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The 9 Best Brooklyn Nine-Nine Episodes, Ranked

Andy Samberg in Brooklyn 99.
(Image credit: Fox/NBC)

The final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine aired last year on NBC, and my heart barely made it out intact. The series has been a fan favorite ever since it started on Fox back in 2013, so much so that the fans banded together to save it from cancellation after its fifth season. This love and dedication for the police procedural comedy series set in New York can be attributed to its funny, A+ characters and each episode being packed with comedic gems that leave little air time untouched with laughs. The absolute bounty of comedy found in each episode makes it so hard to come up with a list of best episodes, but we’re sure going to give it a try!

Andy Samberg and Stephanie Beatriz in the Pilot episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

9. Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)

I love a good pilot. It’s pretty standard that a series’ pilot episode just touches the surface of how amazing a show can really be, and while Brooklyn Nine-Nine certainly gets better after the pilot, its first episode pulls off a lot in such a short amount of time.

In just 22 minutes, we are both introduced to and influenced to care about each of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s main characters. Not only that, but the central theme and main running joke of the first half of Season 1 is introduced with the bet between Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago. What’s even more, though, and the big reason why the pilot nabbed a spot on this list, is that Captain Holt is able to do the impossible: earn the respect of Peralta and get him to wear a tie.

We see the influence of the pilot episode in pretty much every episode after in Captain Holt and Jake Peralta’s relationship, which is one of a son and would-be father figure. 

Andy Samberg and Joe Lo Truglio in Yippie Kayak episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

8. Yippie Kayak (Season 3, Episode 10)

As one of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Christmas episodes, and also an ode to Jake Peralta’s love for Die Hard, we can pretty much take “Yippie Kayak” as proof that Die Hard is, in fact, a Christmas movie. At this point in the series, loving Die Hard has pretty much become a personality trait for Peralta, and he finds himself in a very similar situation as the premise of the Bruce Willis film. 

It’s Charles Boyle, though, who channels his inner John McClane and saves the day from a Russian bank robber holding Jake and Gina, along with other bank patrons, hostage. It would all be pretty kickass, if Charles didn’t butcher Bruce Willis’ iconic one-liner in the film, instead shouting “Yippie Kayak, other buckets!” Whatever that means. 

Jason Mantzoukas in Pimemento episode Brooklyn Nine-Nine screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

7. Pimemento (Season 7, Episode 3)

Yes, another classic movie reference from Brooklyn Nine-Nine goes on the list, but they are just so good! The episode features the lovely and deranged Adrian Pimento (played by the frenzied Jason Mantzoukas) as he requests the help of the Nine-Nine to recover his memories, like in the movie Memento, after being mysteriously absent for an entire season. What happens next is complete chaos, just like pretty much anytime Pimento enters the picture, and I absolutely live for it.

Andy Samberg in Cop Con Brooklyn Nine-Nine screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

6. Cop Con (Season 4, Episode 17)

As much as I love seeing the team bag bad guys and roll around the 99th precinct in their office chairs, it’s awesome when the Nine-Nine get out of the office. In “Cop Con,” the team goes to a convention together for training and Jake and Amy end up throwing a rager in a hotel room. The whole team is there and let loose. Well, minus Captain Holt, who is freaking out about a presentation he needs to perfect, and he even considers adding, gasp, color to his powerpoint. 

It’s a pretty laid back episode, and gives each member of the team some needed chill time. Again, except for Captain Holt, whose idea of fun is the opposite of chilling. 

Cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine in The Last Day screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

5. The Last Day, Part 1 & 2 (Season 8, Episodes 9 & 10)

If we put the pilot on the list of best Brooklyn Nine-Nine episodes, you better bet the finale has to be on here, too. The last two episodes of the beloved series are full of emotion, and I don’t think the fan base could have asked for a better way to say goodbye to the series. 

“The Last Day” acts as both a goodbye to the series for fans and the characters, and also features the last heist. Heist episodes are a staple of the series, and triple double crosses are honestly expected at this point, but “The Last Day” uses them in a way that beautifully commemorates the team’s eight years together, instead of the typical drive to be crowned heist champion. 

Melissa Fumero in Brooklyn Nine-Nine screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

4. The Jimmy Jab Games (Season 2, Episode 3)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine doesn’t really do anything small, and The Jimmy Jab Games is like a more hardcore, explosive version of The Office’s Office Olympics. The games were held a couple of times throughout the series, basically whenever the team got bored and there were no serious criminals running rampant in New York City (super realistic, I know). 

The first appearance of these games makes the list, with the prize of the comfiest office chair going to the victor, who ended up being Amy. Although Amy and Jake have a pretty constant competition going on with each other throughout the series, it is revealed that Jake lets Amy win The Jimmy Jab Games, because he is also super into her. 

What’s a better way to bond with the love of your life than over some really old Chinese food? If Jake and Amy can still look at each other with desire after seeing one another shove their face full of rancid lo mein, it really is true love. 

Andy Samberg and Craig Robinson in Brooklyn Nine-Nine screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

3. The Fugitive Part 1 & 2 (Season 4, Episode 11 & 12)

I’m a sucker for a good recurring guest star, and Craig Robinson probably beats out Jason Mantzoukas (I’m sorry to do it, I love them both dearly) as the best one in the whole of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He plays Doug Judy, a clever thief who continuously gets the best of the police department. He gives some major Cary Elwes as Pierre Despereaux, the elusive Canadian art thief, in Psych vibes. The two thieves have very much the same relationship with the comedic leads, Jake Peralta and Shawn Spencer, respectively. 

Doug Judy’s first appearance in the series is all the way back in Season 1 in “Pontiac Bandit,” where he is introduced as an identity thief helping Peralta track down the Pontiac Bandit, whom Peralta has been unable to catch for some time and has developed a kind of obsession over. Judy and Peralta turn out to have a lot in common and become pretty close during the hunt, only for Judy to be revealed as the Pontiac Bandit himself. Cue Peralta’s devastation.

While “Pontiac Bandit” was an amazing episode, the two-episode plot of “The Fugitive” grabs the number one spot for Doug Judy episodes, because it acts as a turning point for the conman. "The Fugitive" is Judy's fourth appearance in the series, each one before begetting the same type of con against the police department. Judy is actually honest in his workings alongside Peralta and the rest of the Nine-Nine now, earns immunity for his past crimes, and gains some respect from Captain Holt when he gifts him a sentimental car.

Andy Samberg and and Sterling K. Brown in The Bet episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

2. The Box (Season 5, Episode 14)

“The Box” is full of absolutely stellar acting performances, even more so when you consider that they’re happening on a very goofy TV series. Sterling K. Brown guest stars in this episodes as a calculating dentist who is the suspect in a murder case and is able to dodge any question thrown at him with flawless answers and explanations. Brown was so good at playing the smooth but dead-eyed character that he walked away from the episode with an Emmy nomination.

Jake Peralta and Captain Holt team up for the interrogation of Brown’s character that ends up turning into an all-nighter. The pair employ a number of techniques to get the suspect to trip up or confess, and finally pull it off (with 15 minutes to spare until they legally had to release him) by Peralta playing on his pride. The episode is oddly dramatic and thrilling for a show high in comedy, and it’s definitely a vital Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode.

Andy Samberg in HalloVeen episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

(Image credit: NBC)

1. HalloVeen (Season 5, Episode 4)

The jewel that sits highest on the crown of comedy atop Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s head is a heist episode. The series traditionally played out an intricate heist for each Halloween episode, one upping each other as the series went on. Naturally, a heist episode deserves the number one spot on this list, but choosing one seems almost criminal. We did it anyway, though.

While they’re all amazing, “HalloVeen” stands out for one very obvious reason: Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago’s romance finally comes to fruition (and manages to not ruin the show). The episode ends with Peralta proposing to Santiago, using the heist as his intricate plan to surprise her and the rest of the Nine-Nine - a brilliant use of government funding to say the least. 

From its hilarious cold opens to some really killer guest stars and everything that happened in between, Brooklyn Nine-Nine was one solid comedy series and one that will be sorely missed when fall comes and no new episodes drop. Everyone from the fans to the cast members are rooting for a return, but even if one does happen, we will have a bit to wait. Until then, you can watch (or binge) all eight seasons streaming on Hulu Premium (opens in new tab).

Carlie Hoke
Carlie Hoke

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.