The BEST Episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: May 23, 2020
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 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.
#2 - 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.
#3 - 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.
#4 - 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.
#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 - 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.
#7 - 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.
#8 - 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.
#9 - 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.
#10 - 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.
#11 - 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.
#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 - 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
#14 - 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.
#15 - Lou's Place
Season 3 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 6, 1973
Lou spots an opportunity to buy a bar after realizing a lifelong dream. However, he is short of several thousand dollars and Ted is the only one who can come to his aid.
#16 - The Birds . . . and . . . um . . . Bees
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 18, 1971
In the second-season premiere, after Mary Richards produces a "What's Your Sexual IQ?" documentary for the Six O'Clock News, Rhoda confesses to failing and Phyllis says that young Bess watched it. Phyllis calls on Mary to teach Bess the facts of life, but it turns out that Bess already had learned it from her friends. Meanwhile, the WJM-TV newsroom is shelled with phone calls responding to the documentary. According to Mary, more people are appalled by it than anything else.
#17 - More Than Neighbors
Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired Jan 29, 1972
After being persuaded by Phyllis, Ted moves into a vacant apartment below Mary's but Mary and Rhoda are not thrilled by the prospect.
#18 - Didn't You Used to Be . . . Wait . . . Don't Tell Me
Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 30, 1971
Mary attends her high school reunion and meets up with her former boyfriend Howard Arnell, who continues to have feelings for Mary. Meanwhile, Rhoda tags along believing that people will "remember" her although she didn't attend Roseburg High.
#19 - Lou's Second Date
Season 4 - Episode 22 - Aired Feb 16, 1974
Lou and Rhoda find they have a lot in common and begin seeing each other on a casual basis but everyone assumes that the romance is serious.
#20 - Party is Such Sweet Sorrow
Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 9, 1971
Mary gets a tempting offer from a rival television station, but becomes reluctant to leave when her WJM-TV colleagues throw a farewell party for her.
#21 - Once I Had a Secret Love
Season 6 - Episode 18 - Aired Jan 17, 1976
Lou has spent the night with Sue Ann, and confides in Mary. Their friendship is almost ruined when Mary is unable to keep the secret.
#22 - An Affair to Forget
Season 5 - Episode 15 - Aired Dec 21, 1974
Now that Mary is producer, Ted thinks that he can make his move on her. He convinces the rest of the newsroom that they are having an affair.
#23 - A Girl's Best Mother Is Not Her Friend
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 16, 1971
When Ida, Rhoda's mother, visits, she sees how well Phyllis and Bess get on, and how closely Mary appears to her mother when they chat on the telephone, that she tries to be Rhoda's "friend".
#24 - The Six-and-a-Half-Year Itch
Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 27, 1971
Mary, Rhoda and Lou go to a John Wayne movie, where they spot Lou's son-in-law with an unknown woman.
#25 - A Son for Murray
Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Nov 30, 1974
Murray, who has three daughters, wants a son, but his wife Marie doesn't want to have another child. The couple decide to adopt instead.