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  • The Wunderkind  on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#1) The Wunderkind

    • 2019

    IMDb Score: 4.9

    Synopsis: After struggling with a recent election defeat, a once-successful campaign manager decides to back Oliver, an 11-year-old boy, who's running to become the President of the United States. Naturally, Oliver wins the election, and as he's sworn into office all hell breaks loose.

    Why it falls short: What was likely intended as a light take on political commentary, "The Wunderkind" comes off as heaving absolutely no grounding in the modern world. Sure, we get what the writers were trying to say, but the sheer overkill (and ridiculousness) of this episode instantly drowns out any type of real political commentary. Going off the gird is kind of what The Twilight Zone is all about, but this episode was so ridiculous and so far-fetched that it's easily earned the reputation of being one of the absolute worst Twilight Zone episodes all time.

  • The Wall on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#2) The Wall

    • Feb 25 1989

    IMDb: 5.7

    Synopsis: A pilot who's seen better days goes through an unknown portal to locate his missing team. On the other side, he discovers what could only be the Garden of Eden.

    Why it falls short: In a nutshell, the story is lazy and the ending is predictable. The plot of this episode eerily mimics the 1960's episode "The Bewitchin' Pool", which, coincidentally, is also regarded as one of the series' worst episodes.

  • Cavender Is Coming on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#3) Cavender Is Coming

    • May 25, 1962

    IMDb Score: 5.8

    Synopsis: An angel tries to earn its wings by helping Agnes Grep, a clumsy young woman, finally achieve real happiness. After realizing how Grep's wacky antics often get her into trouble, the disheartened angel works overtime to help improve her life in 24 hours or risk being demoted.

    Why it falls short: Comedy has always been pretty tricky for The Twilight Zone, but it's uniquely unbecoming in this episode. It doesn't provide any commentary for the human existence, which makes sense when you consider that this episode was supposed to be a pilot for a completely different series. 

  • I Dream of Genie on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#4) I Dream of Genie

    • March 21, 1963

    IMDb Score: 6.4

    Synopsis: After buying an old oil lamp as a gift for a friend, a shy office work discovers the lamp holds a wise-cracking genie with the power to grant a single wish. The genie proceeds to put him into all kinds of scenarios that will allow him to eventually "conquer" his workplace crush. 

    Why it falls short: Season four of The Twilight Zone really suffered when the episodes took on an hour-long format. It provided a lot of filler, and "I Dream of Genie" is a prime example of that. The problem is that today, this episode is pretty much exactly like the film Bedazzled, and you're better off watching that movie instead if you want the same basic gimmick.

  • Point of Origin on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#5) Point of Origin

    • May 16, 2019

    IMDb Score: 4.9

    Synopsis: A wealthy socialite is asked by her housekeeper if her grandson can use her address since she's an illegal immigrant. The socialist agrees, but the housekeeper is soon taken into ICE custody. It's not long until the socialist figures out the housekeeper is actually an illegal alien from another dimension. 

    Why it falls short: This episode makes some valid points about the immigrant experience in America. The problem is that the story is so opaque, and the dialogue is so on-the-nose. The audience is basically spoon-fed a lesson without any subtext.

  • The Mighty Casey on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#6) The Mighty Casey

    • June 17, 1960

    IMDb Score: 6.2

    Synopsis: A baseball team manager allows a robot named Casey to pitch for his team. The robot has the power to throw balls incredibly fast that they just can't be hit. Casey's inventor ends up giving him an artificial heart so that it can become more human. 

    Why it falls short: This episode is simply too schmaltzy. To add insult to injury, the tone varies significantly from one moment to the next. At one moment, it's a wacky comedy about a robot baseball pitcher, and the next, it's a rumination on what it truly means to be human. 

  • The Bard on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#7) The Bard

    • May 23, 1963

    IMDb Score: 6.0

    Synopsis: A down-on-his-luck screenwriter is desperate to make a sale. It's then that he's able to conjure the spirit of William Shakespeare to help him write his next great film. 

    Why it falls short:  The Twilight Zone was famous for giving sleezy characters karmic justice. You would think that's where this episode would head, but the lead never really suffers. He loses the film Shakespeare helped him write, but he just uses the same power to conjure up more spirits for his next project. No lesson is learned, and there's nothing really else the episode has going for it. 

