For eight glorious seasons (1977-1984), “Three’s Company” treated its viewers to episodes filled with a bunch of pratfalls, innuendos, and, of course, misunderstandings.
In simplest terms, a really good time.
That’s because everything worked so well together — from the writing to the acting — led by the physical comedy genius John Ritter brought to Jack Tripper, and Joyce DeWitt’s consistently solid performance as level-headed Janet Wood.
Sure, some might be quick to dismiss “Three’s Company” as a silly sitcom filled with double entendres and misunderstandings, but that would do it a disservice.
The TV series remains a favorite and is still such a joy to watch decades after its original run because it masterfully accomplished what it set out to do.
Even with multiple cast changes over the seasons — from new roommates to new landlords — the chemistry that made the show so special persevered throughout its episodes.
And whether you preferred Chrissy (Suzanne Somers), Cindy (Jenilee Harrison), or Terri (Priscilla Barnes), or were a fan of Stanley and Helen Roper (Norman Fell and Audra Lindley) or Ralph Furley (Don Knotts), each one of them played an important part in making “Three’s Company” the beloved show it still is today.
Three’s Company: Episode Guide/Ranking
To rank every single “Three’s Company” episode within each season is a fun, yet challenging, exercise.
Arguably, some “Three’s Company” episodes might be considered “better” for any number of subjective reasons, while some top-ranked episodes can easily switch spots with others.
So let’s take a fun, nostalgic ride down memory lane and revisit every single “Three’s Company” episode, and many of the show’s most memorable moments and quotes.
Surely there will be disagreement about some rankings in this “Three’s Company” episode guide, but that’s what was so wonderful about the show — it provided so many laughs and unforgettable moments to choose from over its entire series run.
So, come on, let’s go knock on their door again…
Three’s Company Episode Ranking: Season 1
#6: “A Man About the House”
The “Three’s Company” episode that started it all (not including the 2 rare, must-see unaired pilots included in the “Three’s Company” Complete Series DVD box set!). It sets the tone nicely for what would be eight fun-filled seasons.
#5: “Jack, The Giant Killer”
Isn’t it a bit convenient that Jack is made to be more “wimpy” in some episodes (such as this one), where as he touts his fighting skills in others? Nevertheless, a fair episode in a very short first season.
#4: “It’s Only Money”
We’re introduced to Dean “Two girls?!?” Travers (William Pierson) for the first time when Jack goes in search of getting a loan.
A nice running gag in this satisfactory episode is watching Jack, Janet and Chrissy avoid Mr. Roper who simply wants to invite them out to dinner. (A rare occurrence in itself!)
#3: “Roper’s Niece”
Jack’s interactions with Mr. Roper throughout the series were always entertaining, especially here when he has trouble controlling himself (and his beer can) around Roper’s niece.
This fun episode may have been considered “risque” at the time, but is quite innocent by today’s standards. It also includes a sweet ending with Jack giving Janet a birthday gift: he bought back the cameo she had sold to a pawn shop. (This special moment also effectively reinforces the trio’s budding friendship.)
#2: “And Mother Makes Four”
Chrissy’s mother unexpectedly drops by for a visit the same day Jack is supposed to move in, and when she decides to stay the night, his patience starts wearing thin.
On the bright side, Jack ends up sneaking back into the apartment, hanging out in Janet and Chrissy’s bedroom, and even discovers the mole on Chrissy’s thigh.
A living room window that won’t close and a case of the hiccups complicates things, but Jack breathing heavy into a paper bag and ending up locked out in the rain while trying to avoid Chrissy’s mother remain memorable moments in this satisfying episode.
#1: “No Children, No Dogs”
“This is going to make you feel soooo good.” – Jack
“Jack, not on the table!” – Chrissy
Not only does this episode include one of the show’s first of many hilarious misunderstandings (Janet overhearing Jack and Chrissy in the kitchen feeding a puppy…which is clearly NOT what she thinks is going on), it also introduces us to upstairs neighbor, used car salesman Larry Dallas (Richard Kline).
An all-around entertaining “Three’s Company” episode.
Three’s Company Episode Ranking: Season 2
#25: “Jack’s Navy Pal”
An amusing premise at first, but Jack should have accommodated his Navy “pal” Jim Walsh’s request and hit him early on to spare viewers from having such an unpleasant character (effectively played by David Dukes) turn this into a fairly unpleasant episode.
It’s also frustrating that the build up to any kind of payoff doesn’t happen.
Well, I guess “that’s what you get for trying to hit a blind man.”
#24: “Janet’s High School Sweetheart”
Janet’s high school sweetheart is such a naive sleazeball that it affects the episode itself, making it feel more uncomfortable than funny at times.
Of course you feel bad for Janet (always played wonderfully by Joyce DeWitt) having her hopes dashed, but this episode — like her date — is a bit of letdown.
#23: “The Rivals”
Poor Janet, as Chrissy (innocently) catches the interest of a guy she had her eyes on. Somehow, this also results in Chrissy believing that Jack and Janet want to hook up, but all’s well that ends in this fair episode.
#22: “Three’s Christmas”
It’s refreshing to see a “Three’s Company” holiday-themed episode; it’s just too bad it’s kind of uneventful and a bit slow (as intended by the “boring” party at the Roper household). Alas, the party’s slow pace carries over into the episode itself, making it feel a little underwhelming.
#21: “Coffee, Tea or Jack”
As a big fan of “WKRP in Cincinnati,” it’s a real treat seeing Loni Anderson guest star as Jack’s old flame. It’s just too bad the opportunity seems wasted in what ends up being a so-so episode. It does have its moments, including Chrissy being tasked with getting Jack to attend his surprise birthday party…even if she has to seduce him away from his date. Well, at least try to.
#20: “Stanley Casanova”
“I don’t want to be happy. I want to be with you!” – Stanley Roper (to Helen)
Jack’s tries to build up Mr. Roper’s self-confidence. Sounds like fun, but this episode always felt a tad mean-spirited when (1) Mrs. Roper is crushed seeing Mr. Roper being kissed by another woman at The Regal Beagle, and (2) Stanley continues walking around with the lipstick mark from the kiss on his cheek to repeatedly drive the point across to a hurt Helen.
At least Helen discovered that the female who kissed Stanley only did it because Jack put her up to it.
#19: “Alone Together”
Can Jack control himself when he’s alone for the night with Chrissy? Actually, yes, he can. But who would have thought Chrissy would (uncharacteristically) be upset that he DOESN’T try to take advantage of her in this decent episode.
#18: “Helen’s Job”
If only Janet and Chrissy would have heeded Jack’s advice and didn’t try to convince Mrs. Roper to get a job so she wouldn’t have to rely on an allowance from Stanley.
Another fair “Three’s Company” episode, which also showcases Audra Lindley nicely.
#17: “Roper’s Car”
I don’t know what’s more surprising in this average episode — the trio wanting to purchase Mr. Roper’s car (which has always been known to be a clunker)…or the trio being able to afford any kind of car when they’re always struggling to even pay their rent every month.
#16: “Janet’s Promotion”
Poor, sweet, “good old reliable” (see Season 3) Janet gets passed over for a promotion to a much less qualified — and bustier — coworker.
This fine episode might remind some viewers of the time Janet tried to go blonde (season six episode “Janet Wigs Out”), as she contemplates increasing her bust size this time around. Of the two episodes, this one is the stronger of the two.
#15: “Ground Rules”
When a small apartment is “hers and hers and his,” there’s bound to be issues that arise when it comes to privacy.
This enjoyable “Three’s Company” episode lands in the middle of season two’s ranking, and most notably includes a classic double entendre discussion about “putting up shelves” between Jack and Mr. Roper.
#14: “Jack Looks for a Job”
“What a lovely 3-piece living room set you have…” (encyclopedia sales manual’s opening line tip)
One of two episodes in the series where Jack is posing nude (season eight’s episode “Jack Takes Off” is the other). “Jack Looks for a Job” (and its slower pace) is the weaker of the two, but is still enjoyable.
Speaking of enjoyable: watching Jack try to sell encyclopedias and accidentally selling a set to himself (instead of to Mr. Roper).
#13: “The Gift”
Jack forgets Chrissy’s birthday…or did he? When Chrissy thinks an expensive mink coat Jack was holding for Mr. Roper (a gift for Mrs. Roper) is meant for her, Jack has no choice but to go along with it. Jack also has to figure out how to deal with paying back Mr. Roper as a result of this, um, what’s the word…oh yeah, misunderstanding.
#12: “Jack in the Flower Shop”
Jack and Janet’s interactions are always enjoyable, yet they seem a bit out of character in the early parts of this episode: Jack’s a little too much of a goofball, and Janet is, well, a little more unforgiving.
It’s a bit of a shock to see Janet’s boss persona come out and snap at Jack. (Though to be fair, Jack snaps at the group when he’s stressed out trying to get his bistro ready for its grand opening in season seven, but I digress.)
Clearly, Janet’s behavior adversely affected Jack to the point that it’s fun watching him repeatedly remind her about it throughout the rest of the episode.
#11: “Jack’s Uncle”
It’s bad enough that Jack’s charming uncle is writing bad checks, but writing one to Mr. Roper to pay for the trio’s rent is a whole other predicament…and a fun one.
