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The Defective Detective

    Adrian Monk 

Adrian Monk
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Played by: Tony Shalhoub

The main character of the series. He is a former San Francisco police inspector who suffered a nervous breakdown after the murder of his wife, Trudy. He is a lifelong sufferer of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and has many phobias, and those obsessions became crippling after his breakdown, forcing his retirement; he recovers throughout the series, though he is never fully "cured". His OCD is also the reason Monk was such a successful policeman; one of his compulsions is paying amazing attention to details.

Thanks to his breakdown, Monk was discharged from his department, but is frequently called in to consult on cases which baffle the police, often some kind of Locked Room Mystery, by his friend and former commander Captain Stottlemeyer. His disorders are part and parcel of his unique mind; without them, he wouldn't be able to solve these cases. Of course, the one case Monk's been trying to solve since his breakdown is Trudy's murder, and each season of the show brings him a little closer to finally solving the mystery behind her death (with the show's final season bringing the case to a close for good).

  • Absurd Phobia: Has many typical and atypical fears. Oddly enough, he is most definitely not afraid of criminals and is willing to personally engage them when necessary.
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: In the pilot, Monk hits something by accident. In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," he quickly jerks Stottlemeyer's pistol off to the side to fire off a warning shot when cornered by Peter Breen in the morgue and, in "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service", despite not having bothered to aim at anything, kills a bird with a rifle.
  • Afraid of Doctors: In an episode, "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist," Monk reveals that dentists are among the many things he fears. The dentist in question, Dr. Oliver Bloom, becomes the main suspect in the episode's murder investigation, but Monk is afraid of the dentist's office even before he suspects Dr. Bloom.
  • Afraid of Needles: To such a point that in "Mr. Monk and the End", they have literally single employee in the hospital brought in to restrain him while they inject him.
  • Air Hugging: Though this is less Monk being uncomfortable with men (specifically, his brother) and more of a "his being uncomfortable with touching" case.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Mr. Monk and the Psychic", Monk says, "You've gotta be a little skeptical, Sharona. Otherwise you end up believing in everything. UFOs, elves... income tax rebates...."
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Monk solves impossible cases regularly at least once per episode, but he often solves cases in under a minute when he's barely paying attention, since he's already distracted by another case. Often he solves four or five cases within fifteen minutes like this, or cases so obscure that nobody actually cares about them. He once determined while working on another case in a museum that the body on display was actually hit in the skull rather than dying from the cause declared by the museum, effectively solving a 30,000 year-old case. In one episode he picks up a several hundred page book called "Almost Perfect Murder". After reading the first page he flips to the last one and says "I knew it." Stottlemeyer actually exploits this, calling out the facts of various cases while he's distracted.
    • Note that the closer a case comes to his own life, the more trouble he has solving it. For example, in "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike", the problem is his pet peeve, cleanliness, that literally drives him insane trying to solve, and takes three tries and actually going into a computer cleanroom before he closes it. Likewise, he has problems to a lesser degree in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," that involve the son of "Inspector Number 8" of his shirts. Here, however, his problems vanish once he gets enough evidence to make a solid start on the case. The ultimate example of course being the case of his wife, Trudy, and her car bombing.
  • Bad "Bad Acting":
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater", after Hal Duncan is stabbed and killed on stage, Monk ends up taking the dead man's place... it goes as well as you'd expect. Also averted in that he did manage to act out the events quite well to recreate the crime scene... when the stage was empty. In fact, literally the only reason he was not acting well is due to stage fright. But this will probably remind you very well of what it was like the first time you ever went out on stage if you ever were a stage actor.
    • There's also "Mr. Monk Gets Married," where Monk and Sharona act like a couple with bad marriage problems to get into a marriage therapy clinic (Monk posing as a cowardly mop salesman and Sharona being his alcoholic wife), and do such a terrible job of it that the couple's therapist is relieved to hear they aren't married.
  • Bad Boss: For as much as he depends on his assistants, he's terribly stingy when it comes to actually paying them.
  • Bad Santa: He proves to be a rather awful mall Santa during "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa."
  • Becoming the Mask: Twice. In "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else", Monk adopts the persona of a dead hit man in order to save the life of his target. He ends up playing his role a little bit too well, which Stottlemeyer praises him for. And in "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service," he goes undercover as the head butler for someone who had a crush on Natalie, and seems to enjoy it more than solving crimes. His acting is pretty good, though - he hastily improvises lies on the spot that he wasn't expecting to make, and does a good job pretending not to know Natalie when they meet during the luncheon in the episode.
    • This also happens in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month". Monk goes undercover as a Mega-Mart employee and is surprisingly good at it—so good that he almost beats out current Employee of the Month Jennie Silverman and he only started a week before.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Really. In episodes related to Trudy's death, Monk can take on some Knight Templar traits.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa", with thief Michael Kenworthy dressing as Santa and setting up a distraction while his crew attempts to heist a diamond, Monk is in an emotionally bad state and ends up having to shoot Kenworthy in self-defense with his own revolver when the perp tries to kill him.
    • Monk shows throughout the series that he is quite capable of defending himself when the situation demands, to the point of completely ignoring his phobias — including shooting and severely wounding a murderer in self-defense while temporarily blind, overpowering a deranged man with a gun, or fending off a perp with dirty bags when being ill.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Badge" Monk fights off Mikhail Almonov on an unstable window-washing platform and stabs the man in the leg with said badge.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Blackout" — "Be careful, your left shoelace is untied," when stalking Winston Brenner in the dark. Brenner replies, "How does he know that?!"
    • For Adrian, it could be anything, really, but his true Berserk Button is Trudy's death. Anything that threatens his memory of her, or implies anything about what happened, causes Adrian to snap, leading to Beware the Nice Ones, as above.
      • That particular Berserk Button causes Monk to protest the demolition of the parking garage where Trudy was murdered in the Season Seven finale, "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall"; the structure was being demolished to make way for a children's playground, and Monk was worried that the demolition could destroy any remaining potential evidence. However, the councilwoman who helps bring the matter before the city council is killed, leaving Monk to solve her murder and reveal that her vote would keep the parking garage standing; unfortunately, Monk insults the councilwoman's replacement during The Summation, which causes the replacement to change the deciding vote out of spite. A sign shown after Monk leaves the structure for the last time shows that the playground replacing the parking garage will be named in Trudy's honor.
      • The end of "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan", when Monk finally meets the man who put the bomb in Trudy's car — a man who is very ill and on his death bed — and turns off his morphine when the man asks for forgiveness. The fact that Monk only turns it back on because it's what Trudy would have wanted is somehow even darker. Were it not for the love he had for his wife, Adrian Monk would have left a dying man to suffer in his final hours.
      • The memorable moment in "Mr. Monk Is on the Air" when the DJ made cruel jokes about Trudy's death (to the point his heckling yes men were disturbed by it). The yes men even tried to stop their boss before Monk simply jumped over the table and beat him up.
      • In the series finale, when Monk confronts Trudy's killer, Ethan Rickover, he claims that Trudy was unstable and crazy, prompting Monk to beat the crap out of him. Mind you, at this point, Monk is poisoned and dying. The cool bit was that the Judge wanted to make him look crazy. When he tries to get Monk killed by the cops using the same method at the end of the episode, Monk doesn't fall for it.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Monk will try prosecuting people for letting their dogs pee in the street, having an uneven number of buttons undone on their shirts/sweaters or wearing mismatched socks, as Insane Troll Logic and Super OCD make him believe that such "crimes against the universe" will "invariably" lead to Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking. And don't get us started on his nudity problem. He can't even look at nude sculptures (in fact, in "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand", when Monk must describe a nude marble sculpture that Evan Gildea had been creating, he describes it by.... squealing through gritted teeth, which almost sounds a bit like a tea kettle. So the judge asks the stenographer to read back what Monk said: "Witness: The defendant removed a sheet revealing a naked eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...." [pitch falters]).
  • Blessed with Suck: "It's a gift... and a curse."
  • Bound and Gagged: When he gets taken hostage along with several other jury members in the episode "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty".
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting: His father ended up abandoning his family while his mother was emotionally distant. When he became a foster parent to a toddler name Tommy, he was genuinely caring towards him and wanted to adopt him. However, he knew that he wasn't a good fit because of his condition and decided to give Tommy to a better suitable family.
  • Broken Ace: Back when Trudy was alive, Monk was a very high-functioning detective who just had a handful of quirks such as a hesitance to shake people's hands. In the present, he's still very brilliant, but losing her has exacerbated all his neuroses.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • When Christine Rapp writes a tell-all book about Monk's favorite TV show in "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show" — the only thing that made him happy as a child — there isn't enough Brain Bleach in the world to help him. Given the rest of the book is that bad, it begs the question: what is on page 73?
    • One more serious version when he found the secret of Trudy in the finale.
  • Buffy Speak: When Monk tells people to pause or fast-forward something on a TV in later episodes, he says "picture freeze" or "picture go fast". Ironically, he didn't do this in earlier episodes.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's an OCD obsessed man who is one of the smartest detectives in the world.
  • Busman's Holiday: Naturally, like with a lot of other mystery shows, Monk cannot seem to go on vacation anywhere without a few dead bodies involved.
    • Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever":
      Natalie Teeger: Everywhere you go, every time you turn around, somebody is killing somebody else!
      Captain Stottlemeyer: That's true.
      Adrian Monk: What?
      Captain Stottlemeyer: There was the time you went on vacation ["Mr. Monk Takes A Vacation"] and then on the airplane. "Mr. Monk and the Airplane"
      Adrian Monk: These things happen!
      Captain Stottlemeyer: And that stage play... "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater"
      Adrian Monk: It happens!
      Natalie Teeger: To you!
    • Natalie even concludes at the end of the episode that fate makes Monk go to these places JUST SO he will be there to solve the murders...
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Supposedly he tells all of two jokes during the entire series, both times shocking everyone around him; this doesn't stop him from snarking, especially early in the series. He can't tell a joke, but at least he can be sardonic.
    • One was in "Mr. Monk and the UFO", unless of course he really is an alien that will destroy the planet if Natalie doesn't stop trying to see his belly button.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame", when Monk and Sharona walk into the Hammonds' house, Monk quips that he and Trudy considered buying the same house, which is not likely on a San Francisco cop's salary.
    • There is also his excruciatingly painful attempt at stand-up comedy in "Mr. Monk is the Best Man".
    • Also, in "Mr. Monk is on the Air," Monk tries to deliver some insulting one-liners in order to feel more comfortable around shock jock Max Hudson and Co. His nervous, deadened delivery kills every punch line.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: "In Mr. Monk Gets Drunk," he has to have a lie down after two sips of wine. Then he drinks a whole carafe by mistake...
  • Career-Ending Injury: Monk's mental breakdown from Trudy's death ended his career as a police officer.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "You'll thank me later."
    • "Unless I'm wrong, which, you know, I'm not..."
    • "Here's what happened..."
    • "Here's the thing..."
    • "I don't know how he did it, but he did it."
    • "He's the guy."
    • "It's a gift...and a curse."
    • "Wipe."
  • Character Tics: Neck-crinking, fingers steepled, hands in front when examining crime scenes... it's compounded by his obsessive-compulsive tendencies. It's eventually revealed that the finger-steepling is something he got from his truck-driver father. He even provides the page image.
  • Characterization Marches On: Season 6 introduced Monk's crippling lack of technological adequacy and his ignorance of such things as rewind, pause, and fast-forward, even though he had no problem using television and video beforehand.
    Monk: Picture go back!
  • Chaste Hero: Even if he is a widower, Monk thinks of himself as very married and the mere fact that his wife happens to be deceased does not make it any less so. He dates occasionally and halfheartedly, and in the end always returns to his default condition of being in love with his wife.
    • According to Monk while talking to his psychiatrist, the most physical his love life, even with Trudy, ever was is falling asleep holding Trudy's hand and waking up holding it.
  • Claustrophobia: One of Monk's big phobias.
    • In one episode, he is trapped in a coffin, and memories of Trudy keep him from completely freaking out.
    • In another episode, he's caught in a submarine (he was convinced he's only be in there for a few minutes but they went under while he was on board), and only solves the problem by hallucinating that Dr. Bell is with him.
    • And in season 8, he gets over the fear trapped in a car trunk. With Harold, no less.
  • Clear My Name: In "Mr. Monk Is On The Run, Part Two"
  • Cold Sniper: During the pilot, his usually fidgety expression settles into one of steely determination as he fires at a criminal who has taken Sharona hostage, hitting the perpetrator (non-lethally) in the head.
  • The Comically Serious: In "Mr. Monk Is on The Air", Monk asks Natalie if she's ever heard him make a joke in the three years they've known each other. She can't remember a single one. But he can, on occasion, be a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Monk is a pathetic cheapskate. Even when he takes Dioxynl (see other entries for more).
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater", Monk attempts to bribe a doorman with four dollars. Then Sharona gives him $40. Then Monk asks for his four dollars back. Then says, "We have four dollars in credit for future information!" as Sharona drags him away.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", he tries to bribe a barman with a picture of General Washington (a $1 bill). Then he ups the bribe with another General Washington (a quarter). Monk and Natalie resort to getting information from the patron sitting right next to him.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Monk can often figure out the crime this way before he has any solid evidence and spends the rest of the episode obtaining said evidence. Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall," when Paul Crawford questions the validity of how he phrased a sentence as evidence.
  • Cowardly Lion: Despite his phobias and neuroses, Monk can and will take physical action if necessary, disarming criminals holding him at gunpoint, shooting at least two suspects (one while blind), and knocking a hitman unconscious with a bottle (while drunk). Despite being visibly terrified, he does things like standing in front of an F-22 fighter jet about to take off. In the finale he beats up the judge who murdered Trudy.
  • Crapsack World: At first it seems this is just Monk's opinion, but think about it: he discovers murders and dead bodies almost everywhere, half the time when not on a case, and he's never wrong. Guess it really is a jungle out there.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: In "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else," he turns out to be a dead ringer for a mob hit-man. Inverted, in that the police don't mix him up, but instead the FBI need him to make the other criminals think he was the hit-man.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Socially inept, obsessive-compulsive and afraid of everything. But he manages to solve the most baffling crimes and he can hold his own in a fight — he was a cop once, remember. And if you even so much as insult Trudy, he will hand you your ass. In the episode where the suspect was a marathon runner, who grabs the key piece of evidence and takes off on foot, Monk proves that he used to be a great runner in school by giving chase (especially in his new sneakers which he got from his idol).
  • Dead Person Conversation: Sometimes talks to Trudy in his sleep.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Monk outsmarts killers with airtight alibis, has beaten unbeatable Amoral Attorneys, has toppled supposedly untouchable crime lords, has taken on some of the most smugly superior geniuses you've ever seen and always comes out on top. Most seasons have at least one case against an adversary like this, often more.
