Nerds Gets Spooky: Lizzie McGuire Has “The Night of the Day of the Dead”

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Courtesy of Disney

Nerds and Beyond is getting spooky for October. Each day, one of our staff members will be sharing one of their favorite Halloween-themed television episodes to get you into the Halloween spirit. On this ninth day of October, we are taking it back to the early 2000s with Lizzie McGuire  Season 1, Episode 24, entitled “The Night of the Day of the Dead.”

Courtesy of Disney

Lizzie’s school is putting on a big “Fright Night” celebration. Lizzie wants to go as Vampira, The dungeon mistress, however, with Kate in charge, she wants that all for herself, making Lizzie clean out the janitor’s closet and giving her the role of a clown. Later on, Miranda brings her parents, who are helping her celebrate the Day of the Dead. They bring by several items, including skulls and skeletons, which are meant to represent ancestors who are being honored that night. To Kates’ hatred, she tells Miranda to get rid of the junk her parents have brought and that the skeletons can sit in the back. Miranda warns her not to disrespect the dead.

Things start taking a strange turn at the celebration when Matt decides to eat a food item of the ancestors and things begin to happen out of nowhere. The skeletons disappear, and so does Matt, leaving behind only a handful of dirt! Gordo goes missing too, but his voice is coming from a “burger buddy” doll! Lizzie appears to have turned into a zombie and the skeleton couple reappears in life-size! Miranda and Kate are terrified. It turns out that it was all a joke to get Kate back for how horrible she was to Miranda. The skeleton couple were unveiled to be Miranda’s parents.

Courtesy of Disney

What stands out to me in this episode is now that I am older watching this episode, I appreciate the bit of background the episode gives about what happens during Dia de Los Muertos. When I was younger,  I never understood what the importance of the holiday was when I first watched the episode back in 2001.  It’s not every day you see a holiday episode based on Dia de Los Muertos. So it is truly breathtaking to see an interpretation put on a Disney Channel show.

Lizzie McGuire aired from January 2001 through February 2004, spanning two seasons. You can stream both seasons on Disney+.

I hope you enjoyed this recommendation and give Lizzie McGuire a watch, or rewatch for those older adults like myself. Make sure to check back daily for more Nerds Gets Spooky articles all month long.

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By Carleen
Carleen joined her first fandom at the age of eleven and hasn't looked back since. When she is not teaching she spends her free time reading, writing, spending time with family and friends and playing kickball. Her main fandoms are Supernatural, Disney, and Marvel (just to name a few). You can find her on twitter @Carleen1991
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