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You Must Watch Reddit’s 13 Best Black Mirror Episodes

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You Must Watch Reddit’s 13 Best Black Mirror Episodes

Key Points

  • Black Mirror is a popular British science fiction anthology series that explores the dark and dystopian aspects of technology and its impact on society.
  • Each episode features a standalone story with a different cast and setting, exploring different technological themes and their potential consequences.
  • According to Reddit, the top Black Mirror episodes include ‘White Bear,’ ‘Fifteen Million Merits,’ ‘Be Right Back,’ ‘Playtest,’ ‘USS Callister,’ ‘Nosedive,’ ‘Shut Up and Dance,’ ‘The Entire History of You,’ ‘Hated in the Nation,’ ‘San Junipero,’ ‘Black Museum,’ ‘Hang the DJ,’ and ‘White Christmas.’
  • Redditors appreciate the thought-provoking themes, unexpected twists, and moral dilemmas presented in these episodes.

In the captivating world of Black Mirror, technology intertwines with the human experience in chilling and thought-provoking ways. While every episode has its fans, certain ones have risen above the others to become Reddit’s most beloved gems. From mind-bending twists to heart-wrenching tales, these thirteen fan-favorite episodes have sparked countless discussions and debates within the vast Reddit community. Let’s round up a baker’s dozen of the best Black Mirror episodes, according to Reddit’s biggest fans of the show. 

What Is Black Mirror? The Hit Series Explained

Unfamiliar with Black Mirror? Charlie Brooker created this popular British science fiction anthology television series in 2011. The show first premiered on the UK’s Channel 4 in December of that year. Its first two seasons aired on television, but the show was later picked up by Netflix for its third, fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons. Not to mention the experimental interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Black Mirror was popular enough in the UK, but it gained widespread international popularity after its acquisition by the streaming service.

Charlie Brooker came up with the concept of Black Mirror as a modern-day answer to The Twilight Zone. Brooker — a British satirist — aimed to explore the dark and often dystopian aspects of technology and its negative impact on society. The very title is a reference to technology. The reflection in our computers, phones, and televisions looks like a black mirror. Brooker’s creation has left a lasting impact on popular culture, making it one of the most influential and critically acclaimed sci-fi series of the 21st century.

Each episode of Black Mirror features a standalone story with a different cast and setting. Additionally, each explores a different technological theme and its potential consequences on the human race as a whole. These themes range from virtual reality, artificial intelligence, social media, surveillance, and the ethical dilemmas posed by plausible technological advancements that haven’t even been invented yet. But which episodes are most deserving of your attention? Let’s turn to Reddit for answers.

Reddit logo on iPhone screen.
Reddit users have a love-hate relationship with

Black Mirror

, but these episodes are their favorites.

Reddit’s Best Black Mirror Episodes

Across six seasons, multiple broadcasters, close to thirty episodes, and a feature film released over more than a decade, it goes without saying that Black Mirror is a 21st-century pop culture staple. But which episodes tower above the rest? Redditors in Black Mirror subreddits talk about this question quite often. The following thirteen anthology installments rank as the best Black Mirror episodes in the entire series (according to Reddit, that is). Have you seen all of these? And where did your favorites end up? Let’s review.

13. White Bear (Season 2, Episode 2)

In “White Bear,” a woman awakens with no idea who she is. Upon exploring her unfamiliar surroundings, she soon finds herself trapped in a nightmarish scenario where people relentlessly record her every move. Throughout the episode, viewers are gripped by an ever-increasing sense of tension and confusion as they follow her plight. Redditors praise the unexpected twist ending that blurs the lines between justice and cruelty. By the end, you may be left questioning your moral compass.

12. Fifteen Million Merits (Season 1, Episode 2)

Though it’s only the second episode of the show, “Fifteen Million Merits” is much more treasured than the absurd and off-putting series premiere. Set in a dystopian future where people pedal exercise bikes to earn merits, one man becomes disillusioned with the soul-crushing monotony of his existence. The episode delves into themes of media manipulation and the commodification of human emotions. This one stands out to the Reddit community for its commentary on a society driven by consumerism and the loss of genuine human connections.