  • Defective Detective: The Trope Namer. The show even used to be marketed as such, and this is what Randy refers to Monk as when first meeting him in the pilot.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Especially in the later seasons, Monk always precedes every term related to love or sex with the word "sex", for instance "sex lover", "sex mistress" or - more funnily - "sex prostitute" (what other kind of prostitute is there?). Except for one time when he used the term "fornication partner".
  • Determinator: In the finale. After finding out who killed Trudy in the finale, he powers through the poisons killing him when he was previously too exhausted to move, confronting and assaulting the man before having to be hospitalized. He drugs the officer watching his room, makes his way to the murder's house and forces the man to dig up the evidence before he finally collapses.
  • Disability Superpower: Offensively so. Once, in "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," Natalie lampshades his ability to remember handwriting written on his back:
    [Monk has explained to Natalie how he met Trudy]
    Adrian Monk: And that’s how I got her number.
    Natalie Teeger: Wait, wait, wait! You mean when he wrote it on your back, you could feel it? You—you could do that?
    Adrian Monk: I have very sensitive skin.
    Natalie Teeger: That's like a superpower! Like a very weird, not very useful, superpower!
  • Disappeared Dad: His father Jack Monk skipped town after getting fed up with raising him, the even more difficult Ambrose, and dealing with their similarly neurotic mother.
  • Doom Magnet: Wherever he goes a murder seems to happen. Natalie even brings it up in Mr. Monk gets Cabin Fever.
  • Drives Like Crazy: In "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" when Monk drives a Ford Mustang convertible.
  • Drunken Master: In "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk", Monk accidentally gets drunk and is able to subdue a hitman, and solve a conspiracy involving everyone in a hotel covering up a man's death so they can keep his money.
  • Dysfunctional Family: It is heavily implied in the series starting with "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies", that Monk's family was dysfunctional, and contributed to most of Monk's quirks.
  • Easy Amnesia: In "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head," Monk gets hit on the head and loses his memory, but not his quirks.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: "I think I just solved the case."
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Natalie finds out the man she's dating is a Leper and freaks out to the point of drinking Scope to disinfect herself, even Monk is weirded out.
  • The Exotic Detective: A private detective with a very literal case of Super OCD (as in, on the few occasions that he tries to seek treatment for it, he completely loses his detecting mojo... and it's a Running Gag he drives everybody nuts with his nitpicking).
  • Exasperated Perp: Can be caused by Monk's eccentricities.
  • The Expy: Sherlock Holmes, as well as Hercule Poirot but with his OCD and obsession with cleanliness amped up for the sake of comedy and drama.
  • Failed Audition Plot: Monk's continued attempts to get reinstated despite being continually rejected.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Averted drastically in "Mr. Monk and the Genius", when Monk and Natalie are on a stakeout. Natalie sees their suspect approaching their car, Natalie blurts out "We should kiss!" only to immediately backpedal.
  • The Finicky One: He has turned his obsessive penchant for detail into a helpmate rather than a liability.
  • Flanderization: The later seasons of the show depicted Monk as unable to cope particularly well with modern technology (including his common reference to video functions like Pause and Rewind as "Picture-Freezer" and "Picture-Go-Back"); early seasons depicted him without even remotely having this problem, so this technological illiteracy came largely out of nowhere.
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine"
  • Found the Killer, Lost the Murderer: Happens when Monk gets close to finding Trudy's killer.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Friend on the Force: Lieutenant Disher and Captain Stottlemeyer.
  • Good Is Not Soft: As an experienced ex-police officer, he will not hesitate to use lethal force to protect himself or others if no other recourse is available. It's all but stated that he would have killed the assassin from the pilot episode (who is arrested with an obvious head wound) if the darkness of the sewers hadn't impaired his aim.
  • Green Aesop: Arguably, "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike". (By the way, the best way to deal with trash is to burn the city. Then burn the ashes and rebuild San Francisco from scratch. And while they're at it, they can straighten out Lombard Street.) There's a simpler solution: Just throw all the trash into the bay, "one bag at a time. One truck at a time! One bag at a time." It might take a while, but at least you're making an effort!
  • Green-Eyed Monster: His dislike of Harold Krenshaw stems from both his jealousy of having to share a therapist and the fact that despite how Harold's neuroses seem to be worse than his, he's managed to somehow make a family of his own, an opportunity denied to Monk due to Trudy's death (until the end of the series).
  • Handshake Refusal:
    • Monk is a germaphobe and refuses to shake hands with just about anyone. If he's forced to, he will immediately turn to his assistant for a wipe.
    • In one episode he voluntarily shook hands as a sign of friendship with an ex-colleague of his, who was accused (even by Monk) of being in the drug-business (which he wasn't, which was proven of course.)
    • In another episode he shook hands with a succession of people, after the last one he immediately turned to his assistant for a wipe. The problem being, the last handshakee was black, leading to much accusations of racism.
    • In another episode, after finding out the man he just shook hands with was a Leper, Monk nearly set his hand on fire in an effort to decontaminate himself.
  • Happy Dance: Monk does the "jig" when he solves the case in "Mr. Monk Gets Fired".
  • Happy Flashback: Several times, mostly involving Trudy.
  • Has a Type: Unbeknownst to Monk himself, both his assistants share a lot of traits with Trudy in that they're all blonde, intrepid women who happen to all be single mothers.
  • Hates Being Touched: He's germaphobic, obviously.
  • Heroic BSoD: The entire series is him suffering through a years-long Heroic BSoD. It's shown through exposition and flashbacks that he was always odd and suffering through various issues but that Trudy helped him deal with them to the point where he could function relatively normally and even have an active social life. Her death caused all his problems to come back with a vengeance, leading him to be dismissed form the San Francisco Police Department, go into therapy, and require near round-the-clock care. It isn't until he discovers the truth about Trudy's death and meets her long-lost daughter that he finds closure and can get his issues back under control.
    • He also has relatively minor episodes that exacerbate his condition, such as whenever it seems that he'll be reinstated as a detective but is denied or when his private investigator's license is revoked after he accidentally deleted several years worth of forensic files while attempting to clean crumbs off a keyboard.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: He barely bothers to change his appearance or even his name during undercover work.
  • Holding the Floor: In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding," Monk uses this tactic to keep Natalie's brother's Black Widow bride from leaving, long enough to allow Stottlemeyer to bring an injured Randy down to identify her.
  • Hollywood Psych: The way the show portrays OCD is incredibly inaccurate and closer to OCPD. Although the writers seem to realize this, and therefore Monk is explicitly identified as having OCD maybe only once across the entire series, with characters opting to call him simply "weird" or "persnickety" when explaining his disorder to others. It's heavily toted as OCD in promotional material, however.
  • Honor Before Reason: When Monk becomes Stottlemeyer's best man, he takes his duty of keeping the wedding ring safe seriously — by holding it clenched in his fist for nine days straight, like it is the only guaranteed way that you won't lose your friend's wedding ring!
  • Hurricane of Puns: When Monk participates in the interrogation of the guy who bullied him in middle school (imagine Monk's horror over getting a swirly). Monk unleashes a slew of toilet/swirly-related puns.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: How Monk feels about his Trudy, even years after they got married.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: While he's always wanted to be a cop, Monk is rather morose over the fact that his condition prevented him from fully exploring his interests in athletics and music.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Variant. His main source of guilt isn't that he couldn't prevent Trudy's murder, but that he's never been able to bring her killer to justice.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every single episode has "Mr. Monk" in the title, always at the beginning of the title (the only episode where it isn't at the beginning is "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk").
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In the second part of the series premiere, Monk manages to aim and shoot the perpetrator holding Sharona hostage in the dark. "Aiming" here is key, as that's what separates it from Accidental Aiming Skills.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Since he's not allowed to carry a gun, Monk occasionally has to make do with less orthodox means of self-defence. During "Mr. Monk is Up All Night," he uses a very heavy stack of newspapers to knock out a murderer after tossing it out of a moving van.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Happens a few times in the novels when Monk sees someone doing something he finds disgusting from his perspective — which causes him to call said person out with a very interesting idea of the consequences of their actions, to the point that Natalie has occasionally said it might make sense to Monk in some way but not to her. Though occasionally, he does actually have a point.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: In "Mr. Monk and the Actor".
    Adrian Monk: He's completely obsessed - and not in a good way, like me.
  • Ironic Name: The word "monk" conjures up images of someone who is calm, serene, at peace with themselves and the rest of the world and never gets anxious or upset about anything. In other words, the complete opposite of Adrian Monk.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Probably to make him less pathetic, but the way he treated the people around him in the last few seasons, especially Natalie, makes one want to smack him. Monk's usual level of jerkiness is nothing compared to the way he behaves in "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine," due to the side effects of his anti-OCD medication. He still has brave, selfless, and genuinely nice moments.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Monk uses this analogy in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii to describe the personality he has when he is on the anti-OCD medicine Dioxynl.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Occasionally, he gets into fanboy mode, such as over Tonday Mawwaka in "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man", or The Cooper Clan in "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show."
  • Large Ham: He's soft-spoken, but his movements can be highly energetic.
  • Laughing Mad: Monk briefly undergoes this trope in "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike" when, after being driven insane by the continuing piling of garbage as well as his earlier failure to find the one responsible for the murder of the sanitation union boss due to being wrong the first time around, hijacks a city garbage truck, and is planning to dump it into the bay, and implies to do the same with every garbage truck available until the city is clean, as well as coming up with an even less credible and ridiculously hilarious theory that Alice Cooper killed the union leader due to envy over his owning a chair. In case you're wondering how it's less credible, the first theory was only wrong in that the Mayor killed the union leader, and everything else was spot on, even the Mayor visiting the union leader the night of his death. The second theory, however missed out on a lot of the evidences observed by Monk earlier, and was simply too ludicrous to be true. Randy takes it so seriously that he starts poking holes in it until Stottlemeyer asks him, "Do we really need to poke holes in the 'Alice Cooper wants a wingback chair' theory?"
  • Licked by the Dog: "Dog...lick...hand! Boil water!"
  • Limited Wardrobe: A rare non-animated version; Monk likes consistency in every aspect of his life, and this extends to wearing nearly-identical suits at almost all times, with a dress shirt buttoned all the way up and no tie. He only wears other clothing when absolutely necessary, such as donning his old police uniform when trying to get his badge back.
  • Liquid Courage: While drunk he retains his keen analytical skills, but loses many of his neuroses in exchange for being much less cautious and prone to reckless behaviour.
  • Madness Mantra: When Monk breaks down during the garbage strike and tries to get rid of the trash himself by driving it into the sea, he keeps muttering "One bag at a time, one truck at a time" to himself.
  • Manchild: Monk becomes one through hypnosis in "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized". He gets better, though. Its also hinted that even during this state, he still innately could find clues about the actual murder, although his way of expressing these facts is much different — like tasting a piece of gum taken off Sally Larkin's shoe.
  • Marijuana Is LSD: In "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm," Hilarity Ensues when Monk accidentally thinks he's inhaled marijuana fumes caused by Jimmy Belmont burning his illegal crop to destroy any evidence of it. He tries to counter the effects by handcuffing himself to the grain drill, but is shocked back to get the "Eureka!" Moment when the sprinklers turn on and drench him.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Quite a few times. One good example is when Monk, disguised as a strangely identical hit man, straightens a mobster's tie — which apparently is taken for an intimidating gesture.
  • Mistaken for Exhibit: In "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand", a flashback during Monk's testimony shows that at the victim's house, he mistakenly believed a display stand was an art piece.
  • Mistaken for Racist: In "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man", Monk is meeting with a group of people at the marathon committee's office, and has a wipe ready to wipe his hands after all handshakes are complete. Unfortunately, the last person to shake his hand is a black man, and Monk wipes his hands right after. This trope is played straight, racism is implied and accused. Afterwards, everyone there regards him with contempt.
  • Mood Whiplash: The show is fearless about switching between drama and comedy. The best examples, by far, are in "Mr. Monk and the End", such as Dr. Shuler informing Monk he's going to die. He'll feel better, then there'll be vomiting, followed by death. Of course, Monk wants death to happen before the vomiting.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Monk's reaction in "Mr. Monk on Wheels" to discovering Dean Berry's square tomatoes. He is literally beside himself with joy, since each slice is the exact same size and won't overlap in sandwiches.
    Monk: You can taste the symmetry!
    • Of course, there is a small Series Continuity Error with this - in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum", Dr. Morris Lancaster reads from Monk's patient chart that Monk is allergic to tomatoes.
  • Murder Makes You Crazy: At least to all appearances in "Mr. Monk is on the Run". When Frank Nunn is shot dead, to all appearances by Monk himself, he acts really disoriented and neurotic (more so than usual). Driving in circles while attempting to steal a pickup truck (as the club is locked around the steering wheel), and stopping to re-thread his torn prison uniform with the correct color thread, are probably good examples.
  • My Beloved Smother: He has complicated feelings towards his mother, because while she was a paradoxically fussy and distant maternal figure, she never stopped believing in Adrian and tragically died before she could see him come into his own as a police officer.
  • Mystery Magnet: With only a few exceptions, not a single corpse that he runs across has ever died of a natural death.
    • This has been lampshaded a couple of times. In the novel Mr. Monk on Patrol, after Monk and Natalie are nearly incinerated by an arsonist who sets their hotel rooms on fire with a Molotov cocktail, Officer Walter Woodlake tells Randy (paraphrased), "Chief, I thought these two were supposed to drive crime down, not up." In Mr. Monk Is Miserable, Natalie says she feels like she'll have to start carrying body bags around.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: While he doesn't like people touching him, he can be terribly obnoxious when it comes to "fixing" the world around him.
  • No Social Skills: He has been a life-long social outcast because of his neurotic personality. Both as a kid and as an adult, he's had very few friends.
  • Noble Bigot: His love of symmetry causes him to react badly towards (living) people who are missing limbs. More pronounced is his distaste towards "hippies", which is a rather broad category in his mind as he considers anyone with a bohemian lifestyle (or who seems to have one) to be a "hippy." Monk's prejudices towards the latter are ultimately examined and challenged during "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man" where the "Bigot" part of this trope threatens to smother his nobility.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Death isn't even one of his top five fears (it's ranked either #7 or #8) so while he'd be willing to risk his life for the greater good, just thinking about people being born can scare him stiff.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: By the time of Season 6's "Mr. Monk and the Wrong Man," Adrian has personally been involved in over 410 cases, not counting ones he consulted on remotely or in passing. Distressingly, over a quarter of those involved murder.
  • Oh, the Humanity!: Monk yells this whenever he encounters something really nasty.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy": after realizing he just wiped his hands with an oily garage rag
    • "Mr. Monk and the Kid": when changing a diaper.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Monk has severe OCD and a host of other phobias, such that he frequently needs sanitary wipes. In "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," he is so disturbed by the trash bags piled around that he is unable to function as a detective. By the climax of the story, he's driving a garbage truck around, picking up the garbage himself, and fingering Alice Cooper for the crime in a summation that's more implausible than usual. His friends get him to a clean room, and he gets back to normal. Relatively speaking.
