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    Samuel "Sam" "Mayday" Malone 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sam_malone.jpg

Played by: Ted Danson

Former relief-pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and also a recovering alcoholic. Sam bought the bar during his alcoholism and kept running it since. He's in love with Diane and can't admit it.

  • Addiction Displacement: Sex seems to have mostly replaced alcohol (and in later seasons he even seeks help for that), and he also has a subtle coffee addiction. Not to mention his incredibly co-dependent relationship with Diane.
  • The Alcoholic: A recovering one. When asked what happened to his baseball career, he says, "Elbow trouble. Bent it too often." Sharp eyes will notice Sam will often have a bottled water or seltzer in his hand.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: In "Bar Bet", he almost loses the bar when he falls off the wagon and makes a drunken bet to marry Jacqueline Bisset within one year. Diane brings up the fact it's not enforceable, but Sam wants to keep it quiet because he's ashamed of getting drunk again.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Lampshaded and Discussed often as a major reason for why he's such a success with the ladies. Lilith invites him to appear on a television show to promote a book she's written about the phenomenon.
  • Always Second Best: To his brother, who is naturally never shown onscreen but said to be more handsome, more popular, and generally better in every way. Later, to John Allen Hill.
  • All Men Are Perverts: At least on the outside.
  • At Least I Admit It: Part of his conflict with Diane is he knows how shallow he is and refuses to hide it like she does.
  • The Bartender: It's his profession, and he has a congenial personality to match.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He spends most of season 1 trying to get into bed with Diane. At the end of the season they finally admit their attraction for one another, but soon after the relationship turns into a long game of Will They or Won't They?
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Diane.
  • Benevolent Boss: Friendly with most of his employees and generous with pay, giving Carla a raise whenever she got pregnant, for example. He also lets them get away with a lot without firing them. In fact, late on in the show it's suggested part of the reason Cheers does so poorly financially is because Sam is too benevolent, and if he were able to crack the metaphorical whip a bit harder, he'd make more money.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Harbours a deep hatred for both mimes and barbershop quartets for some strange reason.
    • Don't ever mistreat his Stingray. He will end you.
  • Broken Ace: Sam was a star baseball player in his heyday, and only missed out on national fame by dropping out of the team too early—but the extreme pressure to do well drove him to alcoholism. As the proprietor of Cheers, he's lauded for his many romantic flings and treated as the guy every man there wants to be—but again, the pressure to maintain his masculinity in such a way drives him to being an unhappy sex addict, and he ends up needing therapy for it.
  • Byronic Hero: Most apparent throughout the Diane era, especially in Seasons Two (his constant angsting and inner conflict regarding his feelings for Diane) and Three (his recovery from the traumatic aftermath of their breakup)—but hints of this pop up throughout the show, one way or another.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: To Diane—much to her delight. She understands.
  • Carpet of Virility: Much to the delight of female fans he's got hair on his chest.
  • The Casanova: Generally this, although he does have certain standards—like never messing around with married women. Deconstructed when Diane uses him for a term paper as an example of Don Juanism - and Sam is dismayed to learn that he has a real sickness. It doesn't come up again til very late in the series.
  • The Charmer: Zig-zags with The Casanova. He as a rule knows his limits with Diane, any of Diane's female friends, and with Rebecca.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: For all his ladykilling ways, he's very protective of the women in his life, whether friends (Carla), lovers, or both (Diane).
    • In a beautiful (and beautifully understated) moment of chivalry, he protects Diane in "Personal Business", when she is struck with a moment of temptation to forget her would-be employer's less-than-noble overtures upon hearing his most generous offer. Sam gives her a very pointed Look and a hint of a head-shake. Diane snaps out of it.
    • As early as Season One, in "Friends, Romans, and Accountants", Sam makes it a point to covertly water down Diane's drinks so she'll be sober enough to resist Norman's boss, should he try and take advantage of her. Needless to say, the man does try.
    • Later in the series, when Diane's offered another job as a teacher's assistant, Sam warns her to be careful, fearful as he is of the professor treating her like Sumner Sloan did. In this case, though, it causes poor Diane to feel paranoid during her interview, leading to a serious misunderstanding...and her not getting the job.
    • Much later in the show, when Sam discovers that Robin Colcord is seeing other women while dating Rebecca, he makes it a point to warn her, despite Colcord's attempt to bribe him out of it with a golden opportunity to get back the bar. The worst part: Rebecca quickly forgives Colcord and chooses instead to view the other women as worthy opponents.
    • They also make it clear that Sam has plenty of lines he won't cross, such as never going after a woman who's married.
  • Commitment Issues: In Season Four's "Don Juan Is Hell", Diane briefly implies she suspects Sam might have a Freudian Excuse for this. Season Five's "One Last Fling" seems to imply that he's overcome this with Diane, by then. (Indeed, that seems to be the entire point of the episode....) After she leaves in the season finale, though, he's effectively back to his old problems. This even extends to Frasier's spinoff series, where he breaks up with another woman he wanted to marry.
  • Cool Car: His red 1967 Corvette Stingray. In last-season episode "Love Me, Love My Car" Sam dates the widow of the man who bought the car in an effort to get it back.
  • Determinator: His iron-willed resistance to returning to drink—even though he's running a bar.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Season 5's "I Do, Adieu." Later again in the series finale.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: If a pretty woman walks into the bar it can be assured Sam will immediately drop whatever he was doing and make her the focus of his attention.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Many examples, from and to Sam, but the biggest subversion is when Sam tries to date a psychologist friend of Frasier's. She dresses him down as a supremely pathetic, shallow womanizer with no thoughts or dreams beyond immediate sex, and will never find happiness or a partner in old age. She's still willing to have a one night stand, however. When an incredulous Sam asks why, she admits that since he's a shallow womanizer with no thoughts or dreams beyond immediate sex, he must be really good at it. Sam is less than amused.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!:
    • He alternates on this. Generally, if he thinks he can use it to get laid, he'll be all for it, but if it's for non-sex reasons, he's offended and hurt.
    • His reaction in "Take My Shirt, Please" when he finds out the only bid for his old baseball jersey...was made by Diane. It's a bit of a Berserk Button.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Sam loves doing this. Of course, he prefers to go further with the gal, but at times looking's enough.
  • Entitled to Have You: A variant in his dealings with Rebecca, through most of season 6 and 7, where he spends a lot of time pulling incredibly skeezy moves to try and seduce her, to which Rebecca is entirely unreceptive. Sam is absolutely baffled by the idea she doesn't want to have sex with him, even asking her why at one point.
  • Expy: Of Jim Lonborg. The photo of Sam pitching behind the bar is Lonborg, and Sam even wore Lonborg's number.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Draws the line at married women.
  • Extreme Libido: In the final season, he realizes he's a sex addict and starts going to meetings.
  • Glory Days: Sam always rambles on about those he had in baseball, to get laid, get free stuff, or get laid some more.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: And in his case, revels in it.
  • Go-to Alias: "Lance Manyon" and "Honeyboy Wilson", according to Diane in "Dark Imaginings."
  • Informed Flaw: Diane and Rebecca love to make jokes about Sam being dumb, which comes off as rather unusual since he's one of the smarter people in the bat. Sam dropped out of high school and possesses simple tastes (Baseball, slapstick comedy, childish pranks) but he's been successfully running a small business for years and is much more savvy than the girls in many areas. If you listened to the two of them, you'd think he was much dumber than Coach or Woody.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A notorious ladykiller and likes to engage in mean-natured ribbing, particularly to Diane. But he's also very dedicated to making his bar a place where everyone can feel welcome and highly protective of his friends when they need him.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: Quite often—much to the delight of the guys:
    "Samm-Y! Samm-Y! Samm-Y!"
    • But to the utter dismay of Coach, because he's also fallen off the wagon. Hard.
  • Ladykiller in Love: His main conflict with Diane.
  • The Leader: His real role at Cheers. In fact, Nicholas Colasanto told Ted Danson that he was the leader of the group, so he should play his character that way. Danson wistfully recalled that after Nick's death in the bonus content of the first season DVD set.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: As long as she's pretty (and unmarried) he'll go out with pretty much any woman, even ones that have insulted and belittled him in the past. He's actually well liked in the bar because of it.
  • Love Redeems: He repeatedly admits to Diane—and occasionally someone else—that knowing that she cares for him has encouraged him to be more and more concerned with "doing the right thing"—presumably to be "worthy" of her....
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Always portrayed as being into sex with random women, even when the situation causes him distress, such as when his advertising agent used him for sex and dumped his career when he broke it off—he almost kept it up just at the suggestion of sex later, even though that exact thing was what he had been complaining about to Diane.
  • Manchild: Basically his other major trait besides his skill with the ladies. He's in his 30s at the beginning of the series and his 40s by the time it ends, but still has prank wars with other bars. Lampshaded and Discussed openly by Diane—eagerly and often! In "Dark Imagingings", Sam realizes that for all his Manchild tendencies, he's still getting older - and has nothing to show for it. A fellow patient's daughter's "Sir" drives it home.
  • Men Are Uncultured: So naturally he falls for a brainy, book-smart, naive girl.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Since quitting drinking his beverage of choice has become coffee, and his cup is never far away. Downplayed in that he also constantly holds a bottle of seltzer as well.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Despite his typical lady-killing ways, Sam often noticeably balks at the idea of Diane having a "casual" sex life—coming to a head in the climax of "One Last Fling", when he gives an amusingly Diane-like speech—to Diane—on the importance of romance and commitment, when he thinks she's been "out all night".
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Sam can detect when a ravishing woman has entered the bar. When one particular sexy woman enters, Carla counts down from 5. Sam emerges a few seconds after zero, demanding, "Okay, where is she?" Carla muses that Sam may be getting older but he still has it; Sam retorts that his radar was hampered by being in the wine cellar.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Sam considers his hair his best feature. He even has it insured.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: When Diane enters Pollyanna mode in the first half of Season 5, and basically semi-chases him to no end while teasing him with wedding plans...Sam is nearly driven insane with frustration.
  • One Head Taller: Over six feet. As Diane noted once, he looks even taller because of his slightly thin build. Almost leads to Huge Guy, Tiny Girl with the 5'6" Diane—when she's not wearing high-heels, anyway. He is a platonic version of Huge Guy, Tiny Girl with Carla, as she's 5'0" and he's 6'1" or so.
  • One True Love: Diane...much as he struggles to deny it.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: One of the bigger problems in his and Diane's relationship. Sam will often say something which will inevitably set off Diane's Drama Queen tendencies, and his attempts to cover himself or explain what he meant only make the situation worse.
  • Phrase Catcher: Diane's affectionately amused "Oh, Sam..." whenever he says/does something particularly cute in her presence. Conversely, he catches a shocked and dismayed "How could you?!" from her, too.
  • Piss Take Rap: Did one of these during his brief stint as a sportscaster. Could also count as Stylistic Suck, as it was about as awful as one might expect.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Carla.
  • Rated M for Manly: The reason the male patrons look up to him as their inspiration.
  • Really Gets Around: All the bars patrons love him for it. Even Carla. This ends up being deconstructed in later seasons, where Frasier advises him to seek counseling for it and he admits in a group session that his obsession with sex has ruined his chances of having any long term romantic relationships, and that it doesn't even make him happy anymore. Sam Malone is a recovered alcoholic who is also a professional bartender. He replaced alcoholism with a caffeine addiction. In an early Season 1 episode, Sam declares there are three types of women he will not have sex with: married, underage, and comatose. Norm notes he added one.
  • Recovered Addict: A recovering alcoholic.
  • Red Baron: "Mayday," from his days as a relief-pitcher.
  • Serious Business: There are two things Sam takes deadly seriously: his car and his hair. He has pictures of his car in his wallet and carries around more hair product than a stylist.
  • Sexy Man, Instant Harem: At times. Much to the delight of himself—and the guys. (See: entry on A Lady on Each Arm)
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: He even slaps Diane on the rear with a ping pong paddle once, after she pulls an I Surrender, Suckers on him in "King Of The Hill". (It happens off-screen—Smash to Black with the sound, and Diane's yelp.)
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He often has to re-learn that his celebrity status is not what it used to be.
  • STD Immunity: Apparently, the writers had briefly considered a storyline involving Sam angsting over whether or not an STD would result from a certain tryst. They ultimately decided against it, though we did get an episode where he freaks out over the possibility that he got a woman pregnant. (Carla is not sympathetic, chortling, "Looks like Sammy finally got caught with his hand in the cookie jar!) In that episode, Sam says from now on, he'll drop by the drugstore (for condoms).
  • Straight Man: Frequently serves as one to Diane in season 5. Yes, Sam is the sensible one. This should tell you how nuts Diane starts acting.
  • Terrible Pick-Up Lines: Sam Malone relentlessly hits on women with terrible pickup lines. While Rebecca was disgusted by Sam using them on her, Diane was more amused by the dumb women who fell for Sam's pick-up lines... often to immediately be swooned by Sam, who was only using them to prove she was no better.
  • Watch the Paint Job: His beloved Corvette, which Sam is highly protective of. He treats it with more care and respect than he tends to treat anything else, and goes a little nutty trying to get it back after selling it to restore the bar.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: As he admits to Diane in Season 3's "King Of The Hill", his dad was such a perfectionist that nothing Sam could do would ever please him. Diane speculates that that is what's led to Sam's competitive nature...before noting that she was a bit of a Daddy's Girl (see: below).
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Often, with Diane.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Sam's best days in baseball are long behind him, and it's hinted plenty of times that even when he was sober, he wasn't much to write home about either.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Mostly in retaliation. Diane learned that first hand.
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    Diane Chambers 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/diane_chambers.jpg

Played by: Shelley Long

Graduate student whose fiancé dumped her at Cheers the night where they were supposed to be married. Worked as a waitress in Cheers for five seasons.

