Worst episode of your favourite shows (open spoilers for anything more than a year old)

I love Columbo, even though it’s formulaic; even though it breaks the rule of murder mysteries by revealing the killer at the start; whatever flaws it has, I can still enjoy watching it.

Except the episode named Mind Over Mayhem. It’s terrible.

The victim is killed because he knows the murderer’s son plagiarised a ‘theory of molecular structure’ (only a few centuries late)

A child genius enters three completely banal facts about the crime into a computer terminal and expects a solution (the response given by the computer is ‘does not compute’ Gah!)

Robby the Robot (or the top half of him, anyway) appears in earnest as a fully functional robot, capable of understanding complex natural language commands.

I know it was 1974, but wow, that’s the worst episode, for me.

There are no bad episodes of The Wire, Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones.

But for shows that I like a lot but which are not my favorite:
-There are a fair number of mediocre episodes of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, mainly in season 1
-The worst episode of Firefly is the one with the smuggled dead body. Many plot holes, and just not very entertaining
-The worst episode of My So Called Life is probably the second episode, Dancing in the Dark. It’s just generally bland.

The Michael Jackson episode of The Simpsons. At least, that was the worst from when the show was otherwise consistently excellent.

I loved Battlestar Galactica, but “Black Market” was just terrible. The ending may have had a bigger role in undoing the legacy of the show (I really, really didn’t like it.), but taken in isolation “Black Market” was the lowest the show went.

For The Simpsons, I would suggest the episode where Mr. Burns pays Homer to get abused for his amusement and ends up getting raped by a panda. The show had been on a downward slide for awhile, but that was the kind of crushing moment when it became clear the show of old was gone and had been replaced with a shoddy imitation.

“Starsky and Hutch” - the episode with Diane; a nurse and a love interest of Hutch’s who became a homicidal maniac.
“The Night Stalker” - “The Sentry”
“Baa Baa Black Sheep” - that General’s son who was a loony.
(Original) “Mission Impossible” - two-part episode on slavery.
“The Thin Blue Line” - “Alternative Culture”
“The Professionals” - “Death Wish”
“Friday the 13th” - series ender wherein Brian got, well, spoiler.
“Little House on the Prairie” - series ender
“Macgyver” - Pete Thornton’s son went astray
“UFO” (British) - that episode wherein they had some sort of a mobile Hubble telescope set to pursue and alien craft to photograph their planet.
“Thunderbird” - “Thunderbird 5” (not sure of the title)
“Samurai” (Japanese) - nearly all last season episodes wherein Shintaro was already armed with a pistol, while the actor playing his usual ninja nemesis has been promoted by the producers to sheriff.
“My Favorite Martian” - one where Uncle Martin became a singing sensation.

I have to mention my favorite episode (can’t help it):
“Starsky and Hutch” - Starsky was drugged and had 24 hours to live
“The Night Stalker” - “The Vampire”
“Baa Baa Black Sheep” - “Devil of the Slot”
(Original) “Mission Impossible” - the one with Simon Oakland as a mob boss.
“The Thin Blue Line” - “Rag Week”
“The Professionals” - “Mixed Doubles”
“Friday the 13th” - “Cupid’s Quiver”
“Little House on the Prairie” - that town fair where you had all sorts of contests
“Macgyver” - Macgyver’s college homecoming where they had a barricade competiton
“UFO” (British) - that episode wherein the aliens pressed a two-pronged attack on moon base.
“Thunderbird” - can’t remember
“Samurai” (Japanese) - a country bumpkin (not a samurai) nearly beats Shintaro with a sword.
“My Favorite Martian” - that episode with Alvin and that crooked inventor Dunlop.

For me, it’s Dead Weight. You shot the guy in front of a plate-glass window, where anybody could see you and somebody did, which is why the cops got called to the scene? You hid the body, but so ineptly that it was found without Columbo’s help? You framed nobody else, and have no alibi for yourself? You damn well sure better have done something clever with the murder weapon, or I’m not seeing why we need the good lieutenant on this one at all…

…and, no, just saying the bullet won’t match your gun isn’t enough; Robert Culp did that because the bullet didn’t match his gun, and he framed someone else, and he had an alibi, and, oh, yeah, nobody saw him do it; you’re, like, the opposite of that.

Psych, the USA TV show, is generally pretty good. It’s comedy, and sometimes the antics get a bit strained, but overall I can get through even the silliest Sean rant.

The episode before the series finale, A Nightmare on State Street, blows monkeys. The plot: Gus is having nightmares, and visiting a dream therapist. There’s been a murder, and Sean and Gus are trying to solve the case.