The scene where Jack attempts to retrieve his uncle’s bad check from Mr. Roper’s apartment while Stanley’s asleep on the couch is a classic; it’s a perfectly timed sequence, capped off when Stanley grabs Jack’s hand instead of the glass of water on a nearby table.
#10: “Chrissy’s Date”
“Why, did mommy spank you?” – Jack (after Lloyd Cross tells him his name)
Chrissy is dating Lloyd (Dick Sargent from “Bewitched”) — not only an older man, but one who doesn’t tell her he’s married. Jack to the rescue in what is a fine episode, and one that also further solidifies the friendship between Jack and Chrissy.
#9: “Will the Real Jack Tripper…”
Janet and Chrissy think Jack has impregnated his girlfriend. Not only is she not pregnant, Jack doesn’t even know her. Jack’s actually dating someone else, but the girls believe he’s two-timing his “other” pregnant girlfriend.
Welcome to another “Three’s Company” episode featuring yet another classic misunderstanding.
On a side note, we all know Larry could be sleazy, but would he (1) really double-cross his best friend by telling his date that his name is Jack Tripper, and (2) hang up on her when she tells him she might be pregnant? Hmm…
#8: “Home Movies”
How can you not enjoy watching “filmmaker” Chrissy’s home movies? Well…
This “Three’s Company” episode includes a funny payoff when everyone (invited and uninvited) gathers around to watch an X-rated film Larry brings over…only to discover it’s actually a Woody Woodpecker cartoon. Viewers are treated to the actual Woody Woodpecker cartoon revelation onscreen at the end of this enjoyable episode too.
#7: “Cyrano De Tripper”
“How did you introduce the dressing?” – Michael (Chrissy’s date)
“I just said, ‘Salad meet the dressing…'” – Chrissy trying to explain how she prepared a salad Jack made
Jack secretly prepares dinner for Chrissy and her date, who happens to be a gourmet chef. After Jack can’t take the slightest criticism about his food and confronts Michael, the plot goes down a path to somehow reassure Mr. Roper that Jack’s gender preferences are intact, capped off with Chrissy proclaiming that Jack stole her date.
It’s a good time.
#6: “The Babysitters”
Jack and Chrissy fill in for Janet to babysit for a night.
It’s a lot of fun watching everything go wrong — from no television set for Jack to watch the Lakers game and a locked liquor cabinet that cannot be opened, to, of course, a crying baby. Quick, get that Percy Puff-Puff and His Little Red Tooter book!
#5: “Chrissy’s Night Out”
“The Funky Fox? You shouldn’t go there. People will think you’re a hooker.” – Jack to an already upset Chrissy who was just mistaken for a “hoo-hook-hooker” at The Funky Fox.
Guest appearance by James Cromwell (aka Stretch Cunningham from “All in the Family”) playing a creepy cop. Jack not only punches him, but also hurts his feelings in the process.
Another fine “Three’s Company” episode from the second season.
#4: “Strange Bedfellows”
“Helen, you wouldn’t believe what a nightmare I just had!” – Mr. Roper after seeing Jack laying next to him in bed.
The girls are away, so Jack will (try to) play.
A great episode featuring a party, dancing, drinking, and an angry Mr. Roper…who somehow ends up waking up in bed with Jack the next morning. Let the fun begin!
#3: “Chrissy Come Home”
The introduction of Chrissy’s father — Reverend Snow (Peter Mark Richman). One of several episodes he appears in, including this one where he tries to get Chrissy to move out of the apartment after he realizes Jack has replaced Eleanor.
This “Three’s Company” episode works well overall, especially in further building up the bond between the three roommates to viewers…and fortunately Reverend Snow too.
#2: “Days of Beer and Weeds”
It’s especially fun to see “Three’s Company” characters outside of the apartment (not including The Regal Beagle).
Aside from the fun of watching the trio try to clean up Roper’s weed-filled backyard (gotta love those photo backgrounds too), the whole misunderstanding about the supposed cannabis plant ending up in Mrs. Roper’s flower arrangement is as classic as the moment a photo is taken of Mrs. Roper hitting Mr. Roper over the head with her purse at the end of this great episode.
#1 “Bird Song”
“What’s wrong with my bird?” – Mr. Roper
Watching Jack and Chrissy compete for Janet’s Frank Sinatra tickets throughout this episode is a joy, as are classic moments like Jack trying to hide Mr. Roper’s bird in his shirt so Mrs. Roper doesn’t see her “gift,” and later accidentally sitting on the shoe box the bird was kept in.
Three’s Company Episode Ranking: Season 3
#22: “Chrissy and the Guru”
“Peace and love be with you.”
A bit hard to believe Chrissy would go along with guru Rama Mageesh and his ulterior motives for nearly the entire episode, which is why the premise wears out its welcome way before the episode’s end.
#21: “The Crush”
John Ritter can make any “Three’s Company” episode entertaining, but the Ropers’ teenage house guest (“Gimme A Break!” actress Lauri Hendler) takes the energy out of this episode fairly quickly.
#20: “The Party’s Over”
Grumpy Mr. Roper sabotages the trio’s party, causing Mrs. Roper to get so mad she leaves him. There are many other more memorable episodes featuring a grumpy Mr. Roper and Mrs. Roper reacting to his curmudgeon ways.
#19: “Helen’s Rendezvous”
“Oh my God, I think he swallowed my earring.” – Mrs. Roper fighting off Stanley’s best friend Jerry
Stubborn Mr. Roper won’t forgive his best friend Jerry until he comes crawling back to him apologizing, which is literally what Jerry ends up doing in this amusing episode.
This “Three’s Company” episode also includes yet another misunderstanding — this time the trio thinks Mrs. Roper is having an affair with Jerry.
One great, memorable sight gag: Mr. Roper seeing Mrs. Roper’s head appear through the shower curtains that are behind him while he’s looking in the bathroom mirror.
#18: “Chrissy’s New Boss”
Chrissy’s overnight business trip with her new boss “J.C.” is the set up for Jack and Janet to assume J.C. is a man who’s looking to take advantage of poor little Chrissy.
Everyone’s in for a surprise when it’s discovered that J.C. is actually a woman in this fun little episode.
#17: “The Kleptomaniac”
Jack and Janet believe Chrissy likes to steal — not only from Jack (cue Jack falling off a ladder after witnessing it with his own eyes), but supposedly from the Ropers too — in another okay episode.
#16: “My Sister’s Keeper”
Janet is being way too overprotective of her little sister Jenny, all the more after she catches Jenny in bed with a forgetful, medicated Jack.
This satisfactory episode also brings to mind when Larry was so overprotective of his little sister (yet again from Jack) in season seven’s episode “Larry’s Sister.”
Funny how it’s one “Three’s Company” episode and done when it comes to many of the characters’ siblings: One episode with Janet’s sister, one with Larry’s sister, one with Terri’s sister (Samantha in season six’s “Terri Makes Her Move”), one with Jack’s brother (Lee in season four’s “Lee Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” — not to be confused with Jack’s, um, twin brother Austin from Texas, of course!). At least Ralph’s brother Bart not only appeared in an episode, he was still referenced in several others.
#15: “An Anniversary Surprise”
Farewell to the Ropers. A nice send-off featuring a misunderstanding that makes the trio (and Mrs. Roper) think he’s leaving Helen for another women (actually his real estate agent who helped him sell the building).
On a bright note, it’s nice to see Mr. Roper finally — and willingly — give Jack a hug goodbye.
#14: “The Catered Affair”
Jack catering Chrissy’s work event doesn’t turn out so well when Mr. Penrose (president of the company) keeps making passes at her.
Another change in scenery away from the trio’s apartment adds some extra freshness to this “Three’s Company” episode…and that’s not including the chilled shrimp Mrs. Penrose is endlessly in search of.
#13: “Triangle Troubles”
“You what?!?” – Jack after discovering that his date lives with 2 male roommates
The tables are amusingly turned in this “Three’s Company” episode: Have Jack date a woman who’s secretly living with 2 male roommates.
This fun episode also features the hilarious, memorable visual of Jack holding and kissing his girlfriend Debbie’s hands…and also realizing he’s somehow holding three hands (one of them being Janet’s, from behind the couch).
#12: “Jack Moves Out”
“I think your trap’s caught a booby.” – Chrissy to Janet’s pots-on-a-string booby trap
“Three’s Company” episodes used and re-used actors so well. In this memorable episode, Larry’s boss Mr. Layton is played by Jordan Charney, who ends up playing Jack’s boss Mr. Angelino in later episodes.
This episode features yet another classic, laugh-out-loud visual: a promiscuous Mrs. Layton playing way more than footsies with Jack under the dinner table.
#11: “The Harder They Fall”
“What do you think of them?” – Janet showing her date Gregg some ferns in the apartment
“Those are two beauties…You know if you want them to grow, you have to put them in the window at least once a day.” – Gregg’s response (completely misinterpreted by Jack and Chrissy, who are listening from another room)
Jack breaking his leg falling down Mr. Roper’s (wet) stairs leads up to yet another misunderstanding: Mr. Roper thinking Gregg is Jack’s lawyer who will be suing him.
A solid episode. And if you think Janet’s date Gregg looks familiar, all you have to do is watch season seven’s episode “Navy Blues” — Jack’s conman Navy friend is also played by the same actor (Rod McCary).
