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30 Best 30 Rock Episodes Ranked

"30 Rock" wasn't just great television; it was a love letter to television. For seven years, Tina Fey channeled the breakneck pace and hectic energy of her time as head writer at "Saturday Night Live" into a behind-the-scenes look at an even zanier, SNL-type show, set in the same building: the titular 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Despite a rocky pilot, "30 Rock" went on to become an anchor of NBC's revived must-see Thursday comedy lineup for the better part of a decade. As viewing habits have shifted to binge-watching over the years, "30 Rock" has only grown in popularity as its short but dense scripts deliver more jokes per minute than most of its contemporaries, rewarding repeat viewing more than many other shows.

"30 Rock" wasn't even the only loose dramatization of a live sketch show on NBC when it premiered. The network famously launched it and Aaron Sorkin's ponderous drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" at the same time, creating an unintentional battle of "SNL" parodies. But unlike the one-season wonder "Studio 60," "30 Rock" won over audiences by knowing never to take itself too seriously. As it went on, the show expertly learned to toe the line between a cartoonish parody of show business and a heartfelt workplace sitcom. No matter how zany things got, much like Fey's character, Liz Lemon, we couldn't help but love these dummies on the show and root for them to succeed. Here are 30 episodes that make "30 Rock" one of the all-time greats.

30. The Bubble (Season 3, Episode 15)

In Season 3, "30 Rock" scored a coup: a multi-episode, guest-starring arc from Jon Hamm, fresh off the Earth-shattering success of "Mad Men." Liz Lemon begins to have trouble navigating her relationship with her charming neighbor, Dr. Drew Baird (Hamm), but notices he lives an oddly charmed life as he gets out of parking tickets, gets cast as a model on the street, and is lied to by everyone he meets. Jack Donaghy explains that he lives in the titular "bubble," an effect created by good looks that protect you from reality. Liz must choose whether to join her new boyfriend in a fantasy world or to shatter his illusions.

Meanwhile, Jack Donaghy has trouble getting Tracy Jordan to renew his contract, as Tracy finally realizes he doesn't actually need to work, eventually being fooled into returning to TGS due to his dependency on Kenneth the page's services. But it's the riff on "the bubble" that makes this episode vintage "30 Rock." The show was spot-on at identifying Hamm's appeal with some textbook meta-comedy.

29. Reaganing (Season 5, Episode 5)

Have you ever had a perfect day? As in, made literally no mistakes for a 24-hour period? This Season 5 episode calls that phenomenon "Reaganing," and resident alpha male Jack Donaghy spends the day attempting to pull it off. A streak that began the previous day with coining the term "innoventually," he successfully pitches a reality show called "Child Hell Flight," intersects with Tracy's storyline as he uses gumdrops and a spot-on Tracy impression to finish a commercial shoot, and even helps Liz Lemon to a breakthrough with a sexual dysfunction issue involving roller skates and a Tom Jones poster (it's complicated).

This episode also marked the introduction of Kelsey Grammer as a mischievous version of himself, who gets involved in an outlandish swindle against the Carvel Ice Cream Company with Jenna and Kenneth. Inspired by a real scandal involving Lindsay Lohan's mother being banned from using a promotional Carvel "Black Card," Grammer's appearance marked the show confidently leaving any hallmark of reality behind as the "30 Rock" universe became its own absurd place in the later season.

28. Leap Day (Season 6, Episode 9)

An instant classic episode from Season 6 asked us the question: Why don't we celebrate Leap Day?  The aptly titled "Leap Day" posits an alternate world in which we joyously welcome an extra, magical day to the calendar every four years by dressing in yellow and blue and taking whatever chances life may offer us. After all, "real life is for March!"

As Season 6 premiered in January, "30 Rock" was unable to do its traditional Christmas episode and used Leap Day as a bizarro stand-in, replete with carolers and a very Santa-esque mascot named Leap Day William. It's a jam-packed episode, as Liz deals with an indecent proposal from a billionaire, Jack goes on a Dickensian journey reflecting on Leap Days past, and Tracy takes advantage of the extra day to redeem a $50,000 Benihana gift card. But the real highlights of the episode are clips from a fake holiday movie called "Leap Dave Williams" with a perfectly cast Jim Carrey and Andie McDowell.

