These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Ambiguous Disorder: Along with OCD, Monk seems to display some traits of Asperger's Syndrome, as well as some anti-social tendencies (they are not the same thing). Monk's rudeness to Sharona, Natalie, and others is not characteristic of aspeger's; the idea that people with this disorder have no empathy is a myth. However, he does display the desire to have friends, but difficulty with social activities. He also displays specialized interests, most notably detective work and cleaning.
Broken Base: Holy God, the fights between Sharona fans and Natalie fans.
Crazy Awesome: "It's a gift... and a curse." In "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring", Monk goes to a museum and sees the body of a caveman that supposedly froze to death. Monk determines that he was actually murdered and actually figured out what happened. We never actually get to hear it, but suffice it to say Monk is a really good detective to solve a 30,000 year old murder.
Critical Research Failure: The group of law students in "Mr. Monk and The Missing Granny" get confused on stuff that should have been learned in high school civics class, much less law school. One example involves failing to save a death row inmate because of confusion over daylight savings time. This example below appears to avert this issue:
Julie Parlo: Hi, I'm Julie Parlo. Uh, where is the FBI? This is a kidnapping. I happen to be a lawyer, so I know that in a kidnapping situation the FBI has jurisprudence.
Lt. Disher: That's only true if your grandmother's been taken across the state lines-
Captain Stottlemeyer: Or if she's been held for more than 24 hours, and I think you meant to say "jurisdiction." What kind of lawyer are you?
Dude, Not Funny!: Some viewers' reactions to the show's humor and treatment of mentally ill people.
The reaction that some OCD sufferers and their loved ones have to the show.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: In the subplot for the episode "Mr. Monk Is Stuck In Traffic," Monk reports a trucker for driving crazily on the road, it wasn't the first time the trucker in question did so, and they fired her. She then, during the traffic jam, decides she wants to kill Monk as revenge for getting her fired (and her brandishing a crowbar implies that she is not bluffing), and in order for Monk to evade a potential beating on his part when found by her, he is forced by her to withdraw the complaint by claiming he lied about her speeding as revenge for her turning him down in the hand of marriage. Basically, the moral is that, unless you want to be beaten down and possibly killed by the person you reported, don't squeal, even if the person being squealed on deserved the punishment.
Some of the trivia questions on Treasure Chest in "Mr. Monk and the Game Show" count. For example, Monk's question at the Bonus Round is, "Who was the first president to win a Nobel Peace Prize?" The answer, if Monk had not been trying to nail Roddy Lankman for a cheating scandal, would have been "Who is Theodore Roosevelt?"
In "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees," there are several sports jerseys on the walls in Rob Sherman's living room. These includes a #21 San Antonio Spurs jersey that was that of Tim Duncan, and there is a #3 Denver Nuggets jersey that is that of Allen Iverson. Both Iverson and Duncan were League MV Ps. The presence of these jerseys implies that Sherman may or may not have been their agent.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In the novel Mr. Monk Is Miserable, published in early December 2008, Monk finds a skull in the Paris catacombs belonging to a recently deceased man. The skull is identified by dental records as Nathan Chalmers, a man who committed a pyramid scheme in America, and who faked his death to avoid prosecution. Barely a week after the book was released in hardback, Bernard Madoff was exposed and arrested for one of the largest Ponzi schemes in recent history. Madoff was identical to the descriptions of Nathan Chalmers: the architect of a massive pyramid scheme whose victims included several of California's wealthiest and most sophisticated persons.
In Mr. Monk Is Cleaned Out, Lee Goldberg has Fun With Palindromes in Bob Sebes, an Expy of the original Bernard Madoff.
Jerkass Woobie: Monk, who treats his friends callously without actually realizing it. Usually the source of an Aesop Amnesia when he learns to appreciate and treat them, especially Natalie, better, which he then promptly forgets next episode.
The ads for the final season of the show set to Keane's "Time to Go".
The final episode is possibly one of these, depending on how emotional you can get. Keep your tissues handy.
Any scene when Monk is talking to his dead wife.
The scene in "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies" where Ambrose admits he never called Adrian after Trudy died because he blames himself for her death.
"Mr. Monk and the Kid," when Monk becomes a temporary foster parent. He begins to fall in love with the child and considers adopting him. However, the child begins to take on Monk's OCD-tendencies, and while telling him a story (Which was a bit like the situation the child was in!) Monk comes to a conclusion and states that the child won't be happy with Monk. The ending was sad, where Monk has to give him up for the kid's own good.
"Mr. Monk and the Dog". It turns out Shelby's puppies were proof of an affair and manslaughter, so Steven DeWitt comes in to destroy the evidence but Monk talks him out of it. At the end, Monk's selling the puppies but is too afraid to separate them. Someone with a farm comes by and buys all of them, since they have space for all of the dogs and are able to take care of the whole litter.
"Mr. Monk's Favorite Show" certainly counts. Monk explains that the reason he loved it so much as a kid was that it showed his view of the 'perfect family.' A family that he never had.
The Woobie: Monk's cringing and general pitifulness when being confronted with one of his phobias generate an instant oh-the-poor-thing factor and tend to put one in mind of a small child or bewildered dog; on top of that, cruel minor characters unacquainted with Monk are always around to mock him, stare at him, or try to forcibly make him "get over" his fears. It's almost painful to watch, even when played for laughs as it usually is. (For some reason, neither Monk nor Natalie/Sharona ever bother to explain Monk's OCD, instead describing him as being "particular" or something similarly vague; thus, the other characters are rarely sympathetic to or accommodating of his problems.)
Could be justified. If they "did" explain, people might react to Monk the way they often do to other, more visible, disabilities, such as treating Monk as if he is an anomaly or is helpless. Or maybe it's just because his particular manifestation of OCD would take too long to explain.