TAL Favorite Episodes

TAL Favorite Episodes

Source: TAL Reddit



  • Act 3 is responsible for my first “openly sobbing in public” moment after ~300 episodes, but I found the whole episode to be so characteristically This American Life, with that delightful balance of charming and mundane.


  • I really think this is my favorite episode. It's just a snapshot of people's live. Interesting people in an interesting place. Lots of small stories. It's also a great example of the podcast living up to its name.


  • Perfectly captures the feelings following 9/11 and that woman’s story is absolutely captivating.
  • I accidentally listened to this on my way to work one day and was in near tears with goosebumps the whole way.



  • It made me cry.


  • Has always been one of my favorites. It’s definitely a lighter episode but it does such a great job portraying college life in a college town.



  • Specifically the act relating to Ira being interviewed about his dog Piney. It’s rare we hear Ira talk in detail about his life on the show & I was FASCINATED by his weird dog, and how much he cares for it.
  • When the host talked about the dogs being disposed after being used in war, I almost couldn't hold my tears.
  • Animal Sacrifice was a good episode. It made me feel genuinely bad for Ira. I could never go through owning a dog like that.




  • An entire “true crime” kind of feeling show, about the NEW Dr Gilmer in town... no relation to the OLD beloved Dr Gilmer who is in prison. Very interesting.


  • Act 2 and Act 3 relating to the story of how a young Bosnian refugee BELIEVES he succeeded in life because of one teacher and one pivotal essay he wrote. But is he remembering the story correctly?


  • It’s always on everyone’s favorites list. The Peter Pan play had me near crying laughing, and that poor Squirrel Cop...


  • If you haven’t listened to this one, the inner workings of a car dealership trying to meet their monthly quota is a very good episode.


  • I found this one really eye-opening.


  • I sat in my car for an extra 20 minutes when I was home from work because I couldn’t even pause it to walk inside.


  • So happy it was just re-played as “The Farewell” came out!!


  • The LL Bean return policy story was the most enjoyable I've listened to, and the other stories are good too. Just my personal favorite, and the first one I think of when I try to remember an entertaining episode.


  • This might sound dramatic, but this is one of the most saddening things I've ever heard, read, or seen. I couldn't listen to it at work.
  • I actually think this is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read, watched, or listened to. After listening I couldn’t stop thinking about it.