The WORST episodes of Matlock

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Ben Matlock is a very expensive criminal defense attorney who charges $100,000 to take a case. Fortunately, he's worth every penny as he and his associates defend his clients by finding the real killer.

Last Updated: 6/9/2022Network: ABC (US)
The Debt
10 votes

#1 - The Debt

Season 7 - Episode 9 - Aired 3/18/1993

When Leanne's ex-husband Peter is charged with the murder of his friend and boss, once the truth comes out about Peter's possible motive in the killing, Matlock despises his ex-son-in-law more than ever.

The Court-Martial (1)
59 votes

#2 - The Court-Martial (1)

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired 2/17/1987

Ben is hired by a friend to defend his son, who is in the army, who's been charged with killing the sadistic lieutenant, whose mistreatment of his men led to the death of his friend.

The Scam (1)
6 votes

#3 - The Scam (1)

Season 9 - Episode 15 - Aired 5/7/1995

Cliff gets entangled in the case of his old college buddy, a defense attorney being blackmailed to sabotage his current case. But when the blackmailer turns up dead and Cliff stands accused, it's Matlock to the rescue.

The Photographer
50 votes

#4 - The Photographer

Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired 3/31/1987

Amy Adler had a juvenile record before becoming a photographer's assistant. When the photographer she works for is murdered, she begs Matlock to help her out. While pro bono cases aren't usually his style, something about the feisty young woman catches his interest, and he agrees to help her out.

Directors: Bob Sweeney
The Secret (1)
21 votes

#5 - The Secret (1)

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/30/1990

When a gambler is accused of killing his bookie, Matlock agrees to take the case, believing that someone from the bookie's past is the guilty party.

Directors: Leo Penn
The Mark
14 votes

#6 - The Mark

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/4/1993

When Billy Wheeler comes back to town $250,000 richer after having won the lottery, he soon falls for contractor Judy Wilson. Unfortunately, when she takes him and every other partner for a ride, Billy is accused of her murder, and Matlock has to clear his name.

Directors: Harvey Laidman
The Con Man
46 votes

#7 - The Con Man

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/7/1989

After he's conned by a group of con men, Brian Davis is accused of murdering one of them. Matlock agrees to take on the case, and while Michelle tries to get close to one of the remaining con artists, Matlock tries to prove that a previous scheme is responsible for the current predicament.

Directors: Leo Penn
The Star
46 votes

#8 - The Star

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/31/1989

Catherine McKay is an aging prima donna who only had one hit movie in her career. When she's found dead, stabbed in the chest with the knife that made her famous, suspicion lands on Noel Bishop, the horror film director that wanted her off his picture.

The Arsonist
12 votes

#9 - The Arsonist

Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired 2/5/1991

Marvin Sheam and Sid Franklin have been in business for 32 years. When their bank loan is denied and they can't pay their bills, Marv tries to talk Sid into hiring an arsonist to torch their business so they can collect the insurance money and rebuild from scratch. Just before Marv has a chance to talk to the arsonist again, he winds up dead outside his daughter's wedding reception, and Sid gets blamed.

Directors: Robert Scheerer
The Genius
49 votes

#10 - The Genius

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired 3/15/1988

When Matlock's nephew Irwin is charged with murder, Matlock investigates at a high-tech computer firm to clear his name.

Directors: Frank Thackery
The Psychic
47 votes

#11 - The Psychic

Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired 3/7/1989

Matlock agrees to defend a psychic, Jennifer Holtz, who claims to have seen the murder before it ever took place.

The Talk Show
46 votes

#12 - The Talk Show

Season 4 - Episode 15 - Aired 1/16/1990

When talk show host Dan Galloway is murdered after publicly humiliating three woman on the air and firing his executive producer, there is no shortage of suspects. Nearly everyone who ever met the man wanted him dead, but it's up to Matlock to prove whether Marla, Leanne or Katherine committed the crime as he tries to prove that his own client, Lisa, did not.

Directors: Robert Scheerer
The Pro
44 votes

#13 - The Pro

Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired 2/13/1990

Matlock has to defend an arrogant young tennis professional (Dave Travis) against a charge of murdering his rival on and off the court (Victor Tomassio).

