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"The world is full of idiots, and someone needs to point it out to them or they will never know."
Dr. John Becker

Becker was a Sitcom which ran on CBS from 1998–2004, about an angry, loud, opinionated doctor named John Becker (played by Ted Danson) with a small practice in the Bronx and a loose group of petty, self-centered "friends", who seemed to be the only people who could actually stand Becker for more than a few moments. Nevertheless he seemed popular with his patients, despite the fact that Becker generally hated people.

At work, head nurse Margaret (Hattie Winston) was in charge, and the practice was assisted by Linda (Shawnee Smith), who could be The Ditz but was very popular with the patients. Becker spent most of his time at Reggie's Diner, owned by ex-model Reggie Kostas (Terry Farrell). Other characters included blind newspaper seller Jake Malinack (Alex Désert) and Bob (Saverio Guerra), an annoying old schoolfriend of Reggie's who referred to himself in the third person.


After Season 4, Reggie was suddenly written out of the show after Farrell was fired, and new character Chris Connor (Nancy Travis) took over for the final 2 seasons. Bob left in Season 6 and was replaced by Hector (Jorge Garcia).

The show seemed determined to outdo Seinfeld's level of human depravity.

It will come as no surprise, even to anyone who's never seen the show, that Becker Pets The Dog frequently.


This show provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In one episode, George Wendt stars as a bartender at an airport bar patronized by Becker.
    • Kelsey Grammer appears as an old friend of Becker's and a former alcoholic who is apologizing to those he wronged in the past.
    • Rhea Perlman appears as Becker's court ordered therapist who is trying to help Becker with his anger problem, reversing a dynamic from Cheers when Sam would help Carla through her anger.
    • In the episode "The Ex Files," Becker's friends find out he sang "Goodnight Sweetheart" in a barbershop quartet in college. He sang the same song barbershop style in Three Men and a Baby.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: The episode where Becker is reunited with a friend from high school who has since come out as transgender and had a sex-change. John doesn't handle it at all well (in part due to being attracted to her) and his reactions are ignorant to say the least, at one point asking if she has any idea how confusing this is for him. She fires back, "Imagine what it was like for an eighth-grader," shutting him up.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The professional variant with John and Margaret. While they typically have a sarcastic realtionship, John admits on more than one occasion that he would be nothing without Margaret. Margaret in turn admits that she does love working for John despite his abrasive personality.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Becker and Chris, highlighted in the Season 6 premiere, which ends with an argument that reads like a Shout-Out to the iconic Slap-Slap-Kiss between Sam and Diane:
    Chris: Just to set the record straight, I don't love you.
    Becker: Well, I don't love you! I don't even know what made me think I could like you. You're so cute and sweet and nice and perky.
    Chris: Oh! Well, it's better than being a cranky old fart!
    Becker: I'm not cranky! There's just certain things that irritate me.
    Chris: Yeah, everything irritates you! You wouldn't know happiness if it bit you in the ass!
    Becker: Oh, yeah, why don't you bite me in the ass?
    Chris: Oh, why don't you bite yourself in the ass? Your head's right there, anyway!
    Becker: Just go away, would you?
    Chris: I'm going! Good night!
    Becker: Good night!
    Chris: No, no, good night!
    Becker: You wanna have dinner with me some time?
    Chris: I'd love to!
  • The Brainless Beauty: Linda, although she has moments of brilliance, however fleeting.
    Linda: You're mad about $20 you loaned her over four years ago? That's only $5 dollars a year, that's less than ten cents a week!
    Margaret: You worked that out in your head? You can't even handle daylight savings time!
    Linda: Think about it Margaret, where does that hour go?
  • Breakfast Club: Becker is an opinionated Dr. Jerk who rants about everything. Reggie is a depressed Jaded Washout ex-model who is stuck with a run-down Greasy Spoon. Jake is a blind Stepford Snarker who runs an unsuccessful newsstand. Linda is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander of epic proportions. Bob is a Smug Snake who goes through a Humiliation Conga and becomes the biggest loser of the group. Margaret seems to be the only one who has a stable and happy life, and even she has to take care of her uncaring Manchild husband.
