Every show has its ups and downs when it comes to how well certain episodes will be received, and the slice of life high-school comedy/romance anime Toradora! is certainly no different. As most school-life shows tend to be, the beginning is rather slow-paced and uneventful when compared to the second half of the show—though that’s not to say that the first few entries are weak episodes by any means—but, as relationships develop further and we spend more time with the main cast, that’s when things really get interesting.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at what IMDb claims to be the top 10 episodes of Toradora!.
10 The Palmtop Tiger Of Happiness (Episode 14): 8.1 / 10
In the fourteenth episode of the series, a rumor spreads around campus that touching the Palmtop Tiger—our heroine, Taiga—will grant someone happiness. Of course, this is a completely unfounded theory, but one that spreads rather fast throughout the school, and even those who have no belief in it whatsoever, such as Ami, still discuss it and try it just to see if anything will indeed happen.
Ami also gets one of her first bits of development here, as she’s praised for being ‘mature’ all day, but she later gets called childish by Ryuuji, which intrigues her.
9 Forever Like This (Episode 20): 8.1 / 10
In Episode 20, Taiga begins to push Ryuuji away, once again eating her own convenience store meals instead of going over to his house so Minori can’t get the wrong idea about them. Taiga still hasn’t realized her own feelings for him yet and is still doing her best to try to help the two end up together. It’s also announced in this episode that the class’ field trip to Okinawa will now be a ski trip instead, as the hotel they planned to stay at had burned down.
Minori also talks to Ryuuji in this episode about how he’s helped Taiga to become a better person and take care of herself more, which is incredibly sweet.
8 Cultural Festival Part 3 (Episode 13): 8.3 / 10
The end of the Cultural Festival arc is both an incredibly heart-wrenching and heart-warming episode. Just as Taiga goes on-stage to perform her part in the beauty pageant, Ryuuji gets a text informing him that her father had blown off the event and was also going back on his promise to live with Taiga. The lack of his presence breaks her heart, but she still wins the contest. Then the male students had to compete as to who would get to dance with her, which Minori enters, as well.
Her and Ryuuji compete to be at Taiga’s side to be able to comfort her, which turns what would otherwise simply be a tragic episode into something slightly softer.
7 The Scene With You (Episode 22): 8.3 / 10
Following the events of the ski trip, Taiga is staying with her mother and doesn’t show up at school for a while. Ryuuji asks Yusaku to play along and pretend as if he’s the one that really saved Taiga, as that’s what she believes happened, and he doesn’t want her to find out it was really a lie and that Ryuuji heard Taiga confess that she hates that she can’t stop loving him. Ryuuji also struggles with the thought of higher education because of costs, but his mother tells him she wants him to pursue it, anyway.
Taiga also admits to Ryuuji that she believes everything that happened at the ski resort, apart from being saved by Yusaku, was a dream.
6 One Step Forward (Episode 16): 8.4 / 10
Taiga pretends like she’s interested in running for Student Council President and starts a campaign with the help of Ryuuji, which is all a scheme to get Yusaku to end up running, which is successful. Yusaku confesses to the current President and is coldly rejected, but we find out later after a fight between the President and Taiga that she only did so because she knew he would throw everything away for her if she were to accept his feelings.
While he is still heartbroken, he overhears this and says he’s glad he fell in love with her. Overall, it’s just a great episode.
5 The Road That We Must Advance On (Episode 23): 8.7 / 10
Tensions and emotions truly start running high in the twenty-third episode. Yasuko collapses due to anemia while working, and Ryuuji and Taiga decide to cover her shift, and Ami helps boost sales due to her model status. Later on, Minori discovers that Taiga was lied to about who saved her during the ski trip and confronts her to face her true feelings. Taiga replies by saying that she just wanted Minori to be happy, who rejects this, in turn, saying her happiness is something that can only be decided by herself. Taiga runs off, and, asking Ryuuji to come along, Minori chases after her.
4 Christmas Eve Festival (Episode 19): 8.8 / 10
In Episode 20, Taiga gives Ryuuji a suit that belonged to her father to wear at the Christmas Party. There, Ami and Taiga perform a song together, after which Taiga heads home in order to wait for Santa, but not before stopping at Minori’s house and convincing her to go to the party. Ryuuji, not wanting Taiga to be alone, shows up at her house in a Bear Santa outfit, and the two spend a bit of time together before she convinces him to go back to the party to see Minori.
Afterward, though, she starts crying uncontrollably at the thought of the two together, as it meant she couldn’t be with him, and runs outside screaming for Ryuuji, who is already gone. Minori, having witnessed this, rejects Ryuuji after so as to not break her best friend’s heart further.
3 Toradora! (Episode 25): 8.8 / 10
The eponymous final episode of the series ranks third on the list. Yasuko makes up with her own parents and tells Ryuuji that his father left while she was pregnant, leading Ryuuji and Taiga to decide that they want to get married with everyone’s approval rather than running away to do so. They have a rehearsed wedding where they share their first kisses, after which Taiga hears exasperated voicemails from her mother and decides to stop running away from her problems and return home to her.
She appears again over a year later at their high school graduation ceremony where Ryuuji confesses to Taiga again, which causes her to become flustered and headbutt him.
2 No Matter What (Episode 21): 8.9 / 10
The number-two spot belongs to the twenty-first episode of the series, which takes place during Taiga’s class’ ski trip. Ryuuji finally admits to someone besides Taiga that he has a crush on Minori when some of the other boys in his class prod him to do so. After Ami prods Minori about rejecting Ryuuji, and Taiga and Minori accidentally run over Ami with their sled the following day, the two end up in a physical fight. Minori loses her hairpin, and Taiga goes to retrieve it but falls down the slope without the others noticing.
Ryuuji goes out to find her, and, while he’s carrying a near-unconscious Taiga back to the lodge, thinking that he’s Yusaku, she apologizes and confesses that she hates that she can’t stop loving Ryuuji.
1 Confession (Episode 24): 8.9 / 10
The episode right before the finale manages to snag the number-one spot. Minori confesses that she’s always loved Ryuuji, but held back because of her familial love for Taiga, and desire for Taiga to find her own happiness. She then asks Ryuuji if he’s ended up falling in love with Taiga, to which he says yes. Taiga and Ryuuji run away after being confronted by their mothers and say that they’re going to run away to get married.
After finally returning home, they find that Yasuko has gone off somewhere, and the two go after her. Taiga states that she wants to be a three-person family with her, and they decide not to run away and instead seek approval for their marriage, instead.
While fans of this slice-of-life anime would argue that every episode is great, we're here to rank them all according to their IMDb scores.