Opinion / Poll

What’s YOUR ultimate favourite Columbo episode? Vote now!

Columbo poll

If you’re anything like me, debating the merits of your favourite Columbo episode with fellow fans is one of life’s great pleasures.

But have you ever wondered which episodes rate the highest with fans across the globe? Well now’s your chance to find out! Below is a simple list of all 69 Columbo episodes, from 1968’s Prescription: Murder to 2003’s final curtain Columbo Likes the Nightlife. Please have a look, and vote for your single favourite. It’ll only take you a moment!

The poll will remain open in perpetuity so visitors can continue to have their say, and help to shape a pretty clear picture of the favourite Columbo episodes of the majority. And at each year’s end I’ll write an article outlining the current fans’ top 10.

I have my own suspicions on which episodes will remain near the top of the standings, but  would be very happy to be surprised so have your say today!

You may have already read my own thoughts on the best Columbo episodes of them all. If not, I insist you have a look immediatelyYou can also view the 2018 fans’ top 10 list here and find out about Peter Falk’s own favourite episodes here.

As ever, thanks for visiting this site, and do have a great day wherever you are.

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111 thoughts on “What’s YOUR ultimate favourite Columbo episode? Vote now!

  1. If I had to choose 1 out of what I consider the 10 best episodes, I would have to go with Negative Reaction. Dick Van Dyke is the most dislikeable Columbo villain of all. The comic scenes with Vito Scotto and Larry Storch are brilliant. And the gotcha scene is priceless, plus the title actually alludes to it.

  2. I think “Columbo Goes to College” deserves mention in the top 10 (it’s not #1). It’s a clever murder and some nice finish.
    I also like “Suitable for Framing”: Ross Martin alone is worth it (let’s face it, Martin’s performance and costumes were the real reason we watched “Wild Wild West”).
    As to “Any Port in a Storm”, I think Donald Pleasence is the entire key to its rating. He was as fine as any wine in the episode.
    Sadly, I thought George Wendt’s episode was one of the very weakest, as much as I liked him on Cheers.

    • Having just re-watched “Any Old “Port in a Storm” and always considering it the best, I now am finding some plot weaknesses, that bring it down a few slots. That being said I am even more impressed by Donald Pleasence’ performance. It certainly is in the running for the best of any bad guy in the series. He seems so into the character, I absolutely believe him, and wish I could tell him so. (Maybe I am doing so right now. I’m certain he would be most gracious in his thanks)

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  5. Try and catch me , negative reaction , the bye bye , swan song , identity crisis , make me a perfect murder , prescription murder , troubled waters , suitable for framing , playback , double exposure , publish or perish , death hits the jackpot , double shock , agenda for murder , now you see him , random for a dead man , blueprint for murder and etude in black roughly make up my top 20 .

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    • Hello Columbo fans! Many thanks for this great site which I only discovered this year. As a teen in the 70’s, I watched Columbo on an ad-hoc basis whenever my parents were tuning in. But I have recently become an addict, helped by the fact that here in the UK we have three Columbo episodes back-to-back on a Sunday afternoon! I have watched 25 episodes so still not even half-way there!

      I voted for Now you See Him, with its wonderful visual conjuring tricks and a great steely performance by Jack Cassidy as the villain. The gotcha is a cracker when Columbo produces the incriminating document that the magician Santini sets fire to, only for Columbo to rustle out of his raincoat multiple copies aka a masterful conjuring trick suitable to nail Santini. I’ve seen all the top five as voted for here and they are all great.

      Let’s hear it though for some of the later episodes: I’m surprised by the fact that some of the later ones don’t fare as well. Just let me mention three I have seen recently that had me jumping out of my seat. In no order of preference, Ashes to Ashes with the ever reliable McGoohan is a gem of an episode. McGoohan plays the unscruplous bent undertaker who murders his blackmailing ex with a trochar. This episode is ingenious in the script and has some great graveside humour, as when McGoohan receives his award for undertaker of the year and the pianist sings ‘For he’s a jolly good undertaker…no one can deny’. The last line is a corker, a so often a joke, with Falk saying to McGoohan ‘It’s up to you sir it’s your funeral’ when McGoohan wants to ride in a separate police car after his gotcha.

      I also love Sex and the Married Detective (Season 8 episode 3) a deliciously dark episode with Lindsay Crouse as the villain and her alter ego as the courtesan who kills. The end is brilliant, where Columbo arranges for one of the police women to float around the killer’s offices dressed as her alter ego!

      And Columbo Cries Wolf (Series 9 episode 2) has got to be one of the most ingenious of scripts. The Lady disappears and Columbo is convinced she’s dead, only for her to re-appear. But then, it wouldn’t be Columbo without some more twists. The gotcha has to be one of the best …spolier alert if you don’t know it watch this one! Ian Buchanan is ace as the smug villain who knows more than Columbo does…

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  11. It keeps saying to cast a vote, but other than making a comment, I don’t see where one casts an actual vote.

    • Are you viewing on mobile? The poll is embedded after the 4th paragraph but renders differently on some mobile devices. You might see a blue linked sentence ‘What is your ultimate favourite Columbo episode?’ under the 4th par that opens the poll?

      • I am viewing on a desktop, and in the fourth paragraph, not including the sentence in bold print that is under the four pictures, there are three links, none of which take one to a poll, and there is no other link that says, “What is your ultimate favorite Columbo episode?”

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  13. what is it about any old port in a storm that everyone likes it so much , to be honest i think its a very average episode

    • I like it, but it’s far from the absolute best. Way too many holes. I guess because it’s extremely well acted and everyone loves the end scene in the car when Columbo hands him the bottle of wine. But, I am with you, the murder and coverup is average at best.

  14. watched murder under glass this afternoon didnt like it much think its very poor , cant beleive its not neare the bottom

  15. Catch Me If You Can
    Great sympathetic murderer, great incidental music, great speech about losing loved ones, beautifully shot. It has everything.

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