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Garfield is awakened by WBOR's The Binky the Clown Show. Binky tells Garfield to do jumping jacks. Garfield realizes that he is doing them. Garfield looks for the remote control after Binky was calling him worthless. While Garfield is searching for the remote, Binky tells him that he can get a lot of candy. Garfield switches the TV off until he realizes what Binky says. Garfield get's back to Binky's show and learns that it is Halloween. Garfield believes that Halloween is his kind of a holiday and not like the other holidays (where there is no pine needles in his paws, no dumb bunnies, no fireworks and no relatives). He wakes up and scares Jon who is carving a jack-o'-lantern. The pumpkin falls onto Jon's head and asks what Garfield thinks. He then takes the pumpkin off and it falls onto Odie's head. Jon offers Garfield breakfast. Garfield turns down the breakfast but keeps coming back to take the food anyway. He then scares Odie and Odie scares him back in return. Garfield walks away and makes fun of Odie. He then get's the idea that he'll get twice the candy if he brings Odie along. Garfield enlists Odie's help in trick-or-treating by telling him that dogs have to help cats go out and get candy and if the dogs does a good job, he gets a piece of candy of his very own. After trying on different costumes in the attic, Garfield and Odie settle on pirate costumes. Jon gives them some sacks to fill with candy, to which they leave.
Soon they are out trick-or-treating among other children in the neighborhood. After several encounters with what appear to be real ghosts and goblins in costume, the pair find that they have visited every house in the neighborhood. Garfield notices more houses across the river and Garfield thinks that if they get across the river, he can have all the candy for himself. So he and Odie borrow a boat to Cross the River. (Because the river ferry does run at night, That's so children on either side can't cross The River For More Candy).
Garfield finds that they aren't getting across the river and are just drifting away. Odie misunderstands Garfield's command to "put out the oars" and throws the oars overboard, leaving the boat adrift down the river. Garfield is upset that he can't get a rowboat across a river and that him and Odie will never be heard from again. He decides that if he gets back, he will give up this pirate business. Soon the boat arrives at an abandoned dock near a run-down mansion. Garfield and Odie discover a light in the window and presume that someone lives in the house. Garfield and Odie venture inside the home to warm next to the fireplace and are startled to find an old man sitting in a nearby chair. The man tells the pair that they have chosen the wrong night to visit. Garfield and Odie try to leave the house but the old man tells them to stay and that he is about to tell them a story that has never been told to another living soul - 100 years ago that very night, pirates, pursued by government troops, buried their treasure in the floor of the mansion and signed a blood oath to return for the treasure at midnight 100 years later. Garfield at first doesn't believe the story but the old man tells him to believe it. The old man claimed to be the cabin boy, now 110 years old, from this very pirate ship. Garfield and Odie decide on leaving, Garfield asks the old man if he wants to come too but finds that the old man has disappeared and they find him stealing their boat and leaving the two behind.
The clock chimes midnight, and Garfield and Odie watch as a ghostly ship materializes on the river and pirate ghosts emerge. Garfield and Odie scramble to find a place to hide. Odie tries a flower pot:"Not there, dummy!". They hide in the cupboard and watch as the pirate ghosts bring the treasure chest out from its hiding place. Then Odie sneezes (probably because of the flowers). His sneeze blows the cupboard doors open, alerting the ghosts to their presence. The ghosts chase them out of the house and down the dock. Garfield and Odie are forced to swim for it, but Garfield remembers too late that he can't swim. He nearly drowns, but Odie saves him.
Garfield and Odie find their boat with the candy still inside and untouched. Garfield says on the way home that the pirate ghosts got the treasure and that they got the candy They go home happy, and Garfield rewards Odie's rescue by giving him his share of the candy.
Garfield, turns on the TV and sees the same old man (this time in the pirate hat that Garfield lost in the river) hosting an all-night pirate movie festival. Garfield abruptly turns off the TV and goes to bed.
Book adaptationThe book adaptation, which retains the original title "Garfield In Disguise," deviates in only a few ways. First, it adds a scene with Garfield telling Odie a little bit about Halloween's history, with its origins as a seventh-century Druid festival celebrating the day of Samhain, Lord of Death. Second, the book implies that the old man himself is a ghost, and their boat is merely pulled away by the current instead of being stolen by the old man. And finally, an extra sequence is included in which Garfield takes a ring from the treasure and is followed home by the pirate ghosts until he returns the ring.
- "This is the Night" performed by Lou Rawls
- "What Should I Be?" performed by Lorenzo Music
- "Over the Raging Sea We Go (pirate song)" performed by Lorenzo Music
- "Scaredy Cat" performed by Lou Rawls and Desirée Goyette
- 1985 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program
- This special marks the first appearance of Binky The Clown.
- The boat that Garfield and Odie use to get across the river is named "Carolyn", after the first wife of Garfield creator Jim Davis.
- Garfield sings a variation of the sea shanty "Dead Man's Chest."
- Garfield's pirate name, Orangebeard, is a parody of the name Blackbeard.
- In the book adaptation, Garfield's hat's skull changes expressions.
- This special was originally named Garfield In Disguise, which was used for the book adaption. For later VHS releases, book adaptations, and TV airings, it was renamed Garfield's Halloween Adventure.
- When Garfield tries to get Binky back on the television, one of the shows he goes through features a pig who resembles Orson Pig.