10 Best & Funniest Frasier Episodes of All Time

Best and funniest list of Frasier episodes

Updated 2/19/22

Everyone who watched television during the ’90s remembers Frasier. The snooty but loveable psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane was first seen on the hit TV show Cheers and later wound up being the best candidate for a spinoff once the almighty Cheers wrapped up production in 1992.

Chock-full of intelligent wit, slapstick comedy, a healthy dose of sitcom clichés, and a surprising amount of depth, Frasier very quickly took the television world by storm.

By the time Frasier ended on its 11th season in 2004, the show had achieved 318 nominations for a variety of industry awards, including…

  • 108 Emmy Awards (37 wins)
  • 24 Golden Globe Awards (2 wins)
  • 26 Screen Actors Guild Awards (2 wins)
  • 11 TCA Awards (5 wins)
  • 9 Writers Guild of America Awards (6 wins)
  • 9 Directors Guild of America Awards (2 wins)

(Source: Wikipedia)

Because many people have been on the lookout for another great show to binge, I thought I’d round up the 10 best Frasier episodes for you to check out and enjoy!

Special thanks to the group on the Frasier subreddit for assisting me with this!

#1: Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast (S1, Ep. 13)

elaine and frasier guess whos coming to breakfast
Source: Club Parnassus

When Frasier’s father Martin has a female neighbor named Elaine over for dinner, one thing leads to another, and Elaine finds herself still at the Crane residence in time for breakfast with the family the next morning.

Already a bit uncomfortable with the nature of her situation, Elaine gets more than she bargains for when Frasier catches on to what happened.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

Frasier is taken completely off-guard by “Plain Old Dad” and his new breakfast companion. Although Frasier has the best of intentions, as he converses with Elaine and Martin, his comments inadvertently become increasingly sexual in nature.

Frasier’s wild attempts to backpedal and correct himself once he realizes how he’s coming across is what really makes the breakfast scene incredibly hilarious.

Following a verbal mishap involving Daphne’s freshly-cooked “Bangers and Mash”, the scene ends (fittingly, in my opinion) with a snarky exchange between Frasier and Daphne:

Frasier: You couldn’t have served bacon?

Daphne: ME!? The way YOU were carrying on, I think we can be thankful I didn’t make Toad-in-a-Hole!

#2: Author, Author (S1, Ep. 22)

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Frasier’s psychiatrist younger brother Dr. Niles Crane has landed a book deal with a major publishing company.

However, Niles is in a bind- the idea he had previously pitched to the publishing company has already been taken, and he’s having trouble coming up with a new concept to pitch.

When Frasier meets Niles and Niles’ contact from the publishing company, Sam Tanaka, at Cafe Nervosa, Sam mentions offhand that a book about two psychiatrist brothers could do very well.

Niles jumps at the opportunity, telling Sam that was exactly the idea he and Frasier had intended to pitch. Frasier is therefore obligated to write the book with Niles.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

When Niles tries to talk Frasier into writing the book with him (stating that it has “always been my dream to walk into a library, check the card catalog, and see my name under ‘Mental Illness'”), Frasier is initially reluctant.

But Niles reminds Frasier how much fun they had had writing the Spring Musical for their prep school when they were boys, using an old song and dance number they’d written…

“Oh, some boys go to college,

But we think they’re all wussies.

Cuz they get all the knowledge,

And we get all the –ump-de-ump-de-ump-!”

#3: My Coffee With Niles (S1, Ep. 24)

Source: Fan Pop

The last episode of the first season, “My Coffee With Niles” takes place entirely at Café Nervosa.

Frasier and Niles meet up for coffee, and after several minutes of navigating the overcrowded café in search of a table, Niles asks Frasier one seemingly simple, yet also complex, question:

“Now that Chapter Two of your life is in full swing, would you mind if I asked you something? Are you happy?”

Frasier is taken aback by the nature of the question, and purposely stalls for time to avoid responding right away.

Fortunately, this isn’t difficult- every time Frasier attempts to answer this question, other random characters manage to interrupt Frasier and Niles’ conversation with their own assortment of personal issues.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

This episode is particularly exceptional to me, because even with minimal scenery and plot changes, the depth of the overall conversation between Frasier and Niles keeps the viewer engaged.

In my opinion, the episode is a credit to the show’s talented writers.

There is also an amazing moment in this episode. Actor David Hyde Pierce, who plays Niles Crane, is a gay man. We didn’t know that then.

But at one point, Pierce breaks the fourth wall by sneaking a very subtle smirk directly at the camera during a scene in which Frasier jokes that Niles must be a gay man, that his life with his wife Maris has been a lie and he should’ve come out of the closet years ago.

#4: Moon Dance (S3, Ep. 13)

Source: CBS

When Niles is invited to a swanky society ball following his separation from his wife, Maris, he quickly finds himself a date.

