The WORST Episodes of Law & Order

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2021

Network: NBC

"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories." "Law & Order" is a blended police procedural and courtroom drama created by Dick Wolf. The structure for the one-hour show is a two-part approach: The first half focuses on NYPD homicide detectives investigating a crime—often derived from a real-life headline—and apprehending a suspect. The second half takes place in the courtroom, with the district attorney prosecuting the defendant.

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#1 - Bailout

Season 19 - Episode 15 - Aired Mar 11, 2009

As detectives investigate the death of a bank executive's mistress, they uncover a kidnapping and extortion plot.

star 6.65
165 votes
Writers: Christopher Ambrose, Richard Sweren
The Corporate Veil

#2 - The Corporate Veil

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 14, 1992

A teenager's fatal heart attack is traced to fraud and greed on the part of the manufacturer of his pacemaker and their supplier.

star 6.68
280 votes
Directors: Don Scardino
Writers: Joe Morgenstern, Michael S. Chernuchin
Mother Love

#3 - Mother Love

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 24, 1993

The absence of a murder weapon complicates the investigation into the murder of a drug addict who stole from her family to support her habit.

star 6.75
277 votes
Writers: Robert Nathan

#4 - Panic

Season 10 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 16, 2000

Briscoe and Green investigate the shooting of a best-selling mystery writer and the death of her accountant, with a love triangle as a possible motive for the crime.

star 6.82
178 votes
Writers: Lynn Mamet, William N. Fordes

#5 - Burden

Season 8 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 24, 1998

After a 12-year-old quadriplegic dies at home in his bed, paramedics claim that he was suffocated and the suspects include the boy's parents and sister.

star 6.88
167 votes
Writers: David Shore, I.C. Rapoport

#6 - Crimebusters

Season 19 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 11, 2009

An unconscious war widow and her lifeless infant are found in the rubble of a bombed army recruitment center; Jack McCoy is forced to make one of the most unpopular decisions of his career.

star 6.93
223 votes
Directors: Alex Chapple
Writers: Gina Gionfriddo, Richard Sweren

#7 - Harvest

Season 8 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 29, 1997

A discrepancy concerning the time of death of a drive-by shooting victim leads McCoy and Ross to initiate prosecutions against both the shooter and the doctor who harvested her organs as transplant donations.

star 6.94
226 votes
Writers: I.C. Rapoport
Subterranean Homeboy Blues

#8 - Subterranean Homeboy Blues

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 20, 1990

The shooting of two black men by a white woman in a crowded subway initially appears to be a case of self-defense, but further investigation reveals revenge as a possible motive.

star 6.95
582 votes
Directors: E.W. Swackhamer
Writers: Robert Palm

#9 - Haven

Season 9 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 10, 1999

Briscoe and Curtis probe the murder of a popular Harlem community leader while McCoy and Carmichael struggle to prevent a chaotic situation.

star 6.97
140 votes
Directors: David Platt
Writers: David Shore, I.C. Rapoport

#10 - Sundown

Season 10 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 15, 1999

A patient is found beaten to death in a hospital lounge -- and the resulting case involves infidelity, Alzheimer's disease and a ladies' man.

star 6.99
185 votes
Writers: Krista Vernoff
His Hour Upon the Stage

#11 - His Hour Upon the Stage

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 10, 1991

The discovery of a frozen corpse in a dumpster leads to rival Broadway producers.

star 6.99
295 votes
Directors: Steve Cohen
Writers: Giles Blunt, Robert Stuart Nathan

#12 - Conspiracy

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 30, 1992

The assassination of an African-American leader leads to the arrest of a man whose ex-wife was suspected of having an affair with the victim.

star 7.00
278 votes
Directors: Ed Sherin
Writers: Michael S. Chernuchin, René Balcer

#13 - Angelgrove

Season 18 - Episode 13 - Aired Mar 19, 2008

A terrorist organization seems to be tied in with the violent death of an art dealer, until the victim's troubled son with ties to a fanatic religious group is investigated.

star 7.02
159 votes
Directors: Darnell Martin
Writers: David Wilcox, Stephanie Sengupta
Happily Ever After

#14 - Happily Ever After

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 23, 1990

Greevey and Logan have a hunch that robbery is a cover for the real motive in the death of a millionaire in a parking garage.

star 7.03
432 votes
Writers: David Black, Robert Stuart Nathan

#15 - Doubles

Season 4 - Episode 21 - Aired May 18, 1994

An assailant breaks the wrist of a tennis player prior to a tournament, and a competitor is among the suspects.

star 7.03
162 votes
Directors: Ed Sherin
Writers: Michael S. Chernuchin, René Balcer

#16 - Disciple

Season 9 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 24, 1999

After a teen is found dead in the emergency room, the investigation leads to a case involving a religious ritual and a defendant who claims that the action taken was dictated by a saint's voice.

star 7.04
146 votes
Writers: Lynne E. Litt, Richard Sweren
Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die

#17 - Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 11, 1990

Stone has difficulty prosecuting a privileged preppie with a history of abusing his girlfriends after one of them dies at his hands.

star 7.04
480 votes
Writers: Robert Stuart Nathan

#18 - Snatched

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 12, 1994

A millionaire friend of Schiff's won't cooperate with the police following his son's kidnapping.

star 7.05
224 votes
Writers: René Balcer, Walon Green
Black Tie

#19 - Black Tie

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 20, 1993

The police suspect a cover up when they receive an anonymous tip that a wealthy man was murdered by his wife, who refuses to allow an autopsy after a physician declares that the death occurred from natural causes.

star 7.06
274 votes
Writers: Michael S. Chernuchin, Walon Green
Star Struck

#20 - Star Struck

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 7, 1992

An obsessive fan pleads temporary insanity when he is charged with attempting to murder the soap-opera actress who is the center of his life.

star 7.06
286 votes
Writers: Robert Nathan, Sally Nemeth

#21 - Endurance

Season 11 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 18, 2000

After a disabled boy dies of smoke inhalation during a fire, his parents and a building tenant with a history of "accidental" fires become suspects.

star 7.07
169 votes
Writers: Matt Witten

#22 - Severance

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 14, 1992

Stone faces an old rival in court as he tries to link a hit man and three murders to a sleazy lawyer and a powerful man behind bars.

star 7.07
315 votes
Writers: Michael S. Chernuchin, William N. Fordes
Sisters of Mercy

#23 - Sisters of Mercy

Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 3, 1992

Cerreta and Logan investigate the accusation that a nun in charge of a shelter for teens molested a young addict.

star 7.08
304 votes
Writers: René Balcer

#24 - Falling

Season 19 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 26, 2008

The detectives investigate the mystery of a falling construction crane in the city and that leads them to something much more sinister.

star 7.08
205 votes
Directors: Michael Watkins
Writers: Keith Eisner, Stephanie Sengupta
Wedded Bliss

#25 - Wedded Bliss

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 21, 1992

The discovery of a young woman's body in the river leads to an investigation of illegal sweatshops and the enslavement of young immigrants.

star 7.09
257 votes
Directors: Vern Gillum
Writers: Edward Pomerantz, Robert Nathan
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