Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Broad City's 7 Best And 7 Worst Episodes Ranked

In 2014, something shifted. In January of that year, Comedy Central aired the very first episode of "Broad City," a scripted comedy series created by and starring real-life best friends Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Based on their home-spun web series of the same name, the show followed Ilana and Abbi as they traversed New York City as broke twentysomethings, smoking a lot of weed and constantly getting themselves into trouble.

The premise of the series, which allowed the raunchy, bawdy women to do and say anything they wanted, quickly attracted a passionate fanbase that had long been hungry for a show like this. Abbi and Ilana became comedy superstars, and "Broad City" ran for a respectable five seasons. There really hasn't been anything on television like "Broad City" since it stopped airing, which just goes to show how magical the series really was. 

Since there will never again be any new episodes of "Broad City" to watch (that we know of), we thought it might be time to take a look at some of the show's highlights -– and lowlights. Using IMDb user ratings as our data set, here's our ranking of the seven best and seven worst episodes of "Broad City."

Worst: Philadelphia (Season 3, Episode 6)

Fans of "Broad City" knows that the setting of New York City is hugely important to the show. Some might even say it's a character in and of itself. As such, one of the lowest-rated episodes of "Broad City" is the Season 3 episode entitled "Philadelphia," and our guess is that the setting of the episode is partially at fault for its low rating.

In "Philadelphia," Abbi and Ilana travel to Abbi's Pennsylvania hometown so they can clean out Abbi's childhood bedroom. While there, Abbi discovers that she never distributed the money she raised from a dance-a-thon in honor of her friend Alice, who was hit by a bus. Abbi decides that she and Ilana must make it their mission to return the money to its rightful owner. They travel across town attempting to track down Alice but find themselves using most of the money on their journey. When they finally find Alice, they discover she lives in a mansion and is a successful model.

The episode has its highlights –- Tony Danza plays Abbi's father, for example -– but it just doesn't soar to the heights that other episodes do. That being said, most fans of "Broad City" will probably tell you there really isn't a bad episode of the show, it's just that some are better than others. Abbi and Ilana's hijinks are still entertaining to watch in this episode, but Pennsylvania just doesn't have that same sparkle as New York City.

Best: Wisdom Teeth (Season 2, Episode 3)

"Wisdom Teeth" is a classic "Broad City" episode, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a fan who doesn't remember some of its most memorable gags. As the title suggests, the episode follows Abbi's experience of getting her wisdom teeth removed by Lincoln (Hannibal Buress). It becomes Ilana's duty to take care of Abbi while she's high on Vicodin — and a weed smoothie Ilana gave her. 

Ilana does her best to be Abbi's nurse, even wearing a nurse outfit, but she quickly loses track of Abbi, who has begun hallucinating a giant creature named Bingo Bronson. One of the most memorable scenes in the episode sees Abbi absolutely terrorizing her local Whole Foods, and her high Drew Barrymore impression is one for the books.

"Wisdom Teeth" is a wonderful example of what makes "Broad City" so great. Taking the characters we've come to know so well and switching up their roles -– making Ilana, the "wild one," become the caretaker -– is a brilliant move, and it's an especially hilarious episode for Abbi. The 'high-on-painkillers' premise has been done many times before, but these two broads take it to another level.

Worst: The Matrix (Season 2, Episode 6)

In "The Matrix" (no, not the movie), Abbi and Ilana decide to take some time off and unplug from cyberspace. After getting sucked into the internet for hours on end, they realize all that screen time might be frying their brains, so they decide to leave their phones at home and go roller skating at the park. Predictably, hijinks ensue when Abbi falls in a hole and is unable to get out and Ilana realizes she has no idea where the dog wedding they were meant to attend is because the directions are on her phone.

There's really nothing wrong with this episode, but according to IMDb users, it just doesn't stack up against the rest of the excellent episodes in the series. The dog wedding is certainly an amusing premise, and the buffoonery is bound to give you at least a chuckle. However, perhaps what viewers really want from "Broad City" is those laugh-out-loud, chest-hurting moments, and this episode just isn't top-ranked in that regard.

