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Recap / Cheers S 4 E 15

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Episode: Season 4, Episode 15
Title: The Triangle
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Susan Seeger
Air Date: January 23, 1986
Previous: Suspicion
Next: Cliffie's Big Score
Guest Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Al Rosen

"The Triangle" is the 15th episode of the fourth season of Cheers.

It's been the better part of a year since Diane Chambers the Runaway Bride left Frasier Crane at the altar in Italy, and Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) still hasn't gotten over it. In fact, he's still at the bar, jobless, running up a big tab as he drowns his sorrows with beer. Disturbed at Frasier's condition, and feeling guilty since after all it is her fault, Diane decides they have to help him. Her plan: have Sam pretend that he's suffering from depression, and go to Frasier for "help". Curing Sam will give Frasier the confidence boost he needs to get his life back in order and start practicing psychiatry again.

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Initially, this stunt fails badly. However, the next day Frasier comes back into the bar in triumph, announcing that he has figured out Sam's real problem: Sam is still in love with Diane, and he won't admit it, not even to himself. That's bad enough, but Sam is really horrified when Frasier insists that Sam has to admit this to Diane.

In the (pretty abbreviated) B-plot, Cliff lures Norm into a painting party at Cliff's house.


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Tropes:

  • Boyfriend Bluff: After Frasier says that he thinks Sam has to confess his love for Diane, a panicked Sam goes to Diane. She says they have to lie about having a moment where they professed their love for each other.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Frasier is still in Cheers drinking heavily, months after Diane dumped him. It's gotten to the point where he's going to have to sell books and furniture to pay his bar tab.
  • Erotic Dream: Frasier makes an admission in passing that he's been dreaming about Diane naked.
  • Eternal Love: Invoked by Diane, when she and Sam "plan out" their false account of a romantic evening together, to fool Frasier. When supplying Sam's ideal declaration of love, she basically pulls out all the stops:
    Diane: [Dictating] "I love you, Diane.... I've always loved you—and I always will, to the day I die. No...not even the grave will diminish our loveonly make its flame burn brighter...!"
    Sam: Whatever.
    • Brick Joke:
      Sam: It's gotta be more. Something like, "I love you so much, I can't stand it. As far as I'm concerned, you're the only person in the world that matters to me, and I'd jump at the chance to be your love slave."
      Diane: Whatever.
  • Everyone Can See It: Frasier's frustration at Sam and Diane boils over, and he tells them the unvarnished truth.
    Frasier: You two may not have the courage to face it, but I finally do. Sam and Diane, you are now and have always been, hopelessly in, I guess the word for it is "love." And unfortunately for you, like it or not, you always will be. I know! I know! Now you're gonna deny it. Even though it's ludicrously obvious to everyone around you, you two will go on pretending it's not true because you're emotional infants! You're in a living hell. You love each other and you hate each other. And you hate yourselves for loving each other. Well, my dear friends, I want no part of it. It's time I just picked up my life where I left off. It's time to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. So I'll get out of here now so you can just get on with your denial fest.
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  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Happens In-Universe when the gang starts discussing the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons in "Triangle"...
    Norm: [Sarcastically] I suppose that means the coyote is the ANTICHRIST!
  • Fridge Logic: In-Universe, as the gang wonders why Wile E. Coyote doesn't just take all the money he spends on Acme products and use it to buy food.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: The gang goes off on a tangent about Wile E. Coyote, much to Diane's irritation as she's trying to get them to focus on Frasier.
  • Shown Their Work: Frasier buys a new suit at Louis. Louis was a store for fancy men's clothes in Boston from 1930 to 2015.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Frasier comes back to the bar in a snazzy three-piece suit. As he explains later in the episode ("It's time I just picked up my life where I left off. It's time to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again."), he is putting his life back together.
  • Sorkin Relationship Moment: Diane's Old Flame Frasier calls Sam and Diane out on their reluctance to admit their feelings for one another.
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