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Series / Living Single

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"In a '90s kind of world, I'm glad I got my girls!"

Living Single is a sitcom that ran from 1993 to 1998, beginning a year before Friends. It featured an ensemble cast of New York twentysomethings living in the middle-class Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The one obvious distinction is that the cast was African-American. The show gained points for showing Black people succeeding in corporate America, from law to stocks to entrepreneurship.

One of the show's main draws was its realistic depiction of women. The ladies have a varying range of personality traits and body types, which is never a plot point. The two male characters live next door, and while they're seen as annoying at first, they soon develop friendships with the women and eventually romance.

The main characters are:

  • Khadijah James (Queen Latifah, who sings the theme song): An ambitious journalist who runs her own magazine, Flavor. Her various romances drive the plots of several episodes.
  • Synclaire James-Jones (Kim Coles): Khadijah's quirky cousin and secretary at Flavor. Is also an aspiring comedic actress. Dates and eventually marries Overton.
  • Regine Hunter (Kim Fields): A childhood friend of Khadijah's. She's a fashion-conscious boutique-buyer on a hellbent quest to marry a rich "Chocolate Ken", as she puts it.
  • Maxine Shaw (Erika Alexander): Another childhood friend, and sharp-tongued attorney. Later delves into politics. Is known for her constant bickering with Kyle but develops an on-and-off relationship with him. She doesn't actually live with the girls but has her own apartment across the street.
  • Kyle Barker (Terrence C. Carson): Overton's best friend and roommate, a handsome but vain stockbroker/jazz musician. His sparring with Maxine does nothing to hide their mutual sexual attraction.
  • Overton Wakefield Jones (John Henton): The building's superintendent and a Cleveland Browns fanatic. Has a sense of humor which leads to his attraction to Synclaire.
  • Ira Lee "Tripp" Williams (Mel Jackson): Introduced in Season 5, he moves into Synclaire's room after she moves in with Overton. He's an aspiring songwriter who has a thing for the new tenant across the hall.

Shares a universe with Half & Half as Erika Alexander and Terrence C. Carson reprised their roles in a guest appearance.

This show provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Khadijah and Max, or Overton and Kyle.
    • Khadijah & her little sister Stephanie certainly count as well as Overton & his sister Olivia.
    • Considering that Max is short for Maxine, this mostly applies to Kyle only both within the group and with his own little brother, Damon.
  • Almighty Janitor: Overton Wakefield Jones.
    • There was also the time the garbagemen were on strike, and Alderwoman Shaw tried to get them back to work. After they started dumping trash outside her apartment, Max apologized. The strike leader then laid it out for her, along with gestures showing the ascending levels of power in the city.
      The people...Alderwoman...City Council...Mayor...Garbagemen...God.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Regine is usually mortified by her mother's behavior (not to mention her taste in clothing), although its shown they have a lot in common and really do love each other.
  • Amoral Attorney: Maxine Shaw, Attorney at Law.
    • To put the amoral aspect into perspective, while Regine is working as a wedding planner she discovers the groom's, her friend Darryl's, fiancé is only marrying him for his money. Max advises Regine to keep her mouth shut, comparing the situation to her own law practice in that there was nothing wrong in cashing in on the pain and suffering of others.
    • This is likely more of a reaction to a prior experience in where she advised a high powered client to get a prenup, her fiancé left her, and Max not only got suspended but also had her career stalled until she quit.
  • And Starring: Kim Fields as "Regine"
  • Aside Glance: Khadijah gives us one during a "Queen" Stealth Pun.
    • When working in a discount store, Regine gives an amazed one after a customer says she thought a dress she'd tried on was too big. (It was actually quite the opposite.)
    • During one episode setting during a dream, Regine's character in the flashback mentions an aversion to synthetic hair & wigs and Khadijah gives us one.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kyle and Max.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT break Khadijah's glass giraffe that her Nana gave her!
  • Between My Legs: Of Max during the episode The Glass Ceiling when she poses nude.
  • Big Applesauce: Brooklyn, to be precise.
  • Big-Breast Pride : Regine calls this trope into action while explaining her "Date Laugh".
