The Best Episodes of Survivor

Last Updated: Dec 3, 2018

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".

Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

#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.

star 8.51
125 votes
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Head of the Snake

#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.

star 8.39
192 votes
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If It Smells Like a Rat, Give It Cheese!

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

Season 16 - Episode 13

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 8.38
56 votes
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You Get What You Give

#4 - You Get What You Give

Season 37 - Episode 8

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

star 8.32
200 votes
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You Call, We'll Haul

#5 - 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.

star 8.31
250 votes
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I'm Gonna Fix Her!

#6 - I'm Gonna Fix Her!

Season 16 - Episode 12

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 8.30
53 votes
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This Is My Time

#7 - 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.

star 8.26
149 votes
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This Is Where We Build Trust

#8 - 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.

star 8.25
169 votes
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Breadth-First Search

#9 - Breadth-First Search

Season 37 - Episode 9

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 8.23
199 votes
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Bum-Puzzled

#10 - 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.

star 8.22
90 votes
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My Wheels Are Spinning

#11 - My Wheels Are Spinning

Season 31 - Episode 11

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 8.18
136 votes
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Rustle Feathers

#12 - 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.

star 8.18
154 votes
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America's Tribal Council

#13 - America's Tribal Council

Season 8 - Episode 18

A second player is awarded $1 million, based on fan voting. Jeff Probst is the host.

star 8.16
37 votes
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Just Annihilate Them

#14 - 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.

star 8.16
73 votes
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Persona Non Grata

#15 - 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.

star 8.15
124 votes
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Going Down in Flames

#16 - 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.

star 8.15
88 votes
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Don't Say Anything About My Mom

#17 - 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.

star 8.14
117 votes
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You're a Rat

#18 - You're a Rat

Season 13 - Episode 12

Jonathan is berated by Parvati, Candice and Adam for turning on their Rarotonga alliance. With nothing left to lose, the three of them try to convince the Aitu alliance that Jonathan cannot be trusted. At the Reward Challenge, the castaways are left stunned when one of them reveals some shocking news to the group. The Immunity Challenge tests the Survivor's recollection of the past 30 days of the game. Which castaway's memory will serve them well and keep them safe for another week? At Exile Island, one tribe member's spirit takes a beating. How will their seclusion from the tribe affect their morale?

star 8.13
55 votes
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The Beginning of the End

#19 - 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.

star 8.12
110 votes
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Like Selling Your Soul to the Devil

#20 - 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.

star 8.11
218 votes
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I’m Not Here to Make Good Friends

#21 - 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.

star 8.11
472 votes
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Last Push

#22 - 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.

star 8.11
107 votes
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Why Would You Trust Me?

#23 - Why Would You Trust Me?

Season 13 - Episode 11

When the Raro tribe of five merges with the Aitu tribe of four, Yul realizes he needs to sway one of the old Raro tribe members to join his underdog Aitu alliance. To do so, he decides to reveal his possession of the hidden Immunity Idol to a few select tribemates. Will the castaways stay true to their alliances or will this news stir up the game? Also, one castaway considers betraying their alliance at Tribal Council, but worries that this decision will cause drama back at camp.

star 8.10
63 votes
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Cut Off the Head of the Snake

#24 - 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.

star 8.09
126 votes
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Lie, Cheat and Steal

#25 - 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.

star 8.09
248 votes
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