Radio: Our Miss Brooks
Sitcom starring Eve Arden which ran on CBS radio (1948-57) and television (1952-56). The series concluded with a movie adaptation in 1956. The title character is Connie Brooks, a benevolent, wisecracking English teacher at Madison High School who deals with her surrounding cast of characters including her overbearing principal Osgood Conklin, her cheerful but not-so-studious pupil Walter Denton, her landlady Mrs. Davis, and her desired love interest, biology teacher Philip Boynton.
This show provides examples of:
- Abandon Ship: In "An American Tragedy", Mr. Conklin, Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton are stranded on a sinking rowboat. Subverted as they are unable to abandon ship, as none of them are wearing lifejackets and only Mr. Boynton can swim.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Mr. Boynton
- Ageless Birthday Episode: "The Birthday Bag" on television, "The Surprise Party" on the radio.
- The Alcoholic: Two examples, one real, one fake.
- "The Loaded Custodians": the former custodian Mr. Jensen was said to have been dismissed for drunkenness. Curiously, in his few radio appearances (i.e. "Key to the School", "School Safety Adviser"), Mr. Jensen isn't a drunk. His main idiosyncrasy is that he's extremely literal minded.
- "Cure That Habit": Walter Denton plays a prank, sending a postcard in Mr. Conklin's name to the titular agency. The Head of the Board of Education, Mr. Stone, hears of it and comes to see his supposedly drunken principal. Hilarity Ensues as Mr. Conklin is suffering from an unfortunate case of the hiccups, having pets mistakenly placed in his office, and being spun around in a chair.
- Alliterative Name: Student athlete "Stretch" Snodgrass. Ironically, in "Madison Mascot", it turns out that not only does he not know what alliterative means, he can't even pronounce the word.
- Alliterative Title: "Madison Mascot".
- All Just a Dream: "The Dream", "Magic Christmas Tree" and "Trying to Forget Mr. Boynton".
- All That Glitters: In the episode "Indian Burial Ground", Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton and Walter Denton believe broken toys buried in Mr. Conklin's vacant lot to be valuable Indian artifacts.
- Always Identical Twins: Subverted in "Connie and Bonnie" when Miss Brooks impersonates her nonexistent twin. Played straight in "Orphan Twins" with Mike and Danny.
- Always in Class One: As Miss Brooks is the protagonist, and her actual teaching is rarely in focus, it should be largely irrelevant who's in what class. Nevertheless, student characters Walter Denton, Harriet Conklin and Stretch Snodgrass are almost always stated to be in the same class of Miss Brooks'. This, in a school, with multiple English teachers. Notably subverted in the episode "Faculty Cheerleader", when Mr. Conklin assigns the three to different classes to punish Walter.
- Ambulance Chaser: In the episode "Hospital Capers". A lawyer (a literal ambulance chaser) gets Mr. Boynton to sign a contract hiring him a counsel; the contract features a hefty penalty if Mr. Boynton chooses to terminate his representation. When Miss Brooks visits the lawyer, he hands her ever larger magnifying glasses to read the contract's fine print. Lampshaded when the lawyer admits to Miss Brooks that he's been disbarred in several states.
- Animal Reaction Shot: Mrs. Davis' pet cat Minerva and Mr. Boynton's pet frog Mcdougall occasionally take an interest in people's conversations. For example, in "The Magic Tree", Mrs. Davis' cat Minerva reacts furiously to Miss Brooks' recital of "A Visit From St. Nicholas"
Miss Brooks: T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse . . . .Minerva: MEOW!Miss Brooks: Oops. Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you, Minerva.
- Angrish: Mr. Conklin, on occasion. The following except is from the episode "Clay City English Teacher":
Mr. Conklin: Now, see here Brill. I won't have it. You can't do this. I'll have you...
Mr. Brill: Oh, stop puffing Osgood. You've come to a station.
- Aside Comment: Miss Brooks makes aside comments sometimes, under the guise of talking to herself. This is more prevalent on the radio than on television.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: Miss Brooks sometimes resorts to giving a stupid answer in response.
- Batman in My Basement: In "The Jockey", Miss Brooks and Mrs. Davis hide a jockey and his racehorse in their garage until he can win a big race and pay his debts.
- Bedsheet Ghost: Walter Denton dresses as one in "Halloween Party".
- Betty and Veronica: Miss Enright was another, more glamorous English teacher who competed with Miss Brooks for Boynton's affection.
- Beware Of Vicious Dog: Mr. Whipple's guard dogs in the episode "Mr. Whipple".
- Big Eater: Walter Denton. It comes with being a teenaged boy.
- Big Friendly Dog: The eponymous dog in "Peanuts, The Great Dane".
- Birthday Episode: Again, "The Birthday Bag" on T.V., "The Surprise Party" on the radio.
- Black Comedy Burst: At the crisis point in the theatrical series finale, a depressed Miss Brooks jokes about playing Russian Roulette.
- Blind Without 'Em: Mr. Conklin and Mrs. Davis. Mr. Conklin suffers this trope with a vengeance in "Living Statues" and "Cure That Habit".
- Book Dumb: Walter
- Born in the Saddle: Tex Barton, a teenaged cowboy who makes a few radio appearances.
- Broken Glass Penalty: Completely subverted in the episode "Two Way Stretch". Mr. Conklin begins to reprimand Stretch Snodgrass for kicking a football through the window of his inner office:
Mr. Conklin: I thought I told you to confine your practicing to the other end of the field.
Stretch Snodgrass: But I did Mr. Conklin. That's where I kicked it from.
Mr. Conklin: Well, there's actually no excuse in the world for you to... nice kick boy!
- Buried Treasure: The promise of a large reward sees Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton and Walter Denton search for a lost Indian Burial Ground in the episode "Indian Burial Ground".
- Canon Discontinuity: Due to Executive Meddling, the final season of the TV Series Our Miss Brooks had Madison High torn down for a freeway, and Miss Brooks sent off to teach at a L.A. private elementary school. The Radio series ignored this development, and continued at Madison High as per usual. When the cinematic grand finale was released the following winter, it also ignored the final TV season.
- Catch Phrase: Walter's "Hiya, Miss Brooks!", Conklin's "...now GO" when trying to get rid of someone.
- Character Title
- Christmas Carolers: "The Magic Christmas Tree": When the Conklins, Mr. Boynton and Walter Denton pay Miss Brooks a visit on Christmas Eve, they regale her with a rendition of "Deck The Halls". Miss Brooks places her hand over Walter's mouth midway through, to stop his off-key adolescent squeaking.
- Christmas Episode: Several; i.e. "Christmas Gift Mix-up", "Christmas Show", "Department Store Contest", "The Magic Tree".
- Classy Cane: In "Mr. Boynton's Mustache", Mr. Boynton tells Miss Brooks he's considering buying a cane to invoke this trope.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Mrs. Davis. She sometimes forgets what she's saying in the middle of a sentence.
- Clucking Funny: Walter Denton brings a hen to school in "The Egg".
- Comedic Spanking: Mike and Danny's fate in "Orphan Twins". Let's say they had it coming.
Miss Brooks: Oh, isn't that cute? They stopped on the front lawn, and Sergeant Gillis just lifted Danny up and put him across his knees.Mr. Conklin: Across his knees?Miss Brooks: Yes. Now the sergeant's raising his hand, now the hand's coming down. Well, what do you know?Mr. Boynton: What is it Miss Brooks?Miss Brooks: At last those big tears are for real!
- Comically Missing the Point: This happens quite often:
- Almost any time Miss Brooks suggests anything romance-related to Oblivious to Love Mr. Boynton:
Miss Brooks: In these boyhood fights, Mr. Boynton, was there any girls involved?
Mr. Boynton: Gosh, no, Miss Brooks. I wouldn't hit a girl.
Miss Brooks: Well, bravo for you.
- Any time Miss Brooks tries to correct Stretch or Bones Snodgrass' grammar:
Stretch Snodgrass: Miss Brooks, you done it again.
Miss Brooks: Please Stretch, I did it again.
Stretch Snodgrass: I don't blame you for bragging.
- Many other occasions as well. For example, this exchange with Walter Denton:
Miss Brooks: Walter, George Eliot was not a gentleman.
Walter Denton: He may have not been a gentleman, but he was a darned good writer.
- Almost any time Miss Brooks suggests anything romance-related to Oblivious to Love Mr. Boynton:
- Comic Book Adaptation: Dell adapted the movie into comic book form.
- Compete for the Maiden's Hand: In "The Grudge Match", Walter Denton challenges Stretch Snodgrass to a fight for Harriet Conklin's love. The two end up boxing in a temporary ring setup in the Madison High School gymnasium.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: When Miss Brooks attempts to track down a missing postman in Postage Due, she wears a trenchcoat like any proper amateur detective.
- Control Freak: Mr. Conklin.
- Convection Schmonvection: In "Public Property on Parade", nobody so much as breaks a sweat when standing next to Madison High School's coal fired boiler.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Miss Brooks accidentally derails Mr. Conklin's promotion in "Rumors", Mr. Conklin punishes Miss Brooks by forcing her to do his family's laundry.
