''Singles'' is an ensemble comedy set in {{Seattle}} in the early 1990's. Steve Dunne meets Linda Powell at a club, and they hit it off. The ups and downs of their relationship are contrasted with those of Steve's friend (and ex-girlfriend) Janet Livermore, who is increasingly frustrated with how aloof her boyfriend, lead of proto-grunge band named "Citizen Dick" Cliff Poncier, acts towards her. With some running threads about other friends, it shows the ups and downs of relationships for Generation X in the pre-dot-com era.

It's very much an UnintentionalPeriodPiece and love letter to both Seattle and the early alternative rock/grunge scene, written and directed by Creator/CameronCrowe.

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This film has examples of:
* ACupAngst: Janet, especially after Cliff admits that he sometimes fantasizes about women with larger breasts when they have sex. Ultimately put to rest by the surgeon she consulted about implants.
* AuthorAppeal: All the music and its prominent place in the film.
* BeardOfSorrow: Steve, after [[spoiler: failing to get back together with Linda and after his "Supertrain" idea gets turned down flat (which possibly led to his leaving of work; the movie only suggests that he left his job afterwards)]].
* BetterAsFriends: Steve and Janet, by mutual agreement.
* BrickJoke: Cliff is telling the story of the guy Debbie has finally hooked up with while delivering her flowers from him. After he delivers them, he mentions he has to sneak into Debbie's apartment and spell her name out in rose petals. He then looks up and sees Janet, who's broken up with him but whom he still pines for. A few scenes later, Janet comes home to find Cliff has spelled out a message for her in rose petals. Doubles as an IronicEcho.
* TheCameo: Basketball player Xavier [=McDaniels=], in what may be the movie's [[CrowningMomentOfFunny most hilarious line]]. Also cameos from various grunge personalities, including all the members of Music/PearlJam, [[Music/{{Soundgarden}} Chris Cornell]], Tad Doyle and Bruce Pavitt, as well as Creator/PaulGiamatti and a rare behind-the-camera Creator/TimBurton cameo.
** CreatorCameo: Creator/CameronCrowe plays a journalist interviewing Cliff. Doubles as an AuthorAllusion, as Crowe started out as a journalist for ''Rolling Stone.''
* TheCasanova: The Spanish ForeignExchangeStudent Linda dates early in the movie cheats on her right away.
* ChekhovsGun: Well, sneeze, anyway.
** Also, the "secret knock" Janet teaches Steve.
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: Debbie finally finding someone right for her minutes before the ending.
* CultSoundtrack: Just ask anyone who went to college in the early 90s.
* DatingServiceDisaster: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]], but Debbie avoids any of the obvious examples and goes for the guy who seems nice enough.
** Played straight, however, in that she's late for the date (she went to the wrong restaurant), and by the time she catches up with him at her apartment, he's flirting with her roommate, who went to college with him.
* DiabolusExMachina: The car accident that causes [[spoiler: Linda's miscarriage.]]
* FieryRedhead: Averted with Debbie, the token redhead, who is instead TheDitz.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: InUniverse - if you believe Cliff, Citizen Dick has a big following in Belgium and Italy.
* HospitalHottie: Dr. Jamison might be in private practice rather than at a hospital, but Janet does note that he has plenty of attractive points.
* HumiliationConga: Steve gets denied the chance to work on his dream project, loses his job, his girlfriend, his potential child, and his office cubicle collapses around him.
* IronicEchoCut:
-->'''Linda:''' This guy plays no games.\\
'''Steve:''' I've got to play this one perfectly.
* LastMinuteHookup: [[spoiler: Cliff and Janet getting back together.]]
* LeFilmArtistique: Debbie's dating video is this as well as a BigLippedAlligatorMoment, featuring a cringe-worthy homage to the shower scene from ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' among other things.
* LoveEpiphany: Played with throughout the movie. Janet has an inverted one when she realizes that Cliff is so self-absorbed that he won't even say "Bless you" when she sneezes. After their breakup, Cliff realizes how much he does love her and tries to get her back. [[spoiler: The final scene is when they happen to meet in an elevator, and this time he does say "Bless you" when she sneezes.]]
* MeaningfulEcho: "I just happened to be nowhere near your neighborhood."
* MustHaveCaffeine: Janet works at a coffee shop, and the entire circle of friends regularly hangs out there, with everyone regularly having another cup.
* RecycledTheSeries: Ultimately averted, as Crowe felt that turning ''Singles'' into a series was a poor idea. The production company decided, rather than giving up on the notion, to retool the concept and gave the central characters tweaked personalities, altered some of the interpersonal relationships, transplanted the show to [[BigApplesauce New York City]], and changed the name to ''{{Friends}}''.
* {{Sampling}}/{{Expy}}: The opening theme and the ending theme to the movie are technically two different songs. However, the difference between "Dyslexic Heart" and "Waiting For Somebody" is purely which lyrics Paul Westerberg is singing; they share the exact same instrumentation. The vocals are even in the same key; one could switch between singing them without a problem.
* SecondActBreakUp: Happens to Steve and Linda after she gets back from her research cruise, and to Cliff and Janet after she breaks off the relationship due to his lack of attentiveness.
* ShotgunWedding: [[spoiler: Steve proposes when it's discovered that he's gotten Linda pregnant; it's called off after the miscarriage.]]
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: [[spoiler: When Steve and Linda do reunite at the end]], they start making out on the couch, and she sits on the garage door opener, causing the door to open and close.
* ThatCameOutWrong:
-->'''Linda:''' (''pissed Steve waited four days to call her after they had sex'') I just don't want to play games.
-->'''Steve:''' Games? If I was playing games, I would have waited a week to call you. ({{Beat}}) What I meant to say is...
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Counting the ways:
** Grunge and alt-rock is everywhere.
** Flannel is practically a dress code requirement (although somewhat TruthInTelevision in Seattle to this day).
** The dating service that Debbie uses involves VHS tapes instead of any variety of video disc or the Internet.
** Reference is made to building airplanes, as Boeing used to be by far the largest employer in the Seattle area (Boeing since has left the area; tech companies such as Creator/{{Nintendo}}, {{Microsoft}}, and Amazon are the local heavyweights now).
** Steve's friend David storing phone numbers on his watch, as opposed to a cell phone.