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Series: Private Practice
A spinoff of the hugely popular Medical Drama Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice follows one of its most popular characters, fiery redhead Addison Montgomery (formerly Montgomery-Shepherd) and her new life and job in Los Angeles, at a private practice founded by Addison's friends from Med School, Sam and Naomi. Other coworkers include Pete, the alternative medicine expert, Violet, the psychiatrist who is so good at helping others but can't help herself and Cooper, a brilliant pediatrician who dates girls he meets in online chats. Also in the cast is Charlotte, a chief of staff in a local hospital who doesn't like Private Practices much.


This show provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Audra Mc Donald (Naomi), particularly in Season 4. In the second half of the season, it felt like she was making guest appearances... while her name was still in the title credits.
  • Abusive Parents: Addison's. Later subverted with a Reveal.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In season six (the final one), each character gets an episode that focuses on them.
  • Adult Fear: All the mini-arc about the little girl who disappeared in season 6 revolves around this trope. The parents are worried sick, and their girl shows no sign of being alive after 3 months of disappearance. The mother believes she's still alive, whereas the father doesn't... Because he can't stand the thought that she may have been kidnapped by a pedophile who may be abusing her. It turns out she was kidnapped by a pedophile, and locked inside his basement for the whole time. Said pedophile, who hopefully didn't abuse her during this time, was talking about ending things with her... Depending on how you read between the lines, he may have been talking about taking her by force, releasing her, or simply kill her.
  • A God Am I: The idea of having the fate of someone in the palm of your hands as a surgeon gets discussed a couple of times, usually with the analogy of "playing God" being put in here and there. It's to the point where not only was there an episode titled after said analogy, but during one such surgery, Sam says something along the lines of "I am God."
  • Ascended Extra: Sheldon started as a guest star in season two, was upgraded to "also starring" status in season three, and became main cast in season four. Fans probably breathed a sigh of relief, since Sheldon is the most consistently level-headed person on the show. Amelia also guest-starred in season three before becoming main cast in season four.
  • Alliterative Name: The title.
  • Badass: Charlotte getting her arm sewn up without any kind of pain relievers because she's allergic to local anesthetics and is also a recovering narcotic addict and didn't want to break her sobriety by taking a painkiller.
  • Berserk Button: Cooper once punched a patient's father when he the child mentioned being touched, and this was right after he found out that Charlotte was raped and that the rapist has a clear shot of getting away with that. The dad wanted to sue him until he finds out that had jumped to conclusions. It was the mom who was touching the child.
  • Biggus Dickus: Apparently Sheldon.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Several episodes end with some surgeries being a success, while others end in failure. Episode 14 of the 4th season is a good example: Charlotte's rapist finally got what he deserved... But on the other hand, Susan, Bizzy's lover, died, and Bizzy soon follow her, by committing suicide.
  • Broken Pedestal: Both Pete and Sheldon encountered their respective mentors doing questionable activities (Pete's mentor operates as doctor from his home without a warrant and receives funding from gangs, while Sheldon's mentor has given into the influence of drugs, decrying talk therapy in favor for drugs to help out the patient) and reacting with this trope.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: They all have their little quirks and dysfunctions, but they are extremely good at their various jobs.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Addison and Sam encounter an injured couple while hiking, and just happen to be perfectly suited to deal with the situation because it involves both of their specialties (the woman is pregnant and goes into labor, and the man has injuries that Sam knows how to treat due to a background in cardiothoracic surgery).
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Amelia Shepherd, who along with her brother Derek was in the house when her father was killed. Also Pete who revealed that he saw his mom murder the only man who gave a damn about him and then testified against her.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Charlotte, since she began dating Cooper.
  • Deus Angst Machina:
    • Poor, poor Amelia... Her life is filled with horrible incidents, starting from her childhood to her current adulthood. The poor girl just can't catch her breath.
    • Betsy follows right in her footsteps. Mother died in a fire, father killed in a car accident, none of the people in the hospital were willing to adopt her and she went to child services, right into the arms of an abusive family (or more appropriately, a family with an abusive son), getting beaten up and eventually be put in a coma. Poor girl couldn't catch a break until Naomi stepped in and offered to adopt her.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Naomi left the Practice temporarily, though there's some pretty clear distinction that if she was at the Practice for the time she was absent, at least two major events (Betsy being given away to the orphanage and Charlotte's refusal to identify her rapist) would have went way differently with the boss being there to witness them and have something to do about it. Made even more evident when Betsy gets back into the hospital and she adopts her right after her previous family left her.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: The reason why Charlotte refuses to inform anyone that she was raped. Much to her chagrin, it happens to her once the rest find out either through Addison or by figuring it out for themselves.
  • Double Standard: The entire cast is suggest to this every now and then, though it applies especially to Violet (and of all people, Catie, the one who cut her open, calls her on it in Season 4, Episode 19 !).
  • Driven to Suicide: Bizzy.
  • Dysfunction Junction
  • Eureka Moment: Happens a few times, though one memorable moment was in the second episode of the first season. Sam laments that a parent is purposefully poisoning her own child and that caused Addison to realize just what happened that caused a Switched at Birth situation.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Dell. Lampshaded in an early episode, where the ladies pretend not to notice him as he's walking out to the beach with a surfboard.
    "If that didn't satisfy, there's another showing in an hour. And it's wet."
  • Fake American: Alex Kingston as Marla.
  • Fiery Redhead: Addison, of course.
  • Flanderization: Dell. Oh, Dell.
  • From Bad to Worse: Susan's cancer was supposed healed. However, she collapses moments after her wedding night. She signed a D.N.R (Do Not Resuscitate), so Addison didn't have the right to bring her back when she coded. Buzzy is devastated, and after tricking Addison into leaving her alone at the Hotel, she commits suicide, leaving only a rather cold letter to her daughter. The last scene we see is Addison crying over her mother's dead body.
    • The first part of season 5 has Amelia's substance abuse getting worse and worse, especially after her terminally ill friend commits suicide.
  • Gag Penis: Sheldon, of all people, is reputed to have one, and he knows how to use it!
  • Happily Adopted: Coop.
  • Happily Married: Cooper and Charlotte, though it did take several episodes before they became completly well-adjusted. Charlotte ending up pregnant with triplets (on top of becoming Mason's new mother) really didn't help.
  • Idiot Ball: Pretty much every single main character has carried it around for awhile.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of The first season episodes were titled In Which followed by an event in the episode, a la Friends.
  • Informed Ability: Amy is supposed to be a crack neurosurgeon, but so far she's killed more people than she's helped.
  • Jerkass: Addison's father, and her mother too. Also Violet in Season 2. And Fife in Season 3, in spite of being wheelchair-bound, manages to come off as a complete asshole. And then there's Cooper's recent uber-asshole behaviour towards Charlotte.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Archer may not be very nice, but he really likes his sister (not THAT way,pervs). Also, Charlotte. Fife (see above) seems to be headed this way, too.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dell and Pete.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Charlotte's rapist gets hit with a Humiliation Conga as soon as he begins beating his wife. It starts with a stabbing and ends with him being arrested.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Addison.
    • And Charlotte, who dislikes children and never wanted any, but ends up raising Mason (Coop's son from a previous encounter) as well as triplets of her own.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Pete with Heather, Dell's wife.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Addison is an expert at this trope, but the rest of the cast is certainly no slouch in this department.
  • Love Triangle: Sam/Naomi/Dell, Violet/Cooper/Charlotte, Pete/Violet/Sheldon, Addison/Noah/Noah's-poor-wife-whose-name-fans-don't-even-remember-any-more.....
    • Also now Naomi/Fife/William, Pete/Addison/Sam and then Addison/Pete/Violet.
    • More like a Love Dodecahedron.
  • Mauvaise Belle: Charlotte.
  • Medical Drama
  • Mercy Kill: Happens from time to time in the show, though often frowned upon by the staff members. One memorable moment is when Amelia's old friend comes by and asks her to kill her. She complies, but it becomes a Bungled Suicide soon after. Though the friend manages to just cut the middleman and do the killing herself.
  • Nice Guy: Ryan, Amelia's boyfriend during her resurfacing drug addiction. At first, he seems like a shady guy, with even Mason being suspicious of him. However, he ultimately proves to be a good guy. His moments include shooing away a group of friends when Amelia wanted them out when it looked like they were going to stay and telling Amelia to go to rehab with him so that they can be clean. It's his death that causes Amelia to consider rehab and becomes a point of guilt for her.
  • The Not Secret: Half of the group finds out Charlotte's rape this way, though for Sheldon, he needed only to recall his interview with said rapist to get the secret.
  • Oh Crap: The reaction most of the staff have whenever an old face bursts through the elevator doors injured or on a stretcher, provided said face isn't someone that brushed off them in a bad way. If they did, the staff member's reaction would be more of a Death Glare.
  • Older than They Look: Real Life example: Tim Daly (Pete) is 53 and doesn't look a day older than 41.
  • One of Our Own: Most notably Violet; at the end of Season 2 she is given a C-section by a crazy patient. Also recently Cooper, who was imprisoned and beaten up in prison for refusing to disclose where a lying kid was staying to avoid his supposedly abusive stepfather, and Dell, whose house blew up with his wife and daughter in it; the daughter came out fairly fine, but the wife died of her burns.
    • His wife, who was using the burner to make Meth and caused the explosion
      • Charlotte, who has been brutally raped between the end of All In The Family and the beginning of Did You Hear What Happened To Charlotte King?
    • Amelia, a former addict who's started to relapse.
  • Only Sane Man: Sheldon occasionally fills this role, giving advice to other members of the practice, and staying (comparatively) drama-free.
  • Patient of the Week
  • Please Don't Leave Me: A variation happens to Betsey in the 4th episode of the 4th season, when no one is willing to step in and adopt her. This character's line "Don't you want to take care of me ?" is quite poignant, considering that both her parents are dead, her aunt literally abandoned her, and now the only people she knew besides her family did the same to her. As Violet put it : "We did a bad thing. You know it".
  • Poor Communication Kills: Because Charlotte refused to say she was raped and refused to identify the rapist the first time around, he almost got away with it. It took his own wife to turn him in before he sees justice.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The two part episode 'The Other Side Of This Life' in Grey's Anatomy.
  • Put On The Bus: Happens a few times in the show, with the In-Universe reason being that the person going on the bus went through a traumatizing or otherwise dramatic experience and needed to be elsewhere for a sabbatical. Particularly, Violet in Season 3 and Naomi in Season 4.
  • Rape as Drama: Charlotte.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot Amelia's pregnancy.
  • Reality Subtext: Amelia became pregnant in season five because Caterina Scorsone is.
  • Spin-Off
  • Same-Sex Triplets: Cooper and Charlotte's triplet daughters, Georgia, Caroline, and Rachel.
  • Straw Feminist: Addison in one episode in which the practice was holding a meeting to decide whether or not to perform abortions, when she said that the vote of anyone who didn't have a vagina didn't count. They may be guys, but they're partners in the practice too. They have to have their say.
    • Of course, considering her past — aborting a child even though she really wanted to be a mother because the father wasn't the "right guy" — it was probably a little to personal an issue for her to see clearly how unfair she was being.
    • And to be fair, this is a real life limitation commonly imposed on abortion debates and generally considered acceptable by both pro-choice and pro-life women; if it hadn't been an issue that had a direct impact on how they would have to run their business, some would consider it reasonable.
    • To be even fairer, she didn't say their votes wouldn't count, she said for them to leave the room unless they wanted to fight with her. Which they didn't. As much as the issue was debated, it was never put to a vote onscreen with or without the guys.
  • Teen Pregnancy Maya, who's keeping her baby and marrying the father at fifteen years old.
  • Temporary Substitute: Brian Benben finally started getting his own plots when Amy Brenneman took a leave of absence for a few episodes in Season 3. The first of these episodes is especially obvious about it; it's clear that a good 90% of Sheldon's dialogue was originally written for Violet.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Amelia in season 5. It's quite a miracle she managed to recover from all the horrors she suffered (see her nightmare fuel entry for the details).
  • Troubled, but Cute: Pete. Amelia.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Amelia has various for all of her colleagues, but especially Addison, during an intervention. Borders on being a Hannibal Lecture at points.
    • And despite her being an addict who needs help and this being her intervention, she is still absolutely spot on with everything she says about the others.
  • The Unfair Sex: Everything Violet does is justified by this, and the sheer power of Wangst. Dell's daughter is almost killed because his wife thought it perfectly safe to cook meth in the kitchen, and when he gets insanely pissed off about it (wouldn't you?) he's being a bad, baaaad parent. This in spite of the fact that Dell supported her through her addiction, took her back after multiple relapses, and even forgave her for kidnapping his child, after all of which the beautiful fair lady went ahead and decided cookin' meth in the kitchen with her little girl sitting in the next room was an awesomely good idea. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?
    • And then he was deemed wrong for Not wanting his daughter to see her badly burned, mutilated mother before she died. Really?
  • This Is Unforgivable: An early 4th season episode has the drunk driver that nearly killed Maya and killed Dell arrive to apologize, though his presence infuriated Sam to the point where, when it's revealed that said driver needed surgery, he struggled with the decision of even preforming the surgery in the first place. Didn't help that he said that he shouldn't be forgiven and it triggered flashbacks of a surgery he preformed with the exact same circumstances (heart problem, had committed a heavy crime) in which he let the patient die.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Mason is able to guess with accuracy what's going on around him. A memorable moment of this trope being when he correctly guesses the reason Cooper is sticking around is because he's his father.
  • Wham Episode: The final episode of season 2 and the first of season 3. Then, episode 7 of season 4 came... The sixth season premiere, "Aftershock" ends with Pete dying.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Dell is the frequent invoker of this trope - He's called out Violet, Naomi, Sam and even Addison about their bad decisions on more than one occasion. Fans practically cheered their lungs out when Violet finally got a good telling-to. Go, Dell!
    • A couple of lawyers had a go at the group during a custody battle for Lucas in season 3, pointing out most of the developments that happened in the season so far and pointing out where they went wrong.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Happens every now and then.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Downplayed. Amelia Shepard rants in front of a reality TV crew about how they're taking advantage of Sam's recent tragedy and that Sam needs more respect than that. Though the way she brings it up can also be said about the show itself.
  • You Did Everything You Could: Said every now and then.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Addison, full stop.
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alternative title(s): Private Practice
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