History Series / NightCourt

18th Sep '17 9:00:27 AM glickmam
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* RealityIsUnrealistic: [[WordOfGod According to Reinhold Weege]], the story Harry tells about how he became judge, that is, he got his assignment because the outgoing mayor of New York City made a huge number of appointments on his last day, and Harry was the only person on the judges' list who was home and was able to receive the call and accept his nomination, was actually a very true story involving former Los Angeles mayor Sam Yorty. Per Weege, Yorty was so angry that he lost his re-election bid to Tom Bradley, that he decided to hurt Bradley, whom he personally hated, by filling all of the judicial openings with unqualified or under qualified personnel.[[note]]Don't worry. Bradley was relatively unscathed by this action, and actually served 20 years in office, eight more than Yorty.[[/note]] Lana actually [[LampshadeHanging points this out]] at the beginning of the pilot episode, in which she mentions that she doesn't know anything about "Judge Stone" because the mayor filled all the vacancies at the last minute.

to:

* RealityIsUnrealistic: [[WordOfGod According to Reinhold Weege]], the story Harry tells about how he became judge, that is, he got his assignment because the outgoing mayor of New York City made a huge number of appointments on his last day, and Harry was the only person on the judges' list who was home and was able to receive the call and accept his nomination, was actually a very true story involving former Los Angeles UsefulNotes/LosAngeles mayor Sam Yorty. Per Weege, Yorty was so angry that he lost his re-election bid to Tom Bradley, that he decided to hurt Bradley, whom he personally hated, by filling all of the judicial openings with unqualified or under qualified personnel.[[note]]Don't worry. [[note]]Amusingly, Bradley was actually relatively unscathed by this action, and actually served 20 years in office, eight more than Yorty.Yorty, and only ended up leaving office in 1993 due to low popularity points in response to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots 1992 Los Angeles riots]].[[/note]] Lana actually [[LampshadeHanging points this out]] at the beginning of the pilot episode, in which she mentions that she doesn't know anything about "Judge Stone" because the mayor filled all the vacancies at the last minute.
15th Aug '17 3:57:48 PM TroperBeDoper
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* YouLookFamiliar: Literally dozens of examples.
** The king of this (on Night Court, at least) has to be actor Jack Riley, who played five roles over the course of the series, including a murderous clown, a gay dog breeder interested in Dan, and the doctor in charge of Dan's surgery.
** Running a close second is Timothy Stack, who played three separate, prominent characters over the course of the series.
*** In "The Modest Proposal", he played Bill - Christine's humorless fiancee. He winds up dumping her at the altar as he suddenly "gets" every single punchline to every joke he was ever told.
*** In the two-parter "Snoop and Nuts", he plays Tim Bond - an incompetent federal agent working with Harry to bring down a crime boss.
*** In the two-parter "Wedding Bell Blues", he plays Mr. Marley - a pencil-pusher who takes over running maintenance for the court house after the staff go on strike.
** Stuart Pankin has also played three separate characters in the series, including a podiatrist who has to deliver Mac and Quon Le's baby, and a rock star's greedy business manager.
** Lana Clarkson, of ''Film/BarbarianQueen'' fame, also played two roles on the show.
*** In "Hello, Goodbye", she played a bailiff trainee.
*** In "My Three Dads", she played Dan's stewardess date in a dream sequence.
** Creator/GregoryItzin (Charles Logan from Series/TwentyFour) played a mobster's defense lawyer in one episode, and a mugger in another two-parter.
** In a lesser example, before their recurring roles on the show as Phil and Buddy, Will Utay and John Astin each appeared as unrelated characters in season two episodes; Utay played a defendant who beat up a mime and stole his change "for kicks" in "Pick a Number" and Astin played a CloudCuckoolander hospital patient (albeit similar to his later role) named Kenny in "Inside Harry Stone".
** The late Phil Leeds, an elderly actor known for his odd appearance, made several appearances on the show, including as a man who [[AGodAmI believed he was God]] and one of the aliens that meets with Bull in the GrandFinale.
29th Jul '17 12:35:06 AM glickmam
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* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Dan was usually rude, condescending, arrogant, and self-centered, but he was capable of truly astounding levels of sincerity and sensitivity. He also risked his life, multiple times, to save both his friends and total strangers.

to:

* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
**
Dan was usually rude, condescending, arrogant, and self-centered, but he was capable of truly astounding levels of sincerity and sensitivity. He also risked his life, multiple times, to save both his friends and total strangers.strangers.
** Bernie, the concession stand operator mentioned above in AbhorrentAdmirer, is also this to Selma as well. In many of his appearances with Selma, he would also often, in a very kindly and paternal way, try to persuade her to give up smoking.
21st Jul '17 10:37:34 AM glickmam
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* EarlyBirdCameo: Christine appeared in one episode of Season Two before becoming a main character in Season Three and for the rest of the show's run. This was because the producers desperately wanted Markie Post to be a regular but she had other commitments and was only available for that one episode. The character of Christine was created specifically with the intention of being brought back once Post's schedule cleared up.

to:

* EarlyBirdCameo: Christine appeared in one episode of Season Two before becoming a main character in Season Three and for the rest of the show's run. This was because the producers desperately wanted Markie Post to be a regular but she had other commitments was already under contract to play Terri Shannon on ''Series/TheFallGuy'' and was only available for that one episode. The character of Christine was created specifically with the intention of being brought back once Post's schedule cleared up.
20th Jul '17 12:01:48 PM mlsmithca
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* AscendedExtra: Phil the Bum is perhaps the best example of this. Originally introduced in Season Two as one of the many background characters in the gallery of the courtroom, he became BumblingSidekick to Dan in Season Three and continued to make semi-regular appearances up through the middle of Season 8, where his accidental death facilitated Dan's HeelFaceTurn.

to:

* AscendedExtra: AscendedExtra:
**
Phil the Bum is perhaps the best example of this. Originally introduced in Season Two as one of the many background characters in the gallery of the courtroom, he became BumblingSidekick to Dan in Season Three and continued to make semi-regular appearances up through the middle of Season 8, where his accidental death facilitated Dan's HeelFaceTurn.



--> '''Roz:''' It's been cancelled.
--> '''Brandon Tartikoff:''' ...I knew that!

to:

--> ---> '''Roz:''' It's been cancelled.
-->
cancelled.\\
'''Brandon Tartikoff:''' ...I knew that!



--> '''Bull''':Excuse me, but aren't you married now?
--> '''Johnny Carson''': (confused) I - I don't know.

to:

--> '''Bull''':Excuse ---> '''Bull''': Excuse me, but aren't you married now?
-->
now?\\
'''Johnny Carson''': (confused) ''(confused)'' I - I don't know.[[note]] He was; he had just married for the fourth and final time.[[/note]]



--> '''Harry''': "Cleaver, you may be younger. You may be faster. You may even be smarter. But you will NEVER, EVER, be ''crazier'' ...than '''me'''."

to:

--> '''Harry''': "Cleaver, Cleaver, you may be younger. You may be faster. You may even be smarter. But you will NEVER, EVER, be ''crazier'' ...than '''me'''."



-->'''Bull''': Don't be an idiot. This (runs his finger over his bald head) drives women wild!

to:

-->'''Bull''': Don't be an idiot. This (runs ''(runs his finger over his bald head) head)'' drives women wild!



* BunnyEarsLawyer: The whole cast (of the most consistent line-up from seasons 4-9) except for Mac (who was just snarky). Christine was prudish and old-fashioned, but those weren't bizarre enough personality quirks to qualify. Everyone else? Well....

to:

* BunnyEarsLawyer: The whole cast (of the most consistent line-up from seasons 4-9) except for Mac (who Mac, who was just snarky). Christine was prudish and old-fashioned, but those weren't bizarre enough personality quirks to qualify.snarky. Everyone else? Well....



** Roz was angry, mouth and prone to violence.

to:

** Roz was angry, mouth mouthy and prone to violence.



* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Happened repeatedly in the show's first two seasons: Sheila (the very first public defender in the pilot), Lana (the first clerk in the pilot and most of Season One), Charlie (clerk for a few episodes at the end of Season One) Liz (the public defender in Season One) and Billie (the public defender for most of Season Two) all disappeared without any explanation and were all replaced without comment in the very next episode.
** Although this is a milder form than the TropeNamer, as personnel could be plausibly transferred to different courts or shifts without warning or later comment.

to:

* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: ChuckCunninghamSyndrome:
**
Happened repeatedly in the show's first two seasons: Sheila (the very first public defender in the pilot), Lana (the first clerk in the pilot and most of Season One), Charlie (clerk for a few episodes at the end of Season One) Liz (the public defender in Season One) and Billie (the public defender for most of Season Two) all disappeared without any explanation and were all replaced without comment in the very next episode.
**
episode. Although this is a milder form than the TropeNamer, as personnel could be plausibly transferred to different courts or shifts without warning or later comment.



* CloudCuckooLander: Bull, for most of the show's run.

to:

* CloudCuckooLander: CloudCuckooLander:
**
Bull, for most of the show's run.
20th Jul '17 11:59:04 AM mlsmithca
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** But what's probably the most jarring example are a couple of occasionally seen recurring characters, the hapless hicks, Bob and June Wheeler. In their final episodes they were actually being set up to have a semi-regular presence on the show, when they bought the courthouse cafeteria. But then the actor who played Bob, Brent Spiner, got cast as Data on ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', and so both Wheelers vanished without another mention. What makes their disappearance feel all the more abrupt is that their last episode was actually a SeasonFinale with a CliffHanger ending where the Wheelers weren't among the ones imperiled. Come the next SeasonPremiere, and the cliffhanger is resolved, but with no sight or mention of the Wheelers.
*** This is also true to a lesser extent, of the Wheelers' little girl, Carol Ann. She's with them in their first 2 episodes, but not any of their remaining episodes.

to:

** But what's probably the most jarring example are a couple of occasionally seen recurring characters, the hapless hicks, Bob and June Wheeler. In their final episodes they were actually being set up to have a semi-regular presence on the show, when they bought the courthouse cafeteria. But then the actor who played Bob, Brent Spiner, got cast as Data on ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', and so both Wheelers vanished without another mention. What makes their disappearance feel all the more abrupt is that their last episode was actually a SeasonFinale with a CliffHanger ending where the Wheelers weren't among the ones imperiled. Come the next SeasonPremiere, and the cliffhanger is resolved, but with no sight or mention of the Wheelers.
***
Wheelers. This is also true to a lesser extent, extent of the Wheelers' little girl, Carol Ann. She's with them in their first 2 episodes, but not any of their remaining episodes.



* CodeSilver: More than once.
** Once even done to create a ClipShow.

to:

* CodeSilver: More than once.
**
once. Once even done to create a ClipShow.



* CrossOver: Night Court was introduced to a new generation from the crossover/ShoutOut in ''Series/ThirtyRock''.

to:

* CrossOver: Night Court CrossOver:
** ''Night Court''
was introduced to a new generation from the crossover/ShoutOut in ''Series/ThirtyRock''.



* DanBrowned: In "A Closer Look" Mac is demonstrating his computer prowess when an errant key bringing up a game he was playing. For one, the gameplay is from Super Mario Brothers, a game which didn't have a PC port, and the music is from the game released in the USA as Super Mario Brothers 2.

to:

* DanBrowned: In "A Closer Look" Mac is demonstrating his computer prowess when an errant key bringing up a game he was playing. For one, the gameplay is from Super ''Super Mario Brothers, Brothers'', a game which didn't have a PC port, and the music is from the game released in the USA as Super ''Super Mario Brothers 2.2''.



