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The Best 'Columbo' Episodes

Updated March 10, 2020 55.3k votes 5.2k voters 214.5k views69 items

List RulesVote for your favorite Columbo episodes, no matter how popular they are.

This list of the best Columbo episodes, is determined by voters like you. Ranking high on the best TV detectives, Columbo is also one of the best detective shows of all time. With all the amazing episodes of the show that exist, it's hard to trust just one person's opinion of what the top Columbo episodes of all time are. Fans of Columbo are very passionate about the show, and there are often debates over which episodes are the greatest. That's why this list exists- so you can vote for your favorites and we can find out once and for all what everyone thinks the best episode is.

Starring Peter Falk as the brilliant detective, Columbo ran for 10 seasons and is considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time. Consider this list your definitive guide to the best Columbo episodes. 

Just one more thing - episodes here include everything from "Murder: a Self Portrait" to "Étude in Black." What is the best Columbo episode of all time? Look below and find out.

 

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  • 1
    Death Lends A Hand is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    790
    338

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number4

    A private investigator kills his client's wife after she threatens to expose his blackmail...
  • 2
    Try And Catch Me is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    758
    333

    Try And Catch Me

    Nov 21 1977

    SeasonColumbo - Season 7

    Episode Number1

    A writer of murder mysteries wreaks revenge on her nephew-in-law by blaiming him for her...
  • 3
    Now You See Him is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    1,024
    489

    Now You See Him

    Feb 29 1976

    SeasonColumbo - Season 5

    Episode Number5

    Master magician the great Santini is amazing audiences at the Cabaret of Magic. What they...
  • 4
    Negative Reaction is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    850
    405

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number2

    Brilliant photographer Paul Galesko plans to murder his domineering wife, Frances, and pin...
  • 5
    Prescription: Murder is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    804
    385

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number1

    Columbo's first mystery pits him against a cheating doctor out to get rid of his wife in favor...
  • 6
    Any Old Port In A Storm is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    1,189
    599

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number2

    Wine producer Adrian Carsini discovers that his younger brother Enrico plans to sell the...
  • 7
    Murder By The Book is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    1,123
    571

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number3

    One member of a mystery-writing-team decides to kill his more talented partner when the better...
  • 8
    A Stitch In Crime is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    827
    419

    SeasonColumbo - Season 2

    Episode Number6

    Leonard Nimoy plays a heart surgeon whose talents turn to murder. Stung by jealousy, he's...
  • 9
    A Friend In Deed is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    902
    474

    A Friend In Deed

    May 05 1974

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number8

    A police commissioner provides an alibi to a friend who has just killed his wife. Later the...
  • 10
    Double Exposure is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    717
    368

    Double Exposure

    Dec 16 1973

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number4

    A film maker kills one of his clients. in a break, during the screening of a new ad campaign
  • 11
    Swan Song is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    864
    465

    Swan Song

    Mar 03 1974

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number7

    A Country and Western singer kills his overpowering wife in a plane crash while he parachutes...
  • 12
    Playback is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    673
    393

    Playback

    Mar 02 1975

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number5

    An inventor video tapes his mother-in-law's death, and then replays it back to the security...
  • 13
    Étude In Black is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    640
    385

    Étude In Black

    Sep 17 1972

    SeasonColumbo - Season 2

    Episode Number1

    The mistress of a conductor becomes a target for murder after threatening to tell all to her...
  • 14
    The Most Crucial Game is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    580
    361

    SeasonColumbo - Season 2

    Episode Number3

    The manager of a football team kills the team's owner, disguising himself as an ice cream...
  • 15
    Suitable For Framing is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    677
    433

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number6

    An art critic, Dale Kingston, kills his uncle for his valuable collection of paintings. All...
  • 16
    An Exercise In Fatality is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    610
    390

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number1

    A health club owner kills his partner who is about to uncover a fraud and makes it look like...
  • 17
    Candidate For Crime is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    602
    389

    Candidate For Crime

    Nov 04 1973

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number3

    A Senate Candidate running for office kills his campaign manager by making it look like he was...
  • 18
    By Dawn´s Early Light is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    658
    431

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number3

    The head of a military school kills one of the governors by sabotaging the gun which is used...
  • 19
    Columbo Goes to College is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    902
    627

    SeasonColumbo - Season 10

    Episode Number1

    Lt. Columbo is invited as guest speaker in a Criminology course and squares off against two...
  • 20
    Blueprint For Murder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    595
    406

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number9

    An architect kills his business partner and deliberately lets Columbo suspect him, leading...
  • 21
    Identity Crisis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    545
    371

    Identity Crisis

    Nov 02 1975

    SeasonColumbo - Season 5

    Episode Number3

    A spy is killed on a lonely beach by his contact, but the killer has been photographed...
  • 22
    Publish Or Perish is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    495
    334

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number5

    A publisher hires a Vietnam vet to kill his star author and thus give himself an alibi before...
  • 23
    The Conspirators is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    884
    638

    The Conspirators

    May 13 1978

    SeasonColumbo - Season 7

    Episode Number5

    An Irish poet, who fronts a peace organization while secretly running guns, kills an arms...
  • 24
    Columbo:Troubled Waters is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    647
    464

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number4

    Columbo:Troubled Waters is a 1975 crime/drama TV film written by William Driskill and directed...
  • 25
    A Deadly State Of Mind is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 'Columbo' Episodes
    764
    556

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number6

    A doctor kills the husband of the woman,he is having an affair with. but is seen leaving the...
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