FAVORITE TV EPISODES OF ALL TIME (April 2006)

In the Tom Selleck write-up last month, I got to thinking about some of my all-time favorite episodes of television shows. So, I decided to put together a list of my ten favorites, and asked others to email their nominations for best episodes too. Below are the results! Show titles are linked to Episode Guides that have more information about each episode ( the numbers you see by each episode refer to season number and episode number, so 1x5 means season 1, episode 5).

Thank you, everybody, for contributing your favorites -- this was so much fun to put together! By the way, in a couple of places, I couldn't figure out which episode someone was talking about, so if you see a note from me saying so, and you know which ep it is, please email me so I can update the list. And also note the final item on the list ("Unknown") -- a reader sent in a description of a great episode of. . . something. But neither one of us could figure out which show it was from! Assistance appreciated!

Also, nominations are now closed and I won't be updating this site after today. If you still want to send me your favorite episodes, please do! But I won't be adding them to this page.

And now for the list you've all been waiting for! Mine!

MEG'S TOP TEN FAVORITE TV EPISODES OF ALL TIME

10. Homicide: Life on the Street - The Subway (6x7). This was the episode guest starring Vincent D'Onofrio, who plays a man who falls (or was he pushed?) on the tracks while waiting for the subway and ends up wedged between the wall of the track and the train. As he slowly begins to die -- they can't move him or the train or he'll bleed out immediately -- the gang tries to put together what happened. Was it an accident? Or murder? D'Onofrio does an amazing job in this episode, and though I always enjoyed this show, none of its episodes has stuck with me the way this one did. Amazing writing and acting and everything else, all around.

9. The X-Files - Jose Chung's From Outer Space (3x20). This was the episode that began with the alien abductions of two teenagers and quickly deteriorated into utterly hilarious insanity. It also has the greatest line from any episode ever: "I didn't spend all those years playing Dungeons & Dragons and not learn a little something about courage." Oh man, I was dyin'. Best. Episode. Ever.

8. Northern Exposure - A Hunting We Will Go (3x8). In this one, Ed is distraught over the news that Ruth Ann is in her 70's and becomes utterly convinced she's going to die soon. I always loved the final scenes of NE episodes, and this one was no exception. It ends with Ruth Ann and Ed up on the top of a hill, dancing together on her future grave. It just doesn't get any more ridiculous -- or more powerfully sweet -- than that.

7. Battlestar Galactica - Final Cut (2x8). This is the episode in which Lucy Lawless shows up to make a documentary about the crew of Galatica. It's not the most brilliant episode, in terms of plot. However, it's the only episode that's made me cry. Here's a little known fact about me: nostalgic playings of old theme songs gets me every time. And so, when the final montage begins and playing along with the images is the theme song to the original Battlestar, I burst into tears and the show ends up on my list of most memorable episodes of all time. I'm sure Eggs would have a field day with this one. Shove it, Eggs.

6. Moonlighting - Atomic Shakespeare (3x7). This was the famous "Taming of the Shrew" parody episode. Utter genius. So many lines from it have lived on in my vernacular, including, "'Zounds! What mounds!" and "Wrong play!" Absolutely hilarious!

5. Star Trek: The Next Generation - Cause and Effect (5x18). My Mom nominated this episode too -- she's so cool. This is the episode in which the Enterprise gets stuck in a time warp and keeps looping back on itself over and over. So, after every commercial break, the show would start over, beginning with the gang around a table playing poker. Soon, the deja vu starts to set off some bells, and the next thing ya know. . . well, you'll just have to watch it and find out! Extremely clever and very original. I loved it!

4. MacGyver - Trumbo's World (1x6). Originally, I'd said my favorite Mac episode was the one with the contest at the college involving the locked rooms. But I changed my mind and chose this one instead. This is the episode in which Mac gets stuck in the jungle and has to fend off an army of ants. Sure, it's a total rip-off of The Naked Jungle starring Charlton Heston. But who cares? It's just plain fun!

3. Quantum Leap - The Leap Home (Parts 1 and 2) (3x1 and 3x2)- Sam leaps into himself at age 16 and has the chance to save his father from heart disease and prevent his brother from dying in Vietnam. Heart-breaking, but also really, really suspenseful, funny, and engaging.

2. Magnum P.I. - Home From the Sea (4x1). This is the Magnum episode I described in the TS write-up in which Magnum's surf-ski gets broken while he's out in the middle of the ocean, and as he treads water for hour after hour trying to survive, he remembers his father. Intense, thoughtful, emotional, "deep." Truly an episode to remember.

1. Due South - Victoria's Secret (1x19 and 1x20). I'm not the only one who picked this two-parter and it's because this was one of the greatest episodes of any show EVER. In it, Fraser is reunited with the love of his life -- a beautiful woman (played by CSI:NY's Melina Kanakaredes) who he'd sent to jail years before. Just when you think she's returned to forgive him, everything goes all to hell. I also loved the episode that followed this one, Letting Go, a modernized version of Hitchcock's Rear Window. But I just loved the way this one was shot -- I'll never forget those polar bears swimming behind them in that scene at the zoo! And man, when I think of Paul Gross putting my fingers in his mouth to keep them warm, I pretty much just melt into a puddle of goo. Paul! You're still tops with me!

 

THE GIANT LIST OF EVERYBODY ELSE'S FAVORITES

Note that comments about each episode are from various readers, not from me!

Alias

1x1 Truth Be Told - In which Sydney Bristow discovers that her job as an agent for SD-6, a top-secret division of the CIA, holds some deadly secrets that threaten the security of the free world. In spite of being warned against it, Sydney reveals her secret to her fiancé, Danny, who later on is murdered. Sydney finds that her father, Jack, is also SD-6 and that the group is not part of the CIA, but actually an enemy of the United States. Sydney seeks the aid of the real CIA and is enlisted as a double agent under the command of operations officer Vaughn. Her mission now is to complete her cases at SD-6 while reporting her findings back to the CIA. But when Sydney finds out that her father is also affiliated with the CIA, she begins to question where his true allegiances really lie. (2 noms)

Andromeda

3x10 Unconquerable Man - where we find out that Gaheris Rhade is actually a hero and not the traitor that we all believed he was. He actually ..... well, I won't say in case you haven't seen it. You know, just in case he's still on your list and awaiting further research .......

