is a sitcom set in L.A. that ran from 2000 to 2006. Greg and Kim Warner, together with their offspring (Sammy; their daughter, Emily, joins the cast mid-series) led a well-to-do, if uptight and isolated, life, the latter of which started to change when Kim's sister and her husband, Christine and Jimmy Hughes, came knocking on the Warners' house door (with their own children, Dominic and Logan, in tow) asking for shelter. In stark contrast to the lifestyle of the Warners, the Hughes' attitude is far more outgoing and laid-back. Much of the show deals with issues relating to marriage, family, work and/or sex.
This show provides examples of:
- Actually, I Am Him: When Greg decides not to attend a movie premiere, Jimmy takes his press pass and ticket and goes there. He tells someone he meets that the movie was lousy. What he doesn't know is that the person he was talking to, is the movie's director, Kevin Smith (as himself).
- All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: When Greg's father becomes a comic book fan, the normally prudish Kim asked, "Normal comics like for kids? Or those Japanese porno comics like Overfiend, where young women are taken against their will by demonic monsters?" Later in the episode, it's stated he should hide his Japanese porn better.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Jimmy's dating advice to Dominic during the episode "Dominic's First Date". Christine disagrees.
- All Men Are Perverts: Greg and Kim make lists of all the people they have kissed in their lifetime. Kim is horrified to learn that Greg has kissed 49 women while she has only kissed 7 men and calls Greg a man-whore before storming out angrily. Jimmy manages to calm her down by explaining that Greg's number is actually pathetically low. He didn't even hit 50!
You can't compare a guy's number to a girl's. Men are pigs. We're always trying to get our hands on something. While you were busy saying "No, no, no!
", he was busy saying "Please, please, please!
Well, forty-nine of them said "yes". Jimmy:
Yeah, but he probably asked about five hundred
- An Aesop: Greg and Kim have prejudices about the young doctor who had replaced Sammy's but he turns out to be more reliable than the one they were kissing up to in order to be enrolled.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: At the end of the episode "Headshot", Jimmy and Christine make amends with the Warner family by replacing things they broke: a blender, a laundry washer, and... Sammy.
- As Himself: Ernie Banks, Johnny Bench and Frank Robinson all turn up in the episode "Hustlin' Hughes".
- Kevin Smith in the episode "The Premiere".
- Audience Murmurs: In "Let's Get Jaggy With it", Greg's father is told by another actor to mouth "peas and carrots" in the background for his walk-on role in JAG. He refuses to do this because he can't help but feel that somewhere out there is a deaf person watching TV, wondering why that crazy old guy in the back is just saying "peas and carrots" over and over again.
- Back to School: Christine
- Bad Boss: Greg had a reputation as this, as all of his secretaries ended up quitting due to a massive workload. It turns out that the massive workload came from Kim, who had been using Greg's secretaries to constantly run errands for her. Greg had no idea this was happening since none of the secretaries had the courage to complain about their boss's wife to his face. That is, until he hired Christine.
- Benevolent Boss: Mr. George Savitsky
- Big Eater: Jimmy
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The end of the episode "Greg's New Assistant" has Jimmy saying "How hot is that?" while looking straight at the camera.
- Also the episode where Greg bought a new couch and had it facing away from the camera...it just didn't feel right somehow.
- At the end of one episode, two people who won a contest for a walk on role for the show are just standing in Greg's house. Jimmy explains they won a contest, and Greg tells them to step off camera so they'll be seen on wide screen.
- Breast Attack: Kim accidentally did this to Mr. Savitsky's then-wife in the episode "Savitsky's Tennis Club" while playing tennis.
"Ow! You broke my boob!"
- Book Dumb: Jimmy. Though he is bad at studying, in the everyday life he is much wiser than he seems to be.
- Bumbling Dad: Jimmy and his own dad, Big Jimmy. Greg's dad, Tom, is no Albert Einstein himself.
- Butt Monkey: Greg
- Possibly worse with Sammy. Despite the fact that he was a baby, something bad seemed to happen to him each episode. He also qualifies as The Woobie.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Jimmy
- Closet Key: When Greg is knocked unconscious by an electric shock, he has a dream in which the shock had killed him, and he is in the afterlife with everyone else. Christine says she lived a long life and died in a nursing home when a nurse grabbed her ass. It startled her so much she had a heart attack, but she said she liked it, and that it was possible that she was really a lesbian but never realized it.
- Compressed Vice: Greg's nasal spray addiction.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: During the episode The Premiere, Mr. Savitsky once told Greg, "Warner, if you keep talking, you're going to come to work in a thong and a beefeater hat." That shut Greg up right away.
- The Cutie: Kim is the closest, trying to understand and reconcile the family members.
