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YMMV / The Cleveland Show

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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Family Guy writers attempting to do a show about African-American culture. Let's leave it at that.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • The Die Hard parody, which, had it not had been for the show's cancellation, would have had sequel episodes, like Family Guy's Star Wars parodies.
    • "The Wide, Wide, World of Cleveland Show," which shows what The Cleveland Show is like in other countries (mostly Mexico, Italy, and Japan).
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    • "A Rodent Like This" where it is revealed that Fat Cleveland Junior is actually a spy who killed the original hyperactive Slim Cleveland Junior, as part of a gambit to assassinate Tim, who's the head of a terrorist sleeper-cell. Originally a Wham Episode that explains why Cleveland Jr. is different from his original version in Family Guy, this is never brought up again in the show and Tim is never killed. So it probably was an elaborate prank on Rallo.
  • Creator's Pet: Donna seems capable of getting away with significantly more things than other characters are. Most notable examples include treating her husband like shit to the point of nearly killing him and not learning a damn thing over it, being angry that he's sad that someone he spent nearly 15 years of his life with died, and going out of her way to emotionally abuse Rallo, complete with song on one occasion. It's kind of amazing Cleveland is willing to deal with her, but she still tends to be important to any given plot 80% of the time.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: As with anything Seth MacFarlane makes, this is heavily used in many episodes.
    • In the start of Sex and the Biddy, a family is bringing their grandfather in a building, implied to be the family's home...except that its the local retirement home, and the family dons the old man with a red bow and ding-dong-ditches. The best part: the population went from 68 to 69.
  • Designated Hero: Junior, due to often clinging the Jerkass Ball or being a legitimate irritance to everyone around him, yet a large amount of his roles he is played as the victim for being chewed out or told to act his age (usually it is unscrupulous, but more due to the family's abrasive or hypocritical methods than the act itself). "The Hurricane!" is a prime example, in which Junior declares himself an atheist, albeit a far less insufferable case than Brian. Despite this, the plot quickly becomes this show's version of "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven", with the family's moronically pious attitude going up against Junior's obnoxious mockery of religion (though "The Hurricane" doesn't smack of the same Unfortunate Implications that "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" did).
  • Ear Worm:
    • The theme song will stay in your head for days after you watch it.
    • Let's not forget "I'm talkin' 'bout Balls Deep..."
    • How could you forget "Frapp Attack"?
    • "I'm feelin' ookie, Cookie."
  • Foe Yay: Cleveland and his dad have some kind of tension. Cleveland dreams of having a father who would bounce him on his knee and watch him dance a ballet in front of him.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: There were a lot of jokes about the show facing cancellation, but "BFFs" might have the one that was most on the nose. Cleveland heads back to Quahog to visit Peter, leading to Stewie to ask if his show was cancelled already and if he was trying to come back to Family Guy. That's exactly what happened about a year after this show ended.
  • Growing the Beard: The show abandoned most of its connections to Family Guy by season two (not many cutaways, but plenty of bizarre asides and Big-Lipped Alligator Moment's to remind viewers that this is a Seth MacFarlane show) and grew into its own. Sadly, this was the same time that FOX fell out of love with the show and screwed it over so bad that it's now canceled.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The show's jokes about not being cancelled and begging FOX not to take his show away from him aren't as funny now when the show was canceled.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In a season one episode, there's a cutaway gag of Uncle Thomas the Tank Engine. A few years later there were accusations of subtle racism in the children's show.
    • Early on in the series, Donna declares an unconditional hatred for Phylicia Rashad. Guess who voices her mother when she finally appears?
    • A cutaway in "Ladies Night" has an exasperated Andy Wachowski mixed up for his transsexual brother. A few years later, Andy would come out as transsexual as well.
    • Rallo's joke about the Golden State Warriors having no defense in "BFF's". 4 years later, the Warriors would win their first title since 1975.
    • The season four episode "A Vas Deferens Between Men and Women" has a subplot where Rallo stars in a local theater production of Annie (which gets altered due to Rallo blowing the show's budget on his diva-like demands). A few years after this episode, there would be a feature film remake of Annie with the title character played by a black girl instead of a white girl.
    • "March Dadness" has LaVarr state (Correctly at the time) that no #16 seed had ever beat a #1 seed team in the mens college basketball tournament. That was undone in 2018, when the University Of Maryland, Baltimore County would shock #1 ranked Virginia in the first round.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Mr. Waterman hitting on Terry, the latter of whom doesn't see that it's sexual harassment. Cleveland even uses Mr. Waterman's crush on Terry to get a position as a cable installer and reinstate Tim the Bear's job as a telemarketer by telling Mr. Waterman risqué stories about Terry's days on the swim team.
    • Junior's love for his father can come off as this.
    • One episode has Junior sending an MMS of himself, lying naked in a flower, to his father.
    • Freight Train and Cleveland Jr. rolling on the grass, laughing. In the end, Jr. warily asks: "you aren't going to kiss me, are you?"
    • Cleveland's Five-Man Band has this going on between each other.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Some viewers don't like this show (or initially didn't like the show) because it is/was yet another cookie-cutter wacky family show by Seth MacFarlane, which is true, but The Cleveland Show did prove in its short time that it was funny without copying (much) from Family Guy. It also didn't help that Cleveland went from being the Only Sane Man of the group to essentially a black Pre-Flanderize Peter Griffin.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Cleveland Junior's revenge on his dad in "The Curious Case of Jr. Working at The Stool".
  • Memetic Molester: In-universe, Cleveland has become this. Not helped by his Manchild tendencies and Ambiguously Gay character.
    Cleveland: I should not talk to boys.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • After Rallo almost drowns and blackmails Cleveland for it, Cleveland dunks Rallo's head in the pool twice just so Rallo would stop bossing him around.
    • On the other hand, Rallo constantly treats Cleveland like crap and blackmailing him was yet another example of him acting like an obnoxious little punk and getting away with it. While Cleveland clearly went overboard in his revenge, Rallo arguably deserved his long overdue comeuppance.
    • Principal Wally nearly burning Cleveland's old jersey and calling Junior a "chubby loser". Everyone gasped!
    • Rallo playing pranks on his family. He even got Junior kicked out of scouts.
    • Mr. Waterman killing his sham wife so he can run off with his gay lover and leave Cleveland to be accused of murdering him as seen on "Who Done Did It?". Fortunately, he didn't get away with it, but compare that to the early episodes where Mr. Waterman was racist against Cleveland, but it was subtle (and most of the jokes centered on Mr. Waterman being a closet homosexual and hitting on Terry, with Terry not picking up on how inappropriate his advances are).
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Coach McFall's hole in his cheek from years of chewing tobacco.
    • Gus the Bartender taking off his skin to put in a washer at the laundromat in "Tis the Cleveland to Be Sorry."
    • Cleveland eating bones in "Sex and the Biddy".
  • The Scrappy:
    • Donna Tubbs due to her Sassy Black Woman frequently crossing over into being an outright Jerkass.
    • Cleveland's co-worker Arch for being a monotone jerkass whose entire character revolves around being The Bore.
    • Cleveland's father Freight Train as well due to the abuse he puts his son through. Not helped by the fact that almost all of said abuse is Played for Laughs.
    • Choni isn't well liked by fans, if mostly because her character only amounts to being an annoying stereotype who causes unnecessary conflict every time she shows up, it doesn't help she became a recurring character while her niece Cecilia who was far more popular with fans stayed in a minor role despite becoming Junior's wife.
  • So Okay, It's Average: How many people view the show (especially in its early seasons).
  • Squick:
    • Coach Charles McFall, who had his right cheek removed after years of chewing tobacco.
    • Junior's feelings for Donna and the look-alike Roberta.
  • Tear Jerker: in "Cleveland Jr.'s Cherry Bomb", when Junior overhears Cleveland and his friends making fun of his vow to stay a virgin.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Terry. He comes out as the first major LGBT character in the show, but the writers just get rid of him and place Dr. Fist as the new guy on Cleveland's Five-Man Band. The fact that Dr. Fist had next to no personality doesn't help.
    • Roberta, who became Demoted to Extra almost instantly due to her original voice actress Nia Long being replaced halfway into the first season, her replacement Reagan Gomez-Preston becoming pregnant shortly after and the writers' inability to write for teenage girls (which was the same problem that the writers on Family Guy had with Meg that resulted in her becoming the show's resident Butt-Monkey). Shame too since Roberta was either just as cool and funny as Meg or Hayley (if not more).
    • Donna's mother Dee Dee. She debuted in Season 3's "Mama Drama" and would only show up four more times during the next season (one of which was in the episode that turned out to be the series finale) before being unceremoniously written out altogether when the Family Guy episode "Candy, Quahog Marshmallow" revealed that she committed suicide by shooting herself.
    • Donny was a hilarious recurring side character, with tons of depth, but they had to go and kill him off in his second appearance.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • In the season one finale, there could have been a touching scene where Donna comforts Cookie when Cleveland's father didn't show up in their second wedding.
    • Though not the fault of the creators, "Wheel of Family"'s story of Dee Dee and Robert becoming a couple and adopting Hong Kong Phooey had enough mileage to make for at least a season or two of stories. Its bizarre concept (a woman's ex-husband marrying her single mother) probably doesn't exist anywhere else on television, (and if it does, it's most likely very poorly done), which means this arc would have been 100% original. However, the show was canceled just after that episode aired, putting an end to the story as quickly as it started.
      • To add insult to injury, Dee Dee was killed off in the Family Guy episode, "Candy Quahog Marshmallow!" as a passing joke. Because of this, the potential for this premature story coming to fruition is officially dead.
  • Unexpected Character: Cleveland getting his own show caught a lot of people by surprise, and it's lampshaded in the pilot.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Some reviewers wrote that having the role of Cleveland voiced by a white actor was uncomfortably reminiscent of Blackface. In response, Mike Henry countered that Lester the white redneck was voiced by black actor Kevin Michael Richardson, making the racial issue more Zig-Zagged at least.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Cleveland, who in one episode was named the whitest black man in Amt.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Roberta's friends have no idea that Mrs. Tubbs is her mom, even though Donna talked to her like a mom right in front of them and they share the same last name. It's not made clear whether her boyfriend Federline, who has been to their home multiple times, is aware that Donna is Roberta's mom and is just playing along with Roberta's lie or he's just that dumb.
    • Cleveland and his friends starting their own roadside beer truck to sell to people stuck on the highway.


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