The BEST Episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Aug 25, 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 - Sue Ann Gets the Ax
Season 7 - Episode 17
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.
#2 - Mary Richards: Producer
Season 5 - Episode 16
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.
#3 - The Snow Must Go On
Season 1 - Episode 8
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.
#4 - Room 223
Season 2 - Episode 4
Mary and Rhoda enroll in a night school course in journalism and Mary begins dating the lecturer.
#5 - Rhoda Morgenstern: Minneapolis to New York
Season 3 - Episode 14
Rhoda decides to move back to New York but Mary is taking the whole thing with a grain of salt.
#6 - The Last Show (Curtain Call)
Season 7 - Episode 24
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 - The 45-Year-Old Man
Season 1 - Episode 24
When Lou is fired, Mary goes to confront the station owner, Wild Jack Munroe.
#8 - You've Got a Friend
Season 3 - Episode 11
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.
#9 - Thoroughly Unmilitant Mary
Season 2 - Episode 8
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.
#10 - We Closed in Minneapolis
Season 1 - Episode 19
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.
#11 - My Brother's Keeper
Season 3 - Episode 17
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.
#12 - Two Wrongs Don't Make a Writer
Season 4 - Episode 23
Ted joins Mary at a night-school class in creative writing, and winds up plagiarizing her assignment.
#13 - What Are Friends For?
Season 5 - Episode 10
Mary and Sue Ann go to a convention in Chicago and Mary finds out that Sue Ann leads a lonely life.
#14 - Lou Proposes
Season 7 - Episode 9
Lou realizes that he has feelings for Mary's Aunt Flo, a journalist with a similar pride and passion in the news profession.
#15 - Hail the Conquering Gordy
Season 7 - Episode 18
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.
#16 - Operation: Lou
Season 3 - Episode 13
Lou goes to hospital to have a piece of World War II shrapnel removed and, surprisingly, he and Ted become best friends.
#17 - The Square-Shaped Room
Season 2 - Episode 13
When Edie is out of town, Lou hires Rhoda to redecorate his living room. However, Rhoda's tastes are too modern.
#18 - The Six-and-a-Half-Year Itch
Season 2 - Episode 11
Mary, Rhoda and Lou go to a John Wayne movie, where they spot Lou's son-in-law with an unknown woman.
#19 - I Love a Piano
Season 5 - Episode 6
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.
#20 - Menage-a-Phyllis
Season 5 - Episode 8
Phyllis dates a man on a platonic basis, but he is attracted more to Mary and begins seeing her.
#21 - The Boss Isn't Coming to Dinner
Season 1 - Episode 21
Lou and his wife Edie separate and Mary becomes involved when she is asked for advice.
#22 - Chuckles Bites the Dust
Season 6 - Episode 7
Chuckles the Clown is crushed to death by a rogue elephant in a parade, which leaves all the newsroom staff in hysterics except Mary.
#23 - Love is All Around
Season 1 - Episode 1
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
#24 - The Birds . . . and . . . um . . . Bees
Season 2 - Episode 1
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.
#25 - A Girl's Best Mother Is Not Her Friend
Season 2 - Episode 5
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".