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Arthur Spooner Moments From King Of Queens That Will Make You Laugh

This content was paid for by Sony and created by Looper.

When it comes to delightfully unhinged screen characters, Arthur Spooner may be one of television's greatest creations ever. Portrayed by the late, great Jerry Stiller throughout all nine seasons of the hit sitcom "The King of Queens," Arthur is an unpredictable curmudgeon who is also a consistent source of quotable zingers.

While Carrie (Leah Remini) and Doug Heffernan (Kevin James) always leave us in stitches with their marital conundrums, Arthur is the chaotic lynchpin that keeps their household in constant disarray, stealing scenes in every single episode of the series. It's been almost 15 years since "The King of Queens" ended, but not a day has passed that we don't think about this lovable kook. So to celebrate this TV treasure, here's a look back at the Arthur Spooner moments in "The King of Queens" that still make us laugh out loud.

A rousing introduction

The first time audiences get to meet Arthur Spooner in the series' pilot episode, he immediately establishes just how much of a watchable wild card he is. Having already been described by Doug as someone he doesn't want to visit even at Carrie's insistence, viewers are well primed for Arthur's initial appearance to be an awkward one before he ever graces the screen. And, indeed, that's exactly what we get.

After the unexpected death of Arthur's wife, Doug approaches his father-in-law at the funeral to offer his quiet condolences and is surprised to find that Arthur is far more upset about the number of sandwiches a random mourner is eating than his own loss. His temper tantrum soon reaches an ultimate peak when his daughters reveal that they plan to move him into a retirement home, resulting in the first of many, many unforgettable exchanges involving this miserly little fella.

Arthur is always at his very funniest when he gets uncontrollably angry. Here, he immediately botches any chance of being taken seriously when he shouts, "I've got two words for you: I'm staying right here!" Carrie (rightly) points out that it's  actually four words, so he then adds, "Then I got another four words: screw you!" After his second counting error is noted, the tone abruptly shifts when Doug suggests that he stop previewing how many words he's going to use, and Arthur calmly and hilariously concedes, "Once you do that you're pretty much locked in, eh?" He's not done being angry yet — oh no — but from this moment forward the uniquely comedic cadence of this character's communication style is firmly established with this unforgettable introduction.

A pitiful pie

Shortly after his wife's death, Arthur also loses his home thanks to a fire he sets with an ancient hotplate, forcing him to move into Carrie's house and take over Doug's brand new basement man cave. Naturally, having this unexpected (and, frankly, unwanted) houseguest brings some all-new energy to the Heffernan household — particularly when it comes to Arthur's utter inability to speak normally to other human beings. In Season 1's "The Rock," for example, Doug is left to fend for himself and Arthur when Carrie can't make it home for dinner, and an innocent attempt to order some pizza goes terribly, terribly awry.

First, Arthur loudly shuts down Doug's initial choice of local restaurants in favor of the "little neighborhood joint" that is, in fact, Domino's. Then, when Doug asks for the number, Arthur rattles it off much too quickly to keep up with. Once Doug asks for some "phone number rhythm," Arthur obliges in the most Arthur way imaginable by instructing him to dial a "six" then "teen," which officially sends Doug over the edge and forces him to hang up the phone once and for all. Arthur's utter cluelessness about how to do something as simple as recite a phone number is hysterical enough, but then his staunch refusal to accept any blame whatsoever for this ordering snafu is really the pepper on top of this already-spicy little pie.

The (lack of) phone etiquette

Speaking of the show's priceless telephonic mishaps, Arthur is even more ridiculous to watch whenever he picks up the line for himself. In fact, one of the most laugh-out-loud moments of the entire series is entirely owed to Arthur's compulsion to answer the phone, even when he's not supposed to. In an extremely amusing cold open from Season 3's "Deacon Blues," Doug calls the house to check his messages, and he needs Arthur to let it ring for him to access the answering machine. However, no matter how many times he asks his father-in-law to stop answering the phone, he simply does not receive the message.

With each defiantly answered ring, Doug's agitation grows to the point of absolute incandescence, as he cannot understand why or even how the man can't follow such a simple instruction. If that's not funny enough, the real kicker comes at the tail end of the episode, when Doug calls and actually does get through to the machine — only this time, he actually wants Arthur to pick it up, but of course he will not. After taking such a scolding earlier, Arthur vehemently refuses to touch the set and even blows some raspberries at it for added effect. Arthur continues to establish a terrible track record of phone etiquette as the series continues. In the opening scene from Season 6's "Awful Bigamy," Arthur also takes the liberty of interrupting Doug during a phoned-in political survey because his responses aren't quite up to snuff for Arthur, and, perhaps expectably, it turns into a barb-trading fiasco between them both.

