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 /

6. "Tea Amidst Terrible Trouble" - Volume 9, episode 8

"Tea Amidst Terrible Trouble" stands out as one of the most memorable and emotionally charged episodes in RWBY, displaying a deep dive into Ruby's psyche and the complexities of her character. From the very start, we're thrown into Ruby's turbulent emotional state as she runs away from Jaune's village, struggling with her perceived failures.

The episode masterfully portrays her solitude and internal struggle, making viewers feel every ounce of her despair in a way that feels entirely too familiar for some. The encounter in the Abandoned Acre's mysterious mansion is a stroke of creative brilliance, blurring the lines between reality and illusion. The surreal experience with the paintings, including the appearance of Torchwick, who died in the third volume, and the familiar faces of more characters who have already met their fate, is both really awesome and pretty unsettling. With Neo using these illusions to confront Ruby with her deepest fears and regrets, her struggles turn into a psychological battlefield that challenges her beliefs and sense of self.

What truly elevates this episode to one of the series' best is its intense emotional climax. The fight scene with Neo's clones is not just a physical battle but a reflection of Ruby's inner struggles. Each clone, representing her friends and foes, accusingly questions her decisions and the consequences of her actions, pushing Ruby to her emotional limits.

It was a little rough to watch, if I may be honest. Remembering that Ruby is the youngest out of her team at the mere age of 15, I don't think I could deal with what she does at that age. This raw confrontation leads to a powerful moment of vulnerability, where Ruby reveals her deeply rooted doubts and fears. The episode's ending is a masterclass in storytelling, leaving us on the edge of our seats. Ruby's tragic choice to drink the tea, followed by the ground swallowing her, Little, and Crescent Rose, symbolizes her surrender to despair, something some of us can relate to a bit more than others. This moment, combined with the shocking twist of Neo's emptiness after achieving her goal, adds layers of complexity to the narrative.

TL;DR - "Tea Amidst Terrible Trouble" is not just an episode - it's an emotional journey that beautifully explores the themes of self-doubt, the weight of responsibility, and the struggle to find one's purpose, making it one of the best episodes in the RWBY series.