This is the most discombobulated mess of a disaster I’ve seen in a long time. It’s told via flashbacks and Gus is dreaming and reliving his week as a nightmare, because he hasn’t been sleeping well lately. The therapist is Bruce Campbell playing some new agey dream analyst that apparently is stimulating Gus to have nightmares and then trying to record/capture the nightmares. There are zombies because, hey, who doesn’t like zombies? Everything is weird because Gus is dreaming. There aren’t a lot of examples of Sean using his powers to deduce things, there’s just a lot of Gus crying and running. The solution to the crime is rather obvious and solved without Sean and Gus (they solve it, but every time Sean tries to tell Lassiter something he discovered, the new head detective has already beat them to the punch.) There’s no Juliet.

From Star Trek: The Next Generation, the worst episode is easily Genesis. That’s the one where the crew de-evolves. Turrible, just turrible.

Fawlty Towers: “The Kipper and the Corpse.” The setup is good, but the second half devolves into one long tedious repetitious concept, that even Basil could have avoided.

Doctor Who (classic): “Kinda.” Fairly dull overall, but the pseudometaphysics in it is just awful and the concept of the villain pretty cliched.

STTNG: “Family.” Everything about it is cliched and stupid from Worf’s cliched Jewish parents to Westley’s father’s morass of feel-good cliches of a speech. Worst is Picards visiting his home (you know it’s in France because everyone speaks with a British accent), where two minutes of mud wrestling clears up decades of resentment. The episode was hated when it came out, and the producers took the wrong lesson from it, thinking that the fans wanted space battles. As often was the case, they got it wrong: fans would have loved seeing more human drama in the show, but make it something we haven’t seen a thousand times before.

I loved The Sopranos overall but it had a couple of shoddy enough episodes. I didn’t like the food poisoning dream sequence episode or the coma alternative life episode at all. I can’t think of any others I dislike even 1/10th as much as either of those.

I just watched the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy and I thought it was by far the worst, right above the “musical” episode.

Christina Yang has 2 fantasies about where her life will end up - one with Owen and a bunch of kids and one without Owen.

I think you missed the point.

Her fantasies were about the realization that despite the fact that they love each other, being together means one of them giving up something that is key to their happiness. It was her realization that they cannot be together and continue to be happy. She’s not a character to talk about her feelings so this is a way to explain her motivations for leaving Seattle and moving on. I did like the nod to groundhog day when she saved Jackson’s hand at the end

Magnum P.I. The Kona Winds. It’s just an excuse to retell Body Heat with a happy ending. To make the story fit, everyone has to act out of character, including making Magnum a down on his luck p.i. The characters blame their behavior on the Kona winds. I blame it on poor writing.

Any of the 70s/80s sitcom “very special episodes”. Sorry, but Willis getting abused wasn’t a knee-slapper.

Oh god yes.

Valerie Bertinelli’s character getting sexually assaulted on One Day at a Time, with the question of whether or not she was “asking for it” by pretending to be on birth control. WAT.

The flaming Jm J. Bullock on Too Close for Comfort getting straight up raped by two hugely fat women in a bathtub full of Jell-o, and the whole thing getting played for laughs. WHAT THE FUCK.

The bottle episode of Six Feet Under, when David gets carjacked. I think that’s the worst episode of anything good I’ve ever seen.

Here’s a decent write up. What annoyed me the most was the actor who played the carjacker - Michael Weston. He was not in the same league as the regulars, and it was embarrassing.

I didn’t recognize the title, but I knew exactly which one you meant! And Eddie Albert couldn’t seem to figure out how he got caught!

The Columbo one that bugs me is “An Excercise in Fatality” where Robert Conrad murders someone at a health club, and has to dress the body, and the clue that breaks the case is the dead man’s shoes were tied “backwards” (from the toe side). I would love to see Columbo in court trying to use that as evidence. He’d be laughed out of the building. (aside-would he wear the trenchcoat in court?)

Speaking of Mystery Movies, there is one McMillan and Wife that is horrible: “The Fine Art of Staying Alive”. It’s like a clip show, except I think all the scenes are new. Sally is kidnapped, and sends clues to Mac that relate to how they met. He spends the entire episode being led around in sappy flashbacks.

Remington Steele: “Illustrated Steele,” the one with the daily comic strip artist.
Quantum Leap: “A Portrait for Troian,” the one where Donald Bellisario’s entire frickin’ family gets their SAG cards.

A fair few number of Bablyon 5 episodes I skip when I rewatch.

TKO, while the secondary plot is ok, and it doesn’t appear on too many lists of their worst episodes, always sticks out in my mind. Probably because Voyager did a very similar episode, and I despise Voyager.

See, that I can quite easily forgive because Columbo frequently uses bluff just to break the villain’s nerve. We could (maybe even correctly) assume he had no real intention of using that as real evidence.