27. Fireworks (Season 1, Episode 9)

Late in Season 1, "Fireworks" finds the show firing on all cylinders and beginning to introduce important recurring elements. After a paternity scare, Tracy finds out he's a descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Meanwhile, Liz pretends to be an alcoholic and profanes the classic film "Tootsie" in her pursuit of Floyd the flower guy, the first in a long series of boundary issues. But by far the episode's most important introduction is recurring guest star Will Arnett's role as Devon Banks, Jack Donaghy's equally gravel-voiced arch-nemesis. 

Banks and Donaghy use Kenneth as a pawn in their first clash of the series, which ultimately ends with Jack successfully pitching a special fireworks display in Manhattan after a lovestruck Liz leaves him hanging during an important meeting. Of course, as Liz and Floyd point out when the broadcast starts, fireworks in Midtown on a day that's not the Fourth of July result in a huge, terrifying disaster for the network. And Jack ends up feeling more betrayed than those people who worked with "Tootsie."

26. Mrs. Donaghy (Season 5, Episode 11)

Arguably the greatest strength of "30 Rock" is the unlikely, complicated friendship that develops between Liz Lemon and her boss, Jack Donaghy, over the course of the show. It's one of the longest-running friendships in television that never turns romantic, although in "Mrs. Donaghy" they accidentally get married after Liz signs on the wrong line at Jack's beachfront wedding in the French Caribbean. As her show is facing steep budget cuts, Liz refuses to grant Jack an immediate divorce as a tactical ploy.

In a busy episode with Jenna and Danny sharing a dressing room like a bickering married couple and Tracy confronting his own mortality, the unquestionable highlight is Liz's press conference as "Elizabeth Lemon-Donaghy" announcing a generous donation from her "husband" to establish a new liberal arts school, "Where a new generation of choreographers and puppeteers, clowns, video artists, and theatrical jugglers who will ask the world 'What is art?'" and Jack's incredulous, on-brand response: "We know what art is! It's paintings of horses!"

25. Tracy Does Conan (Season 1, Episode 7)

"Tracy Does Conan" is when "30 Rock" really found itself, just seven episodes into its first season. The relatively simple task of getting Tracy Jordan to make an appearance on Conan O'Brien's show without stabbing anyone becomes increasingly more complicated, and the show kicks into the breathlessly paced, high-energy gear it would become revered for the first time. From the absurd reveal that Tracy's physician "Dr. Spaceman!" is real (pronounced "spa-che-men"), Jenna's first mention of her difficultly titled movie "The Rural Juror," and Jack's response when asked why he's wearing a tux ("It's after 6. What am I, a farmer?"), it's the first all-time classic episode in all respects.

Jeff Richmond's jazzy, energetic score also gets its first extended chance to really shine. It all crescendoes in a manic frenzy of a hallucinatory "Blue Man," last-minute prescription drugs, and Tracy immediately falling asleep on television as Liz and the gang save the day, sort of. 

24. SeinfeldVision (Season 2, Episode 1)

For the Season 2 premiere, "30 Rock" nabbed a huge guest star in Jerry Seinfeld, making a rare TV appearance to work in a plug for his upcoming "Bee Movie." Jack Donaghy has used all of NBC's footage of "Seinfeld" from years past to digitally insert him into several current NBC programs, but without his permission. The massive star has come calling to complain. As Jack runs out of options, we begin to see the more desperate side of the seemingly always calm and collected character, at one point he clearly considers bludgeoning Seinfeld to death before they reach a compromise.

While Tracy deals with marriage trouble and Jenna with an off-season weight gain, the real highlight of the episode is when Liz Lemon's relationship troubles intersect with the Seinfeld plot. In a strange attempt to move on from her breakup with Floyd, Liz buys a wedding dress, then breaks down crying when explaining the situation to a politely concerned Seinfeld. Unfortunately, her crying voice sounds a lot like a mocking Seinfeld impression.

