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Every ‘I Think You Should Leave’ Episode Is Great, But These Sketches Are Masterpieces

A swirly orange and white background with characters from 'I Think You Should Leave'

Anytime is the perfect time to revisit I Think You Should Leave. With season 3 hitting Netflix, we couldn’t pass up the excuse opportunity to rewatch the first two seasons of Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin’s immaculately hilarious sketch series. Oh, right, and the whole “doing work” part of it: sharing a list of the best sketches with our readers. Whether you haven’t watched the series (yet) or you just want to jam on the greatest hits, these are the TK best sketches from the first two seasons of I Think You Should Leave.

“Both Ways” (season 1, episode 1)

Tim Robinson struggles with a door in 'I Think You Should Leave'

With “Both Ways” as the cold open in the series premiere, I Think You Should Leave established itself as a singularly bizarre—and hilarious—new sketch comedy. In this sketch, Tim Robinson is meeting with a potential employer at a coffee shop. The interview seems to go great … until Tim tries to leave. He pulls on the door, and the new boss tells him he needs to push. Mortified, Tim insists that the door goes both ways, and then tries to prove it. -Julia Glassman

“Has This Ever Happened to You?” (season 1, episode 1)

Tim Robinson looks distressed, wearing a suit with an office behind him in 'I Think You Should Leave'

One of the best things about I Think You Should Leave is the surreal vibe of its sketches, in which one situation seems to morph seamlessly into another. In “Has This Ever Happened to You?,” a TV commercial for a law firm gradually turns into a mind-boggling scenario: a couple of termite exterminators show up to a client’s house and run amok, jumping on his couch and replacing his normal toilet with a useless novelty toilet. -JG

“Gift Receipt” (season 1, episode 1)

Two friends (Tim Robinson, Brianna Baker) look on as a third (Steven Yeun) opens a birthday gift in 'I Think You Should Leave'

The series premiere also ends strong with “Gift Receipt,” which takes the senseless impulse to be polite in social situations to absurd heights. At his birthday party, Jacon (Steven Yeun) is opening gifts and assuring friends that the gift receipts are unnecessary. Lev (Robinson) challenges this assertion by eating the receipt for his gift (a wreath recommended by a helpful salesman), only to immediately feel sick. The party slowly turns on Jacob, whom Lev accuses of using “too small a slice” of toilet paper to deal with his “mud pie,” resulting in a contaminated receipt. And it all ends with a truly perfect network melodrama riff. -Britt Hayes

“Instagram” (season 1, episode 1)

Vanessa Bayer plays socially awkward like no one else. In “Instagram,” three girlfriends are posting a group selfie at brunch to their respective accounts, and Bayer fails to understand the rules of social media—namely, that if you post a cute pic of yourself, you have to be self-deprecating. While her pals post lame captions like “brunch with these dum-dums,” Bayer takes things too far (or maybe not far enough). -BH

“Which Hand” (season 1, episode 3)

Cecily Strong and Tim Robinson in 'I Think You Should Leave'

“Has This Ever Happened to You?” isn’t just a great sketch; it’s also a good alternate title for I Think You Should Leave. In the episode 3 opener, Charlie (Robinson) and his wife (Cecily Strong) attend a magic show where Charlie is invited on stage to participate. His wife, however, thinks the magician humiliated him in front of everyone, and proceeds to emasculate Charlie more thoroughly and brutally than a sleight of hand trick ever could. To wit: “I’m glad you had fun while everyone else had to watch an adult man jerk your little-boy dick off!” -BH

“Game Night” (season 1, episode 3)

Tim Heidecker in 'I Think You Should Leave'

While I Think You Should Leave is known for elaborate, absurd scenarios, it’s equally great at simple sketches rooted in specificity, like “Game Night.” Tim Heidecker drops in as Howie, a ponytail-sporting jazz aficionado who works at a cigar shop and joins his new girlfriend for a game night with her friends. While everyone else submits recognizable names for a game of Celebrity, Howie’s submissions are all obscure jazz guys no one has ever heard of. -BH

“Focus Group” (season 1, episode 3)

If we didn’t include this sketch among the best of I Think You Should Leave, the internet would send us straight to the Hague. An extreme reaction, but not without reason: “Focus Group” is arguably the most well-known and oft-quoted of Robinson and Kanin’s sketches—no easy feat in a series filled with beloved, endlessly quoted and meme’d sketches. The focus group in question is offering feedback on a new car design, and one member in particular—there’s always a “that guy”—has some pretty strange ideas. The sketch quickly introduces a turn that only works because of Ruben Rabasa’s bizarrely charismatic performance. -BH

“Nachos” (season 1, episode 4)

Tim Robinson talks to a man wearing black, with a sombrero hanging on the wall behind him in 'I Think You Should Leave'

Look, everyone wants the fully-loaded nachos—the ones with all the meat and cheese on them. It’s a universal human desire! But if your date is taking all the fully-loaded chips and you think you’re not getting enough, you need to just get in there and eat faster. You can’t rope the manager into some elaborate ruse involving made-up restaurant rules to shame her into leaving all the good chips for you. You can’t do that! Nevertheless, that’s exactly what one hapless guy tries in “Nachos.” -JG

“Christmas Carol” (season 1, episode 4)

Sam Richardson wears robotic body armor against a red, smoky background in 'I Think You Should Leave'

Every sketch guest-starring Sam Richardson is great, but “Christmas Carol” leaves us gasping. It’s like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but instead of three ghosts, Scrooge is visited by a freedom fighter from the distant future. It turns out the skeletons have taken over the Earth, and humanity needs Scrooge to stop the menace! Hurry, before it lays an egg! -JG

“Brooks Brothers” (season 1, episode 5)

Tim Robinson wears a hot dog costume in a clothing store in 'I Think You Should Leave.' Subtitles read, "We're all just trying to find the guy who did this."

