19 Sarah Paulson "American Horror Story" Moments That Prove Her Supreme Talent

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So, when you think of American Horror Story, who's the first cast member you think of? I'm thinking of Sarah Paulson, and I bet you might be as well!

FX / Via giphy.com

With characters like the headstrong Lana Winters, caring Cordelia Goode, and dramatic Audrey Tindall, she's a versatile badass, a true professional!

After nine seasons of portraying the anthology series' most iconic characters, Paulson recently went on Watch What Happens Live and told Andy Cohen that Season 10 may be her last AHS season.

Between Ratched and American Crime Story, we won't have to worry about Paulson leaving the Ryan Murphy universe in the near future. Still, that doesn't mean we won't miss her consistently great onscreen presence in American Horror Story.

CBS / Via giphy.com

So, in honor of Paulson's truly excellent body of work, let's revisit her best moments on American Horror Story!

1.When Billie Dean checks out Murder House.

Billie Dean at Murder House

Billie Dean has some of the best zingers on the show ("The dead can hold onto a grudge better than most Scorpios"), but she doesn't necessary get too many emotional beats. In this moment, we actually see her use her gifts as a medium to get a feel for the tragedy of Murder House and sense that Violet is already dead.

Which episode it's in: Season 1, Episode 11

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2.When Lana flips off Bloody Face.

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Dare I say it: This is the most epic Sarah Paulson moment in American Horror Story. Thredson got what was coming to him... After being a first-hand witness to all of his horrific doings, Lana (one of the best AHS characters, period) is able to record Thredson incriminating himself and sneaks out of Briarcliff.

Which episode it's in: Season 2, Episode 11

3.When Lana shoots Thredson.

Lana kills Thredson

So, Thredson turns out to be one of the foulest American Horror Story villains ever, the main reason being that his calm demeanor belies his disgusting side hobby of abusing women and making lamps from their skin. Seeing Lana kill him once and for all is so gratifying, especially given how much he tortures her.

Which episode it's in: Season 2, Episode 11

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4.When Lana kills her son.

Lana shoots her son

The scene where Lana kills Thredson is pretty intense, but this moment ratchets up the intensity even more. Everything about this Asylum scene is so bone-chilling, from the slightly tilted camera angle to the palpable tension between Paulson and Dylan McDermott.

Which episode it's in: Season 2, Episode 13

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5.When Cordelia develops a different kind of sight after going blind.

Cordelia in sunglasses

Cordelia Goode more or less goes from timid lady wandering around the greenhouse to a gritty badass who unfortunately sees her husband cheating on her when she develops her newfound vision.

Which episode it's in: Season 3, Episode 6

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6.When Cordelia stabs herself in the eyes.

Cordelia about to take her eyes out

After regaining her sight from the Council, Cordelia finds her powers waning. In a desperate attempt, she takes her own eyes out by gouging them with gardening shears — the moment is gross and shocking, showcasing how truly horrifying AHS can be.

Which episode it's in: Season 3, Episode 11

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7.When Fiona dies in Cordelia's arms, essentially making Cordelia the next Supreme.

Fiona dies

As Fiona dies, she and Cordelia clear the air — Fiona explains that she felt her mortality the moment that she gave birth to her daughter. She begs for Cordelia to put her out of her misery, but Cordelia won't do it and tells her mother to face her fear of dying alone. The exchange between Paulson and Jessica Lange is absolutely top-notch here.

Which episode it's in: Season 3, Episode 13

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8.When Cordelia addresses the new Robichaux Academy cohort at the end of Coven.

Cordelia addresses new cohort

I love seeing Cordelia in her element as the Supreme and inspiring young witches to fully realize their collective power!

Which episode it's in: Season 3, Episode 13

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9.When Dot and Bette sing "Criminal" by Fiona Apple.

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You might ask, why is Paulson playing conjoined twins singing a Fiona Apple song? Ryan Murphy’s gonna Ryan Murphy, but her singing sounds great, and it’s a fun little scene.

Which episode it's in: Season 4, Episode 2

10.When Sally forces Gabriel to say, “I love you, Sally.”

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Terrifying. Even more terrifying is what she does to him afterward. (Sewing him into the mattress, that is.)

Which episode it's in: Season 5, Episode 1

11.When Sally tells James March about the point of being dead...

Sally talks about the point of being dead

While getting a stern warning from James March, Sally explodes and explains that the point of being dead is that there are no rules. She doesn't care if she's sent to hell, because for her, "It can't be any worse." It's a chilling, existential moment that meaningfully speaks to her character's empty reality, even if the Hotel season as a whole is a bit messy.

Which episode it's in: Season 5, Episode 12

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12.When Sally joins social media...

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I know, it’s such a ridiculous turn of events and a weirdly happy ending! Aren’t we all like the now widely meme-ified Sally? Just trying to get through the day one Internet post at a time?

Which episode it's in: Season 5, Episode 12

13.When she screams, "Oh my god, poor Shelby," so dramatically in a British accent.

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Basically, the IRL people who experience the Roanoke happenings and the actors who portray them return to Roanoke House, and we get this completely unhinged moment from Paulson as the Shelby re-enactment actress Audrey Tindall freaking the f*ck out after Shelby dies. As astute fans have pointed out, Audrey says, "Oh my god" SO many times in Season 6, but this has got to be the funniest and most committed instance.

Which episode it's in: Season 6, Episode 8

14.When Ally gets chased by freaky clowns at the supermarket.

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What can I say? Paulson is naturally a scream queen (and we don’t need to see all those times that her gift unfolds on The Ellen DeGeneres Show).

Which episode it's in: Season 7, Episode 1

15.When Ally kills Ivy in cold blood.

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Feeling betrayed by Ivy, Ally decides to poison her wife. Right before Ivy dies, Ally tells her, "I only want two things into this life: I want Oz all to myself, and I wanna watch you die." OOF.

Which episode it's in: Season 7, Episode 9

16.When Ally straight-up says "nasty woman" in Cult.

Ally says there is something more dangerous than a humiliated man, a nasty woman

OK, this line (referencing when *that man* called Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman") really could have been super cringey, and maybe it is, but Paulson pulls it off? Our antiheroine queen reigns supreme! (Well, because she *was* the Supreme in Coven...)

Which episode it's in: Season 7, Episode 11

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17.When we get an introduction of Wilhemina Venable in Apocalypse.

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After eight seasons of American Horror Story, you'd think that there are only so many characters that Paulson could do before she became typecast, but Wilhemina Venable, the leader of Outpost 3, definitely feels distinct from her other AHS gigs. It's when she gives Emily and Timothy a tour of the Outpost that we get a feel for Ms. Venable, someone who's austere and VERY strict about not letting residents have sex on the premises. She's HR, b*tch.

Which episode it's in: Season 8, Episode 1

18.When Karen screams at Harry in the grocery store.

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Yes, this Double Feature moment is ridiculously exaggerated, but Paulson puts her whole foot and soul into this scene as TB Karen, so we have no choice but to stan. Also, Harry shoulda listened to her!

Which episode it's in: Season 10, Episode 1

19.When Karen kills Mickey...by munching on him.

Karen smiles at Mickey then kills him

Karen’s absolutely bonkers after taking a black pill, and in a shocking twist, kills Mickey in a gruesome fashion. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Which episode it's in: Season 10, Episode 5

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Do you have a favorite Sarah Paulson American Horror Story moment that makes you feel a certain kind of way? Comment below like you're one of Sally's adoring fans!

FX / Via c.tenor.com