When it comes to beloved 90’s sitcom Frasier, one question endures.
Were the Brothers Crane highfalutin or just really big nerds?
They were both pretentious psychiatrists, no doubt, but they also loved theater and opera, reading, art, wine, and a myriad of other nerdy pursuits.
Therefore, the answer, we think, is definitely both.
Frasier and Niles Crane were snobs AND geeks, and Frasier was one of the nerdiest shows ever on television, though it’s not typically categorized as such.
But how can you categorize a show where the main characters play chess, put together models, go antiquing, fence, and give speeches in Klingon as anything other than entirely geeky?
You can’t. Frasier, at its heart, was simply a geekfest and all the more delightful because of it.
So, without further ado, we are counting down the five best episodes of Frasier, the ones we think all TV lovers and true geeks should see.
Best Frasier Episodes According to IMDB
These are the top five episodes of Frasier according to ratings on IMDB:
- 5. “The Doctor Is Out” (Frasier Season 11, Episode 3)
- 4. “The Matchmaker” (Frasier Season 2, Episode 3)
- 3. “Goodnight, Seattle: Part 2” (Frasier Season 11, Episode 24)
- 2. “Ham Radio” (Frasier Season 4, Episode 18)
- 1. “The Ski Lodge” (Frasier Season 5, Episode 14)
Perhaps, the strangest thing about this list is that three out of the five top-rated episodes – “The Doctor Is Out,” “The Matchmaker” & “The Ski Lodge” – are ones in which either Frasier or Niles (and, at one point, Daphne) are presumed to be gay.
I really don’t know what to make of that, but it’s worthy of note.
Best Frasier Episodes According to Geeky Matters
Now, not to rabble-rouse, but when it comes to the best-rated Frasier episodes, we simply have to disagree.
These top-rated episodes are great, don’t get us wrong, but are they the best episodes of Frasier throughout its 11-season run?
Frankly, we don’t think so.
So, here’s are the top five episodes of Frasier for you to do with as you wish.
5. Back Talk (Frasier Season 7, Episode 10)
If you watched Frasier from the start, you know Niles’ feelings for Daphne was one of the most enduring plot points of the show.
Eventually, someone was going to spill the beans.
It happens in this episode, and how it happens it utter perfection.
4. Fathers & Sons (Frasier Season 10, Episode 22)
Another enduring plot point in Frasier is that Frasier and Niles are so different from their father it’s hard to believe they came forth from Martin’s gene pool.
In this episode, an old friend of Frasier and Nile’s mother comes to visit, and is so like the boys Martin thinks he may be their real father.
It’s one of those comedies of errors that Frasier does so well, but with a heartfelt twist.
What makes this episode so special is that it reveals how much Martin loves his arrogant, unrelatable sons.
3. An Affair to Forget (Frasier Season 2, Episode 21)
What Niles’ wife Maris might be (is she even human?) or might look like is another running gag throughout the show. We never see her, but, boy, can we imagine.
In this ep, Frasier thinks Maris is having an affair with a caller’s husband, a fencing instructor, and it sends Niles into a spiral of depression and then a whirlwind of bravado.
The jokes just keep coming, and there’s a language translation scene toward the end that is simply one of the finest moments of comedy ever on television.
2. The Two Mrs. Cranes (Frasier Season 4, Episode 1)
The best episodes of Frasier use the entire core cast in our opinion.
It’s true in Ham Radio, and it’s even truer in this episode, which gives the main ensemble – Frasier, Niles, Martin, Daphne, and Roz – so very much to do.
Another comedy of errors, this one has some of the finest comedic deliveries of the show’s entire run, and watching Martin screw with everyone just for kicks is a blast.
1. Ham Radio (Frasier Season 4, Episode 18)
If we were making a list of the five funniest TV episodes of all time, this one would absolutely be on there.
It’s a joke that builds at a slow pace only to unload like machine gun fire in the final act.
Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and the foreshadowing is so subtle and well implemented you won’t know it’s there until it comes by again.
Simply brilliant writing brilliantly delivery by an incredibly talented core and recurring cast.
Funniest Frasier Episodes
So, these may be the best episodes of Frasier, but which episodes of Frasier are the funniest?
It’s not always the same thing.
From the lists above (and pulling one out of nowhere), we say these are the top five funniest episodes of Frasier:
- 5. “Halloween” (Frasier Season 5, Episode 3)
- 4. “An Affair to Forget” (Frasier Season 2, Episode 21)
- 3. “The Ski Lodge” (Frasier Season 5, Episode 14)
- 2. “The Two Mrs. Cranes” (Frasier Season 4, Episode 1)
- 1. “Ham Radio” (Frasier Season 4, Episode 18)
Top 10 Frasier Episodes
While we think five is the ultimate number for whittling down, we’re happy to add five more to make it this a Top 10 list. (And we did have to leave out some episodes we love in our Top 5.)
So, if you’re looking for a top 10 Frasier ranking to get you hooked on the series, add these five to your watch list:
- “Travels With Martin” (Frasier Season 1, Episode 21)
- “Halloween” (Frasier Season 5, Episode 3)
- “Daphne’s Room” (Frasier Season 2, Episode 17)
- “Moon Dance” (Frasier Season 3, Episode 13)
- “Out With Dad” (Frasier Season 7, Episode 15)
Or just pick any episode from the IMDB rater list above. (Though, we like our list better.)
Best Seasons of Frasier
From the very start, it was clear Frasier was a special show with some of the finest sitcom writing that would ever grace the small screen.
There were certainly hints of brilliance in its first three seasons.
But seasons four and five were when the writers, cast, and crew really hit their strides.
In the Geeky Matters’ team opinion, the best seasons of Frasier are:
- Season 4
- Season 5
Best Frasier Episode Of The Series
Comparing our list to IMDB’s top episodes, the answer is pretty clear.
The best episode of Frasier is “Ham Radio.”
Check Frasier Out On Streaming
And that concludes our Frasier episode countdown.
You can currently find the series streaming on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and a reboot is coming soon (this year, we hope) to Paramount+.