23. Greenzo (Season 2, Episode 5)

Pulling out all the stops for "Green Week," a week of NBC programming in 2007 when every program had environmental themes, "30 Rock" went meta with it (of course) and had David Schwimmer guest star as new NBC mascot Greenzo, an environmental spokesperson who quickly lets the power go to his head, and even got Al Gore to stop by. Chaos reigns elsewhere as Kenneth throws a party that gets way out of hand due to a series of lies started by Tracy, and Liz discovers the shocking truth behind Pete's apparent "affair."

In a final image that only gets more timely as the years pass, Greenzo's drunken antics cause a large foam Earth prop to catch fire, as Liz says "Oh boy. Okay, this earth is ruined! We need another."

22. The Funcooker (Season 3, Episode 14)

You have to wonder what it was like working on "30 Rock" with Tina Fey, as the show over and over again made it clear how maddening Liz Lemon found it to herd all of her writers and cast members to make a TV show every week. In the memorable episode "The Funcooker," Liz is trapped at jury duty and her absence causes chaos. Jenna tries an experimental type of amphetamine to do the show and a movie at the same time, Jack hijacks the entire writing staff to help name a small microwave, and Tracy becomes obsessed with cursing on television just to aggravate the FCC.

Inspired by the similar plight of the woman on trial, who became so enraged by her employees that she lit the building on fire, Liz strikes a match and thinks about it. She shakes the idea off, but accidentally starts a fire anyway, terrifying her employees into straightening out. You have to wonder if Tina Fey's employees were on their best behavior after this episode, as well.

21. Dealbreakers Talks Show #0001 (Season 4, Episode 7)

Once upon a time, Tina Fey had to make the transition from writing to an on-camera personality as the co-anchor of "Weekend Update." As she told NPR, going from anonymous writer and occasional bit-player to a recognizable figure was a big move: "On 'Update,' you look like yourself, and every week you say, 'Hi, this is me.' So it's career-changing."

In Season 4 of her show, Liz Lemon faces the same moment when her "Dealbreakers" sketch and spin-off book get turned into a daytime talk show. Unlike her creator, Liz Lemon totally biffs it. Jack makes a comment about her hair that gets into her head and she gets off-brand LASIK surgery that results in her tears coming from her mouth. Ultimately, she locks herself in her dressing room. The episode's highlight is her inability to pose or wave like a normal human while filming the "Dealbreakers" opening titles.

20. TGS Hates Women (Season 5, Episode 16)

Liz Lemon: feminist icon or "Judas to all womankind"? In ways that are still being debated, Liz Lemon was a character that Tina Fey used to analyze and comment upon many issues of modern-day feminism, in life and in the workplace. It can be difficult to both stand on principle and give other people the space to be complex human beings, a lesson Liz Lemon was constantly learning in her politics and personal life, including in the perfectly satirical episode "TGS Hates Women."

"How I Met Your Mother" star Cristin Milioti puts in a memorable guest appearance as Abby Flynn, a guest writer for "30 Rock" with an unapologetically "sexy baby" persona. Rather than getting to know her, Liz embarks on a crusade to explain why her behavior is bad for women, and ultimately exposes Abby's personality as an act. In an absurd twist, it turns out Abby had changed her identity to avoid a dangerous ex-husband, and she denounces Liz as a traitor to all women on her way out the door.

19. Kidnapped by Danger (Season 6, Episode 14)

Not content to parody sketch comedy and all other forms of episodic television, "30 Rock" also lampooned the over-the-top TV movies that were in vogue on broadcast networks for decades, and that now mostly appear on Lifetime and other cable networks. To bring awareness to the plight of his wife Avery, Jack has Liz write a script that turns out to be embarrassingly accurate: Liz includes the fact that he was seeing someone else when Avery became pregnant. The episode even includes the king of musical parody himself, Weird Al, who gets into a strange feud with Jenna that involves her releasing an impossible-to-spoof song about farts that he "Normal Als" back into a sincere ballad.

