* AbilityOverAppearance: Sam Malone was originally written to be a retired NFL player. But Ted Danson wasn't bulky enough to be a football player, so his character was changed to a retired baseball player instead.
* ActingForTwo: Rhea Perlman appeared in one episode as Carla's sister Annette.
* ActorAllusion: A strange case. For a while, Carla's ex-husband Nick was TheFaceless, and was described as [=Danny DeVito=]. Rhea Perlman played Zena, [=Louis DePalma's=] girlfriend on ''Series/{{Taxi}}''. [=DeVito=] was going to play Nick, but his movie career took off and Dan Hedaya was hired to play the role instead.
* AdoredByTheNetwork:
** When ''Cheers'' finally went off the air on May 20, 1993, Creator/{{NBC}} dedicated a whole night to the show's final episode. The night began with a "pregame" show hosted by NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas, followed by the final 98-minute episode itself. NBC stations, O&Os and affiliates alike, then aired tributes to ''Cheers'' during their local newscasts, and the night concluded with a special edition of ''Series/TheTonightShow'' broadcast live from the Bull & Finch Pub.
** The tributes didn't end there. On the following day's ''Series/{{Today}}'' broadcast, the show dedicated an almost ten-minute segment documenting how loved the show was to people, with ''Today'' co-anchor Katie Couric being seen briefly on the ''Cheers'' set. The segment began with the show documenting the ''Tonight Show'' broadcast with brief comments from the show's cast, in addition to recapping the finale. The show then did an on location report in which NBC News correspondent Roger O'Neil went on location to actual bars across the country, in which staff and patrons of those bars reflected on watching the program from those exact bars. After that, the segment concluded with Couric, now back at NBC News world headquarters in New York, sitting down for an interview with then NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield, speaking from the Bull & Finch, about what shows he was going to use to fill the void, along with a side interview with Jeannie Park, then senior editor for television at ''Entertainment Weekly'', in which she and Couric discussed the phenomenon of how ''Cheers'' was able to run for 11 seasons despite having abysmal ratings on its inaugural season.
* TheCharacterDiedWithHim: Nicholas Colasanto/Coach Ernie Pantuso. ''Frasier'' later revealed that the same thing happened with Al Rosen/Al.
* TheDanza: Creator/WoodyHarrelson played Woody Boyd. Oddly enough, the character was named Woody before Harrelson got the part.
** All of the minor barflies, such as Paul (Paul Wilson), Al (Al Rosen), Pete (Peter Schreiner), Alan (Alan Koss), Tim (Tim Cunningham), Steve (Steve Giannelli), Phil (Philip Perlman, Rhea's father), Hugh (Hugh [=McGuire=]), Tom (Thomas Babson), Larry (Larry Harpel), Paul (Paul Vaughn) Tony (Tony [=DiBenedetto=]), and Mark (Mark Arnott).
** A few of the recurring characters in the show's early run...including a pre-''Series/NightCourt'' Harry Anderson as itinerant ConMan "Harry the Hat".
*** Lampshaded when Woody won the lead in ''Theatre/OurTown'' and remarked that his co-star was named Emily (same as her character), so she wouldn't have to worry about difficult things like responding to a new name.
* TheCastShowoff: Shelley Long's beautiful singing voice is featured quite a few times throughout the Diane era--most notably in the final sequences of "Father Knows Last" and "Coach Buries A Grudge".
** Played with, both with Frasier and Lilith. Creator/KelseyGrammer and Creator/BebeNeuwirth are both accomplished singers, but are shown in-show to be not very good. Frasier sings in the shower when he and Diane are away at a skiing lodge, and he's terrible (despite later canon that Frasier is a very good singer), and Lilith is a bad singer before she takes lessons.
* CreatorsFavoriteEpisode: Creator/ShelleyLong's favourite episode was "Let Me Count the Ways", while Creator/KelseyGrammer's favourite was "Dinner at Eight-ish".
* {{Defictionalization}}: ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' eventually did record two weeks’ worth of episodes in Boston in 1998: five regular games [[note]]as of 2017, still the only regular episodes recorded away from the show’s home base in Culver City[[/note]] followed by a Teen Reunion Tournament.
* DevelopmentGag: Former NFL star Fred Dryer (later of ''Series/{{Hunter}}'') was up for the part of Sam Malone and Julia Duffy (later of ''Series/{{Newhart}}'') was up for the part of Diane Chambers. Both later guest-starred on the show, Dryer as Sam's crasser, dumber sportscaster friend, Dave Richards, and Duffy as Diane's snootier and more pretentious best friend, Rebecca Prout. In addition, Robert Prosky (later of ''Series/HillStreetBlues'') was up for the role of Coach, and would later make a late run guest appearance as Rebecca's tough as nails father, Captain Franklin E. Howe, USN.
* DirectedByCastMember: Four episodes by John Ratzenberger and one by George Wendt in later seasons.
* EditedForSyndication: On Hallmark reruns, the show's opening credits are abridged somewhat (playing the opening piano bars then skipping right into the chorus), language is censored (leaving us with gems like "I'm the luckiest son on Earth."), the end credits are sped up a bit and often shrunken down to make room for commercials. The editing also causes slight skips in the footage, occasionally leading to brief moments of a character's lips not matching their dialogue.
* HeAlsoDid: Roger Rees plays Robin Colcord in this series, Lord John Marbury on ''Series/TheWestWing,'' and the Sheriff of Rottingham in Film/RobinHoodMenInTights.
* HideYourPregnancy: When Creator/ShelleyLong got pregnant during the third season, was mostly filmed behind the bar or from the neck up. When Rhea Perlman got pregnant, it was worked into the show.
* HostilityOnTheSet:
** Creator/ShelleyLong did not get along with any of her co-stars, with the sole exception of Nicholas Colasanto (Coach). His tragic death during the filming of season 3 not only demoralized the cast, but it left her without an ally among them, and this no doubt contributed to her decision to leave the show after season 5.
** The timing of Colasanto's death coincided with the introduction of the character of Dr. Frasier Crane, played by Creator/KelseyGrammer. Long, who was what we would today call a big Sam/Diane shipper, and didn't appreciate the character of Frasier interfering with their romance. Grammer, for his part, claimed that Long tried to have all of his punchlines removed from the script but Long denies this. The writers of the show loved Grammer and what he brought to the role of Frasier, tending to side with him over Long whenever there were any disputes between them. (Grammer stated that he and Long made peace with each other during her guest appearance on ''Series/{{Frasier}}''.)
** One of Long's biggest enemies on set was Rhea Perlman, [[EnforcedMethodActing which no doubt enhanced the antipathy between their characters]].
* IronyAsSheIsCast:
** Lilith Sternin was initially depicted as a [[HollywoodToneDeaf terrible singer]], even though before ''Cheers'' Creator/BebeNeuwirth was mostly known for her singing roles in Broadway musicals; in 1986 she even won a Tony Award for a production of ''Theatre/SweetCharity''. Later on the writers had Lilith take some singing lessons, and all of a sudden she became [[TheCastShowoff a great singer]].
** Although Carla Tortelli and her ex-husband Nick were depicted as devout and practicing Roman Catholics who were Italian, actors Rhea Perlman and Dan Hedaya are actually Ashkenazic Jewish in real life.
* LifeImitatesArt:
** ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' uses "pulling a Clavin" to refer to when a contestant whiffs the way Cliff did on an episode.
** In real life, Creator/ShelleyLong, just like her character Diane Chambers, never quite managed to fit in with the rest of the [[EnsembleCast Cast]].
* NetworkToTheRescue: The show was an utter bomb in its first year, having the ''worst'' Neilsen ratings of the year. Fortunately, NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff refused to cancel it, and put it in a prime slot right after ''Series/TheCosbyShow'' and ''Series/FamilyTies'', and it soon became the #1 sitcom in America, even beating its lead-ins. Ironically, Tartikoff would later serve as chairman of Creator/{{Paramount}}, which produced both ''Cheers'' and ''Family Ties''.
* TheOtherDarrin: Two different actors played Gary in the various "Bar Wars" episodes.
* PlayingGertrude: Frances Sternhagen who played Cliff's mother is only seventeen years older than John Ratzenberger.
* RealLifeRelative:
** Creator/KelseyGrammer's daughter Spencer had an uncredited role in "One Hugs, the Other Doesn't".
** Phil the barfly was played by Phil Perlman, Rhea Perlman's father. In addition, Rhea's sister, Heide Perlman, was a frequent writer.