  • The Whole Truth on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#8) The Whole Truth

    • January 20, 1961

    IMDb Score: 6.5

    Synopsis: A used-car dealer ends up purchasing a vehicle from an old man who says it's haunted. He doesn't believe it at first, but he soon finds himself compelled to always tell the truth. 

    Why it falls short: You may recognize this premise from the Jim Carrey movie Liar, Liar. And in all honesty, you're better off watching that film. This episode really doesn't go beyond the joke of "used car salesman must be truthful about the awful cars he's trying to sell." It's a one-note joke that gets played-out fast. Season Two was awash with comedic episodes, and while some hit, others missed by a mile. This episode, along with "Mr. Dingle, the Strong", are two of the season's weaker ones.

  • Mr. Bevis on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#9) Mr. Bevis

    • June 3, 1960

    IMDb Score: 6.7

    Synopsis: After losing his job, being kick out of his apartment, and wrecking his car all in the same day, a guardian angel comes down to Earth to lend Mr. Bevis a much-needed helping hand. 

    Why it falls short: This is another example of The Twilight Zone attempting comedy and falling short. Once you know where it's going, the episode loses all of its steam. It feels more like an afterschool special than an episode of a prestigious television series. 

  • Black Leather Jackets on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#10) Black Leather Jackets

    • January 31, 1964

    IMDb Score: 6.4

    Synopsis: Three young men who ride motorcycles turn out to be part of an alien invasion. However, their plans are thrown into chaos when one of the aliens falls in love with a young girl.

    Why it falls short: Back in the day, young men wearing leather may have been threatening. Today, it's just plain tacky. Stupid costumes aside, the concept is just silly and is the dipping near the lower end of the of sci-fi ladder The Twilight Zone usually avoided. 

  • Hocus-Pocus and Frisby on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#11) Hocus-Pocus and Frisby

    • April 13, 1962

    IMDb Score: 7.5

    Synopsis: Somerset Frisby, a loud-mouth gas attendant in a small town, has a knack for telling tall tales. After hearing his yarns and believing they're real, a group of aliens travel to earth to abduct him. After pleading with the aliens to let him go, Frisby soon discovers that they can't stand the sound of his harmonica.

    Why it falls short: The script for this episode just feels lazy. It's essentially a huge line of comedic antics. Worst of all, the episode ends with a terrible deus ex machina because they clearly just wrote themselves into a corner. Unable to understand the concept of lying, Frisby is only able to make his escape after he discovers that he can use his harmonica to incapacitate the aliens. Pretty weak.

  • Mr. Dingle, the Strong on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#12) Mr. Dingle, the Strong

    • March 3, 1961

    IMDb Score: 6.8

    Synopsis: A meek vacuum cleaner salesman becomes part of an experiment from a two-headed Martian. Through the process, he's given incredible strength, though, obviously, he has no real idea how to put his newfound skills to good use. 

    Why it falls short: The premise for the episode just doesn't work. The man uses his newfound powers for most of the episode until they pretty much just fizzle out. Plus, the two-headed alien just looks goofy because you know it's just two guys in an extra-wide outfit. 

  • Sounds and Silences on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#13) Sounds and Silences

    • April 3, 1964

    IMDb Score: 5.9

    Synopsis: Roswell G. Flemington has a peculiar obsession with loud noises. After his wife eventually leaves him, starts to hear all sorts of little random noises. After seeking psychiatric help, but after trying to calm the noise, Flemington inadvertently turns the world silent.

    Why it falls short: Karmic irony is The Twilight Zone's strong suit. The problem is that it becomes all too easy to see where this episode is going once you see the set-up. The man first hears everything, and then he can't hear anything at all. It's just too simplistic for what the series was capable of. 

  • The Bewitchin' Pool on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#14) The Bewitchin' Pool

    • Jun 19 1964

    IMDb Score: 6.8

    Synopsis: As two children try to get away from their constantly bickering parents, they find a swimming pool that belongs to their mysterious Aunt T. After diving in, the two soon realize that the pool is actually a portal to another dimension.

