10 best RWBY episodes, ranked from good to greatest

Nine volumes, 116 episodes, and a whole lot of beloved (and hated) characters. How can I possibly decide on just 10 episodes? Let's take a look at which ones made the cut.
RWBY - ©2024 Rooster Teeth
RWBY - ©2024 Rooster Teeth /
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RWBY - ©2024 Rooster Teeth /

1. "The Final Word" - Volume 8, episode 14

"The Final Word" is, in my honest opinion, the best episode in the entire RWBY series. This episode is filled with raw emotions and impressive action, featuring an intense showdown between two of the most captivating characters: Penny and Cinder.

Penny, the sweet and innocent robot-turned-human we all love so much, the girl with a heart of gold, is at a crucial turning point in her journey. At this point, she's no longer a robot but also not just a girl: she's a hero with feelings, torn between her duties and her friendships. Her struggle throughout the series culminates in this episode, making every moment with her feel so raw and real. It's like watching a friend face their toughest challenge yet and not being able to do anything about it.

Then there's Jaune, the whiny underdog turned still-somewhat-whiny leader, whose development throughout RWBY has been nothing short of remarkable. In "The Final Word," Jaune shines like never before. He's no longer the clumsy, unsure boy we first met - he's a true hero, making tough decisions and standing up to Cinder, one of the series' most powerful and stubbornly relatable villains. Speaking of Cinder, she's the perfect antagonist in this episode – powerful, cunning, and ruthless. The clash between her and Penny is not just a battle of strength - it's a battle of ideals and character.

The impact of Penny's death in this episode is a pivotal moment, not just for the RWBY series, but especially for Jaune. This event adds a profound layer of emotional depth to the episode. Penny, with her innocent charm and fierce loyalty, had become more than just a teammate to Jaune: she was a symbol of hope and purity in a world filled with darkness and conflict. Her death is truly painful, a moment that leaves us with a mix of shock and sadness. For Jaune, it's a devastating blow. This is not just the loss of a friend, it's a harsh reminder of the brutal realities of their world and the weight of the responsibilities they bear at such young ages. Again, these are KIDS.

Jaune's mental health takes a significant hit following this tragedy. He's always been the kind of character who puts others before himself, often masking his own pain to support his friends. But Penny's death cracks that facade. Viewers see a more vulnerable side of Jaune from this point on, especially in volume 9, one that grapples with guilt, grief, and the heavy burden of leadership.

It's a stark reminder that heroes, no matter how brave or strong, are also human. They feel, they hurt, and they struggle. This added dimension to Jaune's character making him more relatable and endearing to the audience. It's a testament to the series' ability to blend action and emotion, making "The Final Word" not just an episode of epic battles, but one of profound human experiences and growth.

Next. All 9 RWBY volumes ranked from worst to best. All 9 RWBY volumes ranked from worst to best. dark