The 10 Best Drag Race Episodes of All Time | Xtra Magazine (2023)

Everyone has an opinion on the best season, but which individual episodes stand out?

Von Kevin O'Keeffe&Patterns;December 4, 2020 12:58 p.m. m. EDT

which seasondrag raceis the best is aMaterialVonfrequently debateabout himInternet. While there is disagreement based on personal taste: a preference for the strong cast of seasons 2 and 6 over the solid, character-driven storytelling of seasons 5 andall stars 2- There are enough similarities between most of the best lists to get a good idea of ​​what the fandom is thinking. A great cast, interesting challenges, and enough drama without poisoning the mood are high on fan wish lists.all stars 1, on the other hand, won't lose their worst crown anytime soon thanks to wasting what might be the best cast ever in a team format no one has succeeded in.


But what about the bestdrag raceepisodes? We've had over 200 when you factor in spin-offs, international variants, and whatnot, making it hard to tell which parts of RuPaul's global franchise stand out from the crowd. Again, it often comes down to personal taste: What are you looking for in adrag raceConsequence?

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a great time for medrag raceit must feature a strong cast who brilliantly handle the challenge in front of them, a moment or two of "wow factor" (a legendary track, an all-time great lip sync), and even one or two notably weak moments. (Charlie Hides, who refuses to lip sync is not aintestineWait a minute, but it's certainly interesting!) But above all, the episode should befun, and ideally repeatable so you can relive that fun. Whether dramatic or festive, a close race or a clean victory for a queen, the episode should aim, and ideally succeed, to entertain.

With that in mind, I submit my (per se subjective) list of the top 10drag raceepisodes of all time. I only recorded one episode of each season and only one of the show's signature episodes: a premiere, a steal game, etc. This rule means that certain big episodes are not on the list: bothCanada drag raceyall stars 5The Snatch Games of , for example, were left out. And the same thing happens with "Dancing Queens", the fourth installment ofDrag Race Netherlands, who overcomes a weak maxi-challenge with incredible catwalks, great personal drama and fluffy ratings. (I can easily imagine it will be later on the all-time leaderboard, but it's too new right now.)

10. „Drag Queens of Comedy“, Staffel 6

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The 10 Best Drag Race Episodes of All Time | Xtra Magazine (1)

This stand-up challenge episode is good for many reasons: Bianca Del Rio's commanding performance, a great breakout moment from Trinity K. Bonet, and a killer final lip sync (with simultaneous splits!) from Joslyn Fox and Laganja Foreign. But unlike any other episode on this list, it's actually most notable for itschanged. This is the infamous episode where Laganja has a massive collapse after being pushed by Bianca, she yells that she feels "SO pissed off" and breaks a fingernail as she leaves, all while breaking a giant pink nail she wears. a wig.

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drag raceoften shows chaos, but rarely isIt ischaotic. Laganja's collapse remains a meme for a reason: it's risky and ridiculous, but really purely emotional. Fake drama can be fun, but there's something special about real, unvarnished hysteria. A great episode.

9. „Snatch Game“, Staffel 7

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I almost mentioned Season 6's Snatch Game because, like the ones inCanada drag raceyall stars 2, is very good. The top three players (Bianca Del Rio, Adore Delano and Ben DeLaCreme) are all strong, and none are egregious flops. But there are plenty of queens who play it safe and spend very little screen time during the challenge. It's the top three show, and everyone else is just swinging.

Season 7's Snatch Game, on the other hand, is arguably the strongest of all, with at least one truly memorable bad performance. Kennedy Davenport and Ginger Minj win this with their Little Richard and Adele respectively. The first is a bold decision: at the time no one had created a male character in Snatch Game. That it works so well is one of the many joys of this episode. Pearl performs best in her season as Big Ang, who should battle for the win, while both Katya and Violet Chachki will get the laughs as Suze Orman and Alyssa Edwards.


