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Frasier Funniest Moments Ranked

"Frasier," perhaps the most successful spin-off comedy of all time, is also one of the top sitcoms of all time. Over eleven seasons (running from 1993 to 2004), the show consistently ranked high in the ratings, pulled in more Emmy nominations than Frasier and Niles did cups of coffee, and created some classic moments in TV comedy.

Created by David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee, the show centered on psychiatrist Frasier Crane — played by Kelsey Grammer, first introduced in Season 3 of the classic show "Cheers" — as he moved to his hometown of Seattle to begin working as a radio show host after his divorce from "Cheers" ice princess Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth). 

Like "Cheers," the ensemble cast of "Frasier" is what made the show both comforting and so endlessly clever. These characters include Frasier's dad Martin (John Mahoney), who moved in with him and his fellow psychiatrist — and just as pretentious — brother Niles (David Hyde Crane). There was also Marty's healthcare worker, the very British Daphne (Jane Leeves), and Frasier's radio show producer Roz (Peri Gilpin). 

Although it might seem harder to make than a good dinner of tossed salads and scrambled eggs, below is an attempt at ranking the funniest moments of "Frasier."

The radio drama performance goes awry (Season 4 Episode 18)

In "Ham Radio," Frasier decides to put on a live radio drama called "Nightmare Inn," to celebrate his radio station's anniversary. Niles predicts that Frasier will take his role as director too far, as Frasier "doesn't know how to stop directing" — and Niles is right, as Frasier's intense criticism causes one actor to quit ahead of the performance. Niles has to step in, playing multiple characters with multiple accents, without having even read the script.

On top of Niles not being prepared, other hilarious interferences include Bulldog (Dan Butler) having stage fright and Roz's mouth being still numb from Novocaine following a dental emergency, causing her to have a lisp while speaking.

After many of the characters are killed off, Niles begins to get more and more irritated as Frasier keeps giving him directing notes for those he has remaining. Finally having had enough, Niles takes the balloons being used to mimic the sound of gunshots and kills off the remaining characters, before the killer can be revealed. As Daphne remarks to Martin while they listen at home, the story turned out to be a "bloodbath" — and a hysterical one at that.

The Cranes' restaurant is an opening night disaster (Season 2 Episode 23)

In Season 2's "The Innkeepers," Frasier and Niles, on a whim, decide to buy and revive one of Seattle's oldest restaurants after finding out it's closing. Despite warnings from Daphne and Martin, they become restauranteurs — and since they're new to the business and both have full time jobs, it's a disaster on opening night.

Things begin to take a turn for the worse as Frasier and Niles both start interjecting their — contrasting — opinions on how the night should go. Soon, all their waiters are injured by the Crane brothers' lack of restaurant etiquette, and the head chef quits out of frustration. Suddenly without a staff, they rope in Martin, Daphne and Roz to help them. Tensions quickly rise amongst the gang under the pressures of the busy night. While telling Daphne, Roz and Niles to stop arguing, Frasier says one of the funniest lines of the episode: "Get a grip, we're not being asked to do anything that none of us hasn't done before in our kitchens in our own homes. Now quick, Niles, kill five eels!"

Chaos ensues as Daphne kills eels by hand, while Roz accidentally starts an explosion that triggers the sprinklers. Frasier can only watch as his guests flee his new restaurant — and are all, luckily, out of the way right in time from the senile valet to drive someone's car right through the wall of their establishment.

Frasier, Niles and Marty pretend to be Jewish (Season 6 Episode 10)

When Frasier gets set up with Faye (Amy Brenneman) via Faye's mother Helen (Carole Shelley) in "Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz," it's only because Helen overheard Frasier talking about his son Freddie being Jewish and assumed he was too. Not wanting to cause a stir with her mother, Faye asks Frasier if he can pretend to be Jewish. Frasier assures her it's no problem and says, "It probably won't even come up!"

But it does, beginning with Frasier fumbling through a conversation about his imaginary bar mitzvah — and as Niles and Martin are pulled into the ploy, Niles declares: "l'chaim! Mazel tov! Next year in Jerusalem!" 

Unfortunately, Faye and Helen's visit happens to coincide with a Christmas performance that Daphne is putting on with her theater group — and when one of the actors pulls out, Niles has to fill in for the role of Jesus. When Niles, dressed as Jesus, returns to Frasier's apartment for his nasal spray, they have to hide him from Helen's sight. All this leads to Helen opening the bathroom door to find Niles, spraying his nose in front of the hidden Christmas tree. The whole set-up is absurd in ways only a sitcom could orchestrate, but Frasier screaming "Jesus!" at the top of his lungs makes it all worthwhile.

Frasier accidentally dates his male boss (Season 2 Episode 3)

Frasier tries to fix-up Daphne in "The Matchmaker" and invites his new boss Tom (Eric Lutes) to dinner at his apartment — only for him to assume it's Frasier who is interested in dating him.

When Niles shows up unexpectedly at the dinner, he's immediately irritated at Tom, because he doesn't want anyone dating Daphne; this leads to Tom confronting Niles about his behavior and Niles finding out it's Frasier that Tom is after.

After quite a few instances of Frasier inadvertently showing interest — such as Tom asking to get some "one-on-one" time before the night is over and Frasier, thinking Tom means with Daphne, suavely responding that he can arrange that — Niles eventually pulls Frasier out in the hallway to tell him. Eager to embarrass Frasier, Niles begins, "There's something I have to tell you. Dad wanted to but I won the coin toss." He then proceeds to tell Frasier that he is actually Tom's "object of affections." Frasier wonders how Tom got that impression, saying, "All I did was ask him if he was attached and then we talked about the theater and men's fashions — oh my god."

Frasier comes clean and apologizes to Tom, saying it "never occurred" to him that Tom could be gay. To this, Tom says, "Well, it never even occurred to me that you might be straight."

Daphne pretends to be married to Niles, Frasier pretends to be married to Roz/Maris (Season 4 Episode 1)

The premise of "The Two Mrs. Cranes" begins with Daphne wanting to avoid her ex-fiancé Clive (Scott Atkinson) getting back together with her. This leads to her spontaneously telling Clive that she's married to Niles (which he, of course, is happy to play along with). Soon, the charade is extended into Clive thinking that Frasier is married to Maris, and when Roz unexpectedly shows up, she steps into the role of "Maris."

The real trouble starts when Daphne realizes that Clive has changed — he has developed ambitions, namely — and suddenly is interested in him again. Of course, Roz, always eager for a date, sets her sights on him right away. As Daphne and Roz vie for Clive's affections, Frasier and Niles try to keep their narrative in check. The tension escalates as Daphne makes comments about Roz's drinking, while Roz brings an imaginary pregnancy of Daphne's into the mix. While Clive is in the bathroom, Roz angrily tells Daphne that she can "have him." Daphne responds, "Fat chance I've got now that you've told him I'm pregnant. How am I supposed to get rid of this bloody baby?" Having overheard that, Clive walks out of the bathroom to see Niles, Frasier, Roz and Daphne all looking crazed and angry.

Clive calls them the "most appalling family [he's] ever met" and takes off. They may be appalling because of the amusing comedy of manners they got themselves into — but they're also possibly the funniest family.

Frasier is wounded (Season 8 Episode 2)

It takes the resident will-they-won't-they couple of "Frasier," Niles and Daphne, a full seven seasons to get together. Once they finally are, they have to deal with Niles's shrewd soon-to-be ex-wife, who insists they pretend to be married for a while for the sake of appearances. 

In "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, Part 2," during an argument between the lovebirds while Frasier and Martin are in the room, Daphne brings up how Frasier accidentally revealing Niles' feelings for Daphne is what got them into "this mess." Frasier starts to protest, but then Niles interjects, saying, "Oh shut up, Frasier! The only thing more hollow than your protest of innocence is your big fat head!"

To this, Frasier responds with what is arguably the most quoted line of the series. With a grief-stricken look on his face, he bellows, "I. Am. Wounded!"

It may be a serious moment, but Frasier's deep-voiced, ultra-enunciated delivery — along with the audience's knowledge of Frasier's tendency to yell in times of distress — makes this one of the most laugh-out-loud moments of the series.

