • Determinator: Michael spends fifteen years in a mental hospital, waiting for a chance to escape so that he could kill his sister (that is, according to every sequel from Rosenthal's II to Resurrection and the TV version of the original, anyway). When he fails in killing her, he then spends the next ten years massacring everybody related to her. Then, depending on which canon you follow, he spends 10-20 years searching for his sister again.
  • Developing Doomed Characters:
    • While the earlier Halloween movies aren't so bad, the later ones revolve around the typically unlikable, rebellious teens with ~teen issues~ that are standard in many slasher flicks. In fact, Michael Myer's killings come off as more of a background issue to the love-triangles and teen angst of the protagonists.
    • This is especially prevalent in the Rob Zombie remakes where practically every character is a mean, brainless Jerkass whose scenes revolve around how awful they are. It seems to be Zombie's way of making the viewer sympathize with Myers, but it can make the scenes with almost any character who isn't Myers downright painful to watch.
      • Exceptions to the string of Jerkass in both films are Deborah Myers, Laurie, and all of Laurie's family, friends, and acquaintances. The exception in the first film is Ismael. Exceptions in the second film are Nurse Daniels, Buddy, the werewolf kid with the van, Howard, Coroner Hooks, and the lady with the two hicks who beat down Michael in a field.
  • Dramatic Irony: Virtually the entire first film, and much of many of the later ones, is simply "Hey! There he is in the background! And the characters can't see him! Crap!"
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Sam Loomis dies offscreen at the end of the sixth movie due to Donald Pleasence's death.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first movie is actually a fairly subtle Psychological Horror movie with relatively little blood and gore, and it frequently employs Nothing Is Scarier. It arguably has more in common with Psycho than with movies like Friday the 13th, which it inspired.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: The extended scenes found on the TV version reveal The Shape's full name to be Michael Audrey Myers. We now know the real reason behind his homicidal rampage.
  • Empathic Environment: Most of the movies in the first two continuities—1, 4, 5, 6, 7—open on a rainy Halloween Eve, driving home the point that something terrible is going to happen.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Anyone who attempts to exploit Michael ends up dying horribly.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Michael Myers went from a super-strong, sociopathic human with plans to kill a few nearby babysitters and anyone else in his immediate vicinity, to a completely unkillable supernatural being bent on hunting down and killing anyone related to him and massacring half of Haddonfield. If you follow the sixth movie's canon, his power is making him grow bigger in each movie.
  • Evil Phone: In the original movie, Michael strangles Lynda to death with a phone cord just as she calls Laurie. Michael then picks up the phone to listen to Laurie's frantic cries, before calmly hanging up.
  • Evil Uncle: Michael, to both Jamie Lloyd and John Tate.
  • Faking the Dead: Laurie in H20
  • Familial Foe: While the series is bogged down by Canon Discontinuity, one constant is Michael Myers menacing relatives of the original Final Girl (who is his long-lost sister in some of the movies). Her children (three different kids in three different timelines), grandchildren, and adoptive cousins have all found themselves running for their lives from Michael.
  • Family Annihilator: Varies between the continuities.
    • Not at all present in the original film, but retconned into the plot with Halloween II and a newly filmed scene added into the original's TV version, shot during the filming of Halloween II.
    • The Thorn timeline invokes this the most as Michael is inflicted with the "Curse of Thorn" where, in the age of the Druids, a child from each tribe was chosen to sacrifice their bloodline on the night of Samhainnote  to spare the rest from disasters like famine and drought. Any kills outside the family are either an obstruction, a means to get to them, or just sadistic collateral.
    • In the H20 timeline, he's still seemingly fixated with ending his sister Laurie, but not because of a curse and the motive is left ambiguous.
    • Downplayed in the Zombie remake as he only killed half of his family while sparing his mother and baby sister whom he loved dearly.
    • Completely averted in the 2018 timeline where Michael offs nearly anyone he encounters seemingly at random, and Laurie is returned to not being his sister but just some girl he decided to stalk, as per the original film's story. The only victim to be a blood relative was his older sister Judith.
  • Final Girl: This series is arguably THE Trope Codifier.
    • Laurie Strode, original and Zombie-verse versions.
    • Jamie Lloyd in 4 and 5, a role she shared with her adopted sister Rachel in 4.
