Best Sex and The City Episodes for Every Mood

This article is for the late night binge-watching on a Sunday night. For the people who love Sex and the City and for the people who are just starting to watch it...here are the best and most iconic Sex and the City episodes for the most common moods everyone has while watching Carrie and her friends.

Best Sex and the City episodes if you want to laugh:

Season 5, episode 3: “Luck Be an Old Lady”: All the girls are too busy to celebrate Charlotte’s 36th birthday, so Carrie forces them to clear their schedules and crash Samantha and Richard’s Atlantic City trip. This episode’s got it all: Miranda bossing Steve around, Samantha traumatizing Charlotte, Charlotte indulging in a birthday makeover, and a showdown between the ladies and a group of loud-mouthed gamblers.

Season 3, episode 1: “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire”: The ladies travel all the way to Staten Island so Carrie can judge the fire department’s calendar competition. Carrie meets Bill Kelley, a “politician guy” who seems promising. Charlotte gets wasted. Samantha tries to fulfill a “rescue fantasy” but ends up stranded and naked in a firehouse. Miranda allows herself to accept help from Steve after eye surgery, and they start the reconciliation process. And Charlotte rethinks her priorities after realizing her “Prince Charming” is a belligerent bully. This episode’s “all women want to be saved” premise may induce eyerolls at first, but the execution is pretty great.

Season 1, episode 9: “The Turtle and the Hare”: This episode is the first of the series to depict a wedding and the first to address masturbation, and it turns out to be a surprisingly effective combo. It was likely the first time many girls and women saw a wedding portrayed as a disappointment instead of life’s ultimate goal onscreen — and the first time we saw masturbation portrayed as comic relief instead of something to be ashamed of. Samantha’s Turtle subplot taught us all it’s not worth fixing a man because he’ll just believe he did it himself.

Best Sex and the City episodes if you want to feel happy:

Season 3, episode 14: “Sex and Another City”: The second half of Carrie, Samantha and Miranda’s trip to LA doesn’t exactly tackle the big issues, but it’s got cameos from Vince Vaughn, Carrie Fisher, Hugh Hefner and the Girls Next Door, and it belongs in the top tier of SATC eps. Despite all this fun in the sun, we’re treated to some healthy doses of LA shade when Miranda’s horrified by her ex’s LA transformation and Carrie’s hot fling turns out to be a fraud. A Playboy Mansion party scene caps off this episode that delivers on every New-Yorkers-in-LA fantasy you can think of.

Season 3, episode 2: “Politically Erect”: This episode examines Carrie’s short-lived stint as a political girlfriend, and the girls really wear their privilege on their sleeves: Carrie’s not registered to vote, Samantha picks candidates based on how hot they are, and Charlotte’s only contribution to the political conversation is “I had a college crush on Dan Quayle.” Yikes. Meanwhile, Miranda is holding it down for the adults of the world by semi-rejecting Steve’s request to go steady. And Samantha dates a short guy. This storyline actually feels prescient, as surprise height differences have become a real concern in the post-Tinder world.

Season 3, episode 15: “Hot Child in the City”: You know that feeling you get when you’re finally over your breakup and you’ve reverse-aged at least 10 years? This episode encapsulates that perfectly. Fittingly, it has a high-school theme and features Miranda with braces, plus a horrifying teen client giving Samantha a midlife crisis. Carrie’s feeling so young, she dates a comic book author who lives with his parents and prefers KFC and weed to cosmopolitans and hors d’oeuvres. The episode ends with Carrie and her friends getting high on borrowed weed, which is all any newly single person can ever hope for, really.

Best Sex and the City episodes if you want to cry:

Season 6, episode 14: “The Ick Factor”: Boasting Steve and Miranda’s wedding, Carrie and the Russian’s weirdly old-school courtship, and Charlotte and Harry’s bout of couples food poisoning, this episode’s all about the kind of relationships that are so close, they’re almost gross. But it also proves that there’s one thing that can shake the unshakeable SATC girls: the thought of a woman proposing. And over beers, no less. But still, it marks a moment of growth for all the women, when they realize they’re truly comfortable with their current partners. Unfortunately, this is also the episode when we learn Samantha has cancer, but the show covers this topic, which can often come off maudlin on TV, with the utmost class.

Season 3, episode 11: “Running With Scissors”: Like the entire Carrie’s-cheating-on-Aidan story arc, this episode’s excruciating to watch but important. This is the one where Natasha discovers Carrie in her apartment building, then falls and chips a tooth chasing after her. It feels kind of triumphant when Carrie ends their affair in the hospital lobby, but it’s obviously too little too late. Through Samantha’s subplot, the show expertly takes a heavy topic — HIV testing — and gives it the respect it deserves while also injecting it with SATC’s trademark humor and charm. Best of all, we meet Anthony Marentino, a wedding-planner who ends up staying with the crew for the long haul.

Season 6, episode 17: “Out of the Frying Pan”: The Russian continues his campaign of rigidity by repeatedly reminding Carrie that Samantha could maybe die of cancer. Charlotte gets a dog. Miranda considers moving to Brooklyn. And in the series’ most tear-jerking moment, Smith shaves his head in solidarity as a tribute to Samantha, whose hair is falling out due to chemo.

Best Sex and the City Episodes if you want to think about love:

Season 5, episode 8: “I Love a Charade”: After a season of singleness, the girls hit the Hamptons for a wedding and start to move toward pairing off. Charlotte takes Harry out in public for the first time. Miranda and Steve slide into couply behavior. Carrie runs into Berger again and learns he’s finally single. And Samantha appears to be talking to Richard again

Season 6, episode 4: “Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little”: Carrie’s nitpicking storyline, in which she mocks Berger for putting his book character in a scrunchie, is cringe-inducing. But Charlotte’s Shabbat dinner freakout is even worse: she berates Harry for not proposing (it’s been like six months…) and points out how much better looking she is than him. Still, the episode redeems itself thanks to Samantha and Smith’s hilarious role-playing, and the illuminating gospel of “he’s just not that into you,” a.k.a. the only useful thing Berger ever did.

Season 6, episode 1: “To Market, To Market”: Miranda finally acknowledges her feelings for Steve, then realizes he has a new girlfriend named Debbie who’s basically Miranda’s polar opposite. Charlotte and Harry hit a roadblock when he divulges that he can’t marry a non-Jewish person. Carrie ends up spotting both Aidan and Berger unexpectedly in the wild, and goes on an impromptu first date with Berger.