'''''Diagnosis: Murder''''' is a mystery/medical/crime drama television series starring Creator/DickVanDyke as Dr. Mark Sloan, a medical doctor who solves crimes with the help of his son, a homicide detective played by his real-life son Barry Van Dyke." That's directly from [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]] and is probably one of the best explanations of the show. (The Van Dyke Family roadshow perhaps? Given that at least two of Barry's children turn up in the series and Dick's brother turns up as Mark's brother...)

In between saving people's lives, Mark as the chief of internal medicine also finds time to help the woefully inadequate LAPD find the constant murders that have been going around lately. The whole idea is that a patient will come in comatose under the reasoning that a landslide had knocked them out and caused internal bleeding so they died, yet under closer inspection these "rock bruises" look more like the shape you would expect after been repeatedly hit by heavy books. Steve, this man wasn't killed by rocks on a landslide but by books in a library; my diagnosis, murder.

It's woefully ridiculous but the fact that the show knows it's a stupid idea and pokes a lot of fun at itself just makes it that much more appealing. Mark doesn't solve the crimes by himself; Steve, Mark's son mentioned above, gives him reason to poke around. Also, depending on the season, he has doctors Amanda Bentley, Jack Stewart and Jesse Travis. The latter opens up a BBQ restaurant with the policeman Steve. So Amanda and Jack/Jesse will then get themselves into random danger with the killer while trying to solve the murder because clearly being highly trained doctors with lives to save isn't enough to keep them occupied and they don't have the brains to ask their police friend, Steve, to look into it for them.

It's not commonly known that this was a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqyUjRAy5fU spinoff of]] ''Series/JakeAndTheFatman'' (which in turn was a spinoff of ''Series/{{Matlock}}'').

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!!Contains examples of the following tropes:

* AbsenteeActor: Pushed to extremes in Season 8 when either Jesse, Amanda or both were absent from nearly every episode. There are only 6 episodes of the entire season where all 4 main characters appear, and Jesse isn't even in the series finale.
* AdamWesting: Adam West himself cameos as a washed-up actor who was made famous by playing half of a crime-fighting duo, ''Tuttle and the Mummy''.
* AmateurSleuth: Dr. Mark Sloan.
* BirthdayEpisode: "The Busy Body"
* BitterAlmonds: Mark identifies a glass of wine as being laced with cyanide by the aroma of almonds in one episode.
* BananaInTheTailpipe: Used with a wad of cash in the tailpipe.
* BeleagueredBureaucrat: Hospital administrator Norman Briggs. Initially depicted as an ObstructiveBureaucrat, he later demonstrates that he genuinely cares for Community General but is caught between the needs of the hospital and the realities of the economy.
* BluffingTheMurderer: Several episodes have Mark using this trick to make the killers incriminate themselves.
* BreakingTheFellowship / PuttingTheBandBackTogether: In the two-parter "Obsession", after serial bomber Louis Sweeney, whom Dr. Sloan and his son Steve helped put away, is executed for his crimes, the killer's children pull off a series of copy-cat bombings, causing the police to suspect that they executed the wrong man. At the end of Part 1, facing a public relations nightmare, the board of executives at Community General revoked Dr. Sloan's medical license and fired Amanda Bentley and Jesse Travis, while the LAPD suspended Steve Sloan indefinitely. In Part 2, the four of them reunite after a few weeks to clear their reputations and prove that Louis Sweeney was indeed guilty of the bombings he committed, and that his children were responsible for the copy-cat bombings. By the end of the arc, Dr. Sloan's license is restored and everyone's back on the job. [[spoiler: And then Sweeney's daughter blew up the hospital.]]
* BrickJoke: In "Malibu Fire", Mark (by a reporter) is mistaken for Creator/PeterGraves. [[CelebrityCameo Guess who plays]] the Mark [[ExPy Expy]] in the ShowWithinAShow at the end of "Trash TV"?
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Dr. Sloan has raised eccentricity to a high art (he's been known to make his rounds on roller-skates), but his skills as a doctor and as a consultant to the police more than make up for that.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Delores Mitchell and Norman Briggs.
* ChurchOfHappyology: Earthonomy, a cult with ridiculous mafia-like connections. They kill a reporter who was investigating them and attempt to kill another reporter. One suspect is even a closeted gay actor obviously based on... [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed a certain actor]]. [[spoiler:It turns out the killer was a hitman hired by the head of Earthonomy, who was having a homosexual affair with the gay actor.]]
* ConnectTheDeaths: A serial bomber wrote the name of her dead father on the city map. The absurdity of this is [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Steve, who draws a pig in the same pattern, though of course Dr. Sloan is right.
* ContractualPurity: [[invoked]] One episode had the murder victim (the Executive Head of a [[Creator/{{ION}} PAX]]-style Christian TV network) given a fatal heart attack by video clips sliced into a show she's reviewing that had images of a lookalike practicing Satanism (which she did in college), something that would ruin anyone's career, let alone hers.
* CriminalDoppelganger: The two-parter episode "Gangland" centered on a recently paroled mob boss who bore a striking resemblance to Dr. Mark Sloan (both roles played by Dick Van Dyke)
* {{Crossover}}: With ''Series/{{Matlock}}'' in the two-parter "Murder for Two"
** "Hard-Boiled Murder" has Mark helping Joe Mannix with an old case he didn't get around to solving in his own show.
* {{Death in the Clouds}}: "Murder in the Air"
* DiabolusExNihilo: The motive of the culprit in "Rear Windows '98" is never revealed.
* DisposingOfABody: One episode (that was kind of a ghost story) had one corpse turned into an exhibit skeleton.
* EverythingIsOnline
* EvilTwin
* ForgotToGagHim: Dr. Mark Sloan - when kidnapped by the insane children of a MadBomber he got sent to the electric chair, he manages to play them against each other, while secretly sending clues to his partners-in-crimesolving, leading to his inevitable rescue. One of the agents on the case even comments that they really should've [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim shot him right away]]...
* FriendOnTheForce: Mark's son.
* GangstaStyle: Played with in an episode where Mark Sloan is at a gun range being shown how to use a pistol. He fires off a few rounds normally (with realistic loudness and recoil) and then asks the man who was showing him whether he could fire it sideways "like on TV", twisting it to the side to show him what he meant. While the instructor starts saying why it's a bad idea, Mark fires the gun anyway by accident and the recoil flings it out of his hand with great ease and force - which creates a big enough diversion for another character to sneak past.
* GoldDigger: The victim in "Open and Shut".
* HollywoodHacking: "Rear Windows '98"
* {{Homage}}: DM has done episodes that honor TV doctors of the past ("Physician, Murder Thyself" with Chad Everett, Wayne Rogers, Jack Klugman and Bernie Kopell), TV spies of the past ("Discards" with Robert Culp, Barbara Bain [as her ''Series/MissionImpossible'' character of Cinnamon Carter, [[SharedUniverse which suggests]]...], Robert Vaughn and Patrick [=MacNee=]), TV cops of the past ("Murder Blues" with Fred Dryer, Angie Dickinson, Martin Milner, Kent [=McCord=] and James Darren), Emergency! ("Malibu Fire" with Emergency regulars Randolph Mantooth and Robert Fuller), ''Series/{{Mash}}'' ("Drill For Death", with a number of cast members from both [[Film/{{Mash}} the movie]] and TV versions), ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' ("Alienated", with Trek regulars Walter Koenig, George Takei, Grace Lee Whitney and Majel Barrett, plus Wil Wheaton from ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' and ''Series/LostInSpace'''s Bill Mumy) and the ''Series/HappyDays''-''Series/LaverneAndShirley''-''Series/MorkAndMindy'' universe ("Food Fight" featuring Pat Morita, Don Most, Erin Moran, David L. Lander, Leslie Easterbrook, and Conrad Janis).
* HypocriticalHumor: When the hospital's computer system is brought to its knees by a virus, Norman asks the computer engineer who fixes the problem to give the staff a lecture on proper computer handling and to remind them that their computer terminals are not toys. The engineer then reveals that the virus on the system is commonly found in a particular computer game - which Norman has installed on his terminal.
* IdenticalStranger: In "Gangland", Doc Sloan turns out to have a {{Doppelganger}}.
* InconvenientHippocraticOath: In one episode, Dr. Sloan is at a retirement home disguised as a wheelchair-bound senile person in order to investigate corruption. At one point, another character needs emergency medical treatment, so Sloan has to irrevocably blow his cover in front of all the staff and residents to help.
* InheritanceMurder: In one episode, there's a millionaire who decides to leave his fortune to a hospital, but who dies before he can change his will. Naturally, suspicion falls on his three awful children.
* InterdisciplinarySleuth: Dr. Sloan uses his medical knowledge to solve crimes.
* JackTheRipoff: The title character of the tie-in novel ''The Silent Partner'' is a serial copycat: one copycat each for multiple serial killers.
* KarmaHoudini: In "Rear Windows '98," Susan doesn't even apologise for falsely accusing Jesse of intentionally poisoning her.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Carol Sloan and her husband in the movie ''Town Without Pity''.]]
* TheKillerWasLeftHanded: Almost used in an episode where the killer must be right handed. This lets the left handed man off, until it's revealed that everyone is innocent. Since someone must be guilty, it turns out the lefty is ambidextrous.
* KillingForATissueSample: There's an episode in which the killer turns out to be a doctor who specializes in studying genetics, and his intended victim has a unique trait in her genes that he's convinced will further his research.
* LetsGetDangerous: The normally calm and [[ByTheBookCop by the book]] Mark and Steve will resort to {{Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique}}s if their friends or family are threatened.
* {{Locked in a Room}}: Happens on a number of occasions. Notably to Jesse and Steve in the season 6 opener and to Jack and Steve in season 2, where Jack reveals he has {{Claustrophobia}} and has a panic attack.
* TheMovie
* MurderByRemoteControlVehicle: In "Inheritance of Death", remote control is used to send an elderly millionaire's electric wheelchair crashing down a flight of stairs.
* MysteryOfTheWeek
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: In the episode "The Last Laugh (Part 1)" a man storms out of a hotel room after taking a shower (ItMakesSenseInContext) and his towel gets trapped in the door. Mark notes he "won't get far" and there is a comedy scream and musical laugh sting plays.
* NotSoFakePropWeapon: One episode featured a morning show staging a shooting between the hosts as a publicity stunt. Someone switched the blanks for real bullets and the cohost gets shot.
* ObfuscatingDisability
* OlderThanTheyLook: Jesse Travis got this on occasion. How gracefully he reacted depended on how snotty the other person acted.
* ParanormalEpisode: The thirteenth episode of the second season, and it's a shocker. [[spoiler: "The Bela Lugosi Blues" has a real female vampire as the murderess behind a string of killings. She's in cahoots with a mortal villain. He gets the money from her crimes. She gets the blood, and help getting a new ID papers (her last passport expired in 1938).]]
* ThePerfectCrime: Nicely played with in an episode where a killer details his "perfect" plan for a murder. That's followed by the crime where ''nothing'' goes to plan. Still, he pulls it off only to be tripped up not because of any of his mistakes but because his attempt to frame an innocent person for the crime is ''too'' good. Sloane notes that it's the first case where the suspect is so incredibly obvious from the start and thus got suspicious of the "evidence" to find out the truth.
* PhoneTraceRace: In one episode, the killer who had previously dodged phone traces allows the call to be traced to a pay phone to distract the police.
* PhoneyCall: In "Blood Will Out", Mark calls Steve to tell him where he and the missing patient are. Being in a room with a rogue NSA agent, Steve pretends to be having a conversation with his wife about a dinner. In a twist, the NSA had been tapping Steve's phone and got a recording of the full conversation. Steve, however, expected the them to be tapping his phone and arranged to have a squad of police waiting for them when they followed him.
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: The episode "Blood Ties" was clearly a pilot for a series featuring the two female police officers who were showcased.
* PregnantHostage: In "Baby Boom."
* RealityEnsues: In the crossover with ''Series/{{Matlock}}'', the judge had Matlock spend a night in a cell when he tried pulling [[CourtroomAntic courtroom antics]].
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: Steve Sloan's 9mm service weapon jams up on him during a firefight, prompting his opponent to say something to the effect of "those nine millimeters really are a piece of crap." For the remainder of the episode (and the series) he carries a [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolver]] as a sidearm instead.
* RevealingCoverup: Used a few different ways in an episode where the murderer makes the death look like a suicide-by-pill-overdose. The murderer takes care to wipe their fingerprints off the pill bottle, but the victim's prints aren't on the bottle either. Also, when Mark tells the killer that it's unusual for there to not be a suicide note, the killer forges one using the victim's laptop; Mark checks the laptop's directory and finds that the note is date-stamped about 20 hours after the death, confirming that it's murder rather than suicide.
* ReverseWhodunnit
* RightWingMilitiaFanatic: One episode featured a militia group trying to separate the US West Coast into a state for whites, complete with the WeAreEverywhere threat and a stolen nuke.
* SelfSurgery: In "Blood Will Out", the man who [[WakingUpAtTheMorgue wakes up in the morgue]] with a bullet in his head steals medical supplies and uses a deserted operating theatre to operate on himself and remove the slug.
* ShockJock: An episode features a vile, foul mouthed shock-jock type trying to get a squeaky-clean TV host on his show who [[spoiler: turns out to be the mother of his child. She kills him instead, of course.]]
* ShoePhone: One episode has an assassin being hired to kill someone at the hospital, using a gun concealed inside the handle of a crutch.
* ShownTheirWork: In "Delusions of Murder" it's correctly pointed out that a person under hypnosis cannot be commanded to do something they normally wouldn't.
* ShowWithinAShow: Type 1, when Amanda wins the chance to be on her favorite show, and when they film a TV show in the hospital.
** The episode "Trash TV" deals with the TroubledProduction of a series based on Mark Sloan's exploits, filmed on location in Community General and initially starring Creator/PeterGraves as Doctor Sloan. After a rework, Steve "[[MyNaymeIs Sloane]]" is about [[YoungerAndHipper thirty years younger]], packs a [[{{BFG}} Magnum]], and [[HotterAndSexier sleeps with his female patients]]. [[HilarityEnsues Then people start dying on set]].
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Murder 101'', the Hallmark Channel's series of {{Made for TV Movie}}s starring Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Jonathan Maxwell and Barry Van Dyke as Mike Bryant, a private detective (not the doctor's son this time around).
* SpringtimeForHitler: In the episode "Murder at the Finish Line," a race car owner oversells her shares to backers, figuring that with the loser race car driver she has, they'll never expect any returns. However, the driver suddenly goes on a major winning streak and thus pushes the owner to murder.
* StrangersOnATrainPlotMurder: In one episode, after a new hospital administrator announces that she plans to have Dr. Sloan fired from Community General when he protests her short-sighted budget cuts, the new administrator turns up dead, and a sociopath calls up Dr. Sloan and says, "Now you owe me a favor." Dr. Sloan refuses to play along, obviously.
* SuicideByCop: Subverted: the bad guy has a degenerative disease not covered by insurance (pre-existing condition), and spends the entire episode goading Steve into killing him. It is implied that part of Steve's refusal to do so is because the villain went a bit too far. GoodIsNotNice, perhaps?
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Dr. Jesse Travis replacing Dr. Jack Stewart for the 1995-96 season.
* SyntheticPlague: A genetically-altered strain of smallpox referred to as [=RZ1765=] serves as a MacGuffin in one episode.
* ThemeNaming: In "Inheritance of Death," murdered millionaire Jonathan Nash has three children whose names also begin with the letter J. (Julian, J. Edison and Judith).
* TinkleInTheEye: The characters discuss how this always happens on TV before it actually happens.
* {{Tontine}}
* TownWithADarkSecret: "Dead in the Water", when Jesse and girlfriend Susan travel to such a town. This happens again in the movie ''Town Without Pity''. Unsurprisingly, Jesse's previous experience is [[AesopAmnesia never brought up or alluded to]].
* TwinSwitch: A man murders his twin, then takes over his twin's life.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: In one episode, the victim was a post-op trans woman, and Steve had been flirting with her before she was killed. To the show's credit, the victim was portrayed as a sympathetic character and none of the main characters freaked out about it.
* WakingUpAtTheMorgue: In "Blood Will Out", Amanda is preparing for an autopsy when the body on her slab wakes up and chokes her into unconsciousness before escaping.
* WeCanRuleTogether: Oddly invoked and lampshaded in the episode "Blood Ties" (a backdoor pilot for a cop drama involving two female police officers). A team of renegade cops, who have taken to murdering known felons and placing "organ donor" stickers on their drivers licenses so their organs can be harvested for transplants, tries to convince the two protagonist cops to join them. One of the two officers comments that this reminded her of a ''Film/JamesBond'' scene, where the villain tries to convince Bond to join him in taking over the world. She says, "All Bond had to do was say 'yes', and he could buy enough time for his fellow agents to rescue him and save the day. I never understood why he never said 'yes'...until now. The answer is 'no'."
%%* WelcomeToTheRealWorld
* WeWouldHaveToldYouBut: [[spoiler: Steve and his partner are put under involuntary lockdown for threatening suspects. Turns out it's all a ploy to get the partner to admit to murders he'd committed and blanked from his memory a year before.]]
* WhatHaveWeEar: Mark is an amateur sleight-of-hand magician as well as a doctor, and occasionally pulls this trick.
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