11. Be Right Back (Season 2, Episode 1)

“Be Right Back” is a much stronger season opener than the one that kicks off season one. Picking up after her spouse’s tragic death, this episode follows a grieving woman who is offered a lifelike AI version of her deceased husband. Interestingly, the service replicates his personality using his digital footprint. As the story unfolds, viewers are exposed to the complexities of grief, identity, and the ethics of creating virtual copies of loved ones in the digital age. The emotional depth and introspective nature of “Be Right Back” make it an important episode to Black Mirror fans of Reddit.

baby agi
“Be Right Back” looks at the moral and emotional complexities of recreating people with AI.

10. Playtest (Season 3, Episode 2)

Included in Netflix’s first batch of original episodes, “Playtest” follows a young thrill-seeker who agrees to test an experimental horror game that plays with his fears. Soon, he finds the boundaries between reality and virtual reality blurred in terrifying new ways. As the protagonist’s sanity and perception of reality deteriorate, “Playtest” delves into the fragility of the human mind and the potential downsides of immersive gaming technology. Reddit says the episode is masterfully constructed, complete with suspense and twists on par with the great sci-fi horrors of our time. 

9. USS Callister (Season 4, Episode 1)

Kicking off season four of Black Mirror is “USS Callister.” Set in a virtual world inspired by classic space operas, the episode follows a talented programmer who clones his colleagues into characters within his twisted power fantasy. The captivating mix of sci-fi adventure and ethical dilemmas makes “USS Callister” an exceptional episode that resonates with the Reddit community. Redditors appreciate how the episode cleverly critiques themes of control, consent, and empathy as it explores the result of unchecked power in virtual environments.

8. Nosedive (Season 3, Episode 1)

Black Mirror has always had a star-studded cast, but season three really brought the big names. Case in point: “Nosedive,” featuring Bryce Dallas Howard in one of her very best roles. Taking place in a future where social status revolves around constant ratings, a young woman’s obsession with improving her online reputation leads to a thought-provoking exploration of social media’s influence on our lives. The Black Mirror subreddit praises this episode as a biting critique of modern society’s obsession with appearances. The superficiality of online connections also takes a hit.

7. Shut Up and Dance (Season 3, Episode 3)

“Shut Up and Dance” tells the story of a teenager who is forced into a series of dangerous tasks by anonymous hackers who possess compromising material about him. As the classic Black Mirror story unfolds, the episode examines the dark side of online anonymity and the potential consequences of our actions in the digital age. The gripping suspense and morally ambiguous characters make “Shut Up and Dance” a powerful and unsettling installment of the series for Redditors. Not to mention, it’s only grown more relevant with the popularization of TikTok.

tiktok dance trend
“Shut Up and Dance” predicted the impact TikTok would have on the lives of millions.

6. The Entire History of You (Season 1, Episode 3)

Let’s look back to the beginning of the series to shine a light on “The Entire History of You.” Taking place in a world where everyone has memory implants that record their experiences, a man’s obsession with re-watching his past unravels the fabric of his personal relationships. Reddit loves the way this episode explores themes of trust, privacy, and the impact of memory technology on human emotions. It’s a compelling portrayal of a society ruled by constant surveillance and the burden of memory.

4. Hated in the Nation (Season 3, Episode 6)

Black Mirror’s longest episode to date, “Hated in the Nation” is set in a world where robotic bees are used for pollination. In the background, a detective investigates a series of murders linked to social media outrage and online mob mentality. These two threads sound incredibly dissimilar, to be sure. Yet, the episode manages to weave them into complex ethical questions surrounding technology, accountability, and the consequences of collective actions. Its commentary on the power and dangers of social media resonates strongly with the Reddit community.