Andy Griffith Show

4x11 Citizen's Arrest - I am so old that I have a lot of favorite episodes. But the one I remember to this day is the "Citizen's Arrest" episode of Andy Griffith. It is truly a classic.

All in the Family

2x21 Sammy's Visit - episode with Sammy Davis Jr., ending with a kiss for Archie

Angel

1x3 In The Dark - Spike's first visit to Angel (the show) back in Season 1

5x4 Hell Bound - Spike Naked!

5x14 Smile Time - Wee little puppet Angel. Hee. (2 noms)

Are You Afraid of the Dark

2x2 The Tale of the Midnight Madness - I also love the old Nickelodeon show Are You Afraid of the Dark? And the best episode is the one where the vampire comes out of the silent movie. Thanks!  

Arrested Development

3x8 Making a Stand - Michael and GOB decide to teach their father a lesson, only to have George Sr. teach them a lesson, but then George Sr. finds out that Michael and GOB are teaching him another lesson, and then the three of them realize that Buster was teaching them a lesson about how they should never use a one-armed man to teach other people lessons.

Babylon 5

3x16 and 3x17 War Without End (Parts 1 and 2) - For me this two-parter also deserves mention. Babylons are appearing and disappearing, people are hopping between different times. At the end Sinclair goes back in time and becomes Valen, the Minbari not born of Minbari.

5x8 Day of the Dead - This is one of my favorite episodes from what might be one of my favorite shows of all time. In this episode B5 allows the cultural Day of the Dead recognized by one of the resident alien races, little knowing how it would impact everyone aboard. In this instance the dead really do come back to visit the living, offering opportunities for closure and goodbyes of all kinds. It's sad, funny, poignant, and frightening by turns. Very memorable.

Barney Miller

#46 Hash - Wojo brings hashish-laced brownies his new girlfriend made to the 12 th Precinct, getting the detective squad stoned. Yamana (Jack Soo) on marijuana brownies - 'nuff said. (2 noms)

Ben Stiller Show

1x1 - the one with the parodies of U2 playing at a bar mitzvah, etc.

Black Adder

4x6 Goodbyeee. Quite simply the most powerful piece of television ever made. Ever. The one where they go over the top. BBC shows this every Remembrance Day and it's clear why. It's as good a document as to the madness and futility of WWI as you're ever likely to find. Blackadder: I think the phrase rhymes with ‘clucking bell'. (2 noms)

Black Books

1x3 - Grapes of Wrath. Absolutely hilarious episode. God, I love Dylan Moran - total genius. Both him and Bill Bailey are awesome live. And I have a bit of a girl crush on Tamsin Greig - I think it's her hair. Manny: You can't find anything! Right now, I'm eating scrambled egg, with a comb, out of a shoe!

Bonanza

5x12 Hoss and the Leprechauns -Where only Hoss kept seeing them hiding in trees, and Little Joe was rolling on the ground laughing at the very idea!  (I think they turned out to be midgets run away from a circus or something.)

Boy Meets World

7x2 For Love and Apartments - This is the funniest half hour of scripted television I've ever seen. Eric dresses up like inanimate objects in order to stalk Topanga. I laugh so hard it hurts.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

2x21 and 2x22 Becoming (parts 1 and 2) - Angsty drama doesn't get better than this episode. Buffy kisses and then kills Angel. I bawl my eyes out.

4x3 The Harsh Light of Day - Spike returns to Sunnydale looking for the Gem of Amara, leading to . . .the Angel “In the Dark” episode (see above)

4x8 Pangs - There are so many amazing episodes of Buffy, it's really difficult to choose a favourite, but if I ever need cheering up, I whack this one on. Giles: Always behind on the terms. I'm still trying not to refer to you lot as 'bloody colonials'.

4x9 Something Blue - Willow 's "my will be done" spell goes awry causing Spike to propose to Buffy.

4x10 Hush - The brilliant, award-winning silent episode (4 noms)

6x7 Once More with Feeling - What can I say, I'm a sucker for musicals. (2 noms)

Chappelle's Show

2x12 - the one with Wayne Brady taking over as host. Best line ever: "Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?"

Cheers

2x1 Power Play - Sam and Diane in Cheers, 1983 especially throwing the stuffed animals out the window

11x4 The Magnificent Six - The episode where Rebecca tries to quit smoking and ultimately hides a lit cigarette in her mouth (that might qualify more as a moment than a full fave episode)

Coupling

2x8 Naked - The episode where Jeff strips down to the nuthin's in Julia's office.  And, of course, she's planning a surprise party for him, and when she tells him to close his eyes and wait there (he's fully clothed at this point), he thinks he's about to score.  So while she's quietly filing the coworkers into the room, he's performing a striptease.  Now that's quality TV!

Cracker

2x2 The Big Crunch - Yes, the one where they finally get it on. I remember watching it whilst still living with my parents and not knowing where to look for embarrassment. Fitz: I'm imperfect. A sex god - but imperfect.

CSI

2x6 Altar Boys - I know I said I'd limit myself to one from a series, but I couldn't resist.  I'm a huge CSI fan and this is just one of those poignant episodes (from season 2)  that sticks with me.  I recently watched the movie S.W.A.T. (so-so dialogue, so-so plot, so-so acting, brilliant explosions) and the sellout FBI agent is played by the horrid older brother in this CSI episode.  I knew I didn't like him from the time the movie started, looked him up on IMDb and figured it out why.  Punk

4x3 Homebodies - This one stands out among the other "CSI" episodes because of the unusually poignant ending. Grissom crouches solemnly over a dead girl the police couldn't protect, while Sara sits in a car watching him and crying silently.

