The Worst Episodes of Bones: When Temperance Brennan Couldn’t Crack the Case

As a die-hard fan of Bones, I can confidently say that this show has some of the most gripping murder mysteries and intriguing character arcs on TV. But let’s be real, even the best shows have their off days. And boy, does Bones have some episodes that are downright cringe-worthy. From painfully awkward subplots to nonsensical storylines, I’ve compiled a list of the worst episodes that’ll make you want to throw your remote at the screen. So, grab some popcorn and get ready to cringe along with me as we dive into the worst of Bones.
The Carrot in the Kudzu

The Carrot in the Kudzu

Season 9 – Episode 18

Air Date: 2014-03-24

When an actor known for playing a popular character on a kids’ TV show is murdered, unexpected suspects are discovered; Brennan and Booth plan a party for Christine’s birthday; Clark asks for opinions on his novel.

The Dentist in the Ditch

The Dentist in the Ditch

Season 5 – Episode 13

Air Date: 2010-01-28

When a human skeleton is discovered in the trenches of an old Civil War battleground, Brennan and Booth are called to the case. Despite the historical location, Brennan quickly identifies the bones as belonging to Dan Pinard, a present-day local dentist. While Booth investigates suspects, including the victim’s former boyfriend, Hodgins and lab intern Vincent Nigel-Murray work doggedly to clean the bones of a stubborn clay residue which is preventing the team from determining a cause of death. Meanwhile, Booth’s brother, Jared, returns from his travels with some suprising news.

The Ghost in the Machine

The Ghost in the Machine

Season 8 – Episode 9

Air Date: 2012-12-03

A psychic joins the investigation of a death of a little boy whose soul is believed to be still alive, prompting the team members to reflect on their beliefs of life after death.

High Treason in the Holiday Season

High Treason in the Holiday Season

Season 11 – Episode 8

Air Date: 2015-11-19

The team investigates the high-stakes murder of a political journalist who was found dead after recently publishing an article exposing corruption in the NSA. Due to the nature of the investigation, Hodgins’ paranoia takes over as the team realizes their every move is being watched. Meanwhile, Brennan secretly tries to plan a surprise for Booth and the whole team celebrates Thanksgiving together.

The Witch in the Wardrobe

The Witch in the Wardrobe

Season 5 – Episode 20

Air Date: 2010-05-06

A cabin burns down in the woods revealing two bodies, one of a modern-day witch and one from the days of the Salem Witch Trials leading Booth and Brennan into the world of Wicca to find a killer. Meanwhile, when Hodgins’ reckless driving gets him and Angela arrested and thrown in jail, Sweets and intern Clark Edison step into unfamiliar territory to help out the team

The Repo Man in the Septic Tank

The Repo Man in the Septic Tank

Season 9 – Episode 17

Air Date: 2014-03-17

When the remains of a repo man are found in a septic tank, the team learns he had a troubled past; a forensic anthropologist (Ignacio Serricchio) who has defected from Cuba needs an internship.

The Radioactive Panthers in the Party

The Radioactive Panthers in the Party

Season 12 – Episode 10

Air Date: 2017-03-14

When the burning, bruised body of an aspiring writer/director crash-lands onto a passing car, the team investigates a series of odd locations and characters that are connected to his film. Meanwhile, Bones seeks guidance from Dr. Mayer on the meaning of passion in the work place and Booth allows Aubrey to take the reins on their current case.

The Plain in the Prodigy

The Plain in the Prodigy

Season 5 – Episode 3

Air Date: 2009-10-01

When human remains are found alongside the railroad, Brennan and Booth are called to the case. The bones belong to Levi Yoder, a member of the Amish community who disappeared two months ago, during his Rumspringa, or exploration of the outside world. Brennan and Booth discover that Levi was a piano prodigy, and their investigation leads them to believe that his extraordinary talent may have lead him to an untimely death. Meanwhile, Cam copes with the stress that comes from being a new parent.

The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle

The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle

Season 5 – Episode 19

Air Date: 2010-04-29

Booth and Brennan investigate a death at a rock-n-roll fantasy camp where the murder weapon is a Gibson ‘57 Les Paul “Black Beauty.”

The Truth in the Myth

The Truth in the Myth

Season 6 – Episode 18

Air Date: 2011-04-14

The remains of a mythbuster television show host are found in the wilderness appearing to have been killed by the mythic Chupacabra, a reptile-mammal hybrid creature whose existence has not been confirmed. The team soon learns that the victim traveled to the remote West Virginian area to debunk the Chupacabra myth, and they interrogate possible suspects, including a rival wilderness-channel host/cryptozoologist/pet psychic. But when a tape is recovered at the crime scene and peculiar tooth marks are found in the victim’s remains, the team learns details about the victim’s demise that challenge the original theories surrounding his death. Meanwhile, recovering alcoholic squint Vincent Nigel-Murray makes amends with each member of the team and makes some surprising confessions.

