->''"It stinks!"''
-->ó '''Jay Sherman'''

''The Critic'' was a short-lived prime time animated series that featured Creator/JonLovitz as the voice of the titular critic. It was created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who were also writers for ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. It was launched on Creator/{{ABC}} in 1994, where it was cancelled after a month, but brought back in the summer to air the rest of its 13 episodes. It was picked up by {{Creator/FOX}} the following year, where it ran for a 10-episode second season. {{Creator/UPN}} expressed an interest in picking up the series, but negotiations eventually broke down and a third season never materialized even though scripts had already been written for it. Ten short Flash cartoons ([[{{Webisode}} webisodes]]) appeared on the internet over 2000-01, and reruns of the series aired on Creator/ComedyCentral for a time. In Latin America, this show was aired on Locomotion before turning into Creator/{{Animax}}.

The DVD box set was released in 2004, which includes all the TV episodes and has the webisodes as extras. During the late 2000s, the show has aired in syndication. In September, 2006, IGN ranked the show 9th in their list of the ''Top 25 UsefulNotes/PrimeTime Animated Series of All Time''. In January 2009, they also ranked the show 26th in their other list of the ''Top 100 Best Animated TV Series''. In December, 2011, Complex ranked the show 6th in their own list of ''The 25 Most Underrated Animated TV Shows Of All Time''.

Jay Sherman is New York's #3 film critic, with a cable television film review show called ''Coming Attractions''. He delivers scathing reviews of nearly every movie featured on the show, which does nothing to boost his ratings or popularity. It also doesn't help that he's overweight, balding, cynical, and incredibly unlucky with the ladies. His ex-wife Ardeth (not pictured) keeps demanding more alimony from him, and while he does score a few dates, the women he chooses are either insane or [[CastingCouch trying to get a positive film review]]. His boss Duke Phillips thinks he's gay and keeps mistaking his statements for come-ons, and his elderly chain-smoking make-up lady Doris loves to inflict verbal abuse on him.

Jay is the adopted son of former New York governor [[CloudCuckoolander Franklin Sherman]] and his wife Eleanor. Their butler Shackleford (not pictured) has a tendency to greet Jay as "Adopted Master Jay" whenever he sees him. Jay also does have a few friends: His best friend Jeremy Hawke (a combination of Paul Hogan and Creator/MelGibson); restaurant owner Vlada Veramirovich (well, he's nice to Jay's ''face'', anyway); his teenage sister Margo; and his and Ardeth's son Marty, who attends United Nations High School (where one of his classmates is a [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Klingon]], and another one from [[EenieMeenieMinyMoai Easter Island]] has a head made of stone).

In the second season, after FOX picked up the show, the character of Jay was [[ReTool retooled]]. He was given a rounder face, bigger eyes, a warmer personality, and a long-term girlfriend in personal assistant Alice Tompkins. Like Jay, Alice has a child from her own failed marriage, her young daughter Penny.

The show was resurrected one last time on the Internet as a Flash series. The supporting characters from the TV series are gone (except for an appearance by Vlada), and Jay keeps hitting on his new and younger make-up girl Jennifer (not pictured). [[FanonDiscontinuity Most fans don't really count this one among the main series.]]

Not to be confused with [[WesternAnimation/TheCritic1963 Mel Brooks' first film]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Critic_(play) R.B. Sheridan's play.]] Or WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic.

Now has its own [[Characters/TheCritic Characters page]].

!!This show uses the tropes:


* AdamWesting: "Series/SiskelAndEbert and Jay and Alice", in a ''big'' way.
** The man himself appeared in "Eyes on the Prize" for a brief cameo. Emphasis on "brief", due to Jay's particular film and television preferences.
* AdBumpers: The original broadcast featured a shot of Jay in both the ABC ("Stay tuned after the commercials, you beer-swilling couch monkeys") and FOX ("You're watching FOX, where we can say the word [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly8lJPemvgY 'boobies'!"]] ), ("You're watching Fox. [[http://www.hark.com/clips/rmftswxnrj-shame-on-you Shame on you!]]") & ("The Critic will be right back, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lSM6koJVzw you TV addicted couch monkeys"]]) runs.
* UsefulNotes/AdobeFlash: The webisodes.
* AlanSmithee: "I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show" was directed by someone named "D.R.L. [=MacMoortler=]". It's pretty safe to assume that this is a pseudonym for David Cutler, Rich Moore, and Lauren [=MacMullan=], all of whom worked on the show.
* AlcoholHic: From the animatronic hillbilly bears Duke keeps in his office:
-->"We're the bears who sing for Duke, doo-dah, doodah/Drinkin' moonshine 'til we puke, oh-da-doo-dah-'''*HICCUP*'''"
* AlliterativeTitle: A headline made by Jimmy Breslin while being the headmaster at Duke's preschool: "Bunnies Bite Breslin, Breslin Bleeds Badly."
* AloneAmongTheCouples: The episode "Miserable" focuses entirely on this during Jay's lonely season one.
* AlphabetNewsNetwork: "This... is PNN."
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Jay was this in his cameo on ''TheSimpsons''; reportedly, this is what annoyed Matt Groening enough to have his name taken off the credits for that one episode.
* AnimatedShows
* AnimationBump: The "Beauty and King Dork" sequence in the pilot.
* ArtEvolution: Most of the characters were given some slight updates to their character designs. Jay's changes are described above, while Margo went from realistically proportioned to completely stylized.
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: In case you want to know, In the episode "Marty's First Date", the name of the Mexico City Airport in RealLife is ''Benito Juarez'', not '''Music/LindaRonstadt'''. Very likely to be chalked up to the RuleOfFunny.
* AsHimself: One episode was noteworthy as one of the few examples of Creator/RogerEbert and Creator/GeneSiskel appearing in a work of fiction, alongside other real critics like Rex Reed and Gene Shalit.
** Basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar appears in one episode, lessening Jay's role to a [[{{Ventriloquism}} ventriloquist's dummy]].
** Another episode had Music/QueenLatifah for no adequately explained reason. Even the characters were confused as to why she was there!
*** Ricki Lake guest stars as herself in the same episode, but that goes back to an earlier gag of Penny watching daytime trash TV.
** Don't forget the time when Creator/JonLovitz shows up.
** Geraldo Rivera to the list interviewed Jay and Eleanor. It ended with [[CloudCuckoolander Franklin dancing in a diaper]].
* AsideGlance: In the second webisode, a clip from ''Film/MissionImpossibleII'' is shown, where Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) escapes various villains and gunfire, and then does his trademark toothy smile to the camera.
** Jay does one after cleaning the Public Library and accidentally knocking off the '''L''', causing a crowd of people to rush in excited, only to quickly let out a depressed groan.
* AudienceParticipationFailure: In "A Song For Margo":
-->'''Johnny:''' Are you ready to rock?!\\
'''Woman:''' Not yet; Brad's tying his shoe! ''(Audience goes silent for a couple seconds)''\\
'''Brad:''' ...Okay! ''(Audience starts cheering again and the band starts playing)''
* BackgroundMusic: The webisodes mostly recycled music cues from the TV series (as a cost-saving factor), though Alf Clausen still receives credit.
* BadBadActing: Valerie Fox in her film ''Kiss Of Death''; a woman also had a small part in Jay's terrible student film, which she didn't get right:
-->'''Woman:''' My darling, I have always loved--Oh, no. Pro-mo-theus.\\
'''Jay:''' Pro-''me''-theus!
* BeachBury: Marlon Brando during Jay's trip to the Cannes Film Festival.
* BearsAreBadNews: Something about Jay seems to rile up bears.
-->'''Bear handler:''' Come, Sasha. The last time you ate a critic, you spent two weeks sitting on the can!
** Jay's apparent dispute with the Three Bears from Goldilocks in "Dukarella":
-->'''Jay:''' Oh hide me! I'm being chased by three bears. There's a dispute over some porridge. Don't ask questions.\\
'''Miranda:''' Oh Jay, don't tease.\\
''(Something on the other side of the door roars and tries to claw its way through)''
* BettyAndVeronica: Jay got into a brief LoveTriangle with Alice (the Betty) and Jeremy's twin sister Olivia (the Veronica).
* BigApplesauce: The series takes place in New York.
** BigRottenApple: Its not a flattering portrayal. [[note]]Oddly enough, the producers intended the show to be a "love letter" to New York City--where, ironically, the show got its lowest ratings from New York.[[/note]]
* BigEater: Jay and Marty Sherman.
** To put this in perspective - while [[ItMakesSenseInContext training for a marathon]], he tells Vlada that he's on a diet.
-->'''Jay:''' Hello, Vlada. Tonight, I'm on a diet.\\
'''Vlada:''' ''(Picks up the phone)'' Tell Vlada Junior no Harvard.\\
'''Jay:''' In fact, I ''may'' just have coffee!\\
'''Vlada:''' ''(Sadly)'' Pull the plug on Mama.
* BigFancyHouse: The Sherman family's mansion. Ditto for Duke's mansion.
* BigNo: Jay does this twice in "Miserable" [[spoiler:when his "#1 fan" cuts off all his hair and looks as if she was about to break both his feet with a sledgehammer.]]
* BillBillJunkBill: In "Sherman of Arabia", after Jay sent a rat with an SOS message on it to Duke:
-->'''Duke:''' (going through mail) Junk mail, junk mail, junk mail, rat from Jay, junk mail....
** Bonus points for actually having a ''separate filing drawer'' just for rats from Jay, with several of them running around.
* BilingualBonus: Vlada's restaurant ''L'ane Riche'' is French for "The Wealthy Jackass".
* BitingTheHandHumor:
** In the episode "Sherman, Woman, and Child":
--->"I'm Jay Sherman, the famous film critic. I used to have a big show on ABC... for about a week."
** One of Jay's voiceovers during the show's EyeCatch:
--->"You're watching FOX. Shame on you!"
** Facetiously inverted in the episode "A Song For Margo":
--->'''Margo:''' Johnny is just like you, Jay. He's not afraid of anything. Not even the TV networks.\\
'''Jay:''' Well, they're all pretty crummy. ''(Turns to the camera when the FOX logo appears)'' Except for FOX. The last bastion of quality programming. ''(Does a salute)'' God bless you, little logo.
** In the episode "All The Duke's Men":
---> "It's a giant horse's ass! ''(Turns to the camera)'' You're watching FOX. Give us 10 minutes, we'll give you an ass."
** And from another bumper:
---> "You're watching FOX, where we can say the word 'boobies'!"
** From the episode "From Chunk To Hunk":
---> "Ah yes. Sweet, non-judgmental FOX Network, where coming in third is a triumph!"
** In the first webisode, Jay recounts how he was cancelled at ABC, Fox, and Comedy Central. Fox's building is portrayed as a very scuzzy, shoddy, run-down building in the slums - and Comedy Central's HQ is a ''tent''.
* BlindWithoutEm: Carmen from "Martys First Date". After losing her glasses during the international food fight, she sees Marty in front of her as a handsome guy holding a rose. Once he gives the glasses back, her vision comes into focus on a pudgy kid holding a fork with a meatball on it. She still agrees to go on a date with him, though.
* BoxOfficeBomb: Invoked; in one of the webisodes, Creator/SpikeLee appears and tells the audience to check out ''Film/{{Bamboozled}}'' on home video... much sooner than he thought.
* BrainBleach: In Season Two, Doris starts revealing an attraction for Duke, and this often resulted in Duke having this kind of reaction.
-->'''Doris:''' Duke, I've loved you for years. In fact, every thirty seconds I have a hot, steamy fantasy about the two of us.\\
'''Duke:''' Ooh, uh, I got to take this elevator.\\
'''Doris:''' It's just an open shaft!\\
'''Duke:''' It's quicker! ''(steps in and plummets)''
** Later, Doris sends him a graphic nude photo of herself, which the audience sees (with Duke's fingers as the censor strip). Duke has a heart attack and cries for his pills.
** In one of the webisodes, Jay went out to a stage production of ''Film/TheGraduate'' on Broadway, which featured a much talked about nude scene with Kathleen Turner as Mrs. Robinson. Unfortunately, she wasn't available, and [[TakeThatMe Jon Lovitz served as her understudy, much to the disgust of the audience.]] [[CelebrityParadox Jay is pleased.]]
* BrandX: "Hair in a Can" and "Phlegm Fatale Cigarettes".
* BrokenHeel: This affects Jeremy upon meeting Margo in "Miserable".
* BrokenRecord: "Buy my BOOK! Buy my BOOK! Buy my BOOK!"
* BurpingContest: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2J60QsaV1s Between Jay and Homer Simpson]] [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E18AStarIsBurns on Homer's show]].
** And Eudora Welty.
* ButtMonkey: Jay and Marty.
* CallBack: In episode 19, the Presidential robot that's supposed to be Bill Clinton is pointed out by Jay to actually be one of Duke's hillbilly bears. We first saw the bears in episode 14.
* TheCameo: Billy Crystal supplied the voice of Gary Grossman in one episode.
** Creator/PhilHartman provided THREE of the voices in "Eyes on the Prize" (respectively, Adolph Hitmaker, Bernie, and Professor Blowhard).
* CantHoldHisLiquor: Jay and Marty become affectionately drunk after splitting half a glass of wine.
* CantYouReadTheSign: On the first episode, Jay tells the taxi driver his dilemma about dating Valerie Fox. The driver points to a sign that reads, "Driver Only Knows Three Words of English." Those three words: "Look at sign!"
* CareerResurrection: InUniverse example. During his 1,000th show, Jay discusses this trope in regards to Creator/SylvesterStallone.
-->"We've seen Sylvester Stallone rise and fall, rise and fall, fall further, and somehow rise again! Who could survive ''Film/{{Rhinestone}}''?! He's not human, I tell you!"
* TheCastShowOff: The random bits of Jay singing are just an excuse to hear Creator/JonLovitz's (admittedly amazing) operatic singing voice.
** Parodied in-universe in the promo clip from ''Film/{{Arthur}} 3: Revenge of the Liver'', which is set in a doctor's office...that has a grand piano in it for the title character to notice and play. Creator/DudleyMoore was an excellent pianist as well as actor and many of his film and TV appearances, including ''Arthur'', found ways to invoke this trope.
* CatchPhrase:
-->'''Jay:''' It stinks!\\
'''Jay:''' Hotchie motchie!
* CelebrityParadox: Avoided with regard to Creator/JonLovitz, who exists in this show's universe -- but he came to prominence on ''[[Series/SaturdayNightLive Yesterday Night Live]]''. Jay's a big fan, but when he suggests by phone to a movie studio that in the wake of the remake ''Rebel Without a [Bill] Cosby'' they should make ''[[Film/DrStrangelove Dr. Strangelovitz]]'', he has to explain who Lovitz is: "He's a character actor! No, I don't 'think he died!'"
* ChainedToABed: In the episode "Miserable", a female projectionist (a.k.a. Jay's #1 fan) drugs Jay's glass of wine and ties him to her bed with strips of movie film.
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: When a food fight occurs in Marty's school cafeteria, the French students immediately put their hands up and surrender, even though they did not participate.
* ChekhovsGun: In the episode "Miserable", Jayís #1 Fan shows Jay a cardboard cutout of himself holding a book he wrote. She tells him she hooked it up to her Clapper, and demonstrates by clapping to it, which results in the cutout waving the book up and down and saying [[Advertising/HeadOn "Buy my book!"]] multiple times. At the episodeís climax, when she madly lunges at and attempts to kill Jeremy, Jay claps his hands and triggers the cutout, hitting her on the head and knocking her unconscious.
* ChekhovsSkill: In "A Day at the Races and a Night at the Opera", while Jay and Marty try on clothes at a department store, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsL8rayQbqk&t=0m31s Marty discovers he is able to move his stomach up and down]]. He opens the door from the changing room to show his father, only to be told by a little girl that what he was doing was "gross". Feeling bad, he stops. Later, during a school talent show he attends, he attempts to play "Yankee Doodle" on his electric guitar, only for a string to break off just as he starts playing. Unfazed, he tells the audience "This is the only other thing I know how to do": he moves his vest out of the way and moves his stomach up and down again. The audience and Principal Mangosuthu become impressed. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qItv7X8BHdw&t=3m30s Marty performs more creative belly-dancing routines]], and the audience gives him a standing ovation.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: The ENTIRE CAST (aside from Jay and briefly Vlada) vanishes without a trace in the webisodes. This was probably a necessity of budget, as the webisodes were done on a shoestring and they couldn't afford to bring back the old voice cast.
