Sam & Cat is a Nickelodeon teen sitcom, created by Dan Schneider. It is a Spin-Off from both iCarly (Sam Puckett, played by Jennette McCurdy), and Victorious (Cat Valentine, played by Ariana Grande). With the end of iCarly approaching, the network was looking to create a new show for Jennette to star in (continuing the tradition of making shows with actors from the previous show, and Jennette's contract formed at the start of iCarly gave her her own show no matter what). It eventually settled on this crossoverSpin-Off.Sam, after Carly moves away to Italy, has decided to wander the country. Leaving Seattle, she arrives in Los Angeles, where she meets Cat. After a day of hijinks that end in the two bonding, as well as being awarded a life time of free cheeseburgers, Sam and Cat decide to live together after Cat's grandmother goes to live in a old folks home. During the day the two babysit three kids, Max, Chloe, and Darby, who were supposed to be babysat by Cat's grandma, the mom, happy with how the two babysat, offers to let them do it again which leads to them starting a babysitting business.It was greenlit for 20 episodes that were filmed in early 2013 and the first episode premiered on June 8, 2013, with the last episode of this order coming out in November. Nick ordered an additional 20 episodes on top of the original order, which began airing on January 4th, 2014. Unfortunately, on April 4th, 2014 the series was put on "permanent hiatus," likely due to problems on set. The series was officially cancelled in mid-July, and the final episode aired on July 17 with 35 of the planned 40 episodes produced. Read Ariana's Facebook/TwitLonger post on the subject here.Not to be confused with Sam & Max.
Adult Fear: Sam's situation in "#SuperPsycho." A young friend is kidnapped by someone you know is a murderous psychopath who outright tells you that she's never going to return them. It's no wonder Sam is so desperate she goes to Nevel for help.
Ambiguously Gay: The black hair colorist in "#MotorcycleMystery." Apparently, it's contagious, because when he colors up Dice and Goomer's hair, they start engaging in some kind of teenage salon chat:
Goomer: (showing Dice a magazine) Hey, check out Bieber's abs! Dice: (gasping) He must live at the gym!
And yes, Goomer also shows it to the stylist, who looks quite appreciative.
The salesman at the Fresno Girl Doll shop has many effeminate mannerisms and speech patterns.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In #Motorcycle Mystery, Dice lists the symptoms of the drink additive intended to help her study: Extreme memory loss, unconsciousness, and loose stool.
Artistic License Sports: In "#GoomerSitting" it is highly unlikely that Goomer would be allowed to fight after such an obvious showing of impairment, not to mention then knocking out the ref.
Let's not even get started about whether or not he is mentally competent enough to fight at all.
Artistic License - Law: In "#PeezyB" he says he has a driving license. Then in "#MyPoober" he Drives Like Crazy, but no more than your generic movie action hero. Letting the homeless guy live in the back is something else though.
Babysitter from Hell: Subverted in "#Pilot." Despite their existing characterizations, both Sam and Cat are shown to be good babysitters after everything has calmed down. During the initial chaos, however, Sam forgets Darby, the baby, in the bush and at the nursing home, and she allows Max and Chloe, with Darby strapped in the basket, to take an electric scooter for a joyride.
Bait and Switch: Cat and Sam take an accident prone boy to Bots where multiple dangers are shown (a man losing his pet tarantula, and fishermen carrying loaded spearguns one of which has a loose trigger). Instead of one of those hurting him, a Bot accidentally squirts him with cheese.
Bavarian Fire Drill: Sam pulls one in "#FavoriteShow" (pretending to be the network president's daughter) so she can get the production crew on That's a Drag to move all the set pieces to her and Cat's apartment. And to save Dice from being detained by security.
Berserk Button: Anyone who watched iCarly knows that Sam doesn't play if you provoke her or her friends.
Don't cross Cat between her and her bibble, or she'll have a fit.
Don't make fun of Dice around Goomer. Heck, don't hurt anyone that he cares about or he'll knock you out.
A less palpable one, but messing with one of the kids they babysit will piss them off (unless they don't like that kid, of course) and cause them to take that person on. Shown in "#Lumpatious" (they get mad at Jepson) and "#Texting Competition" (Sam enters the competition to spite Butler's mom).
Chekhov's Gun: Combined with Rule of Three in "#RevengeOfTheBritBrats" when the titular brats present Sam and Cat with three gifts. A tin of bibble (which they steal back and plant evidence on Sam's bed), a motorcycle helmet (they spraypaint Sam's bike and blame it on Cat), and a toilet plunger (Sam and Cat get back at them by faking Cat's murder with it).
In "#TheBritBrats," Cat hasn't gotten over her Bibble addiction since "Tori Goes Platinum". Of special note, they ensured that the minor detail of bibble originating from England is maintained here.
Cat's Nona was first mentioned in "Star Spangled Tori", and now makes her appearance in the series.
Remember how Cat failed as a make up artist in Victorious? Well in Sam & Cat this was semi-continued. Cat tried to make Dice look younger in "#ToddlerClimbing." It would've been believable, if they were in the 1940's (mentioned by Sam). In the next episode, Sam tried making Dice look like a teenager, (he's 12) and wound up making him look like hippie.
Also from Victorious, Cat's obsession with an online shopping catalog leads to her ordering "underwear that floats!" One ep of Sam and Cat has two kids making prank phone calls, leading to a mention of "poof panties".
The same ep has Cat running pizza through a juicer, when Sam does something similar in this show. With the addition of root beer.
In "#TheKillerTunaJump," Cat going "you mess with the cat, you get the whiskers!" calls back to a similar malaproper from Vice Principal Dickers in "The Breakfast Bunch".
When playing hide and seek in "#MommaGoomer," Cat counts from one to ten but forgets three, which happened a couple of times on Victorious.
Cat's got every right to overreact to Robbie singing to Sam - he's singing the "I think you're swell" song that he wrote for Cat in the first place!
Cat's thing for online shopping finally gets brought up in "#DroneBabyDrone."
"#RevengeOfTheBritBrats" is a sequel to "#TheBritBrats."
Early on in the following episode, "#MotorcycleMystery," Sam mentions she finally got all the pink paint (from one of the Brit Brats' pranks) off her bike.
The hazard room from "#SecretSafe" plays an important role the following season in "#BlueDogSoda."
Cat's love of shoes pops up again in "#WeStealARockStar".
Continuity Snarl: The show is also infamous for a minor number of inconsistencies with the merged canon of iCarly and Victorious, i.e. Sikowitz not recognizing Sam even though they did not interact in the crossover, yet both were present during the rap battle (since it happened several years prior, it was for a few minutes tops and it was Sikowitz, this is easily handwaved).
In "#RevengeOfTheBritBrats," Goomer knows about Gwen and Ruby, as well as the events from their first appearance, yet that took place before Sam and Cat met him. Goomer wasn't even there when Dice lost $500, and when Cat lost her bike.
It's not impossible that Dice, Sam or Cat simply told him about it - he did appear the episode after, so that'd be the kind of thing Sam would brag about.
Considering that the Nick Verse as a whole can't decide if Drake & Josh is in canon or is a sitcom in-universe, this was gonna crop up sooner or later.
CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Averted in the first episode. True to form for both characters, it's painfully obvious that neither Sam nor Cat has the slightest clue how to perform CPR...and yet, they still manage to save the guy.
Crossover: The title characters coming from iCarly and Victorious. (Fortunately Cat never met Fawn Leibowitz, or she'd think Sam had a(nother) twin sister.) It's planned to be a more long lasting one than "iParty With Victorious."
Also the series' only one-hour special, "#TheKillerTunaJump: The Reunion Special" (includes Jade, Freddie and Robbie).
In one episode Stacey Dilsen resurfaced again, now as a college student.
In another Coco appears in the airport while Sam, Cat and two kids are about to board a plane. Yes, she still works at PCA and she reveals that Carl married (and later divorced) her and proposed to her mother.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Goomer vs three muggers. He even manages to stare down the last mugger into unconsciousness.
Cut Short: Out of 40 episodes ordered, "only" 35 (or 36, depending on if you count "#TheKillerTunaJump" as two regular episodes or one hour-long show) were filmed. Likewise it didn't have proper ending either as this had happened in the middle of the series.
"Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Averted. The show's theme song, "Just Fine", is performed by Michael Corcoran rather than one of the leads which makes it unique in that it's the first show Dan's made since The Amanda Show that didn't have one of the main characters sing it (iCarly's was briefly done by Avril Lavigne, but Miranda Cosgrove's version replaced it). Even odder when you consider that one of the leads is popular recording artist Ariana Grande.
According to an interview, Jennette and Ariana were offered to sing the theme, but the duo felt that the show should focus more on comedy over music, hence why there's less singing then Victorious.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: We get the coach variant with Bubs Dixon in "#KnockOut." She has a cattle prod!
Dumbass Has a Point: In "#RevengeOfTheBritBrats," Goomer, of all people, points out that the British twins stole Cat's can of Bibbie so she gets mad at Sam and sprayed Sam's motorcycle pink so she gets mad at Cat, thus ruining their friendship. It was lampshaded by Sam and Dice.
It's even weirder considering that Goomer never even met the British girls.
Enemy Mine: Sam and Cat with Nevel in "#SuperPsycho".
Episode Title Card: While their parent shows had them very occasionally, this show uses them on every episode (except for "#Pilot").
Even Evil Has Standards: The sole purpose of Gwen and Ruby's schemes is to make their victims feel humiliated and look stupid, not for someone to get killed. They imply that someone got killed as a result of one of their schemes, which was completely undesirable.
Evil Brits: The eponymous Brit brats, Gwen and Ruby.
Eviler than Thou: Cat was adamant about keeping Sam away from Jade to prevent something like this. All blown out of proportion, of course.
Evil Twin: While Sam is this to to Melanie, in "#Twinfection" Sam convinces Cat that she had the title infection and had an evil twin. Sam tells Melanie to be ten times as bad as Sam usually is.
Exact Words: In #SuperPsycho Nora threatens to give Dice "the hose" if he doesn't do what she says. And that it turns out she is literally just throwing brand new sets of hoses into the hole Dice is in.
Expy: Dilben seems to be this to Nevel Papperman. Hell, he's even played by an actor named River Alexander (though he's not related to Reed Alexander in any way, other than the oddly similar names).
Fans also are allowed to send in photos of themselves into the show, which are then put in various backgrounds. Some fans have started a challenge where they'll try and find the photos before the show reveals where they actually are.
In "#FirstClassProblems", the listing of the babysitting rules Cat shows to Sam, the fifth rule breaks the fourth wall.
Rule 5: "You should not freeze-frame on this. Click 'Play' and continue watching the show."
Funny Foreigner: Done with Skullcrusher's friend Hector. We're never told which country exactly he's from.
G-Rated Drug: Dice sells baggies of celebrity hair. Sam suggests that Cat's constant sniffing of Justin Bieber's hair is affecting her behavior.
Even worse is her Bibble addiction, because ever since she got addicted to it, there came a point where she pawned all of her Nona's jewelry after she ran out of money.
And apparently Cat is addicted to presents, to the point where she makes a new holiday in order to get some, and can not stop herself from opening them. It gets so bad that she starts opening Goomer's present without meaning to and has a hard time stopping. And she takes medication, I'm sorry I mean "special vitamins", for it. Just how many addictions does Cat have?
While the titular Blue Dog Soda doesn't really count, the illegal brewing business Sam and Cat set up should sound familiar.
Groin Attack: Goomer suffered from this in "#GoomerSitting". Unusually though, while it definitely hurt, it didn't fully incapacitate him (and it also partially fixed his vision problems, caused earlier in the episode)... the Berserk Button probably helped.
Sam All of those negative reviews came from the same IP address! Cat: *sputters* Heh heh, I Pee...
Hypercompetent Sidekick: Sam is this to Cat, who is pretty ditzy, usually when it comes to common sense stuff; Downplayed though, as even Sam herself can be careless and aggressive.
Dice plays this trope straighter.
Hypocrite: Sam showed utter disgust in urinals and calling boys gross in "iOwe You". Fast forward to Los Angeles and she has a urinal mounted above her headboard, where she even contemplates using it in the future.
Jesus Taboo: Averted. Cat does make religious/biblical references in two episodes, and they are very accurate (apart from "the three wise guys" and "King Solo Man" anyways).
Karma Houdini: Even though it was an accident, Sam and Cat are this for being rewarded with free cheeseburgers for life after letting two kids they were supposed to be watching take a joyride, which in turn caused a guy to collapse from the stress of chasing them. That sort of thing isn't uncommon in Dan Schneider shows, though.
Not to mention there were no consequences whatsoever for Max and Chloe robbing Inside Out Burger.
The parent in "#TextingCompetition" gets away with gluing Sam's hand to Cat's foot with no punishment outside of losing the competition.
Sam returns to this role with gusto in Episode 6, doing a series of small but insulting things to Cat throughout the episode, and still winds up getting a bedroom. This can be explained, however, by Cat being the type to forgive and forget easily.
In "#MotorcycleMystery," Sam and Cat kidnap Hector (a friend of the thief) despite them promising to return him if the thief gave her the motorcycle back, which he did. So they basically got away with kidnapping.
In "MagicATM" this is even Lampshaded ("We learned nothing!").
In "#MadAboutShoe" Sam impersonates a nurse and she and Cat jump through a (closed) window to escape as part of their successful attempt to steal a hospitalised girl's pink shoe so Cat can have the matching pair (It Makes Sense in Context). So that's theft, impersonation and destruction of hospital property... and do they get caught? Er, no.
In "#FirstClassProblems" Goomer & Dice escape from airport security guards after Goomer throws two glasses of chocolate milk at them, even causing a lock down of the airport. After doing so however, not only were they not arrested by airport police, but they seemed to have escaped wanted charges as well.
In "#WeStealARockStar" Sam, Cat and Dice all kidnap rock star Del Deville after accidentally knocking him out, and then after a whole episode of holding him prisoner in their apartment, he is released after hearing Cat play a (copyrighted) guitar riff and asking her to use it in a new song of his. This is literally the second time in the series Sam and Cat have gotten away with kidnapping. Fortunately karma does show itself sometime after Deville's new album is released when he is sued for copyright infringement over use of the guitar riff, and loses the case.
Kick the Dog: Goomer's mom's comment when she learns Goomer is an MMA Fighter was really nasty
Goomer's Mom: "When I adopted you, I should've kept the receipt."
Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: Invoked and parodied when Sam takes a kid out to see a horror movie rated R. The kid doesn't show any emotional distress, but he says: "That movie messed me up, man!"
"It" Is Dehumanizing: Nora calls Dice 'it' after kidnapping her, showing all he is to her is a way to hurt Sam.
Cat: We sort of have this whole fun odd couple dynamic. Built in conflict. Lots of potential for more adventure.
In "#FavoriteShow," Sam and Cat are watching TV, and:
Sam: See, on TV, they're not allowed to use real Pear computers, so they replace the pears with a banana.
Cat: That's so clever!
Later on, their favorite show is canceled, and Cat cries over how insane it is for a network to cancel a big hit show without even giving it a proper finale, which is of course what happened to Victorious (andSam & Catitself, as it turned out).
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Sam explains to Cat that That's a Drag uses nonexistent Banana computers instead of Pear because it's a TV show and they have to use Parody Names to avoid copyright issues. (If you don't get it, Dan swaps out the Apple brand name with Pear.)
In "#DroneBabyDrone," Sam mentions that they ordered size 62 men's underpants. When asked why, Cat explains that it would make a great sight gag. Also in that episode, when at the Zapathon headquarters, they have a driver named Frank who is a reference to Frank Zappa. Sam complains that "kids are not going to get this."
Mood-Swinger: Nora has devolved into this since her last appearance, now having a habit to flip flop between her silly Faux Affably Evil and psychopathic fury in a heartbeat.
Never Say "Die": "#RevengeOfTheBritBrats". Sam and Cat cotton on to the brats' ploy to drive a wedge between them, and get the idea to escalate the conflict to "fatal levels" just to counter-troll them. Essentially they fake Cat's death without actually calling it "death".
No Ending: Considering it ended four episodes before the original forty-episode order was completed, ending the entire series with Cat in jail for assaulting a hair model and Sam turning Nona into her personal servant by lying about Cat's whereabouts isn't really how anyone wanted it to end.
No Fourth Wall: "#BlooperEpisode" has the main cast using their actual names as they're on their lunch break during filming the show. And Ariana uses her natural hair and voice throughout.
Non Sequitur: In "#DroneBabyDrone" while the Zapathon employee is talking with the landlord, Cat suddenly asks everyone if anyone drops their pants and sticks their butts in an open refrigerator.
Odd Couple: Sam and Cat, even said word for word by Cat.
Oh Crap: Sam has a big one in "#SuperPsycho" when she's told that Nora escaped prison and is possibly on her way to take her revenge.
Old Media Playing Catch-Up: After the Twitter/Facebook hybrid "The Slap" being featured on Victorious, the show seems to be heading even more into promoting Twitter style social media, with the episode titles taking the form of #HashTags.
Omake: The Lil' Sam and Cat Show, hosted by Fun Size cartoon versions of Sam and Cat, and filled with behind-the-scenes stuff, more on guest stars, and reveals of those easter eggs.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Sam and Cat's landlord (the actual one) when he finally appears in "#DroneBabyDrone." Sure he resorts to throwing flashbangs to snuff out scuffles, but he's eventually reasoned with.
Recycled Premise: "#BabysittingWar" will remind anyone who had seen iCarly's "iSaw Him First" with a babysitting theme instead, including the outwitting/bribery competition, a male "casualty", and being called out for the pettiness of the conflict by a third party who suggests that the duo stick together.
"#MommaGoomer" also replicates "iWanna Stay with Spencer" and "Helen Back Again" where the protagonists must weave a web of lies to prevent the departure of a major character (therefore setting up the conflict), then this major character proves himself to the conflict-character and gets to stay with the protagonists.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Cat has a fun, passion personality while Sam is cool. Sam has a tough, hotheaded personality while Cat is calm. This depends on the situation.
"#SalmonCat" is one giant shout out to Laverne and Shirley, a '70s sitcom about two female roommates who got into wacky situations. The episode features guest appearances by both Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams, Sam and Cat recreate the famous intro to the theme song ("Schlemiel! Schlimazel!"), and the apartment buildings that Williams and Marshall's characters live in are named after their characters (Feeney and De Fazio).
In "#FresnoGirl," the doll salesman (excuse me. Fresno girl doll adviser) looks suspiciously like Ken.
"#SuperPsycho" is very similar to The Silence of the Lambs, including Nora keeping her victims in a pit, threatening them with 'the hose', and wanting to create wigs from their hair (similar to Buffalo Bill, who made suits from human skin), Sam and Cat getting help from Nevel, and the confrontation at the end.
Take That: In the second episode, Sam and Cat discover their favourite television show was cancelled without a finale episode, despite being a massive hit. The plot of this episode is their attempts to get the show back on the air. The same thing happened to Dan Schneider's last television series, Victorious, and then again to this very show.
There's also one about how producers don't cancel shows, even though many blame them.
The manic soda-banning government guy in "#BlueDogSoda."
Played for Laughs in "#WeStealARockStar", when the aftermath of the events shows Sam reading "Three Months Later", and after a second skip, "Three Months After That". Turns out they're just the titles.
Title Drop: Well, duh. Like it's the first time they did that. Some episodes are like this too.
Trailers Always Lie: In the commercials for "#TextingCompetition" it seemed like an old friend of Dice's would be a obstacle for Sam in the tournament, however he doesn't effect the main plot and mostly interacts with Dice, and even then, there's no overall conclusion to it.
The commercials for "#BabysittingCommercial" make it seem like it would be about Sam and Cat trying to make a commercial for their babysitting service since they only used scenes from the "commercial". The episode was really about Dice fearing that he would lose custody of his dog to the dog's original owner who is a snooty girl, wanting to use the dog in a fancy dance competition. The babysitting commercial only appears at the beginning of the episode and doesn't really serve any purpose except to set off the events of the plot.
Unfortunate Name: "#FirstClassProblems." The last name Baum is an awkward one to have in an airport.
The Voiceless: Sophie, the youngest of the three children Sam and Cat take care of for most of "#BabysitterWar." In the end she does talk and settles it - it's a tie.
Walking the Earth: Sam apparently intended to do this before deciding to stay with Cat in "#Pilot." (Well, riding the Earth on a motorcycle anyway.)
What Happened to the Mouse?: In "#TheKillerTunaJump," Robbie shows up without Rex by his side. No one of the Victorious cast wonders where the puppet is. To boot, Robbie really can't go anywhere with Rex or else he goes crazy.
The Worf Effect: Invoked when Sam takes on Rita Rooney in "#KnockOut" - while Sam does win, this is the first time we've seen her seriously work towards it, rather than the Curb-Stomp Battle we've come to expect.