5x24 and 5x25 Grave Danger (parts 1 and 2) - I know, I know.  Picking the Quenton Tarantino directed season 5 finale isn't that original but come on!  It was a fantastic episode!  Nicky's always been my secret favorite (though the recent mustache and oddly flat hair has thrown me off stride a bit) so this was particularly gut wrenching.  And as I live in Texas and have had many an encounter with the dreaded fire ant, I could sympathize with that particular predicament. (3 noms)

Cupid

1x8 Heart of the Matter - An institutionalized patient who claims to be Cupid (Jeremy Piven), tries to match two strangers despite one's terminal illness. Great twist at the end of the story. Still think about it 7 years later.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

3x10 The Grand Opening - When Larry wants to do something "nice" for his chef with Tourette's syndrome so he starts yelling out obscenities in the middle of opening night of his restaurant.

Dallas

11x19 The Best Laid Plans [I think this is the episode she means! - Meg] - Hubbie and I STILL crack up over the episode where JR's wife walked in and caught him IN BED with a nubile nude young thang, and JR actually said, "Now, Sue Ellen, don't jump to conclusions -- it's not what it looks like!"  What a smooth talker he was.

Daris

2x12 Pierce Me - Daria's crush on Trent somehow makes her get her bellybutton pierced.

Dharma and Greg

1x22 Much Ado During Nothing - To win a contest D & G plan public sex during the Seinfeld finale.

5x18 Mission : Implausible - D & G get in prank war with a lawyer from Greg's old school.

Dick Van Dyke Show

2x20 It May Look Like a Walnut! - The UFO episode of "The Dick van Dyke" show. Waaay back in time, but I still remember it! Dick sees a UFO, but no one believes him! (2 noms)

Doctor Who

2005 series with Christopher Eccleston, episode "The Empty Child" - Terrifying, engrossing, touching. Plus sexy Captain Jack (John Barrowman). "What are our assets?" "Well, I've got a banana, and in a pinch you could put up shelves.”

Due South

1x19 and 1x20 Victoria 's Secret (parts 1 and 2) - The episode in which the love of Fraser's life returns after getting out of jail (where he put her!) and enacts a heart-breaking revenge of sorts on the Constable. This episode broke my heart! (4 noms)

2x4 North - ITV3 are rerunning this at the moment so I'm watching it all the time. I knew I liked it back in the day but I'd forgotten quite how funny and smart, not to mention slightly/overtly homoerotic, it was. I know you've already had Paul Gross as a boyfriend and I love him too, but there's something about Ray - the one true Ray, I mean - too! Anyway, this episode is hilarious, especially the Mamas and the Papas singing. Ray: Ask me again and I'll set you on fire. We agreed you're in charge of being blind and I'm in charge of seeing. Anything I left out?

3x12 and 3x13 Mountie on the Bountie (Parts 1 and 2) - A very fun pirate two-parter, featuring the lovely singing of Paul Gross! (2 noms)

3x14 Dr. Longball - The baseball episode in which the Captain goes back to his hometown to help his small-town sheriff brother solve a crime, and all the actors from the Chicago storyline show up as other characters in the small-town storyline. Brilliant!! (2 noms)

Ed

2x22 Last Chance - Carol is leaving for the summer with her future fiance, so Ed uses his last chance to kiss her like he's a condemned man kissing his true love. This may be the best kiss in all of television kissing history.

ER

1x19 Love's Labor Lost - When everything that could go wrong for Dr Greene…(another crush Anthony Edwards) did go wrong. Also described as “ Dr. Greene's treatment of a pregnant woman with pre-eclampsia ends tragically. Probably the most gut-wrenching hour of TV ever.” [Note from Meg: I'm pretty sure this was the episode my Mom remembers so vividly as being the last episode of ER she ever watched -- she has an understandably low tolerance for anything in which babies or children get hurt or die!)

6x13 Be Still My Heart - The one where Carter and Lucy get attacked by the psycho guy at the end. Now, please understand, I think ER is a cheesey and overhyped soap opera. But somehow - even at the height of melodrama - the stabbing scene was absolutely riveting.

Everybody Loves Raymond

3x15 Robert's Date - The one where Robert acts like he's black.

Family Ties

4x1 and 4x2 The Real Thing (parts 1 and 2) - Michael J Fox in Family Ties going after Tracey.  I still can't hear the Billy and Beaters tune  “What would you think, I would do with this moment”, without flashing back to the seeing the car driving down the dark road on the way to meet Tracey. 

Farscape

2x4 Crackers Don't Matter" - I laughed myself silly throughout. Especially when John strikes the Luke Skywalker pose and hums "The Ride of the Valkyrie" and Aerin mutters "we're all going to die." And talk about a lesson on not taking things personally or letting others make us fear each other.

Firefly

1x5 Out of Gas - Non-linear and flashback-heavy, this episode elegantly showed how the captain met each of his crew and how much each of them have come to mean to him. ALSO: Firefly. A wounded Mal struggles to save his ship while flashing back to his initial meetings with his crew and Serenity herself. Funny, touching, gripping. I can watch this one over and over. (4 noms)

1x9 War Stories from Firefly - Firely was the greatest show, possibly ever, so naturally Fox aired episodes out of order, aired the pilot last, and then cancelled. Am I bitter?  Well, yes, but that's not the point. War Stories. Awesome episode.  Why is it an awesome episode?  Two words. Alan Tudyk.  What a great, completely underrated actor (and I know you featured the entire cast of Serenity as your boyfriend of the week once, but you could go back someday, and you know, feature the hot boys individually. Firefly certainly had an abundance of those).  I think this episode more than any other in Firefly showcased his acting chops. Not only that, it was just a really good episode. We see Wash and Zoe fighting like any normal couple would (best portrayal of a marriage on a tv show, imo). We see Wash and Mal struggle to survive torture by having a very witty argument. We see Wash get to kick a little ass. Good times.  I love this show. (4 noms)

1x13 Heart of Gold - I like this one because it's one of the only episodes where the lead character is allowed/allows himself to let down his guard a bit and get involved with the people he's helping. You get a glimpse of insight in to his character that hadn't been offered before. By this time in the series the characters were really starting to develop - only to have it cancelled three episodes later.

1x14 Objects in Space - In which a bounty hunter boards the Serenity to capture River for the Alliance.

Frasier

1x21 Travels with Martin - This episode from season 1 is the one where Martin, Frasier, Niles , Daphne and Eddie (of course) end up on vacation in a Winnebago.  The best scene is when they stop to take the picture with a stuffed grizzly bear and Daphne, on finding out they are actually now in Canada , screams bloody murder.  It's fantastic.  "Sure!"

2x23 The Innkeepers - The one where Frasier and Niles start their own restaurant, Les Freres Heureux, and everything goes hideously wrong on opening night, culminating in the cherries jubilee blowing up  and setting the restaurant on fire. Daphne whapping eels is a high point.

4x18 Ham Radio - The gang do a radio murder mystery that goes hilariously awry when Niles decides he's had enough of voicing a German butler, an Irish gardener, a pair of spinsters, and a midget.

Freaks and Geeks

1x15 Discos and Dragons - Why do I always fall for shows that are doomed to be cancelled? Seriously, I was making a list of my favorite shows today and three of the first four were cancelled way too early.  Anyways, the last episode of Freaks and Geeks was just perfect. Everyone was finding their own way after a season of struggling to fit in with one group or another. One of the final scenes has James Franco's "freak" character playing D and D with all of the "geek" characters.  It was very touching. [Note from Meg: this wasn't actually the final episode of F&G -- there were three more that never aired during the original run and those can be found on the DVD (they also aired later on when the show reran on the Family Channel).]

Friends

2x14 The One with the Prom Video - Rachel and Ross in Friends: the “He's her lobster” episode

4x3 The One with the ‘Cuffs - I LOVE that old episode of Friends where Chandler gets locked in Rachel's boss' office.  And by locked?  I mean handcuffed.  In a state of undress.  Hilarious!  I can not watch that episode without crying because it's so funny.

4x20 The One with the Wedding Dresses - (Monica tries on Emily's wedding dress leading to Phoebe and then Rachel also wearing wedding dresses.)

5x10 The One with the Inappropriate Sister - The episode on Friends where Joey and Chandler discuss games in the apartment. The descriptive names 'Fireball' and 'Hammer Darts' were funny enough, but when Joey's challenged to remember the only patch of non-spackle on the wall, I was in tears.

5x14 The One Where Everybody Finds Out - "They don't know that we know that they know that we know!" Phoebe and Chandler 's forced come-ons to each other were simultaneously cringe-inducing and side-splitting. (2 noms)

Full House

1x19 and 1x19 The Seven-Month Itch (Parts 1 and 2) - I have probably seen every Full House episode ever aired.  I admit to having a crush on Uncle Jesse, but who didn't?  This one, where Uncle Jesse leaves and then falls prey to a scheme the girls' concoct to get him to come back, is priceless.

Gunsmoke

12x6 Gunfighter, RIP - The episode with Darren McGavin and France Nuyen. McGavin plays a hardened gunman whose heart is softened by the love of a young Chinese girl, played by Nuyen. Apparently, this is considered a "famous" episode by Gunsmoke buffs. It should be.

Happy Days

5x18 Richie Almost Dies - The one when Richie Cunningham almost dies and the Fonz starts praying in the hospital room.

Highlander

1x13 Band of Brothers - This episode has some of the best sword-play in the entire series.  It has to if a fight with one of the oldest immortals is to be believed.  I had a serious crush on Duncan MacCleod. And, though it seems morbid, I took great delight in every quickening.  "In the end, there can be only one.  May it be Duncan MacCleod, the Highlander."

House

1x21 Three Stories - Cuddy forces House to teach a class on diagnostics. The medical students get an eye-opening lecture about why patients lie, what it takes to be a good doctor, and why you should never make a lawyer your medical care proxy. (3 noms)

Inspector Morse

Special #5 The Remorseful Day - End of era stuff. Even though I knew what was about to happen, I still ended up crying on the sofa for the last 10 minutes. And only more poignant since the death of John Thaw. Lewis: Chief Inspector Morse is dead. [Note from Meg: I bawled my eyes out too.]

Jack's Big Music Show

1x1 Little Bad Wolf - Yep, it's a kids show on Noggin (I watch it with my 22month old twins). This episode just cracks me up and the music is fun, too.

Jeeves and Wooster

3x6 Aunt Dahlia, Cornelia and Madeline (or Comrade Bingo) - I forgot to add “Comrade Bingo,” Jeeves and Wooster (1992) to my list. It's the last episode of the third season. The bit with the treacle and brown paper may be the best bit of physical comedy ever.

Just Shoot Me

1x6 Lemon Wacky Hello - (Jack returns from China with exotic and mysterious candy that has strange effects on the staff)

La Femme Nikita

2x11 Psychic Pilgrim - In which Section believes that an imprisoned terrorist leader is ordering an attack through his lawyer. Nikita and Michael go undercover as a couple, and Nikita is supposed to be a psychic. The terrorist's lawyer asks Nikita to contact his dead son, but Nikita is shocked to discover something else.

2x13 Not Was - In which Michael is captured and interrogated by terrorists, then loses his memory and does not know who he is.