- Deadpan Snarker: Greg and Christine.
- Dream Sequence: The ending of several episodes include this.
- In one episode, Greg is electrocuted into unconsciousness and dreams of lying dead with everyone in the joint burial plot Don had bought as a Christmas present.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Jimmy tries this once on Kim, only to be subverted by Kim calling Jimmy out on it with: "Jimmy, I'm not Elmer Fudd."
- Eating Contest: Greg mentions a time he and Jimmy had a contest to see who could eat the most butter. A couple minutes later, when Kim suggests that she and Greg should do more things together, Greg laughs and says "Oh please, Kim. I'm pretty sure I can eat more butter than you."
- Even Evil Has Standards: While the intention was to get Greg to leave Kim, Brian was actually disturbed that no matter how many times he knocked Greg down he kept getting up and demanding that he take back what Brian said about Kim.
- Expendable Clone: Jimmy pitches a movie to Savitsky about a futuristic world where everybody has a clone that functions as their own personal organ donor if they ever need a transplant. Overlaps with Clones Are People Too, since the plot involves a doctor and his wife's clone falling in love.
- Freudian Couch: Lampshaded. Jimmy tells Greg that he doesn't need to see a therapist and spend time lying on a couch talking about how he feels, and Jimmy ends up telling Greg about his feelings while lying on the couch.
- Future Loser: Jimmy and Christine.
- Funny Background Event: Kim talks to Christine in the kitchen about how great it is that the men in the family are working together and getting along. From the kitchen window, Greg, Jimmy, and the wives' dad Don are in a fight in the backyard.
- Greg's dad locks himself in a room full of monkeys in a rain forest themed casino. Greg and Jimmy are talking about trying to find him. The entire time, the monkeys are jumping all over Greg's dad, which can be seen from the window.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In one episode, Christine chews a large gob of gum to relieve stress. Kim comments on it, to which Christine responds in a muffled voice while giving Kim a furious look. When Kim asks Jimmy, who is also present, what Christine says, he replies: "She's telling you to love yourself."
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Jimmy's standard reaction to anything involving lesbianism is to nudge the person closest to him (usually Greg), lean in, and say "How hot is that?".
- Go-Getter Girl: Kim is a mom-version. Although it turns out the only way she was able to be "Super Mom" was that she was using Greg's work secretary as her personal errand boy/girl without his knowledge. She was such a slavedriver that she caused every one of them to quit, until he hired Christine who spoke up about this behaviour.
- Groin Attack:
- An accidental version of this happens on the episode, "Hooked on Comics", in which Greg's father, Tom, does this to himself... WITH A TOY AIRPLANE HE CONTROLS!
- Another example is in "Natural Born Delinquents", when Jimmy mentions how Logan once hit him in the "cherries" after he took a bite out of Logan's pudding pop. At the end of the same episode, Greg also suffered the same incident.
- Guinness Episode: Jimmy is the one trying to win a record, and after many failed attempts he succeeds with "Farthest Marshmallow Nose Blow Caught In Someone Else's Mouth". He was trying to shoot it into Billy's mouth, but he missed. However, Dominic managed to catch it in his mouth, winning Jimmy the record.
- Halloween Episode: "Halloween".
- Happily Married
- Henpecked Husband
- Here We Go Again: The ending of the final episode, "Should I Bring a Jacket".
- Hypocritical Humor: This show is full of them.
- I Ate WHAT?: In one episode, Jimmy starts eating a bite of homemade play-dough. After finding out what it is, he asks if it could hurt him, and when told it couldn't, continues eating. Another time he tastes 'yogurt' that is actually Apricot Face Scrub. This time, he doesn't bother to ask if it's safe before he continues eating.
- I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: In one episode, Kim does not want to stop breastfeeding Sammy so that she gets to keep her large breasts and this power to go with them.
Kim: Men see them and just go into a trance. I think I could rob a bank with these things!
- Insane Troll Logic: Kim seemed to think that Greg's work assistants were also for her personal use. She caused every one of them to quit because she was FAR more demanding than the person they were actually hired to work for. She saw absolutely no difference between her husband's work secretary and her personal errand boy/girl. Greg had no idea this was even going on until he hired Christine as his secretary.
- It Will Never Catch On: A number of critics predicted the series would be the first of the Fall 2000 batch to be cancelled. Oh, it did end - after six seasons.
- An in-universe one in "When Jimmy Met Greggie" which takes place before the Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust was created. Jimmy was pondering to his friends, on how there should be a way to put cheese inside Pizza crust. His friends look at him like he's some kind of Mad Scientist.
