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Series / According to Jim

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Standard Dom Com (2001-2009) with Bumbling Dad ("Jim" Belushi) and long suffering hot wife (Courtney Thorne-Smith). A total of 182 episodes were released in its eight seasons.

According to Jim contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: "The Grumpy Guy" includes one to Batman (1966), complete with Lemony Narrator, a Holy "insert phrase" Jim, Bat-Climb, sound effects in word balloons, pretentious dialogue and Julie Newmar.
  • Analogy Backfire: When Andy dates a girl Jim dislikes, he compares this with him and Osama bin Laden being together to Cheryl and Andy (on separate occasions) in order to make his point, only for this trope to take place (Andy contemplates turning bin Laden in for reward, whereas Cheryl wonders whether the relationship is serious), much to Jim's frustration.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: On the Halloween Episode, Jim's kids pick out their own costumes: Ruby is a cowgirl, Gracie goes as the Statue of Liberty, and Kyle's costume is... Cinderella.
  • As Himself: Brian Urlacher in, Bo Diddley in "Bo Diddley," Mike Ditka in "Cars & Chicks," Hugh Hefner in "Charity Begins at Hef's," Dylan & Cole Sprouse in "I Drink Your Milkshake" (see The Cameo below) and Erik Estrada in "Mr. Right."
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Jim Almighty", God gives Jim the ability to change girls how he wants. He soon regrets all the changes, and has to get God to reverse them.
  • Birthday Hater: Jim hates his birthday as a result of having been caught with his pants down on his 13th birthday.
  • Breast Expansion: In "Jim Almighty", the first thing Jim does with his new powers is make all women have big boobs. Cue Ruby and Gracie walking downstairs with giant boobs.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: Double subverted. The kids tricked Andy into thinking they were going to do it, then when he refuses to fall for it and puts on his slippers, he gets pudding all over his feet. Then he chases the kids into the kitchen to get pudding dropped on his head.
  • The Cameo: At the end of "I Drink Your Milkshake" Cole and Dylan Sprouse walk through the door and seem to know Jim. Though they are credited as themselves Andy shouts "Zack and Cody!" when they walk through the door.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Andy; he would hit on pretty much every woman he met, even married ones.
  • The Cast Show Off: Jim Belushi wrote the theme song and he regularly performs in a band on the show showing off his harmonica skills.
  • Cassandra Truth: In "Guinea Pygmilion" Jim initially refuses to pay for an expensive operation for the family guinea pig, only to change his mind and do so. However, because the pet is unable to do his signature trick, the family believes he simply bought another guinea pig and is passing it off as the real one, despite his protests to the contrary.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: This happens in Jim's youth, causing him to detest surprise parties on his birthday.
  • Christmas Episode: Pretty much one per season.
  • Comically Missing the Point: A specialty of Jim & Andy.
    • One good example from "the Grumpy Guy"; Jim learns his neighbor has written the titular children's book series based on him and his crazy exploits. When Andy realizes this, he determines the monkey sidekick, "Randy" is based on Cheryl.
  • Companion Cube: The episode "The Packer Ball" is about a toddler Kyle becoming obsessed with a Packers ball, much to Jim's dismay who is a Bears fan.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Cheryl kept a binder listing all the times she was right about something and Jim was wrong from the day they started dating in the off-chance Jim suggested that he was right about things more than she was.
  • Deal with the Devil: "The Devil Went Down to Oak Park" reveals that Jim made one when he first dated Cheryl, promising the devil his fifth born son if he allowed Cheryl to love him, allowing him to collect after he has twin boys. Andy & Dana also reveal that they made deals with him as well. Of course, this all turned out to be a Dream Within a Dream so it's unlikely any of that was true.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ryan appeared much less as the show progressed, not that he was a regular anyway.
  • Denser and Wackier: Many of the earlier episodes focused on typical sitcom hijinks. Later episodes had things where Jim got shot in the ass with a crossbow by a turkey, appearances by God & the Devil, and other crazy stuff.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jim's dad left him when he was a kid, reuniting with him after 35 years.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: How Jim judges women's personalities. White wine=classy yet unpretentious, lemon drop=high maintenance, and cosmos=Ax-Crazy.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Danny apparently died sometime before the final episode.
