Follow TV Tropes


Awesome / Night Court

Go To

  • In the first episode, a delivery man doesn't believe the very young-looking Harry is a judge. Harry retorts, "If I weren't the judge, could I do this?" and discharges a gag rifle that shoots seemingly-endless spring snakes over everyone else in the room. Harry then adds: "...In his office?"
  • Dan had a great one in "Constitution, Part 2". Roz, who was recently diagnosed as Diabetic, has gone into shock and is hallucinating that she's a little girl again. This is made more problematic by her standing on a roof-ledge while crying about how her father used to wake her up after he got off the late-shift at work and fixed her an ice-cream cone and how she'll never be able to think about him while having ice cream ever again. After failing to talk her down and taking two punches to the face and a Groin Attack trying to grapple her, Dan finally talks Roz down by pretending to be her father and offering to fix her an ice cream cone.
  • Advertisement:
  • The gang are trying to break a record by doing all their cases by midnight. They're just a minute away with the last defendant up for felony drunk driving, which Harry figures they can turn over to the grand jury. However, the guy has heard that anyone not heard before midnight goes free so he refuses to waive the reading of the information, meaning they would have to recite roughly three pages of police notes. The gang groan about it but Dan (who wants out to meet a hot lady) grabs the folder and proceeds to read the entire report in just thirty seconds. Note how he finishes with twenty seconds before midnight but by the time the audience is through cheering, the time is almost up. Everyone just gapes in shock at Dan's Motor Mouth delivery so he has to yell at Harry "My God, man, GAVEL!"
  • Nearly everyone on the cast gets one in "It's Just a Joke", in which Politically Incorrect Comedian Monte "Potty Man" Potter tries to score free publicity for his act by staging a First Amendment Battle over his right to Free Speech in Harry's court with a televangelist accomplice fanning the flames of censorship to increase donations to his church. After opening by getting the evangelist to admit that he doesn't have a church, just a "very large" PO box, and threatening to expose him to the press if he ever tries another money-grubbing publicity stunt in his court, Harry winds up turning the tables on Potty Man by arranging for the comedian to perform his act in front of the courtroom and...
    • Christine tells the guy off and leaves after the first joke (a sexist one-liner about how to stop an overweight woman from attacking you).
    • Advertisement:
    • Lizette, the mousy court stenographer whose major defining characteristic was not standing up for herself, actually stands up to the comedian when he tells a joke about women being hurt, saying "Violence isn't funny, it's sick."
    • Roz's response to the quip about how the large number of African Americans in the audience suggests "they need more security around here". "Actually, I AM security around here."
    • Former soldier Mac and his understated punchline to the joke "What do you call an African American man in a uniform?" "A Veteran?"
    • Even blind vendor Jack - who was only on the show during Season 8 - gets one after the comedian makes a crack about a blind man stealing his job because it was "Hire the Handicapped Week" and Jack laughs.
      Potter: (defensively) Aha! See! See, it's funny! The blind guy laughed!
      Jack: Yeah, I was just wondering if you look as stupid as you sound!
    • Advertisement:
    • Potter argues that Harry just pulled these people off the street and that "These people aren't real Potty Man fans!" Harry retorts that these people were standing in line for tickets to his show to see what all the fuss was about, thus exposing Potty Man as the money-grabbing fraud he really is.
    • When Potter's idea of a parting shot at Harry is a trite Your Mom joke, Dan, who has been defending the comedian's style of humor as satire throughout the episode, finally has enough and tells the guy off when he realizes that he honestly believes the backward things he is saying. This leads to a Funny Moment and one of the few occasions when Dan was ever at a loss for words after the comedian - unable to think of any other comeback - accuses Dan of being gay, saying he bets he likes show tunes. A muscular audience member stands up and says he likes show tunes... and he doesn't like Potter, whereupon Potter flees with the man in hot pursuit.
  • In "Top Judge", Harry gets into a duel with a younger prankster judge. In perhaps his most Crazy Awesome moment ever, Harry wins the duel after pretending to concede the fight, giving the younger judge his best silk robe (the prize he demanded if he won) and winds up trapping the younger judge inside a giant balloon he had rigged up to inflate by remote control, filling the courtroom.
    Harry: Cleaver, you may be younger. You may be faster. You may even be smarter. But you will NEVER, EVER, be crazier, [pulls out an awl to puncture the balloon he's trapped him with and gets an absolutely crazed look on his face] ... than me.
    • The prank the young judge pulls on Harry isn't bad either. The courtroom waits for his prank to strike at the time he said would happen. When it doesn't, Harry calls for a recess... and the pounding of the gavel causes his entire bench to collapse.
    • Ah, but Harry knew it was coming, and knew his rival's ego would get baited with that particular silk robe...
  • In "Bringing Down Baby" the courtroom is used as the set for a TV show about a kid lawyer that the gang likes. However, they soon discover the kid is nothing more than a massive brat who throws his weight around to the point where a chief bailiff is telling Roz to just humor him. Roz openly tells the kid's mom she needs to control him. She finally snaps and berates the kid as an obnoxious brat no one likes. The kid demands that she be fired but the kid's mom finally stands up to him, telling him to shut up and it's time to change his attitude. As she marches off, Roz asks her superior about being on report.
    Roz: 24th General Order for a Bailiff.
    Superior: There are only 23.
    Roz: There are 24 now. The new one is "Don't Mess with Roz."
  • In "No Hard Feelings", Dan turns the tables on an aggressive lawyer with a big-name law firm, who only wanted to hire him because of his reported prowess of a lover and not because of his skill as a lawyer. This offended Dan because Even Evil Has Standards and while Dan has no qualms about sleeping with a colleague or even a boss, he does not play games with the law and takes his job as a lawyer seriously. So he slept with the lawyer, gave her the greatest night of passion in her life... and then turned down the job after giving her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, making it clear he had no interest in being a "high-price office gigolo".
    Dan: When you think of this night... and you will... suffer.
  • Dan saves a girl's life by performing an emergency appendectomy (getting instructions from an experienced doctor whose hands were broken) in "Danny Got His Gun Pt. 2".
  • In "The Game Show", Bull competes on a game show to raise money for the after-school program he works with in his spare time. After Dan's attempt to hypnotize Bull into remaining calm under pressure fails, Bull rallies in the second round to come within striking distance of the lead. In the final round, despite having to face a ticking time-clock (his biggest fear), Bull has a moment of inspiration while wiping his brow and comes up with the correct answer to the final question - human sweat! Bull manages to overcome his fears, save the day and he does it all on his own.
  • In "Snoop and Nuts, Part 2", Buddy taps into his primordial fatherhood instincts and orders a smart-mouthed Harry - still bitter over Buddy having kept the fact that he was Harry's biological father a secret - to "sit your butt down and don't give me any more of your lip!" Even Buddy is amazed and wonders where THAT came from.
  • Roz pieing the official in "Her Honor Pt 2" after the group learns that she was the one who kept Harry from being re-appointed as a judge just because she didn't like the way he ran his court (for the pettiest of reasons, because he talks to criminals brought in rather than just sentence them right away). The way it played out is brilliant, the official gets in a haughty last word to Harry and makes to leave. Roz, holding a cake meant for Harry, turns it sideways just as she's reaching the door causing her to walk right into it.
  • Dan gets a Magnificent Bastard moment in one episode. One of the defendants in the court runs a business where, for $100 a pop, he'll hit someone in the face with a pie. Near the end of the episode, he nails Dan, and a laughing Florence says it was worth every penny. But then Harry says Florence doesn't need to cover for him - he hired the pie thrower. Christine says Harry doesn't need to cover for her... and Mac says they don't need to cover for him. Dan reveals that it was, in fact, all of them. Realizing that none of his friends could resist the chance to hit him with a pie, Dan told the pie assailant in advance that if he only hit him with one pie and forked over the extra cash, then Dan wouldn't sue him. As he wipes pie crust out of his eyes, he gloats that he's finally taken advantage "of being me" and goes off to buy a suede blazer from Brooks Brothers with the money.
  • Bull, Harry and Christine ousting a sexually harassing judge (played by Family Ties' Michael Gross) in "Caught Red Handed".
    Thursby: Hey... no female talks to me like that. I'll go where I want to go, when I'm damn good and ready!
    [Bull knocks the door off its hinges]


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: