Good Luck Charlie is a domestic comedy, produced for the Disney Channel, on which it premiered on April 4, 2010.The show's billed cast consists of the members of the Duncan family, a typical working-class family living in a Hollywood writer's version of the Denver area, who are adjusting to the recent addition (implied to have been an unexpected pregnancy) of a new family member, namely the titular Charlie.Believe it or not, this is the first low-concept Disney Channel show in nine years, since Lizzie McGuire premiered in 2001 (making it the first such series in the recognized DCLAU). The creators worked meticulously on crafting a show with broad appeal and relatable characters, and wanted a show that whole families would watch and enjoy, rather than just tween girls. As with most KidComs, it is a bit of a stretch to call the Duncans a normal family.The Duncan family consists of eldest sister (and main character) Teddy (played by Bridgit Mendler), mother Amy, middle brother Gabe, youngest sister Charlotte (or "Charlie", giving the series its name), father Bob, eldest child P.J. and newest edition Toby. The series now has a Character Sheet.The Movie, Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! was originally aired on Disney Channel December 2, 2011. It concerns the Duncans trying to make it to Palm Springs, California (and Amy's parents' new condo) in time for Christmas. Though they originally board a flight to Palm Springs, Teddy volunteers to be let off the plane due to overbooking in exchange for another plane ticket she plans to use for Spring Break. Due to all other flights being full, Teddy, accompanied by Amy, need to find an alternate means to get to Palm Springs. Whacky Hijinks Ensue. Much like how the series was the first low-concept series on Disney Channel for just as long, Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! was the first Christmas-themed original movie to premiere on the network in ten years.Also had a Cross Over Episode with Shake It Up titled Charlie Shakes it Up; unlike other Disney live-action series crossovers this only consisted of a single Good Luck Charlie episode rather than an episode for each participating series. A larger-scale crossover with JESSIE aired in November 2013, Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas. There are also three extended episodes, Snow Show, Sun Show (both of which have the Duncans go on vacation) and Duncan Dream Home (the Season 4 opener).Not to be confused with Good Luck Chuck. note Definitely, do not confuse it with ''Good Luck Chuck''.
Good Luck Charlie provides examples of:
Acting for Two: Bridgit Mendler as Teddy and Future Charlie in a dream in "Bye Bye Video Diary"note Technically Acting for Three: Present Teddy, Future Teddy and Future Charlie.
Patricia Belcher was acting for five as Mrs. Dabney and her quintuplets in the Credits Gag. But initially in the episode, she was only Acting for Two.
Jason Dolley in the Credits Gag for one episode ("Meet the Parents") in which a mostly Identical Stranger from Britain visits. PJ was pretending to be an ironically similar character earlier that episode, only this guy was from (and this troper may have spelt it wrong) Ostritchishishishire.
PJ:Ah. One "shish" short.
Leigh-Allyn Baker played as both Amy Duncan and her jealous polar opposite spinster sister Jamie Blankenhooper in the episode "Sister, Sister."
In "Return to Super Adventure Land", Amy was replaced for the role Gabe's Mom by Gabe's (actual) mom.
A subversion in "The Bob Duncan Experience": During her video diary, Teddy starts to say "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." This would have been a sly reference to Bridgit Mendler's role as Olivia in Lemonade Mouth, the final scene of which has the saying flashing on video screens behind the band, except that Teddy substitutes "go to the prom with Emmett" for "make lemonade."
Aesop Amnesia: Teddy in The Movie seemed to not learn her lesson at the end when she volunteers to get off the plane to get another free ticket, similar to how she did in the beginning that set the events of the movie in motion in the first place. This time Bob decides to chase after her instead of Amy.
Then with regards to Charlie's jealousy of Toby—In Doppel Date, Charlie is still jealous of Toby, despite learning to get over it in Guys and Dolls.
Adult Fear: One episode has the kids looking after Charlie while their parents go out to dinner. They all take her out of the house and after a while, think they've lost her and have no idea where they can possibly find her. Anyone who has ever lost a child they're responsible for in a store or on the playground can relate to the terror the kids show.
