The 30 greatest Sons of Anarchy moments

Clay vs. Gemma (Season 4, Episode 10: "Hands" )

The Moment: The culmination of Clay’s terrible attempt on Tara’s life after she discovers the Teller letters - which implicate Clay in Jax’s father’s murder - ends in the show’s first slice of horrific domestic violence. After Gemma learns of Clay’s plan to off Tara, she threatens to tell Jax about the failed hit. Clay makes a move, Gem pulls a gun and it ends with the club matriarch on the floor at the receiving end of a fistful of very chunky rings.

Why It’s Great: It’s a “great” moment only due to its repercussions. There’s no way out for Clay after beating Gem within an inch of her life. His days are numbered.

Tara's Fake Miscarriage (Season 6, Episode 7: Sweet And Vaded)

The Moment: Eager to leave Charming with her boys safely away from the violent life of the club, Tara ropes in Unser and Wendy to orchestrate a cunning plan. With all the pieces in place to prevent Gemma access to her grandchildren, Tara and Jax’s boys, the final domino must be toppled. Riling up Gemma into a frenzy at the hospital, Tara throws herself against a table edge - piercing a bag of blood beneath her shirt. Security barge in and apprehend Gemma, who’s slapped with a restraining order. Oh, and she’s arrested for attempted murder.

Why It’s Great: If the plot had not been exacted against her, Gemma would have been proud of Tara for such a magnificent scheme.

Fatal Misfire (Season 1, Episode 12: "The Sleep of Babies" )

The Moment: When Club President Clay is fed misinformation by ATF Agent Stahl that Opie is a rat, he sends Tig to take him out. What Tig didn’t know was that Opie and his wife Donna (Sprague Grayden) switched cars earlier in the evening. When he pulls up to Opie’s truck, it’s his innocent wife who’s plugged full of lead.

Why It’s Great: The first of many poor decisions made by Clay, the death of Donna signified the beginning of the end for SAMCRO. For the viewers, it proved that no-one is ever safe from the wrath of the MC.

Jax's First Time (Season 1, Episode 8: "The Pull")

The Moment: Mad with jealousy, Tara’s ex, the misguided ATF Agent Josh Kohn (Jay Karnes) breaks into her house and attacks her. Jax arrives to find his high school sweetheart at the mercy of a psychopath. Hearing Kohn call Tara a biker slut is the last straw for Jax - who duly blows him away.

Why It’s Great: Looking back over the entire series’ run, Jax has killed his fair share of low lifes. This moment was his very first kill, setting him on a path of mayhem and murder.

Stahl Gets It (Season 3, Episode 13: NS)

The Moment: Brokering a deal with ATF Agent Stahl, the Sons pledge to hand over the True IRA leader Jimmy (Titus Welliver) for reduced prison sentences. As Stahl drives Jimmy away, Sheriff Unser (Dayton Callie) tells her fellow agents there’s an IRA blockade down the road - leaving Stahl alone. The Sons appear, take out Jimmy before Opie slides in the backseat behind Stahl and murders her in the same way his wife was killed. A slew of bullets to the back of the dome.

Why It’s Great: While it’s another bloody offing for the Sons, the death of Agent Stahl was a long time coming, offering much-needed closure for Opie. After all, it was Stahl’s malicious meddling that led to the murder of his wife, Donna.

Double Crossing Pope (Season 5, Episode 13: Jai Obtenu Cette")

The Moment: Jax and Tig head to the middle of nowhere, where Damon Pope waits to kill Tig in revenge for the murder of his daughter. When the Sons arrive, Jax and Tig take out the henchmen and Jax gives Tig a gun so he can off Pope.

Why It’s Great: There’s so many layers to Jax’s long con. First off, the audience are led to believe he’s actually going to let Pope murder Tig to ensure the Charming Heights project goes ahead. Second, the gun used is Clay’s, which implicates him for the murder instead of Tig.

Opie's Death (Season 5, Episode 3: Laying Pipe)

The Moment: The Sons are locked up at the hands of Damon Pope, who tells Jax one of the boys must die in order to settle their affairs. As Pope’s goons close in on the Sons, Opie steps up to the plate to make the ultimate sacrifice for his club. From behind the glass, Jax, Chibs and Tig watch as their loyal friend is beaten to death with a pipe.

Why It’s Great: The shot of Opie and Jax meeting eyes as Ope says to his MC brother “I got this” is just... YES, we're crying.

The IRA Shootout (Season 6, Episode 11: Aon Rud Persanta)

The Moment: Galen’s grip on the club comes to a head when the Sons help him break Clay out of jail. Before the boys return Clay to the warehouse, Jax and Tig take out Galen and his goons in one spray of bullets.

Why It’s Great: Another unexpected moment fuelled by the creative writing of the show’s creators, audiences had no idea the club had decided to off their extortionist comrades.

Clay Is Killed (Season 6, Episode 11: Aon Rud Persanta)

The Moment: Busted out of prison transport by Samcro, Clay is brought back to the warehouse for his meet with IRA bigwig, Galen Ross. It doesn’t quite work out that way (see previous entry) and Clay takes a bullet in the neck from his stepson, Jax.

Why It’s Great: Come on! Clay had this coming from the second Jax found out he tried to kill Tara and actually killed his dad, J.T. Still, in typical Sons fashion, despite Clay’s reprehensible character, the eye-lock he shares with Gemma is an emotionally-charged end to his scummy existence.

Tara's Death (Season 6, Episode 13: A Mothers Work)

The Moment: Tara returns home after finally working through her issues with Jax - she’s finally getting her boys out of Charming! She spots Unser’s truck on the drive. Wait, what’s he doing there? It ain’t Unser. Under the assumption that Tara had cut a deal with D.A. Patterson and intended to rat out Jax and the club, Gemma attacks Tara the second she walks into the kitchen. Plunging her daughter-in-law’s face in a sink of dirty dish water, she stabs her in the head over and over with a carving fork.

Why It’s Great: The bittersweet split-second when a faint smile twitches on Tara’s lips at the thought of finally escaping Charming. It’s a heartbreaking glimpse at a future that could never be, which was instead replaced by one of the show’s most brutal slayings.

Gem Seddon

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.