    Regine: You put one hand on your date, one hand on your chest. *laughs* See it’s a kind of laugh that says: "I’m amused and I have these."
    • She then switches to D-Cup Distress when she had to get a breast reduction because her large breasts were causing chronic back pain and again in real life when Queen Latifah did the same.
  • Big Eater: Max is constantly eating the girls' food, yet remains thin.
  • Big "NO!": Regine with a side of corn bread in On The Rebound, when Khadijah's caught kissing Grant Hill.
    • Overton gets one when Khadijah threatens to flip a troll doll to decide if Synclaire should stay in Brooklyn or get shipped back home to Minneapolis.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After a particularly bad date in Mystery Date, Khadijah actually turns towards the camera and blames the audience for it.
    Khadijah: *glares at the audience* You did this to me. I thought y'alls were my peoples!
  • Broken Aesop: From Five Card Stud, hustling/cheating at poker is perfectly acceptable as long as you do it against a Straw Misogynist.
  • Can Not Tell A Lie: While she is usually a master of deception, by the end of the series Regine is struck honest by the man who ends up being her true love.
    • Synclaire in general is usually either this, or Bad Liar.
  • Canon Immigrant: Kyle and Max resurfaced in UPN's Half And Half, along with their daughter, Kyla, whom Max was pregnant with in the final episode.
    • Milton The Baker from a Different World, showed up.
  • Catchphrase: It had a couple:
    Regine: Aww sookie sookie now! (or) Smooches!
    Synclaire: Woo woo woo!
    Kyle/Overton: "Watch dog!" "Bow wow!"
  • Celebrity Paradox: Khadijah has a Queen Latifah poster on her bedroom wall.
  • Celebrity Star: The show features an unusual amount of celebrity guest stars, typically sports stars, singers and actors either As Himself or as relatives and friends of the main cast. Examples include Dean Cain, Gladys Knight, Brian McKnight, Heavy D, TLC, Naughty by Nature, Evander Holyfield, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Melvin and Mario Van Peebles, and many others.
  • Characterization Marches On: Both Maxine and Kyle, at the end end up more enlightened & family focused and less career oriented by the show's end.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Khadijah and Scooter
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Russel will do anything to put a smile on Regine's face . . . because then she's more likely to shimmy for him.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Synclaire, though Overton isn't far behind.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Played with in the episode where Max fights the garbagemen on strike.
    Khadijah: Let me clarify the situation. Regine and me living with garbage is like you being barefoot and pregnant - and liking it.
    Max: (Horrified) For real?
  • Cool Old Lady: Khadijah's grandmother, Grammy James.
    Synclaire: I haven't had this much fun since Grammy James's 80th birthday, okay.
    Khadijah: Word. Grammy was kicking wasn't she?
  • Covert Pervert: During an episode when they are settling down to watch a porn video featuring an actor who looks just like Overton, Synclaire is truly enthusiastic about it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kyle and Max, especially toward each other.
  • Disappeared Dad: Khadijah's father left her and her mother when she was young, although they seem to have reconciled at some point before the show's timeline (somewhat).
  • Disproportionate Retribution: An escalating Cycle of Revenge occurs between Regine and Max in the episode Mr. Big Shot. Max wants to borrow a dress Regine is working on for her Soap Opera Palo Alto for a function at the mayor's house, and Regine won't let her have it. Turns out the dress is actually a tear-away dress for a cat-fight on the soap, but when Regine discovers Max stole the dress anyway, she decides not to try and warn her and let Max be publicly humiliated instead. If that wasn't enough, after Max discovers Regine knew the dress was a prop and didn't try to warn her after she stole it, Max completes a long list of things to get back at her, including: letting the air out of her tires, putting sugar in her gas tank, canceling her credit cards, ordering two dozens pizzas to be delivered in the morning, and fixing her up on a date with RuPaul.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The Title Theme Tune was performed by Queen Latifah.
  • Downer Ending: The episode in which the girls install a complex security system after being robbed, although for a moment is about to end with Khadijah refusing to live scared, ends with a police siren in the background and all the girls unable to sleep due to fear of their safety. Plus, not only was the robber not caught, but probably never will be.
    • At the end of "Talk Showdown", after being embarrassed on the talk show by Khadijah, Regine announces that she is moving out. Even as she is serious about it and packs her bags, Khadijah still makes fun of her. Also, when she is leaving out the door, she mentions to her, "oh, yeah, there's one thing that I forgot to say." When Khadijah asks what sarcastically, she replies on the verge of tears "I forgot to say goodbye."
    • The ending of the episode when Kyle left for London, after he got on the plane:
    Khadijah: You gonna be okay?
    Max: Yeah, I'm gonna be fine.
    Khadijah: *tearfully* I'm not. *embraces Max*
  • Dresses the Same: During one episode where the girls go out, Regine, who thinks she's wearing a one of a kind dress, is shown throughout the rest of that setting running after women in the same dress to mess theirs up.
  • Drop-In Character: Maxine has her own apartment, but is rarely seen there. Lampshaded the first time the cast is there in person.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The pilot features a number of differences unique to that episode such as:
    • Regine's relationship with the girls is much frositer, almost completely antagonistic with Khadija with almost no implication that they have been friends since childhood.
    • Overton's demeanor is more a Manchild, introduces a quickly written out Running Gag of him telling a lie to completely recant it in his next line of dialogue.
    • The girls live in a completely different apartment, that opens out to a terrace, features white décor, and has a larger first floor with rooms in the back.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Max seems very unwilling to divulge her middle name. It's Felice.
    Kyle: What's your middle name?
    Max: You will never know.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Regine does not like being called her childhood nickname of Nay-Nay.
    • Kyle has the childhood nickname of "Lumpy". He also used to be known as "Meatball" (to Overton's "Spaghetti").
  • Even the Girls Want Her: An inversion of Experimented in College, Max's college roommate harbored a rather large crush on her, which was a large part of the reason said roommate never came out to her (although she did come out to Khadijah, who agreed in keeping it from Max for her own good).
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: Averted, if you can believe it. Max may be aggressive and ruthless, but even Kyle comments that as much as they bicker, he respects her as a professional and competent lawyer.
  • Fake-Hair Drama: To Regine's annoyance everyone seems know she is wearing a wig. But they all agree it's a great one. Scooter later gifts her with "100% human hair" but still counts as this trope since it is still not hers.
  • Fate Worse than Death: We learn Max's idea of this trope in the aforementioned Cool and Unusual Punishment. Its so bad, she wouldn't even wish it on Regine!
  • Foot Popping
  • Formerly Fat: Kyle, though it's only mentioned once or twice in passing, as well as by Overton's uncle Smoke Eye who still calls him by his childhood nickname 'Lumpy'. Notably, he never had issues with this nor did it make him insecure though it was something he didn't mention often.
    • The reactions to him at his high school reunion implies that he was teased about it. It's more likely something that he's managed to put behind it rather than never having issues in the first place.
  • For Your Own Good: The reason Khadijah doesn't tell Max about her one-night stand with the college professor that Max had a crush on, or that Max's college roommate was a lesbian and had a crush on Max.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Max ... almost. With the exception of Khadijah (her best friend), everyone else can see (and often point out) how cold and harsh Max can be, how insulting she is towards everyone and antagonistic she can be towards men in particular, and, of course, how she just invites herself over and eats all of the other girls' food (and never pays them back for any of it).
  • Fun with Acronyms: For a while Regine is involved with an organization called E.L.B.O.W. - 'Enterprising Ladies Benefiting Our World'
  • Gamer Chick: Maxine, though it is not a huge part of her character she has been shown to pass her time with the game boy and import from Japan. Khadija has a milder but still mentioned interest in video games.
  • Gay Bar: The girls go to one when they get sick of being hit on in straight bars. Remember this was the mid-90's when homosexuality was still something of a taboo subject on network tv.
  • Genki Girl: Synclaire.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Khadijah & her sister Stephanie. Different in that they grew up in different households and Stephanie had the benefit of their father being around while she grew up.
  • Gold Digger: One of the prerequisites to being Regine's "Chocolate Ken" is having a lot of extra money to spend on her.
    • She goes back and forth with this but instead settles on only wanting to date men with a purpose or motivation in life. She eventually settles down with A millionaire anyway, however.
  • Good Bad Girl: Regine.
  • Gossipy Hens: Regine is the biggest hen of them all, not even court-ordained community service with monks under a vow of silence could keep her mouth shut.
    • Though her mother is an extremely strong rival in this area. And woe to anyone the two decide to gossip about together.
  • Halloween Episode: "Trick or Trust" from Season 2. Ahead of going to a costume party, Regine gets Khadijah paranoid about Scooter cheating on her. Meanwhile, with Max being dismissive of Halloween, Overton and Synclaire try to get her in the right spirit by scaring her.
  • Handsome Lech: Kyle, moreso early on.
  • Happily Married: Overton and Synclaire.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Kyle and Overton up until the 5th season.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Max's old college roommate tells her that she's a lesbian and about to marry a woman. She then reveals that her crush on Max was when she realized she was a lesbian.
  • I Have No Daughter: Printed word for word on a pillow sent to Synclaire from her mother, due to her breaking the family tradition of getting her great aunt Ada's "okle-dokle" to get married before her engagement to Overton.
  • I Want Grandkids: Regine's mother. Nearly every interaction she has on screen somehow manages to mention her desire for Regine to 'settle down & get some beans in that oven!'
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Regine, to the point the characters jokingly suggest her voice is punishment from God for Khadijah missing church.
    Khadijah: Oh my God! That voice! My God! My God, why hast thou forsaken me?!
    Overton: I guess that's what happens when you don't go to church for two years.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Regine's mother loves to dress like this (and encourage Regine to do the same). Ironically the boutique Regine works at becomes a place like this - Le Rag Bin - and her mother shows up to shop there the first day it does.
  • Ironic Echo: From the episode Great Expectations.
    Max: I don't know. The club scene is tired. There's nothin' but a bunch of brothers there with beepers and gold teeth talkin' about "Baby, I'd like to put you on a plate and sop you up with a biscuit."
    (later at the club)
    Goldie: *to Max* So the funny thing is, right? The cop forgot to read me my rights, ok? So here I am ready to put you on a plate and sop you up with a biscuit!
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Happens with Overton's Mother's Day gift of less than pleasant smelling perfume.
    Khadijah: Damn! Smell like . . . cheese!
    Overton: Does not!
    Regine: *suddenly walks in* Mmm! Who got some nachos?
  • Jerk Jock: Khadijah's old basketball rival, Denise Hatcher. Not only does she, a professional woman's basketball player, challenge Khadijah, who hasn't played in years, to an unfair basketball game because she claims Khadijah cheated to win an MVP trophy years ago, but then after admits she lied the whole time about Khadijah cheating, and takes the trophy anyway. What a Jerkass.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Max can come across as a Straw Feminist she does have her moments, such as when she lampshades the fatal flaw in wanting a big, strong man around to protect a woman from an armed attacker, pointing out that the only thing a man has that woman does not would not stop a bullet.
  • Justified Title: The end of the series, Overton and Synclaire are Happily Married, Max and Kyle end up together, Regine finds her "Chocolate Ken", Tripp hooks up with the upstairs neighbor, and Khadijah runs off with Scooter in the final scene of the series, the show literally ends when all of the main cast are no longer "Living Single".
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Max's campaign slogan when running for Alderwoman, when she says "Ride the Maverick . . . she means it!"
  • Large Ham: Most of the cast has a chance to ham it up from time to time, but Kim Fields gets to do it at the end of every one of the revamped opening credits. After her credits pop up, she starts pantomiming with trumpet before dramatically lipsyncing with the last note of the song.
  • Last Minute Hook Up: Kyle and Max, Khadijah and her boyfriend, Scooter.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Regine gets one in She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother, when complaining about her mother just before she realizes the company she's keeping.
    Regine: Yeah, she was a riot upstairs, rifling through my underwear drawer. Man, thank god I hid my . . .
    Kyle: *who is sitting right next to Regine, just grins and chuckles knowingly*
    Regine: . . . Christmas List.
  • Male Gaze: Russel is pretty much constantly asking Regine to make her boobs bounce for him.
