How Well Do You Remember "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"?



By: Jane Andrews

6 Min Quiz

Image: CBS

About This Quiz

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was a groundbreaking sitcom for more reasons that one. In addition to being the first show to positively portray an unmarried career woman, it also focused on then-racy subjects such as premarital sex, homosexuality, marital infidelity and divorce. The talented ensemble cast created a family within a workplace, which became a theme adopted by many successful shows to follow, including "WKRP in Cincinnati," "Cheers," "30 Rock" and "The Office." 

Audiences fell in love with the strong and independent Mary Richards, her sassy best friend, Rhoda, her gruff but lovable boss, Lou, and her witty coworker, Murray. They also loved to laugh at colorful characters like the halfwitted anchorman Ted, the snobby Phyllis Lindstrom, the man-hungry TV host Sue Ann and the ditzy Georgette Franklin. The show spawned a number of successful spin-offs after just a few years on the air and became an indelible part of America's pop-culture landscape.

It's been 50 years since "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" first hit the airwaves — how much do you remember about the innovative, award-winning sitcom? This quiz will test your knowledge of all aspects of the series, from its characters and plot lines to its most memorable (and hilarious!) quotes. Hats off to you if you can answer these questions correctly!

What's the full name of Mary Tyler Moore's character?

In the first episode of the TV series, Mary Richards is introduced as a newly single 30-year-old woman who is looking for a fresh start after breaking off an engagement with her fiancé.


Where does "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" take place?

For the majority of the show, Mary Richards lives in a third-floor studio apartment within a quaint 19th-century house. Once fans discovered the real Minneapolis house that was used for the show' exterior shots, it became a popular Minneapolis tourist spot.


Which of the following is not a line from the show's theme song?

"Love Is All Around" was released as a single in 1970, and then again in 1980 on Sonny Curtis's album, "Love Is All Around." The latter version featured a country arrangement and reached number 29 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.


Do you remember the name of the TV station Mary works for?

Although Mary initially applies for a secretarial position at WJM, she is offered a job as associate producer of "The Six O'Clock News." She's promoted to producer in the show's fifth season.


Lou Grant is called "Lou" by everyone in the newsroom except Mary. What does she call him?

While Lou and Mary became very close during the run of the show, their relationship was never romantic. Lou does briefly date Rhoda, however, in the season four episode, "Lou's Second Date."


When he meets Mary for the first time, what does Lou say he both loves and hates about her?

Lou says this to his new hire Mary in the first episode of the series, which is entitled "Love Is All Around." "Love Is All Around" is also the name of the show's popular opening theme song.


What is the name of the WJM show hosted by Sue Anne Nivens?

Played by legendary TV actress Betty White, Sue Anne Nivens makes her first appearance in the fourth season of the series. White won two best supporting actress Emmys for the role.


Who plays Mary's boss, Lou Grant?

Ed Asner won five Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Lou Grant — three for best supporting actor in a comedy on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and two as best lead actor in a drama for "Lou Grant."


Can you tell us what Murray's job was at WJM?

The character of Murray Slaughter appeared in all seven seasons of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." He was played by Gavin MacLeod, a prolific character actor who famously went on to star as Captain Merrill Stubing in "The Love Boat."


How about Mary's neighbor and best friend, Rhoda. What does she do for a living?

The sassy and stylish Rhoda Morgenstern, played by Valerie Harper, appeared as a regular on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show " until the character was given a spin-off in 1974. "Rhoda" ran from 1974 until 1978.


Ted Baxter is the dim-witted news anchor at WJM. What is the name of his girlfriend?

In the sixth season episode, "Ted's Wedding," Ted and Georgette end up getting married in a hasty ceremony at Mary's apartment. The episode is also notable because it features John Ritter in a pre-"Three's Company" appearance as the reverend who marries them.


In a famous episode from the show's sixth season, the gang has trouble keeping a straight face when the station's resident clown dies in a freak accident. What was the name of the clown?

"Chuckles Bites the Dust" is considered by many to be one of the best episodes of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." It was also considered groundbreaking, as it was the first comedy to deal with the subject of death in a humorous, but inoffensive, way.


What did Lars, Phyllis's husband, do for a living?

In the spin-off series "Phyllis," it's revealed that Dr. Lars Lindstrom passed away, leaving Phyllis and his daughter penniless. The pair move to San Francisco and move in with Lars's mother, which serves as the premise for the new show.


In the show's series finale, everyone is fired from the station except one character. Who is not let go?

"The Last Show" aired on March 19, 1977. Considered a funny yet poignant final episode, it was reportedly considered the gold standard of sitcom finales by a number of well-known TV professionals, including the creators of "Friends."


Do you remember the ridiculous way in which the TV station's clown died?

While dressed as Peter Peanut for a circus parade, Chuckles the Clown is crushed by an elephant (the incident occurs off-screen). After scolding her co-workers for making jokes about the freak accident, Mary is unable to control her own laughter at the funeral.


