History Series / Bonanza

2nd Oct '17 3:59:32 PM FGHIK
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* Ben Cartwright (Creator/LorneGreene), patriarch of the family, a former ship's chandler from New England who has [[DoomMagnet seen three wives lost to cruel fate]], each [[SomeoneToRememberHimBy leaving him a son that never got to knew their respective mothers.]]

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* Ben Cartwright (Creator/LorneGreene), patriarch of the family, a former ship's chandler from New England who has [[DoomMagnet [[CartwrightCurse seen three wives lost to cruel fate]], each [[SomeoneToRememberHimBy leaving him a son that never got to knew their respective mothers.]]
20th Jun '17 2:28:37 PM Maddoxsort
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** A more subdued example, but trying to prove you're a bigger man than Adam will lead to [[GoodOlFisticuffs old-fashioned fisticuffs]] to duke it out and see who's really fit to lead.

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** A more subdued example, but trying to prove you're a bigger man than Adam will lead to [[GoodOlFisticuffs old-fashioned fisticuffs]] fisticuffs to duke it out and see who's really fit to lead.lead. In one case, it was practically an instance of "King of the Mountain" when he challenged lumberjacks working for his father to overthrow the "bull of the woods" while Ben was [[HeroicBSOD overcome with grief over the accidental death of one of his elderly workers that he personally felt and took the blame for.]]
20th Jun '17 2:23:56 PM Maddoxsort
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** A more subdued example, but trying to prove you're a bigger man than Adam will lead to OldFashionedFisticuffs to duke it out and see who's really fit to lead.

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** A more subdued example, but trying to prove you're a bigger man than Adam will lead to OldFashionedFisticuffs [[GoodOlFisticuffs old-fashioned fisticuffs]] to duke it out and see who's really fit to lead.
20th Jun '17 2:16:00 PM Maddoxsort
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** Don't insult Hop Sing's cooking.
** Any threat waged on the Cartwright sons will immediately provoke their father Ben into action.
** Stealing a girl from resident hotheads Little Joe or Candy (sometimes inflicted upon ''each other'') is a ''sure'' way to cause a brawl.
** Doing anything to [[{{Trigger}} remind Griff of the hostile environment of his corrupt imprisonment]] will get him on the defensive.
** A more subdued example, but trying to prove you're a bigger man than Adam will lead to OldFashionedFisticuffs to duke it out and see who's really fit to lead.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Hoss is a major example. Kind as can be, an animal-lover, and a child's best friend. But to some up to no good, he's a ''beast''.
** Hop Sing is an even ''scarier'' example. Normally a peaceful and joyful man, if you pick a fight with him, you're snookered. He knows martial arts and he can swiftly down a man ''twice'' his size before they even have a chance to lay hands on him! The prequel series to ''Bonanza'' took this aspect of him UpToEleven.



* ColdOpen: Most episodes before Season 14 would start before the title sequence. In Season 14, the final season, the title sequence was revamped so that the credits play over the episode footage, allowing for more content to be shot in lieu of an abbreviated run. This style transferred over to Michael Landon's subsequent series later that same year, ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie''.

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* ColdOpen: Most episodes before Season 14 would start before the title sequence. In Season 14, the final season, the title sequence was revamped so that the credits play over the episode footage, allowing for more content to be shot in lieu of an abbreviated run. This style transferred over to Michael Landon's subsequent series and SpiritualSuccessor to ''Bonanza'' (right down to recycled storylines that Landon himself had helped with or written himself on ''Bonanza'') that fully premiered later that same year, ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie''.



* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The Cartwrights in the early episodes often confronted strangers in the Ponderosa in a hostile fashion with guns drawn. Lorne Greene convinced the producers that since the Cartwrights are such major landowners and a major business interest in the region, they logically would be more hospitable to visitors for economic, social and political purposes.

