Happy Endings is an ABC sitcom that premiered in April 2011 and ran for three seasons. The series begins when Alex leaves fellow friend and husband-to-be Dave at the altar. This completely traumatizes Dave, and leaves their friends, who were brought together due to Dave and Alex being a couple, lamenting how they will probably never see each other again. When Alex returns from the honeymoon that she and Dave planned, Dave is understandably ticked off; and now the friends have a problem: having to either disband or pick sides between Dave and Alex.Fortunately, Alex and Dave decide that what happened was for the better and that it should not be something that should destroy their friendship. However many complications remain down the road for this group of friends. And Hilarity Ensues.
This series features examples of:
The Ace: Max' boyfriend Grant, whom everybody loves-he's handsome, down to earth, a nice guy, and successful. Subverting it actually becomes Max's motivation in one episode, as he tries to prove Grant isn't perfect. Of course Grant isn't perfect, as no one is, and when he yells at the gang Max takes it as a victory.
Ambiguously Gay: Penny's date Todd. Apparently she has a history of dating these kinds of guys, which included Max in college.
Amicable Exes: Eventually, Dave and Alex. The first season often deals with them trying to get to a place where they can be friends following the abrupt disintegration of their engagement in the first episode. Eventually, they're as good of friends as any other pair in the group-only with more sexual tension.
Brad: Would you want to come to a dinner party tonight?
Car Czar: Does the Car Czar have a camera in the woman's bathroom? *awkward pause* No! I do not and would not. But yeah, I want to come to dinner.
Announcer Chatter: In the episode 'The Butterfly Effect Effect' Penny, Dave and Alex are playing indoor baseball and David is both pitching and announcing, in a fairly obtrusive Howard Cosell announcer voice.
Dave: Its a balmy eight degrees outside while inside we're at the top of the 99th inning during the longest winter ever, and this announcer's one more snow flurry away from harming himself aaand others!
Armor-Piercing Slap: Played for Laughs in the episode "Fowl Play Date", while Penny and Brad are in panic mode because they killed Alex's racist parrot, Penny slaps Brad three times for being stupid/overly dramatic. He has this to say.
Brad: You know, the first two slaps I get, no notes on the those. But the third, like our ideas were pretty similar. If anything I got us in the area.
Penny: *Sarcastic slow clap* Congratulations Brad. You pitched an area. *She feints a slap and he flinches in fear.*
The Car Czar:No one talks to the Car Czar like that, ever ... but I like it (*starts laughing*) ... wait, no I don't. Why would I like that? No boss would like that ... but you are my top salesperson, so what am I gonna do?"
Also, from "The Storm Before the Calm":
Dave: Max, are you seriously wearing glasses with no lenses? Max: (Beat) Maybe. Dave: Dude, I've seen you do some really dumb things before, but this... is not one of them. Those are cool.
Bath Of Poverty The guys' apartment is big but the shower alternates between hot, cold, and brown water.
Max: Dave, its a shower bud, its not that hard. Let the water run for six seconds, jump in, you got at least thirty seconds of decent temperate water, quarter turn yourself to avoid the initial rust blast, go back in for another thirty seconds. Its like he never showered before.
The Bear: Played with with Max in the fact that during the winter he becomes like a bear. He doesn't shave, chases after meat, eats honey straight out of the jar note though that's all year round and gets stuck in trashcans. Otherwise, he really doesn't really fit as a bear-which is kind of the point of one episode where he finds he doesn't fit in any one single gay category.
The Beard: Max has been using Penny as one whenever his parents come to visit. In one episode she cancels, so he has to find a new beard. The ensuing hilarity leads to Max finally coming out to his parents, who are very accepting.
After his mother starts trying to set him up with other gay Jewish men, Dave kisses Max in order to act as his gay beard.
Bi the Way: Jane-its established in Season 1 that she dated a bunch of girls in college, and in season 3, we met an ex-girl that she once loved.
Also Alex as seen in later episodes. We see her picking up an obnoxiously large take out order for herself in one episode and in another she assures Brad that he doesn't have to pay for her second waffle... or first omelette. In a third, she comments she's had Thai for lunch in addition to Mexican and BBQ, all in the same day. A Running Gag has Alex eat ribs a lot of the time and get really messy while doing so.
Combine this with her ditzy qualities, you get a girl who once ate a candle.
