Monk: Tropes F to J
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- Facepalming: A couple of instances:
- In "Mr. Monk Is On The Air," Natalie is seen facepalming when Monk tries talking to Max Hudson and his yes-colleagues live on the radio.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", Natalie does it when Monk tries bribing a bartender with $1.25.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies," Monk does it as he watches Natalie steal Stottlemeyer's new car, clearly looking like he's thinking, "Leland's going to kill me for this".
- Face-Heel Turn: Agent Derek Thorpe, the jackass FBI agent from Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy, undergoes one in the Expanded Universe novel Mr. Monk Is A Mess. As it turns out, getting shown up by Monk in that episode was the beginning of a career downslide for him, which led to him stealing money from the FBI evidence locker room—and killing an innocent man named Jeroen Berge, who caught him stashing it.
- Failed Audition Plot: Monk's continued attempts to get reinstated despite being continually rejected.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- In his USA Network blog entry for July 28, 2006 (coinciding with but not in any way related to "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," which aired on that date), Stottlemeyer describes an incident where he and Randy were conned by one of his high school acquaintances, where his curiosity caused him to fail to register his suspicions until nearly too late, causing them to lose some money.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," Monk excitedly tells Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher that he's broken the Jimmy Cusack murder wide open, and Randy quickly moves them somewhere else out of earshot from the reporters camped out in the rotunda. We see them stop in front of a sign reading "Whisper Spot," indicating that if you whisper something in this place, your voice echoes, as demonstrated earlier by a tour group. They continue talking for over a minute before Stottlemeyer suddenly notices the sign and realizes that the city Media Scrum have overheard everything they've said. And then reporters with mikes and cameras immediately swarm him.
- Faked Kidnapping: In "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized," Sally Larkin fakes her own kidnapping, making it look like she has been abducted by her husband. Then she murders him and makes it look like self-defense. See the article page for the full details of how she does it.
- Faking and Entering: Played straight in all variants in different episodes.
- Faking the Dead
- Happens in the Season Six finale, "Mr. Monk Is on the Run".
- Winston Brenner in "Mr. Monk and the Blackout" (Season 3) was a radical bomber in Boston who pretended to blow himself up in order to escape being prosecuted.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: Hilariously averted in "Mr. Monk and the Genius", when Monk and Natalie are on a stakeout. Upon seeing Patrick Kloster approaching their car, Natalie blurts out, "Oh my god, he's coming! What do we do? Uh, we should kiss! NO! I didn't say that! I wasn't thinking, I never said that!"
- Famous Ancestor: When Monk and Natalie visit the Trouble historian Doris Thurlo in Mr. Monk in Trouble, Monk learns he's a descendent of Artemis Monk, the old mining town's famous assayer and crime-solving genius who was the best assayer of the 1850s.
- Fanservice Extra: The nude sunbathers in "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man." Also a few unnamed male and female extras in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" who are either shirtless or in little more than bikinis (of that episode, it sometimes feels like Monk, Natalie, and Kendra Frank are the only people who do not have any exposed skin).
- Fat Bastard: Morbidly obese Corrupt Corporate Executive and Manipulative Bastard Dale "The Whale" Biederbeck. At least until Mr. Monk Gets Even when he undergoes bypass surgery to save the state money.
- Fictional Counterpart: Several of the novels, such as Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, Mr. Monk in Outer Space, Mr. Monk is a Mess, and such, have scenes set at a hotel called the "Belmont Hotel", which is said to be on the Powell Street side of Union Square. It is described in the formermost as having two towers, one dating to the 1920s and a newer one built in the 1970s. It appears that in the Monk novel universe created by Lee Goldberg, the Belmont Hotel is actually supposed to be this universe's equivalent to the Westin St. Francis in Union Square, renamed so as avoid issues with trademarks.
- 15 Minutes of Fame: In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Natalie gets a ridiculous amount of fame from a brief stint as a lottery girl, much to Monk's chagrin.
- Filler: Sharona, Stottlemeyer and Disher are absent from "Mr. Monk and the Game Show" because the episode was produced in the midst of contract disputes between the show producers and Bitty Schram, Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford. As a result, of the regular cast, only Tony Shalhoub appears, and the assistant role in this episode is handled by Kevin Dorfman.
- Fish out of Water: Monk often will be this in most situations. For instance, he looks completely out of place in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" when he's at a rock concert wearing his normal suit in a place where such an attire would probably make him stick out.
- Flanderization: Randy started out as a skeptical semi-ditz who could be a bit of a jerk, but at least was still recognizably an adult man. Over later seasons, one wonders how a man with the mindset of a teenage rebel with ADD could've become a lieutenant, let alone become a police chief in New Jersey.
- It's just New Jersey.
- Flopsy: In "Mr. Monk and Sharona", Monk discovers that Sharona's late uncle Howard Fleming was a con artist: he apparently has had a history of suspicious falls and accidents with monetary compensation settled out of court, and apparently he had been forced into such a lifestyle because he was deep in debt.
- Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine"
- Foreshadowing: Sometimes Foreshadowing involves the Chekhov's Gun of the episode.
- Stottlemeyer's divorce from Karen in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage" was foreshadowed from the very beginning of the show:
- In the pilot, Monk observes evidence of Stottlemeyer being kicked out of the house for a night or two: "You missed a spot shaving. Karen would have caught that. And your necktie – she always ties it for you. She uses that double slipknot. Conclusion – you dressed yourself. And, uh, the Ramada Inn cup. Send her some…roses maybe."
- In season 2's "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man," Leland is forced to room with Monk when Karen kicks him out of the house (Monk figures it out when he finds a receipt from a burger restaurant), because he didn't watch Karen's documentary about Miles Holling, oldest man in the world. Leland tells Monk that he's going to crash down the street at the Red Roof Inn, and the way he says it implies that this has been happening very frequently.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Fired," Leland initially is receptive to letting Karen film fly-on-the-wall footage of himself and his detectives at work, but he eventually comes to regret it and admits privately to Karen he only agreed because she relentlessly pestered him into doing it at a time when he's having to deal with investigating Paul Harley for the murder of Larysa Zeryeva, the press harassing the police over the investigation, and Monk being suspended.
- In the first scene of "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa," Alice tells Leland, "Captain, I took a message. Your wife called. She said her mother's sick and she won't be able to make it tonight." Leland replies, "Her mother's...? Well, that's too bad." The tone, and the briefly frustrated expression Leland makes, convey that he knows Karen's mother is not sick, and she just doesn't want to come to the party.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa", Leland recounting his encounter with Frank Prager in the parking lot outside a bar is foreshadowing: Leland says he was out drinking at a bar around 2:00 a.m. on a Tuesday night, and he was toasted, enough that the bartender took his keys, forcing him to walk home. Typically, a married man probably wouldn't go out drinking alone on a weeknight and get so toasted they take his keys and make him walk home, unless he's got a problem." The implication being that Leland had another fight with Karen and he'd gotten drunk in an attempt to calm his nerves afterwards.
- Stottlemeyer's divorce from Karen in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage" was foreshadowed from the very beginning of the show:
- Forgot Flanders Could Do That: Lt. Disher was flanderized from Plucky Comic Relief to The Ditz. Thus, it fit this trope later on when he would demonstrate competent policework.
- Former Child Star: In-Universe, in the summation for "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show," Monk reveals how the child stars of The Cooper Clan all went on to have troubled lives:
- Christine Rapp, who played Cathy Cooper on the show, went on to convince a mail room employee named Victor Timlinson to rig the Silver Globe ballots so that she would win the award. After she published a tell-all book in 2009, Timlinson tried to blackmail her, and she shot him in cold blood.
- Lauren Perkins, who played Janie Cooper on the show, married the actor who played Danny, had a child, but has had a career downturn and now is reduced to working in a Miami strip club.
- Steven Dorn, who played Billy Cooper (with his catchphrase "shucky darns"), saw his acting career end prematurely when he got addicted to crystal meth.
- Found the Killer, Lost the Murderer
- Happens when Monk gets close to finding Trudy's killer.
- All things considered, there is a form of this in Katherine Kendall's character in "Mr. Monk Buys a House". She kills her senile patient by wheeling him up the stairs and shoving him down to his death. When Monk catches onto her, she is stabbed and killed by her lover, "Honest" Jake, to be kept from talking.