However, upon discovering that couples would most likely be expected to dance, Niles panics. He’s never learned how to dance, so Daphne volunteers to give him dance lessons.

Niles (who has harbored secret feelings for Daphne since they first met) very much enjoys the lessons, until his father Martin cautions him about the things that can happen when the lights are low and one is caught in the heat of the moment.

On the eve of the dance, Niles’ date cancels. Daphne, eager for an elegant evening out, offers to take her place as Niles’ date.

When the two of them hit the dance floor and a Tango dance number begins to play, Niles and Daphne put on a performance that would make even Fred and Ginger green with envy.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

This episode is the first time Niles Crane really comes out of his shell, and begins to explore his feelings for Daphne on a much deeper level.

David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves did an amazing job filming this scene. Learning those dance steps must have been very complicated, and as someone who is 6’6 (and the very person with whom “breakdancing” has become synonymous in the most literal sense of the term), I have to appreciate the amount of work and dedication that surely went into the choreography of the Tango scene.

#5: Ham Radio (S4, Ep. 18)

Source: Fan Pop

Frasier has been chosen to direct an old-time radio “Whodunnit”-style drama for KACL. However, his tendency to get too involved as a director and his compulsive perfectionism soon begin to show.

From rehearsal to the day of the performance, Frasier’s overdirecting is driving his fellow cast members crazy.

Everything starts to go downhill as soon as the production begins, with Frasier’s producer Roz suffering from a temporary speech impediment (a result of her dentist being too liberal with the Novocain during her appointment earlier that day) and Niles stuck playing several different voice parts as a result of another cast member quitting the production in a rage during rehearsal.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

This episode is one of the best because as the viewer, it is absolutely hilarious to watch the production slowly disintegrate before Frasier’s eyes and his valiant attempts to save it. Plus, Niles’ choices for his numerous voices are hysterical.

#6: The Ski Lodge (S5, Ep. 14)

Source: Fan Pop

When Frasier gets a free ski weekend in the mountains from his producer Roz, he invites his family to join him. The weekend comes complete with scenery, a great cabin, and an in-house former Olympic ski champion to give them skiing lessons.

The newly-separated Niles is desperate for Daphne to join them (she can’t because she had made plans with her friend, lingerie model Annie, for her birthday) and invites Annie along so that Daphne can come.

Once the Crane family (plus Annie) reaches the cabin, they meet their French ski instructor, Guy, who immediately develops a crush on Niles.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

I am usually not a huge fan of the Sitcom Farce. Frasier, I think, relied quite a bit on that, and the big, honking, two-week-long misunderstandings of cosmic proportions got to be tiresome for me after a while.

However, this episode was different for some reason. It had to be the reactions of the characters to the sexually-charged insanity that was unfolding in the ski lodge.

Niles wanted Daphne, Daphne wanted Guy, Guy wanted Niles, Annie wanted Niles, and Frasier wanted Annie.

The writing and the acting were just top-notch in this episode, and I think that’s what made it as good as it was.

#7: Roz and the Schnoz (S5, Ep. 21)

A few episodes prior to this one, Roz Doyle had found out she was pregnant by a young man with whom she had had a brief fling.

While staying with Frasier for a few days, Roz receives a call from the young man’s mother, Paula Garrett, asking if it would be possible to meet Roz before she and her husband leave for Paris.

Frasier has the Garretts over to his condo, with Niles, Daphne, and Martin also in attendance.

The Garretts prove to be kind, supportive people…but their overlarge noses are the cause of much hilarity for everyone in the Crane household, and it is almost too much for them to bear.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

What makes “Roz and the Schnoz” such a great episode to me is the fact that five grown adults are struggling not to laugh at something as simple as large noses. And their reactions to unintentional nose puns by the Garretts add to the funniness of the episode.

#8: Something Borrowed, Something Blue Pt. 2 (S7, Ep. 24)

Source: SIMKL

After Frasier inadvertently blurts out Niles’ secret to Daphne while under the influence of some powerful painkillers in Part 1, Daphne is stunned.

She is also very conflicted- she is already engaged to a kind and thoughtful man who loves her more than anything, while Niles is engaged to his plastic surgeon.

In this heartfelt episode, Daphne wrestles with her emotions on the eve of her own wedding, until she figures out that she is in fact in love with Niles too.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

“Something Borrowed, Something Blue Pt 2” isn’t necessarily the funniest Frasier episode, but it’s one that kind of tugs on the heartstrings just a bit.

After years of fantasizing about Daphne, Niles has moved on to another woman just as Daphne has her eyes opened to what he has been feeling for her all this time.

