Entertainment

The 25 Best Episodes of ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ Ranked

"What you did was impulsive, capricious, and melodramatic… but it was also wrong."

the Rose family
The Rose Family | Courtesy of Pop TV
The Rose Family | Courtesy of Pop TV

When a new Canadian sitcom starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara dropped back in 2015, we hoped for instant buzz. With comedy classics like Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration already under their belt, the Levy-O'Hara comedy duo had more than proved their talent and effortless, natural ability to play off of one another. Instead, Schitt's Creek followed the path of other Canadian sleeper hits like Trailer Park Boys and Letterkenny, only rising to cult-favorite status partway through its six-season run on Pop TV. With the series wrapping up in April 2020 (and the first five seasons available on Netflix), it's as good a time as any to reminisce.

Schitt's Creek follows the high society Rose family's fall from grace as their fortune evaporates from unwittingly investing in a Ponzi scheme. Kicked out of their mansion, the smug has-beens are forced to post up in a motel in Schitt's Creek, a podunk town they once bought as a gag, until they get back on their feet. Levy and O'Hara play dynasty heads Johnny and Moira Rose, and while their chemistry was all but guaranteed, we weren't prepared for how much of the spotlight they'd share with co-stars Dan Levy (son David Rose), Annie Murphy (daughter Alexis Rose), Sarah Levy (townie Twyla Sands), and Emily Hampshire (motel owner Stevie Budd) -- or for how much talent we'd see from the Levy bloodline.

Between Alexis's mysterious past life as an international socialite and the highly specific way she says "David"; David's ridiculous wardrobe (great sweaters, though) and constantly pained facial expressions; Johnny's expressive eyebrows and crisp suits; and Moira's wigs and accent and inexplicably complicated vocabulary, the series mined chunks of comedic ore in every scene. That said, some moments were more memorable than others. These are our 25 favorite Schitt's Creek episodes of all time, ranked from great to greatest.

Roadkill episode with Johnny and Moira Rose
We don't have time for your tears, bébé. | Courtesy of Pop TV

25. “Roadkill”

Season 5, Episode 10
It's a horrible, haunting experience to knock on a stranger's door to tell them you ran over their cat. Moira and Johnny get a double dose of that terror when their attempt at doing the right thing backfires and they're forced to console a sobbing grown woman instead of enjoying the spa day they had planned. The rest of the episode is equally uncomfortable to watch, as David realizes his old business partner is ripping off his shop and Ted proves to be terrible at talking dirty when he gets it on with Alexis in the Rose Apothecary bathroom (and breaks the sink in the process). The late-season episode masters the art of cringe by playing out real-life fears that everyone's had.

24. “Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose”

Season 4, Episode 13
Holiday episodes are more often skippable detours rather than essential viewing, but Schitt's Creek's sappy Christmas special succeeds at transporting the audience to a cozy, wintry December, even if you're binging the show in mid-August. Johnny -- who, ironically, is Jewish -- wakes up on Christmas Eve and decides it's time the Roses stop sulking during the holidays and suggests that they throw a big Christmas bash just like they used to (minus the mansion and celebrity guests and expensive champagne). The plan falls apart, and when Johnny gives up on the idea altogether and tromps off to the cafe to eat his feelings, Moira and the kids realize that they've let him down; they put their socialite skills to work and throw a truly adorable Christmas Eve party that leaves Johnny touched when he's coaxed back. It's not the kind of mansion party they're accustomed to, it's better -- this time around, it's about the people, not the panache.

Roses react to good news in Schitt's Creek Town for Sale
Wait till you see their disappointed faces. | Courtesy of Pop TV

23. “Town for Sale”

Season 1, Episode 13
Someone finally wants to buy Schitt's Creek and the Roses immediately plan their return to New York City. But first: Ted proposes to Alexis, Alexis sleeps with Mutt, Stevie turns down David's offer to flee with them, and, in general, everyone's relationships turn messy. But all of this happens before the town's sale is finalized, and moments before signing the paperwork, the potential buyer falls into a coma, ruining the Roses' plan to get the hell outta town. Honestly, they got what they deserved.

22. “The Hike”

Season 5, Episode 13
Love presents itself in many ways. As Alexis prepares to escape to the Galapagos with Ted for six months, she starts feeling sentimental about leaving her family behind. As Johnny heads to the hospital for a potential heart attack, both Moira and Stevie, now his business partner in the motel, fall apart imagining life without him. And as Patrick proposes to David on a beautiful summit, their investment in one another is affirmed. It's not the most exciting episode, but it's an important one for showing that even the often frivolous Roses managed to form genuine human connections.

Stevie Budd and David Rose make funeral arrangements
RIP Maureen Budd | Courtesy of Pop TV

21. “New Car”

Season 3, Episode 3
Moira's absurdist character acting reaches new heights when she borrows tragic plot points from her erstwhile daytime soap Sunrise Bay to earn pity from a car dealer and get a better price. Johnny's mortified, but we know by now that nobody cares what he thinks. Stevie, meanwhile, is tasked with handling her great aunt's affairs after her death, and she starts wondering if her life will amount to the same lonely fate. She's given the deed to the motel -- a responsibility she's not sure she wants -- and realizes she can't run it on her own. Ted loses coolness points for getting headbutted by a goat but gains them back when Alexis, now working as his receptionist, learns that he has a secret girlfriend who booty calls him by calling the vet office and asking Ted to come "bathe her cat." He's hot shit now (buff Ted!) and he damn well knows it.

20. “Moire Rosé”

Season 6, Episode 7
Moira's renewed fame from the Crows movie leads Herb of Herb Ertlinger Fruit Wines to give her another chance at representing his business after a failed attempt in Season 1. This time, he wants to name a wine after her and call it Moira Rosé. The only issue is, well, his fruit wines still suck, and after Moira and David get drunk sampling all the flavors looking for one that tastes decent, Herb gets pissed off again and the deal falls through. Alexis's PR career also takes an interesting turn here as she gradually realizes that one of her new clients is a cult, but only after getting a bunch of her friends mixed up in it. The Roses may be on the come up, but they're not quite done embarrassing themselves yet. And honestly? We love that.

19. “Family Dinner”

Season 2, Episode 2
Moira enlists the help of David to make enchiladas for dinner and prove that she knows how to cook, making for a riotous afternoon in Jocelyn's kitchen. How does one "fold in cheese"? they wonder. What does burning smell like? Moira asks. There's no way their cooking experiment was going to end well. And speaking of things not ending well, Johnny's hunt for an office space results in the notoriously tight-fisted Bob trying to take advantage of him, Stevie aggravates David by claiming she's already gotten over him, and Alexis wants to be with Mutt but can't bring herself to call off her engagement with Ted (she really is a little bit single, even when she's not).

18. “Turkey Shoot”

Season 1, Episode 7
Stevie is an actual icon for getting David to don full camouflage and go turkey huntin'. Despite feeling like "one of the Manson girls" after nailing a turkey in the neck, David proves himself capable of being one with nature -- outside of just attending Coachella. David's not the only one trying out a new look, though. Jocelyn takes Moira out for a spa day and they return with hideous identical haircuts… Moira's predictably upset. One Rose thrives in this episode, though, and for that we rejoice: This is the day that Alexis meets and first falls for Ted, a man who she'll be seeing plenty more of as the show unfolds.

Ted Mullens and David Rose kiss in "Housewarming"
Am I the only one sweating? | Courtesy of Pop TV

17. “Housewarming”

Season 5, Episode 5
Bet you never expected to see Ted and David kiss! Neither did their significant others. At Patrick's high school slumber party-themed housewarming bash, jealousy soars thanks to a drunken game of spin the bottle that makes the two men smooch. Of course it was harmless -- Ted and David think it's pretty funny, actually -- but that doesn't stop Alexis and Patrick from acting catty toward each other. Naturally there's only one way to solve this: Alexis and Patrick have to kiss and make it even. So they do. And it means nothing. And they realize this is a non-issue. And they move on. With the kids out of the motel, Moira and Johnny offer to stay in and babysit Roland Jr., and despite their mild incompetence, they survive the night and prove to themselves that they at least kind of know how to be parents. The chaos never ends.

