The BEST Episodes of ER

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Network: NBC

ER follows the medical personnel and patients in the emergency room of Chicago's fictional County General Hospital. The doctors and nurses of County's ER confront the daily challenges of a busy urban hospital, including overcrowded waiting rooms, staffing shortages, and the impact of life-and-death decisions. While they teach the next generation of doctors, each must tackle the demands of their personal lives, at times unsuccessfully.

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Orion in the Sky

#1 - Orion in the Sky

Season 8 - Episode 18 - Aired Apr 4, 2002

Mark serves his final day in the ER overseeing the first day of Gregory Pratt, a cocky yet eager new intern. Through observing his patients, he decides to forego chemotherapy, and spend his remaining days in peace. He also meets with his ex-wife, tells Weaver to live a little and leaves. Meanwhile, Abby plans to move back into her apartment when her landlord lets her know that Brian's moved out.

star 8.41
253 votes
Writers: David Zabel
On the Beach

#2 - On the Beach

Season 8 - Episode 21 - Aired May 9, 2002

Mark decides to use his remaining time to help "fix" Rachel and takes her to Hawaii to show her where he grew up. He teaches her how to surf, and how to drive a stick shift. Mark catches her chasing one of his Vicodin with a shot of vodka and confronts her about wasting her life. One day after surfing, he has a seizure, and Elizabeth arrives with Ella in tow. She wants to take him home, but he refuses. Early in the morning, he dies. After the funeral, Rachel tells Elizabeth she'd like to visit Ella, and Elizabeth agrees.

star 8.38
245 votes
Directors: John Wells
Writers: John Wells
The War Comes Home

#3 - The War Comes Home

Season 14 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 27, 2007

Moretti's first day is challenging as the ER is inundated with casualties from the peace rally - including Neela. Dubenko faces a crisis in surgery. Abby, Pratt and Morris conspire about how to deal with a shared problem. A new intern arrives unexpectedly, and Gates is reassigned.

star 8.35
110 votes
Directors: Stephen Cragg
And in the End…

#4 - And in the End…

Season 15 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 2, 2009

Gates works on a young teen brought in with alcohol poisoning after playing a deadly drinking game with friends. Dr. Carter opens a new medical facility for the underprivileged in Chicago and some old friends from County General all come to show their support. It’s Sam’s birthday and Alex and Gates surprise her with a special gift. Meanwhile, Carter works with an intern to save a mother in labor with twins.

star 8.30
149 votes
All in the Family

#5 - All in the Family

Season 6 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 17, 2000

Weaver discovers Carter and Lucy. As police begin to arrive, Benton rushes between the two, being the only surgical resident on duty. Greene and Corday are paged to return to the hospital. Carter almost loses his kidney, but with quick thinking by Anspaugh, Benton is able to save it and Carter will be okay. On the other hand, Lucy has her chest cracked because her heart stops but she is stabilized. In the OR waiting room, while waiting for emergency surgery to fix a life-threatening blood clot, Lucy flatlines. Romano and Corday desperately try to save her life but she dies and the staff receives the news. Meanwhile, Paul Sobriki is found running naked down Michigan Avenue and is brought in. His wife arrives at the ER; incapable of believing her husband would be capable of such a violent act. And while Benton is busy with Carter, Cleo is forced to crack a man's chest open to save his life, resulting in Benton's ire.

star 8.22
280 votes
Writers: Jack Orman
Do You See What I See?

#6 - Do You See What I See?

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 18, 1997

Benton is hailed as a miracle worker after he seemingly heals a blind man. Corday operates on Allison Beaumont again. Mark discovers Cynthia's hidden past. Carter discovers his cousin Chase shooting heroin. Greene treats an elderly rape victim, learning about forgiveness. Kerry is apparently seeing Ellis West now. Carol and Doug announce their relationship to the staff.

star 8.16
238 votes
Writers: Jack Orman
Such Sweet Sorrow

#7 - Such Sweet Sorrow

Season 6 - Episode 21 - Aired May 11, 2000

Carol resuscitates a terminal cancer DNR to say goodbye to her family, and realizes that life is too short. She runs out of the hospital after saying a quick goodbye to Luka and Mark and hops on a plane to Seattle to see Doug. Carter's mental status is dissipating rapidly to the point where he almost kills a woman. Chen notices and tells Mark her concern that Carter is bipolar. Weaver goes on the warpath after noticing ER staff taking shortcuts in their work, including Abby, who discharges a woman prematurely without running extra tests. Corday offers Malucci a sobering assessment of his performance. Mark prepares to bury his father and enjoys his daughter's company.

