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TV Shows with the Best Episode Names

Updated December 1, 2020 5.1k votes 1.2k voters 60.1k views37 items

List RulesVote up the shows with the best episode names.

Are you one of those people who tracks and remembers the TV episode names of your favorite shows? Yeah, us too. And the Internet has made that much easier than just trying to store TV episode titles in your old nerd noggin. Thanks to early Star Trek conventions, Trekkies got to know the names of episodes from blooper reels.  

Unless you read Film Threat, EW or TV Guide religiously, you probably talked about episodes like this, “Did you see the one where Starsky shoots the bad guy and then Huggy Bear says that thing about keeping his pimp hand strong?” Okay, that never happened but that is the way it goes when one does not have a television episode title to reference. 

Creating titles for TV series episodes is part of the creative process, sometimes an after thought or a mere functionality to describe the storyline of that particular episode. Due to the fact that every detail of a TV show is now online, writers are fairly aware that audiences do remember and reference the episode names. Everyone knows about “The Contest” on Seinfeld. People still talk about Lost’s “The Constant.”

There are tons of TV episode titles out there that are clever and amazing and we tried out best to give you a solid collection of some of the standouts. Many times a TV episode name may be clever but the actual episode is kind of meh. Sometimes we favor a episode name because we have serious feelings about that particular one. Fans agree on one thing, though: Too damn many shows use “Tabula Rasa.”  

Sometimes there are clues in the episode titles, references to a large or subtle storyline or character arc. Sometimes there is snark or poetry. Whatever the case, the shows that put some umph into their episode names made this list. Who’s clever? Who’s cryptic? Who’s a tease? Upvote the television series with the best episode titles below!
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  • Friends
    Photo: NBC

    Friends creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman wanted a unique way to remember each episode and knew that the titles wouldn’t be shown in the credits. So, the writers’ running gag was to refer to each episode by prefacing it with “The One…” The only exception was the series finale, which was titled “The Last One.”   

    Standouts:  
    “The One Where No One’s Ready”  
    “The One with All the Thanksgivings”  
    “The One with the Prom Video”  
    “The One Where Ross and Rachel… You Know”  
    “The One With the Embryos”  
    “The One Where Ross Got High”  
    “The One with the Holiday Armadillo”  
    “The One with Unagi” 
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    Great titles?

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  • The Simpsons
    Photo: Fox

    Since the earliest days, The Simpsons has had a field day with episode names, playing off of original titles and notable aspects of pop culture, for instance, “The Last Temptation of Krust,” “Bart of Darkness,” “A Fish Called Selma,” and “I Love Lisa.” But sometimes, the episode names were simply about their subject and didn’t need any punning, like “Mr. Plow” and “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween special series.  

    With some of the most whip-smart people in the writers' room, The Simpsons episode titles are weird, brilliant, and a cultural encyclopedia - just like the show is.  

    Standouts:  
    “The Crepes of Wrath” 
    “Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Three Times” 
    “D’Oh-in in the Wind” 
    “Much Apu About Nothing”  
    “Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner”  
    “Beyond Blunderdome”  
    “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” 
    "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)" 

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    Great titles?

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  • Aside from being full of snarky snark snark, it stands to reason that the episode titles of Psych would be amusing. But you already knew that.   

    Standouts:  
    “Spellingg Bee”  
    “Woman Seeking Dead Husband: Smokers Okay, No Pets”  
    “Poker, I Barely Know Her”  
    "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me, Oops He's Dead" 
    "Gus' Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy" 
    “Any Given Friday Night at 10PM, 9PM Central" (Psych's time slot)
    "There Might Be Blood” 
    “You Can’t Handle This Episode”  
    "Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion"
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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation did its best to keep up the episode name legacy. The series was a definite new beast and there weren't any crew members in red shirts, just a lovely maroon. Everyone relaxed when Captain Picard showed up in that color. But the goal for space entertainment was at a fever pitch. The episode titles had to follow suit.  

    Like the original, this Star Trek incarnation's episode titles could also be excellent band or pet names. And probably are. Plus, The Next Generation writers did stuff with Q puns that is pretty impressive.  

    Standouts:   
    “The Naked Now”  
    “Hide and Q”  
    “Where Silence Has Lease”  
    “The Outrageous Okona”  
    “The Schizoid Man”  
    “The Ensigns of Command”  
    “Who Watches the Watchers”  
    “The Bonding”  
    "Déjà Q" 
    "The Most Toys" 
    "Ménage à Troi" 
    "Qpid" 
    "Silicon Avatar"  
    "I, Borg" 
    “A Fistful of Datas” 
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    Great titles?

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