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.
  • All Just a 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 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.
  • Angrish: Mr. Conklin, on occasion.
    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.
  • 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.
  • Betty and Veronica: Miss Enright was another, more glamorous English teacher who competed with Miss Brooks for Boynton's affection.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mrs. Davis. She sometimes forgets what she's saying in the middle of a sentence.
  • Comically Missing the Point: This happens quite often:
    • Almost anytime 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.
    • Anytime 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 Elliot was not a gentleman.
      Walter Denton: He may have not been a gentleman, but he was a darned good writer.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: Dell adapted the movie into comic book form.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: When Miss Brooks attempts to track down a missing postman in Postage Due, she wears a trenchcoat like any proper amateur detective.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dumb Jock / Dumb Muscle: 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.
  • 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!
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: What Lawrence Nolan expects of his son Gary in the film.
  • 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 meal.
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Guaranteed whenever French teacher Mr. Le Blanc appears.
  • 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.
  • Grand Finale: The Movie in 1956.
  • 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.
  • High School
  • Hint Dropping: Miss Brooks drops plenty of hints for Mr. Boynton. He rarely catches on.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Instrumentals / Instrumental Theme Tune: The opening and closing theme.
  • 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.
  • 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 Neilson's 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 Brother's Archive Collection and occasionally airs on Turner Classic Movies.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Mrs. Davis.
  • Large Ham: Mr. Conklin
  • Last Name Basis: Brooks, Boynton, and Conklin always address each other formally, even outside of school.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mistaken Message: Figures prominently in Bones, Son of Cyrano.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • No Indoor Voice: Mr. Conklin
  • Oblivious To Hints: Mr. Boynton
  • Oblivious to Love: Mr. Boynton
  • 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 the 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 Las 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.
  • Office Sports: In Trial By Jury, Mr. Conklin practices his casting in his office.
  • Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: Miss Brooks prepares for her role as proxy in June Bride as if she were really getting married.
  • 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, i.e. Easter Outfit, Fischer's Pawn Shop, The Festival, 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.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Madison High's rival Clay City High.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Mr. Conklin is very protective of his vehicle in Brooks' New Car and Taking the Rap for Mr. Boynton.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Projectile Toast: Mrs. Davis' toaster was a repeat offender.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Questioning Title: The episode Space, Who Needs It?.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
    • Canon Discontinuity was the result. The radio program continued at Madison High as per usual. The Movie also ignored the fourth season of the TV series.
  • 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. The later episode, 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.
  • 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 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."
  • School Festival: The Festival. It's a costume festival held in the park across from the school.
  • Series Goal: From day one, Miss Brooks wants to marry oblivious Mr. Boynton.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Walter, which makes him sound much more intelligent than he really is.
  • Sexophone: A running gag in the movie of Our Miss Brooks 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 Brook's 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.
  • 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.
  • Sound to Screen Adaptation
  • 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 in 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 Our Miss Brooks:
    • 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.
  • 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 . . . .
  • 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. The actress playing Winona, Nana Bryant, left the show after 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Truth-Telling Session: Miss Brooks and Boynton argue in the film.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.