The eternal scammer

Another aspect of Arthur that will always be funny is how notoriously cheap he is. Sure, Carrie and Doug live a modest lifestyle, but they're far from destitute — yet Arthur still regularly insists on cutting corners wherever he can. In Season 2's "Surprise Artie," for example, Doug takes Arthur out for a buffet lunch to give Carrie cover to stage a surprise party at home. But, as we've come to expect by now, their plan goes right off the rails.

Naturally, being the cheapskate that he is, Arthur refuses to ask for his own plate for the buffet, insisting that the $6.99 they save will be well worth the headache of passing tater tots through teacups and such. When Doug finally objects to the charade and pays the waiter for both plates, Arthur takes the embarrassment factor to yet another level by insisting he found glass in Doug's taco. There's simply no floor to how low Arthur will go in publicly humiliating himself, as the man has absolutely no shame. It's not the last time his frugality causes a stir on the show, either; in a memorable arc from Season 5's "Window Pain," Arthur outright tortures poor Spence (Patton Oswalt) in order to save a buck and a half in subway fare.

The dinner guest

Arthur being a terrible dinner date isn't limited to his refusal to pay for things, either. In Season 6's "Switch Sitters," Doug and Carrie pressure Deacon (Victor Williams) and his wife to repay all of their babysitting by taking Arthur out with them to eat to give the couple some much-needed alone time. And, without fail, the night turns into an unmitigated disaster due to Arthur's unbridled exuberance.

Arthur gets the awkward vibes going as soon as they're all seated by suggesting that Deacon's night might also include a jazz club or a trip to the Apollo, an ignorant bit of stereotyping since Deacon's family is Black. And then he makes it worse when he reacts to being restricted from ordering something spicy by demanding to know if they've been seated by the kitchen "because we're Black." As usual, Arthur's outburst earns an instant head turn from everyone in the room, and Deacon has no choice but to relent to Arthur's menu choice, igniting a full-on cold war between the couples.

The greedy gramps

Another all-timer moment for Arthur involving cash comes in Season 4's "Eddie Money." The episode follows Doug and his bestie Deacon as they win $5,000 gambling on a game that Doug was decidedly not supposed to bet on. So, instead of fessing up and sharing their newfound fortune with their families, the two decide to have a day of decadence, supping on steaks, renting a dream car, and otherwise enjoying the finer things in life. Unfortunately for this duo, Arthur shows up right in the middle of their indulgence spree and decides he deserves to be a part of the festivities.

That's when Arthur delivers one of his most memorable introductory lines ever, greeting Doug and Deacon with, "Let's see. You're home on a workday, there's a red Ferrari in the driveway, and there's a pile of cash on the table. I don't know what's going on, but I want in." All it takes is a massage, a steak dinner, and a personal concert from Eddie Money to satisfy the man (and spend the incriminating cash), but he still doesn't make it easy on anyone. Why would he? Eventually, Arthur gets the idea to do a little gambling of his own in Season 7's "Van Go" by hosting a casino party, and, well, it works out just about as well as you might anticipate. And if that weren't enough for his get rich quick scheming, he also insists to Doug in Season 8's "Apartment Complex" that it's his Richard Nixon-shaped potato chip that's gonna finally fill his pockets once and for all (spoiler: it doesn't).

The therapy session

Arthur's antagonism doesn't come from nowhere. In Season 4's "Shrink Wrap," Carrie and Doug decide to send him to a psychiatrist in hopes of putting an end to his many outbursts, and, predictably, Arthur has a lot of intense reservations about the process right from the start, even screaming at what he thinks is a two-way mirror in the shrink's office.

What no one expects, though, is that he actually has a real breakthrough with the doctor, revealing in a pseudo-flashback that his own father (portrayed by Jerry Stiller's real-life son Ben Stiller) was even more ornery than himself. And as the two face off in the memory, Arthur reveals that the one person he's still afraid of — and the reason he himself is so sharp-tongued — is his own old man.

The shake down

While we're on the subject of bullying, Arthur himself has been known to show off some false bravado around some very vulnerable subjects from time to time. One such person is Holly Shumpert (Nicole Sullivan), the dog walker who's hired to take Arthur out for daily strolls to give Doug and Carrie a much-needed break from Arthur's antics. In Season 5's "Mentalo Case," one of the show's classic Christmas episodes, Arthur decides to shake Holly down for some critical intel on what Carrie is planning to get him for a holiday gift.

To pressure her into revealing what she knows about Carrie's gifting plans, Arthur threatens, "Spill it, or I'll tell people you beat me." When she protests that she does not, in fact, abuse her most senior client, he dons his most pirate-like sneer and insists, "My word against yours. And I can bruise myself up pretty easily. I'm like a ripe banana." Arthur's always been a bold old fogey, but here he's using his vulnerability as a weapon, which proves to be even more hilarious than if he'd tried to act tough.

All in all, Arthur Spooner is a wonderfully weird screen character who manages to bring delight and secondhand humiliation to audiences all at once throughout "The King of Queens." Even 15 years after we said goodbye to the character, he's still a true treat to revisit in the series.