The BEST Episodes of The West Wing

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2019

The West Wing provides a glimpse into presidential politics in the nation's capital as it tells the stories of the members of a fictional presidential administration. These interesting characters have humor and dedication that touches the heart while the politics that they discuss touch on everyday life.

Tomorrow

#1 - Tomorrow

Season 7 - Episode 22

After seven seasons of the Award-winning drama series, the Bartlet Administration prepares to leave the White House and The West Wing. While Santos and his winning camp are nervously gearing up for the presidential inauguration, current President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), CJ (Allison Janney) and the others fondly look back as they prepare to leave the White House forever.

star 8.80
17 votes
Writers: John Wells
Things Fall Apart

#2 - Things Fall Apart

Season 6 - Episode 21

Faced with a Democratic party in disarray in the face of the strongest Republican challenger they have ever had, Bartlet asks Leo to take charge of the potentially chaotic Democratic National Convention, while Santos considers a party-unifying vice-presidential offer from front-runner Russell. Meanwhile, the International Space Station is leaking oxygen and a rescue of the three astronauts will be difficult, and Bartlet catches Charlie leaving Zoey's bedroom after a nighttime visit.

star 8.60
14 votes
Writers: Peter Noah
Faith Based Initiative

#3 - Faith Based Initiative

Season 6 - Episode 10

A senator attaches a rider to the federal budget bill that would ban gay marriage, almost daring the President to veto it, as the physical infirmities of Bartlet's MS become more pronounced. The Internet is rampant with a story that questions CJ's sexual orientation, and it is only fueled further when CJ refuses to dignify the allegations by putting out a statement. Donna joins the Vice President's senior staff, and heads for New Hampshire to start up Russell's presidential campaign there. And Santos decides that he will run for president after all, but only if Josh will leave the White House to manage his campaign.

star 8.50
11 votes
Writers: Bradley Whitford
Ninety Miles Away

#4 - Ninety Miles Away

Season 6 - Episode 19

New rumors about Fidel Castro's health cause the President to re-examine the economic sanctions against Cuba that haven't worked for 40 years, and he sends Leo McGarry to meet secretly with the Cuban dictator. The occasion causes C.J. to check into Kate Harper's past with the C.I.A., but she is unaware of a past encounter between Kate and Leo. Meanwhile, Charlie discovers the complexities of dealing with a termite invasion of the White House.

star 8.50
12 votes
Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: John Sacret Young
What Kind of Day Has It Been

#5 - What Kind of Day Has It Been

Season 1 - Episode 22

The staff deals with the crisis of an American pilot who was shot down in Iraq; Toby's brother is in danger on a space shuttle whose doors won't close; Bartlet and the senior staff walk into trouble as they leave a town meeting.

star 8.48
373 votes
Directors: Thomas Schlamme
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
The Wake Up Call

#6 - The Wake Up Call

Season 6 - Episode 14

Valentine's Day starts badly when the Iranian air force shoots down a British airliner, killing 100 passengers. The U.K. Prime Minister threatens to retaliate by bombing nuclear reactor sites, which could doom future support for political reformers in Iran. But C.J. has made an agreement with Abbey to allow the President to get more rest, and she is reluctant to awaken him at 5 A.M. to deal with the crisis. Meanwhile, Toby and a visiting law professor answer questions from a foreign delegation that is trying to write a new constitution for the former Soviet Republic of Belarus, and harried staffers pass the buck of Leo's traditional meeting with the new Miss World.

star 8.40
14 votes
Directors: Laura Innes
Writers: Josh Singer
Freedonia

#7 - Freedonia

Season 6 - Episode 15

It's five days before the New Hampshire primary, and Josh is desperately trying to find a "silver bullet" that will get his candidate into the local debate between the two front-runners, Vice President Russell and former Vice President Hoynes. Then, Josh and Santos's disagreements over how to run the campaign come to a head when Santos hires Josh's ex-girlfriend Amy Gardner to help him prepare for the debate he may never be in. And Donna has a memorable encounter with a chicken.

