Any episode where players encountered all three Temple Guards but still made it out with the artifact.
All of the four teams to make it out of the temple with exactly one second left.
In The Ivory Hunting Horn of Roland", "The Moccasins of Geronimo", and "The Ruby Earring of bin-Zabib", the teams make it through in under two minutes. Based on how much time was left when the treasure was reached in "The Enormous Iron Nose Ring of Babe", however, a more efficient route could've given them a time that could rival the infamous "Mask of Shaka Zulu" production error episode.
Though it should be noted that at 1:50, the Temple Run for "The Ivory Hunting Horn of Roland" was just three seconds longer than that of the Mask of Shaka Zulu - and the path to the Horn included the Tomb of the Headless Kings and the Jester's Court, usually huge time sinks.note Coincidentally, the winners in both episodes were the Red Jaguars.
"The Levitating Dog Leash of Nostradamus". The girl going first signals her partner where the spare half-pendant was going to be and the boy uses the dog leash as a lasso to grab the rope and swing his way onto the other side. More importantly, the team had a whole and half-pendant; the girl could've taken the pendant but she gave it up so her partner could retrieve it.
Despite only winning 3 of their runs, the Purple Parrots were really awesome. Tipping vases got you down? How about you punch and smash them with your bare hands to get your hands on a milk bucket.
Their first victory at "Snakeskin Boots of Billy the Kid" can only be described as 'Purple Parrot Pwnage'. They were the first to cross the moat, the first to pass the steps of knowledge, got both medals in the temple games and scored the artifact in record time. It also had an epic moment in the Jester's Court; the boy faces forward and bashes his head on one of the buttons instead of facing it like any normal person would do.
In "Milk Bucket of Freydis" our runner is a Purple Parrot little girl named Tarrah who solos the entire Temple Run with one second to spare. One cool moment of hers is instead of tipping the vases or raising them over her head in the King's Storeroom, she punches and slams them between her hands. She wants to be a cop, indeed.
The third and final victory for the Parrots was "The Metal Beard of the Egyptian Queen". The first runner, TJ, zipped through at least half of the path until reaching the Dark Forest. His partner, Randy (a girl), follows it up with style, pushing a panel to get to the room of the Secret Password, grab the item and traverse through the other remaining rooms with five seconds to spare.
The best part of all of these victories? All of them had less than ten seconds to go.
In the same vein as Tarrah of the Purple Parrots, we have Missy of the Blue Barracudas in "The Lucky Pillow of Annie Taylor" solo-running through the Temple with only a pendant on her. She had to use the pendant but successfully dodged the other guards to retrieve the pillow. Missy was also the first person to retrieve an artifact from that room in that temple and one of two ever.
Add to that Missy being one of the shortest contestants in the show's history (she had to jump to reach the shelves in the Shrine) and having been nervous pretty much the entire game and it also becomes a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
"Lawrence of Arabia's Headdress" deserves a special mention. Not only was this the first episode, but the temple run was a real nail-biter. But the Green Monkeys get the Headdress with only 27 seconds left on the clock and get out with one second remaining.
The Belly Button of Buddha may be boring but the Blue Barracudas dominated that episode. They were first in the moat and the steps of knowledge. They won two pendants in the temple games. In the temple, Jennifer was able to do the run herself. This is also one of two solo runs that was done with two whole pendants.
The Lost Hornpipe of the Pirate Captain. Both contestants were really competent and won despite having to climb the central shaft. Upon closer analysis, one can see the column on the pits side of the King's Storeroom was done as Jessica was climbing it. This meant that it was supposed to open and they won despite an production error.
The Secret Map of the Bandit Queen is considered by many fans to be one of the best temple runs in the series. Front runner Miriam gets taken out by the temple guard after hesitating for 27 seconds to go into the Dark Forest because of her fear of getting caught in the room. There is only 1:17 left on the clock when her partner Zac goes in and blazes though the bottom in less than 30 seconds. He has to climb up The Pharaoh's Secret Passage because the door from the Bog to the Shrine of the Silver Monkey note Where the map was located. wouldn't open. According to an interview he did here the slide was slick making it hard to go up. When he gets the map, he gets out of the temple in 18 seconds. He also has the record for the fastest single player run through the temple with a time of 1:08.
The Lucky Medallion of Atocha. At first, it looks like this run would be the trope's exact opposite, as Ty drops the team's one and only Pendant on his way into the Temple. However, his partner Jennifer grabs the dropped Pendant and tosses it to him through the Ledges, just in time for Ty to be caught by a Temple Guard. Ty then proceeds to solo the rest of the run and makes it out with mere seconds to spare. It's an extremely rare instance where both players deserve credit even though only one actually went through the Temple; Jennifer's quick thinking saved their run from derailing before it even began.
The Very Tall Turban of Ahmed Baba deserves recognition. Not only does Shane solo the entire Run (in itself no mean feat), but he does it while going through nearly every room in the Temple, avoiding getting caught by a second Temple Guard through judicious application of Genre Savvy.note Based on his path, the other two Guards were most likely in the Crypt and the Dark Forest; he outright ignores the former, knowing well enough not to take the upper path when the artifact is in an upper room, and he evades the latter by not bothering with with trees and just smashing through the wall. To cap it all off, he makes it out of the Temple with fifteen seconds to spare, something many contestants with much shorter routes couldn't pull off. And for bonus points, like the aforementioned Tarrah, he eschews tossing the pots in the King's Storeroom to the ground in favor of smashing them between his hands.