** It is implied that Jay and Alice's relationship [[PutOnABusToHell ended in a messy divorce]], though, since he's single and hitting on his makeup lady.
* CirclingVultures: In the episode "Every Doris Has It's Day", these show up after Doris claims she's very old.
** These also show up twice in "Sherman Of Arabia".
* CitizenshipMarriage: At least that's how the Mexican airport employee sees it when she agrees to marry Jay (so he can travel to Cuba to save Marty) in the Season 1 episode "Marty's First Date":
-->'''Mexican woman:''' Stop! You promised to marry me!
-->'''Jay:''' All right, but I've got to tell you, I'm only marrying you to get to Cuba.
-->'''Mexican woman:''' Well I am only marrying you for citizenship!
-->'''Jay:''' ''(Starts crying)'' This is the most honest, caring relationship I've ever been in.
** For the record, that part of the episode is pretty inaccurate: in RealLife, Mexican airliners don't care if an American citizen travels to Cuba via Mexico, as long they can pay the ticket. At the time, one just couldn't fly directly from America. (Permission is still needed from the U.S., though.)
* ClipShow: The final episode of the second season, titled "I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show".
* CloudCuckooLander: Franklin Sherman is too ''rich'' to be "crazy", so let's just call him 'eccentric'.
* ClusterFBomb / SoundEffectBleep: Cher does this to Jay during his interview with her on ''Coming Attractions''.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: In "Miserable":
-->'''[[{{Yandere}} Jay's #1 Fan:]]''' Whenever I get into a relationship with a man, they tend to get dominating and overcritical.
-->'''Jay:''' I can see your point. Although, I wouldn't have used "overcritical", and I think your delivery was wooden and unconvincing.
* ComicallySerious: Satoshi - [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Eater of Souls]], an ancient Japanese demon, is called forth into the mortal world!...as Marty's first sparring opponent in karate class at the local mall. After Marty quits, Satoshi wanders around the mall, trying out a guitar at the music shop and threatening to devour the souls of Cookiepuss at Carvel.
* CouchGag:
** The beginning of the opening credits where Jay wakes up to a phone call from someone with bad or weird news. In the FOX episodes, they also added in Jay waking up to an announcement on his clock radio.
** The opening credits also shows Jay on ''Coming Attractions'' showing a movie clip/parody (such as parodies of ''Raiders of the Lost Ark'' with the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] being knocked down like bowling pins by the boulder that Franchise/IndianaJones is running from, ''Film/TheSoundOfMusic'' where Creator/JulieAndrews is bumped into the camera and falls down a hill, a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie where said actors are eaten by a colorized T-Rex, etc), to which Jay says "It stinks!"
** The post-credits scene where an usher walks up to Jay and says, "Excuse me sir, the show's over." Jay's replies have been: (1) "Is the snack bar still open?" (2) "I'm stuck in the chair!" (3) "But I have nowhere to go." (4) "Get away, zitface!" (only used when the usher sounds like the Squeaky-Voiced Teen from ''TheSimpsons''.) There's also an end credits sequence in the FOX episodes that shows Jay and Alice kissing during the credits. When the usher (a different one this time) tells the couple "Excuse me, the show's over," Alice retorts "Get away, pipsqueak!" and Jay tells the audience "That's why I love her!"
* CousinOliver: One of Dukeís attempts to improve ''Coming Attractions''í ratings was the addition of a cute child [[ElmuhFuddSyndwome with a speech impediment]].
-->'''Jay:''' Well, I find you "wee-pulsive" and "wee-pugnant"!
-->'''Kid:''' ''(now with a normal voice)'' Hey, that speech impediment shtick is copyrighted. You'll be hearing from my lawyers! I mean, ''wawyers''.
* CoverVersion: In ''Star Trek: Generation X'', Captain Kirk sings "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" in Shatner fashion.
--> '''Kirk:''' Raindrops... keep... falling on my... head... MY FEET!... are too big!... for my... BED!
* CreatorBacklash: InUniverse example: Jay to ''[[Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}} Ghostchasers III]]''.
-->"I helped write this picture, but believe me when I say this is the ''worst movie ever made!'' Attention, L.A. street gangs, why kill each other when there are more deserving movie executives just miles from your home? Their addresses are ó" ''(cut to [[WeAreExperiencingTechnicalDifficulties 'Technical Difficulties']] sign)''
* {{Crossover}}:
** With ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', on that show's season six episode "A Star is Burns", the only episode not to have Matt Groening's name in the opening or closing credits (as Groening -- and a lot of ''Simpsons'' fans -- felt the crossover was an excuse to have the episode be little more than a 22-minute advertisement for a {{dueling show|s}}). This is lampshaded -- just before Jay walks into the Simpsons' living room, Bart is watching ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsonsMeetTheFlintstones'', and says he "smells another cheap cartoon cross-over". He then says that all kids should watch his show, before shuddering and saying, "I feel so ''dirty''!"
** Lampshaded again in this exchange towards the end:
--->'''Jay:''' And if you ever want to appear on my show-\\
'''Bart:''' Nah, we won't be doing that. ''(Technically true in that the Simpsons never appear in-universe, although Bart and Homer do turn up on a TV screen in one episode.)''
** Jay also had a short cameo in season eight's "Hurricane Neddy" where he is a patient at a mental hospital, as his psychological state seems to have deteriorated to a point where he responds to everything with his CatchPhrase, and he is also in season fifteen's "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner" as one of four characters at Moe's Tavern who have been voiced by Creator/JonLovitz.
* {{Crunchtastic}}
* CryingIndian: Duke wants "Savvy Indian Chewing Tobacco" to be a sponsor for ''Coming Attractions''. He even has an Indian on the set holding a sign with said name on it. Refusing to take part in it, Jay rips up his contract and throws the pieces at the Indian's feet, [[CryingIndian making him shed a tear]].
* CurtainClothing: In the episode "Dukerella", Miranda's costume ball dress was made out of curtains. She even had the venetian blinds as the back of the dress.
-->'''Duke:''' Ooh, [[Music/SirMixALot baby got back!]]
* CuteKitten: In "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost", during ''Coming Attractions'', Duke tells Jay that the audience only tunes in for the funny clips, and then shows a black and white clip of two kittens playing Ping Pong with their paws. Jay is at first offended, but then he sees one of the kittens frisking with the ball.
-->'''Jay:''' Haha, they ''are'' cute.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Parodied in the first webisode. Jay ends the episode with, "Oh, Jay, you ''bitch''! It's the ''internet''. I can say "bitch"!
* DenouementEpisode: "Dukerella" serves as one, as the last broadcast episode before the TakeThat episode "I Can't Believe It's a ClipShow!"
* DesertedIsland: Where the second half of "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost" takes place.
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud:
--> '''Jay:''' ''(after Jeremy's sister Olivia introduces herself)'' I wonder what she looks like naked?\\
'''Jay's brain:''' You idiot, you said that out loud. Better cover.\\
'''Jay:''' I mean uh, I wonder what she ''cooks'' like ... naked?\\
'''Jay's brain:''' ''(sarcastically)'' [[SarcasmMode Oh, nice going.]]
** Olivia doesn't mind. She asks if he'd like her to cook naked for him. Jay's stomach approves (because, well, ''cooking'').
** In the pilot, at the end of the ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' parody:
--> '''Jay:''' ''(softly singing)'' Beauty and King Dork...\\
'''Valerie:''' What did you say?\\
'''Jay:''' Uh... I said, "How useful is the spork?"
* DidntThinkThisThrough: In "I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show", a terrorist group has captured Jay and threatened to blow him up unless their demands are met. As the timer runs into its final minute, Jay points out that if he blows up, the lead terrorist would die too. The terrorist attempts to walk away, but Jay starts chasing after him.
* DietEpisode: "From Chunk To Hunk". Marty becomes slim and toned. Jay loses two pounds, which is apparently his college weight.
* DisproportionateRetribution: In the episode "Dial 'M' For Mother", Jay's life is ruined after he tells his adopted mother Eleanor to shut up live on ''Geraldo''. This includes being picketed, vilified on television, and generally being shunned by the entire population of New York City. What really drives this home was that Jay only told Eleanor to shut up after she told some embarrassing and inappropriate stories about him live on ''Geraldo''.
* TheDitz: "I'm [[OneSceneWonder Dan Quayle]]. I gotta go boom-boom."
* DomesticOnlyCartoon: The webisodes.
* DorkInASweater: Jay usually wears an argyle sweater vest.
* DoubleEntendre: A non-sexual example. When Duke's on the phone with the "spastic colon people", he asks if they can hold. Naturally, they can't.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** Jay's design changes slightly over the first few episodes to make him more relatable and easier to animate.
** Alice and Penny aren't introduce until the first episode of the second season, when the show had moved to Fox. However, since this proved to be the last season, there are actually more episodes without them then with.
* EenieMeenieMinyMoai: The Easter Island children have the stone Moai heads atop human bodies.
* EmbarrassingRescue:
** In "Marathon Mensch", Doris drags Jay down the Phillips Broadcasting tower. When this is turned into ''[[Film/TheToweringInferno The Cowering Inferno]]'', Doris is played by [[Theatre/DrivingMissDaisy Jessica]] [[Film/BatteriesNotIncluded Tandy]] with Jay played by a sumo wrestler.
--->'''Sumo wrestler:''' I have to go potty.\\
'''Jay:''' I may have said "potty", but they completely took it out of context.
** When Jay is taken prisoner in "Sherman of Arabia", he gets rescued by a helicopter. It doesn't go as planned.
--->'''Helicopter pilot:''' I don't understand. This thing's supposed to lift a tank!\\
'''Jay:''' Can you talk a little louder? I think a few people in Jordan didn't hear you!\\
'''Prisoner:''' Yes, we did!
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When Satan calls Jay just to say that he's ''not'' the reason Cher won an Oscar.
* EveryEpisodeEnding
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Or worse with penguins, in this case. Apparently, they're bad pilots ("[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JsZbSzMi08 Penguins can't fly... PENGUINS CAN'T FLY!!!]]") and slack off drinking piña coladas when there's work to be done.
-->'''Penguin:''' ''Wah-wah-wah...''\\
'''Franklin:''' ''No'', I will ''not'' pray with you!
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Alice found out Cyrus was cheating on her by the title of his first album: "I'm Cheating On My Wife Alice Tompkins. You Heard Me, Alice Tompkins".
* ExecutiveMeddling: InUniverse examples.
** Jay often finds himself a victim of this, as Duke will tell him how to review movies or change the show to try to make him more likable.
** Duke tries to retool ''Coming Attractions'' on more than one occasion, and in "Dr. Jay" he invents "PhillipsVision", which alters classic movies [[SurprisinglyHappyEnding to give them all happier endings]]. Jay also faces this in "L.A. Jay", in which he is hired to write the screenplay for ''Ghostchasers 3'' after getting his original script rejected.
* {{Expy}}:
** [[Series/BarneyAndFriends Humphrey the Hippo]].
** Duke Phillips is like Ted Turner.
** Franklin and Eleanor Sherman are named after [[UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt Franklin]] and Eleanor Roosevelt, but they don't actually behave like them - though Eleanor's personality is definitely a nod to Creator/KatharineHepburn.
** Jeremy Hawke is a mix of Paul Hogan, Russel Crowe and (pre-meltdown) Creator/MelGibson.
*** His twin sister Olivia Newton Hawke is, of course, Olivia Newton John.

* FanArt: There isn't a lot of art out there, but they are absolutely worthy of taking a look at, such as the following: [[http://princendymion.deviantart.com/art/Jay-Sherman-150869685 This portrait of Jay]], [[http://trey-vore.deviantart.com/art/Cute-Couples-Jay-Alice-106141482 Jay/Alice]], [[http://callmepo.deviantart.com/art/Jay-and-Alice-final-189538074 Jay/Alice again]], [[http://theuniblog.evilspacerobot.com/?p=4722 and some of the characters cosplaying as "Dragonball Z" characters (scroll down to see)]]. There is also [[http://tobypoole.tumblr.com/post/36842276610 this piece]] where you can build your own Jay Sherman.
* {{Fanservice}}: Invoked when Jeremy plays Mahatma Gandhi, pulling down his pants for a "tasteful view of my behind" intended for the ladies.
* FemmeFatale: Valerie Fox is labelled this in the film industry.
* FindTheCure: The plot of "Dr. Jay".
* "[[https://youtu.be/w80jZ0iru1k Just LOOK]] who got eight million dollars to be a FishOutOfTemporalWater!"
* FixFic: In the episode "Dr. Jay", Duke creates "PhillipsVision", which changes films to have happy endings (such as [[Film/GoneWithTheWind Rhett returning to Scarlett]]) and script changes (such as changing [[Film/CitizenKane Charles Foster Kane's]] last word from "Rosebud" to [[Film/WaynesWorld "Schwing"]]) with a mix of ExecutiveMeddling, ViewersAreMorons, and LowestCommonDenominator in-show.
* FloatingAdviceReminder: Played with in "Marty's First Date", in which the balloon containing Jay's head gets popped by a skier's poles -- and goes flying around afterward.
** Later, in the same episode, Jay starts complaining about being in the bubble and then being ignored. He then notices a fried banana stand. "Oooh! Fried bananas!" He starts floating toward the cart and opening and closing his mouth while the intermission theme to ''Ms. Pac-Man'' plays. The ''Ms. Pac-Man'' song is omitted in the DVD release.
* FoodFight: An "international food fight" occurs at Marty's school cafeteria in the episode "Marty's First Date". (Which leads to [[CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys the aforementioned French students' reaction]]).
* FourPointScale: Referenced in "A Little Deb Will Do Ya".
-->'''Jay:''' This film gets my highest rating, [[InvertedTrope seven out of ten!]]
* FullyAutomaticClipShow: The final episode, aptly titled "I Can't Believe It's A Clip Show!"
* GameShowAppearance: She and Jay appear as contestants on ''Series/TheNewlywedGame''. [[spoiler:They win, if only because Jay knows exactly how repulsed Ardeth is of him.]]
* {{GASP}}: Jay does this in the pilot episode. After giving actress Valerie Fox (who was also his girlfriend at the time) a negative performance review on ''Coming Attractions'', he returns home hoping that she will still be there. It turns out she is -- only for her to slap him multiple times, telling him "You're short, you're fat, and, even for a ''film critic'', you're ugly" before leaving him. Jay lets out a long shocked gasp after this.
* GeneHunting: Jay and Doris discover that Doris may be Jay's biological mother [[spoiler:, only to find out that she is not so from a DNA test.]]
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: An in-universe example occurs in that Jay is generally loathed in America and Mexico (in Mexico, Jay's show is prefaced with a warning stating that Jay is an escaped mental patient, as his behavior scares Mexicans), but is very popular in France. This is because of his resemblance to Babar, King of the Elephants.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** In the episode "A Little Deb Will Do Ya", when Margo is getting fitted for her dress for the debutante ball, the dressmaker asks her what shade of white she wants:
--->'''Dressmaker:''' Here's the skinny. We dressmakers have a very strict code, so I need to know, do you deserve to wear virginal white? Because if you don't, you'll have to wear an off-white, what we call a hussy white. So which will it be? White-white?\\
'''Margo:''' Yes ... um, except for the gloves.
** The infamous Orson Welles frozen peas commercial, where he says "Full of country goodness and green pea-ness." Try saying that last part out loud if you don't get it.
---> '''Orson:''' [[WhoWritesThisCrap Wait, that's terrible! I quit!]]
*** [[CountryMatters There's also a particular accent on "country goodness". Particularly, the first syllable.]]
* GhostInTheMachine: Happens at least once, and serves the quote at the top of the page.
* GilliganCut: One episode had Jay bragging to someone that his face is on the cover of tons of merchandise...which then cuts to an entire ''warehouse'' full of his shirts and other merchandise where two men are looking at the overhead and bemoaning that "they just can't sell this stuff". One of the men then instructs a third man on a forklift to take it to a landfill with all of the ''Series/{{ALF}}'' merchandise.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Alice and her SouthernBelle sister Miranda. To put into perspective how far it's gone, Miranda actually performed a striptease at Alice's wedding after Alice complained about her wearing a bridal gown. When Miranda finally admitted to being jealous of Alice's life, Alice briefly rejoices.
* GoldDigger: Again, Alice's sister Miranda. [[spoiler:She ends up marrying Duke.]]
* GoofyPrintUnderwear: Jay has pairs of underwear that include titles of (mostly) bad movies printed on the backside (they're studio promotional items he's been sent over the years). The best of these is ''Film/{{Backdraft}}', but there's also ''Film/RearWindow'' and ''[[HoYay For The Boys]]''.
** Jay has a pair that says "''Film/{{Shaft}}'' [[DoubleEntendre (coming soon)]]".
** His socks also fall under this trope, as he shows Marty's class socks that read ''Film/{{Tootsie}}'' and ''Film/MyLeftFoot''.
* HairTodayGoneTomorrow: Technically a subversion: Miranda reminds Jay of when he first started losing his hair. Flashback to Jay wearing a white judge's wig, and speaking with a horrendous English accent.
** Also, when Duke comes in and grabs the wig off his head, there's a ComicStrip/LittleOrphanAnnie wig underneath, with Jay exclaiming "Leaping Lizards!"
* HeliumSpeech: He speaks in a helium voice in "From Chunk to Hunk" due to a helium leak in the school.
-->'''Mangosuthu:''' ''(over intercom)'' Attention, students: There is a... ''(voice gets higher)'' helium leak in the building!\\
'''Mangosuthu:''' ''(Over intercom)'' Attention, students: Auditions for ''Franchise/PeterPan'' are being ''(Voice gets higher)'' held in the auditorium! ''(Voice back to normal)'' Stupid helium.
* HereWeGoAgain: In ''Film/ForrestGump 2'', Forrest mentions shrimp to UsefulNotes/BillClinton, which causes the president to list all the different kinds of shrimp he likes. When he finally finishes, Forrest exclaims, "You sure like shrimp, Mr. President!" Clinton replies, "Shrimp? I like shrimp!" and starts the same list over again.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Jay and Jeremy.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Howard Payne arms his own book bomb in ''[[https://youtu.be/yaKxRN2LdEI?t=7s Speed Reading]]''.
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: In one of the opening gags during the main credits, Jay's boss Duke calls him, inviting Jay to his ranch upon the news that Duke has received a license to hunt man for sport. Jay is advised to bring his jogging shoes.
* HypocriticalHumor: "Talk about overusing a catch phrase! Hotchi motchi! It stinks!"
* IHaveBoobsYouMustObey
-->'''Penny:''' Mama, Aunt 'Randa's gonna teach me to giggle stupidly, to make men do my bidding!
* IWantSong: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0IX0srz0w8 "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now"]] sung by Jay in the episode "Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice."
** And a parody of "Don't Rain On My Parade" from ''Theatre/FunnyGirl''.
* IdenticalStranger: Jay had one in "Miserable".
* ImpactSilhouette: In "Eye on the Prize", Jay returns from winning the Pulitzer to find Duke in his apartment.
-->'''Jay:''' How did you get in?\\
'''Duke:''' I have my ways.\\
''(Jay looks to the side, [[ImpactSilhouette sees a Duke-shaped hole]] [[ThereWasADoor next to the door]])''
* IncrediblyConspicuousDrag: In "A Song for Margo", Jay remembers the time he had dinner with Cher. Turns out it was just a guy in drag, who didn't bother to shave or alter his voice.
--> '''Guy:''' ''(gruffly)'' I got you, babe.
* IncrediblyLamePun: From the episode "From Chunk to Hunk":
-->'''Penny:''' ''(Giving Marty a sheet of paper)'' Goodbye, Marty. I wrote you a letter.\\
''(Marty sees only the letter P written on the page)''\\
'''Penny:''' You can read it on the bus.
** From "A Song For Margo":
--->'''''Hard Copy'' reporter:''' Tonight on ''Hard Copy'', O.J. refuses to speak. ''([[VisualPun Shows a pitcher of orange juice on the witness stand.]])'' Part 2 tomorrow.
* InkSuitActor:
** Parodied twice in-show with Creator/HowardStern as ''The Cockroach King'' and a remake of ''Pinocchio'' featuring Jeremy as Bogart the Roach, Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger as Geppetto, Creator/RobinWilliams as the Beige Fairy, and Music/BobDylan as the title character.
** [[invoked]] According to [[WordOfGod Al Jean]], Creator/JonLovitz didn't start out looking like Jay, but he eventually began to resemble him.
* InstrumentalThemeTune: Played for the opening and closing credits. The theme is by Hans Zimmer.
* IslandHelpMessage: In "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost", Franklin and Eleanor end up on a desert island. Franklin wrote in the sand "Need Rum".
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: In "Uneasy Rider", Jay addresses a pizzeria employee as Mr. Pizzaface. The employee's name is actually announced "pizza-fah-chay".
* ItsBeenDone: In "Uneasy Rider", the truckers complain that they were misled into thinking ''Ultimate Force'' would be an exciting action movie when it was instead a science documentary with Creator/StephenHawking, and wondered why there weren't a group of people who could warn moviegoers about bad movies. They went even farther: Said people could rank movies on a system, with good movies getting raised to the heavens, and bad movies being lowered sheepishly towards the earth.
--> '''Trucker:''' You mean [[Series/SiskelAndEbert "thumbs up" or "thumbs down"]]?\\
'''Trucker 2:''' Yeah, I suppose that would work.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn:
-->'''William Daniels:''' Jay, [[Film/TheGraduate I just want to say one word]]: Trucking.\\
'''Franklin:''' And I have one word for you too, Son: Snapple.\\
'''Jay:''' Oh, Dad, you and your nonsense words.
* JawDrop
* JustHereForGodzilla: [[invoked]] From "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost":
-->'''Jay:''' Well, here's what I think--\\
'''Duke:''' Sorry, son, our research shows people don't care what you think. They just tune in for the funny clips.

* LameRhymeDodge: From "L.A. Jay":
-->'''Jay:''' All right, it's just you and me. Now what did you think of my script?\\
'''Gary Grossman:''' It was excrement.\\
'''Jay:''' Did you say "it was excellent?"\\
'''Gary:''' It was crummy.\\
'''Jay:''' Did you say "it was yummy?"\\
'''Gary:''' It was an awful piece of junk that made me want to puke all night.\\
'''Jay:''' Did you say "it was an awesome piece of spunk that you want to shoot tonight?"\\
'''Gary:''' It was a bilious piece of dirt that made me cry out in pain.\\
'''Jay:''' Did you say "it was a brilliant piece of work, and you'll fly me to Spain? Where we'll meet King Juan Carlos and drink sangria all night?"\\
'''Gary:''' You piece of blech.
* LargeHam: Jay on occasion, but also Creator/JonLovitz in-universe.
* LastSecondWordSwap:
--> '''Jay:''' Up next, an interview with [[Creator/MerylStreep Meryl]]-\\
'''Stagehand:''' ''(whispering from off-screen)'' Streep cancelled!\\
'''Jay:''' ...Merrily we roll along, to a commercial!
* LighterAndSofter: The second season was made over into this overall.
* LikeFatherLikeSon: Hinted at in the episode where Jay goes on a date with Doris and it's implied she may be his birth mother. Doris recounts to Jay about how she used to date a short, balding fat guy who would always take her to movies and then complain about them.
* LimitedAnimation: The webisodes, but to be fair, they were created in the early days of UsefulNotes/AdobeFlash and were on a much smaller budget than the TV series.
* LongList: Deciding to wipe her slate clean, Olivia tells Jay a list of all the men she had been with. The list is so long that Jay ends up growing stubble on his face and shaving. Conversely, his takes all of one second.
** In the sixth webisode:
--> '''Jay:''' Creator/BruceWillis plays the lone survivor of a horrific train wreck, which is not surprising, since he survived ''Film/HudsonHawk'', ''Film/TheFifthElement'', ''Film/MercuryRising'', ''Film/{{North}}'', ''Film/TheJackal'', ''Film/TheStoryOfUs'', ''Film/BillyBathgate'', ''Film/TheBonfireOfTheVanities''...\\
'''Jennifer:''' We've been off the air for 45 seconds.
** UsefulNotes/BillClinton listing all the different kinds of shrimp he likes eating in ''Film/ForrestGump 2''.
* LoserProtagonist
* LoveAtFirstPunch: Or in this case, pepper spray. Alice pepper sprays Jay in his face when they first meet on the street, but he was not harmed by the act. In fact, he rather liked it ("Mmm, jalapeño!"). However, in this case, no StrangledByTheRedString is involved as their relationship has chemistry and flourishes more naturally. Jay is tempted by Jeremy Hawke's sister at one point, but only because he and Alice's relationship had not been resolved yet.
* MakeAWish: In the episode "Uneasy Rider", Marty points to a shooting star and asks Jay to make a wish. The scene then cuts to said star hitting and destroying a billboard advertising ''Film/AceVentura'' with Jay exclaiming "Thank you, God" while driving past the scene.
* ManOfAThousandVoices: Maurice [=LaMarche=] does nearly all of the male background characters in the show (with the exception of a few done by Nick Jameson). In fact, one episode had him surpass ''The Simpsons'' as having the largest number of characters voiced by one person.
* MasqueradeBall: Duke holds a costume ball in the episode "Dukerella."
* TheMerch: In "Miserable", Jay's #1 fan has a lot of these. [[invoked]]
* MisaimedMarketing: Spoofed in-universe; Siskel and Ebert tie-in merchandise includes such oddities as a Whack-A-Mole game.
* TheMissusAndTheEx: When Jay's girlfriend Alice and his ex-wife Ardeth meet for the first time, Ardeth tells Alice a spooky warning to "beware" and attempts to place a voodoo hex on her. Jay then has to remind Ardeth that the separation order ''specifically prohibits'' hexes and curses. This is only a one-time event, as Ardeth isn't seen in any future episodes.
* MistakenForGay: A RunningGag is Duke's belief that Jay is gay. Jay always insists that he's not.
* MoneyDearBoy: InUniverse examples.
** This is why distinguished actor Sir Roger Twicenightly did the film ''Creator/HowardStern[[Literature/HowardsEnd 's End]]''. And in this universe, Creator/OrsonWelles not only did commercials in his waning years (such as for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH1PJTY9AVA Rosebud Frozen Peas]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3B3C5hR1lk Blotto Bros. Wine]]), but VideoWills!
** Subverted in one case: he'll give testimonials for Mrs. Pell's Fish Sticks for free--and even from beyond the grave--out of sheer love for the product.
** Creator/MarlonBrando takes a big paycheck to play Series/BarneyTheDinosaur. The face-concealing costume looks as defeated as Brando feels. Previously, he played Mr. French in ''Series/FamilyAffair: The Motion Picture''.
* MoodSwinger: Jay does this pretty often.
-->'''Jay:''' (after eating some so-called chocolate roaches which scurry off the plate) Wait a minute, edible roaches don't crawl. ''EDIBLE ROACHES DON'T CRAAAAAAAWWWWWLLLL!!!''.... Anyway, our next film is the latest from Belgian kickboxer Jean Paul Lepope.
* MoodWhiplash: Done for laughs in "Miserable"; Jeremy Hawke chases after the projectionist who's going to kill Jay, and some intense orchestral music plays. Jeremy hails a cab to tail her; cue the pleasant theme song to ''Series/{{Taxi}}'' for a few seconds as the cab crosses the Queensboro Bridge, then back to dramatic orchestral music when Jeremy leaves the cab.
* MyEyesAreUpHere: Played literally straight (and a subversion of sorts) in the first episode.
-->'''Jay:''' ''(openly staring at Valerie's breasts)'' Uh huh. Uh huh. Oh, yeeeeaaah.\\
'''Valerie:''' ''(amused)'' What are you doing?\\
'''Jay:''' ''(sadly sighing)'' Oh, I'm sneaking a peek at your maguppies. It's my stumbling attempt at intimacy.\\
'''Valerie:''' If that's what you want, look in my eyes.\\
''(Valerie looks lovingly at him.)''\\
'''Jay:''' ''(shocked)'' '''OH, YE GODS!!!'''
* MyLifeFlashedBeforeMyEyes: When Jay is about to be shot, his life flashes before his eyes. We then flash back to a teenage Jay on the couch, in a suit, eating chips. Jay fondly remarks, "Ah, prom night."
* MySisterIsOffLimits: Inverted with Jeremy Hawke's sister Olivia. When Jeremy finds out his friend is dating her, he's worried that ''Olivia'' will leave ''Jay'' heartbroken because of her history of breaking up with her previous boyfriends.
* NakedPeopleTrappedOutside: In "Lady Hawke", as Jeremy and Olivia have a discussion of her relationship with Jay, Jay is locked outside his window wearing nothing but a towel. [[TemptingFate As soon as he mentions his limited apparel]], a strong wind blows the towel off, followed promptly by a rainstorm. After a couple minutes, he's seen whimpering like a puppy wanting to come back in.
* NeverHeardThatOneBefore: One scene features Duke meeting then-Pope John Paul II. He then asks, "Hey, John Paul. Where's [[Music/TheBeatles George Ringo]]?" Pope John Paul merely sighs and says, "I am ''so'' sick of that joke!"
* NeverLiveItDown: In-universe: It was Jay's 8th birthday. [[MonsterClown That clown was so scary]], [[BringMyBrownPants that he wet his pants]]. As a result, everybody laughed at him, and they keep calling him "Weewee," to the point that the Stablemaster ''still'' refers to him by that 28 years later. To be fair though, this ''might'' be in retaliation for Jay lying about his weight as a child, resulting in the untimely death of Patches the Pony.
* NewJobEpisode:
** In "Eyes on the Prize," Jay is fired from ''Coming Attractions'' due to low ratings and gets a job teaching English on the 6:00 AM TV program ''English For Cab Drivers''.
--> '''Jay:''' Today I was going to teach you how to say ''[[BlackComedy He was already dead when I hit him]].''
** In "Uneasy Rider", Jay quits ''Coming Attractions'' and becomes a truck driver.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Played for laughs in "Dr. Jay". Jay manages to find a cure for Duke's terminal illness, saving his life. The end of the episode then plays a montage of other people who were saved by Jay's cure; they include a Klansman, a Nazi, a baby seal clubber, a drunken tanker captain who causes an oil spill, a military dictator who declares, "Your streets will run red with blood thanks to Jay's oil," and three life prisoners.
* TheNineties: The show aired from 1994 to 1995. These were also the years the show took place.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The TropeNamer.
-->'''Jay:''' ''(during the show's closing credits)'' Celebrity voices are impersonated. No celebrities were harmed in the filming of this episode.
* NoIndoorVoice: "Stop making yourself the [[LargeHam CENTERRRR OF ATTENTIOOOON!!!]]"
* NoNameGiven: The woman that holds Jay hostage in "Miserable" is not given a name; she's unofficially referred to as "Jay's No. 1 Fan".
* NonSequiturThud:
** In one episode, Jay gets hit in the head with a shot put.
--->"Skull cracked. Brains leaking out. [[TakeThat Can't wait to see new Chevy Chase movie]]."
** While at fat camp, a simple walk tires Jay out to the point of being delirious.
--->"Must see Creator/TomCruise win Oscar in - my - lifetime!"
* NoSympathy: Jay gets it hardcore in "Dial M For Mother", when chewing out his mother on national television erupts into a major scandal, despite the fact that she was condescending towards him the whole time before he eventually had enough and blew up at her. To top it off, she refused to accept his apology.
* NoodleIncident:
** After ticking off a group of children by making [[Series/BarneyTheDinosaur Humphrey The Hippo]] sad, we learn that Jay once sucker-punched ''Mister Rogers''! What led to this is never explained.
** In another episode, Jay comments that the last time he drank, he woke up in a petting zoo and one of the goats was missing.
** Also, there's this memorable, unexplained moment:
-->'''Jay:''' Why, one time, I was beat up by [[Music/SnoopDogg Snoop Doggy Dogg]]! No, wait, it was actually [[ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}} Snoopy the Dog]] at ''[[TakeThat the Ice Capades]].''
** Another episode had Franklin talk about the one time that he had amusement from when Jay fell off a cliff [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyote "trying to eat that bird"]]. While Eleanor initially believed that he was confusing it with a Road Runner cartoon, Jay (quite embarrassingly) admitted that it really was him.
** Also, apparently Franklin once met [[Series/HappyDays the Fonz]] by simply reaching into the TV and pulling him out.
** A flashback of Jay in kindergarten involved their guest speaker being Timothy Leary. The next thing he recalled was that he was on a street corner singing "John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt" ala Music/BobDylan to a crowd of people.
** In "Dial "M" for Mother", we never learn the interesting story behind a picture of Jay at his prom with a nun.
* NoseTapping: When Vlada is speaking in a foreign language to his elderly waiter employee,[[note]]usually speaking in Russian to hide his real intentions from his English-speaking customers, especially Jay[[/note]] the waiter will tap his nose back at him in reply.
* NotDistractedByTheSexy: In "A Pig Boy and His Dog", a grocery delivery man tries, unsuccessfully, to woo Eleanor by "accidentally" ripping his shirt off and slathering oil on his chest. She gives him a cookie and shoves him out the door.
* NotSoRemote: In "Sherman of Arabia", Jay and some [=POWs=] are lost in the Iraqi desert and losing hope when they run across an International House of Couscous.
* OfCorsetHurts: {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by a maid pulling on corset strings, yelling, "Suck it in! Suck it in!" It's revealed to be Jay Sherman. The corset, however, is put on more like a straitjacket than a corset, with Jay's ''arms'' bound as well. He mutters, "I don't think this is right." The maid scoffs at this, puts a top hat on him, and boots him out of the room. And down a flight of stairs.
* OfficialCouple: Jay and Alice. Franklin and Elenor. [[spoiler:Duke and Miranda.]]
* OhWaitThisIsMyGroceryList
* OlderThanTheyLook: In "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost", a news anchor gives birthday wishes to Creator/GoldieHawn, "who turns 100 today."
* OneLinerEcho: During his stint as the ''English for Cab Drivers'' TV class, Jay becomes re-inspired and ends up delivering a one-liner that is echoed by his viewers (as well as a horror-struck Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger): "If the movie stinks, just don't go!"
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: In "Uneasy Rider", Jay is referred to as "Lardbutt" by the other truckers (and later, after proving himself with a difficult delivery, "Hardbutt").
* OrganAutonomy: Jay's stomach appears to not only have a mind of its own, Jay occasionally has conversations with it, and it also appears to be dominant over him.
* Creator/OrsonWelles: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i7ycxiog40 Another frequent target of the show.]] They had Maurice [=LaMarche=] voice-acting for the show, and as cartoon fans may know, [[WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain Maurice has a pretty good Orson Welles impression]].
-->'''Orson Welles:''' Oh, what luck! There's a french fry stuck in my beard! ''(chomp, chomp)'' Oh, ''yeah''.
* OverlyLongGag:
** Franklin thinks an owl is [[Series/HomeImprovement Wilson]]:
--->'''Owl:''' Whooo.\\
'''Franklin:''' My wife, Eleanor.\\
'''Owl:''' Whooo.\\
'''Franklin:''' My wife, Eleanor.\\
'''Owl:''' Whooo.\\
'''Franklin:''' My wife, Eleanor.
** And the Director's Cut of JFK, with 2 hours of new footage:
--->"Back... and to the left. Back... and to the left. Back... and to the left. Back... and to the left. Back... and to the left. ''(long pause)'' Back... and to the left..."
*** Interestingly, the inflection is actually ''different'' on each "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wi-lW2poE4 Back... and to the left]]" statement, which makes it even funnier.
** "Plot? That's a funny word. Plot! Plot! Plot! [=PlotplotplotPLOTPLOTPLOT! PLOTPLOTPLOTPLOTPLOTPLOTPLOT!=]" ''(Jay gazes at a People Magazine cover proclaiming Gary the "smartest executive in Hollywood")''
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: "New York's third most popular early-morning cable-TV film critic."

* PerfectlyCromulentWord: Duke pays Noah Webster to put the words "Quyzbuk" (meaning "a big problem"), "Dukelicious", and "Duketastrophe" in the dictionary. Ignore the fact that Noah Webster has been dead since 1843.
** Notably, he did it just so [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney he'd get a really high score in]] [[ScrabbleBabble Scrabble]].
*** Also notable in that a seemingly random character uses the recently-invented "Quyzbuk" when talking to Jay later in that same episode.
** Describing ''Lorenzo's Oil''.
-->'''Duke:''' Isn't that the film you described as a combination of fantasy and crap?\\
'''Jay:''' Yes! I called it "[[{{Portmanteau}} fantacrap]]"!
* PeripheryHatedom: While the ''real'' Barney exists in-universe, Humphrey the Hippo serves as this universe's usual analogue to him. Jay's hatred of Humphrey figures into the B-plot of "A Little Deb Will Do Ya".
-->'''Humphrey:''' Please, kids, my philosophy is "love and dance", not "hate and not dance."
* PetTheDog: Despite the fact that Ardeth was sleeping with the divorce court judge, he still forbade her from bothering any of Jay's girlfriends with spooky warnings or hexes. Not that it stops her.
** Also, even if Ardeth is genuinely disgusted by her time married to Jay, she admits that the two of them have done a good job raising their son.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Savvy Indian Chewing Tobacco was going to be called ''Savage'' Indian, but was changed due to concerns over political correctness.
* RealAwardFictionalCharacter: Jay is given a Pulitzer in one episode.
* ReallyGetsAround: In "Dukerella", Randa says that her first day of working at Mattress in an Hour was exhausting; she had to deliver a mattress to Madonna's place... then another one... then another one... ''then ANOTHER one''!
* RepeatingAd: Jay's talking billboard in "Miserable".
-->"[[Advertising/HeadOn Buy my book!]] [[MostAnnoyingSound Buy my book!]] [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Buy my book!]]"
* ReTool: InUniverse, Duke's pet project ''Series/HeeHaw: [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration The Next Generation]]'' was apparently just a modern version of the original ("We've got Junior Samples, Jr.!"); when we see it later on, it's morphed into ''Series/HeeHaw'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' -- [[LiteralMetaphor literally]]. Worf plays a mean hambone.
* ReviewsAreTheGospel: Invoked in episode 4, "Miserable". A woman kidnaps Jay, so he can review movies for her. And she can tell which ones are good and which ones are bad because she likes every movie she sees and can't tell otherwise.
* RhymesOnADime: Shackleford's wordplay in "A Song for Margo". Heís even slightly redesigned to look like he stepped out of a Creator/DrSeuss book.
-->'''Shackleford:''' Before I was your butler, I would buttle for the [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] and the Turtles and the Music/{{Eagles}} and the Kings of Heavy Metal.\\
'''Johnny Wrath:''' You're a Heavy Metal Eagle Turtle Beatle butler?\\
'''Shackleford:''' And I once dusted the lamp of John Cougar Mellencamp.\\
'''Wrath:''' Would you like to work for me?\\
'''Shackleford:''' This was clearly meant to be.\\
'''Elenor:''' I never knew you had this itch.\\
'''Shackleford:''' Live and learn, you wicked witch!\\
'''Elenor:''' I wish I hadnít used the word "itch".
* RidiculousExchangeRates: In "Dr. Jay", Duke comments the French franc is "fancy-colored toilet paper".
* RiskyBusinessDance: Seen in the movie parody ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uUKnUjCfbQ A Few Good Monsters]]''.
* RomanticFalseLead: Alice's adulterous ex-husband Cyrus who travels to New York to win her back. He sings to her in order to do so, which is Alice's weakness. ("Alice, you make any home a palace. Even Brooklyn would be Dallas, if I could be with you.") It almost works until Jay arrives playing an accordion and singing an obnoxious yet funny song of his own, snapping her out of it. It was a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Jay. And ditto for the song Jay sings:
-->Cyrus is just a virus.\\
He wants to tie you down while you're still young.\\
Your potential is whatís essential.\\
You could someday be another Connie Chung!
::Jay finally breaks the spell with this exchange:
--->'''Cyrus:''' ''(Singing)'' Lover, without you there's no other...\\
'''Jay:''' ''(Interrupting, singing)'' Give him a chance, he'll do your mother!
::After making Cyrus leave, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Alice finishes it]]:
-->'''Alice:''' ''(Singing)'' Jay, I'm glad that you're not gay. I may show you why someday. ''(Kisses Jay on the cheek)''\\
'''Jay:''' ''(Smiling at her)'' Yay!
* RousingSpeech: In "Eyes on the Prize", Jay aims to win another Pulitzer Prize so he could get back his respectability. He writes an essay entitled "The Sorry State of Films Today" and presents it on the TV program ''English for Cab Drivers,'' which ends up being a parody of the climax to ''Film/MrSmithGoesToWashington''.
-->"I am a movie critic by trade, and until recently, I got paid to tell you people which movies merely stink and which ones you shouldn't screen near an open flame. Well, I'm putting the burden of lousy movies back on you. It's very simple: If you stop going to bad movies, they'll stop making bad movies. If the movie used to be a TV show, just don't go. [[{{Sequelphobic}} After Roman numeral II, give it a rest.]] If it's a remake of a classic, rent the classic! Tell them you want stories about people, not a hundred million dollars of stunts and explosives. People, it's up to you. [[OneLinerEcho If the movie stinks, just don't go.]]"
** Understandably, some are less than pleased.
--->'''Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger:''' If da moovee steenks, just don't go... ''VUT AM I SAYING?!''
** Some take it even further.
--->'''Hollywood Executive:''' Uh oh, the jig is up! [[DrivenToSuicide *dives out office window*]]
** Someone wasn't listening.
--->'''Franklin:''' If the movie stinks, do-si-do.\\
'''Shackleford:''' Allemande left, sir. ''(they square dance)''
* RuleOfThree: From "Eyes on the Prize." To prove to Jay that he's being repetitive, Duke shows Jay a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPBTE0wlZF4 three-way split-screen video]] of himself.
-->'''Jay:''' ''(section 1, from 1988)'' ''Film/RainMan'' ''(section 2, from 1992)'' ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' ''(section 3, from 1993)'' ''Film/TheFirm'' ''(all together)'' is the latest stinker from Creator/TomCruise. He doesn't act anymore, he's on... Cruise Control! AAAAAAHAHAHA! AAAAAAHA! I JUST... I JUST! MADE THAT! UP!
** In the third webisode:
--> '''Jay:''' Well, what a year it's been, full of imagination and variety. We've seen [[Film/BigMommasHouse Martin Lawrence as a horny old woman]], [[Film/TheNuttyProfessor Eddie Murphy as a horny old woman]], and Madonna as a horny old woman.
* RunningGag:
** Duke always assuming Jay is gay.
*** Duke does admit that he knows Jay isn't gay, and just does it to tweak him. Unfortunately, when he and Jay have a GroupHug, Jay's content {{Squee}} disturbs him.
** Jay's stomach having a mind of its own.
** Dumb college students who watch ''Coming Attractions'', only to mock Jay.
** Jay sounding like an elderly British woman named "Ethel" and pretending to be his secretary, even having conversations with "her". This gag only appears in the first season.
** The Paparazzo who always appears to take a picture just at the most embarrassing time.
** Dudley Moore as [[Film/{{Arthur}} Arthur Bach]] making a terrible joke while intoxicated.
** A minor one features a character shouting "[Plural noun] can't / don't [verb]!" in a panic. Such as Jay's "Eggs don't ripen! EGGS DON'T RIPEN!" and Franklin's "Penguins can't fly! PENGUINS CAN'T FLY!"
* {{Satan}}: Appears a few times.
** He takes credit for [[Film/MyCousinVinny Marisa Tomei]] winning the Oscar, for one.
--->'''Satan:''' ''(phoning Jay in the opening credits)'' Hello Jay, this is the Devil. Despite what you think, I am not [[Film/{{Moonstruck}} the reason Cher won an Oscar]]. I '''am''' [[Film/MyCousinVinny the reason Marisa Tomei won an Oscar]]. ''(growls evilly and hangs up)''
** He also is shown to be responsible for influencing the creation of really ''awful'' Hollywood screenplays, but admits that it's beyond even ''his'' power to give the cast of ''Series/{{Wings}}'' another season.
** Also appears in an interview with Creator/GeneSiskel, disguised as a reviewer.
--->'''Reviewer:''' Tim Allen gives that same likable performance we always love, once again proving Disney Pictures have the magic touch that may not win awards, but keep America smiling. How was that?\\
'''Siskel:''' You're Satan, aren't you?\\
''(Reviewer transforms into his real form: Satan)''\\
--->'''Satan:''' You win another round, Siskel, but we shall meet again! ''(growls angrily and disappears)''
*** This can be seen as a hilarious TakeThat at the ItsNotSupposedToWinOscars trope.
* SamusIsAGirl: In "A Little Deb Will Do You", it turns out that [[spoiler:Humphrey the Hippo is played by the woman who's attracted to Jay]].
* SatelliteCharacter: Duke's aide.
* SceneryPorn: While the character designs are up for question, the artwork of New York city and various locales were always a treat to the eyes.
* TheSchlubPubSeductionDeduction: Valerie Fox is a suspect of this.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Duke feels his wealth allows him to do anything he wants.
* SealedWithAKiss: Jay and Alice at the end of the episode "Lady Hawke".
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers: Duke's philosophy.
-->'''Duke:''' Your job is to rate movies on a scale from "good" to "excellent".\\
'''Jay:''' What if I don't like them?\\
'''Duke:''' That's what "good" is for.
* SeinfeldianConversation: At the end of the pilot episode, this literally happens during a scene from ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' that Jay and Marty watch.
-->'''George:''' I thought you were taking Cathy out tonight.\\
'''Jerry:''' Why do they call it "taking out"? I took her to a restaurant. It wasn't out, it was in. I would say I'm taking her in, but then she sounds like a pair of pants.
** Marty claims that is what "real people" sound like. (Do they?)
* SelfDeprecation: Much of their TakeThat was aimed at FOX. "Where coming in third is a ''triumph''!"
* {{Sequelphobic}}: A lot of the movies bad enough for Jay to bash are sequels.[invoked]
-->'''Jay:''' After Roman numeral II, ''give it a rest.''
* SerenadeYourLover: See Romantic False Lead above.
* ShamelessSelfPromoter: "VOTE FOR DUKE!" messages appearing during "Coming Attractions" in the episode "All the Duke's Men" where Duke ran for president.
** In "A Song for Margo", Jay remarks that all the networks are pretty crummy, except for FOX, "the last bastion of quality programming". Then he salutes the logo in the bottom right of the screen. (See also BitingTheHandHumor above.)
** "Buy my book! Buy My Book! BUY MY BOOK!"
** "ALL HAIL DUKE. DUKE IS LIFE. ALL HAIL--" ''(pigeon attracted to the statues voice gets chomped and eaten)''
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/TheCritic Has its own page.]]
* ShowWithinAShow: ''Coming Attractions'', which featured the use of AdBumpers.
* ShutUpKiss: What "Jay's #1 fan" did to Jay while he introduced himself to her.
* SitComic: [[CaptainObvious The show starred Jon Lovitz.]]
* SkyscraperMessages: The show did a parody of the ''Film/SleeplessInSeattle'' thing, with Siskel And Ebert. They {{Lampshaded}} it.
* SkywardScream:
** Creator/WilliamShatner.
--->'''William Shatner:''' Hello, I'm William Shatner and this is ''Celebrity 911''. Tonight, we devote the entire hour to police calls involving Creator/JamesCaan... ''(makes face before [[SkywardScream screaming to the sky]])'' '''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOZ8ykaxndQ CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!]]'''
** Jay as a boy lies that he's less than 80 lbs. when about to ride a pony.
* SleepingSingle: In Franklin and Elenor's bedroom, it is shown that they sleep in separate beds.
* SlowLoadingInternetImage: In the first webisode, Jay brags about "coming at you at the speed of light!" Pull back to show his legs still downloading.
* SmokingHotSex: In one episode, [[Series/BarneyAndFriends Humphrey the Hippo]] is used by a cigarette corporation to advertise smoking cigarettes to young children. When Jay complains, the corporation's CEO asks Jay what kids will do after they have sex if they can't smoke.
* SoundEffectBleep: Utilized when Jay interviewed Cher, who incessantly swore at him.
* SpinningPaper: Done a few times in the show.
** When Jay went missing during the New York marathon and was presumed dead.
** When Jay is nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
* {{Spork}}: This cutlery is mentioned at least twice.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg-GocVdcjE A scene from the pilot.]]
** From the episode "Lady Hawke:"
--->'''Chicken Shack employee:''' You want a piece of me, fat boy? I'll spork your ass!
*** That might only provoke Jay.
* StalkerShrine: The projectionist in "Miserable" has one for Jay.
-->'''Jay:''' You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with me. [[GenreBlindness I like that in a girl!]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'': Two of Marty's classmates are Klingons.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Marty regains all the weight he lost in "From Chunk to Hunk," after he becomes uncomfortable with his newfound popularity. He promptly eats all of the ice cream in an ice cream parlor to restore his weight.
* StealthCigaretteCommercial: In the 1950's, Doris was in a commercial for Pleghm Fatale cigarettes.
-->'''Doris:''' ''(singing)'' Smoke in the bathroom, smoke after school; don't listen to your parents, 'cause smoking's really cool.
* StealthPun: The ''E.T.'' parody, ''D.T.'' stands for drunken terrestrial. D.T. also stands for delirium tremens, alcohol withdrawals severe alcoholics go through.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: In one episode, a research scientist uses the previously mentioned "Quzybuk" word Duke invented.
** In "Eyes on the Prize", both Jay's agent and his old professor think he's Stubby Kaye.
* SuckinessIsPainful: Several times with films, but most notable is when Roger Ebert tries to find a replacement for Gene Siskel, and tests one candidate by showing him some of the films he'd have to review. A remake of ''Film/MrsDoubtfire'' starring Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger is sufficient to reduce the candidate to a skeleton (a la [[spoiler:Toht's death in]] ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''), and Creator/SylvesterStallone in a ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot'' rehash (''Yo! Godot, I'm Waitin' Heeya!'') makes the skull fall off.
* SuperStrength: Duke Phillips. [[MakesSenseInContext Makes sense]] because he [[spoiler:uses Jay Sherman as a weight for lifting]].
* TakeThat: Innumerable ones. Virtually every movie and major actor or director who was popular at the time is mocked at least once -- as well as a smattering of older ones. Also TV executives, Hollywood producers, [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative singing purple dinosaurs, dictators of Iraq, stars of Home Improvement]] and much, much more! Note how many of the examples under ShoutOut qualify.
* TheTaxi: Jay is seen traveling by taxi a few times.
* TemptingFate: After Jay is [[WholeEpisodeFlashback rescued from Iraq]], President UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush poses for a publicity shot with him.
-->'''Aide:''' Sir, are you sure it's wise to be photographed with a film critic? It's ''the'' most despised profession there is--except for pre-op groin shaver.\\
'''Bush:''' Hey, my approval rating's 90%. [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong How much harm can a little film critic do?]]\\
''(After the photo is taken, it appears on the front page of The New York Chronicle with the headline '''"BUSH LOSES! -- [[UsefulNotes/BillClinton Fat, Lecherous Hillbilly Elected]]."''')''
* ThatCameOutWrong: While Jay didn't realize it, his statement of "Hey, you don't understand! We Americans aren't like you Australians. It's not ''just'' about sex! ''We'' want to make love to our mothers!" had Jeremy understandably put off.
* ThatsAllFolks
-->'''Movie Usher:''' ''(to Jay after the show's closing credits)'' Excuse me sir, the show's over.\\
-->'''Jay:''' ''(says one of the following four responses)''
-->* Is the snack bar still open?
-->* But I have nowhere to go.
-->* I'm stuck in the chair!
-->* Get away, zit-face! (Only in closing credits where the usher sounds like the pimple-faced teen from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.)
*** In "Lady Hawke" and "Dukerella":
---->'''Usher:''' Excuse me, the show's over.\\
'''Alice:''' Get away, pipsqueak!\\
'''Jay:''' [[BreakingTheFourthWall That's why I love her!]]
** And makes ''another one'' when he leaves his apartment.
* ThatPoorCat: "Sorry, Mittens."
* ThatRussianSquatDance: In "A Pig Boy And His Dog", Franklin does a cossack dance with James Stockdale, Ross Perot's running mate in the 1992 Presidential election.
* ThereIsAGod: When Jay Sherman became a trucker and took his son on a trip, Marty pointed out a shooting star, insisting his father make a wish. Jay thinks a moment, and said shooting star annihilates a billboard advertising ''Film/AceVentura''. Quote the critic, "Thank you, God!"
** Also another episode where a man was told to remove the title for a play because it was cancelled, the man says these exact words.
* ThereWasADoor: Duke is somehow able to make an ImpactSilhouette by just walking through Jay's wall.
* ThreeStoogesShoutOut: One happens in the flashback in "Frankie And Ellie Get Lost", at Franklin and Eleanor's wedding.
* ThickLineAnimation: Not so much the character designs, but many of the background objects are thick-lined.
* ThrowABarrelAtIt: In the second season episode ''Frankie and Ellie Get Lost'', Franklin Sherman drives rather recklessly on his way to the airport. When Eleanor chastises him to slow down he exclaims: "Are you mad? Don't you see what danger we're in?" A quick cut to his P.O.V. shows an 8-Bit ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' throwing barrels at them -- hitting the car horn makes the car jump.
* {{Timber}}: Subverted when Jay was a lumberjack: He yelled "[[Creator/TimBurton Tim Burrrrrrrrrton]]!"
* TitlePlease
* TitleTheAdaptation: Parodied with ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W42IY_SgCY4 Hee Haw: The Next Generation]]''.
* {{Transgender}}: In "Miserable", when Jay bumps into what appears to be a woman on the subway:
--> '''Jay:''' ''(thinking)'' I wonder if this is it: The chance encounter I've been waiting for.\\
'''Man:''' ''(thinking)'' I wonder if he knows that I'm really a ''man''.

* [[UglyGuyHotWife Ugly Guy, Hot Girlfriend]]: Jay and Alice were an established couple during the second season. Jay being a short funny fat guy, with the beautiful southern belle Alice.
** Can be partially explained by her self esteem issues surrounding her sister, and her abusive unfaithful ex-husband. Jay being a sweetheart helps too. Explaining the girl from the Webisodes, however, is just way off.
** Despite being deemed as [[InformedDeformity incredibly ugly and obese]] in the show, Jay's attracted several other women who clearly are out of his league, including his [[{{Yandere}} #1 fan]] and Olivia.
* UncannyValley: [[invoked]] Invoked when a robotic Rosie Perez approached Creator/RogerEbert and Jay about ''It Could Happen to You''. When the Perez-bot shorts out from a LogicBomb (Jay: "Ben Turpin is ''dead''!" [[note]]Making it funnier, Turpin died in 1940, long before Rosie Perez was born[[/note]]), she crashes through the wall and sucks on a live wire. Then enters Creator/WilliamShatner.
-->'''William Shatner:''' ''(like a robot)'' [[AC: Great-party-wouldn't-you-say? Read-my-book-read-my-book-read-my-book...]]\\
'''Jay:''' Hey! There's the William Shatner robot!\\
'''Ebert:''' No, that's really him.\\
'''William Shatner:''' ''(rushing over to Perez)'' [[AC: Don't bogart that juice, Rosie!]] ''(starts sucking down electricity from the live wire like alcohol.)''
* UnwantedHarem: To his chagrin, Marty becomes a ChickMagnet at his school after he loses weight in "From Chunk to Hunk."
* UnwantedSpouse: Jay is a victim of this. His ex-wife Ardeth admitted to his face of regretting marrying him, ''during'' the wedding ceremony.
** In the episode "Marty's First Date", a flashback reveals how they met. [[Film/TheEnglishPatient She was a nurse and Jay was wrapped in bandages.]] She was so lovestruck by him that she was going to give up her job and marry him upon recovery. But when his bandages come off, [[SkywardScream she screamed]] [[BigNo like bloody murder!]]
** Also Alice's husband Cyrus. A country singer who titled his first album ''"I'm being unfaithful to my wife, Alice Tompkins. You heard me, Alice Tompkins."''
* UrExample: The show had a referential, pop culture-heavy sense of humor that, while not completely unheard of in its time, was at the show's core in a way it wasn't for, say, ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons.'' The idea of an animated show built on referential humor would later be popularized by ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy.''
* VideoWills: Franklin and Elenor prepared [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za3EuqU385k their own video will]], which was presented to Jay and Margo after their possible death from a plane crash. Orson Welles also took part in it (and made sure to also include his "declaration of love" to Mrs. Pell's Fishsticks at the end).
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9d0xoCRL90 Even his ghost loves them.]] "Yes, oh, YES! They're even better when you're ''dead''!"
* ViewersAreMorons: This attitude gets a lot of spoofing in-show. Duke is especially a firm believer in this, causing him to clash with Jay.
-->'''Duke:''' Look, this isn't art. It's just mindless pabulum for losers who can barely read. Oh, that reminds me, [[TakeThat I've got an interview with People Magazine.]]
* VirginInAWhiteDress: Jay's sister, Margo, was forced to attend a debutante ball, and the dressmaker asked if she wanted to wear white, or an off-white he called "Hussy White." Margo said she wanted plain white... Except for the gloves.
* VitriolicBestBuds: She becomes this with Jay in "Every Doris Has Her Day".
* VocalDissonance: In the fourth webisode, [[Film/ThePhantomMenace Jar Jar Binks]] (talking in a deep, refined voice) complains to George Lucas that he's a trained actor and shouldn't be known for doing a silly high-pitched accent.
* {{Webisode}}: Ten of these were made throughout 2000-2001, but YMMV on the quality of them.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The webisodes, of course, had to drop the other main characters due to lack of time and the original voice actors. One curious ommission, however, was Jeremy -- whose voice actor was working on the webisodes.
* WhatIf: [[http://www.comicbookmovie.com/news/?a=48896 ComicBookMovie.com made their own cast list for a live-action movie, if one was in the works.]]
* WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant: Jay's adoptive parents embody this trope, except for the incest. They do, however, try to arrange a date between Margo (their biological teen daughter) and a teenage boy who really [[ParodiedTrope bleeds]] BlueBlood for the debutante ball.
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: The Season 2 episode "Sherman of Arabia".
* WhyWeCantHaveNiceThings: Franklin delights in destroying priceless art with a monster truck.
-->'''Franklin:''' TakeThat ''Guernica''!\\
'''Franklin:''' TakeThat ''Birth of Man''!
* Creator/WoodyAllen: Gets lampooned in the show a few times (often in reference to dating his adopted stepdaughter Soon-Yi [or an Asian girl who looks like her]).
-->'''Woody:''' Soon-Yi, I-Iím sorry. I just canít get past this problem with your age. You know, 22 is just too old for me.
** To Olivia Newton-Hawke and Jay: "[[LoliconAndShotacon "Jay?!" She's fantastic! Does she have a daughter?"]]
** At one point, Creator/WoodyAllen does a little dance and falls down a manhole.
--->'''Jay:''' I'm glad he's getting back to physical schtick!
* {{Yandere}}: Jay's #1 fan from "Miserable".
* YourCheatingHeart: In her first appearance, Alice notes how when her ex-husband, Cyrus, was trying to make it as a country singer, she began to suspect he was cheating on her. Mostly due to his songs he wrote like "My Lyin' Heart", "Daddy's Steppin' Out", and then his album, "I'm Being Unfaithful to my Wife, Alice Tompkins. You heard me. Alice Tompkins."
* YiddishAsASecondLanguage: Alice once said to Jay "Honey, we have a saying back in Tennessee: 'Be a mensch, not a schmendrick.'"
''Excuse me sir, the work page's over.''

But I have nowhere to go...

--->[[VanityPlate Shhhhh!]]