star 8.40
17 votes
La Palabra

#8 - La Palabra

Season 6 - Episode 18

Santos is campaigning in California during the last few days before the all-important "Super Tuesday" primary elections, but he is out of money and he trails both Russell and Hoynes in the polls. When even "La Palabra", a Latino voters group, is all set to endorse Hoynes instead of Santos, Josh urges Santos to take a stand on the new bill that denies driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, Donna tries to figure out why Hoynes suddenly isn't campaigning in California, and advances her position in the Russell campaign by becoming the Vice President's official spokesperson.

star 8.40
14 votes
Directors: Jason Ensler
Writers: Eli Attie
2162 Votes

#9 - 2162 Votes

Season 6 - Episode 22

At the Democratic National Convention, Russell, Santos and Baker jockey for the 2162 votes that will give one of them the nomination for President, and the opportunity to lose to the apparently unstoppable Vinick in November. Meanwhile, the President must make a decision before it's too late on whether to deploy a secret rescue mission to the space station, and the FBI is asked to determine who leaked the existence of the military shuttle to the press.

star 8.40
14 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: John Wells
The Debate

#10 - The Debate

Season 7 - Episode 7

Santos and Vinick battle it out in primetime live. Forrest Saywer the moderator poses questions and attempts to ensure that the candidates remain within bounds. Ellen DeGeneres guest hosts the show on behalf of American Express and their new credit card.

star 8.40
13 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: Lawrence O'Donnell Jr.
Inauguration (2): Over There

#11 - Inauguration (2): Over There

Season 4 - Episode 15

Toby discovers that Will's frankness, stubbornness, and commitment to ideals is much like his own; Charlie remains on the hunt for an inaugural Bible; Bartlet and the staff continue to debate over sending American troops into Kundu to stop a genocidal war until Laurel and Hardy provide some needed inspiration; Bartlet appoints Will Deputy Communications Director; Donna takes one for Jack when a comment he thinks he is making off the record is included in a "Post" article by Danny's editor.

star 8.32
270 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
Two Cathedrals

#12 - Two Cathedrals

Season 2 - Episode 22

On the day of Mrs. Landingham's funeral, the staff deals with a Haitian presidential crisis and the law suit against the big tobacco companies, and Bartlet must decide about running for reelection.

star 8.30
18 votes
Directors: Thomas Schlamme
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
The Benign Prerogative

#13 - The Benign Prerogative

Season 5 - Episode 11

In the days leading up to the State of the Union address, Toby gets crucial voter feedback when he accompanies Joey as she mall-tests the speech around the nation; Jed and the staff wrestle with the issues of presidential pardons and mandatory minimums; Charlie dates an attractive woman who's not what she seems; Joey Lucas derails Josh's plans when she arrives at the White House carrying a surprise; Jed and Abbey reach out to an old friend on the eve of his ex-wife's remarriage.

star 8.30
14 votes
Writers: Carol Flint
The Last Hurrah

#14 - The Last Hurrah

Season 7 - Episode 20

While Santos is busy trying to select a new vice president, his wife finds her new responsibilities staggering. Meanwhile, Vinick ponders his next move.

star 8.30
18 votes
Directors: Tim Matheson
Writers: Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr.
Duck & Cover

#15 - Duck & Cover

Season 7 - Episode 12

Bartlet must deal with the possiblity of a nuclear explosion in California, Kate is keeping a careful watch on the election in Kazakhstan and China's response, Will is acting as the government's voice this week, and Josh is trying to keep his political version of Tourette's in check.

star 8.28
219 votes
Writers: Eli Attie
Election Day (1)

#16 - Election Day (1)

Season 7 - Episode 16

Election Day finally arrives, and between analyzing exit polls, and mulling over news reports, a few Santos staff members discover the joys of campaign romance. Meanwhile, C.J. ponders life after the White House; and Annabeth makes a tragic discovery.

star 8.27
226 votes
Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Lauren Schmidt
The Dogs of War

