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Trivia / Frasier

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  • Acting for Two: Season 7 opener "Momma Mia" features Rita Wilson playing Frasier's Girl of the Week Mia Preston and Hester Crane due to the plot revolving around Mia's resemblance to Frasier's late mother. Wilson plays Hester again in the season 9 episode "Don Juan in Hell Part 2".
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Niles mentions filling Frasier's floppy red shoes which could be a reference to his character Sideshow Bob. Guess who voices Bob's brother in several episodes? Yep — it's a mirrored Actor Allusion. This could also be an allusion to an episode of Cheers where Frasier suited up as a clown to entertain for a kid's birthday party Rebecca was in charge of putting together.
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    • The first episode to feature "Sideshow" Cecil Terwilliger was aptly named "Brother From Another Series". In one bit, Bart has covered Cecil's eyes to surprise him, and pulls the standard "Guess who?" gag, to which Cecil replies, "Maris?"
    • The Simpsons blandly lampshades this with a Frasier-esque title card reading "Frasier is a Hit Show on the NBC Network." Taken even further in "Funeral for a Fiend", which introduces Bob and Cecil's father Robert, played by... John Mahoney.
    • Dr. Nora's mother is played by Piper Laurie, aka Carrie's mother.
      Mrs. Mulherne: YOU LITTLE WHORE!
    • Season 7's "A Tsar Is Born" has some plot familiarity: it features a Romanov artifact stolen by the help.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • One episode Daphne mentioned that as a child she dreamed of being a ballerina. Jane Leeves pursed acting after an ankle injury ended her career as a ballerina.
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    • Niles is a graduate of Yale University, as is his actor David Hyde Pierce.
    • An interesting case involving Martin Crane's actor John Mahoney. On the one hand, the character is a straight, American everyman who loves beer and sports, while Mahoney was a gay Englishman who enjoys the opera and fine wine (and introduced David Hyde Pierce — who previously had only a passing interest in either — to both). On the other hand, both Martin and Mahoney served in the US military.
    • It's also notably inverted by Bulldog's actor. The notorious womanizer is played by Dan Butler, who is openly gay.
  • Banned Episode: "Dr. Nora" was pulled from syndication packages after the real Dr. Laura Schlessinger complained. Ironically, it wasn't herself being parodied that Schlessinger took issue with - rather, it was the show taking on her mother, who she viewed as being off-limits due to not being a public figure. The episode has since reappeared on cable and on Netflix.
  • California Doubling: "Love Bites Dog" (season 4) has some of the show's few outdoor scenes as Daphne and Martin search for replacement Muckabees shoes. The old store they find is, in reality, 5529 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.
    • Averted with "The 1000th Show", which was shot in Seattle.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Notorious chauvinist "Bulldog" Briscoe played by real-life openly gay activist Dan Butler.
    • Daphne's family and its multitude of inconsistent British Accents. Particularly on the part of the Australian Anthony LaPaglia playing Simon, who loves Mel Gibson and who Frasier once refers to as a "boomerang."
    • In one episode Frasier and Niles try to help a former Shakespearian actor Jackson Hedley revive his theatrical career by producing him in a one man version of Hamlet, but they realize to their horror that he's actually a terrible actor, who does a laughably overwrought performance of the play... and might have been just as terrible even when they thought he was good. The gag is that Hedley is played by Derek Jacobi, an acclaimed Shakespearian actor, whose previous roles include Hamlet in The BBC's Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare series. If that weren't enough, Patrick Macnee, another experienced Shakespearean actor who became known for genre TV shows (The Avengers, Battlestar Galactica), plays Jackson's father.
    • In the penultimate episode, "Crock Tales", Rosie Perez guest stars as Lizbeth. Perez was one of the original contenders for the role of Daphne.
    • Niles' O.R. surgeon Dr. Shafer in "Rooms with a View" is played by Daniel Davis, who's best known for being another Niles in a popular 1993 sitcom.
  • The Cast Showoff: David Hyde Pierce studied classical piano before switching to acting when he decided he didn't have the dedication for endless hours' practice every day. As such, whenever Niles is heard playing the piano, that really is Pierce we hear playing.note 
  • Directed by Cast Member: Kelsey Grammer and Dan Butler both directed episodes. Grammer in particular became one of the series' main directors, helming thirty-seven episodes, many of them consecutively. He began in Season 3 with the famous "Moon Dance" (which focused on Niles and Daphne more to give him more time behind the camera) and directed with increasing frequency over the course of the rest of the series.
