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Headscratchers: Everybody Loves Raymond
  • Where are the stairs in Frank and Marie's house? They presumably have an upstairs and a basement, and yet neither of these two staircases are ever shown onscreen.
  • So Robert, a seasoned NYPD sergeant/lieutenant, never put two and two together that the "colored sugar water" his mother gave him as a kid was alcohol? He even explained that he would drink it and it would knock him right out...duh!! Not exactly a huge mystery. Even so, being 40+ by then, he had never tasted Sambuca since then and recognized its taste?
  • Robert Barone appears to be forever short of money, at one point receiving a cash gift from Ray and Debra to help out his finances. Question: where does it go? He lives, rent-free, at his parents. With full board. He is a police sergeant, later a lieutenant. I've looked up the pay scales for sergeants and lieutenants in the NYPD. Compared to the average American wage, they seem to be on quite a good deal. So he should not be short of cash? His first marriage was childless, so any settlement on Joanne should have been minimal, even negligible: with no kids the sensible thing to do would have been to sell their house and split any residual cash fifty-fifty. While he was taken for a mug over the male model thing for $2,000, it's only this once. So by rights Robert should have quite a tidy sum to his name after nineteen years on the force and two promotions?
    • Some Truth in Television, some people are good at managing their money, others aren't, and apparently, Robert wasn't. Some people know how to save onto their pennies, manage their budgets, and set aside the right about of earnings they have for necessities (utilities, rent, insurance, groceries, things like that), whereas other people are a little more extravagent, and spend all of their money on things they want, and wind up with not enough left over to cover all of their living expenses. There was one episode where Ray and Deb loaned Robert some money, but then were incensed to learn that he was going to spend it on a trip to Vegas. And let's not forget that Robert is a bit of a Man Child (well, okay, more than a bit), and all those years of mooching and sponging off Frank and Marie, he probably didn't really learn too much about fiscal responsibility.
  • I don't remember the title of the episode, or the specifics, but Ally was invited to a rather formal party where she and her friends would wear dresses. Debra was particularly supportive of Ally's interest in going. Ray, however, didn't find the concept appealing because it looked like they'd be paying for a dress she'd only wear once, and he attempts to persuade the other parents to make the party more casual. Naturally, this puts Ray at odds with Debra. In the end, he relents and gets Ally a dress for the party, but when they arrive, they discover the other parents have decided to make the party more casual after all, making Ally run off upset, and Debra gives Ray the evil eye? This is just one instance of Ray's Informed Wrongness which honestly ticks me off.
    • Didn't she just give Ray a snide remark about how everything was back to normal? Also, wasn't she more ticked that Ray bought her the dress after making such a big deal out of it (and the episode's ending turned out to be a huge subversion of Informed Wrongness except Ray being the Butt Monkey meant he had no idea and therefore got screwed out of being right).
      • Debra said sarcastically "Congratulations, you're a good father" I believe, something like that. That's even worse, because now it's implied that Ray is a bad father because of his mistake. Nobody told him the plans had changed, he didn't want to see Ally upset and it's not like we WANTED her to be the only one with formal dress. Debra could be a lot more sympathetic. And again, Ray only bought the dress for Ally after making a big deal about how unfair he found it for the sake of his daughter.
      • The "congratulations, you're a successful parent" was a reference to Frank's stated opinion earlier in the episode that "If your kids like you, then you've failed as parents!" Her tone seemed to be more wry than snide. There was no "evil eye."
      • THAT'S NOT BETTER.
  • Another annoying example of Ray's Informed Wrongness was the whole "Lateness" episode. Seriously, the message of that episode is that Debra apparently can do whatever she wants and Ray shouldn't expect her to live up to her agreements.
    • Examples like this episode and the "special dress" episode mentioned above, I have found that any episode where Debra has a somewhat large part, I can't watch anymore.
      • Same here.
    • Wasn't her hair caught in a curling iron? And was it really so much to go inside for a minute to find out what happened?
      • True, but, if the situation was reversed and it was Ray who was the one that made them late and they agreed that, if he wasn't ready by a set time then Debra would leave, she would be portrayed as being absolutely justified in leaving the SECOND that the agreed time passed.
      • That, and there was no way for Ray to know what happened, and the only reason she got the curling iron stuck in her hair is because she was mucking about with what already looked fine, which is the whole reason she made them late in the first place.
      • And, if he had gone in to check, it still would have meant that Ray isn't supposed to expect Debra to live up to her end of the bargain. The deal was the Ray would leave at a specific time, whether Debra was in the car or not. If Ray had gone in to see what was holding her up, he still would have been admitting that Debra is free to do as she pleases, no matter what.
      • This was the agreement they made beforehand: Ray would wait downstairs while Debra got ready to go out. If she wasn't down in time, Ray could leave without her. She wasn't downstairs, so Ray left. Remember: DEBRA AGREED TO THE AIS PLAN. She could have gone down and told him about the problem, or yelled down the stairs for help, but she didn't. No matter how you look at it, Debra was wrong here.
    • The point was probably that the AIS rule was ridiculous in and of itself.
  • The extent to which this show started to employ the Parenting the Husband trope in the later seasons. This alone is annoying in and of itself.
  • Abuse Is Okay When It's Female on Male. The fact that the show kept using this trope and portraying it as being justified was irksome and just plain bad. If Ray and Debra's roles were reversed, the studio audience probably wouldn't be cheering so much.
  • Debra's obvious emotional instability never being addressed is something that just bugs me. Given that on EVERY episode she portrayed as being nitpicky, very insecure, whiny and always unsatisfied w/the majority of things that Ray does, doesn't anyone else think that DEBRA is the problem and not Ray? How often could somebody sit there and be criticized for things that aren't that important or for things that aren't actually THAT BAD by a loved one before they seriously considered that their loved one might have a mental or emotional illness?
    • Ray Romano was at least aware of this, if Ray Barone wasn't. In an HBO comedy showcase after Everybody Loves Raymond was off the air, he said something like "You have no idea how many times on the show I wanted to say 'Shut the fuck up, Debra!'"
      • That actually makes the whole thing pretty sad, when you figure that the actual actor was suffering through some of the same Hell, as well as apparently having so little control over a show with his name on it. Clearly he should have taken some contract negotiation tips from Drew Carey.
      • It wasn't anything like that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo6uOl5Y6qo (at 3:15-ish, he starts talking about it. Romano was joking about not being able to swear and curse on nine years of a regular show. I'm sure he didn't think he was in some kind of man-hating, abusive Hell, especially since he was a top-level creative force on the show (he and friend Phil Rosenthal based it off of their experiences in marriage).
    • You have to admit though that Ray's character spent a lot of time being lazy idiot, lying to Debra about all sorts of things and doing everything he can to get out of hard work. This is still an unfair portrayal of men, but Debra's attitude does make sense in context. Granted, there are several occasions where her actions are wrong, but one cannot possibly say that she is out of line all the time.
  • The attempts to justify Debra's behavior. It really needs to be said that if the roles were reversed and Ray was the abuser, no one would be trying to defend him. But due to DoubleStandards, apparently Debra is innocent. Abuse Is Okay When It's Female on Male indeed...
    • Not innocent. A flawed character on a show filled with flawed characters whose flaws are generally for the purposes of humor, and not meant to be taken too seriously.
      • Spousal abuse is not meant to be taken seriously? Unfortunate Implications abound.
      • You would really hate Bringing Up Father then — the entire comic strip is about the hilarity of a large woman beating up her short, drunken husband. In this show, the wimpy, obnoxious sarcastic Raymond is frequently insulted by his short, angry wife, who (on may two or three occasions) has smacked him or shoved him. It's comedy.
    • Ray *is* abusive toward Debra, albeit not physically. He is a pathological liar, which is often considered a form of emotional abuse. Debra's aggression toward Ray is unforgiveable, but he's just as bad in his own way.
      • Ray lies on occasion to Debra, that doesn't make him a pathological liar (which is an actual psychological condition).
