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->'''Tommy''': Dick, when are we gonna leave these bodies?
->'''Dick''': When we've learned everything there is to know... about life.
->'''Harry''': Wow... [[TaughtByTelevision good thing we got cable]].
-->-- "Body & Soul & Dick"

A [[TheNineties nineties]] SitCom in which a team of aliens come to Earth disguised as a human family in order to study mankind. A very similar premise to ''Series/MorkAndMindy'', but had enough nutty humor to make up for it. The series lasted from January, 1996 to May, 2001, and featured a total of 139 episodes in six seasons.

As the Solomon family, the aliens infiltrate the UsefulNotes/{{Ohio}} college town of Rutherford where [[SmallTownBoredom mediocrity reigns]] despite it being a QuirkyTown. The commander of the aliens is [[Creator/JohnLithgow Dick Solomon]], a pompous ManChild with an ego the size of Jupiter playing the role of a [[SchoolTeachers professor of physics]] at nearby Pendleton University. His "sister" Sally is a [[UsefulNotes/TheModernDayRambo seasoned commando]] now "[[TheSmurfettePrinciple the]]" [[ActionGirl woman]], his "son" [[Creator/JosephGordonLevitt Tommy]] is a [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld crotchety]] [[EspionageTropes information officer]] going as a teenager, and "the brother" Harry is a... well, technically he's the {{communications officer}}, but is really a WackyGuy with an [[BrainComputerInterface antenna in his head]]. Their [[OneGenderRace original species]] also doesn't have different genders, leading to [[RuleOfFunny much confusion]] and LampshadeHanging of human {{gender dynamics|Index}} in their [[GenderBender new forms]].

The local Earthlings include Dick's insecure office mate and love interest [[JaneCurtin Dr. Mary Albright]], her SassySecretary Nina Campbell, Sally's cop boyfriend [[Creator/WayneKnight Officer Don Orville]], and the Solomons' eccentric [[{{Landlord}} landlady]] Mrs. Dubcek. The more the Solomons view HumansThroughAlienEyes, the more they realize that HumansAreSpecial. Some people think the show stuck with the FishOutOfWater notion far too long -- unlike others, such as ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', where main character Fry eventually got used to his new surroundings -- the main gag of this series remained the same, but can be justified as RuleOfFunny. As an added bonus, the series can easily be watched out of order, if you avoid the [[CliffHanger first and last episodes]] of a given season.

----
!!This TV series provides examples of:

* AccidentalMisnaming: Tommy's early-season girlfriend August did not take well to being called "Augie".
* AccidentalPervert: In "Shall We Dick", Alissa accidentally walked in on Don changing for the dance, and Sally assumed she did it on purpose to get a peek at Don's goods.
* AcronymConfusion: In "The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary", Dick took Harry to what he thought was an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting, where he forced Harry to admit he was an alcoholic. The woman behind the counter then corrected him: "This is ''Triple'' A (AAA)."
** In "[=Y2Dick=]", Sally, Tommy, and Harry are about to buy a DVD player. They don't quite know what it stands for; they guess "Digital video..... dynamite."
* ActorAllusion: John Lithgow has so very, very many...
** He redid his entire anti-music speech from ''{{Footloose}}'' resulting in giant amounts of hilarity.
** His first time riding in a plane, Dick panics after seeing [[Series/TheTwilightZone "something on the wing."]] Mary informs him that that's the engine.
*** Double Allusion: When the Big Giant Head (WilliamShatner) visits Earth, upon disembarking from a plane, he tells Dick that he had to be sedated (with something wonderful called "alcohol") after also seeing "something on the wing." Dick exclaims, ''"Same thing happened to me!"'' The character Lithgow played in TheMovie was portrayed in the original [[Series/TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]] episode by Shatner.
** The last time John Lithgow was a university teacher, he rode out a [[{{Film/TheDayAfter}} nuclear apocalypse]].
** The tie-in book ''3rd Rock from the Sun: The Official Report'' (written as the report of the Solomons stay on Earth) features a foreword by John Lithgow with a post-it note attached "written" by Dick Solomon claiming he doesn't know why the foreword is there and referring to Lithgow as an Earth actor who appeared in "[[Film/{{Cliffhanger}} some helicopter movie]]".
** Roseanne Barr plays the Big Giant Head's niece, Janet, who was supposed to be Dick's wife. At first, she's totally devoted to being a good wife, and enjoys cooking and cleaning. Then Dick finds out that she was under the belief that she "had" to love him since she was his wife and those were "the rules". Dick informs her that there are no rules to marriage and she's free to be with whoever she wants. Janet then drops everything and reveals that she really hates cooking, cleaning, being with Dick, and his family, and then decides to explore the world. Up until Janet's declaration of her hatred of being a housewife, Roseanne's role was an inversion to her former glory as Roseanne Connor from ''{{Roseanne}}''. Upon admitting how she really felt it turned into a shout out to her former role.
** Dick re-enacts Shirly Maclaine's "give my daughter the shot" scene from TermsOfEndearment, a movie Lithgow was in.
* ActorExistenceFailure: Season three ended with a CliffHanger in which Harry had been kidnapped by Vicki's old boyfriend Randy. Phil Hartman, who played Randy, was dead by the time the show resumed for the next season, so the storyline had to be resolved without him. Randy gets a KarmaHoudini as a result.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal:
--> '''Harry''': Chippy the chipmunk. Chippy the cheerful chipmunk. The tragedy... of Chippy the cheerful chipmunk.
* AlienAmongUs: Duh.
* AlienNonInterferenceClause: The aliens are forbidden from making major changes to Earth.
-->'''Harry:''' I want to bring mankind the gift of electricity.\\
'''Tommy:''' They have electricity.\\
'''Harry:''' Ahh.. then my work is done.\\\\
'''Dick:''' You see, we can make small differences, not global differences.\\
'''Harry:''' Dick, [[EarthShatteringKaboom can I blow up the earth?]]\\
'''Dick:''' ''({{beat}})'' [[CaptainObvious You see Harry, that would be a global difference]].\\
'''Harry:''' [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} It's so hard to keep track of these things]].
* AllJustADream: Occurs frequently in "Rutherford Beauty", as Dick has erotic daydreams about Nina.
* AlmostKiss: Sally and Don, numerous times. This is lampshaded by Don when he tells Sally that they've been dating for almost two years and haven't kissed.
** An early example occurred in "Frozen Dick" when Sally and Leon's kiss is interrupted by the lights coming back on. Sally's overjoyed that they don't have to mate to perpetuate the species. Leon is less than thrilled by this news.
* AlternateRealityEpisode: The two-parter "Dick'll Take Manhattan", complete with opening and ending credits in a different font and a remixed theme song.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Dr. Liam Neesam (Creator/JohnCleese) is this to the Solomons, especially Dick. He's an alien just like them, but is so much more ''competent'' at everything (including, apparently, the Big Giant Head).
* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: While Dick, Sally, and Harry manage to humiliate Tommy on countless occasions, Sally's overbearing manner makes her the worst offender.
* AmazonianBeauty: Sally is treated as such, and as much more attractive than she actually is.
** Er, beg to differ with that last part...
* AmusingAlien: Guess who?
* AnalogyBackfire: In "Same Old Song and Dick", Dick tries to convince Mary that they need to spice up their relationship, and says they should be more like Romeo and Juliet.
--> '''Dick''': I want ceaseless joy and never-ending passion like Romeo and Juliet.
--> '''Mary''': They both wound up dead.
--> '''Dick''': Antony and Cleopatra.
--> '''Mary''': Dead.
--> '''Dick''': That couple from Wuthering Heights.
--> '''Mary''': ''Insane'' and dead.
--> '''Dick''': F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda.
--> '''Mary''': ''Drunk'', insane and dead.
--> '''Dick''': Tristan and Isolde.
--> '''Mary''': Abgeschossen.
--> '''Dick''': A-ha: Siegfried and Roy.
--> '''Mary''': Okay, ''one''.
* AnalProbing: One episode began with the main characters watching an episode of ''[[TheXFiles The X-Files]]'' on television, groaning over how laughably inaccurate the show is. One scene, described by Tommy as an alien inserting a probe through someone's ear, is met with the derisive comment from Dick, "''Everyone'' knows the proper place to insert an alien probe is the butt!"
** In a later episode involving a psychotic alien hunter who kidnaps Dick and accuses aliens like him of "probing the butt of the poor American farmer", Dick denies that aliens anally probe anyone. However, he mentions an incident involving a farmer near Akron, who was "asking for it".
** Dr. Albright's brother Roy claims that this happened to him.
* AndThenISaid:
--> '''Don''': ...Not your pants, the gun! (everybody laughs) Yeah... that didn't really happen.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: In "Dick the Mouth Solomon", Tommy asked Don what he's accomplished by being on the right side of the law, and answers it for him: "Nothing, NOTHING!"
