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5.6k voters

The Best 'Columbo' Episodes

Updated March 10, 2020 53.4k votes 5.6k voters 226.3k 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
    1,214
    557

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number2

    SeriesColumbo

    Wine producer Adrian Carsini discovers that his younger brother Enrico plans to sell the family vineyards to pay his playboy-life debts, and sets out to murder him. He locks him in a wine vault and...  more
  • 2
    1,124
    521

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number3

    SeriesColumbo

    One member of a mystery-writing-team decides to kill his more talented partner when the better writer decides to go solo....  more
  • 3
    1,006
    462

    Now You See Him

    Feb 29 1976

    SeasonColumbo - Season 5

    Episode Number5

    SeriesColumbo

    Master magician the great Santini is amazing audiences at the Cabaret of Magic. What they don’t know is that Santini hopes to pull of the grandest illusion of his career - making club owner Jesse T....
  • 4
    769
    343

    Try And Catch Me

    Nov 21 1977

    SeasonColumbo - Season 7

    Episode Number1

    SeriesColumbo

    A writer of murder mysteries wreaks revenge on her nephew-in-law by blaiming him for her niece's murder....  more
  • 5
    840
    383

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number2

    SeriesColumbo

    Brilliant photographer Paul Galesko plans to murder his domineering wife, Frances, and pin the crime on an ex-convict named Alvin Deschler. His plan is to make it look as if Alvin kidnapped his wife...  more
  • 6
    783
    355

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number4

    SeriesColumbo

    A private investigator kills his client's wife after she threatens to expose his blackmail scheme. The client then hires the detective to assist Columbo in the search for the killer....  more
  • 7
    789
    361

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number1

    SeriesColumbo

    Columbo's first mystery pits him against a cheating doctor out to get rid of his wife in favor of his young, pretty actress girlfriend....  more
  • 8
    885
    426

    A Friend In Deed

    May 05 1974

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number8

    SeriesColumbo

    A police commissioner provides an alibi to a friend who has just killed his wife. Later the commissioner kills his own wife and gets the friend to repay the favour....  more
  • 9
    818
    392

    SeasonColumbo - Season 2

    Episode Number6

    SeriesColumbo

    Leonard Nimoy plays a heart surgeon whose talents turn to murder. Stung by jealousy, he's planning a surgical death for his brilliant but ailing associate. Will Geer plays the intended victim....  more
  • 10
    856
    427

    Swan Song

    Mar 03 1974

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number7

    SeriesColumbo

    A Country and Western singer kills his overpowering wife in a plane crash while he parachutes to safety....  more
  • 11
    687
    341

    Double Exposure

    Dec 16 1973

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number4

    SeriesColumbo

    A film maker kills one of his clients. in a break, during the screening of a new ad campaign...  more
  • 12
    631
    355

    Étude In Black

    Sep 17 1972

    SeasonColumbo - Season 2

    Episode Number1

    SeriesColumbo

    The mistress of a conductor becomes a target for murder after threatening to tell all to her lover's wife....  more
  • 13
    677
    395

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number6

    SeriesColumbo

    An art critic, Dale Kingston, kills his uncle for his valuable collection of paintings. All the clues lead to the dead man's first wife. Can Columbo correct the Lieutenant's error before it is too...  more
  • 14
    629
    373

    Playback

    Mar 02 1975

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number5

    SeriesColumbo

    An inventor video tapes his mother-in-law's death, and then replays it back to the security guard, to give himself an alibi....  more
  • 15
    563
    330

    SeasonColumbo - Season 2

    Episode Number3

    SeriesColumbo

    The manager of a football team kills the team's owner, disguising himself as an ice cream vendor as a cover. He then uses a recording of a faked phone call as an alibi to prove he was elsewhere at...  more
  • 16
    590
    353

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number1

    SeriesColumbo

    A health club owner kills his partner who is about to uncover a fraud and makes it look like an accident...  more
  • 17
    591
    355

    Candidate For Crime

    Nov 04 1973

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number3

    SeriesColumbo

    A Senate Candidate running for office kills his campaign manager by making it look like he was the target for the killer's bullet....
  • 18
    656
    399

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number3

    SeriesColumbo

    The head of a military school kills one of the governors by sabotaging the gun which is used on founders day....  more
  • 19
    590
    369

    SeasonColumbo - Season 1

    Episode Number9

    SeriesColumbo

    An architect kills his business partner and deliberately lets Columbo suspect him, leading Columbo to think that he's hidden the body in the foundation of a building under construction. He plans to...  more
  • 20
    500
    313

    SeasonColumbo - Season 3

    Episode Number5

    SeriesColumbo

    A publisher hires a Vietnam vet to kill his star author and thus give himself an alibi before the writer can defect to another publisher....  more
  • 21
    897
    598

    SeasonColumbo - Season 10

    Episode Number1

    SeriesColumbo

    Lt. Columbo is invited as guest speaker in a Criminology course and squares off against two cunning students, who are confident they have duped the lieutenant with various leads, when their...  more
  • 22
    634
    426

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number4

    SeriesColumbo

    Columbo:Troubled Waters is a 1975 crime/drama TV film written by William Driskill and directed by Ben Gazzara....  more
  • 23
    530
    355

    Identity Crisis

    Nov 02 1975

    SeasonColumbo - Season 5

    Episode Number3

    SeriesColumbo

    A spy is killed on a lonely beach by his contact, but the killer has been photographed beforehand walking with the victim....  more
  • 24
    833
    603

    The Conspirators

    May 13 1978

    SeasonColumbo - Season 7

    Episode Number5

    SeriesColumbo

    An Irish poet, who fronts a peace organization while secretly running guns, kills an arms dealer who tries to swindle him....  more
  • 25
    734
    532

    SeasonColumbo - Season 4

    Episode Number6

    SeriesColumbo

    A doctor kills the husband of the woman,he is having an affair with. but is seen leaving the house by a witness who is happens to be blind....  more