TV episodes The Best Columbo Episodes  

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20.4k votes 2.3k voters 144.9k views 67 items

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

List of the best Columbo episodes, as 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. 

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.

1
597 198
Any Old Port In A Storm is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Any Old Port In A Storm Columbo - Season 3 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 ...more

2
529 169
Murder By The Book is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Murder By The Book Columbo - Season 1 One member of a mystery-writing-team decides to kill his more talented partner when the better writer decides to go solo.

3
414 119
Negative Reaction is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Negative Reaction Columbo - Season 4 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 ...more

4
485 154
Now You See Him is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Now You See Him Columbo - Season 5 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 ...more

5
428 130
A Friend In Deed is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
A Friend In Deed Columbo - Season 3 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.

6
412 130
A Stitch In Crime is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
A Stitch In Crime Columbo - Season 2 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.

7
452 150
Swan Song is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Swan Song Columbo - Season 3 A Country and Western singer kills his overpowering wife in a plane crash while he parachutes to safety.

8
370 125
Prescription: Murder is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Prescription: Murder Columbo - Season 1 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.

9
289 83
Death Lends A Hand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Death Lends A Hand Columbo - Season 1 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.

10
343 115
Étude In Black is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Étude In Black Columbo - Season 2 The mistress of a conductor becomes a target for murder after threatening to tell all to her lover's wife.

11
326 107
Try And Catch Me is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Try And Catch Me Columbo - Season 7 A writer of murder mysteries wreaks revenge on her nephew-in-law by blaiming him for her niece's murder.

12
334 114
Double Exposure is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Double Exposure Columbo - Season 3 A film maker kills one of his clients. in a break, during the screening of a new ad campaign

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13
284 95
Candidate For Crime is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Candidate For Crime Columbo - Season 3 A Senate Candidate running for office kills his campaign manager by making it look like he was the target for the killer's bullet.

14
301 105
The Most Crucial Game is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
The Most Crucial Game Columbo - Season 2 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 ...more

15
311 112
An Exercise In Fatality is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
An Exercise In Fatality Columbo - Season 4 A health club owner kills his partner who is about to uncover a fraud and makes it look like an accident

16
287 115
Columbo:Troubled Waters is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo:Troubled Waters Columbo - Season 4 Columbo:Troubled Waters is a 1975 crime/drama TV film written by William Driskill and directed by Ben Gazzara.

17
278 113
By Dawn´s Early Light is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
By Dawn´s Early Light Columbo - Season 4 The head of a military school kills one of the governors by sabotaging the gun which is used on founders day.

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18
274 117
Blueprint For Murder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Blueprint For Murder Columbo - Season 1 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 ...more

19
265 114
Suitable For Framing is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Suitable For Framing Columbo - Season 1 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 ...more

20
258 118
The Conspirators is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
The Conspirators Columbo - Season 7 An Irish poet, who fronts a peace organization while secretly running guns, kills an arms dealer who tries to swindle him.

21
234 106
How To Dial A Murder is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
How To Dial A Murder Columbo - Season 7 A famous psychiatrist uses an appointment with his doctor as his alibi while he calls his house, where his dead wife's lover is. The call serves as the first step in a conditioning reflex on the ...more

22
218 97
Publish Or Perish is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Publish Or Perish Columbo - Season 3 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.

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23
178 71
Agenda for Murder is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Agenda for Murder Columbo - Season 9 Columbo matches wits with a brilliant attorney responsible for the murder of the one man who could stifle his meteoric political career.

24
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Identity Crisis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Identity Crisis Columbo - Season 5 A spy is killed on a lonely beach by his contact, but the killer has been photographed beforehand walking with the victim.

25
226 109
The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murd... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case Columbo - Season 6 Two former college friends, now partners in an accounting firm, become enemies when one realizes the other has embezzled funds. The reason for his embezzling ways is his wife, she demands ...more

26
183 88
Murder Under Glass is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Murder Under Glass Columbo - Season 7 A famous food critic is threatened by a restaurant owner, and so the critic leaves. Soon after, the cook dies. Columbo's involvement is welcomed by all the other chefs in the area, but Columbo ...more

27
207 108
Columbo Goes to College is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo Goes to College Columbo - Season 10 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

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28
201 105
Playback is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Playback Columbo - Season 4 An inventor video tapes his mother-in-law's death, and then replays it back to the security guard, to give himself an alibi.

29
187 95
Ransom For A Dead Man is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Ransom For A Dead Man Columbo - Season 1 A high-flying lady lawyer kills her husband for the insurance money, and tries to makes It look like a kidnapping gone wrong.

30
195 107
Short Fuse is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Short Fuse Columbo - Season 1 A chemist rigs a bomb in his uncle's car to gain control of his uncle's company, then plants clues to make Columbo suspicious of the company's Vice-President.

31
161 82
A Deadly State Of Mind is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
A Deadly State Of Mind Columbo - Season 4 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.

32
202 117
Forgotten Lady is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Forgotten Lady Columbo - Season 5 A fading actress kills her husband when he refuses to back her comeback show.

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33
162 91
Make Me A Perfect Murder is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Make Me A Perfect Murder Columbo - Season 7 Mark McAndrews a top network programmer is promoted to a New York position. His assistant, who is very ambitious and his lover, expects to get his old job. But of course he feels she is out of ...more

34
141 76
Ashes to Ashes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Ashes to Ashes Columbo - Season 0 Mortician to the stars Eric Prince (Patrick McGoohan), kills gossip reporter Verity Chandler (Rue McClanahan), who had knowledge of skeletons in Prince's closet. Columbo must figure out what ...more

35
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The Most Dangerous Match is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
The Most Dangerous Match Columbo - Season 2 A chess grandmaster disposes of the champion, who keeps coming back on him.

36
136 74
Lovely But Lethal is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Lovely But Lethal Columbo - Season 3 Viveca Scott, the founder of Beauty Mark Cosmetics, is being threatened by her rival David Lang. When he finds out that her revolutionary cream formula actually removes wrinkles, he has the ...more

37
156 94
Double Shock is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Double Shock Columbo - Season 2 A wealthy man is murdered; his twin nephews stand to inherit, but which one committed the crime?

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38
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Fade In To Murder is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Fade In To Murder Columbo - Season 6 Ward Fowler, who plays debonair television detective Lieutenant Lucerne, has a reputation for being a difficult actor. His series is a hit, however, so the network and studio executives again ...more

39
123 71
Uneasy Lies the Crown is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Uneasy Lies the Crown Columbo - Season 9 While investigating the death of a popular actor, Columbo must outwit a cunning dentist, who has set up his wife for a murder in order to keep up his image and expensive lifestyle.

40
157 100
Columbo Cries Wolf is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo Cries Wolf Columbo - Season 9 Columbo is asked to investigate the disappearance of Diane Hunter, director of a men's magazine. Naturally, the prime suspect is her lover and co-editor Sean Brantley, who spends lots of time ...more

41
128 77
Death Hits the Jackpot is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Death Hits the Jackpot Columbo - Season 0 Nick Franco is a violent, two-timing gigolo and his current paramour, Laura Stanton, has had enough. With the help of a young woman named Lisa, she murders her lover and sets herself up with an ...more

42
136 84
Lady In Waiting is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Lady In Waiting Columbo - Season 1 A woman shoots her overbearing brother, claiming she thought he was a burglar. Columbo doesn't buy the self-defense claim - he know's it's murder

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43
145 94
Columbo Goes to the Guillotine is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo Goes to the Guillotine Columbo - Season 8 Lt. Columbo delves into the world of magic, ESP and slight of hand as he investigates the death of a magician, and there appears to be a tie to a prodigal psychic supported by a government ...more

44
112 67
Columbo and the Murder of a Ro... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star Columbo - Season 10 Lt. Columbo is pitted against an equally brilliant, nationally recognized criminal defence lawyer who murders his rock star girlfriend when he discovers she is seeing another man.

45
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It's All in the Game is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
It's All in the Game Columbo - Season 10 Nick Franco is a violent, two-timing gigolo and his current paramour, Laura Stanton, has had enough. With the help of a young woman named Lisa, she murders her lover and sets herself up with an ...more

46
140 92
The Greenhouse Jungle is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
The Greenhouse Jungle Columbo - Season 2 Jarvis Goodland, along with his nephew, plan a kidnap scam to break the nephews trust fund, but after the money has been collected, Jarvis kills his partner.

47
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Murder Can Be Hazardous to You... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health Columbo - Season 10 Wade Anders, a former security expert, hosts the show Crime Alert. A rival host, news reader Bud, discovers Wade was in a porno movie and plans to tell the world then take over his show.

48
102 67
A Trace of Murder is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
A Trace of Murder Columbo - Season 0 Cathleen Calvert (Shera Danese) and her lover, crime scene investigator Patrick Kinsley (David Rasche), plot to get rid of Calvert's husband, Clifford (Barry Corbin), a powerful businessman, by ...more

49
117 88
Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo Columbo - Season 9 Columbo unwittingly becomes part of a deranged woman's diabolical plot to destroy the two men she believes responsible for her husband's death in prison. After murdering one, she moves in on the ...more

50
117 90
Dead Weight is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Dead Weight Columbo - Season 1 A famous general kills a business associate, then woos a neurotic female witness to thwart Columbo's investigation.