Ultimately, Liz helps Jack tell his fabricated version of reality, and thus is born the ludicrously titled "Kidnapped by Danger: The Avery Jessup Story" (brought to you with limited commercial interruption by Pride Bladder Control Pants. Pride: Make every room a bathroom.)

18. Mazel Tov, Dummies! (Season 7, Episode 7)

Liz Lemon? Married?! That's right, after seven years of douchebag exes, an ill-fated tryst with Conan, and bad timing or chemistry with every subsequent love interest, Liz Lemon finally ties the knot as "30 Rock" nears its conclusion in Season 7. A classic episode that sees her wrestle with her desire to resist the stereotypical pressures of society, Liz initially wants a no-frills marriage at the courthouse, as she's getting married largely to help with the adoption process.

Slowly, with the help of some subtle subterfuge from her fiancee Cris (James Marsden), Liz starts to admit she wants a "big day" after all.  Fortunately, Tony Bennett owes Jack a favor, and the episode ends with a bizarre ceremony featuring balloons, streamers, Liz's ex Dennis Duffy, two homeless witnesses, and a Princess Leia costume in lieu of a dress. It's somehow traditional and wholly new "30 Rock" weirdness all at once.

17. Hard Ball (Season 1, Episode 15)

In "Hard Ball," the ever-oblivious Jenna accidentally insults the troops in Maxim magazine, confuses Osama Bin Laden and Barack Obama when she goes on TV to apologize, and ultimately reaffirms her patriotism by performing a song in front of red, white, and blue pinwheels with sparklers on them. Unfortunately, the pinwheels just happen to look like swastikas.

No side of celebrity culture is spared in this classic Season 1 episode, as Tracy learns that his entourage has been lying to him for years, and Jack and Liz play the titular hardball in renegotiating Josh's contract. Tellingly, the most dated part of the episode is the episode of "Hard Ball" that Jenna appears on, as both Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson would go on to say many more controversial things as news personalities than Jenna Maroney ever said as a fictional celebrity.

16. MILF Island (Season 2, Episode 11)

A highlight recurring bit on "30 Rock" was its many, many fictional TV shows that also aired on its version of NBC. Especially good at parodying the absurd premises of game shows and reality TV competitions, a classic Season 2 episode follows the TGS gang as they watch the season finale of the popular "MILF Island," which Jack describes as "25 super-hot moms, 50 eighth-grade boys, no rules."

A pitch-perfect spin on "Survivor" that somehow gets away without explaining the off-color acronym in its title, the cutthroat competition on the show-within-a-show mirrors the episode, as Liz goes to drastic measures to avoid revealing that she unknowingly bad-mouthed Jack in the press. Comedy veteran Rob Huebel puts in a memorable guest turn as the very deadpan host of the fake show, and the cherry on top of this classic episode is a silly running subplot with Pete getting his arm stuck in a vending machine.

15. Cooter (Season 2, Episode 15)

With his mentor Don Geiss in a coma and his enemy running GE, Jack has abandoned ship and joined the lame-duck Bush administration in the last episode of Season 2. Matthew Broderick delights in a guest turn as the titular "Cooter," a hapless official in the office of "Crisis and Weather Management" who insists the ceiling isn't leaking ("We've looked into it, and it's not") and uses thumbtacks to write notes due to a shortage of pens. After initially trying to make changes, Jack hears that Geiss may wake up and schemes to get himself fired.

Elsewhere, Kenneth has to resort to Olympic-like feats of athleticism to apply to be a page for the Beijing Olympics on time after being sabotaged by a rival, and Liz has to deal with a pregnancy scare without Jack's help. An unquestionable highlight, "Cooter" wasn't meant to be a season finale (Season 2 was shortened due to the 2007 writer's strike), but it brought finale-level energy all the same.