#10: “The Bake Off”
Kudos to Suzanne Somers for making viewers feel just as disgustingly full as her as she tries to quickly eat an entire pie (to discard the evidence, that she ate Jack’s pie for a bake-off competition).
This “Three’s Company” episode ends with a classic pie-throwing fight scene, and as a huge “Three Stooges” fan, you can never go wrong with that.
A lot of fun.
#9: “The Best Laid Plans”
“Was this mouse somebody important?” – Larry
Who knew a mouse could cause so much havoc and fun at the same time?
Jack takes advantage of the mouse-in-the-house situation and gets to stay in the girls’ bedroom with Chrissy (fearful Janet sleeps in Jack’s room). And Mr. Roper gets to use the mouse excuse to keep Helen’s mother away.
It all makes for a good time.
#8: “Stanley’s Hotline”
“Chrissy, I want you to keep it.” – Mrs. Roper, thinking Chrissy is pregnant (Chrissy actually has a wart she wants to get rid of.)
Another enjoyable “Three’s Company” episode based around the Ropers thinking Chrissy is pregnant (due to Stanley’s eavesdropping), but it’s hard to believe Joyce DeWitt doesn’t even appear in it.
#7: “Eleanor’s Return”
Jack thinks he’s on the way out with Eleanor returning, which results in him making desserts with sawdust (at least Mr. Roper loves the taste of them), and let’s not forget Larry’s streaking across the living room for all to see. All because of — what else — a misunderstanding.
This episode brings to mind Jack and Larry also attempting to sabotage Terri’s welcoming party in season six episode “Jack Bares All: Part II”…except this one is much more lighthearted and fun.
#6: “The Older Woman”
“I couldn’t help but notice your perfume…What do you call it?” – Larry, coming on to Aunt Martha
“BENGAY.” – Aunt Martha’s response
Janet and Chrissy mistakenly think Jack is dating a senior citizen (he’s actually dating her niece). And as preposterous as that sounds, things get even wackier (and fun) when the girls get Larry involved to try to woo the septuagenarian away from Jack.
#5: “Double Date”
When Jack lies about having a cold to one girl so he can go out with another, it launches a very funny series of events…which even Mr. Roper tries to benefit from.
Of course, it ends with Jack getting caught, having a bowl of soup (hopefully not too hot!) poured over his head, and…actually catching a cold.
This episode might remind some of another “Three’s Company” episode, called “Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs” from season five.
#4: “The Fast”
Since when did Chrissy have such a voracious appetite? (aside from eating an entire pie — see season three’s “The Bake Off” episode)
Nevertheless, the premise conveniently comes in handy when a wager is made in this funny episode: Chrissy gives up food and Jack gives up women. Who can last longer? Well, Jack ends up being the “sore” winner…literally!
#3: “The Love Diary”
When Mr. Roper isn’t eavesdropping through bathroom pipes and mistakenly thinking Chrissy is pregnant (see season three episode “Stanley’s Hotline”), he’s reading what he thinks is her diary and believes she’s in love with him. As unfathomable as it is, it’s still an entertaining premise in a very satisfying, funny episode.
#2: “Good Old Reliable Janet”
“How’d you get here from the beach?” – Jack, noting that it’s 3 blocks away from the apartment
“Faster than you can imagine.” – Mrs. Roper
Janet and Mrs. Roper decide to be more rebellious (it’s about time!) and go to a nude beach…only to have to run all the way home when the police arrive.
Throw in a Greek restaurant, belly dancing, and a nude Janet and Mrs. Roper hiding in the bushes, and you have an unforgettable episode that definitely ranks near the top for this season.
#1: “Larry’s Bride”
“I’m getting married, not buried.” – Gloria (Larry’s fiancee) to Jack
“Little House on the Prairie!” – Chrissy, following up Jack’s toast of “Happy Days” and Janet’s toast of “Good Times” to Larry and his future bride.
What are the odds Larry’s fiancee is also Jack’s old high school classmate, better known as “Fatty Four-Eyes”? Regardless, from Jack’s reactions to drinking down multiple shots to his hilarious drunken reenactment to Larry about how Gloria came onto him, this classic episode is season five’s best and most memorable.
Three’s Company Episode Ranking: Season 4
#25: “Jack’s Bad Boy”
“Awwww.” – Janet and Chrissy in unison (over and over and over…)
A 12-year-old boy tricks the girls into thinking he’s homeless, but not Jack.
In some ways, this also brings to mind “Three’s Company” episode “The Crush” from season 3. I’m not sure which kid ends up being more annoying, but this boy (who reveals he’s actually filthy rich…and just bored) definitely doesn’t help with this episode’s ranking.
#24: “Secret Admirer”
Chrissy’s co-worker Gilbert (Barry Gordon) — a secret admirer in the first half of this “Three’s Company” episode — finally has a chance to get to know Chrissy much better in the second half of this slightly underwhelming episode.
#23: “Old Folks at Home”
There are some amusing moments in this decent episode, when the trio takes in an old man named Leo (J. Pat O’Malley) until he can find his own apartment. He’s a bit of a grouch (especially to Jack), but there’s a great moment when Jack stands up for him after he realizes his classless date kicked Leo out of the apartment.
#22: “The Love Barge”
The highlight of this episode is Janet and Chrissy each trying to outdo each other and get Mr. Furley’s attention. (Whoever Mr. Furley speaks to first gets to join Jack on an ocean cruise he’ll be cooking on.) An average episode overall.
#21: “Love Thy Neighbor”
“You’re a call boy?!?” – Chrissy to Jack, who’s working as a male escort to make some extra money
Welcome Lana (Ann Wedgeworth). Though she only appeared in a handful of episodes, this one definitely isn’t the strongest one.
#20: “Lee Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”
Jack already feels inferior to his brother, Lee, but his insecurities only get worse when Lee starts romancing Chrissy. But leave it Chrissy and a cake analogy to help Jack’s confidence return in yet another average episode.
#19: “And Baby Makes Two”
Is Janet looking for someone to father her child? Well, Jack and Chrissy think so, even going so far to believe that Janet placed an ad in the paper. (She’s actually trying to surprise Chrissy by redecorating their bedroom.)
This “Three’s Company” episode features yet another one those amusing misunderstandings, highlighted with Chrissy blurting out Janet’s measurements to viewers and a potential, um, suitor.
#18: “The Reverend Steps Out”
Reverend Snow returns…and yet again Chrissy might have to move out as a result. Fortunately, he comes to his senses and decides against it in this so-so episode.
Gotta love the sermon he gives (or should I say screams) when the girls are vacuuming.
#17: “The Love Lesson”
I don’t know what is more believable: Mr. Furley using his macho ladies man skills to “convert” Jack into liking women…or Mr. Furley believing that Jack’s date Bobby (played by “Growing Pains” Joanna Kerns) is a man.
Either way, it’s a satisfying scenario in a satisfying episode.
#16: “The Goodbye Guy”
Another bonafide misunderstanding in a “Three’s Company” episode — this time the trio mistakenly think Mr. Furley wants to kill himself…when all he’s really trying to do is set up a dentist appointment. Leave it to Mr. Furley to take advantage of the extra TLC while he can though.
#15: “Larry Loves Janet”
This episode showcases a great performance by Joyce DeWitt, especially when Janet tries her best to dissuade Larry from falling in love with her…by showing him a completely different side of herself.
Larry’s a busy guy — not only does he fall for Janet in this “Three’s Company” episode, he also falls for Terri in season six’s episode “Lies My Roommate Told Me.”
#14: “A Black Letter Day”
Another instance of mistaken identity — this time via a Dear Abby letter Lana believes Jack wrote about being in love with one of his roommates. The trouble caused also results in Janet and Chrissy bickering about each other, highlighted by Chrissy’s classic impression of Janet mumbling in her sleep.
Farewell Lana. (This is Ann Wedgeworth’s final “Three’s Company” episode.)
Chrissy’s cop cousin forgets his handcuffs at the apartment, which leads to Jack and Chrissy handcuffing themselves together — and realizing after the fact that neither one of them has the key.
A lot of good bits result in this “Three’s Company” episode: Jack still goes out on a date while still handcuffed to Chrissy. (It doesn’t go so well.) And the visual of Chrissy holding up a bath towel — with a ridiculously long arm span — to cover herself and Jack is hilarious.
How convenient that nosy police officer dropped his hat in the bathroom and didn’t immediately pick it up, don’t you think?
#12: “Snow Job”
“You just ruined that girl!” – Jack
“I never touched her!” – Mr. Furley
Chrissy isn’t very good at selling cosmetics, but thanks to a strip poker game at Mr. Furley’s place, she believes she can. The highlight of this pretty good episode is seeing the losers of the strip poker game leaving Furley’s place in a cardboard box (Jack), newspaper (Larry), pillows (Furley), and more.
#11: “The New Landlord”
“Just think how safe you’re gonna feel when you go to bed at night knowing I’ll be sleeping right underneath you.” – Mr. Furley (aka new landlord) to Janet and Chrissy
A big welcome to Mr. Ralph “RF” Furley (Don Knotts), the trio’s new landlord who is mistaken for a creep who’s stalking Janet and Chrissy.
