10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)

ytsfreeAugust 28, 2022

FX has confirmed that American Horror Story will be returning for season 11 this coming fall. Little information apart from the release window has been officially released about the upcoming season so fans will have to wait and see who from the AHS cast will be returning and what the new season will be about, but that’s all part of the fun.

The very first season of AHS Murder House premiered over a decade ago and since then, showrunner Ryan Murphy has brought 10 strikingly different stories to life. Most fans can easily pinpoint their favorite seasons, but it’s a little harder to break it down to the best episodes. Thankfully, IMDb’s rating system makes it easy to make that determination.


10 Boy Wonder – 8.4

Season 8 Episode 5

The eighth season of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, was an ambitious undertaking for the horror series since, unlike the others, it was a direct crossover between two previous fan-favorite seasons, Murder House and Coven. Episode five of Apocalypse is when both stories really merged together and fans could see how it was all lining up.

Related: 10 Memes that Perfectly Sum Up AHS Coven

The episode showed more of everyone’s favorite witches from Coven with the episode leaning heavily into witchy politics that expanded on what fans already knew of the coven. The constant callback to storylines fans already loved, a full-length performance from real-life “witch” Stevie Nicks, and a teaser of the upcoming Murder House tie-in made this episode an early favorite.

9 Gaslight – 8.5

Season 10 Episode 5

The AHS fanbase is extremely loyal to the early seasons of the show which is why it is a bit of a surprise for an episode in the 2021 season, Double Feature, to be so well received by viewers. There is something especially haunting about the “Gaslight” episode though that would be impossible to not notice.

True to its name, the episode whips fans’ emotions around with the unimaginable situation Doris is facing and Lily Rabe’s performance only added to the episode’s intended effect. It was equal parts touching, traumatizing, and haunting. It was the peak of a season that was not one of AHS‘s bests but with the unforgettable character performances of the disturbing story, there’s no way anyone could forget it.

8 Unholy Night – 8.5

Season 2 Episode 8

The momentum of the first season of AHS was continued in season 2 with Asylum. It may have been a completely different story, but it was just as effective in capturing and holding audiences’ attention week after week. Episode 8 delivered a dark and contorted Christmas story and Christmas in the Asylum went as well as could be expected considering its inhabitants.

Guest star Ian McShane’s delivery as a murderous Santa Claus wreaking some Christmas-time havoc was the standout of the episode. There wasn’t much progression of the central storylines, but the episode did help to reveal more of Mary Eunice’s wicked yet brave character but of course, that was done with the help of McShane’s character. It’s likely that the episode wouldn’t have stood out as much among others included in the season without McShane.

7 Edward Mordrake: Part 2 – 8.6

Season 4 Episode 4

Freak Show was the fourth season of AHS, and it centered around the performers of a local carnival “freak show.” The heart of this season was the stories of each of these performers and episode 4 expanded on several of those stories. The character arcs explored in the episode included that of Twisty The Clown, one of the most arresting, terrifying, and somehow likable characters of the Freak Show season.

Fans finally got the answer to their questions about Twisty and may have even been able to empathize with him and his story. Episode 8 also doubled as the second part to a Halloween episode and it’s hard to argue a better match than AHS and Halloween.

6 Madness Ends – 8.7

Season 2 Episode 13

Compared to the other episodes of the season, the finale of Asylum was slightly expected. Most of the questions were answered, the stories had an end and there was a final roundabout ending that brought viewers back to the beginning and reminded everyone of just how far the story had come.

Related: 10 American Horror Story Characters We Want To See Again

The final end of the episode helped give it the AHS feel that wouldn’t have been there if they had just gone with a perfectly tied-up happy ending. After the trauma of the season’s events, it was satisfying to see how far each of the characters had come and how their stories came to an end and that’s definitely not something many can say about most AHS finales.

5 Orphans – 8.7

Season 4 Episode 10

Seeing any character crossover between AHS seasons is a satisfying experience and when done well and in a cohesive way, it will always be well received by fans of the story. For AHS Coven fans, that moment came in the tenth episode of Freak Show, where viewers finally got to see how Pepper’s backstory from Coven actually played out.

Pepper had been in the background for a lot of the season, but fans knew that her moment was coming because of her past appearance in Coven. Saving her until her moment paid off and gave fans a heart-wrenching delivery of Pepper’s story. It all merged so seamlessly into the established Coven storyline which made it have an even bigger impact on the AHS audience.

4 I Am Anne Frank: Part 2 – 8.8

Season 2 Episode 5

Asylum, true to its name, was a season so full of twists and turns that it had viewers’ brains moving miles a minute to piece together what was real and what wasn’t. A particularly mind-bending jaw-dropper was the episode 5 reveals of Bloody Face and the exposure of Arthur Arden’s true identity in part two of a two-part episode named “I Am Anne Frank.”

Instead of leaning too far into the identity crisis of a new patient who believed she was Anne Frank, showrunner Ryan Murphy used her as a catalyst in effectively progressing the stories of the asylum. The episode featured a mid-season surprise killer reveal and ended with a scene that shockingly (but not surprisingly) revealed that Arden was just as bad as he seemed. It was one of the first peaks of the season and marked a positive change in momentum for the Asylum storyline.

3 Could It Be… Satan? – 8.8

Season 8 Episode 4

The casting of Cody Fern as Michael Langdon, the main antagonist of Apocalypse, was well received by viewers with many of them taking notice of his soft beauty that naturally seems to always be hiding something darker behind it. Michael’s story got its roots in episode four of the season and viewers finally got to find out more about how he was raised and what he was like during his time studying and training in the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Men.

Related: 10 Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made, According To Ranker

The episode gave viewers more pieces of the story with scenes from Michael’s childhood and insight into the warlocks vs. witches politics. With Michael bringing Queenie and Madison back, things began looking more and more familiar to viewers and the crossover season took form. It told a new side of a story that fans already knew and gave them the tools they would need to start putting it together which is always appreciated by the more committed AHS fans.

2 The Name Game – 8.9

Season 2 Episode 10

No one walked away from season 2 of AHS without having sung “The Name Game” at least once. The scene where Jessica Lange’s character, Judy Martin, sings “The Name Game” in the common room is what the episode is most remembered for, but it’s actually a complete tonal shift from everything else that occurs during the episode.

The tenth episode saw the Asylum start its upward spiral away from the evil that had consumed it throughout the season. Every main character had their moment to shine but Lange and Lily Rabe (Sister Mary Eunice) were undeniably brilliant in portraying each of their characters’ character shifts that started all the way back in the first episode. No matter what people remember from the episode “amazing” will be an appropriate word to describe it and the episode will always be considered a highlight in AHS history.

1 Return To Murder House – 9.2

Season 8 Episode 6

It took a minute but Apocalypse finally took fans back to the beginning in episode 9, “Return to Murder House.” The entire episode was one big callback to the events in Murder House and explained how those events took shape into what became Michael’s early stages of life.

“Return to Murder House” used Murder House‘s ghosts to reveal Michael’s true nature and to confirm that he was in fact the Antichrist. Apart from the amazing and well-received fan-fare, the episode told a story that was cohesive with what fans already knew and continued to build on it to usher in the climax of the season resulting in an episode that felt like it was made with fans in mind.

Next: 10 Best Shows Like American Horror Stories


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