"Maybe I won't get married, you know? Maybe I'll do one of those Eat, Pray, Love things. Ugh, no, I don't want to pray. Forget it, I'll just die alone."
Created by, and starring Mindy Kaling, one of the writers of the American version of The Office, this rom-com series began airing in 2012 on Fox. This series is notable for having the first South-Asian lead on American television.Dr. Mindy Lahiri is a successful OB/GYN living a comfortable single life in New York City. At her practice, she is surrounded by colleagues that both support her and drive her nuts. However, a lifetime of watching romantic comedies has convinced her that she needs to put more effort into finding her life partner. Hilarity Ensues.Now has a character sheet that needs a lot of love.
Accidental Pervert: In "Girl Crush", the doctors launch a mobile clinic and drive it to Spanish Harlem to give out free breast exams. But after Mindy bails, the male doctors' awkward attempts to solicit volunteers has them tagged as perverts and are soon surrounded by an angry mob.
Adam Westing: Kevin Smith cameos as himself, on an airplane where he messes up the bathroom. And then again, with Mindy none too pleased that he considers them both to have N-Word Privileges regarding fat jokes.
Adorkable: Mindy and Danny when they're helping each other through a personal crisis. Actually, any moment anyone at Shulman & Associates helps another from the practice qualifies.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Mindy lists the reasons why guys don't commit to her, she notes that she works too much, is kinda selfish... and has never voted.
Artistic License - Religion: "Mindy's Cool Christian Boyfriend" mashes together a bunch of very conservative and very progressive characteristics into the minister character who Mindy is dating. Ministers of both types do exist in real life, but it's rare for one to believe simultaneously that Hindus are going to hell but that it's alright to have premarital sex with one, for example. Arguably some of this is just Rule of Funny because it provides fodder for amusing banter between the two.
Ascended Extra: Beverly, who appeared in the second episode as a one-shot character, became a series regular after the mid-season Re Tool.
Bad Liar: Danny. He couldn't come up with an excuse as to why he had porn on his laptop. Actually, he really can't come up with a good lie/excuse to save his life, regardless of the gravity of the situation.
Danny: (trying to find a reason for Mindy to come to his office) MINDY. You prescribed the wrong medication for a patient and now she's in a COMA!
Big Eater: Jeremy has become one of these between the seasons. Mindy talks about food a lot, too. "I empty my fridge before bed every night."
Bollywood Nerd: Zig-zagged in a rare female example. Mindy is a OB/GYN who was excellent in studies and makes pop-culture references. However, she also loves shopping and fashion, celebrity culture, and is a bit boy-crazy.
Mindy and Tom. At the beginning of the series, Mindy is lamenting losing Tom to his marriage and she ends up getting rather drunk at his wedding reception. Near the end of the season, Tom loses his wife offscreen, gets drunk at a frat party, and subsequently asks Mindy to come home with him. This time, Mindy's not as keen on the idea, which shows that she's already let go of her fantasy of him over the course of the season..
Morgan is introduced and hired in the second episode of the season in a quick decision by Mindy for essentially solving a problem nobody knew how to deal with immediately. In the second to last episode of the season, he is re-hired by Danny when he helps Danny mend his relationship with his ex-wife, after being fired by Danny in a snap decision for sending the letter that fixes the relationship in the first place.
Call Back: The letter that Danny wrote that Morgan sent results in Danny's ex-wife appearing. Danny is not amused and ends up firing Morgan for it.
Danny getting nervous about airplane turbulence comes back in a big way in "The Desert" (and his "move": the butt grab!)
The Cast Showoff: Mark Duplass/Brendan Deslaurier spends a couple of minutes showing off his ability to sing and play guitar as Mindy fumbles around in his shower.
Ed Helms (Andy) played a one-time boyfriend of Mindy's.
Kelen Coleman (Isabel note Dwight's girlfriend in season 6) plays one of Mindy's best friends.
Ellie Kemper (Erin) as Josh's real girlfriend.
Anna Camp (Penny note Pam's sister) plays one of Mindy's best friends.
B.J. Novak (Ryan) plays a Latin professor.
