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The 7 Best And 7 Worst Chris Pratt TV Episodes Ranked

And to think it all started with Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Long before he conquered the big screen, fighting raptors and titans alike, Chris Pratt was a server at the Maui location of the famous movie-themed chain restaurant. Actor Rae Dawn Chong spotted the then-recent high school graduate during a shift and cast him in her directorial debut, the 2000 short film "Cursed Part 3." Three years later he was a series regular on the WB teen drama "Everwood," by the end of the decade he was on the critically beloved NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation," and by the middle of the next decade he was a bona fide movie star.

In July 2022 Pratt returned to episodic television in the Amazon Prime spy thriller "The Terminal List," his first regular small-screen gig since the end of "Parks and Rec" in 2015. With over 20 years spent in front of the camera and over 200 episodes of television, he has a surprisingly strong batting average; very little of Pratt's television career is outright bad. Still, though, some episodes are better than others. Let's take a look at the seven worst and seven best television episodes of Chris Pratt's career.

Worst: Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Prisoner #775 is Missing

Pratt has a small voice role in a 2011 episode of "Ben 10: Ultimate Alien," the second sequel series to Cartoon Network's hit show about a teenage boy who fights aliens with the help of a high-tech bracelet. In "Prisoner #775 is Missing," Ben and his adventure crew investigate an accident at Area 51, only to discover that the top-secret Air Force base hides a massive, unauthorized alien prison underground, and that one of those aliens has managed to escape. This episode sits the show's usual creature feature thrills next to a surprisingly grim debate on the ethics of extrajudicial imprisonment, a topic that remains relevant more than a decade later.

Pratt plays Cooper, a friend and ally of Ben's who has appeared occasionally across the "Ben 10" franchise. Cooper doesn't have much to do in the episode, and Pratt doesn't give a terrible performance, just one that is a little stiff and lifeless. It's a far cry from the kind of charming, enthusiastic vocal performance he would give in "The Lego Movie" a few years later.

Best: Timms Valley, Pilot

For a better example of Pratt's voice work, look no further than the pilot episode of "Timms Valley," a stop-motion animated comedy produced for IFC in 2013. Starring a murderer's row of 2010s comedy stars, the show takes place in the titular town, named for an oil magnate (John Lithgow) whose airplane mysteriously crashes the day before his company is set to go public. With the company now in the hands of Timm's lazy, idiot son Donovan (Pratt), the IPO is sure to be a disaster, which is perhaps exactly what company lawyer Pruitt Normings (Giancarlo Esposito) was planning all along.

Pratt plays Donovan as a carefree but well-meaning man-child, not a million miles away from Andy Dwyer on "Parks and Rec." He is the type of person who thinks that being responsible means sucking melted chocolate from a person's hand so as not to waste it. The voice cast includes Hank Azaria, Elizabeth Banks, Nick Kroll, and Pratt's "Parks and Rec" co-stars Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn. Sadly, the series was not picked up, and this strange, funny 22 minutes is all that was ever made.

Worst: The Batman, Attack of the Terrible Trio

Pratt's screen persona has gone through a few notable shifts. While most fans likely first knew him as the dim-bulb softie from "The Lego Movie," "Guardians of the Galaxy," and "Parks and Rec" from Season 2 onward, he spent a fair amount of his early career playing mean-spirited jocks and bullies like in "Strangers with Candy" and the '80s throwback comedy "Take Me Home Tonight." In "Attack of the Terrible Trio," an episode from the final season of the Kids WB series "The Batman," a (terrible) trio of humanoid beasts is attacking people at night. While Batman (Rino Romano) and Batgirl (Danielle Judovits) first suspect Dr. Kirk Langstrom, aka the reformed villain Man-Bat, it is soon revealed that the attacks are being carried out by three of Batgirl's college classmates, secretly experimenting with the transformative Man-Bat formula.

As Jake, the college swim team stud and obnoxious roommate of one of the Trio, Pratt has just a handful of lines and delivers each with maximum sneer, so much so that by the time he's cornered in the gym by his roommate-turned-birdman, we're sort of rooting for the birdman.

