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Recap / Cheers S 1 E 18

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Episode: Season 1, Episode 18
Title: No Contest
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Heide Perlman
Air Date: February 17, 1983
Previous: Diane's Perfect Date
Next: Pick a Con...Any Con
Guest Starring: John Ratzenberger, Charlie Stavola, Tessa Richarde, Renee Gentry

"No Contest" is the 18th episode of the first season of Cheers.

It's that time of year: the Miss Boston Barmaid contest! Sam, of course, thoroughly enjoys this exercise in sexism and Male Gaze, and what's more, he'd like Cheers to win the contest now that the bar has a waitress who's a lot prettier than Carla. So Sam enters Diane as a contestant in the contest—without telling her.

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Diane is disgusted when she's told about the cocktail waitress beauty contest and livid when she finds out she's been entered. She flatly refuses to participate in such a demeaning spectacle, until she finds out that all the newspapers in town will be covering the contest. Diane then hatches a plot to win the contest so she can expose it as a sexist joke. When Sam finds out he is horrified at the prospective embarrassment for him and his bar should Diane win the contest and deliver her "The Reason You Suck" Speech.


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Tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch: The last lines of the episode. This episode, which really ramped up the sexual tension between Sam and Diane, ends with Sam suggesting that Diane take him along to Bermuda. Diane hesitates, until Sam promises he'll be the perfect gentleman.
    Diane: You promise you'll be the perfect gentleman?
    Sam: Cross my heart.
    Diane: Then forget it. (leaves)
  • Beauty Contest: Mixed with Talent Contest. Supposedly it's about who's the best waitress but looks are obviously a huge part of it. (Although that didn't stop Carla from competing eight years later in "Carla Loves Clavin".)
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Sam, listing the subjects of photos in Diane's wallet: "You, you with your cat, you on your horse, you by your car, you and your cat on your horse by your car."
  • French Maid: Bonnie the not-too-bright but very bosomy waitress shows up for the contest in a Stripperific French maid outfit that is cut very low in the front. At one point Diane peeks at Bonnie's cleavage, pulls her own blouse off her shoulders, takes another peek at Bonnie, rolls her eyes in frustration and hikes her blouse back up.
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  • Hypocritical Humor: Diane wins! Standing in front of the radio microphone, she tries to start her speech denouncing the Miss Boston Barmaid Contest, until the host interrupts her with the grand prize—a week in Bermuda. Diane immediately goes bananas, screaming "''BERMUDA?!?!" at the top of her lungs and hugging and high-fiving the judges. Later she's embarrassed, telling Sam that she "sold out womankind for a trip to Bermuda."
  • Politician Guest Star: The Teaser features Tip O'Neill, congressman from north Boston and Speaker of the House of Representatives. (It's a curious cameo as Cheers actually did quite poorly in the ratings for its first season.)
  • Shout-Out: Diane ends her Rousing Speech about never quitting and overcoming obstacles by saying "As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again!"
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Norm doesn't just proclaim he is moved by Diane's emotional speech. No, he says "I am visibly moved."
  • Twitchy Eye: The return of Diane's facial tic with the twitchy eye and cheek. Sam intentionally evokes this in Diane in an effort to make her lose, but she flips it around and gives an inspirational speech to the judges about never giving up.
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