The Top 10 Martin Episodes

By @TrueGodImmortal

As we've seen in the past on DAR posts, I have anointed Martin as the best show of all time, which some agree with and others do not. Regardless, it holds a place in my mind and a number of others minds as the greatest show of all time. The comedic genius, the numerous characters that Martin played, the dichotomy of Martin and Gina's relationship, the insults between Pam and Martin, the lack of knowledge of what Tommy did for work(though it seemed a bit obvious), and the plight of Cole Brown. Today, we attempt to narrow the greatest Martin episodes down to just 10. 2 part and 3 part continued episodes will be combined as one entry, as they are a part of the same story being told. There are many classic episodes that are going to be left off this list, as we went back and watched all 132 episodes before over the last month and some change to decide. If you see an episode that was your favorite missing from the list, feel free to add your picks to the convo. Let's do the impossible...

10. The Break Up Parts 1-3
Season 1, Episodes 18-20

-From the beginning of the show, it was obvious that Martin and Gina had their differences in personality and character. That's usually what make relationships even more so interesting when you share different perspectives and outlooks, right? Well, in episode 18 on Part 1, Gina buys Martin a strange gift for Valentine's Day, which leads to an argument as the two decide to call it quits. As the saga continues, Martin ends up in the club looking to start over, with very little luck until he meets Nicole(played by Lark Voorhies during her days of being fine) and they begin a brief romance. Gina, on the other hand, gets hooked up with Pam's cousin, the Reverend Leon Lonnie Love(played hilariously by David Alan Grier), which results in some classic comedy. The end of the saga sees Martin and Nicole part ways, while Gina meets a new guy who seems to possess all the finer things material wise, and is a bit more "sophisticated" than Martin. However, after an appearance on his radio show by Billy Dee Williams, Martin decides to interrupt Gina's date and win her back. This saga was filled with laughs, break ups, and reconciliation, as well as adding in a new element and character in Reverend Leon Lonnie Love, who would go on to make more appearances during the show's run.

9. Martin's On The Move
Season 2, Episode 27(Season Finale)

-Martin, in this episode, has virtually hit rock bottom. After losing his job at WZUP, he seemed to be lost with what he wanted to do next. He tries looking for odd jobs to no avail, but this episode hits the comedic high point when Martin and Bruhman(Reginald Ballard) decide to go to a Whitney Houston concert and sell T-Shirts outside. Martin returns solo from the concert looking disheveled, as he explains that Bruhman printed up T-Shirts that didn't read "Whitney Houston World Tour", but rather "Whitty Huton Wuld Toor". I'm in tears laughing about this now myself. Great all around episode, which ends with Martin leaving Detroit to find himself, which translated into the season 3 premiere that showed him grow his hair, join a cult, and change his name to Shaquille Sunflower.

8. Blow, Baby, Blow
Season 4, Episode 3

-This is widely considered the "Biggie" episode, and you would be pretty much correct in labeling it that. The Notorious B.I.G. makes a special appearance on the show and he asks Martin for help finding a background singer, which starts a mini search that hilariously ends up with Gina and Pam going at it song for song until Biggie decides to pick Sheneneh as his background singer. All in all, this episode features a landmark appearance from Biggie along with hilarious moments throughout, landing it here at the number 8 spot.

7. Blackboard Jungle Fever
Season 1, Episode 17

-In essence, this was pretty much a tease for the 3 part break up saga, as Martin and Gina's relationship was severely tested, in what could only be considered the "Ms. Trinidad Episode". Martin's old favorite third grade teacher, Ms. Trinidad(played by Beverly Johnson) is still teaching at the school when Martin comes back to talk to students for Career Day. They decide to catch up and grab dinner, but Ms. Trinidad decides to make a move on Martin as Gina walks in and catches them. Ms. Trinidad lies about not knowing that Martin had a girlfriend, which Gina realizes later on after walking out and presumably leaving Martin. She arrives at the school the next day to confront Ms. Trinidad, who backs down as Martin and Gina reconcile.

6. Romantic Weekend
Season 3, Episode 24 

-There are many Martin episodes that aren't known by actual name or episode number, and this is yet another classic. To jog your memory, this is the epic "Chilligan's Island" episode. Martin had collected prizes off the cereal box to win a low-rate trip to an alleged beautiful resort after Gina was showing signs of jealousy to Pam and Tommy, who were heading to a resort themselves to celebrate their 6 month anniversary. Upon arriving at their resort, Martin and Gina realize that the "Chilligan's Island" resort was nothing like they expected, and they realize the people in the next room arguing are actually Tommy and Pam. Hilariry ensues from there, as Martin and Pam wrestle against some form of island animal, later to be affectionately named "Possum-Puppy thing". The vacation of a lifetime turns into the vacation from hell in this hilarious and iconic episode.

