Title: Love Thy Neighbor
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Peter Casey & David Lee
Air Date: November 28, 1985
Previous: Love Thy Neighbor
Next: The Barstoolie
Guest Starring: Joel Polis
"From Beer to Eternity" is the ninth episode of the fourth season of Cheers.
The gang comes back into the bar all down in the dumps. It seems they have been beaten at softball by Gary's Olde Towne Tavern, despite having former MLB player Sam Malone on the team. Gary's is Cheers's archrival, which is bad for Cheers as Gary's always wins at these contests. After Gary (Joel Polis, the first of two different actors to play the part) comes in and ruthlessly taunts the Cheers crew, an infuriated Sam challenges Gary to a contest in a different sport: bowling.
It looks like Sam's challenge will end in humiliation after a tryout reveals that the bar is short on good bowlers. Carla however discovers that Woody is an excellent bowler who's won trophies. The problem? Woody refuses to bowl, after an incident back in Indiana where he hit a pin that flew up into the air and maimed a worker at the bowling alley.
The first Gary's Olde Towne Tavern episode, which became a once-a-season tradition. The next one would be Season Six episode "Bar Wars".
- Bested at Bowling: Inverted. It turns out that Diane took bowling for a P.E. credit in college, and is the best bowler on either team. Sam is so thrilled to be able to beat Gary that it never even occurs to him to be bothered that Diane, of all people, was a better bowler than him.
- Bowling for Ratings: Cheers goes bowling against Gary's Olde Towne Tavern.
- Compensating for Something: Diane speculates that a "physical shortcoming" is why Gary is making such a big deal out of beating Cheers at softball.
- Cool Shades: The cold open has Cliff very ostentatiously wearing the shiny sunglasses that he paid $65 for. His bragging is subverted when a lady at the bar uses his sunglasses for a mirror to fix her lipstick.
- Foreshadowing: Gary reveals to Diane that he graduated magna cum laude in American literature from Princeton. This sets up the gag at the end where Gary mocks Diane's sorority, Phi Epsilon Delta ("Isn't it true that Phi Epsilon is Greek for 'Hi, sailor!'?"), which is why an enraged Diane jumps into the bowling match.
- Hidden Depths: Diane Chambers is a great bowler! It turns out she needed a P.E. credit at college and bowling meant you didn't have to run.
- I'll Kill You!: Diane looks Sam straight in the eye and says "If you whisper a word of this"—her skill at bowling—"to anyone that matters, I'll find you and I'll kill you."
- Once a Season: The first ever battle with Gary's Olde Town Tavern. It would happen once a season for the rest of the run in episodes titled "Bar Wars".
- A Round of Drinks for the House: A depressed Sam says "What the hell? First round on the house" after coming back following a loss to Gary at softball.
- Shout-Out: The episode title is a shout-out to From Here to Eternity, although there's no clear reason why.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: The first episode where the Cheers gang duels with their antagonists, Gary's Olde Towne Tavern.
- Suddenly Always Knew That: Being forced to take bowling in college made Diane an excellent bowler.
- Who's Watching the Store?: When Diane and Woody show up at the bowling alley, thus putting all four Cheers employees there, Sam says "Who's taking care of the bar here?". He approves when they tell him they closed it.
- Worthy Opponent: Cited in Sarcasm Mode, as Gary, gleefully rubbing it in as his team is winning the bowling match, says "Let's show our worthy opponents a little courtesy."
- Worse with Context: Woody refuses to bowl because he once injured a bowling alley maintenance man, leaving him unable to work there anymore:Woody: The last I heard, he was a clown at children's parties.
Sam: Well, that's not so bad, is it?
Woody: He wasn't invited to them!
- Your Mom: Of all people, it's none other than Diane Chambers who drops this! Gary makes the mistake of daring to insult Diane's sorority. Diane's response is to stun the haters silent by joining the game, and throwing a strike on her first throw... following which, she gives Gary a devilish look and lets loose a throaty-voiced "Your MAMMA!"
- You Said You Couldn't Dance: Diane (who has been making fun of bowling the whole time) steps in and wins the match for them. She took bowling as a college PE class, but despises the game.