30 Rock is a beloved sitcom that aired from 2006 to 2013, created by the talented Tina Fey. The show follows Liz Lemon, a head writer for a fictional sketch comedy show called “TGS,” and the hilarious antics of the show’s cast and crew. It is well-known that she created it based on her experience working on the real-life world-famous TV show, Saturday Night Live. With 7 seasons and 138 episodes, there are many unforgettable moments that have kept fans coming back for more.
Without further ado, we’ve rounded up the 15 best episodes of 30 Rock that are sure to make you laugh and keep you entertained. If you plan to rewatch on Hulu or Peacock, you have to pay extra attention to these episodes.
15. “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)
The first episode of any series is always an important one, as it sets the stage for what’s to come. The same can be said for the first episode of 30 Rock, appropriately titled “Pilot.” In this episode, we are introduced to Liz Lemon, the head writer for TGS, a fictional sketch comedy show. Played by the talented Tina Fey, Liz is the show’s central character and serves as the audience’s guide into the world of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
One of the reasons why “Pilot” is such a great episode is that it perfectly sets up the dynamic between Liz, Tracy, and Jack. We see Liz struggling to balance her job with her personal life, while Tracy and Jack constantly clash over creative differences. It’s a classic sitcom formula that works exceptionally well in the world of 30 Rock.
14. “Tracy Does Conan” (Season 1, Episode 7)
“Tracy Does Conan” is one of the standout episodes of 30 Rock‘s first season. In this episode, Tracy Jordan makes a controversial appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show, which leads to some hilarious consequences. We also see Liz Lemon struggling with her feelings for her ex-boyfriend, Dennis Duffy, played by Dean Winters.
What makes this episode so great is the way it balances humor with heart. Tracy’s appearance on Conan is laughable, but we also see a vulnerable side of him when he confides in Liz about his insecurities. Meanwhile, Liz’s interactions with Dennis highlight her struggle to find love and happiness.
13. “SeinfeldVision” (Season 2, Episode 1)
“SeinfeldVision” is a standout episode from 30 Rock‘s second season. In this episode, NBC executives decide to merge TGS with Seinfeld reruns in an attempt to boost ratings. This leads to some hilarious scenes where the TGS cast interacts with the Seinfeld characters, played by the original actors.
One of the best things about “SeinfeldVision” is how it lampoons the TV industry’s obsession with ratings and audience demographics. We see Liz and the TGS staff struggling to come up with content that will appeal to both Seinfeld fans and TGS viewers. The episode also features a great storyline where Liz Lemon struggles to get her new boyfriend, played by Jason Sudeikis, to understand her weird quirks.
12. “Ludachristmas” (Season 2, Episode 9)
“Ludachristmas” is a holiday-themed episode that has become a fan-favorite over the years. In this episode, we see the TGS staff attempting to throw a Christmas party, which predictably goes awry. We also see Liz Lemon struggling to maintain her cool when her family comes to visit.
What makes “Ludachristmas” so great is the way it balances humor with an emotional time of year. We see the TGS staff at their most ridiculous, with Jenna Maroney, played by Jane Krakowski, taking the opportunity to show off her singing skills. Meanwhile, Liz struggles to connect with her family and comes to a realization about the importance of family during the holiday season.
11. “Senor Macho Solo” (Season 3, Episode 7)
Next up on our list of the best episodes of 30 Rock, we have “Senor Macho Solo” where we see Tracy Jordan attempt to reinvent himself as a serious actor by playing the lead in a movie about a Mexican wrestler. The TGS staff also tries to come up with a sketch that will go viral. This episode is hilarious from start to finish and features some of the show’s best one-liners, so you should definitely put it high up on your rewatch list.
10. “Generalissimo” (Season 3, Episode 10)
In this episode, we see Jack Donaghy become obsessed with a telenovela that he discovers while trying to expand NBC’s Spanish-language programming. The episode features some great scenes where Jack gets sucked into the drama of the show. We also see Liz Lemon struggle to find a date to her high school reunion. “Generalissimo” has some of the funniest scenes that season three has to offer.
9. “Season 4” (Season 4, Episode 1)
The fourth season of 30 Rock kicked off with a bang with its premiere episode aptly titled “Season 4”. This episode finds Liz Lemon in a bind after Tracy Jordan leaves TGS. As a result, she is forced to find a new cast member to fill his shoes. Liz auditions a series of bizarre and incompetent candidates, leading to some hilarious scenes that perfectly capture the absurdity of the show’s world.
Meanwhile, Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, has his own problems to deal with. He finds himself in a power struggle with Devon Banks, played by Will Arnett, who is attempting to take over his job. The episode also features some great guest stars, including Salma Hayek, who plays Jack’s love interest.
8. “Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001” (Season 4, Episode 7)
In “Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001”, Liz Lemon finally gets her own talk show, which predictably goes horribly wrong. The episode features some great guest stars, including Matt Damon, who plays Liz’s boyfriend. We see Liz struggling to balance her desire for success with her personal life, leading to some hilarious moments.
