Comedies have been a staple of television since its inception. Most comedy TV shows disappear into the ether due to the number of options already out there. However, a few of them have become TV classics.
The most popular comedies have amassed hundreds of episodes due to their popularity. Comedy TV shows such as Friends, Peep Show and The Office are examples of comedies with die-hard fan bases and a huge amount of seasons. Most episodes of these hit shows are great. However, each show has a specific episode that is considered to be the best.
This guide will look at the best comedy TV episodes ever made. We will then crown the best comedy TV show episode of all time.
Best comedy episodes of all time
The Office – “Finale” (2013)
The US adaptation of the British mockumentary surpassed the popularity of the UK original, which first aired in 2001. The US show eventually went in its own direction and gave the show a more ridiculous identity compared to its British counterpart, which resonated well with audiences from both the US and the UK.
The final episode of The Office is one of the highest-rated comedy TV episodes of all time. The episode sees the Dunder Mifflin employees reunite for an in-character discussion about the documentary. They also attend the wedding of Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and Angela (Angela Kinsley) for the ultimate ending to the show. While it may not have been the ‘funniest’ episode of this comedy, the laughs were still there along with an emotional farewell to one of the best-loved comedy shows of all time.
The Office is available to stream on a variety of platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky Plus and ITVX.
Friends – “The One Where Everybody Finds Out” (1999)
Friends is considered by many to be one of the best comedies of all time. The American sitcom has a number of actors whose careers were made by the popularity of the show. This includes Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer and more.
The hit show has a number of high-rated episodes, but none so much as The One Where Everybody Finds Out. In this iconic episode, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) finds out about Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler’s (Matthew Perry) relationship. This episode changes the dynamic of the group, as the show’s most integral couple is confirmed.
You can stream every episode of Friends on Netflix. You can also purchase it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Sky Store and more.
Seinfeld – “The Contest” (1992)
Seinfeld is widely regarded as one of the most influential sitcoms of all time. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America voted it the second best-written TV series of all time. Therefore, it only makes sense that the sitcom has some of the best comedy episodes of all time.
The Contest is one of the highest-rated Seinfeld episodes to have aired, and it is hilarious. In this episode, George’s mom falls down the stairs after catching George (Larry David) performing a personal sexual act. During the episode, the characters have a bet on who can go the longest without performing a similar act. The episode is crude but does make for entertaining television.
It is currently available to stream on Netflix. You can also purchase it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Sky Store.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – “Charlie Work” (2015)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia initially aired 18 years ago, in 2005. The series follows a group of narcissistic sociopaths who run an unsuccessful Irish bar called Paddy’s Pub. It has a star-studded cast, including Danny DeVito and Rob McElhenney.
It has a vast amount of highly rated episodes, but the episode “Charlie Work” takes the cake. The premise of the episode involves Charlie (Charlie Day) making sure Paddy’s Pub passes a surprise health inspection. The episode includes an uninterrupted 10-minute long shot, which is not seen very often in television production.
It is currently available to stream on Netflix. You can also purchase it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Google Play.
Peep Show – “Wedding” (2007)
This British comedy has amassed a large following over the years and has only continued its popularity since its final season aired in 2015. The show uses point-of-view shots, which is why the show is called Peep Show. Essentially, we are peeping into the lives of the main characters, Mark (David Mitchell) and Jeremy (Robert Webb).
Its best episode is widely claimed to be “Wedding”. In this episode, Mark is determined to get out of his upcoming marriage. Meanwhile, Jeremy is clinging to the hope of winning back Nancy. However, being the best man at Mark’s wedding is getting in the way. This episode is hilarious and a must-watch, even if you have never seen the show before.
Peep Show is available to stream on Netflix and Sky Plus. It is also available for purchase on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
Curb Your Enthusiasm – “The Doll” (2001)
This improvisational comedy stars Larry David, who plays a semi-fictionalised version of himself. He is a semi-retired television writer and producer in Los Angeles who finds himself in awkward and hilarious situations. The show has received high critical acclaim, earning 47 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
In the episode titled “The Doll”, Larry attends a screening that results in chaos. The whole episode is filled with cringe comedy that will have viewers in hysterics. Although every Curb Your Enthusiasm episode is filled with cringe-infused moments, The Doll takes the top award. No wonder it’s highly rated by critics.
You can stream episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm on Sky Plus and Now TV. It is also available for purchase on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “The Box” (2018)
The show revolves around the fictitious 99th precinct of the New York Police Department in Brooklyn. The cast is headed by Andy Samberg, who plays Jake Peralta, a skilled but goofy detective who seems to always find a way to get the best results with unconventional means.
In Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s highest-rated episode, The Box, Jake and Holt (Andre Braugher) spend the night interrogating Phillip Davidson. The accused was arrested for being the prime suspect in his partner’s death. Despite this dark-sounding storyline, the show manages to add a special sprinkle of comedy, as they do with all of their episodes.
The show is available to stream on Netflix. It can also be purchased on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Sky Store.
The best of the best
We’ve established some of the best comedy TV episodes of all time, but which one takes the crown? There are a few ways we could look at this. Viewership, ratings and critic reviews could all be taken into account to come to an overall conclusion. At the end of the day, everyone will have a different opinion.
The only fair way would be to crown the highest-rated, right? In that case, The Office Finale would be considered the best comedy TV episode ever. Critics throughout the world have rated this episode as high as 9.8/10. You won’t find many critics who would disagree with this.
So, is The Office Finale the best comedy TV episode of all time? We’ll leave that up to you.
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