I’m a huge Even Stevens fan. Perhaps the biggest ever. Growing up I wanted to be Louis Stevens more than anything. I dressed like him, laughed like him, and even talked like him. I would set my clock every evening for when the show came on and would be quoting the episode the next day at school to my classmates’ and teachers’ eye-rolling. To this day, I still watch it almost every night. It makes me happy and keeps my life filled with joy and fun.
And I’m sure I’m with most Even Stevens fans when I say that any episode is a good episode. But much like the Oscars or my children, there are always gonna be some that are better than others.
Although I still watch the show routinely, I suddenly had the idea–or perhaps the urge–to rank each episode one by one. I kept track by viewing the entire series twice through for good measure. I carefully and thoroughly listed each one in comparison to the others. Keeping in mind things like episode premise, hilarity, consistency, and quotability, I’ve compiled the ultimate list you are about to see. (Those of you who actually care, that is).
Sure, it’s gonna be hard for me to remain unbiased, but I will try my best.
If you’re wondering where to go to watch the show, most of the episodes are available on YouTube, albeit with questionable quality, but there nonetheless. The show has also been released on DVD in Canada for you to purchase on Amazon.
So enjoy my rants about how annoying Ren is, and without further ado, I give you my ranking of every Even Stevens episode:
65. Family Picnic (Season 1, Episode 8)
The Stevens compete in the annual family picnic. Louis isn’t that into it. While the rest of his family–competitive as they are–are completely gung-ho about winning for their 3rd straight year. This one isn’t bad, it’s just somewhat flat. Sure, we have the whole “cheaters never win” theme, but it isn’t as hard-hitting as it could be. Louis is very underutilized. He is his usual quirky self, but this is the episode where he is perhaps the most contained.
64. In Ren We Trust (Season 3, Episode 21)
If there was ever an episode that typifies the surrealism of season 3, it’s this one. The gang finds a briefcase containing $4000, but Ren decides to report the money to the police instead of keeping it. On her way there, she impulsively decides to buy a $4000 pair of lizard skin pants. Other than that, not a lot happens in this one, as it suffers from the “it was all a dream” trope. There are few jokes, but mostly a lot of running around chasing Ren. Although, like any episode, it has its moments. There’s a solid Beans subplot, along with an seemingly off-the-cuff moment by Louis at the end. But overall, it’s not really the penultimate episode we would hope for.
63. Gutter Queen (Season 2, Episode 2)
In this one, Louis hires a butler, Chives, who is the nucleus of each highlight in this episode. Unfortunately, he provides a hindrance as well. With him around, Louis morphs into a more selfish version of himself. Not that Lou isn’t always trying to find ways to benefit in life, but here it’s stretching–even for him. Part of the beauty of his dynamic with his family is, although he’s the prankster, he always means well at heart. But Chives makes him put that aside. Of course it adds depth to his character, albeit unintentionally, but it also begins his transition into the Louis of season 3, where he substitutes a lot of his carefree goofiness for a more controlled style of humor. And while it works great in the 3rd season, we don’t really need to see it prematurely. You’d think that this premise would be a perfect setup for an awesome episode, but instead we get the weakest one of the strongest season.
62. Little Mr. Sacktown (Season 3, Episode 6)
Louis trains Beans to win the Little Mr. Sacktown pageant, but realizes that maybe he’s doing it for himself instead of for Beans. This one’s not so much of a Louis episode as it is a Beans episode. And in the 3rd season, Beans is beginning to waver. He gives us a laugh or two here, but his awkward precociousness starts to fade, turning him into an occult caricature of himself. A highlight is the vaudevillian pageant host and his ventriloquist sidekick.
61. Surf’s Up (Season 3, Episode 20)
It’s no coincidence that 2 of the final episodes in the series are towards the bottom of this list. Actually, it might be a coincidence now that I think about it. This episode has its moments, but they’re mostly in the first few minutes. It slowly fades after that, and the laughs become more intermittent. Ren and Louis’ stories equally share time in the episode, but Ren’s may be a little more interesting. She meets a nice guy, but thinks he might be a merman (a male mermaid). Meanwhile, Louis is feeling left out when Twitty wants to go surfing without him. It’s a good final moment between Louis and Twitty, but could have been even stronger.
60. All About Yvette (Season 1, Episode 5)
Episodes like this are what remind us how annoying Ren is in the first season. It also makes us glad we never see very much of Charlotte in other episodes. She’s too much like Ren, when one Ren is usually too much. In this one, Ren gets jealous when Charlotte’s old best friend comes to visit Sacramento. Meanwhile, Louis is trying to convince his mom that he is responsible enough to babysit Twitty’s little brother. Although Louis shines in the few moments we get to see him, this episode is mostly about Ren. It’s the most cloying Even Stevens ever gets, and would probably be at the bottom of my list if Louis wasn’t so solid here.
