Thursday, February 25, 2010

WHAT KIND OF DAY IT WILL BE: For Snowpocalypse III: Snow Hardest day for much of our audience, a time-suck courtesy of our friends at PopWatch -- name your favorite television episode titles. As Darren Franich sets forth the rules:
It doesn’t necessarily have to be attached to a good episode, or be from a good TV series. It could be a phrase that somehow encapsulates the the action of the episode, or the series, or even an entire state of mind; then again, it could just be a memorable play on words.
Knowing our crowd, feel free (as the post title suggests) to divide your lists into Sorkin and non-Sorkin episodes. I'll offer two of each: "The Crackpots and These Women" from The West Wing and Sports Night's "The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee"; MSCL's "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities" and Lost's season three finale "Through The Looking Glass," which worked on more levels than I can count.


  1. "Loss"--Law and Order--the episode where Claire dies.
    "Motherboy XXX"--Arrested Development

  2. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Love's Labour Lost--ER

  3. Meghan9:41 AM

    Oops, it's me.

  4. Dan Suitor9:47 AM

    "S.O.B.s" - Arrested Development Season 3
    "Gay Witch Hunt" - The Office Season 3
    "My Bed Banter & Beyond" - Scrubs Season 1
    "My Old Friend's New Friend" - Scrubs Season 4
    "Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer" - Chuck Season 2

  5. The Pathetic Earthling9:50 AM

    I don't think the episode works very well, but M*A*S*H's "Point of View" came first to mind.

  6. Emily W9:53 AM

    Crackpots is definitely one of my favorite WW episodes and titles ever. Also from WW I really like "Institutional Memory" and "20 Hours in America".

    Other favorite titles: from Veronica Mars, "You Think You Know Somebody" and "Weapons of Class Destruction", and from HIMYM "The Pineapple Incident".

  7. I always liked "The Cut Man Cometh" from Sports Night.  And if I'm allowed a cartoon or two, "A Room with a Moose" and "Walk for Your Lives" from Invader Zim, and "Bubblevicious" from The Powerpuff Girls.

  8. Heather K10:06 AM

    WW--Shibboleth always gets me every time and Two Cathedrals

  9. sconstant10:16 AM

    I went to MASH first too.  "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet" (for an episode that showed the first death on MASH) and "Abyssinia, Henry" (you think it'll be an irreverent goodbye until Radar walks in to the OR, then an irreverent goodbye montage).

  10. Andrew10:25 AM

    <p>"El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer" - The Simpsons
    </p><p>"Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment" - The Simpsons
    </p><p>"You Only Move Twice" - The Simpsons
    </p><p>"Pilot" - Lost (After all, who's fault was it that they were hundreds of miles off course?)
    </p><p>"Tricia Tanaka is Dead" - Lost
    </p><p>Does any show use it's episode titles better than It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? (The teaser sets up the situation for the episode and ends with the title card, which also serves as a joke)
    </p><p>"Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire" 
    </p><p>"The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation"
    "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis"
    </p><p>"Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens"
    </p><p>Reviewing the list of The Office (US) episodes, no episode titles jumped out at me, but I did note the directors who've come in to direct an episode or two, who include Harold Ramis, Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams, Jason Reitman, Stephen Merchant, Jeffery Blitz (who Thing Throwers might know best as the director of Spellbound).

  11. Coupling - Sex, Death and Nudity and The Cupboard of Patrick's Love

    WW - Shibboleth and The Indians in the Lobby, because they really did nail it that it sounds like an opening of a joke.

    Grey's- Into you Like a Train

  12. DonBoy10:26 AM

    Buffy: D&oumlppelgangland

  13. DonBoy10:27 AM


  14. DonBoy10:28 AM

    Buffy: Döppelgangland

  15. Hard to beat Sorkin for episode titles:

    The Fall's Gonna Kill You
    Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
    Keep this Sabbath Day
    Mr. Willis of Ohio
    Jefferson Lives
    The Quality of Mercy at 29k
    Dana and the Deep Blue Sea
    The Giants Win the Pennant, The Giants Win the Pennant

    And of course:
    What Kind of Day Has it Been?