Lateline

[Note from Meg: I couldn't figure out which episode this was -- anybody know?] - Don't remember the name of the episode, but Al Franken gets hit in the head about a dozen times with a car's airbag. Fun!

Laverne and Shirley

2x6 Look Before you Leap - After a party at the brewery, Laverne comes home to find she's wearing a pair of men's boxer shorts. She starts to feel ill in the mornings but was so drunk the night before that she can't remember what happened. She fears that she's pregnant. So Lenny and Squiggy have draw starws to see which of them will ask Laverne to marry them, Lenny wins and in a touching scene proposes to Laverne, of course in the end we discover that Laverne is not pregnant and that she was wearing the boxer shorts because she had been made an honorary guy at the brewery.

4x18 Lenny's Crush - Lenny falls in love with Laverne after misunderstanding what she told him.

6x15 and 6x16 The Bardwell Caper (Parts 1 and 2) - The girls send a letter to their boss telling him off, but then decide to break into his office to retrieve it before he can read it. P hysical comedy is so hard to do well, and these gals became masters (mistresses???) of it!  Right up there with Lucy & Ethel. This episode was fun -- k ind of a Mission : Impossible knock-off. (2 noms)

Law and Order: SVU

6x12 Identity - This is the one about the twin boy and girl, who are actually twin boy and boy. So disturbing, but I love what they get away with in the end.  

Little House on the Prairie

6x24 Sweet Sixteen - When Almanzo finally realizes he loves Laura...

8x9 For the Love of Nancy - The Fat Kid episode of Little House on the Prairie, w here the fat boy gets a big crush on Nellie (he really should have known better).  All's well that ends with a fat kid wading into a pond to fetch Nellie some fluffy pond plants!  And, of course, there's the lesson about liking people about who they are not what they look like and all that.  But, really, the main point for me is that it was another reason to hate Nellie.  I love to hate Nellie!

Lois & Clark

1x11 Pheromone, My Lovely - My favorite Lois & Clark episode. I'm quite a fan of John Shea's Lex Luthor, and I think he's at his best here.

2x18 Tempus Fugitive - H. G. Wells builds a time machine, misplaces a psychopath, and needs Superman's help to save... Superman. What's not to love? =

Looney Tunes

1957 episode, What's Opera, Doc? - Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd reenact Wagner's Ring Cycle . Bugs has never looked more fetching in a horned helmet, pigtails, and breastplate! [Note from Meg: SMOOOOOOOGGGGGGG!!!!] (3 noms)

Lost

1x1 and 1x2 Pilot (Parts 1 and 2) - The first episode of Lost….but like you I am sick of it and stopped watching

1x4 Walkabout - Most amazing twist I have ever witnessed in a single hour of television. That's even taking into account Twilight Zones. And so well executed.

1x20 Do No Harm - I love lots of eps of Lost, but this one was one of the first to actually have me screaming at the television.

MacGyver

1x5 The Heist - Mac whistles to open a vault o'diamonds. Awesome!

Mad About You

3x20 Money Changes Everything - The episode where Paul & Jamie are locked in their bathroom (really, it's funnier than it sounds)

6x9 The Conversation - Speaking of Mad About You and “very special” episodes, the one where they try the let-your-baby-scream-itself-to-sleep episode (which I saw before have Jes), showcase for Helen's chops!

Magnum, P.I.

4x1 Home From the Sea - That Magnum PI that you mentioned when he's out there treading water and keeps flashing back to his dad timing him. I've always remembered this episode as well and I never remember ANYTHING I see on TV. Only Magnum episode that made me bawl like a baby! (3 noms)

Malcolm in the Middle

7x3 Reese vs. Stevie - In a move that is either hilariously offensive or offensively hilarious, Reese numbs his lower body with a tub of ice water to make an upcoming fight with paralyzed Stevie "fair."

M*A*S*H

3x24 Abyssinia , Henry - I cried and cried and cried over this one. God, how traumatic! Although still brilliant, the first three series remain my favourites. And should I admit my secret love of Radar? Looks like I have. Radar: I have a message. Lt. Col. Henry Blake's plane... was shot down... over the sea of Japan... It spun in... there were no survivors. [Another reader says:] That's the one that gets the top Gut Wrench award. (3 noms)

6x13 Comrades in Arms - AKA the one where Hawkeye and Hotlips kiss!

7x10 Point of View - The "M*A*S*H*" episode shot entirely from the perspective of a wounded soldier, who meets all the staff in turn and although mute, eventually helps Col. Morgan deal with a personal problem. Brilliant.

9x17 Bless You, Hawkeye - In my book, M*A*S*H is the best TV show ever(!), an incredible comedy with just the right mix of drama.  I don't think any other show pulled it off so well. Sure sit-coms try to mix it up with their “very special” episodes.  All they get is the Sesame Street exercise “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things does not belong.”  But M*A*S*H could do it.  Most episodes had a light touch of pathos, so when they went full tilt into the drama it wasn't whiplash-inducing, but a glimpse of what was roiling beneath the surface.  To this end, the single best episode has to be the one where Hawkeye is miserably sick and no amount of medical knowledge alleviates what ails him.  It takes a session with my favorite shrink, Dr. Sidney Freedman, to nearly-miraculously cure him (after all, it's only a 30 minute show).  {Honestly, Sidney 's character (who's name I always found suspiciously close to Sigmund Freud) was one reason I became interested in psychology. What can I say, blame it on being young and impressionable.} The episode was a great showcase for Alan Alda's acting chops, too.  And, like any great episode, I'm happy to watch it again and again, even when you know what's coming. but with enough searching it's probably season 9, “Bless you, Hawkeye”).  Arguably foreshadowing where he really loses it in the final episode, which is also a great episode.  But then it should be as the series finale.  The episode to which I'm referring has a kid come in who's clothes were absolutely sopping, Hawkeye gets really sick after treating him and ultimately Sidney helps Hawkeye through a repressed memory (triggered by the smell of the clothes) of his beloved cousin nearly drowning him.

