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Series / Man Seeking Woman

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Love Is Strange.
Man Seeking Woman is an FXX comedy shown since 2015. The show is based on the book "Last Girlfriend on Earth" by Simon Rich. The show stars follows the dating life of 20-something Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel), focusing on his dates, flings, and girlfriends. His best friend (Eric Andre) encourages him to pursue sex as opposed to serious relationships, while his older sister (Britt Lower) pushes Josh towards relationships.

Following the end of its third season, the show was not renewed by FXX.

Provides examples of:

  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: More like all tentacled penis monsters come from Japan (in this case, Whitney's friend Tanaka) but the underlying principle is the same.
  • Alone Among the Couples: Josh quite often. Though once done on purpose to introduce him to Maude.
  • Always Someone Better: Graham, Maggie's boyfriend in Stain is this to Josh.
    Mike: Oh, Graham, that guy's great.
    Josh: What?
    Josh: What the- Jesus, man!
  • Bad Date: Most of Josh's so far.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Josh grows one in the months following his breakup with Maggie.
  • Blind Date:
    • Between Josh and Gorbachaka, a literal troll.
    • It's also revealed this is how Josh's mother and stepfather met. note 
  • Advertisement:
  • Black Comedy
  • Bromantic Foil: Mike pushes this role into parody territory, with his cliched role of the sex-crazed best friend frequently getting mocked. Apparently this universe is infested with "bros" who latch onto meek guys to become their buddies, so much so that facilities exist entirely to exterminate large groups of them to keep their numbers manageable.
  • Brutal Honesty: The majority of Josh's friends and family are incredibly blunt about Josh's romantic chances and how much of a wreck his whole personal and professional life are, but Liz is often the biggest offender. Crowning examples of this are her unintentional "The Reason You Suck" Speech when he sets Josh up on a blind date with a troll, her TV ad pleading women to date her brother and her extremely bleak (and hilarious) eulogy at Josh's fake funeral.
  • Call-Back: In the Season 1 episode, "Teacup", Liz splits up with her boyfriend Leo. The scene ends with her getting her own Personal Raincloud despite it being a sunny day for everyone else. This scene is a Call-Back to the first scene in the Pilot, where Josh is being drenched by his Personal Raincloud shortly after Maggie breaks up with him.
    • The Season 3 premiere episode, "Futon", would do a reverse Call-Back to the Season 2 episode, "Honey". In "Honey" Josh has a day that is filled with good luck moments, such as him making a basketball shot from a large distance and winning $1,000 for being the 10,000th person to use the office elevator, but still considers it terrible because he found out Rosa had a boyfriend. In "Futon" Lucy has an awful day, with moments such as slipping on a skateboard, spilling coffee on her laptop, and nearly getting mauled by a Puma, but still considers it great because she met Josh.
    • The Season 3 episode, "Shrimp", features a brief reference to the Dragon Blade game from the Season 2 episode, "Card", this makes even more sense considering both episodes revolved around Josh feeling like a failure in his professional life
  • The Cameo: Loads, including Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Bill Hader, Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong, Jorma Taccone, Sarah Silverman, and Tim Heidecker, among others.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Josh can't talk to people, period, but especially has trouble with talking to women.
  • Cargo Ship: A non-fandom example, as Josh settles for dating a reliable (if old) car, at one point.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: As Josh learns.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Josh. The guy cannot catch a break. Even when he gets in trouble for his own actions, the fact he was put into such uncomfortable situations are amazingly unfortunate (Maggie showing up on his doorstep immediately after he gets serious with Kayla, for example).
  • Cringe Comedy: The main character often faces awkward situations.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Josh attempts this but after a heartfelt talk with one of his hands, both pop off his body and crawl away.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Josh's sister Liz would be the subject of an episode each season, "Teacup", "Tinsel", and "Dolphin" - with the first two episodes featuring an appropriate differences in the title sequence, including reversing the order of words in the title.
    • Season 2 character, Rosa would also receive her own episode dedicated to her with "Eel". This episode also featured the same difference in title sequence and reversing of the order of words in the title.
    • And in Season 3, Lucy, Josh's girlfriend and eventual wife, would get her share of episodes primally focussing on her
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: All of the outlandish and fantastical elements are done for the purpose of representing more common, mundane events, but played up for comedy and to make a point.
