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The key to this trope is seeing a dramatic "before and after" difference along the life of a series. The element can sometimes be attributed to a single, outstanding episode that defines the show. Other times it is just a general improvement, like the TropeNamer ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Fans of the series noticed a sharp increase in quality and consistent stories and it coincided with Commander Riker, Creator/JonathanFrakes, growing a beard[[note]]There are two stories about this. One is that he grew a beard because a writers guild strike delayed the production of ''TNG'' Season 2 and he intended to shave it off when production began but kept it because the producers thought it made him look distinguished. The other is that he grew the beard for his part in the NorthAndSouthUS miniseries, which was filmed between seasons 1 and 2 and kept it because he liked it.[[/note]] and helping the show gain its own identity, even though it still took a little more time before it really took off. The term has spread into internet vernacular to the point that [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSwAinUFoLs&t=49s Frakes has even brought it up]]. History repeated itself a few years later when fans noted a marked improvement in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' after lead actor Avery Brooks grew a beard (and shaved his head, to boot).

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The key to this trope is seeing a dramatic "before and after" difference along the life of a series. The element can sometimes be attributed to a single, outstanding episode that defines the show. Other times it is just a general improvement, like the TropeNamer ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Fans of the series noticed a sharp increase in quality and consistent stories and it coincided with Commander Riker, Creator/JonathanFrakes, growing a beard[[note]]There are two stories about this. One is that he grew a beard because a writers guild strike delayed the production of ''TNG'' Season 2 and he intended to shave it off when production began but kept it because the producers thought it made him look distinguished. The other is that he grew the beard for his part in the NorthAndSouthUS ''Series/NorthAndSouthUS'' miniseries, which was filmed between seasons 1 and 2 and kept it because he liked it.[[/note]] and helping the show gain its own identity, even though it still took a little more time before it really took off. The term has spread into internet vernacular to the point that [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSwAinUFoLs&t=49s Frakes has even brought it up]]. History repeated itself a few years later when fans noted a marked improvement in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' after lead actor Avery Brooks grew a beard (and shaved his head, to boot).


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[[quoteright:331:[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/william_riker_growing_the_beard7.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Much better]].]]

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[[quoteright:331:[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration [[quoteright:256:[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/william_riker_growing_the_beard7.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Much better]].]]
org/pmwiki/pub/images/tng_rating3_1.png]]]]

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* GrowingTheBeard/{{Theatre}}


* GrowingTheBeard/{{Sports}}


[[caption-width-right:331: ''[[VisualPun Much better]].]]

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[[caption-width-right:331: ''[[VisualPun [[VisualPun Much better]].]]


[[caption-width-right:331: ''[[VisualPun Much]]'' [[VisualPun better.]]]]

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[[caption-width-right:331: ''[[VisualPun Much]]'' [[VisualPun better.]]]]
Much better]].]]

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A beard growing moment is also called a [[http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Riker%27s+Beard&defid=7093246 Riker's Beard]] moment.


The key to this trope is seeing a dramatic "before and after" difference along the life of a series. The element can sometimes be attributed to a single, outstanding episode that defines the show. Other times it is just a general improvement, like the TropeNamer ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Fans of the series noticed a sharp increase in quality and consistent stories and it coincided with Commander Riker, Jonathan Frakes, growing a beard[[note]]This was for his part in the NorthAndSouthUS miniseries, which was filmed between seasons 1 and 2. Frakes liked the beard so much he kept it.[[/note]] and helping the show gain its own identity, even though it still took a little more time before it really took off. The term has spread into internet vernacular to the point that [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSwAinUFoLs&t=49s Frakes has even brought it up]]. History repeated itself a few years later when fans noted a marked improvement in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' after lead actor Avery Brooks grew a beard (and shaved his head, to boot).

to:

The key to this trope is seeing a dramatic "before and after" difference along the life of a series. The element can sometimes be attributed to a single, outstanding episode that defines the show. Other times it is just a general improvement, like the TropeNamer ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Fans of the series noticed a sharp increase in quality and consistent stories and it coincided with Commander Riker, Jonathan Frakes, Creator/JonathanFrakes, growing a beard[[note]]This was beard[[note]]There are two stories about this. One is that he grew a beard because a writers guild strike delayed the production of ''TNG'' Season 2 and he intended to shave it off when production began but kept it because the producers thought it made him look distinguished. The other is that he grew the beard for his part in the NorthAndSouthUS miniseries, which was filmed between seasons 1 and 2. Frakes 2 and kept it because he liked the beard so much he kept it.[[/note]] and helping the show gain its own identity, even though it still took a little more time before it really took off. The term has spread into internet vernacular to the point that [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSwAinUFoLs&t=49s Frakes has even brought it up]]. History repeated itself a few years later when fans noted a marked improvement in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' after lead actor Avery Brooks grew a beard (and shaved his head, to boot).


The opposite of JumpingTheShark, Growing the Beard is the definitive moment when a series begins to become noticeably better in quality. This often involves a new writer or other creative person coming on board, the happy discovery of a [[EnsembleDarkhorse popular character]], or the exit of a [[ExecutiveMeddling meddling executive]], or simply realizing what works. In general, this is where the franchise starts to find its voice. Getting someone new into a series with an ''abysmal'' beginning can be difficult, as they only have one's word that "[[SlowPacedBeginning it gets a lot better, really]]." Can occasionally accompany a downplay or removal of [[TheScrappy less popular characters]].

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The opposite of JumpingTheShark, Growing the Beard is the definitive moment when a series begins to become noticeably better in quality. This often involves a new writer or other creative person coming on board, the happy discovery of a [[EnsembleDarkhorse popular character]], or the exit of a [[ExecutiveMeddling meddling executive]], or simply realizing what works. In general, this is where the franchise starts to find its voice. Getting someone new into a series with an ''abysmal'' beginning can be difficult, as they only have one's word that "[[SlowPacedBeginning it gets a lot better, better]], [[TakeOurWordForIt really]]." Can occasionally accompany a downplay or removal of [[TheScrappy less popular characters]].


[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Ahh...]] ''[[VisualPun much]]'' [[VisualPun better.]]]]

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[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Ahh...]] ''[[VisualPun much]]'' Much]]'' [[VisualPun better.]]]]


[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Ahh...]] ''[[VisualPun much]]'' [[VisualPun better]].]]

to:

[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Ahh...]] ''[[VisualPun much]]'' [[VisualPun better]].]]
better.]]]]



The key to this trope is seeing a dramatic "before and after" difference along the life of a series. The element can sometimes be attributed to a single, outstanding episode that defines the show. Other times it is just a general improvement, like the TropeNamer ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Fans of the series noticed a sharp increase in quality and consistent stories and it coincided with Commander Riker, Jonathan Frakes, growing a beard[[note]]This was for his part in the NorthAndSouthUS miniseries, which was filmed between seasons 1 and 2. Frakes liked the beard so much he kept it.[[/note]] and helping the show gain its own identity, even though it still took a little more time before it really took off. The term has spread into internet vernacular to the point that [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iSwAinUFoLs#t=49s Frakes has even brought it up]]. History repeated itself a few years later when fans noted a marked improvement in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' after lead actor Avery Brooks grew a beard (and shaved his head, to boot).

to:

The key to this trope is seeing a dramatic "before and after" difference along the life of a series. The element can sometimes be attributed to a single, outstanding episode that defines the show. Other times it is just a general improvement, like the TropeNamer ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Fans of the series noticed a sharp increase in quality and consistent stories and it coincided with Commander Riker, Jonathan Frakes, growing a beard[[note]]This was for his part in the NorthAndSouthUS miniseries, which was filmed between seasons 1 and 2. Frakes liked the beard so much he kept it.[[/note]] and helping the show gain its own identity, even though it still took a little more time before it really took off. The term has spread into internet vernacular to the point that [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iSwAinUFoLs#t=49s com/watch?v=iSwAinUFoLs&t=49s Frakes has even brought it up]]. History repeated itself a few years later when fans noted a marked improvement in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' after lead actor Avery Brooks grew a beard (and shaved his head, to boot).


The opposite of JumpingTheShark, Growing the Beard is the definitive moment when a series begins to become noticeably better in quality. This often involves a new writer or other creative person coming on board, the happy discovery of a [[EnsembleDarkhorse popular character]], or the exit of a [[ExecutiveMeddling meddling executive]], or simply realizing what works. In general, this is where the franchise starts to find its voice. Getting someone new into a series with an ''abysmal'' beginning can be difficult, as they only have one's word that "[[ItGetsBetter it gets a lot better, really]]." Can occasionally accompany a downplay or removal of [[TheScrappy less popular characters]].

to:

The opposite of JumpingTheShark, Growing the Beard is the definitive moment when a series begins to become noticeably better in quality. This often involves a new writer or other creative person coming on board, the happy discovery of a [[EnsembleDarkhorse popular character]], or the exit of a [[ExecutiveMeddling meddling executive]], or simply realizing what works. In general, this is where the franchise starts to find its voice. Getting someone new into a series with an ''abysmal'' beginning can be difficult, as they only have one's word that "[[ItGetsBetter "[[SlowPacedBeginning it gets a lot better, really]]." Can occasionally accompany a downplay or removal of [[TheScrappy less popular characters]].


[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Ahh...]] ''[[VisualPun much]]'' [[ItGetsBetter better]].]]

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[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Ahh...]] ''[[VisualPun much]]'' [[ItGetsBetter [[VisualPun better]].]]


Also note that just because a series eventually grows a beard doesn't mean it was actually bad to start with. Being SoOkayItsAverage is sometimes the worst offense a show can have before it evolves, or it takes a season or two of being just "good" before it develops the myth arc it became famous for. For example, ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' may have needed some time to develop into a truly great piece of work, but it was still an excellent and clever strip from the very beginning.

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Also note that just because a series eventually grows a beard doesn't mean it was actually bad to start with. Sometimes it's just a case of smoothing out any elements of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness. Being SoOkayItsAverage is sometimes the worst offense a show can have before it evolves, or it takes a season or two of being just "good" before it develops the myth arc it became famous for. For example, ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' may have needed some time to develop into a truly great piece of work, but it was still an excellent and clever strip from the very beginning.


[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Ahh...]] ''[[VisualPun much]]'' [[VisualPun better]].]]

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[[caption-width-right:331: [[VisualPun Ahh...]] ''[[VisualPun much]]'' [[VisualPun [[ItGetsBetter better]].]]

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