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: "Let's live! Let's taste danger. Let's go for the gusto, consequences be damned! Let's drive fast and eat cheese!"
* AttackOfThePoliticalAd: Done to Harry in "Dick the Vote"; his opponent, Gansmiller, ran a smear ad on Harry that insinuated he was in the Mafia.
* BadBadActing: Mary is accused of this in "The Tooth Harry"; she puts on a quasi-British accent for the promotional film about Pendleton University. Amusingly, she doesn't seem to notice she uses one.
-->'''Mary:''' Helleau. Ah'm Dahkter Mehry Awhlbright, and Ah'm proud to be a member of the Pendleton Faculty.\\
'''Judith:''' Whoa. What's with the accent?\\
'''Mary:''' ''(normal speaking voice)'' What accent?! This is my formal speaking voice, always has been.\\
'''Judith:''' ...I'm sorry.
* BadDreams: "A Nightmare on Dick Street"
* BankRobbery: Harry, Tommy, and Sally try this in "Frankie Goes to Rutherford", not for the cash involved, but just to see if they could pull it off. However, their planning goes sour in a hurry as the three grow suspicious that each isn't up to snuff on the task.
* TheBeautifulElite: Guest star David Hasselhoff is apparently supposed to be this in "Dick & Tuck", and tries to convince Dick that plastic surgery can make Dick as beautiful as he is.
* BecomingTheMask: Tommy, while in the Hootie mascot outfit in "Collect Call For Dick". So much so that he doesn't even acknowledge someone when his real name is said.
--> '''Principal''': Tommy? (Tommy doesn't respond) Hootie, can I talk to Tommy now?
* TheBerserker: Tommy, in a rare comedic variation. When provoked (usually by Dick), 9 times out of 10 he jumps right to the attack.
** It's generally more understandable with Dick, but he also once does this to Mary's father after the guy gives him a playful punch, which Tommy responds to by socking the elderly man in the stomach.
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: The source of a few aside jokes.
* BittersweetEnding: The aliens return home in the series finale, [[spoiler: but Mary doesn't dare to leave the Earth with Dick]].
** An alternate ending featured [[spoiler:Dick returning moments after he had left, to "abduct" Mary]].
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The Solomons. Being StarfishAliens, they don't understand anything about human culture, which explains why they spent so long on Earth in the first place (apparently other missions on other populated planets don't take much longer then a week).
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: Harry, upon his "invention" of a new color:
--> '''Harry''': I combined red with yellow. I call it... redyellow!
* BrickJoke: Harry's LOBSTER CLAWS from "Rutherford Beauty"
* BrokenBird: In an alternate universe, we find that Mary is just a bitter lonely woman with little to live for. Dick tries to convince her that she can be more, but she's already given up. Despite having an otherwise much better life, it's this dead inside Mary that gets him to go back home.
** Real world Mary is on the happier edge of being one. She has a relatively decent life, but her terrible childhood, Dick, sexual history, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Dick]], and her frustration with working in a third rate college [[RuleOfThree with Dick]] give her slightly better reasons to be bitter at the world than most.
* BrokenStreak
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Dick's bizarre, childish behaviour is tolerated at the university because his advanced alien knowledge of physics makes him one of the best in his field.
* BurgerFool: Dick is reduced to working at Rusty's (a fast food restaurant) in "Proud Dick" when he quit his job at Pendleton over a parking space dispute. Dick is required to say, "Thank you for making Rusty's a part of your day." after each transaction.
* TheButlerDidIt: Referenced in "Dial M For Dick"; the Solomons wonder who could've killed the first victim in the murder mystery, and one suggestion thrown out there is the butler. Being unaware of the trope, they find such a possibility ridiculous.
* ButtMonkey: Poor Leon.
** Oh shut up, Caryn.
* CallingShotgun: In "Gwen, Larry, Dick & Mary", Dick took Mary on a date to a drive-in theater, and Tommy, Harry, and Sally tagged along as well. But since Tommy called shotgun, Mary couldn't even sit next to Dick on the date, much to her annoyance.
* CantLiveWithThemCantLiveWithoutThem: Subverted in "Dick Behaving Badly":
--> '''Judith''': Men: Can't live with 'em... (pause) Good night, Mary. (leaves)
** Dick lays it out pretty plainly in "Tricky Dick":
--> '''Dick''': Women. You can't live with 'em, and yet you can't have heterosexual sex without 'em.
--> '''Harry''': That's probably true.
* CassandraTruth: The first time Dick tries to out himself to Mary as an alien was when he got sick for the first time and thought he was dying. He told her not to be alarmed if she found only a shivering purple tube in his place the next day. She took it as him being one of those melodramatic sick people (either that, or she thought he wasn't thinking clearly from the sick daze he was in).
** The next time, it's after they've been attending a sci-fi convention that she's really gotten into. She thinks he's gotten equally into it and [[UnusualEuphemism awards him appropriately]].
** Dick also revealed that he's an alien to the psychiatrist in "A Nightmare on Dick Street", but he just brushed it off as crazy talk.
** Out of options, the Solomons admitted they were aliens in "Dick and Taxes" to explain their whereabouts during the years before they landed on Earth. The IRS agent, however, thought they were merely trying to get out of paying their taxes and said: "Sorry folks, I've heard that one too."
** Dick also attempted to tell Mary he was an alien when he was befriended by a former (gay) student of hers that believed he was gay and tried to help him come out.
** At one point he's also trying to 'get to know' his students by asking them about their pasts. One of them asks him where he's from and, right before the bell rings signaling the end of the class, he says "Long story... true story... I'm not human."
* TheCastShowoff: Numerous times the entire main cast gets to show off their musical talents, the best is in "A Nightmare On Dick Street" where Harry's dream is an elaborate Broadway-style song and dance number that was shot almost entirely in one take.
** August sings a song in the episode in which Tommy forms a band. Shay Astar, who played August, is now a professional singer-songwriter (though she sang only as a hobby at the time).
** Mary's lackluster but enthusiastic vocal talents are shown off at least as much as the Solomons, despite being poor enough both in-universe and on-screen for a season 3 episode to revolve around her self-recognized lack of singing talent.
* CatchPhrase:
** Dick had "Family meeting! FAMILY MEETING!" and, less frequently, "You're not family GET OUT!"
*** He also had variations on "I'm GORGEOUS!"
*** Also a frustrated shout of "DAMN!"
*** "Oh shut up, Caryn." Dick's student Caryn is, obviously, the PhraseCatcher.
** Harry had "LET'S GO!" and "Incoming message from The Big Giant Head!"/"Transmission ending in three... two... one.. (sneezes)"
*** Early on he also had "Prepare to be dazzled!" and "Spank me!"
** Ms. Dubcek had: "Lovely 'X', very nice..." (some examples include, "People, wedding, funeral")
* ChainLetter: Dick and Mary each receive one in "Superstitious Dick".
* CharacterFilibuster: Dick has given quite a few of these.
* ChekhovsGag: "Tricky Dick." Born out of feelings of bitterness, Dick and Mary engage in an ever-escalating prank war. Amongst Dick's ideas are removing Mary's desk, getting a garage to add massive speakers and flame decals to her car, and sending her a fake letter from the [[BillClinton President]]. Mary, however, gets Dick with a big one: getting Dick stuck to his desk with thermal bond epoxy. As Dick is slowly removed from his desk, they finally agree to end it and act like adults..... just before they hear the loud, booming noise of Mary's car being returned from the shop.
* ChristmasEpisode: "Jolly Old St. Dick".
* ClipShow: Season 3's "Seven Deadly Clips".
* CloudCuckoolander: Harry Solomon, to the point where it actually hurts him to think too hard. Vicki Dubcek also has her moments, where despite being a human, she occasionally acts just as nutty as the aliens.
* CockFight: Dick and Neesam over Mary. Later, Harry and The Big Giant Head over Vicki.
** "Superstitious Dick" has a variant; Alissa has a crush on hockey star Stenstrom. Tommy is naturally jealous and goes to tell Stenstrom, who's in the dark about Alissa's crush, to stay away from his girl. But Tommy's words don't register, because Stenstrom doesn't speak a lick of English outside of "Stay in school, don't do drug" and "Okay."
* ColdOpening
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Really, isn't this the point of every episode? Some examples:
** Dick, in "Romeo & Juliet & Dick":
--> '''Dick''': "Romeo & Juliet" is a Shakespearean tragedy; [[{{Irony}} it has nothing to do with a horny teenager and his girlfriend!]]
** In "Dickmalion", Tommy told Dick he got suspended for setting off the fire alarm. Dick was appalled at the school, since Tommy saved hundreds of lives. Tommy admitted that there was no fire.
--> '''Dick''': Tommy, this is outrageous. The next time you set off the fire alarm, you damn well better start a fire ''first''!
