clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Ranking of Every Sketch in ‘I Think You Should Leave’

It’s time to see how Season 2 stacks up to Season 1. How hot dog eaters stack up to hot dog wearers. How Little Buff Boys stack up to Babies of the Year.

Dan Evans

With the second season of I Think You Should Leave now streaming on Netflix, we asked our staff to sit down, have a sloppy steak, and judge every sketch in the show’s run with the same rigor they would use in a Baby of the Year competition. It wasn’t easy to do—nearly every sketch in the series deserves praise and has an argument for being the best—but after much deliberation, here is a ranking of every sketch in I Think You Should Leave.

53. “Fenton’s Stables and Horse Ranch” (Season 1, Episode 6)

A trademark of most Tim Robinson sketches is that where they start and where they end up often have nothing to do with each other. Plotlines morph into unrecognizable tangents, the smallest details are latched onto and beaten into the ground until the dotted line from setup to punch line becomes a twisted thread of confusion and hilarity. But that’s, uh, not the case with this one. It’s just a 90-second sketch about horse dicks. —Cory McConnell

52. “Credit Card Roulette” (Season 2, Episode 5)

Credit card roulette is an objectively terrible game. It’s an automatic night ruiner. The credit card gods can always sense the most vulnerable bank account, and in this case, Leslie is smote with a 10-person tab at a fancy restaurant. Like Pavlov’s dog, upon hearing his name, Leslie immediately replies with an all-time hissy fit: “I’m not paying the bill. That’s fucking crazy. It’s too much money. Maybe if I got a bite of everyone’s meal, but I just don’t want to do it.” Hal, the friend who proposed the game, attempts to diffuse the situation by saying he’ll pay the check, but Leslie is just getting started. “FUCK! I SHOULD HAVE LIED! I should have said there was some reason I couldn’t pay and not just said right away I’m not gonna.” Yes, Leslie. You should have lied. —Matt Dollinger

51. “Huge Dumps” (Season 2, Episode 6)

As far as ITYSL sketches revolving around bathroom humor go, “Huge Dumps” is probably the weakest. It just doesn’t have the specificity and knotty plotting of “The Gift Receipt” or the surrealism of “Calico Cut Pants.” What it does have is Tim Robinson being scolded by his boss for hiring a guy who looks like his coworker to take huge dumps he could then blame on said coworker—a gag that, with all due respect, worked “150 times.” It also has Robinson arguing that Jerry from Tom & Jerry probably sniffed women’s panties (“You weren’t with him 24/7 in the cartoon!”) and interrupting his own scolding to complain about how a guy who lives too far away wants to buy his bike stand. It’s not a peak sketch; it’s still pretty great. —Andrew Gruttadaro

50. “Little Buff Boys” (Season 2, Episodes 1 and 5)

“Little Buff Boys” is Season 2’s spiritual sequel to Season 1’s “Baby of the Year.” For that reason, it lacks some of the original’s absurd shock, but it’s still ridiculous and quotable. Instead of Sam Richardson making three judges pick a perfect baby, he’s making one office manager select who he thinks is the buffest little boy (they’re not actually that ripped—Richardson has just put the boys in “goose suits”). Obviously, the boss has some qualms about evaluating minors in front of all his employees, and the thing falls apart in quick order. No matter, Richardson hosting failed competitions is a clearly rich vein for ITYSL. There must be a third one coming, though the winner will never be Troll Boy. —Richie Bozek

49. “The Blues Brother” (Season 2, Episode 4)

There are tiny moments that save this sketch, in which Robinson’s character tries to lighten the mood of a party by doing a Blues Brothers routine, only to make things way worse by freaking out a family dog: Conner O’Malley playing the world’s most aggrieved husband; the banal discussion about why the dog is losing its shit, which ends with O’Malley yelling, “What?! We know what the problem is”; and a second dog coming out of nowhere and nearly running through a glass door. And finally, there’s Robinson’s performance after the routine has clearly bombed: tears smeared on his face, the whole house staring at him, he simply says, “This really is quite a beautiful house.” Annnnnd scene. —Gruttadaro

48. “Claire’s” (Season 2, Episode 6)

So many of I Think You Should Leave’s most outstanding bits are underpinned by some kind of profound sadness, but this is the only one that Trojan horses its darkness in a pair of unicorn earrings. You know what’s scarier than getting your ears pierced in the back of a tween accessory store? Seeing the people who cared for you as a baby become babies themselves. Luckily, Claire’s is a place where people young and old can go to find peace—a place where a cool college girl will calm your deepest fears, and even in moments of gastrointestinal distress, help you to live life like no one can hear the splashes. —Rob Mahoney

47. “Space Restaurant” (Season 2, Episode 5)

Comedy is specificity, and specificity is Tim Heidecker with shoulder-length hair in a deep V-neck giving an increasingly personal and detailed account of his date’s mother drinking vomit, repeatedly, on the Davy and Rascal Show just to buy school supplies for her children, all because a fake alien comic at a novelty space café zeroed in on the wrong table at the wrong time. That it’s shot as if Heidecker’s Gary is having an honest-to-god conversation with an animatronic alien head is a freaking gift. But what unfolds from there is a story of justice. This is the comeuppance that all roast comics deserve: to be dragged out into the light and made to answer for themselves, and then be conned out of another Mars Cocktail™ just because. —Mahoney

46. “New Joe” (Season 1, Episode 3)

New Joe (Fred Willard) is the replacement organist at a funeral service, and he brings his own American Footplayer–esque instrument to the proceedings. To honor the departed, he plays a little ditty that absolutely slaps but is a bit tonally off. Things get even more awkward (and hilarious) when he starts breaking dishes with glee. You’d think a funeral would be one of the easier rooms to read, but New Joe cannot read rooms. (“My condolences,” he keeps saying.) It’s that absurdity that makes “New Joe” a great addition to I Think You Should Leave. —Isaac Levy-Rubinett

45. “Johnny Carson” (Season 2, Episode 5)

Nothing resonates with millennials like a Johnny Carson impersonator. Unfortunately for the attendees of this house party that Carson was hired for—“at a low, low price point”—he can hit. As in, he’s contractually allowed to assault the party’s patrons. “Oh my god, Johnny Carson just fucking hit me,” cries out one partygoer. Tim Robinson’s character, the impersonator’s wrangler, comes breathlessly barging in: “HE CAN! HE CAN! HE CAN!” Little do the people know, hitting is, of course, allowed at this price point, allowing Carson to tee off on unsuspecting attendees like he’s taking his famous monologue swing. “Wild, wild stuff.” —Dollinger

44. “Lifetime Achievement” (Season 1, Episode 4)

An awards ceremony honoring the great Herbie Hancock—the epitome of cool—goes horribly wrong when Tim Robinson’s character, an awkward bespectacled presenter, trips on the stairs, falls off the stage, and proceeds to be furiously mauled by a service dog. Or so he claimed. “I don’t think the dog that bit me should be put down,” he says as he opens his speech honoring Hancock’s body of work. But according to the owner of said dog, literally every audience member in attendance, and the Watermelon Man himself, the dog didn’t bite Robinson—it humped his head. Robinson is in full denial, but there’s video evidence that’s soon linked to the overhead monitor. “You don’t tape people,” Robinson begs. But with the ceremony completely off the rails and #HumpGate in full swing, Robinson’s character lobs one last attempt at getting things back on track with an all-time classic: “That’s why I love Herbie Hancock, he loves to lie.” —Dollinger

43. “Christmas Carol” (Season 1, Episode 4)

In this two-minute mash-up of A Christmas Carol and The Terminator (sure, why not?), Baby of the Year/Little Buff Boys host Sam Richardson stars as the Ghost of Christmas Way Future, a power-armor-wearing warrior from the year 3050 who Kool-Aid Mans through Ebenezer Scrooge’s wall to warn him about the dangers of Skeletrex and his Bone Brigade. The time-traveling Ghost doesn’t divulge how the Bonies came to life—is this the origin story for “The Bones Are Their Money”?—but the brief skit is worth it to hear Richardson rant, “He’s 15 feet tall and he has bones the size of tree trunks!,” “Use your Christmas cheer and bash its frickin’ brains out, ya idiot!,” and “Crap dang it, this sucks!” This isn’t Richardson’s best role in the series, but it gives me an excuse to say that if you haven’t watched real-life besties Richardson and Robinson (and other familiar faces from ITYSL) in the dearly departed Detroiters, you should do so immediately. —Ben Lindbergh

42. “Party House” (Season 1, Episode 6)

Let’s take a moment to shout out some of the I Think You Should Leave behind-the-scenes staff. In a series defined by the over-the-top performances of its actors, the most over-the-top performance in this sketch comes from the set designers. They built a house that is—as its owner (Kate Berlant) boasts—“all Garfield.” The sketch remains funny as characters try to stage an intervention for their friend in an environment that hampers any serious conversations, but the show already won when the lights flip on to reveal a house that’s filled with Odie chairs. (They recline!) —Rodger Sherman

41. “Parking Lot” (Season 2, Episode 5)

There are few things in life more universal than getting annoyed at a driver who doesn’t know what they’re doing, something “Parking Lot” capitalizes on in an unexpected way. The sketch hinges on a frustrated driver getting blocked while leaving a parking lot, and in an attempt to insult the other person (played by Robinson) by telling him he can’t drive, the driver finds out that, well, he actually can’t. There’s a hilariously infantile quality to the way Robinson reacts to his unfamiliar surroundings, like screaming when he accidentally hits the horn because it scared him. And if nothing else, “Parking Lot” is responsible for one of the most meme-worthy moments of the show’s second season. This is exactly what I say every year trying to file taxes:

All images via Netflix

Miles Surrey

40. “Tammy Craps” (Season 2, Episode 6)

When I watched Julia Butters in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood I knew she’d be a star. What I didn’t know is that the next time I saw her she’d be pitching a mildly toxic doll who lies about pooping and huffing Macanudo cigars in a Season 2 sketch on I Think You Should Leave. You see, the problem with the Tammy Craps doll is that there was an upset factory worker who was farting in all the heads. That led to the company using a deodorizing low-grade poison, which solved one problem…

… but it turns out that that low-grade poison is an extremely high-grade poison for anyone under 60 pounds. In that case, “holding a Tammy Craps doll is like smoking five Macanudo cigars a day,” a wildly committed Julia Butters says to another girl. (That girl goes on to put rocks in her pockets to fake her weight and get a Tammy Craps doll, and then she … dies?)