Adults Are Useless: Averted - Bob & Amy are fairly on the ball when it comes to what's going on under their roof, and have figured out several of the kids' schemes.
All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: PJ and Bob meet a gruff biker couple who threaten to gut them like fish when they try to steal their motorcycles. Subverted when the man starts bawling like a baby when Bob explains that they need the bikes to get to the hospital for Charlie's delivery.
Heck two of them become Charlie's godparents, to Amy and Bob's chagrin, though they do let them on anyway.
And Starring: Jason Dolley, who plays the eldest son, rather than one of the two parents as is more typical for family sitcoms (though Eric Allan Kramer gets a "with" credit). This is probably because of his years of long and loyal service to the Mouse House.
In "Hawaiian Vacation Part 2", Amy claims that "it's all because of the curse. Me getting stuck in that elevator, the boys almost crashing in a helicopter, Teddy getting knocked out, you buying that shirt....
Ass Shove: When PJ interrupts Teddy's make-out, er... study, session with his loud guitar playing, she threatens to do this with his amplifier cable:
Teddy: Next time I have to come down here, this is getting plugged in someplace else.
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In "Girl Bites Dog", Teddy has two dreams that feature a giant Charlie attacking Spencer, one before and one after the break-up.
In another episode, Gabe tries to film a movie called "Attack of the 50 Foot Baby."
Awesome Mc Cool Name: PJ's full name is revealed to be Patrick John Darth Duncan. Bob and Amy's fifth child is named Toby Wan-Kenobi Duncan. Bob's a big fan of the movies.
Keep in mind that the middle names were revealed during the Credits Gag of the episode in which Toby is born, and Bob crashes a car through an interior wall in a room on the eighth floor of the hospital; these names do not need Word Of God to confirm that they are non-canon.
Berserk Button: This cannot be stressed enough: Do not call Amy "crazy" or "a pest" in front of Bob. (Yes Mr. Piper, we're talking to you.)
Inverted with Ivy in the same episode. She gets a B and is pleasantly surprised. But when she gets a second B in a row, she realizes her mom will come to expect good grades from her, so she decides to change it to a D.
Big "NO!": In "Battle Of The Bands," when Teddy finds out who Skyler's dating...
Teddy (looking at the pictures of Skyler and friend that just came out of a photo booth): No, no,NOOOO!!!
Gabe: Teddy, we both know there's a motorcycle, we both know there's a guy, and we both know I have photos.
Bland-Name Product: A movie theater box office is shown to accept "Vista" cards, which might also be a reference to the Vista Federal Credit Union, a large bank on Walt Disney World property that also hosts the world's largest sundial. And Gabe plays "Pokeo" (but not Wigimon), a game with cartoon creatures.
Book Dumb: Ivy, who waited until her sophomore year in high school to get her highest grade ever: a B.
California Doubling: Semi-Averted in The Movie, filmed largely in Utah and Las Vegas (where at least portions of the plot play through). Played straight in the series, which is entirely shot on a Burbank soundstage.
Speaking of The Movie, the exterior shot of "Denver International Airport" is really Reagan National Airport. You can clearly see the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument in the background!
Call Back: "Baby Steps" calls back to the first episode, "Study Date".
"Sister, Sister" calls back to "Take Mel Out to the Ball Game."
Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : In the supermarket, Charlie takes a pair of sunglasses off a stand like babies are prone to do and is caught by security when they go through the sensors.
This wouldn't be so bad if the 'psycho, thinks he's a cop', security guard didn't treat Charlie like a hardened criminal. He takes mugshots of her, refuses to let anyone leave until the cops come to take them away, and accuses the baby of being a little person.
Many of Teddy's video logs (the ones she's recording for Charlie) reflect upon this trope.
Captain's Log: Teddy's video diary, intended for Charlie's viewing later on, forms a substantial portion of the narrative.
Spencer and Emmet both can dance and they have a dance-off in which they take turns serving each other.
Spencer also sings part of "One Step Closer" (a song on Shane Harper's self titled album) during a talent show.
Teddy has a few chances to sing on the show, once for a talent show, a contest, and an audition for a school musical.
Her friend Skyler does a duet with Teddy for the talent show, but they combine with PJ and Emmet's band and mash-up both songs and subsequently win the talent show.
Leigh-Allyn Baker appears for have professional dance training, and Amy Duncan tries to teach her family simple and complicated dance moves and routines in an episode when she wants them to do a song and dance number for her hospital's fundraiser. When they don't even try to duplicate what she just showed them, she asks, "what are you waiting for?" and Teddy says "10 years for dance lessons." Which may be a hint to Leigh-Allyn having dance training, or could just be a joke, or both. She even gets an applause track played after the more complicated part of her routine, probably pointing to the former.
Then there's also Victor, who sings very well in an episode, as his actor, Kevin Covais was a finalist in American Idol.
Caught on the Jumbotron: This happens when Teddy's Great-Uncle Mel is brought to a baseball game and proceeds to moon the players—thankfully, Teddy and Ivy manage to cover Mel with foam hands when the camera predictably ends up on the scene.
To his credit, Spencer deeply regretted his actions, and has made up with Teddy. They're dating once more.
Then there's the time Spencer and Teddy broke up again, this time due purely through circumstance. It simultaneously cemented the relationship while demoting it
Then there's Charlie herself—as she grows up, she seems to take after Gabe, who was jealous of her, whereas now Charlie is jealous of Toby. She also appears to be shaping up to be a troublemaker, like Gabe.
Continuity Nod: In the movie: while Charlie is on somewhat of a rampage at her Grandma's living room, she knocks over a fragile and expensive knick-knack. Bob hurries to catch it, which he does. This may remind viewers of the first episode (and the trailer for the episode) in which Bob catches Charlie in a similar slow-mo fashion.
The C-plot of The Movie (the Duncan men ending up in a paintball war) ties back to Gabe's love of video games. Also, the Z-Cube 700 confiscated at the airport is a direct Shout Out to the events in "Can You Keep A Secret?"
In the episode "Special Delivery", a couple of Charlies old toys that were present in earlier episodes make an appearance at Charlie's birthday party. The mangled stuffed monkey from "Monkey Business", and Tennis ball head from "Up A Tree", which is a doll with no head and tennis ball in its place that was originally Teddy's.
Also from the same episode, Amy proclaims, "Mama's having a baby child" Which she tried to ad-lib into Teddy's play in "Pushing Buttons" about Bob and Amy telling her she was pregnant with Charlie. However Amy didn't actually say this when she was pregnant with Charlie, and she didn't go into labor with Toby when she said it the second time, it was just a diversion.
An interesting (albeit accidental) inversion: In "Teddy and the Bambino", Bob mentions having dropped both Charlie and Toby, which recalls both the pilot ("Study Date") and "Baby Steps." However, in "Study Date" Amy claims that Bob dropped yet another one of the kids as a baby, making the total at least three.
In "Doppel Date" it's revealed that Bob and Amy still have yet to correct P.J.'s legal name from "Potty John."
Also from that episode, Spencer's date who looks a lot like Teddy is named Gigi, which was Teddy's nickname in "Ditch Day".
A Christmas themed crossover with Jessie titled "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas"
The Cue Cards Knew You Would Say That: In one episode, Teddy comes down with laryngitis the day before a critical presentation in class. When she tells her partner that she has to do the presentation, she responds to her objections with a set of bizarrely specific pre-written cards. Lampshaded by Bob.
Dawson Casting: Most of the actors are older than their characters. Bridgit Mendler is about three years older than Teddy, Jason Dolley is about two years older than PJ, When the show first started, Gabe was supposed to be 10, making Bradley Steven Perry two years older. Amy and Bob were supposed to be high school sweethearts. Leigh Allyn-Baker was 37 when the show first started and Eric Allan Kramer was about 10 years older. Gabe and Charlie are around the same age as their actors portraying them—give or take one year.
Disproportionate Retribution: Back-to-back in "Teddy's Bear". Mr. Piper gives Teddy a lower grade because 'she didn't fill the oval in completely', and then writes up a disciplinary notice on her when she breaks the point off one of his pencils.
In "Boys Meet Girls", Jo dislocates Gabe's shoulder when she thinks he's cheating at the game they're playing.
In "Charlie Did it!" Hugo the store manager arrest Charlie, a infant for taking a pair of sunglasses. This is further show by his having mugshot of her done.
Directed by Cast Member: Eric Allan Kramer ("Wentz's Weather Girls" and "Rat-A-Teddy") and Leigh-Allyn Baker ("Charlie Whisperer").
Distracted by the Sexy: In the episode "Baby Come Back", PJ takes Charlie out for a stroll in the park. He runs into a post at the sight of Emma, a cute girl taking her baby brother out for a stroll. This would've been only mildly amusing if not for the following:
Teddy:(furious) How could you bring home the wrong baby? PJ: I'm sorry; I got a little distracted: Emma is really cute! Teddy: Yeah, so's our little sister.
Expy: PJ is a grungier, working-class version of Newt Livingston. This is made even more pronounced by the fact that the same actor plays both characters. PJ is probably smarter than Newt, but the characters on this show are smarter too, so it balances out.
PJ and Emmett's band is in a similar style to Cory and Newt, minus the singer. As for PJ's intelligence, Newt was intelligent, but only when it came to things that the others didn't know; PJ on the other hand does not have any form of intellectual knowledge, but is capable of handling himself.
Don't forget Jo and Gabe! A part of why they antagonize each other is because they in fact like each other.
Follow in My Footsteps: Amy pushes Teddy to try to be the school mascot, purely because she was the mascot when she was a student.
Bob states that he'd like PJ to join him in pest control, and he'd rename the company to "Duncan & Son" if he did. PJ immediately decides to go study.
Foreign Remake: Rather than broadcasting a dubbed or subtitled version (like they do in, you know, every other country), Disney Channel India created its own show, "Best Of Luck Nikki", in Hindi with Indian actors and localized content. The storylines are usually identical for every episode, but they actually went to the trouble of Indianizing the cultural jokes and translating the theme song.
It's not a bad tool to use to learn Hindi.
Foreshadowing: The chalkboard on the fridge has a section for chores, as well as sections which mostly serve as To-Do lists for each Duncan, even Charlie. If it's visible, expect it to at least vaguely be part of the episode and most of the time a huge part of the it.
Four Temperament Ensemble: Bob (sanguine), Amy (choleric), P.J. (melancholic), Teddy (phlegmatic), Gabe (sanguine/choleric), and Charlie (leukine).
From the Mouths of Babes: Charlie ruins Amy's baby shower by showing just how much she understood of an earlier conversation. There was also an episode where Amy and Bob tried to find out how Charlie learned a bad word.
Full House Music: nearly averted, but they slowed down the melody of the opening theme of the show at the end of the scene when Teddy finds out that her boyfriend, Spencer, is cheating on her and she subsequently dumps him. Most of the time, the theme music is played in a more up-tempo, cheery manner. This one of (if not the only) time the show uses this trope.
Also used for a moment when Bob worries that Teddy driving equates to Teddy leaving.
Future Loser: Charlie in the vision that Teddy has of her as a teenager in "Bye Bye Video Diary".
Hide Your Pregnancy: In a unique straight-playing case, Leigh-Allyn Baker announced to the cast and crew that she was pregnant with her second child after they finished filming the birth episode. Thus, she filmed several episodes of the show after Toby was born wearing looser shirts that could be passed off in-universe as not having lost the baby weight.
Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: In "Appy Days", Teddy tricks both her mother and Ivy's mother into letting them both go to a senior party by recording a conversation on her phone and playing it back so it appears their mothers are giving their approval.
Hollywood Genetics: Biologically speaking, there is no way Gabe is actually Amy and Bob's son. Blonde hair and blue eyes are both recessive genes, and both parents have blonde hair and blue eyes, meaning they each got both from their parents and neither have the genes to pass one that could result in Gabe being brown-hair and brown-eyed. So Gabe is either adopted or a lovechild from an affair Amy had. It wouldn't be surprising, seeing as the rest of the children have blonde hair and blue eyes.
How We Got Here: The episode in which Charlie turns two opens on all four of the Duncan kids in a prison cell. Bob and Amy arrive, prompting them to relate the events leading up to their incarceration.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Bob is played by Eric Allan Kramer, who measures 6'3" (190 cm), and quite noticeably dwarfs his wife Amy, who (based on comparison with Teddy) is maybe 5'3" (160 cm) on a good day.
Humiliation Conga: Bob and Amy's preferred form of punishment, when the kids try to sneak out to parties and the like.
Hypocritical Humor: In "Duncan's Got Talent", Ivy calls Spencer chicken for not telling Teddy she can't dance, but Ivy didn't tell her either.
If It Bleeds, It Leads: In the 2013 Halloween episode, Amy, in search of an interesting news story, leaves Victor trapped in a hole just so that she could do a story on it, ignoring his pleas for help until somebody else responded to the call.
Intoxication Ensues: In the series premiere, Bob returns from the emergency room, having been administered some crazy powerful pain pills. He shakes Teddy's hand (believing her to be her study date, Spencer), kisses Spencer goodnight (believing him to be Teddy), and derives an unlimited amount of amusement value from the word "coccyx".
Irony: In "Special Delivery", one of the tricks that Teddy attempts to get Amy to go into labor is scaring Amy (which doesn't work). The next day, determined not to give birth on Charlie's birthday, Amy asks for peace and quiet. When Bob crashes the new car into the kitchen while Amy is in the kitchen, the shock of the crash may have ironically caused Amy to go into labor.
Irony As She Is Cast: PJ is dimwitted and a poor guitarist, but Jason Dolley had a 4.0 GPA in high school and is able to play guitar and piano.
It's Always Spring: Averted, as several episodes have taken place during the winter, without ever mentioning Christmas.
One episode was notable for taking place during the late spring... and having a huge blizzard.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Mr. Piper, in "Teddy's Bear". He's also a Karma Houdini, as the principal doesn't ask why Amy was chasing him (or demand that he change her grade back - the cause of all the problems). Amy is forced to apologize to him; he makes rude comments to Bob about Amy, and neither of them manage to catch him.
Let Me Tell You a Story: Subverted in one episode. Gabe is feeling down because of jealousy over Charlie and Mrs. Dabney says she's going to tell him a story. She proceeds to tell him about the sister she hated as a child and caps it off by...saying that she still hates her. He asks how it's supposed to make him feel better and she says "I didn't say it was gonna make you feel better, I said I was gonna tell you a story."
One episode title directly lampshades this trope - the episode where Amy goes after one of Teddy's teachers is titled "Teddy's Bear."
Manipulative Editing: In "Duncan's Got Talent", Jo tricks Gabe into letting her record footage of him, claiming they'll use it in a campaign ad for him, but she instead makes it a campaign ad for her, showing the clips out of context to make him look bad.
Middle Child Syndrome: Gabe, although he's technically not (nor has he ever been) the middle child. It would appear this trope was averted prior to Charlie's birth, as the middle child was also the Duncans' only daughter.
He is gonna be the middle child soon, however, as now we know that Amy is pregnant with another baby.
Mistaken for Cheating: Subverted. Teddy thinks Spencer is cheating on her with Skyler, but then learns from Spencer that she's his cousin. He turns out to be lying. He is cheating on her with Skyler, who believes that Teddy is his cousin.
Mistaken for Murderer: PJ and Gabe misinterpret their next door neighbor Mrs. Dabney's outburst at her soap operas, and her attempts to get rid of a bad smell and a large, heavy trunk as evidence that she murdered her husband.
The Mountains of Illinois: An unusual example of this trope in a mountainous state. When Teddy drives Mrs. Dabney to Boulder, it's portrayed as a distant destination "in the mountains," complete with perilous roads containing hazards like getting stuck in a mudhole or running out of gas. In reality, Boulder is (traffic notwithstanding) not that long of a drive from Denver, the road connecting them is a superhighway, and the space between them mainly comprises existing or expanding suburbs.
Multiple Demographic Appeal: Specifically made to be a show the whole family can watch, as opposed to Disney's usual targeting of young children or tweens. This show could very easily be aimed at adults if they shifted the focus of some episodes.
Bob: It's so nice to have kids we can trust... and PJ.
My God, What Have I Done?: In the Movie, when Amy is shocked after realizing that accusing Teddy of ruining Christmas would hurt Teddy's feelings. Teddy breaks down crying and walks away from Amy.
Mythology Gag: Bob dropping Toby is almost a shot-for-shot remake of Bob dropping Charlie back in the pilot, complete with the second youngest child (Charlie/Gabe) eating a sandwich. They even replay the original scene at the beginning of the episode.
Naked People Are Funny: In "Snow Show", when PJ is chased out of the hot girls' cabin by their mean, physically-imposing father, and told to leave the robe he's wearing as he's shown the door, PJ makes his way back to the lodge in the buff, covering his man-parts with his snowboard.
Never Say "Die": This show departs from Disney Channel tradition and averts this by having PJ and Gabe suspect and accuse neighbor Mrs. Dabney of murdering her husband.
It's zig-zagged in another episode when PJ says his car had an elderly woman die in the driver's seat, but then find other ways to say the same thing.
Lampshaded in another episode, when Bob uses the phrase "take care of" Gabe notes that whilst Bob can say that, everyone knows what he really means.
Bob: It is my job as an exterminator to take care of pests. Gabe: When you say take care of, I know you mean kill.
In the same episode, Gabe later tells Mrs. Dabney that he wants to take care of her. Bob kicks Gabe out of the living room.
Averted even harder in "The Bob Duncan Experience" when Leo and Gabe argue over the name of their guacamole stand until they are reduced to skeletons and. When Gabe gives up, Leo responds with something along the lines of, "You couldn't have said that before we were dead?"
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Debatable; Ever since Teddy took back Spencer, his basketball team hardly won any games, and now the whole school thinks Teddy is a jinx on Spencer.
Official Couple: Teddy and Spencer, as of "Charlie Goes Viral", and up until "Girl Bites Dog". Restarted in "Can You Keep a Secret?" and PJ and Skyler.
Once an Episode: The Title Drop and Teddy's video diary (with the odd exception like "Charlie Shakes It Up," which has a Title Drop - from Rocky and CeCe rather than Teddy or any member of the Duncan family - but no diary).
Overprotective Dad: Bob toward Teddy. Given her eagerness to make out with guys, he has good reason.
The first in season one's "Baby Come Back" has him meeting a girl who is carrying her baby brother in a stroller as P.J. is doing with Charlie in the same park, resulting in both grabbing the wrong strollers and P.J., Teddy and Gabe searching for their baby sister ( only to find her in a restaurant with the girl from the park).
Season two's "Something's Fishy" features P.J. using Charlie to get girls (even coaching her to say "I love P.J.", only for Charlie to say "I love poopie" instead, when it was actually time to say it); however Kayla, the girl he does score a date with, spends more time with Charlie than P.J. and blows off dates with P.J. when she finds out that Charlie isn't coming along ( reaching the point where Kayla actually comes over to P.J.'s house for the sole purpose of seeing Charlie, ultimately causing P.J. to realize that she is more interested in spending time with his baby sister than him and breaking up with Kayla on the spot).
Teddy: Are you going to prank Dad? Gabe: I'm Gabe; it's what I do!
Put on a Bus: Skyler moved to New York City midway through the second season while dating PJ which causes him to follow her for that episode only. Bob shows up and tells him to let her go, explaining that if they're meant to be, they will get back together again someday. And Skyler ends up coming back in the Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas episode and she get's back together with PJ.
Mrs. Dabney gushing over her son/cat/whatever, and one of the Duncan kids asking "what about Mr. Dabney?" which always gets the response "Yep, love that [X]."
Teddy had to be pretend to be her mother on more than one occasion.
There have been several incidents throughout the show where a character will come to visit the Duncan household, and something will happen during the course of that visit which causes said character to flee the house in terror while being chased by a member of the Duncan family, who is yelling something crazy, at which point said member looks off-screen from the porch and says, "Hi, Mrs. Dabney..."
The Gurgles, a Teletubbies parody featuring people dressed as shapes. It's PJ's favorite show.
Technically, Shake It Up Chicago, on which Amy, Teddy and Charlie danced as guest stars for an episode.
Shouldn't We Be In School Right Now?: Like most Disney Channel shows, the young characters are almost never in school or one kid will have a plot at home while another has a simultaneous plot while at school.
Played with in "Ditch Day" when Amy asks, "Are any of my kids in school?"
Silliness Switch: A rare TV example, nearly every Credits Gag is this. Especially those that feature Charlie doing something unrealistic, such as speeding on a motorcycle, being a doctor at her mom's hospital, and being the main attraction at on the dance floor at Teddy's high school.
Slow No: Occurs in the pilot, when Bob sends Charlie flying through the air. The entire family participates... well, except for Gabe, who's immersed in his sandwich. He gets a Slow Mmm.
Happens again when Bob trips and sends Toby in the air. Cue PJ and Gabe saying, "Nooooo!"
Small Name, Big Ego: Amy likes to think that she's the best at everything she does, and seems to believe that she's a big time star just waiting to be discovered, and even once replaced her family for a group talent show for which she didn't technically apologize for.
Hugo, the owner of the grocery store 'arrests' Charlie, Gabe and Teddy after Charlie picks up a pair of sunglasses, tries to detain them in-store for 9 hours with the intention of turning them over to the police, as much a case of making himself look more powerful than he actually was.
A slight subversion, however, in that it's explicitly stated that the family would be better off in a larger house as there isn't really enough room for four kids - Gabe and PJ are forced to share a room, while Teddy is moved into the basement.
Stand-In Parents: Gabe cons PJ and Teddy into standing in as his parents for a parent-teacher conference so their real parents don't find out.
Status Quo Is God: Averted, even when you ignore Charlie being a baby in Season 1 & Gabe hitting puberty - PJ & Teddy both start & leave jobs in addition to starting & ending relationships, PJ graduates from high school & moves out, the Duncans have another baby, Amy quits her job, and the house is destroyed by termites.
Take That: The episode "Blankie Go Bye Bye" had one to people who are extremely obsessed with things like Star Wars and dress up in costumes and role play. The mother referred to them as 36-year old nerds. It didn't help that one of them wished that they were a robot.
Teens Are Short: Averted in that Amy is shorter than both her son PJ and her daughter Teddy.
Tinkle in the Eye: The kids are busted in "Baby Come Back" because none of them can explain the pee stains in the living room.
Mel: Teddy? Charlie? Doesn't your dad know any girl names?
Trailers Always Spoil: A preview for the Disney Channel Saturday the week after the premiere of Duncan's Got Talent gave away the ending of the episode, since they aired it in the commercial break just before the ending.
Not exactly a trailer, but the music video for Bridgit Mendler's "I'm Gonna Run to You" pretty much spoils the entire movie before the movie has even come out.
Actual trailers for the Christmas movie spoil the fact that Amy is pregnant again, by talking about the poll to name the new baby.
A trailer aired in the middle of the birth episode that revealed that the baby was a boy.
The B-Plot of "Teddy On Ice" is that Charlie learned a curse word and Bob and Amy are trying to figure out who taught it to her. The end of the trailer shows Amy cursing at traffic with Charlie in the backseat. Can you guess where Charlie learned it?
TV Teen: Played straight in that all the character's actors have perfect complexions, but otherwise averted with all the characters being played by people in their age range, along with several of them being taller than a few of the adults.
Twenty Minutes into the Future: In "Bye Bye Video Diary", Teddy has a dream of the year 2026, wherein Charlie has grown up to be a rebel (because Teddy stopped making video diaries for her) with a boyfriend in jail, and Teddy is now the Governor of Colorado. Everything looks like present day, except for Teddy's use of a jet pack. Whether or not jet packs are commonplace or a special privilege for government officials is never addressed.
In "Special Delivery", Amy has a dream that she gave birth on Charlie's 3rd birthday, and everyone is focused on the baby while Charlie is ignored and sad on her birthday. After the dream, Amy tries to relax in order to avoid giving birth on Charlie's birthday, but Toby ends up being born on Charlie's birthday.
An upcoming episode called "Futuredrama" is set when Charlie is fourteen and Toby is eleven.
A video of Bob from his high school basketball days shows that he looked exactly like his son PJ does today, only with longer hair. PJ chooses not to see the resemblance.
Mrs. Dabney apparently comes from a set of identical quintuplets.
The Unfair Sex: Subverted. The females in the family, with the exception of Charlie, are just as bad as the males.
Jo is just as bad as (if not worse than) Gabe, and the writers don't even try to make us think otherwise.
The Unfavorite: Gabe. Things are so hectic in the series premiere that the rest of the family forgets to feed him.
Unfortunate Names: PJ's name was supposed to be Patty John, after his grandfather, but the guy who wrote his birth certificate wrote "Potty John" instead. This is fixed by the end of the episode though. But now it instead reads "PP".
More like Wham movie! In It's ChristmasAmy is revealed to be pregnant.
The third season finale, "All Fall Down" - Spencer moves to Boston to attend a performing arts school, PJ drops out of college to attend culinary school, and the Duncan's home is destroyed by Termites.
What Does She See in Him?: Regarding her previous relationship with Emmett, Ivy can only plead temporary insanity. Ivy has a similar sentiment toward Teddy's latest boyfriend, Derek.
Teddy taking back Spencer. Usually it's a big no-no for Disney as this sends the wrong message to impressionable girls.
Worthy Opponent: Gabe seems to find Mrs. Dabney one, as he's impressed by the Halloween prank she pulled on him: She hired him to protect her house from pranksters, then egged and toilet papered her own house so that Gabe would have to work for her for a full day.
Gabe: Well played, Mrs. Dabney. You are a worthy adversary.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In "Boys Meet Girls", after Teddy discovers that Jo, the bully who has been beating up Gabe, is a girl, she points out how because Gabe is a boy, he can't hit back.
Write Who You Know: Samantha Boscarino (Skyler) has been Bridgit Mendler's best friend since they were 13.
Yoko Oh No: An In-Universe example: It was Amy's meddling that led to the demise of Bob's old band, the Bob Duncan Experience.
Younger than They Look: Believe it or not, Shane Harper, Spencer's actor, actually is a teen. Sure, he's in his late teens to be specific, but he still looked the way he does now at age 16 when he started on the show. Seriously, he looks older than Jason Dolley, who in real life is 21 but looks 17-18 like his character.
Your Cheating Heart: Turns out Spencer was using the "cousin" excuse to keep Teddy and Skyler from finding out about each other. Doesn't end well for him. For Spencer, this has since become his greatest regret, and it takes a whole season for him to eventually gains Teddy trust while she begins to remember what he meant to her before she fully forgives him enough to take him back.