  • The Masochism Tango: Kyle and Max's on again/off again love/hate fest.
    • One episode had the two in a literal Masochism Tango, complete with insults and ending with Kyle leaving Max on the floor and walking away without helping her back up again.
  • Meaningful Name: It's no coincidence that "Regine" is French for "Queen", given her diva-like personality.
  • Meat Versus Veggies: When Regine becomes a vegetarian, she attempts to force her roommates to be the same by throwing out all the meat in the apartment. Her roommates counter this by throwing out all her veggies and having a huge meat-only BBQ in the backyard. This backfires on everyone, however when Regine snaps and demands everyone's meat products for herself.
  • Mrs. Robinson: In "Grumpy Old Man," Khadijah says she is looking forward to turning 30 "because of 20-year-old men, looking for Mrs. Robinson."
  • My Beloved Smother: Regine's mother with her guilt-tripping, her interference into Regine's life, nagging about Regine being single, and Impossibly Tacky Clothes is one (Maxine also recognizes her as a Manipulative Bitch, or as she put it "a pro"). In her introductory episode, she is contrasted with Khadijah's mother Rita, who has a easygoing relationship with her daughter until Regine's disagreements with her mother puts Rita close to being in the smothering camp.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In the episode Come Back Little Diva, Khadijah, Synclaire and Max run into Regine, who has moved out, at the laundromat. Regine greets them by saying “Hey ladies!... Khadijah.” Regine and Khadijah's argument on a talk show was the reason for Regine moving out in the first place.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: After Max delves into her Past-Life Memories, she realizes after numerous lifetimes of being a man, this is the first time she's ever been a woman. As such, she realizes her purpose in life is to be a mother, and thus, needs to have a baby.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Overton is less than pleased when he discovers that Kyle is dating his sister, Olivia.
    • Averted with Khadijah's half-sister, Stephanie, to whom she practically begs Ivan to take out to get her off her hands for the night.
  • Never Lend to a Friend: Khadijah is against borrowing money from friends. Unlike the usual examples of the trope, this is because Khadijah cannot handle being in debt to a friend and will go crazy trying to pay them back, even if said friend is perfectly content in waiting.
  • Never My Fault: Lampshaded in "Her Cups Runneth Over". An ice cream man suffers a heart attack after overexerting himself trying to reach over to give a peanut buddy cone to Overton. When Overton and a neighborhood boy visit him in the hospital, the man yells at him and accuses him of trying to "finish him off", to which Overton talks about he is overweight (as well as an old man). He freaks out so much, he ends up giving himself another episode.
  • Not So Similar: Maxine, when Khadijah says she is just like Regine because of her flirting. Max says she only does it for fun while Regine is in it for the money.
  • Odd Couple: Regine and Tripp (as Khadijah remained impartial between them), Regine is feminine, snobbish, and uptight while Tripp is a laid-back stereotypical bachelor/homeboy.
  • Offscreen Breakup: For several episodes Khadijah was dating anesthesiologist Charles, but after some time he just disappears from the show altogether. Khadijah explains that Charles was so busy working at the hospital, the two just ended up growing apart.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Regine, who was caught having sex with one of her boyfriends on the roof by her mother still gets razzed a bit over it once in a later season.
    Regine: Man, when are you going to let that go!?
    Khadijah: Oh god - when it stops being so funny!
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Minor example with Maxine "Max" Felice Shaw, although she was referred to by her first name much of the time, as well. Major examples include Regina "Regine" Hunter, Khadijah's on/off again boyfriend Terrence "Scooter" Williams, and 5th season newcomer Ira Lee "Tripp" Williams.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: During the show's Christmas Episode Kyle states his preference for celebrating Kwanzaa, a holiday dedicated towards sharing as opposed to the commercialism of Christmas. This is the same Kyle who works for a brokerage firm and once claimed Greed as a business asset. Lampshaped immediately afterwards, however, when Kyle excuses himself to supervise a hostile takeover.
    • It does fit in, however, with his love of all things from the African culture.
  • Parrot Exposition: We get this exchange in A Kiss Before Lying. Interesting to note, all the characters already knew who Greg was, so this bit of exposition is purely for the audience's benefit.
