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The Best Northern Exposure Episodes 

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545 votes 138 voters 7.8k views 26 items

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

List of the best Northern Exposure episodes, as voted on by other fans of the series. Northern Exposure is a sitcom that ran from 1990-1995 about a New York City physician who gets sent to practice in Alaska. With so many memorable episodes of the show, it's hard to trust just one person's opinion of what the top Northern Exposure episodes of all time are. Fans of Northern Exposure are extremely passionate about the show, and there is often debate over which episodes are better than others. 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.

List features episodes like "Sleeping With the Enemy" and "The Mommy's Curse." What is the best Northern Exposure episode of all time? Look below and find out, and bask in the nostalgia of the Northern Exposure TV show.
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list ordered by
1
Spring Break is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Spring Break Episode: 5, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 2

Original Airing: May 06 1991

Things get a little crazy as the town waits for the annual ice breakup and the annual ""running of the bulls"" down the streets of Cicely. Joel and Maggie find themselves ...more
2
Burning Down the House ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Burning Down the House Episode: 14, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 3

Original Airing: Feb 03 1992

Maggie receives an unexpected visit and some unwanted news from her mother. Meanwhile, Chris searches everywhere for just the right cow to fling for his conceptual art piece and Joel becomes ...more
3
Aurora Borealis- A Fairy... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Episode: 8, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 1

Original Airing: Aug 30 1990

The approach of the Aurora Borealis and the constant light produces some strange behavior among the residents of Cicely. Chris abandons the radio station to build an unusual piece of modern ...more
4
Northern Lights is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
oddwaters added Northern Lights Episode: 18, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 4

Original Airing: Mar 01 1993

Joel goes on strike when the state of Alaska will not allow him time off for a Caribbean vacation he was planning. Chris has trouble seeking inspiration for his new sculpture. A vagrant's ...more
5
Cicely is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Cicely Episode: 23, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 3

Original Airing: May 18 1992

Joel meets an old man who's returned to Cicely after many years. The man tells him the story of two remarkable women, Roslyn and Cicely, whom transformed the town into ""the Paris of ...more
6
The Big Feast is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
The Big Feast Episode: 21, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 4

Original Airing: Mar 22 1993

When Maggie distributes the invitations for Maurice's 25th Anniversary Bash for Minnifield Communications an event ""everyone"" is attending Joel doesn't get one. Shelly ...more
7
Pilot is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Pilot Episode: 1, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 1

Original Airing: Jul 12 1990

Dr. Joel Fleischman arrives in Anchorage, Alaska to fulfill his part of a bargain that paid $125,000 for his medical education in exchange for service in the state as a doctor. Sure, it'll be ...more
8
Our Wedding is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Our Wedding Episode: 22, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 3

Original Airing: May 11 1992

As their wedding approaches, Adam debates with Joel about women and Eve lets a gung-ho Shelly take over the wedding plans as she worries about more important matters. Maggie and Joel try in ...more
9
First Snow is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
First Snow Episode: 10, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 5

Original Airing: Dec 13 1993

As the town prepares for winter, a healthy elderly patient tells Joel she is dying, much to his disbelief. Maggie decides to redecorate her house before winter sets in and gets a new chair that ...more
10
Midnight Sun is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Midnight Sun Episode: 2, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 4

Original Airing: Oct 05 1992

Joel is charged with energy as the sun hasn't sent and he uses his pent up energy to try to coach Cicely's basketball team to victory. Holling is distracted by Shelly's cheerleading outfit. The ...more
11
The Final Frontier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
The Final Frontier Episode: 20, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 3

Original Airing: Apr 27 1992

Maurice becomes curious about the influx of Japanese tourists to the area during the Northern Lights, Holling sets out to discover if Jesse the bear is really dead, and Maggie leads the curious ...more
12
Up River is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Up River Episode: 8, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 6

