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YMMV / Happy Days

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  • Base-Breaking Character: Chachi-nated, or De-Chachi-nated? He was liked by fangirls for being a Mr. Fanservice and his relationship with Joanie, while other viewers found him an unnecessary addition to the cast with an annoying Catchphrase. Nick at Nite even made a marathon out of the "Chachi/No Chachi" premise, and viewers got to vote.
  • Broken Base: Despite being the Trope Namer for Jumping the Shark, a term that was coined when Fonzie jumped over a shark during Season 5, opinions widely vary among fans on when the show actually started going downhill. Some argue that the show went downhill as early as Season 3, when the show started being taped in front of a live audience. Some will say when Fonzie actually jumped the shark. Others will say when Richie and Ralph left the show after Season 7. A number of fans will even argue that the show stayed good for all 11 seasons.
  • Ear Worm:
    • C'mon, sing it with me: "Sunday, Monday, Happy Days...".
    • The "Pumps Your Blood" song.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Fonzie in the first two seasons, so much that he became a Breakout Character and was promoted to second billing, after Ron Howard.
    • Mork was only supposed to be a one-shot character and his episode All Just a Dream, but Robin Williams' performance was such a hit that the episode was revised to make the events real after all and gave him his own spinoff.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The moment of vertical ascension over an aquatic carnivorous animal is considered merely the point where Fonzie's Flanderization into a superhuman and the loss of the 1950s motif reached its zenith. Both those things had subtly been going on as the seasonal rot kicked in.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Joanie and Chachi's romance was irrevocably ruined after Scott Baio's insensitive statement that Erin Moran deserved her early death because of her drug addictions.
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one episode, a martial arts class is taught by Arnold, played by Pat Morita. Happily, Daniel-San was a better student than Richie.
  • Memetic Badass: Fonzie is treated this way even In-Universe. Sometimes he's able to come out on top by just appearing in one scene.
  • More Popular Replacement:
    • Before Chachi, in early seasons Fonzie had another younger cousin named Spike who completely disappeared after season 4. Chachi is introduced in season 5 in a similar role, but is eventually Promoted to Love Interest and ends up becoming a main character until the end of the show. It helps that Chachi was very popular with teenage girls and was also a different character from his cousin, while Spike just acted like a mini-Fonzie, even wearing the same clothes.
    • Arnold was the owner of the Drive-In in season 3, is replaced by Al in seasons 4-9, and eventually comes back after Al's departure in season 10. Both characters were well-liked and it's hard to tell which of them is more popular.
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  • Replacement Scrappy: Roger, the nephew introduced after the departure of the main hero Richie Cunningham. Unlike adorkable everyman Richie, Roger is seen by most fans as a forgettable Flat Character.
  • Seasonal Rot: It started out as a very cool, low-key show, then became the ideal version of a standard sitcom with a Studio Audience. It started getting worse (the Trope-Named Shark-Jump) even before Richie left, but only got worse after that. Fonzie got a temporary full-time girlfriend for one season, and things got increasingly worse with gimmicks and nonsense until a thankfully fantastic final episode.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: According to Garry Marshall, "Richie Almost Dies" was written for this reason. He explained that he was contacted by counselors working with abused children who watched the show. These kids refused to cry and kept their emotions under wraps, so Marshall wanted to have Fonzie go through an emotional breakdown in order to show these kids that it was okay to cry.
  • Squick: In "The Cunningham Caper", Joanie talking about barf bags. Also, all the bad meat in the liver episode. Squicked out Fonzie too.
  • Values Resonance: The episode "The Best Man" tackles the issue of racial segregation in 1974, when civil unrest was rampant.


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