Was there ever a bad episode from the original Disney hit “That’s So Raven“?
“Raven’s Home,” the spin-off to the hit show that ran four seasons on Disney from 2003-2007, premiered July 21 and will air its second episode Friday. “Raven’s Home” brings back both Raven-Symoné as Raven Baxter, the teenage psychic, and her best friend Chelsea played by actress Anneliese van der Pol. Before episode two airs, here’s a list of the 10 best episodes from “That’s So Raven.” (If you need a refresher of the premise of the show, just listen to the lyrics of the theme song below).
Remember episode “Smell of Victory” when Raven’s friend Eddie was embarrassed to ask a girl out because of a huge zit and Raven had to partner up with Ben “Stinky” Sturky on a science project? Or episode “A Fish Called Raven” when Raven and Chelsea joined the school newspaper but their arch rival on the paper got a hunch Raven was psychic and would expose her on the front page if Eddie made the game winning basket like Raven visioned? Both great episodes in the beginning of the series that just missed the cut. With 100 great episodes to choose from, this lists represents the best of the best.
Enjoy a trip down memory lane with this nostalgic list.
10. Episode 104: “Wake Up Victor” (Original Air Date: 1/17/03)
Similar to “Three’s Company’s” episode “And Now Here’s Jack” when Jack Tripper, chief, got his chance to appear on television for a cooking demonstration, Raven’s father in this episode had his chance. Victory Baxter, a chief, would make his debut on television for a popular San Francisco cooking show. To boost his spirit Raven lies saying she had a vision where he “looked like Denzel [Washington] with a spatula.”
After Cory, who crushes on Chelsea, and his friend Miles, who had the hots for Raven, attempted to hypnotize them both they wound up hypnotizing father Baxter. Every time the words “San Francisco” was said Victor would fall back into being hypnotized.
Just in time to save Victor’s television appearance from being a complete disaster, Miles knew the exact words that would snap Victor out of it. First, he wanted a kiss from Raven. She told him to close his eyes and she grabbed a fish, using those lips to smooch Miles without him knowing.
“A little salty but I can taste the love,” Miles said before telling them the magic word was “Okeechobee.”
With this episode appearing the day of the series premiere, it seemed only fitting for a classic “That’s So Raven” episode to crack the list. As one of the early episodes its one of the reasons why this show became a hit right from the start.
9. Episode 414: “When 6021 Met 4267” (Original Air Date: 8/18/06)
In another episode similar to a “Three’s Company” episode, “Mate for Each Other”, when roommates Jack and Janet both use an online date matching service. While Jack and Janet tried to secretly use the service they wound up being each other’s dating match. On this episode of “That’s So Raven” both Raven and Eddie attempt to secretly use an anonymous school dating website. Standing at the same link location to finally meet what a computer said would be their perfect match, 6021 and 4267, were each other.
After Raven goes on a psychic roller coaster with weird visions of her and Eddie being married together years down the road with many children, they decide to just focus on the present and be each other’s date for Raven’s house party. The two awkwardly kiss and afterwards decide to just be friends. The change in dynamic, going from best friends to potential boyfriend-and-girlfriend is why this episode cracked the top 10. It shows possibilities of what could have been but even more, shows the importance of their friendship which felt more special than if they were to date each other.
8. Episode 305: “Five Finger Discount” (Original Air Date: 12/03/04)
Stealing! This episode hit on a topic teens like Cory face when it comes to peer pressure.
While in a store hanging out with a group Cory wanted to be “in” with, Cory decides to steal a monkey key chain after getting amped from one of his peers. After thinking he’s big and bad, he realizes that stealing is a criminal offense punishable up to five years in prison overhearing his mother, who’s enrolled in law school this season, studying theft.
When the guilt trip kicks in he finally confesses to Raven what he’s done. Revisiting the store to return the stolen item, Cory runs into his peer group and gets in a jam that only Raven can get him out. What makes this episode powerful is how Cory stood up for himself at the end and even when Raven thought he wasn’t going to do the right thing, he did and she had his back when he needed her most.
7. Episode 204: “Clothes Minded” (Original Air Date: 1/01/04)
In 2004, this episode started the year off with a bang. Guest starring Adrienne Bailon as the school bully Alana Rivera leading a three-headed bully posse: with Muffy as Alana’s “yes woman” translating her Spanish and interpreting what she was thinking and Loca as the muscle of the crew, intimidating anyone in Alana’s way.
While this crew typically rivaled Raven, as well as the rest of the school, this episode Raven decided to join them. When spitting principal Mr. Lawler decided to implement a dress code Raven talked up to her fellow students to start a protest. The next day, Raven found she was in a protest all by herself as no one, including her two best friends, joined her. Sent to detention for her lone conduct of violating the new dress code, Raven decides to join Alana’s crew.
By accident, when she asks of the crew’s plans, let on by her visions, she finds her self feeding them more vicious ideas. One including putting the school’s stolen cheese through the vents to stink up the school and framing Chelsea and Eddie.
Realizing she’s not bad like the rest of the crew nor wants to see her two best friends Chelsea and Eddie framed for it, Raven climbs through the vent in attempt to dispose of the bubbling cheese before it completely melts and stinks up the school. The only way she could rid of the cheese is to eat it as quickly as she could.
After Raven falls through the ceiling Alana exposes herself as the cheese theft but Raven take takes the fall for it. Chelsea and Eddie back Raven telling the principal they’d have to be thrown in detention too. While Alana saw Raven’s move as bold for not ratting out her posse, Raven turns down their invitation to stick with the crew because she realizes her real best friends have her back…and not to mention she was not as “bizad” as her “home biscuit skillet” crew because that was “so not Raven.”
6. Episode 206: “Hearts and Minds” (Original Air Date: 2/06/04)
Raven had a vision of Cory saying he would not have a “Valentine.” To make sure the vision didn’t happen she got Eddie to help him with the girls at school. However, Cory stole Eddie’s rapping lyrics and a bunch of girls follow him. Once Cory had all the girls chasing him he decides to be cruel to his crush, Danielle, telling her to “take a number.”
When Raven witnesses Cory being cruel she realizes it was time to “bring Cory’s head to size.” Exercising her own Hip-Hop skills in front of Cory’s newly found groupies, she exposed the truth behind Cory’s charm. She defeats him badly in a rap battle. Once Cory was exposed all the girls left and threw their roses at him. Just like her vision, Cory says “nobody wants to be my Valentine.” Raven teaches Cory those girls didn’t love him, only his rap skills which he stole from Eddie. Cory finally realizes that the only girl he hurt through the process was the only one that like him when he was himself, but Raven plays Cupid bringing them both together to be each other’s Valentine, despite Cory’s wild behavior.
The episodes theme of staying true to yourself and showing that it’s not cool to be cruel, what many teens go through, is a strong reason why this episode made it at six. Plus, the Hip-Hop element in this episode was priceless.
5. Episode 203: “Run Run Raven” (Original Air Date: 11/14/03)
Introducing Alana’s crew and Devon Carter, Raven and Alana spark a beef after they both have eyes on Devon. With a vision that shows Raven a TV cart on wheels would hurt Alana, despite their issues, Raven attempts to push Alana out of the way. Instead, Raven pushes Alana into a hair emergency when Alana falls in a bucket of paint. Remaining unseen at the saloon, Raven switches to an Italian accent while doing Alana’s hair to get her to talk about Raven. While hearing that Alana wasn’t forgiving, Raven accidentally dropped a piece of gum in her hair before escaping the saloon before Muffy and Loca spotted her.
While Raven’s brother and his friend William are out of school with chicken pox, they set up a tracking device system to help Raven avoid Alana. After Eddie smoothly places a tracker on Alana, Cory and William communicate with Raven via earpiece as they tracked both of their locations around school using a computer.
After much running, Raven decides she can no longer hide from Alana, but then her vision comes true. Alana gets hit by a cart. Calling Raven a ginx, Raven tells Alana: “maybe if you had a better attitude bad things wouldn’t happen to you…let go of some of that anger you’re harboring maybe we could be friends.” But Chelsea had to bring up that Raven accidentally got gum stuck in Alana’s hair and Raven was back on the move.
4. Episode 218: “Road to Audition” (Original Air Date: 7/30/2004)
Guest starring Paula Abdul, “Undercover Superstar” was a show that was on the hunt for finding talent to compete on a talent television show. Raven’s vision led her to believing there was an undercover custodian in her high school. Word gets out to the school and everyone there wants to be in show bis performing in front of the custodian where ever he’s at.
This musical showed off versatile talents of the cast whether it was van der Pol’s theatre like talents, Orlando Brown’s rapping or Raven-Symoné as a singer performing with choreographed dancers behind her. It turns out the custodian they tried to impress all along was undercover for a different reason and was not a part of the “Undercover Superstar” show. When a real undercover representative from the show showed up, Raven tells her “sorry, but I’m not singing for no more janitors” so Abdual’s character decides to search for talent at a nearby school.
3. Episode 103: “Test of Friendship” (Original Air Date: 1/17/03)
Eddie just made the basketball team and needs a C on his Spanish test to play his first game. But there’s one problem. Raven gets a vision that Eddies fails his big test meaning his biggest moment won’t happen. Trying to prevent the dream from coming true, Raven and Chelsea try cramming all night with Eddie to prep him for his big test but aren’t confident he’d succeed on such short time.
When Eddie finds out Raven knows the answers, he threatens to drop the friendship when she at first refuses to cheat. Later, Raven gives in but after convincing Señorita Rodriguez to change the test, she realizes Eddie has the “wrong answers” because he’s going to receive a “different test.” Once Eddie finally gets the message, he tries the best he can and he passes the test. He realizes the cramming and hard work preparing for the test paid off.
This episode cracks the top three because of this is a morale every student can take to heart. Hard work does pay off and it’s important to keep school a priority even when extra curricular’s will seem more intriguing. Learning the material, rather try short cutting through the process, will pay off in the long run and if you need an extra boot for motivation, just think how not performing well could be detrimental from accomplishing other goals in life.
2. Episode 310: “True Colors” (Original Air Date: 2/04/05)
Touching on Black History month this episode became one of the most powerful episodes ever played on Disney. Through Cory’s storyline in this episode, he like other younger black peers his age, learned the importance of understanding how much it means to learn about figures who contributed to Black History. While not often taught in school, Cory revealed “I didn’t know so many cool things came from our people.”
Along with that narrative, an important element to this episodes was Raven’s ordeal. After hands down being the best applicant during an interview and demonstration she didn’t get the job. Suddenly, Raven’s vision revealed the hiring manager saying “I don’t hire black people.” While discrimination is a part of Black History that’s taught, there’s a connotation it’s no longer an issue. Raven’s parents teach her that eventhough she’s one person, she can fight it, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks stood up for equality during the civil rights movement.
With the help of her friends, they become local heroes exposing the racist practices of the hiring manager catching her on camera, later reported in the local news, saying what Raven invisioned. This episode cracked the second slot because it hit an important narrative in a strong and powerful way, showing how discrimination is still an issue in today’s world and beyond that, showing how it’s up to the people of today to stand up and fight for what’s right. No matter what, one person can truly make a difference.
1. Episode 208: “That’s So Not Raven” (Original Air Date: 4/09/04)
This was an important episode that touched on body image.
Raven long desired to be a fashion designer and one who models her own clothes. After she had her opportunity to impress with a dress, she later saw that her photo in the clothes she wore was photoshopped in a magazine sent to the school. When she confronted the head of the modeling agency she was told the only way she could walk the run way was if she was a size two. Anything else would fit “the look.”
Raven attempts to workout but feels that it’s hopeless. She comes to the realization she’s not what calls “the look.” About to give in the night of the fashion show, one co-worker was disappointed to see Raven “sell out.”
So Raven did what she does best, go out and be herself. Alongside the model with “the look” Raven walked out there on the run way and fans loved her. The agency’s head told her she was ruining the show but Raven showed otherwise. Setting up the most powerful scene in the show.
“Who says that the only look, you make people feel bad if that don’t look like that. No one looks like that,” Raven said. “Because in case you haven’t noticed people come in all shapes and sizes and they are all beautiful. Put that in your magazine.”
This iconic scene is why “That’s So Not Raven” made number one on this list. It represents how this show has simple plots but hit on important issues it’s audience could relate to.
“We captured stories that were touching to the people that were watching us, so we talked about topics in a funny slash serious way that they could relate to. When you could relate to something more and more people talked about it,” Raven-Symoné said during a “That’s So Raven” reunion on ABC’s “The View.”
Do you agree with this list? Think an episode was missed, comment and tell what episode should be in this list.