The most entertaining part of this episode is when Jack prepares dinner for Mr. Furley and Lana — as Lana keeps trying to get away from Ralph and closer to Jack, Ralph keeps trying to get closer to Lana.
And who can forget that famous Romanian “Yum Yum” song Jack makes up on the fly? (The classic lyrics: “In Romania we love to dance, it’s the country of romance, grab your partner and take a spin, then sit right down and have your din…Yum-yum-yum-yum hey!”)
#10: “Jack on the Lam”
Jack tries to avoid the FBI by posing as Chrissy in this funny episode yet again showcasing John Ritter’s magnificent comedic talents. (He’s so convincing, he even fools an interested Larry at The Regal Beagle!)
#9: “Jack’s Graduation”
How could Jack fail his cooking exam? Fortunately, Jack and friends quickly realize a fellow classmate pulled a switcheroo on him. The trio get him to confess in front of Dean Travers — thanks to a flash of brilliance by Chrissy, no less! — in this really enjoyable episode.
#8: “The Loan Shark”
Thanks to Chrissy borrowing money from loan shark Mr. Bustamente, Jack ends up having to give cooking lessons to Mrs. Bustamente to get out of returning the money. Unfortunately for Jack (but not viewers), she’s on the hunt for Jack throughout, but leave it Chrissy to help out by boring Mrs. Bustamente to the point of her eyes crossing.
Watching a nervous, breathless, hysterical Jack try to serve Mr. Bustamente the meal he supposedly prepared with his wife is hysterical in itself.
#7: “The Lifesaver”
If only Paradise Towers existed. It sounded oh so nice.
The memorable sight gag of Jack’s towel falling off while he and Chrissy continually try to hide a hole in their living room wall from Mr. Furley is still funny, as is Mr. Furley also being hoodwinked to think he was the new manager of Paradise Towers.
The freeloader in this “Three’s Company” episode who kept promising Paradise Towers to everyone may not be likable, but this episode sure is.
#6: “Ralph’s Rival”
“What’s that?!?” – Larry (after seeing Chrissy’s monster of a boyfriend, Elmo)
Ralph tries to one-up a childhood rival by saying he and Chrissy are married. What can go wrong? Well, a lot, and it’s fun — especially when Chrissy’s boyfriend Elmo is on the search for her.
#5: “Mighty Mouth”
Jack tries to impress Janet and Chrissy’s gym instructor Shirley. Too bad he doesn’t know her older brother Harvey is the gym’s owner and very protective of her.
Watching Jack be put through a gym workout is a good time, but watching him try to hide how sore he is from Shirley makes for an even better viewing experience. Trying to avoid big brother Harvey all the while is icing on the cake in this very funny episode.
#4: “The Root of All Evil”
Chrissy’s racetrack winnings bring unwelcome results as the trio fight over how the money is spent, and it all comes to an unforgettable boil when Chrissy buys a $200 stuffed giraffe.
The roommates end up in psychologist Dr. Prescott’s office in this entertaining episode — to discuss their feelings, as well as how the stuffed giraffe must feel. What a great doctor.
#3: “A-Camping We Will Go”
“A woman loves a man with a Big Bandito!” – Larry’s date auditioning for Jack, thinking he directs commercials.
All Jack wants is sleep, but that’s not going to happen when everyone else tags along in this hilarious, classic episode that takes place in the mountains. (Again, episodes that take place away from the apartment always seem to be extra special!)
This is yet another “Three’s Company” episode that showcases John Ritter’s superb physical comedy — this time taking on a hammock as well as hopping away in a sleeping bag that he can’t unzip.
#2: “Chrissy’s Hospitality”
“Well, it’s almost over!” – Chrissy referring to her hospital stay, while Jack and Janet believe she’s talking about her life.
After hitting her head in the bathtub, a routine check at the hospital results in Jack and Janet thinking Chrissy is about to die. Yes, there are many “Three’s Company” episodes featuring misunderstandings, but this one is a classic.
#1: “Jack the Ripper”
“Woof!!!” – A newly empowered, assertive Jack
Thanks to Dr. Prescott (again), Jack’s not going to be stepped on anymore…and neither is Mr. Furley who learns the same lesson in assertiveness during his appointment with Dr. Prescott.
The barking that results during an argument between Jack and Mr. Furley is hilarious, perfectly capped off when Janet yells at them to heal.
This “Three’s Company” episode is a lot of fun.
Three’s Company Episode Ranking: Season 5
#22: “Chrissy’s Cousin”
Welcome Cindy (Jenilee Harrison)! She’s actually in some classic “Three’s Company” episodes, but the introduction of her clumsy character in this episode isn’t one of them.
On a side note, it’s amusing to see actress Karen Austin appear in this episode as Jennifer, a friend of Larry’s — she’ll guest star once again as Jack’s bossy fiancee, Denise, in season 6 episode “Jack’s 10.”
#21: “Honest Jack Tripper”
This episode about Jack swearing off lying is okay. It has some funny moments, but we all know Jack can only tell the truth for so long, especially in order to avoid hurting Mr. Furley’s feelings.
#20: “And Baby Makes Four”
One of a couple of episodes centered around Cindy’s character.
The best sight gag in this one is Mr. Furley walking around with two black eyes.
In typical “Three’s Company” fashion, a misunderstanding leads to Jack and Janet thinking that Cindy is pregnant. First, The Ropers think Chrissy’s pregnant in season three’s episode “Stanley’s Hotline,” and now this. This episode is the weaker of the two.
#19: “Jack to the Rescue”
“Mr. Hadley was behaving badly.” – Jack
After Jack gets Cindy fired, he makes the effort to get her job back…and ends up catching Cindy’s boss Mr. Hadley (played by Rod Colbin, who also played Helen Roper’s brother-in-law on “The Ropers”) fooling around with one of his other secretaries.
This episode is so-so and a bit uneven, especially when Cindy seems to scold Jack and Janet out of the blue for trying to help her get her job back.
#18: “Teacher’s Pet”
Dean Travers’ niece wants to get an “A” in Jack’s cooking class — no matter what she needs to do to get it. Jack caters (no pun intended) to her needs at first, even at the expense of Janet, but thankfully Larry saves the day by tricking Betty Jean (aka “BJ”) into admitting that she isn’t the innocent girl she pretends to be.
An average episode that has its moments.
#17: “Father of the Bride”
Always entertaining Jeffrey Tambor in one of several “Three’s Company” episodes, this time as a wealthy man wanting to marry Cindy — not to be confused with when he played a psychiatrist, or a dentist dating Terri, or the next door neighbor on “The Ropers.” Of all his “Three’s Company” appearances, this average episode would likely rank last.
#16: “Furley vs. Furley”
“What are you doing here, Zipper?” – Bart Furley to Jack, forgetting his last name (again)
We finally get to enjoy an episode with Ralph’s brother, Bart, who’s as unpleasant as Ralph made him out to be.
A decent episode, which also features a nice moment where Ralph stands up to his mean older brother.
#15: “Janet’s Secret”
Janet’s parents think Jack and Janet are married in this entertaining episode.
A well-timed scene worth noting is when Cindy and Jack race to switch places so Mr. Wood doesn’t catch Jack sleeping on the couch. The visual of “Mother Wood” hitting Jack over the head with her slipper near the end of the episode is also worth a good laugh.
#14: “…And Justice For Jack”
Jack’s job working at a grill is in jeopardy when his boss (Ellen Travolta) keeps making passes at him. This all builds up nicely to a courtroom scene which is the highlight of this so-so episode.
#13: “Make Room for Daddy”
“Your lips may say stop, but you’re eyes say go.” – Janet’s date (whose also the father of Jack’s date)
Keene Curtis returns for yet another “Three’s Company” episode (he was also Chrissy’s doctor in the classic season four episode “Chrissy’s Hospitality”), this time playing Jack’s girlfriend’s widowed father.
This is a fun episode, and includes the classic line after Jack and his date intrude on Janet’s date, explaining the reason they were there was “because Janet went out on a date without taking her pill.” Seaweed pill, that is.
#12: “In Like Larry”
After a spat, Larry ends up taking Jack’s spot in the apartment while Jack stays in Larry’s place.
It’s a funny, entertaining change of pace when Jack’s on the outside looking in, and also reinforces that Larry is meant to always be the upstairs neighbor.
#11: “Jack’s Other Mother”
“You poor dear!” – Gladys (over and over)
Yes, Gladys (Amzie Strickland) smothers poor Jack and interferes in his life, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy several funny moments watching it happen. For example, when Jack fakes being sick so Gladys will leave him alone — not only does she insist on helping him get well, she tells him she has another method for taking his temperature when he says he’s unable to use it in his mouth. Cue the laughs and a hilarious facial reaction from Jack.
#10: “Room at the Bottom”
Jack is ashamed that he’s “only” a busboy and not the chef of an expensive French restaurant (like he told everyone he would be).
Between hiding his job from diners Janet and Mr. Furley (Jack tossing pats of butter onto their table out of nowhere), and watching Mr. Furley order his “soup do-jer” and “escargots,” it’s a fun episode with a warm, fuzzy ending.