Best: Saturday Night Live

Less than two months after his official movie star coming out party in "Guardians of the Galaxy," Pratt hosted the 40th season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" with musical guest Ariana Grande. He is endearingly nervous throughout, flubbing a couple of lines in his monologue's musical number, but coasting through on his goofy big brother energy and his palpable excitement at hosting "SNL." As he notes in the monologue, after dropping out of college and moving to Hawaii as a young man, he really did live in a van down by the river.

Pratt throws himself into each sketch like an eager to please featured player, and also takes advantage of his newly-minted Hollywood hunk status, showing off his superhero physique in one sketch where he plays a He-Man figure come to life and another as a video game character whose cutscenes with another character (Vanessa Bayer) are distractingly passionate. The episode also marked the debut of future "SNL" breakout star Pete Davidson, as well as the long-running "Weekend Update" duo of Colin Jost and Michael Che.

Worst: Everwood, Colin the Second

Producer Greg Berlanti's sensitive small-town soap "Everwood" aimed to be something more than a "Dawson's Creek" for the 2000s. The WB series tells the story of Andy, a New York City brain surgeon (Treat Williams) who moves his two children (Gregory Smith, Vivien Cardone) to an idyllic Colorado town after the death of their mother to set up a small family practice. While Andy works on rebuilding his life and learning how to be a father, his son Ephram (Smith) falls in with the popular Abbott siblings, Bright (Pratt) and Amy (fellow MCU alum Emily VanCamp).

As with many shows, "Everwood" took some time to find its best self, and its first season shows those growing pains. The episode "Colin the Second," for instance, veers hard into "Very Special Episode" territory as Ephram befriends Amy's boyfriend Colin, who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury after being in a coma. Meanwhile, Colin's absence on the basketball court has affected Bright's performance, which leads to him riding the bench for the big homecoming game. Pratt at least looks like a high school athlete, but he looks and sounds bored to death with every line of dialogue. And the supposedly heartwarming moment when Bright escorts his homecoming queen sister Amy when Colin doesn't show up feels more than a little icky considering that Pratt and VanCamp dated in real life for three years.

Best: Parks and Recreation, The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show

"Parks and Recreation" finished as a very different show than the one it was when it started. The saga of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her uphill battle to get anything accomplished within the government of Pawnee, Indiana started in 2008 as a cringe humor clone of "The Office," but its final season, which aired in 2014 but took place in a far-off, futuristic 2017, was dedicated to giving every character the happiest ending they could ever possibly want. Andy Dwyer (Pratt) started the show as Ann Perkins' (Rashida Jones) useless idiot of a boyfriend, but the intervening years see him get his act together, fall in love with and marry Parks department intern April (Aubrey Plaza), and put away his rock and roll dreams when it turns out he has a knack for entertaining kids.

By the time we get to "The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show" in Season 7, Andy has parlayed his kids' music career into a public access television show starring his alter ego Johnny Karate (and occasionally Johnny's older brother, Jonathan Karate). The episode takes place during the filming of Andy's final episode before he and April move to Washington, D.C for her dream job, and April frets that she is making Andy give up his dreams for her. Though not his final episode of "Parks and Rec," the episode bids farewell by giving Pratt an episode-length showcase for Andy, in all of his reckless glory.

Worst: The Terminal List, The Engram

While "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "The Lego Movie" leaned heavily on Pratt's well-established comedy chops, over the years his roles have grown increasingly square-jawed; in the 2021 sci-fi action flick "The Tomorrow War" he is all grim determination, while the comic relief is handled by "Veep" and "Detroiters" star Sam Richardson, in the kind of role Pratt himself might have played a decade earlier. Now, Action Pratt comes to television in the 2022 Amazon series "The Terminal List," based on Jack Carr's series of novels about a Navy SEAL out for revenge when a mission goes terribly wrong.

Pratt certainly looks the part of a white-bread action hero, but underneath the muscles and the glower, there's not much there — certainly none of the charisma his father-in-law brought to similar roles, and very little of the charisma that endeared him to audiences. The series premiere episode, "The Engram,- handsomely shot by director Antoine Fuqua, introduces Pratt as James Reece, a SEAL team leader who is either suffering from PTSD or is being gaslit as part of a massive conspiracy that only he can unravel; three guesses as to which one it turns out to be. Aside from the distastefulness of using the real world epidemics of suicide and domestic violence in the military as a backdrop for an action series, Pratt and Fuqua struggle to elevate the material over its "support the troops" cliches.

