Gayest Episode Ever-logo

Gayest Episode Ever


Back in the day, a major sitcom doing a gay episode was a big deal. A proper gay episode would get headlines, but it would get the attention of two young guys who were still figuring things out — sexuality-wise and culture-wise. Gayest Episode Ever has screenwriter Glen Lakin and stay-at-home journalist Drew Mackie going through the great and not-so-great gay episodes of sitcoms past.

Back in the day, a major sitcom doing a gay episode was a big deal. A proper gay episode would get headlines, but it would get the attention of two young guys who were still figuring things out — sexuality-wise and culture-wise. Gayest Episode Ever has screenwriter Glen Lakin and stay-at-home journalist Drew Mackie going through the great and not-so-great gay episodes of sitcoms past.


United States


Back in the day, a major sitcom doing a gay episode was a big deal. A proper gay episode would get headlines, but it would get the attention of two young guys who were still figuring things out — sexuality-wise and culture-wise. Gayest Episode Ever has screenwriter Glen Lakin and stay-at-home journalist Drew Mackie going through the great and not-so-great gay episodes of sitcoms past.




Weirdest Episode Ever: The Terror of Zombie Sandy Duncan

“Nightmare on Oak Street” (November 23, 1987) We had to break format to do it, but at long last, we are talking about The Hogan Family… a.k.a. Valerie, a.k.a. Valerie’s Family. And yes the history of how this one sitcom had three different names is explained, but more to the point we ask why a show that killed off its title character would choose to confront its young viewers just a few weeks later with zombie horror — and worst of all, the Zombie Sandy Duncan. The Associates, the lawyer...


Gloria Vane Is a Part of Frasier’s Queer History

“PIlot” (1993) This unsold pilot, featuring JoBeth Williams as an aging actress in 1930s Hollywood, represents writer Joe Keenan’s attempt at selling NBC a TV series with a gay sensibility back in 1993. And while Gloria Vane never made it to air, its legacy lives on in Frasier, as Keenan joined the Frasier writers’ room and ended up penning some of the series queerest and most farcical episodes. Even without that Frasier connection, however, Gloria Vane would still merit its own very...


Mr. Furley Tries to Convert Jack

“The Love Lesson” (Jan. 22, 1980) Heads up: The gender politics in this one are all fucked up, and a lie results in a character getting misgendered in a way that won’t be funny to every listener. However, it’s not the whole of the episode. When Mr. Furley catches Jack necking with a woman, Jack lies and says this woman is actually a man. Naturally, Mr. Furley offers to teach Jack how to be heterosexual. Listen to the What a Cartoon episode on Laverne and Shirley in the Army and get a nice...


Frasier’s Dad Is Dating Frasier’s Brother

“Out With Dad” (February 10, 2000) It’s been far too long since we did a Frasier episode, and so we’re returning with a good one, in which Martin (John Mahoney) plays gay and pretends that Niles (David Hyde Pierce) is his boyfriend. It’s a great farce, and as special guest Anthony Oliveira points out, it’s one of the best Joe Keenan-penned episodes of the show. Beyond Sunset is live! Buy issue one here! Listen to Anthony’s Patreon podcast, The Devil’s Party. Watch the pilot for Gloria...


The Other Two Finds a Daddy

EDIT: Apologies for the original file cutting off early. It has since been fixed. “Pat Connects With Her Fans” (August 26, 2021) The Other Two is not a gay show, necessarily, but one of the two titular characters is gay, and through him this sitcom explores aspects of gay life that most shows don’t. Its current season has Cary (Drew Tarver) explore what kind of gay man he wants to be, and this episode in particular does that through a wacky sitcom misunderstanding that’s both expertly...


Elaine Dates a Gay Guy

(“The Beard,” February 9, 1995) And… we’re back. Welcome to season five of Gayest Episode Ever, which is a lot like the previous seasons but with a few streamlining improvements. Our first episode looks at an Elaine-centric Seinfeld in which it’s supposed that a straight woman can cure a gay man if she tries hard enough and Melrose Place is a show that heterosexual men watch only in secret. Listen to our previous Seinfeld episodes: Susan’s Dad Had an Affair With John Cheever and Jerry...


He-Man Fights a Gay Bunny-Man

“Quest for He-Man” (October 5, 1983) A thousand gay nerds debating on a thousand twitter threads could come up with any number of candidates for the gayest episode ever of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, but the one we’re talking about with Talking Simpsons co-host Henry Gilbert is the one where our hero travels through a swirling rainbow hole to an alternate dimension ruled by a gay-seeming bunny-man who loads a phallic rocket full of his precious, life-giving fluid, and no, we’re...


Did Fraggle Rock Do an Episode About AIDS?

”Gone But Not Forgotten” (February 16, 1987) Surprise! We’re back! And we brought Fraggles with us! In the final season of Fraggle Rock, the episode “Gone But Not Forgotten” features Wembley making a new friend in Mudwell the Mudbunny, who knows he will soon die. Mudwell’s passing and Wembley’s grief serve as not only a general life lesson for young viewers but also a parallel for the life of Richard Hunt, the openly gay Mupetteer who voices Mudwell, who lost his own partner to AIDS not...


Marge Simpson Is a Homophobe and a Transphobe

“There’s Something About Marrying” (February 20, 2005) Gayest Episode Ever would not exist without The Simpsons — mostly because we stole Talking Simpsons’ podcast format and applied it to LGBT episodes of classic sitcoms, and Talking Simpsons would not exist without The Simpsons. But cultural and personal importance aside, there comes a time to point out when a thing you love screws up, and this episode — the one that should be about Marge disapproving about Patty marrying a woman but ends...