  • Ad Hominem: Some of her insults to Sam about his intellect go along these lines. Sam will point something out, and Diane's response can be summed up as "you're dumb." Not even "you're wrong, and you're dumb." Case in point, during "Diane's Allergy", when Sam suggests her allergy is a psychosomatic response to her insecurity over her relationship with Frasier, Diane shoots back that this a very impressive thing to say for a man who has to label his shoes left and right (Sam, by the way, is right).
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Strongly implied to have been one as a girl, reading The New York Times faithfully and so on. Her mother gave her a copy of Being And Nothingness when Diane was young, too.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Diane often tries her best to verbally avert this trope—convincing few around her. When she tells Cliff in "Cliffie's Big Score" that women as a rule prefer "sweet and vulnerable" guys, Cliff isn't too reassured, leading to this exchange:
    Cliff: Then, uh, how come Sammy always scores?
    Diane: (Dreamily blurts out) Because he's gorgeous. (Beat) I-I mean...he has low standards—he'll go out with any floozie who comes down the pike!
    • Interestingly enough, when Frasier starts to show some "bad-boy" tendencies in "The Heart Is A Lonely Snipehunter", Diane is quite turned on....
    Frasier: Well, that's what it's there for, baby...!
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?: The reason for Diane's reluctance, when mulling over whether to start/rekindle her romance with Sam. Sam throws it back in her face, saying the only reason she returned to Cheers was because she was hot for him, pointing out if she hates the job, and the only thing Sam has going for him is his looks, what other reason could there be?
  • The Atoner : In the Season 4 premiere, we find out Diane has been spending her days working at a convent, to atone for some debauchery in Italy after she left Frasier.
  • Badass Adorable: Her Waif-Fu moment in "Sam At Eleven" (see below). The bowling alley comes to mind, too. Even Carla cheers her on!
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Sam. Deconstructed—it gets downright dark between the two of them by the end of Season Two, to the point where both end up running like the wind from their relationship.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Frasier. Both are sarcastic intellectuals with a tendency towards pompous melodrama, but who are fundamentally good people underneath that. The major difference is Frasier is much more capable of letting his hair down and joining in with the insanity at Cheers.
  • Break the Cutie: She goes through a lot of these, often overlapping with her Break the Haughty moments (see: below). For all her stuffiness, Diane also has an innocence and honesty that naturally sets her up for this sort of thing. They do manage to break her, in a big way, in "Diane Chambers Day". She doesn't come back to work the next day because she can't stop crying. However, the gang manage to make her feel like she belongs by taking her to the opera (well, not Carla, but that's her gift to Diane - not coming. Diane thanks her.)
  • Break the Haughty:
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Diane is so pretentious when a British marriage counsellor (John Cleese) pops by Cheers, she adopts a bad Brit accent herself - though only while in the bar.
    Sam: Hey, what's with this English accent? Ever since he walked in here, you've been talking like the Queen was your Aunt Betty or something.
    Diane: Oh, tosh! What twaddle.
  • But I Would Really Enjoy It: She and Sam have a sort-of agreement to try out being Better as Friends throughout Season 4. This doesn't keep Diane from admitting this trope (sometimes even out loud), whenever they flirt....
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Her ego gets deflated regularly courtesy of cutting remarks from bar patrons.
      Diane: You know, Sam—if I'm to serve both as a waitress and the butt of jokes, I think I should make more money.
    • To her credit, we find out in "Suspicion" that, in her heart, she actually looks forward to the jokes at her expense, as it actually means that, in her own way, she's one of the gang.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Very early on, Carla tells Diane an outrageous lie and makes her swear to keep it secret. Diane can't keep it in longer than five minutes after she comes into work the next day. Which Carla expected and counted on. She does it again when called up for jury duty in season 5, coming into work beaming about the case, and absolutely bursting at the seams with the desire to tell someone, anyone, eventually telling random customers when none of the gang cares.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: A major problem in her and Sam's relationship. Together, they're miserable, nigh-constantly bickering, and in Diane's case convinced Sam will drag her down to mediocrity. Apart... they're also miserable. Diane is much more unwilling to admit or acknowledge this than Sam.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Assuming Diane cannot deflect or ignore it, she doesn't take criticism well. Pouting might follow, or a flowery rejoinder, or if it's Sam, another rant.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: In "Diane Meets Mom", she attempts to make jokes to lighten things up between herself and Hester Crane. To say it is a spectacular failure would be an understatement. Probably because Diane's idea of a joke involves saying she'll have Hester committed, or stuffed, while Sam desperately tries to signal for her to stop.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Her affectionately amused "Oh, Sam...."
    • To a lesser extent, her teary-voiced "How could you?!" Again typically said to Sam, and usually signals her entering Drama Queen mode.
  • Character Filibuster: Diane is notorious for launching into tangents without a second thought. Bonus points for when she's only half-awake....
  • Character Tic:
    • Poor Diane has a twitch in her cheek, which makes her look kinda like she's fighting a smirk. It appears a few times in Season 1 whenever she becomes extremely self-conscious. We rarely, if ever, see it again until her appearance on Frasierin a sequence that plays it up for all it's worth.
    • She also has a very distinctive laugh she breaks out on occasion which sounds A: forced as Hell, and B: like she might be about to break into tears at the same time (which Carla comments on at one point, and actually does segue into a full-on meltdown when she shows up in Frasier).
  • The Chick: Her central purpose among the gang, aside from her romances with Sam and Frasier.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Sometimes, she crosses the line into this territory—such as when she joins in the football betting pool and with a straight face picks winners based on uniform colors, mascots, state flowers, and foreign-born conductors. (For some strange reason, it actually seems to work for her!)
  • Comically Missing the Point: In a different sense than Coach or Woody, but it's there.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Not normally, but when Diane gets excited... hoo, boy. Case in point, when she gets informed she's won a barmaid competition, and the grand prize is a free trip to Bermuda, she begins shrieking like a madwoman.
  • Daddy's Girl: Claims in "King Of The Hill" to have been one, in contrast to Sam's account of his overly-critical parents.
    "My father built me an elaborate rec room when I was a child." (Sweet smile) "My daddy liked me!"
    • According to her (in "Little Sister Don't Cha"), he even had a pet name for her ("Muffin", "Because I was so sweet and toasty....")
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her parents argued so frequently and so viciously that, the night they broke up, Diane seriously considered drowning herself at the age of twelve.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Holds her own pretty well against Sam and Carla, when she's not trying to correct them on the basic points of their quipsor the wording.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: One of the central sources of angst for her that doesn't involve her romance with Sam—and the reason for her major Heroic BSoD in "Everyone Imitates Art". Diane strives to find some sort of career to channel her creative passions—and one way or another, keeps failing until the Season 5 finale.
  • Devoted to You: Even after Season 5, neither Sam nor Frasier ever seem able to get over their feelings for her. The implications of their respective feelings, and how they deal with them, naturally differs. She has her own "permanent basis" feelings for Sam, too, of course.
  • Disapproving Look: A lot, usually when someone—usually Sam—seems to be (often deliberately) Comically Missing the Point.
    Sam: (On their false romantic account) Okay...we went out for Chinese, told each other you-know-what—
    Diane: (Rolls eyes; Look)
    Sam: Then we went back to my place and tore one off.
    Diane: (Slumps; Facepalm)
  • Distracted by the Sexy: An occasional running gag has her telling Sam that she's above such things as falling for mere physical attractiveness—only to find herself helpless at the sight of an extremely handsome guy.
    Diane: (On going out with a student) I know, I shouldn't even be considering it, but—when I look at him, I...consider it!"
    Sam: Excuse me, but what happened to the woman who said "It's the inner man who counts"...?
    Carla: (super-dreamily) So did this one....
  • The Ditherer: When Diane has her mind made up, she has her mind made up. When she doesn't... such as when faced with making an actual, permanent commitment to Sam or Frasier, she still vacillates over whether she wants to be with them, and her usual response is to flee. Seems to be of the "too many trees" approach, since Sam calls her on over-analysing everything at one point. Which Diane takes about as well as can be expected.
  • Ditzy Genius: Diane is well-educated, and can quote any philosopher you want, but even after extensive training isn't the most efficient waitress (though she has on occasion shown improvement on this)—and her try at running the bar ("Pick A Con, Any Con") shows her as pretty comically helpless. In general, actually, her basic innocence in the ways of the world constantly gets her into a lot of trouble, so that she tends to need the more streetwise Sam to help her recover.
  • Drama Queen: She's such a little girl at heart—which remains apparent even as far forward as her appearance in Frasier. While it's a significant part of her charm, it's also caused poor Sam in particular (and often Frasier) no small amount of headaches. She often makes a big deal over little things, at times driven to angry tears while ranting about how disgracefully someone's just acted.
    • Classic example: her reaction to Sam referring to her (not by name—not that that apparently matters...) as a "love bunny" during an interview on the radio, in Season 4's "Love Thy Neighbor". After Sam finishes:
    Diane: (SMACKS counter) Love...bunny?!?
    Sam: (frowns) What's wrong with that? I—
    Diane: (BOLTS up; teary-eyed) How dare you callously and cruelly lump me in with the other—conglomeration of TWINKIES that constitutes your—sexual PAST?!? (Storms off)
    "How could you? After all we've been through...! What we had together was real—and special—and now you've...cheapened it for—all eternity—by broadcasting to the entire Boston Metropolitan Area!—that I was...nothing but—an odelisk! In your...seraglio!"
    • Later, after she forgives him, Sam calls her a "love bunny" again - she enjoys it that time.
  • Dude Magnet: A big running gag in Season One, where many a guy out of the blue would suddenly seize her and kiss her passionately (or worse, as in "Friends, Romans, and Accountants"). Toned down, but still played with, for the rest of her time on the show.
    Sam: Yourself....
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Constantly. Lampshaded in one episode where she complains no one greets her like they do Norm. Sam tells her she's right, and invites her to re-enter. When she does, everyone greets, "NORM!"
    Diane: There. Was that so hard?
  • Eating the Eye Candy: She does this pointedly with Lance. When Sam asks her about all her talk about inner beauty, she replies she just envisioned Lance picking flowers in his briefs. Carla joins in on that fantasy.
  • Endearingly Dorky: She's quite eccentric (in the non-Cloud Cuckoolander sense). While several characters take her quirks as off-putting (such as her tendency to over-speak), they're also a big part of what makes her so adorable and charming to her love interests. The fact that she's pretty as heck doesn't hurt.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Diane certainly seems to think so. A Running Gag consequence of her sophisticated nature is that she will sometimes seem to forget that, for example, the French proverb she drops in her resignation letter in "Personal Business" would probably have been best written in English, for Sam's sake.
  • The Fashionista: Fond of dresses, pearl necklaces, and so on. The Rule of Glamorous is often a law for her. She puts this to good use in "Abnormal Psychology" with Lilith.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Seemingly zig-zaggs with Lethal Chef, depending on the dish. Sam usually acts pleased with her work—but it's often a running gag that she can't cook typically "simple" dishes...due to her presuming to "getting a little creative". When the abbess in "Birth, Death, Love and Rice" samples Diane's rice, her reaction is hilarious.
    Diane: What should I do?
    Abbess: Put your faith in God. (under breath) I know I'm going to.
    • Diane even Lampshaded this in "Just Three Friends", when Sam and her friend Heather (Markie Post) insist they're enjoying her meal: "Oh, don't give me that—that meal's inedible!"
  • Fox News Liberal: Not typically, but on occasion she appears to be of the "sane liberal" variety—most memorably in Season 5's "Tan N Wash", when she half-praises Ronald Reagan, then denies that's her intent:
    "Well in my case, it's not a gamble...but—rather, a great show of faith in our great free enterprise system. Yes even Diane Chambers is not immune to the...renaissance of American patriotism in the 1980's—although I hasten to remind you this does not imply any shifting of my support toward the current administration...."
  • Friendly Enemy: With Carla. Despite their mutual surface-hatred, Diane is always ready and eager to help Carla out with her troubles—and despite herself, Carla always seems grateful.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Played with. Diane had very strained relations with the gang sometimes—Carla moreso than most, though that might have been partly due to envy over Diane's relationship with Sam. Diane's true allies at the bar sometimes seems limited to Coach (with whom Diane had a surrogate father-daughter relationship) and later Woody (who she treats like a brother). Still, she has enough moments with the others to keep this trope from truly solidifying with her.
  • Friend to All Children: Strongly indicated whenever a kid shows up at the bar. As Season Four's "Relief Bartender" notes, the kids don't always return her affection.
  • Gentlewoman Snarker:
    • During her more "superior" moments, her zingers are often quite classy and at times accompanied with a sweet, innocent smile. In short, Passive-Aggressive Kombat is a favorite style of hers. Many of her more sly comebacks to Sam count as this:
    "You could make love to all five of those women and I would feel nothing. As, I'm sure, would they."
  • Giftedly Bad: She's convinced she could've been a tremendous ballet dancer with the right chance. Everyone else at Cheers disagrees, being reduced to helpless laughter looking at her audition tape (which we don't get to see, but the reaction speaks for itself). She's only saved from embarrassing herself by the timely intervention of Sam and Frasier. Generally, any time Diane turns her hand to some craft, this seems to be the result. Even her writing, suggested to be her strong(est) suit, is implied to be pretty rough stuff.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: A roomful of them—all with names and personalities.
  • Go-Getter Girl: How she want to be regarded. Sometimes she lives up to it, but not always.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: With Sam and any other possible paramours, if her exchanges on the subject are any indication.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Seethes at the thought she is not Sam's One and Only True Love, or even the mention that Sam has been, or might potentially one day be with another woman.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: It's probably just a coincidence that the stage lighting will often give her hair an angelic glow....
  • The Heart: As a rule, she's the "conscience" of the gang, letting the rest of them know when what they're doing just isn't right.
  • Heroic BSoD: She has one in "Everyone Imitates Art," when she discovers the letter she received from a poetry magazine was just a rejection letter.
  • Higher Education Is for Women: Zig-Zagged, as the trope applies nicely when contrasting Diane (who is close to achieving any one of 37 different master's degrees) with the vast majority of the guys in the bar. (Sam doesn't even have a high-school diploma until Season 3!) The trope's subverted, though, whenever a "highbrow" male character shows up—particularly after Season 3 begins, with Frasier.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Zig-zagged, as Diane isn't blind to imperfections. As a rule, though, her natural innocence leads her to assume the best in people. As "Homicidal Ham" in particular indicates, this can get her into a lot of trouble....
  • I Am Not Pretty: Has this issue in the pilot episode, telling Sumner this early on, and then reacting in astonished gratefulness when Sam tells her (after Sumner dumps her) that she's "a very attractive young woman." There's a slight implication that Sam's Season One flirtations with her are what help her snap out of this trope.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Insists she could've been a highly skilled ballet dancer. Judging by the gang's reaction to her audition tape... no.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: And when they well up in tears, Sam's left completely helpless.
  • Insufferable Genius: The main reason why everyone treats her with little regard. Her main contrast with Fraiser—who, while a stuffy egghead, usually doesn't act like he's smarter than everyone else in the room.
    "I can be there for you, Carla—I want to be there for you. Please—benefit from my depth!"
  • Intelligence = Isolation: Played with, throughout. One of the major sources of angst for Diane is her fear that she will always be an outsider among the rest of the gang. Emphasized the most in Season 4, with "Suspicion" and "Diane Chambers Day", which both ultimately involve the gang reaching out to make her feel better.
  • In the Blood: One only needs to be around Diane's mother for about a minute to see where Diane's gotten some of her quirks from. Mother Chambers is even haughtier, snobbier, and far more neurotic than her daughter, and without Diane's better traits.
  • I Reject Your Reality: On many occasions, Diane will flat-out ignore people telling her what she doesn't want to hear, such as Doctor Finch-Royce repeatedly telling her she and Sam are not in fact destined to die in another another's arms, and that they are in fact a disaster waiting to happen. Or Sam bluntly telling her, when she asks, that he thinks she's crazy. Sam eventually even points out this is one of her major failings - she cannot admit she's lost in any way, and will warp it around to a victory.
