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A Spin-Off of Cheers, in which psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) has moved back to his home town of Seattle to take a job as a radio shrink on KACL in order to put his life back together after his divorce from his wife Lilith. In the pilot, Frasier's father Martin (John Mahoney), a down-to-earth, blue-collar, easygoing man as different from his pompous, stuffy, intellectual son as it is possible to be, is forced to move in with Frasier following his retirement from the Seattle police force after being shot in the hip, providing the setting for the rest of the show.
In addition to Frasier and Martin, the rest of the main cast includes Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), Frasier's sharp-tongued, upbeat producer, who is notorious for her healthy sex life and who soon becomes his best friend; Frasier's brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce), also a psychiatrist with a personality and line of interests very similar to those of his brother, with whom he shares a close-knit but intensely competitive relationship, who was a frequent visitor to the apartment and a companion in most of Frasier's complicated escapades; and Martin's physical therapist and housekeeper, cheerful, eccentric young Englishwoman Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves). Martin's deceptively intelligent Jack Russell terrier Eddie, Frasier's coworkers at KACL, and Niles' unseen but outlandish wife Maris were the final touches to the core cast, which remained intact and unchanged throughout all eleven seasons of the show's run. Dan Butler, who played sports show host Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe, was listed in the opening credits for seasons 4 through 6, but was billed as a guest star for all other appearances.
The series was able to run contrary to almost every other sitcom ever made by having two wealthy, snobbish milquetoasts as its main characters, who clash with the Average Joes that make up the rest of the ensemble. The emphasis was on understatement and taste: the show used title cards in place of establishing shots, was one of the first sitcoms to completely dispose of Full House Music, and wasn't afraid to mix up highbrow wordplay and regular old humor. The show's brand of humor was wry and highly farcical, delighting in turning regular situations into ludicrously convoluted disasters while making hay out of the clash of inflexible opinions, class and cultural stereotypes, and strong, differing personalities. Also contributing to the show's enjoyability is that fact that (nearly) every episode ends happily, with all confusion totally cleared up -- although the writers certainly weren't afraid to upset the status quo every once in a while.
The show ran on Irony in all its forms, especially in the premise of a brilliant psychiatrist who can analyze and solve anyone's problems, but cannot for the life of him deal with his familial relationships, the bizarre situations he always gets himself into, or his own personal neuroses. For obvious reasons, psychological issues, mind games, and behavioral patterns was a major theme throughout the show and a source of much humor, as was the presence of family and the dynamics of parental and sibling relationships. The plots of the episodes usually revolved around Frasier or the other main characters accidentally overcomplicating their own or each other's crises, powered by a sitcom-standard mix-and-match of Snowball Lie, Fawlty Towers Plot, Contrived Coincidence, and the entire gamut of Mistaken for Index; but usually developed in a far more intricate, subtle, and sophisticated manner than most sitcoms, frequently subverting the very tropes they made heavy use of.
Over the years, notable Character Development occurred for all five main characters. The cast became more understanding and close-knit, Frasier's relationship with Martin improved drastically after they started living together, Frasier started a quest for a meaningful relationship, Niles and Maris divorced, and Roz got pregnant and became a single mother halfway through the show. However, the most notable story arc was the drawn-out, heartfelt Will They or Won't They? between a blissfully Oblivious to Love Daphne, and a shyly adoring Niles, who carried a silent torch for her for seven years. They had to go through a whole cavalcade of complications and roadblocks before finally confessing their love for each other and getting together in a Moment of Awesome at the end of season 7.
The show won 37 Emmy Awards during its run, more than any other show in history, and notably ran for a grand-slam eleven seasons, matching or exceeding its predecessor Cheers in length and acclaim.
Frasier is the former Trope Namers for:
- Replacement Flat Character (The Niles)
- Aborted Arc: Season 10 built up an Unresolved Sexual Tension between Frasier and Roz that culminated with Roz leaving the station due to jealously towards Julia. When Season 11 rolled around, an A-team of Frasier writers (Joe Keenan, Chris Lloyd, Rob Greenberg) returned, declared season 10 a misfire, and gracefully undid all the damage in two episodes.
- Acting Unnatural: Frasier and his family are encouraged to do this by Martin after they accidentally cross the Canadian border, unaware that Daphne's work permit forbids her from leaving the country, and must pass through customs before re-entering. This eventually involves Frasier babbling his head off whenever the customs officer asks him a question, Niles buttoning up entirely, and Daphne saying the only thing she can say in a vaguely convincing American accent, which happens to be the word "Sure". Martin, who actually does manage to act naturally, is not greatly impressed.
- Actor Allusion: Niles mentions filling Frasier's floppy red shoes which could be a reference to his character Sideshow Bob. Guess who voices Bob's brother in several episodes? Yep -- it's a mirrored Actor Allusion.
- The first episode to feature "Sideshow" Cecil Terwilliger was aptly named "Brother From Another Series". In one bit, Bart has covered Cecil's eyes to surprise him, and pulls the standard "Guess who?" gag, to which Cecil replies, "Maris?"