16. “The Throuple”

Season 3, Episode 2
David and Stevie have both been seeing Jake, the polyamorous bisexual man they met at Mutt's barn party, and it's starting to get weird. Jake kinda likes it though, and instead of choosing one of them to date more seriously, he proposes that they officially become a throuple. David and Stevie's days of hooking up are behind them and they're not down for the idea, ending their brief-but-exciting run with the hottie. Moira reluctantly invites Alexis to lunch after being accused of liking David more, and the two spend the morning realizing they don't know how to talk to each other and panicking about how to fill an entire lunch with conversation. It… doesn't go very well, sparking riveting dialogue like, "What is your favorite season?" "Awards." 

15. “Love Letters”

Season 5, Episode 2
Moira's first priority is herself, of course, but every now and then we're reminded just how in love with Johnny she really is. One of these rare moments of sincerity happens in Season 5, when Moira spirals after finding naughty, handwritten letters between Johnny and a mystery woman. Letting jealousy get the best of her, she spreads word around town that Johnny has a mistress, tarnishing his name before he has a chance to explain what's actually happening. (Hint: There isn't actually another woman in Johnny's life.) The most memorable characters in this episode, though, are David and Stevie, who get caught up in the funniest robbery in TV history. "Small problem: Our money isn't for sale," says David, moments before offering the masked man two tote bags of Rose Apothecary product instead.

Welcome to Schitt's Creek sign
"How is anybody supposed to know that the woman getting banged from behind is his sister?!" | Courtesy of Pop TV

14. “Don’t Worry It’s His Sister”

Season 1, Episode 3
Schitt’s Creek
got off to a famously mediocre start, but the third episode ranks for its underrated comedic genius. When Johnny realizes that the town's welcome sign appears to depict the founder of the town, Horace Schitt, boinking a woman from behind, he goes on a quest to convince the oblivious town council that they need to take it down. Unsurprisingly, Roland's "solution" to the problem doesn't exactly improve things. While Johnny's dealing with the racy signage, David struggles to find work, Alexis falls for a townie, and Moira projects her insecurities on an unsuspecting group of schoolchildren -- they're themes that we'll see again and again throughout the series, and this episode is arguably where the show really starts to pick up.

13. “Singles Week”

Season 4, Episode 12
The character development jumps out in "Singles Week." Alexis manages to pull off the town's biggest tourism event, taking her PR experience to the next level. Jocelyn and Moira bond when Jocelyn goes into labor and needs a ride to the hospital -- the baby is later named "Roland Moira Schitt" in her honor. Ted realizes he never stopped loving Alexis, so he breaks up with his girlfriend, Heather, to follow his heart. Inspired by Ted and Alexis's care for one another, David faces his fears of commitment and uses the L word with Patrick -- for the first time in any relationship. By the end of the episode, there's so much love and appreciation in the air, making it the perfect lead-in to a season finale.

12. “Carl’s Funeral”

Season 1, Episode 9
Who is Carl?! Why did he love Johnny so much!? Why would someone read an excerpt from Breaking Dawn at his funeral?! These are this episode's most pressing questions as Johnny and Moira fall victim to a confusing chain of events that make them the main entertainment at a stranger's memorial service. While they're trying to figure out what the hell is going on, David and Stevie are frisking through a back-woods couple's motel room getting high on their weed and drunk on their beers. One thing leads to another and BOOM! they're making out. Their relationship is about to get messy and we're along for the ride.

11. “Motel Review”

Season 3, Episode 8
Moira's asked to watch the front desk of the motel for a little bit -- harmless enough, right? -- but quickly finds herself struggling to be friendly when a high-maintenance guest spews several obscure requests her way. She thinks she handled it how she was supposed to ("I manned that front desk with the vigor of a wartime radio operator.") until a negative review hits the internet calling her out for her scary vibe and hostile attitude. (“Oh, that fussy little fucker… after niggling me with relentless demands...”) Luckily, she's an actress, and after crafting a heartbreaking backstory she's able to convince the guest to take down the review. Episodes that center around the motel tend to be a little dry, but "Motel Review" keeps the jokes coming and the energy high by putting the worst possible customer service representative in charge. Plus, this is when David and Patrick first meet, so, naturally it's an important watch.

