MTV’s Teen Wolf is loosely based on the 1985 film starring Michael J. Fox, but with a considerably darker twist toward the supernatural world. While every season of the series does still have plenty of humor, they each get progressively darker as the show deals with more than just physical enemies.
Fear and acceptance become major themes in Teen Wolf. In fact, in some of the best seasons of Teen Wolf, according to Internet Movie Database ratings, those themes are some of the most prevalent. Of course, fans might not consider any season of Teen Wolf a “bad” season since its lowest average rating is an 8.3 out of 10. That’s entirely respectable.
Updated on September 12th, 2021 by Amanda Bruce: With databases like IMDb allowing fans to rate new episodes of shows perpetually, ratings for properties that have been off the air for years, like Teen Wolf, can remain in flux. It also doesn’t allow for the rating of an entire season, so each season’s rating is the average of the individually rated episodes for that particular season.
The rankings also reflect the way MTV originally aired Teen Wolf. Though there are only six seasons of the show, there are nine batches of episodes. MTV split the longer seasons into two distinct sessions to air them, even releasing them on DVD in the same format, creating the illusion that there were nine seasons instead. The Teen Wolf seasons, ranked, paint a clear picture of what fans love about the show.
9 Season 6b (2017) – 8.3
● Season 6b of Teen Wolf has 10 episodes
The final season is enjoyable and exciting, but it certainly isn’t fans’ favorite. With a decent rating of 8.3 out of 10, it comes in as the lowest-rated season, probably because a few of the original characters–including Stiles–are missing. This season kicks off with the final semester of Scott’s senior year.
Stiles is mostly away at an FBI internship program, but he does make a few appearances throughout the season. He’s not the only returning character; Gerard Argent makes a comeback too, this time with an evil apprentice who happens to be the school’s new guidance counselor. With inside information on Scott McCall and his pack, she finds ways to get through their weak spots.
8 Season 1 (2011) – 8.4
● Season 1 of Teen Wolf has 12 episodes
The show’s first season premiered in 2011 and soon became a hit, but it likely doesn’t rank as high as other seasons because it includes a lot of setup for the series. It introduced the premise of Scott trying to find ways to fit in and failing. When he becomes a werewolf, he finds that it both helps and hinders this desire.
Throughout the season, Scott and Stiles discover that Peter Hale is the Alpha threatening to kill everyone if Scott doesn’t join his pack. Lydia is one of the victims of his attacks, but she survives. While Stiles is geeking out over the supernatural, Scott isn’t too happy when it ruins his chances with Allison, who happens to be the daughter of werewolf hunters. A lot of moving pieces are put into place in the season, like Lydia being different, and Jackson wanting the bite, that pay off later in the series. Fans start to get to know the characters here, but they don’t get into the meat of the story just yet.
7 Season 5b (2016) – 8.6
● Season 5b of Teen Wolf has 10 episodes
Season 5b is a true continuation of the first half of the season. Theo continues expanding his pack of chimeras, and now he wants to come for Scott’s pack. He gets into Scott and Stiles’ heads, and it seems that Scott’s pack is dissolving. It’s the first time in the show that fans really thought Scott might lose his pack, which created some great tension for the season.
Chris learns about the Beast of Gévaudan (enter Crystal Reed as Marie-Jeanne Valet), who, in the present day, inhabits Mason. Meanwhile, Kira and her mother travel to Mexico to meet the Skinwalkers, but unfortunately, this story fizzles out and Kira doesn’t return to the show. While fans loved seeing Crystal Reed back in a new role, plenty of them were also disappointed with how many characters seem to just vanish as a result of dropped storylines, which might be a good explanation for it ranking below other seasons despite its interesting premise of creating new supernatural creatures.
6 Season 2 (2012) – 8.7
● Season 2 of Teen Wolf has 12 episodes
Scott and Allison can’t stay away from each other in Season 2, so they continue their relationship in secret until her parents discover them. After her mother is bitten and dies, Gerard manipulates Allison until she turns vengeful, but the one person she can never harm is Scott. This season also introduces new Beta werewolves for Derek, along with a new supernatural creature: the kanima. Scott’s mother also learns of the supernatural world when she sees Scott transform before her eyes.
There’s a lot going on in Season 2, but it works. Scott and Allison having a wrench thrown into their relationship elevated the drama outside of just the supernatural world. Lydia being the one to talk Jackson through his kanima issues to become a werewolf allowed the audience to see her as more than a mean girl. All of the main characters got their chance to shine. Ending the season with the cliffhanger of new werewolves Erica and Boyd running away only made fans more interested in tuning in for the next season as well.
5 Season 4 (2014) – 8.7
● Season 4 of Teen Wolf has 12 episodes
Season 4 takes viewers on a totally new adventure in a new setting: Mexico. (At least for a few episodes.) After Allison’s death, the Argents leave Beacon Hills, which means a new family of hunters gets a brief introduction, though the group ends up with an even larger problem when Kate Argent turns out to be a werejaguar and the mysterious Benefactor starts paying out for the assassinations of supernatural creatures.
The season also explores Derek’s past, Kira becomes part of Scott’s pack, and Lydia and Stiles help Malia integrate into human society. Scott, on the other hand, is learning how to take care of Liam, his first beta. Season 4 is really the season of backstory for viewers. So much more is learned about Derek and Lydia especially. It starts to flesh out some of the gaps left in the storytelling in earlier seasons. It also brings back some of the comedy missing from the third season with Liam added to the mix, which is a nice reprieve from the darkness of the show that fans responded well to.
4 Season 5a (2015) – 8.7
● Season 5a of Teen Wolf has 10 episodes
Season 5 kicks off with Lydia showing off her newfound fighting skills in Eichen House. She’s afraid her friends are all going to die, and it becomes clear that this is a flash-forward. In the present, Theo arrives in Beacon Hills, dragging the Dread Doctors along with him.
The best aspects of this season are the more emotional ones. Malia starts delving into her past and begins learning about her real mother, the Desert Wolf. Theo also drives a wedge between Scott and Stiles after Stiles accidentally kills a chimera. Their friendship is the foundation of the show, so the cracks in it being exposed is a highlight of the season. Any time the show uses the supernatural to highlight the natural drama works very well.
3 Season 3a (2013) – 8.9
● Season 3a of Teen Wolf has 12 episodes
The first part of Season 3 introduces a new pack: the Alpha pack, led by the blind Deucalion. Scott needs to build up his own pack to defend himself, but that’s easier said than done when other wolves in town have run away. Meanwhile, Ethan and Aiden are beginning to get to Scott’s friends, and he needs Derek’s help to form an alliance with the alphas, but Derek is compromised when he begins a romantic relationship with Scott and Stiles’ new teacher, who is actually the Darach.
The two-pronged threat of the Alpha Pack and the Darach means that the adrenaline of the season never fades. It’s fast-paced with a lot of interesting new characters introduced, and a lot of new plot pieces to move the story forward. Things like Lydia discovering her abilities and Allison’s relationship with Isaac deepening add to the season instead of distracting from the antagonists. Scott also becomes a True Alpha, which is a season highlight.
2 Season 6a (2016/2017) – 8.9
● Season 6a of Teen Wolf has 10 episodes
In season 6a, Stiles is abducted by the Ghost Riders, otherwise known as the Wild Hunt, or Riders of the Storm. This means that Scott and his friends forget him, but not before he professes his love for Lydia. Stiles reunites with Peter Hale, who has also been forgotten, while his mother reappears in the normal world. Scott, Malia, and Lydia eventually realize they’ve forgotten Stiles and make it their mission to get him back.
All of this means that Season 6a makes for a fascinating first half since much of the Ghost Rider story is a big mystery for the audience. There’s a lot for them to learn, and a lot for them to pay attention to. Even with fan-favorite Stiles going missing, he even remains a focus of the season.
1 Season 3b (2014) – 9.0
● Season 3b of Teen Wolf has 12 episodes
With an impressive audience rating of 9 out of 10, 3b is the best season of Teen Wolf by fans’ calculations. It sees Stiles becoming possessed by the nogitsune, essentially becoming evil. But, by the end of the season, Scott and his friends are able to help Stiles return to himself. To see a character who had been the comedic relief for so long to get the spotlight in a more dramatic fashion helped to shift the tone of the show. Stiles was a fan-favorite from the first season, but Season 3b gives him even more depth.
This season also introduces Kira, whose family history connects to the Oni and the nogitsune’s formation. Allison figures out how to kill the Oni, but in their big face-off, one of them kills her. She dies in Scott’s arms, revealing that she still loves him. While there is a lot of death and loss in Teen Wolf, Allison’s demise is the one felt the most by fans. Combined with the emotional storyline for Stiles, it makes the season one of the hardest hitting and all-around the best Teen Wolf season.
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