A well-known CBS sitcom running from 1998 to 2007. It focuses on the life of Doug Heffernan (Kevin James), a fat but jovial IPS driver, and his wife, Carrie Heffernan (Leah Remini), nee Spooner. Most of the time, Doug tries to live a hard-working but relaxed and diet-free life, which is complicated by the zany schemes of Arthur Spooner (Jerry Stiller), Carrie's father, who lives in their basement.Doug has quite the circle of friends. His best friend is the black family man, Deacon Palmer. Others include Richie Ianucchi, a ladies' man who nicknames Doug as "Moose", Doug's awkward cousin Danny (who is played by Gary Valentine, James' brother in real life), and Spence Olchin, a nerd of sorts who isn't the Butt Monkey of the group so much as the omega wolf. While not part of the circle, another friend is the local dog-walker Holly, who, in spite of her drinking and trouble finding a date, does a good job of putting up with Arthur's weirdness.Most viewers point out The King of Queens for its prominent case of Big GuyHot Wife. What makes the show unique, though, is that Doug and Carrie share other attributes that show opposites attracting. For example, Doug is a nice and friendly guy and is quite content with his job as an IPS driver, whereas Carrie sometimes fantasizes about the directions her life could have taken and has a somewhat grayer moral compass. Another example is that Doug is a hard worker, but he likes to play hard as well, whereas Carrie is a card-carrying workaholic.
This show provides examples of:
Aborted Arc: Doug gets sucked into a Pyramid Scheme by his neighbor but the story ends with no resolution. Doug tries to confront his neighbor only to find he left town and he's never heard from again.
Acrofatic: Doug's poledance. Especially when compared to Carrie.
His raquetball performance against Deacon is also an example and it's implied that he really had no prior experience playing and that it was solely inspired by Doug's desire to get his friend away from his "archnemesis" pushing him into almost Determinator territory.
Doug in general is implied to be decently athletic and powerful (consider his job; he probably spends a decent amount of time having to carry around heavy boxes and considering he works in New York, he probably has to deliver things up lots of stairs in walk-up apartments.) One episode has a gag that he used to be extremely well-built and muscular. It seems he's just added a layer of flab over the muscles.
Adam Westing: Done in one episode by the actual Adam West, whom Spence meets and wants to take to Comic book convention.
Artistic License - Cars: When Doug's car starts breaking down, Arthur buys them a "Douchenburger", apparently quite popular in Luxembourg. The actual car is a right hand drive 1970 Mini 850 Mk. III. Luxembourg has no local auto makers (their cars come from the rest of Europe) and is left hand drive. About the only done to hide the fact that it's a Mini is the emblem on the hood has been removed.
The Art of Bra Removal: Discussed in one episode where Carrie briefly recounts an encounter with an ex-boyfriend who spent a half-hour trying to undo her bra, only to finally learn her bra opened from the front. You'd think she'd have just told the poor bastard after ten minutes or so.
Also the Sacksys after their last appearance (although they might have just moved away)
Closer to Earth: Traded off depending on the episode between Doug and Carrie. Doug is foolish and impulsive, but Carrie is somewhat immoral (or at least self serving) and brash, and each have episodes showcasing their flaws - for whichever one is in the wrong in the episode, the other will be Closer to Earth.
Diabolus Ex Machina: In her last appearance on the show as a regular, Holly met a nice, normal rich guy who planned to marry her and take her out of the city. When she reappears in the series finale, she's now pregnant and has been dumped by said husband, with nowhere to live.
Dude, Not Ironic: In one episode, Doug calls something ironic and Arthur insists that that's not what irony is. At the end of the episode, Arthur wakes Doug up in the middle of the night claiming he looked up ironic in the dictionary, and admits he was wrong: he thought "ironic" meant "made entirely of iron".
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Despite the fact that they sleep with their beds pushed together, have tried to buy a house together, have a shared checking account, speak of themselves as a couple, argue and break up like they're married (and have in fact gotten married), and have all but given up on finding dates other than each other, Spence and Danny are straight.