  • Edited for Syndication: The Hallmark Channel routinely speeds up the end credits, resulting in the little skits looking like Charlie Chaplin shorts, with Kelsey Grammer lucky if he manages to get up to the line "Scrambled eggs all over my face" by the time the Grub Street logo appears. Additionally, they cut words like 'ass' abruptly, sometimes giving the effect of the audience laughing at a joke without the punchline. They also remove the episode centred around Martin's unwitting hash-brownie consumption from their rotation.
  • Enforced Method Acting: For the episode "Roz and the Schnoz," director Ken Levine knew that some Corpsing would be inevitable— and since the plot involved the characters trying not to laugh, he instructed the camera crew to keep their shots rolling on any actor who happened to start cracking up.
  • Executive Meddling: Roz became pregnant because NBC executives wanted her promiscuity to have consequences.
  • Fake American: John Mahoney was born and raised in Blackpool, Britain. He became a US citizen in 1959, but sometimes his old accent pops up.
  • Fake Brit:
    • Daphne's least favorite brother, Simon (played by Australian Anthony LaPaglia) has a terribly unconvincing accent. Mostly played for laughs, though. See also any guest actor (not-British) playing Daphne's random boyfriends in earlier seasons.
    • Jane Leeves is British but cannot do a Manchester accent for toffee. God help the woman if she ever needed directions to the Trafford Centre. Word of God is that they wanted Daphne's accent to be working class and understandable to Americans so Jane Leeves adopted that particular accent.
    • Gil Chesterton is played by an American-born English actor and displays many symptoms of I Am Very British. In one of the first episodes, Frasier comments on his "phony accent."
  • Follow the Leader: The show takes many of its visual cues and dialog from Hannah and Her Sisters.
  • Functional Addict: Kelsey Grammer's personal problems became such a problem that the cast and crew staged multiple interventions and even wrote Day in the Limelight scripts for other characters so that he could get treatment. Despite it all, behind-the-scenes reports say that while Grammer would spent most of the time in a haze, he'd snap into character and perform with full energy before shutting down once the cameras cut.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Kelsey Grammer didn't memorize his lines or rehearse with the cast, coming in on filming days and ad-libbing his lines to fit the gist of the storyline. He said that after playing Frasier for so long, he knew how the character would act and react better than anyone else.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Jane Leeves got pregnant late in the show's run and it was written as Daphne becoming fat due to compulsive eating, complete with a Fat Suit; she left the series to have the baby, by having Daphne going away to a spa in order to lose the weight (with the in-joke that Niles went to see her there, and she had "just lost 9 pounds, 12 ounces".) Lampshaded in the episode that establishes her as a nervous overeater (before the pregnancy itself was showing);
    Simon: What's up with your appetite, Daphne? Are you knocked up or something?
    • Averted in the final season, when Leeves' second pregnancy was merely incorporated into the storyline.
  • Life Imitates Art: One episode sees Frasier and Niles publicly endorsing an (inferred) Democratic candidate for office,note  with Frasier stressing in TV adverts that their man is the Only Sane Man. Frasier is then absolutely horrified when their sane politician casually lets drop that he was once abducted by aliens. In Real Life, a Democratic politician from Georgia once filed a UFO report and has since said he is "open-minded" on the existence of UFOS and possible alien life. Obviously a man with ideas like that was too flaky to ever get elected.
  • Money, Dear Boy: John Mahoney's primary motivation for playing Martin was to earn enough money to be able to afford to perform in the artistic theater productions that were his true love, even financing them if necessary. Once Frasier ended, he steadfastly refused to participate in reunions and retrospectives up to his death. (He wasn't above playing Martin in a Star Trek 25th Anniversary show skit, though. The entire cast were all Star Trek fanatics and Kelsey once appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation as a Starfleet captain whose ship had got caught in a time loop.)
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Frederick Crane was played by two different child actors on this show (not counting the twins who took turns playing him on Cheers).
    • Frasier's first wife, Nanny G, was played by Laurie Metcalf in an episode of this show after having been played by Emma Thompson in a Cheers episode. Also, Frasier's hallucination of a younger Nanny G was played by Dina Waters in "Don Juan in Hell."
    • Moose (the dog who played Eddie) was replaced in the final four seasons by his son Enzo, who first appeared as his stunt double. Yes, the dog had a stunt double. This resulted in a Flashback with the Other Darrin in "Crock Tales".
  • Playing Gertrude: John Mahoney was only less than 15 years older than Kelsey Grammer. When casting the show, Grammer sheepishly asked Mahoney, "John... you wanna be my Dad?"
  • Real-Life Relative: Kelsey Grammer's then-wife Camille (whom Kelsey divorced in February 2011) makes a cameo as a partygoer dressed as Eve in "Halloween". Frasier hits on her, but she leaves with another man... dressed as Satan no less.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Kelsey Grammer has said that his favourite episode was "The Show Where Diane Comes Back" (the plot of which was Diane Chambers of Cheers and Frasier Crane's eventual reconciliation), because it gave him the opportunity to finally reconcile with Shelley Long, the actress who portrayed Diane.
    • Frasier runs into his first wife, Nanny G, in an episode from 2004. Note that Kelsey Grammer's first appearance as Frasier Crane was in the third series premiere of Cheers from 1984:
      Frasier: You have a wonderful career.
      Nanny G: But nothing ever changes! Do you have any idea what it's like to play the same character for twenty years?
    • Humor heightened by the fact that Nanny G had appeared three times, once on Cheers, twice on this show, each time played by a different actress.
    • The episode with Sir Derek Jacobi, who essentially plays Patrick Stewart playing Data doing William Shakespeare. Frasier is upset over the man he idolized being a Classically Trained Extra (which Jacobi actually is, and he won a Guest Actor Emmy for the episode), but it turns out he really is a terrible actor. And to top that off, take into account Kelsey Grammar's guest stint on TNG. And now that Jacobi himself has played The Master... let's just say this episode lives on Reality Subtext.
    • Niles and Daphne have a son named David in the series finale, named after producer David Angell who died in the 9/11 attacks.
    • In "Head Game", Niles becomes the shrink to a famous basketball player. This was interesting as the plot was meant for Frasier, but as Kelsey Grammer was being treated for his alcoholism he was unable to fulfill the role.
    • Jane Leeves became pregnant during the show's run, and while they were able to write around it for a while by giving Daphne an eating disorder, it came time to where she was going to have to take leave to have the child. At that point, she was temporarily written out of the show by having her go to a weight-loss clinic. During this period, at one point Roz asks Niles how Daphne's doing, to which he replies that she's making progress — she'd lost 9 lb, 12 oz — the weight of Leeves' real life newborn baby. (By the bye, the child's godmother is Peri Gilpin, who played Roz on the show.)
  • Reclusive Artist: One episode centres around Martin befriending an acclaimed One-Book Author, and his sons trying vainly to get on the man's good side (and of course, making him hate them more with every attempt). When he and Martin go to Duke's, Frasier remarks, "They'll probably bump into J. D. Salinger and Salman Rushdie and go out for margaritas!" Ultimately, they unintentionally convince him his new book is derivative and he destroys it.
  • Recycled Set: Using Frasier's apartment to represent the apartment of his new boss Todd Peterson (Alan Tudyk), whom he Mentors in the matters of style and sophistication during "The Great Crane Robbery". Lampshaded, as Frasier is irritated that the guy just copied his own decor down to the last detail.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Many early one-off cast actors went on to bigger roles. Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Lisa Cuddy in House) plays a love interest of the week in Season 5. Erika Christensen appears as a teen in the cafe in Season 6. Other examples include John C. McGinley who appeared as a plumber that turned out to be a former bully, and Alan Tudyk as one of Frasier's neighbors. A very young Zooey Deschanel plays Roz' cousin in Season 10.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: The character of Niles was created after producers noticed David Hyde Pierce's striking resemblance to a younger Kelsey Grammer.
  • Star-Making Role:
  • Stunt Casting: Parodied. The people who call in to Frasier's radio show are usually famous celebrities, but you'd never know unless you tune in to the closing credits.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • In the early seasons, there are frequent references to pagers, and Niles is the only one of the cast wealthy (and pretentious) enough to have a cellular phone (his first one isn't quite a brick, but you can watch cell phone technology change with his upgrades). One episode even highlights how relatively rare the devices were when Frasier notes that a recently-arrived professional juggler must have been contacted on her "car phone", prompting Niles' near slack-jawed shock that "Street performers have car phones?!" Of course, most of the various "Fawlty Towers" Plot styled antics wouldn't have worked quite the same if the characters could just call each other at any time.
    • A seventh season episode has Roz enthused by the fact that Cafe Nervosa has put in a phone line to allow people with (rather clunky) laptops to go online.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The show generally averts this, but it does come up every once in a while, as noted in Technology Marches On above. Other ways include the Crane boys' celebration of the Millennium New Year, and a reference to Pearl Jam back in the first season. note  Other examples include Frasier objecting to Roz's pot brownie because it's illegal (it isn't anymore in the state of Washington) and any reference Martin makes to the Seattle SuperSonics or Kingdome baseball stadium (neither of which exist anymore). The most unintentionally anachronistic aspect to the show for a modern (American) viewer is probably the very notion of a major, commercial, over-the-air AM radio station.note  One specific example chases its tail a bit - Martin has found a book of one-liners at his security guard job, and quips "He's so cheap he can squeeze a nickel till the buffalo chokes!" Frasier dryly asks when the book was published, as buffaloes had not appeared on nickels for quite some time at the time of the 2003 first-run of the episode (and Martin responds that the book was published in 1956). But two short years later, nickels depicting buffaloes were again minted.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Kirstie Alley is the onlynote  regular from Cheers to not reprise her role on Frasier, reportedly because Scientology does not believe in psychiatry, and Frasier is a psychiatrist. In the later episodes of Cheers, around the time Lilith and Frasier were going through their separation, Frasier and Rebecca nearly ended up in bed together. Wasting a perfectly good Unresolved Sexual Tension plot...