59. Influenza: The Musical (Season 2, Episode 21)
Credit the musical episode for what it tries to do. The songs are catchy, but there just isn’t enough of a premise for it to be any higher on the list. Also, the music sort of inhibits Louis from being Louis. But with an impressive 6 original melodies, Influenza can be enjoyed at a different level than the rest of the series. Louis’ “I Always Find a Way” number is by far the best. He has a way of both participating in and mocking the silliness of the whole exhibition. And he gives us the word “phlucus”.
58. My Best Friend’s Girlfriend (Season 3, Episode 3)
If this episode doesn’t make you want to experience the joys of foam hunk diving, I don’t know what will. But don’t let that bit of fun fool you–this episode just isn’t as goofy as the rest. It’s centered mostly around Louis, but he’s fairly contained. When Twitty gets a girlfriend, Louis feels like he’s been replaced. He spends time training Tom to be his new best friend, which is pretty entertaining in itself. There’s just a sort of silliness missing from this episode.
57. Louis in the Middle (Season 1, Episode 6)
After Louis saves the life of the most popular guy in school, his own popularity skyrockets. His old friends try to keep him grounded, while his new friends prove to be different than they seem. This one has its fair share of memorable bits, but it’s never laugh-out-loud funny. I like the depth built between Louis and Twitty, but this episode tries to show Louis as unfunny and annoying to the people around him. The Ren story line is small, as she deals with Larry Beale trying to sabotage her attempt to improve the cafeteria food. I’ve always wondered if the writers ever toyed with the idea of a Ren-Beale relationship. There are plenty of times where it could have worked. Also, it’s fortunate that this is the second and final appearance of the ever-so-obnoxious Charlotte.
56. Thin Ice (Season 2, Episode 7)
It’s another Ren-centered episode where her old neighbor, Nelson Minkler, moves back into town and keeps embarrassing her with his obsessive compulsivity. Louis and Twitty are great, but besides a small subplot of them harassing people with prank phone calls, there isn’t much else.
55. Ren Gate (Season 2, Episode 19)
Principal Wexler gets fed up with Louis’ antics and decides that maybe giving him more responsibility will serve him better than detention, so he forces him to be a hall monitor. Half of the episode we get normal Louis, but the other half we get strict Louis. He takes his new position very seriously, which rids him of any perverseness. Story-wise, the episode is pretty good. It’s surprisingly grandiose and has some affable features.
54. Hutch Boy (Season 3, Episode 10)
Starting off slow, this one really picks up about 1/3 of the way in. Louis is getting bullied by Lloyd Offler for unknown reasons–which is perhaps the problem. I understand it’s supposed to be funny that we don’t know why, but we just love Louis so much that it incites more frustration than laughter. And I’ve never really liked how this episode concludes. The “fighting” scene towards the end is my favorite part, as it gives Louis more freedom than he usually gets in the 3rd season.
53. Snow Job (Season 3, Episode 17)
Louis makes it snow outside of Principal Wexler’s house with hopes that it will cancel school, letting Louis skip his algebra midterm. Meanwhile, Ren has one week to learn how to pole vault. The jokes aren’t necessarily flying, but there are some pretty good quotes. The Louis dance at the very end is in my top 3 favorite moments of season 3. And in a very one-liner-centric season, that quick sequence is well worth the wait. Phyllis Diller has a great cameo as the track and field coach, and so does the always under-appreciated Artie Ryan.
52. A Very Scary Story (Season 2, Episode 13)
If you’re a fan of the Louis scream, then this is the episode for you. Louis tries to figure out what’s going on after discovering that his friends and classmates have all become brainwashed at school. Although it’s not filled with any flat-out jokes, it’s a really good Halloween episode. The story is solid and so is the creepiness. Also, Louis’ penguin jockey costume is a classic.
51. Where in the World is Pookie Stevens? (Season 3, Episode 2)
Ruby usually doesn’t get on my nerves too much, but she’s a tad bit annoying in this one. On top of it, Ren is completely obnoxious throughout this whole episode. It just reminds you of how spoiled she is. Here, she accidentally puts her beloved Mr. Pookie stuffed animal into a box for the family garage sale. After it’s sold, she gets upset at Louis, then makes her family go on a manhunt to get it back. I understand that it’s hard to lose your most sentimental possession, but it’s her own selfish fault that it’s gone, yet she goes around blaming her brother. It’s also not very believable that her parents would think she’d want to sell the doll in the first place. If I were her, I would be mad at them, not Louis. But she isn’t, and it’s Louis who ends up fixing the whole thing. That rant aside, Louis’ freakout at the end is the highlight of the whole thing.
50. Take My Sister…Please (Season 1, Episode 3)
There are perhaps more plot holes in this episode than any other. And Ren’s obnoxiousness may be at an all-time high, but luckily it mostly features Louis. When he misses the sign-ups for the talent show, he tries to commandeer Ren’s act. Even though there aren’t a whole lot of memorable moments in this one, there’s a nice scene that Louis and Ren share towards the end. Plus, it features this gem of a line: “Opera is boring. In fact, they would’ve named it boring, but it was already taken by ballet.”
49. Swap.com (Season 1, Episode 1)
This is the very first officially broadcasted episode. So, as you can imagine, it’s gonna be either hit or miss. And while this episode isn’t a total wash, it’s mostly arid of full-on jokes. Louis has some great subtle moments, but the storyline doesn’t allow for him to get in much of a rhythm–especially amidst the slower moving pace of the first season in general. In this one, Louis has to trick Ren into hanging out with the school nerd, Ernie Morton, for a whole day so that Ernie will give Louis his highly rare collectible trading card. It just comes down to the fact that Louis isn’t in it nearly enough. And when he is, he’s not given a whole lot to do.
48. Beans on the Brain (Season 3, Episode 16)
Louis blows off Beans in order to hang out with his attractive cousin. But every time Louis goes in to kiss her, his guilt turns her face into Beans’. The few instances of corniness don’t ever last long. Donnie has some bright spots, too, as he fakes an ankle injury after embarrassing himself in a football game. This episode is full of some subtle, yet classic lines, and Louis has some great outbursts, but it’s sprinkled among a lot of saccharine, which prevents it from making it any higher on the list.
47. Get a Job (Season 1, Episode 17)
In this episode, Louis tries to find work in order to buy a slushy machine. But it’s easier said than done, as he can’t seem to keep a job. My favorite part of this episode is the beginning when Louis tries convincing his dad to buy him the machine by throwing a Father’s Day party even though it’s not Father’s Day. Louis is almost always at his best when he’s scheming. The bad part of this episode is that there are about 2 or 3 montages. I’m not a huge montage fan, as I find it takes time away from actual substance and jokes.
46. Close Encounters of the Beans Kind (Season 3, Episode 8)
Talk about weird. This episode may be the most unusual one in the series. Louis and Twitty suspect that Beans is an alien, so they do some snooping to find out what’s going on. Unfortunately, it’s not a concept the writers ever build upon in future episodes, and it’s not filled with a ton of laughs either, but you have to commend this one for having a really interesting story–especially one about a character we already know and love.
45. Raiders of the Lost Sausage (Season 3, Episode 7)
The thing about these high-concept episodes is that the jokes are so well-scripted that it doesn’t give Louis the liberty to be Louis. This one takes notes from Airplane! as it applies that humor to an Indiana Jones-esque story line. Louis discovers the beginnings of a hidden tunnel buried within the walls of his house, and does research to find that there may, in fact, be treasure stashed away behind all the dirt. Like I said, the humor is mostly in the script here, rather than through organic triggers, but it’s is a solid episode, nonetheless.
44. Shutterbugged (Season 2, Episode 2)
For a Ren-dominant episode, Shutterbugged is pretty good. Ren’s yearbook picture looks terrible when her face swells up after a visit from the dentist. Since Principal Wexler won’t authorize any reshoots, she protests at the cost of being expelled from school. Meanwhile, Louis is bunking with Donnie for two weeks. This episode is filled with classic Louis-isms (“That’s what you get for being a high achiever”) and perhaps the best shaved dog butt face. Which isn’t bad considering there isn’t nearly enough of him in this one.
43. Head Games (Season 2, Episode 8)
We’ve reached the point in our list where the episodes are getting really good. Notice how it didn’t take long. The first half of the 2nd season is really the sweet spot in this series (along with the last few episodes of season 1). And this one’s just really satisfying. The laughs are never really huge, but they’re consistent. Louis gets into Twitty’s head during his baseball game and it starts affecting his pitching. Louis isn’t doing anything crazy here, but he’s just a wonder to watch on screen–even though the episode’s not strictly about him. It shows how important he is to the show no matter what role he’s in. Even the weakest of these episodes meshes together perfectly.
