There’s a reason you find yourself returning to old shows you’ve rewatched half-a-dozen times already. It’s 2020, we’re living in what we can only assume is Hades’ personal playground. We need to feel something good, and familiar favorites guarantee that sense of comfort, connection, and home. So instead of questioning why you’re on your ninth viewing of the Emmy award-winning comedy Schitt’s Creek, just enjoy the ride, and maybe mark down some of these episodes in case you need that quick hit of serotonin before getting on the phone with your pandemic-denying uncle.
Here are the best, feel-good episodes of Schitt’s Creek.
15. “Friends & Family” (Season 3, Episode 12)
The Story: David and Patrick prepare for opening day at Rose Apothecary but David’s plans of a “soft launch” are quickly derailed. Meanwhile, Moira has a surprise gift for the family, and Alexis and Ted accidentally smooch at the office.
Why It’s On This List: This episode marked a turning point for the family and it came in the form of a behemoth painting that refused to shrouded by the motel’s pocket-sized bedspreads. The portrait solidified what most of the Roses already knew — their old life was over — but instead of mourning that fact, they welcomed it with soft launches and educational accomplishments. Sure, Moira expected the opening day of Rose Apothecary to be “a modest little vigil” offering “defeatist” discounts, and the large ground this VIP event grew was not Gwyneth Paltrow-approved, but to see the family come together for David’s big day was heartwarming (even if that kiss between Alexis and Ted made sampling small-batch colognes extremely awkward).
14. “The Hospies” (Season 5, Episode 8)
The Story: Stevie and Johnny head to the Regional Hospitality Awards where Stevie hopes to take her relationship with motel critic Emir to the next level. Back in Schitt’s Creek, Moira helps Jocelyn hold auditions for Cabaret, and Alexis has her eye on the lead.
Why It’s On This List: There’s no way watching Alexis perform the title track off her critically-reviewed, limited reality series “A Little Bit Alexis” didn’t make you roll on the floor with the LOLs, but even putting that banger aside, this episode gave us a couple of beautifully bonding moments between Stevie and the Rose family. First, was her emotional breakdown to Johnny backstage at the Hospies after Emir ended their relationship (who wouldn’t want to be comforted post-breakup by Eugene Levy and his eyebrows?). But the sweeter therapy session came thanks to Moira, who gave Stevie the lead in Cabaret and imparted some life advice in the process — though, she did keep the wine.
13. “The Bachelor Party” (Season 6, Episode 11)
The Story: Stevie plans a joint bachelor party for David and Patrick that includes an escape room adventure with the entire Rose family. While Johnny anxiously waits for a business-making call, Alexis worries she’s lost her mojo.
Why It’s On This List: Sure, it would’ve been lovely to see what David’s desired “Tahitian Dolphin Cruise” entailed, what we got from this episode was marginally better. The entire Rose family, trapped in a room with archaic, treasure-hunting memorabilia forced to work together to escape. It’s the perfect environment for everyone to work out their respective issues — which they mostly do — and, bonus, it’s also a great excuse for Moira to loquaciously loose her sh*t and Alexis to harness her globe-trotting, woman of mystery past.
12. “Bob’s Bagels” (Season 2, Episode 5)
The Story: Alexis is sick with a cold, and Moira must tap into her maternal side to take care of her while Johnny tries to dissuade Bob and Roland from launching a bagel shop.
Why It’s On This List: If everyone followed the Moira Rose-version of quarantining, this pandemic would’ve been over a while ago. As it stands though, there’s nothing funnier than watching the Rose family matriarch recounting that time their maid started frothing at the mouth in a water taxi while she locks the group in a separate hotel room and whispers that she’s sorry. But Moira comes around and subsequently shares a moment with her daughter that’s heartbreakingly sweet, despite how uncomfortable Moira seems with her realization that she does, in fact, have motherly instincts.
11. “The Incident” (Season 6, Episode 2)
The Story: An embarrassing habit from David’s past returns thanks to the stress of wedding planning, and Moira’s newfound love of social media only makes it worse.
Why It’s On This List: As stressful as David’s “nighttime oopsie-daisies” are for him, they’re great comedy fodder for this episode as a whole. Not only is “adult bed wetting” a story we just haven’t seen TV yet, but how Moira responds to it — with motherly concern, an accidental live stream, and a hurried cover-up — take some of dread and shame out of it. It’s really good storytelling that uses humor to make something seem less scary.
10. “The Hike” (Season 5, Episode 13)
The Story: Patrick plans a romantic hike with David that doesn’t go as smoothly as planned while Johnny finds himself in the hospital after his chest pains cause Moira, Roland, and Stevie to panic.
Why It’s On This List: Yes, this episode did end with a swoon-worthy proposal from Patrick, but the more intimate moment came when David, who complained about the outing from the time he realized they wouldn’t be touring English rose gardens, like Notting Hill. After Patrick injures his foot, David nurses him back to health, encouraging him to keep going and thanking him for planning their special day. And romantic confessions under duress becomes a theme of the episode after Johnny starts having chest pains, prompting Moira to shout her devotion in the E.R. waiting room and Stevie to have an emotional breakdown over the thought of losing her business partner. Nothing like some heartburn and a rogue stick to make you realize what you have, right?