      • She claimed in one interview that her being a Scientologist had nothing to do with her never appearing on Frasier, and at least one of the show's writers (Ken Levine) said in a radio interview that they never considered having Kirstie Alley on, mainly because they weren't sure how to write her in, as Rebecca and Frasier hardly interacted on Cheers. Alley also said once she auditioned to play one of Frasier's girlfriends of the week, but was turned down, because the producers thought that would be kind of weird.
      • It's also widely rumored that Kelsey Grammer and Kirstie Alley didn't get along very well...
    • Lisa Kudrow was originally cast as Roz, however after the first few days of rehearsal, the producers decided that her quirky humor didn't fit the part and they hired Peri Gilpin instead (according to Kudrow, Gilpin was their first choice, but Kudrow was cast on the strength of her audition, then order was restored by bringing Gilpin back). Plus, imagine how this would have affected Friends if Kudrow had remained on Frasier.
    • Frasier's brother Niles wasn't in the original concept and hadn't been mentioned on Cheers. The inspiration for the character came after the producers saw a headshot of David Hyde Pierce and noted his brotherly resemblance to Kelsey Grammer.
    • Jane Leeves was cast as Holly in the Red Dwarf USA pilot. That never had a chance of getting picked up, but if it had, someone else probably would have been cast as Daphne.
    • Maris wasn't originally intended to be an unseen character, as the writers didn't want to draw comparisons to Vera from Cheers. They wound up having so much fun creating bizarre descriptions of her, however, that it reached a point where no actress could've played the part.
    • In the Season 11 episode "Caught in the Act", Frasier has his first encounter in over a decade with his first wife, Nanette Guzman alias Nanny Gee. In her appearance in the Season 10 Cheers episode "One Hugs, the Other Doesn't", she was played by Emma Thompson, and the producers tried to bring Thompson back for "Caught in the Act", but she was unavailable, citing, aptly enough, "nanny trouble". Nanny Gee was instead played by Laurie Metcalf.
    • Kelsey Grammer originally didn't want to play Frasier in a spinoff, but rather do something completely different. The original concept he and the writers came up with would've had him play a wealthy and reclusive paraplegic publisher, inspired by Howard Hughes. This character would've had a street-smart, live-in Hispanic nurse to aid him, and the creators envisaged Rosie Perez in the role. Paramount disliked the concept and insisted a Frasier Crane show was the way to go. The concept of the live-in nurse was re-used when developing the part of Daphne.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Frasier Wiki.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Jane Leeves believed that Daphne had always reciprocated Niles' affections, but was better at keeping them under wraps.
  • Write What You Know: Frasier and Martin's relationship was based on co-creator Peter Casey's relationship with his own father, who was a retired cop like Martin.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Daphne's compulsive eating in season 8 (and her later departure to a 'spa for fat people') accommodated Jane Leeves' real-life pregnancy. Interestingly, Roz's pregnancy does not fall under this — it existed only for the storyline. Peri Gilpin was not pregnant at the time and in fact had such difficulty becoming pregnant in real life, her twin daughters were born via a surrogate mother.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • John Mahoney played hack songwriter Sy Flemback in the canonically related Cheers, while Peri Gilpin (Roz) also appeared on Cheers as a reporter and on Wings (where Frasier once appeared) as a blind date. Additionally, a number of one-shot actors from Cheers, Wings and The Tortellis (the other Cheers spinoff) showed up in new roles on Frasier as well.
    • Wings regulars Tony Shalhoub and Rebecca Schull played unrelated one-shot characters in "The Focus Group" and "RDWRER", respectively.
    • Jennifer Tilly appeared as a sweet, bouncy nympho with a heart of gold on Cheers, then appeared as a sweet, bouncy nympho with a heart of gold on Frasier — both of whom dated Frasier.
    • Stephanie Faracy appeared in two episodes, each time playing a character named Mimi. However, given that the first time she was a confident, socialite friend of Maris and Niles, while the second time she was a timid pediatric nurse afraid of clowns, it's unlikely both Mimis were meant to be the same person.
    • In a case of You Sound Familiar, several of the celebrity guest callers (including Patti LuPone, Estelle Parsons, Piper Laurie and Rosie Perez) would later guest-star in person as different characters.


Example of: