Everybody loves "Everybody Loves Raymond." What the beloved (and record-breaking) sitcom and its sad-sack titular character lack in flash, they more than make up for in humor. It’s the sort of show anyone can see themselves (and their family) in, regardless of specific circumstances. That universality has made it a classic.
The best part of "Everybody Loves Raymond" is that you never know when the funny moments are going to strike. Someone might be in the middle of a serious conversation or — even more likely — an intense screaming match, and suddenly they’ll drop an absolute gem. It might take the form of a witty one-liner, or it might be a moment of jocund slapstick — everything is on the table. Some of these are standalone capsules of fun, while others take an entire episode to set up. Either way, you’re going to be laughing before 22 minutes are up.
With nine seasons and over 200 episodes spent with the Barones, there’s certainly no lack of funny moments to choose from when one considers the show’s high points. In fact, creating a list that ranks the biggest laughs of "Everybody Loves Raymond" feels a bit overwhelming. We’ve done our best to whittle things down, however. These are the funniest moments of "Everybody Loves Raymond," ranked from the definitively hilarious to the most gut-busting moment of them all.
13. Ray’s nasally voice
Ray Barone, played by comedy legend Ray Romano, is the centerpiece of the show. Ray isn’t forced into introspection all that often, but there are some episodes that specifically focus on the quirky shortcomings of the character. One such episode is Season 4’s "Cousin Gerard."
This episode follows Ray as he tries to employ his wimpy, whiny cousin as a favor for his mother. After a day spent with the supremely disagreeable Gerard, Ray starts complaining to Debra about his cousin’s negative attitude, nasal voice, and depressing mannerisms. He demonstrates these qualities by mimicking his relative saying, "Oh, no, I spilled Wite-Out."
What Ray doesn’t realize — and Debra quickly points out — is that he and Gerard might as well be twins. Offended, Ray marches over to a mirror and looks at his features. He repeats the line about Wite-Out, stares at himself for a second, and matter-of-factly states, "Oh, my God, I am Gerard." This disheartening revelation is perfectly delivered, as only the great Ray Romano could pull off.
12. Robert’s prayer
If there’s one actor who gives Romano a run for his money, it’s Brad Garrett. Garrett’s oversized portrayal of Robert Barone is unique, distinctive, and downright hilarious. The actor’s expressive, in-your-face comedic style brings the laughs early and often throughout the show — including the Season 6 episode "Season’s Greetings."
This particular story focuses on the family’s ridiculous attempt to write a bonafide Barone update for the year’s Christmas letter. The rolling comedic banter is intense in this one, but the high point has to be when Robert is confronted by the fact that he’s overly competitive with his brother. As he contemplates his behavior, Robert scathingly criticizes himself, even as Debra tries to talk him down. When good things happen, he expounds, his first thought is what Raymond would think. "And if it’s something bad," he continues, "I actually say a prayer that Ray doesn’t do so good that day." Debra calls this out, saying, "You say a prayer?" Robert responds with a sample: Staring off into the distance, he says, "Come on, God, get him." This ludicrous request makes for a great laugh, and perfectly sums up the relationship between the two brothers.
11. Frank and Marie’s skit
Sometimes, the funniest moments on the show aren’t just hilarious to the audience — the characters get in on the laughter, too. Consider the Season 6 episode "The Skit." In this installment, Ray and Debra put on a roast-style skit in which they make fun of Marie and Frank as a clever bit of party entertainment. The grandparents take the mockery in stride and think the entire evening is a smashing success.
However, once the event is over, they get to talking about this mocking style of comedy. This leads to Frank and Marie turning the tables by putting on a skit inspired by Ray and Debra. Their expert jokes are right on the money — in fact, they’re a little too on the money. As Frank picks on Ray’s wimpiness and Marie criticizes Debra’s perceived failures as a housewife, their victims get increasingly upset about the whole affair.
The scene is pretty funny all on its own, but Robert takes it over the top as he raucously laughs at the display. From the sight of his face frozen in petrified laughter to the moment he doubles over in his seat, shouting, "Stop! My stomach! You’re killing me!" Robert adds a level of comedic energy that makes the scene one of the funniest the show ever produced.
10. Ray gets a little excited
The proximity of Ray and Debra’s home to his parents’ abode across the street is a constant source of tension. However, the parental harassment eases up for a brief period of time during Season 9’s "The Home." Frank and Marie announce their intention to move to an old folks’ home over an hour away. They also inform Robert and his wife Amy that they will be selling their Long Island house to them for the price they originally paid for it: $26,000. What a steal!
The news understandably causes a stir of excitement. However, Ray and Robert manage to suppress their giddiness at their parents’ departure until they can get out of sight and into the kitchen. In there, though, the group lets loose. In his enthusiastic hysteria, Robert literally lifts up Amy and puts her on top of the fridge — an easy task for the lofty, hulking man to pull off.
The problem arises when his younger, much smaller brother attempts to follow suit. Ray actually tries to pick up his bride and toss her up onto the fridge. Lacking Robert’s height, he just ends up slamming her into the fridge. The slapstick moment is so unexpected, so ridiculous, and so utterly Raymond that it’s bound to bust a gut every time.
9. Frank goes on a picnic
Season 3’s "No Fat" lands two spots on this list. Needless to say, it’s one of the best installments of the entire series. It centers around Thanksgiving at the Barones’ house. With Marie at the helm, this event is usually a delicious proposition — even if it does come with its fair share of stressors. In this particular case, however, Turkey Day ends up taking on a bit of a healthier tone. Just before the holiday hits, Frank is diagnosed with some alarming health concerns. This causes Marie to go scorched earth on any and all unhealthy food in the house.
This comes as a surprise to Raymond, who visits his parents’ house only to find them bickering over what kind of food Frank can eat. Fed up with the argument, Marie declares, "From now on, we’re eating healthy in this house." At this point, she opens up the fridge and starts shoving all of the unhealthy food into a garbage bag. Not to be denied his delectables, Frank waits until his wife has filled the bag before he makes his move. He snatches the pouch of goodies and fends off his wife with a fork. When Marie asks where he’s going, he retorts, "On a picnic!" He then triumphantly declares, "Out with the old bag, in with the new!" and marches out of the room to enjoy his plunder.
Ray and Debra spend a lot of time trying to outwit Marie. One of the many moments this effort blows up in their face takes place in the Season 8 episode "Liars." When he doesn’t show up for some pre-planned quality time, Ray concocts a little white lie to throw Marie off the scent. It doesn’t take long before this fib spirals into a complex series of lies. As Ray and Debra work overtime to keep their deception airtight, Marie begins to pick up on the fact that something’s wrong. This sets off a chain of super-sleuthing on the part of the matriarch as she slowly unweaves the web of deceit, one strand at a time.
At one point, Marie asks the pair of lovebirds what hotel they supposedly went to during their made-up adventure. Before they can look at each other, Marie interposes, telling them that they should each whisper the name of the hotel into her ear. Trapped and panicking, Ray leans in and very loudly whispers, "RAMADA!" Everyone both on and off-screen can hear the soft-spoken shout, instantly giving away the lie and leaving the audience falling out of their chairs in laughter.
7. Ray’s impromptu workout
Ray Barone is an insecure fellow. Anyone who’s watched the show for more than two minutes is aware of this fact. However, there are some episodes where this facet of Ray’s character is put on especially intense display. One of the funniest of these moments can be found in the Season 4 episode "Debra’s Workout." Debra gets into a great new workout routine that has her full of energy and eager to come on to her husband. Ray clearly enjoys this — that is, until he starts to doubt his wife’s motives.
Feeling insecure, Ray does a little digging and discovers that Debra’s new workout instructor is a handsome hunk. His jealousy takes over, and he visits Debra’s new gym with half-hearted vengeance in mind. Unable to face the muscle-bound fitness instructor head-on, Ray stalls by joining the class. Worked up by his out-of-control envy, he starts his own ridiculous spin-off routine that involves jumping, spinning, and generally making a fool of himself. While he and Debra end up working things out, it’s hard to hear the resolution of the episode over the sound of the unbridled laughter that this scene sparks.
6. The jiggly turkey
Season 3’s "No Fat" is a riot from beginning to end. The scene where Frank goes on a picnic is hysterical, as previously mentioned. However, there’s another sequence shortly afterward that raises the laughter to all-new levels.
As chef extraordinaire Marie Barone whips up her first diet-approved Thanksgiving extravaganza, tensions are running high. The meal includes a smorgasbord of healthy dishes, with the centerpiece being a tofu turkey. All of the Barone boys eye the faux bird with displeasure when Marie emerges from the kitchen carrying the platter. Robert makes a pathetic attempt at a compliment, declaring, "Look how it jiggles!" Frank, far more honest, asks for the carving knife to cut his throat. From there, Debra begins the painful process of forcing everyone to try a bite. From beginning to end, the scene is filled with painful frivolity as the family slowly breaks down under the pressure of the worst Thanksgiving meal ever made.
5. Killing the canister
The season 5 episode "The Canister" is a riot from start to finish. The story kicks off when Marie passively accuses Debra of losing a special canister. When Marie apologizes for the jab, the balance of power shifts, and brighter days seem to be ahead … until Debra and company realize that she has the canister after all. This leads to a painful discussion in which Debra convinces Ray and Robert that she has to throw away the canister for the good of the new universe they’ve discovered. The brothers reluctantly agree, but leave it to Debra to do the dirty work.
