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Series / In the House

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In the House is a 1995–99 sitcom that aired on NBC for its first two seasons before a Channel Hop to UPN. The series was an attempt by NBC to re-capture the magic and success of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (which was winding down its run) by using the same formula: hire a popular rapper, surround him with more capable actors, and put him in a sitcom.

The series starred LL Cool J as Marion Hill as a former NFL football player who's been sidelined by injuries and unable to play. In order to make ends meet, he ends up renting out some of his rooms to newly divorced single mother Jackie Warren (Debbie Allen) and her two kids, Tiffany (Maia Campbell) and Austin (Jeffery Wood). Also part of the main cast was Lisa Arrindell Anderson as Jackie's demanding boss. The first two seasons relied heavily on the Odd Couple dynamic between Marion and Jackie, a little bit of Unresolved Sexual Tension between them, as well Marion getting along with her kids and becoming a caretaker/Nanny to them.


After two seasons, the show was canceled by NBC. The show then moved to UPN, and was then retooled - The series revolved around Marion's new sports clinic business, Jackie and Austin were written out as having moved out to Tennessee, Tiffany stayed to finish out her senior year, Kim Wayans (who recurred in season two as Marion's physical trainer Tonia Harris) was brought up to main character status, and Alfonso Ribeiro joined in season 3 as Dr. Maxwell "Max" Stanton and Dee Jay Daniels as Rodney as a young football expert. UPN then canceled it again after two seasons, and the final 6-episode season aired in First-Run Syndication.

Notable for also sharing a universe with Fresh Prince, Carlton and Ashley Banks guest-starred in a episode as well as James Avery reprising Uncle Phil as a mediator in a guest spot.


Tropes in this sitcom include

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Tonia, who was first introduced as Marion's physical trainer, who became completely obsessed with him after he showed a kind gesture and tried to seduce him. Downplayed as she wasn't ugly at all, outside of making a couple of remarks like her finally shaving her mustache.
  • Black and Nerdy: Austin, who into taking apart machines, uncoordinated and gangly and wore Braces of Orthodontic Overkill sleeping.
    • Maxwell Stanton, a doctor at the clinic and friend of Marion's who is basically a more refined, mature version of Carlton Banks.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Marion, who played in the NFL until he blew out his knee. One episode finally had him heal from the injury and be reactivated to the his team...only to be re-injured after playing in one game when his team dumped Powerade on him and he slipped and fell, dislocating his shoulder.
  • The Casanova / Really Gets Around: Marion. A ton of episodes revolve around his suave, womanizing tendencies. Lessened a lot in the short season five.
  • The Ditz: After the retool, Tiffany gradually became this. Tonia qualifies as well at times.
  • Ditzy Genius: Downplayed with Max. While nowhere near Carlton Banks levels of childish, he's still a generally silly person in nature.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Max. Marion and Tonia get no end of amusement from insulting and generally picking on him. They still see him as a friend at the end of the day, though.
  • Granola Guy: Marion, who takes his veganism and spiritual enlightening tendencies to almost comical degrees at times.
  • Maintain the Lie: When his grandmother drops by for a visit, Milton reveals he never told her he and Jackie got divorced because of her bad heart. He begs her to take advantage of Marion being out of town to make it appear they're all still a happy family. When Marion returns, he's not happy but talked into acting like he's their live-in "butler." It finally builds to a huge fight with Nana throwing the "servant" out and Jackie and Milton forced to confess the which point, the woman reveals she had a pacemaker put in to solve any heart problems and more upset they've been lying to her all this time.
  • Retool - In season 3, Debbie Allen left the show due to creative differences and Austin was written out as the show wanted to skew older. The show then focused on Marion's buying a sports clinic, Tonia toning down her yandere tendencies, Tiffany going to college, and Alfonso Ribeiro joining the cast as a doctor.
  • Riches to Rags: Jackie was married to a wealthy lawyer, but then he had an affair and later divorced Jackie, leading her to seek employement after years of not working and having to rent out a room.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Tonia, who stalked and harassed Marion. After the second season, she mellowed out considerably and became a main character.