Best: Two Chainz (Season 3, Episode 1)

"Two Chainz" is a perfect example of what makes the formula of "Broad City" work so well. In typical fashion, the episode sees Abbi and Ilana on a mission to complete a fairly mundane task, only for every single possible thing to go wrong on the way. It all starts with Abbi dropping her bike lock down a sewer gate, which leads to Abbi ruining her shirt, which leads to them having to buy a new shirt because her old shirt gets stolen — and so on and so forth. Their ultimate goal is to make it to Abbi's friend's gallery opening, but when they do finally make it, they end up ruining one of the paintings.

The recognizable formula of the episode works extremely well in this case, and each hijink gets more absurd (and hilarious) than the last. The episode also begins with an incredible split-screen montage that speeds through everything Abbi and Ilana have done in their respective bathrooms over the last few months (presumably in between Seasons 2 and 3). We won't describe to you exactly what happens in these throne rooms, but you can probably guess. For fans who had missed the show in between seasons, the Season 3 premiere was a superb reintroduction as to why the series works so well.

Worst: SheWork and S*** Bucket (Season 5, Episode 2)

In the Season 5 episode "SheWork and S*** Bucket," Ilana and Abbi are on separate journeys. Ilana decides to found her own startup called SheWork (inspired by YouWork, which is the show's play on WeWork). She gets people to pay her to sit on the sidewalk filled with trash furniture, proclaiming that it is a space specifically designed for women who work but also want to smoke, which leads to another appearance by the hilarious Rachel Dratch. 

Meanwhile, Abbi learns that her toilet can't flush toilet paper and is advised to purchase a "s*** bucket" instead, leading her to the beloved mecca of Bed Bath & Beyond. Later, she tries to rally her neighbors to demand better from their landlord, but she realizes none of them know who she is.

It's a creative, silly episode, and it actually sees our lead characters accomplish a lot (or more than they usually do, at least) over a short period of time. The biggest downside of the episode is that Abbi and Ilana are separated for the episode's entire runtime. While their separate shenanigans are entertaining enough, the show is at its best when they are together, playing off each other's energy and usually making even worse decisions.

Best: Burning Bridges (Season 3, Episode 8)

"Broad City" may be known for its zaniness and the fact that its lead characters tend to lack common sense and maturity, but that doesn't mean it's totally without depth. The Season 3 episode "Burning Bridges" is a great example of this. Arguably the most serious episode of the show, "Burning Bridges" sees a lot of character development for both Abbi and Ilana. Abbi is secretly dating Trey (Paul W. Downs), while Lincoln has just told Ilana that he has started dating someone else exclusively, meaning they can no longer be together. While Ilana is dealing with this new development, Abbi spends the episode trying to hide her relationship with Trey from Ilana, leading to an amusing "Mrs. Doubtfire" inspired sequence at a restaurant.

Slate called "Burning Bridges" the "first genuinely sad episode of the show," and they were right. Moreover, it's exactly this undercurrent of sadness and strife that makes the episode so great. While it's not without humor, it sees both Abbi and Ilana at turning points in their lives and it even creates a temporary rift in their relationship, something we hadn't really seen before. While "Broad City" wouldn't be the amazing show it is if every episode were like this, it's a nice reminder that character development and campy humor can coexist at times.

Worst: Witches (Season 4, Episode 6)

Season 4 of "Broad City" was the first to take place in the Trump era, and the episode "Witches" was the first to really tackle this new reality head-on. In this episode, Ilana reveals a dark secret: she hasn't been able to experience a "big O" since Trump was elected, and she's consulting a sex therapist to figure out how to fix the problem. Meanwhile, Abbi finds her first gray hair, which sends her into a dark spiral about aging that leads her to a plastic surgeon.

It's a touching, intelligent episode, but it's also one of the lowest-rated episodes according to IMDb users. Perhaps the reason for this is that it addressed contemporary politics so directly -– not all viewers want to be confronted with political issues when they're watching a goofy comedy, so this choice is bound to turn off a certain percentage of viewers. In this case, it's really just a matter of taste. If you like when Abbi and Ilana's hijinks are almost entirely disconnected from reality, then this might not be the episode for you, but for those with a craving for something a little more penetrating, this episode might be one of your favorites.

Best: Stories (Season 5, Episode 1)

The concept of "Broad City's" Season 5 premiere, "Stories," is actually a rather lofty one, but, at the same time, it still follows the show's deceptively simple (and effective) formula. Almost the entire episode of "Stories" takes place in the form of an Instagram story. It's only interrupted when Ilana drops her phone in the river halfway through the episode and then at the end when Abbi's college friend, known as Cheese (Cody Lindquist), knocks Abbi's phone out of her hand.

The Instagram gimmick works extremely well and is actually one of the best social media TV integrations we've ever seen. The whole episode takes place on Abbi's thirtieth birthday and both Ilana and Abbi remark that they barely remember what happened because they were Instagramming everything. The message of the episode may seem fairly obvious (because it is), but it's just so well-executed and such a shining example of the unique tonality that makes "Broad City" so great that there's really nothing to complain about here.

Worst: Mushrooms (Season 4, Episode 4)

"Broad City's" Season 4 episode "Mushrooms" is either going to work for you or not, which is probably why it has one of the lower user ratings on IMDb. As the title suggests, "Mushrooms" follows Abbi and Ilana as they take a trip on mushrooms. At first, their trip feels delightful, and the screen is peppered with adorable animated cartoons. Then, at the height of their trip, the episode becomes fully animated as Abbi and Ilana go on a cartoon, lovey-dovey adventure together. As in nearly every other "Broad City" episode, things eventually go off the rails when Abbi and Ilana attend a party at Abbi's new boss's house leading to, among other things, a failed threesome and a dead cat.

In reality, "Mushrooms" plays out like any other episode of "Broad City" with the addition of the trippy animation. The episode also tracks Ilana's grief over Lincoln and ends with Abbi out of job (see: the dead cat). It's a big swing, and, for the most part, it pays off. It's actually pretty difficult to rank "Broad City" episodes because there are just so many gems and even the worst of the bunch are still pretty great. All in all, "Mushrooms" may not be a total crowd-pleaser -– perhaps that dead cat was too far for some –- but it's far from a clunker.

Best: Coat Check (Season 2, Episode 9)

Season 2's "Coat Check" is one of the most memorable episodes of "Broad City," so it's no surprise it's so highly rated by IMDb users. The episode starts where one might expect: at the coat check for a fancy party where Abbi and Ilana are working for the night. When Abbi accidentally gives away Kelly Ripa's coat (yes, the Kelly Ripa), she spends the night trying to return the coat to its rightful owner. Meanwhile, Ilana meets her doppelganger, Adele (played by Glazer's actual doppelganger, Alia Shawkat), and is immediately attracted to her.

Though Abbi and Ilana are on separate journeys for the latter half of the episode, both of their storylines are equally marvelous. Ilana falling in love with her doppelganger makes so much sense for a character whose defining characteristic is how much she loves herself, and Shawkat is perfectly cast in the role (Ilana shouting "Yas, queen!" while they hook up is pretty unforgettable, too). 

While Shawkat is great, Kelly Ripa is arguably the showstopper of the episode, playing a deranged version of herself that only someone with a lot of courage and a good sense of humor would do. It's a truly perfect episode of "Broad City," utilizing both the star power of its guests and the charm of its leads to create a wonderful 22 minutes of television.

Worst: 2016 (Season 3, Episode 5)

If there's one episode of "Broad City" that has not aged well at all, it's got to be the Season 3 episode "2016" which tackles politics more overtly than any episode before. After losing her job, Ilana starts volunteering (though she thinks she will be getting paid) at Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Abbi and Ilana are both big fans of Hillary, so when Hillary walks into the campaign office one day, they both lose their minds, blabbering nonsense as time starts to slow down around them. Unlike some of the show's other hilarious cameos — Kelly Ripa, for example –- this one feels more gimmicky than anything else, leading Junkee to recall the episode with " utter cringe" while describing Abbi and Ilana's freak out when they meet Hillary as "difficult to watch."

The rest of the episode is much more palatable. Abbi's mission is to go get a new driver's license, and her portion of the episode parodies the DMV by making it seem like a post-apocalyptic wasteland where people are willing to choose violence to get a good spot in line. Ilana must finally face the fact that she is jobless, confronting some truths she has been ignoring. Unfortunately, the Hillary Clinton of it all throws the episode off balance and distracts from what could have been a much stronger episode.

Best: Broad City (Season 5, Episode 10)

When it comes to beloved television shows, the season finales are usually some of the highest-rated episodes, as long as they don't fumble the bag too badly. That happens to be the case for "Broad City," as the series finale of Season 5 absolutely sticks the landing in a veritable feat in scripted television.

The episode, titled "Broad City," is necessarily melancholy. It follows Abbi and Ilana during their last 24 hours together before Abbi leaves to attend an artist's residency in Colorado. They try to pack as much as they can in these final hours, making it their mission to consume one last bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich (which they fail to do, of course), and dragging a $10,000 Japanese toilet across the Brooklyn Bridge. There's no other way the story could end, and these final hijinks are a pitch-perfect way to conclude one of the most beloved TV friendships of all time.

One of the most heart-squeezing moments comes at the end of the episode when Abbi and Ilana are on a phone call, thousands of miles apart. What starts as a split-screen shot of Abbi walking towards her studio and Ilana descending into the subway station transforms into a wide shot of New York City, focusing on other pairs of twentysomethings –- all the other Abbis and Ilanas out there -– instead. It's a beautiful way to end the series and a perfect way to pass the baton to the next generation.

Worst: What a Wonderful World (Season 1, Episode 1)

The pilot episode of "Broad City" may be the lowest-rated episode on IMDb, but it's far from a bad episode of the show. The show's first episode gives viewers a sense of what "Broad City" is about. Quickly establishing the show's formula, the women get into trouble while trying to pull off a mission that might be impossible. When Ilana hears about a secret pop-up Lil Wayne concert, she convinces Abbi to ditch work and help her find a way to attend. They spend the evening trying to scrounge up enough money for tickets, finding themselves in increasingly absurd situations.

Though it's only the pilot episode, "What a Wonderful World" still feels pretty full-formed, perhaps because Abbi and Ilana had spent years perfecting the show as a web series. While it's a good episode, it doesn't quite reach the heights that later episodes do as the cast, and the writers, get more comfortable in their roles. In fact, Episode 2 is already an improvement on the pilot and contains some of the series' most memorable gags.

"What a Wonderful World" is mainly at a disadvantage because it's stacked up against so many other great "Broad City" episodes, especially in Season 2, which is arguably the best season of the show. There's not much to quibble with in this episode, but, looking back, it's clear that Abbi and Ilana were just getting started.

Best: Knockoffs (Season 2, Episode 4)

"Knockoffs" contains several of the most iconic moments ever depicted on "Broad City," so it's only right that IMDb users have rated it so highly. If the particulars of the episode have escaped you, let's start with a quick recap. The episode follows Abbi as she finally (finally) goes on a date with her neighbor, Jeremy (Stephen Schneider). All is going well until they are getting intimate and Jeremy pulls out a strap-on sex toy, asking Abbi to use it on him. Abbi is taken aback, so she does what anyone would do in this situation: she calls her best friend. Ilana is obviously thrilled by this new development, even taking a moment to do a hilarious (and very acrobatic) twerking dance that will be forever etched in our brains.

Meanwhile, Ilana and her mother (played by the perfectly cast Susie Essman) are on their way to Ilana's grandmother's shiva, but Ilana's mother has decided they need to stop for some counterfeit bags first. They end up in a series of increasingly shady spots, culminating in Ilana doing her celebratory twerk dance in some sketchy basement. Finally meeting Ilana's family is a treat, and Abbi's development with Jeremey is everything we could have dreamed of and more. Throughout all of the hijinks, we also learn a little bit more about Ilana and Abbi as people in this episode, making it the ultimate example of what "Broad City" does best: absurdity and heart.