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The Best Episodes of 'Black-ish'

Updated November 24, 2020 2.4k votes 250 voters 11.8k views137 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
    The Word
    96
    26

    The Word

    September 23, 2015

    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
    Hope
    85
    23

    Hope

    February 24, 2016

    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
    The Nod
    59
    15

    The Nod

    October 8, 2014

    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
    LEMONS
    69
    24

    LEMONS

    January 11, 2017

    Season 3, Episode 12

    Tensions run high after the presidential election.

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  • 5
    Crime and Punishment
    66
    25

    Crime and Punishment

    October 22, 2014

    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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  • 6
    Advance to Go (Collect $200)
    47
    9

    Season 4, Episode 4

    The competition gets intense during family game night.

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  • 7
    Sprinkles
    43
    10

    Sprinkles

    May 10, 2017

    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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  • 8
    The Dozens
    49
    20

    The Dozens

    February 25, 2015

    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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  • 9
    Jack of All Trades
    31
    4

    Jack of All Trades

    November 9, 2016

    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
    Chop Shop
    31
    7

    Chop Shop

    November 18, 2015

    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
    Being Bow-racial
    37
    15

    Being Bow-racial

    November 30, 2016

    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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  • 12
    The Peer-ent Trap
    29
    7

    The Peer-ent Trap

    April 29, 2015

    Season 1, Episode 21

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

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  • 13
    Sink or Swim
    25
    4

    Sink or Swim

    February 10, 2016

    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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  • 14
    The Talk
    34
    15

    The Talk

    October 1, 2014

    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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  • 15
    Martin Luther SKiing Day
    28
    9

    Martin Luther SKiing Day

    January 14, 2015

    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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  • 16
    Elephant in the Room
    21
    2

    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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  • 17
    Juneteenth
    27
    9

    Juneteenth

    October 3, 2017

    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
    Charlie in Charge
    21
    3

    Charlie in Charge

    November 11, 2015

    Season 2, Episode 7

    The kids help Charlie reconnect with an old flame.

    While Dre and Bow take Zoey on a trip to visit Bow's alma mater, Brown University, Dre battles with his fear of flying through a little pharmaceutical assistance to get him through the flight. One loopy miscommunication leads to another and somehow Charlie ends up babysitting the kids. When Charlie shares details about Dominique (played by Amber Rose), an old flame that has come back into the picture, the kids hatch a plan to charm her by pretending that the home and children are all a part of Charlie's domesticated lifestyle. Meanwhile, Bow becomes over-excited about sharing Brown University with Zoey and after a series of embarrassing moments, threatens to turn Zoey off from Brown altogether.

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  • 19
    Black Nanny
    24
    6

    Black Nanny

    March 23, 2016

    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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  • 20
    One Angry Man
    25
    9

    One Angry Man

    February 22, 2017

    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
    Black Santa/White Christmas
    31
    15

    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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  • 22
    The Purge
    24
    8

    The Purge

    October 26, 2016

    Season 3, Episode 5

    Dre must remind Junior of his master pranking skills.

    After Junior embarrasses Dre during a basketball game, Dre decides to remind Junior of his master pranking skills so he’ll never challenge him again. Meanwhile, the neighborhood participates in a “mischief night” during Halloween where petty crimes become legal, and Ruby takes it too far with the kids.

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  • 23
    I'm A Survivor
    23
    7

    I'm A Survivor

    February 15, 2017

    Season 3, Episode 15

    When Dre goes back to Compton for a funeral, he is reunited with his old crew and struggles with survivor’s remorse for the friends he left behind. Meanwhile, Bow becomes self-conscious when Ruby criticizes her parenting style.

    Dre returns to Compton and reunites with his old crew.

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  • 24
    Old Digger
    26
    12

    Old Digger

    January 13, 2016

    Season 2, Episode 12

    Dre and Bow meet the new man in Ruby's life.

    Dre has never had a problem with Pops dating, but when it comes to Ruby, he won't let anyone come between them. When Ruby invites Dre and Bow to meet the new man in her life, Dre immediately goes on the defensive and finds any reason to dislike him. Once Pops learns that Ruby's suitor is the real deal, he comes up with a plan to distract her. Meanwhile, Junior meets a girl on a dating site, and Zoey, Jack and Diane convince him he's being scammed, so they devise a plan to meet "the girl" in person.

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  • 25
    Super Rich Kids
    17
    2

    Super Rich Kids

    May 4, 2016

    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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