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- Naked Nutter: Niles, cracking under the pressure of dealing with his wife's pregnancy and his brother accidentally implying he was involved with a murder committed by his ex-wife, finally snaps when a barista at his coffee shop tells him they're out of straws ("Ah. The last straw.") He immediately strips naked in full view of the coffee shop and sits down to read a newspaper, giggling.
- Naked People Trapped Outside
- Bulldog, in the episode "The Dog That Rocked The Cradle".
- Frasier, in the episode "Caught in the Act", though he's saved by wearing a baby bonnet and diaper - in front of a live show.
- Negative Continuity: In the opening of the episode "Deathtrap," Frasier and Niles, who put a lot of emphasis on ethics and doing the right thing, were shown stealing the skull they wanted for their backyard production of Hamlet. Granted, they were kids at the time, but some viewers might find it a bit odd. In addition, Frasier and Niles suffer physical ailments when they go against their ethics (nausea and nosebleeds respectively), but here it has little effect on them.
- Nerds Speak Klingon: In "Star Mitzvah", Frasier's son Frederick is about to have his bar mitzvah, and Frasier wants to give him a speech in Hebrew. Since Frasier doesn't know Hebrew, he asks his co-worker Noel, a stereotypical middle-aged nerd, to translate the speech. Noel agrees, but later on he gets angry with Frasier when Frasier fails to get him the signature of Scott Bakula, the actor playing Captain Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise. Noel retaliates by translating the bar mitzvah speech into Klingon, a language which he apparently knows well, but which Frasier can't distinguish from Hebrew. Hilarity Ensues.
- Nested Story Reveal: In one episode, Frasier is seriously doubting whether he should help strangers in need. While driving his car, he sees a woman standing in the rain, and decides to give her a ride. The woman turns out to be a transgender prostitute, and Frasier soon gets arrested by the police, who mistakenly think he's soliciting for her services. The whole event ends up being publicized in the media, making Frasier a laughing stock. Just before the episode ends, it cuts back to the scene with Frasier in the car and the woman standing in the rain. Turns out everything that happened was just a worst-case scenario Frasier had been considering in his head. He gives the woman a ride anyway.
- Never Lend to a Friend: Frasier lends Roz some money to help her through single motherhood, but calls her spending into question when Daphne sees her at a spa, and Frasier sees luxury items in her shopping bag. Turns out they were all justified expenses (a coupon, a gift from her mother, a store credit for a return, etc.) apart from one (a bottle of perfume) which she got to treat herself. Though shortly after Frasier questions her, Roz asks Bulldog for a loan so the cheque she has written to return Frasier's money won't bounce ("I cashed a bad cheque").
- Never My Fault: Plenty of examples throughout the series. Usually with Niles pointing the finger. He even has "Well I hope you're happy!" as his catchphrase.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead:
- Martin and the boys talk about Hester as if she were a saint, but there's plenty to suggest that she had feet of clay. From what we know about her, she cheated on Martin at least once, egged on the rivalry between Frasier and Niles that continues to affect them in adulthood, could be fairly distant and overly psychological in her parenting style, didn't like the women her sons were attracted to much, and that's not even counting her manipulative, shrewish behavior on Cheers. Of course, there's also plenty to suggest that she was otherwise a genuinely loving and kindhearted woman who cared for her family despite her flaws, and they wouldn't exactly be the first grieving sons/husbands to ever decide that this trope applied to a loved one, so this is perhaps understandable.
- In another episode, Frasier is charged with delivering a eulogy to his hated aunt Louise. Everyone agrees that the woman was mean-spirited, horrible and possessing of hardly any virtues, but while Frasier can hardly say all of that in his eulogy, he also refuses to invent virtues the woman didn't possess simply to lie his way through it. His solution turns out to be a mixture of Exact Words and a song Martin wrote for Frank Sinatra.
- New Old Flame: Subverted by Daphne; her ex-fiance Clive appears in "The Two Mrs. Cranes" to make good on their Fallback Marriage Pact, but Daphne has no interest in Clive. Until she learns he's loaded, that is.
- New Year's Resolution
- The '90s: The early seasons show very much how the 1990s carried a lot of run-off fashions of the late 1980s. Roz has very big, frizzy hair, and both her and Kate Costas (an early love interest of Frasier's who also had giant hair, to match an extremely dark tan) wore power-suits with shoulder pads. Eventually, as the series moved into the millennium, all of the characters would be fairly fashionable and less era-specific, save Martin. The show was set in Seattle, which rose to prominence as a fashionable city in the 90s for several reasons (grunge, Starbucks, more than one computer business, etc.)
- No Accounting for Taste: It's a wonder what Niles ever saw in Maris to begin with.
Niles: "You've been wanting to ask me this for years: 'Did I marry Maris for the money?' I resent that. I did not marry Maris for the money...it's just a delightful bonus."
- Money, Dear Boy. Well, partly. For most of the series, Niles is also an Extreme Doormat who doesn't feel right without someone bossing him around.
- No Bisexuals: In one episode "The Impossible Dream" (where Frasier is plagued by a an erotic dream about Gil), Frasier briefly considers the idea he might be gay, based solely on the fact that his mannerisms fit many stereotypes. Martin, reasonably, objects that he would know by now. The fact he never thought he might be bi, despite only having been in relationships with or attracted to women before, makes it an example of this trope.Martin: (to Frasier) All right. Yeah... okay, yeah, I thought about it. But no, Frasier, no... I don't believe that. And you know why? Because you would have known by now. Your unconscious or whatever the hell you call it could no more have kept its yap shut than the rest of you.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Nora, an unusually thin and Up to Eleven Strawman Political parody of Dr. Laura and the small controversy about her qualifications. Dr. Nora's advice mostly consisted of telling her callers that they're sinners who are going to hell, and Frasier eventually learns her doctorate is in P.E. The station keeps her on because her polarizing personality is attracting listeners, until an attempt at goodwill by Frasier drives her away.
- No Ending: One episode deals with Daphne and Martin going on the hunt for some new muckabees for Martin after Daphne accidentally nukes them. They find the store is shut down, but a nearby hobo offers the information for a kiss from Martin... and the plot abruptly ends there.
- No Indoor Voice: Chopper Dave got a little too used to reporting from a helicopter.
- Noodle Incident:
- The failed party at the beginning of "Daphne Does Dinner". All we know is it involved Martin impersonating an Italian count, a flaming kebab igniting a man's toupee, Frasier pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome, and goats in the kitchen.
- Daphne's story about how her brothers hated taking orders from her. "Nigel, take that thing back to the hospital. The whole house is full of flies."
- From Season 7 : "(Simon) is not staying here. He's loud, crude, and last time he stayed here, he killed the downstairs neighbour's ficus by means which are best left to the imagination."
- In "Seat of Power", Niles suddenly gets paranoid and twitchy after seeing the plumber sent to fix Frasier's toilet; Frasier asks him if he's "been self-medicating again".
- Noodle Implements
- "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"Sam: Hey listen... if you want to really put a smile on Maris's face let me tell you what you do.[He whispers into Niles' ear.]Niles: Exactly where am I supposed to find whipped cream and a car battery at this hour?
- "Liar! Liar!"Bulldog: All right Doc, I'm going to need a blindfold, whipped cream and a glass coffee table.[Everyone looks mystified]Bulldog: What? Nobody went to camp?
- "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"
- No Party Given: During a Congressional election, neither candidate's party affiliation is revealed. It's likely the same reason Kelsey Grammer did this in Boss: both parties are capable of the same things.
- No Sympathy:
- Daphne tries to defy this one in "Daphne Does Dinner"; after trying to throw a normal dinner party without the Cranes screwing it up as usual, she of course manages to screw it up, but when the offended guests start to collect their coats, she gives an impassioned speech about trying to salvage a nice, civilised dinner despite all the hijinks. Just as she's talked them round, a bed falls through the ceiling.
- Played straight with Martin, who typically has a lot of trouble empathizing or sympathizing with his sons. When they were bullied as children, he never helped them, saying it was their own fault for being such easy targets.
- Everyone plays it straight toward Frasier, especially in later seasons, when he starts going on about his love-life. Of course, since in most of these cases Frasier's woes are self-inflicted, and he demands they drop whatever they're doing and listen to him rant hammily and demand comfort, it's hard to blame them.
- Not in Front of the Parrot: Niles gets a cockatoo just before holding a housewarming dinner party for his new neighbours. Just as the primary problem (it's been clutching tightly onto his scalp all episode and he's been hiding in the kitchen) is being painlessly resolved, the bird starts quoting random insults it's overheard over the course of the evening in front of all the guests.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: In "Frasier's Imaginary Friend", Frasier is dating a supermodel studying to be a zoologist. His family seems to think he's off his rocker and making it all up.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Aversion because both Frasier and Niles are psychiatrists. Sometimes the boys themselves forget this though, as when Frasier tries to give advice to the heart surgeon about to operate on Niles.
- Not What It Looks Like: Interesting variation - Frasier often walks in on Niles and Daphne doing something completely innocent, unaware that out of context it looks like flirting.