    • Kara Strode from Curse of Michael Myers.
    • Sara Moyer from Resurrection.
    • Allyson, her mother Karen, and her grandmother, the OG herself, Laurie: three generations of Strode women in Halloween 2018.
  • First-Person Perspective: In the original movie, the opening sequence in which a young Michael Myers spies on and then murders his older sister is done from his point of view.
  • Genius Bruiser: Michael has proven that he ain't just a dumb, brutish, killing robot. He usually observes his victims closely, figures out their weaknesses, takes advantage of them, kills their friends and family in order to make them weak mentally, knows how to cut a building's phone lines and power, cuts out all escape routes before he goes in for the kill, and he knows when and who he can kill and when not. And last but not least, he's able to drive a car despite never being behind the wheel until the present-day events of the first film, unless Loomis's conjecture that someone must have taught him is true.
  • Gorn: The deaths in Rob Zombie's film come with buckets of blood. Ironically, the first film in the franchise, which arguably invented the modern, Gorn-loving slasher genre, features very little gore.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Man in Black in the Thorn Trilogy, who is really Dr. Terrence Wynn, the leader of the Cult of Thorn who placed the curse on Michael in the first place. They wish to aid or possibly control Michael.
  • Hollywood Kiss: Most of the characters kiss this way.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Halloween was a trope codifier for this, too.
  • Immune to Bullets: Michael Myers alternates between bullets hurting, but not killing him, and bullets being nothing more than a minor nuisance.
  • Impending Doom P.O.V.:
    • The beginning of the original film.
    • The end of the fourth.
  • Implacable Man: Guess who. A particular example is in the seventh film, after getting an axe in the chest, Michael nonchalantly rips the weapon out and keeps going.
    • Not only has he taken an axe, he's been stabbed and shot repeatedly in critical areas, electrocuted, impaled, hanged, set on fire, bludgeoned, dropped from great heights, been hit full force by moving vehicles, crashed through a windshield, etc, and yet somehow, Michael just keeps coming back for more.
    • The Curse of Michael Myers explains this is because of the "Curse of Thorn," which imbues great, supernatural power on those inflicted.
  • In Name Only: Halloween III has a separate story and characters from the other films.
  • Instant Expert: As lampshaded in the original film, Michael immediately knows how to drive a car despite having spent most of his life in an insane asylum. Loomis guesses that somebody must have taught him.
  • Irony: Halloween is already supposed to be scary, but mostly in a festive sense. It's the one night of year dedicated to the macabre and human fear of the unknown at its peak (at least in Western cultures). Now let's see what happens when you throw in an inhuman, homicidal psychopath and inject REAL fear into those wanting to celebrate.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Loomis, as per his not-unjustified belief that Michael is nothing but pure evil, calls him an "it" on several occasions and corrects others when they refer to Michael as a man.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Nearly every film in the first two continuities (1, 4, 5, 6, 7) opens on a rainy Halloween Eve.
  • Joisey: Averted. Michael Myers's hometown of Haddonfield is in Illinois. The real Haddonfield is actually located in New Jersey and was the hometown of Halloween co-creator Debra Hill.
  • Karma Houdini: Josh Pinder in the spin-off book The Old Myers Place. He at first appears fairly normal, but his status as a spoiled, assholish Rich Bitch soon becomes apparent, and he eventually tries to rape the main character (with it being revealed he tried doing the same to another girl the previous year). You'd think all that would cause Michael to zero in on him like a homing missile, but no, he survives.
  • Lampshade Hanging: How did Michael learn to drive? Loomis postulates that somebody must have taught him at some point.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: In Halloween II, Laurie Strode is retconned into being Michael's sister—something that is spoiled on the DVD cover.
  • Leitmotif: The simple piano melody played throughout the series.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Laurie to Michael, probably, though especially in the remakes.

  • Mad Artist: Some see Michael as one of these, due to how he sets up and, in a few cases, seemingly admires the corpses of his victims.
  • Made of Evil: Dr. Loomis believes that Michael is this...and he may be right.
  • Made of Iron: Michael Myers started out Made of Iron, but it was later Retconned into supernatural Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • Made of Plasticine: Practically every victim in the series is this.