  • It's All About Me: One of her flaws; Sam points out early in the series how she always has to have the last word, and how she manages on many occasions to turn what should be a meaningful conversation about someone else's problems towards herself. Then there's her abandoning Frasier at the altar and refusing to so much as apologize for leading him on and publicly humiliating him. Frasier turns this Up to Eleven, where she's written a play based on her time at Cheers where her self-insert is a classic Mary Sue — named Mary Anne. invoked
  • It's for a Book: When serving a pair of well-to-do-looking bar patrons, she claims this is the only reason she works at Cheers.
  • Jerkass Ball: While Diane can be nice, she is also prone to making nasty and unprovoked comments towards Sam about his intelligence, and the lack thereof. As early as season 2, Sam makes it clear that these constant put-downs really do hurt his feelings.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Her beloved Elizabeth dies in Season One, which is the main plot of "Let Me Count The Ways" where she's heartbroken about it and wishing for sympathy. By Season Five's "Dance, Diane, Dance", she has another cat, implied to be a kitten.
  • Kubrick Stare: Half the time briefly shoots one as she's struggling her hardest not to just explode at someone who's gone too far (Carla, for one). Half the time it's just how she looks when she's speaking/listening intently to someone, or when she's really playing her romantic game with Sam (in possible homage to Lauren Bacall).
  • Lady And A Scholar: One of her main goals in life is to be this. In her better moments, she often is.
  • Lets Wait Awhile: Something of a modus operendi for when Sam gets particularly eager in Season 4, especially in "Dark Imaginings" and in "Diane Chambers Day"note  As far as Diane's concerned, it's so they can more properly process a "new step" in their relationship, or generally to just keep from trivializing things.... Once, she just wanted to fool around, but Sam imitated her. Unfortunately, his joke killed the mood for her.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
    • With Woody. Diane is very affectionate towards Woody, and loves educating him on culture, and the like—to the point that she eventually gives him a book her mother had given her. In return, he's the most likely to react positively to something she says/does. She once goes to him as a confidant of sorts, in the Season 4 finale.
    • She's also implied on occasion to have this sort of dynamic with Norman; for example, she does the most to help him adjust to his new job in Season Five.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: A blatant visual contrast to the tomboyish Carla—who has short, curly hair.
  • Lysistrata Gambit: Downplayed, as it's never really put to the test, but she does tease Sam with this a couple times in Season Two (prior to the crumbling), when he's being particularly immature.
  • Manchild: That above statement about her still being a little girl at heart? It can show. An early episode shows a good example - telling Sam she'll admit she's got a crush on him if he does so first. Sam does, at which point Diane refuses to hold up her end of the bargain and scurries out of the room chanting "you love me!" like a six year old. Also, the bedroom full of stuffed toys. All of whom have names. And personalities.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: In season 5, is she ever. The season has her demanding Sam propose to her, even when he swears vehemently that he's not interested, and when he does, if only because Diane breaks down in tears in a deliberate attempt to emotionally blackmail him... she still refuses him.
  • Moe Stare: Rare live-action example. And she's a grown woman at that.
  • Morality Pet: For Sam, but occasionally Norm views her as this for situations involving Vera.
  • Ms. Fanservice: On occasion—most famously in the final sequence of Season Two's "Power Play", and in the "Jumping Out of a Cake" sequence in Season Five's "One Last Fling".
  • Naïve Newcomer: Introduced as such to the Cheers bar in the first and second episode, her sheltered nature playing off of the rest of the patrons.
  • Never My Fault: At first. For much of Season Four, where she doesn't seem willing to admit that Frasier's bitterness towards her for leaving him at the altar (after a long and drawn out relationship between them, with her still having strong feelings for Sam) was particularly warranted, going so far as to blame Frasier (in "Woody Goes Belly Up") for loving her in the first place. She finally does apologize to Frasier for hurting him in "Strange Bedfellows, Part II" and tries to again in her appearance on Frasier, after it looked as if she was once again brushing off how cruel what she did was.
  • Nice Girl: In spite of her faults, she's usually the most altruistic and kind of the bunch. When one of the gang needs emotional support, she's always ready to lend a kind ear and a helping hand.
  • Not So Above It All: As much as she prides herself on being sophisticated, she can be incredibly immature.
    • This trait has at times resulted in an awesome moment for her—particularly her memorable stint at the bowling alley...and what she says to punctuate it.
    • As much as she mocks Sam for chasing skirts, after one of their many break-ups, she spends a fair amount of time badgering him and sabotaging his dates to try and get him back.
    • In a way, her entire relationship with Sam is based on this. All of their arguments are instigated by the fact that one is just as petty, vindictive and competitive as the other, always trying to have the last word in any discussion. Lampshaded and Discussed in Season 3's "King Of The Hill":
    Sam: (On why their Season 2 relationship "never worked") It's because you always had to have the last say. You always had to be on top—and you're still doing it! You know, you are just as competitive as I am.
    Diane: ME? I'm not competitive! ...I'm intense.
    • In "Diane Chambers Day", everyone falls asleep during the opera — including Diane, even though it's her favorite production.
  • One True Love: Sam. She even makes it a point to admit in the finale that her life is not particularly full without him. In her Frasier appearance, Frasier witnesses her sharing a big kiss with a Sam Malone Expy, and much later in the show, Frasier conjures her up in his imagination...still carrying a torch for Sam.
    Dream Diane: I left you.
    Frasier: Yes. You did! You left me for Sam.
    Dream Diane: (wistfully) I left Sam, too.
    Dream Lilith: (curt) Diane, we're talking about Frasier. When we're inside your head, we'll talk about you.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe, Diane has many, from Poke the Poodle incidents ("I'll never forget the day I brought home a utopian socialist. Unbelievable—I know! Unbelievable. I was a rebel, then....") to her skill at bowling, which she fears would threaten her "refined" image ("If you utter a word of this to anyone who matters, I will find you—and kill you.").
  • Operation: Jealousy: Many times through the beginning of season 5, she tries to rub her romantic life in Sam's face, in her belief he's just seething with jealousy, even as Sam says, repeatedly, that he's not, and doesn't give a damn what she does.
  • Our Love Is Different: Though she at times struggles with the question of Am I Just a Toy to You?, Diane knows in her heart that the answer's "no", as far as Sam's concerned.
  • The Perfectionist: As it turns out, Diane reveals in "Manager Coach" that she used to be quite obsessive compulsive—but insists she's much better, now. She's not.
  • Plucky Girl: Particularly before most of her Break the Cutie moments had happened—even though she had been left by her fiance and was now working in a dead end bar, she was determined to make the most of the experience and still enjoy herself.
  • The Pollyanna: Zig-zagged, but in the first half of Season 5 (after rejecting Sam's initial proposal—and repenting of her reasons), she constantly grins and gives off a sunny glow while insisting on Sam's love and asserting that he will propose to her again! Sam, meanwhile, is driven nuts by this, insisting it will not happen. Alas...precious little can assuage her of her attitude.
    Diane: How are you...love of my life?
    • This keeps up until "Chambers vs. Malone", where Sam flat-out tells her it will never happen—and with that, unintentionally puts poor Diane through a major Break the Cutie moment. He proposes to her again, with this—her tears breaking him down.
  • Prefers Proper Names: Diane would address people by their formal names, calling Cliff "Clifford" and Norm "Norman" (even when everyone else calls out "Norm!"). The only exceptions are Sam (would be Samuel) and Coach (would be his real name, Ernie or Ernest).
  • Prima Donna Director: When she gets behind a camera, she insists on trying to make a simple attempt at explaining Boston to Woody's parents into Le Film Artistique, making everyone read stilted dialogue and doing over twenty takes before she finally quits in a strop.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of season 5. She promises Sam she'll come back—and she does, in the series finale.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Typically asserts her firm belief that everyone has some good within them—and will frequently try her best to appeal to someone's better nature, when the other characters have given up.
  • Runaway Bride: To Frasier—and Deconstructed. Her leaving him at the altar is an indication of how much she loves Sam and believes they're meant to be together, sure. But the show doesn't pull punches in how it thoroughly and horribly humiliated and emotionally scarred Frasier, to the point where years later he describes the experience as leaving him with "a sucking chest wound where there once dwelled a heart". The fact that it took her a very long time to completely own up to how much she hurt himnote  didn't help.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: She even loves finding ways to work in her knowledge of French terminology—saying "nom de plume" instead of "pseudonym", for example....
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Very sweet-hearted, feminine, and innocent—but she will take no garbage from anyone, once she catches on to them.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Has trouble realizing that nobody's opinion of her is as high as her own. Especially since, unlike Sam, she was never famous to begin with and hasn't made any major intellectual accomplishments that would get her well-known.
    Diane: Excuse me, I overheard Dr. Crane's remarks; if it's any consolation I can empathize with your hurt feelings. If you'd like to share any of them with me, as a fellow woman, I'd consider it an honor.
    Lilith: (Beat) Who are you?
  • Soapbox Sadie: Picks this trait up somewhere in the five years she was away. Her award acceptance speech in "One For the Road" starts turning into Diane lecturing everyone about the environment, until she's dragged off-stage still trying to get her message out, just as she's telling everyone her speech paper is made of flax.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: In "Personal Business", she finds to her dismay that the job she lands outside of the bar is only given to her because her would-be employer has less-than-dignified ideas about her.
    • She invokes this trope in "Woody Goes Belly Up", in response to the sight of a broken Frasier temporarily working as the bar janitor:
      Diane: (Sigh) This is my saddest...romantic legacy. (Beat) But I refuse to hold myself responsibledo I beg men to fall in love with me?
    • When it's not as serious, she's usually more bitterly/tiredly amused by it than anything else. From "Someday My Prince Will Come":
      Sam: Come on! What, you had—what, a few casual dates with him? What's the big deal?
      Diane: Yes, but... as often happens in my life, this gentleman is becoming much too serious, much too fast. He's wearing that smitten look I know so well.... I've got to do something before it goes any further.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Despite the airs she typically puts on, Diane has quite a few moments where she proves quite willing and eager to relax and have fun with the others. Turns out she's quite fond of the music of Bob Dylan, if "How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Call You Back" is any indication. She also loves "Our House".
  • Squee!: She's known to really let out her inner "little girl" when encountering (among others) Dick Cavett, Tip O'Neill, and Gary Hart. Her biggest example is probably in Season Five's "Abnormal Psychology", when Sam gives her tickets to a concert of a certain flautist:
  • Straw Feminist:
    • Downplayed a bit. Diane is verbally devoted to feminist dogma and makes a point to undercut Sam's chauvinism, among other things, in the first two seasons. She's hardly militant and man-hating, however, and even falls for the alpha-male Sam Malone; the implication becomes stronger over time that her feminist ideals are far more problematic for her life than they're actually worth. The closest she comes to this trope is in Season One's "No Contest", and during a brief moment in her televised acceptance speech in the series finale.
    • "No Contest" exemplifies this in particular, where she enters a beauty pageant with plans to verbally tear it apart during her acceptance speech on television. However, during her acceptance speech, she keeps getting interrupted by the emcee telling her about the prizes she won. When she learns she won an all-expenses paid trip to Bermuda, she becomes ecstatic and behaves like a normal contest winner. Afterwards, when she moans she sold out womankind for a trip to Bermuda, Sam gently reminds her that it only means she's Not So Above It All.
  • Stepford Smiler: Even early on in season 2, there's some definite cracks in her façade showing, when Norm mentions finding some psychiatrist bills in her accounts. Diane insists very firmly that this is over and she's fine now.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Played with. In Season One, she seems to really enjoy giving brush-offs to Sam's come-ons. Played more straight in Season Three, where she often goes back-and-forth between vehement denials that she's still in love with Sam and sharing nice moments with him indicating this is not the case.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: On occasion, Diane would feel this.
    Diane: If ignorance is bliss, this is Eden.
  • Tearful Smile: Diane does this a lot, in response to someone saying/doing something particularly touching or heartwarming.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • In the end of "No Help Wanted", she finds herself wiping away Tender Tears in response to Norm and Sam reconciling:
      Diane: W-well, this is such a...beautiful moment—seeing you two friends reconcile, I could almost cry...! (reaches for a tissue)
      Norm: Hm! Girls....note 
    • An even bigger example is in "Diane Chambers Day", at the opera, when the guys arrange for the best seats in the house:
      Norm: So, where's Diane?
      Sam: Ah, she's...powdering her nose—she started to cry again. I mean—what a woman, huh?—do you believe that? She started to cry when we told her we were gonna take her to the opera...she cried when she saw us in her tuxes, and she cried when she saw the limo. (Beat) She's got it under control, though—she promised she won't do it anymore.
      (Diane comes in through the curtains onto the balcony; the guys stand up for her)
      Diane: (Beat, then bawls) OH, this is the BEST, guys...!
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Romanticism's a point of pride with her—down to her telling Sam (in the Season Five premier) she wants an "enchanting" proposal that does not involve "sports arenas, theme parks, or miniature golf". In the previous season, she gives a rather embellished example of what an ideal declaration of love would be like.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Carla's Tomboy.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After Season 1, Diane gets noticeably ruder and more selfish—causing Sam no end of headaches as his off-again on-again girlfriend (which culminates in publicly humiliating him into proposing to her under threat of jail-time,) temporarily ruining Frasier's life and refusing to even apologize until way later, and even her demeanor towards many of the regulars at Cheers becomes more barbed and condescending than in the first season. She still has moments of kindness, but it's all too clear that she thinks more of herself than anyone else.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Her "drunk" sequence in "How Do I Love Thee?" has her completely wasted; it's one of her sexiest moments in the whole show. Lilith speculates in "Abnormal Psychology" that Diane wakes up every morning "all blonde and perky".
    Diane: Well, I must admit in my case, there is some labor involved.
    Carla: Some? She calls in Local 314!
  • Vague Age:
    • Diane makes it a point to never directly discuss her age. (She comes close to blurting it out in "Thanksgiving Orphans"—but catches herself just in time, with a blush.) All we know is, Diane storms over to Sam in "Pick A Con, Any Con" to say (after an opening sequence where he teases her about her reluctance), "Sam you are at least six or seven years older than I am—now, admit it!"
    • She gets something of a Ma'am Shock in "Dark Imaginings", when Sam's doctor reveals he was tutored by her, way back when. However, keep in mind an MD has to undergo ten years of grad school.note 
      Diane: (morosely) I'm old and alone in Boston.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: In Season Two's "Where There's A Will", Diane randomly notes out of nowhere:
    Diane: By the way...with all the insanity about the will, no one's said a word about my new hairdo.
    Patrons: It stinks!
  • Vapor Wear: The Jerkass boyfriend of Coach's daughter verbally "notices" she isn't wearing a bra—much to Diane's chagrin.
    Diane: (to Lisa) I take it back. The man is pond scum.
  • Verbal Tic: Often tends to... pause, and add emphasis to certain words in her speech.
  • Waif-Fu: She's able to flip Sam onto the pool table with barely an effort, as seen in "Sam at Eleven". She noted she learned it in "Practical Feminism" class....
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Her antics towards Sam often result in this.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Her major defining trait, along with her relationship with Sam, her intellectual pretentiousness, and her lack of real-world know-how. Poor girl tries her best to inspire and improve the world around her—but ends up never knowing what's hit her after the plot's done with her.
  • Women Are Delicate: For better and for worse. Practically everything about Diane is immensely feminine. So naturally she falls for a tall, strong-built and stronger-willed sports jock who's the opposite of her in so many ways....
  • Women Are Wiser: Zig-zagged. Diane can be very insightful—and often serves as Sam's conscience, when his pragmatism would otherwise border on amorality. Still, both Diane and Sam have their failings, and either one can call the other out on it, at any time.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Pulls one on Sam in season 5, when he chases her out of the bar after she messes with his head yet again. She trips and falls, injuring her leg and neck, and takes Sam to court on charges of assault and battery, playing up her injuries with a cane and brace, so that Sam must either propose to her or be sent to jail.

