The BEST Episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Dec 19, 2019
The Mary Tyler Moore Show was one of the most literate, realistic, and enduring situation comedies of the 1970s. Mary Richards was the idealized single career woman. She had come to Minneapolis after breaking up with a man she had been dating for four years. Ambitious, and looking for new friends, she moved into an older apartment building and went to work as an assistant producer of the local news show on television station WJM-TV. In her early 30s, Mary symbolized the independent woman of the 1970s.
#1 - The Lars Affair
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 15, 1973
Phyllis finds out that Lars has been having an affair with Sue Ann Nivens, the star of WJM-TV's The Happy Homemaker show.
#2 - The Snow Must Go On
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 7, 1970
A snowstorm leaves Mary producing her first program, broadcasting the results of the local elections. The show has to remain on until a winner is declared and no word is received at the newsroom.
#3 - Sue Ann Gets the Ax
Season 7 - Episode 17 - Aired Jan 29, 1977
Sue Ann's Happy Homemaker show is canceled but she is determined to stay at WJM and asks Mary to give her a job in the newsroom.
#4 - What is Mary Richards Really Like?
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 23, 1972
Mary is interviewed by a newspaper columnist and ends up telling a little too much.
#5 - Enter Rhoda's Parents
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 7, 1972
Ida Morgenstern, Rhoda's mother, mistakenly believes that her husband is seeing other women, so Rhoda and Mary try to clear things up between them.
#6 - Mary Richards: Producer
Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 4, 1975
Mary doesn't feel she deserves the title of producer and asks Lou that she be given the chance to produce The Six O'clock News alone.
#7 - Room 223
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 9, 1971
Mary and Rhoda enroll in a night school course in journalism and Mary begins dating the lecturer.
#8 - Rhoda Morgenstern: Minneapolis to New York
Season 3 - Episode 14 - Aired Dec 16, 1972
Rhoda decides to move back to New York but Mary is taking the whole thing with a grain of salt.
#9 - The Last Show
Season 7 - Episode 24 - Aired Mar 19, 1977
WJM-TV has some personnel changes in the executive department (again), and everyone except Ted Baxter is fired. The new station manager wants to see the WJM News the highest-ranked in Minneapolis, and for some reason feels that Ted can help him make it happen. (Seems a little odd, eh?) The gang says goodbye to each other in the form of a long, hard cry. Mary thanks them all for being her surrogate family, and Lou finally sentimentally says, "I cherish you people." They bravely march out the office doors singing, "It's a long, long way to Tipperary." At the last moment, Mary leans back through through the WJM-TV doors and turns out the light. So long, WJM-TV.
#10 - The 45-Year-Old Man
Season 1 - Episode 24 - Aired Mar 6, 1971
When Lou is fired, Mary goes to confront the station owner, Wild Jack Munroe.
#11 - Thoroughly Unmilitant Mary
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 6, 1971
The writing and technical unions go on strike, leaving only Lou, Mary, and Ted in the newsroom. WJM-TV makes Lou be second cameraman on "The Chuckles the Clown Show". Because an upset Murray is on strike, Mary has to write the news stories. They are terrible, and when Lou criticizes them, she starts crying. Things take a turn for the worse: Ted's union strikes, and Lou has to fill in as anchorman! On his first brodcast, he has "clammy hands", and he bombs. At a local bar, Murray, Gordy, & Mary share a laugh over this. After drinking before his 2nd brodcast, he is "as cool as a cucumber"--that is, until he falls asleep at breaktime. Herb fills in for Lou for the rest of the brodcast. The next day, the unions come to an agreement, and everything goes back to normal. Rhoda Morgenstern & Phyllis Lindstrom do not appear in this episode.
#12 - We Closed in Minneapolis
Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Jan 30, 1971
Murray's play, All Work and No Play, is finally produced but his happiness is short-lived when he discovers that the leading role will be played by Ted.
#13 - You've Got a Friend
Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 25, 1972
Mary becomes concerned when her father, newly retired, appears to have no friends or hobbies in Minneapolis, and tries to take on the role herself.
#14 - My Brother's Keeper
Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired Jan 13, 1973
Phyllis wants to set up her visiting brother with Mary, but instead he hits it off with Rhoda and begins spending time with her to Phyllis's disapproval.
#15 - Two Wrongs Don't Make a Writer
Season 4 - Episode 23 - Aired Feb 23, 1974
Ted joins Mary at a night-school class in creative writing, and winds up plagiarizing her assignment.
#16 - What Are Friends For?
Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 16, 1974
Mary and Sue Ann go to a convention in Chicago and Mary finds out that Sue Ann leads a lonely life.
#17 - Lou Proposes
Season 7 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 20, 1976
Lou realizes that he has feelings for Mary's Aunt Flo, a journalist with a similar pride and passion in the news profession.
#18 - Hail the Conquering Gordy
Season 7 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 5, 1977
WJM's former weatherman, Gordy Howard, returns to visit Minneapolis after becoming a highly successful network presenter in New York. Ted is desperate for a chance to join Gordy.
#19 - Operation: Lou
Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 9, 1972
Lou goes to hospital to have a piece of World War II shrapnel removed and, surprisingly, he and Ted become best friends.
#20 - The Square-Shaped Room
Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 11, 1971
When Edie is out of town, Lou hires Rhoda to redecorate his living room. However, Rhoda's tastes are too modern.
#21 - I Love a Piano
Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 19, 1974
Murray meets an attractive woman at one of Mary's parties and considers having an affair. On the pretext of buying her old piano, he goes to see her.
#22 - Menage-a-Phyllis
Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 2, 1974
Phyllis dates a man on a platonic basis, but he is attracted more to Mary and begins seeing her.
#23 - The Boss Isn't Coming to Dinner
Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired Feb 13, 1971
Lou and his wife Edie separate and Mary becomes involved when she is asked for advice.
#24 - Love is All Around
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 19, 1970
The classic series begins its classic 7-year run in Mary's apartment. Mary Richards, a 30-year-old single woman, has left her long-time boyfriend, Bill, to be with her old friend, Phyllis Lindstrom, in Minneapolis. (Mary originally lived in Roseburg, MN.) Why did Mary leave Bill? After promising to her that he would marry her right after his internship at the hospital, he said, "Why rush into things???" Meanwhile, she's already having troubles with her new apartment--a bitter upstairs neightbor, Rhoda Morgenstern, insists that she owns Mary's apartment! Later, Mary goes on a job interview at WJM-TV's The 6:00 News for a secreterial job. Lou Grant, the boss, tells her that the job has already been filled, but he does say that the job of Associate Producer is open. Sure, it offers $10 less per week than the secreterial job, but Mary is fine. "If you can get off with $15 less per week, I'll make you Producer," he says. She declines, then goes on to meeting Ted Baxter, the ridicul
#25 - Chuckles Bites the Dust
Season 6 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 25, 1975
Chuckles the Clown is crushed to death by a rogue elephant in a parade, which leaves all the newsroom staff in hysterics except Mary.