    Max: Greg called.
    Khadijah: Tell me this is not the Greg I'm thinking of. Tell me this is Greg the mailman. Tell me it's Greg the bald-headed barber. You better tell me it's Greg Brady.
    Max: No it's the Greg. He left four messages on my machine today.
    Khadijah: Oh, that's nice. Don't call him back.
    Synclaire: Greg? The one you went out with for five years and then when your career took off and his didn't, he packed his raggedy old duffle bag and left, that Greg?
    Max: Okay, you might have heard me mention him.
  • Post-Robbery Trauma: Happens to Regine after she gets her purse stolen, as she starts annoying Khadijah and Synclaire with her obsession of getting hi-tech security system ... then the same mugger (who now had Regine's driver's license and keys) breaks into the apartment and robs them. Soon after all the main characters (Max and the boys included) are suffering for fear of their safety.
  • Prince Charming Wannabe: Ivan tries desperately to be suave and romantic towards Khadijah, but at best he comes off as a Stalker with a Crush.
  • Product Displacement: The beginning of "The Naked Truth" has the friends eating Pizza Hut pizza with the logo obscured with black masking tape.
  • Public Exposure: Synclaire agrees to do a nude scene for a play in the episode Raw Talent. Definitely Played for Laughs.
    • Partially Averted by Max when she steals a dress from Regine that she didn't know was a prop tear-away dress for a Soap Opera. Good thing she decided to wear underwear!
    • One episode features Regine & her boyfriend Keith having sex on the roof and her mother catching them afterward.
    • Another episode features Max posing nude for Keith for one of his paintings.
  • Put on a Bus: Khadijah's childhood friend and new beau Scooter gets put onto this not long after the two hook up, as he is asked to go touring with one of the groups he represents. The two share a failing long-distance relationship for awhile before they finally call it quits.
    • The Bus Came Back: Scooter does pop back up a few times, to re-ignite the relationship between himself and Khadijah, to propose to her, then officially break up, and then finally getting back together with Khadijah again near the end of the series.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kyle delivers one to Lester, the bully who made his High School life a living hell.
    Kyle: How did someone who comes from the same place as me, who had the same opportunities as me, end up as self-loathing and pathetic as you?
  • Rhymes on a Dime: In the episode where Regine & her boyfriend are caught by her mother having sex on the roof Maxine puts out a newsletter entitled 'Mom goes poof over roof goof'
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Lester Tate, Kyle's old High School bully.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Kyle, at one point in the series he even manages to get his tailor to remain the particular way he does his collars for him the "Barker Lapel".
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Overton and Synclaire, who are a rare case of this throughout the dating process - complete with kissy faces and cutsey pet names - and after they are married.
    • They even joke about planning to have twins named Syncloverton and Overclaire.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Max and Kyle, except they seemed to always go back to Slap Slap after the Kiss until the end of the series, that is.
  • Soap Within a Show: the Soap Opera Regine works as a costume assistant for, Palo Alto.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Overton.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Ivan for Khadijah, some of things he says to her can get really creepy, but its always Played for Laughs.
    • Regine for Grant Hill, even after its obvious Grant only has eyes for Khadijah. At one point Max even says Regine's a disgrace to desperate women everywhere.
    • Russel for Regine, although he mostly comes off as a Chivalrous Pervert.
      • They are somewhere between Slap-Slap-Kiss and Abhorrent Admirer as while he usually ends up pissing her off eventually it's only by the end in most situations as he usual ends up charming her during some point at any given exchange. Eventually this leads to nothing, as Russel eventually tired of waiting for her to wait around for her to decide on him one way or another. When she did want to actually give him a chance, while at Synclaire and Overton's wedding, he'd moved on.
  • Stealth Pun: At least twice in the series they refer to Khadijah, played by Queen Latifah, as acting like a 'Queen', one use of this joke included an Aside Glance though, so it wasn't as subtle.
    • One Such example -
    Khadijah: Synclaire! this is a queen sized mattress! that means there's only enough room for the queen!