  • Mask of Power:
    • Especially in the first film; Michael doesn't kill anyone except when wearing a mask. In the intro he freezes when his dad removes his clown mask, and later when Laurie knocks his mask off, he takes the time to put it back on, giving her a better chance of escaping. First thing he does before starting his spree is steal the mask, but not for disguise, since he never takes it off and few people would recognize him. In the sequel, he still wears the mask (getting an innocent lookalike killed: Laurie's crush from the first film, Ben Tramer) and (in a retcon scene filmed and added into the TV version years later) is discovered to have scrawled Samhain on the wall of a classroom he breaks into, suggesting he somehow links dressing up to murdering people; he becomes the Boogeyman.
    • In the 2018 film, a sign of his increased malevolence in the 40 years after the original is that Michael is just as vicious and violent without his mask as he is with it. He almost doubles the original’s body count (five) even before he dons his mask again (killing nine by the time he regains his mask). note 
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Michael himself. Is he simply just an incredibly durable, super-strong, knife-wielding psychopath...or is there a truly supernatural aspect to him? He's run the gamut throughout the series.
  • Menacing Stroll: Michael's highest level of speed, at least when the camera isn't on him.
  • Motive Decay: Inverted: Michael's motives are actually fleshed out in Rob Zombie's reboot. However, it turns out the fans liked it more when Michael was a soulless, mysterious psychopath, probably because the "motive" explained in the remake boils down to a Freudian Excuse.
    • Played straight however with Part 6, where it’s revealed that Michael is under the influence of a curse that makes him kill everybody in his family.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Due to various entries in the series being filmed in California and Utah.
  • Neck Lift: Some of Michael's kills start with this, as he's inhumanly strong.
  • Never Found the Body: Michael has a habit of pulling disappearing acts after seemingly being killed.
  • Not Quite Dead: Done again and again throughout the series, but used to full effect to justify Halloween: Resurrection: it turns out that Laurie had killed a paramedic instead of Michael at the end of H20. Michael had attacked the paramedic, crushed his larynx, and switched places with him before "Michael's" body was carted out to the ambulance.
  • Obviously Evil: Averted. Unlike Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface, when Michael is (briefly) unmasked in the climax of the first movie, he's revealed to have an almost angelic face.
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the only sequel to not feature Michael Myers or any character from the first two movies, and it plays out more like a supernatural detective thriller than a slasher movie as the idea was to transition the series into a yearly anthology.
    • Among the Myers sequels, H20 is the only one to not be set in Haddonfield, Illinois. It’s primarily in California the majority of the film, though the opening is set in Langdon, Illinois.
  • Offscreen Teleportation
    • Possibly justified. Michael seems to take joy in scaring people, not just killing them, so he may very well be running when they can't see him in order to invoke this trope.
    • Though it's played with beautifully in some of the movies, there are the films where he appears in one part of the town mere moments after appearing in another part of the town. It could be due to the possible supernatural "boogeyman" element of him.
  • Orphaned Series: The Thorn Trilogy appeared to be building up a Myth Arc, but was ignored by three different sets of reboots.
    • The Genre Anthology the Halloween series was originally going to be before bringing back Michael Myers from Halloween 4 onward.
  • Our Slashers Are Different: Michael Meyers is inexplicable for the first movie in many of his abilities that shouldn't be possible for an ordinary escaped mental patient (starting with the ability to drive a car, though Loomis hypothesizes that someone taught him to drive at some point). Doctor Loomis attributes them to being pure evil in some indefinable supernatural way. Later movies make it so Michael Meyers may be possessed of the spirit of Samhain, but these have been retconned to Canon Discontinuity.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Michael is a master of this.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Michael Myers does this when examining some of his victims.
  • Rasputinian Death: Usually subverted. Each film, obviously save for the third one, has Michael taking a certain amount of abuse that would off or at least incapacitate a normal human instantly, being seemingly killed for good — only to reveal he's, as mentioned above, Not Quite Dead.
    • But then Halloween H20 tries decapitation, only for it to be retconned in Halloween: Resurrection as Laurie apparently didn't kill Michael, but a poor paramedic the real Michael dressed and set up to appear as himself.
  • Re-Cut:
    • For the original film's network television premiere in 1981, Carpenter — in between shooting for Halloween II — filmed twelve minutes worth of additional scenes detailing Michael's commitment to (and escape from) the Smith's Grove asylum (including a scene in Michael's room which retcons his reason for escaping and stalking Laurie in order to foreshadow the reveal in Halloween II), as well as another scene with Laurie, Annie, and Lynda, which aired in place of some of the original footage that was deemed too graphic for TV. The film is now occasionally shown with a third cut: the uncut original film with these scenes spliced in, known as the "extended cut". Both the theatrical and extended cuts are available on DVD and blu-ray, although the blu-ray version doesn't update the additional scenes to HD along with the rest of the film.
    • Halloween II also features an alternate TV cut, supervised by director Rick Rosenthal. Unlike the previous example, however, the differences between the theatrical and TV cuts are larger and more specific here, and also feature ALTERNATE takes and scenes. This cut did finally end up on home video as a bonus disc on the collector's edition DVD/Blu-ray, although it didn't lose the television censorship to the language, violence, and nudity.
  • Runic Magic: Starting in the fifth film, Michael Myers is shown to have a tattoo of the thorn runenote  on his right wrist upon waking up from his year-long coma. The next film reveals that Michael was put under a curse by a cult of druids that compels him to wipe out his bloodline.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Every so often, Michael is imprisoned only to escape early in the film and resume killing.
    • The original film: Michael is incarcerated at Smith's Grove Sanitarium after murdering his sister, only to escape 15 years later.
    • In the 10 years between the second and fourth films, Michael, who was rendered comatose, is held at Ridgemont Federal Sanitarium, but escapes while being transferred back to Smith's Grove.
    • In the 2018 film, Michael was captured several minutes after the end of the original film and held at Smith's Grove for the next 40 years. He escapes while being transferred to a new facility.
  • Series Continuity Error: At the end of the first film, Michael is stabbed in the eye with a hanger by Laurie, then in the scene where his face is revealed, you can see makeup around his actor's (Tony Moran) left eye signifying that his eye had been pierced. Despite this, the sequel depicts Michael being able to see from both eyes, with the left one clearly undamaged. Then in that film, his eyes are shot out by Laurie. This extremely crippling injury and Michael being blown up afterwards was supposed to drive home the point that Michael was dead, as John Carpenter intended, at the film's end. Howerver, when Carpenter's anthology idea with the film series without Michael Myers was ditched after the third film flopped, Michael was brought back in the fourth film, with his eyes somehow back despite being replaced by lead bullets. This is sort of handwaved by the reveal of Michael being under a curse in the sixth film that gives him supernatural strength, immortality, and apparently, a healing factor. However, when the series was partially rebooted with H20, the 4-6 films were removed from its continuity and only the first and second films were considered canonical. This removed the explanation behind Michael's eyes healing since the H20 continuity was mostly grounded in reality and had little, if any, supernatural elements. When the series was rebooted again in 2018, it rectified this error by keeping the first film canonical, but removing the second one from its continuity, including its infamous scene of Michael getting shot in the eyes, as well as Michael and Laurie's Cain and Abel relationship, and kept Michael's eye scarred and blinded.
  • The Sheriff: Leigh Brackett in the first two films (and Rob Zombie's remakes); Ben Meeker in 4 and 5. Sheriff Barker in the 2018 film, though he never comes into contact with Michael.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • Myers finally kills Laurie in Resurrection, along with several Red Shirt characters, and he's still Not Quite Dead at the end.
    • Jamie takes the cake, though. She gets mocked for being related to Michael, becomes mute due to psychological trauma and a powerful connection with Michael, experiences all her friends, her sister, and her dogs being killed, gets kidnapped by a cult and forced to have sex with Michael, and she's finally impaled by farm equipment. Jamie is possibly the most depressing character in the horror genre.
      • She gets shot to death in the Producer's Cut of The Curse of Michael Myers.
  • Shooting Superman: In a non-superhero example, Michael Myers. This trope gets referenced in the commentary of Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. In a scene where a cop clumsily shoots at Michael, one of the commentators mentions that, as a lifelong resident of Haddonfield, the guy should have realized shooting Michael just pisses him off.
  • The Shrink: Loomis's official occupation, which he isn't shown doing until the Rob Zombie films.
  • Slashed Throat: A common method of killing for Michael.
