The BEST Episodes of Tales of the City
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Tales of the City (and its sequels) follows the soap-operaish lives of the people living in 1970's and 1980's San Francisco, and are based on Armistead Maupin's novels. The show centres around Anna Madrigal, the eccentric landlady at 28 Barbary Lane (who welcomes her tenants by taping home-grown joints above their doors), her tenants and the others implicated in their lives. Tenants include Mary Ann Singleton, a naive mid-westerner who moves to California to start a new life; Mona Ramsey, a "fag-hag" with a special connection to Mrs Madrigal; Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gay Floridian who moved to California to avoid letting his parents find out he was gay; and Brian Hawkins, a horny straight guy trapped in a gay city... People involved in their lives are Beauchamp Day, Mary Ann's boss, and his wife DeDe; Edgar Halcyon, Anna's boyfriend, and his wife, Frannie who are DeDe's parents.
#1 - Tales of the City (1)
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 10, 1994
Mary Ann Singleton makes her vacation in San Francisco permanent, and after a brief stay with her friend Connie, she is welcomed by her new ""family"" at 28 Barbary Lane. It's not long before Mary Ann finds herself seduced by her new boss's son, Beachamp. Michael ""Mouse"" Tolliver returns to 28 Barbary Lane to live with his friend Mona Ramsey.
#2 - Tales of the City (2)
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 10, 1994
The Characters continue their emotional, social and sexual meandering: Beauchamp and Mary Ann; Brian and Connie and then Hillary; DeDe and the grocery boy; Michael and Chuck and then Jon Fielding. Edgar and Anna trade a joint for a kite and Mona trades her job for her pride. Mrs Madrigal helps Edgar in a time of need. Mary Ann contemplates leaving San Francisco.
#3 - More Tales of the City (3)
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Jun 7, 1998
Beauchamp arranges to have a young thug named Douchebag whack DeDe in the stomach to ensure she has a miscarriage. Mona takes Mother Mucca back to Barbary Lane to meet her estranged child. Meanwhile, Michael is initially jealous that Mary Ann and Burke have hooked up, until a chance encounter reunites him with Jon. DeDe and her new friend D'Orthea begin to bond, as do Mrs. Madrigal and Brian. Frannie joins the Pinus club, a club for wealthy 60+ women.
#4 - Tales of the City (3)
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 11, 1994
Mary Ann joins Vincent on the crisis switchboard; is confronted by DeDe and encounters the strange Norman Neal Williams. Anna takes Mona to "Beach Blanket Babylon". Edgar tells Anna he is dying. Mona's ex lover, D'orothea returns to town and wants to rekindle an old romance. DeDe escapes to a fat farm. Michael "Mouse" wins the Mr Endup Contest and ends up losing Jon.
#5 - Tales of the City (4)
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 11, 1994
Michael's parents visit San Francisco. Anna Madrigal and Edgar's romance blossoms. Mary Ann and Norman go trick-or-treating. Mona moves out of 28 Barbary Lane to be with her old lover. DeDe is blackmailed by Carson Callas
#6 - Tales of the City (5)
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 12, 1994
Norman investigates Anna madrigal's past. Edgar is blackmailed. Michael and Brian go off in the night searching for a good time. Anna tells Edgar her secret.
#7 - Tales of the City (6)
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 12, 1994
Mrs Madrigal throws a Christmas party for her ""family"", Mona finds out the truth about D'or; Mary Ann finds out the truth about Norman. Mona moves back into Barbary Lane. Mary Ann tells Michael what happened with Norman and Anna Madigal lays a joint on Edgar's new grave.
#8 - More Tales of the City (1)
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Jun 7, 1998
We begin this installment on Feb 14, 1977 -- and what a strange Valentine's Day it is! Mary Ann surprises Mouse with two tickets for a Carnival Cruise bound for Mexico. Mona gets a phone call from her mother, who demands that Mona move out of Mrs. Madrigal's apartment. DeDe tells Beachamp that her unborn children aren't his. And Brian, who's moved into the upstairs apartment formerly occupied by Norman, spies on a female neighbor across the street who's spying on him. The day that Mary Ann and Mouse head off on their trip, Mona, dissatisfied with her life, leaves Barbary Lane, searching for something meaningful. She winds up smoking an angeldust joint, and buying a ticket to Reno, Nevada. While waiting for the bus, she meets motherly, but foul-mouthed, Mother Mucca, who eventually invites Mona to accompany her back to Winnemucca to be the receptionist at The Blue Moon Lodge -- the whorehouse she owns. Frannie becomes obsessed about her appearance and contemplates getting a facelift.
#9 - More Tales of the City (2)
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Jun 7, 1998
Mona (who introduced herself as Judy to Mother Mucca) gets the hang of things at The Blue Moon Lodge. Mrs. Madrigal, lonely with her ""family"" deserting her, worries about Mona and in a moment of exasperation, reveals to Brian that she's actually Mona's father. Mary Ann shares a romantic evening with Burke, while Mouse tries to find a crew member to seduce. DeDe leaves Beachamp and moves back in with Frannie. Mother Mucca convinces Mona to don a nun's habit and entertain (er... discipline) a gentleman client. Brian and his spying neighbor begin sharing long-distance sexual encounters -- which are being watched by the high-and-mighty queens down the street. Mona discovers a cookbook with ""Mona Ramsey"" written inside, which she learns is also Mother Mucca's name. Confused, Mona calls Mrs. Madrigal, who reveals the truth about their unique relationship.
#10 - More Tales of the City (4)
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Jun 8, 1998
Mary Ann and Michael return from their trip, so Mrs. Madrigal takes the opportunity to gather all of her ""children"" to reveal that she used to be Andy Ramsey, and she's Mona's father. Mary Ann tries to discover why Burke vomits whenever he sees roses. Michael and Jon are officially back together.... just in time for Michael to be strickened with a rare paralysis. Mona later arrives with a letter from Michael's mother, in which she rants about homosexuals, so he dictates a response outting himself. Frannie goes away to an exclusive club for older women, where she's attended to by a young, naked man. Mary Ann and Beachamp have a heated confrontation which ends with her quitting. Douchebag is all set to rough-up DeDe, and awaits the word from Beachamp... but the call never comes since Beachamp ends up in a fatal car accident.
#11 - More Tales of the City (5)
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Jun 8, 1998
DeDe has an underwhelming reaction to the news of Beauchamp's death. Mary Ann discovers that Beauchamp didn't inform anyone that she'd quit, and she still has a job ""after the dust settles."" She uses her newfound free time continuing to play Nancy Drew, trying to unlock Burke's amnesia, and discovers that he may have been pursuing a story about a cult. Frannie gets initiated into the Pinus club. Mona and Brian spend an evening together and develop a friendship â€“ until she accidentally catches him masturbating while watching a neighbor with binoculars. Michael slowly regains use of his body, and Jon makes plans to move in and nurse him back to health. Mona receives a call from her mother, Betty, who declares that she ""could be in serious danger,"" so Mona agrees to see her.
#12 - More Tales of the City (6)
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 8, 1998
D'Orthea accompanies DeDe to the hospital when she goes into labor and their true feelings for each other finally emerge. Betty tells Mona that she knows Mrs. Madrigal is her father, so Mona arranges a meeting between the estranged couple. Mary Ann and Burke finally figure out why he had amnesia, and it does relate to a cult â€“ a cannibalistic religious cult! Jon brings Mouse back to his newly redecorated apartment in Barbary Lane, and the two seem to be destined to spend the rest of their lives togetherâ€¦. DeDe and D'Orthea leave with the twins, headed for Jonestown.
#13 - Further Tales of the City (1)
Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired May 6, 2001
Frannie discovers DeDe and the children were not killed at Jonestown and hires Mary Ann to cover the story. Mother Mucca mysteriously comes to San Francisco to do ""some reckoning."" Prue Giroux falls for a mysterious stranger who lives in the park.
#14 - Further Tales of the City (2)
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired May 13, 2001
Brian's quest for Mary Ann's love is stalled while she covers DeDe's story. Anna and Royal Reichenbach fall for each other...much to Mother Mucca's dismay. DeDe sends the twins on a cruise to Alaska, not knowing that Luke is on the same cruise.
#15 - Further Tales of the City (3)
Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired May 20, 2001
Mary Ann and DeDe head up to Alaska to hunt for the twins. Mother Mucca reveals that Royal is Anna's natural father. Jim Jones kidnaps the twins. Brian, with help from Mouse and Anna, prevents Bambi Kanataka from stealing Mary Ann's big story.
#16 - Further Tales of the City (4)
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired May 27, 2001
Mary Ann and DeDe's Alaskan trip turns out to be a wild goose chase, so they return home. Luke, too, has returned to California, and it's up to Prue to help reunite DeDe with her children. Mrs. Madrigal and her family hold Bambi hostage until Mary Ann can return, during which time, Mother Mucka figures out who Bambi actually is. After Mother Mucca makes her discovery, she returns home to Winnemucca. Jon resurfaces, looking to rekindle his relationship with Michael, though it's hinted at that he's becoming ill. D'Orthea returns shortly after DeDe was reunited with the twins. Mary Ann and Brian get married shortly after Mrs. Madrigal receives news that Mother Mucca has passed away.
#17 - Coming Home
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
After two decades away, Mary Ann arrives in San Francisco for Anna Madrigal's 90th birthday party. But not everyone is happy to see her.
#18 - She Messy
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
Mary Ann decides to stay in San Francisco and tell Shawna the truth. Jake and Margot face a crossroads in their relationship. Anna meets a new man.
#19 - Happy, Now?
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
Anna receives a threatening message. Mary Ann tries to make peace with Brian. Jake and Margot negotiate a family gender-reveal party and its aftermath.
#20 - The Price of Oil
Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
Mary Ann rallies the crew to save Barbary Lane and tries to connect with Shawna. A night with Michael's old pals stirs up drama between him and Ben.
#21 - Not Today, Satan
Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
Mary Ann and Shawna team up to uncover what's going on with Anna. Michael searches for a new place to live. Shawna opens up to Claire.
#22 - A Touch O' Butch
Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
Everyone looks after Anna following a medical incident. The twins fill DeDe's house with social influencers. Mary Ann and Brian have a heart-to-heart
#23 - Next Level Sh*t
Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
Shawna digs into her history. Mary Ann helps Sam track down information on Anna's past. Ben has a change of heart about Michael's housing situation.
#24 - Days of Small Surrenders
Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
In a flashback to the 1960s, Anna arrives in San Francisco, befriends some trans women and starts dating a man. But she soon finds her loyalties tested.
#25 - Rainbow Warriors
Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Jun 7, 2019
Racing against time, Mary Ann, Michael and Brian follow leads to learn who's threatening Barbary Lane. Anna seeks forgiveness from an old friend.