Another year of Saturday Night Live has come and gone. We’ve celebrated holidays, strange news stories, and stranger politicians with the comedic troupe and their guests, and we have to say that all things considered, this year was, well, not so bad. There were even some real gems among the normal hurried junk that fans have been complaining about for years. In an effort to save you the hassle of wading through all those episodes for the good stuff, or in case you rabid fans missed any of the action, we’ve compiled a list of the skits that we consider required viewing from the past year. Click through to watch our favorites, let us know if we missed any of yours in the comments, and get ready to start the countdown all over again with the Daniel Radcliffe/Lana Del Rey combo on January 14.
10. “Ornaments,” December 3
This skit is so fully weird and beyond that it is incredible. Possibly the best use of a host’s talents all season, and we love it. Not just a little bit. All the way.
9. “The Bride of Blackenstein,” January 29
This skit was by far the best use of a musical guest’s um, natural assets, this year — not that we wouldn’t have predicted it. Nicki Minaj’s personality is big and ridiculous enough to upstage everyone else on screen. Nervous-as-ever Jesse Eisenberg as the hunchback assistant only sets off the hilarity.
8. “Digital Short: Captain Jack Sparrow,” May 7
It’s no accident that this was one of the most watched YouTube videos of the year — even though Lonely Island seems kind of upset about it, this is a song we’d listen to only semi-ironically.
7. “J Pop America Fun Time Now,” October 15
Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer’s chemistry kills, “fine line between homage and racism” or no, and Anna Faris was basically made for this part. Certainly she is the most Japanese.
6. “British Movie,” February 12
Yes, this is basically a Russell Brand vehicle, and kind apropos of nothing (recent) in terms of cultural criticism, but it’s also one of those rare SNL skits that has every American ever sitting up in their chair screaming “Yes!” Plus, it’s hilarious.
5. “Someone Like You,” November 12
Everyone with a heart and an iTunes account loves this skit.
4. “Really?! With Seth and Kermit,” November 19
One of our favorites from the all-around great Jason Segel episode, we think Kermit’s Really?! reactions might even best Amy Poehler’s.
3. “Digital Short: 3-Way (The Golden Rule),” May 21
The third installment of the Justin Timberlake/Andy Samberg ’90s bro love series is almost as amazing as the previous two, which is saying something. Plus, for some reason, a threesome between Lady Gaga, JT, and Andy Samberg is something we don’t mind picturing. Imagine that.
2. “Digital Short: The Creep,” January 29
We’re suckers for anything John Waters-related, it’s true, and a Nicki Minaj cameo has only ever made things better. But the proof is in the pudding: although this Digital Short dropped way early in the year, the song is still stuck in our heads.
1. “Arlene and Jim,” October 1
Man, Melissa McCarthy just does not quit. She sold this skit from beginning to end, and all our initial cringes turned to hysterical laughter.