Ted and Georgette decide to adopt a child in season six because they are having trouble conceiving. What happens after the adoption?

Ted and Georgette's adopted 12-year-old son, David, was played by child actor Robbie Rist. Rist appeared in a number of notable shows in the '70s, including "The Brady Bunch" and "The Bionic Woman."


Mary wins an award in a season three episode. Do you remember what the award was called?

Reportedly, Mary Tyler Moore counted this episode, called "Put On a Happy Face," as one of her favorites. Before winning the coveted award, Mary experiences a series of unfortunate (and hilarious) events.


There's a running gag throughout the show about which of the following things?

While she always tried to be a good hostess, something always went wrong when Mary threw a party. These incidents included running out of food for the guests and having the power go out.


Who was Mary's landlord at the start of the show?

Played by Cloris Leachman, the stuck-up Phyllis Lindstrom appeared on the show until the beginning of season five. The character then moved on to a spin-off, which ran for two seasons.


Mary goes to jail in a notable episode from season five. What was she jailed for?

Entitled "Will Mary Richards Go to Jail?" this episode received an Emmy Award for outstanding writing in a comedy series. It aired on Sept. 14, 1974, as the show's season premiere.


Which of the following department stores did Rhoda work at?

Rhoda starts to work at the fictional Hempel's after being fired from Bloomfield's Department Store. She also participates in a beauty contest at Hempel's during the show's third season.


The show tackles the subject of addiction in season seven. What does Mary become addicted to?

In the episode entitled "Mary's Insomnia," which first aired on Dec. 4, 1976, Lou expresses his concern for Mary when she begins taking sleeping pills every night to help her sleep.


What were the names of Mary's parents?

Mary's parents made their first appearance in the season three episode "Just Around the Corner." Played by Nanette Fabray and Bill Quinn, the pair move into a house around the corner from Mary and start meddling in her personal life.


Some of the episode's funniest lines came from the gang's jokes about the TV station's clown and his demise. Which of the following is not a quote from the show?

In addition to jokes about Chuckles' death, this episode also features the hilarious "Credo of the Clown" poem, as recited by both Ted and the reverend at Chuckles' funeral. It goes, "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants."


Do you remember the name of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" theme song?

While parts of the show's opening sequence changed as the years went on, it always ended with Mary's famous hat toss. The theme song, which was written and performed by Sonny Curtis, also remained the same.


How many spin-offs did "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" launch?

"Rhoda," "Phyllis" and "Lou Grant" were the three TV series spun off from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." While "Rhoda" and "Phyllis" were both 30-minute sitcoms like their mother show, "Lou Grant" was a one-hour drama.


Which famous real-life news anchor made a cameo appearance on the show?

Walter Cronkite made an appearance in the season four episode, "Ted Baxter Meets Walter Cronkite," which aired in 1974. In the episode, it's revealed that Cronkite is Ted Baxter's idol.


Do you remember the name of Phyllis's daughter?

Bess Lindstrom appeared on both "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and the spin-off "Phyllis." She was played by child actress Lisa Gerritsen, who also appeared on popular TV shows like "Gunsmoke" and "Family Affair."


Can you tell us the name of WJM's weatherman?

Gordon "Gordy" Howard made a number of appearances during the first three seasons of the show, and once again in season seven. He was played John Amos, who starred in the sitcom "Good Times" and the acclaimed 1977 miniseries "Roots."


What were Rhoda's parents named?

Played by Harold Gould and Nancy Walker, Martin and Ida Morgenstern made a number of appearances on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and were regulars on the spin-off "Rhoda."


What happens during Mary's dinner party in the seventh season premiere?

Mary and Lou are forced to deliver Georgette's baby when she unexpectedly goes into labor during the episode "Mary Midwife." In honor of the two, Ted and Georgette name their newborn girl Mary Lou.


Who does Sue Ann have an affair with?

In the fourth season premiere "The Lars Affair," Phyllis is shocked when she discovers that her husband is having an affair with Sue Ann. This episode Marks Betty White's first appearance on the show.


Do you remember the name of the station manager who fires everyone in the series' finale?

Mr. Coleman was played by the acclaimed, Oscar-nominated actor Vincent Gardenia, who also appeared as a regular on the show "All in the Family" and in movies such as "Death Wish" and "Moonstruck."


Which of the following characters did not appear in the show's series finale?

After learning about the WJM staff being let go, Lou flies Rhoda and Phyllis to Minneapolis to cheer Mary up. Still starring on their spin-off shows, Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman returned as guest stars for the highly anticipated finale.


Can you tell us the year that "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" premiered?

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted on CBS on Sept. 19, 1970. Prior to landing her own series, Moore starred as Laura Petrie on the "The Dick Van Dyke Show" from 1961 to 1966.


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