    • And "Mr. Monk Is On The Air": Monk suspects that radio host Max Hudson murdered his wife while he was broadcasting a live show on the radio. Unfortunately, Max only wants to talk to Monk if Monk agrees to come on ths show. So the interview starts. Kevin Dorfman tries to help Monk out, even calling in a joke that doesn't work. Then Trudy's death is brought up, perhaps unintentionally. And while Max's colleagues feel remorseful for Monk, Max starts making tasteless jokes. Warning: You know Monk is extremely pissed when the normally mild-mannered detective who abstains from physical contact jumps across the table to tackle Hudson, and has to be forcibly pulled out by the security personnel. Even worse since Natalie had been shut out of the studio, forced to sit in the control room and watch.
    • Also, when someone Monk cares about is in danger (for instance, in "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies"note , "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic"note , "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion"note ), he tends to set aside his persnicketiness and get dangerous.
  • Painting the Medium:
    • In the season 4 episode, Monk is finally put on retainer by the police. He's guaranteed 16 homicides a year for the next two years.
    • In an inadvertent example, the ad for "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed" features Monk being served a bowl of alphabet soup. Monk says, "I see letters". Yes, he's talking about the letters in the soup, but by Contrived Coincidence in TV airings, he's looking in the direction of the episode's age rating on the screen.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: Monk's a Celibate Hero (sometimes a Chaste Hero depending on the situation) and he's uncomfortable around intimacy, sex, nudity, and even immodesty. The death of his wife aggravated this phobia but even while she was alive he expressed a disinterest in sex.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Much of his money is used to pay for his rent and to fund his neurotic lifestyle, resulting in his savings account never really peaking past $32,000.
  • Pet the Dog: A literal example occurs in the final season.
  • Photographic Memory: Monk's powers of recall are nothing short of incredible. He memorizes an entire stage play after seeing it once ("Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater") and can even remember tiny details such as the right and wrong ways to check someone's pulse. If he witnesses a crime, he will find the perpetrator.
    Monk: I know that rock!
  • Phrase Catcher: "It doesn't have to be perfect." From pretty much every random person Monk works with who isn't already aware of his neuroses, directed at Monk.
  • Played for Laughs: Monk's debilitating mental illness.
  • Properly Paranoid: "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night". Monk is walking out late at night, and oversees a sour drug deal going wrong in a restaurant kitchen. An Asian man reveals that he is an undercover cop and pulls his gun on a bald-headed customer and a drug dealer, and orders both of them to line up against the wall. A fight breaks out and the undercover cop is shot dead by the drug dealer. The bald man is hustled by the drug dealer outside to a waiting car that drives away. By the time Monk has gotten back after running a few blocks to a payphone to call the police, the kitchen is practically spotless, and there is no evidence of a killing, making Stottlemeyer and Disher suspect that Monk was seeing things as he was suffering from insomnia. Monk's first clue is when the supposedly killed "undercover cop" turns up alive at the train station, throwing out some trash that is traced to an antique coin store (the Asian claims he is on his way to see his brother in Portland). Tracing the garbage, Monk recognizes the coin dealer as the bald witness, who claims he was in bed at the time. When the "undercover cop" turns up dead at the station, Monk realizes something mentioned by Gully, who pickpocketed his wallet earlier: that it's a different city at night. The solution: the "undercover cop" was not actually killed, and a waitress working late helped him clean up the kitchen afterwards. The "drug dealer" was scamming the coin dealer into giving them his antique coins under the pretense that it was hush money.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: Monk's first assistant, Sharona, is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who nonetheless knows how to deal with people better than Monk, who has No Social Skills. Natalie is generally nicer and friendlier than Monk, although prone to Beware the Nice Ones moments.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: "Mr. Monk Goes Camping." Because of a bear. A big damn bear. Interestingly, though, the trailers for this scene had Tony Shalhoub screaming in his own voice. They dubbed it over with a little girl's one due to the Rule of Funny.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: His neuroses often trump his sense of justice if the locale (ex. a state penitentiary in "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail" and a submarine in "Mr Monk is Underwater.") he is investigating distresses him enough. Subverted in the prison's case, however, as the second Dale the Whale bribes him with information about Trudy's murder, Monk instantly goes right back in to investigate, and even goes so far as to impersonate an inmate and share a cell with a dangerous psychopath in order to get the job done.
  • Sexiled: Invoked and ultimately subverted in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", where Monk may have had this with his roommate, as shown by the dialogue when Monk and Natalie are in the dormitory corridor:
    Natalie Teeger: Mr. Monk, come on! Let's have some fun! [snaps her fingers] You said you were gonna show me your dorm room!
    Adrian Monk: Well, it's right here. This is it, old #303. Uh-oh! Tie on the doorknob! [Camera pans to show a tie wrapped around the doorknob; Natalie laughs] My roommate and I did the same thing, it's a code.
    Natalie Teeger: [grins] Yeah! I think I might know about that.
    Adrian Monk: Yeah, it means, "Don't come in! I'm reorganizing my closet!" [Natalie stares at him incredulously]
    Natalie Teeger: Your closet?
    Adrian Monk: Yeah. My roommate in freshman year, Greg, he reorganized his closet 4-5 times a week.
    Natalie Teeger: Uh-huh, and did his girlfriend ever come over to help?
    Adrian Monk: Oh yeah, all the time, they were real neat freaks. I used to tease them about it. "Neat freaks!"
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: A number of times, other characters seem to be under the impression that Monk and Natalie suppress romantic feelings for each other. Natalie usually finds the suggestion rather amusing.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Monk is mistaken for Natalie's boyfriend by one of her fans.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Adrian and Ambrose are both Insufferable Geniuses, and both are crippled with psychological diseases (Adrian has OCD, Ambrose has agoraphobia).
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Averted. Despite being taken hostage very frequently, buried alive on a few occasions, frequently seeing the aftermath of many bloody murders (shootings, stabbings, explosions, beatings, even a few mutilations on the side), Monk is afraid of milk, handshakes, and germs, and has traumatic memories of birth.
  • Sherlock Scan: As an expy of the Trope Namer, Monk is notorious for this. However, since Monk is also socially inept, he also doesn't always know that there are some details not to bring up. Here's a good piece of advice: If you know that a woman is lying about her age, don't call her out on it. Or if you know that the judge at a hearing is sleeping with his secretary, don't use that as your way of proving your credibility to him. Or mention that a widow is having a sexual affair if her daughter is also standing there.
  • Show, Don't Tell: In the entirety of the show's run, Monk was explicitly described as having OCD maybe twice, not counting promos. This is made especially jarring on the multiple occasions where Monk gets in trouble for grossly inappropriate behavior and Natalie or Sharona tries to explain to an authority figure that Monk suffers from a condition; the best she's ever able to come up with is "he's... persnickity".
  • Sick Episode: "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed"
  • Slipping a Mickey: Invoked and Inverted in "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk". Monk attempts to do this to Al Nicoletto to extract a confession from him, and also orders for a non-alcoholic beverage (intended for himself) and an alcoholic beverage for Nicoletto. He ends up being the one drunk shortly thereafter. It's implied that the orders were mixed up.
  • The So-Called Coward: Monk is terrified of 312 specifically named, listed, and ordered things. In spite of constantly encountering them, he always gets his man. And he never gets over his fear.
  • Status Quo Is God: Whenever Monk makes a new friend, they turn out to be evil criminals manipulating him. Whenever he makes some progress in his mental health, he's back to being worse than ever at the end of the episode. It took the final episode to give him some closure. However, the final season has him working though some of his problems.
    • An episode at the beginning of the final season had him make a friend whose wife died in the cold open in a hit-and-run and was not evil or manipulating. However he lived in another country, and had to be Put on a Bus in the end.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office", his coworkers at the office he was working at while undercover liked him and seemed to be forming a friendship, but of course after the crime was solved he had to go back to his regular job. Making it worse, Monk had ruined his relationship with them due to not wearing proper shoes at a bowling game.
    • One episode lampshaded it by having him convinced that the elderly woman who had become a mother figure to him had to have been in on the murder, because everyone else who had become his friend in the past ended up betraying him. Things got awkward when he found out that she really was innocent, right after cruelly berating her.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Badge", Monk quits the force after having been back on it for only a few days, finding consulting to be more of his thing.
    • Monk had sparked a possible romance with a woman who is arrested for murdering an escaped war criminal. She had taken the rap for the real killer, her mother.
  • Stripper/Cop Confusion: Sadly, yes, in the one where Natalie's brother gets married. Monk couldn't notice that the guy had dollar bills sticking out of his belt.
  • Success Through Insanity: His obsessive-compulsive disorder allows him to notice details that normal people would miss, allowing him to solve crimes that stump the police.
  • The Summation: Almost always signaled with the Catchphrase "Here's what happened..."
    • Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk": "Monk was doing his summation thing..." Played with in the manner in which he delivered it.
    • Subverted in "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake", wherein the episode goes through all the usual bells and whistles of the summation formula (black and white flashbacks, dramatic camera shots, etc), while totally oblivious to the fact that the voiceover being supplied by an unusually-addled Monk is pure gibberish.
    • Also played awesomely in "Mr. Monk and the Kid" where Monk reads the summation to the one-year old boy he has temporarily adopted as a bedtime story.
  • Super OCD: Very. Possibly a misdiagnosed autistic savant, instead.
  • Super Senses: Although not emphasized in every episode, it's periodically shown that Monk's senses, particularly hearing, smell, and touch, are sharp to an almost superhuman degree. The show emphasizes the negative Sensory Overload aspect of having such senses, with Monk often being driven nuts by noises or smells that no one else even notices.
  • Tag-Along Actor: Monk acquires David Ruskin in "Mr. Monk and the Actor". It didn't work out well because of the guy's method acting.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • In "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk," faced with hiding in either a dumpster or port-a-john, Monk declares "I choose death!"
    • "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger":
    Stottlemeyer: It's either (a) the blind woman who has zero motive or it's (b) your friend the red-headed stranger.
    Randy: Who had motive, means, and opportunity, and was identified by the only witness at the scene.
    Stottlemeyer: A or B, Monk.
    Monk: I think it's C.
    Stottlemeyer: What the hell is C?
    Monk: I don't know yet.
  • Takes Ten to Hold: In Mr. Monk and the End, because of his OCD, Monk has to be restrained by the entire hospital staff to hold him down just so they can draw blood from him after he was poisoned.
  • Third Act Stupidity: Monk will often let it slip to the killer that he knows he's the killer and has solid evidence to prove it. This usually occurs when the killer is an authority figure in a position to kill Monk in a way that would raise absolutely no questions. As a result, Monk is regularly endangered in ways he could have easily avoided if he had kept his mouth shut and waited for the police to arrive. This is generally explained by the fact that Monk has really bad social skills.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Or rather, brand of bottled water:
    • During the first five seasons it was Sierra Springs (SS) - which exists in Real Life. Infamously, when he went to Mexico, he almost died of dehydration due to refusing to drink any water other than SS - even when they pointed they had Aqua Fresca, which is owned by the same company that makes SS and uses the same water.
    • Later he changed to the (fictional) Summit Creek (SC). Supposedly, it was due to the Product Placement contract between SS and the USA Network having ended, but there was no In-Universe explanation for the change. However there is one for why he chose that specific brand: during season 4's "Mr. Monk Gets a Bump on the Head" the bump made him forget about his favourite brand, and, when the waitress brings him SC, he likes it.
    • Monk loves chicken pot pie.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "BM" for "shit" and "haul bottom" for "haul ass".
  • Up to Eleven: Monk's OCD becomes much worse after Trudy's murder.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Getting back on the police force was one of Monk's goals since the start of the show. When he finally accomplished it late in the final season, he discovered that he actually preferred the independence of being an outside consultant.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!:
    • Inverted in the episode "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine", when Monk ends up taking a type of medication where all of his regular quirks are being suppressed and he can live a (relatively) normal life after an incident where he was forced to let a criminal get away due to his hands being soiled. It works too well, and he ends up becoming similar to one of those jerkish college frat-boys, with Sharona and the SFPD wanting the Monk they know to be there. Eventually, Monk manages to give up on that medication when it became apparent that he'd have to choose between the medicine and his memories of Trudy.
    • Lee Goldberg brings the drug back in some of the novels, as the only way Monk can manage to make an airline flight. In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, at one point Natalie observes that this will keep him from solving the murder. He replies that he has already solved it, and just needs to find the evidence— indeed, it turns out that in his normal state he would not have been ABLE to handle the evidence. Unfortunately, Monk and Natalie are almost killed when the shack they enter to retrieve the evidence in question catches fire, and they barely escape the flames.
  • Weirdness Magnet:
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever", Natalie observes that everywhere Monk goes, people get murdered, supposing he's followed by some karmic cloud of disaster. By the end of the episode, she changes her mind about him: he's not a Weirdness Magnet for murder, he's cosmically drawn to where murders occur so he can solve them.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger", when Stottlemeyer finds out that Monk not only released a streaker that they just picked up for disrupting two police press conferences, but also hired him to streak, is about to tell Monk off for it, until Monk points to Mrs. Mass to indicate her reaction, showing he actually had a good reason for hiring him. Some other examples:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Genius," Stottlemeyer takes Monk aside to warn him about jumping off the slippery slope after learning that Monk wants to get Patrick Kloster by way of planted evidence.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", Natalie angrily chews Monk out for his desire to continue following Roderick Brody's wife.
    • In "Mr. Monk and Sharona," Stottlemeyer chews Monk, Natalie and Sharona out for just botching any possibility of them nabbing Perry Walsh for killing Sharona's uncle.
  • Wild Teen Party: Inverted in "Mr. Monk is the Best Man". Because Stottlemeyer lets Monk plan his bachelor party (which turns out to be anything but a good idea), it's barely even a "party", and most certainly isn't wild with: a port-a-potty within the actual bathroom, pizza with nothing on it (not even cheese or sauce), one 12 ounce beer for each partygoer [12 party members, amounting to 144 fluid ounces of alcohol total] which requires Randy to be assigned Designated Drunk; some jokes that just don't go well, and he shows them Bachelor Party as their movie, of which the movie is implied to not be a popular choice among the cops. The closest it ever gets to being a wild teen party is when Randy staggers in asking who owns the police unit out front that's painted a charcoal gray with flames on the side and on the roof and windshield, which causes everyone to run outside and find Stottlemeyer's car on fire.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Every time he makes a breakthrough in his therapy and starts down a good road, something traumatic always happens to set him back again. This includes a near breakdown at the end of "Mr. Monk and the Actor" that completely undoes what was unprecedented progress.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: In "Mr. Monk and the Badge" Monk realizes his goal of being reinstated in the SFPD, only to find that nothing about policing was familiar to him anymore and the episode end with him retiring from the force.
  • You Just Told Me: This is usually how Monk manages to get the perpetrator should the evidence he finds can't implicate the perpetrator directly, although it's more similar to "You Just Showed Me."
  • You Never Did That for Me: In the episode where Sharona and Natalie meet, Natalie finds out that Monk paid Sharona a lot more than he paid her. Thus she complains that Monk never paid her that much. It was a difference of twenty dollars.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In the finale, Monk sits around in a chair with his therapist at about 40 minutes in, the case apparently solved, and talks about his lack of closure.

