As summer comes to an end, and I run out of summer themed episodes to review, I default to a crowd favorite, the top ten list. In this list I will rank my top ten favorite summer themed television episodes, based on my previous reviews. I will also link to my old reviews for more detail about why I think the episodes rank where they do.
10. Parks and Recreation: Summer Catalog
We start off the list with something a little less summery, but focuses on the making of the Parks Departments’ summer catalog. Leslie gets all of the past Parks Department heads together for a picnic hoping to pick their brains and to get a photo for the catalog. However, she soon finds out that they aren’t as committed to the maintenance of parks as she is. Andy and April also get some cute moments as they have their own picnic and begin to bond. This episode isn’t totally summery but it’s such a nice episode that I had to include it on the list.
9. The Office: Beach Games
So in this episode Michael takes the Office to the beach. While the employees are hoping for a relaxing day in the sand, Michael forces them to take part in silly competitions to evaluate who he thinks should take his job when he gets a promotion. These competitions include sumo wrestling, hot dog eating, and walking across hot coals. This episode is silly and fun and because it’s set on a beach it definitely evokes some summer vibes. While not the most summery on this list, it definitely earns its place on here.
8. Bob’s Burgers: Lobsterfest
Nothing says summer quite like lobster and hurricanes, and that’s exactly what this episode is about. Bob hates the annual Lobsterfest celebration because he is allergic and is bitter that everyone else loves it so much. However, when a hurricane shuts the festivities down, everyone gathers at Bob’s for a big party. But, in the morning when the storm has passed and everyone is back to Lobsterfest-ing, Bob is resentful that they have abandoned him. This episode is definitely summery, but aside from the lobsters and weather, this episode isn’t overtly summery otherwise. It’s one of my personal favorites though so it’s definitely a good one to check out to get you in a summer spirit.
7. Modern Family: Hawaii
The Dunphys and Pritchetts are on vacation! And where better than Hawaii? Nothing says Hawaii quite like a beautiful tropical setting and being surrounded by the ones you love. Phil is trying to give Claire the honeymoon they never had, but she isn’t exactly interested. Haley goes a little wild with the partying. Jay is going a little too far trying to prove that he isn’t “old”, which annoys Gloria because she just wants to relax with her husband. This episode is great for summer because most family vacations are a little more hectic than we want them to be but we still have fun. And if nothing else, the beautiful scenery will make you super jealous that you’re watching TV and not in Hawaii.
6. Gilmore Girls: Those Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days
Get ready to have that song stuck in your head for days. Now this episode is set at the end of the summer. Rory is coming back from a summer internship in Washington DC and dealing with her conflicted feelings for Jess and Dean. Lorelai is still recovering from her relationship with Christopher abruptly ending. The girls are happy to be reunited and decide to enjoy the town’s end of summer blowout. Taylor hires a barbershop group to sing “Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer” and there’s a bunch of fun carnival style food and games. This episode definitely reminds me of going to local carnivals and fairs in the summer. Plus it’s a nice change to see Stars Hollow in the summer. As with most Gilmore Girls episodes, if you haven’t ever watched the show, you can probably skip this one, but if you’re a fan, definitely check it out.
5. Bob’s Burgers: Bob Fires the Kids
I love this episode because it perfectly captures how I feel about summer: it’s over-rated. Bob fires the kids to try to force them to enjoy themselves and have a fun summer. However, the kids quickly realize that they don’t really like summer and would rather be working. They decide to get secret jobs on a “blueberry” farm… not realizing that they’re actually working on a pot farm. This episode is funny, it’s set in summer, and it definitely encapsulates how it feels when you think you should be having more fun than you actually are. Check it out.
4. Friends: The One with the Jellyfish
So in my review of this episode I combined it with the beach episode at the end of season 3, but I definitely think between the two of them this one is more summery. I know this episode is an important one for the relationship between Ross and Rachel, but the reason I love this episode is because of the jellyfish sting. When Monica gets stung by a jellyfish, Joey tells her that peeing on it will stop the pain. The two of them, along with Chandler, try to figure out who is going to do it. It’s hilarious and also one of everyone’s worst beach nightmares. Definitely watch this one if you’re hoping to cling to some summer vibes.
3. Portlandia: 4th of July
So the 4th of July of this year has passed, but this episode is still one of the best summer episodes out there. It follows some of our favorite characters as they attempt to have a good fourth of July. Dave and Kath are stressing out about throwing the perfect barbecue for their friends, meanwhile Carrie and Fred are trying to figure out how to hit all of their friends’ holiday celebrations. The third storyline follows the mayor as he goes on the dark web to try to find fireworks and ends up buying some high grade explosives. This episode is funny and also is full of summery, red white and blue fun.
2. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp: Campers Arrive
So in my original review, I recommended the entire series as a summer watch, and I stand by that, the whole show is set at a summer camp and is perfect for summer. But, as this is a list of episodes, I had to choose a mere episode, so why not start off with the first. This episode sees the campers arriving for the first day of camp and getting settled in. It also shows the counselors getting their summer kicked off. Now the entire season of the show takes place on the same day, which is for comedic purposes, its kind of like a comedy 24. But I think after you watch the first episode, with the right sense of humor, you’ve found one of the best summer shows out there.
1. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore
Here it is, my favorite summer episode of all time. This episode is crazy and funny and full of beachy fun. The gang goes to the shore. Dennis and Dee are hoping to relive their childhood memories, but find that the shore isn’t quite living up to how they remembered it. Meanwhile, Frank and Mac get lost at sea and rescued by a bunch of Jersey Shore lunkheads. Charlie has a wonderful night with the waitress on a the beach. This episode is so funny and strange and I always get a great laugh when I watch it. I think this one is a can’t miss summer episode.