Peter Griffin Becomes a Gay

“Family Gay” (March 8, 2009) Is it anticlimactic to say that this episode of Family Guy is not as terrible as you might expect? It concerns Peter being injected with the gay gene and becoming temporarily gay, and for the Seth MacFarlane of it all, this one gets some stuff right, lands a few decent jokes, biffs some bad ones and sometimes sacrifices laughs altogether to shock, horrify or offend. In short, it’s typical Family Guy. Listen to Drew and Glen on You’re Making It Worse. Listen...


The Naked Truth Has Two Pretend Gays (Zero Actual Gays)

“Woman Gets Plastered, Star Gets Even” (January 23, 1997) There was a time when two different networks were trying to push Téa Leoni as a sitcom star. The Naked Truth’s three seasons spanned ABC and NBC, and while it didn’t launch Leoni to TV success at this point in her career, Glen and Drew share a love of all things Téa with our guest, comedian H. Alan Scott. This episode is one of the more forgettable gay sitcom episodes sure, but there’s something to learn from the sitcoms that manage...


Boy Meets World Accidentally Does a Trans Episode

“Chick Like Me” (January 31, 1997) Rider Strong’s Shawn Hunter is not canonically a trans character, but there is a season-four episode of Boy Meets World that gives you all the evidence you’d need to conclude that Shawn might be. For this extra-long episode — possibly our longest! — we are joined by Faati the Street, who explains why this one episode speaks volumes about the trans experience, even if it was not the intention of anyone involved in the episode’s creation. Read Faati’s...


Kate & Allie Meet a Lesbian Couple

“Landlady” (October 15, 1984) Right at the top of its second season, Kate & Allie did the thing so many sitcoms do and put out an episode that explicitly says “No, these characters aren’t gay.” In this case, CBS had allegedly worried that viewers might suspect Susan St. James and Jane Curtain’s characters are anything other than platonic friends. On hand to discuss the show’s lesbian underpinnings is Leah Kopperman, the queer woman of our dreams and the winner of an exhaustive nationwide...


Love, Sidney May Just Be the First Gay Sitcom

“Alison” (May 16, 1983) Most of you haven’t had the chance to watch Love, Sidney, the the NBC series that ran from 1981 to 1983 and which featured Tony Randall as the title character — a gay man who is out to everyone but the audience. The show features queer themes more than you’ve been led to believe, perhaps, and interestingly it’s the hourlong episode “Alison” that showcases Sidney’s sexuality by giving him a female love interest. What results is poignant, personal and more progressive...


Family Matters Never Did a Gay Episode

“Dr. Urkel and Mr. Cool” (November 12, 1993) Yep, we finally figured out a way to talk about Family Matters. When Laura asks Steve why he is the way his is, he says he’s born this way — but then he uses science to become someone else. The metaphors are easy to make, even if the writers probably didn’t have anything gay in mind when they made this episode. Prepare for an overview of all the Family Matters lore you forgot you knew. Listen and subscribe to your new favorite classic RPG...


Batgirl Is a Little Gay Boy’s Fantasy

“Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin” (September 14, 1967) The final season of the 1966 live-action Batman series saw the debut of Batgirl, a twirling, high-kicking female hero created to get more girls invested in the series — and more dads to keep paying attention. But Batgirl’s creators didn’t count on the fact that they were creating the exact kind of character that little gay boys would become obsessed with. Thanks in part to Yvonne Craig’s spot-on performance, Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl)...


Brothers May Just Be the First Gay Sitcom

“You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me” (August 16, 1984) Heads up: In this episode we use the “F” word — no, not that one, but the gay one — but only because the subject matter itself uses it. This week, we look into Brothers, which ran for five seasons and 115 episodes on Showtime, 1984 to 1989. The show revolved around one of the three titular brothers coming out, and therefore it has a legit claim to being the first gay sitcom, and its second-ever episode featured Uncle Phil himself,...


Interview: Great North Writer Charlie Kelly

In April, we gave an endorsement to The Great North episode “Pride and Prejudance Adventure” for giving the show’s gay character, Ham Tobin, a love interest just six episode into the show’s first season. Today, we’re interviewing Charlie Kelly, the writer of this episode, to find out how he has approached writing for Ham, how he came to voice Drama John and what it’s like to work on a show that might be the nicest on TV right now but is no less funny for being that way. Follow Charlie on...


Bob Newhart Treats a Gay

“Some of My Best Friends Are…” (October 9, 1976) The fifth season of The Bob Newhart Show has a gay episode functions differently than most other show’s gay episode. For one thing, its central gay character is one who’d been on the show before; it’s just that no one — neither on the show or watching the show — knew he was gay. For another thing, it’s not the last time we see this character; unlike most LGBT guest characters on sitcoms, his existence does not end with the one episode that...


The Great North’s Ham Tobin Is a Well-Rounded Gay Teen

“Pride & Prejudance Adventure” (March 14, 2021) The Great North is not Bob’s Burgers with snow. Okay, it is a little bit, but the show has its own vibe and, more importantly for our purposes, an out gay teen as well. In the show’s sixth episode, Ham not only meets a love interest but actually gets to kiss him full on the lips — and that is neither remotely controversial nor is it the only queer plot thread in this episode. Yeah, we’re fans of this new show and we think you should be...