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Recap / Cheers S 1 E 3

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Episode: Season 1, Episode 3
Title:"The Tortelli Tort"
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Tom Reeder
Air Date: October 14, 1982
Previous: Sam's Women
Next: Sam at Eleven
Guest Starring: John Ratzenberger, Ron Karabatsos

"The Tortelli Tort" is the third episode of the first season of Cheers.

The gang at the bar watches the Red Sox suffer a disappointing loss to their rivals the New York Yankees. Carla, who loves all things Boston and Boston sports, is particularly upset. Enter Ed (Ron Karabatsos), a braying, obnoxious Yankees fan who enters the bar and taunts all the Boston locals. No one particularly likes Ed, but when he recognizes former major league baseball player Sam Malone, and mocks him for his drinking habit, Carla flips out. She jumps on the back of the much bigger man and slams his head against the bar.

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Unfortunately for Carla, Ed is not willing to accept this quietly. He demands that Sam fire Carla, or he'll file a lawsuit that could cost Sam his bar. Sam, who has to admit that Ed has a point about Carla's rage issues, has a difficult choice to make.

The rather abbreviate B-plot has Coach claiming that his secret strategy as a professional baseball player was to get hit by pitches whenever he wanted, especially in the head.


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Tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch: Carla is terrified at the thought of losing her job.
    Carla: Think of my kids. If I lose this job, I'd have to stay home with them.
  • Black Comedy: A throwaway gag features an elderly bar patron who comes into Cheers and buys drinks for everybody, whenever one of his elderly siblings dies and leaves him their money.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: Coach holds the minor-league record for being hit by pitches and demands that Diane throw a baseball at him. She swears that she won't get it anywhere near him, but sure enough, her throw conks him on the noggin.
  • Jerkass: Eddie's a real prize, going into a Boston bar after a Red Sox loss and mercilessly taunting the patrons.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Ed's an a-hole, but he isn't wrong about Carla being a rageaholic who shouldn't be working any job that has her dealing with strangers.
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  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The first time that tiny little Carla attacks someone with terrifying fury. She leaps up on Eddie's back and slams his head into the bar.
  • Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: Diane gets on her Grammar Nazi horse and pesters Sam about ending sentences with prepositions.
    Sam: Don't you have customers to deal with?
    Diane: You ended that sentence with a preposition too.
    Sam: (furious) Don't you have customers to deal with, mullet-head?
  • The Shrink: No, not Frasier Crane—Carla saves her job by taking anger management lessons with a Dr. Graham. The ending, where she chucks a beer mug at a customer, reveals that she didn't actually learn anything at all.
  • Tame His Anger: Supposedly the lesson Carla learned from her treatment with Dr. Graham, although as the ending reveals she didn't actually learn anything.
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