14. Klaus and Greta (Season 4, Episode 9)

An ode to the perils of alcohol, "Klaus and Greta" find Jack and Liz trying to atone for drunken mistakes. Liz has accidentally outed her cousin Randy to his conservative family over the holidays, while Jack has left his childhood crush a drunken New Year's voicemail that he needs to erase. Jack enlists Kenneth to shimmy through a doggie door to help erase the message, while Liz tries to show Randy the big city while protecting him from its vices.

Meanwhile, it's Tracy's and Jenna's stories that make this a great "30 Rock" episode; both characters demonstrate real growth. With a daughter now on the way, it occurs to Tracy for the first time that every woman is someone's daughter, and he reckons with his own behavior. Jenna agrees to a fake relationship with James Franco (playing himself), who is trying to quash rumors about dating a Japanese body pillow named Kamiko-tan. Ultimately, the usually superficial Jenna realizes she wants something real, and calls it off. To tie things together, after a newly out James Franco and Kamiko-tan wake up in Liz Lemon's bed, the confusing sight convinces Randy he's not ready for the big city after all.

13. Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning (Season 5, Episode 12)

All apologies to this episode's perfectly fine subplots: Liz and Tracy feud about professionalism in the workplace, Lutz gets a rare story of his own and embarrasses himself by pretending to have a car, it's all well and good. But one of the most brilliant gags in the entirety of "30 Rock" has to be Jack's idea to pre-tape a celebrity telethon for a natural disaster. It involves getting celebrities and NBC News anchors to speak in grave but vague terms about the need to help out, and Jenna singing a heartfelt plea to "help the people, the thing that happened... happened to." Unfortunately, they rush the special on the air when a flood hits a small island near Fiji, only to realize the only "victims" of the flood are the island's noxious owner, Mel Gibson, and his house guest, Jon Gosselin.

Nevertheless, NBC is prepared for all future disasters. In the words of Robert De Niro: "When the birds first started attacking us we all thought it was pretty funny and made Hitchcock jokes, but we're not laughing now... because our laughter excites the birds sexually."

12. Double-Edged Sword (Season 5, Episode 14)

A standout Season 5 episode posits that it's both good and bad to date someone similar to yourself. Liz and her new pilot boyfriend Carol are both stubborn and temperamental, while Jack and new wife Avery are Type-A, driven American patriots. This leads to utter chaos when Avery goes into labor in Canada during a snowstorm: she and Jack resort to hitch-hiking in a mobile meth lab to try and avoid having a Canadian-born daughter.

Liz and Carol, meanwhile, are waiting on the tarmac to fly to Nag's Head, but an ongoing delay leaves the plane stranded on the runway, devolving into chaos. Arguing with Carol about how the passengers should be treated, neither of them backs down until Carol pulls a gun on Liz, who grabs a passenger as a human shield. They tearfully break up. Meanwhile, Jack decides to go against his nature and find a Canadian hospital. 

11. Game Over (Season 7, Episode 9)

As it headed into its final stretch of episodes in Season 7, "30 Rock" began to provide closure to some long-running plotlines in "Game Over." Jack outwits his new rival, 15-year-old Kaylie Hooper, and finally ascends to the CEO title that he's long planned for. As a sentimental bonus, he even gets to outwit his old rival Devon Banks in the process. Liz Lemon takes the penultimate step in the adoption process, deciding to go ahead with adopting an older child instead of a newborn.

She has help from a surprising source: a newly self-aware Tracy. Attempting to direct a movie that's being derailed by Octavia Spencer's very Tracy-like behavior, he realizes how much patience Liz must have to have dealt with him for 7 years, and assures her she'll be a great mother.

10. A Goon's Deed in a Weary World (Season 7, Episode 11)

The penultimate episode of "30 Rock" manages to keep landing unexpected blows right to your heartstrings. After a lawsuit, TGS has finally been canceled by NBC's new owners, but Liz Lemon once again pulls out all the stops in an attempt to save the show. She's so busy making budget concessions and lining up absurd sponsorships that she hardly has time to prepare for her new adopted children to arrive. In a stirring moment, Tracy, Jenna, and the rest of the TGS crew all quit, killing the show once and for all and letting Liz know it's time to move on with her life. Her new children are uncannily Tracy and Jenna-esque, so things won't be entirely different.

