The Best Episode From Each Season of ‘The Nanny,’ According To IMDb

The Best Episode From Each Season of ‘The Nanny,’ According To IMDb

“But I’ve got style, I’ve got flair!”
Making waves throughout the 90s, The Nanny was a very popular sitcom that followed the life of Fran Fine (Fran Drescher), a boisterous fashionista, who unexpectedly becomes the nanny to the three children of Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy), a wealthy widowed Broadway producer. Though an unconventional nanny at first, Fran finds her own way and eventually earns the love and respect of the entire family. Coupled with other iconic characters like Niles (Daniel Davis), the smart-mouthed butler, C.C. Babcock (Lauren Lane), Maxwell’s audacious business partner, as well as Sylvia Fine (Renée Taylor), Fran’s overbearing yet loving mother – this is an ensemble-heavy sitcom that knows how to balance it all.
From its roller-coaster romances, fabulous fashion moments, clever writing and slapstick humor, it’s no wonder why The Nanny was so highly loved by fans and critics alike. It had everything for every viewer in mind. That’s probably why the show lasted for six seasons, with 146 episodes and an Emmy under their belt. And let’s not forget the catalog of A-List cameos they also managed to round up. Between Ray Charles, Elizabeth Taylor and Coolio, The Nanny seemed like the show everyone was clamoring to be apart from. Indeed, there are tons of fan-favorite moments and gags. However, when looking at the IMDb scores, these are the best episodes that stand out among each season of this classic CBS sitcom.

“I Don’t Remember Mama” – Season 1, Episode 22

IMDB Ranking: 8.4
With Mother’s Day approaching, Maxwell embarks on his yearly endeavor to distract his children from thinking about their late mother. To do so, he arranges the family to join a country club and enjoy their activities. Unfortunately, things backfire as the club hosts several large-scale Mother’s Day celebrations, including a mother-daughter pageant. This forces the kids, especially young Gracie (Madeline Zima), to face their grief, something Fran believes is very important.

Like the first season of the show, The Nanny did an exceptional job establishing the dynamics between characters. Indeed, throughout this introductory season, we specifically see Fran’s growing relationship with the children as she steps into becoming the maternal figure they seemed to long for. In “I Don’t Remember Mamma”, this relationship is tragically explored as Gracie expresses her frustration of barely remembering her own mother. Zima delivers a performance that’s heartbreakingly sweet and earnest, even more so when she shares the screen with Shaughnessy in their emotional father-daughter talk. But like all episodes of The Nanny, moments of emotionality are always balanced with great humor. However, this episode is little more special than the others as it also features a surprising cameo – and performance – by Patti LaBelle.

“Close Shave” – Season 2, Episode 21

IMDB Ranking: 8.7
In the highest rated episode of the entire show, Maggie (Nicholle Tom) earns a job as a hospital candy stripper. However, with a date on the line, Fran steps up and covers for her shift. Unfortunately, this leaves Fran with an uncomfortable situation as the next patient she must shave is Maxwell, who is scheduled in for an appendectomy.

Drescher has always spoken about her admiration for Lucille Ball not only as an actor, but also as a show runner and creative, as she’s the person who paved the way for women in comedy. Indeed, by the time season 2 struck around, Drescher truly honed in on Ball’s skills in slapstick comedy as, in “Close Shave”, she performs one of the most iconic physical comedic gags in the entire series. Sure, the episode has its other great moments – but nothing compares to Fran giving her boss what seems to be an almost-Brazilian.

“The Two Mrs Sheffields” – Season 3, Episode 9

IMDB Ranking: 8.4
First impressions don’t go so well when Fran realizes that the woman she had a scuffle with in the florist turned out to be Maxwell’s mother. A strong-headed woman, Mrs Elizabeth Sheffield (Dina Merril) doesn’t get along with most people, even her own son. So it’s safe to say things don’t go so well when she demands Maxwell to fire Fran. Indeed, he does the complete opposite and proposes to her just to spite his mother.