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* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The Cartwrights in the early episodes often confronted strangers in the Ponderosa in a hostile fashion with guns drawn. Lorne Greene convinced the producers that since the Cartwrights are such major landowners and a major business interest in the region, they logically would be more hospitable to visitors for economic, social and political purposes. One can only assume this was back in the days when they didn't feel settled in and comfortable on the Ponderosa yet.
** The Cartwrights used to wear a variety of outfits until it became more economic to reuse stock footage of them riding around the West, so their outfits were simplified to LimitedWardrobe for the most part aside from some slight variation.
20th Jun '17 1:51:00 PM Maddoxsort
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* BerserkButton: Do ''not'' mess with Hoss's pictures of his late mother Inger. Any harm done to them will be met with a fist. And unbridled rage that even has the power to reverberate through ''amnesia''.
-->'''Hoss''': PICK THAT UP.



** "Shanklin" is all about how an ex-confederate lost his family in the Civil War under tragic circumstances and was forced to become a criminal to survive. When invading the Cartwright ranch, Hoss gets shot in a gunfight and the episode is spent with the rest of his family present trying to get a doctor to tend him while Shanklin holds everyone hostage and bemoans his own fate. However, because he shoots Hoss and also shows contempt toward all walks of life and unwillingness to turn his own life around, it's hard to feel sorry for him. [[spoiler:[[LaserGuidedKarma Naturally]], he ends up dead in the closing minutes of the episode when he himself gets shot and [[DramaticIrony there's no one to save him.]]]]



* ADeathInTheLimelight: All of Ben's deceased wives get one in the form of an episode titled "[insert name here], My Love". Inger is the one exception, as her story is told in two episodes, and the "My Love" episode is about how Ben met her. The follow-up episode next season reveals how Hoss was born and how Inger got killed.



** Damion from "Forever" had a ''tremendously'' scary one, as it radiated with nothing but coldblooded murderous intention and usually preceded his merciless wrath.



* MaliciousMisnaming: Shanklin in the titular episode repeatedly calls Hoss "Bull Hoss" for surviving his bullet wounds, but applies the moniker in a spiteful manner.



** TheKid = Jaime
** TheAntiHero = Griff

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** TheKid = Jaime
Jamie
** TheAntiHero TheAtoner = Griff
20th Jun '17 1:32:26 PM Maddoxsort
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* BeardOfSorrow: Little Joe grows one after the death of his wife Alice in "Forever". Once she's avenged, he shaves it off, indicating the end of his sorrow and overcoming some of his pain, but he has a touching moment where he stands beside the cross marking her grave and tells her, "I love you", proving that this death is not going to be one he shakes off and it will stay with him [[DramaticIrony forever.]]



** "Forever" turns Joe Cartwright into a widower in the worst way possible, seeing him lose a ''pregnant'' wife. He doesn't even get lucky enough to have his child survive.

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** "Forever" takes this to the logical extreme when it turns Joe Cartwright into a widower in the worst way possible, seeing him lose a ''pregnant'' wife. He doesn't even get lucky enough to have his child survive.



%%* ColdOpen

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%%* ColdOpen* ColdOpen: Most episodes before Season 14 would start before the title sequence. In Season 14, the final season, the title sequence was revamped so that the credits play over the episode footage, allowing for more content to be shot in lieu of an abbreviated run. This style transferred over to Michael Landon's subsequent series later that same year, ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie''.



* CrusadingWidower: In one of the most tragic moments in the entire series, Joe Cartwright gets married in the final season and has his pregnant wife murdered all because she had a deadbeat brother who incurred the wrath of an angry gambler, taking revenge on her to hurt him by proxy. Joe absolutely ''lost it'' and pursed his family's killer alongside Candy until the man was dead and gone.

to:

* CrusadingWidower: In one of the most tragic moments in the entire series, Joe Cartwright gets married in the final season and has his pregnant wife murdered all because she had a deadbeat brother who incurred the wrath of an angry gambler, taking revenge on her to hurt him by proxy.proxy, ultimately taking both their lives ''and'' an unborn one. Joe absolutely ''lost it'' and pursed his family's killer alongside Candy until the man was dead and gone.



* ForgottenThemeTuneLyrics:

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** TheKid = Jaime
** TheAntiHero = Griff
* ForgottenThemeTuneLyrics:ForgottenThemeTuneLyrics: Executive producer David Dortort never took a liking to the lyrics for the main theme, so they were never used on the show, but they did get used in the official soundtracks. Here's a sample:



* NeverLearnedToRead: Child, in the episode "Child," was illiterate. Sadly, this means [[spoiler:he went a long time not knowing what his name was (and going by "Child" because that's what everyone called him) until Hoss read the inscription in his Bible]].