- In several cases however, in Niles' mind at least, it is flirting.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The sixth season episode "The Good Samaritan" revolves around exploring this concept, with Frasier suffering a series of painful, insulting and humiliating blowbacks from strangers he did good deeds for. At the climax of the episode, Frasier's young son asks him if this means we shouldn't try and help people, and, Frasier decides to continue stepping in and helping those in need, no matter the risk.
- There's also the "Father of the Bride" episode where Roz advises Daphne to take back control of her wedding. Roz just agreed to be a bridesmaid after seeing Frasier's beautiful choice of dress. Naturally Daphne immediately describes how the first thing she'll change is the dress "The sleeves aren't even puffy."
- No, You Go First: For the first six seasons, Niles tries to confess his love to Daphne, only to be preempted by one inconvenient thing after another. In the seventh season, their roles are reversed.
- No, You Hang Up First: Niles plays this once with Maris during their reconciliation.
- Obfuscating Disability: Double subverted in "Wheels of Fortune", with Lilith's con-man half-brother Blaine Sternin (played by Michael Keaton). Frasier suspects that Blaine is up to his old tricks by pretending he's had a religious conversion following a debilitating car crash. He goes so far as to push Blaine out of his wheelchair at his church service/fundraiser, only to get a call from Blaine's doctor who says that he's paralyzed for life. Fraiser apologizes and gives him an expensive peace offering; minutes later, it's revealed that Blaine really was faking all along.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Especially with Frasier. The amount of times he's done something dishonorable and tried to cover it up...
- Oblivious to Love: Daphne to Niles in the first six in a half seasons. The roles are reversed in the second half of season seven.
- Obnoxious In-Laws:
- Everyone related to Daphne. No wonder she moved to America.
- Lilith and Maris, both to Martin and each other.Roz: I just realized something: Your daughters in-law are Lilith and Maris.
Roz: Whoa, happy Thanksgiving.
- Odd Friendship: Gil and Bulldog get on quite well, despite being about as different as two men can be.
- Oedipus Complex: In the episode "Mamma Mia", everyone but Fraiser seems to notice that his new girl Mia bears an uncanny resemblance to his mother. When he has it pointed out to him, he's completely horrified.
- Off on a Technicality: In "To Tell The Truth," Martin tells a story about how he started to read a criminal his rights, but the guy escaped before he could finish. In court, the criminal's lawyer asks if Martin read the crook his full rights, because if he didn't, the crook would walk free. Note that as the trope description indicates, this is a case of Hollywood Law, as in Real Life Martin would not have to read him his rights at the moment of arrest. Especially since Martin witnessed the crime, meaning they wouldn't even have to interrogate him.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Roz in "Halloween", big time (she was dressed as O from The Story of O). Probably also counts as Hell-Bent for Leather.
- Offstage Villainy: In one episode, Niles assures Daphne that Maris will never come between them again. That's only half-true. Maris did famously cause a lot of problems for Niles, but she barely touched Daphne. Plus it was because of Maris's outrageous antics that Daphne met Donny. Mel, on the other hand...
- Oh, Cisco!: The silent gag that runs over the credits at the end of each episode.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: A Left the Background Music On variation when Frasier goes to Bebe's hotel room and there's a choir singing outside the window. While she tries to seduce him, he throws open the window to get some air just as the choir hits a particularly ominous crescendo, accompanied by sweeping red floodlights.
- Once a Season: Lilith tends to appear in exactly one episode each season (except in season 2, where her appearance is a two-part episode).
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The Cranes (and later Daphne) have the most excellent method of sneaking full conversations under people's noses in this manner.
- One Steve Limit: For a while, Daphne knew the men on the show as Dr. Crane, Dr. Crane and Mr. Crane. The Running Gag of this confusion culminated in one episode, when she overhears Frasier admit that he loves her (platonically) and would miss her if she moved out and Martin confirms that he's in love with her, thinking that by 'Dr. Crane' she meant Niles.
A more typical variation might go like this:Daphne: Thank you Dr. Crane. Shame on you, Dr. Crane, why can't you be more like Dr. Crane?Marta (Maris' housekeeper): Missy Crane say, no you Dr. Crane, no other Dr. Crane, and no Crane with a cane!
Daphne: Yeah, but he doesn't know it... I can't very well discuss it with Dr. Crane. He's so close to Dr. Crane. If I told him, he might tell Dr. Crane and Dr. Crane might feel embarrassed.Roz: Yeah, why confuse things?
- After Daphne finds out from Frasier that Niles loves her:
- Niles falls foul of this in the episode "Dinner Party" where he assumes that the "Joaquim" that his friends met in South America must be the conductor of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, and not a feral child they adopted. Because really, how many people called "Joaquim" can there be in all of South America?
- Oop North: Daphne. All of her family members had different accents. Once parodied by Marty, who actually does a very decent impression, which isn't entirely surprising since John Mahoney grew up in Blackpool and Manchester before emigrating to the US.
- Outhumbling Each Other: Frasier's rivalry with Cam Winston ends up getting to this point, with the two each making concessions to the other in the name of a truce.
- Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: In "Halloween" Frasier and Daphne have a hushed discussion about Roz's possible pregnancy. Naturally, Niles manages to overhear just enough to make him believe that Daphne is pregnant with Frasier's child.
- Overcomplicated Menu Order: Zig-Zagged in an episode where, before Martin gets to the coffee house (Martin being a more down-to-earth food kind of person) Niles orders him a biscotti "but when you bring it to the table call it a cookie." The waitress dutifully brings it, only for Martin to correct her, and then Niles has the nerve to scold her for being patronising.Martin: I think this thing's called a biscotti.Niles: Yes, don't talk down to the man.
- "My Coffee with Niles" is a particularly funny example. Frasier orders a decafe non-fate Zimbabwe latte with no cinnamon but neglects to tell the waitress the entire order. She ends up bringing him coffee four times before he is satisfied.
- The waitstaff bring this on themselves in one episode when they start passing orders along via call-and-response. Niles orders a "double-short, low-fat, no-foam latte;" it morphs into "double-short, no-fat, low-foam," and it happens again after Niles corrects them.
- Niles, as early as episode 3, demands a steak be cooked just right, in a not-too-pink sort of way, and if it isn't to his overly exact specifications, he will send it back. Frasier shares his sentiment.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: In "Door Jam," Niles has to pretend to be Cam Winston for reasons irrelevant, so he attempts an impression of Cam's deep voice to fool the receptionist at the desk. Frasier isn't too impressed by it.Frasier: That's the worst Cam Winston impression I've ever heard!
Niles: You've heard a another one?
Niles: Then it's the best!
- Pensieve Flashback: Within "Daphne Returns" Frasier and Niles discuss how Niles puts Daphne on a pedestal.
- Phallic Weapon: See Freud Was Right above, when Frasier accuses Niles of using antique purchases to deflect his sexual frustration. Niles is defensive, but then considers that one of his purchases was a Civil War era ramrod, and concedes that Frasier may have a point.
- Ping-Pong Naïveté: Daphne's knowledge of Niles' feelings. Sometimes it seems obvious that she must know (or at least suspect), while other times the plot only makes sense if she hasn't got the slightest idea (for example, overhearing that "Dr. Crane" is in love with her and assuming it's Frasier).
- Platonic Declaration of Love: Not done to her face, but in "Back Talk" Frasier declares his platonic love for Daphne to Martin, which causes Daphne to mistakenly think it's a romantic declaration of love.
- Playing Catch With The Old Man: Discussed. Marty briefly reminiscences about trying to do the approved father-son bonding things with his sons Frasier and Niles. His smile turns to a frown when he remembers the catch sessions had to be curtailed, because neither of his sons could actually catch. It encapsulates the strained relationship and cultural gulf between them.
- Poor Communication Kills: Naturally, in a farce.
- Lampshaded when a particularly contrived misunderstanding has Niles and Frasier both convinced the other is after their date;Daphne: Before it comes to that, wouldn't it make sense for the two of you to have one open and honest conversation?
- The Wham Line in "Back Talk" is a result of this, courtesy of Daphne's tendency to refer to both Frasier and Niles as "Dr. Crane" in the early seasons. When she overhears Frasier say he loves her (platonically) and needs to tell her before she marries Donny and moves out, she tells Martin that she overheard "Dr. Crane" say he was in love with her. Martin logically assumes she means she overheard Niles say he was in love with her, and says he's kept his mouth shut for six years and refuses to get involved further. He then tells Frasier that Daphne knows Niles is in love with her, only for Frasier to realise she must have been referring to him when she said "Dr. Crane" said he was in love with her, as she hasn't seen Niles all day. He clears the air with Daphne, but as he falls under the influence of some painkillers for his back, Daphne asks him why, when she told Martin that "Dr. Crane" said he was in love with her, he said it had been going on for six years...Frasier: [getting ever more loopy from the painkillers] Oh, that. He meant Niles!
Daphne: [thunderstruck] WHAT?!
Frasier: Niles!... He's crazy about you...