  • Drunken Montage: Josh and his bar hookup get increasingly wasted as they sloppily make out and travel to a handful of different venues, including a rave where they both snort something.
  • Funny Background Event: During Liz’s PSA about dating Josh, he can be seen drinking straight from the tap of a sink piled with dishes like an animal.
  • Electric Torture: Josh's mom hooks electrified clamps to his nipples and crotch in order to press him for more information about he and Maude's relationship. He eventually escapes by throwing his sister Liz under the bus (by revealing her apparently recent secret engagement) to divert his mother's attention.
  • Faking the Dead: Josh fakes dead in order to break it off with Maude (it's used as a metaphor for not responding to texts).
  • Fan Disservice: After telling Mike and Liz how he gets intimate with the 1998 Saturn he's dating, we see Josh and the car in a bedroom preparing for sex. Thankfully, the camera pans away from the bed... only to settle on the mirror, where we get a full view of Josh's butt as he penetrates the gas tank.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Josh and Mike take a trip down into the nine circles for a friend's destination wedding in Stain.
  • First Love: Maggie was this for Josh.
  • Fratbro: Mike is the non-college-and-still-this-despite-being-in-his-late-20s type of party guy.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Josh has his own (and rather spacious) downtown apartment despite only having a low-wage temp job. note 
  • Friend Versus Lover: The primary theme "Wings." Mike feels like he's not getting enough of Josh's time because he's with his new hot girlfriend.
  • Girl of the Week: Other than Maggie and Rosa, none of Josh's love interests appear in multiple episodes. This however, changes in season 3, when Josh meets his girlfriend and eventual wife, Lucy, who stays with Josh for the rest of the series.
  • Grand Finale: Josh and his season 3 girlfriend, Lucy, finally get married and from the looks of things, are very excited for what their future has to offer.
  • The Grim Reaper: In "Scythe", Josh has a brush with Death's Personification in a bar restroom. Turns out it's only there for his hair, as he's starting to go bald.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Many episodes consist of multiple unrelated (or tangentially related) stories.
  • A Hell of a Time: The destination wedding in Stain is this for Josh in a literal and figurative sense - for one, it's got murderous demons attacking the guests every 5 minutes and the brimstone environment, but also his ex Maggie was invited to the wedding and Josh spends the entire event moping and pining over her.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his shallow, frat bro personality Mike was able to translate the exorcist's Italian and spoke whatever language N'Kluktu was speaking.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Josh zigzags this trope. On the one hand, he's a moderately good-looking guy, he's sweet and is shown to have serious girlfriends in Dram, Sizzurp, Gavel and Branzino. On the other hand, he's very insecure about his relationships and has trouble maintaining them, plus his friends, family and even Cupid consider him to be a big loser in the romance department.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: In Traib, Josh and Mike hire an exorcist to expel the demons possessing Maggie's old stuff. Includes everything from holy water, floating objects and a plush heart trying to eat Josh's face.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Though he has realized that he finally has moved on and he and Maggie aren't right for each other, Josh still sets her up with an Alternate Universe version of Graham (the man whom she was engaged to in the original timeline).
  • Imagine Spot: The show heavily relies on these. In one episode, the main character imagines a group of generals advising him on what to say when he texts a girl to ask for a date.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Whitney. While the actress is clearly very attractive, it's dialogue that makes it clear that she's a world-class beauty.
  • It's All About Me: Josh has this tendency. He's confronted with it in "Stained," when he leaves the wedding, feeling like he's completely ruined it for everyone. To his surprise, by the time he comes back, everyone's forgotten his transgressions and just carried on with the party.
  • Jewish Mother: Josh’s mom. She frequently pokes into Josh's love life and attempts to set him up with women, whether he wants it or not.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Liz and her friends do this to Josh and Maude at the dinner party. Though calling them "lovebirds" at that point is overstating things.
  • Lighter and Softer: The 3rd, and final, season was pretty much this.
    • Josh got into a long-term relationship with Lucy that lasts the entire season
    • Josh also works more to get over his insecurities that got him into trouble in previous seasons.
    • Season 3 episodes also tended to end on a more earnest and sentimental note than in previous seasons.
    • On an aesthetic level the show also became lighter, through its cinematography emphasizing more sunlight and brighter lighting in episodes, and deemphasizing the shadowy dimmer lighting often seen in previous seasons.
    • Granted even with the Lighter tone, season 3 showed no less of the Mind Screw that the show was known for.
  • Love God: Cupid makes an appearance in Sizzurp, played by Jorma Taccone.
  • Love Hurts: Oh, yes.
  • Loser Protagonist: Josh is the definition of this trope. He works an unsatisfying temp job, is left rejected and heartbroken on multiple occasions and his family and friends regard him, his professional and personal life as a complete mess.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: "Teacup" stars Josh's sister Liz, with Josh taking on Liz's role as a supporting character for the sibling.
  • Magic Realism: Stuff like trolls, devils, and a 126 year-old Hitler appear and nobody bats an eye.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's unclear if the scenarios we witness are filtered through Josh's overactive imagination or actually happening and the series is set in an insane fantasy world. While most viewers are quick to assume it's the former, the fact that every character in the series interacts with the fantastical and absurd parts of the universe makes the latter seem more likely.
  • May–December Romance: Maggie and the 126 year-old Hitler.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Evidently the real key to picking up women; an ability bestowed by a magical wizard upon every male the day he hits puberty. Except Josh.
  • Mind Screw: Every episode runs on this.
  • Mistaken for Gay: All of Josh's cringe-worthy fumbling during his date with Laura finally prompts her to straight up ask him if he's gay.
  • Moment Killer: Usually Mike. He's so self-centered about his time with Josh he does not care about ruining Josh's odd with a lady.
  • Mr. Imagination: Josh. Probably. Maybe.
  • My Beloved Smother: Josh’s mom.
  • Personal Raincloud: Follows Josh home after his breakup with Maggie. Also happens to Liz when she and Leo break up.
  • Pokémon Speak: Tanaka only says his name. Whitney can understand him, though.
  • Prematurely Bald: Josh views himself this way, after finding out he'll be totally bald within three years. He doesn't think this will be enough time to find the girl of his dreams.
  • Running Gag:
    • Josh being charged an outlandish cost for some small object or service, then begrudgingly digging out his wallet with a sigh.
    • So far they've managed to work Infinite Jest into nearly every episode.
    • The girls Josh dates all tend to leave almond milk at his house.
  • Separate Scene Storytelling: 90% of the show.
  • Sex with the Ex: The theme of the second half of "Gavel." Josh is insisting to the courtroom (AKA his conscience) that nothing is going to happen when Maggie shows up on his doorstep. Then they wind up having sex. She regrets it the next morning, he only regrets that he broke up with his girlfriend after it happened.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Josh, regarding Maude.
  • Shout-Out: The show was never shy from making pop culture references and adding them to the surreal Mind Screw of the show. Certain examples include The Sixth Sense, Batman1989, The Shawshank Redemption, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Where the Wild Things Are and even Indiana Jones
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Liz and her boyfriend, and all of their couple-friends.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Josh's mom absolutely insists he try her iced tea (it’s got mint in it)!
  • Sorkin Relationship Moment: Josh has one of these regarding Maggie and her new boyfriend, Adolph Hitler.
  • Staging an Intervention: The entire Olympian pantheon stages one for Cupid to confront him about his substance abuse problems and inability to do his job properly.
  • Surreal Humor
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Tinsel": Liz, for the first half of the episode denies that she's having an affair with Santa Claus, at least until she accepts it.
  • The Stoner: Josh and Mike note 
    • In "Scepter", Josh travels back in time to college and interrupts himself smoking with Mike to tell himself to study Economics rather than Philosophy.
  • Time-Travel Episode: Scepter. Josh travels back in time to fix his relationship with Maggie. Unsurprisingly, he turns the Earth into an apocalyptic nightmare conquered by an alien tyrant who rules it with a totalitarian iron fist and forces Mike to be its "official slut".
  • Torture Cellar: Josh's childhood bedroom has been converted into one.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Not wife, but girlfriend: Josh and Whitney. No one understands how Josh landed such a hot girl.
  • Wedding Episode: "Stained" is a wedding episode... set in hell. It's a send-up of having to go to a friend's destination wedding.
  • Wedding Finale: Series finale episode "Blood" had Josh and his season three girlfriend, Lucy, get married and face off a monster named Grangdor.
  • WidgetSeries: While it at first simply seems to be a series about the trials and tribulations of relationships seen through the eyes of an imaginative geek, the show's presentation is much more surreal, with there being no clear indication of whether a scene is simply a fantasy that Josh is having or if the entire series is actually taking place in the reality of a CloudCuckooland.
  • Yandere: Maude appears to be this, but really isn't.

How well does it match the trope?

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