Ray Barone may be the protagonist of the popular sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, but there is no doubt that his demanding and overbearing parents, Frank and Marie, are the stars of the show. The in-laws from hell, Frank, and Marie live just across the road from Ray and Debra and think nothing of popping in unannounced to make themselves at home on the couch or to criticize Debra’s questionable cooking skills.
Brilliantly played throughout the nine series of Everybody Loves Raymond by Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts, who sadly died in 2006 and 2016 respectively, Frank and Marie are responsible for many of the funniest moments on the series.
10Marie Rips Off Frank’s Pants
Frank and Marie have been married for many years by the time we meet them in Everybody Loves Raymond, and they are both very set in their ways.
In fact, their marriage seems to be more like a conflict than a romance. In the season 5 episode Separation, Marie is talking to Debra’s well-to-do mother Lois when Frank comes in wearing a pair of old pants that Marie was trying to throw out for goodwill. They get into a huge row which results in Marie ripping off Frank’s pants right in front of Lois.
9The Missing Cannoli
Like all good Italian mothers, Marie shows her love for her family by cooking great food and making sure they are all well-fed. Her home-made cannoli are a particular favorite, and in one season 6 episode, Frank had been saving the last two cannoli as a treat – until they mysteriously disappear.
All hell breaks loose in the Barone household as he calls on Marie to swear on the bible that she didn’t take them, ending with the immortal line “Thou shalt not eat the cannoli!”.
8Frank’s New Wife
In season 7, Frank and Marie manage to completely disrupt the funeral of a close friend, when they start arguing over who Frank would marry should Marie be the one to die first.
Marie had picked out one of their sensible friends, whose funeral they are attending, but Frank has his eye on someone a little more glamorous. As with many of their disagreements, the quarrel starts to descend into a farce, and Frank ends up insulting the dead woman in front of her whole family.
7Fighting Over A Tuna Sandwich
It may seem that Marie and Frank are unhappily married, but the truth is that they rely on each other a great deal. Frank in particular is very dependent on Marie for his daily meals, and he has come to expect a certain standard, even when it comes to something a simple as a tuna salad sandwich.
When Frank has a temper tantrum because his tuna salad is missing the celery, it is the last straw for Marie. She decides to leave Frank and, much to Debra’s horror decides to move in with Raymond.
6Making An Impression On The In-Laws
Every family has its little peculiarities, which may seem perfectly normal within the group but turn out to be utterly bizarre to anyone meeting them for the first time.
When Robert and Amy announce that they are getting married, it is time for the Barones to meet the McDougals – and Frank and Marie certainly make an impression on Amy’s rather strait-laced parents. They end up fighting over a basket of muffins and chasing each other around the apartment, while Hank and Pat McDougal look on in horror.
5A Trophy Wife?
They may argue a lot, but Frank and Marie both give as much as they get when it comes to the sassy one-liners. In the season 3 episode The Toaster, Frank, and Marie return a toaster which was a gift from Raymond, not realizing that it was engraved especially for them.
They have to go back to the store to try and get it back, and Marie demands that she has her say, arguing that she is more than a trophy wife. “Trophy wife?” retorts Frank. “What contest in hell did I win?”
4 Marie Throws Out All The Good Food
Marie may show her love through cooking, but she also shows how much she cares for Frank when she decides that the two of them need to eat healthier if they are going to live longer.
This new health regime is imposed on the rest of the family when Marie cooks a meatless Thanksgiving dinner, but Frank draws the line at seeing all the good food thrown out of their refrigerator, grabbing the garbage bag of goodies from Marie, and heading out to enjoy his private feast.
3Frank Expressing His Feelings
It may seem as though Frank and Marie are always at each other’s’ throats, but they have been married for more than 40 years (their anniversary is celebrated in season 2) so they must be doing something right. Frank is more likely to insult his wife than to whisper sweet nothings in her ear, which just makes the rare moments when he does share his feelings with her that much more special.
In an emotional finale, Frank finally tells Marie just how much he appreciates her, despite his bad-tempered barbs.
2The Car Accident
Often when Frank and Marie bicker and argue, there is no real reason for it – other than having spent almost half a decade married to each other!
Every now and then, however, one of them managed to do something so ridiculous that the other was perfectly within their rights to make a big deal about their stupidity. Perhaps the best example of this was when Marie managed to reverse the car right through the front of Ray and Debra’s house. Frank pulls no punches in telling Marie just what he thinks of her driving.
1Frank And Marie Take A Canoeing Trip
One of the most epic Frank and Marie moments in all nine seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond is also one of the most understated. When the couple wins a canoe trip in a raffle, Marie is excited at the prospect of spending a romantic day on the river with Frank.
Frank has other ideas, and as Marie sits excitedly in the canoe talking about all the things they can do together, Frank silently pushes the boat off from the dock, leaving Marie to float off alone.