Father Knows Least
Screenshot fatherknowsleast
Ray disciplining Ally in "Father Knows Least"
Season 2
Episode 2
Air Date September 29, 1997
Cast Ray Romano
Director(s) Michael Lessac
Writer(s) Lew Schneider
Preceded by Ray's on TV
Followed by Brother

Father Knows Least is the 2nd episode of Season 2, and is episode 24 of the full 210 episodes for the entire series. In this episode, Ally starts acting up and doesn't do what Ray and Debra tell her, so they attend a class on how to deal with difficult children.

Episode InformationEdit


When Ally starts acting up, Ray and Debra have a difficult time disciplining her because she doesn't want to listen to her parents. Fed up with her, Ray says she can't watch TV. Then Ally has a fit.

The next day, Debra finds a brochure advertising a parenting class. It's called "Parent Effectiveness Training. Coping with your child's behavioral challenges." Ray is reluctant to go, but Debra drags him along anyway.

While at the class, they learn about "Active Listening". They learn to encourage Ally to express herself verbally without influencing her with their own preconceived notions or opinions. To demonstrate to the class, Ray is recruited to role-play with the instructor, Celia.

Back at home, Debra tries these new tactics on well as Ray. But they don't seem to work for her. But, while at his parents house, Ray uses the stuff he learned from the class to resolve an argument between his parents. And, amazingly, it worked. So he races back over to his own house to find Debra disciplining Ally because she destroyed one of the twins' stuffed animals. Ray immediately jumps in to use his new-found talent. Eventually, Ally says she wants to fix the toy for Michael.

Running GagsEdit

Throughout the series, when Ray walks into the house and sees Debra working in the kitchen, he calls her by some silly nickname. But the cute little nicknames are different in each episode. In this episode, Ray calls her "Lucky Pants".


This is the first time Ray calls Debra one of his little nicknames.

It's also the first time we hear Marie refer to Frank as "chi-chi".


  • Ray: "All right, Ally, you do what Mommy says."
  • Ally: "Why?"
  • Ray: "Because I do."