The Best Scenes & Moments From 'Euphoria' Season 1

HBO’s ’Euphoria’ season finale was one filled with teen drama & chaos. Before we say bye to season 1, here are the best scenes and moments.


Image via HBO


When some of HBO’s heaviest hitters came to an end this summer, the need for new series to fill in the coveted Sunday night slots left empty by Game of Thrones and Veep was resounding. Luckily, A24’s collaboration with HBO delivered Euphoria—a heavy, drug-fueled teen drama that blows Skins out of the water. Already renewed for a second season, Euphoria quickly became the show that left us on the edge of our seats each week.

Zendaya’s leading role, along with Drake’s involvement as an executive producer, seemed to be enough to sweep up viewers before divulging them in the twisted chaos that is adolescence in the modern age. Lucky for us, the show delivered on drama, suspense, and breakout performances from a slew of rising stars (Hunter Schafer as Jules and Angus Cloud as Fezco were quickly among the most beloved online).

Though anticipation for season two is at an all-time high after the finale, there’s something to be said about the scenes in season one that made our heads spin. Here’s a breakdown of the most memorable moments from HBO’s first season of Euphoria.

Detective Rue

Episode Number: 7
Episode Title: “The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed”

The season’s penultimate episode further unlocked the troubled psyche of just about every leading teen, but Rue’s sleuthing fantasy following an unprecedented Halloween party gave us the show’s best cameo: Detective Rue. While the circumstances surrounding her investigative work (a manic state of Rue’s depression and, potentially, bipolar disorder) weren’t ideal, Rue’s imaginary good cop/bad cop routine with Lexi was another refreshing break from the severity of the show’s content. With tension and conflict waiting around every corner, Detective Rue was a comedic take on the overly dramatic cop trope (exhibited perfectly by the line “I’m Morgan fucking Freeman, and this is the beginning of the third act”) that managed to combine the severity of Nate and Jules’ complicated relationship with a laughable, chain-smoking sequence of obsessively using the f-word. It also provided relief by finally addressing the dishonesty plaguing our favorite characters, and squashed any possibility of the season ending with Rue in the dark about Jules and Nate’s arrangement.

Nate and Maddy’s Halloween Entrance

Episode Number: 6
Episode Title: “The Next Episode”

It may be truly vile at times, but Nate and Maddy’s dysfunctional relationship was one of the most captivating points of Euphoria this season. Nate’s hot-headed, possessive traits and Maddy’s jealous yet loyal tendencies are a match made in Hell, but their series of break-ups and make-ups had a painful air of truth to them, reaching a climax in “The Next Episode.” The Halloween-themed episode came to a head with the couple’s epic public reunion following their abuse scandal that spanned three episodes. After being dragged through the extreme measures Nate and Maddy took to mend their situation, their entrance as a couple into a party where far more important things happened somehow stole the show. The grossly victorious welcome they received may have been frustrating, but it fell perfectly in line with their unrelenting need to uphold their reputation as a high school power couple.

The Girls Riding to “Cocky AF”

Episode Number: 1
Episode Title: “Pilot”

Nothing elevates a good TV show like a good soundtrack—in Euphoria’s case, an absolutely stellar soundtrack. In the first episode alone, Euphoria used songs by Migos, Jamie XX, and even Beyoncé. But the inclusion of “Cocky AF” by the proprietor of Hot Girl Summer herself, Megan Thee Stallion, really showed viewers what they were getting themselves into by watching this show. The context of the scene was of little importance, as Maddy simply drove Kat and BB to McKay’s party, picking up a wandering Rue along the way. But the slow pan around a car full of teenage girls hitting their Juuls and gearing up to party like seasoned college students, supported by Hot Girl Meg’s egotistical bars, was simply chef’s kiss.

Rue’s Revolving Walls/Ceiling Walk

Episode Number: 1 (and others) 
Episode Title: “Pilot” (and others)

After being introduced to Rue, an apathetic teen coping with her return home from a post-OD stint in rehab, Euphoria slowly grew into a show about much more than just partying and navigating high school. In the pilot episode, narrations from Rue herself took viewers by the hand and led them through her first night back in her element, eventually turning her explanations into visuals representing how she feels when she’s getting high. While the spinning cinematography became a visual motif throughout the season, Rue’s brief, drug-induced walk through the hallway was the first real look at her high-risk lifestyle, and also served as the perfect transition into the twisted series of events that kicked off a memorable first season.

Jules’ Hook-Up with Anna/Rue/Nate

Episode Number: 7
Episode Title: “The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed”

Of all the uncertain timelines and moments of trying to decipher reality from fantasy, Jules’ one night stand with a new friend in “The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed” takes the cake as the most symbolic (and confusing) scene in the show. Jules may have been under the influence, but the ever-changing sequence of her hooking up with Anna, Rue, and even Nate seemed too real to be taking place in her head. Though it happens in a psychedelic daze, Nate’s admission of his feelings for Jules aren’t all that far-fetched, and Rue’s appearance in the more intimate moments are a clear projection of their budding relationship. With glittery faces and rave lighting, it’s no surprise that the inside of Jules’ mind looks a lot like her reality; but this fantasy is the only time her emotional struggles are finally laid out before us.

