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Headscratchers / 3rd Rock from the Sun

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  • Tommy was in High School in the first season and he graduated at the end of the fifth season. So was he held back a year then? Isn't he supposed to be a genius?
    • Possibly his supergenius meant he was years ahead but they wouldn't let him to graduate until he came of age. The Solomons could even have been using the age pretext to keep him in high school for a longer period to learn more about that most confusing of human specimens- the teenager.
      • High school can cover five grades in some places, too.
      • He started high school during the first season, then graduated during the fifth, which is... four years later. Do the math.
      • IIRC he graduated at the end of the fourth season, then waited a few episodes before going to college. For much of the fifth season he was in college.
      • No, he graduated in season 5. Season 6 was the season that Tommy went to college and wasn't as involved in the plots.
      • Also, one season doesn't equal one year- most of the season openers picked up shortly after the previous season's finale.
      • At the beginning of season 2 we find out they have been in earth for six months.
  • Pretty darn small living quarters for four people.
    • This does get Lampshaded a fair bit, particularly with the mentions of Harry not having a bedroom and instead sleeping on the washing machine. In the pilot, they were impressed by the place due it being larger than their car.
  • The Solomons have just taken over human bodies, right? And, to the best of my knowledge, they brought nothing "alien" with them. So what evidence could there possibly be that they're aliens? Sure, they might be insanely eccentric, but there's no evidence—biological or otherwise—that they're extraterrestrials. So why are they so scared of being found out?
    • Because it's funny.
    • Much of their understanding of Earth comes from pop culture. Thus, they've seen enough movies where good aliens get it to make them Wrong Genre Savvy.
    • Harry also has a transceiver inside his head if I remember correctly, which was almost discovered in one episode.
      • He also has an anntenae in his arms, hence the pose he makes during transmission.
    • I also don't think there is any evidence that their bodies are 100% human. After all, their consciousness still exists, so perhaps whatever part of their purple tube responsible for consciousness is still inside the brain somewhere.
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    • They live in a world where conspiracy theories about aliens are as common as venereal diseases. They have every reason to be wary. Especially considering that in one episode such a conspiracist does catch onto them and kidnaps them.
    • When Dick confesses to "Liam Neesom" that he's also an alien, Liam asks him to open his mouth. Dick does, and Liam takes a look and says something to the effect of, "Well, so you are." This hints that their bodies may still be a teensy bit alien.
  • Am I the only one to notice this (well, Cracked noticed it too), but during the series finale Spoiler Dick erases Mary's memories of him so that she wouldn't be heartbroken when he left her, first of all, how powerful is this, will she just forget him or the rest of the Solomoms as well? More disturbingly, what's going to happen to Mary? She's lost all memories of Dick and possibly the other Solomons, so what happens when someome brings them up in conversation? People will think something's seriously wrong with her when they find out that she honestly can't remember her boyfriend and ex-fiancee of the past five or six years.
    • Mary's seriously messed-up to begin with. One more psychosis isn't going to bother anyone.
      • Yeah, they'd probably think it's a defense mechanism to avoid depression.
    • In an alternate ending, though, he changes his mind and beams back down, abducts her, and beams back up.
    • Yeah, but is that actually canon? It is after all, an alternate ending.
      • Does it matter? It's fiction, and it's final episode of a series unlikely to have any form of sequel so continuity doesn't really matter at that point. Believe whatever you want to believe
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    • I noticed this too. Mostly because I didn't start watching 3rd Rock until recently and I've seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
    • She would later wake up in an unfamiliar place next to a car she's never seen before and a minor head injury. She would probably think she's been attacked and suffered some minor brain damage. How's that for fridge horror?
  • All the aliens have varying complex layers of neurosis and can be considered as having personality and cognitive disorders. Dick probably existed somewhere on the Autistic spectrum, with a secondary diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Sally had Adult ADD and a histrionic personality disorder. She also had anger management problems relating to her nature as a warrior, and initially a fear of intimacy, though she got over that. Harry was, like Dick, on the Spectrum. Tommy was the most "neurotypical" of the group, but he clearly suffered from a sense of lost dignity for having been reduced to a teenager. In the early episodes he was coping with loss. He is however Really 700 Years Old and suffers from some memory loss, explaining why certain background research on Earth was vitally lacking.
    • What part of this is a headscratcher...?
  • In one episode, they have only just figured out that people have different races and that there are sometimes tensions between different factions. Dick hears about black pride. Trying to understand this, Dick naturally assumes he should have "white pride"...which doesn't go well, because he doesn't understand that "white pride" rallies are threatening and hateful. At the end of the episode, he says something about them burning a lower case t. How does a group of aliens sent to study human civilization not know what a cross is, and by extension not know much to anything about religion? Seems like that would be a huge part of trying to understand what motivates humans.
    • The obvious behind-the-scenes answer is that it would be pretty much impossible for them to do a "religion" episode without making it wildly offensive.
    • It actually makes sense in context; Dick has no reason to believe it is a cross and not a lower case t. There is nothing in Christian doctrine that says followers should burn crosses. In fact, many humans have questioned the purpose of it, and without explanation, you could be forgiven for not know what they meant. For the second, it's always important to remember that the Solomon Family is on Earth because they aren't particularily good at their jobs. Given that modern Americans don't all attend a single church, and the fact that, as you mentioned, Dick doesn't understand that humans have sub-groups, so he probably just assumed that each religion was a weird fringe thing.
  • Mrs. Everly and Ned escape custody at the end of "Alien Hunter", but we never see them again for the rest of the series. Why didn't they go after the Solomons again?
  • Why is an anthropologist and a math teacher in the same office? Universities tend to organize faculty into discipline, so it's unlikely that they'd be in the same building, let alone the same room.


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