Have you seen the groundbreaking British sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror? If not, you’re missing out on one of the most thought-provoking, unsettling and addictive shows of the 21st century.
With six seasons and over 20 episodes under its belt, Black Mirror has sparked endless discussions on Reddit about which installments truly stand out from the rest.
According to the Reddit community, these 13 episodes are the absolute best of the best — the ones you simply must see.
In this post, I’ll give you a deep dive into why each one strikes a chord and makes it onto the Reddit hall of fame. Get ready for mind-bending twists, biting social commentary, and ethical dilemmas that will stick with you long after the credits roll.
First, What Exactly Is Black Mirror?
If you aren’t familiar with the show, let me give you a quick primer. Black Mirror is a British science fiction anthology series created by Charlie Brooker and first aired in 2011.
Each episode tells a dark, speculative story about the unsettling effects of technology on society and human nature. The show holds up a “black mirror” that reflects our modern digital age in a twisted, dystopian light.
While the first two seasons aired on Channel 4 in the UK, the global popularity of Black Mirror exploded after Netflix acquired it in late 2014. The streaming giant has since produced 3 additional seasons.
In 2018, Black Mirror even branched out into choose-your-own-adventure storytelling with the interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
To date, Black Mirror has released 22 television episodes across 5 seasons. One Redditor calculated that if you were to watch the show in its entirety, it would take you about 15 hours and 10 minutes.
But which episodes are truly the best and most thought-provoking? Let’s dive in and see what the Reddit community loves most.
13. “White Bear” Keeps You Guessing (S2E2)
In the dire opening of “White Bear”, a woman wakes up with no memory of who she is or how she got there.
As she tries to piece together her fragmented identity, she‘s relentlessly pursued by mysterious assailants for reasons she can‘t comprehend.
“White Bear” keeps ratcheting up the tension until the viewer, like the protagonist, is gripped by total confusion.
Eventually, a brilliant twist ending reveals that she‘s trapped in a recurring nightmare of public torture and humiliation as punishment for her role in an unspeakable crime.
According to Reddit users, “White Bear” is one of the most disturbing episodes that really makes you question your own morals. It blurs the lines between justice and cruelty in a thought-provoking way.
“This episode made me feel sick,” one Redditor wrote. “It was difficult to watch this woman get repeatedly terrified and assaulted for entertainment under the guise of justice.”
12. “Fifteen Million Merits” Hits Hard (S1E2)
The second episode of Black Mirror immediately showcased the show’s razor-sharp social commentary.
Set in a dystopian future where people generate power by pedaling exercise bikes, “Fifteen Million Merits” follows a man named Bing who tries to escape this bleak, monotonous existence.
After a soul-crushing series of events, Bing ends up bitterly succumbing to the oppressive system he despised.
The striking world-building and potent themes about consumerism, social conformity and emotion as a commodity resonated strongly with early viewers.
“This episode made me feel genuine despair,” a Redditor commented. “It sends a powerful message about freedom, passion and fighting systemic injustice.”
11. “Be Right Back” Explores Grief (S2E1)
The second season of Black Mirror grabbed attention right away with “Be Right Back”, an emotional gut-punch of an episode.
It imagines a service that lets you communicate with a synthetic AI recreation of deceased loved ones based on their online history.
When young mother Martha signs up after her husband‘s sudden death, her journey through grief and her evolving dynamic with the placid AI clearly strike a chord with Redditors who praise the thoughtful exploration of loss and technology’s role.
“This episode wrecked me emotionally,” one Redditor admitted. “The interplay between Martha’s grief and the AI’s limitations was absolutely heartbreaking. It really makes you think about the value of human life.”
10. “Playtest” Blurs Reality (S3E2)
“Playtest” brings the thrills with an American backpacker named Cooper volunteering for an experimental augmented reality horror game, ignoring serious health warnings.
As Cooper progresses through the ominously glitchy game full of jump scares and monsters that react to his fears, his sense of reality completely breaks down.
Multiple twists keep viewers guessing what’s real and what’s not right until the very end. According to Reddit, the episode is a sheer masterclass in suspense, cautioning against advanced entertainment tech that goes too far.
“I’ve never felt such anxiety watching an episode,” a Redditor remarked. “The blurred lines between realities are terrifying. This is Black Mirror at its most immersive and impactful.”
9. “USS Callister” Blends Adventure with Ethics (S4E1)
Season 4 came out swinging with “USS Callister”, centering on a brilliant programmer named Robert Daly.
To escape his lackluster real life, Daly has coded an elaborate Star Trek-esque virtual fantasy world and cloned his coworkers’ consciousness into characters under his totalitarian control.
When new employee Nanette has her mind added to the game, she spearheads a revolt against Daly’s despotism.
“USS Callister” skillfully blends a stylistic space adventure story with thought-provoking commentary about ethics, abuse of power and toxic masculinity.
“I never expected Black Mirror to pull off a sci-fi homage this well,” a Redditor noted. “This episode perfectly balanced entertainment value with the show’s signature disturbing questions about technology.”
8. “Nosedive” Criticizes Hyper-Social Media (S3E1)
“Nosedive”, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, portrays a glossy pastel-hued world where people rate all social interactions on a 1-5 star scale that determines social standing.
Obsessed with boosting her rating and status, protagonist Lacie chases the picture-perfect, hashtag-happy lifestyle social media promotes. But the pressure takes an increasing toll on her mental health.
Critics praise “Nosedive” as one of Black Mirror’s most vivid critiques of society’s addiction to superficial social media appearances over authentic living.
“This episode should be mandatory viewing for anyone overly obsessed with social media image and ratings,” a Redditor urged. “It’s a candy-coated nightmare that cuts extremely close to home.”
