Given that television has been around for over 100 years, it’s no surprise that TV shows often borrow and repeat stories over time. While some of them have become expected tropes, others have simply become fun locals that are sure to bring out the comedy and drama. The latter is true for the underrated but hilarious “surprise party” episode.
While not everyone experiences a “surprise party” in the real world, it seems like every TV character has been on one side of the surprise party experience. While some surprise party episodes turn out to be excellent and feature the big party parts, other times it’s an utter disaster, reminding viewers that not everyone likes to be surprised.
ten Full House: “Birthday Blues” (Season 6, Episode 14) – 7.4
During the eight seasons that Full house was on the air, they had several birthday episodes, but one of the best remains “Birthday Blues”. The Season 6 episode tests DJ and Kimmy’s friendship when DJ forgets Kimmy’s birthday after spending too much time with her new boyfriend. Not wanting to disappoint Kimmy, she throws a disastrous surprise party, which impresses Kimmy until the truth comes out.
The episode is great as it explores how childhood friendships change as one grows up. But it also shows that a party is in the eyes of the beholder.
9 Parks and Recreation: “Sweet Sixteen” (Season 4, Episode 16) – 7.7
Parks and recreation have two surprise party episodes, but the best one happens in Season 4 with “Sweet Sixteen.” To prove she’s not too busy running for city council, Leslie throws a whole surprise Sweet 16 party for Jerry, who was born in a leap year. However, Leslie is so busy and manages to forget to invite Jerry to her own party.
Like everything Parks and recreation episodes, “Sweet Sixteen” is full of hijinks that see the characters paired up. As far as surprise parties go, this is a hilarious party that proves that the birthday person doesn’t even have to be there for a party to be awesome.
8 Curb Your Excitement: “The Surprise Party” (Season 10, Episode 6) – 8.2
Calm your enthusiasm is known for putting its characters in mundane but absurd situations, making it the perfect show for a surprise party episode. In the Season 10 episode, Larry becomes skeptical of Jeff’s wife after she decides to throw him a party. While he thinks of helping, Larry ends up turning the party into a disaster.
The hilarity really comes from Larry’s fear that Jeff will die of shock when everyone yells “surprise” at him, which is an interesting take on a sitcom.
seven The Golden Girls: “A Piece of Cake” (Season 2, Episode 25) – 8.2
The golden girls is one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time and has also aired the most “clip show” episodes. In fact, “A Piece of Cake” is one of those music video episodes that also features a birthday party surprise plot. The episode begins with the ladies getting ready for Roberta’s surprise party, but quickly turns into a series of flashbacks as they reminisce about their own surprise parties.
The great thing about this episode is that it features multiple surprise birthday parties in one and pulls off a twist ending by revealing that the surprise party is really for Blanche, who hates surprises.
6 The Middle: “Floating 50” (Season 7, Episode 13) – 8.2
The middle is one of ABC’s most underrated family sitcoms despite running for nine seasons. During this time, The middle had several running gags, including the concept of “floating” important moments at later dates because the family had forgotten or were too busy.
In “Floating 50”, Mike and his sons decide to finally celebrate Frankie’s 50th birthday by throwing him a surprise party. However, the party turns into a disaster when Mike forgets to put someone in charge of Frankie and she gets stranded at Sue’s middle school, thus missing the whole party.
5 The Big Bang Theory: “The Peanut Reaction” (Season 1, Episode 16) – 8.4
During its historical journey, The Big Bang Theory has never been shy about airing hilarious birthday-themed episodes. However, they wasted no time getting into the surprise party episode when they aired “The Peanut Reaction” during Season 1.
After learning that Leonard has never thrown a birthday party before, Penny decides to throw him the most memorable surprise party ever. This creates tension in the group of friends and ultimately ends in disaster when Howard is tasked with keeping Leonard busy so they can settle down. The episode really explores how stressful surprise parties can be for planners and recipients alike.
4 New Girl: “Birthday” (Season 3, Episode 13) – 8.4
Although she’s literally a ball of sunshine who likes to celebrate others, Jess doesn’t like her own birthday because she feels like she’s always disappointed. However, as her official boyfriend, Nick sets out to throw Jess the surprise party of her dreams, which starts out disastrous but ends with the most heartfelt birthday present ever.
While new girl No stranger to chaotic times, “Birthday” kicks it up a notch as the characters all struggle to keep Jess’ party a secret.
3 Modern Family: “Party Crasher” (Season 4, Episode 12) – 8.4
With eleven seasons, modern family is another show that has aired several anniversary episodes over the years. However, it only aired one surprise party episode, which happened in season 4. It became a fan favorite episode of the season and clearly one of the best surprise party episodes of all. the temperature.
The episode centers on Gloria and Jay, who are determined to throw Manny’s best surprise party before he becomes an older brother. However, disaster strikes when Manny comes home too early with his secret girlfriend, thinking the house would be empty.
2 Friends: “The One with Two Parties” (Season 2, Episode 22) – 9.0
There are a handful of iconic Friends surprise party episodes, but one that remains a fan favorite is “The One With The Two Parties.” Wanting to throw Rachel’s best party, Monica decides to invite only her mother to the party. However, Rachel’s father shows up to surprise his daughter. To separate her parents, the friends end up throwing two parties, one at Monica’s apartment and the other at Joey and Chandler’s house.
The best part about this episode is that Rachel genuinely gets two surprise parties and a third surprise when she realizes both of her parents are there to celebrate her birthday. It’s also hilarious to see her running down the hall.
1 Schitt’s Creek: “Meet The Parents” (Season 5, Episode 11) – 9.2
Schitt’s Creek aired a surprise party episode in its first and fifth seasons, but it was the latter that received the highest praise from fans and critics alike. In the episode, David organizes a surprise party for Patrick full of surprises, such as the presence of his parents. However, his parents also have a surprise when they learn that David and Patrick are in a relationship.
One of the best things about “Meet the Parents” is that it plays into that iconic surprise party trope of “pretending to be surprised after accidentally finding out.” It also features one of the best TV release scenes of all time.
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