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7 Best ‘Scream Queens’ Episodes

Scream, Queens!

The girls and Denise screaming in Scream Queens season 1

Normally when people talk about Ryan Murphy, they usually reference American Horror Story. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that being what he’s known for creating. Despite his impressive resume (you can certainly exclude Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story because … yeah), Ryan Murphy is mostly known for his horror work, and that includes his satire-soaked slasher comedy, Scream Queens.

If you’ve watched Scream Queens, you know it’s an acquired taste, even if you do love slashers and silly horror content. Some people would consider it somewhat disrespectful to the slasher genre, and while that may sound silly (if you take into consideration that slashers aren’t always serious), it makes perfect sense because in a way … the show is almost too satirical. Personally, I enjoy it and get some laughs from it. Plus, there are some gem episodes. Here are the best Scream Queens episodes, ranked.

7. “Seven Minutes in Hell” (Season 1, Episode 6)

Chanel and Zayday freaking out in Scream Queens season 1
(20th Television)

There’s plenty to love about the episode “Seven Minutes in Hell” and its absurdity, from start to finish. Slumber parties are great, right? But the Red Devil certainly doesn’t care about giving the characters a break for one episode. There’s a lot of standout scenes that secured this episode’s spot on this list, some of which include the truth or dare scene and Chanel (Emma Roberts) and Zayday’s (KeKe Palmer) mini chase scene. It’s a top-notch episode to revisit from season 1.

6. “Thanksgiving” (Season 1, Episode 10)

Everyone admiring the turkey in Scream Queens season 1
(20th Television)

Turkey day episodes are usually iconic one way or another. Why? The answer to that question is probably not too elaborate. Scream Queens couldn’t resist itself and had a wacky Thanksgiving with a severed head on top. It’s fun that a show that’s rarely serious touches on chosen family, and Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis serves as a mother of sorts for the girls. It’s perfectly quirky and hilarious because everything must go wrong for their ragtag group.

5. “Black Friday” (Season 1, Episode 11)

The Chanels freaking out at the mall in Scream Queens season 1
(20th Television)

Ah, the privileged doing whatever they want on a chaotic day like Black Friday. The Chanels getting attacked at the mall is so silly and fun to watch, and Chanel trying to plot Dean Munsch’s murder (unsuccessfully) is one big shake of the head. This episode does reveal a bit more to the characters, thus helping wrap the season up. It also has Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash), and she’s certainly a fan favorite.

4. “Dorkus” (Season 1, Episode 12)

Grace vs. The Red Devil in Scream Queens season 1 penultimate episode
(20th Television)

Grace (Skyler Samuels) may have been sort of boring as a character, but she wasn’t helpless in “Dorkus.” She pulled classic final girl moves and kicked the killer’s ass, not to mention that she finally found out about Pete’s (Diego Boneta) involvement in the Red Devil situation. I almost included the finale over this episode, but after consideration, it’s a much better episode. The humor is on point, the reveals are great, the pizza delivery guy scene works, and Zayday’s presence throughout the episode helps drive it home.

3. “Halloween Blues” (Season 2, Episode 4)

Chanel with smurf skin in Scream Queens Halloween ep
(20th Television)

I also included “Halloween Blues” in my best Halloween episodes list, but it’s also one of the best episodes of Scream Queens any way you look at it—especially considering how iconic both Chanel and Denise are the entire episode.

2. “Rapunzel, Rapunzel” (Season 2, Episode 8)

The Chanels freaking out in the hospital in Scream Queens season 2
(20th Television)

The horror in “Rapunzel, Rapunzel” is on point, and that’s part of the reason it made the list. Rather than surrender to mostly horror comedy vibes, there are some genuinely unnerving moments. A scene that always makes me cringe is Chamberlain’s (James Earl) death and how there’s literally nothing funny about it. The scene is played so seriously, and it’s one of those times that you scream at your screen. Ultimately, this is an episode of the show that lets you laugh, but also makes go wide-eyed, and it deserves a spot on the list for those reasons if nothing else.

“Drain the Swamp” (Season 2, Episode 10)

The Green Meanie being dramatic in Scream Queens s2
(20th Television)

“Drain the Swamp,” the season 2 (or series, if season 3 never happens) finale has plenty of iconic moments. Everyone is working so well off each other. The horror is very campy. Denise delivers some of the most memorable lines of the episode, and certain folks get their redemption moments. When the group is locked up in the cage by Dr. Hoffel (Kirstie Alley), I usually laugh my ass off—and we get yet another reminder that Trump was president at the time the episode was made. It’s a worthy season/series finale that leaves the story open at the end with Chanel.

(featured image: 20th Television)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a blerd writer and visual artist who loves horror, anime and all things strange. Her writing has appeared in Pink Advocate, Dread Central and more. For more, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theblackbuffy.