- The Simpsons blandly lampshades this with a Frasier-esque title card reading "Frasier is a Hit Show on the NBC Network."
- Made even better when John Mahoney plays Sideshow Bob's father.
- Dr. Nora's mother is played by Piper Laurie, aka Carrie's mother.
- The first episode to feature "Sideshow" Cecil Terwilliger was aptly named "Brother From Another Series". In one bit, Bart has covered Cecil's eyes to surprise him, and pulls the standard "Guess who?" gag, to which Cecil replies, "Maris?"
Mrs. Mulherne: YOU LITTLE WHORE!
- This could also be an allusion to an episode of Cheers where Frasier suited up as a clown to entertain for a kid's birthday party Rebecca was in charge of putting together.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Voyage Of The Damned sees Frasier booked as a cruise ship entertainer along with several B-list celebrities whom Frasier is less than enthusiastic about sharing billing with ("You've booked me on a floating Gong Show! ... of course I got top billing! I'm the only one up there I've ever heard of!"), one of whom is comedian Giggles O'Shea. Later, Giggles helps Frasier spice up his speech with a few jokes, which Frasier has to admit are really pretty good.
- Air Guitar: Frasier and Niles play "air violin". Frasier also enjoys air orchestra conducting.
- All Love Is Unrequited: The Ski Lodge features one of the most complicated love tangles ever. With an especially cruel twist, as once it's all sorted out, Frasier is left to come to the hideously painful realization that no one was lusting after him.
Frasier: Wait, wait, wait. Let me see if I've got this straight. All the lust coursing through this lodge tonight, all the hormones virtually ricocheting off the walls, and no one... was chasing me? (long silence) See you at breakfast.
- Subverted during The Stinger when the Dumb Blonde Frasier had been pursuing changes her mind - but Frasier unwittingly screws that up, too.
- Also, for most of the series, Niles and Daphne. Niles eventually seemed to get over his crush on Daphne and move on... just in time for Daphne to develop a crush on him.
- Janes Leeves claims Daphne knew Niles was in love with her all along, but that's just her interpretation.
- Some fans have dubbed this show "the Gilligan's Island of love", saying that Frasier having a successful romance would be like the castaways getting rescued.
- Subverted during The Stinger when the Dumb Blonde Frasier had been pursuing changes her mind - but Frasier unwittingly screws that up, too.
- All Psychology Is Freudian: Subverted. While Frasier is a Freudian and Niles is Jungian, none of the other psychiatrists who ever appear on the show adhere to these outdated models. Indeed, they generally spend a lot of time mocking Frasier and Niles for their rejection of more modern, accepted psychiatry.
- Ambiguously Gay: Gil Chesterton. He shows every outward sign of being effeminitely gay, but says he's married and makes several references to his wife over the years. But she's never seen (which Roz tries to call him out on), and he does things in quick gags like quoting lines from a romance novel clearly directed at Bulldog, and sneaking into a gay bar. Is he gay? Straight? Both, or curious, or just oblivious to how it all looks?
It results in a crowning moment of funny when Gil says, of one of KACL's production staff - one just as ambiguously effeminate as himself - "between you and me, I always thought of him as being the other way", and Roz responds with a confused "which way would that be!?"
- There's an equally brilliant scene where Gil finds that they all think he's gay and becomes outraged, explaining that he has a wife (and describing her in terms that match the stereotypical Butch Lesbian). It's followed by Frasier saying "Well, that's the first I've ever seen a man IN himself."
- Analogy Backfire: Used often in a variety of situations by different characters.
- And Your Little Dog, Too: Invoked in the second episode.
Frasier: I'll get him for this. And his little dog, too.
- Angrish: Mostly Frasier, but the other cast sometimes suffer this, too.
- From Roz And The Schnoz, Roz has been having a Heroic BSOD the entire episode when she sees how massive her unborn child's grandparents' noses are.
Frasier: You know Roz, in spite of a rather shaky beginning, I think this evening's turned out rather well.
Roz: (calmly at first) Oh yeah, and you were absolutely right, Frasier. Now I can see some of the qualities my baby can have. A great sense of humor... a sweet disposition... (angrish) a nose like an ANTEATER!!
- Anguished Declaration of Love
- Animated Credits Opening: Just like the rest of the show, classy and understated. Counts as a form of Couch Gag as there are several variations.
- Aren't You Forgetting Someone?
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Turns up in places you'd least expect. Sometimes becomes part of the scene-stealing moment.
- "People of Seattle! Listen to me! We are not barbarians! We are not Neanderthals! AND WE ARE NOT FRENCH!"
- In one episode, two DJ's try to make a career out of publicly humiliating Frasier. He refuses to sink to their level and will only counter them by quoting famous authors. After all the ridicule, one of them manages to hit his Berserk Button by correcting his pronunciation of "La Rochefoucauld."
- Artistic License Religion: Very many in the Bar Mitzvah episode: the fact that the service ends after Frederick finishes reading his haftara (there is a whole other prayer service that follows); the fact that a dinner is apparently served then (this service is in the morning); Martin taking photos in a synagogue on the Sabbath (even in a Conservative synagogue he would be asked to stop).
- In fairness, it could be that it wasn't a conservative synagogue, but rather a more Liberal one, which might allow such a thing. While not the public face of Judaism at large, they do exist.
- Ashes to Crashes: In episode "Martin Does It His Way", Aunt Louise's ashes get blown back at Frasier and Niles. Frasier is still pouring her ashes out of his shoe at the funeral, and at the end, a janitor sweeps them under the rug.
- In another episode, Frasier takes a call on his show from a woman who is concerned about the fact that her husband keeps his late wife's ashes in their bedroom. The conversation ends with the sound of breaking ceramics, and the words, "Oops... I have some vaccuuming to do."
- Asian Speekee Engrish: Invoked Trope by Bulldog in one episode while attempting an ad for a Chinese restaurant.
Roz: (after Bulldog's performance) That's it. We're going to get sued for sure.
- Also in "Ham Radio" when the cast is going through a reading of the original script with Bulldog as Mr. Wing (formerly Wang)
Bulldog: Oh, me no lookee. Me go beddie-bye, chop-chop!
Roz:Stop! Chinese Embassy on line one!
- As You Know: Mocked at least once:
Frasier: Dear God, she believes they're genuine sapphires.
Martin: [sarcastic] Gee, ya think?
- Bachelor Auction: Frasier gets won by Kristina Harper (Claire Stansfield) in Can't Buy Me Love. Despite the fact she's gorgeous and completely adores Frasier, he blows it.
- Bacon Addiction: Martin Crane is addicted to bacon - all kinds of processed meat, really. He is less than pleased, however, by the all-veggie substitution after his heart attack: "Fake-on".
- When Frasier gives Martin a set of wireless headphones so he can hear the TV audio without bothering anyone, Martin immediately starts singing along with an obnoxious commercial: "My bacon is Farmer Fred's Bacon! There's no mistakin' -- the quality!"
- Bald Women: artist Martha Paxton
- Baseball Episode: The Unnatural, which has Frasier attempting to play on the KACL softball team at the behest of Freddy. We don't see the match itself but judging from Frasier's "training" by Martin, he didn't do too well.
- Batman Gambit: Freddy's scheme to get a minibike.
- Better as Friends: Frasier and Roz.
- Big Fancy House: Maris's house, and Niles's apartment after they split up. The latter has a gift wrapping room.
- Leads to a VERY amusing scene where Frasier is convincing Niles he needs to save money during his divorce from Maris, with Niles refusing to admit it:
Niles: You can't blame me for the housing market - this is a simple apartment!
Frasier: Well, this simple apartment of yours is going to bankrupt you! You must admit it's a bit large for one person?
Niles: Oh, don't forget I have a pet.
Frasier: Are you saying that your BIRD requires both a study and a library?
- A little later:
Frasier: You have a THIRD floor?
Niles: It's practically a crawl space. (into intercom) Go out the door to the left. (to Frasier) Don't look at me like that! I have to have a roof over my head!
Frasier: You have THREE roofs over your head!
- Bilingual Bonus: If the viewer happens to speak French, they can catch the deliberately uppity yet nonsensical names of the restaurants that Frasier and Niles frequent, such as Le Cigare Volant (The Flying Cigar), Le Petit Oiseau (The Little Bird) and, arguably the best example, Quelquechose meaning literally "Something."
- In the episode "An Affair To Forget", a viewer who understands German or especially Spanish will get the episode's major punchline several minutes before it's revealed in English.
- There's also the episode where Frasier and Niles have a conversation in French to confuse Eddie.
- Blah Blah Blah: One episode even has a gag black-and-white POV shot from Eddie the dog, where everybody just makes yammering noises except when they mention his name. Soon after, a POV from Martin during one of his boys' discussions does the same thing, except in color. Bonus points: For Eddie, the cast says "Yadda, yadda, yadda."
- Blind Date
- Blithe Spirit: Inverted in "Taking Liberties"; Frasier gets a butler, and while he has only an incidental effect on the plot, he is cured of the British Stuffiness that's been getting in the way of his happiness.
- Bluff the Impostor: Happens on at least one occasion. One particularly notable one comes shortly after Roz discovers she's pregnant, and Frasier encourages her to find the father and tell him the news. She claims one morning at Café Nervosa that the father was an architect, and not much else. Later, at Frasier's apartment, she mentions that he was an archaeologist, and Frasier gets her into the kitchen to pull one of these off the bat by asking her how the two met again.
Frasier: This morning, you said you met him on a double date.
Roz: Oh yeah, it was on a double date!
Frasier: THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!
- Book Ends: The man who delivers Martin's chair in the first episode is the same one who removes it in the final episode. He even tells the moving man the same thing: "Be careful with it!" It's an Ironic Echo since when Frasier said it in the pilot, he was upset that the mover was damaging Frasier's furniture with it. In the final episode, Frasier cautioned him warmly not to damage the chair.
