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Series / Get a Life

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Get a Life was a demented, surreal 1990 sitcom that aired on Fox. It starred Chris Elliott as Chris Peterson, a friendly yet slightly psychotic 30-year-old paperboy and all-around loser who lives with his parents. The show followed Chris' strange adventures, which included becoming a male model, stalking beautiful women, and rescuing vomiting aliens.

Needless to say, the darkness and weirdness of the show got it cancelled after two seasons even as it received excellent critical reviews, but it gained a cult following in that time and after years of DVD sets for the show being stuck in Development Hell (due to show-runner David Mirkin's insistence that all episodes be released uncut, including the music), a complete series set was finally released by Shout! Factory on September 18, 2012.

Get a Trope:

  • Aliens Are Bastards: Spewey is anything but a nice alien. He constantly beats Chris up, frequently vomits on him, and inexplicably excretes pus from his elbows.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Chris tries to break a world record for most pounds of items on him, at one point red liquid comes out his mouth. It's implied to be blood, until the doctor says to not give him any more tomato juice.
  • Basement-Dweller: Chris in Season 1, though technically it's "upstairs duplex apartment dweller"—but it's still his parents' house, and he drops in on them constantly.
  • Clip Show: The final episode of the series is set up as Chris' life flashing before his eyes as he falls from an airplane.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Chris. He lives in his own little world where reality rarely intrudes, and he constantly misunderstands the people and situations he encounters.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The Title Sequence shows Chris on his paper route. When a scantily clad woman picks up her newspaper, Chris is so busy ogling her that he rides his bicycle into a parked car.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Some of the first season is almost like a normal sitcom. The show would get a great deal weirder in Season 2.
  • Everyone Chasing You: Happens to Chris at the end of "The Big City".
  • Fun with Acronyms: Chris' alien friend Spewey, which Chris says stands for "Special Person Entering the World...Egg Yolks".
  • Gainax Ending: The final episode is a clip show in which Chris falls out of a plane on the way to Iraq. In the end he lands on "one of those discarded beds from the classic TV series Love, American Style"; unluckily, the mattress was made entirely out of explosives, blowing Chris up once again. A third season was planned but never happened.
  • Happy Dance: Chris' bizarre back-and-forth hand-flapping line dance.
  • Henpecked Husband: Larry
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: A good amount of episodes have the subtitle "2000".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Fred.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: In "Paperboy 2000", the paper boys lose their job to a gigantic robotic vehicle called the Paperboy 2000. To get their jobs back, Chris challenges the robot to a paper-delivering contest.
  • Kent Brockman News: Connie Bristol in "Terror on the Hell Loop 2000", a female news reporter who is perfectly content with reporting on Chris and Larry upside down on the rollercoaster without doing anything to save them, in spite of their desperate pleas.
  • Laugh Track: The show was filmed single-camera, and had a laugh track added in post-production. On the DVD, some episodes can be watched without the laugh track.
  • MacGyvering: When Chris and Sharon get locked in her meat locker, Chris takes a paper clip to unlock the door, stating the trope namer as well.
  • Manchild: Despite in his late 20s, Chris acts much, much younger, still living with his parents, still having the job he had when he was young, and generally acting immature.
  • Put on a Bus: Larry abandons his wife and kids at the start of Season 2 after Chris reminds him of everything going wrong in his life. Chris subsequently is unable to find Larry and he doesn't appear again.
  • Retool:
    • For once the idea to retool came from the show-runner, instead of the network.
    • A minor one at the beginning of season 2: Chris moves out of his parents' house and Larry disappears.
    • Had the show been renewed for season 3, Chris would have become a hobo wandering around America.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Multiple times in "1977 2000".
  • Stalker with a Crush: Chris falls in love with and stalks a woman doctor who isn't interested in him at all. Later in the same episode, Chris gets his own stalker as well.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Chris tends to die a lot. Most infamously in "Married" when the episode abruptly ends with a giant boulder falling on him for no reason.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Chris is constantly trying to get his friend Larry to have fun with him, even if it puts Larry at risk of losing his job and annoying his wife.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Inverted Trope. Chris actually thinks that Fred is proud of him. He could not be more wrong.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: If you pay attention, the show takes place in the fictional Minneapolis suburb of Greenville, Minnesota, and the paper Chris delivers is the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.