‘Sex And The City’ Turns 15: Our Favorite Episodes

It’s been 15 years since we first met best friends Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) on HBO’s ground-breaking series “Sex and the City” (based on the novel by Candace Bushnell). While the dating scene has changed considerably since the series debuted (hello, OKCupid and Snapchat!), the truths about life and love that it offered up remain relevant.

As we celebrate the show’s 15th anniversary, we reminisce about our favorite episodes.

“La Douleur Exquise!”
This season 2 episode is all about pleasure and pain (hence its title, which means “exquisite pain”). There are some great fun moments involving S&M, Stanford Blatch and someone known as BigTool4U, but it’s the Carrie-Big scenes that make the episode one of the most memorable. Mr. Big announces that he’s moving to Paris for several months, totally freaking Carrie out until she realizes that perhaps she and Big aren’t meant to be. There’s an incredibly heartbreaking final scene where Carrie and Big part ways; it was another huge bump in their road to happy coupledom. —Tami Katzoff

“Hot Child in the City”
In the land of “Sex and the City,” only one episode can be crowned queen. And I’m here to tell you that after extensive research, my favorite ever would have to be “Hot Child in the City.” Here’s why:

1. I grew up in Manhattan, went to private school for 13 years—that whole thing—so this episode will always tug at my heartstrings more than others. I know Jenny Brier. I can’t say that I was Jenny Brier, but I went to a good amount of outrageous Bat Mitzvahs and spent some of my most formative years hearing girls like Jenny talk about doing things they were way too young to do. Whoever wrote this episode knew the mind of a Manhattan Teen Girl far, far, far too well.

2. Carrie fell for a comic-book-trust-fund-nerd-stoner-hot-babe who still lives with his parents. And if that isn’t appealing enough (sarcasm), the man was played by Cane—who at the time was also a DJ on 92.3 K-Rock. I was deeply in love with Cane(‘s voice) when this episode aired, so it was very exciting to put a face to it.

3. Miranda with braces.

4. That scene at the end where the girls are all smoking weed in Carrie’s really nice apartment was the picture of aspiration to my 15-year-old self.

5. Today is, coincidentally, the 15th anniversary of my own Bat Mitzvah. —Rya Backer

“My Motherboard, My Self”
Is it a bit morbid to select as my favorite episode one in which a main character’s mother dies? Perhaps. But at its core, after all that great (and, often times, not-so great) sex, the HBO series was about four friends navigating the trials and tribulations of the thirties together, and few episodes epitomized that spirit more than “My Motherboard, My Self,” in which Miranda’s mom passes away unexpectedly. When Samantha finally lets herself mourn for her friend at the funeral, well, we shed a tear or two ourselves. —Amy Wilkinson

Find out “Carrie Diaries” star AnnaSophia Robb’s fave episode!

“I Heart NY” and “The Domino Effect”
My two favorite episodes almost serve as companion episodes. “I Heart NY” is a love letter to Big and Carrie’s relationship, as well as the Big Apple. It follows the one-time couple as Carrie sends Big off to California, where he plans to open a vineyard. “If you’re tired of New York you take a napa, you don’t move to Napa,” she declares before they spend one last romantic night together, complete with a carriage ride in Central Park. Oh, yeah, it’s also the episode Miranda gives birth to Brady! It ends with Big making a romantic gesture: He leaves her his favorite record (Henry Mancini’s “Moon River”) and a plane ticket.

One year later, Big is back in the Big Apple for “The Domino Effect.” He’s in town for a routine heart surgery, and this floors Carrie. She cries at every mention of the procedure, which pretty much amuses Big. Now friends, she helps nurse him back to health and they talk about what it might be like aging together. Could it be they can now make it all work? Big’s heart may have been open in the operating room, but he wasn’t quite ready to put a ring on Carrie just yet. Once again the relationship crashes, like dominoes. SO MANY METAPHORS! —Jocelyn Vena

“The Post-it Always Sticks Twice”
If there is one thing this episode taught us, it’s that there really is no good way to break up with someone. In “The Post-it Always Sticks Twice,” the girls are meeting for breakfast when two bombs are dropped: Charlotte and Harry are engaged, and Berger broke up with Carrie using the titular office supply. “I’m sorry, I can’t—Don’t hate me” had viewers gasping at the sight of a girl’s worst nightmare come true. As crazy as it is, I couldn’t help but smile as Carrie bashed Berger to his friends. The girls wind up in a dive bar, score a joint and end their night with banana splits. —Andie Lowenstein

My favorite “Sex and the City” episode is in season six when Miranda reveals to Steve, her ex-boyfriend at the time, that she’s in love with him. Steve reciprocates the feelings, even with his girlfriend standing in the other room during Brady’s birthday party. I have always been a huge fan of sweet Steve and his relationship with Miranda, the total Type A, neurotic career woman. Miranda displaying her true emotions during this episode was a huge “ATTAGIRL” moment for everyone who has any sort of hope that true love still exists in New York City. It also proved that no matter how un-dateable, emotionless or tough a person can act at times, anyone can still find the love of their life. —Rachel Samples

“The Ick Factor”
Every girl is searching for a romantic, but we’re never prepped for how to react when we actually find one! In season six’s “The Ick Factor,” Carrie finds herself uncomfortably caught in The Russian’s renaissance reality as he courts her with piano playing, poetry and a stunning dress from personal friend Oscar de la Renta. As if that wasn’t enough, en route to the opera, Aleksander pulls Carrie in to dance in the middle of the street causing her to faint. There’s nothing I love more about this episode than watching Carrie get swept off her feet—literally! —Lauren Mandel

“An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux”
This was a hard decision to make. I went back and forth between quite a few episodes, but I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing is better than the series finale. Carrie—alone in Paris—is rescued by Big, Miranda takes in Steve’s mother, Charlotte finds out she is going to be a mom and Samantha admits to Smith that he means more to her than any other man. The episode is poignant, touching and ties up each characters’ storyline exactly how any longtime “Sex and the City” watcher would have wanted. Oh, and it also has the power to still make me cry every time I watch it. —Christina Garibaldi

What’s your favorite “Sex and the City” episode? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!