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Creator/{{ABC}} {{Sitcom}} (1986-1993) about [[FunnyForeigner naive immigrant]] Balki Bartokomous, from the fictional European country of [[{{Ruritania}} Mypos]], who comes to live with Larry Appleton, his American cousin whom [[LongLostRelative he's never met]]. Started out as equal parts FishOutOfWater and OddCouple, took an odd turn when the StraightMan stopped being straight (comedically, that is) and started devising [[GetRichQuickScheme deranged schemes]] that would have made [[ILoveLucy Lucille Ball]] dizzy. At that point, it became the personification of [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism Idealism vs Cynicism]], with Balki's wide-eyed idealism almost always (if not completely always) winning out over Larry's "real-word savvy" cynicism.

Was always a strange blend of stale formula and ''Series/FawltyTowers''-level anarchy; survived on the not inconsiderable talents of Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker.

Spawned the SpinOff ''Series/FamilyMatters''. Not to be confused with the song by DeepPurple.

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!!This show provides examples of:

* AccidentalBid
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: Pretty much the whole point of "Just Desserts," aka [[TheOneWith "The Bibi-Babka episode."]]
-->'''Balki''': We can't bump the bibi-babka ditty! It's part and parcel of the point-by-point process of baking bibi-babkas!
-->'''Larry''': I understand that itís part and parcel of the point by point process of baking bibi-babkas, Balki, buddy, but...
-->'''Balki''': You canít bake bibi-babkas without belting the bibi-babka ditty! If you drop the [[PrecisionFStrike damn]] ditty youíre doomed!
* AllJustADream: A Halloween themed version.
* ArtifactTitle
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: Balki
** Combined with LiteralMinded.
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney
* TheCastShowoff: Both Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker sung frequently on the show. Unfortunately it's the main reason why the DVD rights for the show have been hung up for so long.
* CatchPhrase: Both Balki and Larry have a handful of these.
** Balki: "Where do I come up with them?", "Wow", "Get out of the city!", and "Of course not, silly, don't be ridiculos (sic)".
** Larry: "Oh, my Lord!", "Watch and learn", "Don't you ever, ever, do/say that, again!", and "'''''I have... a plan!'''''"
*** Before long, the pause right after "I have..." would prompt Balki (and later on anyone in the room) to say, "[[ThisIsGonnaSuck Oh, God...]]" just before Larry finished the phrase.
* CompanionCube: Dimitri, Balki's stuffed sheep. Later we find out that [[spoiler: he's made from the wool of an actual sheep named Dimitri who was killed saving Balki from being run over by a carriage.]]
* ChristmasEpisode: More than one.
* {{Cloudcuckooland}}: Mypos
* CrazyCulturalComparison: Several, with the "Dance of joy" being the most famous.
* DeadpanSnarker: Surprisingly Balki, especially towards Larry's penchant for blowing smoke.
-->'''Balki''': But 'Coosin', I don't know how do dat.
-->'''Larry''': Luckily, I DO know how do dat!
-->'''Balki''': I knew you would....
* TheDitz: Mary Anne; although she borderlines on GeniusDitz territory in later episodes as part of a recurring gag in which Mary Anne will occasionally say something smart, which causes Balki, Larry and Jennifer to look at her strangely, only for her to explain how she knew it.
* EloquentInMyNativeTongue: Before {{Flanderization}} set in, Balki was shown to be very competent when in his natural element.
* EstablishingShot
* FishOutOfWater
* {{Flanderization}}: Especially Larry Appleton. As time passed he became more centered on the arrogant-knowitall-cityboy-with-a-scheme aspect he occasionally showed in the earlier episodes, resulting in the show becoming too formulaic where Larry cooks up a plan (where he would say his CatchPhrase ) and then the rest of the episode will show how things get fouled up.
* ForeignQueasine: Played straight through as a running gag in the series. Numerous times throughout its run, Balki Bartokomous will often make and serve dishes from his home country of Mypos to his cousin Larry Appleton, that contain such bizarre (and vomit-inducing) ingredients such as yak bile and the bladders of sheep and pigs. The season three episode "Come Fly with Me" centers on this, as Balki and Larry's flight attendant girlfriends [[OneSaneMan Jennifer]] and [[GeniusDitz Mary Anne]] get sick from eating Halkidikis (coincidentally sharing an alternate spelling of a Greek peninsula), described by Balki as the "travel food of Mypos", whose primary ingredients are the standard ingredients of milk, eggs, flour and honey, and goat spleen with mold aged to the point where it developed green fur on it. This is inverted however in the season three episode "Just Desserts" with a dessert known as the Bibi-babka, which contains typical dessert ingredients and which Larry attempts to market (though he tries to make it in such a rushed fashion that they explode because they weren't made with love and care).
* FriendsRentControl: A photographer, a mailroom clerk/cartoonist, and two flight attendants could not possibly have afforded a big Victorian house in Chicago's Old Town neighbourhood.