This leads to a riotous scene in which Debra attempts to throw away the canister, but finds the task difficult. She is forced to cram it into an overfull garbage can, then send it careening into the outside receptacle. She comes back inside to quietly announce, like a mafia hitman, "It’s done. Thank you." Ray replies without making eye contact, "I feel cold." The scene sums up the show’s screwball humor at its best.
4. Ray goes to confession
In the Season 1 episode "Neighbors," Ray and Debra are confronted by the neighborhood, who insist that the couple help them address Marie and Frank’s bad behavior. This leads to a dramatic showdown as Ray and Debra find themselves torn between offended neighbors and family members.
The stress finally pushes Ray to do something he hasn’t done in years — 20 years, to be precise. He visits a Catholic priest for confession. While this isn’t the same Father Hubley who mans the position throughout most of the show, this initial priest’s one-off appearance ends up playing a part in one of the funniest scenes of the series.
As Ray recounts his struggles, he explains that he feels like he’s broken one of the Ten Commandments by dishonoring his father and mother. This causes the priest to bring up a story about an abrasive parishioner who caused him trouble a few years back. When they connect that he’s talking about Frank, the priest asks, "Your parents are Frank and Marie Barone?" Ray responds in the affirmative. The priest responds without skipping a beat: "You’re absolved. Our Lord forgives your thoughts." The setup is perfect and the delivery is even better.
3. Driving the Barones through the wall
Every show has the occasional scene that stands out as a particularly big deal. From intense choreography to massive explosions, there’s always some point when a production team goes all-in on a moment. Such is the case in the Season 5 episode "Wallpaper."
This installment comes right after a heartwarming two-parter in which the entire Barone clan heads to Italy on an extended vacation. While all of that mushy-gushy "Cinema Paradiso"-esque fun is great, it takes all of 10 seconds after the family returns to the States for all heck to break loose.
As Ray and Debra reminisce about their trip in the opening sequence of the episode, Marie and Frank smash through the living room wall in their car. The parents immediately start to play the blame game, both accusing the other of being responsible for the vehicle’s failed brakes. Robert’s arrival only makes things worse as he finds too much humor in the insane incident. The scene is hilarious on every level, and is, hands-down, one of the most unforgettable moments of the entire show.
2. Robert’s befuddled philosophy
Some of the best moments of the show revolve around longer conversations happening within the Barone family. One of these takes place in the Season 6 episode "Talk to Your Daughter," in which the family collectively tries to figure out the meaning of life.
The heady topic leads to a relentless string of laugh-inducing lines. Ray offers a very poor imitation of God before he calls up the family priest and leaves a message asking him to call back with the meaning of life. Marie literally starts combing through the Bible on the spot, digging up random verses and claiming they answer the question. Debra spends the whole conversation debunking everyone’s ridiculous attempts to play Johnny-on-the-spot sophists.
But the best content comes from Robert. The perplexed brother starts off with a frenzied string of questions about the end of space and the beginning of time. As he gets more overwhelmed by his philosophical musings, he is suddenly seen standing in the background as he utters, "Do you know the fruit fly only lives one day? … One day. What’s his meaning of life, huh?" The line is so randomly inserted into the dialogue that it can’t help but catch viewers off-guard, sending them into a tizzy of sage laughter every time.
1. Let them eat cake
Number one on our list of funny moments is a delicious scene that will leave anyone with a hankering for chocolate cake … and possibly a bit of nausea. The scene comes at the very end of the Season 3 episode "The Visit." Debra’s mom comes to visit, causing Marie to feel all sorts of threatened. From there, the two moms take center stage as Debra is forced to face her own mother’s shortcomings, as well as the undesirable truth that Marie really does have some solid strengths as a mother-in-law.
The kicker, though, comes at the end of the episode. Earlier on, Marie arrives with a chocolate cake. When things get tense, Ray, Robert, and Frank disappear with the dessert in tow. Once all ruffled feathers have been smoothed, Marie calls over to her house to tell the men that they can bring the cake back over.
The call goes to voicemail, and she begins leaving a message on the machine. As this happens, the camera shows all three of the Barone boys eating the cake. As Marie catches onto what’s happening, she begins threatening them, causing them to eat faster. When she declares that she’s coming over, they stand up, still devouring cake at an incredible pace. At the last second, they run for cover — but Robert trips, and tells Ray to save himself. This impromptu eating contest sums up the entire heart and soul of the show in one hysterical 60-second clip.