- Cool Old Lady: Mrs. Davis.
- Cool Teacher: Miss Brooks, of course.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Mrs. Davis is creative with her recipes.
- Covert Group: Miss Brooks becomes involved in secret activity a few times through the course of the series. One of the most memorable was in "Red River Valley", where Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton and Walter Denton meet secretly to rehearse for a job with the hillbilly troupe led by Deacon Jones.
- Crusty Caretaker: In "The Loaded Custodians", Mr. Barlow is portrayed as a rather crusty old man. Averted with the previous custodian, the literal- minded Mr. Jensen.
- Damned by Faint Praise: A Snap magazine reporter "compliments" Miss Brooks' clothes: "That's a very nice suit...One can tell at a glance that it's worn you for years."
- Dances and Balls: Dances drive the plot of a few episodes of Our Miss Brooks, as befitting a program whose main setting is Madison High School. Notable examples include "The Yodar Kritch Award" and "Cinderella for a Day".
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Mr. Conklin loathes his daughter's boyfriend, Walter Denton. It isn't uncommon for him to kick Walter down his porch steps. Why? Walter is something of a nuisance to Mr. Conklin, as the episodes "Cure that Habit", "Wild Goose", "Cafeteria Boycott" and "Space, Who Needs It?" attest. However, there are other reasons as well. In "Spare That Rod!", Mr. Conklin complained that the worst thing about Walter was his squeaky voice.
Miss Brooks: I expect it's his age. His voice is probably changing.
Mr. Conklin: Well, I wish it would hurry up. He sounds like a canary with a mouthful of rancid birdseed.
- Deadpan Snarker: Miss Brooks is one of the queens of this trope, as are many of Eve Arden's characters in other works.
- Dean Bitterman: Mr. Conklin
- Death by Childbirth: Lawrence Nolan's wife died giving birth to Gary.
- Despair Speech: After overhearing a conversation at the relator's, Miss Brooks discovers that Mr. Boynton has bought the cottage across the street from Mrs. Davis' house. The conversation suggests that he finally intends to propose. Alas, he bought the house so his widowed mother could move in with him. This comes as a shock to Connie, who had even brought wallpaper over to the cottage to decorate. She's lost in daydreams, when Mr. Boynton comes in relates his plans to live with his mother.
Connie: (sobbing) Fine schnook I've been! (She hands the wall paper to Mr. Boynton) Wear it in good health! (Connie leaves the cottage, slamming the door behind her.)
- Miss Brooks goes into a deep depression, offers her resignation and prepares to leave Madison. Fortunately, the matter is fixed by the good offices of Mrs. Davis and Mr. Boynton's mother. Mrs. Davis tells Mrs. Boynton the situation, and invites her to be her new boarder. Mr. Boynton proposes to Miss Brooks, and everybody lives Happily Ever After.
- Delayed Reaction: Mr. Conklin does this often for comedic effect.
- Discount Card: The episode "Christmas Gift Mixup" features a Running Gag where Mrs. Davis, Walter Denton, Mr. Boynton and Mr. Conklin give Miss Brooks "hints" as to what they'd like for Christmas. They helpfully relay the costs of their gifts, and lend Miss Brooks their "exclusive" savings card that gives sale prices at a local store.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Dell's comic book adaptation of the cinematic series finale has Mr. Boynton carrying and smoking a pipe.
- The Ditz: Stretch Snodgrass and his brother Bones. Stretch also has an even more clueless girlfriend, Suzie Prentiss.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Mr. Boynton tells terrible jokes, sometimes he has to do this to find the humor to begin with.
- The Door Slams You: Miss Brooks does this to Mr. Conklin a few times, by accident of course. It usually results in Miss Brooks breaking Mr. Conklin's glasses.
- Double Entendre: Miss Brooks' letter to Mr. Conklin requesting flower pots for her windowsill gets mixed up with a love letter in Bones, Son of Cyrano. Cue a flurry of double entendres when Mr. Conklin questions Miss Brooks.
- Do You Want to Haggle?: Several episodes:
- In "Game At Clay City", Miss Brooks haggles with a mechanic.
- In "Stretch Is In Love Again", Miss Brooks haggles with Mr. Conklin.
- "Fischer's Pawn Shop" sees Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin and Walter Denton haggle with Fischer to raise money for baseball uniforms.
- "Indian Burial Ground" has Mr. Conklin haggle with a prospective buyer for his vacant lot.
- "Bartering With Chief Thundercloud" features a bartering session with the eponymous chief.
- Dream Sequence: Usually with Brooks dreaming about Boynton sweeping her off her feet or in some magical fairy tale, then the alarm clock ruins it all.
- Dressed in Layers: In "Heat Wave", Mr. Boynton, Harriet Conklin, Walter Denton and Stretch Snodgrass are wearing bathing suits underneath their regular clothes, covertly plotting an escape from school and a trip to the swimming hole. It so happens Miss Brooks is wearing a bathing suit underneath her regular clothes too.
- Dressed to Heal: Played straight in the episodes "Hospital Capers" and "Second Hand First Aid".
- Drinking On Duty: On T.V., in the episode "The Loaded Custodian", Miss Brooks and Mrs. Davis discuss how the previous custodian, Mr. Jensen, was fired for his drinking. Actually averted the few times Mr. Jensen appears on the radio (i.e. "Key to the School", "School Safety Advisor"), where his personality quirk is his insistence on interpreting common idioms literally.
- Driver Faces Passenger: Walter Denton usually drives Miss Brooks to school. As a reckless sixteen year old driver, he, of course, looks at Miss Brooks instead of looking at the road. On one occasion, Miss Brooks had to grab the wheel and steer in order to prevent an accident.
- Dumb Jock: Stretch Snodgrass.
- Dunce Cap: Unsurprisingly, Stretch Snodgrass is forced to wear a dunce cap in "The Mambo".
- Easily Overheard Conversation: Happens from time to time. Usually, the eavesdropper misunderstands and hilarity ensues.
- Easy Amnesia: "Mr. Conklin's Plaque" begins with Mrs. Davis telling Miss Brooks how her sister Angela received amnesia after a blow on the head. Angela recovered after received a second blow.
- Eating Pet Food: In "Poison Ivy", Mrs. Davis sets out dog biscuits in place of cereal for breakfast. Miss Brooks and Walter Denton both fall victim.
- Embarrassing First Name: Stretch Snodgrass' real name is "Fabian."
- Entertainingly Wrong: Happens several times. From Miss Brooks' perspective, the events of "The Wrong Mrs. Boynton" and "Mrs. Davis Reads Tea Leaves" are particularly infamous!
- Even the Guys Want Him: Walter has at least once said Mr. Boynton is "tall, dark, handsome..." as well as "Boy, is he good looking!"
- Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Mrs. Davis curtsies on a few occasions, usually when the situation doesn't warrant it. In one episode, she even does a curtsy for a hobo calling himself "The Earl of Peoria".
- Everything's Better with Cows: In "Cow in Closet", Miss Brooks has to hide one from Mr. Conklin.
- Everytown, America: Madison.
- Evil Laugh: Mr. Conklin laughs evilly on a couple occasions. This example is from the episode "Two Way Stretch Snodgrass'':
Mr. Conklin: I just learned that Biff Mooney, one of the greatest college football players, is interested in a high school coaching job in this part of the country. I've already opened negotiations by mail, and it's a foregone conclusion that he'll accept my offer. Ah-ha-ha-ha (evil laugh), ah, I can't wait to see the expression on Brill's face when I tell him about it. Heh, heh, heh (evil laugh).Miss Brooks: In some states, that laugh would be banned.
- Extended Greetings: Walter Denton likes to carry on. This exchange with Miss Brooks is in the episode "Wild Goose Chase":
Walter Denton: And to you, fair flower of the faculty, a thousand salaams!
Miss Brooks: Thank you, Walter Denton, and I've had my share, thanks.
- Eye Take: Miss Brooks bugs out her eyes from time to time. One example is early in the film, after Mrs. Davis greets her with an apparent non sequitur.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Miss Brooks can't get Mr. Boynton to propose marriage . . . that is until the cinematic grand finale where, with the help of Mrs. Davis, she succeeds in marrying Mr. Boynton and living happily ever after.
- Fainting: In the concluding film. Mr. Conklin faints when he learns the position he's been campaigning for pays only a nominal amount.
- Fairy Tale Episode: "Cinderella for a Day". A mysterious shoe salesman lends Miss Brooks a custom-made gold slipper until midnight. Miss Brooks is treated to several Cinderella-style presents, from the same mysterious donor, that allow her to attend the masquerade ball at the country club in style. It turns out the shoe salesman was a millionaire gambler who had placed a bet with a expert shoemaker that he could find a pair of feet that would perfectly fit the custom made slippers. The gifts were partly his reward to Miss Brooks, and partly for laughs.
- Fake Charity: In the episode "Bobbsey Twins in Stir", a conman is tricking people into selling fake tickets to the policemen's ball. The proceeds are supposedly going to "widows and orphans".
- Fanfare: The movie dispenses with the usual series theme, and opens with a fanfare heavy composition.
- Fawlty Towers Plot: "Two-way Stretch Snodgrass". Happens when Miss Brooks and Mr. Conklin have Walter Denton masquerade as student athlete Stretch Snodgrass.
- Feeling Their Age: In "Old Age Plan" the power of suggestion turns Boynton and Conklin into shambling wrecks with one foot in the grave. Miss Brooks is trying to sell an old age savings plan to the two men and, after reading the signs of old age to them, they come down with all the symptoms.
- Feigning Intelligence: In "Magazine Articles", Miss Brooks enlists Walter Denton to masquerade as her nonexistent fourteen year old quiz kid son. Miss Brooks had written an fictional article for "True Family Romance" magazine about her quiz kid son, and needed to prove the story was true in order to collect her payment. Hilarity Ensues, especially as Mr. Conklin gets involved . . . .
- Fill It With Flowers: In "Poetry Mix-Up", Mr. Boynton advises Miss Brooks to request some flowers from the school nursery, in order to brighten up her dreary classroom.
- Fire of Comfort: In the episode "Magic Tree", Miss Brooks spends Christmas Eve in a rocking chair in front Mrs. Davis' fireplace
- First Name Basis: Significantly, making up after an argument midway through the cinematic grand finale, Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton finally move to a first name bais, "Connie" and "Phillip" respectively.
- Follow in My Footsteps: What Lawrence Nolan expects of his son Gary in the film.
- Forgotten Birthday: In "The Birthday Bag". Miss Brooks forgets her own birthday, while everybody else remembers.
- Free Prize at the Bottom: The fateful box of Cracker Jacks, at the end of the film.
- French Cuisine Is Haughty: In the episode "French Sadie Hawkins Day", Miss Brooks accidentally orders "Parking in Rear" from the snobby maître d'hôtel. She then proceeds to order expensive meals for everybody, ignorant of the fact that she has agreed to pay for the entire dinner.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: In the episode "Mr. Travers' Three Acre Lot". Mr. Conklin literally sets Miss Brooks up for a fall so he can sue Mr. Travers and force the sale of the eponymous lot.
- Fun with Foreign Languages: Guaranteed whenever French teacher Mr. Leblanc appears.
- Genre Refugee: Tex Barton, a teenaged cowboy.
- Gentleman Adventurer: Safari O'Toole, in the episode of the same name. He is Mrs. Davis' faithful pen pal, and is noted for his travels through the wilds of Darkest Africa. He's also a fake.
- "Gift of the Magi" Plot: In "Easter Parade", Miss Brooks works during her Spring Break in order in earn money so she can accompany Mr. Boynton to the Easter Parade in a new dress. Meanwhile, Mr. Boynton's working to earn money for a new suit to wear when he takes Miss Brooks to the Easter Parade. Due to Tax Deductions, Miss Brooks doesn't earn enough for the new dress. Mrs. Davis lends her the extra money, Miss Brooks doesn't learn the money is actually coming from Mr. Boynton. Mr. Boynton no longer has enough money for the new suit. Miss Brooks' new dress is messed up when she accidently sits on a couple of Easter Eggs Mrs. Davis hid under the sofa cushions. So she too goes to the parade in her old dress of which she's positively ashamed. Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton both enjoy a Crowning Momentof Heartwarming as a result.
- Girls Need Role Models: Miss Brooks was television's first example. Miss Brooks is clearly intelligent, competent and caring, although more than that, very human. A teacher's organization even gave her an award for humanizing the American schoolteacher.
- Give Me Back My Wallet: In "The Burglar", Mr. Conklin wakes up from his nap discovering a burglar in the process of absconding with the basket of fried chicken his wife cooked for him.
- Glad I Thought of It: Mr. Conklin uses this trope from time-to-time, usually at Connie's expense. However, being a Deadpan Snarker, Connie doesn't let this go without remark.
- Going Down with the Ship: In "An American Tragedy", Mr. Conklin, Mr. Boynton and Miss Brooks are stranded on a rowboat in the middle of Crystal Lake. Mr. Conklin proclaims himself captain, however it turns out the rowboat is leaking and starts to sink. Neither Mr. Conklin nor Miss Brooks can swim . . . .
Mr. Conklin (panicking): Well keep your head, Boynton! Don't get panicky! Don't get panicky, boy! You need all your strength, every ounce of it to tow '''me''' ashoreMiss Brooks: Tow you ashore? What about me, sir? I can't swim either, and you know the tradition of the sea, the captain goes down with his ship!Mr. Conklin: Not in this ship!
- Fortunately, they had unknowingly drifted near the shore and the water under the boat was only three feet deep
- Grand Finale: The Movie in 1956.
- Grand Romantic Gesture: In the episode "Clay City English Teacher", Mr. Boynton tries to impress Miss Brooks by imitating Sam Spade. It makes sense in context.
- Gretzky Has the Ball: Miss Brooks' knowledge of sports ranges from the excellent to the ridiculously inadequate.
- In "Bronco Dismissed" the trope is averted, as Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton substitute coach for the football team without any difficulty. Likewise in other episodes such as "Baseball Slide" and "The Big Game". In some episodes, however, Miss Brooks is very much in the dark . . . .
- In "Game At Clay City", Miss Brooks' football knowledge isn't lacking, but Mr. Boynton admits to being clueless as to most if not all sports. He even asks who's pitching for the football team.
- In "The Grudge Match", Miss Brooks confuses the baseball term "bullpen" with "pigpen". She also mistakenly calls pitchers "chuckers". She later redeems herself, by serving as the announcer for the titular boxing match.
- In "Stretch Is In Love Again", Miss Brooks cheers on a dead tired Stretch Snodgrass when he runs the wrong way and scores on Madison.
- In "Two Way Stretch Snodgrass", when Mr. Conklin calls Stretch one of the most promising high school tailbacks in the country, Miss Brooks look behind Stretch to see if he had a tail.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Any episode where Madison High Principal Osgood Conklin faces his archrival, Clay City High School Principal Jason Brill.
- Happily Ever After: After eight years on the radio, and four on television, Miss Connie Brooks finally gets her happily ever after at the end of The Movie Grand Finale. Or, to be more accurate, Mrs. Connie Boynton gets her happily ever after!
- Heat Wave: In the episode titled "Heat Wave", naturally enough.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Mr. Conklin, a.k.a. "Old Marblehead", may be a pompous, dictatorial, underhanded dictator of a principal, but from time to time he shows his good side:
- In "The Hobby Show" he helps fix broken toys to give to needy children.
- He's a member of the "Citizen's League."
- He helps throw a Christmas Party when he believes Mrs. Davis' sister Angela is dying in "A Dry Scalp is Better Then None."
- He helps Miss Brooks and co. find a missing postman in "Postage Due."
- Offers to adopt orphans in "The Twin Orphans" and "The Miserable Caballero."
- He helps Miss Brooks and Mrs. Davis out of problematic situations in "Four Fiances" and "Marriage Madness," among others.
- High School
- Hint Dropping: Miss Brooks drops plenty of hints for Mr. Boynton. He rarely catches on.
- Hollywood Darkness: Night scenes were usually shot uncommonly well. "The Burglar" and "Public Property on Parade" have nighttime scenes that are about as dark as you'd expect. However, the trope arises in "Wake-Up Plan", where the Conklin's hallway is suspiciously bright.
- Hollywood Kiss: Miss Brooks dreams she gets one from Mr. Boynton in "Magic Christmas Tree". Mr. Boynton and Miss Brooks finally share a Hollywood kiss midway through the film.
- Hollywood Law: In the episode "Hospital Capers". A lawyer (a literal ambulance chaser) gets Mr. Boynton to sign a contract hiring him a counsel; the contract features a hefty penalty if Mr. Boynton chooses to terminate his representation. When Miss Brooks visits the lawyer, he hands her ever larger magnifying glasses to read the contract's fine print. Lampshaded when the lawyer admits to Miss Brooks that he's been disbarred in several states.
- Home Sweet Home: At the end of the film, Mr. Boynton and Miss Brooks marry and move into the house across the street from Mrs. Davis'.
- Hot Scientist: Biology teacher Philip Boynton.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Said by Stretch Snodgrass (of all people) of Mr. Conklin, in the episode "Spare That Rod". Walter Denton had forged a letter threatening Mr. Conklin with dismissal for being "flagrantly dictatorial" in his disciplinary methods. Mr. Conklin was forcing himself to be meek and humble as a result.
- Idiotic Partner Confession: The episode "Blue Goldfish" sees Harriet Conklin reveal the truth about Mr. Conklin's much vaunted tolerance to the cold.
- The Illegible: In the radio episode "Letter to the Education Board", Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton struggle to read Stretch Snodgrass' essay. It was remade on television as "Marinated Hearing", where the sloppy essay was written by Stretch's brother Bones.
- Inadvertent Entrance Cue: In the episode "Stuffed Gopher", Miss Brooks asks Walter Denton the fatal question "Who could be so stupid?". Into the cafeteria walks Stretch Snodgrass.
- Incoming Ham: Mr. Conklin.
- Indian Burial Ground: The promise of a large reward sees Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton and Walter Denton search for a lost Indian Burial Ground in the episode "Indian Burial Ground". The trope is partially subverted as the supernatural plays no role in the program. This is fortunate for Miss Brooks and company, as they end up digging up an empty lot in search of artifacts!
- Indy Ploy: In the episode "April Fool's Day", Miss Brooks attends an "Everybody Must Do Something Party". She stalls for time to avoid Miss Enright embarrassing her with an April Fool's Day joke. Miss Brooks plays the ukulele, sings, recites poetry, finally resorting to reading the phonebook aloud.
- Instant Illness: In "Measles", Miss Brooks catches the measles within twelve hours of being exposed to them.
- Instrumentals/Instrumental Theme Tune: The opening and closing themes are instrumentals, composed by Wilbur Hatch.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Miss Brooks is friends with sixteen-year-old Walter Denton, and, to a lesser extent, Harriet Conklin and Stretch Snodgrass. However, Miss Brooks, herself, would surely object to the label!
- Internal Reveal: Many times. Hilarity always ensues. Here are a few examples:
- In the "Wrong Mrs. Boynton", Miss Brooks offers to pretend to be Mrs. Boynton - that is, to say Mr. Boynton's wife - in order to impress the dean of the local college. What Miss Brooks doesn't know, but the audience does, is that she had unwittingly agreed to play the part of Mr. Boynton's mother.
- In "Mrs. Davis reads Tea Leaves", Miss Brooks overhears a conversation between Mr. Boynton and Harriet, and jumps to the conclusion that Mr. Boynton is finally going to marry her and move with her to honeymoon cottage on the edge of town. The audience hears the entire conversation. It turns out that Mr. Boynton wants to open a summer camp. Cue Miss Brooks stunned reaction when he proposes they have twenty kids (that is to say, campers). Not to mention the fact that Mr. Conklin also attempts to "propose".
- Similarly, in "June Bride", Walter Denton and the Conklins assume that Mr. Boynton has finally proposed to Miss Brooks, and the two are to be married that same day. In actuality, Miss Brooks had agreed to be the proxy for Monsieur Le Blanc's French bride.
- In "Radio Bombay", a newscast on Walter's homemade radio forecasts the imminent arrival of a strong hurricane. Unfortunately, nobody is around to hear that the newscast originates from Bombay, India.
- In "Spare That Rod", Walter Denton and Stretch Snodgrass alter a ten year old letter they find addressed to a previous principal. The letter was from the head of the board, accusing the principal of being "flagrantly dictatorial" in his management of the school. They use a typewriter to readdress the letter to Principal Conklin.
- In "Bobbsey Twins In Stir". Mrs. Davis had been arrested after having unwittingly sold forged tickets to the policeman's ball. Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin and Mr. Stone soon end up being drawn into the scheme - and arrested - as well.
- Most significantly, in The Movie. Mr. Boynton tells Mrs. Davis that he finally intends to propose to Miss Brooks. Mrs. Davis soon reveals all to Miss Brooks, while pretending to tell her fortune.
- It's a Long Story: Sometimes, an episode will end with Miss Brooks returning home in the evening to discuss the events of the day with Mrs. Davis.
- It Will Never Catch On: In "Wild Goose Chase", Miss Brooks jokes about T.V. being a temporary fad. This episode aired just a few years after some viewed television as a form of entertainment that would never catch on.
- Jingle: The show's sponsors had some pretty catchy ones:
- "Brush your teeth with Colgate/Colgate dental cream/It cleans your breath (what a toothpaste)/While it cleans your teeth."
- "Dream girl, dream girl/Beautiful Luster Cream girl/You owe your crowning glory to/A Luster Cream shampoo." (This one was set to the tune of "Toyland" from Babes in Toyland.)
- Karmic Jackpot: Happens several times:
- One example is "The Festival", where, by loaning their money and exchanging outfits with the hardworking cleaning women and custodian (so they'll have something nice to wear to the festival) - Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton win the prize for best costume. True to form, they proceed to split the proceeds with the cleaning woman and custodian.
- Also happens in the episode "Mr. Whipple". Miss Brooks organizes a food drive for Mr. Whipple, who she mistakenly believes is impoverished. This so affects the misery millionaire, that he donates the money to build the new gymnasium Madison High School needs.
- Miss Brooks wins the Karmic Jackpot grand prize in The Movie Grand Finale. Miss Brooks' good deeds are finally awarded, when she achieves her Series Goal, marriage to Mr. Boynton.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Our Miss Brooks was a winner in the Neilsen ratings during its 1952-1956 television run, however only the episodes "Home Cooked Meal" and "The Big Jump" have been released on legitimate DVD. Happily averted with the radio episodes (1948-1956), which have lapsed into public domain and are available online. Also averted with The Movie, which is available from the Warner Brothers Archive Collection and occasionally airs on Turner Classic Movies.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Mrs. Davis.
- Large Ham: Mr. Conklin
- Laser-Guided Karma: Happens from time-to-time on Our Miss Brooks.
- A good example is The Festival. Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton lend their clothes and cash to the hardworking cleaning woman and custodian, so they can attend a costume party. Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton wear the clothes of the cleaning woman and custodian. They win a large cash prize - and of course split it with the custodian and the cleaning woman.
- In The Movie, Miss Brooks spends the movie tutoring Gary Nolan and helping him reconcile with his father. This, with a little subterfuge by Mrs. Davis thrown in, makes Mr. Boynton jealous enough to finally get serious. Later, Mr. Boynton's invitation for his lonely, recently widowed mother, to move to Madison, has him buy a house. Again, Mrs. Davis steps in and arranges to have the elder Mrs. Boynton as her new boarder. The upshot: Miss Brooks finally gets to marry Boynton, the two have their Happy Ending.
- Last Name Basis: Brooks, Boynton, and Conklin always address each other formally, even outside of school.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Used from time to time. This example comes from "Hawkins Travel Agency". Miss Brooks is trying to sell Mr. Stone on a trip to France . . . .
Miss Brooks (speaking with a French accent): Oh, there is nothing like Paree in the summer. The Arc De Triomphe, the Louvre Palais, the Place de Concorde . . . and Piccadilly Circus.Mr. Stone Miss Brooks, Piccadilly Circus happens to be in London.Miss Brooks (speaking with an cockney accent) : Right-O governor, but if you were so nearby, you wouldn't want to miss that now, would you?
- Layout of a Season: The fourth (television) season of Our Miss Brooks began with the aptly named "Transition Show". Madison High School is torn down for a freeway, and Miss Brooks and Mr. Conklin find new work at Miss Nester's Private School.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: An interesting example is found in the radio episode "Reckless Driving".
- Miss Brooks, Mrs. Davis, Mr. Conklin, Mr. Boynton, Harriet and Walter are on Mrs. Davis' porch listening to the radio.
- Steve Allen suddenly drives up asking for the way to Hollywood - turns out he's going to host the summer replacement for Our Miss Brooks.
- The radio is tuned to Our Miss Brooks Miss Brooks calling it the show "with the school teacher with my name".
- Miss Brooks, incidentally, thinks Eve Arden is "a doll". Mr. Conklin hates the pompous principal, while Walter Denton likes "one character in particular."
- Eve Arden announces her summer replacement, saying she would be listening to Steve Allen's show that summer. Everybody on the porch commending her nice speech. Allen, however, wonders if she'll really be listening. Cue Eve Arden saying of course she would, he has her job!
- This scene wasn't duplicated in the television remake, "Trial by Jury". There, the program ended with Miss Brooks pleading her innocence in court before a jury with Mr. Conklin as a member.
- List of Transgressions: In "Spare That Rod!", Mr. Conklin is tricked into believing he's about to be fired for being "flagrantly dictatorial" in his administration of Madison High School. As a result, he requests Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Walter Denton and Stretch Snodgrass provide him with a list of his transgressions:
Mr. Conklin: Now, if you will read me your bill of particulars considering my various infamies . . .Mr. Boynton: We're all going to read some of it, Mr. Conklin. Will you begin Miss Brooks?Miss Brooks: Thank you, Mr. Boynton. Whereas I, Osgood Conklin, Principal of Madison High School, desiring to improve relations between myself, the faculty, and the student body . . . your turn, Walter.Walter Denton: Ahem. Do promise to keep the following ever before me as a reminder of past sins of which I am heartily ashamed.Stretch Snodgrass: Which I ain't never gonna repeat no more.Mr. Conklin: Splendid. Splendid. Please continue.Miss Brooks: Wait until you hear this! I readily admit on many occasions I have acted like a pompous, puffed up, ill tempered, addlepated blowhard.Mr. Conklin: Forgive me, but it seems to me you have omitted maladjusted.Miss Brooks: Please don't interrupt, that's in the next paragraph. Now, where was I?Mr. Conklin: Addlepated blowhard.Miss Brooks: Oh yes. Addlepated blowhard. And on other occasions, I have bellowed like a bull . . .Mr. Boynton: Screamed like an elephant . . .Walter Denton: Hissed like a viper . . .Stretch Snodgrass: Snorted like a buffalo . . .Miss Brooks: And otherwise exhibited the behavior of a maladjusted nincompoop.Mr. Conklin: Oh, oh, oh, there it is!
- Literal-Minded: Mr. Jensen, the school custodian, makes a few radio appearances. He insists on interpreting figures of speech and phrases literally. Thus, to Miss Brooks' consternation (i.e. "School Safety Advisor") any attempt at conversation with him quickly turns into a chore.
- Living Legend: Two, at least:
- In "The Big Game", there's former high school football star "Snakehips", whose high score in the big game won him a job as a vice-president.
- In "Safari O'Tool", there's Mrs. Davis's beau, a famous jungle explorer. He's a fraud.
- Living Statue:
- In "Living Statues", Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin and Walter Denton are accidently glued into place.
- In "Hobbies", Mr. Boynton and Mr. Conklin pretend to be wax figures in order to dodge Mr. Stone. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Local Hangout: Marty's Malt Shop, located across the street from Madison High School, is popular with students and faculty alike.
- Locked in a Freezer: Happens twice:
- In "Home Cooked Meal", Mr. Conklin is locked in the cafeteria freezer.
- In "Male Superiority", Mr. Conklin, Mr. Boynton, Miss Brooks and Walter Denton are trapped in a meat locker. Miss Brooks is the only one who doesn't panic.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Gary Nolan in the movie.
- Long List: Usually when Mrs. Davis describes recipe ingredients.
- Loophole Abuse:
- In "Wakeup Plan", after accidently ingesting Mrs. Davis' sleeping pills, Mr. Conklin is caught sleeping in his office by the head of the board, Mr. Stone, and his assistant, Mr. Gleason. Miss Brooks successfully argues that Mr. Conklin was only seen sleeping during the lunch hour and after school - that is, on his own time.
- "Department Store Contest" features an unusual case of accidental loophole abuse. Miss Brooks wins a prize when a childhood letter to Santa Claus is accidently entered in a children's contest at Sherry's Department. As she wrote the letter when she was a child, she was able to walk away with the prize and avoid trouble.
- Love Letter Lunacy: The plot of the episode "Bones, Son of Cyrano". A love letter gets misdirected and misinterpreted multiple times. Hilarity Ensues. Especially, when Mr. Conklin believes Miss Brooks is in love with him! This is a remake of the radio episode "Poetry Mixup". The only difference is Stretch Snodgrass is replaced by his brother.
- Make an Example of Them: There's a reason Miss Brooks considers Mr. Conklin to be dictator of Madison High!
Miss Brooks: Having expected a one way trip to Devil’s Island, I thought the punishment Mr. Conklin meted out was comparatively just. However, it was just after 7:00 that evening when I got home.
- Malt Shop: Marty's Malt Shop, found across the street from Madison High it's practically an institution amongst students and faculty alike.
- Masquerade Ball: Not one, but two:
- In "The Festival", a masquerade festival is being held in a park near Madison High School.
- The masquerade in "Cinderella for a Day" is a swankier event, a dance held at the local country club.
- Matte Shot: Used often. A good example is the final scene of "The Big Jump", where the action takes place on the Madison High rooftop with a matte background in behind.
- Mean Boss: Mr. Conklin.
- Mirthless Laughter: An overstressed Miss Brooks laughs nervously in "Hobby Show".
- Mistaken Message: Figures prominently in "Bones, Son of Cyrano".
- Morally Bankrupt Banker: The titular Mr. Travers in "Mr. Travers' Three Acre Lot".
- Motor Mouth: Walter Denton sometimes talks rapidly when nervous, or when trying to polish the apple. In the episode "Cafeteria Strike", he motors through a student's petition:
Walter Denton: Whereas and to wit...
Miss Brooks: That's pretty strong language, isn't it? A little on the pink side.
Harriet Conklin: Listen, Miss Brooks.
Walter Denton: When in the course of student's events, it becomes necessary to turn one's back on one's stomach, we the undersigned, exercising our constitutional right to peaceably assemble, and to form a committee to seek the redress of grievances, do hereby announce our firm intention of the Madison High School Cafeteria only to use the tables, chairs, water, napkins and toothpicks provided therein. Until such a time that the duly appointed party or parties, namely Mr. Osgood Conklin, principal, or the Board of Education, responsible for the operational bog-down that has befallen this installation, do take such action that will improve the food, lower the prices and better the service in said cafeteria. It is also recommended the person, or persons, in whom this authority is vested, immediately see that the present chef in charge of preparing the food, and without any further frippery or fanfare, chuck him the heck off the premises. Well Miss Brooks, what do you think of it?
Miss Brooks: How much do you want for the picture rights?
- Mountain of Food: Walter Denton gets a large breakfast at Mrs. Davis, whenever he arrives to take Miss Brooks to school. This is usually after he has eaten breakfast at home.
- The Movie: In 1956.
- The Munchausen: Safari O'Toole, Mrs. Davis's friend in the episode of the same name, pretends to be a gentleman explorer. In spite of his tall tales, he's a likeable character who only mades up his stories so he could impress Mrs. Davis.
- Nearly Normal Animal : Type three, Almost Normal Animals.
- Mrs. Davis' cat Minera and Mr. Boynton's frog Mcdougall are, on occasion, much smarter than your average cat or frog.
- In the radio episode "The Frog" Miss Brooks receives a call from a tom cat meowing for Minerva.
- When Minerva has kittens ("Minerva's Kittens"), her "husband" Tim is with Miss Brooks and Mrs. Davis in the vet's waiting room. Tim faints when he's told he's the father of six.
- Never-Forgotten Skill:
- "Mr. Whipple" sees Mrs. Davis fill in as a nurse for the titular miserly millionaire . . . in spite of having left the nursing profession many years before.
- Subverted in the episode "The First Aid Course", where Miss Brooks pretends to have forgotten first aid in order to avoid teaching a night course. This backfires when romantic rival and fellow teacher Miss Enright ends up continuing the course - and Mr. Boynton signs up.
- Never Mess with Granny: In "Angela's Wedding", Mrs. Davis beats up a hulking gym teacher when he criticizes the deviled eggs she prepared.
- Nice Hat: Mr. Conklin's often seen wearing a fedora out of doors. Mr. Boynton and Mr. Stone also wear fedoras on occasion. Subverted in "Bargain Hats for Mother's Day", when Mrs. Davis produces homemade women's hats that Miss Brooks finds hard to sell.
- Nice Guy:
- Miss Brooks is a nice girl example, who is always trying to help others (and marry Mr. Boynton). Mr. Boynton is also a nice guy, unfortunately for Miss Brooks, he's oblivious to love. Miss Brooks finally marries him in the Grand Finale.
- Mrs. Davis is a second nice girl example.
- Harriet Conklin also counts as a nice girl example. Her father, scheming and domineering Mr. Conklin, is definitely not a nice guy. Walter Denton is likely too much of a prank player and troublemaker to qualify.
- Stretch Snodgrass (and his brother Bones) also qualify.
- Noble Profession: Miss Brooks is a teacher, of course.
- Nobody Here but Us Statues: In "Hobbies", Mr. Conklin and Mr. Boynton masquerade as wax figures to hide from Board Superintendent Mr. Stone.
- No Indoor Voice: Mr. Conklin
- Noir Episode: "Postage Due" sees Miss Brooks search for a vanished postman wearing a trench coat and narrating the action with a Private Eye Monologue.
- Not a Morning Person: Miss Brooks sometimes finds it hard to get up in the morning.
- Oblivious To Hints: Mr. Boynton
- Oblivious to Love: Mr. Boynton
- Obstacle Ski Course: In "Skis In The Classroom", Miss Brooks ends up skiing downhill without knowing how to ski. Miss Brooks ends her ski with a very ill advised maneuver; she skis toward a tree, grabs onto the branches and tumbles into the snow!
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Miss Brooks runs into an obstructive clerk in "The Embezzled Dress". Mrs. Davis accidently uses school money to buy Miss Brooks a present from Sherry's Department Store. Miss Brooks tries to return the dress to Sherry's, a store that promises if the customer isn't satisfied their money will be "cheerfully refunded". After being given the third degree on the reason for the return, Miss Brooks is turned down because the dress was sold on sale.
- Oddball in the Series: The last season of the television series, the product of Executive Meddling. Madison High School turns out to have been in Los Angeles. Not the City of Madison - as had been the case before. What's more, it's immediately being torn down for a new freeway. Miss Brooks and Mr. Conklin start working at Mrs. Nestor's private school.
- Ode to Intoxication: In "Old Clothes for Party" Miss Brooks is annoyed by a drunk who interrupts her call on the telephone party line. After finally managing to get rid of him, she sings a parody of "Comin' Through the Rye":
Miss Brooks: When a buddy meets a buddy, he's had too much rye!
- Office Sports: In "Trial By Jury", Mr. Conklin practices his casting in his office.
- Oktoberfest: Discussed by Miss Brooks in "Hawkins Travel Agency", when trying to sell Mr. Stone on a trip to Switzerland:
Miss Brooks (speaking in a German accent): And then we go to the Bavarian Alps. Immediately you notice there is a big difference.Mr. Boynton: A big difference?Miss Brooks: Ja. There with the women and the song, you get beer. Achtung what beer! Two bottles and you ski down the whole mountain without your skis.
- Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: Miss Brooks prepares for her role as proxy in "June Bride" as if she were really getting married.
- Old-Timey Bathing Suit: In "Heat Wave", Miss Brooks notices Mr. Boynton, Harriet Conklin, Walter Denton and Stretch Snodgrass are wearing bathing suits beneath their regular clothes. They're quite evidently in the old timey style, given the fact Miss Brooks sees the suits sticking out of their collars.
- One Steve Limit: Scrupulously observed.
- Onion Tears: In the episode "Tears for Mr. Boynton", Mrs. Davis advises Miss Brooks that she has to appear more vulnerable to attract Mr. Boynton. Mrs. Davis hides onions in Miss Brooks' purse.
- Only Child Syndrome: Walter Denton and Harriet Conklin. In the movie, Gary Nolan and Mr. Boynton as well.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Stretch (Fabian) Snodgrass, and his brother Bones (Winston).
- On the Money: Miss Brooks often finds herself short of cash, as in "Easter Outfit", "Fischer's Pawn Shop", "The Festival", and "School T.V. Set".
- Opening Narration: On the radio, each episode began with a short narration by a male narrator. He would introduce Miss Brooks as an English teacher at Madison High School. Often, he would go on to provide more information relevant to the current episode. This, in turn, would prompt a wry remark or two by Miss Brooks. Miss Brooks' narration led into the episode proper.
- Operation Jealousy: Used by Connie a few times on Phillip Boynton, to varying effect, i.e. "Hello Mr. Chips". Proves highly potent in the movie, enough for Connie to finally get her man.
- Opposing Sports Team: Madison High's rival Clay City High.
- Overly Long Name: One episode featured an attempt by Mr. Conklin to borrow Mrs. Davis's house trailer from Miss Brooks. He wanted to go fishing on an isolated lake, deep in the wilderness. The name of the lake, and the title of the episode? "Oo Oo Me Me Tocoludi Gucci Moo Moo." It's the local Indians' word for "blue."
- Parasol of Pain: In "Plaque for Mr. Conklin", Mrs. Davis belts Mr. Conklin with a mahogany handled umbrella. She thinks Mr. Conklin has amnesia. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Parking Problems: While Miss Brooks has had trouble parking off and on through the series, "Trial by Jury" features a truly Epic Fail. She leaves her car parked on a hill, another driver bumps her car forward. The parking brake is released, and her car rushes downhill and crashes into a fruit stand. Miss Brooks returns just in time to get the blame.
- Pay Phone: Play a key role in the plot in a couple episodes:
- In "Key to the School", Mr. Conkin and Miss Brooks use the payphone at Marty's Malt Shop to call board superintendent Mr. Stone after everybody is locked out of Madison High.
- In "Monsieur Leblanc", Walter Denton calls Mrs. Davis' house from a payphone pretending to be a Spaniard interested in purchasing Mr. Conklin's car.
- Peace Pipe: In the episode "Bartering with Chief Thundercloud", Mr. Boynton and Mr. Conklin smoke a peace pipe with the eponymous chief.
- Performance Anxiety: "Public Speaker's Nightmare".
- Perplexing Plurals: How do you refer to two men with the same surname? In "Mr. Boynton's Parents", nervousness sees Miss Brooks momentarily confused as to the correct manner in referencing Mr. Boynton and his father:
Miss Brooks: Where's Mr. Boynton? Or should I say where are Mr. Boyntons . . . or Misters Boynton . . . where's everybody?
- Phone Booth: Phonebooths plays a key role in a couple episodes:
- In "Key to the School", Mr. Conkin and Miss Brooks use the phone booth at Marty's Malt Shop to place a call to board superintendent Mr. Stone, after everybody is locked out of Madison High.
- In "Monsieur Leblanc", Walter Denton calls Mrs. Davis' house from a phone booth pretending to be a Spaniard interested in purchasing Mr. Conklin's car.
- Picture Day: In the episode "Friday the 13th", a tasteless prank by Walter Denton, and dumb jock Stretch Snodgrass's bungling, result in yearbook proofs being printed with Miss Brooks' head atop Mr. Conklin's body.
- Pink Elephants: Referenced in "Cure That Habit", when Mr. Stone wrongly suspects Mr. Conklin of being drunk and having hallucinations.
- Plot Coupon: In the episode "Phonebook Follies", Miss Brooks must find Mrs. Davis' copy of last year's phonebook. Miss Brooks and Mrs. Davis are ineligible to receive a new phonebook otherwise.
- Plot Immunity: Plot immunity guarantees Miss Brooks' position at Madison High School. Almost subverted in the cinematic series finale, where Miss Brooks resolves to leave in a moment of despair. Fortunately, With This Ring intervenes and Miss Brooks gets her Happily Ever After.
- The Precious, Precious Car: Mr. Conklin is very protective of his vehicle in "Brooks' New Car" and "Taking the Rap for Mr. Boynton".
- Prehistoric Monster: In "Madison Mascot", a torn note has Walter Denton, Stretch Snodgrass, Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton mistakenly believe that the new name for the Madison High football team will be the "Madison Mammoths".
Walter Denton: What do you think of the new setup Mrs. Davis? The Madison Mammoths! That's what the team will be called of course.Miss Brooks: The Madison Mammoths?Walter Denton: Sure. Because of the elephant mascot. You remember those prehistoric hairy old elephants, don't you Miss Brooks?Miss Brooks: Not personally.
- Private Eye Monologue: "Postage Due" sees Miss Brooks search for a vanished postman wearing a trench coat while narrating the action in film noir style.
- Projectile Toast: Mrs. Davis' toaster was a repeat offender.
- Protagonist Title
- Purple Prose: As befits his Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, Walter Denton often packs his newspaper editorials and other compositions with purple prose.
- Putting a Hand over His Mouth: In "Magic Christmas Tree", Miss Brooks puts her hand over Walter Denton's mouth to stop his painfully off-key rendition of "Deck The Halls".
- Questioning Title: The episode "Space, Who Needs It?".
- Quintessential British Gentleman: A quintessential British public school principal visits in the episode "Hello Mr. Chips." Miss Brooks uses him to make Mr. Boynton jealous.
- Quoting Myself: Walter Denton uses fake quotes from time to time.
Walter Denton: It's as the saying goes, "When love enters the heart, appetite flees the stomach."
Miss Brooks: Who said that?
Walter Denton: I don't know. I guess it's anonymous.
Miss Brooks: It deserves to be.
- Radio Contest: In "Wild Goose", Walter Denton, pretending to be a radio quiz host, tricks Mr. Conklin into believing he's won a television set from Sherry's Department Store.
- Radio Drama: Our Miss Brooks ran on CBS Radio starting in 1948. It was joined by a television adaptation in 1952. The series concluded with a feature film in 1956. In the Grand Finale, Miss Brooks finally marries Mr. Boynton
- Rant-Inducing Slight: Several in the episode "Friendship". Mrs. Davis tells Miss Brooks' fortune, and predicts that by day's end she will lose all her friends. Mrs. Davis' prediction comes true, briefly.
- Reading Is Cool Aesop: As an English teacher, Miss Brooks is normally all in favour of reading. However, the trope is subverted in "Bones, Son of Cyrano", where Mr. Boynton breaks a date with Miss Brooks to read the rest of Cyrano de Bergerac. Miss Brooks had advised Mr. Boynton to read it in the first place in the hope it would make him less Oblivious to Love!
- Read the Fine Print: In the episode "Hospital Capers". A lawyer (a literal ambulance chaser) gets Mr. Boynton to sign a contract hiring him a counsel; the contract features a hefty penalty if Mr. Boynton chooses to terminate his representation. When Miss Brooks visits the lawyer, he hands her ever larger magnifying glasses to read the contract's fine print. Lampshaded when the lawyer admits to Miss Brooks that he's been disbarred in several states.
- Recycled Script: Many radio scripts were reworked and adapted for television:
- i.e. "The Auction", "Aunt Mattie Boynton", "The Birthday Bag", "Blue Goldfish", "Bones, Son of Cyrano", "Business Course", "The Cafeteria Strike", "Clay City Chaperone", "Cure That Habit", "The Embezzled Dress", "Fisher's Pawn Shop", "The Hawkins Travel Agency", "The Hobby Show", "The Honest Burglar", "The Hurricane", "June Bride", "Madison Mascot", "The Magic Christmas Tree", "Marinated Hearing", "Monsieur Leblanc", "The Model Teacher", "Old Marblehead", "Red River Valley", "Secondhand First Aid", "Spare That Rod", "Suzy Prentiss", "Thanksgiving Show", "Trial by Jury", "Trying to Pick A Fight", "Two-Way Stretch Snodgrass", "Wild Goose", "The Wrong Mrs. Boynton", and "The Yodar Kritch Award".
- Refuge in Audacity: In the episode "Bobbsey Twins In Stir", a con-artist tricks Mrs. Davis into selling phony tickets to the policeman's ball. Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin and Mr. Stone are all unwitting drawn into the scheme, and all end up in gaol as a result.
- Relatively Flimsy Excuse: In "Connie and Bonnie", Miss Brooks impersonates her non-existent twin sister so as to earn extra money moonlighting as a waitress.
- Remember the New Guy: Bones Snodgrass is introduced in the episode "The Yodar Kritch Award". He was never before seen or mentioned, in spite of being the brother of recurring character Stretch Snodgrass.
- Repressive But Efficient: Miss Brooks is justified in calling Mr. Conklin "dictator" of Madison High School. However, the school seems to operate well nonetheless.
- Retool: In the fourth season of the TV series, Madison High was razed to make room for a freeway, Miss Brooks and Mr. Conklin went to work for a private school, and Walter and Harriet disappeared from the show along with Mr. Boynton (although the latter would eventually return).
- Rewrite: There are two versions of Miss Brooks' arrival in Madison. The first episode ("First Day") and the later episode "Spare That Rod!" have Miss Brooks already teaching at Madison when Mr. Conklin is appointed principal. However, "Borrow Money To Fly", features a major rewrite. Miss Brooks arrives to teach at Madison High School, and is greeted by longtime principal Mr. Conklin. The cinematic series finale follows the new continuity, albeit having Miss Brooks meet Mr. Conklin and Mr. Boynton in a slightly different manner.
- Road Trip Plot: "Game at Clay City".
- Royal Harem: In the episode "King and Brooks", the king mentions having a harem.
- Running Gag: Many, including Mr. Conklin's huge sneezes and the 'glug' greeting of Boynton's pet frog McDougal. Miss Brooks' car was always in the shop (see Women Drivers for the reason of the week).
- Safety in Indifference: In the episode "Trying to Forget Mr. Boynton", Miss Brooks tries be indifferent and forget about love interest Mr. Boynton.
- Sampling: At least four examples:
- "April Fools": "As Time Goes By", from Casablanca, plays as Miss Brooks stalls for time.
- "Wild Goose": "I Must Go Where The Wild Goose Goes" plays as Miss Brooks is sent on the wild goose chase Walter Denton had intended for Mr. Conklin.
- "Weekend at Crystal Lake": A stanza of the "Anniversary Song" plays after Miss Brook parodies it.
- "Friendship": The song "Friendship" is played as an ironic chorus whenever Miss Brooks loses a friend.
- The Scapegoat: Mr. Conklin is constantly scapegoating Miss Brooks for one thing or another. Fortunately, Miss Brooks is always able to escape the consequences by episode's end.
- School Festival: "The Festival". It's a costume festival held in the park across from the school.
- School Newspaper Newshound:
- Walter Denton is editor of the school paper, the "Madison Monitor". From time to time he gets himself into trouble by writing editorials critical of Mr. Conklin or Madison High School in general, i.e. "Cafeteria Strike" and "Threat to Abolish the School Paper". "Marinated Hearing" revolves around Miss Brooks' attempt to keep Walter Denton from publishing an editorial insulting the Board of Education in revenge for only giving students 2 1/2 instead of 3 weeks of Christmas Vacation.
- Walter also plays the gossip columnist in a couple episodes, with a column entitled "Campus Dirt: Shoveled by Walter Denton". This is to Miss Brooks' dismay, as he uses the column to blab about her being disappointed that Mr. Boynton is away at a Biologist's Convention.
- Like any good high school reporter, he also on the prowl for news. We see him at it in the episode Kritch Cave.
- School of Hard Knocks: In "The Grudge Match", Walter Denton challenges star athlete Stretch Snodgrass to a fight when he discovers that Harriet Conklin had sat next to Stretch at the movie theatre. Much to Miss Brooks' consternation, Mr. Boynton decides that it would be best to have the fight in the gymnasium in front of the whole school. Principal Conklin not only goes along with it, but referees the fight, as he wants to see Walter Denton "clobbered."
- Self-Deprecation: Miss Brooks sometimes aims her deadly sarcasm at herself, usually when she finds herself dragged into a preposterous situation or scheme.
- Separated by a Common Language: An English schoolmaster visits in "Hello Mr. Chips". Hilarity Ensues.
- Series Goal: From day one, Miss Brooks wants to marry oblivious Mr. Boynton. They finally marry at the end of the film.
- Series of the 1950s
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Walter, which makes him sound much more intelligent than he really is.
- Sexophone: A Running Gag in The Movie is a sexophone riff that plays everytime Miss Lonelyhearts gets up from her desk and walks through the newspaper office.
- The Shrink: In the episode "The School Board Psychologist". A dangerously incompetent psychologist tries to have Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton and Mr. Conklin dismissed.
- Single-Episode Handicap: In "Marinated Hearing", Walter Denton sets off an old cannon from the Spanish-American War. Mr. Conklin's standing too close, and suffers from temporary deafness as a result.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Miss Brooks' goal throughout the radio, television series and film adaptation. Her heart is clearly set on the very decent and attractively biology teacher Mr. Boynton. Unfortunately, Mr. Boynton is very shy and almost altogether Oblivious to Love. Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton finally get married at the end of the movie.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Miss Brooks has Miss Enright, a fellow English teacher and rival for Mr. Boynton's affections.
- Slave to PR: Mr. Conklin is desperate to maintain a good public image on a number of occasions. For example, in "Madison Country Club", he's desperate to one up his rival Jason Brill. In "The Cafeteria Strike", Mr. Conklin's desperate to prevent the school's board food being exposed in the newspaper. Yes, Mr. Conklin is desperate to maintain a good front for the public. However, he never seems to care about the reputation he has amongst Madison's students and faculty.
- Sleazy Politician: The mayor in the radio episode "Student Government Day" is in league with the mobsters running the Jackpot Amusement Company. Averted with the new mayor, who eventually appears in the television episode "Bobbsey Twins in Stir".
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Whenever Miss Brooks and Miss Enright meet, snarking is sure to follow. Usually, Miss Enright gives the first blow, with Miss Brooks giving as good as she gets.
- Sneeze of Doom: Mr. Conklin has some whoppers. The TV version of the sneezes had powerful fans blow objects all over the set, i.e. "Here is Your Past" and "The Magic Tree".
- Sound to Screen Adaptation
- Split-Screen Phone Call: "Blind Date".
- Stalker Without A Crush: The episode "Here is Your Past" sees Miss Brooks and Mrs. Davis being stalked by a mysterious man with a black moustache. The stranger forces Connie to a TV studio where she's guest of honor on the Here is Your Past TV program.
- Standardized Sitcom Housing: Mostly averted.
- Miss Brooks rents a room from Mrs. Davis, whose home is stereotypically decorated in "old lady style" i.e. old fashioned wallpaper and lots of doilies. The house is a one-story home, although the front windows seen in establishing shots don't appear in the house. The front door opens directly into the living room, but is actually stage right. The house actually has a dining room stage left to the living room. Stage left to the dining room is the kitchen, with a back door leading stage left to the back porch and back yard (which was rarely shown). Depending on the requirement of the plot, the house is described as having either two or three bedrooms. (In The Movie, Mrs. Davis describes the third bedroom as a "spare room", perhaps reconciling the difference.) There's an easily accessible attic used for storage, mentioned by never shown. On the rare occasions when Miss Brooks' bedroom is shown, it's unclear where it is inside the house.
- In the cinematic series finale, the layout is much the same. However, while the living room was square on television, here it's elongated along the front of the house. The windows outside actually line up. The location of Miss Brooks' room is also shown. It's off a small hallway leading from the living room (and thus not appearing on stage on television.
- Stealing The Credit: Mr. Conklin likes to steal the credit from Miss Brooks, on occasion. For example, there was his attempt to claim authorship of a speech written by Miss Brooks in "Public Property on Parade".
- Steam Never Dies: In the film, when Miss Brooks arrives in Madison, she's seen disembarking from a passenger train drawn by a steam locomotive. Very much truth in film, as the fifties were the twilight of the steam age in North America.
- Stereo Fibbing: Happens a few times in the radio version:
- In the episode "The Wrong Mrs. Boynton", Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton fib in stereo to the Dean Faraday of State College.
- In "Trial By Jury", Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Walter Denton and Bones Snodgrass play possum with multiple fake illnesses.
- Sticky Fingers: Somebody is stealing phonebooks in the episode "Phonebook Follies".
- Stock Yuck: The episode "Public Property on Parade", sees Cordon Bleugh Chef Mrs. Davis cook a limburger omelet for Miss Brooks. Brooks wisely declines, so Davis leaves it in the front yard for the birds. Cue a flock of birds flying a frantic retreat.
- Strange Syntax Speaker: Stretch Snodgrass's grammar is atrocious. It's a toxic combination of current slang, malapropisms and double negatives.
Miss Brooks: Stretch, it is incorrect to use a double negative in a sentence. You've just used four of them.Stretch Snodgrass: Oh! So what I said was alright then?
- Stretch's brother Bones is the same way.
- Stunned Silence: A horrorstruck Miss Brooks is stunned into silence in the episode "Home Cooked Meal". Miss Brooks realizes that Mr. Conklin has gone into a dark kitchen that has filled with natural gas. When Mr. Conklin announces he's going to light a match, horror stricken, she can only mouth a warning. Fortunately, Mr. Conklin's alright, although a little worse for wear.
- Sudden Intelligence: The episode Dress Code Protest has student athlete Stretch Snodgrass volunteer some good advice to Miss Brooks.
Stretch Snodgrass: I've got an idea, Miss Brooks.Miss Brooks: Not so loud, it'll get away.
- Surprise Party: "The Birthday Bag" and "The Surprise Party". Miss Brooks' friends plan a surprise party at the Conklin's house. Unfortunately, Miss Brooks turns up an hour too early. Hilarity Ensues.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Happened a few times:
- Stretch Snodgrass was substituted with his brother Bones in several first and second season episodes of the TV Series. The actor who played Stretch, Leonard Smith, wasn't available.
- Mrs. Winona Nestor was replaced by her sister, Mrs. Ruth Nestor, in the fourth season of the TV series. Unfortunately, the actress playing Winona, Nana Bryant, was forced to leave the show due to illness after making only a couple of appearances.
- The temporary replacement of Mrs. Davis, with her sister Angela, for a few episodes in the third season of the TV series and contemporaneous radio program. Jane Morgan, the actress who played Mrs. Davis, had suffered a stroke (fortunately, she made a quick and full recovery). This counts as a subversion as the character of Angela had often been mentioned on the radio program, and was eventually portrayed by Jesselyn Fax on both radio and television. The two sisters appeared side-by-side in several episodes.
- Tax Deductions: Happens to Miss Brooks in "Easter Outfit". Miss Brooks finds the $50.00 she earned working at the board of education during spring break to be considerably eroded by tax deductions.
- Team Chef: Mrs. Davis is the only main character typically seen cooking. In one episode, Miss Brooks goes so far as to describe her own specialty as Campbell's Soup. Subverted in episodes where Miss Brooks assists Mrs. Davis with her cooking, and in episodes where Mrs. Conklin appears. Most notably subverted in "The Cafeteria Strike" when Mr. Boynton uses his mother's meatball recipe to get Miss Brooks out of trouble.
- Temporary Substitute: A few episodes (i.e. "A Dry Scalp is Better Than None", "Wild Goose") see Mrs. Davis' sister Angela substitute as Miss Brooks' landlady. Angela was said to be watching over things while Mrs. Davis visited relatives. (Jane Morgan, the actress who played Mrs. Davis, suffered a stroke. Fortunately, she made a completely recover and returned within a few weeks time.)
- That's an Order: Mr. Conklin uses this phrase from time to time.
- Theme Music Abandonment: The movie dispenses with the usual series theme, opening with a fanfare and a cheery new tune.
- Tonto Talk: Chief and Mrs. Thundercloud in the episode "Bartering With Chief Thundercloud".
- The Triple: Several times. Here, Miss Brooks is having a rapid-fire breakfast "conversation" with Mrs. Davis:
Miss Brooks: Toast?Mrs. Davis: Toast.Miss Brooks: Cereal?Mrs. Davis: Cereal.Miss Brooks: Hat-coat-and-bicarbonate?Mrs. Davis: ...
- Truth-Telling Session: Miss Brooks and Boynton argue in the film.
- Turtle Power: In "Madison Mascot", Stretch Snodgrass offers his pet turtle as Madison's mascot:
Stretch Snodgrass: I know, maybe I can bring my turtle over as a mascot.Walter Denton: The Madison Mudturtles! That's sort of alliterative. How big a turtle have you got, Stretch?Stretch Snodgrass: He's exactly three inches square!Mr. Conklin: Now there's a brilliant suggestion. How could the crowd in a football stadium possibly see a three inch turtle?
- Two-Teacher School: Brooks and Boynton; there was also Brooks' rival Miss Enright and occasional visits from other teachers.
- Unable to Support a Wife: At the start of the film. Mr. Boynton's saving money and hoping for a promotion so he can propose to (and support) Miss Brooks.
- Undesirable Prize: In "Peanuts the Great Dane", Miss Brooks wins the titular dog after spending the episode trying to get rid of him.
- Unreliable Narrator: Sometimes done for laughs in the introductory narration on the radio. This would always prompt a quick correction by deadpan snarker Miss Brooks.
- Unwanted Glasses Plot: In "The Dancer", Miss Brooks goes to an optometrist after Mr. Conklin accuses her of needing glasses. She borrows a pair of glasses to see their effect on Mr. Boynton. He compliments her on how mature she looks. So much for any chance of Miss Brooks wearing glasses!
- Valentine's Day Episodes: There are two Valentine's Day Episodes:
- "The Frog" sees Miss Brooks adopt a pet frog, in an effort to set up a "double date" with Mr. Boynton somewhere outside the zoo. It Makes Sense in Context.
- "Valentine's Day Date" see Miss Brooks again try to keep Mr. Boynton away from the zoo. This time, she uses a gift certificate provided by Stretch Snodgrass to lure Mr. Boynton to Turk's Turkey Heaven. Hilarity Ensues.
- Waistcoat of Style: Mr. Conklin's often seen wearing three piece suits (i.e. "Living Statues").
- Wakeup Makeup: Memorably averted in the episode "The Model Teacher". The catty female reporter is pleased to see Miss Brooks unmade up, so she could portray her as poorly as possible.
- Walking Swimsuit Scene: Three examples:
- "Friday the Thirteenth": A key factor in the plot is a photograph of Miss Brooks by the lake in a French bathing suit.
- "Heat Wave" has everybody but Miss Brooks and Mr. Conklin scheming to get out of school and pay a trip to the swimming hole. Turns out Harriet Conklin, Walter Denton and Stretch Snodgrass, and even Mr. Boynton have swimming suits under their regular clothes. At the end of episode, it's revealed Miss Brooks is wearing one too.
- In the episode "The Dancer", an exotic dancer wanting Mr. Conklin to hire her for his brother-in-law's bachelor party, strips down to a French bathing suit when left alone in his office.
- Wealthy Yacht Owner: Lawrence Nolan, in the film. He owns a luxurious motor yacht, the Paradise.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Gary Nolan resents his father's inattention.
- We Wait: Miss Brooks stakes out a burglar in "The Burglar"
- Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: Walter Denton says this in the episode "Two-way Stretch Snodgrass". He walks into Mr. Conklin's office, after Miss Brooks and Mr. Conklin discuss a plan to have someone imitate student athlete Stretch Snodgrass.
- Why Waste a Wedding?: In the episode "June Bride". Mr. Leblanc's proxy wedding gets cancelled. Mr. Boynton suggest they don't waste the arrangements, nor the judge. Does he finally propose to, and marry, Miss Brooks? No. It's a great opportunity for a square dance!
- Wild Wilderness: Lake Oo Oo Me Me Tocoludi Gucci Moo Moo, in the episode of the same name.
- With This Ring: The movie ends with Boynton finally proposing to Brooks.
- Women Drivers: Miss Brooks' car is always broken down or damaged in some way, forcing her to take lifts in Walter's jalopy. She is portrayed as someone who doesn't pay the best attention on the road, sometimes barely missing pedestrians by swerving and hitting something on the side of the road.
- Work Com
- Writing Lines: Happens at the end of "Letter from the Education Board". Mr. Conklin has Walter, Stretch, Mr. Boynton and Miss Brooks stay after school writing "Our principal is the best principal that any school ever had."
- You Meddling Kids: Happens in a first season radio episode, titled "Student Government Day". Taking over their duly elected roles as mayor and police chief for a day, Harriet Conklin and Walter Denton raid "The Jackpot Amusement Company," a gambling ring placing crooked slot machines in the backrooms of candy stores.
- This is actually a subversion. Harriet and Walter's insults toward an uncooperative real policeman get them, several other students, Miss Brooks, and eventually Mr. Boynton locked in jail. The only reason the gangsters are run out of town, is that the crooked mayor is terrified of bad publicity from the fiasco. His equally crooked campaign manager convinces him to forgo his cut, and let the kids bust the gambling ring.
- Fortunately, for Madison, it seems this was that mayor's last hurrah. By the following season's "School Band", Miss Brooks notes a new (much better) mayor had been elected and would be visiting Madison High School. When it the time came for the Mayor of Madison to appear on television in "Public Property on Parade", he showed himself to be the very model of a dedicated public servant.