42. Leavin’ Stevens (Season 3, Episode 22)
Ah, the series finale. These are usually the episodes that are the most unique from the rest of the series. The tone is different, the characters’ stories are all wrapping up, and whatever needs to be said must be said. However, Leavin’ Stevens doesn’t skip a beat. The jokes are all there. Everyone is their usual self, and we don’t get some ridiculously over-sentimental conclusion that breaks away from the silliness of the rest of the series. Although it does give us a heartfelt sendoff to the Louis-Tawny ordeal–however, not an ending, but a place to begin. Maybe it has to do with the fact that The Even Stevens Movie is still ahead of them, but this final episode stays in line with the spirit of the show.
41. Boy on a Rock (Season 3, Episode 13)
Louis thinks that Twitty’s ex-girlfriend has the hots for him, and tries to figure out how to handle the predicament. This one has some good moments and some even better one-liners. It’s not non-stop hilarity, but it’s definitely filled with some very underrated material. There’s an odd one-off bit featuring these two old guys who hang out in a deli inside Louis’ head and act as his conscience. It’s pretty amusing, but not necessarily vital to the episode. If anything, it’s more weird that they’ve never been featured before. But the chase sequence towards the end tops it off nicely.
40. Tight End in Traction (Season 2, Episode 20)
“Hold on my impatient friend, the best is yet to come.” It almost feels like a classic line from an ’80s blockbuster. And while this is the exact opposite of that, it does contain a few laugh-worthy bits. The episode starts off a little slow, building towards some great moments, but it wouldn’t be the episode I’d pin that quote to. After Louis rigs Donnie’s pummel horse with the motor from a mechanical bull, Donnie gets hurt. Unfortunately, he has a meeting with the head coach of his dream college, which won’t go over so well if he’s bedridden. I always feel, when watching this episode, that Louis doesn’t quite get the conclusion he deserves. Although the outcomes of his prank could have been catastrophic, his reasoning behind it is somewhat understandable. But Donnie wins in the end.
39. After Hours (Season 1, Episode 13)
This is one of the rare instances where Ren and Louis are involved in the story together. And it’s refreshing. When Ren gets detention for the first time ever, she isn’t able to work on her commissioned 75th anniversary display after school. With Louis’ help, they break into the halls at night and try to get past the roving Coach Tugnut. This episode’s cool because we get our only peek inside the detention room where Louis spends much of his time. It’s got some good moments, even though Louis doesn’t do anything over-the-top. I always have a hard time ridding this one of its anonymity, but it’s a solidly reliable episode.
38. Deep Chocolate (Season 1, Episode 12)
You hate to see Louis and Twitty fight, but even the best of friends have their issues to resolve. The two of them desperately want to win the grand prize at their school’s chocolate bar fundraiser. The jokes taper out towards the end, but it’s still a solid episode.
37. Stevens Genes (Season 1, Episode 2)
I love watching Louis run, and here we get a whole episode full of it. It’s also the episode where Louis realizes that, in a family full of high-achievers, his strength is his ability to be funny. Even Ren admits it. It takes about 8 minutes for this episode to really gain traction, but it’s good for a few good laughs.
36. Love and Basketball (Season 2, Episode 9)
In this episode, Donnie is head coach of a youth basketball team. But they don’t win a single game until Louis comes on board as his assistant. Louis gets cocky about it, so Donnie signs the team over to him. This one starts off slow, but gains some pretty good momentum by the halfway point. Louis’ idea of coaching techniques is awe-inspiring. I like Ren’s story here too, as she tries to get her first kiss with Bobby Deaver, but he just keeps giving her high-fives instead.
35. Band on the Roof (Season 3, Episode 5)
Fitting in perfectly with the high-concept story lines of the 3rd season, the show finally tries to resurrect the whole music group idea and make it an underlying element to the series. But it never really furthers much past this episode, besides the seldom music video outros. And depending where you stand on the whole thing determines whether that was actually good or bad. This episode acts as a “rockumentary” of the Twitty-Stevens Connection–a band made up of most of the show’s main characters. There are a few high points, but I mostly appreciate how the uniqueness of the episode never takes away from the spirit of the series. Not one of the best, but definitely not one of the worst, either.
34. The Thomas Gribalski Affair (Season 2, Episode 18)
I like these episodes where Louis tries to figure out his relationship with his father. In this one, Louis becomes jealous of Tom when he realizes he’s been spending a lot of time with Mr. Stevens (“Steve Stevens is the real deal”). The highlights from this episode come from all the made-up games that Louis and Twitty play–a concept featured intermittently throughout the series, but focused on here. The laughs, albeit inconsistent, all come from classic bits. You hafta love Tom and Louis’ dynamic, too.
33. Model Principal (Season 3, Episode 19)
This is one of the darker episodes in the series. When Principal Wexler quits his job in order to pursue a career as a model, Lawrence Junior High becomes out of control under the authority of his replacement. Seeing Ren and Louis working together almost always makes an episode better. Here’s where we really start to see Louis at a new level of maturity and awareness. He’s becoming more calculated with his humor. There’s a below par Donnie and Beans storyline, which feels a bit prosaic and forced. It’s merely an excuse to have them make an appearance, and serves very little purpose. But this episode gives Principal Wexler the homage that he deserves as the series wraps up.
32. Sibling Rivalry (Season 2, Episode 15)
Louis’ energy is at an all-time high in this episode. He’s on a whole other level, like he had 9 cups of coffee before the show. He and Ren bicker non-stop throughout, which makes for great television. They compete against each other on a “sibling wars” game show, even though it hardly has anything to do with which sibling is better at life. The host is obnoxious, but it’s unclear how intentional that is. And although the momentum slows a bit towards the end, the first 2/3 is rock solid. I like to think that almost each episode has at least one joke that stands out above the rest, but this one has nothing really in particular. Nonetheless, Louis is on his A-game, so everything he does is laugh-worthy.
31. Uncle Chuck (Season 2, Episode 17)
Some of us are lucky enough to never experience this, but for those of us who do, we know it’s a sad moment in life when you watch your hero die. Not literally, but to realize he or she isn’t the person you had thought they were. You see behind the curtain. Louis’ hero is Uncle Chuck. In a family where everyone else is an overachiever and a go-getter, Uncle Chuck is right there with him. His antics make Louis not feel so alone in this world. We finally see who Louis takes after. But in turn, it hurts his relationship with his own father. This isn’t just a fallen hero episode, but a father-son one. And depth aside, it’s got some great laughs. Louis drives his dad so crazy that his head literally explodes!
30. Easy Way (Season 1, Episode 10)
This is one of the first episodes where Louis gets to fully take the reins. It’s all Louis, as there is no Ren substory. And you don’t want to take your eyes off of him. When everyone in school has to donate their time to raise money for a local charity, Louis decides to nap in a window for a whole day. The laughs may not be huge, but this episode perfectly showcases the subtle humor of the series with its swift timing. It’s also the first appearance of the ever-so-underused Cynthia Mills. But my biggest complaint–as is common with many season 1 episodes–there are too many montages.
29. Foodzilla (Season 1, Episode 7)
The first 12 minutes of the episode are top notch. Louis’ goofiness is right where you want it to be. He does a live report for Ren’s school news program, where he plans to interview the lunch lady. Deciding to wing it and storm into the lunch kitchen unannounced causes the lunch lady to get upset at him, but the result is priceless. Highlights all come from the first half of the episode–ending with the lunch lady freakout, which turns into a Louis freakout. After that, we get a version of Louis that we rarely get to see–remorseful Louis.
28. Luscious Lou (Season 1, Episode 16)
Louis’ dad makes him join the wrestling team, so he trains hard to become the best in his weight class. But when he finds out that his cross-town competition is a girl, he tries getting out of it any way he can. This episode’s great because it features Louis outside of his element. The humor is subtle, but smart. The highlights definitely come from when he first joins the wrestling team. He thinks it’s professional wrestling and treats it accordingly. There are a few montages but they’re all fairly engaging. And the very minor subplot with Donnie is funny in its own right.
27. The King Sloppy (Season 3, Episode 12)
The 3rd season is known for having solid finales. And this one is no exception. Granted, it’s not as big as its contemporaries, but makes for a memorable scene. Louis and Twitty are trying to finish a oversized burger so they can get their picture on the wall of Tex Nagita’s Burger Bonanza. Seeing that it’s almost impossible, they enlist the help of Mike Hegiman–a made-up wig-wearing version of themselves–so they can switch with each other interchangeably and finish the burger. You can tell that Beans has become slightly stale in the 3rd season. He loses his cute little kid awkwardness, becoming too mature and self-realized, which just attenuates the spirit of his character. But you gotta love Mike Hegiman.
26. Devil Mountain (Season 2, Episode 10)
This is possibly my favorite Tom episode. He has some amazing lines. When he begins to think that Louis and Twitty are just using him for his pizza oven, he takes it personally and betrays their trust in return. The Ren story is not so bad either, with Mr. Stevens’ help. He finally gets his chance to shine for a whole episode. But as great as he is, you’re still wishing for more Louis. He’s at the top of his game in this one, proving that he can do so without being the center of attention–even in his own storyline. The best part is when he and Twitty turn Tom’s chess match into a raucous sporting event. Classic.
25. Dirty Work (Season 3, Episode 14)
This is one of my favorite Ren-centered episodes. Bust mostly because it has one of the best Louis subplots. While Ren is realizing that Principal Wexler may just be using her to do his dirty work, Louis starts a club on campus that is an ode to the lumberjack–which is obviously just an excuse for him and his friends to goof off during school. This episode inspired me to start my own club in high school, where I did the same thing. There are some supporting characters that standout–such as Coach Tugnut, who may be at the top of his game here. All around, this just might be the most well-written episode of the 3rd season.
24. Almost Perfect (Season 1, Episode 20)
It’s hard for me not to rank this episode higher up on the list. I’ve seen it an absurd amount of times and can recite the whole thing almost verbatim. But even though she makes up for it in the end, Ren is obnoxious and her storyline gives off a false sense of importance as she whines and complains about receiving a C in wood shop class. Louis, however, is on his game. After his locker becomes infested with living creatures, he gets assigned an old abandoned janitor’s closet, which he turns into a south-of-the-border-themed man cave. His schemes and antics showcased in this episode play as a microcosm of why I aspired to be just like him in junior high–carefree and creative. Filled with quotables, yet short on actual jokes, this one may be in my top 3 personal favorites. Joe Flaherty makes a solid cameo, and Louis and Ren share a couple of nice moments together.
23. A Weak First Week (Season 1, Episode 21)
Although this episode premiered at the end of season 1, it’s a reworking of the show’s original pilot. It features Louis on his first day of junior high and shows him trying to acclimate to the pressure of living up to his high-achieving family. Although the laughs are far between, there are some classic lines that I’ve used on many occasion. And Louis kills it with his impeccable delivery. “I haven’t read that far. I’m still on the Table of Contents–it’s good though.” It’s a thoroughly engaging pilot. Plus, it kicks off Louis and Tawny’s relationship.
22. Scrub Day (Season 1, Episode 9)
This is one of the only episodes where Ren has Louis’ back the whole time. Each year, the 8th graders have a tradition to humiliate the 7th graders on “scrub day”. But this time, Louis gets himself into a position where he’s the only kid in his class to get humiliated. The jokes aren’t flying like crazy, but it’s thoroughly engaging. I’ve always loved how, in the end, Louis wins the battle against his bullies. Donnie’s story is funny, too. He chooses Rocky Balboa for his American history presentation.
21. Hardly Famous (Season 3, Episode 11)
It’s one of the finest final 5 minutes of any episode. The interpretive dancing sequence with Louis and Twitty ranks up there with the series’ best. When Tawny nails the audition for the new arts academy, Louis is afraid to lose her to another school. We pretty much never see Louis as serious as he is here. It’s almost startling. But that balance is what makes this episode great. It adds so much to the depth of Louis Stevens. It’s a little slow from the get-go, which prevents it from being among the higher ranks on the list. I’d also like to draw attention to Tom, who has a minor subplot where he, too, auditions for the academy.
20. Easy Crier (Season 2, Episode 12)
Louis befriends Lenny, the new kid, whose size intimidates other students, making people fear Louis in the process. It’s a really funny episode with a few good Louis freak outs. We get a nice taste of that chaos we love so much throughout the series. This is really where the show zeniths, so almost every episode during this time is of the highest quality. But here’s my complaint with this one: Not only does it frustrate me that Louis “loses” in the end, but it never fully makes sense why he loses, either.
19. The Big Splash (Season 3, Episode 15)
I love the concept for this episode. Louis joins the diving team at school, but just uses it as an excuse to goof off by doing cannonballs instead of actual dives. After a talk with his dad, he struggles with the fact that nobody thinks he takes anything seriously. It’s a notion that I, too, have dealt with at times in my life and can relate to. The finale is superb. Ren gives us one of her best moments, and Tom has some nice lines as well.
18. Movie Madness (Season 1, Episode 18)
As far as all-time great Louis quotes go, this one’s stacked. Louis makes a movie to enter into an amateur film festival. But when he becomes controlling on set, his cast and crew quit. This time it’s Louis reacting to the chaos around him instead of him being the one who catalyzes it. On the other hand, Ren is annoying, but her story is pretty good–and necessary, as it introduces us to both Bobby Deaver and Ruby.
17. Wombat Wuv (Season 2, Episode 16)
This episode features the absolute best Ren storyline in the whole series, and it’s only a subplot. She joins the cheerleading squad and gets criticized for her lack of perkiness, so she decides to be overly perky about everything. Louis falls in love with the new cheerleading coach, inspiring him to become the school’s new mascot. The humor is both broad and subtle, and features one of my all-time favorite moments as Louis shouts at Tawny while riding by on his bike (you really hafta see it for yourself).