Best: The O.C., The Christmukk-huh?

Pratt joined the cast of Fox's California teen soap "The O.C." for the first half of its final season as Che, a trust fund hippie who is Summer Cooper's (Rachel Bilson) new roommate at Brown University. In "The Christmukk-huh?" a play on the show's famous hybrid holiday, working class kid Ryan (Ben McKenzie) falls from a ladder while putting up Christmas decorations, landing on sort-of girlfriend Taylor (Autumn Reeser) and sending them into a parallel universe where Ryan was never taken in by the wealthy Cohen family after winning a seat at a prestigious prep school.

The fun of the episode is in seeing the cast acting out the worst versions of their characters: Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) is the smarmy mayor of Newport Beach, while his son Seth (Adam Brody) is a put-upon comic book geek pining for Summer, who in this reality is a vapid O.C. princess engaged to a preppy, obnoxious version of Che (or "Chester"). Meanwhile, in the real world, the Cohens fret over Ryan, who is in a coma from the fall. Pratt has a blast playing Che as a full-on cad, hitting on every woman in sight, while the rest of the cast, Gallagher especially, manage some real pathos as the presence of alt-world Ryan makes them reconsider the paths their lives have led. It's a Christmukkah miracle.

Worst: The O.C., The Groundhog Day

Not all episodes of "The O.C." were quite as much fun, however. Despite its title, "The Groundhog Day" is not another fantasy episode, but rather a wacky heist, as Che ropes Seth into helping him kidnap and free the Newport Beach groundhog. But Che has an ulterior motive for choosing Seth as his partner in crime: A prophetic dream involving otters has convinced Che that Seth is his soulmate. Meanwhile, Seth's mom Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) gets some unexpected news at the doctor and Taylor stalks Ryan, even though they're supposed to be on a break.

The humor of the Che-Seth storyline seems to come from the false assumption that anything involving groundhogs — whether the animals themselves, the holiday, people dressed up as giant groundhogs, or just the word on repeat — is hilarious, as is the idea that the soulmate of Che, a heterosexual man, would be Seth, another heterosexual man. Luckily for them both, a beautiful woman in a groundhog costume (Sandra McCoy, credited as "Hippie Chick") shows up, allowing Che to reinterpret his dream on the fly with Seth none the wiser. Their dynamic feels like a dry run for the comic gold Pratt would spin with Adam Scott a few years later on "Parks and Rec," but here he and Brody are saddled with a pair of comic conceits that just don't work.

Best: Mom, Good Karma and the Big Weird

Like Brad Pitt guest-starring on "Friends," this episode of the CBS sitcom "Mom" counts on the offscreen relationship between its actors to carry at least half of the humor. Also like Pitt's episode of "Friends," this episode takes on a different significance when watched years later after the couple's high-profile divorce. Pratt plays Nick, the handsome nephew of Christy's (Anna Faris, Pratt's real-life spouse at the time) AA sponsor Marjorie (Mimi Kennedy). After a chance meeting on the street, Christy becomes infatuated with Nick, though Marjorie forbids her from pursuing him romantically. Christy, of course, ignores her sponsor's request and sleeps with him. At first, he seems to be the perfect man, rugged and passionate, but soon reveals himself to be alarmingly clingy, and in fact mentally ill.

Nick's neurotic tendencies, the "big weird" of the episode's title, include drawing Christy as a centaur after they've slept together and announcing in the middle of their first dinner date that she is the woman he's going to marry, much to Christy's horror. Pratt and Faris have fun chemistry throughout, which is not always a given with real-life couples onscreen, and by the end of the episode Christy's desire outweighs her judgment. "Oh what the hell, I'm crazy too," she says as she leaps into Nick's arms.