* DeepSouth: Dan was originally from there and his parents were (in Dan's mind, anyway) one step removed from MaAndPaKettle. Actor John Larroquette is in fact from Louisiana, so this is TruthInTelevision to a certain extent.
** When Dan's dad shows up, he confirms that Dan's descriptions of his home town and its inhabitants have been pretty accurate.

to:

* DeepSouth: DeepSouth:
**
Dan was originally from there and his parents were (in Dan's mind, anyway) one step removed from MaAndPaKettle. Actor John Larroquette is in fact from Louisiana, so this is TruthInTelevision to a certain extent.
**
extent. When Dan's dad shows up, he confirms that Dan's descriptions of his home town and its inhabitants have been pretty accurate.



*** Later, when Buddy and Harry's mom were both out again, she sent him a letter to try and reconnect, and assumed he didn't want to know her when it wasn't answered. After she died (which was after he was appointed a judge, as she had been in the gallery to see him work), the letter finally arrives at the court ("Mac, I should have gotten this letter ''three Presidents ago''!" "They said they were sorry.") and calls the number in it, learns she's dead, and brings Buddy into his life.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Christine flashes Otis in "Another Day in the Life" [[spoiler: to swing his arm wrestling match with Harry at the end]].

to:

*** ** Later, when Buddy and Harry's mom were both out again, she sent him a letter to try and reconnect, and assumed he didn't want to know her when it wasn't answered. After she died (which was after he was appointed a judge, as she had been in the gallery to see him work), the letter finally arrives at the court ("Mac, I should have gotten this letter ''three Presidents ago''!" "They said they were sorry.") and calls the number in it, learns she's dead, and brings Buddy into his life.
* DistractedByTheSexy: DistractedByTheSexy:
**
Christine flashes Otis in "Another Day in the Life" [[spoiler: to swing his arm wrestling match with Harry at the end]].



** As discussed elsewhere, ChuckCunninghamSyndrome runs rampant within the first two seasons, but it's especially strange since even between the first and second episodes, they go from one public defender to another.
*** For that matter, Christine's appearance in the second episode of season two in which she plays a substitute public defender before handing the reins over to a character named Billie only to return in season 3 after Billie's departure, is a little weird, though at-least when Christine comes and goes, it's explained that they're using subs and her being one is important to the plot.

to:

** As discussed elsewhere, ChuckCunninghamSyndrome runs rampant within the first two seasons, but it's especially strange since even between the first and second episodes, they go from one public defender to another.
***
another. For that matter, Christine's appearance in the second episode of season two in which she plays a substitute public defender before handing the reins over to a character named Billie only to return in season 3 after Billie's departure, is a little weird, though at-least when Christine comes and goes, it's explained that they're using subs and her being one is important to the plot.



** TheBigGuy: Bull. This seems pretty obvious.
*** Roz was more likely to initiate physical confrontations and threaten violence.

to:

** TheBigGuy: Bull. This seems pretty obvious. \n*** Though Roz was more likely to initiate physical confrontations and threaten violence.



* {{Flanderization}}: Dan, from a DeadpanSnarker who had good luck with the ladies into a full-on ChivalrousPervert.

to:

* {{Flanderization}}: {{Flanderization}}:
**
Dan, from a DeadpanSnarker who had good luck with the ladies into a full-on ChivalrousPervert.



* GeniusBruiser: Bull Shannon, in the earlier seasons, when his character was meant to look like dumb muscle but was actually quite well-read and insightful. One episode even had his intelligence being discovered by a group of research scientists who recruit him to help in their work... until he reveals that he hates doing research full time, loves being a bailiff, and goes back to his old job (but still helps them out on occasion).

to:

* GeniusBruiser: GeniusBruiser:
**
Bull Shannon, in the earlier seasons, when his character was meant to look like dumb muscle but was actually quite well-read and insightful. One episode even had his intelligence being discovered by a group of research scientists who recruit him to help in their work... until he reveals that he hates doing research full time, loves being a bailiff, and goes back to his old job (but still helps them out on occasion).



** Christine seems almost incapable of swearing, it takes three days of mental torture taking care of a neighbor's baby to get her to the point where she'd even consider it.
*** In a nearly verbatim example:
--> Christine: "Darn it all to heck!!"
--> Dan Fielding: "You watch your ''language,'' young lady!"

to:

** Christine seems almost incapable of swearing, it takes three days of mental torture taking care of a neighbor's baby to get her to the point where she'd even consider it.
***
it. In a nearly verbatim example:
--> Christine: "Darn --->'''Christine:''' Darn it all to heck!!"
--> Dan Fielding: "You
heck!!\\
'''Dan Fielding:''' You
watch your ''language,'' young lady!"lady!



-->'''Mac Robinson:''' ''"Un-dirty-word-believabe!"''

to:

-->'''Mac --->'''Mac Robinson:''' ''"Un-dirty-word-believabe!"''''Un-dirty-word-believable!''



* HalloweenEpisode: As with Christmas, there was one almost every year.
** The elaborate, funny, and clever costumes were a kind of RunningGag.

to:

* HalloweenEpisode: As with Christmas, there was one almost every year.
**
year. The elaborate, funny, and clever costumes were a kind of RunningGag.



* HeadTiltinglyKinky: Dan's Boss' niece (played by Creator/TeriHatcher), is attempting to seduce Dan, and shows him pictures she took of herself in a photo booth ("Think about shot #3!"). Dan yelps when he sees the picture, then ''turns it upside down'' and yelps AGAIN!

to:

* HeadTiltinglyKinky: HeadTiltinglyKinky:
**
Dan's Boss' niece (played by Creator/TeriHatcher), is attempting to seduce Dan, and shows him pictures she took of herself in a photo booth ("Think about shot #3!"). Dan yelps when he sees the picture, then ''turns it upside down'' and yelps AGAIN!



