Best St. Patrick’s Day Episodes

Top of the Afternoon to Ye! For whatever reason, I didn’t think about writing a list of these until today, so I just cranked this out as fast as possible after oversleeping massively.  But, here you go:

5) St. Patrick’s Day (The Office)

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Michael (Steve Carell) gets angry at Jo (Kathy Bates) for making him work late and upsetting his St. Patrick’s Day plans. After repeated escape attempts, Michael finally just tells Jo that he’s letting everyone go home, to which she, surprisingly, complies, showing respect for him for the first time.

Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) has been using Jim’s (John Krasinkski) and Pam’s (Jenna Fischer) desks while they have been on parental leave to make a “MegaDesk.” When Jim returns, Dwight tries to guilt him into leaving so he can have his MegaDesk back. Jim does leave and spends more time with his baby, but stacks four desks into “QuadDesk,” which forces Dwight to keep everything in about a 6 inch gap.

Alright, this one doesn’t have as much Irish spirit as some of the others, but since it’s about all of the things that eventually replace St. Patrick’s Day (work, kids), it’s still a pretty good episode.

4) Charlie Catches a Leprechaun (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

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It’s St. Paddy’s Day at Paddy’s Pub, and the Gang is trying to make some real money. Dennis, Dee, and Frank (Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson, and Danny DeVito) take off in the “Paddy’s Wagon,” a bar contained within a van, but their inability to ever cooperate or think things through leads all the customers to get upset, which, in turn, leads the three to start robbing all of their customers and abandoning them out of the city limits.

Meanwhile, Charlie (Charlie Day) and Mac (Rob McElhenney) are watching the bar, but they quickly become distracted when Charlie catches a little person in a leprechaun costume (Kevin Thompson). After Mac leaves (for a gay bar), Charlie, who has been drinking paint mixed with alcohol, believes this to be a real leprechaun, and starts torturing him (Reservoir Dogs style), until the rest of the gang returns to stop him.

Basically, this episode is just the Gang ruining a bunch of people’s attempts to have a good time, but they’re also ruined by people robbing their bar when they leave it unattended. So… happy holiday about drinking?

3) The Funcooker (30 Rock)

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30 Rock fans probably thought that this was going to be the episode “St. Patrick’s Day,” but screw that, this episode’s more fun.

While hosting the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) drink too much, causing Jenna to pass out and Tracy to violently swear on live TV.  However, after realizing that he can just pay all of the FCC fines, Tracy keeps swearing on TV. When sponsors drop out, Tracy just buys all the advertising time himself.

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) is unable to deal with it because she’s stuck on the jury for the trial of a woman who worked in a similar capacity to Liz and ended up snapping and burning the building down. Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is attempting to find the name for a small portable microwave, and Kenneth the page (Jack McBrayer) suggests the “Funcooker” as the only universally non-offensive term for it. However, Tracy, now acting with impunity, moons the world while calling his ass the “Funcooker,” ruining the name and the network. Liz returns to find the chaos, and then accidentally starts a small fire, which scares everyone into compliance.

This episode shows the fallout that can come from bad St. Patrick’s Day decisions, so make sure that you drink slightly less than Jenna and Tracy.

2) Hoss and the Leprechauns (Bonanza)

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Alright, so, this might be a jump-the-shark moment, but this is a hell of a funny episode of Bonanza.

Hoss Cartwright (Dan Blocker) is in the woods when he finds a bear that has treed a small man wearing green in a funny hat. Hoss scares the bear away, saving the man, and then finds a small box filled with gold. Hoss immediately suspects that it was a leprechaun. When he returns to town and the Ponderosa, no one believes him about the  leprechaun, and the gold disappears. However, at the same time, an Irish professor shows up and confirms that there are indeed leprechauns and pots of gold in the woods, leading everyone to go treasure hunting.

After finding a bunch of little people, it’s revealed that they’re all carnies who staged a rebellion and robbed their crooked boss, who is disguised as the Irish professor. This episode is a pretty hilarious farce, with even the audience doubting whether or not they are real leprechaun.

1) Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment (The Simpsons)

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This is one of the best episodes of the Simpsons. It was destined to take this spot from the beginning. For those of you who point out it only starts on “St. Patrick’s Day,” shut yer gobs.

On St. Patrick’s Day, Bart accidentally gets shot with a beer cannon, resulting in him stumbling around drunk on television. A moral outcry leads the city of Springfield to finally enforce their 200-year-old law banning alcohol. However, Chief Wiggum is too corrupt, resulting in the city calling in Dick Tracy-esque Rex Banner (Dave Thomas), who proceeds to wipe out the mob and the speakeasies. However, Homer, die-hard alcoholic that he is, digs up all the buried beer in the dump, then sets up a system to supply the alcohol to Moe’s Tavern through a series of underground tunnels at the bowling alley.

Homer, now known as the “Beer Baron,” eventually runs out of beer and starts making his own alcohol. When Marge finds out, as opposed to being mad, she is impressed at how clever Homer is being. Eventually, though, Homer feels bad for Chief Wiggum’s unemployment, and turns himself in to the former Chief so that he will get his job back.

