After Charlie Sheen was fired from Two and a Half Men and replaced by Ashton Kutcher, the show never managed to reclaim its former glory. The dynamic of carefree tech billionaire Walden Schmidt inexplicably allowing a middle-aged man and his teenage son to stay in his new Malibu beach house didn’t have the same comic potential or sweet sentimentality of hard-drinking, tightly wound bachelor Charlie Harper reluctantly inviting his brother and nephew to live with him after his brother’s wife kicks him out. But the Kutcher episodes weren’t all terrible. There are some gems lurking in the final four seasons of Two and a Half Men.

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In both the Sheen and Kutcher eras of the show, there were a ton of Two and a Half Men episodes in which Alan took a principled stand and moved out of the beach house before inevitably returning to his rent-free paradise with his tail between his legs. But the usual formula for these episodes sees Alan groveling for his treasured hide-a-bed.

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Season 10’s “The 9:04 From Pemberton” puts a fresh spin on this storyline as Walden kicks Alan out for nearly burning down his house, Alan moves in with a lonely, newly single Herb, and when Walden comes to his senses and invites Alan back, Herb isn’t ready to give him up. So, Walden and Herb fight over which one of them will have Alan sponging off of them.

When Angus T. Jones left Two and a Half Men between its 10th and 11th seasons, his spot on the main cast was taken by Amber Tamblyn in the role of Charlie’s long-lost daughter Jenny. While the concept of Charlie having a daughter that he never mentioned seemed a little far-fetched, Jenny proved to be a welcome addition to the ensemble. Having a booze-soaked womanizer in the house restored the unique energy that Charlie brought to the dynamic.

The season 11 premiere, “Nangnangnangnang,” gave Jenny a terrific introduction as she met Alan, Evelyn, and Berta, and became yet another Harper to move into Walden’s house. Jenny’s debut is full of dry one-liners that firmly establish her as her father’s daughter. “I hate the Sun, it’s like God calling you an alcoholic,” could’ve easily been one of Charlie’s lines.

The writers of Two and a Half Men went back to basics in season 12 with the same formula that made the show so successful in the first place: two men trying to co-parent an impressionable child. After suffering a mild heart attack, Walden takes stock of his life and decides to become a father. Unable to adopt a child as a single man, he marries Alan and they adopt adorable six-year-old Louis together.

The episode “Alan Shot a Little Girl” explored the relatable difficulties of parenthood that hadn’t been seen in the show since Jake’s pre-teen years. As Walden tries to enforce rules on his new son, Alan keeps caving to emotional manipulation so Louis will see him as the cool dad. Louis turns his two dads against each other in a storyline jam-packed with hilarious interpersonal conflicts.

Season 9’s “Frodo’s Headshots” is one of the darkest episodes of the entire series. Upon release from the psychiatric hospital he checked himself into in the previous episode, Alan’s life seemingly falls apart. His girlfriend Lyndsey has left him for Walden, who has moved all of Alan’s stuff to a storage locker ahead of kicking him out of his house. Alan attempts suicide by carbon monoxide, but his car breaks down. When he hitches a ride from a trucker who demands sexual favors in exchange for transport, Alan’s own mother refuses to let him stay with her, so he goes to the storage locker to sleep with his belongings. And just when it doesn’t seem like his life can get any worse, Herb shows up with the bombshell that the daughter he raised with Judith is really Alan’s – a mystery thread that ran for several seasons – and shoots Alan dead.

Then, Alan wakes up in the hospital and realizes that the entire episode up to that point was just a dream. The metaphysical episodes of Two and a Half Men don’t always work, but this one goes to such grim places that it’s actually a relief when the whole thing turns out to be a dream.

Arguably the funniest episode from the Kutcher era, season 11’s “Lotta Delis in Little Armenia” sees Alan opening a new chiropractic practice from home (Adjustments by the Sea…) around the same time that Walden’s therapist recommends a string of casual sexual flings. When Alan tasks Walden with stalling one of his patients while he’s stuck in traffic, Walden ends up having sex with her. Soon enough, word of mouth has spread around Malibu and more women show up at the house to be “serviced” by Alan’s handsome assistant.

Alan never misses an opportunity for a scam. As soon as he realizes he can make money hand over fist without doing any work, he instantly ditches his chiropractic career and embraces his new life as a pimp. There’s a hysterical montage in which Alan starts dressing flashier and flashier – gold chains, animal-print shirts, a fedora with a feather in it – as he rakes in more and more cash from the scam. Of course, in the end, he gets his comeuppance.

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