- "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing". Monk finds Eddie Murdoch, the man who attacked him at the firehouse and killed Rusty, at Peter Breen's construction site. Murdoch, in trying to chase Monk, ends up falling down a shaft to his death. They identify him as the man who killed Rusty and Stefanie Preston, but Monk doesn't believe that Murdoch had any reason to kill the girl (his reason for killing Rusty could be that he panicked), and realizes that Peter Breen must have paid Murdoch to do the killing.
- "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch": Monk stops hitman Charles "The Iceman" Bach's assassination attempt on Ray Regis, but Stottlemeyer and Disher are forced to shoot Bach, meaning Stottlemeyer comments after the fact, "The sad thing is that we'll never know who hired him," only for Monk to immediately look at a stick of deodorant, remember a couple things that have happened over the last week, and conclude who hired the Iceman.
- Framing the Guilty Party: All three variants appear.
- Framing a Known Guilty Party
- Sorta happened in "Mr. Monk and the Genius," as Patrick Kloster has practically admitted to killing his own wife, and the alleged poison matched that which could be extracted from oleander flowers in Patrick's garden. Unable to find adequate evidence and driven to his wits' end, Monk steals some of the flowers, extracts the poison, breaks into Patrick's house to leave it in plain sight on a shelf, and only gets caught when he went back to retrieve the planted vial after his conscience got the better of him, as Patrick had apparently anticipated to try this move.
- Framing Yourself:
- In "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale", the titular Dale 'the Whale' Biederback arranges for his physician Dr. Christiaan Vezza to murder a judge named Catherine Lavinio who issued a costly antitrust ruling against Dale, then stage the scene to make it look like Dale did it, even faking a 911 call fingering him as the attacker and making sure a witness sees a morbidly obese man (actually Vezza wearing a fat suit) disconnecting a smoke alarm in the house. This is completely impossible, because not only is Dale too fat to move, he couldn't even fit through the victim's door if he could, because he's basically like a ship in a bottle.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Critic", thanks to work from Monk and Natalie, the police suspect theater critic John Hannigan killed his girlfriend Callie Esterhaus by throwing her off a hotel balcony. So Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher confront Hannigan at his office to question him about drugging and raping an underaged girl - and bring in the supposed victim, who we see is Julie, who tells her story. Hannigan, exasperated, denies the accusation, claiming he was at home writing, despite Stottlemeyer producing a business card that Hannigan supposedly gave to Julie. Baffled and scared, Hannigan swears positively that he has never seen Julie before in his life.....and gives himself away. That is because Julie performed in the play Hannigan was using as his alibi for the murder. Midway through, she has a solo where she wears a costume looking a lot like the one she's wearing right now, a solo Hannigan wrote a scathing review about, calling it "forgettable". Hannigan's stating that he doesn't recognize Julie proves he was out of the theater at the time (also, Natalie insists that no critic would write such a review unless they were outside). Goodbye, alibi.
- Framing a Known Guilty Party
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Sometimes, close-ups of newspaper articles count because you can see the text of the article.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy," when they show the close-up of an article called It Just Wasn't His Day, you can see the text which includes a quote from the subject.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies," when Ambrose shows Adrian and Sharona the article about the deadly carjacking, if you freeze the close-up of the article, you can see that the victim's name is Gladys Dohan.
- In "Mr. Monk Is On the Run, Part II," if you look at the tribute poster Natalie is making, all of the pictures of Monk you see on the poster are actually production stills from various episodes from season 3 to season 6. The top row has stills from "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," "Mr. Monk and the Big Reward," and some others. They're all production stills, as there would be no cameraman around to capture those moments when they happened in those episodes (for instance, there's one photo on the poster that is from "Mr. Monk is On The Air" depicting Monk and Natalie in Max Hudson's studio).
- In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," freeze the image when Natalie is getting up after falling out of the hot air balloon. Her pose provides an almost perfect mirror image of Andrew Wyeth's painting Christina's World.
- In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," the same newspaper thing is shown when Monk is realizing that the newspaper articles in Joseph Moody's scrapbook are all articles about a depository robbery. But if you freeze the image, you may notice that the text of the article has nothing to do with the robbery - but is actually text on "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show" and "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine".
- In "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show," look at the ballot slips Victor Timlinson looks at during the summation: according to the slip, the actresses being nominated for the Silver Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Made For TV movie are Christine Rapp for The Vanishing Girl, Yasmine Marutyan for Give Me Back My Baby, Tara McSherry for The Boy Who Couldn't Breathe, Kendra Frank for The Jane Austen Story, and Tyna Hurd for Supermarket Superstar. The Kendra Frank on the ballot is probably not the same person as the roadie's girlfriend played by Tamara Feldman in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert".
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," there are several shots, especially shots inside Stork's trailer, where you can see the words "Chapter 13 - England" on the logo on the back of Kendra's t-shirt. It makes you wonder if the band is named for the Battle of Trafalgar.
- When Kendra hands Stork's jacket over to Monk and Natalie, when Monk looks at a map, if you freeze it, you will notice that there are labels for all of the tents on the grounds. Going clockwise, the order of facilities on the top of the map is: bathrooms, two vending tents, the acupuncture tent, two more vending tents, a tattoo parlor, a beer tent, a security tent (at the main entrance), and a ticket office outside the front gate. On the bottom of the map are more concessions and the first aid tent.
- When Monk, Natalie and Kendra are investigating Stork's trailer, at the moment Kendra grins and says, "Yeah, he loved it," you can see a photo on the wall to her left of her with her arm around Stork.
- When Monk, Natalie and Kendra are at the acupuncturist tent, when Kendra hands a photo of Stork over to Annie for identification, there's a brief close-up that goes by very fast of Stork and another woman with grins on their faces. It may not be noticed the first time, but only if you freeze it will you notice that it's a photo of Kendra and Stork posing (you can tell from the way her hair falls over her left eyebrow). It appears to have been taken no more than a day or so before the murder because that appears to be the San Francisco Band Jam stage backdrops in the background. And although Kendra mentions earlier as just being Stork's closest friend and NA sponsor, this photo, and the ones seen in his trailer later on, seem to imply that she may have actually been his girlfriend.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Genius," when Natalie opens the second of Patrick Kloster's books, you will notice on the left page a list of all of Patrick's other books, which include Ultimate Chess Tactics, The War Of Chess, Winning Endgame Play, Ninja Chess, Unbeatable Chess Strategies, Play Chess and Conquer, Grandmaster Chess Secrets, Five Moves Ahead, and Power Chess Strategy.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," during the summation, we see a shot of Kyle Brooks uncovering his wife's papers and her old suicide note. You won't catch it at regular speed, but the note tells us that Dianne Brooks has a sister named Ellen.
- In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," when James Novak is introducing Monk's case to the TV audience, you will see crime scene photos of bodies on the display behind Novak. These include photos of Debbie Ringel's mauled body lying in a toolshed from "Mr. Monk And His Biggest Fan" and the dead body of Tony Gamelobo upright in his car from "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure".
- In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper:" in one shot of the limo heading to get Extra Large, you can see a Shrek the Third poster on the side of a bus shelter, setting the episode in March 2007.
- In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," in the establishing shot of the firehouse garage, it can be hard to tell but look to the right of the red car parked on the street. In the distance, you can see a figure. Based on how far away that person is, it's easy to conclude that that might be Monk walking towards the firehouse.
- Friends On The Force: Lieutenant Disher and Captain Stottlemeyer.
- Fright Deathtrap: The Scared Stiff variant was attempted on the oldest man in the world in "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man". It didn't work, so the intended victim got smothered with a pillow instead.
- Funny Answering Machine: Monk's answering machine message in "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing":Adrian Monk: Hello. This is Adrian... Monk. Thank you for calling my new answering machine. When you hear the beep noise, please speak into the telephone receiver and leave a message, which I will play back and listen to later. This is the end of the message, and here is the beep I was talking about. [*BEEP*]
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
Natalie Teeger: Mr. Gleckson, we'd like to talk to you about a woman named Cassandre Rank. I believe she used to work here.
- In-Universe, in "Mr. Monk and the Rapper", Murderuss approaches Monk because he knows the police are going to call him the primary suspect in his rival Extra Large's murder, in part because he wrote a song called Car Bomb (lyrics like "Ch, Ch, Ch, I put the bomb in your limo, that's what the surprise is / under your seat like Oprah giving prizes!") which just happens to describe how Extra Large really died.
