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The Best Episodes of 'Black-ish'

Updated May 18, 2021 2.6k votes 283 voters 13.4k views151 items

There are so many funny episodes of Black-ish, but which ones really stand out? Do you like "First and Last" the best, or is "THE Word" your favorite episode of Black-ish? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of all the seasons of Black-ish are, let's rank every Black-ish episode from best to worst.

Black-ish in an American sitcom starring Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson Sr., Tracee Ellis Ross as Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson, and Laurence Fishburne as Andre's father. Black-ish, which premiered on September 24, 2014, won an AFI award for its first season, and has also been recognized by the Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, and at the Producers Guild Awards ("Episodic Television"). The show has inspired two spin-off series, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish.

Vote up your favorite episodes of Black-ish, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one Black-ish episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

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  • 1
    September 23, 2015
    92
    27

    Season 2, Episode 1

    Jack performs the song “Gold Digger” at a school talent show and when he sings a lyric that includes THE word, it leads to his possible expulsion from school. Dre and Bow work together to get him reinstated, and along the way, examine the evolution of THE word through the generations and just who, if anyone, has the right to use it.

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  • 2
    February 24, 2016
    79
    26

    Season 2, Episode 16

    When the kids ask some tough questions in the midst of a highly publicized court case involving alleged police brutality and an African-American teenager, Dre and Bow are conflicted on how best to field them. Dre, along with Pops and Ruby, feel the kids need to know what kind of world they’re living in, while Bow would like to give them a more hopeful view about life. When the verdict is announced, the family handles the news in different ways while watching the community react.

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  • 3
    October 8, 2014
    62
    14

    Season 1, Episode 3

    Dre sets out to expand Andre Jr's social circle. And dre tries to help Andre Jr. expand his social circle. Rainbow tries to inspire Diane.

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  • 4
    January 11, 2017
    65
    23

    Season 3, Episode 12

    Tensions run high after the presidential election.

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  • 5
    49
    12

    Season 4, Episode 4

    The competition gets intense during family game night.

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  • 6
    October 22, 2014
    62
    24

    Season 1, Episode 5

    Jack disobeys, and Dre and Rainbow consider a spanking. Rainbow and Dre agree they will no longer spank their children.

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  • 7
    February 25, 2015
    53
    20

    Season 1, Episode 15

    Dre schools Andre Jr. in "The Dozens" when he faces a bully at school. Dre teaches Andre Jr. how to trash-talk a school bully, Diane is afraid of the dark.

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  • 8
    May 10, 2017
    43
    12

    Season 3, Episode 24

    Initially wary, Dre embraces throwing Bow’s baby shower and wants it to be unforgettable. However, his plans are put on hold when Bow stops by the OB/GYN with a headache and discovers she is having complications.

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  • 9
    November 9, 2016
    35
    5

    Season 3, Episode 6

    When Jack and Diane bring home the results of their career tests, Dre and Bow must come to terms with the fact that Jack may have a blue-collar future. Meanwhile, Ruby is convinced Diane is possessed with a little help from Junior and Zoey.

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  • 10
    November 18, 2015
    34
    8

    Season 2, Episode 8

    While Bow prepares for the Johnson family’s annual Christmas card shoot, Dre takes Junior and Jack to the Barber Shop to get a hair cut from his lifelong Barber, T. When Junior decides to let another Barber cut his hair, Dre feels Junior has violated the most sacred of codes. The family is not happy with Dre’s new hair cut but Dre is disappointed in Junior’s lack of loyalty to T.

    Bow prepares for the Johnson annual Christmas card.

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  • 11
    March 23, 2016
    31
    7

    Season 2, Episode 18

    Dre and Bow start to slip on the kids' activities and chores around the house, so Bow persuades Dre to hire a nanny. After several interviews that don’t go well, they meet Vivian, who impresses them with her desire to take care of the whole family, including Dre and Bow. Dre struggles with the idea of hiring a Black nanny, but decides to give her a try. Meanwhile, Diane decides to run for class president, so when the smart and bubbly Susie Kwest becomes her competition, Zoey helps Diane create a smear campaign to win Diane the vote.

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  • 12
    April 29, 2015
    30
    8

    Season 1, Episode 21

    When Zoey stages a mini-rebellion, Dre and Bow clash over how to handle it.