* HeartbrokenBadass: Harry, several times. But the worst was when his girlfriend Margaret [[spoiler: had to go into witness protection]].

to:

* HeartbrokenBadass: HeartbrokenBadass:
**
Harry, several times. But the worst was when his girlfriend Margaret [[spoiler: had to go into witness protection]].



* HelloAttorney: Christine Sullivan

to:

* HelloAttorney: HelloAttorney:
**
Christine SullivanSullivan.



* HesBack: In "Puppy Love" Dan's do-gooder ways have turned him into a simpering wimp with women, going to petting zoos and getting emotional about hand holding and "cute" things. The woman he's dating gets frustrated that she went to the trouble of attracting the, "...great Dan Fielding," and got this wimp. After some name calling and a couple of [[ArmorPiercingSlap slaps]] Dan carries her off to the maintenance closet and has sex with her. As the pair of them exit, walking funny and putting various items of clothing back on, Dan turns to Christine and says, "I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack."

to:

* HesBack: HesBack:
**
In "Puppy Love" Dan's do-gooder ways have turned him into a simpering wimp with women, going to petting zoos and getting emotional about hand holding and "cute" things. The woman he's dating gets frustrated that she went to the trouble of attracting the, "...great Dan Fielding," and got this wimp. After some name calling and a couple of [[ArmorPiercingSlap slaps]] Dan carries her off to the maintenance closet and has sex with her. As the pair of them exit, walking funny and putting various items of clothing back on, Dan turns to Christine and says, "I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack."



-->'''Dan:''' You know those disgusting, animalistic urges I used to tormet you with?\\

to:

-->'''Dan:''' --->'''Dan:''' You know those disgusting, animalistic urges I used to tormet torment you with?\\



* HotWitch: Christine wore this costume during one of the Halloween episodes.
** In that same episode, Harry dated an attractive woman who turned out to be a witch.

to:

* HotWitch: HotWitch:
**
Christine wore this costume during one of the Halloween episodes.
**
episodes. In that same episode, Harry dated an attractive woman who turned out to be a witch.



* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Mac and Quon Le

to:

* HugeGuyTinyGirl: HugeGuyTinyGirl:
**
Mac and Quon LeLe.



* HurricaneOfPuns: Frequent.
** Surprisingly, Dan was more often to blame for this than Harry. When Dan was in a coma and a bosomy prostitute was being arraigned, Dan's flunky Phil jumped up and made an appropriate pun, sadly explaining that Dan would've wanted it that way. Another time he was gone, the others gathered around Harry's bench to talk about an overweight transvestite that had been on the docket earlier, and one of them comments they could just hear Dan calling him "[[PuffTheMagicDragon Puff the Magic Drag Queen]]."

to:

* HurricaneOfPuns: Frequent.
**
Frequent. Surprisingly, Dan was more often to blame for this than Harry. When Dan was in a coma and a bosomy prostitute was being arraigned, Dan's flunky Phil jumped up and made an appropriate pun, sadly explaining that Dan would've wanted it that way. Another time he was gone, the others gathered around Harry's bench to talk about an overweight transvestite that had been on the docket earlier, and one of them comments they could just hear Dan calling him "[[PuffTheMagicDragon Puff the Magic Drag Queen]]."



* IDrankWhat: Art the repair man accidentally used a man's ashes to test a newly repaired coffee maker.
** See the AshesToCrashes entry above for the Incredibly Lame Pun.

to:

* IDrankWhat: Art the repair man accidentally used a man's ashes to test a newly repaired coffee maker.
** See
maker, prompting the AshesToCrashes entry above for "This wasn't herb tea! This was Herb!" remark from Harry... and a horrified look on Dan's face from behind the Incredibly Lame Pun.mug from which he is drinking.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: Used in "Dan the Walking Time Bomb" to convince Dan's psychotic ex-classmate not to kill him.



* IOweYouMyLife: Dan saves Christine from choking and exacts a night of passion in a hotel as a way of repayment. A MomentKiller came (much to Christine's relief) in the form of a jumper on a ledge outside their window.

to:

* IOweYouMyLife: ImprobablyHighIQ: Bull Shannon, who outscored everybody else in the cast at 181. Then he realized he was holding the paper upside down.
* InstrumentalThemeTune
* InvincibleClassicCar: The 1949 Buick that Christine's father gave her. It does indeed protect her in a massive crash.
* IOweYouMyLife:
**
Dan saves Christine from choking and exacts a night of passion in a hotel as a way of repayment. A MomentKiller came (much to Christine's relief) in the form of a jumper on a ledge outside their window.



* IrrationalHatred: Harry towards Barry Manilow, to the point that he nearly had a stroke when Christine told him the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8G__N8jZpY Mel Tormé recorded some music with Manilow]].



* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: Used in "Dan the Walking Time Bomb" to convince Dan's psychotic ex-classmate not to kill him.
* ImprobablyHighIQ: Bull Shannon, who outscored everybody else in the cast at 181. Then he realized he was holding the paper upside down.
* [[{{Pun}} Incredibly Lame Pun]]: The whole cast from time to time. Most frequently Harry.
** Christine was a close second, part of her constant failure to get a laugh.
* InstrumentalThemeTune
* InvincibleClassicCar: The 1949 Buick that Christine's father gave her. It does indeed protect her in a massive crash.
* IrrationalHatred: Harry towards Barry Manilow, to the point that he nearly had a stroke when Christine told him the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8G__N8jZpY Mel Tormé recorded some music with Manilow]].



