The BEST Episodes of Mr. Sunshine

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Network: ABC (US)

Ben Donovan, the self-involved manager of a second-rate San Diego sports arena, begins to re-evaluate his life on his 40th birthday. Working alongside him is his boss and arena owner, Crystal--attractive, powerful and highly erratic; Alice--the cute, tomboyish marketing director and Ben's friend with benefits; Alonzo--a former basketball player, handsome and unbelievably happy; Ben's assistant, Heather--pretty, sweet, but terrifying because she once lit a boyfriend on fire; Crystal's son, Roman--sweet-faced, clueless and Ben's newest employee; and a hapless operations crew whom Ben refers to collectively as the "Steves."

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Self Help

#1 - Self Help

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 1, 2012

When the self-help guru scheduled for a seminar at the arena is arrested for fraud, the staff struggles to find a replacement act. Heather's obsession with Ben grows, which inflames Roman's jealousy. Alice's fear of public speaking returns.

star 8.92
48 votes
Directors: Barnet Kellman
Writers:
The Best Man

#2 - The Best Man

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 1, 2012

The arena puts on a wedding for two valued employees. Roman and Heather have their first fight. Ben struggles with the age difference with his girlfriend.

star 8.71
72 votes
Writers:
Family Business

#3 - Family Business

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 1, 2012

Ben's hockey idol is coming to visit the arena and Ben must convince him of their organization's family values in order to land him as coach of their hockey team. Crystal is distraught when her pet dog dies and everyone is walking on eggshells. Alonzo gets a chance to film a commercial but Alice is more excited than he is.

star 8.53
76 votes
Directors: Fred Savage
Writers:
Cohen and Donovan

#4 - Cohen and Donovan

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 1, 2012

The arena hosts a leadership conference with 3 charismatic leaders that turn out to be self-absorbed jerks. Crystal decides she needs to contribute to the arena's operation, much to Ben's dismay.

star 7.71
76 votes
Directors: Jamie Babbit
Writers:
Crystal on Ice

#5 - Crystal on Ice

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 9, 2011

Ben discovers Roman has no place to stay and reluctantly takes him in, Crystal harbors animosity for a certain ice dancing group, and Alice feels guilty when she fails to keep up with her "perfect man."

star 7.59
855 votes
Writers: Matthew Carlson
Ben and Vivian

#6 - Ben and Vivian

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Apr 6, 2011

Ben is in for a surprise when his one-night-stand turns out to be Crystal's new assistant, Vivian. When Ben and Vivian try to continue their "no strings attached" relationship, Ben discovers something about himself. Meanwhile, Crystal's efforts to be a responsible mom to Roman are derailed, and the mascot sends Alonzo over the edge.

star 7.41
550 votes
Directors: Bryan Gordon
Writers:
Celebrity Tennis

#7 - Celebrity Tennis

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Mar 23, 2011

Ben and Alonzo compete against tennis legend Jimmy Connors and actor Fred Savage in a celebrity tennis tournament; a careless act brings Crystal closer to her son.

star 7.39
732 votes
Directors: Barnet Kellman
Writers:
Hostile Workplace

#8 - Hostile Workplace

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 2, 2011

Ben's plan to get his employees to like him backfires. Meanwhile, Crystal invites Alice and Alonzo on a double date with her new beau, and Ben gives Heather the responsibility of finding a new halftime act when the Sunshine Center mascot suddenly quits.

star 7.37
797 votes
Directors: Bryan Gordon
Writers:
The Assistant

#9 - The Assistant

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Mar 30, 2011

When Roman becomes Alice's assistant, he surpasses her expectations; Alonzo makes a confession about a past relationship.

star 7.36
553 votes
Directors: Elliot Hegarty
Writers:
Heather's Sister

#10 - Heather's Sister

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Feb 23, 2011

When Heather sets Ben up on a blind date with her sister, Stephanie, he finds he has a lot in common with her... until he realizes Stephanie is crazy. In an effort to help Roman muster the courage to ask Heather out, Ben finds himself reluctantly on a group date with Stephanie, Roman and Heather. Meanwhile, Crystal has asked Alonzo to walk her dog in a dog show, and Alice tries to impress her best friend who's come for a visit.

star 7.31
854 votes
Directors: Randall Einhorn
Writers:
Lingerie Football

#11 - Lingerie Football

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 14, 2011

Ben helps Crystal find closure with her ex-husband, while Alice helps Alonzo deal with two billionaires. Meanwhile, Roman helps Ben by keeping Ben's date, the quarterback of a woman's lingerie football team, occupied.

star 7.28
735 votes
Directors: Randall Einhorn
Writers: Matthew Carlson
Employee of the Year

#12 - Employee of the Year

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 16, 2011

Crystal holds a contest for Employee of the Year despite having chosen a winner already; Ben must cater to the needs of a teen heartthrob (Nick Jonas) who is set to perform at the arena.

star 7.27
1,009 votes
Writers: Alex Barnow, Marc Firek
Pilot

#13 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 9, 2011

Ben spends his 40th birthday trying to get rid of a hockey rink that won't melt, looking for an elephant lost in the building, and trying to fix a PR nightmare; Alice ends her casual relationship with Ben.

star 7.20
1,026 votes
Directors: Thomas Schlamme
Writers: Alex Barnow, Marc Firek, Matthew Perry