Around the time of investigating another murder, Monk runs into a man named Hal Tucker at the grocery store, who seems not to mind his quirks and to like hanging around with him. The two quickly become friends, but Monk's regular social circle becomes suspicious, especially when Hal becomes a potential suspect in the case.
This episode includes examples of the following tropes:
- Black Comedy: In the Epilogue, Monk tries to invoke such a joke when, upon Natalie's suggestion they could go to an ice skating show, Monk asks if they could invite Hal then says "I'm kidding, it's a joke".
- Ear Worm: Gail Segalis opens a music box while unpacking from a trip to Greece, and she says she can't get it out of her head. At the end, when Monk is invited into Hal's apartment, Hal starts unconsciously humming the tune while closing the shades, and Monk recognizes it as the music box's tune, which makes him realize that Hal is Gail's killer.
- False Friend: Hal pretends to befriend Monk in order to obtain a piece of evidence Monk unknowingly has that could implicate him. Even after Monk discovers that he's a criminal and Hal gives a biting speech on how much he hated having to put up with Monk's quirks, Monk still considers him a better friend than many people he's met in the past.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Stottlemeyer and Disher realize that Hal Tucker killed Tim Hayden and Gail Segalis when they look at the revolver used to pistol-whip the former, and Stottlemeyer realizes that when Randy showed the gun to Hal and said "Here's the murder weapon," Hal pointed to the cracked handle, meaning he knew Tim Hayden was pistol-whipped, when a normal person would assume the victim had been shot.
- Kick the Dog: When he has Adrian at gun point, Hal confesses that hanging out with Monk is only about as much fun as "pulling teeth".
- Platonic Declaration of Love: When Stottlemeyer, Disher, and Natalie confront Hal, he asks why they're concerning themselves in his relationship with Monk. Natalie answers that it's because they love him.
- Strawman Has a Point: It's clear that Hal Tucker, the "friend" Monk makes, is up to no good. But then he says "when's the last time you hung out with him?" (To be fair, it's difficult to do so...)
- Very Special Episode: Hal Tucker makes friends with Monk and puts up with all his quirks and phobias. He also points out while Monk considers Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher friends, Hal tells them off in a "You Suck" speech to the three of them about how they just use Monk in a one-sided manner. Turns out Hal is the murderer they suspected earlier and Monk desperately wants him not to be the killer even when he threatens to kill Monk. Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher save the day and Monk learns they really are his friends.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: For a while, Monk genuinely believes he's made a best friend in Hal. And then it turns out, he's only hanging out with Monk so he can retrieve incriminating evidence. He even voices that he never LIKED Monk.