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  • 0% Approval Rating: Monk gets this after he shoots a guy dressed as Santa in "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa," due to Brandy Barber running a biased story making him out as a Grinch when he really shot the guy in self-defense.
  • 20% More Awesome: "Mr. Monk and the Big Game" uses the standard "give 110%" cliche, although Monk (volunteering as a basketball coach) tries to settle with 100% as he claims that 110% is mathematically impossible. He eventually decides that it is acceptable for one player to give 110%, as long as a teammate drops to 90% to compensate.
  • AB Negative: The season-two finale featured a victim whose blood group was "AB-negative with a D- antigen—the rarest blood-type in the world!" It is indeed rare; in fact, it doesn't exist. note  This turned out to be why he was murdered — he was a death row inmate about to be executed, whose kidney was to be transplanted into a billionaire who shared his blood type. The prison librarian held a grudge against the billionaire, who was suing her son, so she paid an inmate to poison the condemned man's last meal in order to render his kidneys useless.
  • Abnormal Ammo: In "Mr. Monk and the TV Star," there is a CSI parody called Crime Lab: SF. When Monk, Sharona, Stottlemeyer, and Disher walk into the dubbing studio to arrest star/executive producer Brad Terry for murder, he's in the middle of doing dubbing work for an episode in which a corrupt senator apparently shoots and kills a hooker and covers his tracks with bullets made of frozen blood.
  • Aborted Arc: After it was revealed Natalie's husband was actually MIA not KIA, it was hinted that a later story would reveal what happened to him. However it is never brought up again.
  • Absence of Evidence
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival", Stottlemeyer tells Randy about his first day with Monk:
      Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Hey, Randy, did I ever tell you about Monk's first day as a detective?
      Lt. Randall Disher: No, sir.
      Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Take a seat. [Randy does] He didn't have a partner, so I got stuck with him.
      Lt. Randall Disher: Was he, uh...? [motions to his head]
      Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: No, no. He was... a little wound. He used to clean the windshield and rearrange the glovebox before we'd roll. Anyway, we're the primaries on a body at a hotel in the Castro. A hooker had swallowed a bunch of promazine - you know, the big sleeping pills?
      Lt. Randall Disher: Horse tranquilizers, sir.
      Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: I said 'suicide'. Every cop on the scene said 'suicide'. Medical examiner said 'suicide'. Monk walks in, says 'murder'. "Where's the water?" The room had no water! Simple. Eight people in the room, but nobody saw that.
      Lt. Randall Disher: Well, I'm sure you would have seen it eventually, sir.
      Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Don't kid yourself. There is only one Adrian Monk.
    • That case is noticeably called back to in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show", when Monk proves that fashion model Natasia Zorelle's death could not be suicide because she was wearing lipstick, yet there were no traces of lipstick on the glass she supposedly drank from to overdose on sleeping pills.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", the clue that suggests to Monk and Natalie that a roadie did not die of an overdose in a port-a-potty is a lack of mud on his boots that would have been present if he'd walked through the muddy patch around the bathrooms.
    • In two episodes, "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut" and "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk", Stottlemeyer concludes that someone else has been to a victim's place of residence from the fact that a computer is missing.
    • In the serial killer case documented in the Show Within a Show in "Mr. Monk's 100th Case", this is shown when Monk is at one crime scene, and later turns out to be a clue that allows them to tie the victim to a serial killer:
      Adrian Monk: Her lipstick?
      Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Yeah, what about it?
      Adrian Monk: It's on the cup. There's some on her lips. But it's not here; it's not in her purse. What happened to the lipstick?
      Natalie Teeger: He took her lipstick?
    • In "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show," Monk suspects that Victor Timlinson, who was supposedly stalking Christine Rapp, could not have been, as if he were, there would be a Stalker Shrine of some sort in his apartment.
    • Any episode where it is proven that a victim knew his killer due to a lack of defensive wounds to suggest a struggle.
    • In the novel Mr. Monk in Trouble, Monk suspects that Gator Dunsen, an ex-con killed in a shootout by Trouble's police chief Harley Kelton, was innocent of the murder they had come to question him about: his prized 1964 Thunderbird was clean and the only way into and out of Trouble involves going through a swarm of migrating butterflies that gunk up any motorists going through that stretch, and a picture planted in his house suggesting that he was casing the museum was actually taken after that murder since it lacks the murder weapon.
    • In the novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, one victim is Bill Peschel, a senile man who apparently walked across his lush grassy lawn in his socks, climbed onto a chair, scaled his fence and jumped into his pool and hit his head. Monk proves that he could not have done this as his socks would have had grass stains if he did, and they were bleached white. Furthermore, when Natalie stands on a lawn chair similar to one Peschel would have used, the chair sinks into the grass under her weight, yet the day before, the victim stepped on the chair and it did not sink into the wet ground.
    • Likewise, Monk proves in Mr. Monk in Outer Space that Burgerville CEO Brandon Lorber died of a heart attack before he was shot, as there wasn't enough bleeding from bullet wounds. There would have been more bleeding if he was still alive and his heart were functioning when he was shot. Also, the way his hands are positioned and the discovery of his heart ticker pills helps.
    • Inverted in Mr. Monk Is Cleaned Out, where Monk proves Lincoln Clovis was murdered and did not commit suicide by jumping off his second floor balcony to hang himself with a rope from his boat, because of wood splinters lodged in his body that indicate he was rolled over the railing while unconscious, instead of jumping while breathing.
  • Absurd Phobia: Monk has a VERY long list of these, including milk, glaciers, clouds, chalk, bees, blenders, bees in blenders, soccer riots, round things, dryer lint, underwear, harmonicas, mixed vegetables, "the miracle of birth", and fear itself.
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: On at least one occasion, Monk hits something by accident. In "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service," he quickly jerks a weapon off to the side to fire off a warning shot and, despite not having bothered to aim at anything, kills a bird with a rifle. In "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies," he diverts a sharpshooter's rifle and the ricochet strikes Stottlemeyer's beat up car.
  • The Ace: Even though we only see him for a short time in the novels, the newly hired driver Luther Washington is this.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else", Reed Diamond plays Agent Stone, who works for Team Alpha, who work to identify and track high profile targets/dangerous individuals.
    • "Hyooo-mun" towards the end of "Mr. Monk and the UFO"
    • "Mr. Monk and the Airplane" featured a brief cameo from Tony Shalhoub's co-star from Wings (Tim Daly) as himself, with Sharona raving about how Wings was her favorite show. Adrian swears he never saw it.
      • Tim Daly also hits it off with Sharona and kisses her. Daly was the voice of Superman, and Sharona refers to herself as Monk's Lois Lane. She also advises him to keep his nice guy image.
    • In "Mr. Monk is Someone Else," Monk has to memorize biographical details for the deceased — including parents Joe and Helen from Massachusetts.
      • This is a double allusion as Joe and Helen are also the first names of Shalhoub's own parents.
    • The multiple references to Wings get even funnier when you realize that said show was Adored by the Network, having been rerun on the USA Network for perhaps longer than the show was on NBC— and this show was USA's first breakout hit.
    • The episode where Monk learns of a potential lead to Trudy's murderer has Tim Curry as a Manipulative Bastard who for various reasons is unable to move around much and is immobile, just like Forte.
    • Monk's standoff with Winston Brenner in Monk's darkened apartment in "Mr. Monk and the Blackout", with Monk wearing nightvision goggles, is similar to the climatic scene in The Silence of the Lambs where Buffalo Bill (Levine) stalks Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) through a dark basement. Coincidentally, Ted Levine and another actor from that movie, Scott Glenn, would later reunite in "Mr. Monk Is On the Run," but in reversed roles, with Glenn playing the villain and Levine being a supporting protagonist.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever," Monk's alias name in witness protection is "Frank Conway," a reference to Shalhoub's character Kevin Conway in A Civil Action where he costarred with John Travolta.
    • This is not the first time Natalie has been involved in a relationship with a man named Mitch.
    • In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," Hector Elizondo is first introduced as Dr. Neven Bell. Later, when seeing Monk discovering a clue on the stairway of Joseph Moody's house, "Honest" Jake Phillips calls him Columbo. Elizondo had played a murderous diplomat in the Columbo episode "A Case of Immunity".
    • Real-life Guest Star example: In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger", Monk asks if he smells anything in Willie Nelson's bus, to which Nelson replies "no, and neither do you." Fans of Willie Nelson will recognize this as a reference to Nelson being suspected of smoking pot by various law enforcement groups and having close encounters with the cops because of it.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room," Kurt Wolff (played by Brad Hawkins) shows Monk and Sharona a special pendant that shoots pepper spray. This is a reference to Hawkins' TV debut in VR Troopers, where the three heroes used pendant-shaped Transformation Trinkets called "Virtualizers". Another possible reference is to the various Morphers from Power Rangers, for which Hawkins provided the voice of the Gold Ranger, Trey (rumors say the plan was for the Gold Ranger to be Ryan Steele, only for the plan to be dropped). The fact that Hawkins is in an episode about the music business is also an in-joke as he dabbled in country music for a while.
    • At least two of the supporting cast members who play mobsters in "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else" were previously regulars on The Sopranos: Vincent Curatola, who plays L.A. mob boss Jimmy Barlowe, was The Sopranos regular Johnny Sack, head of the Lupertazzi crime family. Louis Lombardi, who plays Tommy G., was Skip Lapari in a few early The Sopranos episodes in 2000 and 2001.
  • Actor/Role Confusion: In the episode "Mr. Monk and the Actor", Adrian Monk gets shadowed by stage actor David Ruskin (played by Stanley Tucci). Ruskin immerses himself so much in the role that he has a nervous breakdown after he takes a car dealership owner hostage, thinking the guy is Trudy's killer.
  • Afraid of Doctors: In the episode, "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist," Monk reveals that dentists are among the many things he fears. The dentist in question, Dr. Oliver Bloom, becomes the main suspect in the episode's murder investigation, but Monk is afraid of the dentist's office even before he suspects Dr. Bloom. Which makes sense, since of all the various kinds of doctors, the dentist is objectively the scariest for most people in real life.
  • Afraid of Needles
    • One of Monk's phobias. To the point that in "Mr. Monk and the End", they have literally every single employee in the hospital brought in to restrain him while they inject him.
    • Discussed in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert": when a roadie is found dead of a heroin overdose, his girlfriend insists that it was foul play because he was too afraid of needles to inject himself.
      Kendra Frank: Stork was completely phobic about needles. He was the only roadie I've ever met that didn't even have one tattoo! I mean he missed a whole South American tour last year because he wouldn't get vaccinated!
      • When Monk, Natalie and Kendra are talking to the acupuncturist, you can notice that Monk cringes and turns away when Annie inserts a needle into her current patient's back.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum," an asylum patient named Bill LaFrankie supposedly shot and killed the asylum director Dr. Conrad Gould, then stole some drugs, fled into the woods, then shot himself up, and overdosed. Monk becomes suspicious and realizes that Dr. Morris Lancaster actually did it because of the fact that Dr. Gould's keys that accessed the medical supply cabinet were still in his pocket, meaning someone who had his own set of keys to the cabinet opened it. Furthermore, Monk breaks into Dr. Lancaster's office, finds LaFrankie's file, and realizes that he couldn't have committed suicide by overdose because his medical records show he was afraid of needles. However, Dr. Lancaster then catches him snooping in his office to dig up the records.
  • Air Hugging: Though this is less Monk being uncomfortable with men (specifically, his brother) and more his being uncomfortable with touching.
  • A.K.A.-47: In some episodes, such as "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies" and "Mr. Monk Is On the Run," there are such things as "Lane & Westen" pistols. When they are shown, they are clearly shown to just be Beretta 92FS pistols under an alternate name. Interestingly, there are other episodes where Beretta pistols appear and are appropriately referred to as Berettas.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: The episode "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas" inverts it: Stottlemeyer figures out that casino mogul Daniel Thorn murdered his wife because consuming booze actually makes him more intellegent. He just can't remember how he solved it, and most of his subplot is him trying to figure out what the incriminating clue was and anything else he did on his bender, while fighting a hangover the next morning.
  • All Take and No Give: Monk in his relationship with his new girlfriend Ellen Morse whom he met in "Mr. Monk on Patrol", she is incredibly supportive of him and due to the fact that she also has obsessive-compulsive disorder she understands him more any other character in the series. Unfortunately Monk does not extend that same courtesy to her. He constantly puts her down because of her business which sells dung and other objects made from fecal material. Even after she moved to San Francisco to be with him he didn’t stop generally treats her more like a servant. Natalie herself put it best
    Natalie: What was wrong with us? I had just asked Monk’s girlfriend, a generous, loving, patient woman, to fly down and rescue him. Then, after she made the trip, I persuaded him not to leave. And Monk agreed without a blink. I wouldn’t blame her if she never wanted to see either of us again.
  • Alliterative Name: Monk's last name means referring to him as "Mr. Monk."
    • Kris Kedder in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", dead on
    • In "Mr. Monk Is On The Air," Max Hudson sarcastically refers to his wife's sister Linda Riggs as "Loony Linda"
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch," boxer Ray Regis
    • In "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult," the cult leader Ralph Roberts
    • Marci Maven is a double example because of her name, but also because she's played by Sarah Silverman.
  • Aloha, Hawaii!: In Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, Monk and Natalie go to Hawaii and uncover a bunch of various criminal activities going on around Kauai.
  • Always Murder: This it is justified in that Monk is both an ex-Homicide detective and private consultant the San Francisco Police Department call in for more... interesting cases.
    • But, even then, even when Monk ends up investigating/or otherwise wrapped up in something that isn't murder, someone will usually end up dead anyway.
      • Example: "Mr. Monk and the Bully" starts with Monk and Natalie looking into a simple infidelity case after being hired by Monk's childhood bully. Then the person said bully's wife seems to be seeing turns up dead.
      • Another good case of this is "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert". Monk and Natalie accompany Captain Stottlemeyer to a music festival to search for his son. Monk comes along because of a misinterpretation of the words "rock show", leaving him stuck in the middle of a Wild Teen Party in the parking lot. While searching for a payphone, he accidentally walks into a port-a-potty. Natalie finds him when he comes out. Then, as Monk and Natalie are walking away, a roadie's body falls out of another port-a-potty right at their feet.
    • This is even pointed out by Monk in a few of the episodes.
    • Natalie said it best: "Everywhere you go, every time you turn around, someone is killing someone else!" It even supplies the Mystery Magnet page quote.
    • One season finale ends with Monk being told that he will get at least a murder a week for the next few years (a reference to the show getting an extended contract). Though it's Played for Laughs the whole idea is incredibly disturbing once Fridge Logic sets in.
    • The only Monk episode without a murder was "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny" where the worst thing done was a kidnapping of the titular granny, and then her captors let her go because they only wanted her chair which was worth a fortune.
    • There was no murder in "Mr. Monk and the Kid" either.
    • A subversion happened in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Daredevil" - no murder is committed in the course of the episode, although a person does die in a car accident (someone comes along later and sets his car on fire), and there is an attempted murder.
    • Same in "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else" - no murder happens on-screen during the episode, though the person Monk impersonates is killed when he is struck by a bus.
    • Natalie's debut episode, "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring" only has someone killed in self-defense (by Natalie herself!) at the beginning, while no actual murders take place within the episode.
    • Another one of Natalie's early episodes put an interesting twist where the plot involves an attempted assassination against Natalie by an unknown sniper. The Criminal was actually targeting the photocopier, his plan being to put it out of commission so that it would have to be replaced in order to keep anyone from discovering the jammed paper inside that could convict him for arms dealing. Natalie just happened to be nearby and he wrote a threatening note to throw off the police.
  • Always Someone Better: "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective" involves Monk accusing loser private-eye Marty Eels of cheating. He is.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Along with OCD, Monk seems to display some traits of Asperger's Syndrome, as well as some anti-social tendencies (they are not the same thing). Monk's rudeness to Sharona, Natalie, and others is not characteristic of asperger's; the idea that people with this disorder have no empathy is a myth. However, he does display the desire to have friends, but difficulty with social activities. He also displays specialized interests, most notably detective work and cleaning.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Mr. Monk and the Miracle has an interesting one. The episode partially revolves around a 'magic fountain' that can cure illnesses, and Monk believes it's a hoax (it is), while Natalie insists he gives it a try himself to try and cure his OCD and phobias. In the very last scene, despite having already proven the fountain to be a hoax, Monk makes his way to it and fills a cup with the water, revealing his apparent decision to have some faith... and it fades out with him holding the cup, staring at the fountain, leaving it unknown whether he drinks it or not.
  • Amnesiac Resonance: In "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head", Monk is knocked out at a truck stop, then wakes up on the back of a semi truck in a little Wyoming town. He is unaware of who he is, but is baffled when he experiences his old phobias. He then goes on to solve a murder in the town.
  • Amoral Attorney: Garrett Price shows up a few times. "But what about the bomb?"
  • Anachronism Stew: Normally averted since the show takes place in the present day from 2002 to 2009. However, whenever the show has to do flashbacks set in earlier time periods, anachronisms do come in:
    • In the flashback of "Mr. Monk and Little Monk," when a high school Monk, in 1972, is explaining how Jimmy stole the bake sale money, the principal finds a $5 he wrote "good luck" on and holds it up for everyone to see. The enlarged face of Abraham Lincoln on the bill establishes it as a $5 bill produced in 2000.
    • In the pre-credits sequence to "Mr. Monk and the End, Part I," when the camera is panning down on the Palgrove Birthing Center after Trudy's car explodes, a Toyota Prius dating from around 2005 can be seen driving past the clinic. The scene is set on December 14, 1997.
  • Analogy Backfire: In the first episode, "Mr. Monk and the Candidate", Monk reveals that mayoral candidate Warren St. Claire's campaign manager Gavin Lloyd was embezzling from the campaign and hired hitman Ian Sykes to kill bookkeeper Nicole Vasques (for discovering the embezzling) and bodyguard Jason Ronstadt (for turning down Lloyd's offer to kill Vasques). St. Claire confronts his traitorous campaign manager:
    Warren St. Claire: You said you were my Moses!
    Adrian Monk: And like the real Moses, he won't be joining you in the Promised Land.
  • Answer Cut:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", a lapel pin is found under the body at the crime scene. Randy looks at it and recognizes it, but he can't remember where. Cut to Monk fussing with an identical lapel pin on his jacket.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man":
    Man on phone: Hello?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Hi, um, this is Captain Leland Stottlemeyer with the San Francisco Police Department. Whom am I talking to? [Cuts to Trevor McDowell in a mock boxing ring outside one of his showrooms]
    Trevor McDowell: Hey! It's me, Trevor McDowell! We've just opened a new furniture showroom right here in San Mateo, right off Route 101! [the bell dings] Break!
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", Natalie angrily chews Monk out for stalking Roderick Brody's wife, who they've apparently seen with a man named Douglas Fendle. Then her cell phone rings:
    Natalie Teeger: Hello? [sighs] Yes, he's right here. [She listens] The Avalon? Sure, we know it. We were just there. Okay, what's his name?
    [Natalie looks up at the camera]
    Natalie Teeger: Oh my God!
    Adrian Monk: [looks up] What happened?
    [Cuts to Douglas Fendle's corpse]
    Lt. Randall Disher: His name is Douglas J. Fendle, or rather was Douglas J. Fendle, I guess it still is, but, doesn't matter. Let's move on.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different
    • Although most of the episodes deal with a murder, there are two episodes that stand out to not have murder involved at all, the first being "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny" (although it does have attempted murder) and the second being "Mr. Monk and the Kid". Coincidentially, both episodes involve a kidnapping.
    • Episodes "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized" and "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" ask, "How does Monk solve a murder if he is given a personality that impacted his detective skills?"
    • Also happens for "Mr. Monk and the Leper", where they actually have an inversion of the usual use of colors in the episode (ie, the main episode is in black and white, and the summation sequences are in color). See also Art Shift.
    • "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" was among a number of episodes the producers wrote while trying to figure out which types of events Monk would be most uncomfortable attending.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Rapper" not only features Snoop Dogg as a special guest star, but he also recorded a special cover version of the opening theme song "It's a Jungle Out There" exclusively for this episode.
    • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank" departs from the formula greatly, in that the events preceding the opening credits actually happen near the end of the episode. Two police officers start to write up a parking ticket for an illegally parked Ford Escape SUV, but they give it a free pass and drive off to get a bite to eat when the officer writing the ticket finds his pen is out of ink. As their cruiser drives away, the camera then tracks through the bank to the vault, then through the door, to reveal Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher trapped inside the vault, with Monk wearing a security guard uniform, and the others shouting for help, until Monk tells them "It's no use! Nobody's coming." They give up. When the opening credits conclude, it's two days earlier and we see what will get the characters locked in the vault.
  • And the Adventure Continues: How the series ends.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Monk often holds what appear to be practically implausible beliefs. A seemingly open-and-shut suicide or accident case may be interpreted as a homicide by Monk, or he may accuse a person who has an airtight alibi. Stottlemeyer and Disher are consistently skeptical, despite that he turns out to be right about 99.9999999%, give or take a bit.
    • The trope seems to be more in place in earlier seasons, especially in season 1, and even then, differs from episode to episode. For instance, in "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale", Stottlemeyer doesn't argue when the mayor asks for Monk to be put on the case because of the nature of the case at hand, and in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival," Stottlemeyer only turns to Monk because he doesn't think Lt. Adam Kirk is guilty of attacking John Gitomer in public on a Ferris wheel, and he knows that Internal Affairs is going to try to rip Kirk apart because of a number of prior police brutality cases against the guy. Meanwhile, in the pilot, "Mr. Monk and the Psychic," and "Mr. Monk and the Other Woman," Stottlemeyer seems more skeptical of Monk's deductions and a bit hostile whenever the mayor makes him call Monk in.
    • Monk (who refuses to call it a UFO) in "Mr. Monk and the UFO" tells the sheriff he saw what everyone defines as a flying saucer, but when his mechanic says he saw a ghost once, he scoffs at him.
    • He actually is partially wrong in one case, "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man," where he accused nudist Chance Singer of being a murderer because he has a trauma of nude persons because of him remembering his own birth, something Dr. Kroger considers remarkable. Though once Monk is able to see past it, he's able to put together a case and find the correct suspect.
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation," due to another error, he accuses businessman John Fenimore of murdering his wife, at which point the man turns to said wife and says "he's going to tell me how I murdered you." Since it was quite early in the episode, he had time to pull off his normal Holmes gig.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to Group Therapy," he is accused by Harold Krenshaw, a member of his support group, of being responsible for the murders of their support group friends and Monk seriously entertains the possibility throughout half the episode.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Critic," when Natalie tries to convince Monk that John Hannigan killed his girlfriend Callie Esterhaus, Monk and the others don't believe her because they point out that he had a very airtight alibi for this, Monk himself being one of those witnesses. That said, Monk may be skeptical because he believes that Natalie is only pursuing Hannigan just because he wrote a bad review about Julie's performance in the play that it turns out he was using for his alibi.
    • Natalie has averted this a number of times.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective," she stands behind Monk's belief that Marty Eels is "cheating" at the case.
      • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," she isn't skeptical of Monk's belief that the framed delivery boy is an innocent person. In this case, it's mostly because she's there when Monk finds the exonerating clues.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut", she is at first skeptical that Steve Wagner is guilty of murdering his ex-paramour Joanne Raphelson until a small taunt Wagner gives to Monk about flinching.
      • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," when Monk and Natalie are approached by Stork's girlfriend Kendra Frank, Natalie initially appears to be skeptical towards Kendra's claims that something is wrong, which only angers Kendra. She still tags along with Monk to investigate the murder instead of going off to look for Stottlemeyer's son.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," Natalie doesn't believe that Murderuss could be responsible for the car bombing death of his rival Extra Large, but Monk, who had accepted Murderuss's offer while "blacking out", has a hard time believing the man is innocent.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," Natalie is the only person Monk is able to convince into thinking that Stottlemeyer's girlfriend Linda Fusco is a killer. Here, it's kind of justified that there is an aversion, since Monk and Natalie were sent by Stottlemeyer to investigate that murder, Monk is able to convince Natalie by showing her evidence that indicated Linda fit the two eyewitnesses' description of the shooter and the motive to commit the murder.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Genius," averted for everyone because of the Whodunnit to Me? structure of the plot. Linda Kloster manages to bring information of her husband's eventual murder of her to Monk and Natalie before her death.
    • Stottlemeyer sometimes averts this, though; in "Mr. Monk and Sharona", he says to Monk "if you're right, and you probably are, because you always are".
    • The novels play with it: in Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, Stottlemeyer and Disher quickly latch on to Monk's theory when he says that Lucas Breen, a Corrupt Corporate Executive, is their suspect, but they have to also deal with the fact that the chief doesn't like them harassing Breen, a member of the police commission. In Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher are skeptical of Monk's claim that a police informant who just got a $250,000 reward is a cop killer. In Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, Stottlemeyer doesn't believe Monk's allegations that Ian Ludlow, their tag along mystery author helping investigate, is their killer, believing that Monk is jealous of Ludlow being on the case, but reneges when Natalie and Sharona are framed for murder. In Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, when Stottlemeyer is framed for murder, Monk almost believes that Stottlemeyer actually is guilty, but Natalie gets him in line to help find the incriminating evidence.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Psychic", Monk says, "You've gotta be a little skeptical, Sharona. Otherwise you end up believing in everything. UFOs, elves... income tax rebates....
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever", Natalie is upset with Monk for having to be in the Witness Protection Program just because he didn't stay in the car, for: she is stuck with him, Stottlemeyer and Agent Grooms in a remote woodland cabin; her daughter is missing a full week of school since she has to stay with Natalie's parents, Monk has a price on his head, and... he broke a man's car radio antenna.
    • In "Mr. Monk, Private Eye," Monk is really upset that his and Natalie's first case while operating as an official private investigator is a fender bender involving Linda Fusco's car. He points out that he's a homicide detective and asks, "Okay, what's next? Getting cats out of trees? Chasing jaywalkers?"
    • In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, when Monk and Natalie are preparing to leave for Germany, Natalie says this in her narration:
    "It was a twelve hour flight to Germany, which would be no easy feat for a man who was afraid of flying and anything foreign to him - that included, among other things, kiwi fruit, French films, polyester, the Beatles, zebras, and anything labeled 'Made in China'."
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: This conversation in "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend".
    Lt. Randall Disher: Here's the report on the murder weapon. You know, the firing pin was worn down. That's why it wouldn't fire. [Stottlemeyer looks at the death revolver in his hand]
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Maybe we should call Monk in on this one.
    Lt. Randall Disher: Oh, yeah, I already called him. He's not available. He's having some kind of problem with Hal.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: [chuckles] Hal. Still can't figure that one out. [looks at the hammer, then realizes something when he looks at the handle] Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
    [long pause as Randy thinks and the two lock glances]
    Lt. Randall Disher: No.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: When you showed this gun to Hal and said, "Here's the murder weapon," he knew that the killer used it like a club.
    Lt. Randall Disher: That's right, he pointed to the cracked handle.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: But we never told him how Tim Hayden died. You show anybody a handgun and say, "This is the murder weapon," they're gonna assume that the guy'd been shot!
    Lt. Randall Disher: How did he know?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: How did he know?
  • Art Shift: Several have happened over the show's run.
    • There is the change in police station set and the use of Jeff Beal's instrumental theme in season 1 (see Early Installment Weirdness).
    • The second of the two 2006 Christmas specials, "Mr. Monk and the Leper", was broadcast twice: the first time in Film Noir black-and-white, and again in color. This was done because the producers thought the plot invoked the feelings of those old Film Noir movies. Noticeably, the black-and-white summation in the color version was done in color in the B&W version rather than the usual B&W. Both versions were featured on the season 5 DVD release, with a bonus commentary featuring on the black-and-white version that includes Tony Shalhoub, Traylor Howard, Ted Levine, Jason Gray-Stanford, guest star Sarah Brown, and some of the executive producers.
      • Due to the inclusion of both B&W and color "Mr. Monk and the Leper" versions, season 5's disc formatting is much different - with discs 1-3 having five episodes each, and disc 4 having two episodes, plus some webisodes and the pilot to Psych.
    • In "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show", Monk delivers the summation in his dream while knocked out, which is presented in the style of a sitcom TV show, complete with laugh track.
    • Most of "Mr. Monk's 100th Case" is presented in the form of an InFocus documentary hosted by James Novak, being watched by Monk and the other main characters at a viewing party in Novak's house. The investigation scenes are acted out no differently than they normally do in regular episodes, except the style of cinematography has changed: for instance, different types of close-ups, not as many changes of camera angle, types of camera angles we would normally not see in a regular episode, etc. For example, driving scenes (one with Monk and Natalie on their way to check out a lead, and another when Stottlemeyer and Disher are driving to a police raid) that are shot by a camera in the backseat looking forwards. Other examples include the fact that the interrogation of Douglas Thurman is not shown with the audience being in the interrogation room when he's being questioned, but rather, the camera shows two detectives (or people from the district attorney's office) watching the interrogation tape on a black-and-white TV set.
      • Also, whether or not you have subtitles on, when the 911 call for the first murder is played, and when Thurman is being interrogated, you see the transcripts on the bottom of the screen.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: The scene in "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" where Monk bluffs Lester Highsmith with a water pistol would never work in real life. The water pistol Monk is using is painted jet black, possibly with a brown handle. Because of child-safety laws, all toy guns have to be brightly colored or have a bright orange cap on the tip of the barrel so children will be safe when holding one and tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun. This particular water pistol is missing both of these features.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Game Show," it's very unlikely that Roddy Lankman's conspiring to feed the answers to Val Birch would succeed in real life because all game shows (like Jeopardy!) have a standards and practice department on hand monitoring each taping session to make sure there are no irregularities. They would've discovered that Val was cheating right away since it's blatantly obvious (such as when he answers a visual clue without turning around to see the photo on the board). It's also odd that Monk's father-in-law never thought to get the feds involved, because rigging a game show is illegal under U.S. federal law.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," when Extra Large's limo is blown up, the limo driver is seriously injured and hospitalized in the ICU. The real killer then strangles him a few days later before he can give his statement. In reality, sole eyewitnesses to a homicide investigation tend to be put under police protection on the grounds the killer might try to eliminate loose ends. Had this been done to the limo driver, it would've provided a trap to catch the real killer.
    • In the pursuit of Ray Galardi's dump truck in "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic," you wonder exactly why the California Highway Patrol officer Monk is riding with never once attempts to flip on his lights and siren, or speed up and cut the truck off, or for that record use his microphone to order Galardi to pull over. Also, the police car and the truck can't be going more than 45 mph. Watch the dotted white lines between the lanes, and how slowly the scenery passes when they show the shot from behind both vehicles.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty," the Stottlemeyer and Disher subplot is about them capturing fugitive Miguel Escobar, then keeping him in their custody until he's to be handed off to the feds at the courthouse for an extradition hearing that will transfer him to federal custody. In other words, Escobar is being transferred from local to federal custody. The local (state) and federal courts do not share courthouses in San Francisco, so there would have been no reason to make the transfer in the lobby of the local (state) courthouse. In fact, the transfer would probably be conducted at the jail where Escobar was being held.
    • Throughout the series as a whole, Monk's rank when he was discharged from the force was described as "Detective". While in most police departments that rank would be correct, the San Francisco Police Department is unique in that it refers to investigators as "Inspectors" and not "Detectives". So Monk's title would be "Inspector Adrian Monk".
    • Stottlemeyer and Disher are respectively a captain and a lieutenant. But they're shown doing detective-level work when in reality most of their work would be of a supervisory nature.
  • Artistic License – Medicine:
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine", Monk's medication Doxinyl seems to work overnight. This is not possible with real medications, which actually take several days to several weeks before any evidence of progress shows. Also, as a certified doctor, Dr. Kroger would never start Monk on the highest dosage of a medication he had never taken when he was unaware of how Monk's body might react to it. In real life, Dr. Kroger would start Monk on the lowest possible dose, say, maybe 5 mg once a day, try it at this rate for a few weeks, then gradually increase the dosage in small increments of 5 mg, until he could find the perfect balance as to where the medicine controlled Monk's OCD tendencies and fears but did not affect his detective abilities or his memories of Trudy.
    • In "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night," it is revealed that the mysterious cab driver Maria Cordova had corneal transplants to repair damage to her vision from Retinitis Pigmentosa. RP is a defect of the retina, in the back of the eye, which accumulates pigment, losing its photoreceptivity, resulting in vision loss. A corneal transplant will not restore vision to someone with RP. What's more, the episode implies that the transplant changed Maria's eye color (causing her eyes to resemble Trudy's). The cornea is the transparent tissue on the surface of the eye; a corneal transplant has no effect on eye color.
    • Dr. Kroger seems to break several ethics laws, and also shows some pretty blatant unprofessionalism for a licensed therapist:
      • While not illegal, mental health professionals are discouraged from having any relationships with clients outside of a professional basis. Harold Krenshaw often brags about his friendship with Dr. Kroger, and is even on a first name basis with him. While it is not necessarily a violation of ethical code to have friendships with clients (although romantic relationships are a definite no-no), it is considered unprofessional to have a dual relationship with any client. Furthermore, Dr. Kroger's outside-the-office relationship with Harold encourages jealousy between Monk and Harold, patients he knows don't get along, and it encourages Monk at several points to stop respecting the boundaries that ought to exist between a patient and a therapist.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure," Dr. Kroger wears a watch that is a gift from Harold. This is a definite violation of ethics. Therapists typically aren't supposed to receive gifts from clients. Not to mention, wearing a watch that was given to him as a gift by Monk's rival, right in front of Monk, was almost passive-aggressive, considering the rivalry between Monk and Harold (as already mentioned). Dr. Kroger, as a licensed therapist, really ought to have known and taken into consideration the implications of such an act, especially on Monk.
      • Dr. Kroger seems to talk about his clients to his family and friends: When Monk meets Dr. Kroger's son Troy in "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink," Troy mentions being familiar with Monk because of stuff his father has said. To disclose information to family and friends about a client (other than fellow mental health professionals if you're referring the client to another doctor) is an intentional breach of confidentiality and an absolute no-no. Maintaining client confidentiality is reiterated to mental health professionals more than anything else. The most Dr. Kroger should have mentioned, if Monk's name or face ever appeared on the news or something, is, "Hey, I know that guy. He's a patient of mine." But even that is probably crossing a line, though, as famous/respected public figures probably don't want it known that they go to therapy or, worse, who the specific therapist is.
      • Likewise, Monk really shouldn't be talking about the specifics of his cases when in therapy with either Dr. Kroger or Dr. Bell. All he could possibly do is describe the cases in vague outlines.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • San Franciscans who are older than 40 might get a chuckle because according to Monk in "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa," the last time it snowed in San Francisco was the same day that Trudy died. Continuity states that Trudy was killed on December 14, 1997. As of 2014, the last time the city of San Francisco ever received measurable snowfall was February 5th, 1976 (they seemed to have gotten the fact that it wasn't snowing on the day of Trudy's death correct in "Mr. Monk and the End," where it's clearly sunny outside the parking garage).
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Blackout," Winston Brenner's two bombs that cause the power blackouts both interrupt the same show - a country music concert that is said to be celebrating San Francisco's bicentennial. The episode aired in 2004. The village that was to become the city of San Francisco was founded in 1835. San Francisco will not celebrate its bicentennial until 31 years after the episode aired.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Married," Monk notices that one antique map in Dalton's store is probably a phony because of it featuring West Virginia, saying it became a state after the Civil War. West Virginia actually became a state in 1863, during the Civil War.
  • Aside Glance:
    • Natalie gives a few to the documentary's camera crews in "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," like for instance when Monk is about to make a big discovery.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bully," Natalie rolls her eyes to the audience when Monk polishes a spoon to take a photo with a ridiculously old camera. Also, when she exclaims "Oh my god!" in the middle of a phone call when she's told that Douglas Fendle has been found dead, the way she turns her head towards the camera makes it look like she's saying this to the audience, not just to Monk.
  • As Himself
    • Willie Nelson is accused of murder in "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger", which itself takes a lot of references from Columbo episodes (especially the episode that featured Johnny Cash).
      • Notably, this is referenced in a later episode, when Monk says he threw away a harmonica that was a gift from Willie Nelson, simply because he had played it before.
    • Tim Daly is in "Mr. Monk and the Airplane". He does a double take at Monk. Tony Shalhoub had starred with Daly on Wings.
    • Danny Bonaduce appears in "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy", where he is one of Dexter Larsen's golfing buddies. Larsen also uses one of Bonaduce's cars when he goes to kill Elliott D'Souza.
    • In "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs", a big plot point is that Monk has playoff tickets to be in the press box with Bob Costas himself. Costas is doing it as a favor to Monk after Monk helped him out with a matter involving a demented cat salesman (the cat salesman was not demented, he sold demented cats, like a psychotic calico kitten, and one cat that tried to kill him with a squeeze toy.)
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, Natalie brings up one of California's biggest offenders, the Weinerschnitzel hot dog chain:
    "We headed out for an early dinner at the same place we'd visited the night before. This time I was a bit more daring. I ordered the Wienerschnitzel and was pleasantly surprised when they didn't deliver a hot dog to the table.
    "When I was growing up in Monterey, there was a chain of fast-food places in California called Der Wienerschnitzel that served a wide array of lousy hot dogs that looked even worse than they tasted. I assumed, like every other ignorant Californian, that Wienerschnitzel was the German term for hot dog. But no, it's not. It's actually a lightly battered and fried veal cutlet that's similar to a country-fried steak, only a lot more light and tasty.
    "So why would somebody call a hot dog stand the "Fried Veal?" It would be like calling a hamburger place the "Chow Mein". It made no sense."
    • To explain, this chain was originally called "Der Wienerschnitzel", but they dropped the "Der" part in 1977 because it is a masculine article ("Das" should be used to refer to neuter nouns). Even so, "Wiener Schnitzel" with a space in it (as it should be written) doesn't refer to hot dogs, but rather a breaded Viennese-style veal cutlet (which is what is served in the scene where Natalie mentions this), which the restaurant ironically doesn't sell.
    • And to explain the german name: "Wiener" means viennese, while "Schnitzel" means cutlet (or scrap, cutting or chip, it's every not to small cut piece of... stuff). That said, "Wiener" means in colloquial german "Wiener Würstchen", loosely translating to "little Viennese sausage". "Wiener" is used in english for a number of sausages, the differences being more or less slight differences in the meat composition and/or skin.
    • The nearest to "Wiener Schnitzel" in the US is chicken-fried steak, which was invented when Austrian (or perhaps Bavarian) immigrants in Texas decided to make it with cube steak rather than veal cutlet (cube steak is far, far cheaper, and while beef is omnipresent in Texas, veal is less so for a variety of reasons).
  • Asshole Victim / Sympathetic Murderer: It doesn't happen quite as often as many other crime shows of the time, but there are still a couple:
    • You definitely want to feel sympathy for Wendy Mass in "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger". She lost her parents and her sight following a car accident caused by a drunk driver — Sonny Cross. She slowly regained her sight after many many years, but she pretended she was still blind, believing that to put her in the perfect position to find and kill Cross for destroying her life. It would've worked if she hadn't made it clear that she knew which arm Stottlemeyer had in a sling.
    • In "Mr. Monk Falls In Love," the "victim" turns out to be a brutal warlord who was hiding out incognito as a cab driver. One of his fares turned out to be a former citizen of the country he terrorized. Guess what happens next...
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Monk solves impossible cases regularly once per episode, but he often solves cases in under a minute when he's barely paying attention, since he's already distracted by another case. Often he solves four or five cases within fifteen minutes like this, or cases so obscure that nobody actually cares about them. He once determined while working on another case in a museum that the body on display was actually hit in the skull rather than dying from the cause declared by the museum, effectively solving a 30,000 year-old case. Stottlemeyer actually exploits this, calling out the facts of various cases while he's distracted.
    • The closer a case comes to Monk's own life, the more trouble he has solving it. For example, in "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike", the problem is his pet peeve, cleanliness, that literally drives him insane trying to solve, and takes three tries and actually going into a computer cleanroom before he closes it. Likewise, he has problems to a lesser degree in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," that involve the son of "Inspector Number 8" of his shirts. Here, however, his problems vanish once he gets enough evidence to make a solid start on the case. The ultimate example of course being the case of his wife, Trudy, and her car bombing.
  • Author Appeal: Majority of the cases involve murdered wives, and some murdered husbands as well.

    B to C 
  • The Baby Trap:
    • The cause of the victim's death in Mr. Monk Is On Board
  • Bachelor Auction: In "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan," Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher participate in one. Randy gets a woman whose nine year old son apparently wants to be a cop, but turns out to have reconsidered later on (the standard "hates cops" excuse). Stottlemeyer ends up with his girlfriend Linda Fusco, which turns out to be opportune for both of them because their previous dates had always been canceled by Stottlemeyer's work getting in the way. Monk, not liking this event, gives money to Natalie so that she can "buy" him and free him from going on a date. But this fails when Marci Maven walks in and outbids Natalie by a large margin.
  • Badass Mustache: Stottlemeyer wears his with such pride that in "Mr. Monk and the Miracle", Monk has trouble recognizing him when he shaves it off and becomes a monk (the only way Monk can identify him is to use the feather on a quill). When Leland is out of action, Randy grows one in response (Monk and Natalie are dumbstruck when they first notice it). After Leland returns to the force, he gives Randy a safety razor as an implied way of ordering him to shave it off.
  • Bad "Bad Acting"
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater", after Hal Duncan is stabbed and killed on stage, Monk ends up taking the dead man's place... it goes as well as you'd expect. Also averted in that he did manage to act out the events quite well to recreate the crime scene... when the stage was empty. In fact, literally the only reason he was not acting well is due to stage fright. But this will probably remind you very well of what it was like the first time you ever went out on stage if you ever were a stage actor.
    • Thare's also "Mr. Monk Gets Married," where Monk and Sharona act like a couple with bad marriage problems to get into a marriage therapy clinic (Monk being the cowardly mop salesman and Sharona being his alcoholic wife), and do such a terrible job of it that the couple's therapist is relieved to hear they aren't married.
  • Bad Liar: Monk, due to his OCD, is one:
    • In "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy," when Sharona asks him if he actually saw the photos of her posing nude that Dexter Larsen had found; he hesitates for a long time, tentatively says "No," then blurts out "Yes" as he's walking away.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring," when Monk first meets Natalie, he blurts out that she's taking birth control pills in front of her daughter Julie, and upon realizing the implications tries to claim he was mistaken and they were really "adult tic-tacs". Natalie later tries to have Monk pose as an expert on fish during an argument with one of Julie's teachers, which doesn't go any better.
    • However, Monk is not exactly a totally bad liar. In "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service," he goes to Paul Buchanan's garage to investigate, but a mechanic spots him and mistakes him for the job applicant scheduled to come by. Instead of creating a lie that would raise suspicion, Monk plays along and accepts the idea he is an "applicant". Monk does stumble a bit over his answers to some of Paul Buchanan's questions, but manages to avoid saying anything that could make Paul suspicious:
    Paul Buchanan: Tell me, Melville. Who have you worked for? Anybody I know?
    Adrian Monk: Mmm…I don’t think so. Leland Stottlemeyer of the San Francisco.... Stottlemeyers. Randy Disher. Dr. Charles Kroger....
    Paul Buchanan: No, I don’t know them.
    Adrian Monk: And Natalie Teeger.
    • But when Monk is showing off his new house-cleaning method to the staff:
    Adrian Monk: I've divided the house into four zones.
    Susie the Maid: Mr. Stilson normally has us start in the kitchen.
    Adrian Monk: [retracts his pointer] Mr. Stilson is no longer with us. So from now on we're going to be cleaning the house my way: the Monk way.
    Susie the Maid: Who's Monk?
    [long pause]
    Paul Buchanan: Well you heard the man. We'll be doing it the Monk way.
  • Bank Toaster: In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank," a bank manager gives Monk one of these toasters as a reward for solving a bank robbery, which is greatly welcomed by Monk after the show had begun with Adrian at breakfast contending with burnt toast and a subplot develops necessitating he and Natalie getting a new one.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Genius", Patrick Kloster poisons his wife with a "poison pawn" - a trap that is impossible for the victim to resist. In this case, this involves him discovering her secret stash of liquor, poisoning that, then counting on her to hide the bottle herself so he wouldn't have to.
    • Also, a few of the sting operations that involve baiting the perpetrator into coming back to the scene to incriminate themselves: in "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room", Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher are able to incriminate Kurt Wolff in the murder of Ian Blackburn by baiting him into thinking that he needed to come back to recover a tape recorder that had incriminating evidence. When Wolff falls for the trap, Monk reveals that the tape was empty, and they just wanted to prove that he knew about the secret tunnel into the panic room.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School," Monk gets Derek Philby to incriminate himself this way by telling him that Beth Landow's eyeglasses were never found at the crime scene, and warns him that the police will be coming by with a search warrant to look over the campus and find them. Philby goes to the gear room in the clocktower to grab the eyeglasses that night, but when he exits the clock tower, he is promptly busted. Monk reveals he'd in fact already found them, and planted them where he found them because he knew that Philby would look for them.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" Alice Westergren starts a Secret Santa exchange and arranges for Captain Stottlemeyer to get the victim's name. Then she delivers a bottle of port (which she knows Stottlemeyer hates) anonymously to the captain making it look like a local body shop sent it. Then Alice steals Stottlemeyer's intended gift to the victim and recommends re-gifting the port to him in a pinch, which the captain does. The victim drinks it and is poisoned, making it look like a failed attempt on Stottlemeyer's life and sending the department after the completely wrong set of suspects. Only Monk realizes that the suspect isn't the killer because he passed up a much better opportunity to kill the captain months ago.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: The Living Statue performer in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank" demonstrates that apparently, by dressing up in tin and freezing in poses, you are automatically given permission to disregard police officers requesting important information from you.
    • Also, the entire crowd in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" once Monk discovers what the important evidence against Kris Kedder is - a blue beachball. Monk attempts to get the crowd to cooperate by breaking up a number on stage and using the loudspeaker, but the crowd boos him and the band on-stage cuts him off. Meanwhile, Natalie, Stottlemeyer, Disher, and Jared are chasing the ball through the crowd. At least twice, someone appears to start to hand the beachball to them, then immediately throws it away. Natalie gives a You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me! look when this happens to her.
    • This Stottlemeyer blog entry has the following:
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: The kid was obnoxious and uncooperative, answering all our questions with insults and curses. He was underage and obviously under the influence of alcohol. When we ran his high school ID we discovered, not exactly to our surprise, that the punk had been listed on a number of prior police reports, for everything from stealing food from the cafeteria to threatening harm to teachers who accused him of cheating on exams. Since this little angel was a juvenile, we were obligated to contact Juvenile Hall and present our case to them for booking. This case did not qualify, which meant that only thing left to do was contact the parents and release the kid into their custody.
  • Becoming the Mask
    • In "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else", Monk adopts the persona of a dead hit man in order to save the life of his target. He ends up playing his role a little bit too well.
    • Also, in "Mr. Monk and the Actor", method actor David Ruskin is hired to portray Monk in a movie. In the course of developing the Monk "character" he acquires many of Monk's various psychoses, eventually suffering a breakdown of his own and halting production of the movie. Though this time it wasn't Monk's fault, as earlier in the episode, Natalie attempts to warn Monk about the danger Ruskin poses to him:
    Natalie Teeger: Yeah, it's a little stuffy for me in there. "It's a gift! And a curse! It's a gift and a curse! It's a gift and a curse!"
    Adrian Monk: Okay-
    Natalie Teeger: Okay, Mr. Monk, don't you see? It's already happening!
    Adrian Monk: What is?
    Natalie Teeger: Okay, I've been doing a little research on your new "pal". Two years ago, David Ruskin played an alcoholic in a TV movie. He got so into it, he had to check himself into rehab for three months!
    Adrian Monk: [shrugs] A lot of people check themselves into rehab.
    Natalie Teeger: He doesn't drink! That's the thing! He had all the symptoms of an alcoholic without drinking! He's had at least two other breakdowns! Mr. Monk, I think this man is dangerous! I think he's dangerous to you.
    Adrian Monk: Maybe he's just dedicated. Did you ever think of that? [Natalie sighs] Come on, Natalie, they're making a movie about me! Now this is something that I might actually come close to, almost, enjoying!
    • Ultimately, at one point, Ruskin drops by Monk's apartment asking for more advice as to what his emotions need to feel like. This results in a scene cut to Monk pounding on Natalie's door in the middle of the night:
    Adrian Monk: Natalie, it's me. [Natalie opens the door] At least I think it's me.
    Natalie Teeger: Oh, Mr. Monk, what time is it? [she rubs her eyes]
    Adrian Monk: You were right about actors. He's completely unstable. [he steps inside]
    Natalie Teeger: What did he do?
    Adrian Monk: Oh, he's so selfish! He's immature! Get this: he barged into my house in the middle of the night, and woke me up because he felt like talking!
    Natalie Teeger: Hmmm, I can't imagine what that would be like...
    Adrian Monk: So we talked for hours! I will say this: he gets me, he really gets me. He understands about Trudy! He was dredging up these feelings. Feelings I haven't had in years. And then he made us food - fried eggs with the yolk exactly in the center, I mean exactly! He used a ruler, just the way I like them. [sighs] And it was very confusing... but delicious. Confusing, but delicious. And then he said he was tired and asked me to leave.
    Natalie Teeger: So you left?
    Adrian Monk: Well he has to get up at six o'clock.
    Natalie Teeger: Mr. Monk, that's your house!
    Adrian Monk: [momentarily stunned] Boy! He's a good actor.
    • There was also "Mr. Monk Is at Your Service", where Monk goes undercover as the head butler, and seems to enjoy it more than solving crimes. At least he pretended not to recognize Natalie when she showed up.
    • There is also the drug Doxinyl, which Monk tries to utilize in "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" to treat his OCD symptoms. He is relieved of his fears and compulsions, but he becomes an insufferable jerk and also is unable to be the detective he is supposed to be. In the novels by Lee Goldberg, the drug's use is expanded as Monk must will himself to take the drug whenever he has to get on a plane.
    • In "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult," Monk goes undercover as a member of Siblings of the Sun, only to buy into their teaching to the point that Stottlemeyer and Natalie have to "kidnap" him so he'll snap out of it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones
    • In episodes related to Trudy's death, Monk can take on some Knight Templar traits.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa", with thief Michael Kenworthy dressing as Santa and setting up a distraction while his crew attempts to heist a diamond, Monk is in an emotionally bad state and doesn't help his case when he's forced to shoot Kenworthy in self-defense with his own revolver when Kenworthy tries to come at him with a piece of pipe.
    • Monk shows throughout the series that he is quite capable of defending himself when the situation demands, to the point of completely ignoring his phobias — including shooting and severely wounding a murderer in self-defense while temporarily blind, overpowering a deranged man with a gun, or fending off a perp with dirty bags when being ill.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Badge" Monk fights off Mikhail Almonov on an unstable window-washing platform and stabs the man in the leg with said badge.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Blackout" — "Be careful, your left shoelace is untied." "How does he know that?!"
  • Berserk Button
    • For Monk, it can be anything. Lots of things seem to annoy Monk, and they're usually played for laughs. Except for Trudy. Anything that threatens his memory of her, or implies anything about what happened, causes Adrian to snap, leading to Beware the Nice Ones, as above.
      • That particular Berserk Button causes Monk to protest the demolition of the parking garage where Trudy was murdered in the Season Seven finale, "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall"; the structure was being demolished to make way for a children's playground, and Monk was worried that the demolition could destroy any remaining potential evidence. However, the councilwoman who helps bring the matter before the city council is killed, leaving Monk to solve her murder and reveal that her vote would keep the parking garage standing; unfortunately, Monk insults the councilwoman's replacement during The Summation, which causes the replacement to change the deciding vote out of spite. A sign shown after Monk leaves the structure for the last time shows that the playground replacing the parking garage will be named in Trudy's honor.
      • The memorable moment in "Mr. Monk Is on the Air" when Max Hudson makes cruel jokes about Trudy's death (to the point his heckling yes men are disturbed by it). The yes men even try to stop their boss before Monk simply jumps over the table and beats him up.
      • In the series finale, when Monk confronts Trudy's killer, Ethan Rickover, he claims that Trudy was unstable and crazy, prompting Monk to beat the crap out of him. Mind you, at this point, Monk is poisoned and dying. The cool bit was that Rickover wanted to make him look crazy. When he tries to get Monk killed by the cops using the same method at the end of the episode, Monk doesn't fall for it.
      • Oh, and don't think Monk will let you off the hook if you use him or Natalie as an unwitting accomplice to further your own criminal plans.
      • Harming Natalie either physically or emotionally can cause Monk to take on Papa Wolf tendencies. A great example is a confrontation Monk and Natalie have with Dylan Swift, a psychic who's been preying on Natalie's feelings for Mitch.
        "My expression must have betrayed something I was feeling, because Monk looked at me, and then his face flushed with anger. I'd never seen Monk angry like that before. But he didn't express it by yelling. Instead, he turned to Swift and spoke in a very low, measured voice, 'Get out, now.'"
    • Stottlemeyer, while he was still married to Karen, also has a severe berserk button when it comes to Karen either being hurt or someone alleging to be sleeping with her. The former is in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife", where he gets despondent after a truck driver is shot and killed by a roadside sniper, causing the driver's truck to swerve right into the path of Karen's van, putting her in the hospital. He even ends up coming very close to losing his badge when he ends up giving a beating to Frank Wicks and later to the actual killer Evan Coker.
      • The second time is in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage", when Sgt. Ryan Sharkey makes comments that he's been seeing Karen, causing Stottlemeyer to punch him. However, it turns out that in that case, Sharkey was the killer, and in the fight he'd had prior to killing Chicklet, Chicklet slammed his head down on the hood of a car, knocking out one of his teeth. Sharkey baits Stottlemeyer into punching him so that he can have a valid explanation for why his blood is contaminating the crime scene (Monk figures it out because he's chewing an apple on the side Stottlemeyer punched him on, not the side where no tooth was lost). It ends badly for Leland's marriage.
      • In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," Stottlemeyer says in an interview that once, when Monk nearly got cut from the police department's budget, he went ballistic and punched a wall in the commissioner's office. He says there's still a noticeable dent in that wall the shape of his fist.
      • Stottlemeyer has an "Annoyed Button" known as his dislike of "psychological profiles." In "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man," when given a psychological profile, this happens:
    Lt. Randall Disher: Captain, Washington just sent this down. It's a prelim psych profile. [Stottlemeyer puts the file folder to his forehead]
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Let me guess: the killer is between 30 and 45 years old, white male, does not work in an office, probably spent time in the military, and definitely hates his mother. [hands the file back to Randy]
    Lt. Randall Disher: How did you know that?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: 'Cause that's what they always say. That's scrap paper.
    • Randy has a berserk button relating to people not taking him seriously especially when he actually did witness a murder, resulting in him quitting his job in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist". Similarly, he doesn't like it when people diss his music, or being called "Cracker", like in "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," where he is very offended when Murderuss calls him "white" and criticizes his ability to mimic the lyrics to Murderuss's suggestive song "Car Bomb".
    • While not the kind to get physical, Natalie tends to get angry whenever Monk is late with her paycheck or is unable to pay her. Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk and the Genius," where Monk and Natalie are fighting about back pay, are interrupted by Linda Kloster, who says she heard screaming, and Natalie quiets down and says in her best deadpan voice, "Oh, no, that's just me. I scream every payday."
      • Natalie gets worked up whenever Monk gets treated unfairly. She also gets pissed off with Stottlemeyer in "Mr. Monk Is On The Run Part 2" when she realizes that he has been covering up the fact that he helped fake Monk's death.
      • In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, Monk and Natalie discover Dr. Kroger with a six-fingered man, Dr. Martin Rahner. Thinking she's been betrayed, Natalie responds by punching Dr. Kroger in the face.
      • Bringing up Mitch's death is a big no-no in Natalie's book.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," Julian Hodge launches into a tirade when the buttons on his designs are worn even the slightest bit crooked, making him a kind of neat freak with a very short fuse. It leads to Monk discovering that one time, his rage was so strong he beat a model to death for showing up at a show drunk, then bribed a CSI tech to frame a delivery boy for the murder.
    • In "Mr. Monk Falls in Love," Leyla Zlatavich tells Monk about how a war criminal named Korston Emmerich, "the Butcher of Zemenia", killed her father, brothers, and boyfriend. Unfortunately, she says this in a Zemenian restaurant, and as it turns out, Zemenian immigrants really do not like it when you talk in their presence about the warlord who terrorized their villages.
  • Big Applesauce: "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan" happens, well, you probably know where. Mr. Monk on Patrol takes place within Summit and New York City.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Monk may have an awkward relationship with Ambrose, but he will never let him get hurt while he's around. This shows up in the very first episode Ambrose appears in, where Monk pulls off a Heroic Fire Rescue to keep his agoraphobic brother from being burned with the house, and in Mr. Monk on the Road, he shoots a murderous driver to keep him from hitting the motor home and pushing it and Ambrose over a cliff.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: A non-government version: in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, it seems that TV medium Dylan Swift is capable of delivering information from peoples' deceased relatives. Monk initially determines he is actually a cold reader who looks at a person, makes educated guesses, then uses these guesses to draw broader conclusions from. Toward the end of the story, Monk privately tells Natalie a moving conversation about Trudy and one of her keepsake items. Later, this is used to prove Swift guilty of fraud and murder, after Swift brings the details of the item in question (a security blanket) up on a taping in San Francisco despite not being there for the conversation, because, as Monk reveals, Swift has bugged every room of the resort to eavesdrop on potential victims, and killed an elderly woman who was about to discover this.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Among other examples, Stottlemeyer gets one in "Mr. Monk and the Foreign Man".
  • Bilingual Bonus: Several.
    • In "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm," the Spanish that Monk speaks when posing as a farmhand at Jimmy Belmont's farm is actual Spanish, not broken translations. For instance, he introduces himself by saying, "Hola, Señor. Entiendo que Ud. [Usted] busca ayuda," which means "Hello, sir. I see that you are looking for help."
      • In that same sequence, some of the conversation that Monk has with the non-English speaking farmhand Javier while in the chicken coop. Even if you don't speak Spanish, it's clear that Monk is asking Javier, "Did you ever see Jimmy Belmont fighting or arguing with Harvey Disher?"
    • The Stottlemeyer and Disher equivalents in Mr. Monk Goes to Germany are named Hauptkriminalkommisar Stoffmacher and Kommissar Geshir. Stoffmacher's name is a linguative pun: the proper English translation of Hauptkriminalkommisar is Main forensics commissioner. Stoffmacher translates as German for material maker or fabric maker, but it is also a thinly veiled version of Stottlemeyer's name. And with regards to Kommissar Geshir: Geschirr translates to plates, dishes or cookware, effectively making him Randy Disher in all but name.
    • Lieutenant Plato (plate) in "Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico," a pun on Lieutenant Disher's name.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Airplane," the French sentences that Bernard speaks to the Chabrols on the plane
  • Bittersweet Ending: Averted, at least when it came to viewer expectations of what was going to happen in the Grand Finale.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room," when Stottlemeyer and Disher are searching Sharona's house looking for Ian Blackburn's monkey Darwin, whom she stole from an animal shelter the night before. Stottlemeyer finds what looks like vomit and crooked photos on one wall:
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Hey! What happened here?
    Sharona Fleming: Benjy threw up.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: [incredulously] On the wall?
    Sharona Fleming: It was pretty awful.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Monk accidentally walks into a port-a-potty. When he walks out:
    Natalie Teeger: Oh! Oh! [rushes over, exasperated] Mr. Monk! What are you doing?!
    Adrian Monk: I was just calling for a taxi; they're gonna pick me up out front in about ten minutes!
    Natalie Teeger: [smiles] But, Mr. Monk, that wasn't a phone booth!
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," Monk's pathetic attempt to sabotage Stottlemeyer's interrogation of Helen Hubbert for the murder of Sean Corcoran, in an attempt to try convincing Stottlemeyer that his girlfriend Linda Fusco did it.
  • Black Widow: In the episode "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding", Natalie's brother was about to marry one, who earlier kills a cameraman who is blackmailing her, and later tries killing Randy with a car.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Monk will try prosecuting people for letting their dogs relieve themselves in the street, having an uneven number of buttons undone on their shirts/sweaters or wearing mismatched socks, as Insane Troll Logic and Super OCD make him believe that such "crimes against the universe" will "invariably" lead to Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking. And don't get started on his nudity problem. He can't even look at nude sculptures (in fact, in "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand", when Monk must describe one in Evan Gildea's studio, he describes it by squealing through gritted teeth. According to the stenographer: "Witness: The defendant removed a sheet revealing a naked eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...." [pitch falters]).
  • Blessed with Suck / Cursed With Awesome: "It's a gift... and a curse."
  • Blind Without 'Em: Monk uses the exact phrase when describing the victim in "Mr Monk Goes Back to School"
  • Bloody Horror: In the episode Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk, Bradley Foster goes down into a garbage compactor to fix a jam. After he fixes it the episode's murderer flips the circuit breaker. The garbage compactor turns on, Bradley falls into it, and is shredded to pieces.
  • Bluffing the Murderer: Inverted in "Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather", where Monk actually does intend to have the FBI catch Phil Bedard's confession on tape, but it backfires because they get static. That's because Monk washes the tie containing the bug in the washing machine due to spilling it with food earlier, and since the bug wasn't waterproof... which is why you never want to bring electronic devices anywhere near water at all unless you are certain they are waterproof.
  • Body in a Breadbox: Corpses have turned up in some odd places at times: in a trash compactor ("Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk") and an arcade game ("Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation"), and the latter was then re-located to a crate. Other hiding places have included a mudbath ("Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding"), and a port-a-potty ("Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert").
  • Bond One-Liner: There are a couple throughout.
    • From Mr. Monk and the Earthquake: "Well Henry, that was the Big One."
    • In "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service", when Paul Buchanan's first butler promises not to blackmail him again over the deaths of Paul's parents:
    Paul Buchanan: Well, you got that right. [shoots him dead with a pistol, then walks over to the fireplace with the letters] Thank you, Stilson. That'll be all. [burns the blackmail letters]
  • Book-Ends: The first episode begins with Monk asking Sharona if she left the stove on. The last episode ends with Monk making sure the stove is off before leaving his apartment.
  • Boring, but Practical: It is implied that while Randy lacks Monk's ability to solve impossible cases, he is very efficient when it comes to managing ordinary homicides. Stottlemeyer mentions this in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu. His gift is getting people to open up to him.
  • Bottle Episode: The season 1 finale "Mr. Monk and the Airplane". It's so well-written most people don't even notice. "Mr. Monk Is Underwater" is an undersea version.
  • Brand X: Mega-Mart in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month" is an expy of Walmart, down to the message on the backs of the employees' vests ("Can I help you?", as opposed to Walmart's "How may I help you?")
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In "Mr. Monk Goes to Group Therapy," Monk tries to squeeze as much therapy out of his last free session with Dr. Bell as possible by bringing cards with all of his problems on them. When he says "fear of bees," Dr. Bell reassures him that an urban environment makes it a minor fear. "Fear of blenders" is met with the point that one who does not own a blender needn't fear them. "Fear of bees in blenders" just merits a stunned look from Dr. Bell.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-Universe, in "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," during James Novak's documentary, for the most part, in the investigation scenes, the show is filmed fly-on-the-wall style and the main characters are just going about their business. However, there are a few moments in these scenes where characters break the fourth wall:
    • At Cassandre Rank's murder, Randy is describing the apparent sequence of events as to how the murder unfolded to Stottlemeyer, and he shows the bagged murder weapon prominently in front of the camera. Stottlemeyer asks Randy in a deadpan voice, "And when you're done with that, can I see that, please?"
    • At Barbara McFarland's murder, Randy has a conversation with Novak, who is operating the camera, about how he always wants to name their serial killers.
    • When Monk and Natalie are trailed by a camera crew to a lead that turns out to be a Red Herring, one shot is from the middle of the backseat facing forward. Natalie is talking about the lead's details, but as Monk already knows these details, you can see she is actually speaking to the camera and the two crewmen riding in the backseat.
    • The scene where Monk makes the tie between the three murder victims also qualifies: Monk does his "Aha! There it is!" expression, so Natalie snaps her fingers and tells the cameraman to zoom in on the board of the victims' headshots to show the clue he just noticed (the Douglas Thurman Photography watermark printed on each picture).
    • When Stottlemeyer and Disher are driving to the SWAT team raid at Douglas Thurman's studio, Randy explains his Randy Disher Project CD to the camera guy.
  • Brick Joke
    • In Part 2 of the Final Episode: near the very end of the episode, just before he and Natalie leave his house to go to the crime scene, Monk checks his stove to make sure its off. Rewind 8 seasons ago to the first episode, and Monk is in the middle of a crime scene and suddenly remembers that he might not have turned the stove off.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Game Show", Monk talks to Trudy's mother about how she dealt with her grief, she says, "I was buried alive." Three episodes later, in "Mr Monk vs. the Cobra," he is Buried Alive — literally.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk", a guy who calls himself Larry Zweibel sits at a table, and the guests say that he reeks of aqua velva, such that it smells like he's been swimming in it. Later in the episode, Natalie remarks about how the alcohol tastes funny. The reason? The man's dead body was hidden in the wine cask! (Chekhov's Aftershave, anybody?)
    • In Mr. Monk's Favorite Show, we see that Natalie rips out Page 73 from the tell-all autobiography that Monk bought. He points out to the bookstore clerk he purchases his copy from that he has a sign saying "No questions asked". Later, at the end, when Monk returns the book, he returns it with a taped-in page 73 from Oliver Twist!
    • Probably a cruel one, but in Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan, Linda Fusco asks Stottlemeyer, "What does a girl have to do to get your attention, captain? Kill someone?" Three episodes later, Monk and Natalie are investigating Linda on the suspicion that she killed her business partner.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist," Stottlemeyer is annoyed that Randy is putting off his dentist appointment for a very painful toothache until the weekend and saving his sick days for days when he isn't feeling sick. A few episodes later, in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Stottlemeyer catches Randy in the act of playing sick to go to the San Francisco Band Jam.
    • There are two in "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike":
      • In the beginning of the episode we see Monk mail all his garbage away to someone in desperation. Later, in session with Dr. Kroger, Dr. Kroger asks Monk, "Adrian, have you been sending me your trash?" Monk denies it until Dr. Kroger points out that the garbage is sorted according to color and food groups, and has Monk's handwriting on the label.
      • Just before Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher arrive at City Hall, we see a tour guide leading a school group through the building. They stop at a rotunda and the guide volunteers two kids to demonstrate the effects of a place called the "Whisper Spot", where the design of the rotunda causes your whisper to echo and become audible throughout the rest of the room. After Monk talks to the mayor, the gang reconvenes here trying to stay out of earshot from the reporters. They whisper in low voices, until Stottlemeyer sees the 'Whisper Spot' sign and mutters "Oh hell..." as he realizes that the reporters gathered nearby have overheard every single word they just said.
    • In "Mr. Monk Falls in Love," Monk is so flustered upon learning that Leyla Zlatavich is coming over to his apartment that in trying to deny that he has feelings for her, he absentmindedly throws away all of his silverware....which he doesn't realize until after Leyla has left.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Daredevil," when Monk falls into a depressive slump due to the unmasking of the Frisco Fly as the acrophobic Harold Krenshaw, his shoelaces are taken from him, and are not handed back until much later.
  • Broken Pedestal: When Christine Rapp writes a tell-all book about Monk's favorite TV show in "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show" — the only thing that made him happy as a child — there isn't enough Brain Bleach in the world to help him. Given the rest of the book is that bad, it begs the question: what is on page 73?
    • The self help guru Miranda Bigley in Mr. Monk Helps Himself
  • Buffy Speak: When Monk tells people to pause or fast-forward something on a TV in later episodes, he says "picture freeze" or "picture go fast". Ironically, he didn't do this in earlier episodes.
  • Bullet Hole Spelling: The episode "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" has the characters investigate a threat on Stottlemeyer's life. The main suspect is a man whose brother was killed by Stottlemeyer and later shot at him as well. It later turns out that he wasn't intending to kill him, just remind him of his late brother by spelling out his brother's first initial with bullet holes. However, he does such a poor job of that, even the highly deductive Monk can't figure out he was doing that until it's pointed out to him.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Monk has a lot of eccentricities, but the SFPD are willing to tolerate them because he also has a very good case closure rate.
    • Randy managed to make Lieutenant even though he's shown entertaining outlandish theories from time to time. That said, Randy also proves capable of being a competent supervisor whenever Stottlemeyer is out of action.
  • Busman's Holiday: Naturally, like with a lot of other mystery shows, Monk cannot seem to go on vacation anywhere without a few dead bodies involved.
    • It could just be that these murders would have happened anyway, but someone like Stottlemeyer or Disher would have missed the clues.
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation," Sharona takes Monk on a vacation against his will, where he is incredibly uncomfortable and simply sits on the beach fully clothed. When a murder mystery pops up he couldn't be happier, and drags Sharona into helping him solve it. Upon their return Sharona asks that they never go on vacation again, then says "I can't believe I just said that!"
    • Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever":
      Natalie Teeger: Everywhere you go, every time you turn around, somebody is killing somebody else!
      Captain Stottlemeyer: That's true.
      Adrian Monk: What?
      Captain Stottlemeyer: There was the time you went on vacation "(Mr. Monk Takes A Vacation") and then on the airplane. ("Mr. Monk and the Airplane")
      Adrian Monk: These things happen!
      Captain Stottlemeyer: And that stage play... ("Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater")
      Adrian Monk: It happens!
      Natalie Teeger: To you!
    • Natalie even concludes at the end of the episode that fate makes Monk go to these places JUST SO he will be there to solve the murders...
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", it's either bad luck or pure coincidence that Monk and Natalie are right by the port-a-potty when Stork Murray's body falls out of it. Natalie is somewhat startled, but her attitude after the break shows that she's perfectly fine helping Monk investigate, which suggests that either she was convinced by Stork's girlfriend Kendra Frank that something was wrong, or it's because they came in Stottlemeyer's car and Stottlemeyer is still looking for his son.
    • Played straight in "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs" when Monk and Stottlemeyer go to a playoff game with tickets for the press box with Bob Costas (As Himself), but Monk discovers an attempted murder involving a rigged grill and murdered quarterback David Gitelson being Hidden in Plain Sight by being dressed as a passed out fan.
    • The Expanded Universe novels just love this trope:
      • In Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, Monk takes Doxinyl to follow Natalie to Hawaii. After the drug wears off and he's back to being himself, he ruins Natalie's friend's wedding by exposing her groom-to-be as a bigamist, stumbles upon a homicide and drags Natalie along, while trying to find evidence to arrest a television medium for fraud, and solving a rash of mysterious burglaries and car accidents on the way.
      • In Mr. Monk Is Miserable, Natalie uses emotional blackmail to get Monk to come along with her to Paris. There is a murder on the plane. Then, he finds a skull in the catacombs that was not dumped there a few hundred years ago, but less than twelve months ago. Later, Monk and Natalie are at a blind restaurant (where you eat in pitch-black darkness). Another woman sits down, and is about to talk to them when a shadowy assailant stabs and kills her with a steak knife, then escapes in a matter of a few seconds.
      • In Mr. Monk on Patrol, it's averted since Monk and Natalie are called to Summit, New Jersey to help Randy investigate a series of break-ins.
  • The Bus Came Back: Sharona returns for season 8's "Mr. Monk and Sharona".
  • The Butler Did It:
    • Inverted! The butler gets killed in "Mr. Monk Is at Your Service".
    • Though played straight in "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs," where limo driver Shawn Metzger steals Condors backup quarterback David Gitelson's playbook, photocopies the pages, then sells the copies to Wildcats coach Brian Binsack. However, Gitelson finds out since Metzger dropped the playbook and all of the pages fell out, after which he hastily put them back in, causing them to be photocopied upside down and non-sequentially. Gitelson confronts Metzger, and after a struggle, Metzger kills him with a tire iron. Metzger then tries to kill Chet Walsh, a fan who Gitelson blew off while he walked over to confront Metzger, and who may have seen the murder, by pouring siphoned gasoline down his grill.
  • Butt-Monkey: Randy Disher. The one time he didn't accept his status, it was a Tear Jerker. Then back to status quo.
  • California Doubling (for itself): Los Angeles doubles for San Francisco (the orange bus with "Culver" written in giant cursive letters doesn't help in "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult"). Season 1 is guilty of Vancouver Doubling and Toronto Doubling, because the pilot was filmed in Vancouver, while the rest of the season was filmed in Toronto). Examples of California Doubling proper:
    • The Metrolink train that appeared in the background in "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure" really doesn't help either, proving that the characters are actually in Soledad Canyon. San Francisco has BART and Caltrain; Metrolink runs throughout San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Ventura, and LA counties.
    • "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night" rather explicitly shows Union Station, a landmark any Los Angeles native would recognize. However, they might have thought it was cooler. Would've worked if it weren't for the fact that a body turns up on the LACMTA Red Line station platform. Any railfan enthusiast or actual LA commuter will confirm this.
      • This happened again in the finale, with LA Union Station being used for the Fourth/Townsend CalTrain station. That station is actually much different, and has no connections to the BART system (the nearest BART station is a couple blocks' walk north, at Market Street, or a ride on the Muni Metro to the stop at Embarcadero).
    • A body is supposedly dumped near the San Bruno train station in "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective", supposedly on a hillside in the woods. San Bruno's Caltrain station is on flat land, in the middle of a very urban neighborhood. You couldn't dump a body within 50 yards of it without being seen.
    • In "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head," Monk is knocked out and wakes up in Wyoming. But some of the backdrops look suspiciously like California hills and the environment doesn't look very much like what you would find in Wyoming (anyone who has lived in Wyoming or Colorado for a while will tell you that those states are very dry and not very humid).
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", Occidental College stands in for UC Berkeley.
    • A few episodes averted this:
      • "Mr. Monk and the Game Show" averted the using-Los-Angeles-as-stand-in-for-San-Francisco type because Monk and Kevin Dorfman are taken to Los Angeles by Dwight Ellison for the investigation.
      • "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan", the Big Apple Sauce episode, was filmed on-location in New York City. A few shots appeared to have been filmed in Los Angeles, though.
      • Some season 4 filming happened on-location in San Francisco:
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Big Reward," the MacMillan Museum is represented by a hilltop house at the corner of Vallejo and Baker Streets in Pacific Heights. The climatic foot chase where Monk and Natalie are chased by three bounty hunters has them running up and down San Francisco's hills (the appearance of a cable car going up Jackson Street suggests that they are in North Beach).
      • Although the courthouse sequences in "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty" were filmed in Los Angeles, the opening was revised in the script by the producers after they realized they were going to be doing on-location shooting. Instead of whatever was originally planned, the episode opens with a foot chase as Stottlemeyer and Disher chase wanted drug lord Miguel Escobar along Jackson Street through Chinatown.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut" subverts this by setting the climatic scene at the fictitious Paxton Air Force Base, which is obviously a thinly disguised Edwards Air Force Base. But the way personnel seen on base are behaving is correct.
  • Call-Back: Characters will sometimes use the solution to previous cases to guess what might be happening in the current case (though it never works).
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," a deranged Monk theorizes the victim was secretly killed (by Alice Cooper) for his antique chair, similar to "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny," where Granny Parlo's kidnappers were really after the antique chair she was sitting on.
    • In "Mr. Monk on Wheels," once it is revealed that John Kuramoto, the thief who shot Monk in the leg was paid $3,000 to steal a bike (which in part was the reason Monk and Natalie were at said thief's house), Monk wonders if there could have been anything valuable hidden inside the frame, echoing "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," in which Joe Christie is cleared of suspected drug theft after Monk determined that someone stole drugs from an evidence room by hiding them in a bike frame.
    • One case where one should have been brought up would be the novel Mr. Monk on Patrol. The way Joel Goldman sets up his alibi - he makes it seem like he is in his Manhattan office when his wife is killed in a staged burglary; he's actually in a recreation of it that he built in his backyard in Summit - is identical to how Stottlemeyer's girlfriend set up her alibi in "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend" (recreating her bedroom in the back of a rental truck). In both cases, what tells Monk that the video or webcam footage being used as the alibi is actually happening somewhere else is similar: in On Patrol, it's because a police siren heard in the background is actually a Summit Police siren and not an NYPD siren, and in Bad Girlfriend it is because a pen Linda sets down rolls a little bit (indicating that she parked her truck on a hill).
    • Later novels like to make reference to events in the earlier novels.
    • The finale made a subtle reference to the pilot. In the pilot, Monk was at a crime scene and unsure whether he'd left the gas on. In the finale, Monk checked the gas was off before he left. Natalie said that he didn't want to get all the way downtown and not be sure and Monk said that that happened once.
  • Calling Card:
    • Played rather subtly in "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man": there's a bunch of random murders being committed through the area and the police are unable to find a connection between the victims. Monk is able to link two of the murders (a tollbooth operator dragged to his death by a card and a woman strangled in a movie theater) together when he notices that a $10 bill that the killer used at the second crime scene is sequential to a $10 bill found at the first crime scene.
    • In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," the police link the murders of several young actresses to a serial killer by the fact that he takes a tube of lipstick off of his victims. An inversion though: he takes the lipstick tubes from the crime scenes and smears it over blow-ups of the victims' photos at his photo studio, making it more like a checklist.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Monk has obsessive-compulsive disorder, possibly also Asperger's, but it's almost never mentioned, even when it would help. There are also cases where the trope could be applied elsewhere:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," when Monk and Natalie prepare to break to Stottlemeyer that they suspect his girlfriend Linda Fusco is a murderer. Notice that Monk and Natalie both hesitate for a few seconds before Monk bluntly says Linda's name, suggesting that they both know Stottlemeyer will not take the bad news very easily and they are trying to find a way to soften the blow.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Monk. Supposedly he tells two jokes during the entire series, both times shocking everyone around him; this doesn't stop him from snarking, especially early in the series. He can't tell a joke, but at least he can be sardonic.
    • One was in "Mr. Monk and the UFO", unless of course, he really is an alien that will destroy the planet if Natalie doesn't stop trying to see his belly button!
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame", when Monk and Sharona walk into the Hammonds' house, Monk quips that he and Trudy considered buying the same house, which is not likely on a San Francisco cop's salary.
    • There is also his excruciatingly painful attempt at stand-up comedy in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding" and in "Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation"
  • Career-Ending Injury: Monk's mental breakdown as a result of Trudy's death ended his tenure as a police officer.
  • Cassandra Truth: Randy in the episode "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist,", as during the dental procedure for a legitimate toothache, and while being placed in novocaine, he ends up witnessing a brutal confrontation between the dentists and a bald man demanding for "Barry Bonds" and that "he was worth $13 billion," and tries to report it to his co-workers, only to be laughed at and/or met with disbelief (the fact that he was currently being doped up on novocaine when it was happening did not help matters much on his end, either), eventually being fed up at not being believed and quitting the force. It later turned out that Randy was actually quite correct in what he saw (barring the "Barry Bonds" thing, as that was actually "bearer bonds" stolen in an armored car heist a few days earlier where two guards were shot and killed, a case that Randy was involved in the investigation of).
    • Natalie gets hit with this in "Mr. Monk and the Critic." She fairly quickly deduces theater critic John Hannigan killed his girlfriend, but no one believes her, assuming she's just upset because the eponymous critic gave Julie a bad performance review.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Girl who Cried Wolf" turns on this trope, as everyone believes the grotesque visions Sharona claims to see are due to stress. In reality Sharona's creative writing teacher is setting her up, so the teacher can commit a murder using one of Sharona's story plots, then discredit her.
  • Casting Gag: There are several.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Kris Kedder stole the copyright credit to roadie Stork Murray's song, and kills Stork when the guy threatens to sue him. Kedder's actor Brad Hunt is a minor songwriter, according to the IMDB.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," Monk's ex-partner Joe Christie is played by Enrico Colantoni, who starred with Tony Shalhoub in Galaxy Quest.
    • In "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult," Monk has OCD. The cult leader, Ralph Roberts, is played by Howie Mandel, a big time mysophobe.
    • "Mr. Monk, Private Eye" stars Fred Weller as the episode's murderer, Jay Bennett. Weller's cousin Peter Weller not only directed that episode, but also was the actor playing Captain Stottlemeyer in the TV movie The Killer Astronaut "Mr. Monk and the Actor".
    • Episodes where Tony Shalhoub's wife Brooke Adams or his brother Michael appear.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Dog," when Monk is taking care of Amanda Castle's dog Shelby, Natalie hands him a catch-in-action pooper scooper to help him clean up after her. But what's better? It's a Sha-Poopie! Tony's brother Dan pitched it on American Inventor in 2006 but it got rejected.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail," Monk goes undercover in a prison as cellmate to a convicted quadruple murderer named Darnell "Spyder" Rudner, who is played by Danny Trejo. Trejo is an actual ex-convict and a reformed gang member.
    • Ambrose's onscreen appearances are not the first time that Tony Shalhoub and John Turturro appeared onscreen together. They previously appeared in Barton Fink, where Turturro played a playwright and Shalhoub played a producer Turturro's character consulted for advice.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees," the murderer is played by Vincent Ventresca, who co-starred as Traylor Howard's character's college professor boyfriend in the mid-1990s sitcom Boston Common.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Airplane," Tim Daly appears on the airplane as himself and Sharona recognizes him specifically from Wings. Monk says that he's never seen that show. No one remarks about Monk's similarity to Antonio Scarpacci from that show, who, like Monk, is played by Tony Shalhoub. Furthermore, Daly's and Shalhoub's costar Steven Weber (Brian Hackett) shows up in "Mr. Monk Is On The Air" as Max Hudson.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes Home Again," when Stottlemeyer and Disher are going over the police sketch of the gunman created based on the description provided by eyewitnesses, Randy comments that the sketch has an uncanny resemblance to Kiefer Sutherland. One of the culprits in "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective" was played by Kiefer Sutherland's half-brother Rossif Sutherland. Additionally, Sutherland's best known TV series had several actors also guest-star on Monk, such as Billy Burke (a recurring antagonist in that show's Second Season) playing the primary suspect in "Mr. Monk and the TV Star," Misha Collins (who had a recurring role in 24's first season) was in Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage," Louis Lombardi (Edgar Stiles in the series) was in "Mr. Monk is Someone Else," Glenn Morshower (who had a recurring role on 24 as Agent Aaron Pierce) playing the victim in "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever," Bob Gunton (a series regular in the last few seasons) playing Trudy's father, D.B. Woodside (Wayne Palmer in the series) playing Monk's doctor in the two-part finale, and so on.
    • In the novel Mr. Monk Is Open for Business, there's a reference that makes it clear that Breaking Bad exists in the Monk universe, when Natalie compares hers and Monk's client Henry Pickler to Walter White. Several of the guest stars in various episodes of Monk also happened to appear in Breaking Bad: for example, a Marin County police detective in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend" is played by Christopher Cousins (Hendrix; Ted Beneke), the episode "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail" featured Danny Trejo (Spyder Rudner; Tortuga), the episode "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike" had a murder victim played by Michael Shamus Wiles (Jimmy Cusack; ASAC George Merkert), "Mr. Monk and the Big Reward" guest-starred DJ Qualls (Rufus; Detective Getz), "Mr. Monk Goes Camping" guest-starred Maurice Compte (Del Johnston; cartel buttonman Gaff), and others.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the UFO," there's a scene where at a magazine stand, Natalie says she once saw a movie about an extraterrestrial who didn't know he was an extraterrestrial because his brain had been rewired, and said extraterrestrial also had bad dreams. While she doesn't mention the movie name, Natalie is describing Impostor, a movie which happened to feature Tony Shalhoub in a supporting role.
    • The episode "Mr. Monk Gets Married" guest-stars Nestor Carbonell as an antiques dealer scheming to locate a prospector's long-hidden stash of gold. In the novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, Natalie makes a reference to The Dark Knight at one point, a movie in which Nestor Carbonell plays Gotham City mayor Anthony Garcia. Likewise, the episode "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage" guest-starred Nicky Katt as a crooked cop, and Katt also appeared in The Dark Knight (as the SWAT officer riding shotgun with James Gordon in the armored truck during the car chase).
    • Several episodes make references to Columbo, usually with it being a nickname for Monk. The implication is that Columbo exists in the Monk universe. That doesn't explain the paradox that happens because several Monk actors appeared in Columbo episodes, like Stanley Kamel (as a congressional aide in "Agenda for Murder") and Hector Elizondo (as a murderous diplomat in "A Case of Immunity").
    • In the novel Mr. Monk in Outer Space, a composite sketch of a suspect is described as looking vaguely "like a wax figure of Jude Law". Jude Law and Tony Shalhoub (Monk) both appeared in Gattaca.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Actor," Randy hopes that in the TV film adaptation of "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut," he'll be played by Brad Pitt. The paradox is that Brad Pitt and Ted Levine (Captain Stottlemeyer) were both in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
    • George Clooney is referenced in the novel Mr. Monk in Outer Space. He and Tony Shalhoub both appeared in Spy Kids.
    • Murder, She Wrote is referenced by Natalie in Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop. There are also quite a lot of Monk guest stars who have also guest-starred on Murder She Wrote.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake" references the first Spider-Man movie, which had come out earlier in the year the episode had. Alfred Molina, who played Dr. Octopus in the second Spider-Man film, guest-stars in "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man," Louis Lombardi and Reed Diamond, who both had roles in "Mr. Monk is Someone Else," had minor roles in the second film and Dylan Baker, who played Dr. Curt Connors in both Spider-Man sequels, played the titular critic of "Mr. Monk and the Critic."
  • Catchphrase: Many of these should be memes.
    • "You'll thank me later."
    • "Unless I'm wrong, which, you know, I'm not..."
    • "Here's what happened..."
    • "Here's the thing..."
    • "Hippie!"
    • "I don't know how he did it, but he did it."
    • "He's the guy."
    • "It's a gift...and a curse."
    • "Wipe."
  • Character Action Title: Many episodes follow this trend.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: Julie Teeger is supposed to be about the same age as her actress Emmy Clarke, give or take a few years. She ages accordingly, which is why in her first episodes, she looks like an 11 year old, and in her season 7 and season 8 episodes, she looks like an 18 year old woman. It may be slight Dawson Casting, though: Emmy Clarke was born in 1991, but when "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring" aired in 2005, Julie was 11.
  • Character Name Alias: In "Mr. Monk on Wheels", when knocking on John Kuramoto's door, Monk says, "Hello, Johnny! Open up, it's—it's Encyclopedia Brown! Sally and I want our blue bike back, and the name of your decorator."
  • Character Outlives Actor: Dr. Kroger appears in the novels Mr. Monk Goes to Germany and Mr. Monk is Miserable, both of which were published after Stanley Kamel's death. However, they were both set prior to "Mr. Monk Is On the Run", filmed when Kamel was still alive.
  • Chaste Hero: Monk.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Present in most episodes:
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist", Stottlemeyer suspects that Randy wants to avoid using sick days to see the dentist for a toothache so he can use them for other purposes. Fast forward ten episodes to "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Stottlemeyer catches Randy in the act of pretending to be sick to attend the titular concert.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert":
      • As Monk is trying to make his way to the payphones, a blue beachball keeps hitting him repeatedly. It then turns out to contain the evidence that proves Kris Kedder killed roadie Stork Murray and made it look like he overdosed.
      • Earlier, before he gets killed, Stork warns Kedder that he's made copies of the sheet music and sent them to himself. Guess what Kedder snatches when Monk, Natalie and Kendra Frank are temporarily distracted while searching Stork's trailer for clues.
      • In the opening teaser, as Stork is walking across the grounds, we begin with a close up of the left side of his face from behind, and we see he has an earring in his left ear. It turns out to be the earring that Kendra Frank made for him as a gift.
    • In "Mr. Monk Buys a House", there's a mention of an incident at a depository in 1968. Then in the second half of the episode, the main characters have two murders tied to a bank heist at said depository that year.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Monk finds metallic paint on the victim's fingertips, which later turns out to be linked to a scheme to rig the lottery.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy," Kevin rattles off all of his previous addresses to Randy. Only later does Monk realize that they are the winning lottery numbers, and the answer to who killed his paperboy.
    • In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case", there's a point where Randy, his girlfriend Jillian, and James Novak, are talking and Jillian says she plays the reenactment scene for victim #4. Therefore, when the documentary begins, once Monk links three murder victims - Cassandre Rank, Barbara McFarland and Miranda Terhume - and suspects they were killed by Douglas Thurman, they bring him in for questioning. Though the police now have a suspect, we know right away that after Thurman is identified, one more person is going to be murdered, since we haven't yet seen the reenactment.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized," when the gang goes to Aaron Larkin's house to question him about his wife's apparent abduction, Randy passes out pieces of homemade Disher Mint chewing gum, flavored diet blueberry. Stottlemeyer tries a piece, and he has trouble chewing on it, and he ends up spitting it out, unable to find it. Then later, Monk (under hypnosis) finds a piece of gum on Sally Larkin's shoe and puts it in his mouth. After he snaps out of his hypnotic state, Monk confronts Sally and reveals that the gum he found on her shoe is the piece that Stottlemeyer had been chewing, proving that she had not been held captive in a woodland cabin for three days, as she had stepped on it while murdering her husband.
    • "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed" has Julie give Monk a get-well card. It plays "Polly Wolly Doodle" incessantly, even after Monk tries to muffle the sound several times. He finally throws it out, only it turns out to be what leads the police to the evidence that will prove that Reggie Dennison killed a judge during a fight and then proceeded to kill the pizza delivery boy who tried to intervene, before impersonating the latter to make sure the police didn't get to him.
    • In the first part of "Mr. Monk and the Magician," Kevin makes mention of how the piano wires he uses to "levitate" a cane are painted black so that the casual observer can't see them. After Kevin is killed, and Randy mentions that he was apparently strangled with piano wire, Monk notices black paint traces, recalls Kevin's earlier comment about the wires, and realizes the killer is a magician.
    • At the end of "Mr. Monk and The End (Part 1)", Monk finally opens Trudy's final Christmas present. It's a powerful moment, since it means, as pointed out earlier, that he's finally accepting her death. (He's also coming to terms with the possibility that he himself may be dead within a couple of days.) It turns out to be an "If I Do Not Return" video made by Trudy, and it contains all the information Monk ever needed to find her killer. Yes, that's right: the Gun has been sitting, loaded, on the mantle for 12 years and 8 seasons, and has been regularly pointed out by the characters.
    • The novels:
      • In Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, Monk claims to be allergic to cats. Then he makes the discovery that Lucas Breen is also allergic to them, nailing him for murdering Esther Stoval.
      • In Mr. Monk in Outer Space:
      • Adrian observes that Conrad Stipe's killer is a sharpshooter who doesn't show any emotion when he pulls the trigger. Then he determines that a hit man hired to kill Brandon Lorber killed Stipe because the hit man left something in the taxicab he took while fleeing the scene.
      • The Star Trek ripoff costume that Conrad Stipe's shooter wears. Ambrose notices discrepancies in the shooter's outfit that Adrian dismisses as insignificant at first, until he realizes that it means the shooter was not a Beyond Earther because a proper fan would not have mismatched the parts of the outfit. Thus, when producer Kingston Mills is killed, Adrian uses his newfound knowledge to determine that the shooting is a copycat crime, because the tape shows the shooter is wearing his uniform correctly.
      • Speaking of which, Adrian and Natalie meet a man named Ernest Pinchuk at the Beyond Earth convention. Pinchuk only speaks in the fictitious Dratch language (which a casual viewer might misinterpret as choking and coughing). When Ambrose is shown the Kingston Mills surveillance tape, his lipreading skills allow him to identify that the killer, who apparently has a coughing fit, is actually speaking Dratch, allowing Adrian to instantly pin the crime on Pinchuk.
      • In Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, there are several mentions to events that happened "ten years ago".
      • In Mr. Monk on Patrol, the different calls that Monk and Natalie deal with while on patrol in Summit all serve as handy to catch Pamela Goldman's killer in the end - a domestic disturbance call over someone cheating on his wife with his secretary allows Monk to establish a motive for the murder. A call to remove a guy who's been loitering at an electronics store leads them to evidence that clears the two dirty cops originally accused of the murder.
      • In Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant, after Stottlemeyer survives an attempt on his life, Monk and the gang visit a friend and former fraternity brother of Stottlemeyer's, retired police captain Arnold Thurman, who is dying of heart disease. The two recall how one night, when they were in their junior year of college, Stottlemeyer's father Hamish gave them and their fellow fraternity brothers a bottle of whisky, and he said it was for the last one of them to survive, and that it was not to be touched until all but one of them had died. As it turns out, this bottle of whisky and the promise that Stottlemeyer and his fraternity brothers made are the MacGuffin for he plot: Thurman's son A.J. and daughter Rebecca have found out about the whisky and the oath. With their father dying, they wouldn't get the bottle, so they had to kill the other two fraternity brothers who were still alive: Judge Nathaniel Oberlin, who they successfully kill by dusting his umbrella with thallium poison, and Stottlemeyer, who they first attempt to kill with the same method of poisoning. When that fails, they try luring him into an alleyway to be ambushed and shot, but he survives with a bullet in his shoulder. That failing, they try to kill him by blowing up his car, but a petty criminal that Stottlemeyer and the others have been investigating tries to steal the car instead and gets blown up in his place. In a last ditch effort, A.J. attempts to kill Stottlemeyer at the hospital by restraining him and giving him a lethal injection of a drug that mimics a heart attack, but Monk stops him before he can make the injection. Since Arnie Thurman dies the same night that his kids are arrested, the whisky bottle ultimately ends up going to Stottlemeyer in the end.
  • Chekhov's Gunman
    • Mrs. Ling in "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man," a dry cleaner who is driven crazy by Monk's habits at the beginning of the episode. Monk later brings her in at the very end to correctly identify a shirt sleeve found at a crime scene as Stewart Babcock's.
    • The crime scene cleaners that Monk spends time with in Mr. Monk on the Couch. They turn out to be responsible for shooting a rail engineer who caught them stealing from someone's house.
    • Dylan Swift in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii is a TV medium that Monk suspects of fraud. Monk is also investigating a double homicide that happens around the same time he and Natalie are in Hawaii. Turns out Swift is also their murderer.
    • Bertrum Gruber, the informant in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu who gives up the Golden Gate Strangler serial killer. He then turns out to have double-crossed and killed Kent Milner, a police officer who was the real hero (as he had pulled over their suspect Charlie Herrin a day before and saw women's left shoes in the backseat of the car, proving Herrin was the killer, but he didn't arrest him because he wanted to split the reward money with Gruber). Monk is suspicious of Gruber's story from the start given that his story includes some details the police never released to the public. He proves that Gruber wasn't the real informant when Charlie Herrin recognizes Milner from a photo as the cop who pulled him over and who, although noticing the evidence sitting in plain sight, decided not to handcuff him.
    • Ian Ludlow in Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants.
    • Ernie Pinchuk in Mr. Monk in Outer Space.
    • Dr. Martin Rahner in Mr. Monk Goes to Germany. Monk knows there's something fishy about him from the start.
    • Nicholas Slade in Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop
    • At the start of "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife," we see Monk exasperating Ronnie and Morris, the two garbagemen substituting for the regular driver on the route. At the end of the episode, when Monk chases down the garbage truck to retrieve the garbage bags that the incriminating evidence against Evan Coker might be in, Ronnie and Morris are the two drivers. They try to outrun Monk, but Monk manages to catch up. They even reappear in "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike".
    • A.J. Thurman in Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant is Stottlemeyer's new right-hand man after Lt. Amy Devlin transfers to Boston to be with family. He seems to be a no-nonsense cop with no sense of respect for anyone, especially Monk. Then it turns out he's conspired with his sister to kill off Stottlemeyer and a judge that the captain was a fraternity brother with, in an attempt to get at a very expensive bottle of whisky.
    • Forensics tech Howard Gordon in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show" seems to get an unusual amount of screentime for someone who's neither a suspect nor a series regular. Then it turns out he was responsible for framing up Pablo Ortiz for the murder that Julian Hodge committed.
    • The tin man statue performer in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank". After the group is locked in the bank vault, Randy suddenly remembers that he's outside and probably looking directly at the bank entrance, and gets him to help them by sending a very personalized message via electronic display over the front doors.
  • Chekhov's Skill
    • In "Mr. Monk Buys a House", Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher are revealed to be proficient in Morse code. There's even a moment where Stottlemeyer and Disher amuse themselves by tapping messages to each other on the door of Cassie Drake's house, only for Natalie to chastise them, revealing that she knows it as well. This proficient knowledge in Morse code comes in handy when Monk and Natalie are taken hostage by "Honest" Jake Phillips and Natalie sends up smoke signals in Morse code that Stottlemeyer correctly interprets as an "SOS" (but Randy misinterprets them as a soda advertisement).
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Election", Monk talks about how he played a lot of "Keep Away" in school. Then he uses his experience to help Natalie get her car keys from some parking lot attendants.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," we see Dianne Brooks fill out her registration form on Monk's back. It's very insignificant at the time. Then later, when Monk and Natalie are in the library, we see a flashback to Monk's first meeting with Trudy, and in it, her friend Drew writes down Trudy's phone number on Adrian's back. Guess how Monk figures out which hotel Dianne is staying at when he realizes she's going to be killed by her husband?
  • Character Tics: Monk has several, like the finger-steepling and his methodical examination of a crime scene. Therefore, we call it his Rainman thing.
  • Check, Please!: In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife," Monk takes Stottlemeyer's children out to lunch at a diner. Naturally, he's uncomfortable in the surroundings. So when the staff break into a dance routine to one of the songs on the jukebox, he says the line when the microphone is held out in front of him. Then one of the waitresses bumps the table, giving him his "Eureka!" Moment to solving the case.
  • Chewbacca Defense: Played straight by Harrison Powell in "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand". He is defending Evan Gildea, a sculptor accused of murdering his wife Nancy in a staged break-in, and he wins. To elaborate:
    1. A large piece of the evidence is a large slab of Belgian gray marble, which Monk alleges that Gildea smashed apart and distributed across his driveway to use as an alibi (he was claiming that he was sculpting a statue of a nude woman on the night of the murder). Powell brings in a wheelbarrow of said marble. Here, he claims that if Monk's theory held up, the pieces would fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, which he "disproves" by randomly selecting pieces and holding them together. To be fair, though, the case is probably lost through Powell discrediting Monk by citing his psychological instability, which Monk unknowingly supports by fiddling with his microphone for a length of time, climbing out of the witness stand to put the marble together himself, and apparently screaming "mayday!" after realizing he was losing.
    2. And it sure had to be one big lucky break for Powell that he had managed to discredit Monk, because his reasoning with the smashed marble was just one dose of Insane Troll Logic. His logic: if Gildea had destroyed the marble slab that was his alibi, then why not put the pieces back together like a jigsaw puzzle? This makes no sense: almost any construction worker, handyman, or anyone who has ever touched a jackhammer knows that the vibrations of the blade break up marble into lots of smaller pieces, which are all significantly different than each other. If the prosecution had thought to bring in someone like an iron worker to explain this, Powell would have lost because his "argument" would have been found to be bogus. Instead it was Monk who was being questioned and we all know how that went.
    3. And, even if it was like a giant puzzle, since when would two random pieces of a huge puzzle have more than an infinitesimal chance (one in a trillion, perhaps) of fitting together? It's like he shook a box of nuts and bolts and metal sheets, noticed they failed to assemble themselves into something, and concluded that engineering is impossible.
  • Chinese Launderer: Mrs. Ling in "Mr. Monk and the Twelfth Man". She actually likes Stewart Babcock more than Monk even though Stewart has killed twelve people.
  • Chirping Crickets: In "Mr. Monk is On The Air", Monk tries to deliver a few of Kevin Dorfman's jokes to Max Hudson in an attempt to get Max to break. This leads to an awkward silence. J.J. promptly plays the sound effect of chirping crickets on his computer.
    Max Hudson: Yeah, that's... that's not funny.
    Adrian Monk: Yes it is.
    Max Hudson: No, no, it's not.
    Adrian Monk: Yes it is. You know who you remind me of? The hippie who came home and gave his dog fleas.
  • Christmas Episode: They were present from season 4 through season 7: "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" (2005), "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad" (2006), "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus" (2007), "Mr. Monk and the Miracle" (2008). A noticeable fact is that of all the episodes, a therapist only shows up in one (Dr. Kroger in the 2007 special).
  • Chronically Crashed Car: In "Mr. Monk And The Three Julies", Stottlemeyer's new 2008 Dodge Charger falls victim to this trope.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: "Honest" Jake Phillips in "Mr. Monk Buys a House". He is trying to find $4 million in 1960s money from a 1968 bank heist, money stashed in the late Joseph Moody's house, which Monk has purchased. He crosses everyone he meets in the episode: first, he stabs and kills his girlfriend, Cassie Drake, who was also Joseph's private nurse and killed him to keep the secret quiet, after Monk catches on to her. Jake also fatally shoots his partner, a Hispanic plumber named "Honest" Ramone, as soon as they find the money. Lastly, he takes Monk and Natalie hostage when they discover the awl he used to stab Cassie stained with blood on his toolbelt.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Played straight with the FBI, although usually just barely, as there was at least one instance where the FBI agent for the episode (like Agent Colmes in "Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather"; or Agent Derek Thorpe in "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy") was a jerk, even though he is technically one of the good guys prior to his Face–Heel Turn in the novel Mr. Monk Is a Mess.
  • City of Adventure: San Francisco. It's a jungle out there, indeed.
  • Claustrophobia: One of Monk's big phobias.
    • In one episode, he is trapped in a coffin, and memories of Trudy keep him from completely freaking out.
    • In "Mr. Monk Is Underwater", he's caught in a submarine (he was convinced he'd only be in there for a few minutes but they went under while he was on board), and only solves the case by hallucinating that Dr. Bell is with him.
    • And in season 8, he gets over the fear trapped in a car trunk. With Harold, no less.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room," Monk thinks he's locked in said panic room. His claustrophobia leads him to repeatedly scream, "Trapped in here!" even though there's a hole in the door and all he has to do to open it is push a button.
  • Clear My Name
    • Willie Nelson, accused of shooting his road manager in an alleyway ("Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger").
    • Sharona's sister, accused of stabbing a co-actor on-stage in a performance ("Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater").
    • A Hispanic delivery boy framed for the beating death of a fashion model ("Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show").
    • A rapper, Murderuss, accused of blowing up his rival and later killing the driver in the hospital ("Mr. Monk and the Rapper").
    • Monk's own half-brother ("Mr. Monk's Other Brother").
    • Natalie and Sharona (Expanded Universe novel Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants).
    • Stottlemeyer himself (Expanded Universe novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop).
    • Monk ("Mr. Monk Is on the Run").
    • Mr. Monk Is Open For Business subverts it. A man named Henry Pickler gets arrested when he's caught dragging a dead body into a lot by his house. The dead man is Esteban Rivera, a drug runner for Carlos Menendez, a cartel leader. Monk and Natalie are hired by Pickler's lawyer to find evidence that exonerates him. It turns out that Rivera was killed by Fat Tony Lucarelli and dumped in the lot, in sight of Menendez's girlfriend's house, as a message for Menendez. Through some private eye work, Monk and Natalie end up discovering that while Pickler is innocent of the Rivera killing, he was not a fully innocent man: when caught, he was actually about to bury Rivera's body in the vacant lot because he killed his wife months earlier and buried her in that lot, and he feared her remains would have been found by the investigation into Rivera's death. Not to mention he may have killed his parents and buried them there as well.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl / Loony Fan: Marci Maven. Her obsession with Monk is like a mild version of the obsessions of some Justin Bieber fans.
  • Clock Discrepancy:
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," the rapper Murderuss is suspected of killing his rival rapper Extra Large with a car bomb in the exact same matter as he described in his song "Car Bomb". However, it turns out that Murderuss is innocent and that Extra Large was not the intended target - when setting the timer, Denny Hodges didn't account for the fact that Daylight Savings Time started that day and so the bomb went off an hour later than it was supposed to, killing Extra Large instead of the intended target, who had been the last passenger to sit in the vehicle.
    • Also in Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan Disher buys a watch from a street-corner salesman in New York City who claims it is accurate. However, this is shown not to be the case when Disher remarks on its ability to show times all around the world and says "it's 5:30 here; in Denver, 3:30; in California, 12:17; and in Paris, France... time has stopped." The troubles with the watch prove to be critical because it sets off an alarm at a crucial time. He and Stottlemeyer later almost get caught snooping in Captain Walter Cage's office because the instructions are only written in Korean and so they can't figure out how to turn the sound off.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Randy, in spades.
    • Monk can also be this if his symptoms are severe enough (among many examples, thinking that he has to personally fix a stranger's askew button in "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man," or car antenna in "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever").
    • Marci Maven is a somewhat dark example.
  • Clueless Deputy: Randy
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Never happens on-screen or in novels, but Stottlemeyer recalls one of these incidents in a blog entry. However, Natalie implies giving one of these to Brian Galloway in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii.
  • Coincidental Dodge: In "Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger," Monk avoids being shot by a drive-by shooter when he leans down to pick up a handkerchief he dropped, with the bullet zipping by and shattering a glass panel behind him.
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch," an attempt to kill Ray Regis by a bomb stuffed in a punching bag is stopped because a different boxer ends up taking a swing at the bag in question while Regis is standing safely out of the blast radius.
  • Cold Open: Nearly every episode has one, usually introducing the murder of the week by showing either it, some poor sap discovering it, or some event that led to it.
    • At least twice, the cold open has Monk present when the crime is committed. "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing" actually has Monk get blinded by the attacker (Eddie Murdoch), while "Mr. Monk on Wheels" has Natalie actually converse with the bike thief John Kuramoto when he crashes next to them.
    • If you want a count of how many times one of the four leads or someone related to them appears in the pre-credit sequence: Monk appears pre-opening credits in four season 5 episodes, in twelve season 6 episodes, and five season 7 episodes. In general, episodes where Monk or another lead appear before the opening credits tend to have a lot more along the lines of character development in the episode.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Ambrose in "Mr. Monk Goes Home Again," after being attacked by someone trying to steal candy from him, is more worried about whether or not the attacker took more then one candy bar.
    • Monk often falls into this when his phobias get in the way of his abilities. For just one example, see "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan," where he interrupts a summation of a quadruple homicide to chastise a man he caught urinating in the subway.
    • Being the [[Cloudcuckoolander slightly cuckoo]] character that he is, Randy sometimes falls into this, too. It tends to happen whenever he's trying to explain one of his outlandish theories, or trying too hard to make police work creative (ex.: reporting license plate numbers with examples like, "T as in 'tsunami'").
  • Comically Small Bribe: Monk is a pathetic cheapskate.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater", he attempts to bribe a doorman with four dollars for information on Jenna Ryan. Then Sharona gives him $40. Then Monk asks for his four dollars back. Then says "We have four dollars in credit for future information!" as Sharona drags him away.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", he tries to bribe a barman with a picture of General Washington (a dollar bill). Then he ups the bribe with another General Washington (a quarter). The expression on Natalie's face is her telling us, "Mr. Monk, you are the worst briber I've ever met".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Much of the first season features nods to "Mr. Monk and the Candidate" by way of setting: thanks to his brilliant solving of the case in the pilot the mayor becomes a big supporter of Monk and is constantly forcing the police to accept his help on cases (it isn't until season 2 that Stottlemeyer and the SFPD wise up enough to start calling Monk in themselves).
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend", when Linda Fusco tries to seduce Monk by unbuttoning the top button on his shirt, Monk refers to Hal Tucker, the man who in "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend" took him to a San Jose Sharks hockey game and pretended to be his friend, only it turns out he did so to steal a postcard photo proving that he was responsible for killing ex-police dispatcher Gail Segalis and her ex-boyfriend Tim Hayden.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Actor" is about Monk trying to solve a murder while being shadowed by David Ruskin, who is playing Monk in a TV movie based on the events of the episode "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut". It being Hollywood, changes were made, like making Randy a woman and also turning "her" into Stottlemeyer's romantic partner.
    • "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan" actually references several episodes by name.
    • When Harold is harshly criticizing a child's drawing and imitating Mothra in "Mr. Monk and the Daredevil", a schoolteacher asks him if he's on the schoolboard. And Harold says he is. He beat Natalie to it in "Mr. Monk and the Election".
      • While obsessing over Harold's transformation into the Frisco Fly, Monk allows Trudy's cock-eyed coffee table to be right-angled.
    • "Mr. Monk Falls In Love" features a nod to "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," with Stottlemeyer pointing out that they "got a conviction based off of the air the guy blew into a beach ball."
    • One of the last things we see Monk doing is checking to make sure his stove is off. In the very first episode, Monk kept interrupting his inspection of a crime scene to wonder if he turned off his stove.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus", the truck used to block the intersection belongs to Belham Brothers Quarry from "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure", and Randy later wears the sweater his aunt definitely knitted for him in "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa".
    • In "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head", Monk, who can't remember that his favorite brand of water is Sierra Springs, is seen drinking the brand Summit Creek instead. 1 season and a few episodes later, in "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan", Marci Maven brings him Summit Creek water, pointing out that it replaced Sierra Springs as his favorite brand a year earlier.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show", Monk makes a big deal out of buying a shirt inspected by Inspector #8, his favorite. In the later episode "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa", Natalie asks a store clerk if he can find a shirt inspected by Inspector #8.
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch," when Stottlemeyer and Disher are talking to Frankie Marino, you can see a MagnaPod box in the back of the truck Frankie's guys are loading up, a reference to the computer mogul in "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man".
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine," Stottlemeyer gets shot in the shoulder by Lester Highsmith in a drive-by shooting. Some of the novels, like Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse and Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, state that he subsequently keeps the bullet on an acrylic paperweight in his office.
    • Mr. Monk's Hundredth Case features a whole host of them via the in-universe television special about the titular case, which is essentially a overview of the whole show. Of special note is the scene where the show interviews culprits from previous episodes (with returning actors and everything), who shoot the breeze about their schemes and odd moments dealing with Monk.
    • At the firehouse in Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, this dialogue:
      Adrian Monk: I once solved a murder where it turned out all the killer was after was a piece of paper jammed in a copying machine.note 
      Captain Mantooth: We don't have a copying machine.
      Adrian Monk: I once solved a murder where it turned out all the killer was after was a rock in a goldfish aquarium.note 
      Captain Mantooth: We don't have any goldfish.
      • Even later, he says "But I once solved a murder that was all about a penny."note 
    • Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu acknowledges Stottlemeyer's divorce from "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage"
    • Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop acknowledges the death of Dr. Kroger (and Stanley Kamel in turn) and is the first novel with Dr. Bell
    • In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, the one-armed shrink Monk had been referred to in "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink," Dr. Jonah Sorensen, is mentioned.
    • In Mr. Monk is Miserable, when Monk and Natalie visit a blind restaurant where you eat in complete darkness, Natalie brings up the events of "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing" to get Monk to think about the positives of eating in such a place, reminding him how he suddenly no longer cared if things were clean or orderly.
  • Continuity Snarl: In Monk S 2 E 14 Mr Monk And The Captains Wife, Stottermyer stated that his wife Karen and him were childhood sweethearts. In Monk S4E7 "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding", Stottermyer claims he met his wife Karen at a wedding.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: Sharona Fleming, Adrian's original assistant, and Natalie Teeger, his new assistant. While Natalie was presented as a similar substitute for Sharona since the two were single mothers, their circumstances were very different. While Sharona was a divorcee with a scum ex-husband, Natalie was a widow who was Happily Married. Sharona also came from a working class background and was a nurse for most of her life while Natalie came from a rich family and had multiple jobs. Oh, and Sharona had a son while Natalie had a daughter.
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: The trope is referenced in various episodes:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Man", Monk gives Benjy a rockmaker set for his birthday. Benjy's reaction indicates that the gift does not actually suit him.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa", Monk mentions that this trope was partially the reason why all of his Christmases were the worst barring those spent with Trudy, as in 1964, he received only one walkie-talkie from his father, to which his father knew was useless, but gave it to him anyway because Monk doesn't have any friends to play with anyway. Ironically, that memory is also what leads to Monk solving the case about what the Santa was doing the day he was forced to shoot him in self defense.
    • In "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad", a large part of Ben Glazer's plot deals with this trope: all the items in Jack Monk, Sr.'s truck that he is supposed to deliver to orphanages are filled with rubbish junk, even causing one girl to state angrily that she hates Christmas, Santa, and the elves for that. Adrian is suspicious when he finds there are only six packages in the truck, a very tiny load for an 18 wheeler with a large trailer, and furthermore, they are forced into taking out-of-the-way routes instead of direct roads. Turns out the entire delivery route was a wild goose chase so the truck could keep it under 5,000 miles (as the GPS device resets itself ever 5,000 miles) to erase evidence of the fact that Glazer took this rig unit when he killed his partner Kenneth Woods.
    • A justified use of the trope occurred in "Mr. Monk and the Miracle". In the ending of the episode, after Monk and Natalie rescue a "converted" Stottlemeyer from a monastery, Stottlemeyer gives a safety razor to Randy (who grew a mustache when he took command in Stottlemeyer's absence) as an implied order for him to shave it off, with Randy not being too happy about it.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Monk can often figure out the crime this way before he has any solid evidence and spends the rest of the episode obtaining said evidence. Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall," when Dispatch reporter Paul Crawford, whom Monk is accusing of murdering city councilwoman Eileen Hill, questions the validity of how he phrased a sentence as evidence (he had been asked by Randy if Eileen had been drinking, and he said, "She wouldn't be drinking now," implying that he thought she was pregnant, which it turns out she wasn't).
    • One example - in Mr. Monk on Patrol, a woman named Pamela Goldman is killed in her house in Summit, New Jersey. After clearing a few initial suspects, Monk concludes that her husband Joel did it - but he was at his office in midtown Manhattan when the killing was committed, delivering a webinar, as confirmed by his secretary. Furthermore, Penn Station cameras show that Joel got off a New Jersey Transit train that morning in Manhattan and did not come back to the station until that afternoon. Monk eventually realizes that Joel was not in his office the day of the murder to deliver the webinar because the wallpaper seams do not match up. He actually delivered it from a recreation of his office that he constructed in his home garage.
  • Cool Shades: Though not exactly common, those times where main characters wear sunglasses, this trope does seem to be in play. Some noticeable cases include "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," which is one of the rare occasions where you see Monk wearing sunglasses.
  • Crapsack World: At first it seems this is just Monk's opinion, but think about it: he discovers murders and dead bodies almost everywhere, half the time when not on a case, and he's never wrong. San Francisco really is a jungle out there.
  • Credits Gag: In the season six episode "Mr. Monk and the Rapper", the normal Randy Newman cover version of the opening song "It's A Jungle Out There" is replaced with a rapped version performed by Snoop Dogg, who guest-stars as Murderuss in the same episode.
  • Crime After Crime: In a number of episodes, the murders are relatively innocent people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The mystery is finding out why they were murdered in the first place, and it often comes down to the murder being used to cover up some other crime, possibly another murder, which is only discovered through the murder investigation. If that's not the case, someone else is likely to be murdered in an attempt to cover up evidence from the first murder.
    • A typical use of this, for example, occurs in "Mr. Monk and the Very Very Old Man," in which the town of Malden's deputy mayor Dennis Gammill, accidentally kills an innocent teenager named Darren Leveroni in a drunken hit and run years before the plot happened. He felt guilty, so he writes a confession and puts it in a time capsule buried on the 110th birthday of Miles Holling, the oldest man in the world, just a week after the hit-and-run. But in order to keep his confession from being dug up, Gammill has to, five years later, be sure that Miles doesn't live to see his 115th birthday. To do so, he kills a guard at the nursing center, George Rowe, and uses his uniform and security card to get into the place and kill Miles. Gammill goes down for triple homicide in an attempt to cover up his single hit and run.
    • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus": Natasha Lovara, a high-flying acrobat, fakes breaking her leg, then shoots and kills her ex-husband with an animal wrangler's revolver, doing some acrobatic stunts so that witnesses confirm the killer was an active acrobat. Then she goes back to the circus, where she has Dede, an elephant, crush her left leg, so that the police will confirm her left leg is useless when they request an x-ray. But Natasha is seen by Dede's trainer, who mentions having seen her, so she tapes a walkie-talkie behind one of Dede's ears, then from hiding, orders the elephant to crush her trainer's head while he is showing off some tricks to Monk and Sharona. Which means adding in an extra murder to get rid of a witness.
    • "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing": Peter Breen, a construction foreman, bribes one of his workers, Eddie Murdoch, to kill his girlfriend Stefanie Preston. Breen gives Murdoch a house key to get into Stefanie's house. Murdoch kills Stefanie by strangling her, throws her body on a couch, spills alcohol to make it look like she had been drinking, then sets her house on fire by lighting a pile of old newspapers with a cigarette. However, as he is walking away from the house after setting the fire, Murdoch realizes he's lost the keys Breen gave him, but the moment he realizes it happens to be the moment that the fire engine from Fire Company 53 is driving right past him on its way to Stefanie's house. Murdoch knows he needs to get Breen's keys back, so he goes to Fire Company 53, the closest firehouse, intending to steal some firefighting gear so he can recover the keys without being noticed. It also turns out that Monk and an ex-firefighter named Rusty are in the firehouse when Murdoch walks in. So as Murdoch is starting to grab a coat and helmet, Rusty appears and confronts him. Murdoch promptly grabs a shovel and strikes Rusty a killing blow to the head. Monk hears the noise, runs over to investigate, and after a struggle with Murdoch, grabs the shovel. But just as he's about to swing the shovel, Murdoch grabs a container of cleaning solution off the workbench and throws it into Monk's face, blinding him. While Monk is incapacitated, Murdoch grabs his gear and makes it back to Stefanie's burning house. Once there, he slips on the gear, and manages to walk right through the police line, into the house, and grab the keys. So he goes for double murder, arson, assault and battery, and impersonating a firefighter for what should have just been a single murder and arson.
      • This episode happened to be based on the novel Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, which has the same type of plot: Lucas Breen kills an elderly woman named Esther Stoval by suffocating her with a pillow, then sets her house on fire. But he leaves his overcoat behind (he brought the overcoat because it was raining when he snuck out of the party he was supposed to be at when he committed the murder), and he fears that the police will find it if it survives the blaze, because it has monogrammed buttons with his initials. He goes to the nearest firehouse, where he is surprised and forced to kill a Dalmatian named Sparky to get the firefighter's coat and gear. Though this allows Breen to get his overcoat back, he gets mugged shortly after returning the stolen gear to the firehouse. The coat is too burned to be usable, so he tosses it in a dumpster to dispose of it. However, a homeless man happens to grab it that same night. When Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer are confronting Breen and accusing him of Esther Stoval's murder, Breen happens to see the homeless man wearing the overcoat that used to be his own. So a few days later, Breen tracks the man down, bashes his head in with a brick, and then takes the overcoat back, and burns it in his home fireplace.
      • Monk even references the trope by name.
    • "Mr. Monk is the Best Man": Stephanie Briggs, T.K.'s friend, shoots and kills herformer ecoterrorist colleague Martin Kettering and sets his body on fire. But while driving away, she is pulled over for speeding, before she has a chance to get rid of the gun she used. Stephanie hastily hides it in a tuxedo bag she is intending to give to Leland. It also happens to be her third speeding offense, so she is arrested, the car is impounded, and Leland grabs the tuxedo bag. Stephanie hence does whatever she can do to try to keep Leland from opening the tuxedo bag and discovering the gun she used on Kettering: first, she ransacks his place while trying to find the gun. When that doesn't work, she threatens T.K. while using an electronic voice scrambler, then firebombs Stottlemeyer's car, and lastly sets off a bomb at the church during the wedding rehearsal. Monk figures that Stephanie is behind these incidents when he realizes that the night she was arrested was the night Kettering was killed, and she was pulled over not too far from where the body was found, plus the fact that the incidents all happened after Stephanie was released from jail for the speeding offense.
  • Cringe Comedy: There are often scenes that have little to nothing to do with the case at hand, and are instead just scenes of Monk's quirks making him act awkward in front of people who don't get what's going on for a good few minutes. A good example is when Monk becomes the replacement umpire for Mr. Monk Goes to the Ball Game up until Benjy comes up to bat.
  • Critical Research Failure: Invoked a few times throughout the series. Some blatant examples include one in Mr. Monk on Patrol - when Monk and Natalie are driving in a police car and responding to a burglary after an alarm goes off, references are made to a "211 in progress". However, "211" is the California police radio code for "armed robbery in progress", and the story takes place in New Jersey.
    • A few of the other cases seem to fit this: "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut" involves a killing contraption rigged to a garage door opener.
    • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater" when a man has been killed, the doctor takes his pulse, by putting his thumb to the vein, which is one of the most basic things one learns not to do when checking a pulse. This is what causes Monk to realize the man isn't really a doctor.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: In "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else," a mob hitman is killed in Los Angeles in a bus accident. The FBI know he was in town to carry out a hit, but don't know who the target is. Fortunately, Monk happens to be a perfect dead ringer for the deceased, so the FBI recruit him to pose as the recently deceased hitman and get information on the target.
  • Cross-Cast Role: Shelby, Amanda Castle's dog in "Mr. Monk and the Dog," is supposedly female, but research has shown the dog portraying her is actually male.
  • Crooked Contractor: "Honest" Jake Phillips in "Mr. Monk Buys a House" is one. To elaborate: Monk runs into him in a hardware store while buying fixtures for a new house he has purchased on a whim, then Monk calls Jake over when he finds an off-centered lamp. Jake comes to take a look at it. The problems he finds and the work necessary to fix them eventually cause his work to deteriorate into house-wide demoliton project so extensive that Monk and Natalie are left cowering on the steps as Jake and his assistant "Honest" Ramone work. Then Jake is revealed to be after a hidden fortune left behind by the last tenant of the house. His accomplice and lover killed that occupant to prevent him from telling the secret to anyone else, though she told Jake about it. Jake stabs and kills her in her house after he sees Monk find evidence linking her to the first crime. When Monk and Natalie find the bloodstained murder weapon on Jake's toolbelt, he takes them hostage by shackling them by their legs to a claw-footed bathtub. After finding the money, he shoots and kills Ramone, before Monk and Natalie knock him out by pushing a wall down on him. They manage to crawl down the hall to send up Morse code smoke signals from the fireplace to Stottlemeyer and Disher, who barely arrive in the nick of time as Jake recovers and prepares to shoot his hostages.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
    • Despite his phobias and neuroses, Monk can and will take physical action if necessary, disarming criminals holding him at gunpoint, shooting at least two suspects (one while blind), and knocking a hit man unconscious with a bottle (while drunk). Despite being visibly terrified, he does things like standing in front of an F-22 fighter jet about to take off. In the finale he beats up the judge who murdered Trudy, despite being severely weakened from being poisoned by this point.
    • Randy Disher's continued employment as a police lieutenant often mystifies; in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies" he seriously considered the possibility of a robot from the future murdering women named Julie Teeger. Yet he has his moments, especially in "Mr. Monk Gets Married" and "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever" (even though the latter example was his own damn fault). Though Randy is often a Cloudcuckoolander, he becomes scarily efficient, competent, and down-to-Earth when he needs to be, such as whenever Stottlemeyer is disabled.
  • Cult
    • With a dash of Church of Happyology for flavor.
    • There was also the time when Monk, undergoing severe trauma from getting lost in New York, ended up being "converted" by a street preacher in Times Square, seen attempting to warn everyone about the apocalypse and preaching about "cleaning" the city of its sin, Monk naturally thinking "cleaning" to mean that God will clean up all the problems in the world by vacuuming or scrubbing, and not the Rapture. Monk says to the street preacher upon Sharona's arrival, "Don't listen to her, Jor-El! I know her — she's a fornicator!"
  • Curse Cut Short: In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," when Murderuss and his associates visit Monk's apartment, Snake di Assassin says at one point of the late Extra Large, "I hate that motherf—ellow."
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," Monk is about to call Natalie a bimbo but stops midway through saying the word.
  • Curtains Match the Window: A noticeable, but likely unintentional case, happens in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" with the two female supporting characters, in that the characters wear shirts that match their hair color: Natalie is played by Traylor Howard, a blonde, and she is wearing a patterned white t-shirt. Kendra Frank is played by Tamara Feldman, who has dark black hair, and she wears a black t-shirt, black pants, and a black sleeveless jacket.

    D to E 
  • Darkness Equals Death: A variant. In Mr. Monk is Miserable, Monk and Natalie go to a restaurant in Paris called Toujours Nuit (which, as you are supposed to know, means "Always Night"). The idea is that you eat in total darkness, and rely on your other senses to eat. Natalie coaxes Monk in by reminding him of the events of the episode "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing". What could possibly go wrong? Well, for one thing, a young woman named Aimee Dupon comes in, gets herself seated at their table, and tells Monk "I know who you found," in reference to the skull Monk had found the previous day in the catacombs. Suddenly, there's a thud, and Monk, who has heightened senses, informs Natalie that someone has just murdered Aimee. Natalie is incredibly frustrated that Monk is seeing murders everywhere (for the record, a man had been killed by peanut allergy poisoning on their flight, and as mentioned above, Monk later found a skull in the catacombs), and then one of the waitresses trips and falls, prompting the house lights to come on, revealing that indeed, someone has stabbed and killed Aimee.
  • A Day In The Lime Light
    • The occasional episode comes up that gives Monk's shrink the spotlight. Dr. Kroger gets it in "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink", while Dr. Bell gets it in "Mr. Monk Goes to Group Therapy".
    • Benjy and Julie each get a few episodes in which they have bigger contributions to the plot. Julie being notable in that she gets involved in multiple homicide investigations even before she gets her driver's license.
    • This also happens when Sharona, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Randy solve (or greatly help Monk solve) the case. These episodes usually focus on clearing a wrongly accused suspect and/or implicate "the guy who is beneath suspicion".
  • Dead Person Conversation
  • A Deadly Affair: In the Christmas Episode "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa", the perp killed her lover — a fellow officer at Stottlemeyer's precinct — when he decided to reconcile with his wife. Her plan involved sending Stottlemeyer a bottle of poisoned wine she knew he didn't like, knowing that Stottlemeyer would give it to her lover, who did like that type of wine.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer, Disher and Sharona all get their moments.
  • Death Glare: Some examples.
    • In "Mr. Monk Is on the Air," Monk's Berserk Button being pressed and provoking him into beating Max Hudson up in the booth is preceded by him glaring at Max.
    • In "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else," Monk gets into a staredown with a refrigerator deliveryman, and loses. Then while impersonating a hit man, he manages to coax a mobster into handing him a gun by using a staredown. Then he uses a staredown against the deliveryman from the beginning, and wins (though not without Natalie joining in).
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Kendra Frank glares at Monk in this way when Monk hands her a map showing that her deceased boyfriend, supposedly Afraid of Needles, saw an acupuncturist that morning.
  • Death in the Clouds: Played with in "Mr. Monk and the Airplane." The actual murder occurred at San Francisco International Airport, but Monk is on the plane with Stefan Chabrol and only had as long as the flight lasted to solve the crime. But also played straight, since Stefan also poisons a suspicious friend on the plane too.
  • A Death In The Lime Light: Kevin
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit:
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum," Dr. Morris Lancaster killed the previous asylum director, stole drugs from a supply cabinet, then made it look like Dr. Gould was shot by a junkie who then fled and fatally overdosed in the woods.
    • Used in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike". The sanitation union's accountant Ron Neely had skimmed over $304,200 from the pension fund. When the union went on strike, he knew the pension fund's books would be audited during negotiations and would uncover the issues. He killed the union boss Jimmy Cusack and staged his death as a suicide to cover his tracks.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees", Rob Sherman, a sports agent, "hires" a petty criminal named Dewey Jordan and lures Dewey to his upscale house on the pretense of committing an "insurance scam" - faking a burglary then splitting the profit. However, it turns out that Sherman is actually using Dewey as a fall guy so he can murder his wife and make it look like he then shot the intruder in self-defense. To do so, he shoots Dewey once using a nickel-plated pistol. When his wife comes downstairs to investigate the noise, Sherman shoots and kills her with a revolver, which he plants in Dewey's hand. He then twists Dewey's hand and fires a shot at the doorframe with the revolver to get gunpowder residue, and make it appear that Dewey fired on Sherman first.
    • In Mr. Monk in Trouble, Harley Kelton, the crooked Trouble police chief and Trouble's auto mechanic Bob Gorman kill a recently released ex-con named Gator Dunsen to frame him for killing the security guard at Trouble's history museum.
    • In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," this trope may be in play. It's determined that Douglas Thurman killed three young actresses, but James Novak framed Thurman for the murder of Kate Kindel. Once you realize Novak framed Thurman for that murder, you wonder if it's pretty convenient to Novak that Thurman shot himself rather than get arrested, because it means Thurman is no longer alive to defend himself for the fourth murder.
  • Deconstruction: One of the primary points of the ending was that murder is often carried out for banal and petty reasons. Rickover murdered three innocent people not because of some grand conspiracy, but to keep his job safe. Monk even lampshades this.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Monk outsmarting killers with airtight alibis.
    • A great example is the novel Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse. Monk suspects Lucas Breen, rich CEO of a development company, and who also sits on the police commission, of killing an old woman and setting her house on fire, then walking to a nearby firehouse, killing a Dalmatian there, and stealing a coat and helmet. Even though Stottlemeyer and Disher are convinced by Monk of Breen's guilt, they are unable to capture Breen because of a lack of solid evidence, and because Stottlemeyer gets orders from his superiors to quit harassing Breen. Secretly, he does order some tests on firefighting gear from the firehouse Breen visited to get the equipment. After they accuse him of the death of a homeless man, Stottlemeyer risks being demoted. Monk only connects Breen to the killings because Monk and Breen are both allergic to cats - which the fire victim kept a large litter of, and the overcoat Breen wore collected a lot of cat dander.
    • Patrick Kloster in "Mr. Monk and the Genius". Then again, he's a chessmaster.
    • In Mr. Monk Is Cleaned Out, Monk suspects that Bob Sebes - an investor recently exposed as running a Ponzi scheme - killed three government witnesses who were supposed to testify against him, except that Sebes is under house arrest and wears a foolproof tracker that goes off whenever he leaves his house. His attempts to get to Sebes are not well helped by the fact that he's been laid off as a consultant.
  • Defective Detective: The Trope Namer, though not the trope inventor. The show even used to be marketed as such.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Adrian's brother Ambrose (an agoraphobia sufferer) comes up with a classic example when talking about the police.
    "They no longer respond to my complaints because I call them more often than I should. I'd like to complain to them about it, but they no longer respond to my complaints."
    • And from Monk in "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult": "She was a sex prostitute."
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," when meeting station manager Stan Lawrence, Natalie describes herself as Monk's "partner / babysitter / assistant / babysitter!"
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: In "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch," Charles 'the Iceman' Bach blends in with a group of McSherry's Catering Service employees delivering food to smuggle a custom sniper rifle into the Bay Arena.
  • Depraved Dentist: Dr. Oliver Bloom and his assistant Teri in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist". They're not actually depraved prior to the events of the episode, but when an armored car robbery happens, an ex-cop involved in the robbery named Denny Jardeen is punched in the face while fighting the two guards, and comes to Dr. Bloom to get his tooth fixed. While under anesthesia, he divulges the details to them without his knowledge. Dr. Bloom and Teri, rather than calling the police, get greedy and steal the loot from Jardeen's house. When Jardeen finds out, he confronts them while they are operating on Randy for a toothache, and Teri strikes Jardeen multiple times with a giant plastic tooth, then they dispose of the body. Intending to now fence the stolen bonds, they kidnap Monk and torture him with a dental drill, intending to figure out whether the fence they want to sell to is under police surveillance. Not only is the scene similar to Dr. Szell's torture conducted in Marathon Man, but Dr. Bloom and Teri even compare it to that.
  • Designated Driver: Inverted in "Mr. Monk is the Best Man". Because Stottlemeyer let Monk plan his bachelor party, Monk supplies what amounts to 144 oz. of beer (12 partygoers times 12 twelve-ounce bottles of beer), which Stottlemeyer notes means that they either have enough to make each party member become slightly sleepy (and certainly not enough to require a designated driver), or give it all to one of the partygoers to make him extremely polluted and make him the "designated drunk". The majority choose the latter option, with Randy volunteering to become the designated drunk. As a result, there's an incident when Randy stumbles in, totally plastered, asking about who owns the police car out front that's painted a charcoal gray with flames on the side, and on the roof and windshield.
  • Description Cut: In the start of "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure," Dr. Kroger gets a message from his son Troy's school saying that Troy has ditched again. He tells Monk that he's pretty sure Troy's hanging out in a parking lot, listening to trash metal music and skateboarding with his friends. In the next scene, that's exactly what Troy is doing.
  • Detective Mole:
    • Played with in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show", where fashion designer Julian Hodge killed his model Clea Vance, and later kills her roommate Natasia Zorelle when Monk becomes suspicious. He got away with the first murder due to Howard "Gordo" Gordon, the forensics investigator, soliciting a bribe from Hodge to set up a sometimes delivery boy as a fall guy.
    • In Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, we meet Ian Ludlow, a mystery writer who also consults for the Los Angeles Police Department. Only Monk reveals that to meet his 90 day new-release deadlines, Ludlow has a distinct method: he befriends someone at a book signing. He then learns all about them and the people in their life. Then he kills them. After that, he inserts himself into the investigation of said death and manipulates both sides of the case, then frames the most unlikely individual for the murder. For example, he goes to San Francisco, steals a Jaws of Life rescue cutter from a firehouse, glues a set of alligator jaws onto it, then mauls a shoe salesman and frames Natalie for the crime.
    • In Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, Nick Slade, the killer, is a private investigation agency CEO who hires Monk and Natalie after Monk loses his consulting job.
    • In Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant, the culprit responsible for the death of a judge and several attempts on Stottlemeyer's life turns out to be Lt. A.J. Thurman, Stottlemeyer's new right-hand man, and A.J's sister Rebecca.
  • Dinner Theatre: Part of the backstory in the episode "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk" reveals that Monk ruined a murder mystery theater weekend by solving the mystery in the first twelve minutes, causing the organizers to have to refund all the guests.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Cpl. Alice Westergren in "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" is an honest cop, until her lover, Det. Terry Chasen, decides to break off their affair and return to his wife. She gets furious and kills him with a poisoned bottle of wine, and manipulates things to make it seem like the bottle was meant for Stottlemeyer and Terry drank it by mistake: first, she invents a Secret Santa gift exchange at the department's Christmas party, then rigs the draw so that Stottlemeyer is the last one to choose a name and gets Terry's name. She brings a bottle of poisoned port into the station addressed to Stottlemeyer, knowing he doesn't drink port. Then, at some point during the party, Alice breaks into Stottlemeyer's office and steals the hair trimmer he purchased for Terry. When Stottlemeyer can't find his gift, Alice suggests he hand Terry the poisoned bottle of port, and the stage is set.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage," Sgt. Ryan Sharkey, Jr. is in the employ of racketeer Michael Karpov. On Karpov's orders, he kills Chicklet, a small-time drug dealer about to testify against Karpov. Unfortunately, during the fight, he loses a tooth and bleeds somewhat when Chicklet slams his head against the hood of a car, and he's forced to flee due to a homeless man in the junkyard flagging down a passing patrol car moments after the crime. To explain the presence of his tooth and blood, Sharkey provokes Stottlemeyer into punching him in the face. He's given away as Karpov's mole when, during a fight instigated by Stottlemeyer in a line-up, Karpov inadvertently addresses him with, "Whoa, sergeant!"
    • In Mr. Monk in Trouble, Trouble Police Chief Harley Kelton. The museum's security guard, Manny Feikema, is killed and he asks for help from San Francisco since Feikema used to be an SFPD detective. Of course, it is not revealed until the end that Kelton was conspiring with an accomplice, local auto mechanic Bob Gorman, who actually killed Feikema. Kelton had managed to deduce that the gold stolen in an unsolved train heist in the 1960s was hidden in the furnace of the museum's display steam locomotive. He had to have Feikema killed because Feikema would never help Kelton recover the gold. After this, Kelton and Gorman conspire to kill Gator Dunsen, a recently released ex-con sent to prison by Feikema, and frame him for the murder. Gorman ties Gator up, makes him drink himself into a stupor, then stages a shootout with Kelton with Monk and Natalie hunkering down outside, so that it will look like Kelton killed Gator in self-defense. That night, Kelton kills the robbed train's engineer, Clifford Adams, at his old rundown shack, after Adams realizes that the gold from the train has been discovered.
    • A CSI tech known only as Pillsbury Pete does the opening subplot murder in Mr. Monk Is Cleaned Out.
    • In Mr. Monk on Patrol, the town of Summit, New Jersey has been overrun with a corruption scandal, leading to Randy becoming acting mayor since he's the first person in the chain of command not to be indicted by the state attorney general. He's also chief of Summit's small police force. Summit has also been hit by a rash of burglaries, which Monk eventually finds are being committed by two of Randy's own officers, Raymond Lindero and Walter Woodlake. They are arrested, and although linked to several of the burglaries, they say that they didn't commit a burglary in which a young woman was killed - because they were breaking into someone else's place at the same time. Monk only proves them innocent of the murder when he and Natalie discover that the person Lindero and Woodlake were burglarizing when the murder was committed did not report the crime to the police because he's selling bootleg merchandise out of his house.
    • A murder in Mr. Monk Is a Mess was committed by FBI Agent Derek Thorpe (he's the Jerkass agent from "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy").
    • Officer Kent Milner in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu is a well-intentioned dirty cop. He's a rookie patrol officer that Monk and Natalie first meet at the scene of one of the Golden Gate Strangler's victims, and later encounter at the scene of another homicide. He stays on patrol work even after a majority of the force goes on strike, because he's working hard at his job to support his own family. But then, one day, he pulls over a guy named Charlie Herrin for a traffic violation. He sees some women's running shoes in the backseat and realizes that Herrin is the Golden Gate Strangler. Milner knows that the mayor is offering a $250,000 rewardnote  to anyone who supplies information leading to the capture of the Strangler, but he's not eligible for the reward as a city servant. So he lets Herrin go, then has a smalltime petty crook he arrested for a drug purchase report the tip to the police, and then split the reward money with him. But his accomplice gets greedy, and instead shoots Milner in the head when they make the money exchange.
      • "Mr. Monk and the Badge" was adapted from Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu. Here, the Kent Milner equivalent is Officer Russell DiMarco, who sets Monk's desk up and gets one of Monk's wipes as a souvenir. He's writing up traffic tickets one day when he sees a pickaxe in the backseat of a car, and he realizes that said car is that of an axe murderer who killed five people. However, he knows he won't get the $500,000 reward because he's a city employee. So DiMarco goes to a friend of his from the softball team he played on in high school, a window washer named Mikhail Almonov, and gets him to make up a story that leads to the Pickaxe Killer's arrest. Mikhail shoots DiMarco instead when they meet to make the drop.
    • Though not technically a cop anymore, former police commissioner Harry Ashcombe in "Mr. Monk and the Psychic" murders his wife Katherine by planting a set of metal ramps on a road late at night, and when her speeding car hits the ramp, she flies over a guardrail and down a cliff to her death.
    • Lt. A.J. Thurman in Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant, son of a retired captain (and fraternity brother of Stottlemeyer's) who is dying of heart disease. As it turns out, Stottlemeyer's late father, a whisky expert, imported a very rare bottle of Aisla Dalmore. A.J. and his sister Rebecca find out about the bottle, and when the third of six boys in this fraternity dies, they conspire to have two of the remaining three men in this fraternity killed: Stottlemeyer and a fellow judge, Nathaniel Oberlin. Their first intent is to steal the bottle, but when they're unable to, they're forced to wait for their father to outlive the other two heirs to this rare bottle of malt. Rebecca successfully kills Oberlin by poisoning his umbrella with thallium. She also attempts to kill Stottlemeyer in the same way, but fails. A.J. then sends a fake death threat to Stottlemeyer to send the cops down the wrong trail and cast blame on criminals that Stottlemeyer arrested and Oberlin convicted. He then tries to have Stottlemeyer get ambushed and shot in an alleyway, but Stottlemeyer survives with a bullet in his shoulder. Failing that, he attempts to kill the captain by blowing up his car, but this fails when someone else gets in the car instead. He is caught during his last attempt to get at Stottlemeyer: immobilizing him with a plastic bag and then administering a lethal injection of a chemical that would mimic a heart attack.
  • Detective Patsy:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Mandy Bronson utilizes Monk in this way through a hired accomplice impersonating her husband Derek. Monk realizes he's been duped when he realizes that Derek could not have known his house security code if the security system was installed after he supposedly "vanished". He also tells Natalie that he made a perfect patsy for Mandy: she'd researched his OCD compulsions and fears, and she and the hired accomplice were both aware that Monk would be afraid to touch a leper's hand (meaning he'd not have a good enough look to determine that "Derek Bronson" was just an imposter), and reinforced it by having the meetings always happen in poor lighting conditions.
    • Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii features TV medium Dylan Swift use Monk in the same way. He needs to kill a woman named Helen Gruber so that she doesn't find out that Swift has wiretapped an entire hotel to mine for information he needs during his shows. He then sees Monk at the resort and decides that if he helps Monk solve the murder, he can get extra publicity for himself. He therefore manipulates Monk into thinking Helen's trophy husband Lance Vaughan is the killer by planting evidence at the scene. However, Monk has been suspicious of Swift from the beginning and figures it out.
  • Disability Alibi:
    • Season One episode "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale" has Monk investigate a murder supposedly committed by a mastermind known as Dale the Whale, who is physically incapable of committing the murder due to being morbidly obese. Subverted in that Monk is trying to prove that he ordered the murder to be committed and not that he killed the victim himself.
    • Subverted in season two episode "Mr. Monk Goes To The Circus". A man is murdered by a masked ninja who performs several impressive acrobatic feats in front of many witnesses. Monk's primary suspect is a trapeze artist who had a grudge against the victim and possesses the skills to have killed someone in such a way, but is wheelchair-bound after breaking her foot in a botched stunt shortly before the murder was committed. It turns out she faked breaking her foot during the stunt, killed the victim, and then went back and broke her foot for real.
  • Disability Superpower: Offensively so with Hyper-Awareness. Once, in "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," Natalie lampshades his ability to remember handwriting written on his back:
    Adrian Monk: And that’s how I got her number.
    Natalie Teeger: Wait, wait, wait! You mean when he wrote it on your back, you could feel it? You—you could do that?
    Adrian Monk: I have very sensitive skin.
    Natalie Teeger: That's like a superpower! Like a...very weird, not very useful superpower!
  • Disgusting Public Toilet:
    • Subverted in "Mr. Monk and the Critic." Monk expects the men's room at the theater to be like this, but instead it's incredibly clean and even has a bathroom attendant offering a variety of scented soaps.
    • Played straight "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Monk walks into a port-a-potty by accident, when he exits:
    Natalie Teeger: Oh! Oh! [rushes over, exasperated] Mr. Monk! What are you doing?!
    Adrian Monk: I was just calling for a taxi; they're gonna pick me up out front in about ten minutes!
    Natalie Teeger: [smiles] But, Mr. Monk, that wasn't a phone booth!
    Adrian Monk: No. No that wasn't a phone booth. Natalie, it was that horrible, plastic outhouse! [Natalie gently loops her arm around his and slowly leads him away] Oh my God, what was I talking into?! Oh my God, where...where did I put that quarter?! For the love of God, Natalie! Where did I put that quarter?! [A repairman forces open the port-a-potty next to them and Stork's body falls out]
    Natalie Teeger: [gasps] Oh my God!
    • Later, Monk and Natalie are talking, and Monk is wiping his neck very tightly:
    Adrian Monk: Oh, how long do you think I was in there?
    Natalie Teeger: I don't know, Mr. Monk. Maybe a minute!
    Adrian Monk: It was rough. It was like some kind of medieval torture device, that one.
    Natalie Teeger: [nods] Yeah, I know. I actually read that the Spanish Inquisition used to lock people in port-a-johns.
    Adrian Monk: That wouldn't surprise me.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Fired," the new Jerkass commissioner Robert Brooks not only fires Monk but also suspends his detective's license after Monk accidentally erases several years worth of forensic files while cleaning crumbs from a keyboard. Though we learn that it's just the commissioner wants to get back at Monk for putting a corrupt friend of his in jail.
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan," when arresting Steven Leight in a bar for murdering his wife, a foreign ambassador and two of his bodyguards, Monk spots a busboy whom he recognizes as a man he saw urinating in the subway earlier, and wants to use his handcuffs on him.
      • Maybe, or maybe not: you can be arrested for urinating in public, and depending on your city's justice system, end up on a sex offender registry.
    • In the Tie-In Novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, Monk and Natalie stop by a Chinatown salon where they use bird excrement to give geisha facials to interview a person of interest in a double homicide. Monk is so disgusted that he calls in a Hazmat team and a SWAT team!
      • That's not the worst. He once wanted a full police investigation into a missing sock in Mr. Monk Goes to Germany.
      • In Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, after Natalie looks into a dumpster where an overcoat may or may not have been dumped, it takes her a while to talk Monk out of calling a Hazmat team to decontaminate her, but still she has to do some extensive cleaning to convince Monk that she isn't infected.
    • According to the tie-in blog entry for "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service," Natalie actually believes Monk would qualify for "best boss of the year" award just because of how she's seen growing up:
    Natalie Teeger: I'm not sure who make worse employers: the people who've just struck it rich and hire a whole staff of people to run their enormous new house because they think that's what rich people are supposed to do, or the people who just inherit money and hire a staff so that they can continue to do absolutely nothing for themselves.
    I do know that it's one thing to have a staff of people to help you run your life - if that's how you want to spend your money, fine. But it's another thing to treat those people like dirt.
    There is just no excuse for some of the behavior I've witnessed. I've seen people screaming at their employees because the prize poodle had an accident on the Persian rug or the Rolls Royce wasn't shiny enough. I've heard of people getting fired because they accidentally shrunk a pair of cashmere socks in the wash or dared to ask to leave early to pick up their sick kid from school. As a child I witnessed more than one household employee leave my own parents' house in tears. Probably for making an unforgivable mistake like putting too much ice in my mom's cocktail.
    Honestly, those sorts of bosses make Mr. Monk look easygoing and carefree. He's practically a candidate for boss of the year compared to them. I guess you could say it's just so hard to find a good boss these days. Seeing my parents and all their friends recently really drove that point home. Yes, my job can have its exhausting, frustrating moments. But at least I'm not working for someone like my mother.
    • Played for laughs and subverted in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies". Julie is in the middle of her driver's test. Moments after committing two seemingly minor traffic offenses (running through a Stop sign, then failing to use her turn signal when pulling out into traffic), she's boxed in by police and her terrified mother and is hustled by Natalie into the back of a police car. Julie responds, "Oh my god! It was just a blinker!", which makes it clear she thinks she's being brought in for the traffic violations. The subversion (which the audience already knows and which Julie only learns then) is that the police are bringing Julie in to protect her, since they believe a serial killer is going to target her.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • In Mr. Monk on the Couch, Natalie and Lt. Amy Devlin nab crime scene cleaner William Tong for the murder of a BART train engineer named Stuart Hewson, shot and killed in his Noe Valley house. Devlin uses basic seduction to slip a mickey to Tong. They then take him to a dive hotel room, tie him to a bed, and make it look like he was robbed by a prostitute, stealing his wallet and car keys, which they take to his car. There, they also spread pig blood over the car to make it look like Tong has been killed by Rico Ramirez, a violent ex-con who committed three knifing murders in Hewson's neighborhood trying to recover a stash of diamonds, which the crime scene cleaners found first. By doing so, they are able to coerce a confession from fellow accomplice Corinne Witt, and then quickly also nail Jerry Yermo and Gene Tiflin.
    • In "Mr. Monk Falls In Love," Monk becomes attracted to Leyla Zlatavich. In one scene, he is at his apartment when Natalie informs him that Leyla is coming over in a few minutes to talk about the murder case. While vehemently denying that he likes Leyla (whilst noticeably blushing) he is distracted enough that he throws away all of his own silverware. He doesn't realize this until after Leyla has left and he notices his empty silverware tray. He is understandably annoyed.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," when Monk, Natalie and Kendra Frank are questioning an acupuncturist about a murder victim she saw earlier that morning, there's this:
    Annie: He said he was giving up; he wanted to get high. He said he used to be afraid of needles, but he got over it.
    Kendra Frank: I don't believe this!
    Annie: Well I guess he's with Kurt, Jimi and Janis now.note 
    Adrian Monk: Who?
    Natalie Teeger: I'll tell you later.
    • In "Mr. Monk and Sharona," Natalie walks in as Monk and Sharona are talking on the couch. Monk's reaction is like that of a spouse caught cheating.
  • Ditzy Secretary: This becomes a plot point in the episode "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall." Eileen Hill, a councilwoman who Monk hopes will help him save the parking garage where Trudy's car exploded hires a secretary who is not incredibly capable or bright, either as a secretary or as her proxy in the vote. Monk eventually figures out that the councilwoman hoped to get her boyfriend to leave his wife by faking a pregnancy and therefore advertised for a secretary in Lamaze classes so she could get pregnant urine under the guise of a blood test. Unfortunately, Monk insults the secretary while giving the summation, and it costs him the vote.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Karen Stottlemeyer. In fact, in "Mr. Monk and the Very Very Old Man," her dislike of guns is so strong that Leland actually has to stash his own duty pistol in a desk drawer whenever she visits his office so that he can keep her under the impression he doesn't use a weapon.
    • And while Leland is busy trying to prepare his office for Karen's arrival, he tells Randy to do something, anything, to keep her occupied, like talk to her "about how I ruined her life." This is what Randy does:
    Lt. Randall Disher: I want to show you something. [produces his pistol] They just issued these. [Karen gasps] It’s a Beretta. 9mm Centurion. It, uh, holds 15 in the mag, one in the chamber.
    Karen Stottlemeyer: Mm. You know how I feel about guns.
    Lt. Randall Disher: I—know you have strong feelings. I just…can’t remember what they are.
    Karen Stottlemeyer: I’m against them, Lieutenant! My husband doesn’t carry a weapon. I don’t know why you need to.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: [in his office] Oh shoot! [takes his pistol out of its holster and stashes it in a desk drawer]
    • Also mentioned in passing in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage," when Monk and Natalie are stalking Karen through Union Square:
    Natalie Teeger: How long have they been married?
    Adrian Monk: Forever. Karen and Leland? They've never had a thing in common. I remember... this one weekend he went hunting. She stayed home and organized a rally for stronger gun control.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: In "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs", it is revealed that Monk met Bob Costas after helping him out with a matter of a cat salesman who sold demented cats. In particular, Monk proved that Costas's cat planned to kill him with a squeeze toy.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Since Monk doesn't have a sense of humor, usually the joke has to be explained to him.
    • In "Mr. Monk Is On The Air," Monk and Natalie arrive at Max Hudson's house to investigate:
    Linda Riggs: I don't think he's home.
    Adrian Monk: Did you tell him I was coming? [points to the welcome mat, which has the words "GO AWAY" written on it]
    Natalie Teeger: No, Mr. Monk, that's not for you. It's a joke.
    Adrian Monk: It’s a joke? How—how is that funny?
    Natalie Teeger: Um, well, I guess it's funny because it says the opposite of what a welcome mat would normally say.
    Adrian Monk: S-so it's an opposite joke?
    Natalie Teeger: Yeah. That's right.
  • Drama Queen: Natalie has an episode of this in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever", when she so much as trips over some sound cables:
    Natalie Teeger: Excuse me! Do these cables have to be right here?!
    Billy Logan: Yes they do, because they carry your voice from this microphone to that soundboard.
    Natalie Teeger: Well can't you move them somewhere else?! They almost broke my neck!
    Billy Logan: "Almost" doesn't count.
    Natalie Teeger: Fine. I'll do it! [She starts to move the cables. Billy comes over]
    Billy Logan: What are you doing? Are you mental?! Put it down! Put it down! [They engage in something that looks like tug-of-war over the cables]
    Natalie Teeger: I'm taking care of it!
    Billy Logan: Let go! [Stan Lawrence comes over]
    Stan Lawrence: Billy, what the hell is the matter here?
    Natalie Teeger: Stan, I can't work with this guy!
    Billy Logan: What, you can't work with me?! Who do you think you are, lady?! I've been here for eight years, and you're just another untalented face!
    Stan Lawrence: Billy! Calm down!
    Natalie Teeger: Untalented, huh? The ratings keep going up every night! How do you explain that?!
    Billy Logan: The ratings go up when the jackpot goes up! It has nothing to do with you, you moron!
    Stan Lawrence: Billy! I've warned you before about your attitude. That's it. You're out of here! You're fired! Somebody call security! [Natalie turns around, shocked]
    Natalie Teeger: No-no-no, don't fire him!
    Billy Logan: See, look, I'm moving the cable! [Two security guards seize him] Stan, please! Don't do this!
    Stan Lawrence: It's too late, Billy!
    Billy Logan: I'm sorry! I'm apologizing!
    Stan Lawrence: Mr. Logan has been terminated. I don't want him back in the building! You make sure to get his security pass and keys. Get him out of here!
    • In the next scene, Monk tells Dr. Bell that this is unlike the Natalie he knows:
    Adrian Monk: All I'm trying to say is... it's not the same Natalie! If you knew her you wouldn't know her! Last night after the show, she got somebody fired!
    Dr. Neven Bell: Really?
    Adrian Monk: One of the crew, sound guy! There were some wires on the floor, and she was just like [leans back in his chair, curls his fingers like claws, and snarls like a screaming child] you know, complaining.
  • Dramatic Irony: After years of working as Monk's assistant, in Mr. Monk Helps Himself, Natalie becomes his boss after she got her PI license since Monk couldn’t be in the business without her. Something Stottlemeyer regularly teases him about.
  • Drinking on Duty
    • Randy does it in the beginning of "Mr. Monk Gets Married". Justified, however, when it became apparent that Randy doesn't usually do this, and had a pretty justifiable excuse for doing so, as he is shocked that his mother Maria has not only dated, but also married, Dalton Padron, a guy who is significantly younger than her, and she isn't even rich, but they are spending their honeymoon at a marriage counseling place. It is bizarre enough to hire Monk and Sharona to investigate and eventually get a fake marriage in order to do some sleuthing at the mansion.
    • Stottlemeyer does this in "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas", although in his case, he really does actually need the alcohol to solve the case.
    • Stottlemeyer and Disher share a drink on duty during the finale's darkest hour.
  • Drives Like Crazy
    • Sharona
    • Both Monk and Natalie have each done this on one occasion each — Monk when under the influence of a drug that's meant to relieve himself of his phobias, and Natalie in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies".
    • Stottlemeyer also did the same in the final episode. Justified, as they were trying to locate Monk before he ends up doing something bad to Ethan Rickover in revenge for murdering Trudy as well as a nurse. The fact that it was stormy outside, and Disher ended up selling his siren in a garage sale shortly beforehand (as he apparently thought crime was over and the bad guys had quit) didn't help matters, either.
  • Driving Question: The Myth Arc, as well as the individual episodes.
  • Driving into a Truck: In "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic," Ray Galardi, a construction planner, kills environmentalist Steve Marriot, then puts Marriot's body into the guy's old Volkswagon Beetle and loads it into Galardi's dump truck. He then drives the truck onto the highway and dumps it with the hydraulic lift, to make it look like an accident.
  • Driving Test Smashers: Julie is victim to this in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies"
  • Drowning Pit: The ballast tank in "Mr. Monk Is Underwater," which you can access from inside the submarine.
  • Drunken Master
    • Stottlemeyer, when completely drunk, can actually solve cases on par with Monk, if not rival Monk in case solving ability.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk", Monk accidentally got drunk and was able to subdue a hitman, and solve a conspiracy involving everyone in a hotel covering up a man's death so they can keep his money.
  • Dude, Not Funny! invoked
    • In "Mr. Monk Is On The Air," when Max Hudson, a shock jock, starts making tasteless jokes about Trudy. Some of his colleagues realize what is happening, but can't prevent Monk from attacking their boss. That he's not funny for the main characters is suggested when Monk and Natalie are investigating Max's wife's death at his house:
    Linda Riggs: This was where she was found, on the bed. This morning I heard him joking about it on his show. I don't know how somebody can joke about something like that.
    Natalie Teeger: [sighs] I don't know. Any time I'm in a store or in a restaurant and he's on the radio, I just have to leave.
    • Really, any time that people openly mock Monk's problems. Happens with him any time the suspect is a performer or public figure, and they tend to do things to provoke his OCD, like Karl Torini in "Mr. Monk and the Magician" does by throwing his cards across the floor and manipulating Monk into being the "volunteer" to get inside the Zig-Zag Cabinet. His friends sometimes get frustrated with his many phobias and compulsions but they usually try to help him deal with/overcome them, rather than mock him for them.
  • Dumpster Dive: In "Mr. Monk and the Psychic", Monk makes Sharona do a dumpster dive in order to find a vital clue. Later, in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife", Monk would himself chase after a garbage truck in search of key evidence.
  • Dysfunctional Family: It is heavily implied in the series starting with "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies", that Monk's family was dysfunctional, and contributed to most of Monk's quirks.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In the pilot episode, Randy's last name was "Deacon," not Disher. Which led to a stealth pun when you put the first two letters of Stottlemeyer's first and last names with the first two letters of Randy's names.
    • Season 1 used a Jeff Beal instrumental instead of the more iconic theme song "It's a Jungle Out There" by Randy Newman as the theme song. (Except for episodes 1 and 2 which used the latter as the opening theme song, instead using the former as the closing theme song. This was because the fandom originally didn't like "It's a Jungle Out There".)
    • The set that was used for the police station and Captain Stottlemeyer's office was also completely different for season 1 from the set that would be used from season 2 through the end of the series - a set with a lot more wood furnishing on the walls than the more familiar set. This may have had to do with the fact that season 1 was filmed in Canada and the other seasons were filmed in Los Angeles.
    • Monk's apartment used a different set in season 1 compared to season 2-onwards. The original apartment was described in the Official Episode Guide as being very cubicle, and with limited shooting opportunities because rooms did not line up with other rooms. The walls were also made removable so that long-lens shots were possible.
    • Dr. Kroger's office is a unique case. The Official Episode Guide states that the office was originally in a modern business complex that had a walled garden with a waterfall visible through the windows. Apparently the public liked the waterfall, so when production moved first to Toronto and then on to Los Angeles, the waterfall was kept. However, in the Vancouver set used for the pilot, there was a balcony that allowed for a camera to be set up looking down on Monk talking with Dr. Kroger. For the later sets, there was no balcony and a crane was used to achieve the same effect.
    • If you think about it, comparing the pilot episode with both later episodes of season 1 and episodes from season 4 onwards will show a very noticeable difference. In part, it has to do with the fact that the writers didn't quite yet have an idea of what they wanted the characters to be.
      • For instance, Stottlemeyer and Monk are supposed to be good friends, but from the way Stottlemeyer acts towards Monk in the pilot, you wouldn't know that. Which is odd, because in later episodes, it seems like the history with Stottlemeyer is that he already knew that Monk was a genius.
      • In the pilot, the names of not just the main characters, but also many of the one-time supporting characters, show up in the opening credits. Interestingly, Stanley Kamel is credited third on the cast listing (as if they were expecting Dr. Kroger to become more of a regular character; it's also noticeable Billing Displacement as Dr. Kroger only gets a short two minute scene at the beginning and another short one near the end), and Jason-Gray Stanford (Randy) comes after such names as Michael Hogan (Warren St. Claire) and Ben Bass (Gavin Lloyd).
      • Jason-Gray Stanford basically gets credited more as a guest star than as a leading role.
      • Monk's personality doesn't seem quite as despairing as it does in later episodes. In fact, it's possible that the writers were thinking that Monk would get reinstated earlier in the show's run (as opposed to in the antepenultimate episode of season 8) and then the show's plotline would be "an OCD detective on the SFPD who solves crimes" rather than being about "a private detective with OCD who the SFPD consult to investigate crimes".
      • The writers also made it seem like Monk and Stottlemeyer had some sort of past conflict between them, as suggested when Stottlemeyer fires Monk from the case after Monk's fear of heights allows Ian Sykes to escape; Monk says to Stottlemeyer that his anger isn't about what happened today but is between the two of them note .
      • When comparing the pilot to later episodes, one realizes that there's a lot of subplots going on around the main murder mystery - Monk trying to solve Trudy's murder, being lost when Sharona quits, etc. Meaning that if you didn't already know who the main characters were (because of seeing later episodes first), you would probably be confused as to who even are the main characters. It's possible that the writers had not yet decided exactly who were going to be the recurring characters or even the weekly characters, other than of course Monk and Sharona.
    • Natalie gets this because the majority of her first few episodes in season 3 seem to be unused scripts in which they simply switched Sharona out for Natalie without changing the characterization accordingly, like Natalie's fussiness over money in "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra". It wasn't until some point early in season 4 that the writers got the hang of what they wanted Natalie to be like.
  • Easy Amnesia: in "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head," Monk gets hit on the head and loses his memory, but not his quirks.
  • Ear Worm: In the beginning of "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend", Gail Segalis opens a music box while unpacking from a trip to Greece, and she says she can't get it out of her head. And at the end, when Monk is invited into Hal Tucker's apartment, Hal starts unconsciously humming the tune while closing the shades, and Monk recognizes it as the music box's tune, which makes him realize that Hal is Gail's killer.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Randy Disher's garage rock band was called The Randy Disher Project. The etymology explained in "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" around the band's name: "Well, my name's Randy Disher, and then... Project."
  • Embarrassing Slide: During "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", while Stottlemeyer is making a request for information on a homicide to attendees at Monk's UC Berkeley reunion, suddenly the slideshow, which has been running this whole time, displays some very embarrassing pictures of him in riot gear violently attacking protesters at an anti-nuclear demonstration in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Monk and Natalie are mortified, while Stottlemeyer makes a very bad attempt to defend his actions in the photos.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: [after the projector shows an image of him pointing at the clock tower] You didn't have a permit!
    Student: Yes we did!
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: It expired at noon!
    Student: 12:06!
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: [quietly] Like I said, it expired at noon.
    • Also, in "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Natalie finds some pretty embarrassing pictures of Randy with acne in Dr. Polanski's waiting room. Randy wanders into the waiting room later on and makes an epic struggle to take them down and destroy them.
  • Engineered Heroics: The premise of what led to the murder in "Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger": in college, computer geek Sidney Teal wanted to impress his date Angie DeLuca, so he got his best friend and roommate Archie Modine to help. They conceived a plan in which Modine put on a ski mask, then attempted to "mug" Sidney and his date, so that the mild-mannered Sidney got to look like Superman. Except it came back to bite Sidney later, as his wife Myra began to have a sexual affair with Modine. Modine then decided to remove Sidney from the picture in the best way possible: he met him, reminded Sidney of the prior occasion and convinced him to return the favor, knowing full well that Sidney would never refuse an opportunity to relive one of the best nights of his life. He was unaware that Modine's plan was to shoot him, giving the world the impression Sidney had had a nervous breakdown, or had discovered Modine's affair with Myra and was trying to kill him.
    • It goes one step further: what gets Modine caught is that he didn't know Sidney had gone the extra mile in his planning. Sidney had hired an actor named Joseph Moratta to dress as a police officer, who was to run up and commend Modine for his "heroism" after scaring off Sidney.
  • Epic Fail: A few.
    • Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk is Underwater." Monk learns that Commander Nathan Whitaker piloted the submarine they are on into an undersea mountain. He cannot believe the commander of a Los Angeles-class submarine like the U.S.S. Seattle could let such a mistake happen, and furthermore the fact that Whitaker and second-in-command Lt. Cmdr. Jason Pierce conspired to cover up their error to keep Whitaker from getting a black mark on his record.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring," when Lyle Peck starts a fire as a distraction while he steals his moon rock from Julie's aquarium, Stottlemeyer tries to put the fire out with a kid's homemade fire extinguisher. However, he only succeeds in making the fire WORSE because one of the chemicals in the spray is an accelerant called turpentine.
    • In one webisode, Stottlemeyer is doing an online text interview with a Chronicle reporter. But unfortunately, Monk has repositioned all of the letters in alphabetical order. So after some frustration that causes the reporter to sign off, Stottlemeyer writes "Go to hell".
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Randy tries to take some embarrassing photos of himself off Dr. Polanski's waiting room wall, and succeeds in knocking down several more photos as well as ripping out a piece of the wall plaster itself.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: "I think I just solved the case."
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail", Monk went undercover as a prison inmate to uncover who killed a man on Death Row. His prison roommate Spyder (played by Danny Trejo) was a murderer sentenced to a minimum of 50 years. When some Neo-Nazi inmates discovered that Monk was working for the cops, they try to kill him, only for Spyder to come to Monk's defense, in part because he and Monk had bonded, and in part because of this trope:
    Lody: He's a cop!
    Spyder: Yeah, so I've heard. Let him go.
    Lody: You'd side with a cop over us?
    Spyder: I'd side with a cucaracha over you!
  • Everybody Lives: Several cases that don't start with a murder usually have one later on, and some cases that aren't murder at all still have some sort of death involved (for example Natalie's debut episode has the mystery kickstarted by her having to kill someone in self defense, even though the rest of the episode is death-free; "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" doesn't have any murders committed in it, although there is a suicide, and Lester Highsmith carries out two instances of attempted murder: a drive-by shooting on some police officers in which Stottlemeyer is wounded, and he's seconds away from killing an armored car's guard when Monk and Sharona stop him). There's only two episodes ("Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny" and "Mr. Monk and the Kid") where absolutely no one dies at all, and coincidentally, both episodes involve kidnappings.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Notice that depending on their relation to Monk, people address him differently. Family members, his neighbor Kevin Dorfman, Dr. Bell, Dr. Kroger and Sharona all address him by first name. Stottlemeyer and Disher always address Monk by last name. Natalie always addresses him as "Mr. Monk", like you would expect assistants to.
  • Evil Brit: Julian Hodge in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," played by Malcolm McDowell.
  • Evolving Credits: Season 1 used a jazzy upbeat instrumental by Jeff Beal over Monk doing his morning routine for the opening sequence. Then "It's A Jungle Out There" by Randy Newman was introduced at the start of season 2 and was used through the end of the show.
    • For the first 25 episodes with It's a Jungle Out There - all of the season 2 episodes and all season 3 episodes through "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" - the montage was a mix of clips from season 1 episodes, early season 2 episodes, and some of the original montage's clips.
    • When Traylor Howard was cast as Natalie to replace Bitty Schram, the producers realized that the montage was out of date, because it featured a pretty good number of Sharona shots. Hence, the montage was changed again, this time incorporating clips from episodes in the second half of season 2 and throughout season 3, removing all Sharona clips (however, there is one Sharona clip that did remain all the way to the end of the show: a clip from "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School" of Monk carefully choosing which cobblestones to plant his feet on, albeit her face is not visible).
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Actor," the first episode of season 5, a new montage was introduced that would be used for the remainder of the series. This montage now added in clips from season 4 and season 5 (primarily from the former, as the only season 5 clips in this montage appear to be a few from "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike").
  • Exact Words: In "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show", Monk was able to successfully return a book after Natalie had eaten the original page. This is done by taping in a corresponding page from Oliver Twist. When the store owner asks him why he'd done this as it's clearly ruined the book, Monk points out the sign stating their return policy which says, "Seven Days, no questions asked."
  • The Exotic Detective: Monk
  • Exasperated Perp: Usually the result of Monk's eccentricities. That page has a quote from "Mr. Monk and the Actor".
  • Expanded Universe: The Lee Goldberg novels, although some novels would be considered non-canon such as Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants and Mr. Monk Goes to Germany. The novel Mr. Monk on the Road and later novels explores events happening after the series finale. By and large, the novels don't fit with the TV series canon, primarily because many storylines from the novels were later adapted into TV episodes. (To wit, the fourth episode in season 5, "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing", is a modified version of Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse; while Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu contributed two major plot points to "Mr. Monk and the Badge", where Monk is reinstated; and both the novels and the TV show had episodes about Sharona returning.) Some of the problems stem from the fact that the novels are published at a much slower rate than episodes aired.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Some variants.
    • This one in "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", as Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher are sitting at a table after Stottlemeyer has been humiliated by some compromising pictures of him wearing riot gear and attacking protesters:
    Lt. Randall Disher: You forgot to give them the toll-free number.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: You know, I don’t think we’re going to get any hot leads from this group, Randy. [Natalie looks in her clutch purse and finds a set of earrings]
    Natalie Teeger: Oh, shoot! Dianne’s earrings. I forgot to give them back! [Stottlemeyer notices them]
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Hang on a second. [He takes the earrings, and sets them down on a sample in his case file] Whaddaya think?
    Natalie Teeger: Well it looks like they’re from the same set. I mean they match perfectly.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Whose earrings are these?
    Adrian Monk: Dianne Brooks. She and her husband left about a half an hour ago. He said she was depressed. He’s been saying that all week.
    Lt. Randall Disher: Were they in town Friday night?
    Natalie Teeger: Um, yeah. They got in the day before. [Monk suddenly stands up]
    Adrian Monk: Oh, my God. Captain, I think Dianne is in danger. I think her husband is planning to kill her. Tonight.
    • This one from "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," when Monk, Natalie and Kendra Frank are searching Stork's trailer, after Kris Kedder leaves. Natalie notices that Monk looks alarmed:
    Natalie Teeger: What is it?
    Adrian Monk: Something's missing. Did either of you move anything? [Natalie and Kendra look at each other]
    Natalie Teeger: Uh, no.
    Kendra Frank: No.
    Adrian Monk: Something's different. [points] There was an envelope; a white envelope right there.
    Kendra Frank: There was? [Natalie grabs a blue slip of paper from the spot Monk is pointing to]
    Natalie Teeger: Huh, it's a receipt. "Registered mail." He mailed something to himself.
    Kendra Frank: I remember that. That was about six months ago. I went to the post office with him. He was mailing sheet music to himself. He called it his "insurance policy".
    Natalie Teeger: What song?
    Kendra Frank: I don't know.
    Adrian Monk: I think I do: the song Kris Kedder was just singing.
    Kendra Frank: "Peggy's Gone to Memphis".
    Adrian Monk: Kedder didn't write that song. Stork wrote it about his daughter. "Peggy" is short for "Margaret"; "Peggy's Gone to Memphis"!
    Kendra Frank: Oh my God! He just took that envelope!
    Adrian Monk: Can't prove anything without that envelope! [They run out of the trailer]
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," we have this conversation after Monk speaks with the mayor:
    Natalie Teeger: There he is. What took you so long?
    Adrian Monk: I was upstairs talking to the Mayor.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: You were in his office?
    Adrian Monk: I just broke the Cusack case wide open.
    Lt. Randall Disher: You have a suspect?
    Adrian Monk: Oh, yeah. I have a suspect.
    Natalie Teeger: Well, who is it?
    Adrian Monk: Okay, you can’t tell anybody. This is big. This is going to rip the city apart. Captain.
    Lt. Randall Disher: Shhh! Reporters! [Randy leads them to a spot a short distance away, to keep them out of earshot from the reporters]
    Adrian Monk: Okay.
    Lt. Randall Disher: Hang on. Hang on. Just a little bit further, just to make sure. [He leads them further away, so that they are standing in front of a "Whisper Spot" sign.note ]
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: What is it?
    Adrian Monk: Okay, but you have to promise me that you won’t tell anyone until I am a hundred percent sure.
    Natalie Teeger: Who’s he going to tell?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: What?
    Adrian Monk: Because if I am right, this is going to be the biggest story of the year! The Mayor was in Jimmy Cusack’s office the night he was killed.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Are you saying the mayor is…Mayor Nicholson’s the guy?
    Adrian Monk: I am saying he was involved. He is definitely hiding something.
    Lt. Randall Disher: Whoa! I mean, wow!
    Natalie Teeger: What are we going to do?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: I don’t know, but Monk is right. We have to be very careful. Nobody says a word. Not a… [Stottlemeyer finally notices the "Whisper Spot" sign, and instantly realizes that the reporters they were trying to avoid have overheard every single word they've said in the last minute]
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: …Oh hell.
    Reporters: Captain! [Reporters with mikes and camera crews swarm them]
  • The Expy: Sherlock Holmes, of course.
    • The Great Detective who is the last mind sought when no one can figure out a queer situation, even called Sherlock Holmes on many occasions.
    • His assistant who's background is in medicine instead of law enforcement, but whom none-the-less proves invaluable in solving crime. Here, Sharona is more equivalent to Dr. Watson with a medical background, in contrast to Natalie's background as the widow of a deceased military pilot.
    • A smug police officer who makes the actual arrest, often being quick to bring the obvious suspect into the interrogation room. (After the first season Stottlemeyer begins to move away from this, generally trusting Monk's intuition, and showing genuine detective skills.)
      • Captain Stottlemeyer also bears a similarity in appearance to Chief Quimby
    • A brother who is even smarter who rarely puts it towards solving crime because of crippling shyness.
    • An Arch-Enemy who makes only sporadic appearances, usually preferring to stay in the background.
    • In the Tie-In Novel Mr. Monk Is Cleaned Out, Bob Sebes, accused of running a massive Ponzi scheme, is an Expy of Bernard Madoff.
    • "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show" had one of these, The Cooper Clan. It's apparently supposed to be a version of The Brady Bunch, complete with all the dirty behind-the-scenes secrets.
  • Exposition Already Covered: In Season 2 "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail", Monk's assistant Sharona discovers the solution to the mystery independently of Monk, and the climax had her tell it to the other characters as they were searching for him. Once they rescued Monk, he begins to explain the mystery when Sharona interrupts him, making him mildly annoyed.
    Sharona: Yeah, we know - I just did the whole summation!
  • Extremely Cold Case: Used as a quick gag in one episode. While playing undercover as a security guard of a museum and pondering the clues of the murder of the week, Adrian randomly points out to Stottlemeyer that a Neanderthal skeleton on a nearby exhibit shows signs of having been murdered, rather than the natural causes the exhibit says were the cause of death (and that none of the anthropologists or analysts or other people who have seen it in the many years since being unburied noticed).
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Monk often solves the case because someone says or does something that seems to have nothing to do with the case, yet it causes him to suddenly realize that some seemingly insignificant detail of the case actually holds the key to solving the whole thing.
  • Evil Is Petty: A standard of the show. All of the villains are motivated not by lofty goals, but rather shallow desires for wealth, to cover up illicit affairs or activities, or to remove what they consider inconveniences.


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