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Greg: "You wanna have children?"
Dharma: "Yeah, unless you wanna have 'em!"
Freewheeling, eccentric nymph Dharma and laid-back, sensible lawyer Greg meet one morning, fall in love and marry later that afternoon. The rest of the show centers on this mismatched relationship, the wackiness of Dharma's (and now Greg's) life, and the reluctant attempts by Dharma's hippie parents and Greg's rich WASPish parents to get along.
Ran for five seasons (1997-2002), and was especially successful in its first three, but also critically divisive. Whether you responded to it or not depended on whether you thought Jenna Elfman's kooky antics were charmingly silly or hopelessly contrived. Dharma and her family believe in every possible aspect of several new age belief systems, bordering on Fantasy Kitchen Sink. Actor Thomas Gibson had little impact on the critical reception, since 99% of his job was playing the straight man to everybody else in the show -- after the pilot, Greg instantly loses most of his quirky personality.
Years after the show ended, the couple had a cameo on Two and A Half Men, bitter and on the brink of divorce.
- Aerith and Bob: Right in the title.
- Artistic License Linguistics: In one episode, Dharma and a teenaged guest pretend to be German tourists who can't speak or understand English. Anyone who tries to talk to them gets a response in gibberish. Finally, a saleswoman says, in real German, "Kann ich dir helfen?", meaning "Can I help you?" There are two mistakes here. Firstly, she is speaking informal German, which is only used with children, family, and very close friends -- never with a customer. Secondly, she is using the singular form of "you" when talking to two people. What she should have said is, "Kann ich Ihnen helfen?"
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other
- Beta Couple: Jane and Pete, though their six-week marriage was a Pair the Spares moment due to not wanting to be alone on Valentine's Day. The Montgomeries and Finkelsteins also fit this trope from time to time.
- Bourgeois Bohemian: Dharma's parents.
- But I Can't Be Pregnant: Abby (Dharma's mother) thinks she's entering menopause and turns out to be pregnant.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Larry usually.
- Dead Air: Happens when Dharma creates a pirate radio station. She gets into an argument with Greg for several seconds before realizing she's left dead air and panics, bringing out all the instruments she has on the table.
- Embarrassing First Name: Myron Lawrence Finkelstein
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Gregory Clifford Montgomery; Dharma Freedom Finkelstein
- Forgotten First Meeting: Dharma and Greg first saw each other as eight-year-olds, on the same train they met on twenty years later.
- Fourth Date Marriage: They're self-aware about it at least- they rationalise that with their tattered past relationships, getting married might be the impetus they need to stay together.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Every episode. Watch carefully during the end credits.
- The Fun in Funeral
- Garfunkel: Thomas Gibson. The show's draw is Hilarity Ensues, which leaves little room for The Straight Man to get much focus. Though Greg was not without his quirks, most episodes centering on his problems were overshadowed either by Dharma's reaction, a demonstration of how his parents messed him up in this particular instance, and sometimes even the B-plot of an episode. Ouch.
- Fully-Absorbed Finale: Also doubles as a Distant Finale. Dharma and Greg turn up in Two and A Half Men (another Chuck Lorre production) as potential buyers of the recently-deceased Charlie Harper's house. Their marriage...isn't doing so well.
- Which creates a Celebrity Paradox on that show since in a previous episode Charlie happenend upon an episode of D&G on late night tv.
- Granola Girl
- Inter Class Romance: Dharma and Greg have a lot of similarity to the story type, but it's actually an aversion in that, though Dharma's parents live the hippy lifestyle, they aren't doing that badly for themselves financially.
- Invisible President
- ISO Standard Urban Groceries: Lampshaded in one episode, where it's mentioned that every time Greg does the groceries he buys a baguette even though no one eats it.
- Karma Houdini: Spider the self-defense teacher from "Instant Dharma".
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Dharma to Greg.
- Meat Versus Veggies: Abby is a vegan, which is a source of problems in some cases. It doesn't help that her husband Larry is a fanatical meat lover.
- Mistaken for Gay: Greg's mom and his then fiancee are mistaken for a lesbian couple by Abby, during a flashback episode.
- Name and Name
- New Age Retro Hippie
- Nude Nature Dance: In one episode, Dharma dances naked on TV to celebrate springtime.
- Obnoxious In-Laws
- Odd Couple: One of the basic themes of the show
- Only Sane Man: Greg
- Put on a Bus: Jane disappears after a single appearance in the fifth season.
- Running Gag: Larry's short term memory, specially when calling or answering the phone. Also, when someone steps out in the Filkenstein's yard, they are warned to watch out because their goat's been sick.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl
- Screaming Birth
- Slobs Versus Snobs
- Straight Man: Greg
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Many episodes featured a subplot involving either the Finkelsteins, the Montgomeries, or Jane and Pete.
- Vanity Plate: Chuck Lorre started his here.
- Wham! Episode: Dharma realizing that her early childhood was not quirky and fun - it was just unhealthy.