- Bottle Episode: Season 6's "Dinner Party" takes place entirely in the main room of Frasier's apartment as Frasier and Niles, who receive 90% of the episode's dialogue, attempt to arrange a dual-hosted dinner party to hold in the next few weeks. A classic and extremely tightly-written episode.
- Bragging Theme Tune: A Show Within a Show example from the season 7 episode They're Playing Our Song, in which Frasier is told to come up with a jingle to introduce his show. He gets a full orchestra and chorus for something really over the top.
Daphne: It was like Gilbert and Sullivan, only frightening!
- Brain Bleach. Many examples at the Trope page.
- British Accents: It seems a rule of the show that every British accent must be fake ... even if the actor is actually British.
- Jane Leeves, who plays Daphne, is from London. Her Mancunian accent is not quite right and closer to an approximate Yorkshire accent.
- Meanwhile, Daphne's Mancunian family are mostly played by real British actors as well, but from all over the island, leading to hilarity for British audiences. The pinnacle of this had to be Robbie Coltrane (Scottish) playing her brother Michael in the final episode, whose accent rendered him The Unintelligible to everyone but the Moon family:
Frasier: Now your cue to fire [the cannon] is when I say, at the end of the ceremony, "ladies and gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Crane." You got it?
Michael: Righ... mistuh fais thedun, wheti fai, forte fee... boom!
- Most of the non-British actors playing British use a drama school "working class British accent", aka bad Cockney, which sounds nothing like a Mancunian accent. Anthony LaPaglia (Australian) as Daphne's brother Simon is the most common offender, but the single worst incident has to be Scott Atkinson (American) in the first episode of season four, who actually says "luv-er-lee" at one point. Dick Van Dyke would have been proud.
- British Stuffiness: Unusually, inverted - Frasier and Niles are elitist and stuffy while most of the British characters are cheerfully working-class. According to the Word of God, this was deliberate, and Jane Leeves openly expressed pleasure when discussing her role in that there were no working class Brits on American sitcoms.
- Exemplified in the penultimate episode "Crock Tales", in which Daphne explodes at Frasier when she thinks she's going to be fired:
Daphne: I'm washing me face with dish soap while you're out buying imported bath salts like a big rich girl! I hope you rot in debtors' prison!
- Gil Chesterson is a pretty straight example however. Even his Camp Gay tendencies are fairly refined.
- Ferguson, the butler who served Frasier for one episode (played by Victor Garber) is a bit of a subversion. While he's a very proper British manservant, when he's alone with Daphne in the kitchen, he drops his pretension and discusses Manchester United with her, explaining that it's his job to play the role of The Jeeves. (Needless to say, both Frasier and Niles delight in his subservient behavior, and even Martin finds a use for him, clicking his remote control for him.)
- On the other hand, he's initially appalled by Daphne and Niles' cross-class relationship. Takes a more serious and bittersweet note when he reveals that he denied himself a chance at love due to his views on class and propriety. Niles' crowning moment in the episode - telling Mel off, in front of their social circle, because of the pain and cruelty she was inflicting on Daphne - forces him to re-evaluate said views, leading to his leaving Frasier's employ to pursue the relationship he had rejected.
- Broken Aesop: In "I Hate Frasier Crane," when Frasier decides to renege on fighting with a man who he had accepted an invitation to fight with, Martin is furious and brings up a past incident where Frasier decided not to fight a guy. An incident from Frasier's CHILDHOOD. His anger seems to stem from embarrassment at his son not being "man" enough to go through with such a fight. However, it's first lampshaded by Frasier how stupid it is that Martin won't be satisfied until he comes home with a black eye, and then Subverted Trope when Martin says he only wants Frasier to carry out promises he makes; once it becomes clear that Frasier is actually going to fight, Martin calls in the cops to break it up before things really get physical.
- Broken Pedestal: Played with; after discovering that his mentor and Roz are having a relationship, Frasier believes he's experiencing this (and it's not helped by the fact that he saw his mentor wearing nothing but Roz's robe) but he comes to realize that it's actually jealousy that Roz has become attracted to someone very similar to him whilst having never demonstrated any kind of attraction towards him.
Roz: Frasier, did you ever stop to think there may be something special about not being picked?"
Frasier: Roz, that didn't work when I was cut from pee-wee football, it's not gonna work now.
- Butch Lesbian. Flamboyantly gay Gil Chesteron's wife Deb seems to be one; he describes her as being good at auto-repair, being in the military reserves, and so forth.
- In episode "Morning Becomes Entertainment", Bethany of Bob and Bethany's Auto Chat is also extremely mannish.
- But Not Too White: Lilith's paleness was often mocked, and even Lampshaded by Lilith herself late in the series in the episode "Lilith Needs a Favor".
Albert (played by the ultra-pale Brent Spiner, aka Data): No, actually, I'm always this pale. My ex-wife used to say she could tell when I was embarrassed because I'd turn off-white.
