Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny 

Law student Julie Parlow's grandmother is kidnapped and held for ransom. But they don't have any money, so why did the kidnappers release her? And why did they feed her pizza?


Tony Bill


Andy Breckman (created by), Joe Toplyn | 3 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Shalhoub ... Adrian Monk
Bitty Schram ... Sharona Fleming
Jason Gray-Stanford ... Randall Disher
Ted Levine ... Stottlemeyer
Rachel Dratch ... Julie Parlo
Pat Crawford Brown ... Nana Parlo
Currie Graham ... Harold Maloney
Eden Rountree ... Carol Maloney
Michael Shalhoub Michael Shalhoub ... Ron Abrash
Larry Hankin ... Bearded Man
Scott Nankivel Scott Nankivel ... Tom Burton
Jenni Pulos ... Sascha Gordon
Christina Huntington Christina Huntington ... Edie Rusher
Hugh Dane ... Sgt. Lane
Hira Ambrosino ... TV Reporter


Unable to pay for Monk's services as a private detective, middle-aged law student Julie Parlo offers him a trade--she'll help Monk become reinstated as a policeman with the SFPD if he'll help her find her missing grandmother. The only clue to the identity of the kidnappers is a roughly drawn lightning bolt on a note left at the grandmother's house, leading Stottlemeyer and Disher to suspect the former leader of an anti-Vietnam War group from the Seventies. But when the captain, anticipating Monk's reinstatement, invites Monk to help him with interrogation, Monk accidentally discovers that the suspect's tattoo doesn't match the symbol on the note--it has three humps instead of two. Meanwhile, the kidnappers order Julie to provide turkey dinners to the homeless in exchange for the return of the grandmother. Julie complies and her grandmother is returned safely, leading Stottlemeyer to put the case "on the back burner." True to her promise, Julie informs Monk of a loophole that will ... Written by WyattJones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pay phone | See All (1) »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 February 2004 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


This is the first of two episodes of in which no one dies. The next was Monk: Mr. Monk and the Kid (2005)(#3.16). See more »


Lt. Disher reveals that he is allergic to cats, and if a cat has been in a house within a year, he gets his allergies. But in Monk: Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect(#2.7) when they are visiting Amanda Babbage's house, a cat runs by Disher, and he doesn't react. In Monk: Mr. Monk Bumps His Head(#4.11) at the end, Cora Little is holding her cat and standing just a few feet from Disher, and he doesn't react. See more »


Julie Parlo: [walks up to Stottlemeyer] Excuse me, Captain Stottlemeyer?
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Yep.
Julie Parlo: Hi, I'm Julie Parlo. Uh, where is the FBI? This is a kidnapping. I happen to be a lawyer, so I know that in a kidnapping situation the FBI has jurisprudence.
Lt. Randall Disher: That's only true if your grandmother's been taken across the state lines...
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: ...or if she's been held for more than 24 hours. And I think you meant to say "jurisdiction." What kind of lawyer are you?
See more »


References Biography (1987) See more »


It's a Jungle Out There
Written by Randy Newman
Performed by Randy Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

The first not-so-good episode of 'Monk'
21 July 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend.

Have always considered "Mr Monk and the Missing Granny" a disappointment, and still do. There have been many instances of not liking something for the first time and then liking it far more over-time, "Mr Monk and the Missing Granny" is not one of them. It's not terrible but is one of the weaker episodes of Season 2 and a lesser 'Monk' episode, as said in my review summary to me it is also the first not-so-good 'Monk' episode, the previous episodes ranging from pretty good to masterpiece.

There are enough good things here. Visually, the episode is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. While there is a preference for the theme music for Season 1, Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" has grown on me overtime, found it annoying at first but appreciate its meaning and what it's trying to say much more now.

Some of the writing is fun, if more in the character moments than the case. There is still evidence of hilarious wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama that is delicately done but extremely deft. The standouts are the exchange between Monk and Abrash starting with Monk asking about being at the opera, Julie and Stottlemeyer and seeing Disher undercover as a homeless person.

As ever, the acting is very good. Tony Shalhoub continues to be superb as Monk,It was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching, while the quirks and flaws are genuine and never overplayed. Bitty Schram is sharp yet sympathetic, while Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford both have amusing moments. Really liked the character of Julie and rooted for her and her grandmother.

However, 'Monk' can be a silly show but in a way that's endearingly quirky. Here in "Mr Monk and the Missing Granny" the silliness is overkill that it veers on the ridiculous. No, this has nothing to do with it being an atypical episode with Monk having a different reason for taking on the case and not being a murder case, different can be good and 'Monk' is no stranger to changes of pace (done better). It was enjoyable seeing how Monk solves the case and some of the clues found.

Everything about the criminals' plan was just too far fetched. The motive, the strangest ransom demand ever, their stupidity and over-confidence, that their actions seemed really pointless once the motive was revealed (they could easily have done the crime a different way and perhaps more discreetly), the whole business with the chair at the end (what a way to incriminate yourself), how easy it was to track them down and their framing attempt was just so ridiculous and improbable that it was enough to bring the episode down significantly. Sadly this is a rare case on 'Monk' where the mystery is a complete failure.

Plus the bit with Monk, the ladder and the pipe was, even in the situation he was in, was very out of character for Monk. Usually, considering his phobias, he wouldn't be seen dead doing what he did, but somehow one is meant to believe that he developed that amount of athleticism out of the blue when there were other episodes that did such a great job re-introducing new things and people and giving credible reasons (namely "Mr Monk and the Three Pies").

Overall, a disappointment though watchable. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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