Laser-Guided Karma: Anytime Doug or Carrie (or both) set up a scheme, it would always be foiled by some reason. "Patrons Ain't" & "Buy Curious" are good examples for both of them, with several of Doug's schemes to improve Carrie while he did nothing (such as in "Lush Life", "Gym Neighbors" & "Deconstucting Carrie") always came back to bite him in the ass.
Magic 8 Ball: The Mentalo toy from Doug's childhood (as well as its knockoff, Mental-Man) is a variant.
Manipulative Bastard: Doug is frequently forced to be this in order to get what he wants from the domineering Carrie. Examples include Doug talking Arthur into wanting whatever Doug wants to eat and forming fake work calls to guilt the wife into letting the husband get his way.
In one episode, Spence and Danny go to their high school reunion and try to pick up women to take home. Spence thinks he has succeeded in picking up a woman, until Danny informs him that that woman is a lesbian and thinks he's a woman too. Danny also succeeds in getting a date, that is, the captain of the football team.
At least my rainbow ends with a vagina!
Also, several episodes revolved around Deacon thinking his son Kirby was gay and attempting to prevent it.
Mistaken for Racist: In "Buy Curious," Doug and Carrie attempt to sell a crappy house by covering up the flaws and sell it off to a black couple like it's fine. When Doug and Carrie find out that the couple is having a baby, they try to talk them out of buying it and the couple think they're just trying to keep them from buying it because they're black.
New Neighbors As The Plot Demands: With the exception of Lou Ferrigno and the Sacksys (who only appeared in three episodes) the other side neighbors changed frequently.
Noodle Incident: Played with in one episode that show's exactly what transpires and then has Doug pose a question that to a party not in the know is definitely one of these.
Doug: Well maybe losing your gynecologist is a good lesson for you. Maybe next time you want to do something nice for Danny you'll think, "Last time I did this I lost my gyneologist."
Only Sane Man: Deacon; he is the only main or recurring character that doesn't have many major personality flaws, is often exasperated by his friends idiotic schemes, is the first one to point out when someone goes too far in any given situation and is generally the most well-adjusted person on the show.
The Other Darrin: Deacon's son, Kirby Palmer, was played by three separate children over the course of the show.
The same goes for Deacon's younger son, Major, who was also played by three children.
To be fair, though, this is the only way a show not structured as Real Time can continue to show young children.
Also, when Spence's mom Veronica first appeared in "S'Aint Valentines", she was played by Twin Peaks star Grace Zabriske (as Anne Meara was playing another role in that episode). By her next appearance, Meara had taken on the role and would play it for the rest of the series run (Anne Meara is Jerry Stiller's Real Life wife, which is played with later on when flirt and date).
Doug's Boss, Supervisor O'Boyle was played by Sam Mc Murray throughout the entiere series, except for Season 1's "White Collar", where the character was played by John F. O'Donohue. The character's name is given as "Jack" in the credits but Mc Murray's characters' first name is Patrick. While the fact that Doug could have two supervisors with the same last name is not completely impossible, a later episode centered around a flashback to when Doug first started working at IPS (season 8 episode "Consummate Professional") has the Mc Murray character as Supervisor.
Also Carrie's Boss in Hornstein & Steckler, Mr. Kaplan was played by Victor Raider-Wexler. When Carrie eventualy gets a job at a Real Estate Firm her new boss was played by the same actor.
Pottery Barn Poor: The Heffernins consist of a UPS IPS truck driver, a secretary and an old retired man who never worked a job for more than a month at a time. Despite this, aside from their rather spacious home, in a neighborhood decent enough for Lou Ferrigno, they also have ongoing plots revolving around Doug's widescreen plasma tv and home cinema system and the den devoted to it.
Delivery men and legal secretaries (especially ones employed at large law firms like Carrie) make more money than you'd think.