* JustTheIntroductionToTheOpposites: Everything, and everyone, is different in the Day Court. The cases are standard fare with no nuts. The crummy cafeteria is turned into a posh restaurant where reservations are required. Perhaps most worrying... Roz is a cheerful, friendly person.
** And Bull rides around the building selling Fruzen Schnitzel from his bicycle cart.

to:

* JustTheIntroductionToTheOpposites: Everything, and everyone, is different in the Day Court. The cases are standard fare with no nuts. The crummy cafeteria is turned into a posh restaurant where reservations are required. Perhaps most worrying... Roz is a cheerful, friendly person.
**
person. And Bull rides around the building selling Fruzen Schnitzel from his bicycle cart.



* LaughTrack: It had one but rarely needed it.
** Actually a StudioAudience, where the same person (sometimes identified as creator Reinhold Weege's father) is often heard laughing uproariously.

to:

* LaughTrack: It had one but rarely needed it.
**
Actually a StudioAudience, where the same person (sometimes identified as creator Reinhold Weege's father) is often heard laughing uproariously.



** Dan does try several times to get elected to the state assembly, but never succeeds. In one election, he earns exactly *one* vote (from a man who committed suicide afterward).
*** He also almost got elected to Congress once... ending in an exact tie (forcing a run-off election) due to a suicidal man who voted for Dan then killed himself, leaving a note explaining that the world was so screwed up it deserved "a man like Fielding." (His opponent turns out to be a gorgeous woman, and the two of them spend the night of the run-off in a hotel together. Dan's description of the run-off results: "Honey, you're kicking my head in.")

to:

** Dan does try several times to get elected to the state assembly, but never succeeds. In one election, he earns exactly *one* '''one''' vote (from a man who committed suicide afterward).
*** ** He also almost got elected to Congress once... ending in an exact tie (forcing a run-off election) due to a suicidal man who voted for Dan then killed himself, leaving a note explaining that the world was so screwed up it deserved "a man like Fielding." (His opponent turns out to be a gorgeous woman, and the two of them spend the night of the run-off in a hotel together. Dan's description of the run-off results: "Honey, you're kicking my head in.")



** Two psychic defendants get in a telekinetic fistfight.
*** Later, one of them telekinetically bangs Harry's gavel as he's accusing them all of being frauds.

to:

** Two psychic defendants get in a telekinetic fistfight.
***
fistfight. Later, one of them telekinetically bangs Harry's gavel as he's accusing them all of being frauds.



* MayDecemberRomance: Christine was on both sides of this, having dated a wealthy man in his sixties and a twenty-something street artist.

to:

* MayDecemberRomance: MayDecemberRomance:
**
Christine was on both sides of this, having dated a wealthy man in his sixties and a twenty-something street artist.



* MoralityPet: Phil, to Dan. Not at first, but Dan took Phil's death very hard and it was clear that he cared about Phil a lot more than he would ever dare let on.
** And in one episode it was shown that Harry was this to Dan. It was the episode where it's shown what would happen if Harry was never born. Dan goes full blown CardCarryingVillain and takes over New York.
* MrViceGuy: Dan Fielding. Lech, pervert, he-slut--but also a man who cares about his friends and the law.
** And also surprisingly health conscious. He always carries latex gloves and condoms in his briefcase, and once has a key prosecution witness who wanted to be all over him but was rebuked thusly:
---> '''Dan:''' Don't touch me without a note from your doctor!

to:

* MoralityPet: MoralityPet:
**
Phil, to Dan. Not at first, but Dan took Phil's death very hard and it was clear that he cared about Phil a lot more than he would ever dare let on.
** And in In one episode it was shown that Harry was this to Dan. It was the episode where it's shown what would happen if Harry was never born. Dan goes full blown CardCarryingVillain and takes over New York.
* MrViceGuy: Dan Fielding. Lech, pervert, he-slut--but also a man who cares about his friends and the law.
**
law. And also surprisingly health conscious. He always carries latex gloves and condoms in his briefcase, and once has a key prosecution witness who wanted to be all over him but was rebuked thusly:
---> --> '''Dan:''' Don't touch me without a note from your doctor!



* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The female defendant in "Auntie Maim" was clearly based on Zsa Zsa Gabor.

to:

* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
**
The female defendant in "Auntie Maim" was clearly based on Zsa Zsa Gabor.



** "Amour or Less" featured two feuding twin sister advice columnists Anna and Vanna Landers, obviously patterned after Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren.

to:

** "Amour or Less" featured two feuding twin sister advice columnists Anna and Vanna Landers, obviously patterned after Esther and Pauline Friedman, AKA Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren.



* NoodleIncident: Buddy's life is a string of these (but he's feeling ''much'' better now!).

to:

* NoodleIncident: NoodleIncident:
**
Buddy's life is a string of these (but he's feeling ''much'' better now!).



* NotInFrontOfTheKid: A guy dressed as Santa Claus is brought up before Judge Stone for something involving a prostitute, and there's a kid present, so Stone has people do this.

to:

* NotInFrontOfTheKid: NotInFrontOfTheKid:
**
A guy dressed as Santa Claus is brought up before Judge Stone for something involving a prostitute, and there's a kid present, so Stone has people do this.



-->'''Dan:''' Right, sir. The defendnants are charged with... "playing doctor".\\

to:

-->'''Dan:''' --->'''Dan:''' Right, sir. The defendnants are charged with... "playing doctor".\\



* ObfuscatingStupidity: Harry's favorite M.O.; Dan has used it a time or two as well.

to:

* ObfuscatingStupidity: ObfuscatingStupidity:
**
Harry's favorite M.O.; Dan has used it a time or two as well.



* OhCrap: Dan, after being told the little person he had just insulted is his new boss, by said little person himself.
** After Dan was mistakenly forced to abstain from sex for two weeks, upon finding out - "I haven't had sex in two weeks!" and starts looking around at everyone in the cafeteria. Roz, typically the least likely to be intimidated shouts "Run for your lives girls!" and they all rush out. Dan's still looking around, prompting Harry to shout "Better safe than sorry, guys!" and then ''THEY ALSO RUN OUT''.

to:

* OhCrap: OhCrap:
**
Dan, after being told the little person he had just insulted is his new boss, by said little person himself.
** After Dan was mistakenly forced to abstain from sex for two weeks, upon finding out - "I haven't had sex in two weeks!" and starts looking around at everyone in the cafeteria. Roz, typically the least likely to be intimidated shouts "Run for your lives girls!" and they all rush out. Dan's still looking around, prompting Harry to shout "Better safe than sorry, guys!" and then ''THEY ALSO RUN OUT''.''they also run out''.



* OnlySaneMan: Mac. Even his spotlight episodes tended to be far less weird than the others.
** This was slightly averted in the last few seasons when he became an aspiring filmmaker who specialized in pretentious schlock.
* OrphanedPunchline: A RunningGag had characters saying "so the nun says, $20, same as in town!"
** This is actually the punchline to a RealLife dirty joke, which the writers couldn't tell in full on the show.

to:

* OnlySaneMan: Mac. Even his spotlight episodes tended to be far less weird than the others.
**
others. This was slightly averted in the last few seasons when he became an aspiring filmmaker who specialized in pretentious schlock.
* OrphanedPunchline: A RunningGag had characters saying "so the nun says, $20, same as in town!"
**
town!" This is actually the punchline to a RealLife dirty joke, which the writers couldn't tell in full on the show.



** That was Christine, obviously. Just like that time with the birth certificate.
* PieInTheFace: The entire cast pays to have this done to Dan in "Harry and Leon" (Season 3, Episode 14); in that same episode, [[spoiler:Bull pays to have it done to Harry]].

to:

* PieInTheFace:
** That was Christine, obviously. Just like that time with the birth certificate.
* PieInTheFace:
The entire cast pays to have this done to Dan in "Harry and Leon" (Season 3, Episode 14); in that same episode, [[spoiler:Bull pays to have it done to Harry]].



* PleasePutSomeClothesOn:
** On the episode "Prince of a Guy," a woman who has been arrested for swimming nude in Central Park claims to be a princess from a tropical island. While standing in Harry's office, he asks her to just relax. She obliges by removing her bikini top with her back to the camera, forcing Harry to say, "I've never actually said this to anyone before, but could you put your top back on?" It becomes even funnier since Roz was in the room with the two of them. When Harry said relax and the princess disrobed, Roz says, "I'm your witness sir. You did absolutely nothing to provoke this." After Harry continues to stare for a couple of seconds, Roz quips, "Of course, you are doing nothing to stop it, either."

to:

* PleasePutSomeClothesOn:
**
PleasePutSomeClothesOn: On the episode "Prince of a Guy," a woman who has been arrested for swimming nude in Central Park claims to be a princess from a tropical island. While standing in Harry's office, he asks her to just relax. She obliges by removing her bikini top with her back to the camera, forcing Harry to say, "I've never actually said this to anyone before, but could you put your top back on?" It becomes even funnier since Roz was in the room with the two of them. When Harry said relax and the princess disrobed, Roz says, "I'm your witness sir. You did absolutely nothing to provoke this." After Harry continues to stare for a couple of seconds, Roz quips, "Of course, you are doing nothing to stop it, either."



* ThePollyanna: Christine

to:

* ThePollyanna: ChristineChristine.



** Lana
** Liz
** Billie
** Margaret
** Tony

to:

** Lana
Original court clerk Lana (Karen Austin) and public defenders Liz (Paula Kelly) and Billie (Ellen Foley) had all come and gone by the end of the second season; their departures were unexplained.
** Liz
** Billie
** Margaret
** Tony
Harry's girlfriend Margaret (Mary Cadorette) and Christine's husband Tony (Ray Abruzzo) had their departures explained; Margaret had to go into witness protection, while Christine and Tony divorced when they were unable to make their marriage work around their professional obligations.



* RealAfterAll: Santa Claus in the first season ChristmasEpisode "Santa Goes Downtown".
** Oddly averted in later seasons, when Bull has to be reassured by Roz that Santa is real, after Dan says that the last words he spoke to his younger sister two decades earlier were "There is no Santa."

to:

* RealAfterAll: RealAfterAll:
**
Santa Claus in the first season ChristmasEpisode "Santa Goes Downtown".
**
Downtown". Not only does he know the real names of the teenage runaways in Harry's court (played by Creator/MichaelJFox and Olivia Barash) even though they are using fake [=IDs=], but a certain antlered member of his crew shows up to meet him (Selma refuses to deal with the "deposit" said animal leaves behind). Oddly averted in later seasons, when Bull has to be reassured by Roz that Santa is real, after Dan says that the last words he spoke to his younger sister two decades earlier were "There is no Santa."



* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Harry, who combined this trope with a large dash of BenevolentBoss.
** Later seasons challenged this a bit, as it was established that he frequently used his authority to force the court staff to do various activities (e.g. birthday parties, forming a bowling team). His intentions were good, but it caused some minor resentment in later episodes.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: This almost literally happened to Dan, who was in the US Army Reserves. He was [[ReassignedToAntarctica Reassigned To The Arctic Circle]] to help give physicals to polar bears, after he was caught faking an injury in order to avoid being called into active duty. Ironically, Dan only did that because he thought he was being sent into combat; his actual orders involved doing reconnaissance work with his ActionGirl commanding officer in a BananaRepublic, posing as a couple at some exotic resort.

to:

* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Harry, who combined this trope with a large dash of BenevolentBoss.
**
BenevolentBoss. Later seasons challenged this a bit, as it was established that he frequently used his authority to force the court staff to do various activities (e.g. birthday parties, forming a bowling team). His intentions were good, but it caused some minor resentment in later episodes.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: ReassignedToAntarctica:
**
This almost literally happened to Dan, who was in the US Army Reserves. He was [[ReassignedToAntarctica Reassigned To The Arctic Circle]] to help give physicals to polar bears, after he was caught faking an injury in order to avoid being called into active duty. Ironically, Dan only did that because he thought he was being sent into combat; his actual orders involved doing reconnaissance work with his ActionGirl commanding officer in a BananaRepublic, posing as a couple at some exotic resort.



