[[quoteright:184:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Good_Wife_1964.jpg]]

Creator/{{CBS}} legal drama series, 2009 to 2016, executive-produced by Creator/RidleyScott and starring Julianna Margulies, and both a Golden Globe and Emmy winner.

Alicia Florrick has a bit of a problem on her hands. Her husband was the former State’s Attorney of [[UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Cook County, Illinois]], until he got caught [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed being Eliot Spitzer/Clinton]], and resigned. Then he got sent to prison for corruption.

A trained lawyer, she returns to practice at the law firm of Lockhart/Gardner, run by Diane Lockhart, her haughty mentor of sorts, and Will Gardner, her former law school classmate (and potentially more). Alicia begins running the pro bono cases, but of course, she’s a defence lawyer and all the prosecutors know her--including the new State’s Attorney, who may have shopped her husband to the authorities.

Meanwhile, her husband Peter is trying to clear his name and potentially return to politics. But he needs his ‘good wife’ by his side, and she’s not sure whether she wants to be with him anymore.
----
!!This show contains examples of:

* AbortedArc:
** The first season brought up revelations that Glenn Childs has tapped the Florricks’ phones and done other illegal things in a grab for power, and implied the feds were moving in to investigate. This was quickly forgotten as soon as the election arc started and Wendy Scott Carr taking over as the primary antagonist.
** Kalinda’s [[spoiler:husband]] was supposed to be around longer, but negative fan reaction led to it being (mostly) wrapped up sooner.
* AbusiveParents: When [[spoiler:Howard]] tells [[spoiler:Jackie]] he [[WhenSheSmiles loves her laughter]] on their date in ‘Cooked’, she shies away, then tells him her mother hated her laughter and would make her eat a clove of garlic whenever she did. She’s almost driven to tears when telling him.
* AdultFear: When Alicia can't find Grace? And realizes that her daughter called her twelve times? And her daughter isn't answering her phone? And one of the messages has a man telling her daughter to get in the car in the background? ''God,'' yes. Terrifying.
* AffablyEvil:
** Louis Canning is a soft-spoken very likable guy who is played by MichaelJFox of all people. Yet he’s also an attorney who primarily works in getting favorable deals for shady corporations and often uses quite unethical tactics to do so, along with playing on his disability to gain sympathy with the jury. He then leaves it at the office every night to go home to his loving family.
** Neil Gross would also qualify, a casual, laid-back hoodie wearing software company executive who would qualify as a CoolOldGuy in most circumstances, but is also someone [[CorruptCorporateExecutive so concerned with profits]] he’s willing to assist authoritarian regimes such as China and Syria in arresting protesters and dissidents.
** Lemond Bishop. He’s a brutal drug lord, but damn he is one well dressed, suave, charming guy, and he does his best to be a [[GoodParents good father]].
* AIIsACrapshoot: In ‘Driven’, Anthony Edward Dudewitz, the creator of a self-driving car, believes that A.I. could develop beyond humanity’s intelligence and overtake it (i.e. his version of TheSingularity), and admits it might have happened with his own system when Alicia interrogates him.
* AllForNothing: In ‘Iowa’, [[spoiler:the massive undertakings and touch-and-go situations Peter’s team undergoes in Iowa end up as a complete failure as Peter wins only 4 counties]].
* AmbiguousDisorder: Elsbeth Tascioni, who’s easily distracted by things surrounding her and led to flights of fancy by them.
* AmoralAttorney: As the trope’s page says, the majority of all lawyers are amoral where their clients’ best interests are concerned. The closest people to the definition of the trope would be Glenn Childs and Patti Nyholm.
* AndThenWhat: Invoked by Jason to Peter in ‘Unmanned’. It is probably part of the reason why Peter says [[spoiler: he won't fight Alicia on a divorce at the end of the episode.]]
--->'''Peter''': I should kick your ass.
--->'''Jason''': You could try. And then what?
* AntiHero: Will and Peter and Kalinda. Alicia occasionally strays into this area during darker moments.
* ArtisticLicense: In ‘Payback’, Marissa tells Eli that Eyal Naftali, Chief of Staff to Israel’s Communications Minister, wants to run for the Knesset, and later for Prime Minister, and wants him to manage his campaign. Aside from the fact that this position does not exist[[note]]The Minister has a ''deputy minister'', whose name as of the episode’s air date is Shlomo Filber[[/note]], but you don’t run for Knesset--you run for party leadership in a party that has primary elections, and then the ''party'' runs for Knesset. Becoming Prime Minister means your party is big enough and you can manage to form a coalition with enough parties to get the majority of Knesset members on your side (i.e. a Westminster-style parliamentary system, sans ridings). Even more {{egregious}}ly, she tells him it’s his chance to get rid of Netanyahu (who is all too chummy with the Republicans in RealLife), while a person at this position would almost certainly be in Netanyahu’s coalition. And, incidentally, as of the episode’s air date, the Israeli Minister of Communications name is... Benjamin Netanyahu. The episode seems to assume the Prime Minister of Israel is [[EaglelandOsmosis equivalent to US President]], with similar elections. Israel does in fact have a President, but the office works very differently, and Presidents are also chosen by the Knesset.
* ArtisticLicenseReligion: In a rather awkward and contrived manner, with Zack’s (ex-)girlfriend Nisa. Initially it’s only her skin color that’s a topic of debate (because of the possible repercussions for Peter’s campaign), but later she is mentioned to be the daughter of a Hamas-sympathizing Muslim cleric, which basically rolls three separate unlikely scenarios into one. A Muslim girl not wearing a scarf? Progressively more unlikely the more conservative the family gets. A Muslim girl allowed to have a boyfriend before marriage? Progressively more unlikely the more conservative the family gets. A Muslim girl allowed to have a ''nonbeliever'' as a boyfriend? Unlikely even for moderately Muslim families. All of the above at once, with the father in question being the aforementioned Hamas-sympathizing cleric? You must be joking, even if the boyfriend is the son of the Cook County State’s Attorney (and later Illinois Governor), unless the support stems from seeing them as the LesserOfTwoEvils in a BlackAndGrayMorality interpretation of the ArabIsraeliConflict. Later it strains credibility even further when we found out that [[spoiler:Zack got Nisa pregnant]].
* [[AsHimself As Themselves]]:
** In ‘Dear God’, Gloria Steinem makes a guest appearance [[spoiler:urging Alicia to run for State’s Attorney]].
** Peter Bogdanovich turned up in ‘Goliath and David’ as [[spoiler:the Peter who actually fathered Marilyn’s baby]].
** Valerie Jarrett appears in ‘Trust Issues’ for a similar purpose to Steinem’s.
** Narrowly averted with Fred Thompson, who plays a guy with a similar name and similar legal background and starred on a popular drama in a legal role. Possibly because one of his co-stars on LawAndOrder is [[CelebrityParadox Peter Florrick]].
** Chris Matthews in ‘Iowa’.
* AttackOfThePoliticalAd: Downplayed, and usually their use is either condemned (as in the SA race between Alicia and Frank Prady) or backfires (as in the SA race between Peter and Glenn Childs--Glenn’s campaign manager resigns after his ad [[GoneHorriblyWrong backfires horribly]]).
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Elsbeth Tascioni, to the point where in ‘Shiny Objects’ Alicia and Dean pretty much render her useless as a lawyer by randomly taking magazines with pictures of steamships and penguins out of their folders during her cross-examination. Later we get an ImagineSpot from Elsbeth’s perspective featuring random images of a steamship and a clown. In spite of this [[BunnyEarsLawyer she’s an extremely competent attorney when she can stay on track]].
* AudienceSurrogate: Those two NSA guys who basically treat Alicia's life like their soap opera.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Eli spends most of the last season working up a BatmanGambit to simultaneously vindicate Alicia of the election-rigging scandal and get back his old gig as Peter's campaign manager (after being set aside in favor of a new character with experience running national campaigns so Peter can run for president). He finally manages to get someone to go on record that the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party rigged the election without Alicia's knowledge, [[spoiler:only for the person to mention to him it was ''Peter's'' idea at the last minute]]. This reduces Eli to a HeroicBSOD.
* BerserkButton
** Say something to make Alicia [[spoiler:know about Kalinda’s and Peter’s affair]] and Kalinda will go violent.
** Don’t do anything to hurt Eli’s campaign if you don't want him to spit coffee and throw books or strangle you.
** David Lee doesn’t love much in this world, but he does love his niece. Do ''not'' mess with her.
** Alicia isn't too fond of situations that put her kids at risk or in the spotlight (something she’s repeatedly made clear to Eli).
** Although Peter doesn't have the best track record as a faithful husband to Alicia, if someone tries to hurt her, then, as Will put it, ‘he goes tribal’.
* BestServedCold: [[spoiler:Wendy Scott Carr]] seems to just want to do her job, until she reveals to Will who she’s really after in season 3.
* BewareTheQuietOnes: Lemond Bishop, middle name ‘Do Not Fuck With’. His status as a ScaryBlackMan is only amplified by the fact that Creator/MikeColter rarely raises his voice (one of the few times was when [[spoiler:Kalinda threatened to have Child Services take away Dylan]]), and even when he’s visibly angry he goes into TranquilFury. Bishop’s known for a fact to have had his own people killed on mere suspicion they might be informing on him.
* BiTheWay: Kalinda. It’s hinted at, then confirmed. She claims to ‘not distinguish’, but sometimes ‘prefers women’.
-->'''Kalinda''': I’m not gay, I’m.... flexible.