    Why it falls short: The Twilight Zone is supposed to be adult programming via horror and sci-fi. This episode feels more like something out of Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark? Plus, the lesson imparted on the kids at the end of the episode is pretty awful. All in all, it's a fairly brain-dead episode that's often regarded as one of the low points in the series.

  • What's in the Box on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#15) What's in the Box

    • March 13, 1964

    IMDb Score: 7.3

    Synopsis: An old married couple fights a lot. After their TV is repaired, they begin seeing programming showing them in the future. And it shows the husband killing his wife. 

    Why it falls short: "What's in the Box" has a tried-and-true formula. A man sees into the future, and through his attempts to avoid that fate, he ends up making it come true. Unfortunately, here the formula falls short as you know what's going to happen from the very beginning. There's no compelling twist, no ah-ha moment; just a mundane episode with predictable plot points.

  • Song of the Younger World on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#16) Song of the Younger World

    • Jul 17 1987

    IMDb Score: 5.5

    Synopsis: Tanner, a young student who's had the unfortunate luck of landed up in reform school, falls in love with the warden's daughter. In a modern-ish tale of forbidden love, the couple tries to escape, but they soon learn leaving is much easier said than done.

    Why it falls short: A classic love story with a supernatural twist, Song of the Younger World suffers from a lack of a coherent plot (part of that issue stems from the fact that it's only a 30-minute episode). There's nothing special here, and the way it was presented feels lazy.

  • The Crossing on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#17) The Crossing

    • Oct 08 1988

    IMDb Score: 5.5

    Synopsis: An overstressed and under-appreciated priest is working overtime to try to fund a new children's wing at the nearby hospital. As work and stress start to get the better of him, he begins to see visions of a car crash with a burning child left inside.

    Why it falls short: The dialogue and acting are all top-notch, but the plot, in addition to being fairly predictable, is missing some crucial elements. The ending left more than a few viewers slightly agitated, although some viewers actually commended the change of pace.

  • Strangers in Possum Meadows on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#18) Strangers in Possum Meadows

    • Jan 14 1989

    IMDb: 6.1

    Synopsis: A young child comes into contact with a seemingly normal older gentleman who turns out to be an alien surveying the Earth for specimens to return to his home planet.

    Why it falls short: A decent story that's somewhat marred by the fact that it's continually throwing the same life lesson in your face, "Strangers in Possum Meadows" wasn't one of the worst episodes, but it also wasn't one of the better ones. All in all, it's a forgetful story that emphasizes the importance of why children should never talking to strangers.

  • Last Lap on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#19) Last Lap

    • Dec 11 2002

    IMDb Score: 5.3

    Synopsis: Andy and Marco, two life-long friends, decide to go for a joy ride after Andy confides in Marco that he doesn't have long to live. As the two try to beat their best time on the race track, Marco ends up crashing the car, "killing" himself in the process.

    Why it falls short: Another plot twist that's both unoriginal and boring, the Last Lap is sort of like a pseudo-homage to Jacob's Ladder in that Marco was actually dead the whole time. The ending is pretty stale, and the episode overall is entirely forgettable.

  • Hunted on Random Worst Episodes Of 'The Twilight Zone'

    (#20) Hunted

    • November 13, 2002

    IMDb Score: 6.8

    Synopsis: An elite special forces squadron is sent deep into the forces to take care of a wild creature that has been hunting and killing nearby citizens (and soldiers). As the creature starts picking off team members, the team leader is captured, and soon realizes what kind of creature they've really been hunting.

    Why it falls short: While the end twist works on certain levels, this is about as generic of an action story as you can get. Characters say cliched lines like "Stay with me" to a dying man. Plus, you can pretty much see the twist coming from a mile away. 

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About This Tool

The Twilight Zone consists of five seasons of independent dramas aired on CBS from 1959 to 1964. Although it did not produce the classic high standards that people expected, its mysterious and vague atmosphere is still quite attractive. This classic supernatural TV drama has since been remade in many different versions. Although it is an old drama, it is still worth watching for horror fans.

To be honest, The Twilight Zone has a lot of bad episodes due to backward filming technology at the time. The rand tool lists 20 of the worst episodes of the Twilight Zone you could skip.

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