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Series / Frasier

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Ever wonder why he became a psychiatrist? Spend a day with his family.note 

"Hey baby, I hear the blues a-calling
Tossed salads and scrambled eggs
Mercy!/Oh, my!/Quite stylish...!
And maybe I seem a bit confused
Yeah, maybe—but I got you pegged!
But I don't know what to do
With those tossed salads and scrambled eggs....
They're calling again."

A Spin-Off of Cheers airing on NBC from 1993–2004, in which psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) has moved back to his home town of Seattle to take a job as a radio shrink on KACL in order to put his life back together after divorcing his wife Lilith.

In the pilot, Frasier's father Martin (John Mahoney), a down-to-earth, blue-collar, easygoing man as different from his pompous, stuffy, intellectual son as it is possible to be, is forced to move in with Frasier following his retirement from the Seattle police force after being shot in the hip, providing the setting for the rest of the show. In addition to Frasier and Martin, the rest of the main cast includes Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), Frasier's sharp-tongued, upbeat producer, who is notorious for her healthy sex life and who soon becomes his best friend; Frasier's brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce), also a psychiatrist with a personality and line of interests very similar to those of his brother, with whom he shares a close-knit but intensely competitive relationship, who was a frequent visitor to the apartment and a companion in most of Frasier's complicated escapades; and Martin's physical therapist and housekeeper, cheerful, eccentric young Englishwoman Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves). Martin's deceptively intelligent Jack Russell terrier Eddie, Frasier's coworkers at KACL, and Niles's unseen but outlandish wife Maris were the final touches to the core cast, which remained intact and unchanged throughout all eleven seasons of the show's run. Dan Butler, who played Testosterone Poisoned sports show host Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe, was listed in the opening credits for seasons 4 through 6, but was billed as a guest star for all other appearances.


The series was able to run contrary to almost every other sitcom ever made by having two wealthy, snobbish milquetoasts as its main characters, who clash with the Average Joes that make up the rest of the ensemble. The emphasis was on understatement and taste: the show used title cards in place of establishing shots, was one of the first sitcoms to completely dispose of the Sentimental Music Cue, had an opening themenote  only a few seconds long (with the cast credits running amid the opening sequence), and wasn't afraid to mix up highbrow wordplay and regular old humor. The show's brand of humor was wry and highly farcical, delighting in turning regular situations into ludicrously convoluted disasters while making hay out of the clash of inflexible opinions, class and cultural stereotypes, and strong, differing personalities. Also contributing to the show's enjoyability is that fact that many episodes end happily, with all confusion totally cleared up — although there are plenty of disastrous and bittersweet endings as well.


The show ran on Irony in all its forms, especially in the premise of a brilliant psychiatrist who can analyze and solve anyone's problems, but cannot for the life of him deal with his familial relationships, the bizarre situations he always gets himself into, or his own personal neuroses. For obvious reasons, psychological issues, mind games and behavioral patterns were major themes throughout the show and a source of much humor, as were the presence of family and the dynamics of parental and sibling relationships. The plots of the episodes usually revolved around Frasier or the other main characters accidentally overcomplicating their own or each other's crises, powered by a sitcom-standard mix-and-match of Snowball Lie, "Fawlty Towers" Plot, Contrived Coincidence, and the entire gamut of Mistaken for Index; but usually developed in a far more intricate, subtle and sophisticated manner than most sitcoms, frequently subverting the very tropes they made heavy use of.

Over the years, notable Character Development occurred for all five main characters. The cast became more understanding and close-knit, Frasier's relationship with Martin improved drastically after they started living together, Frasier started a quest for a meaningful relationship, Niles and Maris divorced, and Roz got pregnant and became a single mother halfway through the show. However, the most notable story arc was the drawn-out, heartfelt Will They or Won't They? between a blissfully Oblivious to Love Daphne and a shyly adoring Niles who carried a silent torch for her for seven years. They had to go through a whole cavalcade of complications and roadblocks before finally confessing their love for each other and getting together at the end of season 7.

The show won 37 Emmy Awards, a record bested only by Saturday Night Live (50) and Game of Thrones (38), and notably ran for a grand-slam eleven seasons, matching or exceeding its predecessor Cheers in length and acclaim.

Frasier is the former Trope Namer for:

TV Tropes all over my face! What is a Troper to do?

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  • Aborted Arc:
    • Season 10 built up an Unresolved Sexual Tension between Frasier and Roz that culminated with Roz leaving the station due to jealousy towards Julia. When Season 11 rolled around an A-team of Frasier writers (Joe Keenan, Chris Lloyd, Rob Greenberg) returned, declared season 10 a misfire, and undid all the damage in two episodes.
    • Frasier's romance with new station manager Kate Costas was aborted because Mercedes Ruehl was unable to handle the daily grind of doing a weekly sitcom.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Cousin Yvonne for Niles, and, more prominently, Noel Shempsky towards Roz.
  • Acceptable Professional Targets: Invoked as a Running Gag in the series. The Frasier characters dislike talent agents (mostly Bebe) for pretty much the same reasons other people would dislike lawyers.
  • The Ace: In "The Perfect Guy," Dr. Clint Webber is this to the point of being a Parody Sue. He's outrageously handsome to the point where even Martin is taken aback; he's an Oxford-certified MD who's so medically proficient that he's able to diagnose disorders almost instantly and treat serious wounds on very short notice; he has a Master's Degree in French history; he put himself through college working as a sous chef, meaning he's an excellent cook (even creating a mixed drink that Niles praises as "Heaven in a glass"); he's a polyglot who fluently speaks at least English, French, and Mandarin; he's the godson of world-famous opera tenor Jose Carreras; he's a chess expert despite never having played the game himself; he's a squash champion; he ran his college's radio station; he can recite clever jokes and Shakespearean sonnets off the top of his head; he knows how to fly a plane; he fixed Frasier's ice machine; and he's an overall charming fellow of whom people just can't seem to get enough (Frasier, Bulldog, Gil, and eventually Niles being the only ones not impressed.) After slowly giving in to envy after a series of one implausible upstaging after another, Frasier is gleeful to discover that Webber is a terrible singer.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Niles is often called "Miles" by those who are meeting him for the first time.
  • Accidental Proposal: Discussed and defied when Frasier finds Daphne's Lost Engagement Ring:
    Frasier: Can you imagine what conclusions Faye might have jumped to had she found this engagement ring in my room?
    Faye: [entering] Oh, Frasier, for me? I had no idea!
    Frasier: Well, actually, uh...
    Faye: [grabbing the ring] It's beautiful! It's so beautiful! Yes, Frasier, I do! I do! [The Big Damn Kiss]
    Frasier: [splutters until Faye gives him a knowing look]
    Faye: Oh, calm down, you big dope. I know it's Daphne's ring. And, uh, I can't tell you how flattered I am by those beads of sweat on your forehead.
  • Acting Unnatural: Frasier and his family are encouraged to do this by Martin after they accidentally cross the Canadian border, unaware that Daphne's work permit forbids her from leaving the country, and must pass through customs before re-entering. This eventually involves Frasier babbling his head off whenever the customs officer asks him a question, Niles buttoning up entirely (and answering the few questions posed to him in a grim-sounding monotone), and Daphne saying the only thing she can say in a vaguely convincing American accent: "Sure". Martin, who actually does manage to act naturally, is not greatly impressed.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • "Voyage Of The Damned" sees Frasier booked as a cruise ship entertainer along with several B-list celebrities whom Frasier is less than enthusiastic about sharing billing with ("You've booked me on a floating Gong Show! ...Of course I got top billing! I'm the only one up there I've ever heard of!"), one of whom is comedian Giggles O'Shea. Later, Giggles helps Frasier spice up his speech with a few jokes, which Frasier has to admit are really pretty good.
    • In "The Two Mrs. Cranes," Frasier gets caught up in the web of lies going on with Daphne's old boyfriend Clive; he has to pretend he's married to and currently separated from Maris. When Martin asks him the joking question about it "You couldn't stand her either, huh?", Frasier can't help but laugh.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • In "Cranes Go Caribbean", Frasier is displeased with the lack of available fish at a seafood restaurant despite there being "an ocean full of fresh fish not fifteen feet away."
    • In "Daphne Hates Sherry," Martin's girlfriend Sherry accidentally destroys the apartment's garbage disposal by throwing her rock-hard biscuits into them. Daphne complains that Sherry's "bloody big biscuits broke the blade." Sherry responds "That's a lot of B-words for one sentence. Here's one you forgot!]"
  • Air Guitar: Frasier and Niles play "air violin". Frasier also enjoys air orchestra conducting.
  • Alien Abduction: Congressional candidate Phil Patterson confides with Frasier that he genuinely believes he was abducted by aliens, who told him he had to do something to help the planet. Bulldog reveals that the news was reporting about Patterson and aliens, so Frasier goes on air to defend Patterson, only for Bulldog to explain to Roz that Patterson had illegal aliens from Guatemala working in his kitchen (actually foreign exchange students on a goodwill program). Patterson's opponent, Holden Thorpe, wins the election with 92% of the vote. Frasier is mortified at this, but Patterson says he may run in California, where this may actually help him.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: ("A Man, a Plan, and a Gal: Julia" episode):
    Niles: Oh, it's just temperamental. My Gaggenau is German-engineered. It probably needs more power than my building's old wiring can give it.
    Martin: Leave it to the Germans. Even their appliances crave power.
    • In another episode, Niles's maid is revealed to know German, since she worked for a German family who came to Guatemala "...just after the war", which strongly implies they were Nazis. Certainly, Frasier himself gives Marta a very suspicious look after hearing this.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: "The Ski Lodge" features one of the most complicated love tangles ever. With an especially cruel twist, as once it's all sorted out, Frasier is left to come to the hideously painful realization that no one was lusting after him.
    Frasier: Wait, wait, wait. Wait, everybody. Let me see if I can get this straight. All the lust coursing through this lodge tonight, all the hormones virtually ricocheting off the walls, and no one... was chasing me? (long silence) See you at breakfast.
    • Subverted during The Stinger when the Dumb Blonde Frasier had been pursuing changes her mind - but Frasier unwittingly screws that up, too.
      • Also, for most of the series, Niles and Daphne. Niles eventually seemed to get over his crush on Daphne and move on... just in time for Daphne to develop a crush on him.
      • Jane Leeves claims Daphne knew Niles was in love with her all along, but that's just her interpretation.
    • Some fans have dubbed this show "the Gilligan's Island of love", saying that Frasier having a successful romance would be like the castaways getting rescued.
      • The series ending with Frasier on a plane heading east to pursue a promising relationship would seem to reinforce this view.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Subverted. While Frasier is a Freudian and Niles is a Jungian, none of the other psychiatrists who ever appear on the show adhere to these outdated models. Indeed, they generally spend a lot of time mocking Frasier and Niles for their rejection of more modern, accepted psychiatry. Lilith, Frasier's ex-wife and fellow psychiatrist, is a Behaviorist (though that's also outdated now) and particularly likes to mock him over it.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • While Frasier's more elite education, sophistication, and fame as a local radio host gives him a huge ego and sense of superiority when interacting with most around him, several times over the series he'd encounter someone who'd outshine him in one or more areas of his expertise, which always manages to trouble him due to his own insecurities.
    • This was the entire theme in the episode The Perfect Guy, which has Frasier encounter a new radio host who constantly one-ups him in almost everything he does, and without any conscious effort. By the end of the episode, Frasier becomes determined to find even a single thing that he's superior; which he does by discovering the other man to be absolutely tone deaf.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Gil Chesterton. He shows every outward sign of being effeminitely gay, but says he's married and makes several references to his wife over the years. But she's never seen (which Roz tries to call him out on), and he does things in quick gags like quoting lines from a romance novel clearly directed at Bulldog, and sneaking into a gay bar. Is he gay? Straight? Both, or curious, or just oblivious to how it all looks?
    • It results in a crowning moment of funny when Gil says, of one of KACL's production staff — one just as ambiguously effeminate as himself — "Between you and me, I always thought of him as being the other way", and Roz responds with a confused "Which way would that be?!"
    • In one episode, Gil is speaking at a sexual harassment seminar, and apologizes for ogling certain coworkers, adding "and you know who you are." Cue male and female KACL employees exchanging confused glances.
    • There's an equally brilliant scene where Gil finds that they all think he's gay and becomes outraged, explaining that he has a wife (and describing her in terms that match the stereotypical Butch Lesbian). It's followed by Frasier saying "Well, that's the first I've ever seen a man IN himself."
  • Analogy Backfire: Used often in a variety of situations by different characters.
    Martin: If a comet were heading straight towards the Earth, and the only way to stop it would be to lie under oath, would you do it?
    Frasier: Who would I be lying to, the comet?
  • Angrish: Mostly Frasier, but the other cast sometimes suffer this, too.
    • From Roz And The Schnoz, Roz has been having a Heroic BSoD the entire episode when she sees how massive her unborn child's grandparents' noses are.
      Frasier: You know Roz, in spite of a rather shaky beginning, I think this evening's turned out rather well.
      Roz: (calmly at first) Oh yeah, and you were absolutely right, Frasier. Now I can see some of the qualities my baby can have. A great sense of humor... a sweet disposition... (angrish) a nose like an ANTEATER!!
  • Animal Theme Naming: Almost certainly a coincidence (the characters are unrelated and never meet) but the show has two Romantic False Leads named after predatory fish. Roz claims that Donny "the Piranha" Douglas is named less for his fearsome reputation as a divorce lawyer and more for his "night-grinding problem", while in the cruise boat episode Maris pursues a sleazy Lounge Lizard called "the Barracuda" (who lives up to his name with a rather revolting jaw-snapping action when coming on to a woman).
  • Animated Credits Opening: Just like the rest of the show, classy and understated. Counts as a form of Couch Gag as there are several variations. Each season seems to have a theme, too. One had a hot air balloon rising, another had confetti/fireworks, another had a helicopter, and so on.
  • Answers to the Name of God:
    • Played with in "Back Talk", when Frasier is dealing with severe back pain. Everyone is trying to give him advice.
    Frasier: That sort of exercise only helps people who lack self-awareness. I for one am... (back pain hits) God almighty!
    • When Frasier shows up in Lilith's hotel room and starts stripping, unaware she's just slept with his brother and has him hidden in the bathroom, he takes her deadpan expression of surprise as a term of endearment:
    Lilith: [stopping in her tracks] My God.
    Frasier: [growling] My Goddess!
  • Aren't You Forgetting Someone?: Happens to Frasier and Roz at the first SeaBee awards they attend; they assume that they will be one of the two shows tied for an award.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: This dialogue from "Impossible Dream":
    Niles: Frasier, are you thinking what I'm thinking?
    Frasier: That Dad can interpret the looks from his dog and has only the spottiest recollections of our childhoods?
  • Argentina Is Nazi Land: Apparently, Niles' housemaid worked for a German family that arrived in Guatemala just after the war, which explains why she speaks German fluently.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: One of Frasier's callers admits she listens to his show for this reason. This prompt Frasier to dial up the charm further.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Turns up in places you'd least expect. Sometimes becomes part of the scene-stealing moment.
    • "People of Seattle! Listen to me! We are not barbarians! We are not Neanderthals! AND WE ARE NOT FRENCH!"
    • In one episode, two DJ's try to make a career out of publicly humiliating Frasier. He refuses to sink to their level and will only counter them by quoting famous authors. After all the ridicule, one of them manages to hit his Berserk Button by correcting his pronunciation of "La Rochefoucauld."
    • Frasier, in a rant about how people in Seattle have no etiquette during the rain:
    "They buy huge umbrellas that are too big to walk around, so you have to walk in the street! And then they drive so close to the curb that they splash you with water! AND THEY WEAR BROWN SHOES WITH WHITE SOCKS!"
  • Artifact of Attraction: Played for Laughs. Frasier, suffering from back pain, stumbles and winds up sitting in his father's much-maligned chair. In a tone of wonder he says not only does his back not hurt, but there's no glare on the TV, and look at how convenient this little table is for putting your drink. Niles, horrified, pleads with him "Frasier, whatever the chair is telling you, don't listen!"
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • The view from Frasier's apartment does not come from any building or residence in Seattle. It was taken from a cliff.
    • In "Ham Radio", the script of the radio play says there are fens in Surrey. There aren't. They are in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk, over 100 miles away.
    • In "An Affair to Forget", Niles goes to the Washington-Oregon border and is sent back for having fruit in his car. There is no Agricultural Inspection Station at that border, unlike at California's state lines.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Very many in the Bar Mitzvah episode: the fact that the service ends after Frederick finishes reading his haftara (there is a whole other prayer service that follows); the fact that a dinner is apparently served then (this service is in the morning); Martin taking photos in a synagogue on the Sabbath (even in a Conservative synagogue he would be asked to stop). For that matter, no one seems too concerned when Frasier is tricked into reading a prayer in Klingon, though the rabbi looks increasingly confused — one would assume the Jewish members in the audience are similarly confused. At the conclusion, the rabbi remarks it wasn't Hebrew — it was gibberish to his ears.
  • Ashes to Crashes:
    • In the episode "Martin Does It His Way", Aunt Louise's ashes get blown back at Frasier and Niles. Niles is still pouring her ashes out of his shoe at the funeral, and in The Stinger, a janitor is seen sweeping them up.
    • In another episode, Frasier takes a call on his show from a woman who is concerned about the fact that her husband keeps his late wife's ashes in their bedroom. When he suggests she move them, the conversation continues "Well, I guess I could try that. Maybe I'll move them into the guest room." (crashing noise) "Oops."
  • As Himself: Dr Phil, Larry King, Bill Gates, John Glenn, and Wolfgang Puck all make guest appearances as themselves in later seasons.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Invoked by Bulldog in one episode while attempting an ad for a Chinese restaurant.
    Roz: (after Bulldog's performance) We're gonna get sued this time for sure.
    • Also in "Ham Radio" when the cast is going through a reading of a script from the '50s with Bulldog as Mr. Wing (formerly Wang).
    Bulldog: Oh, me no lookee. Me go beddie-bye, chop-chop!
    Roz: Stop! Chinese Embassy on line one!
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: One episode had Roz break up with a French boyfriend who didn't speak English, so Frasier translates. The boyfriend immediately reveals he was planning to break it off himself, so the French parts of the conversation drift off into where he can find a good steak while Roz works through the whole speech she had prepared.
  • As You Know: Mocked at least once:
    Frasier: Dear God, she believes they're genuine sapphires.
    Martin: [sarcastic] Gee, ya think?
    • In another episode, when Niles emerges from the bathroom covered in shaving foam following a loud "bang":
    Niles: I'm fine. Just a little hot... and foamy.
    Martin: You know what must have happened? My Hot and Foamy must have exploded!
  • Awful Wedded Life: Niles and Maris, off-screen.
  • Bachelor Auction: Frasier gets won by Kristina Harper (Claire Stansfield) in "Can't Buy Me Love". Despite the fact she's gorgeous and completely adores Frasier, he blows it.
  • Back for the Finale: Simon Moon.
  • Bail Equals Freedom: Addressed when Maris is refused bail because the police think she's a flight risk.
    Niles: Can you imagine?
    Martin: Well, it didn't help that when they found her, she had a passport, a wig, and $10,000 in her purse.
    Niles: Maris always has those things in her purse.
  • Bald Women:
    • Artist Martha Paxton, as one of her many eccentricities, has no hair.
    • One of Frasier's callers told an inspirational story about how, after she lost her hair, her sisters shaved their heads in support of her.
  • Baseball Episode: "The Unnatural", which has Frasier attempting to play on the KACL softball team at the behest of Freddy. We don't see the match itself but judging from Frasier's "training" by Martin, he didn't do too well.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: "Daphne Does Dinner" has a "Pantry of Overheard Insults":
    (after Niles and the party guests step out of the kitchen, Frasier walks out of the pantry with an angry look) I'm holding him [Niles] back. Your sauce is better than mine. Honestly, I don't even know why I try!
  • Batman Gambit: Freddy's scheme to get a minibike. He acts like he's trying to trick Lillith and Frasier into getting back together, but knows that they would compare notes and realize what he was doing. This would make them feel bad enough to get him a present to console him, which was his goal all along. Subverted in that Lillith sees through it.
  • Bedmate Reveal:
    • Frasier and Roz.
    • Niles and Lilith.
    • Frasier and Gil, in a homoerotic dream (Later, Frasier and Sigmund Freud).
  • Bed Trick: A mutually-ignorant version with Niles and his marriage counselor, who each thought they were getting into bed with Maris.
  • Berserk Button : You can call the Cranes many things, but NEVER say Freddy will only go to a "State School."
    • Do NOT correct Frasier on his French.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Zigzagged.
    • When new manager Kate Costas is introduced in "She's The Boss", she and Frasier immediately get off on the wrong foot, due to both being similarly stubborn and highly intelligent. A few episodes later that same animosity leads to BST. When they do try and turn their fling into a relationship, they sadly find they have very little in common just before Kate leaves Seattle for good.
    • Frasier dislikes a new host, Julia, and everyone else comments that he's obviously attracted to her. Eventually he becomes convinced of this himself, and in the middle of a screaming row asks her "Are you as turned on as I am?"... which disgusts her, and causes the office to run a sexual harassment seminar. However, once they get over their initial loathing, they do start dating.
      • It's also a Call-Back to when Sam and Diane first got together on Cheers. Sam said the same thing to Diane, who responded with "More!" and there was a Big Damn Kiss.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Humorously referenced in the episode "The Innkeepers:"
    Frasier: That man does things with eels like you wouldn't believe!
    Martin: I arrested a guy for that once.
  • Better as Friends: Frasier and Roz.
  • Betty and Veronica: Any time Frasier has more than one woman to decide between (e.g. Faye and Cassandra, Lana and Claire), they'll tend to have dramatically contrasting personalities which appeal to different sides of him.
    • Also during the multi-episode story arc wherein Niles and Daphne get together, Niles is Betty to Donny as Veronica, and Daphne is Betty to Mel as Veronica.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Daphne and Niles have two extremely big damn ones: their first kiss in "Moon Dance", and their second one on Daphne's wedding night.
    • During the Grand Finale, when Roz announces her promotion to Station Manager, she kisses Frasier and Gil. Then Noel takes his opportunity.
    • Roz and Roger get one on the back of a garbage truck in Season 9, after Roz's Anguished Declaration of Love
    Do you still have an opening for a Mole Queen?
  • Big Fancy House: Maris's house, and Niles's apartment after they split up. The latter has a gift-wrapping room.
    • This leads to a very amusing scene where Frasier is convincing Niles he needs to save money during his divorce, with Niles refusing to admit it:
      Niles: You can't blame me for the housing market - this is a simple apartment!
      Frasier: Well, this simple apartment of yours is going to bankrupt you! You must admit it's a bit large for one person?
      Niles: Oh, don't forget I have a pet.
      Frasier: Are you saying that your BIRD requires both a study and a library?
    • A little later:
      Frasier: You have a THIRD floor?
      Niles: It's practically a crawl space. (into intercom) Go out the door to the left. (to Frasier) Don't look at me like that! I have to have a roof over my head!
      Frasier: Niles, you have THREE roofs over your head!
  • Bilingual Bonus: If the viewer happens to speak French, they can catch the deliberately uppity yet nonsensical names of the restaurants that Frasier and Niles frequent, such as Le Cigare Volant (The Flying Cigar), Le Cochon Noir (The Black Pig), Le Pied de Cochon (The Pig's Foot), Le Petit Oiseau (The Little Bird), Coeur de Singe (Monkey's Heart), Le Petit Bistro and, arguably the best example, Quelquechose meaning literally "Something."
    • In the episode "Roz, a Loan," Frasier fears that Roz is wasting a loan which he gave her on fancy things such as dinner at a restaurant called "La Goulue," which is French for "The Greedy."
    • In the episode "An Affair To Forget", a viewer who understands German or especially Spanish will get the episode's major punchline several minutes before it's revealed in English. Niles confronts a German fencing instructor whom he suspects of trying to seduce Maris. Due to Frasier's translation mix-up, the instructor thinks he's been accused of stealing Niles' shoes and tries to skewer him.
    • There's also the episode where Frasier and Niles have a conversation in French to confuse Eddie.
  • Black Hole Sue: Played for laughs in "The Show Where Diane Comes Back", where Diane Chambers returns and gets Frasier to back what turns out to be a play about a Cheers-esque bar, which is mostly just an hour of the other characters gushing about how awesome Diane's Author Avatar character Maryann is. This leads to Frasier giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about Maryann, finally getting his frustrations with Diane out into the open, and in turn causing Diane to admit to her personal faults and shut the play down so that she can rewrite it in a more balanced fashion.invoked
  • Blah Blah Blah: One episode even has a gag black-and-white POV shot from Eddie the dog, where everybody just makes yammering noises except when they mention his name. Soon after, a POV from Martin during one of his boys' discussions does the same thing, except in color.
  • Bland-Name Product: Car Chat with Bob and Bethany for Car Talk with Click and Clack.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Frasier in "Oops", discussing the possibility of Bulldog being fired:
    Frasier: He's the stations highest-rated personality! I mean, with the exception of women thirty-five to fifty-four, who happen to think that I'm... (smugly) sort of a god.
  • Blatant Lies: Frasier accidentally pushes Martin's precious chair over the balcony of his apartment, trashing it right in front of them. His attempt to defend himself is... unconvincing.
  • Blind Date
  • Blithe Spirit: Inverted in "Taking Liberties"; Frasier gets a butler, and while he has only an incidental effect on the plot, he is cured of the British Stuffiness that's been getting in the way of his happiness.
  • Bluff the Impostor: Happens on at least one occasion. One particularly notable one comes shortly after Roz discovers she's pregnant, and Frasier encourages her to find the father and tell him the news. She claims one morning at Café Nervosa that the father was an architect, and not much else. Later, at Frasier's apartment, she mentions that he was an archaeologist, and Frasier gets her into the kitchen to pull one of these off the bat by asking her how the two met again.
    Frasier: This morning, you told me you met him on a double date.
    Roz: Oh yeah, it was on a double date!
  • Blunt "Yes": Martin's fond of these.
    Frasier: You hated it, didn't you?
    Martin: Yeah. G'night, Frasier.
  • Bowdlerized:
    • In the US, Hallmark Channel deletes all obscenities, even the tamer ones like "ass" and "butt", leaving to exchanges like Martin telling Frasier he's "behaving like a jack... with a stick up his...". Jokes with rude punchlines are often rendered unintelligible, with the subsequent laugh track looking like a non-sequitur.
    • In the UK, Channel 4 (which airs the show in the mornings) usually leaves in references to "ass" and "butt" but removes the word "bastard" and any references to drugs, providing a similar non-sequitur effect when it seems the audience are laughing mid-sentence, and that the actors are leaving sentences hanging in the air unfinished.
  • Book-Ends: The man who delivers Martin's chair in the first episode is the same one who removes it in the final episode. He even tells the moving man the same thing: "Be careful with it!" It's an Ironic Echo since when Frasier said it in the pilot, he was upset that the mover was damaging Frasier's furniture with it. In the final episode, Frasier cautioned him warmly not to damage the chair.
    • In an even subtler example, Frasier bitterly tries to get Martin to say "thank you" to him in the pilot episode. Martin does accomplish this by the episode's end... but he also repeats the phrase - with greater sincerity - in the series finale, as now he's truly grateful to his son for 11 years' worth of experience and love. It's part of the final conversation that the two share in the series.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: From the episode Dinner At Eight. One the one hand, Martin is right that Frasier and Niles need to relax and enjoy "normal" things sometimes; but seeing as how their hostess just cut off their (presumably expensive) ties, they have a right to be angry. Or at least very, very annoyed. Especially since Martin's gleeful reaction to said cutting shows that he knew it was going to happen, and hadn't bothered to warn them.
  • Bottle Episode:
    • Series-wide, the exterior of the Elliot Bay Towers, Frasier's apartment building, has only been seen once (during "The Impossible Dream").
    • Season 6's "Dinner Party" takes place almost entirely in the main room of Frasier's apartment as Frasier and Niles, who receive 90% of the episode's dialogue, attempt to arrange a dual-hosted dinner party to hold in the next few weeks. A classic and extremely tightly-written episode.
    • "My Coffee With Niles" takes place entirely in Cafe Nervosa, the title being a Shout-Out to My Dinner with Andre.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: A Show Within a Show example from the season 7 episode "They're Playing Our Song", in which Frasier is told to come up with a jingle to introduce his show. He gets a full orchestra and chorus for something really over the top.
    Daphne: It was like Gilbert and Sullivan, only frightening!
  • Brain Bleach: Many examples.
    • Frasier's reaction to his brother mentioning he's only packing sunscreen for his honeymoon.
      Frasier: Pardon me - I'm just going to go poke out my mind's eye!
    • Another example when characters are talking about past flings:
      Roz: Gosh, mine was this lifeguard. He had long blond hair and the bluest eyes. He used to get so sunburned, I'd spend hours just peeling the skin off his back. What was his name? Rick? Nick! I know there was an "ick" sound.
      Frasier: I was about to make one of those myself.
    • "Roz's Turn":
      Roz: Big news. Gertie Oldson is leaving the station.
      Daphne: What, from "Gertie's Grab Bag"? I love that show.
      Frasier: Oh please, that homily-spouting Hausfrau? It's the most embarrassing thing on the air. So, she finally got canned, eh?
      Roz: No, she got a million-dollar TV deal.
      Frasier: (chokes on his sherry, then mock-calmly mutters) Well, good news for Gertie and for the many atheists who will welcome this new proof of their theory!
    • "The Wizard and Roz":
      Frasier: (after seeing his mentor Dr. Tewksbury wearing only Roz's robe) I've gone blind. And ten seconds too late.
    • "Slow Tango in South Seattle":
      Frasier: (reading the opening of Roz's new favorite romance novel) There are tangos that come flowing from the wine-colored seas, from the rust of a hundred sunken ships. This is one of those dances.
      Roz: Well?
      Frasier: There are books that make your stomach lurch, and rumble, and thrust your lunch ever upwards. This is one of those books!
    • In "Lilith Needs A Favor", Niles demands the Cafe Nervosa waiter use Brain Bleach to forget about what Niles thinks is a picture of Daphne's nipple.
      Waiter: Hey, where'd you get the nipple shot?
      Frasier: Good lord!
      Niles: (frantic) You are to erase that from your mind!
      Frasier: Is it Daphne?
      Waiter: (smiling broadly) Nice.
      Niles: (to waiter) You're not erasing! ERASE!
      • Later, Niles finds out that it's a pic of Martin's nipple. Niles' horror is hysterical as he tries to forget ever seeing the pic. Martin's poor choice of words doesn't help.
      Martin: Oh, I can't wait to get to Bogart's. I know just what I'm going to get: the barbecue chicken breast. (Niles reacts in horror) They have the juiciest one in town. Or, or the lamb. They serve an enormous rack. (Niles cringes again)
      Niles: (flustered) Great.
      Martin: You might want to get an overcoat of Frasier's out of there. It's supposed to be pretty nippy tonight. (Niles cringes yet again)
    • The episode "Momma Mia" when Frasier finally realises that his girlfriend is identical to his late mother, and Niles thinks that he's suffering from an Oedipus complex.
      Niles: (running for his bug spray) Frasier, you didn't do anything wrong, your feelings for Mia stem from perfectly natural Oedipal desires.
      Frasier: Yes, but Oedipal desires are supposed to resolve themselves by the age of six!
      (Niles starts with the bug spray)
      Frasier: Oh for God's sake, give me that, you idiot!
      (Frasier takes the spray and "blinds" himself with it accidentally)
      Frasier: (screams) I've blinded myself!
      (Martin enters with water and sees the commotion)
      Martin: I leave you alone with him for two seconds!
  • Breach of Promise of Marriage: Donny files a breach of promise suit against Daphne after she gets cold feet on their wedding day and decides not to go through with it.
  • Break the Haughty: In a manner of speaking, Frasier does this to himself. In one episode, he and Niles cheerfully toast to having impossibly high standards. This comes back to bite Frasier in the butt when he and his family and girlfriend go on vacation in Belize. No thanks to his aforementioned impossibly high standards, he can't have a good time.
  • Break the Motivational Speaker: Frasier coming onto Julia Wilcox, who the station execs are convinced is litigious, leads to the whole staff being forced to attend a sexual harassment seminar. Everyone unites in openly ridiculing the speaker and making a mockery of the exercises he gets them to do, and as soon as he finds out Julia isn't interested in suing, Kenny calls the seminar off mid-session. Still, all-in-all he gets off better than most victims of this trope.
  • Brick Joke : Happens virtually once an episode.
    • In the season 3 episode "Ashes to Crashes": After a series of events, Niles empties the ashes out of his shoe onto the church floor, and he and Martin nonchalantly kick the ashes under the pew. That seems to be the end...until the credits, when we see the custodian sweeping up under the pew. In fact, the gag at the end of most episodes is a reference to something earlier in the episode.
    • In the beginning of the season 9 episode where Martin starts his part-time job as a security guard, Kenny says that he can't go buy underwear for his wife from K-Mart since it makes him think about "man-and-wife" stuff. Later in the episode, Martin talks on the phone with a cop buddy of his who happens to mention "a possible perv at K-Mart".
  • British Stuffiness: Unusually, inverted - Frasier and Niles are elitist and stuffy while most of the British characters are cheerfully working-class. According to the Word of God, this was deliberate, and Jane Leeves openly expressed pleasure when discussing her role in that there were no working class Brits on American sitcoms.
    • Exemplified in the penultimate episode "Crock Tales", in which Daphne explodes at Frasier when she thinks she's going to be fired:
      Daphne: I'm washing me face with dish soap while you're out buying imported bath salts like a big rich girl! I hope you rot in debtors' prison!
    • Gil Chesterson is a pretty straight example however. Even his Camp Gay tendencies are fairly refined.
    • Ferguson, the butler who served Frasier for one episode (played by Victor Garber) is a bit of a subversion. While he's a very proper British manservant, when he's alone with Daphne in the kitchen, he drops his pretension and discusses Manchester United with her, explaining that it's his job to play the role of The Jeeves. (Needless to say, both Frasier and Niles delight in his subservient behavior, and even Martin finds a use for him, clicking his remote control for him.)
      • On the other hand, he's initially appalled by Daphne and Niles' cross-class relationship. Takes a more serious and bittersweet note when he reveals that he denied himself a chance at love due to his views on class and propriety. Niles' crowning moment in the episode - telling Mel off, in front of their social circle, because of the pain and cruelty she was inflicting on Daphne - forces him to re-evaluate said views, leading to his leaving Frasier's employ to pursue the relationship he had rejected.
  • British Teeth: In "Rdwrer", Daphne is upset at businesses sending Christmas cards after Christmas.
    Daphne: Bloody hell! Five days after Christmas is over and I'm still getting these cards! They do it on purpose, you know. It's always from someone you forgot, and then it's too late to send one back, then they sneer at you for the rest of the year! (reads card) "Peace and Goodwill," my ass! You just lost yourself a customer, Dr. Naran S. Gupta, D.D.S.!
    Martin: (sarcastic) Losing a set of English teeth, he'll feel that!
  • Broken Aesop: In "I Hate Frasier Crane," when Frasier decides to renege on fighting with a man who he had accepted an invitation to fight with, Martin is furious and brings up a past incident where Frasier decided not to fight a guy. An incident from Frasier's CHILDHOOD. His anger seems to stem from embarrassment at his son not being "man" enough to go through with such a fight. However, it's first lampshaded by Frasier how stupid it is that Martin won't be satisfied until he comes home with a black eye, and then subverted when Martin says he only wants Frasier to carry out promises he makes; once it becomes clear that Frasier is actually going to fight, Martin calls in the cops to break it up before things really get physical.
  • Broken Pedestal: Played with; after discovering that his mentor and Roz are having a relationship, Frasier believes he's experiencing this (and it's not helped by the fact that he saw his mentor wearing nothing but Roz's robe) but he comes to realize that it's actually jealousy that Roz has become attracted to someone very similar to him whilst having never demonstrated any kind of attraction towards him.
    Roz: Frasier, did you ever stop to think there may be something special about not being picked?
    Frasier: Roz, that didn't work when I was cut from pee-wee football, it's not gonna work now.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Donny's first introduction has him coming back from the gym and stripping down to nothing but a towel in front of Niles and Frasier, while apparently ignoring their explanation of the case in favor of a corned beef sandwich. Just as they're about to storm out, he phones Maris' lawyers and browbeats them into dropping a ridiculous demand for a postponed trial date, and Niles hires him on the spot. By the end of the episode, he's dug up a humiliating secret about Maris that gives Niles a huge bargaining chip in the divorce.
  • Butch Lesbian: Flamboyantly gay Gil Chesteron's wife Deb seems to be one; he describes her as being good at auto-repair, being in the military reserves, and so forth.
    • In episode "Morning Becomes Entertainment", Bethany of Bob and Bethany's Auto Chat is also extremely mannish.
  • But Not Too White: Lilith's paleness was often mocked, and even lampshaded by Lilith herself late in the series in the episode "Lilith Needs a Favor".
    Albert (played by the ultra-pale Brent Spiner, aka Data): No, actually, I'm always this pale. My ex-wife used to say she could tell when I was embarrassed because I'd turn off-white.
    Lilith: I can empathize. Sometimes after a late night, I cover my under-eye circles with Liquid Paper.
  • But Now I Must Go: Ferguson the butler, as much as Frasier has come to rely on him. Niles and Daphne's relationship has inspired him to realize that his love for a certain Lady Westerfield might not be as star-crossed as he'd always imagined, and he leaves to reacquaint himself.

  • Cake Toppers: After he's jilted at the altar, Donny retreats to his office for 24 hours with the tiny groom, whom he names "Mister Chump".
    Title Card: Guess who's short, wears a tuxedo, and has frosting all over his feet?
  • Call-Back: One episode sees two of the Girls of the Week from earlier in that season reappear at once, with Frasier struggling to choose between them.
  • The Cameo: Arleen Sorkin (Harley Quinn and Calliope Jones), wife of series producer Christopher Lloyd (not that one), made an appearance as the nurse at the vet clinic in "Goodnight, Seattle".
  • Camp Straight: Gil... or at least, so he claims.
    • The "harassment seminar" guy (played by Mike Judge) also counts.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Frequently featured Frasier or Niles engaging in some minor act of selfishness or pettiness and ending up being humiliated after A Simple Plan has backfired horribly.
    • Played straight in the episode "High Crane Drifter". After a particularly bad day where Frasier is screwed over by virtually every stranger he comes across, he finally snaps in Cafe Nervosa and throws out a man who stole his table. When he attempts to apologize to the man, he is hit with a lawsuit.
  • Captain Ersatz: Space Patrol, one for Star Trek, co-exists with it in-universe (Frasier even encounters a Klingon cosplayer in the episode where Space Patrol shows up).
  • Captain Obvious: Played with. A couple of times someone points out a psychological observation to another psychiatrist and said psychiatrist's response is the equivalent of "Duh".
    After Niles is trying unsuccessfully to get a hold of Maris.
    Frasier: Honestly, Niles, by calling her so many times you've given her all the power. You're much better off coming from a position of strength.
    Niles: Don't pour that sherry on your shirt — it will stain.
    Frasier: What?
    Niles: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was the portion of the afternoon where we gave each other patently obvious advice.
    • In another episode, a despondent Niles enters the bathroom. You next hear a loud bang from the bathroom — and Niles comes out covered in shaving foam:
    Niles. I'm fine. Just a little hot... and foamy.
    Martin: You know what must have happened? My Hot and Foamy must have exploded!
    Daphne: [rolling her eyes] He was a detective, you know!
  • Career-Ending Injury: Martin's bullet to the hip, which ended his career as a cop.
  • Catchphrase: Many, and usually quite subtle.
    Frasier: "I'm listening.", "What the hell was THAT?!", "Wishing you good mental health", "NILES!", "Off you go!", and "Oh, dear God!"
    Niles: (about Maris) "The poor thing..." and "Well, I hope you're HAPPY!"... When he takes over Frasier's show, his theme phrase is "Let's Get Better!"
    Martin: "Oh, geeze..."
    Bulldog: "This stinks! This is total BS!" (Often sandwiched between "Where's my X? Somebody stole my X!" and "Oh, there it is.")
  • Ceiling Banger: A few times with the upstairs apartment, for example when a Hollywood Tone-Deaf Martin is trying to hit the high note in "O Holy Night".
  • Celebrity Endorsement: Several references throughout the show and a whole episode dedicated to the ethics of putting a respected name on a product; "Selling Out". Also a Real Life example where Frasier hawks a soft-drink.
    • Frasier generally has no problems endorsing as long as he's tested the product himself and isn't asked to make a false claim; he endorsed a Chinese restaurant after enjoying the food, and a hot tub, saying that not only he liked it but his friends and family did as well (he, Martin, and Daphne took a soak in one). He drew the line at endorsing a brand of nut that was too unhealthy, and also at claiming that "Happy Dreams Tea" would give people happy dreams, because he felt it sounded like psychiatric advice.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Noel is a big Star Trek fan, but apparently didn't notice the resemblance between Frasier and Captain Morgan Bateson.
  • Censor Steam :
    • Referenced in "The Unnatural." Frederick walks in on Daphne in the shower, but says all he saw was a bunch of steam.
    • Played for Laughs in "Frasier Lite": Frasier had converted his bathroom into a steam room for the others at KACL to use, and - considering that Bulldog is among them - lewd antics ensue, but there's so much steam everywhere that neither the characters nor the audience can see much of anything. For one, Roz tells Gil "PUT ON A TOWEL, YOU PERV!"
      Roz: It's weird, my skin tastes kind of salty.
      Bulldog: Oh, I'd say mostly sweet, but a little salty. Heh, heh, heh.
      Roz: (sweetly) That wasn't me, Bulldog.
      Gil: That was me you licked. And if it happens again, I shall consider it strike one.
  • Chain of Deals: Frasier gives Roz the day off to buy Springsteen tickets in return for her escorting Kirby to the prom, so that Kirby will focus on his history test, so that his mother will set Frasier up with Claire. Naturally, everybody finds out at once and they all take umbrage at being used as pawns.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Almost always played for laughs, as one character obliviously keeps bringing the subject back into the conversation despite the other's protests.
  • Character Development: Over the course of the series, previously defining quirks and personality traits are played down or deconstructed leading to more subtle characterisation (e.g Frasier and Niles' snobbery, Martin's crankiness, Roz's promiscuity, Niles' cleanliness).
  • Characterization Marches On: Frasier was originally introduced in Cheers as a Romantic False Lead to Diane Chambers. When Diane dumped him, this made him almost psychotic; for example, he threatened Diane's One True Love Sam with a gun, considered strangling Diane, etc. In his own series, it would be hard to imagine Frasier doing anything so extreme. Of course, Love Makes You Crazy: Frasier has admitted his relationship with Diane post-dump was... volatile, and a glimpse of his old self rears its ugly head when he gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Diane in "The Show Where Diane Comes Back". He became more stable in his relationship with Lilith (before going berserk when she left him).
    • It hits most of the rest of the cast, as well, especially after Season 1. Martin becomes less of an ungrateful Jerkass and more of an easygoing father figure. Daphne loses some (though not all) of her Cloud Cuckoo Lander tendencies. Niles becomes less of a Replacement Flat Character as he gains his own quirks that distinguish him from Frasier. Roz averts it as her personality mostly remains unchanged in later seasons.
  • Charity Ball: Featured semi-regularly, usually because Niles, Maris or both are involved.
  • Check, Please!: Discussed.
    Daphne: There’s nothing quite as exciting as a first date. All those questions you ask. "What’s your favorite food?" "What’s your favorite color?" "If you were to come back as an animal, what sort of animal would you be?" If she were to ask you that one, what would you say?
    Frasier: "Check, please" comes to mind.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: In one episode, Frasier mediates an argument between a French family while eating in their restaurant. At one point the father yells "I wish I had been killed in ze war!", to which his wife replies, "Oh, iz 'ard to be killed when you ruuuuuunn ze other way!".
  • Chekhov's Gun: A seemingly insignificant comment or action by one of the characters will often inspire the plot resolution (or at least drive it forward) later on. The show was always very subtle about the way it handled such things.
    • Also, the more literal example of Maris borrowing the antique crossbow at the beginning of Maris Returns
  • The Chew Toy: Frasier really is, but often deserves it for being a variant of Insufferable Genius. Especially during the season 6 story arc when he loses his job and becomes despondent and desperate.
  • Chez Restaurant: Quite a few, like "Chez Chez".
    • One rather funny gag about it:
      Frasier: "You can't ban me from your bistro! It's my chez away from chez!"
  • Christmas Episode: Several, for the most part revolving around Fredrick visiting or not visiting. A faint jingle bell can be heard during the opening credits of the Christmas Episodes.
  • Class Reunion: Provides the driving force behind a couple of episodes.
    • In "Frasier's Curse," Frasier is afraid to attend his high school reunion after having recently been fired from the station.
  • Clip Show: Subverted by "Crock Tales", which featured "past season outtakes" that were actually newly-shot, with the cast using the same mannerisms (and in some cases, wigs) for their characters from each season. The 1993 segment even had Frasier's long hair.
    • Played with in "Daphne Returns" as well. Clips are shown from three shows, but this time, present-day Niles and present-day Frasier are inserted in the scenes (via CGI composite work) and comment on the action. For example, when Daphne and Niles start singing "Heart and Soul" while cutting vegetables, Frasier snarks, "Even your everyday memories are idealized. How long until the cartoon blue bird lands on her shoulder?"
  • Closet Shuffle: One episode has Frasier hiding in Daphne's closet because he promised not to go in her room. And then he went in her room.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Though generally sane, Daphne has moments where she'll lapse into non-sequitur dialogue, often about her family and the strange things that have happened to them. In Flour Child, it prompts this response:
    • "Death and the Dog":
      Daphne: If Eddie were one of the Beatles, I think he'd be George. I don't know why!
      (Daphne leaves.)
      Frasier: And yet she's never been committed. "I don't know why"!
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Obviously, psychiatrists have neuroses and issues of their own, and Frasier's are liberally used to fuel both the comedy and drama of the show, but one of the assets of the show's setup is that Niles (and occasionally Lilith) are there to point them out to him whenever needed.
    • Neither Frasier nor Niles ever realizes that Niles' wife Maris is suffering from an eating disorder and body dysmorphic disorder, despite symptoms that should be obvious to even a lay person, much less two psychiatrists—fear of gaining weight, obsession with staying thin, an addiction to plastic surgery.
  • Comfort Food: Maris ballooning to 200 pounds after Niles divorces her.
    • Frasier when he's between jobs.
  • Comically Missing the Point: A series of gifts meant for Niles get sent to Frasier instead. Niles and Martin discover that the gifts are actually to Niles from Maris, and when they break it to Frasier:
    Martin: They're from Maris.
    Frasier: Maris... is my secret admirer?
  • Comically Small Bribe: The man interviewing Frasier and Lilith for Frederick's place at a prestigious school; "I'll have you know that in 50 years, I have never accepted a bribe! [takes cheque] This is an insult! [reads cheque] In every possible way." [hands cheque back, slams door]
  • Commuting on a Bus: Bulldog. For a long time he was the most important supporting character, appearing in more than 30 episodes during the show's first 7 seasons. Then he was mostly written out of the series when he lost his job as a KACL sports talk show host. However, since he got a new job working at the KACL storage room, the writers could still occasionally use Bulldog without needing to explain why he was "back". He had four more appearances during the show's last four seasons.
  • Companion Cube: Martin's chair.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: A variant when Roz enlists Frasier to translate for her when she wants to break up with her French boyfriend Jean-Pierre. Technically Frasier is necessary as a translator, but Jean-Pierre figures out what she's trying to say long before she's spoken her piece, so he and Frasier spend the rest of the conversation playing along and really talking in French about restaurants.
  • Complexity Addiction:
    • A rare non-villainous example in Frasier and Niles. Rather than just ask people simple questions in order to solve problems or find information, the brothers seem to positively delight in discussing the matter to death and coming up with at times almost ludicrously elaborate schemes which inevitably backfire or otherwise fail. This has been lampshaded on several occasions by Martin, Roz, Daphne or a combination of all three. Rule of Funny applies to the most over-the-top examples.
    • Like most of Frasier's personality flaws, this is given an episode to fully examine it, "They're Playing Our Song". Frasier is given the task of giving his show a jingle, and he turns it into a full orchestra piece that Daphne describes as "Gilbert and Sullivan, only frightening." Afterward, Frasier tells his father that he's completely unable to do "simple", and doesn't know why. Martin explains that Frasier does appreciate simple, such as mooning over minimalist art, and that he just needs to be precise and concise, instead of showing off.
  • Compliment Backfire
  • Compressed Vice: Happens to Niles a few times. One episode sees him become obsessed with one of his nephew Freddy's videogames; another has him develop a fast food addiction.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: Daphne is taken to Canada in the Winnebago without a green card. When they try to cross the border back into the States, the brothers act extremely guilty, so Martin tells customs that it's Eddie who doesn't have the proper ID.
  • Continuity Drift: A couple of minor ones, such as how little the brothers are aquainted with more "normal" pop-culture tends to vary over the series, for instance, in one episode Niles doesn't know what a double-header is, and in another he can correctly use the phrase "a scout from the majors". It could be seen as Character Development, but it's not completely unilateral.
    • Also, Frasier's birthday has alternately been given as being in May (season 5), and late November/early December (season 7)
  • Continuity Nod: In season 11, Niles proves Frasier has a commitment problem by reciting every single one of Frasier's Girls Of The Week from the last four seasons.
    • In "Don Juan in Hell", no less than nine Girl of the Weeks appear for a 3 second shot, including Kristina, Dr. Honey Snow, Laura, Samantha, Annie, Vicky, Tricia, Regan, and Miranda.
    • A much subtler and longer-running one. In the first Christmas episode, Roz gives Frasier a very nice briefcase. He can be seen using it quite frequently throughout the rest of the series.
    • Another subtle one: in the season six episode "The Seal Who Came to Dinner," Martin wears the sweater that Daphne gave him in season five's "Perspectives on Christmas."
    • Martin hums "She's Such a Groovy Lady" a few episodes after the episode in which it debuted.
    • In "Shrink Rap", when Frasier and Niles decide to go into private practice together, Martin reminds them of when they opened a restaurant ("The Innkeepers") and tried to write a book together ("Author Author"), both of which were enormous failures.
    • Also a Chekhov's Gun : Niles mentions his heart murmur in Season 2, and has heart surgery in Season 10.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Happens frequently, most often for laughs and considerably more subtle than one might expect for a sitcom.
  • Cool Car: Something of a subversion in that the brothers pride themselves on having top-of-the-line saloons, but they often break down. This eventually led to the episode "Motor Skills" where they attempt to improve their practicality.
  • Cool Old Guy: Martin. He is really a wise person to look up to.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive:
    • Occurs in one episode where an elderly guest at one of the Cranes' dinner parties dies of natural causes during a murder-mystery game. As this would disrupt their party (and thus damage their social standing), the brothers plot to smuggle the body out of the party without anyone noticing. They succeed.
    • Another occasion had us told about the debacle of Frasier's greedy and scheming agent Bebe's attempt to marry an elderly tycoon:
      Frasier: ... suddenly he clutched at his heart, and his head slumped against Bebe's shoulder. Of course, we were all concerned at first, but then suddenly it seemed like he was all right, because they kept moving on down the aisle. But if you looked carefully, you could see Bebe's little bicep bulging through her wedding gown, and I swear I noticed daylight between Big Willy's dress boots and the carpet.
  • Corpsing:
    • In the Season 6 episode where Maris attempts to woo Niles back with expensive gifts, there's a scene at Cafe Nervosa where Martin tells Niles that Eddie gets excited/scared of the sound of bubblewrap - which he demonstrates by saying "Boppity-bop-bop-bop!" very fast. If you look at the woman (Tina Dalton) in the background, you can see that she smiles wide after each "boppity-bop-bop".
    • In the episode "Roz and the Schnoz," the characters are forced to struggle desperately to keep it together to avoid offending their guests by laughing at their Gag Noses. The episode's director Ken Levine has admitted some Enforced Method Acting was in play: He instructed the camera crew to keep their shot rolling on any actor who started losing it. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Correlation/Causation Gag: In "Dark Victory," the lights dim from a city-wide blackout just as Martin blows out his birthday candles.
    Niles: Well, at least we know there's nothing wrong with Dad's lungs.
  • Costume-Test Montage: A variation. One episode finds Frasier mentoring the station's wealthy young owner, who borrows the style of Frasier's apartment for his own. Rather than impose on his boss to change, Frasier decides to find new furniture, leading to this trope.
  • Couch Gag:
    • The show's opening title is shown in a different color each season, and the accompanying animation of the Seattle skyline ends with a number of different variants. Some of the various animations:
      • Fireworks shoot over Seattle.
      • A hot air balloon flies over Seattle.
      • The sun rises over Seattle.
      • The moon rises over Seattle.
      • A stylized raincloud is shown.
      • A stylized thundercloud is shown.
      • A shooting star streaks across the sky.
      • Lights come on in the building windows.
      • A plane towing a KACL advertising banner flies across.
      • An elevator travels up the Space Needle.
      • A helicopter appears from the back of a building near the Space Needle.
      • The Space Needle is strung with twinkling Christmas lights.
      • Radio waves emanate from the Space Needle (which is not a broadcast tower in real life).
      • And for the finale, a rainbow appears over Seattle.
    • As Grammer sings the closing theme, he throws in an interjection after the first line: "Mercy!", "Quite stylish!", or "Oh my!" He adds another one at the end: "Thank you!", "Good night!", "Good night, everybody!", "Good night, Seattle, we love you!", or "Frasier has left the building!" Sometimes he also throws in the line "Scrambled eggs all over my face! What is a boy to do?" Christmas episodes usually get "Happy Holidays Everyone!" at the end.
  • Courtroom Episode: "Crane Vs. Crane" has Frasier and Niles as witnesses on opposite sides of a trial to determine whether an eccentric old rich guy is too mentally unstable to remain in charge of his family fortune. Frasier fails to convince the court that the man isn't insane because everyone is distracted by the old man's weird behavior, but the trial ends abruptly before Niles has a chance to say his piece, so he feels that he lost, too.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": A central point of "Back Talk" has Frasier suffering back problems and feeling self-conscious about his age because of this.
  • Creative Closing Credits: A Brick Joke is usually resolved in the closing credits.
  • Creator In-Joke: In "Out With Dad", they talk about a great opera singer named "Matilda de Cagny". She is actually Eddie's trainer.
  • Cringe Comedy: Frequently.
  • Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Niles and Frasier often come across as more neurotic than the people they treat, and even end up in therapy in the Flashback tale "Shrink Rap". Several episodes revolve around Frasier and Niles analyzing the crap out of an issue, when it's really far simpler than they ever would have guessed.
  • Crossover: Multiple characters from Cheers dropped by. The producers said they moved Frasier to Seattle to avoid this, but couldn't hold out forever. The only character who did not appear on Frasier was Rebecca Howe (not due to Kirstie Alley's belief in Scientology, as is usually believed, but because the show's writers didn't really know how to integrate her into an episode).
    • Lilith was the first and the only one to recur. Justified in that Lilith was the mother of Frasier's son, and therefore more a part of the Frasier-verse than the Cheers gang.
    • Sam Malone (Season 2)
    • Woody Boyd (Season 6)
    • Cliff, Norm, Carla, and a bunch of the Cheers regulars (Season 9, "Cheerful Goodbyes").
    • Loose crossovers with Caroline in the City and The John Laroquette Show.
    • Frasier's mother appeared once on Cheers, and in death several times on Frasier.
    • In one episode the gang go on Antiques Roadshow. Martin notes that if a person has a valuable antique, the other one they own will always be worthless.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: In "The Friend" episode, Frasier tries to end his friendship with Bob, a guy in a wheelchair who loves barbecue but had little in common with Frasier and was a bit clingy. When Frasier let him down conventionally, Bob felt incredibly ashamed of himself and believed he was an awful person. So, Frasier opted to obfuscate jerkassery by saying the wheelchair offended him. Soon Bob redirected his anger from himself to Frasier and also attracted a small shame squad censuring him. Bob rolled away without looking back and also quickly befriended his sympathizers talking about BBQ.
  • Cultural Posturing: Daphne tricks Frasier into doing this during "Where Every Bloke Knows Your Name". Not a sensible thing for Frasier to be doing in a pub full of Brits.
  • The Cutie:
    • The hypersensitive romantic novel writer.
    • The cynical Julia can't resist Frasier's adorable idealism.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: A non-video game example; the episode "Sliding Frasiers" has two different versions of how Frasier's Valentine's Day played out depending on whether he picked a suit or a sweater for his speed-dating exercise. In the sweater scenario, he has a terrible time speed-dating and is attentive enough at the house to prevent Daphne from putting something Niles is allergic to into their Valentine's Day dinner. If he picks the suit, he ends up meeting a girl that he's crazy about and is too distracted to correct Daphne, leading to Niles getting hives and thus being unable to take Daphne on their surprise trip to Cancun. A later episode has Daphne mentioning that she and Niles haven't gone away together as a couple yet, meaning that the suit scenario in which they don't go to Cancun must have been the canon one. In any case, Frasier ends up in the same place and merges with his other self.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Commonly used to spare someone's feelings, although Frasier sometimes can't resist following it up with a barrage of criticism.
  • The Dandy: Both Frasier and Niles
  • Dark Horse Victory: Not uncommon at some of the in-show awards ceremonies.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Hinted at when the whole family is hiding in Maris' cruise ship cabin bathroom (long story) while she waits for Niles to return to a champagne-fuelled reigniting of their marriage;
    Niles: [peeking through the door] Oh God, she's started without me!
    Martin, Frasier and Roz: [beat] Ewwwwwww...
    Niles: [with Death Glare] ...Drinking the champagne.
    • Discussed when Roz goes to the zoo on a Saturday night, alone.
    Roz: You really want to feel good about yourself, put on your best outfit and walk through the monkey house on a Saturday night. And be sure to stop by and see Remo the Baboon, who knows all kinds of ways to have fun without a date.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Frasier's street-performer cousin Nicos is engaged to the rebellious daughter of a wealthy family, who is obviously only with him to annoy her mother and father.
    Nicos: I'm sorry, Marianne, but Crystal is the woman I'm meant to be with.
    Marianne: I will never forgive you for this! Do you see how happy you've made my parents!?
  • A Day in the Limelight: Most notably Daphne's flashback episode "Dark Side of the Moon", where a series of stressful situations lead her to court-ordered therapy.
  • Dead Air:
    • For KACL's 50th anniversary, Frasier decides to stage an old-time radio murder mystery. His over-directing drives the whole cast crazy, most of all Niles - who gets so fed up that he kills off all the other characters on the air. The broadcast runs nine minutes short, and Frasier has no idea how to fill the time.
    • Happens when Frasier and Roz are put on the night shift and both fall asleep.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
  • Defeat by Modesty: In Junior Agent, waifish Portia Sanders gets Frasier and Kenny to shut up and listen to her by stealing their pants while they're dressed only in a towel.
  • Delayed Reaction: One of the common comedy tropes used by the show, usually with Niles. From "No Sex Please, We're Skittish", the first episode of Season 11:
    Roz: I mean, if I were going to fall for him it would have been two years ago when we slept together.
    Niles: Well then, another theory I'd like to explore is... whoa, back up! You and Frasier slept together?
    Roz: He didn't tell you?
    Niles: No! (beat) Well, I suppose it's only natural. When the wolf and the lamb work together, it's only a matter of time before the wolf gets his way. (beat) I hope you were gentle with him.
  • Delusions of Local Grandeur: Frasier thinks his popular local radio show entitles him to celebrity status. Justified, however, in that he starts getting offers for national television and radio during the show, so he's an up-and-coming host who has had over 2000 shows.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Niles during the plot of "IQ", while under the influence of particularly strong anti-allergy medication.
    Frasier: Niles, Niles, that medication it's, it's affecting your speech - you've just taken a second dose of it, for God's sakes you're going to make a fool out of yourself!
    Niles: Oh well you should talk! Look at your shaky hands and your twitchy eyes! *GASP* You were up all night drinking coffee all night last night, weren't you?
  • Derailed for Details:
    • In "Coots and Ladders", Frasier accosts Niles dramatically with a story about how he's committed... a crime! (cue thunder) He then embarks on a long, rather mundane story featuring a lot of irrelevant details, and every now and again Niles hijacks the flashback to describe the scandalous crime he imagines Frasier committing in the circumstances, only to be shot down.
    • Season one's "Author, Author" finds Frasier and Niles writing a book on sibling rivalry, and naturally they ask Martin for some stories from their childhoods. He starts to tell them one, but gets confused and leaves them hanging when he can't remember the name of a lake they were camping at.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Invoked by Mel when Niles leaves her for Daphne just one day after they eloped together. Wanting her social set to think the relationship ended on her terms, she tells him to start acting insufferably in public out of the blue.
  • Diet Episode:
    • Daphne starting eating excessively and gaining tons of weight after she and Niles got together. She was put on a regimen and eventually sent to some sort of fat camp. This storyline was a clever trick used by the writers to mask the fact that Jane Leeves was actually pregnant.
    • Another episode centres around everyone at the station trying to lose weight in a rivalry with another station.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Niles, getting so flustered he eventually stops forming sentences; "Don't worry, Daphne, if my father lets you go I can always use you. I mean, I can find a position for you to take. There are services you can perfo... an opening..."
  • Dirty Kid: The ten or eleven-year-old Frederick pushing his luck whenever Daphne gives him a long loving hug - she is the last to realize his hormones have started kicking in. She is surprised at some of the places he manages to put his hands.
  • Disappeared Dad: Rick Garrett, the father of Roz's daughter Alice, never once is shown to visit her. While Roz agreed to let him off the hook in terms of raising her as he was only twenty at the time and said she'd keep him updated, this seems surprising. His parents (who had given Roz financial support) only appear once as well.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the episode "The Last Time I Saw Maris", Niles finally stands up to Maris after she left for a three-day shopping spree without telling him and calls her out on her thoughtlessness, telling her that he'll be waiting for an apology. So she files for a divorce.
  • Ditzy Secretary: One episode has Niles hire a mobster's girlfriend as a receptionist because she's incompetent at every other job she's had. She tries to put Frasier on hold and hangs up on him instead. The only reason he hired her was because the mobster asked Frasier to recommend that she marry him, but he refused after she told him of several of the mobster's negative traits, including refusing to allow her to get a job due to her incompetence.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Bebe gives a monologue about smoking that sounds remarkably like a description of another oral activity.
    • Though Frasier and Niles are brothers, their relationship is quite similar to that of a typical gay couple. This wasn't lost on the writers, and was even lampshaded in Season 6's "Dinner Party."
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Kelsey singing the closing song in his booming baritone — and it's brilliant. The metaphors in the lyrics are part of the joke. His singing voice is so different from his normal speaking voice, some assumed it was a different, professional jazz singer who did the post-credits song.
  • Doppelgänger Dating: Daphne dates a man named Rodney, who is almost exactly like Niles in appearance and mannerisms.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male:
    • Implied in "Agents in America", where Frasier's agent gets him very drunk and sleeps with him.
    • Subverted to hell and back when Marty dumps Bonnie for her (female) poodle's humping Eddie. No one else seems to have a problem with it (and Bonnie thinks it's funny), but Marty is quite miffed.
  • Downer Ending:
    • "Ask Me No Questions". Niles asks Frasier, in the midst of his reconciliation with Maris, if Frasier thinks they are meant to be together. Frasier realizes the huge impact this could have because Niles has always come to him for advice on big decisions and values his opinion highly, and while he believes that Maris has always been bossy, demanding and selfish, he also hears that she has become much nicer since the proceedings have begun and is a better person. After agonizing over what to do, he shows up at Niles's apartment late at night to give his answer: no. Niles thanks Frasier for his advice and tries to say goodbye, when the Twist Ending kicks in—Maris is at the apartment, Niles has taken her back, and judging from the bell rings and the whistle as she calls for him, she has not changed one bit.
    • "The Maris Counselor", while having some jokes (Niles damaging his own car throwing his wedding ring out the window), ends with all three Crane men staring out at the Seattle skyline, having drowned their sorrows over their terrible luck with romance, in Niles's case because he's finally realized how toxic his relationship with Maris is after finding she cheated on him with their most recent marriage counselor.
  • Dramatic Irony: Frequently played for comedy, but once Daphne finds out about Niles's crush, it's used to create tension.
  • The Dreaded: Poppy. Everyone at KACL flees at the sign of her approach, though not because she's unpleasant, but more because she is tremendously irritating.
  • Dreadful Musician:
    • The way Frasier solves his insecurity complex in "The Perfect Guy" is by revealing his Foil to be one of these.
    • Martin is a downplayed example: while he can carry a tune, he has trouble hitting the high notes.
    • Daphne is shown to be such a terrible pianist that no amount of practice or training can improve her skills. She offhandedly mentions that her old music teacher went mad and killed himself trying to mentor her.
  • Dream Sequence: Including whole episodes based around one ("The Impossible Dream" and "Freudian Sleep").
  • Drinking Game: As it turns out, Frasier, Niles and their father are all fans of Antiques Roadshow. They make a game out of it, taking sips of brandy (or, in Martin's case, beer) whenever someone says "veneer". invoked
    Frasier: "Next week we gotta pick a different word!"
  • Driven by Envy: Frequently happens to one or both brothers, often with disastrous results. In "Door Jam," for example, they con their way into an exclusive day spa and enjoy the pampering, until they spot a door that leads to the facility for upper-tier members. They weasel their way in here and find it truly luxurious, until they see another door within easy reach. Thinking that it will take them to an area for the absolute top members, they charge through - and end up locked out of the spa in an alley strewn with garbage.
  • Dumb Blonde:
    • Poppy Delafield from "Everyone's a Critic" and "Rivals" is a bubble headed Upper-Class Twit. Unusually for the trope her defining character trait is being an irritating Motor Mouth - her being stupid is incidental.
    • Roz's cousin Jen (played by an unrecognisable young Zooey Deschanel in a blonde do) from "Kissing Cousins" is a less traditional take on the subject, being a pseudo-intellectual hipster airhead who is planning on vacationing in Vietnam because "Americans have never even heard of it."
  • Dungeon Masters Girlfriend: "Where Every Bloke Knows Your Name", used and subverted at the same time.

  • Early-Bird Cameo: Played with. In the second-to-last episode "Crock Tales", Kenny Daly appears as a pizza delivery man looking to get into radio.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Frasier's long hair in the first two seasons, especially to viewers who haven't watched Cheers.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The general air of season 1 was far more like Cheers and other '80s sitcoms — mainly, in its treatment of emotional issues in a comedy. The second and third seasons would perfect the show's trademark use of taking complex or emotional issues and events and making them funny through complications, character reactions, or exaggeration, rather than alternating between emotional character moments and shallow humor moments, which can come off as kitschy.
    • The first season mostly keeps to the same standards as the rest of the show, but certain shots of Frasier's apartment are unique to that season (the show almost never shows the top of Frasier's Antique Shelves or the wall with the fireplace after this period), and Martin's chair has a "vibrate" setting that never reappears. In the first episode, Daphne's room was said to be next to Martin's, but later on, Martin's room is next to Frasier's in the left hallway while Daphne's room is the only room in the right hallway. Also, the studio audience acts more like that of a traditional sitcom than the more "classy" vibe this show had — they would "woo!" and catcall if there was a sexy scene, something that feels very odd having seen later seasons.
    • At one point in the first season, Martin says that Lilith is much weirder than Maris. Eleven seasons later, Lilith is a fairly sympathetic recurring character (she's still the butt of jokes from Niles and Martin, but they now seem like playful exaggeration), while Maris was so strange no human actress could portray her and she was once mistaken for a hatrack.
    • In Season 3, when it's the anniversary of Frasier's first show, we're also treated to an in-universe example as Frasier tries out various catch-phrases.
    • The first two seasons often suggest that Niles truly loves Maris and that his feelings for Daphne are just a superficial physical attraction. It wasn't until the third season that the writers began to play up the idea that Niles and Maris's marriage might be in serious trouble, or that he and Daphne could actually be a couple.
      Frasier: [in the season 1 finale] Well, I suppose the situation you're in is that you'd like to stay with Maris but you'd like an affair with Daphne.
      Niles: Yes. Can I do that?
      Frasier: No, you can't!
      Niles: I thought that I couldn't, but you got my hopes up there for a minute.
    • There was also Daphne's "psychic abilities", which are made much of earlier on, but come up much less frequently in the later seasons (though still occasionally focused on).
  • Ear Worm:
    • When a death-metal artist moves in upstairs and plays his music full-volume around the clock, both Daphne and Martin get "Na-na-na-na-na-na, flesh is burning..." stuck in their heads.
    • Roz complains that the Wine Club's inauguration song, to the tune of "Rule Britannia," got stuck in her head after Frasier let her know about it.
    • "Groovy Lady," the song Martin wrote for Frank Sinatra, ends up being so catchy that Martin sings it to himself in the very next episode.
    • While unemployed at the beginning of season 6 Frasier starts writing an operetta about Robert and Elizabeth Browning. Later in the episode Martin starts singing one of the songs to himself and only realises what he's doing when Niles tells him he's doing it again.
  • Embarrassing Cover-Up: At least a couple per season.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Frasier and Lilith's son, Frederick, has the middle name "Gaylord".
  • Embarrassing Ringtone: Invoked offscreen in "Taking Liberties". Niles' wife Mel, as part of a domestic conflict, sets his ringtone to "La Cucaracha" before they go to a society funeral.
  • Empathic Environment:
    • Sometimes jokingly discussed regarding either Lilith or Bebe.
      Niles: Strange, I usually get some sign when Lilith is in town - dogs forming into packs, blood weeping down the wall.
    • Also done in an episode featuring Lilith's brother:
      Frasier: The Beast is among us!
    • Played for laughs in "Coots and Ladders":
      Frasier: I have committed a crime punishable... by law! [crash of thunder and lightning]
      Niles: By law?!
      Frasier: The law of the United States of America! [thunder crashes again—Frasier and Niles double-take]
    • Played with in another episode, Daphne's mother and brother are considering taking a road trip to see America, Frasier (eager to get them out of his home) gives a speech about all the beautiful and wonderful things America has to offer and just as he finishes an enormous American flag unfurls outside the window: the coincidental result of a Prank War between Frasier and his upstairs neighbor.
      Niles: How did you do that!?
    • In the episode "Father Of The Bride", Martin is just starting to tell a story about when his sons were young when a harp glissando, a stereotypical signal for a flashback sequence, is heard being played, causing the characters to look around in astonishment. It turns out to be a real harpist Frasier is considering hiring to play at Daphne's wedding. Martin even gets to say the words "I remember it as if were yesterday".
    • In "Death and the Dog", everyone is rendered thoroughly depressed after a therapy session for Eddie leads to them all listing out the many reasons they have to feel miserable, which ultimately leads to the inevitability of death and this little moment:
    Daphne: I wish I was a dog. All it takes is a little toy to make him happy again.
    Frasier: I'm afraid we're a bit more complex than that, Daphne. We know for whom the bell tolls...
    [In the distance, an oven-timer bell rings; everyone begins to look around warily.]
    Martin: [Nervous] Did anyone else hear that?
    Daphne: [Realizing] Oh! The biscuits. [Gets up to take them out of the oven]
  • Encouraged Regifting: In one Christmas Episode Frasier had planned on getting his son some educational toys. When the ones he ordered won't arrive in time, he rushes to the toy store to get some. He manages to get the last few after persuading a man to sell the ones he'd gotten for his kid to him. However, then Frasier learns that his son doesn't want educational toys, but an action figure that's likely sold out by this time. Defeated, Frasier laments that he'll disappoint his son that Christmas. His father comforts him by giving him a present. Frasier opens it to see it's the exact toy his son wanted.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In-Universe example and Played for Laughs: in one episode, Niles overacts when a man pushes him in the coffee shop so that when he falls on a table and hurts himself, Frasier can threaten to countersue the man and convince him to leave them alone. When he's gone, Frasier credits him as a good actor, and then Niles, clearly in a lot of pain, reveals that he landed on a fork.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Played with. Offscreen, Niles and Frasier both have long-term clients receiving proper therapeutic treatment, but any issues that come up for characters in the show tend to be solved with one conversation, or over the course of a single episode at most. (If at all, that is.) At the same time, Niles frequently makes jabs at Frasier for presuming to solve people's problems over the course of single phone call, while Roz remarks that his advice is always either common sense or to seek counselling if there's a serious problem.
  • Erotic Dream: Frasier's homoerotic dreams about Gil Chesterton plague him in "The Impossible Dream"; in the same episode Martin claims to have had one involving Jayne Mansfield. Niles has many about Daphne.
  • Escape Call: Lampshaded in one episode, where Frasier is set up on a blind date with Faye, the daughter of a woman he met at a shop. He gets the call, rejects it because he's pleasantly surprised, only for her to call him on it. He admits to it, asks her how she knew, at which point she, sheepishly, also receives a phone call.
    Frasier: Excuse me. to phone: Yes, hello? Er, yes but you know what, I'll just have to sign those papers later, thank you. hangs up Office work.
    Faye: That was an escape call, wasn't it?
    Frasier: No, what are you talking about?
    Faye: Come on, it's a blind date. You wanted a way to back out.
    Frasier: Oh, gosh, you are sharp aren't you? How did you know?
    Faye's mobile starts ringing. Fade out with Faye looking a bit sheepish.
  • Establishing Shot: Almost completely averted: only once in 11 years did we see the exterior of Frasier's building. And it's not even an establishing shot, it's the final shot of the episode. The production team consciously wanted to avoid establishing shots, which were the norm amongst TV sitcoms at the time, and introduced title cards as a sort of "anti-establishing shot".
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Used several times with Eddie, who was so good at this he could reduce Frasier to delivering eloquent attempts at a room with no human beings in it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Frasier brings his son Frederick to the radio station, Freddy meets Bulldog, Frasier's workplace enemy. Bulldog ends up telling Freddy that Frasier is the best softball player at the station (he is...not). He later tells Frasier that he was "just trying to be nice."
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In the season one episode "Can't Tell A Crook By Its Cover", One of Martin's poker buddies even Linda admits she finds finds Daphne attractive, leading to some snide comments from Frasier as he tries to figure out which one the ex-con.
    Linda: (to Martin) Yeah. And sexy too, you dirty birdy!
    Frasier: find her attractive, don't you?
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Dr. Clint Webber, a new radio personality at KACL in "The Perfect Guy". This inspires great jealousy from Frasier, who schemes to find an exploitable weakness.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: There was a throwaway gag in one episode where he learnt that a radio show hostess whom he considered incompetent had just received national syndication.
    Frasier: Good news for Betty! And for the millions of atheists who will welcome this new proof of their theory!
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Quite a few episode titles fall under this Trope, such as "The Show Where [former Cheers character] Shows Up", "The 200th Episode", and so on.
  • The Exit Is That Way: When Frasier and Diane make up and have a moving farewell on the set of a play she's written about Cheers, Frasier makes his exit through the bar's front door. After a beat, he comes back through, having realised it's only a stage door and doesn't lead anywhere.
    Frasier: Sorry, force of habit.
    Diane: I've been doing that all week.
  • The Faceless: Maris Crane, who is also The Voiceless for a significant amount of episodes. The writers certainly enjoyed toying with The Reveal of both, but settled for The Un-Reveal for the hell of it. Another problem, according to a season 4 DVD special, was that the writers had ascribed so many bizarre features and qualities to her that no human could properly play the role..
  • Failed Attempt at Drama:
    • Roz mistakenly tells Frasier she is out of his life before she gets up to leave with a sprained ankle and crutches instead of after. And forgetting her purse didn't help.
    • Frasier yells at the apartment board and turns to leave, but his briefcase opens and he has to stay and pick everything up.
    • Niles related an incident where, in a marital dispute, he stormed out of the house, slamming the door as he went; of course, since the residence was equipped with an antique cathedral door, he required the assistance of several of the servants to assist in the slamming, however, "what it lacked in spontaneity, it made up for in resonance."
    • Frasier and Martin get into an argument over Daphne agreeing to go out with an ex-con. After telling them both it's her life and she gets to choose, Daphne storms off to her room. As Frasier himself put it:
    "That would have been a very dramatic exit if only her room was down that hall."
    • It almost looks like a blooper on Jane Leeves' part. Something in the way that John Mahoney breaks into a snort of laughter and the way that Jane comes flouncing back and then on the correct route to Daphne's room.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Frasier is just not meant to find love.
  • Fake High: Niles gets a hash brownie, but Martin eats it without realising what it is, and replaces it with a normal brownie. And even when Frasier actually explains what happened, Niles still doesn't realise:
    Niles: Well someone must feel pretty out of it, being the only one here who isn't completely burnt!
    Frasier: Oh, knock it off, you imbecile. You're as sober as I am!
  • Fallback Marriage Pact:
    • At one point it sounds like Roz is about to suggest one of these, and Frasier agrees to marrying her if they are both indeed single at the time. Turns out Roz was going to suggest they kill each other instead.
    • Played straight (and coupled with New Old Flame) with Daphne and her ex-fiance Clive.
  • Fat Suit: In "Freudian Dreams", Jane Leeves wore a ridiculously ballooning fat suit that kept growing in every shot, as Daphne dreamt Niles was cheating on her because she was too fat from pregnancy pounds she was unable to lose.
  • Faux Horrific: Reflecting Frasier and Niles' upper-class nature, at one point they're mortified to find out they're wearing the same outfits (Niles's concern coming from the fact people will assume they share the same tastes, a fear proven justified seconds later when a Café Nervosa waitress gives him a duplicate of Frasier's order).
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: There wouldn't be a show without it!
    • Played with in the episode "The Two Mrs. Cranes", where Martin, who's angry because Frasier and Niles imply Martin can't keep pace with another "Fawlty Towers" Plot, takes a great deal of pleasure in making the lies outrageously complicated.
      Martin: I was an astronaut.
    • Also played with in the final season episode "Guns N Neuroses", where Frasier and Lilith get set up on blind dates with each other— and never find out about it; and Niles, Martin and Daphne try to cover up having accidentally shot Frasier's wall— and succeed.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: According to Niles, Maris became president of her wine club because she had photos of her rival drinking domestic champagne ("from Connecticut") at his wedding.
  • Field Promotion: A cook is promoted to chef during a party, after the original one had enough of Frasier's and Niles's contradictory micromanagement.
  • Finger in the Mail: Parodied. When Niles is taking care of a sack of flour as though it were a child, he tells Frasier about his nightmares where the sack of flour is kidnapped and he starts receiving muffins in the mail.
  • 555: The call-in number for the KACL radio station.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Five Stages of Grief: Frasier goes through them when he loses his job at KACL.
  • Flanderization: Julia was introduced as a cold but competent woman who deliberately maintained distance from her co-workers. She even became a kind of Defrosting Ice Queen and built relationships with other characters at the radio station. But in the episode where she sleeps with Frasier and has a (disastrous) dinner with his family, her rudeness and abrasiveness are dialed up to 100 and she's louder and more loathsome than ever before. It was a Kick the Dog moment that served to justify Frasier immediately breaking up with her and writing Felicity Huffman off the show.
  • Flashback to Catchphrase: Martin says "I'm listening" when Frasier forces him to have a conversation in "You Can Go Home Again".
  • Foreign Queasine: There are occasional digs at Daphne's cooking being bland at best and inedible at worst (although Martin takes just as much stick for his love of American junk food). On at least one occasion she exploits the trope; when she wants the flat to herself for the evening, she tells the Cranes she's preparing sheep's head stew for dinner. Yes, this is a real thing. Lamb's and pig's head stew were not unknown in the North of England as a means of making the most of a cheap cut of meat, and a cookery book dated 1905 has a recipe for sheep's head stew, pointing out how cheap and nutritious it is and therefore ideal for your domestic servants. It should be pointed out that most Brits nowadays (Northern or otherwise) would find the concept just as alien and unappealing as anyone else, though it's still popular in cultures less squeamish about the consumption of offal.
    Frasier: Even Hannibal Lecter couldn't keep that woman's food down!
  • Fourth Wall Psych: "Good Grief", the first episode of Season 6, when the show was slotted by NBC in the timeslot vacated by Seinfeld ending, begins with Frasier giving an address to the camera about how excited he is to be in this slot, taking over from his "beloved predecessor", and his wishes that he get to spend many years in his new home. The camera pulls out to reveal that he is in fact auditioning for a local medical segment, having been fired from KACL in the Season 5 finale.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • "Sliding Frasiers" is an episode based on Sliding Doors, in which two paths of Frasier's life are examined on whether he chose to wear a suit or a sweater for a speed dating service. After a week, Frasier's lives meet at the same point, showing no matter which choice he made, he ended up at the same destination.
    • We're shown Martin and Daphne's extraordinarily efficient morning routine on several occasions, but on the last one Daphne puts Martin's cereal in a red bowl instead of a yellow one. The whole routine goes to hell, culminating in Martin accidentally throwing his toast on the floor.
  • Freudian Slip: Part of the humor of the show. Niles discussing it is even the trope page quote.
  • Freud Was Right: invokedLampshaded, of course — Frasier thinks Niles is making up for a dry spell in his sex life by buying suggestive antiques.
    Frasier: In addition to the loveseat, let's see, your most recent acquisitions have been: a French bed-warmer, a pair of Toby jugs, the less said about that Civil War ramrod, the better.
    Niles: Oh, you Freudians! Sometimes a ramrod is just a... oh hell, even I can't make that one fly.
    • The source of jokes in at least two episodes dealing with a characters Oedipus Complex. In Season 5, when Roz reveals her pregnancy to Rick, he points out that his mother is the same age and even kind of looks like Roz. She makes him stop talking. In another episode, Frasier dates a woman who could be Hester Crane's twin.
    Niles: These pants might have to be REPRESSED!
  • Fridge Logic: In-universe, Niles' season 4 attempt to get Daphne to stay at his apartment is thwarted when she has to go back to Frasier's for her medication, giving her the chance to make up with Martin and Sherry. As Frasier points out, Niles is a doctor, and could just have written her a new prescription, and there is a 24 hour pharmacy near him. The realization puts Niles into a Heroic BSoD.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: A somewhat downplayed example, as Frasier does have a presumably well-paying job as a radio host. However, his apartment is extremely spacious and well-furnished with swanky designer furniture and art, making many viewers wonder how he could afford it even on a six-figure salary. Even in The '90s, local AM talk radio personalities weren't millionaires. (For reference, the furniture for the actual set cost about $500,000.)
  • First Contact: Senator John Glenn confesses that he and other astronauts did in fact meet aliens, and that he was told by NASA, fearing an Alien Invasion, to lie to the public about his encounters. Naturally, Frasier and Roz ignore this in favor of their own argument.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The only way Frasier can make it through a eulogy in "Martin Does It His Way".
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Martin and Frasier having a serious conversation in the car while Niles struggles to open a funeral urn in the background.
    • The topper is Season 11 opener "No Sex, Please, We're Skittish", when Frasier talks about what a wonderful new producer he has as his new producer (who is wheelchair-ridden) is screaming in the background after Roz pushed her away, down the hall.
    • In the Season 5 episode where Frasier re-hires Bebe as his agent, a desperately horny Niles asks the waitress at Nervosa if she could nibble a cookie erotically for him (before Frasier interrupts and tells the waitress to leave). Later in the episode, Niles watches longingly at Roz as she's eating a cookie.
  • Funny Foreigner: Daphne and her occasional family member. On one episode she gets the Cranes out of the house for the evening by claiming she's making sheep's-head stew for dinner (see Foreign Queasine above.)

  • Get Out!: Frasier is prone to outbursts of this when another character Deadpan Snarks after he suffers an Epic Fail.
    (Frasier has been humiliated by radio pranksters — again — this time while in the bathtub.)
    Niles: Now, now, it won't get you down for long. You've always had a thick skin. (giggles) Unless that Tahitian Vanilla softened you up a bit...
    Frasier: GET OUT!
    • Possibly the greatest use of this trope is with Julia when Frasier had convinced himself to "commit to commitment" and stick with the relationship only to discover she really is a rude, selfish, insulting hag at the dinner where Niles and Daphne were going to reveal that Daphne was pregnant. The thing that finally makes him snap and kick her out of the apartment is when she insults his fancy new hand towels. Words cannot do the scene justice.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Although Frasier was by no means a show for young audiences, there were certain jokes that were more sexual in nature.
    • There is an episode when Frasier speaks to the condo board of his apartment block and they (through a classic misunderstanding) believe him to be speaking of his father's penis.note 
      Frasier: Don't look so shocked! Whom does it really harm if he unleashes Eddie once in a while? Come on, it's not as though he's alone in this behaviour. Mrs. Tortwurst, I've seen you do the same thing many times with your Fluffy. You know, if you ask me, not only is this behaviour harmless, it's laudable. Why, you should see the looks on the faces of the schoolchildren when he takes Eddie out to the playground!
    • The (fake) sex scene between Roz and Frasier in Radio Wars with "Roz's" moaning.
    • Also Daphne's frequently calling Martin "you old sod!" Americans think that's fake grass...note 
    • The decidedly "adult" scene wherein Frasier admits he'd have paid money to watch Lana eat popsicles.
    • In Season 9, when Niles gives Daphne piano lessons. They're canoodling at the piano when Roz arrives. Niles stands up and has to put the sheet music in front of his pants.
    • One episode got crap past the English-language radar. Frasier's on a date where another man who speaks French accompanies them. He quietly mutters "merde" as seen in the captions. They don't teach that French word in high school.
    • The first part of the Grand Finale. The ice sculptor's name appears to be Nutsack...
      My Nutsack is dripping already!
  • The Ghost:
    • Maris is probably one of the most famous examples in TV history, along with Norm's wife Vera from Cheers.
      Roz: You know, in all these years I've never even seen her face?
      Frasier: Well, I haven't seen her latest one so it'll be a new experience for both of us!
    • Many fans may mistake Martin's friend Duke for being this, but he does appear in two episodes ("Duke's, We Hardly Knew Ye" and "Where Every Bloke Knows Your Name"), played by John La Motta. In the latter, he's the only one in Martin's poker game not referred to by name, and is only identifiable if you've seen the actor's first appearance seasons earlier. Later in the series they seem to relegate him to off-screen roles. In "Cranes Go Caribbean" he's said to have come with them but spends the evening in the hotel room after getting a bad sunburn.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Gil's wife, "Deb", an Army reservist, owner of her own auto repair shop, and graduate of Sarah Lawrence.
  • Girl of the Week: Pretty much every love interest Frasier has. Sometimes he manages to avoid alienating them for a few episodes and they show up more than once. Sometimes not. This is a striking contrast from Frasier's love life on Cheers, where he is involved in two successive long-term relationships (with Diane for one year, and then with Lilith for about seven years).
  • Godwin's Law: In "Kenny on the Couch", Frasier and Martin get into an argument at the end of the episode about the worth of psychology, with Martin thinking it's a bunch of hooey.
    Frasier: So tell me, Dr. Party Hearty Marty, who, in your expert opinion, does need therapy!?
    Martin: Well... Hitler.
    Frasier: Hitler?!
    Martin: And that one with all the different personalities, um... Sybil.
    Frasier: That's it? An entire science devoted to Hitler and Sybil?!
  • Gold Digger:
    • Frasier briefly becomes this for none other than Patrick Stewart, who gives him expensive watches and introduces him to celebrities. In turn, Frasier lets the guy kiss him and treat him like a boyfriend, constantly "forgetting" to tell Stewart's character he's straight. And when Frasier finally tells Stewart's character that he's actually straight, Stewart responds by asking if a week at a luxurious villa on Capri would change that. After a lengthy Reaction Shot, Frasier admits that it actually might.
    • During a two part episode, Frasier dates famous lawyer Samantha Pierce. In the first episode, he's worried about being in the female role, but in the second, "Desperately Seeking Closure", he realizes he's only in love with Pierce for her celebrity friends. She's dumbstruck when Frasier admits this to her as the reason of his breaking up with her. Then Lesley Stahl walks in.
      Frasier: (star struck) Lesley! Hello! Dr. Frasier Crane, we met this weekend.
      Lesley: Oh, how are you?
      Sam: (disbelief) What kind of sick bastard are you?!
    • Niles gets asked if he married Maris for her money. He denies it, but adds that it's just "a delightful bonus."
    • Then there's Bebe and her engagement to Big Willy, an octogenarian rich Texan, in "Where There's Smoke, There's Fired".
      Niles: Well, marrying money can have its perils. Ten or fifteen years down the line, after you've adapted to a lifestyle now totally beyond your means, you can find yourself cast aside a hollow husk, penniless and crushed.
      Frasier: Niles, Big Willy's eighty-five, he's on his third pacemaker.
      Niles: Ah. (jealous) Mazel tov.
      • Of course, Big Willy dies before they get married, but Frasier still cheers Bebe up:
        Frasier: Well, you know, Bebe, there are other Big Willys out there, better ones! Richer, older... impotent!
        Bebe: Oh dear, you always know what to say.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In the episode "Sweet Dreams", Frasier tries to get Mr. Martin to stop being a corporate stooge and rehire Kenny. It works, but Mr. Martin takes the criticism that he is a corporate drone further to heart than Frasier intended.
    Mr. Martin: I'm going to march right in there and tell them that we're doing it my way! No more talk.
    Frasier: Exactly, action!
    Mr. Martin: No, no more talk radio. From this moment on, the station is all Latino music, all the time!
    Frasier: I beg your pardon?
    Mr. Martin: Thank you, Dr. Crane, I'm going back to my roots. I may have walked out of that meeting Joe Martin, corporate sellout. But I'm walking back in as José Martinez, risk-taker!
Kenny was rehired but Frasier and most of his coworkers were fired.
  • Then from Dr. Nora. Frasier brings Dr. Nora's mother, thinking that her abrasiveness and hostility was due to a misunderstanding between her and her mother, disappointing Roz who wanted revenge, not seeking a peaceful reconciliation. Little did he know, Mrs. Nulhearn was a shrill, grasping, moneygrubbing harpy whose first words to her daughter were "YOU LITTLE WHORE!"
    Roz: (jumping for joy) I was wrong, Frasier! Your way IS better!
    • The cherry on the whipped cream is that the mother is played by Piper Laurie.
  • When Mel has Niles acting like an inconsiderate jerk to make it seem like the divorce was justified, Niles' insults about a man being The Alcoholic comes off as Brutal Honesty and Tough Love, and everyone thanks Niles for it - to both Niles and Mel's dismay.
  • Goshdang It To Heck: Kenny. "Cheese 'n' rice!"
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Noel, who supposedly speaks Hebrew, tells Frasier that "yeshiva" is the word for school. It is not — it means a full-time institute where Jewish law is studied. (The word for school is beit-sefer). While "yeshiva" is originally a Hebrew word, the way he pronounces it with the stress on the middle syllable is the pronunciation derived from its Yiddish importation, something no Hebrew language teacher would do.
  • Halloween Episode: There are a number of episodes set at Halloween, usually focusing on the show's traditional madcap antics wrung though a themed costume party of some kind.
    • A notable party at Niles' apartment where the guests all dress as classic literary characters centers around Roz being pregnant and many overheard conversations that lead to hilarious confusions about the situation.
    • The episode "A Room Full of Heroes" sees Frasier holding a Halloween party where each partygoer comes as their personal "hero" (for instance, Martin comes as Joe DiMaggio, Daphne as Elton John, Roz as Wonder Woman and Niles as his father); Frasier himself dresses as Sigmund Freud, and one of the main jokes revolves around all the children thinking he eats brains.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Frasier. Niles. Sibling Rivalry. Impromptu ham-offs every couple of episodes.
  • Handshake Refusal: Martha Paxton, the famous artist Frasier invites to a cocktail party, always wears a sleeveless poncho so she doesn't have to shake hands. Niles ends up having to resort to shaking the edge of her poncho.
  • Hand Signals: Roz plays charades on several occasions to communicate something to Frasier while he is taking a call on the show. On one occasion, she named a caller by pointing to her eye and leaning when her mouth was full.note 
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In second season episode "Retirement is Murder", Daphne once mentions to Frasier how Martin "knocked her up" that morning. When Frasier seems momentarily alarmed and asks her to repeat that, she clarifies that it means "woke her up."
    Daphne: It's an English expression. What does it mean here?
    Frasier: Oh, something else. You'd definitely be awake for it, though.
  • Hell Is That Noise: In the Season 3 episode "The Friend," Frasier's new friend Bob is a fellow in a wheelchair. Bob becomes over-eager to the point of Stalker Without a Crush levels, and Frasier takes to hiding from him by diving behind the radio board. He always knows Bob is coming; the wheels on his chair make a nightmarish keening Frasier can hear for miles.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Catherine, portrayed by guest star Amanda Donohoe, displays an extensive leather wardrobe in "Call Me Irresponsible". Amanda Donohoe, who also stars in The Lair of the White Worm, probably qualifies as poster child for this trope.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue":
    • In-universe, Diane's Author Avatar "Mary Ann" in her play Rhapsody and Requiem. Her name couldn't have been just a coincidence.
    • Frasier isn't immune, as he and Niles wrote The Crane Boys Mysteries in high school.
      Frasier: Yes, Niles and I when we were boys wrote a series of stories together in which we were the heroes. Along the lines of a "Hardy Boys" or a "Nancy Drew"...
      Roz: "The Nancy Boys"?
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Bebe likes to portray herself as this. When Frasier fires her in "Roz's Turn":
    Bebe: That's it, is it? I'm not virtuous enough for you, not noble. Fine, quit! Next time you need a deal made, call the Dalai Lama. A long time ago, I had to make a choice between being a good agent and a good person, because trust me, ya can't be both! So forgive me if I don't have time to make everybody feel warm and fuzzy. I am just too busy spending every waking minute pulling any string, pulling any shameless trick I can to make my clients' dreams come true! I AM A STARMAKER!
  • He's Back: A worrying variation in Donny, who hits a bad depression after he's jilted by Daphne, and desperately serves her a lawsuit. Frasier manages to talk him out of the latter, which he didn't seem all that committed to... but when he finds out that Frasier was complicit, Donny "the Piranha" Douglas is back on the kind of top, ruthless form as when he was first introduced as Niles' divorce attorney.
  • He's Got a Weapon!: When putting on a radio drama, Frasier assigns a dyslexic woman to say this line. What does she say? "Look out, he's got a nug!"
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Frasier and Niles (besides also being brothers).
    • Martin and Duke. They even unwittingly get married in San Francisco during a public rally.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Frasier's son Frederick is implied to have had one in "The Apparent Trap."
    Lilith: If he wants something badly enough, he will figure out a way to get it. Remember when he was a baby? The bottle at the end of the maze?
    Frasier: Y'know, I kinda regret doing that.
  • Hilarious in Flashback: A flashback shows Martin has a pet goldfish named Eddie. His partner tells him to consider a "real" pet like a dog, but Martin says he isn't a dog person.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Played with. They yank Frasier's chain an awful lot, but he does get a lot of dates, but he's also a local celebrity with notable wealth who's got frequent dating problems.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack:
    • Lampshaded in "Boo!". In order to get back at Martin for pranking him all episode, Frasier dresses up in a hideous clown costume, grabs a meat cleaver from the kitchen and jumps out at Martin, who shrieks and collapses in shock at the sight. Frasier laughs it off, saying "Oh come off it Dad, a heart attack?" only to realize that Martin actually did have a heart attack. It's then subverted, as the heart attack was a very mild one, and Martin gets released from the hospital a few hours after being checked in with minimal effects. Ronee is unimpressed.
      Ronee: No surgery, home the next day, that's a bee sting. Did they use the paddles?
      Martin: No.
      Ronee: Well, talk to me after they've used the paddles.
      Martin: (shocked, awed) You had the paddles?
      Ronee: All right, let's just say I didn't have the best lipo guy, okay?note 
    • Averted in a season 10 episode where Niles suffers a "walking heart attack" (very mild with few symptoms), not recognizing it even though he is a fully trained doctor.note  The only symptom was tooth pain. When Niles says he'll schedule an appointment, the doctor says deadly seriously that no. He needs to check in to a hospital now.
  • Hollywood Law: The show often used the trope of "the legal victim."
    • In a famous episode, Frasier and Daphne are sued by jilted super lawyer Donny Douglas, for "breach of (marriage) contract" (Daphne's last-minute refusal to marry Donny) and "tortious interference in a private contract" (via Frasier's meddling). Breach of Promise of Marriage is not grounds for a suit anymore in most jurisdictions. Washington state had also ended punitive damages in suits at the time Donny sought them in his. It also could only be applied against the man who broke his promise to a woman, never against a woman who broke her promise to a man.note  Also, it is incorrect terminology, since Daphne had never actually entered into any contract. Donny, a lawyer, should have known he himself could be sued for doing that (it's called abuse of process). It's also not "tortious interference" for someone to urge a would-be bride to not go through with the marriage (which is not a contract by itself).
    • Likewise in an earlier episode, Frasier was deliberately sold a counterfeit painting for $60,000, but is told the police "have their hands full with murders and robberies" so apparently they can't be bothered to investigate this. While it's stated that he could sue, Martin tells him that he'd end up losing more money than he paid for the painting that way. In reality the police tend to take fraud and grand theft very seriously, particularly against a rich and influential person such as Frasier, while Martin-having connections due to being a former cop-likely could pull strings to get the case handled quicker as well.
    • Martin, a former police detective, also recounts a Miranda Rights example, where he lied about having fully read them when the suspect actually broke free mid-way through and he had to chase him down. The failure to Mirandize does not make an arrest invalid, and even if it did, the interruption was the suspect's fault, so he had no need to lie about it at all. Martin also says he saw the suspect shoot someone, and so his Miranda Rights would be utterly irrelevant.
  • Hollywood Midlife Crisis:
    • In a Season 1 episode, Frasier starts feeling self-conscious about his age (and his weight) and briefly considers pursuing a romantic relationship with a younger woman before deciding it wouldn't work out.
    • In that same episode, Martin reveals that, when he turned 50, he dyed his hair jet-black and bought himself a leather jacket and a motorcycle.
    • "Back Talk" has Frasier suffering back problems during his birthday, and he begins to worry about his age before realizing that what he's really concerned about are all the changes happening in his life (i.e. Niles getting married, Daphne moving out, etc.)
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: In one episode, Martin trying to learn to sing "O Holy Night" for a Christmas Pageant (although in a couple of others he gets to show us he's not such a bad singer. In this case, the famous high note near the end of the song is what's throwing him off).
  • Homage:
    • The long-running radio format show Desert Island Discs is referenced in one episode where Frasier challenges Niles to name the music and luxury he'd take to a desert island if stranded there. Although originally a BBC show, the format is licenced for use in the USA and is broadcast on national radio from Houston, Texas; the premise is that a famous or notable person is interviewed at length about their choice of music and a suspicion is there that some guests aren't above making pretentious or upscale choices, to advertise their erudition. Of course Frasier and Niles would want to be guests; Niles nominates, without hesitation, a list of very classy classical pieces.
      Oh Niles! You're so predictable!
    • Frasier and Niles move in circles where an interest in sophisticated asnd often French high-end food can border on the pretentious. The words "bon appetit!" are used frequently.
    • The episode "Daphne Hates Sherry" is an homage to the works of Tennessee Williams: each title card is a pun on one of Williams' plays (except for the first one, which just says "Tennessee, Anyone?"), Niles is shown wearing an all-white ensemble (as are many of Williams' characters), Niles and Daphne share a scene tinged with Unresolved Sexual Tension (sexually tense atmospheres are also common in his works), and Niles even mentions Williams by name.
  • Honorary Uncle: Frasier, Niles, and Martin are all one for Roz's daughter Alice.
  • Honor Before Reason: One of the show's go-to plots was exploring the collision between Frasier's (and occasionally Niles') finely tuned ethical sensibility and the real world. These usually resulted in Frasier being completely humiliated, of course.
  • Hot Men at Work: Daphne's boyfriend Joe. Also, Roz seems to be a fan of this - in one episode, she discusses her intention to spend her holiday getting her house renovated, in the company of hot, sweaty workmen. In another episode, after a bad date, she tells Frasier and Niles that she plans to go home, put on something slinky, rip out her sink and call building maintenance.
  • Human Shield: Bulldog's deplorable behaviour in "Bad Dog" causes him to use a pregnant woman as a shield, and later on even his own mother. As Frasier was the only one who saw what really happened, he spends the episode trying to get Bulldog to own up and stop taking advantage of the adulation (everyone else having thought he was pulling the woman to safety).
  • Humiliation Conga: Many times, but one of the best might be what happens to Dr. Nora: she's exposed as a hypocrite on live radio by her mother, has a nervous breakdown, and flees screaming at the top of her lungs.
  • Hurricane of Puns
  • Hypocrisy Nod: This gem during one of his debates with Cam Winston, who drives an SUV.
    Cam: You do your share of polluting with that substitute for masculinity you're driving.
    Frasier: If mine's a substitute for masculinity, then what is yours?
    Cam: Bigger!
  • Hypocritical Humor: One of the many fuels this show runs on. Frasier suffers the worst of it, thanks to his massive ego:
    "Can you believe the grandiosity of that man? I'm God and he knows it!"
    "I'll reveal him for the power-hungry dictator that he is! And then I'll take over."
    "I have got to show her once and for all that I am not some meddler and she is only being paranoid! Now I'll be in my room, plotting some way to prove it!"
    • Niles isn't free from it either:
      Obviously Germaphobic Patient: So you don't think I have a germ phobia?
      Niles:' Not at all, just a healthy sense of personal hygiene. Ah, here's the number of the man who cleans my telephone.
    • The boys get it from Martin, who has his own hypocrisies. When it looks like Frasier's ethics about lying under oath are going to lead him to reveal Niles's secret infatuation for Daphne to Maris's divorce lawyers, the result is an argument which ends with Frasier storming off. Martin sneers about how Frasier runs away from problems while Martin faces them head-on without flinching or needing any crutches... while he's pouring himself a stiff drink.

  • I Always Wanted to Say That:
    • Martin, when asked if Daphne is home, takes the opportunity to yell for Daphne instead of getting up to find out of she's in the house. Frasier leaves the room, irritated.
      Martin: I've been waiting 30 years to do that.
    • After they start dating, Daphne lets Niles in, who states that he is here to see her. He then gets rather giddy, exclaiming how after years of ppretending, he can finally say out loud that he's here to see her.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: An episode centers around beluga caviar being used for this trope. Frasier and Niles get involved with the distributing and smuggling of the stuff (parodied when the U.S. Customs agents don't care about the caviar, but the DVDs for which the smugglers used the caviar as a front), and even consider cutting it with cheaper stuff, while Roz becomes a generally mellow caviar junkie who would attack Frasier because she thinks he's holding out on a fix. Bonus points for the Russian mafia controlling the beluga caviar trade, much as Colombian drug lords would control the price of cocaine.
    Frasier: (after testing the caviar as one would test cocaine) Oh, yeah. That's the stuff.
  • Identical Stranger:
    • Rodney, a clone of Niles that Daphne dates after breaking up with Joe (and after Frasier suggested to Niles that he wait before asking her out himself). Everybody sees it except Daphne herself.
      Martin: I can't talk right now, Duke... (whispers) I'm in The Twilight Zone...
    • In Season 10 episode "Bristle While You Work", Niles is worried about a heart attack because of all the unlikely coincidences happening around him. One of the most bizarre is when a woman calls out "Niles!" Niles turns to look to see a black version of himself greeting, "Hello, Daphne!" in his exact intonation — to a black version of Daphne.
      Niles: (disturbed) Okay, that was weird.
    • A canine example occurs with the whippet Niles adopts, which everyone sees as a four-legged version of Maris.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Both Frasier and Roz say it to each other.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Maris gets insanely jealous of women Niles dates - especially Mel. Late in the series, Maris is not opposed to Niles' relationship with Daphne, but still clings to Niles for support.
  • Ignore the Disability: Played with spectacularly in the episode "Roz and the Schnoz" when Frasier plays host to a couple who have ridiculously large noses but are completely unaware of it. Neither is anyone else, until they're introduced one by one and must try to stifle their reactions. To make matters worse, the couple keeps inadvertently setting up nose-related puns: "Everyone who knows you knows you're the nosiest."
  • Ignored Epiphany: Played for laughs. Some episodes would have Frasier and/or Niles come to a realization about their attitudes and behaviors, usually after a Humiliation Conga or some overly-complicated scheme falls flat or even succeeds, only to rationalize it away not 10 seconds later so they can go right back to their old ways. However, this would be Averted when it came to more overarching character developments.
  • I Have Just One Thing to Say: Frasier is the undisputed master of these.
  • I Lied: If Martin ever tells a particularly heartwarming story to one of his sons, there's pretty much a 50-50 chance that he'll admit to someone (usually Daphne) that he made the whole thing up.
  • Imaginary Friend: Interestingly, Niles is revealed to have had an "imaginary protegé" during early childhood, who he blamed for wetting his bed and running away.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Roz complaining about bridesmaid dresses. Daphne just proves her right.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Plenty.
    • They tend to crop up when Frasier describing his sexual conquests. Lampshaded by Niles when he asks if Frasier actually ever says those lines in front of his dates. Frasier admits that he's not that foolish.
      Frasier: I guess someone wanted to rack up a few more frequent Frasier miles.
    • Daphne asks Frasier if one particular romantic interest likes his bad puns, and comments, "She's a keeper!" when he tells her she actually likes them.
    • In a convention in Aspen:
      Frasier: My fellow psychiatrists, as I watched you on the slopes today I realised I had never seen so many Freudians slip!
    • And occasionally a not-so-lame one, such after Daphne has a fall after becoming obese:
      Martin: I just thought of something funny: it took three Cranes to lift you.
    • A notable one came from a title card reading "Sleepless in Seattle". The card humorously lampshades the groan-worthiness of this in parentheses with "(you knew we had to do it eventually)".
    • The last straw.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In an episode where Martin is reading a steamy romance novel to Daphne, he stops at one point to take a pull from his beer can.
  • Inflation Negation:
    Martin: Well, I got my black coffee — of course, it was more expensive than a whole meal used to be. Time was, you could get two eggs, potatoes, choice of breakfast meats-
    Frasier: (dripping with sarcasm) And still get change back from the nickel!
  • Informed Attractiveness: Invoked in-universe by Niles in regard to Daphne. While Daphne is by no means unattractive, Niles looks upon her as if she is a flawless goddess. This was explored and deconstructed in "Daphne Returns," where we learn that Niles didn't even notice that she gained 60 pounds. He finally learns that he needs to see Daphne as a real person in order for their relationship to work, and not the flawless image he conjured up in his mind for all those years.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • Frasier was often stated to be a “stickler for his ethics,” but shows no compunction about being dishonest and conniving in order to sleep with women. His deceitful ways stoop to a nadir in “Out With Dad.”
    • Frasier’s psychiatric brilliance can fall into this category as well. His radio show is little more than an advice column in the vein of “Dear Abby,” which doles out trite advice more than psychiatric diagnoses. To be fair, Niles does lampshade this on occasion, lamenting that he is a much more accomplished psychiatrist than Frasier despite the fame his radio show has brought him.
  • Informed Flaw: In “Roz and the Schnoz,” the grandparents of Roz’s baby are implied in-universe to have noses so large that every other character can’t contain their laughter. While the couple’s noses are prominent, they are nowhere near as freakish as they are written to be.
  • In Medias Res: The first episode starts with Frasier having lived in Seattle for a few months. The week around Frasier's first radio show is flashed backed to in "You Can Go Home Again" in Season 3.
  • Innocent Innuendo: A running gag involves Frasier saying something innocent, realizing he's inadvertently made a double entendre, covering it up by saying something worse, then something worse after that.
  • Instant Turn-Off: An episode has Niles going into raptures about a fuzzy, ill-defined photograph that he thinks is a picture of Daphne Moon's breast and nipple. Niles' fantasies grow and swell out of proportion... until it is revealed that Martin was trying to photograph Eddie (the dog) but had the camera backwards. The nipple is in fact that of Martin. Niles' father. It is strongly implied Niles has been having active sexual fantasies over the photo...
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: The Opening Theme is notable as it changes frequently (a form of Couch Gag). There were more permutations introduced as the show ran longer and longer, all with a light jazz feel which set the tone nicely for the content of the episode.
  • In the Original Klingon: In "Star Mitzvah", Frasier is tricked by Noel into thinking his blessing at Freddy's bar mitzvah is being translated into Hebrew - it's actually Klingon. The Trope is invoked by a geeky boy after Frasier makes a fool of himself.
    Jeremy: Well, roughly translated, it says, "My dearest son, each day you redeem me. May your journey be filled with the same joy, wisdom, and purpose you have given mine." It's a lot more beautiful in the original Klingon, but it's still really cool.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Martin's accidental ingestion of a "special" brownie in "High Holidays", with hilarious results.
  • Insistent Terminology : Daphne is Martin's Physical Therapist. Not the maid, nor the housekeeper.
  • Insufferable Genius: One thirteen year old caller to Frasier's show (played by Elijah Wood) calls about bullies picking on him for his smarts. After Frasier advises him that he'll get the last laugh later in life, the caller immediately turns into this, picking apart Frasier's advice and outright insulting him for it. Frasier then in turn takes a certain amount of vindictive glee in pointing out that the caller had now just announced to any his bullies who might have been listening exactly where he is.
  • Ironic Birthday: Frasier gets two, one in which he accidentally reveals half his sexual history to his hidden coworkers.
  • Irony:
    • The core of Frasier Crane's character is that he's a brilliant psychiatrist who can always be counted on to help his friends, family, and patients with their problems, but has no idea how to deal with his own ample neuroses. Lampshaded by the title song: "And maybe I seem a bit confused / Well maybe — but I got you pegged!" Crops up explicitly many, many times, from one-off throwaway jokes to major plot points (like Frasier and Lilith successfully counseling a married couple, while tempestuously divorced themselves) to serious running themes, like the fact that Frasier's deliberate machinations managed to get Niles and Daphne to confess their love for each other after years of UST, but he himself cannot keep a girlfriend for more than a few episodes.
    • Martin's cheap, tatty lounger is the source of some friction throughout the series between him and Frasier, because it clashes with Frasier's expensive, classy furniture. In one episode, it gets accidentally destroyed, leading to a fight between the two men. Frasier resolves it by having a perfect replica of Martin's old chair built for him. He then notes that ironically, given the lengths he had to go, it's now the most expensive piece of furniture in the entire apartment.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Zora's reaction to Martin introducing Daphne as his physical therapist in "Beware Of Greeks".
  • Is This Thing Still On?: This happens frequently on the show. Some notable examples include:
    • "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl":
      Newscast: (on radio) In local news, Congressman Robert Gill was accused of accepting bribes from a waste treatment facility. Asked to comment, the congressman said-
      Frasier: (cuts in orgasmically) Yes! YES!!! I am a bad boy, aren't I, you dirty girl! Come to your bad boy! Oh, yes... Oh, no! Is that the on-air light?
      Kate: (on radio, whispering) Stop talking.
      Frasier: You must have hit the switch with your elbow while we were...
      Kate: Stop talking!
      Frasier: We'd better hurry up and get dressed while we still...
      Niles: (listening to them from his car radio) STOP TALKING! (Niles rear ends another car, causing the airbag to inflate in his face)
    • "A New Position for Roz", when she is teaching Noel how to produce Frasier's show:
      Roz: Now, let me give you some pointers on call screening. Your first priority are your leapers and jumpers. Next up, angry people, they're great energy and a welcome change from our largest group, the sad sacks. The trick of it is, you want to arrange these calls so that each segment is "can't miss" radio.
      Noel: I thought it was just about Frasier doing good work.
      Roz: Please, it's all about ratings! If the station had its way, every call would end in an auto-erotic suicide.
      Frasier: (from the booth) Thank you, Roz, now that Seattle knows how we do things around here, perhaps you could let Noel know to keep his elbow off the mic button!
    • A more minor one occurs when Frasier introduces one of the show's bloopers which involves Roz swearing violently at someone else while her mic was left on. Heavy on the "bleeps".
    • Also, in the episode where Frasier advises one of his callers to try to spice up their life, one suggestion being moving out of Seattle. There is a great backlash of callers who think Frasier was trashing their city, which he eventually has to apologize for. Unfortunately, he segues directly from his apology into a rant about how the city is full of the biggest whiners ever, without realizing that Roz hasn't cut the broadcast yet.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: When Niles and Frasier attempt to collaborate on a book, they eventually start brawling and Niles gets Frasier in a headlock. "We're psychiatrists, not pugilists!"..."I can't believe you fell for that!"
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: Partially in the episode "Oops":
    Frasier: Bulldog heard me, that's why he came up here and started telling you that...
    Ned Miller: That I'm a drunk. That I'm incompetent at my job. That my wife is a big, fat slut!
    Frasier: That is indefensible! Your wife is not overweight! (Realizes what he's said}
  • It Is Pronounced Tro Pay: When Frasier is involved in a local scandal, Maris starts pronouncing her marital name "Crané".
  • It's All About Me: Frasier, frequently.
    • A shining example is his reaction to Lilith and Niles sleeping together, which is to accuse them of doing it just to aggravate him.
    • In "Some Assembly Required," according to Frasier's perspective, the house he helped build for Habitat for Humanity is not a home unless he decorates it, much to the chagrin of its new occupants.
  • It's Been Done:
    • Roz sells an idea for a children's book based on a bedtime story that her mother used to tell her — which turns out to be Heidi. Furthermore, not only had she not heard of it, but the publisher to whom she sold the idea hadn't heard of it either.
    • When Frasier and Niles sneak a look at the manuscript for T.H. Houghton's long-awaited second work, they praise him for its clever parallels to The Divine Comedy. The author hadn't noticed this at all, sees it as proof of his suspicion that he's a talentless hack, and throws the only copy out of the window.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Justified for pretentious, competitive know-it-alls like Frasier and Niles (Harvard and Yale respectively).
    • Frasier is one-upped by its English sister trope Oxbridge when Clint Webber, the titular character from the season 5 episode "The Perfect Guy," reveals that his alma mater is Oxford. And Niles attended Cambridge.
    • One episode has Frasier looking at a potential suitor in an article about eligible bachelorettes in Seattle. The one he's looking at went to Stanford, to which Frasier comments, "Well, I suppose if you have to go to a college on the West Coast..." Roz' eyeroll at his impossibly high standards is priceless.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: In "The Gift Horse", Sherry is planning to decorate Martin's 65th birthday party venue with old picture of his days on the force. He looks at a picture of himself at the morgue and says they can't use it, as it's too disturbing. Niles and Frasier agree:
    Niles: [taking the photo from Sherry] You're right, I totally forgot you even had a perm.
    Frasier: [taking the photo from Niles] Dear lord.
  • The Jeeves: Ferguson. See British Stuffiness.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both Frasier and Niles are hideously snobby, elitist milquetoasts who are deep down rather caring, kind and (for most of the series) lonely men.
    • Frasier's late season 10 and early season 11 love interest, Julia, seems this way at first. But it turns out she has only a very thin layer of gold, and really is a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
    • Martin counts, at least in the early series; he's pretty crusty, bitter and ungrateful, and displays just as little interest or enthusiasm for bonding with his sons as they do with him, but deep down loves and is deeply proud of them.

  • Kansas City Shuffle: Blaine Sternin's scheme.
  • Karma Houdini: Blaine, Lilith's brother. Established by Frasier early on as a con-man who has conned his way across several states and stolen from Frasier several times, he arrives in a wheelchair and is now a minister. After his followers give generously and Frasier finally trusts him enough to do the same, he escapes with the cash, leaving his empty wheelchair at Frasier's door as a final mocking sign that it had all been another con job.
  • The Ketchup Test: In the episode "Daphne Does Dinner," Daphne does this to try to reassure and prove to the terrified party guests that the red sauce on Niles' shirt is not blood. They don't buy it.
  • Kill 'Em All: How Frasier's live radio drama ends in "Ham Radio" when an annoyed Niles - in an In-Universe case of Wag the Director - hijacks the proceedings and kills off the entire cast in about 30 seconds.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Roz's arrogantly ignorant hipster friend Jen (a pre-famous Zooey Deschanel), who, among other things, wants to go to Vietnam on vacation because "Americans haven't heard of" the country, and that an art gallery mostly focused on paintings of landscapes is intended to "make us feel good" about American "imperialism".
  • Kubrick Stare:
    • Frasier, many times when simmering in rage—but most memorably, when he challenges Eddie to a staring contest. (First 25 seconds.) Guess who wins....
    • Niles gives the stare a lot, too—often involving an Heroic BSoD, to boot.
  • Kwyjibo: In "Goodnight, Seattle".
    Charlotte: "Her grandmother's bed was warm and... quilty."
    Frasier: "And why is she lying there? Because she's feeling all 'befevered' again?"
  • Lab Pet: In one episode it's revealed that Frasier's mother was so attached to her lab rats that she named her children after them.
  • Ladykiller in Love:
    • Bulldog falls in love in the episode "Love Bites Dog" only to end up heartbroken when the woman dumps him on the phone like he himself does with many of his one-night stands.
    • A few years later, Bulldog falls for Roz who also rejects him.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Out With Dad" where Frasier drags Martin to an opera. Martin complains about the unlikely farcical plot elements (escalating lies, staged entrances and exits), a critique which neatly encapsulates all that follows in the second act.
  • Large Ham:
    • Frasier is a quintessential sitcom example. Any time Frasier gets riled up, any time Niles gets... let's just say many.
    • Agent Bebe Glazer is even worse. Goodness, she's even prone to Milking the Giant Cow! And she, like Winston, gets Frasier riled up. "She has no scruples, no ethics, and no reflection!"
    • Jackson Headley in "The Show Must Go Off" delivers a performance so hammy BRIAN BLESSED would be proud.
    • Also, Cam Winston. CAM WINSTON!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Inverted in a Season 10 episode, when Martin goes to withdraw $20 from an ATM but gets $60. Daphne insists that this trope will apply if he fails to return the money to the bank and forces him to take it back in person, but the staff's ineptitude means they keep giving him another $40 over and over again. His last attempt ends with an over-zealous security guard pulling a gun on him, which results in the bank paying him $10,000 not to take the matter to court. He accepts it with tired resignation.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Often a last second phrase swap, used by all the main characters especially Frasier.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In one episode, Frasier drags Martin to see Rigoletto, and he spends most of his time lampshading the sillier tropes of the genre, such as GASP, "Fawlty Towers" Plot, The Beard and Love Dodecahedron. Frasier's well-timed GASP is the cue for an entire episode full of exactly that kind of Farce.
  • Lecherous Licking: Implied.
    Niles: Take my bumbershoot.
    Daphne: Oh, isn't that nice, well at least someone appreciates my mother tongue. [Leaves.]
    Niles: Yes, I've always had an ear for your tongue.
    Frasier: Niles!
  • Lethal Chef: Daphne. Lamb's Head Stew, for instance. Or other glories of English cuisine like "kidney pie". The jokes tend to be not so much about Daphne's cooking in particular, and more about English cuisine in general. Daphne's food does get compliments sometimes.
  • Limited Social Circle: Martin appears have friends beyond the main characters (particularly Duke), and Roz, Daphne, and Niles are occasionally shown with friends too, but most of the time the main characters just hang with each other. This is particularly true with Frasier, who appears to have no close friends beyond his brother, his father, his producer, and his father's physiotherapist. This is Lampshaded in one episode, where none of the other main characters have the time to spend an evening with Frasier, and he realizes just how alone he is without them. Since Frasier moved back to Seattle after having lived for years in Boston, this is partly Justified, though one wonders why he didn't catch up with any old friends of his, or manage to make any new ones in 11 years?
  • Literal Metaphor: When Frasier and Roz are discussing her hiring Bebe;
    Roz: She's got me three voiceover jobs! I know she may be a little shifty, but she helps me put food on the table.
    Bebe: [returning from the café bar] One muffin.
    Roz: See!
  • Local Hangout: Café Nervosa. Subverted in that the cast did not have a "regular" table they always sat at; they sat at different tables throughout the series.
  • Loners Are Freaks:
    • Subverted in the episode "Dark Victory", when Frasier delivers a rousing speech in defense of introverts everywhere.
    • Played straight in "The 200th Episode" by Frasier's biggest fan who quit his job to devote his life to listening to, recording, and transcribing Frasier's show.
  • Long Runner: While the show barely qualifies (11 seasons), more notable is the character of Dr. Frasier Crane, who was played for 20 years over two shows (and a guest appearance on Wings). Frasier's former wife Nanette, in regard to her in-show alter ego as Nanni G (A children's music celebrity), gives Kelsey Grammer an Actor Allusion with the remark: "Do you have any idea what it's like to the play the same character for 20 years!?"
  • Loony Fan:
    • Frasier visits one (with a Stalker Shrine, no less) when he's trying to track down a tape of one of his past shows.
    • In another episode, he invites his internet fanclub round to his apartment, cooking an enormous buffet for them. It turns out to consist of three creepy obsessives with No Social Skills.
  • Loophole Abuse: Frasier and Niles sometimes find themselves trapped by their professional codes of ethics, and bend over backwards to find ways around them. In one episode, they discover that Roz's newest boyfriend is one of Niles's patients, a compulsive womanizer who loves 'em and leaves 'em, and will surely break Roz's heart; but they can't tell her, as that would violate doctor-patient confidentiality. They spend the entire episode looking for a way out, and finally find it:
    Niles: It would be so much easier if Roz were mentally incompetent.
    Frasier: Go on...
    Niles: Well, then there'd be some justification for protecting her. Is she irrational?
    Frasier: She did attack a vending machine once, when a Twinkie came out of the Oreo chute.
    Niles: Borderline, borderline. Does she ever act delusional?
    Frasier: Well, she often claims that she is responsible for the success of our show.
    Niles: Building, building. Does she display below-average intelligence?
    Frasier: She once ordered a bottle of white Zinfandel!
    Niles: Jackpot! Go to her, she's a threat to herself!
    Frasier: It's amazing they even let the woman drive!
  • Lost Wedding Ring: Daphne loses her engagement ring and tries to hide it from Donny. Frasier finds it, and worries what Faye would have thought if she'd found it. Then Reality Ensues: Faye plays with the trope just to tease Frasier, but reveals she knows it's Daphne's ring; Donny reveals he knew she'd lost ever since she hugged him with a raw chicken on her hand.
  • Lounge Lizard: "The Barracuda", an incredibly slimy Latino cruise ship crooner with whom Maris nearly sleeps.
  • Love at First Sight: Niles is clearly smitten with Daphne from the moment they meet.
  • Love Dodecahedron: "The Ski Lodge" is a masterpiece; Frasier wants Annie, Annie wants Niles, Niles wants Daphne, Daphne wants Guy, Guy wants Niles, and as he realises to his horror when everything gets untangled, no-one wants Frasier.
  • Love Informant: In the seventh season, a drugged-up Frasier lets slip to Daphne that Niles is crazy about her.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: In one of the timelines in "Sliding Frasiers," Frasier goes dramatically overboard in trying to win his then-love interest's favor and heart, which ends up putting her off so much that she breaks up with him on Valentine's Day. To be fair to Frasier, as he admitted to Roz, he was jealous of how well things were going with Niles and Daphne and he wanted something like that for himself.
  • Low Count Gag: In episode "Good Grief", an unemployed Frasier hears he has a fan club that wants to protest his show being taken off the air. He has a large buffet ready for them — and it turns out there's only three of them. After telling Frasier they intend to stop traffic with a rally, he's understandably mortified.
    Frasier: I can't let them do this rally. Three kooks marching round in a circle, you know what that'll do?
    Niles: (deadpan) Make them very dizzy very fast.
  • Lysistrata Gambit:
    • Maris was an expert at withholding sex from Niles, and used it to work to her advantage, always. He tried to turn the tables once, but didn't get very far.
      Frasier: Now, now, now, Niles, withholding sex may be just as difficult on Maris! She may crumble first!
      Niles: Are you serious? One hour of passion can sustain her for months. She stores it up like some sexual camel.
    • The Lysistrata Gambit was one of the tactics Frasier's new co-host supported, which was one of the major issues he had with her.

  • Ma'am Shock: Discussed by Roz in "Roz's Krantz and Gouldenstein Are Dead".
  • Mad Artist: Caitlin in "Frasier Gotta Have It". She makes collages out of dead mice and stuffs pillows with human hair.
  • Mad at a Dream: One episode showed one dream from all the main characters. Daphne dreamed that Niles was surrounded by young women while her pregnancy weight was hugely exaggerated. She woke up and punched him.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl:
    • The above Caitlin. It doesn't work out though, as all they shared was sex.
    • Niles tried to find one for himself to cope with having learned that Daphne was engaged to Donny. It went about as well as you'd expect, and their relationship lasted less than a week; the only thing that really happened between them was her dragging him away so he fell off everyone's radar for a day or two, sending everyone into a panic since he wasn't returning calls and no one could figure out where he was.
  • Mary Sue: invoked Diane's Self-Insert Marianne in Rhapsody and Requiem, in which everyone adores her and she completely gets away with jilting Frasier's expy Franklin, heavily implying Diane has never really cared that she did the same thing to Frasier years ago. This ends up being what sends Frasier over the edge, provoking him into finally giving her what for after all those years of having to deal with the heartache she inflicted upon him. It's only after his rant at her expense that she finally acknowledges his pain and her responsibility for it, deciding to delay any production of her play until she's rewritten it to get rid of her lead's Sueishness.
  • Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: Played with and played straight.
  • Master of the Mixed Message:
    • Cassandra to Frasier in her initial appearance. He has dinner with her on Valentine's Day and she even invites him to stay the rainy night in her hotel room, sharing the bed. He can't figure out if she's hitting on him and keeps calling Roz for help deciphering her signals. Turns out, she's not dating him... yet. She does later become one of his many lovers, however.
    • Another episode has Frasier and Niles (who is separated from Maris at the time) meet two woman they immediately hit it off with. They decide on an impulse to spend a weekend in a cabin together. However, they were moving so fast they didn't take the time to find out what the ladies' intentions are. And their attempts to subtly figure out if there's anything romantic going on fail miserably. In this case, it does get resolved, when the women retreat to separate bedrooms and ask "Are you coming?"
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Daphne's 'psychic flashes', which are usually there set up jokes and set her up as a folksy, spiritual foil to the educated, skeptical Doctors Crane. She's occasionally wrong or mistaken (she openly admits her gift 'comes and goes'), but over the course of the show, she makes several very accurate guesses about things and people she has no knowledge of, and the audience is sometimes shown that her visions are accurate, even if she herself dismisses them for being too absurd. Whatever it is, it clearly works, it's just never stated whether her "flashes" are just an unconscious talent for near-instant deductive reasoning and observation filtered through a powerful imagination, or something more. At least until she has a vision of the unidentified "love of her life" with a dragon, at the exact moment Niles receives a statuette of a dragon as a gift at his own apartment.
  • May–December Romance: Deconstructed in one episode where a young woman in her early twenties (played by Sara Melson) is interested in dating Frasier, but he is worried that people would have bad impressions of him. Finally invoked near the end of the episode, but they decided that it won't work out.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In a Christmas special where Martin ends up working during the holiday, Frasier and Niles go to talk to him at his job to get him to change his mind. They end up having a conversation to themselves about how much they're going to miss him and how Christmas won't be the same without him. It's easy to miss, but Martin's boss can be seen nearby in the background, listening in, which ends up becoming significant later when Martin spoils their plans to surprise him with presents at work by being let off the hook because said boss was feeling guilty.
  • Meat-O-Vision:
    • Referenced in a Thanksgiving episode: "Is baby Alice dressed as a turkey, or am I just hungry?"
    • Subverted in "Frasier-Lite," when the KACL staff are entered in a televised weight-loss competition and are half-mad from hunger by the end:
    Noel: [delirious] I see giant steaks with legs.
    Bulldog: You're hallucinating. [He slaps Noel's head.] Just pull it together.
    Kenny: Uh, no, he's right. It's the Beef Council Dancers. They're on after us.
  • Mediation Backfire: Played with; Frasier sits Roz and Julia down in the cafe to try to get them to make nice, and when they find common ground insulting him, he graciously leaves them to it. The moment he's gone, though, they both get up to leave, and are bickering again before they reach the door.
  • Meet Cute: Frasier meets Charlotte by getting the floors mixed up when going to his "private-practice" office. Charlotte initially thinks he's just using that as excuse to cover for his wanting to use her dating service. She then partly witnesses a bad re-acquaintance of Frasier with an Old Flame he's forgotten....
  • Memetic Badass: Invoked with Frasier's aunt Zora, a violent person with a hair-trigger temper that the entire family fears.
    Frasier: I'm not afraid of her.
    Niles: Everyone is. Have you forgotten the family legend that when Hitler invaded Greece she joined the partisans just so she could strangle Nazis?
    Frasier: I have never believed that. She would have had to have been five years old at the time.
    Niles: That's why the legend says they were strangled with jumpropes.
  • Men Are Uncultured: Averted — Frasier and Niles are very cultured, loving Opera and fine wines. Their father doesn't understand this at all, but he's not stupid, he just has more traditionally "manly" tastes (Martin and Hester would have been a fairly straight example of the trope, though).
    "I still think a couple of years of military service would've done you two a world of good."
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted for laughs in "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven": Martin's breakdown causes Frasier to start weeping as well, then Niles joins in shortly after.
    Frasier: (weeping}} I made my Daddy cry!
    Niles: (bawling) Nobody wants to come to my party!
  • Mile-High Club: Back in his younger days, Niles was once invited to join. In his naivete, he thought it was the airline's bonus program, and declined. Now that he knows what was really meant, he tries to laugh, and can't.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: Ronee's reaction to Martin's heart attack.
  • Mind Screw: "Sliding Frasiers" takes a dip into the supernatural, chronicling the events of two alternate universes made different by Frasier's choice of what to wear for a night out. In the end we find out that both universes lead to the same conclusion, but we are never given any further explanation. It was a distinctly postmodern episode of an otherwise very grounded and realistic series.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Played with. Sometimes played straight when Frasier breaks up with an otherwise lovely woman for a few minor flaws, but occasionally he realizes this and forces himself to overlook the flaws of his Girl of the Week, who then turns out to be completely bizarre but Frasier refuses to break up with her because he wants to kick his habit.
  • Mirror Match: Defied; in "Mixed Doubles," Frasier explicitly tells Niles not to get into a fistfight with an Identical Stranger because "the whole thing would just look too weird!"
  • Missing Mom: Hester Crane, although she appeared occasionally through flashbacks.
  • A Mistake Is Born: Martin tells Frasier at one point, "I wasn't the one who convinced your mother to marry me; you were."
  • Mistaken for Gay: The show specializes in these, and handles them with panache.
    • In 'The Matchmaker', KACL's handsome and urbane new boss is invited to dinner by Frasier. Frasier intends to hook him up with Daphne, but there's the usual confusion:
    Frasier: But... Tom's not gay.
    Niles: He seems to be under that impression.
    Frasier: What on Earth could have made him think that I was interested in him? All I did was ask him if he was attached, and then we talked about the theater and mens' fashions, oh my God.
    • In 'The Doctor is Out', there's a hilarious "on-air outing" as he tries to explain why he was there:
      Frasier: "All right, I am going to put an end to this discussion, because there is nothing to discuss. On my way home from the gym, I popped into Bad Billy's looking for a man I was hoping was in the bathroom. I had a quick sherry with my French polisher and then I left. As for how I got into another man's shorts, that is no one's business!"
    • Martin's pretending to be homosexual backfires on him in "Out With Dad".
    • Niles is consistently mistaken for being homosexual. This culminates in "The Doctor Is Out" where he's Mistaken for Gay by Patrick Stewart:
      Niles: This is my wife, Daphne.
      Alistair: ...No.
      Niles: We're expecting!
      Alistair: Can't say I was!
    • Bulldog was also accused of being homosexual by a lady who thought he was overcompensating by being so testosterone-driven.note 
    • Subverted in "Fathers and Sons": Martin is convinced Leland is the boys' actual father as he has so much in common with them, but as it turns out he only loved Hester as a friend and trusted her with the fact that he was homosexual at a time when that could have ruined his career.
    • Played with regarding Gil Chesterton — everyone simply assumes he's gay, and is surprised when he reveals he's married:
      "She is Mrs. Gilbert Leslie Chesterton, a Sarah Lawrence graduate, and the owner of a very successful auto body repair shop. Honestly, the conclusions people make, just because a man dresses well and knows how to use a pastry bag." ... "Well, that's the first time I've ever seen a man "IN" himself!"
      • However, it's revealed that he is gay in Season 10. First he's sneaking into Bad Billy's (and sympathizes when Frasier is "outed"), then he comes out in Season 11.
    • One episode opens with Frasier, Niles, and Martin shopping for Daphne's engagement ring. A series of accidents and coincidences culminates in the entire store thinking that Frasier is proposing to Niles.
      (After the store clerk assumes they're there to get a ring for each other)
      Niles: Where did that come from?
      Frasier: I mean really, to just assume something like that out of the blue.
      Niles and Frasier: Latent.
  • Mistaken for Dying:
    • Daphne thinks Martin is dying when, among other things, he suddenly starts attending church. He's really preparing for a Christmas pageant.
    • It happens in the series finale as well, with Frasier this time. It turns out the announcement he was going to make was that he's moving to San Francisco.
  • Mistaken for Thief: Bulldog has a tendency to rant about his "stolen" belongings, then find them.
  • Mistaken Identity: An interesting twist in "Secret Admirer'; Frasier mistakes himself for the object of Maris' affections when it is actually Niles who is supposed to receive the gifts.
  • Monochrome Casting: All the main characters, and pretty much all the supporting cast, are whiter than an aggressive Zinfandel. However, the black people that did appear had quite a broad scope. One black recurring character was "Dr." Mary, a stereotypical Sassy Black Woman who Frasier was terrified of criticizing for fear of being seen as racist — an unusually no-nonsense approach to racial issues for a 90s sitcom. On the other hand, Frasier's Sitcom Archnemesis Cam Winston was a wealthy, fussy snob very much like Frasier himself, and the fact that he was black was a complete non-issue. Cam's mother was also briefly used as a love interest for Frasier's father, Martin. Another memorable guest appearance was James Earl Jones as a blind man, making him a Twofer Token Minority. Considering Seattle's demographics, though, an even bigger oversight is that hardly any Asian people appear, who make up 1/8th of the city's population in real life. (The publisher Sam Tanaka in "Author, Author" is a rare example, and a focus group member in "Focus Group".)
  • Monumental View: The apartment has a lovely shot of the Space Needle, indicated to be built on Queen Anne hill (which didn't have apartments until 2014, after the show's conclusion.)
    • And in a rare case of Shown Their Work about Seattle, the writers in Season 1's My Coffee with Niles establish that Cafe Nervosa is in downtown Seattle (it's on 3rd Ave) and Martin complains about how far the walk is from their apartment. From Queen Anne that's about 2-3 miles.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In "Boo!", Frasier sneaking up on Martin in full clown get-up to get back at him for the pranks he's been pulling, giving him the fright of his life... and then he doesn't get up, and the scene cuts to him in the hospital recovering from a heart attack.
    • In "To Tell the Truth", Niles is ecstatic after Maris gives him a healthy divorce settlement. He and Frasier are chatting happily at Cafe Nervosa... when his lawyer Donny walks in hand-in-hand with Daphne. You can feel your heart crush with Niles' as Donny smells her hair and asks what the scent is and Niles answers sadly "Cherry bark and almonds".
    • In the episode about Niles having previously donated to a sperm bank and going in to check if any had been used, the scene swerves wildly back and forth between between "teehee sperm" type jokes and seriously addressing Niles discovering his likely infertility and inability to conceive with Daphne.
    • "Maris Counselor" has Niles unwittingly stumbling into bed with the man Maris is cheating on him with (funny), which then takes a turn for the heartbreaking as Niles realizes Maris is cheating on him with their marriage counselor. Some more nervous laughs follow as Niles tries to do his job while coming to terms with his pain. The episode ends with him finally declaring himself over her, ending with all three Crane men bitterly lamenting their bad lack with women.
    • "Bristle While You Work": Niles has been dealing with insane coincidences (an African American Niles greets an African American Daphne at one point, and he's constantly winning a water bottle cap prize like fanny packs). He finally goes to the doctor to have an earache checked, at everyone's insistance that since he's been hitting long odds all day, it might be serious.
      Niles: (chipper) Okay, lay it on me. I'm prepared for the worst. Is it my heart?
      Doctor: I'm afraid so.
      Niles: Ah-ha! (beat) What?
      Doctor: There is an anomaly in your EKG. I'm gonna have to check you into the hospital.
      Niles: Oh, uh, well, hmm. Uh, I guess I can clear my schedule. How's, how's tomorrow afternoon?
      Doctor: No, no. Niles? You need to go right now.
      • The whiplash happens again during The Stinger when a distraught Niles is given a water bottle by the doc, and he reels in shock as he won another fanny pack.
  • Motor Mouth: Poppy, who's treated as The Scrappy by the other characters. It's actually revealed that she talks so much and so fast because she's nervous, and doesn't do so around Niles (who is more approachable than Frasier.)
  • Moving the Goalposts: Mel and Niles' sham marriage. At first, he agrees to spare her reputation by attending a couple of weeks of public engagements before she files for divorce. The first amendment is that he's also not allowed to be seen in public with Daphne. Then, the "couple of weeks" gets dragged out to unreasonable extremes. Then, he's informed that in order to make the breakup look authentic without reflecting badly on Mel, he has to start acting like a dick in public so it will look like she had to dump him.
  • Multiboobage: Roz's Star Trek obsessed unwanted admirer sends around an office petition for the producers to introduce the character of Rozalinda, the four breasted Space Vixen and ruler of the planet Rozniac. When Frasier compares the tribute to Robert Browning's poems to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Roz asks if Browning ever wrote a poem giving Elizabeth two extra breasts. During The Stinger, Roz receives a gift - a multi-boobed bra. When she tries it on in amusement, her co-workers outside the booth start bowing, and if you read their lips, chanting "All hail Rozalinda!"note 
  • Multitasked Conversation: On two separate occasions, Frasier gives a toast to a "happy couple" which, by the judicious avoidance of using any names, conceals a "she isn't the woman you really love" message. The first time, it was to convince his cousin Nicos to break off an engagement; the second, Niles was being forced to carry on a sham relationship with Mel, and Frasier resents being told to publicly endorse the relationship.
  • My Beloved Smother: Mrs. Mulhern to Dr. Nora.
    Mrs. Mulhern: So, you thought you could get away from me, did you? Thought you could leave me to rot in that dump without barely enough cash for a bottle of Mateus?! You'll pay for that, missy!
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg:
    Frasier: Thank you, Niles. You're a good brother and a credit to the psychiatric profession.
    Niles: You're a good brother, too.
  • My Own Private "I Do": Niles and Daphne of the Elope First, Plan Later variety. It got really silly when they ended up having two fake ceremonies, before eventually spilling the beans.
  • Mythology Gag: The Dr. Frasier Crane Show debuted on KACL on May 21, 1993, the airdate of the Cheers finale.
    • The season 11 episode "Caught in the Act" has a gag about Kelsey Grammer having played the character of Frasier Crane for 20 years (first in Cheers, then in Frasier). In the episode Frasier meets his ex-wife, who's had a long career as the children's entertainer "Nanny G":
    Nanny G: Frasier, if you knew how bored I am, being "Nanny Gee." How trapped I feel.
    Frasier: You have a wonderful career.
    Nanny G: But nothing ever changes! Do you have any idea what it's like to play the same character for twenty years?
    • Frasier's agent, Bebe Glazer, has the same first name as the actress who played Lilith.
    • Kim (Jennifer Tilly) mentions she was briefly engaged. Tilly played a girl who was briefly engaged to Frasier in Cheers.
  • Naked People Trapped Outside
    • Bulldog, in the episode "The Dog That Rocked The Cradle".
    • Frasier, in the episode "Caught in the Act", though he's saved by wearing a baby bonnet and diaper - in front of a live show.
  • Negative Continuity: In the opening of the episode "Deathtrap," Frasier and Niles, who put a lot of emphasis on ethics and doing the right thing, were shown stealing the skull they wanted for their backyard production of Hamlet. Granted, they were kids at the time, but some viewers might find it a bit odd. In addition, Frasier and Niles suffer physical ailments when they go against their ethics (nausea and nosebleeds respectively), but here it has little effect on them.
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: In "Star Mitzvah", Frasier's son Frederick is about to have his bar mitzvah, and Frasier wants to give him a speech in Hebrew. Since Frasier doesn't know Hebrew, he asks his co-worker Noel, a stereotypical middle-aged nerd, to translate the speech. Noel agrees, but later on he gets angry with Frasier when Frasier fails to get him the signature of Scott Bakula, the actor playing Captain Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise. Noel retaliates by translating the bar mitzvah speech into Klingon, a language which he apparently knows well, but which Frasier can't distinguish from Hebrew. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Nested Story Reveal: In one episode, Frasier is seriously doubting whether he should help strangers in need. While driving his car, he sees a woman standing in the rain, and decides to give her a ride. The woman turns out to be a transgender prostitute, and Frasier soon gets arrested by the police, who mistakenly think he's soliciting for her services. The whole event ends up being publicized in the media, making Frasier a laughing stock. Just before the episode ends, it cuts back to the scene with Frasier in the car and the woman standing in the rain. Turns out everything that happened was just a worst-case scenario Frasier had been considering in his head. He gives the woman a ride anyway.
  • Never Lend to a Friend: Frasier lends Roz some money to help her through single motherhood, but calls her spending into question when Daphne sees her at a spa, and Frasier sees luxury items in her shopping bag. Turns out they were all justified expenses (a coupon, a gift from her mother, a store credit for a return, etc.) apart from one (a bottle of perfume) which she got to treat herself. Though shortly after Frasier questions her, Roz asks Bulldog for a loan so the cheque she has written to return Frasier's money won't bounce ("I cashed a bad cheque").
  • Never My Fault: Plenty of examples throughout the series. Usually with Niles pointing the finger. He even has "Well I hope you're happy!" as his catchphrase.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead:
    • Martin and the boys talk about Hester as if she were a saint, but there's plenty to suggest that she had feet of clay. From what we know about her, she cheated on Martin at least once, egged on the rivalry between Frasier and Niles that continues to affect them in adulthood, could be fairly distant and overly psychological in her parenting style, didn't like the women her sons were attracted to much, and that's not even counting her manipulative, shrewish behavior on Cheers. Of course, there's also plenty to suggest that she was otherwise a genuinely loving and kindhearted woman who cared for her family despite her flaws, and they wouldn't exactly be the first grieving sons/husbands to ever decide that this trope applied to a loved one, so this is perhaps understandable.
    • In another episode, Frasier is charged with delivering a eulogy to his hated aunt Louise. Everyone agrees that the woman was mean-spirited, horrible and possessing of hardly any virtues, but while Frasier can hardly say all of that in his eulogy, he also refuses to invent virtues the woman didn't possess simply to lie his way through it. His solution turns out to be a mixture of Exact Words and a song Martin wrote for Frank Sinatra.
  • New Old Flame: Subverted by Daphne; her ex-fiance Clive appears in "The Two Mrs. Cranes" to make good on their Fallback Marriage Pact, but Daphne has no interest in Clive. Until she learns he's loaded, that is.
  • New Year's Resolution
  • The '90s: The early seasons show very much how the 1990s carried a lot of run-off fashions of the late 1980s. Roz has very big, frizzy hair, and both her and Kate Costas (an early love interest of Frasier's who also had giant hair, to match an extremely dark tan) wore power-suits with shoulder pads. Eventually all of the characters would be fairly fashionable and less era-specific, save Martin. The show was set in Seattle, which was considered a fashionable city in that decade for several reasons (grunge, Starbucks, more than one computer business, etc.)
  • No Accounting for Taste: It's a wonder what Niles ever saw in Maris to begin with.
    Niles: "You've been wanting to ask me this for years: 'Did I marry Maris for the money?' I resent that. I did not marry Maris for the's just a delightful bonus."
  • No Bisexuals: In one episode, Frasier briefly considers the idea he might be gay, based solely on the fact that his mannerisms fit many stereotypes. Martin, reasonably, objects that he would know by now. The fact he never thought he might be bi, despite only having been in relationships with or attracted to women before, makes it an example of this trope.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Nora, an unusually thin and Up to Eleven Strawman Political parody of Dr. Laura and the small controversy about her qualifications. Dr. Nora's advice mostly consisted of telling her callers that they're sinners who are going to hell, and Frasier eventually learns her doctorate is in P.E. The station keeps her on because her polarizing personality is attracting listeners, until an attempt at goodwill by Frasier drives her away.
  • No Indoor Voice: Chopper Dave got a little too used to reporting from a helicopter.
  • Noodle Incident: The failed party at the beginning of "Daphne Does Dinner". All we know is it involved Martin impersonating an Italian count, a flaming kebab igniting a man's toupee, Frasier pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome, and goats in the kitchen.
    • Daphne's story about how her brothers hated taking orders from her. "Nigel, take that thing back to the hospital. The whole house is full of flies."
      • From Season 7 : "(Nigel) is not staying here. He's loud, crude, and last time he stayed here, he killed the downstairs neighbour's ficus by means which are best left to the imagination."
    • In "Seat of Power", Niles suddenly gets paranoid and twitchy after seeing the plumber sent to fix Frasier's toilet; Frasier asks him if he's "been self-medicating again".
  • Noodle Implements
    • "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"
      Sam: Hey listen... if you want to really put a smile on Maris's face let me tell you what you do.
      [He whispers into Niles' ear.]
      Niles: Exactly where am I supposed to find whipped cream and a car battery at this hour?
    • "Liar! Liar!"
      Bulldog: All right Doc, I'm going to need a blindfold, whipped cream and a glass coffee table.
      [Everyone looks mystified]
      Bulldog: What? Nobody went to camp?
  • No Party Given: During a Congressional election, neither candidate's party affiliation is revealed. It's likely the same reason Kelsey Grammer did this in Boss: both parties are capable of the same things.
  • No Sympathy: Daphne tries to defy this one in "Daphne Does Dinner"; after trying to throw a normal dinner party without the Cranes screwing it up as usual, she of course manages to screw it up, but when the offended guests start to collect their coats, she gives an impassioned speech about trying to salvage a nice, civilised dinner despite all the hijinks. Just as she's talked them round, a bed falls through the ceiling.
    • Played straight with Martin, who typically has a lot of trouble empathizing or sympathizing with his sons. When they were bullied as children, he never helped them, saying it was their own fault for being such easy targets.
  • Not in Front of the Parrot: Niles gets a cockatoo just before holding a housewarming dinner party for his new neighbours. Just as the primary problem (it's been clutching tightly onto his scalp all episode and he's been hiding in the kitchen) is being painlessly resolved, the bird starts quoting random insults it's overheard over the course of the evening in front of all the guests.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: In "Frasier's Imaginary Friend", Frasier is dating a supermodel studying to be a zoologist. His family seems to think he's off his rocker and making it all up.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Aversion because both Frasier and Niles are psychiatrists. Sometimes the boys themselves forget this though, as when Frasier tries to give advice to the heart surgeon about to operate on Niles.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Interesting variation - Frasier often walks in on Niles and Daphne doing something completely innocent, unaware that out of context it looks like flirting.
    • In several cases however, in Niles' mind at least, it is flirting.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The sixth season episode "The Good Samaritan" revolves around exploring this concept, with Frasier suffering a series of painful, insulting and humiliating blowbacks from strangers he did good deeds for. At the climax of the episode, Frasier's young son asks him if this means we shouldn't try and help people, and, Frasier decides to continue stepping in and helping those in need, no matter the risk.
    • There's also the "Father of the Bride" episode where Roz advises Daphne to take back control of her wedding. Roz just agreed to be a bridesmaid after seeing Frasier's beautiful choice of dress. Naturally Daphne immediately describes how the first thing she'll change is the dress "The sleeves aren't even puffy."
  • No, You Go First: For the first six seasons, Niles tries to confess his love to Daphne, only to be preempted by one inconvenient thing after another. In the seventh season, their roles are reversed.
  • No, You Hang Up First: Niles plays this once with Maris during their reconciliation.

  • Obfuscating Disability: Double subverted in "Wheels of Fortune", with Lilith's con-man half-brother Blaine Sternin (played by Michael Keaton). Frasier suspects that Blaine is up to his old tricks by pretending he's had a religious conversion following a debilitating car crash. He goes so far as to push Blaine out of his wheelchair at his church service/fundraiser, only to get a call from Blaine's doctor who says that he's paralyzed for life. Fraiser apologizes and gives him an expensive peace offering; minutes later, it's revealed that Blaine really was faking all along.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Especially with Frasier. The amount of times he's done something dishonorable and tried to cover it up...
  • Oblivious to Love: Daphne to Niles in the first six in a half seasons. The roles are reversed in the second half of season seven.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Everyone related to Daphne. No wonder she moved to America.
  • Odd Friendship: Gil and Bulldog get on quite well, despite being about as different as two men can be.
  • Oedipus Complex: In the episode "Mamma Mia", everyone but Fraiser seems to notice that his new girl Mia bears an uncanny resemblance to his mother. When he has it pointed out to him, he's completely horrified.
  • Off on a Technicality: In "To Tell The Truth," Martin tells a story about how he started to read a criminal his rights, but the guy escaped before he could finish. In court, the criminal's lawyer asks if Martin read the crook his full rights, because if he didn't, the crook would walk free. Note that as the trope description indicates, this is a case of Hollywood Law, as in Real Life Martin would not have to read him his rights at the moment of arrest. Especially since Martin witnessed the crime, meaning they wouldn't even have to interrogate him.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Roz in "Halloween", big time. Probably also counts as Hell-Bent for Leather.
  • Offstage Villainy: In one episode, Niles assures Daphne that Maris will never come between them again. That's only half-true. Maris did famously cause a lot of problems for Niles, but she barely touched Daphne. Plus it was because of Maris's outrageous antics that Daphne met Donny. Mel, on the other hand...
  • Oh, Cisco!: The silent gag that runs over the credits at the end of each episode.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: A Left the Background Music On variation when Frasier goes to Bebe's hotel room and there's a choir singing outside the window. While she tries to seduce him, he throws open the window to get some air just as the choir hits a particularly ominous crescendo, accompanied by sweeping red floodlights.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The Cranes (and later Daphne) have the most excellent method of sneaking full conversations under people's noses in this manner.
  • One Steve Limit: For a while, Daphne knew the men on the show as Dr. Crane, Dr. Crane and Mr. Crane. The Running Gag of this confusion culminated in one episode, when she overhears Frasier admit that he loves her (platonically) and would miss her if she moved out and Martin confirms that he's in love with her, thinking that by 'Dr. Crane' she meant Niles.

    A more typical variation might go like this:
    Daphne: "Thank you Dr. Crane. Shame on you, Dr. Crane, why can't you be more like Dr. Crane?"
    Marta (Maris' housekeeper): "Missy Crane say, no you Dr. Crane, no other Dr. Crane, and no Crane with a cane!"
    • After Daphne finds out from Frasier that Niles loves her:
    Daphne: "Yeah, but he doesn't know it...I can't very well discuss it with Dr. Crane. He's so close to Dr. Crane. If I told him, he might tell Dr. Crane and Dr. Crane might feel embarrassed."
    Roz: "Yeah, why confuse things?"
  • Oop North: Daphne. All of her family members had different accents. Once parodied by Marty, who actually does a very decent impression, which isn't entirely surprising since John Mahoney grew up in Blackpool and Manchester before emigrating to the US.
  • Outhumbling Each Other: Frasier's rivalry with Cam Winston ends up getting to this point, with the two each making concessions to the other in the name of a truce.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: In "Halloween" Frasier and Daphne have a hushed discussion about Roz's possible pregnancy. Naturally, Niles manages to overhear just enough to make him believe that Daphne is pregnant with Frasier's child.
  • Overcomplicated Menu Order: Zig-Zagged in an episode where, before Martin gets to the coffee house (Martin being a more down-to-earth food kind of person) Niles orders him a biscotti "but when you bring it to the table call it a cookie." The waitress dutifully brings it, only for Martin to correct her, and then Niles has the nerve to scold her for being patronising.
    Martin: I think this thing's called a biscotti.
    Niles: Yes, don't talk down to the man.
    • "My Coffee with Niles" is a particularly funny example. Frasier orders a decafe non-fate Zimbabwe latte with no cinnamon but neglects to tell the waitress the entire order. She ends up bringing him coffee four times before he is satisfied.
    • The waitstaff bring this on themselves in one episode when they start passing orders along via call-and-response. Niles orders a "double-short, low-fat, no-foam latte;" it morphs into "double-short, no-fat, low-foam," and it happens again after Niles corrects them.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: In "Door Jam," Niles has to pretend to be Cam Winston for reasons irrelevant, so he attempts an impression of Cam's deep voice to fool the receptionist at the desk. Frasier isn't too impressed by it.
    Frasier: That's the worst Cam Winston impression I've ever heard!
    Niles: You've heard a another one?
    Frasier: No...
    Niles: Then it's the best!
  • Pensieve Flashback: Within "Daphne Returns" Frasier and Niles discuss how Niles puts Daphne on a pedestal.
  • Phallic Weapon: See Freud Was Right above, when Frasier accuses Niles of using antique purchases to deflect his sexual frustration. Niles is defensive, but then considers that one of his purchases was a Civil War era ramrod, and concedes that Frasier may have a point.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: Daphne's knowledge of Niles' feelings. Sometimes it seems obvious that she must know (or at least suspect), while other times the plot only makes sense if she hasn't got the slightest idea (for example, overhearing that "Dr. Crane" is in love with her and assuming it's Frasier).
  • Poor Communication Kills: Naturally, in a farce.
    • Lampshaded when a particularly contrived misunderstanding has Niles and Frasier both convinced the other is after their date;
      Daphne: Before it comes to that, wouldn't it make sense for the two of you to have one open and honest conversation?
    • The Wham Line in "Back Talk" is a result of this, courtesy of Daphne's tendency to refer to both Frasier and Niles as "Dr. Crane" in the early seasons. When she overhears Frasier say he loves her (platonically) and needs to tell her before she marries Donny and moves out, she tells Martin that she overheard "Dr. Crane" say he was in love with her. Martin logically assumes she means she overheard Niles say he was in love with her, and says he's kept his mouth shut for six years and refuses to get involved further. He then tells Frasier that Daphne knows Niles is in love with her, only for Frasier to realise she must have been referring to him when she said "Dr. Crane" said he was in love with her, as she hasn't seen Niles all day. He clears the air with Daphne, but as he falls under the influence of some painkillers for his back, Daphne asks him why, when she told Martin that "Dr. Crane" said he was in love with her, he said it had been going on for six years...
      Frasier: [getting ever more loopy from the painkillers] Oh, that. He meant Niles!
      Daphne: [thunderstruck] WHAT?!
      Frasier: Niles!... He's crazy about you...
      Daphne: [to herself] Dr. Crane?note  [to Frasier] Dr. Crane?note  [no use; Frasier has fallen asleep]
    • "Whine Club" features a cascade of poor communication leading to the evisceration of Mel and her relationship with Niles; Frasier has invited her over to brunch, and she has left a bad impression on Frasier, Daphne, Roz, and Martin. Martin insists that it's not their place to drive them apart, and suggests they keep their true opinions secret. However, Daphne is out of the room when this agreement is made, so when Niles asks what everyone thought of Mel, Daphne is the first to answer, calling her "bossy and fussy and mean." Martin bundles her into the kitchen as Roz returns from the balcony just in time to hear Frasier talk about women forming irrational dislikes of each other. Offended, she tells Niles that she found Mel "pushy, demanding, and a gigantic pain in the ass." Niles notes that this is two people in the "anti-Mel camp", leading Roz to ask Frasier if this means he told Niles what he thought... forcing Frasier to admit that he finds Mel a manipulative second coming of Maris. An outraged Niles asks a returning Martin what his reasons are for disliking Mel, prompting Daphne to exclaim, "So you did tell him what you think of her!"
    • Played with in an episode where Niles tries to throw a dinner party, only to have his pet cockatoo get caught in his hair. Niles spends most of the party hiding in his kitchen, afraid of what his guests will think - except they actually turn out to be remarkably understanding and good-natured about the situation once it's revealed. And then the bird starts parroting insults about the guests it had overheard in the kitchen....
  • Poor Man's Porn: Frasier talks about sharing a room with Niles and being kept up all night by him looking at National Geographics under the bedcovers - Niles asserts he was looking at the maps, but Frasier insists that this is what made it so weird. This trope is used a lot.
    Niles: Well, I've got a crisis. Tomorrow's Mel's birthday and I'm planning a very romantic evening but my Gaggenau is on the fritz.
    Martin: (disgusted) Oh jeez, I don't need to hear this!
    Frasier: Dad! It's a stove!
    Martin: I know! Six burners and a griddle. Don't you guys ever talk about cars?
    • A lot.
      (Frasier and Niles are peeping through a telescope into someone's apartment.)
      Frasier: Oh my God... breathtaking.
      Niles: (impatient) Well, don't be greedy! Your turn was over forty seconds ago!
      Frasier: All right, all right, Niles, all right. [steps away] It's the penthouse unit, fourth from the left.
      Niles: (swooning) Oh, mama!
      Martin: You two know that what you're doing isn't right, don't you?
      Frasier: We're simply admiring a very rare Brancusi armchair, not a naked woman.
      Martin: (sighing) That's what I'm talking about.
    • Kenny Daly suffers from lowered expectations. When he asks Roz to buy "man and wife stuff" for him.
      Kenny: I'm supposed to stop on the way home and pick up some new... underthings for my wife.
      Frasier: So?
      Kenny: So? Every time I'm in one of those places I start thinking about... you know... man-and-wife stuff. I turn all red, I start to sweat, I hyperventilate. Try getting somebody to wait on you when you look like that.
      Roz: Well, sorry, Kenny, but I am not going to Victoria's Secret for you.
      Kenny: Victoria's Secret? Whoa, whoa, Rockefeller, I'm talking Kmart!
    • Later:
      Kenny: Fine. I'll go myself. Why do they have those mannequins so damn sexy?
  • Prenup Blowup: Niles during his divorce describes the depths to which Maris would stoop for the trial.
    Niles: When we were courting, I sent her a Valentine that said: "You're the girl my heart adores, everything I have is yours". Now they're calling it a pre-nup.
  • Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: Which includes "*bleep* off."
  • Present Peeking: In "Mary Christmas," everyone who isn't Frasier unwrap their presents while he's hosting the Christmas Parade. On hearing him claim that his family never peek at their gifts Martin, Daphne and Niles hurriedly start to wrap things up again.
  • Pretty in Mink: Not shown, but it's mentioned that Maris has an ermine lap robe, and her sister has an ermine muff (that she used to smuggle a chihuahua into an opera).
  • Prima Donna Director: Frasier becomes one during the "Nightmare Inn" incident. His constant critiques drive the voice actor he hired for the smaller parts to quit during the rehearsal. Niles, who predicted this would happen as soon as he heard about the play, is drafted as the actor's replacement and by the intermission is threatening to walk out because of Frasier's behaviour.
  • The Profiler: Martin met Hester while she was doing forensic psychology for the Seattle PD.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Dan Butler, who plays Bulldog in the show, got promoted to regular status in Seasons 4 through 6, with his name appearing in the opening credits (only when he's in the episode however) and appearing in promotional material alongside the rest of the main cast.
  • Prophetic Names: Lilith. If you have a little information on that name, a lot of jokes about the character become a lot more understandable.
  • Punchline: Not just the typical sitcom kind, but on a large scale as well. Many episodes are built entirely to set up the last scene as one big payoff, typically in the form of Frasier's grandiose speeches coming out all wrong.
  • Punched Across the Room: Invoked by Niles, who riles up a guy threatening to charge Frasier with assault until he gives Niles a light poke in the chest. Cue a wild, over-the-top and attention-grabbing pratfall that takes several coffee tables out with it... and when Frasier goes to help him up, he whispers, "Countersuit!"
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In the episode "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon", after being insulted by Niles, Frasier declares, "I. AM. WOUNDED!"
  • Pun-Based Title: Lots of episodes. A particularly contrived example is the one where Roz works in a retirement home and is traumatised when two of the residents drop dead right in front of her, titled "Roz's Krantz and Gouldenstein are Dead".
    • Shrink Rap
    • Chess Pains
    • Where There's Smoke There's Fired
    • Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven
    • Dad Loves Sherry, The Boys Just Whine
    • A Tsar is Born
    • Whine Club
    • Mary Christmas
    • Hooping Cranes
    • It Takes Two To Tangle
    • The Wizard And Roz
    • Bla-Z-Boy
    • Mother Load
    • War Of The Words
    • Frasier Has Spokane
    • Star Mitzvah
    • Bristle While You Work
    • No Sex Please, We're Skittish
    • Guns N' Neuroses
    • Freudian Sleep
  • Punny Name:
    • The Shoutout to the creators in the station's name (KACL) is an inadvertent pun (cackle).
    • "Hola, my name is Woody Wizwell."
  • Put on a Bus: Kate Costas (Mercedes Ruehl was uncomfortable with the routine of doing a weekly sitcom), and Julia Wilcox (the writers were not happy with the Season 10 romantic triangle between Frasier, Julia, and Roz).

  • Queer as Tropes: The show pioneered the use of homosexual characters acting in a non-stereotypical manner as a normal part of everyday life, and employed openly gay actors who did not necessarily play gay characters in the show. In fact, "The Matchmaker" won a GLAAD Award for those very reason. The only concession to regular stereotypical gay characters is Gil, and even he was used in ways which subverted those stereotypes.
  • Radio Drama: In "Ham Radio", Frasier takes the reins and drives the cast to distraction.
  • Radio Voice: All the callers to Frasier's show, which is quite logical (and disguises the fact that many of them are uncredited cameos). Interesting in that some of the dialogue for those scenes is written, some is ad-libbed to give it a more believable feeling of sponteneity.
  • Rage Breaking Point: A popular device used by the show is to have Frasier put up with a lot of nonsense, often lecturing the people on his side to keep their cool in the face of it, only for the offending side to somehow insult Frasier's refined tastes and send him into a blind rage. See the examples under Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking.
  • Raging Stiffie: In "Frasier Gotta Have It", after Daphne tells a story of naked sunbathing and having sex with a fireman, Niles carefully stands up, and cautiously leaves Frasier's apartment without a word.
  • Ranked by I.Q.: Niles and Frasier are reminded that they took an IQ test as children, and all their mother would tell them is that they were two points apart, and when they discover the results in an old box, Niles reads them and announces that he has the higher score. When a suspicious Frasier insists on seeing the results for himself, he finds out that not only is Niles' score higher, but it's by considerably more than two points. He spends the rest of the episode worrying about being dumber than his brother.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: "Perspectives On Christmas". In this example, the characters' perspectives differed mainly in what they were able to see and how they interpreted certain lines of dialogue (as is the norm for misunderstandings on this show), rather than blatantly skewing things in their favor as in most comedic examples.
    • "Shrink Rap", in which both brothers undergo 'couples' counseling and outline the events which have led to their most recent relationship collapse. In general, they have a tendency to present themselves as being a bit more wise, thoughtful and put-upon than they probably would be in the real situation — and the other immediately calls them on it. There's also a rather amusing bit where Niles recounts a story Daphne told about a couple who would frequently experience The Immodest Orgasm right next to her bedroom wall at night, and her over-the-top efforts to show them up, culminating in this exchange:
      Frasier: Hold it! Niles, you know full well that Daphne merely told us that story, she did not act it out!
      Niles: (genuinely confused) ... Didn't she?
    • In Coots and Ladders:
      Niles: (holding Daphe peacefully) Our lives are so complete.
      Martin: (holding Ronee contentedly) We really are lucky.
      (back to current time)
      Frasier: (annoyed) Oh, please, that's not how it happened at all!
      Niles: (taunting Frasier with Daphne) Our lives are so complete!
      Martin: (taunting Frasier with Ronee) We really are lucky!
  • Ready for Lovemaking: The Maris Counselor. Parodied with a Room Shuffle when Niles discovers that his wife is having an affair with their marriage counselor. Each of them pops in and out of the room preparing such a romantic ambush for Maris, each thinking it's she who is adding the other elements. Naturally, they only discover their mistake once they've turned out the lights and jumped into bed together.
    Frasier: What tipped you off?
    Niles: The heat from her side of the bed!
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • In "Head Game", Niles helps a basketball player with his problems. Originally, it was Frasier who was going to help him, but Kelsey Grammer got into rehab and was unable to perform the role for that episode.
    • Niles' and Daphne's first child was changed from a girl to a boy and named David as a tribute to producer David Angell, who was killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks.
  • Real Time: Twice; in Season 1's "My Coffee With Niles" and Season 6's "Dinner Party".
  • Reality Ensues: In the episode "The First Temptation of Daphne," Roz's advice about "lying with confidence" hits an amusing snag:
    Heather Murphy: How could you "fly in from corporate"? Corporate's downstairs.
    (Roz gets a look that's a combination of Oh, Crap! and Didn't Think This Through)
    • The A-plot in that same episode also qualifies. Daphne looking through Niles' briefcase and reading his patient files isn't treated as a quirky bit of comedic jealousy - Niles is furious with her for breaching his patient's trust and privacy, as well as giving the implication that Daphne doesn't trust him either.
  • Really Gets Around: Roz.
    "Even the best birth control is only effective ninety-nine out of a hundred times. I can't beat those odds!"
  • Reclusive Artist: In-universe example in "A Crane's Critique", which centres around Martin befriending an acclaimed One-Book Author, and his sons trying vainly to get on the man's good side (and of course, making him hate them more with every attempt). When he and Martin go to Duke's, Frasier remarks, "They'll probably bump into J. D. Salinger and Salman Rushdie and go out for margaritas!" Ultimately, they unintentionally convince him his new book is derivative and he destroys it.
  • Recurring Extra:
    • Watch a few episodes in the earlier seasons and you'll begin to notice that the barista at the coffee shop is nearly always the same one (played by Luck Hari), particularly when the coffee order becomes a plot point or a joke. Especially notable in the Season One finale ("Coffee With Niles"), and recurs in eleven episodes between 1994 and 1997.
    • In later seasons a barista called James became a regular fixture at the coffee shop, often interacting with the main cast.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Niles' contribution for Frasier when a man threatens to sue him after he gets forcibly removed from Cafe Nervosa is to have the man lightly shove him, then flail around for a second as if he got pushed hard before crashing onto a table. It's overacted, cheesy, and completely ridiculous, and everyone buys it.
    • When it becomes obvious that Daphne and the Crane boys have no idea how to sneak Daphne back over the US-Canada border, Martin essentially says "screw the plan" and decides to Confess to a Lesser Crime by claiming Eddie isn't up to date on his rabies shots. By that point, the border patrol agents are so sick and tired of them that they couldn't care less, and they're let off with a warning.
  • Removed from the Picture: A portrait of Niles and Maris (unseen, of course). Following their separation, Niles hits the roof when he discovers he's been painted out with a tree. Well, not quite - Frasier, wincing, tells Niles not to look at the face of the skunk in the undergrowth.
  • Renaissance Man: Dr. Clint Webber — "let's see, he told us about the time he learned to fly a plane, he recited a sonnet, he fixed my icemaker and he invented a new drink, the 'Pink Webber'!"
  • Replacement Flat Character: Former Trope Namer, The Niles.
    • Lampshaded by Sam Malone.
      Sam: (to Frasier) Wow... man, this is freaky. He looks just like you did when I met you. (beat, amused) What happened, huh?
      Frasier: (smiling) Wasn't exactly a health club you were running there, Sam.
    • In a strange way, Mel is the Replacement Flat Character for Maris - they share the exact same characteristics and personality, only Mel conforms to human proportions, unlike the impossible-to-cast Maris. Frasier even tells Niles that he's replacing Maris with another version of her.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Frasier literally composed a speech to tell his Shock Jock hecklers in "Radio Wars" with a barrage of literary quotes. In action, he could barely get a sentence in as the jocks began to have a falling out.
  • Reset Button: In "Taking Liberties", the family being spoiled rotten by Frasier's new butler doesn't teach them any lessons, and nor does it fail spectacularly; he just quits, having had a quiet Blithe Spirit experience of his own.
    • Daphne is made aware of Niles' attraction to her at least twice before Frasier spilled the beans, in Season 4's "Daphne Hates Sherry" and Season 5's "Ski Lodge." She either forgot or ignored these instances, as The Reveal in Season 7 came to her as a complete and utter shock.
    • Receiving the Seattle Broadcasting Lifetime Achievement Award in Season 8 results in a mental crisis for Frasier, after which (in a later episode) Frasier says that he's getting informal therapy from his mentor Dr. Tewksbury. While Dr. Tewksbury indeed makes another appearance, the actual crisis and the possible solution to it is never brought up again.
  • Restaurant-Owning Episode: In "The Innkeepers," Frasier and Niles attempt to open up an exclusive high-end eatery only to meet with typically disastrous results due to their lack of preparation and inexperience in the food service industry.
  • Retcon: Back on Cheers, the only family Frasier ever mentioned were his mother and dead father, both scientists. Awkwardness ensues for Frasier when Sam meets his brother and father in season 2, at which point the issue is hand waved by a claim that he and Martin were fighting when he said that. It leads to this memorable quote, after Martin is first offended to learn he was "dead" but also a "scientist" as if Frasier were ashamed of his working-class job (cop) and Frasier retorts: "You were dead-what did it matter?"
  • Revisiting the Cold Case: In one episode, Martin digs up a murder case he was unable to solve as a police officer. He tries looking into it with the help of Daphne, Frasier, and Niles. While he's out of the room, Frasier proposes an unusual but plausible solution to the murder and suggests rearranging the crime scene photos to inspire Martin to come to the same conclusion. It works and Martin manages to solve the murder but the actual solution is not the one Frasier came up with.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: The Cranes, but especially Maris.
    • In Niles' case, it also comes with a dose of Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training, as evidenced by a couple of lines from Frasier.
      Frasier: (incredulously) "Pumping iron." Niles, you don't even pump your own gas.
    • And in the episode "She's the Boss,"
      Niles: I just thought Maris would be a little more comfortable if I was packing some heat.
      Frasier: "Packing some heat"? For Heaven's sake, Niles, you don't even know how to pack a lunch.
    • Frasier once combined it with Innocently Insensitive. In "Daphne Returns," his present to Daphne for coming home from weight loss camp is a machine that plays the sound of a pig squealing loudly when she opens the refrigerator. Yeah, real PhD material right there. On the other hand, it was rather worth it to hear Daphne jump on it and smash it the second time it went off.
  • Right Through the Wall: At least twice; once when Daphne is talking about how she shut up her loud neighbours by faking sex noises, and once when Frasier thinks Lilith is having sex in the next room, so moans and jumps on the bed so she thinks his sex is hotter than hers.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: When driving home from work, Frasier notices a statuesque woman standing on a street corner. Being the gentleman he is, he offers her a lift. The moment she gets in his car, police lights flash, and he's arrested for soliciting a prostitute. In jail, he asserts that he was just giving her a ride, but the cops don't believe him. When Niles and Martin come to bail him out (disgusted that he would be so immoral) the prostitute is led out of the other interrogation room, no longer wearing "her" wig, and apologizes (in a now more masculine voice) for getting Frasier in trouble. The look on all three of their faces is priceless. (Martin: (to Frasier) You're my son and I love you.) This comes from an incident when Eddie Murphy was caught picking up a transsexual hooker, and insisted that he was just giving her a ride home.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies. In "Ham Radio", Niles got so upset at Frasier's over-directing a radio play, he decided to take action.
    Niles: Okay, that's it. Never mind all that. I'm just going to take this gun off the table. (fake gunshot) So long, O'Toole; I guess we'll never get to hear your fascinating piece of the puzzle. (two fake gunshots) Or yours, Kragan and Peppo! Could the McCallister sisters stand back to back? I'm a little short on bullets. (fake gunshot) Thank you. (to Roz) What was your name again, dear?
    Roz: Mithuth Thorndyke. (fake gunshot)
    Niles: Thank you. Oh, and also Mr. Wing. (fake gunshot, and sound of muted bell on Mr. Wing's hat) And, of course, one final bullet for myself, so the mystery will die with me. (fake gunshot. Niles taunts Frasier) HA.
  • Romancing the Widow: Martin starts dating Claire, the widow of his friend and fellow policeman Stan, and wonders whether he should feel guilty about it. Frasier doesn't help matters when he runs into them at Cafe Nervosa and recalls that Martin often said he only made it through the police academy because of Stan, that Stan loaned Martin the money to buy his first car, and that he introduced Martin and Hester to each other... and, to cap it all off, Stan named his and Claire's son after Martin.
  • Romantic False Lead: A recurring scenario is Frasier having a romantic misadventure, so there are plenty of these. Donny and Mel, who were actually developed characters; plus numerous other minor characters such as Julia Wilcox.
  • Room Shuffle: A staple, in various forms. A few plots take it Up to Eleven;
    • The page quote, "Don't the doors in this bloody place lock?" comes from the episode where Niles and Daphne try confessing their feelings to each other, but are constantly interrupted.
    • An episode featuring a Love Dodecahedron in a ski lodge.
    • Niles and Maris' lover both alternately preparing a Ready for Lovemaking scenario under the mistaken impression that Maris is the other person in the suite.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: This ends up happening to an ad Niles places in the paper. Great Hilarity Ensues. Because of one simple typo resulting in one word being a different word than was intended ("hung" instead of "Jung"), the ad reads: "Niles Crane. Hung specialist.note  Servicing individuals, couples, groups. Satisfaction guaranteed. 'Tell me where it hurts.'"
    Frasier: Any calls?
    Niles: It's a telethon.
  • Rousing Speech: In Frasier's mind EVERY speech and piece of advice he has given fits, but often other chracters will just tell him to be quiet. Sometimes played straight.
    • It's played especially straight in the last episode.
  • Rule of Funny: There is no "Daphne Lane" in Seattle where Niles could find a street sign to steal (nor Maple Street, the intersection where he tries), but obviously you'd lose this plot if it were realistic.
    • This is why there's a huge metal frame blocking the door in "Kisses Sweeter than Wine". Real contractors don't block the only exit from a home, in case of fire.
    • This rule seems to dictate whether or not Martin, Niles and Daphne listen to Frasier's radio show. In many episodes, it's a blow to Frasier's ego that his family can't be bothered to listen. But if Frasier has been embarrassed on the air in any way, then you can bet that they will be portrayed as avid radio listeners for that episode, though just as often they've happened to hear about Frasier's radio embarrassments from other radio programs or people.
  • Runaway Bride: Deconstructed. Daphne abandons Donny and exits with Niles in a Winnebago during the second part of the two-part episode "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue". While they are decent enough to face up the their jilted lovers in the episodes that follow, they both get put through the wringer to atone for the hurt they caused; Donny shows the ruthless shark tendencies he was introduced with and threatens to sue both Daphne and Frasier, while socialite Mel forces Niles to make a show of their marriage before she'll allow him a divorce.
  • Run for the Border: Presumably in order to avoid either a lengthy trial plot or a What Happened to the Mouse? hanging thread, the subplot about Maris murdering her Argentine boyfriend is wrapped up when she flees to her family's private island from which she can't be extradited.
  • Running Gag: Numerous.
    • When Niles wants to leave a scene, he'll mention a seminar or group that he's got to visit, usually one that pertains to the very awkward situation he wants to leave, and wrapped up with some ironic remark. He's invariably lying, and starts running out of ideas after several seasons.
      "I have to go, or my compulsive gamblers will start betting the passive aggressives that they can't make... the overeaters....... cry."
    • Eddie staring at Frasier, especially when he's depressed or something in his life has gone horribly wrong.
    • Daphne and Niles being caught in compromising positions.
    • Frasier giving terrible advice on his show because he has been distracted, like falling asleep while listening to an insomniac, then waking up and telling her to sleep on her problem, or sprinting late into the studio and breathing heavily at a woman being frightened by harassing phone calls.
    • The distaste the two brothers have for Martin's tatty but beloved easy chair.
    • The possibility that Bebe is pure evil, if not actually the Devil incarnate.
      Frasier: "She has no scruples, no ethics, and no reflection!"
      • Then:
        Bebe: If things don't work out, you know my number.
        Frasier: Still 666, is it?
      • In "The Devil And Dr Phil", Bebe's room number is 666.
      • In the final episode "Goodbye, Seattle":
        Frasier: I can't say I blame you, it's like the Ninth Circle of Hell out there!
        (Bebe breezes in.)
        Bebe: (cheerful) Don't you love this weather or what?
      • In Roz's Turn, when Roz considers taking Bebe on as an agent:
        Roz: It's not like she worships the Devil.
        Frasier: Well, she doesn't have to! He worships her!
    • Lilith's being cold and unemotional; even by Frasier.
      Niles: I learned that if you kiss her too quickly, you get an ice cream headache.
    • References to how thin and delicate Maris is.
      Roz: I don't see her, maybe she went back out. Oh, wait. I see her coat on a hat rack.
      Frasier: Look closer... is the hatrack moving?
      Roz: Oh my GOD!
    • Cheap shots at how "easy" Roz is, usually by Niles.
      Roz: I'm helping Frasier find a man for Daphne.
      Niles: What?
      Roz: Here we go! He's a tennis instructor, and his name is Brick.
      Niles: Dear God, Frasier - Sven, Gunther, Brick? Why not just lather Daphne up with baby oil and hurl her over the wall of a prison yard?
      Roz: Excuse me, but I've dated all these guys.
      Niles: Well, where do you think I came up with the imagery?
      • Even by Roz herself. "Even the best birth control is only effective ninety-nine per cent of the time. I can't beat those odds."
    • Martin's (often unexpected) references to his time in the Korean War.
      • Also his incessant overexplaining of things that everyone already understands, even after they keep insisting that they already get it.
    • Frasier's son Frederick's infatuation with Daphne, much to Niles' (hilarious) jealousy.
    • Dinner parties thrown by the Cranes fail miserably and without exception. After season ten's Noodle Incident mentioned above, Daphne tries to buck the trend by planning one instead of Niles. Her party ends with her mother and a famous artist crashing through the ceiling on Niles' and Daphne's bed, proving that she married into the family curse.
      Frasier: Congratulations, Daphne. You're now officially a Crane.
    • Both brothers suffer adverse physical reactions when they lie or act against their ethical principles: Frasier's stomach turns and Niles' nose bleeds.
    • In Season 11's "Murder Most Maris", Frasier constantly using the trauma of "getting punched in the face by a man... who is now dead" as an excuse to get out of uncomfortable situations.
    • How what Niles and Frasier grew up to be clashes with Martin's more masculine, down-to-earth nature.
    • A character's attempt at a "graceful exit." In season one, when Lilith approaches Frasier with a letter she thought he wrote, then it turns out he wrote it well before he left Seattle, she says "I just want to leave with the rest of my dignity." As she's leaving, her purse gets shut in the door. In season three, Niles gives a long speech about their dead Aunt, stating he'd like to show her he got something right. After he closes the door, he returns to retrieve the ashes he forgot in the heat of his speech.
      Niles: (to urn) Oh, shut up.
    • In the first half of the show, there's a subtle one in which Daphne always gets stuck lugging heavy items around while Niles and/or Frasier handle lightweight stuff or stand around idly. At one point Frasier sends her to the storeroom for a huge box of books…because he wants *one* of them.
    • On several occasions, Frasier's preparing a dinner date in his home for his Girl of the Week, and as the doorbell rings, Frasier dims the lights a bit, turns on the music and even rhythmically moves to the music for a bit before opening the door - only for the person behind the door to not be his date after all, resulting in Frasier turning off the music.

  • Sacrificial Lamb: Father Mike, a recurring character in the first two seasons, gets fired and Put on a Bus in the first episode of the third season just because the newly-arrived Kate Costas doesn't feel the need for a religious talkshow on the station, showing right away what a Bad Boss she is.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: A rare case of Frasier fudging (or at least not being characteristically pedantic about) a classical reference; he refers to a hot day as "like the "Ninth Circle of Hell". This is a reference to Dante's Inferno, where the Ninth Circle is described as being incredibly cold. It was referenced correctly in another episode with cold weather, to boot.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Frasier's complete opposite "Doctor" Mary, who falls into the "pleasant" version of this trope. Frasier's impersonation of her for a role-playing exercise is such an offensive caricature of this trope it's impossible not to laugh.
    Niles: [wearily] She's not going to say "massa".
  • Say My Name:
    • When Roz reveals she's had an embarrassing one-night stand (but won't say with whom), and Bulldog bursts in, crudely complimenting her on an amazing night.
    Roz: [angrily] Bulldog!
    Frasier: [shocked] Bulldog!?
    Roz: [weary] Bulldog...
    Bulldog: [triumphantly, fists in the air] BULLDOG!
    • Frasier upon realizing that his upstairs neighbor has pranked him yet again:
    Frasier: CAM WINSTON!
  • Scandalgate: A "Spritzergate" is mentioned briefly at a wine club meeting.
  • Scifi Ghetto: Just one of the many butts of Frasier's snobbishness, epitomized in the show's resident nerd and Butt-Monkey, Noel, an obsessive and awkward man-child. In "Star Mitzvah", Frasier visits a sci-fi convention and spends the entire time disdaining the genre and its fans — but gets his comeuppance when Noel translates his speech for his son's bar mitzvah into Klingon instead of Hebrew. In "The Show Must Go Off", Frasier and Niles try to "rescue" a beloved actor from the terrible fate of the Ghetto and patronise his return to theatre... only to find out he's actually dreadful. (The series tended to refer to Star Trek, as they shared a production company and actors, not the least of which was Kelsey Grammer, who had a memorable bit role in one of the most praised episodes — as did his onscreen ex-wife and his Cheers co-star.)
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Something of a Recycled Script; seems the Cranes had no shortage of bullies.
    • In one episode, Niles recognises the plumber who comes round to fix his toilet as a guy who bullied him at school, and Frasier advises him to settle the matter peacefully. He gives the affable ex-bully Epiphany Therapy that reveals his Freudian Excuse and elicits a tearful apology. Meanwhile, Frasier recognises the plumber's brother as the guy who bullied him, and as the guy obliviously recounts all the pranks he played on his personal Butt-Monkey at school, Frasier gets angrier and angrier until he eventually dunks the guy's head down the toilet.
    • Played with in another episode, where they find out a bully who they falsely accused of setting off a fire alarm got expelled as a result, and he's now in prison.
  • Screaming Birth: The cabdriver in "Flour Child", Daphne in "Goodnight Seattle".
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Both Frasier and Niles scream like a girl.
    • In the episode "Boo!", after Martin startles Frasier:
      Ronee: You called it: he does scream like a woman.
      Frasier: I do not scream like a woman. It was a manly, throaty wail.
      Niles: [walking in] Frasier, you may want to call security. As I got off the elevator, I thought I heard a woman screaming.
    • In the episode "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", after a womanly high pitched scream was heard.
      Daphne: Are you all right?
      Niles: Yes. I just jumped into bed with your mother.
      Daphne: Oh, dear. No wonder she screamed.
      Niles: That wasn't her.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Tobor, Jackson Headley's science-fiction character in "The Show Must Go Off".
  • Separated by a Common Language: There are plenty of "British Inherently Funny Words" jokes at Daphne's expense, some of them more accurate than others. "Bumbershoot", for example, is an old American slang term that would baffle anyone you tried it on in the UK. What's wrong with "brolly"?
    Daphne: (after Frasier reacts to her saying Martin "knocked her up" this morning) Knocked me up. Woke me up. Why? What does it mean here?
    Frasier: Something different, though you'd definitely be awake for it.
  • Series Continuity Error: The series maintains a loose continuity, where callbacks to previous episodes and seasons are usually made with Broad Strokes, but sometimes glaring errors manage to pop up:
    • In later seasons of the show, many of the characters talk about possibly pairing Eddie up with a girl dog (including a dog owned by a girl Martin's seeing). There's just one problem: Eddie was neutered in the second season. Eddie being neutered is still referred to in Season 3, but it's already forgotten come Season 4.
    • In Season 1, Martin states "I never had a brother." to no particular reaction from Frasier and Niles. In Season 5, Martin's brother Walt is introduced (for one episode only, never to be seen or mentioned again) and it's stated that they haven't been in contact with each other in 5 years due to a feud between Frasier and Walt's wife.
    • In Season 5, Roz is mentioned to have started hosting her own segment in a health show by Dr. Clint Webber. A few episodes later, Dr. Webber is introduced for the first time to both Frasier and Roz (not to mention that Roz's segment is not mentioned in this or any other episode ever again).
    • In early Season 9, Martin and Frasier are talking about a woman named Lisa, describing her as an attractive dark-haired temptress who works at the bookstore. Later in the season, it is Niles who knows her instead and tries to hook her up with Frasier. However, by that point Lisa (still dark-haired and attractive) had become the owner of the bookstore while Frasier doesn't know her and has never been to her store to begin with. Oddly enough, both episodes were written by the same person.
    • Frederick is explicitly mentioned to be/have turned 13 years old in both Seasons 8 and 10.
  • Serious Business: If Frasier or Niles are unhappy with something, no matter how insignificant and petty, they will go to any lengths to change it to suit their tastes.
    • When Fredrick goes to the national spelling bee, they train him on posture, endurance and breathing, there are accusations of cheating, and it spills out into the streets.
    • The Crane Brothers have a strange inclination to run their wine clubs like a government, up to and including having a three-branch system. Which is probably why in one episode a wine club member quipped "I remember when we used to come here to drink."
    • Bebe really likes smoking, maybe a little too much; see Does This Remind You of Anything? above.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
    • A lot of humor comes from Niles and especially Frasier speaking very formally:
    Frasier: What is my offense? What egregious sin have I committed, that I should be so maligned? Was I to just sit idly by and watch these two misguided souls embark on doomed relationships? Would they have thanked me for that? Not very likely, I dare say.
    Martin: Who moved the mustard?
    • Daphne's boorish brother Simon can be pretty flowery as well, either naturally or possibly in a Stealth Parody of Frasier. Normally such a character would have Delusions of Eloquence, but he's perfectly capable of the real thing.
  • Seven Minute Lull: Used whenever there was a party, or other gathering of some sort.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Mentioned by Frasier when a rock star moves into the penthouse and plays his own music nonstop.
    Doesn't he ever stop for sex and drugs?!
  • Share the Male Pain: In one episode, Martin, Frasier, and Niles take Eddie to the vet to get fixed. The stinger during the credits shows all three men sitting in the vet's waiting room, subtly shielding their crotches.
  • Ship Tease: Frasier and Roz get this during a later episode, the scene card is titled 'Like Two Ships Sinking In The Night'. Which becomes relevant after Kenny intrudes on them, making them realize it was all a mistake just before they made it.
  • Shock Jock: Bulldog is one. "Radio Wars" had Frasier be a victim of two jocks hired on KACL, including a thousand dollar reward for whoever can take a picture of Frasier's derriere.
  • Shout-Out: A subtle one in "Flour Child"—the cab the cabbie gives birth in is number 804, the same number as the one in the Taxi titles and that crashes and burns in the first season finale. The creators of Taxi also created Frasier progenitor Cheers.
    • The sixth series episode Taps At the Montana is a homage to Monty Python's Flying Circus' "Dead Parrot" sketch. first Niles' pet parrot genuinely dies, then a guest at his dinner party dies too. In fact, the shenannigans about getting the body out un-noticed pays homage to a Fawlty Towers episode...
    • In "Three Days of the Condo", Frasier consults a "Mr. X" who tells him of a clandestine plan to unseat the current condo board president. In a dark parking garage. In case people don't get it, this segment is titled "Deep Ear, Nose and Throat" (Mr. X is revealed to be a doctor at scene's end).
    • One of the title cards in "Duke's, We Hardly Knew Ye":
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: An episode is titled "Roz's Krantz And Gouldenstein Are Dead". This is a reference to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (whose title is itself a line from Hamlet).
  • The Show Must Go On: In the "Ham Radio" episode, Frasier produces an old-time radio drama, but his heavy-handed directing style means he is stuck with an under-prepared cast including a stage-fright-stricken Bulldog, his dyslexic girlfriend, Large Ham Gil who insists on including his character's big speech after it's cut, Roz who's just had an emergency root canal, and Niles as all the dialect roles, which he wasn't informed about until just before air time. And then the sound effects start getting mixed up. Suffice to say, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Frasier often prefers to live like this, although the show spoofed it when he had to replace his dad's old comfy chair, and the materials were so out of date that the new chair cost a small fortune.
  • Show Within a Show: Many, most notably The Frasier Crane Show, The Gonzo Sports Show (Bulldog's show), and Restaurant Beat (Gil's show), but also several unnamed others featuring other KACL presenters, like Ray the Greengrocer and Trudy the Story Lady.
  • The Shrink: Frasier, of course. And Niles.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: First kiss of Niles and Daphne.
    • Frasier's explanation of his passionate kiss of KACL station manager Kate Costas in "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl".
      Frasier: You just kept talking and talking and talking, and I guess that mouth of yours just ticked me off so much I just had to have it!
    • Lampshaded by Frasier in "Analyzed Kiss" when kissed by Julia.
      Frasier: What was that?
      Julia: What?
      Frasier: You kissed me.
      Julia: I was trying to shut you up.
      Frasier: Oh, no. I've been kissed to shut me up before. This was not that.
    • Later in the episode:
      Frasier: Take your time, work things out. I’m not going anywhere. I realize that you’re in a vulnerable place right now, and that...
      (Julia puts one arm around his neck and gives him a quick peck on the lips.)
      Frasier: Oh, I recognize that one. That was to shut me up..
  • Sibling Rivalry: Niles and Frasier, and HOW.
  • Sibling Team: Especially common in the earlier seasons, Frasier and Niles would often pool their knowledge and resources in a joint venture such as a restaurant or investment opportunity, that would then backfire with farcical results. They even wrote a series of crime novels as children, in the style of Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys.
    Roz: "... The Nancy Boys?"
  • Sibling Triangle: The episode where Niles sleeps with Lilith.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Inverted - Frasier and Niles are very similiar. It's their dad they clash with.
  • Side Bet: Niles and Martin, after finding out Lilith's husband has left her... for a man.
  • Significant Reference Date: The date of the pilot is subtly referenced throughout the series. For example, in the fifth season, Martin says he hasn't seen his brother in five years.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: Frasier had a signature signoff at the end of his radio show: "Goodnight Seattle, and good mental health."
  • A Simple Plan: That often backfires because Frasier and Niles build up hundreds of assumptions without resolving the entire issue by simply asking questions of the people involved.
    • Daphne defied that once or twice by directly asking the people in question when she realized what Frasier and Niles were going to do.
      • Also double subverted on occasion where Daphne would suggest this course of action to Frasier or Niles and be ridiculed and dismissed.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Cam Winston. They eventually sign a truce, which is less complex than peace treaties signed by some warring nations.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: In "The Harassed", one that is a Mythology Gag and a Subversion / Take That! of the original "Are you as turned on as I am?" scene from Cheers between Sam and Diane.
    Frasier: I will not be belittled by a half-educated, money-grubbing parvenu!
    Julia: As opposed to some foreign-speaking windbag?
    Frasier: That makes you an insecure fraud!
    Julia: You are a pompous blowhard!
    Frasier: Harridan!
    Julia: Know-it-all!
    Frasier: Shrew!
    Julia: Snob!
    Frasier: (grabs her) Are you as turned on as I am?
    Julia: (disgusted) What?! Ew, NO! Did you just come on to me?!
    Frasier: What? No... No... I thought... I thought that you...
    Julia: Oh! How could you think I was turned on? What, are you sick?!
    Bulldog: Nobody's said "turned on" in twenty years."
  • Sleeping Single: Niles and Maris.
    Niles: I don't mind telling you we pushed our beds together that night! And that's no small task, her bed, as you know, is across the hall.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: A lot of the friction between Martin and his sons comes from his down-to-earth demeanour contrasted with their haughty, status-seeking attitudes. Over time some of their differences were resolved.
  • Slow "NO!": Frasier provides a hilarious example at the end of season six when his latest Snowball Lie is exposed.
  • Small Reference Pools: Inverted with gusto.
  • Smart People Play Chess:
    • In "Chess Pains", the effete intellectual Frasier predictably obsesses over the fact that blue-collar Martin keeps beating him in Chess. Martin explains that his years of experience as a police detective give him a leg up in the game.
    • In "The Perfect Guy", Frasier shows off his chessboard at a party, and explains that he's playing by mail with a Russian grandmaster. Clint Webber, who never even played the game but "read a book or two" about it, takes one glance at the board and accurately determines that Frasier is just four moves away from defeat.
    • Niles, being every bit as intellectual as his brother, also has a fondness for chess, which he played with Maris when they were married. Frasier, of course, can't help but crack wise.
    Niles: Maris and I used to play chess every Thursday night. Oh, how she loved the game.
    Frasier: No wonder: the king is stationary, while the queen has all the power!
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter!: At points of great dispair both Frasier and Niles have resorted to cursing the heavens.
    (a cricket keeps chirping in Frasier's apartment)
    Frasier: Dear God, can't you make him shut up?!
    Martin: (muttering) That prayer doesn't get answered around here.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Niles falls into this trap in Season 8 as part of his various attempts to humiliate himself in order to give Mel a reason to be the one to end their marriage. Everything he does ends up reflecting better on himself. For instance, at a dinner party he responds to one guest's request for a drink with a loud, rude declaration that the guest is an alcoholic... only for the guest to have an epiphany, realise that he actually is an alcoholic, and for him and his family to tearfully thank Niles and shower praise on him.
  • Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: In the episode "The Focus Group," 11 people gave Frasier good reviews while only one person gave him a bad review. Apparently, 11/12 isn't good enough for Frasier, and his efforts to find out why the guy doesn't like him ends with Frasier crushing the man's hand and burning down his newsstand.
  • Something Else Also Rises: All the time with Niles and Daphne. Such as when he spilled cream all over one of the tables at Cafe Nervosa.
    • In Daphne Hates Sherry, Daphne is staying over at Niles' apartment, and he walks over to his stereo to turn on some music when Daphne mentions that she needs to get out of her hot, sweaty clothes. Cue Niles hitting the Eject Disc button. Minutes later, she has a Marilyn Monroe moment in front of a fan, and Niles pops the cork on his champagne bottle.
    • "Doctor Crane! Your glockenspiel has sprung to life!"
    • Alistair (played by Patrick Stewart) thinks Frasier is gay. Alistair gets real close to Frasier while they dance while explaining how he feels when abstaining from sex:
    Alistair: How it sharpens the appetite! How it builds the intensity, the heat, the desire. Can you feel it?
    Frasier: [horrified] Oh yes, there it is!
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: Trying to assert his authority to call Frasier out on his White Guilt ("Niles, owning the CD of "Ella sings Gershwin" does not qualify you as a soul brother!"), Niles remarks that his first roommate at Yale was black. Frasier scoffs that being friends with "Huntington Treadwell III" doesn't necessarily give Niles much insight on African American culture.
    Niles: His father was a pioneer in Selma and Montgomery.
    Frasier: Yes, I believe he built golf courses all over the South!
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Niles, often.
    Niles: Look, I know I don't have your total support in this, but — how shall I put this?
    Frasier: You don't care?
    Niles: If you could work the phrase "rat's ass" into there, you'd have it.
    • Frasier gets in on this as well.
      Frasier: Bebe, throughout our relationship, I have put up with a lot, but I never doubted for an instant your devotion to my career. Apparently, that is at an end and so, therefore, is my association with this agency. And screw, may I add, you!
  • Space Whale Aesop: In-Universe — when Frasier challenges his father to give him a reason when perjury could be justified, his first response is "what if a comet was hurtling towards Earth, and the only way you could stop it was by lying under oath?"note  Subverted, though, as he goes on to give a very personal example from his own experience.
  • Spinoff: Arguably the most successful in TV history, repeating its predecessor's eleven-year streak and receiving the same critical appraisal.
  • Split Timelines Plot: "Sliding Frasiers" splits into two timelines based on whether Frasier wears a suit or a sweater to a speed dating event. While it initially appears that the suit timeline works out better for him, ultimately both end with him alone and dissatisfied.
  • Spoiled Brat: Maris, despite being a grown woman, is extremely selfish, petulant, and materialistic.
  • Spoof Aesop: Martin's subplot in the episode "Roe to Perdition." If an ATM accidentally gives you more money than you requested, don't tell.
  • Staging an Intervention: One occurs when Frasier is depressed from losing his job and refuses to acknowledge his feelings about it.
  • Status Quo Is God: The series has flipped between playing the trope straight and inverting it:
    • The end of Season Five has the radio personalities getting fired. Midway through the following season the status quo is resumed when all the personalities are re-hired — only for the trope to be Double Subverted when Bulldog gets fired for good a few episodes later, and never works as a radio host again.
    • The biggest aversion is Niles' love life, which sees him start out happily married to Maris, then estranged from her for a couple of years before finally divorcing her, leading into a brief, abortive relationship (and marriage) with Mel, and finally ending up with the woman he wanted all along, Daphne.
    • Frasier, however, is never able to find a permanent girlfriend, so that he can remain a bachelor. Similarly, Roz never has a relationship that lasts more than a few episodes, although she does have one life-changing event in the series when she gets pregnant and gives birth to her daughter, Alice.
    • Several episodes end with Frasier and/or Niles getting into situations where they clearly would have been arrested and likely gone to jail, and possibly lost their careers (see, for example, "Deathtrap" and "The Seal Who Came to Dinner"). But thanks to this and Rule of Funny, all is forgotten by the the next episode.
    • Martin's chair. In one episode it was destroyed and re-created at a considerable cost.
  • Stealth Pun: From "Ham Radio", the actor Mel White, whom Frasier even describes as "Man of a Thousand Voices".
  • Sticky Fingers: In one episode, the thrill with which a kleptomaniac caller describes her, ah, hobby, inspires Frasier, bored of his routine existence, to steal a medallion from his elderly neighbour while changing a lightbulb for her.
  • The Stinger: Every episode has a dialogue-free stinger played over the end credits with the Theme Song in the background. It was usually comedic and often featured a Call-Back to some joke or plot point from the episode. The two-part season seven finale - which was all about the drama around Daphne's wedding - just featured a camera pan over Frasier's darkened apartment.
  • Stock Episode Titles: Frequently played with, e.g. "My Coffee With Niles" and "Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast?"
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: This occasionally happens to Frasier and Niles, when they're around people even more snooty than themselves. Emphasis on the occasionally, and it should be mentioned that they're not so much bothered by extreme snobbishness as much as stereotypically insincere snobbishness — they have a genuine passion for all things high-cultured, intellectual, and ultra-refined, from academia to literature and the arts to proper etiquette to haute cuisine, and are disgusted by people who fake it.
  • Straight Gay: Short-term station manager Tom Duran, leading to a classic misunderstanding when Frasier invites him over to meet Daphne.
  • Strictly Professional Relationship: Frasier and Roz, who for ten long years failed to see the obvious. Even after they finally got it together, both were scared of destroying their friendship and never repeated the experience.
  • Strike Episode: The episode "Sleeping with the Enemy" involves the radio crew going on strike after they don't get their annual raise.
  • Stripper/Cop Confusion: Officer Nasty in "To Thine Old Self Be True", where Frasier attempts to organize a saucy bachelor party for Donny.
  • Stunned Silence: Kenny's initial reaction to Frasier's attempt at a jingle? He can only stare blankly and say "oh, wow" for several seconds. Frasier assumes this means he's impressed. He isn't.
  • Stylistic Suck: The script for the radio drama Frasier puts on in "Ham Radio" is a cheesy Cliché Storm with an All-Stereotype Cast and a ridiculously convoluted plot. That's not getting into the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that turn the performance into a disaster.
  • Such a Phony: Roz in "Shut Out In Seattle", Frasier in "Hot Ticket", many, many others.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Frasier does this a lot.
    Frasier: This morning you said you two met on a double date.
    Roz: Oh that's right, we did meet on a double date!
    Frasier: My God! What is wrong with me? Why can't I find a single woman who's interested in me?
    Roz: Those are two different questions, really, so we should just sit down and talk them both over. Oh, wait, I can't, BECAUSE I'M IN LABOUR!
  • Suck Out the Poison: Invoked. In "Impossible Dream," Martin recalls an Erotic Dream in which he's in the jungle with Jayne Mansfield; she gets bitten by a snake, and "You know what you do when you're bit by a snake, don't you?"
  • Sudden Name Change: The character Lorna Lynley was suddenly renamed to Lana after her first appearance to avoid referencing a real person.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: This comes into play in Frasier's disastrous live performance of "Buttons and Bows" in "Look Before You Leap". His original plan for the annual pledge drive at Seattle's PBS affiliate is to sing the song from memory (after having sung it from sheet music for several years), but then decides to be more adventurous and sing an aria from Rigoletto for which he manifestly does not have the vocal range. He finally switches back to singing "Buttons and Bows" from memory - only to discover the difficult way that he only remembers around 10% of the words. Rather than stop the song, pick up a lyric sheet, and start over, he decides to stay on the path to which he's committed himself of singing the song from memory, completely humiliating himself in the process.
  • Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: The room service guy who keeps walking in on Niles, Frasier and Lilith's Sibling Triangle. "Ooookay."
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: One episode has Martin and Frasier believing Niles is having a fling with Roz during a family weekend at a cabin. Niles plays along to cover the fact that he's trying to hook Roz up with Donny so Niles can be with Daphne.
    • When Bulldog is believed to be a hero that "saved" Roz's life from a gunman, Bulldog does nothing to contradict the story despite knowing full well he was actually using her as a Human Shield from the man he thought was the gunman.
  • Surprise Checkmate: In season 3's "Chess Pains" Martin continually makes these against Fraiser.
  • Surreal Theme Tune: "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs," sung by Kelsey Grammer, left many viewers scratching their heads. Word of God is that it was meant to symbolize the mixed-up minds of Frasier's callers.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Julia is basically Kate, only with far less likability and chemistry with Frasier.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: A mainstay throughout the series's run.
    • Roz swears that she did not use Frasier's opera glasses to peep on a muscular neighbor, which leads to this hilarious pun from Frasier:
      Frasier: I refuse to squint through Pagliacci while you're trying to watch The Magic Flute!
    • Roz: "Going to a wedding with your boss is like going to the prom with your brother."
    Frasier: Niles and I did not go to the prom together! Our dates were sick and we went stag!
    Niles: In retrospect, yes, we should have canceled the horse-drawn carriage, but hindsight is 20/20.
    • Often, while the Cranes are talking about something in the apartment, Daphne tosses out her own opinions, speculations and stories while going about her duty... a lot of which give the impression that this happened in her childhood. Sometimes she even finishes with a line like "Oh, I miss <insert family member>."
  • Sweater Girl:
    • One of Frasier's girlfriends was said to really fill out a mohair sweater in high school.
    • From Caught in the Act:
      Fraser: (upset Niles bought an expensive artisan sweater they both agreed not to buy) You can't even keep a simple sweater pact!
      Martin: Ah, Ronee, now there's a gal who can keep a sweater packed!
  • Take Our Word for It: Maris, when it became clear that no actual appearance of her could match the stories.
    • "The Show Where Woody Shows Up": In an homage to The Taming of the Shrew, Frasier describes the karaoke night with Gil, Noel and Woody ending in a rousing number of "Anything You Can Do." Subverted during the credits gag, when we see (but not hear) Gil and Noel's drunken duet.
    • Hilariously subverted with the painting of Niles as a satyr. For most of the episode, the face of the painting is kept away from the viewer - only to have the state trooper reveal it at the end when he seizes it as evidence since Maris used it as part of a gambit to flee the US to avoid her trial.
  • Talk About the Weather: In the episode "Boo!", Martin has had a heart attack and doesn't want Ronee to know. Ronee lampshades that she Hates Small Talk with her elderly mother - which prompts Martin to engage in it himself, trying to avoid the subject of his "cardiac event".
    Martin: No. So, uh, good weather over there in Spokane?
    Ronee: God, no. It rained the entire time. I basically just sat there and made boring small talk with my mother. God, I hate small talk.
    (awkward pause)
    Martin: Oh, tell me. Rained here some, too.
    This continues for some time util Ronee figures out something's wrong.
  • Talk About That Thing: "Niles/Daphne/Dad, can you help me in the kitchen?"
  • Talking Through Technique: Nicos and Crystal in "Beware of Greeks". She turns up at his wedding rehearsal dinner, splutters helplessly... and then starts juggling bread rolls with him. That's enough to convince him to leave his fiancée.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: In "Roz's Turn," Frasier and Niles briefly talk in pirate accents while helping Roz record a promo.
  • The Tell: Niles' nose bleeds when he's broken his ethical code. Likewise, when Frasier has knowingly broken his ethical code, he starts having attacks of nausea.
    Niles: That wasn't a sniff, it was a snort of contempt.
    Frasier: Snorts go out, that was in!
  • Temporary Substitute: The show has done this once, in the episode "Head Game." Originally written for Frasier, it was rewritten for Niles due to Kelsey Grammer being in rehab. The opening scene featuring Frasier that explained his absence was filmed many weeks later.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage:
    • The first episode of the show, and again in a later season episode where Daphne moves out and they need to find a new housemate.
    • Also after Frasier hires a matchmaker, he goes on a series of terrible dates. He ends up falling for... the matchmaker.
    • Frasier has a Terrible Producers Montage when Roz leaves to produce Bulldog's show, including an old woman smoking like a chimney, a Crazy Cat Lady, a Dumb Blonde, a Nervous Wreck reduced to Inelegant Blubbering by the stress of the job, and an old man who falls asleep (and later dies) on the job.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: In damn near every episode. It makes sense though, since two of the main characters are psychiatrists, leading them to constantly discuss their feelings with each other, as well as encouraging everyone else to do the same. Frasier himself, being particularly self-absorbed, brings this trope to staggering heights.
  • That One Case: Martin continued to pore over the Weeping Lotus Case during retirement, and eventually solved it with a bit of help from Frasier. Admittedly Frasier's aid consisted of accidentally rearranging the crime scene photos so that Martin realized what he'd been missing, then coming up with a theory that the woman had been killed by a chimpanzee trained to use a gun (she wasn't).
  • That Was Not a Dream: "Frasier Crane's Day Off". Daphne inverts, subverts and lampshades the Trope after Frasier raced to the studio in a fever and drug induced mania and made an utter fool of himself on the air (Roz: "Captain Kirk's got control of the bridge and he's gone insane.") When Frasier wakes up, Daphne reassures him it didn't happen and it was all a dream.
    Martin: Why'd you tell him it was a dream?
    Daphne: No fun telling him the truth now, when he's all doped up. I'll wait til tomorrow morning, when he's good and lucid!
  • Thing-O-Meter: Niles snarks that the psychic researcher they've invited over will be bringing a "ghost-o-meter" (long "o" like "owe"). Daphne rejoins that it's called a "ghost-om-eter" (short "o" like "thermometer").
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave:
    • Most of the subplot with Daphne's irritating mother in the later seasons of the show involved her greatly over-staying her welcome when staying with Niles and Daphne. Daphne's brothers also fell into this trope, but mostly because they really were ungrateful and obnoxious spongers who barged into Frasier's apartments and took unreasonable liberties whilst they were there.
    • Although he doesn't stay with Frasier, in "The Show Where Woody Shows Up" Woody from Cheers becomes something like this. After they meet by coincidence and have a wonderful evening catching up and reminiscing, Frasier gradually realises after spending more time with Woody that the two don't really have anything in common and finds their increasingly frequent hang-outs ever more tortuous, but doesn't want to hurt Woody's feelings by admitting it. It's played with, however, since Woody ends up admitting that he basically feels exactly the same way about the situation, only he thought that Frasier was the one enjoying himself and didn't want to hurt his feelings. The two basically end up acknowledging that they had a great time that first night (but only that first night) and decide to part ways, maybe to catch up "in another ten years or so."
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts:
    • Frasier and Kate Costas are trying to get over their mutual lust after their affair nearly loses them their jobs. Attempting to avoid the press by taking a service elevator, they get stuck and soon discover the elevator is full of the belongings of a romance novelist who's moving house, and a few accidents later they're in a mood-lit compartment with sultry posters on the walls, reeking of spilt musk oil, and with a double mattress taking up most of the floor.
    • Niles' advice to Frasier when he's trying to resist Lilith;
      Niles: Do you remember when we were young and we found that dead horse, crawling with maggots? Hold on to that image, you can ride that horse to safety!
      Frasier: You're right. When it comes to unpleasant images, you can't beat a dead horse.
    • In an episode when Niles was desperate for sex, Daphne makes one of her typical Innocent Innuendo remarks that sends Niles' mind off to fantasy land. Frasier brings him back down to Earth with the phrase "Grandma in a teddy."
  • Three Is Company: Happens occasionally, most notably in Season 11's "I'm Listening," when Frasier repeatedly overhears Martin and Ronee's private conversations.
  • Title Drop: The names of the episodes will always be mentioned in the show itself, whether by the title cards following each act break or by the characters themselves.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Played straight, then touchingly subverted with the 1945 Château Pétrus in "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue".
  • Too Soon: In-Universe; after their favorite restaurant burns down, Niles makes a pun on the chef's name, to which Frasier replies that it's too soon for jokes.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Cam Winston in "Mother Load: Part 2." In the other episodes where he appeared, Frasier and Cam's rivalry is motivated by their surprisingly similar personalities and interests. In this episode, however, Cam suddenly turns into a demagogue who's selfishly and arrogantly willing to use people's patriotism to turn them against Frasier.
  • Totally Radical: Whenever Frasier or Niles try to be "cool," this is inevitably the result.
    Niles: Who was that babe-o-rama?
    Frasier: Niles, please don't try to be hip. You remind me of Bob Hope when he dresses up as the Fonz.
  • Touché: Niles had heart surgery, and Frasier made a promise to God to be nice to Niles if he lived. Niles then acted insufferably (over his fear of what might happen again), and Frasier wanted to lay into his brother, but felt he couldn't break his promise. Then he found a loophole, and felt it was enough. But it turned out their father already talked Niles out of it. Frasier then just said "Well played, God. I'll see you at Easter."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Drinks in both cases; Sherry for Frasier and Niles, Ballantine for Martin. Frasier running out of sherry was used as a metaphor at the end of the series, as was the Ballantine brewery closing around Daphne's wedding.
  • Truth-Telling Session: In one Christmas Episode, Frasier's current girlfriend has a Jewish My Beloved Smother, and at the climax have a massive teary-eyed airing out of dirty laundry in front of him and Martin. When Frasier offers to mediate, the mother turns and smoothly tells him, "Relax! We're nearly finished!" At the end, they hug and reaffirm their mother-daughter love. After they leave, Frasier and Martin attempt to reconcile in the same way but fail badly. Frasier cries, "We shouldn't have tried it! WE'RE NOT JEWISH!"
  • TV Genius: As his character had to move closer to normality when he became the lead in his own series, Frasier himself is only intermittently this when his social aspirations get the better of him - as he himself says, "I'm a teamster compared to [Niles]" and, in a direct reference to Cheers, "I used to have a regular bar and a regular bar stool, I even had a tab". He does seem to be largely aware of his social shortcomings compared to "normal" people like his father and Roz, while at the same time occasionally happily going to barbecues with his work colleagues or joining his father down at his local bar for a beer. Even Niles's self-awareness increases throughout the series.
  • TV Telephone Etiquette: Of course, Frasier frequently hung up on callers whenever worked best for the punchline with no use of words like "Goodbye". A specific example (crossed with fridge logic) occurred in "Policy Story".
    Martin: Hey, Charlie, yeah, Marty Crane, how ya doing? (less than a second long pause) Hey, listen, Charlie, I'm trying to track down a woman officer who was on traffic tonight, uh, near...
    Frasier: Blanchett and Fourth.
    Martin: Blanchett and Fourth. (less than a second long pause) Great, OK, thanks. (Hangs up) Her name's Maureen Cutler, and she usually goes to McGinty's after work. Charlie said she's probably there now. (The fridge logic, of course, is how exactly Charlie managed to tell Martin so much information in so little time.)
  • 24-Hour Party People: Every time Frasier or Niles hold a party, plenty of people show up who the audience has never seen before, seemingly just to fill party space. These people often leave offended; one wonders how the Crane brothers keep meeting these folks! On the other hand, their social circle is frequently described as being composed of interchangeable, shallow, insincere socialites who will turn up to whatever gathering will make them look good.
  • Two Decades Behind: The show's portrayal of talk radio represents the climate of the 70's and 80's, before the politicization of the medium sparked by the launch of Rush Limbaugh.
    • Zig-zagged in terms of technology. On one hand the series was far ahead of its time in its use of cell phones, with almost every main character owning one as early as the late 90s. However, with the exception of Daphne in one episode, it seems as though nobody in the main cast regularly uses a computer or accesses the internet despite the series running through 2004.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The majority of the episodes have this structure. Typically, there's the main A plot and the secondary B plot, one of them focusing on Frasier and the other on one of the four other major characters. The main plot isn't necessarily about Frasier, though: Niles especially gets plenty of A plots as his character becomes more rounded. One episode ("Death and the Dog", Season 4) hanging a lampshade on it. The events of the episode are being told as a Whole Episode Flashback to a caller, and Roz wonders why Frasier is telling the caller about her date in the episode.