    Carla Tortelli 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carla_tortelli.jpg

Played by: Rhea Pearlman

Bitter single-mother working as a rather unfriendly waitress at Cheers. A fan of Sam from his baseball days, but holds a strong resentment towards Diane.

  • Abusive Parents: While usually (more-or-less) loving and supportive of her children despite their criminal tendencies, she's not above verbally taking her bad mood out on them when she's feeling down.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Inverted in Frasier, when she attempted to say something nice about Cliff when he's leaving for Florida, but kept getting tongue-tied. When she finally manages to say her true feelings, it's a long rant of exactly all the reasons why she hates him!
    Carla: (to Frasier when he tries to interrupt) Back off, I'm toasting!
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: She teaches Cliff to dance because he stuck with her in a house she was afraid was haunted.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: After one watches Season 5's "House Of Horrors With Formal Dining And Used Brick", her taunts of Cliff suddenly seem to take on a whole new undertone.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't make jokes about Sam's alcoholism in front of Carla.
    • If Diane has left, do not mention her around Carla.
    • Don't try to stiff the bar. Even if you're Norm, Carla will chase the offender down to kill them.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Theft, lying, assault and even outright murder are perfectly okay in her book. Cheating (both in the game sense and the romantic) isn't. Well, sometimes. If it's her doing it, it's fine. And while she has no problem taunting and insulting Woody, she won't actually attack him, if only because she works with him.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Carla is very short-tempered, and Rhea Perlman uses her natural Brooklyn accent for the role (despite Carla having lived in Boston her whole life).
  • Bouncer: It's not overt, but if you're not welcome at Cheers, Carla'll be the one to show you the door.
  • Brutal Honesty: If Carla likes you.
    (On Sam and Diane's feelings toward each other, in front of Diane's mother)
    Carla: Admit it, he's got you steaming under the silks!
    Diane: (Bolts up; clearly counts to ten) This happens to be my mother!
    Carla: Well, that's why I'm being delicate!
  • The Bully: With Cliff, Diane and Lilith being easy targets.
  • Catchphrase: "Men are pigs", and variations thereupon.
  • Commonality Connection: She and Frasier have several moments of shared zings at Diane's expense.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dysfunctional Family: She's got 8 kids (four at the start of the series, and has four more through the course of the show), and it's hell. Her mom is also pretty manipulative, and her siblings hate her. Unfortunately for Sam, when he pointed this out to the Tortellis, they took offense, attacked him and locked him in a closet.
  • Enfant Terrible: The way Carla describes her kids.
    Carla: You remember that show The Brady Bunch? Now picture them with knives.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Carla may not like her mother, but even she won't stand Sam, her best friend, insulting her.
  • Friendly Enemy: With Diane. For all their clashes, there are enough moments between the two to indicate that, at the very least, the two women respect each other.
    Carla: Hey, uh—Diane...you know, I was skeptical about you finding something, but, uh...guess it won't kill me to—come out and say...congratulations.
    Diane: Oh, thank you, Carla—
    Carla: Gasp!!!! (Topples forward, out cold)
    • They certainly view one another as worthy opponents in their constant snarkfest.
      Carla: Hey—uh, wait, I got an idea!
      Diane: (Innocently) You mean you actually conceived something besides a child?
      Carla: Ooooooh...a bitter and unprovoked attack. (Smirks) I like it.
      • Carla also has this relationship with Rebecca. There's this one memorable exchange, after Rebecca paid $10 to Carla for a fake explanation of why she was called "Back Seat Becky" in college:
        Carla: Wait a minute. Why do they call you "Backseat Becky"?
        Rebecca: (deadpan) That will cost you a hundred.
        Carla: Hey, you know, you're kind of a pig. (beat) Maybe we can be friends.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Easily irritated and explosive towards everyone but her closest friends, like Sam. She's likely sleep deprived from all the kids.
  • Heroic BSoD: She zones out for a while in Season 5 after hearing that Sam and Diane have gotten engaged.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Gets REALLY set off whenever someone calls attention to a "good deed" she does.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Carla despises Sumner Sloan. Lest we think it's because his dumping Diane had led directly to the latter working at the bar...Diane notes in the end of "Sumner's Return" that it was Carla who just threw Sumner out.
  • Insistent Terminology: She doesn't hate Diane... she just disapproves of her. So she says, five years after Diane has left the bar.
  • Jerkass: Neatly summed up by Woody to a customer witnessing both Rebecca and Carla throwing every drink in people's faces. Rebecca has just been dumped by her boyfriend because of her own actions and is taking it hard. Carla? "She's just mean."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She often treats people like crap, but all in all she's just a mother trying to make a living. And she does have her moments of nobility.
    • Perhaps the best example of her heart: when she counsels Woody and Kelly to not have sex for the wrong reasons (but also partly to steal their hotel room).
    • She was also the first to panic, and run to find Frasier when the gang catch him on the news, threatening to kill himself. And later, when he officially calls of his marriage to Lilith, who wanted him back, she and Sam don't look happy.
    • When Sam prepares to break his n-sex vow to God, Carla says a prayer for him.
    • And a casual moment when she offers to walk Woody to his car when they leave.
  • Kavorka Man: A rare female example; she's not the prettiest chick in the world, and her personality stinks, yet she still gets around... Ironically, the one man she's really interested in, a plumber, completely ignores her for Rebecca, which really gives her angst. (For Carla, marrying a plumber is like marrying a blue collar prince.)
  • The Lad-ette: Carla's got no problem with listening in on the guys' sex stories, and neither do they. At one point when the lady's room is out of paper towels she casually strolls into the Men's room to grab some and nobody bats an eye.
    • An early episode has the guys coming back from a visit to a strip club, accompanied by Carla. Apparently Nick took her their on their honeymoon.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Carla regularly complains about how her many kids drive her nuts...and yet, she somehow refuses to stop "getting around".
    • She's pretty self-deprecating about it, though; she's snarked that all a guy needs to do is look at her a certain way, and she's "three months along"....
    Carla: There's only been one form of birth control that's ever worked for me and it makes me sick to my stomach.
    Diane: What's that?
    Carla: Saying no.
    • When Carla adopts a cat, Woody notes that the cat just had kittens while in the box. Carla is aghast, saying, "I swear this cat was not pregnant when I got her. I swear, the minute you become a Tortelli, you start dropping kids like flies!"
  • Ma'am Shock: Just not for the usual reason. She's confused because Woody was trying to be respectful ("No wonder it sounded so weird.")
  • The Masochism Tango: With John Allen Hill. Interesting spin on the trope in that they both REALLY look forward to one-upping each other's insults and vitriol—as much as hitting the sheets together.
  • The Napoleon: At around 5'0", most everyone in the bar towers over Carla. Most everyone tries their hardest not to cross her as well.
  • The Nicknamer: Much to Diane's chagrin, in particular. "Stick", "Stiff", "Whitey", "Bleach-bag", "Bone-butt"....
    • Lilith inherited Carla's "Whitey/Bleach-bag" insults, eventually.
  • Overly Long Name: Carla Maria Vittoria Angelina Teresa Apollonia Lozupone Tortelli LeBec.
  • The Paranoiac: Thanks to Nick, she's utterly convinced Eddie is one minute away from cheating on her, and cannot be persuaded to think otherwise. And she turns out to be right.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's 5'0", and capable of overpowering Sam, 6' and change, or Norm (though it helps that she fights dirty). It's telling that when Sam's worried she might adversely react to some news, he has several grown men restrain her first. And judging by the Frasier episode "Cheerful Goodbyes", if Carla really loses it, that wouldn't actually be enough - in that episode, Carla (by the time the episode takes place, upward of forty) has to be dragged away from murdering Cliff, and she still manages to bust free before they can get her out.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Sam.
  • Really Gets Around: The reason she has so many kids even after her husband left her.
  • Teen Pregnancy: And not just one pregancy during her teen years. One episode revolves around the fact she never got to have a normal teenage social life because she was always knocked up.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Diane's Girly Girl.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Amid her tough-gal nature, she does have her "soft" moments. At times....
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Carla has strange sexual appetites.
    Carla: Woody, you don't know what you're getting yourself into. I mean, those guys at Gary's are vicious. They could strip you naked, paint you red, and put you on a subway.
    Woody: They wouldn't do that.
    Carla: They did it to me. But I got the best of them.
    Norm: How's that?
    Carla: (chortling) I loved it.
  • Troll: Often does things for the sheer evil of them, such as stealing Woody's lunch, or leaving Cliff to the mercy of a vicious attack dog after having learned how to calm it down.
  • Tsundere: Type A. Don't worry, she only calls you an idiot out of love.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Norm, Woody, Frasier and Rebecca. She insults them quite a bit, but it's also obvious that she likes them all to some degree. Cliff thinks that he and Carla are this, but in truth she just flat-out hates him.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Her hatred of Diane turns into a full-blown fear of her after she's gone. She gives up a demeaning but high-paying job simply because there's a knock-off of Diane there, and in the finale suffers a momentary disconnect from reality seeing her on TV, and decides it's easier to believe she's actually just been in a hideous car crash and is hallucinating everything.
  • Wrench Wench: When the men's room has a problem with the plumbing in "Coach Returns to Action", guess who's called upon to tackle it.

    Ernie "Coach" Pantusso 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coach.jpg

Played by: Nicolas Colasanto

Sam's assistant bartender in season 1 -3; Also Sam's former coach in their Red Sox days.

  • Batman Gambit: Coach's plan to get Sam and Diane back together in Season 3 was to privately tell Sam that if Diane doesn't work at the bar, she'll go mentally ill again. He then tells Diane that if she doesn't work at the bar, Sam'll hit the bottle the second she leaves. He then privately tells Frasier than if she doesn't work at the bar, she'll fantasize about Sam, and if they work at the bar, they'll continually snipe and start hating each other.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's a forgetful, slow witted old man, but get him riled up and he can verbally kick your ass; 'literally when he found out Sam was sleeping with a teacher to get good grades. Such as getting Sam to end a relationship that was causing him moral conflict, or dealing with him when he was an alcoholic.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Mostly the result of all his brain injuries over the years—he seems to be in his own little world the majority of the time, a combination of him being not too bright and having bad memory problems.
  • Comically Missing the Point: On way too many occasions to list. Conversations with Coach are like skipping through a minefield, since he's rarely on the same book as anyone else, let alone page, and can get easily confused or get the wrong takeaway, or just be focused on something else entirely...
  • The Confidant: As slow-witted as he is, he's got a pretty firm grasp of common sense. Even Diane's gone to him for insight.
  • The Ditz: Not very bright at all, and we learn why when he tells Diane about his playing career; his favorite way to get on base was to intentionally get hit by pitches, so much so that he led the minor leagues in that statistic. A lot of those pitches hit him in the head.
  • Eccentric Mentor: The whole bar listens his every word...even if they don't make sense.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Coach's first lines. When Coach answers the phone:
    Coach: (aloud to bar) Is there an Ernie Pantuso here?
    Sam: That's you, Coach!
    Coach: (to phone) Speaking!
    (The look on Diane's face can't be described with words.)
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everyone calls him "Coach", as he used to be a baseball coach. Hilariously, he assumed they were referring to the class of seat he always rode in.
  • Happily Adopted: Hilariously inverted. According to Sam, Coach once received an invite to a family reunion. The family was black and Coach got the invite by mistake, but he showed up anyway because he didn't want to be rude. The kicker? By the time viewers hear this story, Coach has already attended several reunions and will be hosting that year's one.
    Sam: They call him "Uncle Whitey."
  • Literal-Minded: He and Woody were pen pals. According to Woody, it was Coach's ideas to exchange pens.
  • Moment Killer: "And Coachie Makes Three" is him unwittingly doing this to Sam and Diane.
  • Name Amnesia: The very first episode has a Downplayed example of amnesia, since Ernie doesn't forget everything about himself, just his own name. He's been called "Coach" for so long, he didn't recognize it, as exemplified in Establishing Character Moment above.
  • The Pollyanna: He believes everything will work out in the end, though sometimes he'll say it with Brutal Honesty.
  • Retired Badass: Let's put it like this. He's one of the few people who can command Sam's respect, chiefly because it's implied Coach was the only member of the Red Sox who remained loyal to him.
  • "Shaggy Frog" Story: A Running Gag; Coach will often seek to give a kindhearted insight via a story of his past...and then end up focusing on a detail that has nothing to do with what the issue at hand.
  • Shipper on Deck: He wants to see Sam and Diane get married - his fantasy of their union involves him living with them.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit : How Coach gets most of his dates. In Season One, after a woman turns down a date with him, he throws himself down Melville's stairs.

    Hilary Norman "Norm" Peterson 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/norm_peterson.jpg

Played by: George Wendt

Unlucky accountant and Cheers's most frequent customer. Regularly avoids going home to his wife.

  • Acrofatic: For a card-carrying lazy bum, Norm can move fast when he wants to. At one point, he manages to out-race Cliff (whose job requires him to walk all day) and Frasier (who collapses from exhaustion first).
  • The Alcoholic: He once gave up membership at a men's club because beer was not allowed at the meetings.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: He really does love Vera. He'd just rather you not know about it.
  • Berserk Button: Making Vera cry (notable since he doesn't display much affection for Vera otherwise.) Norm threatens John with serious physical violence if he doesn't apologize in one episode.
  • Big Eater: A running gag involves him constantly going to a restaurant who's food everyone—including Norm—complains about.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Norm has lots of business sense and many skills, and has even started a profitable business or two, but mostly idles his days away at Cheers.
  • The Chew Toy:
    Coach: How's life treating you, Norm?
    Norm: Like it caught me in bed with its wife.
    • In the more literal sense:
    "Oh, it's a dog-eat-dog world, Sammy. And I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear."
  • Cool Loser: Fat, lazy, unmotivated, never pays his tab. Everybody at the bar (and every other bar in Boston) loves the guy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mainly to Cliff and Rebecca.
  • The Dreaded: Briefly, when he becomes his employer's axe-man. Everyone knows what a call from Norm Peterson means, which makes it difficult when Norm tries to hand in his resignation.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Hilary. Norman is his middle name.
  • Exiled to the Couch: He's self-exiled himself by season 11, much to Sam's distress when he needs somewhere to crash for the night. Norm inadvertently wakes Vera, and soon returns to boot Sam off the couch.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He seems to spend more time with fellow bar fly Cliff than with his wife Vera.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Norm believes he is a failure at life, and resigns himself to Cheers because he's too scared to face the real world. Also, he tends to break down when faced with the prospect of losing Vera.
    • Norm is a handy painter and actually quite brilliant at interior design.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Hinted at, with Diane. He's quite chivalrous towards her: at least three times, he's the one to save Diane from a guy's unwanted advances. They've also been each other's confidant, on occasion.
  • Middle Name Basis: His first name is Hilary, but he goes by Norm which is short for his middle name Norman.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Despite his constant beer intake, he's rarely if ever visibly intoxicated.
  • Odd Friendship: Norm gets along really well with Rebecca after he consoles her after a disaster.
  • Phrase Catcher:
    • Every time he enters the bar, all the patrons yell "NORM!" (All the staff except for Diane do too; Diane would always greet him with "Norman," a second after everybody else, followed by a "Hello, Mr. Peterson!" if Woody was bartending.) In fact, this was actually the first word spoken by Frederick Crane, Frasier and Lilith's son. When the bar was remodeled at the premiere of the sixth season, no one recognized him, which he couldn't abide. Later that episode, when no one was supposed to know who he was, one patron piped up, "NORM!" Norm muttered, "Not now, you idiot!"
    • This also sets off a Couch Gag of sorts. Norm enters the bar, is asked if he'd like a beer, makes a joke about it, then is asked about how his life is going and makes some joke about things being bad.
  • The Scrooge: A much more cheerful version than most, but Norm could teach stones lessons about being difficult to extract blood from. He's almost never seen actually paying his bar tab, and it's suggested he only stays at Cheers largely because they let him have a tab in the first place. He even figures he's probably killed at least one Boston business by his sheer refusal to pay for anything ever.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: When a previous owner of Cheers shows up at the bar, he offhandedly recognizes Norm from when he and the newlywed Vera used to come to the bar, and mentions how they were very lovey-dovey with one another, much to Norm's embarrassment.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Norm says he started dating Vera when she was the prettiest cheerleader (and he was a football player). He constantly mocks her, but in his private moments, he admits she's beautiful. During a class reunion, a former classmate notes Norm lost weight since high school, which makes sense if Norm was an offensive lineman for his team.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: From season 3, Norm is frequently mentioned as getting fired and getting a new job, before he gets fired from that too. By season 6, he's just living off unemployment pay.

