The 10 Best ‘New Girl’ Episodes, From ‘Cooler’ to ‘Background Check’

Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone and Damon Wayans Jr. anchored creator Elizabeth Meriwether’s beloved sitcom about roommates in Los Angeles from 2011 to 2018.

Best New Girls Episodes, Ranked

The 10 Best “New Girl” Episodes

Everett Collection/20th Television

The enduring rom-sitcom subgenre changed forever when “New Girl” walked through 4D’s front door. On Sept. 20, 2011, true television genius Liz Meriwether — then best known for the Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher starring film “No Strings Attached” — debuted the pilot episode of what would become her comedy series on Fox.

Starring Zooey Deschanel as optimistic terminally ill teacher Jessica Day — nicknamed Jess — “New Girl” told the story of six friends brought together by their chaotic lives in Los Angeles. Hannah Simone played Jess’s best friend, Cece: a fiercely funny and protective role model who is suspicious of her friend’s new living situation.

At the loft, Jake Johnson, who previously starred in indie gem ‘Paper Heart’ as well as Russell Brand with ‘Get Him to the Greek’, dazzled in his breakout role as Nick: A Dyed in the Wool good guy and bartender whose low self-esteem leaves him unlucky in love. Max Greenfield also nailed his (so far) most iconic role on any screen big or small as Schmidt: a materialistic marketing associate and self-proclaimed ladies’ man responsible for many of the funniest lines. from the Serie.

Damon Wayans Jr. (who, yes, is the son of comedian Damon Wayans and nephew of “Scary Movie” Wayans) first appeared in the pilot as Coach: a macho personal trainer whose loyalty and heart of gold helped him slowly overcome his problem communicating with women. Wayans left the show to work on David Caspe’s “Happy Endings,” but reprized his role in Season 3. Beginning with the second episode, Lamorne Morris began his triumphant run as the singular Winston: a former professional basketball player in Latvia whose return to the United States eventually sees him become a cat-loving policeman.

At the 2012 Emmys, Season 1 of “New Girl” received nods for Outstanding Casting and Outstanding Main Title Design. Deschanel was rewarded with a nomination for Best Lead Actress, while Greenfield was honored for Best Supporting Actor. Executive producer Jake Kasdan was nominated for Outstanding Directing Through the Pilot. Although the series hasn’t won any of those titles and is no longer receiving Emmy nominations, it has been recognized by various other awards bodies and remains a favorite rewatch of the 2020s streaming generation.

From its most emotional chapters to ones that are too funny not to include, here are the 10 best episodes of “New Girl” ever made.

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