When I finished watching Psych, I made a list of my favorite episodes, and I decided to do the same for Monk. You'll thank me later. :)
1. Mr. Monk and the Kid (season 3). One of my favorite things about this show is how it can have me laughing until I cry and crying (actual sad crying) in the same episode, and this one is the perfect example. Monk calling 911 while attempting to change a diaper is one of the most hilarious moments of the entire show, in my opinion. And then the end of this episode is just heartbreaking. How do they do it? (Also, I like it when we get to see Monk changing a little bit and doing something unexpected. Like taking care of a kid.)
2. Mr. Monk and the End: Parts 1 and 2 (season 8). I love it when a show ends well, and this is probably one of the best series finales I've ever seen. (Actually, they did a good job with wrapping up the show during the whole final season. They tied up everything perfectly.) You know the thing that it seems like is going to happen for the majority of these two episodes? I honestly thought they were going to follow through with that. And while it would have been terrible, it also would have been sort of fitting, in a way (but I'm thankful things took a different turn). Anyway, the finale is amazing. They brought the entire show full circle.
3. Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine (season 3). Anytime Mr. Monk is acting not-himself, it's fascinating in an awful sort of way. Like the episode when he gets hypnotized, or the one where he's impersonating Frank DePalma. In this one, Monk (despite his dislike of medicines) decides to try a new medication for his OCD without telling anyone. It's hilarious and bizarre to see him acting so unlike himself, especially when nobody knows why. (Funnily enough, everyone always assumes he's been drinking, though Monk doesn't drink.)
4. Mr. Monk Is on the Run: Parts 1 and 2 (season 6). These two episodes are probably the most plot twisty, suspenseful Monk episodes ever. When I watched it for the first time, I was like what?? What is even happening here? These episodes include all of the best aspects of the show: a part in the Trudy plot arc, unexpected twists, Monk being his usual self (trying to sew up his pocket while running through the woods?), and some hilarious moments (Randy's song).
5. Mr. Monk and the Actor (season 5). Stanley Tucci is one of my favorite guest stars in the show, though he's only in this one episode. He plays an actor who is going to portray Monk in a film, so he starts shadowing him, and things get out of control really quickly. Apparently Stanley Tucci was one of the three final choices to play Monk in the show, so it's interesting to see him here "as Monk," knowing that he could have really been.
6. Mr. Monk Goes to Jail (season 2). This is one of my favorites just because it's Mr. Monk in prison. And he actually sort-of makes friends with his cellmate, a violent murderer called Spyder.
Some honorable mentions: Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum (season 1- several funny supporting characters), Mr. Monk and the Airplane (season 1- I always like seeing Tony Shalhoub's wife guest starring), Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico (season 2), Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater (season 2), Mr. Monk Bumps His Head (season 4- this one probably should have made the favorites list, because I really love it), Mr. Monk and the Badge (season 8- another good example of how they brought the story full circle, though not always in the way you'd think), and Mr. Monk Is the Best Man (because Captain Stottlemeyer is a good guy and he deserves a happy ending).
I still feel like I'm forgetting some! Honestly, it would be easier to list the few episodes that I don't love. :)
If you watch Monk, what are some of your favorite episodes?