10. “Happy Anniversary”

Season 2, Episode 13
It took two seasons to get there, but the Roses finally learned to embrace their life in Schitt's Creek. Johnny and Moira go out for a nice anniversary dinner where they run into old friends from their past and the Schitts, turning their romantic evening into an awkward triple-date affair. The friends from their old life are assholes over dinner, helping the Roses realize how lucky they are to have Roland and Jocelyn in their lives -- even if they are borderline bumpkins. They tell the rich folks off and head to Mutt's barn party, where Alexis and Ted are busy reconnecting, and a giddy David and delightfully stoned Stevie are fighting over the same boy's attention. The episode closes with Moira telling her kids she l*ves them and all of our favorite characters dancing together to James Morrison's "Precious Love." Talk about a plot twist.

9. “Moira’s Nudes”

Season 2, Episode 9
Moira catches wind of a scandal involving nude photos of her leaked on the internet. Rather than panicking, she eagerly elicits help to track them down and bask in the fame. Sadly, she can't find them, leading to a hilariously twisted spiral about the piece of herself that was lost along with the nudes from her youth. While Moira's caught up trying to unbury her own skeletons, Johnny's dealing with a crisis of his own that requires financial aid from a bitter David and moral support from Alexis (who really can't offer much else). Somehow, David and Alexis have become the caretakers… who would've thought?

David and Patrick get married with Moira as the minister
Only Moira could look the most glam at someone else's wedding. | Courtesy of Pop TV

8. “Happy Ending”

Season 6, Episode 14
It's a happy ending for the series, yes, but the title more likely refers to the happy ending that comes with David's wedding-day massage. Schitt's Creek wraps up with David and Patrick's wedding, which, after a series of last-minute issues, turns out to be a beautiful gathering -- and a perfect farewell party for Johnny and Moira who are skipping town the next morning. No series finale satisfies everyone, but "Happy Ending" succeeds at nodding to all our favorite things from seasons past: Moira says "bébé" one last time, the Jazzagals hark back to the show's most sentimental moments with covers of "Precious Love" and "Simply the Best" at the wedding, and when Johnny and Moira make their final departure out of town, they catch a glimpse of Roland's parting gift: the incestuous town welcome sign that showed the Schitt's Creek founders now features the Rose family, giving a whole new meaning to the slogan, "Where everyone fits in."

7. “Honeymoon”

Season 1, Episode 10
Somehow, Schitt's Creek managed to describe pansexuality better than any other show, all without losing its humorous edge. After Stevie and David hook up, Stevie pries about his sexuality, implying that she thought he was gay. This prompts David to explain his preferences through a now-famous metaphor: "I do drink red wine, but I also drink white wine. And I’ve been known to sample the occasional rosé. And a couple summers back I tried a merlot that used to be a chardonnay. … I like the wine and not the label." Johnny gets stoned with Roland that night and says that life would be easier for David if he just picked a lane. In a rare moment of thoughtfulness, Roland tells Johnny that, “When it comes to matters of the heart, we can’t tell our kids who to love.” Aside from low-key championing queer narratives, "Honeymoon" also features a horrifically awkward dinner party at Ted's apartment that foreshadows the unraveling of Mutt and Twyla's relationship.

Stevie Budd performing a solo in Schitt's Creek "Cabaret"
A Budd-ing star? | Courtesy of Pop TV

6. “Life is a Cabaret”

Season 5, Episode 14
Stevie… STEVIE!!! The bulk of the Season 5 finale centers around David and Patrick revealing their engagement, but the real star here is Stevie. It's opening night for the town production of Cabaret, and Stevie's feeling a lot of emotions: nerves about the performance and bittersweet feelings about losing her best friend to Patrick. As she takes the stage for her big solo number, we watch her find her confidence and start to realize that beneath her rugged exterior lies a strong and talented woman who can weather any storm. The deadpan Stevie that we once knew is no more -- she's an expressive queen now and she'll find a way to thrive, one emotional breakthrough at a time.

