[[quoteright:340:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Happy-Days-Posters.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:340:Not pictured: [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome Chuck Cunningham]].]]

->''Sunday, Monday, Happy Days!\\
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days!\\
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days!\\
The weekend comes,\\
My cycle hums,\\
Ready to race to you!''
-->--'''''Happy Days''''' opening theme song

A nostalgic Creator/{{ABC}} comedy series set in Milwaukee in TheFifties, focusing on squeaky-clean Richie Cunningham (Creator/RonHoward), who constantly gets into trouble through circumstance, naivete or the bad influence of his friends, and is usually bailed out by his parents or the super-cool Fonz. It was a low-rated show early on, but soon became a smash hit and #1 series that ended up having a massive legacy, and enduring fame. Early episodes achieved a kind of brilliant self-parody, but the show went way longer than it should have, and was ultimately the inspiration for the phrase JumpingTheShark.

''HappyDays'' originated as an episode of the GenreAnthology ''LoveAmericanStyle'' but also drew both cast and conceptual elements from the movie ''AmericanGraffiti''. It likewise [[SpinOff spun off]] several shows, the most successful of these being ''LaverneAndShirley'' and ''MorkAndMindy''.

Richie the Everyman was paired up with ThoseTwoGuys Ralph Malph and Potsie, and most episodes surrounded their hijinks. The Fonz was a former street hoodlum-turned friendly character (a pastiche of '50s greasers), who gave street-smart advice and aided the boys whenever he could, while trying not to lose his tough-guy edge. Richie's parents, Howard and Marion, were classic '50s sitcom parents in the ''FatherKnowsBest'' mold, and he had a bratty little sister in Joanie. Later on, Chachi was introduced to the cast as Fonzie's cousin to skew the fanbase a bit younger. Eventually, by season eight (and one shark jump), Richie and Ralph had left the series, and Fonzie took over as the lead character. The focus also shifted to Joanie and Chachi as main characters, and started featuring many unpopular replacements and new characters, none of which had any lasting pop culture influence. It finally ended after ten long years with a GrandFinale of epic proportions: Joanie and Chachi got married, and Howard spoke to the audience as a clip of past events showed.

Frequently parodied for being over-the-top, cutesy and having silly characters, it's also equally admired in pop culture for its iconic characters (Richie as the nice guy, Ralph as the jokester, Fonzie as the cool ladies' man, Howard and Marion as the ideal sitcom parents). Its influence in terms of character archetypes, tropes and catchphrases cannot be overstated.

----
!!''HappyDays'' is the TropeNamer for:

* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Also used to be called "Brother Chuck."
* JumpingTheShark: This was the moment many fans considered the show had gotten ''too'' stupid to continue. It was so bad, the fact that it was a ''really'' boring three-episode arc gets ignored. [[invoked]]
* PercussiveMaintenance: [[Administrivia/NamingATrope Former]] TropeNamer; used to be called "[[Administrivia/TropeNamerSyndrome Fonzarelli Fix.]]" How The Fonz was able to manipulate technology using only his fist and RuleOfCool.
** There was one episode where Fonzie did this by snapping fingers ''over the phone''.
** In the WholeEpisodeFlashback about how Richie and Fonzie met, they're in an alley about to have a fight. Fonzie hits the brick wall of a building to turn all the exterior light off. Richie is stunned near-speechless, to which the Fonz simply explains, "It's a gift."

!!This show also provides examples of:

* AbsenteeActor: Anson Williams was absent in several episodes of the last three seasons because with Howard and Most gone from the show, the writers struggled to find things for Potsie to do.
* TheAce: Fonzie turned into this around season 4, when the increasingly outlandish plots required him to be the best in the world at things that would have been impossible for any human, let alone a high school dropout mechanic.
** Among other things, Fonzie successfully rode a killer bull, out-dueled a world champion fencer, fought a superpowered alien to a draw (though that may or may not have been AllJustADream) and, most famously, beat a champion water-skiier at JumpingTheShark.
** Even later, he became a high school shop teacher and still later, Dean of Students at the school where TedMcGinley was a physical education teacher (and later an administrator) -- all seemingly without having earned so much as a [=GED=]. (By the end of the series, he had also purchased his auto repair shop and reportedly also was part-owner of Arnold's.)
*** Actually, he earned his highschool diploma in the fourth season by taking night school classes. The Fonz does not require sleep!
* ActuallyIAmHim: The letter from Fonzie's father reveals that it's only being read because he was too cowardly to admit he was the one delivering it.
* AllJustADream: "My Favorite Orkan", "Welcome to My Nightmare", and "The Spirit Is Willing"; although for the first and third, the reality is left ambiguous.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: [[AvertedTrope And that someone is the Fonz!]] Aaay!
* AndStarring: "...Tom Bosley as Howard Cunningham."
* AnimatedAdaptation: ''TheFonzAndTheHappyDaysGang'', a Saturday morning HannaBarbera show that sent Fonzie, Richie, and Ralph aboard a [[RecycledINSPACE combination spaceship/time machine]] with a teenage girl from the future and Fonzie's GratuitousAnimalSidekick.
