Title: Battle of the Exes
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Ken Estin and Sam Simon
Air Date: January 5, 1984
Previous: Where There's a Will...
Next: No Help Wanted
Guest Starring: Dan Hedaya, Jean Kasem
"Battle of the Exes" is the thirteenth episode of the second season of Cheers.
Carla comes into the bar in a particularly foul mood. It turns out that her often-discussed but never seen husband, Nick Tortelli, is getting married. Carla's not upset that her ex-husband is getting married, she's upset that he's getting married and she isn't, that he's got a hot blonde fiancee while she's a single mother desperately struggling to raise four kids.
Desperate for a date to the wedding so she doesn't come off as pathetic, Carla asks Sam to be her escort. Sam declines, but when Nick finally shows up at the bar in all his repellent, loathsome glory, Sam changes his mind. Sam and Carla go to the wedding and everything works out well—in fact, too well, as Nick decides that he wants Carla back.
First of several appearances by Dan Hedaya and Jean Kasem as super-creep Nick Tortelli and his dimwitted wife Loretta.
- Better as Friends: The aftermath of their "date" and Carla's hysterical confession of how terrible her life is leads Sam and Carla to kiss for the first and last time. After they both spend a few seconds blinking at the impact of the moment and wondering what it meant, Sam says "Maybe we just wanted to find out what it would be like."
- Carpet of Virility: Carla shows Diane the wedding invitation she received. Diane is horrified to see that Loretta is naked. When Carla points out that Nick is too, Diane says "I thought he was wearing mohair pajamas!" When Nick shows up at the bar with a half-open shirt he is revealed to actually be just that hairy.
- Fake Relationship: Sam pretends to be Carla's boyfriend in order to save her from embarrassment at Nick's wedding.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Another instance of tiny Carla attacking people with terrifying fury, as she launches herself at Norm, Sam, and a psychiatrist, yanking their sweaters over their heads to render them helpless while she pummels them. The psychiatrist comes out of the office dazed, saying "I never even saw her! I think she dropped from the ceiling!"
- Running Gag: People keep trying to cheer Carla up about her ex-husband getting married, and Carla keeps yanking their sweaters over their heads.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Somehow, gnome-like Nick landed Loretta. Later episodes will firmly establish him as a Kavorka Man.
- Unreveal Angle: Obviously, the audience never gets to see the picture of a naked Nick and Loretta, but Diane's horror is enough.