The Exes Title Card
The Exes is an American comedy television series starring Donald Faison, Wayne Knight, Kristen Johnston, David Alan Basche and Kelly Stables. Divorce attorney Holly (Kristen Johnston) introduces her client, Stuart (David Alan Basche), to his new roommates: two other divorced men who share an apartment that Holly owns. At first Phil (Donald Faison) and Haskell (Wayne Knight) have reservations about Stuart moving in, but Holly is right across the hall to help when things start to go downhill.
This series has the examples of:
- Anything That Moves: Phil and Eden really get around. finally to each other toward the end of season 3
- Artistic License - Biology: When Eden delivers her baby, the umbilical cord is non-existent.
- Bow Chicka Wow Wow: Butchered by Holly in one episode.
Phil: It's bow chicka wow wow and you just ruined it.
- Breakout Character: Eden as of season 3.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Literally Holly.
- Calling Your Attacks: Haskell with "dust storm"
- Composite Character: Probably unintentional and from different sources, but Haskell's qualities and behaviors are shared by both Dennis Nedry and Newman.
- The Couch: Haskell loves his couch almost as much as another sitcom personality.
- Dawson Casting: According to a rule at a club Eden frequents, no one over 25 is allowed in. They refuse Holly, but Kelly Stables is 35, so she should have been bounced as well.
- Double Entendre: From 3x01:
(Regarding Holly's broken vibrator)
Haskell: If we rebuild it, she will come.
- Dude Looks Likea Lady: Not a very pretty one, either. When Haskell is meeting Holly at a lesbian bar, the women mistake him for a butch lesbian. He rolls with it. Twice.
- Ensemble Cast: It's hard to say which actor, if any, the show was written as a vehicle for. While each character has his or her moment, the best humor comes when all four or five are in the same scene.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They're all exes
- Friends Rent Control: Averted in Holly's case, but played-with with the guys. Holly is a well-off partner in a legal firm and so owns her apartment. She also owns the apartment that the guys live in since she bought it before her engagement fell apart. She rents it to the guys and seems to be pretty flexible on the rent, even forgiving two months late rent if Phil will agree to go to a dinner in her stead. Phil and Stuart are both shown to have fairly lucrative jobs (agent/dentist, respectively) but are paying hefty amounts in alimony. The show never seems to explain what exactly Haskell does (he used to be a pro bowler), but it is obvious he now makes his money on the internet. One episode shows him running a website where he takes online traffic school for people for money, which apparently became pretty popular. It's safe to say that, if not for the alimony he's paying, he would probably be fairly financially stable as well.
- Gag Penis: Stuart, to Holly's surprise.
- Genre Savvy: When Haskell's ex-wife is in an auto accident and experiences memory loss, cue the following:
Haskell: You know, I hear in situations like this, sometimes another bonk on the head will straighten things out. You got some kind of medical hammer lying around?
- Gold Digger: Eden shows signs of this.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Eden during season 1.
Holly: Aren't you the same girl who licked tequila off a bar room floor?
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Arguably, Holly's relationship with the guys as well as the guys themselves.
- Hidden Depths: Haskell is revealed to be a great ballroom dancer, used to be on the dive team, and an excellent bowler (not too surprising).
- Hide Your Pregnancy: Averted. Kelly Stables's pregnancy was written in to avoid this. With Ms. Stables's short stature, any attempt at hiding her belly would have looked extra ridiculous.
- Hollywood Dateless: Stuart. Holly dips her toe into the trope, but her character is portrayed slightly more realistically in the dating department (even for sitcom standards).
- Lady Drunk: If Haskell isn't exaggerating, his mother fits this trope.
- Lazy Bum: Haskell
Haskell: We Lutz-es are a sedentary people. I was 9 before I saw my grandpa stand.
- Mistaken for Gay: In a scheme to impress her sister, Holly let's Jill assume Eden is her partner and that the baby is theirs.
- Subverted. Stuart thinks Chuck is hitting on him, but is convinced otherwise by Phil. Turns out he was right all along.
- To patch things up with Stuart and his assistant Deanna (who Phil slept with), Phil pretends to be gay. Deanna thinks Phil and Stuart are a couple.
- My Beloved Smother: How Haskell's various anecdotes about his mother portray her.
- Reverse Psychology: How Phil manipulates his boss.
Phil: Your dad would've fired me on the spot.
Grant: See you on Monday.
- Servile Snarker: Amelia, the guy's cleaning lady for one episode, much to Haskell's enjoyment.
- Sex With The Ex: Haskell doesn't try very hard to resist his ex-wife's advances.
- Shout Out: In one episode, Zach Braff guest stars as a client of Phil's. When Phil asks how long they've known each other, Braff's character says that when they met, Phil was just a goofy intern.
- Standardized Sitcom Housing: Haven't we seen that apartment/neighbor apartment layout before? The bar's layout and general location look awfully familiar as well.
- Stunt Casting: Phil and Chuck
- Team Mom: Holly, who also borders on team little-sister.
- The Stinger: Episodes prior to season 3 feature a short closing scene as the credits roll at the bottom.
- Throw It In: Kelly Stables's pregnancy was written into the show during season 2.
- The network definitely seems to have taken that approach with the commercial ads. Most 30 minute series run for 22 minutes. The Exes clocks in at just over 20. The season 2 finale was 19 1/2!
- Truncated Theme Tune: The opening theme was introduced in the beginning of season 2 and truncated about halfway through the same season.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Haskell and his ex, Margo.
- Wire Dilemma: When trying to repair Holly's broken vibrator, Haskell is confronted with the red wire, blue wire dilemma.