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* DreamIntro: One episode opens with Sam on a beach making out with Terry Farrell - but then he wakes up, discovering that it was a dream and he's actually a Navy ensign accused of murder.

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* DreamIntro: One episode opens with Sam on a beach making out with Terry Farrell Creator/TerryFarrell - but then he wakes up, discovering that it was a dream and he's actually a Navy ensign accused of murder.


** "The Leaping Of The Shrew" features Sam being [[Literature/TheBlueLagoon shipwrecked on an island]] with a spoiled girl [[Literature/TheBlueLagoon played by Brooke Shields]].

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** "The Leaping Of The Shrew" features Sam being [[Literature/TheBlueLagoon shipwrecked on an island]] with a spoiled girl [[Literature/TheBlueLagoon played by Brooke Shields]].by]] Creator/BrookeShields.

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* OntologicalMystery: Each time Sam leaps into a new leapee, he has to figure out whom he has replaced, where he is, ''when'' he is, and why he is there. How much Sam can figure out by himself, and how much Al or Ziggy is needed to fill in the gaps, differs from episode to episode.
** In the pilot episode, Sam also needs to figure out who he himself is, as the initial leap left memory gaps that the show describes as "Swiss cheese".


* PhoningThePhantom: In season 2 episode 4, "What Price, Gloria?", While Sam is on a double-date, he uses a public phone near the restrooms to explain why he's talking to Al. He's interrupted partway through the conversation and pretends he was talking to his mother. Al can usually only be seen by Sam.

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* PhoningThePhantom: In season 2 episode 4, "What Price, Gloria?", While Sam is on a double-date, he uses a public phone near the restrooms to explain why he's talking to Al. He's interrupted partway through the conversation and pretends he was talking to his mother. Al can usually only be seen by Sam.

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* PhoningThePhantom: In season 2 episode 4, "What Price, Gloria?", While Sam is on a double-date, he uses a public phone near the restrooms to explain why he's talking to Al. He's interrupted partway through the conversation and pretends he was talking to his mother. Al can usually only be seen by Sam.
-->'''Al:''' Calling somebody we know?
-->'''Sam:''' You. So we can talk and I won't look like a lunatic.


* TheAce: Sam has six different doctorates, is a classically trained pianist, sings tenor, is skilled in a number of martial arts, and is fluent in several languages. However, his Swiss cheese memory means [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands he only seems to remember them when it's relevant to the plot]].

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* TheAce: TheAce:
**
Sam has six different doctorates, is a classically trained pianist, sings tenor, is skilled in a number of martial arts, and is fluent in several languages. However, his Swiss cheese memory means [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands he only seems to remember them when it's relevant to the plot]].


** Season 5's "Promised Land" takes place during Christmas, complete with decorations and the themes of family being a focus. Sam also gets to wish a Merry Christmas to his father, Jonathan.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Sam. Making the world a better place was his sole reason behind Project: Quantum Leap. In "Mirror Image," Al the Bartender claims that ''Sam himself'' may have been the one in control over his own leaps and could have quit the entire time, but subconsciously continued on because his desire to help people meant that he never felt he had done enough. Throughout the episode, Sam stubbornly refuses to even entertain that idea, insisting that Al the Bartender is The-Man-Behind-The-Curtain in charge of Sam's leaps and the one not letting him come home.
** Al lampshades this trope in "Play Ball," telling Sam he always runs the risk of getting distracted from his goals because he wants to save everyone.

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** Season 5's "Promised Land" takes place during Christmas, complete with decorations and the themes of family being a focus. Sam also gets to wish a Merry Christmas to his father, Jonathan.
John.
* ChromosomeCasting: "Unchained" has an all-male cast.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Sam. Making the world a better place was his sole reason behind Project: Quantum Leap. In "Mirror Image," Al the Bartender claims that ''Sam himself'' may have been the one in control over his own leaps and could have quit the entire time, but subconsciously continued on because his desire to help people meant that he never felt he had done enough. Throughout the episode, Sam stubbornly refuses to even entertain that idea, insisting that Al the Bartender is The-Man-Behind-The-Curtain in charge of Sam's leaps and the one not letting him come home.
**
home. Al lampshades this trope in "Play Ball," Ball", telling Sam he always runs the risk of getting distracted from his goals because he wants to save everyone.


* PunchClockVillain: Sam leaps into a man who was pressured into joining TheKlan, and while it's treated with all the ominousness it deserves, the next scene has them, out of costume, talking about their mundane lives and offering to help each other out with projects unrelated to their racism. Sam isn't suckered into it for a second, and all it does is [[TheyLookJustLikeEveryoneElse underscore their insidious nature]]. Although it does help him appeal to his father-in-law's humanity when he tries to stop a lynching (and succeeds).

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* PunchClockVillain: In "Justice", Sam leaps into a man named Clyde who was pressured into joining TheKlan, and while it's treated with all the ominousness it deserves, the next scene has them, out of costume, talking about their mundane lives and offering to help each other out with projects unrelated to their racism. Sam isn't suckered into it for a second, and all it does is [[TheyLookJustLikeEveryoneElse underscore their insidious nature]]. Although it does help him appeal to his father-in-law's humanity when he tries to stop a lynching (and succeeds).

