Dawson's Creek has a special place in the hearts of everyone who spend their younger years glued to whatever WB teen drama was currently airing. After six seasons of watching Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) and his friends make mistakes while trying to grow up, it's interesting to look back and think about the highest-quality episodes.
While of course some don't stand out, others definitely still hold up today, and they have the IMDb ratings to prove it. Here are the 10 best episodes of Dawson's Creek, according to IMDb.
10 "The Scare" (8.4)
Since creator Kevin Williamson also works in the horror genre, responsible for classic movies like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer and the TV show The Following, it makes sense that there are some horror episodes of Dawson's Creek.
This season one episode is perfect for fans of scary stories, and it earned an 8.4 rating on IMDb, making it the tenth highest-rated. Dawson is pranking all of his friends, trying his best to freak them out, but the horror is real because there's a serial killer out there. Pacey introduces a woman named Ursula to the group, but since she's escaping her boyfriend, that is pretty scary, too. It's a really fun, entertaining episode.
9 "The Anti-Prom" (8.4)
Many teen dramas feature characters who set up a prom or dance of their own, so it makes sense that Dawson's Creek would do this, too. In the third season episode "The Anti-Prom," Andie, Joey, and Dawson are upset with the school for having a problem with Jack going with Ethan, so they decide to throw a prom.
This episode got an 8.4 rating out of 10, and it has the features of a solid Dawson's Creek episode: juicy drama, a social conscience, and a high school ritual.
8 "Detention" (8.4)
The first season of Dawson's Creek is all about Joey's love for Dawson, and it takes him a little bit to recognize this, as he's more interested in Jen, the new girl in Capeside, and he's always focused on his filmmaking.
"Detention" is an episode that stands out since it's a take on The Breakfast Club. The characters get weekend detention and while in the library, the mean girl Abby lets it slip that Joey likes Dawson, and no, not platonically. She says about Jen and Joey, "Y'all can never be friends as long as you keep fighting over the same guy. Joey, it's obvious you're in love with Dawson."
7 "Decisions" (8.5)
"Decisions" is the first season finale, and it's full of tough times for the characters. Pacey is doing really terribly in school and his brother, Doug, is pretty mean to him about it. Jen's grandpa's health is in crisis mode, and Grams wants her to be religious, but of course that's not her thing. And Joey and Dawson go see her dad, who has been in jail.
.This is a big episode because Dawson tells Joey that he likes her as more than a friend. It's the moment that fans have been waiting for. Of course, then they kiss, which is a completely life-changing thing that sets up their season two relationship.
6 "Stolen Kisses" (8.6)
In the third season episode "Stolen Kisses," everyone heads to Dawson's Aunt Gwen's place for Spring Break. Joey and Pacey are sneaking around, having a ton of trouble coming to terms which how much they like each other.
Is there anything more dramatic than two characters and their forbidden romance? What a rhetorical question. It's no wonder that this is a great episode that has gotten such a high rating. This episode also features an amazing, true quote from Aunt Gwen, who knows Joey well: "Something tells me, that when you kiss a boy... it's not a mistake."
5 "True Love" (8.6)
The season three finale got an 8.6 out of 10 rating on IMDb, and it's one that fans probably remember really fondly. This is the infamous episode when Joey decides to join Pacey on his boat and sail around for the summer. It seems that fans love episodes that feature the Pacey/Joey/Dawson love triangle, as these types of stories have earned the highest IMDb ratings.
It's impossible to overstate what a big deal this was. Joey was not only proving that she had really strong feelings for Pacey and was leaving Dawson behind, but she was definitely moving out of her comfort zone and doing something new, fresh, and scary. It showed a lot of self-development.
4 "All Good Things..." (8.9)
The first part of the series finale, "All Good Things...," got an 8.9 rating. Fans got to learn what the gang was up to five years later: Dawson has his own TV show called The Creek (sounds familiar...), Pacey's running The Ice House in Capeside, and Joey's an editor in NYC.
Everyone is going to see Dawson's mom Gail get married, which seems like a happy occasion, except for one thing: Jen has a fatal heart condition. This was an incredibly sad and moving episode, and the high rating reflects all of that emotion.
3 "Castaways" (8.9)
The sixth season episode "Castways" also got an 8.9 rating out of 10, and it might be a bit surprising to see a final season episode ranked pretty highly on IMDb's list. After all, many shows dip in quality by that point.
It's an entertaining episode, though, and it features Joey and Pacey, which definitely explains the high rating. Sparks fly once again between the former couple as they get trapped in a K-Mart. They even kiss, which fans were waiting a long time for. This was setting up the series finale, when the pair would finally reconcile.
2 "The Longest Day" (8.9)
The Dawson's Creek season three episode "The Longest Day" gets an 8.9 rating on IMDb, and it's easy to see why it's the second-highest-rated episode. This episode features what is perhaps the most exciting dramatic moment of the entire show: Dawson finds out that Pacey and Joey are in love.
This episode has a Groundhog Day effect as we get to see the day from three characters: Pacey, then Joey, then Dawson. It turns out that Jen is the one who spilled the secret to Dawson (oops). This episode is just as juicy as fans were hoping for, and Dawson is definitely betrayed, along with Andie who still is in love with Pacey.
1 "... Must Come To An End" (9.2)
While sometimes fans are incredibly disappointed after tuning into the series finale of a beloved TV series, that doesn't seem like the case with Dawson's Creek. The second part of the finale, "... Must Come To An End," is the highest-rated episode of the show, getting a 9.2 rating on IMDb.
This is when everything gets wrapped up super nicely: Pacey and Joey end up together, and Dawson gets to finally meet Steven Spielberg. It's always tough to say goodbye to a show, but this time, with the exception of Jen's tragic death which shouldn't have happened, everything felt like it ended on the right note.