    Clifford C. "Cliff" Clavin, Jr. 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cliff_clavin.jpg

Played by: John Ratzenbeger

Chatterbox postal worker who's Norm's best friend.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Diane. And Carla. And pretty much any woman he's attracted to save Maggie.
  • Alliterative Name: Cliff Clavin.
  • All the Other Reindeer: He was excluded a lot as a kid, mentioning that when it came time to chose softball teams, he'd be laughed off the pitch.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Late in season 11, Cliff even acknowledges he just can't stop talking, even when he's got nothing meaningful to say.note 
  • Ascended Extra: Cliff was a minor barfly in the first few episodes, essentially a bone thrown John Ratzenberger's way after complaining during casting. Ratzenberger in the second half of the first season got his name added to the opening credits.
  • Berserk Button: Never talk smack about the U.S. Postal Service (e.g., merely saying "Federal Express").
  • Birds of a Feather: In one episode in season 7, he strikes up a relationship with Maggie, a postal worker who's every bit as nuts about the postal service as he is. Everyone's confused by what they're seeing, except Carla, who's just horrified.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cliff's everybody's personal joke, but especially Carla's. He once proudly admits that he was forced to infiltrate another bar while dressed in only a Speedo.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Until Maggie came along, that is.
    • When asking Diane out in "Cliffie's Big Score", he had to pull out a written speech, and read out loud!
    • Of course, Early Installment Weirdness has Cliff being very smooth with women, picking up Carla's sister without any nervousness or ineptness.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: His idea of a joke is just adding "what's up with that?" to an inane statement. Lilith is the only person on Earth who finds them funny.
  • Casanova Wannabe: A running gag has him bragging about his alleged prowess with women—leading to Norm giving an obvious snark a la "What world do you live in?"
  • Catchphrase: "Hey/Y'know, Little Known Fact that, uh...[fill in the blank]"
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Many of Cliff's Little Known Facts plant him in this territory.
    Sam: You know what? You've got a big mouth, Clavin. (storms off...)
    Cliff: Ey, he happens to be right, you know. Yeah, you see, it's a genetic quirk in the Clavin family that we all have two extra teeth. Yeah, you see, it's the only way to prove that we are the rightful heirs to the Russian throne.
    Frasier: (bemused) Hello in there, Cliff. Tell me, what color is the sky in your world?
    • John Ratzenberger put it thusly: "Cliff, according to Cliff, is the wingnut that holds civilization together. According to me, he's a winged nut."
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Whole-heartedly believes in some loony ones, like the Beatles being involved in the JFK assassination, or a new neighbour being Hitler. That last one, and Cliff's ensuing mad behaviour, nearly gets him kicked out of his apartment building.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Even without martial arts training, he smashed boards in half with barehanded strikes. Of course he needed to be taken to the ER afterwards. And he nearly cleaned up on Jeopardy! with his knowledge of useless trivia.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: It's his native tongue!
  • Dirty Coward: Cliff's perfectly willing to dish out insults, so long as the recipient doesn't retaliate, in which case he'll run and hide.
  • Drunk on Milk: Cliff gets trashed on fake beer in "License to Hill."
  • Dumbass Has a Point: At times, his Little Known Facts are actually true.
  • Epic Fail: His Jeopardy! loss. Having managed to clean up for the entirety of the game against two more academically distinguished opponents, he stands to win $20,000 with one question left. He puts all his money on the answer being "what three people have never been in my kitchen".
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Most apparent when he appeared on Jeopardy!
  • Feigning Intelligence: It's strongly implied that many times, he just improvises his Little Known Facts off the top of his head. One time, involving the Mayans inventing basketball, he acts quite surprised when it's confirmed! On at least one occasion, it's shown he also steals some of them from his mother.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Even Norm, who identifies as his closest friend, thinks he's weird, annoying and creepy, and abandons him on occasion. Comes to a head years later on Frasier where he's leaving for good and absolutely no one is sad he's leaving. Even his best friend Norm. Many people were actually celebrating.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: In "The Belles of St. Clete's" he regales the bar with tales of his girlfriend in Florida, who is supposedly writing him love letters. It's actually the owner of the hotel he stayed at demanding he return the stuff he stole.
    • In an inversion of the trope, Cliff's real girlfriend Maggie ends up living in Canada.
  • Going Postal: Not yet, but Cliff apparently gets restraining orders from all of his representatives, celebrities, and is a Norman Bates-style Momma's Boy. If Cliff weren't such a wimp, he might actually snap — though it's implied his Cheers friends (especially Norm) prevent him from being a true lone nut.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Norm.
  • Hidden Depths: Any episode involving his family, or Maggie.
  • Hypocrite: Spends one episode making many, many shots at Norm's profession as a painter. When Norm responds in kind, Cliff goes to attack him.
  • Ill Boy: Apparently had several childhood ailments, which helped prevent him from becoming anything other than a mailman. Some of them were psychological, brought on by his mother.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: A running gag is Cliff excitedly showing off an amusingly shaped vegetable he's found, much to the alarm of everyone else.
  • Insufferable Imbecile: Cliff never stops regaling everyone with his facts, no matter how wrong they are, and gets huffy if called on them.
  • I Reject Your Reality: In Cliff's mind, he's a brave, manly, handsome font of all knowledge. He is none of these things. Best showcased when he's trailing after Paul, having apparently just finished a long-winded lecture, and tells Paul "you were right to come to me." Paul informs him he hadn't said anything. Cliff had just started following him out of the toilet.
  • It Will Never Catch On: In Frasier, he admits email has hurt the post office, but it's just a fad.
  • Jerkass: His Jeopardy!-style "expertise" often really goes to his head.... and then there was that time he convinced Carla he was a judge in the Ms. Boston Barmaid contest so she'd be nice to him, blackmailing her into giving him back-rubs and foot massages...
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: He's the former Trope Namer. Cliff's main character trait is bringing up half-baked trivia to impress his friends at the bar. Ratzenberger originally auditioned for the role of Norm, but came up with Cliff based on the fact that Cheers had no "bar know it all" in the cast.
  • Little Known Facts: Thanks to him, the trope has its name.
  • Manchild: Particularly where Esther Clavin is involved. In fact, especially where Esther is involved. Cliff's interactions with her have him act like a little kid, complete with strops, tantrums, and whining. Though Esther's parenting style does seem to have a lot to do with this in the first place.
    Frasier: (to Maggie) You should know: Cliff is a troubled, emotionally stunted... deeply disturbed individual. And I can say this because I'm his friend.
  • Miles Gloriosus: He's a braggart, but is never able to back it up.
  • Momma's Boy: He's in his 30s and still lives with his mother, Esther. Cliff isn't very knowledgeable or socially apt (unlike her, whom he tries to take after) so Mrs. Clavin treats him like a kid. However, she does leave him and tells him that he's 40 and it's really time to cut the cord. After that, Clavin lives alone... until Esther returns from Florida.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Is out and loud about his love of America, but it's another expression of Cliff's obnoxious tendencies, even trying to write up people in the bar for treason just because they make snarky comments about an admiral. Another has him entering the bar sulking about how things have gone downhill since the start of the George Bush administration.
  • Running Gag: In later seasons, it's a thing that Cliff has a reputation among Boston institutions, and it's not a good one - tour guides freak out when they see him chasing after them, the security guards at city hall recognise him and drag him away on sight, and the Mayor at one point has him arrested for writing letters of an unspecified nature, but which had them convinced he was a dangerous fanatic.
  • Serious Business: Treats the postal service like it's a military organization, and the mail a matter of life and death, much to the bemusement and exasperation of everyone else. Cliff seems to truly, honestly believe a fellow employee taking a perfume sample will lead to America becoming fascist.
  • Silent Snarker: Early Installment Weirdness had him throughout the first three seasons as a kind of Straight Man to Coach's Cloud Cuckoolander antics—often just by reacting with a tired look and implied Facepalm.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Is he ever... the guy mails authority figures and believes this makes them friends. When he thinks a joke of his has gotten onto The Tonight Show, Cliff acts like he's BFFs with Johnny Carson and part of the show's writing staff.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: He stalked a Boston councilman obsessively until the police caught him. Cliff sees this as an overreaction.
  • Straw Loser: When Sam appears on Frasier (in the same episode he learns about his fiancee sleeping with Cliff), he tells Frasier what everybody at the bar has been up to. Sam says that Cliff read an article about flesh-eating bacteria, and that it scared him enough that he stopped visiting the bar (and going out in public entirely) so that he wouldn't catch it. Sam then mentions that since Cliff's been gone, older customers have started showing back up.
  • There Are No Therapists: Well, there are, but Cliff's naturally convinced there's nothing wrong with him, and regards Frasier as a quack when he tries. For his part, Frasier drops hints to Cliff many times that he could use some time with competent psychiatric professionals. By the finale, he's gone up to suggesting electro-shock therapy. Lilith, meanwhile, just regards Cliff as a case study in borderline psychosis, so no help there.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Some hints about Cliff's childhood are very disturbing. He offhandedly suggests he was breastfed past toddlerhood, and as a teenager he'd dress up as Peter Pan and his mom as Captain Hook, before she'd tie him to the bed so he could get to sleep.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Ma Clavin routinely expresses her disappointment in how Cliff's turned out, even though Cliff's only turned out the way he has because of her.
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    Frasier Winslow Crane, M.D. 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cheers_frasier.jpg

Played by: Kelsey Grammer

Psychiatrist and second fiancé of Diane. After Diane abandoned him at the altar, Frasier became another regular at the bar, and later married Lilith.

  • All Psychology Is Freudian: As Frasier would later reveal, Freud is his childhood hero.
  • All the Other Reindeer: He gets very tetchy when the subject of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comes up, insisting that the bullying continued afterwards in a way that's very suspicious...
  • Ascended Extra: He was originally meant to be a brief, barely used character. He became so famous that not only did they make him a regular, but he earned himself a spinoff which lasted a whole eleven seasons.
  • Badass Beard: He grows a beard late in Season Ten—and keeps it this time until he presumably shaves it off prior to the beginning of Frasier.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Tries to invoke this by holding Sam up at gunpoint after Diane leaves him at the altar for him. Sam sees right through this though because the gun was visibly not loaded.
  • Blatant Lies: Insists he's over Diane. Thoroughly over her. Completely over her.
    Diane: (as Frasier grips her shoulders) Frasier, you're hurting me!
    Frasier: Well, you never hurt me, did you?!
  • Breakout Character: Got his own spinoff, which itself lasted for 11 years.
  • Butt-Monkey: Getting dumped by Diane at the altar begins a chain of romantic bad luck which lasted (depending on whether you count the marriage to Lilith, and Frasier probably does) through the turn of the millennium.
  • Carpet of Virility: Seen when he takes his shirt off. Frasier's got a very hairy chest on him.
  • Characterization Marches On: When first introduced, he's got severe problems showing affection in public. By the time he's taken up with Lilith, this is not remotely a problem.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Tries to give Carla advice on how to handle Eddie's death, only for it to become clear the good doctor has his own issues with grief he isn't dealing with.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Frasier goes out to get revenge, he gets creative. After Diane dumped him, one of his responses was to apparently sign her up to every tape and record club in Boston note . And when his fellow psychiatrist Simon Finch-Royce deliberately overcharges him, Frasier makes certain to send Diane in full I Reject Your Reality mode after him.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Rare gender inverted version. Hester Crane did not like Diane, regarding her as a "pseudo-intellectual barmaid", even seriously considering shooting her.
  • Dodgy Toupee: Briefly considers donning one for a date in season 11.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "The Heart Is a Lonely Snipe-Hunter." It is his Establishing Character Moment, and he doesn't do it because he is mean or angry—he accepts being a victim of a snipe hunt because that's what guys do, but screwing the others would also be what guys do. At that moment, Frasier earns some Hidden Depths.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: Starting off, wine, to show he's classier than the usual clientele of Cheers. He switches to more casual drinks when he's a regular (his spin-off has him switch almost exclusively to sherry).
  • Facepalm: All. The. Freaking. Time.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: For a while, he resented Sam because Diane left Frasier for him—this jealousy even started before the ill fated marriage proposal, knowing their prior relationship. He got over it though, after hooking up with Lilith.
  • Happy Ending Override: The show ends with him and Lilith tentatively reconciling. By the time Frasier begins, they proved unable to work it out and divorced, with Frasier's only word on what happened being that it was "excruciating".
  • Henpecked Husband: Lilith will get her way. No questions asked.
  • Heroic BSoD: For the first handful of episodes in Season 4, Frasier is pretty broken up following Diane leaving him. He gets better in "Triangle."
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: His first reaction to seeing Diane again? Terror. Then anger. Then demanding hard liquor from Woody.
  • Informed Attribute: At one point Lilith pegs him as having obsessive tendencies. Aside from holding a grudge against Diane, for what even his brother eventually points out is about the most humiliating way to dump a person, this doesn't come up much here. It gets a lot more focus when he gets his own show.
  • Insufferable Genius: Less so than Diane, but it's there. It's part of the reason why he was embraced by the bar patrons (and perhaps the fans as well) much more quickly than Diane was.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Amusingly, the reason Sam knows Frasier isn't about to shoot him isn't because he thinks he's a wimp- it's because he's using a revolver and Sam can easily see that the chambers are empty.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Frasier is a bit of an Insufferable Genius and was quite bitter after Diane left him at the altar, he does care about his friends and tries to give them legitimate advice for free, such as helping Sam with his sex addiction.
  • Large Ham: Not quite as much as he becomes in his own show, but when he gets worked up, sure.
  • Not So Above It All: He's got class, but he takes part in his fair share of bar pranks and tomfoolery and no one respects him less for it.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Invokes it when talking about Lilith's mother to the others, much to Lilith's irritation. Then, in season 10, she turns out to be one for real.
  • Prima Donna Director: Woe unto he who lets Frasier have a camera. He manages to reduce Kelly to tears after just one take (and this was after several hours dealing with Cliff being one already).
  • Romantic False Lead: What he starts off as, only intended to be a roadblock for Sam and Diane, but he sticks around and even gets his own Spin-Off that lasted 11 seasons.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: It's his main language, such as using the old yuppie term for shacking up, "POSSLQ".note 
  • Ship Tease: Often shown to have an attraction to Rebecca, who doesn't notice him. He actually does nearly sleep with her... then Lilith returns.
  • The Shrink: His profession, which he eventually makes a radio career out of.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: His way of clarifying himself for the lesser-erudite bar patrons.
  • Spinoff: Frasier moves to Seattle, where his antics would go on for 11 years.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Lilith mentions that between their utterly disastrous first date and their getting together, he stalked her. Fras is unapologetic about this.
  • Stepford Smiler: After Lilith leaves him, he pretends to be happy, but can only keep up the façade so long, and it becomes apparent Frasier is actually deeply heartbroken without her.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Embodies this trope for 20 years.
  • Took a Level in Badass: His arc in "The Heart Is A Lonely Snipehunter". This is the episode where he transforms from a kind of lovable goof into "one of the guys".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Diane leaving him at the altar left him quite bitter for a very long time, most notably in Season 4—as indicated by his first exchange with Woody—
    "Just get me a whiskey, punk!"
  • Weight Woe: Starts getting worried about his weight at one point, and hires Sam as a physical trainer. This lasts until Frasier ties Sam up with a jump rope and makes a break for it.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's jittery about bees. Carla exploits this for maximum evil.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Frasier's mind starts to unravel when he's not getting any. It starts to really unravel. He even starts getting turned on by wine glasses (it's the curves).
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: A broken Frasier threatens to kill Sam for ruining his life, but it was really just an attempt to see him quake in his boots.

    Woodrow Huckleberry Tiberius "Woody" Boyd 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/woody_boyd.jpg

Played by: Woody Harrelson

Sam's assistant-bartender after Coach passed away. Born and raised in rural Indiana.

