"Hey baby, I hear the blues a-callingA Spin-Off of Cheers airing on NBC from 1993–2004, in which psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) has moved back to his home town of Seattle to take a job as a radio shrink on KACL in order to put his life back together after divorcing his wife Lilith. In the pilot, Frasier's father Martin (John Mahoney), a down-to-earth, blue-collar, easygoing man as different from his pompous, stuffy, intellectual son as it is possible to be, is forced to move in with Frasier following his retirement from the Seattle police force after being shot in the hip, providing the setting for the rest of the show. In addition to Frasier and Martin, the rest of the main cast includes Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), Frasier's sharp-tongued, upbeat producer, who is notorious for her healthy sex life and who soon becomes his best friend; Frasier's brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce), also a psychiatrist with a personality and line of interests very similar to those of his brother, with whom he shares a close-knit but intensely competitive relationship, who was a frequent visitor to the apartment and a companion in most of Frasier's complicated escapades; and Martin's physical therapist and housekeeper, cheerful, eccentric young Englishwoman Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves). Martin's deceptively intelligent Jack Russell terrier Eddie, Frasier's coworkers at KACL, and Niles's unseen but outlandish wife Maris were the final touches to the core cast, which remained intact and unchanged throughout all eleven seasons of the show's run. Dan Butler, who played sports show host Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe, was listed in the opening credits for seasons 4 through 6, but was billed as a guest star for all other appearances.The series was able to run contrary to almost every other sitcom ever made by having two wealthy, snobbish milquetoasts as its main characters, who clash with the Average Joes that make up the rest of the ensemble. The emphasis was on understatement and taste: the show used title cards in place of establishing shots, was one of the first sitcoms to completely dispose of the Sentimental Music Cue, had an opening theme only a few seconds long (with the cast credits running amid the opening sequence), and wasn't afraid to mix up highbrow wordplay and regular old humor. The show's brand of humor was wry and highly farcical, delighting in turning regular situations into ludicrously convoluted disasters while making hay out of the clash of inflexible opinions, class and cultural stereotypes, and strong, differing personalities. Also contributing to the show's enjoyability is that fact that many episodes end happily, with all confusion totally cleared up — although there are plenty of disastrous and bittersweet endings as well.The show ran on Irony in all its forms, especially in the premise of a brilliant psychiatrist who can analyze and solve anyone's problems, but cannot for the life of him deal with his familial relationships, the bizarre situations he always gets himself into, or his own personal neuroses. For obvious reasons, psychological issues, mind games, and behavioral patterns was a major theme throughout the show and a source of much humor, as was the presence of family and the dynamics of parental and sibling relationships. The plots of the episodes usually revolved around Frasier or the other main characters accidentally overcomplicating their own or each other's crises, powered by a sitcom-standard mix-and-match of Snowball Lie, "Fawlty Towers" Plot, Contrived Coincidence, and the entire gamut of Mistaken for Index; but usually developed in a far more intricate, subtle, and sophisticated manner than most sitcoms, frequently subverting the very tropes they made heavy use of.Over the years, notable Character Development occurred for all five main characters. The cast became more understanding and close-knit, Frasier's relationship with Martin improved drastically after they started living together, Frasier started a quest for a meaningful relationship, Niles and Maris divorced, and Roz got pregnant and became a single mother halfway through the show. However, the most notable story arc was the drawn-out, heartfelt Will They or Won't They? between a blissfully Oblivious to Love Daphne, and a shyly adoring Niles, who carried a silent torch for her for seven years. They had to go through a whole cavalcade of complications and roadblocks before finally confessing their love for each other and getting together in a Moment of Awesome at the end of season 7.The show won 37 Emmy Awards, more than any other show in history, and notably ran for a grand-slam eleven seasons, matching or exceeding its predecessor Cheers in length and acclaim.
Tossed salads and scrambled eggs
Mercy!/Oh, my!/Quite stylish...!
And maybe I seem a bit confused
Yeah, maybe—but I got you pegged!
But I don't know what to do
With those tossed salads and scrambled eggs....
They're calling again."
Tossed salads and scrambled eggs
Mercy!/Oh, my!/Quite stylish...!
And maybe I seem a bit confused
Yeah, maybe—but I got you pegged!
But I don't know what to do
With those tossed salads and scrambled eggs....
They're calling again."
Frasier is the former Trope Namer for:
- Replacement Flat Character (The Niles)
TV Tropes all over my face! What is a Troper to do?
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- Aborted Arc:
- Season 10 built up an Unresolved Sexual Tension between Frasier and Roz that culminated with Roz leaving the station due to jealousy towards Julia. When Season 11 rolled around an A-team of Frasier writers (Joe Keenan, Chris Lloyd, Rob Greenberg) returned, declared season 10 a misfire, and undid all the damage in two episodes.
- Frasier's romance with new station manager Kate Costas was aborted because Mercedes Ruehl was unable to handle the daily grind of doing a weekly sitcom.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Cousin Yvonne for Niles, and, more prominently, Noel Shempsky towards Roz.
- The Ace: Dr. Clint Webber. He does everything perfectly and is, for the space of an episode, sort of a one-way nemesis to Frasier. Can't sing though.
- Accidental Proposal: Discussed and defied when Frasier finds Daphne's Lost Engagement Ring:Frasier: Can you imagine what conclusions Faye might have jumped to had she found this engagement ring in my room?Faye: [entering] Oh, Frasier, for me? I had no idea!Frasier: Well, actually, uh...Faye: [grabbing the ring] It's beautiful! It's so beautiful! Yes, Frasier, I do! I do! [Big Damn Kiss]Frasier: [splutters until Faye gives him a knowing look]Faye: Oh, calm down, you big dope. I know it's Daphne's ring. And, uh, I can't tell you how flattered I am by those beads of sweat on your forehead.
- Acting Unnatural: Frasier and his family are encouraged to do this by Martin after they accidentally cross the Canadian border, unaware that Daphne's work permit forbids her from leaving the country, and must pass through customs before re-entering. This eventually involves Frasier babbling his head off whenever the customs officer asks him a question, Niles buttoning up entirely (and seeming like a brooding serial killer), and Daphne saying the only thing she can say in a vaguely convincing American accent: "Sure". Martin, who actually does manage to act naturally, is not greatly impressed.
- Actually Pretty Funny: "Voyage Of The Damned" sees Frasier booked as a cruise ship entertainer along with several B-list celebrities whom Frasier is less than enthusiastic about sharing billing with ("You've booked me on a floating Gong Show! ...Of course I got top billing! I'm the only one up there I've ever heard of!"), one of whom is comedian Giggles O'Shea. Later, Giggles helps Frasier spice up his speech with a few jokes, which Frasier has to admit are really pretty good.
- Air Guitar: Frasier and Niles play "air violin". Frasier also enjoys air orchestra conducting.
- Alien Abduction: Congressional candidate Phil Patterson confides with Frasier that he genuinely believes he was abducted by aliens, who told him he had to do something to help the planet. Bulldog reveals that the news was reporting about Patterson and aliens, so Frasier goes on air to defend Patterson, only for Bulldog to explain to Roz that Patterson had illegal aliens from Guatemala working in his kitchen (actually foreign exchange students on a goodwill program). Patterson's opponent, Holden Thorpe, wins the election with 92% of the vote. Frasier is mortified at his this, but Patterson says he may run in California, where this may actually help him.
- All Love Is Unrequited: "The Ski Lodge" features one of the most complicated love tangles ever. With an especially cruel twist, as once it's all sorted out, Frasier is left to come to the hideously painful realization that no one was lusting after him.Frasier: Wait, wait, wait. Wait, everybody. Let me see if I can get this straight. All the lust coursing through this lodge tonight, all the hormones virtually ricocheting off the walls, and no one... was chasing me? (long silence) See you at breakfast.
- Subverted during The Stinger when the Dumb Blonde Frasier had been pursuing changes her mind - but Frasier unwittingly screws that up, too.
- Also, for most of the series, Niles and Daphne. Niles eventually seemed to get over his crush on Daphne and move on... just in time for Daphne to develop a crush on him.
- Jane Leeves claims Daphne knew Niles was in love with her all along, but that's just her interpretation.
- Some fans have dubbed this show "the Gilligan's Island of love", saying that Frasier having a successful romance would be like the castaways getting rescued.
- The series ending with Frasier on a plane heading east to pursue a promising relationship would seem to reinforce this view.
- Subverted during The Stinger when the Dumb Blonde Frasier had been pursuing changes her mind - but Frasier unwittingly screws that up, too.
- All Psychology Is Freudian: Subverted. While Frasier is a Freudian and Niles is a Jungian, none of the other psychiatrists who ever appear on the show adhere to these outdated models. Indeed, they generally spend a lot of time mocking Frasier and Niles for their rejection of more modern, accepted psychiatry. Lilith, Frasier's ex-wife and fellow psychiatrist, is a Behaviorist (though that's also outdated now) and particularly likes to mock him over it.
- Ambiguously Gay: Gil Chesterton. He shows every outward sign of being effeminitely gay, but says he's married and makes several references to his wife over the years. But she's never seen (which Roz tries to call him out on), and he does things in quick gags like quoting lines from a romance novel clearly directed at Bulldog, and sneaking into a gay bar. Is he gay? Straight? Both, or curious, or just oblivious to how it all looks?
- The gay bar scene was probably intended to provide a definitive conclusion, considering it was his last major appearance in the series.
- It results in a crowning moment of funny when Gil says, of one of KACL's production staff — one just as ambiguously effeminate as himself — "Between you and me, I always thought of him as being the other way", and Roz responds with a confused "Which way would that be?!"
- There's an equally brilliant scene where Gil finds that they all think he's gay and becomes outraged, explaining that he has a wife (and describing her in terms that match the stereotypical Butch Lesbian). It's followed by Frasier saying "Well, that's the first I've ever seen a man IN himself."
- Analogy Backfire: Used often in a variety of situations by different characters.
- Angrish: Mostly Frasier, but the other cast sometimes suffer this, too.
- From Roz And The Schnoz, Roz has been having a Heroic B.S.O.D. the entire episode when she sees how massive her unborn child's grandparents' noses are.Frasier: You know Roz, in spite of a rather shaky beginning, I think this evening's turned out rather well.Roz: (calmly at first) Oh yeah, and you were absolutely right, Frasier. Now I can see some of the qualities my baby can have. A great sense of humor... a sweet disposition... (angrish) a nose like an ANTEATER!!
- From Roz And The Schnoz, Roz has been having a Heroic B.S.O.D. the entire episode when she sees how massive her unborn child's grandparents' noses are.
- Anguished Declaration of Love
- Animal Theme Naming: Almost certainly a coincidence (the characters are unrelated and never meet) but the show has two Romantic False Leads named after predatory fish. Roz claims that Donny "the Piranha" Douglas is named less for his fearsome reputation as a divorce lawyer and more for his "night-grinding problem", while in the cruise boat episode Maris pursues a sleazy Lounge Lizard called "the Barracuda" (who lives up to his name with a rather revolting jaw-snapping action when coming on to a woman).
- Animated Credits Opening: Just like the rest of the show, classy and understated. Counts as a form of Couch Gag as there are several variations.
- Answers to the Name of God:
Frasier: That sort of exercise only helps people who lack self-awareness. I for one am... (back pain hits) God almighty!
- Played with in "Back Talk", when Frasier is dealing with severe back pain. Everyone is trying to give him advice.
Lilith: [stopping in her tracks] My God.
- When Frasier shows up in Lilith's hotel room and starts stripping, unaware she's just slept with his brother and has him hidden in the bathroom, he takes her deadpan expression of surprise as a term of endearment:
Frasier: [growling] My Goddess!
- Aren't You Forgetting Someone?: Happens to Frasier and Roz at the first SeaBee awards they attend; they assume that they will be one of the two shows tied for an award.
- Argentina Is Nazi Land: Apparently, Niles' housemaid worked for a German family that arrived in Guatemala just after the war, which explains why she speaks German fluently.
- Aroused by Their Voice: One of Frasier's callers admits she listens to his show for this reason.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Turns up in places you'd least expect. Sometimes becomes part of the scene-stealing moment.
"They buy huge umbrellas that are too big to walk around, so you have to walk in the street! And then they drive so close to the curb that they splash you with water! AND THEY WEAR BROWN SHOES WITH WHITE SOCKS!"
- "People of Seattle! Listen to me! We are not barbarians! We are not Neanderthals! AND WE ARE NOT FRENCH!"
- In one episode, two DJ's try to make a career out of publicly humiliating Frasier. He refuses to sink to their level and will only counter them by quoting famous authors. After all the ridicule, one of them manages to hit his Berserk Button by correcting his pronunciation of "La Rochefoucauld."
- Frasier, in a rant about how people in Seattle have no etiquette during the rain:
- Artifact of Attraction: Played for Laughs. Frasier, suffering from back pain, stumbles and winds up sitting in his father's much-maligned chair. In a tone of wonder he says not only does his back not hurt, but there's no glare on the TV, and look at how convenient this little table is for putting your drink. Niles, horrified, pleads with him "Frasier, whatever the chair is telling you, don't listen!"
- Artistic License – Geography:
- The view from Frasier's apartment does not come from any building or residence in Seattle. It was taken from a cliff.
- In "Ham Radio", Gil says there are fens in Surrey. There aren't. They are in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk, over 100 miles away.
- Artistic License – Religion: Very many in the Bar Mitzvah episode: the fact that the service ends after Frederick finishes reading his haftara (there is a whole other prayer service that follows); the fact that a dinner is apparently served then (this service is in the morning); Martin taking photos in a synagogue on the Sabbath (even in a Conservative synagogue he would be asked to stop). Additionally, Frederick is 15 at the time; a Bar Mitzvah is normally held at age 13, except for later converts.
- For that matter, no one seems too concerned when Frasier is tricked into reading a prayer in Klingon.
- Ashes to Crashes:
- In the episode "Martin Does It His Way", Aunt Louise's ashes get blown back at Frasier and Niles. Niles is still pouring her ashes out of his shoe at the funeral, and in The Stinger, a janitor is seen sweeping them up.
- In another episode, Frasier takes a call on his show from a woman who is concerned about the fact that her husband keeps his late wife's ashes in their bedroom. When he suggests she move them, the conversation continues "Well, I guess I could try that. Maybe I'll move them into the guest room." (crashing noise) "Oops."
- As Himself: Dr Phil, Larry King, Bill Gates, and Wolfgang Puck.
- Asian Speekee Engrish: Invoked by Bulldog in one episode while attempting an ad for a Chinese restaurant.Roz: (after Bulldog's performance) We're gonna get sued this time for sure.
Bulldog: Oh, me no lookee. Me go beddie-bye, chop-chop!Roz: Stop! Chinese Embassy on line one!
- Also in "Ham Radio" when the cast is going through a reading of a script from the '50s with Bulldog as Mr. Wing (formerly Wang).
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: One episode had Roz break up with a French boyfriend who didn't speak English, so Frasier translates. The boyfriend immediately reveals he was planning to break it off himself, so the French parts of the conversation drift off into where he can find a good steak while Roz works through the whole speech she had prepared.
- As You Know: Mocked at least once:Frasier: Dear God, she believes they're genuine sapphires.Martin: [sarcastic] Gee, ya think?
Niles: I'm fine. Just a little hot... and foamy.Martin: You know what must have happened? My Hot and Foamy must have exploded!Daphne: He was a detective, you know.
- In another episode, when Niles emerges from the bathroom covered in shaving foam following a loud "bang":
- Awful Wedded Life: Niles and Maris, off-screen.
- Bachelor Auction: Frasier gets won by Kristina Harper (Claire Stansfield) in "Can't Buy Me Love". Despite the fact she's gorgeous and completely adores Frasier, he blows it.
- Bacon Addiction: Martin Crane is addicted to bacon - all kinds of processed meat, really. He is less than pleased, however, by the all-veggie substitution after his heart attack: "Fake-on".
- When Frasier gives Martin a set of wireless headphones so he can hear the TV audio without bothering anyone, Martin immediately starts singing along with an obnoxious commercial: "My bacon is Farmer Fred's Bacon! There's no mistakin' — the quality!"
- Back for the Finale: Simon Moon.
- Bail Equals Freedom: Addressed when Maris is refused bail because the police think she's a flight risk.Niles: Can you imagine?Martin: Well, it didn't help that when they found her, she had a passport, a wig, and $10,000 in her purse.Niles: Maris always has those things in her purse.
- Bald Women: Artist Martha Paxton.
- Baseball Episode: "The Unnatural", which has Frasier attempting to play on the KACL softball team at the behest of Freddy. We don't see the match itself but judging from Frasier's "training" by Martin, he didn't do too well.
- Batman Gambit: Freddy's scheme to get a minibike.
- Bedmate Reveal:
- Frasier and Roz.
- Niles and Lilith.
- Frasier and Gil, in a homoerotic dream (Later, Frasier and Sigmund Freud).
- Bed Trick: A mutually-ignorant version with Niles and his marriage counselor, who each thought they were getting into bed with Maris.
- Berserk Button : You can call the Cranes many things, but NEVER say Freddy will only go to a "State School."
- Do NOT correct Frasier on his French.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Zigzagged.
- When new manager Kate Costas is introduced in "She's The Boss", she and Frasier immediately get off on the wrong foot, due to both being similarly stubborn and highly intelligent. A few episodes later that same animosity leads to BST. When they do try and turn their fling into a relationship, they sadly find they have very little in common just before Kate leaves Seattle for good.
- Frasier dislikes a new host, Julia, and everyone else comments that he's obviously attracted to her. Eventually he becomes convinced of this himself, and in the middle of a screaming row asks her "Are you as turned on as I am?"... which disgusts her, and causes the office to run a sexual harassment seminar. However, once they get over their initial loathing, they do start dating.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Humorously referenced in the episode "The Innkeepers:"Frasier: That man does things with eels like you wouldn't believe!
Martin: I arrested a guy for that once.
- Better as Friends: Frasier and Roz.
- Betty and Veronica: Any time Frasier has more than one woman to decide between (e.g. Faye and Cassandra, Lana and Claire), they'll tend to have dramatically contrasting personalities which appeal to different sides of him.
- Also during the multi-episode story arc wherein Niles and Daphne get together, Niles is Betty to Donny as Veronica, and Daphne is Betty to Mel as Veronica.
- Big Damn Kiss: Daphne and Niles have two extremely big damn ones: their first kiss in "Moon Dance", and their second one on Daphne's wedding night.
Do you still have an opening for a Mole Queen?
- During the Grand Finale, when Roz announces her promotion to Station Manager, she kisses Frasier and Gil. Then Noel takes his opportunity.
- Roz and Roger get one on the back of a garbage truck in Season 9, after Roz's Anguished Declaration of Love
- Big Fancy House: Maris's house, and Niles's apartment after they split up. The latter has a gift-wrapping room.
- This leads to a very amusing scene where Frasier is convincing Niles he needs to save money during his divorce, with Niles refusing to admit it:Niles: You can't blame me for the housing market - this is a simple apartment!Frasier: Well, this simple apartment of yours is going to bankrupt you! You must admit it's a bit large for one person?Niles: Oh, don't forget I have a pet.Frasier: Are you saying that your BIRD requires both a study and a library?
- A little later:Frasier: You have a THIRD floor?Niles: It's practically a crawl space. (into intercom) Go out the door to the left. (to Frasier) Don't look at me like that! I have to have a roof over my head!Frasier: Niles, you have THREE roofs over your head!
- This leads to a very amusing scene where Frasier is convincing Niles he needs to save money during his divorce, with Niles refusing to admit it:
- Bilingual Bonus: If the viewer happens to speak French, they can catch the deliberately uppity yet nonsensical names of the restaurants that Frasier and Niles frequent, such as Le Cigare Volant (The Flying Cigar), Le Cochon Noir (The Black Pig), Le Pied de Cochon (The Pig's Foot), Le Petit Oiseau (The Little Bird), Coeur de Singe (Monkey's Heart), Le Petit Bistro and, arguably the best example, Quelquechose meaning literally "Something."
- In the episode "Roz, a Loan," Frasier fears that Roz is wasting a loan which he gave her on fancy things such as dinner at a restaurant called "La Goulue," which is French for "The Greedy."
- In the episode "An Affair To Forget", a viewer who understands German or especially Spanish will get the episode's major punchline several minutes before it's revealed in English. Niles confronts a German fencing instructor whom he suspects of trying to seduce Maris. Due to Frasier's translation mix-up, the instructor thinks he's been accused of stealing Niles' shoes and tries to skewer him.
- There's also the episode where Frasier and Niles have a conversation in French to confuse Eddie.
- Black Hole Sue: Played for laughs in "The Show Where Diane Comes Back", where Diane Chambers returns and gets Frasier to back what turns out to be a play about a Cheers-esque bar, which is mostly just an hour of the other characters gushing about how awesome Diane's Author Avatar character Maryann is. This leads to Frasier giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about Maryann, finally getting his frustrations with Diane out into the open, and in turn causing Diane to admit to her personal faults and shut the play down so that she can rewrite it in a more balanced fashion.
- Blah Blah Blah: One episode even has a gag black-and-white POV shot from Eddie the dog, where everybody just makes yammering noises except when they mention his name. Soon after, a POV from Martin during one of his boys' discussions does the same thing, except in color.
- Bland-Name Product: Car Chat with Bob and Bethany for Car Talk with Click and Clack.
- Blasphemous Boast: Frasier in "Oops", discussing the possibility of Bulldog being fired:
- Frasier: He's the stations highest-rated personality! I mean, with the exception of women thirty-five to fifty-four, who happen to think that I'm... (smugly) sort of a god.
- Blind Date
- Blithe Spirit: Inverted in "Taking Liberties"; Frasier gets a butler, and while he has only an incidental effect on the plot, he is cured of the British Stuffiness that's been getting in the way of his happiness.
- Bluff the Impostor: Happens on at least one occasion. One particularly notable one comes shortly after Roz discovers she's pregnant, and Frasier encourages her to find the father and tell him the news. She claims one morning at Café Nervosa that the father was an architect, and not much else. Later, at Frasier's apartment, she mentions that he was an archaeologist, and Frasier gets her into the kitchen to pull one of these off the bat by asking her how the two met again.
- Frasier: This morning, you told me you met him on a double date.
Roz: Oh yeah, it was on a double date!
Frasier: THIS MORNING YOU TOLD ME NOTHING!
- Blunt "Yes": Martin's fond of these.Frasier: You hated it, didn't you?Martin: Yeah. G'night, Frasier.
- In the US, Hallmark Channel deletes all mentions of the words "ass" and "butt", leaving to exchanges like Martin telling Frasier he's "behaving like a jack... with a stick up his...". Jokes with rude punchlines are often rendered unintelligible, with the subsequent laugh track looking like a non-sequitur.
- In the UK, Channel 4 (which airs the show in the mornings) usually leaves in references to "ass" and "butt" but removes the word "bastard" and any references to drugs, providing a similar non-sequitur effect when it seems the audience are laughing mid-sentence, and that the actors are leaving sentences hanging in the air unfinished.
- Book Ends: The man who delivers Martin's chair in the first episode is the same one who removes it in the final episode. He even tells the moving man the same thing: "Be careful with it!" It's an Ironic Echo since when Frasier said it in the pilot, he was upset that the mover was damaging Frasier's furniture with it. In the final episode, Frasier cautioned him warmly not to damage the chair.
- In an even subtler example, Frasier bitterly tries to get Martin to say "thank you" to him in the pilot episode. Martin does accomplish this by the episode's end... but he also repeats the phrase - with greater sincerity - in the series finale, as now he's truly grateful to his son for 11 years' worth of experience and love. It's part of the final conversation that the two share in the series.
