[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thecritic_4360.jpg]]

->''"It stinks!"''
-->ó '''Jay Sherman'''

'''''The Critic''''' was a short-lived prime time animated series that featured Jon Lovitz as the voice of the titular critic. It was created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who were also writers for ''TheSimpsons''. The show is notable for being picked up by four different networks. It was launched on Creator/{{ABC}} in 1994, where it was cancelled after a month, but brought back in the summer to air the remaining season. It was picked up by {{FOX}} the following year and ran it for a full second season before dropping it. After this it was aired on ComedyCentral. It was later picked up by {{UPN}}, who never actually aired episodes of the show. In Latin America, this show was aired on Locomotion before turning into Creator/{{Animax}}. Ten short flash cartoons ([[{{Webisode}} webisodes]]) based on the series appeared on the internet over 2000-01.

The DVD box set was released in 2004, which includes all the TV episodes and has the webisodes as extras. During the late 2000s, the show has aired in syndication. In September 2006, IGN ranked the show 9th in their list of the ''Top 25 Primetime Animated Series of All Time''. In January 2009, they also ranked the show 26th in their other list of the ''Top 100 Best Animated TV Series''. In December 2011, Complex ranked the show 6th in their own list of ''The 25 Most Underrated Animated TV Shows Of All Time''.

Jay Sherman is New York's #3 film critic, with a cable television film review show called ''Coming Attractions'', and it's his job to review some pretty horrible movies. However, it is because he heavily pans every film he reviews that he is very unpopular with the public. It also doesn't help that he's rather unsuccessful at life, overweight, and not really successful with the ladies. His ex-wife Ardeth (not pictured) despises him and keeps demanding more alimony from him, and while he does have a few dates, the women are usually either crazy or just dating him [[CastingCouch to get a positive film review]]. His boss Duke Phillips frequently mistakes his statements for come-ons, and his elderly chain-smoking make-up lady Doris frequently verbally abuses him.

Jay is the adopted son of former New York governor [[CloudCuckoolander Franklin Sherman]] and his wife Elenor Sherman. Their butler Shackleford (not pictured) has a tendency to greet Jay as "Adopted Master Jay" whenever he sees him. Jay also does have a few friends: his best friend Jeremy Hawke (a combination of Paul Hogan and Creator/MelGibson), restaurant owner Vlada (well, he's nice to Jay's ''face'', anyway), his teenage sister Margo, and his son Marty who attends United Nations High School (where one of his classmates is a [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Klingon]], and another from Easter Island who has a head made of stone).

In the second season, after FOX picked up the show, the character of Jay was [[ReTool retooled]]. He was given a rounder face, bigger eyes, a warmer personality, and a long-term girlfriend in personal assistant Alice Tompkins. Like Jay, Alice has a child from her own failed marriage, her young daughter Penny.

The show was resurrected one last time on the Internet as a flash series. The characters from the TV series are gone (except for Vlada who makes an appearance), and Jay keeps hitting on his new and younger make-up girl Jennifer (not pictured). [[FanonDiscontinuity Most fans don't really count this one among the main series.]]


Not to be confused with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Critic_(cartoon) Mel Brooks' first film]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Critic_(play) R.B. Sheridan's play.]]

Now has its own [[Characters/TheCritic Characters page]].

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!!This show uses the tropes:
* AdamWesting: "Series/SiskelAndEbert and Jay and Alice," in a ''big'' way.
** The man himself appeared in "Eyes on the Prize" for a brief cameo. Emphasis on "brief", due to Jay's particular film and television preferences.
* AdBumpers: The original broadcast featured a shot of Jay in both the ABC ("Stay tuned after the commercials you beer swilling couch monkeys") and FOX ("You're watching FOX, where we can say the word 'boobies'!") runs.
* AlanSmithee: "I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show" was directed by someone named "D.R.L. [=MacMoortler=]". It's pretty safe to assume that this is a pseudonym for David Cutler, Rich Moore, and Lauren [=MacMullan=], all of whom worked on the show.
* AlliterativeTitle: A headline made by Jimmy Breslin while being the headmaster at Duke's preschool: "Bunnies Bite Breslin, Breslin Bleeds Badly."
* AlphabetNewsNetwork: "This... is PNN."
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Jay was this in his cameo on ''TheSimpsons''; reportedly, this is what annoyed Matt Groening enough to have his name taken off the credits for that one episode.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Jay
** More pronounced in the ninth webisode:
--> '''George Costanza''': I tried out for the football team. You know what they told me? I'll ''tell'' ya what they told me: "Too Jewish"!\\
'''Jay''': There's such a thing as "too Jewish"??
* AnimatedShows
* ApocalypseWow: From "All The Duke's Men." [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usegltieVAY Enjoy.]]
* ArtEvolution: Most of the characters were given some slight updates to their character designs. Jay's changes are described above, while Margo went from realistically proportioned to completely stylized.
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: In case you want to know, In the episode "Marty's First Date", the name of the Mexico City Airport in RealLife is ''Benito Juarez'', not '''Music/LindaRonstadt!''' Very likely to be chalked up to the RuleOfFunny.
* AsHimself: One episode was noteworthy as one of the few examples of Creator/RogerEbert and Creator/GeneSiskel appearing in a work of fiction, alongside other real critics like Rex Reed and Gene Shalit.
** Another episode had Queen Latifah for no adequately explained reason. Even the characters were confused as to why she was there!
*** Ricki Lake guest stars as herself in the same episode, but that goes back to an earlier gag of Penny watching daytime trash TV.
** Don't forget the time when Jon Lovitz shows up.
** Geraldo Rivera to the list interviewed Jay and Eleanor. It ended with [[CloudCuckoolander Franklin dancing in a diaper]].
* AsideGlance: In the second webisode, a clip from Film/MissionImpossible 2 is shown, where Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) escapes various villains and gunfire, and then does his trademark toothy smile to the camera.
** Jay does one after cleaning the Public Library and accidentally knocking off the '''L''', causing a crowed of people to rush in excited, only to quickly let out a depressed groan.
* AudienceParticipationFailure: In "A Song For Margo":
--> '''Johnny''': Are you ready to rock?!
--> '''Woman''': Not yet; Brad's tying his shoe! ''(Audience goes silent for a couple seconds)''
--> '''Brad''': ...Okay! ''(Audience starts cheering again and the band starts playing)''
* BadBadActing: Valerie Fox in her film ''Kiss Of Death''.
** "My darling, I have always loved--Oh no. Promo-theus."
* BeachBury: Marlon Brando during Jay's trip to the Cannes Film Festival.
* BearsAreBadNews
-->'''Bear handler:''' Come, Sasha. The last time you ate a critic you spent two weeks sitting on the can!
** Cant forget Jays apparent dispute with the Three Bears from Goldilocks in "Dukarella"
--> '''Jay''': Oh hide me! Im being chased by three bears, theres a dispute over some porridge. Dont ask questions.
--> '''Miranda''': Oh Jay, dont tease
--> *Something on the other side of the door roars and tries to claw its way through*
* BettyAndVeronica: Jay got into a brief LoveTriangle with Alice (the Betty) and Jeremy's twin sister Olivia (the Veronica).
* BigApplesauce: The series takes place in New York.
* BigEater: Jay and Marty Sherman.
** To put this in perspective - while [[ItMakesSenseInContext training for a marathon]], he tells Vlada that he's on a diet.
--> '''Vlada:''' ''(Picks up the phone)'' Tell Vlada Junior no Harvard.
--> '''Jay:''' In fact, I ''may'' just have coffee!
--> '''Vlada:''' ''(Sadly)'' Pull the plug on Mama.
* BigFancyHouse: The Sherman family's mansion. Ditto for Duke's mansion.
* BigNo: Jay does this twice in "Miserable" [[spoiler: when his "#1 fan" cuts off all his hair and looks as if she was about to break both his feet with a sledgehammer.]]
* BillBillJunkBill: In "Sherman of Arabia", after Jay sent a rat with an SOS message on it to Duke:
--> '''Duke''': (going through mail) Junk mail, junk mail, junk mail, rat from Jay, junk mail....
* BilingualBonus: Vlada's restaurant ''L'ane Riche'' is French for "The Wealthy Jackass."
* BitingTheHandHumor:
** In the episode "Sherman, Woman, and Child."
---> "I'm Jay Sherman, the famous film critic. I used to have a big show on ABC ... for about a week."
** One of Jay's voiceovers during the show's EyeCatch:
---> "You're watching FOX. Shame on you!"
** In the episode "A Song For Margo":
---> '''Margo''': Johnny is just like you, Jay. He's not afraid of anything. Not even the TV networks.
---> '''Jay''': Well, they're all pretty crummy. ''(Turns to the camera when the FOX logo appears)'' Except for FOX. The last bastion of quality programming. ''(Does a salute)'' God bless you, little logo.
** In the episode "All The Duke's Men":
---> "It's a giant horse's ass! ''(Turns to the camera)'' You're watching FOX. Give us 10 minutes, we'll give you an ass."
** And from another bumper:
---> "You're watching FOX, where we can say the word 'boobies'!"
** From the episode "From Chunk To Hunk":
---> "Ah yes. Sweet, non-judgmental FOX Network, where coming in third is a triumph!"
** In the first webisode, Jay recounts how he was cancelled at ABC, Fox, and Comedy Central. Fox's building is portrayed as a very scuzzy, shoddy, run-down building in the slums. Comedy Central's HQ meanwhile is nothing but a ''tent''.
* BlindWithoutEm: Carmen from "Martys First Date". After losing her glasses during the international food fight, she sees Marty in front of her as a handsome guy holding a rose. Once he gives the glasses back, her vision comes into focus on a pudgy kid holding a fork with a meatball on it. She still agrees to go on a date with him, though.
* BrainBleach: In Season Two, Doris starts revealing an attraction for Duke, and this often resulted in Duke having this kind of reaction.
-->'''Doris:''' Duke, I've loved you for years. In fact, every thirty seconds I have a hot, steamy fantasy about the two of us.
-->'''Duke:''' Ooh, uh, I got to take this elevator.
-->'''Doris:''' It's just an open shaft!
-->'''Duke:''' It's quicker! ''(steps in and plummets)''
** Later, Doris sends him a graphic nude photo of herself, which the audience sees (with Duke's fingers as the censor strip). Duke has a heart attack and cries for his pills.
** In one of the webisodes, Jay went out to a stage production of TheGraduate on Broadway, which featured a much talked about nude scene with Kathleen Turner as Mrs. Robinson. Unfortunately, she wasn't available, and [[TakeThatMe Jon Lovitz served as her understudy, much to the disgust of the audience.]]
* BrandX: "Hair in a Can" and "Phlegm Fatale Cigarettes."
* BrokenHeel: This affects Jeremy upon meeting Margo in "Miserable."
* BurpingContest: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQbF1mxYEVY Between Jay and Homer Simpson.]]
** And Eudora Welty.
* ButtMonkey: Jay and Marty.
* TheCameo: Billy Crystal supplied the voice of Gary Grossman in one episode.
** Creator/PhilHartman provided THREE of the voices in "Eyes on the Prize" (respectively, Adolph Hitmaker, Bernie, and Professor Blowhard).
* {{Cancellation}}: First by ABC, then by FOX.
* CantHoldHisLiquor: Both Jay and his son get wasted after sharing one glass of wine, and only make the glass half empty.
* CantYouReadTheSign: On the first episode, Jay tells the taxi driver his dilemma about dating Valerie Fox. The driver points to a sign that reads, "Driver Only Knows Three Words of English." Those three words: "Look at sign!"
* CatchPhrase:
--> '''Jay:''' It stinks!
--> '''Jay:''' Hotchie motchie!
* CelebrityParadox: Avoided with regard to Jon Lovitz, who exists in this show's universe -- but he came to prominence on ''[[Main/SaturdayNightLive Yesterday Night Live]]''. Jay's a big fan, but when he suggests by phone to a movie studio that in the wake of the remake ''Rebel Without a [Bill] Cosby'' they should make ''[[Main/DrStrangelove Dr. Strangelovitz]]'', he has to explain who Lovitz is: "He's a character actor! ...No, I don't think he died!"
* ChainedToABed: In the episode "Miserable," a female projectionist (a.k.a. Jay's #1 fan) drugs Jay's glass of wine and ties him to her bed with strips of movie film.
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: When a food fight occurs in Marty's school cafeteria, the French students immediately put their hands up and surrender, even though they did not participate.
* ChekhovsGun: In the episode "Miserable," Jayís #1 Fan shows Jay a cardboard cutout of himself holding a book he wrote. She tells him she hooked it up to her Clapper, and demonstrates by clapping to it, which results in the cutout waving the book up and down and saying [[Advertising/HeadOn "Buy my book!"]] multiple times. At the episodeís climax, when she madly lunges at and attempts to kill Jeremy, Jay claps his hands and triggers the cutout, hitting her on the head and knocking her unconscious.
* ChekhovsSkill: In "A Day at the Races and a Night at the Opera," while Jay and Marty try on clothes at a department store, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsL8rayQbqk&t=0m31s Marty discovers he is able to move his stomach up and down.]] He opens the door from the changing room to show his father, only to be told by a little girl that what he was doing was "gross." Feeling bad, he stops. Later, during a school talent show he attends, he attempts to play "Yankee Doodle" on his electric guitar, only for a string to break off just as he starts playing. Unfazed, he tells the audience "This is the only other thing I know how to do": he moves his vest out of the way and moves his stomach up and down again. The audience and Principal Mangosuthu become impressed. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qItv7X8BHdw&t=3m30s Marty performs more creative belly-dancing routines]], and the audience gives him a standing ovation.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: The ENTIRE CAST (aside from Jay and briefly Vlada) vanishes without a trace in the webisodes. This was probably a necessity of budget, as the webisodes were done on a shoestring and they couldn't afford to bring back the old voice cast.
** It is implied that Jay and Alice's relationship [[PutOnABusToHell ended in a messy divorce]], though.
*** The "second divorce" Jay mentioned in the first webisode could have been with the Mexican woman he married in "Marty's First Date". Also the fact Alice was never mentioned by name. The web series seem to be pretty heavily noncanon.
* CitizenshipMarriage: At least that's how the Mexican airport employee sees it when she agrees to marry Jay (so he can travel to Cuba to save Marty) in the Season 1 episode "Marty's First Date":
-->'''Mexican woman:''' Stop! You promised to marry me!
-->'''Jay:''' All right, but I've got to tell you, I'm only marrying you to get to Cuba.
-->'''Mexican woman:''' Well I am only marrying you for citizenship!
-->'''Jay:''' ''(Starts crying)'' This is the most honest, caring relationship I've ever been in.
** For the record, that part of the episode is pretty inaccurate: in RealLife, Mexican airliners don't care if an American citizen travels to Cuba via Mexico, as long they can pay the ticket. One just can't fly directly from America. (Permission is still needed from the U.S., though.)
* ClipShow: Final episode of the second season, titled "I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show".
* CloudCuckooLander: Franklin Sherman is borderline insane.
* ClusterFBomb / SoundEffectBleep: Cher does this to Jay during his interview with her on ''Coming Attractions''.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: In "Miserable":
-->'''[[{{Yandere}} Jay's #1 Fan:]]''' Whenever I get into a relationship with a man, they tend to get dominating and overcritical.
-->'''Jay:''' I can see your point. Although, I wouldn't have used "overcritical," and I think your delivery was wooden and unconvincing.
* ComicallySerious: Satoshi - [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Eater of Souls]], who we see eating a Cookiepuss icecream cake, and singing "Big Girls Don't Cry."
* [[MasqueradeBall Costume Ball]]: Duke holds one in the episode "Dukerella."
* CouchGag:
** The beginning of the opening credits where Jay wakes up to a phone call from someone with bad or weird news. In the FOX episodes, they also added in Jay waking up to an announcement on his clock radio.
** The opening credits also shows Jay on ''Coming Attractions'' showing a movie clip/parody (such as parodies of ''Raiders of the Lost Ark'' with the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] being knocked down like bowling pins by the boulder that IndianaJones is running from, ''TheSoundOfMusic'' where JulieAndrews is bumped into the camera and falls down a hill, a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie where said actors are eaten by a T-Rex, etc), to which Jay says "It stinks!"
** The post-credits scene where an usher walks up to Jay and says, "Excuse me sir, the show's over." Jay's replies have been: 1)"Is the snack bar still open?" 2)"I'm stuck in the chair!" 3)"But I have nowhere to go." 4)"Get away, zitface!" (only used when the usher sounds like the Squeaky-Voiced Teen from ''TheSimpsons''.) There's also an end credits sequence in the FOX episodes that shows Jay and Alice kissing during the credits. When the usher (a different one this time) tells the couple "Excuse me, the show's over," Alice retorts "Get away, pipsqueak!" and Jay tells the audience "That's why I love her!"
* CousinOliver: One of Dukeís attempts to improve ''Coming Attractions''í ratings was the addition of a cute child [[ElmuhFuddSyndwome with a speech impediment.]]
-->'''Jay''': Well, I find you "wee-pulsive" and "wee-pugnant"!
-->'''Kid''': ''(now with a normal voice)'' Hey, that speech impediment shtick is copyrighted. You'll be hearing from my lawyers! I mean, ''wawyers''.
* {{Crossover}}: With ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', on that show's season six episode "A Star is Burns," the only episode not to have Matt Groening's name in the opening or closing credits (as Groening -- and a lot of ''Simpsons'' fans -- felt the crossover was an excuse to have the episode be little more than a 22-minute advertisement for a [[DuelingShows dueling show]]).
** This is lampshaded -- just before Jay walks into the Simpsons' living room, Bart is watching ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsonsMeetTheFlintstones'', and says he "smells another cheap cartoon cross-over." Lampshaded again in this exchange towards the end:
-->'''Jay''': And if you ever want to appear on my show-
-->'''Bart''': Nah, we won't be doing that. ''(Technically true in that the Simpsons never appear in-universe, although Bart and Homer do turn up on a TV screen in one episode.)''
** Jay also had a short cameo in season eight's "Hurricane Neddy" where he is a patient at a mental hospital, as his psychological state seems to have deteriorated to a point where he responds to everything with his CatchPhrase, and he is also in season fifteen's "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner" as one of four characters at Moe's Tavern who have been voiced by Jon Lovitz.
*** Keep in mind, it's ''established'' that ''The Simpsons'' is a cartoon show in Jay's world. So, Jay visited a fictional television show? The Simpsons family exist in a world where there's a cartoon based on them? Jay crossed over into a cartoon universe where both he and The Simpsons exist? '''[[YourHeadAsplode KABOOM!]]'''
**** Perhaps in-universe, Jay simply guest starred as himself on a well-known TV series? That explains the lack of the other characters.
**** LiteraryAgentHypothesis could also be another explanation.
* {{Crunchtastic}}
* CryingIndian: Duke wants "Savvy Indian Chewing Tobacco" to be a sponsor for ''Coming Attractions''. He even has an Indian on the set holding a sign with said name on it. Refusing to take part in it, Jay rips up his contract and throws the pieces at the Indian's feet, making him shed a tear.
* CurtainClothing: In the episode "Dukerella", Miranda's costume ball dress was made out of curtains. She even had the venetian blinds as the back of the dress.
* CuteKitten: In "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost," during ''Coming Attractions'', Duke tells Jay that the audience only tunes in for the funny clips, and then shows a black and white clip of two kittens playing Ping Pong with their paws. Jay is at first offended, but then he sees one of the kittens frisking with the ball.
-->'''Jay:''' Haha, they ''are'' cute.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Parodied in the first webisode. Jay ends the episode with, "Oh Jay, you ''bitch''! It's the ''internet''. I can say, "bitch"!
* DenouementEpisode: "Dukerella" serves as one, as the last broadcast episode before the TakeThat episode "I Can't Believe It's a ClipShow!"
* DesertedIsland: The ending to "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost".
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud:
--> '''Jay:''' ''(after Jeremy's sister Olivia introduces herself)'' I wonder what she looks like naked?
--> '''Jay's brain:''' You idiot, you said that out loud. Better cover.
--> '''Jay:''' I mean uh, I wonder what she ''cooks'' like ... naked?
--> '''Jay's brain:''' ''(sarcastically)'' Oh, nice going.
** Olivia doesn't mind. She asks if he'd like her to cook naked for him. Jay's stomach just wants the cookin'.
* DietEpisode: "From Chunk To Hunk." Marty becomes slim and toned. Jay loses two pounds, which is apparently his college weight.
* DisproportionateRetribution: In the episode ''"Dial 'M' For Mother"'', Jay's life is ruined after he tells his adopted mother Eleanor to shut up live on ''Geraldo''. This includes being picketed, vilified on television, and generally being shunned by the entire population of New York City. What really drives this home was that Jay only told Eleanor to shut up after she told some embarrassing and inappropriate stories about him live on ''Geraldo''.
* TheDitz: "I'm [[OneSceneWonder Dan Quayle]]. I gotta go boom-boom."
* DomesticOnlyCartoon: The webisodes.
* DoubleEntendre: A non-sexual example. When Duke's on the phone with the "spastic colon people", he asks if they can hold. Naturally, they can't.
* EenieMeenieMinyMoai: The Easter Island children have the stone Moai heads atop human bodies.
* EmbarrassingRescue
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When Satan denies ''Series/{{Wings}}'' another season.
** However, Satan claims that it's beyond even his power, not that it's an act so evil he wouldn't do it.
** Satan also denies being the reason Cher won an Oscar, but takes credit for Marisa Tomei's win.
* EveryEpisodeEnding
* [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins Everything's Worse With Penguins]]: Apparently, they're bad pilots ("[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JsZbSzMi08 Penguins can't fly... PENGUINS CAN'T FLY!!!]]") and slack off drinking pina coladas when there's work to be done.
** Is this possibly a reference to ''AWishForWingsThatWork''? A similar scene happens where Opus is piloting an airplane in a dream sequence...
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Alice found out Cryus was cheating on her by the title of his first album: "I'm Cheating On My Wife Alice Tompkins. You Heard Me, Alice Tompkins."
* {{Expy}}: [[Series/BarneyAndFriends Humphrey the Hippo]].
** Duke Phillips is like Ted Turner.
** Franklin and Eleanor Sherman are named after [[UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt Franklin]] and Eleanor Roosevelt. However, Eleanor more closely resembles Creator/KatharineHepburn.
** Jeremy Hawke is a mix of Paul Hogan, Russel Crowe and (pre-meltdown) Creator/MelGibson.
*** His twin sister Olivia Newton Hawke is, of course, Olivia Newton John.
* FanArt: There isn't a lot of art out there, but they are absolutely worthy of taking a look at, such as the following: [[http://princendymion.deviantart.com/art/Jay-Sherman-150869685 This portrait of Jay]], [[http://trey-vore.deviantart.com/art/Cute-Couples-Jay-Alice-106141482 Jay/Alice]], [[http://callmepo.deviantart.com/art/Jay-and-Alice-final-189538074 Jay/Alice again]], [[http://theuniblog.evilspacerobot.com/?p=4722 and some of the characters cosplaying as "Dragonball Z" characters (scroll down to see)]]. There is also [[http://tobypoole.tumblr.com/post/36842276610 this piece]] where you can build your own Jay Sherman.
* FemmeFatale: Valerie Fox is labelled this in the film industry.
* FindTheCure: The plot of "Dr. Jay."
* FixFic: In the episode "Dr. Jay," Duke creates "Phillipsvision," which changes films to have happy endings (such as [[GoneWithTheWind Rhett returning to Scarlett]]) and script changes (such as changing [[Film/CitizenKane Charles Foster Kane's]] last word from "Rosebud" to [[Film/WaynesWorld "Schwing"]]). With a mix of ExecutiveMeddling, ViewersAreMorons and LowestCommonDenominator in-show.
* FloatingAdviceReminder: Played with in "Marty's First Date", in which the balloon containing Jay's head gets popped by a skier's poles -- and goes flying around afterward.
** Later, in the same episode, Jay starts complaining about being in the bubble and then being ignored. He then notices a fried banana stand. "Oooh! Fried bananas!" He starts floating toward the cart and opening and closing his mouth while the intermission theme to Ms. Pac-Man plays. The Ms. Pac-Man song is omitted in the DVD release.
* FoodFight: An "international food fight" occurs at Marty's school cafeteria in the episode "Marty's First Date". (Which leads to [[CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys the aforementioned French students' reaction]]).
* FourPointScale: Referenced in "A Little Deb Will Do Ya."
-->'''Jay''': This film gets my highest rating, [[InvertedTrope seven out of ten!]]
* FullyAutomaticClipShow: The final episode, aptly titled "I Can't Believe It's A Clip Show!"
* GameShowAppearance: She and Jay appear as contestants on ''TheNewlywedGame''. [[spoiler: They win.]]
* {{GASP}}: Jay does this in the pilot episode. After giving actress Valerie Fox (who was also his girlfriend at the time) a negative performance review on ''Coming Attractions'', he returns home hoping that she will still be there. It turns out she is -- only for her to slap him multiple times, telling him "You're short, you're fat, and even for a ''film critic'' you're ugly," and leaving him. Jay lets out a long shocked gasp after this.
* GeneHunting: Jay and Doris discover that Doris may be Jay's biological mother, [[spoiler: only to find out that she is not so from a DNA test.]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** In the episode "A Little Deb Will Do Ya," when Margo is getting fitted for her dress for the debutante ball, the dressmaker asks her what shade of white she wants:
--->'''Dressmaker''': Here's the skinny. We dressmakers have a very strict code, so I need to know, do you deserve to wear virginal white? Because if you don't, you'll have to wear an off-white, what we call a hussy white. So which will it be? White-White?
--->'''Margo''': Yes ... um, except for the gloves.
** The infamous Orson Welles frozen peas commercial, where he says "Full of country goodness and green pea-ness!". Try saying that last part out loud if you don't get it.
*** [[CountryMatters There's also a particular accent on "country goodness". Particularly, the first syllable.]]
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Alice and her SouthernBelle sister Miranda.
* GoofyPrintUnderwear: Jay has pairs of underwear that include titles of (mostly) bad movies printed on the backside (they're studio promotional items he's been sent over the years). The best of these is "Backdraft", but there's also "Rear Window" and "[[HoYay For The Boys]]".
** Jay has a pair that says "''{{Shaft}}'' [[DoubleEntendre Coming Soon]]"
** His socks also fall under this trope, as he shows Marty's class socks that read ''{{Tootsie}}'' and ''Film/MyLeftFoot''.
* HairTodayGoneTomorrow: Technically a subversion: Miranda reminds Jay of when he first started losing his hair. Flashback to Jay wearing a white judge's wig, and speaking with a horrendous English accent.
** Also, when Duke comes in and grabs the wig off his head, there's a ComicStrip/LittleOrphanAnnie wig underneath, with Jay exclaiming "Leaping Lizards!"
* HeliumSpeech: He speaks in a helium voice in "From Chunk to Hunk" due to a helium leak in the school.
--> '''Mangosuthu''': ''(Over intercom)'' Attention, students: Auditions for ''PeterPan'' are being ''(Voice gets higher)'' held in the auditorium! ''(Voice back to normal)'' Stupid helium.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Jay and Jeremy.
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: In one of the opening gags during the main credits, Jay's boss Duke calls him, inviting Jay to his ranch upon the news that Duke has received a license to hunt man for sport. Jay is advised to bring his "jogging shoes."
* HypocriticalHumor: "Talk about overusing a catch phrase! Hachi-machi, it stinks!"
* IHaveBoobsYouMustObey
-->'''Penny:''' Mama, Aunt 'randa's gonna teach me to giggle stupidly, to make men do my bidding!
* IWantSong: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0IX0srz0w8 "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now"]] sung by Jay in the episode "Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice."
** And a parody of "Don't Rain On My Parade" from ''FunnyGirl''.
* IdenticalStranger: Jay had one in "Miserable."
* ImpactSilhouette: In "Eye on the Prize," Jay returns from winning the Pulitzer to find Duke in his apartment.
-->'''Jay:''' How did you get in?\\
'''Duke:''' I have my ways.\\
''(Jay looks to the side, [[ThereWasADoor sees a Duke-shaped hole next to the door]])''
* IncrediblyLamePun: From the episode "From Chunk to Hunk":
-->'''Penny''': ''(Giving Marty a sheet of paper)'' Goodbye Marty. I wrote you a letter.
-->''(Marty sees only the letter P written on the page)''
-->'''Penny''': You can read it on the bus.
** From "A Song For Margo":
--->'''Hard Copy reporter:''' Tonight on ''Hard Copy'', O.J. refuses to speak. ''([[VisualPun Shows a pitcher of orange juice on the witness stand.]])'' Part 2 tomorrow.
* InkSuitActor:
** Parodied twice in-show with HowardStern as ''The Cockroach King'' and a remake of ''Pinocchio'' featuring Jeremy as Bogart the Roach, Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger as Geppetto, RobinWilliams as the Beige Fairy, and BobDylan as the title character.
** [[invoked]] According to [[WordOfGod Al Jean]], Jon Lovitz didn't start out looking like Jay, but he eventually began to resemble him.
* InstrumentalThemeTune: Played for the opening and closing credits. The theme is by Hans Zimmer.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn:
-->'''William Daniels''': Jay, [[TheGraduate I just want to say one word]]: Trucking.
-->'''Franklin''': And I have one word for you too, Son: Snapple.
-->'''Jay''': Oh, Dad, you and your nonsense words.
* JawDrop
* [[BillBillJunkBill Junk Mail... Junk Mail... Junk Mail... Rat from Jay...]]: In "Sherman of Arabia."
* LameRhymeDodge:
-->'''Jay:''' All right, it's just you and me. Now what did you think of my script?
-->'''Gary Grossman:''' It was excrement.
-->'''Jay:''' Did you say "it was excellent?"
-->'''Gary Grossman:''' It was crummy.
-->'''Jay:''' Did you say "it was yummy?"
-->'''Gary Grossman:''' It was an awful piece of junk that made me want to puke all night.
-->'''Jay:''' Did you say "it was an awesome piece of spunk that you want to shoot tonight?"
-->'''Gary Grossman:''' It was a bilious piece of dirt that made me cry out in pain.
-->'''Jay:''' Did you say "it was a brilliant piece of work, and you'll fly me to Spain? Where we'll meet King Juan Carlos and drink sangria all night?"
-->'''Gary Grossman:''' You piece of blech.
* LargeHam: Jay on occasion, but also Jon Lovitz in-universe.
* LighterAndSofter: The second season was made over into this overall.
* LikeFatherLikeSon: Hinted at in the episode where Jay goes on a date with Doris and it's implied she may be his birth mother. Doris recounts to Jay about how she used to date a short, balding fat guy who would always take her to movies and then complain about them.
* LongList: Deciding to wipe her slate clean, Olivia tells Jay a list of all the men she had been with. The list is so long that Jay ends up growing stubble on his face and shaving. Conversely, his takes all of one second.
* LoserProtagonist
* LoveAtFirstPunch: Or in this case, pepper spray. Alice pepper sprays Jay in his face when they first meet on the street, but he was not harmed by the act. In fact, he rather liked it ("Mmm, jalapeŮo!"). However, in this case, no StrangledByTheRedString is involved as their relationship has chemistry and flourishes more naturally. Jay is tempted by Jeremy Hawke's sister at one point, but only because he and Alice's relationship had not been resolved yet. As for Ardeth, well, Jay once paid her $200 just to tell her, "Get bent!"
** Technically, he paid her $100 for that. She informs him (after he had already greeted her) that her lawyer says Jay owes her $100 every time he speaks to her.
* {{Madonna}}: After her infamous guest appearance on ''The Late Show With DavidLetterman'' in 1994, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YspPQ6zQpQ her other TV show appearance]] a year later was just as awkward.
* MakeAWish: In the episode "Uneasy Rider", Marty points to a shooting star and asks Jay to make a wish. The scene then cuts to said star hitting and destroying a billboard advertising ''AceVentura'' with Jay exclaiming "Thank you, God" while driving past the scene.
* MarlonBrando: Gets lampooned in the show frequently.
--> '''Jay:''' Just look at who got paid $10 million to play [[BarneyAndFriends Barney]].
* TheMerch: In "Miserable", Jay's #1 fan has a lot of these.
* TheMissusAndTheEx: When Jay's girlfriend Alice and his ex-wife Ardeth meet for the first time, Ardeth tells Alice a spooky warning to "beware" and attempts to place a voodoo hex on her. Jay then has to remind Ardeth that the divorce judge has forbidden her to commit such conduct, but that doesn't stop her from trying to ruin things between them, in her continuous attempt to make him miserable for making her miserable.
* MyEyesAreUpHere: Played literally straight (and a subversion of sorts) in the first episode.
-->'''Jay:''' ''(openly staring at Valerie's breasts)'' Uh huh. Uh huh. Oh, yeeeeaaah.
-->'''Valerie:''' ''(amused)'' What are you doing?
-->'''Jay:''' ''(sadly sighing)'' Oh, I'm sneaking a peek at your maguppies. It's my stumbling attempt at intimacy.
-->'''Valerie:''' If that's what you want, look in my eyes.
-->''(Valerie looks lovingly at him.)''
-->'''Jay:''' ''(shocked)'' '''OH YE GODS!!!'''
* MyLifeFlashedBeforeMyEyes: When Jay is about to be shot, his life flashes before his eyes. We then flash back to a teenage Jay on the couch, in a suit, eating chips. Jay fondly remarks, "Ah, prom night."
* MySisterIsOffLimits: Inverted with Jeremy Hawke's sister Olivia. When Jeremy finds out his friend is dating her, is worried that she will hurt him because of her history of breaking up with her previous boyfriends.
* NakedPeopleTrappedOutside: In "Lady Hawke", as Jeremy and Olivia have a discussion of her relationship with Jay, Jay is locked outside his window wearing nothing but a towel. [[TemptingFate As soon as he mentions his limited apparel]], a strong wind blows the towel off, followed promptly by a rainstorm. After a couple minutes, he's seen whimpering like a puppy wanting to come back in.
* NewJobEpisode:
** In "Eyes on the Prize," Jay is fired from ''Coming Attractions'' due to low ratings and gets a job teaching English on the 6:00 AM TV program ''English For Cab Drivers''.
** In "Uneasy Rider", Jay quits ''Coming Attractions'' and becomes a truck driver.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Played for laughs in "Dr. Jay." Jay manages to find a cure for Duke Phillips' terminal illness, saving his life. The end of the episode then plays a montage of other people who were saved by Jay's cure; they include a Klansmen, a Nazi, a baby seal clubber, a drunken tanker captain who causes an oil spill, a military dictator who declares "Your streets will run red with blood thanks to Jay's oil," and three prisoners.
* TheNineties: The show aired from 1994 to 1995. These were also the years the show took place.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The TropeNamer.
-->'''Jay''' ''(during the show's closing credits)'': Celebrity voices are impersonated. No celebrities were harmed in the filming of this episode.
* NoIndoorVoice: "Stop making yourself the CENTERRRR OF ATTENTIOOOON!!!"
* NonSequiturThud: In one episode, Jay gets hit in the head with a shot put.
-->"Skull cracked. Brains leaking out. Can't wait to see new Chevy Chase movie."
** While at fat camp, a simple walk tires Jay out to the point of being delirious.
--->"Must see TomCruise win Oscar in - my - lifetime!"
*** So far, ''{{Magnolia}}'' (which was released four years after the show last aired) is the closest Cruise has ever reached.
* NoodleIncident: After ticking off a group of children by making [[BarneyTheDinosaur Humphrey The Hippo]] sad, we learn that Jay once sucker-punched ''MisterRogers''! What led to this is never explained.
* NoseTapping: When Vlada is speaking in a foreign language to his elderly waiter employee,[[note]]usually speaking in Russian to hide his real intentions from his English-speaking customers, especially Jay[[/note]] the waiter will tap his nose back at him in reply.
* OfCorsetHurts: {{Lampshaded}} by a maid pulling on corset strings, yelling, "Suck it in! Suck it in!", and it's revealed to be Jay Sherman. The corset, however, is put on more like a straitjacket than a corset, with Jay's ''arms'' bound as well. He mutters, "I don't think this is right." The maid scoffs at this, puts a top hat on him, and boots him out of the room.
* OfficialCouple: Jay and Alice, Franklin and Elenor, [[spoiler: Duke and Miranda.]]
* OhWaitThisIsMyGroceryList
* OneLinerEcho: "If the movie stinks, just don't go!"
* OrsonWelles: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i7ycxiog40&feature=related Another frequent target of the show.]] It helps that Maurice [=LaMarche=] has a role in the show.
-->'''Orson Welles:''' Oh, what luck! There's a french fry stuck in my beard! ''(chomp, chomp)'' Oh, ''yeah''.
* OverlyLongGag: Franklin thinks an owl is [[HomeImprovement Wilson]]: "Whooo." "My wife, Eleanor." "Whooo." "My wife, Eleanor." "Whooo." "My wife, Eleanor."
** And the Director's Cut of JFK, with 2 hours of new footage:
*** "Back... and to the left...Back... and to the left...Back... and to the left...Back... and to the left...Back... and to the left........Back... and to the left..."
**** Interestingly, the inflection is actually ''different'' on each "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wi-lW2poE4 Back... and to the left]]" statement, which makes it even funnier.
** "Plot? That's a funny word. Plot! Plot! Plot! [=PlotplotplotPLOTPLOTPLOT! PLOTPLOTPLOTPLOTPLOTPLOTPLOT!=]" ''(Jay gazes at a People Magazine cover proclaiming Gary the "smartest executive in Hollywood")''
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: "New York's third most popular early-morning cable-TV film critic."
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: Duke Phillips pays Noah Webster to put the words "Quzybuk" (meaning "a big problem"), "Dukelicious", and "Duketastrophe" in the dictionary. Ignore the fact that Noah Webster has been dead for 150 years.
** Notably, he did it just so [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney he'd get a really high score in]] [[ScrabbleBabble Scrabble]].
*** Also notable in that a seemingly random character uses the recently-invented "Quzybuk" when talking to Jay later in that same episode.
** Describing ''Lorenzo's Oil''.
-->'''Duke:''' Isn't that the film you described as a combination of fantasy and crap?
-->'''Jay:''' Yes! I called it "[[{{Portmanteau}} fantacrap]]"!
* PetTheDog: Despite the fact that Ardeth was sleeping with the divorce court judge, he still forbade her from bothering any of Jay's girlfriends with spooky warnings or hexes. Not that it stops her.
** Also, even if Ardeth is genuinely disgusted by her time married to Jay, she admits that the two of them have done a good job raising their son.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Savvy Indian Chewing Tobacco was going to be called ''Savage'' Indian, but was changed due to concerns over political correctness.
* PrimeTime
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* RepeatingAd: Jay's talking billboard in "Miserable".
--> "[[Advertising/HeadOn Buy my book!]] [[MostAnnoyingSound Buy my book!]] [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Buy my book!]]"
* ReTool: InUniverse, Duke's pet project ''HeeHaw: The Next Generation'' was apparently just a modern version of the original ("We've got Junior Samples, Jr.!"); when we see it later on, it's morphed into ''HeeHaw'' [[XMeetsY meets]] ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' -- [[LiteralMetaphor literally]]. Worf plays a mean hambone.
* RhymesOnADime: In "A Song for Margo." Heís even slightly redesigned to look like he stepped out of a Creator/DrSeuss book.
-->'''Shackleford:''' Before I was your butler, I would buttle for the [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]], and the Turtles and the Music/{{Eagles}}, and the Kings of Heavy Metal.
-->'''Johnny Wrath:''' You're a Heavy Metal Eagle Turtle Beatle butler?
-->'''Shackleford:''' And I once dusted the lamp of John Cougar Mellencamp.
-->'''Johnny Wrath:''' Would you like to work for me?
-->'''Shackleford:''' This was clearly meant to be.
-->'''Elenor:''' I never knew you had this itch.
-->'''Shackleford:''' Live and learn, you wicked witch!
-->'''Elenor:''' I wish I hadnít used the word "itch."
* RidiculousExchangeRates: In "Dr. Jay", Duke comments the French franc is "fancy-colored toilet paper."
* RiskyBusinessDance: Seen in the movie parody ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uUKnUjCfbQ A Few Good Monsters]]''.
* RomanticFalseLead: Alice's adulterous ex-husband Cyrus who travels to New York to win her back. He sings to her in order to do so, which is Alice's weakness. ("Alice, you make any home a palace. Even Brooklyn would be Dallas, if I could be with you.") It almost works until Jay arrives playing an accordion and singing an obnoxious yet funny song of his own, snapping her out of it. It was a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Jay. And ditto for the song Jay sings:
-->Cyrus is just a virus.
-->He wants to tie you down while youíre still young.
-->Your potential is whatís essential.
-->You could someday be another Connie Chung!
::Jay finally breaks the spell with this exchange:
-->'''Cyrus:''' ''(Singing)'' Lover, without you there's no other...
-->'''Jay:''' ''(Interrupting, singing)'' Give him a chance, he'll do your mother!
::After making Cyrus leave, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Alice finishes it]]:
-->'''Alice:''' ''(Singing)'' Jay, I'm glad that you're not gay. I may show you why someday. ''(Kisses Jay on the cheek)''
-->'''Jay:''' ''(Smiling at her)'' Yay!
* RousingSpeech: In "Eyes on the Prize", Jay aims to win another Pulitzer Prize so he could get back his respectability. He writes an essay entitled "The Sorry State of Films Today" and presents it on the TV program ''English For Cab Drivers'', which ends up being a parody of the climax to ''MrSmithGoesToWashington''.
--> "I am a movie critic by trade, and until recently, I got paid to tell you people which movies merely stink and which ones you shouldn't screen near an open flame. Well, I'm putting the burden of lousy movies back on you. It's very simple: if you stop going to bad movies, they'll stop making bad movies. If the movie used to be a TV show, just don't go. After Roman numeral II, give it a rest. If it's a remake of a classic, rent the classic. Tell them you want stories about people, not a hundred million dollars of stunts and explosives. People, it's up to you. [[OneLinerEcho If the movie stinks, just don't go.]]"
** Understandably, some are less than pleased.
--->'''Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger:''' If da moovee steenks, just don't go... ''WHAT AM I SAYING?!''
** Some take it even further.
--->'''Hollywood Executive:''' Uh oh, the jig is up! [[DrivenToSuicide *dives out office window*]]
** Someone wasn't listening.
--->'''Franklin:''' If the movie stinks, do-si-do.
--->'''Shackleford:''' Allemande Left, sir. ''(they square dance)''
* RuleOfThree: From "Eyes on the Prize." To prove to Jay that he's being repetitive, Duke shows Jay a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPBTE0wlZF4 three-split screen video]] of himself.
-->'''Jay:''' ''(section 1, from 1988)'' ''Film/RainMan'' ''(section 2, from 1992)'' ''AFewGoodMen'' ''(section 3, from 1993)'' ''The Firm'' ''(all together)'' is the latest stinker from TomCruise. He doesn't act anymore, he's on ... Cruise Control! AAAAAAHAHAHA! AAAAAAHA! I JUST ... I JUST! MADE THAT! UP!
* RunningGag
** Duke always assuming Jay is gay.
*** Duke does admit that he knows Jay isn't gay, and just does it to tweak him. Unfortunately, when he and Jay have a GroupHug, Jay's content {{Squee}} disturbs him.
** Jay's stomach having a mind of its own.
** Dumb college students who watch ''Coming Attractions'', only to mock Jay.
** Jay sounding like an elderly British woman named "Ethel" and pretending to be his secretary, even having conversations with "her." This gag only appears in the first season.
** The Paparazzo who always appears to take a picture just at the most embarrassing time.
** Dudley Moore as [[Film/{{Arthur}} Arthur Bach]] making a terrible joke while intoxicated
** A minor one features a character shouting "[Plural noun] can't/don't [verb]!" in a panic. Such as Jay's "Eggs don't ripen! EGGS DON'T RIPEN!" and Franklin's "Penguins can't fly! PENGUINS CAN'T FLY!"
* {{Satan}}: Appears a few times.
** He takes credit for Marisa Tomei winning the Oscar, for one.
--->'''Satan''': ''(phoning Jay in the opening credits)'' Hello Jay, this is the Devil. Despite what you think, I am not [[Film/{{Moonstruck}} the reason Cher won an Oscar]]. I am [[Film/MyCousinVinny the reason Marisa Tomei won an Oscar]]. ''(Growls evilly and hangs up.)''
** He also is shown to be responsible for influencing the creation of really ''awful'' Hollywood screenplays, but admits that it's beyond even ''his'' power to give the cast of ''Series/{{Wings}}'' another season.
** Also appears in an interview with Gene Siskel, disguised as a reviewer.
--->'''Reviewer''': Tim Allen gives that same likeable performance we always love, once again proving Disney Pictures have the magic touch that may not win awards, but keep America smiling. How was that?
--->'''Gene Siskel''': You're Satan, aren't you?
--->''(Reviewer transforms into his real form: Satan)''
--->'''Satan''': You win another round, Siskel, but we shall meet again! ''(growls angrily and disappears)''
*** This can be seen as a hilarious TakeThat at the ItsNotSupposedToWinOscars trope.
* SamusIsAGirl: In "A Little Deb Will Do You," it turns out that [[spoiler:Humphrey the Hippo is played by the woman who's attracted to Jay.]]
* SatelliteCharacter: Duke's aide.
* TheSchlubPubSeductionDeduction: Valerie Fox is a suspect of this.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Duke feels his wealth allows him to do anything he wants.
* SealedWithAKiss: Jay and Alice at the end of the episode "Lady Hawke."
* SeinfeldianConversation: At the end of the pilot episode, this literally happens during a scene from ''{{Seinfeld}}'' that Jay and Marty watch.
--> '''George''': I thought you were taking Cathy out tonight.
--> '''Jerry''': Why do they call it "taking out?" I took her to a restaurant. It wasn't out, it was in. I would say I'm taking her in, but then she sounds like a pair of pants.
** Marty claims that is what "real people" sound like. (Do they?)
* SelfDeprecation: Much of their TakeThat was aimed at FOX. "Where coming in third is a ''triumph''!"
* {{Sequelphobic}}: Parodied as all of the really terrible movies are often sequels.
* SerenadeYourLover: See Romantic False Lead above.
* ShamelessSelfPromoter: "VOTE FOR DUKE!" messages appearing during "Coming Attractions" in the episode "All The Duke's Men" where Duke ran for president.
** In "A Song For Margo," Jay remarks that all the networks are pretty crummy, except for FOX, "the last bastion of quality programming." Then he salutes the logo in the bottom right of the screen. (See also BitingTheHandHumor above.)
** "Buy my book! Buy My Book! BUY MY BOOK!"
* ShoutOut:
** In the pilot, they reference ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' with "Beauty and King Dork" - complete with CGI ballroom.
** Turns out Vlada and his son are from [[RockyAndBullwinkle Pottsylvania]].
** From "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost," Franklin acting like Curly after first drinking alcohol which made him into his present stupid state, with Albert Einstein and Ted Kennedy acting like Larry and Moe respectively.
** Prince Charles sounds like one of the [[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus Gumbies]], while Queen Elizabeth sounds like the troupe's usual CrossDressingVoices, particularly the "women" in the Spam sketch.
** One of the more StealthPun Shout Outs of the show is Alice's sister Miranda using venetian blinds for her dress, a reference to the famous ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'' spoof from ''Series/TheCarolBurnettShow''.
** ''Film/TheCryingGame'': In the season 1 episode "A Little Deb Will Do Ya", Jay meets the girl of his dreams, but she has a secret - down there. [[spoiler: Turns out she's wearing the bottom half of the Humphrey the Hippo costume, his chief rival.]]
** A reviewer's face melting off and reducing him to a skeleton (after Roger Ebert shows him a clip of a bad movie) is a reference to ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''.
** The episode "Miserable" is an obvious parody of ''{{Misery}}''. The female projectionist even resembles Kathy Bates.
** Penultimate episode "Dukerella" is a cross between ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' and ''AStreetcarNamedDesire''.
** ''Film/{{Arthur}}''. A drunken Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) appears in several episodes.
** The penguin pilot's "Waakwakwakwak" speech imitates Burgess Meredith's laugh as, yup, The Penguin from the '60s ''Series/{{Batman}}'' show.
** The ending of "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost" has a closing shot of ''GilligansIsland'', complete with theme song.
** Franklin dressed up as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce_PIZ_8bXg El Kabong]] is a reference to {{Quick-DrawMcGraw}}.
** Elenor saying "No more wire hangers!" is a direct reference to the film ''Mommie Dearest''.
** Alice's TakeThat to Tim Allen is funnier when you consider ''The Critic'' had preceded his show before ABC dumped it.
--->'''Alice:''' Listen, honey, I've known men like Duke all my life. There was this one boy back in college Ė dealt drugs, went to jail Ė yet today he's the star of ''HomeImprovement''.
** "A Pig-Boy & His Dog" concludes with [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes "That's all, folks!"]]
** The "[[Film/CitizenKane Rosebud]] Frozen Peas" commercial is a direct spoof of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_Peas Frozen Peas]] [[http://www.ffwdweekly.com/Issues/2006/0511/vul.htm blooper tape]].
** In the episode "Marty's First Date", the intermission music from ''[[VideoGame/{{Pac-Man}} Ms. Pac-Man]]'' plays after Jay gets a whiff of some fried bananas. The song is omitted in the DVD release.
** In "Dukerella", Jay and Alice dress up as [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Homer and Marge Simpson]], respectively. The same episode has Elenor as [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Queen Grimhilde]] and Franklin dressing up as Film/TheMask.
---> '''Franklin:''' "Daaa-rinkin'!"
** Jeremy mentions his first role was in an Australian movie called ''[[Film/PicnicAtHangingRock Kegger Party At Hanging Rock]]''.
** When Jay goes crazy from trying to think of new material, all he's typed is "[[Flim/TheShining All work and no play makes Jay a very dull boy]]." over and over again.
* [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare Shout Out To Shakespeare]]: Creator/KeanuReeves in ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'':
--> '''Shylock''': Hath not a dude eyes? If you prick us, do we not get bummed? If we eat bad guacamole, do we not blow chunks?
* ShowWithinAShow: ''Coming Attractions'', which featured the use of AdBumpers.
* ShutUpKiss: What "Jay's #1 fan" did to Jay while he introduced himself to her.
* SitComic: [[CaptainObvious The show starred Jon Lovitz.]]
* SkywardScream:
** WilliamShatner.
--->'''William Shatner''': Hello, I'm William Shatner and this is ''Celebrity 911''. Tonight, we devote the entire hour to police calls involving Creator/JamesCaan...''(makes face)'' '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOZ8ykaxndQ CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!]]'''
** Jay as a boy lies that he's less than 80 lbs when about to ride a pony.
--->'''Stable man:''' PATCHES! '''[[BigNo NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!]]'''
* SleepingSingle: In Franklin and Elenor's bedroom, it is shown that they sleep in seperate beds.
* SlowLoadingInternetImage: In the first webisode, Jay brags about "coming at you at the speed of light!" Pull back to show his legs still downloading.
* SmokingHotSex: In one episode, [[BarneyAndFriends Humphrey the Hippo]] is used by a cigarette corporation to advertise smoking cigarettes to young children. When Jay complains, the corporation's CEO asks Jay what kids will do after they have sex if they can't smoke.
* SoundEffectBleep: Utilized when Jay interviewed Cher, who incessantly swore at him.
* SpinningPaper: Done a few times in the show.
** When Jay went missing during the New York marathon and was presumed dead.
** When Jay is nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
* {{Spork}}: This cutlery is mentioned at least twice throughout the show.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg-GocVdcjE A scene from the pilot.]]
** From the episode "Lady Hawke":
---> '''Chicken Shack employee''': You want a piece of me, fat boy? I'll spork your ass!
*** That might only provoke Jay.
* StalkerShrine: The projectionist in "Miserable" has one for Jay.
-->'''Jay:''' You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with me. [[GenreBlindness I like that in a girl!]]
* Franchise/StarTrek: Two of Marty's classmates are Klingons.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Marty regains all the weight he lost in "From Chunk to Hunk," contriving his despair because he has become ''too'' popular. He promptly eats all of the ice cream in an ice cream parlor to restore his weight.
* StealthCigaretteCommercial: In the 1950s, Doris was in a commercial for Pleghm Fatale cigarettes.
-->'''Doris:''' ''(singing)'' Smoke in the bathroom, smoke after school, don't listen to your parents, 'cause smoking's really cool.
* StealthPun: The E.T. parody, D.T. stands for drunken terrestrial. D.T. also stands for delirium tremens, alcohol withdrawals severe alcoholics go through.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: In one episode, a research scientist uses the previously mentioned "Quzybuk" word Duke invented.
* SuckinessIsPainful: Several times with films, but most notable is when Roger Ebert tries to find a replacement for Gene Siskel, and tests one candidate by showing him some of the films he'd have to review. A remake of ''Film/MrsDoubtfire'' starring Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger is sufficient to reduce the candidate to a skeleton (a la [[spoiler: Toht's death in]] ''[[IndianaJones Raiders of the Lost Ark]]''), and SylvesterStallone in a ''WaitingForGodot'' rehash (''Yo! Godot, I'm Waitin' Heeya!'') makes the skull fall off.
* SuperStrength: Duke Phillips. [[MakesSenseInContext Makes sense]] because he [[spoiler: uses Jay Sherman as a weight for lifting]].
* TakeThat: Done frequently on ''Coming Attractions''.
--> '''Jay''': Well, that's our show. All the movies stink, particularly the three by Creator/JohnHughes.
** There's a literal example in one episode. Elenor has finally managed to buy Pablo Picasso's ''Guernica'', and the moment its taken out of the truck, Franklin drives through it in a monster truck (with Penny in the passenger seat) and exclaims, "Take THAT, ''Guernica''!"
** Every U.S. President from Nixon to Clinton was the target of a "Take That" at least once during the show's run.
*** One of the biggest was in "Vote For Duke", where Duke states that he'll run the country like he runs his company - namely, raiding the pension fund, dump chemicals in the ocean, and sell off their best assets to the Japanese. This is followed by RonaldReagan watching the TV and saying "Ooh, looks like Reaganomics is making a comeback!"
** The show takes plenty of shots at ''HomeImprovement'', which it preceded during its time on ABC. "A Pig-Boy and His Dog" has Franklin talking with his neighbor Wilson, eg. a scarecrow with a frog and later an owl, segments which end with ''Home Improvement''-style animations. Jay even [[BreakingTheFourthWall mentions the show by name]] at the end.
** In "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost", a news reporter gives birthday wishes to Goldie Hawn, "who turns 100 today."
* TheTaxi: Jay is seen traveling by taxi a few times.
* TemptingFate: After Jay is [[WholeEpisodeFlashback rescued from Iraq]], President UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush poses for a publicity shot with him.
-->'''Aide''': Sir, are you sure it's wise to be photographed with a film critic? It's ''the'' most despised profession there is ... Except for pre-op groin shaver.
-->'''Bush''': Hey, my approval rating's 90%. [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong How much harm can a little film critic do?]]
-->''(After the photo is taken, it appears on the front page of The New York Chronicle with the headline '''"BUSH LOSES! -- [[BillClinton Fat, Lecherous Hillbilly Elected]]."''')''
* ThatCameOutWrong: While Jay didn't realize it, his statement of "Hey, you don't understand! We Americans aren't like you Australians. It's not ''just'' about sex! ''We'' want to make love our mothers!" had Jeremy understandably put off.
* ThatsAllFolks
-->'''Movie Usher''': ''(to Jay after the show's closing credits)'' Excuse me sir, the show's over.
-->'''Jay''': ''(says one of the following four responses)''
--> * Is the snack bar still open?
--> * But I have nowhere to go.
--> * I'm stuck in the chair!
--> * Get away, zit-face! (Only in closing credits where the usher sounds like the pimple-faced teen from ''TheSimpsons''.)
*** In "Lady Hawke" and "Dukerella"
---->'''Usher''': Excuse me, the show's over.
---->'''Alice''': Get away, pipsqueak!
---->'''Jay''': [[BreakingTheFourthWall That's why I love her!]]
** And makes ''another one'' when he leaves his apartment.
* ThatPoorCat: "Sorry, Mittens."
* ThereIsAGod: When Jay Sherman became a trucker and took his son on a trip, Marty pointed out a shooting star, insisting his father make a wish. Jay thinks a moment, and said shooting star annihilates a billboard advertising ''AceVentura''. Quote the critic, "Thank you, God!"
** Also another episode where a man was told to remove the title for a play because it was cancelled, the man says these exact words.
* ThereWasADoor: Duke is somehow able to make an ImpactSilhouette by just walking through Jay's wall.
* TitlePlease
* TitleTheAdaptation: Parodied with ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W42IY_SgCY4 Hee Haw: The Next Generation.]]''
* [[UglyGuyHotWife Ugly Guy Hot Girlfriend]]: Jay and Alice were an established couple during the second season. Jay being a short funny fat guy, with the beautiful southern belle Alice.
** Can be partially explained by her self esteem issues surrounding her sister, and her abusive unfaithful ex-husband. Jay being a sweetheart helps too. Explaining the girl from the Webisodes, however, is just way off.
** Despite being deemed as [[InformedDeformity incredibly ugly and obese]] in the show, Jay's attracted several other women who clearly are out of his league, including his [[{{Yandere}} #1 fan]] and Olivia.
* UncannyValley: [[invoked]] Invoked when a robotic Rosie Perez approached Creator/RogerEbert and Jay about ''It Could Happen To You''. When the Perez-bot shorts out from a LogicBomb (Jay: "Ben Turpin is ''dead''!"[[note]]Making it funnier, Turpin died in 1940, long before Rosie Perez was born[[/note]]), she crashes through the wall and sucks on a live wire. Then enters Creator/WilliamShatner.
-->'''William Shatner:''' ''(like a robot)'' [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Great-party-wouldn't-you-say? Read-my-book-read-my-book-read-my-book... ]]

-->'''Jay:''' Hey! There's the William Shatner robot!
-->'''Roger Ebert:''' No, that's really him.
-->'''William Shatner:''' ''(rushing over to Perez)'' [[/folder]]

[[folder: Don't bogart that juice, Rosie! ]]
''(starts sucking down electricity from the live wire like alcohol.)''
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Besides the fact that the Twin Towers are in the intro sequence, some of the (then) fake movies reviewed actually got made later ("Jurassic Park 2"). And ''{{Cats}}'' has been closed since 2000.
** Then there's the "topical" political references. Jokes about Malcolm Forbes and Admiral James Stockdale do ''not'' age well.
* UnwantedHarem: To his chagrin, Marty becomes a ChickMagnet at his school after he loses weight in "From Chunk to Hunk."
* UnwantedSpouse: Jay is a victim of this. His ex-wife Ardeth admitted to his face of regretting marrying him, ''during'' the wedding ceremony.
** In the episode "Marty's First Date," a flashback reveals how they met. [[TheEnglishPatient She was a nurse and Jay was wrapped in bandages.]] She was so lovestruck by him that she was going to give up her job and marry him upon recovery. But when his bandages come off, [[SkywardScream she screamed]] [[BigNo like bloody murder!]]
** Also Alice's husband Cyrus. A country singer who titled his first album ''"I'm being unfaithful to my wife, Alice Tompkins. You heard me, Alice Tompkins."''
* VideoWills: Franklin and Elenor prepared [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za3EuqU385k their own video will]], which was presented to Jay and Margo after their possible death from a plane crash. Orson Welles also took part in it (and made sure to also include his "declaration of love" to Mrs. Pell's Fishsticks at the end).
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9d0xoCRL90 Even his ghost loves them.]] "Yes, oh, YES! They're even better when you're ''dead''!"
* ViewersAreMorons: This attitude gets a lot of spoofing in-show.
* VirginInAWhiteDress: Jay's sister, Margo, was forced to attend a debutante ball, and the dressmaker asked if she wanted to wear white, or an off-white he called "Hussy White". Margo said she wanted plain white... except for the gloves.
* VitriolicBestBuds: She becomes this with Jay in "Every Doris Has Her Day."
* {{Webisode}}: Ten of these were made throughout 2000-2001, but YMMV on them.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The webisodes, of course, had to drop the other main characters due to lack of time and the original voice actors. One curious ommission, however, was Jeremy - whose voice actor was working on the webisodes.
* WhatIf: [[http://www.comicbookmovie.com/news/?a=48896 ComicBookMovie.com made their own cast list for a live-action movie, if one was in the works.]]
* WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant: Jay's adoptive parents embody this trope, except for the incest. They do, however, try to arrange a date between Margo (their biological teen daughter) and a teenage boy who really [[ParodiedTrope bleeds]] BlueBlood for the debutante ball.
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: The Season 2 episode "Sherman of Arabia."
* WhyWeCantHaveNiceThings: Franklin delights in destroying priceless art with a monster truck.
-->'''Franklin:''' TakeThat ''Guernica''!
-->'''Franklin:''' TakeThat ''Birth of Man''!
* Creator/WoodyAllen: Gets lampooned in the show a few times (often in reference to dating his adopted stepdaughter Soon-Yi [or an Asian girl who looks like her]).
-->'''Woody:''' Soon-Yi, I-Iím sorry. I just canít get past this problem with your age. You know, 22 is just too old for me.
** To Olivia Newton-Hawke and Jay: "[[LoliCon "Jay?!" She's fantastic! Does she have a daughter?"]]
** At one point, Creator/WoodyAllen does a little dance and falls down a manhole.
--->'''Jay:''' I'm glad he's getting back to physical schtick!
* {{Yandere}}: Jay's #1 fan from "Miserable."
* YiddishAsASecondLanguage: Alice once said to Jay "Honey, we have a saying back in Tennessee: 'Be a mensch, not a schmendrick.'"
* YouTubePoop: Mainly ones using the "Rosebud Frozen Peas" ad and Jay answering the phone in his room from the opening credits.
** Some [=YouTube=] Poops feature Jay's "Buy my book!" billboard.
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