Monk's Assistants

    Sharona Fleming 

Sharona Fleming-Disher
Played by: Bitty Schram

Monk's nurse and first assistant, from Season 1 through the first half of Season 3. Originally from New Jersey, she's a single mom with a son named Benjy. Unlike Natalie, she always called Monk by his first name.

  • Blatant Lies: Most notably in I"Mr. Monk and the Panic Room," when Stottlemeyer and Disher are searching Sharona's house looking for Ian Blackburn's monkey Darwin, whom she stole from an animal shelter the night before. Stottlemeyer finds what looks like vomit and crooked photos on one wall:
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Hey! What happened here?
    Sharona Fleming: Benjy threw up.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: On the wall?
    Sharona Fleming: It was pretty awful.
  • The Bus Came Back: Bitty Schram did return to play Sharona one last time in "Mr. Monk and Sharona".
  • Busman's Holiday: Gets one in "Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation", where Monk is incredibly uncomfortable and simply sits on the beach fully clothed. When a murder mystery pops up he couldn't be happier, and drags Sharona into helping him solve it. Upon their return Sharona asks that they never go on vacation again, then says "I can't believe I just said that!"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Is she ever. She's especially this toward Randy.
  • Expy: Of Dr. Watson.
  • Gaslighting: Sharona is made a victim of this in "Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf", where her writing professor Meredith Preminger tries to discredit her sanity by having her lover, a security guard named Denny Graf, pose as a dying man with a knife in his blood-soaked chest and a screwdriver sticking out of his ear, stating "Douglas is worried about you", and then have him disappear by the time Sharona is able to fetch Monk: Thrice. Turns out, she is doing this because Sharona has written a mystery paper (possibly with some input from Monk) about a woman who kills her husband by feeding him tomato soup laced with a toxin that can emulate a heart attack, which Meredith decides is such a perfect scheme that she decides to use it against her own husband, and thus cover their tracks in case Sharona gets suspicious.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: In "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake," it turns out Sharona has this with Gail. Gail accuses Sharona of copying her by moving to San Francisco and buying the same style handbag as her. The handbag bit turns out to be a clue since when Darryl Wright steals a set of keys to break into Sharona's house and steal her answering machine (which incriminates his lover Christine Rutherford in the murder of her husband Henry), he inadvertently takes Gail's keys instead, leading to him killing a gas company tech who catches him in the act.
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: This would explain why Sharona was a nude model in Atlantic City in the past, per "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy"
    • In "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale," it's implied that this was the case during her schooling in Miami as well.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy" infers that this was Sharona's past prior to meeting Trevor Howe
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's rough around the edges due to her troubled past but is a good person and a loyal friend nonetheless.
  • Mama Bear: She is very defensive in regards to Benjy and when necessary, Monk.
  • Put on a Bus: Bitty Schram's unexpected departure from the show midway through season 3 led to the replacement of Sharona with Natalie. To explain Schram's absence, they say that Sharona moved back to New Jersey to remarry Trevor.
  • Running Gag: Sharona's got a lousy taste in men. The people she's dated, besides her ex-husband Trevor Howe:
    • Justin in "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger," who turns out to be a streaker who is regularly interrupting Stottlemeyer and Disher's police press conferences.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake" has Darryl Wright, an Australian journalist who only flirted with her so he could steal an answering machine that incriminated his real girlfriend in the murder of her husband (Darryl also kills a gas company technician that stumbles on him trying to break into Sharona's house).
    • "Fat Tony" Lucarelli in "Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather", who is actually his uncle Salvatore's most feared enforcer, and whom gets busted in Mr. Monk Is Open For Business for one of his hits.
    • Married men from time to time.
    • The murderer on multiple occasions.
  • Single Parents Are Undesirable: She's aware not all men want a woman who comes with a kid attached. After Monk ruins one of her dates by calling the man on some lies, causing him to storm out, Sharona asks him if he thinks she told her date everything potentially off-putting about her, such as the fact that she has a son. Randy Disher doesn't share this perspective, as alluded to in "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy", which probably influenced their eventually ending up together.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Monk, just as Natalie would later adopt, no matter how much working for him aggravated her. Best exemplified in the first episode, where she seemingly needs to extort a favor out of the mayor's office to go back to work for Monk, but later on when the situation called for it used that favor without hesitation to help him redeem himself and solve the case. Natalie and her discuss this in "Mr. Monk and Sharona," noting that they would never go through so much if they didn't love him as they did.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Also to Randy, to the point that they got together post-series.

    Natalie Teeger 

Natalie Jane Davenport-Teeger
"Detective Monk, why don't we solve my case first, all right? Then we can come back here and figure out who killed Ogg, okay?"
Played by: Traylor Howard

Monk's personal assistant starting with the second half of Season 3.

Unlike the other characters, Natalie is the only one to come from an upper class background. In her case, she was born in Monterey in the 1960s, child of Bobby and Peggy Davenport. She had one sibling, a brother named Jonathan. Her grandfather, Neville Davenport, was a former chemist's assistant, who eventually got an epiphany and founded his own toothpaste company, now the third largest in the world.

In the early 1990s, Natalie married a Navy lieutenant commander named Mitch Teeger. With him, she had one child, a daughter named Julie, named for Mitch's aunt. The resulting marriage also strained Natalie's relationship with her family. Their marriage lasted seven years, until 1998, when Mitch was killed in combat in the Kosovo War.

Over the next seven years, Natalie bounced around between a number of odd jobs, like blackjack dealer, office worker, and housesitter, but nothing stuck.

In her first episode, "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring," Natalie is working as a bartender and living in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. Her life changes when her house is broken into twice in the span of a couple of days: the first time, a man posing as a water meter inspector comes in, but quickly flees when she catches him snooping around in the living room. A few nights later, a second man breaks in through a side window. Natalie is awoken by a noise, and when she goes down to investigate, the intuder, Brian Lemmon, attacks her. Natalie is forced to kill him in self-defense with a pair of scissors. Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher are baffled upon learning that this is the second intruder in less than a week, and they suggest Natalie take her case to Monk, who is currently trying to get over Sharona's departure from his life and looking for replacements. Monk is intrigued by Natalie's case, and comes in to help.

Throughout his investigation, Monk is impressed enough by her, and her similarities to Sharona, that he asks her if she wants to become his new assistant. At the end, when Monk is forced to choose between grabbing a valuable moon rock or Julie's pet fish, he chooses the fish, and this is the final factor that convinces Natalie to join Monk and leave her life of bartending.

  • 15 Minutes of Fame: In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Natalie gets a ridiculous amount of fame from a brief stint as a lottery girl, much to Monk's chagrin.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Whereas the TV series generally focuses on just Monk, Natalie arguably is almost as much a main character of the novels, as she is also the books' narrator.
    • The novels Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii and Mr. Monk is Miserable expand on Natalie's memories of Mitch.
    • Mr. Monk in Outer Space reveals that Natalie's grandfather's toothpaste company almost was closed down by the discovery that the formula was laced with sugar, expanding on the background mentioned in "Mr. Monk, Private Eye".
    • For the second half of season 4, all of season 5, and the first half of season 6, USA Network published a series of blog entries written by Natalie. The entries were written to coincide with episode air-dates, and refer to the events in the episodes. The episodes provide additional clarifying details about some episodes, like for instance again reinforcing in the "Mr. Monk is on the Air" entry that Monk and Natalie dislike radio DJ Max Hudson for using shock jock humor. Natalie's blog for "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing" describes a scene cut from the story where Monk goes to a blindness therapy group to learn how to adjust to being blind, which doesn't go well for Monk (some of the stuff he tells the blind therapist convinces her that he's been preparing for blindness, stuff he says at Dr. Kroger's office in the episode). Many of the entries describe Natalie's reactions to the events of the episode in particular.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Played with. In "Mr. Monk and the Critic," when Natalie tries to convince Monk and the others that John Hannigan murdered his girlfriend Callie Esterhaus, Monk and the others don't believe her because they point out that he had a very airtight alibi for this, and they believe she's upset about the critical review Hannigan wrote of Julie's performance in the play he was using as his alibi. A number of other times, she has averted this:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective," she supports Monk's belief that Marty Eels is "cheating" at the case.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," she is the only one not skeptical of Monk's belief that the framed delivery boy is an innocent person. Whether Stottlemeyer or Disher are convinced right away that something is up like Natalie is unclear, although it's clear that they tag along just because Monk and Natalie mention who exactly they will be talking to in their investigation.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut", she is at first skeptical of Steve Wagner's guilt in the death of his girlfriend until Wagner gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Monk.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," when Monk and Natalie are approached by Kendra Frank, the murder victim's girlfriend, Natalie is initially skeptical for a minute or so about Kendra's claim:
      Kendra Frank: His real name was Greg Murray. Look, they're trying to say that [Greg Murray] OD'd! Okay? That's impossible! He's been clean for 17 months! I know, I talked to him about it every day!
      Natalie Teeger: Well, Kendra, we were there. We saw a needle in his arm-
      Kendra Frank: No, that's how I know there's something wrong. Stork was completely phobic about needles! He was the only roadie I've ever met that didn't even have one tattoo! I mean he missed a whole South American tour last year because he wouldn't get vaccinated!
      Natalie Teeger: [shrugs] Maybe he got over it. [Kendra explodes with rage]
      Kendra Frank: You don't just get over a phobia like that overnight! Do you?!
      Adrian Monk: No. [shakes his head] You don't.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," Natalie is the only one quickly convinced by Monk that Stottlemeyer's girlfriend is a killer. Note that Monk and Natalie had been sent by Stottlemeyer to investigate that murder. Hence, Natalie proves crucial to helping Monk catch Linda: keeping Linda out of her house while Monk searches it. Later, Monk pretends to talk to Natalie over a webcam, as part of a trap to lead Stottlemeyer to the incriminating evidence.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever", Natalie is upset with Monk for having to be in the Witness Protection Program just because he didn't stay in the car, for: she is stuck with him, Stottlemeyer and Agent Grooms in the middle of the woods; her daughter is missing a full week of school since she has to stay with Natalie's parents, Monk has a price on his head, and... he broke someone's car radio antenna while trying to straighten it out. The last of these was the one that caused all of the earlier problems.
  • Aside Glance: In-Universe case. In one of the scenes in the documentary within "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," when Monk deduces that a murder was staged as a break-in, Natalie turns to the camera and says, "Pretty good, huh?" And later, in a scene where Monk and Natalie are driving with the cameraman riding in the backseat, with Monk telling Natalie to keep her eyes on the road as she simultaneously is telling the camera what lead they are on their way to check out. Monk says he's feeling nauseous, and Natalie says, "Did I mention he also doesn't like driving?"
  • Berserk Button: Natalie is mostly amused by Monk's eccentricities. However, a few of them can trigger this, which Monk does on a regular basis, although a few are triggered by something else.
    • Natalie is generally driven into a furious rage whenever Monk is late with her paycheck or is unable to pay her, for whatever reason (although unlike Sharona, she doesn't threaten to quit). Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk and the Genius," where Monk and Natalie are fighting about back pay, and are interrupted by Linda Kloster, who apologetically says she heard screaming. Natalie then calmly says, "Oh, no, that's just me. I scream every payday," which implies that this must happen very frequently.
    • Natalie gets angry if she learns someone has been lying to her or keeping the truth back from her. She gets pissed off with Stottlemeyer in "Mr. Monk Is On The Run Part 2" when she realizes that he has been covering up the fact that he helped fake Monk's death, is one example.
    • Also don't betray her. An example is in Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, when Natalie sees Dr. Kroger with Dr. Martin Rahner, a six-fingered man like the bomber Monk has been looking for since "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan". Monk runs off, while Natalie's response is to suddenly punch Dr. Kroger in the face.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Natalie is generally nice, and pretty decent to be around... but she is quite capable of defending herself. Her first ever scene in the show is herself killing an intruder in self-defense. In terms of fights, Natalie doesn't get involved in many, but there are a couple of memorable ones: "Mr. Monk and the Daredevil," where she attacks Joey Krenshaw with a piece of metal pipe (arguably to stop Joey from shooting or pushing his cousin Harold off a hospital rooftop), and in "Mr. Monk on Wheels," where she wrestles with Sarah Longson for a pistol, comes out on top, and trains it on her. Also, in the novel Mr. Monk on Patrol, she walks into a convenience store robbery and stops both of the would-be thieves with just a can of air freshener.
  • Black Sheep:
    • Once we learn about Natalie's family in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding", it's clear that she is considered one by her parents. Her mother Peggy is described as having two habits: "Tennis, and making me feel like dirt. She's a champion at both." Her backstory, when constructed over the course of the series, portrays Natalie as filled with instances of youthful devilry. As another example, she keeps her late husband's surname after his death in 1998.
    • Not only that. Prior to becoming Monk's assistant, she is so estranged from her own family that she doesn't even tell Monk, Captain Stottlemeyer, or Lieutenant Disher about the fact she is descended from the founder of Davenport Toothpaste until "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding," and even then, this discovery is only because Randy happens to notice the name "Jonathan Davenport" on a wedding invitation, which prompts Stottlemeyer to say, "You're always kissable fresh with Davenport, like the toothpaste." Randy then skeptically says, "This is you?" while holding up a tube of Davenport toothpaste. However, Natalie's relation with her parents seems to have mended, as she and Monk are seen having an early lunch with them in "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service".
    • Though not related to the trope, a series of tie-in character blogs on USA Network note that Natalie finds Monk to be better than her parents in a number of places: one is that he never has a hidden agenda or manipulates people to benefit himself, unlike several examples she gives of how someone else used her to manipulate her parents into doing something for them. Furthermore, the tie-in blog for "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service" notes that she finds Monk to be a much better boss than her parents.
  • Bound and Gagged: In the episode "Mr. Monk Stays In Bed", Reggie Dennison subjects Natalie to this.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: In Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, Natalie mentions having worn braces while growing up.
  • Busman's Holiday: Naturally, wherever Monk and Natalie travel, bodies turn up shortly thereafter. This is more prominent in the tie-in novel series. Natalie generally tends to be the complainer about this happening too much, saying in Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop that the odds of them finding the Abominable Snowman stabbed to death in the Arctic when they are totally by themselves seem very high.
    • In Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, Monk and Natalie go to Hawaii. Natalie goes because she's been invited to be a bridesmaid at her friend's wedding. Monk goes along because he'll feel hopeless without Natalie. The next day, not only does Monk ruin the wedding by exposing Natalie's friend's groom as a bigamist, but he and Natalie also stumble upon a beating death at a bungalow nearby. Hence, Natalie tries her best to enjoy what she can of her vacation, while Monk basically ropes her into helping him solve the murder and expose TV medium Dylan Swift as a phony.
    • In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, Monk and Natalie go to Lohr, Germany solely to follow Dr. Kroger as Monk is suffering a breakdown. While they're there, a visiting journalist from Berlin is killed as is a local in a bizarre double-killing.
    • In Mr. Monk Is Miserable, which follows up on the previous: Monk and Natalie witness a man die of peanut poisoning on the flight to Paris, Monk stumbles on a fresh skull while they explore the catacombs, and later, when Monk and Natalie are at a blind restaurant (where you are put in full darkness), a woman who sits down at their table and starts talking to them is stabbed and killed.
  • Characterization Marches On: In her earliest appearances Natalie is significantly more brusque, standoffish, and overtly tough, dealing with the plot and Monk with more impatience and even occasional hostility. She was also more prone to solving problems using amoral means, with more emphasis on her Expansion Pack Past. In the next season, however, perhaps to distance her personality more from Sharona, she evolved into the bubbly and endlessly patient partner she came to stay as, writing her more as showing the harder sides of her personality only when the situation calls for it.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In "Mr. Monk Buys a House", Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher share the knowledge of Morse code. Proves handy when Monk and Natalie are taken hostage by Honest Jake Phillips and have no cell phone on hand to call for help.
  • Clear My Name: For Natalie, she and Sharona get this in the novel Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants when Ian Ludlow kills a shoe salesman named Ronald Webster and frames Natalie for it.
    • In Mr. Monk Is a Mess, Natalie gets into some hot scrutiny from the FBI when a woman commits suicide in Natalie's bathtub and sting money stolen from an FBI evidence locker room is discovered under her mattress, but she's never arrested or charged with a crime since the real perpetrator (one of the agents accusing them of the theft) is eventually caught in the end.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: To Sharona. While both were single mothers, she was a widow who was happily married while Sharona had a bitter divorce. Also, she came from wealthy family and Sharona was more working class. Oh, and while she has a daughter, Sharona has a son.
  • A Day In The Lime Light: It should be noted that Natalie appears in all 87 episodes from her intro in "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring" onwards. However, whether she gets a day in the limelight is episode-dependant, as there are some episodes where she gets a lot of screen time, and others where she doesn't get much. For example:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," Natalie appears in almost every scene Monk is in, except for flashbacks. Ostensibly, Natalie had to be present so that Monk has someone to talk to while attending his reunion.
    • In "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad", "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm," and "Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital," she gets all of roughly two or three scenes.
    • For an In-Universe one, "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever"
    • Episodes like "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend" do give Natalie more onscreen time.
    • Sometimes, one episode will give her more screen time to compensate for her lacking such time in previous episodes. In "Mr. Monk on Wheels," Natalie is in every scene that Monk is in because she is central to causing the main plot. In the next two episodes, "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door" and "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs," Natalie goes to the background and doesn't get many scenes. Then in "Mr. Monk and the Bully," Natalie appears in every scene Monk is in except for two (Monk talking with Roderick Brody in the police interrogation room and Monk in Dr. Bell's office).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Just like Monk. A few examples:
    • From "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever":
    Agent Grooms: All right, you can stretch your legs. Just don't call any attention to yourselves.
    • From "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", Monk walks into a port-a-potty, thinking it's a payphone. Later:
    Adrian Monk: [wiping his neck] God, how long do you think I was in there [in the port-a-potty]?
    Natalie Teeger: I don't know, Mr. Monk. Maybe a minute!
    Adrian Monk: It was rough. It was like some kind of medieval torture device.
    Natalie Teeger: Yeah, I know. I actually read that the Spanish Inquisition used to lock people in port-a-johns.
    Adrian Monk: That wouldn't surprise me.
    • In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," during one of her interviews from James Novak:
    Natalie Teeger: Keeping him focused, that's one of my jobs.
    James Novak: What else do you do for him?
    Natalie Teeger: What else do I do? How long is your show?
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door"
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: [getting taken hostage] Keyes, you don't wanna do this. You don't want to kill a cop.
    Adrian Monk: Or an ex-cop.
    Natalie Teeger: Or an ex-cop's assistant.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", Natalie has brought a new digital camera for Monk to use:
    Adrian Monk: Where's the telescope thingie?
    Natalie Teeger: Uh, it has an automatic zoom, so it's built-in.
    Adrian Monk: Built-in? Excellent! [starts to slowly use a scalpel to make an incision in the packaging. Natalie drops her hands, exasperated]
    Natalie Teeger: Mr. Monk, it's not heart surgery!
    Adrian Monk: If we leave right away, we can be at her house by eight o'clock. [Natalie rolls her shoulders] We can follow her all day-
    Natalie Teeger: Yeah, look, um, Mr. Monk, I have to tell you something. I made a decision: if you want to keep following Mrs. Brody, I suppose that's your right, although it really isn't, but...I can't help you anymore.
    Adrian Monk: Why not?
    Natalie Teeger: I—I—I'm just not comfortable! Her husband fired us!
    • From that same episode, when preparing to meet Roderick Brody:
    Natalie Teeger: She [Marilyn] seems nice! How bad can her husband be?
    Adrian Monk: It doesn't always work that way! Eva Braun took in stray puppies, for God's sakes!
    Natalie Teeger: Well at least we know his checks won't bounce.
    • From "Mr. Monk and the Magician," when Monk is checking out one of Torini's knife props and brings one blade on Natalie's back:
    Natalie Teeger: OW!
    Adrian Monk: OK, this one might be real. Don't play with this one.
    Natalie Teeger: All right, I won't.
  • Determinator: If Natalie decides she needs to do something - especially something that she feels morally obligated to do - pretty much nothing can stop her from doing it, and she can be a lot more stubborn than she initially seems. This includes whatever anyone says, whatever protocol the police have set up, and (what seems like) multiple attempts on her life - and she usually drags a reluctant Monk along for the ride ("Mr. Monk and the Election" and "Mr. Monk on Wheels" being good examples). Not to mention whenever someone close to her needs help - not even the threat of arrest or death will deter her.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Election": Natalie is determined to continue her school board election campaign even after her campaign office is shot up by a rifleman and said guy later tries killing her, Monk and Randy by lobbing a hand grenade through the window of her house
    • "Mr. Monk on Wheels": After accidentally helping thief John Kuramoto as he flees an office park on a bike he's just stolen, Natalie seems shaken and she decides that she is obliged to find the bike and return it to Dean Berry, the original owner. Monk is very reluctant to help out with the investigation of such a mundane matter, and Stottlemeyer and Disher clearly are uninterested. Then Monk gets shot in the leg.
    • "Mr. Monk Is On The Run Part II": In spite of being told by Stottlemeyer not to go see Monk, who is hiding from corrupt sheriff John Rollins, Natalie goes to see him anyway because she's afraid for him. Even though this almost causes Monk and Natalie to get held at gunpoint by Rollins.
  • Drives Like Crazy: In "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies," Natalie "borrows" Captain Stottlemeyer's brand new Dodge Charger. The first time, she clips off the shotgun mirror, something Stottlemeyer can take in stride. The second time, the car's entire front end is torn up:
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: [drops his hands, exasperated] What the hell happened? It was only two miles!
    Natalie Teeger: I took a shortcut. I... cut across the creek. [beat]
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: There's no bridge across the creek!
    Natalie Teeger: I know.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: There is no bridge across the creek.
    Natalie Teeger: Yes, I know.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: There's no bridge across the creek.
    Natalie Teeger: Captain, I am sorry. I will pay for everything.
  • Embarrassing Slide: Natalie and Monk are mortified when pictures of Stottlemeyer in riot gear show up in the slideshow in "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion".
  • Establishing Character Moment: She stabs an intruder dead in her house with a pair of scissors. That she should show some trauma to what she'd done is then Hand Wave off.
  • Expy: Like Monk is one of Sherlock Holmes, Natalie is one of Dr. Watson. However, it isn't entirely a perfect expy, as Natalie is a deceased Navy pilot's widow, in contrast to Sharona, who was a nurse before Monk hires her.
    • Natalie being a Dr. Watson expy is expanded on in the novels where she is the narrator.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Averted in "Mr. Monk and the Genius", when Monk and Natalie are on a stakeout. Natalie sees Patrick Kloster approaching their car:
    Natalie Teeger: Oh my god, he's coming! What do we do? Uh, we should kiss! NO! I didn't say that! I wasn't thinking, I never said that!
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
  • Gilligan Cut: In "Mr. Monk Is On the Run, Part 2", Stottlemeyer makes Natalie promise not to locate Monk (who is in hiding). Immediately, the scene cuts to Natalie packing a suitcase.
  • Good-Looking Privates: In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank," when Monk goes undercover as a guard at his bank to find the inside man on a robbery, there is a scene where he and Natalie are sitting in their car on a small stakeout. She spends several minutes complimenting Monk on his appearance while wearing the uniform, even asking if he will be allowed to keep it after he ends his assignment. While this adds to the ambiguity in any potential attraction between the two, it's better interpreted as being that Natalie is attracted to men in uniform. This is also seen in the way she flirts with Lt. Steven Albright in "Mr. Monk Is Underwater".
  • Hey, That's My Line!: To flatter Monk in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Natalie signs off with Monk's signature line, "You'll thank me later!"
    Adrian Monk: "You'll thank me later?" That's my line! I say that!
    Lt. Randall Disher: It hurts, doesn't it?
  • Hollywood Spelling: Natalie's last name has twice been a plot point.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Election," Monk proves that a death threat letter against Natalie (running for the school board) was a diversion because he notices that although the shooter did take the time to dot his I's and cross his T's, he didn't write the last R on her last name when writing the message ("Close Ashton High, Natalie Teege Must Withdraw" is the result). This is proven when he realizes the shooter was getting her name from a custom poster with Natalie's name, from which the R had fallen off, indicating that the shooter didn't know her already.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse," Angeline Dilworth has disguised two accidental deaths as the work of voodoo, then kills her rich uncle, and makes his death look like a voodoo-induced heart attack. When Monk notices an error in her staging of the crime scene, Angeline, having overheard that Natalie is scared of voodoo, sends Natalie a voodoo doll to trick her into thinking she will be decapitated. Monk realizes that the sender can't have known who Natalie was, since the sender misspelled her last name as "Teager" (with an A instead of a double E). Then Angeline happens to be the one who picks Natalie up after she mistakenly ingests Reverend Jorgensen's concotion during a cleansing ritual. During the ride, after Monk gives The Summation to Jorgensen in the van, Natalie is in the ambulance and happens to notice that Angeline misspells her name as "Teager" on the patient chart. A struggle breaks out.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Traylor Howard became pregnant in the second half of season 5. We used Traylor as the header image on that page. Therefore, it was necessary for writers to position her in basically every scene accordingly so that her midsection and below were hidden by items like bags, tables, or car doors. This is evident in "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend" and "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy".
    • Conveniently, when "Mr. Monk Is at Your Service" was filmed, the writers took advantage of Traylor's pregnancy by incorporating it into the episode. So for most of her scenes in that episode, Natalie stands or sits in positions that make it so that we see only the section above her chest, (like behind Stottlemeyer's desk or leaning against her car with the driver's side door open when she and Monk are at the crash scene). However, when she needs to rescue Monk from her old obsessive boyfriend Paul Buchanan, she wards off his advances by stuffing a pillow down her chest. For these scenes, they just filmed her like they would in normal episodes, like in the first half of the season.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Natalie tells Monk he's overreacting when Monk tries to douse his hand in kerosene and light his hand on fire after shaking hands with a leper (who turned out to be a phony). Later, when Natalie makes out with Dr. Aaron Polanski, who turns out to be a cured leper, her reaction is to drink a stream of hot water directly from the tap and instruct Julie to fill up a bathtub with Listerine. Lampshaded in the next scene when Monk sees her drinking a bottle of mouthwash:
    Adrian Monk: Are you drinking that?
    Natalie Teeger: [gulps] Mmm-hmm!
    Adrian Monk: [shocked] Where’s the woman who’s been lecturing me all week about compassion and tolerance?
    Natalie Teeger: Okay, you know what? It’s not funny! You didn’t have your tongue down his throat!
    Adrian Monk: Well I shook hands with one! That’s bad enough!
    Natalie Teeger: Your leper wasn’t even a real leper! My leper was the real deal!
    Adrian Monk: I thought he was real! That’s what counts! You know the old saying, “There is no heart so black as the black, black heart of the Phony Leper”?
    Natalie Teeger: No! I never heard that one!
  • I Ate WHAT?!: In "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse," she accidentally drinks a ritual potion that she was meant to dabble on her neck.
  • I Just Shot Mr. Monk in His Good Leg: Natalie accidentally discharges a bullet into Monk's good right leg in "Mr. Monk on Wheels" due to lack of proper firearms training.
  • Jerkass: In some of her early episodes before her characterization marched on, Natalie seems to fit this.
    • "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra" being a defining example. You see she complains a lot about Monk not covering her expenses, which, although understandable, is just really irritating when you are bringing it up constantly while Monk is trying to conduct a homicide investigation that Stottlemeyer fears could make or break his own career. Though this is Truth in Television: people do occasionally blow up even on the job.
  • Mama Bear: Do not mess with Julie or Monk in front of her.
  • Mystery Magnet: Natalie supplies the page quote.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: "Mr. Monk on Wheels", the opening scene shows Natalie helping John Kuramoto after his bike hits a pothole and crashes, and even fixes his chain, then compliments him on his bolt-cutters, all while unaware that the bike is stolen. She is very embarrassed when Dean Berry, the bike's legitimate owner, comes running out just as Kuramoto rides away. This causes Monk to get shot in the leg by Kuramoto, ultimately leading to Monk verbally abusing Natalie to the point that she becomes his emotional punching bag/virtual slave.
  • Not So Above It All: In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Natalie shames Monk into accepting a job from a man he didn't even want to touch due to the client suffering leprosy. However, when she finds out the doctor she's dating actually IS a leper himself, she freaks out in ways that even Monk finds extreme such as drinking Scope to disinfect herself.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Natalie becomes a lottery hostess. But immediately upon doing so, she changes, and Monk gets increasingly irritated as she becomes more of a liability than an asset to him. She is inattentive to Monk's investigation when he's filling her in with facts on his progress. Also, her personality shifts, from being a generally cheerful girl to a full tilt-diva. When she trips over a few sound wires on the floor after one show, something that most people would just get over, she gets so incredibly worked up about it that she gets into a heated argument with the sound engineer. Monk is disturbed by her getting all the attention when he thinks that he has the more important job:
    Dr. Neven Bell: Natalie's your friend. Maybe you're afraid she doesn't need you any more; maybe you're afraid you're going to lose her.
    Adrian Monk: Or maybe I just feel insulted!
    Dr. Neven Bell: Insulted?
    Adrian Monk: What I do is hard! I am out there, I am sweating out every clue, I am putting killers behind bars! What does she do? What does she do?! [He grabs a calendar off the desk with the date "July 16" on it]
    Adrian Monk: "91! Number 91! 91! Number 91! 91! Number 9-" I mean, how hard is that?! You know, a talking monkey could do her job! It's—it's embarrassing.
    Dr. Neven Bell: Actually that's a 16. See, you're holding it upside down.
    Adrian Monk: [looks at it] Oh, it's confusing. There's usually a little line under the 9.
    • And then:
    Adrian Monk: All I'm trying to say is... it's not the same Natalie! If you knew her, you wouldn't know her! Last night after the show, she got somebody fired!
    Dr. Neven Bell: Really?
    Adrian Monk: One of the crew, sound guy! There were some wires on the floor, and she was just like [leans back in his chair, curls his fingers like claws, and snarls like a raptor] you know, complaining! And I met the guy when I was there and he was a nice kid. Now what's he gonna do?
  • Product Placement: At some point, the producers started giving Natalie a new car to drive every new season. They start with a Jeep Grand Cherokee from her introduction to halfway through season 5. She then drives a Buick Lucerne for a few episodes, then drives a Ford Escape for the duration of season 6. In season 7, she drives an Audi A3 for the first eight episodes, a Nissan Sentra for three episodes in the middle of the season, and then a Hyundai Genesis from "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door" to the end of the series. How she affords this on Monk's low salary is questionable (although since the same license plate is reused on the last three, it's likely she did transfer plates whenever she changed vehicles). One person on the IMDB boards did suggest that perhaps Natalie is using a lot of short-term leases, but still her vehicle turnover rate is high. This doesn't, however, explain why she manages to keep the same license plate on the last three vehicles.
  • Properly Paranoid: In "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse," Angeline Dilworth sends her a voodoo doll in the mail to trick Natalie into thinking she will be decapitated. Subverted in that Angeline is trying to distract Monk when he notices a mistake regarding the murder of her uncle.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: After fighting with Sarah Longson for her Walther PPK pistol in "Mr. Monk on Wheels", Natalie turns around, gun in hand. She tells Monk, who had already been shot in the leg earlier in the episode and was trying climb down some stairs to assist Natalie, that she was okay... and accidentally shoots Monk in his uninjured leg. Which makes no sense at first given that in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies", Natalie tells Randy that she went to a firing range all the time and knows how to use a gun.
    • Actually, it's rather Justified: this is only the second time that Natalie has held a firearm (having once held, but never used, a twelve gauge shotgun in an earlier episode). For all we care, she probably hasn't used one for a minimum of eleven years.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Occasionally leaves Monk's side to pursue other responsibilities or personal interests. At times, she does so while he's in the middle of a murder investigation such as in "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan."
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Natalie is highly amused whenever someone tries to suggest she has romantic feelings for Monk.
    (Dianne Brooks sees Monk and walks over to him)
    Dianne Brooks: Adrian! There you are. We've been looking for you. [Dianne notices Natalie and looks at her suspiciously]
    Natalie Teeger: Hi! I'm Natalie Teeger. [Natalie and Dianne shake hands]
    Dianne Brooks: Hi. Dianne Brooks.
    Natalie Teeger: I'm his assistant.
    Dianne Brooks: Ahh... Oh, so you two aren't [dating]... [she points between Monk and Natalie; Natalie grins]
    Natalie Teeger: [laughs] No!
    • And in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, Natalie has to deny to her friend Candace that she and Monk are dating.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever", one of Natalie's lottery fans asks her if Monk is her boyfriend when Monk is grabbing wipes from her purse.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Natalie is disturbed by Kevin Dorfman's family being a bunch of Motor Mouths in "Mr. Monk and the Magician".
  • Ship Tease: In "Mr. Monk and the Genius", Monk and Natalie are on a stakeout. When their cover is threatened, Natalie briefly and inexplicably blurts out, "We should kiss!", and immediately wonders aloud why she said it.
  • Spit Take: Natalie has two memorable ones.
    • From "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall":
    (Harold is trying to figure out the identity of Monk's new therapist)
    Harold Krenshaw: I'm talking about your new therapist, the mystery doctor, the genius you're always raving about. Who is he? Just tell me his name!
    Adrian Monk: I can't tell you. It's privileged information.
    Harold Krenshaw: No, it's not. What happens in the session is privileged. His name isn't privileged. People recommend therapists everyday. Am I right, Natalie?
    Natalie Teeger: I don't know. I'm just waiting for the conversation to be over.
    Adrian Monk: Okay, fine. His name is doctor... (glances at elevator doors) Door.
    Harold Krenshaw: Dr. Door? Is that the best you can do? I suppose if we were standing by that alarm you would've said "Dr. Bell". (Natalie promptly spits water in Harold's face)
    Natalie Teeger: Oh god, Harold! I'm so sorry!
    • From "Mr. Monk and the Genius":
    Natalie Teeger: You have to admit, he's real good. (takes a sip from her lemonade) What? He was right. I am thirsty. '(Monk looks at her oddly) What?
    Adrian Monk: How do you feel?
    Natalie Teeger: Uhhh, I feel fine. (Monk continues looking at her oddly; she takes another sip) What?
    Adrian Monk: It just occurred to me: if there's poison in the lemonade, we could go to the DA and we'd have all the evidence we need. (Natalie promptly spits out her lemonade)
    Natalie Teeger: "It just occurred" to you?! And you didn't say anything?! My gosh, Mr. Monk, I've never seen you like this! (Disgusted, she dumps the rest of her cup onto the pavement)
    Adrian Monk: How do you feel now?
    Natalie Teeger: You know I hate to disappoint you, but I feel fine!
  • Stage Mom: When Julie goes into acting in "Mr. Monk and the Critic", Natalie becomes this.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Some fans considered Traylor Howard, and in turn, Natalie, this, when she was introduced in the middle of season 3 to replace Bitty Schram (Sharona). The fandom has long been locked in a battle over which one is better. It works better here than a few other cases because things like Natalie being similar to Sharona down to having a kid the same age (Benjy, instead of Julie) can be explained by Monk trying to make things stay the same when life changes around him. Though the episode "Mr. Monk and Sharona" highlights how different they are as well.
  • Take Our Word for It:
    • In "Mr. Monk Paints His Masterpiece," Monk paints what is supposed to be an image of Natalie, although the subject in the image has a mustache like Stottlemeyer. Nearly everybody's reaction to it is one of disgust, and Natalie herself is mortified to find it on display at an art show. Going so far as to her trying to burn it at the end even as Randy tries to restrain, even though it's evidence against a money counterfeiting scheme. Averted, in that you do get a glimpse of the painting when Randy is trying to restrain Natalie. It looks like someone made a very bad Microsoft Paint doodle.
    • In "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall", when Monk and Natalie are searching one of Eileen Hill's apartments for evidence of her disappearance, Natalie opens a drawer to find something surprising and possibly dirty (in both ways), and then right after, she repeatedly tells Monk to never open that drawer.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Monk. No matter what, even when the whole world is against him, even when he is at his worst, Natalie is always there by his side. By the end of the series, she would go significantly out of her - even through hell and danger - to help and support him. Discussed with Sharona in "Mr. Monk and Sharona" where the two bond over why they're willing to go through so much hassle for him.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Natalie must have one. She has a different outfit for practically every single episode, and sometimes goes through as many as five outfits in one episode (although admittedly that might be justified if an episode takes place over the span of a few days). Her styles also change every episode.
    • A few episodes provide aversions, depending on how many days they are set over: Natalie's page image at the top of this section is a production still from "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert." As that episode takes place over the course of a single day, she wears the same outfit for the entire episode - a white T-shirt and brown shorts. In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," she does wear a couple of different outfits - a green t-shirt on the Saturday of the reunion, a long-sleeve V-neck shirt on the second day (Sunday), and a formal dress in the evening. In "Mr. Monk and the Bully," Natalie wears the same dark black trenchcoat on two days, though there are different shirts underneath.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In "Mr. Monk and the Miracle", when Monk and Natalie are harmonizing The Summation to get it to Stottlemeyer, we wonder how come none of the other monks hear two voices that obviously don't blend in.
  • Unconventional Smoothie: In "Mr. Monk is On The Run - Part 1", Natalie needs to use a power drill to get Monk's shackles off. Unfortunately, Randy is also staking out Natalie's house. To explain the drill, she pretends that her blender broke and uses the drill to create a smoothie from a number of questionable and unusual ingredients. It's quite funny, admittedly.
  • The Watson: More pronounced in the books where, like Watson, she's the principle narrator of each case.
  • Weirdness Magnet: In the episode "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever", Natalie observes that everywhere Monk goes, people get murdered, supposing he's followed by some karmic cloud of disaster. By the end of the episode, she changes her mind about him: he's not a Weirdness Magnet for murder, he's cosmically drawn to where murders occur so he can solve them.
    • Natalie's one to talk here. Before her daughter Julie even gets her driver's license, she was involved somehow in six homicide investigations and one museum heist.
  • We Need a Distraction: In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," Natalie uses the pretense of viewing a new apartment to keep Linda Fusco out of her house while Monk searches it for evidence that proves her responsible for shooting her business partner.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Natalie has been on the delivering end and the receiving end.
    • On the delivering end, among other examples, this one from "Mr. Monk and the Bully":
    Adrian Monk: If we leave right away, we can be at her house by eight o'clock. We can follow her all day.
    Natalie Teeger: Yeah, look, uh, Mr. Monk, I have to tell you something. I made a decision: if you want to keep following Mrs. Brody, I suppose that's your right, although it really isn't, but, I can't help you anymore.
    Adrian Monk: Why not?
    Natalie Teeger: I—I—I'm just not comfortable! Her husband fired us!
    Adrian Monk: It's what they call pro bono.
    Natalie Teeger: No, "pro bono" is for lawyers! This is stalking!
    Adrian Monk: No, this is comeuppance. Pro bono comeuppance.
    Natalie Teeger: No! No! That is just crazy talk! [She marches forward and switches off Monk's table lamp]
    Adrian Monk: It's not crazy talk!
    Natalie Teeger: Pro bono comeuppance?! That's the craziest talk there is! You heard what he said! He wants you to quit!
    Adrian Monk: I wanted him to quit! I begged him to quit 40 years ago, in stall #3! [He starts looking at the digital camera as Natalie's cell phone rings] Oh yeah.
    • In "Mr. Monk Is On The Run," Natalie chews Stottlemeyer out for withholding the truth from her about Monk faking his death.
    • In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, Natalie gets both the receiving and delivering end with Dr. Kroger. The receiving one happens when Monk and Natalie show up at a psychiatric conference Dr. Kroger is attending, and Dr. Kroger is not happy about their appearance:
    Natalie Teeger: It's nice to see you. You're looking very rested.
    [Dr. Kroger stood up, grabbed me firmly by the arm and led me into the lobby]
    Dr. Charles Kroger: I am shocked, Natalie!
    Natalie Teeger: I bet you are.
    Dr. Charles Kroger: [thrusting his finger at me like a weapon] What Adrian has done today is a serious breach of the doctor-patient relationship and you enabled him to do it!
    Natalie Teeger: No more than you enabled him to follow me to Hawaii.
    Dr. Charles Kroger: I thought you were an intelligent and responsible woman, that you were a positive influence on Adrian's emotional and psychological well-being. Obviously I was wrong: you are a deeply disturbed woman.
    Natalie Teeger: My "job" is to look out for Mr. Monk's best interests and that's exactly what I am doing!
    Dr. Charles Kroger: By helping him to stalk me and invade my private life?! What he has done is a crime and you were his accomplice!
    Natalie Teeger: I don't begrudge you a private life or vacation! God knows, I'd like to have them too! But don't play dumb. You had to know Mr. Monk was going to fall completely apart without you and that there was no way he would ever see a one-armed psychiatrist! But you didn't care. You dumped the problem in my lap and went on your way, leaving me to deal with it.
    Dr. Charles Kroger: And this is your idea of a solution?
    Natalie Teeger: Take a look at him! Adrian Monk is here, in Germany, a world apart from his own. Imagine the rippling fears he had to overcome just so he could be here in that chair right now. That's how much he needs you! All he asks in return is one hour of your time. One hour of patience, understanding and advice. Is that so damn hard for you to give?!
    Dr. Charles Kroger: ....I shall call the police and have him removed.
    Natalie Teeger: And create an embarrassing scene in front of your colleagues from around the world? I don't think so.
    • The delivering one from that novel is when she sees Dr. Kroger with Dr. Martin Rahner, a psychiatrist with six fingers on his right hand, just like Trudy's bomber. Her response is to punch Dr. Kroger in the face, breaking his nose.
    Dr. Martin Rahner: [helping Dr. Kroger to his feet and giving him a napkin to stifle the bleeding] What is going on, Charles? [He had a deep baritone voice that embodied authority and an undefined European accent] Who are these people?
    Natalie Teeger: [struggling] As if you didn't know!
    [Monk was right. The man who hired someone to put a bomb in Trudy's car had fled to the last place on Earth that Monk would ever visit. But then Dr. Kroger made the mistake of going there, leading Monk directly to his wife's murderer.]
    Dr. Charles Kroger: [clutching his napkin] The man is Adrian Monk, one of my patients. This is Natalie Teeger, his assistant.
    Dr. Martin Rahner: They stalked you all the way to Germany? [Everyone turned and looked at me with disbelief] I'm calling the police.
    Dr. Charles Kroger: That won't be necessary.
    Natalie Teeger: The hell it isn't! Call them! If you don't, I will!
    [Dr. Kroger approached me slowly, with his head cocked. I wasn't sure if he was doing that stop the bleeding or to regard me with curiosity]
    Dr. Charles Kroger: I'm not going to press charges, but I would like to understand why you attacked me.
    Natalie Teeger: How can you look me in the eye and ask me that question after what you have done?! You might as well have killed Trudy Monk yourself!
    Dr. Charles Kroger: Have you lost your mind?
    Natalie Teeger: You tell me, doctor! Does he have six fingers on his right hand or am I hallucinating?!
    [Dr. Kroger looked back at Dr. Rahner, then agin at me. There was an expression of horrified realization on his face as the full impact of what was happening sank in]
    Dr. Charles Kroger: Oh, my god.
    Natalie Teeger: The charade is over, and you're both going to prison!
    • In Mr. Monk is Miserable, Dr. Kroger chews her out for refusing to help Monk in a homicide investigation.
  • Widow Woman: Natalie's late husband Mitch, a US Navy pilot, was killed in action during the Kosovo War.
  • You Never Did That for Me: In the episode where Sharona and Natalie meet, Natalie finds out that Monk paid Sharona a lot more than he paid her. Thus she complains that Monk never paid her that much. It was a difference of twenty dollars. Though one might wonder why she has to complain, considering that the math (from the WMG page) shows that this would equate to Natalie having an annual salary of $48,360.


SFPD Allies

    Capt. Leland Stottlemeyer 

Captain Leland Francis Stottlemeyer
"How do you know that?"
Played by: Ted Levine

Stottlemeyer is Monk's former partner/watch commander and closest friend.

  • Badass Mustache: He wears one with such pride that in "Mr. Monk and the Miracle," Monk has trouble recognizing him when he shaves it off and becomes a monk (the only way Monk can identify him is to use the feather on a quill). When Leland is out of action, Randy grows one in response. Monk and Natalie are dumbstruck when they first notice Randy with a beard (though this isn't unusual, as it was said that Randy had a mustache when he lived in Philadelphia). After Leland returns to the force, he gives Randy a safety razor as an implied way of ordering him to shave it off.
  • Berserk Button: Never hurt/nearly kill (intentionally or not) or even imply at having an affair with Leland's first wife Karen, or else you'd better pray that he doesn't end up beating you up or killing you for for it. This one is pressed in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife" by Evan Coker, when he shoots a tow truck driver with a sniper rifle, causing the truck to veer right into the path of Karen's oncoming van, causing her to crash and end up in a coma. In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage," Sgt. Ryan Sharkey invokes this one on purpose by claiming to be having an affair with Karen to provoke Leland into punching him. This turns out to be because he was responsible for the murder that had just been committed, and he'd lost a tooth in the fight with his victim, and he needed to find an explanation for why the scene was contaminated with his DNA.
    • Also, in "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus", Stottlemeyer can tolerate people crowding a crime scene to jeer at Monk for shooting Santa (of which the actual details are debated, although Stottlemeyer knows Monk's version is the true version), but if someone ever attempts to go so far as to throw one egg at Monk or Natalie, especially during a crime scene investigation that Monk is involved in trying to determine what most likely happened, Stottlemeyer's fury at this will have no bounds, even going so far as to shout when demanding to know who threw an egg at them and rush towards them.
      • Justified, though. Likely the reason Stottlemeyer gets furious is because the egging could have risked contaminating forensic evidence.
  • Blatant Lies: In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger," Stottlemeyer claims that his arm is in a sling because he broke it in a motorcycle accident. Afterwards, Monk takes Stottlemeyer aside and quietly suggests he not tell the story of his accident to too many people because the area he claims he had it in has been closed for the past few weeks due to brush fires. Stottlemeyer hesitantly admits that he fell off a ladder while cleaning his gutters.
  • Characterization Marches On: Stottlemeyer's early characterization suggests he and Monk had clashed for their entire shared career and he was extraordinarily opposed to and reluctant to work with him under any circumstances; in his later characterization, Stottlemeyer and Monk are effectively resuming a decades-long friendship that had been briefly interrupted when tragedy struck. This coincides with Monk's slow transition into Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist (starting when Natalie joined the show).
  • Chekhov's Skill: In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," Stottlemeyer, Randy, and Natalie know Morse code.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: In "Mr. Monk And The Three Julies", his new 2008 Dodge Charger falls victim to this as a result of him trusting Natalie to hold his keys.
  • Clear My Name: Twice in the novels, and once in the TV series. In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Monk must clear Stottlemeyer and Natalie of accusations that they rigged a lottery drawing. In Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, Nick Slade kills a detective named Paul Braddock that Stottlemeyer had a grudge against, and frames the captain for the killing. In Mr. Monk Gets Even, Stottlemeyer is framed for helping Dale the Whale escape from prison.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Generally to Randy when he start with his absurd theories.
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: In "Mr. Monk and the Miracle," after Monk and Natalie rescue a "converted" Stottlemeyer from a monastery, Stottlemeyer gives a safety razor to Randy (who grew a mustache when he took command in Stottlemeyer's absence) as an implied order for him to shave it off, with Randy not being too happy about it.
  • The CSI Effect: In-Universe, Stottlemeyer says he hates CSI and personally wants to punch the person "who had the brilliant idea of doing a show that teaches crooks how to avoid being caught."
  • A Day In The Lime Light: Stottlemeyer also has a lot of episodes where he plays a more prominent role.
    • Namely, "Mr. Monk is the Best Man" gives Leland a lot of focus as that episode is about his wedding to TK Jansen, and a killer's attempts to sabotage it.
    • In two of the episodes that involve Karen, "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife" and "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage," Leland gets more screen time.
    • Stottlemeyer gets justified extra screentime in "Mr. Monk and the Badge" since Monk temporarily gets reinstated to the force.
    • In a few episodes, Stottlemeyer gets a backseat:
      • These are episodes in which Stottlemeyer does not appear at all: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum," "Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation," "Mr. Monk and the Airplane," "Mr. Monk Gets Married," "Mr. Monk and the Game Show," "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic," and "Mr. Monk Is Underwater".
  • Deadpan Snarker: The snarkiest character of all the series by far.
  • Drinking on Duty: Does this in "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas", although in his case, he really does actually need the alcohol in regards to solving a case.
  • Drives Like Crazy: In the last episode. Justified, as they were trying to locate Monk before he ends up doing something bad to Ethan Rickover in revenge for murdering Trudy as well as a nurse. The fact that it is stormy outside, and Disher has sold his siren in a garage sale shortly beforehand (as he apparently thought crime was over and the bad guys had quit) didn't help matters, either.
  • Embarrassing Slide: During "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", while Stottlemeyer is making a request for information on the UC Berkeley nurse homicide at Monk's reunion, the projectionist displays some very compromising pictures of Stottlemeyer in full riot gear violently attacking protesters at an anti-nuclear demonstration back in the 1970s. Monk and Natalie are clearly mortified, while Stottlemeyer makes an unsuccessful attempt to calm the booing students:
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: You didn't have a permit!
    Student: Yes we did!
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: It expired at noon!
    Student: 12:06!
    Captain Stottlemeyer: Like I said, it expired at noon.
  • Expy: Of Inspector Lestrade, by being the smug cop who makes the actual arrest, often being quick to bring the obvious suspect into the interrogation room. Straight at first, but after the first season Stottlemeyer begins to move away from this, generally trusting Monk's intuition, and showing genuine detective skills, especially after "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife".
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • Friend on the Force: He and Randy to Monk.
  • Gender Flip: The response Stottlemeyer has in "Mr. Monk and the Actor" to seeing his TV-movie self kissing a female Randy is, "That never happened."
  • Heroic BSoD: Suffers one in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife" when Karen is hospitalized as a result of the first tow truck shooting.
  • Hidden Depths: When investigating the mansion of a music producer who was murdered, he admires the 48-track mixing console in his home studio, hinting that he has an interest in music production.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Stottlemeyer's line, "It's called guilty knowledge, and juries eat it up" in Mr. Monk Takes the Stand supplies the page quote.
    • In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," he admits in an interview that he withholds specific details from the press in order to make it easier to separate useless leads from potential suspects, which is an actual police strategy.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: More obviously with Disher, but Stottlemeyer was all ready a police officer while Monk was still in college.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: In the first part of "Mr. Monk and the End". "Your computer crashed."
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Stottlemeyer has some with the federal agencies. In both episodes featuring Josh Stamberg's character Agent Grooms, you can tell Stottlemeyer has hostility to him. In "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy," he clearly does not like being bossed by Agent Thorpe.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man," it is revealed that Karen was actually Leland's second wife, and his first marriage was annulled after only five days.
  • Police Are Useless: He definitely isn't, but he occasionally struggles with feeling like this - especially in the earlier seasons where being showed up by Monk tends to bother him. In "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever," he admits that it bothers him that his big role in life is "the guy who knows how to find Monk."
  • Quip to Black: Pulls off the occasional line that would be one if he did it with dramatic flair instead of perfect deadpan, such as referring to a dead hotel guest as having "checked out early." Tries a few in "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk". Natalie promptly chews him out for being insensitive.
    • Monk unintentionally also makes Leland feel bad about them by describing how horrible the victim's death must have been. It involved hooks ripping him apart and then being compacted in what must be the world's deadliest trash compactor. "He must have been screaming for mercy the whole time."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's rarely skeptical of Monk's intuitive leaps, having seen him in action for so long, and often makes accommodations for Monk's OCD on the crime scene.
  • Secret Santa: "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa". Stottlemeyer can't find his for Det. Chasen, his Secret Santa, so he regifts a bottle of port someone had sent him. Then the bottle turns out to be poisoned...note 
  • Watch the Paint Job: He is like this with his new Dodge Charger in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies". He's on the same stage of cleanliness as Monk in watching out for scratches, dints, or other blemishes. But he makes a big mistake when he trusts Natalie to hold the keys while he's away on a search warrant, a no-no because she manages to reduce it to junk.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Stottlemeyer is on the delivering end for Monk's streaker bailout in "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger". He gets the receiving end in "Mr. Monk Is On The Run Part 2" when Natalie angrily chews him out for faking Monk's death without telling her.

    Lt. Randy Disher 

Lieutenant Randall "Randy" Disher

Stottlemeyer's right hand partner. Usually the butt of jokes, he's mostly there to make Monk and Stottlemeyer look better, but has his moments of competency.

  • Badass Mustache: Grows one temporarily in "Mr. Monk and the Miracle." Monk and Natalie are dumbstruck by it. Stottlemeyer orders him to shave it off with a razor at the end. He actually had one in the past, as he is shown to have one in an old newspaper clipping with his picture in it in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding".
  • Berserk Button: People not taking him seriously especially when he actually did witness a murder, resulting in him quitting his job in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist". Similarly, he doesn't like it when people diss his music, or being called "Cracker".
  • The Big Guy: As a police officer in the prime of his life who's in fantastic shape, he remains the most physically capable member of the cast for the entire series.
  • Boring, but Practical: Although he lacks Monk's ability to solve impossible cases, he is very efficient when it comes to managing ordinary homicides. Stottlemeyer mentions this in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, a tie-in novel to the series. His gift is getting people to open up to him.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: To a lesser extent.
  • Butt-Monkey: When the show doesn't need comedy relief, Randy has been shown to be on the level of his friends, able to keep up with Monk himself at one point. But when they believe they need a joke, however, which is most of the time, you can be assured he will be the butt of it, even if that means portraying him as someone literally Too Dumb to Live, let alone get a job as a police officer.
  • Brick Joke: In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist," Stottlemeyer suggests that the reason Randy doesn't want to go to the dentist until his scheduled appointment despite a toothache is because he wants to save up his sick days for days when he isn't feeling sick. In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," he is seen playing sick to attend the rock concert. Stottlemeyer gets him red-handed.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first episode he was a smarmy buttkisser who was very cynical of Monk's abilities. By the time the cast visits New York, he's a full-on dork.
    Sharona: So, I guess you've given up on trying to be cool, huh?
  • City Slicker: Becomes one in "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm." As soon as Monk is called up by Randy to investigate his uncle Harvey's death, Monk discovers that Randy is not a very competent farmer at all. He forgets to feed the animals every day, and he seems ignorant of the fact that one of his tractors has been broken for most of the week.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: His continued employment as a police lieutenant often mystifies; in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies" he seriously considers the possibility of a robot assassin from the future murdering women named Julie Teeger. Yet he has his moments, especially in "Mr. Monk Gets Married" and "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever" (even though the latter example is his own damn fault). Though Randy is often a Cloudcuckoolander, he becomes scarily efficient, competent, and down-to-Earth when he needs to be, such as whenever Stottlemeyer is disabled.
  • A Day In The Lime Light: Randy gets a number of episodes where he gets a chance to have more screen time - "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" and "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm" for examples.
  • Designated Driver: Randy is Designated Drunk in "Mr. Monk Is The Best Man".
  • Drinking on Duty: In "Mr. Monk Gets Married", Randy does this on finding out that his mother Maria has married a younger man named Dalton Padron, who also turns out to be a killer, and furthermore, that they're spending their honeymoon at a therapy clinic. Monk and Sharona hence pose as a married couple to infiltrate the clinic.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Randy's last name in the pilot episode was "Deacon". They changed it starting the very next episode.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In season 8, he is seen kissing Sharona and in the series finale he moves to Summit, New Jersey where they move in together. He becomes Chief of Police there.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Randy Disher's garage rock band was called "The Randy Disher Project". The etymology explained in "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" around the band's name: "Well, my name's Randy Disher, and then... Project."
  • Flanderization: Disher's role as a slight Cloudcuckoolander was later pushed into The Ditz territory.
  • Forgot Flanders Could Do That: It fit this trope later on when Randy illustrates competent policework.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • Gender Flip: Randy's equivalent in the TV show in season 5's "Mr Monk in the Actor". Played for Laughs as the show version of Randy and Stottlemeyer are acting out the episode "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut" and they start kissing before the actress portraying Natalie comes in. Stottlemeyer says "that never happened." The real Randy says, "Not even once."
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Subverted in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month"; Randy's girlfriend appears to be one of these — the picture he shows Sharona is the one that came with his wallet ("She's a wallet model!") and he gives what appears to be a Line-of-Sight Alias — except that at the end of the episode, we actually see her waving to him from a taxi.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: He says a clever one-liner in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" that he's sure is original ("It looks like her number came up"), but when another cop says the same thing, Randy is infuriated enough that he throws his notebook in the guy's face.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse," Randy cites his astrological sign (Pisces) as a reason he isn't superstitious.
  • Idiot Ball: Born with one melded to his hands.
  • Left the Background Music On: Randy lampshades it in "Mr. Monk and the Leper". When he and Stottlemeyer are searching a missing person's apartment, Randy starts playing a few notes of the show's original theme melody on the piano, and when Stottlemeyer makes an important discovery, he plays a dramatic chord. Then the music segues into actual background music.
  • Loony Fan: Like some of the worst examples of this trope, he's all too willing to buy up a musician's merchandise shortly before they're arrested so he can sell them for a song. He's also not above taking a selfie with the corpse of one of his most favorite actors.
  • Make the Dog Testify: Randy seems to think this is possible in "Mr. Monk and the Dog". But Stottlemeyer informs him that as far as he knows, in the state of California, dogs are not allowed to testify in open court.
  • Oh, Crap!: One funny example happens in "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm" at the beginning, when Randy is on a drug bust at a hotel. Hearing the sound of a toilet being flushed, he breaks into a dark room, #109, rousting the couple. He is very embarrassed when another officer turns on the lights and Randy discovers he's just burst in on an innocent old man and terrorized his wife. He looks at the slip of paper in his hand, realizes that he read it upside down (#601), and looks back just in time to see the dealer they were coming to catch run down the hallway.
  • The Picture Came with the Frame: In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," he claims that he has a girlfriend, and shows the picture of a beautiful woman. Sharona points out that the photo came with the wallet. Randy explains that his girlfriend is a famous "wallet photo model". It turns out to be true.
  • Playing Sick: In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert."
  • Quip to Black: Randy tries a few in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" with no success.
  • Running Gag: Randy's "insane" theories. Also, his ceremonial way of delivering information to Stottlemeyer, like here (from "Red-Headed Stranger"):
    Lt. Disher: Sir, are you ready for this?
    Capt. Stottlemeyer: What is this? A game show? Can't you just walk in here and say what you have to say?
  • Unconventional Smoothie: Randy finds one Natalie makes with a power drill in "Mr. Monk Is On the Run" acceptable.
  • Undying Loyalty: When asked if he would ever lie about Stottlemeyer murdering someone during "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend," Randy reluctantly admits that it would depend on the circumstances of said killing.
  • Unknown Rival: Bizarre or difficult cases tend to bring out a strange competitiveness in Randy that causes him to start creating all sorts of outlandish theories in an attempt to keep up with Monk and Stottlemeyer.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Randy's relationship with Sharona. They do.