The Best Episodes of black-ish

Last Updated: Nov 8, 2018

An upper-middle-class black man struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father and his assimilated, color-blind kids.

Lemons

#1 - Lemons

Season 3 - Episode 12

The nation is still reeling after the outcome of the presidential election, and tensions are particularly high at Dre’s work. Much to his frustration, they haven’t been able to get anything done since election night – eight weeks ago. Meanwhile, Junior is dealing with a disenfranchised student body as class president, and when he is asked to deliver Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at school, Pops teaches him there is more to the speech than Junior thought,

star 8.15
903 votes
Directors: Kenya Barris
Writers: Kenya Barris
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Dream Home

#2 - Dream Home

Season 4 - Episode 23

Dre and Bow are living separate lives and switching off with the kids. They start to realize how much they relied on each other and how hard it is being on their own. Dre gets his sleek, ultra-modern dream house in the canyon with all the amenities, and Bow doesn’t think it’s suitable for the kids.

star 7.97
236 votes
Writers: Graham Towers, Steve Vitolo
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Daddy Dre-Care

#3 - Daddy Dre-Care

Season 2 - Episode 23

When the flu breaks out in the Johnson household, Dre desperately tries to avoid catching it, while taking care of the whole family.

star 7.93
638 votes
Directors: Kenya Barris
Writers: Jonathan Groff
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Sprinkles

#4 - Sprinkles

Season 3 - Episode 24

In the Season 3 finale, Dre throws Bow's baby shower and wants it to be unforgettable, but his plans are put on hold when Bow stops by the OB/GYN with a headache and discovers she is having complications.

star 7.93
759 votes
Writers: Laura Gutin Peterson
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Mother Nature

#5 - Mother Nature

Season 4 - Episode 2

Bow is feeling overwhelmed after the birth of DeVante and learns she is suffering from postpartem depression. Dre urges her to get help and stands by her side while she works through it. Meanwhile, the kids babyproof the house in an effort to help their parents out.

star 7.90
667 votes
Writers: Corey Nickerson
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All Groan Up

#6 - All Groan Up

Season 3 - Episode 22

When Zoey gets into several colleges around the country, Dre and Bow begin to feel worried and sentimental. They reflect back on memories they’ve had with the family and wonder what life will be like without her around all the time. Pops enlists the twins to try and sway Zoey to go to college in a city they want to visit.

star 7.89
768 votes
Directors: Kenny Smith
Writers: Hale Rothstein
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The Purge

#7 - The Purge

Season 3 - Episode 5

After Junior embarrasses Dre during a basketball game, Dre decides to remind Junior of his master pranking skills so he’ll never challenge him again. Meanwhile, the neighborhood participates in a “mischief night” during Halloween where petty crimes become legal, and Ruby takes it too far with the kids.

star 7.87
867 votes
Directors: Matt Sohn
Writers: Lindsey Shockley
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Hope

#8 - Hope

Season 2 - Episode 16

When the kids ask some tough questions in the midst of a highly publicized court case involving alleged police brutality and an African-American teenager, Dre and Bow are conflicted on how best to field them. Dre, along with Pops and Ruby, feel the kids need to know what kind of world they’re living in, while Bow would like to give them a more hopeful view about life. When the verdict is announced, the family handles the news in different ways while watching the community react.

star 7.86
597 votes
Writers: Kenya Barris
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One Angry Man

#9 - One Angry Man

Season 3 - Episode 16

Dre is forced to participate in jury duty after Junior responds to the summons that was thrown away. The case is supposed to be open and shut, but when Dre sees that the defendant is a young African American, he feels a civic responsibility to give him a fair trial. Meanwhile, Bow decides to let the kids swear in the house since they are more open with her that way, but she and Ruby soon regret the decision.

star 7.84
858 votes
Writers: Doug Hall
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The Name Game

#10 - The Name Game

Season 3 - Episode 14

Dre and Bow have a gender reveal party, and Dre is thrilled because it’s his turn to name the baby. He decides on a culturally significant name that Bow and Ruby aren’t a fan of. Meanwhile, Zoey’s plan to have an anti-Valentine’s Day with her friend Shelly is thwarted when Junior asks Shelly out on a date, so Diane tries to fill in as Zoey’s BFF.

star 7.82
801 votes
Directors: Gail Lerner
Writers: Courtney Lilly
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Elder. Scam.

#11 - Elder. Scam.

Season 4 - Episode 3

Ruby gets scammed and Dre begins to suspect that she isn’t as sharp as she used to be, particularly because she was the one who used to scam other people. Zoey’s friend Aaron visits and Diane develops an instant crush on him.

star 7.81
592 votes
Directors: Anton Cropper
Writers: Courtney Lilly
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The Prank King

#12 - The Prank King

Season 1 - Episode 6

Dre fears his holiday fun will be ruined when the older kids balk at the glorious Johnson Halloween tradition of seeing who can pull the most outlandish pranks on each other.

star 7.81
645 votes
Directors: Matt Sohn
Writers: Lindsey Shockley
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What Lies Beneath

#13 - What Lies Beneath

Season 3 - Episode 20

Dre's sister Rhonda is in town, and he feels a little jealous of her close relationship with Pops. Dre and Bow urge Zoey to take Junior to a high school party, and things get out of hand. Meanwhile, the twins feel like they're soon to be forgotten, and decide to live life to the fullest.

star 7.81
815 votes
Writers: Jessica Poter
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Who’s Afraid of the Big Black Man?

#14 - Who’s Afraid of the Big Black Man?

