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Series / Freaks and Geeks

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"We're all unhappy. That's the thing about life."
Lindsay Weir

Freaks and Geeks is a NBC dramedy series created by Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, based on Feig's experiences as a teenager in the early '80s.

The show is about two groups of teenagers in the Detroit suburbs circa 1980: the titular "Freaks" and "Geeks". The "Freaks" are into rock music (not disco!), pot, and hanging around; the "Geeks" are into comedy, the AV club, and tabletop RPGs. Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) is at the fringe of the Freaks, while her younger brother, Sam (John Francis Daley), is at the core of the Geeks.

The show is a Coming of Age Story for both of them: Lindsay, with the help of the Freaks – Daniel Desario (James Franco), Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel), Ken Miller (Seth Rogen) and Kim Kelly (Busy Philipps) – attempts to forge her own path in life, while Sam, alongside Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr), deals with slightly more traditional romantic fare, particularly his crush on cheerleader Cindy Sanders (Natasha Melnick), and their parents Jean (Becky Ann Baker) and Harold (SCTV alumnus Joe Flaherty) watch on with mingled bemusement, concern and pride.

Part of what made Freaks and Geeks stand out was that it was surprisingly immersive as to its period setting; it was even sparing in its use of Nothing but Hits (which proved ironic, given the show's music clearance issues which delayed its DVD release). The show was praised to heaven and back for its surprising amount of realism (making it onto Time magazine's "Top 10 New Shows" list), but it never quite took off in the ratings department, which led to its notorious cancellation after airing just fifteen of its eighteen episodes.note 

The show's pilot premiered on September 25, 1999, and its series finale aired on July 8, 2000. It only lasted one season, but in addition to its critical acclaim, it has become a cult classic among audiences in the decades since its initial run.

Compare to its fellow high school drama My So-Called Life, and Apatow's follow-up college comedy Undeclared.

Has a character sheet.

Freaks and Geeks is the Trope Namer for the following tropes:

Freaks and Geeks provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Sam's feud with Neal and Bill (as well as Gordon and Harris) in "Discos and Dragons" was to translate into the next season with Sam wanting to break away from the Geeks (causing slow tension), as well as the relationship between Coach Fredericks and Gloria Haverchuck (Bill's mother), and the divorce between the Schweibers. No further explanation is needed.
  • Actor Allusion: Joel Hodgson recommends a "Parisian night suit" which is actually just a jumpsuit.
  • Adults Are Useless: Played with. The Weir parents generally give well-meaning and helpful advice to their children. However, generational differences in particular (they are, after all, pre-Boomers while the kids are early Gen-X'ers)note  often make it difficult for them to understand what their children are going through. This is particularly apparent in the episode "Boyfriends And Girlfriends," where the Weir parents' lacking familiarity with post-60's sexual politics makes them extremely paranoid about Lindsay and Nick hooking up. Fortunately, unlike a lot of other teen shows, F&G never goes overboard with this trope. It's actually presented in a very civilized (for its time, at least) manner.
    • Jeff the Guidance Counsellor is a straighter version of this trope.
  • The Alleged Car: Kim Kelly's Gremlin, Nick's Maverick... It's 1980, it's Detroit, if the series had lasted every marginal American car from the '70s would've eventually shown up.
  • Alliterative Name: Kim Kelly, Daniel Desario, Cindy Sanders
  • Ambulance Cut: Sort of. In "Chokin' and Tokin'," Alan yells at Bill that he put peanuts in his sandwich. Cue his Oh, Crap! face as he realizes Bill really is allergic to peanuts, and then cut to Bill on a gurney being rushed down the hall to the waiting ambulance.
  • And Starring: Busy Philipps gets this attribution right at the start of the second act, after the actual credits have rolled. Her character, originally intended as a Romantic False Lead to be discarded after one episode, was kept on for the strength of Phillipps' performance... and the meticulously-crafted Introductory Opening Credits, which provide an Establishing Character Moment for each school-aged character under the guise of Picture Day while "Bad Reputation" blasts in the background, probably just didn't have room for another person.
  • Artistic License – Music: Amy Andrews, the "tuba girl", plays a sousaphone. Then again, the Freaks probably don’t care what it's technically called.
  • Author Avatar:
    • Sam Weir = Paul Feig
    • Gabe Sachs claims to have based Nick on himself, complete with giant drum kit.
  • Author Tract:
    • "The Little Things" is one long political ad. Somewhat understandable, as it aired a few months before the 2000 election.
    • "Chokin' and Tokin'" was Apatow's anti-pot Very Special Episode, which intentionally avoids the Marijuana Is LSD trope, and instead stresses that while smoking pot in and of itself is not bad, making it the focus of your life (especially in high school) is.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Bill is the gentlest and least confrontational of the Geeks, but he goes absolutely ballistic when Coach Fredricks, whom he barely tolerates at the best of times, starts dating his mom.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Many episodes. Especially the finale.
  • Blackmail: Mr. Rosso tries using this to get Lindsay to re-join the Mathlete team after he catches her cutting class in the pilot.
  • Brainy Brunette: Lindsay and Millie. The former was a star mathlete.
  • Broken Aesop : Most of Mr. Weir's stories are in-universe examples.
    You know where they are now? They're DEAD!
  • Broken Pedestal: Neal's idolization of his father is destroyed upon learning of his extramarital affairs. However, the show takes pains to portray the senior Schweiber as a good husband and father who is likely in the midst of a mid-life crisis.
  • Butt-Monkey: The geeks. All of them.
  • Casting Gag: The geeks are huge science-fiction fans, which makes it quite fun that Bill's mother is played by one of the most beloved sci-fi heroines of the 90s.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The geeks make reference to the film Stripes, which includes Joe Flaherty (the actor for Mr. Weir) in a small role.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: There are a few unnamed extras in the freaks and the geeks that don't appear in later episodes after the pilot.
  • Cool Loser: Harris.
  • Coach Nasty: Played with; Coach Fredericks can definitely be rather blunt, sarcastic and mean, particularly to the less-than-athletically talented geeks, but he's got a heart of gold underneath it all and is actually rather compassionate and kind, particularly when he's not on the sports field.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Lindsay's mom referring to Nick as "the guy who ate all my Fruit Roll-Ups" in "Boyfriends And Girlfriends" counts as this; the series generally doesn't make too many references to previous episodes beyond well-established plot points, so this is particularly apparent.
    • Bill first mentions his peanut allergy in "Tricks and Treats"; this will later become a plot point in "Chokin' and Tokin'".
    • In the pilot, Nick mentions how much he hates disco and makes fun of the music and dance moves. Whether Characterization Marches On or not, he explores disco in the last episodes.