Where The Nanny centers most of its familial chaos around Fran and her hectic family life, the occasional look into Maxwell’s past and upbringing is always welcomed – even if it is condescendingly hoity-toity. And with extreme posh snobbery oozing from every pore of Mrs Sheffield, it’s safe to say that the legendary Dina Merril did a wonderful job at grinding people’s gears. However, like most episodes of this show, the cheeky banter between Fran and Maxwell was the clear highlight of it all. Between the guilt-tripping and the sneaky toying, it’s always fun to see Maxwell Sheffield sweat a little.

“Fran’s Gotta Have It” – Season 4, Episode 26

IMDB Ranking:

As Maxwell travels to London for an important meeting with Celine Dion, Fran seizes the opportunity of the city’s romantic landscape, and follows him overseas to settle their “situationship” once and for all. However, after a day of romantic endeavors, as well as some stark revelations, their trip is cut short once they are informed of Niles’ shocking heart attack.

From stunning location shots to sweet little montages of romance, “Fran’s Gotta Have It” is a key episode of Fran and Maxwell’s tumultuous love story as it details all the highs and all the lows. Indeed, this is an episode shippers love to look back on as the chemistry between Shaughnessy and Drescher remains palpable throughout. Between rowing boats, snuggling on benches, and even in their arguments – the passion they hold for each other is clear. It’s also nice to see an episode that sees everyone rallying in support of Niles – who many are still surprised is played by an American. In fact, in addition to the lovefest of Max and Fran, fans are also gifted with some sweet moments between Niles and C.C. – quickly followed by their snarky quips and banter which many have grown to adore.

“The Engagement” – Season 5, Episode 15

IMDB Ranking: 8.2
After years of a will-they-won’t they relationship, Fran and Maxwell happily return to the family to announce how Maxwell finally told Fran that he loved her – and without taking it back! What’s even more exciting is that he plans to propose. The news quickly spreads like wildfire, unbeknownst to him, but as the important dinner approaches, he is nowhere to be found.

Throughout the entire series, it seemed that Maxwell loved to propose to Fran. In fact, he did so around four times – most of which had ulterior motives and were instantly regretted right after it happened. However, that was all until “The Engagement”, the episode where Maxwell is finally ready to take the plunge and act on his deep love for Fran. Indeed, fans see his earnest intentions in an emotional little scene where he speaks to a photo of his late-wife, hoping for her own blessing. In the end, the proposal doesn’t occur the way in which anyone expected: isolated, in a dirty alleyway, injured from a mugging, and without an actual ring. But, it’s romantic nonetheless, as Maxwell and Fran finally commit to their love in the most tender way. It’s heartwarming to see Fran and Max in their little love bubble, and it’s also lovely to see how supportive everyone is as well – minus C.C. of course.

“The Finale: Part 2” – Season 6, Episode 22

IMDB Ranking: 8.6
In the second half of the series finale, Fran and Maxwell see the arrival of their twins – Jonah Samuel and Eve Catherine. At the same time, capping off their legendary enemies-to-lovers romance, Niles and C.C. finally solidify their union with a surprise wedding, followed by even more surprising news. In the end, fans say goodbye to the Sheffield family as the two eldest kids leave for Europe, with the rest ready to embark on their new lives in California.

Indeed, this finale is arguably one of the greatest series finales of all time. In true sitcom fashion, everyone’s stories are wrapped up in a nice bow, but not too tightly, as they are set up for a new blossoming future. Between the new babies, two kids flying from the nest, a surprise wedding (and pregnancy), along with an across-the-country move – a lot is packed into this episode. However, it showcases everything beautifully, and wonderfully honors what made The Nanny so great. In fact, the most heartwarming moment sees Fran finding her old cosmetic kit, kick-starting a huge nostalgic trip as both Fran and the fans reflect on where it all started. It was also a really nice touch to include the final curtain call of all the cast members. A true celebration of a beloved comfort show.

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