5. Momma's Baby, Martin's Maybe
Season 3, Episode 8

-This episode is absolutely genius. Martin learns that he might have a son with a woman he slept with years ago, all while Gina's mother is visiting. The young boy(played by Marcus T. Paulk), named Marvin, seems to be just like Martin, from his mannerisms, his rudeness, and even his big ears. The highlight of this episode, comes when Martin finds out that Marvin really isn't his son, and that he merely lied to keep from going to Arizona with his family. The iconic "I'm sorry I lied to you Martin, I just didn't want to go to Arizona" quote happens here followed by Martin throwing more hilarious one liners as Marvin and his mother leave. This episode is still quoted regularly, landing it on the list and in the top 5.

4. Suspicious Minds
Season 2, Episode 17

-This episode could be called many things. "The Stolen CD player Episode", "The New Jack City Episode", or even the "Martin and A Fake Dog Episode". This episode was extremely entertaining as it begins with Martin bragging on his new expensive CD Walkman, which ends up stolen. Unsure of who stole it, Martin asks Stan(played by Garrett Morris) for advice, leading Martin to assume that either Gina, Tommy, Cole, or Pam stole the Walkman. Martin holds a "meeting" eerily reminiscent of Nino Brown's meeting in New Jack City, with everybody in all black. Martin is randomly walking around carrying a fake dog, making it bark as he asks questions, causing Tommy to nearly break character in laughter. Martin continues the hilarity until it is found out that Bruhman "borrowed" his CD Walkman, which leaves Martin puzzled. Bruhman hilariously tells Martin that he notified him of borrowing the Walkman by leaving a note under Martin's bathroom sink, which he figured Martin would get since he used up all the toilet paper. Martin's CD Walkman gets returned, Bruhman goes back up to the fifth floor and we got a classic episode in the bag.

3. Really, Gina's Not My Lover
Season 2, Episode 2

-Martin is gearing up for his High School reunion. He wants everything to be perfect, so he sends Gina out for a day of beauty, which unfortunately goes terribly wrong. Martin attempts to tell Gina to stay home after her mishap during het day of beauty, so she doesn't harm his chances of winning the Man Of The Decade award. Martin wants to upstage his old high school nemesis, Ricky Fontaine(Pretty Ricky what they called him) and starts painting himself as wealthy with a supermodel girlfriend. Tommy runs into an old high school flame, Cole pays Pam to play his date, and Gina shows up looking crazy as Martin ends up winning the Man Of The Decade award. He accepts it, ends up knocking out Ricky Fontaine(Pretty Ricky what they called him), and both him and Gina tell everyone at the reunion to kiss their ass. This episode was insane, but it is a classic and without a doubt one of the best episodes
as well as the most iconic.

2. No Justice, No Peace
Season 2, Episode 16

-If you haven't caught on yet, the 2nd season of Martin is the best. It could very well be the greatest season in sitcom history. This classic episode starts with Martin getting a simple traffic ticket but ending up in court representing himself with a full case to dispute the ticket. Martin calls witnesses to the stand, the most hilarious one being Tommy, as Martin goes through Tommy's address book and inquires about an acronym simply labeled "G.T.D.", which of course stands for "Got The Draws". What follows after this moment is absolute insanity as Martin starts bringing up Cole and Pam to the stand, then eventually pleads insanity as he is losing the case. As Martin pleads insanity and attempts to prove it in the court, he leaves with one lasting message to always remember: "The Day Of The Geechi Is Over". An iconic episode, with multiple quotes and hilarious moments.

1. Hollywood Swinging Part 1 & 2
Season 2, Episodes 11 & 12

-This entire list was very tough to decide. 5 seasons, 132 episodes, and countless classics made the choices and where they landed very challenging. Except for number 1. When I started the list, I knew what my number 1 would be. Despite all the great episodes and classic moments, there is no saga quite like the Varnel Hill saga. Varnel, played by Tommy Davidson, was a successful TV show host, who used to be a former radio host at Martin's WZUP station. Martin, at this point, was sick of his job, and after getting bumped from opening a community center in favor of Varnel, feels stuck at a dead end. The hilarity ensues with Varnel coming to be a guest at the radio station on Martin's show, which leads to one of my favorite scenes ever in TV history.

After the radio show, Martin decides to use some free plane tickets that Cole got from his job at the airport to go to Hollywood and be on Varnel's TV show, which starts off part 2. Martin and company arrive in Hollywood, encountering "celebrities"(lookalikes), as Varnel claims he will feature Martin on the show. Martin ends up in the audience, but never gets a true feature on the show, although his attempts to get on are hilarious. Finally fed up with waiting, Martin interrupts a Jodeci performance of "Lately", and creates yet another iconic moment by singing his own lyrics to the song and nearly fighting K-Ci. This saga has quote after quote, classic moment after classic moment, with almost no break in laughter period, making this easily the best episode of Martin.

This list, as I mentioned, was hard to construct. I have so many episodes that I enjoy and had to leave off the Thanksgiving episodes, the Martin at the DMV episode, and countless others. If you don't agree with this top 10 list, feel free to talk about your top episodes below or on social media. Thanks for reading.



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