9. “Open Mic” (Season 4, Episode 6)
The Story: Moira is forced to keep a secret while Patrick and David scheme ways to bring more business to Rose Apothecary.
Why It’s On This List: Watching Moira wrestle with being “encumbered by emotional cargo” over her discovery of Roland and Jocelyn’s big baby news might mark the more humorous moments of the episode, but anyone with a heart melted when Patrick broke out that guitar during the store’s open mic night and crooned an acoustic version of a Tina Turner banger to his true love, David.
8. “Surprise Party” (Season 1, Episode 12)
The Story: Johnny enlists David, Alexis, and Roland’s help in planning a surprise birthday party for Moira.
Why It’s On This List: The build-up to the bash featured some of the shows most iconic jokes — watching Moira trying to stage a coup against Jocelyn when she believed the mayor’s wife was failing in her duty to help those kids with “troubled mouths” being one — but the event itself and how the entire town came together to give Moira a special memory felt like the kind of thoughtful storytelling Schitt’s Creek would become known for. There was heart behind the humor, and we saw that in this episode.
7. “Finding David” (Season 2, Episode 1)
The Story: David (and his bag) go missing so the Rose family bands together to bring him back home.
Why It’s On This List: We’re still not sure if Moira’s hysterical outburst over the news that David had stolen Roland’s truck and fled the motel was a motherly concern for her son or the fear that her mother’s crocodile bag might never be returned, but it was still nice to see the group come together to rescue David from that Amish life.
6. “Grad Night” (Season 3, Episode 13)
The Story: Alexis readies for her graduation night while David plans to celebrate his birthday alone and Moira tries to score a solo.
Why It’s On This List: When the episode begins it seems like the Roses will veer off in completely different directions. David wants to celebrate his birthday — a date both of his parents have forgotten about — by himself; Alexis doesn’t want anyone to see her walk across a stage in an unflattering black robe; Johnny has to man the desk at the full-to-capacity motel, and Moira plans to steal the spotlight during a planned Jazzagals concert. But by the end of the half-hour, David and Patrick have had their first kiss and admitted their feelings for each other while Moira has made a moving gesture for her only daughter, on a night that marks a turning point in Alexis’ storyline.
5. “The Olive Branch” (Season 4, Episode 9)
The Story: David is still a needy mess after putting his relationship with Patrick on hold while Alexis and Moira clash over their separate applications for a town grant.
Why It’s On This List: There are a lot of small moments in this episode that tug on the heartstrings — Johnny’s failed gift to Stevie, Alexis’ pitch to Moira — but the crowning achievement has to be David’s romantic gesture to mend his relationship with Patrick. We won’t pick favorites (any Tina Turner rendition is a worthy musical moment), but there’s something beautiful about watching David, someone who’s so conscious of how he comes off to other, sacrifice his pride to show the man he loves just how committed he is to their relationship.
4. “Singles Week” (Season 4, Episode 12)
The Story: Patrick makes a big declaration to David after being inspired by Alexis’ “singles week” festivities.
Why It’s On This List: The arrival of baby Schitt, Moira’s time as a stressed-out doula, and Patrick’s love confession are highlights of this episode but the romantic relationship that takes the spotlight here is Ted and Alexis. The two had been dancing around each other all season, but to see Alexis finally own up to her feelings for the goofy vet was a defining moment in terms of her character growth. And no one, not even John Hughes, could’ve scripted that kiss at the cafe better.
3. “Happy Anniversary” (Season 2, Episode 13)
The Story: Johnny and Moira celebrate their anniversary with an awkward dinner date while Alexis mulls over attending a party she wasn’t invited to.
Why It’s On This List: Schitt’s Creek loved to end their seasons with some kind of celebratory event that brought everyone together, so of course, the party at Mutt’s barn made for a feel-good moment, but it’s what happened before — when Johnny and Moira defended Roland, Jocelyn, and the town to their elitist friends — that earned a supportive fist-pump from most fans.
2. “Meet The Parents” (Season 5, Episode 11)
The Story: David plans a surprise party for Patrick but learns some distressing news after inviting his parents from out-of-town.
Why It’s On This List: Schitt’s Creek raised the bar for how LGBTQ relationships were presented on screen and it’s the episode that cemented the show’s status as a model for gay romance done right. There was conflict — Patrick hadn’t come out to his parents yet and David’s party forced that confrontation — but instead of dwelling on the dark, heavy implications of Patrick’s fear and uncertainty, the show reaffirmed his relationship with David and gave everyone who’s dealt with that same “coming out moment” a relatable, heartwarming experience.
1. “Happy Ending” (Season 6, Episode 14)
The Story: David and Patrick get married as the Rose family bid farewell to Schitt’s Creek.
Why It’s On This List: Okay yes, there are plenty of heartbreaking moments in this episode. Goodbyes are never easy and even when they’re written as exceptionally as this finale was, they still suck. But the show managed to balance those sadder moments with truly joyous ones, like when the family worked together to give David his dream wedding despite terrible circumstances or when Moira broke down at the altar while dressed in full pope-couture. Even more importantly, the show gave each character a believable, earned, and hopeful ending, setting them off on new adventures but reminding us all that Schitt’s Creek would forever be their home — and ours.