Put on a Bus: Kelly for a few seasons, supposedly due to an edict from ABC, who didn't want Merrin Dungey appearing on other shows while she was on Aliasnote her leaving Malcolm in the Middle as Stevie's mom is supposedly also due to this. After her character or rather, her character's doppelganger was killed off, she returned to the show for the rest of its run.
Pygmalion Plot: Spence helping Carrie to improve her pronounciation. When she succeeds, he says "you are so beautiful..."
Retcon: When Pruzan first appeared, he was just a pathetic co-worker of Carrie's. Later, he was made into her boss (indeed, several episodes, including "Cello Goodbye" showed her with different bosses).
In the episode where Arthur temporarily moves out into an apartment he can't afford, Doug compliments his piano playing abilities. In a later episode he tries getting some fast money by "teaching" children how to do just that but is completely incapable to do so. Interestingly, amongst the main characters there doesn't appear to be a single person who can actualy play the piano, yet there it is smack dab in the middle of the Heffernan's living room.
Doug and Carrie's story of how they met, Carrie's childhood, and several other plotlines.
Re Tool: The title, now solely a pun based off of where the characters live, used to have a bit of a double-meaning, since Carrie's sister Sara was initially a big part of the cast, making plural "Queens."
Series Continuity Error: In one early episode, Arthur mocked Doug for going to church, making it analogous to the Easter Bunny, but in later episodes, he prays to God and is even afraid of going to hell.
Well it's possible he's a theist but not into organized religion, or since he's ''Arthur'', has a love-hate relationship with the "man upstairs."
It's also implied that he was part of the Socialist Workers Party in the 1940s, and may still be a Marxist, given his argument with a Russian handyman over the Soviet Union being a "worker's paradise." If so, being an atheist would make sense, but Arthur may not be able to shed his religious upbringing completely (he's shown to be a former choir boy in one episode).
This Loser Is You: Doug is shown to be dumb, has extreme aversion to reading and watches way too much TV. He also avoids places like art museums and artistic movies in favor of summer blockbuster movies and sports events. At the same time, he is shown to be very nice natured, kind-hearted and caring, making the audience connect with his character.
This is a more believable version than you usually see. Doug used to be stocky rather than just fat, and Carrie is enough of a bitch to counterbalance her looks.
Subverted by the fact that Doug is not ugly, and is never referred to as such in-universe (except by Carrie when she is mad at him). He's just fat.
In fact it's heavily implied that Doug could rather easily find another woman if necessary despite his weight, but it's outright stated that Doug is possibly one of the few people alive who are kind and patient enough to put up with Carrie's personality.
Unwanted Gift Plot: Doug and Carrie receive a hideous painting of them for their anniversary from Deacon and Kelly. They pretend to love it but secretly try to get rid of it. It turns out Deacon and Kelly intentionally gave them a horrible present so they would be allowed to get rid of an unwanted gift Doug and Carrie had given them.
You Get What You Pay For: Doug decides to give Carrie eye surgery for her birthday so that she no longer needs glasses. However, she ends up going through a much longer than usual adjusting period almost completely blind. Turns out that Doug decided to not go to the surgeon Carrie's boss recommended but another one due to the fact that the latter had coupons. Carrie is understandably upset and forces Doug to take her to the other one.
You Look Familiar: Leah Remini's real life husband, Angelo Pagan, guest starred six times as five different characters on the show.
Also, Kevin James' real life wife, Steffiana De La Cruz, guest starred five times as five different characters.
The king (no pun intended) of this was Mookie Barker, who guest starred in many episodes, almost always as a different character.
Chris Elliott played "F. Moynihan" a customer of Doug's in one episode and as a wacky exterminator several seasons later.
You Say Tomato: Doug once got into an argument with Arthur when he asked for the "catsup" (which is an acceptable variation of "ketchup", just not to Doug). Of course, Doug is one to talk, considering the way he talks: "Sanitasheeown." "I'm the 'onioniown' guy!"