** Boy, they really went UpToEleven with the Shark Jumping here.
*** You should check out what they did with LaverneAndShirley and MorkAndMindy then. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laverne_%26_Shirley_in_the_Army No]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mork_%26_Mindy/Laverne_%26_Shirley/Fonz_Hour really]].
* AscendedExtra:
** Fonzie, who started out as a side character in the first two seasons, managed to evolve into the main character of the show after Richie left, due to his BreakoutCharacter status.
** Joanie and Chachi also became the focal points of the show after Richie left, because of Chachi's appeal to teenage girls.
* AttemptedRape: A final season episode has Joanie attacked by a student while substitute teaching. Fonzie came in just in time and threatened to kill the student on the spot ("You are DEAD!"). The student jumped out of the window to avoid Fonzie, and got caught on a flagpole.
* AttendingYourOwnFuneral: Fonzie; When a crime ring attempts (but fails) to kill him with a TimeBomb, the gang decides to fake Fonzie's funeral in order to lure them out into the open. Of course, this also lures out a lot of cameos from recurring and spinoff characters.
* BackForTheFinale: Richie, Lori Beth, Al, and Jenny Piccalo. Surprisingly, Ralph fails to return, although the explanation given for his absence is that he went back to college (mentioned in "Welcome Home, Part 1").
* BadassBeard: One episode has Fonzie growing one. When Fonzie decided to shave it off at the end, Potsie collects some of the leftover hair to sell it to a waiting crowd of girls outside.
* {{Badbutt}}: Fonzie may be the most iconic example.
* BewareOfHitchhikingGhosts: "The Spirit Is Willing" has a variant of this.
* BigBrotherMentor: Fonzie for Richie, Potsie, Ralph, and Chachi.
* BigDamnHeroes: Fonzie's specialty. If Richie or Joanie is in trouble, Fonzie will always burst in to save the day.
* BillingDisplacement: Averted when the producers wanted to change the name of the show to ''Fonzie's Happy Days'' to reflect [[BreakoutCharacter The Fonz's]] growing popularity. Both Ron Howard and creator Garry Marshall threatened to leave the show if the producers did so, and even Henry Winkler himself objected to this proposal, feeling that Ron Howard was the real star of the show.
* BobAndRay: Appeared in the season 7 episode "Here Comes the Bride, Again".
* TheBoxingEpisode: "Requiem for a Malph (Season 5)" and "Glove Story (Season 11)."
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Joanie became one in the third season. If Richie is trying to keep literally ''anything'' from his parents for whatever reason, no matter what it is, expect Joanie to have conveniently "heard it from a friend" and blurt it out to Howard and Marion against his wishes.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Done by Howard at the end of the final episode.
** In an outtake from the final show, after Mr C. toasts his family and friends one by one as written in the script, Tom Bosley breaks character to look around saying "[[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome Chuck! Where's Chuck?!?]]"
* BreakoutCharacter: This trope used to be ''CALLED'' "The Fonzie". He went from an occasionally glimpsed greaser character to a centrepiece of the show thanks to his tough persona and catchprases, to finally the ''main'' character of the show. The network even wanted to rename the show ''Fonzie's Happy Days'' in the later seasons, and only didn't because Henry Winkler objected -- he felt that Ron Howard was the real star.
* TheBrideWithAPast: In "Fonzie's Getting Married", Howard recognizes Fonzie's fiancée as a stripper that he saw at a hardware convention.
* BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats: The Leopard Lodge, which features Howard as the Grand Poobah. Potsie becomes a member later in the run, and eventually tries to recruit Fonzie[[note]]who's blackballed[[/note]], Chachi and Roger.
* TheBusCameBack: A season 11 two-parter had Richie, Lori Beth, and Ralph coming home to visit. Richie and Lori Beth also came BackForTheFinale.
** After ''Joanie Loves Chachi'' was canceled, those characters returned to the parent show for its final season.
** Pat Morita's Arnold returned in season 10, after having been gone since season 3... then vanished again almost as promptly.
* ButtMonkey: Potsie
* CareerBuildingBlunder: Chachi accidentally burns down Arnold's. Al (the owner) is upset about the fire but doesn't blame Chachi because it was an accident. Fonzie chews Chachi out about it; then appoints Chachi as his representative at the new Arnold's (in which Fonzie's partner with Al), because Fonz knows Chachi will make sure not to screw up again.
* TheCasanova: Fonzie. He could snap his fingers and women would run up and make out with him!
* TheCastShowoff: Anson Williams as Potsie. One episode even stops in its tracks so Potsie can sing "Deeply," an original song Williams recorded, even though it's a '70s pop song out of place in the '50s setting.
** When actress [[{{Glee}} Jane Lynch]] was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, she said she wrote a fan letter to Anson Williams when she was a teenager in the 70s and she got a written response back from him. Kimmel showed the letter and in it Williams asked Lynch if she and her friends would write to the show asking for more Potsie singing! Lynch didn't but if Williams responded to every fan letter the same way and most of them complied, it explains why Potsie sang so much on the show!
** Scott Baio and Erin Moran would become this later on, mainly due to the teen idol status of the former (who released back-to-back albums in the early-'80s).
* CatchPhrase:
** Every character uses "Sit on it!" at least once.
** Fonzie: "EYYYYY!"
** Ralph: "I still got it!"
** Marion: "Howard, are you feeling frisky?"
** Al: "Yep...Yep, yep, yep, yep."
** Chachi: "Wa, wa, wa."
** Potsie had "Man oh man, you got it made in the shade" toward Richie in the first two seasons, although it was later dropped.
** Also popularized the term "nerd".
* ChristmasEpisode: Several.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: [[TropeNamer The original]]. After being played by three different actors, the third quitter led to Garry Marshall just axing the concept entirely, and one day he ran up the stairs to his room and never returned. A very famous TV example, often subject to LampshadeHanging in other media about the show.
** K.C. ([[{{Series/Wings}} Crystal Bernard]]) vanished after the tenth season with no explanation.
* ClipShow: Several
* CloudCuckoolander: Ralph Malph.
* CoffinContraband: In one episode, Fonzie is thought to be dead and some gangsters hide stolen loot in a false bottom of his casket.
* ContinuityDrift: In the season 1 episode "The Deadly Dares", Potsie mentions in passing that he had a sister. Later seasons say he's an only child.
** [[EditedForSyndication Syndicated reruns try to rectify this]] by rather awkwardly cutting out the mention of his sister from the episode.
* CoolCar: Ralph's car from the first season that Fonzie drove in "Guess Who's Coming to Visit?" Richie also gets one in "Richie's Car", although it turns out to be stolen.
* CoolTeacher: Fonzie becomes the auto shop teacher of Jefferson High in Season 8, as well as the Dean of Boys at vocational school Patton High in Season 11.
** Roger starts out as coach for Jefferson and later gets promoted to principal of Patton.
* {{Corpsing}}: Noticeably after the switch to a StudioAudience in the third season, some of the regular cast members seemed to be having a tough time holding in their laughter or keeping a straight face when the audience erupted, most notably Henry Winkler, Fonzie himself.
* {{Costumer}}
* TheCouch
* CowboyEpisode: There was a dude ranch episode.
* CreditsJukebox: Literalized, as the closing credits would appear over pictures of a jukebox.
* {{Crossover}}: With ''LaverneAndShirley''. Repeated in the AnimatedAdaptation with, L, S and Fonzie in the army, commanded by a cartoon pig voiced by ''WelcomeBackKotter'' alum Ron Palillo.
** Fonzie also appeared in the first episode of ''MorkAndMindy''. Mork also made a second appearance here after his show began.
* DadTheVeteran: Howard Cunningham is a perfect example of a kindly, wise StandardFiftiesFather. But when he needed to be, he could remind his children (and he even reminded the Fonz at one point) that he'd been in the army during "the war" (it is assumed he's talking about UsefulNotes/WorldWarII), and could still throw down if he needed to. Despite the fact that it was later revealed that he had been a file clerk or a cook (depending on which episode you're watching) he was still the one character that even Fonzie tried to avoid angering.
* DeadpanSnarker: Pretty much everybody in their own way, but [[TheSnarkKnight Howard]] and [[LittleMissSnarker Joanie]] especially.
* DemotedToExtra:
** Potsie, initially one of the major characters as Richie's best friend, was even featured in the original ''Love, American Style'' precursor to the show. As Fonzie took on the role of Richie's brotherly figure, Potsie became less important to storylines, and instead was paired alongside Ralph Malph as ThoseTwoGuys. He stuck around when Richie and Ralph left the series to join the Army, in various different roles, before joining Howard's Leopard Lodge and getting a job at Cunningham Hardware. Unfortunately, he all but vanished by the last season, in which he only appeared in six episodes, not including the finale, and no explanation was given for his absence. Despite these sporadic guest appearances in Season 11, he was only demoted to co-star status in the opening credits.
** Lori-Beth became Richie's steady girl in one of the opening episodes of Season 5. When Richie left to join the Army in Greenland, she stuck around, getting married to him over the phone, and giving birth to Richie's son when he was away. Eventually, she pretty much just stopped appearing entirely unless it was a special occasion, having little way to play off the others. Finally, in one of the episodes of the final season, she was given the chance to properly leave the show by joining Richie and Richie, Jr. in moving to California, so that Richie could pursue his dream of becoming a screenwriter.
* DenserAndWackier: You probably couldn't guess that this was the TropeNamer for JumpingTheShark without being told, seeing as how "ski-jumping over sharks to conquer your fear of them" isn't exactly what most people nostalgically remember about TheFifties.
* DiagonalBilling: Erin Moran and Scott Baio for season 10 guest appearances (the two were starring in ''Joanie Loves Chachi'' at the time).