#9: “The Not-So-Great Impostor“
Jack picked the wrong person to impersonate when he said he was David Miller — now everyone’s after him, including a female who tosses him around the kitchen for what he (David Miller) did to her kid sister. Jack’s classic response: “What did she order?”
Not only does Mr. Angelino (Jordan Charney) return in this funny episode, we’re also introduced to Felipe (Gino Conforti) for the first time.
#8: “Night of the Ropers”
How can you not enjoy a “Three’s Company” episode that includes Mr. Furley AND the Ropers together?
This rare, one-time occurrence results in a really good, fun time — not only getting to see the Ropers one last time, but watching Mr. Furley and Mrs. Roper end up in bed — twice! — and Stanley and Ralph getting into a fight. There’s not much more you can ask for here.
#7: “A Hundred Dollars of What?”
Unbeknownst to Chrissy, her high school friend who’s visiting (played by Elaine Giftos, who also appears in season seven’s episode “An Affair to Forget”) is a high-priced call girl in what ends up being an entertaining episode.
Both episodes Elaine Giftos appears in are solid “Three’s Company” episodes, though “An Affair to Forget” might have a slight edge.
This episode also marks Suzanne Somers’ final “full” Chrissy appearance on the show.
#6: “A Crowded Romance”
Larry’s in love with “Twinkie,” and Jack’s in love with “Bunny.” Too bad “Twinkie” and “Bunny” are the same person!
Throw in Jack working as a mechanical man (“Don’t ya know me?”), and a great performance by Joyce DeWitt (with no Chrissy around) in balancing this love triangle, and you’ve got yourself a really funny episode.
#5: “Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs”
Jack unexpectedly (and secretly) ends up having to prepare three gourmet meals in three different apartments. The best part is viewers get to once again admire John Ritter’s great physical comedy in this classic, frenetic episode.
#4: “The Case of the Missing Blonde”
Not only is this “Three’s Company” episode funny, it’s also well-crafted in its own suspenseful way that viewers get to follow along as Jack and Janet try to figure out where Cindy could have gone (or kidnapped, as they believe).
Throw in that Larry and Mr. Furley go missing too, and the revelation that Cindy is with her father (who’s also a knife salesman, of course), and the explanations of what happened to everyone come together nicely to tie up loose ends.
#3: “Dying to Meet You”
“God forgot to wind it.”
Terry Kiser (Weekend at Bernie’s) appears in yet another “Three’s Company” episode, and it’s a very funny one.
Jack faking his death to avoid Kiser as a crazy, jealous boyfriend is only the start — throw in a devastated Mr. Furley who thinks Jack really died (and then faints when Jack sneezes while in a coffin), a fly landing on Jack’s nose (then smacked with Mr. Furley flower bouquet), and you’re in store for an unforgettable episode.
#2: “Downhill Chaser”
Jack claims he’s an excellent skier to impress a girl named Inga (Laurette Spang), but we all know he can’t ski at all.
Most of this hilarious episode takes place at a ski lodge, yet another example where a change of scenery further enhances a “Three’s Company” episode.
Janet trying to teach Jack how to ski at the very last minute is a lot of fun, and so is watching him accidentally being pushed down “The Flying Dutchman.”
#1: “Double Trouble”
Viewers are introduced to Jack’s twin brother: Austin from Texas. Actually, it’s just something Jack makes up to get closer to Mr. Furley’s attractive niece (Robin Eisenman), but it’s the beginning of an absolutely hilarious, albeit absurd, premise.
So many funny bits in this episode — utilizing Jack’s voice on a recorder which accidentally includes Cindy’s voice too (while she’s sitting next to Mr. Furley), to seeing the massive amount of fog keeping “Austin” from leaving the apartment (the fog is literally seeping under the apartment’s doorway), to watching Jack get into a fight with himself (sadly, shortened in the syndication version), and capped off with a drunken Mr. Furley having “a talk” with Austin about it — it all just works out perfectly and makes the episode all the more funny.
This excellent, classic “Three’s Company” episode works so well, especially due to the comedy genius of John Ritter.
Three’s Company Episode Ranking: Season 6
Note: Two episodes were “Best Of’s” (with Lucille Ball) and not counted in the season’s ranking.
#26: “Jack Bares All: Part 2”
The best part of this episode (specifically the Part 2 portion) is when the trio play a game in which they’re impersonating each other: Jack’s impersonation of Mr. Furley is especially funny and spot-on.
Aside from a couple of highlights, Jack and Larry’s treatment of Terri is out of character, to the point of being over-the-top mean. Not fun.
#25: “Janet Wigs Out”
Janet’s more than a “good old reliable” person, so it seems out of character when she takes on a different persona by going with more of a blonde bombshell look.
This is a fair episode, and a bit similar to season two’s episode “Janet’s Promotion,” which is the preferred of the two. (Regardless, Joyce DeWitt’s performances are always top notch, no matter the episode.)
This “Three’s Company” episode also includes Cindy’s (Jenilee Harrison) final appearance. At least she leaves us with the memorable line about Janet’s “wi-wi-wistwatch.”
#24: “Jack’s 10”
“I better get my sunglasses.” – Larry after seeing Jack’s new, VERY bright outfit
Similar to “Janet Wigs Out” (ranked #25), this time we have Jack uncharacteristically changing his image and career aspirations because a domineering woman named Denise decides he should no longer be a chef.
Oh, and she convinces him they should immediately get married.
The Denise character (played by Karen Austin, who also guest starred in season five episode “Chrissy’s Cousin”) is pretty normal — even fairly likable — for the first one-third of this episode, which makes her abrupt change in character all the more hard to accept.
Fortunately, Jack comes to his senses and we all get to say good riddance to Denise (and all those pastel colors she made Jack wear).
You might recall Jack repeatedly asking (and annoying Janet and Terri to no end) the question “Isn’t she wonderful?!”
No, she’s not…and neither is this episode.
#23: “Some of That Jazz”
“May I have this dance?” – Jack
Janet is such a level-headed character, that it’s hard to believe she would be so quick to quit her job to become a dancer…especially when her dance instructor (Michael Bell) is such a sleazy guy. That said, even though this episode is just okay, its memorable sentimental ending does pull on the heartstrings.
#22: “Hearts and Flowers”
Janet resigns from the flower shop due to a micro-managing, so-called efficiency expert named Bobbi.
This decent episode works well (as do others) when Janet’s friends — especially Terri and Mr. Furley — join together to help get rid of Bobbi…and get Janet’s job back.
#21: “Dates of Wrath”
“Hello gorgeous.” – Jack to Bob (mistaking Bob for his date)
Janet’s upset because Terri inadvertently stole a guy she liked named Bob away from her. If Bob had only offered to buy “100 Chrissy-anthemums,” it would be easy to confuse this so-so “Three’s Company” episode with season two’s “The Rivals.”
#20: “Mate For Each Other”
There was computer dating back in 1982?
Seeing Jack and Janet on an actual date is entertaining in itself, and brings to mind thoughts of “what could have been” after “Three’s Company” ended.
This fair episode featuring “Duke Bradford” (Jack) and “Desiree” (Janet) leaves you wanting more.
Is it purely a coincidence that Jack chose to use the last name “Bradford” for his computer dating profile? Maybe some foreshadowing for “Three’s A Crowd”? Hmm…
#19: “Critic’s Choice”
Jack wants to impress Jason DeFarge — a famous food critic who also ends up being a real jerk.
Thanks to Terri and Janet’s help (and the very funny way Janet pretends to eat the limited amount of Jack’s mushroom pate), this amusing episode could also be confused with season eight’s “Out On a Limb” (the funnier of the two “Three’s Company” episodes).
#18: “Paradise Lost”
It is refreshing to see Larry and Mr. Furley bond in this episode, as they work together to try to keep the trio from moving into a huge house.
Throw in a drunken Larry and Mr. Furley, and a speech about “cold cockles,” and you have yourself a decent “Three’s Company” episode.
#17: “Eyewitness Blues”
Not your run-of-the-mill “Three’s Company” episode: it includes scenes of an armed robbery and the group being held at gunpoint, but it’s still all in fun in this decent episode that has its moments. Thank goodness for Cindy’s clumsiness to save the day!
#16: “The Matchbreakers”
Is Mr. Furley really dating a golddigger named Marsha or is it all a misunderstanding? Regardless, Larry posing a Mr. Furley’s ex-wife is golden in itself in this enjoyable episode.
It’s definitely worth noting the very funny scene near the end of the episode where Jack is able to convince Marsha that Mr. Furley has an awful temper. Or is it that he’s just “too darn macho”?
#15: “Terri Makes Her Move”
Terri tries to boost Jack’s self-confidence (thanks to a lie Larry tells her) in one of Priscilla Barnes’ early “Three’s Company” episodes. Her interactions with Jack, in this fun little episode, set the tone nicely going forward.
On a separate note, Terri Alden (thanks to Barnes) adds a new freshness to the show and fits right in.
#14: “Oh, Nun”
“A nun is in love with me.” – Jack
“Sounds kinky, where’s it playing?” – Larry
Another classic misunderstanding, this time with Jack thinking Terri’s friend (who’s a nun) is in love with him and thinking of leaving the convent.
And if that’s not enough, Janet and Mr. Furley think Jack has become an alcoholic and are out to rescue him in this funny episode whose finale ends up in one very sleazy bar.
#13: “Lies My Roommate Told Me”
“You’re the boss, we’ll get it on at home.” – Larry repeating what he thinks Jack told him to say
Larry has the hots for Terri and needs Jack’s help coaching him on what to say to her, which results in Jack breaking a date with Janet. It all unravels from there.
This entertaining episode also includes the much talked about, ever popular character “Greedy” Gretchen (Teresa Ganzel).
#12: “Doctor In The House”
“Have you ever tried decaffeinated coffee?” – Jack, impersonating a doctor
Jack’s grandfather thinks Jack is a doctor, and Jack doesn’t want to disappoint him.
This episode has its funny moments, including Jack trying to give Janet a physical, and Jack interacting with a stethoscope as only John Ritter can.
By the way, Bono and the U2 song “Vertigo” might come to mind for some when hearing the line “Unos, Dos, Tres, Catorce,” but this “Three’s Company” episode proves it was Jack Tripper who used it first! Right?!
#11: “Jack Bares All: Part 1”
“Part 1” of this “Three’s Company” episode is much more entertaining than the second part. After Felipe causes Jack to cut his finger and go to the hospital, we’re introduced to Terri Alden (Priscilla Barnes), who makes a great impression (to viewers, definitely not to Jack).
#10: “Macho Man”
“Jack, prison has changed you.” – Mr. Furley, witnessing a much tougher Jack
Didn’t Jack learn how to fight from his Navy days? Those fighting skills must not have compared to the moves Terri taught him when he accidentally beats up a cop.
This funny “Three’s Company” episode includes a prison scene with Jack putting on a much tougher persona, as well as Mr. Furley and Jack trying to speak to each other…without moving their lips.
#9: “Professor Jack”
“I thought it would be fun to watch.” – Mr. Latham to Terri (talking about his wife’s cooking lesson with Jack, which is definitely not what Terri thinks is happening).
It was only a matter of time until Terri was involved in a major misunderstanding, this time thinking that Jack is being paid to give love lessons. All the while, Jack and Janet think Terri’s being forced to go live with a doctor.
This episode has its share of laughs, and that doesn’t include when all the characters are laughing at the idea of Jack giving Mrs. Latham love lessons.
#8: “Maid to Order”
“Excuse me, Mr. Bunyon.” – Jack to “Big” Joey
The trio hire Cindy to be their cleaning lady. No, that’s not a misunderstanding, but Janet and Terri thinking that the money Jack is holding onto for Larry is really Jack’s is a whole other story.
There weren’t many “Three’s Company” episodes that included both Cindy and Terri, but it worked out well when they did.
#7: “A Friend in Need”
“Man’s gotta relax.” – Mobster Mr. Cannon, responding to Janet telling him that Jack comes home drunk and beats their kids.
Terry Kiser returns, this time as a mobster who loves Jack’s spicy linguine dish and wants him to be Mr. Angelino’s permanent chef in yet another entertaining performance and funny episode.
#6: “Boy Meets Dummy”
Another classic “Three’s Company” episode moment: Jack interacting with a CPR dummy, and making believe she’s real in order to get his boss’ daughter to lose interest in him.
This episode is a lot of fun, capped off with the hilarious scene with Jack romancing the dummy.
#5: “Strangers in the Night”
“You are so beautiful to me. Can’t you see-e-e-e-e….” – Jack moving his mouth to Larry’s singing
Another solid episode filled with laughs, highlighted with Jack (and Larry in the bushes) serenading what ends up being the wrong girl.
It also includes a sweet, feel good moment when honorable Jack stands up to his snobbish Southern belle girlfriend, preferring to have dinner with plain Bernice (even quoting the Gone with the Wind line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”).
By the way, if Larry was such a good singer, why did he fail so miserably singing at Jack’s Bistro in season seven’s episode “The Impossible Dream”? Hmm.
#4: “Urban Plowboy”
Yet again, another fun-filled episode that takes place away from the apartment, this time at Cindy’s Aunt Becky’s farm.
A crazed boyfriend searching for Jack (thanks to Larry…again), trying to milk a real cow, Mr. Furley literally rolling around in the hay with Aunt Becky, and more — this episode has a lot to offer and is an all-around good time.
#3: “Up in the Air”
A favorite to many “Three’s Company” fans, this very funny episode builds up to a classic scene that showcases John Ritter’s brilliance when it came to physical comedy. Thank goodness he drank that cross-eyed inducing pick-me-up drink called “The Rocket”!
#2″ “Two Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
“Tom, how are you?” – Jack
“Nuts?” – Janet
An all-around classic “Three’s Company” episode. Terri’s psychiatrist friend (Jeffrey Tambor back again) is mistakenly thought to be a mental ward patient by Jack and Janet. The hilarity is consistent throughout this “Three’s Company” episode, topped off when Jack and Tom confront each other at a restaurant, both thinking the other is mentally challenged.
#1: “And Now Here’s Jack”
“Take it from me, this is a great aspic.” – Jack
Another hilarious, classic episode, which goes to show how solid season six was.
Everyone plays their part perfectly as everything starts to go wrong during a live cooking segment on a local TV show. Once the cameras start rolling and Jack’s note card appears on his forehead, you know you’re in for a good time. And even with just a simple stare, Priscilla Barnes’ Terri can accomplish so much.
As a big fan of “The Honeymooners,” I’m reminded of the classic episode “Better Living Through TV,” when Ralph and Ed promote their “chef of the future” invention during a live commercial…and everything goes wrong.
Three’s Company Episode Ranking: Season 7
#22: “Navy Blues”
From one Navy pal (season two’s “Three’s Company” episode “Jack’s Navy Pal”) who insists that Jack hit him, to another Navy pal who’s a con artist, it makes you start to wonder why Jack had all these awful Navy friends.
That aside, the con artist premise comes out of nowhere and seems forced. At least watching Mr. Furley pretend to be wealthy Texas tycoon “Jim Bob Furley” is a ball of fun.
And, yes, Jack’s supposed Navy friend is played by the same actor (Rod McCary) who appears in season three’s “Three’s Company” episode “The Harder They Fall.” You know, the guy who really admires Janet’s…ferns.
#21: “Star Struck”
Soap star Brett Wade (Dennis Cole) is in love with Terri and wants to marry her. But are his feelings genuine or just a publicity stunt? Well, let’s just say…poor Terri.
This episode does have a sweet, sentimental ending that’s reminiscent of season six’s episode “Some of that Jazz.”
#20: “The Impossible Dream”
It’s a nice change of pace when a “Three’s Company” episode focuses on Larry (not including some amusing bits with Mr. Furley somehow handling Jack’s Bistro’s kitchen duties).
Overall, this episode is okay and has its moments; it just would have been nice if they did more with Larry here. Plus, we were under the impression that Larry was a really good singer based on season six’s episode “Strangers in the Night,” but now we’re made to believe he’s not (or no longer) a good singer?
#19: “Jack’s Double Date”
“They’re tremendously nosy, especially the little, dark one.” – Jack referring to Terri and Janet (cue an angry Janet popping up from behind the couch)
Jack usually has to control himself with women when he’s around Mr. Furley, so it’s refreshing when Mr. Furley asks Jack to “make the sacrifice” and join him on a double date. Too bad it happens when Jack is trying to avoid women for a week because of a bet he has going with Janet and Terri.
Even though the premise might sound familiar if you recall season three’s episode “The Fast,” it’s still a fun time.
#18: “Diamond Jack”
A blind date results in Jack becoming involved with jewelry thieves.
Overall, it’s another fun episode, especially watching Janet’s effective price negotiation skills for stolen diamonds.
In case you didn’t notice, the actress playing Rita in this episode is the same actress who plays Shirley the gym instructor in season four’s episode “Mighty Mouth.”
#17: “Bob and Carol and Larry and Terri”
Leave it to “Three’s Company” to take a story about a couple’s boat nearly ending up on the rocks, and confusing it with the couple’s marriage being on the rocks.
The episode’s title pays tribute to the 1969 film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and ends with very funny group hug…literally!
#16: “Jack Goes the Distance”
Getting to watch Jack train for a boxing match against a golden gloves champ Biff Bowers, all in order to defend Mr. Furley? It’s definitely worth a view, as is the entertaining boxing match itself (including Jack’s knockout punch…of Janet).
#15: “Janet’s Little Helper”
“Like, you didn’t tell me your mother was here!” – Valley girl to Jack, referring to Janet
Though it seems a bit odd, Mr. Furley asks Janet to help him out with his shy nephew Marc (played by Brian Robins from “Head of the Class”). As risque as that may sound, it’s all very innocent…but not when it comes to misunderstandings, and what Jack and Terri think.
It’s a fine episode and has its moments, including when Terri hits Jack over the head with her purse. (“You big jerk!”) Still funny.
#14: “The Apartment”
The series had its share of notable guest stars. Not only did “Growing Pains” mom Joanna Kerns appeared in not one, but two “Three’s Company” episodes (“Jack Be Quick” and “The Love Lesson”), “Mr. Belvedere” mom Ilene Graff guest starred as a woman named Daphne who’s having an affair with Mr. Angelino.
Daphne’s interactions with Jack work very well in this episode, as does the funny bit where Terri and Janet don’t believe that Daphne is actually in Jack’s bedroom.
#13: “Jack Gets His”
Jack is conned into renting a run-down restaurant, but the good news is this “Three’s Company” episode kicks off a whole new phase for the series: Jack finally having his own restaurant!
Fortunately, he decided to name it “Jack’s Bistro” and didn’t go with Mr. Furley’s original suggestion of “Froggy’s.”
#12: “Extra, Extra”
Janet dates a newspaper writer who ends up writing a column sensationalizing (aka falsifying) the trio’s living arrangements. The girls are ashamed, yet Jack is more popular than ever.
All’s well that ends well, when the columnist finally sets the record straight, but somehow his correction isn’t so, um, straight, when it comes to Mr. Furley.
#11: “Going to Pot”
“It’s the finest quality, from Mexico.” – Mr. Furley
Now that Jack’s Bistro exists, it creates a whole new setting for even more misunderstandings to occur.
This time Mr. Furley will be picking up a special pot for Jack, but it’s a pot as in cookware, not that other kind of pot.
This episode also features a crooked building inspector (played by William Cort, who also appears as a doctor in season eight’s episode “Jack’s Tattoo”).
Put it all together, and you have an above average “Three’s Company” episode.
#10: “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”
“He said don’t eat the salad.” – Terri
Another fun, even suspenseful, episode, this time featuring Terri and her date Ray…who happens to also be a convicted murderer.
Now you might presume with this being a “Three’s Company” episode that Ray being a murderer is the misunderstanding. Surprisingly, it’s not…but it’s still a lot of fun, and we’re even treated to Janet falling off a ladder this time, instead of Jack (as he does in season three’s episode “The Kleptomaniac”).
#9: “Jack Goes to the Dentist”
This is the third and final “Three’s Company” episode guest starring Jeffrey Tambor.
Whether he’s mistaken for a mental patient (in season six’s “Two Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”), a wealthy man wanting to marry Cindy (in season five’s “Father of the Bride”), or an angry dentist who blames Jack for his breakup with Terri as he does in this episode, Jeffrey Tambor never disappoints.
#8: “Borrowing Trouble”
Terri, Janet, and Larry (aka wacky DJ “Bull Man Bob”) team up to help Jack out by staging a fake radio contest, all so they can indirectly give him money they think he needs. Well, he doesn’t need it, and buying an expensive leather coat with his “winnings,” only makes things worse. A costly misunderstanding, but one that pays off in this entertaining episode. (See what I did there?)
#7: “The Brunch”
Jack and Mr. Angelino must prove to Reverend Gilmore (Earl Boen) that Jack’s Bistro is a respectable establishment. Unfortunately, that isn’t so easy when amorous newlyweds (“no hot rolls!”), a drunk Mr. Furley, and Larry’s date loses her inhibitions after drinking champagne are in attendance.
Another fun “Three’s Company” episode.
#6: “A Night Not to Remember”
“I was saving that for when I got married!” – Janet to Jack, referring to her…vase.
Nothing like a drunk Jack to make Janet’s evening miserable, even more so when he accidentally breaks her treasured vase…but ends up believing they slept together.
Not only is this a funny episode, but so is listening to the high-pitched laughter of a woman in the viewing audience who’s extremely amused by Jack trying to undress himself while drunk.
#5: “An Affair to Forget”
Janet’s old friend Randy (Elaine Giftos) and Jack hit it off. Too bad Randy didn’t tell anyone that she’s married. Wait, what?
This entertaining episode has its share of funny misunderstandings — including “the big ape” (Jack’s referring to an actual ape, while Janet thinks he’s referring to Randy’s husband), and Janet overhearing Jack and Randy’s discussion in his bedroom (similar to Season 1’s “No Children, No Dogs” kitchen scene; Janet completely misinterprets the conversation…again).
#4: “Larry’s Sister”
Janet was so overprotective of her sister when it came to Jack in season three’s episode “My Sister’s Keeper,” and now Larry pretty much behaves the same way with his sister.
The dynamic between Jack and Larry always entertains, all the more when they’re at odds with each other. At least their friendship is restored by the end — thanks to Janet getting Larry to think Jack had been crying due to their friendship dissolving (not realizing Jack had been chopping onions). Funny stuff.
Not only a good episode, but an educational one too: if you never knew what a “grunion run” was, you do now!
#3: “Cousin, Cuisine”
Felipe’s beautiful cousin Maria ends up staying with Jack, who has more than hospitality in mind. Of course a language barrier is bound to create some sort of misunderstanding (Maria doesn’t speak English), which is exactly what happens when Jack offers her a job at his bistro and she misinterprets it as a marriage proposal.
Jack using his English-Spanish dictionary to figure out what the word “Me-hee-co” means, as well as trying to repeatedly say goodbye to Maria — and stopped each time by her jealous fiance — is still worthy of many laughs.
#2: “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”
Jack’s fake mustache puts him in a whole new — and attractive — light to Terri in this very enjoyable episode. Things always clicked well between Terri and Jack, and it’s showcased effectively yet again here. Too bad Janet had to come along and rip that mustache off of Jack’s face!
#1 “Opening Night”
What an enlightening episode: not only do we find out that Larry is Greek (interesting that he didn’t mention that at the Greek restaurant in season three’s episode “Good Old Reliable Janet”), we also learn that his last name Dallas is short for Dalliapoulos.
Thank goodness Larry D. has many relatives who end up saving the day for Jack Bistro’s opening night.
This episode is a party in itself and a really fun time. Forget My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I’ll take Jack Tripper attempting to learn Greek traditions any day. Opa!
By the way, I always wondered while watching this episode: when Jack is doing jumping Jack’s during his attempt at Greek dancing, is it Larry turning away with laughter…or Richard Kline breaking character? Hmm..
Three’s Company Episode Ranking: Season 8
#21/#22: “Friends and Lovers” (2 parts)
Even though it’s broken up over two parts in syndication, the “Three’s Company” episode “Friends and Lovers” originally aired as an hour-long episode. Nevertheless, both parts are a bit of a downer and rank at the bottom of season eight’s list. Yes, it’s bittersweet with these being the final episodes that end the series, but they just seem rushed so things can be quickly wrapped up. Even Mr. Furley quietly pausing before walking out of the kids’ apartment for the very last time doesn’t seem right.
By the way, who do you think was calling during Janet’s wedding ceremony: Chrissy? Janet’s parents or sister? Maybe Cindy or Eleanor? How about the Ropers? Who knows, but like I said, “Friends and Lovers” felt incomplete and lacked proper closure.
#20: “Cupid Works Overtime”
It’s easy to associate this episode with “Friends and Lovers.” Jack meets future live-in girlfriend Vicky Bradford (Mary Cadorette) on a flight (the flight scene itself is entertaining) and her father James — wouldn’t it be funny if her dad’s name was Duke? (See season six episode “Mate for Each Other.”)
This episode basically lays the groundwork for spin-off “Three’s A Crowd.”
#19: “The Heiress”
This episode always felt more like the catalyst to ending the series, as opposed to a standalone, enjoyable episode.
It has some funny moments — is the vase Janet receives a genuine “Wantai”? Nope, it’s just made in Taiwan.
Once Janet meets her future husband Phillip (David Ruprecht), you get the somber feeling that they’re wrapping things up.
#18: “Look What I Found”
Similar to season one’s episode “No Children, No Dogs,” the trio must hide a puppy, I mean a kitten, from Mr. Roper, I mean Mr. Furley.
It’s actually a decent “Three’s Company” episode, but one that they’ve done before.
#17: “Baby, It’s Cold Inside”
Jack and Mr. Furley are locked in a freezer and think they’re going to die. Desperate times call for desperate measures as Jack tells RF “the truth” about himself. (I still recall when ABC aired the promo for this episode, hyping Jack’s major revelation.)
The episode itself is okay, and includes funny moments involving a hysterical Mr. Furley.
#16: “Now You See It, Now You Don’t”
Jack loses $15,000 gambling at a charity ball, but thanks to Larry, wins it all back and a whole lot more. Too bad no one told them that the money they’re playing with is fake in this average episode.
#15: “Like Father, Like Son”
Eight seasons in, viewers finally get to meet Jack Tripper, Sr.
It wasn’t until years after watching this decent episode that I realized the actor that played Jack’s father (Dick Shawn) also played Sylvester in the classic film, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
#14: “Jack, Be Quick”
Joanna Kerns returns as Cheryl for yet another average “Three’s Company” episode (she also in season four’s “The Love Lesson”), this time wanting Jack to father her child.
Jack is too noble to abide, but leave it to Janet to misunderstand the situation and send Jack back to Cheryl’s to get the job done.
#13: “Itching For Trouble”
Jack’s former girlfriend Greta (Robyn Kirk) has marriage issues and seeks Jack’s help. Unfortunately for Jack, so does her jealous, short-tempered husband Francis (Don Sparks). Where does this leave Jack? Well, with poison oak, and in the middle of a misunderstanding where either Jack or Mr. Furley are having an affair with Greta.
This fun episode can easily be confused with season seven’s “Bob and Carol and Larry and Terri,” as Don Sparks guest stars as the concerned husband in both.
#12: “Jack Takes Off”
“So, what do you think of our centerfold, Jack Stripper?” – Larry
Jack poses nude again (see season two’s episode “Jack Looks for a Job”).
