Trivia: The Mary Tyler Moore Show

  • The Cast Showoff:
    • "Murray Can't Lose" gives Georgia Engel (Georgette) a chance to show off her singing and dancing skills with a big musical production number to the song "Steam Heat."
    • Subverted in the same episode with Mary, who suggests putting herself in the talent show but thinks better of it after trying out a hilariously inept attempt to sing "One For My Baby."
  • The Danza:
    • Mary Tyler Moore, as Mary Richards.
    • Ted Knight, as Ted Baxter, is actually a completely accidental instance of this. The role was originally conceived with Jack Cassidy in mind, but he turned it down. Cassidy did, however, appear in an early episode as Ted's equally egocentric brother, Hal.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Moore herself helmed the season 5 episode "A Boy's Best Friend".
  • Ear Worm: "Love is all around, no need to waste it..."
  • Executive Meddling: A common plot in-universe, as the station managers at WJM mess with the news show's format or try to make personnel changes. Somewhat subverted in that Ted's news show is so bad that the executives may have a point in wanting to change it.
    Mary: [to Lou, after watching Ted on the news] That's the format you're so anxious to hang on to?
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Many examples, such as...
  • I Am Not Spock: Ted Knight hated the problems people had separating him from Ted Baxter. He had a hard time after the series as well.
  • Life Imitates Art:
    • Lou's idea to have a cameraman ride along in a police car to film an on-the-spot arrest predated Cops by about 15 years.
    • In one episode Ted looked for Coffee Bags ... guess what Folgers and other companies now make.
    • Les (Jerry Van Dyke) had the idea to broadcast the WJM Six O'Clock News from the newsroom... an idea many later news programs adopted, most notably ABC's World News Now.
  • Marathon Running: Nick@Nite's The Mary-thon, a week-long marathon (showing a season's worth of episodes each night) that introduced the series to the cable network's line-up in 1992.
  • Reality Subtext: One of the episodes from the final season is about Murray's frustration at being the only person in the group who hasn't won a Teddy Award. In real life, Gavin MacLeod was the only major cast member who never won an Emmy (he was never even nominated) and he later admitted his disappointment about this.
  • Star-Making Role: Pretty much everyone in the cast other than Mary Tyler Moore herself (and perhaps Betty White) can thank this show for first making them a household name.
  • Throw It In: When Moore filmed her famous hat-tossing scene in downtown Minneapolis, the camera caught an elderly woman scowling quizzically at her in the background. The woman was a local resident named Hazel Frederick, who happened to be walking down the street while shopping in the area and couldn't understand what this young woman was doing in the middle of a busy intersection. The producers decided the shot was too good not to use, and Frederick's face became an unintentionally iconic part of the show's opening.
  • Write Who You Know: Ted Baxter was actually inspired by real life anchorman Jerry Dunphy of CBS Los Angeles O&O KNXT, who later also provided the inspiration for Kent Brockman on Brooks's The Simpsons. note 
  • What Could Have Been: Mary was originally going to be divorced, but the writers feared people would think she'd divorced Rob. Plus, executives back then didn't think a divorcée protagonist wouldn't appeal to many people.
    • Gavin MacLeod originally auditioned for the role of Lou Grant.
    • The role of Ted Baxter was written with Jack Cassidy in mind, but the actor wasn't interested in another sitcom commitment so soon after the failure of his critically acclaimed Short Runner sitcom He & She. He would eventually guest star as Ted's brother in one episode.