* DisappearedDad: Fonzie's dad walked out on him as a kid, which is a noted sore spot in a number of episodes. One ChristmasEpisode sees Fonzie receive a gift from his dad and him express anguish about it. [[spoiler:The man that delivers the gift turns out to be his dad, but Fonzie doesn't learn this until the end of the episode as he was too scared to tell him the truth.]]
* TheDitz: Potsie, more so in later seasons.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Chachi, to Joanie in the beginning, before they became an OfficialCouple.
* DooWopProgression: The opening theme song.
* DropInCharacter: The poor Cunningham house pretty much has people showing up unannounced throughout its entire history.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Possibly one of ''the'' trope codifiers. Just look at one of the early episodes, from one of the first two seasons, and then compare it with an episode airing anytime after the 1975-1976 season premiere – the episodes differ substantially. Just a few of the examples:
** The first two seasons used "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets as its theme (in lieu of Pratt and [=McClain=]'s "Happy Days," which incidentally became a hit in its own right).
** Fonzie appeared far less often or was less essential to the plots. The show was more focused on the Cunninghams, Richie in particular. Fonzie early on was also much more of a jerk than most people know him to be, when he became the all around good guy after becoming a major character. Possibly explained/retconned in a later episode detailing how Richie met him.
** In many of the first season episodes, perhaps due to ABC's demands, Fonzie wore a greyish windbreaker instead of his black leather jacket.
** Potsie was the more wordly confidant. By the fall of 1975, Potsie was dumbed down considerably and became Ralph's joking sidekick.
** Ralph himself wasn't initially a cowardly jokester; in fact, he seemed to be one of the more popular kids at the high school, and occasionally indulged in pranking, without his trademark "I still got it!" line.
** Howard Cunningham was far more sedate, while Marion was more motherly. Mr. C [[NoIndoorVoice was hyped up considerably]] by the fall of 1975, while Mrs. C's motherly-ness was turned UpToEleven.
** The layout of the house, to accomodate a three-camera setup that was filmed in a studio, was far different, with the kitchen on the left and the living room at stage right. The reverse was seen in later years.
** Arnold's also had a different look early on.
** The first two seasons used a laugh track. Late in the second season (spring 1975), shows were taped in front of a studio audience ... and the "big applause" era had started.
** Most telling of all, Richie had an older brother named Chuck who liked to play basketball -- [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome who disappeared after the first season]].
* EgocentricTeamNaming: after Arnold's burns down, and Al & Fonzie are preparing to reopen. (Fonzie has invested his life savings.) Al wants to call the new establishment Big Al's, and Fonzie wants to call it Fonzie's. They finally compromise and call it...Arnold's.
** Also fictional bands "Johnny Fish and the Fins" & "Leather Tuscadaro and the Suedes"
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Fonzie's first name is ''Arthur''. With the exception of Marion, Fonzie doesn't let ''anyone'' call him that.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Arthur ''Herbert'' Fonzarelli.
* EmotionallyTongueTied: When Fonzie tries to admit to Richie that he was wrong, it comes out "I was wr-rr---rr--- I was wrrr---rr ... I was ''not exactly right.''"
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: While it's the Fonz's second scene in the first episode, he does set an example of just how he is TheAce by unhooking a bra in a single finger snap. Then goes to the mirror to guzzy himself up, only to realize that he's already perfect and then leaves. [[ShowDontTell All while not saying a word]].
* EstablishingShot
* EstrogenBrigadeBait: Chachi was brought in to appeal to young girls.
* EveryEpisodeEnding: Every [[TheTag tag scene]] ends with a brief [[TriumphantReprise reprise]] of the last few lines of the theme song.
* FakingTheDead: "Fonzie's Funeral."
* {{Filth}}: One notable example of this is in "No Tell Motel", where Richie continuously sends letters to his family with adult jokes in them. At the end, Fonzie cuts the raunchy bit out before Marion reads the letter.
* FingerTwitchingRevival: When the Fonz is frozen by Mork, he comes back by first wiggling his thumb.
* FiveTemperamentEnsemble - The four main young men: Richie is melancholic, [[BreakoutCharacter Fonzie]] is choleric, Potsie is phlegmatic, and Ralph is sanguine
** The Cunningham family: Howard (leukine), Marion (phlegmatic), Chuck (sanguine), Richie (melancholic), and Joanie (choleric).
** Other characters: Arnold (sanguine), Al (melancholic), Spike (choleric), and Chachi (phlegmatic).
* {{Flanderization}}: Fonzie was initially a street-smart ex-hoodlum with a HiddenHeartOfGold. He was rough and tough, but more-or-less tolerated the main cast. Then he became TheAce, and increasingly got more friendly- eating "veggies", declaring "reading is cool", etc.- until by the end of the series he'd adopted a young boy and was essentially as friendly as any other character.
** Potsie and Ralph were likewise Flanderized into a hopeless [[TheDitz Ditz]] and compulsive [[PungeonMaster jokester]], respectively.
*** The former was a result of Fonzie's increased prominence. Potsie was originally Richie's ostensibly more wordly best friend and prone to giving advice (whether useful or not), but as Fonzie more and more took on that role, the writers had to give Potsie something else to do.
** Many characters were low-key in the early seasons. However, in the switch to filming in front of a live audience, the characters obviously (and understandably) became less so. Mr. Cunningham, for example, became more prone to over-the-top yelling.
* FollowTheLeader: The success of nostalgia-piece ''AmericanGraffiti'' helped create this show- it even used the same lead actor!
** Not to mention a nearly identical opening title sequence -- titles in neon, "Rock Around the Clock" as the theme music, shots of a drive-in restaurant, etc..
** While the show's concept (and the ''LoveAmericanStyle'' episode that introduced the main characters) actually predated ''American Graffiti'', it was that film's success that led the network to greenlight it for production.
* FoodSlap: At one point in the final season episode "Welcome Home (Part Two)," Chachi found himself eating in the kitchen (as there were not enough seats in the dining room). Richie soon becomes increasingly frustrated, to the point that when Chachi asks for a roll, Richie throws it at him quite hard. Chachi announces that he'll get his own gravy.
* FramedFaceOpening: The opening sequence also presented each of the characters in a circle outline over a spinning vinyl record playing on a jukebox.
* FrenchJerk: Jacques DuBois an arrogant and obnoxious fencing champion who stays with the Cunninghams in the episode "The Duel". Fonzie beats him in a fencing match.
* FrozenInTime: The series made it into the Sixties about halfway through, though they did their best to hide it (made all the more obvious by Chachi's '70s hair and modern-style outfits). However, the finale is clearly shown to take place in 1965.
* GaggingOnYourWords: Fonzie is physically incapable of saying that he's wrong.
* GirlOfTheWeek: Fonzie, except in season 10 when he had a regular girlfriend.
* GlamorousSingleMother: Ashley Pfister, Fonzie's first and only regular girlfriend. She's raising an adorable daughter and working a full-time job as an accountant, all with never a hair out of place.
* GrandFinale: And one hell of one, too -- old clips, old characters, a marriage, and Howard speaks to the audience.
* GreatGazoo: Mork from Ork.
* GroundedForever: One episode has an exchange along the following lines:
-->'''Howard:''' ..I shall now determine a punishment that is judicious, reasonable and fair.
-->''GilliganCut to:''
-->'''Richie:''' "Grounded for life"?!
* HalloweenEpisode: "Haunted" (season 2), "Fonsillectomy" (season 5), "The Evil Eye" (season 6).
* HappilyMarried: Howard and Marion
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen:
** Jenny Piccalo, Joanie's "bad influence", more "experienced" friend who was often mentioned in passing at the dinner table (along with "you don't hang out with that Jenny Piccalo!"). She was this for many years, before suddenly emerging as a major character after the ReTool. It was revealed that the man-hungry girl was [[GoodBadGirl more talk than action]].
** Potsie's father.
** Clarence, the cook at Arnold's, was also unseen for most of the show's run until finally appearing in a couple season 10 episodes (where he was revealed to be a dwarf, played by 4' actor Gary Friedkin).
** Speaking of Arnold's, the original (pre-Pat Morita) Arnold himself was unseen for the first two seasons. The only time he's ever even indicated to be ''there'' is when Ralph tries working at the restaurant in a first season episode and drops some dishes, which results in the unseen Arnold yelling "[[FirstNameUltimatum RALPH!]]" from the kitchen.
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: Potsie has a very bad relationship with his dad and if it weren't played for laughs, you'd think he was the victim of some severe emotional abuse. By "White Christmas," however, Potsie makes it clear he's sick of it.
* HormoneAddledTeenager: Jenny Piccalo. Joanie also seemed to be this in some of the mid-seasons, most likely due to her friendship with Jenny. It was toned down when Joanie and Chachi became a couple.
* HouseFire: Or, rather, Malt Shop Fire; the season 7 episode "Hot Stuff" has Chachi forgetting to turn of the grill while closing Arnold's for the night and setting the place ablaze.
* {{Housewife}}: Marion is one of the greatest television examples out there.
* IOweYouMyLife: Potsie saves Fonzie's life in one episode. All he wants in return is to 'pal around' with the Fonz ... all the time.
* LadykillerInLove: Fonzie, in three episodes of Season 4 with Pinky Tuscadero, and with Ashley Pfister for the majority of Season 10.
* LethalChef: Ralph Malph. When Richie, Potsie and Ralph move out of home to share an apartment, we learn Ralph uses lighter fluid to ignite his cherries jubilee.
* LockedInAFreezer: The episode "Time Capsule" has Richie and friends get locked in an airtight vault in the basement of Howard's hardware store.
* LongRunner: Eleven seasons, from 1/14/74-5/8/84.
* LongRunnerCastTurnover: The only four actors who remained on the show throughout its entire run were Henry Winkler (Fonzie), Tom Bosley (Howard), Marion Ross (Marion) and Anson Williams (Potsie). Ron Howard and Don Most bost left the show to pursue other opportunities after Season 7. Erin Moran left during Season 10 with Scott Baio to star on ''Joanie Loves Chachi'', but returned for the final season. Several characters were put on the show to fill the presences left behind by several of the show's main actors. The cast had virtually been turned upside down by the end of the show's run, with so many different transitions and replacements for episodes, that you wouldn't be able to figure out that the original season's main cast members were only Ron Howard, Marion Ross, Anson Williams, and Tom Bosley.
* MachineEmpathy: An implied ability for The Fonz.
* MakeOutPoint: Or, in this case, "''Inspiration'' Point".
* MaltShop: Arnold's, the most famous television example probably ever. This ''is'' TheFifties, after all- it'd virtually be ''impossible'' to not have one here. (In the later seasons, the place was made over into an early-'60s coffee house.)
* MissingMom: Fonzie's mom is revealed to be this, though the circumstances aren't quite clear. One episode is centered around him encountering a woman he believes is his mother. [[spoiler:The woman manages to convince him that she's not, but after he leaves, the audience sees she has a picture of Fonzie as a baby]].
* MusicalEpisode: The ValentinesDay-centric "Be My Valentine" in Season 5, and the history-themed "American Musical" in Season 8.
* NamesTheSame: In-universe; In the final seasons, Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli meets his half-brother, Arthur 'Artie' Fonzarelli.
** "Great Expectations" was the title of two different episodes, in seasons 1 and 9.
* NiceGuy: Richie
* NoPartyGiven: Averted in "The Not Making of the President," about the 1956 election, where the Republican Eisenhower gets the support of both Howard and Fonzie ("I like Ike! My bike likes Ike!") and Richie supports Democrat Adlai Stevenson.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Fonzie
* ObviousObjectCouldBeAnything: Basketball scholarship bound Chuck receives a round, bouncy gift covered in paper. He's worried it might be breakable.
** Subverted in another episode, where Potsie and Ralph get Richie a hockey stick for Christmas. Richie immediately knows what it is, which surprises Potsie.
--> ''(to Ralph)'' "You told!"
* OfficialCouple: Richie and Lori Beth; Joanie and Chachi.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Starting in the second season, "Arnold's" was owned by Matsuo Takahashi (played by [[TheKarateKid Pat Morita]]). Everyone calls him "Arnold", however; he jokes that it was easier and cheaper to answer to "Arnold" than to buy the letter signs to rename the MaltShop "Takahashi's".
** And then there's Potsie, who's first name is actually "Warren." According to him, he liked making things out of clay as a child, and one day, his mother just called him "Potsie," which stuck.
* OnlySaneMan: Richie, Fonzie, and Howard all consider themselves one in comparison to the others.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Fonzie encounters a beautiful one that came with the haunted 1955 Chevy.
* PantyShot: Joanie in a couple of episodes donned in her cheerleader outfit.
* ParentalAbandonment: Fonzie--one right after the other. In one episode, he encounters his father, who never identifies himself directly. In another, he meets a diner waitress who could be his mother, but it is never made entirely clear if she is. In both instances, we see that leather armor is no guard against heartbreak.
* ParentalNeglect: Potsie, which is curiously PlayedForLaughs. Not as bad as some examples, but his parents seemed overly gleeful to give him money to get away from them; likewise, they dumped him with the Cunninghams to get away from him; and, after his dad said something angrily, Potsie expressed that he was just glad his dad was talking to him again.
* ParentalSubstitute: Fonzie for Chachi.
* ParentExMachina: Howard was the best at this. Marion was no slouch either.
* PassingTheTorch: When Richie left, Fonzie became the show's main character.
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: ''All'' of the spinoff shows, basically, were introduced with one of these.
* PresentDayPast: This got more severe as the series progressed, especially with Chachi's obvious '70s hair and bandanas.
* PromotionToOpeningTitles:
** [[BreakoutCharacter Fonzie]] and Ralph in season 2.
** Joanie in season 3.
** Al and Chachi in season 6.
** Lori Beth in season 8.
** Jenny and Roger in season 10.
* PromotionToParent: Chachi's father passed away when he was a kid and Fonzie stepped up as a father figure.
* PutOnABus: Richie and Ralph Malph were both drafted into the army after both their actors quit the show.
** Ashley and Heather were abruptly written out of the show after season 10, with an explanation that Ashley got back together with her ex-husband. This was because the show had a budget cut and had to cut back on its number of regulars.
* RealSongThemeTune: A re-recorded version of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" was used for the first two seasons...
** ReplacedTheThemeTune: ... after which came a new recording of an eponymous ThematicThemeTune that had originally been used for the show's closing credits. This theme, performed by Pratt & [=McClain=], was issued as a single in 1976 and became a Top 5 ''Billboard'' hit...
*** RearrangeTheSong: ...and was later re-recorded for the final season in 1983.
* RecurringExtra: Hillary Horan, a brunette actress who had wordless parts in dozens of episodes, often as the drummer in Richie's band. Her character's name was finally revealed as "Daphne" in one of her last appearances.
* RelationshipReboot: Richie and Lori Beth do this, complete with a reenactment of their original MeetCute dialog.
* ReTool: After Richie and Ralph left, the show was re-tooled to fit Fonzie as the main character and feature a primarily teenage supporting cast, with Joanie, Chachi, former TheUnseen Jenny Piccalo, and Eugene or Melvin Belvin.
** Really, that was the ''second'' ReTool. The first came in season 3, when the show went from a single-camera production with LaughTrack to a three-camera, StudioAudience setup (with a concurrent shift to a broader, more cartoonish style of comedy).
** And then it was {{Re Tool}}ed yet ''again'' when Joanie and Chachi left for their own failed spin-off to focus on Fonzie's new long-term relationship, K.C. Cunningham, and Roger's nephew, nearly all of which was swept under the rug for the final season when Joanie and Chachi returned.
* ReunionShow: Two, in 1992 and 2005. The second one is notable for taking place in a facsimile of the original Arnold's and giving the year the show began as 197'''5''' instead of 197'''4'''.
* SchoolNewspaperNewshound: Richie, in "The Muckrakers".
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Richie and the Fonz.
* SeparateSceneStorytelling: Several examples, including one where Richie's great-uncle tells him about his cousin, who was a crusading DA trying to shut down speakeasies in 1920s Chicago. Richie plays the DA, Mr. C plays the speakeasy owner, Mrs. C plays a Carrie Nation type, Al is the Dumb Muscle for the local gangster (Fonzie), etc.
* ShaggyDogStory: In "The Deadly Dares", Richie and Potsy want to join a gang, The Demonds, but first need to go through six deadly dares, which range from pulling typical pranks to doing embarrassing things (like go to a dance dressed as women and dance with men). [[spoiler: After going through with all of those dares, Richie and Potsy decide they don't want to be members after all.]]
* ShooOutTheNewGuy: Pinky Tuscadero and the band's "black drummer" "Sticks" were both hyped in promos as new characters, but neither appeared for more than an arc before disappearing. Pinky's sister "Leather" was a stand-in for Pinky (whose actress apparently caused problems) but was again not common. Other examples include down-home hick cousin K.C. Cunningham (''Series/{{Wings}}'' Crystal Bernard) and Fonzie's temporary girlfriend and her [[Film/{{Poltergeist}} daughter]] for the second-to-last season.
* ShotgunWedding: This was the title of Season 7's first episode.
* ShoutOut: ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' did a very kind, full-episode one to the show when Peter founded a religion based on the series. Also, Weezer's "Buddy Holly" video.
* TheShowGoesHollywood: The three-parter "Hollywood" where the infamous JumpingTheShark incident happened.
* ShowStopper: Fonzie.
* SpecialGuest: Hank Aaron, Frankie Avalon, Buffalo Bob Smith
* SpinOff: was one, from ''LoveAmericanStyle''; spawned more than almost any other series (only ''AllInTheFamily'' could boast more) - particularly successful ones.
** ''LaverneAndShirley'' (1976-1983)
** ''Blansky's Beauties'' (1977) - Centered on Howard's cousin. Uniquely, it was set in the present-day. Among the cast was Eddie Mekka as Carmine's younger cousin and the later addition of Arnold.
** ''MorkAndMindy'' (1978-1982)
** ''Out of the Blue'' (1979) - Centered on the guardian angel Random that aides Chachi in "Chachi Sells His Soul." There has been debate over whether this was a true spin-off or not, as the series premiered before the cited episode. It's been suggested that was merely a scheduling error on the network's part.
** ''Katmandu'' (1980) - Centered on the girl from "Fonzie Meets Kat".
** ''Joanie Loves Chachi'' (1982-1983)
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''That70sShow'' has a lot of parallels with ''Happy Days''.
** Both shows are set in an nostalgic time period (TheFifties vs. TheSeventies).
** Both shows are set in Wisconsin (suburban Milwaukee vs. fictional Point Place).
*** Most of the geographical references on ''That '70s Show'' suggest that Point Place is based on the [[NoCommunitiesWereHarmed actual Milwaukee suburb]] of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, or at least somewhere in Kenosha County, [[AuthorAppeal where the creators are from]].
*** Eric Forman=Richie Cunningham.
*** Hyde=Fonzie (they both move into their respective best friend's house.)
*** Kelso=A mixture of Potsie and Ralph.
*** Howard Cunningham=Red Forman. Though, Red kicks a lot more ass than Howard ever did.
*** Marion Cunningham=Kitty Forman, except a lot more [[MyBelovedSmother crazy]] around her children.
*** Tina Pinciotti=Chuck Cunningham
*** The shows' time periods both became [[TheArtifact artifacts]] as they ran, with hairstyles clothing and speech patterns becoming increasingly anachronistic.
*** Both shows endured a significant ReTool late in their run after two of the main actors left each show, introducing SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitutes.
** ''FreaksAndGeeks'' and ''TheWonderYears'' are also spiritual successors, albeit to a lesser degree.
** ''FamilyMatters'' is often considered the black ''Happy Days''; though set in the present day, it had many of the same producers, several [[RecycledScript recycled plots]], and a BreakoutCharacter who took over the entire show.
** Arguably ''Happy Days'' has said to have been a successor/spinoff from ''Film/AmericanGraffiti'' but the idea of ''Happy Days'' originated as a story from the series, ''LoveAmericanStyle'', well before GeorgeLucas' film. ''American Graffiti's'' [[FollowTheLeader success]] did give GaryMarshall the confidence to put ''Happy Days'' into production.
* StagParty: In an early episode Richie and Potsie go to one for Potsie's cousin who is a marine. While they tried doing stuff like drinking milk and olive oil to prevent getting drunk it doesn't work.
* StandardFiftiesFather: Howard Cunningham is, without a doubt, one of the greatest TV dads in history.
* StandardizedSitcomHousing - a minor variant with the staircase turning a corner, otherwise played straight.
* StudioAudience: From the third season on: "''Happy Days'' is filmed before a live audience."
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Roger for Richie.
** K.C. Cunningham and Flip Phillips for Joanie and Chachi, respectively.
* SyndicationTitle: ''Happy Days Again''- it was one of the very first shows to go on past the point syndication started, necessitating this change.
* TheTalk: Joanie sort-of has one in "Not With My Sister You Don't." Richie mentions on multiple occasions that he and Howard have had a complicated discussion on the topic.
* TantrumThrowing: When Fonzie gets pissed off at the garage he works at, he kicks a car, throws a towel, and then pulls himself together. It's in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KeOGDUFVOw#t=22s some versions]] of the opening credits.
* TelevisionGeography
* TemporaryBlindness: The Fonz is victim to this, in tremendously ham-fisted fashion, especially when Richie dismantles his motorcycle to force him to rebuild it while blind.
* ThatNostalgiaShow: TropeCodifier for the '50s. Later inspired [[That70sShow the trope namer]].
* TheThingThatWouldNotLeave: Potsie, in later seasons. He would often overstay his welcome after following Howard home from the hardware store; Howard would look for ways to get Potsie to leave (convincing Fonzie to take him to play ski ball, tell him to walk out the door and then slam it on the confused Potsie, etc).
* ThisIsGoingToBeHuge: Both Richie and Howard believe that the United Nations will put an end to all wars.
* ThisIsMySide: Ralph and Potsie play this totally straight in their apartment.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Ralph and Potsie, Richie's hangers-on.
* TitleDrop: By Howard, at the end of the last episode.
** In the episode in which Mork "spins on to pay for his spin-off", he reports to Orson about human relationship problems (the framing device for the clip show). At one point Orson remarks "So they are not all happy days." Mork responds that there were sad days too and mentions that humans tend to forget things like [=McCarthy=] and the Korean War.
* TookALevelInDumbass: Potsie was always a little on the dim side, but he inevitably got dumber as the seasons went on.
* TheTonsillitisEpisode: "Fonsillectomy."
* UnderNewManagement: Hangout Arnold's was run by Arnold and then by Al.
** An "Under New Management" sign inexplicably appears in some first season episodes.
* UseYourHead: The episode where Arnold's catches fire has Fonzie trying to break out of the men's room (where he, Potsie, and Ralph are trapped) via this method. It doesn't work.
-->'''Potsie:''' Hey, look, there's an outside wall! I wonder what it's made of?
-->'''Fonzie:''' Concrete. ''(passes out)''
* TheVoiceless: Most of Fonzie's [[GirlOfTheWeek girls of the week]] have no dialogue. The reason was [[MoneyDearBoy financial]]; the producers didn't have to pay as much money for non-speaking parts.
** Fonzie himself had a limited amount of dialogue in his first few appearances, with only a minimum of six lines in the pilot.
* WeddingDay: Richie/Lori Beth in "R.C. and L.B. Forever", Arnold and a girl named Momo in "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Arnold's Wedding]]", and Joanie/Chachi in "Passages (Part 2)".
* WhatDidIDoLastNight: Richie in "King Richard's Big Night."
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Joanie and Chachi in a few episodes before they became a couple.
* TheWorstSeatInTheHouse: Richie knows the keyboardist of Johnny Fish and the Fins from summer camp so he gets his friends free tickets (after the band stays in his house to escape from their rabid fans), but they're in the nosebleed section. Nobody believes Richie actually knows the guy and thinks he's lying and got bad seats because that's all he could afford. The girl he asked to go with him goes with someone else instead because the other guy has better seats, so instead Richie takes his dad. Then his friend from the band gives him a ShoutOut during the concert and suddenly he's a big man again. The girl comes up to where Richie is sitting and wants to be with him, but he says, "Sorry. This seat's taken."
* YoungEntrepreneur: Chachi seemed to be one of these when he was introduced, although this character trait had completely vanished during the series reboot in Season 8, so that his personality could shift more into the MrFanservice zone.
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