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Recap / Monk S 1 E 9 Mr Monk Takes A Vacation

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Monk is having a miserable time when Sharona drags him along on a long-awaited vacation, but things heat up when Benjy witnesses a murder through a telescope — a murder for which the body and all the evidence disappears near instantly. Can Monk solve the case before checkout time forces him to abandon the investigation?

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Body in a Breadbox: One of the places Benjy finds the corpse is in the back of an arcade console.
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  • Bloody Handprint: The murder victim leaves a smear of blood down the glass as she falls over.
  • Brain Bleach: During the investigation, Bronwynn brings in a machine that can detect traces of a large number of bodily fluids and uses it on the room in which Monk is staying, revealing spots everywhere. Monk immediately summons housecleaning to sterilize the room.
  • Brick Joke:
    • When Monk and Bronwynn are about to enter Mr. Fenimore's room, Bronwynn taps the side of her nose, a gesture she learned from The Sting. When Monk finally figures out where the body is, he taps the side of his nose the same way.
    • Monk tells Sharona that the man who's been flirting with her is married to a woman called Julie or Julia. Later, after completely trouncing him at tennis, Sharona suggests he get "Julie" or "Julia" to put ice on his injury.
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  • Busman's Holiday: Sharona takes Monk on a vacation against his will, where he is incredibly uncomfortable and simply sits on the beach fully clothed. When a murder mystery pops up he couldn't be happier, and drags Sharona into helping him solve it. Upon their return Sharona asks that they never go on vacation again, much to her disbelief.
  • Cassandra Truth: No one except Monk (and possibly Bronwynn) believes Benjy about the murder.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Benjy spots a murder being committed while looking through binoculars at a hotel room, and he keeps finding the body everywhere during Monk's investigation.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Lampshaded.
    Tony: Check it out as discreetly and quickly and discreetly as possible.
    Adrian: You said "discreetly" twice.
    Tony: Exactly. In fact I'll say it again: discreetly.
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  • Distinction Without a Difference: "I'm not accusing anybody of anything. I'm accusing you of murder."
  • Irony: In the epilogue, Sharona finds herself so fed up with Adrian treating the murder case like a holiday that she threatens him that she wants no more vacations. When this sinks in, she is dumb-founded by what she just said.
  • Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: Downplayed; almost no one believes that Benji has actually been telling the truth about witnessing a murder. When Monk persists, someone tells him that naturally Benji's father would insist he couldn't have lied about it. Monk clears up the misconception and continues with the case.
  • Gaslighting: The maids to Benjy and later Monk, making it look like the two are seeing things and making things up.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: A secret ring of chambermaids are using confidential information left lying around in hotel rooms to engage in insider trading. When one of their number wants out (or wanted more money), they kill her and use their position and near-invisibility to disappear the body and cover up the crime to the point where Monk looks like (more of) a lunatic for even trying to investigate.
  • Playing the Victim Card: When Monk tells the maids of his suspicions, one of them accuses him of thinking he can accuse "anyone" because he's white. The Literal-Minded Monk says he's not accusing "anyone"; he's accusing them.
  • Race Against the Clock: There are two "clocks" in-universe; first, the irritated manager gives Monk and Bronwynn an hour before he opens the doors and lets people come and go freely, and later he issues an absolute deadline of the time Monk's hotel reservation elapses. Monk misses both deadlines but figures out where the body was hidden as he, Sharona, and Benjy are driving away from the hotel.
  • A Rare Sentence: At the end of the episode, an infuriated Sharona says she'll quit if Monk ever makes her take a vacation again. She's shocked when she realizes what she just said.
  • Running Gag: Miss Bronwynn continually referring to crime dramas she's seen. At one point, Monk asks her if she's actually had any real police experience.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A bizarre example; Sharona suggests Benjy made up or imagined a homicide in order to impress Monk, who's the only regular male figure in his life.
  • Woman Scorned: After finding out from Monk that the man she's been seeing all through the vacation is already married, Sharona proceeds to ace him at tennis and cause him injury (in the crotch no less).
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