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* PunchClockVillain: Sam leaps into a man who was pressured into joining TheKlan, and while it's treated with all the ominousness it deserves, the next scene has them, out of costume, talking about their mundane lives and offering to help each other out with projects unrelated to their racism. Sam isn't suckered into it for a second, and all it does is [[TheyLookJustLikeEveryoneElse underscore their insidious nature]]. Although it does help him appeal to his father-in-law's humanity when he tries to stop a lynching (and succeeds).


* ProphecyTwist: In "Nowhere to Run," Sam's main mission to prevent a disabled veteran from killing himself, but he also has to ensure another part of history plays out. According to Al, the amputee Sam leaped into had a son (who will save a lot of lives during a Gulf War battle), and he has to ensure he will be born. [[spoiler:They initially think they have to repair the amputee's rocky marriage, but it turns out they didn't have to do anything. The mother turns out to be the nurse that Sam met at the start of the episode. Al acknowledges that he never bothered to check the mother's name.]]

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* ProphecyTwist: In "Nowhere to Run," Sam's main mission is to prevent a disabled veteran from killing himself, but he also has to ensure another part of history plays out. According to Al, the amputee Sam leaped into had a son (who will save a lot of lives during a Gulf War battle), and he Sam has to ensure he will be born. [[spoiler:They initially think they have to repair the amputee's rocky marriage, but it turns out they didn't have to do anything. The mother turns out to be the nurse that Sam met at the start of the episode. Al acknowledges that he never bothered to check the mother's name.]]



* RandomTransportation: The series featured Sam Beckett leaping at various points in history to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong. He never knows what time period or into which person he'll Leap into next. A hint of this is almost always TheStinger for a given episode. The leaps generally occurred within the U.S. and stayed within Sam's lifetime. Though special circumstances have seen these rules broken at least once.

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* RandomTransportation: The series featured Sam Beckett leaping at various points in history to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong. He never knows what time period or into which person he'll Leap into next. A hint of this is almost always TheStinger for a given episode. The leaps generally occurred within the U.S. and stayed within Sam's lifetime. Though lifetime, though special circumstances have seen these rules broken at least once.



** Sam leaps into an artist who thinks he's a vampire and brushes a lot of the act off as just a delusion. Just as he's about to leap, Sam realizes he hasn't seen what he actually looks like so holds up a clear dish as a mirror...and sees he has no reflection.
** In "It's a Wonderful Leap," Sam leaps into Max, a cab driver who's to be murdered on Christmas Eve, 1958. He runs into Angelita, a woman claiming to be an angel. Naturally, Sam and Al think she's a nutcase, especially as she can see and hear Al (which crazy people can do). At the end, after Sam saves Max from his fate, Angelita says her job is done and once she's gone, everyone in this time will forget she was ever here. She surprises both men by calling "Max" Sam and "who do you think I was here to help?" As she walks off, Al presses Sam to go after her. "After who?" Sam asks and Al is stunned to realize Sam suddenly has no idea who Angelita is.
* RealAwardFictionalCharacter: In "The Wrong Stuff" Sam mentions winning the Nobel Prize for Physics.

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** Sam leaps into an artist who thinks he's a vampire and brushes a lot of the act off as just a delusion. Just as he's about to leap, Sam realizes he hasn't seen what he actually looks like like, so holds up a clear dish as a mirror...and sees he has no reflection.
** In "It's a Wonderful Leap," Sam leaps into Max, a cab driver who's to be murdered on Christmas Eve, 1958. He runs into Angelita, a woman claiming to be an angel. Naturally, Sam and Al think she's a nutcase, especially as she can see and hear Al (which crazy people can do). At the end, after Sam saves Max from his fate, Angelita says her job is done and once she's gone, everyone in this time will forget she was ever here. She surprises both men by calling "Max" Sam and "who do you think I was here to help?" As she walks off, Al presses Sam to go after her. "After who?" Sam asks asks, and Al is stunned to realize that Sam suddenly has no idea who Angelita is.
* RealAwardFictionalCharacter: In "The Wrong Stuff" Stuff", Sam mentions winning the Nobel Prize for Physics.



* RetroactivePrecognition: The show invokes this trope on occasion. For example, once Sam made a bet that Gerald Ford would trip going down the stairs out of Air Force One, which, of course, then happens.

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* RetroactivePrecognition: The show invokes this trope on occasion. For example, once Sam made a bet that Gerald Ford would trip going down the stairs out of Air Force One, which, which of course, course then happens.



** The end of "Deliver Us From Evil," resets everything to before Alia leaped in, which accounts for two days. Sam and Al remember everything that happened (and their counterparts would as well), but Frank and no one else from that time period are any the wiser.

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** The end of "Deliver Us From Evil," Evil" resets everything to before Alia leaped in, which accounts for two days. Sam and Al remember everything that happened (and their counterparts would as well), but Frank and no one anyone else from that time period are any none the wiser.



* RunningGag: Sam says "Al" only for the person he's with to say "I'll what?"

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* RunningGag: Sam says "Al" "Al", only for the person he's with to say "I'll what?"



* SerialSpouse: Al. He had five wives, three of which are confirmed to have left him in a divorce (or divorce-like circumstances), and one is implied to. Only the first one really "worked": She only left him because she [[YouHaveWaitedLongEnough waited long enough]] after he was declared dead. [[spoiler:The series finale gave Sam a chance to change all that by telling her Al was still alive and would come back to her. The epilogue explains that as a result they stayed together and had BabiesEverAfter instead]]

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* SerialSpouse: Al. He had five wives, three of which are confirmed to have left him in a divorce (or divorce-like circumstances), and one is implied to. Only the first one really "worked": She only left him because she [[YouHaveWaitedLongEnough waited long enough]] after he was declared dead. [[spoiler:The series finale gave Sam a chance to change all that by telling her Al was still alive and would come back to her. The epilogue explains that as a result they stayed together and had BabiesEverAfter instead]]instead]].



* SleepingWithTheBoss: When for the first time Sam leaps into a woman, his task of the episode is to keep a fellow secretary from committing suicide. The other secretary thinks that her boss is going to leave his wife for her; the wife informs the secretary in no uncertain terms that she's OK with her husband fooling around but she will not under any circumstances allow a divorce. It's also implied that she is the boss's second wife, and he met her when she was his secretary. When the secretary learns this, she tries to jump off a building but Sam talks her down.

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* SleepingWithTheBoss: When for the first time Sam leaps into a woman, woman for the first time, his task of the episode is to keep a fellow secretary from committing suicide. The other secretary thinks that her boss is going to leave his wife for her; the wife informs the secretary in no uncertain terms that she's OK with her husband fooling around around, but she will not under any circumstances allow a divorce. It's also implied that she is the boss's second wife, and he met her when she was his secretary. When the secretary learns this, she tries to jump off a building but Sam talks her down.



* SpiritAdvisor: Al in some sense if he is alive and appear like an hologram from the present time.

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* SpiritAdvisor: Al Al, in some sense if he is a sense; he's alive and appear like an in the present, but appears as a hologram from in the present time.past.



** In "Return of the Evil Leaper", Sam is influenced by Arnold Watkins, The Midnight Marauder and suffer from bouts of ChronicHeroSyndrome.

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** In "Return of the Evil Leaper", Sam is influenced by Arnold Watkins, The Midnight Marauder Marauder, and suffer suffers from bouts of ChronicHeroSyndrome.



* StrawFeminist: An episode had Sam leap into a woman whose daughter was involved in the second wave. Most of the conflict came from the head of the feminist group, who gradually becomes more radical and violent as the episode progresses, outright rejecting Sam's attempts to get them to follow the examples of Gandhi and MLK. At the end of the episode she leads a pointless protest[[note]]A sit-in at a men's club, with Sam pointing out that they jumped right to protesting without even trying normal methods first[[/note]] and tries to shoot the sheriff, who gets saved by Sam. Afterwards Al reports that the feminist gets out of jail in five years and becomes a well-respected women's rights advocate (apparently having mellowed out and considered Sam's words in the meantime).

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* StrawFeminist: An episode had Sam leap into a woman whose daughter was involved in the second wave. Most of the conflict came from the head of the feminist group, who gradually becomes more radical and violent as the episode progresses, outright rejecting Sam's attempts to get them to follow the examples of Gandhi and MLK. At the end of the episode she leads a pointless protest[[note]]A protest[[note]]a sit-in at a men's club, with Sam pointing out that they jumped right to protesting without even trying normal methods first[[/note]] and tries to shoot the sheriff, who gets saved by Sam. Afterwards Afterwards, Al reports that the feminist gets out of jail in five years and becomes a well-respected women's rights advocate (apparently having mellowed out and considered Sam's words in the meantime).



* TimeShiftedActor: Happens all over the place in the three-parter "Trilogy", where Sam helps out a woman named Abigail Fuller at ages 10, 21, and 35, and his leapees each appear in the preceding part. Following this trope more closely, Abigail is played by one actress at age 10 and another at ages 21 and 35, while the first actress is in third episode as [[IdenticalGrandson her daughter Sammy Jo]].

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* TimeShiftedActor: Happens all over the place in the three-parter "Trilogy", where Sam helps out a woman named Abigail Fuller at ages 10, 21, and 35, and his leapees each appear in the preceding part. Following this trope more closely, Abigail is played by one actress at age 10 and another at ages 21 and 35, while the first actress is in the third episode as [[IdenticalGrandson her daughter Sammy Jo]].



* TomatoInTheMirror: Turns out that in the Leap 'verse, [[spoiler:vampires are apparently real]]. As well as [[spoiler:ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, curses(He nearly gets killed by a mummified pharaoh) and other supposedly mythical creatures]].

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* TomatoInTheMirror: Turns out that in the Leap 'verse, [[spoiler:vampires are apparently real]]. As well as [[spoiler:ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, curses(He curses (he nearly gets killed by a mummified pharaoh) and other supposedly mythical creatures]].


* MoonwalkDance: In one episode Sam the time traveller teaches a five-year-old Michael Jackson to moonwalk.

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* MoonwalkDance: In one episode episode, Sam the time traveller teaches a five-year-old Michael Jackson to moonwalk.



* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: In "The Leap Home, Part 2", [[spoiler:Sam saves Tom, but Maggie -- who Sam insisted on going the mission and survived in the original history -- is killed by a landmine]].

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* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: In "The Leap Home, Part 2", [[spoiler:Sam saves Tom, but Maggie -- who Sam insisted go on going the mission and survived in the original history -- is killed by a landmine]].



** Internal to the series, Sam's full name is given as Samuel John Beckett, son of John Samuel Beckett. It seems like the elder was not intentionally invoking anything. Whether or not Bellisario was invoking anything for a laugh is another matter. There was definitely some monkey business behind his mother Thelma Louise Beckett...

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** Internal to the series, Sam's full name is given as Samuel John Beckett, son of John Samuel Beckett. It seems like the elder was not intentionally invoking anything. Whether or not Bellisario was invoking anything for a laugh is another matter. There was definitely some monkey business behind his mother [[Film/ThelmaAndLouise Thelma Louise Louise]] Beckett...



* NoBisexuals: In the episode "Running for Honor" Sam and Al wonder if the kid he leaps into is gay. Sam argues that he might not be because he has a girlfriend. Al counters that [[TheBeard many gay men at that time dated women]]. Neither of them ever considers bisexuality an option.

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* NoBisexuals: In the episode "Running for Honor" Honor", Sam and Al wonder if the kid he leaps into is gay. Sam argues that he might not be because he has a girlfriend. Al counters that [[TheBeard many gay men at that time dated women]]. Neither of them ever considers bisexuality an option.



** "[[HalloweenEpisode The Boogieman]]," where Sam suddenly [[spoiler:puts his hand on Al...]] mere seconds before [[spoiler:another]] Al suddenly walks in stating that he hasn't been able to find Sam at all the entire episode.
** In "A Little Miracle", Al makes a flippant remark at a high power businessman, but it turns out his brainwaves are close enough to Sam's that can actually see and hear Al. This causes the businessman to be less than amused. Al's reaction to this revelation is priceless as he frantically tries to get out of there.

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** "[[HalloweenEpisode The Boogieman]]," where Sam suddenly [[spoiler:puts his hand on Al...]] mere seconds before [[spoiler:another]] Al suddenly walks in in, stating that he hasn't been able to find Sam at all the entire episode.
** In "A Little Miracle", Al makes a flippant remark at a high power businessman, but it turns out his brainwaves are close enough to Sam's that he can actually see and hear Al. This causes the businessman to be less than amused. Al's reaction to this revelation is priceless as he frantically tries to get out of there.


* FashionDissonance: Al's choices in clothing were ''intentionally'' weird, when they weren't a navy uniform. WordOfGod states that this was done to differentiate the holographic Al from the people who were actually physically there. In-universe (particularly the novelizations), Al had a conscious preference for garish combinations. In a few episodes where Sam leaps to a time and/or place Al has a particular fondness for he will sometimes make an attempt to dress in period clothing only to put together colors and patterns that still manage to make him look appropriately terrible.

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* FashionDissonance: Al's choices in clothing were ''intentionally'' weird, when they weren't a navy uniform. WordOfGod states that this was done to differentiate the holographic Al from the people who were actually physically there. In-universe (particularly the novelizations), Al had a conscious preference for garish combinations. In a few episodes where Sam leaps to a time and/or place Al has a particular fondness for for, he will sometimes make an attempt to dress in period clothing clothing, only to put together colors and patterns that still manage to make him look appropriately terrible.



* FogFeet: Sam leaps into a Vietnam vet who's lost both his legs. There's a mean orderly in the episode, and at one point when there's nobody else about Sam gets out of the wheelchair, walks over to the orderly, and slugs him. Since the orderly can only see Sam as the man he leaped into it looks to him like Sam is floating on air.
* FoldThePageFoldTheSpace: Sam uses the term "string theory" to explain his leaping. Imagine your life as a piece of string, with one end (birth) and the other end (death). If you ball the string up, every day of your life touches every other day out of order, so you can jump from one to another, therefore time travelling within your own lifetime.

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* FogFeet: Sam leaps into a Vietnam vet who's lost both his legs. There's a mean orderly in the episode, and at one point when there's nobody else about about, Sam gets out of the wheelchair, walks over to the orderly, and slugs him. Since the orderly can only see Sam as the man he leaped into into, it looks to him like Sam is floating on air.
* FoldThePageFoldTheSpace: Sam uses the term "string theory" to explain his leaping. Imagine your life as a piece of string, with birth as one end (birth) and death as the other end (death).other. If you ball the string up, every day of your life touches every other day out of order, so you can jump from one to another, therefore time travelling within your own lifetime.



* ForWantOfANail: Usually played straight. Sam is contantly changing history in relatively small ways all things considered. While the people he encounters are certainly affected, the future itself isn't radically changed. This was true even when he interacted with real-life people, largely thanks to RubberBandHistory.
** Invoked by the Bartender in the final episode. When Sam complains that he invented time travel to make the world better the Bartender informs him that all the lives he improved affected all the lives they touched.
* {{Fratbro}}: Sam leaps into a Fratbro in an episod, and has trouble getting the GirlOfTheWeek to listen to him because she knows him to be a jockish ass. His fratty mates keep appearing and trying to embroil him in wacky high jinks, including raiding the office of "[[ActorAllusion Dean Stockwell]]".

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* ForWantOfANail: Usually played straight. Sam is contantly constantly changing history in relatively small ways ways, all things considered. While the people he encounters are certainly affected, the future itself isn't radically changed. This was true even when he interacted with real-life people, largely thanks to RubberBandHistory.
** Invoked by the Bartender in the final episode. When Sam complains that he invented time travel to make the world better better, the Bartender informs him that all the lives he improved affected all the lives they touched.
* {{Fratbro}}: Sam leaps into a Fratbro in an episod, episode, and has trouble getting the GirlOfTheWeek to listen to him because she knows him to be a jockish ass. His fratty mates keep appearing and trying to embroil him in wacky high jinks, including raiding the office of "[[ActorAllusion Dean Stockwell]]".



* GayAesop: Notably one of the [[UrExample first]] [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative on television]]. One of Sam's leaps sees him try to stop a recently outed military academy student from [[DrivenToSuicide killing himself]] in the face of bullying by his fellow students

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* GayAesop: Notably one of the [[UrExample first]] [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative on television]]. One of Sam's leaps sees him try to stop a recently outed military academy student from [[DrivenToSuicide killing himself]] in the face of bullying by his fellow studentsstudents.



** When he comes into physical contact with another leaper, such as Alia and later Zoe, this causes them to see each's true form.

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** When he comes into physical contact with another leaper, such as Alia and later Zoe, this causes them to see each's each other's true form.forms.



* HeterosexualLifePartners: Sam and Al. As said in the last episode, there isn't anything they wouldn't do for each other. Discussed in "All Americans," where Chuey, the leapee's best friend, agrees to throw an important high school football game to clear his mother's debt with a slumlord, at the cost of his chance at being scouted for a sports scholarship which would be his only chance at going to college. He feigns injury to sit out, and Sam tries to figure out how to change things. Al tells him to just quit, too, because although Chuey is willing to sacrifice his own future he would never under any circumstances put his friend's chances at risk.

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* HeterosexualLifePartners: Sam and Al. As said in the last episode, there isn't anything they wouldn't do for each other. Discussed in "All Americans," where Chuey, the leapee's best friend, agrees to throw an important high school football game to clear his mother's debt with a slumlord, at the cost of his chance at being scouted for a sports scholarship which would be his only chance at going to college. He feigns injury to sit out, and Sam tries to figure out how to change things. Al tells him to just quit, too, because although Chuey is willing to sacrifice his own future future, he would never under any circumstances put his friend's chances at risk.



* {{Hologram}}: Al is one of these to Sam. He's in a room which projects an image of its contents back to Sam's brain except the official explanation is a vaguer way of saying "Sam's brain" that also allows him to be seen by animals and small children, a common form of GlamourFailure. The room's door is one of the trademark moments of the show, where a bright backlit doorway would open and Al would come in and out. This also meant that the entire world around Sam is a hologram to Al, not limited to what Sam could see, thus allowing him to see behind him, around doors or (as Al was wont to) ladies' locker rooms and restrooms.

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* {{Hologram}}: Al is one of these to Sam. He's in a room which projects an image of its contents back to Sam's brain brain, except the official explanation is a vaguer way of saying "Sam's brain" that also allows him to be seen by animals and small children, a common form of GlamourFailure. The room's door is one of the trademark moments of the show, where a bright backlit doorway would open and Al would come in and out. This also meant that the entire world around Sam is a hologram to Al, not limited to what Sam could see, thus allowing him to see behind him, around doors doors, or (as Al was wont to) into ladies' locker rooms and restrooms.



** A variation. While his great-grandfather, Captain John Beckett ''doesn't'' look like Sam in the Mirror, the genetic markers in his DNA are near-identical, which is theorised as being the reason why Sam could leap outside of his lifetime and end up in 1862.

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** A variation. While his great-grandfather, great-grandfather Captain John Beckett ''doesn't'' look like Sam in the Mirror, the genetic markers in his DNA are near-identical, which is theorised as being the reason why Sam could leap outside of his lifetime and end up in 1862.



* IJustWantToBeYou

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* IJustWantToBeYouIJustWantToBeYou:



** Made even more heartbreaking when you remember that Al's mother did a runner while he was young, his father went overseas so Al was sent to an orphanage and due to having Down Syndrome, Al's sister was committed to a mental institution. When his father returned and the family was reunited, he shortly afterwards discovered he had cancer and passed away, which meant Al and his sister were once again sent back to the orphanage and asylum. When Al ''finally'' was old enough to become the legal guardian of Trudy, it turns out that she'd contracted pneumonia and died, 2 years previously [[TraumaCongaLine and they never even bothered to tell him]].
* ImpossiblyTackyClothes: Al has a wardrobe that would make even [[Series/DoctorWho The Sixth Doctor]] cringe. In-universe it makes it easy for Sam to spot him - he '''''KNOWS''''' [[NoOneElseIsThatDumb No One Else Dresses Like That]]. The producers gave Al that eccentricity specifically so the ''audience'' can spot him, and also repeatedly reference that [[InvisibleToNormals few others can]]; kids for instance.

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** Made even more heartbreaking when you remember that Al's mother did a runner while he was young, his father went overseas so Al was sent to an orphanage orphanage, and due to having Down Syndrome, Al's sister was committed to a mental institution.institution due to having Down Syndrome. When his father returned and the family was reunited, he shortly afterwards discovered he had cancer and passed away, which meant Al and his sister were once again sent back to the orphanage and asylum. When Al ''finally'' was old enough to become the legal guardian of Trudy, it turns out that she'd contracted pneumonia and died, 2 died two years previously [[TraumaCongaLine and they never even bothered to tell him]].
* ImpossiblyTackyClothes: Al has a wardrobe that would make even [[Series/DoctorWho The Sixth Doctor]] cringe. In-universe In-universe, it makes it easy for Sam to spot him - he '''''KNOWS''''' [[NoOneElseIsThatDumb No One Else Dresses Like That]]. The producers gave Al that eccentricity specifically so the ''audience'' can spot him, and also repeatedly reference that [[InvisibleToNormals few others can]]; kids kids, for instance.



* IncrediblyInconvenientDeity: The ending showed this to be the case, as [[spoiler:God himself, seen as a bartender, has been sending Sam on his jumps to fix mistakes in history rather than just let him go home. The final episode is kind of Him ''finally'' giving Sam a choice about whether to continue (considering the incredible amount of good he could do for the world) ''and'' offering him a chance at a personal do-over. Sam being the kind of person he is, decides to keep going, and uses his favor to go back and help Al hang onto his first wife, the love of his life. It is in this moment that Sam graduates from the role of [[TheDrifter the Drifter]] to that of the KnightErrant.]]

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* IncrediblyInconvenientDeity: The ending showed this to be the case, as [[spoiler:God himself, seen as a bartender, has been sending Sam on his jumps to fix mistakes in history rather than just let him go home. The final episode is kind of Him ''finally'' giving Sam a choice about whether to continue (considering the incredible amount of good he could do for the world) ''and'' offering him a chance at a personal do-over. Sam Sam, being the kind of person he is, decides to keep going, and uses his favor to go back and help Al hang onto his first wife, the love of his life. It is in this moment that Sam graduates from the role of [[TheDrifter the Drifter]] to that of the KnightErrant.]]


* TheAce: Sam has six different doctorates, is a classically trained pianist, sings tenor, skilled in a number of martial arts, and fluent in several languages. However, his Swiss cheese memory means [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands he only seems to remember them when it's relevant to the plot]].

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* TheAce: Sam has six different doctorates, is a classically trained pianist, sings tenor, is skilled in a number of martial arts, and is fluent in several languages. However, his Swiss cheese memory means [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands he only seems to remember them when it's relevant to the plot]].



* BadassBookworm: Sam has six doctorates, but also trained in martial arts, allowing him to kick ass as required.

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* BadassBookworm: Sam has six doctorates, but is also trained in martial arts, allowing him to kick ass as required.



* BackseatDriver: Al. Justified in that he's the only one with the historical data that helps Sam solve whatever problem. Rest of the time he's tries to compel Sam to accept any and all advances from the women he runs into.

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* BackseatDriver: Al. Justified in that he's the only one with the historical data that helps Sam solve whatever problem. Rest problem he needs to fix. The rest of the time he's time, he tries to compel talk Sam to accept into accepting any and all advances from the women he runs into.



* BlackLikeMe: Sam leaps into an elderly African-American man in Red Dog Alabama in 1955 and does not realize it until he sits down at the lunch counter and see his host's reflection. This happens again with an AA Medical student in the Watts riots in 1965, and with a U.S. Navy SEAL in Vietnam in 1970.

to:

* BlackLikeMe: Sam leaps into an elderly African-American man in Red Dog Alabama in 1955 and does not realize it until he sits down at the lunch counter and see sees his host's reflection. This happens again with an AA Medical student in the Watts riots in 1965, and with a U.S. Navy SEAL in Vietnam in 1970.



* BeepingComputers: Ziggy, Al's computer, has its own set of beeps, boops, and squeals, the latter of which usually indicates an error to be fixed via use of PercussiveMaintenance.

to:

* BeepingComputers: Ziggy, Al's computer, has its own set of beeps, boops, and squeals, the latter of which usually indicates an error to be fixed via use of PercussiveMaintenance.



** Sam's hatred of racism causes him considerable problems in the episode "Justice" when he leaps into a young man who joined the Ku Klux Klan because of peer pressure. He's so disgusted that he yanks off the Klan robe as though it makes him physically ill to wear it--"This robe stands for ''everything'' my parents taught me to fight against, Al!"--initially flat-out refuses to do ''anything'' to help them, and visibly struggles to keep up the charade--watch him literally choke everytime he has to say the "n-word".

to:

** Sam's hatred of racism causes him considerable problems in the episode "Justice" when he leaps into a young man who joined the Ku Klux Klan because of peer pressure. He's so disgusted that he yanks off the Klan robe as though it makes him physically ill to wear it--"This robe stands for ''everything'' my parents taught me to fight against, Al!"--initially flat-out refuses to do ''anything'' to help them, and visibly struggles to keep up the charade--watch him literally choke everytime every time he has to say the "n-word".



* BlackGalOnWhiteGuyDrama: In "So Help Me God," Sam leaped into a lawyer trying to prove a black woman innocent of the murder of the son of a rich white man in the 1950's. It turned out that [[spoiler:the woman, Delilah, had been in a abusive and at first not consensual relationship with him (possibly referencing how white men would often rape their female slaves/servants). When she was about to leave him and stop being a servant in his father's house, he attacked her and his own mother shot him to stop it.]]

to:

* BlackGalOnWhiteGuyDrama: In "So Help Me God," Sam leaped into a lawyer trying to prove a black woman innocent of the murder of the son of a rich white man in the 1950's. It turned out that [[spoiler:the woman, Delilah, had been in a an abusive and at first not consensual initially non-consensual relationship with him (possibly referencing how white men would often rape their female slaves/servants). When she was about to leave him and stop being a servant in his father's house, he attacked her and his own mother shot him to stop it.]]



* BookEnds: Every episode opened with him leaping into a new situation, finding out some big complication and exclaim "[[OhCrap Oh boy!]]" When he finally resolved the problem he would leap out, and a new situation would present itself where [[CatchPhrase he would say the same thing]]. The leap at the end directly introduces the problem of the next episode, which is recapped in the next episode.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: The episode "Justice" is skipped over during syndication, no doubt because of the intense subject matter and language (the n word is used multiple times).
* TheBoxingEpisode: "The Right Hand of God." Sam leaps into a boxer "owned" by a sisterhood of nuns. The episode reveals Al as something of a boxing aficionado, but it doesn't do Sam much good since holograms make poor boxing trainers. However, during the fight itself, Al shines: he waves his hands through Sam's opponent as targets for Sam to hit.

to:

* BookEnds: Every episode opened with him leaping into a new situation, finding out some big complication and exclaim exclaiming "[[OhCrap Oh boy!]]" When he finally resolved the problem problem, he would leap out, and a new situation would present itself where [[CatchPhrase he would say the same thing]]. The leap at the end directly introduces the problem of the next episode, which is recapped in at the next start of that episode.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: The episode "Justice" is skipped over during syndication, no doubt because of the intense subject matter and language (the n word n-word is used multiple times).
* TheBoxingEpisode: "The Right Hand of God." Sam leaps into a boxer "owned" by a sisterhood of nuns. The episode reveals Al as something of a boxing aficionado, but it doesn't do Sam much good since holograms make poor boxing trainers. However, during the fight itself, Al shines: he waves his hands through Sam's opponent as targets for Sam to hit.hit (so that he aims ''past'' the guy's body, improving his momentum).



* BritishRockstar

to:

* BritishRockstarBritishRockstar:



* ByTheEyesOfTheBlind: Children, animals, mentally disabled people can see Al, the psychic can see Sam and seems to sense Al's presence as well.

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* ByTheEyesOfTheBlind: Children, animals, and mentally disabled people can see Al, the Al. The psychic can see Sam and seems to sense Al's presence as well.



* CatchPhrase

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* CatchPhraseCatchPhrase:



** Al would often utilize the phrase, "Isn't this a kick in the butt?" once an episode at least in Season 1.

to:

** Al would often utilize the phrase, say "Isn't this a kick in the butt?" at least once an episode at least in Season 1.



* ChivalrousPervert: Al has been married five times, eyes up everything in a skirt, everything ''out'' of a skirt and even Sam when he's leapt into the body of a woman. But he genuinely likes women, doesn't do relationships just for sex, and he considers those who abuse women to be the lowest of scum.

to:

* ChivalrousPervert: Al has been married five times, eyes up everything in a skirt, everything ''out'' of a skirt skirt, and even Sam when he's leapt into the body of a woman. But he genuinely likes women, doesn't do relationships just for sex, and he considers those who abuse women to be the lowest of scum.



* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Sam. Making the world a better place was his sole reason behind Project: Quantum Leap. In "Mirror Image," Al the Bartender claims that ''Sam himself'' may have been the one in control over his own leaps and could have quit the entire time, but subconsciously continued on because of his desire to help people meant that he never felt he had done enough. Throughout the episode, Sam stubbornly refuses to even entertain that idea, insisting that Al the Bartender is The-Man-Behind-The-Curtain in charge of Sam's leaps and the one not letting him come home.

to:

* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Sam. Making the world a better place was his sole reason behind Project: Quantum Leap. In "Mirror Image," Al the Bartender claims that ''Sam himself'' may have been the one in control over his own leaps and could have quit the entire time, but subconsciously continued on because of his desire to help people meant that he never felt he had done enough. Throughout the episode, Sam stubbornly refuses to even entertain that idea, insisting that Al the Bartender is The-Man-Behind-The-Curtain in charge of Sam's leaps and the one not letting him come home.



* ClearMyName: In Last Dance Before an Execution, Sam leaps into a death row inmate and must attempt to prove that he was actually railroaded by a district attorney more interested in a conviction record than actual justice. [[spoiler:In a subversion, Sam ends up confirming that the leapee ''is'' guilty; it is his also-condemned accomplice who was railroaded by the DA.]]

to:

* ClearMyName: In Last "Last Dance Before an Execution, Execution", Sam leaps into a death row inmate and must attempt to prove that he was actually railroaded by a district attorney more interested in a conviction record than actual justice. [[spoiler:In a subversion, Sam ends up confirming that the leapee ''is'' guilty; it is his also-condemned accomplice who was railroaded by the DA.]]



* {{Confessional}}: In ''Leap of Faith'' (season 3, episode 3)

to:

* {{Confessional}}: In ''Leap of Faith'' (season 3, episode 3)3).



* CoolOldGuy: Al. Despite being older he is a lot more knowledgable of modern pop culture than Sam is.

to:

* CoolOldGuy: Al. Despite being older older, he is a lot more knowledgable knowledgeable of modern pop culture than Sam is.



* CreatorCameo: The horror author who Sam leaps into in "The Boogieman" is that episode's writer Chris Ruppenthal, while the parapsychologist who Sam leaps into in "A Portrait for Troian" is played by Donald P. Bellisario. Troian was played by series writer-producer Deborah Pratt, and named after their daughter [[Series/PrettyLittleLiars Troian Bellisario]] -- who also appeared on the show (but not in this episode) and Bellisario's subsequent series ''Tequila and Bonetti'', ''Series/{{JAG}}'', ''First Monday'' and ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', as well as his only big-screen movie ''Last Rites''. Bizarrely, Donald P. Bellisario has a metafictional one in "Lee Harvey Oswald," where we see a portrayal of the younger version of Bellasario interacting with Oswald, as they ''did'' serve in the same military unit [[TruthInTelevision in real life.]]

to:

* CreatorCameo: The horror author who Sam leaps into in "The Boogieman" is that episode's writer Chris Ruppenthal, while the parapsychologist who Sam leaps into in "A Portrait for Troian" is played by Donald P. Bellisario. Troian was played by series writer-producer and Donald's wife Deborah Pratt, and named after their daughter [[Series/PrettyLittleLiars Troian Bellisario]] -- who also appeared on the show (but not in this episode) and Bellisario's subsequent series ''Tequila and Bonetti'', ''Series/{{JAG}}'', ''First Monday'' and ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', as well as his only big-screen movie ''Last Rites''. Bizarrely, Donald P. Bellisario has a metafictional one in "Lee Harvey Oswald," where we see a portrayal of the younger version of Bellasario Bellisario interacting with Oswald, as they ''did'' serve in the same military unit [[TruthInTelevision in real life.]]



* CringeComedy: Since he rarely leaps into someone while they're alone, Sam's cluelessness tends to lead to many awkward moments where he tries to figure out what's going on at the same time trying to act normal to everyone around him. Not to mention when his hosts have skills that even Sam lacks forces him to stall for time while Al figures out how to help him.

to:

* CringeComedy: Since he rarely leaps into someone while they're alone, Sam's cluelessness tends to lead to many awkward moments where he tries to figure out what's going on while at the same time trying to act normal to everyone around him. Not to mention when his hosts have skills that even Sam lacks forces lacks, forcing him to stall for time while Al figures out how to help him.



* DeadpanSnarker: Al

to:

* DeadpanSnarker: AlAl.



* DumbButDiligent: One episode had Sam leap into a mentally handicapped man who worked in a warehouse. He was well liked by his family but had problems with a few co-workers who had prejudice against him. In particular one had trouble reading all the barcodes and labels and was afraid of being group together with Sam's host.

to:

* DumbButDiligent: One episode had Sam leap into a mentally handicapped man who worked in a warehouse. He was well liked by his family but had problems with a few co-workers who had prejudice against him. In particular particular, one had trouble reading all the barcodes and labels and was afraid of being group grouped together with Sam's host.



** The episode "Thou Salt Not.." is ''Film/OrdinaryPeople'' in a [[YouHaveToHaveJews Jewish]] family.

to:

** The episode "Thou Salt Shalt Not.." is ''Film/OrdinaryPeople'' in a [[YouHaveToHaveJews Jewish]] family.



* DistaffCounterpart: The Evil Leaper obviously, but moreso her Observer Zoe, who's [[AllWomenAreLustful a horndog]] like Al (though much [[DeadpanSnarker snarkier]] and [[{{Jerkass}} ruder]]).

to:

* DistaffCounterpart: The Evil Leaper obviously, but moreso her Observer Zoe, Zoey, who's [[AllWomenAreLustful a horndog]] like Al (though much [[DeadpanSnarker snarkier]] and [[{{Jerkass}} ruder]]).


** Two examples from "The Leap Home, Part 2", neigh of which really affect the plot as they come at the end:

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** Two examples from "The Leap Home, Part 2", neigh neither of which really affect the plot as they come at the end:

Added DiffLines:

* TechnoBabble: Sam’s “neurons and mesons”.

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