Even Jaidynn Diore Fierce's Raven-Symoné gets a laugh and ends up in the bottom two! The only real disaster is Max's Sharon Needles, who is iconically bad ("Haunted House!") and definitely memorable. Season 7 was not the best season ofdrag race, but absolutely had one of the best boot games, if notDieother

8. "Secret Celebrity Number 102"RuPaul's Secret Promi Drag Race

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I'm breaking my recency bias rule a bit, since this episode aired this year. I'm also a bit concerned that I'm overvaluing it based on the expectations of the bar in the floor; theFirst episodeVonsecret celebrity raceIt was such heavy work that any kind of improvement was appreciated. But this celebrity spin-off didn't just get slightly better from episode to episode; it felt like a completely different show.

Much has been made about Vanessa Williams' appearance, and indeed, she is a great character and an absolute stunner. But attributing the success of this role to her alone underestimates both Loni Love and Tami Roman, as well as alumni coaches Alyssa Edwards, Trinity the Tuck, and Asia O'Hara. The cast is on fire, with delicious studio interactions (thinking of Tami and Alyssa discussing Tami's transvestite name "Miss Shenida Cocktail" aa bunch of) and kill their ownfrom 9 to 5inspired rustic challenge.

It's a great episode that demonstrates the value ofcelebrityFormat. Too bad the other episodes of the spin-off weren't as strong because I would watch a hundred more episodes like this one.

(Video) The Best Episodes of All-Time | RuPaul's Drag Race + All Stars & International | Mangled Morning

7. "Stay 100!" Season 8

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Speaking of a hundred! The season 8 premiere was the 100th episode ofRuPaul's Drag Race, and featured the 100th queen to appear: Derrick Barry. It works like a celebration ofdrag race, with all the winners (except Bianca Del Rio) present for the photo shoot of the mini challenge and the maxi challenge that merges all the previous design challenges. In hindsight, it feels almost strange for the show to celebrate 100 episodes when it now routinely airs dozens of episodes a year.

"Hold 100!" It works so well because he leads with love: for the show, for his alumni, and for this new cast coming to us. While later season 8 episodes would get bogged down in the drama between Derrick and his co-stars, including Bob the Drag Queen and Naomi Smalls, and Thorgy Thor's one-sided rivalry with Bob, this premiere feels like a fresh, exciting start. . Anything can happen likedrag racecloses its first chapter and prepares to open a new one.

6. Season 4 of "Friends"

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Also known as "the one who disqualifies Willam". There's a lot of other great stuff in this one: Willam and Latrice Royale's fun and cheesy musical performance, for example. There's a ridiculous polygraph mini-challenge that serves as a parody of the lie detector scenes on TV and movies. There's the rivalry story of Phi Phi O'Hara and Sharon Needles, which lip-synches to some degree with It's Raining Men (The Sequel). All of that makes for a very strong episode.

But this is the one where Willam gets disqualified for a reason. At that time, he was transcendental for his mysticism and for his speed. "What did Guillermo do?" he convertedDieburning question indrag raceFandom, with all kinds of weird explanations. Willam himself would not finally clarify what happeneduntil 2018. This was the first moment the show broke into a larger pop culture and took the series to the next level. Seeing it again may have dissipated the shock, but it's no less of a gag.

5. „Your pilot is on fire“, Staffel 9

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This episode, like "Frenemies," could be as well known as the one where Valentina would like to keep her mask on. (Ahead of your time!) But what puts it ahead of "Frenemies" for me is that if you take Valentina not knowing the words to Ariana Grande's "Greedy," it would still be a top-notch episode. The challenge asks the queens to write and submit trailers for their own TV pilots, giving them plenty of freedom to showcase their own tastes and talents. Sasha Velor and Shea Coulée were already popular, but their work as "Teets & Asky" in this episode only made them fan favorites.

This episode also features Trinity the Tuck's sister, Mary Koontz, an indelible performance in a group that doesn't lack for drama (never forget that Alexis Michelle is credited with "clever pun" on the main stage). This episode's runway for all-star club kids features some of my favorite looks, including Peppermint's Leigh Bowery-esque take on becoming a real Peppermint. And then, yes, there's the lip syncing, which is such an epic disaster that it became legendary the moment it happened. Season 9 got a bad rap back then, but episodes like "Your Pilot's on Fire" are a big reason it's since been reconsidered.

4. "Battle Royale Girl Group",United Kingdomseason 1

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"I want to finish! / Bye! / Maybe I'll see you in the next life!" The catchy siren song “Break Up (Bye Bye)" is the centerpiece of this girl group episode. The Frock Destroyers (Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, and Divina Del Campo) utterly overcome this challenge, and their rivals Filth Harmony (Cheryl Hole, Crystal, The Vivienne) can't keep up.The Frock Destroyers are probably the best girl group out there.drag raceonly on the strength of a song. it was so good actuallymappedIn the United Kingdom.!

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Great acting isn't all this episode has to offer though. MNEK does a truly charming role as the girls' vocal coach, while Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall has the time of her life as a guest judge. The "Day at the Races" runway also offers some unforgettable looks. this is itUnited Kingdomcrowning series; It will be hard for Season 2 to top that.

3. "RuPaul Roast", Season 5

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If you've spent enough time on Twitter, you've already seen some of this episode. Alyssa Edwards repeatedly clearing her throat and making herself laugh while she writes jokes? This is this episode. Alaska telling RuPaul, "Please stop right now"? This episode. The reveal of Roxxxy Andrew's iconic wig and the subsequent speech about her mother leaving it at a bus stop? This episode. The first episode of Roast Challenge ispiled up, and I haven't even mentioned the actual roasting demos!

Alaska is very good in this episode, as is Jinkx Monsoon, but Coco Montrese takes home her challenge win with her Roast of Ru. Alyssa and Roxxxy are the worst performers, but their legendary "Whip My Hair" performance keeps them both from going home. This is the culmination of Season 5, which is already a very good season, and it keeps its stellar top 7 for another week.

2. "Here Comes the Bride," Season 2

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Old Schooldrag raceThe episodes have a different feel. They have less texture, which can make them feel rougher around the edges. But the drama is uncompromising, which can be a lot more entertaining. For my money, "Here Comes the Bride" is the best episode of the early season and, spoiler alert for #1.All the starsEpisode of all time, because it turns the drama into a coherent and exciting story. Faced with a challenge that requires the queens to make their own wedding dresses, the group engages in heated discussions about the right to marry, not many years after Proposition 8 passed! They bond but also fight as Tyra Sanchez and Tatianna continue to fall for each other.

It all boils over on the main stage when Tati tells the judges that "Tyra is a complete slut," and Jujubee, Pandora Boxx, and Sahara Davenport sign her together. Fascinating, Morgan McMichaels and RavenNo, resulting in true cleavage on the runway that makes Ru uncomfortable and irresistible to look at. It all ends with Sahara pummeling Morgan in a beautiful lip sync to Martha Wash's "Carry On." This episode is incredibly revisitable, absolutely iconic and the best of this garden variety.drag racehas to offer. If it weren't for another season 2, forAll the stars, that is, it would be number 1 on this list.


1. "Revenge of the Queens"all stars 2

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But there is literally no other option for the top spot. "Queens Revenge" isRuPaul's Drag RaceThe masterpiece episode. Everything that had happened up to that moment.all stars 2led to this episode. All the eliminated queens returned for a chance to come back. The feud between Phi Phi O'Hara and Alyssa Edwards reached an explosive climax ("I Said I FELT!"). Alyssa and Alaska turned out to be one of the funniest comedy routinesdrag racehave ever seen. And in an adorable twist, both Alyssa and Tatianna, two huge fan favorites, were able to return.

That's because, in one of the greatest lip syncs of all time, maybeDieBigger: To the tune of Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive," both eliminated queens fought back. Both also had a chance to take out a queen, with season villain Phi Phi coming in the bottom two. Narratively, it's such a satisfying moment backed up with beautiful moments of cinematography. (I'll think about it for decades as the camera zooms in on a shocked Phi Phi.) This episode is very entertaining, watchable, I've probably watched it 20 times, and it representsdrag raceat its beak. It really is the best of the best.

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