Reno 911! has been one of the funniest shows on TV since its debut and these are the episodes considered to be the best of the bunch.
Before the boundless success of The Office, there was another workplace mockumentary sitcom on Comedy Central that regularly featured dozens of rising star comedians and actors along with a hysterical main cast. Reno 911! began as a satirization of the show COPS, premiering in 2003.
Coconut Nut Clusters (Season 5, Episode 5) – 8.2
Mary Birdsong’s Cherisha Kimball joins the force early on in Season 3. Pious and somewhat uptight, she often clashes with Deputy Johnson at every turn.
This episode was an unfortunate one for Deputy Jones and Deputy Kimball. While their coworkers found moderate success selling the candy bars for the Sheriff’s Athletic League, every attempt they had at selling them involved a gruesome and horrific occurrence – leaving them broken down and crying at the end of the day.
Execution Tickets (Season 1, Episode 3) – 8.2
In this episode, the officers frantically compete in an absurd and often racist scavenger hunt, arresting individuals with a list of specific characteristics to win two tickets to an execution. This contest really brings out the worst in each of the officers as they all clamor for a chance to see an inmate put to death.
Similar to shows like Seinfeld and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, much of the humor comes from watching the worst and most ignorant types of human beings interact with each other and try to one-up each other, which is what this episode highlights.
Not Without My Mustache (Season 2, Episode 7) – 8.2
Deputies Junior, Dangle, and Garcia petition against a new county ruling that requires law enforcement to be clean shaven. They attempt to collect two thousand signatures on their petition but the outcome looks bleak, and towards the end of the episode, the audience sees Dangle and Garcia without mustaches for the first time.
Junior refused to give up with mustache and ended up quitting the force and becoming a mailman. At the very end, however, their petition is accepted and their iconic mustaches become mandatory.
British Law (Season 2, Episode 3) – 8.2
Outsiders looking in on how this dysfunctional precinct attempts to function makes for great comedy, as seen in this episode when a British inspector visits the Reno Sheriff’s Department to exchange methods of law enforcement as a part of a “Badges Across The Water” program.
The visitor, Officer Martin, seems to adjust well at first – but it’s later apparent that he’s actually a criminal after he convinces Garcia to give him his gun and steals a briefcase full of money. He later dies after getting shot during the robbery. The deputies hold a proper funeral for him, singing “God Save the Queen” before pulling off the British flag to reveal a cardboard box coffin, haphazardly tossing it on the back of a mail truck.
Goodbye, Farewell And Amen II (Season 7, Episode 24) – 8.3
The deputies are ordered to update their target training posters since they depict racist images in this episode. It’s not the first instance of the officers being racially insensitive towards the citizens of Reno and each other, and while they do make changes in their department, their ignorant attitudes rarely change, and Jones and Garcia are often made the butt of race jokes by the other officers.
The name of this episode is a reference to MAS*H’s episode “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” another comedy series. However, this was a much heavier and dramatic series otherwise as it dealt with a group of medical surgeons stationed in Vietnam.
Halloween (Season 1, Episode 14) – 8.3
Despite being police officers, the Reno Sheriff’s Department partakes in some Halloween pranks and illegal activity themselves in this episode. Besides answering a couple of disturbance calls, at one point they actually prank Weigel while she’s off duty at home and they steal her stuffed cat.
Earlier in the episode, Weigel comments on the perils of being a police officer on Halloween: “…I near choked to death on a Jolly Rancher… you take your life in your own hands in this business.”
Dangle’s Moving Day (Season 1, Episode 11) – 8.3
Out of everyone, Lieutenant Dangle makes the greatest effort to do his job right. Despite being goofy and eccentric, he takes his position seriously and attempts to be a good leader to the rest of the deputies.
However, his fellow officers lack respect for him and are often indifferent and despondent to their duties; so much that Dangle is usually underappreciated. This notion is made apparent in “Dangle’s Moving Day” when only Deputy Jones shows up when he asks for help moving.
Wiegel’s New Boyfriend (Season 2, Episode 2) – 8.4
The other Deputies become alarmed when they realize Weigel’s new love interest, Craig, bears a striking resemblance to a police sketch of the Truckee River serial killer, who was still at large at the time. After visiting Craig’s home and finding mounting evidence of murder, they eventually ambushed him and arrested him in the middle of the night, much to Weigel’s embarrassment. Their relationship continued while Craig was in prison, however, and they even got married shortly before he was executed.
Deputy Wiegel isn’t exactly well-liked by her fellow officers, but this never seems to phase or deter her and she’s not afraid to dish it back. Part of her character is being oblivious to social cues and danger – so dating a wanted serial killer and bypassing obvious red flags (like body parts in the fridge) was only natural.
SARS Outbreak (Season 3, Episode 4) – 8.4
This episode had a one-two punch of wild storylines, first with Weigel, Jones and Dangle put under emergency quarantine after they find a corpse believed to be infected with SARS. As they quickly lose their nerve and hope for survival, the rest of the officers take a children’s TV show host, Reading Ron, on a ride-along.
Ron is quickly disillusioned as each attempt to tape something wholesome and kid-friendly is thwarted when he and the officers inevitably encounter highly inappropriate and terrible situations. As he becomes more and more cynical, he reaches a breaking point and steals cocaine from the evidence locker. He then climbs up on a roof and waves around a handgun before he’s subdued by Junior. This is one of the most iconic sequences not only from Season 3 but from the series as a whole.
Gigg (Season 7, Episode 19) – 8.8
The highest-rated episode on IMDb belongs to “Gigg.” Rumors to revive the series began circulating in 2011. Quibi swooped in after Netflix didn’t move forward with the revival, and while Quibi no longer exists, the revival has since found a home on Roku and is renewed for a second set of new episodes.
Despite its turbulent beginnings, fans of Reno 911! were eventually given the Season 7 they wanted, and the creators of the show will eventually be able to reach their 100 episode milestone with Season 8.
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