  • Double Standard: In several episodes Cheryl will get mad at Jim for saying something stupid, usually sexist. Only to later find herself in a situation in which proves Jim was right, and goes to great lengths to prevent him from finding out.
    • For example in one episode Jim explains that men and women's brains are wired so they won't remember certain things, Cheryl gets mad at him, only to later find herself trapped in the garage because none of the girls can remember the key code for the door, which her toddler son punches in effortlessly. She makes one last ditch effort to prove him wrong but can't even remember the code when he has just explained it to her.
  • Eating Contest: Jim and Andy participate in one that involves hot dogs, whose winner would get to be in a local commercial for said hot dog. Too bad for them a woman ends up the winner. Jim's so disgruntled that he challenges her to another one.
  • Encouraged Regifting: Jim invokes this when he gets Andy a coupon for a $200 steak dinner. His real motivation behind getting him the coupon was so that Andy would invite him to share the steak dinner with him, effectively making it a gift for himself. However, Andy forgets about the coupon until it is about to expire. Fearing he'll miss out on his steak dinner, Jim steals the coupon to use for himself.
  • Escalating War: Between Jim and Andy, in two separate episodes, all for a grill.
    • Also happens in "I Drink Your Milkshake"; Andy wins a month of free milkshakes after going to a hockey game, and since the seat originally belonged to him, Jim feels he's entitled to the prize. Since he recently taught his kids how to settle their differences as a tribunal, they agree to settle it, so Jim & Andy try to curry their favor with increasingly outlandish gifts.
  • Extreme Omnivore: In the "What Lies Beneath" episode (Season 6 Episode 14), Cheryl is convinced that Jim swallowed a ring placed atop a cupcake (which was his original wedding ring Cheryl hoped would prompt Jim into confessing that he lost it) that she believes she has the proof she needs when she hides in the bathroom and hears a "ping" while Jim is sitting on the commode. Jim says what she heard wasn't that ring, but another piece of metal he'd swallowed earlier.
  • Fan Disservice: As Television Without Pity pointed out, Taylor Atelian who played Ruby started out prettier than her on-screen sister but by the end, when they were giving Ruby romance plots, the teenage Atelian failed to match the Ruby of the scripts.
    • Every Shirtless Scene with Jim or Andy, of which there are many.
    • The neighbor with the tear-away pants, who shows off the Speedo underneath every time.
  • First Period Panic: In "Period Peace" (Season 7 Episode 7), Ruby & Gracie have been arguing fiercely throughout the episode, and Jim & Andy discover while snooping around someone is having her period. In a twist, Gracie, the younger daughter, is having her period. Ruby, the older daughter, still hasn't.
  • Happily Married: Unlike other DomComs that ran during its time, Jim and Cheryl enjoyed a pleasant, equal marriage, with no Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male, Double Standard, or any other things that you watch and think to yourself "why are these two married at all?"
  • Gambit Roulette: Happens in "Imaginary Friend"; Jim has a made-up friend, Gus Dimas, who he pretends to visit to get out of things he doesn't want to do. Cheryl begins to suspect he doesn't exist, so she invites him over, with Jim doing his best to keep Gus from appearing and Cheryl trying to make him. Jim wins after killing off Gus.
  • Honor Before Reason: "The Truck" sees Jim lose his truck to a con artist in arm wrestling, and when Cheryl finds out and gets it back, he refuses to take it, as he feels doing so is an insult to his honor. He doesn't have any problem conning the guy to get it back, however.
  • Hypno Fool: In "the Six-Week Curse" Dana hypnotizes Andy to be more confident, since his relationships usually end after 6 weeks due to his insecurity. It made him more confident, but also flirtier.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: In "In Case of Jimergency" (Season 6 Episode 11), Cheryl is shocked to learn her remedy for her flu was fish medicine which Jim also took after she infected him. She's also shocked to find out shortly that Jim canceled the family's health insurance and got the idea of using fish medicine from Andy. But Cheryl didn't suffer the same side effects as him; Jim had an allergic reaction that expanded his face grotesquely.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Dan Aykroyd guest starred in five episodes as an old friend of Jim's.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In the Grand Finale, Jim has a dream about dying and being put on trial by God & Satan, but is deemed too bad for heaven, and too good for hell, so is returned to life. After telling everyone about it, Cheryl asks him if he learned anything from it. Jim's response is, since he's not good enough for heaven or hell, if he continues to act the way he is, he'll live forever.
  • Ironic Echo: The episode "Spelling Bee" has Cheryl muttering "it's just not your night" to herself when she anticipates Gracie throwing her match, before Gracie changes her mind, prompting Cheryl to lament to Jim "it's just not our night". See "Shaggy Dog" Story below for more details.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Jim competes in an impromptu Eating Contest with Andy's Girl of the Week during a family picnic. (This woman happened to be the winner of an official eating content who Jim resents and Andy begins dating.) Cheryl urges him to stop, but Jim replies, "They'd have to pump my stomach before I quit!" Cut to the next scene where paramedics carry Jim off to hospital, saying, "He'll be fine after we pump his stomach."
  • Jerkass: Everybody has their moment of this from time to time. The most prominent examples being Jim, Dana, and Andy.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Several episodes like "the Garage Door," "Take My Wife, Please" or "Lean on Me" had whatever crazy idea Jim spouted in the episodes, regardless of how sexist or crazy it seemed, turn out to be true.
  • Judgement of the Dead: The Series Finale, "Heaven Opposed to Hell" combines this with Courtroom Episode; After Jim chokes on a shrimp puff, God decides to hold a trial to determine whether Jim gets to go to heaven or hell, with Andy (who loves Jim the most) defending Jim and Dana (who despises Jim the most) and the Devil trying to get him to Hell. Eventually, God ultimately decides that he doesn't want Jim to go to Heaven, so Jim's family stands up for him and also decide to go to Hell as a happy family. The Devil doesn't want this, so he and God both decide to give Jim a second shot at life.
  • Likes Older Women: Most of the woman Andy dated are in their late thirties or forties.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Jim promised to make love in all the states in the Big Ten Conference (referring to the mostly Midwestern states where eleven, not ten, universities are located at the time of the episode) before the 15th anniversary. To close off, he and Cheryl go to Indiana during said date and consummate in a basement, during a tornado, while a family is hiding...
  • Manchild: Andy is a thirty-something year old man but he acts just like his nieces and nephew.
  • No Full Name Given: Jim, Cheryl, Andy, and the kids are only referred to by their first names. Dana originally had no last name as well, but this changed after she married Dr. Ryan Gibson and adopted his surname.
  • Pac Man Fever: In "No Crime, But Punishment" Gracie isn't allowed to get a Game Boy due to her misbehavior, so she steals one while at the park and lies about her friend giving it to her. However, the Game Boy seen in the episode is a Game Boy Color (which was obsolete by the time of this episode's airing) not a Game Boy Advance as a kid at the time of the episode's airing would have!
  • Papa Wolf: Jim was very protective of his daughters, and didn't even like them thinking about boys.
    Jim: You know how in those fairy tale stories, the king always locks his daughter in the tower? I get it now.
  • Physical Therapy Plot: Played for Laughs. Andy gets badly injured after playing football on an icy field and goes to the doctor with Jim. Given that his girlfriend Mandy had warned him about the activity, Andy needs to think of a way to lie to her about his injuries. An attractive, blonde nurse gives Andy physical therapy for his arms, where he imagines him trying to reach and grab her breasts while making fondling motions. Jim gets between the two of them and watches.
  • Playing Cyrano: Jim to Andy in "the Chick Whisperer." Backfired after Jim confessed to the woman (who was crazy) so she fell in love with him instead.
  • Posthumous Character: Andy, Cheryl & Dana's father, who died sometime before the show began (after being hit by a bus). However, he's talked about a lot and Andy occasionally "talks" to him.
  • Practical Joke: Cheryl, Andy, and Dana make Jim think his dead friend came back to life, because Jim stole back his playing card that said friend stole the day before he died.
  • Primal Fear: Jim is terrified of spiders.
  • Product Placement:
    • The kids' Disney VHS tapes can be seen in the background of episodes (one of them, Cinderella is an actual plot point in one). ABC, who aired the show, is owned by Disney.
    • A bag of Iams dog food can be seen in the background of several episodes, despite the family's dog only appearing in a few of them.
    • The episode "No Crime, But Punishment" features a Game Boy Color (despite it being obsolete at the time of the episode's airing, and the Game Boy Advance being sold instead with the DS being released 8 months after the episode's airing)
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • From Jim: "Give... me... the... check."
    • In a different episode, Cheryl asks: "Did... you... write... those... notes?"
  • Put on a Bus: Kimberly Williams-Paisley in the final season.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: When Jim uses an earpiece and hidden microphone to communicate to Andy, he tells him to tell the girl he's picking up to "Stay beautiful," and walk away. Andy tells her "Stay beautiful and walk away." Twice.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Courtney Thorne-Smith's pregnancy was written in, and so were both of Kimberly Williams-Paisley's pregnancies.
  • Really Gets Around: It's been claimed once or twice that Cheryl was apparently this before she and Jim met.
  • Running Gag: Jim not remembering Gracie's (later Kyle's) name and referring to her/him as "the little one", followed by Cheryl reminding him of the name.
    • Whenever Cheryl imitates Jim, she does so in a dopey voice, causing him to always comment that he doesn't sound like that.
  • Satellite Character: Despite being talking members of the main cast for much longer than Kyle, Ruby and Gracie do not get nearly as much individual personality development as their younger brother, being easily summed up Jim and Cheryl's snarky daughters who occasionally cause trouble and problems that their parents need to deal with. As they grow older, Ruby progressed into a snarky adolescent daughter who occasionally causes teenager problems for her parents.
  • Sequel Episode: "The Grill II" to "the Grill" natch.
  • Serious Business: Sports to Jim. "Sympathy for the Devlins" is an especially notable example, as Jim is willing to hang out with his annoying neighbors, (and pretend he and Cheryl are separated to keep doing so), simply because he believes watching games with them helps the Bulls win.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The episode "Spelling Bee" has Jim and Cheryl taking Gracie to places to compete for her spelling bee matches, which exhausts Jim and Cheryl. Near the end of the episode, Cheryl discovers that the only reason Gracie even bothers going through with these tournaments is because she gets to eat fried shrimp at Red Lobster, at which point Cheryl convinces Gracie to throw the match, on the promise that Gracie doesn't have to win just to allow her to have fried shrimp. Gracie agrees... until it's revealed that the spelling bee grand champion will be given one year worth of fried shrimp from Red Lobster as a prize.
    Jim: Crap.
    Cheryl: Oh, let's face it, honey... it's just not our night.
  • Shock Party: The organizing variation; Jim throws one for Cheryl.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: When Andy tries to flirt with Dana's boss, she says she is gay. After he says he had no idea, she says it just happened.
  • Spoiling Shout-Out: Jim spoils The Sixth Sense to Andy while he's watching to get him to come over. To be fair, based on that description they spoil the ending of a movie, but you don't know which one unless you've already seen it (or at least already know the spoiler).
    Jim: [on phone] What movie?
    Jim: Bruce Willis is a ghost and he doesn't know it.
  • Stealth Insult: A meta example towards Cosmopolitan magazine. Drinking Cosmo makes you a yandere, hmm.
  • St. Patrick's Day Episode: In "The Thin Green Line," Cheryl gives her best to assure herself a spot on the Church Committee. In order to do so, she forbids Jim to do his annual "Green Man" routine on St. Patrick's day. However, her plans are ruined when she gets arrested.
  • Strictly Formula: Most episodes could be described as "Jim does something dishonest/selfish and tries to hide it from Cheryl, she finds out about it and tries to force him to admit it, lather rinse, repeat."
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: what with this show heavily relying on wacky antics, this is pretty much a given. Case in point - the episode with Andy buying... er, "second-hand" jewels for his fiancée, and then sharing the same plan with Jim. When Cheryl asks Jim if that was in order to make it the "best birthday ever", he pretty much goes with that hypothesis.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Despite all the crap that happens to him throughout the series, Andy finally got engaged to his girlfriend in the series finale.
  • What Happened to the Mouse??: In "The Cat Came Back" the family acquires a new dog Jim names Gary Sinise. He appears in a few episodes and then disappears without any explanation (although a bag of dog food can be seen in the background of several episodes after that)
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Andy gives Dana one in "Dana Dates Jim" after she breaks up with her boyfriend for being too much like Jim and criticizes Cheryl for marrying the latter. He tells her that, despite his flaws, Cheryl loves Jim, while she's obsessed with finding a perfect guy that doesn't exist.