Few shows truly get better with age.
Many peak in the first few seasons, but “Everybody Loves Raymond” really hit its stride in its midsection, from season four through seven or so, when stars Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, and Peter Boyle really began to hang together.
Here are the best episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
'Talk to Your Daughter' (Season 6, Episode 19)
The “Raymond” cast members shared their favorite episodes with Entertainment Weekly, and Romano admitted this sentimental season 6 episode was his fave. The episode is framed around Ally’s curiosity about the meaning of life, and each family member’s attempt to answer the question. “All my favorite ‘Raymond’ episodes start with a small relatable concept and go somewhere bigger and deeper,” Romano said. “It also takes place almost entirely in one scene and with the whole cast. That was usually the formula for our best shows.”
'She’s the One' (Season 7, Episode 9)
The top-rated episode according to IMDB, “She’s the One” sets Robert up with the perfect woman, except Ray finds out that she eats flies. Despite his attempts to convince his brother, Robert doesn’t believe the truth, until he sees the woman’s apartment full of frog-themed decor. Robert ends up jumping out the window to escape, then heading to a bar where he spills a drink on Amy, whom he marries later that same season. It’s a hilarious arc with a great premise.
'Lucky Suit' (Season 6, Episode 16)
Doris Roberts picked up an Emmy for her performance in this perfect “Raymond” episode. When Robert scores an exciting interview for a position at the FBI, Marie does everything she can to sabotage his chances for joining the agency because she’s worried about his safety. It perfectly encapsulates the family’s meddling and miscalculated attempts at love. Plus it’s pretty funny.
'Debra Makes Something Good' (Season 4, Episode 18)
“Everybody Loves Raymond” is a great example of how a show can mature and make light of its established tropes in later seasons. While Debra is notorious for her awful cooking through the first few seasons, in the fourth season she makes a decent meal and suddenly finds herself in a culinary battle with Marie for top homemaker.
'The Angry Family' (Season 6, Episode 1)
“Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal says this is his favorite episode of his own series because it’s based on real life. His own son told his class about his “angry family,” an event that initially embarrassed Rosenthal until he realized he could use the material for the show.