Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005) is one of the funniest sitcoms of its time. Fans appreciate the eccentricities that come with Frank, Marie, Robert, Ray, Debra, and the kids. The Barones have a special kind of humor that leaves viewers laughing over distinct moments for a long time.
The first season sets up the family dynamic and establishes the fact that pretty much any situation can turn into a hysterical joke or bit. From verbal zingers to unforgettable physical comedy, which of the many moments from season one are the funniest?
10 Ally’s Godfather Impressions
In the second episode, Ray and Debra walk into the house and find Frank teaching Ally how to do impressions from The Godfather. Frank prompts Ally to repeat, “Stella!” Her delivery is comical and adorable, and she’s just as funny when she adds, “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.” This scene sets up the tone for Ally’s fresh comedic genius.
9 I Love You
In the same episode, Debra is upset because Ray never says “I love you.” As it turns out, Ray’s family never said “I love you” much, either. As Ray explores his past with the phrase and attempts to make things right with Debra, he has an awkward love fest with Frank, Marie, and Robert. The Barones start lavishing hugs and “I love you” statements on each other to make up for lost time, and Ray’s discomfort is absolutely hilarious.
8 ID Tests & Ice Cream
The fourth episode of the season is called “Standard Deviation,” and it is about Robert administering IQ tests to Ray and Debra. He initially tells them that Debra has the higher IQ, which leaves Ray sulking for much of the episode. Robert returns to share that he mixed up the results, and Ray actually has a higher IQ than Debra.
Robert departs and Ray exclaims, “Now it’s a happy marriage.” Debra then dumps her ice cream in Ray’s lap. After waiting many, many seconds for the audience’s laughter to die down, Ray continues to sit there with the ice cream and says, “Fudgy.”
7 Fighting Over The Cereal Prize
The seventh episode is “Your Place or Mine?” Frank has been ordering Marie around and hasn’t shown appreciation for all that she does for him. The two erupt over Frank’s tuna salad complaints (Marie forgot the celery) and briefly go their separate ways. Frank becomes a temporary bachelor in his underwear, and Marie camps out at Ray’s house. Marie finds that she always wants someone to take care of, so she starts babying Ray and Robert. The brothers fight over a prize from a box of Cap’n Crunch, and Ray jumps on Robert. Debra enters the scene and says to Robert, “Just tell him you’re tired and he’ll climb off.”
6 Fish In The Dishwasher
“Turkey or Fish” is the tenth episode of season one. Debra has decided that she should host Thanksgiving instead of Marie, and both Ray’s and Debra’s parents are to partake in the feast. As the preparations pile up, Debra is immensely stressed out about Thanksgiving. To Ray’s dismay, Debra is serving a big bass. She steps out for a minute as Ray promises to help her in the kitchen. While Debra is gone, Ray turns on football, gets distracted, and accidentally throws the fish into the dishwasher. Though disgusting, the moment is so funny to watch. The fish is saved since Ray forgot to add detergent, too.
5 Debra’s Ring
The sixteenth episode is “Diamonds,” a name that becomes as painful for the viewers as it is for Ray and Debra. Ray learns that one of his father’s old pals, Leon, has been caught selling phony jewelry. Not surprisingly, Ray once bought Debra’s engagement ring from Leon. He bends over backwards to swipe the ring from Debra to exchange the diamond. Debra doesn’t know what is going on and is utterly distraught at the thought of losing her ring. Ray makes the swap, only to come home and learn that Debra already switched the diamonds years ago! Therefore, Ray has just gotten rid of a $15,000 stone. It doesn’t take long for Debra to have Ray out in the dumpster looking for it with her.
4 Shamsky II
“The Dog” is the nineteenth episode, and fans will remember it as the introduction to Shamsky II (the first Shamsky had to leave the Barone family when young Ray was allergic to the dog). Shamsky II is a lost bulldog that Ray wants to keep, but Debra persuades him to give the dog to Robert. Robert is so in love with his new Shamsky, but he nearly loses his companion when the bulldog’s owner returns. The owner’s joyful reunion quickly sours when she realizes that the Barones have fixed her prized breeding dog. Ray then pulls out the checkbook and pays two thousand dollars for Shamsky II to stay with Robert.
3 Frank In The Buff
The twentieth episode is called “Neighbors” because everyone in the neighborhood is complaining about Frank and Marie. This, of course, delights Debra. She has no problem with the neighbors coming over to say their piece. The committee has a tape with footage of Frank going out to get the paper. With each clip, he wears less and less clothing and eventually exposes himself. At the exact moment of nudity, Frank and Marie come in and see the tape, and Frank starts making fun of the man on the screen until Marie realizes that it’s Frank showing his manhood.
2 Debra & The Psychologist
“Fascinatin’ Debra” (episode twenty-one) gives the busy mom a chance to express how underappreciated she feels. She calls in to chat with a radio psychologist named Dr. Nora, and Dr. Nora wants to speak with Debra some more. At the Barone home, Dr. Nora finds that Debra is acting like a strange, over-the-top version of herself, so Frank, Marie, Robert, and Ray look much more interesting.
Debra’s frustration at this comes to a head later in the kitchen when she does spot-on impressions of Frank, Marie, and Robert. Fans who don’t remember this should go back and relive the hilarity.
1 Oh, The Irony
“Why Are We Here” concludes the season with a look back at Ray and Debra’s early years as a married couple. The flashback sequence shows a pregnant Debra who really likes her in-laws. She has no problem considering a move that would take her and Ray closer to them. Frank uses his real estate chops to get Ray and Debra their house right across the street from Frank and Marie. The irony is ridiculously funny–outside of the flashback, current Debra realizes that the two people who most annoy her in life never annoyed her when she lived further away.