** Another example from season one: Dick goes AWOL (he's got locked in the fire escape at work) and Sally decides he's deliberately left her in charge to see how she handles it, exclaiming "This is a test!" Harry leans over to Tommy and says "[[EmergencyBroadcast She's about to emit a high-pitched tone]]."
** Any time Nina's race is brought up. The Solomans never seem to grasp that 'black' refers to skin color and not just a cultural group.
* CompetenceZone: Dick, Sally and oddly Tommy inhabited it. Harry... [[TooDumbToLive didn't]].
** Specifically, despite their utter failures at fitting in, Sally is great at security, and Tommy repeatedly shows information-handling skills beyond the greatest hacker, including creating false backstories for all of them multiple times. Dick has advanced knowledge of physics, but so do the others; his actual competence is that he is really pretty good at anthropology, and while he's an awful leader, is pretty good at telling the others what they should do to better understand Earth. It may be worth mentioning that Harry is a quite talented artist, both in execution and in analysis.
* CompulsorySchoolAge: Tommy Solomon
* ConfessionCam: Utilized in "The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary".
* ConspiracyTheorist: Dick becomes one in "Paranoid Dick" when he suspects Mary of soon being replaced as dean. Ironically, Mary ended up getting removed as dean because she and Dick snuck into Judith's office to see if they could find any proof that Mary was on her way out (she wasn't).
* TheCouch: Which wasn't a couch at all, but three chairs and an ottoman. The roof of their apartment probably qualifies as well.
* CreatorCouple: The opening titles end with the credit "Created by Bonnie Turner & Terry Turner". They are a married couple. Incidentally, the show is set in Ohio because Bonnie is an Ohio native.
* CrowdSong: In "Frozen Dick", Dick begins singing "Oklahoma!" to cheer up Mary. Within a few bars, the entire restaurant has joined in.
%%* [[Awesome/{{Ptitleg25tr1bo}} Crowning Moments of Awesome]]: listed here.
* CryingWolf: Charlotte from "Alien Hunter" did get it right about Dick being an alien, but the F.B.I. wouldn't come close to believing her considering she apparently murdered numerous others she thought were aliens.
* CurseCutShort: Mary is cut off from fully saying "What the fuck?!" by Dick in "Dial M For Dick".
* DeadpanSnarker: Judith
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Sally's dream in "A Nightmare on Dick Street".
* DemotedToExtra: The last season sees Tommy demoted to an occasionally recurring and not very important cast member, partially because he's off to college and thereby separated from the rest of the cast most of the time. The actors playing Nina and Don were listed as regular cast members starting on the third season, but likewise appeared only occasionally on the last season.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: From "A Portrait of Tommy as an Old Man":
--> '''Harry''': It happens, but it's rare. But it happens. But it's rare.
** From "I Brake For Dick":
--> '''Dick''': We shall have no animal products, no animal byproducts, and you shall not buy any animal byproduct or products.
** Then there's Dick not getting people's corrections:
--> '''Dick''': This is ''great'' dip, Mrs. Sumner.
--> '''Mrs. Sumner''': It's ''paté''.
--> '''Dick''': This is ''great'' dip paté.
** When Tommy takes over cooking:
--> '''Dick''': Tommy, you have ''reinvented'' the sandwich.
--> '''Tommy''': Uh, actually, it's a ''panini''.
--> '''Harry''': Tommy, you have ''reinvented'' the panini sandwich.
--> '''Tommy''': No, no, no. ''Panini'' is Italian for sandwich.
--> '''Dick''': Tommy, you have ''invented'' the Italian panini sandwich.
* DieHardOnAnX: The screenplay Professor Suter's been working on for the last four years is described as "Die Hard, but in an office building". Dick remarks that they already made that film. Suter replies: "...Up yours."
* DietEpisode: In "Moby Dick", Dick goes on a diet after he starts overeating to deal with the stress of his break-up from Mary. Later we find out Mary is also stress eating.
* DisappointedInYou: Parodied when Tommy has to pretend to be a juvenile delinquent to keep up the {{Masquerade}}.
* DisguisedInDrag: Dick crossdresses to infiltrate a women's discussion group. Possibly another ActorAllusion, as John Lithgow played a transsexual in ''Literature/TheWorldAccordingToGarp'' (and got an Academy Award nomination for it).
** Harry posed as Ms. Dubcek in "Romeo & Juliet & Dick".
* DistractedByTheSexy: Another group of aliens who all look like attractive women use the characters' hometown to test how effective their beauty is at distracting men as part of their bid to conquer Earth. It's pretty effective.
** Sally is pretty good at this herself, finding her ability to cloud men's minds an upside to being [[TheChick The Woman]]. Indeed, she later gets recruited by the above mentioned aliens, who mention she has potential, but is unrefined.
* DistractedByTheShiny: Harry promises to carry out a mission dutifully "unless I'm distracted by something shiny." He then spends several seconds watching the light reflect off his watch band.
* DocumentaryEpisode: "The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary".
* DoesNotUnderstandSarcasm: All the Solomons, but particularly Dick:
--> '''Dick''': Nina, how did you get this job?
--> '''Nina''': [[SarcasmMode I found a magic lamp on a beach, and ''this'' was my first wish!]]
--> '''Dick''': Wonderful! How can Harry get ahold of a magic lamp?
* DogFoodDiet: A variant occurs in "Proud Dick". Sally brings home cat food for dinner. She doesn't realize it's food for cats, though, and Mary is appalled when she comes over and sees that the Solomons are so poor that they're reduced to eating cat food (Dick had quit his job in the episode).
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: During TheStinger to one episode, Harry and Mrs. Dubcek are watching final Jeopardy and mentally making up words to the tune.
--> '''Harry''': Thinking thinking, thinking hard! I know what the answer is, I got it! No that can't be I'm so wrong! I'd guess B.D Wong.
--> '''Mrs. Dubcek''': Thinking thinking thinking hard. What's the use I've burned too many brain cells maybe I'll just fantasize - think of Alex and close my eyes.
* DoNotPassGo: In "Dick Behaving Badly":
--> '''Harry Solomon:''' ''Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 and do not, I repeat, [[PrisonRape do not drop the soap]]''.
* DreamSequence: "A Nightmare on Dick Street". In a subversion of this trope, Dick, Tommy, Harry, and Sally don't realize dreams are normal and think they're all going crazy.
* DrunkWithPower: Dick and Sally use every opportunity to acquire and abuse power over others: a protest, a bake sale committee, a labor union, a fraternity - the list goes on. While Dick eventually sees the error of his ways by the end of the episode, Sally doesn't.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first episode has the same set for the attic as the rest of the series, except without the stairs. They also push Mrs. Dubcek to leave through the door that leads to their ''bedroom''. Also, Dick and Mary's office is completely different than the rest of the series.
* EasilyOverheardConversation: In "Dick: Smoker", Sally, Tommy, and Harry are informed by Nina that Dick didn't show up for work today. They are freaked out and move only a few feet away to talk in "private". Nina quickly informs them: "I can still hear you."
* EmotionalMaturityIsPhysicalMaturity: Averted. The actual ages of the aliens don't correspond with the ages of their human bodies, and it shows. Tommy, the oldest of the group, is easily the most level-headed member of the group even though he's physically a teenager.
** Partially enforced by hormones though. Tommy's worst moments usually come regarding his girlfriends.
* EthicalSlut: Dick. He has an active sex life with Mary, and is very open to chat about it, but he won't turn down an offer from someone else if the opportunity arises. A good example of this is in ''Auto Eurodicka''. Dick and Mary are broken up, and after having sex with a woman he met in line at the movies (who later turns out to be one of his student's, Bug's, mother), Dick honestly can't understand why Mary and Bug are upset about it. To him, it's all the same.
* EuphemismBuster:
--> '''Sally:''' He said he wanted to sleep with me. I wanted sex, but seeing as he was tired I decided to just go home.
* EveryoneLooksSexierIfFrench: French Immigrant Michele appears in the second season as Sally's love interest. So great is his French accent that he can make the entire office swoon with the line, "On my foot I have a big painful oozing bleester!"
** One episode had the family trying to decide what ethnicity to be. Dick asked Mary, an anthropologist, what the best ethnic group was. She claimed it was all subjective, but when he asked which ethnicity was sexiest, she immediately responded, "Italians. Smokey, swarthy, gotta have 'em."
** [[IncrediblyLamePun And Harry isn't bad looking either!]]
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: [[Creator/JohnCleese Another alien]] attempts to turn Earth into Super Monkey World as a tourist attraction.
* EvilTwin: New Dick
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: "Dick and Harry Fall in a Hole"
* ExactWords: One episode reveals that, shortly after arriving on Earth, Sally filed a protest and asked to be given a male body. Several years later, the Big Giant Head complies...by [[BodySwap making Dick and Sally swap bodies]].
* ExecutiveMeddling: Kristen Johnston, when discussing the finale, says that network decisions compromised the show's long term potential, indicating that she felt the show might have ended too soon.
* FanService: Kristen Johnston and Milton (French) Stewart.
* FantasticAnthropologist: The Solomons are this to humanity, while Dick's girlfriend Mary is the more conventional kind.
* FantasticComedy: Of the SciFi variety.
* FakeOutFadeOut: In the episode "Dick For Tat," it appears that the episode is going to end in the traditional manner, with all four of them on the roof, after Dick says he just needs to "move on" with his life. Of course, he's kidding himself.
* FakePregnancy: When Sally visits a gyneacologist for the first time all the other women there are pregnant, and in order to fit in she claims she's pregnant too - which comes as a shock to her boyfriend since they've never had sex.
* FifteenMinutesOfFame: This happens to Sally after she punches out MarkHamill in a restaurant. When Mary tells a jealous Dick that this is Sally's "fifteen minutes of fame", he interprets it literally and is maddened by her "fifteen minutes" lasting considerably longer than that. It ends after a few days, however, causing Sally to start acting like a WhiteDwarfStarlet.
* [[FourTemperamentEnsemble Five Temperament Ensemble]]: Mary Allbright is the melancholic, Nina the mostly choleric, Mrs. Dubcek the leukine, Don the mostly phlegmatic, and Vicki the sanguine.
** The Solomons are each blended of two temperaments:
*** Some sanguine, mostly choleric: Dick.
*** Some choleric, mostly melancholic: Sally.
*** Some melancholic, mostly phlegmatic: Tommy.
*** Some phlegmatic, mostly sanguine: Harry.
* FreakyFridayFlip: GenderBender episode between Dick and Sally, "Two-Faced Dick". Oh noes! Double date tonight!
* FreudianCouch: Dick lays on one during therapy in "A Nightmare on Dick Street".
* GagNose: In "Superstitious Dick", Mary tries to explain to Dick that superstitions are pointless, and shows him a long wooden horn, which was worn by a tribe ages ago; they thought the horn would protect them from danger. It didn't work, and the tribe was wiped out. Dick grabs the horn and puts it over his nose, not realizing it's meant to be worn over the genitals. After Mary asks him to take it off...
--> '''Dick''': Oh, fine. Smells like hell anyway.
* GagPenis: Dick poses for a nude painting class in one episode. Apparently, he ''really'' [[MeaningfulName lives up to his name]].
** In the next scene Mary and Nina are gawking at Mary's painting.
-->'''Nina:''' You're telling me Dr. Solomon posed for this? [cocking, [[IncrediblyLamePun pun unintended]], [[HeadTiltinglyKinky her head to the side]] to look at the painting.]
-->'''Mary:''' Yes
-->'''Nina:''' [[HelloNurse Well, hellooo Dr. Solomon]].
-->''''''
-->'''Dick:''' Well, hellooo Nina.
-->'''Nina:''' I'll leave you three alone.
** And again when Dick sends Mary a photo album of naked pictures of himself after she has broken up with him, in an attempt to win her back. Even though she had just told him she never wanted to see him again, she is clearly tempted.
** Apparently, Harry doesn't have a problem in this area either.
* GenderBender: Sally Solomon wasn't female before coming to Earth (whether the aliens have genders, and what they're like is not elaborated on), and initially wasn't pleased at the change.
-->'''Sally:''' Why do I have to be the woman?
-->'''Dick:''' Because you lost!
** Dick has his share of a feminine side, too, especially in the emotions he expresses, including but not limited to, his mood swings. He or Sally equally could play a woman. Perhaps the reason the Big Giant Head chose Dick for the temporary switch with Sally?
* GeniusDitz: Harry. He's described as only filling a seat and it's considered normal for his mind to be a complete blank, but on the other hand, he's a talented painter and he cracked the bar code.
* GenreShift: A common B story was to have Sally and either Harry or Tommy engage in sudden behavior change. For example, after Sally starts dating a man named Tony The Butcher, Sally starts acting like an Italian mob girlfriend, and Tommy starts behaving like a Goodfella. In addition, most early Sally/Don scenes all were taken straight out of FilmNoir.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Every episode has Dick's name in it, resulting in "A Dick Replacement," "My Mother, My Dick," "Shall We Dick," etc.
** "Assault with a Deadly Dick"
*** Surely the worst offender is "Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick"
*** In the same vein, there's "Dick, Smoker".
*** Failed for one episode entitled "B.D.O.C.," for "Big Dick on Campus."
** In one episode, Dick takes out a book of madlibs and asks Mary for the name of a person in the room. She responds with "Dick" and after writing it, Dick says "This is funny already."
** After the revelation that the Big Giant Head is Dick's father, Tommy points out that Dick's last name is Head.
* GoodCopBadCop: Tommy and Sally do this respectively in order to find out who egged Mary's house on Halloween.
** Dick and Don do this to a perp in "The Physics of Being Dick", despite that Dick's not actually a cop. Amusingly, both can never settle on who will be the good cop and who will be the bad cop.
--> '''Don''': (to Dick, who's supposed to be good cop but ends up shouting at the suspect) You're setting the bar too high! Do you know how bad I have to be in order to be bad cop? ''Real'' bad!
*** A few scenes later they are shown having tried out all the variations they could think of. Good Cop/Good Cop is particularly ineffective.
* GoodNewsBadNews: Dick once used this phrase when there was no good news.
* GrandFinale: "The Thing That Wouldn't Die" two-parter.
* GRatedDrug: Dick becomes addicted to collecting [[Toys/BeanieBabies Fuzzy Buddies]] in "Collect Call For Dick". All the classic tropes associated with this genre are spoofed.
* GroinAttack: When a car mechanic who is fixing Sally's car keeps talking to Harry about it instead of Sally, Sally eventually gets the guy's attention by giving him one of these. With a pair of pliers. [[CrossesTheLineTwice Which she then forgets to remove]]. [[SillyMeGesture Until she eventually does so with an apologetic little giggle]].
* HateAtFirstSight: One episode involved Dick getting upset that a cafeteria lady hated him. This is pretty bizarre when you consider how Dick is usually apparently okay with several regular and recurring characters disliking him. In fact, when he got angry that she didn't even hate him for an actual reason, Nina replied "Does she need a reason? 'Cause I can give her reasons."
* HilariousOuttakes: Included in each season's DVD release.
--> '''Harry:''' I have ''no'' idea what I'm supposed to say!
* HumanAliens: They have to be, to disguise themselves from humanity. Apparently, any life-form that gets to Earth through alien technology is turned into human shape, even if originally it was more like a dog in behavior.
* HumansAreSpecial: Central to the plot of the series, the Aliens have never had to deal with anything close to human feelings before - despite being on "dozens" of missions together on various planets - which accounts for much of their behavior and humor of the series.
* IAteWhat: In "Proud Dick", the Solomons' reaction when they realize they're eating cat food. They seem to have thought they were eating food made ''from'' cats not ''for'' cats (which they were ok with).
* ICantDance: Demonstrated by Sally in "Dick Like Me".
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Generally involving some iteration of [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "Dick"]].
* IdiosyncraticWipes
* IHaveBoobsYouMustObey: Sally has demonstrated many times that men will do whatever she asks, just because of her looks.
--> '''Sally''': Dick, have you forgotten how hot I am? Beautiful women are accepted at more places than American Express. I could burp the alphabet, and men with [=PhDs=] would be asking me to tutor their kids.
* IHaveNoSon: Said by Dick about Tommy in "World's Greatest Dick".
* [[IllKillYou I KILL YOU!]]: When the Big Giant Head first arrives on Earth and begins hitting on Vickie, Harry's first reaction is to smash a beer bottle and lunge at him, while screaming this trope.
* IllPretendIDidntHearThat: In "The Fifth Solomon", Harry becomes friends with an insurance salesman, who wants to sign him up for insurance. One of the questions he asks is if Harry smokes.
--> '''Harry''': Yes.
--> '''Salesman''': No you haven't.
--> '''Harry''': Yes, I have.
--> '''Salesman''': No, you really haven't.
--> '''Harry''': Yes, I really have.
--> '''Salesman''': Oops, I already marked "no".
--> '''Harry''': Well, that's unfortunate, 'cause I enjoy the occasional cigar.
--> '''Salesman''': I didn't hear that.
--> '''Harry''': (shouting) I said I enjoy the occasional cigar!
--> '''Salesman''': You don't smoke.
--> '''Harry''': Hell, I'll smoke that banana right there.
--> '''Salesman''': (agitated) YOU DON'T SMOKE.
--> '''Harry''': Ok. I don't smoke. ({{Beat}}) You know, I really ''do'' smoke.
* ImpossiblyDeliciousFood: A dish that Dr. Neesam makes for Mary, which causes a DoubleEntendre:
--> '''Mary''': Mmm!!! This is the ''best thing'' I have ever put in my mouth!
--> '''Dick''': (forlorn) Once again, I come in second...
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: Parodied in "Romeo & Juliet and Dick" when Dick learns that he'll be directing the school production of RomeoAndJuliet:
--> '''Dick''': I can see it now on the marquee: "Dick Solomon presents a Dick Solomon production of Dick Solomon's Romeo & Juliet"!
* IncomingHam: '''''"BEHOLD THE GLORY THAT IS ME!"'''''
* InflationaryDialogue: Dick's attempts to "subtly" convince Mary that they've known each other for more than three years -- triggered by [[UndeadTaxExemption an IRS audit]] -- turn out this way.
* InformedJudaism: The "Solomon" family spends an episode desperately trying to decide what ethnicity they should be; until their landlady mentions offhand that based on their last name she had just assumed they were Jewish and they decide to run with it (never comes up again). Apparently, they just took it off the side of the first truck they saw.
-->'''Dick''': Who knew Solomon was a Jewish name when we took it off the side of that truck?"
-->'''Harry''': "Go figure. We could've been the Wal-Marts."
** It does come up again once, when the family tries to kidnap Dick (by putting a bag over his head) just after he has proposed to Mary. He tries to reassure her that the "sacking of the groom" is traditional.
-->'''Mary''': "What tradition?"
-->'''Harry''': "I'm going with Jewish."
*** Sally once warns Dick against "getting all meshuggineh," Harry refers to Mary and August as "blonde [[ShiksaGoddess shiksa goddesses]]," and Janet studied YiddishAsASecondLanguage in preparation for joining the family.
** In one episode they go to a family reunion of Solomons from Indiana. These Solomons have a family run furniture business which would involve a lot of trucks. So it is possible that these people are their namesake.
* InnocentAliens: The Solomons.
* InstantSeduction: In "Dick's Ark", Harry is at the check-out lane of the grocery store and asks the clerk if she wants to join him for a party. The clerk is interested and says that she gets off at eight. Harry replies, "No no, the ''party's'' at eight. You get off at ''nine''."
* InstrumentalThemeTune
* InsufferableGenius: Dick Solomon.
* InsultBackfire: In "Dickmalion", when Mary decides to leave the elite party:
--> '''Mary''': You may have your little clubhouse, but ''none'' of you are ''truly'' happy.
--> '''Mr. St. Clair''': Actually, we are.
--> '''Mary''': (thrown for a loop) Oh. Well... some of you are... ''fat''. (leaves)
* IResembleThatRemark: In "Sensitive Dick":
--> '''Dick''': I've just heard the most upsetting thing. Someone has accused ''me'' of insensitivity. (notices Vicki sitting in a chair) ''You're'' not family; ''GET OUT''!!
* {{Irony}}: In "Dick and the Other Guy", Dick managed to save the earth from Dr. Neesam, who claimed he spared his kind because of how impressed he was with Dick's intelligence, despite that Dick's an alien.
--> '''Tommy''': Yeah, Dick, we get the irony. It's ''really'' pretty obvious.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Mary, twenty years ago. Dick gets ahold of her nude photos from back then and shows them to her.
--> '''Mary''': Boy, I ''was'' a hottie, wasn't I?
* JerkassHasAPoint: Dick on more than one occasion.
* JustFriends: Sally and Don try this in "Dick vs. Strudwick". It doesn't work too well.
* KavorkaMan: Don. With Sally it's understandable, as she's an alien with no knowledge of local standards of beauty (she's actually just attracted to the fact that he's a cop). However, it's played straight as Don has several good-looking ex-girlfriends as well as quite a few karaoke fangirls.
* KissingCousins: In the third season premiere, the Big Giant Head tries to make Dick adopt Janet (the [=BGH=]'s own niece) as his Earth wife. Later on, the Big Giant Head turns out to be Dick's father, making Dick and Janet...
** Also played with in the first episode. Dick expresses frustration at his inability to obtain the sex from Mary (with Mary in earshot) so Sally offers to experience it with him to get it over with (though they aren't actually related, they're supposed to be and it weirds Mary out).
** In "Dick Solomon of the Indiana Solomons", Tommy wants to kiss a girl he meets at the Solomon family reunion, unaware that kissing your cousin is a taboo in America. However, Tommy finds out that she's adopted and uses that as an excuse. Of course, this backfires when the girl is too upset to kiss him, as she was unaware she was adopted.
--> '''Tommy''': You have ''no idea'' how distant we are!
* LadyDrunk: Mary. This actually works to her advantage in "Alien Hunter"... until the two decide to physically knock her out.
* LampshadeHanging: Characters in late seasons discuss some of the show's oddities. For example, why do the same college students study under Dick for six years? Because they never pass his course.
* LargeHam: Dick. Also, the Big Giant Head, played by none other than WilliamShatner.
** Harry was this show's equivalent to [[{{Seinfeld}} Cosmo Kramer]] when it came to combining physical comedy with hamminess.
** John Lithgow routinely hams it up, but then is upstaged by his replacement in the first season finale - a role played by...himself.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Of course, Dick and Sally are posing as siblings, but they're actually not. They also display no sexual attraction to one another (and in fact are both repulsed by the idea). However, they seem to have an especially close relationship compared to the other members of the family. In closing scenes Sally can often be seen sitting with her legs over Dick's, in the same chair or in otherwise snuggly fashion on the roof, and their emotional bond seems much stronger than the relationships they have with Harry or Tommy.
* LiteralMetaphor: In one episode, Dick is trying to figure out what happens "when the spit hits the fan" by spewing sips of water into a desk fan.
* LockedInARoom: "Stuck With Dick". Dick and Mary are trapped in the school library all weekend with only a bottle of wine and some cheese.
** Harry and Dick get stuck in a hole in "Dick and Harry Fall in a Hole", and in "Dick: Smoker", they also get locked in to a stairwell but is not part of the show but rather a joke.
* LoveTriangle: Between Mary, Dick, and Sonja in "Dick and the Single Girl".
** Also seen in "D3: Judgement Day" between Mary, Dick, and Jennifer. Dick realizes that the more lovey-dubby he is with Jennifer, the more Mary wants him back, so he deliberately rides it out with Jennifer, despite the fact that he can't stand her.
* LukeIAmYourFather: The Big Giant Head reveals that he is Dick's father.
-->'''Dick:''' I don't know who I am anymore!
-->'''Harry:''' Well, your first name is Dick, and your last name is Head...
* TheMafia: As stated in AttackOfThePoliticalAd above, Frank Gansmiller thought Harry Solomon was in the mob after some comments taken out of context:
--> '''Frank''': What will it take you to drop out of this race?
--> '''Harry''': Well, don't ask me. I'm not the one who makes the decisions.
--> '''Frank''': You aren't?
--> '''Harry''': No, never have, never will. I just sort of follow orders.
--> '''Frank''': Whose?
--> '''Harry''': Well, we sort of have a leader.
--> '''Frank''': "We"?
--> '''Harry''': The family.
--> '''Frank''': "The family". Thank you, Solomon. Thank you ''very much''.
* ManChild: Dick Solomon: How someone ''this'' immature is High Commander is dumbfounding.
* MeaningfulName: As Don notices in one episode, the three male Solomons are named "[[http://www.answers.com/tom,%20dick,%20and%20harry Tom, Dick, and Harry]]".
** In addition, Dick is both a self-absorbed asshole and very ... well-endowed. Fits both definitions of "dick" pretty well, no?
** There's also a Harry and a Sally, which might just be a ShoutOut to [[WhenHarryMetSally a certain movie]].
** It's only a nickname, but Sally often calls Mrs. Dubcek "Doobie". In addition to her sordid past and present, we see her in one episode rolling a joint out of Tommy's cilantro only to be disappointed that it's not marijuana. However, she still says it, "beats the hell out of basil."
*** Also, can't forget her DoItYourselfThemeTune:
--> '''Mrs. Dubcek''': Thinking thinking thinking hard. What's the use I've burned too many brain cells maybe I'll just fantasize - think of Alex and close my eyes.
* MamaBear: Sally occasionally treats Tommy this way, despite: A) being younger than him, technically; and B) his embarrassment.
--> '''Sally:''' I broke up with Alyssa for you.
--> '''Tommy:''' Why would you do that?!
--> '''Sally:''' She was going to dump you first. I didn't want to see my baby get hurt!
--> '''Tommy:''' I am not your baby!
* {{Metaphorgotten}}:
--> '''Harry''': (to Dick) When life gives you lemons, you shut up and eat the damn lemons.
** In another episode:
--> '''Dick''': (to Mary) Before yesterday, the thought of another woman held about as much appeal for me as a plate of boiled eggs: Nutritious, yes, but ultimately way too gassy. (Mary looks confused)
* MildlyMilitary: The aliens are ''very'' mildly military. Sally, Tommy, and Harry are extremely insubordinate to their High Commander right from the start of the show. They are apparently bound to obey Dick when he says "That's an order!", but they'll still be openly disrespectful if they think the order is stupid (it often is).
