Ever wonder why he became a psychiatrist? Spend a day with his family.
"Hey baby, I hear the blues a-calling Tossed salads and scrambled eggs Mercy!/Oh, my!/Quite stylish...! And maybe I seem a bit confused Yeah, maybe—but I got you pegged! Ha-ha-haa! But I don't know what to do With those tossed salads and scrambled eggs.... They're calling again."
A Spin-Off of Cheers, 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 his divorce from his wife Lilith. In the pilot, Frasier's father Martin (John Mahoney), a down-to-earth, blue-collar, easygoing man as different fromhis 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, eccentricyoung Englishwoman Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves). Martin's deceptively intelligent Jack Russell terrier Eddie, Frasier's coworkers at KACL, and Niles' 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 Full House Music, 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 during its run, 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.
TV Tropes all over my face! What is a Troper to do?
Aborted Arc: Season 10 built up an Unresolved Sexual Tension between Frasier and Roz that culminated with Roz leaving the station due to jealously 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.
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.
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, which happens to be the word "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.
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. Let me see if I've got 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.
All Psychology Is Freudian: Subverted. While Frasier is a Freudian and Niles is 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.
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 BSOD 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!!
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).
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: In Season 1's Travels with Martin they state that Yellowstone is 2 hours from Seattle. Any Seattlite will tell you that it's not true. Its closer to 3 days away.
The view from Frasier's apartment does not come from any building or residence in Seattle. It was taken from a cliff.
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).
For that matter, no one seems too concerned when Frasier is tricked into reading a prayer in Klingon.
In the episode "Martin Does It His Way", Aunt Louise's ashes get blown back at Frasier and Niles. Frasier 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."
Roz:(after Bulldog's performance) We're gonna get sued this time for sure.
Also in "Ham Radio" when the cast is going through a reading of the original script with Bulldog as Mr. Wing (formerly Wang)
Bulldog: Oh, me no lookee. Me go beddie-bye, chop-chop!
Roz: Stop! Chinese Embassy on line one!
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.
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!"
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.
Bait and Switch: In the episode after Roz first announces her pregnancy, Daphne and Martin repeatedly question her on whether or not she's told the father, and on each occasion either Frasier or Niles suddenly walks in on their conversation, strongly implying that one of them is the father (more likely Frasier, since she still didn't get along too well with Niles at this point). As it actually turns out, the father is a previously-unmentioned barista at the local coffee shop.
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.
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 DJ, 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.
It's also a Call Back to when Sam & Diane first got together on Cheers. Sam said the same thing to Diane, who responded with "More!" and there was a Big Damn Kiss.
Betty and Veronica: Any time Frasier has more than one woman to decide between (eg Faye & Cassandra; Lana & Claire), they'll tend to have dramatically contrasting personalities which appeal to different sides of him.
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.
Big Fancy House: Maris's house, and Niles's apartment after they split up. The latter has a gift-wrapping room.
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!
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 Petit Oiseau (The Little Bird), 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.invoked
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. Bonus points: For Eddie, the cast says "Yadda, yadda, yadda."
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.
In the US, Hallmark Channel deletes all mentions of the words "ass" and "butt", leaving 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 laughtrack 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.
Bottle Episode: Season 6's "Dinner Party" takes place 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.
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.
British Accents: It seems a rule of the show that every British accent must be fake ... even if the actor is actually British.
Jane Leeves, who plays Daphne, is from London. Her Mancunian accent is not quite right and closer to an approximate Yorkshire accent.
Meanwhile, Daphne's Mancunian family are mostly played by real British actors as well, but from all over the country, leading to hilarity for British audiences. The pinnacle of this had to be Robbie Coltrane (Scottish) playing her brother Michael in the final episode, whose accent rendered him The Unintelligible to everyone but the Moon family:
Frasier: Now your cue to fire [the cannon] is when I say, at the end of the ceremony, "ladies and gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Crane." You got it?
Michael: Righ... mistuh fais thedun, wheti fai, forte fee... boom!
Most of the non-British actors playing British use a drama school "working class British accent", aka bad Cockney, which sounds nothing like a Mancunian accent. Anthony LaPaglia (Australian) as Daphne's brother Simon is the most common offender, but the single worst incident has to be Scott Atkinson (American) in the first episode of season four, who actually says "luv-er-lee" at one point. Dick Van Dyke would have been proud.
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.
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 favour 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.
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.
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.
Niles: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was the portion of the afternoon where we gave each other patently obvious advice.
In another episode, after they hear a loud bang from the bathroom and Niles comes out covered in shaving foam:
Martin: My Hot & Foamy must have exploded! Daphne:[rolling her eyes] He used to be a detective, you know!
In one episode Frasier and Niles try to help a former Shakespearian actor Jackson Hedley revive his theatrical career by producing him in a one man version of Hamlet, but they realize to their horror that he's actually a terrible actor, who does a laughably overwrought performance of the play. The gag is that Hedley is played by Derek Jacobi, an acclaimed Shakespearian actor.
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.
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).
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.
Frasier: "You can't ban me from your bistro! It's my chez away from chez!"
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 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:
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 commentator. 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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
A rainbow appears over Seattle.
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).
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?"
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.
Cross Over: 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 and this was due to actress Kirstie Alley's refusal to participate on the grounds that her religion (Scientology) looks down on psychiatry.
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").
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Doppelganger Dating: Daphne dates a man named Rodney, who is almost exactly like Niles in appearance and mannerisms.
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.
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". invoked
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.
Dumb Blonde: Poppy. Unusually for the trope her defining character trait is being an irritating Motor Mouth - her being stupid is incidental.
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.
Ear Worm:invoked 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.
Niles: "Strange, I usually get some sign when Lilith is in town - dogs forming into packs, blood weeping down the wall."
Also done in an episode featuring Lilith's brother:
Frasier: "The Beast is among us!"
Played for laughs in "Coots and Ladders":
Frasier: I have committed a crime punishable... by law! [crash of thunder and lightning] Niles: By law!? Frasier: The law of the United States of America! [thunder crashes again]
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. note This was the result of a Prank War between Frasier and his upstairs neighbor, the timing was a coincidence
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 an throwaway gag in one episode where he learnt that a radio show he hated had received national syndication. Frasier's response was something along the lines of "Well, that's great news for her - and also for the millions of atheists who will be thrilled by this vindication."
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.
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 Unrevealfor 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.
Martin's friend Duke is also a near-Faceless, although he appears briefly in two episodes.
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:
"That would have been a very dramatic exit if only her room was down that hall."
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: invokedLampshaded, 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.
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 BSOD.
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.)
Genre Savvy: By season 11, Niles is not only able to point out Frasier's habit of nitpicking his women, but he also tailors his advice into a mantra, which he knows Frasier is fond of.
Niles: Commit to commitment.
Frasier: Commit to commitment... It's a bit glib, but nonetheless inspiring. Thank you, Niles.
(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...
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 is talking about Martin bringing Eddie on the main elevator, but the condo board thinks he's talking about Martin skinny-dipping in a hot tub.
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!
Girl of the Week: Pretty much every love interest Frasier has. Sometimes he gets lucky and they last the course of a short story arc.
Maris is probably one of the most famous examples in TV history, along with Norm's wife Vera from Cheers.
Roz: You know, in all these years I've never even seen her face? 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. This leads to this inevitable piece of dialog:
Frasier: So tell me, Dr. Party Hearty Marty, who, in your expert opinion, does need therapy!?
Martin: Well....... Hitler.
Martin: And that one with all the different personalities, um... Sybil.
Frasier: That's it? An entire science devoted to Hitler and Sybil?!
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".
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.
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!"
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.
Handshake Refusal: The artist Frasier invites over always wears a smock so she doesn't have to shake hands.
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 The caller's name was Eileen, if you didn't figure it out.
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").
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 pouring any drink, pulling any shameless tricks 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!"
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);
Simon: What's up with your appetite, Daphne? Are you knocked up or something?
Averted in the final season, when Leeves' second pregnancy was merely incorporated into the storyline.
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.
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 arrogance 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.
Cam: You do your share of polluting with that substitute for masculinity you're driving. Frasier: If mine's a substitute for masculinity, then what is yours? Cam:Bigger!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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. The name of this imaginary protegé... Sheldon.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
Kavorka Man: He's sort-of good looking, in an offbeat way, and yes, he's very cultured. 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?
He actually gets Jennifer Tilly twice, once in Frasier and once in Cheers, where they're briefly engaged.
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, and as I write this I remember 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 For most people I struggle to get to ten.
Plus he has any number of near misses, women he could have had but messed up with at the last minute.
In one episode he has three dates on the same weekend, runs the same routine on all of them, but is rooster blocked by his father's girlfriend.
It may also be the fact that he's quite wealthy and a local celebrity. That probably holds more weight than him being cultured for a lot of the women he dates, and it is Truth in Television that even unattractive celebrities somehow attract women that would otherwise not be interested in them.
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.
Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Roz's arrogantly ignorant hipster friend Jen, 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 BSOD, to boot.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!?"
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 flat, 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.
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:
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!
Lounge Lizard: "The Barracuda", an incredibly slimy Latino cruise ship crooner with whom Maris nearly sleeps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happened to Frasier in "The Matchmaker" and "The Doctor is Out". Leads to a hilarious "on-air outing" in the latter 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".
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!"