Worst: Parks and Recreation, Pilot

Going back and watching the first episode of "Parks and Recreation" is a surreal experience; the distance between where the show started and where it ended is vast. Pitched as a kind of spiritual spinoff of "The Office," the show's six-episode first season bears that influence heavily, with main character Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) as a distaff Michael Scott: Well-meaning and enthusiastic, but also a bit delusional and incompetent. The pilot episode introduces Leslie and Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones), a Pawnee, Indiana nurse whose boyfriend broke his legs after falling into the large pit behind their home. Leslie takes it as her mission to make a city park out of the pit, which kicks the show's overall plot into gear.

Pratt plays Andy Dwyer, Ann's injured boyfriend, as a complete lout. He's confined to the sofa due to his injuries, but one gets the idea that he was never all that mobile around the house to begin with. Most of the show's characters would be retooled in one way or another after Season 1, and the tone would be tweaked to be not so mean-spirited, but Andy in this first episode is so far afield of the puppy dog he would become that it nearly feels like Pratt is playing a completely different character.

Best: Everwood, Where the Heart Is

Both Pratt and his character Bright Abbott do a lot of growing up in the course of "Everwood," and by the end of Season 3 he is on the wrong end of an unrequited crush on good girl Hannah (Sarah Drew). As his sister Amy (Emily VanCamp) puts it when she finds out, "You're finally a good enough person to deserve Hannah and now you can't have her. It's like the ultimate revenge of women everywhere."

This season-long simmer comes to a boil in the finale "Where the Heart Is," as Hannah is about to leave town for the summer. After having broken up with her drip of a boyfriend (Lukas Behnken) twice, she waits for her ride to the airport. Bright turns up to profess his love, chickens out with just a handshake, then finds the courage to make his heartfelt declaration. True to the character, though, his romantic speech is mostly about how she got hot during the time they spent together as friends. The scene is arguably Bright's best moment, in large part due to both Pratt and the show putting in the work to make his love feel real, and not just a schmaltzy plot device. (The "Don't Go" party thrown for Andy, however, is another story.)

Worst: The Huntress, Who Are You?

It's no surprise that an actor's worst appearance onscreen is often their first. That is certainly the case for Pratt, who made his television debut on a 2000 episode of the syndicated mother-daughter bounty hunter series "The Huntress." The one-season wonder stars Annette O'Toole as Dottie, a housewife who takes up the family business when her bounty hunter husband is murdered. Dottie is often comically ill-suited to the business, but her daughter Brandi (Jordana Spiro) takes to it like a duck to water.

In the episode "Who Are You?" the two take up the case of a missing young woman named Christy (Deborah Kellner) who was once Brandi's friend in high school; they fell out over a boy, Nick (Pratt), who Brandi liked. The actual mystery of Christy's disappearance is barely a mystery at all, and Nick serves mostly as a red herring; Pratt plays him as nothing more than a snot-nosed teen with a fat head (according to Brandi). The real intrigue of the episode is in a regrettable plotline about a bail-jumping trans woman (Robby Benson) who stalks Brandi for bashing in her face while in custody.

Best: Parks and Recreation, Flu Season

"Parks and Recreation" ended its recalibrated second season with a cliffhanger in which a pair of state auditors played by Rob Lowe and Adam Scott shut down the Pawnee government, putting Leslie and the rest of the Parks department out of work. Season 3 hit the ground running with arguably the series' strongest run of episodes, as Leslie resurrects the town's long dormant Harvest Festival. The second episode, "Flu Season," is the kind of off-brand episode that brings out the best in each character, as they find themselves in unusual situations and combinations. As a flu strain sweeps through Pawnee and puts several main characters in the hospital, others must pick up the slack. This results in Andy taking over April's (Aubrey Plaza) receptionist duties for her boss, anti-government meat lover Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman).

Though Rob Lowe, as "human microchip" Chris Traeger, gets the line of the episode with "Stop! Pooping!" everyone in the cast has their moment to shine. Ron's afternoon with Andy, which includes a burrito called the Meat Tornado, playing football in the parking lot, and learning about religious oligarchies, is a highlight, proving that Pratt's easy chemistry could work with pretty much anyone in the cast. Season 2 began Andy's rehabilitation from sofa pest to cuddly teddy bear, but it's Ron's appraisal of him here as a good guy that solidifies that version of the character for the rest of the series.