  • Straw Feminist: Max will occasionally slip into this from time to time, although since the format of the show centers around a Four-Girl Ensemble she's rarely, if ever, called out on it. Played for Laughs every now and again when it turns out the feminist example she's rambling on about turns out to be linked to an old ex-boyfriend that she still misses.
    • In one episode Khadijah actually reveals Max's worst nightmare is to be a stay-at-home mom who's subservient to her husband ("barefoot and pregnant"), and actually enjoying it.
  • Straw Misogynist: Lawrence from the episode Five Card Stud, although he seems to rubber band between being an alright guy to acting chauvinistic until the end of the episode, where he turns into a full Straw Misogynist.
    • Sometimes Kyle is a lesser example of this, but he usually gets called out on it.
    Kyle: (while over the women's apartment & eating their Chinese food) You women are so indecisive. Men, on the other hand, move with a swift and deliberate purpose. Goes back to prehistoric time when we men were the hunters and you women did what we told you to. And you liked it.
    Khadijah: Uh-uh *swipes the food from his hands*
  • Straw Vegetarian: Regine becomes a vegetarian because she saw it was good for you and could keep you young looking on a daytime talk show. Despite the shallow reasoning which led her to become a vegetarian in the first place, she does end up remaining one permanently from that episode forward.
  • Supermodel Strut: Played straight by Max when the girls are trying to teach Sinclaire how to do a sexy strut, but sadly averted when Synclaire's "Sexy Walk" looks more to say "I have bunions and look at my butt" according to Khadijah.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Purposely lampshaded in "Come Back, Little Diva" when Regine moves into a new apartment complex after fighting with her old friends and housemates. In place of Khadijah, Khadijah's cousin Synclaire ("Woo, woo, woo"), Overton, Kyle, and Max, her housewarming party guests include Lakeisha, Lakeisha's cousin Polly ("Hush, hush, hush"), Orville, Karl, and Sam. While all of the other established characters are competitive with their substitutes, Maxine encourages Sam's equally voracious appetite.
  • Talk Show Appearance: In the episode "Talk Showdown", the girls going on a talk show named Delia where they are portrayed as "The Roommates From Heaven". Eventually, petty arguments, secrets and other embarrassing tidbits spill out that culminates in Regine and Khadijah falling out and the former briefly moving out.
  • Taped-Over Turmoil: An episode has an annoyed Regine talking about the time Synclaire had taped over her copy of The Thorn Birds with The Richard Bey Show.
  • Team Mom: Khadijah.
  • The '90s: The show does date itself between television and musical references, but the most obvious reference comes right from the theme song:
    Queen Latifah: "Ooo in a 90's kind of world, I'm glad I got my girls!"
  • The Napoleon: Khadijah accuses Regine of being one.
  • Title Theme Tune: The theme song is titled "Living Single", sung by none other than Khadijah herself, Queen Latifah.
  • Tragic Hero: During the first season finale Max recommends that her wealthy client seek a pre-nuptial agreement with her fiancé, although does so without first getting approval from the firm's partners. This advice leads her client's fiancé to call off the wedding, and said client to blame Max for the recommendation, causing Max's subsequent suspension from the firm.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: A female assumed as male example (sort of) by Max in a Gay Bar, when a man tries to pick her up assuming she's actually a Drag Queen.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: You could pretty much interchange this any combination of Khadijah, Regine, Max and Kyle.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Max steals a dress from Regine to attend a function at the mayor's house. What Regine didn't tell Max was the dress is actually a prop tear-away dress for a catfight scene in her Soap Opera, Palo Alto. Hilarity Ensues. Regine warned her not to wear it but wouldn't say why and max took it anyway.
  • Weight Woe: Averted, as all the varied body types were presented as both desirable and beautiful. In fact, amongst all their dating misadventures throughout the series, body image was the only thing never referenced or made an issue of.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What Happened To The Dog?: Kyle and Overton's dog, Sanford, appeared in all of one episode and is never heard from again. Strange case in that we're also told they've had the dog for a few months when the episode starts although he was never seen before.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Overton is afraid of clowns.
  • With Friends Like These...: Max and Regine, Regine has stated outright the only reason she puts up with Max is because Khadijah forces her to. Also Max and Kyle, although there's more Belligerent Sexual Tension involved there.