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YMMV / St. Elsewhere

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  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": The ending's surprise is probably the most popular thing about the show.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In the final scene of "A Coupla White Dummies Sitting Around Talking", Dr. Craig and Ehrlich are depicted as puppets while having a serious discussion about the death of the artificial heart recipient Henry Spooner and Craig's general lack of empathy. They then break into a rousing rendition of the Johnston Brothers song "Heart". The only previous connection to puppets in this episode (or the series for that matter) is the fact that Mr. Knox, the inventor of the artificial heart, has a ventriloquist's dummy named Herkimer Jerkimer.
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  • Epileptic Trees: The final scene created an interesting conundrum — since St. Elsewhere had cameos and crossovers with a good dozen other shows, are all those shows products of an autistic boy's imagination, too? And all the shows they crossed over with? And all the… well, you get the point. There is a running joke among some creative folks that all of television is All Just a Dream…and that the final moments of St. Elsewhere are the only "real" moments in television.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Judith Barsi played the dying child Debbie Oppenheimer in "The Abby Singer Show". This was her final acting role to be released before she and her mother Maria were murdered by her father József on July 25, 1988, only nine weeks after this episode was first broadcast.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • While the rapist is terrorizing the hospital, Dr. Fiscus compiles a list of men who are willing to escort some of the female doctors and nurses to their cars but Dr. Cavanero turns him down because one of the men might be the rapist. He tells Dr. Morrison offhand that he feels bad because they don't know what the women are going through. Until a couple seasons later, when Morrison is himself raped.
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    • The last episode, released in 1988, had a Logo Joke where throughout the credits, Mimsie, the cat from the MTM logo, was seen on a hospital bed as the beeps of a life monitor played in the background. When the credits ended, Mimsie flatlined. Mimsie would die for real shortly after the episode aired.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Rain", an increasingly frantic White tells Morrison that he wishes being in the hospital was just a dream.
    • In "Newheart", Dr. Herb Benzick tells White that the lead will protect him from radium "like Superman with kryptonite." Terence Knox (White) later played Jason Trask, the first villain to use kryptonite against Superman, in Lois & Clark.
    • In "Time Heals, Part 2", in a flashback to 1975, Dr. Craig performs St. Eligius' first heart bypass on Patrick O'Casey, who is played by William Daniels' future Boy Meets World co-star William Russ.
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    • The penultimate episode of Season Four is entitled "The Equalizer" after the CBS television series. Denzel Washington later played the title character Robert McCall in the 2014 film adaptation and its 2018 sequel.
  • It Was His Sled: It was all a dream.
  • Never Live It Down: The All Just a Dream ending has not aged well since its original airing. As such, it frequently makes the list for worst series finales among audiences today.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Denzel Washington played Dr. Philip Chandler in all six seasons.
    • Bruce Greenwood played Dr. Seth Griffin in Seasons Five and Six.
    • Tim Robbins played the domestic terrorist Andrew Reinhardt in "Bypass", "Down's Syndrome" and "Cora and Arnie".
    • Laraine Newman played Jane "Tweety" Zontell in "Bypass", "Legionnaires, Part 2" and "Tweety and Ralph".
    • Lance Guest played the recurring character Rooney in Season One.
    • Ally Sheedy played Diane in "Samuels and the Kid".
    • Robert Davi played Patrick McFarland in "Samuels and the Kid" and "Legionnaires, Part 2".
    • Christopher Guest played the hospital administrator H.J. Cummings in the two-part story "Legionnaires".
    • Candace Cameron Bure played Peter White's daughter Megan in Seasons One to Three.
    • Ray Liotta played Murray in "Rain".
    • Conchata Ferrell played Gina Barnett in "Hearts".
    • Jane Kaczmarek played Nurse Sandy Burns in "Graveyard", "Release" and "Family History".
    • Tom Hulce played John Doe #12 (David Stewart) in "Graveyard", "Release" and "Family History".
    • Robert Pastorelli played Danny Christiano, Jr. in "Graveyard".
    • Michael Madsen played Mike O'Connor in "Remission" and "Monday, Tuesday, Sven's Day".
    • Judith Light played Barbara Lonnicker in "Dog Day Hospital".
    • Peter Horton played Dr. Barry Dorn in "Lust Et Veritas".
    • Eric Stoltz played Eddie Carson in "Under Pressure", "Entrapment" and "All About Eve".
    • Lisa Bonet (credited as Lisa Boney) played Carla in "Entrapment".
    • Lili Haydn played Marcy in "Blizzard".
    • Michael Richards played the recurring character Bill Wolf in Seasons Two and Three.
    • Rob Paulsen played Ryan S. Hope in "Equinox".
    • Helen Hunt played the recurring character Clancy Williams in Seasons Two to Four.
    • David Faustino played a boy in "Two Balls and a Strike".
    • Casey Siemaszko played Rick Messina in "Homecoming", "Give the Boy a Hand" and "Santa Claus is Dead".
    • James Avery played an E.R. patient in "Give the Boy a Hand" and "E.R.".
    • Adam Arkin played Doug Zabeck in "Fathers and Sons".
    • Brenda Strong played Nadine Aurora in "The Naked and the Dead". This was her first on-screen role.
    • Sasha Mitchell played an E.R. patient in "Brand New Bag".
    • Lauren Woodland played a little girl in "Russian Roulette".
    • Harry Groener played Klaus Brinkmann in "Schwarzwald".
    • Tony Goldwyn played Henry Orr in "Schwarzwald".
    • Željko Ivanek played Mark Dolson in "You, Again?".
    • Kyle Secor played the recurring character Brett Johnston in Season Six.
    • Penelope Ann Miller played Laurel in "Ewe Can't Go Home Again".
    • Robert Picardo played Eli Muzzy in "Weigh In, Way Out".
    • Pauly Shore played Frankie in "Down and Out on Beacon Hill".
    • David Paymer played Mr. Bickle in "The Naked Civil Surgeon" and "Requiem for a Heavyweight".
    • Stacey Dash played Penny Franks in "The Naked Civil Surgeon", "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and "Split Decision".
  • Saved by the Fans: Norman Lloyd was only supposed to do four episodes before his character Daniel Auschlander died, but ended up proving to be so popular that he lasted six seasons.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The All Just a Dream ending was originally considered quite clever for its day, and was parodied and homaged a lot throughout the years. Nowadays it would be considered a cop-out.
  • The Woobie: Dr. Elliot Axelrod.


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