The Best Episodes of Black-ish

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 8.20
813 votes
Directors: Kenya Barris
Daddy Dre-Care

#2 - 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 7.96
573 votes
Directors: Kenya Barris
Sprinkles

#3 - 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 7.94
649 votes
All Groan Up

#4 - 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 7.93
669 votes
Directors: Kenny Smith
The Purge

#5 - 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 7.88
784 votes
Directors: Matt Sohn
Hope

#6 - 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
527 votes
What Lies Beneath

#7 - 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 7.85
719 votes
Who’s Afraid of the Big Black Man?

#8 - 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 7.84
771 votes
Directors: Matt Sohn
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
767 votes
The Prank King

#10 - 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 7.83
542 votes
Directors: Matt Sohn
The Name Game

#11 - 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
719 votes
Directors: Gail Lerner
The Gift of Hunger

#12 - 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 7.82
525 votes
Black Santa/White Christmas

#13 - 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 7.81
481 votes
THE Word

#14 - 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 7.80
533 votes
Directors: Matt Sohn
Their Eyes Were Watching Screens

#15 - 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
740 votes
40 Acres and a Vote

#16 - 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 7.80
794 votes
Liberal Arts

#17 - Liberal Arts

Season 3 - Episode 23

Dre drops Zoey off to college for her two-day orientation, where she hits it off with a fellow freshman after they ditch the campus tour and meet a guy at the Black Student Union booth; and Zoey finds out Dre never turned in her housing application, so she pays a visit to the president and dean to plead for mercy.

star 7.79
662 votes
The Nod

#18 - 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 7.79
647 votes
Sink Or Swim

#19 - 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
446 votes
Sister, Sister

#20 - 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
694 votes
Directors: Anya Adams
Being Bow-Racial

#21 - 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 7.77
771 votes
Directors: Kevin Bray
30 Something

#22 - 30 Something

Season 1 - Episode 17

Things begin to fall apart, in more ways than one, when Dre hurts himself playing basketball right before his 40th birthday. He hands the planning of his big party over to his much younger, hipper assistant, fearing he really is getting too old to be cool. Bow and Ruby face off over who can get Dre the best gift, and the kids try to figure out what to give their dad for his special day.

star 7.77
409 votes
Just Christmas, Baby

#23 - Just Christmas, Baby

Season 3 - Episode 10

Zoey is college-bound, so Dre sets out to create the best family Christmas ever, even having Johan and his best friend, Gigi, over for the celebration. Meanwhile, Bow babysits Gigi's newborn and remembers just how difficult mothering a baby is.

star 7.75
739 votes
Good Dre Hunting

#24 - Good Dre Hunting

Season 3 - Episode 13

Bow convinces a begrudging Dre to try therapy, and he learns how to cope with his anger issues. Meanwhile, Johan becomes a life coach to the kids.

star 7.75
639 votes
The Leftovers

#25 - The Leftovers

Season 2 - Episode 19

When Dre and Bow realize they don't have a legal guardian for their kids, they make it their mission to find replacement parents should anything happen to them. Meanwhile, Zoey and Junior reveal the truth to Jack about their old dog's death and other family secrets he naively accepted.

star 7.75
556 votes
Directors: Linda Mendoza