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  • Sassy Black Woman: "Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf" introduces Varla Davis, a friend from Sharona's writing class, who is sassy to the point of being cruel; her Establishing Character Moment features her ripping a fellow student apart for his geeky fantasy writing.
  • Say My Name: A third-person version occurs in "Mr. Monk and the Foreign Man". Monk is helping his new Nigerian friend Samuel figure out who killed his wife. In the process, he frequently confuses her with Trudy. When Samuel and Monk apprehend the killer, they proceed to beat the crap out of him. They then shove pictures of their wives in his face and demand, "Say her name!"
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  • Schmuck Bait: After Mr. Monk Helps Himself, Natalie opens a PI agency for her and Monk, with Natalie. Stottlemeyer loves to tease Monk about being Natalie's employee. He always takes the bait.
  • Science Is Useless:
    • The police were very embarrassed in "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy" when they surrounded and almost arrested a guy brandishing a deadly harmonica, based on predictions made by state of the art computer systems. Of course, why the FBI had taken over a routine homicide case like this is beyond belief.
    • Another episode had a guy exonerated based on DNA evidence. The DNA came from an accomplice, so the guy was still guilty of murder.
    • "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan" makes you wonder how easy it is to frame a dog that has been dead for three days for a murder.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus," elephant trainer Edgar Heinz demonstrates to Monk and Sharona how his elephant Dede can gently place its foot upon his head, on a stump. Unfortunately, Natasha Lovara has duct-taped a walkie-talkie to Dede's ear and gives the command for Dede to put the foot down. A hideous crunching noise is heard. We hear the crunch of Heinz's skull fracturing but cut to Sharona screaming in shock and Monk trying to calm her down instead of seeing the gore.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Monk. Because of a bear. A big damn bear. Interestingly, though, the trailers for this scene had Tony Shalhoub screaming in his own voice. They dubbed it over because that makes it more humorous.
    • Invoked by Oates, Harvey Disher's farm hand in "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm," in reference this time to Monk freaking out when he thinks he's inhaled marijuana fumes.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: In "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm," Harvey Disher's response when Jimmy Belmont tries to bribe him with $15,000 to keep him from reporting Belmont for illegally growing marijuana. Subsequently Belmont kills Harvey and makes it look like he committed suicide out of guilt for accidentally killing his prized pig Nadine.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: In Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant, Amy Devlin resigns and leaves for Boston in the wake of her bungling a SWAT team operation in the previous book Mr. Monk is Open For Business. In her place comes Arnold James Thurman, Jr. When Monk and Natalie first meet him at a crime scene, they immediately suspect that it's his connections (his father is a retired captain) that got him promoted to Lieutenant, considering that they've known A.J. for years and Natalie describes him as "a rude loudmouth with no respect for anyone".
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  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Randy quits in anger in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" when no one believes his claims that Dr. Oliver Bloom murdered a man.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies" has Pat van Ranken intentionally winning second place in a potato sack race to win a cherry pie as part of an attempt to retrieve an incriminating shell casing.
  • Secret Santa: "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa". Stottlemeyer forgets to buy a gift for Det. Terry Chasen, his Secret Santa, so he regifts a bottle of port someone had sent him. Then the bottle turns out to be poisoned...
  • Serial Killer Baiting: In "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy," the FBI and police decide the murderer in this case is a serial killer targeting street musicians. To draw the killer out a second time, Randy poses as a street musician, but the whole thing is Played for Laughs. Randy's such a Dreadful Musician, Lt. Stottlemeyer jokes that someone besides the their serial killer might try to kill him, just to shut him up. Then when someone finally does approach Randy, and the police swarm in to arrest him, it turns out he was just trying to give him some money. Ultimately the bait turns out to be a complete waste of time, as the murderer just made his work look like a serial killer's doing to distract the police from his actual target, who could be more easily linked to him.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: At least two examples.
    • One is "Mr. Monk Goes Home Again," where Monk uncovers a shooting that was staged to cover up the fact that the victim was poisoned, and that Paul Gilstrap had been plotting to kill several people with poisoned candy bars to cover up the murder of his wife.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy": a doctor kills a random street musician in one particularly gruesome way - bludgeoning him over the head with a crowbar, then suffocating him with a plastic bag, injecting him with a vial of poison, stabbing him four times with a knife, shooting him twice with a revolver, and finally crushing him with a car - to divert the police from the murder of his date.
    • "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man" had a murderer who was tracking down and murdering 12 people with no apparent relation to one another, only for Monk to realize that such a diverse collection of victims means only one thing: They served on a jury together, specifically a civil case regarding an accident at Stewart Babcock's house with a handyman who fell and got a piece of metal pipe lodged in his head. Stewart was tracking them down and killing them off because one of the jurors, Wallace Cassidy, had discovered the dead body of Stewart's first wife in a cooler while looking for something to steal, and he was blackmailing Stewart for protection money. However, Stewart had no way of knowing which juror specifically was his blackmailer, which is why he killed all of them.
  • Series Continuity Error
    • Various details relating to Trudy's death and how Monk got the news. See the Monk Wiki entry for "Mr. Monk and the End" and the IMDb Goofs entry.
    • Another slight error happens in the second half of the fifth season: "Mr. Monk Is on the Air" was supposed to air as part of the first half of the season, but for whatever reasons ended up airing in January 2007. Unfortunately, this causes continuity errors as to the dates mentioned in the episodes before and after it. You can notice most of the telltale details if you pay attention to Natalie: for one thing, her hair is noticeably longer. Also, at Max Hudson's house, she's wearing a red long-sleeve shirt that is one she also wore in the firehouse investigation scene in "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," and at the police station, she is wearing a collared light blue shirt that looks like one she wore in "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink". She is driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead of a Buick Lucerne, and she is never seen standing behind an object that obscures her chest (indicating that the episode was filmed before Traylor Howard's pregnancy forced her to start standing behind other objects like car doors or desks). In the scene where Monk, Natalie and Linda Riggs are looking at the calendar in Max Hudson's house, the calendar is open to July 2006, when the previous episode was set in the present year.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Other Woman" was produced immediately after "Mr. Monk and the Psychic", but before "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival," which accounts for the apparent regression of Stottlemeyer and Disher's terms with Monk.
  • Sex Dressed: The judge at the probate hearing in "Mr. Monk and the Leper". Monk notices that his secretary is wearing one of his shirts, and her torn blouse is partially sticking out of her briefcase.
  • Sexiled: Invoked and ultimately subverted in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion". Monk and Natalie are in one of the dormitory corridors:
    Adrian Monk: One in a million, maybe one in a trillion!
    Natalie Teeger: [exasperated] Mr. Monk, forget about the dog!
    Adrian Monk: How could the same person have two dogs, 25 years apart, happened to be named Tangerine? "Tangerine"? And this Tangerine is black!
    Natalie Teeger: Why would anybody lie about a dog's name?
    Adrian Monk: I don't know, but... there is something weird about that guy [Kyle Brooks]. Dianne said that he couldn't wait to meet me, but he didn't even know I was a detective!
    Natalie Teeger: Mr. Monk, come on! Let's have some fun! [snaps her fingers] You said you were gonna show me your dorm room!
    Adrian Monk: Well, it's right here.
    Natalie Teeger: [grins] Ooh!
    Adrian Monk: This is it, old #303. Uh-oh! Tie on the doorknob! [The camera pans to show a necktie wrapped around the doorknob. Natalie laughs] My roommate and I did the same thing, it's a code.
    Natalie Teeger: [grins] Yeah! I think I might know about that.
    Adrian Monk: Yeah, it means, "Don't come in! I'm reorganizing my closet!" [beat]
    Natalie Teeger: Your closet?
    Adrian Monk: Yeah. My roommate in freshman year, Greg, he reorganized his closet 4-5 times a week.
    Natalie Teeger: Uh-huh, and did his girlfriend ever come over to help?
    Adrian Monk: Oh yeah. All the time, they were real neat freaks. I used to tease them about it. "Neat freaks!"
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: "Mr. Monk, Private Eye" not only shows how ill-suited Monk is to be a private investigator, but to add insult to injury, Stottlemeyer pretty much had all the evidence he needed to actually nab the killer by himself. Monk doesn't even get a "Here's what happened," moment, and his big contribution to the case (where the body is) could have been provided without him having risked his life in the episode's last act.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Several.
    • The Monk brothers. Adrian and Ambrose are both Insufferable Geniuses, and both are crippled with psychological diseases (Adrian has OCD, Ambrose has agoraphobia).
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Magician," it's shown that all of Kevin Dorfman's relatives are big talkers. Natalie is visibly disturbed to learn this.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Whenever someone comments on Julie's beauty. To the point that in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," Natalie wishes she had a big, fat, hairy wart on her forehead.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: It is frequent that other characters will be under the impression that Natalie suppresses romantic feelings for Monk. Natalie is highly amused by the mere suggestion.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion":
    [Dianne Brooks sees Monk and walks over]
    Dianne Brooks: Adrian! There you are. We've been looking for you! [Dianne notices Natalie and looks at her suspiciously]
    Natalie Teeger: Hi! I'm Natalie Teeger. [Natalie and Dianne shake hands]
    Dianne Brooks: Hi. Dianne Brooks.
    Natalie Teeger: I'm his assistant.
    Dianne Brooks: Ahh... Oh, so you two aren't [dating]... [she points between Monk and Natalie. Natalie grins]
    Natalie Teeger: No! (laughs)
    • There is a scene in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" where Natalie, who is moonlighting as a lottery hostess, is signing autographs for her fans. Monk comes up to her to grab some wipes from her purse. One of Natalie's fans asks her if Monk is her boyfriend, and Natalie corrects her.
    • Happens in the Expanded Universe novel Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, where Natalie's friend Candace initially thinks Monk as being Natalie's boyfriend.
    • Also in one scene in Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse when Joe Cochran finds Monk staying at Natalie's house (due to Monk's apartment being fumigated).
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Averted. Despite being taken hostage very frequently, buried alive on a few occasions, frequently seeing the aftermath of many bloody murders (shootings, stabbings, explosions, beatings, even a few mutilations on the side), Monk is afraid of milk, handshakes, and germs, and has traumatic memories of birth.
  • Sherlock Scan: Being that he's an expy of the Trope Namer, Monk exhibits these tendencies. But since Monk is also socially inept, he also doesn't always know that there are some details not to bring up. Just a few pointers: If you know that a woman is lying about her age, it's probably better to not call her out on it. Or if you know that the judge at a hearing is sleeping with his secretary, that maybe is not the best way to prove your credibility to him. And maybe you shouldn't mention that a widow is having a sexual affair if her daughter is also standing there.
    • Dr. Bell actually does one on Monk in "Mr. Monk Buys a House" when Monk has his first session with him, after Dr. Kroger's death. Monk mentions that he hasn't been sleeping due to the girl next door who plays Chopin's Prelude in A Major nonstop. Monk mentions that the girl only started playing piano about a year ago, and Dr. Bell correctly guesses, seemingly out of thin air, that it's only been bothering him for five weeks. Monk asks the standard, "How do you know that?" and Dr. Bell explains that Dr. Kroger played Chopin in his waiting room all the time, and the music has only bothered him for five weeks, the time period it has been since Dr. Kroger died, ostensibly meaning that for Monk, the music is invoking painful memories.
  • Ship Tease: In "Mr. Monk and the Genius", Monk and Natalie are on a stakeout. When their cover is threatened, Natalie briefly and inexplicably blurts out, "We should kiss!"
  • Shoddy Shindig: "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man" has Adrian Monk organizing a stag party for his cop friends. Much to their dismay, it turns out that Adrian cannot organize anything worth a damn in terms of fun, taking steps such as (for example) getting Bachelor Party as a movie to watch and buying exactly one beer bottle (and not a very big one, at that. Stottlemeyer even makes the math and says that they will only get a very mild buzz from drinking them) for each guest (which makes all of them decide to invert the Designated Driver trope and give all of the beer to Randy so he will be the "designated drunk"). And then it turns out that the murder investigation of the week interferes with the party, with the murderer setting Stottlemeyer's car on fire.
  • Short-Distance Phone Call:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room," Randy is searching Sharona's house for the monkey Darwin, speaking to Stottlemeyer on a walkie-talkie while in the same room. Stottlemeyer tells him, "Randy, you don't have to use the walkie-talkie. I'm ten feet away!"
    • In "Mr. Monk, Private Eye," Natalie decides to have Monk try out to be in the private investigation market. Monk and Natalie set up in a temporary office. They get bored quickly waiting for a case. In one scene, Natalie is sleeping with her head on the desk when her phone rings, jolting her awake.
    Natalie Teeger: Adrian Monk Investigations. What is the nature of your problem?
    Adrian Monk: I'm being kept in a room against my will.
    Natalie Teeger: You were kidnapped? Oh my gosh, hold on, hold on. [She quickly grabs a pencil from her desk and starts writing down on a piece of paper] Uh, do you know who did it? [The camera slowly pans left to reveal Monk sitting at his desk, holding his receiver in his hand]
    Adrian Monk: Yes. It's my personal assistant. Her name is Natalie Teeger.
    [Natalie turns in his direction and glares at him]
    Adrian Monk: Natalie, it's been two days! [Natalie hangs up her phone] You're human, you made a mistake. [Natalie walks over to his desk]
    Natalie Teeger: It's not a mistake!
    Adrian Monk: It's a mistake.
    Natalie Teeger: Okay, it took Grandpa Neville's business a whole year before it took off!
    Adrian Monk: [stands up] You know, not everybody feels the same way you do about Grandpa Neville! For example, I was just thinking how much fun it would be to dig up his body and poke it with a big stick! [The front door opens]
    Linda Fusco: Who's Grandpa Neville? And why are we poking him with a stick?
    • Played for Laughs in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert": while searching the grounds for his son, Stottlemeyer catches Randy in the act of playing sick from a distance. We see a shot of Randy from in front. In the background, Stottlemeyer flips out his cell phone. In the foreground, Randy's cell phone rings:
    Lt. Randall Disher: [pretending to sound wheezy] Hello?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Hey, Randy! How're you doing, buddy? I-I was worried about you.
    Lt. Randall Disher: Captain?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Yep?
    Lt. Randall Disher: [coughs] What time is it?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Whoa, I'm sorry! Did I wake you up? [beat] Hey, what's that music I hear?
    Lt. Randall Disher: Oh, [coughs] it's my stereo. It's broken! I can't turn it down!
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: It's loud!
    Lt. Randall Disher: Listen, Captain, thanks for calling!
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Sure....
    Lt. Randall Disher: I’m going to get up now. I think I should make myself some soup.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Oh, soup? That’s good. Yeah, fluids are good! Drink plenty of fluids..
    Lt. Randall Disher: Fluids. Okay, I will. Thanks for calling, Captain!
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Take care! [Randy hangs up, turns to a woman next to him]
    Lt. Randall Disher: [laughs] My boss! [As Randy's laughing, he feels someone put a hand on his shoulder. He spins around and sees Stottlemeyer glaring at him]
    Lt. Randall Disher: Whoa! Captain.
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Lieutenant.
    Lt. Randall Disher: Did you, uh, did you call in sick, too?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: [smiles, somewhat amused] No, Randy. I'm looking for Jared.
    Lt. Randall Disher: Well, here's what happened with me: I was on my way to a doctor, and uh... I got nothing. Let's go find Jared. [takes one last sip of his beer before setting it down and walking away with Stottlemeyer]
  • Shovel Strike:
    • In "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra," gravedigger Chris Downey knocks Monk out with a shovel before putting him in a coffin and burying him alive.
    • In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," Eddie Murdoch walks into Fire Company 53 to steal a firefighter's coat and helmet. As he is grabbing it, a firefighter named Rusty comes around the parked fire engine to confront him. Murdoch responds by grabbing a shovel and striking Rusty over the head, killing him. Seconds later, Monk comes around investigating the audible clang caused by the first hit, and Murdoch swings the shovel at him, though Monk dodges a would-be-lethal blow so that it hits him over the back. There is a struggle, and Monk grabs the shovel, but before he can swing it at Murdoch, Murdoch throws a container of acid in his face, blinding him. Monk drops the shovel and staggers backwards against the fire engine screaming in pain.
  • Shout-Out
    • In "Mr. Monk Can't See A Thing'', Natalie refers to the nearsighted Mr. Magoo, and Ray Charles, as examples of famously successful blind men.
    • "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas" was filmed on the sets of Las Vegas.
    • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: In "Mr. Monk and the Genius," when Patrick Kloster is disembarking from his private jet and is talking to the reporters about his wife that he just murdered, he says, "Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death, gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth." A reporter asks him where that's from and he bluntly tells her, "Look it up."
    • In the novel Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, the book opens with Natalie in a detective-sidekick support group that meets for coffee. Natalie mentions that they even have guests in their sessions, including one person who works for a gifted detective who solves crimes by pretending to be a psychic.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month", the store's phrase "Have a Mega-Mart day" might be a reference to the standard Disneyland greeting.
      • This conversation between Monk and Joe Christie when they are looking at Jennie Silverman's Employee of the Month privileges is clearly supposed to be referring to the movie Forrest Gump:
    Adrian Monk: Tell me about the Lobster Barrel.
    Joe Christie: It's a family place. It's noisy, there's a million kids. You wouldn't last five minutes. It's got a great all-you-can-eat buffet with seven different kinds of shrimp: jumbo shrimp, batter-dipped shrimp, tempura shrimp...
    Adrian Monk: Okay, stop telling me about the Lobster Barrel.
    Joe Christie: ...barbecued shrimp...
    Adrian Monk: Stop.
    • "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show" features a sitcom that is an Expy of The Brady Bunch entitled The Cooper Clan. The similarities are endless: similar episode plots, alliterative show titles, lead stars who got into trouble with the law after the shows went off the air, and a star writing a tell-all book about their sex life.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Leper", a freeze frame shoutout occurs when the fake leper's dead body and Natalie fall from the gondola of the hot-air balloon. As Natalie gets up, the camera zooms in on her, and, if you freeze, you'll notice that minus the deletion of a few buildings in the background, Natalie's pose results in a near-perfect mirrored image of Andrew Wyeth's famous painting Christina's World.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty", Monk is summoned by court for Jury Duty. Hilarity Ensues, as Monk finds himself trapped in a small room with 11 other people, persisting throughout the episode that he prefers to work alone. Anyway, the jury consists of a bunch of apathetic ignorants who immediately vote guilty just to get out of there quicker. One of whom is a Jerkass, another one has a cold, and the foreman is a StraightMan-turned-grunt. Which has happened before.
    • And of course the numerous tribute to Sherlock Holmes.
      • Jack Monk read Sherlock Holmes as bedtime stories to Adrian when he was growing up. Which possibly helped a lot in the long run.
      • In "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm", Monk chains himself up to some farm machinery and has a panic attack in front of Randy's farmhand Oates, as he thinks he inhaled reefer when trying to catch Jimmy Belmont in the act of burning his illegal field of marijuana. Suddenly, the sprinklers come on, drenching Monk, and he suddenly calms down and asks Oates if the sprinklers come on nightly, and he announces that he's solved the case. Oates later comments in the kitchen, "One minute you're handcuffing yourself to a piece of farm machinery, sobbing like a schoolgirl, the next minute you're putting all the pieces together like Sherlock Holmes. Which is the real Adrian Monk?"
      • In the pilot, and in several other episodes, Monk identifies cigarettes and cigars from their ashes, like Holmes did in A Study in Scarlet, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, etc.
      • Disher's original last name in the pilot was Deacon, so the first two letters of his and Stottlemeyer's first and last names put together spells "Lestrade" (Leland Stottlemeyer + Randy Deacon = Lestrade). See Expy above to see how the characters are based on Doyle's.
      • "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies" takes elements from The Adventure of the Six Napoleons and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle - Pat van Ranken is tracking down cherry pies that may or may not have an incriminating shell casing in them ejected when he was shooting his wife with his pistol. Turns out to be a Red Herring: the shell casing in question turns out to be in a bag of flour at Ambrose's house.
      • Monk's second psychiatrist, Dr. Bell, may have had his last name taken from Dr. Joseph Bell, who Arthur Conan Doyle had based Sherlock Holmes off of.
    • Several shoutouts are made in the series to Columbo.
      • "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger" could be considered to be the result of blending together several Columbo episode elements: The fact that the bullet hole in Sonny Cross's jacket does not match the position of the bullet hole in the body determines whether or not the victim was on good terms with the killer comes from "Fade in to Murder". Johnny Cash played a sympathetic country/gospel singer accused of murder in "Swan Song". In fact, Stottlemeyer makes a remark about Cash's performances at Folsom by saying that Willie Nelson will soon be performing "live from Folsom Prison". And there is a blind witness with a twist (Mrs. Mass), just like in "A Deadly State of Mind".
      • In "Mr. Monk Is on the Run, Part Two", Natalie realizes that Monk is alive when she sees a newspaper article about the "Car Wash Columbo", a (supposedly) Hispanic car wash man who recently helped the local police solve the hit-and-run death of a highway safety worker single-handedly. Monk has faked his death and Stottlemeyer has made it seem that he's dead, so this incident ends up blowing his cover. Of course, Natalie is not happy to find that Stottlemeyer has known about this the whole time and was lying to her (when in truth, he was trying to keep Monk away from Sheriff John Rollins, the guy who framed him).
      • A direct shout out to Columbo is in "Mr. Monk Buys a House", when Jake says, "So what's going on, Columbo?" Some believe that Brad Garrett ad-libbed that part of the line. By coincidence, Hector Elizondo, who debuts as Dr. Bell in that episode, played Hassan Salah, a murderous diplomat in "A Case of Immunity".
      • Some circumstances of "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School" are based on "Etude in Black," such as the fact that the murder victim, Beth Landow, is much like Jennifer Welles: she is pregnant, she is having an affair with the killer (Derek Philby, vs. Alex Benedict), and her death is made to look like a suicide.
      • Two episodes, "Mr. Monk and the Miracle" and "Mr. Monk and the End," bear some elements of "Requiem for a Falling Star," especially the latter, which features a string of murders that are tied to a body buried under a sundial, and features a killer who won't move out of his current house because of said body.
      • In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever", a crucial clue that an apparent suicide was murder is that a contact lens case is found with only one lens in it, and the other contact lens is found on the victim's body. This is the same clue that was used by Columbo in "Murder, a Self Portrait" to determine that Louise Barsini's drowning death was actually murder.
      • In "Mr. Monk Is Underwater," Commander Whitaker uses a cigarette as a fuse for a firecracker to give himself an alibi, by fooling people into thinking that an apparent suicide victim shot himself while the commander and the senior officers were banging on his cabin door, with the firecracker simulating the sound of a gunshot. Nelson Hayward did the exact same trick in "Candidate for Crime".
      • In one of the flashbacks to Monk's childhood in 1972 in "Mr. Monk and Little Monk", one of his classmates mockingly calls Monk "Columbo".
      • "Mr. Monk Buys a House" is also like the Columbo episode "Undercover", in that a string of new murders occurs that is tied to an old unsolved bank robbery.
    • "Mr. Monk Is on the Run, Part One", contains a lot of similarities to The Fugitive. Sheriff John Rollins (Scott Glenn) could have been named for the sheriff seen at the train wreck scene in the movie. His request for a helicopter and his orders about police checkpoints when searching for the escaped Monk are similar to the orders that Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard gives before executing the search for Kimble. Furthermore, the main character in both is framed for a shooting, and Monk and Dr. Kimble each seek a killer with a physical deformity (Monk is looking for a six-fingered man, and Dr. Kimble is looking for a man with a prosthetic right arm).
    • Some elements of "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse" are direct Shout Outs to The Exorcist, including the scene of a shadowy figure walking past a lone lit lamppost on a foggy night.
    • Inspector Guy Gadois in Mr. Monk is Miserable is named after an alias that was used in one Inspector Clouseau story.
    • In "Mr. Monk is on the Air," when Monk and Natalie first interview Max Hudson during his radio show, there is a point where Monk wipes his microphone down, causing some static feedback in the other mens' headsets:
    Max, J.J. and Little Willie: Ow! Ow!
    Max Hudson: You’re hurting me!
    J.J. and Little Willie: Ow! Oooh!
    Max Hudson: This guy’s great! He’s possessed!
    J.J.: [raises fist] Yo, Adrian!
    Adrian Monk: Yo.
    [They burst out laughing until Max signals for them to stop]
    J.J.: What is going on there?
    Max Hudson: Okay, we just lost a third of our audience.
    • The show's title card uses Gilsans Ultra Bold for its font. Originally from Kojak (which is doubly funny, considering that a detective more unlike Monk could not be found).
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist," Monk is tortured by Dr. Oliver Bloom and Teri, two dentists involved in stealing bearer bonds worth $13 million from an ex-cop who himself had robbed them from an armored car and killed two guards, and then later, killing said ex-cop when he figures out what happened, and barged in on them for information regarding one of their clients, in a manner very similar to the infamous torture scene in Marathon Man. Dr. Bloom and Teri even lampshade it by saying Monk is going to live through it.
    • In the novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, there is a portion of the story where Monk and Natalie are hired by a private investigations agency called Intertect. Said agency was taken from the old 1960s private eye show Mannix. Additionally, there is a person mentioned in passing named Lew Wickersham, a reference to that show.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," when trying to justify buying Natalie flowers for Secretary's Day, Monk actually drops a reference to Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winning horse of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Which indicates that Monk isn't entirely culturally blind.
    • The plot of "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" is much like the plot of The Mask: a man who considers himself a loser puts on a mask that transforms him into something wild and opposite from himself. Monk's medicine, Dioxynl, does the exact same thing. One scene even directly copies from The Mask: Monk and Sharona are standing, and Monk tells Sharona, "You understand that if I throw these out, you'll never see the Monk again." Sharona then tosses the pill bottle in a dumpster. Similar to how the original Mask gets tossed.
    • Arthur fans might get a few snickers at the fact that the lemonade girl who witnessed the judge's murder in "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale" is named Sue Ellen.
    • In Mr. Monk Helps Himself, a murder victim is a clown named Dudley Smith. Possibly named after James Cromwell's police captain character in L.A. Confidential.
    • In Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, Monk spots a fake nun masquerading the habit of the Sisters of St. Martha of Bethany — the order Anthony Boucher's Sister Ursula belongs to. (Naturally, Monk's detailed knowledge of Catholic ecclesiology lets him spot the fake, something which would have pleased both Boucher and Sister Ursula.)
    • Monk spends years searching for a six-fingered man who planted the bomb that killed his wife, just as Inigo Montoya spent years searching for a six-fingered man who killed his father in The Princess Bride.
    • A San Francisco police detective who suffers from a severe phobia is forced to retire after a tragic death. Are we talking about Monk or John "Scottie" Ferguson from Vertigo?
  • Show, Don't Tell: In the entirety of the show's run, Monk was explicitly described as having OCD maybe twice, not counting promos. This is made especially jarring on the multiple occasions where Monk gets in trouble for grossly inappropriate behavior and Natalie or Sharona tries to explain to an authority figure that Monk suffers from a condition; the best she's ever able to come up with is "he's... persnickety".
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Big Game", Julie interviews Stottlemeyer and Disher for a project on DNA evidence. All of the information given is practically straight on. One example: Stottlemeyer mentions that no two siblings will have the same DNA — it's close to, but not exactly identical, with the exception for identical twins. Another example: one of Julie's questions is why DNA cannot be used to close every case, and Stottlemeyer replies that this is because 1) DNA is not found at every crime scene, and 2) even if there is DNA, there needs to be a match in the computer records to compare it to. This last answer, plus the unsolved murder that Stottlemeyer uses for an example, is a Chekhov's Gun for Monk later.
    • This production blog from the USA Network site illustrates how much work the producers of "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" put into recreating the environment of an actual rock concert. They used actual port-a-potties, with one that they could remove the back end from so that they could shoot scenes inside the tight space. The stage set was constructed based on research for lots of other real rock festivals, including Woodstock. The acupuncture tent that Monk, Natalie, and Kendra Frank visit to interview a witness used real acupuncture benches, and the first aid tent where Monk and Natalie examine the body is stocked with actual supplies.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Big Game," many of the girls on the basketball teams were actual players, and the final goal was a shot that was accomplished in a single take.
    • One reviewer who reviewed "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" observed that the episode accurately portrayed the effects of strychnine poisoning.
    • If you look at the author's notes for each of the novels, you'll notice that Lee Goldberg did a lot of extra research to make the stories and settings as realistic as possible.
      • In Mr. Monk in Outer Space, to create the parody show Beyond Earth and some background on the burger chain Burgerville, Goldberg did his homework by looking into Star Trek and McDonald's, respectively. Mr. Snork is like Mr. Spock, while a couple of real McDonald's controversies are referenced, just with Burgerville in their place - namely, the Liebeck vs. McDonald's Restaurants lawsuit (the Hot Coffee case), and the discovery in 2000 that McDonald's was secretly using beef flavoring in their French fries which angered a lot of vegetarians. Additionally, the Burgerville financial scandal is compared by the forensics accountant as being identical to the Enron scandal.
      • In Mr. Monk is Miserable, he did a lot of reading to create an accurate impression of Paris. In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, its prequel, a lot of research was done on Lohr, Germany, the main setting, for information on the hotel that the psychiatric conference is held at, and also nods to "Snow White".
      • In Mr. Monk in Trouble, Goldberg did a lot of research on old mining towns in California around the time of the 1849 Gold Rush in order to recreate the atmosphere realistically for Abigail Guthrie's journal entries about the tales of Artemis Monk. Such information included stuff about train heists, various methods of salting mines, Greeley's Cure, and a miner's lodgings.
      • In Mr. Monk On the Couch, Goldberg created Natalie's subplot with a lot of background information about housing architectural styles and research about binoculars and optical lenses.
      • In Mr. Monk on the Road, plenty of good research on the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz and information on the physics of the Bixby Creek Bridge was shown. And many of the landmarks are ones you can encounter if you took a real road trip through the area.
    • The USA Network blog entries written by Stottlemeyer provide a realistic insight into some of the minor types of incidents a police officer of his rank would encounter.
  • Sickbed Slaying:
    • Attempted in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital", where Dr. Davis Scott attempts to kill Monk off by first knocking him out, putting him in a hospital bed, then falsifying a patient chart so that an unwitting nurse will administer a massive dose of a drug Monk is deathly allergic to. Fortunately, Natalie shows up in the nick of time.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," rapper Extra Large is killed by a car bomb and his limo's driver is hospitalized. Once the limo driver's out of intensive care, the bomber, who believes that the driver saw him plant the bomb, sneaks into the driver's hospital room and strangles him with the chain of a pocket watch.
  • Sick Episode: "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed"
  • Significant Name Overlap: The episode "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies" has the detective investigate the deaths of two women named Julie Teeger. Monk's assistant, Natalie Teeger, also has a daughter named Julie, so this case is especially worrying for her. Here's what happened: One victim's husband was having an affair and his mistress sent the evidence to his wife. The other victim received it by mistake and brought it to her. The husband then killed his wife and then chased down and killed her namesake when he realized she could finger him as the perpetrator.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Invoked and Inverted in "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk". Monk attempts to do this to Al Nicoletto to extract a confession from him, and also orders for a non-alcoholic beverage (intended for himself) and an alcoholic beverage for Nicoletto. He ends up being the one drunk shortly thereafter. It's implied that the orders were mixed up.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Wendy Stroud, the midwife who disappeared several years before the events of the series. She appears as a skeleton in "Mr. Monk and the End" but her murder prompted Ethan Rickover to kill Trudy (since she was the only one who could connect the two). Trudy's murder is what caused Monk's breakdown and the loss of his job as a detective.
  • Smart People Play Chess: "Mr Monk and the Genius"
  • Smuggling with Dolls: A variant in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut." The titular astronaut uses a doll equipped with an automatic garage door opener as part of his plan to murder his ex. At the end, he steals the doll from the little girl who had gotten it with the idea of dropping it out of the airplane he was testing while it was in flight, getting rid of the evidence.
  • Smug Snake: Several of the killers of the week are like this, which makes it all the more enjoyable when Monk brings them down.
    • Also applies to Harrison Powell, the attorney who rips Monk apart in "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand" because of his OCD and phobias. Monk takes him down, too.
  • Snub by Omission:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut", Steve Wagner quite pointedly leaves Monk out when saying anyone could be a hero.
    • Also happens in "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs" when another detective gives everyone but Monk a copy of directions to his playoff game party. To be fair, Monk doesn't need to have directions since he doesn't drive, not to mention he's got box tickets with Bob Costas.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the TV Star," Monk tells Dr. Kroger this happened in sixth grade when he was the only one not invited to a classmate's birthday party.
    • In fact, this happens to Monk so much that it becomes borderline ridiculous.
  • Sock It to Them: In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival", John Gitomer does this to himself. He ties the sock weapon to a ceiling fan so as to give himself contusions and frame Lt. Adam Kirk.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Inverted. In the final episode, Monk finds out that Trudy, some years before they met, had had an affair and a child by her old law professor. Trudy was led to believe that the child died at birth, but after her murder was solved, Monk found out that her daughter, Molly, lived after all and had been adopted. He sought her out and began a friendship with her. )
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man" has the world's oldest man being suffocated with a pillow....while the room's gramophone plays a very inappropriate upbeat piano piece in the background.
  • Soul-Crushing Desk Job: In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office", Natalie complains about the monotonous nature of office work and compares office workers to drones. Given that Monk likes things the same, this more intrigues than off-puts him.
  • Spit Take: Natalie has two memorable ones.
    • From "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall":
    [Harold is trying to figure out the identity of Monk's new therapist]
    Harold Krenshaw: I'm talking about your new therapist, the mystery doctor, the genius you're always raving about. Who is he? Just tell me his name!
    Adrian Monk: I can't tell you. It's privileged information.
    Harold Krenshaw: No, it's not. What happens in the session is privileged. His name isn't privileged. People recommend therapists everyday. Am I right, Natalie?
    Natalie Teeger: I don't know. I'm just waiting for the conversation to be over.
    Adrian Monk: Okay, fine. His name is doctor... (glances at elevator doors) Door.
    Harold Krenshaw: Dr. Door? Is that the best you can do? I suppose if we were standing by that alarm you would've said "Dr. Bell". (Natalie promptly spits water in Harold's face)
    Natalie Teeger: Oh god, Harold! I'm so sorry!
    • From "Mr. Monk and the Genius":
    Natalie Teeger: You have to admit, he's real good. [takes a sip from her lemonade] What? He was right. I am thirsty. [Monk looks at her oddly] What?
    Adrian Monk: How do you feel?
    Natalie Teeger: Uhhh, I feel fine. [Monk continues to stare at her oddly; she casually takes another sip] What?
    Adrian Monk: It just occurred to me: if there's poison in the lemonade, we could go to the DA and we'd have all the evidence we need. [Natalie immediately spits out the window)
    Natalie Teeger: It just occurred to you?! And you didn't say anything?! My gosh, Mr. Monk, I've never seen you like this! [She dumps the rest of her cup onto the pavement, clearly disgusted]
    Adrian Monk: How do you feel now?
    Natalie Teeger: You know I hate to disappoint you, but I feel fine!
  • The So-Called Coward: Monk is terrified of 312 specifically named, listed, and ordered things. In spite of constantly encountering them, he always gets his man. And he never gets over his fear.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Protip: Monk can make weddings....interesting. Usually, this involves bodies turning up.
    • First is in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding," when Natalie's brother Jonathan is getting married. Natalie, not feeling comfortable seeing her estranged family by herself, ropes Randy into coming along as her "date". However, shortly after they arrive, someone tries to kill Randy by ramming him with a car driven by someone in Natalie's family, but is unsuccessful, although Randy is left with a broken arm and a broken leg. Monk and Stottlemeyer show up to investigate, and Stottlemeyer goes undercover as a wedding photographer by borrowing a CSI tech's camera. Then the body of the original photographer turns up dead in the mudbath, and Monk determines that his death and the attempt on Randy's life are connected. Turns out Jonathan's bride-to-be is a Black Widow that Randy previously investigated for a murder in Philadelphia.
    • In the novel Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, the wedding in question does not do much apart from serve as a plot point to give a reason for Monk and Natalie to travel to Hawaii in the first place. Natalie gets invited by her Los Angeles friend Candace to be a maid of honor at Candace's wedding, at a five star resort in Hawaii. When the day of travel comes, Natalie flies out to Hawaii, as does Monk, who, not thinking he'll be able to last a week without Natalie, has tagged along by taking Dioxynl. The wedding is aborted when Monk exposes Candace's fiancee Brian Galloway as a bigamist and a pathological liar. During the actual wedding ceremony. To add to this, Brian's car is vandalized later that day, which Monk eventually discovers is the result of drug smugglers trafficking drugs into Kauai by stuffing them into the seats of rental cars. Also, Monk and Natalie stumble on a murder.
      • And after Monk and Natalie return to San Francisco, Natalie gets berated by her mother, who seems less concerned about Candace's fiancee being exposed than about the fact that it was Monk who was responsible for exposing the fact, apparently reminded of how Monk ruined Jonathan's wedding.
  • Staged Pedestrian Accident: In "Mr. Monk and Sharona", Monk discovers that Sharona's late uncle Howard Fleming was a con artist: he apparently has had a history of suspicious falls and accidents with monetary compensation settled out of court, and apparently he had been forced into such a lifestyle because he was deep in debt.
  • Staircase Tumble: In "Mr. Monk Buys a House", Cassie Drake kills Joseph Moody by wheeling him up a flight of stairs in his wheelchair. Then at the top, she releases him, stands him up, and forcibly pushes him down the steps to his death.
  • Status Quo Is God: Whenever Monk makes a new friend, they turn out to be killers trying to manipulate him to attain their own end-goal - like Hal Tucker in "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend," who is an antiques smuggler who befriended Monk so he could recover a photo that would have incriminated him for one of his two murders. Whenever he makes some progress in his mental health, he's back to being worse than ever at the end of the episode. It took the final episode to give him some closure.
    • The final season has him working though some of his problems.
    • On the final season, "Mr. Monk and the Foreign Man" had him make a friend whose wife died in the cold open in a hit-and-run and was not evil or manipulating. However, he wasn't from around this part of the country, so...
      • This friend was literally put on a bus at the end, too.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office", his coworkers at the office he was working at while undercover liked him and seemed to be forming a friendship, but of course after the crime was solved he had to go back to his regular job. Making it worse, Monk had ruined his relationship with them due to not wearing proper shoes at a bowling game.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door" lampshades the trope by having Monk be convinced that Marge Johnson, the elderly woman who had become a mother figure to him, had to have been in on the two murders John Keyes has committed, because everyone else who had become his friend in the past ended up betraying him. Things get awkward when he finds out that she really was innocent, right after cruelly berating her. He eventually does apologize and get some closure.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Badge", Monk quits the force after having been back on it for only a few days, finding consulting to be more of his thing.
    • In "Mr. Monk Falls in Love," Monk sparks a possible romance with Leyla Zlatavich, who is arrested for murdering an escaped war criminal. She had taken the rap for the real killer, her mother.
  • Stock Clock Hand Hang: In one episode, a body was placed on a hand of a clock, falling off the tower when the killer had an alibi.
  • Stock Footage:
    • There is one stock clip of a police car driving past the front of the police station with a lamppost in the visible foreground that is used when moving to scenes at the police station.
    • In the opening to "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa," if you have a good eye, you might noticed that some of the montage shots are footage recycled from "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage" from where Monk and Natalie are stalking Karen Stottlemeyer through Union Square.
      • Later, when the jewel heist is being carried out, the footage of Kenworthy and his crew disabling the alarm, shattering the glass case and stealing the diamond, contains new footage mixed with recycled footage from the diamond heist in "Mr. Monk and the Big Reward".
  • Stock Footage Failure: The opening scene of Monk's doppelgänger being killed by a bus in "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else" is a painfully obvious case of this. Once the doppelgänger is struck by the bus, you see a man walking down the street who clearly has shown no reaction to either the bus horn or the crash, revealing the fact that the street is just a stock shot that was manipulated digitally.
  • Stock Sound Effects: In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," the buzzer that goes off at Fire Company 53 shortly after Monk arrives is a noise you may recognize as the distinct call alarm sound from the television show Emergency!
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In one episode, nearly everyone independently comes up with the idea that Monk is an alien. Except the sheriff, of course.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land
    • When Monk gets his badge back in "Mr. Monk and the Badge". Things definitely are different being a consultant versus being an SFPD detective. For example, when he finds a piece of evidence that the late Officer Russell DiMarco may have been on the take, he's told to keep quiet unless he is 110% sure. As a private civilian, Monk could accuse an officer of corruption without fear of reprisal. However, with a badge, Monk is basically gagged by the Blue Code of Silence, an unwritten rule that exists among police officer culture to not to report on a colleague's errors, misconducts, or crimes, and gets treated the same way Fortune 500 companies treat whistleblowers.
