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The Best Episodes of The West Wing

Every episode of The West Wing ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of The West Wing!

The West Wing provides a glimpse into presidential politics in the nation's capital as it tells the stories of the members of a fictional presidential administration. These interesting characters have humor and dedication that touches the heart while the politics that they discuss touch on everyday life.


Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "The West Wing" is "Two Cathedrals", rated 9.7/10 from 3640 user votes. It was directed by Thomas Schlamme and written by Aaron Sorkin. "Two Cathedrals" aired on 5/16/2001 and is rated 0.3 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (1)".

  • Two Cathedrals
    9.7/10 3,640 votes

    #1 - Two Cathedrals

    Season 2 Episode 22 - Aired 2001-05-16

    On the day of Mrs. Landingham's funeral, the staff deals with a Haitian presidential crisis and the law suit against the big tobacco companies, and Bartlet must decide about running for reelection.

    Director: Thomas Schlamme

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

  • In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (1)
    9.4/10 1,818 votes

    #2 - In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (1)

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2000-10-04

    "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" is the two-part second season premiere of the American political drama television seriesThe West Wing. Both parts were written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Thomas Schlamme.

    Director: Thomas Schlamme

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

  • Noël
    9.4/10 1,942 votes

    #3 - Noël

    Season 2 Episode 10 - Aired 2000-12-20

    Josh investigates the suicide of a pilot with whom he has things in common; Donna tries to get an invitation to the Congressional Christmas party to hear Yo-Yo Ma perform; Jed insists on signing a mountain of Christmas cards himself; after a White House visitor has a strange reaction to a painting, C.J. sets out to discover its provenance; following weeks of volatile behavior and an outburst in the Oval Office, Josh meets with representatives from the America Trauma Victims Association and finally deals with the trauma from his shooting.

    Director: Thomas Schlamme

    Writer: Peter Parnell, Aaron Sorkin

  • In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (2)
    9.3/10 1,572 votes

    #4 - In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (2)

    Season 2 Episode 2 - Aired 2000-10-04

    With the accomplice in custody, it's revealed that the intended target was Charlie, not Bartlet. The staff still awaits news about Josh, and recalls how C.J. and Donna came to join the Bartlet campaign.

    Director: Thomas Schlamme

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

  • What Kind of Day Has It Been
    9.2/10 1,460 votes

    #5 - What Kind of Day Has It Been

    Season 1 Episode 22 - Aired 2000-05-17

    The staff deals with the crisis of an American pilot who was shot down in Iraq; Toby's brother is in danger on a space shuttle whose doors won't close; Bartlet and the senior staff walk into trouble as they leave a town meeting.

    Director: Thomas Schlamme

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

  • Twenty Five
    9.2/10 1,104 votes

    #6 - Twenty Five

    Season 4 Episode 23 - Aired 2003-05-14

    When Bartlet learns that Zoey's kidnapping is the work of Qumari terrorists, he invokes the 25th amendment to diminish their leverage and eliminate any conflict of interest; since there's no Vice President, the power of the Presidency passes to Bartlet's chief political rival and the most powerful Republican in the country, the Speaker of the House, who immediately takes a very hard line; now that twins Huck and Molly have arrived, Toby wonders if he's capable of loving them enough.

    Director: Christopher Misiano

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

  • The Supremes
    9.2/10 1,231 votes

    #7 - The Supremes

    Season 5 Episode 17 - Aired 2004-03-24

    Jed and the staff vet potential Supreme Court appointees; Toby and Andy don't see eye-to-eye on her fact-finding trip to the Middle East; Donna's parents are the unlikely inspiration for the resolution to the problems arising from the judicial confirmation process.

    Director: Jessica Yu

    Writer: Debora Cahn

  • In Excelsis Deo
    9.1/10 1,912 votes

    #8 - In Excelsis Deo

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 1999-12-15

    Toby tries to arrange a proper funeral for a homeless veteran. Josh and Sam try to set up a preemptive strike against Lillienfield, who is attacking Leo because of his prior drug and alcohol problem. CJ tries to get the staff to revisit the hate crimes issue. Bartlet sneaks out to do some last minute shopping.

    Director: Alex Graves

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin, Rick Cleveland

  • H. Con-172
    9.1/10 1,154 votes

    #9 - H. Con-172

    Season 3 Episode 10 - Aired 2002-01-09

    Leo defiantly rejects the Congressional Oversight Committee's offer of a public censure of Bartlet that would finally bring an end to the investigation and spare Leo of any possible personal repercussions.

    Director: Vincent Misiano

    Writer: Eli Attie, Aaron Sorkin

  • Election Day (2)
    9.1/10 844 votes

    #10 - Election Day (2)

    Season 7 Episode 17 - Aired 2006-04-09

    Abbey is in New Hamphire with Liz Bartlet-Westin and they are awaiting the results of Doug Westin's campaign for a seat in Congress. Members of both the Santos campaign and the Vinick campaign must decide how to handle a tragedy, as the voters around the country continue to cast their votes for the next President of the United States.

    Director: Christopher Misiano

    Writer: Eli Attie, John Wells

  • 17 People
    9.0/10 1,184 votes

    #11 - 17 People

    Season 2 Episode 18 - Aired 2001-04-04

    Toby, suspicious that there's something going on with the President, finds out about Bartlet's MS and informs Leo of the legal ramifications; Josh and Donna disagree about the date of their "anniversary"; Sam and Ainsley argue about the necessity of the ERA; staffers struggle to punch-up the speech the President will give at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

    Director: Alex Graves

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

  • 18th and Potomac
    9.0/10 1,182 votes

    #12 - 18th and Potomac

    Season 2 Episode 21 - Aired 2001-05-09

    The staff prepares for the worst as they make arrangements for the public announcement of the President's condition; Sam and Babish grill Abbey about her medical treatment of the President's MS; a crisis erupts in Haiti; Josh deals with two Democratic senators who won't support the administration's suit against tobacco companies; Mrs. Landingham buys her first new car, with tragic consequences.

    Director: Robert Berlinger

    Writer: Lawrence O'Donnell, Aaron Sorkin

  • Commencement
    9.0/10 1,033 votes

    #13 - Commencement

    Season 4 Episode 22 - Aired 2003-05-07

    Bartlet finally tells the staff the truth about the death of Shareef; Danny agrees to hold off on the story after five alleged terrorists go missing; Andy goes into labor after once again refusing Toby's marriage proposal; Zoey is kidnapped from a nightclub on the night of her college graduation.

    Director: Alex Graves

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

  • Tomorrow
    9.0/10 1,043 votes

    #14 - Tomorrow

    Season 7 Episode 22 - Aired 2006-05-14

    After seven seasons of the Award-winning drama series, the Bartlet Administration prepares to leave the White House and The West Wing. While Santos and his winning camp are nervously gearing up for the presidential inauguration, current President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), CJ (Allison Janney) and the others fondly look back as they prepare to leave the White House forever.

    Director: Christopher Misiano

    Writer: John Wells

  • Celestial Navigation
    8.9/10 1,442 votes

    #15 - Celestial Navigation

    Season 1 Episode 15 - Aired 2000-02-16

    Toby and Sam travel to Connecticut to get Roberto Mendoza released from jail; Josh must run a press briefing when CJ has an emergency root canal.

    Director: Christopher Misiano

    Writer: Dee Dee Myers, Lawrence O'Donnell, Aaron Sorkin

  • Let Bartlet Be Bartlet
    8.9/10 1,326 votes

    #16 - Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

    Season 1 Episode 19 - Aired 2000-04-26

    Mandy's old memo about Bartlet administration weaknesses surfaces; Josh tries to get administration nominees appointed to the Federal Elections Committee; Sam works to get a better policy on gays in the military.

    Director: Laura Innes

    Writer: Peter Parnell, Aaron Sorkin, Patrick Caddell

  • Game On
    8.9/10 940 votes

    #17 - Game On

    Season 4 Episode 6 - Aired 2002-10-30

    Bartlet, Leo, Josh, Sam and C.J. pull a practical joke on Toby; Sam's mission to end the Wilde campaign leads him to make a career-altering decision; Jordan backs up Leo as he deals with the Qumari; Toby continues to press his case with a resistant Andrea; and Bartlet cleans Ritchie's clock in their debate.

