The Best Episodes of Survivor
Sixteen or more castaways are split between two or more "Tribes", are taken to a remote isolated location and are forced to live off the land with meager supplies for roughly 39 days. Frequent physical challenges are used to pit the tribes against each other for Rewards, such as food or luxuries, or for "Immunity", forcing the other tribe to attend "Tribal Council", where they must vote off one of their players. Once about half the players are remaining, the tribes are merged into a single tribe, and competitions are on an individual basis; winning Immunity prevents that player from being voted out, while several that are voted out at this stage form the game's "Jury". Once down to two or three people, a Final Tribal Council is held where the remaining players plead their case to the jury members. The jury then votes for which player should be considered the "Sole Survivor" and win the $1 million prize. Survivor has introduced numerous modifications, or "twists", on the core rules in order to keep the players on their toes and to prevent players from relying on strategies that succeeded in prior seasons. These changes have included tribal switches, seasons starting with more than two tribes, the ability to exile a player from a tribe for a short time, Hidden Immunity Idols that players can use to save themselves at Tribal Council and a chance to return to regular gameplay after elimination through "Redemption Island".
#1 - Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Season 26 - Episode 10
An accident threatens one castaway's future in the game, and in one of the most shocking Tribal Councils, a huge revelation forces an alliance to scramble and potentially turn on each other.
#2 - Head of the Snake
Season 28 - Episode 6
It's every castaway for themselves, as two tribes become one in this season's merge. Meanwhile, one castaway's thirst for power could earn them a spot on the jury, and jaws drop as the blindside streak continues.
#3 - You Call, We'll Haul
Season 31 - Episode 8
An intense water challenge leaves castaways thirsty for a much-needed reward. Also, immunity hangs in the balance as castaways attempt to steady themselves, and a shocking Tribal Council takes an unexpected turn.
#4 - Going Down in Flames
Season 20 - Episode 10
Reunited on the merged tribe, two old friends rekindle an alliance but trust doesn't come easily, and one castaway makes an unprecedented play, setting the stage for one of the most surprising Tribal Councils in Survivor history.
#5 - This Is Where We Build Trust
Season 29 - Episode 10
Another castaway trades their reward for security in the game. Also, the first idol of the season comes into play during a chaotic Tribal Council.
#6 - This Is My Time
Season 29 - Episode 14
The Final Five compete for a spot in the last Tribal Council and the $1 million prize on the two hour Season Finale.
#7 - Bum-Puzzled
Season 24 - Episode 4
An unforgivable betrayal forces one tribe to make a drastic move that has never been done before in Survivor history, and an electrifying Tribal Council leaves several castaways speechless.
#8 - Persona Non Grata
Season 26 - Episode 5
The Favorites must contend with an out-of-control Brandon when he stuns his tribemates and reveals his hidden desire to sabotage their camp, leading up to a history-making meltdown.
#9 - Just Annihilate Them
Season 24 - Episode 8
The game gets personal when one tribe member is confronted about her physical appearance, and a shocking blindside eradicates any sense of security in the Tikiano tribe.
#10 - Rustle Feathers
Season 27 - Episode 12
Castaways try to find balance at a frustrating Immunity Challenge and a ruthless game of tug of war leads to an incredibly rare Tribal Council.
#11 - Don't Say Anything About My Mom
Season 26 - Episode 13
Castaways get a much-needed morale boost with a visit from their loved ones, and one Survivor is faced with a game-changing decision.
#12 - Last Push
Season 26 - Episode 14
With the title of Sole Survivor on the line and $1 million within arm's reach, one castaway falls victim to a heartbreaking medical emergency.
#13 - The Beginning of the End
Season 26 - Episode 12
Two Immunity Challenges and two Tribal Councils raise the stakes, forcing castaways to consider big moves on their biggest threats.
#14 - Cut Off the Head of the Snake
Season 26 - Episode 9
One castaway learns a secret that will potentially change the game, and chaos ensues when confused castaways are undecided on whether to vote out an easy target or blindside a big threat.
#15 - Like Selling Your Soul to the Devil
Season 31 - Episode 10
Castaways’ spirits are drowning in a relentless rain storm, but a fun challenge reward offers a few players a glimpse into the Cambodian culture. Also, the “voting bloc” strategy used this season continues to keep Castaways on their toes, on a special two-hour Survivor.
#16 - Million Dollar Gamble (1)
Season 33 - Episode 10
A power struggle between castaways erupts and each player tries to arm themselves with allies. Also, tensions rise when Gen Xers turn on each other, and one castaway throws another under the bus to build trust in the game.
#17 - Lie, Cheat and Steal
Season 31 - Episode 14
Six castaways battle it out for a shot in the final three, and a shocking Tribal Council delivers a Survivor first. Later, the final three castaways plead their cases for the $1 million prize.
#18 - I’m Not Here to Make Good Friends
Season 32 - Episode 10
A surprising turn of events at Tribal Council sends shock waves through the entire tribe. Also, castaways must choose between food, love or an advantage in the game.
#19 - It's a Fickle, Fickle Game
Season 30 - Episode 14
After 39 Days, one castaway will be crowned Sole Survivor and take home the million dollar prize. Also, emotions run deep when castaways receive a surprise visit from their loved ones.
#20 - Straw That Broke the Camel's Back
Season 28 - Episode 12
Castaways scale new heights as they battle for a guaranteed spot in the Final Four. Meanwhile, friends become enemies when one castaway overhears plans for her eviction, and Tony comes up with a strategy for his special Immunity Idol.
#21 - The Tables Have Turned
Season 34 - Episode 3
A dramatic twist in the game sends shockwaves through the tribes. Also, castaways are flying blind at a classic immunity challenge.
#22 - One World is Out the Window
Season 24 - Episode 3
Weathering the harsh elements sparks new battles between the sexes, and poor communication leaves castaways scrambling at a frustration-filled Immunity Challenge.
#23 - Come Over to the Dark Side
Season 26 - Episode 11
The popular food auction returns and the Three Amigos concoct a lie in attempt to take control of the game.
#24 - Then There Were Five
Season 23 - Episode 14
Tensions escalate at camp when the Final Five original Upolu members are forced to turn on each other. Meanwhile, on Redemption Island, Ozzy and Edna compete to stay in the game, and one becomes the sixth jury member.