The episode also features Tracy Jordan attempting to break into serious acting, with predictably disastrous results. The interplay between Tracy and his agent, played by the always hilarious Kristen Schaal, is a highlight of the episode that makes it worth rewatching any day.
7. “Reaganing” (Season 5, Episode 5)
In “Reaganing”, we see Jack Donaghy attempt to achieve a perfect day, which he dubs “Reaganing”. The episode features some of our favorite scenes where Jack’s quest for perfection leads to hilarious consequences. We also see Liz Lemon struggling to deal with her new boss, played by Matt Damon, who is just as odd as he is funny to watch.
The episode features Tracy Jordan attempting to come up with his own catchphrase, leading to some memorable moments. The writing in this episode is top-notch, and the performances from the cast are all outstanding. It’s no wonder that “Reaganing” is often cited as one of the best episodes of 30 Rock.
6. “Double-Edged Sword” (Season 5, Episode 14)
“Double-Edged Sword” is an episode that finds Liz Lemon struggling to deal with her breakup with Carol, played by Matt Damon. As she tries to move on, she finds herself struggling to balance her personal life with her career. Meanwhile, we see Tracy Jordan getting a tattoo that of course, goes horribly wrong.
The episode features some great guest stars, including Will Forte and Julianne Moore. Will Forte plays a character who is hired to write for TGS, leading to some fantastic interactions between him and the cast. Julianne Moore plays Jack Donaghy’s love interest, which adds an interesting dynamic to the usual cast and work place depicted in 30 Rock.
5. “Hey, Baby, What’s Wrong?” (Season 6, Episode 6)
In this episode, we see Liz Lemon attempting to have a baby, which leads to her hunt to find a sperm donor. Jack is suddenly attracted to his mother-in-law, which demonstrates how the show can push the boundaries of comedy without making you so uncomfortable that you stop laughing. We also see Tracy Jordan getting into trouble with the law, which is not at all surprising, but definitely funny to watch. This episode perfectly balances the show’s humor with its heartfelt moments.
4. “Queen of Jordan 2: Mystery of the Phantom Pooper” (Season 6, Episode 20)
In this episode, we see the TGS staff attempt to film a reality show spinoff called “Queen of Jordan.” The episode features some hilarious scenes where the cast and crew deal with the antics of the show’s star, played by Sherri Shepherd. We also see Liz Lemon struggling with her new role as a stay-at-home mom. This episode is a fan-favorite and is one of the show’s most memorable episodes.
3. “There’s No I in America” (Season 7, Episode 5)
In this episode, we see Jack Donaghy in a new role as he is shockingly running for mayor of New York City. If you thought the campaign ads in real life can be funny, just wait until you see his in the show. We also see Liz Lemon’s relationship dynamic with her new boyfriend, played by James Marsden. The episode features some great guest stars, including Chris Matthews and Condoleezza Rice, and is one of the show’s most politically charged episodes, making it a must-watch.
2. “My Whole Life Is Thunder” (Season 7, Episode 8)
In “My Whole Life Is Thunder“, we see the TGS staff dealing with the death of one of their own. The episode features some great guest stars, including Jane Krakowski and Bill Hader. Each of the main characters use the death of someone close to them as a reason to evaluate their own lives and make any changes they want to see before it’s too late. As one of the show’s most emotional episodes, it perfectly captures the heart of the show and is a fitting tribute to its beloved characters.
1. “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World” (Season 7, Episode 11)
When looking at the best episodes of 30 Rock, it was hard to select number one. However, “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World” takes this spot as we see the TGS staff preparing for their final show. Jack is ready to name the person who will be taking over his role as the executive of NBC. Liz is also realizing her dreams of adoption, but seeing her professional career stall at the same time. The episode features some great guest stars, including Conan O’Brien and Julianne Moore. This episode perfectly captures the bittersweet ending of the show and is a must-watch for any fan of 30 Rock.
Is 30 Rock still available to watch?
What made 30 Rock stand out from other sitcoms?
30 Rock stood out for its fast-paced, witty humor, and its ability to balance satire with heart. The show also featured a talented cast and clever writing that kept viewers entertained throughout its seven seasons. Not to mention, it is loosely based on SNL, so viewers like to see what the behind-the-scenes might actually look like.
Who are some of the show’s standout characters?
Some of the show’s standout characters include Liz Lemon, played by Tina Fey, Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Jordan, played by Tracy Morgan.
Did 30 Rock win any awards?
Yes, 30 Rock was a critical and commercial success, winning numerous awards during its run, including multiple Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress.
Will there be a 30 Rock reunion or revival?
At this time, there are no plans for a 30 Rock reunion or revival, but fans continue to hope for a possible return of the beloved show.
30 Rock may have ended its run back in 2013, but its legacy continues to live on. The show’s hilarious moments and memorable characters have left a lasting impression on audiences, making it one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time. Our list of the 15 best episodes of 30 Rock are just a small sample of the show’s hilarious moments. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the show, these episodes are sure to keep you entertained. So grab some popcorn and get ready to laugh with the fans of 30 Rock.