Daphne dates Niles' doppelganger (Season 4 Episode 6)

In "Mixed Doubles," after Daphne breaks up with an on-again-off-again boyfriend, Niles decides it's time to ask her out. But Frasier persuades him to wait at least a day, since Daphne's break up is so fresh. 

It's good advice, except that Roz encourages Daphne to go out to a singles bar — where she meets someone new. That someone new turns out to be Niles' doppelganger; not only do they look enough alike to be fraternal twins, but they dress similarly, speak in the same intonations and even have matching mannerisms.

Right after Niles tells Frasier and Martin that he finds Rodney to be a "pretentious fop," Rodney comes in and takes the likeness a step further. About his coffee, Rodney requests, "I neglected to mention that I like my milk steamed, but just a dollop of foam, such as might give the effect of a cumulus cloud reflected in a still pond." Niles (who once ordered a "double shot, low fat, no foam latte" at Cafe Nervosa) emphatically remarks after Rodney leaves the room that he wants to kill himself. Martin and Frasier — and the audience — can't help laughing at the precious irony.

Daphne and Rodney break up, but luckily not before we get to witness this funny "Twilight Zone" moment (as Martin says).

Niles thinks Daphne is pregnant with Frasier's baby (Season 5 Episode 3)

The setting for "Halloween" is, well, a Halloween party and everyone's literary-themed costumes only make the events of the evening even more hilarious.

Before the party, Roz confides in Frasier that she might be pregnant, specifically asking him not to tell anyone. He doesn't — at least, not on purpose, but does let it slip to Daphne after mistakenly thinking that Roz already told her. As Frasier and Daphne discuss it in the kitchen, Niles overhears and thinks that Daphne is the one who's pregnant and Frasier is the father. Soon, Martin finds out that Roz could be pregnant and, after talking to Niles, thinks Frasier is the father (to Roz's baby). To make matters even messier (and funnier), Niles is as drunk as can be.

Niles approaches Daphne to hear her and Frasier arguing — she wants him to take her home because her fake eyelashes are making her eyes water uncontrollably, and he wants to stay at the party — and assumes they're talking about Daphne being pregnant. This perspective makes it uproariously funny when Frasier says, "It's your own fault! You should've read the directions on the package when you used it!" 

Niles, coming to Daphne's defense, begins to reprimand Frasier and even pulls out his sword while yelling about "chivalry." After the sword breaks, he proposes to Daphne while everyone watches. Frasier calls him a "drunken imbecile" and informs him that Roz is the pregnant one, not Daphne. Niles, confused and wide eyed, can only say "Roz is?" and get up off the floor.

Niles starts a house fire (Season 6 Episode 14)

The first third of "Three Valentines" focuses solely on Niles as he prepares to have a Valentine's date over at Frasier's apartment, which he borrowed for the evening. 

Of course, Niles is as particular and fussy as they come, so everything has to be just perfect, which is how he ends up taking off his pants to iron them. Distracted from ironing by a loose thread, Niles rests the (hot) iron on top of his pants to cut the string. He then accidentally cuts himself and passes out from the blood, getting a small drip of blood on Frasier's couch. He uses a — flammable — liquid stain remover on the couch and, after passing out again from seeing the blood, spills a ton of it onto the couch without noticing. Soon, the pants have caught fire from the iron and, in attempt to put it out, Niles throws the pants on the couch — where the flammable liquid sets an even bigger fire on the couch.

What follows is the highlight of the scene, as Niles tries to use the fire extinguisher on the couch, but it's too powerful for him. He ends up spraying the extinguisher all over the apartment as he falls over the furniture, trying to get control of it.

This scene is a testament to how "Frasier" — and, especially, Pierce — excels at such comedy. Pierce's talent is at the forefront here, as the scene — which has very little dialogue — is both utterly compelling and stomach-achingly funny.

Niles practices his kickboxing — and knocks down Daphne (Season 7 Episode 16)

In "Something About Dr. Mary," Niles, having just achieved the yellow belt (Level 2) in his kickboxing training, is eager to show off what he's learned to Martin. Niles does a little bounce up and down as he talks about how you need "timing and balance and the ability to strike and instantly retreat."

Niles prepares to show off one of the kicks, as Martin looks on, but doesn't realize that Daphne has appeared behind him to watch. So, when he quickly turns and kicks behind him, he accidentally hits Daphne right in the butt. Daphne's arms fly up, the tray she was holding goes into the air, and she tumbles onto the dining table as Niles falls to the floor.

It's an endlessly re-watchable moment, and another example of David Hyde Pierce's gift for physical comedy. Each time you watch it, you notice a different detail that's funny — and you will want to watch it several times over.

Marty accidentally gets high (Season 11 Episode 11)

After unknowingly eating a pot brownie that belongs to Niles (in his attempt to rebel like he never did as a kid), Martin finds himself incredibly high (he ate the whole thing at once). Part of the hilarious fun in "High Holidays" is that Niles, unaware that Martin replaced his pot brownie with a regular one, is completely under the impression that he is "toasted," as he says to Frasier. Soon after Niles tells Frasier how excited he is for "something called the 'munchies' stage," Martin announces his presence when we hear him drop his keys outside of the front door and then start laughing hysterically.

Martin, extremely "toasted," proceeds to go on a rant about how annoying it is to have to make turns when walking somewhere ("Do you ever feel like you'd just like to go straight?") and eating barbecue chips with chocolate pudding. It's not long before he's walking around in his underwear, eating ice cream. When Frasier asks Martin where his pants are, he replies, with the straightest face, "In the fridge."

Niles falls in Cafe Nervosa for the sake of the countersuit (Season 3 Episode 17)

As gifted a physical comedian as David Hyde Pierce can be, his shocking, over-the-top "countersuit" fake fall in the episode "High Crane Drifter" has to take the cake as the best example — and nearly the funniest moment of the entire series.

In the episode, Frasier is fed up with the way that strangers disregard other people. When a man in Cafe Nervosa takes a table that Frasier and Niles were clearly waiting for, Frasier confronts him. In fact, Frasier yells that the man needs "an etiquette lesson," grabs him by the shoulders and pushes him out of the coffee shop. This scene is hilarious enough on its own, but also leads to the highlight of the episode. Later, the man tells Frasier that he's suing him for assault. Niles then interjects and starts verbally insulting the man, repeating how much of a chicken he is, prompting the man to (lightly) pokes Niles with his finger.

Niles yells "oh" and — very dramatically — falls back, knocking over chairs and the coat rack, before landing on top of a table. The table breaks and Niles falls to the floor, while the entire room watches in awe. Frasier bends over to ask Niles if he's alright and Niles whispers, "Countersuit."

Everything that happens in Ski Lodge (Season 5 Episode 14)

There's a reason that "Ski Lodge" is consistently considered one of — if not the — best episodes of "Frasier." The show was always exceptionally good at both dramatic irony and misunderstandings being well utilized and "Ski Lodge" is perhaps the prime example of that stellar writing and technique. 

During a weekend ski lodge trip, Niles wants to make a move on Daphne, but Daphne is instantly attracted to their ski instructor, Guy (James Patrick Stuart), who turns out to be gay and is instantly attracted to Niles. Meanwhile, Frasier has his sights set on Daphne's friend, Annie (Cynthia LaMontagne), who also happens to be interested in Niles.

Once it's time for bed, everyone begins trying to sneak into the room of the person they're after, each getting in the way of each other. For example, Niles sneaks into Daphne's room and even confesses how much he wants her — except Daphne and Annie switched rooms last minute, so he accidentally said this to Annie. At another point, Daphne and Niles find Frasier in Daphne's bed, popping a bottle of champagne, because he thinks it's Annie's room — Frasier hilariously still pours the champagne into a glass while he says "I'm sorry, wrong room!" and then gets up with the bedsheet wrapped around his naked body.

Eventually, the entire group converge, revealing all the misunderstandings. Frasier summarizes the evening best, saying, "All the lust coursing through this lodge tonight ... and no one was chasing me?" It's a hilarious ending note to an episode in which almost every beat is laugh-out-loud funny and seamlessly sewn together to make a near-flawless piece of comedic television. Of course, the entirety of "Ski Lodge" is ranked at the top of this list.