  • Brick Joke: In one episode, everyone questions Becker why he's carrying around an air horn. After the joke is abandoned for the rest of the episode, he uses it at the very end to blare it into the phone after a telemarketer calls.
  • Buffy Speak: "Quit hovering over me like... help me out, what hovers?"
  • Call-Back:
    • In "What Indifference a Day Makes", Becker talks about the events of the episode "Drive, They Said."
    • In "Trials and Defibrilations", Becker's meeting with Anita from "Panic on the 86th" is mentioned.
    • Whenever Detective Borkow shows up, he always mentions that Becker was shot at a gay bar during the events of "Stumble In The Bronx". He was actually shot while walking past a gay bar and was brought inside to wait for the ambulance, but Borkow always ignores this distinction and acts as if Becker is gay himself.
  • Catchphrase: "Okay, here's the thing," right before Linda explains some kind of screw up.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In season 5 episode "The Grand Gesture," Becker berates himself for being pretentious for trying to seduce Chris using cheese and wine. He then compares himself to Frasier, who originally was from Cheers and had Ted Danson as a guest star for one episode.
  • Character Filibuster: Becker rants about anything and everything, so it can be safe to assume that he's voicing out the writer's opinions.
  • Characterization Marches On: Bob was universally despised by the entire cast in the first two seasons. By Season 4, he is The Friend Nobody Likes and is at least tolerated by the gang at the diner. By Season 5, his personality is pretty much stripped of the revolting qualities that defined his character in the earlier seasons, and he is shown to maintain friendships with Jake and Chris.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In one of the most delayed examples of this trope in TV history, Bob succumbs to this after Season 5. After a passing remark was made in the Season 6 premiere that he had gone “on vacation,” the character was never seen or mentioned again. Somewhat justified in that the character was never particularly liked in-universe, but still a bit jarring given that he was totally forgotten about after spending every day at the diner for the previous five years.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Linda, and a lot of Becker's more irritating patients. Mrs. Recinos is a standout - in addition to the joke about clear fluids below, she comes back to the office after Becker advises her to get a second opinion, not realizing that he meant from another doctor.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: While the entire gang are kind in their own way, their insensitivities and callousness can be both funny and cruel. Examples are Becker indirectly killing his neighbor's cat with a book and then asking her to give the book back during the funeral, Reggie lying to Jake's girlfriend about him not being blind, Linda manipulating a patient into believing that she has a mental problem just to cover up her own mistakes, Jake tricking a woman into not moving in with him and Bob's hobby of stalking women.
  • Cool Loser: Reggie is gorgeous, funny, and runs her own business, but is pretty much considered a total failure who can't get her life together or make a relationship work.
  • Crapsack World: The primary settings for the show are an underfunded medical office and a Greasy Spoon (emphasis on greasy) diner. To top it off, most of the characters are either somewhat miserable or somewhat disreputable.
  • Crossing the Burnt Bridge: One of Becker's patients is faced with this after finding out that the lab made a mistake on a test and he's not dying after all - not only had he spent a lot of his money in the last two weeks, but he quit his job and set fire to his boss's BMW. The scene where Becker calls him back after getting the test redone is played as if he actually was dying and was desperate for a cure.
    Mr. Garland: I'm gonna live? Oh no! Why me?
    Becker: Look on the bright side, everyday you pick up a paper and discover how scientists are discovering something new that can kill you.
    Mr. Garland: That could take years!
  • Dated History: One episode mentions that there are nine planets. This was prior to 2006 when Pluto lost planet status.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Becker, oh yes.
    Becker: The world is full of idiots, and someone needs to point it out to them or they will never know.
  • Denser and Wackier: Season 4 contains more outlandish and bizarre plots than the other seasons. Highlights include Becker getting high on valium, Margaret carrying a dog around in her shirt, Jake getting into increasingly painful and ridiculous accidents like flying off an elephant and Linda having to explain sex to a room full of kids and getting lusted after by them.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Becker, which is surprising, considering his car is about one crash away from falling apart.
    Jake: [following the screech of tires and sound of a collision from outside] What just happened?
