A 201016 CBS sitcom produced by Chuck Lorre and starring Melissa McCarthy, Billy Gardell and Swoosie Kurtz. Mike and Molly meet at an Overeaters' Anonymous meeting and hit it off.
This show provides examples of the following:
- Aborted Arc: Mike & Molly's attempts to conceive a kid. The season finale that included the plotline was pulled off the air because the episode featured a tornado...just when real tornadoes devastated parts of the Midwestern U.S. When the next season began, Molly for some reason quits her job & becomes a writer. Aside from frustration over failing to conceive, Mike and Molly pretty much never brought it up again.
- It was brought up again in a recent episode, with both coming to terms that it might or might not happen, and if it doesn't they'd eventually consider adoption.
- In the final episodes, the series this time focused fully on Mike & Molly attempting to bring a child to their household one more time. In the finale "I See Love," they successfully get not just one kid from a surrogate, but also would get another from Molly herself. She reveals she's pregnant. The writing storyline was pretty much abandoned & clearly became the aborted arc.
- Aerosol Flamethrower: Victoria plans to use a can of hairspray and a lighter on an ex-boyfriend in one episode. Mike manages to talk her down and take the can and lighter away from her.
- Carl lives with his grandmother, who frequently henpecks him, and is portrayed as something of a loser because of this. She finally kicks him out in the third season.
- There's a bit of a Double Standard here at work as both Molly and her sister still live at home as well, but Molly at least is treated as responsible and practical. Victoria probably wouldn't make it on her own. The Double Standard is later demolished when it's revealed that Molly is bad with money, is in debt up to her eyeballs, and probably wouldn't make it any further than Victoria on her own.
- For a time, Mike & Molly cleaned up the basement at Molly's house & moved there from the second floor. They then return upstairs later on.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Peggy's sister Rosemary. Mike and the others are instantly taken in by her warm and friendly attitude, but it turns out that she was highly favored by their father, mocks Peggy for being a whiner and liar both then and now and that she brought her own neglect on herself (all of which was completely untrue). Needless to say, their reconciliation was short-lived and Peggy throws her out, and Mike quickly comes to his senses.
- Black Best Friend: Mike's partner, Carl, although it's less egregious than most examples since Carl has a decent amount of episodes revolving around him.
- Book Dumb: Victoria claims to be "not so much book smart as magazine smart."
- Bride Zilla: Molly turns into one three weeks before the wedding.
- Christmas Episode
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Victoria, though mostly because she's a pothead.
- Cool Car: One episode has Mike buy a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, only to have Informed Flaws no one could have missed pop up, and Molly forcing him to sell it and get back his money.
- Season Five sees Molly spending the advance from her publisher on a muscle car, despite her ongoing problems with debt.
- Cool Old Lady: Carl's grandmother.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: The reason Molly's mother made so much banana bread three years after her husband died.
- Deadpan Snarker: Samuel
- Department of Redundancy Department:
Victoria: Dead people are just like us. Except they're dead.
- Dirty Old Man: Vince.
- The Dreaded Thank You Letter: At one point, Molly has to hound Mike to help him with thank you notes for their wedding gifts. He then gets chastised by his friends for handing them out instead of mailing them and it turns out that he thanked each one for the wrong gifts.
- Dysfunctional Family: Both Mike and Molly's families. And they both wonder why they have weight issues...
- Executive Meddling: In-universe. Molly's publisher wants her to have the protagonist in her story to time-travel after orgasms, which Molly considered to be a bad idea. But she somehow manipulates her way to leave her novel as is.
- Fan Disservice: "Vince Takes a Bath." You will never un-see anything that appeared on screen in this episode. Ever.
Molly: (holding up the towel on Vince's lap while Mike walks in
) Look at it! Look at it! LOOK AT IT!!!
- "This Old Peggy." Mike, Carl, & Samuel get an unwanted peep show from Mike's mom when Peggy forgetfully (the episode's issue at hand) walks into the living room naked as the three are repairing the house. There are no better descriptions other than "all white" & "PTSDD."
- Freudian Excuse: Starting in Season 5, we get to learn more about Peggy's background and why she's so angry and bitter. She was abused and neglected as a child while her sister was spoiled. She ran away with a man who she thought was the love of her life but separated with him for reasons unknown and ended up marrying Mike's father, who abandoned her to live with a stripper and left her to raise Mike on her own.
