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YMMV / Monk

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  • Awesome Music:
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Alice Cooper's cameo in "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike"
  • Crazy Awesome: "It's a gift... and a curse." In "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring", Monk goes to a museum and sees the body of a caveman that supposedly froze to death. Monk determines that he was actually murdered and actually figured out what happened. We never actually get to hear it, but suffice it to say Monk is a really good detective to solve a 30,000 year old murder.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Some of the trivia questions on Treasure Chest in "Mr. Monk and the Game Show" count. For example, Monk's question at the Bonus Round is, "Who was the first president to win a Nobel Peace Prize?" The answer, if Monk had not been trying to nail Roddy Lankman for a cheating scandal, would have been Theodore Roosevelt.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees," there are several sports jerseys on the walls in Rob Sherman's living room. These includes a #21 San Antonio Spurs jersey that was that of Tim Duncan, and there is a #3 Denver Nuggets jersey that is that of Allen Iverson. Both Iverson and Duncan were League MVPs. The presence of these jerseys implies that Sherman may or may not have been their agent.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the Season 2 finale Tim Curry plays Dale the Whale, who's effectively paralyzed by his weight. He was rendered paraplegic by a stroke in 2012.
    • Monk prevents Kevin Dorfman from being killed in "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy" but his effort turns out to be in vain when Kevin is later murdered in "Mr. Monk and the Magician".
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the novel Mr Monk Is Miserable, published in early December 2008, Monk finds a skull in the Paris catacombs belonging to a recently deceased man. The skull is identified by dental records as Nathan Chalmers, a man who committed a pyramid scheme in America, and who faked his death to avoid prosecution. Barely a week after the book was released in hardback, Bernard Madoff was exposed and arrested for one of the largest Ponzi schemes in recent history. Madoff was identical to the descriptions of Nathan Chalmers: the architect of a massive pyramid scheme whose victims included several of California's wealthiest and most sophisticated persons.
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    • In Mr. Monk Is Cleaned Out, Lee Goldberg has Fun with Palindromes in Bob Sebes, an Expy of the original Bernard Madoff.
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk Goes Home Again" Leo Howard played a karate kid.
    • The combined DVD boxsets for a show about a guy with Super OCD have one with a different design from the others. Probably intentional, as people who have the same Super OCD as Monk himself will either laugh or cry.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show" Monk tries to bluff his way into titular fashion show by saying his name is "Puff Daddy". He tells the guard there are "Two Puff Daddies". The guard suggests that Monk changes his name. Moke fires back that the "other" Puff Daddy should change his name. By the time the show had aired (but not when it was filmed) Puff Daddy had already changed his name to Diddy.
  • Hollywood Homely: When discussing the possibility that the younger man who married Randy's mother could really love her Randy pulls out a picture and the other characters' reactions imply that she must be hideous (Randy even suggests he loves his mother but doesn't know how anyone else could). When the character later turns up (in the same episode, so this is not a case of a retcon) she looks like a perfectly normal woman.
    • In-universe, in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show" fashion mogul Julian Hodge (played by Malcolm McDowell) denigrates Natalie's appearance and style, despite her being quite attractive (even in-universe, as she later is recruited to be the new California "lotto girl" in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever") and the only regular character who routinely displays any degree of fashion sense. Curiously, he does seem to think both Randy and Julie have what it takes to be models, however.
  • Idiot Plot: "Mr. Monk and the Foreign Man" relies on everyone being a complete idiot, even for the character development Monk gets. The crime in question goes like this: restaurant owner Kenneth Nichols drunk dials a friend of his who happens to be on vacation while he's driving. However, said friend left his cell phone at home, so the housekeeper answered. Nichols runs over a visiting Nigerian woman while he's talking, so he then proceeds to drive over to the friend's house and kill the housekeeper to cover up evidence of vehicular manslaughter. Where it becomes an idiot plot is this:
    • The fact that Nichols runs over a woman in his delivery van, that has the name of his business "Le Poisson Bleu" on it in great big letters at 8:15 PM, while recklessly driving down a busy street (and under the influence of alcohol) and he thinks nobody is going to notice. More so, he thinks the broken headlight is going to be the dead giveaway, as opposed to, say, the words "La Poisson Bleu" written in big ass letters so conspicuous that even a stoned slacker sees them.
    • That says nothing of the unseen Sergeant Kramer who was in charge of the hit and run investigation and failed to find that the tire tracks were made by a van or the shattered headlight glass left in the street, or failed to realize that there was a gas station nearby with potential witnesses and security cameras.
    • Plus the fact that Ansara Waingaya steps into the crosswalk the moment the cross street's light turns red, when common sense dictates that you should look both ways before crossing to make sure that traffic on the cross street actually stops, or at the very least, notices you.
  • Informed Wrongness: In "Mr. Monk is Someone Else," Monk is apparently supposed to be in the wrong for rudely dismissing and pushing away Harold Krenshaw, while undercover as a hit man right in front of the men who hired him, which nearly blew his cover.
  • Narm: Some of the deaths count as this, such as "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School", "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month", and "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", as well as the attempted death in the opening scene from "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage".
  • Older Than They Think: The cleaning-a-vaccuum-with-a-small-handheld-vaccuum gag (repeatedly used in promotional spots) was done first by fellow Neat Freak Monica Geller in a late episode of Friends.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In Mr. Monk takes the Stand, we could've seen Monk take one of Powell's slick questions ("Are you an expert in this thing you clearly aren't?") and asked a question that revealed the fallacy in it ("Are you?"), making a nice Meaningful Echo to Dr. Belle's story about learning from failure and recognizing your opponent's "curveball".
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger," it's revealed that the blind woman Mrs. Mass killed Jason "Sonny" Cross and falsely implicated Willie Nelson for the crime. It's also established that her motive was getting even with Sonny because he killed her parents in a DUI crash in the 1980s and got a light sentence for it. Where the trope comes into play is that to some, Mrs. Mass's actions were worse than anything Sonny Cross did. It is clear that Cross's actions were stupid, irresponsible and criminal, and the outcome of his actions was a tragedy, but he didn't intentionally go out and murder anyone. He wasn't even in his right mind, and we don't know anything about the trial. He may have pleaded guilty or no contest to two counts of vehicular manslaughter. Mrs. Mass, on the other hand, committed premeditated murder and then allowed an innocent man to be blamed (and perhaps even would have allowed him to be convicted) for her crime. She wasn't proclaiming Willie Nelson's innocence. She claimed that she "heard" Willie Nelson's voice during the murder of Jason Cross. That's not justice. That's a crime in its own right. In fact, she should have gotten more time for giving false evidence and trying to convict an innocent man of murder instead of the "extenuating circumstances" that Stottlemeyer was talking about. However, this is arguably mitigated by the heavy implication that Cross didn't regret his actions one bit (especially since he was also a career embezzler), not to mention that the only "leniency" she requests is simply to serve her sentence in a private, windowed cell (though trying to frame Nelson was still a jerk move).
  • What an Idiot!: In Mr. Monk Is On Board, Natalie goes to a support group for struggling businesses, and one of them is the owner of a site called Someone had actually created an Internet dating service for the world’s Amish population, a religious sect that doesn’t even use electricity, much less Wi-Fi.
  • The Woobie: Monk's cringing and general pitifulness when being confronted with one of his phobias generate an instant oh-the-poor-thing factor and tend to put one in mind of a small child or bewildered dog; on top of that, cruel minor characters unacquainted with Monk are always around to mock him, stare at him, or try to forcibly make him "get over" his fears. It's almost painful to watch, even when played for laughs as it usually is. (For some reason, neither Monk nor Natalie/Sharona ever bother to explain Monk's OCD, instead describing him as being "particular" or something similarly vague; thus, the other characters are rarely sympathetic to or accommodating of his problems.)
    • Could be justified. If they did explain, people might react to Monk the way they often do to other, more visible, disabilities, such as treating Monk as if he is an anomaly or is helpless. Or maybe it's just because his particular manifestation of OCD would take too long to explain.
    • And of course, there's Adrian Monk's depressing backstory. He grew up with uncaring parents (his own father ran off and abandoned the family); was a social outcast with very few friends throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; and finally he's unable to cope with the unsolved murder of his beloved wife. It's no wonder why Monk is such an anxious, depressed, and paranoid mess of a person.


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