- Karma Houdini: In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", Roderick Brody, the guy who bullied Monk in high school, is rich, successful, having a hot wife, and believes all the cruel things he did to him were nothing more than dumb jokes on his part. And worse of all, he wasn't the killer — though he nearly got framed up by his wife's identical twin.
- Kent Brockman News: Brandy Barber in "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa" definitely qualifies. For one thing, most of her reports are emotionally charged rather than done rationally, and often has her skewing the story to humiliate the interviewee. Her story about Monk's shooting of a Bad Santa with his own weapon in self-defense is rigged such that it portrays the incident as deliberate. As a result, Monk and Natalie get harassed everywhere they go, but the city takes a Heel-Face Turn once Monk stops the diamond heist said Bad Santa was trying to commit. It seems that pretty much everyone - except the police officers in the San Francisco Police Department - believes Barber's reports.
- Lack of Empathy: Although several of the killers in the show do commit heinous crimes, few truly stand out as having lack of empathy.
- One aversion would be Jack Leverett in "Mr. Monk and the Actor". He clearly doesn't feel that good about either his first killing or his second one.
- "Honest" Jake Phillips in "Mr. Monk Buys a House" has some empathy - you can see he has a My God, What Have I Done? look and appears visibly shaken after he stabs and kills his girlfriend.
- From "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife," Evan Coker shoots a tow truck driver with a hunting rifle in order to retrieve a pistol from his repossessed car. The driver's truck then promptly swerves in front of Stottlemeyer's wife Karen, causing her to crash and get knocked into a temporary coma. In the ending, while being arrested by the police, Coker is shown chuckling and smiling after Stottlemeyer almost goes ballistic and beats him down because of this.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Kris Kedder kills roadie Stork Murray to keep the roadie from revealing that Kedder committed copyright theft. When Monk, Natalie and Kendra show up to question him, Kedder appears to show empathy for Stork's death, but Kendra can clearly see through it:
Kris Kedder: [singing to some women] "Peggy's gone to Memphis / Daddy's all alone..." [Monk, Natalie and Kendra come up. Kedder stops]
Kendra Frank: Excuse me. This is Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger. They're with the cops.
Roadie in Hawaiian Shirt: Cops?
Kendra Frank: Yeah, they're looking into what happened to Stork.
Kris Kedder: What's the big mystery? He's been chasing that dragon for years. I tried to help him.
Kendra Frank: [disgusted] When did you try to help him? [to Monk] See now that he's dead, everyone's his best friend! [to Kedder] Where were you when he was sinking?
Kris Kedder: Where were you?
- "Mr. Monk Is On The Air": Max Hudson certainly doesn't have any when Monk brings up Trudy on the air, although his sidekicks do. He makes some tasteless and offensive jokes about Trudy, which proves to be a bad idea because it causes Monk to attack him in the booth.
- In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," Hal Tucker admits in interview to James Novak he actually felt sorry for Monk's troubles when he was being arrested.
- In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," 'Honest' Jake Phillips comes across Monk at a hardware store and sympathizes with Monk's difficulties in finding a good showerhead to convince Monk he is very useful. It's all a ruse to get Monk to hire him to fix "problems" Jake "finds" with the house.
- Monk himself has been accused of this, usually when he can't empathize with other people's phobias or quirks. A prime example is "Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus," where the entire subplot revolves around Monk's inability to understand Sharona's fear of elephants, telling her to "suck it up". The same happens in "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse," where Monk is unable to sympathize with Natalie's belief that voodoo is real, mostly because he believes voodoo is just a superstition.
- Lampshade Hanging
- The 100th episode might as well have been called "Ode to Lampshades". It has so many.
- "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan" does its fair share of hanging as well.
- Laughing Mad: Monk briefly undergoes this trope in "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike" when, after being driven insane by the continuing piling of garbage as well as his earlier failure to find the one responsible for the murder of the saniation union boss due to being wrong the first time around, hijacks a city garbage truck, and is planning to dump it into the bay, and implies to do the same with every garbage truck available until the city is clean, as well as coming up with an even less credible and ridiculously hilarious theory that Alice Cooper killed the union leader due to envy over his owning a chair. In case you're wondering how it's less credible, the first theory was only wrong in that the Mayor killed the union leader, and everything else was spot on, even the Mayor visiting the union leader the night of his death. The second theory, however missed out on a lot of the evidences observed by Monk earlier, and was simply too ludicrous to be true. Randy takes it so seriously that he starts poking holes in it until Stottlemeyer asks him, "Do we really need to poke holes in the 'Alice Cooper wants a wingback chair' theory?"
- Large Ham: Tim Curry's portrayal of Dale the Whale.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- In the second season ("Mr. Monk and the TV Star"), Marci Maven (Sarah Silverman) becomes a fan of Monk's work. At the end of the episode, she says something about how he's such a great detective "one day you'll get your own TV show." And then she ask him "if you ever do get your own TV show, don't change the opening song." When the credits roll, rather than the second season song, they're playing the first season theme.
- Additionally, many characters were named after the show's producers. Murder victim Stefanie Preston in "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing" was named for one of the writers, and the judge in "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand" is named for producer Anthony Santa Croce. Schizophrenic ex-detective Cynthia "Cindy" Chow in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu was also named for a producer. In "Mr. Monk in Outer Space", the alien "Dratch" language is named after Daniel Dratch.
- In the beginning of "Mr. Monk and the Big Reward," Monk and Natalie ask to be put on a retainer for the SFPD - at the end of the episode, Stottlemeyer tells them that the Commissioner has decided to guarantee them sixteen homicides a year for the next two years. After that, they'll just have to see what happens. To better explain the joke: each season of Monk has sixteen episodes (save for season 1, which has just twelve episodes), and that episode was near the end of that current season with the show up for being renewed.
- Left the Background Music On: In "Mr. Monk and the Leper", Stottlemeyer and Disher are searching a missing pianist's apartment. Randy sees a piano and starts doodling on it.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer:
What are you doing? Lt. Randall Disher: Background music. (continues with same riff) Captain Leland Stottlemeyer:
You know, they don't keep playing the same thing over and over. Lt. Randall Disher:
Sure they do. (continues) Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: (annoyed)
Hard to concentrate! Lt. Randall Disher:
Isn't it? (continues) (Randy plays a dramatic chord as Stottlemeyer makes important discovery) (same riff continues in background as they examine the evidence)
- Even funnier - Randy is doodling out the original theme used in the season 1 version of the opening credits sequence.
- "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" has this trope more naturally: rather than the usual soft melodies, this episode is more geared towards guitar solos and heavy metal soundtrack. The idea is that most of the soundtrack is supplied by the music that is being performed on stage. It would almost be perfect, apart from the fact that a few of the tracks are repeated (e.g. the song that is playing when Monk is in the parking lot dealing with tailgaters is the very same song that is playing minutes later when Monk and Natalie are approached by Kendra Frank, even though at least one other song has played before Monk and Natalie find the body), and there's one instance where you hear what is supposed to be music being played on stage yet the stage is deserted as it is between bands.
- Licked by the Dog: "Dog...lick...hand! Boil water!"
- Limited Wardrobe: A rare non-animated version; Monk likes consistency in every aspect of his life, and this extends to wearing nearly-identical suits at almost all times, with most exceptions being when a different style is required (i.e. his old police uniform when trying to get his badge back).
- In contrast, Natalie has the reverse, a seemingly Unlimited Wardrobe. Her general outfits tend to change from season to season.
- Line-of-Sight Name: In "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall", Harold Krenshaw asks Monk for the name of his new therapist, and Monk gives the pathetic name "Dr. Door". Harold pulls him up on it and asks if he saw a fire alarm, would he say "Doctor Bell"? This is followed by a marvellous Spit Take from Natalie.
- Also used in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month". While standing on a loading dock, Randy tells Sharona he has a new girlfriend named Crystal. "Is her last name Glassware?" Sharona asks, referring to a nearby box of—yes—crystal glassware. Randy spends the rest of the episode insisting Crystal is real. She is; we see her in a cab at the end.
- The Living Dead: This effect failure has cropped up in a few episodes. One of the most glaring is in "Mr. Monk and the Genius": when Monk is leaning next to Linda Kloster's body at the crime scene, you can see Elena Evangelo's chest rise at the point where Monk says "I don't know." Apparently they couldn't use a dummy to avoid this problem. Also, in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital," Dr. Whitcomb's actor does this during the crime scene investigation.
- Living Lie Detector: Averted in "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective": the living lie detector is faking it.
- Locked In The Bathroom: In the episode "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever," Stottlemeyer uses a set of handcuffs to lock Agent Grooms in the witness protection cabin's bathroom so Grooms cannot interfere while Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer leave to investigate a potential murder.
- Locked Room Mystery:
- "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room," where records producer Ian Blackburn is shot and killed in his locked panic room. The police arrive, cut through the panic room door, and find him dead with his own monkey Darwin holding the gun.
- "Mr. Monk Is Underwater": Commander Whitaker shoots the naval second-in-command Jason Pierce and passes his death off as a suicide. Ultimately, a Columbo device (a firecracker lit with a cigarette to create a fake gunshot) is used to delay the presumed time of death so that it will seem like Whitaker was outside the room when Pierce was killed.
- Logging Onto The Fourth Wall: The final episode has Monk saying that Molly hosts movie reviews at MollyEvansReviews.com. Although now defunct, the website once allowed visitors to purchase Monk DVDs and books.
- Loony Fan/Stalker with a Crush: Marci Maven. Monk and Natalie are somewhat disturbed when she ropes them into clearing her dog's name. What's frightening to them is that she's wearing Monk's old pants, she has furnished her house with much of the stuff he throws out, and she has plastered the wall in pictures of him, also even making a bobblehead of him. Also, she has an inaccurate diorama of "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies," and is starting a song about the detective.
- Lost in Character: "Mr. Monk and the Actor" has David Ruskin succumb to this trope
- Luxury Prison Suite: Dale the Whale's last appearance. Until he loses it trying to frame Monk when he attempted to assassinate the governor.
- Madness Mantra: When Monk breaks down during the garbage strike and tries to get rid of the trash himself by driving it into the sea, he keeps muttering "One bag at a time, one truck at a time!" to himself.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: The nature of a lot of murders
- The Man Behind the Man: Warrick Tennyson was hired by Frank Nunn, who worked for the Judge.
- ManChild: Monk becomes one through hypnosis in "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized". He gets better, though. It's also hinted that even during this state, he still innately could find clues about the actual murder, although his way of expressing these facts is much different — like tasting a piece of gum taken off Sally Larkin's shoe. It's kind of gross, but just from tasting the gum, Monk is able to determine that Sally had actually killed her husband at his house instead of at the cabin she was supposedly hiding in, because it turns out the gum is a piece of Randy's homemade diet blueberry chewing gum.
- Randy can behave somewhat like this depending on the situation. Some situations where Monk spends a lot of time cringing and whimpering make one think of him as this, too.
- "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum" had one of these. Manny is a thirty-ish mental patient with a Santa Claus obsession that helped put away the murderer of the week, Dr. Morris Lancaster.
- Mauve Shirt: Kevin Dorfman. He's murdered in "Mr. Monk and the Magician".
- Make the Dog Testify: Averted through Lampshade Hanging. Captain Stottlemeyer tells Randy that there is a law prohibiting animals from testifying. Randy responds that it could easily be changed, as it is California, where stranger things happen every day.
- Mama Bear: Sharona and Natalie have these tendencies toward their kids and toward Monk to varying degrees.
- In "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy," Sharona gets furious when Dexter Larsen threatens to publish nude photos of her if Monk doesn't stop investigating Dex for the murder of Elliott D'Souza, so she confronts him and threatens to ruin him if he harms Benjy indirectly.
- "Mr. Monk and the Critic" highlighted the trope with Natalie, where she gets so made at John Hannigan's bad review of her daughter's play that she tries to deck him. She also gets busted for snooping around his property, thinking that he only wrote the bad review because he was actually murdering his girlfriend Callie Esterhaus when the play was being performed. Of course, he is guilty of the murder, but they convict him on his failure to recognize Julie when she isn't wearing a wig.
- Married to the Job:
- Stottlemeyer. Truth in Television, though, since being a cop is a 24 hour commitment.
- His second marriage to Karennote is on the rocks throughout the first three seasons, culminating in his divorce in season 4.
- In the start of season five, he does pick up a girlfriend in the form of a realtor named Linda Fusco, but it doesn't last. The first reason is that Stottlemeyer's police duties means that their dates are frequently interrupted, postponed, or cancelled completelynote . The second reason is that Monk and Natalie discover that she murdered her ex-business partner when he decided to break off and start his own agency.
- His third marriage, to Trudy "T.K." Jensen, doesn't seem to suffer from this trope.
- Natalie also observes this about Stottlemeyer in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu. When she and Monk happen to notice Stottlemeyer sitting in his car outside Monk's apartment, Natalie notes that he's in the unmarked Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor that the SFPD has assigned him to use:
Here's something odd I've noticed about cops: They drive around all day in black-and-white and unmarked Crown Victorias, the standard vehicle used by law enforcement agencies nationwidenote . So you'd think that when they bought their own cars, they'd want something entirely different, something less big, boxy, and official. But no. They don't feel comfortable in "civilian" cars. They want to be cops at home, too. Which may be why divorce rates among cops are so high. Perhaps if they ditched their Crown Vics, they would less likely be ditched themselves.
- It is probably truth in television that any modern police force will have a lot of single and divorced cops in their ranks, but most of the strain in their relationships is because most police officers, especially someone in a higher rank of authority like Stottlemeyer, has to be on call at all hours of the day and again, risk their life every day when they are on duty. Usually, if any officers do use their police units for personal uses, it's so that they can quickly respond if they should be recalled for any reason (like a sudden crisis).
- Also, in a defunct USA Network tie-in blog (now removed), Stottlemeyer describes himself as basically being a great police captain, but a lousy dater. This explains why he never saw that Linda was a killer until Monk and Natalie exposed her as one.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," Joe Christie describes the Mega-Mart store shift manager Brent Donovan as this kind of person when describing each employee to Monk.
- Match Cut: A few cases.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized," we see Monk at the hypnotist Dr. Lawrence Climan's office. The camera cuts to the plants outside the office window, and pans across the bushes, dissolving and moving to Stottlemeyer and Disher organizing a search party at Sally Larkin's house.
- In "Mr. Monk and the End," when the car bomb kills Trudy, flames shoot out of the side of the garage. The camera follows the flames up into the blue sky, then pans back down on a birthing clinic where Monk and Captain Stottlemeyer are questioning Dr. Malcolm Nash.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk," Al Nicoletto kills Rudy in a hotel room, then looks at the postcard Rudy received from Ben Gruber - a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. As Nicoletto looks at the picture, the camera zooms in on it and immediately turns into the show's title card.
- Meaningful Background Event:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," when Monk and Natalie are entering the cafeteria, you can see Dianne Brooks in the background of a couple of different shots well before she approaches them (she's got her back to the camera, though, in all of them).
- In "Mr. Monk and the Daredevil," Monk is obsessing over the fact that Harold Krenshaw has, apparently, lost his phobias and become a daredevil. While he and Stottlemeyer are engaged in a contest of bladders, Monk's coffee table is perfectly aligned. In an earlier season we saw that Monk always keeps it cock-eyed. That he doesn't care about that shows that he's more obsessed with this.
- Meaningful Name: Monk is a creature of habit.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Miracle," one of the three homeless men who go to Monk and Natalie is named "the Professor". Natalie initially thinks that he's named that because he is an intellect who wants to know about the world, then the Professor says, "I eat books."
- Media Scrum: The main characters do have to deal with this on a few occasions.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," Stottlemeyer has to deal with how Monk's inability to concentrate on the Jimmy Cusack murder case affects what information he is releasing to the media.
- "Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger" is a prominent example, as Stottlemeyer is under pressure to solve the Sidney Teal murder investigation, but it's also burdened by the fact that a uniformed police officer (later determined to have been an actor Teal had hired to congratulate Archie Modine had Modine not been planning to shoot Teal) was seen fleeing the scene afterwards. The press latch onto that second subplot, calling him "Fraidy Cop". At one press conference, Stottlemeyer actually tries to make reporters shut up about Fraidy Cop by saying, "I have another statement, and here it is: The next reporter that asks me about this so-called Fraidy Cop is going to be banned from all press conferences for a year."
- Stottlemeyer does seem to have a dislike of the media scrum, as one ghostwritten blog notes "It's hard enough trying to solve a case without having the media turning the investigation into a circus and spinning everything so it'll make a good sound bite on the 10 o'clock news. I'm also not too fond of the way police always get made out to be bumbling fools."
- Brad Terry exploits this trope in "Mr. Monk and the TV Star" when he stabs and kills his ex-wife Susan Malloy. He deliberately gets "drunk" and stages a fight with a bartender so that the paparazzi will follow him everywhere, even camping out outside Susan's house. By editing Susan's yoga tape, he is able to make it look like she was killed while he was talking on the driveway to the paparazzi, when in reality the supposed "death scream" was coming from the TV screen and Brad was actually going into the house to stab Susan when he appeared to be entering the house to "save" her.
- Meta Casting: Stanley Tucci, one of the actors originally considered for the role of Monk, stars in "Mr. Monk and the Actor" as David Ruskin, who is playing Monk in a TV adaptation of "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut". Alfred Molina, who had also auditioned for the role, appears in "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man" as an engineer.
- Method Acting: Invoked by David Ruskin in "Mr. Monk and the Actor". This conversation Natalie has with Monk in a back alleyway after she excuses herself from a crime scene investigation as Monk coaches Ruskin on his "it's a gift and a curse" catchphrase:
Adrian Monk: There you are! What are you doing?
Natalie Teeger: Just getting some air.
Adrian Monk: There's a lot of air inside. Everybody's in there breathing away.
Natalie Teeger: Yeah, it's a little stuffy for me in there. "It's a gift! And a curse! It's a gift and a curse, it's a gift and a curse!"
Adrian Monk: Okay?
Natalie Teeger: Okay Mr. Monk, don't you see? It's already happening!
Adrian Monk: What is?
Natalie Teeger: Okay, I've been doing a little research on your new "pal". Two years ago, David Ruskin played an alcoholic in a TV movie. He got so into it, he had to check himself into rehab for three months!
Adrian Monk: A lot of people check themselves into rehab.
Natalie Teeger: He doesn't drink!! That's the thing! He had all the symptoms of an alcoholic without drinking! He's had at least two other breakdowns! Mr. Monk, I think this man is dangerous! I think he's dangerous to you.
Adrian Monk: Maybe he's just dedicated. Did you ever think of that? [Natalie sighs] Natalie, they're making a movie about me! Now this is something I might actually come close to, almost, enjoying!
- And Natalie's warning does come true.
- When Stottlemeyer and Disher sit in on a rehearsal of one of the scenes in the TV movie (specifically, the producers' version of the scene at Joanne Raphelson's house), everything goes well (minus the fact that Randy is played by a woman and is Stottlemeyer's romantic partner, which clearly does not go over well with the real Stottlemeyer or Disher) until Ruskin comes on set to perform. He suddenly breaks character in the middle of the take and storms off frustrated due to the mishmash of some crew members having their hats on forwards and some having their hats on backwards.
- Things get downhill from there when he ends up basically shooing Monk out of his own apartment.
- Ruskin gets so into the part of Monk that he even goes to the parking garage where Trudy was killed while wearing a nearly convincing wig that could easily allow Stanley Tucci to pass for Tony Shalhoub, and when the police identify the double homicide's culprit as a car salesman named Jack Leverett, Ruskin misinterprets the news brought to "him" by a parking garage attendant as being that they've found Trudy's killer.
- Hence, a simple arrest doesn't work because Ruskin actually takes Leverett hostage with Monk's revolver, forcing the real Monk to talk Ruskin!!Monk out of shooting Leverett. Had Monk not shown up to talk Ruskin down, it's very likely Ruskin would have outright killed Leverett, and would either get shot by the police or be forever marked with a Role Ending Misdemeanor that would have been really embarrassing for the studio, and likely gotten him institutionalized and ended his career early.
- Mile-High Club: Mentioned in Mr. Monk Goes to Germany when Monk, on Dioxynl, is seen disembarking the plane with a hot reporter. Natalie decides not to bother trying to explain the concept to him. This goes into Getting Crap Past the Radar territory.
- The Missus and the Ex: "Mr. Monk and Sharona" involves Sharona returning to San Francisco to clear up a matter involving her uncle Howie's death and paying Monk a visit, simultaneously meeting Natalie. With their different relationships with the man on full display, Monk spends about half the episode wishing they wouldn't talk to each other, and Captain Stottlemeyer doesn't help things.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: I love Natalie. And I love Sharona, too. They're both wonderful women. You got lucky twice! But together, they're like bourbon and vodka: I love them both, but I can't have them at the same meal because they don't mix. These women are so different, Monk. They're going to tear you apart like a piece of saltwater taffy.
Adrian Monk: I know, I've been a piece of taffy all day. Natalie's been acting like Mary, Queen of Scots. She wants more money. I mean, she won't lay down in the dirt when I ask her! I'm losing her!
- Ms. Fanservice:
- Fanservice Extra: Quite a number of female extras in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert". In particular, you have the tan girl that Monk tosses the beachball to the first time it hits him, who is literally in just a bikini. You also have very dressed down women standing nearby when Monk and Natalie found the body. Tamara Feldman as Kendra Frank is close to qualify as she wears a short-sleeve t-shirt and a short sleeve leather jacket that almost qualifies more like a vest.
- Natalie appears to exhibit this trope in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" when she's in her lottery hostess dresses.
- Practically 90% of the extras at Sapphire Mansion in "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy" are this trope.
- Mistaken for Badass: Quite a few times. One good example is "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else," when Monk, disguised as a strangely identical hit man, straightens a fellow mobster's tie....which apparently is taken for an intimidating gesture, given that the guy he was doing it to was inquiring about where the body of one of Monk's doppelganger's victims is buried.
- Mistaken for Exhibit: In "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand", a flashback during Monk's testimony shows that at the victim's house, he mistakenly believed a display stand was an art piece. He also does the same with a Windex container in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu.
- Mistaken for Racist: In "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man", Monk is meeting with a group of people at the marathon committee's office, and has a wipe ready to wipe his hands after all handshakes are complete. Unfortunately, the last person to shake his hand is a black man, and Monk wipes his hands right after. This trope is played straight, racism is implied and accused. Afterwards, everyone there regards him with contempt.
- Monochrome Casting: Tony Shalhoub, though born in America, is Lebanese, but Monk is supposed to be white.
- Mood Whiplash: The show is fearless about switching between drama and comedy.
- The best examples, by far, are in "Mr. Monk and the End". Here's one: Dr. Matthew Shuler informs Monk he's going to die. He'll feel better, then there'll be vomiting, followed by death. Monk, however, wants death to happen before the vomiting.
- Also in the Part 1 prologue, when Dr. Malcolm Nash sees Monk trying to straighten out the umbilical cord on a baby model, he points out that they're not supposed to be perfectly straight. Stottlemeyer says, "But his was." He and Monk laugh. Seconds later, Stottlemeyer's phone rings and it's the hospital informing him and Monk that Trudy has been killed.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife," we have Monk and Leland outside Monk's apartment, conversing, as Monk exasperates the substitute garbagemen with how to load his garbage. That part of the scene itself is pretty amusing. Just as the garbage truck is beginning to drive away, a very distraught Randy arrives to inform Leland that his wife Karen has been in a car accident and has been hospitalized.
- The Mourning After. Monk is married. His wife is dead, but he's still married.
- Mugging the Monster: Here are a few examples.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist," an ex-cop named Denny Jardeen is part of a crew that holds up an armored car. In the fight, one guard manages to punch Jardeen, breaking one of his teeth, before he is shot dead. Jardeen goes to Dr. Oliver Bloom, his dentist, to get his tooth repaired, but under anasthesia, he divulges everything about the robbery to Dr. Bloom without knowing it. Instead of going to the police, Dr. Bloom and Terri go to where the loot is being stored and steal it. But Jardeen figures it out, and a few nights later, when Dr. Bloom and Terri are operating on Randy for a toothache, Jardeen barges in confronting them, and they kill him in a fight.
- In Mr. Monk on Patrol, two rogue Summit police officers, Raymond Lindero and Walter Woodlake, are arrested for a rash of burglaries. However, they insist that they are innocent of committing one burglary in which a woman, Pamela Goldman, was bludgeoned and killed. Their alibi is that they were robbing a Mr. Prosser, who lives nearby, when the killing was committed. Monk and Natalie visit Mr. Prosser, only for him to tell them no one burglarized him the day of the murder. As a result, Randy considers the rogue officers as having very weak alibis as a result. However, later, Monk and Natalie are called to a trespassing call at an electronics store for a man who has camped out in front of the store's TV merchandise, and Monk suddenly realizes that the rogue officers have been cleared off the murder charge - Mr. Prosser couldn't report the burglary to the police without exposing the fact that he was selling bootlegged merchandise out of his house, which itself is also a crime.
- In Mr. Monk on the Couch, a double variant: an ex-con named Rico Ramirez had stolen some diamonds and before he was caught, he stashed them in a couch belonging to his girlfriend Cheryl Strauss. She sold it to a thrift shop owned by a man named Casey Grover, who in turn sold the couch to a realtor named Mark Costa. While Ramirez did five years in jail, Costa found the diamonds and stashed them in the walls of his house. When Ramirez gets out, he tracks down his diamonds, first killing the thrift shop manager, then using his computer to track down Costa. After killing Costa, he ransacks Costa's house looking for the diamonds, but when he can't find them, he tortures and kills Cheryl Strauss instead. But then someone else finds the diamonds: a crew of four cash-strapped crime scene cleaners named Jerry Yermo, Corinne Witt, William Tong and Gene Tiflin. They discover the diamonds by ripping open the walls in Costa's bedroom. However, they are witnessed by a BART train engineer named Stuart Hewson, who was watching them through a telescope at his house a few blocks away. Hewson tries to blackmail Jerry Yermo. In response, the crew go to his house and shoot him.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Monk's reaction in "Mr. Monk on Wheels" to discovering Dean Berry's square tomatoes. He is literally beside himself with joy, since each slice is the exact same size and won't overlap in sandwiches.
Adrian Monk: You can taste the symmetry!
- Of course, there is a problem with this - in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum", Dr. Morris Lancaster reads from Monk's patient chart that Monk is allergic to tomatoes.
- Murder Makes You Crazy: At least to all appearances in "Mr. Monk is on the Run". When Frank Nunn is shot dead, to all appearances by Monk himself, he acts really disoriented and neurotic (more so than usual). Driving in circles while attempting to steal a pickup truck (as the club is locked around the steering wheel), and stopping to re-thread his torn prison uniform with the correct color thread, are probably good examples.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Constantly invoked by Varla Davis in "Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf". She's convinced Monk is eyeing her breasts when he's really distracted by a crumb on her blouse. Later, she castigates Randy the same way.
- My God, What Have I Done?: There are a few cases where a killer does look visibly shaken after committing their murder. For instance:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Actor," Jack Leverett looks shaken after killing his mistress in the heat of a fight, even calling her name before immediately running out. When he shoots the pawn shop owner, he looks at the revolver he used in the shooting, horrified, after the owner is killed.
- In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," when "Honest" Jake Phillips stabs and kills his girlfriend Cassie Drake in her house, he is seen shedding a tear immediately afterwards, making it look like he's shocked and sadden that he had no choice but to outright murder the woman he loved and pretty brutally at that (by stabbing her through the heart with an awl). However, he doesn't show this look when he shoots and kills Honest Ramone.
- Mystery Magnet: Monk is one. Indeed, not a single corpse that he runs across has ever died of a natural death. This has been lampshaded a couple of times.
- The novels are more so, since Monk and Natalie cannot leave San Francisco without discovering dead bodies.
- In the novel Mr. Monk on Patrol, after Monk and Natalie are nearly incinerated by an arsonist who sets their hotel rooms on fire with a Molotov cocktail, Officer Walter Woodlake tells Randy, "Chief, I thought these two were supposed to drive crime down, not up." The statement comes off as rather ironic once you find out that Officer Woodlake and his partner Raymond Lindero were the arsonists who set that fire and also are responsible for the recent influx of burglaries.
- In Mr. Monk Is Miserable, Natalie says she feels like she'll have to start carrying body bags around.
- Myth Arc: Finding Trudy's killer is the main arc, but there are several other arcs within the series, such as Stottlemeyer's relationship with Linda Fusco (one season 5 and two season 6 episodes).
- Mythology Gag:
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist," we were introduced to Randy's single, "I Don't Need a Badge," a condescending rock song (with a very terrible music video) directed at Stottlemeyer following Randy's temporary resignation from the force. In the novel Mr. Monk is Miserable, when Randy is introduced at the Paris police prefecture, Inspector Guy Gadois identifies him right away, and apparently has heard the song a lot. Ear Worm In-Universe, probably. Gadois's only changes to the lyrics have been replacing some American terminologies with European ones - "captain" with "Inspector" and "mustache" with "goatee". Natalie is somewhat disturbed, as is Stottlemeyer.
- In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," the first time Randy is interviewed on the documentary, the caption incorrectly displays his rank as "Sgt." In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding", Theresa Scott incorrectly refers to Randy as "Sgt. Disher". There, someone referring to Randy by the wrong rank was a crucial clue to solving the case as Randy had investigated Theresa many years earlier for the murder of one of her husbands, but lost track of her before joining the SFPD.
- Lee Goldberg seems to have set many of his novel series in one universe. Lieutenant Ben Keoloha and the Grand Kiahuna Poipu resort in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii had appeared in one of the Diagnosis: Murder novels.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage," one scene shows the vagrant Gerald Vengal reading out of one of Lee Goldberg's Diagnosis: Murder novels to his pet gerbil Devo.
- Mr. Fanservice: In "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan," Randy tries to woo over the women at the SFPD Bachelor Auction by taking his shirt off.
- Mugged for Disguise:
- In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," Eddie Murdoch kills Stefanie Preston on the orders of his boss Peter Breen and sets her house on fire. But he leaves Breen's keys behind and doesn't realize this until it's too late to go back in. So to get back to the fire scene without drawing attention, he goes to the nearest firehouse, kills a fireman named Rusty with a shovel, blinds Monk with cleaning acid, and steals a firefighter's coat and helmet to get back into the scene. Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, the novel the episode was ripped from, has Lucas Breen do the same with a Dalmatian named Sparky.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic," Ray Galardi, after killing Steve Marriot and making his death look like a car accident, realizes he mixed up his phone with Marriot's when he takes a call on his cell phone only to get someone asking for Marriot, meaning Galardi's own phone is on the body. So to get his cell phone back, Galardi stops his truck across the highway, walks into the accident scene, and lures a paramedic to an out-of-the-way area by claiming that his pregnant wife's in the back of one of the ambulances and needs to be checked on. When the paramedic is opening the back doors of the ambulance, Galardi strangles him, rolls his body under the vehicle, and steals his uniform so that he can switch phones back without anyone noticing.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Naming a mining town Trouble in Mr. Monk in Trouble. And believe me, Monk and Natalie deal with a lot of trouble there.
- Necro Cam: Subverted on the intro of "Mr. Monk and the Critic".
- Nerdy Inhaler: Kris Kedder in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" has asthma, so he uses a unique mint-flavored one. Is used to prove that he blew up a blue beachball while impersonating his victim at an acupuncture tent
- Never One Murder: Especially in the later seasons.
- Outright lampshaded in "Mr. Monk and the Actor", where David Ruskin inquires if the person who killed Michelle Cullman will strike again. Stottlemeyer replies that the murder was a crime of passion, and that the killer will probably never put another toe out of line again. Cuts to Jack Leverett breaking into a pawn shop and accidentally shooting the owner with his own revolver while attempting to destroy evidence linking him to the first murder.
- Never Suicide: There are a lot of suicides in San Francisco that turn out to be cleverly disguised murders.
- According to a monologue in the novel Mr. Monk on the Road, Monk is never called in for suicides unless they are somehow tied to an investigation he is working on, the victim is high profile, or the method of suicide is truly bizarre (like overdosing on Ding Dongs).
- Twice have there been murder-suicides in the show.
- The first is "Mr. Monk's 100th Case", where Douglas Thurman shoots himself in a motel room as a SWAT team arrives, to avoid being captured.
- The second is "Mr. Monk and the End" with the judge.
- The third is the novel Mr. Monk Gets Even with the plot involving a set of three murders disguised as accidents. Monk pins them on a Steve Jobs-esque computer company founder named Cleve Dobbs (the name is even phonetically pronounced similarly), but the evidence is somewhat shaky. Then Dobbs is apparently stabbed to death by his wife, meaning Monk is wrong about Dobbs. Until Monk realizes that Dobbs had a terminal disease and knew he only had a year left to live. He killed the three people he believed wronged him, then killed himself in a very ingenious way that would cast suspicion on his wife.
- Averted in "Mr. Monk is a Mess", where everyone ELSE thinks the woman who was sleeping in Natalie's bed was murdered in the bathtub, but Monk announces it was suicide. The medical examiner also is quick to find evidence supporting Monk's claims.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: "Mr. Monk on Wheels", the opening scene shows Natalie helping John Kuramoto after his bike hits a pothole and crashes, and even fixes his chain, then compliments him on his bolt-cutters, all while unaware that the bike is stolen. She is very embarrassed when Dean Berry, the bike's legitimate owner, comes running out just as Kuramoto rides away. This causes Monk to get shot in the leg by Kuramoto, ultimately leading to Monk verbally abusing Natalie to the point that she becomes his emotional punching bag/virtual slave.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty", a Colombian drug smuggler named Miguel Escobar with a plot to escape US federal custody is a pretty obvious ripoff of famous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar — since both Escobars were involved in drug smuggling operations to the United States that also involved large numbers of murders.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper" the Victim of the Week is a paunchy emcee by the name of Extra Large, a clear stand-in for the Notorious BIG. Said episode also had Snoop Dogg play Murderuss, who founded a record label named Manslaughter Records, likely a stand-in for Death Row Records.
- In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," the murderer is a photographer named Douglas Thurman, who strangles models/actresses and steals their tubes of lipstick. His personality and occupation seems very reminiscent of Christopher Wilder, a pedophile who made the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list during a three month nationwide killing spree in early 1984, in which he killed at least nine young female models, while raping, torturing and assaulting many more, before he was killed by police at a New Hampshire gas station.
- In the novel Mr. Monk Gets Even, Monk finds himself investigating three murders-staged-as-accidents that he believes were committed by Cleve Dobbs, the ousted CEO of an electronics company called Peach (Dobbs himself is later killed, apparently by being stabbed several times and thrown over a balcony railing, but Monk proves that he actually committed suicide in such a clever way as to put the blame on his wife). Peach is a blatant stand-in for Apple (which also exists in this universe), given it has the name of a fruit: but Cleve Dobbs is phonetically similar to Steve Jobs. Also, Dobbs is said to have Lou Gehrig's disease, a terminal disease that paralyzes the body, which is different from the pancreatic cancer that claimed Steve Jobs' life in 2011.
- The novel Mr. Monk in Outer Space has Burgerville, a fast-food company going through a financial scandal that is practically a ripoff of the one that led to the downfall of the Enron oil companynote . But Burgerville's past has some cases that actually happened to McDonald's, as Randy brings up a twofer in one scene where he's discussing possible motives about Brandon Lorber's death with Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer:
- First, Randy mentions discovering that a consumers group revealed that Burgerville secretly added beef extract to add flavor to their fries, outraging vegans who'd been eating these fries for years. In 2000, a large amount of controversy surrounded McDonald's under the same circumstances.
- Then Randy brings up an incident at another Burgerville (in Pleasanton) when a guy spilled a cup of coffee at a drive-thru and burned his crotch, and sued the company (he lost the case). This appears to be a take on Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, aka the "Hot Coffee Case", in which a woman in Albuquerque, New Mexico named Stella Liebeck spilled her cup of coffee while in her car and suffered extensive third degree burns to her crotch. Unlike the fictitious example in the book, the plaintiff in the real case actually won (she had sued only because McDonald's only contributed a meager sum to her medical bills).
- Of note, there is a fast food chain called Burgerville in real life. It is, however, a regional chain that only operates in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington metro area.
- More glaring on Mr. Monk in Outer Space is Beyond Earth, a sci-fi show that is in legal disputes that it's like Star Trek with a new name slapped on:
- According to one of the special events listed in the Beyond Earth fan convention guide, the statement: "When will Trekkies and Trekkers finally give Earthies and Earthers the respect we deserve?" suggests that in the established story of the novel, a certain degree of viewer competition exists between Star Trek and Beyond Earth fans.
- The fictional Beyond Earth character "Mr. Snork" provides the disguise the hit man uses when he shoots Conrad Stipe, and is also the disguise used by Ernie Pinchuk when he shoots Kingston Mills. Based on his name and description, he appears to be an oblique parody of Mr. Spock.
- The name of Mr. Snork's species and fictional language, "Dratch," is taken from Monk series writer and producer Daniel Dratch, as a series in-joke, but the language's concept. creation and use is a reference to the Klingon constructed language.
- Arianna Stipe, Conrad Stipe's ex-wife, is said to be suing her dead husband's estate for a share of his profits from the new Beyond Earth series, even though it is being produced after they divorced. Similarly, Eileen Roddenberry, first wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, sued her ex-husband's estate after his death, claiming rights to a share of his profits from the making of the original Star Trek series, and the subsequent spin-off series and films.
- Although Mr. Monk in Outer Space was released approximately two years before J.J. Abrams' 2009 alternate universe reboot film, it is possible for Trekkies who read this book to see a striking parallel in Conrad Stipe and Kingston Mills' visionary conflict of the new Beyond Earth, and its subsequent effect on fans, with the many creative differences between Gene Roddenberry and J.J. Abrams' own visions of Star Trek; pitting the Original Motion Picture Collection (Star Trek I-VI) that featured William Shatner against J.J. Abrams' reboot.
- Stottlemeyer says "Beam me up, Scotty," when he notices the gun in Ernie Pinchuk's house, the interior of which has been authentically replicated to look like the interior of the U.S.S. Discovery, from the Beyond Earth series. The U.S.S. Discovery itself is probably the Beyond Earth version of the Starship Enterprise.
- Noodle Incident:
- Natalie's blog entry for "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing" describes a scene that didn't happen in the episode: where Monk got the pointer cane he's using when he comes to the police station to identify the drifter. He'd just come from a special training center for people with blindness issues. Natalie took Monk to a session with a group of blind people, taught by a blind therapist. It didn't exactly go well.
- In "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man," we learn Karen Stottlemeyer was Leland's second wife, and his first marriage was annulled after only five days. Leading us to wonder just exactly happened that led to such a quick termination.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," when Stottlemeyer learns about Murderuss's visit to Monk's apartment and Monk claims he's been told he promised to Murderuss he'd clear the guy's name, Stottlemeyer says, "You did it again," which implies that this isn't the first time Monk has mentally blacked out while nervous.
- Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum" when John Wurster is giving Monk a tour of the asylum:
John Wurster: This is the Monkey Room. Funny story about how it got its name.
Adrian Monk: What is it?
