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Series / Yes, Dear

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From left to right, Kim, Greg, Christine and Jimmy.

Yes, Dear is a sitcom set in Los Angeles that ran on CBS from 2000 to 2006.

Greg (Anthony Clark) and Kim Warner (Jean Louisa Kelly), together with their offspring (Sammy; their daughter, Emily, joins the cast mid-series) led a well-to-do, if uptight and isolated, life, the latter of which started to change when Kim's sister and her husband, Christine (Liza Snyder) and Jimmy Hughes (Mike O'Malley), came knocking on the Warners' house door (with their own children, Dominic and Logan, in tow) asking for shelter. In stark contrast to the lifestyle of the Warners, the Hughes' attitude is far more outgoing and laid-back. Much of the show deals with issues relating to marriage, family, work and/or sex.

Despite the generic nature of the series, the show had a distinct postmodern feel, especially in later seasons. Breaking the Fourth Wall and Gainax Endings were common, and a handful of episodes featured ending tag scenes with the actors breaking character.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abuse of Return Policy: After Christine buys a new television set for her bedroom in the episode "Who's On First?", Jimmy follows suit by charging other expensive luxury items to her credit card also. When Christine is outraged, Jimmy tells her that they don't have to pay the credit card company for 30 days, and can return their stuff in 29 days as long as they keep their boxes and receipts. In The Stinger, the store only provides him with store credit (in the amount of $15,487.00), so he has to trade his store credit for cash from customers who are about to make their purchases.
  • Accidental Proposal: Turns out Greg's "proposal" to Kim in the church bathroom at Jimmy and Christine's wedding was actually just a pep talk he was giving to Jimmy, who was having cold feet. Kim was in the bathroom stall at the time and neither Greg nor Jimmy knew she was in there, while Kim didn't know Jimmy was there since he left without saying anything, so she assumed Greg was talking to her. Greg was too afraid to tell her the truth since she so happily accepted the "proposal". On top of that, the last time Greg wore his tuxedo was when he proposed to his last girlfriend, who turned him down and left him so distraught that he couldn't bring himself to return the ring, which was still in the pocket, so he decided to just roll with it.
  • Actually, I Am Him: When Greg decides not to attend a movie premiere, Jimmy takes his press pass and ticket and goes there. He tells someone he meets that the movie was lousy. What he doesn't know is that the person he was talking to, is the movie's director, Kevin Smith (as himself).
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: When Greg's father becomes a comic book fan, the normally prudish Kim asked, "Normal comics like for kids? Or those Japanese porno comics like Overfiend, where young women are taken against their will by demonic monsters?" Later in the episode, Greg's mother tells him he should hide his (but actually Kim's by implication) Japanese porn better.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Jimmy's dating advice to Dominic during the episode "Dominic's First Date". Christine disagrees.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Greg and Kim make lists of all the people they have kissed in their lifetime. Kim is horrified to learn that Greg has kissed 49 women while she has only kissed 7 men and calls Greg a man-whore before storming out angrily. Jimmy manages to calm her down by explaining that Greg's number is actually pathetically low. He didn't even hit 50!
    Jimmy: You can't compare a guy's number to a girl's. Men are pigs. We're always trying to get our hands on something. While you were busy saying "No, no, no!", he was busy saying "Please, please, please!"
    Kim: Well, forty-nine of them said "yes".
    Jimmy: Yeah, but he probably asked about five hundred.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Tom for Greg and Big Jimmy for Jimmy. They're always launching into some embarrassing story about their sons or pratfalling their way through scenes. It helps that they're played by Tim Conway and Jerry Van Dyke, two giants in the world of comedy.

  • An Aesop: Greg and Kim have prejudices about the young doctor who had replaced Sammy's but he turns out to be more reliable than the one they were kissing up to in order to be enrolled.
  • Annoyingly Repetitive Child: In "Arm-prins", Greg puts on a Blue's Clues DVD to distract Sammy the toddler so he can use the bathroom. As such, Sammy becomes addicted to the show and refuses to stop watching it. Greg does not have the backbone to make him stop and they end up replaying the DVD for hours.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: At the end of the episode "Headshot", Jimmy and Christine make amends with the Warner family by replacing things they broke: a blender, a laundry washer, and... Sammy.
  • As Himself:
    • Ernie Banks, Johnny Bench and Frank Robinson all turn up in the episode "Hustlin' Hughes".
    • Kevin Smith in the episode "The Premiere".
  • Audience Murmurs: In "Let's Get Jaggy With it", Greg's father is told by another actor to mouth "peas and carrots" in the background for his walk-on role in JAG. He refuses to do this because he can't help but feel that somewhere out there is a deaf person watching TV, wondering why that crazy old guy in the back is just saying "peas and carrots" over and over again.
  • Back to School: Christine
  • Bad Boss: One episode had Greg hire Christine to be his new secretary. After starting the job, Christine is told horror stories by some other employees about Greg being a horrible boss who drove every one of his previous secretaries to quit due to a massive workload. It turns out that the massive workload came from Kim, who had been using Greg's secretaries to constantly run errands for her. Greg had absolutely no idea this was going on since nobody on Earth would be stupid enough to go down the Morton's Fork of either getting on the boss's wife's bad side by disobeying, or get on the boss's bad side by telling him that his wife is an unfeeling relentless taskmaster. Being Kim's sister and Greg's sister-in-law, however, Christine had less of a problem speaking up.
  • Benevolent Boss: Mr. George Savitsky
  • Big Eater: Jimmy
  • Book Dumb: Jimmy. Though he is bad at studying, in the everyday life he is much wiser than he seems to be.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Subverted in "Tree Hugger." Jimmy wants to build a regulation horseshoe pit in his backyard, but doing so would require him to cut down Greg's beloved lemon tree. Greg insists Jimmy not cut the tree down, reasoning that Jimmy is indebted to him for all his help over the years. Jimmy counters that it is his house and his tree, and that he shouldn't have to ask Greg's permission to do what he wants with his own lot. While both arguments may have been valid, Greg undercuts his position by being a huge dick about the whole matter, refusing to let things go even after Jimmy concedes. Making things even worse, Greg insists Kim should stand by him in the matter despite the fact that he threw Kim under the bus during her altercation in the mall parking lot.
  • Brain Bleach: During the episode "Speed Dating", Billy asks Jimmy to go on speed dating with him for moral support, a proposition that Christine refuses to approve of — that is, until Jimmy tells her that Billy spends many dateless nights fantasizing himself with Christine, a revelation that prompts Christine to tell Jimmy to go along with Billy at once, before hanging up and throwing down her phone in disgust.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The end of the episode "Greg's New Assistant" has Jimmy saying "How hot is that?" while looking straight at the camera.
    • Also the episode where Greg rearranged the living room furniture and had the couch facing away from the camera. Even though everyone agreed that it was better that way, it just didn't feel right somehow...
    • At the end of one episode, two people who won a contest for a walk on role for the show are just standing in Greg's house. Jimmy explains they won a contest, and Greg tells them to step off camera so they'll be seen on wide screen.
  • Breast Attack: Kim accidentally did this to Mr. Savitsky's then-wife in the episode "Savitsky's Tennis Club" while playing tennis. It knocks one of her breast implants out of place.
    "Ow! You broke my boob!"
  • Bumbling Dad: Jimmy and his own dad, Big Jimmy. Greg's dad, Tom, is no Albert Einstein himself.
  • Butt-Monkey: Greg
    • Possibly worse with Sammy. Despite the fact that he was a baby, something bad seemed to happen to him each episode. He also qualifies as The Woobie.
  • Censorship by Spelling: In the episode "One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, Blue Fish", We get this exchange after Sammy's pet fish dies suddenly:
    Kim: Where's the fish?
    Greg: Shhh! Don't talk about the F-I-S-H!
    Kim: Oh no, is he D-E-A-D already?
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Jimmy
  • Closet Key: When Greg is knocked unconscious by an electric shock, he has a dream in which the shock had killed him, and he is in the afterlife with everyone else. Christine says she lived a long life and died in a nursing home when a nurse grabbed her ass. It startled her so much she had a heart attack, but she said she liked it, and that it was possible that she was really a lesbian but never realized it.
  • Compressed Vice: Greg's nasal spray addiction.
  • Contractual Purity: In-Universe. Kim expects a babysitter to cancel her Valentine's Day Date because "Boys are only after one thing, and as soon as he finds out you're not gonna give it to him, he'll move on." When the babysitter admits that she already gave it to him, Kim hangs up the phone and says she doesn't want that woman anywhere near her child anymore.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: During the episode The Premiere, Mr. Savitsky once told Greg, "Warner, if you keep talking, you're going to come to work in a thong and a beefeater hat." That shut Greg up right away.
  • Crossover: In The Ticket Jimmy tries to earn money to pay off his traffic ticket by cheating on The Price Is Right.
    • In "Arm-prins" Greg tries to quiet Jimmy and Christine's son by keeping him busy watching Blue's Clues and later in a dream sequence winds up in the show himself. Later on, Kim dreams she is in bed with Steve from Blue's Clues.
  • The Cutie: Kim is the closest, trying to understand and reconcile the family members.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Greg and Christine.
  • Disrupting the Theater: "Walk Like a Man" culminates with the Warner and Hughes families going to the movie theater. In the theater, the man behind Greg will not stop talking, so Greg retaliates by standing up to block the man's wife's view. This results in the man challenging Greg to a fight outside the theater. When Greg sees his son Sammy about to eat a candy bar with peanuts in it, Greg punches the man to rush over to Sammy, knowing that Sammy is allergic to peanuts. In The Stinger, it is revealed that Sammy was fully aware of what was going on, and deliberately tried to eat the candy bar so that Greg would see what was happening, man up, and score a win.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Christine beating the shit out of Jimmy in "Mama Said Knock You Out" is Played for Laughs. Had the genders been reversed in this story, Jimmy would have promptly been arrested for assault and battery.
  • Dream Sequence: The ending of several episodes include this.
    • In one episode, Greg is electrocuted into unconsciousness and dreams of lying dead with everyone in the joint burial plot Don had bought as a Christmas present.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Jimmy tries this once on Kim, only to be subverted by Kim calling Jimmy out on it with: "Jimmy, I'm not Elmer Fudd."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the pilot, Jimmy and Christine have their own apartment and are shown visiting Kim and Greg's house for dinner. Beginning in Episode 2, the Hughes live in the Warners' guest house. This transformation is never explained on the show.
    • The pilot also portrays Kim as a struggling, overwhelmed mother who is barely keeping her head above water. In the next episode she is portrayed as competent and in charge, with Christine's parenting skills paling in comparison to her younger sister's.
  • Eating Contest: Greg mentions a time he and Jimmy had a contest to see who could eat the most butter. A couple minutes later, when Kim suggests that she and Greg should do more things together, Greg scoffs at the idea and says "Oh please, Kim. I'm pretty sure I can eat more butter than you."
  • Either/Or Title: The title for the first Christmas Episode is "All I Want For Christmas is My Dead Uncle's Cash, or Silent Night, Holy Crap".
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Greg after much reluctance goes to see a psychologist along with the rest of the family. He laments a story over two bullies ruining his May–December Romance and stealing his cupcakes. The shrink deduces that Greg sees Jimmy and Christine's antics as said bullies winning over and over. He lets Greg leave so he could get some fresh air. As soon as the family leaves, his wife calls him. However, during their conversation, he realizes much to his surprise that Greg fooled him using items in his own office including the hostess cupcake he was eating. They even make fun of the limp-turned-walking part of it. (Greg's foot fell asleep when he "Lamented".)
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While the intention was to get Greg to leave Kim, Brian was actually disturbed that no matter how many times he knocked Greg down he kept getting up and demanding that he take back what Brian said about Kim.
  • Expendable Clone: Jimmy pitches a movie to Savitsky about a futuristic world where everybody has a clone that functions as their own personal organ donor if they ever need a transplant. Overlaps with Clones Are People, Too, since the plot involves a doctor and his wife's clone falling in love.
  • Extreme Omnivore: When Greg and Jimmy end up at a party thrown by Bret Michaels of Poison, Jimmy gets to work establishing his party reputation as "the crazy guy" by loudly declaring that he will eat anything for a dollar.
  • Freudian Couch: Lampshaded. Jimmy tells Greg that he doesn't need to see a therapist and spend time lying on a couch talking about how he feels, and Jimmy ends up telling Greg about his feelings while lying on the couch.
  • Future Loser: Jimmy and Christine.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Kim talks to Christine in the kitchen about how great it is that the men in the family are working together and getting along. From the kitchen window, Greg, Jimmy, and the wives' dad Don are in a fight in the backyard.
    • Greg's dad locks himself in a room full of monkeys in a rain forest themed casino. Greg and Jimmy are talking about trying to find him. The entire time, the monkeys are jumping all over Greg's dad, which can be seen from the window.
    • The episode "Sorority Girl" ends with Christine and Jimmy walking down a street block after a night of partying and alcohol drinking inside a sorority house that led to them sleeping inside someone else's car by mistake, with Christine remarking that they can't do this anymore, passing a yard where, unnoticed by Christine and Jimmy, Greg is Bound and Gagged to a tree in said yardnote .
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Jimmy's standard reaction to anything involving lesbianism is to nudge the person closest to him (usually Greg), lean in, and say "How hot is that?".
  • Go-Getter Girl: Kim is a mom-version. Although it turns out the only way she was able to be "Super Mom" was that she was using Greg's work secretary as her personal errand boy/girl without his knowledge. She was such a slave-driver that she caused every one of them to quit, until he hired Christine who spoke up about this behavior.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Played for Laughs with a possible overlap with A Lesson Learned Too Well in the episode "The Ring". Kim is furious upon discovering that the engagement ring Greg gives her was originally meant for another woman and absolutely refuses to accept it, forcing Greg to get another ring late in the episode. Unfortunately for Kim, Greg goes a step further by having one custom-made, with some truly over-the-top designs (e.g. the ring has an inscription on the outside with the words "Te amo, bonito muchacha"note , as a reminder that Greg and Kim took a Spanish class together during their college years) that Kim considers gaudy but is unable to refuse after the fact. Worse yet, he's going to take a picture of her wearing it and send it to his mother, whom Kim can barely tolerate.
  • Groin Attack:
    • An accidental version of this happens on the episode, "Hooked on Comics", in which Greg's father, Tom, does this to himself... WITH A TOY AIRPLANE HE CONTROLS!
    • Another example is in "Natural Born Delinquents", when Jimmy mentions how Logan once hit him in the "cherries" after he took a bite out of Logan's pudding pop. At the end of the same episode, Greg also suffered the same incident.
  • Guinness Episode: Jimmy is the one trying to win a record, and after many failed attempts he succeeds with "Farthest Marshmallow Nose Blow Caught in Someone Else's Mouth". He was trying to shoot it into Billy's mouth, but he missed. However, Dominic managed to catch it in his mouth, winning Jimmy the record.
  • Gypsy Curse: When Greg gets a call from a wrong number about a dying relative who wanted to see him one last time, he manages to use it to get out of doing something he didn't want to do. Jimmy is displeased with Greg for lying about a tragedy, so he makes him actually follow through with his lie and go see the old woman. When he gets there, the old woman can't see very well and mistakes Greg for the man who the call was intended for. She then calls him a no-good bastard who has brought nothing but trouble to the family and lays one of these on him before she dies. We don't see what the effect of the curse is, but the final scene has Greg tracking down the man it was intended for and passing it on to him.
  • Halloween Episode: "Halloween".
  • Happily Married: More than one: Greg & Kim; Jimmy & Christine; Tom and Natalie, Greg's parents.
  • Henpecked Husband: Greg, to Kim.
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending of the final episode, "Should I Bring a Jacket". After the Hugheses had finally moved out and had been living in their own house for a season or so, there is a huge storm, during which their house is destroyed by a tree falling on top of it. The last scene has them back on the Warners' doorstep, asking if the guest house is still available.
  • Hypocritical Humor: This show is full of them.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: In one episode, Kim does not want to stop breastfeeding Sammy so that she gets to keep her large breasts and this power to go with them.
    Kim: Men see them and just go into a trance. I think I could rob a bank with these things!
  • Indy Ploy: How Jimmy solved Dominic's lying problem in "Spanks, But No Spanks". He tried yelling, spanking, and bribing him with a trip to a go-kart track, but it all failed. Dominic asks if they're still going racing, and Jimmy says no. When told he promised they'd go, it suddenly occurs to Jimmy to go with I Lied and claim he deliberately set out to show Dominic how bad it feels to be lied to. It works and Dominic goes to his room to think about this, leaving Jimmy and Christine to wonder what he'll do once he figures out they always make this stuff up as they go along.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Kim was under the impression that Greg's work assistants were also for her personal use, and drove every one of them to quit because she was far more demanding than the person they were actually hired to work for. She saw absolutely no difference between her husband's work secretary and her personal errand boy/girl, and even thought she had the authority to fire them if they ever disobeyed her orders. Greg had no idea this was even going on until he hired Christine.
  • Ironic Echo: During the episode "Pimpin' Ain't Easy", Logan decides to be dressed only in underwear as protest to being given hand-me-down clothes once he finds out all of his clothes once belonged to Dominic. When a cop intervenes upon seeing him and Christine out in the street late in the episode, this takes place, much to Christine's chagrin:
    Officer: Ma'am, he'd better get clothed, or someone will be in jail.
    Christine: That's right, Logan. You'd better put on those hand-me-down clothes, or you're going to jail.
    Officer: Ma'am... I was referring to you.
    Logan: (Turning to Christine) You'd better buy me new clothes, or you're going to jail!
  • Irrational Hatred: Kim's father Don despises Greg to the point that he cuts him out of family photos. This doesn't make much sense given that Greg is basically the type of guy any father would want his daughter to marry...he is successful, respectful, and provides a terrific home for his family. Don ironically prefers Jimmy, who is forever short of money and doesn't even own his own home for most of the series.
  • It Will Never Catch On:
    • "When Jimmy Met Greggie" which takes place before the Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust was created. Jimmy was pondering to his friends, on how there should be a way to put cheese inside Pizza crust. His friends look at him like he's some kind of Mad Scientist.
    • When Jimmy tries to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, he first tries to submit a record that he came up with himself, but gets rejected. Then he announces he's going to attempt "Farthest Marshmallow Nose Blow Caught in Someone Else's Mouth". Greg thinks this is another record Jimmy came up with and says that the book would never accept something so ridiculous, only for Jimmy to point out that he's trying to break a record that is already in the book.
  • Karma Houdini: Greg spends the majority of an episode trying to prove that either Jimmy or one of Jimmy's kids broke their toilet. He furiously ponders ways to punish them for what they did. When it's revealed that Sammy was actually the culprit, everything was immediately forgiven, the family had a nice Sentimental Music Cue, and they all went to the movies.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Following a wrong phone number, Greg lies about having a dying relative in order to get out of a church function and does so in a church itself. Only Jimmy knows the truth and urges Greg to come clean. He doesn't, and it comes back to bite him in the end. Jimmy then says of God, "You sneaky little fella."
    • A more positive example, happens when Jimmy saves two Jehova's Witnesses from his own lifestyle. It's heavily implied that many of his prayers are thrown into the shredding pile in heaven. However after his good deed, they answer one of his more minor prayers as a thank you. Said prayer happens to be magically refilling an almost empty bottle of mustard. His reaction was genuine.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: On an episode, Kim goes "Oh, shhhhhh...sugar." because there are kids around. One of her nephews looks up at her and says "I know what you wanted to say."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: All of the things Greg's dad is taught about background characters in "Let's Get Jaggy With it" are used or made fun of by the actual background characters on the show, including a rule that states that actors can't be paid speaking role wages if more than six people say the same words together.
    Crowd: Assholes!
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Exaggerated. Greg is pressured by his family and a group therapist to explain why he hates Jimmy and Christine so much, so he makes up a story about how he was bullied at summer camp, all from things in the therapist's office.
  • Lost Love Montage: It became a running joke to feature Greg flashing back to some character he became friends with but lost like they were an ex-girlfriend. Common activities included doing each other's hair, riding Razor scooters, playing checkers, and playing guitar with Chicago's "Hard Habit to Break" playing throughout.
  • Mama's Boy: Greg fears Sammy will become this when Kim won't stop coddling him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Greg's dad. Bumbling Dad aside, he successfully manipulated Greg and Kim into naming their newborn daughter Emily. They were being filmed for an episode of A Baby Story, and at one point, Tom gets the Confession Cam to himself and tells a sob story about his beloved deceased aunt who he always wanted to name his daughter after, but was not able to because he only had Greg. Conveniently, Greg and Kim are behind a wall eavesdropping on him. When the TV show sends them all of the footage that was cut from the episode, they find out he knew they were listening and in fact planned it that way all along. It's entirely possible that the story he told wasn't even true.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: One episode had Jimmy going in to get a vasectomy but changing his mind at the last second because he wanted to give Christine the daughter she's always wanted. The Tag for the episode features an older Jimmy and Christine "trying for that daughter again", followed by the camera zooming out to show that they now have so many sons that there is barely any room in the Warners' guest house for them all to sleep.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Greg and Jimmy were mistaken as a gay couple twice. Jimmy was quite flattered by it.
  • Movie-Theater Episode:
    • In "Walk Like a Man", Greg tries to prove to Sammy that he can be a Papa Wolf so that Sammy will see him more as a manly father than his wimpy older brother. At one point, the Warner and Hughes families go to the movie theater, where Greg gets into a scuffle with a talkative and much larger man and is apprehensive about fighting it out. When Greg sees Sammy about to eat a candy bar with peanuts in it, Greg punches the man to rush over to his son, knowing that Sammy is allergic to peanuts. In The Stinger, it is revealed that Sammy was fully aware of what was going on, and deliberately tried to eat the candy bar so that Greg would see what was happening, man up, and score a win.
    • In "Natural Born Delinquents", the Warner and Hughes families go to the movie theater, when Dominic and Logan fight over a bag of Cheetos and spill them all over Greg's car. While Kim, Jimmy, Christine, Sammy, and Emily go see the movie and go to the arcade afterwards, Greg stays behind to discipline Dominic and Logan, telling them they can't see the movie until after they pick up the Cheetos. Dominic and Logan miss the movie and the arcade, but find much more enjoyment in torturing Greg.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: With the help of Dominic, Jimmy discovers Greg is working at Chuck E Cheese rather than accepting a job offer from him. What should usually be a mundane drama moment on their "Who owes who." relationship, turns into a hilariously awesome search for Greg. This ends in a climactic chase between the two, the latter in a Chuck E Cheese costume while the SWAT theme plays with Greg escaping on a skateboard and Jimmy crashing a scooter.
  • Mushroom Samba: Greg on nasal spray.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: "Broken by the Mold" has Greg leaving a note that begins with this sentence: "Dear family, friends and Jimmy".
  • Nature Tinkling: In "Who's On First?", this is how the Hughes family potty-trained Dominic and Logannote , much to the ire of Greg, who owns the guest house and the backyard they live in. Eventually, Greg decides to try it with Sammy behind Kim's back after several unsuccessful attempts to potty-train him. Kim finds out about this and is not pleased.
  • Never Bareheaded: Jimmy is rarely ever seen without some kind of cap on his head, to the point that Greg suggested that he submit his own record to the Guinness Book for "Most Time Spent Wearing a Hat" (it was rejected).
  • Oblivious Adoption: Tom
  • Obnoxious In-Laws:
    • For Greg, it's Kim and Christine's father, Don. For Jimmy, it's their mother, Jenny. For Kim, it's Greg's mother, Natalie. That leaves Christine as the only one of the four main characters who doesn't have any problems with either her father-in-law or her mother-in-law.
    • Of course, the series itself is built on this trope - with a number of plots built around disagreements between brothers-in-law Greg and Jimmy.
  • Older and Wiser: Jimmy and Christine mentor Greg and Kim on how to deal with conflicts with your spouse.
  • Parental Fashion Veto: In the episode "Pimpin' Ain't Easy", the Warner and Hughes families are about to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant, when Logan decides to protest against having to wear his older brother Dominic's hand-me-downs by wearing only his underwear. Jimmy and Christine, his parents, don't approve of this at all, and Jimmy tries to get Logan to stop by telling him that if he goes to the restaurant in his underwear, people will point, stare, and laugh at him. This doesn't faze Logan at all, and he decides to go to the restaurant in just his underwear.
  • People Zoo: Jimmy wonders if fish would keep humans in air filled aquariums if they ruled the earth.
  • Potty Emergency: In the episode, "Arm Prins", when Kim tries to sell her titular new invention, Greg is left to babysit Sammy by himself. Because he had not gone to the bathroom in six hours and drank four iced teas during that time, he has to go to the bathroom real bad. While he goes, he occupies Sammy with a Blue's Clues VHS tape, Which of course, starts Sammy's Blue's Clues addiction for the rest of the episode.
  • Primal Fear: Logan is afraid of the dark, to the point that he screams loudly if the nightlight in his room is turned off... even if he's already asleep with his eyes shut.
  • Product Placement: Snapple and Frito-Lay products are often prominently displayed in kitchen scenes.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Done as a gag in one stinger. After all four adult characters confess to having "broken" Sam, Jimmy and Christine replace Sam with an identical one and throw the "broken" Sammy out onto the curb!
  • Right Behind Me: Several times, most often involving an adult making comments about his/her son or nephew, only to turn around and realize said relative is standing right behind the speaker.
  • Rule of Funny: There is no plausible reason why Tom, Greg's father, ends up outside a plane in flight while dressed as Superman except that it's funny and Tim Conway milks the bit for every laugh he can wring out of the studio audience.
  • Running Gag:
    • Greg's attempt at work-related humor has managed to send his colleague, Mike, literally running in tears 3 times in total, always because one of Greg's jokes inadvertently reminded Mike of some relative of his who died under some accidental & tragic circumstance (for example, in one scene Greg set Mike off with a "penny squeezing" joke because Mike's wife was killed by a boa constrictor), with Mr. Savitsky explaining why Mike ran off crying before telling Greg "there's no way you could have known that." In fact, Mike is basically a running gag character, as all scenes with him being mentioned involve this.
    • The episode "Headshot" shows Sammy accidentally bumping his head 5 times. Poor kid.
    • The Lost Love Montage trope above also qualifies for this show.
  • Scrabble Babble: Jimmy and Kim play Scrabble. Jim tries to put an O at the end of Kim's "Cheat" to make "Cheato", only to be told by Kim that it's spelled "Cheeto", and that it can't be played anyway because it's the brand name of a snack food. Jimmy then challenges her earlier play of "ritzy".
    Kim: "Ritzy" is a word.
    Jimmy: Yeah, but it's a word about a cracker.
A minute or so later, after staring at his letters in silence for several seconds, he asks if "gloonge" is a word.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Greg
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Big Jimmy towards Jimmy. Jimmy on the other hand is proud of Dominic's third place trophy, but Dominic walks in while Jimmy is ranting about how Big Jimmy would have called third place "second fastest loser" and thinks Jimmy is talking about him.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Greg and Jimmy.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: The conflict between the Warners and Hugheses is kind of a mild version of this.
  • Snipe Hunt: In "Won't Ask, Won't Tell", Christine finds out that Jimmy is deliberately ignoring her when he talks to Greg over the phone. Christine then teams up with Kim, tricking their husbands into picking up a non-existent lamp. When Greg and Jimmy find out that they were tricked into a wild goose chase, they go back home and leave their wives a package... that had an actual wild goose.
  • Special Effect Failure: An in-universe example. When Greg records Sammy's first steps in a casino, Jimmy pays someone to swap the background with Stock Footage of a park. It looks somewhat convincing until Sammy starts walking on a lake.
  • Speed Dating: The episode "Speed Dating". Billy drags Jimmy along with it due to Billy's lack of confidence, but then Greg does it when he wishes to get more matches than Jimmy to prove his own manhood, and then Greg and Jimmy try to compete over a woman who separately becomes a match for both of them...
  • Spider-Sense: Jimmy, during the episode "Dominic's First Date", states that he feels a chill when, unbeknown to him, Christine realizes he had given advice she doesn't approve of (which sums up to All Girls Want Bad Boys) to Dominic. When his in-laws claim they feel nothing after he asks them whether they felt the same sensation, he thinks that he got nervous over nothing... until Christine walks in a second later to confront him.
  • The Stinger: The show would feature a callback to an earlier joke made in passing. Arguably, the funniest part of the show.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: After Christine gets mad at Jimmy for only writing "Love, Jimmy" on his Valentine's Day card to her, Kim and Greg try to fix things by saying that everyone must sit down and write something they love about their spouse. Jimmy accidentally writes down lyrics from "Livin' On a Prayer" without realizing it, which Greg berates him for. Then Christine reveals that she wrote the same thing, and the two sing the next part of the song together.
  • Streaking: Logan does this in the episode "Pimpin' Ain't Easy" by dressing only in underwear as protest to being given hand-me-down clothes once he finds out all of his clothes once belonged to Dominic. It ends only after a cop intervenes (though not in Christine's favor; see Ironic Echo above).
  • Strongly Worded Letter: Greg and Kim write one in response to a neighbor scaring Sammy in "Halloween". It goes over as well as you'd expect.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: One episode explored this. Jimmy is injured and Kim is pregnant, so the two of them stay home together while Greg and Christine go out together. Greg and Christine actually get along great and have a lot of fun together. Jimmy and Kim, not so much, so they pretend they can't stand each other and have a huge fake argument when Greg and Christine come home so that they can get their original hangout buddies back.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • The flashback episode, "When Jimmy Met Greggy", has Jimmy, Christine and Kim making comments that foreshadows the premise of the series.
    Jimmy: Oh great. Now I'm gonna have [Greg] here all weekend mooching off me. Sitting on my couch, eating all my food.
    Christine: Jimmy, you're gonna see [Greg] once in a while at holidays, alright? I mean, its not like we're all gonna move in together.
    Kim: (after Jimmy convinces her to keep dating Greg) Thanks, Jimmy. I'll think about it. Hey and thanks for letting us crash here this weekend. If I ever have my own house and you need a place to stay for the night, you are always welcome.
    Jimmy: Thanks for saying that, but I don't really like staying in other people's houses, you know. I just, uh, I just don't feel comfortable.
    • When Jimmy's Spider-Sense is activated during the episode "Dominic's First Date", he asks Greg and Kim if they sense anything wrong. When they say "no", he claims to have been nervous for nothing... only to be proven wrong when an irate Christine enters to confront Jimmy over his All Girls Want Bad Boys advice to Dominic.
    Greg: Now I feel it!
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave:
    • Basically the entire premise of the show is that Jimmy and Christine have taken up permanent residence in Greg's guest house and will not leave.
    • In "Guarding Greg", the security guards are this to Greg, eating lunch and watching TV in his office.
  • Toilet Training Plot: In "Who's On First?", Jimmy and Christine potty-train Logan through Nature Tinkling, which inspires Greg and Kim to start potty-training Sammy in a more civilized way. After several unsuccessful attempts while Logan is potty-trained in three days, Greg decides to potty-train Sammy Jimmy and Christine's way behind Kim's back.
  • Token Minority: Roy is the token black character.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Christine and Kim.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Greg did this twice. Once he punched out Goldberg and another time he punched Jimmy when he goaded him. The latter was trying to get him to hit him.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Greg, in the later episodes. A perfect example would be "Tree Hugger".
  • Tranquil Fury: After weeks of trying to get a contractor to fix a fireplace in "Gordon and Kim", Kim sees the contractor's car in someone else's driveway and vandalizes it with a tire iron while calmly whistling to herself.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Jimmy kicks Greg and his family out of his house after 4 days of eating his food and constant sex. There are several reasons that this makes Jimmy a terrible person:
    • He encouraged and had to convince Greg to engage in such behavior.
    • Greg put up with the same (possibly worse) behavior from Jimmy for years.
    • Most importantly, Jimmy owes Greg everything, without him Jimmy would be a homeless, unemployed utter failure as a human being, the quote "I've done everything short of breathing air into your lungs" comes to mind as it is entirely accurate.
    • Unfortunately The Reset Button is pushed by the next episode and it is never brought up again.
      • The main difference is, Greg turned down a great job offer in order to keep sitting around doing nothing, Jimmy was looking for a job from the moment he moved in. Still a bit of a dick move, but he had Greg's best interest at heart.
    • Jimmy accuses Christine of being this in "Christine the Spy" when she wouldn't reveal any secrets about Radford Studios' new projects to Greg and Mr. Savitsky, the two guys who provided everything for the Hugheses over the years.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Played for Laughs towards the end of the "Jimmy Sponsors a Vacation" episode where Kim, having been fed up with Jimmy's antics, promptly snaps into this, knocking him down and pounding him silly.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Greg and Jimmy.
  • Vocal Evolution: Kim's voice is deeper and more throaty in the final 2 seasons as opposed to her high-pitched whine prior to that. Christine's voice became more gravelly over time.
  • Wimp Fight: Greg and a recurring minor character fight this way.
    Greg: Welp... I beat up a short man in front of his 10-year-old son.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Greg spends one episode worrying about repeating a cycle of weak-willed fathers, so he wants to prove to Sammy that he's a Papa Wolf. While at the movie theater, Greg gets into an altercation with a much larger man and was apprehensive about fighting it out. Then he saw Sammy about to eat food he's allergic to, so Greg punched the guy out and ran over to his son. The ending, however, reveals Sammy was fully aware of what was going on and deliberately motioned towards the food so that Greg would see what was happening, man up, and score a win.