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Recap / Cheers S 1 E 14

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Episode: Season 1, Episode 14
Title: Let Me Count the Ways
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Heide Perlman
Air Date: January 13, 1983
Previous: Now Pitching, Sam Malone
Next: Father Knows Last
Guest Starring: John Ratzenberger, Mark King

"Let Me Count the Ways" is the 14th episode of the first season of Cheers.

The gang at Cheers are getting geared up to watch a Boston Celtics game when a call comes in for Diane. It turns out that her family's pet cat, Elizabeth, has died. Diane spends the whole Celtics game on the edge of tears, looking for comfort from her friends and co-workers, but to no avail. Finally, after Diane bawls out the others for their lack of sympathy, Sam takes her into the back and they have a heart-to-heart.

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The B-plot also involves the Celtics. Marshall, a computer scientist nerd from MIT, tells Sam and Coach that the Celtics always lose when there's a lot of radiation in the Van Allen Belt. Sam and Coach capitalize on this intel by betting against the Celtics—and they try very hard to hide this from everyone else in the bar.


Tropes:

  • Acting Unnatural: Coach is very very unconvincing when the Celtics mount their late comeback, saying "I wish I had money on the Celtics" in a wooden, robotic manner.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Diane makes her first hysterical demand for sympathy, Norm says "This is me," then comes over and gives Diane a heartfelt talk about what his uncle would say when a family member died...then when the game comes back from commercial he rushes through the end so he doesn't miss anything.
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  • Comforting the Widow: Sam and Diane's mutual tears over the death of Diane's cat lead to a hug, which turns into kissing—which leads to an argument when Diane breaks the kiss off.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Coach, as usual. Sam, having gotten Marshall's tip about the Celtics, says "Coach, when was the last time you had a sure thing?" Coach answers "Uh, Rosie McGonagall."
  • False Cause: You'd think a scientist like Marshall would actually try and explain how the Van Allen Belt influences the outcome of basketball games.
  • Foreshadowing: Carla is really flirty with Marshall the MIT nerd. This pays off in the very next episode when it turns out that Marshall may have knocked her up.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Marshall is a nerd straight out of central casting, with the slicked-back hair and the impossibly thick, large glasses, and the nasal voice, and the technobabble talk. He's pretty comfortable in his own skin however and good friends with everyone else at the bar.
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  • Manly Tears: Diane is extremely moved, when her story about how guilty she feels about Elizabeth's death makes Sam cry.
  • Pet's Homage Name: Diane's cat Elizabeth was actually named "Elizabeth Barrett Browning" for the poet.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Sam denies that he is crying after Diane talks about Elizabeth, saying he's "allergic to cat stories."
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: The Teaser has Diane coming into the bar and talking about having seen an Indian film. Coach misunderstands "Indian" and starts talking about Fort Apache, then Carla and Sam join in and the conversation wanders to making the hair stand up on your arms and making your eyeballs vibrate, and when Coach wanders back to Fort Apache, Diane screams in frustration.
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