The BEST Episodes of Survivor

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Network: CBS

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".

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Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

#1 - Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Season 26 - Episode 10 - Aired Apr 17, 2013

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.

star 8.54
316 votes
Nothing Tastes Better Than Five Hundred Dollars

#2 - Nothing Tastes Better Than Five Hundred Dollars

Season 17 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 20, 2008

One Castaway devises a dangerous plan that hinges on the Hidden Immunity Idol, while another castaway considers betraying their alliance in order to avoid elimination.

star 8.46
114 votes
Persona Non Grata

#3 - Persona Non Grata

Season 26 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 13, 2013

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.

star 8.40
394 votes
Head of the Snake

#4 - Head of the Snake

Season 28 - Episode 6 - Aired Apr 2, 2014

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.

star 8.30
359 votes
The Good Guys Should Win in the End

#5 - The Good Guys Should Win in the End

Season 17 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 11, 2008

After using guilt to gain control of an ally, a pushy castaway may land in hot water when the Hidden Immunity Idol is put into play, resulting in a shocking turn of events at Tribal Council.

star 8.30
111 votes
You Get What You Give

#6 - You Get What You Give

Season 37 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 14, 2018

One castaway must do damage control after being called out by their tribe. Balance is tested in a stressful immunity challenge.

star 8.24
278 votes
It All Boils Down to This

#7 - It All Boils Down to This

Season 40 - Episode 14 - Aired May 13, 2020

Those living on the Edge of Extinction dig deep for one last shot to get back in the game. Then, the final 6 battle it out to see who takes home the $2 million prize. The traditional reunion show has been skipped this season, with Jeff streaming the season's results from his garage.

star 8.24
190 votes
If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese!

#8 - If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese!

Season 16 - Episode 13 - Aired May 8, 2008

The women on the tribe use their powers of seduction to test the only man remaining in the game. Will he fight temptation or will it cost him the game?

star 8.23
79 votes
Quick on the Draw

#9 - Quick on the Draw

Season 40 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 18, 2020

The immunity challenge weighs heavily on the castaways when 2 tribes are sent to tribal council. One castaway on Edge of Extinction is acting sneaky.

star 8.17
212 votes
My Wheels Are Spinning

#10 - My Wheels Are Spinning

Season 31 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 25, 2015

Relentless rain drowns the players' spirits, a fun reward reveals a glimpse of Cambodian culture, and the voting bloc strategy keeps castaways on their toes.

star 8.14
145 votes
Breadth-First Search

#11 - Breadth-First Search

Season 37 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 21, 2018

A quarrel between two castaways could mean the end of a showmance. Castaways who win rewards earn a much-needed trip to the burger bar.

star 8.14
287 votes
I’m Not Here to Make Good Friends

#12 - I’m Not Here to Make Good Friends

Season 32 - Episode 10 - Aired Apr 20, 2016

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.

star 8.14
540 votes
The Beginning of the End

#13 - The Beginning of the End

Season 26 - Episode 12 - Aired May 1, 2013

Two Immunity Challenges and two Tribal Councils raise the stakes, forcing castaways to consider big moves on their biggest threats.

star 8.13
248 votes
The Day of Reckoning

#14 - The Day of Reckoning

Season 19 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 19, 2009

A clever castaway jeopardizes the success of a scheme to ensure their own safety in the game.

star 8.10
99 votes
It's a Fickle, Fickle Game

#15 - It's a Fickle, Fickle Game

Season 30 - Episode 14 - Aired May 20, 2015

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.

star 8.09
266 votes
I'm Gonna Fix Her!

#16 - I'm Gonna Fix Her!

Season 16 - Episode 12 - Aired May 1, 2008

One castaway goes from being a power player to the most desperate of all before making a huge discovery that could change the course of the game. Meanwhile, Alexis and James both suffer injuries that could potentially threaten their fate.

star 8.08
71 votes
Million Dollar Gamble (1)

#17 - Million Dollar Gamble (1)

Season 33 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 23, 2016

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.

star 8.07
782 votes
The First 27 Days

#18 - The First 27 Days

Season 19 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 26, 2009

In never before seen footage, one castaway reveals a guarded secret and the whole tribe suffers at the hands of Russell in the aftermath of the merge.

star 8.07
55 votes
Just Annihilate Them

#19 - Just Annihilate Them

Season 24 - Episode 8 - Aired Apr 4, 2012

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.

star 8.07
287 votes
She Annoys Me Greatly

#20 - She Annoys Me Greatly

Season 26 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 13, 2013

Returning players are pitted against newcomers on the exotic Caramoan Islands. The returning players include Cochran, Brandon Hantz, Phillip Sheppard and Dawn Meehan.

star 8.07
301 votes

#21 - Mutiny

Season 7 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 11, 2003

A twelfth person is voted off the islands.

star 8.06
80 votes
Million Dollar Gamble (2)

#22 - Million Dollar Gamble (2)

Season 33 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 23, 2016

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.

star 8.06
295 votes
The Twist

#23 - The Twist

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 8, 2001

Three tribe members from each team are surprised to learn that they are switching sides and joining their rival tribes. After the switch, the teams compete for Reward by leading 20 goats from a starting pen to a destination pen 100 yards away. For Immunity, teams gather 20 puzzle pieces and put them together to complete the puzzle. The fifth person is voted out of the game at Tribal Council.

star 8.06
99 votes
Greatest of the Greats

#24 - Greatest of the Greats

Season 40 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 12, 2020

Twenty previous winners of Survivor begin their battle for $2 million with a classic challenge to ring in their first immunity win. An all-new twist involving fire tokens is revealed.

star 8.05
249 votes
Lie, Cheat, and Steal

#25 - Lie, Cheat, and Steal

Season 31 - Episode 14 - Aired Dec 16, 2015

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.

star 8.03
292 votes