- Going Commando: In one episode Joyce is wearing a Little Black Dress to go out to dinner with an ex-boyfriend of hers. Vince says that he doesn't want her coming home with her panties in her purse. Joyce tells him not to be stupid, as she never wears panties with this dress.
- Another episode, in which Carl convinces Mike that his choice of underwear might be impeding his attempts to get Molly pregnant, ends with Mike wearing nothing under his pants but a lot of talcum powder.
- Halloween Episode
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Mike and Carl.
- Hidden Depths: Most of the time, Victoria is just a goofy stoner, but in the episode "Victoria Can't Drive", she spouts out some very surprising insight about her views on the afterlife, and convinces Mike's mom to come to his wedding, not taking any credit for it.
- Homemade Sweater from Hell: Mike buys a repugnant green sweater from his partner's cousin.
- I Am Big Boned: Molly's mom calls her that.
Molly: Bones don't jiggle, ma!
- The Hypocrite: In season 6 a drunken Molly calls Victoria a screw-up, leading to Victoria calling her out on this with a "Reason You Suck" Speech. She rightly points out that while she may be a pot head, she has a steady job, no debt and has saved up enough money to put a down payment on a nice house, while Molly quit her teaching job on a whim and had a huge debt owed mostly to frivolous purchases and general lack of impulse control.
- In one episode, Molly makes fun of Harry for still living with his mother, when she also still lives with her mother. Harry calls her out on this too.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Not completely consistent, but the large majority of episodes begin with a character's name, followed by an action relevant to the episode. (i.e. "Mike _____", "Carl's _____", etc.)
- Intoxication Ensues: Mike eats gelato, not knowing that it was "specially" made by Victoria's pot dealer, and ends up wandering the streets, groaning and acting like Frankenstein's Monster.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Molly's sister Victoria is ... unlucky in love to say the least. Molly and Joyce had to physically stop her from going after her married boyfriend.
- Mistaken for Gay: Carl and Mike are mistaken for this "at least three times a week." In the season 3 premiere, Carl gets a temporary partner while Mike is on his honeymoon, and on their last day together the partner kisses Carl full on the lips, resulting in a Heroic BSoD.
- Most Writers Are Writers : The fourth and fifth seasons deal with Molly becoming a writer. In particular, she suffers from Writer's Block.
- Motor Mouth: Carl
- My Beloved Smother: Mike's mom, who fakes a heart attack as soon as she finds out Mike is on a date with Molly.
- Another episode has Mike getting very sick and being taken care of Molly at his place. His mother shows up and steals him back to her place and them stealing him back & forth. Eventually, she gets him last and alludes to possibly hiding him in his uncle's ice cabin to keep her away.
- Name and Name
- Pittsburgh: Billy Gardell, who portrays Mike, hasn't forgotten where he came from and makes regular appearances on Pittsburgh radio station WDVE's morning show.
- In one episode, they go to a baseball game between the Cubs and Gardell's favorite team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Don't think that wasn't done on purpose.
- Gardell speaks in his natural "yinzer" accent. It would be apparent to anyone who knows what they're listening for, but it's portrayed as being a Chicago accent.
- Pair The Fat Ones: The tendency of shows to match people up like-to-like, partly because it drives a plot, and partly as an asumption that the only way a fat person can find a life partner is to find another fat person.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "I See Love" by Keb' Mo'.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: After Mike's mom dumps the police chief, he gets even with Mike by assigning him and Carl to guard the port-a-potties at a Renaissance fair.
- Recovered Addict: Mike and Molly met at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, and are often seen attending such meetings in the early seasons. After getting married in the fourth season, that angle of the show was phased out to concentrate on their domestic lives.
- Sassy Black Woman: Carl's grandma.
- The Stoner: Victoria.
Molly: You're high?
Victoria: You're not?
- Straw Loser: No matter what kind of trouble Mike is having in his life, it's loads better compared to Carl's life.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Carl in the last two episodes of season five. His immaturity, which is his Fatal Flaw pointed out several times in previous episodes in the series, ultimately costed him his relationship with Victoria (due to flip-flopping over proposing to her). Understandably, her family didn't want him to be at Mike and Molly's anniversary cruise so soon after what happened. Even though it visibly pained Mike to ask it of him, Carl didn't listen and instead showed up at the cruise anyway with a woman he met on Craigslist, to get back at Victoria. It ended with him (accidentally) knocking Molly's present to Mike overboard, and Mike finally getting fed up enough with him to denounce him as someone he doesn't seem to know anymore. And after all that, instead of even thinking about apologizing, Carl requested a transfer away from being Mike's partner and the season ended with Mike completely stunned.