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* NeverLearnedToRead: Child, in the episode "Child," was illiterate. Sadly, this means [[spoiler:he went a long time not knowing what his name was (and going by "Child" because that's what everyone called him) until Hoss read the inscription in his Bible]].Bible- his real name is Joshua, fittingly a Biblical name. Unfortunately, he doesn't live long enough to make much good use of it, but at least he willed the Bible to a good man]].



* RearrangeTheSong: The driving, rock-oriented version of the theme song heard in later seasons.

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* RearrangeTheSong: The driving, rock-oriented version of the theme song heard in later seasons.seasons, circa the last episodes of Season 9, followed by two more mixes in Season 12-13 and Season 14.



* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: John Harper, Alice's estranged brother in "Forever", gets cornered by the psychopathic Damion for running up a huge gambling debt of $5,000. Fearing for his life, John squeals on the Cartwrights and his newlywed and pregnant sister that they have the money to pay him off. Damion promptly corners Alice while her husband, Joe, is away, and John angers Damion. After ignoring his warning and laying hands on him, Damion puts a bullet in his gut, and he bleeds to death. Then, after Alice puts up resistance, he uses his brutish henchman Mr. Harley to make an example out of her and he murders her, and by extension, the unborn child inside of her. Then, the group burns down the homestead before Joe even had the chance to finish the baby's room.
** Even worse, when the authorities fish out the bodies of Alice and John, they at least recognize Alice's. John's is burnt beyond recognition. The Cartwrights bury her and erect a grave for the late Alice Cartwright, but because she rejected her brother, they had nothing to do with him and never learned he was dead because neither did the authorities, so his body was hauled off to be disposed of. That's right- he doesn't even get a grave to remember him by, because he doesn't deserve one. We also don't know if he died instantly from the gunshot wound, but he ''surely'' did when the homestead went up in flames, while Alice was already a goner. In other words, his sister went to Heaven while he burned in Hell.



* TemporaryLoveInterest: Virtually every woman the Cartwrights came in contact with, usually because they would die by the end of the episode.

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* TemporaryLoveInterest: Virtually every woman the Cartwrights came in contact with, usually because they would die by the end of the episode.episode, or fall for someone else, or turn out to be slime, or just plain call things off and leave. The only cast member who got a lasting love interest was ''Will'' Cartwright, who was only around for the latter half of Season 5 and scooped up Adam's love interest because his actor decided to stay on for another season when it was planned to marry him off and have him leave at the end of it. Even Hop Sing is subjected to this, as "The Lonely Man" cruelly proves.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Alice Harper-Cartwright, a kind and gentle woman who had the monstrous luck of being saddled with a sinful brother whose gambling mania drove their mother, himself, and her ''and'' her unborn baby to an early grave. Father Harper [[DissapearedDad didn't even get a mention]], so one wonders if he's really to blame for rubbing off on his son.
26th May '17 11:11:52 PM Maddoxsort
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* CutShort: Season 14 has a very abbreviated run compared to all the other seasons due to the death of Dan Blocker resulting in the termination of a huge chunk of episodes centered around Hoss- without him, they couldn't be produced. This also was the killing blow for ''Bonanza'' itself, as Blocker's sudden demise cause a production delay that kept the season from airing at its intended time, and got the show kicked to a weaker time slot that led to its downfall. Fortunately, it saw several sequel movie installments.

to:

* CutShort: Season 14 has a very abbreviated run (only 16 episodes) compared to all the other seasons due to the death of Dan Blocker resulting in the termination of a huge chunk of episodes centered around Hoss- without him, they couldn't be produced. This also was the killing blow for ''Bonanza'' itself, as Blocker's sudden demise cause a production delay that kept the season from airing at its intended time, and got the show kicked to a weaker time slot that led to its downfall. downfall when it fell out of the top 30 most-watched programs of the year. Fortunately, it saw several sequel movie installments.installments, though with a new generation of Cartwrights [[ActorExistenceFailure as more of the original cast passed away.]]
26th May '17 11:06:18 PM Maddoxsort
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* Candy Canaday (David Canary) started out as a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute for Adam when Pernell Roberts left the show, but then Candy [[CharacterDevelopment evolved into a unique character of his own right.]] When his character left the show in 1970 following a contract dispute, Jamie took his place, until Dan Blocker suddenly died and Michael Landon asked David Canary to come back to help fill the void.