Homer avoids the punishment for brewing (which is “catapult”) after it’s revealed that the law was actually repealed 199 years ago. When Banner tries to criticize the drinking, he is catapulted out of town. The episode ends with one of the best lines in TV history:

To alcohol! The cause of… and solution to… all of life’s problems.

Thanks for reading, drink responsibly. Or don’t. I’m a blog, not a cop.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

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Greatest Valentine’s Day Episodes

Okay, so, I’m going to die alone, but for those of you who aren’t, here’s a list of some of the best Valentine’s Day episodes of TV. Or, really, just the first 5 episodes I could think of that were good. I didn’t think of this until Monday, so cut me a break.

Runner Up: Galentine’s Day (Parks and Rec)

Why is this a runner up? Because it’s not a V-day episode…  and although most of it takes place at a Valentine’s Dance, it’s mostly about breakups.

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Galentine’s Day is the 13th of February, and it’s a holiday made up by Pawnee, Indiana resident Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) to celebrate strong, independent women. Leslie’s widowed mother, Marlene (Pamela Reed), a guest at the Galentine’s celebration, tells the story of her first love, a lifeguard she met years before she met Leslie’s father, with whom she had a passionate affair before her parents made her break it off.

ValentinesGalentinesLeslie, with encouragement from Justin (Justin Theroux), a man she’s been dating, goes to find the lifeguard and reunite the lovers after all these years. Unfortunately, while Marlene grew up to be a civic leader, the lifeguard, Frank (John Larroquette), is just a barrel full of problems. He’s immature, unsophisticated, unemployed, and just generally is the worst. Marlene understandably wants nothing to do with him.

This leads Leslie to realize she doesn’t really like Justin. Meanwhile, her co-workers’ relationships are similarly dissolving. Tom (Aziz Ansari) is rejected by his ex-wife. April (Aubrey Plaza) breaks up with her boyfriend and his boyfriend. Ann (Rashida Jones) and Mark (Paul Schneider) are still together, but it’s clear Ann is looking to get out of the relationship… which leads Mark to get out of the show.

Message received: Love is a lie and everyone dies alone. Happy Galentine’s Day!!!

5) Operation Ann (Parks and Rec)

Okay, I had to make it up to Parks and Rec, both for lambasting Galentine’s Day and for not ever finding an episode of the show quite remarkable enough to get onto this list, despite how much I like the show.

Here’s the thing about Parks and Rec: Every single couple at the end of the show is basically perfect.

April and Andy (Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt), Leslie and Ben (Amy Poehler and Adam Scott), Ann and Chris (Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe), Tom and Lucy (Aziz Ansari and Natalie Morales), Donna and Joe (Retta and Keegan-Michael Key), Garry and Gayle (Jim O’Heir and Christie Brinkley), Ron and Diane (Nick Offerman and Lucy Lawless), even Craig and Typhoon (Billy Eichner and Rodney To). All of them are amazing. Which is why it’s so great to see where some of these relationships start to develop.

ValentinesBenLeslie.gifThis episode starts with Leslie having her first V-Day with a serious boyfriend, Ben. She makes an overly-elaborate series of puzzles involving multiple riddles that range from “weird” to “punishingly difficult.” Even Leslie admits, at one point, that it’s probably impossible for Ben to actually solve them all. In desperation, Ben asks Ron and Andy for help. Along the way, Ben finds out that Ron actually loves puzzles and riddles, despite his earlier objections to them. In the end, Ron intuits the final solution to Leslie’s riddle, saving Ben.

valentinesanntom.jpgMeanwhile, Leslie asks the office to help find a boyfriend for Ann, who is somehow single despite being sweet, smart, and looking like Rashida Jones (it actually gets explained later that she has some issues). At the same time, Chris, the perpetual optimist, is depressed because he has been dumped by his most recent girlfriend. At the end of the episode, Ann ends up hanging out with Tom, which proves to be a horrible mistake, and Chris realizes that he’s only single because he broke up with Ann for basically no reason aside from location. This leaves both of them in the position to get back together in the future, after they both grow a little bit.

Also, April and Andy are together, and they’re perfect, and I love them.ValentinesAprilAndy.jpg

 4) Anna Howard Shaw Day (30 Rock)

Much like Parks and Rec, even though I love this show it never made it onto the list. Only 2 episodes got nominated, and this is… not one of them, but it’s a natural fit to put it here. Too bad I don’t have a Leap Day list.

Valentines30Rock.jpg30 Rock is a show about putting on an SNL-like show called “TGS with Tracy Jordan,” which is filmed at NBC headquarters located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

30 Rock doesn’t have the perfect ending for everyone, but it has a solid happy ending for most of the characters. It also points out that, even if you don’t find love in another person, you can find it in your friends and family.

ValentinesLizLemon.gifAt the beginning of this episode, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) has set a root canal on Valentine’s Day, which she calls “Anna Howard Shaw Day” after the female civil rights leader born on Feb. 14, but discovers that everyone else has plans and thus she has no one who can drive her home while she’s under anesthesia. At the same time, her boss, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), meets Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks), the ultra-conservative woman of his dreams. Jack tries to woo her, including planning a celebrity party where he invites Jon Bon Jovi (Music Guy), but ends up snubbing him because he’s interested in what she’s saying. Naturally, they bang, and agree to go out again on V-day. On Valentine’s Day, Liz gets her root canal, telling the dental staff that she’ll be fine to go home. On the way out, however, Liz hallucinates that the nurses are her ex-boyfriends, leading the staff to call Jack to help. Jack agrees, but Avery assumes that it’s just an excuse to dump her after they’ve had sex. Jack counters by offering to have her come along, which impresses Avery even more with his kindness. Liz passes out, but at least she knows she has a friend.

At the same time, Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) is depressed because her stalker appears to have lost interest in her. Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer) is confused as to why she’s upset that her stalker has moved on, only for Jenna to tell Kenneth that her stalker is her longest relationship. Kenneth proceeds to send her threatening letters to show that he cares.

Basically, this episode reminds us that friendship is a kind of love, too.

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 3) My Funky Valentine (Modern Family)

Modern Family was a show about how there are different, viable models of family structure than just the traditional Nuclear Family. It covered one family in three households.

Household 1 is the Dunphy family. Goofy dad Phil (Ty Burrell), his wife Claire (Julie Bowen), and their kids Haley, Alex, and Luke (Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, and Nolan Gould). Household 2 is the Pritchetts: Claire’s dad Jay (Ed O’Neill), his younger, hotter wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara), Gloria’s son Manny (Rico Rodriguez), and their baby Joe (Jeremy McGuire). Household 3 is the Pritchett-Tuckers: Claire’s brother Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), his husband Cam (Eric Stonestreet), and their daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons).

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This episode’s main focus is Phil and Claire. Phil has taken Claire to the same restaurant for most of their history together, so this year he decides to rent a hotel and have the two of them roleplay for the evening instead. Phil is Clive, a businessman, and Claire is Julianna, a housewife. As they flirt at the bar, Claire goes to the bathroom and removes all of her clothes, returning wearing just a coat. As they make their way up to the room, however, the coat gets caught in the escalator. Claire cannot get out of the coat withouthaving to run to the room naked, and multiple acquaintances keep showing up… all of whom just tell her to get out of the coat.

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Jay and Gloria go to a comedy club at the same hotel, which is fun until the comedian starts making fun of Jay’s age. They leave and run into Claire… who Gloria quickly helps, having realized the situation immediately, since apparently it had happened to her before. Claire and Phil go to their room… where it’s later revealed Phil screwed up the entire evening somehow by mis-using oil.

Meanwhile, Mitchell is depressed because he broke up his and Cam’s Valentine’s plans due to needing to work on a case, only for the client to settle, preventing Mitchell from delivering the best speech he’d ever written. Manny, who they’re watching while Jay and Gloria are out, is also depressed because he wrote a Valentine’s Day poem for a girl in his class, and another boy took credit for it. Manny and the couple go to the restaurant and confront the boy, with Mitch delivering a version of the speech he’d written. Unfortunately, the girl actually likes the other guy more, so Manny’s still single.

I love this episode because it emphasizes the show’s message of “every couple is different.”

2) Three Valentines (Frasier)

Already wrote this one, not doing it again. Still hilarious.

1) I Love Lisa (The Simpsons)

It probably says a lot that my number one pick is an episode about a girl taking pity on a boy, him taking it the wrong way, her having to break his heart, and them ending up friends… but, that’s for my therapist. Here’s the winner:

This episode is one of the best episodes of the Simpsons, and that’s saying something.

It’s Valentine’s Day in Springfield and Lisa’s class (Yeardley Smith) is giving Valentine’s ValentinesChooChooCards to each other. Unfortunately, Ralph Wiggum (Nancy Cartwright), who is not the brightest kid in the class… nor the most sanitary, doesn’t get a single card. Seeing him heartbroken, Lisa feels pity for him and gives him a card saying “I choo-choo-choose you.” This leads Ralph to fall in love with Lisa, who does not reciprocate. At all. This is made worse when Ralph and Lisa are picked to play George and Martha Washington in the school play.

Ralph’s father, Chief Wiggum (Hank Azaria), gets them tickets to a Krusty the Clown Live show, which Lisa desperately wants to go to. Unfortunately, Krusty starts talking to the audience, leading Ralph to proclaim his love for Lisa on live TV… which Lisa responds to by telling him that “I don’t like you! I never liked you and the only reason I gave you that stupid valentine is because nobody else would!” Bart (Cartwright) later uses a recording of this to show Lisa the exact moment Ralph’s heart rips in half.ValentinesRalph

Ultimately, Lisa tries to apologize to Ralph for being cruel, but Ralph focuses on his role as George Washington, leading him to give a stellar performance and the interest of multiple new women. Lisa finally gives him an apology card with a bee on it, saying “Let’s Bee Friends.”ValentinesBeeFriends

This is an amazing episode, even if it’s a bit heartbreaking, because that’s really just how it is sometimes. The girl you like doesn’t like you back. The thing you thought was caring was just friendship. And that’s okay.