However, it's revealed that he is gay in Season 10. First he's sneaking into Bad Billy's (and sympathises when Frasier is "outed"), then he comes out in Season 11.
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.
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 (its on 3rd Ave) and Martin complains about how far the walk is from their apartment. From Queen Anne that's about 2-3 miles.
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 puts in on in amusement, her co-workers outside the booth start bowing, saying (as anyone with any level of lip-reading can see), "All hail Rozalinda!"
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.
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.
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":
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?
Frasier's agent, Bebe Glazer, has the same name as the actress who played Lilith.
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.
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 calls someone else and asks them 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.
The Nineties: 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.
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 ElevenStrawman 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.
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?
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?
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."
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.
Oop North: Daphne. All of her family members had different accents.
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!"
After Daphne finds out from Frasier that Niles loves her:
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?"
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).
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?
(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.
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.
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!"
Punny Name: The Shoutout to the creators in the station's name (KACL) is an inadvertant pun (cackle).
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.
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:(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!
Niles:(taunting Frasier with Daphne)Our lives are so complete!
Martin:(taunting Frasier with Ronee)We really are lucky!
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.
Real Time: Twice; in Season 1's "My Coffee With Niles" and Season 6's "Dinner Party".
"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.
Recycled Set: Using Frasier's apartment to represent the apartment of his new boss Todd Peterson (Alan Tudyk), whom he Mentors in the matters of style and sophistication during "The Great Crane Robbery". Lampshaded, as Frasier is irritated that the guy just copied his own decor down to the last detail.
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'!"
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?"
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 & 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 transexual 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 assistant 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".
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: Didn't Eddie get "fixed" at an early point in the show?
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.
A lot of humor comes from Niles and especially Frasier speaking very formally:
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?
Daphne's boorish brother Simon can be pretty flowery as well, either naturally or possibly in a Stealth Parody of Frasier. Normally such a character would have Delusions of Eloquence, but he's perfectly capable of the real thing.
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...
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.
Technology Marches On: In the early seasons, there are frequent references to pagers, and Niles is the only one of the cast wealthy (and pretentious) enough to have a cellular phone (his first one isn't quite a brick, but you can watch cell phone technology change with his upgrades). One episode even highlights how relatively rare the devices were when Frasier notes that a recently-arrived professional juggler must have been contacted on her "car phone", prompting Niles' near slack-jawed shock that "Street performers have car phones?!" Of course, most of the various Fawlty Towers Plot styled antics wouldn't have worked quite the same if the characters could just call each other at any time.
A seventh season episode has Roz enthused by the fact that Cafe Nervosa has put in a phone line to allow people with (rather clunky) laptops to go online.
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.
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.
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.
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 Versus 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.
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.
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:
Alistair: How it sharpens the appetite! How it builds the intensity, the heat, the desire. Can you feel it?
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 Frasier: Who am I lying to? The comet?! Subverted, though, as he goes on to give a very personal example from his own experience.
Spinoff: Arguably the most successful in TV history, repeating its predecessor's eleven year streak and receiving the same critical appraisal.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Frasier: I refuse to squint through Pagliacci while you're trying to watch The Magic Flute!
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>."
Sweater Girl: One of Frasier's girlfriends was said to really fill out a mohair sweater in high school.
"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.
Martin: Oh, tell me. Rained here some, too.
This continues for some time til Ronee figures out something's wrong.
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.
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 a by gorilla trained to use a gun (she wasn't).
That Was Not A Dream. "Frasier Crane's Day Off". Daphne inverts, subverts andlampshades 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.
Thing-O-Meter: Niles snarks that the psychic debunker 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.
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!
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.
Too Awesome to Use: Played straight, then touchingly subverted with the 1945 Château Pétrus in "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue".
Totally Radical: Whenever Frasier or Niles try to be "cool," this is inevitably the result.
Niles: Who was that babe-o-rama?
Frasier: Niles, please don't try to be hip. You remind me of Bob Hope when he dresses up as the Fonz.
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.
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.
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's tie to enforce their casual dress code.
The Unfettered: Bebe Glazer. She will do anything to see Frasier's career thrive. Risk falling off a window ledge, kill a crane via 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 pouring any drink, pulling any shameless tricks I can to make my clients' dreams come true! I AM A STARMAKER!
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. Later, Frasier tells Niles to "brace himself", and tells him that he slept with Roz.
Niles:(feigning shock badly)NO WAY! You and ROZ?
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.
In one episode, 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. Fraiser, 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 fun of clever puns or sassy insults that show off their knowledge, though these can be difficult to follow for the un-elite.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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: one actor was openly gay and the other was in a Transparent Closet.
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.
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 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!
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.
You Make Me Sic: ** 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:
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'."
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.
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!
Roz in "Crock Tales" bemoans her lack of a sex life.
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.
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.