Succession‘s latest offering, “Connor’s Wedding,” broke the internet thanks to its powerful storytelling, incredible performances, and game-changing narrative. HBO’s hit show is already a critical and ratings juggernaut, but its latest episode has elevated it to legendary status.
“Connor’s Wedding” is yet another example of how effective and impactful wedding-themed episodes can be. In fact, the new millennium, and especially the 2010s, have produced some of the most memorable wedding episodes in television history. From shocking parties that end in death to emotional ceremonies where all feelings are laid bare, these are the best and most timeless wedding episodes on modern television. The following article contains spoilers for all the shows discussed.
10 “Marry Me A Little” — ‘Will & Grace’ (1998-2006, 2017-2020)
Sitcoms usually have low stakes, but wedding-themed episodes are the perfect and convenient opportunity to introduce some much-needed drama. Will & Grace did just that with “Marry Me a Little,” the eighth episode of the fifth season, in which Grace impulsively agrees to marry Leo despite knowing very little about each other.
Grace’s chaotic wedding with Leo includes a memorable sequence in which she learns many surprising things about her new husband that leave her wondering why she agreed to marry him in the first place. Coupled with the excellent comedic timing of the show’s scene-stealing supporting players, Megan Mulally and Sean Hayes, “Marry Me a Little” is an excellent sitcom episode that drives the narrative forward and introduces a surprising conflict that would have lasting repercussions for the show’s remaining episodes.
9 “Happy Ending” — ‘Schitt’s Creek’ (2015-2020)
The series finale of the beloved sitcom Schitt’s Creek featured the long-awaited marriage of David (Dan Levy) and Patrick (Noah Reid). “Happy Ending” sees the couple finally take that step, married by David’s larger-than-life mother in a lovely and emotional ceremony that doubles as the perfect swan song for the show.
“Happy Ending” has double the impact, considering it’s also the last time fans see this eccentric but loveable group of characters. It’s also extra significant, considering David and Patrick’s romance was one of Schitt’s Creek‘smain pillars and one of the largest reasons for its continuous success. Plus, there’s also Moira Rose in a Pope-like costume officiating the wedding; nothing can beat that.
8 “Niagara” — ‘The Office’ (2005-2013)
And speaking of iconic sitcom couples, few can beat Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) from The Office. Arguably the new millennium’s most iconic and beloved sitcom couple, Jim and Pam spent years as platonic friends before getting together in Season 4 and finally marrying in the two-parter “Niagara.”
Like the best episodes from The Office, “Niagara” blends outlandish comedy with heartfelt emotion, resulting in a delightful entry that ranks as one of the show’s best offerings. Witnessing the show’s landmark couple tying the knot was special enough, but seeing their co-workers’ enthusiasm and glee was the cherry on top of the paper-covered cake.
7 “The One With Ross’s Wedding, Parts 1 & 2” — ‘Friends’ (1994-2004)
Few sitcoms produced episodes as dramatic as Friends, and few Friends episodes were more dramatic than the Season 4 finale, “The One with Ross’s Wedding.” The two-part episode features Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) attempt to stop Ross (David Schwimmer) from marrying Emily and ends with him infamously saying Rachel’s name at the altar.
“The One with Ross’s Wedding” is possibly the most notorious sitcom season finale in television history, taking the Ross/Rachel romance to new dramatic heights and cementing the show as the ultimate ’90s phenomenon. While Ross’s reputation never recovered from his altar mishap, his wedding will forever remain one of the most shocking events in sitcoms.
6 “The Show Must Go On” — ‘One Tree Hill’ (2003-2012)
One Tree Hill is one of the most over-the-top teen shows of the noughties. Starting as a straightforward tale of rivalry and basketball, the series soon became a teen soap opera full of accidents, long-lost secrets, and one-too-many weddings.
However, no wedding in the show can outdo Nathan (James Lafferty) and Haley’s (Bethany Joy Lenz) second trip down the altar in the Season 3 finale, “The Show Must Go On.” The episode’s climax, set to the tune of Led Zeppelin’s “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You,” sees friendships end, pregnancies revealed, and a devastating car crash that leaves the newlywed Haley crying for her husband. One Tree Hill is no stranger to tragedy, but the climactic sequence in “The Show Must Go On” remains one of the show’s greatest narrative triumphs.
