YMMV / 3rd Rock from the Sun

  • Anvilicious: The racism episode.
  • The Cast Showoff: Numerous times the entire main cast gets to show off musical talents. The best is in "A Nightmare on Dick Street," wherein Harry's dream is an elaborate Broadway-style song and dance number that was shot almost entirely in one take.
    • August sings a song in the episode with Tommy forming a band. Shay Astar, who played August, is now a professional singer-songwriter (though she sang only as a hobby at the time). Astar became a star!
    • Mary's lackluster but enthusiastic vocal talents are shown off at least as much as the Solomons', despite being poor enough both in-universe and on-screen for a season 3 episode to revolve around her self-recognized lack of singing talent.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Playing "keep away" with someone's baby? Black Comedy. But put it in a Good-Times Montage like this one...
    • Then there's this.
    Dick: Nina please, we're talking about prejudice here, something you know nothing about.
    Nina: I'm black.
    Dick: Oh, right. [grabs a Post-It note and begins writing] "Nina...is...black." [slaps the note on her chest and turns back around]
    • In the same vein as the keep away, the event Don describes as "Juggling newborns." It's not as bad as it sounds, but it was severe enough for Don to give the Solomons a pretty severe What the Hell, Hero?
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Has its own page.
  • Crowning Music Of Awesome: The main theme. Also Harry's Dream Sequence Musical Number, "Life Has Been Good To Me." He's not a bad singer, surprisingly.
    • The "Mission Song" from the last moments of the final episode is all of these, made all the better by the entire quartet actually knowing how to sing and harmonize reasonably well. Also counts as a Crowning Moment of Funny, Heartwarming, and Awesome.
  • Ear Worm: The theme song, easily.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Harry/Nina. One episode demonstrated their potential, but they broke up before they ever got together due to a One Dialogue, Two Conversations misunderstanding.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • During one episode, Dick comments that Easter Island was a practical joke that got out of hand. Many listeners will simply associate this joke with the massive stone heads and laugh, but a person who has read about the ecological and societal collapse resulting from overuse of natural resources due to moai construction will understand the "got out of hand" differently.
    • Trying to blend in as a human physics professor means Dick does equal parts Genius Bonus and alien Techno Babble, like "grading on a transient loop".
    • When Sally gets a tomato plant and becomes obsessed with him, she names him Jeremy, claiming that she originally wanted to call it "Lycopersicon Esculentum," but that sounded too snotty. That sounds like alien Techno Babble, but is actually the scientific name for tomatoes.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The dream episode. Joseph-Gordon Levitt trapped in a nightmare world and desperately trying to escape? Surely nothing like that will ever be seen again.
    • In the series finale, Mary begins suspecting that Dick is not all he seems to be when she witnesses him turning Liam into a chimpanzee. When discussing all of Dick's weird tendencies to her office mates, they tell her that they have long suspected Dick of being a serial killer. Yeah, like John Lithgow would ever play a serial killer.
    • Harry ran for the Rutherford City Council district 9, in "Dick The Vote".
    • In "The Dicks They Are A-Changin" (originally aired in 1996), Dick looks at a CD and remarks "Such primitive technology. I wonder if the people on this planet will ever discover the superior sound of vinyl". Vinyl would go through a major revival in the 2010s, with several people unironically vouching for its superior sound.
    • In "Dick the Vote", Don wonders if the Solomons are Amish. In the season 6 episode "Mary Loves Scoochie (Part 1)", Sally and Harry become Amish.
    • Dick once blurted out to his class that Earth would be destroyed by a meteor in 2015. Looks like we're good.
  • Hollywood Homely: In "Dick and the Single Girl", a frumpy physicist falls for Dick. Nina says that only a complete lunatic would be attracted to her. She's played by Christine Baranski.
  • Idiot Plot: There are numerous plots where the problems/misunderstandings would be solved quickly if only some more specific language was used. Of course, if that was the case, things wouldn't be nearly as funny. It also should be mentioned that the idiot plot is justified for this show, since the Solomons are learning Earth culture and of course wouldn't know about many facets of humanity.
  • Out of Order:
    • Nearly all the episodes in season five were aired in a seemingly random order compared to the order they were written in. This normally wouldn't be noticeable, except in "Dick Puts the ID In Cupid", he references being naked under a table at a function Mary organised. Had they aired in the order they were written in, this would make sense. However, in the order they are aired, he's referencing something that hasn't happened yet, or for first time viewers makes it appear to be a Noodle Incident.
    • Much of season one was also broadcast out of order. The biggest problem caused by this is that "Dick Is from Mars, Sally Is from Venus", in which Tommy starts attending high school for the first time, was broadcast after two episodes in which Tommy was already in school. Though arguably worse was "Truth or Dick", the second episode filmed but the tenth aired. Tommy suddenly looks much younger.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Joseph Gordon-Levitt played Tommy. After the show, Gordon-Levitt appearing in a bunch of independent films before finally becoming a big star on the back of one of those indie films in the late 2000's.
    • Every time Tommy appears on screen, it's hard to restrain yourself from screaming (in a high-pitched voice) "COOOBRAAA!!!".
  • The Scrappy: Tommy's first girlfriend, August. Manipulative, selfish, snooty, Straw Feminist and all-around bitch who broke up with Tommy due to his "immaturity", after being caught cheating on him and lying about it to his face.
  • Seasonal Rot: Rising star Joseph Gordon Levitt settling into a recurring role in season 6 coincided with the episode plots getting significantly Denser and Wackier. Coupled with frequent time slot changes, it was no surprise when the show never made it to a seventh season.
  • Strawman Has a Point: When Dick is called for jury duty, he's entirely gung-ho about the process until he learns the defendant is someone he's met. The case is iron clad and he's completely guilty and Dick knows it, but Dick can't bear to send someone he knows to jail, and have him know Dick in turn. Dick even uses the words "now he has a face" to explain why it bothers him. He's still an idiot, but he sees the defendant as a person and not just a criminal to be convicted.
    • Legally, he should have been excused from the case anyway, since no one in the jury is supposed to know anyone involved in the case.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: August gets her comeuppance. After they break up Tommy convinces everyone that he dumped her which constantly gets thrown in her face.
    • And even before they broke up, Dick dropped this epic comeback on her:
    August (leaving in a huff): Your son is impossible.
    Dick: And you're a pain in the ass; you're made for each other!
  • Tear Jerker: Now has its own page.
  • True Art Is Angsty: at least according to Sally's brief third season boyfriend Seth.
  • The Woobie: Alissa was very sweet and approachable (so long as you don't get her near a hockey game) and deserved better than Innocently Insensitive Tommy.