Christianity is Catholic: Zig-zagged. Mindy falls for a minister who wears the typical black shirt and white collar, but is not Catholic and is therefore allowed to date. In-universe, Mindy demonstrates the "All churches are Pentecostal Black churches" version of this trope when she dresses like a character from a Tyler Perry movie to attend one of his church's services. She promptly realizes how out of place her outfit is.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: During the first season, Mindy's best friend Gwen was a regular character who appeared in the Title Montage, but she disappears completely with no explanation between seasons one and two. The same thing happens to Maggie and Alex, two other friends of Mindy who were recurring characters. By the second season it seems Mindy has no friends outside her workplace anymore.
Humiliation Conga: The main plot of several episodes involves a succession of increasingly embarrassing events happening to Mindy, though sometimes she's oblivious or indifferent to these events for most of the episode.
Insistent Terminology: Plenty of this is thrown between the doctors and the midwives - Brendan Deslaurier insists on calling the doctors of Shulman & Associates 'drug dealers'. On the other hand, the Deslauriers have to call the women that come to their office 'clients' and not 'patients', because neither of the Deslauriers are certified doctors, a fact that Danny calls them out on on top of calling the midwives any creative variant of 'quacks'.
"Just Joking" Justification: Josh kids Mindy from time to time about which of the many women in his contact list he'll go out with whenever Mindy is unavailable. This becomes a bit of a cruel Brick Joke when she later discovers that he was cheating on his girlfriend with her - and cheating on them both with other women.
Insult Backfire: A male character makes a snarky comment about Mindy's wide feet. She responds: "Thank you! I almost never fall over."
In "Mindy's Birthday", Mindy abandons her own friends and is approached by a separate group of teenage girls that are celebrating their own party. Mindy gets along with them at first, until she points out that the girls' attitudes indicate their friendship is shallow. They then insult her and call her a weird loner lady before being chased out of the restaurant.
Zigzagged in "Frat Party", Mindy's protege Katie is comfortable enough to invite her to a frat party to make her feel better after she breaks up with her boyfriend. When Mindy stops Katie from dancing on a stripper pole, Katie becomes angry with Mindy for lecturing her on her attempts to impress men. By the end of the episode, Katie forgives Mindy and tells her she's right, indicating they'll probably get along... if we ever see her again.
In season 2's "An Officer and a Gynecologist", Mindy takes a shine to a young patient and allows her to crash in her apartment to get away from her overprotective dad, but it ends up with Morgan handcuffed to a bed and Mindy dating the girl's dad.
Love Theme: Despite what happened in the pilot, Tom and Mindy still have their own Love Theme as they run into each other over the course of the first season. Each time is accompanied with the same swell of romantic instrumentals - until something Mindy or Tom does cuts off the track. This is dropped in the second season.
Love Revelation Epiphany: An episode deals with Danny "accepting" his feelings for Mindy after incorrectly inferring she was in love with him.
The Matchmaker: Jeremy and Danny try to fix up an old man with the woman in his retirement home that he is fond of, in the hopes that the old man will do them the favor of lowering their rent. This goes horribly wrong when it is discovered that she is already married, to a Badass Grandpa who has a sword concealed in his cane.
Mindy claims to be one of these, which seems to have some merit. She sets up Danny with Lucy, the best friend of her at-that-time boyfriend Jamie, who always took Jamie's attention away whenever she was around. The result is Jamie getting jealous of Danny and then realizing that he's actually in love with Lucy.
Moment Killer: This trope gets mixed with Black Comedy when Mindy and her date are on a romantic carriage ride through Central Park, only for one of the horses to break a leg and need to be put down. Right in front of Mindy and her date.
Morgan, Morgan, Morgan, who has a tendency to say things that are not only completely out of place but are also Squick-inducing.
No Such Thing as H.R.: Let's just say that if Human Resources existed in this show's universe, nearly every character would be up to his or her neck in a stack of sexual harassment suits.
One-Hour Work Week: It seems Mindy and the other doctors are free to leave the practice for non-work-related reasons anytime they feel like it. This gets lampshaded a couple of times during the second season: in one episode, Jeremy has to simultaneously deliver three babies because Mindy and Danny have gone to a music festival; and in another one, Mindy has had a bad breakup and says she's entitled to "heartbreak days" (meaning she doesn't have to come to work if she doesn't feel like it), only for Jeremy and Danny to remind her that there's no such thing.
Opening Monologue: Played with. Most episodes begin with Mindy delivering one... to another character.
Out of Focus: Tends to be a problem for any series regular who does not play Mindy or Danny. First, this was an issue with Mindy's original boss and her friends outside of work, so they were written out midway through the first season. By Season 2, this even becomes a problem for Jeremy, who originally had roughly the same amount of screen time as Danny. From late Season 1 onward, the typical episode's A-plot tends to focus on Mindy and/or Danny meddling in each other's personal lives while the B-plot tends to be consumed by Morgan and/or Peter's largely unrelated shenanigans.
One particularly bad example was "Pretty Man", which was filmed before "My Cool Christian Boyfriend" and "Santa Fe", but aired between the two. Mindy is still dating the "Cool Christian boyfriend" in "Santa Fe", but in "Pretty Man", she is single and desperate enough to bring a male prostitute she picked up in a bar the previous night to a dinner party.
Another example is the Thanksgiving episode (episode six), where Gwen wears the cast on her arm for an injury she got in episode eleven.
Self-Deprecation: The show practically runs on this, with most of the deprecation focused on Mindy. She approaches everything with a sense of humor, especially regarding her less-than-ideal body type and her dating history, but it's clear that sometimes her insecurities get the best of her.
Mindy: (while talking about why Casey wouldn't want to commit to her) I kinda suck, and no guy has ever wanted to commit to me before, because I work too much... I'm kinda selfish... I've never voted. And usually, the guy figures that out and then they leave.
Shout-Out: In Indian BBW Mindy offers to read from Bridget Jones's Diary, and Danny actually reads from it at the end of the episode, British accents and all.
Also in the same episode, Pete tries to cheer Mindy up by doing an impression of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
Pete:*robot voice* I have never seen a woman.
In Think Like a Peter, Peter calls Mindy's one-night stand, who is a first-grade teacher, "Kotter."
In "Sk8er Man," Mindy gets her "big butt" caught halfway through a fence. Her final line in the scene is "Oh bother."
Smug Snake: The male "midwives" who practice holistic medicine in the same building as Mindy's clinic.
Spoiled Sweet: Mindy generally means well, but sometimes fails to grasp the notion that you can't always solve a problem by throwing money at it.
Mindy: I can do anything, as long as it's just paying for stuff.
Status Quo Is God: Over the course of the first season finale and second season premiere, Mindy cuts her hair, leaves the practice, moves to Haiti, gets engaged to Casey, and nearly gets married. By the end of the premiere she's back at the practice and Casey is back in Haiti, although they're still engaged.
By the third episode of the second season, Mindy and Casey have split up and Mindy is back to agonizing about her love-life. Meanwhile, Danny has broken up with his wife again.
Mindy and Danny finally get together at the end of "The Desert", but Danny breaks it off after three episodes due to a fear of losing Mindy as a friend.
Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Mindy has watched a lot of rom-coms, and therefore tends to look at her romantic relationships in that light.
Villainous Breakdown: Brendan after losing the triathalon. Which oddly enough earns a bit of Danny's respect, as he'd spent the whole day trying to get Brendan to admit he cared about winning.
Wild Frat Party: Mindy attends a frat party with her protege to feel better after she breaks up with her boyfriend. It's as predictably wild as Mindy thinks it should be, and is therefore normal enough in occurrence... until two of Mindy's ex-boyfriends show up at the party and start to fight over her.
Will They or Won't They?: It's pretty obvious by the end of the first season that there's something between Mindy and Danny, but if either of them are conscious of it, neither of them are really doing anything about it. It's also worth mentioning that at this point in the series, Mindy's committed to Casey and Danny's trying to make things work with his ex-wife.
They Do - but Danny breaks it off three episodes after it happens. The series reverts back to Will They or Won't They?, until Mindy and Danny get back together in the second season finale.
Woman Scorned: Heather, the woman Josh was already seeing when he started dating Mindy. The timing of her discovery - right in the middle of Mindy's Christmas party - couldn't possibly be any worse.
Your Cheating Heart: Josh on Mindy. She discovers it on Christmas and worse, she's the other woman.
It gets worse. We find out in "Santa Fe" that he had TWO other women on the side.
Also, Dr. Castellano's wife cheated on him which led to the divorce.
Tamra cheats on her longtime boyfriend Rayron at the end of season 2 with Morgan. Rayron doesn't seem to mind.