5 “Crisis On Earth X Part 1” — ‘Supergirl’ (2015-2021)
The Arrowverse had its ups and downs, but it was, at one point in the mid-2010s, a genuinely gripping and even impressive shared universe. Its fourth annual crossover, “Crisis on Earth-X,” saw the main heroes fighting against alternate-reality versions of themselves from a world where the Nazis won World War II.
“Crisis on Earth-X” was full of memorable moments, but its first episode was by far the best, with the villains crashing Barry and Iris’ wedding. The battle that ensued was among the best things television had seen up to that point, with impressive visual effects — for a CW show, anyway — surprisingly good fight choreography, and a brilliant display of everyone’s powers. It’s a shame the Arrowverse couldn’t keep this level of quality because the wedding sequence in “Crisis on Earth-X” remains among the best achievements in any superhero show.
4 “The Ick Factor” — ‘Sex and the City’ (1998-2004)
Sex and the City was among the most iconic Sunday night shows on HBO, a revolutionary piece of television that changed how audiences viewed female sexuality. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) was always the most cynical character, a hardened lawyer who didn’t believe in traditional love and fought to make her love story unique.
Miranda gets married to Steve (David Eigenberg) in the Season 6 episode “The Ick Factor” in a small, intimate wedding that perfectly mirrors their relationship. The episode is packed with emotionally poignant moments, from Samantha’s (Kim Cattrall) cancer revelation to Carrie’s romantic musings and realizations. However, the final scene, in which the four friends rally behind Samantha, is a perfect, unforgettable, and triumphant encapsulation of the show’s main themes and among the sweetest and most intimate moments in the show’s history.
3 “The Lion and the Rose” — ‘Game of Thrones’ (2011-2019)
Game of Thrones became infamous for two reasons: killing its main characters and featuring television’s most shocking weddings. The detestable King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) finally meets his maker during the Season 4 episode “The Lion and the Rose,” which centers entirely around his long-awaited marriage to Margaery Tyrell (Margaery Tyrell).
“The Lion and the Rose” is Game of Thrones at its best. Featuring stellar performances from Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey, witty dialog, excellent production values, and a showstopping ending, “The Lion and the Rose” is everything GOT was supposed to be: an exquisitely told and handsomely produced fantasy epic that packed quite the spectacular punch.
2 “Connor’s Wedding” — ‘Succession’ (2018-2023)
Without hyperbole, Succession‘s “Connor’s Wedding” will go down as one of the all-time best television episodes. The episode features the shocking death of Logan Roy (Brian Cox) against the backdrop of his oldest son Connor’s wedding.
Featuring spectacular performances from Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong, and Kieran Culkin, “Connor’s Wedding” is a gut-punch of an entry in a show famous for its powerful storytelling that combines pathos and humor with remarkable skill. Succession has many incredible episodes, but “Connor’s Wedding” might be the best one to date, a powerful and gripping hour of television that upped the stakes and cemented the show’s legacy as one of HBO’s greatest triumphs.
1 “The Rains of Castamere” — ‘Game of Thrones’ (2011-2019)
In 2013, Game of Thrones was on top of the world thanks to its rich production values, compelling narrative, and increasingly high stakes. However, few non-book readers expected the carnage that would come with “The Rains of Castamere,” the ninth episode of Game of Thrones third season. The plot centers on Edmund Tully’s wedding to Roslin Frey, which ends with the massacre of the Stark forces and the death of Robb (Richard Madden) and Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley).
The “Red Wedding,” as it has come to be known, remains possibly the most shocking and game-changing television event of the 2010s. More than Ned Stark or Gus Fring’s death, Robb and Catelyn’s demise was horrifying to watch, an exercise in cruelty and savagery that would brand GOT as the most ruthless show on television. Many tv weddings have made audiences cry, but none has been as powerful, impactful, or outright distressing as the “Red Wedding.”
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