7. “Shut Up and Dance” Keeps You Guessing (S3E3)
Season 3’s “Shut Up and Dance” operates like a dark cyber-thriller centered around teenage protagonist Kenny.
After being secretly recorded doing something highly regrettable, Kenny is blackmailed by shady hackers threatening to leak the footage.
He‘s forced to follow escalating instructions completing unsavory tasks against his will, desperately trying to prevent the video‘s release.
The episode is a nail-biting exploration of online extortion, public shaming, privacy and youthful mistakes backfiring in the digital age. A final shocking twist casts everything in a new light.
“I was on the edge of my seat the entire time,” a Redditor said. “This episode shows how quickly online anonymity can lead to terrifying outcomes.”
6. “The Entire History of You” Questions Memory Tech (S1E3)
This early fan-favorite episode introduces technology that allows people to replay memories on demand from a grain implant that records everything they see and hear.
When Liam starts obsessively rewatching his past to analyze his relationship, the dark side of having an infallible memory rears its head, costing him what he wanted to preserve.
Many Redditors call this episode one of Black Mirror’s most poignant explorations about trust in relationships and technology amplifying human flaws like jealousy and obsession.
“It sends a powerful warning about how memory tech could destroy intimacy and ruin relationships,” a Redditor observed. “The message has only become more relevant as life becomes increasingly digitized.”
5. “Hated in the Nation” Presents High-Tech Bees (S3E6)
In the near future, most pollination is done by robotic bees after the insect‘s mass extinction.
Meanwhile, Detective Karin Parke probes a string of murders targeting people who were subjects of massive online hatred just hours earlier.
The clever fusion of the two plotlines in “Hated in the Nation” weaves an engaging techno-thriller full of twists while also providing biting commentary on mob mentality and consequences.
Clocking in at almost 90 minutes, this episode is basically a movie!
“This episode pulled me in with addictive detective drama while making me seriously think about where technology could enable mob rule,” commented one Redditor. “The writing and pacing make this episode extremely rewatchable.”
4. “San Junipero” Provides Rare Optimism (S3E4)
The sweet 1980s seaside town of San Junipero might not be what it seems, but it’s a gorgeous dream world where timid Yorkie and vivacious Kelly find an undeniable connection.
Their romantic and spiritual chemistry anchors this rare optimistic episode about love enduring across bodily limits.
Unlike most Black Mirror episodes, “San Junipero” highlights uplifting themes of guilt, grief, and finding beauty in every moment through the endearing love story of its protagonists.
“It was so refreshing to see an episode with hope instead of despair,” said a Redditor. “This is definitely one of the most touching and visually stunning episodes with a conclusion that left me in tears.”
3. “Black Museum” Presents Disturbing Stories (S4E6)
When Nish visits a foreboding museum of criminal tech artifacts, the owner Rolo tells her three interconnected stories linked to the items on display.
From an implant that lets doctors experience patients’ pain to a father’s copied consciousness eternally trapped in his son’s toy bear, the stories in “Black Museum” feature some of Black Mirror’s most creatively twisted plots.
Layered with multiple twists and ethical dilemmas, “Black Museum” leaves viewers simultaneously intrigued, disgusted and philosophically contemplative.
“I don’t think I breathed the entire time watching this episode,” a Redditor confessed. “This is Black Mirror at its most sinister and thought-provoking. It’s going to haunt me forever.”
2. “Hang the DJ” Questions Algorithms Ruling Romance (S4E4)
Boy meets girl at first sight – what could go wrong?
Well, young lovers Amy and Frank have their romance dictated by an advanced AI system that statistically determines each match with 99.8% accuracy in their walled-off futuristic society.
They start questioning whether they should rebel against the algorithm or resign themselves to its matches.
This profound episode contemplates fate versus free will, human connections in the age of algorithms, and finding fulfillment when technology seeks to determine our happiness.
“I’ve never fallen for two fictional characters so quickly,” gushed a Redditor. “This episode really makes you root for love conquering statistics. It’s relatable on such a deep human level.”
1. “White Christmas” Presents Digital Consciousness (S2E4)
On a snowy Christmas morning, two troubled men exchange three disturbing tales linked by a theme of digital consciousness.
From a virtual assistant copied from a real person’s mind to an offender’s digitally tortured cookie forced to experience 1,000 years per minute of isolation, the stories illustrate technology’s potential for terrible abuse.
Often ranked the best Black Mirror episode ever, “White Christmas” presents speculative technological concepts through an engrossing narrative framed by thought-provoking ethical questions.
“This episode is so beautifully constructed and acted, while being deeply unsettling,” said a Redditor. “It really leaves you contemplating your darkest fears around technology and morality.”
Why You Should Watch These Episodes
While every Black Mirror episode offers something memorable, these 13 rise above the rest according to the passionate Reddit community.
Fans appreciate how the show uses speculative fiction as a warning mirror into society‘s relationship with advancing technology.
These episodes tend to feature mind-blowing twists, exploring themes like digital consciousness, privacy, social conformity, guilt, memory, grief and mortality. They spotlight unnerving consequences of technology while keeping us hooked through to the end.
Black Mirror continues to evolve, but these 13 gems ignite thought-provoking debates that will stick with you long after watching. For an outstanding introduction to the show, you can‘t go wrong streaming these fantastic episodes first.
The dark visions of the digital future explored in Black Mirror might keep you up at night. But it’s a binge-worthy rollercoaster ride you have to experience yourself to fully appreciate!
Have you watched Black Mirror? Which episodes stand out to you as the best of the best? Share your thoughts in the comments!