Lilith: I can empathize. Sometimes after a late night, I cover my under-eye circles with Liquid Paper.
- Camp Straight - Gil.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Frasier frequently featured the title character (or his brother, Niles) engaging in some minor act of selfishness or pettiness and end up being humiliated after A Simple Plan has backfired horribly.
- Career-Ending Injury: Martin's bullet to the hip, which ended his career as a cop.
- Casting Gag - Notorious chauvinist "Bulldog" Briscoe played by real-life openly gay activist Dan Butler.
- Daphne's family and its multitude of inconsistent British Accents. Particularly on the part of the Australian playing Simon, who loves Mel Gibson and who Frasier once refers to as a "boomerang."
- In one episode Frasier and Niles try to help a former Shakespearian actor Jackson Hedley revive his theatrical career by producing him in a one man version of Hamlet, but they realize to their horror that he's actually a terrible actor, who does a laughably overwrought performance of the play. The gag is that Hedley is played by Derek Jacobi, an acclaimed Shakespearian actor.
- Catch Phrase: Many, and usually quite subtle.
Frasier: "I'm listening.", "What the hell was THAT?!", "Wishing you good mental health", "NILES!", and "Oh, dear God!"
Niles: (about Maris) "The poor thing..." and "Well, I hope you're HAPPY!"
Martin: "Oh, geeze..."
Bulldog: "This stinks! This is total BS!"
- Ironically, Frasier's catchphrase from Cheers only appeared once in Frasier ("You will rue the day you did that!") in "Look Before You Leap", and it got cut off by Niles.
Frasier: No, Niles! You can’t leave me now, I need you more now than ever.
Niles: Oh, give it up. No one who’s followed your little “take a leap” philosophy has ended up even remotely better. I don’t care what you’re saying, I’m going to Maris.
Frasier: You will rue the day- !
Niles: (interrupting) I don’t care! Niles gotta have it!
- Celebrity Endorsement: Several references throughout the show and a whole episode dedicated to the ethics of putting a respected name on a product; "Selling Out". Also a Real Life example where Frasier hawks a soft-drink,
- Frasier generally has no problems endorsing as long as he's tested the product himself and isn't asked to make a false claim; he endorsed a Chinese restaurant after enjoying the food, and a hot tub, saying that not only he liked it but his friends and family did as well (he, Martin, and Daphne took a soak in one). He drew the line at endorsing a brand of nut that was too unhealthy, and also at claiming that "Happy Dreams Tea" would give people happy dreams, because he felt it sounded like psychiatric advice.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject
- Character Development: Over the course of the series, previously defining quirks and personality traits are played down or deconstructed leading to more subtle characterisation (e.g Frasier and Niles' snobbery, Martin's crankiness, Roz's promiscuity, Niles' cleanliness).
- Characterization Marches On: Frasier was originally introduced in Cheers as a Romantic False Lead to Diane Chambers. When Diane dumped him, this made him almost psychotic; for example, he threatened Diane's One True Love Sam with a gun, considered strangling Diane, etc. In his own series, it would be hard to imagine Frasier doing anything so extreme. Of course, Love Makes You Crazy: Frasier has admitted his relationship with Diane post-dump was... volatile, and a glimpse of his old self rears its ugly head when he gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Diane in "The Show Where Diane Comes Back". He became more stable in his relationship with Lilith (before going berserk when she left him.)
- Charity Ball: Featured semi-regularly, usually because Niles, Maris or both are involved.
- Chekhov's Gun: A seemingly insignificant comment or action by one of the characters will often inspire the plot resolution (or at least drive it forward) later on. The show was always very subtle about the way it handled such things.
- Also, the more literal example of Maris borrowing the antique crossbow at the beginning of Maris Returns
- The Chew Toy: Frasier really is, but often deserves it for being a variant of Insufferable Genius. Especially during the season 6 story arc when he loses his job and becomes despondent and desperate.
- Chez Restaurant: Quite a few, like "Chez Chez".
- One rather funny gag about it:
Frasier: "You can't ban me from your bistro! It's my chez away from chez!"
- Christmas Episode: Several
- Class Reunion
- Clip Show: Subverted by "Crock Tales", which featured "past season outtakes" that were actually newly-shot, with the cast using the same mannerisms (and in some cases, wigs) for their characters from each season. The 1993 segment even had Frasier's long hair.
- Played with in "Daphne Returns" as well. Clips are shown from three shows, but this time, present-day Niles and present-day Frasier are inserted in the scenes (via CGI composite work) and comment on the action. For example, when Daphne and Niles start singing "Heart and Soul" while cutting vegetables, Frasier snarks, "Even your everyday memories are idealized. How long until the cartoon blue bird lands on her shoulder?"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Though generally sane, Daphne has moments where she'll lapse into non-sequitur dialogue, often about her family and the strange things that have happened to them. In Flour Child, it prompts this response:
- "Death and the Dog":
Daphne: If Eddie were one of the Beatles, I think he'd be George. I don't know why!
