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  • Absentee Actor: Laurence Fishburne misses some episodes due to also being in Hannibal. To explain this, the writers threw in an offhanded line about Pops being on vacation in Bermuda. This gets a Lampshade Hanging in Season 2 when Bow rejects him as a guardian for the kids if she and Dre die as he's often gone for long periods, and asks if he's even still alive. Dre isn't quite sure.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Gun," Pops (fake) teaches Zoey karate
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    • In 'Hope', he listens to Dre in a flashback waxing lyrical about civil rights while he rotates metal stress balls in his hand with an irritated look on his face like another Fishburne character.
    • Ruby alludes to dating James Ingram, at which the show cuts to an old picture of Ingram and Jenifer Lewis from when they were actually dating.
    • Daveed Diggs enters the show having just come back after years of living in France. Plus, Ruby comes into the room saying "What'd I miss?"
    • Diane is embarrassed by Bow's attempts to protest a parody of American Girls Collection that only includes two highly stereotypical black characters. Marsai Martin played the inspiration for an American Girl doll in Melody 1963: Love Has To Win.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Bow excitedly shows Zoey around Brown University, Tracee Ellis-Ross' real alma mater.
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    • Ruby reveals that she used to be a back up singer for Bette Midler, just like Jenifer Lewis.
  • The Cast Showoff: In 'Twindependence', Zoey speaks some Farsi - Yara Shahidi is half-Iranian and Farsi was one of the first languages she learned.
  • Making Use of the Twin: Due to California's Labor Laws involving infant actors Devante is plays by twin boys plus two other babies including a girl.
  • Missing Episode" Season 4's "Please, Baby, Please". Touching on the anthem protest issue in the NFL, it was pulled from airing over creative differences. This was the final straw for showrunner Kenya Barris, who left the show and ABC after the season was over because he felt that the network was silencing him to appease Donald Trump supporters that the network was now trying to attract.
  • Out of Order: Season 3, AKA "How pregnant is Bow this time?". It's fairly obvious too when she goes from ready to pop in one episode, to looking barely a few months in at best in the next.
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  • Playing Against Type: Laurence Fishburne, known for usually playing serious, dramatic roles in stuff like Boyz n the Hood, The Matrix, and Hannibal, gives an uncharacteristically funny turn as Pops. Then again, he DID get his start as Cowboy Curtis.
  • Playing Gertrude: Laurence Fishburne is only eight years older than Anthony Anderson, and Jennifer Lewis is thirteen years older. This is helped a bit by having a Season 1 episode center around Andre's 40th birthday, making him five years younger than Anderson.
  • Reality Subtext: Zoey is going to college at the same time that her actress, Yara Shahidi, is going to attend Harvard.
  • Real-Life Relative: Marsai Martin's younger sister and cousin play Devante in some episodes.
  • Write What You Know:
  • Written-In Absence: To explain Laurence Fishburne missing some episodes due to also being in Hannibal, the writers threw in an offhanded line about Pops being on vacation in Bermuda.

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