Not sure what is more embarrassing: Mr. Furley walking in while Jack is posing nude, or Jack’s nude portrait hanging in The Regal Beagle for all to see?
It’s a solid “”Three’s Company” episode and includes the memorable scene where Janet and Terri discover Jack’s nude portrait — Janet even putting on her glasses for a better look.
#11: “Out On a Limb”
“Why does everyone keep yelling?!?” – Food critic Patrick Townsend
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a bit of a recurring theme with some season eight episodes: they sound mighty familiar to “Three’s Company” episodes from earlier seasons.
This is a fine episode, but you might be reminded of season six episode “Critic’s Choice.” This episode is the funnier one of the two. It also helps that this episode’s food critic — Patrick Townsend (played by Ken Olfson) — is not obnoxious like season six food critic Jason DeFarge.
#10: “Forget Me Not”
What better way for Jack to avoid Janet’s wrath than fake amnesia after crashing her brand new car? (And why does she have a car anyway?)
This is another satisfying episode from the final season, and especially enjoyable when Janet and Terri realize Jack is faking his amnesia, tell him he was about to get married, and bring his supposed bride over to the apartment for a wedding ceremony.
#9: “Hearing is Believing”
Jack’s dating a therapist, but it’s not so simple.
This “Three’s Company” episode showcases Joyce DeWitt’s underrated comedy talents yet again, as she believes Jack’s girlfriend Doreen is actually a prostitute who’s befriended Janet’s father.
In one of this episode’s funniest moments, Janet is so convinced of Doreen’s profession that she reads her business card aloud: “Doreen McMillan, The rapist.” Jack quickly corrects her by saying, “That’s therapist!”
#8: “Janet Shapes Up”
Janet’s an aerobics teacher and has a boss who has eyes for Jack — and if Jack doesn’t go along with her advances, she’s going to fire Janet.
The workout scenes featuring Jack, Terri, and Mr. Furley in this entertaining episode are the highlight, capped off with a woman in the class repeatedly accusing Jack of hitting on her. (He’s not.) And if you think this woman looks familiar, she’s the same actress who Jack serenaded in season six’s episode “Strangers in the Night.”
#7: “The Money Machine”
“Have a nice day…” – ATM machine voice
Jack receives $1000 from a malfunctioning ATM machine (who knew they had ATM machines back in 1983!?).
What better place to hide the money than the couch in the apartment…which he doesn’t realize is about to be replaced?
This sets Jack and Janet on a quest to locate the old couch and get the money back. Though Terri is underutilized in this episode, she returns just in time with a classic moment, or should I say proposition, all her own.
By the way, in case you weren’t aware, the “Three’s Company” couch had been on quite a journey…literally!
The couch first appeared in a 1975 episode of “Maude” (“Arthur’s Medical Convention”):
Not only that, the store owner (with the Doberman Pinscher named “Killer”) that Jack and Janet tried to buy the couch back from in “The Money Machine” episode was played by Gerald Hiken…who was the handyman in the “Maude” episode that featured the “Three’s Company” couch!
That’s not all!
The “Three’s Company” couch also appeared in a 1975 episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (“The Happy Homemaker Takes Lou Home”):
It also appeared in the 1976 episode of “Sanford & Son” (“Lamont in Love”):
So Terri wasn’t kidding when she told Mr. Furley the couch’s springs were about to go — by the time it made it to “Three’s Company,” it was probably true!
Don Knotts’ face says it all:
#6: “The Odd Couples”
Jack fakes a broken leg and pretends to be Terri’s husband. If that’s not enough, Larry and Janet pretend to be Pierre and FiFi, a married French couple.
All four work together to put on this wonderful charade because Terri (correctly) thinks her boss will only promote her if they have an affair.
This “Three’s Company” episode is a lot of fun.
#5: “Alias Jack Tripper”
“Miss Platt, Zack.” – Larry introducing Agnes Platt to Jack (aka Zack).
“Good evening, Miss Plattzack.” – Jack, not yet realizing he’s supposed to go by the name Zack.
Rita Wilson guest stars as Agnes Platt, Janet’s childhood friend who’s in town visiting.
Janet would like Jack to take Agnes out, but since Jack already has a date, he talks Larry into pretending to be him so he can take Agnes out for him.
The switcheroo is as entertaining as this episode.
On a side note, this episode’s final scene is reminiscent of that classic scene in the movie Airplane, when everyone lines up to beat up Jack.
#4: “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not”
Not to be confused with season four episode “A Black Letter Day,” this one is much more fun.
When a magazine’s quiz makes Jack think either Janet or Terri are interested in him, leave it to a weekend trip to the woods to clear things up…and dampen hopes (and that doesn’t include both Larry and Jack falling out of a boat — try not to notice the string attached to the boat!)
This “Three’s Company” episode includes a hilarious scene with Jack mistaking Larry for Janet, only realizing it after kissing Larry’s (hairy) hand.
#3: “The Charming Stranger”
Is charming new neighbor Leslie a wanted criminal…or simply a ventriloquist?
All is revealed in due time (including an infamous, unintended revelation by John Ritter), in this fun caper of an episode.
Hysterics include the memorable moment when Jack pulls a hand out of Leslie’s suitcase, causing the trio to scream and storm out of Leslie’s apartment to get away…only to have Mr. Furley bring the suitcase into the trio’s apartment.
#2: “Jack’s Tattoo”
While out drinking with Navy buddies the night before (here we go again, those Navy “pals”), Jack realizes he got a tattoo on his rear-end that hilariously says, “The Love Butt.”
In classic “Three’s Company” fashion, Jack’s quest to have the tattoo removed is misunderstood — Janet thinks he’s getting a vasectomy, and Mr. Furley thinks he going to change genders.
The premise in itself is very funny, and so is this episode, especially the hospital scenes.
#1: “Grandma Jack”
“One of the judges was feeling a little bit under the weather. He ate a cookie, and it actually cleared his sinuses!” – Mr. Landers, praising Grandma Tripper’s unique cookies
Larry entering Jack’s cookie recipe into a baking contest (without Jack’s knowledge) is one thing, but Jack having to dress up like a woman in order to claim the $10,000 prize? Priceless.
Easily the stand-out episode from season eight, we’re treated (once again) to John Ritter’s wonderful comedic talents.
“Grandma Jack” is another great example of what made “Three’s Company” such a funny show.
“Three’s Company” Episode Ranking Results
Some might disagree with the “Three’s Company” episode rankings above, but if there was a list of essential “Three’s Company” episodes, many would agree it would likely include quite a few of the episodes at or near the top of each season’s rank.
And many can say they’re “Team Chrissy” or “Team Terri” (I have my own preference), but it’s worth noting that even though Cindy’s character is easy to dismiss, she was actually in numerous, very funny “Three’s Company” episodes as well — including “Double Trouble, “Dying to Meet You,” “Urban Plowboy,” “Maid to Order,” “Janet’s Secret,” and “The Case of the Missing Blonde.”
No matter the preferred roommate (or landlord), I would still most likely watch practically any “Three’s Company” episode over most shows on television today. (Let’s not even get started about all the unnecessary TV reboots that are around today, or how late-night television isn’t even a worthy option anymore.)
It’s nice you can still catch a “Three’s Company” episode in syndication, whether on cable or on channels like Antenna TV.(Here’s how you can watch Antenna TV — and many more entertaining channels — for free in case you’re interested in saving money on your cable/satellite TV bill.)
A Wonderful Gift For Any “Three’s Company” Fan
If you or someone you know, is a “Three’s Company” fan, I highly recommend getting the complete series DVD box set.
Not only does it include every “Three’s Company” episode, hilarious bloopers, cast interviews, audio commentaries, highlights, tributes and more, it also includes the show’s original, rare pilots.
One pilot features “Chrissy” played by actress Susan Lanier, while in another pilot version, the blonde roommate is played by Suzanne Zenor and is named Samantha. You’ll also see the “Janet” character played by actress Valerie Curtin, but she goes by the name Jenny. Even John Ritter’s character is named David in one of the pilots! As for the Ropers, Norman Fell and Audra Lindley still fill those roles.
It’s all fascinating and a great piece of “Three’s Company” history.
It’s actually a little awkward and even a bit shocking to see John Ritter with other actresses playing his “Three’s Company” roommates, but it only reinforces how important the casting was to making the show’s final product so special.
There’s also a fantastic book, filled with loads of detailed information about the series (including all the behind-the-scenes drama) titled “Come and Knock on our Door: A Hers and Hers and His Guide to Three’s Company.” Though it’s out of print, paperback and used copies can still be purchased.
I guarantee any “Three’s Company” fan would love either of these items (if they don’t already have them, of course).
The lyrics to the show’s opening theme perfectly summed up a “Three’s Company” episode: “You’ll see that life is a frolic and laughter is calling for you…”
I’m also reminded of the “Three’s Company” best-of episode Lucille Ball hosted back in season six. She summed up the show like this: “It doesn’t try to change the world or solve any major problems. All it does is make us laugh and forget our own cares. That’s my kind of comedy.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
That’s why “Three’s Company” remains one of television’s funniest sitcoms.
And it’s still just as much fun to watch today.