If you’ve seen the meme of a guy in a hotdog suit demanding to know who’s responsible, “Brooks Brothers” is where that picture came from. Who drove a hot dog car through the wall of Brooks Brothers? It sure couldn’t be the guy in the hot dog costume! -JG

“New Printer” (season 1, episode 5)

Patti Harrison rolls her eyes next to an office desk in I Think You Should Leave.

Patti Harrison is another frequent guest star who always lights up her sketches. In “New Printer,” an office staffer is admiring a new printer, and the boss jokes that Christmas came early. Harrison tries to take the joke a little further and experiences the soul-crushing disappointment of her humor falling completely flat. She doesn’t take it well. -JG

“Corncob TV” (season 2, episode 1)

Some sketches, like “Gift Receipt,” employ situational humor that slowly builds to a crescendo. Others just take a spit-take-level gag and push it as hard as it’ll go from the start. In “Corncob TV,” a TV network spokesman bemoans the cancellation of the network’s biggest hit, Coffin Flop. It’s a show where corpses fall out of coffins mid-funeral. Sometimes the corpses are naked. It’s sublime. -JG

“Prank Show” (season 2, episode 1)

“Prank Show” is an easy setup for a sketch show—a prank show host is hoisted by his own petard—but that’s also what makes it the perfect vessel for one of Robinson’s classic outsized freak-outs. Donning a horribly ill-fitting full-body costume, complete with a droopy old man mask, the host takes on the persona of “Karl Havoc” to prank unsuspecting diners at a mall food court. Robinson mines the premise for endlessly quotable gold. “I don’t even want to be around anymore” became an instant meme hit. -BH

“The Capital Room” (season 2, episode 2)

Patti Harrison stands with arms folded, wearing a beret in 'I Think You Should Leave.' The subtitle reads "To this day, I hate bald boys."

Another banger featuring Patti Harrison, “The Capital Room” is a Shark Tank riff featuring a roster of star investors: there’s the head of a fashion empire, the entrepreneur who made his way from the mailroom to the boardroom, an international sunglasses mogul, and a woman who sued the city because she was accidentally sewn into the pants of “the big Charlie Brown at the Thanksgiving Day parade.” It’s really just an excuse to let Harrison go off the rails, and thank god for that. -BH

“Dan Flashes” (season 2, episode 2)

Tim Robinson is lying down on a couch and wearing a shirt with an elaborate pattern in 'I Think You Should Leave.'

Here’s what you need to know about Dan Flashes: It’s a badass store that sells shirts that are really expensive because the patterns—which look like Windows 95 screensaver designs—are so complicated. The shirts are so good that Robinson’s character spends his per diem from a 10-day business trip on them instead of buying meals. He doesn’t have the energy to sit upright, but damn, he looks fresh as hell. -BH

“Diner Wink” (season 2, episode 2)

Bob Odenkirk plays an enigmatic stranger in a diner with a Story to tell in a sketch that feels sort of like a sleeper hit. “Diner Winks” is a little low-key compared some of the more heightened scenarios: Robinson is a dad who slyly recruits a nearby diner (Odenkirk) for back-up in a little white lie to his daughter, who wants ice cream too early in the day. The diner complies and promptly extends the lie into an elaborate backstory, made all the more hilarious by Robinson’s facial reactions. -BH

“Baby Cries” (season 2, episode 2)

Slop ’em up, boys. In an episode with nothing but bangers, this is the pièce de résistance. Robinson plays a guy who “used to be a real piece of shit,” and he’s worried that a friend’s new baby not only knows it, but that the baby doesn’t think people can change. See, he really was a piece of shit back in the day: slicked back hair, white bathing suit, sloppy steaks, white couch. And he’s not the only one. But people can change. And they do. -BH

“Crashmore” and “Crashmore – Junket” (season 2, episode 3)

Professional actor Santa Claus (Biff Wiff) answers questions during a press junket in 'I Think You Should Leave'

Is it cheating to combine these two sketches about an action movie starring Santa Claus and the subsequent press junket? Are we really just finding ways to pack as many sketches into one list as possible? Who cares. “Crashmore” is an inherently hilarious premise: It’s a fake trailer for a violent action flick in which the actual Santa Claus—trying to ditch his jolly boy image—plays a foul-mouthed detective named Crashmore. And then Santa has to answer generic questions during a press junket, where he keeps referring to the film as a “cosmic gumbo.” -BH

“Wife Joke” (season 2, episode 4)

Jamie Taco (Nicholas Azarian) scowls at Scott (Paul Walter Hauser) in 'I Think You Should Leave'

The fourth episode of season 2 delivers a one-two punch of exceptional comedy that starts with “Wife Joke.” In an effort to fit in with the guys at his poker night, Scott (the great Paul Walter Hauser) makes a tame joke about his wife, only to immediately feel guilty because—as we see through extended flashback—she’s actually great. Not only does she laugh at his silly jokes, but she supported Scott when Jamie Taco took all his lines in a play. You could easily see Robinson playing the lead in this sketch, but Hauser brings a certain pathos to the part that takes “Wife Joke” to another level. -BH

“Calico Cut Pants” (season 2, episode 4)

Mike O'Brien and Tim Robinson in 'I Think You Should Leave'

“Calico Cut Pants” combines a few of Robinson’s strengths into one great sketch: workplace conventions, social contracts, outsized reactions, and a series of escalating interactions. Fellow former SNL genius Mike O’Brien stars as an office employee who exits the bathroom with a couple of pee-drops on his khakis. Enter Robinson as a helpful co-worker with the perfect excuse—and a ridiculous buy-in. -BH

(featured image: Netflix / The Mary Sue)

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Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.