The Secret in the Siege

The Secret in the Siege

Season 8 – Episode 24

Air Date: 2013-04-29

When evil tech genius Christopher Pelant returns to toy with the Jeffersonian team in their newest investigation, they discover that the string of murders that have been occurring are tied to FBI agents close to Booth. Meanwhile, as the investigation unfolds, Sweets realizes that the evidence seems all too familiar to him and Brennan starts evaluating her relationship with Booth when signs begin to point to him as a potential target of Pelant’s.

The Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

The Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Season 5 – Episode 4

Air Date: 2009-10-08

Brennan and Booth investigate human remains found at a neighborhood block party. Suburban politics and secret scandals give each neighbor in the cul-de-sac a motive, leaving Brennan, Booth and Sweets to sift through the drama to find their suspect. Meanwhile, Jeffersonian intern Arastoo comes clean about his background, and Booth’s son attempts to find Booth a girlfriend.

The 200th in the 10th

The 200th in the 10th

Season 10 – Episode 10

Air Date: 2014-12-11

Paying homage to Alfred Hitchcock in an episode that reimagines the Jeffersonian and FBI teams in 1950s Hollywood. Brennan plays an LAPD detective who’s battling sexism on the force, and Booth is a notorious jewel thief who is far more than he seems to be. When Booth is framed for the murder of a rich socialite, he and Brennan team up to clear his name and find the true identity of the murderer.

The Sin in the Sisterhood

The Sin in the Sisterhood

Season 6 – Episode 12

Air Date: 2011-02-03

A body disguised as a scarecrow is found with a bullet wound in a remote cornfield, and the team is forced to work against the clock to avoid a storm and potential complications that would affect the evidence. Booth and Brennan interrogate the victim’s three wives, who are also sisters, and learn that jealousy between the sisters and their desire for their husband’s attention had caused a major rift in the family. Booth and Brennan also question one relative who disapproved of the victim’s polygamy. Meanwhile, Cam loses confidence in her relationship with her on-call doctor boyfriend, but they both realize they need to make their relationship a priority.

The Man in the S.U.V.

The Man in the S.U.V.

Season 1 – Episode 2

Air Date: 2005-09-20

When a man is killed driving an SUV registered to a Middle Eastern man, Dr. Brennan and her team find themselves tracking a terrorist.

The Skull in the Sculpture

The Skull in the Sculpture

Season 4 – Episode 8

Air Date: 2008-11-05

When the smashed remains of a well known artist are found in an impounded junkyard car, Booth and Brennan are on the case to find out if foul play is to blame for his death. With suspects ranging from the artist’s rival to his own assistant, the team must race against the clock to find evidence of murder before the car is relinquished and put on exhibit as the sculptor’s ultimate display of self-sacrifice for the sake of his art.

The Body and the Bounty

The Body and the Bounty

Season 6 – Episode 4

Air Date: 2010-10-14

After a skull and decomposing hands are found in a dumpster, the team must not only solve the crime but also search for the rest of the victim’s remains. Identified as Ray Raminsky, the victim turns out to be a bounty hunter in search of Charles Braverman, a man indicted for the murder of a co-worker. Meanwhile, Brennan is asked by Professor Bunsen Jude “The Science Dude” (guest star Grier) if he can shoot an episode of his children’s show from The Jeffersonian Lab with Brennan as his special guest. Brennan initially turns him down, but is surprised when he makes her a deal she can’t refuse, so she takes him on as a new “squintern.” As the team pieces together the details of the crime, they discover that they are not alone in the hunt for Braverman and find themselves in a chase with an unexpected suspect.

The Purging of the Pundit

The Purging of the Pundit

Season 10 – Episode 3

Air Date: 2014-10-09

The remains of a right-wing radio host are found in a storm drain, and the investigation reveals some surprising extracurricular activities that narrows the search for suspects. Meanwhile, Agent Aubrey tries to get Booth to trust him, and Brennan worries about her husband’s state of mind.

The Bump in the Road

The Bump in the Road

Season 7 – Episode 8

Air Date: 2012-04-09

With the help of Special Agent Genny Shaw, the Jeffersonian team identifies the remains of a discount shopper and “extreme couponer” who was dragged along the road by an 18-wheeler. Meanwhile, Brennan is adjusting to her first day back at work after giving birth, and Cam disapproves of her daughter’s romance with intern Finn Abernathy.

The Hot Dog in the Competition

The Hot Dog in the Competition

Season 7 – Episode 2

Air Date: 2011-11-10

A competitive eating champion’s body is found shortly before the next major competition. Following a disagreement over the baby, Booth and Brennan attempt a little role-playing. Back at the lab, Brennan’s new assistant seems a mismatch, despite his genius.