  16. Joseph J. Finn10:44 AM

    The Constant - Lost
    The Body - Buffy
    Once More With Feeling - Buffy
    Smile Time - Angel

  17. Joseph J. Finn11:00 AM

    Excellent Coupling choice.

  18. I always liked the title "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen," which I thought perfectly evoked the episode without overdoing it.

    I liked the way Friends titled their shows, i.e., "The One With..." but I can't think of a standout example.

    Agreed on "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities" and "Love's Labor Lost."

    House - "Not Cancer"
    Sex and the City: "One, "My Motherboard, My Self"

  19. Emily W11:19 AM

    I agree on the Friends' titles. A personal favorite has always been "The One with George Stephanopoulus"

  20. Joseph J. Finn11:19 AM

    Black Books - Moo-Ma and Moo-Pa

    Doctor Who:
    Turn Left
    Human Nature & The Family of Blood
    The Next Doctor
    The Girl in the Fireplace
    Forest of the Dead
    Bad Wolf (crappy episode, but the title is damn important)

  21. Sara C.11:47 AM

    from Psych: The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable;  Disco didn't Die. It was Murdered!

  22. Sopranos:  "The Knight in White Satin Armor," "Pax Soprana," "I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano," "Full Leather Jacket," "Enmployee of the Month" (this one really only works in connection with what the story is about), "All Happy Families..." (other than The Wire, is there any other show that could pull off a Tolstoy analogy?), "The Blue Comet"...

    Galactica:  "Lay Down Your Burdens," "Six of One," "Daybreak." 

  23. Oh, and of course "Made in America," which was a simply perfect title for the Sopranos finale. 

  24. Lot of great ones covered so far, VM seems a little under-represented:

    "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang"
    "Rashard and Wallace Go To White Castle"
    "The Wrath of Con"
    "Weevils Wobble But They Don't Fall Down"

    and my personal favorite: 
    "The Rapes of Graff"

  25. BtVS: Once More, With Feeling
    Battlestar: A Disquiet Follows My Soul
    Grey's: I like you so much better when you're naked
    WW: 7A WF 83429

  26. <p><span>Moonlighting:</span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span><span><span>Gunfight at the So-So Corral</span></span></span>
    </p><p><span>Brother, Can You Spare a Blonde?</span>
    </p><p><span>The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice</span>
    </p><p><span>T'was the Episode Before Christmas</span>
    <span>Poltergeist III – Dipesto Nothing</span></p>

  27. more:

    The Happy Wanderer
    Pine Barrens
    Whoever Did This

  28. Mad Men:  Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency

  29. Benner12:22 PM

    The Wire season 5 got off to a slow start, but "More with Less" and "The Dickensian Aspect" are winners.  

    I also like from Mad Men, "New Amsterdam," "Meditations in an Emergency," and "Love Among the Ruins."

    Agreed on It's Always Sunny -- I'm partial to "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass" and "Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender"  

  30. Heather K12:24 PM

    I really love the song I like you so much better when your naked, but I also liked that ep.

  31. Heather K12:24 PM

    Dr Who: The Doctor Dances!!

  32. Tahlia12:48 PM

    The episode where Claire dies is actually called "Aftershock"? Which is certainly evocative, too, on many levels - one, that if the beginning execution is the earthquake then the drunk driver is the random and (often more destructive) aftershock of that event; two, that by breaking formula ONCE, it sets up enough character development to last L&O for years - literal aftershocks.

  33. Carrie12:49 PM

    Mad Men:  "Shut the door. Have a seat."

    Arrested Development:  "Ready, Aim, Marry Me"

    Big Love:  "Come, Ye Saints"

    Weeds:  "The Punishment Light"  "The Whole Blah Damn Thing" 

  34. 24:

    8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    3:00 am - 4:00 am
    12:00 am - 1:00 pm

    I don't know whether anyone's noticed, but 24 reuses the same 24 episode titles every season, but not in exactly the same order (the progression is the same but they often start at a different place in the cycle).

  35. calliekl1:04 PM

    YES for both Once More With Feeling and Smile Time, and I'd agree with Hush, as offerred above...

  36. calliekl1:12 PM

    Firefly- "Objects in Space" and "Our Mrs. Reynolds".
    Dexter- "Let's Give the Boy a Hand"

    The Mad Men ones already mentioned were among my favorites, also.

  37. Doctor Who-  The Deadly Assassin

  38. Patrick1:28 PM

    Love's Labours Lost in Space - Futurama

  39. Roger1:30 PM

    (Snowmageddon III in DC:

  40. That's right--"Loss" is the SVU where Stephanie March goes into witness protection.  "Aftershock" is both a better episode and a better title.

  41. Jim Bell1:48 PM

    Still one of the best moments of TV anywhere.  They didn't have to kill Henry, but reminded us that war doesn't make any sense.  How did I ever wind up a Surface Warfare Officer after processing that show?

  42. Jim Bell1:53 PM

    I am, however, especially fond of 3:00 p.m. -  4:00 p.m., as I'm sure you all are as well.  It really sums things up, you know?

  43. rachel2:10 PM

    What about some love for "Shut the door, have a seat"

  44. rachel2:11 PM

    I'm just shocked there are no votes for K&R Parts 1, 2, and 3

  45. I tweeted this picture from my window at around noon.

  46. Gareth2:32 PM

    I liked "Born to Run", the final episode of the Terminator show. Pity they didn't have the actual song in the episode, though.

  47. Meghan2:42 PM

    I can't remember, was "My Ox is Broken!" a TAR title?

  48. No.  But season 2 had "I'm Not a Miner! No, You're An Idiot!" and "Follow That Plane!" 

  49. Tosy and Cosh3:03 PM

    Once and Again:
    "The Scarlet Letter Jacket'
    "There Be Dragons"
    "Won't Someone Please Help Bill Bailey Tonight?"

  50. Absolutely Once More with Feeling. Excellent musical title!

  51. J.O'Connor5:52 PM

    The first time I remember realizing that TV episodes had individual titles was watching a Star Trek rerun as a kid.  The title promised much more than the episode delivered, but I've remembered it for decades:  "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky." 

    Two other titles that haven't been mentioned yet that came to mind are:
    Millennium:  "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me"  To be honest, without looking it up, I can't remember which episode this is, but the title has stayed with me.
    The Rockford Files:  "White on White and Nearly Perfect," the episode that introduces Tom Selleck as the impossibly lucky PI Lance White.  The title sounds like an Elmore Leonard novel.

  52. J.O'Connor5:55 PM

    Should have clicked through to the Popwatch article before posting; he shares my taste in Star Trek titles.

  53. slowlylu5:57 PM

    I've always been fond of "Someone's Going to Emergency, Someone's Going to Jail" when it comes TWW.

  54. Aimee6:03 PM

    I agree with a lot of the ones listed above.  I have a soft spot for Northern Exposure, and they had a lot of good titles.  Just a few: Brains, Know-How and Native Intelligence; Kaddish for Uncle Manny; Mud and Blood; The Body in Question; Things Become Extinct.

  55. It turns out Survivor had some great titles.  E.g.:  

    Call the Whambulance!
    I Can Forgive Her But I Don't Have To Because She Screwed With My Chickens
    Snakes Are Misunderstood ... We Have an Understanding Now
    This Isn't Survival ... It's Thrival
    Let's Just Call Jeff on the Jeff Phone
    She Obviously Is Post-Op!

  56. Lou W9:55 PM

    Hasn't aired yet, but I know that The Wheaton Recurrence is going to make my list.  Not often that the guest star's name makes the episode title. 

  57. nigeltde10:05 PM

    Supernatural gives great title:
    Criss Angel is a Douchebag
    The Monster at the End of this Book
    Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
    A Very Supernatural Christmas

  58. Eric J.11:22 PM

    If you're going to Coupling, you've got to mention "Lesbian Spank Inferno."

  59. "Dick, Smoker" from 3rd Rock.

  60. That Millennium episode is the one with the four old demons hanging out in a diner trading stories.  Great one -- with some terrfic guest character actors (one was Bill Macy; can't offhand remember the others), and every bit as good as its title.

  61. I had forgotten that one.  Great title.