Series / Reba

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A simple Dom Com set in Houston, Texas, and starring Reba McEntire, and airing for six seasons on The WB (200106) and then The CW (2006-07).

Reba has to deal with her divorce from a cheating husband, the new (pregnant) wife he left her for, her oldest daughter's teenage pregnancy and hasty marriage, and being a newly single parent to three kids, all the while cracking numerous jokes at the ex's new wife. Despite its slapstick premise, the show exhibited a surprising amount of genuinely touching emotion.

Ignoring your own partiality (or lack thereof) to country music/culture, the show was popular enough to stay on the air for six seasons, even surviving the destruction of the network that originally aired it.


This show provides examples of:

  • 555: 555-0165, the number for one of Kyra's one-time boyfriends.
  • Aborted Arc: Part of the first season involved the Harts going to court-ordered therapy after a knock-down drag-out fight at divorce court. This all but disappeared after the first season, until much later in the show's run (the fifth season).
  • Absentee Actor / Written-In Infirmity: Kyra was absolutely nowhere to be seen for the vast majority of Season 5 (20 out of 22 episodes), due to Scarlett Pomers's battle with anorexia.
    Reba: Where were you?
    Kyra: I went to get something to eat.
    • And then hinted at once more:
    Van: Where are you going?
    Kyra: Just going to get something to eat.
    Van: OK, see you next year.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Brock's mother can't seem to learn Barbra Jean's name that she never sticks to one misnaming. Hearing the right name doesn't make her correct it, probably because she hates the woman.
  • American Accents: Reba's trademark Oklahoma drawl, naturally.
    • The rest of the cast did seem to be trying to affect Southern accents during the first season (Barbara Jean, especially.) Most didn't work very well, so by the second season, they just gave up.
  • The Alcoholic: Cheyenne constantly is drowning herself in alcohol after Van's football career was completely stopped due to his spinal condition getting worse, but she moves on after many pep talks and encouragement. She briefly falls into Smoking Is Not Cool to distract herself from drinking, much to Reba's chagrin.
    • Van never had an alcohol problem and initially was covering up for Cheyenne, but when he during a party tried to prevent Reba from drinking a single cup of alcohol all because she had taken a pill from Cheyenne's purse meant to discourage drinking instead of healing stress, Cheyenne asked him why not just toss the wine down the drain if he was feeling tipsy of drinking too much. Van really cannot pass up on drinking too much.
  • Amicably Divorced: Reba and Brock slowly settle into this.
  • And Starring: Melissa Peterman as Barbra Jean, though they only added the actual "and" credit to her name for the final two seasons.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Barbra Jean's account of a private investigator she hired to tail Brock during their separation: "He followed you everywhere you went: to your dental office, to the golf course... to that tanning salon you say you don't go to", much to Brock's embarrassment.
    • Also, Reba about Kyra's boyfriend's parents:
    Reba: They could be drunks, or convicts, or telemarketers for all I know!
  • As the Good Book Says: Parodied in the episode "And God Created Van." Van goes through a crisis of faith after an injury derails his lifelong goal of being a pro-football player, and he says outright he no longer believes in God. This horrifies his very-conservative family, especially Barbara Jean. She brings the Bible to him, saying she found a passage that might help him.
    Barbara Jean: If you look here at Matthew 12 Verse 3 "And Jesus says unto his disciples..." (Closes the book and starts beating him with it.) What is wrong with you boy?! Do you want to spend eternity in a fiery damnation?!
    • And a second later, we saw where she got the idea.
    Reba: Barbara Jean, you're not gonna get anybody to believe by hitting them with a Bible.
    Barbara Jean: Oh, that's how my daddy did it.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Really all over the place:
    • In the last few seasons, Brock and Barbara Jean had their marriage collapse. He moved back out, they were constantly arguing, and Brock felt the only real way to salvage it was to pull The Baby Trap on Barbara Jean (having his vasectomy reversed without telling her.)
    • Any real mention of Reba and Brock's marriage implied it was pretty bad as well, especially during the end. Alongside Brock's infidelity, Brock frequently skipped out on his and Reba's marriage counseling appointments, Reba was put on anti-depressants, and she talks so badly about the end of their marriage, you almost wonder why she didn't thank Barbara Jean for putting their marriage out of its misery.
    • Back in the first seasons, Brock and BJ go and visit BJ's father, "Big Daddy." He takes a superior attitude with Brock for leaving his first wife, and says that Big Daddy and his wife were married for over 50 years... "mostly because she's too ugly to kiss goodbye." Brocks calls him on this, saying that yes, he's divorced, but he would never talk that way about his wife.
    • In all honesty, the healthiest marriage on this show was Van and Cheyenne, believe it or not, who seemed rather stable under all their arguing.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Van and Cheyenne. They argue often, but there's no question about the authenticity of their love. One episode during Season 5 has each of them two taking turns complaining about the other in a therapist's office, embracing each other when they finish, and then getting told off for arguing soon after (in the waiting area of said therapist's office and at the parking lot outside).
  • Berserk Button: Played for laughs, it's not so much "berserk" as "reacting strongly" .
    • In one episode, Reba and Van see a therapist named David. It's "David", not "Dave"! Some might say this is more a case of Insistent Terminology.
    • Surprisingly, Brock doesn't put up with overt sexist comments. His chauvinistic father-in-law told one offensive joke too many and it led to Brock telling him off.
    • Reba gets upset if/when she gets compared to Barbra Jean and is told she's no better.
    • Don't call Barbra Jean "Blondzilla". note . Reba made that mistake and Barbra Jean was angry enough to hit her back, when she normally takes Reba's abuse and is intimidated by her.
  • Big Eater: Van often mentions food and being hungry whenever he's on-screen.
  • Blind Mistake: Reba in one episode, during which she tries to take care of herself while still recovering from an eye surgery ("tries" being the operative word here, as drinking water out of a potted plant and spreading peanut butter on a sponge doesn't count as proof of the ability to successfully take care of oneself), with Barbra Jean attempting to help Reba without Reba knowing.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Cheyenne (blond), Jake (brunette), and Kyra (redhead).
  • Bound and Gagged: Van in "The Stakes Are High".
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: Spoken as "bow chicka bow bow" as substitute for "sex", but the message still applies.
  • Brain Bleach:
    • After the school charity auction held by Reba and Barbra Jean turns out to be a big hit, Brock mentions that tradition dictates a celebration party must be held to commemorate the sponsors, where Reba is obligated to congratulate Barbra Jean and vice versa. Reba tells Brock there's nothing she'd rather do, but waits till Brock leaves before whispering to herself: "Pencil in the eye, that's what I'd rather do."
    • Seeing Reba and a man kiss each other had this effect on Jake ("Ah! My eyes!"), though he saw it happen only once.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Cheyenne and Kyra both show shades of it. During the show, Cheyenne pulls herself out of that trope and ends up becoming a good wife and mother. Kyra, however, stays firmly in the trope.
  • Break the Haughty / Took a Level in Kindness: It's commented on multiple times that, for all the misery Cheyenne endured- her teen pregnancy, a bout with alcoholism, shouldering massive responsibility when Van's football plans are ruined by injury- she came out on the other side a much better person. Kyra comments how Cheyenne went from being a spoiled, shallow, superficial princess to a caring wife and mother. Later, when Cheyenne considers becoming a dentist, Reba tries hard to talk her out of it, believing she's irresponsible and flaky, only to change her mind when she sees how responsible Cheyenne is in taking care of Elizabeth. Later on, when she does abandon dentistry to become a drug counselor, it was portrayed in a sympathetic light as having her priorities change from "making a lot money" to "helping people."
  • Brick Joke: "...I got my gum back."
  • Butt Monkey / Chew Toy:
    • Van practically is a goofball magnet for this.
    • Barbra Jean is nearly the object of all of Reba's snarky remarks.
    • Brock is hit with this the worst as he's the object of physical and emotional abuse from nearly all the cast members. To add hilarity to his injuries, Reba's parents can only glare his way but are able to warm up to Barbra Jean, his mother dislikes how he ended up marrying a bimbo, Barbra Jean's father has many implications of wanting to shoot him (even more when Brock stood up to him about misogynist jokes about Big Daddy's own wife), and Barbra Jean's brother Buzzer has such a deep and scary My Sister Is Off-Limits! attitude that he cut Brock's ear and still has that piece in his pocket.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Barbra Jean is very lousy in keeping secrets under wraps from others. And if she barely hears said secret is a surprise, she will do everything to hear about it. Three particular occasions play this up more seriously.
    • When Kyra planned to move out with her and Brock at her new house. Barbra Jean could not stop giggling and laughing like crazy whenever she was questioned about her odder behavior until she broke.
    • When Reba and Brock tried to hide the Cayman incident from the Intimidating Revenue Service, neither of them told on the other. Barbra Jean, completely hysteric about the heavy pressure, casually revealed the issue during a harmless coffee break with an agent outside their private conversations, landing them all in a heavy debt that almost forced Brock to move to Las Vegas.
    • When Jake didn't want Barbra Jean to know about his very complicated and elaborate Halloween prank on her mother, who considered Halloween pranks as a revered tradition in the family and lost faith in the lack of interest from everyone else. Everyone on the plan knew that Barbra Jean would have ruined everything from the start if she had known, so her obliviousness to the whole thing only added to it, albeit in her own exaggerated way.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "Crap" gets stated when a character is forced to acknowledge and accept unpleasant truth. Reba uses it most often, but Brock, Van, Cheyenne, and Barbra Jean each have also used it at least once.
    • Barbra Jean has one, though it only happens in one episode: "Yoo hoo! I'm here! And I'm thin!"
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: Barbra Jean's announcement upon her entry (though this lasts only one episode) gets cut off by Reba once:
    Barbra Jean: Yoo hoo! I'm here! And I'm —
    Reba: Oh, shut up and grab a doughnut!
  • Christmas Episode: During the second season.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Barbra Jean most definitely alongside her family (her brother Buzzer is just strange and violent just like their father being a Gun Nut), and Van occasionally as well.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: In one episode where Barbra Jean goes on a diet. One example involves her making a comment about Jake: "When he runs, he kind of looks like a little chicken, don't you think?"
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Barbra Jean is usually good at cooking, but she falls into this in one episode where she bakes a sugar-free bran cake with cottage cheese as frosting. Van's reaction is: "Do you know what would go well with the cake? A big cup of dirt." Barbra Jean isn't pleased by the comment.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Jake once gripes to Cheyenne about having Kyra as babysitter because Kyra makes him watch "The Wiggles" with his niece. Kyra, standing right behind Jake, replies: "Keep complaining. I got Barney tapes here."
    • After Reba wrecks Rhonda, Van gets back at her by calling Barbra Jean to tell her of Reba's temporary blind condition, knowing full well that she would rush to Reba's aid despite Reba's dislike of having Barbra Jean around.
  • Cool Car: Van's car Rhonda.
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: Van does it once to Cheyenne by saying "* cough* baloney!", leading to an argument between them.
  • Cringe Comedy: The whole show can be this. Especially if you've been close to someone with a teen pregnancy or messy divorce and know how much emotional baggage there can be.
    • Not to mention later on, when Van is kicked out and disowned by his parents, then later had his football dreams (which he'd worked on since childhood) ruined by injury, Cheyenne is revealed to be an alcoholic while struggling under the hardship of getting her family on its feet, Brock and Barbara Jean are constantly teetering on the brink of divorce, and everybody starts enduring financial hardships after Brock's tax evasion came to light and left them holding a $75,000 debt.
  • Cry Cute: Kyra is downright adorable during the few times she cries.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Brock claims this trope regarding a suspicious injury near his right ear in an episode in which Barbra Jean's dog goes missing. It turns out the dog bit him, but he insists he never hurt the dog and is soon cleared of the charge.
  • The Cutie: BJ.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Reba and Kyra.
  • Death Glare:
    • It is absolutely phenomenal what Reba can convey with merely a quirk of her eyebrow. Mostly "I hate your living guts."
    • Barbra Jean has her moments as well — see the Cordon Bleugh Chef entry above for one such example, or when Reba was in the hospital for high blood pressure. Reba was trying to relax, and Barbara Jean was pestering her with a video camera. Brock tries to run her off to let Reba relax, and Barbara Jean dons one as she's threatening to rip out his beating heart to give to Reba. Made even more effective since the POV switched to the handheld camera, which was pointing up Barbara Jean's nose, making her look even more terrifying.
  • The Ditz: Cheyenne, Van, and Barbra Jean. Cheyenne doesn't know what ditzy even means.
  • Dramatic Pause: Several times throughout the series. Example include Jake's opinion to Van's poem dedicated to Rhonda: "It's great... to a second grader!", as well as Cheyenne's announcement of her homemade meal: "Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes... just as soon as the meat stops boiling."
  • The Dreaded: The whole family sans Kyra is deathly afraid of getting on Reba's nerves whenever anyone does something underhanded behind her back, and she is almost always the Only Sane Woman who knows what's best for everyone (though Kyra, after getting older, takes decisions that Reba thinks are illogical but do contain some respectable challenges).
  • Dreadful Musician: Cheyenne (Reba remarks, after hearing Cheyenne's singing: "No wonder Elizabeth used to cry after Cheyenne sang to her.") and Jake (in the Christmas Episode, Reba convinces Jake to sing loudly knowing Brock and Barbra Jean, who would take Jake to go Christmas caroling with them, would suffer from his singing).
  • Dream Sequence: Both the second and sixth seasons start with one of these.
  • Drop-In Character: Brock and Barbra Jean, especially once they purchase a house around the corner to Reba. One episode even has Barbra Jean open the locked back door to let herself in after Reba tries to avoid her by locking the doors and hiding!
  • Dumb Blonde:
    • The prime example is Barbra Jean.
    • The serious example is Brock, who constantly does polarizing decisions that are both boneheaded and emotionally harmful to his family.
    • Then there's Cheyenne herself, who is a perfect match for the equally-dumb Van. For starters, both thought having sex just once every month would never make Cheyenne pregnant.
  • Dumb Jock: Van, until his stupidity was replaced by insanity and stopped being a jock.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season was noticeably different from the rest of the series. Van was more dumb than crazy. Barbra Jean (frequently referred to by her initials) was also a huge Jesus Freak, alongside her other neuroses. Cheyenne was more Alpha Bitch than Ditz. Brock wasn't nearly as vain. Reba was much more the Only Sane Man instead of a control freak (also hearing her curse in the pilot episode is odd, since she usually doesn't later on). Also, the fact that the show took place in Houston was a much bigger plot point, as the Hart family tried to navigate through Cheyenne's pregnancy around ultra-conservative neighbors, school principals, etc. Much like Married... With Children, the show kind of Flanderized into more of a live-action cartoon, and was funnier for it.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name / Punny Name: Brock Enrol Hart.
  • Expy: A snarky couple with three children: A ditzy blonde who married a doofus, a snarky middle child who seems to be the only verbal equal to the snarky matriarch, and a young son who everyone seems to forget about. It's not an exact expy of Roseanne, but it seemed to be a case of what might have happened should Roseanne and Dan get divorced. Both shows even tread similar ground, such as the parents cracking down especially hard on the younger daughter after the eldest daughter grew up too fast and the mother being upset when the kids decide they're too old for Halloween, only to be comforted by an epic prank against her at the end of the episode.
    • The B-Plot of the episode "You Make Me Sick" is nearly identical to the Roseanne episode "Troubles With The Rubbles." The youngest boy becomes friends with a neighbor's son, but the mother doesn't trust the child at their house and forbids him from coming over from a camp-out (in Roseanne, the kid is slightly injured, in Reba, it's Cheyenne's pregnancy.) Reba and Roseanne both overreact and are forced to eat crow and apologize, but the difference is that in Reba, the two mothers reconcile, whereas in Roseanne, she and Kathy Bowman always hate each other.
  • Fiery Redhead: Reba and Kyra. Reba's case might actually be a deconstruction, as a common theme in later seasons involved her dealing with high blood pressure.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Reba (leukine), Barbara Jean (melancholic), Brock (phlegmatic), Cheyenne and Van (sanguine), Kyra (choleric).
  • Flanderization: The entire cast except for Van, who became less stupid and more mature as the show progressed.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the season two episode "Seeing Red", Reba tells Brock of her worry that Kyra might ask to move in with him and Barbra Jean out of frustration of her not letting Kyra getting her way. A season or two later Kyra does tell Brock of her desire to move in with him and Barbra Jean, though not quite for the precise reason mentioned by Reba.
    • In the season one episode "Labor of Love" Reba mentions that Van may end up getting injured and being forced to give up football. Come Season 4, Van is discovered to be suffering from spinal stenosis and must retire from his arena football career.
  • Full Name Ultimatum:
    • "Kyra Eleanor Hart, out!"
    • "Jacob Mitchell Hart!"
  • Funny Background Event: In "Issues", while Reba is lecturing Van about how he's a rookie in the business of real estate and she's the experienced one just as the former interrupted the latter in selling a property to some interesting buyers, said buyers end up pilfering the whole living room. It's only more ironic since Reba boasts about how she's a professional.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • In terms of personality, Kyra seems to be more like her snarky mother, while Cheyenne takes after her father's vanity and subtle but dumb personality. Only Jake is the middle ground and behaves nothing like the rest.
    • Van's mother is just as scatterbrained as he is when the focus is only on her. Case in point, she won't eat Reba's food. She'll stare at it and comment it looks good, while also insulting her when commenting how Reba puts her children before her and doesn't care one bit about her own well-being. They are also very easily ordered around by others with stronger personalities like Van's father.
    • A subversion for Van, who realizes he was starting to become like his overbearing father when he trains Jake to be a good soccer player by constantly being too intense during matches.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Probably the reasons they stopped using Barbra Jean's initials. In the first season, any time someone called her BJ, there would be a short pause so the untold joke of a woman named BJ having an affair with a married man could land. After the show took a slight turn for the more light-hearted and goofy, she wasn't called BJ anymore.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • Van temporarily becomes a driver in a pizza joint in order to save up enough money to buy a car. Having no vehicle of his own, he requests Reba to drive him for deliveries. Reba refuses and refuses... and cut to the next scene where she drives him for deliveries, much to her chagrin.
    • In an earlier episode, Brock begs her to come with him to help him spread his father's ashes on a golf course. She declares, "Uh-uh! Those puppy-dog eyes aren't gonna work on me anymore!" Cut to the golf course, where she stands next to him holding a rake.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Van suggests the high school enemies Cheyenne and Bridgette to "hug and make up". A long Laugh Track and the women staring at his perverted look heavily implied this.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Cheyenne and Kyra.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Reba didn't do this at first, resulting Barbra Jean, who was present at the time, to try to "correct" Reba toward this. In latter seasons Reba is actually doing this rather involuntarily. There isn't much swearing in the series as a whole.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Van is always overprotective of Cheyenne dating other guys that he's willing to kill them (one occasion was Played for Laughs but still). It gets a little worse when he's overprotective of Reba dating other guys that it looks like he's married to her.
    • Cheyenne has a very ridiculous level of this that Van isn't allowed to even write reports of already famous-but-deceased women. Her response to Van writing about one is, "Why don't you have a baby with her?"
    • Brock has some implications of being this when Reba has a chance of scoring out with guys.
    • Barbra Jean has suspected Brock of cheating on her on at least two occasions.
  • Growing Up Sucks: The constant fear of becoming a responsible adult after high school continuously scares both Van and Cheyenne even after having a baby, always tempted to take the easy way out. Reba always puts them on the right direction and they manage to become responsible, if not a little too wacky.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: A mild example: Brock, in a flash back scene, sported a long mustache prior to his marriage with Reba. In a separate episode, Van, Brock, and Cheyenne turn up in a future scene (six decades or so into the future), in which this trope is played straight with Van (balding) and Brock (completely bald with a wig on top) but subverted in Cheyenne's case (she still has her hair, just not blonde any longer).
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Cheyenne being referred as the smart one in high school and having lost the chance of being a homecoming queen.
    Cheyenne: I WAS ROBBED!!!
  • Halloween Episode: The one time Reba wants her offspring to pull pranks.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Reba is an expert on these that terrify Van and Cheyenne to the core. She's very good at it that the two actively try to avoid triggering her lectures and keep their childlike-decisions under cover.
  • Helium Speech: Brock talks this way when he happens to be in charge of balloons for a party Cheyenne throws for Kyra.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: According to Barbra Jean, her father didn't have qualms beating her with the Bible to make her a disciple of Jesus.
  • Hollywood Atheist:
    • Van, in the episode "And God Created Van" stops attending church, seemingly to watch sports, but it's soon made clear that the issue is deeper than that. After being constantly pressed by Cheyenne and Barbra Jean, he admits that he no longer believes in God, which pisses Reba off big time, enough for her to threaten his life, even though she likely didn't mean it. It's later revealed that Van is actually angry at God due to spinal stenosis ending his football career. Reba is forced to admit that she went through a similar crisis of faith during the divorce. He's back to being a theist by the end of the episode.
    • Brock could possibly be a subversion. An early throwaway line in Season 1 after his father died has Brock mention that he's "not a religious man" note , mentions God and religion far less often than the rest of the family, usually only in passing when he does, suffers from clinical depression, is conceited and also avoids going to church and seemed irritated when Barbra Jean forced him to go. However, if he is an atheist he doesn't seem too bothered his family's beliefs.
  • Homage: At the end of the episode with the character played by Kelly Clarkson, said character is demonstrating her knowledge about weather forecasting to Barbra Jean (who acts like a host) while Brock, Cheyenne, and Van act as a panel of judges. Does this depiction ring a bell?
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Barbra Jean claims to be an excellent parent, count on her to have or make some parenting mistake for Reba to call her out on next (for example, if Henry isn't present, Reba would ask "Where's Henry?" and Barbra Jean would realize she left him alone at home and rush back to him).
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Second season on.
  • Important Haircut: Played with. Van gets one once in an effort to blend in with his football teammates. Too bad for him it turns out to be a trick from his teammates.
  • Informed Ability:
    • The show frequently talked up Van as an incredibly talented football player. Due to the nature of the show, we never saw him play a single game.
    • Kyra's musical talent as well. The only time we see her doing something musical was strumming her guitar and making snarky comments.
  • Informed Attractiveness:
    • Barbra Jean was treated like a trophy wife in the first season and revealed to have had affairs with several other dentists before marrying Brock. One of which was Eugene, who grew to absolutely despise Brock for stealing "his lady" even though he only went on three dates with her.
    • Cheyenne constantly talks about how pretty she is, as does everyone else around her.
  • Innocently Insensitive: More than half the stuff Barbra Jean says to everyone else, much more so during the first season.
  • Insistent Terminology: Any time someone called Cheyenne a cheerleader, she was quick to point out that she was actually on the drill team, although they did wear similar uniforms and did similar routines. It was justified, however, since any time someone did refer to her as a cheerleader, it was almost always intended as an insult, carrying the "slutty bimbo" connotation.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • Reba and Barbra Jean. (15 year age difference)
    • Brock and Van. (27 year age difference)
  • Ironic Echo: Reba is a big fan of doing these to others. Though occasionally she also finds herself on the receiving end.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kyra. Snarky, judgemental, and ill-tempered, but willing to sacrifice her time and dignity to help Barbara Jean through her depression after she and Brock separated.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Between "Don't Mess With Taxes" and "The Goodbye Guy", Steve Howey got a hair cut. When Van and Cheyenne head down stairs during the night (thinking someone broke in), this gets pointed out:
    Cheyenne: Wait a minute, Van... When I went to sleep last night, didn't you have hair?
    Van: Yeah, I know... You know how I like to go to bed with gum in my mouth? (rubs head) Well, I'm not doing that anymore!
  • Lethal Chef: Cheyenne. Barbra Jean tries to teach her in one episode, and it backfires horribly; while drowning her sorrows at her complete failure, she mentions how she taught her niece how to cook lasagna when she was six years old and worked at a church summer camp where she taught blind kids to cook, and she still couldn't make any progress with Cheyenne. She could have been lying while drunk and was only fed up with Cheyenne's progress, though when Reba comes home and Barbara Jean explains it, Reba simply agrees and says she's been there.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: a minor character appears as such.
  • Like Father, Like Son:
    • Kyra is just as much of a Deadpan Snarker as Reba, while Cheyenne is as prone to making impulsive, questionable decisions as Brock.
    • Also, Reba's parents. From how they act, it's no question at all that Reba is truly their daughter.
    • Cheyenne also obviously gets her vanity from Brock.
  • Loose Lips: Barbra Jean.
  • Mistaken for Gay: The series must love this trope, because it's been used at least thrice.
    • In the season 2 episode titled "For Sale, Cheap" Van auctions off football lessons to for Jake's school charity, most of the signees end up being single moms due to the fact that Van included a shirtless photo of himself making suggestive poses (which Cheyenne is not pleased about). A person named Terry is the top bidder. It turns out that Terry is a man. A very effeminate man who mentions having a "partner". When Van confronts Terry about the issue, Terry becomes offended and tells Van that he's not gay, with the partner he was referring to being a business partner and that he was married to a former Miss Houston. He then tells Van that he thought Van was gay. Phew.
    • Reba herself gets stuck with this trope in Season four episode "Van's Agent". Van makes an offensive joke about gay people in front of his lesbian sports agent, Sadie Owens, and to cover it up, he tells her that Reba is "super gay". When Sadie meets the family, Reba asks the agent if they can "hang out" which Sadie thinks is Reba asking her out, especially since Reba said she was lonely because her (platonic) girlfriend moved away.
    • This happens in yet another episode called "Parenting With Puppets" with Brock and Van, during which a male masseuse at a day spa mistakenly perceives them as a gay couple because Brock says that Henry and Elizabeth have "two great dads who love them".
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Kyra. The statement she gave to Brock below could serve as proof of how painfully aware she is of being left out.
    Kyra: In mom's family, it goes Elizabeth, Jake, Van, Cheyenne, and then me. When Jake got a turtle, I moved down 1 spot.
    • Of course, it wasn't without merit. She mentioned that after some money that was raised to send her on a school trip to England had to be given to Cheyenne instead because she had dropped so many classes, she ran the risk of losing Elizabeth's spot in the school day care if she didn't enroll in summer school. Interestingly, in a rare case of this, Reba is painfully aware of it (most cases of this trope will have the parents be oblivious), as Reba told both Cheyenne and Kyra in a couple of gut-wrenching speeches. It was just that Reba only had so many hours in the day and Cheyenne and Van were such screw-ups, they required most of them, outright telling Brock "I have no other choice, she's the only other adult in the house."
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Brock, upon walking into Cheyenne's baby shower: "Look at all these beautiful women. (Looks at Lori Ann) You must be security." Lori Ann retorted in return with: "I thought we agreed not to hire a clown." In a separate episode, Reba walks into the kitchen, sees Cheyenne, Van, and Barbra Jean, and says: "Hello, loved ones. Barbra Jean."
  • Never Live It Down: In-universe, Brock's adultery and Reba's divorce both become this as time wears on:
    • Once, when Reba is considering selling her engagement ring to pay for a costly car repair, she's initially reluctant, asking Kira "what if one of you kids wants it." Kira points out that an engagement ring from a failed marriage would be like wearing the clothes of a dead man.
    • Any time Reba tried to give Van and Cheyenne marriage advice, they would retort about how marriage advice from a divorced woman wasn't too reassuring. Reba would occasionally turn this around, basically saying, "Yes, I'm divorced, learn from my mistakes."
    • One time it definitely wasn't played for laughs was when Cheyenne became absolutely furious with Van for catching a ride from the airport and having dinner with a female coworker, calling him a cheater and a liar the whole episode. When Van asks why Cheyenne thinks he's going to cheat on her, she quickly snaps back, "Because my dad did," saying that since infidelity came out of nowhere and ruined her parent's marriage, she's always afraid the same thing could happen to hers.
  • Noodle Incident: Lori Ann and Brock's brief relationship with each other. Brock never bothers to mention it, and Lori Ann...
    Lori Ann, when Reba touches upon their dating: Must we bring up all our past sins?
    • A little earlier in the episode, when Lori Ann is going through her contacts to find a guy for Reba.
    Lori Ann: Let's see. Married... married... dead... gay... gay... gay.
    Reba: Three of them were gay?
    Lori Ann: No, just the one, but he came out in a big way.
    • And then there's this exchange between Reba and Jake when both are at the front porch talking about Reba "going out":
    Jake: Mom, am I going to have a new daddy?
    Reba: Jake, can you keep a secret?
    Jake: Sure, what is it?
    Reba: I'm not even seeing anybody. I just pretended to go out on dates to get away from the loony bin.
    Jake: I hear ya. Dad and I didn't really join the scouts.
    Reba: So what have you two been doing all these Saturday afternoons?
    Jake: Hey, are we keeping secrets or not? (walks into the house)
    • Ask Cheyenne about her experience in competing for Homecoming Queen, and all you'd get to hear would be "I was robbed!!" for your trouble.
    • Barbra Jean has committed way too many incidents in the past, including one too many Really Gets Around with doctors until she found Brock, felonies that stained her public record, and not to mention the scandalous things she did before she became an adult.
  • No Sparks: In one episode, Reba is trying to get back into the dating game and goes out with her old college boyfriend. She enjoys the date up until the goodbye kiss, in which she feels nothing. This causes her to remember why she left him for Brock.
  • Only in It for the Money:
    Reba, after watching a recorded clip of Barbra Jean with her dog: I feel bad for the poor sap who had to tape through all of this.
    Kyra: Eighty bucks is eighty bucks.
  • Only Sane Man: Reba, who is surrounded by idiots in her family: Brock keeps screwing up in parenting advice for his children, Cheyenne and Van may as well be suicidal with their own parental skills and life choices, and Barbra Jean is...herself. The only ones not really insane are Kyra and Jake.
  • Papa Wolf / Mama Bear: Both Brock and Reba readily frighten a high school student for asking the then-middle school Kyra to the high school prom...until they hear from him he dumped her because she sounded like an intimidating adult.
    • Barbra Jean's father Big Daddy. No matter how you look at it, he will by default hate any unlucky man marrying his daughters the moment they decide to take them away from their hometown and will make their lives miserable during family reunions. Unfortunately for Brock, Big Daddy knows he is the newest step-son who remarried and shifts the attention away from his oldest daughter's husband.
  • Playing Sick: Both Kyra and Jake try to do this once, and this trick fails for them both.
  • Poisonous Friend: Barbra Jean to Reba.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: Van's "system" when he plays Rock-Paper-Scissors. Though it's scissors that he always picks.
  • Precision F-Strike: Kyra calls Barbra Jean's sister Katie Ann, a "bitch", which Barbra Jean scolds her for. She's right, though.
  • Product Displacement: The show was created by FOX yet aired on a network owned by Warner Bros., and the conflicting loyalties seemed to leave it in a weird situation where they couldn't reference anything. American Idol seemed to be fair game, but anything else, the dialogue was bent out of shape to reference others shows without actually saying it out loud.
  • Put on a Bus: Lori Ann (Reba's friend) and Eugene (a rival dentist to Brock). Eugene's was justified, since Brock decided to sell his dental practice to play professional golf (thereby deflating their rivalry.) Lori Ann simply had to go because Barbara Jean was slowly sliding into her role as Reba's best friend.
    • Much earlier, Van's parents. After seemingly patching things up for the second time (though his mother certainly looked like she wanted to support him, unlike his overbearing dad), they practically stop bothering to appear. Van's dialogue and his family events suggest that they once again ditched him for good.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Kyra. Lampshaded by Sue Montgomery.
    Sue(playing with Kyra's hair): Hair so long. So very, very long.
    Kyra: Mom, make it stop.
  • Real Song Theme Tune / "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme song was a partial rewrite of Reba's 2002 single "I'm a Survivor."
  • Really Gets Around: Barbra Jean, before her affair with Brock resulted in pregnancy and marriage. She has no shame in romancing the guys that try to date Reba, either.
    Lori Ann, upon learning of Barbra Jean's past: The woman's a tooth tart!
    • The many romances Reba has after her divorce indirectly has her look like one.
  • Running Gag: "Have I told you you're my favorite?"
  • Screaming Birth: How 'bout two of 'em?
  • Shower of Awkward: Poor Reba goes through this once when she accidentally walks into Brock taking a shower — which doesn't help her to relax, as her next sentence makes clear: "What is that orange manatee doing in my shower?!"
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Both Lori Ann and Eugene are this towards Brock.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: Twice around: Barbara Jean and Brock's house is a mirror to Reba's.
  • Slasher Smile: Van's "winning smile" is incredibly creepy, and he's completely oblivious to that fact. Reba even lampshades it, telling him "Van, that's not a killer smile, that's the smile of a killer."
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In order to feel more important, Brock rudely tries to get a certified handy man (vaguely hitting on Reba) to refer him as Dr. Hart just because he was fixing all the poor handiwork Brock did to the kitchen appliances. Later on, Brock repairs (wrecks) the ice maker which wasn't even broken in the first place.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: A whole episode was dedicated to this in order for all three adults to convince an all-knowing Kyra not to fall for smoking. This only ends up revealing the fact Brock was (and still is) an avid smoker, and he used to smoke pot in his younger days. Barbra Jean is the only one completely shocked from this revelation.
    Barbra Jean: Were you high when you married me?!
    • Cheyenne so casually fell for smoking while she dealt with her alcohol addiction.
  • Spiritual Successor: Malibu Country
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: During the Hurricane Katrina episode, Barbra Jean tries to connect with the dozens of black people she let Reba look after at home by seriously acting and looking like a stereotypical gangsta person, giving an extremely racist feel to the homeless. Once they leave and time passes, a letter is sent to Reba saying that she should bring Barbra Jean to the restoration efforts because no one believes she even exists.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Reba's default expression.
  • Teen Pregnancy: This happened to Cheyenne shortly prior to the series' start.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Two episodes are related to this holiday.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: We catch Barbra Jean singing the eponymous chorus line of "I'm a Survivor."
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Reba saw almost everybody like this, notably Brock and especially Barbra Jean, who seemed to have no concept of personal boundaries (Barbra Jean has No Sense of Personal Space that she just gets inside the house at nighttime hours when she sees so much as a light and even entered once through the window). There were the occasional whispers that she felt this way about Van and Cheyenne as well. While she loved them dearly and cared for them unconditionally, she occasionally mentioned how she hoped that they would get their situation straightened out (and therefore move) sooner rather than later.
    • Reba herself starts to become this towards Van and Cheyenne when they finally settle in their own house. It was partly justified since they were weirdos.
  • Theme Tune Title Drop: The last line of the series is "Cause we're survivors."
    • There's more. During the fifth season finale, Reba is faced with the prospect of a surgery. Van consoles the worried Cheyenne with: "She'll be all right. She's a survivor."
    • Playing the trope straight, Brock drops the title of the episode "Lock and Loaded" regarding having his vasectomy reversed.
  • This Is Reality: Lampshaded by Van in one episode ("That speech Cheyenne gave was great, but we don't live in a speech. We live in Houston.") and Brock in another ("We don't live in a utopia. We live in suburbia, where life is cheap!").
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Van, who is so terrified about becoming an adult that he canceled a very beneficial scholarship because of it. That's not to say how he thought having sex once a month prevents him from making someone pregnant.
    • Cheyenne, much to Reba's dismay. In the latest seasons, her reason for changing studies from dentistry to elderly caretaker (which then makes her want to become a drug counselor later on) stern from the fact an old lady came rushing at her while driving...right before Cheyenne casually mentions, "so I hung up the phone and..."
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Based on various dialogue, Van loves pizza.
    • Mac and cheese for Kyra.
  • Tricked Into Signing: Barbra Jean was fooled into signing excused absence slips by Kyra, who pretended she wanted her autograph. The ruse wasn't discovered until the school informed Reba about how much school the daughter had been missing.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Reba and B.J. Poor B.J. tries so hard...
    • And when Reba actually refrains from insulting Barbra Jean, she takes offense, and mentions how, as "The Other Woman," she's always victim to gossiping and false friendliness from everyone else, and prefers Reba's rather harsh (but honest) jokes and teasing instead of the false sincerity from everyone else.
  • Volleying Insults: This is how Brock and Lori Ann communicate with each other. The My Friends... and Zoidberg entry, listed above, has one such example.
  • What Happened To The Dog: Broq, a small dog Barbra Jean adopts, shows up in several episodes, only to become a case of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. Considering she got the dog to cope with the loneliness after Brock moved out (and the fact that Brock and Broq mutually despised each other,) it's possible she simply got rid of Broq when Brock moved back in.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: Subverted. Brock and Barbara Jean decide to renew their vows at Cheyenne and Van's vow renewal to stall for time while said young couple is having a fight (and then Brock quickly tries to backpedal when Van mentions splitting the cost with them,) but an extremely stressed Reba faints from high blood pressure before that happens.
  • Your Cheating Heart: What Brock's midlife crisis made him do with Barbra Jean, kick starting the series.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/Reba