Trivia: Cheers

  • Acting for Two: Rhea Perlman appeared in one episode as Carla's sister Annette.
  • Actor Allusion: A strange case. For a while, Carla's ex-husband Nick was The Faceless, and was described as Danny DeVito. Rhea Perlman played Zena, Louis DePalma's girlfriend on Taxi. DeVito was going to play Nick, but his movie career took off and Dan Hedaya was hired to play the role instead.
  • Adored by the Network:
    • When Cheers finally went off the air on May 20, 1993, NBC dedicated a whole night to the show's final episode. The night began with a "pregame" show hosted by NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas, followed by the final 98-minute episode itself. NBC stations, O&Os and affiliates alike, then aired tributes to Cheers during their local newscasts, and the night concluded with a special edition of The Tonight Show broadcast live from the Bull & Finch Pub.
    • The tributes didn't end there. On the following day's Today broadcast, the show dedicated an almost ten-minute segment documenting how loved the show was to people, with Today co-anchor Katie Couric being seen briefly on the Cheers set. The segment began with the show documenting the Tonight Show broadcast with brief comments from the show's cast, in addition to recapping the finale. The show then did an on location report in which NBC News correspondent Roger O'Neil went on location to actual bars across the country, in which staff and patrons of those bars reflected on watching the program from those exact bars. After that, the segment concluded with Couric, now back at NBC News world headquarters in New York, sitting down for an interview with then NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield, speaking from the Bull & Finch, about what shows he was going to use to fill the void, along with a side interview with Jeannie Park, then senior editor for television at Entertainment Weekly, in which she and Couric discussed the phenomenon of how Cheers was able to run for 11 seasons despite having abysmal ratings on its inaugural season.
  • The Character Died with Him: Nicholas Colasanto/Coach Ernie Pantuso. Frasier later revealed that the same thing happened with Al Rosen/Al.
  • The Danza: Woody Harrelson played Woody Boyd. Oddly enough, the character was named Woody before Harrelson got the part.
    • All of the minor barflies, such as Paul (Paul Wilson), Al (Al Rosen), Pete (Peter Schreiner), Alan (Alan Koss), Tim (Tim Cunningham), Steve (Steve Giannelli), Phil (Philip Perlman, Rhea's father), Hugh (Hugh McGuire), Tom (Thomas Babson), Larry (Larry Harpel), Paul (Paul Vaughn) Tony (Tony DiBenedetto), and Mark (Mark Arnott).
    • A few of the recurring characters in the show's early run...including a pre-Night Court Harry Anderson as itinerant Con Man "Harry the Hat".
      • Lampshaded when Woody won the lead in Our Town and remarked that his co-star was named Emily (same as her character), so she wouldn't have to worry about difficult things like responding to a new name.
  • Development Gag: Former NFL star Fred Dryer (later of Hunter) was up for the part of Sam Malone and Julia Duffy (later of Newhart) was up for the part of Diane Chambers. Both later guest-starred on the show, Dryer as Sam's crasser, dumber sportscaster friend, Dave Richards, and Duffy as Diane's snootier and more pretentious best friend, Rebecca Prout.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Four episodes by John Ratzenberger and one by George Wendt in later seasons.
  • He Also Did: Roger Rees plays Robin Colcord in this series, Lord John Marbury on The West Wing, and the Sheriff of Rottingham in Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
    • Rob Long co-wrote 34 episodes. Long is best known as co-creator and co-executive producer of Sullivan And Son.
    • David Angell wrote 17 episodes. Angell is best known as co-creator and co-executive producer of Wings and Frasier.
    • Peter Casey and David Lee wrote ten episodes. Both also served as co-creators and co-executive producers of Wings and Frasier.
    • Sam Simon wrote five episodes. Simon is best known as co-developer and co-executive producer of The Simpsons.
    • Earl Pomerantz wrote four episodes. Pomerantz is best known as developer and executive producer of Major Dad.
    • Tracy Newman and Jonathan Stark wrote three episodes. Both are best known as creators and executive producers of According to Jim.
    • Jeff Abugov wrote two episodes. Abugov is best known as developer and co-executive producer of Fugget About It.
    • Michael J. Weithorn wrote an episode. Weithorn is best known as creator and executive producer of Ned And Stacey and co-creator and executive producer of The King of Queens.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
    • In Season 4, Edan Gross plays the son of a one-episode hiree. He later did the voices for "Nice Chucky" in Child's Play and Flounder in the Disney series. He also played the young Al Bundy.
    • Darryl Mead, a character who appeared in the episodes "Death Takes a Holiday on Ice" and "The Ghost & Mrs. Le Bec", is played by Kevin Conroy. Yes, that one.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Lilith Sternin was initially depicted as a terrible singer, even though before Cheers Bebe Neuwirth was mostly known for her singing roles in Broadway musicals; in 1986 she even won a Tony Award for a production of Sweet Charity. Later on the writers had Lilith take some singing lessons, and all of a sudden she became a great singer.
  • Life Imitates Art:
    • Jeopardy uses "pulling a Clavin" to refer to when a contestant whiffs the way Cliff did on an episode.
    • In real life, Shelley Long, just like her character Diane Chambers, never quite managed to fit in with the rest of the Cast.
  • Network to the Rescue: The show was an utter bomb in its first year, having the worst Neilsen ratings of the year. Fortunately, NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff refused to cancel it, and put it in a prime slot right after The Cosby Show and Family Ties, and it soon became the #1 sitcom in America, even beating its lead-ins. Ironically, Tartikoff would later serve as chairman of Paramount, which produced both Cheers and Family Ties.
  • The Other Darrin: Two different actors played Gary in the various "Bar Wars" episodes.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Kelsey Grammer's daughter Spencer had an uncredited role in "One Hugs, the Other Doesn't".
    • Phil the barfly was played by Phil Perlman, Rhea Perlman's father. In addition, Rhea's sister, Heide Perlman, was a frequent writer.
    • Vera Petersen is Bernadette Birkett, George Wendt's wife.
  • Recycled Script:
    • Not only is the storyline of the Season 11 episode "Norm's Big Audit" virtually identical to that of the Wings episode "Hell Hath No Fury Like a Police Woman Scorned," but the same actress who played the hard-nosed, lovesick policewoman in Wings was hired to play the hard-nosed, lovesick IRS auditor in this series.
    • The "main male character's older brother who is better at everything" was used for Cheers as well. Many sitcoms used virtually the same script, including Three's Company.
    • Diane borrows money from Sam in one episode, and proceeds to spend it on apparently frivolous items before paying Sam back. This is a very common sitcom plot, used again in Frasier and many other shows.
  • Star-Making Role: True for almost the whole cast, except for Kirstie Alley who got her big break a few years earlier with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and arguably Bebe Neuwirth with her stage experience. Most dramatically true for Woody Harrelson, who went on to a very successful film career.
  • Technology Marches On: In the Season 3 finale everyone at the bar is impressed by Sam's new answering machine. In Season 4 Sam is jealous when Diane's boyfriend has a car phone.
    • In "Where Nobody Knows Your Name" Frasier mentions the bar TV's "sixteen wonderful cable channels",
    • Rebecca's "very expensive calculator" in "My Son, the Father".
    • In "Norm and Cliff's Excellent Adventure", Woody buys Rebecca "a portable, solar-powered phone".
    • In "Those Lips, Those Ice" Frasier needs a briefcase to carry around his "portable cellular telephone".
  • Throw It In:
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The show is soaked in '80s style and culture.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Joel Hodgson revealed in a recent interview that he auditioned for the role of Woody Boyd.
    • The network originally wanted to have Woody take over the bar after Ted Danson announced he was leaving after season 11. However, Woody Harrelson refused to do the show without Danson and so it was decided to simply end the series.
    • Julia Duffy was the first choice for the role of Diane. Wendie Malick also auditioned for the part. Fred Dryer auditioned for the part of Sam. John Lithgow was considered for the role of Frasier.
    • Originally, Danny DeVito was the casting favorite for Nick. But then his movie career took off, and rendered him unavailable. It would have been a Casting Gag since Rhea Perlman played is on-again, off-again girlfriend in Taxi.