- In-universe, in the episode "Mr. Monk's 100th Case", there is an awkward scene where Monk and Natalie are interviewing a restaurant manager trying to act in-character while responding to Natalie's questions, made more humiliating given that Monk and Natalie are being followed by James Novak's camera crew:
Vampire Manager: (in character) Yeeessss, Cassandre Rank. She was a most delectable young girl. I remember drinking her blood; she had the most exquisite taste—
Natalie Teeger: She was killed two days ago. Somebody strangled her.
Vampire Manager: (breaks character) What? Are-are you serious? Oh my God, you-you must have thought that— look-look you know that this is just a job, right? And this is not real blood; it's all makeup. Oh hell, and that stuff about drinking her blood? Oh crap—
Adrian Monk: When did she work here?
Vampire Manager: Uh, about a year ago. But she only worked her for about a month; 'cause she got a part in a play or something and then she split. Nobody stays here that long.
Natalie Teeger: There was another woman, a Barbara McFarland? She worked here too, didn't she?
Vampire Manager: (goes back into character mode) Yeeeesssss! Barbara McFarland, she had a very delectable neck, I'm sure in fact—
Natalie Teeger: She was killed too.
- "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink", about Dr. Kroger temporarily retiring, got some shades of this after Stanley Kamel died of a heart attack in 2008.
- Funny Background Event:
- In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," there's at least one shot when the characters are in an alleyway where you can see a prostitute standing behind Monk, though she has her back turned to the camera and she isn't paying attention to the main characters.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Wrong Man," when Paulie Flores is watching the news broadcast on the release of his partner Max Barton from prison after being exonerated on charges for a double homicide, the news ticker on the bottom has news blurbs referencing previous season 6 episodes like "Local boys find buried treasure in cement processing plant,"note "Frisco Fly acrobatic stunts leave San Francisco officials perplexed,"note "Novato housing market hits a record high,"note and part of a blurb on rappers named Murderuss and Extra Largenote .
- Fun With Palindromes
- After Dr. Kroger passed away (due to Stanley Kamel's death in 2008), Monk has difficulty finding a new one by "Mr. Monk Buys a House." He rejects one reccomended by Natalie's brother because the chairs in his waiting room were too low, and rejects another one because he has an eyepatch. Then comes Dr. Neven Bell. His first name is the same forwards as it is backwards, but Monk can't approve because the first N is capitalized, rendering the palindrome imperfect (neveN), even with Dr. Bell doing several small gestures to win his confidence over (beginning the appointment at the exact second it is scheduled, supplying Monk with his favorite bottled water, handwipes during their introductory handshake, and acquiring a painting in his office that came from Dr. Kroger's waiting room)..
- Taken Up to Eleven to the point of having theme naming in the Tie-In Novel Mr. Monk Is Cleaned Out, with Monk losing his savings to a Ponzi scheme that looked like a great idea. The scheme was masterminded by Bob Sebes, an Expy of Bernard Madoff, who defrauded investors with his Reinier Investment Fund. Oh, and Bob's wife's name is Anna.
- Gallows Humor:
GPS System: You have arrived at Skyline Hills Resort.Lawrence Hammond: The hell I have![The shooter steps up to the passenger's side window, and empties a pistol into the car from point blank range]GPS System: Thank you for using the Safe Voyage System.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame," this happens when the Hammonds' GPS system directs them to an industrial park, where a hooded man is waiting with a pistol in hand:
- Gas Lighting
- Sharona is made a victim of this in "Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf", where her writing professor Meredith Preminger tries to discredit her sanity by having her lover, a security guard named Denny Graf, pose as a dying man with a knife in his blood-soaked chest and a screwdriver sticking out of his ear, stating "Douglas is worried about you", and then have him disappear when she tries to show him to Monk: Thrice. Turns out, she is doing this because Sharona has written a mystery paper which was about a woman who kills her husband by feeding him tomato soup laced with a toxin that can emulate a heart attack, which Meredith and her lover have decided will be helpful to use against her husband, and thus cover their tracks in case Sharona gets suspicious.
- Gay Paree: This show has had some involvement with the City of Light:
Randy Disher: Now I understand why every French movie I've ever seen ends with a suicide.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy", Monk solved a murder in France just by reading a newspaper article in the International section of the San Francisco Chronicle. This is even called back to in the novel Mr. Monk is Miserable, where Chief Inspector Philippe Le Roux mentions this to Monk and Natalie when he first meets them.
- Partial subversion is Mr. Monk is Miserable, where Natalie expects to eat croissants and whatnot while enjoying the rustic splendor of the city. As soon as she sees the lights on the Eiffel Tower, and the Roue de Paris, and the Arc de Triomphe merely because L'Arche de le Defense is visible from the top of it, she launches into a long Character Filibuster (with which Lee Goldberg may or may not have agreed) about how commercialism and "doing things bigger" has ruined her beautiful city from being the way it was twenty years ago on her honeymoon with Mitch. Then she finds an enormous parisian flat with a personal cafe and a waterfall being run by a sewer
mutantvagrant (It Makes Sense in Context) and repeatedly waxes poetically throughout the book about how Paris even has better garbage than San Francisco note . Triple-subverted (or was it?) with a lampshade by Randy when the police are completely blase about a criminal plummeting to his death directly in front of them:
- Gender Flip: Parodied in "Mr. Monk and the Actor," when Stottlemeyer and Disher stop by during filming of The Killer Astronaut, the TV movie adaptation of "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut"note . They are on the set of the crime scene investigation at Joanne Raphelson's house. Randy is really embarrassed to find that he's portrayed by a woman and that a romantic subplot has been put in between "her" and "Stottlemeyer" in the film. This leads to a very uncomfortable moment for the real Stottlemeyer and Disher when their actors lean in for a kiss:The real Lt. Randall Disher: Not even once.
- Though Randy is also a female name (there's a character in the first Airplane! film), so the in-universe producer figured they weren't doing much harm.
- Also worth noticing is that if you watch the original episode, then watch this recreation, you'll see some other differences:
- Natalie as portrayed by the TV actress is described as being 5'7", a full two inches taller than the real Natalie and Traylor Howard are (5'5").
- The scene shown is the initial crime scene investigation at Joanne Raphelson's house. However, there's dialogue in the scene that was clearly lifted from scenes that in the actual episode happened much later on. Also, David Ruskin's Monk is certain that Steve Wagner committed the crime as soon as he's walked in, even though in the actual episode, Monk did not suspect Wagner as being the killer until he saw that the drink in two cocktail glasses found at the house was the same cocktail that Wagner and his wife were serving at a welcome-home party when the gang questioned him.
- Genre Savvy:
Years ago, I was working a beat with my partner when we noticed a young kid behind the wheel of a fancy, brand-new car. He was driving erratically, and when we pulled up behind him and lit him up he turned into the Tasmanian Devil and took off. But the chase didn't last long; after only a few blocks, he over-negotiated a right turn and went up over a curb and into a storefront. We grabbed him as he was trying to make his escape through a dress shop and brought him back to the station.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy," when Monk realizes what Kevin's girlfriend plans to do, he predicts that she'll try to kill him as early as that night. He turns out to be correct.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Election," due to Chekhov's Skill, Monk recognizes a game of "keep away" when he sees one.
- "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist": Dr. Oliver Bloom and his assistant Terri must love Marathon Man since they even refer to the movie as they prepare to torture Monk with a dental drill.
- "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad": Unlike his father, Adrian is smart enough to be suspicious of any trucking boss who orders you to stick to the backroads when there are more direct highways, or sends you on a back-and-forth journey that zigzags.
- In the novel Mr. Monk on the Road, a combination of lampshade hanging/genre savviness happens when Natalie asks Stottlemeyer if he's noticed that about half the time Monk solves a murder right on the spot, the killer is also the person who found the body. She jokingly suggests that Stottlemeyer just arrest that person right away to save money, but Stottlemeyer counters that the other 50% of the time the department can get sued for false arrest.
- Stottlemeyer describes in this blog entry an incident where he and Randy are in a long line at a popular hot dog stand at Fisherman's Wharf. They see a guy pull up in a sports car and Stottlemeyer senses that the man is going to cut in line, so he warns Randy. They see him do just that, so they confront him and tell him to go to the back of the line.
- He gave me the wiseass comments I've come to expect from punks like him — "are you the line police, the hot dog cops, oh I get it the wiener patrol?" — that kind of thing. Once the guy at the counter refuses to serve the man, Stottlemeyer and Disher take him aside and he threatens them with a lawsuit and insults. So Stottlemeyer thinks fast to see if there's a police or municipal violation that can give the brat some more difficulty, then looks at the man's car and gets an idea: he tells Randy a certain police code to call in. So the man, now realizing he's being confronted by actual police detectives, changes his idle threats until the tow truck arrives to take his car away. Stottlemeyer notes that the man had parked in a red zone.
- Another Stottlemeyer blog entry:
The kid was obnoxious and uncooperative, answering all our questions with insults and curses. He was underage and obviously under the influence of alcohol. When we ran his high school ID we discovered, not exactly to our surprise, that the punk had been listed on a number of prior police reports, for everything from stealing food from the cafeteria to threatening harm to teachers who accused him of cheating on exams. Since this little angel was a juvenile, we were obligated to contact Juvenile Hall and present our case to them for booking. This case did not qualify, which meant that only thing left to do was contact the parents and release the kid into their custody.
- In Mr. Monk on the Couch after Jerry Yermo, a guy Natalie has dated a few times, is exposed by Monk as a murderer, Natalie immediately is savvy enough to decide that she'll live longer if she assumes every guy she dates is a murderer to begin with then gets proven wrong. This compared to Sharona, who in her tenure on the show did date several less-than-worthy guys including a couple of killers from the episodes in question.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- In "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show," Monk sees a mirror on the ceiling in Christine Rapp's bedroom. He doesn't quite get the idea. The same thing happened earlier in "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy" when Monk was in Dexter Larsen's bedroom.note
- Those swinger couples in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii that Monk and Natalie pass while talking to their suspects, who claim to "investigate" people. Natalie tells Monk what the term really means.
- The mention of the Mile-High Club trope comes up in Mr. Monk Goes to Germany.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Miracle", Monk tells Natalie that her getting gravy for their small party wouldn't have been necessary as the bums, their guests, make their own gravy. When Natalie asks how they do it, Monk simply responds with "You don't want to know..."
- Gilligan Cut
Adrian Monk: Is it going to be, you know, like [imitates the sound of a drill] messy?
- In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," when Honest Jake finds a problem and realizes he'll have to run a new line through an existing wall:
"Honest" Jake Phillips: Nah, no way. You won't even know I was here! (Cuts to Jake viciously hacking a jagged hole in the wall, sending debris flying everywhere)
Randy Disher: (holding the Siblings of the Sun book) Monk, have you even read this thing?
- From "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult":
Adrian Monk: Have you? (cuts to Dr. Kroger, Natalie, and Stottlemeyer outside the room, suddenly hearing Randy singing; Dr. Kroger enters and finds Randy on the floor, shirtless, singing in harmony with Monk)
[Monk has been to Val Birch's house with Kevin Dorfman]Adrian Monk: I have to get closer.Kevin Dorfman: Closer? Yesterday, we were in the front row. You can't get much closer than that.(Cuts to the Treasure Chest set as the contestants are being introduced)Roddy Lankman: Please welcome to the show Adrian Monk! (Monk hesitantly steps on-stage and walks over to his podium)
- In "Mr. Monk Is On the Run, Part 2", Stottlemeyer makes Natalie promise not to locate Monk (who is in hiding). Immediately, the scene cuts to Natalie packing a suitcase.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month", Monk has to go undercover at Mega-Mart, and asks Joe Christie, "What am I supposed to do? Hang out all day in the men's department?" Christie grins. The scene cuts to Monk wearing a red Mega-Mart employee's vest with a nametag that reads, "HI. I'M ADRIAN."
- In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," Monk and Natalie open the student lounge freezer and find it frosted over. Monk bites his lip and says, "I'm gonna need a spatula, a pan.....and a Bible." The scene cuts to Monk midway through defrosting while Natalie is napping on the couch.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Game Show":
"Do you really want to ride in a bus with that pitiful excuse for a man?" Monk said, walking alongside me."I'm not the one who is going to be uncomfortable," I said, "He is.""Because seeing you staring at him will silently remind him of how he wronged your friend?""Who said anything about being silent?" I said, "I'm going to remind him as loudly, and as colorfully, as I possibly can for the entire drive. If you've got sensitive ears, you might want to keep them covered."[paragraph break]Brian would have bolted from the shuttle the instant we got to the airport, but he was slowed down by his luggage, so I got a few more choice words in before he escaped. Monk was so embarrassed by my language, I think he was tempted to run out, too.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," we open with lottery hostess Marissa Kessler doing a drawing, then she signs off wishing everyone "a lucky lotto day". The scene immediately cuts to her running out the door screaming, being chased by an assailant.
- In Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, Monk and Natalie are catching a shuttle ride to rent a car from an airport rental car shop. They happen to be riding with Brian Galloway, whom Monk had earlier exposed as a bigamist who was planning to marry Natalie's friend Candace.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Foreign Man," Monk is distracted by Samuel Waingaya burning incense outside the apartment. Natalie gets a call about a murder case. Monk is thankful for it, saying he should be able to breath. Cut to him covering his mouth and saying he can't breath as he enters a house with a corpse that's been dead for a few weeks.
- Girl Friday: Sharona, then Natalie.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Subverted in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month"; Randy's girlfriend appears to be one of these — the picture he shows Sharona is the one that came with his wallet ("She's a wallet model!") and he gives what appears to be a Line-of-Sight Name — except that at the end of the episode, we actually see her waving to him from a taxi.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Sharona and Gail appear to have this in "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake", when Gail accuses Sharona of copying her by moving to San Francisco and buying the same style handbag as her.
- GPS Evidence:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies," Ambrose points out that of course Pat van Ranken's rusted-old pickup truck runs, and that it's been to a certain section of the park, because it has yellow acorns in the truckbed that only grow in one spot in the park. That's rather impressive knowledge of the local ecology, for a guy who never leaves his house.
- Subverted in "Mr. Monk and the Genius", where Monk realizes that one of the flowers in Patrick Kloster's yard is poisonous oleander, and takes it to the Captain as his primary evidence... where he is immediately shot down because it's way too common to be admissible as evidence. Though zigzagged back as when Monk and Stottlemeyer take a petition to have Patrick's first wife's body exhumed after they realize that her death and Linda Kloster's death are both similar in nature, the judge notes that among other things, Patrick had been growing oleander plants in his garden around the time of his first wife's death as well.
- Subverted (and possibly parodied) in "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective." Loser private eye Marty Eels shows up with all the answers and he picks up a dead mosquito off the floor of a car and is able recognize its species and genus and whatever and point out that it only appears in this one particular place in the city that the body is at. Then it turns out Marty was faking it, as his mother, a quality control operator, had overheard the killers bragging about their crime while on hold to buy plane tickets to flee the country - details like who had been killed, where the car and the store manager's body were dumped, even where the killers ditched their ski masks.
- Grand Finale: The show's two-part series finale, "Mr. Monk and the End":
- Part 1 — Monk happens upon the handprint of a hired killer at the murder of someone connected to Trudy's past, and the man behind Trudy's murder tells the killer to poison Monk. Discovering he has only days to live and with the hired killer dead by the end of the episode, Monk is in a race against time to put the pieces together to find out who was ultimately behind Trudy's murder. He finally opens Trudy's last Christmas gift to him, and it ends up being an "If I Do Not Return" message to him that may ultimately give him the clues he needs to finally solve the mystery of her murder.
- Part 2 — Trudy's message reveals who she was going to meet the day she was murdered — her old law professor and her killer, Judge Rickover — and it also reveals that she had a child by the same man, a daughter, whom she believed died. Monk puts all the pieces together and escapes from the hospital to confront Rickover, revealing that he also killed the missing midwife and buried her in his backyard. Natalie is poisoned, and the source of the poison affecting Monk is found (his wipes), allowing an antidote to be made. After Rickover confesses to the crimes, he kills himself, and his last words ("Take care of her") lead Monk to find out that Trudy's daughter is still alive.
- Green Aesop: Arguably, "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike". (By the way, the best way to deal with trash is to burn the city. Then burn the ashes and rebuild San Francisco from scratch.) There's a simpler solution: Just throw all the trash into the bay, "one bag at a time. One truck at a time! One bag at a time." It might take a while, but at least you're making an effort!
- Grilling Pyrotechnics: The murderer of the week in "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs" attempts to invoke this trope by rigging a fan's charcoal grill to explode by adding in gasoline that he siphoned out of his own car to silence this particular fan (Long story short, the murderer was afraid that the fan in question had either witnessed his murder of the backup star quarterback or was privy to the out-of-order playbook because he was in close proximity to the quarterback shortly before he was bludgeoned and killed.). Although he certainly succeeded in having the grill ignite, actually having the fan killed by the explosion wasn't nearly as successful, as the only real damage he did to the fan was burn his right hand (a good substitute for an ice pack or bandage is to put a rubber foam glove over it). Also, unlike most uses of this trope, it wasn't Played for Laughs.
- Gutted Like a Fish: In "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail," Spyder Rudner practically threatens to shank Monk like this upon first meeting him as "Ben Lincoln" (Monk's alias as a supposed embezzler) and finding that Monk has touched his stuff.
- Handshake Refusal:
- Monk is a germophobe and refuses to shake hands with just about anyone. If he's forced to, he will immediately turn to his assistant for a wipe.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," Monk voluntarily shakes hands with Joe Christie as a sign of friendship, who was accused (even by Monk) of being in the drug-business (which he wasn't, which was proven of course.)
- In another episode he shook hands with a succession of people, after the last one he immediately turned to his assistant for a wipe. The problem being, the last handshakee was black, leading to much accusations of racism.
- Handy Cuffs
- On "Mr. Monk Gets Married", Dalton Padron is able to grab the sheriff's gun because he was cuffed with his hands in front of him.
- "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty". When the SFPD hands off "most wanted" fugitive Miguel Escobar to the feds, they considerately cuff him the same way, making his escape attempt easier to accomplish.
- Hannibal Lecture: Dale "The Whale" Biederbeck, the extra-large Mason Verger expy does this to unnerve people, especially Monk.
- Happy Dance: Monk does the "jig" when he solves the case in "Mr. Monk Gets Fired".
- Happy Flashback
- Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," Monk and Natalie need to break to Stottlemeyer the hard truth that his girlfriend Linda Fusco killed her business partner. After they say their suspect has a name, they hesitate for a long time before Monk bluntly says, "Linda. [beat] Linda Fusco." Subverted in that it's more likely Monk and Natalie are aware that Stottlemeyer will not take this news well, and are trying to address him in a way that will soften the impact of the blow.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In-Universe example: In "Mr. Monk and the Big Game", Lynn Hayden, Julie's basketball coach, makes a cryptic statement to Julie about their practice potentially being her last. It turns out that it's because she is referring to the fact that she plans to turn herself in to the police for accidentally starting a destructive forest fire, but it really comes back to sting you when less than two minutes after she says that line, she is electrocuted and killed in the shower by her own brother.
- Heel-Face Turn: Harold Krenshaw, after years as Monk's nemesis Harold realizes (after being lock in a car trunk with Monk by the bad guy of the week) that the two are a lot alike and becomes his friend, then he makes a un-Krenshaw gesture and joins a new group therapy to allow Monk to have Dr. Bell to himself (though his insurance required him to only be in group therapy. The other members were murdered by the bad guy leaving only Harold and Monk so Harold leaving left Monk as the only member left).
- Heroic BSOD
- It is heavily implied that, although Trudy's death didn't cause Monk's issues, it certainly made it a lot worse than before, suffering a mental breakdown that forced him into early retirement from the force before the start of the series, and necessitated therapy as well as finding Trudy's killer, not to mention learning that the car bomb was intended for Trudy all along and not a backfired assassination attempt on him that he ever gets better. He also has relatively minor episodes within the main Heroic BSOD, namely pertained to whether he can get his old job back or not (such as when he was not only removed from the case, but also had his detective's license revoked by the commissioner simply because he accidentally deleted a few years worth of forensic files while attempting to eliminate crumbs from the keyboard, or when a four-year hiring freeze threatened his chances of reinstatement).]]
- Stottlemeyer also suffered through it a few times.
- A notable example is "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife," when, after Karen is hospitalized for a car crash that leaves her in a coma and necessitated temporary surgery, Stottlemeyer begin to have an unhealthy obsession of bringing down the person responsible, even to the point of dismissing basic logic, such as immediately pinning the blame on a picket union because the victims, two truck drivers, were scabs, despite Monk trying to tell him that the union's negotiation is going in their favor, not to mention that the assailant responsible for sniping the tow truck driver wasn't even wearing shoes. Then there's also the fact that Leland actually attacks head union boss Harry Bolston's second in command Frank Wicks (who Leland arrested during a previous union strike for assault) that most certainly would result in Leland having his badge taken away if Bolston hadn't covered it up. Also, once Evan Coker is identified as the killer, and after it is learned that Coker did it first to recover incriminating evidence in a repossessed car that linked him to a bank robbery that resulted in the death of a clerk, and the second to throw the police off the wrong trail once Monk got suspicious, he actually throws Coker onto the hood of a police car and deeply considers beating him up badly in retribution to what he nearly did with his wife. He only barely stops himself when Monk, Sharona and Randy remind him that if he does this, he'll lose his badge, and it really isn't worth it.
- A prior instance of this is "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man," where Leland has a cold case about a valedictorian student being killed by a drunk driver, and this combined with Monk's greater skill as a detective, left him frequently depressed. The fact that he was having marital problems stemming from not watching one of his wife's terrible documentaries (which turned out to be a Chekhov's Gun to finding out the murderer for both their current case and his cold case) that forced him to stay with Monk didn't help matters much..
- He's Dead, Jim: In the series finale, Monk finally accepts Trudy's death in two different ways. The first is when he opens Trudy's Christmas present, and the second is when he sleeps in the middle of the bed (rather than sleeping on one side as if to save room for Trudy).
- Hey, That's My Line!: This is a Running Gag in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever". Randy writes a clever one liner about what happened to the murder victim ("It looks like her number came up"), and then angrily throws his notepad at an officer who says the EXACT same thing seconds later. The second time happens during Natalie's first night as lottery hostess, where she ends by using Monk's line, "You'll thank me later!" to flatter him. Monk comments, "You'll thank me later? That's my line! I say that!"
- Pops up again in "Mr. Monk and the Critic" when Natalie says, "He's the guy."
- Hidden in Plain Sight: In Mr. Monk in Trouble, it's mentioned that the gold in the old train heist vanished because it was used to line the locomotive's furnace, and the furnace was lined with soot as well.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Mr. Monk and the Game Show," Monk realizes (while on Treasure Chest as a contestant) how Roddy Lankman is helping Val Birch cheat (hold the question cards by a specific corner depending on what letter is the correct answer). He realizes they are guilty of more than cheating on the show, and is told by Dwight that he can make a phone call during the game, but only if he advances to the bonus round. So to make sure Birch loses, Monk has to beat Birch and Lankman with their own method.
- Hollywood Personality Disorders: The way the show portrays OCD is incredibly inaccurate.
- Although the writers seem to realize this, and therefore Monk is explicitly identified as having OCD maybe only once across the entire series, with characters opting to call him simply "weird" or "persnickety" when explaining his disorder to others. It's heavily toted as OCD in promotional material, however.
- Hollywood Spelling: Natalie's last name has twice been a plot point.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Election," Monk proves that a death threat letter against Natalie (running for the school board) was a diversion because he notices that although the shooter did take the time to dot his I's and cross his T's, he didn't write the last R on her last name when writing the message ("Close Ashton High, Natalie Teege Must Withdraw" is the result). This is proven when he realizes the shooter was getting her name from a custom poster with Natalie's name, from which the R had fallen off, indicating that the shooter didn't know her already.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse," Natalie receives a voodoo doll in the mail, sent by Angeline Dilworth as she attempts to distract Monk from investigating her by tricking Natalie into thinking she will be decapitated. Monk realizes that the sender can't have known who Natalie was, since the sender misspelled her last name as "Teager" (with an A instead of a double E). Then Angeline happens to be the paramedic who picks Natalie up after she mistakenly ingests Reverend Jorgensen's concoction during a cleansing ritual. During the ride, after Monk gives The Summation to Jorgensen in the van, Natalie is in the ambulance and happens to notice that Angeline misspells her name as "Teager" on the patient chart. A struggle breaks out.
- "Honest" Jake's Repairman / Crooked Contractor: In the episode "Mr. Monk Buys A House", Monk, as the title states, buys a house belonging to a recently murdered senior citizen (who is later revealed to have been an inside man for a depository robbery during the 1960s that netted $4 million, and was killed because, as a result of his dementia, he babbled about the heist to his nurse, who wheeled him up a stairway and shoved him to his death). While Monk is getting supplies, he finds "Honest" Jake Phillips, a repairman who talks and acts like an Honest John-type character. Jake is then hired by Monk to help fix the house, only to essentially demolish the house even further. Turns out he had ulterior motives in trying to help "repair" the house: He was trying to locate the stash of money stolen from the bank by the previous occupant, and the aforementioned nurse, Cassie Drake, is his lover, whom he stabs and kills in her living room when Monk catches on to her.
- How We Got Here: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank" starts with two police officers on patrol writing a parking ticket for an illegally parked SUV outside a bank that had just been robbed the day before. When the cop writing the ticket finds that his pen is out of ink, he declines to use his partner's pen and the two decide to leave to grab dinner and let the driver off. As they get into their unit and drive away, the camera then tracks through the bank, then the vault door, to reveal Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher trapped inside. After the credits, we go back two days and spend the first half of the episode documenting the events leading up to this. Indeed, those two officers are seen again writing the ticket once we catch back up to this point. Except now the scene has context (namely, that the SUV is actually Natalie's car).
- Hide Your Pregnancy: Traylor Howard became pregnant before shooting began for the second half of season 5. To avoid causing problems, it was necessary for writers to position Natalie during scenes such that her midsection and below is hidden by items like bags, tables, or car doors. This is evident in "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend" and "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy". In "Mr. Monk Is at Your Service," the writers took advantage of Traylor's pregnancy by incorporating it into the episode. For most of her scenes, Natalie stands or sits in positions that make it so that we see only the section above her chest, (like behind a desk or leaning against her car with the driver's side door open). However, when she needs to rescue Monk from her old obsessive boyfriend, she wards off his advances by stuffing a pillow down her chest. For these scenes, they just filmed her like they would in normal episodes, like in the first half of the season.
- Honor Before Reason: When Monk becomes Stottlemeyer's best man, he takes his duty of keeping the wedding ring safe seriously — by holding it clenched in his fist for nine days straight, like it is the only guaranteed way that you won't lose your friend's wedding ring!
- My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: In "Mr. Monk Falls In Love," there is a scene where Monk and Natalie are in the Zemenian neighborhood trying to locate Leyla's mother. They ask a passerby, but when finding he doesn't speak English, Monk pulls out a translation book and reads out what he thinks is useful, but the on-screen subtitles reveal to us that he is actually asking, "We are looking for the sad stick." He is confused as to why no one is able to provide an answer.
Natalie Teeger: Everyone was super warm and encouraging as I stumbled through my beginner's Greek, as if they were just flattered that I would even try to speak their language or something, but I ran into a few problems during my time there. I was constantly mixing up words, saying "kiss" when I meant "friend," little things like that. One time I went in to a pharmacy looking for baby powder and got nothing but blank stares when I asked for it at the counter. I learned later what I'd done wrong, and why the lady at the pharmacy had looked so confused; I'd asked her if she had any "baby dust." Another time I caused a minor panic at my host family's house when I took a phone message and announced that their friend Maria had called to say that she had just checked into the hospital. Yeah, she had just checked into a hotel. A pretty important distinction, as I learned after almost giving poor Mr. and Mrs. Mavropoulos heart attacks.
- In one of her blog entries on USANetwork.com, Natalie describes herself as stumbling to use the Greek language when she was an exchange student (the entry itself expands on a small anecdote Natalie makes to Monk in "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"), as marked here:
- Hunting Accident: In "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service," Paul Buchanan threatens to kill Natalie's parents in this way.
- Hurricane of Puns: In "Mr. Monk and the Bully," when Monk participates in the interrogation of Roderick Brody, who bullied him in middle school (imagine Monk's horror over getting a swirly). Monk unleashes a slew of toilet/swirly-related puns.
- Hyper Awareness: Monk
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Randy cites his astrological sign (Pisces) as a reason he isn't superstitious.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever," Agent Grooms tells Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer not to draw any attention to themselves while in public....while wearing a very conspicuous three piece suit. Natalie calls him out for it.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Actor," when Monk is in Dr. Kroger's office, talking about David Ruskin after Ruskin had a mental breakdown during production of a movie adaptation of "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut" (leading to him taking a double murderer/car dealership owner named Jack Leverett hostage in his own showroom), Monk notes that the movie was canceled as Ruskin "said he wanted to play a character who wasn’t so dark and depressing. [beat] He's in England playing Hamlet."
- In "Mr. Monk Falls In Love," when forced to admit he likes Leyla Zlatavich, Monk says, "OK, fine, maybe I am a little flustered. You know, I—I am just not used to being around attractive women!"....to Natalie, who is fairly attractive by most standards.
- I Always Wanted to Say That:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees", Natalie says to Tim Sussman, "Tim, I've been waiting a long time to say this: 'Here's what happened.'.."
- In "Mr. Monk and the Very Very Old Man," Stottlemeyer says to Monk, "Monk, I'm going to say something I've wanted to say for a long time: I just solved the case."
- In "Mr. Monk and the Candidate," Monk says this line when he gets to say, "Follow the money."
- I Ate WHAT?: In one episode, Natalie is afraid of a voodoo curse and Monk hires the shaman Reverend Jorgensen to help her "get rid" of it. He initiates a complicated ritual with a potion made of some very questionable and dangerous ingredients. She hurries to drink it, which causes the horrified Jorgensen to inform her it was supposed to be applied to the skin. Cue rush to the hospital with attempted homicide included.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: How Monk feels about Trudy, even years after they got married.Monk: Thank you for marrying me. What were you thinking?
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every single episode has "Mr. Monk" in the title, always at the beginning of the title (the only episode where it isn't at the beginning is "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk").
- Idiot Ball:
- Randy was born with one melded to his hands.
- Birch does not seem to know what the Golden Gate Bridge is. In "Mr. Monk and the Game Show," Monk's father-in-law, who produces the game show Treasure Chest, knows that the current champion Val Birch is cheating. Monk is convinced, since when he meets Birch,
- In "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall," Eileen Hill's secretary Maria Schecter may qualify. She's very thick-headed, for one thing, not knowing what day it is, not knowing how to work the printer, putting Monk and Natalie on hold and forcing them to actually personally visit her at her desk, and seems to think because of a scratch on her glasses that both of them have scars on their left cheeks.
- I Have Your Wife: Subverted in the start of "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective". We see jewelry store manager Harold Gumbal enter his store, unlock it, and as he enters, his cell phone rings. It's Eddie Dial and Vic Blanchard, the two armed men who are blackmailing Harold into robbing his own store by threatening to kill Peggy if they hear a police siren. He pleads to talk to her, but they hang up. You'd think Peggy was a wife or a daughter or a girlfriend, but then it turns out they're holding Harold's pet dog hostage.
- I Just Shot Mr. Monk In the Leg: Natalie accidentally discharges a bullet into Monk's good right leg in "Mr. Monk on Wheels" due to lack of proper firearms training.
- I'll Take That as a Compliment: Paul Crawford, the reporter in "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall", is very proud of his talent to take nearly anything that is said as a compliment.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In the second part of the series premiere, Monk manages to aim and shoot the perpetrator holding Sharona hostage in the dark. "Aiming" here is key, as that's what separates it from Accidental Aiming Skills.
- Implausible Deniability:
Dr. Charles Kroger: Adrian, have you been sending me your trash? [beat]Adrian Monk: [laughs] No. [beat]Dr. Charles Kroger: See...I've been getting boxes of trash, sent to me in the mail.Adrian Monk: Really?Dr. Charles Kroger: Yeah, really. Now, Adrian, don't try to deny it. It's all sorted by color and food groups. It’s your handwriting on the label.
- At the beginning of "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike", we see Monk manage to put all his trash in cardboard boxes, and desperate, he writes an address for the UPS man to send the trash to. About halfway through the episode, an epic Brick Joke: Monk is seen talking to Dr. Kroger about his reasons for hating garbage, while men are tossing lots and lots of trash bags into the courtyard in the background. There is an awkward silence, and then:
Natalie Teeger: Oh! Oh! [rushes over, exasperated] Mr. Monk! What are you doing?!Adrian Monk: I was just calling for a taxi; they're gonna pick me up out front in about ten minutes!Natalie Teeger: [smiles]' But, Mr. Monk, that wasn't a phone booth!Adrian Monk: No that wasn't a phone booth. Natalie, it was that horrible, plastic outhouse! [Natalie loops her arm around his and slowly leads him away] Oh my God, what was I talking into?! Oh my God, where—where did I put that quarter?! For the love of God, Natalie! Where did I put that quarter?! [A repairman breaks open the port-a-potty next to them and Stork's body falls out]Natalie Teeger: [gasps] Oh my God!
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Monk accidentally walks into a port-a-potty while he's looking for the payphones, which are a few feet to his right. As soon as he shuts the door, the camera stays firmly focused on the exterior door for about a full minute. Then Monk emerges, shutting the door behind him:
- Also from "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" is the scene where Stottlemeyer catches Randy in the act of Playing Sick. Even though Randy's denials on the phone could be plausible, they are rendered implausible because Stottlemeyer is calling from literally less than 15 feet away and can clearly see that he's perfectly healthy. This borders into I Can See You territory.
- From "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Randy denies ever having met Dr. Aaron Polanski, then Natalie tells him that there are photos of him in the doctor's waiting room.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Played with a lot, especially in the episode "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" where Monk, under the influence of medication that makes him go loopy, actually forgets that the suspect was indeed told the details of the investigation. At different points, Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher are all very much Genre Savvy about this trope.
- There are many episodes with cases where the perpetrator incriminates himself or herself by unwittingly mentioning something about a case that only the police and the perpetrator would know.
- In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case", Stottlemeyer admits in an interview that he withholds specific details from the press in order to make it easier to separate useless leads from potential suspects, a strategy that is very commonly practiced in real life.
- In "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend," Stottlemeyer and Disher realize that Hal Tucker killed Tim Hayden and Gail Segalis when they look at the revolver used to pistol-whip the former, and Stottlemeyer realizes that when Randy showed the gun to Hal and said "Here's the murder weapon," Hal pointed to the cracked handle, meaning he knew Tim Hayden was pistol-whipped, when a normal person would assume the victim had been shot.
- In "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand," Rudy Smith has robbed an auto parts store and took a necklace and some money from the cashier. How does Monk incriminate Evan Gildea as having then murdered that cashier? Gildea calls Rudy a "dope-smoking, chain-snatching little thug", but Rudy has only told Randy, and not the police or newspapers, about taking the victim's necklace.
- Insane Troll Logic: Happens a few times in the novels when Monk sees someone doing something he finds disgusting from his perspective — which causes him to call said person out with a very interesting idea of the consequences of their actions, to the point that Natalie has occasionally said it might make sense to Monk in some way but not to her. Though occasionally, he does actually have a point, for instance, with the grape stepping on "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk".
- Inspector Lestrade: Captain Stottlemeyer (when sober). When drunk, however, Captain Stottlemeyer can match or outdo Monk. He solved the murder of a man's wife with two pictures.
- Instant Emergency Response: In "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine," after the drive-by shooter shoots up the police cars and wounds Stottlemeyer, he drives off, and literally within less than 10 seconds, the first police cars to receive the bulletin are screeching to a halt. Sure, two of the officers were at a suicide scene a few blocks away, but unless those are short blocks, there's no way they could be arriving at the shooting scene literally within seconds of the last shots being fired.
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Used in the first season before being replaced with Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" in Season 2.
- The Internet: In "Mr. Monk Is On The Air" Jeanette Hudson's sister Linda Riggs tells Monk she found him on the Internet, resulting in Monk saying "I'm on the Internet?". This clip was of course then used by USA to advertise the Monk section of their website.
- Invented Individual: In Mr. Monk Is Open For Business, a bald-headed guy named Wyatt S. Noone apparently goes postal and goes on an office rampage. He kills three of his colleagues at the Japanese-owned furniture importing business East Decorative Imports, Caleb Smith, Katrina Avery and Mel Lubarsky and wounds a third, Sarabeth Willow, then appears to flee the police by posing as an EMT. First, the police quickly figure out that the name is an obvious phony, as a pun of "Wyatt is no one." Suspicion begins to rise that Sarabeth may have been assisting "Noone" during the murders since she was left alive. Then, in the end, Monk discovers that "Wyatt Noone" never existed: Sarabeth, Caleb, Katrina and Mel worked for Mr. Takumi Ito, and he refused to give them pay raises. They thus at Mel's suggestion decided to create a fictitious financial manager named "Wyatt Noone" as a joke and split "his" paychecks to embezzle from Ito. Caleb created the social security number and imitated "Noone" for paperwork and the phone calls, and they were so tight-lipped that they never even told their own family members, always claiming that "Wyatt" was absent for whatever reason when a family member showed up or claim he'd resigned. They even added to the realism by having Mel pose as "Wyatt" by wearing a bald wig for a Christmas photo. Things turned ugly when Sarabeth's husband was stricken with terminal cancer, and she decided she wanted a bigger cut of the money they were embezzling so she could afford to send her husband to Europe for treatment. She decided to kill her accomplices when Ito made another visit, and even shot herself non-fatally to frame "Wyatt" for murder.
- I Resemble That Remark: In "Mr. Monk and the Actor".Adrian Monk: He [David Ruskin]'s completely obsessed - and not in a good way, like me.
- In the episode "Mr. Monk's 100th Case", Monk manages to deduce that James Novak, host of the TV magazine news show In Focus, is responsible for the fourth murder. Ironically, it's a murder Novak had committed and framed Douglas Thurman for as part of Monk's 100th case since coming out of retirement.
- In "Mr. Monk, Private Eye," Jay Bennett has a motor yacht called The Lucky Lady, which is ironic because he kills his mistress on it.
- Ironic Echo:
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: I mean, how can you live with yourself? You gotta tell someone.Adrian Monk: The urge to confess...Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: It's the cop's best friend.
- In "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult," 'Father' Ralph Roberts hands Monk his book, and says, "Take it. The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the less you don't know." Monk repeats the italicized part back to him at the end when he and Natalie are exposing Father's back pain problem in front of a group of his followers.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Very Very Old Man," Stottlemeyer and Monk bring up an unsolved hit-and-run case.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: "On December 7th, 1998, I killed Darren Leveroni with my car. May God forgive me because I will never forgive myself. Signed, Dennis Gammill." [breathing heavily] The urge to confess...Adrian Monk: It's the cop's best friend.
- It is repeated when Miles Holling's time capsule is dug up:
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," we see Monk use Natalie's back to sign an autograph for an enthusiastic patrol cop. She looks mildly annoyed. Later, Natalie does the exact same thing back to him as retaliation when signing an autograph for some lottery fans.
- I Think You Broke Him: On "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month", Sharona's kid and his friend dump a puzzle on the floor for Monk to sort, which ends up leading the detective to a Eureka Moment, holding up two pieces and staring at them. One of the kids comments, "Uh oh. I think we broke him."
- I Was Young and Needed the Money: Sharona in "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy"
- It's for a Book: In "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure," Troy Kroger and his pals Ridley and Pez find a treasure map in dead bank robber Tony Gammelobo's car, and think it leads to the money from the bank robbery that Gammelobo pulled off. They decide to tell Monk and Natalie that the map is for a book project involving Treasure Island. Natalie is suspicious, and whether or not Monk also is skeptical, he goes along with the idea because he thinks that as Dr. Kroger has given him plenty of help, he should offer something in return to show his gratitude. However, Monk becomes aware of the ruse when he is told by Stottlemeyer that Gammelobo was 47 years old and someone had picked him clean of his wallet and cell phone, and immediately realizes that Troy and pals were in possession of them. Monk then bluffs Troy and his friends into giving up the truth about their discovery by asking them to tell him the names of the main characters in Treasure Island and failing to get a straight answer.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet: In "Mr. Monk and the End, Part I", the police have set up a stakeout at the train station hoping to nab hitman Joey Kazarinski for shooting Dr. Malcolm Nash and poisoning Monk. Kazarinski is tipped off to the police presence when he hears feedback and notices an undercover officer adjusting her earpiece. Subsequently, Stottlemeyer and Disher realize something is wrong when the 5:32 pm train from San Jose arrives but the PA system is unusually silent. Since normally an announcement would be made, Randy is sent up to the control room. He draws his pistol and breaks down the door and finds the controller lying dead on the floor, shot through the back and head. No announcement was made because Kazarinski shot the announcer and stole his uniform.
- It Tastes Like Feet: In "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk," Monk sees wine stompers at work:Wine Expert: Wine stomping. It's a tradition that goes back thousands of years to the Greeks. We're one of the last wineries in California that at least makes some of their wines using this method.Adrian Monk: [clearly disgusted] Oh, my God! People actually drink that?!Natalie Teeger: Yeah, I think so.Adrian Monk: Are they insane?! Ask her if they're insane!
Adrian Monk: I've been drinking that wine for fifteen years! It's foot wine! I can taste it!Natalie Teeger: Oh, come on, you cannot taste it!Adrian Monk: I... I... I... can. I can taste the feet now. And the toes. And what's between the toes.Al Nicoletto: [nodding in agreement] And the fungus. It really is barbaric.Natalie Teeger: Okay, I didn't see any fungus! Look, I'm sure they have clean feet! There are probably rules about that stuff....[She trails off as she watches the grape stompers walk past them, stepping barefoot across very muddy ground] OK, I admit it, that's pretty disgusting.
- Monk is horrified to find that his favorite Cabarnet is made this way:
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Stottlemeyer in the first part of "Mr. Monk and the End". "Your computer crashed."
- Jack the Ripoff: This is the trope that James Novak exploits in "Mr. Monk's 100th Case" - he strangles and kills his girlfriend Kate Kindel and passes her death off as another victim of Douglas Thurman, an active serial killer who has strangled three young women in identical fashion. What tipped Monk off was the fact that Kindel was strangled from behind (like a surprise attack) while the first three victims were strangled from in front (like they were facing their killer), and the fact that when Thurman killed himself, he had Mexican currency in his possession as he was fleeing to Mexico, but the Kindel killing happened north of San Francisco, which to Monk made no sense (Basically, why would a wanted killer go out of the way to take one more victim before fleeing south?).
- Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: In "Mr. Monk and the Magician," Karl Torini poses as a repairman to sneak into the Magic Castle theater and kill Kevin Dorfman.
- Monk. Probably to make him less pathetic, but the way he treated the people around him in the last few seasons, especially Natalie, makes one want to smack him. Monk's usual level of jerkiness is nothing compared to the way he behaves in "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine," due to the side effects of his anti-OCD medication.
- Natalie becomes somewhat of a diva in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" when she becomes a lottery hostess. If Monk sounds like a jerk talking to her in parts, he is actually very justified, in that he's being increasingly irritated with Natalie being too focused on her lottery job. He's also somewhat disturbed by her shift in personality, especially after an incident where she furiously lashes out at a sound engineer after tripping over some sound wires, which a normal person (or someone like Monk) would just try to be more careful around and not make such a fuss about.
- She was also sort of Jerkass-like in "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra." See Headscratchers for more.
- 90-odd percent of perps fit this trope.
- Regarding Jerkass villains, special mention must go to Max Hudson in "Mr. Monk Is on the Air". Truly one of the most hateful bastards the show has ever produced, especially since he humiliates Monk and Natalie on separate occasions (Natalie is really offended when Randy tells her that he likes the show). To put it in perspective, Steven Weber, the actor who played Max, who formerly worked with Tony Shalhoub in Wings, after reading what his character does to Monk in regards to Trudy's car bomb accident, actually begged the producers of Monk not to have him do that scene.
- Special mention goes to Agent Derek Thorpe, the obnoxious FBI agent in "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy". With his arrogance, some viewers complained that it would have made sense if he were the killer (explaining why he appeared to be stonewalling the investigation of a brutal homicide). Those people were satisfied when Thorpe murders someone in the novel Mr. Monk is a Mess.
- Natalie's mother Peggy Davenport in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding". Natalie describes her to Randy as having two things: "tennis and making me feel like dirt. She's a champion at both." Among other things:
- Her taking an evidence bag with Randy's bloodied pants (after someone tries to kill Randy by running him down with a car in the parking lot) to match the tablecloths to the flowers.
- When Monk and Natalie are showing Peggy the evidence that proves Jonathan's new wife Theresa Scott is in fact a Black Widow and she tried to kill Randy, Peggy refuses to listen to them, and manages to make the whole thing about berating Natalie and her decision to marry Mitch, and somehow throws Monk into the bargain, saying "I really don't see how you can work with that man or how you can take anything he says seriously" when Monk is hit with Theresa's garter belt and is naturally disgusted.
- Special mention also goes to attorney Harrison Powell in "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand". He delights in bringing up Monk's phobias and OCD to show his supposed incompetence, especially in public.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sharona
- Jurisdiction Friction: Played straight and averted.
- Aversion: In Monkland, there is little evident friction between the San Francisco Police Department and the other San Francisco Bay Area police forces (Oakland, San Mateo County, Alameda County, Marin County). In both novels and episodes alike, whenever the characters must leave the SFPD jurisdiction to conduct part of their investigation, local police get called and appropriate arrangements are made, and there are almost no problems.
- But in Monkland, the SFPD has a very rocky relationship with the federal agencies, like the DEA, FBI, and ATF.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy" when the FBI takes over a serial killer case and starts bossing Captain Stottlemeyer and the other main characters around, and the lead agent Derek Thorpe is a complete jerk to them. This is a case that could never happen in real life, because the FBI has absolutely no jurisdiction over a homicide case unless they are certain that the killer crossed state lines while committing the crime, it committed during a federal offense like a bank robbery, or it was a political assassination.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect," Stottlemeyer brings Monk and Sharona in on the Amanda Babbage mailbombing case specifically because the people at the ATF "are in charge and are not shy about saying so", and he just wants to look good for Agent Grooms.
- Stottlemeyer shows further contempt for Agent Grooms in "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever" when Grooms is assigned to be Monk's supervising agent during Monk's time in Witness Protection. To the point that he, Monk and Natalie actually lock Grooms in the bathroom with Stottlemeyer's handcuffs when Grooms refuses to let them go out to investigate when Monk suspects that neighbor Kathy Willowby has murdered her husband Martin by dropping a radio into the bathtub. Though to be fair, Grooms's concerns for Monk's safety were legitimate, given that Monk is in witness protection because he is being targeted by ruthless Asian cartel lord Tommy Winn, who has had several previous federal witnesses killed, and Grooms knows Monk is their best shot at putting him behind bars.
- In Mr. Monk is a Mess, Monk and Natalie find themselves being hounded by Agent Thorpe and a few other FBI personnel after a woman named Michelle Keeling kills herself in Natalie's house and some marked mob money from a sting operation, money that was stolen from an FBI evidence storage room, is discovered under Natalie's mattress.
- "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty" is another noticeable case: Stottlemeyer and Disher personally capture Miguel Escobar, a notorious wanted fugitive (who sounds like he is on the FBI Top Ten Most Wanted list). A few weeks later, conflict arises between the SFPD and FBI when their Special Agent Lapides shows up in Stottlemeyer's office with a letter from the U.S. Attorney General demanding Stottlemeyer hand custody of Escobar over to the Feds. Stottlemeyer doesn't want to, as he wants to have Escobar tried for a local homicide in San Francisco, but the Feds want him tried for trafficking drugs into seven different states (and possibly several other homicides that are linked to it).
- Just Here for Godzilla: In-Universe, Monk refuses to have birthday parties because on his tenth birthday, the only reason his friends showed up was to see TV sensation Cowboy Hank. They left when Cowboy Hank did, scarring Monk for life. Natalie snaps him out of it in "Happy Birthday Mr. Monk".
- Just Plane Wrong:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Airplane":
- Although the episode takes place on a plane belonging to the fictional "Nationwide Airways," stock footage of a Delta Air Lines plane is shown when the plane is pushing back and taking off.
- There's what appears to be a shot of the plane flying through the air (around 26:53) where it suddenly looks like it turns into a United Airlines plane.
- Almost everything to do with the F-22 Raptor also qualifies in "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut": Such as Natalie mistaking a sidewinder missile for a nuclear weapon, or the warheads just being left out like that. Or... anything else in the entire sequence. Also, if you look closely, one of the soldiers has an AK-pattern rifle, painted black. This might be due to production problems, like the relative availability of AK-pattern prop guns.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Airplane":
- Just Train Wrong: In "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure," there's one scene where Monk, Natalie, and Troy Kroger and his friends are milling near a grade crossing, trying to figure out the next part of the map. Then a commuter train speeds through the crossing. What makes it so train wrong on so many levels is that the show is set in the San Francisco Bay Area, yet the train we see is a Metrolink train. Metrolink is Los Angeles's commuter railroad system. Therefore, they're not in Niles Canyon (the closest thing there is in the Bay Area to the geography they are in; which also has railroads running through it including the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) trains), but rather they are in Soledad Canyon on the Antelope Valley Line at a turnoff that leads to an abandoned barn.