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10 Best Birthday Episodes Of Sitcoms | ScreenRant

Birthdays are a reliable theme for a sitcom episode. After all, every character has one sometime or another and there's so much that can go wrong. Whether it's a well-planned birthday party that inevitably goes awry, a character who frets about aging and consequently makes some silly decisions, or an opportunity for some wacky gift-giving, these episodes are memorable, hilarious, and sometimes rather sweet.

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There have been many birthday-themed television episodes over the years, such as when Michael Jackson and Bart Simpson teamed up and wrote Lisa a birthday song, or when Cam from Modern Family dressed up as a clown named Fizbo for his nephew Luke's 10th birthday party, and these episodes are sure to prepare viewers for their next birthday.

10 "Kimmy Has A Birthday!" - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is Tina Fey's sunny and optimistic follow-up to 30 Rock. On the titular character's 30th birthday, things don't go as she hoped. Her roommate and best friend Titus forgets to buy her a present, her nutty step-father and vitriolic step-sister show up to surprise her, and she has some nasty clashes with the latter.

Having spent the majority of her formative years trapped in a bunker, Kimmy has missed out on so much of her childhood and so many birthdays. It's therefore all the more admirable of her to set aside her birthday wishes and to instead comfort her angsty sister who just wants to feel seen by her family.

9 "Charlie Kelly: King of the Rats" - It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

In one of the gang's rare moments of generosity on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, they try to make Charlie's birthday special after he ponders whether his life is any more valuable than a rat's. Frank decides they will throw a "Hawaiian trip-hop underground Lūʻau" surprise party, which involves covering the floor of their bar with sand, roasting a pig, and deciphering Charlie's dream journal to work out what he would like.

The presents the gang gifts to Charlie are bewildering, including a worm hat and a taxidermy crow with human teeth. However, as fans know, that's nowhere near as unusual as Always Sunny can get. The series has been dubbed the "anti-sitcom," meaning it subverts tropes, and the characters are very rarely kind to one another. This is one of the few episodes, though, where the gang is genuinely rather selfless and throws Charlie a birthday that he enjoys.

8 "Steam Fair" - This Country

Kerry and Kurtan are the naive cousins at the center of This Country, the mockumentary series set in rural England. "Steam Fair" takes place on Kerry's birthday, but she isn't feeling particularly loved after receiving zero Facebook wishes. Luckily, Kurtan has a surprise up his sleeve: a trip to the annual steam fair. On route, the pair trek through some scary woods that are said to be home to the fox brothers, "two feral-like men" who are part fox, part human and terrorize any trespassers.

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After failing to make it to the steam fair and getting thoroughly lost, the church vicar saves the day by coming to pick up Kerry and Kurtan. Contrary to the American sitcoms on this list, which have happy endings and its characters stating how they've had the best day, "Steam Fair" concludes with Kerry saying it was probably one of the worst birthdays she's ever had. Nevertheless, it's still a hilarious episode and viewers are likely to empathize with her.

7 "Eagleton" - Parks & Rec

In "Eagleton," Ron is horrified when Leslie discovers that it's his birthday, a piece of information that, along with his address, he likes to keep private. Leslie spends the day alluding to a huge party she is throwing him, even enlisting Andy and April in her plot.

It is eventually revealed that Leslie was just trying to throw Ron off her scent: she takes him into a private room and sits him down for a solitary meal of steak and whiskey, while his favorite film plays. She even has a guard at the door so no one bothers him. Ron is a stoic, uptight man, but he shows Leslie genuine gratitude and is clearly delighted with his 'birthday party,' one of the most heartwarming scenes of Parks and Rec.

6 "Critical Film Studies" - Community

In the first Community episode to take place off-campus, Jeff and the gang throw a surprise Pulp Fiction-themed party for Abed's birthday, with each of them dressing up as a different character from the film: Chang, as Bruce Willis, sports a bald cap, and Jeff and Britta reenact the famous Chuck Berry dance scene.

However, before arriving at the party, Abed informs Jeff that he has become disillusioned with pop culture after making a cameo on Cougar Town, removing the separation of character and viewer, which messes with his head. As far as birthdays go, one themed after a hilarious and bloody Tarantino movie is pretty cool and demonstrates the effort Jeff will go to for his friends.

5 "The Party" - Brooklyn Nine-Nine

An old but gold episode from season one is set at Captain Holt's house, where Jake, Amy, and the rest of the gang attend his birthday party. It's a sophisticated affair with smooth background music, hors d'oeuvres, and everyone attired in smart suits or dresses. Before the party, Terry briefs the squad on how to behave appropriately, as they all want to impress Holt's husband Kevin.

Jake's desire to please Kevin and not be compared to Hitchcock results in his pretending to enjoy erudite New Yorker articles and "small pickles" (cornichons). Ultimately, Holt has his colleagues' backs as he reprimands Kevin for behaving sanctimoniously toward them and says how much he likes his team -- just one of the reasons why Holt is the show's most likable character.

4 "Fizbo" - Modern Family

This season one Modern Family episode is where viewers are first introduced to Cam's clown alter ego, Fizbo, who makes an appearance at Luke's 10th birthday party. Despite Mitchell's objections, Cam believes that every party must have a clown. Fizbo was actually actor Eric Stonestreet's childhood creation, and Stonestreet uses his own clothes for the costume.

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The party is held at the Dunphy's house and features a bouncy castle, animal handler, and poor Claire's overlooked crafts table. After Haley releases a scorpion from its cage, the party quickly descends into mayhem, and Luke winds up breaking his arm. Despite this, he still announces that it is the best birthday ever. Mitchell even warms to Fizbo after Cam/Fizbo defends him during a gas station altercation.

3 "Stark Raving Dad" - The Simpsons

In one of the quintessential Bart and Lisa episodes, Michael Jackson guest stars as Leon Kompowsky, Homer's mental asylum cellmate who comes to stay with the Simpson family. Although the A plot of the episode involves Homer being sectioned because he wears a pink shirt to work, the episode is also set during Lisa's birthday, which Bart forgets, as he does every year, making Lisa very upset.

In an attempt at redemption, Bart enlists Leon/Michael's help and composes a song for Lisa, "Happy Birthday, Lisa," which they wake her up with the next morning. It's an example of Bart being genuinely kind to his sister, with lyrics such as, "You gave me the gift of a little sister and I'm proud of you today." Lisa confirms that it is the best present ever before giving Bart a hug. Michael Jackson actually contacted creator Matt Groening and asked to be on the show, even though he is credited as John Jay Smith.

2 "Lecture Circuit" - The Office

In "Lecture Circuit" it's Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) who is the birthday gal. Unluckily for her, it falls to Jim and Dwight to organize her celebrations, after fighting erupts between the existing members of the Party Planning Committee. After Jim and Dwight's unsuccessful brainstorming - in which Dwight suggests a "horse hunt" and "fights to the death" - they decide to offer Kelly one hour of television or one hour of napping. She is surprisingly pleased with the options and opts for the nap.

The Office is always dependable when it comes to special occasion episodes - from the multiple Christmas-themed episodes including "Classy Christmas" and "A Benihana Christmas" to the annual Halloween episodes, which always deliver on the original, sometimes baffling costumes. This birthday episode with the hilarious "IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY." banner is definitely a standout.

1 "The One Where They All Turn 30" - Friends

Friends is no stranger to flashback episodes: fans will recall fat-suited Monica, Rachel's noticeably larger nose, and Ross' mustache. "The One Where They All Turn 30" is set on Rachel's 30th birthday, and her misery and trepidation at entering her third decade causes the group to reflect on their own 30th birthdays. While the flashbacks don't go as far back as high school prom, they still make for some entertaining scenes, for example, Joey's heartbreaking cries of "Why, God, why?" as he fails to come to terms with his and his friends' aging.

This episode reveals that Rachel is the youngest member of the gang, being the last to turn thirty, and that Phoebe is the oldest, as her sister Ursula informs her she is actually thirty-one. While it's not the most light-hearted of birthdays, the end does see Rachel break up with Tag, bringing her one step closer to her soulmate Ross.

NEXT: 10 Sitcoms With The Best Halloween-Themed Episodes

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