YMMV / WKRP in Cincinnati

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In "Bailey's Show", Johnny is standing in the booth with his whole head buried in a bucket that he's sifting around in. He and Bailey and Travis have a whole conversation with him returning every now and then to his bucket. Before they leave, he asks "Hey, can either of you explain this?" and he dumps a bunch of toy tiki boats on the floor. Bailey and Andy leave without comment and the moment is never brought up again.
    • A result of the show being edited for syndication. In the uncut broadcast version, the origin of the bucket and the tiki toys is explained.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: original broadcasts would play honest-to-God rock and popular music. The show would use songs with meaningful lyrics to underscore the plots of each episode. Of course, most rebroadcasts or home video releases won't have the same songs... though as of 2016 Antenna TV is rerunning the episodes with the songs. They showed "Turkeys Away" with full Pink Floyd scene restored, and it was glorious.
    Carlson: Do I hear dogs?!
    Johnny: I do.
    • The theme song. "Baby, if you've ever wondered..."
    • The closing credits song, a hard rock number composed and performed by Jim Ellis, an Atlanta musician who recorded some of the incidental music for the show. According to people who attended the recording sessions, Ellis didn't yet have lyrics for the closing theme, so he sang nonsense words to give an idea of how it would sound. Hugh Wilson, however, decided to use the words anyway, since he felt that it would be funny to use lyrics that were deliberately gibberish, as a satire on the incomprehensibility of many rock songs. Also, because CBS always had an announcer talking over the closing credits, and they would often mute the closing theme during said closing announcement, Wilson knew that no one would actually hear the closing theme lyrics anyway.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Two: Johnny, the morning man with quite a few problems, and Les, the confused newsman with a big ego who gets some of the best scenes (including the big scene in Turkeys Away) in the whole show.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Herb. He has few, if any, redeeming qualities, can't stop pursuing Jennifer despite being married and her repeatedly showing zero interest, bullies Les, the only one at the station who considers him a true friend, and is one of the biggest reasons the station is suffering. The gang lampshades how much they don't like him on several occasions. And yet somehow, unlike Bucky Dornster, Moss Steiger, Dean the Dream or Rex Erhardt, he is included in literally every out-of-the-office activity, the station has pulled together to help him on several occasions and were even willing to lie to the camera (however unconvincingly) to make him look good on TV.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the first few episodes, the theme tune was preceded by a fake news bulletin, where an announcer says, "...but the Senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity." Weirdly, many years later Jan Smithers (Bailey) would get into a traffic accident while inexplicably — allegedly — driving in the nude.
    • Johnny's rant about the "phone cops" is a comedy classic, but the subtext—that "the phone company knows everything you do" is a lot less funny in light of the NSA's mass phone surveillance scandal.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In the US the show is a fondly-remembered Work Com with an avid cult following. In Canada it's a major TV comedy icon, dating all the way back to the first season, when it attracted huge audiences there even as it struggled in the ratings south of the border.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Baby, If You've Ever Wondered", Travis laments that the best he did was cause the station to rise two ratings points rather than go straight to number one, and says that what he should have done was get rid of Herb, Les and Mr. Carlson himself, as none of them are good at their jobs and are dragging the station down. Who are the only three employees still there during The New WKRP in Cincinnati?
    • When Johnny meets his estranged daughter's boyfriend, he has them stay at his place, where they notice a picture of Johnny with Mick Jagger. The boyfriend thinks this is "far out" and suggests that Johnny "speak to Mick" about an audition for the Rolling Stones, because "Keith Richards can't last forever, am I right?" That was in 1980. As of 2016, not only is Richards still very much alive, but still touring with the Stones, despite looking like a walking corpse.
  • Hollywood Homely: Many male fans "don't get" why Jan Smithers was cast as the "plain" foil to sexy Jennifer. What they don't get is that Bailey was actually supposed to be the sexy one - the hip, modern girl in comparison to Jennifer's old-fashioned 60s-era "sexy secretary". On the other hand, promoting Gary Sandy as the hunk when Tim Reid was in the cast can only be seen as a result of Most Writers Are Male.
  • It Was His Sled: The fate of those turkeys.
    Jennifer (on the phone with a concerned citizen): Well sir, not a lot of turkeys survive Thanksgiving!
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Howard Hesseman (Dr. Johnny Fever) is also best known for playing Charlie Moore on Head of the Class.
    • Tim Reid (Gordon "Venus Flytrap" Sims) is also best known for playing Lt. Marcel "Downtown" Brown on Simon & Simon, Mike Hanlon in the It miniseries, and Ray Campbell on Sister, Sister.
    • Rene Enriquez appears in the season 1 episode, "Tornado", playing Jose Rodriguez, a Spanish translator who shows up to translate for a group of Japanese radio executives when they come for a tour of WKRP. Enriquez would, of course, later co-star as Lt. Ray Calletano on Hill Street Blues, which was also an MTM production.
    • Mary Frann appears in the season 3 two-part episode, "Dr. Fever and Mr. Tide", playing Avis Dropkin, the producer of the disco-themed television show that Johnny hosts as Rip Tide. Frann would, of course, later co-star as Joanna Loudon on Newhart, another MTM production.
    • George Gaynes directed the series finale, "Up and Down the Dial." Gaynes is best known for playing Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster and Commandant Eric Lassard in Police Academy, the latter of which was coincidentally directed by Hugh Wilson. Amusingly, Gaynes' real life wife, Allyn Ann McLerie, had a recurring role on WKRP as Carmen Carlson, Mr. Carlson's wife.
    • Blake Hunter, who wrote 12 episodes, was later the co-creator and co-executive producer of Who's the Boss?.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Most of the replacement music (for syndicated/DVD releases) sounds nothing like the original music. However, when a plot point or mood depends on a specific song (such as "Hot Blooded" in "A Date with Jennifer" or "Your Smiling Face" in "I Want to Keep My Baby"), a more obvious soundalike will be used.
  • Vindicated by History: A middling successful TV show during its run, WKRP now regarded as one of the best Work Com shows ever.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Herb's relentless pursuit of Jennifer (and management's seeming tolerance of it) would likely result in a sexual harassment lawsuit nowadays.
    • Bailey happens to walk in on a conversation between Les and Herb, the latter of whom has been kicked out by his wife. Herb has declared that he doesn't want to go back to her, and Les is trying to persuade him to do so. Bailey walks in just in time to hear Herb declare "Face it, Les, whatever we had, it's over!" To which Les says "You can't just throw away a beautiful relationship!" and Herb counters "You can't just base a relationship on sex!" while Bailey sinks into her chair, mortified. These days she would likely start off surprised that she didn't know they were "in a relationship", but would then join in on trying to convince Herb to "go back to Les."
    • On a related note, when Les is Mistaken for Gay it nearly destroys his professional reputation (such as it is) and drives him to the brink of suicide, which might be expected for the time. However, instead of the tolerance Aesop that one would expect nowadays, the situation is resolved by the person responsible issuing an apology for making such a dire accusation against Les.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Venus's early outfits had to be seen to be believed. Perhaps the most outlandish was the "Huggy Charms" outfit from "Goodbye, Johnny."
    • Lampshaded later in the series. Venus has toned down his wardrobe until he finds out he's to be interviewed by "Black Life" magazine, and decides to go all-out to impress the reporter. The reporter, who is actually white, asks Venus if he feels silly dressed like that, and says the hippest black guys at Black Life dress in suits.
    • Herb's loud suits were part of his dishonest, used-car-salesman personality, and were lampshaded on numerous occasions.