5. San Junipero (Season 3, Episode 4)

Season three is Reddit’s favorite season, and “San Junipero” is Reddit’s favorite of the batch. Taking place in a virtual afterlife, the episode sees two women fall in love as they grapple with their identities and the concept of digital eternity. This lovely episode stands out to Reddit for its optimistic tone and emotional depth. It explores themes of love, loss, and the quest for a meaningful existence. “San Junipero” offers a refreshing contrast to the typically dark and dystopian nature of Black Mirror. This earned it widespread acclaim and appreciation from Redditors.

3. Black Museum (Season 4, Episode 6)

In “Black Museum,” a young woman visits a macabre museum featuring artifacts connected to criminal technology. While there, she uncovers three interconnected stories that emphasize the potential consequences of unchecked technological innovation. “Black Museum” stands out to Redditors for its dark and twisted narratives. They love the way it leaves viewers with a sense of unease about the potential misuse of futuristic technologies. Plus, who doesn’t love a mind-blowing twist ending?

Netflix
Some Reddit users suspect

Black Mirror

may have jumped the shark after moving to Netflix.

2. Hang the DJ (Season 4, Episode 4)

You’ll notice there are no episodes from seasons five and six on this list. That’s because Redditors call season four the last truly great season of the show. “Hang the DJ” narrowly edges ahead of “Black Museum” to take this #2 spot. This standout episode explores themes of fate, human connection, and the search for authenticity in a world governed by data-driven matchmaking. Its heartfelt story and engaging characters strike a chord with audiences, making the installment a real fan favorite.

1. White Christmas (Season 2, Episode 4)

Rounding out the list at #1 is “White Christmas,” a truly messed up holiday special that only Black Mirror could produce. Set on Christmas Day, two men share haunting stories that weave a web of dark tales. Their narratives cleverly intertwine themes of technology, loneliness, and punishment — something Redditors agree is peak Black Mirror. This emotionally charged episode leaves viewers with a sense of unease and moral contemplation. It delves into the dangers of digital consciousness and the gray area between justice and revenge. It’s the very best.

Summary Table

RankEpisodeSeason and Episode Number
#1White ChristmasSeason 2, Episode 4
#2Hang the DJSeason 4, Episode 4
#3Black MuseumSeason 4, Episode 6
#4Hated in the NationSeason 3, Episode 6
#5San JuniperoSeason 3, Episode 4
#6The Entire History of YouSeason 1, Episode 3
#7Shut Up and DanceSeason 3, Episode 3
#8NosediveSeason 3, Episode 1
#9USS CallisterSeason 4, Episode 1
#10PlaytestSeason 3, Episode 2
#11Be Right BackSeason 2, Episode 1
#12Fifteen Million MeritsSeason 1, Episode 2
#13White BearSeason 2, Episode 2

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to watch Black Mirror in order?

Black Mirror is an anthology series, which means each episode features a self-contained story with different characters and settings. There is no overarching narrative connecting the episodes, meaning viewers can watch them in any order.

Why is Black Mirror for mature audiences?

Black Mirror is known for its dark and thought-provoking themes, including violence, mature content, and unsettling concepts. It is generally recommended for mature audiences due to its intense and often disturbing subject matter.

What are the recurring themes of Black Mirror?

Throughout Black Mirror, the anthology series frequently explores the darker side of technology and its impact on society. Themes such as privacy, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the consequences of over-reliance on digital devices are common throughout the show’s seasons.

Who created Black Mirror?

Charlie Brooker created Black Mirror. The series originally aired in the UK on Channel 4 but was acquired by Netflix from its third season onward. You can stream the show with your Netflix subscription. Some episodes are also available to rent online from various VOD sites.

What is Black Mirror: Bandersnatch?

Bandersnatch is a standalone interactive film released as part of Black Mirror. Unlike the traditional episodes, this film allows viewers to make choices at various points, influencing the outcome of the story. The film follows the journey of a young programmer working on a video game adaptation of a choose-your-own-adventure book, and it explores themes of free will and the consequences of choices.

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