* BitchInSheepsClothing:
** Jackie Florrick, the mother in law/grandma nobody wants to have.
** [[spoiler:Wendy Scott Carr]].
** [[spoiler:Maddie]].
** Patti Nyholm basically tries to put on this front, as she will often antagonize Alicia and Will with a smile, often after showing off one of her kids to judges/witnesses in order to gain sympathy points.
* BlandNameProduct: Inverted when Will Gardner tries to make the firm more "hip" by re-branding Lockhart Gardner into LG. No one seems to mention that the RealLife LG Corporation might have something to say about that. This is promptly forgotten in later episodes, possibly due to the fact that the new name doesn't take off. Will tries to introduce himself to a prospective new lawyer as from "LG" only to get blank looks, forcing himself to go back to the old name.
* BlatantLies:
** Kalinda is trying to establish the trust of somebody she thinks is a hacker. He points to the two federal agents sulking un-subtly over her shoulder.
--->'''Hacker''': Are they with you?
--->'''Kalinda''': ...''no.''
** In ‘Restraint’, when Grace tries to rope in new clients by tricking them into thinking her mother’s firm is bigger than it is, she takes three computers and puts on office background noise to make it sound like she’s calling from a busy office. When one of them starts playing an ad about horses, she tells the client one of their lawyers is working on a horse-related case.
* BookEnds:
** [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming The first and last season each have one word as their title. The second and second-last have two, the third and third-last have three, and the fourth have four.]]
** Mirroring the first episode, [[spoiler:the series finale has Alicia standing by Peter as he resigns, but this time it’s Diane who [[ArmorPiercingSlap slaps]] Alicia instead]].
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: Eli, while reviewing the rules for [[spoiler:Alicia’s suspected liaisons with Jason]] in ‘Discovery’.
-->'''Eli:''' [[RuleNumberOne Rule no. 3]]: even if you go out in a bigger group, never, under any circumstances, let it be in a hotel, a bar... or a hotel bar.
* BreakHisHeartToSaveHim: In ‘Payback’, Marissa asks Alicia to fire Eli as her chief of staff so he could go take a more lucrative job and stop fighting Ruth. [[spoiler:Eli sees right through it, finds a way to gravely undermine Ruth, and informs Alicia he’s staying.]]
* BrotherSisterTeam
** Alicia and Owen turn into this more and more.
** Zach and Grace of course. They take such good care of their Mom.
* BrickJoke: Grace negotiating for a commission on getting new clients and settling for 0.5% for each. By the end of the episode, [[spoiler:she tells Alicia it totals at $35,800 throughout the year]].
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Unsurprisingly, a few.
** Nancy Crozier (the disarmingly ditzy acting yet sharp and savvy blonde who returns in season 2), Stern, Ryan Alprin (from Unorthodox) and [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny Elsbeth Tascioni]] are probably the best and most literal examples.
** Andrew Wylie is a bunny-ears investigator; he’s rarely seen without his small children in tow.
** And bunny-ears judges too. You’d be hard-pressed to find a judge without a [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} quirk or three]] on this show. Just for starters there was the guest judge from a rural county down south who preferred a more informal atmosphere, and another who was doing day trading in the middle of a meeting with counsel. Another prohibited cell phones, and yet another insisted lawyers put ‘in my opinion’ somewhere in their statements.
* ButNotTooBi: Kalinda is seen more often with male lovers, though the balance is being restored.
* CannotTellAJoke: In ‘Restraint’, Eli tells Paige he’s working on his overly-serious demeanor, and he even ‘told a joke yesterday’. He tries to tell it, forgets it, then gets back to it later:
-->'''Eli:''' Oh, so, there are two fish in a tank. (''Chuckles'') And, um, one fish says to the other fish, ‘How do you drive this thing?’ That was the punch line, [[DontExplainTheJoke because, you know, we-we think they’re in a fish tank, but actually, they’re in a tank tank]].
* CassandraTruth: In ‘Iowa’, Jackie thinks Howard’s story about the 2.2 million in his name is a symptom of his delusions. [[spoiler:She learns the truth by the end of the episode though.]]
* CelibateHero: [[spoiler:Frank Prady]] is rumored to be gay (and [[spoiler:loses flaming homophobe Guy Redmayne’s financial support to Alicia]] because of it), but he tells Alicia privately that the reason he never remarried after the death of his first wife is because he’s a Jesuit and it would be against his vows.
* ChekhovsGun: ‘Hey Mom, pick up the phone...’
* ChekhovsGunman: Neil Howard Sloan-Jacob, who appeared as Peter’s embarrassingly enthusiastic supporter in ‘Real Deal’, returns in ‘Iowa’ to help drum up support for Peter. [[spoiler:While it ''[[HopeSpot seems]]'' to work surprisingly well, [[AllForNothing Peter still fails miserably and wins only 4 counties]].]]
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Many of the quirky recurring characters, but Elsbeth Tascioni stands out.
-->Do you hear that too?
** So much so she eventually fails a psych exam, which probably goes against how psychology is structured.
* CoolOldGuy: Judge Michael Marx. An elderly fellow with a hearing aid, he, to everyone’s surprise, turns out to be well-versed in computer algorithms and the tech world in general.
* CounterpartComparison: In-universe.
** As a Democrat whose charismatic politician husband cheated on her, Alicia is often compared to Hilary Clinton.
** [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Ruth in ‘Lies’, who directs her staff to make Peter as similar as possible to Obama when he [[spoiler:announces he’s running for president]].
* CovertPervert: In ‘KSR’, Dr. Portnow, a charming person who performs life-saving operations on babies, harbours horrifying fantasies about [[TitleDrop kidnapping, sedating, and raping]] women he’s familiar with. The episode revolves around the issue of whether or not he actually intended to realise them. [[spoiler:It’s very heavily indicated that he did not; it was his way of unwinding after he finishes his extremely stressful work.]]
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Howard Lyman, the oldest and for most of the series, laziest partner in the firm. He's initially used mostly as a compliant political football in intra-firm power games. However, after Cary Agos attempts to retire him in "Cooked" because the younger associates are complaining about his laziness, he gets serious and begins using his connections to legitimately help out. He starts by bringing in the Food Service Union (worth $33 million annually), via [[spoiler:Jackie, a friend of the chairman of the FSU and Howard’s new girlfriend]], and later uses his friendship with a judge to get the team some more preparation time after several associates jump ship.
* CruelMercy: In ‘The Last Call’, [[spoiler:Kalinda, after finding out that it was the bullet from Jeffrey’s gun that killed Will, offers the accused the chance to kill himself with his (previously confiscated) belt while in prison. Jeffrey, guilty for his crime, reaches out to take the belt, only for Kalinda to pull it away, condemning him to live with what he did]].
* TheCynic: Many people and often, but David Lee most of all.
* DeadlyPrank: Near the end of ‘Driven’, [[spoiler:it turns out Tim Brewster’s friends hacked the T-Portable system in his car as a prank, causing him to crash into Wendy Searle’s car]].
* DeadpanSnarker: So very many. Most of the lawyers and a lot of the judges, even the Indian shopkeeper in episode 6 of season 1, although special recognition should go to David Lee.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: A variation happens in ‘Tracks’. [[spoiler:After the defeat in ‘Iowa’, as Ruth is packing, Eli says he wished he had been better to her. Ruth says she [[DidYouThinkICantFeel wishes he had been, too]].]]
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: Following a passionate kiss in the last seconds of one Season 6 episode, the following episode is deliberately unclear about whether or not [[spoiler:Alicia and John]] slept together. [[spoiler:A potentially leaked email two episodes later reveals they did.]]
* DidYouThinkICantFeel: From ‘Tracks’:
-->'''Eli:''' Good-bye, Ruth. I wish... I had been better to you.
-->'''Ruth:''' I wish you had been, too.
* DirtyOldMan: Guy Redmayne, a potential donor both Alicia and Frank try to sway. He touches Alicia’s hands and just above her knee, making her visibly uncomfortable, and tells her he’ll support her because he ‘[[HeteronormativeCrusader doesn’t like fags]]’, which he assumes Frank is (and Alicia tries to deny). When he meets with Frank, he [[ScrewPolitenessImASenior talks about Alicia in the most sexist language he can come up with]], until Frank is outraged and calls him out on it.
-->'''Frank:''' You’re disgusting.\\
'''Guy:''' Right, but [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney I’m rich]], so it really doesn’t matter, does it?
* DisappearedDad: Lemond Bishop tells Kalinda in ‘Dark Money’ that his father left him when he was six, and he has been determined never to do the same to his own son.
* DisregardThatStatement: Used by many characters, though they usually withdraw their statement as soon as the other side objects.
* DistractedByTheSexy: In ‘Goliath and David’, Alicia wears a certain dress to court-the dress she (briefly) wore during [[TheirFirstTime her first time]] with Will. This causes Will, her opponent in the case, to have rather intense Flashbacks while a showrunner is talking about the Zeitgeist of art.
* TheDitz: Reporter Ted Willoughby. Starting from ‘Loser Edit’, it’s become a RunningGag for Alicia’s PR team to invite him whenever a story has an unflattering angle he’s too stupid to notice, so he would happily accept any version they give him.
* DownerEnding:
** In ‘Taxed’, [[spoiler:it turns out the first client, who insisted on pleading not guilty when charged with stealing a sweater she got as a gift from her mother, really was innocent, but her mother did steal it; this destroys any chance of getting a class action against Salvatori, the clothing store, for wrongful accusations of theft against black people, as the client decides to take the plea]].
** Later that season, [[spoiler:in ‘Tracks’, Rowby loses the case and Alicia tells Marissa she can’t forgive Eli]].
** [[spoiler:The series ends with Alicia admitting she’ll always love Will and losing Jason apparently for good, Peter losing his career, and an apparently irreparable rift between Alicia and Diane after Lucca ruined Kurt’s reputation by accusing him of throwing a case for the sake of the woman he was cheating on Diane with. She seems willing to pick herself up and dust herself off, but at any rate that’s a lot to pick up the pieces from.]]
* DramaticIrony: In the opening of ‘Hitting the Fan’, a potential new publicist for Lockhart Gardner is talking to Will, selling that she’ll play up the firm’s stability if she’s hired, comparing them favorably to other firms plagued with infighting. Given what happens in the rest of the episode, this ends up being unintentionally funny and wrong.
* EagleEyeDetection
* ElevatorGoingDown: [[spoiler:At the end of ‘Closing Arguments’, Will and Alicia almost casually decide to resolve their [[WillTheyOrWontThey WTWT]] and take a room at a hotel. Their elevator ride to the presidential suite starts off as an UncomfortableElevatorMoment and gradually turns into this with every stop.]]
* EnemyMine: in ‘Lies’, Ruth tells Eli that [[spoiler:Peter is likely to be the next president]], and they need to stop fighting and trust each other.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: ‘Waiting for the Knock’ has one of the firm’s biggest clients, drug kingpin Lemond Bishop, under threat of arrest by the FBI, but he’s more worried about what happens to his son if he goes to prison than prison itself. This continues to be true in other dealings: Bishop genuinely loves his son Dylan and wants to be a good father [[DisappearedDad because his own wasn’t]], but he is ''not'' a good man, up to and including having his own men gunned down on the mere suspicion of having turned on him (‘The Line’). Attempting to use Dylan against Lemond backfires horribly in ‘The Trial’.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Kalinda, according to Cary.
* EverybodyDidIt: [[spoiler:Mr. [=BitCoin=]]] is actually [[spoiler:all three people the firm suspects working in concert.]]
* ExactWords:
** In ‘The Trial’, Kalinda wants Lemond Bishop to get one of his subordinates, Dante, to appear at a trial. [[spoiler:Specifically, Cary’s trial. Kalinda does this by threatening to show photos of known drug dealers at Lemond’s house, which would get child services to take Dylan away. Lemond is furious, but gets Dante to appear at Cary’s trial as requested... who then testifies Cary ''did'' tell drug dealers how to avoid arrest as revenge for threatening Lemond's family.]]
** In ‘Restraint’, Grace tries to hook clients by overstating by implying the size of her mother’s firm, among other things by saying she’s calling from ‘the Midwest offices’ (i.e. the only office).
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: From ‘Iowa’:
-->'''Ruth:''' We stop for 15 minutes, Peter eats some local delicacy, like a loose meat sandwich.
-->'''Zach:''' What’s a loose meat sandwich?
-->'''Josh:''' A sandwich with loose meat.
* FaceHeelTurn:
** [[spoiler:Cary]] accepts a job from [[JerkAss Glenn Childs]]. Granted, this is after Lockhart/Gardner has to lay him off. He’s still a stand-up guy.
** [[spoiler:Cary]] and [[spoiler:Alicia]] do this at the end of Season 4 when they [[spoiler:decide to leave Lockhart/Gardner and form a new firm with the other fourth-year lawyers]].
* FalseFlagOperation: In ‘Iowa’, ‘Florrick Fanatic’ Neil Howard Sloan-Jacob’s antics become so outlandish Eli starts thinking he’s working for another candidate.
* FavouritismFlipFlop: In ‘Iowa’, David Lee flagrantly ignores the fact that Cary and Diane are in the middle of a meeting and tries to get them to talk about his emergency. When he learns the person in front of him is Ms. Creech from the Illinois Fair Employment Practices Agency, he greets her with overt politeness, although he still calls her ‘[[MaliciousMisnaming Ms. Screech]]’.
* FlameBait: InUniverse, a video of Hallie Fisher, a doctor caught talking about selling aborted fetuses’ organs, becomes this in ‘Restraint’. A hearing on whether the video should be posted online or not attracts fervent crowds of supporters and detractors arguing vehemently before the hearing even starts. [[spoiler:It even winds up costing Diane some clients who are appalled at her defending it, despite her insisting that it’s a First Amendment case about prior restraint.]]
* AFoolForAClient: Stern tries to defend himself ‘through Alicia’ from a [=DUI=] charge until she decides to take matters into her own hands.
* FreezeFrameBonus: The e-mail in ‘Loser Edit’ from the report revealing Alicia’s private e-mails. It’s apparently a cross between her e-mail and someone else’s, as it reads ‘From: Alicia Florrick’ and mentions having to put two kids through college, but also says, ‘Alicia is a perfect example of someone [[CastingCouch sleeping their way to the top]]!’ It looks like a {{Blooper}}, but then whoever wrote the e-mail says (in the first person) that her husband is the SA and will probably be governor and is probably already taking enough bribes to pay for their tuition. Then there’s the final line:
-->''‘[[IfYouCanReadThis If you’ve read this far]] you aren’t paying any attention to our show. So, bite me.’''
* FreudianExcuse: [[spoiler:Jackie]] reveals in ‘Cooked’ that her mother hated her laughter and made her eat a clove of garlic whenever she laughed. Suddenly, so much of her behaviour makes so much more sense.
* FriendshipMoment: Often and between many characters, but specifically Kalinda/Alicia and Diane/Will. Sometimes also Kalinda/Will and more recently [[spoiler:Alicia/Cary]] .
** ‘Je Ne Sais What?’ was one big friendship moment between Elsbeth and the people of Lockhart/Gardner.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: One scene alternates between Will dealing with a blowhard political pundit in the conference room and Alicia dealing with a divorce case across the hall. When the focus is on Alicia, you can still hear the pundit railing and carrying on in the background.
* GetOut: At the end of ‘KSR’, Alicia, after hearing [[spoiler:Eli confessing to erasing Will’s voice message with his AnguishedDeclarationOfLove six years beforehand]], says this to him in chilling TranquilFury.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** The episode title, ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’. The episode involved the military, who use those words to spell out initials over the radio. WTF, or...
** The show also frequently uses a trick where they present the punchline to a dirty joke first, so the innuendo only becomes clear later in the episode - like in ‘Anatomy of a Joke’, where Alicia gets a prank call from someone asking her if she likes Brazilian food. Turns out [[spoiler:there’s a rumor going around that her husband has a Brazil-shaped birthmark on his penis.]]
* GoodAdulteryBadAdultery: Peter cheats on Alicia as one part of the scandal that starts up the series, and then with other women in later years. This is always portrayed as bad, even when their marriage is really just for show. On the other hand, Alicia is involved with multiple other men as well in the course of the series, but is portrayed well because a) Peter did it first and b) she unlike them, is either in love or at close to it.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: {{Discussed}} and {{averted}}. Diana is a supporter of abortion rights, while her client R. D. opposes it, and they have an informal debate about it, but later respectfully agree to disagree. On the other hand Nisa, Zack's girlfriend, is the only character mentioned to have had an abortion. This is treated neutrally, with no comment either way. Alicia is only upset that she didn't know Zack was having sex, and if the reveal could be bad for Peter's political career given the controversial issue.
* GoodParents:
** Alicia does a formidable job at being a mother, despite all the challenges she has to face in her marriage and her career.
** As horrific as Lemond Bishop’s business might be, he does his very best to be a good father to his son, after his own father [[DisappearedDad left him when he was six]].
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Frequently. Alicia generally is depicted most favorably, because she’s the main character, but she’s a classic AntiHero, not above lying or being underhanded to get what she wants. A great example is episode five, Season 5 ‘Hitting the Fan’. when [[spoiler:Will finds out Alicia and Cary are leaving the firm and taking clients with them.]] Things get rough, but its hard to say that anyone is clearly in the wrong.
* HasAType: Recurring character Colin Sweeney seems to prefer attractive, dark-haired, self-possessed women who are interested in unconventional sex/relationships. While most of those apply to Alicia, who he may be interested in, he also likes her as a lawyer and, he says, as a person. She’s also, apparently, the closest thing he has to an actual friend.
* HeelFaceTurn: Cary [[spoiler:rejoins the firm at the end of Season 3.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Eli gets one in ‘Bond’ after [[spoiler:Peter fires him when Alicia lets him run for president]], but soon enough...
* HesBack: Eli snaps out of it and [[spoiler:claws his way back into the campaign to become Alicia’s new chief of staff]].
* HeteronormativeCrusader: Guy Redmayne, the donor both Alicia and Frank try to sway. Aside from being a [[DirtyOldMan disgusting sexist]], he chooses to support Alicia because he doesn’t like ‘fags’. When he talks to Frank, he talks about Alicia in horribly sexist language to test if he is indeed a ‘fag’. [[spoiler:Ironically, despite this being a common assumption, [[MistakenForGay he’s not]]; he is a Jesuit, which is why he never remarried.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** In ‘Undisclosed Recipients’, Eli teaches Alicia to give evasive responses to all the people who try to influence her one way or another (Guy Redmayne wants her to hire his friend, Lemond Bishop wants her to stop the investigation against him...). By the end of the episode, when Eli asks her to appoint someone he wants, she gives him the exact same response.
** In ‘Bond’, [[spoiler:Eli pushing Peter to run for president backfires when Peter fires him and hires Ruth Eastman, who has more of a ‘national appeal’]].
* HollywoodAtheist: The show’s got a pretty good track record for averting this and portraying atheists as no more or less sympathetic than theists.
** Alicia is an open atheist but isn’t shown to be a worse person for it. In fact, although her daughter Grace is a born-again Christian, these different beliefs never affect their relationship. ‘Dear God’ has Alicia needing help dealing with a venue change to a Christian arbitrator rather than civil court, and she goes to Grace for advice on how to use the Bible as a legal document. Overall, it’s refreshing to see it treated in this manner instead of being a damaging character flaw.
** This was first revealed when Eli planned to use a video of Maddie Hayward refusing to take part in a public prayer against her gubernatorial campaign (she’s one of Peter’s opponents and Eli’s just doing his job as campaign manager), but she short-circuits him by telling a reporter who catches all four of them at a dinner that she felt it would be hypocritical of her to go through the motions as an atheist. Peter tells the reporter he respects that, though he doesn’t agree with her. The reporter then queries Alicia, who states that she’s an atheist as well.
** Alicia herself invokes this when she’s involved with a custody case against a philosophy professor. She uses the fact that he doesn't believe in an afterlife, free will or anything immaterial as evidence that he would be a worse parent to his son than the child’s mother. However, the professor defends himself against her accusations ably (which seem to partly stem from the recent loss of Will--the professor’s opinion that [[CessationOfExistence existence ends at death]] upsets her).
** It comes back to bite Alicia when she’s running for State’s Attorney, as many people in the US believe this trope to be true. She’s advised that open atheists are unelectable. Thus, she’s forced to backtrack on her admission of being one into calling herself ‘questioning’ after Will's death and her daughter’s influence. She’s obviously very uncomfortable with this, as is Grace when her prayer group leader gives thanks for her supposedly getting through to Alicia, highlighting the very real prejudice many American atheists encounter (especially in doing things such as running for public office).
* HollywoodLaw: Peter’s first day back in the State’s Attorney’s office comes with this insane declaration: no plea bargains. Something better than 95% of all cases are pled out before a trial these days, independent of jurisdiction. This is in part because it’s much less work to not have to fight a case out in front of a jury. The show itself is consistent in showing how much work is cut off for both sides when a plea is taken. So, while saying on one hand that the amount of hours the staff can work is being cut, he enforces a new policy that would exponentially increase the amount of work needed.
** In ‘Dark Money’, the firm has some evidence excluded because it was obtained from illegally hacking into a computer. However, the exclusionary rule applies only to illegally obtained evidence the government (or someone working on their behalf) collected and attempts to submit for a ''criminal'' case. They are not government employees, and this was a civil law suit. The judge could therefore not exclude this, though he ''would'' likely inform the police and they might face charges.
* HopeSpot:
** Two in ‘Iowa’:
*** [[spoiler:Ruth’s elaboration on her belief that YouCantFightFate seems to make Alicia warm up to Eli again, but it ultimately doesn’t.]]
*** [[spoiler:The miraculous turnovers on Peter’s journey through Iowa in ‘Iowa’ mean nothing: he only wins 4 counties in total.]]
** Later that season, [[spoiler:in ‘Tracks’, Rowby is certain he was going to win, as Judge Page was humming his song on the way to the bench, but she rules against him]].
* {{Hypocrite}}:
** Diane is an advocate for women. One case involves a politician who is known for helping third-world women, who a masseuse accused of sexually assaulting her when she wouldn’t give him a ‘happy ending’. Diane is skeptical of the masseuse’s accusations, and Will points out she’s using the same criticisms she called out when he used them about a rape victim, because she’s a fan of the accused and his work. Diane then proceeds to struggle with the issue for the rest of the episode.
** In season 5 Diane is asked by R.D.’s group to step in against Louis Canning on a wrongful death lawsuit against two doctors who had been involved in a physician-assisted suicide. Diane does so even though she’s actually in favor of the practice, and Canning {{lampshades}} the hypocrisy. (Diane made her participation conditional on it being about ''this'' case, which had genuine misconduct by the doctors, not ''every'' case.)
** In ‘Tracks’, Alicia’s neighbours want to get her evicted for running a business against the homeowner’s association’s regulation. Grace comes to their meeting and points out [[NotSoDifferent their own violations]].
* ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe: In ‘Restraint’, Eli feels this way about [[spoiler:Courtney Paige]]. Ultimately, [[spoiler:she goes back to California and breaks it off]].
-->'''Eli:''' You’re beautiful. And I’m... well, I have my moments, but [[spoiler:my office is the size of your bathroom]]. And I don’t have [[spoiler:the money you have]].
-->'''[[spoiler:Courtney:]]''' (''Sighs'') Come here.
--->(''He comes over hesitantly, and they kiss.'')
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The first four seasons of the series have titles with as many words as the number of the season (as in, season 1 has one-word titles, season 2 two-word ones, and seasons 3 and 4 three and four-word titles), but season 5, instead of using five words, used three, which many took as a sort of countdown to series' end, since the Kings (the series creators and showrunners) always said that they wanted the show to last seven seasons. As it turned out, it was, since the show will end with the finale of season 7, which will be titled 'End'.
* IfItsYouItsOkay: Kalinda turns everyone’s head.
--> '''Cary:''' I know a lot of people who weren‘t anything until they met Kalinda.
* ImagineSpot: After [[spoiler:Will dies]], Alicia can’t stop picturing how [[spoiler:his final call]] to her would have gone. She pictures him reconciling, attacking, and declaring love for her.
** ‘Mind’s Eye’ is full of [[ImagineSpot imagine spots]] from beginning to end. Various people in Alicia’s life talk about various topics.
** The series finale has Alicia imagining coming home to, first, Jason, and then Peter. She then has imaginary conversations with [[spoiler:the late Will Gardner, eventually admitting that she will always love him]].
* INeedAFreakingDrink:
** From ‘Lies’:
--->(''Alicia opens the door to Eli'')
--->'''Eli:''' Peter wants to [[spoiler:be president]].
--->'''Alicia:''' ...Excuse me?
--->'''Eli:''' Peter thinks he can [[spoiler:be president]].
--->(''{{Beat}}'')
--->'''Alicia:''' I need a drink.
** In ‘Iowa’, Ruth says the same after [[spoiler:they pull off the Full Grassley]]. At the end of the episode, [[spoiler:she makes herself that drink after it turns out [[AllForNothing Peter lost Iowa]]]].
* InformedAbility: Eli Gold is supposedly ‘the best’ political manager in the business, but in early season 2 he misses huge problems or plays into a lot of serious screw-ups.
* InformedFlaw: In his first appearance, Eli Gold is said to have a preference for {{Cluster F Bomb}}s. He visibly restrains himself from uttering a GoshDangItToHeck swear, and then this ‘flaw’ is quickly forgotten. He never utters a single swear (even one acceptable for TV), even when one would be appropriate.
* TheIngenue: Invoked by Nancy Crozier, who specializes in pretending to be just an inexperienced, attractive, innocent blonde lawyer new to the big city, batting her big blue eyes at the jury and judge. In one episode, Alicia counters her by having David Lee’s niece (who is younger, prettier, and even less experienced, except her naivete is genuine) as second-chair. She promptly begins out-charming the judge, leading to DeathGlare[=s=] from Crozier.
-->‘I’m just a Michigan girl, fresh off the boat.’
* InnocentlyInsensitive: Jackie’s behaviour around Courtney Paige in ‘Driven’ in a nutshell, from telling her she likes ‘Peter’s African-American friends’ to telling her she’s ‘[[YouAreACreditToYourRace an inspiration to all urban children]]’ (Courtney is one of the most powerful [=CEOs=] in America).
* InsufferableGenius: Anthony Edward Dudewitz in ‘Driven’, who belittles the intelligence of everyone around him (and of humanity in general, giving much credence to [[TheSingularity the future intelligence]] of [[AIIsACrapshoot A.I]]) while referring to himself as a ‘genius’.
* InTheBack: There’s a lot of this. Not least in Lockhart and Gardner.
* InVinoVeritas: Implied to be the reason [[spoiler:Eli confesses to Alicia that he deleted Will’s AnguishedDeclarationOfLove from her voicemail box six years beforehand]].
* IWarnedYou: David Lee plays this up a bit in episode five, season five when [[spoiler:Cary and Alicia leaving the firm and taking clients]] is revealed.
* {{Jerkass}}: The series has numerous obnoxious characters, but Anthony Edward Dudewitz, who appears in ‘Driven’, takes the cake. His overall attitude seems to be contempt for everyone else, referring to his programmers as ‘monkeys’ and disdaining human intelligence generally, while hoping to create an AI that will overcome us.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** Peter, for all his adultery, not to mention his sleaziness and unethical campaigning, whenever needed always does the right thing. Perhaps the best example being in ‘Closing Arguments’ where it’s revealed that [[spoiler:he was the anonymous leak of the evidence to Lockhart & Gardner that allowed them to exonerate the accused judge killer]].
** In ‘The Last Call’, he also [[spoiler:admonishes Eli, who was attempting to get someone prosecuting Peter to stand down following Will’s death (the prosecutor needed Will to solidify his case). Peter points out the insensitivity of such an immediate action, showing that, for all of his dislike of Will, he still regarded him as a human being]].
** Will often shows traits of this as well.
** David Lee’s JerkAss facade cracks after [[spoiler:Will’s death]] (he almost breaks down in private). He even supports Diane telling a valuable client, who mishandles the situation, to go to hell.
* TheJudge:
** An unusual judge appears OnceAnEpisode.
** Will himself ends up presiding as a judge in a mock trial... of Literature/HanselAndGretel [[note]]Actually a rather common scenario in that sort of thing; it’s a classic murder/self-defense argument[[/note]].
* JusticeByOtherLegalMeans
** [[spoiler:{{Inverted}} in the second episode, where a stripper files a civil action against her rapist after the State’s Attorney decides not to prosecute. Alicia loses the case after the DNA evidence is found to be cross-contaminated. However, just as the rapist leaves the court, he’s arrested for her rape, as non-contaminated DNA evidence has been found]].
** In season two, [[spoiler:a murderer is found to have been insane while committing the act, and sane now, meaning he’s free to go. However, the trial reveals that he committed another murder, which he’s promptly arrested for.]]
** In the season five episode ‘Everything Is Ending’ Alicia and company are trying to stop the execution of a man they believe innocent. [[spoiler:While they do show evidence that he might be innocent, the judge orders the execution to continue. The warden of the prison, needing to get the execution done quickly, has the drugs for the lethal injection shipped in by the US mail. Will calls the [=DEA=] on this as the drugs were transported over state lines without proper documentation. They show up in time to stop the execution. The state decides not to try to kill him a third time (the first attempt was stopped because it was taking over 2 hours to prepare him because his veins were badly damaged by drug use).]]
** In the season six episode ‘Hail Mary’, upon the discovery that [[spoiler:the DA had Cary charged with conspiring to import drugs with criminals who were actually planning to ''export'' drugs]], all of his colleagues search frantically for a Brady violation[[note]]That is, evidence that the DA’s office buried exculpatory evidence[[/note]] to nullify his guilty plea. In her despair, Kalinda forges evidence to ‘prove’ it. [[spoiler:By the end of the episode, Kalinda has found the violation they needed, but Diane has already argued successfully using the forged evidence she’d taken from Kalinda’s computer, unaware of the forgery.]]
** At the end of ‘KSR’, [[spoiler:Judge Don Schakowsky overturns the jury’s guilty verdict against Dr. Portnow and acquits him as he clearly had no intention to go through with the detailed [[TitleDrop kidnapping, sedating, and raping]] fantasy he wrote about]].
* KarmaHoudini: Happens with a couple case of the week antagonists.
** A notable example is Joe Kent, a character who’s [[TheGhost never seen on screen]] that the second season episode ‘V.I.P. Treatment’ revolves around. Kent is a well known and lauded philanthropist who has founded multiple charities and raised millions of dollars to advance the cause of women’s rights around the world, but the firm is contacted by a young massage therapist interested in filing a suit against him after reporting that he sexually harassed her in a hotel. The firm is at first reluctant to take the case and believes she may just be gold digging, but after some investigation and evidence of other women who have reported similar instances but never pressed charges or filed lawsuits, they become willing to pursue the case, despite aggressive threats from Kent’s legal team and even an impassioned plea from Kent’s own wife stating that even if Kent is guilty, the damage to his reputation would harm his charitable work and do more harm to the cause of women. In the end, the massage therapist opts not to file suit, deciding that she wouldn't be able to emotionally and mentally handle going through the case, and it’s implied [[TheBadGuyWins Kent successfully buries the allegations completely and gets away with his reputation fully intact.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Minor cases all over the place when an AmoralAttorney gets put in their place, but Alicia taking down [[spoiler:Wendy Scott-Carr]] during the grand jury is a classic case.
* KnightTemplarParent: Actually subverted with Lemond Bishop. In one episode he has Kalinda chauffeur his son Dylan home from school, but when Kalinda finds out another kid is bullying Dylan she tries to keep it from Bishop, thinking he’ll react like a drug dealer. Once Bishop finds out, [[spoiler:he’s clearly angry, but instead of doing something drastic he calls the other kid’s parent like a typical, non-drug dealer father, and very calmly informs him of the bullying. He then has a drink with Kalinda and tells her he is determined to be a good father, and that it’s the hardest thing he’s ever done.]]
* LawProcedural
* LiterallyLaughableQuestion: One episode has Eli Gold trying to figure out if an intern on Peter Florrick’s gubernatorial campaign slept with him (she claims on TV that he has a birthmark shaped like Brazil on his penis). When he asks Alicia, Peter’s estranged wife, about it, she bursts out laughing at the birthmark part, putting the lie to it.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: A mild case. The third season premiere checks in with Alicia and seven other regular characters (Diane, Eli, Grace, Zach, Cary, Peter, Kalinda) before the opening titles, making Will [[ItMakesSenseInContext noticeable by his absence]]--''he'' shows up right after the titles, before the credits. Those are all ''regulars'', never mind recurring characters and the primaries in [[LawProcedural cases of the week]].
* LoopholeAbuse: In ‘Cooked’, Alicia and Lucca use a loophole that says that intentionally creating a controlled substance or intentionally creating an analogue thereof are crimes, but unintentionally creating an analogue when trying to create a controlled substance isn’t.
-->'''ASA:''' This is [[YouKeepUsingThatWord semantics]].
-->'''Judge Schakowski:''' No, it’s the law. You know the difference? [[DeadpanSnarker I get a gavel]].
* LoveAtFirstSight: Rowby Canton is amazed by Lucca as soon as he sees her.
-->'''Rowby:''' I have to tell you something. I think I love you.
-->(''Lucca laughs'')
-->'''Rowby:''' No, I’m not kidding. Like, I’m serious. Like, I... it’s crazy.
-->'''Lucca:''' Do you always decide things this fast?
-->'''Rowby:''' Uh... yeah. Hey, can... can I play some music for you? ‘Cause I think that’s the only chance I got.
* LoveTriangle: Peter/Alicia/Will. The CliffHanger ending of the first season basically has Alicia deciding between them--[[spoiler:Does she join her husband on stage where he’s announcing his attempt to get his elected position back or take a call from Will]].
** And during the second season finale, [[spoiler:she and Will have sex in a hotel room]].
** Resolved by [[spoiler:Alicia and Cary starting their own firm, stealing some of Lockhart/Gardner clients]], making Will mad at her and then [[spoiler:sealed by Will’s death]].
* MaliciousMisnaming: In ‘Iowa’, David Lee calls Ms. Creech from the Illinois Fair Employment Practices Agency ‘Ms. Screech’.
* MamaBear: Messing with Alicia’s children is one guaranteed way to get her after you with the full brunt of her legal skills, as the cop and DA in ‘I Fought the Law’ learned.
** Also Jackie, who is incredibly protective of Peter.
* MeaningfulFuneral: Averted with [[spoiler:Stern’s. Diane, Will and Alicia just go to try and take his clients.]]
* MistakenForGay:
** [[spoiler:Frank Prady]], who is actually [[spoiler:a Jesuit, which is why he never remarried]].
** The new associate at Lockhart & Agos mistakes Cary’s benevolent attitude towards the associates as coming onto him.
* MistakenForRacist: One judge sentences Alicia’s black, juvenile client to a stricter sentence than necessary (time in juvie) despite an agreement. The firm figures he’s racist, and reconsiders after Alicia walks into his office and sees photos of him with people like UsefulNotes/BarackObama. [[spoiler:Turns out he has gambling debts, and his friend runs the detention center and is giving him kickbacks from the state’s stipend.]] That last part is VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory.
* MoodWhiplash / {{Bathos}}: The show is fond of breaking up serious moments with random things, such as when Alicia and Cary are having a serious discussion, and she’s forced to talk louder when a truck starts backing up nearby, or when Alicia is having a directional crisis and sits on a bench in a park and stares blankly at a street performer in a shiny gold unitard dancing terribly to terrible music. Who she knows, and she comes over and asks how she’s doing.
* MsFanservice: Kalinda, who wears knee-high boots and low-cut tops.
* NewscasterCameo: The show occasionally has clips of fictional Creator/{{NPR}} News stories, voiced by the actual NPR anchors.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** Peter Florrick is a personally-charming lawyer turned Democratic politician who was involved in an adultery scandal, managed to get away with it, and he becomes a State’s Attorney, followed by a term as Governor, and now he’s set his sights on a certain big, white house in DC. He has a lot of parallels to UsefulNotes/BillClinton, though he also has similarities to Elliot Spitzer and John Edwards.
** The role of HillaryRodhamClinton is split between Alicia (ostensibly loyal lawyer wife of the philandering husband with, eventually, her own political ambitions) and Diana Lockhart (blonde, crusading, leftist lawyer with feminist leanings). She’s also been compared to Elizabeth Edwards, also a lawyer.
* NoPartyGiven: Averted, as just about every major character is stated to be a Democrat and the Democratic National Committee is often shown getting involved. Of course getting elected in Cook County as anything other than a Democrat is virtually impossible, so it’s [[JustifiedTrope justified]].
* NothingPersonal: Peter tries to explain to Eli in ‘Bond’ that [[spoiler:he’s firing him and hiring Ruth Eastman instead because running for President means he needs someone with a ‘national appeal’]]. Eli is still displeased.
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler:Kozko]].
* NotSoDifferent: Alicia’s neighbours want to evict her for running a business from her home, in violation of her homeowner’s association agreement. Grace comes to her meeting and points out a few things.
-->'''Grace:''' Well, then why isn’t Mr. Tipton being questioned?
-->'''Mr. Tipton:''' I don’t follow.
-->'''Grace:''' Mr. Graham Tipton. He runs a business out of his apartment on the sixth floor. Why isn’t he...?
-->'''Mr. Tipton:''' I do not.
-->'''Grace:''' Well, you’re a day trader, aren’t you? You work out of your apartment?
-->'''Mr. Tipton:''' I work from home. That’s different than running a business out of my apartment.
-->'''Grace:''' But your loan-out company, Graham Is Awesome, Inc., lists this building as its address, and your business receives its mail here. Are you always available to sign for it?
-->'''Mr. Tipton:''' No, but...
-->'''Mrs. Dosek:''' Okay, look, we are not on trial here.
-->'''Grace:''' The regulations also prohibit subletting, but Mrs. Dosek rents a spare bedroom in her apartment to her mother-in-law.
-->'''Mrs. Dosek:''' Well, that’s my mother-in-law. There’s an exemption for family.
-->'''Grace:''' Actually, there isn’t. Then there’s Mr. Loring on the eighth floor, who frequently hosts high-priced call girls.
-->'''Mr. Loring:''' Okay, okay, maybe we should just table this discussion for the moment.
-->'''Grace:''' I think that’d be good. My mother’s a great lawyer. She usually stands up well for herself.
* ObfuscatingDisability: Though he is legitimately disabled, Louis Canning ([[DisabledCharacterDisabledActor played by]] Creator/MichaelJFox) habitually plays up his disability to gain sympathy with the judges and juries he faces in court, much to Alicia’s annoyance.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Nancy Krozier seems like TheDitz, but it’s clearly at least partly an act as she’s quite a ruthless and well-prepared lawyer when she has to be.
* OddFriendship: Almost all friendships in this series fall in this category.
* OmnidisciplinaryLawyer: The main cast at Lockhart/Gardner and eventually Florrick/Agos does everything from capital crime defense to immigration law to copyright law. Recurring characters tend to be specialists, however: Lockhart/Gardner’s David Lee specializes in family law (e.g. divorces and paternity suits), while recurring antagonist Louis Canning mainly defends corporations from class-actions.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted by Cary Agos and ‘The Other Carey’ Zepps.
* OppositesAttract: Very liberal lawyer Diane Lockhart dates ultra-conservative weapons expert Kurt [=McVeigh=] (no relation). [[spoiler:They even end up getting married in season 5]].
* ParentalFavoritism: Sloan’s mother clearly [[spoiler:prefers her other daughter to her]].
* PassThePopcorn:
** The NSA phone surveillance guys are pretty blatantly just listening in on Alicia’s phone calls for their own entertainment rather than for national security reasons.
** Louis Canning’s reaction to Alicia and Lucca grilling Charles Ephraham in his deposition in ‘Driven’ is gleeful amusement.
* PetTheDog: David Lee, who usually plays the part of a slimy SmugSnake (Diane: ‘You hate people!’), gets ''very'' pissed when Eli Gold involves Caitlin, his niece, in their rivalry. Something along the lines of ‘She is everything that is bright and good in this world, and you do not get to take that away!’
* PieInTheFace: ‘The One Percent’ episode begins with a cream pie being prepared and then thrown in the face of a CEO by a protestor who pretended to be one of the catering staff at a board meeting.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Diane and Will embody this trope. For reference, the following exchanges during ''platonic slow dancing.''
-->'''Diane:''' We are the perfect couple ...\\
'''Will:''' ... except for the sex.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Charles Lester. When [[spoiler:Kalinda tells him she has incriminating evidence against him she can give the DA]]:
-->'''Lester:''' [[NoGuyWantsAnAmazon What is it with all these tough-talking women?!]] [[SocietyMarchesOn You know a word you don’t hear very much anymore?]] ‘[[WomenAreDelicate Demure]]’. [[{{Chickification}} How about bringing that one back?]]
* PreviouslyOn: For a show with season+ long storylines and such an expansive universe, these are [[AvertedTrope surprisngly rare]]. The show prefers [[ViewersAreGeniuses letting the audience catch up on their own]], and its favorite start-of-episode-recap device is replaying the previous week’s cliffhanger (sometimes from a different perspective).
* PunchClockVillain:
** Louis Canning makes his money defending large corporations from clearly deserved lawsuits, and makes quite morally dubious use of his neurological disorder to sway the jury’s sympathy, or even distract them from damaging testimony. But outside the courtroom, he’s a perfectly nice guy and a devoted family man. He even justifies his defense of these companies by pointing out that the lawsuits that firms like Lockhart/Gardner pursue against them is a contributor in the price increases of all their products, including those he uses to help treat his chronic illness.
** In Season 3, Episode 10 ‘Parenting Made Easy’, Louis Canning genuinely helps Alicia search for her missing daughter, but the moment she is found safe, returns to his underhanded ways by looking in Alicia’s handbag for case information.
** In Season 7, he tries to capitalize on Alicia’s pariah state by offering her a partnership in his firm. Naturally, she refuses, but he keeps trying to get his foot in the door by sending her cases. Partly he does this to please his wife, who thinks of Alicia as a friend, but he himself sees her as his FriendlyEnemy and knows that she would be a good addition to his team.
* RacistGrandpa: The elderly partner Howard Lyman isn't exactly ''actively'' racist, but he does do things like ask if a black job applicant is from Nigeria and assume a man is gay during a job interview just because he didn't name any women when asked "Who would you bring with you to a desert island?"
* RashomonStyle: ‘A Few Words’ shows flashbacks to how Alicia joined the firm before the first episode, from both her perspective and Will’s. The flashbacks also include how Alicia met Cary while they were both waiting to be interviewed.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot:
** [[spoiler:Josh Charles]] decided to leave the show, so the writers [[spoiler:killed off Will in a sudden courthouse shooting.]]
*** Though unlike most cases of this trope, the decision was made a year in advance, so the Kings constructed [[spoiler:Season 5]] to set up for it.
** Somehow [[AvertedTrope averted]]: Something happened behind the scenes (very little is known about it) leading to Archie Panjabi and Julianna Margulies [[http://www.buzzfeed.com/emilyorley/kalinda-and-alicia-relationship-on-the-good-wife#.sgDEN3DPv not appearing onscreen at the same time for over 50 episodes]]. Normally the Kings would have adapted the storyline and found a reason why the characters are never seen together anymore, but the show is pretending that Kalinda and Alicia are still close friends, which is quite jarring.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Will gives [[spoiler:Alicia]] a particularly furious one after [[spoiler:he finds out she and Cary are leaving with the other 4th years]].
* RecurringCharacter: Chris Noth as Peter Florrick. He isn't in every episode, but his character has a fairly large presence on the show.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines:
** One episode features an internet billionaire who has had a film made about him which he thinks is defamatory, making him look like a jerk and implying he made his website in order to Get The Girl. Blowing this paper-thin NoCelebritiesWereHarmed right out of the water, he’s described on introduction as a ‘[[Website/{{Facebook}} Mark Zuckerberg]] wannabe’.
** The case in ‘Goliath And David’ is the Jonathan Coulton vs. ''Series/{{Glee}}'' conflict about Coulton’s ‘Baby Got Back’ arrangement if it ever went to court. Needless to say, the show is not on [[SmallNameBigEgo Ryan Murphy]]’s side.
** In ‘Whack-a-Mole’, after a bombing in Milwaukee an Internet witch-hunt starts up on a website that is [[FictionalCounterpart totally not Reddit]]. The witch is an Arab-American anthropology professor who kinda looks like a blurry photograph not-Reddit thinks is the bomber. This was clearly lifted from what happened on the real Reddit after the Boston Marathon bombings, with the following caveats:
*** In the real incident the FBI shut down the witch-hunt by announcing who the ''actual'' suspects were, whereas in the show they were using not-Reddit to gather intel.
*** The real Reddit didn't end up getting sued for defamation by the target of the witch-hunt.
** Peter discusses Ferguson, MI and ''The Rise of the Warrior Cop'' at the start of the episode ‘Message Discipline’.
** ‘The Debate’ starts with two disclaimers so the audience knows which headlines are being ripped. ‘This episode was written and filmed prior to the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island’ and ‘All mentions of ‘Ferguson’ are in reference to the events in August, 2014 after the shooting death of Michael Brown.’
** In ‘Undisclosed Recipients’, the firm’s emails get hacked. Alicia’s aren’t, because she’s been using her campaign email for the past four months. This episode premiered the same mouth a scandal erupted about Hilary Clinton using her personal email for Secretary of State business. Except that given the lack of time ([[http://www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Entertainment/TV/News/2014/06/19/The-Good-Wife-Better-plot-best-season/ the show’s production time is supposedly two and a half months]]), there’s no chance it was deliberate, making it accidentally HilariousInHindsight for something that hadn’t actually happened yet.
** ‘Loser Edit’ has a subplot involving Diane and a hypothetical situation where a bakery refuses to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. There had been similar controversies for years, but the latest big one was ''less than a month old''.
** The main plot of ‘Discovery’ was about [=ChumHum=], which is already a thinly disguised [=Google/Facebook=] hybrid, getting in trouble for some of the same reasons Google did. Such as a photo-recognition algorithm identifying black people as animals. Which is ''explicitly'' compared to [[http://www.forbes.com/sites/mzhang/2015/07/01/google-photos-tags-two-african-americans-as-gorillas-through-facial-recognition-software/#b198fe57b63c Google’s controversy over same]].
* RuleNumberOne: In ‘Discovery’, Eli relates the rules of conduct for [[spoiler:Alicia on her suspected liaisons with Jason]].
-->'''Eli:''' Rule number one... no touching in public. Ever. If [[spoiler:Jason]] is on fire, let him burn. Touching in private... No such thing. Nowhere is private anymore.
-->'''[[spoiler:Alicia]]:''' Clearly.
-->'''Eli:''' Rule number two... if you have to go out together, make sure there’s always a third party present, preferably female. Rule number three... even if you go out in a bigger group, never, under any circumstances, let it be in a hotel, a bar... or a [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs hotel bar]].
* RuleOfSymbolism: Elevators are used as a continual motif for Will and Alicia’s relationship. Their most important conversations and romantic moments tend to take place in elevators, even in flashbacks or [[ImagineSpot Imagine Spots]] [[spoiler:after Will dies]]. One can easily read an elevator as symbolizing the up-and-down nature of their ongoing relationship.
* RuleThirtyFour: In ‘Getting Off’, Alicia is informed by a client that there’s porn of her, as well as other Loyal Wives. It’s a trilogy, actually, ‘like Lord of the Rings’.
* RunningGag: Starting from ‘Loser Edit’, Alicia’s PR team bringing [[TheDitz Ted Willoughby]] to cover any story with an unflattering angle because he is too stupid to notice it and cover it in a way they don’t approve of.
* ScriptSwap: A variation. The teleprompter script remained the same, but the speaker changed from Alicia to Eli, leading to some hilarity (like him changing Peter’s kids’ diapers). Unfortunately, this is a sharp contrast to [[spoiler:Alicia just finding out about Will’s death]].
* SeamlessSpontaneousLie: When Peter leaves the apartment, triggering the electronic monitoring, the whole family gets their story straight ''fast.''
* SelfServingMemory: This is invoked in flashbacks in ‘A Few Words’ about how Alicia got her job at Will’s firm, while Alicia is working on a speech about how she returned to practicing law. Alicia is a bit ashamed how her memory is making her look good.
* ShameIfSomethingHappened: Implied by FauxAffablyEvil [[AmoralAttorney mob lawyer]] Charles Lester. After he introduces himself, he starts to make smalltalk about your kids. Not his kids--''your'' kids.
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Alicia’s daughter Grace is starting to run into this trope in season 5. An attractive young woman, she starts dressing a little differently, and getting visible attention from men-often olden men. Alicia’s MamaBear traits cause her to pick up on things that are maybe innocent, maybe not. Grace gets looks from Cary in one episode and then is talking to Carey Zepps, another attractive young man (but still much older than her), at the house, and Alicia is clearly disapproving.
* ShownTheirWork: When members of Anonymous interfere in a case about a rape accusation, they’re actually portrayed fairly accurately, including someone pointing out that it’s not actually a single organization with a definite membership. The only missing element is their signature ''Film/VForVendetta'' Guy Fawkes masks, but that would involve paying copyright fees to Warner Bros. for their use. The show just uses blank white masks with moustaches on the front.[[note]]Fellow CBS show like ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' used [[CaptainErsatz ‘Everyone’]].[[/note]]
* ShipperOnDeck:
** In ‘Foreign Affairs’, Kalinda encourages Will to confess his feelings for Alicia. May overlap with IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy given Kalinda’s own feelings for Alicia.
** In season 5, one NSA guy says he thinks Will and Diane will get together. The other says their relationship isn’t sexual.
* ShooOutTheNewGuy: Kalinda’s ex-husband Nick. He returns to... Canada after ordering his attorney to be beaten up and engages in a long series of nonsensical overly dramatic actions to the ire of the viewership.
* ShoutOut:
** The fourth episode of season four is titled ‘Don’t Haze Me Bro’.
** In the 18th episode of season two Grace and Zach quote LlamasWithHats while playing air hockey. Alicia complains about them making references she doesn't understand.
** There’s occasional references to websites like Website/FunnyOrDie and Website/CollegeHumor when parody videos of candidates are made.
** At one point, Kalinda discovers that Diane’s home computer and e-mail were used to upload ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' fanfiction.
** in ‘All Tapped Out’, the NSA guys discuss lyrics from [[Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia Charlie’s musical]], and Jeff wears a ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' T-shirt.
** The ShowWithinAShow ''Darkness at Noon'' that Alicia watches has the main protagonist kill a man, followed by him and an elk looking at each other in the final scene of the series. The scene is featured on a talk show, ‘Talking at Noon’ and one of the guests says it symbolizes his soul rising from the dead and reincarnating. This is a shout-out to ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'', in which the (Raven)stag symbolizes the connection between Will and Hannibal, and [[spoiler:is lying dead on Hannibal’s kitchen floor]] by the end of the second season.
** At the start of ‘Message Discipline’, Peter mentions Radley Balko’s book ''Rise of the Warrior Cop''.
* ShutUpHannibal: {{Downplayed}} when Louis Canning tries his playing-up-his-tardive-diskinesia-for-sympathy act on a paraplegic judge. The judge is not amused (his reaction amounted to ‘yeah, I’m disabled too, so what?’) and tells him to knock it off and present his case.
* TheSingularity: Discussed in ‘Driven’, as the creator of the A.I. questioned in the episode believes it’s likely that [[AIIsACrapshoot artificial intelligence could evolve beyond humanity’s and overtake it]], and that his own A.I. might have been able to grow too intelligent to control.
* SmugSnake:
** Glenn Childs.
** Colin Sweeney (played by Creator/DylanBaker) zigzags between this and MagnificentBastard, who appears in a couple of episodes.
** [[spoiler:Wendy Scott Carr]]. And ''how''.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: According to Diane, before she was hired by Jonas Stern, the firm was mostly an all-boys club. Even Stern admitted to her that the main reason why he hired her was because it would be cool to have a woman on the team. Despite this, she accepted because she knew that, one day, she would be seen as a good lawyer, not just a woman. She explains this to Alicia, when the latter thinks she is being rewarded because she is a woman.
* TheSociopath: The judge that Jason Crouse (prior to his disbarment) beat up claims that the lawyer-turned-PI is a dangerous sociopath, who will be charming and calm until the moment he snaps and goes ballistic. Alicia isn’t sure if she should believe the judge.
* SomeOfMyBestFriendsAreX: The wedding planner whose appeal R. D. wants to support in ‘Loser Edit’ claims in the mock trial that she’s not prejudiced against anyone, and mentions with a smile that her ‘very favorite florist’ is gay. R. D. himself tells Diane he has no problem with gay people, including his beloved gay nephew, but it’s same-sex marriage specifically that he disagrees with.
* SoundEffectBleep: In ‘Anatomy of a Joke’, car horn sounds blare over the profanity used by Alicia and Cary’s client of the week. The judge keeps asking the warden to close a stuck window.
* SoundtrackDissonance: A love scene between Peter and Alicia, with Peter going down on her to the sound of... Creator/{{NPR}}’s ''All Things Considered'' playing on Alicia’s radio? In RealLife, that weekend’s episode of ''Radio/WaitWaitDontTellMe'' found this hilarious.
* SouthernFriedGenius: Ruth Eastman is a brilliant campaign manager with a noticeable southern accent.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Anthony Edward Dudewitz, the creator of the T-Portable in ‘Driven’, seems to hold the intelligence of everyone around him, and of humanity in general, in very low regard.
* SpitTake: Eli in the last second of ‘The Decision Tree’.
* SpousalPrivilege: Comes up in ‘Bang’, as the only person who can break the murderer’s alibi is his wife.
* StartMyOwn: In season 4, all the fourth year associates are denied a previously promised partnership. They fake poaching clients for a while, hoping to scare the partners enough to get their promotion, but only manage to get Alicia promoted.[[spoiler:Ultimately, Cary, Alicia, and the fourth year associates successfully found Florrick, Agos, and Associates.]]
* StrangeBedfellows: Alicia and Crozier working together. [[spoiler:It quickly turns sour]].
* StrawFeminist: Oddly enough, inverted. There are several people on the show who are feminists in all but name [[note]]in that they work to help women, not that they discuss concepts like ‘the Patriarchy’ or ‘rape culture’[[/note]], and are generally reasonable people, but are never actually called such, such as Diane Lockhart. Presumably, this is to prevent people assuming they’re like stereotypical feminists.
** Finally used explicitly to refer to Alicia in ‘Party’. It’s not clear whether she actually thinks of ''herself'' as one.
* StrawmanPolitical: Surprisingly {{averted}}: the show does a good job of presenting both left- and right-wingers as people instead of political platforms, and Democrats (who comprise most of the elected officials in Chicago) can be just as corrupt or as honest as Republicans and vice versa.
** Recurring firearms expert Kurt [=McVeigh=] is an unabashed conservative who is an open admirer of the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, something in stark contrast to the rest of the cast, all implied or outright stated to be liberal Democrats. The show keeps sympathy on his side by making him still a rather open-minded guy who can get along with Diane, and very principled to the point where he won’t give testimony in support of a client he believes to be guilty no matter how much he’s paid. Diane and Kurt later develop a romantic relationship featuring what seems to be a private joke where she randomly name-drops Democratic topics like Obamacare just to annoy him. [[spoiler:Eventually the two get married.]]
** Later the show introduces R.D., a wealthy conservative activist who opposes abortion and same-sex marriage. Diane respects him enough to take R.D. as a client, even though they disagree (although she refuses to launch any anti-abortion lawsuits). In one instance they collaborate on a constitutional case on mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, and R.D. explicitly states that liberals (Diane) hate them because they’re inhumane and ineffective, while fiscal conservatives (R.D.) hate them because they're wasteful and ineffective.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Given the law setting, frequently invoked.
-->[[spoiler:'''Peter:''' I’m not sleeping with her ''now''.]]
* TakeThat:
** One episode had a [[Series/LieToMe micro-expressions/lie detection expert]] get everything wrong.
** There was also the episode with the [[Series/{{Glee}} glee club director]] tries to help a political campaign only to harm it.
** In one episode, Zach and Grace have gone off to Peter’s house for the weekend, and Alicia is so bored she ends up watching a show about the ‘true story of JoanOfArc’ which we only hear (thank God for that), and which later has a sex scene between JoanOfArc and some guy (again, only heard), a clear TakeThat to Showtime historical dramas such as ''Series/TheTudors'' or ''Series/TheBorgias''.
** Towards the end of ‘Live From Damascus’, [[spoiler:Will, about to serve a six month suspension from the bar,]] comments that he might use the time to write a RockOpera, as ‘There hasn’t been a good one since ''TheWall''’.
** The RunningGag introduced in Season 5 of ‘Darkness At Noon’, a spoof of dark and brooding cable prestige cop shows such as ''Series/LowWinterSun'' (The title is a clear reference to that, and Creator/{{AMC}} is even namechecked) or ''Series/TrueDetective'' (with the apparent lead monologuing about morality and the emptiness of life).
** During one political dinner, Alicia and others are subjected to scenes from a play about [[Literature/WarHorse a cow forced into war]]. It could be about Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater, which was name-checked, but [[http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-10-28/entertainment/ct-live-1028-good-wife-folo-20101028_1_steppenwolf-theatre-bad-joke-national-show nobody there took it as such]].
* TakingTheHeat: At the end of ‘Taxed’, [[spoiler:Alicia’s first client, who was charged with stealing a gift sweater she wanted to return for money, agrees to take a plea to protect her mother, who did steal it]].
* ThatWasObjectionable: Lawyers yelling objection when a question hasn’t even been asked yet. Used intentionally by Alicia to aggravate Stern’s dementia and make him lose focus.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Robert and Michelle King said in a recent New York Times article that Alicia seeing a therapist wouldn’t be good dramatically.
-->'''Robert King:''' We knew that sending Alicia into therapy and making everyone psychologically healthy would be deadly for the show, because it’s better when they can’t move on from the relationship.
* ThisIsReality: From ‘Tracks’:
-->'''Rowby:''' Can I say something? Because that is r... really offensive.
-->'''Judge Louisa Page:''' No. Unfortunately not, Mr. Canton.
-->'''Rowby:''' Point of personal privilege.
-->'''Judge Page:''' Yes. I’m guessing that you saw that [[HollywoodLaw in a movie]], sir. That doesn’t work here.
* ThisMeansWar: In ‘Bond’, Eli is furious about [[spoiler:Peter firing him and hiring someone else when Alicia lets him run for president]].
-->'''Eli:''' You just [[spoiler:lost your greatest asset]] and made your worst enemy.
* ThoseTwoGuys: The two young men who [[spoiler:monitor Alicia’s conversations for the NSA]].
* TitleDrop: Well, not quite, but Eli does say to Alicia in ‘Great Firewall’ that she’s ‘the good mother’.
* TranquilFury:
** Will Gardner, briefly, in the beginning of episode 5, season 5 after he finds out [[spoiler:Cary and Alicia are leaving the firm and taking clients.]] He walks in to her office, and they speak, with barely contained rage in Will’s words until he lets it loose and throws everything off her desk, and their exchange gets more heated.
** Alicia at the end of ‘KSR’, after [[spoiler:Eli confesses he deleted Will’s voice message with his AnguishedDeclarationOfLove six years beforehand]].
-->'''Alicia:''' GetOut.
* TwoferTokenMinority: {{Played for laughs}} in-universe, when Cary is asked to name the other associates [[spoiler:he’s leaving with.]] He immediately names the associates who fall under as many minority headings as possible, just to make it impossible to fire them.
* TwoFirstNames: Eyal Naftali, the Chief of Staff of Israel’s Communications Minister Marissa mentions in ‘Payback’.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Alicia and Will. To the point where he says that they have ‘always had bad timing’. Resolved as the closer of season two.
** And as of mid-Season 3, [[spoiler:their breakup returns the underlying tension to their friendly relationship]].
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: [[spoiler:The audience is left in the dark of Julius only pretending to turn on Diane and deliver his vote to Derrick Bond, allowing them to turn the vote around and kick Bond out.]]
* UnwinnableTrainingSimulation: In 'Parallel Construction, Bitches' Alicia is the [[spoiler:target of a SecretTest carried out by Lemond Bishop, and he suspects her briefly before they discover it was in fact the NSA tapping the phones. As opposed to her being]] against Lemond.
* VillainDecay: Glenn Childs went from rather cunning and vicious in season one to fairly incompetent and even approaching JerkassWoobie status in season two.
* ViralMarketing: An InUniverse example in ‘Red Team, Blue Team’. An energy drink company got sued in the death of a teen, and it turned out she’d started buying the drink to lose weight after finding viral marketing posts on a web forum for anorexics.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: ‘I’m worried this will keep people from purchasing cheese.’ ‘You think?’
* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture: {{Averted}}. The fact that much of the blackmail material used by Childs against the Florricks is in fact shopped is a minor plot point. [[spoiler:The only problem is that not all of it is fake.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Jerry Breslow. While his intentions (overturning the Defense of Marriage Act) are noble, his methods are anything but[[spoiler:deliberately tanking a case to send an innocent gay man to prison, so he can appeal the case to the US Supreme Court]] (this was only months before they actually ''did'').
** Also the immigration agents in ‘Mock’. They have a very just cause in trying to shut down an identity theft ring, but their tactic (arresting an innocent woman who has resided in the US for decades and threatening her with deportation in order to secure the cooperation of her son and daughter) is quite morally dubious.
* WhamEpisode:
** Season 5 is full of them.
*** ‘Hitting the Fan’ [[spoiler:Cary and Alicia’s plan to poach clients to create their own firm is discovered. Hijinks ensue.]]
*** [[spoiler:Josh Charles’]] decision to leave resulted in [[spoiler:Will Gardner’s death]] seemingly at random and out of nowhere.
** In ‘KSR’, [[spoiler:Courtney buys Jason off of Alicia and leaves Eli for California, and Eli confesses to Alicia that he erased Will’s AnguishedDeclarationOfLove from her voicemail box]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: While many relatively minor characters on the show recur, it is also not uncommon for them to disappear without a trace. The most obvious example is probably Julius Cain, the head of Litigation at Lockheart Gardner. Often taking the role of David Lee’s nemesis, Julius is (with Lee) presented as the most important partner other than Will and Diane for the first three seasons, and is a frequent participant in the many games of office politics. However, after the end of the third season he is never heard from, or mentioned, again.
* YouAreACreditToYourRace: In ‘Driven’, Jackie tells Courtney Paige, the CEO of HRT industries and one of the most powerful [=CEOs=] in America, and a black woman, that she is ‘an inspiration to all urban children’. Courtney responds with a courteous ‘thank you’ and obviously concealed TranquilFury.
* YouCantFightFate: From ‘Iowa’, when Ruth is talking to Alicia:
-->'''Alicia:''' You think you could ever be happy? If you had taken a left instead of a right or went up instead of down, you would’ve been happy?
-->'''Ruth:''' No.
-->'''Alicia:''' Really?
-->'''Ruth:''' You can’t control fate. It’s in your genes. Can’t change that.
-->'''Alicia:''' So whatever I do, whatever I did I’d end up right back here?
-->'''Ruth:''' Well, maybe not here, but someplace like here. At the end of every fork, there’s a cliff. Go ahead, take ‘[[Creator/RobertFrost the road less traveled]]’. You’ll still find that cliff.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:Peter fires Eli in ‘Bond’ when Alicia finally lets him run for president, hiring Ruth Eastman to replace him.]]
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: In ‘Iowa’, Ted Willoughby keeps calling the ‘Full Grassley’ the ‘[[Film/TheFullMonty Full Monty]]’. Eli ‘corrects’ him, making the mistake common among Americans that it means stripping naked rather than going all the way.
* YouKnowWhoSaidThat: In ‘Restraint’, Ethan Carver argues with Diane about defending a pro-life case by proxy, by taking up a First Amendment case.
-->'''Ethan:''' ‘Anyone can defend a sympathetic client with popular beliefs. The real test of the First Amendment is whether we are willing to stand up for people and ideas we hate.’
-->'''Diane:''' Well, that’s more persuasive and plain-spoken than you normally are.
-->'''Ethan:''' I was quoting you. You said that in a speech to Emily’s List. You may not agree with our tapes or how they were made, but prior restraint is just wrong. And you know it.
-->'''Diane:''' (''Sighs heavily'') Why do I have to be so damn convincing?
* YouRemindMeOfX: Eli on Jason in ‘Discovery’.
-->'''Eli:''' He reminds me of... (''{{Beat}}'') [[{{Metaphorgotten}} Actually]], [[SubvertedTrope he doesn’t remind me of anyone]].[[note]]This might be a case of VerbalBackspace, as he probably meant to say ‘Kalinda’.[[/note]]
* YourCheatingHeart: The original premise of the show is Peter cheating on Alicia with multiple women during his time as State's Attorney. Every time they seem to reconcile their relationship, this keeps coming back to drive them apart. In contrast, Alicia ends up having affairs with several men over the course of the show, although it's clearly portrayed as more romantic than Peter's mostly sexual affairs. At one point, though, even Peter is shown to be having a steady extramarital relationship with a woman on his staff (his marriage with Alicia is just for show at that point), but he's forced to break it off for political reasons. In the series finale, [[spoiler:Diana's husband Kurt is revealed to have been having an affair with a former colleague of his]].
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