15 of the Greatest TV Sandwiches for National Sandwich Day

Robert Chan
·Writer
(Credit: Fox)
Credit: Fox

In honor of National Sandwich Day, we rank 15 of the most important sandwiches in television history in order of deliciousness. This is a completely scientific ranking, so please forward all complaints to the International Sandwich Commission, which is in charge of this sort of thing.

(Credit: Fox)
(Credit: Fox)

15. Ten-foot Hoagie: The Simpsons (Season 4, Episode 13)
There’s a thin line between frugality and stupidity. OK, it’s not a thin line; it’s about a mile wide, and Homer crosses it repeatedly. The nonrefrigerated sub turns green, then gray, and he still insists on eating it. That it takes weeks for him to finally get food poisoning is a testament to his cast-iron stomach.
Official rating: 8 at the beginning, -4 by the end.

(Credit: Fox)
Credit: Fox
(Credit: Fox)
Credit: Fox

14. Grilled Cheesus: Glee (Season 2, Episode 3)
Finn finds Jesus in his grilled cheese and his prayers are answered, but at a cost — leading him to sing R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” at the end of the episode. When Cory Monteith finally eats the sandwich at the end of the hour, the actual sandwich used for the shot was over a week old. He may not have lost his religion, but he surely lost whatever else was in his stomach at the time.
Official rating: A week-old sandwich? Not even Jesus can save this one: 2.

13. The Broodwich: Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Season 2, Episode 16)
Yes, it’s immortal and cursed, and consuming it will send you to an alternate dimension where you’re chased by an ax-wielding demon. On the other hand, Master Shake’s iron-clad rationale for eating it? “Free sandwich!”
Official rating: It comes with a non-optional side of demon (his name is Jerry), so no: 2.

12. The Larry David Sandwich: Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season 5, Episode 1)
It seems ungrateful of David when, after being honored by having a sandwich named after him at Leo’s deli, he tries to switch his sandwich with Ted Danson. But Danson refuses to swap because, “One tastes good, and one sucks!”; then, the sandwich sends Larry’s dad to the hospital. So maybe Larry’s onto something this time…
Official rating: If Ted Danson won’t eat it…: 3.

(Credit: CBS)
Credit: CBS

11. The Double Triple Decker Sardine and Marshmallow Fudge Sandwich: Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (Season 1, Episode 3)
Shaggy and Scooby’s appetites are legendary, and the cost of feeding the two must be so high, it’s no wonder they live in a van. Rumors of drug use aside (one hopes that it’s “medicinal”), Shaggy is a master sandwich artisan, and this is his crowning masterpiece.
Official rating: Mind-boggling structural integrity notwithstanding, this sounds terrible: 3.

(Credit: ABC)
Credit: ABC
(Credit: ABC)
Credit: ABC

10. The Jay Pritchett: Modern Family (Season 3, Episode 23)
The Romans used to say in vino veritas, but for this show, it’s in sandwich veritas. While sampling the sandwich named after Jay (turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, red peppers, and anchovies on wheat), Gloria finds out that he’s been keeping secrets. By the end of the episode, the sandwich helps the entire family learn a little more about themselves.
Official rating: It may be the licensed therapist of sandwiches, but bacon and anchovies? Pass: 3.

9. Marble Rye: Seinfeld (Season 7, Episode 11)
How can you have a sandwich without bread? George enlists Jerry to get a loaf of bread from Schnitzel’s Bakery, but the plan goes, ahem, awry, and the last loaf of marble rye is sold just as he gets to the counter. He offers the woman $50 for the bread, but she refuses. Then Jerry steals it from her — an act that would come back to haunt him in the finale.
Official rating: Technically, it’s only the bread, but the bread is worth at least $50: 3.5.

(Credit: The CW)
Credit: The CW

8. Crustless Sandwiches: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Season 2, Episode 1)
Josh is desperately trying to avoid moving back in with his parents, but he finds that not all his friends feel the same way: All it takes is a little rationalizing. Like, “I don’t live with my mom; I live with my best friend,” or the classic response when Josh points out that Hector’s mother still makes him lunch every day: “That’s only because they don’t sell crustless bread at the supermarket, bitch!”
Official rating: A grown man ought to be able to cut the crusts off his own bread: 5.

7. Pit Beef, Medium Rare, With Extra Horseradish: The Wire (Season 1, Episode 13)
Wee-Bey is Avon Barksdale’s top soldier and loyal to a fault. Faced with life in prison without parole, he admits to numerous other murders he didn’t commit in order to protect those who did. In exchange, he’s given what may be the last Chaps pit beef sandwich of his life. They’re out of potato salad, though, so he has to settle for slaw. It truly is hard out here for a pimp.
Official rating: No potato salad? We’d rather get the chair: 6.

(Credit: FX)
Credit: FX
(Credit: FX)
Credit: FX

6. Nutella Sandwich: Atlanta (Season 1, Episode 1)
Earn is approached on a bus by a stranger who offers cryptic advice while making a sandwich, then demands he take a bite. Was it a metaphor for Earn taking control of his life? Or some random lunatic offering unwanted snacks on mass transit? Earn never bit, so we may never know.
Official rating: What if that sandwich contained eternal wisdom? Even if not, it’s still Nutella: 7.5.

(Credit: Netflix)
Credit: Netflix
(Credit: Netflix)
Credit: Netflix

5. Eggplant Parmesan: Master of None (Season 1, Episode 1)
After a grueling day — OK, two hours — of trying to keep up with a friend’s children left in his care, Dev finally has an opportunity to connect with them. They make him a sandwich — peanut butter and lettuce with ketchup — and ask him to eat it instead of the eggplant parmesan sandwich from Soho eatery Parm. Which sandwich will the commitment-averse 30-year-old actor choose?
Official rating: Who needs emotional growth when you’ve got Parm? 8.

4. The Moist Maker: Friends (Season 5, Episode 9)
How good does a sandwich have to be to make it worth losing your job over? Well, that’s how good Ross’s Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich is (the key is the gravy-soaked slice of bread in the middle). When his boss admits he ate it, Ross starts to lose it, but when he tells Ross that it was too large and he had to throw most of it away? Who among us could say we would have handled it any better?
Official rating: Ross was also going through a divorce. Even still, his rage feels justified: 9.

3. Sandwich Day: 30 Rock (Season 2, Episode 14)
It’s like Christmas for the writers: Once a year, the teamsters bring amazing sandwiches from a secret deli. It’s a great episode, but what makes it a classic is Liz eating the entire sandwich — on camera, in real time — to get past an officious TSA agent.
Official rating: Coming only once a year makes it all the sweeter: 9.5.

2. The Best Sandwich in the World: Friends (Season 5, Episode 20)
Joey jumps in front of Ross when they think they’re being shot at, which makes Chandler jealous. That is, until Joey reveals he was actually trying to protect his sandwich. “I know it doesn’t make much sense,” says Joey. Chandler gives the only possible response: “Much sense?!”
Official rating: A sandwich worth taking a bullet for? 10.

(Credit: Comedy Central)
Credit: Comedy Central

1. The Möbius Melt: The Colbert Report (July 7, 2010)
What to do when KFC introduces a sandwich where the bread is meat and Friendly’s makes one where the bread is other sandwiches? The only logical thing is make a grilled cheese sandwich with grilled cheese sandwiches as bread. Forever. Stephen Colbert posits the creation of an “endlessly recursive series of dual-state cheese sandwich bread cheese sandwiches extending into infinity.”
Official rating: Infinity, obviously: ∞.