YMMV / Boston Legal

  • Awesome Music: The epic live performance of "War (What Is It Good For?)", remixed with "Over There", used as anti-war and pro-war testimony, respectively.
    Malcolm: And this is why I went to law school.
  • Crazy Awesome: Denny Crane in a nutshell. Come on, you know you like him.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: More than once. A shining example has to be Brad accidentally cutting off the hand of a priest with a fire axe — while impersonating an FBI agent — and then the priest's cat making off with one of the man's severed fingers, whilst a crowd of nuns scream in shock and horror, and when they find the missing finger, they use it to blackmail the priest before giving it back.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The pilot deals with a woman who sues casting directors after her African-American daughter was passed over for the title role in Annie, a part traditionally played by a white actress, culminating in an iconic moment in which the Reverend Al Sharpton bursts into the courtroom and demands "Give the world a black Little Orphan Annie!". Ten years later, the remake Annie (2014) was made, starring Quvenzhané Wallis, a black actress.
    • In that very same speech, Reverend Sharpton calls for an "African-American Spider-Man." Miles Morales, that's your cue.
  • Heartwarming Moments: After Denise manages to get a sympathetic client a better settlement than initially offered by bluffing that the amount offered by the other side is unacceptable and threatening to beat them in court for much more, she immediately assures the client that she would never have let that offer actually walk out the door had her bluff been called. It's a very genuine moment that establishes her as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and proves that, despite her cold exterior, she really does care about helping her clients and fighting for what's right.
  • Ho Yay: Lampshaded, subverted, inverted, etc... all by the same two characters. Alan and Denny have declared each other to be "partners" and "soulmates." When Denny asks why their significant others haven't come to get them out of jail (contempt of court), Alan reminds him, "Denny, we are our significant others." They're flamingos. Nobody mentions the Ho Yay because it would be tantamount to pointing at water and saying, "That's wet." Up until they got married...
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • James Spader's soft, low monotones, employed in an elegant summary for the defense, is really like warm chocolate for the aural cavities.
    • "Dennnnnnnny...Dennnnnnnnnnny. Craaaannnnnnne."
    • Tara's voice. Holy hell, Rhona Mitra.
    • Katie's purrfect British Accent.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Julie Bowen, following the success she's had as one of the stars in Modern Family.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Jerry Espenson, to IRL people with Asperger Syndrome. While Christian Clemenson is a fine actor, who plays an exceedingly likable character, the character, besides his absurd hopping, purring, and squealing tics, is also for the most part a little too normal in mannerism and speech pattern, which may or may not be especially ironic, since a few of us theorize that an autism spectrum person may have been right under the writers' noses, if you've ever watched any clips of the series' star speaking in real life.
    • Judge Robert "Poopycock" Sanders. A large chunk of viewers, especially those with legal careers, found the concept of an irritable, likely senile judge who is not conscious of 90% of what goes on in his courtroom or capable of understanding metaphor to be horrifying rather than funny. Judge Sanders was clearly not fit to be a judge, and often handed down rulings without even understanding the case or even listening to the eloquently written closings, instead relying on one-sentence summaries usually given when he interjects that he doesn't understand the "jibber-jabber" or "poopycock" that is being spoken to him in plain English.
  • Squick: "The Ass Fat Jungle" is about a plastic surgeon who injects his own ass fat in to women's lips.
  • Strawman Political: Particularly in the last three seasons, David E. Kelley pretty much just used the show as a soapbox for his views, lampshading it more than once. If you agreed with his views, you likely loved it and called it the best show on television. If you didn't, you likely shouted at the screen during Alan's lengthy closing arguments and found yourself liking Brad more than any other character.
  • Tear Jerker: While normally a zany, wacky, funny show, when Boston Legal decides to make you cry, you are damn well going to cry.
    • Shirley ending the life of her suffering father after a long court battle for the right to do so is one of the show's most iconic non-comedy scenes, and for good reason. Overlaps with a strange Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Shirley tells Alan that while she will inevitably have to fire him for something, the way he fought for her in court will make it much harder.
    • Alan's impassioned speech toward the end of the show, in which he says he wishes he could tear the Alzheimer's from Denny's body and fight it to the death if it would stop the disease from claiming his mind. The moment is so viscerally emotional, especially for viewers who have friends or loved ones who have suffered from Alzheimer's or any mental illness and have found themselves wishing the very same thing.
  • The Woobie:
    • Poor, poor Carl Sack...
    • Jerry Espenson, which is somewhat amazing since his second appearance ended up with him holding a knife to Shirley's throat after he didn't make partner. The only reason he didn't make partner in the first place was because he had Asperger's and the Senior Partners weren't going to accept him because he was different, even though he did excellent work and was more deserving than Brad, who made partner.