10 Terrible Episodes In Otherwise Awesome TV Shows

Even the greatest shows have their off-days.

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No TV show is perfect, and even those series which seem to boast an improbably high batting average of quality episodes aren't beyond at least one dud.

Given that most TV series are collaborated upon by dozens of writers, directors, producers, and studio heads - not to mention a huge ensemble cast - it's little surprise that things don't always work out perfectly, even if the best TV shows impressively make it an absolute rarity.

Though these 10 TV shows have all received heaps of critical acclaim over the years, each has been guilty of releasing a single episode which actually passes for genuinely terrible.

Whether a result of production issues, budgetary constraints, or an ambitious writer simply getting in over their head, these episodes serve as minor smudges on the records of shows that were otherwise shockingly consistent for the most part.

While some fans might be able to embrace these episodes for their off-the-wall "eccentricity" - if we're being kind - they absolutely stick out in shows that were so great at hitting the mark (almost) every time...

10. "Shades Of Gray" - Star Trek: The Next Generation

Stranger Things Eleven

The first two seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation had their fair share of not-great episodes, to be fair, but just a single one which dared to be a truly worthless insult to the audience.

The second season's finale, "Shades of Gray," was the only clip show episode across TNG's seven seasons, and was devised after previous episodes in the season had run over-budget.

Writer Maurice Hurley, who himself called the episode a "piece of s**t," wrote a frame narrative involving Riker (Jonathan Frakes) being forced to relive pivotal moments during his time on the Enterprise in order to fight off an alien infection.

Even for the standards of clip shows, it's howlingly lazy stuff, with the wraparound scenes all being shot in just three days, serving as an embarrassingly flimsy segue to various choice clips from the first two seasons.

It may well be one of the worst season finales to any mainstream TV show in history, though thankfully TNG rebounded with its hugely improved third season.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.