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Recap / Cheers S 2 E 20

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Episode: Season 2, Episode 20
Title: Norman's Conquest
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Lissa Levin
Air Date: February 23, 1984
Previous: Coach Buries a Grudge
Next: I'll Be Seeing You, Part 1
Guest Starring: Anne Schedeen

"Norman's Conquest" is the 20th episode of the second season of Cheers.

After a long period of unemployment Norm is struggling to rebuild an accounting practice. He brings his newest client, an attractive restaurant owner named Emily (Anne Schedeen), into Cheers. The other denizens of the bar immediately pick up on Emily's obvious attraction to Norm, and start browbeating him into having an affair with her. Norm winds up torn, unable to decide between being faithful to his wife (just a few episodes after they got back together following a long separation), or living up to the expectation of his awful friends.

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Tropes:

  • Acoustic License: Throughout this episode, Norm can carry on conversations with people on the other end of the bar, conversations which Emily somehow cannot hear despite sitting directly behind him. This is most glaringly obvious when Carla is telling Norm "She's hot for your bod!" when Emily is no more than five feet away.
  • Foreshadowing: The opening features Sam and Diane having a nasty fight, as the bar patrons chatter about how long it has lasted. This continues the arc of Sam and Diane's relationship breaking down, which started in episode 2-17 ("Fortune and Men's Weight") and was resolved in the two episodes right after this one, two-part season finale "I'll Be Seeing You".
  • Happily Married: Norm admits to Sam that he loves Vera, that he's happily married, and the constant jokes he makes about her is really Norm just trying to amuse his bar buddies.
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  • Hypocritical Humor: Asked his opinion on Norm going for it with Emily, Sam says "I think it's stupid to jump into bed with somebody you're working with." After seeing the look on Diane's face he frantically backtracks.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Norm tells Sam that he loves his wife, he's always loved her, and all the mean jokes he tells about Vera are just jokes to make his buddies laugh. Norm resolves to stop pretending and tell the others that he's Happily Married. He charges out of the pool room into the bar and...starts making mean jokes about Vera again.
    Norm: I won't throw away 11 years of marriage! I'm looking for someone to haul it away! Let me tell you about my honeymoon, or as I call it, The Dead Zone.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Discussed Trope. Everyone in the bar, led by Carla, just presumes that a real man would of course leap at the opportunity to cheat on his wife. Norm for his part is petrified of looking like a "wuss" in front of the gang.
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  • Shout-Out: Carla says everybody cheats on their spouses, and justifies it by making a comparison with a TV show.
    Carla: The only difference between Dynasty and the real world is they got better haircuts.
  • Unmanly Secret: Norm tells Sam that not only does he love Vera, but that she's the only woman he's ever slept with. Sam cackles with laughter before realizing that Norm is serious and saying "What's wrong with that?"
  • Your Cheating Heart: The whole plot, as Norm's new client is coming onto him like gangbusters and he has to decide whether or not to respond.
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