And as absurd of a character as Kenneth the page has always been, it's downright heartwarming as he becomes the new head of NBC after a very Willy Wonka-esque interview process fails to uncover a better candidate. 

9. Black Tie (Season 1, Episode 12)

"30 Rock" was probably the best sitcom ever at utilizing guest stars. It's a subtle art, not just about the frequency or star power of the stars you bring in, but how well-chosen they are for the role. "Black Tie" is one of the show's earliest casting coups, as the Season 1 episode lands both Paul Reubens and Isabella Rossellini for incredible parts.

Rossellini brought her particle mix of allure, sophistication, and restrained lunacy to her role as Jack's ex-wife Bianca, as believable exchanging bon mots at a high society function as she is tearing Liz Lemon's hair out in a jealous rage. Paul Reubens uses his elastic Pee-wee Herman voice to steal scenes in the hilarious role of Prince Gerhart, a cartoonishly inbred and eccentric scion of a dying royal line. In a third guest-star bonus, "SNL" alum Will Forte makes a small appearance as Prince Gerhart's courtier, before returning much later in the show as Jenna's boyfriend Paul.

8. Apollo, Apollo (Season 3, Episode 16)

As the character of Jack Donaghy evolved, he became more and more existential. What do you get the man who has everything? What is the value of success without happiness?  In the Season 3 episode "Apollo, Apollo," Jack wistfully watches an old childhood video, wondering what present made him so excited he threw up. He eventually remembers it was an Apollo lunar module, but finding another one still doesn't make him happy.

Ultimately, it's friendship that gives meaning to life. Specifically, when Liz lets Jenna show everyone an old, embarrassing commercial for a phone sex line she made in Chicago, Jack laughs so hard at Liz's expense that he vomits in joy all over again. Combined with the entire TGS crew tricking Tracy into thinking he went to space, "Apollo, Apollo" is an all-time classic.

7. Anna Howard Shaw Day (Season 4, Episode 13)

This Valentine's Day episode finds Liz Lemon proclaiming the "sexist" holiday as "Anna Howard Shaw Day" instead, to celebrate the birthday of an actual historical crusader for Women's Suffrage.  She schedules a root canal for February 14 in defiance, but is unable to arrange a ride home as everyone else has plans. Everyone else is looking for love, albeit it takes all kinds: Jenna is concerned that her longtime stalker is no longing sending her scribbled ransom notes and human hair, and goes to confront him.

Ultimately, Jack cuts a date short and goes to Liz's rescue. And "30 Rock" once again pokes fun at the real NBC, which had Jon Bon Jovi as an "artist in residence" in 2009. Jack stages a party and dismisses Bon Jovi just to make himself look impressive.

6. I Do Do (Season 4, Episode 22)

In spectacular season-finale fashion, Liz Lemon attends three weddings in one day, decides to pursue new love instead of settling, and helps Jack navigate his own love triangle at the end of Season 4. This episode also features a veritable parade of guest stars in Michael Sheen, Will Forte, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Jason Sudeikis, and Matt Damon

In all the chaos, "I Do Do" asks some important questions about love and life, as Liz, Jack, and Jenna face important decisions. Can you love two people at the same time? If you make a choice, will you always be wondering what was behind that other door, "like at a haunted house sex party"? Should you take control of your fate as Jack insists, or, as Liz says, "let it wash over you, like a spray tan that won't take because your skin is too oily?"

5. The Tuxedo Begins (Season 6, Episode 8)

In a fan-favorite episode, the Season 6 episode "The Tuxedo Begins" finds "30 Rock" completely transformed from a workplace sitcom somewhat connected to reality to a full-on cartoon universe where anything can happen. The episode begins with both Liz and Jack facing what they consider breakdowns in society, as Liz is enraged by poor subway etiquette and Jack gets mugged. They have completely opposite responses. Jack decides to run for mayor to "clean up the city," and Liz embraces the darkness as she realizes her hacking cough and smelly gym bag are alienating people, giving her more personal space.

