Frasier Online
home About The Show Episode Guide Merchandise Forum Reviews Gallery Contact

Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 6 -> Episode 6.17

Dinner Party
Episode Details

Written by: Jeffrey Richman

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 11th March 1999

Original UK airdate: 30th April 1999

Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Moon .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
Guest Cast Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frasier and Niles decide to throw a dinner party, primarily to get to know the Ashby's, a couple Frasier met at the symphony. Having finally settled on a date - the 19th, and got Martin to change his poker game from that night, they try to book a caterer. Unfortunately, their first choice is unavailable on their chosen night but his arch rival is, so they settle for him. Next comes the guest list - no easy task when Frasier can't stand some of Niles's choices and vice versa. Frasier then suggests they can blackball 3 of the others choices until they settle on the 10 they require. Eventually they do, but when they phone their guests of honour, they discover that they are unavailable on the 19th, but are available on the 11th. Changing the date of their party to the 11th, Martin then informs them he has rescheduled his poker game - to the 11th. Frasier then uses reverse psychology by suggesting they can have both parties on the same night to which Martin rushes to change the date back to the 19th.

As they then begin to phone round their chosen guests, they are excited by one of them bringing Joaquim who they presume is the conductor of the Buenos Aires Philemonic as they have just been there. However, when one of their guests rings back to leave a message on their answerphone, they also leave the conversation that follows by accident where they infer that the Crane brothers relationship is perhaps a bit unhealthy as they seem to be inseperable. This in turn leads them to question their dependance on each other but eventually resolve that they don't care what others think because they enjoy each others company. The party ends in disaster though as the Ashbys suddenly pull out, Joaquim turns out to be an Argentinian foster child and they end up with a caterer with a criminal record.

Episode Title Cards
  • The Dinner Party

Episode Highlights

- After Frasier invites the Ashbys as guest of honour:
Niles: They're such a charming couple - they remind me of Maris and I when we were happy.
Frasier: Really - I must have been sick that day (!).

- After Frasier gets Martin to change his poker game night the first time:
Martin: These guys have pretty busy lives - I can't always get hold of these guys.
Niles: Let's hope that the dog track has a PA system.

- After Frasier uses a fourth 'blackball' against the Cromwells:
Niles: This is a dried up old fig!
Frasier: So's Lucy Cromwell and I don't want her at my party!

- After Arch and Nina Duncan ask if they can invite Joaquim, who the Crane's believe to be the Buenos Aires conductor:
Niles: We've got Joaquim!
Frasier: Well don't cry for me, Arch and Nina!

- Daphne is about to try on a dress Niles dislikes:
Roz: Just try it - we can accessorize it.
Niles: With what - a lampost and a public defender ?!

- After the phone call questioning the brother's relationship:
Niles: Why don't we call Alison and ask her what she finds strange about us - we can both be on an extension.
Frasier: Better yet, why not get on a bicycle made for 2, ride over there and ask her what she finds strange about us!!

- Frasier reads back the final list of guests:
Frasier: A third rate caterer with a record, 2 lushes, a couple who think we're nutscases, an Argentinian wild child and Roz. Dinner is served (!)

Frasier Online Episode Review

The only other real-time episode besides 'My Coffee With Niles' back in Season 1, and a hugely enjoyable one it is too. To my mind it is also a rather underrated one, because it features some brilliant dialogue and sustains itself very well througout the 22 minutes. Built around the simple premise of Niles and Frasier planning a dinner party, there's a slew of very funny moments such as the "blackballing" of party guests, Frasier and Niles worrying their relationship is too close followed by Martin describing their relationship not as odd but "special"!. An episode that is by turns witty and hilarious, and one that is ripe for re-discovery now that Season 6 is out on DVD.


86 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 90.9%
Total Number of Reviews: 8

Blackballed, May 15, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Dinner Party" is the perfect example of what this sitcom at the top of its game can do. It's an experiment in form and style that relies on our extensive knowledge of the characters and has faith that the writers and actors can pull off a real-time set piece. It really is a marvelously constructed little episode, although of course I wouldn't want to see this every week!

I can't add much to the chorus of praise here. While this doesn't have quite the depth of exploration that we found in "My Coffee with Niles", "Dinner Party" is perhaps the greatest evidence for the strength of the leads together. Niles and Frasier rise and fall so many times in preparation for their "intime soiree", throwing in some cheeky physical comedy, a good deal of oneupmanship, and the ultimate stand-off between Martin and Frasier. (And is it just me, or does the scene where Roz and Daphne complain about Frasier's treatment of them strike anyone else as meta before meta was cool?)

In summary: I wouldn't want this to be every week, but it's a special little treat for fans and anoraks. Worth it.

Rating: 90%


Read more viewer reviews of this episode.

Write your own review of this episode and share your thoughts with other's.