Daphne: [to herself] Dr. Crane?note [to Frasier] Dr. Crane?note [no use; Frasier has fallen asleep]
- "Whine Club" features a cascade of poor communication leading to the evisceration of Mel and her relationship with Niles; Frasier has invited her over to brunch, and she has left a bad impression on Frasier, Daphne, Roz, and Martin. Martin insists that it's not their place to drive them apart, and suggests they keep their true opinions secret. However, Daphne (who has already knocked back several Bloody Marys) is out of the room when this agreement is made, so when Niles asks what everyone thought of Mel, Daphne is the first to answer, calling her "bossy and fussy and mean." Martin bundles her into the kitchen as Roz returns from the balcony just in time to hear Frasier talk about women forming irrational dislikes of each other. Offended, she tells Niles that she found Mel "pushy, demanding, and a gigantic pain in the ass." Niles notes that this is two people in the "anti-Mel camp", leading Roz to ask Frasier if this means he told Niles what he thought... forcing Frasier to admit that he finds Mel a manipulative second coming of Maris. An outraged Niles asks a returning Martin what his reasons are for disliking Mel, prompting Daphne to exclaim, "So you did tell him what you think of her!"
- Played with in an episode where Niles tries to throw a dinner party, only to have his pet cockatoo get caught in his hair. Niles spends most of the party hiding in his kitchen, afraid of what his guests will think - except they actually turn out to be remarkably understanding and good-natured about the situation once it's revealed. And then the bird starts parroting insults about the guests it had overheard in the kitchen....
- Lampshaded when a particularly contrived misunderstanding has Niles and Frasier both convinced the other is after their date;
- Poor Man's Porn: Frasier talks about sharing a room with Niles and being kept up all night by him looking at National Geographics under the bedcovers - Niles asserts he was looking at the maps, but Frasier insists that this is what made it so weird. This trope is used a lot.Niles: Well, I've got a crisis. Tomorrow's Mel's birthday and I'm planning a very romantic evening but my Gaggenau is on the fritz.Martin: (disgusted) Oh jeez, I don't need to hear this!Frasier: Dad! It's a stove!Martin: I know! Six burners and a griddle. Don't you guys ever talk about cars?
- A lot.(Frasier and Niles are peeping through a telescope into someone's apartment.)Frasier: Oh my God... breathtaking.Niles: (impatient) Well, don't be greedy! Your turn was over forty seconds ago!Frasier: All right, all right, Niles, all right. [steps away] It's the penthouse unit, fourth from the left.Niles: (swooning) Oh, mama!Martin: You two know that what you're doing isn't right, don't you?Frasier: We're simply admiring a very rare Brancusi armchair, not a naked woman.Martin: (sighing) That's what I'm talking about.
- Kenny Daly suffers from lowered expectations. When he asks Roz to buy "man and wife stuff" for him.Kenny: I'm supposed to stop on the way home and pick up some new... underthings for my wife.Frasier: So?Kenny: So? Every time I'm in one of those places I start thinking about... you know... man-and-wife stuff. I turn all red, I start to sweat, I hyperventilate. Try getting somebody to wait on you when you look like that.Roz: Well, sorry, Kenny, but I am not going to Victoria's Secret for you.Kenny: Victoria's Secret? Whoa, whoa, Rockefeller, I'm talking Kmart!
- Later:Kenny: Fine. I'll go myself. Why do they have those mannequins so damn sexy?
- A lot.
- Prenup Blowup: Niles during his divorce describes the depths to which Maris would stoop for the trial.Niles: When we were courting, I sent her a Valentine that said: "You're the girl my heart adores, everything I have is yours". Now they're calling it a pre-nup.
- Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: Which includes "*bleep* off."
- Present Peeking: In "Mary Christmas," everyone who isn't Frasier unwrap their presents while he's hosting the Christmas Parade. On hearing him claim that his family never peek at their gifts Martin, Daphne and Niles hurriedly start to wrap things up again.
- Pretty in Mink: Not shown, but it's mentioned that Maris has an ermine lap robe, and her sister has an ermine muff (that she used to smuggle a chihuahua into an opera).
- Prima Donna Director: Frasier becomes one during the "Nightmare Inn" incident. His constant critiques drive the voice actor he hired for the smaller parts to quit during the rehearsal. Niles, who predicted this would happen as soon as he heard about the play, is drafted as the actor's replacement and by the intermission is threatening to walk out because of Frasier's behaviour.
- The Profiler: Martin met Hester while she was doing forensic psychology for the Seattle PD.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Dan Butler, who plays Bulldog in the show, got promoted to regular status in Seasons 4 through 6, with his name appearing in the opening credits (only when he's in the episode however) and appearing in promotional material alongside the rest of the main cast.
- Prophetic Names: Lilith. If you have a little information on that name, a lot of jokes about the character become a lot more understandable.
- Punchline: Not just the typical sitcom kind, but on a large scale as well. Many episodes are built entirely to set up the last scene as one big payoff, typically in the form of Frasier's grandiose speeches coming out all wrong.
- Punched Across the Room: Invoked by Niles, who riles up a guy threatening to charge Frasier with assault until he gives Niles a light poke in the chest. Cue a wild, over-the-top and attention-grabbing pratfall that takes several coffee tables out with it... and when Frasier goes to help him up, he whispers, "Countersuit!"
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
Frasier: Well. I. Never!
- In the episode "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon", after being insulted by Niles, Frasier declares, "I. AM. WOUNDED!"
- Later on, there's dueling punctuation between the Brothers Crane.
Niles: Yes. You. Always!
- Pun-Based Title: Lots of episodes. A particularly contrived example is the one where Roz works in a retirement home and is traumatised when two of the residents drop dead right in front of her, titled "Roz's Krantz and Gouldenstein are Dead".
- Shrink Rap
- Chess Pains
- Where There's Smoke There's Fired
- Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven
- Dad Loves Sherry, The Boys Just Whine
- A Tsar is Born
- Whine Club
- Mary Christmas
- Hooping Cranes
- It Takes Two To Tangle
- The Wizard And Roz
- Mother Load
- War Of The Words
- Frasier Has Spokane
- Star Mitzvah
- Bristle While You Work
- No Sex Please, We're Skittish
- Guns N' Neuroses
- Freudian Sleep
- Punny Name:
- Puppet King: At one point in season 10, Martin becomes Puppet President of the Condo Board. Naturally, Fras is the puppeteer (since every other time he tried running himself, he lost). Equally naturally, Martin soon turns on him when Frasier doesn't keep his end of their deal, and Frasier can't speak out because everyone else in the building prefers Martin, even when he's used Frasier's suggestions.Frasier: So... the puppet has become a real boy.
- Put on a Bus: Kate Costas (Mercedes Ruehl was uncomfortable with the routine of doing a weekly sitcom), and Julia Wilcox (the writers were not happy with the Season 10 romantic triangle between Frasier, Julia, and Roz).
- Queer as Tropes: The show pioneered the use of homosexual characters acting in a non-stereotypical manner as a normal part of everyday life, and employed openly gay actors who did not necessarily play gay characters in the show. In fact, "The Matchmaker" won a GLAAD Award for those very reason. The only concession to regular stereotypical gay characters is Gil, and even he was used in ways which subverted those stereotypes.
- Radio Drama: In "Ham Radio", Frasier takes the reins and drives the cast to distraction.
- Radio Voice: All the callers to Frasier's show, which is quite logical (and disguises the fact that many of them are uncredited cameos). Interesting in that some of the dialogue for those scenes is written, some is ad-libbed to give it a more believable feeling of sponteneity.
- Rage Breaking Point: A popular device used by the show is to have Frasier put up with a lot of nonsense, often lecturing the people on his side to keep their cool in the face of it, only for the offending side to somehow insult Frasier's refined tastes and send him into a blind rage. See the examples under Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking.
- Raging Stiffie: In "Frasier Gotta Have It", after Daphne tells a story of naked sunbathing and having sex with a fireman, Niles carefully stands up, and cautiously leaves Frasier's apartment without a word.
- Ranked by I.Q.: Niles and Frasier are reminded that they took an IQ test as children, and all their mother would tell them is that they were two points apart, and when they discover the results in an old box, Niles reads them and announces that he has the higher score. When a suspicious Frasier insists on seeing the results for himself, he finds out that not only is Niles' score higher, but it's by considerably more than two points. He spends the rest of the episode worrying about being dumber than his brother.
- "Rashomon"-Style: "Perspectives On Christmas". In this example, the characters' perspectives differed mainly in what they were able to see and how they interpreted certain lines of dialogue (as is the norm for misunderstandings on this show), rather than blatantly skewing things in their favor as in most comedic examples.
- "Shrink Rap", in which both brothers undergo 'couples' counseling and outline the events which have led to their most recent relationship collapse. In general, they have a tendency to present themselves as being a bit more wise, thoughtful and put-upon than they probably would be in the real situation — and the other immediately calls them on it. There's also a rather amusing bit where Niles recounts a story Daphne told about a couple who would frequently experience The Immodest Orgasm right next to her bedroom wall at night, and her over-the-top efforts to show them up, culminating in this exchange:Frasier: Hold it! Niles, you know full well that Daphne merely told us that story, she did not act it out!Niles: (genuinely confused) ... Didn't she?
- In Coots and Ladders:(flashback)Niles: (holding Daphe peacefully) Our lives are so complete.Martin: (holding Ronee contentedly) We really are lucky.(back to current time)Frasier: (annoyed) Oh, please, that's not how it happened at all!(flashback)Niles: (taunting Frasier with Daphne) Our lives are so complete!Martin: (taunting Frasier with Ronee) We really are lucky!
- "Shrink Rap", in which both brothers undergo 'couples' counseling and outline the events which have led to their most recent relationship collapse. In general, they have a tendency to present themselves as being a bit more wise, thoughtful and put-upon than they probably would be in the real situation — and the other immediately calls them on it. There's also a rather amusing bit where Niles recounts a story Daphne told about a couple who would frequently experience The Immodest Orgasm right next to her bedroom wall at night, and her over-the-top efforts to show them up, culminating in this exchange:
- Ready for Lovemaking: The Maris Counselor. Parodied with a Room Shuffle when Niles discovers that his wife is having an affair with their marriage counselor. Each of them pops in and out of the room preparing such a romantic ambush for Maris, each thinking it's she who is adding the other elements. Naturally, they only discover their mistake once they've turned out the lights and jumped into bed together.Frasier: What tipped you off?Niles: The heat from her side of the bed!
- Real Life Writes the Plot:
- In "Head Game", Niles helps a basketball player with his problems. Originally, it was Frasier who was going to help him, but Kelsey Grammer got into rehab and was unable to perform the role for that episode.
- Niles' and Daphne's first child was changed from a girl to a boy and named David as a tribute to producer David Angell, who was killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks.
- Real Time: Twice; in Season 1's "My Coffee With Niles" and Season 6's "Dinner Party".
- Reality Ensues: In the episode "The First Temptation of Daphne," Roz's advice about "lying with confidence" hits an amusing snag:Heather Murphy: How could you "fly in from corporate"? Corporate's downstairs.
(Roz gets a look that's a combination of Oh, Crap! and Didn't Think This Through)
- The A-plot in that same episode also qualifies. Daphne looking through Niles' briefcase and reading his patient files isn't treated as a quirky bit of comedic jealousy - Niles is furious with her for breaching his patient's trust and privacy, as well as giving the implication that Daphne doesn't trust him either.
- Really Gets Around: Roz."Even the best birth control is only effective ninety-nine out of a hundred times. I can't beat those odds!"
- Real Men Hate Affection: In episode "Breaking the Ice", the trope is deconstructed with Martin. While Frasier and Niles know Martin loves them even though he can't express it, Martin complains that he wants to be able to express it, and his wife Hester used to nag him about showing affection for his sons.
- Reclusive Artist: In-universe example in "A Crane's Critique", which centres around Martin befriending an acclaimed One-Book Author, and his sons trying vainly to get on the man's good side (and of course, making him hate them more with every attempt). When he and Martin go to Duke's, Frasier remarks, "They'll probably bump into J. D. Salinger and Salman Rushdie and go out for margaritas!" Ultimately, they unintentionally convince him his new book is derivative and he destroys it.
- Recurring Extra:
- Watch a few episodes in the earlier seasons and you'll begin to notice that the barista at the coffee shop is nearly always the same one (played by Luck Hari), particularly when the coffee order becomes a plot point or a joke. Especially notable in the Season One finale ("Coffee With Niles"), and recurs in eleven episodes between 1994 and 1997.
- In later seasons a barista called James became a regular fixture at the coffee shop, often interacting with the main cast.
- Refuge in Audacity:
- Niles' contribution for Frasier when a man threatens to sue him after he gets forcibly removed from Cafe Nervosa is to have the man lightly shove him, then flail around for a second as if he got pushed hard before crashing onto a table. It's overacted, cheesy, and completely ridiculous, and everyone buys it.
- When it becomes obvious that Daphne and the Crane boys have no idea how to sneak Daphne back over the US-Canada border, Martin essentially says "screw the plan" and decides to Confess to a Lesser Crime by claiming Eddie isn't up to date on his rabies shots. By that point, the border patrol agents are so sick and tired of them that they couldn't care less, and they're let off with a warning.
- Removed from the Picture: A portrait of Niles and Maris (unseen, of course). Following their separation, Niles hits the roof when he discovers he's been painted out with a tree. Well, not quite - Frasier, wincing, tells Niles not to look at the face of the skunk in the undergrowth.
- Renaissance Man: Dr. Clint Webber — "let's see, he told us about the time he learned to fly a plane, he recited a sonnet, he fixed my icemaker and he invented a new drink, the 'Pink Webber'!"
- Replacement Flat Character: Former Trope Namer, The Niles.
- Lampshaded by Sam Malone.Sam: (to Frasier) Wow... man, this is freaky. He looks just like you did when I met you. (beat, amused) What happened, huh?Frasier: (smiling) Wasn't exactly a health club you were running there, Sam.
- In a strange way, Mel is the Replacement Flat Character for Maris - they share the exact same characteristics and personality, only Mel conforms to human proportions, unlike the impossible-to-cast Maris. Frasier even tells Niles that he's replacing Maris with another version of her.
- Lampshaded by Sam Malone.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Frasier literally composed a speech to tell his Shock Jock hecklers in "Radio Wars" with a barrage of literary quotes. In action, he could barely get a sentence in as the jocks began to have a falling out.
- Remember the New Guy?:
- Niles himself was never mentioned or even hinted at during all Frasier's time on Cheers.
- Lilith's half-brother Blaine, never mentioned before the episode he shows up in, and never mentioned after either.
- Reset Button: In "Taking Liberties", the family being spoiled rotten by Frasier's new butler doesn't teach them any lessons, and nor does it fail spectacularly; he just quits, having had a quiet Blithe Spirit experience of his own.
- Daphne is made aware of Niles' attraction to her at least twice before Frasier spilled the beans, in Season 4's "Daphne Hates Sherry" and Season 5's "Ski Lodge." She either forgot or ignored these instances, as The Reveal in Season 7 came to her as a complete and utter shock.
- Receiving the Seattle Broadcasting Lifetime Achievement Award in Season 8 results in a mental crisis for Frasier, after which (in a later episode) Frasier says that he's getting informal therapy from his mentor Dr. Tewksbury. While Dr. Tewksbury indeed makes another appearance, the actual crisis and the possible solution to it is never brought up again.
- Restaurant-Owning Episode: In "The Innkeepers," Frasier and Niles attempt to open up an exclusive high-end eatery only to meet with typically disastrous results due to their lack of preparation and inexperience in the food service industry.
- Retcon: Back on Cheers, the only family Frasier ever mentioned were his mother and dead father, both scientists. Awkwardness ensues for Frasier when Sam meets his brother and father in season 2, at which point the issue is hand waved by a claim that he and Martin were fighting when he said that. It leads to this memorable quote, after Martin is first offended to learn he was "dead" but also a "scientist" as if Frasier were ashamed of his working-class job (cop) and Frasier retorts: "You were dead-what did it matter?"
- Revenge Is a Dish Best Served:
- In "Agents in America, Part III", Daphne gives Bebe a "cookie" (actually a dog treat) as a way of getting back at her for treating her like a servant.Daphne (sweetly): Is there anything else? Maybe I should wait and floss your teeth when you finish?
Bebe: No, that'll be all... (takes a bite) This cookie tastes like meat!
Daphne: Yes, and it'll remove tartar and give you a nice, shiny coat! (tosses the same treat to Eddie)
- Roz does something similar on Julia Wilcox's first day at KACL after Julia rudely demanded coffee and called her "Rizzo". Julia takes a sip and immediately spits it back out.Julia: You call this coffee?
Roz: [smiling] Most of it.
- In "Agents in America, Part III", Daphne gives Bebe a "cookie" (actually a dog treat) as a way of getting back at her for treating her like a servant.
- Revisiting the Cold Case: In one episode, Martin digs up a murder case he was unable to solve as a police officer. He tries looking into it with the help of Daphne, Frasier, and Niles. While he's out of the room, Frasier proposes an unusual but plausible solution to the murder and suggests rearranging the crime scene photos to inspire Martin to come to the same conclusion. It works and Martin manages to solve the murder but the actual solution is not the one Frasier came up with.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: The Cranes, but especially Maris.
- In Niles' case, it also comes with a dose of Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training, as evidenced by a couple of lines from Frasier.Frasier: (incredulously) "Pumping iron." Niles, you don't even pump your own gas.
- And in the episode "She's the Boss,"Niles: I just thought Maris would be a little more comfortable if I was packing some heat.
Frasier: "Packing some heat"? For Heaven's sake, Niles, you don't even know how to pack a lunch.
- Frasier once combined it with Innocently Insensitive. In "Daphne Returns," his present to Daphne for coming home from weight loss camp is a machine that plays the sound of a pig squealing loudly when she opens the refrigerator. Yeah, real PhD material right there. On the other hand, it was rather worth it to hear Daphne jump on it and smash it the second time it went off.
- In Niles' case, it also comes with a dose of Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training, as evidenced by a couple of lines from Frasier.
- Rich Language, Poor Language: Arguably less marked than in many British or African-American sitcoms that largely revolve around class differences, but still the speech of Niles and Frasier is undoubtedly more refined and affected than either their father's or most of their friends' and colleagues'.
- Right Through the Wall: At least twice; once when Daphne is talking about how she shut up her loud neighbours by faking sex noises, and once when Frasier thinks Lilith is having sex in the next room, so moans and jumps on the bed so she thinks his sex is hotter than hers.
- Ripped from the Headlines: When driving home from work, Frasier notices a statuesque woman standing on a street corner. Being the gentleman he is, he offers her a lift. The moment she gets in his car, police lights flash, and he's arrested for soliciting a prostitute. In jail, he asserts that he was just giving her a ride, but the cops don't believe him. When Niles and Martin come to bail him out (disgusted that he would be so immoral) the prostitute is led out of the other interrogation room, no longer wearing "her" wig, and apologizes (in a now more masculine voice) for getting Frasier in trouble. The look on all three of their faces is priceless. (Martin: (to Frasier) You're my son and I love you.) This comes from an incident when Eddie Murphy was caught picking up a transsexual hooker, and insisted that he was just giving her a ride home.
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies. In "Ham Radio", Niles got so upset at Frasier's over-directing a radio play, he decided to take action.Niles: Okay, that's it. Never mind all that. I'm just going to take this gun off the table. (fake gunshot) So long, O'Toole; I guess we'll never get to hear your fascinating piece of the puzzle. (two fake gunshots) Or yours, Kragan and Peppo! Could the McCallister sisters stand back to back? I'm a little short on bullets. (fake gunshot) Thank you. (to Roz) What was your name again, dear?Roz: Mithuth Thorndyke. (fake gunshot)Niles: Thank you. Oh, and also Mr. Wing. (fake gunshot, and sound of muted bell on Mr. Wing's hat) And, of course, one final bullet for myself, so the mystery will die with me. (fake gunshot. Niles taunts Frasier) HA.
- Romancing the Widow: Martin starts dating Claire, the widow of his friend and fellow policeman Stan, and wonders whether he should feel guilty about it. Frasier doesn't help matters when he runs into them at Cafe Nervosa and recalls that Martin often said he only made it through the police academy because of Stan, that Stan loaned Martin the money to buy his first car, and that he introduced Martin and Hester to each other... and, to cap it all off, Stan named his and Claire's son after Martin.
- Romantic False Lead: A recurring scenario is Frasier having a romantic misadventure, so there are plenty of these. Donny and Mel, who were actually developed characters; plus numerous other minor characters such as Julia Wilcox.
- Room Shuffle: A staple, in various forms. A few plots take it Up to Eleven;
- The page quote, "Don't the doors in this bloody place lock?" comes from the episode where Niles and Daphne try confessing their feelings to each other, but are constantly interrupted. After this, they do lock the doors... but even locked doors can't stop the obnoxiousness that is Simon Moon.
- An episode featuring a Love Dodecahedron in a ski lodge.
- Niles and Maris' lover both alternately preparing a Ready for Lovemaking scenario under the mistaken impression that Maris is the other person in the suite.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: This ends up happening to an ad Niles places in the paper. Great Hilarity Ensues. Because of one simple typo resulting in one word being a different word than was intended ("hung" instead of "Jung"), the ad reads: "Niles Crane. Hung specialist.note Servicing individuals, couples, groups. Satisfaction guaranteed. 'Tell me where it hurts.'"Frasier: Any calls?Niles: It's a telethon.
- Rousing Speech: In Frasier's mind EVERY speech and piece of advice he has given fits, but often other characters will just tell him to be quiet. Sometimes played straight.
- It's played especially straight in the last episode.
- Rule of Funny: There is no "Daphne Lane" in Seattle where Niles could find a street sign to steal (nor Maple Street, the intersection where he tries), but obviously you'd lose this plot if it were realistic.
- This is why there's a huge metal frame blocking the door in "Kisses Sweeter than Wine". Real contractors don't block the only exit from a home, in case of fire.
- This rule seems to dictate whether or not Martin, Niles and Daphne listen to Frasier's radio show. In many episodes, it's a blow to Frasier's ego that his family can't be bothered to listen. But if Frasier has been embarrassed on the air in any way, then you can bet that they will be portrayed as avid radio listeners for that episode, though just as often they've happened to hear about Frasier's radio embarrassments from other radio programs or people.
- Runaway Bride: Deconstructed. Daphne abandons Donny and exits with Niles in a Winnebago during the second part of the two-part episode "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue". While they are decent enough to face up the their jilted lovers in the episodes that follow, they both get put through the wringer to atone for the hurt they caused; Donny shows the ruthless shark tendencies he was introduced with and threatens to sue both Daphne and Frasier, while socialite Mel forces Niles to make a show of their marriage before she'll allow him a divorce.
- Run for the Border: Presumably in order to avoid either a lengthy trial plot or a What Happened to the Mouse? hanging thread, the subplot about Maris murdering her Argentine boyfriend is wrapped up when she flees to her family's private island from which she can't be extradited.
- Running Gag: Numerous.
- When Niles wants to leave a scene, he'll mention a seminar or group that he's got to visit, usually one that pertains to the very awkward situation he wants to leave, and wrapped up with some ironic remark. He's invariably lying, and starts running out of ideas after several seasons."I have to go, or my compulsive gamblers will start betting the passive aggressives that they can't make... the overeaters....... cry."
- Eddie staring at Frasier, especially when he's depressed or something in his life has gone horribly wrong.
- Daphne and Niles being caught in compromising positions.
- Frasier giving terrible advice on his show because he has been distracted, like falling asleep while listening to an insomniac, then waking up and telling her to sleep on her problem, or sprinting late into the studio and breathing heavily at a woman being frightened by harassing phone calls.
- The distaste the two brothers have for Martin's tatty but beloved easy chair.
- The possibility that Bebe is pure evil, if not actually the Devil incarnate.Frasier: She has no scruples, no ethics, and no reflection!
- Then:Bebe: If things don't work out, you know my number.Frasier: Still 666, is it?
- In "The Devil And Dr Phil", Bebe's room number is 666.
- In the final episode "Goodbye, Seattle":
- Frasier: I can't say I blame you, it's like the Ninth Circle of Hell out there!(Bebe breezes in.)Bebe: (cheerful) Don't you love this weather or what?
- In Roz's Turn, when Roz considers taking Bebe on as an agent:Roz: It's not like she worships the Devil.Frasier: Well, she doesn't have to! He worships her!
- Lilith's being cold and unemotional; even by Frasier.Niles: I learned that if you kiss her too quickly, you get an ice cream headache.
- References to how thin and delicate Maris is.Roz: I don't see her, maybe she went back out. Oh, wait. I see her coat on a hat rack.Frasier: Look closer... is the hatrack moving?Roz: Oh my GOD!
- Cheap shots at how "easy" Roz is, usually by Niles.Roz: I'm helping Frasier find a man for Daphne.Niles: What?Roz: Here we go! He's a tennis instructor, and his name is Brick.Niles: Dear God, Frasier - Sven, Gunther, Brick? Why not just lather Daphne up with baby oil and hurl her over the wall of a prison yard?Roz: Excuse me, but I've dated all these guys.Niles: Well, where do you think I came up with the imagery?
- Even by Roz herself. "Even the best birth control is only effective ninety-nine per cent of the time. I can't beat those odds."
- Martin's (often unexpected) references to his time in the Korean War.
- Also his incessant overexplaining of things that everyone already understands, even after they keep insisting that they already get it.
- Frasier's son Frederick's infatuation with Daphne, much to Niles' (hilarious) jealousy.
- Dinner parties thrown by the Cranes fail miserably and without exception. After season ten's Noodle Incident mentioned above, Daphne tries to buck the trend by planning one instead of Niles. Her party ends with her mother and a famous artist crashing through the ceiling on Niles' and Daphne's bed, proving that she married into the family curse.Frasier: Congratulations, Daphne. You're now officially a Crane.
- Both brothers suffer adverse physical reactions when they lie or act against their ethical principles: Frasier's stomach turns and Niles' nose bleeds.
- In Season 11's "Murder Most Maris", Frasier constantly using the trauma of "getting punched in the face by a man... now dead" as an excuse to get out of uncomfortable situations.
- How what Niles and Frasier grew up to be clashes with Martin's more masculine, down-to-earth nature.
- A character's attempt at a "graceful exit." In season one, when Lilith approaches Frasier with a letter she thought he wrote, then it turns out he wrote it well before he left Seattle, she says "I just want to leave with the rest of my dignity." As she's leaving, her purse gets shut in the door. In season three, Niles gives a long speech about their dead Aunt, stating he'd like to show her he got something right. After he closes the door, he returns to retrieve the ashes he forgot in the heat of his speech.Niles: (to urn) Oh, shut up.
- In the first half of the show, there's a subtle one in which Daphne always gets stuck lugging heavy items around while Niles and/or Frasier handle lightweight stuff or stand around idly. At one point Frasier sends her to the storeroom for a huge box of books because he wants *one* of them.
- On several occasions, Frasier's preparing a dinner date in his home for his Girl of the Week, and as the doorbell rings, Frasier dims the lights a bit, turns on the music and even rhythmically moves to the music for a bit before opening the door - only for the person behind the door to not be his date after all, resulting in Frasier turning off the music.
- When Niles wants to leave a scene, he'll mention a seminar or group that he's got to visit, usually one that pertains to the very awkward situation he wants to leave, and wrapped up with some ironic remark. He's invariably lying, and starts running out of ideas after several seasons.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Father Mike, a recurring character in the first two seasons, gets fired and Put on a Bus in the first episode of the third season just because the newly-arrived Kate Costas doesn't feel the need for a religious talkshow on the station, showing right away what a Mean Boss she is.
- Sadly Mythtaken: A rare case of Frasier fudging (or at least not being characteristically pedantic about) a classical reference; he refers to a hot day as "like the "Ninth Circle of Hell". This is a reference to Dante's Inferno, where the Ninth Circle is described as being incredibly cold. It was referenced correctly in another episode with cold weather, to boot.
- Sassy Black Woman: Frasier's complete opposite "Doctor" Mary, who falls into the "pleasant" version of this trope. Frasier's impersonation of her for a role-playing exercise is such an offensive caricature of this trope it's impossible not to laugh.Niles: [wearily] She's not going to say "massa".
- Say My Name:
Roz: [angrily] Bulldog!
- When Roz reveals she's had an embarrassing one-night stand (but won't say with whom), and Bulldog bursts in, crudely complimenting her on an amazing night.
Frasier: [shocked] Bulldog!?
Roz: [weary] Bulldog...
Bulldog: [triumphantly, fists in the air] BULLDOG!
Frasier: CAM WINSTON!
- Frasier upon realizing that his upstairs neighbor has pranked him yet again:
- Scandalgate: A "Spritzergate" is mentioned briefly at a wine club meeting.
- Sci-Fi Ghetto: Just one of the many butts of Frasier's snobbishness, epitomized in the show's resident nerd and Butt-Monkey, Noel, an obsessive and awkward man-child. In "Star Mitzvah", Frasier visits a sci-fi convention and spends the entire time disdaining the genre and its fans — but gets his comeuppance when Noel translates his speech for his son's bar mitzvah into Klingon instead of Hebrew. In "The Show Must Go Off", Frasier and Niles try to "rescue" a beloved actor from the terrible fate of the Ghetto and patronise his return to theatre... only to find out he's actually dreadful. (The series tended to refer to Star Trek, as they shared a production company and actors, not the least of which was Kelsey Grammer, who had a memorable bit role in one of the most praised episodes — as did his onscreen ex-wife and his Cheers co-star.)
- Schmuck Bait: An easy way to get Frasier is appealing to his ego, as seen with Carlos and the Chicken's first prank, and the hosts of Teen Scene, who butter him up royal before roasting him alive once they're on-air.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Something of a Recycled Script; seems the Cranes had no shortage of bullies.
- In one episode, Niles recognises the plumber who comes round to fix his toilet as a guy who bullied him at school, and Frasier advises him to settle the matter peacefully. He gives the affable ex-bully Epiphany Therapy that reveals his Freudian Excuse and elicits a tearful apology. Meanwhile, Frasier recognises the plumber's brother as the guy who bullied him, and as the guy obliviously recounts all the pranks he played on his personal Butt-Monkey at school, Frasier gets angrier and angrier until he eventually dunks the guy's head down the toilet.
- Played with in another episode, where they find out a bully who they falsely accused of setting off a fire alarm got expelled as a result, and he's now in prison.
- Screaming Birth: The cabdriver in "Flour Child", Daphne in "Goodnight Seattle".
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Both Frasier and Niles scream like a girl.
- In the episode "Boo!", after Martin startles Frasier:Ronee: You called it: he does scream like a woman.Frasier: I do not scream like a woman. It was a manly, throaty wail.Niles: [walking in] Frasier, you may want to call security. As I got off the elevator, I thought I heard a woman screaming.
- In the episode "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", after a womanly high pitched scream was heard.Daphne: Are you all right?Niles: Yes. I just jumped into bed with your mother.Daphne: Oh, dear. No wonder she screamed.Niles: That wasn't her.
- In the episode "Boo!", after Martin startles Frasier:
- Screw Your Ultimatum!: In "Farewell Nervosa", the cafe has a musician in residence, which Frasier and Frasier alone objects to. He confronts the manager about it, and she states the musician is staying. Frasier tries to make an ultimatum between the musician and him. He's barely even begun issuing his ultimatum before Nervosa's owner tells him she chooses the musician.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Tobor, Jackson Headley's science-fiction character in "The Show Must Go Off".
- Self-Serving Memory: Frasier and Niles' memories can be pretty danged selective when they so chose. "Shrink Rap" has them recounting the events of the last few days, and naturally their recollections to tend paint each brother in the better light, and the other as childishly petty and vindictive. Niles's recollection also adds more sexual tension with Daphne, and he seems genuinely confused when Frasier calls him on it.
- Separated by a Common Language: There are plenty of "British Inherently Funny Words" jokes at Daphne's expense, some of them more accurate than others. "Bumbershoot", for example, is an old American slang term that would baffle anyone you tried it on in the UK. What's wrong with "brolly"?Daphne: (after Frasier reacts to her saying Martin "knocked her up" this morning) Knocked me up. Woke me up. Why? What does it mean here?Frasier: Something different, though you'd definitely be awake for it.
- Series Continuity Error: The series maintains a loose continuity, where callbacks to previous episodes and seasons are usually made with Broad Strokes, but sometimes glaring errors manage to pop up:
- In later seasons of the show, many of the characters talk about possibly pairing Eddie up with a girl dog (including a dog owned by a girl Martin's seeing). There's just one problem: Eddie was neutered in the second season. Eddie being neutered is still referred to in Season 3, but it's already forgotten come Season 4.
- In Season 1, Martin states "I never had a brother." to no particular reaction from Frasier and Niles. In Season 5, Martin's brother Walt is introduced (for one episode only, never to be seen or mentioned again) and it's stated that they haven't been in contact with each other in 5 years due to a feud between Frasier and Walt's wife.
- In Season 5, Roz is mentioned to have started hosting her own segment in a health show by Dr. Clint Webber. A few episodes later, Dr. Webber is introduced for the first time to both Frasier and Roz (not to mention that Roz's segment is not mentioned in this or any other episode ever again).
- In early Season 9, Martin and Frasier are talking about a woman named Lisa, describing her as an attractive dark-haired temptress who works at the bookstore. Later in the season, it is Niles who knows her instead and tries to hook her up with Frasier. However, by that point Lisa (still dark-haired and attractive) had become the owner of the bookstore while Frasier doesn't know her and has never been to her store to begin with. Oddly enough, both episodes were written by the same person.
- Frederick is explicitly mentioned to be/have turned 13 years old in both Seasons 8 and 10.
- "Crock Tales"'s final flashback has Roz visiting Frasier's apartment apparently for the first time... when "The Crucible" in season 1 already showed her first visit, at a later time than when the vignette takes place, somewhere after episode 3 (Frasier's still getting used to Seattle, and Daphne doesn't quite know who Niles is yet).
- Serious Business: If Frasier or Niles are unhappy with something, no matter how insignificant and petty, they will go to any lengths to change it to suit their tastes.
- When Fredrick goes to the national spelling bee, they train him on posture, endurance and breathing, there are accusations of cheating, and it spills out into the streets.
- The Crane Brothers have a strange inclination to run their wine clubs like a government, up to and including having a three-branch system. Which is probably why in one episode a wine club member quipped "I remember when we used to come here to drink."
- Bebe really likes smoking, maybe a little too much; see Does This Remind You of Anything? above.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
Frasier: What is my offense? What egregious sin have I committed, that I should be so maligned? Was I to just sit idly by and watch these two misguided souls embark on doomed relationships? Would they have thanked me for that? Not very likely, I dare say.Martin: Who moved the mustard?
- A lot of humor comes from Niles and especially Frasier speaking very formally:
- Seven Minute Lull: Used whenever there was a party, or other gathering of some sort.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Mentioned by Frasier when a rock star moves into the penthouse and plays his own music nonstop.Doesn't he ever stop for sex and drugs?!
- Share the Male Pain: In one episode, Martin, Frasier, and Niles take Eddie to the vet to get fixed. The stinger during the credits shows all three men sitting in the vet's waiting room, subtly shielding their crotches.
- Ship Sinking: After season 10 tries building up to a love triangle between Frasier, Roz and Julia, the first episode of season 11 takes the time to blast a hole straight through Froz, then burn the remains to the ground, by having Roz categorically deny having had any feelings for Frasier now or ever, even after they slept together. The second episode then goes on to sink Frasier / Julia by having him realize she's horrifically obnoxious and dump her.
- Ship Tease: Frasier and Roz get this during a later episode, the scene card is titled 'Like Two Ships Sinking In The Night'. Which becomes relevant after Kenny intrudes on them, making them realize it was all a mistake just before they made it.
- Shock Jock: Bulldog is one. "Radio Wars" had Frasier be a victim of two jocks hired on KACL, including a thousand dollar reward for whoever can take a picture of Frasier's derriere.
- Shout-Out: A subtle one in "Flour Child"—the cab the cabbie gives birth in is number 804, the same number as the one in the Taxi titles and that crashes and burns in the first season finale. The creators of Taxi also created Frasier progenitor Cheers.
- The sixth series episode Taps At the Montana is a homage to Monty Python's Flying Circus' "Dead Parrot" sketch. First Niles' pet parrot genuinely dies, then a guest at his dinner party dies too. In fact, the shenannigans about getting the body out un-noticed pays homage to a Fawlty Towers episode...
- In "Three Days of the Condo", Frasier consults a "Mr. X" who tells him of a clandestine plan to unseat the current condo board president. In a dark parking garage. In case people don't get it, this segment is titled "Deep Ear, Nose and Throat" (Mr. X is revealed to be a doctor at scene's end).
- One of the title cards in "Duke's, We Hardly Knew Ye":
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare: An episode is titled "Roz's Krantz And Gouldenstein Are Dead". This is a reference to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (whose title is itself a line from Hamlet).
- The Show Must Go On: In the "Ham Radio" episode, Frasier produces an old-time radio drama, but his heavy-handed directing style means he is stuck with an under-prepared cast including a stage-fright-stricken Bulldog, his dyslexic girlfriend, Large Ham Gil who insists on including his character's big speech after it's cut, Roz who's just had an emergency root canal, and Niles as all the dialect roles, which he wasn't informed about until just before air time. And then the sound effects start getting mixed up. Suffice to say, Hilarity Ensues.
- Sibling Rivalry: Niles and Frasier, and HOW. A major part of their dynamic is how competitive they are with each other. Any time one brother acquires or achieves something, the other has to try and top him. Any project they attempt together falls apart spectacularly due to their bickering, something Martin is usually quick to point out.
- Sibling Team: Especially common in the earlier seasons, Frasier and Niles would often pool their knowledge and resources in a joint venture such as a restaurant or investment opportunity, that would then backfire with farcical results. They even wrote a series of crime novels as children, in the style of Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys.Roz: "... The Nancy Boys?"
- Sibling Triangle: The episode where Niles sleeps with Lilith.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Inverted - Frasier and Niles are very similar. It's their dad they clash with.
- Side Bet: Niles and Martin, after finding out Lilith's husband has left her... for a man.
- Significant Reference Date: The date of the pilot is subtly referenced throughout the series. For example, in the fifth season, Martin says he hasn't seen his brother in five years.
- Signing-Off Catchphrase: Frasier had a signature signoff at the end of his radio show: "Goodnight Seattle, and good mental health."
- A Simple Plan: That often backfires because Frasier and Niles build up hundreds of assumptions without resolving the entire issue by simply asking questions of the people involved.
- Daphne defied that once or twice by directly asking the people in question when she realized what Frasier and Niles were going to do.
- Also double subverted on occasion where Daphne would suggest this course of action to Frasier or Niles and be ridiculed and dismissed.
- Daphne defied that once or twice by directly asking the people in question when she realized what Frasier and Niles were going to do.
- Simple, yet Opulent: Frasier often prefers to live like this, although the show spoofed it when he had to replace his dad's old comfy chair, and the materials were so out of date that the new chair cost a small fortune.
- Show Within a Show: Many, most notably The Frasier Crane Show, The Gonzo Sports Show (Bulldog's show), and Restaurant Beat (Gil's show), but also several unnamed others featuring other KACL presenters, like Ray the Greengrocer and Trudy the Story Lady.
- The Shrink: Frasier, of course. And Niles.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: First kiss of Niles and Daphne.
- Frasier's explanation of his passionate kiss of KACL station manager Kate Costas in "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl".Frasier: You just kept talking and talking and talking, and I guess that mouth of yours just ticked me off so much I just had to have it!
- Lampshaded by Frasier in "Analyzed Kiss" when kissed by Julia.Frasier: What was that?Julia: What?Frasier: You kissed me.Julia: I was trying to shut you up.Frasier: Oh, no. I've been kissed to shut me up before. This was not that.
- Later in the episode:Frasier: Take your time, work things out. Im not going anywhere. I realize that youre in a vulnerable place right now, and that...(Julia puts one arm around his neck and gives him a quick peck on the lips.)Frasier: Oh, I recognize that one. That was to shut me up..
- Frasier's explanation of his passionate kiss of KACL station manager Kate Costas in "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl".
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Cam Winston. They eventually sign a truce, which is less complex than peace treaties signed by some warring nations.
- Skewed Priorities: Frasier, often. Oh, so often. Such as during his confrontation with Carlos and the Chicken, Frasier is determined to get his pithy quotes in at them, managing to be totally oblivious to the fact their partnership is disintegrating without him needing to do anything at all.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: In "The Harassed", one that is a Mythology Gag and a Subversion / Take That! of the original "Are you as turned on as I am?" scene from Cheers between Sam and Diane.Frasier: I will not be belittled by a half-educated, money-grubbing parvenu!Julia: As opposed to some foreign-speaking windbag?Frasier: That makes you an insecure fraud!Julia: You are a pompous blowhard!Frasier: Harridan!Julia: Know-it-all!Frasier: Shrew!Julia: Snob!Frasier: (grabs her) Are you as turned on as I am?Julia: (disgusted) What?! Ew, NO! Did you just come on to me?!Frasier: What? No... No... I thought... I thought that you...Julia: Oh! How could you think I was turned on? What, are you sick?!Bulldog: Nobody's said "turned on" in twenty years."
- Sleeping Single: Niles and Maris.Niles: I don't mind telling you we pushed our beds together that night! And that's no small task, her bed, as you know, is across the hall.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: A lot of the friction between Martin and his sons comes from his down-to-earth demeanour contrasted with their haughty, status-seeking attitudes. Over time some of their differences were resolved.
- Slow "NO!": Frasier provides a hilarious example at the end of season six when his latest Snowball Lie is exposed.
- Small Reference Pools: Inverted with gusto.
- Smart People Play Chess:
- In "Chess Pains", the effete intellectual Frasier predictably obsesses over the fact that blue-collar Martin keeps beating him in Chess. Martin explains that his years of experience as a police detective give him a leg up in the game.
- In "The Perfect Guy", Frasier shows off his chessboard at a party, and explains that he's playing by mail with a Russian grandmaster. Clint Webber, who never even played the game but "read a book or two" about it, takes one glance at the board and accurately determines that Frasier is just four moves away from defeat.
- Niles, being every bit as intellectual as his brother, also has a fondness for chess, which he played with Maris when they were married. Frasier, of course, can't help but crack wise.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter!: At points of great despair both Frasier and Niles have resorted to cursing the heavens.(a cricket keeps chirping in Frasier's apartment)Frasier: Dear God, can't you make him shut up?!Martin: (muttering) That prayer doesn't get answered around here.
- Smooth-Talking Talent Agent: Bebe Blazer could be the patron saint (or devil) of this trope. Frasier's long time agent, she usually showed up once a season when Frasier's radio contract was up. Tellingly, she would often push Frasier to take his show to new heights, getting him guest hosting gigs and segments on talk shows to boost his value. This ran contrary to Frasier's desire to be seen as a legitimate psychiatrist who used his radio show to help people, even as it ran right up against his addiction to fame. In fact, she's done illegal things to try to boost Fraiser's rep, to the point where she's seen as a Satanic Archetype in-universe. To name a couple examples: In one episode she reveals that she convinced a (legitimately) suicidal man Frasier helped into trying to jump off a building just in time for Frasier's negotiations to get a booster shot with him being seen as a hero, and in the Grand Finale Frasier gets a radio gig in San Francisco, and it's not even subtly implied that it's because Bebe murdered his competition!
- Springtime for Hitler: Niles falls into this trap in Season 8 as part of his various attempts to humiliate himself in order to give Mel a reason to be the one to end their marriage. Everything he does ends up reflecting better on himself. For instance, at a dinner party he responds to one guest's request for a drink with a loud, rude declaration that the guest is an alcoholic... only for the guest to have an epiphany, realise that he actually is an alcoholic, and for him and his family to tearfully thank Niles and shower praise on him.
- Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: In the episode "The Focus Group," 11 people gave Frasier good reviews while only one person gave him a bad review. Apparently, 11/12 isn't good enough for Frasier, and his efforts to find out why the guy doesn't like him ends with Frasier crushing the man's hand and burning down his newsstand.
- Something Else Also Rises: All the time with Niles and Daphne. Such as when he spilled cream all over one of the tables at Cafe Nervosa.
Alistair: How it sharpens the appetite! How it builds the intensity, the heat, the desire. Can you feel it?Frasier: [horrified] Oh yes, there it is!
- In Daphne Hates Sherry, Daphne is staying over at Niles' apartment, and he walks over to his stereo to turn on some music when Daphne mentions that she needs to get out of her hot, sweaty clothes. Cue Niles hitting the Eject Disc button. Minutes later, she has a Marilyn Monroe moment in front of a fan, and Niles pops the cork on his champagne bottle.
- "Doctor Crane! Your glockenspiel has sprung to life!"
- Alistair (played by Patrick Stewart) thinks Frasier is gay. Alistair gets real close to Frasier while they dance while explaining how he feels when abstaining from sex:
- Something Something Leonard Bernstein: In "Look Before You Leap," Frasier backs out of performing a complicated aria for a PBS fundraiser, and instead opts to fall back on his usual performance of "Buttons and Bows" from The Paleface. Unfortunately, despite having performed the song several times before, Frasier has somehow forgotten 90% of the lyrics and hastily improvises with Scatting, Word Salad Lyrics, and "something-somethings" that vaguely fit the tune of the original song.Frasier, singing: East is East, and West is West
And the wrong one I have chose
Let's go where you keep on wearing those-
Da da dahs, and boppa dohs,
Things and buttons, buttons and bows!
Don't bury me, uh lovely pea,
Let's all go to a... taco show, and
and a how I love, such and thrush,
blow my nose,
You look great in buttons and bows!
[Continuing the song with unintelligible grunting, he turns around, and wipes his brow.]
My bones denounce, the fearful trounce,
and la-la la-la Moldic rose!
Ba-da Seuss, a palm caboose!
and a panda hop, and pantyhose
You look buppity, buttons and bows!
- Some of My Best Friends Are X: Trying to assert his authority to call Frasier out on his White Guilt ("Niles, owning the CD of "Ella sings Gershwin" does not qualify you as a soul brother!"), Niles remarks that his first roommate at Yale was black. Frasier scoffs that being friends with "Huntington Treadwell III" doesn't necessarily give Niles much insight on African American culture.Niles: His father was a pioneer in Selma and Montgomery.
Frasier: Yes, I believe he built golf courses all over the South!
- Sophisticated as Hell: Niles, often.
- Niles: Look, I know I don't have your total support in this, but — how shall I put this?Frasier: You don't care?Niles: If you could work the phrase "rat's ass" into there, you'd have it.
- Frasier gets in on this as well.Frasier: Bebe, throughout our relationship, I have put up with a lot, but I never doubted for an instant your devotion to my career. Apparently, that is at an end and so, therefore, is my association with this agency. And screw, may I add, you!
- Space Whale Aesop: In-Universe — when Frasier challenges his father to give him a reason when perjury could be justified, his first response is "what if a comet was hurtling towards Earth, and the only way you could stop it was by lying under oath?"note Subverted, though, as he goes on to give a very personal example from his own experience.
- Spinoff: Arguably the most successful in TV history, repeating its predecessor's eleven-year streak and receiving the same critical appraisal.
- Split Timelines Plot: "Sliding Frasiers" splits into two timelines based on whether Frasier wears a suit or a sweater to a speed dating event. While it initially appears that the suit timeline works out better for him, ultimately both end with him alone and dissatisfied.
- Spoiled Brat: Maris, despite being a grown woman, is extremely selfish, petulant, and materialistic.
- Spoof Aesop: Martin's subplot in the episode "Roe to Perdition." If an ATM accidentally gives you more money than you requested, don't tell.
- Staging an Intervention: One occurs when Frasier is depressed from losing his job and refuses to acknowledge his feelings about it.
- Status Quo Is God: The series has flipped between playing the trope straight and inverting it:
- The end of Season Five has the radio personalities getting fired. Midway through the following season the status quo is resumed when all the personalities are re-hired — only for the trope to be Double Subverted when Bulldog gets fired for good a few episodes later, and never works as a radio host again.
- The biggest aversion is Niles' love life, which sees him start out happily married to Maris, then estranged from her for a couple of years before finally divorcing her, leading into a brief, abortive relationship (and marriage) with Mel, and finally ending up with the woman he wanted all along, Daphne.
- Frasier, however, is never able to find a permanent girlfriend, so that he can remain a bachelor. Similarly, Roz never has a relationship that lasts more than a few episodes, although she does have one life-changing event in the series when she gets pregnant and gives birth to her daughter, Alice.
- Several episodes end with Frasier and/or Niles getting into situations where they clearly would have been arrested and likely gone to jail, and possibly lost their careers (see, for example, "Deathtrap" and "The Seal Who Came to Dinner"). But thanks to this and Rule of Funny, all is forgotten by the the next episode.
- Martin's chair. In one episode it was destroyed and re-created at a considerable cost.
- Stealth Pun: From "Ham Radio", the actor Mel White, whom Frasier even describes as "Man of a Thousand Voices".
- Sticky Fingers: In one episode, the thrill with which a kleptomaniac caller describes her, ah, hobby, inspires Frasier, bored of his routine existence, to steal a medallion from his elderly neighbour while changing a lightbulb for her.
- The Stinger: Every episode has a dialogue-free stinger played over the end credits with the Theme Song in the background. It was usually comedic and often featured a Call-Back to some joke or plot point from the episode. The two-part season seven finale - which was all about the drama around Daphne's wedding - just featured a camera pan over Frasier's darkened apartment.
- Stock Episode Titles: Frequently played with, e.g. "My Coffee With Niles" and "Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast?"
- Stop Being Stereotypical: This occasionally happens to Frasier and Niles, when they're around people even more snooty than themselves. Emphasis on the occasionally, and it should be mentioned that they're not so much bothered by extreme snobbishness as much as stereotypically insincere snobbishness — they have a genuine passion for all things high-cultured, intellectual, and ultra-refined, from academia to literature and the arts to proper etiquette to haute cuisine, and are disgusted by people who fake it.
- Straight Gay: Short-term station manager Tom Duran, leading to a classic misunderstanding when Frasier invites him over to meet Daphne.
- Strictly Professional Relationship: Frasier and Roz, who for ten long years failed to see the obvious. Even after they finally got it together, both were scared of destroying their friendship and never repeated the experience.
- Strike Episode: The episode "Sleeping with the Enemy" involves the radio crew going on strike after they don't get their annual raise.
- Stripper/Cop Confusion: Officer Nasty in "To Thine Old Self Be True", where Frasier attempts to organize a saucy bachelor party for Donny.
- Stunned Silence: Kenny's initial reaction to Frasier's attempt at a jingle? He can only stare blankly and say "oh, wow" for several seconds. Frasier assumes this means he's impressed. He isn't.
- Stylistic Suck: The script for the radio drama Frasier puts on in "Ham Radio" is a cheesy Cliché Storm with an All-Stereotype Cast and a ridiculously convoluted plot. That's not getting into the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that turn the performance into a disaster.
- Such a Phony: Roz in "Shut Out In Seattle", Frasier in "Hot Ticket", many, many others.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Frasier does this a lot.Frasier: This morning you said you two met on a double date.
Roz: Oh that's right, we did meet on a double date!
Frasier: THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!!!
Frasier: My God! What is wrong with me? Why can't I find a single woman who's interested in me?
- Roz gets in on the act when Frasier is demonstrating Skewed Priorities;
Roz: Those are two different questions, really, so we should just sit down and talk them both over. Oh, wait, I can't, BECAUSE I'M IN LABOUR!
- Suck Out the Poison: Invoked. In "Impossible Dream," Martin recalls an Erotic Dream in which he's in the jungle with Jayne Mansfield; she gets bitten by a snake, and "You know what you do when you're bit by a snake, don't you?"
- Sudden Name Change: The character Lorna Lynley was suddenly renamed to Lana after her first appearance to avoid referencing a real person.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy: This comes into play in Frasier's disastrous live performance of "Buttons and Bows" in "Look Before You Leap". His original plan for the annual pledge drive at Seattle's PBS affiliate is to sing the song from memory (after having sung it from sheet music for several years), but then decides to be more adventurous and sing an aria from Rigoletto for which he manifestly does not have the vocal range. He finally switches back to singing "Buttons and Bows" from memory - only to discover the difficult way that he only remembers around 10% of the words. Rather than stop the song, pick up a lyric sheet, and start over, he decides to stay on the path to which he's committed himself of singing the song from memory, completely humiliating himself in the process.
- Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: The room service guy who keeps walking in on Niles, Frasier and Lilith's Sibling Triangle. "Ooookay."
- Sure, Let's Go with That: One episode has Martin and Frasier believing Niles is having a fling with Roz during a family weekend at a cabin. Niles plays along to cover the fact that he's trying to hook Roz up with Donny so Niles can be with Daphne.
- When Bulldog is believed to be a hero that "saved" Roz's life from a gunman, Bulldog does nothing to contradict the story despite knowing full well he was actually using her as a Human Shield from the man he thought was the gunman.
- Surprise Checkmate: In season 3's "Chess Pains" Martin continually makes these against Fraiser.
- Surreal Theme Tune: "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs," sung by Kelsey Grammer, left many viewers scratching their heads. Word of God is that it was meant to symbolize the mixed-up minds of Frasier's callers.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
- The episode "RDWRER" has Niles accidentally stumble into a winnebago driven by a middle-aged Momma's Boy called Clifford... it's not Cliff Clavin and his mother, but the similarities are eerie.
- Julia is basically Kate, only with far less likability and chemistry with Frasier.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: A mainstay throughout the series's run.
Frasier: Niles and I did not go to the prom together! Our dates were sick and we went stag!
- Roz swears that she did not use Frasier's opera glasses to peep on a muscular neighbor, which leads to this hilarious pun from Frasier:Frasier: I refuse to squint through Pagliacci while you're trying to watch The Magic Flute!
- Roz: "Going to a wedding with your boss is like going to the prom with your brother."
Niles: In retrospect, yes, we should have canceled the horse-drawn carriage, but hindsight is 20/20.
- Often, while the Cranes are talking about something in the apartment, Daphne tosses out her own opinions, speculations and stories while going about her duty... a lot of which give the impression that this happened in her childhood. Sometimes she even finishes with a line like "Oh, I miss <insert family member>."
- Roz swears that she did not use Frasier's opera glasses to peep on a muscular neighbor, which leads to this hilarious pun from Frasier:
- Sweater Girl:
- One of Frasier's girlfriends was said to really fill out a mohair sweater in high school.
- From Caught in the Act:Frasier: (upset Niles bought an expensive artisan sweater they both agreed not to buy) You can't even keep a simple sweater pact!
Martin: Ah, Ronee, now there's a gal who can keep a sweater packed!