    Reggie: Oh no! Becker got into another accident!
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season definitely stands out from the rest of the series of a number of levels. The mood of the show is much more caustic and gritty than later seasons, with Becker being downright rude and unprofessional as opposed to the cynical Deadpan Snarker he became. Linda's ditziness was even more pronounced, bordering on childlike naivete. Reggie was much more secretive about her private life, and hadn't yet established the friendships with the rest of the cast that she would later cultivate. This is justified in many was hinted at that Becker and Reggie were both new to the area, so the pervading anger of the early episodes makes sense in the context that both of them are both dealing with new life situations.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first episode in its entirety for Becker. It shows off his love of complaining, his refusal to compromise, his distrust for people, his Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with Jake, his Belligerent Sexual Tension with Reggie and his insulting attitudes towards patients who won't help themselves. It also shows him giving up his new car to pay for experimental treatment for an HIV-positive seven year old.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Maybe more “annoying” than “bad”, but for whatever his other faults, Bob is shown to love his mother, and she seems to love him back. Becker gets a little of this too.
  • The Exit Is That Way: Subverted in one case when Jake seems to be trying to walk out of the diner, determined to stand up to Amanda. When Reggie points out that he's walking into the mens' room, Jake says, "Yeah I know, I need time to think what I'm gonna say."
  • Expy: It doesn’t take a genius to see a boatload of similarities between Chris and Diane Chambers of Cheers. Both were blonde, perky, worked as waitresses, and had the polar opposite personality of Ted Danson’s character while engaging in a Will They or Won't They? plot with him.
  • Flanderization: After a while, Becker was either an unbelievable jerk or a kind but ridiculously put-upon chap, never a balance of both.
  • Food Slap: The scene where Chris accuses Becker of dating her on the rebound after Reggie left has her throwing five glasses of water in his face, as he digs himself deeper and deeper.
  • Forgiveness: The episode where Jake is reunited with Chris, the former friend who was driving the car the night he lost his eyesight in a crash. Eventually Jake declares that he can't forgive him, but does take the weight off his guilt by pointing out that he was just as drunk that night, didn't have to get into the car and could easily have been in the opposite position. That is, he can't forgive Chris any more than he can forgive himself.
  • Forgot the Disability: A few times when characters talk with Jake. In one case, he angrily calls out Becker for not telling him the antihistamines he prescribed may cause drowsiness. Becker retorts, "It was printed in giant letters on the label, you mor - oh."
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • After Becker's friends encourage him to change his routine by eating at a different restaurant, chaos ensues resulting in Margaret getting food poisoning, Becker having to stay late at the office, missing a hockey game, and Reggie and Jake being scammed at said hockey game when they can't access Becker's tickets. The next day, Becker delights in pointing this out to the others, who then urge him back to his routine.
    • In "Blind Curve" we learn that Jake lost his vision as a result of a horrible car accident caused by a drunk driver. He admits that not a day goes by that he doesn't consider how much different his life would've turned out had he not gotten in that car.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Bob is despised by every character on the show, but Reggie lets him hang around her diner all day and he is invited to every social function within the group.
  • Friend to All Children: One of the reasons Linda still has a job. When kids come into the office she's actually good with them, whereas Margaret is brusque and businesslike and Becker is Becker.
  • "Friends" Rent Control:
    • Averted. Despite being a private practice doctor, Becker still lives in a modest apartment. He also mentions that his car is "held together with duct tape." Though it's mentioned several times that Becker's practice is in a poor neighborhood and his patients are frequently short of cash and are unable to fully pay. It's also implied in The Pilot that he's quite charitable to his poorer patients.
    • Linda the brain dead bimbo nurse of Dr. Becker lives in a spacious and lavishly furnished apartment overlooking Central Park that Becker is completely envious of. Though this is because her parents, who are extremely rich, pay for it. Becker himself has told her that he has the desire to murder her and live there, played for laughs.
  • Gasp!: When Becker is sued for malpractice by a patient who suffered a heart attack while exercising under his advice, the plaintiff's lawyer asks him to identify Becker. When Vinny points at Becker, the jury gasps, to his confusion. "Oh, come on! Who didn't know that already?"
  • The Ghost: Margaret's husband, Lewis is never onscreen, even when he's in the same apartment as everyone else.
  • Greasy Spoon: Reggie's diner.
    Reggie: I don't really cook so much as I defrost and reheat.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: In one episode, a twin brother of one of Becker's patients uses his brother's insurance to get cancer treatment. Becker spends the episode debating giving him the treatment (resulting in insurance fraud and possibly risking his license) or denying him the treatment (condemning a sick man to die because he is uninsured). Ultimately, Becker decides against committing fraud because he's the only practice in a poor neighborhood, so more people would die if he got caught.
  • Hidden Depths: Airhead Linda is extremely well-loved by the patients, especially kids, speaks Mandarin and Portugese, and despite her constant mooching, and is the child of very wealthy parents who bought her a penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park.
  • Hollywood Law: It's hardly believable that the malpractice suit at the end of Season 3 would have ever seen the inside of a courtroom. First off, Vinny's poor shape and lifestyle made him a heart attack waiting to happen regardless of whether he got on the treadmill or not. In addition, Becker didn't force Vinny to start exercising...he did it of his own free will, and it's standard procedure at most gyms to sign a waiver that absolves anybody else from responsibility should a health issue occur. To add insult to injury, the plaintiff's attorney framed his case against Becker as a character assassination, which had no bearing on the suit and would have been quieted by any reasonable judge. On top of everything else, the defense attorney sleeping with one of the character witnesses was totally unethical, and it's hardly plausible that Becker would've held onto her counsel after that. Granted, the denouement of the arc ended in a Moment of Awesome in which Becker lampshaded most of these things, but the premise of the story was extremely unrealistic.
  • Homemade Sweater from Hell: In one episode, Margaret wears a "swest" that her husband, Lewis, made; it's hilariously bad. Linda feigns a compliment on it, and ends up getting her own "swest" from Lewis.
  • Hypochondria: One patient had it and kept going to different doctors who kept giving him prescriptions. Ironically, all the medication he was taking was actually giving him actual medical problems, which other doctors would solve just by giving him more medication. Becker eventually straightens it all out.
  • Hypocritical Humor: It's a Running Gag to have Becker decry things in the diner for being dirty, disgusting, and unhealthy right before buying a pack of cigarettes. Linda also gets in the action as well such as when she complains about people getting paid for doing nothing.
  • Idiot Houdini: Jake, by his own admission, is "blind, poor, and sells Chiclets for a living," but inexplicably has a beautiful apartment in New York City and is crawling with beautiful female suitors.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: When Becker learns that Julie (see Mood-Swinger below) is obsessed with him, he asks "Why do lonely pathetic women always glom onto me?" Reggie enters behind him and says "Becker, I need you!" (Though it's immediately pretty clear she has a cold and needs him as a doctor.)
  • Informed Flaw: Becker is considered to be a miserable human being by everyone who knows him, but he's really just a cynical Deadpan Snarker most of the time. He also treats his patients with the utmost professionalism and bestows Ultimate Job Security on Linda, despite her being totally incompetent.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: After Bob said that he was looking up something online, guess who replied, "Yeah, it must have been shocking to discover the internet wasn't just porn."
    "One crisis at a time."
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": One segment has Linda pronouncing "Asperger Syndrome" as "ass burgers". Margaret starts correcting her on it, but later in the episode starts giggling about "ass burgers" herself.
  • It's the Principle of the Thing: Becker's usual attitude, with Margaret futilely telling him to let whatever it is go. Sometimes it seems to work — see his confrontation with the journalist who mistook him for a racist in "PC World" — but more often it gets him in further trouble, such as when he got banned from Thriftymart.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: It's all but outright stated that Becker was once a lot more idealistic before adopting his viewpoint of Humans Are Morons.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • As much of a jerk as Becker is to Linda et al., he truly seems to care for most of his patients. That is, the ones that aren't stupid.
    • He's got a surprising amount of patience even with some of the stupid ones. Such as the woman who asked—after being told to only drink clear fluids until she got better—whether orange juice and milk would be okay. And then asked if vodka would be good for her, being a clear fluid.
    • One episode states that the reason why Becker's office is in such a bad location is so that he can help people that otherwise wouldn't have access to medical help.
    • He also frequently accepts gifts such as baked goods and sports tickets instead of money as many people don't have much.
    • He uses his own pocket money to finance treatments for patients who were otherwise unable to afford it, such as the HIV-positive child from the pilot episode, which is one of the reasons why he keeps his beaten down car.
    • Subway Story has his patience tested when he guides an old lady to where she wants to go, before he starts to figure out that she was going to Ground Zero. When she explains the reason why she can't the realization hits Becker hard, and he stays with her as she talks about her son who died on September 11th.
  • Last-Name Basis: Everyone but Margaret, Chris, and sometimes Jake call him Becker.
  • Long Bus Trip: At the start of Season 5, Reggie left a note saying she was leaving town for Europe. Worse, at the start of Season 6, Bob was said to be on vacation. Apparently he never came back, as that was the last we ever heard of him.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "The Pain in the Neck," one of Becker's patients stops taking his medicine after turning to Christian Science. Much to John's consternation, the patient's bloodwork showed that his health did improve despite not taking the medicine. While Becker points out that it could've been an aberration, the patient insisted that it was the power of prayer. Since the episode ends without resolving the issue and we never hear about the patient again, things are left ambiguous.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Jake goes on a date with Nina, a woman who turns out to be blind as well (neither of them realizing until they'd both been at the restaurant for a while). Jake is ready to end the relationship after that first date, bringing up the fairly legitimate point that any relationship they had would be "a never-ending game of Marco Polo". Reggie talks him out of it, but in the end Nina dumps him after finding out that he's black.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Becker in "PC World", when a journalist in the diner overhears his rantings about rap music and an Asian taxi driver and smears him as a racist in the paper (leaving out the context that the music was being broadcast into the street and the driver had just crashed into Becker's car), losing Becker at least one patient. Becker later confronts him during a radio interview and seemingly manages to clear himself by exposing the journalists' own prejudices.
  • Mood-Swinger: The episode "Barter Sauce" has Julie, a woman who keeps calling Becker's office by mistake and getting the answering machine because no one wants to tell her she's got the wrong number. Her messages for Phil keep shifting back and forth between angry at him for not answering (to the point of death threats) to loving and apologetic. When Becker finally breaks it to her, it's implied Phil gave her the wrong number on purpose, probably for this reason. She then starts repeatedly calling Becker on purpose, with the same mood swings.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • A number of episodes take an unexpected serious turn with few if any laughs in the final scenes. A standout is "Subway Story", which ends with the elderly woman who has been pestering Becker for directions all episode turning out to have lost her son on 9/11, and had been traveling to Ground Zero that day but can't bring herself to walk up the steps.
    • Another standout is when John attends a funeral in his building (hoping to investigate whether the apartment will be available soon), for what turns out to be the resident's beloved pet cat. The mood turns solemn briefly when John realizes the cat had come in his window and kept him company a number of times, but turns darkly hilarious again when the woman reveals what killed the cat: he was lying by the door and ended up being hit by a heavy package coming through the mail slot - which turns out to be an atlas John had ordered, hadn't received and spent most of the episode chasing up, believing he'd been ripped off. The episode ends with John asking Mrs Bernstein if she still has it.
  • Nay-Theist: While Becker identifies as an atheist, it seems he does believe in a supreme being but he is angry that it allows so many terrible things to go on in the world.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Reggie's last words with her father were an argument, which she always regretted.
  • Never Heard That One Before: The judge in Becker's malpractice suit loses patience with him when he starts quoting ...And Justice for All. "You have no idea how much I hate that damn movie!" It's also implied in her expression in the following episode when Becker belatedly notices that her last name is Reinhold.
  • Newhart Phone Call: Occasionally with either Margaret or Linda in Becker's office. There's a running gag in "The Buddy System" where Linda talks to her parents about their failing marriage in two scenes and Margaret getting involved in a third, and each time one of them brings up something Linda's father had done and then adding "Okay, I did not know you didn't know about that." The final scene reverses when Linda's father calls the office, Becker answers the phone and brings up the affair his wife was having with a tennis instructor, likewise not knowing that he didn't know about that.
  • No Name Given: Linda and Bob's last names were never revealed.
  • Noodle Incident: We never hear Bob's tale when the gang decide to tell stories that are a little more personal after having become bored with each others regular ones, other than that it apparently traumatized him to the point that he can no longer get undressed unless he's in complete darkness and that it horrifies Reggie and Jack to the point that they decide to pretend they'd never heard it.
    • Something involving veal piccata seems to be the reason why Becker and Margaret's husband Lewis can't stand to be in the same room as each other.
  • Not Me This Time: In "Subway Story", Linda and Margaret spend the episode trying to recover a file that Linda had seemingly deleted by accident. In the end, they find out the file actually went missing at a time when Linda wasn't even in the office, forcing Margaret to apologise.
  • Obfuscating Disability: In "The Film Critic" Reggie tells Jake's literal blind date that he only pretends to be blind to get girls into bed out of revenge for him bailing on giving her the last spot left in the register for an art class (as he was blind he could cut in line) and instead letting his date have it.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Jake's job running the newsstand consists of little more than relaxing in the diner drinking coffee all day.
  • Only Sane Man: Margaret. She's the one keeping the office running due to Becker's abrasiveness and Linda's laziness. She also seems to be the only one on the show to have a happy and well adjusted life.
  • On the Rebound: Becker tries to start a relationship with Chris, failing after she finds out that Reggie just left town and accuses him of dating her on the rebound. He denies it, though, as he was planning to break up with Reggie before he found out.
  • Persecuted Intellectuals: Becker is called to jury duty but keeps getting rejected. He believes that lawyers don't want him because they believe as a doctor he is too intelligent. At one point he almost gets accepted on a jury by talking only about daytime TV shows, until he mentions he was reading a book. Meanwhile his ditzy assistant Linda is quickly put on a jury and made forewoman.
  • Persona Non Grata: Offscreen, Becker was banned from Thriftymart after getting into an argument with a man in a wheelchair who cut in front of him, that somehow resulted in Becker pushing the man out the door and down a hill. The incident made the local news, and Bob is shocked when he finds out that it was Becker.
  • Pet the Dog: Bob, of all people, gets one of these in "Piece Talks." When his friend Lenny makes an unwelcome sexual advance toward Reggie, Bob stepped in and firmly told Lenny that he was way out of line. Bob then apologized to Reggie on behalf of Lenny, and Reggie showed genuine appreciation. It was the only genuine moment of friendship between the two in the entire series, but it does establish that they have an Odd Friendship underneath the many layers of sarcasm and vitriol.
  • Playing Cyrano: Becker finds out that one of his patients is dating Reggie and starts giving him romantic advice, intending to disprove Reggie's claim that he knows nothing about women. The advice works at first, but right when Becker is about to reveal his involvement, Reggie tell him that she broke up with him after getting annoyed with his gestures. She later tells Jake that she was lying and has no intention of giving Becker that satisfaction. However, he overhears.
  • Properly Paranoid: Becker's conspiracy theory that "Chico, California" is just a code word that the phone company uses to put fake charges on people's phone bills. In universe at least, he's right, as the charge in question was added by an phone company employee with a grudge against Becker (from the Thriftymart incident above), and his co-worker specifically asks him "Did you 'Chico' him?" after Becker walks out.
  • Rule of Funny: No matter how big his heart is, it is unlikely that a brilliant doctor such as John would choose to run a tiny failing practice in the Bronx rather than making millions doing research. It would have probably also made a lot more sense for Reggie to have sold the diner years ago instead of bleeding red all those years.
  • Scrabble Babble: Subverted when Jake plays 'Xebec'.
    Bob: I still say that's not a word.
    Jake: Bob, I told you, it's an antiquated, tri-masted Mediterranean sailing vessel.
    Bob: None of those are words!
    • Earlier in the same game, Bob complains about his useless letters - "J! A! C! K! A! S! S!" - and has them exchanged. Reggie tells him, "You had a word! 'Jackass'!" Bob replies, "Hey, I'm doing the best I can, moron!"
  • Ship Tease: Becker and Reggie. It's set up in the Pilot, where Reggie puts on a hot dress and pretends that she has a date in order to get Becker's attention, and Becker seems to be enjoy the sight of it even if he doesn't say anything. Reggie's also frustrated when Becker doesn't seem to respond. Throughout the show, they bicker Like an Old Married Couple and she even pretends to be his wife in "Shovel Off To Buffalo"!
  • Side-Effects Include...: The side-effects list was used as the main reason why a split-personality patient didn't take his drugs-the "nice" personality was deathly afraid of the side effects.
    Becker: It also says it causes irregular periods. Are you afraid of that too?
    Jim: Now I am!
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Referenced when Becker tries to quit smoking by having sex every time he gets the urge:
    Becker: I just remembered another cigarette I miss.
  • Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: One episode has Margaret realizing that a patient she visits at home, who has always been strangely cold and crotchetty to her, gets along well with both Linda and Becker (and has done so for years, in the latter case). Rather than go through the usual plot of trying and failing to make her like her by changing her behavior, Margaret straight-up asks for an explanation. She doesn't get one.
  • Stepford Snarker: In "Blind Curve", it's revealed that while he does make jokes about his blindness, Jake feels a great deal of bitterness towards the world after becoming blind.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding:
    Margaret: Oh, John, the Bennetts are waiting for you in your office.
    Becker: Oh, right, my little talk about sex over 80.
    Linda: That could be very dangerous. You could lose control of the car.
    Becker: 80 years old, Linda.
    Linda: Ew, how'd you like to pull up next to that car?
    Becker: No, Linda, I — Yeah, that would be bad.
  • Take a Third Option: When Reggie gets two tickets to a hockey game she ultimately ends up letting John and Jake decide who should get the extra ticket, instead of picking one over the other. In that same vein when confronted with this new scenario John and Jake take their own third option by giving the extra ticket to Bob.
  • Theory of Narrative Causality: In “Thank You For Not Smoking,” Becker finally kicks his smoking habit after Chris bans cigarettes from her diner. However, it seems awfully ridiculous that the diner is the only place in the world where he can smoke a cigarette. The situation also creates some Fridge Logic...Becker says that he can’t smoke at home, which would mean that he never smokes in the evenings or on weekends despite being hopelessly addicted to nicotine. The show was obviously looking for a believable way to get Becker to quit smoking for good, but banning smoking from the diner hardly necessitated him to quit cold turkey.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Megan, Becker's college girlfriend, was a friendly albeit snarky woman who truly loved him in her first appearance. She becomes a lying manipulative, gold digging sociopath in her second appearance.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Linda. Becker owes her dad a favor and has no choice but to keep her employed. In one of the last episodes, she does make a half-decent argument for how she does contribute to the office, by drawing pictures with the little kids when they're scared, talking with older patients when they're lonely and attracting a lot of young male patients.
  • Unknown Rival: In "Picture Perfect", an article Becker wrote for a medical journal is published with an incorrect photo of an ugly overweight man, embarrassing Becker to his friends and peers. When Becker goes to the magazine to get it corrected, he meets the man responsible (Wayne Knight), who reveals that he has a grudge against him for unwittingly throwing off his concentration during his entrance exam to medical school.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Much of the dialogue between Becker and his friends is snarky banter.
  • Wham Line: The second to last episode of the series has Becker guiding an old woman through the subway system to a destination. When they arrive, he sees her sit down and approaches, frustrated, until she explains that her son would have been forty that day.
    Woman: It was funny. He got to work early that morning, and called me just to chat. About dinner, that weekend, the trip he was planning... the weather. It was such a beautiful September day.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Becker's father was never seen or mentioned again after his appearance in Season 1. It's fair to assume he didn't have long to live after that episode (explaining his desire to finally make amends with his son), but the situation was never addressed on screen.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Becker and Reggie. When they finally do, Reggie is so consumed with regret and humiliation that she leaves the city (since the actress wanted to leave the show).


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