- Both Sides Have a Point: From the episode Dinner At Eight. One the one hand, Martin is right that Frasier and Niles need to relax and enjoy "normal" things sometimes; but seeing as how their hostess just cut off their (presumably expensive) ties, they have a right to be angry. Or at least very, very annoyed. Especially since Martin's gleeful reaction said cutting shows that he knew it was going to happen, and hadn't bothered to warn them.
- Bottle Episode: Season 6's "Dinner Party" takes place almost entirely in the main room of Frasier's apartment as Frasier and Niles, who receive 90% of the episode's dialogue, attempt to arrange a dual-hosted dinner party to hold in the next few weeks. A classic and extremely tightly-written episode.
- Bragging Theme Tune: A Show Within a Show example from the season 7 episode "They're Playing Our Song", in which Frasier is told to come up with a jingle to introduce his show. He gets a full orchestra and chorus for something really over the top.Daphne: It was like Gilbert and Sullivan, only frightening!
- Brain Bleach: Many examples at the trope page.
- Breach of Promise of Marriage: Donny files a breach of promise suit against Daphne after she gets cold feet on their wedding day and decides not to go through with it.
- Break the Haughty: In a manner of speaking, Frasier does this to himself. In one episode, he and Niles cheerfully toast to having impossibly high standards. This comes back to bite Frasier in the butt when he and his family and girlfriend go on vacation in Belize. No thanks to his aforementioned impossibly high standards, he can't have a good time.
- Break the Motivational Speaker: Frasier coming onto Julia Wilcox, who the station execs are convinced is litigious, leads to the whole staff being forced to attend a sexual harassment seminar. Everyone unites in openly ridiculing the speaker and making a mockery of the exercises he gets them to do, and as soon as he finds out Julia isn't interested in suing, Kenny calls the seminar off mid-session. Still, all-in-all he gets off better than most victims of this trope.
- Brick Joke : Happens virtually once an episode. One example, from the season 3 episode "Ashes to Crashes": After a series of events, Niles empties the ashes out of his shoe onto the church floor, and he and Martin nonchalantly kick the ashes under the pew. That seems to be the end...until the credits, when we see the custodian sweeping up under the pew.
- British Stuffiness: Unusually, inverted - Frasier and Niles are elitist and stuffy while most of the British characters are cheerfully working-class. According to the Word of God, this was deliberate, and Jane Leeves openly expressed pleasure when discussing her role in that there were no working class Brits on American sitcoms.
- Exemplified in the penultimate episode "Crock Tales", in which Daphne explodes at Frasier when she thinks she's going to be fired:Daphne: I'm washing me face with dish soap while you're out buying imported bath salts like a big rich girl! I hope you rot in debtors' prison!
- Gil Chesterson is a pretty straight example however. Even his Camp Gay tendencies are fairly refined.
- Ferguson, the butler who served Frasier for one episode (played by Victor Garber) is a bit of a subversion. While he's a very proper British manservant, when he's alone with Daphne in the kitchen, he drops his pretension and discusses Manchester United with her, explaining that it's his job to play the role of The Jeeves. (Needless to say, both Frasier and Niles delight in his subservient behavior, and even Martin finds a use for him, clicking his remote control for him.)
- On the other hand, he's initially appalled by Daphne and Niles' cross-class relationship. Takes a more serious and bittersweet note when he reveals that he denied himself a chance at love due to his views on class and propriety. Niles' crowning moment in the episode - telling Mel off, in front of their social circle, because of the pain and cruelty she was inflicting on Daphne - forces him to re-evaluate said views, leading to his leaving Frasier's employ to pursue the relationship he had rejected.
- Exemplified in the penultimate episode "Crock Tales", in which Daphne explodes at Frasier when she thinks she's going to be fired:
- British Teeth: In "Rdwrer", Daphne is upset at businesses sending Christmas cards after Christmas.Daphne: Bloody hell! Five days after Christmas is over and I'm still getting these cards! They do it on purpose, you know. It's always from someone you forgot, and then it's too late to send one back, then they sneer at you for the rest of the year! (reads card) "Peace and Goodwill," my ass! You just lost yourself a customer, Dr. Naran S. Gupta, D.D.S.!
Martin: (sarcastic) Losing a set of English teeth, he'll feel that!
- Broken Aesop: In "I Hate Frasier Crane," when Frasier decides to renege on fighting with a man who he had accepted an invitation to fight with, Martin is furious and brings up a past incident where Frasier decided not to fight a guy. An incident from Frasier's CHILDHOOD. His anger seems to stem from embarrassment at his son not being "man" enough to go through with such a fight. However, it's first lampshaded by Frasier how stupid it is that Martin won't be satisfied until he comes home with a black eye, and then subverted when Martin says he only wants Frasier to carry out promises he makes; once it becomes clear that Frasier is actually going to fight, Martin calls in the cops to break it up before things really get physical.
- Broken Pedestal: Played with; after discovering that his mentor and Roz are having a relationship, Frasier believes he's experiencing this (and it's not helped by the fact that he saw his mentor wearing nothing but Roz's robe) but he comes to realize that it's actually jealousy that Roz has become attracted to someone very similar to him whilst having never demonstrated any kind of attraction towards him.Roz: Frasier, did you ever stop to think there may be something special about not being picked?Frasier: Roz, that didn't work when I was cut from pee-wee football, it's not gonna work now.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Donny's first introduction has him coming back from the gym and stripping down to nothing but a towel in front of Niles and Frasier, while apparently ignoring their explanation of the case in favor of a corned beef sandwich. Just as they're about to storm out, he phones Maris' lawyers and browbeats them into dropping a ridiculous demand for a postponed trial date, and Niles hires him on the spot. By the end of the episode, he's dug up a humiliating secret about Maris that gives Niles a huge bargaining chip in the divorce.
- Butch Lesbian: Flamboyantly gay Gil Chesteron's wife Deb seems to be one; he describes her as being good at auto-repair, being in the military reserves, and so forth.
- In episode "Morning Becomes Entertainment", Bethany of Bob and Bethany's Auto Chat is also extremely mannish.
- But Not Too White: Lilith's paleness was often mocked, and even lampshaded by Lilith herself late in the series in the episode "Lilith Needs a Favor".Albert (played by the ultra-pale Brent Spiner, aka Data): No, actually, I'm always this pale. My ex-wife used to say she could tell when I was embarrassed because I'd turn off-white.Lilith: I can empathize. Sometimes after a late night, I cover my under-eye circles with Liquid Paper.
- But Now I Must Go: Ferguson the butler, as much as Frasier has come to rely on him. Niles and Daphne's relationship has inspired him to realize that his love for a certain Lady Westerfield might not be as star-crossed as he'd always imagined, and he leaves to reacquaint himself.
- Cake Toppers: After he's jilted at the altar, Donny retreats to his office for 24 hours with the tiny groom, whom he names "Mister Chump".
- California Doubling: "Love Bites Dog" (season 4) has some of the show's few outdoor scenes as Daphne and Martin search for replacement Muckabees shoes. The old store they find is, in reality, 5529 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.
- Averted with "The 1000th Show", which was shot in Seattle.
- Call Back: One episode sees two of the Girls of the Week from earlier in that season reappear at once, with Frasier struggling to choose between them.
- The Cameo: Arleen Sorkin (Harley Quinn and Calliope Jones), wife of series producer Christopher Lloyd, maked an appearance as the nurse at the vet clinic in "Goodnight, Seattle".
- Camp Straight: Gil.
- The "harassment seminar" guy also counts.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Frequently featured Frasier or Niles engaging in some minor act of selfishness or pettiness and ending up being humiliated after A Simple Plan has backfired horribly.
- Played straight in the episode "High Crane Drifter". After a particularly bad day where Frasier is screwed over by virtually every stranger he comes across, he finally snaps in Cafe Nervosa and throws out a man who stole his table. When he attempts to apologize to the man, he is hit with a lawsuit.
- Captain Obvious: Played with. A couple of times someone points out a psychological observation to another psychiatrist and said psychiatrist's response is the equivalent of "Duh".After Niles is trying unsuccessfully to get a hold of Maris.Frasier: Honestly, Niles, by calling her so many times you've given her all the power. You're much better off coming from a position of strength.Niles: Don't pour that sherry on your shirt — it will stain.Frasier: What?Niles: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was the portion of the afternoon where we gave each other patently obvious advice.
Niles. I'm fine. Just a little hot... and foamy.Martin: You know what must have happened? My Hot and Foamy must have exploded!
- In another episode, a despondent Niles enters the bathroom. You next hear a loud bang from the bathroom — and Niles comes out covered in shaving foam:
Daphne: [rolling her eyes] He was a detective, you know!
- Career-Ending Injury: Martin's bullet to the hip, which ended his career as a cop.
- Catchphrase: Many, and usually quite subtle.Frasier: "I'm listening.", "What the hell was THAT?!", "Wishing you good mental health", "NILES!", "Off you go!", and "Oh, dear God!"Niles: (about Maris) "The poor thing..." and "Well, I hope you're HAPPY!"... When he takes over Frasier's show, his theme phrase is "Let's Get Better!"Martin: "Oh, geeze..."Bulldog: "This stinks! This is total BS!" (Often sandwiched between "Where's my X? Somebody stole my X!" and "Oh, there it is.")
- Ceiling Banger: A few times with the upstairs apartment, for example when a Hollywood Tone-Deaf Martin is trying to hit the high note in "O Holy Night".
- Celebrity Endorsement: Several references throughout the show and a whole episode dedicated to the ethics of putting a respected name on a product; "Selling Out". Also a Real Life example where Frasier hawks a soft-drink.
- Frasier generally has no problems endorsing as long as he's tested the product himself and isn't asked to make a false claim; he endorsed a Chinese restaurant after enjoying the food, and a hot tub, saying that not only he liked it but his friends and family did as well (he, Martin, and Daphne took a soak in one). He drew the line at endorsing a brand of nut that was too unhealthy, and also at claiming that "Happy Dreams Tea" would give people happy dreams, because he felt it sounded like psychiatric advice.
- Celebrity Paradox: Noel is a big Star Trek fan, but apparently didn't notice the resemblance between Frasier and Captain Morgan Bateson.
- Censor Steam : Referenced in "The Unnatural." Frederick walks in on Daphne in the shower, but says all he saw was a bunch of steam.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Almost always played for laughs, as one character obliviously keeps bringing the subject back into the conversation despite the other's protests.
- Character Development: Over the course of the series, previously defining quirks and personality traits are played down or deconstructed leading to more subtle characterisation (e.g Frasier and Niles' snobbery, Martin's crankiness, Roz's promiscuity, Niles' cleanliness).
- Characterization Marches On: Frasier was originally introduced in Cheers as a Romantic False Lead to Diane Chambers. When Diane dumped him, this made him almost psychotic; for example, he threatened Diane's One True Love Sam with a gun, considered strangling Diane, etc. In his own series, it would be hard to imagine Frasier doing anything so extreme. Of course, Love Makes You Crazy: Frasier has admitted his relationship with Diane post-dump was... volatile, and a glimpse of his old self rears its ugly head when he gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Diane in "The Show Where Diane Comes Back". He became more stable in his relationship with Lilith (before going berserk when she left him).
- Charity Ball: Featured semi-regularly, usually because Niles, Maris or both are involved.
- Chekhov's Gun: A seemingly insignificant comment or action by one of the characters will often inspire the plot resolution (or at least drive it forward) later on. The show was always very subtle about the way it handled such things.
- Also, the more literal example of Maris borrowing the antique crossbow at the beginning of Maris Returns
- The Chew Toy: Frasier really is, but often deserves it for being a variant of Insufferable Genius. Especially during the season 6 story arc when he loses his job and becomes despondent and desperate.
- Chez Restaurant: Quite a few, like "Chez Chez".
- One rather funny gag about it:Frasier: "You can't ban me from your bistro! It's my chez away from chez!"
- One rather funny gag about it:
- Christmas Episode: Several, for the most part revolving around Fredrick visiting or not visiting. A faint jingle bell can be heard during the opening credits of the Christmas Episodes.
- Class Reunion: Provides the driving force behind a couple of episodes.
- In "Frasier's Curse," Frasier is afraid to attend his high school reunion after having recently been fired from the station.
- Clip Show: Subverted by "Crock Tales", which featured "past season outtakes" that were actually newly-shot, with the cast using the same mannerisms (and in some cases, wigs) for their characters from each season. The 1993 segment even had Frasier's long hair.
- Played with in "Daphne Returns" as well. Clips are shown from three shows, but this time, present-day Niles and present-day Frasier are inserted in the scenes (via CGI composite work) and comment on the action. For example, when Daphne and Niles start singing "Heart and Soul" while cutting vegetables, Frasier snarks, "Even your everyday memories are idealized. How long until the cartoon blue bird lands on her shoulder?"
- Closet Shuffle: One episode has Frasier hiding in Daphne's closet because he promised not to go in her room. And then he went in her room.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Though generally sane, Daphne has moments where she'll lapse into non-sequitur dialogue, often about her family and the strange things that have happened to them. In Flour Child, it prompts this response:
- "Death and the Dog":Daphne: If Eddie were one of the Beatles, I think he'd be George. I don't know why!(Daphne leaves.)Frasier: And yet she's never been committed. "I don't know why"!
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Obviously, psychiatrists have neuroses and issues of their own, and Frasier's are liberally used to fuel both the comedy and drama of the show, but one of the assets of the show's setup is that Niles (and occasionally Lilith) are there to point them out to him whenever needed.
- Comfort Food: Maris ballooning to 200 pounds after Niles divorces her.
- Frasier when he's between jobs.
- Comically Missing the Point: A series of gifts meant for Niles get sent to Frasier instead. Niles and Martin discover that the gifts are actually to Niles from Maris, and when they break it to Frasier:Martin: They're from Maris.Frasier: Maris... is my secret admirer?
- Comically Small Bribe: The man interviewing Frasier and Lilith for Frederick's place at a prestigious school; "I'll have you know that in 50 years, I have never accepted a bribe! [takes cheque] This is an insult! [reads cheque] In every possible way." [hands cheque back, slams door]
- Commuting on a Bus: Bulldog. For a long time he was the most important supporting character, appearing in more than 30 episodes during the show's first 7 seasons. Then he was mostly written out of the series when he lost his job as a KACL sports talk show host. However, since he got a new job working at the KACL storage room, the writers could still occasionally use Bulldog without needing to explain why he was "back". He had four more appearances during the show's last four seasons.
- Companion Cube: Martin's chair.
- Complexity Addiction:
- A rare non-villainous example in Frasier and Niles. Rather than just ask people simple questions in order to solve problems or find information, the brothers seem to positively delight in discussing the matter to death and coming up with at times almost ludicrously elaborate schemes which inevitably backfire or otherwise fail. This has been lampshaded on several occasions by Martin, Roz, Daphne or a combination of all three. Rule of Funny applies to the most over-the-top examples.
- Like most of Frasier's personality flaws, this is given an episode to fully examine it, "They're Playing Our Song". Frasier is given the task of giving his show a jingle, and he turns it into a full orchestra piece that Daphne describes as "Gilbert and Sullivan, only frightening." Afterward, Frasier tells his father that he's completely unable to do "simple", and doesn't know why. Martin explains that Frasier does appreciate simple, such as mooning over minimalist art, and that he just needs to be precise and concise, instead of showing off.
- Compliment Backfire
- Compressed Vice: Happens to Niles a few times. One episode sees him become obsessed with one of his nephew Freddy's videogames; another has him develop a fast food addiction.
- Confess to a Lesser Crime: Daphne is taken to Canada in the Winnebago without a green card. When they try to cross the border back into the States, the brothers act extremely guilty, so Martin tells customs that it's Eddie who doesn't have the proper ID.
- Continuity Drift: A couple of minor ones, such as how little the brothers are aquainted with more "normal" pop-culture tends to vary over the series, for instance, in one episode Niles doesn't know what a double-header is, and in another he can correctly use the phrase "a scout from the majors". It could be seen as Character Development, but it's not completely unilateral.
- Also, Frasier's birthday has alternately been given as being in May (season 5), and late November/early December (season 7)
- Continuity Nod: In season 11, Niles proves Frasier has a commitment problem by reciting every single one of Frasier's Girls Of The Week from the last four seasons.
- In "Don Juan in Hell", no less than nine Girl of the Weeks appear for a 3 second shot, including Kristina, Dr. Honey Snow, Laura, Samantha, Annie, Vicky, Tricia, Regan, and Miranda.
- A much subtler and longer-running one. In the first Christmas episode, Roz gives Frasier a very nice briefcase. He can be seen using it quite frequently throughout the rest of the series.
- Another subtle one: in the season six episode "The Seal Who Came to Dinner," Martin wears the sweater that Daphne gave him in season five's "Perspectives on Christmas."
- Martin hums "She's Such a Groovy Lady" a few episodes after the episode in which it debuted.
- In "Shrink Rap", when Frasier and Niles decide to go into private practice together, Martin reminds them of when they opened a restaurant ("The Innkeepers") and tried to write a book together ("Author Author"), both of which were enormous failures.
- Also a Chekhov's Gun : Niles mentions his heart murmur in Season 2, and has heart surgery in Season 10.
- Contrived Coincidence: Happens frequently, most often for laughs and considerably more subtle than one might expect for a sitcom.
- Cool Car: Something of a subversion in that the brothers pride themselves on having top-of-the-line saloons, but they often break down. This eventually led to the episode "Motor Skills" where they attempt to improve their practicality.
- Cool Old Guy: Martin. He is really a wise person to look up to.
- Costume Test Montage: A variation. One episode finds Frasier mentoring the station's wealthy young owner, who borrows the style of Frasier's apartment for his own. Rather than impose on his boss to change, Frasier decides to find new furniture, leading to this trope.
- Couch Gag: At the end of the episode where the station manager decides to switch KACL to "all Latino music, all the time!", the Theme Tune is changed to a Latino version, with lyrics in Spanish.
- Even the regular English version of the theme has a number of different variants.
- The show's opening title is shown in a different color each season, and the accompanying animation of the Seattle skyline ends with a number of different variants. Some of the various animations:
- Fireworks shoot over Seattle.
- A hot air balloon flies over Seattle.
- The sun rises over Seattle.
- The moon rises over Seattle.
- A stylized raincloud is shown.
- A stylized thundercloud is shown.
- A shooting star streaks across the sky.
- Lights come on in the building windows.
- A plane towing a KACL advertising banner flies across.
- An elevator travels up the Space Needle.
- A helicopter appears from the back of a building near the Space Needle.
- The Space Needle is strung with twinkling Christmas lights.
- Radio waves emanate from the Space Needle (which is not a broadcast tower in real life).
- (& for the finale,) A rainbow appears over Seattle.
- As Grammer sings the closing theme, he throws in an interjection after the first line: "Mercy!", "Quite stylish!", or "Oh my!" He adds another one at the end: "Thank you!", "Good night!", "Good night, everybody!", "Good night, Seattle, we love you!", or "Frasier has left the building!" Sometimes he also throws in the line "Scrambled eggs all over my face! What is a boy to do?"
- Courtroom Episode: "Crane Vs. Crane"
- *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": A central point of "Back Talk".
- Creative Closing Credits: A Brick Joke is usually resolved in the closing credits.
- Cringe Comedy: Frequently.
- Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Niles and Frasier often come across as more neurotic than the people they treat, and even end up in therapy in the Flashback tale "Shrink Rap". Several episodes revolve around Frasier and Niles analyzing the crap out of an issue, when it's really far simpler than they ever would have guessed.
- Crossover: Multiple characters from Cheers dropped by. The producers said the they moved Frasier to Seattle to avoid this, but couldn't hold out forever. The only character who did not appear on Frasier was Rebecca Howe (not due to her belief in Scientology, as is usually believed, but because the show's writers didn't really know how to integrate her into an episode).
- Lilith was the first and the only one to recur. Justified in that Lilith was the mother of Frasier's son, and therefore more a part of the Frasier-verse than the Cheers gang.
- Sam Malone (Season 2)
- Woody Boyd (Season 6)
- Cliff, Norm, Carla, and a bunch of the Cheers regulars (Season 9, "Cheerful Goodbyes").
- Loose crossovers with Caroline in the City and The John Laroquette Show.
- Frasier's mother appeared once on Cheers, and in death several times on Frasier.
- In one episode the gang go on Antiques Roadshow. Martin is Genre Savvy enough that he notes that if a person has a valuable antique, the other one they own will always be worthless.
- Cruel to Be Kind: In "The Friend" episode, Frasier tries to end his friendship with Bob, a guy in a wheelchair who loves barbecue but had little in common with Frasier and was a bit clingy. When Frasier let him down conventionally, Bob felt incredibly ashamed of himself and believed he was an awful person. So, Frasier opted to obfuscate jerkassery by saying the wheelchair offended him. Soon Bob redirected his anger from himself to Frasier and also attracted a small shame squad censuring him. Bob rolled away without looking back and also quickly befriended his sympathizers talking about BBQ.
- Chain of Deals: Frasier give Roz the day off to buy Springsteen tickets in return for her escorting Kirby to the prom, so that Kirby will focus on his history test, so that his mother will set Frasier up with Claire. Naturally, everybody finds out at once and they all take umbrage at being used as pawns.
- The Cutie: The hypersensitive romantic novel writer.
- The cynical Julia can't resist Frasier's adorable idealism.
- Damned by Faint Praise: Commonly used to spare someone's feelings, although Frasier sometimes can't resist following it up with a barrage of criticism.
- The Dandy: Both Frasier and Niles
- Dark Horse Victory: Not uncommon at some of the in-show awards ceremonies.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Hinted at when the whole family is hiding in Maris' cruise ship cabin bathroom (long story) while she waits for Niles to return to a champagne-fuelled reigniting of their marriage;Niles: [peeking through the door] Oh God, she's started without me!Martin, Frasier and Roz: [beat] Ewwwwwww...Niles: [with Death Glare] ...Drinking the champagne.
Roz:You really want to feel good about yourself, put on your best outfit and walk through the monkey house on a Saturday night. And be sure to stop by and see Remo the Baboon, who knows all kinds of ways to have fun without a date.
- Discussed when Roz goes to the zoo on a Saturday night, alone.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Frasier's street-performer cousin Nicos is engaged to the rebellious daughter of a wealthy family, who is obviously only with him to annoy her mother and father.Nicos: I'm sorry, Marianne, but Crystal is the woman I'm meant to be with.
Marianne: I will never forgive you for this! Do you see how happy you've made my parents!?
- A Day in the Limelight:
- Most notably Daphne's flashback episode "Dark Side of the Moon", where a series of stressful situations lead her to court-ordered therapy.
- Dead Air: For KACL's 50th anniversary, Frasier decides to stage an old-time radio murder mystery. His over-directing drives the whole cast crazy, most of all Niles - who gets so fed up that he kills off all the other characters on the air. The broadcast runs nine minutes short, and Frasier has no idea how to fill the time.
- Also happens when Frasier and Roz are put on the night shift and both fall asleep.
- Deadpan Snarker: Frasier and Niles exist to point out flaws, criticise things of a perceived "lower class" and generally have fun at the expense of others. Especially Niles.Frasier: What is the one thing better than an exquisite meal? An exquisite meal with one tiny flaw we can pick at all night.
- According to the Word of God, Roz is the only cast member who can put Frasier in his place - and she does, with unbridled delight. Then there's Martin, and you can see where Frasier and Niles got their snarkiness from.Martin: Maris is learning German, huh? Just when you thought she couldn't get any cuddlier..
- According to the Word of God, Roz is the only cast member who can put Frasier in his place - and she does, with unbridled delight. Then there's Martin, and you can see where Frasier and Niles got their snarkiness from.
- Defeat by Modesty: In Junior Agent, waifish Portia Sanders gets Frasier and Kenny to shut up and listen to her by stealing their pants while they're dressed only in a towel.
- Delusions of Local Grandeur: Frasier thinks his popular local radio show entitles him to celebrity status.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Niles during the plot of "IQ", while under the influence of particularly strong anti-allergy medication.
- Frasier: Niles, Niles, that medication it's, it's affecting your speech - you've just taken a second dose of it, for God's sakes you're going to make a fool out of yourself!Niles: Oh well you should talk! Look at your shaky hands and your twitchy eyes! *GASP* You were up all night drinking coffee all night last night, weren't you?
- Derailed for Details: In "Coots and Ladders", Frasier accosts Niles dramatically with a story about how he's committed... a crime! (*cue thunder*) He then embarks on a long, rather mundane story featuring a lot of irrelevant details, and every now and again Niles hijacks the flashback to describe the scandalous crime he imagines Frasier committing in the circumstances, only to be shot down.
- Season one's "Author, Author" finds Frasier and Niles writing a book on sibling rivalry, and naturally they ask Martin for some stories from their childhoods. He starts to tell them one, but gets confused and leaves them hanging when he can't remember the name of a lake they were camping at.
- Derailing Love Interests: Invoked by Mel when Niles leaves her for Daphne just one day after they eloped together. Wanting her social set to think the relationship ended on her terms, she tells him to start acting insufferably in public out of the blue.
- Diet Episode: Daphne starting eating excessively and gaining tons of weight after she and Niles got together. She was put on a regimen and eventually sent to some sort of fat camp. This storyline was a clever trick used by the writers to mask the fact that Jane Leeves was actually pregnant.
- Another episode centres around everyone at the station trying to lose weight in a rivalry with another station.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Niles, getting so flustered he eventually stops forming sentences; "Don't worry, Daphne, if my father lets you go I can always use you. I mean, I can find a position for you to take. There are services you can perfo... an opening..."
- Dirty Kid: The ten or eleven-year-old Frederick pushing his luck whenever Daphne gives him a long loving hug - she is the last to realise his hormones have started kicking in. She is surprised at some of the places he manages to put his hands.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In the episode "The Last Time I Saw Maris", Niles finally stands up to Maris after she left for a three-day shopping spree without telling him and calls her out on her thoughtlessness, telling her that he'll be waiting for an apology. So she files for a divorce.
- Ditzy Secretary: One episode has Niles hire a mobster's girlfriend as a receptionist because she's incompetent at every other job she's had. She tries to put Frasier on hold and hangs up on him instead. The only reason he hired her was because the mobster asked Frasier to recommend that she marry him, but he refused after she told him of several of the mobster's negative traits, including refusing to allow her to get a job due to her incompetence.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Bebe gives a monologue about smoking that sounds remarkably like a description of another oral activity.
- In "Motor Skills" Roz got a puppy and Martin offered to give her some of Eddies old toys, and it took about forty seconds before the whole thing disintegrate into an extended metaphor of a mother and a daughter disagreeing on how to raise the grand-child. Bonus points for Roz mentioning that she got enough of that from her mother.Damn it Martin! Just because I am not raising him your way doesn't mean that I am raising him the wrong way.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Kelsey singing the closing song in his booming baritone — and it's brilliant. The metaphors in the lyrics are part of the joke.
- Doppelgänger Dating: Daphne dates a man named Rodney, who is almost exactly like Niles in appearance and mannerisms.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Implied in "Agents in America", where Frasier's agent gets him very drunk and sleeps with him.
- Subverted to hell and back when Marty dumps Bonnie for her (female) poodle's humping Eddie. No one else seems to have a problem with it (and Bonnie thinks it's funny), but Marty is quite miffed.
- Downer Ending: "Ask Me No Questions". Niles asks Frasier, in the midst of his reconciliation with Maris, if Frasier thinks they are meant to be together. Frasier realizes the huge impact this could have because Niles has always come to him for advice on big decisions and values his opinion highly, and while he believes that Maris has always been bossy, demanding and selfish, he also hears that she has become much nicer since the procedings have begun and is a better person. After agonizing over what to do, he shows up at Niles's apartment late at night to give his answer: no. Niles thanks Frasier for his advice and tries to say goodbye, when the Twist Ending kicks in—Maris is at the apartment, Niles has taken her back, and judging from the bell rings and the whistle as she calls for him, she has not changed one bit.
- Dramatic Irony: Frequently played for comedy, but once Daphne finds out about Niles's crush, it's used to create tension.
- Dreadful Musician: The way Frasier solves his insecurity complex in "The Perfect Guy" is by revealing his Foil to be one of these.
- Dream Sequence: Including whole episodes based around one ("The Impossible Dream" and "Freudian Sleep").
- Drinking Game: As it turns out, Frasier, Niles and their father are all fans of Antiques Roadshow. They make a game out of it, taking sips of brandy (or, in Martin's case, beer) whenever someone says "veneer". Frasier: "Next week we gotta pick a different word!"
- Driven by Envy: Frequently happens to one or both brothers, often with disastrous results. In "Door Jam," for example, they con their way into an exclusive day spa and enjoy the pampering, until they spot a door that leads to the facility for upper-tier members. They weasel their way in here and find it truly luxurious, until they see another door within easy reach. Thinking that it will take them to an area for the absolute top members, they charge through - and end up locked out of the spa in an alley strewn with garbage.
- Draco in Leather Pants: An In-Universe example. Martin and the boys talk about Hester as if she were a saint, but from what we know about her: She cheated on Martin at least once, she egged on the rivalry between Frasier and Niles that continues to affect them in adulthood and that's not even counting her manipulative, shrewish behaviour on Cheers. On the other hand, they wouldn't exactly be the first grieving sons/husbands to ever decide to Never Speak Ill of the Dead when it comes to a deceased and clearly much-loved-and-loving-despite-her-flaws mother/wife, so this is perhaps understandable.
- Dumb Blonde: Poppy Delafield from "Everyone's a Critic" and "Rivals" is a bubble headed Upper-Class Twit. Unusually for the trope her defining character trait is being an irritating Motor Mouth - her being stupid is incidental.
- Roz's cousin Jen (played by an unrecognisable young Zooey Deschanel in a blonde do) from "Kissing Cousins" is a less traditional take on the subject being a pseudo-intellectual hipster airhead who is planning on vacationing in Vietnamn because "Americans have never even heard of it."
- Dungeon Masters Girlfriend: "Where Every Bloke Knows Your Name", used and subverted at the same time.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Played with. In the second-to-last episode "Crock Tales", Kenny Daly appears as a pizza delivery man looking to get into radio.
- Early Installment Weirdness: At one point in the first season, Martin says that Lilith is much weirder than Maris. Eleven seasons later, Lilith is a fairly sympathetic recurring character (she's still the butt of jokes from Niles and Martin, but they now seem like playful exaggeration), while Maris was so strange no human actress could portray her and she was once mistaken for a hatrack.
- The first season mostly keeps to the same standards as the rest of the show, but certain shots of Frasier's apartment are unique to that season (the show almost never shows the top of Frasier's Antique Shelves or the wall with the fireplace after this period), and Martin's chair has a "vibrate" setting that never reappears. Also, the studio audience acts more like that of a traditional sitcom than the more "classy" vibe this show had — they would "woo!" and catcall if there was a sexy scene, something that feels very odd having seen later seasons.
- In Season 3, when it's the anniversary of Frasier's first show, we're also treated to an in-universe example as Frasier tries out various catch-phrases.
- Ear Worm: In-universe: when a death-metal artist moves in upstairs and plays his music full-volume around the clock, both Daphne and Martin get "Na-na-na-na-na-na, flesh is burning..." stuck in their heads.
- Embarrassing Cover Up: At least a couple per season.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Frasier and Lilith's son, Frederick, has the middle name "Gaylord".
- Embarrassing Ringtone: Invoked offscreen in "Taking Liberties". Niles' wife Mel, as part of a domestic conflict, sets his ringtone to "La Cucaracha" before they go to a society funeral.
- Empathic Environment: Sometimes jokingly discussed regarding either Lilith or Bebe.
- Niles: "Strange, I usually get some sign when Lilith is in town - dogs forming into packs, blood weeping down the wall."
Frasier: I have committed a crime punishable... by law! [crash of thunder and lightning]
- Also done in an episode featuring Lilith's brother:Frasier: "The Beast is among us!"
- Played for laughs in "Coots and Ladders":
Niles: By law?!
Frasier: The law of the United States of America! [thunder crashes again—Frasier and Niles double-take]
Niles: How did you do that!?
- Played with in another episode, Daphne's mother and brother are considering taking a road trip to see America, Frasier (eager to get them out of his home) gives a speech about all the beautiful and wonderful things America has to offer and just as he finishes an enormous American flag unfurls outside the window: the coincidental result of a Prank War between Frasier and his upstairs neighbor.
- Epiphany Therapy: Played with. Offscreen, Niles and Frasier both have long-term clients receiving proper therapeutic treatment, but any issues that come up for characters in the show tend to be solved with one conversation, or over the course of a single episode at most. (If at all, that is.) At the same time, Niles frequently makes jabs at Frasier for presuming to solve people's problems over the course of single phone call, while Roz remarks that his advice is always either common sense or to seek counselling if there's a serious problem.
- Erotic Dream: Frasier's homoerotic dreams about Gil Chesterton plague him in "The Impossible Dream"; in the same episode Martin claims to have had one involving Jayne Mansfield. Niles has many about Daphne.
- Escape Call: Lampshaded in one episode, where Frasier is set up on a blind date with Faye, the daughter of a woman he met at a shop. He gets the call, rejects it because he's pleasantly surprised, only for her to call him on it. He admits to it, asks her how she knew, at which point she, sheepishly, also receives a phone call.Frasier: Excuse me. to phone: Yes, hello? Er, yes but you know what, I'll just have to sign those papers later, thank you. hangs up Office work.Faye: That was an escape call, wasn't it?Frasier: No, what are you talking about?Faye: Come on, it's a blind date. You wanted a way to back out.Frasier: Oh, gosh, you are sharp aren't you? How did you know?Faye's mobile starts ringing. Fade out with Faye looking a bit sheepish.
- Establishing Shot: Almost completely averted: only once in 11 years did we see the exterior of Frasier's building. And it's not even an establishing shot, it's the final shot of the episode. The production team consciously wanted to avoid establishing shots, which were the norm amongst TV sitcoms at the time, and introduced title cards as a sort of "anti-establishing shot".
- Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Used several times with Eddie, who was so good at this he could reduce Frasier to delivering eloquent attempts at backpedaling...to a room with no human beings in it.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Dr. Clint Webber, a new radio personality at KACL in "The Perfect Guy". This inspires great jealousy from Frasier, who schemes to find an exploitable weakness.
- Evil Stole My Faith: There was a throwaway gag in one episode where he learnt that a radio show hostess whom he considered incompetent had just received national syndication.Frasier: Good news for Betty! And for the millions of atheists who will welcome this new proof of their theory!
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Quite a few episode titles fall under this Trope, such as "The Show Where [former Cheers character] Shows Up", "The 200th Episode", and so on.
- The Exit Is That Way: When Frasier and Diane make up and have a moving farewell on the set of a play she's written about Cheers, Frasier makes his exit through the bar's front door. After a beat, he comes back through, having realised it's only a stage door and doesn't lead anywhere.Frasier: Sorry, force of habit.
Diane: I've been doing that all week.
- The Faceless:
- Maris Crane, who is also The Voiceless for a significant amount of episodes. The writers certainly enjoyed toying with The Reveal of both, but settled for The Unreveal for the hell of it. Another problem, according to a season 4 DVD special, was that the writers had ascribed so many bizarre features and qualities to her that no human could properly play the role..
- Failed Attempt at Drama:
"That would have been a very dramatic exit if only her room was down that hall."
- Roz mistakenly tells Frasier she is out of his life before she gets up to leave with a sprained ankle and crutches instead of after. And forgetting her purse didn't help.
- Frasier yells at the apartment board and turns to leave, but his briefcase opens and he has to stay and pick everything up.
- Niles related an incident where, in a marital dispute, he stormed out of the house, slamming the door as he went; of course, since the residence was equipped with an antique cathedral door, he required the assistance of several of the servants to assist in the slamming, however, "what it lacked in spontaneity, it made up for in resonance."
- Frasier and Martin get into an argument over Daphne agreeing to go out with an ex-con. After telling them both it's her life and she gets to choose, Daphne storms off to her room. As Frasier himself put it:
- It almost looks like a blooper on Jane Leeves' part. Something in the way that John Mahoney breaks into a snort of laughter and the way that Jane comes flouncing back and then on the correct route to Daphne's room.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Frasier is just not meant to find love.
- Fake High: Niles gets a hash brownie, but Martin eats it without realising what it is, and replaces it with a normal brownie. And even when Frasier actually explains what happened, Niles still doesn't realise:Niles: Well someone must feel pretty out of it, being the only one here who isn't completely burnt!Frasier: Oh, knock it off, you imbecile. You're as sober as I am!
- Fallback Marriage Pact: At one point it sounds like Roz is about to suggest one of these, and Frasier agrees to marrying her if they are both indeed single at the time. Turns out Roz was going to suggest they kill each other instead.
- Played straight (and coupled with New Old Flame) with Daphne and her ex-fiance Clive.
- Fat Suit: In "Freudian Dreams", Jane Leeves wore a ridiculously ballooning fat suit that kept growing in every shot, as Daphne dreamt Niles was cheating on her because she was too fat from pregnancy pounds she was unable to lose.
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: There wouldn't be a show without it!
- Played with in the episode "The Two Mrs. Cranes", where Martin, who's angry because Frasier and Niles imply Martin can't keep pace with another "Fawlty Towers" Plot, takes a great deal of pleasure in making the lies outrageously complicated.Martin: I was an astronaut.
- Also played with in the final season episode "Guns N Neuroses", where Frasier and Lilith get set up on blind dates with each other— and never find out about it; and Niles, Martin and Daphne try to cover up having accidentally shot Frasier's wall— and succeed.
- Played with in the episode "The Two Mrs. Cranes", where Martin, who's angry because Frasier and Niles imply Martin can't keep pace with another "Fawlty Towers" Plot, takes a great deal of pleasure in making the lies outrageously complicated.
- Felony Misdemeanor: According to Niles, Maris became president of her wine club because she had photos of her rival drinking domestic champagne ("from Connecticut") at his wedding.
- Field Promotion: A cook is promoted to chef during a party, after the original one had enough of Frasier's and Niles's contradictory micromanagement.
- Finger in the Mail: Parodied. When Niles is taking care of a sack of flour as though it were a child, he tells Frasier about his nightmares where the sack of flour is kidnapped and he starts receiving muffins in the mail.
- 555: The call-in number for the KACL radio station.
- Five-Man Band:
- Five Stages of Grief: Frasier goes through them when he loses his job at KACL.
- Flashback to Catchphrase: Martin says "I'm listening" when Frasier forces him to have a conversation in "You Can Go Home Again".
- Foreign Queasine: There are occasional digs at Daphne's cooking being bland at best and inedible at worst (although Martin takes just as much stick for his love of American junk food). On at least one occasion she exploits the trope; when she wants the flat to herself for the evening, she tells the Cranes she's preparing sheep's head stew for dinner. Yes, this is a real thing. Lamb's and pig's head stew were not unknown in the North of England as a means of making the most of a cheap cut of meat, and a cookery book dated 1905 has a recipe for sheep's head stew, pointing out how cheap and nutritious it is and therefore ideal for your domestic servants. It should be pointed out that most Brits nowadays (Northern or otherwise) would find the concept just as alien and unappealing as anyone else, though it's still popular in cultures less squeamish about the consumption of offal.Frasier: Even Hannibal Lecter couldn't keep that woman's food down!
- For Want of a Nail: "Sliding Frasiers" is an episode based on Sliding Doors, in which two paths of Frasier's life are examined on whether he chose to wear a suit or a sweater for a speed dating service. After a week, Frasier's lives meet at the same point, showing no matter which choice he made, he ended up at the same destination.
- Another example is when we're shown Martin and Daphne's extraordinarily efficient morning routine on several occasions, but on the last one Daphne puts Martin's cereal in a red bowl instead of a yellow one. The whole routine goes to hell, culminating in Martin accidentally throwing his toast on the floor.
- Freud Was Right: Lampshaded, of course — Frasier thinks Niles is making up for a dry spell in his sex life by buying suggestive antiques;Frasier: In addition to the loveseat, let's see, your most recent acquisitions have been: a French bed- warmer, a pair of Toby jugs... the less said about that Civil War ramrod, the better.Niles: Oh, you Freudians! Sometimes a ramrod is just a... oh hell, even I can't make that one fly.
Niles: These pants might have to be REPRESSED!
- The source of jokes in at least two episodes dealing with a characters Oedipus Complex. In Season 5, when Roz reveals her pregnancy to Rick, he points out that his mother is the same age and even kind of looks like Roz. She makes him stop talking. In another episode, Frasier dates a woman who could be Hester Crane's twin.
- Fridge Logic: In-universe, Niles' season 4 attempt to get Daphne to stay at his apartment is thwarted when she has to go back to Frasier's for her medication, giving her the chance to make up with Martin and Sherry. As Frasier points out, Niles is a doctor, and could just have written her a new prescription, and there is a 24 hour pharmacy near him. The realization puts Niles into a Heroic B.S.O.D..
- The "Fun" in "Funeral": The only way Frasier can make it through a eulogy in "Martin Does It His Way".
- Funny Background Event: For example, Martin and Frasier having a serious conversation in the car while Niles struggles to open a funeral urn in the background.
- The topper is Season 11 opener "No Sex, Please, We're Skittish", when Frasier talks about what a wonderful new producer he has as his new producer (who is wheelchair-ridden) is screaming in the background after Roz pushed her away, down the hall.
- Funny Foreigner: Daphne and her occasional family member. On one episode she gets the Cranes out of the house for the evening by claiming she's making sheep's-head stew for dinner (see Foreign Queasine above.)
- Get OUT!!. Frasier is prone to outbursts of this when another character Deadpan Snarks after he suffers an Epic Fail.(Frasier has been humiliated by radio pranksters — again — this time while in the bathtub.)Niles: Now, now, it won't get you down for long. You've always had a thick skin. (giggles) Unless that Tahitian Vanilla softened you up a bit...Frasier: GET OUT!
- Possibly the greatest use of this trope is with Julia when Frasier had convinced himself to "commit to commitment" and stick with the relationship only to discover she really is a rude, selfish, insulting hag at the dinner where Niles and Daphne were going to reveal that Daphne was pregnant. The thing that finally makes him snap and kick her out of the apartment is when she insults his fancy new hand towels. Words cannot do the scene justice.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Although Frasier was by no means a show for young audiences, there were certain jokes that were more sexual in nature. For example, there is an episode when Frasier speaks to the condo board of his apartment block and they (through a classic misunderstanding) believe him to be speaking of his father's penis.note Frasier: Don't look so shocked! Whom does it really harm if he unleashes Eddie once in a while? Come on, it's not as though he's alone in this behaviour. Mrs. Tortwurst, I've seen you do the same thing many times with your Fluffy. You know, if you ask me, not only is this behaviour harmless, it's laudable. Why, you should see the looks on the faces of the schoolchildren when he takes Eddie out to the playground!
My Nunsack is dripping already!
- It is beyond me how they allowed the (fake) sex scene between Roz and Frasier in Radio Wars with "Roz's" moaning.
- Also Daphne's frequently calling Martin "you old sod!" Americans think that's fake grass...
- The decidedly "adult" scene wherein Frasier admits he'd have paid money to watch Lana eat popsicles.
- In Season 9, when Niles gives Daphne piano lessons. They're canoodling at the piano when Roz arrives. Niles stands up and has to put the sheet music in front of his pants.
- The first part of the Grand Finale. The ice sculptor's name appears to be Nunsack...
- Girl of the Week: Pretty much every love interest Frasier has. Sometimes he manages to avoid alienating them for a few episodes and they show up more than once. Sometimes not.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Gil's wife, "Deb", an Army reservist, owner of her own auto repair shop, and graduate of Sarah Lawrence.
- The Ghost:
Roz: You know, in all these years I've never even seen her face?
- Maris is probably one of the most famous examples in TV history, along with Norm's wife Vera from Cheers.
Frasier: Well, I haven't seen her latest one so it'll be a new experience for both of us!
- Many fans may mistake Martin's friend Duke for being this, but he does appear in two episodes ("Duke's, We Hardly Knew Ye" and "Where Every Bloke Knows Your Name"), played by John La Motta. In the latter, he's the only one in Martin's poker game not referred to by name, and is only identifiable if you've seen the actor's first appearance seasons earlier. Later in the series they seem to relegate him to off-screen roles. In "Cranes Go Caribbean" he's said to have come with them but spends the evening in the hotel room after getting a bad sunburn.
- Godwin's Law: In "Kenny on the Couch", Frasier and Martin get into an argument at the end of the episode about the worth of psychology, with Martin thinking it's a bunch of hooey.Frasier: So tell me, Dr. Party Hearty Marty, who, in your expert opinion, does need therapy!?Martin: Well... Hitler.Frasier: Hitler?!Martin: And that one with all the different personalities, um... Sybil.Frasier: That's it? An entire science devoted to Hitler and Sybil?!
- Gold Digger:
- Frasier briefly becomes this for none other than Patrick Stewart, who gives him expensive watches and introduces him to celebrities. In turn, Frasier lets the guy kiss him and treat him like a boyfriend, constantly "forgetting" to tell Stewart's character he's straight.
- During a two part episode, Frasier dates famous lawyer Samantha Pierce. In the first episode, he's worried about being in the female role, but in the second, "Desperately Seeking Closure", he realizes he's only in love with Pierce for her celebrity friends. She's dumbstruck when Frasier admits this to her as the reason of his breaking up with her. Then Lesley Stahl walks in.Frasier: (star struck) Lesley! Hello! Dr. Frasier Crane, we met this weekend.Lesley: Oh, how are you?Sam: (disbelief) What kind of sick bastard are you?!
- Niles gets asked if he married Maris for her money. He denies it, but adds that it's just "a delightful bonus."
- Then there's Bebe and her engagement to Big Willy, an octogenarian rich Texan, in "Where There's Smoke, There's Fired".Niles: Well, marrying money can have its perils. Ten or fifteen years down the line, after you've adapted to a lifestyle now totally beyond your means, you can find yourself cast aside a hollow husk, penniless and crushed.Frasier: Niles, Big Willy's eighty-five, he's on his third pacemaker.Niles: Ah. (jealous) Mazel tov.
- Of course, Big Willy dies before they get married, but Frasier still cheers Bebe up:Frasier: Well, you know, Bebe, there are other Big Willys out there, better ones! Richer, older... impotent!Bebe: Oh dear, you always know what to say.
- Of course, Big Willy dies before they get married, but Frasier still cheers Bebe up:
- Gone Horribly Right: In the episode "Sweet Dreams", Frasier tries to get Mr. Martin to stop being a corporate stooge and rehire Kenny. It works, but Mr. Martin takes the criticism that he is a corporate drone further to heart than Frasier intended.Mr. Martin: I'm going to march right in there and tell them that we're doing it my way! No more talk.Frasier: Exactly, action!Mr. Martin: No, no more talk radio. From this moment on, the station is all Latino music, all the time!Frasier: I beg your pardon?Mr. Martin: Thank you, Dr. Crane, I'm going back to my roots. I may have walked out of that meeting Joe Martin, corporate sellout. But I'm walking back in as José Martinez, risk-taker!
- Kenny was rehired but Frasier and most of his coworkers were fired.
- Then from Dr. Nora. Frasier brings Dr. Nora's mother, thinking that her abrasiveness and hostility was due to a misunderstanding between her and her mother, disappointing Roz who wanted revenge, not seeking a peaceful reconciliation. Little did he know, Mrs. Nulhearn was a shrill, grasping, moneygrubbing harpy whose first words to her daughter were "YOU LITTLE WHORE!"Roz: (jumping for joy) I was wrong, Frasier! Your way IS better!
- The cherry on the whipped cream is that the mother is played by Piper Laurie.
- When Mel has Niles acting like an inconsiderate jerk to make it seem like the divorce was justified, Niles' insults about a man being The Alcoholic comes off as Brutal Honesty and Tough Love, and everyone thanks Niles for it - to both Niles and Mel's dismay.
- Then from Dr. Nora. Frasier brings Dr. Nora's mother, thinking that her abrasiveness and hostility was due to a misunderstanding between her and her mother, disappointing Roz who wanted revenge, not seeking a peaceful reconciliation. Little did he know, Mrs. Nulhearn was a shrill, grasping, moneygrubbing harpy whose first words to her daughter were "YOU LITTLE WHORE!"
- Goshdang It To Heck: Kenny. "Cheese 'n' rice!"
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Noel, who supposedly speaks Hebrew, tells Frasier that "yeshiva" is the word for school. It is not — it means a full-time institute where Jewish law is studied. (The word for school is beit-sefer). While "yeshiva" is originally a Hebrew word, the way he pronounces it with the stress on the middle syllable is the pronunciation derived from its Yiddish importation, something no Hebrew language teacher would do.
- Halloween Episode: There are a number of episodes set at Halloween, usually focusing on the show's traditional madcap antics wrung though a themed costume party of some kind. A notable party at Niles' apartment where the guests all dress as classic literary characters centers around Roz being pregnant and many overheard conversations that lead to hilarious confusions about the situation.
- The episode "A Room Full of Heroes" sees Frasier holding a Halloween party where each partygoer comes as their personal "hero" (for instance, Martin comes as Joe DiMaggio, Daphne as Elton John, Roz as Wonder Woman and Niles as his father); Frasier himself dresses as Sigmund Freud, and one of the main jokes revolves around all the children thinking he eats brains.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Frasier. Niles. Sibling Rivalry. Impromptu ham-offs every couple of episodes.
- Handshake Refusal: Martha Paxton, the famous artist Frasier invites to a cocktail party, always wears a sleeveless poncho so she doesn't have to shake hands. Niles ends up having to resort to shaking the edge of her poncho.
- Hand Signals: Roz plays charades on several occasions to communicate something to Frasier while he is taking a call on the show. On one occasion, she named a caller by pointing to her eye and leaning when her mouth was full.note
- Have a Gay Old Time: In second season episode "Retirement is Murder", Daphne once mentions to Frasier how Martin "knocked her up" that morning. When Frasier seems momentarily alarmed and asks her to repeat that, she clarifies that it means "woke her up."Daphne: It's an English expression. What does it mean here?Frasier: Oh, something else. You'd definitely be awake for it, though.
- This portion of dialogue, while amusing, is technically Fridge Logic as "knocked up" is a fairly common slang term in the UK, meaning almost exactly what it does in America (literally "unplanned pregnancy"). "Knocked you up" for woke you up is real, but belongs to an earlier generation. This doesn't stop Simon from using it later.
- Hell Is That Noise: In the Season 3 episode "The Friend," Frasier's new friend Bob is a fellow in a wheelchair. Bob becomes over-eager to the point of Stalker Without A Crush levels, and Frasier takes to hiding from him by diving behind the radio board. He always knows Bob is coming; the wheels on his chair make a nightmarish keening Frasier can hear for miles.
- Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": In-universe, Diane's Author Avatar "Mary Ann" in her play Rhapsody and Requiem. Her name couldn't have been just a coincidence.
Frasier: Yes, Niles and I when we were boys wrote a series of stories together in which we were the heroes. Along the lines of a "Hardy Boys" or a "Nancy Drew"...Roz: "The Nancy Boys"?
- Frasier isn't immune, as he and Niles wrote The Crane Boys Mysteries in high school.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Bebe likes to portray herself as this. When Frasier fires her in "Roz's Turn":Bebe: That's it, is it? I'm not virtuous enough for you, not noble. Fine, quit! Next time you need a deal made, call the Dalai Lama. A long time ago, I had to make a choice between being a good agent and a good person, because trust me, ya can't be both! So forgive me if I don't have time to make everybody feel warm and fuzzy. I am just too busy spending every waking minute pulling any string, pulling any shameless trick I can to make my clients' dreams come true! I AM A STARMAKER!
- He's Back: A worrying variation in Donny, who hits a bad depression after he's jilted by Daphne, and desperately serves her a lawsuit. Frasier manages to talk him out of the latter, which he didn't seem all that committed to... but when he finds out that Frasier was complicit, Donny "the Piranha" Douglas is back on the kind of top, ruthless form as when he was first introduced as Niles' divorce attorney.
- He's Got a Weapon!: When putting on a radio drama, Frasier assigns a dyslexic woman to say this line. What does she say? "Look out, he's got a nug!"
- Heterosexual Life-Partners:
- Frasier and Niles (besides also being brothers).
- Martin and Duke. They even unwittingly get married in San Francisco during a public rally.
- Hide Your Pregnancy:
Simon: What's up with your appetite, Daphne? Are you knocked up or something?
- Jane Leeves got pregnant late in the show's run and it was written as Daphne becoming fat due to compulsive eating, complete with a Fat Suit; she left the series to have the baby, by having Daphne going away to a spa in order to lose the weight (with the in-joke that Niles went to see her there, and she had "just lost 9 pounds, 12 ounces".) Lampshaded in the episode that introduces her overeating (before the pregnancy itself was showing);
- Averted in the final season, when Leeves' second pregnancy was merely incorporated into the storyline.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Frasier's son Frederick is implied to have had one in "The Apparent Trap."Lilith: If he wants something badly enough, he will figure out a way to get it. Remember when he was a baby? The bottle at the end of the maze?
Frasier: Y'know, I kinda regret doing that.
- Hilarious In Flashback: A flashback shows Martin has a pet goldfish named Eddie. His partner tells him to consider a "real" pet like a dog, but Martin says he isn't a dog person.
- Hollywood Dateless: Played with. They yank Frasier's chain an awful lot, but he does get a lot of dates, but he's also a local celebrity with notable wealth who's got frequent dating problems.
- Hollywood Law: The show often used the trope of "the legal victim."
- In a famous episode, Frasier and Daphne are sued by jilted super lawyer Donny Douglas, for "breach of (marriage) contract" (Daphne's last-minute refusal to marry Donny) and "tortious interference in a private contract" (via Frasier's meddling). Breach of Promise of Marriage is not grounds for a suit anymore in most jurisdictions. Washington state had also ended punitive damages in suits at the time Donny sought them in his. It also could only be applied against the man who broke his promise to a woman, never against a woman who broke her promise to a man.note Also, it is incorrect terminology, since Daphne had never actually entered into any contract. Donny, a lawyer, should have known he himself could be sued for doing that (it's called abuse of process). It's also not "tortious interference" for someone to urge a would-be bride to not go through with the marriage (which is not a contract by itself).
- Likewise on an earlier episode, Frasier was deliberately sold a counterfeit painting for $60,000, but is told the police "have their hands full with murders and robberies" so apparently they can't be bothered to investigate this. While it's stated that he could sue, Martin tells him that he'd end up losing more money than he paid for the painting that way. In reality the police tend to take fraud and grand theft very seriously, particularly against a rich and influential person such as Frasier, while Martin-having connections due to being a former cop-likely could pull strings to get the case handled quicker as well.
- Martin, a former police detective, also recounts a Miranda Rights example, where he lied about having fully read them when the suspect actually broke free mid-way through and he had to chase him down. The failure to Mirandize does not make an arrest invalid, and even if it did, the interruption was the suspect's fault, so he had no need to lie about it at all. Martin also says he saw the suspect shoot someone, and so his Miranda Rights would be utterly irrelevant.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: In one episode, Martin trying to learn to sing "O Holy Night" for a Christmas Pageant (although in a couple of others he gets to show us he's not such a bad singer).
- Homage: long-running radio format show Desert Island Discs is referenced in one episode where Frasier challenges Niles to name the music and luxury he'd take to a desert island if stranded there. Although originally a BBC show, the format is licenced for use in the USA and is broadcast on national radio from Houston, Texas; the premis is that a famous or notable person is interviewed at length about their choice of music and a suspicion is there that some guests aren't above making pretentious or upscale choices, to advertise their erudition. Of course Frasier and Niles would want to be guests; Niles nominates, without hesitation, a list of very classy classical pieces.Oh Niles! You're so predictable!
- Honorary Uncle: Frasier, Niles, and Martin are all one for Roz's daughter Alice.
- Hot Men At Work: Daphne's boyfriend Joe. Also, Roz seems to be a fan of this - in one episode, she discusses her intention to spend her holiday getting her house renovated, in the company of hot, sweaty workmen. In another episode, after a bad date, she tells Frasier and Niles that she plans to go home, put on something slinky, rip out her sink and call building maintenance.
- Human Shield: Bulldog's deplorable behaviour in "Bad Dog" causes him to use a pregnant woman as a shield, and later on even his own mother. As Frasier was the only one who saw what really happened, he spends the episode trying to get Bulldog to own up and stop taking advantage of the adulation (everyone else having thought he was pulling the woman to safety).
- Humiliation Conga: Many times, but one of the best might be what happens to Dr. Nora: she's exposed as a hypocrite on live radio by her mother, has a nervous breakdown, and flees screaming at the top of her lungs.
- Hurricane of Puns
- Hypocritical Humor: One of the many fuels this show runs on. Frasier suffers the worst of it, thanks to his massive ego:"Can you believe the grandiosity of that man? I'm God and he knows it!""I'll reveal him for the power-hungry dictator that he is! And then I'll take over."
- Hypocrisy Nod: This gem during one of his debates with Cam Winston, who drives an SUV.
- Niles isn't free from it either:Obviously Germaphobic Patient: So you don't think I have a germ phobia?
Niles:' Not at all, just a healthy sense of personal hygiene. Ah, here's the number of the man who cleans my telephone.
- I Always Wanted to Say That: Martin, when asked if Daphne is home, takes the opportunity to yell for Daphne instead of getting up to find out of she's in the house. Frasier leaves the room, irritated.Martin: I've been waiting 30 years to do that.
- After they start dating, Daphne lets Niles in, who states that he is here to see her. He then gets rather giddy, exclaiming how after years of ppretending, he can finally say out loud that he's here to see her.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin: An episode centers around beluga caviar being used for this trope. Frasier and Niles get involved with the distributing and smuggling of the stuff (parodied when the U.S. Customs agents don't care about the caviar, but the DVDs for which the smugglers used the caviar as a front), and even consider cutting it with cheaper stuff, while Roz becomes a generally mellow caviar junkie who would attack Frasier because she thinks he's holding out on a fix.Frasier: (after testing the caviar as one would test cocaine) Oh, yeah. That's the stuff.
- Bonus points for the Russian mafia controlling the beluga caviar trade, much as Columbian drug lords would control the price of cocaine.
- Identical Stranger: Rodney, a clone of Niles that Daphne dates after breaking up with Joe (and after Frasier suggested to Niles that he wait before asking her out himself). Everybody sees it except Daphne herself.Martin: I can't talk right now, Duke... (whispers) I'm in The Twilight Zone...
- In Season 10 episode "Bristle While You Work", Niles is worried about a heart attack because of all the unlikely coincidences happening around him. One of the most bizarre is when a woman calls out "Niles!" Niles turns to look to see a black version of himself greeting, "Hello, Daphne!" in his exact intonation — to a black version of Daphne.Niles: (disturbed) Okay, that was weird.
- In Season 10 episode "Bristle While You Work", Niles is worried about a heart attack because of all the unlikely coincidences happening around him. One of the most bizarre is when a woman calls out "Niles!" Niles turns to look to see a black version of himself greeting, "Hello, Daphne!" in his exact intonation — to a black version of Daphne.
- I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Both Frasier and Roz say it to each other.
- If I Can't Have You...: Maris gets insanely jealous of women Niles dates - especially Mel. Late in the series, Maris is not opposed to Niles' relationship with Daphne, but still clings to Niles for support.
- Ignore the Disability: Played with spectacularly in the episode "Roz and the Schnoz" when Frasier plays host to a couple who have ridiculously large noses but are completely unaware of it. Neither is anyone else, until they're introduced one by one and must try to stifle their reactions. To make matters worse, the couple keeps inadvertently setting up nose-related puns: "Everyone who knows you knows you're the nosiest."
- I Have Just One Thing to Say: Frasier is the undisputed master of these.
- I Lied: If Martin ever tells a particularly heartwarming story to one of his sons, there's pretty much a 50-50 chance that he'll admit to someone (usually Daphne) that he made the whole thing up.
- Imaginary Friend: Interestingly, Niles is revealed to have had an "imaginary protegé" during early childhood, who he blamed for wetting his bed and running away.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Roz complaining about bridesmaid dresses. Daphne just proves her right.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Plenty.
- They tend to crop up when Frasier describing his sexual conquests. Lampshaded by Niles when he asks if Frasier actually ever says those lines in front of his dates. Frasier admits that he's not that foolish.Frasier: "I guess someone wanted to rack up a few more frequent Frasier miles."
- Daphne asks Frasier if one particular romantic interest likes his bad puns, and comments, "She's a keeper!" when he tells her she actually likes them.
- In a convention in Aspen:Frasier: "My fellow psychiatrists, as I watched you on the slopes today I realised I had never seen so many Freudians slip!"
- And occasionally a not-so-lame one, such after Daphne has a fall after becoming obese:Martin: "I just thought of something funny: it took three Cranes to lift you."
- A notable one came from a title card reading "Sleepless in Seattle". The card humorously lampshades the groan-worthiness of this in parentheses with "(you knew we had to do it eventually)".
- The last straw.
- They tend to crop up when Frasier describing his sexual conquests. Lampshaded by Niles when he asks if Frasier actually ever says those lines in front of his dates. Frasier admits that he's not that foolish.
- Inflation Negation:Martin: Well, I got my black coffee — of course, it was more expensive than a whole meal used to be. Time was, you could get two eggs, potatoes, choice of breakfast meats-Frasier: (dripping with sarcasm) And still get change back from the nickel!
- In Medias Res: The first episode starts with Frasier having lived in Seattle for a few months. The week around Frasier's first radio show is flashed backed to in "You Can Go Home Again" in Season 3.
- Innocent Innuendo: a running gag involves Frasier saying something innocent, realizing he's inadvertently made a double-entendre, covering it up by saying something worse, then something worse after that.
- Instrumental Theme Tune: The Opening Theme is notable as it changes frequently (a form of Couch Gag). There were more permutations introduced as the show ran longer and longer, all with a light jazz feel which set the tone nicely for the content of the episode.
- In the Original Klingon: In "Star Mitzvah", Frasier is tricked by Noel into thinking his blessing at Freddy's bar mitzvah is being translated into Hebrew - it's actually Klingon. The Trope is invoked by a geeky boy after Frasier makes a fool of himself.Jeremy: Well, roughly translated, it says, "My dearest son, each day you redeem me. May your journey be filled with the same joy, wisdom, and purpose you have given mine." It's a lot more beautiful in the original Klingon, but it's still really cool.
- Intoxication Ensues: Martin's accidental ingestion of a "special" brownie in "High Holidays", with hilarious results.
- Insistent Terminology : Daphne is Martin's Physical Therapist. Not the maid, nor the housekeeper.
- Insufferable Genius: One thirteen year old caller to Frasier's show (played by Elijah Wood) calls about bullies picking on him for his smarts. After Frasier advises him that he'll get the last laugh later in life, the caller immediately turns into this, picking apart Frasier's advice and outright insulting him for it. Frasier then in turn takes a certain amount of vindictive glee in pointing out that the caller had now just announced to any his bullies who might have been listening exactly where he is.
- Ironic Birthday: Frasier gets two, one in which he accidentally reveals half his sexual history to his hidden coworkers.
- The core of Frasier Crane's character is that he's a brilliant psychiatrist who can always be counted on to help his friends, family, and patients with their problems, but has no idea how to deal with his own ample neuroses. Lampshaded by the title song: "And maybe I seem a bit confused / Well maybe — but I got you pegged!" Crops up explicitly many, many times, from one-off throwaway jokes to major plot points (like Frasier and Lilith successfully counseling a married couple, while tempestuously divorced themselves) to serious running themes, like the fact that Frasier's deliberate machinations managed to get Niles and Daphne to confess their love for each other after years of UST, but he himself cannot keep a girlfriend for more than a few episodes.
- Martin's cheap, tatty lounger is the source of some friction throughout the series between him and Frasier, because it clashes with Frasier's expensive, classy furniture. In one episode, it gets accidentally destroyed, leading to a fight between the two men. Frasier resolves it by having a perfect replica of Martin's old chair built for him. He then notes that ironically, given the lengths he had to go, it's now the most expensive piece of furniture in the entire apartment.
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Zora's reaction to Martin introducing Daphne as his physical therapist in "Beware Of Greeks".
- Is This Thing Still On?: This happens frequently on the show. Some notable examples include:
- "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl":Newscast: (on radio) In local news, Congressman Robert Gill was accused of accepting bribes from a waste treatment facility. Asked to comment, the congressman said-Frasier: (cuts in orgasmically) Yes! YES!!! I am a bad boy, aren't I, you dirty girl! Come to your bad boy! Oh, yes... Oh, no! Is that the on-air light?Kate: (on radio, whispering) Stop talking.Frasier: You must have hit the switch with your elbow while we were...Kate: Stop talking!Frasier: We'd better hurry up and get dressed while we still...Niles: (listening to them from his car radio) STOP TALKING! (Niles rear ends another car, causing the airbag to inflate in his face)
- "A New Position for Roz", when she is teaching Noel how to produce Frasier's show:Roz: Now, let me give you some pointers on call screening. Your first priority are your leapers and jumpers. Next up, angry people, they're great energy and a welcome change from our largest group, the sad sacks. The trick of it is, you want to arrange these calls so that each segment is "can't miss" radio.Noel: I thought it was just about Frasier doing good work.Roz: Please, it's all about ratings! If the station had its way, every call would end in an auto-erotic suicide.Frasier: (from the booth) Thank you, Roz, now that Seattle knows how we do things around here, perhaps you could let Noel know to keep his elbow off the mic button!
- A more minor one occurs when Frasier introduces one of the show's bloopers which involves Roz swearing violently at someone else while her mic was left on. Heavy on the "bleeps".
- Also, in the episode where Frasier advises one of his callers to try to spice up their life, one suggestion being moving out of Seattle. There is a great backlash of callers who think Frasier was trashing their city, which he eventually has to apologize for. Unfortunately, he segues directly from his apology into a rant about how the city is full of the biggest whiners ever, without realizing that Roz hasn't cut the broadcast yet.
- "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl":
- I Surrender, Suckers: When Niles and Frasier attempt to collaborate on a book, they eventually start brawling and Niles gets Frasier in a headlock. "We're psychiatrists, not pugilists!"..."I can't believe you fell for that!"
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Partially in the episode "Oops":Frasier: Bulldog heard me, that's why he came up here and started telling you that...Ned Miller: That I'm a drunk. That I'm incompetent at my job. That my wife is a big, fat slut!Frasier: That is indefensible! Your wife is not overweight! (Realizes what he's said}
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY"!: When Frasier is involved in a local scandal, Maris starts pronouncing her marital name "Crané".
- It's All About Me: Frasier, frequently. A shining example is his reaction to Lilith and Niles sleeping together, which is to accuse them of doing it just to aggravate him.
- It's Been Done:
- Roz sells an idea for a children's book based on a bedtime story that her mother used to tell her — which turns out to be Heidi. Furthermore, not only had she not heard of it, but the publisher to whom she sold the idea hadn't heard of it either.
- When Frasier and Niles sneak a look at the manuscript for T.H. Houghton's long-awaited second work, they praise him for its clever parallels to The Divine Comedy. The author hadn't noticed this at all, sees it as proof of his suspicion that he's a talentless hack, and throws the only copy out of the window.
- It's Like I Always Say: Daphne provides the page quote; Martin is known to use the phrase from time to time.
- Ivy League for Everyone: Justified for pretentious, competitive know-it-alls like Frasier and Niles (Harvard and Yale respectively).
- Frasier is one-upped by its English sister trope Oxbridge when "The Perfect Guy" (Season 5) reveals that his alma mater is Oxford. And Niles attended Cambridge.
- One episode has Frasier looking at a potential suitor in an article about eligible bachelorettes in Seattle. The one he's looking at went to Stanford, to which Frasier comments, "Well, I suppose if you have to go to a college on the West Coast..." Roz' eyeroll at his impossibly high standards is priceless.
- The Jeeves: Ferguson. See British Stuffiness.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both Frasier and Niles are hideously snobby, elitist milquetoasts who are deep down rather caring, kind and (for most of the series) lonely men.
- Frasier's late season 10 and early season 11 love interest, Julia, seems this way at first. But it turns out she has only a very thin layer of gold, and really is a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk.
- Martin counts, at least in the early series; he's pretty crusty, bitter and ungrateful, and displays just as little interest or enthusiasm for bonding with his sons as they do with him, but deep down loves and is deeply proud of them.
- Kansas City Shuffle: Blaine Sternin's scheme.
- Kavorka Man: He's sort-of good looking, in an offbeat way, and yes, he's very cultured, charming, and a wealthy local celebrity. But come on: Tea Leoni, Sela Ward, Amy Brenneman, Virginia Madsen, Terri Hatcher, Jean Smart, Patricia Clarkson, Jennifer Tilly, Lisa Edelstein and Laura Linney just to name the memorable ones?
- A list of people Frasier has slept with- 01. Claresse (The mature piano teacher he lost his virginity to, see Slow Tango In South Seattle), 02. Lilith Sternin, 03. Diane Chambers, 04. Nannet his first wife, 05. Roz Doyle, 06. Bebe Glazer his agent, 07. Kate Costas, station manager for a bit, 08. Sam's Fiance during a trip to Boston that we don't see, 09. Kelly Easterbrook the model who everyone else thinks is imaginary until the end, 10. Kaitlyn the artist who had nothing in common with Frasier but great sex, 11. Faye Moscowitz, 12. Cassandra Stone, 13. Lana/Lorna Lynnly, 14. Claire, 15. Charlotte, 16. Stephanie Walsh who we don't see but hear, when Frasier starts private practice again we meet her sister played by Sarah Silverman, 17. Samantha Pierce the lawyer with whom he ends up in the girl's role, 18. Elevator Ellie, when he meets Charlotte (season 11) he gets on the elevator with a woman he slept with but doesn't remember (she starts yelling at him showing he does need a matchmaker), 19. Duke's daughter Marie, 20. a woman at the station we see hiding in the booth with a bunch of other people for a little surprise party for Frasier. 21. Julia Wilcox. Plus any number of near misses, women he messed up with at the last minute despite making a good impression.
- In one episode he has three dates on the same weekend, runs the same routine on all of them, but his father's girlfriend unwittingly foils his scheme.
- A list of people Frasier has slept with- 01. Claresse (The mature piano teacher he lost his virginity to, see Slow Tango In South Seattle), 02. Lilith Sternin, 03. Diane Chambers, 04. Nannet his first wife, 05. Roz Doyle, 06. Bebe Glazer his agent, 07. Kate Costas, station manager for a bit, 08. Sam's Fiance during a trip to Boston that we don't see, 09. Kelly Easterbrook the model who everyone else thinks is imaginary until the end, 10. Kaitlyn the artist who had nothing in common with Frasier but great sex, 11. Faye Moscowitz, 12. Cassandra Stone, 13. Lana/Lorna Lynnly, 14. Claire, 15. Charlotte, 16. Stephanie Walsh who we don't see but hear, when Frasier starts private practice again we meet her sister played by Sarah Silverman, 17. Samantha Pierce the lawyer with whom he ends up in the girl's role, 18. Elevator Ellie, when he meets Charlotte (season 11) he gets on the elevator with a woman he slept with but doesn't remember (she starts yelling at him showing he does need a matchmaker), 19. Duke's daughter Marie, 20. a woman at the station we see hiding in the booth with a bunch of other people for a little surprise party for Frasier. 21. Julia Wilcox. Plus any number of near misses, women he messed up with at the last minute despite making a good impression.
- Karma Houdini: Blaine, Lilith's brother. Established by Frasier early on as a con-man who has conned his way across several states and stolen from Frasier several times, he arrives in a wheelchair and is now a minister. After his followers give generously and Frasier finally trusts him enough to do the same, he escapes with the cash, leaving his empty wheelchair at Frasier's door as a final mocking sign that it had all been another con job.
- Kill 'em All: How Frasier's live radio drama ends in "Ham Radio" when an annoyed Niles hijacks the proceedings and kills off the entire cast in about 30 seconds.Could the McAllister sisters stand back to back, I'm short on bullets.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Roz's arrogantly ignorant hipster friend Jen (a pre-famous Zooey Deschanel), who, among other things, wants to go to Vietnam on vacation because "Americans haven't heard of" the country, and that an art gallery mostly focused on paintings of landscapes is intended to "make us feel good" about American "imperialism".
- Kubrick Stare: Frasier, many times when simmering in rage—but most memorably, when he challenges Eddie to a staring contest. (First 25 seconds.) Guess who wins....
- Niles gives the stare a lot, too—often involving an Heroic B.S.O.D., to boot.
- Kwyjibo: In "Goodnight, Seattle".Charlotte: "Her grandmother's bed was warm and... quilty."Frasier: "And why is she lying there? Because she's feeling all 'befevered' again?"
- Lab Pet: In one episode it's revealed that Frasier's mother was so attached to her lab rats that she named her children after them.
- Ladykiller in Love: Bulldog falls in love in the episode "Love Bites Dog" only to end up heartbroken when the woman dumps him on the phone like he himself does with many of his one-night stands.
- A few years later, Bulldog falls for Roz who also rejects him.
- Lampshade Hanging: "Out With Dad" where Frasier drags Martin to an opera. Martin complains about the unlikely farcical plot elements (escalating lies, staged entrances and exits), a critique which neatly encapsulates all that follows in the second act.
- Large Ham:
- Frasier is a quintessential sitcom example. Any time Frasier gets riled up, any time Niles gets... let's just say many.
- Agent Bebe Glazer is even worse. Goodness, she's even prone to Milking the Giant Cow!
- And she, like Winston, gets Frasier riled up. "She has no scruples, no ethics, and no reflection!"
- Jackson Headley in "The Show Must Go Off" delivers a performance so hammy BRIAN BLESSED would be proud.
- Also, Cam Winston.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Inverted in a Season 10 episode, when Martin goes to withdraw $20 from an ATM but gets $60. Daphne insists that this trope will apply if he fails to return the money to the bank and forces him to take it back in person, but the staff's ineptitude means they keep giving him another $40 over and over again. His last attempt ends with an over-zealous security guard pulling a gun on him, which results in the bank paying him $10,000 not to take the matter to court. He accepts it with tired resignation.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Often a last second phrase swap, used by all the main characters especially Frasier.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In one episode, Frasier drags Martin to see Rigoletto, and he spends most of his time lampshading the sillier tropes of the genre, such as GASP!, "Fawlty Towers" Plot, The Beard and Love Dodecahedron. Frasier's well-timed GASP! is the cue for an entire episode full of exactly that kind of Farce.
- Lecherous Licking: Implied.Niles: Take my bumbershoot.Daphne: Oh, isn't that nice, well at least someone appreciates my mother tongue. [Leaves.]Niles: Yes, I've always had an ear for your tongue.Frasier: Niles!
- Lethal Chef: Daphne. Lamb's Head Stew, for instance. Or other glories of English cuisine like "kidney pie".
- Life Imitates Art: One episode sees Frasier and Niles publicly endorsing an (inferred) Democratic candidate for office,note with Frasier stressing in TV adverts that their man is the Only Sane Man. Frasier is then absolutely horrified when their sane politician casually lets drop that he was once abducted by aliens. In Real Life, a Democratic politician from Georgia once filed a UFO report and has since said he is "open-minded" on the existence of UFOS and possible alien life. Obviously a man with ideas like that was too flaky to ever get elected.
- Limited Social Circle: Martin appears have friends beyond the main characters (particularly Duke), and Roz, Daphne, and Niles are occasionally shown with friends too, but most of the time the main characters just hang with each other. This is particularly true with Frasier, who appears to have no close friends beyond his brother, his father, his producer, and his father's physiotherapist. This is Lampshaded in one episode, where none of the other main characters have the time to spend an evening with Frasier, and he realizes just how alone he is without them. Since Frasier moved back to Seattle after having lived for years in Boston, this is partly Justified, though one wonders why he didn't catch up with any old friends of his, or manage to make any new ones in 11 years?
- Literal Metaphor: When Frasier and Roz are discussing her hiring Bebe;Roz: She's got me three voiceover jobs! I know she may be a little shifty, but she helps me put food on the table.Bebe: [returning from the café bar] One muffin.Roz: See!
- Local Hangout: Café Nervosa. Subverted in that the cast did not have a "regular" table they always sat at; they sat at different tables throughout the series.
- Loners Are Freaks: Subverted in the episode "Dark Victory", when Frasier delivers a rousing speech in defense of introverts everywhere.
- Played straight in "The 200th Episode" by Frasier's biggest fan who quit his job to devote his life to listening to, recording, and transcribing Frasier's show.
- Long Runner: While the show barely qualifies (11 seasons), more notable is the character of Dr. Frasier Crane, who was played for 20 years over two shows (and a guest appearance on Wings).
- Frasier's former wife Nanette, in regard to her in-show alter ego as Nanni G (A children's music celebrity), gives Kelsey Grammer an Actor Allusion with the remark: "Do you have any idea what it's like to the play the same character for 20 years!?"
- Loony Fan:
- Frasier visits one (with a Stalker Shrine, no less) when he's trying to track down a tape of one of his past shows.
- In another episode, he invites his internet fanclub round to his apartment, cooking an enormous buffet for them. It turns out to consist of three creepy obsessives with No Social Skills.
- Loophole Abuse: Frasier and Niles sometimes find themselves trapped by their professional codes of ethics, and bend over backwards to find ways around them.
Niles: It would be so much easier if Roz were mentally incompetent.Frasier: Go on...Niles: Well, then there'd be some justification for protecting her. Is she irrational?Frasier: She did attack a vending machine once, when a Twinkie came out of the Oreo chute.Niles: Borderline, borderline. Does she ever act delusional?Frasier: Well, she often claims that she is responsible for the success of our show.Niles: Building, building. Does she display below-average intelligence?Frasier: She once ordered a bottle of white Zinfandel!Niles: Jackpot! Go to her, she's a threat to herself!Frasier: It's amazing they even let the woman drive!
- In one episode, they discover that Roz's newest boyfriend is one of Niles's patients, a compulsive womanizer who loves 'em and leaves 'em, and will surely break Roz's heart; but they can't tell her, as that would violate doctor-patient confidentiality. They spend the entire episode looking for a way out, and finally find it:
- Lost Wedding Ring: Daphne loses her engagement ring and tries to hide it from Donny. Frasier finds it, and worries what Faye would have thought if she'd found it. Then Reality Ensues: Faye plays with the trope just to tease Frasier, but reveals she knows it's Daphne's ring; Donny reveals he knew she'd lost ever since she hugged him with a raw chicken on her hand.
- Lounge Lizard: "The Barracuda", an incredibly slimy Latino cruise ship crooner with whom Maris nearly sleeps.
- Love at First Sight: Niles is clearly smitten with Daphne from the moment they meet.
- Love Dodecahedron: "The Ski Lodge" is a masterpiece; Frasier wants Annie, Annie wants Niles, Niles wants Daphne, Daphne wants Guy, Guy wants Niles, and as he realises to his horror when everything gets untangled, no-one wants Frasier.
- Love Informant: In the seventh season, a drugged-up Frasier lets slip to Daphne that Niles is crazy about her.
- Lysistrata Gambit:
Frasier: Now, now, now, Niles, withholding sex may be just as difficult on Maris! She may crumble first!Niles: Are you serious? One hour of passion can sustain her for months. She stores it up like some sexual camel.
- Maris was an expert at withholding sex from Niles, and used it to work to her advantage, always. He tried to turn the tables once, but didn't get very far.
- The Lysistrata Gambit was one of the tactics Frasier's new co-host supported, which was one of the major issues he had with her.
- Ma'am Shock: Discussed by Roz in Roz's Krantz and Gouldenstein Are Dead.
- Mad Artist: Caitlin in "Frasier Gotta Have It". She makes collages out of dead mice and stuffs pillows with human hair.
- Mad at a Dream: One episode showed one dream from all the main characters. Daphne dreamed that Niles was surrounded by young women while her pregnancy weight was hugely exaggerated. She woke up and punched him.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The above Caitlin. It doesn't work out though, as all they shared was sex.
- Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: Played with and played straight.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Frasier's... dinner companion on Valentine's Day keeps frustrating his attempts to work out whether they're on a date or not.
- May–December Romance: Deconstructed in one episode where a young woman in her early twenties (played by Sara Melson) is interested in dating Frasier, but he is worried that people would have bad impressions of him. Finally invoked near the end of the episode, but they decided that it won't work out.
- Meaningful Background Event: In a Christmas special where Martin ends up working during the holiday, Frasier and Niles go to talk to him at his job to get him to change his mind. They end up having a conversation to themselves about how much they're going to miss him and how Christmas won't be the same without him. It's easy to miss, but Martin's boss can be seen nearby in the background, listening in, which ends up becoming significant later when Martin spoils their plans to surprise him with presents at work by being let off the hook because said boss was feeling guilty.
- Meat-O-Vision: Referenced in a Thanksgiving episode: "Is baby Alice dressed as a turkey, or am I just hungry?"
- Mediation Backfire: Played with; Frasier sits Roz and Julia down in the cafe to try to get them to make nice, and when they find common ground insulting him, he graciously leaves them to it. The moment he's gone, though, they both get up to leave, and are bickering again before they reach the door.
- Meet Cute: Frasier meets Charlotte by getting the floors mixed up when going to his "private-practice" office. Charlotte initially thinks he's just using that as excuse to cover for his wanting to use her dating service. She then partly witnesses a bad re-acquaintance of Frasier with an Old Flame he's forgotten....
- Memetic Badass: Invoked with Frasier's aunt Zora, a violent person with a hair-trigger temper that the entire family fears.Frasier: I'm not afraid of her.
Niles: Everyone is. Have you forgotten the family legend that when Hitler invaded Greece she joined the partisans just so she could strangle Nazis?
Frasier: I have never believed that. She would have had to have been five years old at the time.
Niles: That's why the legend says they were strangled with jumpropes.
- Men Are Uncultured: Averted — Frasier and Niles are very cultured, loving Opera and fine wines. Their father doesn't understand this at all, but he's not stupid, he just has more traditionally "manly" tastes (Martin and Hester would have been a fairly straight example of the trope, though)."I still think a couple of years of military service would've done you two a world of good."
- Men Don't Cry: Averted for laughs in "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven": Martin's breakdown causes Frasier to start weeping as well, then Niles joins in shortly after.Niles: (bawling) Nobody wants to come to my party!
- Mile-High Club: Back in his younger days, Niles was once invited to join. In his naivete, he thought it was the airline's bonus program, and declined. Now that he knows what was really meant, he tries to laugh, and can't.
- Milholland Relationship Moment: Ronee's reaction to Martin's heart attack.
- Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Played with. Sometimes played straight when Frasier breaks up with an otherwise lovely woman for a few minor flaws, but occasionally he realizes this and forces himself to overlook the flaws of his Girl of the Week, who then turns out to be completely bizarre but Frasier refuses to break up with her because he wants to kick his habit.
- Missing Mom: Hester Crane, although she appeared occasionally through flashbacks.
- Mistaken for Gay: The show specialises in these, and handles them with panache.
Frasier: But... Tom's not gay.Niles: He seems to be under that impression.Frasier: What in the world made him think I'm gay? I mean - we met, discussed Europe, our favorite wines, musical theater oh my God.
- In 'The Matchmaker', KACL's handsome and urbane new boss is invited to dinner by Frasier. Frasier intends to hook him up with Daphne, but there's the usual confusion:
- In 'The Doctor is Out', there's a hilarious "on-air outing" as he tries to explain why he was there:Frasier: "All right, I am going to put an end to this discussion, because there is nothing to discuss. On my way home from the gym, I popped into Bad Billy's looking for a man I was hoping was in the bathroom. I had a quick sherry with my French polisher and then I left. As for how I got into another man's shorts, that is no one's business!"
- Martin's pretending to be homosexual backfires on him in "Out With Dad".
- Niles is consistently mistaken for being homosexual. This culminates in "The Doctor Is Out" where he's Mistaken for Gay by Patrick Stewart:Niles: This is my wife, Daphne.Alistair: ...No.Niles: We're expecting!Alistair: Can't say I was!
- Bulldog was also accused of being homosexual by a lady who thought he was overcompensating by being so testosterone-driven.
- Subverted in "Fathers and Sons": Martin is convinced Leland is the boys' actual father as he has so much in common with them, but as it turns out he only loved Hester as a friend and trusted her with the fact that he was homosexual at a time when that could have ruined his career.
- Played with regarding Gil Chesterton — everyone simply assumes he's gay, and is surprised when he reveals he's married:"She is Mrs. Gilbert Leslie Chesterton, a Sarah Lawrence graduate, and the owner of a very successful auto body repair shop. Honestly, the conclusions people make, just because a man dresses well and knows how to use a pastry bag." ... "Well, that's the first time I've ever seen a man "IN" himself!"
- One episode opens with Frasier, Niles, and Martin shopping for Daphne's engagement ring. A series of accidents and coincidences culminates in the entire store thinking that Frasier is proposing to Niles.(After the store clerk assumes they're there to get a ring for each other)Niles: Where did that come from?Frasier: I mean really, to just assume something like that out of the blue.Niles and Frasier: Latent.
- Mistaken for Dying:
- Daphne thinks Martin is dying when, among other things, he suddenly starts attending church. He's really preparing for a Christmas pageant.
- It happens in the series finale as well, with Frasier this time. It turns out the announcement he was going to make was that he's moving to San Francisco.
- Mistaken Identity: An interesting twist in "Secret Admirer'; Frasier mistakes himself for the object of Maris' affections when it is actually Niles who is supposed to receive the gifts.
- Monumental View: The apartment has a lovely shot of the Space Needle, indicated to be built on Queen Anne hill (which didn't have apartments until 2014, after the show's conclusion.)
- And in a rare case of Shown Their Work about Seattle, the writers in Season 1's My Coffee with Niles establish that Cafe Nervosa is in downtown Seattle (it's on 3rd Ave) and Martin complains about how far the walk is from their apartment. From Queen Anne that's about 2-3 miles.
- Mood Whiplash: In "Boo!", Frasier sneaking up on Martin in full clown get-up to get back at him for the pranks he's been pulling, giving him the fright of his life... and then he doesn't get up, and the scene cuts to him in the hospital recovering from a heart attack.
- In "To Tell the Truth", Niles is ecstatic after Maris gives him a healthy divorce settlement. He and Frasier are chatting happily at Cafe Nervosa... when his lawyer Donny walks in hand-in-hand with Daphne. You can feel your heart crush with Niles' as Donny smells her hair and asks what the scent is and Niles answers sadly "Cherry bark and almonds".
- Motor Mouth: Poppy, who's treated as The Scrappy by the other characters. It's actually revealed that she talks so much and so fast because she's nervous, and doesn't do so around Niles (who is more approachable than Frasier.)
- Moving the Goalposts: Mel and Niles' sham marriage. At first, he agrees to spare her reputation by attending a couple of weeks of public engagements before she files for divorce. The first amendment is that he's also not allowed to be seen in public with Daphne. Then, the "couple of weeks" gets dragged out to unreasonable extremes. Then, he's informed that in order to make the breakup look authentic without reflecting badly on Mel, he has to start acting like a dick in public so it will look like she had to dump him.
- Multiboobage: Roz's Star Trek obsessed unwanted admirer sends around an office petition for the producers to introduce the character of Rozalinda, the four breasted Space Vixen and ruler of the planet Rozniac. When Frasier compares the tribute to Robert Browning's poems to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Roz asks if Browning ever wrote a poem giving Elizabeth two extra breasts. During The Stinger, Roz receives a gift - a multi-boobed bra. When she tries it on in amusement, her co-workers outside the booth start bowing, and if you read their lips, chanting "All hail Rozalinda!"note
- Multitasked Conversation: On two separate occasions, Frasier gives a toast to a "happy couple" which, by the judicious avoidance of using any names, conceals a "she isn't the woman you really love" message. The first time, it was to convince his cousin Nicos to break off an engagement; the second, Niles was being forced to carry on a sham relationship with Mel, and Frasier resents being told to publicly endorse the relationship.
- My Beloved Smother: Mrs. Mulhern to Dr. Nora.Mrs. Mulhern: So, you thought you could get away from me, did you? Thought you could leave me to rot in that dump without barely enough cash for a bottle of Mateus?! You'll pay for that, missy!
- My Friends... and Zoidberg:Frasier: Thank you, Niles. You're a good brother and a credit to the psychiatric profession.Niles: You're a good brother, too.
- My Own Private "I Do": Niles and Daphne of the Elope First, Plan Later variety. It got really silly when they ended up having two fake ceremonies, before eventually spilling the beans.
- Mythology Gag: The Dr. Frasier Crane Show debuted on KACL on May 21, 1993, the airdate of the Cheers finale.
Nanny G: Frasier, if you knew how bored I am, being "Nanny Gee." How trapped I feel.Frasier: You have a wonderful career.Nanny G: But nothing ever changes! Do you have any idea what it's like to play the same character for twenty years?
- The season 11 episode "Caught in the Act" has a gag about Kelsey Grammer having played the character of Frasier Crane for 20 years (first in Cheers, then in Frasier). In the episode Frasier meets his ex-wife, who's had a long career as the children's entertainer "Nanny G":
- Frasier's agent, Bebe Glazer, has the same name as the actress who played Lilith.
- Kim (Jennifer Tilly) mentions she was briefly engaged. Tilly played a girl who was briefly engaged to Frasier in Cheers.
- Naked People Trapped Outside
- Bulldog, in the episode "The Dog That Rocked The Cradle".
- Frasier, in the episode "Caught in the Act", though he's saved by wearing a baby bonnet and diaper - in front of a live show.
- Negative Continuity: In the opening of the episode "Deathtrap," Frasier and Niles, who put a lot of emphasis on ethics and doing the right thing, were shown stealing the skull they wanted for their backyard production of Hamlet. Granted, they were kids at the time, but some viewers might find it a bit odd. In addition, Frasier and Niles suffer physical ailments when they go against their ethics (nausea and nosebleeds respectively), but here it has little effect on them.
- Nerds Speak Klingon: In "Star Mitzvah", Frasier's son Frederick is about to have his bar mitzvah, and Frasier wants to give him a speech in Hebrew. Since Frasier doesn't know Hebrew, he asks his co-worker Noel, a stereotypical middle-aged nerd, to translate the speech. Noel agrees, but later on he gets angry with Frasier when Frasier fails to get him the signature of Scott Bakula, the actor playing Captain Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise. Noel retaliates by translating the bar mitzvah speech into Klingon, a language which he apparently knows well, but which Frasier can't distinguish from Hebrew. Hilarity Ensues.
- Nested Story Reveal: In one episode, Frasier is seriously doubting whether he should help strangers in need. While driving his car, he sees a woman standing in the rain, and decides to give her a ride. The woman turns out to be a transgender prostitute, and Frasier soon gets arrested by the police, who mistakenly think he's soliciting for her services. The whole event ends up being publicized in the media, making Frasier a laughing stock. Just before the episode ends, it cuts back to the scene with Frasier in the car and the woman standing in the rain. Turns out everything that happened was just a worst-case scenario Frasier had been considering in his head. He gives the woman a ride anyway.
- Never Lend to a Friend: Frasier lends Roz some money to help her through single motherhood, but calls her spending into question when Daphne sees her at a spa, and Frasier sees luxury items in her shopping bag. Turns out they were all justified expenses (a coupon, a gift from her mother, a store credit for a return, etc.) apart from one (a bottle of perfume) which she got to treat herself. Though shortly after Frasier questions her, Roz asks Bulldog for a loan so the cheque she has written to return Frasier's money won't bounce ("I cashed a bad cheque").
- Never My Fault: Plenty of examples throughout the series. Usually with Niles pointing the finger. He even has "Well I hope you're happy!" as his catchphrase.
- New Old Flame: Subverted by Daphne; her ex-fiance Clive appears in "The Two Mrs. Cranes" to make good on their Fallback Marriage Pact, but Daphne has no interest in Clive.
- New Year's Resolution
- The '90s: The early seasons show very much how the 1990s carried a lot of run-off fashions of the late 1980s. Roz has very big, frizzy hair, and both her and Kate Costas (an early love interest of Frasier's who also had giant hair, to match an extremely dark tan) wore power-suits with shoulder pads. Eventually all of the characters would be fairly fashionable and less era-specific, save Martin.
- No Accounting for Taste: It's a wonder what Niles ever saw in Maris to begin with.
Niles: "You've been wanting to ask me this for years: 'Did I marry Maris for the money?' I resent that. I did not marry Maris for the money...it's just a delightful bonus."
- Money, Dear Boy. Well, partly. For most of the series, Niles is also an Extreme Doormat who doesn't feel right without someone bossing him around.
- Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Averted;
- In "Out With Dad", Emily tries to set Martin up with her uncle, Edward.
- In "The Doctor Is Out", Frasier becomes the "boyfriend" of 60ish opera director Alistair Burke.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Nora, an unusually thin and Up to Eleven Strawman Political parody of Dr. Laura and the small controversy about her qualifications. Dr. Nora's advice mostly consisted of telling her callers that they're sinners who are going to hell, and Frasier eventually learns her doctorate is in P.E. The station keeps her on because her polarizing personality is attracting listeners, until an attempt at goodwill by Frasier drives her away.
- No Indoor Voice: Chopper Dave got a little too used to reporting from a helicopter.
- Noodle Incident: The failed party at the beginning of "Daphne Does Dinner". All we know is it involved Martin impersonating an Italian count, a flaming kebab igniting a man's toupee, Frasier pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome, and goats in the kitchen.
- Daphne's story about how her brothers hated taking orders from her. "Nigel, take that thing back to the hospital. The whole house is full of flies."
- From Season 7 : "(Nigel) is not staying here. He's loud, crude, and last time he stayed here, he killed the downstairs neighbour's ficus by means which are best left to the imagination."
- In "Seat of Power", Niles suddenly gets paranoid and twitchy after seeing the plumber sent to fix Frasier's toilet; Frasier asks him if he's "been self-medicating again".
- Daphne's story about how her brothers hated taking orders from her. "Nigel, take that thing back to the hospital. The whole house is full of flies."
- Noodle Implements
- "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"Sam: Hey listen... if you want to really put a smile on Maris's face let me tell you what you do.[He whispers into Niles' ear.]Niles: Exactly where am I supposed to find whipped cream and a car battery at this hour?
- "Liar! Liar!"Bulldog: All right Doc, I'm going to need a blindfold, whipped cream and a glass coffee table.[Everyone looks mystified]Bulldog: What? Nobody went to camp?
- "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"
- No Party Given: During a Congressional election, neither candidate's party affiliation is revealed. It's likely the same reason Kelsey Grammer did this in Boss: both parties are capable of the same things.
- No Sympathy: Daphne tries to defy this one in "Daphne Does Dinner"; after trying to throw a normal dinner party without the Cranes screwing it up as usual, she of course manages to screw it up, but when the offended guests start to collect their coats, she gives an impassioned speech about trying to salvage a nice, civilised dinner despite all the hijinks. Just as she's talked them round, a bed falls through the ceiling.
- Played straight with Martin, who typically has a lot of trouble empathizing or sympathizing with his sons. When they were bullied as children, he never helped them, saying it was their own fault for being such easy targets.
- Not in Front of the Parrot: Niles gets a cockatoo just before holding a housewarming dinner party for his new neighbours. Just as the primary problem (it's been clutching tightly onto his scalp all episode and he's been hiding in the kitchen) is being painlessly resolved, the bird starts quoting random insults it's overheard over the course of the evening in front of all the guests.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: In "Frasier's Imaginary Friend", Frasier is dating a supermodel studying to be a zoologist. His family seems to think he's off his rocker and making it all up.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Aversion because both Frasier and Niles are psychiatrists. Sometimes the boys themselves forget this though, as when Frasier tries to give advice to the heart surgeon about to operate on Niles.
- Not What It Looks Like: Interesting variation - Frasier often walks in on Niles and Daphne doing something completely innocent, unaware that out of context it looks like flirting.
- In several cases however, in Niles' mind at least, it is flirting.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The sixth season episode "The Good Samaritan" revolves around exploring this concept, with Frasier suffering a series of painful, insulting and humiliating blowbacks from strangers he did good deeds for. At the climax of the episode, Frasier's young son asks him if this means we shouldn't try and help people, and in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, Frasier decides to continue stepping in and helping those in need, no matter the risk.
- There's also the "Father of the Bride" episode where Roz advises Daphne to take back control of her wedding. Roz just agreed to be a bridesmaid after seeing Frasier's beautiful choice of dress. Naturally Daphne immediately describes how the first thing she'll change is the dress "The sleeves aren't even puffy."
- No, You Hang Up First: Niles plays this once with Maris during their reconciliation.
- Obfuscating Disability: Double subverted in "Wheels of Fortune", with Lilith's con-man half-brother Blaine Sternin (played by Michael Keaton). Frasier suspects that Blaine is up to his old tricks by pretending he's had a religious conversion following a debilitating car crash. He goes so far as to push Blaine out of his wheelchair at his church service/fundraiser, only to get a call from Blaine's doctor who says that he's paralyzed for life. Fraiser apologizes and gives him an expensive peace offering; minutes later, it's revealed that Blaine really was faking all along.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Especially with Frasier. The amount of times he's done something dishonorable and tried to cover it up...
- Oblivious to Love: Daphne to Niles in the first six in a half seasons. The roles are reversed in the second half of season seven.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Everyone related to Daphne. No wonder she moved to America.
- Odd Friendship: Gil and Bulldog get on quite well, despite being about as different as two men can be.
- Oedipus Complex: In the episode "Mamma Mia", everyone but Fraiser seems to notice that his new girl Mia bears an uncanny resemblance to his mother. When he has it pointed out to him, he's completely horrified.
- Offstage Villainy: In one episode, Niles assures Daphne that Maris will never come between them again. That's only half-true. Maris did famously cause a lot of problems for Niles, but she barely touched Daphne. Plus it was because of Maris's outrageous antics that Daphne met Donny. Mel, on the other hand...
- Oh, Cisco!: The silent gag that runs over the credits at the end of each episode.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: A Left the Background Music On variation when Frasier goes to Bebe's hotel room and there's a choir singing outside the window. While she tries to seduce him, he throws open the window to get some air just as the choir hits a particularly ominous crescendo, accompanied by sweeping red floodlights.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The Cranes (and later Daphne) have the most excellent method of sneaking full conversations under people's noses in this manner.
- One Steve Limit: For a while, Daphne knew the men on the show as Dr. Crane, Dr. Crane and Mr. Crane. The Running Gag of this confusion culminated in one episode, when she overhears Frasier admit that he loves her (platonically) and would miss her if she moved out and Martin confirms that he's in love with her, thinking that by 'Dr. Crane' she meant Niles.
A more typical variation might go like this:Daphne: "Thank you Dr. Crane. Shame on you, Dr. Crane, why can't you be more like Dr. Crane?"Marta (Maris' housekeeper): "Missy Crane say, no you Dr. Crane, no other Dr. Crane, and no Crane with a cane!"
Daphne: "Yeah, but he doesn't know it...I can't very well discuss it with Dr. Crane. He's so close to Dr. Crane. If I told him, he might tell Dr. Crane and Dr. Crane might feel embarrassed."Roz: "Yeah, why confuse things?"
- After Daphne finds out from Frasier that Niles loves her:
- Oop North: Daphne. All of her family members had different accents.
- Outhumbling Each Other: Frasier's rivalry with Cam Winston ends up getting to this point, with the two each making concessions to the other in the name of a truce.
- Overcomplicated Menu Order: Zig-Zagged in an episode where, before Martin gets to the coffee house (Martin being a more down-to-earth food kind of person) Niles orders him a biscotti "but when you bring it to the table call it a cookie." The waitress dutifully brings it, only for Martin to correct her. "I think this thing's called a biscotti."
- "My Coffee with Niles" is a particularly funny example. Frasier orders a decafe non-fate Zimbabwe latte with no cinnamon but neglects to tell the waitress the entire order. She ends up bringing him coffee four times before he is satisfied.
- The waitstaff bring this on themselves in one episode when they start passing orders along via call-and-response. Niles orders a "double-short, low-fat, no-foam latte;" it morphs into "double-short, no-fat, low-foam," and it happens again after Niles corrects them.
- Pensieve Flashback: Within "Daphne Returns" Frasier and Niles discuss how Niles puts Daphne on a pedestal.
- Ping-Pong Naïveté: Daphne's knowledge of Niles' feelings. Sometimes it seems obvious that she must know (or at least suspect), while other times the plot only makes sense if she hasn't got the slightest idea (for example, overhearing that "Dr. Crane" is in love with her and assuming it's Frasier).
- Poor Communication Kills: Naturally, in a farce. Lampshaded when a particularly contrived misunderstanding has Niles and Frasier both convinced the other is after their date;Daphne: Before it comes to that, wouldn't it make sense for the two of you to have one open and honest conversation?
- Poor Man's Porn: Frasier talks about sharing a room with Niles and being kept up all night by him looking at National Geographics under the bedcovers - Niles asserts he was looking at the maps, but Frasier insists that this is what made it so weird. This trope is used a lot.Niles: Well, I've got a crisis. Tomorrow's Mel's birthday and I'm planning a very romantic evening but my Gaggenau is on the fritz.Martin: (disgusted) Oh jeez, I don't need to hear this!Frasier: Dad! It's a stove!Martin: I know! Six burners and a griddle. Don't you guys ever talk about cars?
- A lot.(Frasier and Niles are peeping through a telescope into someone's apartment.)Frasier: Oh my God... breathtaking.Niles: (impatient) Well, don't be greedy! Your turn was over forty seconds ago!Frasier: All right, all right, Niles, all right. [steps away] It's the penthouse unit, fourth from the left.Niles: (swooning) Oh, mama!Martin: You two know that what you're doing isn't right, don't you?Frasier: We're simply admiring a very rare Brancusi armchair, not a naked woman.Martin: (sighing) That's what I'm talking about.
- Kenny Daly suffers from lowered expectations. When he asks Roz to buy "man and wife stuff" for him.Kenny: I'm supposed to stop on the way home and pick up some new... underthings for my wife.Frasier: So?Kenny: So? Every time I'm in one of those places I start thinking about... you know... man-and-wife stuff. I turn all red, I start to sweat, I hyperventilate. Try getting somebody to wait on you when you look like that.Roz: Well, sorry, Kenny, but I am not going to Victoria's Secret for you.Kenny: Victoria's Secret? Whoa, whoa, Rockefeller, I'm talking Kmart!
- Later:Kenny: Fine. I'll go myself. Why do they have those mannequins so damn sexy?
- A lot.
- Prenup Blowup: Niles during his divorce describes the depths to which Maris would stoop for the trial.Niles: When we were courting, I sent her a Valentine that said: "You're the girl my heart adores, everything I have is yours". Now they're calling it a pre-nup.
- Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: Which includes "*bleep* off."
- Present Peeking: There was an episode where everyone who isn't Frasier unwrap their presents, then they wrap everything up again.
- Pretty in Mink: Not shown, but it's mentioned that Maris has an ermine lap robe, and her sister has an ermine muff (that she used to smuggle a chihuahua into an opera).
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Dan Butler, who plays Bulldog in the show, got promoted to regular status in Seasons 4 through 6, with his name appearing in the opening credits (only when he's in the episode however) and appearing in promotional material alongside the rest of the main cast.
- Prophetic Names: Lilith. If you have a little information on that name, a lot of jokes about the character become a lot more understandable.
- Punchline: Not just the typical sitcom kind, but on a large scale as well. Many episodes are built entirely to set up the last scene as one big payoff, typically in the form of Frasier's grandiose speeches coming out all wrong.
- Punched Across the Room: Invoked by Niles, who riles up a guy threatening to charge Frasier with assault until he gives Niles a light poke in the chest. Cue a wild, over-the-top and attention-grabbing pratfall that takes several coffee tables out with it... and when Frasier goes to help him up, he whispers, "Countersuit!"
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In the episode "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon", after being insulted by Niles, Frasier declares, "I. AM. WOUNDED!"
- Pun-Based Title: Lots of episodes. A particularly contrived example is the one where Roz works in a retirement home and is traumatised when two of the residents drop dead right in front of her, titled "Roz's Krantz and Gouldenstein are Dead".
- Shrink Rap
- Chess Pains
- Where There's Smoke There's Fired
- Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven
- Dad Loves Sherry, The Boys Just Whine
- A Tsar is Born
- Whine Club
- Mary Christmas
- Hooping Cranes
- It Takes Two To Tangle
- The Wizard And Roz
- Mother Load
- War Of The Words
- Frasier Has Spokane
- Star Mitzvah
- Bristle While You Work
- No Sex Please, We Are Skittish
- Guns N' Neuroses
- Freudian Sleep
- Punny Name: The Shoutout to the creators in the station's name (KACL) is an inadvertant pun (cackle).
- "Hola, my name is Woody Wizwell."
- Put on a Bus: Kate Costas (Mercedes Ruehl was uncomfortable with the routine of doing a weekly sitcom), and Julia Wilcox (the writers were not happy with the Season 10 romantic triangle between Frasier, Julia, and Roz.)
- Queer as Tropes: The show pioneered the use of homosexual characters acting in a non-stereotypical manner as a normal part of everyday life, and employed openly gay actors who did not necessarily play gay characters in the show. In fact, "The Matchmaker" won a GLAAD Award for those very reason. The only concession to regular stereotypical gay characters is Gil, and even he was used in ways which subverted those stereotypes.
- Radio Drama: In "Ham Radio", Frasier takes the reins and drives the cast to distraction.
- Radio Voice: All the callers to Frasier's show, which is quite logical (and disguises the fact that many of them are uncredited cameos). Interesting in that some of the dialogue for those scenes is written, some is ad-libbed to give it a more believable feeling of sponteneity.
- Rage Breaking Point: A popular device used by the show is to have Frasier put up with a lot of nonsense, often lecturing the people on his side to keep their cool in the face of it, only for the offending side to somehow insult Frasier's refined tastes and send him into a blind rage. See the examples under Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking.
- Raging Stiffie: In "Frasier Gotta Have It", after Daphne tells a story of naked sunbathing and having sex with a fireman, Niles carefully stands up, and cautiously leaves Frasier's apartment without a word.
- Ranked by I.Q.: Niles and Frasier are reminded that they took an IQ test as children, and all their mother would tell them is that they were two points apart, and when they discover the results in an old box, Niles reads them and announces that he has the higher score. When a suspicious Frasier insists on seeing the results for himself, he finds out that not only is Niles' score higher, but it's by considerably more than two points. He spends the rest of the episode worrying about being dumber than his brother.
- "Rashomon"-Style: "Perspectives On Christmas". In this example, the characters' perspectives differed mainly in what they were able to see and how they interpreted certain lines of dialogue (as is the norm for misunderstandings on this show), rather than blatantly skewing things in their favor as in most comedic examples.
- "Shrink Rap", in which both brothers undergo 'couples' counseling and outline the events which have led to their most recent relationship collapse. In general, they have a tendency to present themselves as being a bit more wise, thoughtful and put-upon than they probably would be in the real situation — and the other immediately calls them on it. There's also a rather amusing bit where Niles recounts a story Daphne told about a couple who would frequently experience The Immodest Orgasm right next to her bedroom wall at night, and her over-the-top efforts to show them up, culminating in this exchange:Frasier: Hold it! Niles, you know full well that Daphne merely told us that story, she did not act it out!Niles: (genuinely confused) ... Didn't she?
- In Coots and Ladders:(flashback)Niles: (holding Daphe peacefully) Our lives are so complete.Martin: (holding Ronee contentedly) We really are lucky.(back to current time)Frasier: (annoyed) Oh, please, that's not how it happened at all!(flashback)Niles: (taunting Frasier with Daphne) Our lives are so complete!Martin: (taunting Frasier with Ronee) We really are lucky!
- "Shrink Rap", in which both brothers undergo 'couples' counseling and outline the events which have led to their most recent relationship collapse. In general, they have a tendency to present themselves as being a bit more wise, thoughtful and put-upon than they probably would be in the real situation — and the other immediately calls them on it. There's also a rather amusing bit where Niles recounts a story Daphne told about a couple who would frequently experience The Immodest Orgasm right next to her bedroom wall at night, and her over-the-top efforts to show them up, culminating in this exchange:
- Ready for Lovemaking: The Maris Counselor. Parodied with a Room Shuffle when Niles discovers that his wife is having an affair with their marriage counsellor. Each of them pops in and out of the room preparing such a romantic ambush for Maris, each thinking it's she who is adding the other elements. Naturally, they only discover their mistake once they've turned out the lights and jumped into bed together.Frasier: What tipped you off?Niles: The heat from her side of the bed!
- Real Life Writes the Plot: In "Head Game", Niles helps a basketball player with his problems. Originally, it was Frasier who was going to help him, but Kelsey Grammer got into rehab and was unable to perform the role for that episode.
- Niles' and Daphne's first child was changed from a girl to a boy and named David as a tribute to producer David Angell, who was killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks.
- Real Time: Twice; in Season 1's "My Coffee With Niles" and Season 6's "Dinner Party".
- Reality Ensues: In the episode "The First Temptation of Daphne," Roz's advice about "lying with confidence" hits an amusing snag:
- Really Gets Around: Roz."Even the best birth control is only effective ninety-nine out of a hundred times. I can't beat those odds!"
- Recurring Extra: Watch a few episodes in the earlier seasons and you'll begin to notice that the barista at the coffee shop is nearly always the same one (played by Luck Hari), particularly when the coffee order becomes a plot point or a joke. Especially notable in the Season One finale ("Coffee With Niles"), and recurs in eleven episodes between 1994 and 1997.
- In later seasons a barista called James became a regular fixture at the coffee shop, often interacting with the main cast.
- Removed from the Picture: A portrait of Niles and Maris (unseen, of course). Following their separation, Niles hits the roof when he discovers he's been painted out with a tree. Well, not quite - Frasier, wincing, tells Niles not to look at the face of the skunk in the undergrowth.
- Renaissance Man: Dr. Clint Webber — "let's see, he told us about the time he learned to fly a plane, he recited a sonnet, he fixed my icemaker and he invented a new drink, the 'Pink Webber'!"
- Replacement Flat Character: Former Trope Namer, The Niles.
- Lampshaded by Sam Malone.Sam: (to Frasier) Wow... man, this is freaky. He looks just like you did when I met you. What happened, huh?Frasier: (smiling) Wasn't exactly a health club you were running there, Sam.
- In a strange way, Mel is the Replacement Flat Character for Maris - they share the exact same characteristics and personality, only Mel conforms to human proportions, unlike the impossible-to-cast Maris. Frasier even tells Niles that he's replacing Maris with another version of her.
- Lampshaded by Sam Malone.
- Reset Button: In "Taking Liberties", the family being spoiled rotten by Frasier's new butler doesn't teach them any lessons, and nor does it fail spectacularly; he just quits, having had a quiet Blithe Spirit experience of his own.
- Retcon: Back on Cheers, the only family Frasier ever mentioned were his mother and dead father, both scientists. Awkwardness ensues for Frasier when Sam meets his brother and father in season 2, at which point the issue is hand waved by a claim that he and Martin were fighting when he said that. It leads to this memorable quote, after Martin is first offended to learn he was "dead" but also a "scientist" as if Frasier were ashamed of his working-class job (cop) and Frasier retorts: "You were dead-what did it matter?"
- Revisiting the Cold Case: In one episode, Martin digs up a murder case he was unable to solve as a police officer. He tries looking into it with the help of Daphne, Frasier, and Niles. While he's out of the room, Frasier proposes an unusual but plausible solution to the murder and suggests rearranging the crime scene photos to inspire Martin to come to the same conclusion. It works and Martin manages to solve the murder but the actual solution is not the one Frasier came up with.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: The Cranes, but especially Maris.
- In Niles' case, it also comes with a dose of Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training, as evidenced by a couple of lines from Frasier.Frasier: (incredulously) "Pumping iron." Niles, you don't even pump your own gas.
- And in the episode "She's the Boss,"Niles: I just thought Maris would be a little more comfortable if I was packing some heat.
Frasier: "Packing some heat"? For Heaven's sake, Niles, you don't even know how to pack a lunch.
- In Niles' case, it also comes with a dose of Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training, as evidenced by a couple of lines from Frasier.
- Right Through the Wall: At least twice; once when Daphne is talking about how she shut up her loud neighbours by faking sex noises, and once when Frasier thinks Lilith is having sex in the next room, so moans and jumps on the bed so she thinks his sex is hotter than hers.
- Ripped from the Headlines: When driving home from work, Frasier notices a statuesque woman standing on a street corner. Being the gentleman he is, he offers her a lift. The moment she gets in his car, police lights flash, and he's arrested for soliciting a prostitute. In jail, he asserts that he was just giving her a ride, but the cops don't believe him. When Niles and Martin come to bail him out (disgusted that he would be so immoral) the prostitute is led out of the other interrogation room, no longer wearing "her" wig, and apologizes (in a now more masculine voice) for getting Frasier in trouble. The look on all three of their faces is priceless.Martin: (to Frasier) You're my son and I love you.
- This comes from an incident when Eddie Murphy was caught picking up a transsexual hooker, and insisted that he was just giving her a ride home.
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies. In "Ham Radio", Niles got so upset at Frasier's over-directing a radio play, he decided to take action.Niles: Okay, that's it. Never mind all that. I'm just going to take this gun off the table. (fake gunshot) So long, O'Toole; I guess we'll never get to hear your fascinating piece of the puzzle. (two fake gunshots) Or yours, Kragan and Peppo! Could the McCallister sisters stand back to back? I'm a little short on bullets. (fake gunshot) Thank you. (to Roz) What was your name again, dear?Roz: Mithuth Thorndyke. (fake gunshot)Niles: Thank you. Oh, and also Mr. Wing. (fake gunshot, and sound of muted bell on Mr. Wing's hat) And, of course, one final bullet for myself, so the mystery will die with me. (fake gunshot. Niles taunts Frasier) HA.
- Romancing the Widow: Martin starts dating the widow of a friend and wonders whether he should feel guilty about it.
- Romantic False Lead: A recurring scenario is Frasier having a romantic misadventure, so there are plenty of these. Donny and Mel, who were actually developed characters; plus numerous other minor characters such as Julia Wilcox.
- Room Shuffle: A staple, in various forms. A few plots take it Up to Eleven;
- The page quote, "Don't the doors in this bloody place lock?" comes from the episode where Niles and Daphne try confessing their feelings to each other, but are constantly interrupted.
- An episode featuring a Love Dodecahedron in a ski lodge.
- Niles and Maris' lover both alternately preparing a Ready for Lovemaking scenario under the mistaken impression that Maris is the other person in the suite.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: This ends up happening to an ad Niles places in the paper. Great Hilarity Ensues. Because of one simple typo resulting in one word being a different word than was intended ("hung" instead of "Jung"), the ad reads: "Niles Crane. Hung specialist. Servicing individuals, couples, groups. Satisfaction guaranteed. 'Tell me where it hurts.'"Frasier: Any calls?Niles: It's a telethon.
- Rousing Speech: In Frasier's mind EVERY speech and piece of advice he has given fits, but often other chracters will just tell him to be quiet. Sometimes played straight.
- It's played especially straight in the last episode.
- Rule of Funny: There is no "Daphne Lane" in Seattle where Niles could find a street sign to steal (nor Maple Street, the intersection where he tries), but obviously you'd lose this plot if it were realistic.
- This is why there's a huge metal frame blocking the door in "Kisses Sweeter than Wine". Real contractors don't block the only exit from a home, in case of fire.
- This rule seems to dictate whether or not Martin, Niles and Daphne listen to Frasier's radio show. In many episodes, it's a blow to Frasier's ego that his family can't be bothered to listen. But if Frasier has been embarrassed on the air in any way, then you can bet that they will be portrayed as avid radio listeners for that episode.
- Runaway Bride: Deconstructed. Daphne abandons Donny and exits with Niles in a Winnebago during the second part of the two-part episode "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue". While they are decent enough to face up the their jilted lovers in the episodes that follow, they both get put through the wringer to atone for the hurt they caused; Donny shows the ruthless shark tendencies he was introduced with and threatens to sue both Daphne and Frasier, while socialite Mel forces Niles to make a show of their marriage before she'll allow him a divorce.
- Run for the Border: Presumably in order to avoid either a lengthy trial plot or a What Happened to the Mouse? hanging thread, the subplot about Maris murdering her Argentine boyfriend is wrapped up when she flees to her family's private island from which she can't be extradited.
- Running Gag: Numerous.
- When Niles wants to leave a scene, he'll mention a seminar or group that he's got to visit, usually one that pertains to the very awkward situation he wants to leave, and wrapped up with some ironic remark. He's invariably lying, and starts running out of ideas after several seasons."I have to go, or my compulsive gamblers will start betting the passive aggressives that they can't make... the overeaters....... cry."
- Eddie staring at Frasier, especially when he's depressed or something in his life has gone horribly wrong.
- Daphne and Niles being caught in compromising positions.
- Frasier giving terrible advice on his show because he has been distracted, like falling asleep while listening to an insomniac, then waking up and telling her to sleep on her problem, or sprinting late into the studio and breathing heavily at a woman being frightened by harassing phone calls.
- The distaste the two brothers have for Martin's tatty but beloved easy chair.
- The possibility that Bebe is pure evil, if not actually the Devil incarnate.Frasier: "She has no scruples, no ethics, and no reflection!"
- Then:Bebe: If things don't work out, you know my number.Frasier: Still 666, is it?
- In "The Devil And Dr Phil", Bebe's room number is 666.
- In the final episode "Goodbye, Seattle":
- Frasier: I can't say I blame you, it's like the Ninth Circle of Hell out there!(Bebe breezes in.)Bebe: (cheerful) Don't you love this weather or what?
- In Roz's Turn, when Roz considers taking Bebe on as an agent:Roz: It's not like she worships the Devil.Frasier: Well, she doesn't have to! He worships her!
- Lilith's being cold and unemotional; even by Frasier.Niles: I learned that if you kiss her too quickly, you get an ice cream headache.
- References to how thin and delicate Maris is.Roz: I don't see her, maybe she went back out. Oh, wait. I see her coat on a hat rack.Frasier: Look closer... is the hatrack moving?Roz: Oh my GOD!
- Cheap shots at how "easy" Roz is, usually by Niles.Roz: I'm helping Frasier find a man for Daphne.Niles: What?Roz: Here we go! He's a tennis instructor, and his name is Brick.Niles: Dear God, Frasier - Sven, Gunther, Brick? Why not just lather Daphne up with baby oil and hurl her over the wall of a prison yard?Roz: Excuse me, but I've dated all these guys.Niles: Well, where do you think I came up with the imagery?
- Even by Roz herself. "Even the best birth control is only effective ninety-nine per cent of the time. I can't beat those odds."
- Martin's (often unexpected) references to his time in the Korean War.
- Also his incessant overexplaining of things that everyone already understands, even after they keep insisting that they already get it.
- Frasier's son Frederick's infatuation with Daphne, much to Niles' (hilarious) jealousy.
- Dinner parties thrown by the Cranes fail miserably and without exception. After season ten's Noodle Incident mentioned above, Daphne tries to buck the trend by planning one instead of Niles. Her party ends with her mother and a famous artist crashing through the ceiling on Niles' and Daphne's bed, proving that she married into the family curse.Frasier: Congratulations, Daphne. You're now officially a Crane.
- Both brothers suffer adverse physical reactions when they lie or act against their ethical principles: Frasier's stomach turns and Niles' nose bleeds.
- In Season 11's "Murder Most Maris", Frasier constantly using the trauma of "getting punched in the face by a man... who is now dead" as an excuse to get out of uncomfortable situations.
- How what Niles and Frasier grew up to be clashes with Martin's more masculine, down-to-earth nature.
- A character's attempt at a "graceful exit." In season one, when Lilith approaches Frasier with a letter she thought he wrote, then it turns out he wrote it well before he left Seattle, she says "I just want to leave with the rest of my dignity." As she's leaving, her purse gets shut in the door. In season three, Niles gives a long speech about their dead Aunt, stating he'd like to show her he got something right. After he closes the door, he returns to retrieve the ashes he forgot in the heat of his speech.Niles: (to urn) Oh, shut up.
- In the first half of the show, there's a subtle one in which Daphne always gets stuck lugging heavy items around while Niles and/or Frasier handle lightweight stuff or stand around idly. At one point Frasier sends her to the storeroom for a huge box of books…because he wants *one* of them.
- When Niles wants to leave a scene, he'll mention a seminar or group that he's got to visit, usually one that pertains to the very awkward situation he wants to leave, and wrapped up with some ironic remark. He's invariably lying, and starts running out of ideas after several seasons.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Father Mike, a recurring character in the first two seasons, gets fired and Put on a Bus in the first episode of the third season just because the newly-arrived Kate Costas doesn't feel the need for a religious talkshow on the station, showing right away what a Bad Boss she is.
- Sadly Mythtaken: A rare case of Frasier fudging (or at least not being characteristically pedantic about) a classical reference; he refers to a hot day as "like the "Ninth Circle of Hell". This is a reference to Dante's Inferno, where the Ninth Circle is described as being incredibly cold. It was referenced correctly in another episode with cold weather, to boot.
- Sassy Black Woman: Frasier's complete opposite "Doctor" Mary, who falls into the "pleasant" version of this trope. Frasier's impersonation of her for a role-playing exercise is such an offensive caricature of this trope it Crosses the Line Twice.Niles: [wearily] She's not going to say "massa".
- Say My Name: When Roz reveals she's had an embarrassing one-night stand (but won't say with whom), and Bulldog bursts in, crudely complimenting her on an amazing night]].Roz: [angrily] Bulldog!
Frasier: [shocked] Bulldog!?
Roz: [weary] Bulldog...
Bulldog: [triumphantly, fists in the air] BULLDOG!
- Scandalgate: A "Spritzergate" is mentioned briefly at a wine club meeting.
- Sci-Fi Ghetto: Just one of the many butts of Frasier's snobbishness, epitomized in the show's resident nerd and Butt Monkey, Noel, an obsessive and awkward man-child. In "The Show Must Go Off", Frasier visits a sci-fi convention and spends the entire time disdaining the genre and its fans — but gets his comeuppance when Noel translates his speech for his son's bar mitzvah into Klingon instead of Hebrew. In another episode, Frasier and Niles try to "rescue" a beloved actor from the terrible fate of the Ghetto and patronise his return to theatre... only to find out he's a dreadful actor.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Something of a Recycled Script; seems the Cranes had no shortage of bullies.
- In one episode, Niles recognises the plumber who comes round to fix his toilet as a guy who bullied him at school, and Frasier advises him to settle the matter peacefully. He gives the affable ex-bully Epiphany Therapy that reveals his Freudian Excuse and elicits a tearful apology. Meanwhile, Frasier recognises the plumber's brother as the guy who bullied him, and as the guy obliviously recounts all the pranks he played on his personal Butt Monkey at school, Frasier gets angrier and angrier until he eventually dunks the guy's head down the toilet.
- Played with in another episode, where they find out a bully who they falsely accused of setting off a fire alarm got expelled as a result, and he's now in prison.
- Screaming Birth: The cabdriver in "Flour Child", Daphne in "Goodnight Seattle".
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Both Frasier and Niles scream like a girl.
- In the episode "Boo!", after Martin startles Frasier:Ronee: You called it: he does scream like a woman.Frasier: I do not scream like a woman. It was a manly, throaty wail.Niles: [walking in] Frasier, you may want to call security. As I got off the elevator, I thought I heard a woman screaming.
- In the episode "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", after a womanly high pitched scream was heard.Daphne: Are you all right?Niles: Yes. I just jumped into bed with your mother.Daphne: Oh, dear. No wonder she screamed.Niles: That wasn't her.
- In the episode "Boo!", after Martin startles Frasier:
- Sdrawkcab Name: Tobor, Jackson Headley's science-fiction character in "The Show Must Go Off".
- Separated by a Common Language: There are plenty of "British Inherently Funny Words" jokes at Daphne's expense, some of them more accurate than others. "Bumbershoot", for example, is an old American slang term that would baffle anyone you tried it on in the UK. What's wrong with "brolly"?Daphne: (after Frasier reacts to her saying Martin "knocked her up" this morning) Knocked me up. Woke me up. Why? What does it mean here?Frasier: Something different, though you'd definitely be awake for it.
- Series Continuity Error: In later seasons of the show, many of the characters talk about possibly pairing Eddie up with a girl dog (including a dog owned by a girl Martin's seeing). There's just one problem: Eddie was neutered in the second season.
- There's the whole issue with Martin's brother, despite Martin saying in Season 1, "I never had a brother."
- Serious Business: If Frasier or Niles are unhappy with something, no matter how insignificant and petty, they will go to any lengths to change it to suit their tastes.
- When Fredrick goes to the national spelling bee, they train him on posture, endurance and breathing, there are accusations of cheating, and it spills out into the streets.
- The Crane Brothers have a strange inclination to run their wine clubs like a government, up to and including having a three-branch system. Which is probably why in one episode a wine club member quipped "I remember when we used to come here to drink."
- Bebe really likes smoking, maybe a little too much; see Does This Remind You of Anything? above.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
Frasier: What is my offense? What egregious sin have I committed, that I should be so maligned? Was I to just sit idly by and watch these two misguided souls embark on doomed relationships? Would they have thanked me for that? Not very likely, I dare say.Martin: Who moved the mustard?
- A lot of humor comes from Niles and especially Frasier speaking very formally:
- Seven Minute Lull: Used whenever there was a party, or other gathering of some sort.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Mentioned by Frasier when a rock star moves into the penthouse and plays his own music nonstop.Doesn't he ever stop for sex and drugs?!
- Share the Male Pain: In one episode, Martin, Frasier, and Niles take Eddie to the vet to get fixed. The stinger during the credits shows all three men sitting in the vet's waiting room, subtly shielding their crotches.
- Ship Tease: Frasier and Roz get this during a later episode, the scene card is titled 'Like Two Ships Sinking In The Night'. Which becomes relevant after Kenny intrudes on them, making them realize it was all a mistake just before they made it.
- Shout-Out: A subtle one in "Flour Child"—the cab the cabbie gives birth in is number 804, the same number as the one in the Taxi titles and that crashes and burns in the first season finale. The creators of Taxi also created Frasier progenitor Cheers.
- The sixth series episode Taps At the Montana is a homage to Monty Python's Flying Circus' "Dead Parrot" sketch. first Niles' pet parrot genuinely dies, then a guest at his dinner party dies too. In fact, the shenannigans about getting the body out un-noticed pays homage to a Fawlty Towers episode...
- In "Three Days of the Condo", Frasier consults a "Mr. X" who tells him of a clandestine plan to unseat the current condo board president. In a dark parking garage. In case people don't get it, this segment is titled "Deep Ear, Nose and Throat" (Mr. X is revealed to be a doctor at scene's end).
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare: An episode is titled "Roz's Krantz And Gouldenstein Are Dead". This is a reference to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (whose title is itself a line from Hamlet).
- The Show Must Go On: The "Ham Radio" episode.
- Simple Yet Opulent: Frasier often prefers to live like this, although the show spoofed it when he had to replace his dad's old comfy chair, and the materials were so out of date that the new chair cost a small fortune.
- Show Within a Show: Many, most notably The Frasier Crane Show, The Gonzo Sports Show (Bulldog's show), and Restaurant Beat (Gil's show), but also several unnamed others featuring other KACL presenters, like Ray the Greengrocer and Trudy the Story Lady.
- The Shrink: Frasier, of course. And Niles.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: First kiss of Niles and Daphne.
- Frasier's explanation of his passionate kiss of KACL station manager Kate Costas in "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl".Frasier: You just kept talking and talking and talking, and I guess that mouth of yours just ticked me off so much I just had to have it!
- Lampshaded by Frasier in "Analyzed Kiss" when kissed by Julia.Frasier: What was that?Julia: What?Frasier: You kissed me.Julia: I was trying to shut you up.Frasier: Oh, no. I've been kissed to shut me up before. This was not that.
- Later in the episode:Frasier: Take your time, work things out. I’m not going anywhere. I realize that youre in a vulnerable place right now, and that...(Julia puts one arm around his neck and gives him a quick peck on the lips.)Frasier: Oh, I recognize that one. That was to shut me up..
- Frasier's explanation of his passionate kiss of KACL station manager Kate Costas in "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl".
- Sibling Rivalry: Niles and Frasier, and HOW.
- Sibling Team: Especially common in the earlier seasons, Frasier and Niles would often pool their knowledge and resources in a joint venture such as a restaurant or investment opportunity, that would then backfire with farcical results. They even wrote a series of crime novels as children, in the style of Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys.Roz: "... The Nancy Boys?"
- Sibling Triangle: The episode where Niles sleeps with Lilith.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Inverted - Frasier and Niles are very similiar. It's their dad they clash with.
- Side Bet: Niles and Martin, after finding out Lilith's husband has left her... for a man.
- Significant Reference Date: The date of the pilot is subtly referenced throughout the series. For example, in the fifth season, Martin says he hasn't seen his brother in five years.
- Signing Off Catch Phrase: Frasier had a signature signoff at the end of his radio show: "Goodnight Seattle, and good mental health."
- A Simple Plan: That often backfires because Frasier and Niles build up hundreds of assumptions without resolving the entire issue by simply asking questions of the people involved.
- Daphne defied that once or twice by directly asking the people in question when she realized what Frasier and Niles were going to do.
- Also double subverted on occasion where Daphne would suggest this course of action to Frasier or Niles and be ridiculed and dismissed.
- Daphne defied that once or twice by directly asking the people in question when she realized what Frasier and Niles were going to do.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Cam Winston. They eventually sign a truce, which is less complex than peace treaties signed by some warring nations.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: In "The Harassed", one that is a Mythology Gag and a Subversion / Take That of the original "Are you as turned on as I am?" scene from Cheers between Sam and Diane.Frasier: I will not be belittled by a half-educated, money-grubbing parvenu!Julia: As opposed to some foreign-speaking windbag?Frasier: That makes you an insecure fraud!Julia: You are a pompous blowhard!Frasier: Harridan!Julia: Know-it-all!Frasier: Shrew!Julia: Snob!Frasier: (grabs her) Are you as turned on as I am?Julia: (disgusted) What?! Ew, NO! Did you just come on to me?!Frasier: What? No... No... I thought... I thought that you...Julia: Oh! How could you think I was turned on? What, are you sick?!Bulldog: Nobody's said "turned on" in twenty years."
- Sleeping Single: Niles and Maris.Niles: I don't mind telling you we pushed our beds together that night! And that's no small task, her bed, as you know, is across the hall.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: A lot of the friction between Martin and his sons comes from his down-to-earth demeanour contrasted with their haughty, status-seeking attitudes. Over time some of their differences were resolved.
- Slow No: Frasier provides a hilarious example at the end of season six when his latest Snowball Lie is exposed.
- Small Reference Pools: Inverted with gusto.
- Smart People Play Chess: In one episode Frasier predictably obsesses over the fact that Martin keeps beating him in Chess.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter!: At points of great dispair both Frasier and Niles have resorted to cursing the heavens.(a cricket keeps chirping in Frasier's apartment)Frasier: Dear God, can't you make him shut up?!Martin: (muttering) That prayer doesn't get answered around here.
- Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: In the episode "The Focus Group," 11 people gave Frasier good reviews while only one person gave him a bad review. Apparently, 11/12 isn't good enough for Frasier, and his efforts to find out why the guy doesn't like him ends with Frasier crushing the man's hand and burning down his newsstand.
- Something Else Also Rises: All the time with Niles and Daphne. Such as when he spilled cream all over one of the tables at Cafe Nervosa.
Alistair: How it sharpens the appetite! How it builds the intensity, the heat, the desire. Can you feel it?Frasier: [horrified] Oh yes, there it is!
- In Daphne Hates Sherry, Daphne is staying over at Niles' apartment, and he walks over to his stereo to turn on some music when Daphne mentions that she needs to get out of her hot, sweaty clothes. Cue Niles hitting the Eject Disc button.
- "Doctor Crane! Your glockenspiel has sprung to life!"
- Alistair (played by Patrick Stewart) thinks Frasier is gay. Alistair gets real close to Frasier while they dance while explaining how he feels when abstaining from sex:
- Sophisticated as Hell: Niles, often.
- Niles: Look, I know I don't have your total support in this, but — how shall I put this?Frasier: You don't care?Niles: If you could work the phrase "rat's ass" into there, you'd have it.
- Frasier gets in on this as well.Frasier: Bebe, throughout our relationship, I have put up with a lot, but I never doubted for an instant your devotion to my career. Apparently, that is at an end and so, therefore, is my association with this agency. And screw, may I add, you!
- Space Whale Aesop: In-Universe — when Frasier challenges his father to give him a reason when perjury could be justified, his first response is "what if a comet was hurtling towards Earth, and the only way you could stop it was by lying under oath?"note Subverted, though, as he goes on to give a very personal example from his own experience.
- Spoiled Brat: Maris.
- Spinoff: Arguably the most successful in TV history, repeating its predecessor's eleven year streak and receiving the same critical appraisal.
- Spoof Aesop: Martin's subplot in the episode "Roe to Perdition." If an ATM accidentally gives you more money than you requested, don't tell.
- Staging an Intervention: One occurs when Frasier is depressed from losing his job.
- Status Quo Is God: The series has flipped between playing the trope straight and inverting it:
- The end of Season Five has the radio personalities getting fired. Midway through the following season the status quo is resumed when all the personalities are re-hired — only for the trope to be Double Subverted when Bulldog gets fired for good a few episodes later, and never works as a radio host again.
- The biggest aversion is Niles' love life, which sees him start out happily married to Maris, then estranged from her for a couple of years before finally divorcing her, leading into a brief, abortive relationship (and marriage) with Mel, and finally ending up with the woman he wanted all along, Daphne.
- Frasier, however, is never able to find a permanent girlfriend, so that he can remain a bachelor. Similarly, Roz never has a relationship that lasts more than a few episodes, although she does have one life-changing event in the series when she gets pregnant and gives birth to her daughter, Alice.
- Stealth Pun: From "Ham Radio", the actor Mel White, whom Frasier even describes as "Man of a Thousand Voices".
- Sticky Fingers: In one episode, the thrill with which a kleptomaniac caller describes her, ah, hobby, inspires Frasier, bored of his routine existence, to steal a medallion from his elderly neighbour while changing a lightbulb for her.
- Stock Episode Titles: Frequently played with, e.g. "My Coffee With Niles" and "Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast?"
- Stop Being Stereotypical: This occasionally happens to Frasier and Niles, when they're around people even more snooty than themselves. Emphasis on the occasionally, and it should be mentioned that they're not so much bothered by extreme snobbishness as much as stereotypically insincere snobbishness — they have a genuine passion for all things high-cultured, intellectual, and ultra-refined, from academia to literature and the arts to proper etiquette to haute cuisine, and are disgusted by people who fake it.
- Straight Gay: Short-term station manager Tom Duran, leading to a classic misunderstanding when Frasier invites him over to meet Daphne.
- Strictly Professional Relationship: Crane and Roz Doyle, who for ten long years failed to see the obvious. Even after they finally got it together both were scared of destroying their friendship and never repeated the experience.
- Stripper/Cop Confusion: Officer Nasty in "To Thine Old Self Be True", where Frasier attempts to organize a saucy bachelor party for Donny.
- Such a Phony: Roz in "Shut Out In Seattle", Frasier in "Hot Ticket", many, many others.
- Suddenly Shouting: Frasier does this a lot.Frasier: This morning you said you two met on a double date.
Roz: Oh that's right, we did meet on a double date!
Frasier: THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!!!
Frasier: My God! What is wrong with me? Why can't I find a single woman who's interested in me?
- Roz gets in on the act when Frasier is demonstrating Skewed Priorities;
Roz: Those are two different questions, really, so we should just sit down and talk them both over. Oh, wait, I can't, BECAUSE I'M IN LABOUR!
- Sudden Name Change: The character Lorna Lynley was suddenly renamed to Lana after her first appearance to avoid referencing a real person.
- Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: The room service guy who keeps walking in on Niles, Frasier and Lilith's Sibling Triangle. "Ooookay."
- Sure, Let's Go with That: One episode has Martin and Frasier believing Niles is having a fling with Roz during a family weekend at a cabin. Niles plays along to cover the fact that he's trying to hook Roz up with Donny so Niles can be with Daphne.
- Surprise Checkmate: In season 3's "Chess Pains" Martin continually makes these against Fraiser.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Julia is basically Kate, only with far less likability and chemistry with Frasier.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: A mainstay throughout the series's run.
Frasier: I refuse to squint through Pagliacci while you're trying to watch The Magic Flute!
- Roz swears that she did not use Frasier's opera glasses to peep on a muscular neighbor, which leads to this hilarious pun from Frasier:
- Roz: "Going to a wedding with your boss is like going to the prom with your brother." Frasier: "Niles and I did NOT go to the prom together!"
- Often, while the Cranes are talking about something in the apartment, Daphne tosses out her own opinions, speculations and stories while going about her duty... a lot of which give the impression that this happened in her childhood. Sometimes she even finishes with a line like "Oh, I miss <insert family member>."
- Surreal Theme Tune: "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs," sung by Kelsey Grammer, left many viewers scratching their heads. Word of God is that it was meant to symbolize the mixed-up minds of Frasier's callers.
- Sweater Girl: One of Frasier's girlfriends was said to really fill out a mohair sweater in high school.
- From Caught in the Act:Fraser: (upset Niles bought an expensive artisan sweater they both agreed not to buy) You can't even keep a simple sweater pact!
Martin: Ah, Ronee, now there's a gal who can keep a sweater packed!
- From Caught in the Act:
- Take Our Word for It: Maris, when it became clear that no actual appearance of her could match the stories.
- "The Show Where Woody Shows Up": In an homage to The Taming of the Shrew, Frasier describes the karaoke night with Gil, Noel and Woody ending in a rousing number of "Anything You Can Do." Subverted during the credits gag, when we see (but not hear) Gil and Noel's drunken duet.
- Hilariously subverted with the painting of Niles as a satyr. For most of the episode, the face of the painting is kept away from the viewer - only to have the state trooper reveal it at the end when he seizes it as evidence since Maris used it as part of a gambit to flee the US to avoid her trial.
- Talk About the Weather: In the episode "Boo!", Martin has had a heart attack and doesn't want Ronee to know. Ronee lampshades that she Hates Small Talk with her elderly mother - which prompts Martin to engage in it himself, trying to avoid the subject of his "cardiac event".Martin: No. So, uh, good weather over there in Spokane?Ronee: God, no. It rained the entire time. I basically just sat there and made boring small talk with my mother. God, I hate small talk.(awkward pause)Martin: Oh, tell me. Rained here some, too.This continues for some time util Ronee figures out something's wrong.
- Talk About That Thing: "Niles/Daphne/Dad, can you help me in the kitchen?"
- Talking Through Technique: Nicos and Crystal in "Beware of Greeks". She turns up at his wedding rehearsal dinner, splutters helplessly... and then starts juggling bread rolls with him. That's enough to convince him to leave his fiancée.
- The Tell: Niles' nose bleeds when he's broken his ethical code. Likewise, when Frasier has knowingly broken his ethical code, he starts having attacks of nausea.Niles: That wasn't a sniff, it was a snort of contempt.Frasier: Snorts go out, that was in!
- Temporary Substitute: The show has done this once, in the episode "Head Game." Originally written for Frasier, it was rewritten for Niles due to Kelsey Grammer being in rehab. The opening scene featuring Frasier that explained his absence was filmed many weeks later.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: The first episode of the show, and again in a later season episode where Daphne moves out and they need to find a new housemate. Also after Frasier hires a matchmaker. He ends up falling for... the matchmaker.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: In damn near every episode. It makes sense though, since two of the main characters are psychiatrists, leading them to constantly discuss their feelings with each other, as well as encouraging everyone else to do the same. Frasier himself, being particularly self-absorbed, brings this trope to staggering heights.
- That One Case: Martin continued to pore over the Weeping Lotus Case during retirement, and eventually solved it with a bit of help from Frasier. Admittedly Frasier's aid consisted of accidentally rearranging the crime scene photos so that Martin realized what he'd been missing, then coming up with a theory that the woman had been killed by a chimpanzee trained to use a gun (she wasn't).
- That Was Not a Dream. "Frasier Crane's Day Off". Daphne inverts, subverts and lampshades the Trope after Frasier raced to the studio in a fever and drug induced mania and made an utter fool of himself on the air (Roz: "Captain Kirk's got control of the bridge and he's gone insane.") When Frasier wakes up, Daphne reassures him it didn't happen and it was all a dream.Martin: Why'd you tell him it was a dream?Daphne: No fun telling him the truth now, when he's all doped up. I'll wait til tomorrow morning, when he's good and lucid!
- Thing-O-Meter: Niles snarks that the psychic researcher they've invited over will be bringing a "ghost-o-meter" (long "o" like "owe"). Daphne rejoins that it's called a "ghost-om-eter" (short "o" like "thermometer").
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Most of the subplot with Daphne's irritating mother in the later seasons of the show involved her greatly over-staying her welcome when staying with Niles and Daphne. Daphne's brothers also fell into this trope, but mostly because they really were ungrateful and obnoxious spongers who barged into Frasier's apartments and took unreasonable liberties whilst they were there.
- Think Unsexy Thoughts:
- Frasier and Kate Costas are trying to get over their mutual lust after their affair nearly loses them their jobs. Attempting to avoid the press by taking a service elevator, they get stuck and soon discover the elevator is full of the belongings of a romance novelist who's moving house, and a few accidents later they're in a mood-lit compartment with sultry posters on the walls, reeking of spilt musk oil, and with a double mattress taking up most of the floor.
- Niles' advice to Frasier when he's trying to resist Lilith;Niles: Do you remember when we were young and we found that dead horse, crawling with maggots? Hold on to that image, you can ride that horse to safety!Frasier: You're right. When it comes to unpleasant images, you can't beat a dead horse.
- In an episode when Niles was desperate for sex, Daphne makes one of her typical Innocent Innuendo remarks that sends Niles' mind off to fantasy land. Frasier brings him back down to Earth with the phrase "Grandma in a teddy."
- Three Is Company: Happens occasionally, most notably in Season 11's "I'm Listening," when Frasier repeatedly overhears Martin and Ronee's private conversations.
- Title Drop: The names of the episodes will always be mentioned in the show itself, whether by the title cards following each act break or by the characters themselves.
- Too Awesome to Use: Played straight, then touchingly subverted with the 1945 Château Pétrus in "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue".
- Too Soon: In-Universe; after their favorite restaurant burns down, Niles makes a pun on the chef's name, to which Frasier replies that it's too soon for jokes.
- Totally Radical: Whenever Frasier or Niles try to be "cool," this is inevitably the result.Niles: Who was that babe-o-rama?
- Touché: Niles had heart surgery, and Frasier made a promise to God to be nice to Niles if he lived. Niles then acted insufferably (over his fear of what might happen again), and Frasier wanted to lay into his brother, but felt he couldn't break his promise. Then he found a loophole, and felt it was enough. But it turned out their father already talked Niles out of it. Frasier then just said "Well played, God. I'll see you at Easter."
- Trademark Favorite Food: Drinks in both cases; Sherry for Frasier and Niles, Ballantine for Martin. Frasier running out of sherry was used as a metaphor at the end of the series, as was the Ballantine brewery closing around Daphne's wedding.
- Tsundere: Lana definitely deserves mention here. For a while, she is sweet and friendly, but tick her off and her volume goes straight to 11.
- TV Genius: As his character had to move closer to normality when he became the lead in his own series, Frasier himself is only intermittently this when his social aspirations get the better of him - as he himself says, "I'm a teamster compared to [Niles]" and, in a direct reference to Cheers, "I used to have a regular bar and a regular bar stool, I even had a tab". He does seem to be largely aware of his social shortcomings compared to "normal" people like his father and Roz, while at the same time occasionally happily going to barbecues with his work colleagues or joining his father down at his local bar for a beer. Even Niles's self-awareness increases throughout the series.
- TV Telephone Etiquette: Of course, Frasier frequently hung up on callers whenever worked best for the punchline with no use of words like "Goodbye". A specific example (crossed with fridge logic) occurred in "Policy Story".Martin: Hey, Charlie, yeah, Marty Crane, how ya doing? (less than a second long pause) Hey, listen, Charlie, I'm trying to track down a woman officer who was on traffic tonight, uh, near...Frasier: Blanchett and Fourth.Martin: Blanchett and Fourth. (less than a second long pause) Great, OK, thanks. (Hangs up) Her name's Maureen Cutler, and she usually goes to McGinty's after work. Charlie said she's probably there now. (The fridge logic, of course, is how exactly Charlie managed to tell Martin so much information in so little time.)
- 24 Hour Party People: Every time Frasier or Niles hold a party, plenty of people show up who the audience has never seen before, seemingly just to fill party space. These people often leave offended; one wonders how they keep meeting these folks! On the other hand, their social circle is frequently described as being composed of interchangeable, shallow, insincere socialites who will turn up to whatever gathering will make them look good.
- Two Decades Behind: The show's portrayal of talk radio represents the climate of the 70's and 80's, before the politicization of the medium sparked by the launch of Rush Limbaugh.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: The majority of the episodes have this structure. Typically, there's the main A plot and the secondary B plot, one of them focusing on Frasier and the other on one of the four other major characters. The main plot isn't necessarily about Frasier, though: Niles especially gets plenty of A plots as his character becomes more rounded.
- One episode ("Death and the Dog", Season 4) hanging a lampshade on it. The events of the episode are being told as a Whole Episode Flashback to a caller, and Roz wonders why Frasier is telling the caller about her date in the episode.
- Uncle Sam Wants You: Frasier was dressed as Uncle Sam in "Crock Tales" and did the pose specifically at Martin's request.Frasier: Dad, I bought you these headphones, so that I wouldn't be subjected to your sports drivel. Please put them on.Martin: All right, I will. But only if you say it.(Frasier sighs and points his finger at Martin.)Frasier: I WANT YOU... to wear those headphones!
- Underdressed for the Occasion: Martin is humiliated when Frasier and Niles take him to a fancy restaurant and is rejected for not wearing a tie. He gets even by taking the boys to one of his favorite eateries, where the host cuts off Frasier and Niles's ties to enforce their casual dress code.
- Unexpected Positive: Niles gets a toothache, and in order to avoid going to the dentist and having a cavity drilled, he decides to get a full physical, on the off chance that the pain could indicate a more serious condition. Everyone else spends the entire episode pointing out that's a complete overreaction to a simple problem. In the end, Niles finally comes around and admits he was being irrational, just before he's informed that he has a serious heart condition.
- The Unfettered: Bebe Glazer. She will do anything to see Frasier's career thrive. Risk falling off a window ledge, kill a bird with a jawbreaker, manipulate Frasier and any one else, she'll do it. Only when Bebe has to quit smoking does she temporarily stop being unfettered.Bebe: That's it, is it? I'm not virtuous enough for you, not noble. Fine, quit! Next time you need a deal made, call the Dalai Lama. A long time ago, I had to make a choice between being a good agent and a good person, because trust me, you can't be both! So forgive me if I don't have time to make everybody warm and fuzzy. I am just too busy spending every waking minute pulling any string, pulling any shameless tricks I can to make my clients' dreams come true! I AM A STARMAKER!
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Niles, Daphne, and Mel.
- The Unreveal: A season 4 episode has Frasier worrying about whether he should advise Niles to reconcile with Maris. He decides that if he wants to know what Maris thinks he's going to have to "go to the source". Cut to him in Cafe Nervosa, apparently waving hello to a thin, well-dressed blonde woman... who walks straight past him. He's actually there to meet Maris's housekeeper, Marta.
- In Episode 11 episode "No Sex Please, We're Skittish", Roz tells Niles she slept with Frasier. Niles, understandably, is shocked, but not too shocked ("Well, When the wolf and the lamb work together, it's only a matter of time before the wolf gets his way... I hope you were gentle with him.") Later, Frasier tells Niles to "brace himself", and tells him that he slept with Roz.Niles: (feigning shock badly) NO WAY! You and ROZ?
- In Episode 11 episode "No Sex Please, We're Skittish", Roz tells Niles she slept with Frasier. Niles, understandably, is shocked, but not too shocked ("Well, When the wolf and the lamb work together, it's only a matter of time before the wolf gets his way... I hope you were gentle with him.") Later, Frasier tells Niles to "brace himself", and tells him that he slept with Roz.
- The Unseen: Martin's friend Duke does appear briefly in two episodes, but he's far more influential from offscreen.
- Unusual Euphemism: Done straight on occasion, usually with Frasier and Niles' expansive vocabulary and literary wit. Sometimes played with, as seen in with the Gaggenau reference in Poor Man's Porn above.Frasier: Truth be told, it’s been a while since, I, uh... (covers Alice’s ears) romped with abandon through the perfumed gardens of Eros.Roz: Next time you say something like that, cover my ears.
- Just before that line, to avoid traumatizing Alice (Roz's daughter), Frasier uses the word "hug" to mean "sex." When Roz asks him if he got hugs while married to Lilith, he replies that he had to settle for a weekly "handshake."
- Viewers Are Geniuses: This show definitely qualifies, and gets a special mention for being one of the shows that pulled it off well while still getting high ratings. Frasier, Niles, and some of their highbrow friends frequently make reference to all manner of obscure, highbrow things, often within the subcultural worlds of opera, wine appreciation, and psychology. They're particularly full of clever puns or sassy insults that show off their knowledge, though these can be difficult to follow for the non-elite.
- Vignette Episode: "Three Valentines", which shows a different story set on Valentines Day in each of the episode's three acts — the first an almost completely silent skit with Niles preparing for a date, the second having Frasier trying figure out how to respond to a woman giving him mixed signals, and the last with Martin and Daphne having an inane argument in a restaurant.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Frasier and Niles Crane, although they're brothers, so it's not as much of an oddity. They snark at and insult each other almost every time they speak, but seem to view it as some form of strange etiquette and assurance of the other's state of mind, with one often complimenting the other's skill with words after a particularly witty jab with a raised cup or knowing grin. If one really impresses the other with an insult, the insultee will go so far as to say "touche".
- Also, over the seasons Niles and Roz developed into this after starting out as enemies. In an outstanding instance of Character Development, the insults they threw back and forth in later seasons are exactly like the ones they threw back in season 1, but their delivery and demeanor changed subtly over the years from vicious contempt to good-natured teasing.
- Volleying Insults: Tying in with the above, both pairings aren't afraid to have polite slinging matches with each other when sufficiently riled. Then there's Niles and Roz, who do it sincerely at first, then make a sport of it long after they've warmed up to each other.
Julia: Well, you certainly made an impression on me. I remember, I kept thinking: "Who did she sleep with to get this job?" And then I found out. Everybody!Roz: That's a good one! [they laugh] You know, there's a plunger in the bathroom, what do you say we go look for your career?Julia: Great! While we're in there I can get your phone number.Roz: Don't bother, it's 1-800-BITE ME.Julia: "Bite me," that's the best that you've got?Roz: Oh, I could spend half an hour on your hair.Julia: Well, you should have spent half an hour on your hair.Roz: Oh, really? (They laugh.)Waitress: It's closing time, ladies, I'm afraid you'll have to leave.Roz: But we're just warming up.Julia: You know, there's a place down the street that, uh, is open all night.Roz: Just like your mouth?Julia: Just like your legs? (Julia leaves.)Roz: Hey, wait up!
- Roz and Julia during the tenth season, including one hysterical scene in which they try complimenting each other and end up hurling insults - and loving it.
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: The show did this when Niles proposed to Daphne. Although the build-up throughout the episode was leading to one of these, it was ultimately subverted; it turned out when Daphne arrived at the apartment that she had the flu and a roaring headache, so Niles got everyone out and ended up just proposing to her quietly. Frasier tackling the trumpeter was the best part of that.
- Weapon for Intimidation: In one episode, Niles needs to get Maris a gun for protection. After not being able to procure one, he buys a starter's pistol since having any kind of gun would make her feel safe.
- Wedding Day: Niles and Daphne can't wait to get married, so they elope. Then, because everyone unwittingly mentions how hurt they'd be to miss the wedding before they can break the news, they have to get married again — and again and again and again as different people unwittingly raise more and more petty objections to the service they've just had.
- Wham Episode: "The Last Time I saw Maris", as Niles and Maris go into seperation, which ultimately three seasons later in their divorce.
- Wham Line: Frasier is high on painkillers as Daphne gives him a massage in "Back Talk". The following lines even shocked the studio audience, who gave out a loud GASP!Daphne: When I said to your father "Dr. Crane's in love with me," he said it's been going on for six years now. What did he mean by that?Frasier: (dreamily) Oh that ... he meant Niles.(Kaboom!)Daphne: What?!Frasier: (dreamily) Niles ... he's crazy about you.
Frasier: No! Listen, everybody, I am not the father of Roz's baby! In fact, we don't even know for sure if there is a baby!Roz: (appearing) We do now.
- What makes Frasier's line particularly whammy is that it comes in the middle of a comedy of misunderstandings plot (Daphne overhears Frasier saying he loves her, not realizing he didn't mean it in a romantic sense), which were very typical of Frasier, and which were usually resolved by the end of the episode so that status quo could return. The viewers most likely didn't predict that a simple line in a seemingly throwaway scene in a seemingly generic episode would finally lead to resolving the UST between Niles and Daphne that had been going on for over six seasons.
- Later, after Frasier tells Niles that Daphne is in love with him in the second part of "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue", another wham line caused the studio audience to GASP! again, even more shocked. After Daphne told Niles how upset she was that Frasier told him how she felt about him, Niles responded, "No, Daphne, I'm glad he told me - because I love you."
- In "Halloween", when everyone is speculating on who Roz's baby's father is, after Frasier blows the secret that Roz might be pregnant.
Pilot: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Chicago.Frasier: ...wish me luck.
- Not to mention the words the series ends on:
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- In the episode "The Seal Who Came to Dinner," Roz says she accidentally rammed into a car that happened to have four high-powered lawyers in it, and that she'll be paying for the damages for a very long time. It never gets brought up again after that...unless her becoming the new station manager of KACL in the series finale allowed her to pay off that debt once and for all.
- In another episode, it's revealed that Martin regularly goes to the parole hearings of the man who shot him. The episode ends on an unusually somber note, when Martin is asked if he wants to make a statement, he stands up and says, "I've got nothing to say," then leaves. He does this even though both the man and his mother had told Martin he's changed his ways and now repents his criminal actions. This subplot is never followed in later episodes, and Martin is never shown going to the parole hearing again.
- In an early episode, we learn that Martin's estranged best friend from the police force, Artie, is in the hospital in critical condition. The two men make up, and Artie laments that as he's on his deathbed, they won't have time to do their favorite activities together anymore. Martin rebukes him for being so pessimistic, that he will get out of the hospital and they will have fun together just like the old days. After the episode, Artie is never seen, or even mentioned, again. It's hard to say if this was a subtle way to imply Artie's passing, or if the writers subsequently simply forgot about him.
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: An episode of sees Frasier and Niles enter a Gay Bar in search of one of Roz's boyfriends, who they believe has entered the establishment. Tuesday night, apparently, is Leather Night, but the bar patrons we see are mostly men sitting at tables chatting and drinking beer.
- Rumor has it that part of this was out of respect to the cast: two actors were openly gay (Dan Butler, Edward Hibbert), and two others (David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney) were in a Transparent Closet. Morever, writers Joe Keenan, Chuck Ranberg and David Lee were gay as well.
- Where There's a Will, There's a Sticky Note: After one of Niles's co-workers passes away, Frasier gives stickers to Niles and Martin and tells them to label any possessions of his they would like to inherit. Later in the episode, Frasier finds a sticky note on his expensive bathrobe labeled "Niles", and mutters, "The vultures are circling."
- White Guilt: Lampshaded in the episode "Dr. Mary''. Frasier hires an African-American call-screener who takes over his show by calling herself "Dr. Mary", spouting ghetto-psychology; but he's afraid to say anything because she's black and came from an underprivileged background. Eventually she gets her own show spouting more ghetto-psychology, but finds out about his guilt and tells him, "God bless your guilty white ass!"
- Whole Episode Flashback: A popular narrative technique which was used often. Most notably in the penultimate episode "Crock Tales" where an inanimate object is the basis for multiple flashbacks in different time periods of the show.
- Whole Plot Reference: "My Coffee With Niles" is a Homage to My Dinner with Andre.
- "Sliding Frasiers" is this to Sliding Doors.
- Will They or Won't They?: Niles and Daphne on, which rose, fell, switched back and forth, found new ways to express itself every few episodes, and progressed through Daphne's obliviousness; both of them being unwilling to even communicate their feelings, much less act on them, because Niles was married to Maris; the slow, lingering death of Niles and Maris's marriage, complete with much backsliding, temporary reconciliations, and emotional and psychological abuse; heartwrenching silent years of Unrequited Love on Niles' part; and Daphne coming within an inch of marrying her Romantic False Lead; all before they so much as expressed their attraction to each other. It took another couple seasons for them to finally stabilize and marry.
- Wine Is Classy: Shows up often. Frasier and Niles are even part of a wine club.
- Subverted in that the other members of the wine club just want to drink.
- Word Salad Lyrics: The Ending Theme, and some of its variations make it even more so. Amusingly, said Word Salad Lyrics involve an actual salad.
- Word of God, by the way, is that the "tossed salad and scrambled eggs" really is meant to be a relatively nice way of referring to some of his patients. Tossed salad can't be un-tossed and scrambled eggs can't be un-scrambled, just like some neurotic people can't be cured.
- Worthless Foreign Degree: After Dr. Schachter gives the Crane brothers a virulent "The Reason You Suck" Speech regarding their Sibling Rivalry ("That is it! That is it! In thirty years as a couples therapist, I've never said what I'm about to say: Give up! It's hopeless! You are pathologically mistrustful of each another, competitive to the point of madness! So, trust me, just meet each other at weddings and funerals, and the rest of the time, stay the hell away from each other!"), the boys agree on his prognosis, but then use his degrees as an Ad Hominem argument to ignore his advice, even though they admit Martin says the same exact thing, and kick him out of the building!Frasier: Well, there's no arguing with Dr. Schachter's credentials. My God, the man is an expert in his field. He graduated from the University of... Grenada!Niles: [shocked] Well, surely that was just his undergraduate schooling.Frasier: Oh yes, of course, his graduate work was done in... Aruba!Niles: An all-Caribbean schooling... well, tally me banana!
- X Called; They Want Their Y Back: Frasier to Niles: "Niles, I've got news for you — Copernicus called and you are not the centre of the universe!"
- Frasier's comment to the teenage daughter of one of his dates in "Can't Buy Me Love".
- Yiddish as a Second Language:
- Parodied in the episode, "Merry Christmas Mrs. Moskowitz," where (as part of a "Fawlty Towers" Plot) Frasier needs Niles to pretend to be Jewish for reasons too complicated to explain. Niles takes the job to heart, liberally injecting common Yiddish words into the conversation.
- When Daphne attends a bat mitzvah, she comes back dropping Yiddish expressions into everything she says.
- You Look Familiar: John Mahoney appeared as hack songwriter Sy Flemback in the canonically related Cheers, Peri Gilpin (Roz) appeared in Cheers as a reporter and in Wings (where Frasier once appeared) as a blind date. A number of one-shot guest stars from Cheers, Wings, and The Tortellis (the other Cheers spinoff) showed up on Frasier as well.
- Wings regulars Tony Shalhoub and Rebecca Schull show up as unrelated one-shot characters in "The Focus Group" and "RDWRER", respectively.
- Jennifer Tilly appeared as a sweet, bouncy nympho with a heart of gold in Cheers, then appeared as a sweet, bouncy nympho with a heart of gold in Frasier.
- She also appears as a sweet, bouncy nympho love interest for Henry Goldblum in Hill Street B Lues
- Wings regulars Tony Shalhoub and Rebecca Schull show up as unrelated one-shot characters in "The Focus Group" and "RDWRER", respectively.
- You Make Me Sic:
Daphne: I was very mistrusting of people back then. I was convinced the way to stay out of harm's way was to walk the streets with me eyes cast down, never meeting anyone's glance. But, finally, I decided that was no way to live, so one day I just lifted up me chin and took it all in. Well, the change was amazing. There were sights I'd never seen, sounds I've never heard. A tiny old man came up to me with a note in his hand. He needed help. I realized this was no city full of thieves and muggers. There were people here who needed me. I took his note, read it, and to this day I can remember just what I said to that man. "That's not how you spell 'fellatio'."
- Niles Crane has a habit of using a marker pen to correct all the grammar and spelling mistakes of the graffiti in public restrooms.
- Daphne gives a lovely speech in the second season just to build up to a fantastic example of this:
Frasier:There once was a man, Frasier Crane
- Niles' reaction to the "injurious graffito" limerick Frasier finds in a bathroom stall;
Who says he can feel your pain.
But he acts like a snob
To the guys at his job
And I think he's totally lame.Niles: That's terrible!
Frasier: Thank you, Niles.
Niles: There's a tense shift, an approximate rhyme, the scansion leaves a lot to be desired...
- You Need to Get Laid: This strikes all of the cast members at least once in the series.
Frasier: It’s high time you and Maris sat down and talked through your problems.Niles: (excited) She doesn’t want to talk. When she says “get together” she means in the “You wear the crème fraiche, I’ll lick it off” sense. She’s cleared her schedule from seven till seven-thirty, that means foreplay AND cuddling!
- Frasier tends to suffer this the entire series. In the appropriately named episode "Frasier Gotta Have It", when he earns a sexual fling with nutty artist Caitlin, Roz asks him an important question:Roz: For as long as I've known you, you've been complaining about your lack of a sex life. Suddenly, you have one. So why are you still complaining?
- Niles in "Look Before You Leap" is tantalized by Maris' rare offer of sex that he starts hitting on every female he sees, including Roz.
Roz: Used to be I’d go out and get a little wild on my birthday. Now I go out and get a little dinner.Frasier: There’s nothing wrong with dinner.Roz: I know, but it used to come with sex.Daphne: Oh, come on, Roz, sounds like you need a drink.Roz: Oh, that used to come with sex, too.
- Roz in "Crock Tales" bemoans her lack of a sex life.
- Daphne has a ton of dry spells; once it was the plot to "The Matchmaker", in which Frasier connives to introduce her to the new KACL station owner, who, unbeknownst to Frasier or Daphne, is gay.
- Inverted in one episode where Frasier has for once cheerfully accepted being single and just decided to roll with it for a while... prompting everyone else to decide they need to set him up out of concern. Their efforts inevitably just make things worse, but he ends up meeting a nice lady (ironically the woman Niles tried to set him up with) completely by accident.
- Frasier tends to suffer this the entire series. In the appropriately named episode "Frasier Gotta Have It", when he earns a sexual fling with nutty artist Caitlin, Roz asks him an important question:
- Younger Than They Look: When Frasier gets a TV job, Bebe recommends the plastic surgeon she's been using "for years" to him. He's about to turn her down, when a balding, grey-haired man pokes his head in and addresses her as "Mom"...
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame. Every time Bulldog expresses pride in any one of Frasier's embarrassing public sex scandals.
Bulldog: Doc? I got one thing to say to you.Frasier: Go ahead, take your best shot.Bulldog: (admiration) I am so proud of you, man.(Bulldog hugs Frasier warmly.)Frasier: (dripping with sarcasm) Well, doesn't that just put the cherry on the parfait.
- In "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl", Frasier has just had sex live on the air, making the papers ("I Won't Fink Says Kinky Shrink").
Roz: Hey, Frasier! Thanks for ruining my weekend.Frasier: Oh, Roz... come on, you know it was just a mistake. What do you think I am, some kind of disgusting Lothario?Bulldog: Hey, there's my man!(Frasier has a priceless look of despair on his face.)
- In "The Harrassed":
Bulldog: Hey, Dr. Doolittle. I heard your show. It didn't suck!Niles: Ah. "Dear diary..."
- When Niles covered for Frasier: