Follow TV Tropes


Context Series / Newhart

Go To

1%% Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread.²%%²[[quoteright:350:]] ²²Creator/BobNewhart's second classic sitcom (following ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow''), which aired on Creator/{{CBS}} from 1982–90.²²Newhart starred as Dick Loudon, a successful author of do-it-yourself and travel books, who along with his wife Joanna (Creator/MaryFrann) decided to move from New York City to a small town in Vermont, where they purchased and ran the 200-year-old Stratford Inn. The bulk of the comedy stemmed from OnlySaneMan Dick's interactions with various EccentricTownsfolk, including George Utley (Creator/TomPoston), the inn's addle-headed handyman; Kirk Devane (Creator/StevenKampmann), a compulsive liar and the owner of the nearby Minuteman Café; and Leslie Vanderkellen (Creator/JenniferHolmes), a wealthy heiress and Dartmouth student who worked as a maid for the inn.²²The first season aired to solid but not sensational ratings, but at first reviewers didn't think the show had much going for it outside of Newhart himself. Newhart and creator and executive producer Barry Kemp weren't completely happy either, so when the show was renewed, it was {{retool}}ed somewhat: the show switched from harsh videotape to a warmer film production; Leslie was replaced as maid with her bitchy, self-absorbed cousin Stephanie (Creator/JuliaDuffy); and, toward the end of Season 2, Dick was persuaded to host a local TV talk show, ''Vermont Today''. Dick's involvement with the show and its producer, the vapid but manic Michael Harris (Creator/PeterScolari), became a whole new source of humor, as did Michael's budding romance with Stephanie. Adding to the fun was a trio of zany backwoodsmen who purchased the Minuteman Café from Kirk: Larry (William Sanderson), his brother Darryl (Tony Papenfuss), and his [[OneSteveLimit other brother Darryl]] (John Voldstad); Larry did all of the talking, because neither of the Darryls [[TheVoiceless ever spoke]]. [[spoiler:At least [[SuddenlySpeaking until the series finale]].]]²²In addition to being a consistently solid ratings performer (spending its first six seasons in the Nielsen Top 30, four of those in the Top 20, peaking at #12 in its first and fifth seasons), ''Newhart'' earned plenty of critical acclaim and a number of UsefulNotes/EmmyAward nominations. And the show will be forever remembered for the ending of its final episode, which revealed its entire eight-year run to have been an extended nightmare dreamt by Dr. Bob Hartley of ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow'' (to which this series might therefore be retroactively viewed as a kind of StealthSequel). Some have also seen ''Newhart'', with its premise of a straitlaced urban protagonist finding himself a FishOutOfWater in an often-absurdist version of rural America, as an '80s answer to ''Series/GreenAcres''.²²----²!!''Newhart'' provides examples of:²²* AcidRefluxNightmare: How Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley wound up dreaming he was a Vermont innkeeper named Dick Loudon.²* AesopAmnesia: In "This Probably is Condemned", Kirk learns to feel good about telling the truth. He goes back to lying in the next scene.²** However, this trope is pretty much averted in "The Boy Who Cried Goat". After Kirk is unable to prove he wasn't lying about his cafe being robbed, Dick points out that the whole thing is his fault because of his habit of lying. Afterwards, Kirk pretty much stops lying, with a few minor exceptions.²* AllJustADream: Played with; after the completely out-there finale, having that episode revealed to be a dream wasn't unexpected. Finding out ''whose'' dream was the fun part. ²** Bob Newhart (in his memoir), Suzanne Pleshette, and episode director Dick Martin (in two separate interviews with the Archive of American Television) all credit Ginny Newhart, Bob's wife, with the idea for the "all just a dream" ending. The show's writers, presumably in fear that Ginny Newhart might try to claim some of their royalties, vociferously dispute this and credit staff writer Dan O'Shannon (later known for his less-than-stellar tenures as showrunner on ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' and ''Series/{{Frasier}}'') instead.[[note]]O'Shannon has conceded that he and Ginny Newhart might've separately come up with the idea independent of one another[[/note]]²* {{Arcadia}}²* AsHimself: [[Series/TheTonightShow Johnny Carson]], [[Series/TheCarolBurnettShow Tim Conway]], Edwin Newman.²* AuthorAppeal: The show frequently references basketball, with one episode taking place at a Boston Celtics game, thanks to Bob Newhart being a basketball fan. ²* AwayInAManger: Used in the show's lone ChristmasEpisode, Season 1's "No Room at the Inn".²* BigShutUp: The Darryls to their wives in the finale (also their only line in the entire series; see TheVoiceless, below).²* BirthdaySuitSurpriseParty: Season 1's "Shall We Gather at the River?" has Joanna surprised in this manner while clad in a negligee.²* BookBurning: Spoofed in an episode where the town thought one of Dick's DIY books helped a man escape from prison. Joanna convinced them [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch to actually read his books]], and they found them so boring, they were considering burning them just for that (fortunately they changed their minds).²* {{Breakout Character}}s: Larry, Darryl, and Darryl, to the point where their first appearance in a given episode would provoke a near-[[Series/HappyDays Fonzie]]-like reaction from the StudioAudience. They were originally meant to be one-time gag characters but Bob Newhart noticed how positively they were received by the live audience, so he brought them back in subsequent episodes. By season three they were part of the main cast.²** Larry, Darryl and Darryl were locally ''very'' popular in real-world Vermont, culminating in the actors appearing in character for an all-lard FoodFight staged in Burlington as part of a local festival in the late 1980s. Sort of a live, in-person BigLippedAlligatorMoment.²** Both Stephanie and Michael were also originally introduced as one-shot guest stars, and were popular enough to become regulars.²* BrickJoke: The series finale, where Bob is struck on the head and passes out, and wakes up in bed with Emily from his previous series, ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow'', (as a parody of the "ItWasAllADream" sequence used in ''Series/{{Dallas}}''), implying this series is just a dream he has each night, might just end up becoming the longest brick joke in history. ²* BrokenAce: Larry. Despite Dick's rather dim opinion of him, he and the Darryls bail the Loudons out of trouble more times than can be counted. ²* BusmansHoliday: "Tell a Lie, Get a Check" begins with Dick and Joanna returning from a two-week vacation where they stayed at many hotels.²-->'''Dick:''' We went to hotel after hotel, and now we're back at our own hotel.²** In one episode, the whole staff visits Stephanie's parents for her father's birthday. While there, Dick accidentally breaks a valuable music box and asks George to fix it before Stephanie's father finds out, and George complains about having to do handyman work on his vacation.²* ButtMonkey: Dick. To a lesser extent, Larry and George. ²** Any character immediately becomes this whenever they interact with Stephanie. ²* TheCameo: Suzanne Pleshette reprises her role of Emily Hartley in the finale's famous {{Reveal}}.²* CannotTellAJoke: Dick, in at least one episode.²* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: In "Send Her Ella", Stephanie agrees to watch after the inn so that the others can attend a local event she's not interested in, but when she learns there's a beauty contest she changes her mind but Dick and Joanna won't let her go back on her agreement. A guest offers to watch the inn so that Stephanie can participate in the beauty contest, wearing a disguise so that Dick won't recognize her. Dick immediately figures out that it's Stephanie [[spoiler: and although Stephanie does win, the prize isn't something she's interested in.]] And to top it all off, when they get back to the inn, [[spoiler: the place had been robbed.]]²* CatchPhrase / RunningGag: "Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother, Darryl. This is my other brother, Darryl."²* CausticCritic: The critic in "Pressence of Malice".²* CensorshipBySpelling: When Kirk criticizes George for thinking he saw a spaceship, Dick wants to keep what George saw on the down low so he won't be made fun of, saying he does not want to talk about it in front of the g-u-e-s-t-s. Kirk then sarcastically remarks "we can spell and they can't."²* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: After Season 1, Leslie Vanderkellen leaves for England to continue her education at Oxford, and from Season 2 onwards, she is never mentioned again.²** After Season 2, Kirk Devane is written out of the series, marrying Cindy and selling the Minuteman Café, which is bought by Larry and the two Darryls.²* CloserToEarth²* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: George. As [[spoiler:Dr. Robert Hartley]] recounts in the series finale, "The handyman kept missing the point of things..."²* ComedySeries²* ComicallyMissingThePoint: In "My Three Dads", Michael came up with the concept of the station running "[[ExactWords teasers]]" for the news, which irritates George (who feels he has to watch the news after seeing the promo). [[spoiler: When the station runs a teaser announcing that a blonde socialite has eloped, Michael rushes to the Inn to make sure it's not referring to Stephanie. After George points out to Michael that it doesn't feel so good to be teased like that, Michael realizes how powerful these teasers are... [and sees it as evidence that they're working.]]²* CommunityThreateningConstruction: In the GrandFinale, the entire town is bought out by a Japanese company to build a golf course. Dick is the lone holdout, and the course is built around his inn. Smashed windows from errant golf shots are a daily occurrence. Subverted in that in the penultimate scene all the former townsfolk come back for a reunion and they're all much better off, followed by a GainaxEnding where the whole series is revealed to be AllJustADream by Robert Hartley from ''The Bob Newhart Show''.²* ConsummateLiar: Kirk.²* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: In "Support Your Local Shifflet", the town council is unable to afford Officer Shifflet's request for a raise after approving a traffic light Dick requested, leading Shifflet to go on strike. Eventually, they decide to give Shifflet his raise in exchange for putting in a much-cheaper stop sign instead of a traffic light. Dick says that he doesn't mind, and Jim lampshades this trope.²* CryingWolf: Due to his reputation as a liar, when Kirk's cafe gets robbed, the insurance company does not believe him. Dick compares the whole situation to the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", a story Kirk had not heard or been aware of.²* DeadpanSnarker: Dick, frequently.²* DisproportionateRetribution: In "Presence of Malice", Dick deals with a CausticCritic who's constantly been writing harsh reviews of ''Vermont Today''. Once the critic starts insulting Chester, Jim, and the townspeople in general, Jim remembers that Chester is the mayor and can do something about it, so they decide to make it so that wherever the critic parks his car is an automatic towing zone and legal for people to come into his house to use his phone. But they find Dick's suggestion that they make it against the law to write bad reviews unrealistic.²* TheDitz / DumbBlonde: Stephanie²* DownerEnding: "The Boy Who Cried Goat".²* DreamWithinADream: Thanks to the ending of the series, "A Midseason Night's Dream" is full of these.²* DropInCharacter: Larry and the Darryls.²* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: See ReTool below.²* EccentricTownsfolk: The show runs on this trope.²* ExactWords: In one episode, Kirk talks Dick into co-sponsoring a pee-wee hockey team, telling him to imagine the shirt saying "The Minuteman Cafe" right beside "the Stratford Inn". When he shows a printed uniform, The Minute Man Cafe is written in big bold print, with "right beside the Statford Inn" in very tiny letters below it. Kirk claims it's a mistake. ²** In "My Three Dads", George is upset when he sees promos for the late night news that use "teasers" to get people to watch, which Michael says he came up with. One such promo announced "President dead! Details at eleven!", which turned out to be about Calvin Coolidge as opposed to the current president, and another promo says "Soda contaiminated!", when it's really just a bug being found in a soda can that was left out overnight. ²** In "Still the Beavers", Michael puts out an advertising campaign for George's new lodge. While it does include a few false promises on the grounds that, according to Michael, people expect less, a few of those promises are built on exact words, such as mentioning a color [=TV=] after mentioning door prizes (it doesn't say that a color [=TV=] is a door prize, just that the inn has one), and that members can see the car from ''Night Rider'' (which is in a picture on the wall - which amazes Harley, who expected that to be false).²* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Larry, Darryl and Darryl's first business - "Anything for a Buck". They'll do anything for a buck. If it's something cool like digging up an old witch, er old woman's body from the cellar, they might even pay YOU the buck.²* {{Expy}}: At times Kirk Devane seemed like one for Herb Tarlek of ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati''. That wasn't a coincidence; Steven Kampmann had been a writer for that show and had been instrumental in developing Herb as a character.²* ExtraLongEpisode: According to Bob Newhart's autobiography, the last episode lasted a little longer than 30 minutes because the producers couldn't figure out what to edit without affecting the plot. ²* ExtremeDoormat: As a boss, Dick puts up with a lot that he probably shouldn't, considering the general incompetency and mendacity of his various employees.²* FiveSecondForeshadowing: When the former town residents decide to stay at the hotel indefinitely, Bob finally has enough and decides to leave, before outright shouting that they are all crazy. [[AllJustADream Cue the golf ball.]]²* {{Flanderization}}: This show was never exactly realistic, but by the end it was basically a live action cartoon. The later seasons are far more acclaimed than the earlier ones, making this a rare example of a show ''[[Administrivia/TropesAreTools improved]]'' by flanderization.²* {{Foreshadowing}}: In a last-season episode, Jack Riley, aka ''The Bob Newhart Show'''s Eliot Carlin, shows up as an unnamed man seeking psychiatric help for his deep neuroses. Could another reality have been invading, trying to wake Bob Hartley up?²* GainaxEnding: In "The Last Newhart", a Japanese visitor intends to purchase the entire town and turn it into a golf course, with Dick and Joanna as the lone holdouts. All the townspeople return for one last reunion, and Dick gets frustrated with all the bickering, suddenly exclaiming "You're all crazy!" as he gets hit on the head by a golf ball, and it segues to the bedroom of Robert and Emily Hartley from the 1970's sitcom sitting up in bed, where he dreamed that he was the innkeeper in a small Vermont town with eccentric characters and married to a beautiful blonde; Emily tells him he can't have Japanese food before bedtime anymore.²* YeGoodeOldeDays: Dick is a great history buff and bought the Inn for nostalgia's sake. The Inn is a very tastefully done building with antiques and paintings on display.²-->'''Dick:''' ''[checking in their very first guests]'' Just sign your John Hancock right there ''[looks at the guestbook]'' ... er... right there under John Hancock.²* GrandFinale: "The Last Newhart," one of the most memorable sitcom finales among fans and critics, where we learn that the entire scenario of a [[OnlySaneMan mild-mannered, humble and genial innkeeper and TV show host driven to the brink of a nervous breakdown]] by [[CloudCuckoolander crazy, loony caricatures of the town's residents]] was but a nightmare of Dr. Robert Hartley (of ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow''). ²** The plot of this final show magnifies what the show had been doing progressively over its eight years: A Japanese tycoon buys the (unnamed) town where the Stratford Inn (which protagonists Dick and Joanna Loudon owned) was located, and after a farewell party (with Dick pretty much saying good-riddance), the main characters -- handyman George Uttley, yuppies Michael and Stephanie Harris, and Larry and his brothers Darryl and Darryl -- leave. In the five years that pass, Dick has now been dealing with crazier loons than what populated the inn years earlier, and his wife (as a geisha girl) has even gotten nuts; he's also unable to get over a golf course being built around the inn without his permission. Then, the old folks all come back and drive Dick to the brink of a nervous breakdown. The Darryls speak for the only time in the series' history ("QUIET!!!" to shut their annoying girlfriends up). Finally, things become chaotic as the new Japanese folks become friends with their old counterparts, and Dick can take it no longer; he says he's going to leave, and just as he walks out the door is knocked out by a wayward golf ball. The screen goes black ... and when a light comes back on, the scene shifts to Dr. Hartley's bedroom from ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow'', and his wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette in a cameo of her famous role) scolds him for eating too much Japanese food before bed! (Unlike Bob on ''The Bob Newhart Show'', Dick was psychologically unable to deal with the eccentric folks in his town.) Whew!²** They went to great pains to make sure that the studio audience didn't see the [[RebuiltSet bedroom set]] until they had started filming.²** The actual ending was not in the script. A fake ending was included in case the script were to get leaked to the tabloids, which as it turned out was exactly what happened. In the fake ending, the golf ball that hits Dick apparently kills him, and he goes up to heaven to have a conversation with God. The actor playing God was not revealed in the "script", so the tabloids speculated that it might be [[Creator/GeorgeBurns George Burns]] (who had played God in the ''Film/OhGod'' movies), [[Creator/GeorgeCScott George C. Scott]], or maybe even Newhart's RealLife best friend [[Creator/DonRickles Don Rickles]]. Contrary to some reports, the fake ending was never filmed.²** Possibly a crowning moment of awesome as well is the musical sting from ''The Bob Newhart Show'' that plays when Dr. Hartley and wife [[GoToSleepEnding turn out the lights to go back to bed!]]²** Then, the entire cast came out to perform a final CurtainCall which runs during the episode's closing credits.²* HalloweenEpisode: "Take Me to Your Loudon", in which a costume party at the Stratford is interrupted by the townspeople getting sent into a panic over a nonexistent AlienInvasion due to Michael airing ''Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' on TV.²* HilariousOuttakes: Including one where [[ Newhart accidentally refers to Mary Frann's character Joanna]] as "[[Series/TheBobNewhartShow Emily]]", which Frann immediately catches and makes a huge production out of (sauntering off the stage, taking her bows and pretending as if she's going to leave the set). The audience howled and screamed with laughter.²* HollywoodNewEngland²* IWantYouToMeetAnOldFriendOfMine²* InstrumentalThemeTune: Composed by Music/HenryMancini.²* IronicEcho: In "Reading, Writing, and Rating Points", when Michael's production class confronts him about stealing a show idea from a student, he sheepishly acknowledges that they talked about the idea in class but "when a group of people are brainstorming ideas, who remembers who came up with it?", to which the whole class quickly replies "It was Neil!" But when Michael confesses to his boss, right before the first show ends, the station gets calls from viewers who hated the show, to which Michael quickly [[ScapegoatCreator reminds everyone who the real creator is]], Neil repeats Michael's earlier line, and Michael just as quickly points out "It was Neil!"²* IvyLeagueForEveryone: In season 1, Leslie is attending Dartmouth while working at the Stratford.²* [[Series/TheTonightShow Johnny Carson]]: Pays Larry and the Darryls' gas bill.²-->'''Larry''': Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl. And heeeeeeere's Johnny! ²* LastOfHisKind: When ''Newhart'' premiered in 1982, it was pretty much the only remaining MTM Enterprises production that still aired on former stronghold Creator/{{CBS}}, as the studio shifted most of its product to Creator/{{NBC}} due to company co-founder and president Grant Tinker becoming chairman and CEO there. In addition, it was also pretty much MTM's last major sitcom, as by this time the studio had pretty much shifted its focus to cranking out dramas instead.²* LetThereBeSnow: But Larry, Darryl, and Darryl did a rush job in [[NoodleImplements whatever ritual they did]], so some of the snowflakes looked alike.²* LogoJoke: [[ "Meow."]]²** [[ "QUIET!!"]]²* MissingTheGoodStuff: In one episode, while Dick and Joanna are sick in bed, Dick watches a basketball game, after Joanna remembers hearing about a soap opera having an important episode, she changes the channel right before an impressive shot and in retaliation, Dick changes the channel right before a reveal twist. When Dick learns he missed seeing the shot, he changes the channel back, and it is specifically said in the soap opera that the secret will never be mentioned again.²* MistakenForDying: Subversion.²* MotorMouth: Michael.²* MrFixIt: George.²* MythologyGag: The final scene repeated the first series' RunningGag of "bedside lights on/off".²* NewhartPhonecall: A common gag on the show, given Newhart used it in his stand-up.²** Interestingly in one episode Dick has a phone conversation with one of the Darryls before it was established that they never spoke, even off screen.²* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: The unnamed town is (very loosely) based on Norwich, Vermont, and the Stratford is patterned after the real-life [[ Waybury Inn]] in East Middlebury (which is seen in establishing shots).²* NoodleIncident: In one episode, the reason why one (or both) of the Darryl's don't talk is that one (or both) of them sat on a porcupine and haven't talked since.²* OneSteveLimit: Averted with the two Darryls.²* OnlySaneMan: Dick.²* OvershadowedByAwesome: Both when it was new and in syndication, ''Newhart'' remains stuck in the shadow of ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow''.²* PaperThinDisguise: Averted in "Send Her, Ella", after Stephanie gets stuck watching the Inn while the rest of the staff participates in Maple Syrup Day, wanting to participate in the beauty pageant, Stephanie goes anyway, dressed in a brunette wig and disguising her voice so she won't be recognized, but Dick instantly figures out that it's her.²-->'''Dick''': Stephanie, what are you doing here?!²-->'''Stephanie''': How did you know it was me?²-->'''Dick''': It's because I'm not a moron!²* PoorCommunicationKills: In "You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Hires You", one of the biggest difficulties Dick faces with taking over as producer of Vermont Today is all the paperwork he has to sign. [[spoiler: After Dick sacrifices some of his salary for Michael to get hired back with more pay, Dick says it's worth it to no longer deal with all the paperwork... Only to then learn that the employee who kept handing paperwork to Dick is the one who's supposed to fill the paperwork, having never mentioned it to Dick.]] Could be more a case of YouNeverAsked though no such conversation is shown.²* PrenupBlowup: Stephanie's father wanted Michael to sign a prenup. Stephanie didn't care one way or the other, but when Michael was uncomfortable with signing, Stephanie began to doubt his love for her.²* PrettyInMink: Stephanie had a couple mink jackets.²* PutOnABus: Leslie (after season 1), Kirk (after season 2).²* QuirkyTown²* {{Retool}}: One of the most successful examples. During the second season, the show switched from videotape to film, added Stephanie as a regular, and opened up the show beyond the inn by giving Dick a job hosting a local TV show (which also brought Michael in as a new character). Weak first-season characters Kirk and Leslie were PutOnABus. All these changes helped make the show more popular.²* ReunionShow: Subversion.²* RichBitch: Stephanie.²* SanitySlippage: It could be argued the whole ''world'' suffers this as the series progresses. As already noted, of course, there's a [[AllJustADream reason for this.]]²** More specifically, Dick in the telethon episode described below, thanks to sleep deprivation.²* SeriesContinuityError: One famous running gag was that Daryl and Daryl never spoke, leading to everyone, including Dick, being shocked when they both spoke during the finale. Dick even says to Larry "your brothers can speak, how come they haven't said anything up til' now?" But in S1:E16, "Ricky Nelson, Up My Nose," Dick gets a call from Larry, only for the call to be interrupted by the Daryls, leading Dick to respond with "I'm fine" and "could you put Larry back on please?" Although the audience does not hear them, nonetheless Dick had previously heard the Daryls speak long before the finale.²* ShaggyDogStory: In "Still the Beavers", George quits The Beavers after he gets cheated out of a trip that he earned the chance to go on. George decides to form his own lodge at the inn. The rest of The Beavers show up, and they decide they like this new lodge and leave The Beavers to be part of this one, even after the chairman reminds them that once they quit they can never come back. [[spoiler: When they still decide to quit, the chairman also decides to join George's new lodge. They like the new lodge but become unhappy when Dick tells them he decides when and how long they can hang out, pointing out that they can only stay for another half hour. With the members unhappy about this, they decide they must find a new place to have the meetings - and that the old lodge where they had their Beavers meetings would be great, since it was just abandoned. Then when coming up with a name for the lodge, they decide to call it The Beavers. And when they decide they need a president, they decide to elect the chairman of the old Beavers since he had experience.]]²* ShowWithinAShow: ''Vermont Today''.²* SirNotAppearingInThisTrailer: Kirk is nowhere to be seen on the packaging or discs for the season two DVD (while Michael, who only appeared in two episodes that season, appears on one of the disc photos).²* SlummingIt: Leslie and Stephanie, the former by choice and the latter due to getting "cut off".²%% * TheSmartGuy: Dick, somewhat.²%%* SpoiledBrat: Stephanie, with a little ServileSnarker thrown in.²%%** The finale reveals that her and Michael's daughter has become one as well.²* StalkerWithACrush: Tracy, a college student who is an obsessed fan of Dick's. Michael immediately hires her to be the President of The Dick Loudon Fan Club.²* StatusQuoIsGod: In one episode, Michael becomes producer for the news, and it makes him value more important things and take things more seriously, giving Stephanie gifts that are not as appealing to her and running Vermont Today more to Dick's liking, while in the same episode, George decides to "break up" with his favorite sports team (though that was not a major thing on the show). After things go back to how they were, Joanna notes that everything went back to normal in the end.²** See Shaggy Dog Story for the episode "Still the Beavers".²* StrangeSyntaxSpeaker: Michael Harris typically speaks in rapid-fire alliteration.²* StylisticSuck: Michael develops a truly awful sitcom called ''Seein' Double'', best described as ''Series/ThePattyDukeShow'' meets ''Series/ThreesCompany''. We get to see footage from the "pilot", and it is atrocious. Stephanie plays twin sisters Jody and Judy, achieved by having one sister with her back to the camera in every scene (except for one, which instead features mismatched split-screen effects). The acting is universally over the top except for Dick, who is contractually obligated to play Jody and Judy's father, and doesn't even try to hide how little he wants to be there. The plot revolves around contrived misunderstandings that make even the worst ''Series/ThreesCompany'' episode look like a masterpiece of farce. Fortunately for all involved, the pilot does not make it to series.²* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Averted with Stephanie, who shares Leslie's background as a rich girl SlummingIt, but is a RichBitch who carries a lot of the comedy, while Leslie was [[TheGenericGuy blander]]. ²* SweaterGirl: Joanna. Lampshaded in the AllJustADream finale noted above, when Bob says to his "real" wife Emily, "You know, you really should wear more sweaters."²* {{Telethon}}: In one episode Michael convinces Dick into hosting a 72 hour telethon for the station ... even though it's a commercial station.²* ThanksgivingEpisode: "Don't Rain on My Parade" (season 2), "Thanksgiving for the Memories" (season 5)²* TheyDo: Stephanie and Michael marry and have a kid.²* TimeSkip / WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue / DistantFinale: Employed, subverted, and inverted in the final episode.²* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: "Tell a Lie, Get a Check" ends with Kirk's cafe being sold to Larry, Darryl, and Darryl, which appears to be meant as a surprise. In addition to becoming a LateArrivalSpoiler, a print ad for the episode [[AdvertisedExtra prominently features the trio]] with the caption "who would be dumb enough to buy Kirk's cafe?"²* TwistEnding: {{Parodied| Trope}}, in one of the all-time great TV moments.²* UngratefulBastard: In "You're Nobody Until Somebody Hires You", after seeing Michael become a mess after being fired (and his new duties as producer being more difficult than expected), Dick helps Michael get his old job back. Bev only offers him his old job and salary back, but Michael uses Dick's need for Michael to be the producer again to get the raise he had wanted that got him fired in the first place (and when Bev says there's no money in the budget and asks if they're supposed to take it out of Dick's salary, Michael doesn't think that's such a bad idea).²%% * ValentinesDayEpisode: "Once I Had a Secret Love"²* VetinariJobSecurity: ²** In "You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Hires You", Michael gets fired after making some demands and Dick gets promoted to producer of Vermont Today as a result. However, the job is harder than Dick expected (especially with that crew), making him want Michael back as the producer, to the point where Dick's willing to take a pay cut so the station can meet Michael's demands. Notably, Dick initially doubts he could do the job, only for Bev, the one who offered him the job, to point out it's easy because Michael was able to do it.²** When Stephanie leaves The Stratford to become WPIV's receptionist, Joanna struggles to find a replacement maid. Despite her flaws, Dick is happy to take her back with a raise after WPIV fires her. ²** The opposite occurs in another episode where Michael goes out of town for awhile and puts the secretary in charge of producing, expecting her to do badly. But she ends up being better at the job, and picking guests that Dick wants on the show. The station considers replacing Michael with her, but decides to let Dick decide which one he'd rather have as producer. While Dick feels bad about not letting Michael stay as producer, he ends up letting the secretary stay as producer. [[spoiler:But she ends up accepting a job elsewhere.]]²* VillainyFreeVillain: The critic in "Pressence of Malice" who constantly gives ''Vermont Today'', and Dick Loudon in general, negative reviews because he's "paid to hate", and the show opens up amounts of hate for him that he hadn't previously known he had. While Dick has a right to be unhappy, it is the critics job to voice his opinion, good or bad, and Dick does point this out a few times. However, the critic becomes interested in continuing to give the show harmful reviews until it's canceled, and later draws the line when realizing the town is full of idiots and considers doing a regular feature where he insults the town. [[spoiler: Too bad when he announces this that he didn't realize he was in the same room as the mayor and enough city council members....]]²* TheVoiceless: Larry's brothers Darryl and Darryl, [[SuddenlySpeaking save for one moment]] in the grand finale.²* WhamLine: "'''''QUIET!'''''"²* WhamShot: From the finale: after Bob is knocked unconscious by a stray golf ball, we fade to black... and then we hear Bob say "Ow!", and then [[Series/TheBobNewhartShow turn on his bedside lamp]]... And if you didn't get it yet, [[BedmateReveal his wife sits up...]]²* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: The town in which the series takes place is never specified, with some media sources identifying it as Norwich, VT, across the Connecticut River from New Hampshire, with Vermonters complaining that the opening scenes are of New Hampshire instead of Vermont, and filming locations taking place at the Waybury Inn in East Middlebury, VT [[ according to the Internet Movie Database]]. Throughout the series, the name of the community [[CityWithNoName is never mentioned]].²* WhosWatchingTheStore: There were a number of times when everybody who worked at the Stratford Inn were away from the inn, and many times when Minuteman Cafe owners Kirk or Larry, Darryl, and Darryl were away from the cafe, with no additional staff. Subverted a bit in that before Larry, Darryl, and Darryl bought the cafe Kirk had them look after the cafe on two occasions.²** In one episode Kirk ends his business with Dick then shouts out to customers screaming in his restaurant "Oh, settle down,'s just a little smoke!"²** In "Send Her Ella", Stephanie agrees to watch the inn while the rest attend a local event she's initially not interested in attending until she learns there's a beauty pageant included, but by then Dick and Joanna won't let her go because she already promised to watch the inn. A guest eventually decides to watch the place for her. [[spoiler: The inn ends up getting robbed as a result.]]²* WorkCom: With the twist that the Loudons' place of business also happened to be their home. Once Dick started hosting ''Vermont Today'', much of the show took place behind the scenes at the TV station.²²----²->'''Bob:''' Well, I was an innkeeper in this crazy little town in Vermont. Nothing made sense in this place. I mean, the maid was an heiress. Her husband talked in alliteration. The handyman kept missing the point of things. And then there were these three woodsmen, but only one of them talked.\²'''Emily:''' That settles it. [[AcidRefluxNightmare No more Japanese food before you go to bed.]]²²----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: