->'''Charlotte:''' Plaything? I should say not. It is my egg sac, my ''magnum opus''.\\
'''Wilbur:''' I don't know what a magnum opus is.\\
'''Charlotte:''' That's Latin. It means "great work." This egg sac is my great work — the finest thing I have ever made.
-->-— ''Literature/CharlottesWeb''

Welcome to the top of the mountain, and to the pearly gates beyond which only the best are permitted. This trope represents the pinnacle to which anyone who produces a work of art dreams of reaching. The term "Magnum Opus" is bestowed on any work generally accepted to be a masterpiece, as well as the greatest work of its creator, forever cementing them as someone of exceptional talent.

Any given writer, artist, musician, etc. may produce many works in his/her life time, and many of these works may be great; but the greatest, and most important, well known, and influential of these works is their Magnum Opus. For the purposes of this trope page, it is probably best to consult TheOtherWiki's definition of "Masterpiece": "''a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship.''" This trope is meant to recognize both the work and its creator, so any work of enough quality and critical acclaim is welcome. If you've ever heard a work referred to as a "classic" or especially a "masterpiece," chances are it belongs here.

Of course, defining what is or isn't someone's true masterpiece is far from easy in some cases. For some creators, there is little controversy, because [[OneBookAuthor they've only ever created]] or [[OneHitWonder are only known for one particular work]], or have one work that is far more famous than the rest, which happens to be a masterpiece. Others have such a large body of work that there is bound to be more than one candidate for the title. There may be [[BrokenBase heavy debate regarding multiple works as to which is their true Magnum Opus]]. As usual there may be CriticalDissonance at play. The general public likes one work, while critics or fellow creative artists in the field prefer another. Even the creator himself may not always be the best judge of his own work. He/She may prefer his later work, because he/she [[GrowTheBeard grew the beard]] as an artist, perfected his/her skills and had more independence, away from ExecutiveMeddling, while his fans may feel that his/her earlier work is way better (FirstInstallmentWins). A common problem that happens to every artist is that, in their eyes, their best work is the one they spent the most time and effort on. As history has proven time and time again, this isn't always the case. For more examples on that subject we refer to the MagnumOpusDissonance page.

A few simple reminders to avoid endless personal and subjective debates or other problems:

# Please note that although there may be some overlap, this is not to be confused with OneHitWonder, which is when a creator is only known for one work, and that page mostly has music examples. This isn't OneBookAuthor, either. Most of these also aren't [[ToughActToFollow Tough Acts To Follow]], which is when any other work of a creator's is compared disfavorably to their opus; but again, they can be.
# Also note that there may or may not be overlap with the creator's BreakthroughHit. While a few creators' breakthroughs are often cited to be their greatest work, most creators will create their breakthrough first, then eventually go on to produce their Magnum Opus.
# While a magnum opus is usually a creator's most widely known work, it doesn't always have to be. For example, while Alfred Hitchcock's best known film is most likely ''Film/{{Psycho}}'', most critics hold ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'' in greater esteem. Inversely, Quentin Tarantino's ''Film/PulpFiction'' is considered both his most critically acclaimed and most famous work.
# The "acting" subpage is perhaps the most controversial of them all: Some actors are [[IAmNotSpock so associated with a single role]] (i.e. Leonard Nimoy, Daniel Radcliffe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Bryan Cranston) that it's silly to argue against that role as their magnum opus. For more successful actors, it's easier to pin down the ones who have only ever won or have only ever been nominated for a single Oscar (i.e. Samuel L. Jackson, Mickey Rourke, Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem) than someone like Robin Williams, Tom Hanks or Leonardo [=DiCaprio=] with a huge resume of critical and commercial smashes and Oscar wins. For the latter category, it's best to leave a list of top contenders rather than trying to single one out.
# Some of the works considered a Magnum Opus are often epic and ambitious in scale, length, stature or in content. Though this isn't always the case.
# Merely listing a work as a ''magnum opus'', because you happen to like it, despite everyone else disliking it or not rating it that high is a totally different discussion and should not be held here. Even if your own personal circle of friends or a group of Internet forum contributors like it: This still doesn't prove its status as a ''magnum opus''. Consult encyclopedias, art critics, professional reviews, documentaries or check the popularity of a certain work among the general public, despite it already being decades or even centuries old.
# Before commenting on works that are already cited on this page as a creator's Magnum Opus that you don't agree with, please remember that the main page should be kept as objective as possible, with a minimal number of {{Justifying Edit}}s. If there is a work cited here that you don't agree with or a work you feel has been neglected, please mention it first on the Discussion Page. Finally, The best way to decide whether or not a work is a Magnum Opus is by asking the question: "Is this work generally defined as a masterpiece, and as the greatest achievement of its creator's career?"

Also not to be confused with [[BloomCounty a certain penguin]]. Contrast ParvumOpus, DethroningMomentOfSuck and CreatorKiller.
* MagnumOpus/{{Acting}}
* MagnumOpus/AnimeAndManga
* MagnumOpus/{{Literature}}
* MagnumOpus/LiveActionFilm
* MagnumOpus/LiveActionTV
* MagnumOpus/{{Music}}
* MagnumOpus/VideoGames
* MagnumOpus/WesternAnimation (TV and film)


[[folder:Artists (Painters, sculptors, graphic artists)]]
* Also more contemporary, prepare for some {{Squick}} in reading about Vito Acconci's performance masterpiece [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seedbed_(performance_piece) Seedbed]].
