The League

The 10 Best Episodes of ‘The League’ Via

There are not many shows that are as sharp, witty and depraved as FX’s The League. Running for seven seasons between 2009 and 2015, The League was a semi-improvised comedy series that follows a group of friends who are in a fantasy football league together. Both in the league and in their daily lives, these Chicago natives take every opportunity to ridicule, taunt, and make each other’s lives miserable. With a brilliant cast playing some fantastic characters and razor sharp writing, The League is one of the great modern comedies. Here are 10 fantastic episodes from the show.

10. “The Anniversary Party” (Season 2, Episode 6)

In typical Taco fashion, he manages to infuriate Ruxin by forcing him to throwing a lavish five-year anniversary party for his wife. Whether this is Taco just being innocently dumb or whether he is getting into his opponent’s head is unclear, but watching Ruxin angry always makes for entertaining TV. At the lavish party, which is held on Jenny’s birthday, we see Pete’s ex wife turn up. Often referenced but rarely seen, Meagan turns up with a much older plus-one who attempts to keep up with Pete in a little competition. Whilst Pete’s actions are far from commendable, his genius “Bathroom Cubby” makes up for it (a shelving unit for storing food whilst you visit the restroom). Elsewhere, Andre is accused of being a “dating chameleon” after becoming whoever his girlfriend wants him to be, whilst Kevin has some fantastic advice for giving emotional speeches. Via YouTube

9. “High School Reunion” (Season 2, Episode 10)

Much like the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (a regular comparison) high hchool Reunion episode, this episode gives us an insight into their back-stories and also sees the gang attempt (and fail) to impress their peers. Ruxin is desperate to show off his gorgeous wife and shed his previous reputation, whilst Andre is eager to show off his success, but predictably things do not work out this way. Meanwhile, Pete finds out that Kevin once betrayed him and this kicks off an event which goes on to be a staple of the show – “The Sacko Bowl.”Another staple is introduced in this episode too, which is “vinegar strokes.” As explained by Taco, this is the face made during — err, you know, Google it for yourself, if you dare. Much like other episodes, it ends up in disaster and you are amazed at just how awful these friends are to one another. Via YouTube

8. “Thanksgiving” (Season 3, Episode 8)

The League is known for its many fantastic guest appearances, which often included NFL players. In this episode, there are two brilliantly cast special guests that make for a classic and unforgettable story. Ruxin’s father is played by the near identical Jeff Goldblum, whilst Sarah Silverman excels as Andre’s promiscuous sister who taught all the other guys everything they know about sex, which makes Andre incredibly uncomfortable. There is no better setting to bring these characters to than Thanksgiving, which obviously becomes a complete disaster. This is exactly the situation Ruxin wanted to avoid, after telling both sides of his family that he will be away for the holidays. An unexpected visit from his father spoils this, and the interactions that they have together, and with the rest of the group, are hilarious. Via

7. “Kegel the Elf” (Season 2, Episode 12)

Tension is high as the group enters the playoffs with Christmas looming, which sees taunting and foul language at an all-time high. Unfortunately for Kevin and Jenny, their daughter Ellie has picked up on this and started cursing at school. This results in an awkward but equally hilarious meeting with Ellie’s teacher, who has also begun dating Pete, to make matters more complicated/entertaining. In a bid to stop Ellie from using foul language, they introduce an “Elf on the Shelf” who they claim watches over her and tells Santa if she has been good or bad. Ellie names the Elf “Kegel” after overhearing a sensitive conversation. The highlight of the episode comes towards the end, where Kevin and Ruxin are facing each other in the playoffs and it comes down to a final field goal attempt. Kevin loses, and completely loses the plot much to the entertainment of the others. Via

6. “Yobogoya!” (Season 3, Episode 6)

Yobogoya is a fast food chain that sells a bucket of beef for just $2, and Taco enters a jingle competition to win free Yobogoya for life. As Kevin embarrassingly later learns however, cheap meat is never the best. Other great storylines from this classic include Andre joining a new fad – “urban foraging,” where he roots through the Chicago trash to (unsuccessfully) find food. Pete, meanwhile, has a run in with a white gloved traffic cop who takes his job way too seriously. In another fantastic guest appearance, Ray Liotta appears as Ruxin’s germaphobic boss who Ruxin desperately tries to please despite coming down with a cold. Linking two of the storylines – Ruxin and his boss attempt to take down Yobogoya for giving people food poisoning. This is something that Kevin comes to realize at the worst possible time at the end of the episode. Via Esquire

5. “Rafi & Dirty Randy” (Season 5, Episode 4)

Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas) is such a grotesque character, that he will usually only appear in a few scenes in a few episodes each season. He is so dominant in these scenes, that the show has to be sporadic with his character otherwise it will detract from the show. However, he also happens to be one of the funniest characters on modern TV, so in this episode they let Rafi and Dirty Randy (Seth Rogan) do what they best in their own episode. After learning that their friend has been murdered in Los Angeles, the debauched duo steal Kevin’s car and head west to investigate and get their revenge. As you would expect, the episode is wildly depraved and focused around murder, porn, and drugs. Although some would agree this is one of the best, it is also polarizing as it barely features any of the regular cast. Via

4. “The Shiva Bowl” (Season 1, Episode 6)

Closing out the first season in fine fashion, “The Shiva Bowl” sees the group discover that Andre is dating Shiva (their beautiful high school Valedictorian that their trophy is named after). Shiva is unaware of her fame, and wants to catch up with everyone despite Andre’s protests as he does not want her to find out that they all weirdly worship her (and even have their own song, which is delivered in the episode). Shiva is also now an urologist who specializes in genital reconstruction, seeing Pete book in a consultation with her just to mess with Andre (resulting in a fantastic scene where Andre watches his girlfriend give Pete an exam). This episode also sees Taco takes a job at a Volkswagen dealership in a bid to meet beautiful women, who he claims all drive Volkswagen Jettas. Via TheNerdMachine

3. “The Freeze Out” (Season 4, Episode 3)

Divided into three storylines which are all fantastic, “The Freeze Out” sees Kevin and Jenny attempt to break her record for sex in one day after it is revealed that the record was not with Kevin, and instead a rival of his. Meanwhile, Kevin and Ruxin also explore whether or not you can be racist against your own race after encountering a white sushi chef (Timothy Olyphant). These characters later attend a kid’s birthday party, and are joined by Andre despite the fact that he does not have a kid which creeps everyone out. Away from this, Pete and Taco plan a paintball trip as they do not have the responsibility of attending a kid’s party. Their fun day out is completely ruined by a fantastic surprise appearance by Rafi, who takes a friendly game of paintball way too seriously and delivers many classic moments. Via YouTube

2. “The Lockout” (Season 3, Episode 1)

As previously established, Rafi and his porn making friend Dirty Randy can only be used sporadically on the show, since they are so dominant and grotesque. They are used brilliantly in this fan favorite episode, which juggles many hilarious storylines until an unforgettable ending. Devising Andre’s final Sacko punishment, the gang decides to shoot an adult film in Andre’s flat (without him knowing) and enlist Rafi and Dirty Randy to help. Seeing the disgusting duo plan for the filming is both horrifying and hilarious, and Seth Rogan is the perfect casting for Dirty Randy. Elsewhere, Jenny discovers that her dog training comes in handy for getting Kevin to do as he’s told, but she is not the only one who has been training Kevin over the years. We also see last year’s champion Ruxin show off his over-the-top Super Bowl like ring, and deliver some slamming and fantastic social commentary. Via

1. “Mr. McGibblets” (Season 1, Episode 4)

The greatest episode is also one of the early ones, and follows two equally hilarious storylines. After having enough of Ellie’s obsession with a creepy looking character called Mr. McGibblets (who becomes a regular on the show), Kevin devises an incredibly dark and twisted plan to stop his daughter from liking him. Kevin enlists his brother Taco to hire the costume, and then enter Ellie’s room at night to terrify her. His awful plan backfires, and the only person who Mr. McGibblets manages to terrify is Kevin. In the other narrative, Pete decides to go on a spa retreat that he and his ex-wife had booked before splitting up. Booked for two, Andre persuades Pete to let him tag along and looks forward to bonding with him. Whilst at the spa, Andre’s plans are ruined when Ruxin, Taco, and even Kevin show up to the retreat. Via
Jonny Hughes

Jonny Hughes

Jonny Hughes has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2015.