Ned And Stacey

Ned: Why Stacey?
Stacey: Why Ned?
Ned: It was business.
Stacey: Strictly business.
Ned: Here's the deal – to get a promotion, I needed a wife.
Stacey: To get a life, I needed his apartment.
Ned: So what the hell, we up and got married.
Stacey: The only thing we have in common? We irritate each other.
Ned: Right! Enjoy the show.

Ned & Stacey was an American sitcom airing on Fox Broadcasting Company network from 1995 to 1997.

It starred Thomas Haden Church as obsessive-compulsive advertising executive Ned Dorsey and Debra Messing as beautiful, red-haired journalist Stacey Colbert Dorsey.

The plot is basically that both Ned and Stacey were brought together in a marriage of convenience: Ned needed to be married in order to get a promotion and Stacey wanted to move out of her parents’ house and Ned had the perfect apartment.

At first, Ned and Stacey bickered a lot, which slowly progressed into something reassembling a romance.

Eventually, Ned and Stacey fall for each other but the show was cancelled before further relationship can be developed.

Tropes that apply:

  • Bad Bad Acting: Alexa Miroslav. She has one line in a car commercial - "Hey stranger, what took you so long?" - and manages to deliver it with every obviously inappropriate emotion you can imagine. Only when she's looking directly at her crush Eric does she get it right.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: As pointed out in the Opening Narration.
  • Beta Couple: Ned's coworker Eric and Stacey's sister Amanda, already married with a son when the show starts.
  • Blind Date: Ned and Stacey's first meeting.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In the pilot, Stacey comes to Ned's apartment to confront him about him stealing an impassioned speech from her and using it out of context in an underwear commercial.
    Stacey: Remember me?
    Ned: I'm not sure.
    Stacey: Then let me remind you. I'm the person you exploited without a trace of conscience.
    Ned: You're gonna have to be more specific.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke/Don't Explain the Joke: In Eric's speech about the firm's work on an ad campaign for an ice cream company, he makes a quip about how they "even worked on Sundays (sundaes)". No one gets it, and only one person laughs (at Amanda's insistence) when he explains it.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: In one episode Stacey gets a lead on one of Ned's clients, an ice cream company responsible for serious environmental damage. Stacey ends up writing and submitting the article over Ned's objection, but it's worth noting that she did consult him before making the decision to investigate them.
  • Cut Short
  • Double Entendre: One of Stacey's boyfriends believes that he's having an affair with her behind Ned's back (in reality, she and Ned are totally free to date as long as they're discreet about it). Stacey doesn't bother to correct him, and when he phones her at the apartment she pretends that he's her banker. Ned, aware of and amused by the whole thing, takes the phone and says, "Listen I know my wife's account is small potatoes to a big banker like you, and I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank you for servicing her personally."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ned.
  • Marriage Before Romance: The whole premise.
  • Mistaken for Gay: One of Ned's clients deduces that Med amd Stacey have a sham marriage and makes a natural if erroneous guess as to why. This is a problem for Ned because the client actually is gay and out, and isn't happy about his ad rep living a lie.
  • Pair the Spares: Stacey's parents stop by to make a phone call the same night that Ned is at home with his Girl of the Week. Ned attempts to sneak Veronica out of the apartment but is interrupted when Stacey arrives home with her date Neil at the same time. Thinking quickly, Ned introduces Neil and Veronica as their friends and forces them to pose as a married couple for the rest of the evening. They end up Becoming the Mask, though whether or not the relationship lasted after that episode is unknown.
  • Sexless Marriage: Discussed when Ned explains his offer to Stacey.
    Ned: I mean, it doesn't have to be a real marriage, just a marriage minus the love, sex and intimacy, which, now that I think about it, is more real than the "real" kind.
  • Your Cheating Heart: While Ned and Stacey's relationships aren't treated by either of them as adultery, being as this is a marriage of convenience, one of Stacey's dates, Nigel, gets the impression that she's having an affair with him behind Ned's back. He ends up breaking up with her after he learns the truth, leaving them with the impression that he was more interested in the excitement of an affair than Stacey herself.