  • Uncle Sam Wants You: Frasier was dressed as Uncle Sam in "Crock Tales" and did the pose specifically at Martin's request.
    Frasier: Dad, I bought you these headphones, so that I wouldn't be subjected to your sports drivel. Please put them on.
    Martin: All right, I will. But only if you say it.
    (Frasier sighs and points his finger at Martin.)
    Frasier: I WANT YOU... to wear those headphones!
  • Underdressed for the Occasion: Martin is humiliated when Frasier and Niles take him to a fancy restaurant and is rejected for not wearing a tie. He gets even by taking the boys to one of his favorite eateries, where the host cuts off Frasier and Niles's ties to enforce their casual dress code.
  • Unexpected Positive: Niles gets a toothache, but a dental X-ray revealed no problems with his teeth, so he decides to get a full physical, on the off chance that the toothache could be referred pain from a more serious condition. Roz spends the entire episode pointing out that's a complete overreaction to a simple problem, while all the while Niles seems to beat impossible odds, which he reads as a premonition that his very unlikely referred pain issue might come to pass as well. It turns out Niles was entirely right; he has a heart condition so severe that his doctor refers him to emergency surgery.
  • The Unfettered: Bebe Glazer. She will do anything to see Frasier's career thrive. Risk falling off a window ledge, kill a bird with a jawbreaker, manipulate Frasier and any one else, she'll do it. Only when Bebe has to quit smoking does she temporarily stop being unfettered.
    Bebe: That's it, is it? I'm not virtuous enough for you, not noble. Fine, quit! Next time you need a deal made, call the Dalai Lama. A long time ago, I had to make a choice between being a good agent and a good person, because trust me, you can't be both! So forgive me if I don't have time to make everybody warm and fuzzy. I am just too busy spending every waking minute pulling any string, pulling any shameless tricks I can to make my clients' dreams come true! I AM A STARMAKER!
  • Un-Installment: The title of "Agents in America, Part III" is a reference to the Angels in America dyad.
  • Unnaturally Blue Lighting: For some reason, most of Season 7 has a blueish tint on the screen (mainly in the in-door scenes).
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Niles, Daphne, and Mel.
  • The Un-Reveal:
    • A season 4 episode has Frasier worrying about whether he should advise Niles to reconcile with Maris. He decides that if he wants to know what Maris thinks he's going to have to "go to the source". Cut to him in Cafe Nervosa, apparently waving hello to a thin, well-dressed blonde woman... who walks straight past him. He's actually there to meet Maris's housekeeper, Marta.
    • In Season 11 episode "No Sex Please, We're Skittish", Roz tells Niles she slept with Frasier. Niles, understandably, is shocked, but not too shocked ("Well, When the wolf and the lamb work together, it's only a matter of time before the wolf gets his way... I hope you were gentle with him.") Later, Frasier tells Niles to "brace himself", and tells him that he slept with Roz.
      Niles: (feigning shock badly) NO WAY! You and ROZ?
  • Unseen No More: Whilst the show's most famous The Ghost, Maris, remained unseen throughout, Roz's mother finally made an on screen appearance after six seasons of mentions, and Daphne's mum and dad made their first appearances in the finales of Seasons 7 and 9 respectively.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Done straight on occasion, usually with Frasier and Niles' expansive vocabulary and literary wit. Sometimes played with, as seen in with the Gaggenau reference in Poor Man's Porn above.
    Frasier: Truth be told, it’s been a while since, I, uh... (covers Alice’s ears) romped with abandon through the perfumed gardens of Eros.
    Roz: Next time you say something like that, cover my ears.
    • Just before that line, to avoid traumatizing Alice (Roz's daughter), Frasier uses the word "hug" to mean "sex." When Roz asks him if he got hugs while married to Lilith, he replies that he had to settle for a weekly "handshake."
  • Variations on a Theme Song: At the end of the episode where the station manager decides to switch KACL to "all Latino music, all the time!", the Theme Tune is changed to a Latino version, with lyrics in Spanish.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: This show definitely qualifies, and gets a special mention for being one of the shows that pulled it off well while still getting high ratings. Frasier, Niles, and some of their highbrow friends frequently make reference to all manner of obscure, highbrow things, often within the subcultural worlds of opera, wine appreciation, and psychology. They're particularly full of clever puns or sassy insults that show off their knowledge, though these can be difficult to follow for the non-elite.
  • Vignette Episode: "Three Valentines", which shows a different story set on Valentines Day in each of the episode's three acts — the first an almost completely silent skit with Niles preparing for a date, the second having Frasier trying figure out how to respond to a woman giving him mixed signals, and the last with Martin and Daphne having an inane argument in a restaurant.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Frasier and Niles Crane, although they're brothers, so it's not as much of an oddity. They snark at and insult each other almost every time they speak, but seem to view it as some form of strange etiquette and assurance of the other's state of mind, with one often complimenting the other's skill with words after a particularly witty jab with a raised cup or knowing grin. If one really impresses the other with an insult, the insultee will go so far as to say "touche".
    • Also, over the seasons Niles and Roz developed into this after starting out as enemies. In an outstanding instance of Character Development, the insults they threw back and forth in later seasons are exactly like the ones they threw back in season 1, but their delivery and demeanor changed subtly over the years from vicious contempt to good-natured teasing.
  • Volleying Insults:
    • Frasier isn't afraid to have polite slinging matches with Niles when sufficiently riled. Then there's Niles and Roz, who do it sincerely at first, then make a sport of it long after they've warmed up to each other.
    • Roz and Julia during the tenth season, including one hysterical scene in which they try complimenting each other and end up hurling insults - and loving it.
      Julia: Well, you certainly made an impression on me. I remember, I kept thinking: "Who did she sleep with to get this job?" And then I found out. Everybody!
      Roz: That's a good one! [they laugh] You know, there's a plunger in the bathroom, what do you say we go look for your career?
      Julia: Great! While we're in there I can get your phone number.
      Roz: Don't bother, it's 1-800-BITE ME.
      Julia: "Bite me," that's the best that you've got?
      Roz: Oh, I could spend half an hour on your hair.
      Julia: Well, you should have spent half an hour on your hair.
      Roz: Oh, really? (They laugh.)
      Waitress: It's closing time, ladies, I'm afraid you'll have to leave.
      Roz: But we're just warming up.
      Julia: You know, there's a place down the street that, uh, is open all night.
      Roz: Just like your mouth?
      Julia: Just like your legs? (Julia leaves.)
      Roz: Hey, wait up!

  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: The show did this when Niles proposed to Daphne. Although the build-up throughout the episode was leading to one of these, it was ultimately subverted; it turned out when Daphne arrived at the apartment that she had the flu and a roaring headache, so Niles got everyone out and ended up just proposing to her quietly. Frasier tackling the trumpeter was the best part of that.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Cam Winston one-ups Frasier by hanging a giant American flag over his balcony, obstructing Frasier's view of Seattle, Frasier finds himself awake at the wee hours of the morning because of the giant flag, and has this to say about it:
    Frasier: It's nearly dawn's early light... and our flag is still there.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: In one episode, Niles needs to get Maris a gun for protection. After not being able to procure one, he buys a starter's pistol since having any kind of gun would make her feel safe.
  • Wedding Day: Niles and Daphne can't wait to get married, so they elope. Then, because everyone unwittingly mentions how hurt they'd be to miss the wedding before they can break the news, they have to get married again — and again and again and again as different people unwittingly raise more and more petty objections to the service they've just had.
  • Wham Episode: "The Last Time I Saw Maris", as Niles and Maris go into seperation, which ultimately results three seasons later in their divorce.
  • Wham Line:
    • Frasier is high on painkillers as Daphne gives him a massage in "Back Talk". The following lines even shocked the studio audience, who gave out a loud GASP What makes Frasier's line particularly whammy is that it comes in the middle of a comedy of misunderstandings plot (Daphne overhears Frasier saying he loves her, not realizing he didn't mean it in a romantic sense), which were very typical of Frasier, and which were usually resolved by the end of the episode so that status quo could return. The viewers most likely didn't predict that a simple line in a seemingly throwaway scene in a seemingly generic episode would finally lead to resolving one of the series' overarching plot arcs.
      Daphne: When I said to your father "Dr. Crane's in love with me," he said it's been going on for six years now. What did he mean by that?
      Frasier: (dreamily) Oh that ... he meant Niles.
      Daphne: What?!
      Frasier: (dreamily) Niles ... he's crazy about you.
      (Cue Daphne BSOD)
    • Later, after Frasier tells Niles that Daphne is in love with him in the second part of "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue", another wham line caused the studio audience to GASP! again, even more shocked. After Daphne told Niles how upset she was that Frasier told him how she felt about him, Niles responded, "No, Daphne, I'm glad he told me - because I love you."
    • Two from the episode "Halloween":
      • In the beginning, where Roz delivers one to Frasier.
      Frasier: "Sorry" just doesn't cut it, Roz! What possible explanation can there be for this level of unprofessionalism?
      Roz: I think I'm pregnant.
      • In the ending, when everyone is speculating on who the father of Roz's baby is, after Frasier blows the secret that Roz might be pregnant.
      Frasier: No! Listen, everybody, I am not the father of Roz's baby! In fact, we don't even know for sure if there is a baby!
      Roz: (appearing) We do now.
    • "Bristle While You Work" has a deadly serious one:
      Niles: (frivolously) Okay, lay it on me. I'm prepared for the worst. Is it my heart?
      Doctor: I'm afraid so.
      Niles: Ah-ha! (Delayed Reaction) What?
      Doctor: There is an anomaly in your EKG. I'm gonna have to check you into the hospital.
      Niles: (lightly) Oh, uh, well, hmm. Uh, I guess I can clear my schedule. How's, how's tomorrow afternoon?
      Doctor: (very serious) No, no. Niles? You need to go right now.
    • Not to mention the words the series ends on:
      Pilot: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Chicago.
      Frasier: ...wish me luck.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The episode "The Seal Who Came to Dinner" combined this with an Evil Lawyer Joke. In the episode's beginning, Roz says she accidentally rammed into a car that happened to have four high-powered lawyers in it, and that she'll be paying for the damages for a very long time. It never gets brought up again after that... unless her becoming the new station manager of KACL in the series finale allowed her to pay off that debt once and for all.
    • In an early episode, we learn that Martin's estranged best friend from the police force, Artie, is in the hospital in critical condition. The two men make up, and Artie laments that as he's on his deathbed, they won't have time to do their favorite activities together anymore. Martin rebukes him for being so pessimistic, that he will get out of the hospital and they will have fun together just like the old days. After the episode, Artie is never seen, or even mentioned, again. It's hard to say if this was a subtle way to imply Artie's passing, or if the writers subsequently simply forgot about him.
    • In the second season episode "The Matchmaker", Frasier has a Mistaken for Gay "date" with Tom Duran, his new boss at KACL. Tom appears once more later in the season, so it seems he was supposed to become a recurring minor character, but after his second appearance Tom is never seen or mentioned again. Granted that in the very beginning of Season 3, Kate Costas has become the new station manager.
    • In the season 9 episode where Niles, Daphne, Roz and Martin try to get Frasier to start dating again, Frasier eventually ends up going out with the bookstore owner named Lisa. The episode basically builds up to that moment, suggesting that Frasier's relationship with her would become a new story arc. By the next episode, she's gone and never mentioned again - even in Niles's Continuity Nod-laden list of Frasier's flings in Season 11!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In season one, after embarrassing himself over discovering his father had spent the night with a female neighbor, Frasier brags about on the radio and an angry Martin calls him out on it for embarrassing him and his date by showcasing it to all of Seattle on his radio show.
    • In a later season, after Daphne loses a lot of weight and returns to normal, Niles starts coming off as snobbish and a jerk because of Daphne's roommate telling him how he was blind to her weight gain simply through "love goggles". Martin and Frasier are quick to call him out on it and when he refuses, Daphne tells him to leave.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: An episode of sees Frasier and Niles enter a Gay Bar in search of one of Roz's boyfriends, who they believe has entered the establishment. Tuesday night, apparently, is Leather Night, but the bar patrons we see are mostly men sitting at tables chatting and drinking beer. Rumor has it that part of this was out of respect to the cast: two actors were openly gay (Dan Butler, Edward Hibbert), and two others (David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney) were in a Transparent Closet. Morever, writers Joe Keenan, Chuck Ranberg and David Lee were gay as well.
  • Where There's a Will, There's a Sticky Note: After one of Niles's co-workers passes away, Frasier gives stickers to Niles and Martin and tells them to label any possessions of his they would like to inherit. Later in the episode, Frasier finds a sticky note on his expensive bathrobe labeled "Niles", and mutters, "The vultures are circling."
  • White Guilt: Lampshaded in the episode "Dr. Mary''. Frasier hires an African-American call-screener who takes over his show by calling herself "Dr. Mary", spouting ghetto-psychology; but he's afraid to say anything because she's black and came from an underprivileged background. Eventually she gets her own show spouting more ghetto-psychology, but finds out about his guilt and tells him, "God bless your guilty white ass!"
  • Whole Episode Flashback: A popular narrative technique which was used often. Most notably in the penultimate episode "Crock Tales" where an inanimate object is the basis for multiple flashbacks in different time periods of the show.
  • Whole Plot Reference:
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: It is quite a stretch that Frasier, by all accounts charming, handsome, and successful, is incapable over the course of 11 years of having a relationship that lasts longer than a month. That being said, the show's plot simply would not work if Frasier were to enter a long-term relationship.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Niles and Daphne, which rose, fell, switched back and forth, found new ways to express itself every few episodes, and progressed through Daphne's obliviousness; both of them being unwilling to even communicate their feelings, much less act on them, because Niles was married to Maris; the slow, lingering death of Niles and Maris's marriage, complete with much backsliding, temporary reconciliations, and emotional and psychological abuse; heartwrenching silent years of Unrequited Love on Niles' part; and Daphne coming within an inch of marrying her Romantic False Lead; all before they so much as expressed their attraction to each other. It took another couple seasons for them to finally stabilize and marry.
  • Wine Is Classy: Shows up often. Frasier and Niles are even part of a wine club. Subverted in that the other members of the wine club just want to drink.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: The Ending Theme, and some of its variations make it even more so. Amusingly, said Word Salad Lyrics involve an actual salad. Word of God, by the way, is that the "tossed salad and scrambled eggs" really is meant to be a relatively nice way of referring to some of his patients. Tossed salad can't be un-tossed and scrambled eggs can't be un-scrambled, just like some neurotic people can't be cured.
  • Worthless Foreign Degree: After Dr. Schachter gives the Crane brothers a virulent "The Reason You Suck" Speech regarding their Sibling Rivalry ("That is it! That is it! In thirty years as a couples therapist, I've never said what I'm about to say: Give up! It's hopeless! You are pathologically mistrustful of each another, competitive to the point of madness! So, trust me, just meet each other at weddings and funerals, and the rest of the time, stay the hell away from each other!"), the boys agree on his prognosis, but then use his degrees as an Ad Hominem argument to ignore his advice, even though they admit Martin says the same exact thing, and kick him out of the building!
    Frasier: Well, there's no arguing with Dr. Schachter's credentials. My God, the man is an expert in his field. He graduated from the University of... Grenada!
    Niles: [shocked] Well, surely that was just his undergraduate schooling.
    Frasier: Oh yes, of course, his graduate work was done in... Aruba!
    Niles: An all-Caribbean schooling... well, tally me banana!
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: Frasier to Niles: "Niles, I've got news for you — Copernicus called and you are not the centre of the universe!"

  • Yiddish as a Second Language:
    • Parodied in the episode, "Merry Christmas Mrs. Moskowitz," where (as part of a "Fawlty Towers" Plot) Frasier needs Niles to pretend to be Jewish for reasons too complicated to explain. Niles takes the job to heart, liberally injecting common Yiddish words into the conversation, much to Frasier's annoyance.
    Niles: [proposing a Jewish toast] L'chaim! Mazel tov! Next year in Jerusalem!
    Frasier: Take it down a notch, Tevye.
    Frasier: Niles, why don't you see if you can go help Dad in the kitchen?
    Niles: Oh, all right, but he'll probably just kvetch at me and, frankly, I don't need that tsuris.
    Frasier: Niles! [whispering] Half that!
    • When Daphne attends a bat mitzvah, she comes back dropping Yiddish expressions into everything she says.
  • You Can Panic Now: Invoked by Roz in "The Candidate." After one of the commercials from Holden Thorpe (who Martin is in favor of), she says he's making it sound like if they vote for his opponent (who Frasier is supporting) instead of for him, crime will skyrocket to terrifying out-of-control levels.
  • You Make Me Sic:
    • Niles Crane has a habit of using a marker pen to correct all the grammar and spelling mistakes of the graffiti in public restrooms.
    • Daphne gives a lovely speech in the second season just to build up to a fantastic example of this:
    Daphne: I was very mistrusting of people back then. I was convinced the way to stay out of harm's way was to walk the streets with me eyes cast down, never meeting anyone's glance. But, finally, I decided that was no way to live, so one day I just lifted up me chin and took it all in. Well, the change was amazing. There were sights I'd never seen, sounds I've never heard. A tiny old man came up to me with a note in his hand. He needed help. I realized this was no city full of thieves and muggers. There were people here who needed me. I took his note, read it, and to this day I can remember just what I said to that man. "That's not how you spell 'fellatio'."
    There once was a man, Frasier Crane
    Who says he can feel your pain.
    But he acts like a snob
    To the guys at his job
    And I think he's totally lame.
    Niles: That's terrible!
    Frasier: Thank you, Niles.
    Niles: There's a tense shift, an approximate rhyme, the scansion leaves a lot to be desired...
  • You Need to Get Laid: This strikes all of the cast members at least once in the series.
    • Frasier tends to suffer this the entire series. In the appropriately named episode "Frasier Gotta Have It", when he earns a sexual fling with nutty artist Caitlin, Roz asks him an important question:
      Roz: For as long as I've known you, you've been complaining about your lack of a sex life. Suddenly, you have one. So why are you still complaining?
    • Niles in "Look Before You Leap" is tantalized by Maris' rare offer of sex that he starts hitting on every female he sees, including Roz.
    Frasier: It’s high time you and Maris sat down and talked through your problems.
    Niles: (excited) She doesn’t want to talk. When she says “get together” she means in the “You wear the crème fraiche, I’ll lick it off” sense. She’s cleared her schedule from seven till seven-thirty, that means foreplay AND cuddling!
    • Roz in "Crock Tales" bemoans her lack of a sex life.
    Roz: Used to be I’d go out and get a little wild on my birthday. Now I go out and get a little dinner.
    Frasier: There’s nothing wrong with dinner.
    Roz: I know, but it used to come with sex.
    Daphne: Oh, come on, Roz, sounds like you need a drink.
    Roz: Oh, that used to come with sex, too.
    • Daphne has a ton of dry spells; once it was the plot to "The Matchmaker", in which Frasier connives to introduce her to the new KACL station owner, who, unbeknownst to Frasier or Daphne, is gay.
    • Inverted in one episode where Frasier has for once cheerfully accepted being single and just decided to roll with it for a while... prompting everyone else to decide they need to set him up out of concern. Their efforts inevitably just make things worse, but he ends up meeting a nice lady (ironically the woman Niles tried to set him up with) completely by accident.
  • Younger Than They Look: When Frasier gets a TV job, Bebe recommends the plastic surgeon she's been using "for years" to him. He's about to turn her down, when a balding, grey-haired man pokes his head in and addresses her as "Mom"...
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame. Every time Bulldog expresses pride in any one of Frasier's embarrassing public sex scandals.
    • In "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl", Frasier has just had sex live on the air, making the papers ("I Won't Fink Says Kinky Shrink").
    Bulldog: Doc? I got one thing to say to you.
    Frasier: Go ahead, take your best shot.
    Bulldog: (admiration) I am so proud of you, man.
    (Bulldog hugs Frasier warmly.)
    Frasier: (dripping with sarcasm) Well, doesn't that just put the cherry on the parfait.
    • In "The Harrassed":
    Frasier: Oh, Roz... come on, you know it was just a mistake. What do you think I am, some kind of disgusting Lothario?
    Bulldog: Hey, there's my man!
    (Frasier has a priceless look of despair on his face.)
    • When Niles covered for Frasier:
    Bulldog: Hey, Dr. Doolittle. I heard your show. It didn't suck!
    Niles: Ah. "Dear diary..."


Video Example(s):


Frasier (2001)

Roz asks Frasier to translate when she breaks up with her French boyfriend. But what Roz thinks they're saying and what they're actually saying are two very different things.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / TactfulTranslation

Media sources:

Main / TactfulTranslation