5. “Open Mic”

Season 4, Episode 6
If you didn't cry during this episode, you're frighteningly out of touch with your emotions and should maybe work on fixing that, love. "Open Mic" has all the sentiment and plot development of a season finale, a rare treat for a mid-season episode. Patrick suggests that he and David host an open mic night at the apothecary to bring more customers into the shop. David's mortified by the idea, but when Patrick heads to the mic on the night of the event, something magical happens. "I want to dedicate this next song to a very special someone in my life, David Rose," says Patrick, who's played by real-life singer Noah Reid, before launching into the sweetest acoustic cover of Tina Turner's "Simply the Best." The crowd is shocked, and David and Moira are moved to tears realizing how lucky David is to have Patrick by his side. The rest of the episode is great too, but it's these two minutes that rank "Open Mic" high on the list of best queer episodes in sitcom history and make it worth a watch (and a second, and a third). 

4. “Grad Night”

Season 3, Episode 13
David's birthday and Alexis's (high school) graduation day are derailed when everyone has scheduling conflicts that keep them from celebrating together. Patrick offers to take David out to a celebratory dinner in what turns out to be more than just a friend date. When Patrick drops David off at the motel afterward, they share a kiss -- Patrick's first romantic moment with another man. "I was getting a little scared that I was going to let you leave without us having done that," admits Patrick before sending David off. Over at the high school, Alexis is bummed that nobody is there to cheer for her. Before the event's over, though, Ted sneaks up and says he's been taking photos, then Moira appears on stage with the Jazzagals for a dreamy surprise performance that brings Alexis to tears. The mother-daughter duo has come a long way since the time when they couldn’t even make conversation at lunch together.

3. “Wine and Roses”

Season 1, Episode 6
When Moira's asked to be the spokesperson for Herb Ertlinger Fruit Wines, a hard-to-pronounce vintner with harder-to-stomach vino, she sees the gig as her chance to make a comeback. Her desperation to succeed paired with Johnny's overbearing presence leads Moira to crack under pressure and bomb the commercial shoot. While she's anxious at the winery, David's dealing with his own anxiety back at the motel. He's referred to the "doctor" in town, veterinarian Ted Mullens (his first appearance on the show), who tells him that he's having a panic attack -- something the Roses thought was made up by celebrities. Johnny and Alexis come to the rescue, finding ways to calm down Moira and David, in what goes down as one of the most memorable episodes of the entire series. You'll remember the experience and you'll remember the name: Herb Erfling ger. Burt Herngeif. Irv Herb-blinger. Bing Livehaanger. Liveling. Burt Herkurn. Ban-Bingo ling-fucker! 

2. “Start Spreading the News”

Season 6, Episode 13
Hope you like syrup, 'cause this episode's heavy on the sap. After years of floundering to get back on their feet, the Roses finally did it. Everything's falling into place: David with his marriage, Alexis with her PR career, Moira with her new TV gig, and Johnny with his budding motel empire. Sadly, their new opportunities mean they won't be returning to NYC together -- they're all going in different directions. But before everything changes, David and Alexis have some things to figure out. After an emotional moment with Stevie, David decides to stay in Schitt's Creek and buy Patrick their dream home; without any pettiness or passive aggression, Alexis and Twyla exchange gifts (and compliments) and make a pact that Twyla will visit New York. Humor sneaks its way into the plot, but "Start Spreading the News" ranks high more for its emotions than its jokes.

David Rose on an Amish farm in "Finding David"
He fits right in. | Courtesy of Pop TV

1. “Finding David”

Season 2, Episode 1
Season 1 had its share of low moments, but the second season returned with tighter wit and stronger storylines that raised the bar for everything to follow. David steals Roland's truck and runs away after a dramatic letdown in the Season 1 finale, and the Season 2 opener picks up where it left off -- with the Roses realizing they should probably look for him after a few days of radio silence. An investigation leads them to a farm where David has been not-so-peacefully living with an Amish family and pouting that nobody's come chasing after him. On their way back to Schitt's Creek, Moira lectures David about running off and utters one of her most underrated lines: "What you did was impulsive, capricious, and melodramatic… but it was also wrong." These 20 minutes are a master class in character acting, executed flawlessly by the cast that we've come to adore. There's truly no family like the Roses.

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Kyler Alvord is a perfect blend of David and Patrick. See the proof on Twitter and Instagram.