YMMV: The Odd Couple

  • Adaptation Displacement: Most people tend to think of the original TV version first.
  • Awesome Music:
    • When Roy Clark guest-starred, the episode's tag featured him performing his signature piece "Malaguena". The audience, Tony Randall and Jack Klugman were all blown away by the performance.
    • Some top-tier American opera singers - Marilyn Horne, Martina Arroyo, Richard Fredricks - appeared on the show and got a chance to strut their vocal stuff.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The 2015 series' episode "The Birthday Party" features Felix receiving a pet cockatiel for his birthday, which he falls instantly in love with and names "Hope." Later on in the episode, Hope gets stuck in the vacuum cleaner, and is ultimately blown out of the tube in a mass of feathers, with the strong, strong implication that he died, though if you look closely, the bird flies off unharmed.. This is all Played for Laughs, of course, but the act did not sit well with many a viewer.
  • Ear Worm:
    • Just try to get that Neal Hefti theme out of your head. Fittingly, Jack Klugman loved the theme tune, but Tony Randall hated it. The funked-up rearrangement (warning: low volume) for The New Odd Couple also qualifies.
    • "Happy and peppy and bursting with love!" It takes a little effort to get all the right words in the right places, but the tune is incredibly catchy.
    • "A Different Drummer" reintroduced "Stumbling (All Around)", which started its ear wormy existence way back in 1922.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In one episode from the series, Oscar is hospitalized for an impending throat surgery, and of course, Felix pesters him to no end — even the surgeon and Oscar's fellow patient get fed up with him and all want nothing more than for him to leave Oscar alone (even after Oscar returns home, the doctor wants Felix to just leave him the hell alone). Years later when Jack Klugman was hospitalized for throat surgery, the first person to come to his side was his dear friend Tony Randall.
    • In the episode when Felix and Oscar go to (and eventually get kicked out of) a health camp, Oscar tells Felix that he's fine not being as healthy as he could be and comforts him by saying that even if he only lives 20 more years and Felix lives 25, they'll still be happy. Jack Klugman would end up surviving Tony Randall by eight years.
  • Growing the Beard: As far as the series is concerned, the first season kind of falls flat; between the single camera format and the Laugh Track, it comes off as just another standard, generic 60s-era sitcom (despite premiering in 1970). With the second season bringing us a switch to a multi camera setup with a Studio Audience, and Tony Randall and Jack Klugman feeding off the audience's spontaneity, the series began to jell and find its voice.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The movie could have starred Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
    • In "The Pen Is Mightier," after hearing Felix's poem "Ode To A Skyscraper," Oscar begs the question "Who's going to read a poem about the 40th floor except a sensitive window washer??" Twenty years later, Barenaked Ladies recorded "When I Fall," a song about a sensitive window washer. (No mention of the 40th floor, though.)
    • Oscar asks the IRS official if they take credit cards. Big laugh from the audience. Guess what the IRS now allows...
    • In the episode "Surprise, Surprise," Felix asks Oscar, "Is that your final answer?"
  • Ho Yay: And not just to modern eyes: Many a joke has been told about the peculiar nature of Oscar and Felix's relationship over the years. ABC was nervous about any such implications, which led Randall and Klugman to playfully film extra scenes with the Ho Yay dialed Up to Eleven, just to give the censors fits.
  • Informed Wrongness: In "You've Come a Long Way, Baby," Oscar is treated like a complete heel (by Felix, his girlfriend Nancy, and the background music) for wanting to call the police and report a baby that was left behind by his mother at Felix's office several hours before.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: The reason The New Odd Couple lasted only 18 episodes. Eight of those episodes were Recycled Scripts from the 1970-75 series, meaning viewers were watching more or less the same exact episodes, almost verbatim, with actors who weren't Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Viewers weren't interested.
  • Jerk Woobie: Felix. He is the show's Butt Monkey, but others' frustration with him is often justified.
  • Recycled Script:
    • The New Odd Couple reused 8 scripts from the original.
    • The 2015 pilot recycles the movie and play with Oscar inviting Felix, throwing him out, and the two female neighbors taking him in. On a talk show Matthew Perry said "Speaking as one of the writers of the pilot, I must admit that the funniest joke in the script was one we took from the original play... Oscar yells 'You write me little notes — We're out of corn flakes, F.U. — It took me two hours to realize F.U. meant Felix Unger!' "
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Leif Garrett - before making it big as a 70s teen heartthrob, and a featured commentator on World's Dumbest... - as Felix's son, Leonard.
    • Pre-Laverne Penny Marshall as Oscar's secretary, Myrna (both shows were coincidentally produced by her brother, Garry Marshall).
    • And that's Morty Seinfeld as a fellow juror whom Felix drives berserk.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The show was notorious from the beginning for dancing around homoerotic implications. As Jack Klugman himself would later say, NOT having a Gay character on your sitcom these days is considered far less profitable than having one.
  • Signature Scene: From the play, "It's not spaghetti, it's linguini!" For many years, it was the go-to scene for first-time actors doing "partner" scenes.
  • Values Dissonance: "The Pig Who Came to Dinner" featured a guest appearance by Bobby Riggs in which he played up his misogynistic public image. If similar statements had been made about blacks, for example, they would never have been tolerated, but women were apparently Acceptable Targets and Riggs' bigotry was largely played for laughs.
  • The Woobie: Felix, to those fans who don't find him nearly as irritating as Oscar does. After all, he always means well. Sure, he gets a little carried away sometimes, but sometimes the others overreact.