The Best Episodes of Taxi
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2019
Taxi's success was due to its excellent writing, Burrows's award-winning directing using his innovative four-camera technique, and its largely unknown but talented cast. Danny DeVito's Louie DePalma soon became one of the most despised men on television--possibly the most unredeemable and worthless louse of a character ever to reside on the small screen. Andy Kaufman's foreign mechanic Latka Gravas provided over-the-top comedy within an ensemble emphasizing subtle character humor.
#1 - Substitute Father
Season 1 - Episode 22
With Elaine going out of town to visit her sick aunt, the guys at the garage takes turns watching over her son so that he can compete in a spelling bee.
#2 - A Taxi Celebration (2)
Season 5 - Episode 17
Part two of a two part clip show featuring highlights of Taxi.
#4 - Alex's Romance
Season 2 - Episode 10
Alex falls for Joyce, an actress friend of Bobby's, in part because (seemingly) he marvels in being a stabilizing factor in her life. When she gets an acting job in Los Angeles, he prepares to propose to her, in the hopes of keeping her in New York. When she learns of his plans, though, she discourages this, and they part on sad but positive note. Later, Jim hilariously and unwittingly makes Alex feel better, involving a case of mistaken identity.
#5 - Elaine's Secret Admirer
Season 2 - Episode 12
Elaine is upset after having just ended a relationship, but soon begins receiving love poems from a secret admirer. She is eventually convinced that the poems are coming from a new handsome cab driver named Don, and they begin dating. However, Jim has confessed to Alex that he has been the one writing the letters, in an effort to make Elaine feel better. Alex reveals this to Elaine, so she won't continue dating Don under false pretenses. This upsets Elaine greatly, but she is later comforted when she gets home by the gift of a metal sculpture that Jim has made for her out of the roof of his van.
#6 - Elegant Iggy
Season 4 - Episode 20
Jim invites Elaine to a concert, and while there, they run into an important patron at Elaine's art gallery. The woman invites them both to a party, although Elaine is very worried that Jim will embarrass her in an event that's important to her career. Still, she doesn't quite have it in her to ask Jim not to go. At the party, Elaine's worst fears are realized with Jim's behavior, until he surprisingly wows the crowd on the piano and turns things around.
#7 - Alex Tastes Death and Finds a Nice Restaurant
Season 1 - Episode 20
When Alex's ear is nearly shot off in a holdup attempt in his cab, he stuns his fellow cabbies by quitting and exchanging his driving clothes for a waiter's tuxedo at a snobbish French restaurant.
#8 - Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey
Season 2 - Episode 3
At Mario's, the cabbies run into the spaced-out derelict minister, Reverend Jim, who officiated at Latka's wedding. Charmed by him, yet taking pity on him, they make it their mission to get him a job as a cabbie. Louie is adverse to this at first, but Jim seems to slip a sedative into Louie's coffee and he then changes his tune. The next hurdle is getting Jim a driver's license, which is a challenge as he not only has trouble with his written exam, but his application, as well. Nonetheless, he gets the license and begins work at the garage.
#9 - Mr. Personalities
Season 4 - Episode 3
Latka begins exhibiting multiple personalities again: not only Vic Ferrari, but also a cowboy, and best of all, he becomes Alex! Elaine refers Latka to her psychiatrist, but meanwhile Latka is becoming even more "Alex"-like than Alex himself: he is a better cab driver and gives better advice to the gang. Alex decides he'd better sit in on a psychiatric session with Latka and Latka/Alex is about to reveal the answer to all of Alex's problems (somehow he has figured out the secret to Alex in the midst of subconsciously becoming him), when he becomes Latka again. This leaves Alex extremely frustrated and after Latka leaves, Alex sticks around to talk to the psychiatrist further.
#10 - Like Father, Like Daughter
Season 1 - Episode 1
The cabbies embark on a frantic race against time when they team up in a wild nonstop drive from New York to Miami so that Alex can see his long-lost daughter on her twenty minute layover at the airport
#11 - The Road Not Taken (2)
Season 4 - Episode 24
(Part two) In a continuation of the previous episode, the cabbies share past experiences with Elaine. Latka discusses his decision to leave his mother and move to America. Alex talks about an opportunity for a major promotion at a desk job he had, but would not compromise his principles to take it. Meanwhile, the man who offered Elaine a job comes to the garage to get a decision from her, but he withdraws his offer when he sees how wishy washy Elaine is being about it.
#12 - Simka Returns
Season 4 - Episode 15
Latka is eagerly anticipating a reunion with his ex-girlfriend from the old country, Simka. She arrives at the garage and while Latka is in the bathroom, Alex warns her of Latka's multiple personalities. Sure enough, at Latka's apartment later, Vic Ferrarri makes his appearance and seduces Simka. Much to Latka's dismay, soon his alter-ego, Vic, and Simka seem to be an item. Alex encourages Latka to fight Vic for Simka, which he does in hilarious fashion and Vic never returns.
#13 - A Grand Gesture
Season 5 - Episode 23
Newly wealthy Jim gives each of the gang $1000 to give away, in an effort to teach them how good it feels to give someone else $1000. Latka & Simka give the money to their minister, who protests loudly (as is their custom) but accepts the money nonetheless. Tony uses the money to buy his friend Walt a large TV set. Elaine (inexplicably) gives the money to her daughter, suggesting that she split it with her brother. Louie gives the money to Jeff, who won't accept Louie's "dirty money" until he learns it was from Jim. Alex has trouble finding someone to give the money to until he comes accross an old lady in his cab with seven kids.
#14 - Louie Moves Uptown
Season 5 - Episode 13
Louie decides to buy a luxury co-op apartment with some help on the down payment from the newly wealthy Jim. Unfortunately, Louie first has to convince a snooty co-op board that he is right for their building (as he comes in, they are rejecting actress Penny Marshall because they don't approve of the actress lifestyle). Bringing Alex for support, Louie has his work cut out for him when he sees that the board is bigoted. Alex goes on a tirade against their discriminatory process, and the board accepts Louie just to spite Alex.
#15 - The Road Not Taken (1)
Season 4 - Episode 23
When Elaine is offered a job as an art gallery manager in Seattle, she asks the gang for help in making a decision. The cabbies share with Elaine some stories about life changing decisions they once had to make. Tony talks about how he refused to take a dive in a major fight, even though he will likely be in trouble with the mob. In the fight, Tony learns that the other fighter has also been paid to take a dive, and the fighter does so in comic fashion. Next, Louie talks about how he became a taxi dispatcher after mercifully taking over for the kindly old dispatcher who had to take his wife to the doctor. Louie finds he likes the job and forces the old man out of the dispatcher's job into retirement. Finally, Jim tells of how he was very studious at Harvard, until his free-spirit girlfriend turned him on to hash brownies. (Part one of two)
#16 - Mama Gravas
Season 1 - Episode 19
Mechanic Latka Gravas' youthful and attractive mother makes her first visit to America, and after she and Alex meet and have an evening love affair, Latka assumes that he will soon be getting a new daddy.
#17 - Latka the Playboy
Season 3 - Episode 20
After Latka is rejected by a snobbish, but beautiful woman at Mario's, he decides to change his image by taking some time off and studying Playboy magazines and English language tapes. When Latka reemerges from his sabbatical, he has lost his accent and now is a lounge lizard who goes by the name, Vic Ferrarri. He soon easily picks up on the woman who had rebuffed him earlier. Although amused, the cabbies become concerned about the changes Latka has gone through, since he has now lost all of his nice qualities and is constantly hitting on Elaine. Alex tells Latka/Vic off, and later Latka appears at Alex's apartment, saying that he's sorry and doesn't want to be Vic anymore. Alex works with Latka and manages to get the old Latka back, although there is a twinge in Latka's eye that suggests Vic isn't gone forever..
#18 - Louie's Revenge
Season 5 - Episode 8
Louie gets a call from Emily, who jilted him in an earlier episode, who is drunk and drugged and wants to meet him at a nearby bar. Louie decides to go over there to throw a drink in her face and reject her, therefore getting the last laugh. However, when he gets to the bar, Emily serenades him and has Louie eating out of her hands. The next morning, she is shocked to see him wake up next to her, but Louie somehow convinces her that they are meant for each other. They begin a relationship but it becomes evident that Louie has become Emily's slave and he's starting to hate himself for it. Eventually she comes to a realization of what she's doing to him and breaks it off with Louie, who is relieved, but he finally exacts revenge by throwing orange juice in her face.
#19 - Love Un-American Style
Season 5 - Episode 1
Newlyweds Latka & Samka throw a Shloogel, one of their religion's traditions. The shloogel is, in effect, a party at Mario's where they set all the gang up on blind dates. Tony is set up with Vicki, an abrasive brunette and immediately starts arguing with her. Elaine is set up with mousy Arnie, who has low self esteem. Jim is set up with actress, Marcia Wallace, who played Carol on his favorite show, Bob Newhart. Louie is set up with Judy, a pretty blind woman. Alex is set up with Susan, who seems to be his dream woman and he seems to be falling for her immediately. Despite the fact that none of the other matches seem perfect, all of them show promise by the end of the evening.
#20 - Arnie Meets the Kids
Season 5 - Episode 20
Elaine is seriously dating the nerdy Arnie, also introduced in the Shloogel Show episode earlier this season, and decides it's time for him to meet her kids although she isn't sure if that's a great idea. Arnie is also very worried about the meeting and when he meets them, he tries a little too hard to make him their favorite person. In the process, he gives them presents and even money, to Elaine's dismay. In an effort to set things right, Arnie tells the kids that he didn't mean to try to buy their affection and it turns out they still like him. Elaine then realizes that now that the kids like Arnie so much, she's pretty much stuck with him-- but she's pleased about this.
#21 - Alex Goes off the Wagon
Season 5 - Episode 3
In this episode, we learn that Alex can be a compulsive gambler. Alex even scares Louie off with his compulsion, but Jim talks some sense into Alex at the end (after having bankrolled him initially).
#22 - Sugar Mama
Season 1 - Episode 14
Alex befriends a wealthy elderly lady who pays him to take her around the city.
#23 - Cooking for Two
Season 4 - Episode 22
After Jim's home is destroyed by a wrecking ball, he stays with Louie, much to Louie's dismay after Jim declares him his "best buddy." Jim soon burns Louie's apartment after a cooking accident, though. Initially, Louie is angry, but sees an opportunity to make some money, when he learns that Jim gets a blank check from his wealthy father to reimburse Louie for his losses. Louie is not sure how much to ask for, though, since Jim says he has to call his father to okay the amount. After much lamenting over the amount, Louie settles on about $30,000 and Jim's dad okays it. Louie is overjoyed until he learns that Jim's dad was expecting the amount to be more like $200,000.
#24 - Art Work
Season 2 - Episode 22
The cabbies are faring poorly at various gambling schemes, but Elaine alerts the gang about a moneymaking tip for an art auction. It seems a terminally ill artist's painting is up for auction, and when an artist dies, the value of his paintings goes up considerably. She estimates that they need to pool $2,000 to win the auction and the gang, including Louie, barely scrapes up enough. At the auction, Louie attempts various dirty tricks to ensure a successful bid, but the bidding quickly goes above $2,000 and another bidder snares the painting. It is then announced that the artist has passed away, which rubs salt in the wounds of the already dejected cabbies.
#25 - Elaine's Strange Triangle
Season 3 - Episode 4
At Mario's, while Elaine is complaining about problems with her love life, a handsome man named Kirk approaches. Tony then plays matchmaker for Elaine and soon she and Kirk are dating happily. Kirk later tells Tony in private that he has a problem: he is interested romantically in someone else-- Tony! Tony, who is not gay but does not want to see Elaine hurt over this, tells Alex and although he doesn't really want to get involved, Alex agrees to meet Tony and Kirk at a gay bar to help smooth over the situation. Alex arrives at the bar before Tony and is nervous, but relaxes after Kirk tells him he knows Tony isn't interested and he's already gently broken things off with Elaine. Alex begins to feel more at ease, but soon he is asked to dance by a large man. Alex is then pulled on to the dance floor and is eventually chased on to the bar itself by a chorus of gay dancers and unable to escape, begins dancing on the bar, when Tony arrives..