* ReluctantRetiree: Florence, in the episode ''Flo's Retirement''.

to:

* ReluctantRetiree: Florence, in the episode ''Flo's Retirement''."Flo's Retirement".



* ScaryBlackMan: Genderflipped: Roz is a scary black woman whom even the gargantuan Bull fears.

to:

* ScaryBlackMan: ScaryBlackMan:
**
Genderflipped: Roz is a scary black woman whom even the gargantuan Bull fears.



** Season 8 ended with Harry and Christine having apparently confessed their love for one another and Dan having mysteriously disappeared.
*** Apparently, this WAS planned to have been the SeriesFinale, with Christine and Harry getting married and Dan joining the priesthood. A last-minute renewal forced them to make some sudden changes to restore the Status Quo at the start of Season 9, with Christine and Harry quickly agreeing they were better off as friends and Dan quickly being cleared of the criminal charges that drove him insane at the end of Season 8.
** Season 9 ended with Christine being elected to high office, Dan resigning his post to follow after her having realized HIS true love for her and Bull being abducted by aliens.
*** This was NOT planned to have been the Series Finale, for obvious reasons. Most accounts say that the decision was handed down the same Friday the final episode was filmed and that the cast was informed their belongings would be thrown out if their dressing rooms were not cleaned Monday morning.
* ServileSnarker: Mac
** After Dansaved Christine's life he tried to bed her in a hotel run by a sarcastic, snobby British manager.

to:

** Season 8 ended with Harry and Christine having apparently confessed their love for one another and Dan having mysteriously disappeared.
***
disappeared. Apparently, this WAS planned to have been the SeriesFinale, with Christine and Harry getting married and Dan joining the priesthood. A last-minute renewal forced them to make some sudden changes to restore the Status Quo at the start of Season 9, with Christine and Harry quickly agreeing they were better off as friends and Dan quickly being cleared of the criminal charges that drove him insane at the end of Season 8.
** Season 9 ended with Christine being elected to high office, Dan resigning his post to follow after her having realized HIS true love for her and Bull being abducted by aliens.
***
aliens. This was NOT planned to have been the Series Finale, for obvious reasons. Most accounts say that the decision was handed down the same Friday the final episode was filmed and that the cast was informed their belongings would be thrown out if their dressing rooms were not cleaned Monday morning.
* ServileSnarker: Mac
ServileSnarker:
** Mac.
** After Dansaved Dan saved Christine's life he tried to bed her in a hotel run by a sarcastic, snobby British manager.



* ShoutOut: During one of the "Day in the Life" episodes, one of the cases involved a children's author called "Dr. Wiggles", a Creator/DrSeuss esque children's writer. The entire case was done in Seussian verse. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny It was awesome.]]

to:

* ShoutOut: ShoutOut:
**
During one of the "Day in the Life" episodes, one of the cases involved a children's author called "Dr. Wiggles", a Creator/DrSeuss esque children's writer. The entire case was done in Seussian verse. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny It was awesome.]]



** Don't forget Wile E. Coyote!

to:

** Don't forget Wile E. Coyote!Coyote - in cartoon form!



** Michael J. Fox in the first season's Christmas episode, which was the second episode of the series no less.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''BarneyMiller''. (Not coincidentally, series creator and executive producer Reinhold Weege was a former ''Barney Miller'' writer, producer, and story editor. In addition, series producer Jeff Melman also worked on ''Barney Miller'' as a stage manager.)

to:

** Michael J. Fox (then known primarily as Alex Keaton in ''Series/FamilyTies'') in the first season's Christmas episode, which was the second episode of the series no less.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''BarneyMiller''.''Series/BarneyMiller''. (Not coincidentally, series creator and executive producer Reinhold Weege was a former ''Barney Miller'' writer, producer, and story editor. In addition, series producer Jeff Melman also worked on ''Barney Miller'' as a stage manager.)



** Most of the cast's romantic relationships were short-lived and didn't last long. Even Christine's marriage ended part-way through the following season and Harry's longest-lasting relationship was only half a season.
*** The most notable exception was Mac and Quon Le, whose marriage lasted the entire run of the show.

to:

** Most of the cast's romantic relationships were short-lived and didn't last long. Even Christine's marriage ended part-way through the following season and Harry's longest-lasting relationship was only half a season.
***
season. The most notable exception was Mac and Quon Le, whose marriage lasted the entire run of the show.



** Despite Mac being set up to inherit his family's money very early on, when it finally happens, [[spoiler: Mac ends up being sued for an incident involving the restaurant he bought causing a fire, leaving him broke. Ironically, he's quite happy with this chain of events, as he ended up ''only'' being broke; he was deeply in debt before becoming rich]].
*** [[spoiler: He was initially much worse off after the fire, until Quon Lee talked the building owner into settling for the damages... which happened to be all the money they had. This was a change from her previous ways, as she was the one who actually accumulated all that debt, mostly because she just didn't have the background to understand about credit cards when she first showed up.]]

to:

** Despite Mac being set up to inherit his family's money very early on, when it finally happens, [[spoiler: Mac ends up being sued for an incident involving the restaurant he bought causing a fire, leaving him broke. Ironically, he's quite happy with this chain of events, as he ended up ''only'' being broke; he was deeply in debt before becoming rich]].
*** [[spoiler:
rich. He was initially much worse off after the fire, until Quon Lee talked the building owner into settling for the damages... which happened to be all the money they had. This was a change from her previous ways, as she was the one who actually accumulated all that debt, mostly because she just didn't have the background to understand about credit cards when she first showed up.]]