Original Airing: Nov 14 1994

Maurice sends Ed after Joel, who's moved up river; and Joel tells Ed of the few days he and Maggie spent together, where every time they got together, there was gunfire. Chris hires a contractor ...more
13
It Happened in Juneau is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
It Happened in Juneau Episode: 21, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 3

Original Airing: May 04 1992

Joel foresees sophisticated delights when he travels to Juneau for a medical conference but winds up with good old Maggie, meanwhile back in Cicely, Chris finds himself tongue-tied with the ...more
14
The Quest is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
The Quest Episode: 15, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 6

Original Airing: Feb 08 1995

Joel finds a map and brings Maggie with him on a quest to find a mythical city, they meet a belligerent gatekeeper, and when faced with a crossroads, Joel sees his future and departs. Phil ...more
15
Thanksgiving is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Thanksgiving Episode: 8, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 4

Original Airing: Nov 23 1992

The Indians in Cicely celebrate Thanksgiving by throwing tomatoes at white people. Joel is Ed's first victim and he is angered because in his words he is ""definitely not ...more
16
Three Doctors is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Three Doctors Episode: 1, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 5

Original Airing: Sep 20 1993

Ed wakes up in strange places with no clues about how he got there. Joel contracts ""glacier dropsy"" which gives him the feeling of pins pricking his nose, a fear of shrimp, ...more
17
Sleeping With the Enemy ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Sleeping With the Enemy Episode: 24, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 4

Original Airing: May 17 1993

Maurice's son comes to ask for his permission on his choice of a bride. There is a little hitch, Ron thinks that the new bride maybe the daughter of North Korean Colonel Pak Soon Ye, the butcher ...more
18
Heal Thyself is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Heal Thyself Episode: 8, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 5

Original Airing: Nov 15 1993

Ed accompanies Leonard on a house call and has success with his first try at being a shaman. Joel teaches a childbirth class which Holling finds amusing and makes Shelly embarrassed and causes ...more
19
Old Tree is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Episode: 25, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 4

Original Airing: May 24 1993

The town's oldest tree is dying. Shelly wakes up and finds that she can't talk, but she can sing. The town asks Joel to diagnose Old Vicki. Chris goes wireless and is freed from the confines of ...more
20
Lovers and Madmen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Lovers and Madmen Episode: 24, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 5

Original Airing: May 23 1994

Joel is the only one awestruck by his discovery of a frozen woolly mammoth. Chris gets reacquainted with a girl whose beauty he remembers from high school; however, when she arrives, all is not ...more
21
My Mother, My Sister is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
My Mother, My Sister Episode: 18, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 3

Original Airing: Mar 16 1992

An abandoned baby gets attention from the whole town and helps awaken Adam's paternal instincts while Shelly's life is unsettled by a visit from her youthful, giddy mother and her new boy
22
Northern Hospitality is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Northern Hospitality Episode: 16, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 5

Original Airing: Feb 28 1994

Joel discovers that his friends consider him remiss about entertaining them, so he plans a dinner party; later he worries about potential food poisoning. Holling tells Shelly that he is not a ...more
23
A Cup of Joe is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
A Cup of Joe Episode: 9, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 5

Original Airing: Nov 22 1993

Chris suffers an anxiety attack during the written part of the exam, when he decides to become a pilot. Holling and Ruth-Anne's friendship undergoes a strain when a diary that Ed has found shows ...more
24
Dinner at Seven-Thirty ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Dinner at Seven-Thirty Episode: 1, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 6

Original Airing: Sep 19 1994

Joel takes a spiritual journey to New York City after drinking orange juice that contains some Indian folk medicine and sees how life might have been. There he and his wife Shelly, a corporate ...more
25
Blood Ties is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Northern Exposure Episodes
Blood Ties Episode: 23, Season: Northern Exposure - Season 5

Original Airing: May 16 1994

Though he promotes it on the air, Chris has reservations about making a donation for Maurice's blood drive. Ed discovers his rare blood type is shared by another person in town, so he hires a ...more