‘Sex and the City’s 5 Most Influential Episodes

by | May 22, 2010 at 9:28 AM | Sex and the City, Special Features

(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Sex and the City‘ is the rare show that still has a place in the cultural zeitgeist years after its run ended.  Because of it, countless women wore signature necklaces and giant flower pins.  It is the reason why sex blogs exist and women from the Midwest fly to Manhattan to spend the weekend drinking cosmos.  It inspired other television shows centered around fashionable female friends, from ‘Desperate Housewives‘ to ‘Gossip Girl‘ to the ‘Real Housewives.’  The first movie was a huge hit that wrapped up all of the series’ loose ends.  The second, which opens May 27th, sends the women traipsing around Abu Dhabi and Dubai to buy so many luxury goods that they singlehandedly solve the region’s economic crisis. Well, not really.  But they’ll probably go skiing indoors, make a few bad puns, drink cocktails and meet sexy men with accents. There will be an least one accessory that will start a trend that even the most cynical will end up buying. Then in the midst of all the wish fulfillment fantasy a character will say something incredibly insightful that will actually resonate and will become a new catch phrase that perfectly encapsulates a social phenomenon.

As frivolous as SATC sometimes seems, it has left a lasting impact.  In honor of Fancast having every single episode of the series (available to Comcast HBO subscribers), we have counted down the SATC episodes that have left the biggest enduring legacy.

#5: Season 1, Episode 2 Models and Mortals

Buzzworthy Moment: In the show’s second episode SATC coins its first phrase.  When Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) learns that her date usually only goes out with models, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) describes him as a modelizer, adding, “They’re obsessed not with women, but with models.”   According to the show modelizers are found throughout New York City thanks, logically enough, to the large numbers of models who live there.  Miranda, Carrie and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) all admit to feeling unattractive in comparison to models.

Lingering Impact: Models have a lot less cachet today then they did when this episode originally aired in 1998.  Fashion magazines are more likely to put celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker on their covers. But the word modelizer has survived, perhaps because there really are so many wealthy men in New York and Los Angeles who really are obsessed with dating models and actresses.  It is used to describe both Leonardo DiCaprio and Investment Bankers.

#4: Season 3,Episode 16: Frenemies

Buzzworthy Moment: Charlotte complains about her lousy sex life to her sorority sisters.  They are disgusted. Carrie narrates, “Charlotte realized how much they’ve all changed since college. Her friends had become frenemies.”

Lasting Impact: The word Frenemy, which according to Wikipedia has been around since the 1950s, becomes a widely used description for someone who acts like a friend on a superficial level but is actually competing or undermining you.  There are numerous articles on recognizing that a friend is actually a frenemy and dealing with frenemies in the workplace.  Strangely, Charlotte’s sorority sisters did not really fit the definition of the word.  They were just old friends who happened to have different values.

Watch the trailer for ‘Sex and the City’ 2:

#3: Episode: Season 1, Episode 9 The Turtle and the Hare

Buzzworthy Moment: This one is literally buzzworthy.  Miranda persuades Charlotte to use a vibrator named The Rabbit.  She quickly becomes addicted.

Lasting Impact: The Rabbit becomes a best seller, to the delight of its manufacturer who surely did not anticipate that the product was something that would ever be referenced on a mainstream television show.  Vibrators become an acceptable topic of conversation for the Oprah crowd.  Late at night, vibrators are sold on home shopping channels.

#2: Episode: Season 4, Episode 7, Time and Punishment

Buzzworthy Moment: Charlotte decides to quit her job and become a full-time homemaker after reuniting with her husband Trey (Kyle MacLaughlin). The other women disapprove.  She tells them, “The women’s movement is supposed to be about choice and if I choose to quit my job, that is my choice.”  Later in the episode, when she finds herself frustrated by everyone’s judgmental attitude, she ends up repeating,”I choose my choice! I choose my choice!”

Lasting Impact: Every single article about women choosing to leave the workforce or whether  to be stay at home mothers can uses the phrase I Choose My Choice in the headline or opening paragraph.  “Choosing my choice” becomes a shorthand for the concept that liberated women can choose to embrace traditional values without giving up their feminist credentials.

#1: Episode: Season 6, Episode 4 Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little

Buzzworthy Moment: Miranda tries to figure out why men send out so many mixed signals. “There’s a lot of push-pull out there, a lot of mixed messages.”   Carrie’s boyfriend Berger (Ron Livingston) utters the immortal words: Yeah, I’d have to say that’s all code for: He’s just not that into you.”   Miranda is liberated and a catchphrase is born despite the fact that Berger’s theory is disproven by the end of the episode when it turns out that Miranda’s date cut their evening short not out of disinterest but because he had diarrhea.

Lasting Impact: The episode spawned a best selling relationship advice book He’s Just Not That Into You which spawned a hit movie. Women vowed never to ask men out again or confront men about their lousy behavior.  Men stopped having actual break up conversations with women, instead just cutting off communication, confident that women will take the hint and spare them an awkward conversation. Greg Behrendt goes from moderately successful comedian to wealthy relationship guru.

COMCAST HBO SUBSCRIBERS WATCH ALL SIX SEASONS OF ‘SEX AND THE CITY’ HERE

What do you think? Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!