  • The Sociopath: Michael Myers, a Serial Killer who (depending on the continuity) wants to slaughter his family and/or anybody who stands in his way or catches his fancy, for no apparent reason. While some continuities provide a supernatural explanation, most simply interpret him as pure, unrelenting evil.
  • Suburban Gothic
    • The original film and most of its sequels take place in sleepy Haddonfield, Illinois where kids walk to school by themselves and the biggest problem on our protagonist's mind is asking out a boy she likes. Haddonfield is also the home of a boy who killed his sister at age six.
    • In one version of Halloween canonicity, Haddonfield is also home to a demonic cult.
  • Teen Horror: While it wasn't the first slasher to have teenage protagonists, its success made them a staple of the genre.
  • Thematic Series: As mentioned, the franchise was originally meant to be a series of completely different horror movies all centered around Halloween, but poor reception of the third movie killed any chances of this idea being carried through.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: The Shape (aka Michael Myers), from the original Halloween, is repeatedly compared to the boogeyman, apparently unkillable, and deeply enigmatic. In a subversion of this particular trope, he doesn't show much if any interest in actual children, with the major exception of his niece Jamie Lloyd, although that's not because she's a child, but because she's related to him.
  • Time Skip: The original film skips from 1963 to 1978, while both of Zombie's films open in Michael's childhood and then move to the Laurie storyline 17 years later. There is a second time jump in the sequel to two years AFTER the events of Halloween (2007).
  • Token Good Cop:
  • Too Dumb to Live: Countless examples, though especially prevalent in Zombie's films when several people insult and strike Myers. This wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that Myers in those films is A SEVEN FOOT TALL GIANT.
    • Justified in-universe. It's implied in The Remake that Michael took to heart the janitor's words about about living in a world inside your own head - aside from his mask-making and when they occasionally drag him out for probation hearings, he is functionally catatonic most of the time.
  • Traumatic C-Section: In a flashback sequence in the comic book Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode, a young Michael Myers is shown daydreaming about cutting baby Laurie out of his mother during a meal.
  • Trope Codifier: The first film, along with Friday the 13th, is this for the slasher genre.
  • Vader Breath: Accompanies many of the shots from Michael's POV, and frequently even non-POV shots in order to let us know that Michael is there somewhere, hiding.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: Played semi-straight, in that Dr. Loomis (the hero in the first movie) comes back for every sequel until Donald Pleasence's death, with Laurie Strode (the original's final girl) appearing in the remainder of the sequels. Whilst Michael is the only character in every installment (barring the third one), he is always opposed by one of the survivors from the first movie.
  • Villain Exclusivity Clause: Michael is the main antagonist in all the movies (well, all the movies he's in, as Halloween III: Season of the Witch is generally not considered as part of the series as a whole. In some of the movies, however, other characters are manipulating him behind the curtain.
  • The Voiceless:
    • In the original series, Michael never speaks and only ever utters noises like grunts, which themselves are barely audible in most cases. In the remake series, Michael's shown to talk, but only as a child.
    • ...until the director's cut for Halloween II (2009), where he screams "DIE!" at Loomis before stabbing him multiple times.
    • An early version of H20 also had Michael speak. Right before Laurie kills him with a javelin, he would've said her name.
    • Laurie didn't speak at all in Resurrection until her final confrontation with Michael. According to a nurse at the insane asylum in which she was being held, she hadn't "said a word in years."
  • White Mask of Doom: Michael's mask in the original series. Rob Zombie's films have him wearing the same mask, albeit dirtier.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Michael in the Zombie-directed films.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: One of the Chaos! comics has Laurie taking Michael's place after killing him in H20. This was ultimately rendered non-canonical by Resurrection, though.
    • The original theatrical version of Halloween II (2009), on the other hand, ends with Laurie becoming as crazy, evil, and twisted as Michael after killing him, even briefly putting on his mask.
    • Which itself becomes funny when Bill Mosley, the original actor, dropped out from playing the role. The reason why it's funny is because he had a victim role in the reshot scenes of the 2007 remake, appearing in the theatrical cut of the film.
    • Halloween III: Season of the Witch includes appearances by Nancy Loomis as Challis' ex-wife, as well as Jamie Lee Curtis as a telephone operator via voiceover.

Were you looking for a movie with a different stiff, pale-faced Michael Myers? Sorry about the confusion, it's just over here.