Fun family sitcom The King of Queens follows Doug and Carrie, a middle-class couple living in Queens, New York. They, along with their friends Deacon and Kelly, and Carrie’s father Arthur, get into all kinds of messes as they try to navigate their lives. The show ran for nine seasons in the early 2000s, and it’s never hard to find a rerun airing somewhere on television. The show starred Kevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller, Victor Williams, Lisa Rieffel, and Patton Oswalt.
Despite being generally highly rated, The King of Queens is not a perfect show by any means. Here are ten of the worst episodes, as rated by fans on IMDb.
10 Moxie Moron (7.5/10)
Carrie and Doug both face problems at work in this Season 9 episode. Carrie and the other assistants are hoping to be thanked for their hard work and are disappointed when the only token of appreciation they get is soap. Hotheaded as ever, Carrie rants to the other assistants, Dawn and Lisa. When the boss returns the next day with a new car Dawn confronts him, repeating what Carrie said. When she gets a promotion for her “moxie,” Carrie is furious.
Meanwhile, Doug takes over the head job at IPS while his boss checks into rehab. He tries to share the position with Deacon, but quickly makes a ton of mistakes, making Deacon angry. Doug goes to their boss, only to find out that the job is what caused his boss to start drinking in the first place. The couple come together at the end to comfort one another.
9 Veiled Threat (7.5/10)
Carrie comes across the top tier of her and Doug’s wedding cake, which causes her to reminisce about their wedding day and all it’s accompanying drama.
We learn that Carrie was extremely nervous about marrying Doug. She can’t stop throwing up on her wedding day, and is desperately searching for any sign that they are meant to be together. While her mom takes care of her, Arthur tricks Doug’s family to pay for the wedding because he secretly can’t afford to. Doug struggles with whether or not he should reveal this secret to Carrie throughout the whole episode. Meanwhile, Doug’s cousin Danny is lobbying to sing at their wedding, while shooting himself in the foot by mentioning that he actually met Carrie first.
8 Hero Worship (7.5/10)
When we met him in Season 1, Doug’s cousin Danny was married and owned a pizza shop. But when he makes a few bad business decisions, the shop goes under and he’s forced to close. Soon after, his wife leaves him.
This episode sees Danny’s father Stu so impressed by a sandwich that Doug makes him that he offers to financially back him if he wants to open a sandwich shop. Danny is furious — Stu didn’t help Danny with the pizza shop at all. Stu tells Danny that if his pizza was half as good as Doug’s sandwiches, the business would still be thriving. And that’s what the episode suffers from. It feels like the kind of family drama that’s written for soap operas.
7 Missing Links (7.5/10)
The drama after Deacon’s split from Kelly just doesn’t stop! In the past, Carrie invited the couple to accompany her and Doug to her company’s annual golf trip, but feels she can’t when Deacon is single. But then he meets someone just in time and brings her along. Carrie struggles to click with new girlfriend Leslie, but Doug hits it off with her right away. Meanwhile, Holly agrees to watch Deacon’s kids while he’s on the golf trip. Somehow, Deacon doesn’t notice her crush on him..
7.5 isn’t a bad rating, and fans don’t really hate this episode. But the love triangle is a little blah, and there are so many episodes that are better.
6 Lyin’ Hearted (7.5/10)
Arthur undergoes heart surgery, which should be a scary moment for his daughter Carrie. Instead, she finds herself questioning their relationship. When he sends her to his “windowless basement” to get his sleep mask, she finds a letter addressed to her. It’s from Florida State University, accepting her into a course. Clearly, Arthur hid it for selfish reasons: he didn’t want to lose Carrie to Florida. Meanwhile, Doug makes friends with a stranger at the hospital.
The episode suffers from bringing the family’s love into question. Even though they all bicker and shout, the underlying theme is that they all love one another. Showing one of them doubting that at all was a bad move.
5 Dugan Groupie (7.4/10)
Carrie receives an exciting promotion at work. She begins working overtime, even skipping a barbecue that Doug had planned for them to enjoy together. The more she works late, the more Doug feels neglected and lonely. He also begins to suspect that she actually likes her job now. When she admits that she does, especially because she finally feels like she has a career, Doug feels like his masculinity is being challenged. He insists that he’ll do better at building a career than she does.
Other than not being a particularly funny episode, “Dugan Groupie” also suffers for its weird misogyny. A lot of The King of Queens doesn’t age well, but Doug taking Carrie’s promotion as a threat to his masculinity really dates the show.
4 Dreading Vows (7.4/10)
Doug and Carrie decide that they want to renew their wedding vows. Romantic, right? Well, they put themselves through hell trying to pull it off. The planned ceremony is on-again, off-again while they try to figure out the logistics of planning and paying for a wedding. Meanwhile, Arthur gifts the couple an old bottle of port, which he immediately regrets when he sees the value of the bottle on eBay.
Part of what made this episode rate poorly was that the show had already done a wedding episode for this couple. That wedding had been equally lackluster, and fans rated it equally poorly. It begs the question why the writers returned to the idea at all.
3 Secret Garden (7.4/10)
Carrie and Kelly find a gynecologist that they love, which baffles Doug and Deacon. (“He’s gentle, suave…he’s like a vagina whisperer!”) When Carrie finds out that Dr. Crawford needs someone to do some landscaping, she recommends Doug’s cousin Danny. However, Danny ends up over-charging the good doctor, leading Carrie to fret that she’ll never get an appointment with him again.
Meanwhile, Doug becomes obsessed with a special new grill that can sear a football logo into the meat. When he sees that Dr. Crawford owns the same grill, he becomes jealous and angry that Crawford puts a New England Patriots logo in it. When it catches fire, Doug’s extremely satisfied.
2 Inner Tube (7.4/10)
This Season 3 episode begins with Doug lying to Carrie about having to work late so he can skip her seminar. While she’s gone, he plays mud football with his friends but then gets sick from the rain. While he convalesces on the couch, he has several guilt-ridden dreams that transport the entire cast of The King of Queens into iconic shows.
The episode alternately parodies and pays homage to The Honeymooners, Wheel of Fortune, Brian’s Song, and The Young and The Restless. Part of the problem with this episode is that animated versions of the cast look a bit creepy. Fans dislike the episode because of the strange turn it took.
1 Departure Time (7.3/10)
Though Season 4 contained four of the episodes on this list, it was Season 3 that had the bottom two including its worst: “Departure Time.”
The premise of this episode is actually a plot line that is tackled again much more successfully in another episode where Doug worries about Carrie’s death. This attempt was less beloved by fans, however. Doug and Carrie go to the airport to pick up his parents with Arthur. While Arthur wanders around pretending to be a passenger so he can get discounts on items at the stores, Doug’s parents insist he start signing their wills. It’s an agonizing conversation for Doug and the viewer.