* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Occurs in-universe and lampshaded/discussed in "The Nightman Cometh"; the rest of the gang notes multiple times that Charlie's musical reads more like the account of a child being molested by an adult in his sleep than the romantic epic fantasy he envisioned. This also raises some distressing questions about Charlie and his relationship with his increasingly creepy uncle both in and out of universe.
* AwardSnub: The closest the show has ever come to an Emmy has been a few nominations for Stunt Coordination (which it never won). The fact that the show has never been considered for a more prominent Emmy, the cast and crew's indignation over it, and the possible reasons it's been consistently passed over were highlighted in the episode "The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award."
* BadassDecay: Inverted with Frank, who becomes more insane and CrazyAwesome with each episode. Subverted with Mac, who, despite his delusions, was never badass to begin with.
* BaseBreaker: Mac has become a mild one. While he's still generally well liked, more and more complaints have begun popping up about his {{Flanderization}} to being in the TransparentCloset, which just as many people find hilarious. The same with his status as TheFundamentalist.
* BrokenBase: Some fans were upset by the fact that by season nine, Mac's basically canonically gay rather than just implied to be. Some people also think that it's an invention of the later seasons, despite the fact that there's an implication of his homosexuality right off the bat in the pilot episode. Other fans debate about whether Mac's homosexuality being made more obvious is less fun than when it was merely implied.
** His TheFundamentalist traits were also ramped up, which also displeased some fans as they felt as they felt those kind of jokes were getting too overplayed in other sitcoms already.
* {{Crazy Awesome}}:
** Charlie and Frank.
** Country Mac. It's even ''lampshaded'', with the Gang noting what an insane badass he is.
* CrossesTheLineTwice:
** "Frank Sets Sweet Dee On Fire", in which he does so ''twice''.
** "A Very Sunny Christmas," which crosses the line so many times it's impossible to count.
** The "DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything" parts of "The Aluminum Monster Vs. Fatty Magoo".
** Dee literally does in "Dennis & Dee's Mom is Dead".
** Charlie eating cereal and watching cartoons in his underwear [[spoiler: while wearing the Nazi uniform cap that belonged to Dennis and Dee's grandfather]] at the end of "The Gang Finds a Dead Guy."
** What Frank does to cheer himself up, going off "Mac Kills His Dad". [[spoiler: He rents a limo and goes around throwing water balloons full of champagne at homeless people, asking them how they like a taste of the good life.]]
* EarWorm:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzaVd6zl2bA Day Man!]] (uh-AAH-uhhh), Fighter of the Night Man! (uh-AAH-uhhh)
** Flip, flip, flip-a-delphia! Flip, flip, flip-a-delphia!
** The "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntkekOFl5GY Birds of War]]" theme performed in "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops".
** Boom, I got your money! Boom, I got your credit card!
** All the '60s stock music used as scene transitions, especially "Blue Blood", "Derby Day", "Captain's Table", "On Your Bike", and "Take the Plunge". And a special mention to "Grand Central", which played in the Christmas special when Charlie goes berserk at the mall.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Rickety Cricket and Artemis.
** Dennis and Dee's biological dad also counts. [[HarsherInHindsight Or did]]...
** The [=McPoyles=].
** Despite only showing up a few times so far, the Lawyer has gained a following due to being one of the only outsiders who's gotten a handle on how to deal with the gang's outrageous behavior, trumping them consistently and effortlessly since the entire Gang is legally clueless.
** Agent Jack Bauer, the indestructible junkyard cat.
** Ben the soldier, despite not being the brightest bulb on the tree, is liked for being one of the few genuinely nice and good characters on the show who hasn't had his life ruined by The Gang, in part because he's TooDumbToFool.
** Country Mac is a one episode character but quickly became beloved due to being a CrazyAwesome BadassGay.
** The Ponderosas count as of "Mac Kills His Dad". They're somehow even more of a dysfunctional family than the Reynolds...
** Da'Maniac, the insane former pro-wrestler played to perfection by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and yet another reason to mourn Rowdy's untimely passing.
* FriendlyFandoms: With Film/PacificRim, due to the presence of Charlie Day (and possibly the fact that [[{{Keet}} Newt]] is basically a smarter and saner version of Charlie).
* GrowingTheBeard: The show really came into its own during the second season, adding Danny [=DeVito=] as a contrast to the main four, turning Dee away from the CloserToEarth trope and generally going for more manic, darker, exaggerated tone.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** Any scene featuring the saintly Bruce Mathis is now very uncomfortable after Stephen Collins was revealed to have molested/exposed himself to at least three underage girls. Especially since a big part of Bruce's character is that he loves children and is great with them. And of course, there's this exchange:
-->'''Dee:''' What are you expecting to find?
-->'''Frank:''' Lot of shady shit.
-->'''Dee:''' Like what?
-->'''Frank:''' Like maybe Bruce is banging dudes!
-->'''Dee:''' Why would that be shady?
-->'''Frank:''' Maybe the dudes are babies!
-->'''Dee:''' What?! Bruce is not banging any baby dudes!!
** When "Charlie Got Molested" aired it was a standard humorous misunderstanding plot (except with child abuse) in which the gang mistakenly believed Charlie had been molested. Later once it starts being implied he was actually molested, the episode becomes harsher. This is particularly true of the ending where he talks about going somewhere and crying now everyone in his family believes he was molested.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** A year after the episode premiered, there was [[Film/{{Ink}} a movie released]] that bears a striking similarity to The Nightman Cometh.
** Uncle Jack [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYLNEFY-Gnc bragging]] about his big, masculine ([[PaperThinDisguise and totally real]]) hands in "McPoyle vs. Ponderosa: The Trial of the Century"? Funny. Creator/DonaldTrump [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3JB1rste8Q almost quoting him verbatim]] in a ''presidential debate'' a few weeks later? ''Hilarious.''
** A movie about 2 cops that have to work with a cat has actually happened called Keanu.
** A prominent part of Charlie's America song in "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass" is the words [[{{Theatre/Hamilton}} "rise up"]]. Bonus points for Charlie singing them basically the same way Lin-Manuel Miranda does in [[spoiler: Hamilton's death song]].
* HoYay: Constantly between Mac/Dennis and Charlie/Frank. You may as well call them the show's {{OfficialCouple}}s.
* IdiotPlot: Most of, if not all, of the plots. It helps that they're all just the kind of idiots the plot requires.
-->'''Dennis:''' I'm just saying that the plan was genuinely dumb! ...[[LampshadedTrope As many of our plans are, I now realize.]]
* JerkassWoobie: Really, everyone in The Gang has their moments of being one.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Charlie. He got shipped with all 4 of the other main cast (yes, sometimes even with [[{{Squick}} Frank]]), his obsession the Waitress and even with [[CrackShip Science]] [[ShipsThatPassInTheNight Bitch]] (an unnamed scientist in "Flowers For Charlie" who gave him [[spoiler:fake]] intelligent pills). His entry on the Woobie (see below) probably a big contribution to why.
* MagnificentBastard: The Lawyer. In one episode, the gang repeatedly pesters him for different legal reasons, like for patents and a job contract, their tactics involve assaulting his secretary, stalking him, hiring him a hooker, threatening to rape his wife (as an act of good faith), up until he gives in, resolves all their troubles legally, and gets the inventions to patent. Then at the end, he reveals that the contracts everyone signed gave him the profits from any and all sales of the inventions, as well as a restraining order from them (and back-up copies, because the first was eaten in an attempt to stop him).
* MemeticBadass: Agent Jack Bauer. Not surprising given that the cat is ''canonically'' indestructible.
* MemeticMolester: Dennis, which was kind of inevitable, given his screwed up ideas of consent.
* MemeticMutation:
** Charlie gets a LOT. Notably:
*** Wild card, bitches! YEEEEE HAAAAAAW!
*** Pretty much everything about Day Man.
*** Green Man is also exceedingly popular.
*** Recognizing an actor who was in ''Film/PacificRim'' led to jokes about "{{Kaiju}} [[http://elleskinner.tumblr.com/post/55834750961/this-took-way-longer-than-it-should-have-and-i Mittens]]".
** Dee's dance that she learned from the inflatable man is second only to "Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man" from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''.
** "[[EarWorm Flip-flip-FLIPADELPHIA]]"
** I'm THE TRASH MAN! I start eatin' garbage![[labelnote:Explanation]]Frank Reynold's description of his character for an exhibition wrestling match. This one's popularity mainly came about as a result of [[WebVideo/{{Vinesauce}} Vinesauce Joel]] repeatedly bringing it up in his streams, to the point where he is often linked with the meme.[[/labelnote]]
** Oh whoops… I dropped my monster condom that I use for my magnum dong!
** Uncle Jack's massive insecurity about his small hands has led people to draw a ''lot'' of comparisons with the similarly oversensitive Donald Trump, particularly after "[=McPoyle=] vs. Ponderosa: The Trial of the Century".
* RewatchBonus: A lot. If you're not paying attention you'll miss a bunch of character important lines, hints at future events, and small, easy-to-miss jokes. For example, "Who Got Dee Pregnant?" is even funnier upon rewatch because you know that [[spoiler: Dee's lying about one of the gang being the father of her child]].
* [[SignatureScene Signature Episode]]: "The Nightman Cometh" is probably the most well-known episode and is frequently cited as one of, if not ''the'' best episode so far.
* SpiritualLicensee: The show is frequently described as ''{{Series/Seinfeld}}'', only with everything cranked UpToEleven.
** Its even referred to as a deconstructed version of ''{{Series/Friends}}''.
* {{Squick}}:
** Nearly every moment with the [=McPoyles=].
** Nearly every aspect of Charlie and Frank's living habits. Charlie has such bad oral hygiene that he can effortlessly pull out his teeth without feeling anything, and he presumably doesn't change or wash his underwear as it started to fall apart after a failed attempt at a wedgie. Frank poops wherever he feels like it because it's funny to him, and he clips his toenails with a steak knife which he also uses peel fruit.
** Gail the Snail giving Frank, her uncle, a handjob under the table. Thankfully, they aren't biologically related.
* {{Tearjerker}}: While the show is largely comedic, some episodes can hit hard.
** In "The Gang Broke Dee", the episode opens with the rest of the gang making fun of Dee, who appears to be legitimately depressed; downing month-old birthday cake and cheap hooch while dejectedly accepting their insults. It's one of, if not ''the'' only time she's ever been a straight-up Woobie in the series to date.
--> '''Dee:''' "I'm just going to go home."
--> '''Charlie:''' "Good! Go home! I hope you-"
--> '''Dee:''' "You hope I get hit by a bus?""
--> '''Charlie:''' "Dee, come on-"
--> '''Dee:''' "What difference does it make? I can't get any lower than I am already. I might as well throw myself in front of a bus, because I'm so ugly I can't even get a bus to hit on me."
** Frank's mental breakdown in "The Gang Gets Analysed" where he remembers his traumatic stay at a mental asylum when he was a kid is genuinely sad while also being completely ridiculous.
** The Gang Goes To Hell: Part 2. Mac just collapsing when he finds out Dennis had [[spoiler: been keeping his father's letters from him. Especially when Dennis admits that his dad never said that he loved him. He can't even bring up the energy to attack Dennis over it.]]
*** [[spoiler: The Gang in what they believe to be their last moments in the sinking ship. Dennis tells Dee [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes he loves her]] before going underwater; she rolls her eyes but still holds hands with her brother and father as they wait to drown. Last to dive under are childhood friends Mac and Charlie. "Let's go be with the gang."]]
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot:
** In "Who Got Dee Pregnant?" the episode begins with the guys discussing a plan to spend the night at the city museum, dodging security and generally enjoying themselves. Though the episode was also funny, it's a shame this never came to pass.
** Charlie and Dee working at a high school, which lasted for all of two episodes.
* ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs: The show has been described by many as "''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' on crack."
* TooCoolToLive: [[spoiler:Country Mac.]] But it's less an example of [[spoiler:him]] being killed off because [[spoiler: he]] will make the gang look bad in comparison and more because it's unspoken rule that no one cool can be a part of the Gang.
* UnpopularPopularCharacter: Charlie.
* TheWoobie:
** Charlie the ButtMonkey is often so pathetic that the viewer is intended to feel sorry for him and the Gang is even moved to pity him on a few occasions. In contrast, Dee is another ButtMonkey, but she's so shrill and spiteful that she often brings her misfortunes on herself (though she still gets some sympathetic moments; as such, she counts more as a JerkassWoobie).
** Rickety Cricket, who is introduced this way and grows steadily worse with each appearance.
** Psycho Pete, who instantly jumped from TheDreaded into this trope with the reveal that [[spoiler:he is a sad, lonely GentleGiant who desperately craves friendship, developed anxiety and suicidal tendencies and the rumor about him killing his family is false]].
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