* MistakenForGay / UnsettlingGenderReveal: In one episode, Sally unknowingly dates a gay man who thinks she's a gay, male crossdresser, if not a pre-op {{transsexual}}, and breaks up with her when he notices she's not entirely what he expected.
** Dick is also mistaken for gay by one of Mary's former students. Dick misreads his innuendos and thinks that he's found a fellow alien.
* MistakenForPedophile: "So suddenly it's a crime for a grown man to hang around the high school taking pictures of young girls." (Harry was trailing August for Tommy as part of a PrivateDetective parody.)
* MistakenForServant: Harry is mistaken for an employee of a hardware store, due to his shirt. He goes along with it. At the end of the episode, Harry announces he's going shopping at Foot Locker, while wearing a striped shirt.
* {{Mondegreen}}: Invoked in "Dickmalion" when Dick recounts his night of schmoozing with the upper class:
--> '''Dick''': It was awful. I spent two hours talking to someone about Cornish gay men.
--> '''Nina''': Don't you mean "Cornish game hen"?
--> '''Dick''': That's what I said: "Cornish gay men"; aren't you listening?!
* MoodSwinger: Dick
** Also Sally in "Sex and the Sally", after she gets on the birth control pill.
* NakedApron: First referenced by Sally and Ms. Dubcek, then later performed by Harry in "Dick and the Other Guy". Ms. Dubcek gives Sally a piece of advice to woo Don: Make some eggs for breakfast while in the buff.
--> '''Sally''': Doesn't the grease splatter all over your boobs??
* NamesTheSame: In "See Dick Run", evil Dick re-names Harry, Sally, and Tommy to all being named Tommy.
* NearDeathExperience: Sally, Tommy, and Harry experience this in "Near Dick Experience" when a chandelier falls on a table that they would've been sitting at had the waiter not relocated them. Dick becomes jealous that the three are now seeing life through awakened eyes (that is, they're not taking things for granted), and becomes desperate to have his own near death experience.
* NeuralImplanting: "Incoming message from the Big Giant Head..."
* NewYearHasCome: "Happy New Dick!"
* NoExceptYes: In "Dick and the Other Guy", Ms. Dubcek suggests that if Sally wants to know what's going on with Don, to spy on him.
--> '''Sally''': You mean stalk him?
--> '''Ms. Dubcek''': No, no..... disguise yourself and follow him around.
* NoodleImplements: The Big Giant Head once threatened to have Dick sent to Mars. At first, Dick doesn't think that would be so bad, before the Big Giant Head clarifies "not THAT Mars!" and Dick immediately becomes horrified.
** An earlier episode had Dick order Sally to "assemble the giant robot", to which Sally responds they didn't bring it because they had to make room for his exercise equipment. There's also mention that they've got human body parts stored in the freezer in case of an emergency.
** There's a running gag that somewhere in the galaxy, Jell-o's are incredibly dangerous creatures; occasionally they recieve molds as gifts or see them at parties, and they usually cower behind something until Sally, as security officer, kills it, usually by stabbing it. In Dick's nightmare in "A Nightmare on Dick Street", he is attacked by a massive wall-sized one, which may be what they're afraid of--although as malicious as it is, it still has bits of orange and pineapple imbedded in it.
* NoodleIncident: When reminiscing, the aliens talk about a rather humorous memory that is never elaborated upon, which also provides the title for the two-part ending episode:
--> '''Dick *Very cheerful*''': And we hit it, and hit it, and hit it
--> '''Everyone''': AND IT JUST WOULDN'T DIE! Ahahaha... ah...
** Most of what Ms. Dubceck says is a reference to some past sexual escapade. Thankfully, the other characters don't pry.
* NotBloodSiblings: All three male Solomons show sexual interest in Sally.
* OfCorpseHesAlive: In "Romeo & Juliet & Dick", Ms. Dubcek unknowingly drinks a potion that Tommy made for the school play of Romeo and Juliet which causes the person to pass out and appear dead. In one scene, the Solomons hang Dubcek's body out the window, moving her limbs and providing her voice. Eventually, they ditch that and just decide to dress Harry up as Dubcek, since people will be seeing her up close.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Tommy is the oldest alien, and acts AlterKocker when he decides to retire and give up on acting his human age for an episode.
** He also hams up the AlterKocker when, in the final season, they learn that their mission is at an end. The others point out that he always 'acts old' when they reach the end of the mission, but [[spoiler: he actually takes the end of the mission much harder than initially suggested, breaking down during their going away party, a reaction he apparently hasn't had before]].
* {{Omniglot}}: The Solomons seem to have learned every Earth language in preparation for their trip, or at least a couple dozen. Dick reads a newspaper in a different language almost every episode. When they got cable, they switched to a Spanish-speaking channel and [[GratuitousSpanish all started speaking Spanish]] -- until they realized what they were doing.
** They can also speak (at least some) animal languages. For instance, in the second season episode about thanksgiving, Dick hears turkeys on television. He later tells the others that the turkeys were talking about an apocalypse (What made this more hilarious was the reporter on tv earlier jokingly saying that the turkeys seemed to know what was headed their way). In a season one episode, Harry has a conversation with a dog.
** This may be an unidentified form of NeuralImplanting: in one episode Harry and Dick are locked in a stairwell together for over a day, during which Dick begins talking to his 'inner voice'. In a throw-away line, Harry says his inner voice began speaking to him too, but he didn't know what it said because he doesn't speak French. Obviously it was just intended as a one-line joke, but if one ponders it, it probably means that Harry has the French language stored somewhere in his brain, he just can't access it.
*** However, this theory is also somewhat damaged by the fact that in a BattleOfWits between Dick and Tommy, they show off using their language skills. ([[spoiler: Tommy wins, apparently having mastered all the languages Dick challenges him with, and correcting Dick's faulty grammar]].)
*** It's also an ActorAllusion, given that Harry is played by ''French'' Stewart.
* OnceAnEpisode: Sitting on the rooftop to close out the episode.
** Not quite once an episode, but Harry does receive a message from the Big Giant Head fairly frequently. It's regularly used as a plot device to kick off the episode's hijinks.
* OnceASeason: The Solomons' identity as aliens is revealed to somebody about once every season, but the context makes the reveal incredulous, and later ignored.
* OneDialogueTwoConversations: "Tommy, do you doodle?" ([[ADatewithRosiePalms Tommy looks nervous]])
* OnceKilledAManWithANoodleImplement: "I should warn you that I have killed men with everything from a steak knife, to a penny dropped from a skyscraper!"
* OneSceneTwoMonologues
* OnlySaneMan: As the core cast is so insane, an outsider is often needed for the job. Initially, it was Mary - until she was developed as pretty quirky herself. Then it was August, Tommy's first girlfriend, during her run with the show. Later, Don often played the part, especially in conversations with Sally where she takes up some ludicrous position about their relationship. He doesn't tell her she's wrong when it plays to his advantage.
* OpeningNarration: The first season only.
--> '''Narrator''': As many intelligent people know, aliens are all around us. This is the story of four such explorers. To blend in, they've assumed human form. This is the High Commander. He has assembled an elite team of experts; a decorated military officer, a seasoned intelligence specialist, and, well, they had an extra seat. (what follows is a CouchGag comment)
* OrSoIHeard: In "Much Ado About Dick", the priest says, "Women." Dick and Suter stare at him, and the priest adds, "...Or so I heard."
* PingPongNaivete: The aliens' understanding of Earth frequently changes according to the RuleOfFunny.
* PlankGag: Happens no less than ''five'' times ''in succession'' in a scene.
* PlayingAgainstType: Before landing the part of Dick, John Lithgow tended to be most visible in movies as AxCrazy [[PsychoForHire Psychos For Hire]].
** And after that, he decided to become a children songs artist.
* PracticalJoke: "Tricky Dick" had Dick and Mary playing pranks on each other throughout the episode.
* PrimaDonnaDirector: Dick becomes one almost immediately in "Romeo and Juliet and Dick" when he directs the high school version of the play.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: Sally becomes one to Mary in "The Physics of Being Dick", at the advice of Nina, who says that correcting Mary will only make Mary upset. The butt-kissing backfires when Sally doesn't catch numerous mistakes in one of Mary's speeches and she makes a fool of herself.
--> '''Sally''': It's just so intimidating to work for-
--> '''Mary''': Say it. A ''BITCH''?!
--> '''Sally''': No, a genius! (Mary is flattered once again)
* [[PsychoExGirlfriend Psycho Ex Boyfriend]]: Vicky Dubcek's jealous ex, Randy (The late Phil Hartman), abducts Harry[[spoiler: and sells him to a Circus]].
** PsychoExGirlfriend applies also to Sally, especially with the early men she dates. She's aggressive, domineering and obsessive, which drives a few men away before she meets Don.
* RagingStiffie: It's insinuated that Tommy got one from the music teacher in "Fourth and Dick", since he's reluctant to stand up when she calls on him.
