‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: Debra’s Infamous ‘PMS’ Episode Was Based on This Cast Member
Fans of Everybody Loves Raymond still relish the spats between Ray Barone (Ray Romano) and his wife Debra (Patricia Heaton). One episode entitled “Bad Moon Rising” gave viewers 30 minutes of hilarity with Ray trying to deal with Debra’s pre-menstrual mood swings.
Turns out art was imitating life since the episode was inspired by this actor’s argument with her husband.
CBS sitcom title came from Ray Romano’s brother
In a 2002 interview on Larry King Live, Romano explained how the show’s title was inspired by one of his family members.
“It came about from a sarcastic comment my brother made, who is a police officer,” the sitcom star revealed. “He said, “Look what I do for a living, and look at Raymond – yeah, everybody loves Raymond.”
Romano initially felt the title Everybody Loves Raymond would invite criticism and wanted it changed.
“Who is this guy? Who is this guy? Let’s see how I love him,” the comedian commented. “So I was worried about that. We used it as a working title. And it just grew on CBS, and we couldn’t get rid of it.”
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ storylines come from show’s star and executive producer
The majority of plot lines were taken straight from the lives of Romano and executive producer Phil Rosenthal.
“That was where we started with, based on all the characters in my life and kind of a situation I was living,” Romano told King. “But it’s a combination. Phil Rosenthal, our executive producer, it’s his parents also.”
Rosenthal got material for the show from others in his life besides his parents. The executive producer also incorporated some of his spats with wife and cast member Monica Horan, who portrayed Robert’s wife Amy, into classic arguments between Ray and Debra.
“Ninety percent of everything you hear on the show has been said to me or Ray Romano or one of the writers,” Rosenthal told People in 2002. “Nothing is safe, but Monica’s a good sport and laughs with us.”
Monica Horan hears a familiar argument on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
Horan found out her husband used one of their most personal quarrels while she was in her makeup trailer with the studio monitor playing.
“It was the PMS episode,” she recalled. “I’m hearing lines from conversations I had with my husband. Ray was telling Debra to take medication, and she was telling him she needed a hug. I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I was crying, then laughing, then crying. It was surreal.”
Another argument that went from the Rosenthal home to the Everybody Loves Raymond set was over a simple household appliance.
“Monica and I once had a fight over a can opener,” Rosenthal recalled. “I spilled the tuna everywhere and got mad, and things were said.”
Naturally, the dustup inspired the episode “The Can Opener,” though Rosenthal made a creative change. Ray quickly apologized to Debra for his action, where Horan noted the script didn’t always reflect her husband’s actions.
“My favorite line to Phil is, ‘You can say the right thing on TV, but why can’t you do it in real life?’” Horan commented.
Despite sharing some of their spats on the air, Rosenthal and Horan have been happily married for over 30 and are still going strong.