The BEST Episodes of The West Wing

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2019

Network: NBC

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.


#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 8.74
247 votes
Writers: John Wells
Two Cathedrals

#2 - 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 8.73
342 votes
Directors: Thomas Schlamme
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
What Kind of Day Has It Been

#3 - 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 8.47
378 votes
Directors: Thomas Schlamme
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
Twenty Five

#4 - 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 8.45
267 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin

#5 - Commencement

Season 4 - Episode 22

Bartlet finally tells the staff the truth about the death of Shareef; Danny agrees to hold off on the story after five alleged terrorists go missing; Andy goes into labor after once again refusing Toby's marriage proposal; Zoey is kidnapped from a nightclub on the night of her college graduation.

star 8.44
265 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
The Supremes

#6 - The Supremes

Season 5 - Episode 17

Jed and the staff vet potential Supreme Court appointees; Toby and Andy don't see eye-to-eye on her fact-finding trip to the Middle East; Donna's parents are the unlikely inspiration for the resolution to the problems arising from the judicial confirmation process.

star 8.43
266 votes
Directors: Jessica Yu
Writers: Debora Cahn
Election Day (2)

#7 - Election Day (2)

Season 7 - Episode 17

Abbey is in New Hamphire with Liz Bartlet-Westin and they are awaiting the results of Doug Westin's campaign for a seat in Congress. Members of both the Santos campaign and the Vinick campaign must decide how to handle a tragedy, as the voters around the country continue to cast their votes for the next President of the United States.

star 8.42
220 votes
Writers: John Wells, Eli Attie
In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (2)

#8 - In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (2)

Season 2 - Episode 2

With the accomplice in custody, it's revealed that the intended target was Charlie, not Bartlet. The staff still awaits news about Josh, and recalls how C.J. and Donna came to join the Bartlet campaign.

star 8.39
367 votes
Directors: Thomas Schlamme
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
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 8.37
239 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: John Wells
In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (1)

#10 - In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (1)

Season 2 - Episode 1

While the staff awaits news regarding the injuries to Jed and Josh, they recall how Josh, Sam, and Toby became involved in the campaign three years earlier; Leo, Toby, and C.J. deal with inquiries on Secret Service protection policies, as well as the absence of executive authority while Jed was in surgery.

star 8.36
391 votes
Directors: Thomas Schlamme
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
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 8.33
275 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
20 Hours in America (2)

#12 - 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 8.30
272 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
The Dogs of War

#13 - 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 8.28
268 votes
Writers: John Wells
Duck & Cover

#14 - 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 8.27
223 votes
Writers: Eli Attie
Election Day (1)

#15 - 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 8.26
230 votes
Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Lauren Schmidt

#16 - Shutdown

Season 5 - Episode 8

Jed's decision not to be held hostage by Haffley shuts down the federal government; unable to get through to Jed and fearing the worst, Leo calls in the reinforcements, and Abbey returns to Washington to deliver a message and provide her husband with a little perspective; after being benched from the staff meetings, Josh gets put back in the game by Jed and sets the stage for victory; disregarding the advice of more seasoned colleagues, Haffley makes a major misstep and loses his advantage over the White House; Jed and Haffley meet and reach an accord on the budget.

star 8.25
265 votes
Writers: Mark Goffman
Life on Mars

#17 - 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 8.25
261 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin

#18 - Noël

Season 2 - Episode 10

Josh investigates the suicide of a pilot with whom he has things in common; Donna tries to get an invitation to the Congressional Christmas party to hear Yo-Yo Ma perform; Jed insists on signing a mountain of Christmas cards himself; after a White House visitor has a strange reaction to a painting, C.J. sets out to discover its provenance; following weeks of volatile behavior and an outburst in the Oval Office, Josh meets with representatives from the America Trauma Victims Association and finally deals with the trauma from his shooting.

star 8.24
359 votes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
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 8.24
213 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: Eli Attie
In Excelsis Deo

#20 - In Excelsis Deo

Season 1 - Episode 10

Toby tries to arrange a proper funeral for a homeless veteran; Josh and Sam try to set up a preemptive strike against Lillienfield, who is attacking Leo because of his prior drug and alcohol problem; CJ tries to get the staff to revisit the hate crimes issue; Bartlet sneaks out to do some last minute shopping.

star 8.23
390 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: Aaron Sorkin, Rick Cleveland
Game On

#21 - Game On

Season 4 - Episode 6

Bartlet, Leo, Josh, Sam and C.J. pull a practical joke on Toby; Sam's mission to end the Wilde campaign leads him to make a career-altering decision; Jordan backs up Leo as he deals with the Qumari; Toby continues to press his case with a resistant Andrea; and Bartlet cleans Ritchie's clock in their debate.

star 8.23
288 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: Aaron Sorkin, Paul Redford
The Last Hurrah

#22 - 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 8.23
219 votes
Directors: Tim Matheson
Writers: Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr.
Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

#23 - 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 8.22
357 votes
Directors: Laura Innes
Writers: Aaron Sorkin, Peter Parnell, Patrick Caddell

#24 - Requiem

Season 7 - Episode 18

Former series regulars, including Marlee Matlin, Mary-Louise Parker, Tim Matheson, Anna Deavere Smith and Gary Cole, make guest appearances as Bartlet, Santos and their staff members attend a funeral for one of their own. Also, Josh cautions Santos about getting involved in the vote for Speaker of the House.

star 8.22
236 votes
Directors: Steve Shill
Writers: Eli Attie, Debora Cahn, John Wells
Institutional Memory

#25 - Institutional Memory

Season 7 - Episode 21

C.J. and Will both face uncertain futures as Bartlet and his staffers prepare to leave the White House to make way for the Santos administration.

star 8.22
226 votes
Writers: Debora Cahn