#17 - The Dogs of War

Season 5 - Episode 2

Bombs drop on Qumar upon Walken's orders; as the hours pass without any word on Zoey's whereabouts, tensions increase within the Bartlet family; Walken and Leo clash after Josh's suspicion that the opposition is using Walken's tenure in the Oval Office to advance their agenda is confirmed; Andy takes the twins home; Leo inflicts a new intern from a prominent political family on an unwilling Josh; Jed's staff is less than thrilled when they learn who will succeed Walken as Speaker of the House; the search for a new Vice President is accelerated; Zoey is rescued.

star 8.26
265 votes
Writers: John Wells
Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

#18 - Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

Season 1 - Episode 19

Mandy's old memo about Bartlet administration weaknesses surfaces; Josh tries to get administration nominees appointed to the Federal Elections Committee; Sam works to get a better policy on gays in the military.

star 8.24
349 votes
Directors: Laura Innes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin, Peter Parnell, Patrick Caddell
The Mommy Problem

#19 - The Mommy Problem

Season 7 - Episode 2

Santos and Vinick have to deal with press fallout when it looks like the Bartlet White House is not going to continue the investigation into the press leaks.

star 8.22
207 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: Eli Attie
Celestial Navigation

#20 - Celestial Navigation

Season 1 - Episode 15

Toby and Sam travel to Connecticut to get Roberto Mendoza released from jail; Josh must run a press briefing when C.J. has an emergency root canal.

star 8.21
369 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin, Dee Dee Myers, Lawrence O'Donnell Jr.
Stirred

#21 - Stirred

Season 3 - Episode 17

Hoynes and Bartlet each make an unexpected announcement about Hoynes' place on the ticket; fears of a terrorist attack arise when a truck carrying depleted uranium-fuel rods is involved in a head-on collision in an Idaho tunnel; Donna seeks a Presidential Proclamation to honor her high-school teacher/mentor who's retiring; and Bartlet's insistence on helping Charlie with his tax return sparks a discussion on the true nature of a tax rebate.

star 8.20
16 votes
Writers: Eli Attie, Aaron Sorkin
20 Hours in America (2)

#22 - 20 Hours in America (2)

Season 4 - Episode 2

Donna teaches Toby and Josh an important lesson as their trek homeward continues; Sam staffs the President in Josh's absence and welcomes an old friend home; Bartlet hires a secretary and C.J. finds a Big Brother for Anthony; the situation in Qumar continues to escalate; Bartlet gets spooked by a photo op as the Dow continues its dive; and a pipe bomb kills 44 students at a Midwest university swim meet.

star 8.20
19 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
Privateers

#23 - Privateers

Season 4 - Episode 18

Toby's old friend approaches him ready to blow the whistle on his employer's violations of environmental laws; staff pranks abound on Amy's first day at the office; Abbey charges Amy with the task of convincing the President to threaten a veto on a foreign aid bill containing an abortion gag rule provision; claiming that Abbey's ancestor was a pirate rather than a privateer, a prominent member threatens to mount a boycott of the D.A.R. dinner at which Zoey will be inducted until Will, C.J. and Amy devise a plan to defuse the situation; at the behest of Jean Paul, Zoey sends Charlie a "Dear John" email, but Charlie refuses to accept the brushoff and declares his love for Zoey; Donna is less than thrilled when Josh assigns her the job of shadowing a possible security risk at Zoey's D.A.R. induction; Will takes one for the team in putting an environmental and political face on the destruction and deaths which resulted from the melting of an Alaskan glacier.

star 8.20
15 votes
Writers: Paul Redford, Debora Cahn, Aaron Sorkin
Life on Mars

#24 - Life on Mars

Season 4 - Episode 21

On his first day at work, Joe Quincy pieces together three news leaks and uncovers a scandal which forces Hoynes to resign.

star 8.20
17 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
Twenty Five

#25 - Twenty Five

Season 4 - Episode 23

When Bartlet learns that Zoey's kidnapping is the work of Qumari terrorists, he invokes the 25th amendment to diminish their leverage and eliminate any conflict of interest; since there's no Vice President, the power of the Presidency passes to Bartlet's chief political rival and the most powerful Republican in the country, the Speaker of the House, who immediately takes a very hard line; now that twins Huck and Molly have arrived, Toby wonders if he's capable of loving them enough.

star 8.20
19 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin