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

Creator/{{CBS}} legal drama series, 2009 to present, exec produced by Creator/RidleyScott and starring Julianna Margulies, currently in its sixth season 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.
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!!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.
* 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]].
* 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.
* AntiHero: Will and Peter waver between Type II and Type III, with Kalinda being a clear Type III. Alicia occasionally enters Type II territory.
* 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 Herself]]: 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.
* 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]].
* 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: [[spoiler: Jackie Florrick]], the [[spoiler: mother in law/grandma]] nobody wants to have and [[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.
* 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.''
* BrotherSisterTeam
** Alicia and Owen turn into this more and more.
** Zach and Grace of course. They take such good care of their Mom.
* 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.
* ButNotTooBi: Kalinda is seen more often with male lovers, though the balance is being restored.
* TheCameo: The show occasionally has clips of fictional Creator/{{NPR}} News stories, voiced by the actual NPR anchors.
* {{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.
* ChekhovsGun: "Hey Mom, pick up the phone..."
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.]]
* 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.
* 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 the season 2 finale, 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.]]
* 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 says Cary is guilty of telling drug dealers how to avoid arrest.]]
* 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]].
* AFoolForAClient: Stern tries to defend himself "through Alicia" from a [=DUI=] charge until she decides to take matters into her own hands.
* FoxNewsLiberal: Surprisingly {{averted}}: the show does a good job of presenting both left- and right-wingers as people instead of political platforms.
** 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.
* 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:
-->''‘If you’ve read this far you aren’t paying any attention to our show. So, bite me.’''
* FriendshipMoment: Often and between many characters, but specifically Kalinda/Alicia and Diane/Will. Sometimes also Kalinda/Will and more recently [[spoiler: Alicia/Cary.]]
** Episode 12 of the fourth season 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.
* 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.]]
* 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.
* HeelFaceTurn: Cary [[spoiler: rejoins the firm at the end of Season 3.]]
* 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.
* 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 a courtroom, 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 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 her friend-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 it in a ''criminal'' case. They are not government employees, and this was civil. The judge could therefore not exclude this, though he ''would'' likely inform the police and they might face charges.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: You can tell which season an episode is from by how many words are in the title (all season one episodes have one-word titles, those from season two have two-word titles and so on).
** Season 5 episodes have 3 words titles, as the creators of the show are hoping it to last a total of 7 seasons.
* 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.
* 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.
* InTheBack: There's a lot of this. Not least in Lockhart and Gardner.
* 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.
* 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.]]
* KarmaHoudini: Happens with a couple case of the week antagonists.
** A notable example is Joe Kent, a [[TheGhost never seen on screen]] character 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, even after 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 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
* 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.]]
* 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]].
* 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]].
* 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.
* MsFanservice: Kalinda, who wears knee-high boots and low-cut tops.
* NoPartyGiven: Averted, just about every major character is stated to be a Democrat and the Democratic National Committee is even shown getting involved. Of course getting elected in Cook County as anything other than a Democrat is virtually impossible.
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler: Kozko]].
* ObfuscatingDisability: Though he is legitimately disabled, Louis Canning ([[DisabledCharacterDisabledActor played by]] 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]].
* 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.
* 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''.
* 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.
* 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.
* ShipperOnDeck: In season 5, one NSA guy says he thinks Will and Diane will get together. The other says their relationship isn't sexual.
** In 'Foreign Affairs,' Kalinda encourages Will to confess his feelings for Alicia. May overlap with IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy given Kalinda's own feelings for Alicia.
* 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.
* SmugSnake: Glenn Childs.
** Also Colin Sweeney (played by Creator/DylanBaker) zigzags between this and MagnificentBastard, who appears in a couple of episodes.
*** [[spoiler: Wendy Scott Carr]]. And ''how''.
* 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.
* 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]].
* 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).
* 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.”
* TitleDrop: Well, not quite, but Eli does say to Alicia in 2x16 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.
* 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.
* 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.]]
* 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'').
* 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's]] decision to leave resulted in [[spoiler: Will Gardner's death]] seemingly at random and out of nowhere.
* 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.
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