- Karma Houdini: Greg spends the majority of an episode trying to prove that one of Jimmy's kids broke their toilet. He furiously and paranoically ponders ways to punish them for what they did. When it's revealed that Sammy was actually the culprit, everything was immediately forgiven, the family had a nice Full House moment, and they all went to the movies.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Following a wrong phone number, Greg lies about having a dying relative in order to get out of a church function and does so in a church itself. Only Jimmy knows the truth and urges Greg to come clean. He doesn't, and it comes back to bite him in the end. Jimmy then says of God, "You sneaky little fella."
- A more positive example, happens when Jimmy saves two Jehova's Witnesses from his own lifestyle. It's heavily implied that many of his prayers are thrown into the shredding pile in heaven. However after his good deed, they answer one of his more minor prayers as a thank you. Said prayer happens to be magically refilling an almost empty bottle of mustard. His reaction was genuine.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: All of the things Greg's dad is taught about background characters in "Let's Get Jaggy With it" are used or made fun of by the actual background characters on the show, including a rule that states that actors can't be paid speaking role wages if more than six people say the same words together.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Exaggerated. Greg is pressured by his family and a group therapist to explain why he hates Jimmy and Christine so much, so he makes up a story about how he was bullied at summer camp, all from things in the therapist's office.
- Lost Love Montage: It became a running joke to feature Greg flashing back to some character he became friends with but lost like they were an ex-girlfriend. Common activities included doing each other's hair, riding Razor scooters, playing checkers, and playing guitar with Chicago's "Hard Habit to Break" playing throughout.
- Making Use of the Twin: Both the twin actors for Sammy are shown toward the end of the episode "Headshot".
- Mistaken for Gay: Greg and Jimmy were mistaken as a gay couple twice. Jimmy was quite flattered by it.
- Mushroom Samba: Greg on nasal spray.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: "Broken by the Mold" has Greg leaving a note that begins with this sentence: "Dear family, friends and Jimmy".
- Nice Hat: Jimmy is rarely ever seen without some kind of cap on his head.
- Oblivious Adoption: Tom
- Obnoxious In-Laws: For Greg, it's Kim and Christine's father, Don. For Jimmy, it's their mother, Jenny. For Kim, it's Greg's mother, Natalie. That leaves Christine as the only one of the four main characters who doesn't have any problems with either her father-in-law or her mother-in-law.
- Of course, the series itself is built on this trope - with a number of plots built around disagreements between brothers-in-law Greg and Jimmy.
- Older and Wiser: Jimmy and Christine mentor Greg and Kim on how to deal with conflicts with your spouse.
- Only Child Syndrome: Sammy started out as this, but around mid-season 3, his baby sister, Emily, was born.
- People Zoo: Jimmy wonders if fish would keep humans in air filled aquariums if they ruled the earth.
- Primal Fear: Logan's afraid of the dark, to the point that he would scream if the room he sleeps in is pitch-black, even with his eyes shut.
- Right Behind Me: Several times, most often involving an adult making comments about his/her son or nephew, only to turn around and realize said relative is standing right behind the speaker.
- Running Gag: Greg's attempt at work-related humor has managed to send his colleague, Mike, literally running in tears 3 times in total, always because one of Greg's jokes inadvertently reminded Mike of some relative of his who died under some accidental & tragic circumstance (for example, in one scene Greg set Mike off with a "penny squeezing" joke because Mike's wife was killed by a boa constrictor), with Mr. Savitsky telling Greg "there's no way you could have known that." In fact, Mike is basically a running gag character, as all scenes with him being mentioned involve this.
- The episode "Headshot" shows Sammy accidentally bumping his head 5 times. Poor kid.
- The Lost Love Montage trope above also qualifies for this show.
- Scrabble Babble: Jimmy and Kim play Scrabble. Jim tries to put an O at the end of Kim's "Cheat" to make "Cheato", only to be told by Kim that it's spelled "Cheeto", and that it can't be played anyway because it's the brand name of a snack food. Jimmy then challenges her earlier play of "Ritzy".
Kim: Ritzy is a word.
Jimmy: Yeah, but it's a word about a cracker.
- Later he asks if "Gloonge" is a word.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Greg
- Second Place Is for Losers: Big Jimmy towards Jimmy. Jimmy on the other hand is proud of Dominic's third place trophy, but Dominic walks in while Jimmy is ranting about how Big Jimmy would have called third place "second fastest loser" and thinks Jimmy is talking about him.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Greg and Jimmy.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: The conflict between the Warners and Hugheses is kind of a mild version of this.
- Special Effect Failure: An in-universe example. When Greg records Sammy's first steps in a casino, Jimmy pays someone to swap the background with Stock Footage of a park. It looks somewhat convincing until Sammy starts walking on a lake.
