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Trivia / Two and a Half Men

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  • Actor Leaves, Character Dies: Charlie was killed off by being pushed in front of a train after he was caught cheating on his fiancée, Rose. And just to add insult to injury, the funeral is full of one night stands and angry exes. And after he is cremated, Walden's first appearance has Alan spilling Charlie's ashes all over the ground. Then Alan vacuums Charlie's remains with a Dustbuster.
  • Billing Displacement: Ashton Kutcher (Walden) receives top billing during the final four seasons, even though itís Jon Cryer (Alan) who gets the most focus between the two of them. However, both actors are credited onscreen at the same time but itís positioned in a way where itís hard to decipher whose name comes first.
  • Creator Backlash: Angus T. Jones (who played Jake) left the show at the end of season 10 after he converted to Seventh-Day Adventism. He now treats it as an Old Shame, claiming the show to be "immoral" and that he had been a "paid hypocrite" by starring on it. Though that didn't stop him from making a cameo in the series finale.
  • Creator Breakdown: The circumstances surrounding Charlie Sheen's exit are an explosive example. His marriage to Brooke Mueller fell apart and he entered a downward spiral of drinking and drug use. Then he began demanding that he be given an enormous raise (somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million per episode) and refused to come on set until CBS agreed. As this was happening, he began making bizarre public appearances and strange social media posts. In the end, the powers that be decided that Sheen wasn't worth the aggravation, fired him, killed Charlie off, and retooled the show by bringing in Ashton Kutcher.
  • Creator's Favorite: Emmanuelle Vaugier described Mia as her favorite character to have played in her career in an interview.
  • The Danza:
  • Dye Hard: Jon Cryer's hair began to thin dramatically and, while he was open about it, the hair and makeup department used a powdered hair loss concealer to make it seem he still had a full head of hair. After the series ended, he shaved his head and grew a beard.
  • Fake American: Rose, played by New Zealander Melanie Lynskey.
  • Follow the Leader: Starting with Season 10, the show started to incorporate quite a small bit of the nerd-based humor that made The Big Bang Theory so popular.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson's cameo in Season 9 had allusions to their previous roles as Dharma & Greg, but Chuck Lorre couldn't use the characters' names or established personalities because they are owned by ABC while Two and a Half Men is a CBS production. Lorre used this fact to comfort viewers who were upset to see the two actors play characters whose marriage is on the rocks, believing that Dharma and Greg's relationship broke down since their own series ended.
  • Money, Dear Boy: A variation; the main reason why Chuck Lorre pushed the network to commission a pilot was because co-creator Lee Aronsohn would cease to be eligible for WGA health coverage if one of his scripts wasn't put into production very soon. Fortunately for all concerned, it turned out that the network quite liked the pilot...
  • The Other Darrin: Dolores Pasternak was originally played by Missi Pyle. When she returned two years later, she was played by Alicia Witt. In brief appearances in later seasons, Missi Pyle came back.
  • Playing Against Type: Ryan Stiles. Lewis was a Jerkass and a borderline sociopath while Herb is one of the nicest people on the show.
  • Queer Character, Queer Actor: Evelyn Harper has had sex with both men and women. She's played by Holland Taylor, who's a lesbian in real life.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Charlie Sheen's brother Emilio Estevez made a guest appearance. Charlie (Harper) actually tells Alan to his face that he's like the brother he never had.
    • So did their father Martin in another episode, as Rose's father.
    • In the episode "Yes, Monsignor", Charlie's ex-wife Denise Richards played Charlie's recently divorced ex-girlfriend and their daughter Sam appeared as her infant daughter.
  • Recast as a Regular: Jennifer Taylor appeared in multiple guest spots as different characters before being cast as Chelsea.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Hugh Grant was originally signed to replace Charlie Sheen. His character was to be a smooth-talking Con Man who tricks Alan into letting him move in, without paying rent. Grant decided that he didn't want to commit to a multi-year contract for a television series, and backed out of the role. Woody Harrelson, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven and John Stamos were also considered.
    • The original plan for the ending of the series, according to Chuck Lorre's vanity card:
      "I know a lot of you might be disappointed that you didn't get to see Charlie Sheen in tonight's finale. For the record, he was offered a role. Our idea was to have him walk up to the front door in the last scene, ring the doorbell, then turn, look directly into the camera and go off on a maniacal rant about the dangers of drug abuse. He would then explain that these dangers only applied to average people. That he was far from average. He was a ninja warrior from Mars. He was invincible. And then we would drop a piano on him. We thought it was funny. He didn't. Instead, he wanted us to write a heart-warming scene that would set up his return to prime time TV in a new sitcom called The Harpers starring him and Jon Cryer. We thought that was funny too."
  • Write What You Know: Chuck Lorre has experience as a jingle writer; he wrote the theme song for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Overlaps with Actor Allusion (Creator Allusion?) when Charlie plays said theme song on the piano for Jake in an early episode, only for Jake to be utterly clueless about where it's from.
  • Write Who You Know: Charlie Harper's characterization is basically that of his actor, Charlie Sheen. It's even referred to as such by Trifecta.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • The actress who plays Chelsea, one of Charlie's few meaningful relationships for a long time had already appeared in other roles in previous episodes, including the Pilot.
    • April Bowlby, who later played Kandi, made an earlier appearance playing a woman in Charlie's shower, called "Bubbles." It is possible Bubbles was Kandi, as Kandi shows up two episodes later and acts just like her (April Bowlby is credited as "Kimber" in that episode, even though she's never addressed as such in the entire episode).
    • Jenna Elfman appeared in a two-part episode in the first season as a woman named Frankie. She later appeared as Dharma in the Season 9 opener.
    • Judy Greer, who plays Walden's wife appeared in the fourth season as Herb's sister, Myra.