Everybody Loves Raymond will celebrate the 18th anniversary of the show’s season finale this spring. Over nine seasons, the sitcom is about a fictionalized Ray Romano and his family who are constantly barging into his life. He lives with his wife, Debra, and their three children across the street from Ray’s overbearing parents Marie and Frank.
Added to the mix is Ray’s older brother, Robert, a police officer who constantly feels inferior to Ray and the second-favorite child of their parents, which is often proven true. Each character in the show has personality quirks and arcs, but they’re all equally funny thanks to the fantastic writing. There are a few lines that perfectly define the varied members of the Barone family and their friends.
“If I Say “Yes,” Do You Still Have To Tell Me?”
Raymond Barone, played by Ray Romano, is a moderately successful sportswriter and family man who while faithful and generally a good husband and son, is prone to bouts of laziness and selfishness. He is coddled and/or harangued by everyone in his life and generally doesn’t want any conflict.
This line is the perfect encapsulation of his views of his family members. Ray doesn’t want to get into an argument but also doesn’t want to be distracted from the things he wants to do. If he can find an easy way out of a conversation without causing any trouble, he’ll take it.
“It’s Got To Be After 5:00 Somewhere In The World.”
Ray’s parents are much more part of the main cast than Debra’s. That’s a central plot point, an overbearing mother-in-law and a crass and embarrassing father-in-law. But Warren Whelan, Debra’s father, is still a great character. He’s a man who enjoys the finer things in life.
He is a well-known alcoholic among the Barone family, not that anyone but Debra seems to mind. Many of his lines involve asking for and suggesting a drink. This line is a standard from Ray’s father-in-law who is always happy at any point to have a drink.
”You Found A Recipe! Oh, You’re A Cook Now!”
Marie Barone, played brilliantly by Doris Roberts, is one of the reasons Everybody Loves Raymond is considered one of the best sitcoms of the 90s. She is the stereotypical mother-in-law who over-coddles her son, is an incredible cook, and constantly pesters her daughter-in-law, Debra.
One of the ways Marie pokes Debra is by subtly, and occasionally overtly, criticizing her cooking. It’s a way for her to bully Debra and imply that she’s still the only one good enough to take care of her. This subtle jab at Debra using a recipe instead of her intuition is a perfect example of Marie’s communication style.
“Boy! … I Don’t Think So.”
Everybody Loves Raymond tends to focus closely on the main cast with guests and recurring characters only appearing infrequently but Debra and Raymond’s couple friends do show up frequently. Bernie and Linda Gruenfelder are friends of the Barone’s from Ray’s childhood.
Bernie is a down-to-earth jet-ski salesman who knows Ray and his family well, but he also knows how over-involved his extended family is. When Ray and Debra ask Bernie to take care of their children in the event of their death, Bernie declines before they can even get the question out. He knows the Barones, and isn’t interested in dealing with all of them if he has to take care of their kids.
“You’re A Trophy Wife? What Contests In Hell Did I Win?”
The late Peter Boyle plays Frank Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond as the angry patriarch of the Barone family. He is often impatient and rude to everyone, in particular his wife Marie, who he mocks constantly. He is the only one in the family who is willing to stand up to his wife.
For Marie’s part, she constantly pesters Frank over his habits, language, and general attitude. His line here is emblematic of how he generally feels about his wife. But at his core, he is a loving husband and one of the best 90s sitcom TV dads.
“…I Lost My Car, My Shoes, Not To Mention My Boyfriend…”
“…for nothing. And I’ll die alone with nine toes.” Robert Barone’s romantic troubles are a constant theme of the character until he meets Amy MacDougall, Debra’s work friend. Amy and Robert eventually end up together and Amy, played by Monica Horan, becomes a part of the Barone family for better or worse.
Amy’s cheerfulness is in stark contrast with Robert’s gloominess, but she is also extremely nervous and anxious and quotes like this exemplify her ability to be overdramatic. Just one evening of car and relationship troubles send her spiraling into the worst-case scenario.
“Even My Fantasies Just Want To Be Friends.”
Andy Kindler plays Raymond’s friend Andy who is also a sportswriter and a target of many Barone’s teasing comments for his height and weight. He is also a frustrated bachelor for most of the series, unable to find a girlfriend, mostly due to his own poor confidence.
A quote like this one comes after he says that women are never interested in him romantically. Andy is generally put in the friend zone, even in his dreams. His sad-sack demeanor supplies some running comedy the times he’s on Everybody Loves Raymond.
“Eeeeverybody Loves Raymond.”
One of the core tenets of Everybody Loves Raymond is that Marie Barone loves Raymond much more than she does Robert. Ray is clearly the favorite and Robert is more than aware of this fact. It bothers him so much that he starts to think everyone in the world loves Ray more than him.
That’s why his annoyed, sarcastic repeat of the show’s title as a catchphrase encapsulates the sitcom character so well. Robert feels that Ray has a better job, family, and life in general while he is often the subject of injury and humiliation in his line of work as a police officer. He never misses a chance to mock his brother, even slightly.
“I Didn’t Just Get A Husband. I Got An Entire Freak Show.”
Debra Barone, played by Patricia Heaton, is the often frustrated wife of Raymond and the target of many of Marie’s passive-aggressive comments. She gets very annoyed with Ray’s lazy and boorish behavior and has to deal with his parents’ constant invasiveness.
As the only “non-Barone” of the group, Debra is usually outside looking in at the family’s antics and then has to clean up afterward. Her thoughts in this line from the show are her general feelings about her in-laws next door and her brother-in-law who is constantly upset about something. Despite her hot temper, she’s also responsible for some of the most wholesome moments on Everybody Loves Raymond.
“When Are You Gonna Dump That Old Man And Come Bake For Me?”
Gianni is another of Raymond’s friends from childhood who lives in the neighborhood and is the lazy handyman for Ray and the Barone family. Played by Jon Manfrellotti, Gianni is also something of a ladies’ man who once dated Amy much to Robert’s annoyance.
He hits on most women in the show including Raymond’s mother, as he does in this quote. He’s speaking to Marie about Frank and Marie loves the attention. His fun-loving nature is one of the reasons he’s kept around as a handyman even though he can usually be found watching TV in the Barone house rather than working.