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The Best "This American Life" Episodes 

Cameron Quasney
Updated November 22, 2018 933 votes 512 voters 24.1k views

This list of the greatest This American Life episodes of all time ranks the popular radio show's top installments, with links to the episodes for reference, entertainment, and enjoyment. Many public radio fans are truly devoted to this show, which is hosted by Ira Glass, who won the Edward R. Murrow Award for his work on the program. The best This American Life episodes (and even the not quite as great ones) are produced by WBEZ and leave audiences wanting more than just the hour of storytelling. Riveting radio is arguably hard to come by these days, but these episodes are full of mystery, hilarity, and tragedy.

This American Life best episodes range from "Sinatra" (which will teach even the biggest Frank Sinatra aficionados new and surprising details) to "Back to Penn State" (which kept the heat on the topical issues of the day). The best TAL episodes are downloadable, streamable, and unforgettable. From shocking interviews to amazing anecdotes, the stories heard on these This American Life podcast episodes have stuck with old fans and created new fans.

Check out this list, peruse the classic episodes, and learn about "Babysitting," "Guns," or "Birds & Bees" in ways you never thought possible. This list of TAL podcast episodes is votable and needs your votes and opinions to truly determine the best episodes of this insightful, intellectual, and culturally important podcast and radio show.
list ordered by
1
Three Miles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
2
129 Cars is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
3
Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
4
Switched At Birth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
5
House on Loon Lake is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
6
Mistakes Were Made is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
Tucker DeSaulnier added Mistakes Were Made
7
#1 Party School is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
8
The Giant Pool of Money ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
9
No Coincidence, No Story... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
10
Notes on Camp is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
11
Act V is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
12
Babysitting is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
13
Who's Canadian? is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
14
Abdi and the Golden Tick... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
15
Somewhere in the Arabian... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
16
The Problem We All Live ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
17
First Day is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
18
Guns is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
19
Father's Day is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
20
Toxie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
21
The Ghost of Bobby Dunba... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
Kyle Curry added The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar
22
Same Bed, Different Drea... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
23
When You Talk About Musi... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
24
Throwing the First Punch... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes
25
Day At The Beach is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best "This American Life" Episodes