The widely beloved Portlandia has officially begun airing its eighth and final season on IFC. Since its premiere in 2011, Portlandia has both lovingly and ruthlessly mocked not only the quirks of its namesake Oregon city, but hipster culture all over the United States—at least, it did when people still used the word hipster.
The subcultures and trends Portlandia draws inspiration from change fairly quickly, but the show has staying power. Portlandia’s sketch comedy format means that viewers can jump in at any episode or season, and consequently, the first episodes can feel just as fresh as the last ones. As we prepare to say goodbye to their satirical but not too fictional world, here are the best moments to look back on:
“Dream of the ‘90s”
This musical number from the very first episode introduces us to the wonderful and weird world of Portlandia—a place where the ‘90s never left, where people are still content to be unambitious, working at coffee shops (or something), and talking about starting bands. “Dream of the ‘90s” shows us a holy land where the tattoo ink never runs dry.
“Colin the Chicken”
Another classic from the first episode, this sketch takes on the trend of people who like to know where their food comes from. With the number of people who call themselves “foodies” growing every year, this one feels more relevant than ever (and makes us feel slightly bad for the wait staff at upscale restaurants).
“Battle of the Gentle Bands”
A casual viewer might not realize that Carrie Brownstein is someone with serious alt street cred—she has been adored for years as the guitarist for Sleater–Kinney. Her background and love of music is frequently on display, but “Battle of the Gentle Bands” is a favorite because it highlights the distinctly 2000s–and–beyond trend of soft indie dominating alternative music scenes. Like so much else on this show, it is equal parts spoof and love letter, and it is perfectly on the nose.
Anything and everything “Women and Women First”
If YouTube views are anything to go by, the feminist bookstore might be the best recurring Portlandia sketch. In a charged climate where it feels like just saying the word “feminist” can start an argument, this sketch makes the call of only being as political as it needs to be, so it can spend the rest of the time being bizarre and funny without being mean or preachy.
“Put A Bird On It”
This sketch is zany, frenetic, and quotable—Portlandia at its best—but what might be even better than the joke itself is America’s reaction to it. A Salon article from 2011 reported that this sketch, specifically, had caused actual who had been relying on cute little fake birds to sell their products for years. It’s perfectly emblematic of the special way that actual communities inspired Portlandia, and how Portlandia in turn influenced those communities.