The necessities needed for any TV show to be cult classics and be amongst one of the best to ever air on-screen include having a great cast, creative writers, and smart producers. The content and storylines of the episodes of a TV series play a part in what can make TV show one of the most memorable ever. With so many great TV shows and episodes to select from, here are the 10 Most Memorable Episodes in TV History:
10. “Silence Is Not Golden” Full House (Season 6 Episode 17):
When television viewers think of Full House, the episode “Silence Is Not Golden” tends to usually not among one of the show’s most memorable episodes. For me, the reason why it stands out is because of the subject matter of the episode’s main storyline: child abuse. The main plot of “Silence Is Not Golden” is Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) being paired up with her nemesis Charles (J.D. Daniels) for a class assignment which involves finding the best in people. While interviewing Charles, Stephanie is sworn to secrecy after discovering that Charles is physically abused by his father. When Charles doesn’t show up to school the next day due to an “accident”, Stephanie knows that Charles’s dad hurt him and ends up lashing out at various people as a result. When Jesse (John Stamos) notices this, Stephanie is forced to confess Charles’s secret and gets angry when Jesse calls the police. Jesse reassures her that even though she might feel lousy, she did the right thing as Charles is placed in a foster home away from his dad. The episode ends with Sweetin and Stamos make an appearance to encourage viewers to report anything if they suspect anyone they know is being abused.
9. “Last of The Stark” Game of Thrones (Season 8 Episode 4)
While the acting abilities of the cast were highly praised, the final season of the iconic HBO series Game of Thrones received mixed reviews (its’ worst ever) over the storyline and plot. Many fans were left disappointed with how the final season of the hit shot turned out. However, the third-to-last episode of the show will become one of the most memorable TV episodes ever not because of its’ intriguing storyline, but because of a gaffe that happened towards the end of the episode. During the filming of the banquet scenes, someone accidentally left what appeared to be a Starbucks Coffee cup on set and viewers could see (for only a few seconds) the cup in one of the shots. Once viewers noticed, the gaffe sent Twitter ablaze.
8. “Red Dress” Malcolm In The Middle (Season 1 Episode 2):
Although it was only the second episode ever to air of the Emmy-award winning sitcom, the storyline of the episode “Red Dress” helped make Malcolm in the Middle become one of the best sitcoms ever. This episode is memorable is that it is Lois’s anger and frustration over her youngest three trouble-making sons’ refusal to admit they burned the dress she planned to wear for her anniversary dinner with Hal. Her anger and stubbornness is so much that she practically does everything in the book to punish them and get them to confess that she actually forgets to go to dinner. As a result, Hal is left all alone and ends up eating dinner with restaurant staff.
7. “The One Where Everyone Finds Out” Friends (Season 5 Episode 14)
Monica and Chandler have been in a secret relationship since their one night stand in London for Ross’s second marriage. Heading into this episode, Joey is the only person who knows after putting several clues together, but Rachel also knows after accidentally overhearing a phone conversation between the two with several innuendos. In this episode, Phoebe finds out after catching them having sex in Monica and Rachel’s apartment from Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment across the street. Joey, Rachel, and Phoebe scheme to get the two to admit publically that they are seeing each other (Monica and Chandler are unaware that Rachel and Phoebe know about their relationship). After several mind games, the thing that makes this episode memorable is the final one where Chandler ‘invites’ Phoebe over to his and Joey’s apartment for a ‘date’ where the two are trying to force the other to crack. The thing ends after an awkward kiss between the two leads Chandler to confess his love for Monica.
6. “Down A Tree” Good Luck Charlie (Season 4 Episode 19):
The only children’s show to make the list, the second to last episode of the iconic Disney show is one of TV’s most memorable episodes ever because of the subplot line of Charlie’s parents Amy and Bob arranigng a play date for their daughter with one of her school friends, only to discover that Charlie’s friend’s parents are a lesbian couple. The introduction of a lesbian couple broke barriers as it was the first time ever that children’s network had a same-sex couple featured on any of its’ shows. While other channels have featured same-sex couples on its shows (Ex: Cam and Mitch on ABC’s Modern Family), the decision to do so on a children’s network was met with high praise and criticism.
5. “College” The Sopranos (Season 1 Episode 5):
Highly ranked amongst the most memorable TV Episodes ever and the best episode of the HBO Award-Winning Drama The Sopranos, the fifth episode of the first season earned the show two Primetime Emmy Awards. “College” does a great job of giving us a deep insight into the series’ lead character Tony. In this episode, while on an East Coast college tour with his daughter Meadow, Tony spots Febby Petruillo, a member of a rival mob family who was relocated under the Witness Protection Program. While Meadow is in an interview at one of the schools, Tony successfully locates Febby and kills him with his bare hands.
4. “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept” One Tree Hill (Season 3 Episode 16):
There are several episodes that stand out from The CW teen drama, but the most memorable TV Episode from One Tree Hill is “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept”. This episode is one of the most memorable TV episodes ever because of its subject plotline: school shootings. Though the topic of school shootings is a very sensitive one, producers made it clear that reason they made the episode was not to glorify school shootings but to display awareness of how these types of events affect more than just those directly involved. Bullied student Jimmy Edwards sparks chaos at Tree Hill High School when he fires a gun in one of the school’s highways and main characters Nathan and Lucas Scott put themselves at risk to protect their loved ones and fellow classmates. Sadly, the episode ends tragically with the death of two people (Mini Spoiler: It’s neither Nathan or Lucas). This episode makes my list because every time I hear about new mass shootings, I remember “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept”.
3. “The Contest” Seinfeld (Season 4 Episode 10):
In this episode, Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George hold a contest (with money involved) to determine who can go the longest time without masturbating. Considered as one of the greatest television episodes of all time, “The Contest” is one of the most memorable TV episodes ever because of the show’s writers’ creativity to move along the storyline without having any of the characters saying the term ‘masturbation’. At the time of the episode’s initial airing, masturbation wasn’t a suitable topic for TV), so the dialogue used in a variety of euphemisms to imply what they were talking about. Larry David, the writer of this episode, earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for his work.
2. “The One With Ross’s Wedding Part 2” Friends (Season 4 Episode 24):
The only show with two episodes to make this list, part two of the season 4 finale of the iconic TV show Friends is one of TV’s most memorable episodes ever as it features two of the most shocking plot twists in the history of television. The first plot twist occurs after the rehearsal dinner when Ross runs into Chandler’s hotel room, where Chandler is in the bed, to exclaim how excited he is about his wedding day. After Ross leaves, viewers in for a shock when Monica emerges out from under the bedsheets asking Chandler if Ross might have seen her. This event is where one of TV’s favorite couples first begin their relationship. The other shocking plot twist that makes this episode memorable is at the end when during Ross’s wedding vows, he says Rachel instead of Emily, which ended the season in a cliffhanger to leave viewers wondering what would happen next.
1. “Papa’s Got A Brand New Excuse” Fresh Prince of Bel Air (Season 4 Episode 2):
This episode will forever be one of the most memorable episodes in the history of television because of its emotional final scene. The episode shows Will’s father, Lou return back in Will’s life after leaving Will and his mother 14 years prior. At the end of the episode, Lou lets Will down again and after Uncle Phil makes Lou leave, Will officially cuts his father out of his life. After Lou’s departure, Will breaks down in an emotional monologue about how he survived in life so far with his father missing out on some of the biggest moments of his life and vows to continue to be more successful before breaking down into tears asking Uncle Phil “How come he don’t want me, man,?”. The episode ends with Will and Uncle Phil embracing each other and crying.