star 8.13
234 votes
Directors: John Wells
Writers: John Wells

#8 - Lockdown

Season 8 - Episode 22 - Aired May 16, 2002

The day begins slowly as Weaver calls to say she'll be late, and Chen thinks she's developing a fever. Then multiple MVAs come in, quickly followed by two children suffering what appears to be smallpox. The staff panics, but not as bad as the patients, when a lockdown is ordered for the ER. The feverish Chen is quarantined with homeless Stan. Lewis takes charge as Weaver arrives and the police won't let her in. The girl infected by smallpox dies and Pratt embarasses Carter in front of her parents. Carter notices Pratt is sick as well, and sends him to Chen's room. Jerry phones the news, and the patients riot, nearly using a gurney to break open the emergency bay doors. Control of the ER is relieved from Weaver by an infection specialist. The staff prepares to stay, still not having a confirmation on whether it is smallpox or not, and the lockdown continuing as a result. Carter and Abby kiss after being quarantined together.

star 8.13
227 votes
Writers: Dee Johnson, Joe Sachs
The Peace of Wild Things

#9 - The Peace of Wild Things

Season 6 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 11, 1999

Benton struggles with the idea of taking a DNA test to determine whether or not Reese is actually his son. As the signs continue to pile up, Kerry and Mark use a fake patient to convince Dr. Lawrence of his Alzheimer's. Carter has trouble persuading a woman from a nursing home fire to sign a DNR for her husband and later is asked to forge charts for a family with no insurance. Carol continues to meddle in Meg's life, having her arrested so that she can be detoxed. Cleo is blamed for an explosion in the suture room, but it may actually be Dr. Dave's fault.

star 8.13
245 votes
Directors: Richard Thorpe
Writers: John Wells
Love's Labor Lost

#10 - Love's Labor Lost

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Mar 9, 1995

Greene misdiagnoses a pregnant patient, leading to a long and arduous surgery.

star 8.11
314 votes
Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Lance Gentile
Chaos Theory

#11 - Chaos Theory

Season 9 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 26, 2002

Abby, Carter, Chen, Pratt and homeless Stan will be confined to the ER for two weeks, while all of the other patients are evacuated and sent to different hospitals. While on the roof arguing with Luka about the use of a helicopter, Romano backs up into the tail rotor, and has his arm severed above the elbow. Anspaugh arrives to perform surgery, and reattaches the arm. Susan is stuck on the roof with a dying patient. After 2 weeks, the ER reopens. While all of this has been going on, Elizabeth has been in London, working at her father's hospital, where her supervisor doesn't like the American mannerisms and vocabulary she's picked up. She ultimately decides to return to Chicago.

star 8.09
246 votes
Writers: Jack Orman, R. Scott Gemmill
9½ Hours

#12 - 9½ Hours

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 10, 1994

Greene calls in sick so he and Jennifer can spend the day together, leaving Ross in charge of the ER. Carter works on a high school wrestler that starved himself to make weight. Hathaway counsels a young rape victim. Benton is dealing with his senile mother, and butts heads with Ross. Lewis is worried about Cvetic's growing temper problem.

star 8.06
453 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Robert Nathan
It's All in Your Head

#13 - It's All in Your Head

Season 8 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 28, 2002

Mark learns that his tumor is back and inoperable, giving him 4-5 months to live. Corday is living in a hotel, and confesses to Benton that she thinks she's left Mark. Susan cares for Mark after his first radiation treatment. Abby learns that the case against Brian has been dropped because somebody beat him up. Seeing Brian enter her building, she seeks comfort at Luka's, where he's engaged in a game of Pictionary with his friends. Jerry and Frank clash, leading to a fistfight. Chen has a stalker.

star 8.05
213 votes
Writers: R. Scott Gemmill
The Letter

#14 - The Letter

Season 8 - Episode 20 - Aired May 2, 2002

A letter from Dr. Greene arrives via fax, and Carter reads it to the staff. Everybody is stunned when he reaches the last page, a note from Dr. Corday, stating that Mark died that morning. Frank posts the letter and various staff members who weren't in attendance take time to read it. Sandy gets Weaver to admit that she's lost a friend. Luka, Abby, Haleh, Susan and Gallant are joined by Weaver and Sandy at a bar. Carter comes looking for Abby and they end up talking all night at Doc Magoo's. Abby goes to an AA meeting later that day, and tells Carter that she went for him. Carter takes his place as the rock of the ER. Meanwhile, Susan learns that Chloe is in rehab and Suzie is staying with Joe, Pratt matches County, and Romano operates on a girl with a genetic deficiency.

star 8.03
258 votes
Directors: Jack Orman
Writers: Jack Orman
A Miracle Happens Here

#15 - A Miracle Happens Here

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 14, 1995

The ER staffers are in decidedly unfestive moods as Christmas arrives. Carol's spirits are lifted by a Santa-like patient. Mark is outraged when Jenn decides to stay in Milwaukee over Christmas. Benton and Carter score points with Vucelich when Carter convinces an older gentleman, Ruby, to include his wife in Vucelich's study. Mark gives a deposition in the O'Brien case. The death of a priest threatens to start a gang war. Weaver receives a surprise visit from an African friend. A Holocaust survivor, the victim of a carjacking, brings Chanukah to the ER.

star 8.03
233 votes
Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Carol Flint
The Greatest of Gifts

#16 - The Greatest of Gifts

Season 7 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 14, 2000

While giving birth, Chen undergoes second thoughts about giving her baby up for adoption, a decision complicated by the adoptive parents watching her every move. With an enormous lack of sleep, Carter is called back to the hospital to act as Chen's coach, and is later tempted to take Vicodin to stay awake. Finch and Benton encounter trouble trying to keep Kynesha hidden from the gang. Legaspi plants a kiss on Weaver. Greene and Corday spend the day in New York seeking help for his brain tumor.

star 8.03
155 votes
Writers: Elizabeth Hunter
The Long Way Around

#17 - The Long Way Around

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 13, 1997

Carol is held hostage in a bungled convenience store robbery. Her medical skills are put to their toughest test as she works feverishly to save the gravely wounded store owner.

star 8.02
228 votes
Writers: Lydia Woodward

#18 - Blizzard

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 8, 1994

It's a December blizzard, and the day starts out quiet. Hathaway announces her engagement with Tag. Suddenly, County General goes into crisis mode when a 32-car pileup on an expressway inundates them with patients. Among the patients are a young male that Benton knows that lost his leg, a patient of Ross' that dies suddenly while waiting for treatment, and a man who is snowed in at home and calls Greene when his wife refuses to go to the hospital to have her baby. Lewis tries to save a man that suddenly develops an aneurysm, and the patient is saved by the most unlikely person.

star 8.01
386 votes
Writers: Lance Gentile
The Show Must Go On

#19 - The Show Must Go On

Season 11 - Episode 22 - Aired May 19, 2005

Carter's last day at County General is marked by the "surprise" party being thrown for him. Ray takes charge when a balcony collapses at a party that he's attending. With all of the attendings at Carter's party, he talks Abby into taking 4 trauma patients while the hospital is closed to trauma. Pratt briefly visits his dad. Alex doesn't know his dad is in jail and is upset when Sam won't let him visit him, so he steals her credit cards and hitches a ride out of town.

star 8.01
147 votes
Directors: John Wells
Writers: David Zabel
The Gift

#20 - The Gift

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 15, 1994

A transfer team is due by helicopter to receive donor organs - but Benton has not yet obtained next-of-kin approval for the organ harvest. And although it's Christmas Eve, Greene has not found time to shop for gifts. Ross crashes a party.

star 8.01
428 votes
Writers: Neal Baer
Status Quo

#21 - Status Quo

Season 14 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 3, 2008

After being passed over for Chief of the ER, Pratt is looking for a hospital that will appreciate his talents. A former employee of the ER brings her sick son in for tests. Neela's cousin is in town for a visit, and Morris and Harold compete for her affections.

star 8.01
98 votes
24 Hours

#22 - 24 Hours

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 19, 1994

John Carter, a third-year medical student, begins the first day of his rotation in the ER at County General Hospital. Dr. Mark Greene, an ER resident physician, considers an offer to go into private practice. Dr. Susan Lewis, another ER resident, deals with myriad patients, including one diagnosed with advanced cancer. Dr. Doug Ross, the ER pediatrician, confronts a woman about potential child abuse. The head nurse, Carol Hathaway, returns several hours after her shift as a patient, following an apparent suicide attempt.

star 8.01
970 votes
Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: Michael Crichton
Make of Two Hearts

#23 - Make of Two Hearts

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 9, 1995

Kayson pursues Lewis romantically. Ross and Hathaway cope with a young Russian girl with AIDS whose adoptive mother abandons her. A humane policeman hauls in a dog he hit with his car.

star 8.00
320 votes
Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Lydia Woodward
The Dance We Do

#24 - The Dance We Do

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Dec 7, 2000

Abby wakes up with Luka in his hotel room. At a job interview at a department store, her mother causes a disturbance and later flees town. Benton treats Jesse's girlfriend, who talks to the cops about Jesse's killers and later comes to him for help after a hit is put on her. Corday undergoes a grueling deposition for Mr. Patterson's lawsuit and lies to save her ass. Greene discovers that his tumor is inoperable and later has a seizure. He finally decides to tell Corday about his condition.

star 8.00
158 votes
Writers: Jack Orman
They Treat Horses, Don't They?

#25 - They Treat Horses, Don't They?

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 8, 1998

Mark goes to a trauma scene with the EMTs, where he treats a gunshot victim who has a bomb strapped to himself. Later, Mark’s daughter persuades him to treat a horse with colic, and Jerry gets the bad end of the enema. Carter intubates an elderly woman who is DNR. When her HMO declines to admit her, Carter either has to find a relative quickly or let her die. Kerry finds herself more and more frustrated when Anspaugh suggests that they're not considering her for ER Chief, and she discovers she’s the last to hear that Doug was made a pediatric attending. Corday serves her last day as a surgical fellow. Benton meets with Carla to discuss getting Reese hearing aids. Jeanie returns from vacation. Carter goes out with Roxanne, the insurance saleswoman he treated.

star 8.00
232 votes
Writers: Walon Green