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YMMV / Leave It to Beaver

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  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Wally, in latter seasons.
    • Indeed, Tony Dow ended up becoming so popular, that in the later seasons, the writers started writing episodes in which Wally would get into the schemes and scrapes that Beaver would usually get into, with Beaver becoming more of an observational character.
    • And, of course, Eddie Haskell.
    • Not to mention Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford, bad girl Judy Hensler and even Gilbert Bates.
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  • Funny Moments: Many, but of particular note is this one after the boys' trap for Lumpy gets Mr. Rutherford instead:
    Wally: "We didn't mean to hurt Mr. Rutherford."
    Beaver: "Yeah, we called 'meathead' and he came running out."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The show mined a lot of humor from the fact that Ward and some of Beaver's friends had parents that disciplined them with physical abuse. Something that was a lot more common during that era.
    Beaver: Larry gets a quarter for just being quiet when his dad gets home.
    Ward: Well, that's not the way my father kept me quiet.
    Beaver: Oh, yeah. You had a hittin' father, didn't you?
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Beaver (to Wally): "I'd rather do nothin' with you than somethin' with anyone else."
    • And anytime Eddie does something nice.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one episode everyone was aghast that Beaver was actually selling water to people! Mind you, it wasn't so much that he took advantage of inside knowledge that the water main would be shut off or that he was selling it out of a bucket on his wagon, but merely the fact that one person could be low enough to sell water to another person! How Evian spelled backwards of them!
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  • Memetic Mutation: Not this show entirely, but it along with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air gave birth to the iconic line "DO I LOOK LIKE A WHITE GUY NAMED WARD!?" Spouted by Uncle Phil in reference to this show.
  • Newer Than They Think: For a show that supposedly defined The '50s, it sure came along awfully late in the game. In fact it ran longer in The '60s (three-and-a-half years) than it did in the '50s (two years, three months). What it really defined was the childhoods of most Baby Boomers (the generation born 1946-63), which is remembered as "the '50s" for convenience because in the '60s they were busy doing important things like being hippies or getting drafted or protesting on campuses, not being cute little snot-nosed scamps saying "golly" or "willikers".
  • Moment of Awesome: Near the end of the film, Mrs. Cleaver finally tells Eddie Haskell to "cut the crap."
  • Retroactive Recognition:
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    • Uncle Joe ran an alligator farm that Beaver and Wally visited in one of the first episodes.
    • Floyd the Barber gave Wally his first shave.
    • Major Hochstetter was a conniving milk salesman who used Wally as his stooge.
    • Gene Reynolds directed three episodes. Reynolds is best known as co-creator and executive producer of Lou Grant.
    • Allan Manings wrote two episodes. Manings is best known as co-creator and producer of One Day at a Time.
    • Clifford Goldsmith wrote an episode. Goldsmith is best known for creating The Aldrich Family.
    • William Schallert played Mr. Bloomgarden in "Beaver's Short Pants".
    • Veronica Cartwright played the recurring character Violet Rutherford as well as Peggy MacIntosh in "Don Juan Beaver".
    • Barry Gordon played Chopper Cooper in "Beaver's House Guest".
    • Majel Barrett played Gwen Rutherford in "Beaver and Violet".
    • Ryan O'Neal played Tom Henderson in "Wally Goes Steady".
    • Marta Kristen played Christine Staples in "Wally and Dudley".
    • Tim Matheson played Michael Harmon in "Tell It to Ella" and "The Clothing Drive".
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Some of the Darker and Edgier episodes of the series, depicting alcoholism, divorce, and Beaver's Hispanic friend, are quite tame by today's standards.
  • Values Dissonance: Gilbert's frequent references to his father threatening to clobber him are Played for Laughs.
  • Values Resonance: The episode "Beaver's I.Q." contains this conversation:
    Beaver: Girls've got it lucky...They don't have to be smart. They don't have to get jobs or anything...
    June: Well, Beaver, today, girls can be doctors and lawyers too, you know. They're just as ambitious as boys are.

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