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Recap / Cheers S 1 E 15

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Episode: Season 1, Episode 15
Title: Father Knows Last
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Heide Perlman
Air Date: January 20, 1983
Previous: Let Me Count the Ways
Next: The Boys in the Bar
Guest Starring: John Ratzenberger, Mark King

"Father Knows Best" is the 15th episode of the first season of Cheers.

The shockingly fertile Carla Tortelli is, once again, pregnant, this time with her fifth child. This is not a particularly good thing since Carla is a single mother trying to support a family of five with her job as a waitress. Luckily, however, this time the father is stepping up! It turns out that the father of Carla's baby is Marshall, the super-nerdy MIT professor seen in the previous episode, "Let Me Count the Ways". Marshall is delighted at the prospect of fatherhood and is eager to help out with supporting the baby. However, some curious comments by Marshall about how he and Carla had sex just the one time lead Diane to figure out the truth: the baby isn't Marshall's at all. Carla is tricking Marshall into thinking he's the father so she will have financial support.

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Tropes:

  • Continuity Nod: To the previous episode! Marshall the MIT nerd makes his second, and last, appearance on Cheers.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Why Norm and Vera don't have kids, or so Norm claims when Coach asks him.
    Norm: I can't, Coach.
    Coach: Gee I'm sorry Norm.
    Norm: I look at Vera, and I just can't.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Exploited by Carla, who is tricking Marshall into supporting her latest baby. It turns out that the father is actually her loathesome deadbeat ex-husband Nick Tortelli.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Carla attempts to demonstrate to Diane the particular nibble-behind-the-earlobe move that Nick uses to seduce her. She is just doing it when Cliff comes into the pool room and gets very intrigued.
    Cliff: If you need a trois for that menage I'll be in the bar.
  • Oddball in the Series: The only episode in the entire history of the show where Norm doesn't enter the bar to the greeting "NORM!" He's actually in the bar the entire episode.
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  • Shout-Out: Diane, appalled at what Carla's attempting to do, says "Do you know the story of 'The Tell-Tale Heart'?" Diane tells it and then follows Carla around making "ba-BOOM" noises to recall the beating heart that drove the narrator of that story mad. When Carla starts hearing the "ba-BOOM" when Diane isn't even in the room, she confesses to Marshall.
  • You Are Not Alone: When Carla gets a little desperate when she discovers she's pregnant—again—Diane organizes a bar-wide fundraiser for her...and leads everyone in a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."
  • Your Cheating Heart: Diane's story to Carla about "The Tell-Tale Heart" and how the murderer's conscience drove him mad leads the woman Carla was serving to hysterically confess to her husband that she's cheating on him.
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