  • Bad "Bad Acting":
    • In "Two Girls For Every Boyd," when Woody, cast in a community theater production of Our Town opposite a young Lisa Kudrow, is too nervous about a love scene to act competently.
    • Woody is also portrayed as a terrible actor to start with, as even his community theater group won't hire him for anything unless they're absolutely desperate.
    • Actually a Zig Zagged Trope, as Woody gives a beautiful performance as Mark Twain in Season 6.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Woody's normally the sweetest of the cast, but even he's capable of delivering a solid burn on occasion, with Rebecca being a frequent target. And he, just like everyone else in the bar, will not tolerate the presence of Yankees supporters, who are tied to a rack. Even if that person is Frasier.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Woody, for the first part of his tenure in the bar. So much so, that he has himself hypnotized into loving kale after doing a commercial for a veggie drink he doesn't like. He goes into a Heroic BSoD when asked to lie about whether he parachuted from a plane. Later, he starts getting good at lying.
  • Character Tic: Leaping over the bar.
  • Chick Magnet: Ladies think he's cute. Actually has quite a few potential love interests pre-Kelly.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander:
    Carla: Todays it's how many bolts are in the floor [of Boston Garden], tomorrow it's "If the Brady Bunch crashes in the Andes, who's gonna eat who first?"
  • Comically Missing the Point: One of the guiltiest of the regulars, regarding this.
    Eddie: What did you used to do to break out of slumps when you were pitching, Sam?
    Sam: Me? Well, I, uh, drank myself into a coma.
    Woody: Did it work?
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: He filled Coach's role as the idiot in the cast. Whereas Coach was an eccentric elder gentleman, Woody was a naive country boy.
  • Country Mouse: From his very first episode, where his remarks on the bar prompt Sam to ask if he's from out of town.
  • Covert Pervert: Not above fiddling with the bar's thermostat so that Rebecca will come and adjust it. The thermostat is put in such a place that Rebecca has to bend over in order to reach it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Some of the stories of his life growing up in Indiana are... amazingly disturbing, which Frasier eventually gets concerned about. And yet Woody doesn't seem at all bothered by them.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Huckleberry.
  • Formerly Fat: When the gang brings over one of his old love interests to visit, she mentions that he used to be pretty big.
  • Genius Ditz:
    • Woody speaks simply and is completely blind to double talk, but his upbringing has given him a useful, if unorthodox insight in the big city.
    • Shows a shocking natural aptitude for Chess, beating the pants off Frasier every time they play together (much to the suffering of Frasier's ego).
    • Another episode has him lose a $20 bill, which Cliff finds (not knowing Woody lost one) and announces to the bar. When it's suggested that it rightfully belongs to Woody, Cliff suggests facetiously that Woody give him the serial number. Woody does, surprising everyone, and explains to Sam that he memorizes the serial numbers on all his currency for just such an occasion.
    • It may run in the family. When asked why Woody's father didn't like the Le Film Artistique made by Diane, Woody replied that his father thought it was too derivative of Jean-Luc Godard.
    • We have this in Tan 'N Wash on why he won't invest.
      Woody: You know, when I left home, my father gave me some very sound advice. Never trust a man who can't look you in the eye, never talk when you can listen, and never spend venture capital on a limited partnership without a detailed analytical fiduciary prospectus.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: With Kelly. In the Season 10 two-part finale, they can't keep their hands off each other!
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Woody has blonde hair and is the kindest character on the show.
  • Happily Married: With Kelly. By the time of his appearance in Frasier, they're still together and have kids. Compare that to near everyone else at Cheers who shows up there.
  • Henpecked Husband: Played with. Kelly even gets poor Woody to change his church denomination. Frasier makes it a point to warn him it's only the beginning....
  • Hopeless Suitor: He develops a crush on Rebecca, who has no real interest in him.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Even if he's slow on the uptake, he manages to keep things in line at Cheers pretty well, especially when Rebecca takes over.
  • Innocently Insensitive: His slowness in many things sometimes leads him to be this. Mainly towards Carla.
    • Carla took a picture of herself with a cardboard Elvis at Graceland:
      Woody: Wow! You look almost lifelike!
      Carla: (in stride, smiling) So do you, Woody.
    • Diane's a victim too, at times. When Diane reveals she had a wild fling after she left Frasier at the altar:
      Woody: Was that before or...after you dumped Dr. Crane and sent him into an alcoholic tailspin?
      Diane: (Timidly) Um—after....
      Frasier: (piping in, snarky) How long after?
  • Insult Backfire: As part of their annual attempt to outdo Gary's Old Town Tavern, Sam proposes a Basketball game with, as a ringer, a member of the Boston Celtics. Larry Bird is suggested, and Woody immediately rejects him.
    Woody: I know Larry Bird. He's from Indiana. He's a doofus.
    Carla: So, you're from Indiana and you're a doofus.
    Woody: Yeah, but he's from French Lick, and everybody from Hanover knows that everybody from French Lick is a doofus.
    • They get Kevin McHale instead, which leads to a Brick Joke, as McHale says that Bird had told him that everybody from Hanover is a doofus.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: As sweet as a small child and about as intelligent.
  • Last-Name Basis: With the exception of Sam and Carla, he refers to everyone by their last name.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Diane. Interestingly enough, he's often described Diane as "beautiful/pretty"— even in her presence!—but any attraction is downplayed, as he strongly supports Diane's relationship with Sam.
  • Manchild: Even more than Sam. Sometimes he openly pouts or cries when he doesn't get his way.
  • Mood Whiplash: A lot of his stories about his family can be like this. Seems sweet, takes a swerve and then goes back to a sweet outlook.
  • My Beloved Smother: Implied in one episode, where Woody follows up his constant phone conversations with his mother by going to the men's room to wash out his mouth—because Mom took offense at his choice of words.
  • Nice Guy: Always eager to help.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    Frasier: (On Woody beating him in chess) Woody! You must be some kind of idiot savant!
    Woody: Yeah...but I cover it by smiling a lot.
  • Pair the Dumb Ones: Woody who was equal parts Cloud Cuckoo Lander and Kindhearted Simpleton, marries Kelly, who was almost exactly the same. On an episode of Frasier, Frasier was pleasantly surprised to learn that their son was smart.
  • Parental Abandonment: Yet another horrifying Woody story has him mentioning how his parents just left him behind when he was a kid.
  • Pretty Boy: As Norm notes, he's got the "cute and innocent farmboy" look going on (and all the barflies hate him for it).
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Notorious for his innocent responses to sarcasm or rhetorical questions.
  • Seen It All: "Ah, the old 'boy loses, girl wins, boy wins, girl loses jinx reinforcement' theory. If I've seen it once, I've seen it a hundred times."
  • Shipper on Deck: For Sam and Diane—to the point where he eagerly lets himself get recruited in one of Diane's plans to draw Sam out of his shell, in Season 5's "Tan N Wash". (See: the "Funny" page.)
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Coach. But he grows into his own character over time.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: An attempt to subject him to the old "is your refrigerator running" gag fails because Woody doesn't realize what he's supposed to be falling for, and explains to the would-be pranker how homonyms work. That Lilith tried to explain the joke to him didn't help.
  • Troll: As sweet as he usually is, Woody can be a major troll. He mocks Frasier when he beats him at chess, and when he's winning a poker tournament, he becomes a major taunting Jerkass.
  • What Might Have Been: Apparently, the show creators had been considering continuing the show in Ted Danson's absence, with Woody as the lead. However, Woody Harrelson refused to do it.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Such is his outlook that a tearful, honest plead to the voters won him a seat on the City Council.

    Lilith Sternin(-Crane), M.D. 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lilith_sternin.jpg

Played by: Bebe Neuwirth

Frasier's wife, and later ex-wife. Also a psychiatrist. Very stoic, but there's feelings in there somewhere.

  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Averted. In "Veggie Boyd" when Frasier talks about what Freud would make of Woody's condition, Lilith snorts in derision.
    Lilith: Honestly, Frasier. You must be the last psychiatrist on Earth who hasn't abandoned Sigmund Freud's theories.
    Frasier: What are you saying?
    Lilith: Merely that his theories are outdated sexist superstitions unsupported by a shred of clinical evidence.
    Frasier: You're drunk.
    • It's established in "Abnormal Psychology" and later in Frasier that Lilith is a fan of Gestalt.
  • Ascended Extra: She first appeared in one Season 4 episode in which Frasier has a disastrous date. The character returned in Season 5 and eventually Neuwirth joined Grammer in the opening titles.
  • Brainy Brunette: About as, if not more intelligent than Frasier, with very dark black hair.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: While she can snark with the best of them, only Frasier, Cliff and she herself think she's funny.
  • The Comically Serious: It takes until a few seasons into the spinoff show, Frasier, before she actually gets a sense of humor. That doesn't mean other characters can't play off of her for humor.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hell, she's a deadpan everything.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Courtesy of Diane, in Season 5's "Abnormal Psychology". Zig-zagged in that Lilith's rigid nature can apparently only "defrost" for so long.
    • By Frasier, she's managed to loosen back up a bit. Maybe too much, because she once sleeps with Frasier's brother behind his back.
  • Drama Queen: Believe it or not, it happens. Examples include when she learns of the extent of Frasier's relationship with Diane...or when she over-mourns her lab rat.
  • Drives Like Crazy:
    • As it turns out, Lilith is a terrifying driver. Her first driving lesson has a terrified Sam returning to the bar, and recounting along with a proud Lilith how she rammed a truck off the road for cutting her off. Then she confronted the truck driver.
    • Later on, Lilith buys Sam's precious Corvette, and within a few days has racked up several speeding tickets, motivation for Frasier to help Sam get his car back from her.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: She's known for being pale-skinned, but she's relatively tan in her debut appearance.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Her incredibly pale skin and dark ensemble is used to show how socially removed she is from the rest of the characters.
  • Emotionless Girl: Lilith is ridiculously stone-faced, even when she's angry, or cracking a joke...or even when she's flirting her brains out with Frasier.
    • After a separation from Frasier, she is finally driven to tears...and even her crying sounds robotic.
    • When Diane tells her that Frasier is harboring a secret attraction to her, she coughs twice, then thanks Diane for making her laugh the hardest she's done in years.
    • In "Dinner at Eight-ish", she actually has a breakdown, screaming at Frasier like a distraught woman. Frasier notes she's starting to make progress. However, she's never quite that emotional ever again, so it was tantamount to Varsuvius erupting.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: She cheats on Frasier, but despite the sheer amount of pain and humiliation it causes Fras, isn't portrayed as a heartless act of spite, but simply Lilith looking for emotional support she wasn't getting in a failing marriage, and she comes to regret it when the guy she chooses turns out to be quite insane.
  • Granola Girl: Which is what happens when a yuppie gets pregnant. She and Frasier go beyond even granola, with Frasier proudly proclaiming he has created life with his seed and Lilith responded she is his fertile soil with which to grow it. Of course, when they try a more agrarian life, it takes them a few hours to abandon it and head to a posh restaurant.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She doesn't handle meeting Nanette Guzman diplomatically. She's not too thrilled to learn Nanette is Frasier's ex-wife as well. Though Nanette doesn't help by making it clear she's still got the hots for Frasier, and did so by kissing him in front of Lilith and Frederick (and an entire audience of kids). It eventually ends with Lilith attacking her in the bar.
  • Hot Librarian: She is rather attractive, but almost never sheds her outer layer of sophistication.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lilith once called her yuppie friends "the very definition of the Y-word". When Norm puzzled over the expression, Frasier snarked, looking pointedly at Lilith, "It's the yuppie term for yuppie."
  • Insufferable Genius: Surprisingly averted, as she rarely rubs her expertise in anyone's face. Still, she notably makes an exception in Frasier's case....
  • Lethal Chef: For example, when Lilith asks in Season Five's "Dinner At Eight-ish" if the group wants more lasagna, then leaves to get coffee:
    Diane: Lasagna?!
    Frasier: I wasn't even thinking Italian!
    Sam: Well, I was closest. I said "something with meat".
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: Claims to have been pregnant with Frederick for 15 months - considering her flat delivery, it's impossible to tell if she's being sarcastic or not.
  • Lysistrata Gambit: Lilith pulls this more and more as the Rebecca era progresses. It hits Frasier hard.
    Lilith: Oh, Frasier, isn't it enough that I'm doing it to your mind?
  • Men Are Uncultured: Parodied. Frasier is very cultured but still has his moments. Lilith is the kind of girl who just doesn't enjoy things that the average joe does.
  • My Beloved Smother: Frederick certainly thinks this of her during his bar mitzvah.
  • Nerdy Nasalness: Lilith has a nasally voice and is extremely intelligent.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: One episode ended with this kind of future, where Frederick is grown-up, and he and Lilith are listening to a reading of Frasier's will. Thanks to incidents at the bar in the present, Frasier's will got mixed up with Sam's sperm test results.
    "That damn bar."
  • No Sense of Humor: Early on, any attempts at joking with Lilith would be met by a blank stare.
    • It goes both ways; Lilith thinks of herself as a cut-up, but Frasier humors her. Cliff genuinely thinks she's as funny as she thinks she is.
      Cliff: Hey! Nobody told me she was funny!
      Norm: And now you know why.
  • Not So Above It All: Lilith partakes in the shenanigans going on in the bar from time to time, sometimes at Frasier's urging, sometimes with the pretense of being interested from a psychiatric standpoint, sometimes just because.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With Rebecca, starting when Norm and Cliff prank Frasier into think she's flirting with him. Lilith even asks Rebecca to be her maid of honor... mainly out of sheer geographic convenience.
    • Implied, with Cliff. In "Heeeeere's Cliffy", she's the only one who thinks the jokes Cliff wrote out are funny.
  • Parental Abandonment: During "Our Daily Bread", mentions that her father once told her to close her eyes... then disappeared for two years.
  • Replacement Flat Character: Played with. When she becomes a recurring secondary in Season 5, her interactions with Diane make the latter look surprisingly easygoing and down-to-earth by comparison, emphasizing how far she's come in five years. Later, in the Rebecca era, Lilith has quite a few moments of Snark-to-Snark Combat with Carla that seem very familiar....
  • Running Gag: It's a thing in the Rebecca years that Lilith is supposedly a terrible and limited musician. Her actress was (and is) a Broadway actress, and several episodes show it, such as when she sings to a baby Frederick and reduces the entire bar to tears.
  • The Scottish Trope: Lilith evolved into this over time; just mentioning her name sends shivers up people's spines. The Spin-Off, Frasier, shows Frasier's superstitious maid Daphne getting psychic backlash whenever Lilith is nearby.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Bedroom talk between her and Frasier must've been interesting.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Frasier, while still maintaining her utterly deadpan delivery.
  • Spock Speak: Uses clinical terms in every-day speak, without irony.
  • The Stoic: In an episode of the spin-off, Frasier, in which she and Frasier run into each other on vacation with their respective dates, Frasier is convinced that she's having sex in the next room over based on the dead silence.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: She tolerates the goings-on in the bar...but not without some eye-rolling. Becomes more and more apparent as time goes on—amid Frasier acting more and more laid-back in his interactions with the guys....
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: She's desperate to please her mother, which causes some issues between her and Frasier until Lilith finally snaps and tells her off.
  • Women Are Wiser: She's the wet-blanket superego to Frasier's more laid back ego. Who's in the right tends to vary.

    Rebecca Howe 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rebecca_howe.jpg

Played by: Kirstie Alley

Cheers's manager when Sam sold the bar to a corporation. Aspires to climb up the corporate ladder and/or marry a rich man.