16. Duck Soup (Season 2, Episode 3)
Here’s another episode that’s on my own personal list of favorites. After Louis gets attached to a duck he finds in his backyard, he refuses to allow an eccentric gourmet chef to kill it for dinner. It just so happens that the chef is preparing a meal for the Lieutenant Governor so Mrs. Stevens can get a bill passed. There are several lines I used to annoy my parents with on a daily basis back in the day. Louis is on top of his game, and gives us an amazing French chef impression. There’s a lot of ground to cover with only one storyline, but the episode moves so smoothly you hardly notice.
15. Short Story (Season 3, Episode 9)
It’s one of the most gripping stories of the series and an ingenious concept. Louis discovers he has an evil twin, Loomis Freeman, who keeps pranking everyone in school. But Louis is getting blamed for it all. Meanwhile, Ren dumps some guy just because he’s shorter than she is. The only bad part here is the ending. Ren wins after being a jerk, yet Louis loses for doing nothing bad at all. You never like to see Louis lose, although the scene between Louis and Loomis is one of the all-time best.
14. What’ll Idol Do (Season 1, Episode 4)
When Louis’ favorite VHS tape goes missing, he sets up a home surveillance system to figure out what’s happened to it. Meanwhile, Ren’s mentor, June Marie, may not be all that she claims to be. Louis is hilarious on a mission to solve the mystery of his lost tape. It proves that even without clearly defined jokes, Louis is just as enjoyable to watch. It’s one of the more slower-paced episodes, but there are no lulls. Each joke and each conclusion is well deserved.
13. Your Toast (Season 3, Episode 4)
Louis is simply spectacular in this episode. Captivating. Otherworldly. Everything he does is perfected to the point of awe. Watching Louis learn how to play the drums is like watching a thunderstorm from a distance–artistically chaotic. He does everything that would put this episode at the top of this list. The only problem? It’s not his episode. There’s not enough of him. Most of the episode revolves around Ren’s new job at the gourmet toast stand in the food court, working under an overbearing boss, Mr. Squirelli. It’s filled with some insane plot holes and some even worse acting. Ren is the least annoying part about it. But honestly, it’s still oddly engaging.
12. Wild Child (Season 2, Episode 11)
Mrs. Stevens hires an image consultant to help her with her campaign for secretary of state. Louis takes offense when the consultant makes him dress like a little boy for a news segment. He ends up going ballistic on the reporter, in what has to be the best Louis freakout of the series. Louis is brilliant, and once again, we get to see the always under appreciated Cynthia Mills. The only thing that hurts this episode is the jokes slowing down towards the end. More like, Louis becomes less involved. But the first half is so top notch that it doesn’t matter.
11. Stevens Manor (Season 3, Episode 18)
There’s nothing better than a scheming Louis. In an attempt to make some extra money while his parents are out of town, Louis turns his house into a bed & breakfast with the help of his friends. This may be the most consistently funny episode of the 3rd season. Even during the breaks in the laughter, there’s something to at least smile about. The humor is found in the Louis-controlled-chaos, with everyone around him just playing puppet to his ridiculousness. And even though Ren can get a little annoying here, it’s not in an anti-Louis kind of way–more of a “trying to match Louis” type of way. This is a solid episode.
10. Battle of the Bands (Season 1, Episode 14)
This was the first Even Stevens episode I ever watched, so I’ll try not to be biased. But it’s just so hard. Though, it really could’ve been any episode, there’s a reason why I got immediately hooked on this show. It isn’t just Louis who’s good–everyone is at their best. Throw in a bunch of amazing dialogue, and this episode is a classic. Louis gets kicked out of his own band and starts a new one to compete with his former. The chaos is priceless and leads to some of the best moments of the first season. It’s also the most we ever get of Artie Ryan. I truly owe it to this episode.
9. Sadie Hawkins Day (Season 2, Episode 14)
This episode always makes me laugh so hard. Louis’ comedic timing is at an all-time high at this point in the series. With the Sadie Hawkins dance approaching, Louis acts overly cocky with Tawny, making her not want to ask him to the dance anymore. It’s just one funny thing after another in this episode. Louis’ “bad boy” routine is priceless, and so is his freakout at the end.
8. Starstruck (Season 2, Episode 1)
It’s the BBMak episode, but I like to think of it as the lucky penny episode. Louis finds a penny on the ground and everything in his life starts going perfectly. What makes it one of the best is that it’s such a fun episode. The scene in the recording studio with BBMak is the highlight because we see Louis acting like his usual ridiculous self, even amongst actual celebrities. But it breaks my heart every time he loses the penny at the end. I think I live vicariously through him too much.
7. Strictly Ballroom (Season 1, Episode 19)
Watching Louis try to dance is worth the price of admission. I’ve borrowed some of his original moves, myself. But after being invited to a friend’s party, Louis realizes he’s not good at dancing. So he learns the antiquated dance of the rumba. Some of my favorite lines are from this episode. On the other hand, Ren is just absolutely obnoxious and acts like a spoiled brat the whole time. Otherwise, this one would’ve cracked the top 5. However, I can’t let Ren completely ruin an episode where Louis is perfect.
6. Heck of a Hanukkah (Season 1, Episode 15)
This episode wasn’t shown on TV much back in the day, unless it was December. Maybe it’s that infrequency that made this one so desirable. In the “It’s a Wonderful Life”-type story, Louis sees his family in a world where he never existed. It gives him a chance to show off his straight man chops, but balances it out with some classic goofball Louis, too. Aside from being funny, it’s deep–showing Louis’ importance to his family, even though he’s the black sheep. He taught me that in a world where everyone around you seems good at everything, you have to focus on your own good qualities.
5. The Kiss (Season 3, Episode 1)
This classic episode kicks off the 3rd season with perfection. Louis and Tawny have their first kiss, taking the relationship to the next level. It’s nice because you never see Louis passionate about anything like he is about Tawny. Meanwhile, Ren writes a boring and vain school play, which she decides to “spice up” by adding a final scene where Tawny has to kiss another boy. This episode is hilarious all the way through and has one heck of a finish. Ren gets her ego checked while Louis gives us one of his best scenes ever. It’s a shame that he and Tawny break up, but it goes down in the most entertaining way possible.
4. Secrets and Spies (Season 1, Episode 11)
As we move towards the top of our list, you’ll see the episodes become more and more consistent. And the consistency in Secrets and Spies helps give it a spot in the top 5. This is a fun episode and is one of my personal favorites. Louis’ tries to figure out where Ren keeps going after school, and then proceeds to mess with her head once he does. There are a bunch of little side jokes throughout that help add to the perfection of the episode.
3. Quest for Coolness (Season 2, Episode 4)
Growing up, the quest for coolness is never-ending. We’ll give almost anything to be cool and to fit in, and this episode shows to what extremes. After Louis and Twitty find out they’re the only ones in school who don’t own Quasis–a brand of shoes that are sold out everywhere–they meet up with Scabby, a “rather shady character” who claims he can get them a pair. This episode has everything from comedy to mystery to chase scenes. It has a relatable message and an even better ending. Plus, we love watching Louis and Twitty get into mischief the whole time. It epitomizes what makes this show so great. And it’s Louis and Twitty’s chemistry perfected. This one’s in the top 3 for a good reason.
2. Broadcast Blues (Season 2, Episode 6)
For the most part, the episodes featuring Beans are lower on the list. Mostly because his cuteness starts to wear off by the 3rd season. But when he’s good, he’s great. In this one, Louis and Twitty trick Ren into thinking Beans is a genius so she’ll have a good story for the junior news anchor competition. It’s also, by far, Donnie’s best storyline, as he tries convincing everyone he’s smart by using tricks he learned from a video tutorial. This whole episode is just wall to wall comedy. It also slightly foreshadows the surrealistic tone of the 3rd season. And of course, there’s Cynthia Mills. The scene between her and Beans is an off-the-charts classic.
1. Secret World of Girls (Season 2, Episode 5)
It was a long and grueling process (not really), but we finally have our victor. Maybe you Even Stevens diehards out there knew it was going to be this one all along. But can you blame me? It’s been my favorite episode since the day it debuted. Famously marking the first appearance of Beans, it also arguably marks the point in the series where Louis finally gets his confidence and self-assurance. While Ren is throwing a slumber party and demanding everyone out of the house, Louis has the idea to secretly record her and her friends, selling tickets to guys in his class for the viewing party. Sure, I hate seeing Ren get the win in the end after acting like a complete brat the whole time, but everything that happens prior to that is sheer brilliance and fun in every way possible. It’s just a perfectly constructed episode. Even the montage is funny. You secretly wish you had the ability to pull this off this scheme back in junior high. And I know Louis gets caught in the end, but to this day, I still think he can get away with it. It’s just as painful every time.
So that’s it! If you have these episodes available to you, I highly recommend going through and making your own list of favorites. Let me know what they are in the comment section below.
Also, check out my ranking of every Boy Meets World episode ever!