Season 3 - Episode 4

After a situation arises at work, Dre’s views are confronted regarding how black people are perceived now versus when he grew up. He wants to be more open-minded about being a part of his community, and his first step is joining his Homeowners’ Association. Meanwhile, Bow wants to spend more time with the kids before the new baby arrives and gets advice from Pops on how to make them want to be around her.

star 7.81
863 votes
Directors: Matt Sohn
Writers: Peter Saji
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The Gift of Hunger

#15 - The Gift of Hunger

Season 1 - Episode 7

After the kids turn their collective noses up at Dre's favorite cheap restaurant in his old 'hood, he decides it's time to give them a reality check. He insists all of them get jobs. But when Andre Jr. and Zoey start working at his office, he can't help but interfere, and Jack and Diane's efforts to make some spare cash leave the neighbors thinking the family has fallen on hard times, much to Bow's embarrassment.

star 7.80
626 votes
Writers: Peter Saji
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Their Eyes Were Watching Screens

#16 - Their Eyes Were Watching Screens

Season 3 - Episode 11

When Diane stumbles onto some websites that give her more than she bargained for, Dre and Bow must take action. Concerned that the internet is corrupting their children, Dre and Bow decide to make their home an internet free-zone and deal with the backlash.

star 7.80
824 votes
Writers: Gail Lerner
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THE Word

#17 - THE Word

Season 2 - Episode 1

Jack performs the song “Gold Digger” at a school talent show and when he sings a lyric that includes THE word, it leads to his possible expulsion from school. Dre and Bow work together to get him reinstated, and along the way, examine the evolution of THE word through the generations and just who, if anyone, has the right to use it

star 7.79
614 votes
Directors: Matt Sohn
Writers: Kenya Barris
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First and Last

#18 - First and Last

Season 4 - Episode 6

Diane experiences a big life event toward becoming a woman and Bow, Ruby, Zoey and Alicia are there to support her. Meanwhile, afraid that he may never be able to beat Junior at basketball again, Dre conducts psychological warfare on Junior before challenging him to a game.

star 7.78
475 votes
Directors: Linda Mendoza
Writers: Laura Gutin Peterson
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Sister, Sister

#19 - Sister, Sister

Season 3 - Episode 21

Bow’s sister comes to town after filming a stint on a reality show, and they couldn’t have less in common. Meanwhile, Zoey suggests that Dre spend more time with Junior since she’s leaving for college, and Jack and Diane decide to rebrand themselves.

star 7.77
790 votes
Directors: Anya Adams
Writers: Yamara Taylor
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40 Acres and a Vote

#20 - 40 Acres and a Vote

Season 3 - Episode 3

With Obama leaving office and the upcoming election, Dre finds a new candidate to believe in – Junior. Junior is running for class president and is overqualified for the job, but he just can’t seem to connect with his fellow classmates. Dre becomes his campaign manager and tries to make Junior appeal to the masses. Meanwhile, Pops, Johan and Jack discuss why they’re not voting in the upcoming election, and Bow is worried that Zoey’s college essay is not going to get her into college.

star 7.77
880 votes
Writers: Corey Nickerson
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The Nod

#21 - The Nod

Season 1 - Episode 3

Dre sets out to expand Andre Jr’s social circle to include more black kids after he discovers Andre Jr. is clueless about “the nod.” Meanwhile, hoping to inspire little Diane to become a doctor, Rainbow takes her to work at the hospital... on what turns out to be the worst day ever.

star 7.77
763 votes
Writers: Kenya Barris
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Black Santa/White Christmas

#22 - Black Santa/White Christmas

Season 1 - Episode 10

Dre campaigns to be the new Santa at the annual office Christmas party, but when that honor goes to Angelica, the lovely head of HR, he goes to great lengths to unseat her, because he's convinced Stevens & Lido needs a black Santa. Meanwhile, Bow is tired of competing with Ruby over who cooks the big Christmas Eve dinner.

star 7.77
558 votes
Directors: Elliot Hegarty
Writers: Gail Lerner
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Sink Or Swim

#23 - Sink Or Swim

Season 2 - Episode 14

After Dre notices that his neighbor Janine has never invited his family to any of her pool parties, he assumes she is racially stereotyping them as a family that doesn’t swim. The kids are shocked to find out that, in fact, Dre doesn’t know how to swim. At work, Dre shares the story with his colleagues, and Daphne Lido is not convinced it’s a race thing, so Dre confronts Janine directly. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane are a part of the Girls’ and Boys’ Rovers Organization, and they envy each other’s activities.

star 7.77
519 votes
Writers: Gail Lerner
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Please Don't Feed the Animals

#24 - Please Don't Feed the Animals

Season 4 - Episode 7

Bow keeps in touch with Dre’s incarcerated godbrother, Omar, but when they find out he is being released from prison, Omar’s future sparks debate. Meanwhile, Ruby lets it slip to the kids that she’s been to jail and they push her to tell them more secrets from her past.

star 7.76
501 votes
Writers: Hale Rothstein
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Being Bow-Racial

#25 - Being Bow-Racial

Season 3 - Episode 8

Bow must address unresolved feelings about her own biracial identity when Junior brings home his first girlfriend, who happens to be white. Dre is handling a big project for a client at work and relies on Charlie to teach him how to relate to the campaign’s white, female point-person. Meanwhile, Zoey needs extra credit for her design class, and asks Jack and Diane if she can remodel their room.

star 7.75
854 votes
Directors: Kevin Bray
Writers: Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry
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