Entertainment

The Best Columbo Episodes  

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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.

list ordered by
1
Death Lends A Hand is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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.
2
Now You See Him is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
3
Murder By The Book is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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.
4
A Friend In Deed is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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.
5
Any Old Port In A Storm is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
6
Swan Song is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo - Season 3
A Country and Western singer kills his overpowering wife in a plane crash while he parachutes to safety.
7
Try And Catch Me is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo - Season 7
A writer of murder mysteries wreaks revenge on her nephew-in-law by blaiming him for her niece's murder.
8
Negative Reaction is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
9
Double Exposure is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo - Season 3
A film maker kills one of his clients. in a break, during the screening of a new ad campaign
10
A Stitch In Crime is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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.
11
Prescription: Murder is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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.
12
Étude In Black is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo - Season 2
The mistress of a conductor becomes a target for murder after threatening to tell all to her lover's wife.
13
The Most Crucial Game is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
14
Candidate For Crime is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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.
15
An Exercise In Fatality is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
Columbo Goes to College is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
17
Playback is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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.
18
By Dawn´s Early Light is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo - Season 4
The head of a military school kills one of the governors by sabotaging the gun which is used on founders day.
19
Murder Under Glass is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
20
Suitable For Framing is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
21
Publish Or Perish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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.
22
Blueprint For Murder is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
23
The Conspirators is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo - Season 7
An Irish poet, who fronts a peace organization while secretly running guns, kills an arms dealer who tries to swindle him.
24
Identity Crisis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
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
Forgotten Lady is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Columbo Episodes
Columbo - Season 5
A fading actress kills her husband when he refuses to back her comeback show.