    Director: Alex Graves

    Writer: Paul Redford, Aaron Sorkin

  • 2162 Votes
    8.9/10 781 votes

    #18 - 2162 Votes

    Season 6 Episode 22 - Aired 2005-04-06

    At the Democratic National Convention, Russell, Santos and Baker jockey for the 2162 votes that will give one of them the nomination for President, and the opportunity to lose to the apparently unstoppable Vinick in November. Meanwhile, the President must make a decision before it's too late on whether to deploy a secret rescue mission to the space station, and the FBI is asked to determine who leaked the existence of the military shuttle to the press.

    Director: Alex Graves

    Writer: John Wells

  • Take This Sabbath Day
    8.8/10 1,441 votes

    #19 - Take This Sabbath Day

    Season 1 Episode 14 - Aired 2000-02-09

    After the Supreme Court refuses to stay the execution of a convicted murderer, Bartlet has forty-eight hours to decide whether or not to commute the sentence. Josh faces off with Joey Lucas about his staff's not backing her candidate as vigorously as she'd like.

    Director: Thomas Schlamme

    Writer: Lawrence O'Donnell, Paul Redford, Aaron Sorkin

  • The Stackhouse Filibuster
    8.8/10 1,257 votes

    #20 - The Stackhouse Filibuster

    Season 2 Episode 17 - Aired 2001-03-14

    The staff is blindsided when an elderly senator stages a Friday night filibuster to block their Family Wellness bill; Toby is confused when VP Hoynes, a strong supporter of the oil industry, volunteers to give a speech attacking the energy sector; CJ tries to locate a valuable Egyptian cat goddess statue given to the President.

    Director: Bryan Gordon

    Writer: Pete McCabe, Aaron Sorkin

  • 20 Hours in America (2)
    8.8/10 863 votes

    #21 - 20 Hours in America (2)

    Season 4 Episode 2 - Aired 2002-09-25

    Donna teaches Toby and Josh an important lesson as their trek homeward continues; Sam staffs the President in Josh's absence and welcomes an old friend home; Bartlet hires a secretary and C.J. finds a Big Brother for Anthony; the situation in Qumar continues to escalate; Bartlet gets spooked by a photo op as the Dow continues its dive; and a pipe bomb kills 44 students at a Midwest university swim meet.

    Director: Christopher Misiano

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

  • The Debate
    8.8/10 1,025 votes

    #22 - The Debate

    Season 7 Episode 7 - Aired 2005-11-06

    Santos and Vinick battle it out in primetime live. Forrest Saywer the moderator poses questions and attempts to ensure that the candidates remain within bounds. Ellen DeGeneres guest hosts the show on behalf of American Express and their new credit card.

    Director: Alex Graves

    Writer: Lawrence O'Donnell

  • Requiem
    8.8/10 841 votes

    #23 - Requiem

    Season 7 Episode 18 - Aired 2006-04-16

    Former series regulars, including Marlee Matlin, Mary-Louise Parker, Tim Matheson, Anna Deavere Smith and Gary Cole, make guest appearances as Bartlet, Santos and their staff members attend a funeral for one of their own. Also, Josh cautions Santos about getting involved in the vote for Speaker of the House.

    Director: Steve Shill

    Writer: Debora Cahn, Eli Attie, John Wells

  • In this White House
    8.7/10 1,195 votes

    #24 - In this White House

    Season 2 Episode 4 - Aired 2000-10-25

    To investigate the cost and availability of AIDS medication needed in Africa, the White House plays host to representatives of American pharmaceutical companies and the president of an African nation; C.J. accidentally leaks information to a freshman reporter; after Sam is shown up by an amateur Republican operative on a television program, Jed decides to hire her.

    Director: Ken Olin

    Writer: Allison Abner, Peter Parnell, Aaron Sorkin

  • Bad Moon Rising
    8.7/10 1,017 votes

    #25 - Bad Moon Rising

    Season 2 Episode 19 - Aired 2001-04-25

    Bartlet confers with Babish on the legal ramifications of his MS cover-up; Sam has a personal interest in an oil spill off the coast of Delaware; Josh and Donna argue about a loan to Mexico; Toby orders C.J. to flush out a leak in the White House staff, which is far from easy.

    Director: Bill Johnson

    Writer: Felicia Wilson, Aaron Sorkin