Before I wrote this all out, I thought “Tammy Craps” was a pretty good, medium-funny sketch. Now I’m convinced it’s the weirdest thing this show has ever done. —Gruttadaro

39. “Jamie Taco” (Season 2, Episode 4)

A poker night with the boys hits all the clichés, as everyone takes turns making fun of their nagging wives over some beers. But after an offhand comment about how being married to his wife makes him want to drink more, Scott (a committed Paul Walter Hauser) immediately regrets what he said. The sketch then spirals into an unexpectedly earnest flashback about Scott’s wife supporting him when he gets cast as a mobster in a local theater production and all his lines keep getting stolen by an asshole named Jamie Taco (Jamie talks, like, super fast). With how many I Think You Should Leave sketches culminate in chaos and/or despair, there’s something genuinely sweet about Scott going full Wife Guy at poker night, which also happens to be a sleepover party for middle-aged men. Dudes rock—except for Jamie Taco, whose name I’ll never forget—but they should also say nicer things about their wives. —Surrey

38. “Wilson’s Toupees” (Season 1, Episode 2)

The most memorable part of “Wilson’s Toupees” is when a gorilla emerges out of nowhere to snatch someone’s toupee. The funniest part is the concept of a direct-to-consumer subscription service that sends 500 “little wigs”—each slightly more bald than the last—to men who are ready to ditch the toupee and embrace their baldness but need a gradual progression so their coworkers don’t say, “Was that a toupee, you piece of shit?” That’s comedic gold; we didn’t really need the gorillas. —Levy-Rubinett

37. “Capital Room” (Season 2, Episode 2)

I Think You Should Leave takes place in its own parallel universe, where the bones are their money and coffin flops abound. It’s therefore jarring to get a pop culture parody as precise as “Capital Room,” a transparent riff on Shark Tank. But while “Capital Room” may not fit seamlessly into I Think You Should Leave’s particular gestalt, it’s a remarkable showcase for Patti Harrison, the recurring guest star who seems to get the show’s whole stupid, grotesque, profane deal. Harrison’s fellow sharks—sorry, “moguls”—made their fortunes in fashion and sunglasses. She sued the city after getting sewn into the pants of the Charlie Brown float at the Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s a perfectly nonsensical choice that Harrison elevates with her deeply strange delivery. Just listen to the way she says “popcorn.” —Alison Herman

36. “The Conference Room” (Season 2, Episode 6)

Working remotely for a year and a half, this sketch is my most recent point of reference to what a workplace environment should resemble. I can’t wait to get back.

After their boss leaves the conference room, members of this work team start surfing, dancing, spinning chairs to create whirlpools, and cracking open multiple cans of seltzer water to spray ocean mist. Tim Robinson’s character, Russell, isn’t in on the fun at first, until he literally flips the table to create a “big wave!” as only Tim Robinson can. This is followed by a variety of laughable exclamations in the midst of the chaos, like “Napkins, napkins!,” “I need a wet paper towel!,” and “Fucking psycho!” It is yet another ITYSL story about a man who does not fit in, trying disastrously hard to do so.

Also, if you know me and are reading this, take note: Please don’t ever gift me chode jeans. —Bozek

35. “New Printer” (Season 1, Episode 5)

Repetitiveness is the death of good comedy, as approval-seeking office worker Tracy (Patti Harrison) discovers. After her boss gets mild chuckles with a Christmas joke, Tracy deploys “hundreds of on-par, if not better” jokes, only to find that the Christmas humor had already run dry. Luckily, there’s no repetition with Harrison, who treats every line as an opportunity to be a different sort of weirdo. She pinballs between personas, transforming from a naive kid awaiting presents to a bullying coworker (“DID I STUTTER, MEGAN?” she scowls, before emphatically retelling a tired Santa joke) to an elf with a vaguely Scottish accent. Every delivery is unexpected. With replacement-level line reads, this skit would have been forgettable; with Harrison on fire, it’a a keeper. Thank Santa and his reindeer for bringing Harrison’s performance to us early. —Sherman

34. “Pink Bag” (Season 1, Episode 2)

Whoopie cushions are not funny—I feel like we can all agree on this. What’s the joke, even? That someone farted but it doesn’t even smell? That no one’s puking from the stench of the fart? And what comes after that: Cake batter down someone’s pants? Brown pudding in their shoes to make them think they’re mighty sick? They go to the ER and not only miss their family photo but use hospital resources that someone with more pressing needs could use? And then that person dies? Wow. You got her, Jane. You really got her. —Gruttadaro

33. “Babysitter” (Season 1, Episode 5)

“Let’s say the babysitter was late” has to be the best, most used excuse of all time. I can’t speak from experience because I don’t have children, but whether it’s true in the moment or not, it feels like a situation that has legitimately happened at one point to all parents. And who are you to question those using the excuse? If somebody says their babysitter was late, then the babysitter was late. Leave it at that, everybody move on.

This sketch expands upon what might happen if either party didn’t just leave it at that. If, say, the excuse-maker got a little too elaborate and explained that the babysitter was late because she was in a hit-and-run that killed some people who the cops say are “just kind of, like, nothing.” And then some guy named Barry asked too many goddamn questions. Lies and questions build and build before somebody needs to get embarrassed. From the outside it’s hilarious, but I would hate to be caught in the mess of it like Barry. —Bozek

32. “River Mountain High/TC Tuggers” (Season 1, Episode 2)

Here are two immaculate parodies smashed into one: first, a perfect riff on a CW teen show that includes this splendid tidbit of dialogue:

But then the principal (Robinson) shows up wearing an interesting shirt, one with a little knob on the front so your shirt doesn’t get messed up when you pull on it, and that brings us to the second immaculate parody: of a commercial for said shirt, geared specifically toward middle-aged men.

The song used in the ad sounds exactly like the song Home Depot uses for its ads; it’s just wonderful. Also? TC Tuggers solves a problem that every man on earth has encountered at one time or another. That’s what takes this from bizarre banter and pitch-perfect recreations to absolute brilliance. —Gruttadaro

31. “Both Ways” (Season 1, Episode 1)

“Both Ways” is the very first sketch in the series, and as such, it’s responsible for establishing the template of a typical ITYSL scenario: Someone makes a minor faux pas in a mundane social situation and, rather than acknowledge the error, doubles (or quadruples) down on pretending that it wasn’t one. As he exits a cordial coffee-shop job interview, Robinson pulls on a door that only opens outward, then tries to play off the slightly embarrassing mistake by insisting that he was there yesterday and that the door “does both.” At that point, he has to commit to the cover story by yanking the door off its hinges until it’s so splintered that it does go both ways. While performing this feat of strength and stupidity, Robinson maintains eye contact and keeps up a plastered-on smile, even as his forehead vein throbs with the effort and drool slides down his chin. He’s probably not going to get the job, but you have to applaud his persistence. —Lindbergh

30. “Dan Flashes” (Season 2, Episode 2)

The I Think You Should Leave fashion collection is ever-expanding. If you’re looking for the perfect top to go in between your Calico Cut Pants and your Stanzo Fedora, head to Dan Flashes, a very aggressive store that sells expensive and hideous bowling shirts, priced based on how complicated the patterns are. (Unfortunately, Dan Flashes shirts don’t have little tugging knobs to keep you from wrecking your shirt by pulling on it.) If you think too hard about it, this skit is a biting critique of American consumerism—when Tim Robinson’s character Mike sees dozens of identical-looking men physically fighting over unnecessarily pricey shirts, he becomes obsessed with purchasing the most expensive ones and starts skipping meals to finance them. But you shouldn’t think too hard about it. That’s something Doug would do. —Sherman

29. “Crashmore” (Season 2, Episode 3)

Explaining why this sketch is funny doesn’t require nuanced analysis. It’s a trailer for a fake movie starring the titular aging, horrifically violent detective with a long white beard. Think: Dirty Harry if he were a hermit. He shoots up bad guys at close range and says things like “Eat fuckin’ bullets you fuckers!” Oh, and also: He’s played by Santa Claus, who during a press junket interview refers to the film as “a cosmic gumbo.” —Alan Siegel

28. “Bozo” (Season 1, Episode 6)

ITYSL excels at using everyday office settings as setups for absurd social interactions, and “Bozo” is one of the best sketches in that genre. This two-parter revolves around Reggie, who not only isn’t in on the joke but also doesn’t seem to understand jokes. Feeling peer pressure from his younger, YouTube-savvy coworkers who swap viral video recommendations and assure each other that their selections are so funny, Reggie first pretends to have a favorite video that he forgets how to find. Determined not to come up empty-handed in the conference room again, he then creates and uploads his own video, in which a foul-mouthed Bozo the Clown confusingly dubs over footage of himself saying what he was thinking in the scene. It’s a ridiculous solution to a slight problem, but it’s also somewhat relatable: Somewhere in the world, there’s a person in an office who hasn’t seen ITYSL but felt left out when everyone was talking about it and pretended to have a favorite sketch that they couldn’t remember how to type in. —Lindbergh

27. “The Hot Dog Saga” (Season 2, Episodes 1 & 3)

One day I hope to love something half as much as Tim Robinson loves hot-dog-related bits. In this two-parter, Robinson plays an office worker whose boss calls a meeting right before he’s about to eat his hot dog lunch. (“I don’t know if you’re allowed to do that.”) Naturally, the only reasonable solution is to try and stealthily inhale the hot dog in the meeting through a shirt sleeve, which goes horribly wrong when Robinson nearly chokes to death. While the ensuing chaos to Robinson’s near-death experience is the sketch’s selling point, the best sight gag might come before the fateful meeting—look how absurdly long the hot dog actually is:

The second half of the hot dog saga sees that same character peddling a hyperspecific hot dog vacuum—or HD Vac, which just looks like a regular vacuum—in a commercial where he’s railing against cancel culture. It’s emblematic of so many I Think You Should Leave characters taking the wrong lessons from their failures, but if we’re being honest, I gotta side with the hot dog fanatic on this one: You can’t just expect someone to skip lunch. —Surrey

26. “Baby of the Year” (Season 1, Episode 1)

“Baby of the Year” is probably best remembered for Bart Harley Jarvis, the bad boy of the annual competition who is so unlikable that audience members shout expletives at an infant dressed like a little biker. (Side note: FUCK YOU, HARLEY JARVIS!) But this god-tier sketch soars for all the delirious details that get thrown into the mix: the fact that the competition takes three months and has been going on for 112 years; the infants’ health being assessed by a guy named Dr. Skull; an “In Memoriam” segment for previous winners that includes cause of death; and Sam Richardson as the host who, upon learning that one of the baby’s parents gave the mystery judge oral, deadpans, “Aw man, that’s a bummer, might fuck this whole thing up.” It’s only fitting that “Baby of the Year” is just the third sketch in the series’ run. What better litmus test to find out whether you can get on the show’s wavelength than with one of its most chaotic sketches right off the bat? —Surrey

25. “Ghost Tour” (Season 2, Episode 1)

Robinson specializes in playing maladjusted men. What’s impressive is that he somehow makes each one unique. Like this guy. When a late-night ghost-tour guide tells his guests that they can say whatever they want, Robinson’s character immediately blurts out “jizz.” Then, to the group’s chagrin, he proceeds to ask questions like “Any of these fuckers ever fall out of the ceiling and just have like a big messy shit? Or have a dingleberry?” The group eventually bands together to toss out the foul-mouthed dude (who argues, quite compellingly, that he isn’t actually breaking any rules). But the turn comes at the very end, when his elderly mother picks him up and asks if he’s made any new friends. For a brief moment, we sympathize with someone whose only way of connecting with people is by talking about ghost excrement. —Siegel

24. “Biker Guy” (Season 1, Episode 2)

Biker Guy is one of the most important fictional characters in at least the last decade of television. He has forever changed the way I view everyday methods of transportation. I instinctively say, “That’s a nice motorcycle,” when I see a motorcycle, even though I know nothing about motorcycles. Bicycles now are motorcycles with no motor; standard four-door sedans are two motorcycles with a little house in the middle; I drop to my knees when I see a bus.

There’s such a thing as influence, and “Biker Guy” has it. —Bozek

23. “Calico Cut Pants” (Season 2, Episode 4)

Tim Robinson is unmatched in his ability to pinpoint everyday nuisances that most everyone experiences but is too embarrassed to talk about. Season 1 had TC Tuggers to solve the issue of bunched-up shirts getting ruined by men pulling on them; Season 2 has Calico Cut Pants (dot com), a website that provides an excuse to men who dribble urine on their pants by giving the appearance that such pee dots are actually intentional design choices. You can’t buy the pants, but it looks like you can, and that’s all one really needs, wouldn’t you agree?

But what elevates this sketch—the longest of any in the series, and my favorite one in Season 2—is the increasing weirdness of the man (Robinson) prodding his coworker (Mike O’Brien) to donate to Calico Cut Pants so that it can stay online. First we find out that his wife is eating batteries—“She says she’s not eating them, then we go to the doctor and the doctor says, ‘Yeah, we found a battery in there’”—and then it begins to seem like he might be the devil? Or at least a demon who has a legion of pee-dribbling minions? The scenes where Robinson violently yells “HOLD THAT DOOR!” to people who are so far away from him are just the cherry on top. —Gruttadaro

22. “Choking” (Season 1, Episode 5)

I Think You Should Leave’s best sketches feature characters taking things way too far. “Choking” takes that approach to a hilarious end point when Robinson’s character refuses to acknowledge that he’s choking to death because his favorite musician-actor-designer, Caleb Went, is sitting at the table and he doesn’t want to seem weird—which, as he speaks in a pained honk and gives a toast with veins bulging from his forehead, he obviously doesn’t. Just look at this desperation…

… that ends in complete resignation:


21. “Chunky” (Season 1, Episode 6)

Honestly, Dan Vega? This one’s on you. You created Dan Vega’s Mega Money Quiz; you brought Chunky into this game-show world. You identified his role in the ecosystem as a character who “eats your points, and”—emphasis mine—gets “very mad.”

Chunky could’ve just eaten the points, Dan Vega! He did not need to get mad at the contestants. Maybe if you had provided him with a more positive and healthier framework for how to exist in the game, he wouldn’t be absolutely wrecking Andy Samberg’s shit every time he comes out from behind the curtain and seeking your approval in the process, only to be met with louder and louder scorn:

You know that scene in Mallrats where Stan Lee tells Brodie about creating Marvel characters that “reflected my own heartbreak and my own regrets”? This is that, but with Dan Vega creating Chunky as a vessel for his inability to process and defang his unfettered rage. I don’t think Chunky’s the one who really has to figure out what he does. You have all summer to think of it, Dan Vega. Good luck. —Dan Devine

20. “Driver’s Ed” (Season 2, Episode 6)

We’ve all been there. You’re sitting in traffic and there’s a lady in front of you with a minivan full of dirty, stinkin’ tables. Obviously, she’s distracted. Maybe Eddie Munster threw them in a mud puddle. Maybe Freddy Krueger was somehow involved. Or maybe they were soiled after being rented to local comic-cons and horror-cons. Either way, this woman’s job is clearly tables. (“These tables are how I buy my house. They are how I keep my house hot.”) Maybe you still don’t get it. (“DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE TABLES ARE MY CORN?”) At this point, you’ve lost all composure inside your car. Rage has boiled over. Composure has been lost. The tables are filthy and the driver in front of you is dragging ass. So what do you do? You take it out on the tables. You floor it, plowing into the minivan, as you scream into the heavens: “THIS IS THE MADDEST I’VE EVER BEEN!” Also, it’s Driver’s Ed 101. —Dollinger

19. “Traffic” (Season 1, Episode 4)

Even among the many weirdos in this show’s universe, Conner O’Malley’s character here stands out. After spotting a “Honk If You’re Horny” bumper sticker on Robinson’s car, he lays on his SUV’s horn—“That’s me!”—then follows Robinson around for days, honking nonstop. O’Malley spends the sketch doing what he does best: grunting, groaning, and yelling until Robinson finally asks him what his deal is. “I thought that you worked for like a service or a company that helped out guys that are so horny that their stomachs hurt!” O’Malley says. “’Cause that’s what I am!” What takes this sketch to another level is when, in a hysterically strange bonding moment, Robinson helps him alleviate his pain. With his stash of porn. Because it turns out he is like a service that helps out guys who are so horny that their stomachs hurt. —Siegel

18. “Baby Shower” (Season 1, Episode 6)

The protagonist of this sketch attempted and failed to make a mob movie, and now he’s stuck with 50 Stanzo-brand fedoras, 1,000 plastic meatballs that may or may not look like little pieces of shit, and 50 black slicked-back-hair wigs, all of which he’s trying to unload in a baby-shower planning meeting as part of the gift bags. He’s visibly upset that the rest of the group prefers items like candles or individual bottles of champagne, so one of the planners generously offers to buy a few fedoras. The highlight of the sketch comes when he tries to leverage that modicum of sympathy to get a bulk order. The way he says “It’s gotta be quality on my end, otherwise no fuckin’ deal” kind of makes me want to watch his mob movie. —Levy-Rubinett

17. “Nachos” (Season 1, Episode 4)

There are three things that many of Robinson’s best characters struggle with: pent-up anger, venting said rage, and accepting responsibility for their misguided actions. When the man in this sketch gets annoyed that the date he’s sharing nachos with is eating all the “fully loaded” ones, he doesn’t politely ask her to leave him some. Instead, he clandestinely convinces their confused waiter to approach the table and tell her that such a practice is against the restaurant’s rules.

She naturally figures it all out. Yet even after getting called out, Robinson repeatedly feigns ignorance—ruining the date but causing the audience to laugh at his ridiculous petulance. —Siegel

16. “Which Hand?” (Season 1, Episode 3)

Credit the quality of this sketch—in which a wife lashes out at her husband because he allowed himself to be humiliated during a magician’s routine—to the line readings. Every choice is spot on, from Robinson going full normcore with “If I didn’t have to drive, I would’ve probably taken them up on that bourbon flight—that’s so cool” to literally everything Cecily Strong says (one highlight: “I’m glad you had fun, while everyone else had to watch an adult man jerk your little-boy dick off”). Watching Strong’s dissatisfied wife go up against Robinson’s beta husband will never not be funny. And it’s all underpinned by one undeniable axiom: Magicians do suck. —Gruttadaro

15. “Game Night” (Season 1, Episode 3)

One of the sketches where the person who should leave is not Tim Robinson, “Game Night” stars Tim Heidecker as Howie, the new boyfriend introduced to a friend group through what ought to be an innocent icebreaker: game night. But Howie, to use a technical term, sucks—insulting the host’s “meat and potatoes” record collection, demanding ice-cold gazpacho, and worst of all, submitting impossible-to-guess celebrities like Tiny “Boop Squig” Shorterly and Roy Donk. Tim Robinson characters tend to be fundamentally well-meaning, simply failing to understand why the rest of the world doesn’t get where they’re coming from. Howie is just an asshole, and a kind we all recognize: the insufferable music snob. Why can’t jazz guys just be chill for once?! —Herman

14. “Professor Yurabay” (Season 2, Episode 3)

One of the joys of watching ITYSL is deciphering how it will twist a seemingly normal situation into something totally absurd. Take, for example, this sketch, during which a business school professor has dinner with his former students. Their small talk is completely innocuous until Bob McDuff Wilson’s wise teacher starts fixating on a protégé’s burger. A minute in, he’s fully devolved into a devilish little kid who “jokingly” covets then steals the food, eats it, and then threatens to blackmail his frustrated pupils if they tell anyone about what he did.

A lesser show might’ve made the gentle old soul the butt of the joke, but that’d be too predictable for Robinson and Co. They’re happy to give unassuming characters like Professor Yurabay the last bite. —Siegel

13. “Karl Havoc” (Season 2, Episode 1)

Maybe I was just riding the high of starting the second season when I watched this for the first time. But here’s what happened: After the hot dog sketch segued into “Corncob TV,” I started laughing uncontrollably. When the latter stopped, I was gasping for air and crying with laughter; the muscles in my face hurt. Then this sketch started. By the time Robinson, laden with unrealistic-looking prosthetics, froze in a food court and yelled “I’m so hot!” and “We did way too much!” I was crying so hard my eyes were burning. To recap: “Karl Havoc” is so funny (and also so sad?) it made my eyes burn. What’s that do for the greater good? Actually, a lot. —Lindbergh

12. “The Diner Friend” (Season 2, Episode 2)

There’s a reason your parents told you not to talk to strangers: Sometimes they just don’t shut up. Tim Robinson’s character is sitting in a diner booth across from his daughter when he tells an innocent lie—“When it’s too cold outside, all the ice cream stores close”—before looking to a stranger (Bob Odenkirk) in the next booth in hopes he’ll back him up. Odenkirk’s character not only backs him up but proceeds to up the ante time after time with increasingly absurd, trivial lies. He starts by claiming the two men are old friends. Then the same age. Then he raves about his car collection (“If I don’t have triples, then the other stuff’s not true”). Then he brings up his (very imaginary) wife. “Tell her about my wife,” Odenkirk begs Robinson. By now, the jig is up and the daughter is fully aware that not only is the ice cream store likely open but both her dad and this man are complete lunatics. Not that that stops the descent: “[My wife] was a model around the world. She was on posters. Yeah, I used to have a poster of her in my garage. Then I met her, can you believe it? And she asked me to marry her, and I didn’t even want to, but she’s beautiful, but she’s dying. She’s sick. She’s hanging in there. It’s hard. She’s gonna get better. And I’m rich. And I don’t live in a hotel.” —Dollinger

11. “Laser Spine Specialists” (Season 1, Episode 3)

It seems like one of those medical ads you see on TV all the time, until Tim Robinson shows up and escalates in the most unexpected ways. First, Laser Spine Specialists have given his character the renewed strength to fight his wife’s new husband, Danny Crouse. Then he testifies to being able to lift his adult son over his head (“And there ain’t shit he can do about it”). Finally, in a truly sublime turn, the advertisement basically stops altogether and turns into a pastiche of a man confronting a sleazy record producer (Robbie Star from Superstar Tracks Records) who’s bilked him out of thousands of dollars.