  • Convenient Slow Dance: Subverted in the first episode. Sam gets Cindy out onto the dance floor just as the tempo (to Styx' "Come Sail Away") picks up.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Alan gives a heartfelt apology to the unconscious Bill, after he puts peanuts in his sandwich and Bill is rushed to the hospital, giving us some backstory.
  • Conversational Troping: Both groups, constantly, although the geeks mostly talk comedy and science fiction, while the freaks are more into music.
  • Cosplay: In "Chokin' and Tokin'", the Geeks dress up as Star Wars characters for a science fiction convention.
  • Creator Cameo: Paul Feig plays Alex, the guitarist for Dimension, in "I'm with the Band".
  • Cringe Comedy: To spare.
    • Neal's ventriloquism act at his parents' party.
    • Nick's disastrous audition for a professional rock band.
    • Nick serenading Lindsay with Styx's "Lady"... and, in a different episode, auditioning his own composition, "Lady L", to Ken.
    • "Smooching and Mooching" has a deleted scene in which Sam and Cindy dance while Sam sings, which everyone on the DVD commentary claims is the creepiest thing ever filmed. They are correct.
    • Sam walking into school wearing a baby-blue disco jumpsuit ("Parisian nightsuit"). The look on his face as he realizes that everyone is laughing at him is priceless.
    • Sam getting trapped naked in the school hallway.
  • Cut Short: Famously, the show was cancelled after only one season, and as a result, the finale doesn't have the same feeling of definitive conclusiveness that many other shows' series finales have.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ken and Amy. Harris and Neal also fit this trope.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: High School teachers and students openly smoking on campus.
  • Disco Sucks: The final episode has the "Freaks" go to a disco just to taunt the dancers only to be surprised when Nick turns out to be one of the dancers. While Nick says that taking part in disco dancing helped him overcome some issues in his life (like his pot use). When Ken shows up to further harass the dancers, the security guard takes him outside and secretly tells him that the disco is closing due to the genre's waning popularity.
  • Down to the Last Play: The basketball game in "We've Got Spirit".
  • Dream Apocalypse: while high on marijuana, Lindsay believes she's in a dream belonging to Millie's dog, and begs her not to wake him up.
  • Dreadful Musician: Nick, although he is said to be getting better towards the end after taking lessons.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In early episodes, Kim, Ken, Daniel and others can be interpreted to act out of character and behave with extreme cruelty toward others, when ultimately they are shown to be warm and caring people. Is this an aberration or good character development? The debate goes on...
  • The '80s: Or more specifically, the part immediately following (and thus still retaining a lot of the look and culture of) The '70s.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The pilot has a small one, with hints of a Take That! to boot. The camera focuses in on a jock and his cheerleader sitting in the bleachers during football practice, trying to ham up their non-existent melodrama. Soon after, the camera pans down to introduce us to the real heroes of the show, conversing underneath said bleachers. Can you say metaphor?
  • Fan Boy: The geeks are fan boys of Saturday Night Live, science fiction, The Jerk, and Dungeons & Dragons. Bill is also very adamant about watching Dallas. Eli really, really likes Three's Company.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: All Nick wants to do is play drums, but his father sells his drum set "for his own good" and threatens to send him to military school.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: At the end of the series, the Freaks have all joined different groups. Lindsay and Kim are off to follow The Grateful Dead, Daniel has become one of the geeks and Nick has gotten into disco. Ken's a bit of a loose plot thread, though he is still happily dating Amy.
  • Finding a Bra in Your Car: The garage door opener.
  • Fire Alarm Distraction: Attempted in the final episode. Daniel has a test he was planning on cheating through only to discover the guy who was supposed to help him cheat is absent. So, he goes to pull the fire alarm to buy some time, but Mr. Rosso catches him in the act and assigns him to work with the A.V. Club.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the Halloween episode, the geeks go trick or treating and one woman gives them circus peanuts. Bill asks "Are there any peanuts in those peanuts? Because if there are, I could die." Later in the season, a bully slips peanuts into Bill's sandwich. He nearly dies from an allergic reaction.
    • "Looks and Books" offers some foreshadowing during the conversation between Harris and Daniel: Harris is reading a Dungeons and Dragons book, and comments that Daniel would make a great Dungeonmaster.
    • "Smooching and Mooching" also foreshadowed with a brief cameo of some Deadheads.
  • The Generation Gap: Between Lindsay and her parents and Nick and his father. They are both between pre-boomers and early gen-Xers.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Nick has some black-and-white vertically-striped ones in "Smooching and Mooching." The print itself isn't so goofy, but the fact that the underwear was a pair of small, revealing briefs raises the hilarity. In the DVD booklet, Paul Feig even commented, "Kudos for Jason Segel for allowing us to show him in his underwear."
  • Hidden Depths: Gordon Crisp is introduced early as just a fat kid, but he proves himself to be rather intuitive.
  • Hired Help as Family: Ken mentions that his parents are wealthy workaholics and he was "mostly raised by the nanny".
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Typical with 6'4'' Jason Segel in most of his roles. Nick and Lindsay have plenty of Ship Tease and he is a solid head taller than her.
  • Humiliation Conga: The episode where Sam finally gets the courage to shower with other guys...only to end up being forced to streak through the school thanks to some bullies who lock him out of the locker room. Subverted because he actually ends up impressing Cindy by doing it.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: The big basketball game is against Lincoln High, and the students put up posters everywhere that say "Assassinate Lincoln!" But their own school is named after William McKinley.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "_____ and _____". And it often rhymes. (It's only about half the episodes, though, so the rest aren't tortured forced rhymes.)
  • It's Always Spring: The entire show seems to have been shot in the fall.
  • Jerk Jock: Seldom played straight, which is surprising given all the other stock high school tropes.
    • The bullies and jocks are completely separate cliques—the bullies are mainly losers picking on others even lower on the social ladder, while the jocks are mostly just known for sleeping around. They can be obnoxious but few actually antagonize others. One example is Cindy's boyfriend Todd: he starts out as the Romantic False Lead keeping Sam from dating Cindy, but turns out to be an unusually decent guy. There is a straight example, though, in Seidelman, the enormous football player who torments, well, everybody whenever he appears.
    • In fact in the beginning of one episode, a jock accidentally hits Sam very hard in the stomach while giving his girlfriend a gun show, and though Sam doesn't admit that he got hurt, the guy did genuinely act apologetic.
    • Subverted with Mr. Fredricks. He initially appears to be a cliched asshole gym teacher, but is later revealed to be very compassionate and understanding, even when dealing with students who don't do well in gym (Sam and Bill). He risks losing his job to have a more frank discussion about sex with Sam after realizing that he's seen a pornographic movie and makes a good effort to bond with Bill after he starts dating Bill's mom.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Harold Weir starts out as a typical unreasonable overprotective parent to Lindsay, but actually treats Nick quite well, stands up for him to his own dad and does genuinely care about his daughter.
    • Coach Fredericks, when he's not doing his Coach Nasty act, is actually rather kind and sweet.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Harold and Jean read Lindsay's diary only to find a blistering analysis of their lameness.
  • Left Hanging: Deliberately invoked by the series finale when each of the "freaks," with the exception of Ken, finds him- or herself among a new group.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Sort of. At one point Cindy tells Sam, "You're so easy to talk to. You're like my sister."
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lindsay's ever-present green Army surplus coat, and Bill's blue-and-white horizontal-striped shirt.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Neal's brother and mother knew about his father's affairs long before he did, poor kid.
  • Luke Nounverber: Meta-subverted by a first-time D&D player, Carlos the Dwarf.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Subverted with the freaks; While they do have Hidden Depths, they are just as capable of cruelty, rudeness, and pressuring tactics as a stereotypical Jerk Jock, especially in the first few episodes.
  • Monochrome Casting: There really are very few people of color with speaking roles, and a grand total of one recurring Hispanic character. Makes sense for the era, given that it takes place in the early 1980s on the tail-end of white flight to the suburbs.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: A rare aversion for a show about high school students. The kids actually act like kids their age, and deal with relatively realistic issues.
  • Music Video Syndrome: Averted. Feig and Apatow wanted the emotional scenes that would, on most teen dramas, be underscored by music from hip new bands, to simply speak for themselves. The results speak for themselves.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Sam gets caught naked in the school hallway in "I'm with the Band".
  • No Ending: About the only downside to discovering the show on DVD.
  • Not Named in Opening Credits: Busy Phillips, though she's pretty much part of the core cast, is billed as a guest star.
  • Odd Friendship: Lindsay and Kim (starting with "Kim Kelly Is My Friend"), Millie and Kim ("Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers"), Daniel and the Geeks ("Discos and Dragons", although it technically began when Daniel lent Sam a porno in "Tests and Breasts").
  • Oh, Crap!: When The Freaks realize that Mr. Rosso is fronting the band in the bar they used their fake IDs to get into.
  • Orphaned Punchline: A raunchy joke that the Geeks don't understand is the impetus for their plot in "Tests and Breasts". We only hear the punchline, "...'How do you think I rang the doorbell?'", until near the end of the episode, where the audience finally gets to hear enough of the setup to figure out the joke ("So there's this guy with no arms and no legs...").