- Spider-Sense: Jimmy, during the episode "Dominic's First Date", states that he feels a chill when, unbeknown to him, Christine realizes he had given advice she doesn't approve of (which sums up to All Girls Want Bad Boys) to Dominic. When his in-laws claim they feel nothing after he asks them whether they felt the same sensation, he thinks that he got nervous over nothing... until Christine walks in a second later to confront him.
- The Stinger: The show would feature a callback to an earlier joke made in passing. Arguably, the funniest part of the show.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: After Christine gets mad at Jimmy for only writing "Love, Jimmy" on his Valentine's Day card to her, Kim and Greg try to fix things by saying that everyone must sit down and write something they love about their spouse. Jimmy accidentally writes down lyrics from "Livin' On a Prayer" without realizing it, which Greg berates him for. Then Christine reveals that she wrote the same thing, and the two sing the next part of the song together.
- Strongly Worded Letter: Greg and Kim write one in response to a neighbor scaring Sammy in "Halloween". It goes over as well as you'd expect.
- The Friends Who Never Hang: One episode explored this. Jimmy is injured and Kim is pregnant, so the two of them stay home together while Greg and Christine go out together. Greg and Christine actually get along great and have a lot of fun together. Jimmy and Kim, not so much, so they pretend they can't stand each other and have a huge fake argument when Greg and Christine come home so that they can get their original hangout buddies back.
- Tempting Fate: The flashback episode, "When Jimmy Met Greggy", has Jimmy, Christine and Kim making comments that foreshadows the premise of the series.
Jimmy: (about Greg) Oh great. Now I'm gonna have this guy here all weekend mooching off me. Sitting on my couch, eating all my food. note
Christine: (about Greg) Jimmy, you're gonna see the guy once in a while at holidays, alright? I mean, its not like we're all gonna move in together.
(After Jimmy convinces Kim to keep dating Greg)
Kim: Thanks, Jimmy. I'll think about it. Hey and thanks for letting us crash here this weekend. If I ever have my own house and you need a place to stay for the night, you are always welcome.
Jimmy: Thanks for saying that, but I don't really like staying in other people's houses, you know. I just, uh, I just don't feel comfortable.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: In "Guarding Greg", the security guards are this to Greg, eating lunch and watching TV in his office.
- Also, this is basically the entire premise of the show.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Christine and Kim.
- Took a Level in Badass: Greg did this twice. Once he punched out Goldberg and another time he punched Jimmy when he goaded him. The latter was trying to get him to hit him.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Greg, in the later episodes. A perfect example would be "Tree Hugger".
- Tranquil Fury: After weeks of trying to get a contractor to fix a fireplace in "Gordon and Kim", Kim sees the contractor's car in the driveway and vandalizes it with a bat while calmly whistling to herself.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Jimmy kicks Greg and his family out of his house after 4 days of eating his food and constant sex. There are several reasons that this makes Jimmy a terrible person:
- He encouraged and had to convince Greg to engage in such behavior.
- Greg put up with the same (possibly worse) behavior from Jimmy for years.
- Most importantly, Jimmy owes Greg everything, without him Jimmy would be a homeless, unemployed utter failure as a human being, the quote "I've done everything short of breathing air into your lungs" comes to mind as it is entirely accurate.
- Unfortunately The Reset Button is pushed by the next episode and it is never brought up again.
- The main difference is, Greg turned down a great job offer in order to keep sitting around doing nothing, Jimmy was looking for a job from the moment he moved in. Still a bit of a dick move, but he had Greg's best interest at heart.
- Jimmy accuses Christine of being this in "Christine the Spy" when she wouldn't reveal any secrets about Radford Studios' new projects to Greg and Mr. Savitsky, the two guys who provided everything for the Hugheses over the years.
- Unstoppable Rage: Played for Laughs towards the end of the "Jimmy Sponsors a Vacation" episode where Kim, having been fed up with Jimmy's antics, promptly snaps into this, knocking him down and pounding him silly.
- The Usual Suspects Ending: Greg after much reluctance goes to see a psychologist along with the rest of the family. He laments a story over two bullies ruining his May-December Romance and stealing his cupcakes. The shrink deduces that Greg sees Jimmy and Christine's antics as said bullies winning over and over. He let's Greg leave so he could get some fresh air. As soon as the family leaves he calls his wife, only to realize that using items in his own office including the hostess cupcake he was eating. Realizing to his surprise, Greg fooled him. They even make fun of the limp-turned-walking part of it. (Greg's foot fell asleep when he "Lamented".)
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Greg and Jimmy.
- Vocal Evolution: Kim's voice is deeper and more throaty in the final 2 seasons as opposed to her high-pitched whine prior to that. Christine's voice became more gravelly over time.
- Wimp Fight: Greg and a male recurring minor character fight this way.