The Assassination (1)
18 votes

#14 - The Assassination (1)

Season 6 - Episode 18 - Aired 5/8/1992

When the local mayor is assassinated, Matlock's daughter Leanne comes to town to prove the case. The case takes a different turn when a judge is accused of murdering a local man's wife, and Ben and Leanne have to work out the problems in their relationship to clear Eller of murder.

The Vacation (1)
10 votes

#15 - The Vacation (1)

Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/5/1992

Matlock and Leanne head to the beach where Leanne reunites with three good friends from college, and Matlock reunites with someone from his past who just happens to be the brother of the woman whose heart Matlock 'broke' years earlier.

The Lovelorn
53 votes

#16 - The Lovelorn

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired 2/23/1988

Matlock agrees to defend a man who has been accused of murdering the relationship columnist whose response ended his relationship.

The Victim
42 votes

#17 - The Victim

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired 1/23/1990

Matlock tries to prove that someone other than his client had a motive to murder his lover. His best bet? The victim's paraplegic husband.

Directors: Robert Scheerer
The Good Boy
32 votes

#18 - The Good Boy

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/26/1989

After her husband's death she never thought she'd love again, but it Bonnie soon found her future with Cal Ritter. The only problem is that her son, Tony Morgen, hates Cal. When Tony kills Cal and frames his mother for her murder, Matlock takes the case to prove that Bonnie is innocent, but to prove her innocence, he will have to destroy her son.

The Model
46 votes

#19 - The Model

Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired 4/25/1989

Matlock has finally had the breakthrough in the case he was struggling with, but after being hit by a car, he needs to put the case together from scratch. Unfortunately, his nurse isn't too pleased to see him trying to work, and does her best to make sure he gets the rest he needs.

Directors: Tony Mordente
The Cult
48 votes

#20 - The Cult

Season 3 - Episode 18 - Aired 5/2/1989

When William Austin comes to Atlanta from Chicago and heads to the cult that has ensnared his son Dennis, Dennis tells him to leave him alone, the cult is his home now, and that he is no longer his father. The leader of the cult, Joshua Bradbury, tells Austin that he needs to accept Dennis' decision, and to leave him alone. Austin refuses to leave without his son, and Bradbury has the police escort Austin (who threatens to take off Bradbury's head) out of mansion. Dennis observes someone shooting Joshua, then tells police he sees his father fleeing the scene of the crime. William Austin heads to Ben Matlock for help in defending himself. After learning that Dennis has signed his trust fund and his life's savings over to the cult, Matlock confronts him, and is shocked to hear Dennis deny his father. Matlock goes to a reknowned expert in de-programming cult victims, who tells him that Dennis may believe he saw his father, but he is probably so brain-washed by the cult that he can't real

Directors: Harvey Laidman
The Scrooge
45 votes

#21 - The Scrooge

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired 12/19/1989

When a scrooge of a store owner is accused of murdering his partner for being 'good' at Christmas, Matlock agrees to take the case, but Steven Abbott is furious when part of Matlock's fee involves Abbott having to be a 'good' guy.

Blind Justice
38 votes

#22 - Blind Justice

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/29/1987

Michelle agrees to defend college chum Andrea Morrow after she is accused of murdering her abusive lover, Clay Graham. Matlock soon becomes convinced that the murderer was Clay's blind 'friend', Arthur Hampton, but will have a devil of a time proving how a blind man managed to carry off a near-perfect murder.

The Best Friend
56 votes

#23 - The Best Friend

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 12/8/1987

Matlock agrees to defend Vanessa Douglas when she's accused of murdering Stephen Cassidy, and author who destroyed a political families ambitions with a tell-all book. When Matlock realises his client is indeed guilty of the murder she is charged of committing, he sets up a plan to implicate her best friend, Sarah, with the crime, knowing that Vanessa will not let her friend take the blame for something she did.

Directors: Tony Mordente
Santa Claus
85 votes

#24 - Santa Claus

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired 12/9/1986

When a down-on-his luck Santa Claus (Tom McCabe) is accused of killing the landlord who was about to evict not only him but everyone else in the apartment complex, the people in his building take up a collection and come to Matlock to ask him to defend him. They may not like Tom, but none of them believe him guilty of murder. Matlock ignores his own misgivings about a man he can't help but dislike and agrees to defend Tom.

The Informer (2)
48 votes

#25 - The Informer (2)

Season 4 - Episode 20 - Aired 2/27/1990

With Angela's help, Conrad tries to track down an informer they believe holds the key to Sam Chandler's murder.