    • The book that "Mr. Monk and the Badge" was ripped from, Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, exhibited this trope as well, in a different sense. Due to a police strike taking most of the force out of commission, the mayor deputizes Monk and Natalie to run the Robbery-Homicide division for the length of the strike, in charge of three eccentric ex-detectives thrown off the force for many of the same reasons Monk had his own discharge. The difference here is that while Monk and Natalie are still investigating the same types of homicides they normally investigate, they don't have the liberty to pick and choose their cases. They have to answer every single homicide case that gets called in. And Monk finds himself swamped, having to find a way to delegate his cases out to his other detectives.
  • Straw Character: Karen Stottlemeyer is one of the worst variety of the type of liberal thinker who is almost a caricature of the majority of this set of people. She is constantly harping on Leland that he needs to be more open-minded and tolerant of other things while never budging one bit from her own position and showing almost zero respect for Leland and simply assuming that her way is the right way. Monk and Natalie avert this trope, though for Monk, this might be more subverted.
  • Strawman Has a Point:invoked In "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend", it's clear that Hal Tucker, the "friend" Monk makes, is up to no good. But then he says "when's the last time you hung out with him?" (To be fair, it's difficult to do so...)
  • Strictly Formula: Episodes take one of four basic plots:
    1. The killer is known, and how the crime was committed is known. The episode is spent trying to find evidence to arrest that person, and these episodes are hence patterned similarly to many episodes of Columbo.
    2. Monk knows who the killer is, and knows what the motive is, but the killer has a seemingly airtight alibi. The episode is spent trying to break that alibi and find out how the killer did it.
    3. In a number of episodes, the plot involves trying to find out the killer, how the murder was done, and why.
    4. In some episodes, the killer's M.O. is known, but not who did it or why.
    • The novel series, for the most part, use this basic formula: Natalie introduces Monk to the reader, and Monk quickly solves an unrelated murder. Then there will be the real murder or murders. Monk accuses someone out of pettiness. Monk then determines the real killer, who has an airtight alibi; typically only Natalie believes him. Monk is proven right. End of story. Though this is not necessarily the case:
      • In Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, for instance, the unrelated murder case does not happen until halfway through the story. The murders that Lucas Breen commits of Esther Stoval and Sparky happen first.
      • In Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, the novel is about Monk and Natalie being put in charge of the SFPD Robbery-Homicide Division when the paid detectives go on strike. That is the A plot. During their time, there are three different high profile homicide investigations - the Golden Gate Strangler serial killer investigation, the subsequent murder of Officer Kent Milner that is related to the Strangler case, and the investigation into the stabbing death of astrologer Allegra Doucet and three related murders. There's even an unrelated shooting of a clerk during a convenience store robbery.
      • In Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, the first half of the story is using threads to set up the main murder mystery's plot (Monk and Natalie meeting Bill Peschel and Paul Braddock, the two eventual murder victims). Also in the first half, there are two unrelated subplots: a small university shooting that Monk solves on the spot, and the assassinations of two judges. Both cases, however, are tied back to the main story in that they are to highlight how Stottlemeyer over relies on Monk for information.
      • In Mr. Monk in Trouble, the unrelated murder at the beginning doesn't have Monk even need to visit the crime scene but identifies the man as having stabbed a woman based on what he's wearing and the bloodstains on his clothes. But it gets called back to when Natalie reads an entry in Abigail Guthrie's journal where Artemis Monk identifies a cowboy as having killed a fellow miner just from tar and wood splinters on the man's clothes, without ever going to the mine or seeing the body. A different mystery in the same journal - about an 1850s train holdup - is used to provide Monk's solution to the current case.
    • Invoked in Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, where Monk becomes quickly bored with Ian Ludlow's novels because he is quick to notice that Ludlow's main character Detective Marshak catches the killer in the exact same way every single time: the killer is given away by a personality quirk. Monk complains that this makes Ludlow's work much more boring than the murder investigations he participates in.
      • Hoist by His Own Petard: That Ludlow has become overly reliant on a single formula for his books (ostensibly because his real talent has run dry or he's facing Writer's Block) gets turned against him when Monk uses it to prove that he killed a UCLA professor in Los Angeles and later murdered a shoe salesman in San Francisco, then framed Sharona's husband Trevor Howe for the former and Natalie for the latter, and is revealed to have killed at least five other people for the same reason. Monk says it himself: just like the killers in his own books, Ludlow dropped clues left and right that were intent on making sure that the least likely suspect took the fall in each case. And like his fictional killers, Ludlow gets caught because of a personality quirk: he cannot resist the urge to go into any bookstore he passes to sign copies of his booksnote . Case in point: Ludlow claims for his alibi for the murder that Natalie was framed for that he was in Los Angeles at the time, only for Monk to reveal that he signed some of his own books at a bookstore near a Noe Valley pizzeria that the victim visited on the night he was killed (which happened to be the same night that Natalie had taken Julie out to that same pizzeria), well before Ludlow claimed he had arrived in San Francisco. It also turns out that Ludlow signed stock at two other bookstores in the city because he reasoned Monk wasn't going to catch onto him that quickly. What also gives Ludlow away is when he mentions that the receipt on the pizza box found in the victim's apartment has a discount mentioning the advertising on Julie's right arm, which is in a cast due to a fractured wrist sustained in a soccer match, and Monk points out that Ludlow hasn't explained how he knows Julie has a cast on her right arm when he's never met her at all.
  • Stripper/Cop Confusion: Sadly, yes, in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding". Monk couldn't notice that the guy had dollar bills sticking out of his belt.
  • Suicide Watch: One episode sees Monk being put on formal suicide watch after a case shatters his confidence in his abilities.
  • Suicide by Sea: While he doesn't die, a visibly disturbed Monk calmly walks into the ocean immediately after being hugged by a nudist in "Mr. Monk and The Naked Man".
  • The Summation: Almost always signaled with the Catchphrase "Here's what happened..." But some episodes play it straight, some play with the formula, and there are a couple that actually lack a summation:
    • Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk", when Randy says, "Monk's in there doing his summation thing. He's wasted." Played with in the manner in which he delivered it.
    • Subverted in "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake", wherein the summation goes through all the usual bells and whistles (black and white flashbacks, dramatic camera shots, etc), oblivious to the fact that the voiceover supplied by an earthquake-rattled Monk is pure gibberish.
    • An unusual one is "Mr. Monk and the Miracle", where Monk and Natalie are telling the summation to a converted Stottlemeyer in a monastery. Unfortunately, since all of the nuns are chanting, they are forced to harmonize the summation to blend it in.
    • Played with in "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike", where a sleep-deprived Monk has been driven crazy by the garbage strike and becomes convinced that the crime in question was actually committed by Alice Cooper because he wanted the victim's antique chair for himself (complete with a cutaway gag, in which Alice Cooper himself guns down the victim and leers evilly over the chair during the summation).
    • Subverted in "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized". In the episode, Monk is hypnotized into thinking he is a 6-year-old again. When he goes to the crime scene, the victim's crotch is exposed, and Monk begins his summation. He starts the whole thing totally seriously, and then claims that the man died of embarrassment. But later, when he confronts Sally Larkin in her garden, he looks her in the eye and gives her the real summation.
    • When attempting to give the summation to Stottlemeyer in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", he has a very hard time attempting to do so and be heard because Novillero is currently playing "The Laissez Faire System" at max volume.
    • Played for laughs in "Mr. Monk and Sharona", when Sharona impatiently forces herself, Monk, and Natalie into Perry Walsh's closet to give the summation. Unfortunately, Walsh hears every word. Right before Monk can give the summation properly, Sharona tells Monk to quickly explain everything, and Monk does literally just that: he speaks incredibly fast and we are rushed through the summation at triple speed, with Monk being literally unintelligible as a result.
    • Played awesomely in "Mr. Monk and the Rapper": Monk declares that a music producer is responsible for the death of his star, but since he's doing this at a tribute concert for said victim, the partygoers won't let him finish the summation, so Snoop Dogg gets up on stage and raps the summation. It's awesome, but you need knowledge of rap metaphors, close listening, or a good understanding of the visuals, to understand what's being said.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Kid" has Monk reads the summation to the one-year old boy he has temporarily adopted as a bedtime story.
    • "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever": Monk and Randy are trapped in the Willowby cabin, as two thugs with automatic rifles are firing at them from outside, pinning them down. Under fire, Randy looks at a fortune cookie that lured him here, and Monk notices scorch marks around a power outlet. They shout in perfect unison, "Oh my god! I've got it! Here's what happened!" Then they dive into their separate summations, which overlap and the black-and-white flashbacks jump back and forth.
    Deputy Paul Coby: My head is spinning! Which one are you listening to?
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Neither one.
    • Lampshaded in "Mr. Monk's 100th Case" when James Novak goes to prison and does a group interview with Jimmy Belmont, Hal Tucker and Joey Krenshaw, put away respectively in "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm," "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend" and "Mr. Monk and the Daredevil." They complain about how tedious the summation part is because Monk is basically telling them what they did, because they were the perpetrators!
    • A couple of times the summation occurs in a Dream Sequence:
      • In "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra", Monk, after being buried alive by Chris Downey, hallucinates himself telling the summation to Trudy.
      • In the The Brady Bunch parody episode "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show", a knocked-out Monk dreams that he delivers the summation as a character on The Cooper Clan, complete with 1970's-style afro.
  • Super OCD: Very. Possibly a misdiagnosed autistic savant, instead.
  • Super Senses: Although not emphasized in every episode, it's periodically shown that Monk's senses, particularly hearing, smell, and touch, are sharp to an almost superhuman degree. The show emphasizes the negative Sensory Overload aspect of having such senses, with Monk often being driven nuts by noises or smells that no one else even notices.
    • For example: in Mr. Monk Is Miserable, he goes into a blind restaurant (e.g. you sit and eat in total darkness) and is able to sense (due to extrasensory perception) someone approaching their table. And he senses from a thumping noise, that the woman sitting with him and Natalie at that table has been fatally stabbed, even before someone turns the lights on to reveal the body.
  • Super-Speed Reading: Monk has this ability, as demonstrated in "Mr. Monk and the Foreign Man" while reading a magazine with Natalie, with him rapidly flipping through it and then getting chewed out by Natalie for giving her no time to read the articles. Monk, of course, makes fun of her "slow" reading speed by claiming they'll have a new President in office by the time she's finished. Of course, speed-reading is justified for Monk due to his Hyper-Awareness, and from "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad" is suggested to have come from his father, as Jack Monk, Sr.'s first on-screen appearance is of him in a holding cell speed-reading a book, on the excuse of "I'm old!"
    • Also invoked in the book Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, when, as Monk and Natalie are driving back to San Francisco after finding evidence exonerating Sharona's husband of murder, Monk speed-reads through several of Ian Ludlow's mystery books, and quickly complains that the books are just using the same formula, again due to the same Hyper Awareness.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute
    • The replacement of Bitty Schram (Sharona) with Traylor Howard (Natalie) in the middle of season 3. The fandom has long been locked in a battle over which one is better. It works better here than a few other cases because things like Natalie being similar to Sharona down to having a kid the same age (Benjy, instead of Julie) can be explained by Monk trying to make things stay the same when life changes around him. Though the episode "Mr. Monk and Sharona" highlights how different they are as well.
      • Lampshaded in the first Sharona/Natalie crossover Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, where Natalie notes "At first, I felt like an actress brought into replace a beloved character on a hit TV show, For months, it seemed as if I was constantly being compared by Monk, and everyone else in his life, to Sharona, and falling short."
    • Also, Héctor Elizondo replaced Stanley Kamel (Dr. Kroger) after his death.
    • International police officers in different countries that have a murder solved by Monk have a duo who acts very similarly to Stottlemeyer and Disher. In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany and Mr. Monk Is Miserable, this provides a convenient Running Gag with the police in Lohr, Germany and Paris, France.
      • In "Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico", Captain Alameda and Lieutenant Plato
      • In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, Hauptkriminalkommissar Stoffmacher and Kommissar Geshir
      • In Mr. Monk Is Miserable, Chief Inspector Philippe Le Roux and Inspector Guy Gadois
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", when Monk meets Dianne Brooks in the check-in line, Dianne asks him if he's dating anyone, which Monk fervently denies with a couple of repetitive "no"s. When Monk and Natalie run into Dianne later, and she thinks that Natalie is Monk's girlfriend, Natalie is visibly smirking when denying they're dating.
    • This happens in several other cases where Monk and Natalie are mistaken for a couple.
    • In "Mr. Monk, Private Eye," Stottlemeyer is in his office browsing an online dating site. When Randy walks in, Stottlemeyer quickly covers up the screen with his coat and tries to claim that he was looking at confidential information on a Vice squad operation. Randy then mentions having seen his profile. Stottlemeyer tries to lie his way out of this, but stops mid-sentence and just admits to browsing around in his free time.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Randy walks into Dr. Aaron Polanski's office, and looks at some old photos of him with acne. He claims to be browsing when asked by the receptionist. Then he decides to take the photos off. After an intense struggle due to the photo being glued on so well, it comes off, taking a piece of the plaster with it, which is exactly when Dr. Polanski walks in.
    Dr. Aaron Polanski: Randall! What a nice sur...prise.
    Randy Disher: Hi, doc. [hands him the torn off photo] This fell off the wall.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", when Monk and Natalie end up telling Stottlemeyer and Disher that they happen to know the victim:
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Know what? What, you know this guy? [Gestures towards the body]
    Adrian Monk: No, not technically...
    Natalie Teeger: [overlapping Monk's words] No, [we] don't "know" him; never met him face to face.
    Adrian Monk: Never formally introduced. Sort of.... [Natalie makes "footsteps" with her fingers] We've been following him.
    Natalie Teeger: Yeah.
    • Also used in tandem with the I Never Said It Was Poison trope.
    • In Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, we have Monk call in anonymous tips to the tip line in one scene claiming he is Anonymous and definitely is not associated with Adrian Monk.
  • Suspect Is Hatless:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger," Randy is chasing down a streaker who's been disrupting police press conferences.
    Randy Disher: [on radio] We’re on foot, heading south towards Prospect!
    Dispatcher: Is there a description?
    Randy Disher: He’s wearing...gray sneakers.
    Dispatcher: Is there anything else?
    Randy Disher: He’s not Jewish!
    • In "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man," a serial killer has struck and killed ten random people in random gruesome ways. Disher informs Stottlemeyer that the FBI has sent a psych profile down. Stottlemeyer promptly puts the file folder to his head:
    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]
    Randy Disher: Yeah. How did you know that?
    Leland Stottlemeyer: 'Cause that's what they always say. That's scrap paper.
  • Tag-Along Actor: Monk acquires David Ruskin in "Mr. Monk and the Actor". It didn't work out well because of the guy's method acting.
  • Take a Third Option
    • In "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk," faced with hiding in either a dumpster or port-a-john, Monk declares "I choose death!" Then reconsiders and decides on the port-a-potty.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger":
    Stottlemeyer: It's either (a) the blind woman who has zero motive or it's (b) your friend the red-headed stranger.
    Randy: Who had motive, means, and opportunity, and was identified by the only witness at the scene.
    Stottlemeyer: A or B, Monk.
    Monk: I think it's C.
    Stottlemeyer: What the hell is C?
    Monk: I don't know yet.
  • Take That!:
    • The episode "Mr. Monk and the TV Star" is this trope against "modern" detective shows like CSI that use "science" to solve mysteries as oppose to traditional observational skills by showing that the "science" is fake as it comes in the form of ridiculously unreal instruments, like spectroscopes being used to find fibers (leading Sharona to boast that Monk solved the case without such a tool when they are arresting the lead star). Also, when watching the taping at one studio set, Monk calls out a geographic mistake in the characters' conversation.
      • "Mr. Monk and the Really Really Dead Guy" does the same thing about computers
    • Max Hudson in "Mr. Monk Is On The Air" is a Take That! to shock jocks and radio pundits. He's got a bit of Howard Stern in him.
  • Talking Animal: Sort of: The animals don't actually speak the English language (and yes, as much as Randy might think it is okay, the state of California does not allow dogs to testify in open court), but a few episodes relating to animals seem to depict the animals with an almost human understanding. In "Mr. Monk and the Dog", this is most noticeable: the dog Monk has to raise after its owner ends up missing (who is also pregnant) seems to be genuinely sorrowful upon learning that her owner died, and her reaction when giving birth is similar to a human. Likewise, in the next episode, "Mr. Monk Goes Camping," the method in which Monk manages to calm a bear down was telling it the murder, and the bear's reactions indicated that it understood fully well what was going on in the story and reacting accordingly.
  • Talking to the Dead: Monk talks to Trudy in his sleep sometimes.
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: Oh my... one guy stuffed his mother in "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies." And he wasn't even the killer. It's clever as a shoutout Psycho.
  • Television Geography:
    • Though set in San Francisco, this show was mostly filmed in Los Angeles. This was painfully evident in "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night" when Monk goes to a train station and both the external and internal shots clearly identify it as Union Station in Downtown LA. So one wonders just how far he wandered off into the night. To be fair, it's a much nicer train station compared to its closest equivalent, the Fourth & King Street Caltrain terminus.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective" referenced the San Bruno train station, which on screen was next to a hilly wooded area where they found a body. It'd be a bit of a stretch trying to hide a body near the real San Bruno train station, since there's a densely built neighborhood about 50 feet away from the tracks... on flat ground... with no palm trees.
    • In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," a house catches fire and a young woman is killed. Stottlemeyer says in the alleyway scene that the house is in the same area of the city as the alley dumpster where the fireman's coat and hat were found, which is said to be the Tenderloin. Except the house shown is clearly in a suburban residential neighborhood. The Tenderloin is a rough neighborhood of downtown San Francisco where there are single row occupancy units, not nice houses.
      • Furthermore, the firehouse where Monk is blinded is said to be five blocks from the scene of the fire, but the buildings around the garage in the establishing shot, and telephone lines running by outside, clearly do not look anything like the Tenderloin region, which is also very hilly. In fact, based on the appearance of the surrounding area, it would be more realistic if the firehouse was in the Sunset District of San Francisco.
    • "Mr. Monk is On The Run" Part Two depicts Riverton, California as a small town. It's actually just an unincorporated community on US Highway 50.
      • In that same episode, you see Stottlemeyer receive a postcard from Monk, who is in hiding. The address shown on the card is for the city of San Francisco with the zipcode 90019. That's actually the Los Angeles zipcode. The actual zip code for the address shown, after checking with the U.S. Postal Service website, is 94105.
    • Likewise, in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," though there is no valley close to San Francisco inside the SFPD jurisdiction that would match the description of the valley where the concert grounds are located, there is a postcard in Greg Murray's trailer addressed to a postal box with an actual San Francisco zipcode (94188).
    • Monk's apartment in the novels, and in a couple of episodes, is said to be on Pine Street a few blocks west of Van Ness Boulevard. However, the stock establishing shots, and the position of the bay in the background, plus some detective research, depicts Monk's apartment as being at the southeast corner of Taylor Street and Broadway in Russian Hill.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," while Monk and Natalie are waiting for the mayor to exit City Hall with his aide, you can see a cable car turning around the corner behind them. San Francisco City Hall is located on Van Ness Avenue between Grove and McAllister least six blocks from the nearest cable car line (which would be the turntable at Powell and Market Streets).
    • In Mr. Monk on Patrol, when Monk and Natalie are taking a New Jersey Transit train from Penn Station to Summit, Natalie refers to the route as the "Dover Line". New Jersey Transit does have commuter trains to Dover, New Jersey from Manhattan via the Midtown Direct track connection in Newark, which is also used to reach Summit. However, the line servicing Summit is actually known as the Morristown Line.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Dog," when pointing out the places Amanda Castle's body is not located, Randy puts a pin on what he notes is "the park we checked yesterday." Said park on the map is Lafayette Park, which is a small inner city park between Laguna Street and Gough Street, and definitely not a grassy clearing surrounded by mountains like the field the search party checks out.
    • Many a crime happens on "Vinton Street". Such a street seems to have been invented specifically to avoid having to use real-life addresses, since there is no Vinton Street in San Francisco, although there is a Vinton Court: a half-block long, uphill alley off of Grant Avenue between Pine and California Streets.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man," Stottlemeyer sees Randy putting up a piece of paper on the board containing the ten murder victims to that point, and Randy says it is a space for the next victim. Stottlemeyer orders him to take it down and says, "There is no "next victim". We’re stopping the son of a bitch at ten." That night, Monk and Sharona go on a stakeout, dragging Sharona's date, deputy mayor Kenny Shale, along, to the house of a potential suspect, Henry Smalls. Smalls gets out of a cab, and as he's walking up to his front door, a masked man comes out from hiding and kills him. Monk rushes over, and struggles with the man, who throws Monk aside and takes off. As Monk gets to his feet, dazed, we cut back to Randy somberly tacking up a picture of Smalls to the board of victims' photos:
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: It’s number 11, damn it. All right, nobody’s going home. I want to know how many of our victims knew Mr. Henry Smalls. We’re gonna revisit every crime scene. We huddle back here at 0900. Go. Go! [detectives leave the room]
    • 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, in "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," Monk and Natalie suspect Linda to be responsible for the shooting death of her partner. And they're right.
  • That One Case: Trudy's murder, which is eventually solved in the show's Grand Finale.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: "It's a Jungle Out There", written and performed by Randy Newman, used beginning in Season 2.
  • Theme Naming:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," Snoop Dogg plays a rapper named Murderuss. His two associates are nicknamed "Mr. Assassin" and "Killa". Makes sense, doesn't it?
    • In Mr. Monk Gets Cleaned Out, the common theme appears to be palindromes. Bob Sebes, a wife named Anna, a Reinier Investment Fund? That's three palindromes right there.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In "Mr. Monk and the Leper", Randy plays the usual "Monk looks over a crime scene music" on the piano while Stottlemeyer searches a room for evidence. When asked about it, he explains that he's supplying background music, much to Stottlemeyer's annoyance. Bonus points for playing the actual theme the moment he stops.
  • Third Act Stupidity: Monk will often let it slip to the killer that he's on to them and has solid evidence to prove it. This usually occurs when the killer is an authority figure in a position to kill Monk in a way that would raise absolutely no questions. As a result, Monk is regularly endangered in ways he could have easily avoided if he had kept his mouth shut and waited for the police to arrive. This is generally explained by the fact that Monk has really bad social skills.
  • This Bear Was Framed:
    • "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room": Ian Blackburn is apparently shot dead in his panic room by his own pet chimpanzee Darwin. Then Monk finds evidence that someone could sneak into the panic room through a secret tunnel.
    • "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan": Marci Maven's dog Otto apparently mauls Marci's neighbor Debbie Ringel. Forensics matches the bite marks up exactly, except Marci insists that Otto was dead for two days when Debbie Ringel was killed. Monk ultimately finds that Debbie's husband John Ringel abducted Otto, took him to his lumberyard, then made cast impressions of Otto's jaw and teeth to fashion a set of pruning shears with dog's teeth. To kill Debbie, he snuck up on her in the toolshed, clobbered her over the head with a brick, then clamped her chest multiple times with the shears.
  • Those Two Guys: "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month" has an example of two guys, Ronnie and Morris, who work together at Mega-Mart. They find the job so boring that they get their kicks from doing stuff like switching name tags. There's another Ronnie and Morris pair: a pair of garbagemen who appear in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife" and "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike".
  • Through His Stomach: In "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door", Marge Johnson wins Monk over by making cubic muffins.
  • Throwing the Fight: In "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch", heavyweight boxer Ray Regis took a dive during the previous title fight in 2003 to raise enough money to pay for experimental operations on his trainer Louie Flynn's daughter.
  • Tie-In Novel: A series of novels was released starting in January 2006, midway through season 4. The first 15 novels were written by Lee Goldberg.
    • As a result of the novel series being written alongside the TV series for the first ten novels, the novels adapt accordingly for plot elements that have happened in the series. For instance:
      • Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu makes reference to Stottlemeyer's divorce, placing it after "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage".
      • Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants most likely takes place after "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" and before "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad," as it was published in July 2007, and the story is said to take place over a week in October. Since it is mentioned that Stottlemeyer is dating Linda Fusco, this also means the novel happens before the events of "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend".
      • However, the whole book was Jossed by the broadcast of "Mr. Monk and Sharona", and must now be considered an Imaginary Story.
      • Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop was the first novel written after Stanley Kamel (and hence Dr. Kroger)'s death and the casting of Hector Elizondo as Dr. Bell, so Dr. Bell is featured in it, and this places its events after "Mr. Monk Buys a House".
    • Starting in Mr. Monk on the Road, the novels explore Monk's life after solving Trudy's murder. Novel 16 and onwards are written by another show writer, Hy Conrad. All of the novels are written from Natalie's point of view.
    • Two novels were eventually adapted into episodes: Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse was adapted into "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing," and Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu was adapted into Mr. Monk and the Badge. The prefaces to editions of these books published following the release of their episode adaptations warn you that you will experience the feeling of Deja Vu if you read them after watching the episodes.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part: Some murderers kill their spouses to hook up with their illicit lovers, to collect on life insurance, or to sidestep how much assets they'd lose in a messy divorce case. However, a disturbing number of them seem to kill their wives or husbands simply because they've simply grown to hate them that much.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Any time someone tries to shake down a murderer, it never ends well.
    • In Mr. Monk Is On Board, one of the subplots is that plastic surgeon Darby McGinnis is an unrepentant drunk with a taste for Jack Daniel’s. Darby performed cosmetic procedures on four friends. Impressed by his work they convinced their fifth friend to get work as well. Sadly she died due to complications as Darby was operating on her while intoxicated. A year later, upon finding out that he would be on the Golden Sun cruise the four met and set up a series of accidents, meant to kill him, before finally attempting to throw him overboard. Monk and Natalie convince them to let him live and they leave him on the deck. Upon waking up and realizing that he almost drunkenly stumbled overboard for the second time, Darby decides it is time to make a change… by sticking to beer for a while.
    • Also in Mr. Monk Is On Board, Natalie goes to a support group for struggling businesses, and one of them is the owner of a site called No wonder his site is struggling, 'cause he clearly thought it was a brilliant idea to create an online dating service for the world’s Amish population, a religious sect that doesn’t even use electricity, much less the Internet or Wi-Fi.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Monk seemed to definitely take this up a notch especially in season 7. Then reversed in season 8.
    • Averted in Mr. Monk Helps Himself, where it's not that Monk changes, but that with everything going on with Natalie and Ellen Morse occupied with another case, that they just can’t handle the usual level of Monk. In fact he tries hard to invert this but just isn’t that good at it.
      • Played Straight in Mr. Monk Gets on Board while he always puts down her business due to the fact that it sells dung and other objects made from fecal material. It only got worse after she moves her business to San Francisco to be with him. Unfortunately her business doesn’t have as much of a nitch in San Francisco allowing Monk to say I Warned You this eventually caused Ellen to go through a relapse of her obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Stottlemeyer and Disher started season 1 being more or less unappreciative of Monk and not exactly happy when he gets called in to work their cases. It took a few episodes for them to warm up to Monk and it took until season 2 more or less for them to start calling him in on cases directly as opposed to the mayor shoving Monk down their throats.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Natalie makes an off-handed comment twice in Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop which involves this trope:
    "I kept waiting for the Neighborhood Watch Committee to march on my house with torches to drive me away because I don't have breast implants, a German car, or an iPhone. What saved me was that I was a thin, natural blonde with a perky smile, but I knew that wouldn't hold them off for much longer."
  • Totally Radical: Monk's idea of "cool" and "hip" formed some time in the mid-70's and has not changed one bit since then. Which is fine, but unfortunately, he believes the same is true for everyone else.
  • Tricked Into Escaping: "Mr. Monk's Other Brother" involved Adrian's half-brother Jack Jr. escaping from jail only to get framed for killing prison social worker Lindsey Bishop during the getaway. As it turns out, the plan was created by prison guard Daniel Reese, the actual killer, and given to Jack Jr.'s cellmate, with the idea of making Lindsey's death look like it was committed by the escapee.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "It's a Jungle Out There" starts in C minor, but about midway through jumps to F minor.
  • Truth in Television: In "Mr. Monk Meets the Red-Headed Stranger", Monk is invited into Willie Nelson's tour bus and immediately asks "Do you smell that?" Willie answers "No, and neither do you." alluding to his well-known fondness for pot. On two separate occasions, in 2006 and 2010, marijuana had been found and confiscated off his bus.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue:
    • "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies" - we intercut between Adrian and Pat van Ranken each reenacting the shooting of van Ranken's wife in their respective kitchens, with the dialogue and positions of the two synched to suggest they're doing it at the same time.
    • In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," when Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher are listing off some of Monk's idiosyncrasies, they jump back and forth:
    Randy Disher: Oh, he has some idiosyncrasies.
    James Novak: Like what?
    Randy Disher: Fear of heights. Fear of germs. Spiders. Milk.
    Natalie Teeger: [ticking off on her fingers] Crowds, elevators, fire.
    Randy Disher: Rabbits, tunnels, bridges.
    Natalie Teeger: Boats.
    Randy Disher: Decaffeinated coffee
    Natalie Teeger: Lightning.
    Leland Stottlemeyer: The wind. He's afraid of the wind.
    Randy Disher: Egg whites.
    Natalie Teeger: Bad.
    Randy Disher: Naked people. That one is way up there. I think it goes "naked people" and then "death."
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," the continue-the-conversation version: Monk and Natalie are conversing with Dianne and Kyle Brooks at lunch:
    Adrian Monk: Wait. Didn’t you used to have a dog named Tangerine?
    Dianne Brooks: What a memory! That’s amazing! Trudy was always bragging about his amazing memory! That’s right. I had a poodle, junior and senior year, Tangerine.
    Adrian Monk: That’s right.
    Dianne Brooks: And then Kyle brought home this big ball of love a couple of weeks ago.
    Kyle Brooks: Yeah. He was already named. That’s what they were calling him at the shelter. “Tangerine”.
    Dianne Brooks: Isn’t that funny? I mean, what are the odds of that?
    [Cuts to Monk and Natalie walking down a dormitory hallway, obviously continuing the conversation]
    Adrian Monk: One in a million, maybe one in a trillion!
    Natalie Teeger: Mr. Monk, forget about the dog!
    Adrian Monk: How could the same person have two dogs, 25 years apart, happened to be named Tangerine? "Tangerine"? And this Tangerine is black!
    Natalie Teeger: Why would anybody lie about a dog's name?
    Adrian Monk: I don't know, but... there is something weird about that guy. Dianne said that "he couldn't wait to meet me," but he didn't even know I was a detective!
  • Two First Names:
    • Kendra Frank in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert"
      • Stork also counts, as Kendra tells Monk and Natalie, "His real name was Greg Murray."
    • Ray Regis in "Mr. Monk Takes a Punch"
    • Billy Logan in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever"
      • Also Stan[ley] Lawrence
    • "Honest" Jake Phillips in "Mr. Monk Buys a House"
    • James Novak in "Mr. Monk's 100th Case"
    • Daniel Reese in "Mr. Monk's Other Brother"
    • Marge Johnson in "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door"
    • Dr. Davis Scott in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital"
    • Jay Bennett in "Mr. Monk, Private Eye"
    • Brother and sister Lynn and Aaron Hayden in "Mr. Monk and the Big Game"
    • Dr. Oliver Bloom in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist"
    • Steve Wagner in "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut"
  • Two-Way Tapping: "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective" has Monk doing this while having a conversation with Natalie. During this conversation, the "This call is monitored for quality assurance" rep interjected herself into Monk's and Natalie's conversation.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "BM" for "shit" and "haul bottom" for "haul ass".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight
    • This is what the limo driver tries in "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs" to hide his victim's body in plain sight by dressing it as a passed out fan. How no-one noticed the stench of dead flesh or even flies around the body is a mystery.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Miracle", when Monk and Natalie are harmonizing The Summation to get it to Stottlemeyer, we wonder how come none of the other monks hear two voices that obviously don't blend in.
    • In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case", the scene where James Novak and his camera crew tail Monk and Natalie to a horror restaurant as they check out a lead on a discovered link between the first two murder victims. When they are walking in, the restaurant in question is open for business and customers are seen at several tables. And if you're noticing, none of the patrons even notice this couple surrounded by a group of men with heavy film cameras and backlights.
  • Unconventional Smoothie: In "Mr. Monk is On The Run - Part 1", Natalie needs to use a power drill to get Monk's shackles off. Unfortunately, Randy is also staking out Natalie's house. To explain the drill, she pretends that her blender broke and uses the drill to create a smoothie from a number of questionable and unusual ingredients that just happen to be lying around in plain sight.
  • Up to Eleven: Monk's OCD becomes much worse after Trudy's murder.
  • Variations on a Theme Song: "Mr. Monk and the Rapper" had Snoop Dogg not only guest-star as Murderuss, but also had him rap out the opening theme song "It's a Jungle Out There".
  • Very Special Episode
    • Parodied in "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man", but arguably does a better job of preaching tolerance than serious uses of the trope.
    • Also in the episode "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend" about Friendship. Hal Tucker makes friends with Monk and puts up with all his quirks and phobias. He also points out while Monk considers Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher friends, Hal tells them off in a "You Suck" speech to the three of them about how they just use Monk in a one-sided manner. Turns out Hal is the murderer they suspected earlier and Monk desperately wants him not to be the killer even when he threatens to kill Monk. Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher save the day and Monk learns they really are his friends.
    • "Mr. Monk Buys a House" could be considered one if you factor in that the series had to adjust after Stanley Kamel died of a heart attack in April 2008.
  • Verbal Business Card: The main characters sometimes introduce themselves with the "I'm [X]. I'm an [X]" format.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion": Natalie meeting Dianne Brooks for the first time:
    Natalie Teeger: Hi! I'm Natalie Teeger.
    Dianne Brooks: Hi. Dianne Brooks. [shakes hands with her]
    Natalie Teeger: I'm his assistant.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", Kendra gives one when she introduces herself to Monk and Natalie:
    Kendra Frank: Excuse me! Excuse me! Hi. I heard some cops talking back there. They said you're some kind of detective?
    Adrian Monk: That's true, I am "some kind of detective"....
    Kendra Frank: Hi, I'm Kendra Frank. I'm a roadie with Trafalgar.
  • Villains Blend in Better: As overbearing as Monk can be, the show makes it perfectly clear that just because a person seems put together, doesn't mean they're incapable of terrible violence.
  • Visible Boom Mic: Naturally, a few episodes have suffered this goof.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy," when Monk, Sharona, Stottlemeyer and Disher go to the bodyshop to talk to a suspected hit-and-run motorist mentioned in a newspaper article, you can see the boom mic reflected off the car on the left side of the screen.
    • In "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult," the top of the boom mike dips briefly into the camera viewing area when Monk enters Father's cabin.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies," when Monk has finished the summation, the boom rigging's shadow can be seen. In "Mr. Monk and the Genius," the same thing happens after Patrick Kloster catches Monk planting "evidence".
  • Villain Ball: In "Mr. Monk, Private Eye", if Jay Bennett had just paid for the fender bender damage to his car and not left a threatening note on Linda Fusco's car (or, for that matter, written something like "Sorry!" instead of "Go to hell"), he'd likely not have had to kill Bill Gibbard (a witness who would have confirmed that Bennett killed his girlfriend Anna Pollard) and wouldn't have to try to kill Monk because Linda never would've taken her case to Monk.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dale the Whale in "Mr. Monk Is on the Run, Part 2", thanks to an Engineered Public Confession on Natalie's camcorder.
  • Walk and Talk: A few episodes use this for conversations.
    • A very noticeable one is from "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" in the scene where Natalie sees a city bus with an advertising wrap of her. We are treated to a long continuous shot of Monk and Natalie walking down a sidewalk and conversing, which is all done in one take, and the angle does not change until they get to the end of the block.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," the scene where Monk and Natalie are walking to Monk's old dormroom is filmed in this style.
      • In that same episode, Monk and Natalie's first scene - with them walking on campus after Natalie, exasperated, tells Monk to forget about fussing with his lapel pin - is also filmed in this way. However, it may fall into visible camera equipment territory, because if you look at the sidewalk on the left side of the screen, you can see the track that the camera rig is running on.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Getting back on the police force was one of Monk's goals since the start of the show. When he finally accomplished it late in the final season, he discovered that he actually preferred the independence of being an outside consultant.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back:
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine", Monk ends up taking a type of medication where all of his regular quirks are being suppressed and he can live a (relatively) normal life after an incident where he was forced to let a criminal get away due to his hands being soiled. It works too well, and he ends up becoming similar to one of those jerkish college frat-boys, with Sharona and the SFPD wanting the Monk they know to be there. Eventually, Monk manages to give up on that medication when it became apparent that he'd have to choose between the medicine and his memories of Trudy.
    • Lee Goldberg brings the drug back in some of the novels, as the only way Monk can manage to fly. In Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, at one point Natalie observes that this will keep him from solving the murder. He replies that he has already solved it, and just needs to find the evidence— indeed, it turns out that in his normal state he would not have been ABLE to handle the evidence. Unfortunately, Monk and Natalie are almost killed when the shack they enter to retrieve the evidence in question catches fire, and they barely escape the flames.
  • Weirdness Magnet
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever", Natalie observes that everywhere Monk goes, people get murdered, supposing he's followed by some karmic cloud of disaster. By the end of the episode, she changes her mind about him: he's not a Weirdness Magnet for murder, he's cosmically drawn to where murders occur so he can solve them.
    • Natalie's one to talk here. Or rather, Julie is, because in the course of the TV episodes, she gets caught up in a total of six homicide investigations and one museum heist. In at least two novels, Julie provides a crucial clue for Monk to solve a homicide. In Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, Julie's knowledge of shoe styles and fashions gives Monk a clue about the Golden Gate Strangler killings, and in Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, she breaks her wrist and her cast is crucial to helping Monk nail Ian Ludlow for the murder of a shoe salesman.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": In "Mr. Monk Goes Home Again," it's revealed that Ambrose was named after a pet tortoise.
  • We Need a Distraction
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine", Lester Highsmith's ex-wife commits suicide, but she has written a suicide note that incriminates him in a bloody armored car robbery and even gives out the details of his next heist. Fearing that the cops at the scene will find the incriminating note, Lester drives a few blocks, and when he sees some police officers shaking down a biker who missed his bail hearing, Lester pulls out his pistol and opens fire on them. Captain Stottlemeyer is wounded when a bullet hits him in the shoulder. Due to the shooting and an "Officer down" call, the cops at Lester's ex-wife's apartment are called away. After the shooting, Lester quickly drives away, gets rid of the pistol used in the shooting, returns to his ex-wife's apartment, and replaces her suicide note with a fake one while the police are occupied with the drive-by.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend", Natalie uses the pretense of viewing a new apartment to keep Stottlemeyer's girlfriend out of her house while Monk searches it for evidence that proves her responsible for shooting her business partner.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy", the killer takes out a street musician in a gruesome way so that the police will be drawn away from his girlfriend's death so that incriminating stomach contents that could lead back to him will be destroyed. This works because the killer is a doctor, meaning he knows anatomy, and that the stomach contents dissolve within 36 hours after death.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Magician," when Monk and Natalie go to Torini's loft apartment to question him, Torini makes his entrance using a classical magician's trick of misdirection: First, Monk notices one of Torini's gadgets, a Zig Zag Cabinet. As he's noticing it, Torini's voice comes booming over hidden loudspeakers and instructs him to step away from the cabinet. At that point, fog machines emit colored fog in the room in front of them. Monk and Natalie's attention is drawn to the fog, thinking that Torini will make a dramatic entrance from the fog, but it turns out the machines are meant to keep them from noticing Torini walk up behind them until he clears his throat.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse", Angeline Dilworth tries to distract Monk, through exploiting Natalie's fear of voodoo, by tricking her into thinking she would be decapitated. It backfires due to his concern for her.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring", Lyle Peck stages a small fire to distract the crowd at the science fair while he steals his incriminating moon rock from Julie's tank. Stottlemeyer grabs a kid's homemade fire extinguisher, which only makes the fire worse:
    Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Hey! What's in this thing?!
    Kid: Turpentine.
    • Holding the Floor: In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding," Monk does a long-winded toast to hold Jonathan Davenport's Black Widow bride at bay until Stottlemeyer can bring Randy down to identify her.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Very Very Old Man," Stottlemeyer is in his office when Randy comes in to inform him that his wife's arrived. Leland panics and tells Randy to talk to her and keep her occupied while he prepares the office for her arrival. This includes hanging a Native American dreamcatcher on a lamp, installing a waterfall (with coffee for water because he has no time to find a water pitcher), hiding his gun in a drawer (because Karen doesn't like firearms), and hiding a lot of his personal junk (like a stuffed duck).
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: A subplot of "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas" involves Monk attempting to help Stottlemeyer recall what happened when he had a hangover, leading him to forget that he apparently found proof that Daniel Thorn murdered his wife. This includes him not having any memory of himself participating in and winning first place in a karaoke contest.
  • What the Hell, Hero?
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger", when Stottlemeyer finds out that Monk not only released a streaker that they just picked up for disrupting two police press conferences, but also hired him to streak, is about to tell Monk off for it, until Monk points to Mrs. Mass to indicate her reaction, showing he actually had a good reason for hiring him: See You Just Told Me below.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bully", this scene where Natalie angrily chews Monk out for stalking Roderick Brody's wife:
    Adrian Monk: If we leave right away, we can be at her house by eight o'clock. [Natalie rolls her shoulders] We can follow her all day-
    Natalie Teeger: Yeah, look, uh, Mr. Monk, I have to tell you something. I made a decision: if you want to keep following Mrs. Brody, I suppose that's your right, although it really isn't, but, I can't help you anymore.
    Adrian Monk: Why not?
    Natalie Teeger: I—I—I'm just not comfortable! Her husband fired us!
    Adrian Monk: It's what they call pro bono.
    Natalie Teeger: No, "pro bono" is for lawyers! This is stalking!
    Adrian Monk: No, this is comeuppance. Pro bono comeuppance. [Natalie explodes with rage]
    Natalie Teeger: No! NO! That is just crazy talk! [She marches forward and switches off Monk's table lamp]
    Adrian Monk: It's not crazy talk!
    Natalie Teeger: Pro bono comeuppance?! That's the craziest talk there is! You heard what he said! He wants you to quit!
    Adrian Monk: [scoffs] I wanted him to quit! I begged him to quit 40 years ago, in stall #3! [He starts looking at the digital camera] Oh yeah. [Natalie's 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 Monk, Natalie and Lieutenant Disher looking at Douglas Fendle's dead body]
    • In the Tie-In Novel Mr. Monk Is Miserable, Dr. Kroger does this to Natalie over the phone for blackmailing Monk into taking her to Paris when he learns from Monk that she hasn't been doing her job of assisting him.
    • In the Tie-In Novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, Julie is seen tearfully berating her mother for going into an abandoned warehouse and almost getting herself killed.
    • In "Mr. Monk Is On The Run," Stottlemeyer shot Monk - fortunately, Monk was wearing a bulletproof vest as they were faking his death to keep the police from further pursuing him. When he enters a room with other cops, they all look disgusted.
      • Natalie later chews him out for covering up from her the fact that Monk was alive and in hiding. To be fair, though, Stottlemeyer had reasons why he couldn't disclose this information: namely, because he has uncovered evidence that Sheriff John Rollins, the man who framed Monk for shooting Frank Nunn, is dirty and is on the take. Monk says the same thing to her when she finds him at a Nevada car wash: he and Stottlemeyer didn't tell her because they believed Rollins knew he was alive, and he would follow Natalie if she left town to see him...and then Rollins promptly reveals himself with a pistol drawn.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Wrong Man," Monk has been helping proven-innocent convict Max Barton rebuild his life, but after hooking Max back up with his old ex-wife Sherry, he is confronted by Sarah McNally, the witness to the double-homicide Barton had been convicted of. She is aghast that he's helping Barton and doesn't care about the DNA evidence because she turns out to have a photographic memory, so she knows everything about the day of the murders, and insists that it was Barton she saw walking away from the crime scene after she went to her window to investigate some screaming coming from next door. This causes Monk to realize that Barton had been guilty of the murders all along. The only thing he'd gotten wrong about the case was assuming that Barton had been working alone, as opposed to having an accomplice.
  • Whodunnit to Me?:
    • Linda Kloster in "Mr. Monk and the Genius" goes to Monk and Natalie because her husband Patrick, a chess grandmaster, is planning to kill her and she posthumously wants him to pay for what happens. Monk fulfills this promise.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the End", it's Monk himself.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Randy is a great female impersonator. In fact, twice, in "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny" and "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies," he goes undercover as a woman. In the former, he wears a strawberry blonde wig to pass as a homeless bag lady at the homeless shelter while in stakeout mode (though Monk and Sharona see through it right away). In "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies," he dresses in drag and a gray wig to play Matthew Teeger's deceased mother's corpse, wearing a wire to catch a confession. After it's over and Matthew is taken into custody, Monk quips, as he breaks the news to Julie and Natalie, "That's him, and that's his mother," pointing first to Matthew, then to Randy, who hasn't had time to change out of his bra.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: The perp in "Mr. Monk and the TV Star", Brad Terry, is the star of a detective show; his Loony Fan Marci Maven subsequently defects to Monk after Brad's arrest:
    Marci Maven: You are the greatest detective in the world! You are the greatest detective in the universe! You should have your own show!
    • This is made even greater by the fact that she immediately announces he should "never change his theme song" (a complaint she used against the previous actor she was obsessed with). Monk had just changed its theme song to one that fans didn't quite like as much and they played the old theme song over the end credits as a Take That, Us, or self-deprecation.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Extremely common since Monk is afraid of practically everything. A common element in every episode is that if Monk mentions something he is specifically afraid of early in the episode, then that means he's going to have to confront that particular phobia by the end.
  • Wild Teen Party
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert". Monk, Natalie, and Captain Stottlemeyer go to a music festival in town that week to look for Stottlemeyer's son, and the only reason why Monk goes along is when he discovers that he accidentally took the phrase "rock show" to mean a geology exhibit. While waiting outside, due to being horrified at learning what he actually agreed to go to, Monk is utterly disgusted when a couple starts passionately making out on the hood of Stottlemeyer's car. The trope fades into the background after Monk and Natalie are roped by Stork's girlfriend Kendra Frank into investigating the murder.
    • Inverted with the episode "Mr. Monk is the Best Man". Because Stottlemeyer lets Monk plan his bachelor party (which proved to be a very big mistake), it's barely even a party, and most certainly isn't wild: with a port-a-potty within the actual bathroom, pizza with literally nothing on it (not even cheese or sauce), one 12 ounce beer for each partygoer (12 party members, amounting to 144 oz of alcohol total) which requires them to appoint Randy as "Designated Drunk"; a joke about Stottlemeyer's failed relationships that goes cold before Monk even gets to the punch line, and he shows them Bachelor Party as their movie, of which the movie is implied to not be a popular choice among the cops. The closest it ever gets to being a wild teen party is when Randy staggers in asking who owns the police unit out front that's painted a charcoal gray with flames on the side and on the roof and windshield, which causes everyone to run outside and find Stottlemeyer's car on fire.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Randy Disher and Sharona Fleming. Teased throughout all of Bitty Schram's tenure with the show, seemingly dropped after she left, then confirmed that they will as of the series finale.
    • They are definitely living together in Mr. Monk on Patrol.
  • Working the Same Case:
    • The pilot included Monk being called in on two unrelated cases (a stabbing in a staged burglary and a shooting that was an attempted assassination), in fact by two different police jurisdictions, only to later discover that the same man committed both murders.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man," where Monk is called in to a hit-and-run at a tollbooth plaza, where a driver handcuffs a tollbooth operator's wrist to a long rope and drags him to his death for almost a mile. Later, Monk connects it to a random strangling at a movie theater. The connection: the $10 bill used by the killer at the movie theater is sequential to the bill used by the hit-and-run driver at the toll plaza. They are tied to a string of unsolved murders.
    • "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed" exhibits this trope: Stottlemeyer and Disher are roped into investigating the disappearance/murder of superior court judge Jillian Garr on a deputy commissioner's orders. While they're doing that, Monk is bedridden and Natalie is investigating the murder of a pizza delivery boy who was apparently attacked shortly after delivering a pizza to Monk's apartment. Natalie suspects that a guy named Reggie Dennison committed the murder. Upon carrying out an unauthorized search for evidence (due to the police being too busy to send a uniform over), she stumbles on evidence that shows Dennison was having an affair with the missing judge. It turns out Dennison had killed the judge in his bathroom with a baseball bat just as Julio showed up, and then killed Julio when he tried to intervene. He then took on Julio's uniform and made the pizza boy's next delivery, before ditching him, so that someone else would be the last person to see "Julio" alive and Dennison could divert attention from himself.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure," this is the case, with Monk and Natalie accompanying Dr. Kroger's son and his pals into the hills following a supposed treasure map, which is actually tied to a bank robbery that Stottlemeyer and Disher are investigating. In the first half, Stottlemeyer's and Monk's investigations are intercut, though we the audience are aware from the beginning that the two cases are connected.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door," John Keyes kills the security guard of the Guinness world records museum and steals an egg-eating robot. A few nights later, he robs a jewelry store and shoots the manager when the manager recognizes him by voice. Monk investigates both deaths. Interestingly, the police connect Keyes to the jewelry store robbery before they connect him to the museum robberynote . Monk and Natalie are just walking past Keyes's house after apologizing to Marge for wrongly accusing her of complicity in the store robbery when Monk spots some spilled hydraulic fluid on Keyes' driveway, and remembers finding traces of the same substance at the museum, which at first had indicated the robot was dripping oil. Tracing the fluid into Keyes's garage leads to Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer discovering the egg eating robot. Keyes stole the robot and reprogrammed it to become his alibi for the robbery.
    • In Mr. Monk in Outer Space, Monk is brought in to investigate the death of Burgerville CEO Brandon Lorber, whose shooting death he quickly realizes was actually a heart attack - and the shooter passed off the death as a murder. The next day, he is brought in to consult on an apparently unrelated incident, the shooting of Beyond Earth creator Conrad Stipe at a convention. The day after that, a cab driver named Phil Bisson is shot and killed in what Monk deduces as being a staged robbery. It is this third murder that causes Monk to deduce that Lorber and Stipe were shot by the same person - he finds a piece of chewing gum that is the same brand as a piece that Stipe was chewing before he was killed, and a wrapper from a coffee candy in Lorber's office. The shooter was a hired hit man. Bisson was the cab driver who drove the hit man away after he shot Lorber's body. During the ride to the airport, the hit man lost his Blackberry, which had incriminating messages between him and his employer and information on Lorber. Stipe answered it when the hit man called it from an airport payphone. The hit man killed Stipe and the cabby as he couldn't risk that either of them had browsed his messages.
    • In Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, the murders of two men, Paul Braddock and Bill Peschel are being investigated by different parties simultaneously: Lt. Disher to Braddock's death, and Monk and Natalie to Peschel's death. Monk eventually finds evidence that both were killed by Nick Slade.
    • In Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, Monk and Natalie stop by a North Beach firehouse to investigate the death of Sparky, a beloved firehouse dalmation bludgeoned with a pickaxe during an apparent break-in. They also stop by a nearby house fire in which a 64 year old woman named Esther Stoval was killed. Monk deduces that Esther's death was actually a Fiery Coverup. Her house, we learn, was one of several scheduled for demolition for a new condo complex. When Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer question Lucas Breen, the developer, Monk immediately pegs him as Esther's killer. After Monk and Natalie requestion a dog-loving witness who saw a man dressed as a firefighter leaving the firehouse after Sparky was killed, Monk deduces that Breen also killed Sparky: Breen went to Esther's house, killed her, set the house on fire, but he left his overcoat behind as he fled. He went to the firehouse to get a coat and helmet so he could sneak into the fire and recover it without emergency crews noticing him. He didn't expect the dog, and was forced to kill him with an axe.
      • This story was adapted into an episode called "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing". Some things are changed: The killer, Eddie Murdoch, kills Stefanie Preston, the girlfriend of his boss Peter Breen, by strangling her then setting her house on fire. However, he leaves Breen's house keys behind, but when he realizes it, the fire engines are going past him. He goes to the nearby firehouse to pick up a firefighter's coat and helmet, unaware that Monk and a firefighter named Rusty are there. When Rusty confronts him, Murdoch strikes him over the head with a shovel, killing him. Monk comes around and fights with Murdoch, who overpowers him by grabbing a bucket of cleaning solvent and throwing it in Monk's face, blinding him. While Monk is covering his eyes, Murdoch makes his escape and retrieves the keys at the burning house. Monk connects the two cases because of his other senses: he knows the killer smelled like he'd been drinking rum, and later when at Stefanie Preston's house, he finds a few charred rum bottles.
    • In Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, Monk, Natalie and Sharona look into a beating death that Sharona's husband has been framed for. When Monk and Natalie go back to San Francisco, they find themselves investigating a staged alligator attack. Monk finds evidence that ties both deaths to mystery author Ian Ludlow.
    • Averted and subverted in Mr. Monk on the Couch: Natalie helps Monk investigate a number of knifings happening in her own neighborhood. However, her own case involving a man who died of natural causes with a fake identity, is not connected to it.
      • Subverted with the murder case. When a BART engineer named Stuart Hewson is shot and killed in his Noe Valley house, Monk deduces that it is related to three knifings in the area committed by ex-con Rico Ramirez because Hewson's house had a view into the bedroom of Mark Costa, Ramirez's second victim. However, from the spotlessness of the crime scene and the number of bullets put in the body, Monk deduces that the killers are actually Jerry Yermo, William Tong, Gene Tiflin and Corinne Witt, four crime scene cleaners he has been hanging around the past week. Hewson had spotted the crime scene cleaners discovering the ex-con's fortune of diamonds in Costa's house. They killed him because he was trying to blackmail them.
    • In Mr. Monk in Trouble, Monk determines that the recent murders of Trouble's history museum security guard, an old train engineer, and an ex-con, are tied back to a famous train holdup committed in the early 1960s. The gold stolen in the holdup was hidden inside the locomotive's furnace, but since the train's run was extended due to the publicity brought on by the heist, the locomotive ran for twenty more years, then got snatched up by the history museum.
    • In Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, Monk and Natalie are investigating the murder of Helen Gruber, bludgeoned and killed in her bungalow at the Grand Kiahuna Poipu resort. It seems to have been committed by her much younger husband and his lover. Later, the resort's manager Martin Kamakele is killed and buried in a luau garden. At the same time, Monk is investigating Dylan Swift, a TV medium he purports to be a fraud. At the very end, it turns out that Swift is not just a fraud, but also the murderer: he had wired up the hotel rooms and bungalows at the resort with listening devices so he could pick up information guests taked about and use it as part of his way of tricking people into thinking he was getting information from the afterlife. The first murder victim happened to have hearing aids, and she started hearing voices when she moved into the bungalow - which is revealed to have been because her hearing aids were picking up the feeds from the hidden listening bugs. Swift feared she would discover the source of the "voices" and killed her to keep her from talking. He also used information he had picked up from the victim's husband and his lover to frame them. The resort manager happened to be in on Swift's TV show tactics. But after learning how Swift had "solved" the case, he realized the truth and tried to blackmail Swift, who killed him and buried him.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit:
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival," John Gitomer beats himself up with a battery-stuffed gym sock, then meets with Lt. Adam Kirk under the guise of turning state's evidence on a drug deal in order to accuse him of brutality, thus discrediting his testimony against Leonard Stokes, an old friend awaiting trial. What he wasn't told was that Stokes had an extra surprise in store; the operator of the ferris wheel Gitomer met with Kirk on is Kitty Malone, Stokes's girlfriend, who stabs him, to frame Kirk.
    • Subverted in "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," where Linda Fusco, who shot and killed her business partner, tries to discredit Monk and Natalie by claiming to Stottlemeyer that Monk threatened her that he would have her arrested if she didn't sleep with him. This backfires because Stottlemeyer has known Monk longer than her. If anything this could be a Villain Ball moment as well, since before that, Linda stated that Stottlemeyer was completely on her side and wouldn't even hear Monk out on the theory. Once Stottlemeyer heard this story, Stottlemeyer starts to get suspicious.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized," Sally Larkin murders her husband and makes it look like he kidnapped her and held her captive in a woodland cabin for a few days. This one works better because she's supposed to be an actress.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The timeline of certain past events revealed in the finale makes no sense and contradicts facts established previously in the series.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: A case of this is in "Mr. Monk Is on the Run", both parts. Monk is framed for shooting a six-fingered man by a corrupt sheriff (Scott Glenn) named John Rollins.
    • In the first part of the episode, Monk commits the following offenses while on the lam:
      • Escaping custody (a crime whether or not you are guilty of the crime you have been accused of committing).
      • He attempts to accelerate his journey by stealing a man's pickup truck (it doesn't work out because the club is locked around the steering wheel, so it just goes in circles around a gas pump).
      • He goes to Natalie, who provides him with clothes and takes off his shackles. If this were discovered, she could face charges of harboring a fugitive.
      • Stottlemeyer probably could face aiding and abetting for arranging with Monk to fake his death and then lying to cover it up.
    • In Part Two, a few more bad cases happen:
      • Monk probably commits ID theft to hide out in Nevada.
      • When Rollins follows Natalie to Monk and tries to arrest both of them, Monk and Natalie attack him, in an eerily The Silence of the Lambs type chase through the car wash. Natalie momentarily incapacitates Rollins by blinding him with a fire extinguisher. Even more, Monk and Natalie escape by stealing Rollins's car.
    • Very likely, however, the governor probably pardoned Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher, given that Monk had demonstrated Medal for Valor-type heroism by thwarting an assassination attempt on the governor's life. Plus, prosecutors would be hard-pressed to explain why a detective was forced to escape from jail to find the killer himself. There's also the fact that lots of people were indicted as a result of Monk's actions.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Every time Monk starts to get better and take a step past his issues, something extremely traumatic will happen that puts him a dozen steps back, sometimes even nearly breaks him again completely. "Mr. Monk and Mrs. Monk" in particular stands out as a very tragic example. He finally makes a step forward that sticks in the finale.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: In "Mr. Monk and the Badge" Monk realizes his goal of being reinstated in the SFPD, only to find that nothing about policing was familiar to him anymore and the episode end with him retiring from the force.
  • You Just Told Me: This is usually how Monk manages to get the perpetrator should the evidence he finds can't implicate the perpetrator directly, although it's more similar to "You Just Showed Me."
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii", this is how Monk manages to deduce that Dylan Swift, a supposed TV psychic who films in San Francisco and Hawaii is responsible for two beating deaths at a hotel in the course of a week: knowing the likelihood that Swift has bugged all of the hotel rooms (Monk figuring this out after he realized that this was the only way Swift could know so much about Natalie's background without meeting her or going on the Internet), he fakes "cleaning" so he can find the devices. So to trap him, Monk and Natalie have a moving conversation, where Monk talks about Trudy and her security blanket. The next morning, Monk sends Stottlemeyer a letter, which he reads when Monk shows up at Swift's show in San Francisco, right after Swift mentions the very same story that Monk told Natalie — a conversation that he could only have known about if he was listening in. The letter itself reads that this story was a trap to incriminate Swift. In this case, some I Never Said It Was Poison is involved, as Monk reveals that Swift, unable to speak to the dead, could only know so much about the first murder victim and her background if he was the killer.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect", the identity of Brian Babbage as the mail bomber is confirmed when he panics at the sight of someone opening one of his custom-made packages. He shouldn't have known about the bombings because he had been in a coma when the bombings happened. (If you're curious about how he managed to set off the bombings while in a coma, watch the episode in full).
    • "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger": Monk clears Willie Nelson's name by proving that Mrs. Mass, the blind woman who was the only other person besides Willie in the alleyway when his road manager was killed, wasn't blind (or at least, not completely blind)—he had a streaker run past her, and she reacted. See the What the Hell, Hero? listing above for more.
    • In the second episode, "Mr. Monk and the Psychic," former police commissioner Harry Ashcombe kills his wife by tricking her into hitting a set of a ramps on a rainy night that send her car flying over a cliff. But a mudslide covers the car that same night, and Harry needs Kate's body to be found without revealing that he had killed her. He looks up a hack psychic named Dolly Flint in the police files. He tricks Dolly into thinking she was guided to the body (in reality, Ashcombe knocked her out, put on a wig, drove through a red light to make sure "she" was seen driving to the crash scene). Monk traps him by getting Dolly to accuse Ashcombe of attacking his former mistress Jenny Zeppetelli, thus forcing him to discredit her—and he helpfully though inadvertently confessed to Kate's murder in the process (Jenny also turns out to be alive, wearing makeup as part of the sting).
    • A mixture of this trope and Bluffing the Murderer was used by Monk on Derek Philby in "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School". Monk, after deducing that Philby killed his mistress Beth Landow and passed it off as a suicide and a custodian who was threatening to blackmail him (as he witnessed the first crime) through a staged explosion, particularly how he committed the former murder, tells Philby that the cops will do a full-scale search of the campus for whatever evidence implicated him. After finding the incriminating glasses in the clock tower, Philby finds Monk and the police waiting for him when he leaves, and Monk then reveals that he didn't need to find proof: he'd already found the glasses and then went back and planted them, knowing full-well where Philby would look.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show," Monk and co. use this method expose forensics expert Howard Gordon as the man who covered up the fact that fashion designer Julian Hodge killed two models and framed a Hispanic delivery boy named Pablo Ortiz. Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher bring Gordo down to the scene where Hodge killed his first victim, and present to him some hairs that they claim have to be Hodge's. Gordo takes them down for testing. When he shows up at the fashion show and is exposed, he says under oath that the hairs are Pablo Ortiz's. Stottlemeyer promptly tells him he's under arrest as an accessory to murder. It turns out the hairs they gave earlier had been Monk's own hair, as they knew full well he'd never actually test them if he were the accomplice responsible for burying the evidence against Hodge.
  • You Know What You Did: In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage", Sgt. Ryan Sharkey, Jr., who is on the take of money launderer Michael Karpov, kills a drug dealer named Chicklet who was scheduled to testify against Karpov. However, in the fight leading up to the murder, Chicklet slams Sharkey's head against a car, knocking one of the guy's teeth out. In order to explain why his blood and tooth are in the crime scene, he provokes Stottlemeyer into punching him by claiming to be having an affair with Stottlemeyer's wife. Leland is suspicious enough to have Monk and Natalie follow her, despite Karen's protestations of innocence. And then he's surprised when Karen asks for a divorce. But it also works the other way: even if the entire drama relating to the murder case hadn't happened, Karen was still planning to divorce him, and flat-out refuses to explain why when he asks. Given that we saw virtually nothing over the series to back her up, especially not in the 20-some episodes since her previous appearance in "Mr. Monk Gets Fired", and only maybe some subtle hints throughout a few season 4 episodes, we don't know what led her to decided to divorce him...
    • The entire dilemma gets a dramatic Call-Back in "Mr. Monk on Wheels". Monk has been shot in his left leg, and is confined to a manual wheelchair, pushed around by Natalie. He acts like a jerk to her because he blames her for his injury, and she accepts it because she blames herself (when the event in question - a bike theft - was something even Natalie could not have anticipated or done something to prevent, so had no reason to blame herself for causing). So due to essentially working round the clock taking care of Monk, wheeling him around in a wheelchair, etc., Natalie is very nearly mentally and physically broken down. After an incident where Monk falls out of his wheelchair at the cemetery crime scene, Stottlemeyer takes Monk aside, and warns him that if he keeps taking his frustrations out on Natalie, he'll eventually lose her, and Stottlemeyer makes clear that he knows this because he sees himself in Monk - being too self-centered, which could have explained Karen's divorce.
  • You Do Not Want To Know:
    • In "Mr. Monk Is On The Run: Part 1", after Monk arrives back at Natalie's house wearing a strange trenchcoat over his prison jumpsuit, he said a homeless person gave it to him in exchange for something else in return. When questioned by Natalie about what that thing was, Monk can only respond with "I'd rather not talk about it...".
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," when Natalie shows up at Linda's house on a shiny motorcycle (note, a Softtail) to pick up Monk so they can time the distance from there to the crime scene, she says she got the bike from a friend of hers who owed her favor. When Monk asks for her to elaborate, she says, "Do you really want to know?"
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Miracle", when Monk notices Natalie buying gravy for the Christmas dinner they are having with the three hobos who are their clients - Ike, Reggie and "the Professor" - this conversation:
    Adrian Monk: You wasted a trip.
    Natalie Teeger: Why do you say that?
    Adrian Monk: Because they make their own gravy.
    Natalie Teeger: Who makes their own gravy?
    Adrian Monk: Bums.
    Natalie Teeger: "Bums make their own gravy". What does that even mean?
    Adrian Monk: You don't want to know.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!:
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever," Natalie's reaction to Monk saying that Kathy Willowby, who lives in the cabin across the lake from the FBI witness protection cabin, killed her fishing husband Martin by dropping a radio into a bathtub while he was bathing is "You have got to be kidding me. Can I take you anywhere?!"
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," the facial expression variant of this trope is seen. When Monk and Natalie are approached by Stork's girlfriend Kendra Frank, who points out to them that he was afraid of needles. Her tone of voice also counts:
      Kendra Frank: No that's how I know there's something wrong. Stork was completely phobic about needles! He was the only roadie I've ever met that didn't even have one tattoo! I mean he missed a whole South American tour last year because he wouldn't get vaccinated!
      Natalie Teeger: [shrugs] Maybe he got over it.
      Kendra Frank: You don't just get over a phobia like that overnight!! Do you?!
      Adrian Monk: No. You don't.
      • Then Monk looks at a map in Stork's jacket pocket:
      Adrian Monk: You say he was afraid of needles?
      Kendra Frank: Yeah, that's right.
      Adrian Monk: He had an...acupuncture appointment at 7:30 this morning-
      Kendra Frank: WHAT?! [Monk hands her the map and points it out. After a second, Kendra looks up and glares at him. She appears to be outright disgusted]
    • In "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan," Monk and Natalie's reaction when Marci Maven shows up and successfully "buys" Monk at the SFPD bachelor auction.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Actor," Randy's priceless look of disbelief when he finds out the hard way that he is portrayed as a woman in the screen adaptation of the Steve Wagner case. Stottlemeyer and Disher's faces begin to show this trope as they realize that their characters now have a romantic subplot attached to them.
  • You Look Familiar: Several actors have played different characters in different episodes.
    • Brooke Adams, Tony Shalhoub's real wife, appears in five episodes. See Real-Life Relative
    • Michael Shalhoub, Tony's brother, appears in three episodes
    • James Logan played an office employee in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office". He's also a roadie in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert"
    • Terry Fradet appears in "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail" as one of the unnamed inmates in the prison library. In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," he plays Greg "Stork" Murray, the murder victim.
    • Kathryn Joosten was on the show twice: in "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect," she played Brian Babbage's hospital nurse. In "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," she was interviewed by James Novak as Monk's childhood babysitter Neysa Gordon.
    • Erica Yoder plays murder victim Beth Landow in "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School". She also gets interrogated by Stottlemeyer as Helen Hubbert in "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend".
  • You Meddling Kids: Monk sometimes is the factor as to whether or not someone would have gotten away.
  • You Never Did That for Me: In "Mr. Monk and Sharona," Natalie is enraged to find that Monk paid Sharona more than he pays her. Thus she complains that Monk never paid her that much. It was a difference of twenty dollars, y'know.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: In Mr. Monk Gets Even, Cleve Dobbs kills three people who wronged him and stages them to look like accidents, and then kills himself in a way that it looks like his wife killed him, after learning he's dying from Lou Gehrig's disease.
  • You're Just Jealous: Stottlemeyer accuses Monk of being this in "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend" when Monk accuses Stottlemeyer's girlfriend Linda Fusco of shooting her business partner with a shotgun, saying, "I think I know what's going on here. You look at me and you can't stand it. I have what you want: a badge, a woman, a life," even though Monk is never wrong about murder. It's plausible that Stottlemeyer knows deep down that Monk is right, and Linda is guilty, but he so desperately wants it to not be true. At least he had the epiphany to swear off any more attempts at dating after he arrested her for murder.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In the finale, Monk sits around in a chair with his therapist at about 40 minutes in, the case apparently solved, and talks about his lack of closure. Yeah.


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