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Series / The Ropers

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A 197980 Spin-Off of the popular ABC sitcom Three's Company, and the Americanized version of the British series George & Mildred (which itself was a spinoff of the show on which Three's Company was based, Man About the House. Confused yet?).

After selling their apartment complex, Stanley and Helen Roper (Norman Fell and Audra Lindley) move into a luxury townhouse in the upscale Los Angeles neighborhood of Cheviot Hills, where they end up living next to snobbish real estate salesman Jeffrey P. Brookes III (Jeffrey Tambor), his wife Ann (Patricia McCormack), and their young son David (Evan Cohen).

"The Tropers":

  • The Alleged Car: The Rustcovered Ropermobile. In the pilot Stanley has to drive it backwards all the way from the apartment to the condo.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Though with occasional Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moments.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: This was a signature of Mr. Roper; he would deliver a one-liner or zinger and then slowly turn to the camera and smile mischeviously.
  • Character Overlap: See Required Spinoff Crossover.
  • Corrupt Politician: In "Friends and Neighbors," a Congressman and his wife visit the the Brookeses. Thanks to other complications, Stanley is there and gets drunk—proceeding to constantly badger the Congressman with opinions and questions.
    Stanley: Now, last year, I paid... I paid in taxes $2,012.37. What the hell did you do with it?!
    Congressman: [cracking] I spent it on junkets to Hawaii and loose women!
  • Hope Spot: In "Friends and Neighbors," the Ropers get locked out of their house; they just want to relax and Jeffrey wants them out of his house. He lets them borrow a ladder so Stanley can climb up to an open window. Stanley makes it and reports his success, only for the door knob to the room he's in to break loose.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune
  • Irony: Jeffrey didn't want the Ropers to move in on the grounds that they would lower the neighborhood's property values. Stanley didn't want to move in because the house was too expensive.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: One episode has a 30-year-old man announce this to Stanley.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: In the first regular episode, Stanley thankfully leaves on his bathrobe as he tests his bubble bath water temperature. Of course, he's not wearing any shorts underneath, which leads to some awkwardness when he climbs up a ladder.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: "An Anniversary Surprise" from Three's Company helped set up the basic premise by having Stanley sell the apartment building. The actual pilot episode ("Moving On," which borrows heavily from the George & Mildred pilot) ended up being syndicated as a Three's Company episode.
  • Puppet Show: Stanley and Jeffery plan one for David's birthday party.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Larry from Three's Company shows up in the season 1 episode "Opportunity Knocks", while Jack, Janet and Chrissy appear in season 2's "The Party".
  • Sexless Marriage
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Mainly Stanley vs. Jeffrey. Ann gets along fine with the Ropers and often chastises Jeffrey for his snobby behavior.
  • Spin-Off
  • Syndication Title: Originally syndicated as Three's Company's Friends: The Ropers, the show regained its original title and theme song when aired on Antenna TV in 2011.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: An adaptation of the British George and Mildred.