The BEST Episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Apr 25, 2019
As acting commander of the SVU, Sergeant Olivia Benson is a seasoned veteran of the unit who has seen it all. She leads with empathy and professionalism, all the while dealing with her difficult past as a product of rape, and her future as mother to a young child, both of which influence the way she relates to each victim in need of help.
#1 - Her Negotiation
Season 14 - Episode 24
The detectives uncover a shocking theory as they work to learn the identity of a man Rollins arrested for exposing himself in the park; Detective Benson finds herself in mortal danger.
#2 - Heartfelt Passages (2)
Season 17 - Episode 23
When the investigation of Corrections Officer Gary Munson deepens, he and his union take drastic actions that threaten the lives of ADA Barba and the SVU squad.
#3 - Deadly Ambitions
Season 14 - Episode 15
The SVU squad tries to keep Detective Rollins' sister safe from her abusive boyfriend when she turns up beaten and pregnant; when Rollins is forced to take drastic action, an internal affairs investigation begins.
#4 - Fallacy
Season 4 - Episode 21
Benson and Stabler try to prove self-defense when a rape victim kills her attacker. Events take an unusual turn when they find out that the victim is a pre-operative transsexual.
#5 - Screwed
Season 8 - Episode 22
Darius Parker (Ludacris), goes on trial for the rape and murder of a woman and her 14-month old child. The case brings Fin under fire from the media and even has Munch and Stabler at odds. Novak prosecutes the trial that brings Stabler and Tutuola, among others, to the stand. Many previous stories are brought into the trial
#6 - Ghost
Season 6 - Episode 16
When a wealthy couple is found dead in their home, Benson and Stabler soon realise that their deaths are connected to a drug smuggling ring. Eventually the road leads back to the same drug dealers who forced a former assistant district attorney into hiding, and Alex Cabot comes home to face her enemies.
#7 - Justice Denied
Season 13 - Episode 17
A closed rape case of Benson's is reopened because of it's similarities to a new case, and the possibility of wrongful imprisonment surfaces. As Benson's work is questioned, tension develops between her, ADA Haden and Bayard Ellis.
#8 - Born Psychopath
Season 14 - Episode 19
The SVU detectives investigate after a school nurse notices multiple injuries on a young girl; Detective Amaro tries to bond with his recently discovered son.
#9 - Psycho Therapist
Season 15 - Episode 10
When Detective Benson faces Lewis in the courtroom, the stress causes setbacks in her recovery; Benson is forced to reveal secrets.
#10 - Official Story
Season 13 - Episode 12
Benson and Amaro must work around a resistant victim when the CEO of a military contractor is assaulted.
#11 - Zebras
Season 10 - Episode 22
A murder in Central Park that involves a tourist puts the SVU on high alert, but when the suspect they've brought in for questioning escapes, Munch has to reach out to an ex-wife in an effort to prevent another killing that's closer to home.
#12 - Beast's Obsession
Season 15 - Episode 20
Benson is assigned a 24/7 security detail when William Lewis escapes from prison and starts killing again; Benson must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to save a child's life.
#13 - Daydream Believer (3)
Season 16 - Episode 20
Benson and Voight lead their teams in the investigation of a rape/murder case that is frighteningly similar to a case from New York a decade ago. When forced to release their main suspect, the Chicago PD joins the SV Unit in New York in pursuit of Yates. (We Called Her Jellybean (1) aired on Chicago Fire, season 3, episode 21. The Number of Rats (2) aired on Chicago P.D., season 2, episode 20.)
#14 - Dreams Deferred
Season 14 - Episode 9
A man goes on a killing spree, but he has links to a prostitute that Benson encountered in an earlier investigation, so the FBI contacts SVU for information.
#15 - Internal Affairs
Season 15 - Episode 4
When Officer Michael Groves ends up in a psych ward after leveling accusations at the 12th Precinct, Internal Affairs asks the team to help investigate.
#16 - Military Justice
Season 15 - Episode 8
A military officer who was gang raped refuses to cooperate with the SVU for fear of damage to her reputation; Amaro asks his ex to help dig up information on the case.
#17 - Gambler's Fallacy
Season 15 - Episode 17
When Rollins strikes a deal with the managers of a gambling club in order to protect her job, she ends up drawing the suspicion of Benson and Tutuola.
#18 - Monster's Legacy
Season 14 - Episode 13
When a janitor violently attacks a coach, the SVU team connects the janitor's behavior to a history of sexual abuse; the detectives find more victims of the same predator -- including a prisoner (Mike Tyson) on death row.
#19 - Downloaded Child
Season 15 - Episode 19
After a single mom is arrested for leaving her young daughter alone for days, Sgt. Benson suspects the woman may have been abused in her own childhood.
#20 - Spring Awakening
Season 15 - Episode 24
Amaro must face the consequence of his reckless behavior; when an online ad for escorts leads to the rape and robbery of tourists, Benson discovers she has a connection to one of the suspects.
#21 - Double Strands
Season 13 - Episode 4
A family man is suspected of being a serial rapist in a string of assaults stretching across several states. Mounting evidence points to his guilt, but detectives research his past and begin to believe his pleas of innocence.
#22 - Girl Dishonored
Season 14 - Episode 20
As the SVU detectives investigate the alleged rape of a sorority pledge, drunken students, and conflicting accounts complicate matters.
#23 - 911
Season 7 - Episode 3
Benson is on her way out for the evening when a call comes in from a little girl who says she's all alone. While trying to draw the girl out, Benson is drawn deeper into the little girl's life, and although the other officers begin to suspect the whole thing may be some sick joke, Benson is convinced that the little girl is the real deal. By talking to Maria, Benson is able to ferret enough information from her so that they have a place to start, but Maria's captor has an affinity for electronics and has done everything he can to make sure that no one can find the little girl he bought and paid for.
#24 - Scheherazade
Season 8 - Episode 10
Stabler heads to see terminal cancer patient Judson Tierney after a request from his parish priest, and soon realizes that Tierney has a story that he is dying to tell but only wants to tell to his estranged daughter. With Benson keeping an eye on Tierney, Stabler looks into the man's past and learns that he was once involved in a series of unsolved bank robberies, and that he has been keeping a secret about his daughter for over twenty years.
#25 - Manhattan Vigil
Season 14 - Episode 5
The kidnapping of a young boy reminds Cragen, Munch and Benson of a unsolved case from 13 years earlier.