Culture / TV

20 of the most memorable ‘Sex and the City’ episodes

sex and the city episodes

Not all Sex and the City episodes are made equal. We admit, some have aged like a hunk of cheese left out on steaming hot New York City pavement. However, just like the outfits, there are those that will stay with us forever. Some episodes act as portals to escape our own lives – the ones where the cosmos flow freely and NYC as a main character holds true. Then there are those that were before their time. Speaking to ageism, modern dating, sex, power dynamics, fertility and friendship.

Running for six seasons across 1998 to 2004, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte walked so shows like Girls could run. If you're thinking of diving back into the series, we've revisiting the ninety-something episodes to bring you our favourite 20. So if couldn't help but wonder... what are the greatest Sex and the City episodes of all time? Here's our verdict.


1. The Turtle and the Hare (S1 E9)

Let us begin with a classic. Samantha fancies herself something of a fixer-upperer when she rejects Bernie Turtletaub, but decides to give him and his bad breath – "it's the herbs you see" – a makeover. Meanwhile, Charlotte is hibernating with her trusty pink rabbit vibrator and Miranda must wean her off and convince her to return to the land of the living. Although, personally, we'd tell Miranda to mind her own damn business!


2. The Baby Shower (S1 E10)


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In this standout episode, the girls begrudgingly set off to the place where all Manhattan party girls go to play house and pump out children: Connecticut. Confronted with a houseful of cardigan-wearing mums, the girls are judged (Samantha mostly), while Miranda watches on in disgust, Charlotte in adoration and Carrie with mild panic – her period is late. A special mention to Samantha and Miranda's baby shower gifts: a bottle of whisky and a box of pastel-coloured condoms. That's one way to make a statement.


3. Take Me Out to the Ballgame (S2 E1)


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You know when you're hanging out with your friends and you're all hungover, slightly existential and the conversation is particularly acerbic? This is that episode. Carrie is reeling post-breakup with Big. Samantha is lamenting the size of her boyfriend's penis. Charlotte is on her delusional bit, as usual, and Miranda just really loves the Yankees. Bonus points for everyone's coats, especially Miranda's Fendi fur, and the delicious "new Yankee" Joe.


4. They Shoot Single People, Don’t They? (S2 E4)


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Single & Fabulous? Carrie's photoshoot for New York Magazine goes awry when she spends the night prior downing tequila and turns up to the set haggard and dishevelled. We'll never forgive the bitchy headline, mostly because it stopped Carrie for hooking up with a young and particularly hunky Bradley Cooper. Which is a loss, whatever way you spin it.


5. Ex and the City (S2 E18)


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Much to cover in this episode, love that dress, but will leave you to ponder this: "Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them." Oh, and "Bye Hubbell"... Carrie really said that. This is a textbook example of main character syndrome, but we can't really blame her. The woman is literally the main character.


6. Where There's Smoke... (S3 E1)

It may not be Abu Dhabi (actually, we're relieved it's not), but it might as well be. The fearless foursome leave the safety of Manhattan for the foreign shores of Staten Island. Naturally, Samantha gets randy with a firefighter and Carrie meets The Politician (my favourite SATC man – next to Steve and Harry of course). Kim Cattrall is also saddled with one-liners like, "I'd like to show him my lower Manhattan" and "911, I'm on fire". No wonder the woman didn't want to return for And Just Like That.


7. Cock A Doodle Doo! (S3 E18)


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An episode that perfectly sums up the best and worst things about Sex and the City. The best? The flirty floral dress Carrie wears to meet big at the Boathouse in Central Park and the teeny outfits all four of the group wear at Samantha's rooftop party. The worst? Carrie's transphobic voiceover.


8. The Agony and the 'Ex'-Tacy (S4 E1)

If you like feeling sorry for yourself like I do at times, this episode is perfect for moments in the shower when your brain wants to invent scenarios, jump to conclusions and ultimately injure yourself for no good reason. All your friends stand you up at your birthday dinner – WDYD?


9. The Real Me (S4 E2)


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The episode where Carrie becomes "fashion roadkill". Heidi Klum even jumps right over her on the runway wearing that incredible floral Dolce & Gabbana dress, which adds insult to injury. Either way, we're proud of our girl for springing right back up and seeing it through. Oh, and Charlotte deserves a moment of praise too. The woman finally picked a mirror up and looked her vulva in the face.


10. Time and Punishment (S4 E7)

Post-cheating, this is the block of season 4 where Carrie and Aidan are particularly awful to each other. The resentment is palpable. It's also the episode where Carrie repeats, "you have to forgive me" about eighteen times. So there's that too.


11. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda (S4 E11)

First let's begin with this immaculate outfit; the scrunchie, pearls, tartan mini skirt, Gucci bum bag – sheer perfection. Second, this one is all about babies; specifically Miranda's lazy ovary, Steve's last testicle, Charlotte's 15% chance of conceiving "naturally" and Trey's sperm. It's also about abortion, and for those of you who can endure secondhand embarrassment, the episode where Samantha tries to get a Birkin using Lucy Liu's name. The "we're having a baby" always brings a tear to my eye.


12. Ring A Ding Ding (S4 E16)


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OK, WE'RE HERE. This is my favourite Sex and the City episode of all time, and it's also all the evidence you need that Carrie is the worst – if you sit in that camp. For the uninitiated, it's just after Carrie and Aidan break up for the second time and Aidan leaves Carrie a letter stating that she needs to buy her apartment off him or she must move out. Of course, Carrie doesn't have the money, have spent her wages entirely on shoes (the "I like my money where I can see it, in my closet" loses its kick when you're on the brink of homelessness). She appeals to Big, then Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte for the funds, and everyone offers up a cheque except Charlotte. Audacious of Carrie to berate Charlotte for not coughing up the $30k deposit, but what does Charlotte even do for work, again?


13. Plus One is the Loneliest Number (S5 E5)

Carrie meets Berger here, AKA the worst man in the entire series. She also has her book party and Samantha turns up after a face peel wearing a veil and looking like raw mince in a display of solidarity for her friend. Although at the sight of Samantha, Carrie tell her to go home, proving that Samantha is a good friend and that Carrie is, well not?


14. Critical Condition (S5 E6)

Charlotte comes face to face with Bunny MacDougall, and Trey finally stands up for Charlotte and to his mother, which means she can keep the apartment. When one door closes, another one opens, and for Charlotte it just so happens that that new opportunity is the wonderful Harry Goldenblatt, her divorce lawyer and eventual husband. Meanwhile, Samantha stops avoiding new mum Miranda and offers to babysit Brady while Miranda takes her appointment and gets her hair done.


15. The Big Journey (S5 E7)

The great role reversal. In The Big Journey, Carrie drags Samantha across the country to San Francisco for her book tour, where Big is also conveniently located. It's also the one where Carrie and Samantha are trying to get laid, and for the first time, Big isn't up for the job. Instead he wants to discuss Carrie's new book and how badly he treated her, which would be a nice chat except Carrie can't get her mind off sex. Unexpectedly it's Charlotte who is successful and with Harry Goldenblatt, no less.


16. The Post-It Always Sticks Twice (S6 E7)

Flagging this episode because if you ever need a quick Halloween costume, just morph into this breakup post-it from Berger. It's also the episode where Carrie gets written up for smoking weed, Miranda mysteriously fits into her skinny jeans again and Charlotte announces her engagement to Harry.


17. A Woman's Right to Shoes (S6 E9)

Harry is leaving his tea bags around the place. Carrie has her shoes stolen at a party, and is patronised by the party host for having such expensive shoes in the first place. Then Carrie decides to do something that has stuck with me since: send out invitations and reap the gift registry for it. Genius.


18. Out of the Frying Pan (S6 E16)

Things are changing fast and you can feel the motion in this episode. Miranda considers moving to Brooklyn, Charlotte is quite literally running the whole time, Samantha is going through chemo and Carrie is in denial. There's also the especially moving scene when Smith shaves his head out of solidarity with Samantha. We love an empathetic himbo.


19. Splat! (S6 E18)


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How do you know when the party is over? I'd say the moment when Lexi Featherston, a notorious NYC party girl, falls out of a window to her death is a good sign. Everyone is growing restless in New York City. Enid, Carrie's ex-editor at Vogue, delivers a soliloquy about the unfairness of dating as an older woman. There's an awkward dinner party with all the girls and their beaus, and the Russian stands out like a sore thumb. Miranda and Carrie argue, and the former delivers this famous line: "You're living in a fantasy" – which comes back to bite her in And Just Like That...


20. An American in Paris: Part Deux (S6 E20)


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An emotional ending takes place not in the Big Apple, but the City of Love. Go get our girl. But not you Big, we're thinking more like Stanford? If only Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael Patrick King knew how to let sleeping dogs lie. It's not enough that we have to purposely forget both movies. We've got the curse of Chez Diaz to summon away too.


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