Centering on high school student Scott McCall, the series followed the teens of Beacon Hills as they dealt with their town’s supernatural element. Turned into a werewolf in the pilot, Scott became the leader of his own diverse pack. That pack included a hunter, a banshee, a kitsune, a werecoyote, more werewolves, and even a human over the course of the show’s run.
Though long-time fans complained about continuity issues and disappearing characters near the end of the show’s run, there are still a lot of episodes fans consistently rank amongst the best in internet forums. Seasons three and six, in particular, provide most of Teen Wolf’s best hours. They aren’t the only seasons of the show to earn spots on this list.
Before Lydia became part of Scott’s pack, she was a confused teenage girl experiencing visions. Much of this season two episode was built around Lydia acting on those visions even though she didn’t have details about the supernatural entities in Beacon Hills.
Lydia’s birthday party was supposed to be the social event of the year. Instead, visions of Peter Hale plagued her, and most of her classmates avoided her. She spiked the punch with wolfsbane and let everyone around her hallucinate some pretty dark stuff. It was all so she could go and resurrect Peter while everyone was distracted. A trippy episode that brought Lydia into the main storyline - and not just as a love interest - “Party Guessed” is a gem of the early seasons.
While season five of Teen Wolf had a lot of good, it also featured a lot of confusion. Fans didn’t understand a lot of what the Dread Doctors were doing until the very end of the season. “A Novel Approach” actually took a lot of that confusion and made a compelling episode with it.
In the episode, books about the Dread Doctors surfaced that led to Malia reading while the others visited the author - a resident of Eichen House. It was a nice change of pace for fans to get to see Lydia and Stiles team up for the visit since they hadn’t been interacting as much since the introduction of new characters. Likewise, this episode was the beginning of Kira’s power spiraling out of control, feeding into the larger storyline the rest of the season.
When Scott McCall turned into a werewolf, he also fell for the daughter of a werewolf hunter. That caused conflict when she discovered the truth.
“Code Breaker” featured that star-crossed lovers storyline, but Allison and Scott got their happy ending - for the time being. Allison’s parents decided not to force her to leave town, and they also decided not to “hunt” Scott since he was not responsible for anyone’s death.
This episode also began the great mystery of just what kind of supernatural creature Lydia was. She didn’t turn into a werewolf after being bitten, but she also didn’t heal right away. It would take a while for the reveal, but fans enjoyed speculating.
One of the best things about season three was Dylan O’Brien getting the chance to play someone other than the lovable Stiles. When a creature called a Nogitsune took over Stiles’ body, it gave the actor a chance to pay the villain.
“De-void” came at the end of that story arc as Lydia and Scott teamed up to find a way to save Stiles. In a fantastic sequence, the duo entered Stiles’ mind while Allison and Kira fought the werewolves under the creature’s control. So much had to happen in the episode, but it never suffered as a result.
Following immediately after “De-void,” this episode is actually known for bringing serious tragedy to Teen Wolf. Despite a lot of fans angry that it meant a favorite character left the series, the emotional punch of the episode made it one of the most satisfying to watch.
Throughout season three Allison stepped up as a major hero. Her training put her on par with the raw strength of her supernatural friends in a fight. Her holding the line against demons while Stiles and Scott raced to save Lydia was a fitting sendoff for her character.
Beyond that, all of the performances in the episode were stellar as Holland Roden and Dylan O’Brien also got to face off as Lydia and the Nogitsune.
No other season premiere makes the cut for the best episodes of the series. “Memory Lost” kicked off the big conflict of the final Teen Wolf season. It provides an excellent exercise in foreshadowing.
Throughout the episode, Scott’s group of friends were preoccupied with two things: senior year milestones and the disappearance of a young boy’s parents. They didn’t notice all the clues that added up to one of their own being forgotten. By the time Lydia and Malia figured out that Stiles was going to be kidnapped, Malia had already forgotten her former boyfriend.
Lydia attempting to save Stiles from the villains of the season gave fans a long awaited “I love you” from the latter, and hope that Lydia returned his feelings. It was an emotional episode that cranked up the mythology of the final arc.
Nine episodes after “Memory Lost,” Stiles finally found his way back to Beacon Hills. His return meant all of his friends had their memories back. It’s an interesting episode for Teen Wolf because both a lot and nothing happens in it.
Throughout the hour, much of the time was spent with one character searching for another. Lydia and Malia searched for Stiles. Mason and Hayden searched for Cory. Stiles searched for Scott. While all of the characters were preoccupied with reuniting, their town was slowly being wiped off the map with a mythological train running through it. For an hour that was largely bridging the previous episode and the next, it knocked its reunions out of the park.
“Motel California” is a fan favorite episode, but it’s also one of the most intricately crafted hours of Teen Wolf. In it, an overnight stay at a motel turns horrific for the Beacon Hills teens connected to the supernatural.
Scott, Isaac, Ethan, and Boyd all suffered from hallucinations while staying at the motel. Lydia heard the voices of those who lost their lives there over the last 40 years. The supernatural elements combined with a realistic story of depression and fear. That culminated in one of the best scenes of the entire series. Stiles saved Scott’s life, stopping his friend from blowing himself up, and cementing their friendship and brotherhood.
“Riddled” ranks so highly because it deftly combines elements of the supernatural Teen Wolf’s usual world with very real human fears. The episode took the latest mystery of the show and combined it with some Stilinski family backstory.
Stiles lost his mother to a degenerative brain disease. He spent a large portion of the episode believing he sleepwalked and wound up in danger. There was a real chance that he was afflicted with the same disease as his mother. That aspect of the hour allowed for some humanity to creep into the otherwise fantasy elements of the show, combining for a truly compelling story.
After four episodes of characters forgetting Stiles, this episode provided a breakthrough. It wasn’t just a story breakthrough, but an emotional one as well.
Stiles’ jeep, an ever present prop on the show, was still in the school parking lot from when he disappeared. It’s the radio in the jeep that allowed Lydia to have her first conversation with him since he disappeared. As a result of hearing his voice, both she and Scott began to remember him.
Likewise, Peter Hale, a fan favorite villain, finally got a little redemption in this episode. His love for his daughter made him attempt to get out of the mystical way station and back to Beacon Hills. Peter showed he could still do the right thing.