The fact that both Niles and Daphne are already in loving relationships with other people at the time of this revelation really lets the viewer know the magnitude of the situation, and does a very good job foreshadowing the difficulty of the road ahead for Niles and Daphne.

#9: The Love You Fake (S9, Ep. 20)

Source: Joker on the Sofa

Frasier has been archenemies with his equally-pompous upstairs neighbor, Cam Winston (Brian Stokes Mitchell) since they first met.

But when Martin’s dog Eddie starts feeling under the weather, Cam’s mother Cora Winston (a veterinarian who is currently staying in the building with her son Cam) treats him.

In doing so, she becomes friendly with Martin, much to the chagrin of Frasier and Cam.

When Martin and Cora wonder aloud why Frasier and Cam hate each other so much (since they are actually very alike and have a lot in common), they decide to mess with Frasier and Cam’s heads by pretending they’re sleeping together.

Martin and Cora hope that this will force Frasier and Cam to get along, and therefore go to extreme lengths to fool the boys.

Their ruse is elaborate enough to convince Cam and Frasier that Martin and Cora are serious about each other, so they decide to roll up their sleeves and end their feud, “for the sake of our parents”.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

The reactions of Frasier and Cam to their parents’ “dating” are just priceless. They get very uncomfortable and very awkward, and the comedic timing of Kelsey Grammar and Brian Stokes Mitchell in this episode is impeccable.

Many Frasier episodes have lost their funny factor for me over the years, but this is one of the few that has me laughing hard every time I watch it. There aren’t many episodes that can pull this off.

#10: The Doctor is Out (S11, Ep. 3)

Source: Screen Rant

While at Cafe Nervosa with his father and Niles, they meet Roz’s new boyfriend Barry. Barry is good looking and in very good physical shape…but a pronounced lisp, his mannerism, and his job as a womans wear buyer at Bidwells are enough to convince Frasier that Barry is gay and therefore lying to Roz.

Later that night, as Frasier and Niles are walking back from their squash club, they see Barry leave what appears to be a gay club called “Bad Billy’s”.

Frasier (who is currently wearing Niles’ considerably-smaller athletic shorts because his own had accidentally split during squash) goes into Bad Billy’s looking for Barry.

A listener of Frasier’s radio show recognizes him there and accuses Frasier of being gay on the air soon after. Everyone believes it because this (in typical Frasier fashion) was the result of several misunderstandings and miscommunications while Frasier was in Bad Billy’s waiting for Barry.

In this episode, Patrick Stewart makes a guest appearance as a world-renowned opera composer and celebrity named Alistair Burke, who finds himself very attracted to Frasier after he hears Frasier being “outed” on the air.

Burke immediately starts courting Frasier, and because it has always been Frasier’s dream to be “half of a power-couple”, he doesn’t immediately halt Burke’s advances.

On the Best Frasier Episodes List Because…

This episode does get uncomfortable at times, no question. But I consider the fact that Frasier’s zeal to be associated with the rich and famous, and the resultant clouding of his judgment about Alistair Burke’s romantic feelings toward him, to be very funny.

Plus, Patrick Stewart has never disappointed, no matter what role he plays. His background as a classically-trained actor really adds a lot to the quality of this episode.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why did Daphne leave Frasier Season 8?

Jane Leeves left to give birth to her first child in 1998, and both her pregnancy and her absence were written into the show as subplots (Daphne was ostensibly away at a spa/rehab center to manage her weight problem).

Why did they never show Maris on Frasier?

According to the writers, because the jokes describing Maris got increasingly more outlandish as the show went on, they decided to refrain from casting her part because they felt that no actress could accurately portray Maris’ almost sub-human characteristics. Therefore, her actual appearance was left ambiguous to the viewers and the show only offered teasing, fleeting glances of her (similar to Norm Peterson’s never-seen wife Vera on Cheers).

How many episodes are in each season of Frasier?

There are 24 episodes in each of the 11 seasons of Frasier, totaling 264 episodes.

Is Frasier coming back?

Yes, Kelsey Grammar has confirmed that the highly anticipated reboot of Frasier is slated to hit Paramount Plus in early 2022.

Over to You!

Source: Burr Run Jor

Hopefully, you enjoyed the stroll down TV-memory lane as much as I did with this list of the best Frasier episodes! The show won as many awards and accolades as it did because it did so many things right.

These days, you’d be hard-put to find another television show with the blend of intellectual wit, snarky sarcasm, and smart jokes that Frasier had in its repertoire.

I credit the show’s talented creators, Peter Casey, David Lee, and David Angell (who tragically died in the September 11th attacks before the show was completed) for making Frasier such a success, even though the sitcom landscape was already beginning to change.

I do call out many of the tired sitcom clichés that are part of the show, but overall, any show that still has me laughing after 20 years is, in my mind, one of the few television shows that have really stood the test of time.

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Until next time, readers!