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YMMV: Rules of Engagement
  • Acceptable Lifestyle Targets: Women under 30 are portrayed as Russell-fodder and not much else.
    • Husbands who love sports are portrayed as hopeless at anything even remotely unisex.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Jennifer the Only Sane Man being pushed to her breaing point from dealing with an idiot boyfriend, apathetic neighbours and a lecherous acquaintance, or does she hang out with these people to indulge her superiority complex?
    • Did Russell greencard-marry Timmy out of kindness, or to indulge his homoerotic sense of dependency on him?
  • Base Breaker: Timmy and Russell, due to the fandom being split between which one it considers The Scrappy and Ensemble Darkhorse, whether it's both of them, or is it neither?
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Timmy.
    • Jeff and Audrey, due to having taken over the primary couple stuff from Adam and Jennifer.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Russell and Audrey's sister, due to the fact that she was one of the few women he really cared about and wasn't just using for sex.
  • Fridge Horror: Adam's stupidity might be the result of minor brain-damage, due to the possibility that his Hippie mother continued to take mind-expanding drugs during pregnancy! Considering what we see of her, there is nothing that rules this possibility out!
    • Evidence of Jennifer's porn-career surfaces at the end of an episode.
    • Adam and Jennifer are portrayed as being very much in love, but there's plenty of evidence that they secretly hate each other and their relationship is purely superficial. How long will their marriage last when their looks fade away?
  • Growing the Beard: Many fans agree that the show became more entertaining after it started focusing primarily on Jeff and Audrey.
  • Hollywood Homely/Pudgy Liz is treated as being hideously ugly and extremely overweight when she is neither.
    • Also applies slightly when Adam and Jennifer film themselves having sex and are digusted when they watch it. While a lot of their disgust revolves around the awkwardness of their sex, they take the time to remark how awful they look. Adam remarks that he needs to hit the gym and Jennifer shouts, "We are not tan!,"... even though they clearly are.
  • Ho Yay: In one episode, Timmy and Russel have their hands on each other's knees under the table mistaking each other for their dates.
    • Adam is fascinated by Jeff's half-naked looks on an old photo, and wants Jeff to find him good-looking on the similar photo he had made of himself. He also asked Jeff to do like he was Audrey.
    • Russel gets a girlfriend who is Timmy's Distaff Counterpart. At one point, Russel tells Timmy that Indians with British-accents are his "type" and encourages his girlfriend to look more and more like Timmy. Later, he accidentally hits on Timmy.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Russell becomes this when Audrey tells him that her sister doesn't feel the same way about him as he does towards her. Although Russell tries to play it cool, it's obvious that he's completely heartbroken by the news.
    • Although some people consider it to be a case of Laser-Guided Karma due to Russell's poor treatment of women. This is even lampshaded by Audrey herself.
  • Kick the Dog: Audrey has a kick the dog moment in the episode "Reunion" where she and Jeff travel to Nebraska to attend her high school reunion. Audrey intends on rubbing it in her classmates' faces that she lives in New York City and has a great life, but when it turns out that most of her high school classmates have gone on to have rich, fulfilling lives she becomes depressed that she's unable to gloat like she wanted to. Audrey definitely comes across as rather shallow and mean-spirited in that episode.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Jeff in several episodes. He has shown himself to be quite capable of deception and tricking others into doing his bidding.
  • So Okay, It's Average: This seems to be the general opinion of television critics regarding the show. When the show was canceled in May of 2013, many journalists noted their surprise that the show managed to last for seven seasons due to the fact that it never had high ratings and it had narrowly avoided being canceled several times before. Other people have remarked that while many people like the show, virtually nobody considers it to be their favorite show.
  • The Scrappy: Timmy.
    • On the other hand, some fans actually consider Russell this due to how much of a selfish Jerkass he is (although his recent character development has begun to lessen this), with Timmy's passive-aggressive snarking at how utterly inept Russell to be both deeply refreshing and making him something of an Ensemble Darkhorse.
  • Ships That Pass In The Night: Russell and Audrey's Sister.
  • The Woobie: Adam becomes this in the later seasons. He's so naive and good-natured that he honestly believes that Russell and Jeff are his friends, when in reality they just like to make fun of him.

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