Everybody Loves Raymond received critical acclaim and fan adoration for its slice-of-life humor, relatable family interactions, and superb acting by leads such as Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, and Doris Roberts. The show employed a focused, central plot in each episode that didn't include B-plotlines, which helped the characters' conversations feel much more fleshed out than on other sitcoms. These are the 22 best episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond!
1. “The Wallpaper” (Season 5, Episode 3)
Frank and Marie constantly barge into the lives of Ray and Debra throughout the series, but “The Wallpaper” remains the only time the older couple literally careen through the Barone living room after Marie crashes her car into the house. The episode becomes a satire on the hypocrisy and banter between the pairs of hilarious couples!
2. “Marie's Vision” (Season 7, Episode 10)
Marie and Frank often act like they don't love each other. When Marie gets a new pair of glasses, she revels in telling her family members the most authentic observations she can conjure. The rude comments lead to Frank and Marie arguing about the former not caring about his wife's opinions. Frank's true feelings for Marie come out in the open in a poignant yet funny fashion.
3. “The Toaster” (Season 3, Episode 12)
Frank and Marie go rogue when they return Ray's Christmas present to the store. Realizing it probably hurt their son's feelings, the parents go to the store and attempt to get the engraved toaster back, packed with impeccable delivery from all the actors involved. The extras, such as the employees, even add their own comedic touch.
4. “The Tenth Anniversary” (Season 4, Episode 16)
Ray epitomizes the dumb husband trope of 1990s sitcoms. He takes his lack of husbandry up a notch when he no longer has the tape of his wedding anniversary, instead realizing he used it to record a football game one night. His attempts to smooth over the situation with Debra led to expected hilarity and one of the best episodes concerning their marriage.
5. “Lucky Suit” (Season 6, Episode 16)
Robert, always down on his luck and pessimistic in the face of adversity, gets a contrarian stroke of success when offered an interview by the FBI! Marie seems to be the only one not happy for him, trying her best to subvert his chances of triumph. The mother and son come together in the end when both parties realize Marie worries about the safety of her beloved child.
6. “Marie's Sculpture” (Season 6, Episode 5)
Marie only has a few hobbies beyond cooking for her family and butting into other people's business. She takes on sculpting, but her masterwork accidentally resembles an inappropriate form of the female anatomy. The Barones have to find the nicest way to let Marie know that her new interest may not be the hole-in-one she thought it was initially.
7. “Lateness” (Season 8, Episode 14)
Sitcoms like Everybody Loves Raymond find their sweet spot when they dig into daily topics that bug all of us. Ray's plight feels relatable when he just can't take his family being late to go places any longer. He drives off without Debra but has to face his wife's fury when he gets back home that night.
8. “She's The One” (Season 7, Episode 9)
Robert doesn't have a lot of romantic luck throughout the show, and his biggest swing and miss may be in “She's the One.” Ray finds out that Robert's newest love interest likes to eat bugs, and Robert finds out for himself later in the episode. The episode creates sympathy for Robert but also creates opportunities for him in the last seasons of the show.
9. “Misery Loves Company” (Season 8, Episode 4)
Ray and Debra can't understand the honeymoon phase of a relationship anymore, growing tired of the puppy love displayed by Robert and Amy. The episode pokes fun at the ways couples act depending on the amount of time they've spent in the relationship, and a funny family dinner with Frank and Marie giving their “sage” advice also pleases!
10. “The Angry Family” (Season 6, Episode 1)
Ray and Debra's son, Michael, gets a rare appearance in the episode's main plot, spurring an anger management session with the entire family after he crafts a school project depicting the Barone household's hostilities. Putting all the main characters in the same room brilliantly allows the show to go off the rails but in a controlled setting.
11. “Frank Paints The House” (Season 5, Episode 24)
Frank gets some male bonding time with Ray and Robert, but his curmudgeonly nature only upends the outdoor projects painting the house. The trio of characters used in the episode aren't often seen without Marie or Debra, so this feels like a nice change of pace and a funny combination to show off Frank's unique parenting style.
12. “Call Me Mom” (Season 6, Episode 21)
Debra and Marie's icy attitudes towards one another thaw a little bit through force when Ray comes up with the idea of the couples calling each other's mother-in-law “mom.” The idea doesn't go over very well at first but leads to plenty of laughs from the audience and a genuine discussion of feelings between Debra and Marie.
13. “Pat's Secret” (Season 9, Episode 15)
The series focuses so much on the Barone family, but some of the best material derives from the appearances of Debra's side of the family. Debra's mother, Pat, has a smoking problem. Marie doesn't like this and blames Robert for it when her oldest son tries to hide Pat's secret.
14. “Baggage” (Season 7, Episode 22)
Ray and Debra's stubborn natures go crazy when they don't unpack their suitcase after getting home from a trip. The storyline seems like it would be unrealistic of something that would happen in real life, but anyone with a family member who annoys you when they won't cooperate will understand the point of the half-hour!
15. “Hackidu” (Season 4, Episode 17)
Ray tries to be a better father than usual by getting Ally a rare trading card back. The meat of the humor comes from the conversations between Ray and the salesperson, played by the late great Paul Reubens. The episode feels very 2000s. Any kid who played trading card games during that time will connect with the plot.
16. “Driving Frank” (Season 3, Episode 2)
Frank has to come to terms with one of the more brutal realities of aging: driving may no longer be a safe activity. The funniest scenes include Robert giving his father a ticket and Frank's many arguments with his family over his ability to drive.
17. “The Bird” (Season 8, Episode 9)
Holiday episodes allow for guest stars and all sorts of cameos. “The Bird” infuses the series with all of the exterior in-laws and family members in one room at the Thanksgiving event at Debra's parents' house. The families go through many zany holiday traditions, such as a turkey sacrifice.
18. “Frank Goes Downstairs” (Season 6, Episode 6)
Frank tries to be helpful and fix the stairs after Ray and Debra blame that part of the house on injuries they sustained in the bedroom. Frank gets hurt and falls through the staircase, so the lie has serious yet funny consequences.
19. “Father Knows Least” (Season 2, Episode 2)
Ray approaches parenting with an active listening technique learned during a class with Debra, and Debra doesn't take kindly to her husband becoming more successful than her with their daughter. The show doesn't often let Ray and Debra interact with their children for long stretches of time, so this changeup comes with many laughs.
20. “Raybert” (Season 6, Episode 10)
Robert's jealousy of Ray always hangs over the brothers, but it rarely produces such thunderous results as in this episode. Robert and Ray combine their names and personalities to help Robert win over women, but the plan obviously doesn't go swimmingly.
21. “Cousin Gerard” (Season 4, Episode 7)
Ray's doppelganger cousin comes to town, something that Ray doesn't exactly love as the episode progresses. It makes Ray inspect his own behaviors and tendencies, but it doesn't mean he'll change in the long run!
22. “Favors” (Season 9, Episode 10)
Marie manipulates Debra after she covers for her when Debra throws a prized possession of Ray's in the garbage. Doris Roberts brilliantly plays the two-faced nature of Marie in one of her best episodes late in the series.