Some of the best moments between Monk and Natalie came during the tag — the last minute or so of an episode when the case has been solved and the characters go back to their normal routines. This was often a chance for the writers to add some fun and levity to the eps while wrapping up what just happened.
There were a lot of terrific M/N tags throughout the series run, so it was pretty difficult trying to keep my list of favorites down to 10. In fact, I couldn’t do it, so I have to start with several honorable mentions first:
3×11 — “Cobra”: This tag marked the first time Monk and Natalie walked away arm-in-arm together at the end of an ep. This would of course become a familiar sight with the two of them over the course of the next 5 seasons, but it was very surprising to see Monk so tolerant of close contact from Natalie this early in their relationship.
3×15 — “Election”: This was the first tag that showed the developing family dynamic between Monk, Natalie, and Julie. The final shot, which panned across a desk photo of Mitch, Natalie, and Julie before zooming in on Monk, Natalie, and Julie walking away together was a fairly clear indication of where the writers initially wanted this relationship to go.
6×10 — “Man Who Shot Santa Claus”: Three years after the events in “Election”, the family motif was stronger than ever with this trio in the Season 6 Christmas episode.
7×07 — “100th Case”: While I loved the brief standoff with Natalie brandishing the newspaper and Monk wielding the knife, what makes this tag awesome is the way the two of them lean over the newspaper together looking for interesting cases to solve.
8×07 — “Voodoo Curse”: This was one of the funnier tags, with Monk trying to explain how ridiculous Natalie was for believing in voodoo — while he compulsively touches every parking meter he passes.
8×09 –”Birthday”: Monk feeds Natalie a piece of birthday cake off his own fork. Enough said!