John Wurster: We don't know. We just know there's a funny story.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Monk and Natalie show up at the police station looking for Stottlemeyer. Natalie produces for him a dry cleaning bill for clothes Monk ruined on a previous case, and insists on getting reimbursed for such expenses. Said previous case apparently involved a kidnapping and somehow involved Monk running through a poultry farm to recover missing ransom money, ruining a shirt and a jacket.
- In that same episode, Natalie mentions having studied the Spanish Inquisition when Monk likens a port-a-potty to a medieval torture device.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies," the episode opens with Stottlemeyer and Disher meeting Monk and Natalie at a scene where they are about to carry out a search warrant for an automatic 9mm pistol, suggesting that they are in the middle of working on a shooting case when the two Julie Teegers are killed.
- And in "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," when asked by Monk and Natalie how Stottlemeyer's girlfriend could go 32.2 miles from her house to a crime scene in 20 minutes, this:
Maybe she had a jetpack, like in those James Bond
Lt. Randall Disher: There's no such thing as a working jetpack. Don't ask me how I know.
- In "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra," Stottlemeyer tells Monk about an incident that happened in Atlanta: according to him, he got in a cab and recognized the driver as the guy who was the SAC of the FBI's Atlanta field office until he accused the wrong guy in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing, which ruined his career. He brings it up because the case Monk and Stottlemeyer are working involves a suspect who officially has been deceased for six years, and Stottlemeyer is genuinely afraid of the consequences that might occur if he goes public and is immediately proven wrong.
- In "Mr. Monk, Private Eye," Natalie mentions that she was able to rent out Monk's new office thanks to an advance she took out after Monk's paycheck from the "Kensington case".
- In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," there are photos of Randy with acne on the wall of Dr. Polanski's office. When Natalie gets Randy to admit that the photos are of him, he says it was from a case where he was undercover as a teenager with bad acne and he asks Stottlemeyer if he recalls it, to which Stottlemeyer says, "You're on your own, Randy."
- In "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else," one of the first things Lola says to Monk (who is impersonating her real (and six feet under) boyfriend Frank DePalma) is an apology for what happened in Barcelona. It's implied that she and the real DePalma may have had a fight, or Frankie botched an assassination, but beyond that, we don't get many details.
- A lot of times, these noodle incidents happen in individual stories to refer to previous events in the series without giving the details away. For instance, "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" has Randy make references to Stottlemeyer's divorce ("Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage") and his girlfriend being arrested ("Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend").
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In "Mr. Monk on Wheels", Natalie basically spends the entire episode as the living embodiment of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, culminating in Monk getting shot in the leg.
- Noir Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Leper", broadcast in both color and black-and-white. They also feature both variants on the DVD release. The black-and-white version on the DVD also has an audio commentary by the main cast members, a few of the guest stars, and the producers.
- No OSHA Compliance: The hot dog vendors in "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall" are clearly in violation of common sense health regulations, like picking up hot dogs dropped on the floor, picking up said food and handling it with their bare hands instead of gloves and tongs, smoking in such a workplace environment, and also may be operating without a license. It's no wonder that in the scene prior to this, when the main characters are talking to Paul Crawford on the parking garage roof, Natalie mentions that she can no longer eat a hot dog after reading Crawford's expose about the unsanitary conditions of the hot dog vending stands. Also, it's mentioned that the missing-and-later-found-murdered councilwoman Eileen Hill wants to regulate the vendors by, among other things, making them wear gloves, and change the water in their pans every other day.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: On a few occasions this has popped up. For example, in "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Dr. Aaron Polanski, despite having a name that would suggest an American actor in the role, is played by Paul Blackthorne, a British actor, who keeps his native accent rather than using an American accent. Also, one of Buchanan's maids in "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service" uses a posh British accent whereas all of the other household staff use American accents.
- Not My Driver: In "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse," after Natalie overdoses during Reverend Jorgensen's cleansing ritual by accidentally drinking a potion that was meant to be applied to her skin and not meant to be drank, Angeline Dilworth, whose uncle happened to be the voodoo doll sender's third victim, is the paramedic that responds to the call.
- Not Important to This Episode Camp:
- This is where Julie Teeger is suspected to be in a number of episodes. It supplies the page quote.
- Stottlemeyer and Disher actually become subjected to this trope in a couple of episodes.
- Stottlemeyer is absent from "Mr. Monk Gets Married," allowing Randy to get a bit more focus.
- In "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service," for example, they only appear in two scenes, and both are scenes in Stottlemeyer's office at the police station.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Bully," Stottlemeyer and Disher don't even show up until 21 minutes through the episode, and they only have three scenes on-camera. By contrast, in that same episode, Natalie is in every scene that Monk is in except for two (Monk in Dr. Bell's office, and when Monk talks to Roderick Brody in the interrogation room). This makes you wonder if they are compensating for Natalie's lack of screentime in "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs," the previous episode.
- Stottlemeyer and Disher also get a lot less screen time in "Mr. Monk and the Magician."
- In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," Stottlemeyer and Disher are in the first ten minutes, then go off-screen while Monk buys Joseph Moody's house, sees Dr. Bell, and hires Honest Jake to "repair" the damage, and don't begin to become more heavily involved in the plot until after Cassie Drake is killed.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Stottlemeyer only has two scenes in the entire episode, though this gives Randy a moment of awesome by stopping Mandy Bronson by himself.
- Natalie has been subjected to this trope as well:
- In "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs," her subplot (going to the police station to find Randy trying to watch the game on a big-screen plasma TV wedged in the stairwell) has little impact on the main murder investigation.
- In "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm," this trope be justified: Most of the farm scenes are in outdoor environments where it would be hard for Traylor Howard to hide her belly bump convincingly, which is why Monk goes up to Randy's farm by himself.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink," Natalie gets a backseat, not really contributing much to the plot.
- The novels have subjected this to Stottlemeyer and Disher at times.
- In Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, Stottlemeyer and Disher only appear at the very beginning, and also show up to arrest Dylan Swift at the end, but aside from a phone call from Stottlemeyer to Natalie, that's the only times they appear. The rest of the time, Monk and Natalie are in Hawaii working with Lt. Ben Kealoha.
- In Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, while Stottlemeyer and Disher do have a heavy presence in the part of the investigation that happens in San Francisco, they are off-camera while Monk, Natalie and Sharona investigate the murder Trevor was framed for in Los Angeles.
- Not Me This Time: In "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail," Dale "The Whale" Biederbeck III is suspected of arranging for a death row inmate to be killed before execution because he hadn't paid off a debt. However, both Monk and Dale know that even he wouldn't stoop as low as to kill someone/arrange for someone to be killed for not paying their debts, especially if the sum in question was in the low thousand dollar range.
- Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon: This is the case with "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater" and how Sharona's sister Gail is framed: the knife is switched after Hal Duncan has collapsed from an apple spiked with peanut oil. Gail tries informing Stottlemeyer and Disher that she would have been able to feel the difference in weight and balance between the prop knife and the real one. Why no one ever thought to check to blood spatter on her clothing is another thing.
- Obfuscating Disability
- In the pilot, Monk realizes that Ian Sykes is not really a cripple because his shoes are heavily scuffed, something that would not happen to a man who had to use a wheelchair all the time. This revelation comes too late and despite the SWAT team and police surrounding Sykes's apartment, Sykes manages to get away out a fire escape, then runs across several rooftops and climbs down a ladder at the opposite end of the block, and simply walks off.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger", Monk realizes that Mrs. Mass, the blind "witness" to Sonny Cross's death wasn't really blind when he remembers that she instinctively avoided shaking Stottlemeyer's injured hand, even before he mentioned that he was injured (in fact, Stottlemeyer's right arm is in a sling for the sole purpose of making this revelation possible). To be fair, she is partially blind - in one eye only. She used to be fully blind before an accident where she slipped in a supermarket by freak luck reconnected an optic nerve in the other eye, an injury she's been keeping a secret.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus," to murder her ex-husband, acrobat Natasha Lovara stages a fall at a circus to make it seem like she's broken her left foot. She turns out to have a fear of hospitals, being a Romany Gypsy, so she sets her own plaster cast, and for two weeks, until the circus reaches San Francisco, she pretends that her left foot is broken. One night, she slips out of the cast, grabs the circus panther wrangler's revolver, and trails her ex-husband to a restaurant, wearing a ski mask to hide her face. Natasha then shoots her ex-husband there, but to make sure no one suspects her (since she supposedly had a "broken" foot at the time), she does several dramatic acrobatic moves for the witnesses' benefit before escaping. Since she's aware the police will consider her a primary suspect and want an x-ray, Natasha then returns to the circus and commands one of the elephants to crush her left leg, breaking it for real. Unfortunately, the elephant's trainer happens to wake up and see her, so she kills him by commanding the elephant to crush his head in the same way via radio while he's demonstrating for Monk and Sharona.
- Odd Name Out:
- Meta example: Once Traylor Howard came in, Jason Gray-Stanford was the only one of the four principal cast members whose first name did not start with the letter 'T' (with the other cast members being Tony Shalhoub, Traylor Howard, and Ted Levine).
- In-universe, once Natalie was introduced, Monk was the only one of the four main characters whose last name did not end in "-er".
- One Steve Limit: Played straight with the main characters. Averted with supporting characters.
- For instance, after Natalie's daughter Julie comes into the series, there are no other one-time characters named Julie except in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies." However, beforehand, Rachel Dratch played Julie Parlo in "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny", and Jane Lynch was Dr. Julie Waterford in "Mr. Monk Gets Married".
- Lindas are another aversion: in addition to Linda Fusco (Stottlemeyer's girlfriend in season 5 and the first episodes of season 6), there is also Linda Riggs (Jeanette Hudson's sister in "Mr. Monk Is On The Air") and Linda Kloster (murder victim in "Mr. Monk and the Genius").
- Variants of the first name "Roderick" count: there's Roddy Lankman ("Mr. Monk and the Game Show") and there's Roderick Brody ("Mr. Monk and the Bully").
- The Oner: Several occasions.