- Two Decades Behind: Occaisional references to Mike carrying a service revolver. Almost all North American police departments switched over to semi-automatic pistols in the early '90s. Chicago Police Department does permit senior officers to elect to carry a revolver, however, Mike is shown using a Glock 17.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Averted, in fact it's the entire point of the series.
- The Unfair Sex: A recurring issue in the show is that Molly tends to be irresponsible and selfish, but when Mike calls her out on it he's made to look like the bad guy, or at best they BOTH apologize even when Mike wasn't in the wrong.
- Starting in season 4 Molly goes off the rails ,quitting her job on a whim despite having huge debt(all of which was incurred by Molly), drinking frequently with her mom and sister, and still continues to make extravagant purchases when she has no income. When Mike calls her on wasting "his money" that's all that's discussed afterwards even though he immediately said he misspoke. No one bothered to mention that Mike was 100% right that she shouldn't be blowing hundreds of dollars on frivolous purchases.
- When Molly gets an advance on a book she immediately spends all of it on a fancy new car she thinks Mike will enjoy, but he points out that they should return the car since they have more important things to use the money for(like the $80,000 debt she racked up before they were married) and Molly basically calls him ungrateful. Mike does admit that part of what bothered him was that he felt he should be the one buying things for her not the other way around, but the issue of her being irresponsible is dropped right after he mentioned it. What's even worse is that the money was an advance on a book she hadn't yet written, so if she didn't meet the publishers deadline she'd have to return the money, which would plunge them FURTHER in debt since the money was spent.
- The best example would be the season 6 episode "The Good Wife" where Mike rightly called her out on the fact that she had been regularly leaving cooking and cleaning to him despite the fact that he was working full time and she instead was spending the day drinking and shopping with her mom and sister, making the excuse that she can't write a new book until "her batteries recharge". When Mike calls her out in this she accuses him of being a chauvinist that expects her to be an obedient housewife and the next day makes a big show of acting like a stepford wife to make him feel guilty, as well as mocking him and freezing him out. In the end they both apologize and agree to share the household chores, which all seems good until you remember that Mike wasn't wrong, it's perfectly reasonable for the spouse who has the entire day free to cook and clean especially when the other spouse works all day. Had the situation been reversed and Mike was the one home all day and he didn't cook and clean because he was too busy having fun, he likely wouldn't have been viewed as sympathetically as Molly was.
- Unusual Euphemism: Every conversation between Molly's mother and Victoria ends up dissolving into this.
- Wham Episode: McMillan and Mom. Carl finds out his mother is still alive and that his grandmother lied to him his whole life about it, and sets off on a road trip with Mike and Samuel in tow. Unfortunately, she dies before he gets to see her. The episode ends with Carl and his grandmother singing at a piano and comforting each other. For a (mostly) lighthearted comedy series as this, the entire episode was a massive punch to the gut.
- "Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy". Molly uses Peggy as inspiration for a new book, but it doesn't go as well as she thought it would. She goes into the attic to look around and finds a hope chest that Peggy forbids her to open. Peggy reluctantly shows her that it's filled items from her childhood that her father sent her after her mother died. Eventually she tells Molly of how hard life was on the farm, and that her father would get drunk and hit her mother. She left at fourteen to get away from him but has always felt guilty about leaving her mother behind with no one to protect her. Mike puts it best at the end: "I'm gonna go hug my mom."
- Wham Line:
Victoria: Harry? What are you doing down there?
Harry: I'm sorry that I ran out on you the way I did.
I just panicked.
Victoria: No, I'm sorry.
I shouldn't have kissed you.
I was just so excited about my grade and you have been so lovely to me.
Harry: Don't apologize.
That kiss changed my life.
Victoria: Oh, Harry.
Harry: Don't speak hear me out.
I've been mustering the courage to say this, and if I don't do it now, I never will.
Victoria: I'm listening.
I'm sure whatever you're feeling, I'm feeling the same.
Harry: I'm gay.
- Wrong Insult Offence: In "Fish for Breakfast", Carl's latest girlfriend (who thought she was going to a party) calls Mike and Vince (Mike's mother-in-law's fiance) as "two gay guys eating a banana split". Mike protests that he hasn't had a bite of the banana split.