By the time a tuxedo-clad Jack (the mugger took his suit cufflinks, so he had to change) faces off with a maniacal Liz on a rooftop, you realize an entire "Batman" parody was sneaking up on you the entire episode, and they have the requisite battle for the soul of the city. In a delightful contrast to the A-plot weirdness, Jenna and new boyfriend Paul initially think they've discovered a new fetish called "normalling," until they realize they're just settling into a routine as a long-term couple. 

4. Generalissimo (Season 3, Episode 10)

Alec Baldwin had many memorable turns as other characters during the run of "30 Rock," from Thomas Jefferson to Richard Nixon to Hector "El Generalissimo" Moreda, the star of a Spanish telenovela that looks uncannily like Jack. During Salma Hayek's guest run in Season 3 as Jack's girlfriend Elisa, he finds he is disliked by her grandmother owing to his resemblance to the villainous Generalissimo. Liz Lemon even uses the Generalissimo's tactics to successfully pursue her new, handsome neighbor.

In a memorable double performance, Baldwin successfully plays Jack and Moreda as they negotiate to make the character into a likable hero to solve the issue. This episode was submitted for consideration to win Baldwin his second Emmy for the role.

3. Kidney Now! (Season 3, Episode 22)

The Season 3 finale of "30 Rock" is a busy one, with Tracy giving a speech at his old high school, and Liz dealing with the ongoing success of her "Dealbreakers" sketch and subsequent talk show appearance. But the subplots pale in comparison to Jack's star-studded benefit to get his biological father a kidney. Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, and Adam Levine headline a group of more than a dozen huge musicians guest-starring as themselves, as Jack orchestrates a "We Are The World" level charity single, but for the purpose of getting a lone man one kidney.

The lyrics to "He Needs A Kidney," by show composer Jeff Richmond, contain some of the funniest jokes the show has ever delivered, made even funnier in the context of a star-studded song. And to top it all off, NBC released "He Needs A Kidney" on iTunes with all proceeds going to the National Kidney Foundation, so one of the all-time best "30 Rock" gags accomplished some good in the real world to boot.

2. Reunion (Season 3, Episode 5)

Early in Season 3, "Reunion" was an important turning point in the character of Liz Lemon. Beginning the show as the theoretically most relatable character, she was slowly revealed as inordinately judgmental, stubborn, and downright strange as any other character on the show. This episode shows that even in high school, when she believed she was a lonely nerd, she was actually known as a horrible bully who said brutally cutting remarks to her innocent, friendly classmates.

As a result, she's reviled for attending her 20-year high school reunion, and nearly "Carrie"-ed with pig's blood on stage. Meanwhile, Jack goes through a crisis after missing out yet again on becoming the CEO of GE and pretends to be Liz's missing classmate "Larry Braverman." Meanwhile, back in New York, Tracy and Jenna have a problem with Kenneth stealing attention from them.  All in all, "30 Rock" is an ode to eccentric narcissism in all its forms, Liz Lemon most definitely included.

1. Hogcock!/Last Lunch (Season 7, Episodes 12 & 13)

All good things must end, and "30 Rock" went out on a high note with a two-part finale. "Hogcock!" (a combination of "hogwash" and "poppycock," as Jack would explain) sees Liz and the gang adjusting to life without the canceled "TGS," while "Last Lunch" reunites everyone for one final show, as a strange clause in Tracy's contract pays him $30 million unless they reach 150 episodes.

In a show that grew more and more outlandish and absurd over seven years, genuine pathos and emotion are mined from nearly every main character. Jack fakes a suicide attempt to get Liz Lemon to admit she cares for him, and walks up to the point of saying a platonic "I love you" in return. Liz and Tracy have an emotional conversation about saying goodbye and moving on at the strip club they first went to in the pilot, and even known sociopath Jenna cries when they take away her dressing room mirror. A glimpse of the distant future confirms a few things: Kenneth was actually immortal, there will eventually be flying cars, and our love for television and "30 Rock" springs eternal.