Top 10 Multi-Part Sitcom Episodes
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Nick Spake
It's time to resolve all these cliffhangers. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Multi-Part Sitcom Episodes. For this list, we're taking a look at stories from comedy series that were told over the course of two or more episodes.
Special thanks to our user NickSpake for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script written by Nick Spake
Top 10 Multi-Part Sitcom Episodes
It's time to resolve all these cliffhangers. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Multi-Part Sitcom Episodes.
For this list, we’re taking a look at stories from comedy series that were told over the course of two or more episodes. Also, because we’re giving away the resolutions of some cliffhangers, a SPOILER ALERT may be in order.
#10: “One Last Ride”
Many sitcoms end on a sour note, which makes it especially gratifying that the last episode of “Parks and Recreation” wrapped matters up so perfectly. Through a series of flash-forwards, every major character and even a few minor characters are given an ideal send-off. Andy and April have children; Jerry/Larry/Terry/Garry lives to be 100, and Leslie and Ben’s political dreams come true. The monumental developments in the future suitably compliment the events taking place in the present year of 2017 as the characters we love unite for a simple, yet poignant, final task.
“Parks and Recreation” (2009-15)
#9: “My Soul on Fire”
Despite being set against a romantic Bahamas backdrop, this two-part episode finds the show’s three main couples surfing a tidal wave of relationship turmoil. Turk feels emotionally detached from Carla, Jordan throws a fit and a laptop over a trick Dr. Cox plays on her, and Elliot is peeved that J.D. can’t express his feelings in a poetic enough fashion. In the end, the union of Lady and Janitor, arguably the strangest couple on “Scrubs,” heartwarmingly brings everyone back together…excluding Dr. Kelso, whose significant other is a Bahama Mama.
#8: “A Fistful of Paintballs” & “For a Few Paintballs More”
Although “Community” already had an ambitious paintball extravaganza in its freshman year, that episode was a small battle compared to the all-out war that is this two-part season finale. Going from lampooning westerns in its first half to satirizing “Star Wars” in its second, there isn’t a one-liner, visual gag, or action set piece here that doesn’t hit a bull’s-eye. Comedy aside, this is simply a well-constructed story full of romance, redemption, and even Josh Holloway. It’s hard to imagine this endlessly creative show ever getting more mind-blowing than this.
#7: “Idiots Are People Two!” & “Idiots Are People Three!”
“Idiots Are People Two” overflows with so much relevant satire and irrelevant lunacy that a single half-hour couldn’t cut it; “30 Rock” needed a second episode to cover all the clever storylines regarding Liz’s newfound relationship, Jenna and Kenneth pulling off another caper, and Tracy protesting alongside his fellow idiots. This two-parter also works in guest stars galore with Will Arnett’s return as the always fun Devon Banks, a calculating Kelsey Grammer, and Denise Richards. She might not be the brightest bulb in the box, but these writers certainly are.
“30 Rock” (2006-13)
#6: “The Coon and Friends”
“South Park” (1997-)
From “Cartoon Wars” to “Imaginationland,” everyone has a personal favorite supersized “South Park” episode. We’re singling out the epic “Coon” trilogy for not only being one of the series’ funniest story arcs, but also one of the most revealing. While the parody primarily centers on superheroes, these three episodes have no shortage of hilarious subplots involving oil spills, the immortal Cthulhu, and the instant classic character that is Mint Berry Crunch. What keeps us coming back, though, is the engaging story regarding the identity, origin, and future of Mysterion.
#5: “The Wedding”
After same-sex marriage was legalized in California, Cameron and Mitchell were finally able to tie the knot. This made leeway for a lot of memorable storylines throughout the fifth season of “Modern Family,” amounting to one of the funniest and most important TV weddings of recent times. With strong material given to every character, the comedy and heart in these two episodes spread like the wildfire that nearly destroys the ceremony. It all works up to a moving final act that proves nothing will break up this marriage or this family.
“Modern Family” (2009-)
#4: “The One with Ross’s Wedding”
This is definitely one of the biggest “Friends” episodes, which is appropriate since it takes the cast over 3,000 miles across the world to London. The hour long TV event makes great use of its environment as well as its whole ensemble. While the narrative largely deals with Ross’s wedding to Emily and Rachel accepting her feelings for him, the real highlight is the love story that blossoms between Chandler and Monica. Humorous, exciting, touching, and leaving us on a shockingly hysterical cliffhanger, it’s a textbook example of how to do a season finale.
Few TV courtships have captivated audiences like Jim and Pam’s, making their wedding in Niagara Falls a pivotal “Office” moment. As the only normal people at Dunder Mifflin, all these two want is a quiet ceremony. However, that’s nearly impossible when Michael Scott and Dwight Shrute are invited. Jim and Pam do eventually escape the chaos to share a heartwarming and tear-jerking moment that’s all their own. Since partof them will always be drawn to their co-workers’ insanity, though, the couple returns for a trip down the aisle we’ll never forget.
“The Office” (2005-13)
#2: “The Trip”
The breakthrough season of “Seinfeld” opened on a high note as Jerry travels to Hollywood to appear on “The Tonight Show.” George tags along, pitching ridiculous story ideas to Corbin Bernsen and providing groundbreaking commentary on sheet tucking. But it’s Kramer who steals the show as he attempts to make it in showbiz, and somehow becomes a murder suspect. While some fans might prefer “The Bottle Deposit” as a “Seinfeld” double dose, we ultimately found this two-parter to be more quotable. Its ending also includes the closest thing “Seinfeld” has ever had to a sentimental moment.
Before we continue to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Stewie Kills Lois” & “Lois Kills Stewie”
“Family Guy” (1999-2003; 2005-)
- “Last Forever”
“How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)
- “Heroes and Villains,” “Modern Men” & “Time on Our Hands”
“Only Fools and Horses....” (1981-2003)
- “Out on a Limb” & “Hand to God”
“Arrested Development” (2003-06; 2013-)
- “Into That Good Night”
#1: “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”
Aside from being the only cliffhanger “The Simpsons” produced until its 23rd season, this set of episodes will go down in history for featuring some of the show’s finest jokes and references. What’s more, the writers craft a gripping mystery concerning which Springfield resident shot Mr. Burns that spanned from the season six finale to the season seven premiere. The story keeps us guessing up until the final act where we abruptly shift from rising suspense to ludicrous satire. While the unpredictable reveal might be absurd on a dramatic level, it’s one of the most ingenious payoffs ever from a comedic standpoint.
“The Simpsons” (1989-)
Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite multi-part sitcom episode? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.