Like zodiac signs and preferred ice cream flavors, your favorite season of American Horror Story says a lot about you. While outsiders might lean towards the freaky offerings of Season 4, the more elegant among us may veer towards the sophisticated trappings of Hotel. The less said about those who favor the gore of Roanoke, the better.
However, despite the unique nature of each season, there are still some elements that can be drawn upon to help us definitively rank each chapter of American Horror Story in an objective and scientific — Wait, who are we kidding? Here's how we would rank every season of American Horror Story to date. Don't like it?
Whichever way you look at it, Jessica Lange's departure from American Horror Story was a huge blow for the series. Lady Gaga excelled in her own way, even winning a Golden Globe in the process, but something about Hotel felt more tired than usual, recycling many of the tropes that we'd come to know and love from previous seasons.
While there were plenty of amazing and grotesque ideas thrown into the mix, including the Drilldo, Hypodermic Sally and every scene that starred Denis O'Hare's Liz Taylor, the season as a whole became somewhat muddled. Hotel could have easily benefitted from a shorter run, lending the season some much needed focus.
Best Moment: The vampire story line didn't always work as a whole, but when the demonic children turned on their classmates, the show tapped into some seriously disturbing fears in a way that remained quintessentially American Horror Story.
5. Freak Show
Out of every season of American Horror Story that's aired so far, few started out as strongly as Freak Show. From Sarah Paulson's remarkable dual role, to Jessica Lange's magnificent swan song performance as Elsa Mars, each individual component promised one of the strongest seasons yet.
However, the pacing of Freak Show as a whole faltered somewhat around the halfway mark and the season never truly recovered. Despite that though, the fourth season of American Horror Story will always hold a special place in our hearts for giving us some of the shows best villains to date, including Edward Mordrake, Twisty the Clown and the freakishly attractive Dandy Mott.
Best Moment: While Lange's performance of 'Gods and Monsters' was certainly a highlight and we're still struggling to get Dandy's workout montage out of our heads, the scene where Esmeralda dreamed of drowning Ma Petite in formaldehyde was a genuine hands-over-your-eyes moment that few shows can match.
Ryan Murphy promised that he would shake things up with Season 6, and boy did he deliver, throwing audiences off track with a mysterious marketing campaign before diving headfirst into layer upon layer of meta-storytelling.
Even fans who weren't necessarily on board with Roanoke's documentary approach couldn't help but commend the show's graphic return to horror. Need more disembowelment in your life? The Butcher's got you covered. What about some good old-fashioned cannibalism? The Polks are all over it, hillbilly style.
Best Moment: Objectively, the best moment is probably when Shelby took inspiration from The Walking Dead and bashed her husband's skull. Yet, despite the show's return to its gory roots, Cricket Marlowe's real life actor stole the whole season with his screams of "Croatoan" — right before the Piggy Man sliced him in two.
- 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' — Here's How The Season 6 Finale Sets Up Season 7 & Future Crossovers
3. Murder House
Murder House set the standard that all other seasons of American Horror Story are judged by. The first season took audiences completely by surprise with a terrifying show... from the team behind Glee!?
Every single member of the Harmon family had their own standout moments in one of the show's creepiest seasons to date, but the true stars were Jessica Lange and Evan Peters, who stole every scene as the manipulative Constance Langdon and disturbingly sympathetic Tate Langdon.
Oh, and who could forget the kinky Rubber Man, who was the first to bring sexy yet harrowing violence into the world of American Horror Story?
Best Moment: The Sixth Sense-style finale shouldn't have worked, but somehow, the team behind Murder House still took us by surprise when Taissa Farmiga's character realised her true fate.
Camp, messy and yet entertaining AF, American Horror Story took the extreme nature of the show to a whole new level with Coven, replacing the graphic horror of earlier seasons with a sense of underlying terror and larger-than-life story arcs.
Sure, the plot as a whole was all over the place, but more than any other season, Coven brought us the most memorable characters seen yet on the show. Choosing a favorite among the likes of Fiona Goode, Marie Laveau and Madame Delphine is the real Sophie's choice for diehard fans, and the only thing that holds Coven from the number one spot is the rushed finale.
Best Moment: Gabourey Sidibe's human voodoo doll deserves a special mention for basically every scene she's in, but the one standout moment from Season 3 is Myrtle Snow's final death by fire. Imagine if Vivienne Westwood was burned at the stake in all her sartorial glory, and you have some idea of how insanely memorable Snow's demise really was.
Aliens aside, Asylum is the ultimate season of American Horror Story. While we don't have anything against our extraterrestrial friends, Season 2's kitchen sink approach left a lot to be desired, yet this is still the closest to perfection that the show has ever reached.
Other seasons contain memorable moments of horror, but Asylum is the one that stays with you longest, intercutting a suffocating sense of dread with genuinely disturbing moments of hopelessness. From Bloodyface's inventive torture to Sister Mary Eunice's fall into darkness, Asylum truly put the horror in American Horror Story.
Best Moment: Amongst all of the aliens, serial killers, Nazi doctors and demonic possessions, Asylum's descent into musical madness is clearly the best moment from any season and arguably any other show that's aired this millennium. Just ask Lana Banana.
Check out the Roanoke version of the Name Game below:
- 18 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About 'American Horror Story: Roanoke'
- 'American Horror Story' Cast: The Evolution Of Every Recurring Actor & Their Best Role To Date
- 'American Horror Story' Season 6 Easter Eggs: Every Classic Horror Movie Reference In ‘Roanoke'
Now that Roanoke has reinvigorated the series with its inventive approach to story telling, the future of American Horror Story has never looked more disturbingly bright. Place your bets now on where the upcoming Murder House/Coven crossover will rank among your all time favorites.