** This was late in the series as Larry and Balki were shown living in a regular apartment through most of the series, and their promotions to editors in season 7 would've helped.
* FunnyForeigner
* GameShowAppearance: The two went on the fictional show "Risk It All", which borrowed actual props and games from ''Series/FunHouse''.
* HappyDance: Balki would break out into this on occasion, dragging Larry along with him
** It was a specific dance Balki called the "Dance of Joy". At the end of the dance, Balki would be holding Larry.
* HustlingTheMark: Gorpley once took all Balki's money in a poker game, so Larry gets in on the next game to try and hustle Balki's money back. Larry uses his reputation as a KnowNothingKnowItAll to hide the fact that he is an excellent poker player and destroys Gorpley.
* HyperventilationBag: Happens in one episode.
* HypnoFool
* IdenticalStranger: Following their break-up, Balki and Mary Ann date carbon copies of their exes. While they are in complete denial about their new partners (though Balki later admits it after slipping and calling the other woman "Mary Ann"), they each immediately recognize the similarity in each others. The episode ends with them getting engaged.
* JerkAss: First it was the pair's employer and landlord, Twinkacetti. Then when they got jobs at a local paper, such reins were passed on to Mr. Gorpley.
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: Larry would often brag about things he was actually not very knowledgeable in; subverted on the few occasions where he ''is'' really good at something (golfing, playing poker) and [[CryingWolf most people think he's just blowing smoke]].
* MeaningfulName: Actually, just a clever wordplay. Larry Appleton is from Wisconsin. Lawrence University is located in Appleton, Wisconsin.
* MoreHypnotizableThanHeThinks: Subverted. During one episode, Larry claims that he can't be hypnotized; he turns out to be right, the hypnotist instead [[HypnoFool entrances Balki by accident]]
* MultinationalShows: Sold to Russia
* NeverWinTheLottery: Larry wins the lottery, but loses the ticket when Balki donated some clothes to charity, including a suit that Larry hid the winning ticket in. After getting it back, it turns out Larry had missed a couple numbers and won a lesser prize.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The "bibi-babka" episode was a retelling of George Papashvily's epic tale, from his autobiography ''Anything Can Happen'', of he and his friends making and selling khinkali dumplings to restaurants. They pulled it off successfully once.
* TheNotSoHarmlessPunishment: A Myposian aquaintance of Balki's challenged Larry to a duel once. Larry accepted after Balki tells him it involves boxing the loser's ears. Then, Larry realizes that in Mypos, "boxing one's ears" means putting the ears ''in a box''.
* OddCouple
* OfCorpseHesAlive
* ParanormalEpisode: There was an episode where Larry and Balki discover a ghost in their new house. There was also an episode where Balki turned out to be an alien, but in that case it was AllJustADream.
* TheRashomon: And when asked where the truth would come from, everyone pointed to Balki.
* ReTool: The show was overhauled in the third season, with Larry and Balki getting new jobs in a more glamorous setting (a big newspaper instead of the small store they'd been working at before), new supporting characters including Mr. Gorpley and Harriette, and a memorable new title sequence with footage shot on location in Chicago.
* {{Ruritania}}: Mypos
* SassyBlackWoman: Harriet Winslow ([[{{Spinoff}} yes]], ''[[Series/FamilyMatters that]]'' Harriet Winslow)
* ShaggyDogStory: Larry would often tell these to Balki (though "a look...into the future!") to either convince his cousin to aid him or spill the beans on something. In any event, once Larry got what he wanted, things don't go as planned.
* ShowWithinAShow: Later seasons featured parody clips of the show Creator/LaurelAndHardy, with the titular characters being played by Balki and Larry respectively. Mixture of Type 2 and 3.
* SitCom
* SpiceRackPanacea
-->'''Balki''': "...the Midolcrampabloatalis root that grows on the summit of Mt. PMS-kalos."
* StraightMan: Larry and Balki actually alternate at this depending on which one came up with the ZanyScheme this week.
* ThematicThemeTune: "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay, the template for many other inspirational Miller-Boyett sitcom themes by the same songwriters.
* TheyDo: Larry and Jennifer, then Balki and Mary Ann.
* ThirdPersonPerson: Balki would occasionally refer to himself in the third person.
* TrueMeaningOfChristmas: Done frequently in a metaphorical sense of the trope, and once literally.
* TwistedChristmas: In the first Christmas episode, various problems get in Larry's way of taking Balki to his folks' home for a "real Christmas". In a later one, Balki invites sour-puss Mr. Gorpley to his and Larry's holiday shin-dig, where he quickly infuriates the other guests [[spoiler: before offering his tragic backstory]]. In both cases Balki then subverts this trope by being...well, Balki.
* UnsportsmanlikeGloating
* YouLookFamiliar: Creator/SamAnderson (Mr. Gorpley) appeared once in the first season before returning for his more recognized role. Belita Moreno appeared occassionally in the first two seasons as Mrs. Twinkacetti, before playing Lydia later on.
* ZanyScheme

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