Moonlighting

1x5 The Next Murder You Hear - In which Maddie becomes infatuated with a radio talk-show host who has apparently been murdered while he was on the air.

2x4 The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice - David and Maddie each dream their own biased explanation for an unsolved 1940's murder. Film noir homages and hot kissing are involved.

3x6 Big Man on Mulberry Street - The one with the dance number to the Billy Joel song.

3x7 Atomic Shakespeare - “Taming of the Shrew” parody. (3 noms)

Newsradio

3x14 The Complaint Box - In which a newly installed complaint box makes Dave's life miserable. Mr. James goes fishing, but thanks to Joe's invention, the Garelli 5000, stays in contact with the office via satellite hookup

4x11 Chock - In which Dave finds it hard to say no when his old college acapella singing group 'Chock Full o' Notes' reunites for Dave's 32nd birthday, hoping to take the pop charts by storm. Meanwhile, Lisa tries to motivate Matthew without reducing him to tears. Joe has a beef with one of Dave's friends.

4x14 Security Door - In which Dave struggles vainly to get the staffers to properly use the recently installed security door. Bill enlists Lisa to do the negotiating when he's offered a job in a blue jean's commercial.

4x18 Copy Machine - In this episode, a co-worker (Ted) nobody seems to remember is killed by the copy machine. Ted's college roommate visits, hoping to get good Ted stories from the gang. Matthew and Beth worry that Dave is taking the death too hard. Joe hangs up his toolbelt, fearful that Ted's death was caused by modifications he made to the copy machine.

Northern Exposure

3x9 Get Real - The Flying Man episode where Marilyn falls in love (2 noms)

3x10 Seoul Mates - The Christmas episode on "Northern Exposure where Joel struggles with the Christmas tree, Marilyn tells the story of how Raven gave the sun to humans, and Holling fills the church with candles and sings "Ave Maria" to Shelly, who misses the Catholic observances. *tears up* The true message of Christmas, several ways.

3x14 Burning Down the House and 4x4 Heroes - Loved the cow-tossing catapault art project (3x14), and then the later episode (4x4) where they brought it back to fling the dead biker dude into the lake. 

4x25 Old Tree - Episode when Shelly couldn't talk, she sang everything she said.  It was while she was pregnant...

The O.C.

1x13 The Best Chrismukkah Ever - Adam Brody's delivery of the line "It's a Chrismukkah miracle!" is the best thing ever.

The Office (US)

1x3 Health Care - I loved the episode of The Office (American version) when they were working on getting a new health plan

Powerpuff Girls

3x13 Moral Decay / Meet the Beat Alls - Absolutely packed with Beatles references

The Pretender

2x12 Gigolo Jared - An underrated TV series, this episode from season 2 is one of my favorites.  From the title it sounds awful, but sexy Jared ends up shocking all these women into realizing that this isn't what they want at all.  It's fantastic!

Quantum Leap

2x22 M.I.A. - Sam leaps into an undercover cop and is told by Al that his mission is to keep a young woman who lost her husband in Vietnam from marrying a lawyer. But Sam soon finds out the young woman is Al's wife -- the one who remarried while he was a POW in Vietnam , thinking he had been killed. Heart-breaking!! Especially the last line (“I was always free up here,” says Al pointing to his head.) (4 noms)

3x1 and 3x2 The Leap Home (Parts 1 and 2) - Sam leaps into himself at age 16 and has the chance to save his father from heart disease and prevent his brother from dying in Vietnam . (3 noms)

4x1 The Leap Back - When Sam leaps back with his wife and has to decide to leave her again knowing that he was not going to be able to leap back ever again.

The Real Ghostbusters

6x1 Janine, You've Changed - My absolute favorite cartoon growing up, this one is the one I remember most clearly.  It's the one where Janine is unhappy with her appearance and the guys (who don't notice all the magical changes taking place in their secretary's appearance) eventually have to save her from Makeoveris Lotsabucks.

Rosanne

All the annual Halloween episodes.

Scrubs

5x7 My Way Home - A witty homage to The Wizard of Oz . All J.D. wants to do is go home (with Toto on his iPod) after he mistakenly gets called to the hospital on his day off. (2 noms)  

Seinfeld

4x8 The Cheever Letters - The one about talking dirty and the new panties. I can't remember the actual title but I know it is the one straight after "The Bubble Boy" Ep.

5x2 The Puffy Shirt - Really, I could have put just about every episode of this series down as a favorite.  Everything relates to a Seinfeld episode!  This one is a particular favorite of mine, though.  I know several low-talkers and I am always afraid that my conversations, which on my part consist of a lot of nodding and smiling, will end up with me in a puffy shirt sort of situation!

8x8 The Chicken Roaster - The Kenny Roger's Roaster episode. I was absolutely rolling when Kramer poured tomato juice on his cereal because the neon had desensitized his eyes to the color red!

Sex and the City

6x19 and 6x20 An American Girl in Paris (Parts 1 and 2) -  Made me laugh and cry. My only complaint is that Steve, Harry, and Smith seem too good to be true. Where can I find a man as cute, kind, and understanding as one of them?

The Simpsons

4x3 Homer the Heretic - One Sunday morning, Homer decides that he'd rather sleep late than go to church. Marge is disappointed, but doesn't argue with him. While home alone, Homer dances in his underwear, drinks waffle batter and loafs around watching TV. Having thoroughly enjoyed his morning, Homer decides to forgo church for good and start his own religion. Marge doesn't approve, but that night Homer has a dream in which God visits him and expresses his acceptance of Homer's new religion. While home on Sunday, worshipping in his own special way by reading Playdude and smoking cigars, Homer causes a fire that nearly destroys the house. Ned Flanders is the only one who can save Homer's life, and after speaking with Reverend Lovejoy, Homer realizes that he should give up his religion and return to church.

4x12 Marge vs. the Monorail - Leonard Nimoy is hilarious as himself.

5x2 Cape Feare - The mail comes and Bart gets a threatening letter written in blood and he suspects everybody. Marge goes to the police and we soon find out that Sideshow Bob has been writing the threats in prison. Sideshow Bob is up for parole, which is then granted and he soon meets up with the Simpson family in a movie theater.

6x6 Treehouse of Horror V - Featuring "The Shinning," "Time and Punishment," and "Nightmare Cafeteria." (2 noms, particularly for "The Shinning")

Six Feet Under

5x12 Everyone's Waiting - If I could pick a favorite episode from a second category (drama), it would likely be the series finale of Six Feet Under.  My husband and I were both in tears.  

Sports Night

1x7 Dear Louise - Almost any episode is great, but my pick would probably be the episode where at the end they get tossed out the bar downstairs after hours and come back to the office to continue dancing. David calls it the "Lola Falana Episode" Features whip-fast snappy writing, and a laser sharp edge to it's very relationship-focused humor. Besides any episode that contains the song "Boogie Shoes" has got to have something going for it.

1x8 Thespis - November 23rd marks the birthday of Thespis, the Greek God of Theater. A legend states that on his birthday he has been known to haunt live productions, and for the first half-hour of it, Sports Night is targeted.

Stargate SG1

4x6 Window of Opportunity - Where O'Neill and Teal'c get caught in a time loop and relive the same day (sort of a Groundhog Day episode).

6x15 Paradise Lost - Where O'Neill and Maybourne get stuck on a deserted planet

Star Trek

2x8 I, Mudd - This was my favorite episode of the original Star Trek. I loved, even as a single man, the fact that Harry Mudd made an android of his horrible wife. Maybe I have some kind of shrew fixation...[This reader also nominated the "Taming of the Shrew" Moonlighting episode.] A close second is the episode where Kirk is split into the wimpy good half and the nasty, but decisive bad half (1x6 The Enemy Within). I 4.0ed a paper in college using it as an analogy for the lead role in A Comedy of Errors. Shakespeare spins, twice in one email.

2x15 The Trouble with Tribbles - Bet this is on everyone's list, right? [Note from Meg: Yep!] (8 noms)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

3x11 and 3x12 Past Tense (Parts 1 and 2) - In which a transporter accident sends Dax, Sisko and Bashir back in time to the year 2024, when San Fransisco was plagued with riots and social upheaval. Bashir and Sisko are taken to a homeless compound while Dax is taken care of by a wealthy businessman. Sisko and Bashir's interventions in an altercation alters the future timeline.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

5x18 Cause and Effect - The poker one (see Meg's list at the top for a description) (3 noms)

5x23 I, Borg - In which an injured Borg is discovered and brought back to the Enterprise where he is 'repaired' by Dr. Crusher and befriended by Geordi, who names him 'Hugh.' Soon, Hugh starts showing signs of individuality while Picard must choose between destroying him or returning him to the collective.

5x25 Inner Light - “After a mysterious accident, Picard wakes up living the life of another person on a faraway planet." He essentially lives an entire adult lifetime as another person, eventually being "rescued" back to the Enterprise , with fond memories of his "other life." The whole story is really fantastic and touching, and it prompts a lot of thought about life and your experiences as we go around "just once."

St. Elsewhere

6x22 The Last One - The final episode of St. Elsewhere…Howie Mandel states seriously “it's not over until the fat lady sings.”  Then an opera singer gets her voice back….just too funny.

Taxi

2x23 and 2x24 Fantasy Borough (Parts 1 and 2) - Taxi" episde where everyone lives out their fantasies, and Jim's (Christopher Lloyd) is to be taken off Earth by aliens.

The one where Jim takes his driving test - This one never fails to make me laugh. My husband and I still use the "What does a yellow light mean?" routine and it cracks us up every time. [Note from Meg: I couldn't figure out which episode this was -- anybody know?]

Touching Evil

1x13 Mercy - Branca finally does what she's been wanting to do for 13 episodes: put her arms around Creegan's neck and ... straighten his collar. USA cancels this show and I feel very cheated.

The Twilight Zone

 

1x8 Time Enough at Last - In which a bank teller longs for time alone to read, and then get his wish. . .I feel for this poor man. The end just makes me cringe in pain every time I watch it.

2x15 The Invaders - I can remember watching this episode while babysitting very late one night and getting scared out of my gourd --  Woman living alone in rustic cabin (almost a shack) has a flying saucer land outside her door.  Little space creatures come out looking like little robots and get in her cabin and attack her with ray guns.  She has to beat them off with a broom to save her life and then I think she finally takes an ax to them. Yay!!! You go, Girl!!!  Then we hear a pathetic radio transmission warning about large dangerous lifeforms on this planet so don't send rescue mission. Whoopee!!  The horrible little aliens have been defeated!!  Only at the end do we see writing on the little spaceship " United States of America ."   Oops, whoa Nellie, we've been rootin' for the wrong side.

2x29 The Obsolete Man - Again with the twists... I'm sensing a pattern. I love the peace, justice, and mercy, all exhibited by one man. It's beautiful.

3x16 Nothing in the Dark - The one with the little old lady afraid of "Mr. Death" and Robert Redford as a wounded soldier. It chills me and lifts my spirits all at once, every time. I just adore this episode. Magnificent.

3x24 To Serve Man - A favorite of mine was an old Twilight Zone about aliens who came to earth with a handbook called "To Serve Man".  Everyone thought they were peaceful and helpful and it ended up being a cookbook.

5x6 Living Doll - A little girl has a Talking Tina doll that says stuff like "My name is Talking Tina and I like you."  The girl's mean daddy gets pissed off about something and punishes the girl.  Late at night the doll says to him "My name is TT and I don't like you!"  He throws doll in trash, it comes back and says "My name is TT and I'm going to kill you!"  He chops it up, tries to destroy it, goes to bed, hears noise in middle of night and comes DOWN THE STAIRS to investigate (you know what's coming, right???).  TT is lying on the steps and he trips over doll, falls down stairs, breaks his neck. Last thing he sees is doll saying "My name is TT and I told you I'd kill you!"    YIKES!!!  I never wanted a Chatty Cathy doll after that -- and I'm freaked out by those Furby critters, too.

Veronica Mars
1x22 Leave It to Beaver - When Veronica finds out who her real father is, I was struck with a wave of emotion and gratitude for everyone responsible for making this show.

Waltons

1x24 and 1x25 The Easter Story (Parts 1 and 2) - Yes, that's right.  The Waltons made my list.  My mom used to watch this series in reruns when I was little and I can still remember this episode.  Good night John-Boy!

West Wing

1x1 Pilot. Within the first five minutes, it was clear just how great this series was going to be but it's the moment when the viewer first see Bartlet that confirms it. Still get shivers thinking about it. Bartlet: "I am the Lord your God. Thou shalt worship no other God before me." Boy, those were the days, huh?

1x10 In Excelsis Deo - The Christmas episode when Toby wants to give a homeless vetran a proper military burial. [Another reader describes it as:] The one where it's Christmas and a homeless veteran dies wearing a coat that Toby had donated to the Goodwill.

1x22 What Kind Of Day Has It Been - I sat on my sofa in stunned silence for about 10 minutes after the end of this one! What a phenomenal season finale. Agents: Oh God, we've got people down. People down, people down. Who's been hit? Who's been hit?

2x1 and 2x2 In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Parts 1 and 2) - The start of the second season of West Wing…the attempted assassination, I just re-watched it recently still master storytelling. [Another reader says:] I loved the episode about assassination attempt where Josh got shot and sat slumped over bleeding while everyone was rushing around worrying about the President and then they didn't think Josh was going to live and then Donna refused to leave his side ... (I'm getting choked up remembering!) (5 noms)

5x21 Gaza - Episode where Donna got seriously injured in the sniper attack in Iraq and they didn't think she was going to live and Josh tried to act all cool and OK when he heard she was getting great care in Army hospital in Germany but he was actually going nuts and not able to do his work so he rushed to her bedside ...  (boohoohoo!)

WKRP in Cincinnati

1x7 Turkeys Away - Thanksgiving episode where they were giving away free turkeys as a promo event, by tossing them out of a helicopter above a crowd. "...God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!"

Wonderfalls

1x1 The pilot episode (I will never, ever forget the line, “Your ass is ringing.”)

The Wonder Years

2x3 Christmas - The one where winnie gives him the four leaf clover for christmas.

Wise Guy

The Mel Profit timeline of the Wise Guy (first introducing my crush Kevin Spacey), Ken Wahl and Kevin in many scenes oh my beating heart.

X-Files

4x10 Paper Hearts - This is my favorite X-Files. I'm not entirely sure why. It's rather disturbing. There's a child molester involved. But it's soooo well written.

4x7 Musing of a Cigarette-Smoking Man - Ah, the eternal question with a million answers - Who shot JFK? Again, well written and intricate. I find something new to understand every time I watch it.

5x5 Post-Modern Prometheus - This episode makes me happy. Again (those crazy X-Files), it's well written and oh so rewatchable.

5x12 Bad Blood - Mulder and Scully's very different views on a night that ended with Mulder staking a vampire (or was he just a troubled teen?). Loved that Luke Wilson had big buck teeth in Mulder's version. [Another reader says:] X-Files does "Rashomon" as Scully and Mulder tell the same story from their different viewpoints. Luke Wilson is great as the handsome? bucktoothed? sheriff.

6x16 Arcadia - Maybe the funniest episode in the funniest season. David wore a pink polo shirt and made me sigh quite a lot. Mulder: Woman, get back here and make me a sandwich.

6x20 The Unnatural - I think Chris Carter lost his way around season 3.  This episode was written and directed by David Duchovny, and it puts much of what Carter wrote to shame. It's an episode that's about what it is to be human. It also touches on racism and intolerance in a way that's very beautiful.

Young Indiana Jones Chronicles  

2x10 "Tales of Innocence: Indy in Italy with Ernest Hemingway." - (Ok, that last part is not the official title.) I've seen this maybe twice in my life, and not for 10 years or so. I've never seen another Young Indy episode. Yet this lingers in my memory because it just made me so desperately in love with Jay Underwood.

UNKNOWN (Does anybody know what show is being described here? One reader thinks this may have been an episode of a short-lived WB series called "Rescue 77," entitled "The Wedding" -- see http://epiguides.com/rescue77, episode 4. Can anybody second that?)

I watched this one show until it was ultimately cancelled in the middle of the season. I can't remember the exact name of the show, but it was a rescue 'Third Watch' type of show. Anyway. This one episode stuck with me. It's not something I could ever forget.

The rescue guys come up on this big wreck under an overpass on the highway. A newly married couple were on their way from their wedding to their reception when a semi, hauling cement pilings, jackknifed and dropped a piece of the cement piling on their car. It essentially cut the groom in half, and was the only thing keeping him alive.

The dilemma is that the wife is in very bad condition and if they take their time they could save the groom but the wife will die. If they move fast to save the wife then the groom will die. So they give the groom the chance to make a decision. He chooses to save his new wife.

So as they are pulling off the cement piling, the camera moves in on the groom's hand. He's holding onto his wife's hand and as they pull her away you see him squeeze once and then his fingers go limp.

The thing that gets me the most is that after they get the wife in the ambulance you hear the heart monitor go flat and they jump to get the paddles out to shock her. So you don't know if she even lives or not. I cried so hard when I saw this episode my eyes were swollen the next morning. It was very intense.

 


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