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Series / The George Lopez Show

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"All my friends know the Low Rider..."

George Lopez, aka The George Lopez Show note  is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 2002 to 2007 starring stand-up comedian George Lopez, not to be confused with Lopez Tonight.

Noteworthy for being the first American sitcom with a mostly Hispanic cast, and, in the final season, an all-Hispanic cast. Also the second longest running show with said cast.

There were talks to revive the show in 2016, but nothing came of it.


Sabes que? These are the tropes! Wha-cha!:

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    Tropes A-M 
  • A-Cup Angst: Angie's bust size is only 34B and she seems insecure about it at times. Benny even makes fun of her for it occasionally.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • George's mom. This, along with his father's Parental Abandonment causes George to have some issues. In her defense, his father walking out on her was a big reason for it and her parents were much worse than she was. She was also a single teen mom with no family to help her and had to raise George all on her own and had dropped out of high school a few years before that in order to work in a factory.
    • Jason's father is revealed to be this in season 4. When Angie tells him his son has been arrested, he reacts to the news with nonchalance and the penultimate episode of season reveals that he forced Jason to take steroids to give him an edge in football.
  • Accidental Innuendo: In universe example: George reads Carmen's IMs in one episode and her boyfriend describes her "doing something over and over again until she gets it right". He was talking about skateboarding.
    • Don't forget George's Indian name as a child "Boy-who-plays-with-himself" since he was a loner. None of the other kids would shake his hand.
  • Aesop Amnesia: "George Helps Ernie See the Cellu-light" averts this and plays it straight. Ernie is gaining weight and eating too much so women will reject him before he can say anything, due to his life long fear of rejection. Ernie does lose weight throughout the rest of the series after keeping off the weight he needs to keep his job. At the end, he asks a girl out and she says yes. In future episodes despite the weight loss, Ernie still has a tough time with women.
    • George went through this. He didn't learn anything from his time at high school. In college, he continues to try to get by through being the class clown and he never asks the teacher for any help.
  • All Abusers Are Male: Subverted in "George Joins the Neighborhood Wha-tcha and Raises the Vigil-ante". The neighborhood watch learns that a registered sex offender named Cris Watson has moved into the neighborhood. They form a mob outside the person's house and are surprised to discover it is a woman not a man.
  • Ambiguously Brown:
    • Angie's brother Ray (who is Cuban) discusses passing as Greek in order to con people.
    • Linda's adoptive parents were Italian and she was light enough to pass for one. However, she does discuss being "mistaken" for a Latina, so it must not be too ambiguous.
  • Anti-Nepotism: In one episode, Ernie complains to George about not naming him "Employee of the Week", and George reminds him that he can't because it will make everyone think it's because he's his best friend.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Benny attempts this in "Dubya, Dad and Dating" with Manny, and it backfires on her.
    Benny: Your son? Where were you when he woke up crying in the middle of the night? Where were you when he fell off his bike and needed somebody to kiss his boo-boo? Where were you all those times when he needed love and encouragement, huh?
    George: [to Benny] Where were you?
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking In one episode, when Max tries to upgrade the computer but breaks it, Angie says that it contained all her business files, photos of the family's vacation, and a journal containing her private thoughts.
  • Asian and Nerdy: George's microeconomics professor Tracy Lim.
  • Axes at School: One episode had a student bring a gun to Max's school. The incident occurred offscreen, with the episode instead focusing on the psychological effects that the experience had on Max
  • Back to School: George goes back to school after there is a PTA meeting specifically targeted at parents who didn't go to college. Max decides he doesn't need to go either so George wants to teach him a lesson. In the next episode, George drops out and tells the teacher he was in the military and got sent to Iraq. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Bad Omen Anecdote: Carmen compares her relationship to Romeo and Juliet, but she is quick to point out that they both die. George, unfamiliar with the play, says that they moved her to a new school to keep her away from girls like Juliet.
  • The Beard: In "What Goerge Doesn't Noah.." Carmen dates a gay boy named Noah to cover up her actual relationship with troublemaker Zack. George and Benny catch Noah at the movies with a boy and assume he is cheating on Carmen. They ultimately discover he isn't actually dating Carmen.
  • Berserk Button: For Vic, the slightest mention of Fidel Castro is usually this.
  • Big Bad: Zack Powers for a critical arc for Carmen. He's a misogynist, sex-crazed pig who just wants to have sex with Carmen and tries to do so when he convinces her to run away from her.
  • Blatant Lies: Every day in Casa Lopez
    • As good of a liar as Benny is, her lies about "Mike Rowave" and "Jimmy the Dish Rack" fall into this.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: At one point in "George's House of Cards", Vic shouts "WHAT-CHA!" in George's face. George's reaction is this...
    George: Ohhhhhhhhhh no. You do not "WHAT-CHA" me in my own house!
  • Bowdlerise: Nick-at-Nite's airings tend to mute certain phrases. For an example, George's "tranny 911" remark is changed to "- 911." They also cut out a scene where George pretends to be Ernie's gay lover in front of a woman he likes for using Max as a way to get dates.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Carmen. Veronica even moreso.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In "Curious George". Carmen, Angie and Benny are talking about why men suck. Carmen says that her ex Duncan was a jerk, Angie says that her first boyfriend dumped her for someone with bigger boobs and Benny says that her first boyfriend knifed her and stole her car.
    • In one episode where Benny meets Manny's wife, Lydia, she says that Benny was the first person to dance with Manny, the first person he married, the first person to pull a knife on him.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting:
    • George when compare to his disappearing father Manny and abusive mother Benny. Many episodes deal with George making the same mistakes his mother made, I.e. not giving Max help with his dyslexia or not believing that Carmen can make it into college, and correcting them in the end.
    • Downplayed with Benny. While she was abusive towards George, she does genuinely loves him and did the best at raising him. In contrast, her father was an alcoholic abuser and her mother considers her worthless.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Zack Powers has done a lot of shit over the years, largely because of his neglectful father. After sneaking off with Carmen, then ditching her in San Francisco, he's attacked by a very angry Benny.
    • Vic and the rest of the Palmero family sneer at George and think of him as little more than a cholo. Their shock when Claudia picks George to be the trustee of Veronica's trust fund is priceless.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: A Running Gag is George imitating Vic's accent.
  • The Bride with a Past: Ernie is dating a woman who has a history of alcohol abuse and gambling problems.
  • Broken Bird: Benny, a rare humorous (and elderly) example.
  • Broken Aesop: Subverted in-universe, George decides to show Max why he needs to do well in school by giving him a job in the plant. This backfires, because Max decides that he likes it and thinks that he should just drop out and take the job because he's not smart enough to finish school anyway. George toys with letting him drop out and start working there, but then has a vision showing a 50 year old Max having no other options after the entire plant is replaced by robots. He then decides to show Max how bad working at the plant can be by showing him how much the workers freak out when there is even a turns out to be actually true rumor of the plant closing.
  • The Bus Came Back: A minor example in factory worker Frank. He appeared a few times in the first two seasons and then disappeared from the show for several years until returning for the two-part series finale.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ernie and Max. George sometimes too. Ernie can never seem to hold an actual relationship with anyone, even Gina wouldn't want him in one episode.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: George frequently does this to his mother, but one episode he finally tracks down his long-lost father who abandoned them and punches him out. George's mother is happy at this and even George's boss approves of this action.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Whah-pah!" "What-cha!" "I got this!" "Estás loca?"
    • "Why you crying?!" certainly gets thrown around enough times to qualify.
    • Don't forget "I can't do NOTHIN'!".
    • "Sabes qué?"
    • "Oh, qué la!"
    • "Orale!"
    • " 'Member? You'member!"
  • Central Theme: The show is about dealing with difficult racial homes but living in a good family will certainly help you get through rough times because they love you.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Basically any side character except Vic (who eventually became a main cast member), Jason (who got a proper sendoff), Gina, Jack and Mel disappeared without explanation. The most notable examples are:
    • Claudia, George's secretary in Season 1.
    • Mr. Needles, the dog the Lopezes bought from a homeless man, disappeared after Season 3. Seeing that he had countless health problems, it's possible that he died offscreen. "George's Bogey-ous Relationship with Vic Is Putt to the Test" offers some credence to that; while complaining about how he always suffers whenever Angie forces him to create emotional attachments to others, he makes a passing reference to the dog.
    • Ricky, Max's best friend last appeared in the episode "Friends Don't Let Friends Marry Drunks" when it's revealed that Ernie is dating Ricky's mom, Tammy. Ricky's disappearance is especially jarring since Ernie was his legal guardian at the time, though it's possible that Tammy took him back after she and Ernie broke up.
    • Marisol, a former gang member who became George's secretary in Season 2 and even briefly lived with the Lopezes in the episode "Girls Night Out", which was her last appearance.
    • Accident Amy. However, given that she was played by Sandra Bullock, who was too busy to continue playing the character, and her clumsy nature could have left her permanently hospitalized or dead, this one seems a bit justifiable.
    • George II, George's half-brother, never appeared again after Manny's death. Even though Manny and George I had a rocky relationship, he and George II got along pretty well.
    • Linda, George's long lost sister. Her final appearance involved her being (unknowingly) pimped out to Vic by George in exchange for $2,000. So like Amy, her departure is justified.
  • Closer to Earth:
    • Both played straight and viciously subverted - George is impulsive and cynical, but more of a realist, while Angie was more sensible but idealistic and naive: when her sensibility goes up against his street smarts a favorite gag for the show to use is for her to initially win out, only for her reasonable solution to be nowhere near effective and for George to be right all along.
    • The show tried to imply that Angie would normally be right, like the time they both wanted to get rid of an offensive statue in a neighbor's yard. Her strongly worded letter and petition to the Neighborhood Watch succeeded where George's idea of smashing it to pieces didn't (the neighbor simply bought more.) However, the majority of the time that Angie's argument failed was when she tried to get George and his mom to be closer and more loving. She grew up in a more well-off, traditional family, and had trouble accepting that some families (like George and Benny) were simply screwed-up beyond repair.
  • Continuity Creep: The entire first season was completely episodic, but beginning in season 2, many story arcs, both self-contained and multi-seasonal, were created.
  • Continuity Snarl: This series is normally pretty good at keeping the continuity intact and throwing in many Continuity Nods, but there have been a few continuity errors that have slipped through.
    • Mrs. Cardenas is initially depicted as an average Mexican woman. This is dropped in favor of making her a morbidly obese fat joke who is often heard instead of seen, and when she is seen she is only shown from the waist down.
    • The writers can't seem to decide whether Benny was 16 or 17 when she got pregnant with George. Also, in one episode, she mentions that she dropped out of school at 15 before getting pregnant, then a few episodes later she says she was bullied at school for being pregnant.
    • In "Super Bowl", the episode where Benny's brother Joe dies, George says that both of Benny's parents were dead. A few seasons later, when Benny is on trial for a crime she'd committed 30 years prior, her mother, Luisa is still alive and very reluctantly testifies for her. Ironically, Joe's passing is mentioned sarcastically by Luisa in this episode.
    • One episode reveals that Angie asked George to the Sadie Hawkins Dance, aka their first date, as part of a competition with the other cheerleaders to see who could bring the biggest loser. After this episode, the event is largely ignored and the writers zig-zag between George asking Angie out and Angie asking George out because she felt sorry for him.
    • In the episode before the finale, George states that Ernie doesn't know to take care of kids, despite Ernie watched Max in one episode and took care of Ricky in the few. He was even taking care of 3 kids for a woman he was dating.
  • Crossover: With Short-Runner sitcom Freddie in season 5. Max and Freddie's niece Zoey begin an online friendship. Both Freddie and George investigate each other to see if the person on the other side is a sexual predator.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: One episode features George holding a grudge against Benny for not letting him drive her car when he was a teenager. Benny admits that she did this since she didn't want George wrecking the car. That alone could've screwed them since Benny was already working two jobs at that time. But she was afraid he could potentially drive the wrong way and die because of his dyslexia.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Accident Amy
  • A Day in the Limelight: George is The Protagonist and Benny is arguably the Deuteragonist, but most episodes focus specifically on one character while the rest of the cast takes a backseat. Thus, every important character has at least a few episodes devoted towards them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Benny and George. Often leads to Snark-to-Snark Combat.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Harshly averted in the case of Manny Lopez. He leaves George with a memento in the form of a watch… but asks him and Benny to not attend his funeral in order to preserve his reputation to those he actually considered family and friends. Any improvement in the relationship he had with his son and ex-wife is immediately thrown out the window, and George and Benny likely will never forgive him.
  • Digital Destruction:
    • The show is made in 16:9, but cropped to 4:3 for viewers who don't have widescreen televisions. This is jarring in recent reruns (unless you're watching in HD) still used the 4:3 format. Even the first three seasons on disc still have the fullframe version. Fortunately the Amazon and iTunes versions are in 16:9.
    • Also sucks to those who participated in the Disney Land contest as many of those Mickey symbols were hidden out of the frame.
    • Some of the recent reurns on Nick have the weird PAL format effect. Some episodes that are effected are the George Bush one.
  • Digital Head Swap: Done incredibly obviously in its flashbacks, with the adult actors' heads pasted onto child actors' bodies.
  • Dirty Old Man: Vic's reaction to Benny getting breast implants.
    Vic: I am looking at them as a doctor.
    Benny: (slyly) And what is the good doctor's opinion?
    Vic: Oh they're YUMMY!
    Angie: (horrified) DADDY!
    Vic: I'm older now, and I know what I like. And I like!
  • Dirty Old Woman: Benny and Gina. ESPECIALLY Gina.
  • Disappeared Dad: Manny, and it caused both George and Benny a lot of grief.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A joke in one episode has Carmen over hear Angie saying she wants "her" out of the house and think she's talking about her for scratching the car. Subverted in that she was actually talking about Veronica.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Unusual example, in that Lopez himself recorded a theme tune for the DVD release, as it would've been cost-prohibitive to license "Low Rider".
  • Dom Com
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: When Angie discovers that a sexual predator was living in the neighborhood, George riles up the entire neighborhood to confront the predator. The minute they discover the predator is a woman, everyone stops caring and goes home.
    • In the defense of the mob, the woman A: Listed herself on the sexual predator site they found her on and B: had already done her prison time for it.
    • Averted by Angie herself, who is adamant about trying to convince everyone that what the woman did was wrong, then later by George, when he becomes frightened when he sees Max come out of the woman's house.
  • Dumbass Teenage Son: Max.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Lopez family with George and Benny constant arguing and his father Manny leaving both of them when George was an infant.
    • The Palmero family isn't clean either. Angie's mom cheated on Vic after years of marriage. Vic tongue-wrestled with Benny while drunk, and then tried to enter into a relationship with George's sister, who is in her thirties. Angie's sister Gloria has been very hopeless in finding a relationship, and was desperate enough to kiss George. Angie's brother Ray grew up to be manipulative con artist. Her niece Veronica is completely spoiled. And it's implied that the reason Veronica's mother Claudia made George the trustee to Veronica's inheritance was because she found the rest of the family to be poor role models.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Lampshaded.
    Angie: (crying) Why does everything happen to us? Are we cursed? (Beat) Did you cut off a Voodoo Priest in traffic?
  • Early Installment Weirdness: More of a cosmetic version, but it's strange to go back and watch the episode "Prototype" and see George with long, poofy black and shiny hair and Benny with a fuller and more wrinkly face due to Belita Moreno wearing age makeup to make herself look older.
    • It's also jarring to see the early episodes where Vic hates George and they have a very strained relationship, when Vic later becomes a regular on the show and he and George, although still snarky at each other, have a much better relationship.
    • A minor example, but Benny was just a jerk early in the series. In later seasons, she performed outright criminal actions or was confirmed or implied to performed a crime in the past. One episode shows her selling losing lottery tickets while another is about her worker's comp fraud. She went out with "Harriet," her gun, repeatedly while George was a boy and ended up having to toss off the Hoover dam.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Angie treated Jason's wheelchair-bound younger brother like this, even after he humiliated her by passing out photos of her in a wet t-shirt. This was averted at the end of the episode, when Jason called her out for it, saying that she was giving him a sense of entitlement by treating him differently.
    • Zigzagged in regards to Ricky. After Ricky destroys George's fence by driving the car through it, George was determined never to let Max see him again. But then he meets Ricky's mom, who was drunk at 10:30 in the morning, and learns he was abandoned by his father. George was willing to forget the damage Ricky did, and let him stay at his house. But then Angie, who was willing to forgive, tells him that while Ricky may have had it worse than George, he is still a bad influence on his son, and can't stay. But then Ernie offered to help...
  • Fake Pregnancy: One episode has Angie discover she's not pregnant, but kept the lie going so George wouldn't be depressed, as Carmen had recently left for college.
  • Final Season Casting: George's niece Veronica, who eventually replaced Carmen as she was written off the show due to her actress, Masiela Lusha, going to college. Like Carmen, she had bratty tendencies, but taken to a higher level.
  • Firing Day: In "Profiles in Courage", George's ethics are put to the test when he is tasked with firing a Muslim factory worker after his bosses find out he went to flight school (the fact that the factory is up for a government contract not helping matters).
  • Flanderization:
    • Benny became more obnoxious as the show went on.
    • At the beginning, George was a loving family man who only made snarky comments when the situation called for it. By the end of the series, he snarks at people almost constantly.
    • Max was always a naive kid and - since the second season - known to be dyslexic, but he became increasingly prone to saying flat-out idiotic things as the show went on and he got older. By the final season he had metamorphosed into a Butt-Monkey.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling:
    • Unlike her siblings, Angie does not con people, doesn't behave impulsively, stays in the same marriage, and raises her children. Vic and George mention it when Vic talks about how he spoiled his kids rotten, with George pointing out that Angie turned out fine and Vic claiming it to be a miracle.
    • George can be this to his brother George II (Lou Diamond Phillips), as George was raised by Benny and had to work hard to where he's at while the other George was raised by two doting parents and in a more prosperous upbringing, yet can't keep control of his finances and seeks to borrow money from his brother.
  • Gold Digger: George and Angie believe Vic's new fiancée Lindsay is only interested in him because of his money. Their suspicions are proven when Lindsay is caught cheating on Vic.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: In "Trick or Treat Me Right"
    Benny: And every time I cuss in front of those kids, I have to put another dollar in The Swear Jar. Yesterday it cost me twenty flippin' dollars. Listen to me, I sound like a freakin nun.
    George: Look, I know the rules sound like a bunch of bulldoody but gash darn it, you'll get used to it.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Every character (except for perhaps Zack Powers) portrays elements of selfishness but also elements of humanity and kindness. Some characters might be closer to one or the other but you could find that most characters are a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Guy-on-Guy Is Hot: Benny seems to have this mindset, given what she says about Carmen's Straight Gay fake boyfriend Noah.
    Angie: (after talking about the possibility that Noah might be in the closet) Oh I can't imagine what he's feeling!
    Benny: Well, I didn't have to imagine, I saw what he was feeling. It was muscular and seventeen...
    George: MOM!
  • Grass Is Greener: George applies for another job in a small town in Colorado. He really wants to go, believing that a small town would be a better place to raise his children than LA. However, when we get there, we see that the kids have literally nothing else to do but drink underage, have sex and get into trouble.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: George is fond of this. At least one episode title (Sabes Quake) uses this trope
  • Hands Go Down: Occurs when George and Ernie crash an unsupervised high school party, and George leaves Ernie to keep an eye on the teenagers while he looks for Carmen.
    Ernie: Who here has a hot single mom?
    [hands go up]
    Ernie: I said hot.
    [hands go down—except one]
  • Happily Adopted:
    • Ernie became Ricky's surrogate father after it was discovered how horrible his home life was.
    • Linda was this as well, being crushed when she learned she was adopted, though she eventually grows close to her biological mother and brother.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: The show gives the moral that sometimes bullying can get so bad, you have to get away from the situation. Carmen was called a whore at her first high school, due to her ex-boyfriend telling everyone that they had sex. George and Angie get the leader of the bullies suspended, and get the ex-boyfriend to tell the truth. However, the episode ends with Carmen still getting bullied (and groped), and George and Angie making the conclusion that Carmen can never get her reputation back, and that she must leave the school. Unfortunately, all of this is Truth in Television.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: An almost laughable use of this trope in one episode, where a girl that can easily be confused for having two fathers (they were actually her uncle and the uncle's friend) has one or both of the men say some line that assures the audience that they sleep with tons of women all the time, multiple times, in every scene that they were in.
    • A gay manager at a clothing store that Ernie and George go to find a suit for the former mistakes them for a gay couple thanks to Ernie's wording, prompting George to correct him.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood:
    • Mentioned every episode. Usually Benny says something about how much she hugged George and then George would say something like "That was when you were drunk!"
    • Not just his childhood. The Tag for one episode was Benny serving up a plate of ice-cream, but letting the dog have a shot at it first. "George! Your ice cream is ready!"
      • This was actually in revenge for George serving her a steak that had fallen on the lawn and been licked by the dog. Though George actually admitted that the dog licked it when asked, to which Benny responded, "I've fed you worse, medium rare."
    • Benny's, too, according to Carmen, Max, and either the studio audience or (far more likely, since the laughter wasn't the least bit nervous) the Laugh Track. Disappeared Dad? Tragic. Eleven-year-old pretending to be his grandmother's father and (literally) belting her in effigy until the watermelon bust's eye fell off? Mind-bendingly hilarious.
  • Humble Parent, Spoiled Kids: In one episode, Max and Carmen anger George when Carmen signs up for an expensive cell phone plan so she could get an advanced phone model and Max carelessly breaks his toy trucks under the assumption his parents will just buy him more. In an effort to show them just how lucky they are to have a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, he forces them to spend the weekend at his mother's house and see what his poverty-stricken childhood was like.
  • Hypocrite: In "George Rocks to the Max and Gets Diss-Band-ed", George tells Max that they can't have chicks around the band because they'll just end up controlling them, then Max ends up calling him out on it:
    Max: That's what you're doing, Dad! You're the chick ruining our band!
  • Ignore the Fanservice: In "Trick or Treat Me Right", Angie wears a sexy police officer costume for Halloween but George is too depressed over his mother's recent insults about his dyslexia as well as her general habit of insulting him. Ernie, on the other hand, is more than happy to show his appreciation.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Subverted in "What George Doesn't Noah". Carmen brings home what seems to be the perfect boyfriend, Noah, after dating bad boy Zack. George and Benny spy on Noah and find him with another man in a movie theater. Turns out Carmen was using Noah as a cover up so she could still see Zack.
  • Important Haircut: George between the first and third seasons had long hair until he had to do a speech presentation for then American president George Bush, although it was a minor change. He does get a short hairstyle after that, and kept it for the remainder of the series.
  • Informed Deformity: George's big head and Ernie's big ears.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: A non-sexual one. Carmen tells George she was doing "half-pipes" (skateboarding) with her boyfriend and George assumes she is doing drugs.
  • Jerkass:
    • Everyone gets in a moment or two over the course of the series, but special mention has to go to Benny whose social and child-raising skills border on sociopathic. Apparently this is because Benny's parents are even worse, they physically abused her and are strongly implied to be the main reason for Benny's mistreatment of George.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mr. Sorkin is right. You can get sleeping Mexican statues from Mexico.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Except for maybe Zack Powers, even the biggest jerks show some humanity and heart of gold.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Zack Powers may seem like the rebel with the heart of gold type, considering his terrible childhood. But it is all just an act to make Carmen have sex with him. He is probably the closest thing the show has to an actual antagonist. Thankfully he's not in the series for very long.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • Max continuously tries to flirt with Veronica, who is his first cousin. George himself gets squicked out by this even though its pretty much one-sided.
    • Also Vic has kissed both Benny and Linda. However, Vic is not blood related to Benny or Linda. Max and Veronica are blood related.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Lampshaded. When everyone plays poker "No limits," Ernie folds before he gets his cards.
    Ernie: "You know George, A wise old gambler told be something once. He said-"
    George: "Ernie, if you sing that Kenny Rogers song one more time I will punch you in the eye."
    George: "ERNIE!"
  • "L" Is for "Dyslexia": Max. Almost every episode after he is diagnosed talks about it. George allegedly has it too, but his is not as severe as Max's.
  • Lady Drunk:
    • George's mother Benny, though she is not rich.
    • Tammy, Ricky's mom is even more of a drunk.
  • Laughably Evil: The Powers brothers are a corrupt pair of jerkasses and one of them is a horribly negligent father. Despite this they are immensely entertaining whenever they are on-screen.
    Jack: Isn't that right SENIOR PUMPKINHEAD!?
  • Lazy Mexican: In "George Can't Let Sleeping Mexicans Lie", George feuds with a new neighbor over his "sleeping Mexican" lawn ornament (which he claims that it was made by Mexicans in Mexico).
  • Lethal Chef: Angie is constantly told she's this by almost everyone, especially Benny.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In one episode, while describing his turnaround of Veronica, George snidely remarks about getting his own sitcom TV show, which he calls "George Lopez: Nanny Nine-''Juan''-''Juan'' ".
    George: "Oh look, it's all of America asking you not to!"
  • Mama Bear: In one episode, Angie is about to stop Carmen from being bullied by sending the school a "strongly worded letter". She drops that idea and marches straight to the school to confront the counselor upon learning that Carmen got into a fight.
    Angie: When my baby's hurt, I go medieval!
    • Toward the end of the "Carmen Runs Away" arc, Benny becomes a Grandmama Bear towards Carmen and attacks Zack powers with a wrench upon seeing him.
    Benny: George! I just saw Zack and I stopped him good! (sees Zack's father) OH...Mel...your son has been in a terrible accident. (drops a wrench)
    • Angie almost strangles her brother while tying his tie for him after learning he planned to steal his daughter's money and even scolds him about it.
  • Marty Stu: In-universe. Jason is probably supposed to be a parody. When George and Angie grill him after Carmen brings him home, it is revealed that he is a straight-A athlete on the debate team who spends his afternoons helping his disabled brother. By the end, he slides into more of a Broken Ace, since it's revealed that he's abusing steroids to compete in sports because he's so desperate for his emotionally-distant father's approval.
  • Misery Builds Character: An Aesop that appears in several episodes that deal with George's childhood. Yeah he grew up poor, abused, neglected, suffered from learning disabilities and was left with a lot of issues. However, George gained a lot of lessons from it which he applies throughout the series. It gave him the nerve to ask Angie out, he has proven more responsible than many of the other adults, and he's a lot better off than Ernie or his half-brother, who had good parents.
  • Mr. Seahorse: Continuing after an episode of when Carmen runs away, one scene of George Lopez shows Carmen (his daughter) returning home, but with a twist — she is pregnant! After this, George then realizes not only his daughter is pregnant, but also is his wife and his mother. Then, his son Max walks into the room with a large belly as well. After asking his father, "Where is this going to come out?", George abruptly wakes up and responds aloud, "If you're lucky, your bellybutton!" It was All Just a Dream induced from all the stress of worrying to where Carmen ran away.
    • In a completely different way, George was wearing a seahorse hat at Carmen's quinceanera.
  • Mushroom Samba: In two separate episodes George eats a Tequila Worm in a moment of absent-mindedness and trips out. The first time it happens, George switches lives with Ernie, becoming the hopeless factory grunt while Ernie is the popular manager married to Angie. In the second, George imagines that he and Ernie are gay lovers who are about to be Wed. Both dreams end in a very surreal moment of Vic dressed as a worm doing a bizarre dance.
  • The Münchausen: Vic. Parodied in at least one episode. George keeps getting tired of his stories so he asks him to skip to the last line of the story, which are typically Brick Jokes, in addition to Noodle Incidents.
    Vic: My father paid the girl with a chicken.

    (at the end of a different story) Well the chicken lived, but the girl had to wear an eye patch for the rest of her life.

    (and the end of yet another story)And it turns out it was the exact same chicken.

  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: From "Max Big Adventure"
    Benny: Here is my list of people I don't want in the carpool: Jimmy Fatass, Joey Pitstains, Booger Nose Johnny, and Lilly. The reason being that Lilly doesn't have anything nice to say about anybody.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • George and Angie apparently had a very memorable "trip to the lake" that is mentioned in several episodes.
    • Another time Angie once told George never to describe his house as his castle.
    • George mentions the last time the workers came back to the factory drunk;
    George: Running of the forklifts was fun, but I think we all agree it should have been an outdoor game.
    • Benny threw her gun, "Harriet," off the Hoover dam to get rid of the evidence.

    Tropes N-Z 
  • The Needs of the Many: In "Profiles In Courage", the Powers Brothers fear that an Arab employee Hosni will jeopardize their chance at a government contract. They order George to demote him. When George protests against this, the brothers inform him that if they lose the contract they will have to lay off twenty people forcing George to make the difficult decision of demoting Hosni.
  • Notably Quick Deliberation: When Benny is on trial for a crime she committed 30 years ago, the jury already reached a verdict before they made it to the jury room.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: George has been established multiple times to firmly believe that you can and should do whatever you can get away with as long as you can properly cover it up. To be fair, though, he does usually have good intentions when he goes behind people's backs.
    Angie: You do know that what you did was wrong.
  • Not So Different: Over the series, George has been introduced to many people who have grown up in the same circumstances as he has:
    • Ricky, Max's delinquent friend, was himself abandoned by his father, and raised by his mother who was even more of an alcoholic. George was willing to forget about the damage Ricky did to his house and let him stay.
    • Zack Powers himself had a negligent father and an alcoholic mother, but he is such manipulative pervert, George wants nothing to do with him.
    • Even Jason had a pretty miserable childhood. His parents were never a big part of his life, and abandoned him at a crucial moment in his life to move to Switzerland. George is annoyed that he is being compared to a kid who grew up in the lap of luxury, but Angie shoots back:
    Angie: It may be a bigger house, but he is still alone in it.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws:
    • Everyone in Angie's family looks down on George, but its her father, Vic, who tops them all, though his relationship with George improves significantly once Vic becomes a main character.
    • Angie doesn't have it any better with her mother-in-law.
  • Out of Focus: Carmen gets much less screentime in season 5. After the first two episodes dealing with Jason walking out on her, she doesn't get any subplots of her own. It's hinted at that this is because she's matured past her earlier storylines of boy troubles and partying and there isn't much going on her life anymore except for looking for colleges and getting her poetry published.
  • Pædo Hunt: Subverted. See trope entry.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • George may not be the perfect father when it comes to his daughter, but if Carmen is in danger or seeing someone who might take advantage of her, he won't care if the person he kills is his boss' son.
    • He also acts as this in regards to Max and his niece Veronica.
    Vic Palmero: You are having a hallucinogenic reaction to me. I'm in your belly. Watch me dance.
  • Playing Gertrude:
    • Belita Moreno, who plays George's mom Benita "Benny" Lopez, is only 12 years older than George Lopez. She wore age makeup in the earlier episodes, but this was later phased out. To be fair, she's only five years off from Benny's actual age.
    • Emiliano Diez, who plays Vic, is also only 12 years older than the actress who plays his on-screen child. However, unlike Benny, he was likely a grown man when Angie was born.
  • Politically Motivated Teacher: The Treetop Rangers leader who tells them that recycling is bad and that cops should profile Mexicans. When George confronts him, he says "Oh not like you. I mean one of those 'Me no speakee' Mexicans".
  • Pretty in Mink: Angie's mother Emelina wears a fur coat when she comes for Christmas. Only Benny comments on it, but that's Benny's nature. Angie also mentions she had to stop her parents from buying a fur for Carmen, more because they don't want to spoil her.
  • Prison Rape: In "George Watches Out For Jason", Carmen and Jason are arrested when someone at a party they are hosting is in possession of drugs. Carmen is released but learns that Jason won't be since he is a minor and his parents are not in the country and thus there is no one to release him to.
    Carmen: Jason can't spend the night in jail.
    George: I spent a night in jail once. Nothing happened to me.
    Carmen: This is different, dad. Jason's pretty.
  • Product Placement: George is seen with a bottle of Tampico orange juice in one episode. Also, one bottle of syrup is clearly a Log Cabin brand.
  • Pseudo Crisis: One of the later seasons ended in a multiple-cliffhanger scenario, one of them comes out of nowhere, it includes George's friend, Ernie, worrying that his and George's place of work might shut down. Next episode, it turns out that it wasn't really going to happen.
  • Put on a Bus: Carmen went to college before the final season due to her actress Masiela Luscha wanting to go to college in real life.
  • Reality Ensues: In season 2 episode 13, Carmen breaks up with her boyfriend Adam and gets slandered by him as a result. George and Angie end up getting involved after Carmen gets dragged into a fight with a group of mean girls and is punished for defending herself. Despite all their efforts to force the school officials to take action and make Adam confess that he lied about her, Carmen still ends up having to transfer schools because her classmates continue to bully her.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Powers Brothers. Despite being corrupt jerkasses, as stated above, they sincerely respect George and are always willing to listen to his ideas even if they won't agree with them, and are sincerely apologetic whenever he tells them that they've offended him in some way. They've even helped him with some family problems, such as planning his vow renewal and teaching Max not to lie and the value of hard work.
  • Recognition Failure: Carmen runs away and becomes a groupie for the rapper Chingy. George ends up being the only person who doesn't know who that is. Even Vic recognized Chingy.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The DVD release couldn't use the song "Low Rider" for the theme song, so a whole new theme was used.
  • Reset Button: Averted. Take, for instance, the time Carmen gained a reputation as a whore. Turned out her boyfriend had propositioned her, and she turned him down, he started the rumor, and George forces him to take it back. This would be an ordinary Very Special Episode, except that the episode ends with Carmen still being teased at school, and George and Angie realize that they're going to have to find her a new school. Ouch.
  • Retcon: Ernie's mother was introduced as an average woman. The next episode she appears in she's a morbidly obese Big Eater who is only seen from the waist down.
  • Rich Bitch: Veronica at first, though she gets better later on.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The episode "George Can't Let Sleeping Mexicans Lie," is based off of a Real Life event where a restaurant put up sleeping Mexicans statues and later took them down after a petition to do so was circulated. In this version, the restaurant owner is replaced by a new, jerky neighbor.
  • Running Gag: George's big head, Ernie's big ears, Benny being compared to a lawn gnome, and you could make a drinking game from George's cracks about Max's dyslexia.
    • Also George imitating Vic's accent.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: There's an episode where George turns down what would've been a much higher paying position upon learning that they only intended on hiring him because he's a Mexican.
  • Secret Test of Character: In the first episode, George's boss Mr Powers tells George there will be some layoffs at the factory and as manager, George must choose which department will be dissolved. George picks his mother's department and Mr Powers reveals he was simply testing George to see if he had what it took to be manager.
  • Self-Made Man: George and Vic both came from humble beginnings. The former became a plant manager and later the factory president at the end of the series. The latter was a Cuban refugee who became a wealthy cardiologist.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Ernie (Sensitive Guy) and George (Manly Man).
  • She Is All Grown Up: A major source of frustration for George is the fact that his little girl Carmen has grown into a four-alarm hottie, which has not escaped the notice of the menfolk.
  • Shout-Out: One episode is based off of the plot of The Sandlot.
  • Shower of Awkward: One episode has George walking into a shower expecting to see Angie and surprise her, only to spot Benny instead!
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Level 3, with some major plotlines that occur taking the show into level 4. For a sitcom, the show is generally quite good at it keeping its continuity, but does have its fair share of characters that fall to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome and Status Quo Is God moments.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: Gina from will sleep with Anything That Moves...anything, that is, that can get past the initial nausea. At one point, Ernie decides he's finally gotten desperate enough to make a pass at her, which she turns down.
    Gina: I guess I have standards. Hey, I'm as surprised as you!
  • Smug Snake: Zack Powers, one of Carmen's (later ex-)boyfriends, is a pretty standard example; bratty, unlikeable, arrogant and entitled, and yet he's convinced everything will work out in his favor. Then, Benny bashes his head in with a wrench.
  • Special Guest: Done quite well, including Lou Diamond Phillips as George's wastrel, long lost half brother. The big one was Sandra Bullock as Accident Amy (Bullock was an executive producer for the show).
  • Sorry, I Left the BGM On: Angie and George's song play while George sits down sadly, only for Benny to come onto the screen carrying a boom box.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Idealistic Angie grew up in a wealthy household, was popular in high school, and is very caring with her family and the people around her. Though it's hinted that she was a bit snobby before she and George met.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: Subverted; the family has the usual kitchen/living room setup, but the vast majority of the action takes place in the kitchen or backyard.
  • Stealth Insult: When Angie goes into selling makeup, a makeup seller advises Angie to use these to make women feel insecure enough to buy makeup.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: George's niece Veronica, who eventually replaced Carmen as she was written off the show due to her actress, Masiela Lusha, going to college. Like Carmen, she had bratty tendencies, but taken to a higher level.
  • The Swear Jar: In "Trick or Treat Me Right", Benny mentions that she once had to put "twenty flipping dollars" (one dollar for each time she swore) into the Swear Jar for cursing in front of the kids.
  • Take Five: Used when George and Angie have to talk about their finances and Ernie just opens a can of orange soda during the discussion. He doesn't want to leave since "he just opened this can," and George gives him a rather nasty look.
  • Token Houseguest: During the final season, George's niece Veronica comes to live with him. This coincided with his daughter being written off the show so that the actress could attend college.
  • Token White: Carmen's boyfriend Jason in later seasons. At least until his departure in season 5.
  • Trauma Conga Line: George once told Max that onetime Benny gotten in trouble at Catholic school and was beaten with a ruler by the nuns, who told her mother, who then beat Benny at home so long she forgot to cook dinner, then Benny's father beat her mother out of anger for not preparing dinner. When Max exclaims "That's terrible! Didn't anyone beat him?" George replied that Benny's Dad got hit by a car while he was drunk.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Subverted in that George often talks about how lucky he is to have gotten Angie. His Real Life (ex-)wife picked the actress, despite being an aversion herself.
  • The Unfavorite: Carmen is treated like this from time to time, although George does cop to it. He does love his kids the same, it's just that he finds Carmen harder to handle since she became a teenager.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Occasionally, Benny and Vic. Canon in one episode where they made out when the Lopezes went to Colorado.
  • Video Wills: Done quite humorously when Angie's late sister-in-law Claudia leaves all of her money to her daughter Veronica, to be managed by a trustee. She manages to get in one last jab at her father-in-law before naming George as the trustee:
    Claudia: Will Victor Palmero please step forward.
    [Vic steps forward]
    Claudia: Good. Now bend over and kiss George Lopez's ass, because I choose him.
    • Made even funnier by George's immediate reaction.
    George: Yes! You heard her, Vic! KISS IT!
  • Vocal Evolution: Benny's voice sounded more "ghetto" with a stereotypical Latino accent in the pilot. Max's voice dropped sometime during the last two seasons due to puberty.
  • The Voice: Ernie's Mom has almost exclusively been seen from the waistline down along with her appendages, but most of the time the audience only hears her voice.
  • Wakeup Makeup: "George's Grand Slam" subverts this. With Jason currently staying in the house, Carmen heads down to breakfast all made up—insisting she just rolled out of bed that way. George calls her on this—pointing out that she's actually Not a Morning Person in the slightest.
  • Wham Episode: The season 5 finale. George sets his mother up on a date with one of her ex-boyfriends only to realize the man is a wanted criminal. As if that isn't bad enough, Benny could go to jail for unintentionally aiding and abetting him 30 years ago. Vic is engaged to a younger woman who is quite obviously only interested in him for his money. Carmen is nervous about whether or not she will be accepted into any of the colleges she applied to. The factory is moving to Mexico which means George and Ernie might lose their jobs. And Angie might be pregnant with another child.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Ernie gets engaged to Tammy, his foster child's mother in the fourth season. It's mentioned in the following episode, and after that Ernie's back to being a socially awkward single guy. A little bit later, it's revealed that he and Tammy broke up.
    • George's aunt Cecelia only appears in one episode, to start the over-arching plotline of George trying to find his dad. She reveals that Benny lied about him being dead, and that he never held George.
    • From the same episode that Cecelia appears in, we are introduced to the Powers' niece, Campbell Powers. She is never seen again.
    • "God Needs George": Although Mr. Needles survives, he never appears again in the series despite a mention once in a while.
    • Benny's dog, McLeod, only shows up in one episode, and it's the same episode he's first mentioned in.
    • George's fake father, Lalo, only appears in one episode. It ends with George asking him to be an uncle to his kids, which he accepts. He never shows up again after that episode.
    • Randy, Benny's love interest played by Nick Offerman, first appeared in the first episode of season 3, and continued to appear regularly until he broke off his marriage with Benny. Randy only appears once more after this, in season 4, and is never seen again. What makes this a jarring example is that the last time we see Randy is during an episode where the factory jobs are in jeopardy and Benny initially takes Randy's offer to move in. After the jobs are saved Benny tells Randy "I can't take this. You're smothering me," and that's the last we ever see of him.
    • Hosni, an Arabic employee at the factory, is never seen again after the episode introducing him.
    • Lou Powers, the eldest of the Powers family only appears in one episode and his existence is never brought up again.
    • Carmen's school friends Olivia and Kenzie are only seen once and never again.
    • Vanessa, the Vice-President of the factory (after the merger with Aerocorp) is never seen again after her debut.
  • Where Did We Go Wrong?: George and Angie feel this way about Carmen, especially after she runs away and becomes a groupie for Chingy.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Used In-Universe for laughs in one of the Christmas specials. George takes his family to a rendition of A Christmas Carol... except it turns out to be a Grimdark, urban version of the story. Scrooge is a drug-dealing pimp and Tiny Tim(oteo) is killed off by a drive-by shooting two minutes in. We don't see much else but according to Angie and Carmen, Santa Claus getting killed for wearing the wrong colors and a pitbull mauling were somehow involved in the play.
  • World of Snark: Every single character in the show is capable of making a smart remark, a verbal jab, a witty comeback etc. Yes, even Max and Ernie.
  • You Are Fat: In "Angie Gets Tanked", George volunteers to work at a dunk tank for Carmen's school's fund raiser. TO get people to participate, he hurls insults at them. Unfortunately, George also does this to an obese kid which results in him being removed from campus since the school has a zero tolerance policy on verbal abuse.
  • You Can Always Tell a Liar: George is able to tell that Vic's new fiancée Lindsay is lying because she always touches her ear when she says something false. In the same episode, Vic points out that every time George lies to him he compliments Vic and the cocks his head to the side.


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