If you are wondering what the hell this is, check out The Not-So-Definitive New Girl Episode Tournament HQ for all the information.
Wild Card Round 1 – Division 1
Episode Match-Up: “Heat Wave” vs. “A Father’s Love”
Both of these episodes have strong points and weak points. “Heat Wave” comes from the Jess-less arc during Season 5 that features Megan Fox as Reagan. It’s a pretty Nick-centric episode and a big step forward in the sometimes odd Reagan/Nick storyline. “A Father’s Love” comes right in the pack of some classic New Girl episodes, but has always felt a bit shoe-horned in to setup “Chicago” later in the season. It’s a pretty even pairing between the two, but I’m going with “Heat Wave” due to the importance to the show’s narrative.
Winner: “Heat Wave”
Episode Match-Up: “Where the Road Goes” vs. “Five Stars for Beezus”
This is one of the easier match-ups and really sort of unfair for “Where the Road Goes”. It’s a perfectly fine episode from Season 7, but “Five Stars for Beezus” is the Season 6 finale. At the time, it was potentially the final episode of the series, so it carries quite a bit of emotional weight. A fairly obvious pick here.
Winner: “Five Stars for Beezus”
Episode Match-Up: “Jeff Day” vs. “Glue”
Battle of episode 15s! It can be hit-and-miss with Sam and Jess’s relationship, especially the second go-around, but “Jeff Day” has plenty of great interactions between Sam and Nick to make it worthwhile. “Glue” is a fine episode, especially the Schmidt/Cece/Ally dynamic, but suffers a bit from Season 6-itis. Big moments, like Nick selling his first novel, just don’t seem that big. “Jeff Day” is taking this. You just got Rhonda’d!
Winner: “Jeff Day”
Episode Match-Up: “See Ya” vs. “Coming Out”
You know, I never really cared for Ryan.
Winner: “Coming Out”
Episode Match-Up: “Big News” vs. “Julie Berkman’s Older Sister”
“Big News” is somewhat of an awkward episode in the post-Nick/Jess world. But despite the “Oh no, we have a lot more show to go” break-up between Nick and Jess, I think “Big News” pulls out a pretty good episode featuring the honey roast of Winston. “Julie Berkman’s Older Sister” is a perfectly serviceable episode of New Girl, but also pretty forgettable.
Winner: “Big News”
Wild Card Round 1 – Division 2
Episode Match-Up: “Thanksgiving III” vs. “Hubbedy Bubby”
“Thanksgiving III” might be my least favorite Thanksgiving episode of the series, but it’s still got plenty of laughs. And Coach! “Hubbedy Bubby”, on the other hand, is a real head-scratcher. I typically feel that New Girl does a good job when delving into touchier subjects like race, but why they decided to have a Clinton/Trump election themed episode is beyond me. It also hasn’t aged well. Easy pick here.
Winner: “Thanksgiving III”
Episode Match-Up: “The Right Thing” vs. “Shark”
“The Right Thing” always felt like a strange episode. It introduces Schmidt’s mom and has a pretty good bar-mitzvah money side-plot, but I’ll always think of it as that episode with J.J. Watt. “Shark” is a few episodes earlier in the same season, but generally meshes better. You know how I said I didn’t like Ryan? Him as a hot construction worker is probably his high point.
Episode Match-Up: “Cooler” vs. “Coach”
This isn’t really fair, because “Cooler” is one of the top episodes of the series. I love Coach, but the self-titled “Coach” might be one of the weakest Coach episodes. How far can “Cooler” make it in the bracket? We’ll find out.
Episode Match-Up: “Socalyalcon VI” vs. “A Chill Day In”
You will discover that I’m not a huge fan of the author-Nick stories. Nick is probably my favorite character. I even like what Reagan brings to the table. But these late season episodes with a struggling Nick/Reagan relationship don’t always click. “A Chill Day In”, the second of a two parter, is downright hilarious. Yes, it’s just an excuse to have Jess and Cece act high, but the results are great. Feel like bakin’ love!
Winner: “A Chill Day In”