  • Picked Last: Bill had a history of being picked last. This actually drove him to prank call his gym teacher! After his teacher finds out he was the one who made the call, Bill is awarded the opportunity to captain a team for a day.
  • Picture Day: Opening credits.
  • Period Piece: Deliberately set in 1980-81 to avoid the tendency of teen shows to fall into Unintentional Period Piece.
  • Present-Day Past: Mostly averted. And, since the show's 1980 setting was really more about averting Totally Radical (see below) than wallowing in period nostalgia anyway, it's pretty easy to forgive the occasional anachronism.
    • The show's side characters generally have pretty typical Turn of the Millennium haircuts, though, and some of the settings (particularly the fast food restaurant Sam and Cindy visit in "Girlfriends and Boyfriends") look a little too modern for the early-80's. Once again, however, this was all deliberate since the show was striving to look as realistic as possiblenote  and was really more concerned with properly depicting the culture of the early-80's than the actual aesthetics of them.
    • A slightly less excusable example is Nick eating Fruit Roll-Ups in the episode "Kim Kelly Is My Friend." The show takes place in 1980-1981. Fruit Roll-Ups wouldn't be introduced until 1983.
  • Pretender Diss: Kim initially resents Lindsay hanging out with the Freaks, viewing her as "just some rich kid who's trying to piss off her parents".
  • Primal Scene: Interestingly used. The Geeks enter the Weir house, and Sam calls out for Jean; he hears Harold and Jean in their bedroom and makes a disgusted face. Both Bill and Sam walk away, but Neal listens in...
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I. Have. Herpes."
  • Razor Apples: Discussed by the geeks (along with other rumored foreign objects tainting Halloween candy) in "Tricks and Treats". Then there's the other mom who accompanies her kids' trick-or-treating and refuses Jean's homemade cookies for fear of this.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Played with. Kim states that, despite reading a mere thirty pages, Jack Kerouac's On the Road reads as though it was written as a stream-of-consciousness by someone on drugs. Her English teacher condescendingly dismisses this assessment. Vindicated by Lindsay.
  • Refrain from Assuminginvoked:
    Lindsay: God, how could I be so awful to actually suggest that you play an entire song correctly all the way through! God knows Zeppelin only play half of "Stairway To Heaven" and The Who never even practices "Teenage Wasteland."
    Ken: "Baba O'Riley."
    Lindsay: What?
    Ken: The name of the song is "Baba O'Riley"... It's on Who's Next?
  • Right Behind Me:
    Neal: The previous mascot was as funny as a car wreck.
    Previous mascot: Hey!
  • Sad Clown: Neal in particular, though a good portion of the male characters have their turn too.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Justified with Cindy. We know next to nothing about Cindy when Sam gets together with her, and this comes to bite him in the ass later, as they have nothing in common and never really have any fun.
  • Scare 'Em Straight:
    • In "Beers and Weirs", the students are shown a slide presentation depicting students who suffered alcohol-related fatalities.
    • Harold Weir: "I had a friend that used to smoke. You know what he's doing now? He's DEAD!"
  • Scenery Censor: "I'm with the Band" (mixed in with some standard blue-circle censor effects).
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: The freaks engage in these frequently, especially Nick.
  • Shout-Out: To nearly all the musical cult favorites of the late '70s, which is probably one of the reasons why it took so very long to clear the rights for the DVD release. Bill watching Garry Shandling qualifies, as Judd Apatow was a writer on The Larry Sanders Show before Freaks and Geeks.
  • Shower Shy: Sam in the episode "I'm with the Band," when the school starts requiring students to shower after PE. Things only get worse for him when he finally tries to overcome his fear, only to be pushed out of the locker room and into the hallway without clothes or a Modesty Towel.
  • Shown Their Work: Set in the Detroit suburbs, regional brands are often seen and Japanese cars are conspicuously absent.
  • Single Mom Stripper: In one episode, Bill worriedly asks his mom if she's going to start "dancing" again.
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny:
    Neal: Friday night; always a good night for some Sabbath!
  • Spin the Bottle: "Smooching and Mooching"
  • Stacy's Mom: Bill's mother, even according to Neal:
    Neal: I can kinda see why Coach Fredericks is dating her. She is kinda hot.
    Sam: Oh, God, she's your friend's mother! Weirdo.
  • Stereotypical Nerd: While all the "geeks" in the show play with the trope, Neal's older brother fits the stereotype being awkward, not too handsome, and completely uncool. However, he knows and accepts this unashamedly.
  • The Talk: Sam and Coach Fredricks in "Tests and Breasts".
  • Team Power Walk: The Geeks and Maureen, in "Carded and Discarded".
  • Tech Marches On:
    • "Help buy our school a computer!" Later in the (1980-81) school year they have 4 or 5 of 'em.
