Top 10 Most Re-Watched TV Scenes of All Time
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
The most rewatched TV scenes of all time practically broke our rewind button. We'll be going over the scenes from television that have brought viewers back again and again. However, we'll be excluding scenes from British and animated TV series, since those could both very well warrant lists of their own. WatchMojo ranks the most rewatched TV scenes of all time. Which TV scene did you rewatch over and over? Let us know in the comments!
We’re gonna need to watch that again! Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 most rewatched TV scenes of all time.
For this list, we’ll be going over the scenes from television that have brought viewers back again and again. However, we’ll be excluding scenes from British and animated TV series, since those could both very well warrant lists of their own. Note: there will be spoilers ahead.
#10: “This Is Not Meth”
“Breaking Bad” (2008-13)
As one of the most acclaimed shows to ever grace the small screen, “Breaking Bad” boasts many rewatchable moments, and while we were tempted to choose Walt’s “I am the one who knocks” speech, we ultimately went with this season 1 episode. After drug kingpin Tuco Salamanca beats up Jesse and steals their meth, chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White confronts Tuco at his hideout. Although Tuco is derisive of Walt, and incredulous that he brought him more drugs, the newly minted “Heisenberg” corrects him. It isn’t meth, he tells Salamanca before throwing a piece on the floor and causing an explosion. Although Walt had broken bad before, this moment was yet another big step and it’s a spectacle worth reliving multiple times.
#9: Tracking Shot
“True Detective” (2014-)
“True Detective” offers twists and action aplenty, but this is easily its most famous and rewatchable scene. In order to find a suspect, Detective Cohle infiltrates a gang that runs drugs. He joins them on a robbery to build trust with Ginger, the man who can point him to the suspect. Unfortunately, it goes wrong, forcing Cohle to take Ginger captive and get him out of the violent neighborhood as the police are called in. The tense, 6 minute long scene is one, uninterrupted tracking shot that follows Cohle as he tries to get himself and Ginger out alive. It’s a spectacular shot and it’s worth rewatching for both the thrills and to marvel at the craft that went into it.
Some scenes are rewatchable based on their own merits; others take on a life of their own once the internet gets ahold of them. This is one of the latter. In the first season finale of “Dexter,” Sgt. James Doakes pursues the titular forensic blood spatter analyst/serial killer to a shipping yard, confronting him over his suspicions that Dexter is more than he appears. He announces himself in a hilariously memorable way. Besides becoming a phrase commonly associated with the character, this line (and the scene as a whole) has become a popular meme, with fans using it to highlight moments when a character surprises another in a variety of other media, even varying the line to fit other situations.
#7: America Is Not the Greatest Country in the World
“The Newsroom” (2012-14)
Aaron Sorkin is known for creating shows with timely political discourse, but among the most rewatched scenes he’s ever penned comes from arguably one of his least well-known series. The first episode of “The Newsroom” sees moderate Republican news anchor Will McAvoy participating in a debate at a college, where the panelists are asked why America is the greatest country in the world. Although at first giving a standard non-answer like the others, when pushed, McAvoy, ultimately winds up ruthlessly explaining why he believes America is in fact no longer the greatest country in the world. The speech is rewatchable because it’s a fantastic reminder of what the country was and what it should or could be. Plus it’s exceedingly well-acted.
#6: The Ending
“The Sopranos” (1999-2007)
Concluding a TV show can be tricky and the last episode of “The Sopranos” is one of the most discussed, and rewatched, finales ever. The series’ final scene features Tony Soprano and his family in a diner, with daughter Meadow stuck outside parking. The scene abruptly cuts to black when Tony looks to the door after it chimes. The ambiguity of the ending proved controversial and is still the subject of discussion today. Was it Meadow coming in, or someone coming to kill Tony? By going back and dissecting it piece by piece, fans are still looking for answers even many years after it originally aired.
#5: “How Come He Don’t Want Mem Man?”
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990-96)
Sitcoms are chock full of scenes that elicit laughter even upon repeat viewings, but this is one of the rare sitcom moments that we revisit when we’re in the mood for a good cry instead. In this episode, Will reconnects with his father, who has been absent from his life for 14 years. When his father again abandons him, Will gives a passionate speech to his Uncle Phil. He asserts that he learned to do plenty of things without him and that he will show his own children love when he has them, before breaking down and questioning why his father doesn’t seem to want him. It’s a powerful scene that’s worth rewatching both for its narrative strength and the quality of Smith’s acting.
#4: “I Want It That Way”
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2013-)
This cop comedy has had some of the funniest cold opens on television during the 2010s, and this is perhaps its most memorable. When a witness to a crime reveals to Detective Jake Peralta that she didn’t see a suspect’s face and only heard him singing along to “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys, Jake has men in a lineup sing the song. Despite being understandably weirded out by the request, the lineup actually manages to sound pretty fantastic - with Jake getting into it, too. The witness then reveals it was the man at the end who killed her brother. The short length, hilarious punchline, and catchy song make this whole scene totally addictive.
#3: The Test
Okay, so we might be bending the definition of a “scene” with this entry. “The One with the Embryos” sees Joey and Chandler make a bet with Monica and Rachel as to who knows who best. It quickly escalates into a pseudo game show with Ross asking the questions. The test offers hilarious insights about each contestant, while also featuring great banter and rivalry between the friends. Although funny throughout, the final lightning round and the unexpected conclusion really seals the deal. It may not have created a singular catchphrase, like a certain couch moving scene, but we love it anyway. Now, let’s “PIVOT” to our next entry! “PIVOT!”
#2: What Cersei Does to the Great Sept of Baelor
“Game of Thrones” (2011-19)
Being the pop cultural juggernaut that it was, “Game of Thrones” has a ton of rewatchable moments. The infamous Red Wedding is pure reaction video gold. However, we would argue that the climax of season 6 finale is even more rewatchable. Queen Cersei is due to arrive at a trial at the Sept of Baelor for her many crimes. But instead, it’s revealed that she’s stashed wildfire below the religious building, which she uses to blow it up; taking many of her rivals out at once. The amazing and slowly-building musical score, as well as the fiery visuals make this sequence one that, like a fine wine, only gets better over time.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
“How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-)
Suddenly, Camino Del Rio Is No More
“Stranger Things” (2016-)
#1: Fire Drill
“The Office” (2005-13)
The post-Super Bowl episode of “The Office” is not only one of its most watched episodes, but it’s also among the most rewatchable. While the disastrous CPR instruction scene nearly made our list, we had to give it to the masterpiece that is its cold open instead. Tired of his co-workers ignoring his fire safety seminars, Dwight sets up a realistic fake fire scenario and locks everyone in the office. The ensuing event is pure comedic chaos, with each character reacting to the perceived danger differently; culminating in Stanley having a heart attack and Michael attempting to give him something to live for. Every repeat viewing reveals something new in the background to laugh at.