Rue Takes Fentanyl

Episode Number: 2
Episode Title: “Stuntin' Like My Daddy”

One of the most tense moments in the show came in episode two, “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy.” When Rue finds herself bugging Fezco for another I.O.U. at the wrong time, things take a turn for the worse. Rue is force-fed the highly addictive drug fentanyl by Mouse, Fezco’s predatory supplier. There’s a lot to break down about this scene, from the introduction of the villainous Mouse to the intense reality of Fezco and Ashtray’s lives as dealers. But above all, this scene takes a look at Fezco and Rue’s interesting and complex friendship. It’s clear that Fezco cares for Rue from the first episode (he covers her drug costs, asks her about rehab, and even expresses his concern for her), but his willingness to stick his neck out for her when she clearly doesn’t take him seriously proves just how big of a role Fezco plays in Rue’s life. It also leads to a brief rift in their friendship and an emotional scene in the following episode, when Rue desperately bangs on Fezco’s door and screams at him for ruining her life when he refuses to sell to her any longer.

Kat’s Animated One Direction Fan Fiction

Episode Number: 3 
Episode Title: “Made You Look”

The cold open character profiles in each episode tend to act as both a deeper look into the characters, and a jumping point for whatever bullshit is about to go down with these drama-fueled teenagers. However, for Barbie Ferreira’s character Kat in “Made You Look,” the scene that captivated audiences only mildly involved her characterization. However, it did make it abundantly clear that Euphoria was not messing around when it came to originality. Coined as a Tumblr-obsessed preteen, Kat’s defining moment in her adolescence came when she published a sexually explicit fanfic of former members of the boy band One Direction, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson (coupled as “Larry Stylinson”). While it’s no surprise that one of Euphoria’s teens was once a horny, Tumblr-famous author of fan fiction, it is a surprise that the show runners included a two-minute long animation of said fan fiction. It may have been bizarre, but it was also enough to make viewers start buzzing about the show.

McKay’s Halloween Night Hazing

Episode Number: 6
Episode Title: “The Next Episode”

McKay may not be in the middle of the action with Rue, Nate, and Jules, but his presence in the show in undeniably important. As the only college student on the show, McKay is seen dealing with problems different from those of his peers. McKay is categorized as the stereotypical fraternity pledge on more than one occasion. While his role as a “nice guy” is constantly challenged by his sexually charged relationship with Cassie, a moment in “The Next Episode” reveals to us that his need to prove himself surpasses his need to respect the girl he claims to love. When an intimate moment with Cassie is quickly broken up by a group of fraternity brothers barging into his room, McKay lays naked on the floor as they shout and rally over him, while Cassie watches from his bed. When it’s finally over and McKay emerges from the bathroom after recuperating, he swiftly reverts to the physically dominating ways that Cassie warned him against during their first hook-up in the pilot episode. It’s a highly intense scene that’s almost too on-the-nose in commenting on the toxic masculinity that plagues young men, and also seemed to serve as the breaking point for their relationship.

Dick Pic Tutorial

Episode Number: 3
Episode Title: “Made You Look”

Euphoria’s unique take on breaking the fourth wall is portrayed in a variety of ways, from Rue’s occasional direct addressing of the camera to her omniscient voice overs. But none are more memorable than her dick pic tutorial for Jules. Amidst Jules falling for her new internet boyfriend (who is actually Nate Jacobs) and Rue falling for Jules, the few minutes of comedic relief in “Made You Look” are really just an unsettling look at the reality of sexting. Regardless, Rue’s miniature schoolhouse lesson on the differences between “horrifying,” “terrifying,” and “acceptable” solicited dick pics is yet another moment of refreshing honesty that had us rolling, thanks to its sheer accuracy.

Rue’s Relapse

Episode Number: 8
Episode Title: “And Salt the Earth Behind You”

The season finale may not have been a shitstorm of unraveling secrets and lies, but it sure did leave us wanting more. While viewers are no stranger to flashbacks in Euphoria, the last few minutes of “And Salt the Earth Behind You” are among the most breathtaking of the entire season. After saying good-bye to Jules, Rue leads us down her own personal memory lane, where she recollects stealing her dying father’s pain killers, heated arguments with her mom, and goofy moments with her little sister. The episode’s final moments swiftly shift to Rue relapsing in real time, and she subsequently takes us through a stumbling musical number that seems like a celebration (or protest) of her return to drug-use. A gospel choir, a marching band, and her father all make appearances during the ambiguous closing act, which ends with Rue falling from the peak of a tower of people, quickly sparking theories about Rue’s ultimate fate.

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