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* ** Candy Canaday (David Canary) started out as a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute for Adam when Pernell Roberts left the show, but then Candy [[CharacterDevelopment evolved into a unique character of his own right.]] When his character left the show in 1970 following a contract dispute, Jamie took his place, until Dan Blocker suddenly died and Michael Landon asked David Canary to come back to help fill the void.


Added DiffLines:

* CutShort: Season 14 has a very abbreviated run compared to all the other seasons due to the death of Dan Blocker resulting in the termination of a huge chunk of episodes centered around Hoss- without him, they couldn't be produced. This also was the killing blow for ''Bonanza'' itself, as Blocker's sudden demise cause a production delay that kept the season from airing at its intended time, and got the show kicked to a weaker time slot that led to its downfall. Fortunately, it saw several sequel movie installments.
26th May '17 10:55:31 PM Maddoxsort
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* CousinOliver: The addition of Jamie Hunter Cartwright (Mitch Vogel) to open the 1970-1971 season. As the character of Little Joe began maturing throughout the 1960s, he began to be too old to take Ben's intended-for-teenager's fatherly advice. That, and to maintain interest among younger viewers, justified Jamie's arrival on the Ponderosa. (To be fair, the series continued to be a top 20 hit for two more seasons, with the real dooming catalyst being Dan Blocker's death and a move of the series to Tuesday evenings from its longtime Sunday night home.)

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* CousinOliver: The addition of Jamie Hunter Cartwright (Mitch Vogel) to open the 1970-1971 season. season, rounding out the Cartwrights where Adam had used to. As the character of Little Joe began maturing throughout the 1960s, he began to be too old to take Ben's intended-for-teenager's fatherly advice.advice (his actor Michael Landon's aging becomes apparent when his hair suddenly grays and grows out long, and his chin starts to sag). That, and to maintain interest among younger viewers, justified Jamie's arrival on the Ponderosa. (To be fair, the series continued to be a top 20 hit for two more seasons, with the real dooming catalyst being Dan Blocker's death and a move of the series to Tuesday evenings from its longtime Sunday night home.))
** New addition Griff King (Tim Matheson) in the final season, a parolee, served as one to help make up for the loss of Hoss.
* Candy Canaday (David Canary) started out as a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute for Adam when Pernell Roberts left the show, but then Candy [[CharacterDevelopment evolved into a unique character of his own right.]] When his character left the show in 1970 following a contract dispute, Jamie took his place, until Dan Blocker suddenly died and Michael Landon asked David Canary to come back to help fill the void.
26th May '17 10:43:39 PM Maddoxsort
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* CartwrightCurse: The TropeNamer. Ben Cartwright has been thrice-widowed. His first wife, Elizabeth Stoddard, died from complications after giving birth to Adam. His second wife, a Swedish woman named Inger Stevenson (and also Hoss' mother), was killed during an Indian attack. Ben's third wife and the mother of Little Joe, Marie [=DeMarigny=], died from injuries after she fell off her horse.

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* CartwrightCurse: The TropeNamer. Ben Cartwright has been thrice-widowed. His first wife, Elizabeth Stoddard, [[DeathByChildbirth died from complications after giving birth to Adam. Adam.]] His second wife, a Swedish woman named Inger Stevenson (and also Hoss' mother), was [[HoldTheLine killed during an Indian attack. attack when she chose to help fight them and took an arrow to the back]]. Ben's third wife and the mother of Little Joe, Marie [=DeMarigny=], died from injuries after she [[DeathByFallingOver fell off her horse. horse.]]
** "Forever" turns Joe Cartwright into a widower in the worst way possible, seeing him lose a ''pregnant'' wife. He doesn't even get lucky enough to have his child survive.


Added DiffLines:

* CrusadingWidower: In one of the most tragic moments in the entire series, Joe Cartwright gets married in the final season and has his pregnant wife murdered all because she had a deadbeat brother who incurred the wrath of an angry gambler, taking revenge on her to hurt him by proxy. Joe absolutely ''lost it'' and pursed his family's killer alongside Candy until the man was dead and gone.
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