Everybody Loves Raymond

Season 1 Episode 17

The Game

Aired Friday 8:30 PM Feb 21, 1997 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
83 votes

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Episode Summary

When Ray and his family play Scruples after their cable goes out and they have nothing but time on their hands, they find themselves arguing about honesty.

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  • The Barone clan entertains us when they try to entertain themselves.

    The game is “Scruples” and it forms the centerpiece of this episode from season one where the family is forced to entertain itself when the cable goes out during a storm. In my opinion this is the first episode to reach the comic potential of the ensemble, developing the strengths (and mostly weaknesses) of each of the five core characters. This episode and the last of the season, where back-flashes tell us how Ray and Debra came to live across from Frank and Marie (“Why Are We Here?”), are the only stand-outs from that shaky first season. Panic sets in when a nasty storm knocks out cable TV at both Barone houses. They all gather at Ray and Debra’s to figure out what they can do for the evening without TV. Robert suggests playing Scruples, a game he gave Ray and Deb which they seemed to have forgotten about. They must take turns reading a question posing a moral or ethical situation to another player to see how they would handle it. Each question touches some personal nerve in their relationships. The best is when Marie pretends to read a question she made up asking Ray if he would take his widowed mother into his home. His positive answer gets Debra on his case pronto. Each question brings out personal problems for everyone except Frank, who claims “I’ve got scruples the size of basketballs.” His righteousness falls apart when a cable guy comes by (played by Jon Manfrellotti before he became a series regular as Gianni) and reports an illegal cable hookup from Ray’s house to Frank’s, slapping Ray with a hefty fine. Frank tries to disappear into the kitchen.

    It is a well-crafted episode with Frank and Robert taking turns trying to settle the twins upstairs when it was important that one or the other be out of the room, and giving us Robert’s sweet bass rendition of the inchworm song over the baby monitor, only temporarily quieting a fight between Frank and Marie. Frank as the ultimate “worst of the bunch” is a theme we see again in such episodes as Prodigal Son and You Bet from season four, but it starts with “The Game” which I could play with the Barones over and over.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The baby monitor picks up the baby crying, but we never hear Frank's "peek-a-boo." He does it for his sons when he comes downstairs, and it seems loud enough to be picked up by the monitor. After all, the monitor picks Robert singing softly enough for the baby to go to sleep.

    • The plot that Ray and his parents have been sharing/stealing cable using a cable-splitter doesn't make much logistical sense because they are across the street from one another. How would they get the cable across from one house to another unless the cable was buried?

    • This episode's "Where's Lunch?" is a lox bagel with tomato slices and capers.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Robert: The cable's out!
      Debra: It's in the Bible. Next comes the locusts.

    • Debra: What game should we play?
      Robert: How about Scruples?
      Debra: No, we don't have that game, Robert.
      Robert: I gave it to you for Christmas two years ago.
      Debra: Oh, here it is. Remember this game, Ray?
      Ray: Yeah, the one in the box.
      Debra: Let's play this. We love this game.
      Robert: The shrink wrap is still on it!

    • Debra: Okay, Ray, I will have sex with you. When the cable comes back on.
      Ray: Okay, okay, that's a deal! (He goes to the tv set and strokes it) But I will be thinking of you.

    • Debra: Oh, c'mon, Ray, it's just television! It's not the end of the world.
      (Frank comes in with a sandwich)
      Frank: Your TV is out, too? Sweet mother of God!

    • (Frank is freaking out over the cable being out)
      Marie: It's like someone went into the gorilla cage and took out the tire swing.

    • Ray: Your family decides to play a game. Do you light yourself on fire to get out of it?

    • Frank: I don't like games: follow the rules, pay attention, wait your turn. It's just like work dressed up like play.

    • (Debra turns off the TV)
      Debra: Why don't we just sit and talk?
      Ray: Why? What's wrong?

    • Frank: I thought I'd do a little Peek-a-boo with him... PEEK-A-BOO!
      Ray: I remember dad sayin' Peek-a-boo.
      Robert: Yea, me too, me too... Don't do that.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Jon Manfrelotti would later become the recurring character of Gianni, but first he would reappear in an unnamed role as Ray's superior in the Futon delivery business in the episode "How They Met."