* ReallyGetsAround: Ms. Dubceck, Mary before she met Dick (to her continuing embarrassment) and Harry, who occasionally veers into AnythingThatMoves territory and has to be forcibly stopped from french kissing any female within reach.
* ResetButton: Almost anything other than couples breaking up or getting back together that comes up in a plot is ignored the very next episode. In particular, in ''The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary'', life-changing lies and real secrets about the Solomons are revealed to everyone who knows them, and nobody mentions any of it afterward.
* RearrangeTheSong: Starting in season 5. The theme was also remixed in the two-parter "Dick'll Take Manhattan".
* RogueJuror: "Eleven Angry Men and One Dick"
* RuleOfThree: In "Sensitive Dick", Nina telling the disciplinary committee three times that Dick's "warm, kind, and a credit to Pendleton State", no matter the question asked.
** In "Why Dickie Can't Teach", Tommy hugs Mary and then tries to grab her ass, which she doesn't allow. Later, Dick tries the same technique on Mary. Finally, at the end of the episode, Dick hugs Tommy and both try the same thing on each other.
* RunningGag: In "Dick Solomon of the Indiana Solomons", either Uncle Abe or Harry starting a sentence with, "Don't get me ''started'' on..."
** In "Y2dick", Tommy and Sally declaring "PACK IT UP! This piece of crap's going back!" when they're dissatisfied with their home theater system.
** The aliens don't like jello: they think it's a vicious alien they encountered on another planet. Whenever they see it, they go into a screaming fit and either cower in fear or try to destroy it.
** Up until he got his haircut, the other Solomons would constantly point out how Tommy looked like a girl.
* SarcasticConfession: After its become obvious that the family is hiding some big secret in the Documentary episode, Tommy snaps and reveals the truth: Dick isn't really his father.
* SassyBlackWoman / SassySecretary: Nina.
* SceneryCensor: Played with in an episode where Harry walks around naked in the kitchen, while people in the foreground "coincidentally" move objects in the line of view of his crotch in ''perfect'' synchronization with his movements.
* SeasonFluidity: More towards the "fluid" category, due to most every episode being a stand-alone plot that can be watched independently, but there is continuity, especially in the romantic relationships. Example: Dick and Mary are broken up? You're watching a season 3 episode. Sally and Don are broken up? You're watching a season 4 episode.
** Also, Tommy's shortened hair.
* SecretIdentity: At various times, Mary and the university staff have interpreted Dick's elusiveness about his past as him being either a political activist on the run from the feds, a secret agent, or a serial killer \ terrorist.
* SeriousBusiness: Fuzzy Buddies
* SexForSolace: Sally and Don have sex (repeatedly) in "Dick vs. Strudwick", despite being technically broken up.
* SexyCoatFlashing
* ShapedLikeItself: In "Sensitive Dick":
--> '''Judith''': After much deliberating, this court has decided to admonish Dr. Solomon.
--> '''Dick''': What does that mean?
--> '''Judith''': You're officially admonished.
* ShipTease: Harry and Nina got some adorable moments together.
* ShoutOut: Numerous ones over the seasons.
** There are a few relating to Jane Curtin's role as Primat in ''Coneheads'', the most obvious one being when they ran into Coneheads cosplayers at a sci-fi convention.
*** As well as an episode where she makes everyone watch a tabloid show about [[KateAndAllie Susan Saint James]].
** When the Big Giant Head first appears on Earth, he and Dick commiserate about their shared experience of seeing something on the wing of their craft and nobody believing them; William Shatner and John Lithgow had both played the protagonist role in adaptations of "[[Series/TheTwilightZone Nightmare At 20,000 Feet]]".
** The Solomons all know Dennis Rodman, a fellow alien. When he shows up, [[Film/MenInBlack they share their disbelief that Earth hasn't figured it out]].
** ''Shall We Dick'' has a shout out to "Literature/{{Cinderella}}". Harry wishes he could go to the big dance contest, only he can't find his shoes and he's covered in soot from looking for them. The other three start uproariously mocking him for wanting to go because he's "dressed in rags" and dirty. Mrs. Dubcek, conveniently dressed in an all white, sequined number and waving around a cigarette holder, tells Harry he can still go to the dance if he really wants too. Harry mentions he doesn't have a car or clothes, and then Dubcek says "well Harry... I guess you're screwed."
*** There's also an accidental shout out, in that Harry's covered in soot, making him "DirtyHarry".
** "Fifteen Minutes of Dick" becomes a parody of ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'', complete with "It's the pictures that got small!" reference.
** "Stuck With Dick" features a parody of ''Film/TheTreasureOfTheSierraMadre''.
** "Citizen Solomon" contains, surprisingly enough, a WholePlotReference to ''Film/CitizenKane''. Tommy is Kane himself, Alissa is Susan Alexander, August is Jedediah Leland, and the principal is Mr. Thatcher. The parody isn't evident unless you've seen the film as it's based on a portion of the movie which is not often parodied and is thus outside the PopculturalOsmosis of the film's more famous scenes.
** "Gwen, Larry, Dick & Mary"'s subplot eventually becomes a parody of JudgeJudy.
** [[GoneWithTheWind "Land... it's the only thing that matters."]], "Dick, that's just dirt from the backyard."
** The episode ''The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary'' could possibly be a reference to the 1970's Creator/{{PBS}} documentary "An American Family", starring a family who's last named were in fact "Loud".
** A lot of shoutouts to RebelWithoutACause in ''Father Knows Best'', in which Harry shouts "You're tearing me apart!" followed by his search for self (which ends in an agreement to a drag race with the boyfriend of a girl he meets at the bar).
** "A Nightmare on Dick Street Part 1" featured a parody of Film/{{Chinatown}}.
* SickEpisode: The second episode of the show, "Post Nasal Dick", features the entire Solomon family getting a cold. Dick fights it, though, so he can attend a wedding with Mary.
* SingleTargetSexuality: Despite some hitches, Dick is really only attracted to Mary.
** When Mary asks Dick if he had sex with another woman, he answers: "No! I only do that with you!"
* SitcomArchNemesis: Dick has one in Dr. Vincent Strudwick. Oddly enough, Strudwick appeared a few times earlier in the show, and during those episodes, he wasn't portrayed in such a manner.
** Season 4 had Lucy, the lunch lady who charged Dick, and only Dick, extra for crackers. Lucy later became Mary's assistant, much to Dick's dismay.
* SittingOnTheRoof: Pretty much every episode ends this way, and it happens during the episode on occasion too.
* SixIsNine: Parodied.
-->'''Harry:''' "Dick, I've lost all feeling in the left side of my body. [looks at can upside down] Could somebody please call "1-1-6"?
* SlapSlapKiss: A sequence in the first episode between Dick and Mary.
* Slapstick: occasionally features on the show, with one scene involving hitting Harry on the head with a pan half a dozen times.
* TheSleepless: Don in "Charitable Dick"; Sally shares his bed and her snoring keeps him up at night. However, even the solution of Sally staying awake all night doesn't work, as she keeps inadvertently making noise.
* SnowedIn: "Frozen Dick"
* SpeedSex: Demonstrated when Dick loses his virginity to Mary in "See Dick Run":
--> '''Dick''': (after sex) Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!...Oh Dr. Albright, ''that was the greatest thirty seconds of my life''.
* StarCrossedLovers: Tommy and Alissa become this when it's revealed that Alissa's last name is Strudwick (see SitcomArchNemesis above).
--> '''Dick''': (walking by as Tommy and Alissa are about to kiss) Get your lips off that Strudwick.
* StarfishAliens: We never get to see the Solomons' true forms, but what little we hear about them sounds positively [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]].
** The only consistent detail is that they are purple tubes. Or at least a major part of them is a purple tube. Presumably, they must have some kind of head, as their ruler has (Or is) a Big Giant one.
*** Or he could be the Big Giant Head of the organization, not literally have a big head.
* StepfordSmiler: In one episode, the Solomons decide they need to be more "normal" and so they strive to become as average as possible. They end up being this trope, especially Sally.
** Sally also tries to do this to please a boyfriend, but breaks down quickly, going from pleasantly saying, "I don't know, ''you'' decide," to screaming it in his face.
* TheSnarkKnight: August Leffler.
* SpringtimeForHitler: Looking to punk Tommy, Dick suggested he play a prank on the dean, claiming it's a Rutherford tradition. Tommy glues the Dean's furniture to the ceiling. To Dick's unction, the Dean gives kudos and reminisces about his own past pranks.
* StrawAffiliation: The ' episode "Dick the Vote" included this subversion:
-->'''Mary''': Hecky Mulligan! How can you vote for Hecky Mulligan? Nina, can you believe that?\\
'''Nina''': How do you know I'm not voting for Mulligan?\\
'''Mary''': I thought you were a Democrat.\\
'''Nina''': And why do you think I'm a Democrat, because I'm black?\\
'''Mary''': Go ahead, vote for Mulligan!\\
'''Nina''': I'm not voting for Mulligan!
* StrawVegetarian: Dick Solomon becomes one of these as a CompressedVice, reverting to his normal meat-eating ways at the end of the episode.
* SubvertedSuspicionAesop: In "Two-Faced Dick", Harry and Tommy are suspicious of a tough-looking gang who keeps ordering drinks. Ms. Dubcek tells them that they shouldn't judge people by how they look, and Harry and Tommy decide to apologize to the gang for it. Immediately after they apologize, the gang tells them to open up the cash register. Amusingly, instead of being terrified, Harry and Tommy are overjoyed that they were right all along about their first impression.
* SustainedMisunderstanding: From "Superstitious Dick", when Dick inquires about throwing out a chain letter:
--> '''Dick''': Can any of you come up with a reasonable scenario in which throwing out a piece of mail would result in having your ribs broken by a floor waxer?
--> '''Harry''': Absolutely: Guy who was waxing the floor thought that you were throwing out his paycheck.
--> '''Dick''': No, the guy with the waxer knew nothing about it.
--> '''Tommy''': Well then why are we throwing out his paycheck?
--> '''Dick''': No, there was no paycheck.
--> '''Sally''': No paycheck?! Well no wonder the waxer dude went psycho on you.
* SwappedRoles: Harry and Sally switch jobs in "Same Old Song and Old Dick".
** A crazier example: "Two-Faced Dick". Dick and Sally end up switching bodies (due to a delayed answer to a request Sally gave when she first arrived on the planet that she wanted to be a man), which forces them to adjust their personalities so they don't lose Mary and Don, respectively.
* TheTag: Starting with season 2, there was an additional scene over the closing credits. It more or less stopped starting in season 5, though, likely due to network promos being run over the credits instead.
* TalkToTheHand: From Harry. He learned it from Nina, who encouraged him to do this if Dick (Harry's boss in that episode) got in his face with unreasonable demands.
* ThatCameOutWrong: In "The Great Dickdater", Don and Dick go on a double date. Dick starts telling the two girls about models, to which the girls sarcastically ask why every guy wants to date models. Dick replies he was talking about model ''trains'', after which the girls apologize. Dick then remarks: "If I had a model, why would I be ''here'' tonight?" He instantly realizes what he said could be taken the wrong way and apologizes.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: Sally, as the mission's no-nonsense, militaristic, security officer frequently discusses needing to kill anyone who may expose their secret, but never actually hurts or threatens anyone on these grounds. Admittedly, that would be very wrong for the show's light tone.
* TitlePlease
* ThreeDimensionalEpisode: "A Nightmare on Dick Street".
* TooDumbToLive: Harry. One of the earliest episodes of the series involves him taste-testing various house hold liquids to find out which are toxic. Guess what, he finds out, and asks the family to call poison control because the left side of his body is numb.
* TooMuchInformation: Dick provides this all too often. Examples:
--> '''Dick''': (to his class) Let's just say... I had sex with Dr. Albright.
--> '''Dick''': (to Mary) I'm not wearing any panties.
** In "Power Mad Dick", Dick thinks it's only fair that Sally tell the family every detail of her sexual encounter with Don, since he did such a thing when he had sex with Mary, even after everyone begged him to stop.
* TrustBuildingBlunder
* TurnOutLikeHisFather: From "Dick Solomon of the Indiana Solomons":
--> '''Aunt Florence''': (after Dick gets into a fight with Jacob) You're sounding just like your father!
--> '''Dick''': ''Damn'' straight, Aunt Florence! ''Damn straight''!
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: The usual format for the show.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Sally and Don. Played with in that Sally has no idea Don is supposed to be ugly (despite the fact that he's played by ''Wayne Knight''), and finds his power as a police officer sexy (Despite the fact that he has almost no real power). This becomes even more hilarious in a later episode, where Sally convinces herself ''she's'' ugly while still seeing Don as the hottest man on the planet.
** The first time she sees him without his uniform though, she doesn't recognize him. When he insists it's really him, she blows him off, but is instantly attracted to him again when he comes to confront her in-uniform. They both figure out what's going on and Don proposes a solution: he always wears his uniform around her.
*** This changes as time goes on; she begins to find other aspects of him sexy aside from the uniform (though generally situations in which he is "powerful" somehow - when he was a bouncer, or a karaoke star). She also comes to respect him more when he asserts himself over her shallowness at times, and in the end she cares about him even as she realizes he's an ineffectual coward, [[spoiler: teaching him how to be a strong police officer before she leaves the planet]].
* UnConfession: Used several times over the course of the series with the Solomons admitting they were aliens, though of course it never carried any consequences past the episode in question.
** The end of the "Dickumentary" episode has all the FalseConfessions the family has made (Sally is a lesbian, Tommy is a bed-wetter, Harry is an alcoholic, etc) revealed as lies, making it obvious that they are actually trying to hide ''something''. Fed up with the bickering and fighting, Tommy offers to reveal their big secret: Dick isn't his real father, they aren't even biologically related.
* UnexpectedlyObscureAnswer: Averted in "Dick Behaving Badly", the answer to Dick's charades is "Two celestial bodies of equal mass sharing a single gravitational field will exhibit identical rotational properties for as long as their inertial integrity is maintained." Dick's physics friends are able to correctly guess in very short order.
* TheUnfairSex: When Dick Solomon (or other male character) screw something up in a relationship, they get their comeuppance most of the time and rightly so. On the other hand when Vicki, who not only was in a loving/(lusting?) relationship with Harry but were trying to have a child together, sleeps with, gets knocked up by and marries another man, nobody seems to be fazed by it (not even Harry)
** Possibly justified because the man who knocked her up was [[spoiler: their leader, The Big Giant Head]] and nobody wanted to say anything and risk pissing him off.
* TheUnreveal: We never find out what [[ThisWasHisTrueForm the aliens' real forms]] look like.
** Something about a purple tube. Any further descriptions made only make it weirder. Further confused by the time Dick mentions they came to Earth in a spaceship that could fit in his pants-pocket.
** And apparently they were disappointed that as humans they could no longer lick their backs. Harry was surprised to find that eyelids have to be operated manually, and initially they're all weirded out by how many holes they have in their heads.
** Not only that, but just why are they so afraid of Jell-O?
*** Or snow?
**** Jello looks like some sort of alien monster that tried to eat them and snow looks like brain eating parasites. They mentioned it in "Selfish Dick" and "Frozen Dick", respectively.
***** Harry: They're here! They're here! Albino brain chiggers! COVER YOUR EARS!
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Everyone, really, and [[{{Flanderization}} increasingly so as the show goes along]]. Dick, Mary, and (mostly in the later seasons) Sally are the most obvious examples, but Harry and Tommy have had their {{Jerkass}} moments too. As John Lithgow points out, they could get away with really outrageous things under the pretense of "they're aliens, so they don't know any better." Note how Mary, who doesn't have that excuse, never really crosses the line of normal sitcom character behavior.
* UnusualEuphemism: "I'm going to go in there... and put my feet... in her purse."
** Explanation: Dick's evil replacement asked Sally to explain to him what the "it" Mary was referring to was. Rather than telling him about sex, she apparently told him that the above quote is what drives women crazy.
* VariationsOnAThemeSong
** The Theme song was replace with a version by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy during season 5. In season 6, they returned to the original theme.
** Alternate versions were used during Christmas episodes
** In Season 6, a alternate jazz version of the song was used for the two-part episode
* WackyGuy: Harry Solomon.
* WantsAPrizeForBasicDecency: One episode involved Harry and Tommy finding a wallet; when they returned the wallet to the person, they were irritated that they didn't get a reward. So they devised schemes to get the guy to pay up.
* WaxingLyrical: In one episode, Dick said: "Fame, I want to live forever! Light up the sky like a flame, FAME!"
* WorthlessYellowRocks: The family apparently wins the lottery every time, but tears up the tickets and just enjoys the fun of playing the lottery.
** It's unknown whether this is because this qualifies as a 'global change' (Similar to blowing up the Earth), or they simply don't know that the lottery actually involves money. Likely the second.
* WrittenInAbsence: Tommy wasn't around much in the final season since he had gone off to college. As had Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
* YiddishAsASecondLanguage: In "Proud Dick", Dick quits his job at the university over a parking space dispute. Sally asks why Dick got "meshugenah" over something that petty.
** Dick's "wife," Janet, spent her entire trip to Earth studying ''The Joy of Cooking'', ''The Joy of Sex'', and ''The Joy of Yiddish''.
* YouAreTheNewTrend: Dick's Salute Dance, in a gay bar, no less.
* YouCantHandleTheParody
-->'''Dick''': You want the truth? You want the TRUTH!? Well I can't handle the truth!
* YouWillBeSpared: As Dick's evil replacement was assessing Dick's class, he tells Leon that he will be spared and made to carry heavy loads.
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