When Max and Dave realize there's a guy living in their ceiling they sneak into his room, and Max comments that he has really nice shirts. Later in the episode Max gives the guy food in exchange for borrowing them.
At the beginning of "Bo Fight", Brad and Max are arguing about whether it's harder to be black or gay. At the end of the episode, and after Max and Dave break into Alex's shop, the officer says it was most likely an inside job and immediately suspects Brad, even though Max and Dave are bruised messes. Brad treats it as a victory.
Brief Accent Imitation: Jane's Creole accent when drinking. Also Brad's English accent is blended with a Jamaican one. They do this a lot, actually-Dave tends to drop a lot of heavily accented Spanish words, Max slips into a more Camp Gay speech pattern at one point, saying he's spending too much time with Derrick, and Jane and Brad do several accents during their couples improv period.
Broken Pedestal: Dave realizes that his former favorite high school teacher isn't all that great or in Penny's words, he's a "full-on douche".
Bros Before Hoes: Given the gay treatment in the aptly named episode "Bros Before Bros" invoked when Max falls in love with the son of Dave's food truck rival. Later Max tries to make things better by getting the son to talk to his dad about ending the feud, but it backfires because the father invokes "Dads before lads".
But Not Too Black: in "Bo Fight", Max and Brad debate which is harder, being gay or being black.
Max: The President's a black, right? Dave: Technically, he's more of a tie-dye.
Butt Monkey: The title character of "The Shershow Redemption"-we hear a lot about his past mistakes, but by the time we see him he's gotten his act together. This leads the other characters to appoint Max the new Shershow, although he tries to throw it to Penny. In practice, this trope applies to roughly half of the cast-Max, usually being teased for lacking a job, being 'chubby', and his general inappropriate antics; Penny (who has a cursed birthday and is frequently called dumb by the others) for constantly having relationships end because she's a little too boy crazy; and Dave, for liking 'lame' things like Dave Matthews, getting left at the alter, and generally being a kind of soft, border-line Hippie. Like real people, they take turns with this trope because they usually have their ups and down.
But Not Too Gay: We see rather little physical affection between Max and the guys he dates, but he's still on par with Penny in that regard. That aside, the episode Cocktails and Dreams had various characters having sex dreams about Dave, and while Penny and Jane's dreams ended with kisses, Brad's cut away just before.
Averted somewhat in the first season, when Dave kisses Max to try and spare him some arranged dates.
Buxom Is Better: Penny says that she used to draw attention to her cleavage to get bigger tips during her waitressing days. It's still one of the first things that people notice about her. As Brad says (and its become something of a catchphrase) "She got them thangs."
Call Back: When Penny learns that Pete's friends are "normal".
Penny: You mean you've never brought a miniature pig to a car dealership to prove a point about gender roles?! note Which is exactly what Brad did in "P&P Romance Factory"
In episode 2 of Season 3, Jane recalls a time she got Max a big pinata full of candy, but Dave and Max tried and failed (hilariously) to get it open. Sixteen episodes later, Max finally gets it open-by tossing it out his window and letting it get hit by a car.
In episode 21 of Season 3, 'Un-Sabotagable', when Max sees Chase, he drops the slice of pizza he's holding out of surprise & fear. At the end of the episode, Chase is in the hospital for, as he explains, slipping on that piece of pizza and hitting his head.
Alex (to Brad): I don't know. A lot of people think you're on the low.
And more recently on a kerfuffle about "The Code"
Brad: Oh no he didnít! Oh no he didnít just say oh no he didnít! Yes he did! Girl yoí lying! Bitch ainít lying itís the code, shoo!
In later episodes, also Dave, who was apparently a "Groomzilla" during the lead-up to his (aborted) wedding to Alex in the pilot, and was a participant in Little Mister pageants in his youth. In an attempt to find something obviously gay about Max in order to out him to a girl he was "dating" purely for sports and concert tickets, it was revealed that Brad spends thousands of dollars on lotions and creams, while Dave has a binder of mens' goatees (Alex apparently has the gay porn collection). The conclusion: "Max is the least gay of all of us."
Caught on Tape: Max borrows Jane's nanny-cam (that she uses to keep an eye on Brad, but that Brad uses to his own advantage) to catch Dave sleep-walking and eating his leftovers. Turns out, there's an artist squatting upstairs in their crawl space who's been stealing the food
Characterization Marches On: Several episodes in the first season deal with the aftermath of Dave and Alex's breakup, but over time they settle into being two friends in the same group. Lampshaded when other characters tell Alex about having sex dreams about Dave, and she says Dave is like their brother.
Brad: Didn't you sleep with him on and off for, like, ten years?
Alex originally didn't have any defining character traits, but she's gradually turned into the cuteditz.
Penny: She really does march to the beat of her very slow drummer.
Comedic Sociopathy: Jane is finally able to make her father laugh by accidentally knocking herself out while trying to smash a watermelon Gallagher style.
Max, especially in 'Big White Lie,' where he joins in in Penny's Master Lie For the Evulz.
Comic Sutra: Brad explains how Jane refers to sex, but the group's humming blocks it out, so the viewer is just left seeing Brad's gestures and Jane's titillated agreement
When they make a bet against each other that they both lose, Jane and Brad are obliged to be each others' servants. As their friends watch, they continue to make identical demands of each other (sandwiches, back rubs) culminating in them simultaneously demanding "clown sex" and scurrying out of the room.
Brad: So, where'd you two guys meet? Todd: J-date. We instantly connected. Brad: I thought you had to be Jewish to be on that. Todd: I am Jewish. Brad: No, I was talking about Penny... is also Jewish! Yeah. Alright, 26-year-old Jew.
The Determinator: Chase, the guy whose life Max ruined. In his second episode, he hits his head, falls into a coma and awakens, refusing to die until he gets revenge on Max.
Chase: But I'm so glad you're here, because I want to tell you something. I don't know where you fall on the existence of an afterlife, but I'm here to tell you there is another place. Its a spiritual realm ruled by powerful yet merciful beings. I was there, Max, and I was headed for sweet, eternal peace. But then I realized: I could not transcend to the next plane until I took care of the unfinished business of this world. The unfinished business of ruining your life. It was you. I came back for you. I have looked deep into the abyss of the next world, and it is beautiful. But before I make that pilgrimage, I will stop at nothing to lay waste to what you so tragically call your life.
Jane: Didn't you see me making the "opening" gesture? Brad: Oh, that's what that was? I thought you were separating two boxing mice. Jane: Boxing mice? That's what you thought this *gestures* was? *beat* Jane: Oh no. Yeah, I see it now. Brad: I know, right? What's that mouse's name? Jane: Mice Tyson!
Alex: I figured it was time to move on, plus I got tired of saying I was a Super Dave Osborne fan. Max: What?! How could you get tired of telling people you're a Super Dave Osborne fan? Max:... I'm just trying to clear something up in my head as I go over it again. Are you a Super Dave Osborne fan? Or are you tired of telling people you're a Super Dave Osborne fan?
Dave: I'm gonna go out tonight and I'm gonna get absolutely blackout drunk. Max: Yes! Let's do it! Dave: Maybe I'll meet somebody, you know. I can bring her back here. Somehow convince her to have sex with me on this soiled futon while you sleep nearby. Max: Sure, I mean, chicks love a chubby guy sleeping on the floor. Reminds them of prom. Dave: Couple months go by, surprise! Herpes. Surprise number two, she's preggo and loves cocaine. Max: Okay, you're going to a dark place. Let's turn it around. Dave: We try to make it work for a while, but it's only a matter of time before she runs off with a roadie from Pantera. Before you know it, I'm a single dad living in this torture-porn warehouse with my cross-eyed baby Mitchell.
Penny's Little White Lie in 'Big White Lie' ends up having Brad, Jane and Alex getting caught up in her Master Lie From Hell and Max joining in for fun.
The Ditz: Penny describes Alex as "marching to the beat of her own very slow drummer". Max is also pretty clueless, shenannigans multiply exponentially when they take on projects together
Drunken Master: When Penny gets really drunk, she can speak fluent Italian.
Dude, Not Funny!: This comes up a lot In-Universe, often when the gang is piling on someone, only for one person to take it too far. See Spooky Endings, when Jane compares a sick Alex to Brett Butler and gets responses ranging from 'she obviously doesn't feel well', 'that is your sister', 'no one is close enough to high-five you' and 'who's Brett Butler?'
Dave: Hello, high voice. Either you're wearing really tight jeans or you have a mouse. Alex: Both, and believe me, it was not easy getting up on this chair.
Embarrassing Tattoo: Dave and Alex have matching tattoos with one another's names. Dave (believing Alex has had hers removed) consults a doctor but Alex comes to him at the last minute to show that she didn't remove hers. They try to remove them together, but find it too painful and decide to leave them as a tribute to their friendship.
Fallback Marriage Pact: Penny mentions as having a marriage pact with Butt Monkey Shershow, who ends up getting married in the first season finale, prompting Penny to fake being engaged to not feel bad about her own singledom.
Food Fight: An epic one breaks out in "Bros Before Bros" between Dave and the owner of a rival food truck.
Funny Background Event: In "Grinches be Crazy", we get two. First, after Santa!Max has rescued Penny from being mugged, the two talk about how he's actually doing good for a change. While this is happening, the mugger is stealing another woman's purse, while Max says it'll be easy for him to find more chances to do good. The mugger and victim eventually run right past them, but Max and Penny just yell at them for being loud.
Later, while Dave and Penny are talking, Alex falls into a giant glass box for charity toys.
Brad: I mean, a small typo on the word "Canal" and you're in a whole different family of sites. Jane: I know, the same thing happened to me when I searched for a pair of black crocs.
Also when Alex gets a late night booty call from her latest guy in "The Code War".
Alex: I thought maybe he wanted to have a late European dinner Penny: Look how he spelled "come over." Alex: I thought it was the European spelling.
In the halloween episode, Alex was talking about how they both went as Sean Penn
Dave: What, I thought you loved double Penn!
In "You Snooze, You Bruise":
Jane: I'm gonna go take a nap, think about it, maybe buzz one out. Brad: "Buzz one out"? That's a weird way to say "snoring".
Dave's song in "Fowl Play/Date"
Dave: ♫ Al, I miss you, you're the only one. I wish I knew how to make you come... Home to me, home to me. Come, come, come... ♪
Gender-Blender Name: Alex (which is short for Alexandra). Noted in "Spooky Endings" when Dave tells a sick Alex, "You don't look like a man. You sound like a man and you have a man's name, and you're wearing the most iconic drag queen costume of all time."
Genki Girl/Keet: Alex and Dave are described by some as these. Penny is also a Genki Girl, shouting perhaps as much as she speaks, if not more so.
Gilligan Cut: Penny is taking advice from Alex and saying that she is very wise. Then there's a cut of Alex running her helmeted head into a wall to test the helmet.
Girl on Girl Is Hot: Brad is relieved and gets excited upon finding out that Jane's visiting ex Ryan is actually a woman, pressing them for details, though he gets insanely jealous again when they reveal they were in love with each other. The end of the episode has Brad spend a long time staring while Ryan and Brad's ex make out with each other.
Brad and Max as well. Brad did tell Max that "he loves him the most."
Heroic BSOD: Dave after being left at the altar by Alex. He's drunk, writing depressing thank you cards for the wedding gifts, and ate most of the world's largest chocolate bride. He left the hand to hold on to.
Hipster: Penny's date in "Dave of the Dead", leading Max to give Penny hipster lessons
Max: Hipster Rule number one, never try. Never put effort into anything. Penny: Got it. Like a flight attendant. Max: ...Hipster Rule number two, only like things ironically. Books, movies, TV shows, the environment. Max: ...Hipster Rule number three, never show too much enthusiasm. Max: ...Final rule, everything is dumb. If someone says something and you don't understand, you just go, "I'm over it." Penny: Froyo, over it. Other stuff, over it.
His and Hers: In a Season 1 episode where the gang is doing a Jazz-Kwan Do routine, you can see Brad and Jane in matching Adidas sweatsuits as well as matching Samoa sneakers.
Jane: "You and the guys wanna check out some porno? Get some eyes on some thighs? Some peepers on some creepers? Rods and cones on some bras and thongs?"
Alex's parents on how Alex must have made Dave feel after walking out on the wedding: "Humiliated, emasculated, embarrassed, castrated". Then the mother asking if the word eunuch can be used as a verb.
Hurricane of Puns: Alex makes several of them when she finds out Penny is dating Douglas Hitler.
Hypocritical Humor: Max tells the man living in his and Dave's ceiling that stealing is wrong...while wearing one of the guy's "really nice shirts".
While Dave is trying to break up with a girl he thought was too clingy at her grandmother's funeral, she turns things around on him, to which he responds, 'Ok I don't think this is really the place to talk about this...'
Brad tells Dave not to care about what people think. Dave says if Brad didn't care, he wouldn't have stolen Jane's joke to tell her father. "Do as I say brah, not as I duh."
I Call Him "Mr. Happy": In "Bros Before Bros", Max mentions Chad, which is what he calls his "underpants monster".
Dave also has a relationship with a woman who insists her name is pronounced "Uh-ndrea," prompting Max to introduce the bro-trio to her as "Mox, Braid, and Dove"
This is a common trope on the show, mostly from Penny 'This sooks!', but the rest of the cast gets in on it too. See 'roof stoof' instead of 'rough stuff', and 'suh cyuht' instead of 'so cute', among others.
Max introduces his new friend Nicole an "Nickel" to make Penny jealous, as a nickel is worth 5 times as much as a penny. He also instructs 'Nickel' to pronounce the word 'scathing' like 'scaa-thing', to make her more like Penny.
Derek, who goes from Penny's Pet Homosexual to a guy who orders her around and refuses to let her speak. He's more of a Jerkwitha Heartof Gold though-the problems he has with Penny are because they fulfill the same role in the group-girly large Hams. Later episodes have Derek being nicer, and he tends to call Penny a 'stupid clumsy bitch' as a term of endearment.
Alan Fitzgerald, Dave's favorite teacher from high school, who tries to scam money off Penny and doesn't follow through on a promise made to Dave.
Jerkass FaÁade: Max tries to pretend that he doesn't care, but he really does.
Brad: I cannot wait for this year's monster mash pumpkin bash. The buffest, ugh! The drag queen contest, [[Brief Accent Imitation(gay voice)]] ok?! The smoking hot girl...*realizes his wife is glaring*..orilla costumes. Jane: Yeah, I'm right next to you. Brad: Its basically a gorilla costume that's slightly singed, like when you age a document.
Other characters do this as well, but Brad the most, like when he gets excited about having honeymoon sex again with Jane, so he can put his c...ar keys in her a...ttic. Or when he says, again right next to Jane, that having an assistant because they buy anniversary presents for your...mailman.
When Max suggests why Penny's latest boyfriend may have broken up with her:
Penny: And then he said he hates when I say Uh-mahzing. But I've barely said that at all this season! Max: ...you mean Winter? Penny: Yeah. It's more of a summer word.
Seems to be a recurring element in Season 2. The episode 'Big White Lies' gives us a line from Max and Dave's landlord that mirrors what some critics and viewers might say about Max's nontraditional portrayal of a gay man. 'Are you? Cause I've been watching you and you don't seem very gay to me...I don't know why I care so much. But I do. I DO!'
Then the Season 2 finale gives us two bits, first with Max saying he's glad he doesn't get invested in Penny's 'Boys of the week I only hear about through dialouge.' And then Derek says to the entire group 'I don't have time for this endless bantering! The back and forth, its exhausting, I don't even know what you're saying half the time. So slow down!" Made more funny because Derek's quite the motor mouth himself.
The third season episode "Ordinary Extraordinary Love" includes a storyline covering Max's frustration with not being able to find a boyfriend due to not fitting into any of the gay subcultures. This leads to he, Jane and Derek visiting every gay bar in Chicago searching for his gay identity. The montage of bars/subcultures Max does not fit into includes one named "Sitcom Gays".
In the third season - and series - finale, the appearance of Jane and Alex's previously unmentioned older sister, Brooke:
Max: I can't believe Jane and Alex have an older sister, I mean, we never see her, we never talk about her, she never shows up in any of your flashbacks. Penny: Flashbacks? Dave: That's what Jane and Alex call their photo albums. Alex: God, Penny. Know what things are called for once.
Season 2, Episode 6: Penny abruptly brings up her latest boyfriend in the middle of a different conversation.
Penny: So guys, things are going great with my new sweetums Keith. Four dates in, all systems go. Jane: So we're not doing segues now? Penny: No, I gave those up along with gluten.
Jackie: I can't wait until I'm 26. I feel like no one takes you seriously when you're in high school.
Limited Wardrobe: Dave seems to wear exclusively v-necks, to the point that Alex and Max stage an intervention about it.
Dave: V-neck season is year-round.
Little White Lie: In "Blax, Snakes, Home," Jane goads Alex and Dave to reveal the little lies they told during their failed relationship, including lies to circumvent Alex's poor pet care and Dave's love of frolf. In true sitcom form, they realize hiding a few disagreements kept them from fighting.
Penny when she dates a man with the last name "Hitler", but some unfortunate coincidences lead him to think she's some kind of Gestapo fetishist.
Penny Hartz Hitler
Jane's parents by Brad because it took her six months to tell them she was living with a black man.
Jane: My parents don't see color, they just see "sleeping with our daughter".
Penny again, but in an insincere, white-guilt way when she tries to confront her "crazy grifter" assistant.
Rita: This is because I'm Mexican. [..] Next you'll be telling me you're not a racist because you have a black friend.
Penny: But... I do.
Man Child: Dave and Max. One episode revolves around them buying tons of Nerf weapons and playing with them the entire episode.
Alex is a female variant. This is best exemplified when she is made the flower girl at her sister Brooke's wedding and is generally treated the way a small child would be, a fact she seems completely comfortable with.
Once a Season: Every season ends on a wedding. In season 1 it's the group's mutual friend Shershow, and in season 2 it's recurring Pet Homosexual Derrick. Season 3 plays with it near the end - the audience is lead to believe it will be Penny and Pete, but then Penny dumps him. Then Penny's mother and Dave's father, who are dating, show up and hint at a wedding, only to say they're actually adopting a child. At the end it turns out to be Alex and Jane's never-before-seen sister Brooke.
Todd: Wait, are you thirty? Or are you twenty-six? Penny: I'm thirty, and I'm Catholic, and I'm gonna die alone in a light-up Christmas sweater talking to a menagerie of parrots.
Operation Jealousy: Max does this because Penny is in a relationship and he feels like the fifth wheel.
Opposites Attract: Invoked, but averted with Alex and Dave. A storyline ends up with Dave claiming they make a great couple because she's impulsive while he is more grounded, the other characters immediately point out that he also makes a lot of impulsive dumb choices.
Overly Long Gag: One episode has Dave and Alex, who are hesitant to move in together, look at a lot of houses and make up excuses to not to decide to rent it.
Paying In Coins: Max has to pay rent in pennies, pouring them out of a jug into the landlord's desk, because he had no job. At the end of the episode, he offers to pay for dinner after winning a lot of money, but pours out pennies from the same jug, because "pennies are the only currency I trust."
Roommate Com: Two of the characters, Brad and Jane, are married and never stray throughout the series. Everyone else is single, and the impetus of the series is Alex leaving Dave at the altar, which temporarily makes things awkward for their friends. It also leaves them free to see other people (although they're back together in parts of S2 and 3.) Max goes through a lot of guys, as does Penny, although she's engaged for a big part of S3.
Rule of Three: Invoked by Max and Brad, while going to support groups to get free food, they go first to an AA meeting so Max can get donuts (which is Truth in Television-alcoholics crave sugar), they then go to an overeater's support group so Brad can eat healthy. Then they look at each other and say "Should we do one more?", before heading to a sex addict's group.
Max: If you're going to do this sex-tape, a couple of things. One: Make sure she shoots you from the right side, because from the left you look like a troll. And not like a cute doll with the hair troll, like a "I distract you with a crystal and steal your baby" troll.
The Slacker: Max, he's unemployed for most of the series, although he does tend to expend a lot of effort in things that really shouldn't require it.
Soft Glass: Penny accidentally walks through a glass window in a car dealership. The glass shatters fully, but she doesn't get a single scratch. There's a Brick Joke later in the same episode, when she walks through the same window again - only this time, it's covered with a plastic sheet.
Penny: All right. What are the gay things Max does? Brad: Okay. Hmm... Oh! Doesn't he spend hundreds of dollars on lotions and creams? No, that's me. Penny: Oh, what about that binder he has full of pictures with men's goatees? Brad: That's Dave. But he does have that giant collection of gay porno. Penny: Weirdly, that's Alex. Brad: Oh. Penny: And everyone time I ask her why, she just says, "Hey, I don't smoke, but I have ashtrays". Brad: You know, I'm starting to think that Max is the least gay of all of us. What a fresh character!
Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Played with in the episode "The Marry Prankster", Brad is singing a song about himself, but his name doesn't quite fit.
Who's got a job? Bob's got a job Bob rhymes with job much better than Brad So I switched the name, but you know what I mean I got a job, job, a j-o-b!
Max: Up in the Air was overrated. Dave: What, no? I mean, yeah, of course it was. Who's gonna believe that Clooney's gonna be alone at that age?
Dave: I'm doing lots of stuff: taking online yoga, meeting great people. They're calling me Bodhi, which is awesome, 'cause of Point Break. I've been watching that a lot. Totally holds up. What happened to Lori Petty, right?
Max saying Nicole is "like crazy stupid love crazy, not she loved Crazy Stupid Love crazy. She's not a psycho.
Time Travel Tense Trouble: Well, not time travel, but when Max shows everyone a videotape of him about to come out of the closet (on what he thinks will be national television), but they're wrapped up in their own drama, he snaps, "You guys are being very insensitive to what I'm going through right now ten years ago!"
Token Minority Couple: Brad sets up Max with his gay coworker based purely on the fact that they're both gay. Max calls it "gaycism".
Too Dumb to Live: Brad's mailman is killed when he attacks a polar bear in the zoo because he thought the polar bear was dissing him.
Whatan Idiot: In-Universe when Jane is talking to Brad and Dave about their failure to confront Penny in "The Storm Before the Calm."
Jane: I can't believe you and Dave couldn't get through to Penny. Dave: Really? You can't believe it? We're idiots, Jane. That's how we've always done it.
What Happened Tothe Mouse Chris and Penny get together in the season 2 finale, and are seen together again in the season 3 premiere intro, where she has the accident that sets up the episode, yet he isn't seen or mentioned again for the rest of the episode or the show
Dave: Just tell me one thing: what would Seagal do in this situation? Max: Well, I think it's pretty cut and dry. He'd fly over to Bo's house on an eagle, tear his throat out, use it as a dreamcatcher, and then ride away on a polar bear.
Will They or Won't They?: Alex and Dave seem to be on the verge of getting back together as the first season progresses but a held back by the fear that they will repeat the same mistakes that led to the original breakup.
In addition to hinting at a possible Penny/Dave hook-up, in Season 2 Dave and Alex do sleep together, although they agree to move past it immediately after, not wanting to threaten their friendship. The season 2 finale does end with them hinting at a rekindled attraction, and holding hands at the end of the episode.
As of season 3 they are back together and are moving in together; though everyone else thinks it's a bad idea, the two are in denial. Penny's attraction to Dave has been hinted.
In the final episode Dave and Alex reveal that they have broken up again, though this time it's amicable and mutual. The possibility of Penny being attracted to Dave was never followed up.
World of Pun: Puns are all over the place in this show, from one shot nicknames to rapid exchanges. See "Full Court Dress" when Brad's mailman Drew is referred to as a 'drewd', 'drew-tang-clan'. Brad is probably the biggest exponent of this, from calling Grant 'Grant-tastic voyage', to the montage of his nicknames for his coworker Vanessa. Also, Dave in "Storm Before the Calm"
Brad: Vanessa Crunch, Vanessacary Roughness, Vanessticals, the Vanessa Monologues, Vanasterbate, Its Ms. Jackson if you're Vanasty. Dave: "Prometheus? More like amateur-metheus." "Brigadoon? More like Brigadon't." "Black Plague? More like hack plague." "Ok, I'll Briga-do it."
Xenafication: Jane during Krav Maga and Penny after Jazz Kwon-Do.
You Are Fat: This is the go-to insult used against Max, whose body is basically just average. Examples include 'like if Paul Rudd gave up','you have my mother's body', 'pear-shaped', and having a 'soft interior with a soft exterior,' and many more.
Zany Scheme: The plot of most episodes. Lampshaded in "The Ex Factor" when Penny meets Pete's friends, and is shocked when they are able to avoid such things.
Zombie Apocalypse: Max and Jane get into a dispute leading to a Zombie Apocalypse Olympics that tests athletic prowess, ability to be still, aim, and ruthlessness. Jane wins by demonstrating ruthlessness in pushing Max out in front of a group of hungry, hungry hipsters.