- "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert": when Stork Murray is going to Kris Kedder's trailer, he walks across the stage, asks another guy for directions, makes his way down a flight of stairs, walks across the grounds to Kedder's trailer, pounds on the door, then sees Kedder approaching. This was filmed from a crane with one long continuous tracking shot.
- "Mr. Monk and the Critic": We see the murder through Hannigan's POV, resulting in one very long one-take shot.
- "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever": The scene where Monk and Natalie are walking down a city street and Monk is constantly stopping Ntaalie from slipping into lottery mode. The camera is positioned in front of them and stays in front of them for the length of a block, with no angle changes, even pausing movement when Monk and Natalie stop.
- "Mr. Monk's 100th Case": The SWAT team raid on Douglas Thurman's photography studio is done in one take with a single camera shot, ostensibly done through one of the SWAT officers' helmet cams.
- The initial crime scene investigation at the Parlo house in "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny" is one continuous 89 second long tracking shot that follows Stottlemeyer as he and Randy look at the lightning bolt spray painted on the wall, converse with the CSI phone tech who has set up the recorders, and converse with Julie Parlo as they walk through the house.
- The continuous Orbital Shot in "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake" at the police station where Monk pleads for Captain Stottlemeyer to spare a detective to investigate Christine Rutherford's murder of her husband Henry, while Stottlemeyer frantically tries to handle the post-earthquake chaos across the city.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- Monk has severe OCD and a host of other phobias, such that he frequently needs sanitary wipes. During "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," he's so disturbed by the trash bags piled around that he is unable to function as a detective. By the climax of the story, he's driving a garbage truck around, picking up the garbage himself, and fingering Alice Cooper for the crime(!) in a summation that's more implausible than usual. Stottlemeyer gets him to a clean room, and he gets back to normal. Relatively speaking.
- There's "Mr. Monk Is On The Air": Monk suspects shock jock Max Hudson of murdering his wife, so he appears on his show to interview him. The story of Trudy's death comes up, and Max's sidekick J.J. offers his condolences. But Max, who's a serious Jerkass, starts making tasteless jokes. You know Monk is pissed when the normally mild-mannered detective who abstains from physical contact jumps across the table to tackle Max. Made worse by the fact Natalie is locked out of the booth and is unable to intervene when even she realizes what is going to happen.
- The two episodes where Monk tries alternative methods of treatment, "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" and "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized," other characters do take alarm when Monk starts acting unusually. In the former, it starts because he polishes off Stottlemeyer's hospital meal tray (which he seems more interested in than in Randy's news about the drive-by shooting that Stottlemeyer got shot in) and actually hugs Stottlemeyer. In the latter, it's when Monk decides to adopt a frog named Hoppy from Sally Larkin's backyard.
- Related: in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, when Natalie discovers Monk on the same plane as her on the way to Hawaii, she is noticeably alarmed by his strange behaviors as she is unaware that he is on Dioxynl (the medicine from "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine").
- And Natalie is not immune either in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever." Normally, she's very accepting of Monk's OCD behaviors and has a bubbly personality, but when she becomes a lottery hostess, Monk observes her becoming a full-tilt diva, more devoted to the lottery than to him. He grows increasingly irritated by this shift, eventually to the point that he openly mocks her in public while she's signing autographs for her fans. And at one show, she gets incredibly pissed when she trips over some sound wires, going full Drama Queen in an argument with sound engineer Billy Logan, which culminates in the station manager Stan Lawrence trying to intervene, and Billy being fired and removed by security because he's got a hot streak. Monk even says he's observed it when he talks to Dr. Bell:
Dr. Neven Bell: But I see your point about the monkey.
Adrian Monk: All I'm trying to say is... it's not the same Natalie! If you knew her you wouldn't know her! Last night after the show, she got somebody fired!
Dr. Neven Bell: Really?
Adrian Monk: One of the crew, sound guy! There were some wires on the floor, and she was just like [leans back in his chairs and imitates a toddler throwing a temper tantrum] you know, complaining.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Leper", we see that Monk is disturbed to see Natalie drinking a bottle of mouthwash after learning that Dr. Polanski, whom she was making out with the previous night, is a leper, given that she was the one teaching him about compassion and tolerance when it comes to lepers. Monk calls her out on this.
- Also, when someone Monk cares about is in danger (for instance, in "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies"note , "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic"note , "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion"note ), he tends to set aside his persnicketiness and get dangerous.
- Oh, the Humanity!: Monk yells this whenever he encounters something really nasty.
- "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy": after realizing he just wiped his hands with an oily garage rag
- "Mr. Monk and the Kid": when changing a diaper.
- Oh, Crap: There are a lot, usually when Monk or one of the other main characters gets taken hostage, but others exist. Examples:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", this must be what Monk is thinking when he realizes that Kyle Brooks killed a clinic nurse and is planning to kill his wife.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", Monk, Natalie and Kendra Frank share one when they realize that Kris Kedder has taken an envelope that has all of their incrimating evidence:
Kendra Frank: Oh my God! He just took that envelope!
Adrian Monk: Can't prove anything without that envelope! [He, Natalie and Kendra run out of the trailer]
- In "Mr. Monk and the Leper", during the scene where Mandy Bronson opens fire on Monk and Natalie as they are trying to flee in a hot air balloon.
- In "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan" and "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend", Stottlemeyer gets one when he realizes Monk is in grave danger.
- In "Mr. Monk Paints His Masterpiece", Monk gets one when he realizes that his "masterpieces" are painted on canvases made from money sheets as part of a counterfeit money smuggling scheme... and Natalie is still holding one of these.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher are conversing in low voices in a rotunda of City Hall as Monk declares to them in a low whisper that he thinks the mayor was lying about not being in union boss Jimmy Cusack's office and may have committed the murder. The conversation goes like normal.... until Stottlemeyer notices a sign that says "Whisper Spot" and mutters, "Oh hell," at which point they are mobbed by a bunch of reporters who were standing nearby and overheard every single word.
- In "Mr. Monk Buys a House", Monk and Natalie get to share another silent one when they notice a bloody awl on "Honest" Jake's tool belt, just long enough to realize that he murdered Cassie Drake and is actually looking for Joseph Moody's robbery money... at which point they turn to see Jake pointing a pistol at them:
"Honest" Jake Phillips: Mr. Monk, I've got a confession to make: they really don't call me "Honest" Jake.
- Oh, No... Not Again!:
- In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," when Monk enters the firehouse carrying a container full of his smoke alarms, the fire captain says, "Oh, hell, he's back".
- In "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man," when Monk and Sharona meet Stottlemeyer at the toll booth:
Adrian Monk: Handcuffed?
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Handcuffed to one wrist and tied to seventy-feet of rope.
Adrian Monk: Ugh, God!
Sharona Fleming: Oh, God.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: The M.E. said heís never seen anything like it. Thereís no end to it.
Adrian Monk: What do you mean?
Adrian Monk: Are they connected?
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: No. No connection at all. I mean, four have been men, five women, all different ages. Latino, white, black.
Adrian Monk: And the M.O.ís?
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: All different. Thereís been a couple of shootings, different weapons, a hit-and-run, a drowning, an electrocution. I mean, itís, itís like a full moon every night!
Adrian Monk: And youíre sure that the cases have absolutely nothing in common?
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Well, they have one thing in common, Monk: We canít solve them. I swear, thereís something in the water.
- Orgy of Evidence:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper", Monk is inclined to go along with the police theory that rapper Murderuss (real name Russell Kroy) killed his rival Extra Large with a car bomb: the use of a white gold pocket watch as the timer (a signature trademark of Murderuss's), lyrics from a suggestive song by Murderuss called "Car Bomb", a blasting cap stolen from a construction site near Murderuss's house, and footprints of a shoe brand that he wears at the scene of the limo driver's murder, after he's killed by the real attacker to keep from talking to the police. But Monk only does so because he blacked out when Murderuss asked him to clear his name. On the other hand, Natalie thinks that all of this evidence suggests someone is trying really hard to make Murderuss take the fall for the murder: she reasons that if Murderuss were responsible, he wouldn't be dropping so many obvious clues behind that pointed to himself: he would have probably used a generic pocket watch instead of his trademark type; stolen the blasting cap from somewhere away from his house; not worn his trademark shoe brand when he killed the driver; nor written the song "Car Bomb". Furthermore, she suspects Denny Hodges, a producer who claimed to see Murderuss in a certain parking garage at a certain time when the limo was parked there.
- In "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale," this trope is invoked almost on purpose. Dale "the Whale" Biederbeck has his physician Dr. Christiaan Vezza kill judge Catherine Lavinio and stage the scene to make it look like Dale himself did it...because bedridden Dale is the only suspect who could not have possibly done it. To do this, Dr. Vezza wears oversized boots to leave big footprints behind. He kills the judge with a baseball bat with the engraved initials "DB". He also deliberately sets off a smoke alarm and dons his own empathy suit (a giant fat suit) so that a passing neighborhood girl sees a "very, VERY fat man" disabling the alarm. Lastly, he fakes a 911 call, using his skills of mimicry to imitate the judge's voice and deliver the ace in the hole.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," Monk is convinced that Pablo Ortiz is innocent in spite of the fact there's an orgy of forensic evidence against him. This turns out to be because the orgy of forensic evidence is actually against Julian Hodge, but forensics tech Howard Gordon solicited a bribe from Hodge, and in exchange, relabeled the blood samples so they appeared to be Ortiz's.
- Overly Long Gag: Monk trying to say "I guess I don't have a choice" to Stottlemeyer in "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan," but being repeatedly interrupted by a jackhammer, lasting for literally a minute and a more.
- Also, in "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School," when he writes his name on the chalkboard, take all the time you need to get a glass of orange juice.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Monk accidentally walks into a port-a-potty while looking for the payphones, which are a few feet to his right. When the door shuts, the camera then stays firmly focused on the port-a-potty for about 45 seconds. Dramatic music builds up, and then Monk exits.
- Painting the Medium
- In the season 4 episode, Monk is finally put on retainer by the police. He's guaranteed 16 homicides a year for the next two years.
- In an inadvertent example, the ad for "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed" features Monk being served a bowl of alphabet soup. Monk says, "I see letters". Yes, he's talking about the letters in the soup, but by Contrived Coincidence in TV airings, he's looking in the direction of the episode's age rating on the screen.
- Pass the Popcorn: In Mr. Monk on Patrol, we have this gem when Monk and Natalie respond to a domestic disturbance call: "Several of his [the husband involved in this dispute] neighbors were out on their front lawns, watching the drama unfold, coffee cups in their hands. I guess it beat watching Good Morning America."
- Peek-A-Boo Corpse: Does happen several times.
- A variant in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert". Monk and Natalie are looking for Stottlemeyer's son at a rock concert and happen to be right next to one port-a-potty when a maintenance worker suddenly forces it open and a roadie's dead body falls out. It is enough to startle Natalie.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail," Monk and a prison warden open the door to the prison's auxilary freezer to find the dead body of one of the cooks. Subverted in that they were actually looking for him.
- In Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, another variant happens as the hotel manager's dead body is dug up at a luau.
- Parallel Parking: Not seen, but in "Mr. Monk and the TV Star", Sharona complains about Monk's heckling causing her to spend twenty minutes parallel parking.
- Perky Goth:
- Marci Maven counts by personality in "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan," even though she wears a white coat that makes her look like an inspector in some scenes and she's wearing Monk's recycled clothing in others
- A straight example could be Kendra Frank in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert". She wears all black clothing (pants, t-shirt, sleeveless jacket) and dark black hair, although she is the primary source for Monk and Natalie to use to investigate the murder.
- Person as Verb: In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater," when Monk talks to Gail Fleming in prison, as Gail has been framed by her understudy Jenna Ryan for murdering her costar Hal Duncan on-stage, and Gail mentions that Jenna did such a "Tonya Harding thing" on another actress years earlier in Chicago.note
- Pet the Dog: A literal example occurs in the final season.
- Photographic Memory:
- Monk has an incredible memory. He can even recognize the most minute details about a man's earlobe. So if he witnesses a crime, just be aware that he'll find you.
Adrian Monk: [in "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink"] I know that rock!
- A guest character who has this type of memory is Sarah McNally in "Mr. Monk and the Wrong Man," the witness to a double torture-homicide committed by Max Barton in 1993 whose testimony was initially important to getting Barton convicted on those charges. She is aghast to find Monk helping Barton rebuild his life after Barton is exonerated by new DNA evidence (that turns out to have been from Barton's accomplice for the murders, Paulie Flores), revealing that she has a photographic memory, that includes what outfit Monk was wearing that day, his partner's badge number, and the make and model of the car he was driving.
- Phrase Catcher: "It doesn't have to be perfect." From pretty much every random person Monk works with who isn't already aware of his neuroses, directed at Monk.
- The Picture Came With The Frame: In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," Randy claims that he has a girlfriend named Crystal Smith, and shows the picture of a beautiful woman. Sharona points out that the photo came with the wallet. Randy explains that his girlfriend is a famous "wallet photo model". It turns out to be true.
- Pillow Pregnancy
- Natalie does one to ward off advances from her old abusive boyfriend in "Mr. Monk Is at Your Service". It's awesome when you consider that the reason this was done was because Traylor Howard really WAS pregnant.
- A variant in the Tie-In Novel Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu: When Monk and Natalie go shopping at a department store, Monk, being Monk, can't go five minutes without stumbling on a crime or a mystery. In this case, he inadvertantly busts a shoplifting ring. One of the participants is a woman faking a pregnancy by wearing a tummy pack around her chest, which bursts open when Natalie tackles her to the ground, revealing that said pack is used to sneak stolen merchandise out of the store, including a blouse Natalie wanted to buy for Julie. Monk tells Natalie that he figured it out because the woman walked like a normal person instead of waddling, and she bent over at the waist to pick up her purse — which she could not have done if she actually was pregnant.
- Played for Laughs: Monk's debilitating mental illness.
- Playing Drunk: Brad Terry in "Mr. Monk and the TV Star" picks a fight while pretending to be drunk so as to attract paparazzi attention, which then gives him an alibi so he can stab and kill his ex-wife Susan Malloy and make it seem like the murder happened seconds before it really happened.
- Playing Gertrude:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man," the 115 year old Miles Holling was played by the late Patrick Cranshaw (died 2005). The actor playing his octogenerian son Hiram Holling is Bill Erwin (died 2010), who was actually older than Cranshaw by only a few years.
- Dan Hedaya, who plays Monk's father Jack Monk Sr. in "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad," is only 13 years older than Tony Shalhoub.
- Playing Sick: Stottlemeyer implies in the episode "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" that the reason Randy doesn't want to go to the dentist in spite of a genuine toothache is because he wants to save his sick days on days where he isn't actually sick. This is later confirmed in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", where Stottlemeyer, searching for his son, catches Randy red-handed doing this. He surprises Randy by calling his cell phone, pretending to be unconvinced about Randy's excuses (like passing the music on stage off for a broken stereo) and surprises him.
- Police Brutality Gambit: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival" has a criminal plot that works like this:
- 14 months before the episode happens, suspected killer Leonard Stokes is arrested by Lt. Adam Kirk, a police lieutenant known for having a hot temper. It turns out that Kirk has been accused of police brutality multiple times in the past.
- While in prison, Stokes conceives a plan to get the confession he made to Kirk thrown out: he contacts an old friend of his named John Gitomer and has him stage a beating to frame Kirk.
- Gitomer inflicts bruises on himself by creating an improvised club from a gym sock stuffed with batteries and attached by a string to a ceiling fan.
- Gitomer contacts Kirk and arranges to meet him at a carnival with information about a (fictitious) drug shipment of purple haze. He says he'll talk if he and Kirk go up on the ferris wheel, which they do.
- Once the ride starts up, Gitomer starts thrashing around and screaming, acting like Kirk is beating him up. The ferris wheel operator stops the ride when their seat reaches the bottom. Kirk gets out and stumbles off, confused.
- What Gitomer does not know is that Kitty Malone, the ferris wheel operator, is also Stokes's girlfriend. As soon as Kirk gets off and has his back turned to her, Kitty runs up and fatally stabs Gitomer.
- Police Lineup: There are two of interest in this series.
- "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger" takes this to the logical extreme by featuring a lineup for a blind witness (in which a group of volunteers are brought in and are told to read back the line "Tell anybody about this and I'll kill you").
- Since there's a witness to Chicklet's murder in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage", a lineup is carried out so that Gerald Vengal can identify the guy who tried to kill him and also killed Chicklet. A couple of detectives, including police officer Ryan Sharkey, Jr., and drug dealer Michael Karpov, the guy suspected of ordering the murder, are volunteered. However, Stottlemeyer thinks Sharkey is sleeping with Karen, so he goes in and tries to slip a photo Monk and Natalie took of Karen meeting with another man to Sharkey. When punches are thrown, a full scale donnybrook ensues.
- Precision F-Strike:
- In "Mr. Monk and the Magician," when Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher are arresting Karl Torini, Natalie tells him, "Abraca-Dorfman, you son of a bitch!"
- In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," at the end of Ralph Roberts' in-prison interview, a guard is heard off screen shouting, "Roberts! Time's up! Get back to your cell!" to which he apparently replies, "Shut up, you mother[bleep]."
- Pretty Spry for a Dead Guy: Trudy, in one Tear Jerker episode, Mr. Monk and Mrs. Monk.
- Product Placement: Pretty blatant during some seasons, when the camera would linger on the labels of Monk's favorite cleaning products.
- Then they started giving Natalie a new car to drive every new season, beginning with a Jeep Grand Cherokee from her introduction to halfway through season 5. She then drove a Buick Lucerne for a few episodes, then drove a Ford Escape for the duration of season 6. In season 7, she drives an Audi A3 in the first eight episodes, a Nissan Sentra for three midway episodes, and then a Hyundai Genesis from "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door" to the end of the series. How she affords this on Monk's low salary is questionable.
- "Mr. Monk and the UFO" was a painfully unsubtle 60-minute commercial for Sleep Inn.
- For the first five seasons, Monk drank Sierra Springs water, and the brand was blatantly mentioned a lot. This gave for a nice dose of Self-Deprecation in "Mr. Monk and the TV Star" when a girl delivers a pack of Sierra Springs water to Brad Terry's trailer while Monk is talking to him. Brad tells Monk he gets it for free because he drinks it on the show.
- In "Mr. Monk on Wheels," you can see a Dell logo very prominently on the back of the computer that Dean Berry plays back the surveillance video of Kuramoto's encounter with Natalie on.
- Mayflower Movers trucks are shown prominently in "Mr. Monk Buys a House" and "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door." In the first case, one is seen parked in the driveway when Monk is helping movers with his belongings. In the latter case, it is seen when Monk and Natalie are talking with Marge Johnson at the end as she prepares to move out of her house.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Airplane", Lever 2000 wipes get two placements, the first most blantently when Monk is told to put all the objects in his pockets in the X-Ray machine tray — the wipes end up label up, perfectly straight, just like a commercial.
- In "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch," during the scenes at the boxing gym, Ray Regis is wearing an Everlast hoodie when being interviewed by Stottlemeyer and Disher after the bombing, and the bomb itself is in an Everlast punching bag. This is justified because Everlast is one of the biggest makers of boxing equipment in the United States.
- In the novels, Lee Goldberg seemed a bit more relaxed and willing to use real product brands when possible, so brands like McDonald's, Apple, Starbucks, and such show up from time to time.
- Properly Paranoid
- In the beginning of "Mr. Monk and the Miracle", some homeless friends, Ike, Reggie and the Professor, mock their friend Willie T's seeming paranoia about someone pulling a gun on him and trying to chase him. The next morning, he turns up dead in a refrigerator box, determined to have been suffocated with a plastic bag.
- Monk himself often is in this trope: In Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist, he has a crippling fear of dentists due to a bad experience, a fear so severe, in fact, that he was completely unwilling to go beyond the waiting room while Disher and Natalie investigate a murder that seemingly happened while Disher was getting his appointment regarding a seeming kidnapping of "Barry Bonds," and later had to be pried off when he was literally frozen in fear in his seat during the wait (presumably from hearing a drill whirring in the background). Turns out he was very much justified in this fear, as he ends up being abducted and then tortured by the same dentists in regards to potential clients for the bearer bonds and whether the police had them monitored (an incident that also resulted in his fear of them being heightened as a result to the extent that he refuses to go to a dentist even after one of his teeth was chipped).
- Randy is also in this trope in the same episode, as during the dental procedure for a legitimate toothache, and while being placed in novocaine, he ends up witnessing a brutal confrontation between the dentists and a bald man demanding for "Barry Bonds" and that "he was worth $13 billion," and tried to report it to his co-workers, only to be laughed at and/or met with disbelief (the fact that he was currently being doped up on novocaine when it was happening did not help matters much on his end, either), eventually being fed up at not being believed and quitting the force. It later turned out that Randy was actually quite correct in what he saw (barring the "Barry Bonds" thing, as that was actually "bearer bonds" stolen in an armored car heist a few days earlier where two guards were shot and killed, a case that Randy was involved in the investigation of).
- "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night" lives this trope. What happens is, Monk is walking out late at night due to insomnia. As he's walking past a back entrance to a certain restaurant's kitchen, he hears shouting. He naturally goes over to a window looking into the kitchen to investigate, and sees a drug deal going sour between an Asian man, a bald Caucasian, and a disheveled dealer. The bald man and dealer think the Asian might be a cop. Ultimately, the Asian then produces a badge and pistol, reveals that he is an undercover cop, and orders the dealer and customer to line up against the wall. A fight breaks out between the undercover cop and dealer, and the cop is shot dead. The bald customer is hustled by the drug dealer outside to a waiting car that speeds away. By the time Monk has gotten back after running a few blocks to a payphone to call the police, the kitchen is practically spotless, and there is no evidence of a killing, making Stottlemeyer and Disher suspect that Monk was seeing things due to his insomnia. Eventually, though, things surface that support Monk's story. The first is when the supposedly killed "undercover cop" turns up alive at the train station, throwing out some trash that is traced to an antique coin store (the Asian, William Lee, claims he is on his way to see his brother in Portland). Tracing the garbage, Monk recognizes the coin dealer, Jacob Posner, as the bald witness, who claims he was in bed at the time. When Lee turns up dead at the station, Monk realizes something mentioned by Gully, the guy who pickpocketed his wallet at a bar earlier: that it's a different city at night. The solution: Lee was faking his death in the first shooting, and a waitress who was working late helped him clean up the kitchen afterwards. The "drug dealer," Lee, and the waitress were a three-man con team who robbed Posner of his inventory of antique coins while simultaneously tricking him into thinking that he was paying "hush money" to keep quiet about the "murder" of an undercover police officer. It went well until Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher showed up and told Posner that William Lee, the "undercover cop," was still alive, which was the point where Posner realized he had been conned, leading him to kill Lee for real.
- Natalie had one in "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse" when Angeline Dilworth sends her a voodoo doll in the mail that makes Natalie fear that she will be decapitated. Subverted in that Angeline is trying to distract Monk when he notices a mistake regarding her previous victim.
- Protagonist Title
- Put on a Bus: Sharona remarries her ex-husband and moves back to New Jersey midway through season 3. Monk is shown in denial in "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring". After this, no mention is made until Season 8. Her image is even removed and never shown in any subsequent intro (actually, she does appear partially in an opening credit shot taken from "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School").
- Quip to Black
- Disher keeps trying to spout one off in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever", with minimal success. It sure looks like her number came up now, didn't it?
- Stottlemeyer pulls off the occasional line that would be one if he did it with dramatic flair instead of perfect deadpan, such as referring to a dead hotel guest as having "checked out early." Stottlemeyer also tries a few in "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk". Natalie promptly chews him out for being insensitive.
- On the same episode, Monk unintentionally also makes the Captain feel bad about them by describing how horrible the victim's death must have been. It involved hooks ripping him apart and then being compacted in what must be the world's deadliest trash compactor. "He must have been screaming for mercy the whole time."
- Raised Catholic: Sharona, apparently.
- Rapid-Fire "No!":
- Monk gives one in "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion" when he's fervently denying to Dianne Brooks that he's dating anyone. He then does it again when she sees him and Natalie together and she mistakes Natalie as being his girlfriend (Natalie is highly amused by Dianne's suggestion).
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Natalie delivers one when she tries to stop Monk from touching a heat lamp with his pointer finger. It fails: she restrains his right hand, so he touches and burns his left pointer fingertip instead, then does the right one. Then we see Monk and Natalie getting an ointment from the first aid tent.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: A few female guest characters have fallen into this trope.
- Marci Maven, played by Sarah Silverman, provides a decent example of this
- Kendra Frank, played by Tamara Feldman, in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert"
- Stottlemeyer's fiancee T.K. Jensen, played by Virginia Madsen
- Reaction Shot: In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," when Stork's body falls out of the port-a-potty, we cut to a shot of Monk and Natalie reacting to the body landing at their feet.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Actor," when Randy's female replacement in the TV film enters the set, the camera does several reaction shots of the real Stottlemeyer and Disher.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Captain Stottlemeyer is rarely skeptical of Monk's intuitive leaps, having seen him in action for so long, and often makes accommodations for Monk's OCD on the crime scene.
- Reckless Gun Usage: After fighting with Sarah Longson for her Walther PPK pistol in "Mr. Monk on Wheels", Natalie turns around, gun in hand. She tells Monk, who had already been shot in the leg earlier in the episode and was trying climb down some stairs to assist Natalie, that she was okay... and accidentally shoots Monk in his uninjured leg. Which makes no sense at first given that in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies", Natalie tells Randy that she went to a firing range all the time and knows how to use a gun.
- Actually, it's rather Justified: this is only the second time that Natalie has held a firearm (having once held, but never used, a twelve gauge shotgun in an earlier episode). For all we care, she probably hasn't used one for a minimum of eleven years.
- Replaced the Theme Tune: From the instrumental "Monk Main Title Theme" to "It's a Jungle Out There".
- Reassigned to Antarctica: In the Tie-In Novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, Stottlemeyer mentions that he drove out Paul Braddock, an SFPD Dirty Cop who violated peoples' rights and beat them up by giving him a choice: either risk Internal Affairs ripping him apart, or take a job in the small Mojave Desert town of Banning, CA.
- Right Behind Me: In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," a funny scene where Randy, playing sick, gets a call from Stottlemeyer on his cell phone, and speaks like he is sick, while Stottlemeyer is slowly walking up behind him and acting completely incredulous at his lies.
- The Reveal: The identity of the man who masterminded Trudy's murder, revealed in the series finale: Judge Rickover, Trudy's old law professor with whom she had an affair. Trudy had his child and believed the baby died after birth, but Monk discovers that the child lived and eventually meets her.
- Revealing Cover-Up: So many layers of it in the series finale. Monk finally figures out Rickover killed Trudy because the judge ordered the murder of a doctor who was blackmailing him with proof of his involvement in two murders, including Trudy's. Plus, he killed Trudy in the first place because she linked him to the first victim, the midwife who delivered their illegitimate daughter. And he killed the midwife to stop her from revealing the truth about said daughter.
- Reverse Whodunnit: Like a number of Columbo episodes, Monk often figures out who the murderer is by the second act, or the killer's identity is revealed in the first scene, both, or some variation thereof; the kicker is Monk's proving HOW they did it or finding the evidence to prove what he knows happened.
- "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees" is probably one of the closest things to a Monk version of a Columbo episode in that we are introduced to Rob Sherman, we see how Sherman kills his wife and a hired accomplice and makes it look like the killed burglar shot her, we see him stage the scene, like a Columbo episode would do it. So the episode is Monk first proving that the murder was staged, then trying to find evidence to prove that Sherman and his accomplice have met.
- "Mr. Monk and the Genius" counts because we know that Patrick Kloster is the culprit from the very beginning, due to his wife visiting Monk to inform him right before she herself gets killed. So Monk spends the plot trying to find how to nail Patrick.
- "Mr. Monk Is On The Air": that Max Hudson will be the culprit is certain within the Cold Opening, so once Monk goes on the case, much of the episode is Monk trying to figure out how Max killed his wife.
- Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: Like clockwork.
- Running Gag: There are both "throughout the series" running gags and also gags limited to individual episodes.
- During Sharona's tenure on the show, a running gag is that she has bad instincts in the men she chooses to date, besides her ex-husband Trever Howe:
- A man who turns out to be the streaker who is interrupting Stottlemeyer and Disher's police press conferences in "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger"
- A journalist who only flirted with her so he could steal an answering machine that incriminated his real girlfriend in a murder in "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake," (a guy who also killed a gas company technician that stumbled on him trying to commit burglary)
- A mob enforcer in "Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather"
- Married men from time to time
- The murderer on multiple occasions
- Natalie is better at avoid this. In Mr. Monk on the Couch, she is careful after dating a man that Monk has revealed to be a killer enough to turn Genre Savvy.
- Randy has two: coming up with very ridiculous theories (often bordering into supernatural reasons, like astral projection or secret escape pods), or his method of delivering news to Stottlemeyer in an awkwardly ceremonial way and asking him to guess what it is.
- Monk's inability to pay Natalie becomes a sort of cosmic joke, and is often the subplot of a number of episodes ("Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra", and also heavily used in "Mr. Monk and the Genius" where the episode actually starts with Monk and Natalie arguing about back pay).
- Some of the in-episode jokes:
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Randy attempts with little success to come up with successful one-liners. Which doesn't exactly work out. To the point that Stottlemeyer gets annoyed at him for trying to insert them into the summation.