* Francis Bacon: ''Screaming Popes''
* Matthew Barney's ''Cremaster Cycle'' series of films.
* Creator/HieronymusBosch. ''The Garden of Earthly Delights''.
* Creator/SandroBotticelli: ''La Primavera'' (best known for ''The Birth of Venus'' centerpiece).
* Creator/PieterBruegelTheElder. ''Peasant Wedding'' is generally considered his masterpiece, because of its iconic stature. Other often cited works are ''Peasant Dance'', ''TheBlindLeadingTheBlind''.
* Creator/MichelangeloBuonarroti. His ''David'' statue and the ''Sistine Chapel'' ceiling painting are generally considered his magnum opus and a high point in human art. Another candidate is his ''Pietà'' statue.
* John Constable: ''The Hay Wain''.
* Creator/SalvadorDali: ''The Persistence of Memory''.
* Jacques-Louis David: ''The Death of Marat''.
* Creator/MarcelDuchamp: His magnum opus was a piece simply known as "''Fountain''," a porcelain urinal he put on a pedestal in a gallery and signed with a marker as "R. Mutt". The piece was concept heavy, meant to challenge the value of art and the importance of the gallery system. The big idea behind the piece being, "If something is in an art gallery, does that make it art?"
* Creator/LeonardoDaVinci: ''Mona Lisa'' and ''The Last Supper''.
* The ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Familia Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia]]'' of Barcelona is often considered the masterpiece of the renowned Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. The intricacy and scale of the cathedral was so immense that not only was it incomplete at the time of Gaudi's death (despite being started some forty years before he died, and devoting the last fifteen years of his life to it entirely), but remains incomplete to this day. By the time it is expected to be finished, it will have been built over the course of about 140 years.
* Creator/FranciscoDeGoya: ''The Third of May, 1808''.
* Theodore Géricault: ''The Raft of the "Medusa''''.
* Creator/ElGreco: ''The Burial of the Count of Orgaz''.
* Creator/EdwardHopper: ''Nighthawks''.
* Creator/{{Hokusai}}: ''The Great Wave off Kanagawa''.
* Creator/RoyLichtenstein: ''Whaam''.
* Edouard Manet: ''Le Déjeuner Sur L' Herbe''.
* Masaccio's frescoes for the Barancacci Chapel, his greatest works and considered by some the principal classroom of the Florentine School.
* Claude Monet: ''Impression, soleil levant'' and his ''Water Lelies'' series.
* Creator/EdvardMunch: ''The Scream''.
* Creator/PabloPicasso: ''Guernica''
* Creator/{{Raphael}}'s ''"School of Athens"''.
* Pierre-August Renoir: ''Bal au Moulin de la Galette''.
* Creator/AugusteRodin: ''The Thinker'' and ''The Kiss''.
* Creator/PeterPaulRubens: ''The Elevation of the Cross'' and ''The Descent From The Cross''.
* Creator/GeorgesSeurat: He died unfortunately young, but he (the inventor of pointillism) shook up the art world with his stylistically inventive and politically controversial ''Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte''.
* Creator/JohannesVermeer: ''Girl With A Pearl Earring'' and ''The Milk Maid''.
* Creator/VincentVanGogh: His artistic impact only occured after death. In terms of sales and fame ''The Sun Flowers'' is often cited as his masterpiece. Another strong contender is ''Starry Night'', which remains one of the most influential and recognizable paintings in the world.
* Creator/RembrandtVanRijn: ''The Nightwatch''. Among the general public and art fans ''The Jewish Bride'' and ''The Oath Of Julius Civilis'' have also gained in reputation.
* Diego Velazquez: ''Las Meninas''.
* The Venus of Milo is seen as one of the greatest statues in the world and one of the most famous idealizations of beauty.
* Creator/AndyWarhol: His ''Campbell Soup'' painting.
* James Mcneill Whistler: ''Portrait of the Artists' Mother''.

[[folder:Comic Strip Artists]]
* ''GreenLantern[=/=]ComicBook/GreenArrow'' for Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil. Also, their run on ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'', which made the character a darker figure again (after the campiness inspired by [[Series/{{Batman}} the Adam West series]]) and introduced Ra's al Ghul.
* Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso: ''Comicbook/OneHundredBullets''.
* Creator/CarlBarks: His ''Uncle Scrooge'' stories. The story ''Lost in the Andes'' (the one about the square eggs) is widely regarded as such a classic that a reprint of all Barks' comics in the 2000s even started off with this particular adventure.
* For Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman it's {{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles}}.
* Creator/BrianMichaelBendis: ''Comicbook/{{Alias}}'' or ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' , although ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderman'' is well on its way of taking the top spot.
* Berkeley Breathed: ''BloomCounty''
* Creator/EdBrubaker's run on ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' has been hailed as the best ever on the title, so much so that it earned him MyRealDaddy status. ''Comicbook/{{Sleeper}}'' might be a better candidate, as it is quite representative of his body of work.
* [[Creator/KurtBusiek Kurt Busiek]] and Alex Ross (again) and solo for Kurt Busiek - ''ComicBook/AstroCity'': ''Comicbook/{{Marvels}}''.
* Creator/ChrisClaremont will always be remembered as the man who singlehandedly turned ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' from a barely-remembered {{Marvel}} team comic to one of its premier titles. For a more specific Magnum Opus, look to either ''ComicBook/DaysOfFuturePast'' or ''Comicbook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga''.
* Creator/RobertCrumb: His work between 1965 and 1969 remains the most popular among fans, though others feel that from the 1970s on his autobiographical comics were far more personal and interesting.
