November has been a nostalgic month. With the launch of Disney+ and the recent partnership between Nickelodeon and Netflix, both Gen Z and millennials alike are back to binging their childhood cult classics. In my case, no show is more quintessential to my upbringing than the famous Victorious. Centered around the misadventures of a quirky cast of teen performers attending a prestigious arts high school, this show is a staple of my youth.  

In preparation for writing this article and in procrastination of all my final exams, I have watched all the episodes of Victorious available on Netflix. So here’s my list of the top five to watch when you need a break from the calamity of college life.

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5. Survival of the Hottest (Season 1, Episode 17)

In this episode, the gang finds itself in the midst of an intense heatwave, with temperatures averaging over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. To cool off, they make plans to hang at Venice Beach. Stowed away in Beck’s RV, they make it to the beach, where Cat immediately leaves the group to use the restroom. In the short time she’s gone, a huge trailer parks next to the RV, making it impossible for everyone else to escape the sweltering warmth of the un-air-conditioned vehicle. And so they have to survive the heat trapped, waiting for Cat who quickly gets distracted after her bathroom break and leaves the others behind. This episode makes the list for its iconic one-liners and inarguable hilarity, as the heat drives the members to extremes. Robbie even drinks from a fish tank in an ill-fated attempt to cool off, which is definitely a memorable highlight of the Victorious cinematic universe.  

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4. The Great Ping Pong Scam (Season 1, Episode 15)

A sports team at Hollywood Arts? It’s more likely than you think. In this episode, Tori tries to make plans with her friends, only to be shot down by their ping pong practice schedule. When she vies to try out for the team, she beats everyone out for the spot, much to Jade’s dismay. As team captain, Jade refuses to allow her on the team despite Tori’s outstanding performance. It is later revealed that the team is just a giant cover-up for the gang to use school funds for fancy dinners, rather than actual ping pong tournaments. Tori is eventually allowed to join in on their scam, but when the gang and Sikowitz go to dinner together, Robbie makes an expensive mistake Tori has to clean up. Complete with a slower, jazzier musical number, this episode makes the list for both the music and the gang’s illegal antics.

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3. Beggin’ on Your Knees (Season 2, Episode 1)

For many young viewers everywhere, the kick-off episode to season two taught us an important life-long lesson: men suck. While preparing for the impending Full Moon Jam showcase at Hollywood Arts, Tori finds herself the recipient of one very conventionally attractive senior boy’s affections. Ryder Daniels, who is the stereotypical “bad boy,” asks Tori out and she invites him over to her house for home-made (poorly-made) sushi. Mid-date, Trina urges Tori to check Ryder’s phone as he uses the bathroom, just to see if he’s hiding anything from her. Tori, true to her kind of problematic and occasionally annoying demeanor, immediately goes snooping and gets caught. As a consolation, she offers to do a duet with Ryder for the Full Moon Jam. The whole situation turns sour rather quickly as his true intentions with Tori come to light. This episode makes the list for its astounding musical number, Tori’s empowering performance and the lesson it taught us all at an impressionable, young age.

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2. Tori and Jade’s Playdate (Season 3, Episode 6)

I think we’ve all been hit on by obnoxious people we don’t like. But in this episode, Tori and Jade take a break from bickering to deal with unwanted suitors in an unforgettable way. When Sikowitz debuts a new play, he assigns roles by having the gang choose randomly from a box. Things take a twist when Jade ends up playing Tori’s wife in the play and the two of them can’t perform their parts believably, much to Sikowtiz’s chagrin. In an attempt to fix their terrible acting, Sikowitz makes them go on a sushi date together. At the sushi restaurant, the duo is hit on by two unpleasant boys and to deter their skeevy advances, they sing one of the most memorable songs in the show’s history. This episode ranks as number two for the incredibly iconic teamwork displayed by the girls and one of the funnier scenes between Andre and Beck, where they have to play identical twins.

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1. Freak the Freak Out (Parts 1 & 2; Season 1, Episodes 19 & 20)

Now, I know I’m technically cheating by including two episodes for the top spot, but the two-part season one finale is truly an unforgettable part of Victorious. In part one, Cat and Jade enter a karaoke competition, only to find that it was rigged by the owner’s arrogant daughter, who has a thing for Beck. While all this is going on, Tori is resigned to house arrest as she needs to babysit Trina through the aftermath of her wisdom teeth removal. In part two, Cat and Jade seek to take revenge against the rude girls from the karaoke club who can’t carry a tune. To do so, they involve Tori in their antics, leaving the guys to babysit Trina instead. The musical performance for these two episodes is incredibly memorable, not really for the song itself, but more so for how Tori performs at the karaoke bar. Trina’s behavior fresh from dental surgery is also hilarious to witness, as she whines at and fights with her many babysitters.

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So this is my list of the five best Victorious episodes, but there are certainly great things about each individual episode in the series. I chose to base my list on which episodes I vividly remembered and looked forward to rewatching so long after the show had already aired. That being said, I recommend watching all three seasons once we head off on winter break — it’ll definitely make your day shine!

Thumbnail courtesy of Flickr