The final turn of genius here comes when the Laser Spine Specialists logo creeps back into the bottom-right corner of the screen, a subtle reminder that oh yeah, that’s how this whole thing started. —Gruttadaro

10. “Insider Trading” (Season 2, Episode 3)

What begins as a couple of coworkers on trial for insider trading soon pivots into a merciless roast of one guy’s questionable fashion sense. As the prosecutor reads through one of the workers’ text messages, the conversation lingers on Brian (Robinson), who shows up to their office with a stupid hat. The icing on the cake comes back in the courtroom, when Brian comes into focus, still wearing that fuckin’ hat:

It’s somehow as awful as advertised, a fedora with safari flaps in the back. As Brian gets more uncomfortable in the courtroom, the texting transcript piles on the fedora-related indignities. By the time Brian gets angry in a meeting because he was asked to take the hat off (which he then tried to roll down his arm like Fred Astaire), I was guilty of secondhand embarrassment. —Surrey

9. “The Man” (Season 1, Episode 2)

In a departure from his typical roles, Robinson plays the understated straight man here, ceding the part of “over-the-top, socially unacceptable outcast” to a fellow Saturday Night Live veteran, Will Forte. Like Robinson, Forte was a little too weird and a little too loud to reach his full potential within the constraints of SNL. He’s flourished outside of that system, and he shows off his whole range in this single sketch, flitting from friendly to menacing to pathetic as he tries to exact revenge on Robinson’s character for crying on a transatlantic flight when he was a baby, which so exhausted Forte’s character that he couldn’t fulfill his dream of making the guards at Buckingham Palace laugh. By Season 1 standards, this is a fairly long and elaborate sketch. But Forte, who fits the ITYSL ethos as well as any guest star in the series, lands the plane perfectly, even though he’s prevented from sitting where he wants. —Lindbergh

8. “Has This Ever Happened to You?” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Here’s the lifetime leaderboard of Lawyers Whose Ads I’ve Seen the Most: Peter Francis Geraci’s in third. No. 2? Cellino and Barnes. But the new leader is Mitch Bryant, the Robinson character whose commercial comes on right after the opening credits of the premiere episode. Bryant is seeking clients who have been terrorized by the Turbo Team, two burly men who will come to your house to fix a termite problem, but instead yell at you for your lack of Turbo Team membership and replace your real toilet with a joke toilet that can only suck down farts. As Robinson describes the Turbo Team’s transgressions, he gets angrier and angrier until he can barely breathe. I couldn’t pick which is funnier—the Turbo Team’s escalation or Robinson’s. —Sherman

7. “Sloppy Steaks” (Season 2, Episode 2)

Do babies cry spontaneously, or is it because they know that you used to be a piece of shit? That’s the question driving Robinson’s character in this sketch, after he attends a baby shower and the infant in question starts bawling when he tries to hold it. “I’m worried that the baby thinks people can’t change,” he tells the mother, a quote that’s permanently lodged into my broken brain. Robinson then goes into the details of his past life as a self-professed piece of shit: sporting slicked-back hair, rolling with his Dangerous Nights crew, and ordering sloppy steaks at Truffoni’s. It’s the deranged fixation on sloppy steaks—as in, pouring a glass of water on a sizzling slab of meat in defiance of the restaurant owner—that draws you in, especially when we’re whisked into a flashback of just what a night of sloppy steaks at Truffoni’s with the Dangerous Nights crew actually looks like. That the flashback is soundtracked by Ezra Koenig solidifies this sketch as an instant classic. All that’s left to do now is try a sloppy steak yourself. —Surrey

6. “Corncob TV” (Season 2, Episode 1)

Most reality-television parodies are as boringly manufactured as the shows that inspire them. But in typical ITYSL fashion, this one cranks up the shock knob to dangerously explosive levels and, well, smashes through the genre’s staleness. Coffin Flop is exactly what it sounds like: “Just hours and hours of footage of real people falling out of coffins at funerals,” says Robinson, a Corncob TV exec who looks and sounds like the kind of guy who’d watch a lot of Corncob TV. “There’s no explanation.”

And really, there doesn’t need to be. That’s the beauty of the bit: It skewers the vulgarity of bad reality TV while also kind of making the case for it. After all, who can look away from the sight of body after body busting out of shit wood and hitting pavement? —Siegel

5. “The Gift Receipt” (Season 1, Episode 1)

“The Gift Receipt” starts small, with a simple and relatable feeling of insecurity: Lev (Robinson) realizes that the decorative wreath he bought for his friend Jacob (played by the delightful Steven Yeun, conferring Oscar-nominee grace and leading-man gravitas on this batshit absurdity) might not be a very good birthday gift. That insecurity leads to the crossing of a societal line: A self-conscious Lev demands the gift receipt back, as proof that Jacob was telling the truth when he said he liked the gift. That doesn’t assuage the insecurity, though; Lev persists, and heightens, and there’s the bit.

That’s just the tree, though. What makes the sketch sing is all the garland and ornaments that Robinson hangs on it: Adding a little-boy poop joke, then mutating that by turning poop into “mud pies,” which later becomes “such a sloppy mud pie”; the notion that the unit of measure of toilet paper is the “slice”; a grown man screaming, “NO, I eat paper all the time!” followed by a seemingly sane character suggesting a resolution that, in the interest of scientific rigor, demands the ingestion of additional paper. The complete devastation of a friend group; the horrified shriek humans can only emit when they’ve seen a dead body. All this chaos, springing from that small kernel of self-doubt; all this laughter, coaxed out through an unyielding commitment to both throwing sliders with diction—fuckin’ “mud pies,” man—and exploring just how much Robinson can yell. (Answer: a lot.)

There’s a reason this one closes the first episode of the series, I think: In construction and emphasis, it feels something like I Think You Should Leave’s mission statement, delivered loudly and unapologetically ... at a time when any normal person in your life would be seriously apologetic. —Devine

4. “Instagram” (Season 1, Episode 1)

One incredibly difficult thing I Think You Should Leave manages to pull off is instituting its own vocabulary, which then infiltrates our larger lexicon. Mud pies; sloppy steaks; Turbo Time; 50 black, slicked-back-hair wigs. “Instagram” is the sketch that’s all vocabulary. As Vanessa Bayer’s character tries to grasp her friends’ concept of being a little self-deprecating on social media, she unleashes a litany of gross terms and phrases that you’d never hear anywhere else but on this TV show. You know what? I’m just gonna list out all the best ones:

  • “Slopping down some pig shit with these fat fucks, and I’m the fattest of them all.”
  • “Load my frickin’ lard carcass into the mud. No coffin, please!”
  • “Gulping down some pig dicks with these bags of meat.”
  • “Sunday funday with these pig dicks.”
  • “Hope nobody gulps us.”
  • “Slurping down fish piss with these wet chodes.”
  • “Total tuna cans.”
  • “They’re mad because I won Best Hog at the hog-shit-snarfing contest. But I’m not mad ’cause we’re all loads of beef, sitting on the side of a highway, getting our butts sucked by flies.”

I just … it’s so beautiful. It’s so strangely eloquent. It’s enough to make you cry. Bae. —Gruttadaro

3. “The Day That Robert Palins Murdered Me” (Season 1, Episode 5)

When a record company exec tells the auditioning band he’s looking for something new and original—a direct parody of Walk the Line—frontman Billy (Rhys Coiro) shoots his shot with “The Day That Robert Palins Murdered Me.” Billy’s country crooning piques the exec’s interest, but then his oblivious bassist (Robinson) jumps in with his own lyrics—which to his credit are original. He shrieks about skeletons coming up from the ground to pull people’s hair (up, not out), with lines such as “The worms are their money / the bones are their dollars,” as well as my personal favorite, “They’ve never seen so much food as this / Underground there’s half as much food as this.” It’s utter nonsense, and it’s utterly delightful. —Levy-Rubinett

2. “Brooks Brothers” (Season 1, Episode 5)

There are many memeable bits in ITYSL—see directly above and below—but none so broadly applicable and so satisfying to reference as the one about the driver of a hot dog car who tries to gaslight the patrons of an upscale clothing store (and sort of succeeds). On paper, there’s no way this sketch should work so well. But Robinson sells it so hard, and the visual gags are so good, that it’s one of the most memorable moments in a season stuffed with them. The surprise reveals of Robinson in his costume—yelling “Yeah, whoever did this just confess, we promise we won’t be mad”—and innocent bystander/series co-creator Zach Kanin in his hot-dog-adjacent attire are topped only by the sketch’s signature line, “We’re all trying to find the guy who did this.” In real life, the grifters are less likely to drive Wienermobiles, but their schemes are sometimes just as transparent—and just as liable to work anyway. —Lindbergh

1. “Focus Group” (Season 1, Episode 3)

Quiet, subtle moments aren’t I Think You Should Leave’s strong suit. When I think about “Focus Group” now, though, several million viewings later, what I keep coming back to is the way it primes the pump.

Robinson introduces the premise: Ford is soliciting ideas from the public for a new car model. And then, on the second cut introducing us to the members of the focus group, about 10 seconds in, there he is:

Bam. Center of the frame, crystal clear, a magnet drawing your eye: Ruben Rabasa, an actor with nearly a half century of credits, but one you feel positive you’ve never seen before, because just look at this dude. If you’d seen him before, you’d remember it.

The shot lingers on Rabasa for a beat, giving you a second to really drink in his presence as he looks across the table. At that moment, you don’t know that he’s looking at Paul, played by Kanin, who will soon become his nemesis in “wanting to do good at something that just doesn’t matter”—precisely the sort of making-molehills-into-mountains thematic bull’s-eye that this show so frequently aims for and hits. You don’t know yet that Rabasa’s mere seconds away from unleashing an avalanche of memeable moments like arguing for the necessity of sturdily constructed steering wheels in cars deliberately made too small, all delivered in an utterly infectious accent that’s equally powerful when raised to yell “STINKY!” and lowered to hiss “Who’s the most popular now, Paul?” You could not possibly anticipate the dab, or the bottle flip.

All you know, right then, is that you’ve never seen anything quite like this guy, and you’re already laughing, even if you don’t exactly get why. In other words: It’s the perfect standard-bearer for a sketch show blissfully and brilliantly unlike any other. “We’re looking at the monitor while you’re shooting, and it’s like having Brad Pitt,” ITYSL executive producer Akiva Schaffer told Vulture in 2019. “Every shot is already the funniest sketch I’ve ever seen.” —Devine