  • Robert lived with his parents. Fair enough. But according to Frank and Marie's numerous discussions about money throughout the series, it's apparent that Frank paid for rent and all the food despite being fired from his job without a retirement fund. While Robert is a sergeant with the NYPD and he doesn't pay for anything. What the Hell, Hero??
    • There's reasons nobody likes Robert.
    • Speaking as someone who had to move back in with their parents after a bad situation it's possible that Marie simply refused to take any money from Robert despite him still having a steady job. In that sort of situation many family members feel it's their job to take care of someone in that situation, regardless of money.
  • In the episode where they get a family picture, why the hell does Debra invite her parents? She knew that it was a gift for Marie, (And probably knew that Marie told Robert not to bring Amy) which meant that it was a picture of Marie's Family, not hers. She refuses to realize that her parents did not fit into that, yet is treated like she is in the right.
    • So, the in-laws aren't members of the family? Since when? And in any event, Marie's response to their presence, whether or not Debra was justified in inviting them, was incredibly childish.
      • They are members of Debra and Ray's family, but not Marie's family. The picture is for Marie, therefore it is centered on her, and the in-laws are not related to her.
    • That whole episode bothers me, really. That fact that Ray is being forced to be everyone's middle-man is, I think, supposed to be the source of comedy for the episode, but the whole thing strikes me as an exercise in how far a person can be pushed before he snaps.
  • What Just Bugs Me is the extreme anti-Debra attitude on this site, particularly when people think she gets away with everything, or is shown as morally right. Debra is NOT always shown as right — they regularly point out she's a crappy cook, is horribly mean, is disrespectful, arrogant and often morally questionable. Ray even calls her a "Cranky yell machine" when he doesn't think she's watching. She's just as nasty and bad as the rest of the cast, and everyone knows it. She's not a Mary Sue in ANY case.
    • Thank you. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
    • The anti-Debra attitude comes from that fact that she is shown as right most times, even though she's not completely right most times. Whenever she yells at and/or physically abuses Ray, even when it's for next to no reason, the audience laughs and/or cheers. Also, whenever there's a fight, the majority of the time, Debra is portrayed as in the absolute right and we're not meant to sympathize with the other person at all, despite the fact that you could see where the other person was coming from. Yes, Ray calls her a "cranky yell machine", but when he does, it's a joke and meant to be taken as such. When Debra insults and attacks Ray (such as when she decided that encouraging the kids to see him as less of an authority figure than her by making bets on what he would do), it's supposed to be taken seriously, evidenced by the wildly inappropriate clapping and cheering from the audience.
      • The "encouraging the kids to think negatively of Ray" incident isn't a good example, seeing as how Ray won that argument in the end. And I can think of several other episodes where Debra was not portrayed as absolutely-right-even-when-she's-wrong, though the later seasons did admittedly tend to skew that.
      • Maybe not, but there are still plenty of examples that come to my mind in regards to that (and I haven't even seen every episode). And while she may not always be portrayed as right, she almost always gets her own way, not to mention the fact that the studio audience cheers when she is, essentially, abusing Ray, be it physically or verbally. I think that's why so many people are anti-Debra.
    • Indeed. Debra basically always wins out in all the episodes that involves an argument involving her. And she is meant to be taken as in the right. Listen to the audience. That's the big clue in sitcoms that employ a laugh track. I'm not fond of Debra most of the time, but she does really shine in the episodes when she's shown to still love Ray, no matter what she does to him. This includes the episode that shows how Ray and Debra's relationship started. The finale, as well, when Debra breaks down thinking that Ray would not make it through surgery alive. The first season is better about those episodes than the rest. It's sad, because Debra and Ray could have been portrayed as a married couple of Deadpan Snarkers and it would have been a much better show.
      • And that was the problem, it's true that Debra is not really portraited as always right, but because the episodes go as being funny how Ray loses even when he's right, it eventually annoys people. The problem was that Ray started to go down as an idiot who needed his mommy all his life (which brought the question as to why did he kept putting the front that he wanted them out of the house or to move somewhere else) so Debra was left alone against the rest of the Barone family with a gross father in law, a snoopy and crazy mother in law and an idiot husband; when it was suppose to be Ray and Debra against Frank and Mary's antics.
      • Debra always wins in arguments involving her? You didn't happen to see, oh, EVERY SINGLE ARGUMENT she ever had with Marie, except for the one with the jar Debra thought she returned? In most of these, DEBRA took the "Ray" position of the "loses even when she's right", to a far greater level than even Ray did, as Marie was a master manipulator. It's things like that which make the "Anti-Debra" community lose credibility when they whine about how Debra always wins.
      • Misrepresenting the argument does the other side no favours either. Debra wins almost every argument she has WITH RAY regardless of her correctness. She's insufferable to her core. Howevever, Marie wins nearly every argument she has with ANYONE regardless of her correctness. While this functions as Fridge Logic to explain why she's Debra's nemesis and why Debra is Ray's wife, it has unfortunate effect of creating a Cascading Harpy effect. The men on the show, while flawed spend the entire series bumbling around on eggshells so as not to Startle the two witches.
      • The exact quote above is that Debra wins every argument involving her. She did not. Therefore, it was not misrepresenting the argument.
    • Maybe I am wrong on this one, but I enjoyed the show more with this view. The realism was the joke, the unfair truth that even when you're right you lost (which made the times Marie, Amy and Debra were shut up so awesome) Marie was my biggest reason for thinking that way, she would almost always "win" an argument even when it was obvious to the viewers AND the cast that she was flat out wrong. That went with a lot of the female cast, to me they were portrayed as "crazy" not as "right". The old "you can't win against women jokes" and also even more the "Raymond can't win against almost anyone joke". Debra was moody because of her PMS, she did take too long and got them late (even if she didn't got stuck she still was gonna take a few minutes fixing her hair even when she was fine the way she was), she really was bothering Ray talking loudly on the phone in the basement when he was trying to work even when she could had done it anywhere else around the house as he madly pointed out, Amy is a hypocrite for complaining about the Barone seniors when her parents impose they're views on everyone when they're around, and Marie is rarely right about anything, but Ray, Robert and Frank figure it's best just to let them win because they: are scare, see it's pointless, etc. an example is when Frank agrees with everything Marie says just to not get her on his case, then she takes it up a notch and says agreeing with her is Frank's place to which he gets mad and says what's really on his mind.
  • One of the show's biggest selling points was "It's not about the kids." In that case, why even have kids on the show if they're just scenery? Is it that hard to fathom a happily childfree couple on a primetime sitcom?
    • It wasn't about them, but they were used to develop the other characters. For example, when Frank spazzed out in the grocery store, scared Ally, and had to think about how he talked to people. Or in cases where Marie criticized Debra's methods for childraising. Plus, do you think Debra would have been the way she was if she was managing only a household and not three (occasionally) bratty kids?
    • Having kids also adds another dimension to the show by offering a variety of alternative plot lines that you wouldn't have if it was just two people.
  • The still shot of Ray/Debra's house shows a garage in front of the house off to the right. There is also no driveway. Somehow when Marie backs into the house, she backs into the living room...of a house with NO DRIVEWAY. So it begs the question of why she was backing up to their house in the first place. Funny episode, but the mixed up layout bugs me.
    • They weren't even going to Ray's house in the first place (they live 20 paces from each other after all) she was just that bad of a driven/had bad eye sight, I don't remember very well.
    • Yeah, I believe they were headed to the grocery store. My wonderment is that she would have had to hop the curb at Ray's house, and maybe 3 or 4 steps, to plow into the house like that. And her reflexes at no point stopped her.
      • Believe it or not this is actually Truthin Television.
      • Marie's driving skills or vision isn't to blame. It is said in the episode that the brakes on the car were bad. Even though Marie was the one driving the car, Frank was the one who got the blame because a car mechanic told him brakes needed repairing but Frank claimed that guy was a crook, so the brakes were never fixed.
      • It's a bit of Fridge Horror, though, when you realize that Frank's stinginess almost got Ray and Debra seriously injured, if not killed. They'd been sitting on the couch, and the car came directly through that spot.
  • In the episode where Debra gets drunk, falls asleep in the car and arrested for drunk driving, she is monitored and not allowed to have any alcohol in order to keep her license. At the end, the family is eating pudding and Marie mentions she put alcohol in it (I think brandy), then she realizes and freaks, grabbing Debra's bowl. Now, from my experience, most of the time when you make a pudding and put brandy/rum/whathaveyou in it, it's usually when you're cooking the pudding and the alcohol cooks out but leaves the flavor. Wouldn't Marie have realized in the first place, especially while she was cooking?
    • Um, yeah. That's Marie. It was clearly just a way to embarrass Debra, by reminding her (and everyone around) of the incident (which Marie had gloated about from the beginning anyway).
    • It's a recurring gag for Marie to overreact to Debra's rarely-occurring drinking of alcohol. Who knows; maybe in Marie's insane mind, there was a legitimate risk.
    • Another point: would a cop really arrest someone for sleeping in their car? Even if they were a little drunk, they at least had it together enough to not drive. They probably would have just told them to leave, and if the person told them they didn't feel sober enough to drive, couldn't to cop just call a cab or something?
  • Maybe this was addressed and I just forgot, but whatever happened to Robert's dog, Shamsky? He's not on camera or even mentioned after season 3.
    • Actor Existence Failure, maybe?
      • That might explain it in real life, but what about in the show itself? As it stands, Shamsky was a victim of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
      • Clearly he went off to live with a family with a much bigger yard than the Barones. In fact, it was a great big farm, and the family has time to play with him all day! And you can go visit him any time you like! What, you want to go visit? Well, Mommy's awfully busy this weekend, dear, maybe next weekend...
  • This is played for laughs in the show, but it does raise an honest question: Why do Ray and Debra's kids have blonde hair, while neither of the parents have blonde hair?
    • We know Ray is a carrier for blonde genes,as Marie is blonde. Presumably Debra's father was blonde before his hair grayed. This would give any kids Ray and Debra have together a 25% chance of being blonde.
    • Its also possible their hair will get darker as they get older. I was blonde until I was 5 and my hair got progressively darker until it was dark brown by 12.
  • It always bugged me how Robert always seems so happy when Ray doesn't get his way or becomes misfortuned. I mean, sure, Ray is spoiled beyond all belief, but turning every little thing into a rivalry seems kind of petty.
    • I always thought that was the point. Robert's life is literally so empty that all he has is his envy of Raymond, whom he's worked up to see as having everything he (Robert) could ever want.
  • So, is being a sportswriter a pretty good paying job then? Ray, Debra and the kids seem to live pretty well, they have a really nice house and everything, and I remember one occasion where Ray was bantering with a player about their salaries, and Ray seems to have a very nice yearly income... just for being a sportswriter. Maybe it's just me, but I never really thought of writing, let alone sportswriting, would be that great of a living.
    • Depends on the paper you're writing for and if your articles are popular enough that multiple papers might carry them. Yes, it can be a very profitable job.
  • Why, in the episode Civil War, are they reenacting the battle of Gettysburg, one of the most famous battles of the American Civil War, in Long Island, in the middle of winter? Gettysburg wasn't in Long Island, and it was in July. It seemed like one giant episode of Artistic License History and They Just Didn't Care, especially as the entire episode revolves around it.
  • In the episode "Robert's New Apartment", Ray is unwittingly caught by Debra when she brings Robert some linens for his new place, and she sees the real reason Ray spends so much time over at Robert's is to ogle over all the beautiful women who populate his building. She remarks, "Come on, Ray, I saw those women... like you had a shot!" I've always been a little mixed up about the context of Deb's comment, was she saying, "Like you had a shot" as if looking at the women was like he had a B-12 shot, or was it a biting sarcastic remark like Ray didn't stand a chance trying to nail one of them?
    • The latter.
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