The sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ told the story of a sports writer who lives with his wife and kids across the street with his parents and older brother.
When it comes to predicting shows that will be successful, I got it completely wrong when I saw the first promos for Everybody Loves Raymond. I don’t know what it was about the promos — I don’t even remember the gags from them. But I saw them and immediately gave the show three episodes before it vanished.
I was only off by about nine years!
In fact, Everybody Loves Raymond was not only a great show, it became one of my favorites and I still enjoy the reruns on TV Land.
Here are my 10 favorite episodes.
1. ‘No Fat’
Ray’s mother, Marie, gets on a healthy-cooking kick, much to the chagrin of Ray’s father, Frank. When the healthier cooking interferes with their Thanksgiving Dinner, whose highlight is a “tofu turkey,” hilarity ensues. One of my favorite moments is when Frank is handed skim milk for his coffee, to which he complains it’s not mixing with the coffee because “the coffee doesn’t even recognize it.”
2. ‘Marie’s Sculpture’
Marie takes an art class and creates a large abstract sculpture. The problem is the sculpture isn’t quite abstract enough and ends up looking quite a bit like an oversize part of the female anatomy.
3. ‘The Toaster’
An ongoing bit is Ray’s inability to give a good gift. So for this particular Christmas, he comes up with a great idea: a toaster personalized with the family’s names. Everybody loves their toaster, with the exception of Ray’s parents, who, it turns out, decided to exchange the gift without even looking at it.
4. ‘The Christmas Picture’
Ray comes up with the perfect gift for his mom — perfect because she told him it’s what she wanted. The trouble is, the family portrait Marie wants wasn’t supposed to include Debra’s parents, and Debra invites them, assuming a “family portrait” would include the entire family.
5. ‘The Angry Family’
Michael writes a story for his class and reads it at a family night at the school. As soon as he reads the title, “The Angry Family,” the Barones are shocked that they’re dysfunction is being exposed for all to hear.
6. ‘The Lucky Suit’
Robert has his big chance to join the FBI, but Marie manages to destroy his lucky suit and finds a way to blame it on Raymond. But is carelessness at the ironing board the real reason she’s trying to sabotage the opportunity?
7. ‘She’s The One’
Robert thinks he’s finally found true love, but as they have dinner at Ray and Debra’s house, Ray spots her eating a fly. But no one will believe him until Robert finds out a very horrifying secret.
8. ‘Bad Moon Rising’
Debra’s in an unusually bad mood and when Ray realizes it may be that time of the month, he sets out to bring her a pill to fight off PMS. She doesn’t take it well.
9. ‘Debra Makes Something Good’
For once, Debra’s cooking is suddenly no longer a laughing matter! Ray goes wild over her braciole and even Frank can’t resist it. But Marie takes her daughter-in-law’s sudden cooking success personally.
10. ‘Left Back’
When Michael has trouble with motor skills in Pre-K, the teacher tells Debra and Ray that he may need to be held back a year. As they debate the problem, Ray learns Michael won’t be the only Barone who ends up being left back.