** Vera Petersen is Bernadette Birkett, [[CastingGag George Wendt's wife]].
* RecycledScript:
** Not only is the storyline of the Season 11 episode "Norm's Big Audit" virtually identical to that of the ''Series/{{Wings}}'' episode "Hell Hath No Fury Like a Police Woman Scorned," but the same actress who played the hard-nosed, lovesick policewoman in ''Wings'' was hired to play the hard-nosed, lovesick IRS auditor in this series.
** The "main male character's older brother who is better at everything" was used for ''Cheers'' as well. Many sitcoms used virtually the same script, including ''Series/ThreesCompany''.
** Diane borrows money from Sam in one episode, and proceeds to spend it on apparently frivolous items before paying Sam back. This is a very common sitcom plot, used again in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' and many other shows.
** In Season 7, a newspaper mistakenly runs Rebecca's obituary. Being mistaken for dead is another common sitcom plot, and happened to ''Frasier'' on an episode of that series several years later.
* StarMakingRole: True for almost the whole cast, except for Creator/KirstieAlley who got her big break a few years earlier with ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', and arguably Creator/BebeNeuwirth with her stage experience. Most dramatically true for Creator/WoodyHarrelson, who went on to a very successful film career.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: In the Season 3 finale everyone at the bar is impressed by Sam's new answering machine. In Season 4 Sam is jealous when Diane's boyfriend has a car phone.
** In "Where Nobody Knows Your Name" Frasier mentions the bar TV's "sixteen wonderful cable channels",
** Rebecca's "very expensive calculator" in "My Son, the Father".
** In "Norm and Cliff's Excellent Adventure", Woody buys Rebecca "a portable, solar-powered phone".
** In "Those Lips, Those Ice" Frasier needs a ''briefcase'' to carry around his "portable cellular telephone".
** The computer in Sam's office in Season 7.
* ThrowItIn:
** According to John Ratzenberger, he badly botched his audition for the role of Norm, and, figuring he had nothing to lose, asked if the cast included a bar [[KnowNothingKnowItAll know-it-all]]. He proceeded to improvise for a few minutes as such a character, and the writers subsequently created the part of Cliff for him.
** Actually, [[{{Pun}} it's a little-known fact that,]] often, the writers would leave spaces in the scripts ''blank'' for Cliff's LittleKnownFacts--as Ratzenberger was skilled at [[HarpoDoesSomethingFunny ad-libbing the appropriate pieces of trivia]].
* TroubledProduction: The series had its share of issues over the years, including poor ratings early on, Creator/ShelleyLong often not getting along with the rest of the cast, the illness and death of Nicholas Colasanto during the third season, and recurring actor Jay Thomas being fired and having a [[DroppedABridgeOnHim bridge dropped on]] his character after insulting screen wife Rhea Perlman in a radio interview, but all things told it was a pretty non-troubled production until the final season (season 11) rolled around.
** After the end of season 10, the long-serving showrunner team of Cheri Eichen, Bill Steinkellner and Phoef Sutton departed, leaving the far less experienced duo of Tom Anderson and Dan O'Shannon to take over. Running out of ideas, writers started focusing a lot more on the flaws of the characters in order to create comedic tension, along with recycling a script from spin-off show ''Series/{{Wings}}'' wholesale.
** Near the middle of the season, Ted Danson announced that it would be his final season. The writers approached Creator/WoodyHarrelson to take over as the lead actor, but he declined unless Danson stayed on. Other actors were also starting to grow bored of their roles and wanted out of the series, too, forcing the writers to hustle their resources together to write in an ending that made sense. As the season came to a close, many characters were given closure that seemed to come almost out of nowhere. Lillith's actress, Creator/BebeNeuwirth, also strangely disappeared mid-season and made very few appearances.
** The final episode was set to be filmed and Long was brought back. The writers had a minor feud over whether to allow Diane and Sam to be together. Shoots took so long that Long had to go back to her other commitments, and the episode's closing scene in the bar was filmed without her. The scene was also done in secret without a studio audience, meaning a laugh track had to be added after the fact. The final episode proved to be one of the most watched and remembered series finales in television history.
** Then there's the matter of Creator/KelseyGrammer's substance abuse, which took a spike in this season. Costars noticed that he was oddly difficult to work with and would often be nearly catatonic between takes. After several intervention attempts, Grammer finally got help. He would ultimately not make a full recovery until the early seasons of ''Series/{{Frasier}}''.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: The show is soaked in '80s (and very early '90s) style and culture.
** In the pilot, Diane predicts that her (ex-)fiance Sumner Sloan will be on the cover of ''Saturday Review'' someday - unlikely, considering that it ceased publication that very year (1982).
** The first season is set against the backdrop of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_1980s_recession early 1980s recession]] - Norm, an accountant, spends most of the season unemployed. On the other hand, Cliff, a postal worker, enjoys the kind of job security that could only come in the days before the union-busting of TheEighties and TheNineties, followed by the rise of the internet as an existential threat to the very ''idea'' of postal service.
** Many of the politician and pro athlete guest stars quite firmly date the episode in which they make their appearance:
*** Tip O'Neill, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, made a cameo in a first-season episode (a writer later joked that he was the biggest star the low-rated show could attract at the time), firmly setting it before he retired in 1987. (Fun fact: Cheers - or rather, the Bull and Finch - was actually physically located within his constituency, making him one of the more plausible celebrity guests.)
*** Gary Hart's cameo in the fourth season finale (which aired on May 8th, 1986) really stands out here. When starstruck Diane meets him, she exclaims that he "could have been President" (a reference to his second-place finish in the 1984 Democratic primaries). Then she remarks that he "could ''still'' be President", and indeed he was considered a front-runner for the 1988 nomination... until the Donna Rice scandal broke out just over a year after the episode aired. (Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, who ''also'' appeared on ''Cheers'', won the nomination instead.)
** Cliff's appearance on ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' is firmly dated to when it was shot (late 1989) and aired (January 1990) due to the set design (even at the time, the set was frequently renovated between seasons), the musical cues (the synth-heavy intro was dumped and a mix emphasizing the percussion debuted in 1991), the sound design (most of the "classic" sound effects have now been replaced), and Alex's appearance (the mustache is still present, and his hair is salt-and-pepper, not to mention thicker and wavier than it is today).
** Diane's return for the series finale is predicated on the gang at the bar seeing her winning a [=CableACE=] award and Sam taking the opportunity to invite her back to Boston to reminisce. The joke is that Diane leaving the bar to realize her potential as a writer had her go no further than slumming it writing for ''cable television''. In the quarter-century since then, cable television has come to produce some of the most acclaimed and popular shows on the air, to the point that the [=CableACE=] awards ''don't even exist anymore'' because they were deemed superfluous, since cable shows now win ''Emmys'' with much greater regularity than network shows. (A network show has not won Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmy Awards since 2006.)
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** The show was originally going to be set in a hotel. When they realised the bulk of the show was going to be set in the hotel bar, they dropped the hotel and stayed with the bar.
** Sam was originally written as a retired ''football'' player, and many auditionees for the role were former football players (see Fred Dryer and Ed O'Neill, below); he was rewritten as a retired ''baseball'' player because it better suited Danson's wiry frame.
** Diane was to be a sassy, career-driven businesswoman; if this sounds familiar, it's because the Charles Brothers recycled the concept when they introduced Rebecca.
** The draft pilot script included only one patron, a barfly named George, whose only scripted line was his order of "Beer!". Both George Wendt and John Ratzenberger auditioned for "George"; Ratzenberger, after having been rejected, pitched the role of Cliff for himself (see ThrowItIn) and Wendt was cast as George, who was radically rewritten into Norm. Another bar patron who appeared in the pilot but was cut was an irascible elderly woman (in a wheelchair, even though Cheers doesn't have wheelchair access) named "Mrs. Littlefield".[[note]]Although some reports indicate that Elaine Stritch - who seems to have made a career out of all the parts she ''didn't'' get - was chosen for the part, [[http://www.zen134237.zen.co.uk/Cheers/Cheers_1x01_-_Give_Me_a_Ring_Sometime.pdf the original pilot script]] credits "Margaret Wheeler", presumably [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0923912/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 this Margaret Wheeler]], as having played the role.[[/note]] The character can be seen in several scenes in the pilot, but all her lines were cut because she was found not to gel with the other characters or the general tone of the series, and she was never seen again.
** At one point during the show's development, producers considered setting it in Chicago.
** [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 Joel Hodgson]] [[http://www.whmpodcast.com/2012/01/joel-hodgson-whm-interview.html revealed in an interview]] that he auditioned for the role of Woody Boyd.
** The network originally wanted to have Woody take over the bar after Ted Danson announced he was leaving after season 11. However, Creator/WoodyHarrelson refused to do the show without Danson and so it was decided to simply end the series.
** [[Series/{{Newhart}} Julia Duffy]] was the first choice for the role of Diane. [[Series/JustShootMe Wendie]] [[Series/HotInCleveland Malick]] also auditioned for the part. [[Series/{{Hunter}} Fred Dryer]] auditioned for the part of Sam. Creator/JohnLithgow was considered for the role of Frasier. [[Series/HillStreetBlues Robert Prosky]] was considered for the role of Coach.
** Originally, Creator/DannyDeVito was the casting favorite for Nick. But then his movie career took off, and rendered him unavailable. It would have been a CastingGag since Rhea Perlman played is on-again, off-again girlfriend in ''Series/{{Taxi}}''.
** The finale for Season 6 would have teased the idea that Sam had possibly contracted AIDS from a former lover. The episode made it as far as rehearsals before it was pulled, since it was becoming clear there was no way for the subject pushed the show really far into DudeNotFunny territory (The episode would have aired in 1988, when the number of AIDS-related deaths was quite high).
** Cliff was originally to be a Police Officer, but producers felt that his being a Mail Man would give him more access to information regarding his trademark "Little Known Facts". Many of Cliff's "Little Known Facts" were ad libbed by John Ratzenberger with scripts written simply to cue him in to the lines relating to his facts.
** Creator/LucilleBall was a fan of the series and met with the producers about possibly playing Diane's mother, Mrs. Helen Chambers. But she backed out because she felt that viewers would not accept her as a character that was different then her "Lucy" characters. Instead, Diane's mother ended up being played by Glynis Johns, best known to Broadway fans for originating Desiree Armfeldt in ''Theater/ALittleNightMusic'' and best known to child audiences for playing Winifred Banks in ''Film/MaryPoppins''.
** Creator/EdONeill auditioned for Sam Malone.
** Creator/JohnLithgow was the first choice to play Frasier Crane. However, Lithgow refused the role due to the fact that he wanted to concentrate on his film career.
** Creator/SharonStone, [[Series/SexAndTheCity Kim Cattrall]], and Marg Helgenberger are among the actresses that auditioned for Rebecca Howe.
** David Alan Grier auditioned for a proposed African-American character that never came to fruition.
** Timothy Treadwell of ''Film/GrizzlyMan'' fame originally auditioned to play Sam, but lost to Danson.
** Al Rosen was considered for elevation to the main cast around Season 7, but turned the offer down for health reasons. Rosen ultimately died of cancer just before filming of Season 9 got underway.
** '''Three''' endings were [[http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1987/Mystery-Surrounds-Shelley-Long-s-Cheers-Departure/id-8294f32ebdf44c85c59b9994b00701a9 written]] for the Season 5 finale: Sam and Diane don't get married (which was used), Sam and Diane do get married, and a mysterious third ending which the production refused to divulge. The alternate ending where Sam and Diane successfully get hitched was actually shot before the live studio audience (to throw them off; it wasn't publicly known at the time that Shelley Long would be leaving the show), and this ending has since been broadcast (on retrospective specials about ''Cheers'', never as part of an episode of ''Cheers'' itself).
* YouLookFamiliar:
** Paul Willson first appears in first-season episode "Someone Single, Someone Blue" as a character named Glen. In second-season episode "Little Sister Don't Cha" he plays a character named Tom. Then, in fourth-season episode "Fools and Their Money" he appears as Paul Krapence, the character he plays for 53 episodes, becoming a semi-regular in the show's later years.
** Interseries example with ''Series/{{Frasier}}''. John Mahoney and Peri Gilpin both guest-star on "Cheers" as different characters.
** Averted with Bernadette Birkett, who appears in one episode ("Fairy Tales Can Come True") as Cliff's date, and then four times without ever showing her face as Vera Petersen.
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