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Recap / Cheers S 5 E 25

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Episode: Season 5, Episode 25
Title: A House Is Not a Home
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Phoef Sutton
Air Date: April 30, 1987
Previous: Cheers: The Motion Picture
Next: I Do, Adieu
Guest Starring: Billie Bird, Douglas Seale

"A House Is Not a Home" is the 25th episode of the fifth season of Cheers.

Sam and Diane's wedding looms. One night at the bar Diane drops a surprise on Sam: she has bought them a house! Or rather, she has put a deposit down on a house. Sam is pretty irritated, since they had agreed to live in his apartment for a while, but when he sees the house he actually likes it just as much as she does.

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The only problem is the previous occupants, elderly couple Lillian and Bert Miller (Billie Bird and Douglas Seale). Sam and Diane meet the Millers as the latter are leaving. The Millers are so nostalgic (really, maudlin) about the house they've lived in for 39 years that Diane turns on a dime and decides that she can't live there. That might have worked out OK as Sam and Diane are in position to make a nice profit from flipping the house—but Diane decides the buyers have no "soul" and kills the deal.

Finally, Frasier suggests an idea that might salve Diane's conscience: host a Christmas in July (or rather, May) party so that the Millers and their extended brood can have one last holiday in the house together. Diane loves the idea and Sam, with great reluctance, goes along.


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Tropes:

  • Canines Gambling in a Card Game: Diane is horrified when Sam wants to hang a "Dogs Playing Blackjack" painting in their living room. Sam says he sees something new every time.
    Sam: Look! That one's cheating!
  • Christmas in July: Sam and Diane host a Christmas-in-May celebration for the Millers and their large extended family. Diane really gets into the spirit of the whole thing, decorating a tree and roasting chestnuts by a fire when it's 80 degrees. Sam hates it and complains about sweating in his Santa suit.
  • Granny Classic: Lillian is a granny out of central casting, with the big permed hair, the sweater, and the kind and gentle manner.
  • Running Gag: The "Dogs Playing Blackjack" painting. Diane is horrified by it while Sam laughs. Sam takes down the painting in an effort to cheer Diane up. Woody comes over and loves the painting. Finally, a turned-on Diane goes into the dining room with Sam in order to have sex on the floor, only for the episode to end with Diane putting the painting outside, her face frowning with disdain.
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  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: This episode becomes this thanks to the events of the very next one. Diane puts Sam through yet more hell over buying a house, dithers over keeping it, selling it, inviting the previous family to come around until Sam finally puts his foot down... then in the next episode, Diane leaves for LA, and between then and the opener of season 6, Sam sells the house, never to mention it again.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Diane says "As luck would have it, there was an eight-car smash-up!" Then she backtracks and says "That didn't come out right," before telling about how she left the highway for side streets and wound up finding the house.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Diane is not only satisfied, she is turned on, when Sam puts his foot down and angrily ejects the Millers from the house.
    Diane: Suddenly, the house is ours....You claimed it for me. Just stood up and claimed it for me like some animal out of the wild. Oh, Sam, you're so sexy when you're territorial.
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