Series: The George Lopez Show
The George Lopez Show
is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 2002 to 2007 starring stand-up comedian George Lopez, not to be confused with Lopez Tonight
. Repeats can currently be seen on Nick At Nite
Noteworthy for being the first American sitcom
with a mostly
Hispanic cast, and, in the final season, an all
-Hispanic cast. Also the second longest running show with said cast.
The series provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: George's mom. This, along with his father's Parental Abandonment causes George to have some issues. In her defense, his father walking out on her was a big reason for it and her parents were much worse than she was.
- She was also a single teen mom with no family to help her and had to raise George all on her own and had dropped out of high school a few years before that in order to work in a factory.
- Accidental Innuendo: In universe example: George reads Carmen's IMs in one episode and her boyfriend describes her "doing something over and over again until she gets it right". He was talking about skateboarding.
- Aesop Amnesia: "George Helps Ernie See the Cellu-light" averts this and plays it straight. Ernie is gaining weight and eating to much so women will reject him before he can say anything, due to his life long fear of rejection. Ernie does lose weight throughout the rest of the series after keeping off the weight he needs to keep his job. At the end, he asks a girl out and she says yes. In future episodes despite the weight loss, Ernie still has a tough time with women.
- Ambiguously Brown: Angie's brother (who is Cuban) discusses passing as Greek in order to con people.
- B Cup Angst: It's sometimes mentioned that Angie has small-medium breasts. Benny even makes fun of her for it at times.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking In one episode, when Max tries to upgrade the computer but breaks it, Angie says that it contained all her business files, photos of the family's vacation, and a journal containing her private thoughts.
- Axes at School: One episode had a student bring a gun to Max's school. The incident occurred offscreen, with the episode instead focusing on the psychological effects that the experience had on Max
- Back to School: George goes back to school after there is a PTA meeting specifically targeted at parents who didn't go to college. Max decides he doesn't need to go either so George wants to teach him a lesson. In the next episode, George drops out and tells the teacher he was in the military and got sent to Iraq. Hilarity Ensues.
- Bad Omen Anecdote: Carmen compares her relationship to Romeo and Juliet. George is quick to point out that they both die.
- Big Bad: Zack Powers for a critical arc for Carmen. He's a misogynist, sex-crazed pig who just wants to have sex with Carmen and tries to do so when he convinces her to run away from her.
- Bigger Bad: Manny Lopez, George's estranged father who walked out on Benny when he was young. His absence in George and Benny's life has left both of them with severe emotional scars that likely will never be fully resolved and are a major source of the conflict and drama in the show. When we actually meet the man midway through the series, he holds no true malice towards Benny or George and does try to make an effort to reach out to both of them… However, when he passes away, he instructs George and Benny to not attend his funeral to not "tarnish his reputation", proving he really was that callous despite his final interactions with his ex-wife and son.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Carmen
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In "Curious George". Carmen, Angie and Benny are talking about why men suck. Carmen says that her ex Duncan was a jerk, Angie says that her first boyfriend dumped her for someone with bigger boobs and Benny says that her first boyfriend knifed her and stole her car.
- In one episode where Benny meets Manny's wife, Lydia, she says that Benny was the first person to dance with Manny, the first person he married, the first person to pull a knife on him.
- The Bride With A Past: Ernie is dating a woman who has a history of alcohol abuse and gambling problems.
- Broken Bird: Benny, a rare humorous (and elderly) example.
- Broken Aesop: Subverted in-universe, George decides to show Max why he needs to do well in school by giving him a job in the plant. This backfires, because Max decides that he likes it and thinks that he should just drop out and take the job because he's not smart enough to finish school anyway. George toys with letting him drop out and start working there, but then has a Flash Forward showing a 50 year old Max having no other options after the entire plant is replaced by robots. He then decides to show Max how bad working at the plant can be by showing him how much the workers freak out when there is even a rumor of the plant closing.
- Butt Monkey: Ernie. George sometimes too.
- Ernie can never seem to hold an actual relationship with anyone, even Gina wouldn't want him in one episode.
- Calling the Old Man Out: George frequently does this to his mother, but one episode he finally tracks down his long-lost father who abandoned them and punches him out. George's mother is happy at this and even George's boss approves of this action.
- Catch Phrase: "Whah-pah!" "What-cha!" "I got this!" "Estás loca?"
- "Why you cryin'?!" certainly gets thrown around enough times to qualify.
- Don't forget "I can't do NOTHIN'!".
- "Sabes qué?"
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Claudia, Mr. Needles, Accident Amy (granted, she could have been permanently hospitalized for... anything).
- Closer to Earth: Both played straight and viciously subverted - George is impulsive and cynical, but more of a realist, while Angie was more sensible but idealistic and naive: when her sensibility goes up against his street smarts a favorite gag for the show to use is for her to initially win out, only for her reasonable solution to be nowhere near effective and for George to be right all along.
- The show tried to imply that Angie would normally be right, like the time they both wanted to get rid of an offensive statue in a neighbor's yard. Her strongly worded letter and petition to the Neighborhood Watch succeeded where George's idea of smashing it to pieces didn't (the neighbor simply bought more.) However, the majority of the time that Angie's argument failed was when she tried to get George and his mom to be closer and more loving. She grew up in a more well-off, traditional family, and had trouble accepting that some families (like George and Benny) were simply screwed-up beyond repair.
- Continuity Creep: The entire first season was completely episodic, but beginning in season 2, many story arcs, both self-contained and multi-seasonal, were created.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both Bennie and George. Often leads to Snark-to-Snark Combat.
- Death Equals Redemption: Harshly averted in the case of Manny Lopez. He leaves George with a memento in the form of a watch… but asks him and Benny to not attend his funeral in order to preserve his reputation to those he actually considered family and friends. Any improvement in the relationship he had with his son and ex-wife is immediately thrown out the window, and George and Benny likely will never forgive him.
- Digital Head Swap: Done incredibly obviously in its flashbacks, with the adult actors' heads pasted onto child actors' bodies.
- Dirty Old Man: Vic's reaction to Benny getting breast implants.
Vic: I am looking at them as a doctor.
Benny: (slyly) And what is the good doctor's opinion?
Angie: (horrified) DADDY!
Vic: I'm older now, and I know what I like. And I like!
- Dirty Old Woman: Benny and Gina. ESPECIALLY Gina.
- Disappeared Dad
- Disproportionate Retribution: A joke in one episode has Carmen over hear Angie saying she wants "her" out of the house and think she's talking about her for scratching the car. Subverted in that she was actually talking about Veronica.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Unusual example, in that Lopez himself recorded a theme tune for the DVD release, as it would've been cost-prohibitive to license "Low Rider".
- Dojikko: Accident Amy
- Dom Com
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: When Angie discovers that a sexual predator was living in the neighborhood, George riles up the entire neighborhood to confront the predator. The minute they discover the predator is a woman, everyone stops caring and goes home.
- Averted by Angie herself, who is adamant about trying to convince everyone that what the woman did was wrong, then later by George, when he becomes frightened when he sees Max come out of the woman's house.
- Dumbass Teenage Son: Max.
- Dysfunction Junction: Lampshaded.
Angie: (crying) Why does everything happen to us? Did you cut off a Voodoo Priest in traffic?
- Early Installment Weirdness: More of a cosmetic version, but it's strange to go back and watch the episode "Super Bowl" and see George with long, poofy black and shiny hair, Benny with a fuller and more wrinkly face due to Belita Moreno wearing age makeup to make herself look older, and Max played by a child actor younger than 14 years of age.
- It's also jarring to see the early episodes where Vic hates George and they have a very strained relationship, when Vic later becomes a regular on the show and he and George, although still snarky at each other, have a much better relationship.
- Easily Forgiven: Angie treated Jason's wheelchair-bound younger brother like this, even after he humiliated her by passing out photos of her in a wet t-shirt. This was averted at the end of the episode, when Jason called her out for it, saying that she was giving him a sense of entitlement by treating him differently.
- Zigzagged in regards to Ricky. After Ricky destroys George's fence by driving the car through it, George was determined never to let Max see him again. But then he meets Ricky's mom, who was drunk at 10:30 in the morning, and learns he was abandoned by his father. George was willing to forget the damage Ricky did, and let him stay at his house. But then Angie, who was willing to forgive, tells him that while Ricky may have had it worse than George, he is still a bad influence on his son, and can't say. But then Ernie offered to help...
- Fake Pregnancy: One episode has Angie discover she's not pregnant, but kept the lie going so George wouldn't be depressed, as Carmen had recently left for college.
- Favors for the Sexy: This happens when Veronica works at the factory.
- Final Season Casting / Suspiciously Similar Substitute: George's niece Veronica, who eventually replaced Carmen as she was written off the show due to her actress, Masiela Lusha, going to college. Like Carmen, she had bratty tendencies, but taken to a higher level.
- Flanderization: Benny became more obnoxious as the show went on.
- At the beginning, George was a loving family man who only made snarky comments when the situation called for it. By the end of the series, he snarks at people almost constantly.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Unlike her siblings, Angie does not con people, doesn't behave impulsively, stays in the same marriage, and raises her children. Vic and George mention it when Vic talks about how he spoiled his kids rotten, with George pointing out that Angie turned out fine and Vic claiming it to be a miracle.
- George can be this to his brother George (Lou Diamond Phillips), as George was raised by Benny and had to work hard to where he's at while the other George was raised by two doting parents and in a more prosperous upbringing, yet can't keep control of his finances and seeks to borrow money from his brother.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In one episode, George is unable to have sex because he thinks she's pregnant and sees a... detailed... sonogram. In his final glance at the sonogram, the fetus seems to be giving him the finger.
- During Carmen's reputation as a slut, one of the girls at her school, Piper, wrote "Carmen Hopez" on the back door. Benny's reaction: "Good thing our last name isn't 'Tucker.'"
- G-Rated Drug: The hallucinogenic worms in his Tequila at Thirsty's.
Vic Palmero!Worm: You are having a hallucinogenic reaction to me. I'm in your belly. Watch me dance.
- Guy-on-Guy Is Hot: Benny seems to have this mindset, given what she says about Carmen's Straight Gay fake boyfriend Noah.
Angie: (after talking about the possibility that Noah might be in the closet) Oh I can't imagine what he's feeling!
- Grass Is Greener: George applies for another job in a small town in Colorado. He really wants to go, believing that a small town would be a better place to raise his children than LA. However, when we get there, we see that the kids have literally nothing else to do but drink underage, have sex and get into trouble.
- Gratuitous Spanish: George is fond of this. At least one episode title (Sabes Quake) uses this trope
- Happily Adopted: Ernie became Ricky's surrogate father after it was discovered how horrible his home life was.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: An almost laughable use of this trope in one episode, where a girl that can easily be confused for having two fathers has one or both of the men say some line that assures the audience that they sleep with tons of women all the time, multiple times, in every scene that they were in.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Mentioned every episode. Usually Bennie says something about how much she hugged George and then George would say something like "That was when you were drunk!"
- Not just his childhood. The Tag for one episode was Benny serving up a plate of ice-cream, but letting the dog have a shot at it first. "George! Your ice cream is ready!"
- This was actually in revenge for George serving her a steak that fallen on the lawn and been licked by the dog.
- Benny's, too, according to Carmen, Max, and either the studio audience or (far more likely, since the laughter wasn't the least bit nervous) the Laugh Track. Disappeared Dad? Tragic. Eleven-year-old pretending to be his grandmother's father and (literally) belting her in effigy until the watermelon bust's eye fell off? Mind-bendingly hilarious.
- Hypocrite: In "George Rocks to the Max and Gets Diss-Band-ed", George tells Max that they can't have chicks around the band because they'll just end up controlling them, then Max ends up calling him out on it:
Max: That's what you're doing, Dad! You're the chick ruining our band!
- Incompatible Orientation: Subverted in "What George Doesn't Noah". Carmen brings home what seems to be the perfect boyfriend, Noah, after dating bad boy Zack. George and Benny spy on Noah and find him with another man in a movie theater. Turns out Carmen was using Noah as a cover up so she could still see Zack.
- Informed Flaw: George's big head. It's pretty much average-sized.
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?:A non-sexual one. Carmen tells George she was doing "half-pipes" (skateboarding) with her boyfriend and George assumes she is doing drugs.
- Jerkass: Everyone gets in a moment or two over the course of the series, but special mention has to go to Benny whose social and child-raising skills border on sociopathic.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Zack Powers may seem like the rebel with the heart of gold type, considering his terrible childhood. But it is all just an act to make Carmen have sex with him.
- Kissing Cousins: Max continuously tries to flirt with Veronica, who is his first cousin. George himself gets squicked out by this even though its pretty much one-sided.
- Also Vic has kissed both Benny and Linda.
- However, Vic is not blood related to Benny or Linda. Max and Veronica are.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Lampshaded. When everyone plays poker "No limits," Ernie folds before he gets his cards.
Ernie: "You know George, A wise old gambler told be something once. He said-"
"Ernie, if you sing that Kenny Rogers
song one more time I will punch you in the eye.
- L Is for Dyslexia: Max. Almost every episode after he is diagnosed talks about it. George allegedly has it too, but his is not as severe as Max's.
- Lady Drunk: George's mother Bennie, though she is not rich.
- Tammy, Ricky's mom is even more of a drunk.
- Laughably Evil: The Powers brothers are a corrupt pair of jerkasses and one of them is a horribly negligent father. Despite this they are immensely entertaining whenever they are on-screen.
- Lethal Chef: Angie is constantly told she's this by almost everyone, especially Benny.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In one episode, while describing his turnaround of Veronica, George snidely remarks about getting his own sitcom TV show, which he calls "George Lopez: Nanny Nine-''Juan''-''Juan'' ".
- Mama Bear: In one episode, Angie is about to stop Carmen from being bullied by sending the school a "strongly worded letter". She drops that idea and marches straight to the school to confront the counselor upon learning that Carmen got into a fight.
- Toward the end of the "Carmen Runs Away" arc, Benny becomes a Grandmama Bear towards Carmen and attacks Zack powers with a wrench upon seeing him.
: George! I just saw Zack and I stopped him good!
(sees Zack's father
...Mel...your son has been in a terrible accident
. (drops a wrench
- Angie almost strangles her brother while tying his tie for him after learning he planned to steal his daughter's money and even scolds him about it.
- Marty Stu: In-universe. Jason is probably supposed to be a parody. When George and Angie grill him after Carmen brings him home, it is revealed that he is a straight-A athlete on the debate team who spends his afternoons helping his disabled brother.
- Although, by the end, he slides into more of a Broken Ace, since it's revealed that he's abusing steroids to compete in sports because he's so desperate for his emotionally-distant father's approval.
- Misery Builds Character: An Aesop that appears in several episodes that deal with George's childhood. Yeah he grew up poor, abused, neglected, suffered from learning disabilities and was left with a lot of issues. However, George gained a lot of lessons from it which he applies throughout the series. It gave him the nerve to ask Angie out, he has proven more responsible than many of the other adults, and he's a lot better off than Ernie or his half-brother, who had good parents.
- Mr. Seahorse: Continuing after an episode of when Carmen runs away, one scene of George Lopez shows Carmen (his daughter) returning home, but with a twist — she is pregnant! After this, George then realizes not only his daughter is pregnant, but also is his wife and his mother. Then, his son Max walks into the room with a large belly as well. After asking his father, "Where is this going to come out?", George abruptly wakes up and responds aloud, "If you're lucky, your bellybutton!" It was all just a dream induced from all the stress of worrying to where Carmen ran away.
- In a completely different way, George was wearing a seahorse hat at Carmen's quinceanera.
- Mushroom Samba: In two separate episodes George eats a Tequila Worm in a moment of absent-mindedness and trips out. The first time it happens, George switches lives with Ernie, becoming the hopeless factory grunt while Ernie is the popular manager married to Angie. In the second, George imagines that he and Ernie are gay lovers who are about to be Wed. Both dreams end in a very surreal moment of Vic dressed as a worm doing a bizarre dance.
- The Munchausen: Vic. Parodied in at least one episode. George keeps getting tired of his stories so he asks him to skip to the last line of the story, which are typically Brick Jokes, in addition to Noodle Incidents.
Vic: My father paid the girl with a chicken.
(at the end of a different story) Well the chicken lived, but the girl had to where an eye patch for the rest of her life.
(and the end of yet another story)And it turns out it was the exact same chicken.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: From "Max Big Adventure"
Benny: Here is my list of people I don't want in the carpool: Jimmy Fatass, Joey Pitstains, Booger Nose Johnny, and Lilly.
- The reason being that Lilly doesn't have anything nice to say about anybody.
- Noodle Incident: George and Angie apparently had a very memorable "trip to the lake" that is mentioned in several episodes.
- Another time Angie once told George never to describe his house as his castle.
- Not So Different: Over the series, George has been introduced to many people who have grown up in the same circumstances as he has:
- Ricky, Max's delinquent friend, was himself abandoned by his father, and raised by his mother who was even more of an alcoholic. George was willing to forget about the damage Ricky did to his house and let him stay.
- Zack Powers himself had a negligent father and an alcoholic mother, but he is such manipulative pervert, George wants nothing to do with him.
- Even Jason had a pretty miserable childhood. His parents were never a big part of his life, and abandoned him at a crucial moment in his life to move to Switzerland. George is annoyed that he is being compared to a kid who grew up in the lap of luxury, but Angie shoots back:
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Everyone in Angie's family looks down on George, its her father, Vic, who tops them all.
- Angie doesn't have it any better with her mother-in-law.
- Pædo Hunt: Subverted. See trope entry.
- Papa Wolf: George may not be the perfect father when it comes to his daughter, but if Carmen is in danger or seeing someone who might take advantage of her, he won't care if the person he kills is his boss' son.
- He also acts as this in regards to Max and his niece Veronica.
- Pinch Me: The 2 times he eats the worm in his drink at Thirsty's.
- Playing Gertrude: Belita Moreno, who plays George's mom Benita "Benny" Lopez, is only 12 years older than George Lopez. She wore age makeup in the earlier episodes, but this was later phased out.
- To be fair, she's only four years off from Benny's actual age.
- Politically Motivated Teacher: The Treetop Rangers leader who tells them that recycling is bad and that cops should profile Mexicans. When George confronts him, he says "Oh not like you. I mean one of those "Me no speakee" Mexicans".
- Pretty in Mink: Angie's mother Emelina wears a fur coat when she comes for Christmas. Only Bennie comments on it, but that's Bennie's nature. Angie also mentions she had to stop her parents from buying a fur for Carmen, more because they don't want to spoil her.
- Pseudo Crisis: One of the later seasons ended in a multiple-cliffhanger scenario, one of them comes out of nowhere, it includes George's friend, Ernie, worrying that his and George's place of work might shut down. Next episode, it turns out that it wasn't really going to happen.
- Put on a Bus: Carmen before the final season due to Masiela Luscha wanting to go to college.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Low Rider" by WAR
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Powers Brothers. Despite being corrupt jerkasses, as stated above, they sincerely respect George and are always willing to listen to his ideas even if they won't agree with them, and are sincerely apologetic whenever he tells them that they've offended him in some way. They've even helped him with some family problems, such as planning his vow renewal and teaching Max not to lie and the value of hard work.
- Recognition Failure: Carmen runs away and becomes a groupie for the rapper Chingy. George ends up being the only person who doesn't know who that is.
- Even Vic recognized Chingy.
- Reset Button: Averted. Take, for instance, the time Carmen gained a reputation as a whore. Turned out her boyfriend had propositioned her, and she turned him down, he started the rumor, and George forces him to take it back. This would be an ordinary Very Special Episode, except that the episode ends with Carmen still being teased at school, and George and Angie realize that they're going to have to find her a new school. Ouch.
- Rich Bitch: Veronica at first, though she gets better later on.
- Running Gag: George's big head.
- Self-Made Man: George and Vic both came from humble beginnings. The former became a plant manager and later the factory president at the end of the series. The latter was a Cuban refugee who became a wealthy cardiologist.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Ernie and George.
- She Is All Grown Up: A major source of frustration for George is the fact that his little girl Carmen has grown into a four-alarm hottie, which has not escaped the notice of the menfolk.
- A particular one that comes to this editor's mind is the one in "Why Are You Crying?":
- Shower of Awkward: One episode has George walking into a shower expecting to see Angie and surprise her, only to spot Benny instead!
- Sleeps with Everyone but You: Gina from will sleep with Anything That Moves...anything, that is, that can get past the initial nausea. At one point, Ernie decides he's finally gotten desperate enough to make a pass at her, which she turns down.
Gina: I guess I have standards. Hey, I'm as surprised as you!
- Smug Snake: Zack Powers, one of Carmen's (later ex-)boyfriends, is a pretty standard example; bratty, unlikeable, arrogant and entitled, and yet he's convinced everything will work out in his favor. Then, Benny bashes his head in with a wrench.
- Special Guest: Done quite well, including Lou Diamond Phillips as George's wastrel, long lost half brother. The big one was Sandra Bullock as Accident Amy (Bullock was an executive producer for the show).
- Left the Background Music On: Angie and George's song play while George sits down sadly, only for Benny to come onto the screen carrying a boom box.
- Spicy Latina: Angie and Benny.
- Spoiled Sweet: Idealistic Angie grew up in a wealthy household, was popular in high school, and is very caring with her family and the people around her.
- Standardized Sitcom Housing: Subverted; the family has the usual kitchen/living room setup, but the vast majority of the action takes place in the kitchen or backyard.
- Stealth Insult: When Angie goes into selling makeup, a makeup seller advises Angie to use these to make women feel insecure enough to buy makeup.
- Take Five: Used when George and Angie have to talk about their finances and Ernie just opens a can of orange soda during the discussion. He doesn't want to leave since "he just opened this can," and George gives him a rather nasty look.
- Token White: Carmen's boyfriend Jason in later seasons.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Subverted in that George often talks about how lucky he is to have gotten Angie.
- The Unfavorite: Carmen is treated like this from time to time, although George does cop to it.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Occasionally, Benny and Vic. Canon in one episode where they made out when the Lopezes went to Colorado on vacation.
- Video Wills: Done quite humorously when Angie's late sister-in-law Claudia leaves all of her money to her daughter Veronica, to be managed by a trustee. She manages to get in one last jab at her father-in-law before naming George as the trustee:
Claudia: Will Victor Palmero please step forward.
[Vic steps forward]
- Made even funnier by George's immediate reaction.
George: Yes! You heard her, Vic! KISS IT!
- Vocal Evolution: Benny's voice sounded more "ghetto" with a stereotypical Latino accent in the pilot.
- Max's voice dropped sometime during the last two seasons due to puberty.
- The Voice: Ernie's Mom has only been seen from the waistline down along with her appendages, but most of the time the audience only hears her voice.
- You Keep Using That Word: George uses the term "catching them in bed together" to refer to literally finding Jason and Carmen in her bed asleep (with their clothes on, no less).
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Ernie gets engaged to Tammy, his foster child's mother in the fourth season. It's mentioned in the following episode, and after that Ernie's back to being a socially awkward single guy.
- Where Did We Go Wrong?: George and Angie feel this way about Carmen, especially after she runs away and becomes a groupie for Chingy.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Used In-Universe for laughs in one of the Christmas specials. George takes his family too a rendition of A Christmas Carol... except it turns out to be a Grimdark, urban version of the story. Scrooge is a drug-dealing pimp and Little Tim is killed off by a drive-by shooting two minutes in. We don't see much else but according to Angie, a pittbull fight was somehow involved in the play.
- World of Snark: Every single character in the show is capable of making a smart remark, a verbal jab, a witty comeback etc. Yes, even Max and Ernie.