** One episode featured a lamaze class which included an aggressively independent StrawFeminist single mother and a stereotypical "limousine liberal" yuppie couple.
** The show also regularly featured straw conservative [[RabidCop Rabid Cops]], and several members of the Secret Service, who were depicted as trigger-happy paranoiacs

to:

** One episode featured a lamaze class which included an aggressively independent StrawFeminist single mother (Dan pretends to spot several well-known male chauvinists in a successful bid to use her anger to get through the last stages of childbirth) and a stereotypical "limousine liberal" yuppie couple.
couple (who ask Harry and Mac to marry them seconds before their child is born, doubling back on their previous indifference toward marriage).
** The show also regularly featured straw conservative [[RabidCop Rabid Cops]], {{Rabid Cop}}s, and several members of the Secret Service, who were depicted as trigger-happy paranoiacsparanoiacs.



* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Bailiff Selma Hacker was replaced by Florence Kleiner in Season 3.

to:

* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute:
**
Bailiff Selma Hacker was replaced by Florence Kleiner in Season 3.3. Bull even lampshades their similarities by describing Selma to Florence as short, angry, and having a funny voice.



** ''The Constitution (Part Two)'' leveled a few at UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan, who was the United States President at the time.

to:

** ''The "The Constitution (Part Two)'' Two)" leveled a few at UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan, who was the United States President at the time.



** In a lesser example, before their recurring roles on the show as Phil & Buddy, Will Utay & John Astin each appeared as unrelated characters in season two episodes; Utay played a defendant who beat up a mime and stole his change "for kicks" in "Pick a Number" and Astin played a CloudCuckoolander hospital patient (albeit similar to his later role) named Kenny in "Inside Harry Stone".

to:

** In a lesser example, before their recurring roles on the show as Phil & and Buddy, Will Utay & and John Astin each appeared as unrelated characters in season two episodes; Utay played a defendant who beat up a mime and stole his change "for kicks" in "Pick a Number" and Astin played a CloudCuckoolander hospital patient (albeit similar to his later role) named Kenny in "Inside Harry Stone".
18th Jul '17 3:35:47 PM glickmam
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Added DiffLines:

* RealityIsUnrealistic: [[WordOfGod According to Reinhold Weege]], the story Harry tells about how he became judge, that is, he got his assignment because the outgoing mayor of New York City made a huge number of appointments on his last day, and Harry was the only person on the judges' list who was home and was able to receive the call and accept his nomination, was actually a very true story involving former Los Angeles mayor Sam Yorty. Per Weege, Yorty was so angry that he lost his re-election bid to Tom Bradley, that he decided to hurt Bradley, whom he personally hated, by filling all of the judicial openings with unqualified or under qualified personnel.[[note]]Don't worry. Bradley was relatively unscathed by this action, and actually served 20 years in office, eight more than Yorty.[[/note]] Lana actually [[LampshadeHanging points this out]] at the beginning of the pilot episode, in which she mentions that she doesn't know anything about "Judge Stone" because the mayor filled all the vacancies at the last minute.
26th Jun '17 4:16:17 PM MichBlackhawk
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* CaptainErsatz: Monte "Potty-Mouth" Potter for Creator/AndrewDiceClay. The same year "It's Just a Joke" aired, Diceman became the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden.

to:

* CaptainErsatz: Monte "Potty-Mouth" "Potty-Man" Potter for Creator/AndrewDiceClay. The same year "It's Just a Joke" aired, Diceman became the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden.
26th Jun '17 4:01:12 PM MichBlackhawk
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* AccidentalAdultery: One case concerns a Vietnam veteran who went MIA and eventually came home to find his wife remarried. This proves to be a hard choice for the wife because she loves both of her husbands. Later, husband #1 saves husband #2 from choking and decides to move on.

to:

* AccidentalAdultery: One case concerns a Vietnam veteran who went MIA and eventually came home to find his wife remarried. This proves to be a hard choice for the wife because she loves both of her husbands. Later, husband #1 saves husband #2 from choking and decides to move on.
14th Jun '17 10:07:59 AM JamesAustin
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** The Season 5 Episode "Who Was That Mashed Man?" was based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_the_Lone_Ranger#Clayton_Moore_Lawsuit the now infamous court battle]] between Radio/TheLoneRanger star Clayton Moore and the owner of The Lone Ranger copyright over Moore's right to make public appearances dressed as The Lone Ranger, with an Expy called The Red Ranger in the same situation.

to:

** The Season 5 Episode "Who Was That Mashed Man?" was based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_the_Lone_Ranger#Clayton_Moore_Lawsuit the now infamous court battle]] between Radio/TheLoneRanger star Clayton Moore and the owner of The Lone Ranger copyright over Moore's right Lew Grade when Grade (the guy who brought us ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'' and ''Series/TheMuppetShow'') attempted a DarkerAndEdgier reboot called ''The Legend of the Lone Ranger'', and lawyers forced the original Lone Ranger actor to make stop touring with his costume; legal stuff ensued, the public appearances dressed got wind of this and supported the actor, resulting in the movie dying quickly at the box office. (This was pretty much the nail in the coffin for Grade's movie-making aspirations; his previous film, the notorious flop ''Film/RaiseTheTitanic'', as The Lone Ranger, with well as the Music/VillagePeople movie ''Film/CantStopTheMusic'' had killed the ITC/EMI joint venture AFD (Associated Film Distribution) and forced him to sell the remainder of the AFD films to Universal.) ''Night Court'' used an Expy called The Red Ranger in the same situation.
This list shows the last 10 events of 354. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Series.NightCourt