  • Absolute Cleavage: In "Hot Rocks".
  • All Girls Like Ponies: She used to have a pony when she was a little girl. Then, for some mysterious reason, she had to give it up, which she's still sensitive about.
  • Butt-Monkey: Early on she was a frequent target of pranks and jabs from Carla and the other bar members; as she starts to fit in a little more, her constant screwups and mishaps in her job and love life reduce her to a hilarious wreck.
  • Characterization Marches On: Her first appearance shows her as a stern, no-nonsense Ice Queen. She got more and more neurotic as time went on, because the writers found her funnier this way.
  • The Chew Toy: Audience opinion of her went up the more her life fell apart. The ham handed neurotic breakdowns helped.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Prone to these. She also viciously resists attempts to make her quit. Her smoking habit might explain her Kathleen Turner-esque voice.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: She was presented as a completely different character from Diane - a no-nonsense ice queen who had no time for Sam's charms. As time went on, she became even more of a neurotic over-emotional wreck than Diane ever was.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Early on, at least, to go with the Ice Queen thing. Usually aimed at Carla and Sam.
    Rebecca: Tortelli, there appear to be customers having a good time over there. Why don't you go put a stop to it?
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: This was the main idea behind the character when she was first introduced, but then the writers found her funnier as a neurotic mess.
  • Drama Queen: BIG one! When Diane finally meets her in the series finale, she notes to Sam that Rebecca strikes her as "the emotional equivalent of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride". (Yes...even Diane looks reserved compared to Rebecca.)
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: After getting fired by the Lillian Corporation, Rebecca takes a demeaning job doing demonstrations at an auto show. Eventually Sam brings her back on as manager of Cheers.
  • Feigning Intelligence: She's got no idea how to run a bar and refuses to admit it.
  • Flanderization: Into a Nervous Wreck. By the last season she was constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her parents, brothers and sister are all far more successful than she is, which doesn't help her.
  • Gold Digger: Her goal in life is to find a rich guy who will marry her; every man that she's fallen deeply in love with has been insanely rich, and she eventually admits to Robin Colcord, her first mutual relationship in the series, that she only loved him for his money. She does end up with a plumber, which while blue collar is a very lucrative career. (In Frasier, apparently he eventually dumps her anyway.)
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With her little sister, who Rebecca accuses of stealing every boy she ever had a crush on. Then Sam tries to put the moves on her... they team up to humiliate him by making it look like Rebecca's killed her.
  • Hysterical Woman: By the Final Season, as she's quite literally reduced to hysterics by just about anything after the Trauma Conga Line that is her life.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: With every boss she has, save Robin Colcord, who began the relationship only to keep her from revealing his misdeeds with the company and to steal information from her.
  • Iron Lady: In her earliest appearances she's depicted as a cool, no-nonsense businesswoman, although the facade doesn't take long to start crumbling.
  • It's All About Me: Rebecca can be immensely self-centered at times. Actually, most of the time. One hilariously prominent example is when the bar has been filled with cement by Gary's Old Town Tavern; the rest of the cast panics while she takes only a second to make sure it wasn't her fault, declares she doesn't want anything to do with it, and then leaves to go to a job interview.
  • Kick the Dog: After spending an entire day she'd been planning on spending having sex with Robin with Woody instead, she snaps and calls it the most boring day of her life, which makes Woody break down in tears. Rebecca does at least apologize.
  • The Load: Hinted at after her Flanderization that Rebecca's total uselessness is part of the reason for the bar's Perpetual Poverty. And that's not counting the time she actually burns the bar down by mistake.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Because Rebecca rebuffs all advances on her because she's carrying a torch for Evan Drake, she's assumed to be a lesbian by her corporate co-workers — including Evan himself.
  • My Beloved Smother: Gender-inverted. As of Season 11, she's still receiving an allowance from her father, who tells her that he wants her to come home since she's made such a mess of things on her own. In a subversion, however, her father was just hoping she'd stand up to him and sever all ties with him since he can't afford to keep coddling her anymore. She knows about the plan beforehand and manipulates it to get an even bigger allowance.
  • Nervous Wreck: As her arc went on, she went into more and more frequent breakdowns.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Sadly for Rebecca, what's apparently her finest hour, saving Woody and Kelly's wedding from meltdown mid-ceremony, is entirely off-screen. C'est vie.
  • Only Sane Man: During the "Bar Wars" episodes, which speaks volumes about everyone else's behavior during them.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A Running Gag in the last season was that she rarely did much actual work.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Often hinted that, despite her hard-working attitude, she's been dumped at Cheers by the Lillian Corporation and her career with them has stagnated. And that's if they know she exists at all.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Woody and Kelly. Mainly because if Woody does marry Kelly, then there's a chance he'll be Kicked Upstairs at the Lillian Corporation (Kelly's father is a stockholder), and there's a chance she'll get rewarded for it.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Alley took the vacant spot of the female lead when Shelley Long left. Rebecca and Diane were different characters though.
  • Too Dumb to Live: According to her, in "Cry Hard"—upon discovering that she's let Robin Colcord use her and basically walk all over her from day one.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: She starts off competent, but starting around season 10, she really gets stupid. By season 11, she nearly burns the entire bar down.
  • Trauma Conga Line: There's a reason the season 8 finale is called "Cry Hard" and "Cry Harder". Rebecca learns Robin has been using her to commit insider trading, and is repeatedly suckered by him into not squealing with promises he won't follow up on. So Sam tells Lillian on her, and Rebecca is fired by fax, with them taking time in their letter to add they never liked her in the first place. Then Robin goes on the run rather than just stay and face bail.
  • Upper-Class Twit: She's not technically upperclass, but she talks about how, when she finally gets rich, she'll go the whole nine yards and hate poor and "common" people just as much as one.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Sam eventually rehires her after the Lilian Corporation gives her the boot as a manager, but starting around season 10 she doesn't even seem to do that, to the extent even she doesn't seem to know what she does. Carla, naturally, zings her about it at every opportunity.
    Carla: What do you do?
    Rebecca: (through clenched teeth) Shut up!
    Carla: (to the others) Thought I could trick her into tellin' us.
  • Women Are Wiser: Subverted. She puts on this act to annoy Sam, but is so immature, it eventually becomes the norm that Sam looks like a sage compared to her.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Any time it looks like things might start shaping up for her... they get worse.
  • Yes-Man: For any superior of hers. Problem is, she also becomes a complete idiot near them. At one point, she tries to refuse a superior, and after a few seconds starts trembling.
  • You Need to Get Laid:
    • Carla makes this diagnosis after Rebecca's pining leads to awkward attempts to write dirty letters to Robin. Considering how tense Rebecca had gotten by then...
    • Sam makes the diagnosis even earlier when she reveals she hasn't had sex in two years ("What happens to a person's body?!")
      Sam: (to Rebecca, genuinely concerned) The way I see it, you haven't had a date with a guy for about two and half years. Now, I think this date of ours could be good for me but sweetheart, I got to say it's looking real necessary for you.

    Cheers 

Played by: The Bull and Finch Pub (renamed Cheers Beacon Hill in 2002)

The setting of most every episode of the series, a sports bar on Beacon Street, across from the Boston Common, where everybody knows your name. Owned by Sam Malone for most of the series, except when he sells it to the Lillian Corporation for a couple years in the late 1980s. (He later buys it back for less than $1.)

  • Been There, Shaped History: The opening credits montage depicts Cheers as a locale where many important events and milestones of the twentieth century were celebrated.
  • Bottle Episode: Many episodes - including the entire first season - are set entirely within Cheers.
  • Companion Cube: The series finale seems to suggest that the bar is Sam's One True Love, and Sam seems to accept this.
  • Establishing Shot: Exteriors of the bar appear in every episode.
  • Fisher Kingdom: It's suggested several times the bar is infectious in some way, and once you're in, it's difficult to actually leave. Certainly, Carla believes this, but Carla's pretty superstitious to begin with. Meanwhile, Norm's stool seat is implied to have a One Ring-like effect on all who sit on it, which is why Norm's never left it.
    Rebecca: I just want to sit on this seat and not move until the end of time.
    Norm: Gee, maybe it is the stool.
  • Good-Guy Bar: Cheers is consistently depicted as a warm, welcoming environment, or as the iconic theme song puts it, a place where everybody knows your name.
  • Local Hangout: One of the most iconic in all of television.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Like most sitcom settings, Cheers is far more versatile than your typical sports bar. Multiple weddings have been held at Cheers, along with children's birthday parties on at least one occasion.
  • Older Than They Look: The sign says "Est. 1895" but this is because Carla was into numerology and insisted on that combination of numbers being lucky. The bar was actually established in 1889 and accordingly its centennial was celebrated in 1989.
  • One True Love: To Sam Malone... possibly.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Gary's Olde Towne Tavern.
    • Lilith seems to have a low-key antipathy for the place. From her first appearance she is consistently unimpressed with it; in an episode where Frasier brings their infant son to the bar and she is (understandably) upset she calls it a "house of ill repute"; and in a Flash Forward set decades later, upon learning her husband's will and Sam Malone's sperm test results have been switched, she bitterly remarks "That damn bar."
  • Under New Management: Sam sells the bar to Lillian between season 5 and 6, and they put Rebecca in charge. At the start of season 7, they admit under Rebecca's management the bar isn't doing as hot as under Sam, so he's put back in charge. By season 8, he manages to buy it back and promptly puts up a sign saying "under old management".
  • Written-In Absence: Frasier returns to Boston in Frasier (specifically, the episode, "Cheerful Goodbyes"), but despite meeting most of the Cheers gang, it's not at Cheers itself. Apparently Sam's hosting a party and couldn't host two at the same time (the out-of-universe explanation is that the set had long been taken down, and they naturally weren't going to rebuild it for a one-off episode).

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Recurring Characters

    Paul/Glen/Gregg/Tom Krapence 

Played by: Paul Willson

  • Abhorrent Admirer: In the Frasier episode "Cheerful Goodbyes", Paul announced that Cliff has been a "role model" to him. Cliff doesn't take this too well...
  • Ascended Extra: Started off as just one of many background patrons who'd get a line on occasion. Ended up a popular recurring secondary.
  • Butt-Monkey: Took the mantle of "default target" from Cliff once he became a semi-regular—much to Cliff's relief and delight.
  • Kavorka Man: Somehow, he gets to sleep with Carla and Sam's fiancé, and even attracts a hot blonde (though she self-admitted she was a Chubby Chaser.)
  • Running Gag: As he lampshades in the series finale, "big", interesting things seem to happen after he walks off to do something and end before he comes back.
    (Long pause) "I missed something, didn't I?"
  • Straw Loser: He mostly seems to exist to take some of Cliff’s Butt-Monkey role off of his shoulders. There are multiple occasions where he’s shown to be considered even more of a loser by everyone in the bar than Cliff, who himself is already the resident Straw Loser. For example, when Carla fears that she slept with Cliff while she was drunk, she is initially relieved when she finds out she didn’t, only to get even more horrified when she finds out it was Paul. Paul being treated as an even bigger loser than Cliff puts him in this role by extension.

    Al 

Played by: Al Rosen

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Of Diane.
  • Ascended Extra: Became a fan favorite on the basis of one word alone:
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: When the actor, Al Rosen, passed away, his character's absence was not explained. His absence was later explained in the Season 9 Frasier episode "Cheerful Goodbyes" when Cliff gives a toast to Phil.
    Cliff: You've always been there for me, Al.
    Phil: I'm Phil. Al's been dead for fourteen years, you dumb son of a bitch!
  • Corpsing: He's the sole member of the cast who would noticeably do this, which was okay because the rest of the actors had trouble not corpsing at his line deliveries as well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: And how. In response to Cliff giving another of his Little Known Facts...
    Al: Get outta here...!
    Cliff: You question my figures?!
    Al: No! I want you to get outta here!
  • Dirty Old Man: A walking stereotype. Even goes so far as to rummage through a suitcase of Diane's lingerie! When she finds out and smacks his hands away, he doesn't mind....
    Al: That was the most fun I had since '59!
  • Hidden Depths: In "Cheers: The Motion Picture", he turns out to be the one who convinces Woody's father to let Woody stay in Boston—by sending a surprisingly heartfelt and meaningful postcard.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Played for Laughs when Diane gets stuck in the floor, her face visible through the grid:
    "Pucker up, baby!"
    (Diane screams—Sam shoves Al away in time)
  • Troll: Occasionally.
    Al: DANCE, mailman!

    Harry "The Hat" Gittes 

Played by: Harry Anderson

A con man who occasionally frequents Cheers.

  • Card Sharp: most notably in "Pick a Con, Any Con".
  • Everyone Has Standards: His cons and bets are largely small-time (for instance, the most he ever takes from Norm is a ten-dollar bill), and he shows a genuine dislike for people who commit serious fraud and robbery against victims. In "Pick a Con, Any Con," for example, he discovers that Coach has lost thousands playing poker over the years, and teams up with Sam to take down the crook and get the old man his money back (and then some!).
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: "I don't like the idea of someone else plucking my pigeons."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He loves to trick Sam out of paying his bill and the other patrons out of a few bucks here and there, but when things get serious, he sides with the Cheers gang to defeat their rivals or protect from genuinely nasty crooks.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: As is the case with many real-life grifters, many of his tricks require the victim to seemingly catch on to what he's doing and try to outplay him—only for him to reveal the real con afterward.
  • Lovable Rogue: He's certainly no saint, but he's so charming, and his marks so overly confident about their ability to see through his tricks, that you can't help but like him.
  • Nice Hat: His fedora.
  • Put on a Bus: Disappeared after Season 2 due to Harry Anderson's commitment to Night Court. When he made a return appearance in Season 6, Harry simply explained, "Two to ten, with time off for good behavior." He made one more appearance in Season 11.

    Gary 
Played by: Joel Polis/Robert Desiderio

The proprietor of Gary's Old Town Tavern and a fierce rival of Sam's.

  • All Men Are Perverts: He verbally taunts Diane in the bowling alley by challenging Sam to "raise the stakes" by adding a date with her in the betting pool—and then mocks her earlier intellectual smackdown of him by suggesting the members of her sorority "had quite a reputation"—to Diane's face. (Bad idea....)
  • Break the Haughty: After nearly six seasons of Karma Houdini in the Rebecca era...Gary finally gets what's coming to him when Harry the Hat cons him into demolishing his own bar.
  • Compensating for Something: During her polite verbal smackdown of Gary and company, Diane throws in a speculation that this is the reason for Gary's chronic obsession with belittling Sam.
  • Insufferable Genius: His response to Diane's rebuke and appeal to "higher attainments"—"I graduated magna cum laude in American Literature from Princeton."
    Diane: Oh? Couldn't make summa?
  • Jerkass: He makes it a point to rub in Sam's face any real or anticipated victory.
  • Jerk Jock: Though the bullying is more verbal/mental than anything else.
  • Lounge Lizard: Diane sums him up as one before rendering him silent with her bowling prowess.
  • Smug Snake: He only seems to respect fellow Jerk Asses—such as the members of his clique.
  • The Other Darrin: Sort of, Gary was basically played by two actors who alternated throughout the series based on availability.

    Andy Schroeder, aka Andy-Andy 

Played by: Derek McGrath

The wannabe Shakespearean actor who did time for murder—and then, for attempted murder of Diane.

    Kelly Susan Gaines 

Played by: Jackie Swanson

Woody's girlfriend and eventual wife.

  • Daddy's Girl: Utterly devoted to her dad, who dotes on her (Momma Gaines took off when Kelly was younger).
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Well, not on purpose, but the old man definitely didn't care for Woody.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Played with as, in Kelly's case, it's Barbie dolls. Sam snarks upon discovering this that G.I. Joe would have a great time in Kelly's room....
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Once she's "deflowered" (by Woody, don't worry), she and Woody have a really hard time keeping their hands off each other!
  • Horrible Judge of Character: She's got massive blind spots. Such as Henri, or failing to notice her mother's Mrs. Robinson routine. Or thinking Rebecca and Carla would try to steal Woody from her.
  • The Ingenue: Up to Eleven! The girl's a big sweetheart, but her complete obliviousness to people's darker motives can at times lead to irritation in the other characters (even Woody).
  • The Pollyanna: Almost always nice and happy, even bothering to say goodbye and wave after quitting a brief stint as a barmaid in a moment of anger.
  • Poke the Poodle: Even when she loses her temper at someone, she's not very threatening. The gang's excitement at a potential cat fight dampens when the most Kelly can muster is "I'll hurt your feelings!"
  • Replacement Flat Character: For Woody. She has the same naiveté and simple-mindedness that Woody had back in the beginning. Meanwhile, over the years Woody becomes more worldly-wise and experienced. The "Henri" arc in particular emphasizes all this.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Honestly, there are times when Woody looks streetwise compared to her. One episode has them take a long time to convince her that there is such a thing a significant a subway in Boston and when she does go down to ride it she inadvertently gets caught up in a graffiti-spraying gang.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Refuses to acknowledge Henri having anything less than perfectly innocent motivations (no matter how blatantly obvious...which is the norm).note 
  • Spoiled Sweet: She's very nice but... hoo. One of Woody's first major hurdles is trying to fill her in on their different economic situations meaning he can't buy her flashy gifts for her birthday.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Woody isn't too taken with her middle name of Susan.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: She can't quite fathom the idea that here are people out there that you need to be wary of.

    Evan Drake 

Played by: Tom Skerritt

Owner of the Lillian corporation for a time. Rebecca's big crush until he left the show.

    Robin Colcord 

Played by: Roger Rees

Rebecca's boss and major Love Interest in later seasons.

  • Ascended Extra: Roger Rees eventually became regular enough that he appeared in Cheers cast photos late in the series' run.
  • The Atoner: Has become this by the time of his final appearance, where he reveals that he gave away what money he still had left, and now travels the world seeking to educate people on how foolish and damaging greed can be.
  • British Stuffiness: A bit less tight-knit than most, though.
  • The Chessmaster: Skilled at games of will and intellect and The Plan. He's also shown to be literally this in one episode, when he challenges Sam to a chess match, forcing Sam to rely on help from the regulars and a chess computer, and not only does Robin immediately work what's going on, he nearly beats the computer until a communication breakdown causes Sam to make a fluke move that wins him the game.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Ziz-zags. Whether he really is corrupt or not is a major question fueling his arc.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Robin brings a shredder in his briefcase... to his marriage proposal to Rebecca.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he does do some pretty admittedly slimy stuff, he does have his moments—such as encouraging Sam to re-discover his motivation to do whatever it takes to buy back Cheers.
  • Not So Above It All: He challenges Sam to a thumb war at one point.
  • Secret Test of Character: Had some money stashed away, but pretended to be dirt poor to see if Rebecca would marry him anyway. When she backed out, he revealed the money and left. In his final appearance she thinks he's pulling the same trick again, but this time he's not faking it.

    John Allen Hill 

Played by: Keene Curtis

Extremely pretentious and snobbish fellow who buys Melville's (and, somehow, manages to get possession of part of Cheers for a while). Seems to enjoy making life hard for the staff and patrons of Cheers. Eventually has a passionate (yet belligerent) relationship with Carla.

  • Catch Phrase: "Sam...!" (done in an incredibly condescending, smug tone). Sam even lampshades this in one episode.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Somehow managed to secure ownership of the bathrooms and pool room of the bar...just so he can blackmail Sam.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Actually breaks down in tears and begs Sam not to continue dating his daughter.
  • Hate Sink: Seems to have been created specifically so the audience will have someone they hate.
  • It's All About Me: When Sam tries to reason with him by appealing to mutual benefit, Hill just gloats, "I don't need you."
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Almost any time it looks like he might show some, indeed any, trace of humanity, it's pretty quickly subverted.
  • Love Redeems: Once he and Carla fall for each other, his rivalry with Sam more-or-less ends—though they still snark at each other.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Master of blackmail—and plays Sam's frustrations like a flute.
  • The Masochism Tango: With Carla. It would be called a "romantic relationship", except, well...
  • Pet the Dog: One of his vanishingly rare examples of benevolence, when the Cheers gang "borrow" several things from Melville's for Thanksgiving. John shows up, but thanks to some buttering from Sam agrees to let them use the cutlery (even if he still manages to be a jerk about it).
  • Real Men Hate Affection: He's literally incapable of it.
  • Smug Snake: Seems to live solely for having everyone around him constantly acknowledging his power over them.

    Henri 

Played by: Anthony Cistaro

The Frenchman who accompanies Kelly when she returns to the U.S. Seemingly obsessed with flaunting how much of a womanizer he is. Has his eyes on Kelly until she marries Woody. Obsessed with finding ways out of having to work...and into women's beds.

  • Faux Fluency: Might not actually be French, given he draws a blank when Lilith tries speaking actual French to him.
  • French Jerk: Mm-hmm....
  • Hate Sink: He's a French Jerk who exists for no other reason than to try and steal Kelly from Woody; his every appearance depicts him as a lazy bum with no scruples and no real redeeming traits.
  • Hidden Depths: Subverted. During his contest with Sam, actually drops the French accent and confesses to a girl he's a fake and just pretends to be a French Jerk because it gets him laid. When she leaves, he returns to his normal French accent and proudly announces he's scored another one.
  • It's All About Me: Selfish to the extreme. Has no concern over who he hurts to get the girls.
  • Jerkass: His constant taunting of Woody to the effect that "I Will Steal Your Girl". In front of Kelly. With no shame whatsoever.
  • Lazy Bum: The idea of actually "working" for a living seems so alien to him, he more or less makes staying on unemployment an art form.
    • Actually balks when Sam hires him temporarily to fill in for Woody.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Comes this close to making Kelly one of his conquests, and she is completely oblivious to it. And Woody feels powerless to do anything, for fear of upsetting Kelly.
  • Not So Different: He's basically a French Sam without the latter's scruples or ambition to actually succeed in life. As such, he loves to compare himself to Sam...or rather, Sam to him. How Sam takes this basically depends on his mood....
  • Pretend Prejudice: One episode has him dropping slurs against "lazy/fat" Americans (enraging the gang in the process)...but it's just to bait Sam into facing off against him in a bout.

    Esther "Ma" Clavin 

Played by: Frances Sternhagen

Cliff's mom.

  • Abusive Parents: Mentions she used to lock Cliff in the cupboard when he was a boy, and is unapologetic about the results. She's also not above playing pranks on him with the rest of the bar.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: She will insult and humiliate Cliff in front of the entire bar, without a single moment of hesitation or remorse.
  • Cool Old Lady: Can pull pranks with the best of them, and is generally quite well-up on "modern" culture.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially when putting up with her son's awkward behavior.
  • It Amused Me: One of the reasons she's so horrible to Cliff, as she puts it when she takes Woody as a surrogate son.
    Cliff: When are you gonna stop being mean to me?
    Esther: When it stops being funny.
  • Little Known Facts: Apparently, it runs in the family....
  • Genius Bonus: In-Universe. Her facts are actually true - and Cliff often repeats some of them in the bar (and bungles them.)
  • My Beloved Smother: Ma can certainly be this way.
    • In her defense, Cliff's a bit immature, though how much of it is due to her babying of him is anyone's guess.
    • Actually averted in that when she leaves, she remark's Cliff's almost 40 and it's time to cut the cord.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Not above pretending to have heart attacks in order to guilt Cliff into doing what she wants (though Cliff admits he attempts the same).

    Vera Peterson 

Norm's wife.

    Nick Tortelli 

Played by: Dan Hedaya

Carla's slimy, yet oddly charming, ex-husband.

  • Butt-Monkey: But then, he tends to have it coming.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Usually at the expense of Loretta and Carla. Sadly, the nature of his snarks (Loretta's slowness in understanding most things; Carla just being hard to handle) arguably tends to lead to Jerkass Has a Point.
  • Generation Xerox: Come season 6, his son with Carla starts taking on a lot of Nick's traits (though without most of Nick's slimier aspects).
  • Hidden Depths: He's a good dancer. He and Carla used to win dancing competitions when they were teens.
  • Jerkass: Especially in "An American Family", when he tries to take one of Carla's kids.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Every once in a blue moon, he has a nice Pet the Dog moment.
  • Kavorka Man: His looks are (let's be honest) every bit as repulsive as his personality. And yet he's a charmer—even affecting Diane once, actually making her faint just by whispering in her ear.
    Diane: This is the part I don't get. Here's a man that quicksand would spit up and yet he has this strange Svengali-like power over you.
  • Kubrick Stare: For some reason, this seems to be his normal expression.
  • Not So Different: Repeatedly insists this is the case with Sam. Sam is never amused by this.
  • Spinoff: Briefly, with The Tortellis. In fact, the Cheers Season-Five episode "Spellbound" is actually a crossover of sorts!
  • What Could Have Been: invoked Originally was to be played by Danny DeVito, which would have been a Casting Gag, since Rhea Perlman played Louie's erstwhile Love Interest in Taxi. DeVito's rise to stardom in film made him too expensive for the sitcom, so Dan Hedaya was cast instead.
  • Your Cheating Heart: The reason he is Carla's ex in the first place. Not only did he cheat on her, he was blatant about it. And by "blatant" we mean "showed Carla pictures".

    Loretta Tortelli 

Played by: Jean Kasem

Nick's trophy wife, who is basically the exact opposite of Carla in just about every single way.

  • Asexuality: Hinted at.
    Loretta: And I'm good at (sex), too! (pouts) Even though I don't like it very much.
  • Catch Phrase: "Hi, gang at Cheers!"
    • "Oh, no!"
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Up to Eleven. Everyone sharing a scene with her looks down-to-earth by comparison.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Endlessly. Once mistook Sam telling her the name of the song "I've Got You Under My Skin" as a come-on, and panics...even though she just quoted the song's Title Drop!
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Which makes her being part of a singing troupe for a time especially amusing....
  • The Ditz: Just when you think she finally gets it...her awareness fades away.
  • Drama Queen: Gets extremely childish. At times tries her hand at Melodrama, which is especially hilarious with her high-pitched voice.
  • Dumb Blonde: Up to Eleven. Basically why she's able to put up with Nick's antics. They just don't register with her. For example, she says Nick's cheating on her because she found a blonde hair on his sweater. Diane reminds her that Loretta is blonde too.
    Loretta: Sure! Take his side!
  • Easily Forgiven: When Nick wanted Carla to give up Gino to him, Loretta momentarily grew a spine, refusing to force a mother to give up one of her children to him. Nick takes her into the backroom. When she returns after a second, she coldly tells Carla to sign the papers.
    Sam: (amazed) Even a dose of Vitamin Sammy doesn't work that fast!

    Sumner Sloan 

Played by: Michael McGuire

Diane's ex-fiance...and former employer. Professor of World Literature at Boston University.

  • Alliterative Name: Sumner Sloan.
  • Book-Ends: Sumner brought Diane to Cheers, and Sumner takes her away.
  • Insufferable Genius: So much so, Diane looks filled with humility next to him.
    "Diane, I may not be perfect." (Beat) "Then again I may...."
  • Jerkass: They way he dumps Diane in the series premier—without even a call or a hint. As Diane noted, he's going to have to live with his "creep" reputation.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Regularly tempts Diane with her own insecurities about not fitting in among the rest of the gang.
  • Smug Snake: Even treats Dr. Frasier Crane with complete derision.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Depends on the episode. In the series premier, he briefly joins in the guys' discussion on "the sweatiest movie ever made" (his suggestion of Cool Hand Luke apparently settles the argument). In his later appearances, however, his attempts to sound casual make him look like an arrogant klutz.

     The Tortelli Kids: Anthony, Serafina, Gino, Ludlow, Anne Marie, Elvis, Jesse and Lucinda 
Played by: Timothy Williams, Leah Remini, Josh Lozoff, Jarrett Lennon, Rita Littman, Thomas Tulak, Danny Kramer and Sabrina Weiner

"Have you seen The Brady Bunch? Well, picture them with knives."
—Carla describing her kids

Carla's unruly children. On one ocassion she compared them to The Brady Bunch with knives.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Gino to Rebecca.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Ludlow has his moments, especially in his first appearence.
  • Ascended Extra: In a sense: None of them ever become major characters, but Lucinda, Ludlow, Elvis and Jesse all get a few credited appearances after starting out as literal extras, appearing as newborns Carla brought to the bar when they still needed things like breastfeeeding.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Sometimes gets these moments with their mother.
  • Breath-Holding Brat: Carla has taught Ludlow this by his last appearence: he uses it to sell some cookies, and his mother comments it also got $100 off of a part for their car.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Most to all of them at one point or another. When Rebecca is babysitting once they lock her in the dryer and run it. With Sam, they steal his pants while he's wearing them. Most of the reason Carla works so much at Cheers is mainly so she doesn't have to go home to them.
  • Burger Fool: Anthony eventually gets a job as one. Amusingly, Annie is turned on by the new uniform.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Gino.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Anthony and his wife Annie were semi-recurring characters between seasons 5 and 7, until Anthony mentions he's knocked Annie up and Carla chases him out of the house in a berserk rage. Neither reappear again, with only a handwave given during season 10 that he's gotten arrested for unknown reasons. Part of the reason was Anthony and Annie were castmembers in The Tortellis.
  • Delinquent: Several of them at different stages in life, especially Gino (who never really grows out of it) and Serafina. Some of the boys being in trouble with the police is a running gag and once she even hired them to kidnap someone.
  • Description Cut: An offscreen variant is used in one episode, when Carla needs some dirty work done and is dialing the phone number of the people to do it.
    Carla: I happen to know some people who can handle this kind of thing, no questions asked. It might cost us a little, but they do good work. [into the telephone] Hi. It's Mommy. Wake up your brothers.
  • Disappeared Dad: Between them they have three fathers, all of whom apply. By the end of the show one is dead, one doesn't do anything besides send child support, and the third is Nick (who, when challenged to identify which of the kids are his at Serafinas wedding, only succeeds in picking out Gino -after seeing him making a pass on Rebecca- and Serafina herself).
  • The Ditz: Gino is very, very stupid. Part of the reason his mother and grandmother fell out is a debate over naming her oldest son "Benito Mussolini". Gino has no idea who this is or why Carla's so against it, and is all for it having heard of Benito's other title "Il Douche", not getting what that means either.
  • Fille Fatale: Apparently Serafina in the past. Carla's had a speech ready for if/when she gets pregnant since she was thirteen.
  • Fraternal Twins: Elvis and Jesse.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Ludlow has an eight foot pet snake, Mr. Tibbington.
  • Happily Married: Ultimately Anthony and Serafina by their final appearances (although Carla predicts that Serafina's marriage won't last, promising to behave better at her next wedding).
  • High School Hustler: Or rather, elementary school hustler.Elvis and Jesse are seen getting autographed posters form a children's entetainer and then trying to sell them expensive (to Carla's pride).
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: Anthony and Annie, and it sticks. About a year after getting married they're still having sex six times a day, even when they're fighting about things.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Ludlow strikes up a friendship with the Cranes for a while. It ends when they take him to a classy restaurant that doesn't serve any food he likes, and he sets fire to Frasier's shoes.
  • In the Blood: Vicious criminality seems to be a recurring thing with them, judging by Carla's stories.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Carla's not quite a jock, but she encourages Ludlow to play sports while he enjoys more classical and nerdy stuff like opera, to the happiness of the Cranes.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Anthony (to a point) and Gino inherited Nick's sleazy behavior. Ludlow inherited some of his father's intelligence.
  • Microwave Misuse: Carla mentions that Gino once used the microwave to test a Science Fair volcano project,
  • Named After Someone Famous: Elvis and Jesse are named after 'Elvis Presely and his stillborn twin brother.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Several of them are resentful towards Carla's second husband Eddie. Anthony takes offense at the idea of Eddie replacing Nick as his father right before their wedding, and once when Eddie tried to discipline Anne-Marie, she somehow tied him up, then called her mother and requested permission to hit him, lock him in the closet and wash his mouth with soap. They do seem to have eventually warmed up to him, as Eddie later has a picture of Anthony and Gino smiling after having been told that they weren't being tried as adults with him as one of his prized possessions.
  • Picked Last: Fat and injured kids on Ludlow's baseball team get to play before they give him a chance.
  • Raised Catholic: All of them, like their mother, although it's most obvious with Anthony, who says that he and Annie haven't slept together yet because premarital sex is a sin in his first appearance. Gino also briefly considers becoming a priest before deciding he'd make a better male model. When asked how Carla got divorced from Nick, when divorce is prohibited by Catholics, Carla says a judge annuled the marriage.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Carla asked Sam to get Anthony frighted to commit to someone at such a young age. Instead he got so horrified of ending up a lonely, semi-pathetic playboy like Sam that he raced out and proposed to Annie then and there.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Serafina is pregnant during her wedding, although there's no real coercion to the marriage, and in fact Carla tells her not to marry her boyfriend at first before her daughter insists she does want to do it (causing Carla to note that if it doesn't work out at least she'll get alimony that way).
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Anthony and his girlfriend Annie, especially in their first appearance. Later on they start bordering on Slap-Slap-Kiss territory though.
  • Take Our Word for It: Carla is full of horror stories about them but none of them appear in more than a handful of episodes, and they rarely seem quite as bad as she'd described.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Serafina — Like Mother, Like Daughter.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Serafina is a rude delinquent in her first appearance but more respectful to the Cheers gang, conciliatory towards her parents and kind of sweet around her fiancee in her second appearance.
  • The Unfavorite: Lucinda, the youngest of Nick's kids, is implied to be this towards him, as she was the only one he didn't pick up to celebrate Thanksgiving with in one episode.
  • Unfortunate Name: Gino. The rule was, give him your father's first name and mother's maiden name. Carla's father was named Benito. Her mother's maiden name was Mussolini. Carla resolves it by giving in to the name change, but everyone will call him "Gino".
  • White Sheep:
    • Ludlow, which is how Carla wants him. He's Not So Above It All, though.
    • Anthony is also faithful to his girlfriend/wife (except for one brief moment in their first episode) and spends a while holding down honest jobs.

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