    • When the AV club faculty adviser scores an 8mm filmstrip copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it's a very big deal and major treat for the geeks. This was a few years before home video reached a tipping point.
  • Ten Minutes in the Closet: Bill and Vicki Appleby, in "Smooching and Mooching".
  • That Nostalgia Show: To 1980.
  • This Is Your Song: "Lady L".
  • Too Old to Trick-or-Treat: In “Tricks and Treats,” Sam, Bill, Neal, and Harris decide to go trick-or-treating one last time, but it doesn't end well. At one of the houses they go to, the woman giving them candy asks "Aren't you a bit old for trick-or-treating?", following which they get robbed by the school bully. Later, Sam gets egged by the freaks that his sister Lindsay is with.
  • Totally Radical: Averted. The whole show was explicitly set in 1980 to avoid this. Although the guidance counselor is prone to the '80s equivalent of this.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Daniel has a bad home life and does poorly in school, but Lindsay is still interested.
  • True Companions: Two separate groups with the Weir siblings as the connection.
  • TV Teen: Hugely averted. The characters deal with girls/boys, body image (Sam), sexual identity issues (Ken), fitting in and generally finding yourself (Lindsay). It's all amazingly real.
  • Unconventional Smoothie: "Tricks and Treats" begins with Bill accepting a wager to drink one of these. Sam and Neal mix cayenne pepper, mustard, pickle juice, pickles, a generous handful of salt, sardines, vinegar, soy sauce, chili, a spoonful of grape jelly, powdered dairy creamer, and after-dinner mints. Bill actually likes it.
  • Unflattering ID Photo: Invoked when Daniel gets his picture taken for a fake ID; the guy making it tells him to mess up his hair and look irritated, like he'd been waiting in line for hours, explaining that it renders the photo more realistic.
  • Ventriloquism: Taken up by by Neal in "Noshing and Moshing".
  • Very Special Episode: "Chokin' and Tokin'" deals with marijuana. Probably a Stealth Parody, as anyone remotely familiar with the effects of marijuana can tell Lindsay is just freaking out because she's not used to it. The show seems aware of this, as experienced users such as Nick and Daniel don't react the same way.
  • Virgin-Shaming: Although never directly stated, definitely so when it comes to the Geeks, but this when Daniel talks with Harris:
    Daniel: Am I a loser?
    Harris: Well, you're having sex, so no.
  • Weaponized Allergy: Done inadvertently. When Bill mentions his peanut allergy in class, Alan the bully decides to prank him by putting peanuts in his lunch (claiming Bill lies about everything and wanting to prove it). He is 100 percent NOT lying, and shares an Oh, Crap! reaction with Sam and Neal when they realize he's eaten the nuts. Bill ends up hospitalized and Alan is stricken with a rare moment of remorse.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Did Nick win the dance competition in the final episode?
    • Was Shia LaBeouf asleep because he was concussed or just because he was really tired? Did he ever wake up?
    • Was Lindsay really smoking as her mother accused her of in the pilot? It was never really elaborated on in the rest of the episode... or the rest of the series.
    • Many of the side characters, such as Alan, Millie, and Mr. Fredricks, disappear after their character and plots are expanded upon (in "Chokin' and Tokin'" and "Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers" respectively). Feig has revealed that season two plans included Mr. Fredricks and Bill's mom getting married and Bill joining the basketball team.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Played subtly with Ken, when he gets a crush on Amy:
    Lindsay: Oh my really like her, don't you!
    Ken: ...I feel odd.
  • Wild Teen Party: Subverted in "Beers and Weirs". The beer is actually non-alcoholic. And yet everyone still *acts* drunk.
    • Also subverted in that nothing that bad really happens, most of the crises you'd expect never occur, and to all intents and purposes the kids get away with it.
  • Wrong Genetic Sex: This is a major plot point in one episode, when Ken's new girlfriend Amy tells him she's one of these. There was no DNA test or anything - the conflict came from Amy getting upset at Ken telling his friends her big secret.
  • X Meets Y: My So-Called Life meets The Wonder Years, with a bit of That '70s Show.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: When Barry and Lindsay are discussing the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, he calls the idea of it being done to impress Jodie Foster fakakta, which, as he explains, means "lame" (or crap). Lindsay later uses the expression to describe Nick and his friends getting stoned all the time.
  • Yoko Oh No: Lindsay inadvertently becomes this in "I'm with the Band", where she splits up the freak's band when actually trying to get them to improve. Daniel even calls her Yoko at one point, although they're all back together by the end of the episode. He teases her about it again in a later episode, referring to the time she broke up their band so she could make out with Nick. She doesn't correct him that she actually made out with Nick in part because she felt bad about breaking up their band.


Video Example(s):


Neal & Morty

Neal uses "Morty" to deal with the issues he's facing at home, namely his knowing about the affair his father has been having.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / InhibitionDestroyingPuppet

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