* Creator/WillEisner: ''ComicBook/ContractWithGod'' and/or ''ComicBook/TheSpirit''.
* WarrenEllis' ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}''.
* Creator/GarthEnnis' ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}''.
* Creator/AndreFranquin: The stories he wrote and drew for ComicBook/SpirouEtFantasio are generally seen as the best albums in the series. His personally created masterpiece is ''ComicBook/GastonLagaffe''.
* Creator/NeilGaiman: ''ComicBook/TheSandman''.
* Creator/ReneGoscinny: The stories he wrote for ComicBook/{{Asterix}} are generally seen as his crowning masterpiece and the best ''Asterix'' albums ever. One specific ''Asterix'' album that is regarded the best installment in the series is ''Recap/AsterixInBritain''.
* Creator/{{Herge}}: His Franchise/{{Tintin}} series are highly regarded among comic strip fans. Specific Tintin albums considered his magnum opus are ''[[Recap/TintinTheBlueLotus The Blue Lotus]]'', ''[[Recap/TintinTheSecretOfTheUnicorn The Secret Of The Unicorn]]'' and ''[[Recap/TintinTintinInTibet Tintin in Tibet]]'', the finally two being his personal favorites too.
* Edgar P. Jacobs: ComicBook/BlakeAndMortimer. The most classic and admired album in this series is ''[[Recap/TheYellowM The Yellow "M"]]'', voted 'Best Comic Strip of the 20th Century'' in 1999 by European comic strip critics.
* Creator/GeoffJohns' work on ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'' is developing into this for him. The highlights of this run are the epics ''Comicbook/SinestroCorpsWar'' and ''Comicbook/BlackestNight''.
* Joe Kelly: ''ComicBook/{{Deadpool}}'' his run on 'Pool's first monthly series is undoubtedly his finest work. It made him Deadpool's [[MyRealDaddy real daddy]].
* Creator/JackKirby, it was the ''ComicBook/FourthWorld''.
* Robert Kirkman: ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'' for Robert Kirkman, at least if you ask SuperHero fans. For other fans, ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead''.
* Creator/HarveyKurtzman: The first four years of ''Magazine/MadMagazine'' contain what is generally considered to be his more influential and classic work.
* Creator/StanLee, Creator/SteveDitko and John Romita Sr.: The first run of ''[[ComicBook/SpiderMan The Amazing Spider-Man]]''.
** Another candidate for both StanLee and JackKirby is the original run of ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'', which single-handedly kickstarted Marvel's SilverAge. The highlight of this run of course, was epic and extremely influential "Galactus Trilogy." ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}: Man Without Fear'' for John Romita Jr.
* Erik Larsen: ''TheSavageDragon''
* Alex Maleev: ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' is his.
* Creator/WinsorMcCay: NewspaperComics/LittleNemoInSlumberland.
* Creator/MarkMillar seems to spark the most debate concerning his superhero stories ''Comicbook/TheUltimates'' and/or ''Comicbook/SupermanRedSon'' and his superhero {{Deconstruction}} ''Comicbook/KickAss''.
* Creator/FrankMiller: ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns''
* Creator/{{Moebius}}: Among the general public and fans ''ComicBook/{{Blueberry}}''. Among critics ''Arzach''.
* Creator/AlanMoore: ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', which is so highly regarded that it made the ''Time'' magazine list of the top 100 pieces of literature of the 20th century.
* Creator/GrantMorrison's has been up for debate for years. Many readers consider ''Comicbook/AnimalMan'' to be his best work, same for ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'', which Morrison himself has referred to as "my own Man of Steel magnum opus." Cases have also been made for ''Comicbook/FlexMentallo'' and ''Comicbook/TheInvisibles''. Also from this [[http://geek-news.mtv.com/2013/05/15/an-evening-with-grant-morrison/ MTV Geek interview]] regarding ''ComicBook/TheMultiversity'':
-->Morrison also promises a guidebook to the Multiverse will accompany the series, which he calls his magnum opus.
* Brian Lee O' Malley: ScottPilgrim.
* ''ComicBook/BlackPanther'' for Creator/ChristopherPriestComics with ''QuantumAndWoody'' being a runner up.
* Creator/HugoPratt: ''ComicBook/CortoMaltese''.
* Rick Remender has his run on ComicBook/{{Venom}}, A critic and fan favorite book that took Flash Thompson from well developed background character to one of the most compelling characters in the medium of comics, and redefined Venom for a whole new generation of readers.
* James Robinson: ''Comicbook/{{Starman}}''
* Keno Creator/DonRosa's ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck''.
* Charles M. Schulz: ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' was his only body of work, but the amount of emotional and philosophical depth and the personal devotion he spent on working half a century without any assistance on this comic strip, well loved by both critics and the general public, makes it his magnum opus.
* ''ComicBook/{{Cerebus}}'' for Dave Sim
* ''Comicbook/{{Bone}}'' for Jeff Smith.
* Marc Sleen: ''ComicStrip/{{Nero}}''.
* Creator/ArtSpiegelman has been producing great comics for decades, but ''ComicBook/{{Maus}}'' is considered his masterpiece for its influence, critical appeal, and exposure within the media.
* For Simon Spurrier that would be his run on ''X-Men: Legacy''.
* Marten Toonder: ''ComicBook/TomPoes'', which is even considered to be literature in the Netherlands.
* Willy Vandersteen: A very productive author and creator of several titles, but ''ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske'' is still his best work, especially the stories he drew between 1945 and 1959. The Suske en Wiske story generally considered to be his finest story is ''De Schat van Beersel'', which was voted by both fans and critics as his most popular and well beloved classic.
* Brian K. Vaughan: ''Comicbook/YTheLastMan'' by Brian K. Vaughan. Though, once it's finished, ''{{Comicbook/Saga}}'' may yet eclipse it.
* ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'' for Mark Waid and Alex Ross.
* Bill Watterson will always be best known for ''ComicStrip/{{Calvin And Hobbes}}''.
* Marv Wolfman and George Perez: ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'', though the latter's run on ''Comicbook/WonderWoman'' was also highly acclaimed and influential. The duo's run on ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' qualifies as well.
** ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths is often cited as the single best event to ever come out of Creator/DCComics; it is still the CrisisCrossover to which all others are compared, and to this day all still end up falling short.
* ''ComicBook/AlbedoErmaFelnaEDF'' for Steven A. Gallacci.
* ''ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo'' for Stan Sakai.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* The ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'' ('''''ESPECIALLY''''' "Silent Sorrow") for Daneel Rush.
* Considering how many works have come from this group, the Magnum Opus for Creator/EyrieProductionsUnlimited is its most well-known (and one of the oldest of Internet-based) fanfics, ''UndocumentedFeatures.'' It's the defining work of fiction for most of the Eyrie crew, most notably head writer Ben "Gryphon" Hutchins.
* Greg Fisk's fanfic series ''[[FanFic/AllThingsProbableSeries All Things Probable]]'' should probably count as his greatest work.
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' is perhaps the culmination of the works of Creator/{{Swing 123}} and Creator/{{Garfieldodie}}. Fitting, since it's a ContinuityCavalcade that still manages to be enjoyable without reading the earlier fics.
* The ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' for alexwarlorn.
* Kkat's ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria''
* Website/PlatypusComix author Peter Paltridge has called his ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' {{Fan Web Comic|s}} ''Webcomic/TrueBelievers'' his best comic.
* In his closing statement, MJTR called FanFic/AngelOfTheBat the magnum opus of his fan fiction work.

* Probably UsefulNotes/CocoChanel's [[PerfumeCommercial Perfume No.5]]. Or her [[LittleBlackDress little black dresses]].
* Christian Dior's 1947 New Look Collection. Most notable is [[http://www.cafleurebon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/new-look-1947-dress.jpg this one]].
* Creator/{{MGM}} designer Helen Rose's [[FairytaleWeddingDress wedding dresses]] for Creator/ElizabethTaylor in 1950 and Creator/GraceKelly in 1956.
* Princess Diana Spencer's [[FairytaleWeddingDress wedding dress]] designed by the couple Elizabeth and David Emmanuel.
* Madeline Vionnet's concept of [[SexyBacklessOutfit the bias-cut]].

Usually the first installment in most cases, though there have been exceptions.
* ''Creator/AbbottAndCostello'': ''Film/AbbottAndCostelloMeetFrankenstein'' (1948) is seen as their best film and has remained a popular CultClassic.
* ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'': A rare case where it's an almost head-to-head competition between [[Film/{{Alien}} the original]] and its [[Film/{{Aliens}} immediate sequel]]. Part of the reason for this is the GenreShift made with the second film. ''Alien'' is regarded as a masterpiece of claustrophobic science-fiction horror, while ''Aliens'' is regarded as an adrenaline pumping, and still occasionally terrifying, masterpiece of action. They are each among the most influential films in the history of their respective genres.
* ''Film/AustinPowers'': The second installment, ''Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me'', is the most popular. Fans agree that its a SurprisinglyImprovedSequel compared to the first one.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'': Creator/TimBurton's first ''Film/{{Batman}}'' (1989) and Creator/ChristopherNolan's ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' are seen as the best adaptations, both critically and commercially.
* ''WesternAnimation/BettyBoop'': ''WesternAnimation/MinnieTheMoocher''.
* ''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny'': The most critically acclaimed and enduring Bugs cartoon is ''WesternAnimation/WhatsOperaDoc'', though every fan will have his or her personal favorite.
* Creator/CheechAndChong: The best film is ''Film/UpInSmoke''.
* ''WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck'': There are many contenders, but ''WesternAnimation/DuckAmuck'' may be the most definitive Daffy vehicle, seeing that he carries it almost completely on his own. If you like the older, more insane Daffy better ''WesternAnimation/TheGreatPiggyBankRobbery'' is the best one.
* ''Film/DirtyHarry'': The first one.
* ''Literature/DonCamillo'': The first one, ''Le Petit Monde de Don Camillo'' ("The small world of Don Camillo").
* ''Franchise/{{Dracula}}'' (Universal films): Though the Creator/BelaLugosi one [[Film/{{Dracula 1931}} from 1931]] is hailed as a classic, it's the Spanish version of that same film, from the same year that has risen to much favorable reviews under horror fans. The Spanish crew had the opportunity to look at the rushes of the Lugosi version and record the same scenes with much better camera angles and less problems with the censors. Of the ''Film/HammerHorror'' films the first ''Film/HorrorOfDracula'' (1958) with Creator/ChristopherLee has proven to be the most enduring. Still, a faithful adaptation of the novel has yet to be made, which is kind of astounding seeing how many Dracula movies have been made over the decades.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Droopy}}'': ''WesternAnimation/NorthwestHoundedPolice'' is easily the best one.
* ''Film/{{Emmanuelle}}'': The first one, hands down.
* ''Franchise/EvilDead'': Though the [[Film/TheEvilDead1981 first one]] is popular, it's still a low-budget movie. The [[Film/EvilDead2 second one]] is generally deemed better in execution, because it takes all the best stuff of the first one and adds a lot of new ideas, all on a higher budget.
* ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat'': ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCatGoesToHollywood'' is the only Felix cartoon to have been included among ''The50GreatestCartoons''.
* ''Franchise/{{Frankenstein}}'' (Universal films): The [[Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}} first one]] and the first sequel ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'' are equally considered great, with the second one often being praised as being better.
* ''Franchise/FridayThe13th'': Obviously the first one, ''Film/FridayThe13th1980''. Though the other films in the series are more guilty pleasures, it's ''Film/FridayThe13thPartVIJasonLives'' that's regarded very highly by both fans and critics.
* ''Film/LeGendarmeDeSaintTropez: The first one.
* ''Franchise/TheGodfather'': The first two films are considered part of the same epic saga and are equally brilliant cinema. People still discuss which one of the two is better, but many agree it's a tough competition.
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'': The [[Film/{{Gojira}} 1954 version]] is still considered superior to all the increasingly more silly sequels that followed. Gareth Edwards's American remake [[Film/{{Godzilla 2014}} from 2014]] is considered to be a honorable adaptation.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}}: The ''How to...'' series in general, especially the sports cartoons. ''WesternAnimation/HockeyHomicide'' is by far the most popular and the funniest installment.
* ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'': ''Film/{{Halloween 1978}}'' remains the best installment, though the third one, ''Film/HalloweenIIISeasonOfTheWitch'', received more acclaim in later years for being an original and subversive movie that just suffers from being attached to this franchise, without actually having the main franchise character Michael Myers in it.
* Franchise/IndianaJones: ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. The ''[[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom Temple of Doom]]'' is generally considered to be the most adventurous and ''[[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade The Last Crusade]]'' the funniest one. Still, both of them can't surpass the epicness and charisma of the first installment.
* ''Film/JamesBond'': ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'', ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'', ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'', ''Film/GoldenEye'', ''Film/CasinoRoyale'' and ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' are considered the franchises best works, and finding a list of "Best Bond films" which exclude any, or most of these, is very rare. In terms of the ''best'' actor to perform the spy Creator/SeanConnery is still considered above anyone else.
* Franchise/{{Jaws}}: The first one ''Film/{{Jaws}}'', hands down.
* WesternAnimation/KokoTheClown: ''WesternAnimation/KokosEarthControl''.
* Creator/LaurelAndHardy: ''Film/TheMusicBox'' is their most famous and won them their first and only Oscar. ''Film/SonsOfTheDesert'' inspired their fan club and ''Film/WayOutWest'' is another picture widely considered their best.
* Franchise/LethalWeapon: [[Film/LethalWeapon1 The first one]].
* Creator/TheMarxBrothers: ''Film/DuckSoup'' and ''Film/ANightAtTheOpera''.
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse: So far, the ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' series on Netflix has received the highest acclaim of any entry in the franchise. Other strong contenders (or the film contenders) are ''Film/IronMan1'', ''Film/TheAvengers'', ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', and ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy''.
* Franchise/TheMatrix: The first ''Film/TheMatrix'' is the most critically acclaimed and popular.
* Franchise/MickeyMouse: The most classic Mickey Mouse short is ''WesternAnimation/TheBandConcert'' and the ''Sorcerers' Apprentice'' segment in ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}''.
* Franchise/MontyPython: Of all the films the team released ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' is the most popular with the general audience, though their true masterpiece in terms of execution, comedy, script and even social commentary is ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'', also their own personal favorite.
* ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'': The [[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984 first]] is generally seen as a horror classic, and likely the best film overall. However, the third film, ''[[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet3DreamWarriors Dream Warriors]]'' also has its fans, as does the seventh film, ''[[Film/WesCravensNewNightmare New Nightmare]]''. Notably, [[OnlyTheCreatorDoesItRight all of these films involved]] Creator/WesCraven as a Writer and/or Director.
* ''Film/ThePinkPanther'': The first one is enjoyable in its own right, but it's ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'' that most fans enjoy the most. None of the other sequels is quite as excellent.
* ''Film/PlanetOfTheApes'': The first one from 1968. ''Film/DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes'' is also considered a contender.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Popeye}}'': The best Popeye cartoons are without any doubt the two color shorts ''WesternAnimation/PopeyeTheSailorMeetsAliBabasFortyThieves'' and ''WesternAnimation/PopeyeTheSailorMeetsSindbadTheSailor''.
* ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'': ''Film/FirstBlood''. The first ''Rambo'' film is generally considered the best one, even having a totally different tone compared to the more action-packed, overly patriotic comic book violence war propaganda fantasies that followed.
* ''Franchise/{{Rocky}}'': The [[Film/{{Rocky}} first one]], which even won three Oscars.
* ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'': Either of the [[Film/{{Scream 1996}} first]] [[Film/{{Scream 2}} two]] films, but definitely ''not'' [[Film/{{Scream 3}} the third]]. [[Film/{{Scream 4}} The fourth]] is an AcclaimedFlop.
* ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'': ''Film/SpiderMan2'' (2004) is not only the most highly regarded and most successful of the trilogy, but it's also touted as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': The original trilogy directed between 1977 and 1984 is still considered to be the best, with ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' as the most critically and commercially acclaimed installment.
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'': The 1978 ''Film/SupermanTheMovie'' (with Creator/ChristopherReeve) is by far the most beloved and iconic. The sequels, remakes and reboots are still trying to surpass it.
* ''Franchise/{{Tarzan}}'': ''Film/TarzanTheApeMan'' (1932), with Creator/JohnnyWeissmuller.
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'': A rare case in which both ''Film/TheTerminator'' (1984) and its sequel ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' (1991) are seen as equally magnificent films.
* Creator/TheThreeStooges: "A-Plumbing We Will Go".
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'': Many contenders, but ''WesternAnimation/TheCatConcerto'' is the highest entry among The50GreatestCartoons.
* ''WesternAnimation/TweetyAndSylvester'': ''WesternAnimation/BirdsAnonymous''.
* ''WesternAnimation/WoodyWoodpecker'': ''WesternAnimation/TheBarberOfSeville''.
* ''Film/XMen'': ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' (2014) is the most highly regarded of the film franchise.

* Either ''Pinball/TheAddamsFamily'' or ''Pinball/TheTwilightZone'' for Creator/PatLawlor, depending on personal preference.
* ''Pinball/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' for Creator/SteveRitchie.
* ''Pinball/TalesFromTheCrypt'' for Creator/JohnBorg.
* ''Pinball/TheLordOfTheRings'' for Creator/GeorgeGomez.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin: His ''Wrestling/WrestleMania 13'' submission match against Bret Hart.
* [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]]: His SummerSlam 2013 match against John Cena.
* Wrestling/JohnCena: His Money in the Bank 2011 match against CM Punk.
* Wrestling/CMPunk: The 6/27/11 pipe bomb, the Money in the Bank match against John Cena, and the 434-day title reign vie for Punk's greatest moment.
* Wrestling/{{Edge}}: The inaugural Money in the Bank ladder match.
* Wrestling/RicFlair: His "[[TenMinuteRetirement retirement]]" match against Shawn Michaels.
* Wrestling/MickFoley: His 1998 Hell in a Cell vs. the Undertaker.
* Wrestling/BretHart: The aforementioned submission match with Steve Austin.
* Wrestling/MarkHenry: His 2011 World Heavyweight Title run and/or 2013 "fake retirement" promo.
* Wrestling/ChrisJericho: His match with Shawn Michaels at ''WrestleMania 19''.
* Wrestling/BrockLesnar: Ending the Undertaker's two-decade long ''WrestleMania'' winning streak.
* Wrestling/ShawnMichaels: Either of his ''WrestleMania'' matches against the Undertaker.
* Wrestling/ReyMysterioJr: The 2006 Royal Rumble.
* Wrestling/TheNexus: Despite the group's questionable reputation, nobody can deny that their debut was their high point and one of WWE's most memorable moment.
* [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]]: His ''WrestleMania 17'' match against Steve Austin.
* Wrestling/RandySavage: The ''WrestleMania 3'' match against Ricky Steamboat for the Intercontinental title. Many consider this to be the magnum opus for WWE itself, if not all of professional wrestling.
* Wrestling/TheShield: Their match against the Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber.
* Wrestling/DaveyBoySmith: SummerSlam 1992 vs. Bret Hart.
* Wrestling/RickySteamboat: "The Dragon" is best remembered for four great matches: the 1988-89 trilogy with Ric Flair and the aforementioned match with Savage.
* Wrestling/TheUndertaker: Although it is over, "The Streak" is still revered as one of the greatest accomplishments in wrestling history. The most highly regarded match of the Streak are the two Shawn Michaels matches.

* Hakeem Olajuwon's 1993-94 season, winning the MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards.
* Tim Duncan's 2002-03 season, especially the finals series against the New Jersey Nets.
* Shaquille O'Neal's 1999-2000 season, in which he captured the MVP, All-star Game MVP and Finals MVP.
* Georges St. Pierre's TKO victory against Matt Hughes.
** How can you mention Matt Hughes without citing his victory over Frank Trigg at UFC 52? Matt survived an accidental low blow, a pummeling, a near submission, then got up, PICKED UP TRIGG AND RAN ACROSS THE OCTAGON WITH HIM, threw him down, returned the pummeling, and got a submission of his own.
*** Because his comeback victory over BJ Penn (a man who beat Hughes once before) is more impressive. Hughes was behind on the scorecards, getting pummeled standing up and Penn's brazilian jiu-jitsu was giving Hughes problems on the ground. And yet, Hughes finished Penn late in the fight through sheer determination.
* Chuck Liddell's first victory over Randy Couture.
* The Los Angeles Lakers 1971-1972 season, winning 33 in a row and grabbing the title.
* Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1995-96 season, becoming the first team in NBA history to win 70 regular season games (they won 72 and only lost 10) and cruising to Jordan's 4th title.
* LeBron James' 2011-12 season, winning the MVP and finals MVP.
* World champion chess player (and world-champion-caliber {{Jerkass}}) Bobby Fischer produced the win dubbed by commentators "The Game of The Century" when he was ''13 years old''.
* Michael Phelps at the 2008 Summer OlympicGames in Beijing, setting the record for most golds in one Olympics (8), taking gold in every event he was in.
* In [[TheBeautifulGame Association Football]], many players, coaches and managers are considered to have been so influential on their teams that they are deemed the equivalent of cinema's "auteurs". The crowning achievements of their teams can be considered to be their magnum opus:
** For Sir Alex Ferguson, a well-remembered British manager in history, it is the 1999 league/cup/European Cup treble with Manchester United.
** For Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi's Barcelona, it is the 5-0 ("la manita") demolition of Real Madrid in 2010. This mirrored the achievement of Johan Cruyff, Barcelona's most influential player and manager, whose 5-0 defeat of Madrid in 1974 set the seeds for Barcelona's future success.
** The 1967-68 season is seen as this for George Best of Northern Ireland. Widely regarded as the greatest player to never play at a world cup and one of the greatest period, he rose to the forefront at Manchester United during that season, leading the team to the European Cup, becoming the fist english team to do so, and winning the equivalent of the european player of the year. Sadly he would waste his talent on booze and gambling in the years after.
** The Brazilian team that won the [[TheWorldCup 1970 World Cup]] is often considered the best squad ever assembled.
* In 2007, Peyton Manning finally shook off the cobwebs and led his [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball Indianapolis Colts]] to a Super Bowl victory after ''years'' of [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut playoff mishaps]].
* Super Bowl XLII. On one side, the undefeated Patriots, who'd soundly thrashed every team before them. On the other, the New York Giants, who came out of nowhere with an unexpected postseason run. The Giants proceeded to win the game in what's generally considered one of the [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome defining moments]] of UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball.
* UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli's brilliant tactic to beat seemly invincible "Big" George Foreman in Zaire (Congo), 1974.
* Sugar Ray Leonard making the feared Roberto Duran quit in the middle of their rematch, after losing to him in their first boxing match.
* [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xw74ca_formula-1-donington-1993-start_sport The first lap]] of the 1993 European Grand Prix for [[UsefulNotes/FormulaOne Ayrton Senna]].
* EddyMerckx' entire cycling career is a magnum opus, never surpassed in the dazzling amount of victories by any other cyclist!

[[folder:Theatre (playwrights)]]
* Creator/{{Aeschylus}}: ''Theatre/TheOresteia''.
* Creator/EdwardAlbee: ''Theatre/WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolf''
* Creator/{{Aristophanes}}: ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}''
* Creator/SamuelBeckett: ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot''
* Creator/BertoltBrecht: ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera'' and ''Theatre/MotherCourageAndHerChildren''.
* Creator/AntonChekhov: ''Theatre/UncleVanya''
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil: the non-touring show ''Theatre/{{O}}'' is generally regarded as the company's greatest achievement. Among the tours, ''Theatre/{{Alegria}}'' holds this position. Both were written and directed by Franco Dragone, who now works independently of the company, and will probably serve as ''his'' dual magnum opuses for years to come despite such solo successes as Celine Dion's popular Las Vegas show ''A New Day''.
* Creator/NoelCoward: ''Theatre/BriefEncounter''.
* Creator/{{Euripides}}: ''Theatre/{{Medea}}''.
* Creator/DarioFo: ''Theatre/MisteroBuffo''
* Creator/BobFosse: ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}''
* Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe: ''Theatre/{{Faust}}''
* Creator/HenrikIbsen: ''Theatre/EmperorAndGalilean'' - he worked on it for four years before he released it as a TwoPartEpisode.''Theatre/{{Brand}} and ''Theatre/PeerGynt'' are both written in the same vein, and in the same timeslot. The three plays could easily be reckoned the greatest achievements of Ibsen.
* Creator/ChristopherMarlowe: ''Theatre/TheTragicalHistoryOfDoctorFaustus''.
* Creator/ArthurMiller: ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman''.
* Creator/{{Moliere}}: ''Theatre/{{Tartuffe}}''.
* Creator/HaroldPinter: ''Theatre/TheBirthdayParty''.
* Creator/LuigiPirandello: ''Theatre/SixCharactersInSearchOfAnAuthor''
* [[Creator/RodgersAndHammerstein Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II]]: ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'' is often hailed as the frontrunner, although ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}'' wouldn't be out of the running. The men themselves called ''Theatre/{{Carousel}}'' (Rodgers' favorite) and ''Theatre/TheKingAndI'' (Hammerstein's favorite) their best works.
* Edmond de Ronstand: ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac''
* Creator/JeanPaulSartre: ''Theatre/NoExit''.
* Creator/StephenSchwartz: ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''
* Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil: ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', the longest-running, most-performed work of musical theater ever written.
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare is an interesting case. The Bard wrote so many incredible, famous, and influential plays that scholars have quite a few options when debating which play was his greatest. ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' is a common contender, and is probably Shakespeare's most famous and most analyzed play, and is often cited as one of the greatest, if not ''the'' greatest, work of English literature ''ever''. Meanwhile, ''Theatre/KingLear'' started overtaking ''Hamlet'' in later years in consideration for "Shakespeare's Greatest Work" as judged by the {{Literature}} Professors of the world. Overall, the title of "Shakespeare's greatest play" tends to jump back and forth between ''Lear'', ''Hamlet'', and ''Theatre/{{Othello}}''.
* Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw: ''Theatre/{{Pygmalion}}''.
* Creator/{{Sophocles}}: ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'' and ''Theatre/{{Oedipus the King}}''
* Creator/TomStoppard: ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead''
* Creator/AugustStrindberg: ''The Red Room''.
* For Creator/StephenSondheim, it's either ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'', ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', or ''Theatre/WestSideStory'', although he considers his best work to be ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}''.
* Creator/TennesseeWilliams: ''Theatre/CatOnAHotTinRoof'' and ''Theatre/AStreetcarNamedDesire''
* Creator/OscarWilde: ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest''.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Ride/UniversalStudios
** For park fans, to date nothing has been able to top ''Kongfrontation'' in terms of originality, production value and realism. Especially when it first opened.
** ''Spider-Man'' and ''Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey'' (both in the Islands of Adventure park at Universal Flordia) are alternatively considered this by many other fans due to, like Kongfrontation before them, both rides pioneering new, unproven ideas an technologies.
* For the Ride/DisneyThemeParks, the original ''Ride/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' ride is considered Imagineering's finest achievement in ride design.
* [[{{Ride/SixFlags}} Six Flags's]] crowning achievement would be X (now X2), not only for being the first multidimensional coaster ever made, but also one of the very few of its kind.
* Cedar Point: Millennium Force, still the park's most iconic coaster. Gatekeeper may yet surpass it, but it's still too early to tell. In a park generally known as a roller-coaster Mecca, that's quite an achievement.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Fans of Ryukishi 07 can't really decide which one of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' and ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' is his masterpiece (though a slight majority seams to be leaning towards Umineko). Even Ryukishi 07 himself can't decide on which one he prefers.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Lackadaisy}}'' for Tracy Butler.
* ''Webcomic/LasLindas'' for Chalo, Soul Kat, and ID Fox.
* ''Webcomic/{{Dreamkeepers}}'' for Dave and Liz Lillie.
* ''Webcomic/HannaIsNotABoysName'' for Tessa Stone.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' by Andrew Hussie fits this category almost perfectly.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Roger M. Wilcox is probably best known for ''TheIntercontinentalUnionOfDisgustingCharacters'', but he still considers his life's work to be ''Literature/ThePentagonWar''.
* Mateusz Skutnik considers ''CovertFront 3: Night In Zurich'' to be his greatest accomplishment.
* Serris considers ''Roleplay/DarwinsSoldiers'' to be the best online RP he has ever created or played.
* Creator/DougWalker of Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses has more than one, depending on the project or series.
** As far as the pre-revival [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic Nostalgia Critic]] videos go, he considers his review of ''Film/MoulinRouge'' to be his Magnum Opus, as evidenced by it being #1 in his "The Top 10 Nostalgia Critic Reviews" video.
** For a lot of fans, his musical review of ''Film/LesMiserables'', which he co-review with Paw Dugan and Oancitizen, is his best work. At almost an hour in length, it parodies almost every song in the movie, and it's actually pulled off quite well.
** ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee''. He had a CreatorBreakdown trying to make it perfect, and while he bemoans that it still wasn't enough, he has enough pride to know it came pretty damn close.
* ''[[http://koshiandoh.com/flash-gallery01/natsumi-step/index.html Natsumi STEP!]]'', to this day, remains Koshiandoh's most ([[SurpriseCreepy in]])famous web animation.
* Geoff Ramsey of Creator/RoosterTeeth and Creator/AchievementHunter called the ''Rage Quit'' episode two-parter of ''VideoGame/SurgeonSimulator2013 Steam Version'' this for that series, and it shows.
* Both Lewis and the majority of fans agree that the best story arc on WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall was "A Piece of the World is Missing", aka "[[EldritchAbomination The Entity]] Story Arc".
* A few countdown artists have made their choices for magnum opuses public:
** The one work of Animalguy001 that is considered to be his best is his [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frDHOeBJ6v8&list=PL45F11C8585B3B685 "Top 100 Favorite Pokemon"]]. Of that list he said that the #1 entry was the hardest entry to do in his entire career as a countdown artist and he did it well.
** As far as Superflipper76 goes there are 3 works that could qualify: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGHook9nTeQ "Why I hate Conker's Bad Fur Day"]] is by far the BaseBreaker and "Top 10 turn based RPG's" ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy6K43S6qEA part 1]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3paSyTROvU part 2]]) is a non-controversial fan favorite, but the work he considers to be his best is his [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnhsZ4uAVrc "Top 10 Avatar The Last Airbender episodes"]].
** Meta572ii has the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esLPRV2E4zg&index=39&list=PLAF37D3CC00544233 "Top Five Pokemon generations"]] favored by his readers, which is also considered to be the most influential list he did. His favorite however remains unknown.

!![=YouTube=] Poops
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OVCpD-7nI4 One More Final: I Need You(tube Poop)]]" for WebAnimation/WalrusGuy.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PHh9v1dzdQ Gaston's Amazingly Sexy Tri-Organizer Nonsense]]" for [=BillyMorshu=], Dual-Screen, and [=JakeSteel=].
* While "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqtQD8kvm_8 TOP 27 ANIME BOOBS]]" ({{NSFW}}) remains [[TrollingCreator [=MeiAID's=]]] most beloved and well-known [[BaitAndSwitch trap video]], there's no denying that his "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrJtMASNu8g Ultimate Youtube Poop]]" stunt remains his most ambitious prank yet. Basically, he subbed to thousands of YoutubePoop fans under account name "[=UltimatePooper=]," where he posted a dubious video claiming that he will make a poop that will change poop forever. Most were gullible enough to buy it, and even those who knew what was up were still drawn to it to see just how it would unfold: [[XanatosGambit it was a black hole of a prank]]. After a string of videos taunting the audience about how much time was left, the video finally came... and created an AntiClimax so immense that the HypeBacklash in itself was the climax. It was this that solidified Mei's image as a MagnificentBastard who's able to troll entire communities.
* stong414bad regards "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74DnrAvR6eg Nick 3D Movie Maker Poop: Let's Get Some Tacos]]" as his greatest work in YouTube Poop:
-->"When I'm long gone I want Let's Get Some Tacos to be my only legacy, because it is perfect."