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  • 13
    November 30, 2016
    37
    18

    Season 3, Episode 8

    Bow must address unresolved feelings about her own biracial identity when Junior brings home his first girlfriend, who happens to be white. Dre is handling a big project for a client at work and relies on Charlie to teach him how to relate to the campaign’s white, female point-person. Meanwhile, Zoey needs extra credit for her design class, and asks Jack and Diane if she can remodel their room.

     

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  • 14
    26
    5

    Season 1, Episode 23

    Dre and Bow go ballistic when Junior declares he’s joined the Young Republican Club to impress a girl. Since they really can’t believe any reasonable black people would be Republicans, Dre and Bow arrange to meet Hillary’s wealthy and conservative parents. Meanwhile, everyone teases Zoey when she finds out she needs glasses.

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  • 15
    October 1, 2014
    36
    17

    Season 1, Episode 2

    Dre wants to teach Andre Jr. the birds and the bees.

    When Dre decides to give Andre Jr. the sex talk, he instantly regrets it when his son won't stop asking questions.

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  • 16
    January 14, 2015
    27
    10

    Season 1, Episode 12

    Dre tries to teach the kids the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While on the way to the family's annual ski trip, Dre teaches the kids about Martin Luther King Jr.

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  • 17
    October 3, 2017
    28
    11

    Season 4, Episode 1

    Dre raises awareness for a new holiday.

    The Johnsons go to Jack and Diane’s school play about Columbus Day, and Dre is dismayed by the historically inaccurate way that the holiday is portrayed. He feels like there aren’t enough black holidays, so he enlists Aloe Blacc at work to help him create a catchy song to raise awareness for a holiday worth celebrating, Juneteenth.

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  • 18
    May 4, 2016
    22
    5

    Season 2, Episode 22

    Dre has always felt his older son was never like him, but when he finally meets Junior’s cool friends, Dre is all in and happy that his son may have the opportunity for an actual social life. Meanwhile, Bow is dealing with Ruby, Zoey, Jack and Diane not confessing to things breaking around the house and decides to handle it her own way after some judgment from Vivian.

    Dre meets Junior's cool friends.

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  • 19
    February 10, 2016
    26
    10

    Season 2, Episode 14

    After Dre notices that his neighbor Janine has never invited his family to any of her pool parties, he assumes she is racially stereotyping them as a family that doesn’t swim. The kids are shocked to find out that, in fact, Dre doesn’t know how to swim. At work, Dre shares the story with his colleagues, and Daphne Lido is not convinced it’s a race thing, so Dre confronts Janine directly. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane are a part of the Girls’ and Boys’ Rovers Organization, and they envy each other’s activities.

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  • 20
    February 22, 2017
    27
    12

    Season 3, Episode 16

    Dre is forced to participate in jury duty after Junior responds to the summons that was thrown away. The case is supposed to be open and shut, but when Dre sees that the defendant is a young African American, he feels a civic responsibility to give him a fair trial. Meanwhile, Bow decides to let the kids swear in the house since they are more open with her that way, but she and Ruby soon regret the decision.

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  • 21
    October 10, 2017
    20
    5

    Season 4, Episode 2

    Bow is suffering from postpartem depression.

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  • 22
    28
    14

    Season 1, Episode 10

    Dre campaigns to be the new Santa at the annual Christmas party.

    Dre endeavors to take over the role of office Santa from the head of human resources.

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  • 23
    October 28, 2015
    15
    0

    Season 2, Episode 6

    The cousins come to town.

    Ever since he was a kid, Dre has loved Halloween. Now that he lives in one of those “good candy neighborhoods,” kids come from all over the city to trick-or-treat, including Dre’s own nieces and nephews. The cousins are known for roughhousing and The Johnson kids aren’t happy when they come around, but Dre feels his kids could use some toughening. Meanwhile, Dre gets a surprise visit from his own cousin, June Bug, who used to torment Dre as a kid.

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  • 24

    Season 3, Episode 11

    Dre and Bow make their home an internet-free zone. When Diane stumbles onto some websites that give her more than she bargained for, Dre and Bow must take action. Concerned that the internet is corrupting their children, Dre and Bow decide to make their home an internet free-zone and deal with the backlash.

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  • 25
    March 15, 2017
    20
    6

    Season 3, Episode 18

    Dre considers taking paternity leave after he realizes that Zoey is arguably the best child and their bond developed while he was unemployed when she was born. Meanwhile, Bow tries to hide her pregnancy in order to get a promotion, and Ruby convinces the kids that their nanny, Vivian, is stealing from them.

    Dre considers taking paternity leave at work.

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