Frasier: And yet she's never been committed. "I don't know why"!
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Obviously, psychiatrists have neuroses and issues of their own, and Frasier's are liberally used to fuel both the comedy and drama of the show, but one of the assets of the show's setup is that Niles (and occasionally Lilith) are there to point them out to him whenever needed.
- Comfort Food: Maris ballooning to 200 pounds after Niles divorces her.
- Comically Small Bribe: The man interviewing Frasier and Lilith for Frederick's place at a prestigious school; "I'll have you know that in 50 years, I have never accepted a bribe! [takes cheque] This is an insult! [reads cheque] In every possible way." [hands cheque back, slams door]
- Commuting on a Bus: Bulldog. For a long time he was the most important supporting character, appearing in more than 30 episodes during the show's first 7 seasons. Then he was mostly written out of the series when he lost his job as a KACL sports commentator. However, since he got a new job working at the KACL storage room, the writers could still occasionally use Bulldog without needing to explain why he was "back". He had four more appearances during the show's last four seasons.
- Companion Cube: Martin's chair
- Completely Missing the Point: A series of gifts meant for Niles get sent to Frasier instead. Niles and Martin discover that the gifts are actually to Niles from Maris, and when they break it to Frasier:
Martin: They're from Maris.
Frasier: Maris... is my secret admirer?
- Compliment Backfire
- Compressed Vice: Happens to Niles a few times. One episode sees him become obsessed with one of his nephew Freddy's videogames; another has him develop a fast food addiction.
- Confess to a Lesser Crime: Daphne is taken to Canada in the Winnebago without a green card. When they try to cross the border back into the States, the brothers act extremely guilty, so Martin tells customs that it's Eddie who doesn't have the proper ID.
- Continuity Drift: Quite how little the brothers are aquainted with more "normal" pop-culture tends to vary over the series, for instance, in one episode Niles doesn't know what a double-header is, and in another he can correctly use the phrase "a scout from the majors". It could be seen as Character Development, but it's not completely unilateral.
- Continuity Nod: In season 11, Niles proves Frasier has a commitment problem by reciting every single one of Frasier's Girls Of The Week from the last four seasons.
- A much subtler and longer-running one. In the first Christmas episode, Roz gives Frasier a very nice briefcase. He can be seen using it quite frequently throughout the rest of the series.
- Cool Car: Something of a subversion in that the brothers pride themselves on having top-of-the-line saloons, but they often break down. This eventually led to the episode Motor Skills where they attempt to improve their practicality.
- Cool Old Guy: Martin. He is really a wise person to look up to.
- Couch Gag: At the end of the episode where the station manager decides to switch KACL to "all Latino music, all the time!", the Theme Tune is changed to a Latino version, with lyrics in Spanish.
- Even the regular English version of the theme has a number of different variants.
- The show's opening title is shown in a different color each season, and the accompanying animation of the Seattle skyline ends with a number of different variants.
- Some of the various animations:
- Fireworks shoots over Seattle.
- A hot air balloon flies over Seattle.
- The sun rises over Seattle.
- The moon rises over Seattle.
- A stylized raincloud is shown.
- A stylized thundercloud is shown.
- A shooting star streaks across the sky.
- A plane towing a KACL advertising banner flies across.
- An elevator travels up the Space Needle.
- A helicopter appears from the back of a building near the Space Needle.
- A rainbow appeared over Seattle.
- Some of the various animations:
- Courtroom Episode: "Crane Vs. Crane"
- Creative Closing Credits: A Brick Joke is usually resolved in the closing credits.
- Cringe Comedy: Frequently.
- Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Niles and Frasier often come across as more neurotic than the people they treat, and even end up in therapy in the flashback tale "Shrink Rap". Several episodes revolve around Frasier and Niles analyzing the crap out of an issue, when it's really far simpler than they ever would have guessed.
- Crossover: Multiple characters from Cheers dropped by. The producers said the they moved Frasier to Seattle to avoid this, but couldn't hold out forever.
- Lilith was the first and the only one to recur. Justified in that Lilith was the mother of Frasier's son, and therefore more a part of the Frasier-verse than the Cheers gang.
- Frasier's son Frederick appeared about once a year, played by two different actors, neither of them the "Frederick" from Cheers.
- Sam Malone (Season 2)
- Diane Chambers (Twice in dream sequences, once in a season 3 makeup episode with Reality Subtext - Shelley Long and Kelsey Grammer had an on-set rivalry on Cheers, but they made up in the course of filming the episode.)
- Woody Boyd (Season 6)
- Cliff, Norm, Carla, and a bunch of the Cheers regulars (Season 9, "Cheerful Goodbyes").
- Loose crossovers with Caroline in The City and The John Laroquette Show.
- Frasier's mother appeared once on Cheers, and in death several times on Frasier.
- In one episode the gang go on Antiques Roadshow.
- The Cutie: the hypersensitive romantic novel writer.
- Damned By Faint Praise: Commonly used to spare someone's feelings, although Frasier sometimes can't resist following it up with a barrage of criticism.
- The Dandy: Both Frasier and Niles
- Dark Horse Victory: Not uncommon at some of the in-show awards ceremonies.
- A Day At the Bizarro: "Freudian Sleep", the "unusual dreams" episode.
- A Day in the Limelight:
- Most notably Daphne's Flash Back episode "Dark Side of the Moon", where a series of stressful situations lead her to court-ordered therapy.
- Also "Head Game" where Niles becomes the shrink to a famous basketball player. This has an interesting Reality Subtext as the plot was meant for Frasier, but as Kelsey Grammer was being treated for his alcoholism he was unable to fulfill the role.
- Dead Air: When the cast put on a murder mystery show his over-directing caused Niles to rush through to the end, leaving him with nothing to fill the remaining nine minutes.
- Deadpan Snarker: Frasier and Niles exist to point out flaws, criticise things of a perceived "lower class" and generally have fun at the expense of others. Especially Niles.
Martin: Maris is learning German, huh? Just when you thought she couldn't get any cuddlier..
- Department of Redundancy Department: Niles during the plot of IQ, while under the influence of particularly strong anti-allergy medication.
Frasier: Niles, Niles, that medication it's, it's affecting your speech - you've just taken a second dose of it, for God's sakes you're going to make a fool out of yourself!
Niles: Oh well you should talk! Look at your shaky hands and your twitchy eyes! *GASP* You were up all night drinking coffee all night last night, weren't you?
- Diet Episode: Daphne starting eating excessively and gaining tons of weight after she and Niles got together. She was put on a regimen and eventually sent to some sort of fat camp. This storyline was a clever trick used by the writers to mask the fact that Jane Leeves was actually pregnant.
- Directed by Cast Member (Kelsey Grammer and Dan Butler)
- Grammer in particular became one of the series' main directors, helming thirty-seven episodes, many of them consecutively. He began in Season 3 with the famous "Moon Dance"(which focused on Niles and Daphne more to give him more time behind the camera) and directed with increasing frequency over the course of the rest of the series.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Bebe gives a monologue about smoking that sounds remarkably like a description of another oral activity.
- In "Motor Skills" Roz got a puppy and Martin offered to give her some of Eddies old toys, and it took about forty seconds before the whole thing disintegrate into an extended metaphor of a mother and a daughter disagreeing on how to raise the grand-child. Bonus points for Roz mentioning that she got enough of that from her mother.
Damn it Martin! Just because I am not raising him your way doesn't mean that I am raising him the wrong way.
- Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune: Kelsey singing the closing song in his booming baritone -- and it's brilliant. The metaphors in the lyrics are part of the joke.
- Doppelganger Dating
- Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): Implied in "Agents in America", where Frasier's agent gets him very drunk and sleeps with him.
- Downer Ending: "Ask Me No Questions". Niles asks Frasier, in the midst of his reconciliation with Maris, if Frasier thinks they are meant to be together. Frasier realizes the huge impact this could have because Niles has always come to him for advice on big decisions and values his opinion highly, and while he believes that Maris has always been bossy, demanding and selfish, he also hears that she has become much nicer since the procedings have begun and is a better person. After agonizing over what to do, he shows up at Niles's apartment late at night to give his answer: no. Niles thanks Frasier for his advice and tries to say goodbye, when the Twist Ending kicks in--Maris is at the apartment, Niles has taken her back, and judging from the bell rings and the whistle as she calls for him, she has not changed one bit.
- Dramatic Irony
- Dreadful Musician: The way Frasier solves his insecurity complex in "The Perfect Guy" is by revealing his Foil to be one of these.
- Dream Sequence: Including whole episodes based around one ("The Impossible Dream" and "Freudian Sleep").
- Drinking Game: As it turns out, Frasier, Niles and their father are all fans of Antiques Roadshow. They make a game out of it, taking sips of brandy (or, in Martin's case, beer) whenever someone says "veneer".
Frasier: "Next week we gotta pick a different word!"
- Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend: "Where Every Bloke Knows Your Name", used and subverted at the same time.
- Embarrassing Cover Up: At least a couple per season.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Frasier and Lilith's son, Frederick, has the middle name "Gaylord".
- Empathic Environment: Bebe, and Lilith occasionally.
Niles: "Strange, I usually get some sign when Lilith is in town - dogs forming into packs, blood weeping down the wall."
- Also done in an episode featuring Lilith's brother:
Frasier: "The Beast is among us!"
- Erotic Dream: Frasier's homoerotic dreams about Gil Chesterton plague him in The Impossible Dream; in the same episode Martin claims to have had one with Jane Mansfield. Niles has many about Daphne.
- Establishing Shot: Almost completely averted: only once in 11 years did we see the exterior of Frasier's building. And it's not even an establishing shot, it's the final shot of the episode. The production team consciously wanted to avoid establishing shots, which were fast becoming the norm amongst TV sitcoms at the time, and introduced title cards as a sort of "anti-establishing shot".
- Even the Guys Want Him: Dr. Clint Webber, a new radio personality at KACL in The Perfect Guy. This inspires great jealousy from Frasier, who schemes to find an exploitable weakness.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Quite a few episode titles fall under this Trope, such as The Show Where [former Cheers character] Shows Up, The 200th Episode, and so on.
- The Faceless:
- Maris Crane, who is also The Voiceless for a significant amount of episodes. The writers certainly enjoyed toying with The Reveal of both, but settled for The Un-Reveal for the hell of it. Another problem, according to a season 4 DVD special, was that the writers had ascribed so many bizarre features and qualities to her that no human could properly play the role.
- Martin's friend Duke is also a near-Faceless, although he appears briefly in two episodes.
- Failed Attempt At Drama:
- Roz mistakenly tells Frasier she is out of his life before she gets up to leave with a sprained ankle and crutches instead of after. And forgetting her purse didn't help.
- Frasier yells at the apartment board and turns to leave, but his briefcase opens and he has to stay and pick everything up.
- Niles related an incident where, in a marital dispute, he stormed out of the house, slamming the door as he went; of course, since the residence was equipped with an antique cathedral door, he required the assistance of several of the servants to assist in the slamming, however, "what it lacked in spontaneity, it made up for in resonance."
- Frasier and Martin get into an argument over Daphne agreeing to go out with an ex-con. After telling them both it's her life and she gets to choose, Daphne storms off to her room. As Frasier himself put it:
"That would have been a very dramatic exit if only her room was down that hall."
- It almost looks like a blooper on Jane Leeves' part. Something in the way that John Mahoney breaks into a snort of laughter and the way that Jane comes flouncing back and then on the correct route to Daphne's room.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Frasier is just not meant to find love.
- Fake High: Combined with Mushroom Samba. Niles gets a hash brownie, but Martin eats it without realising what it is, and replaces it with a normal brownie. And even when Frasier actually explains what happened, Niles still doesn't realise:
Niles: Well someone must feel pretty out of it, being the only one here who isn't completely burnt!
Frasier: Oh, knock it off, you imbecile. You're as sober as I am!
- Fat Suit: In Freudian Dreams, Jane Leeves wore a ridiculously ballooning fat suit that kept growing in every shot, as Daphne dreamt Niles was cheating on her because she was too fat from pregnancy pounds she was unable to lose.
- Fawlty Towers Plot: There wouldn't be a show without it!
- Played with in the episode "The Two Mrs. Cranes", where Martin, who's angry because Frasier and Niles imply Martin can't keep pace with another Fawlty Towers Plot, takes a great deal of pleasure in making the lies outrageously complicated.
- Also played with in the final season episode "Guns N Neuroses", where Frasier and Lilith get set up on blind dates with each other-- and never find out about it; and Niles, Martin and Daphne try to cover up having accidentally shot Frasier's wall-- and succeed.
- Finger in the Mail: Parodied. When Niles is taking care of a sack of flour as though it were a child, he tells Frasier about his nightmares where the sack of flour is kidnapped and he starts receiving muffins in the mail.
- 555: The call-in number for the KACL radio station.
- Flashback to Catchphrase: Martin says "I'm listening" when Frasier forces him to have a conversation in You Can Go Home Again.
- For Want of a Nail: Sliding Frasiers is an episode based on Sliding Doors, in which two paths of Frasier's life are examined on whether he chose to wear a suit or a sweater for a speed dating service. After a week, Frasier's lives meet at the same point, showing no matter which choice he made, he ended up at the same destination.
- Another example is when we're shown Martin and Daphne's extraordinarily efficient morning routine on several occasions, but on the last one Daphne puts Martin's cereal in a red bowl instead of a yellow one. The whole routine goes to hell, culminating in Martin accidentally throwing his toast on the floor.
- Fridge Logic: In-universe, Niles' season 4 attempt to get Daphne to stay at his apartment is thwarted when she has to go back to Frasier's for her medication, giving her the chance to make up with Martin and Sherry. As Frasier points out, Niles is a doctor, and could just have written her a new prescription, and there is a 24 hour pharmacy near him. The realization puts Niles into a Heroic BSOD.
- Freddy's Bar Mitzvah happens at a Conservative or Reform synagogue in the United States. Even if Frasier delivered his speech in perfect Hebrew, very few attendees would have understood it.
- And Noel Shempsky: A Jew named after Christmas? Come on now.
- Full House Music: Notably averted. Even during the rare Very Special Episode, the dramatic climaxes are handled with no music, letting the dialog and acting speak for itself.
- The Fun in Funeral: The only way Frasier can make it through a eulogy in "Martin Does It His Way".
- Funny Foreigner: Daphne and her occasional family member. Also Exploited Trope on a few occasions - in one episode she gets the Cranes out of the house for the evening by claiming she's making sheep's-head stew for dinner.
- Genre Savvy: Niles, after spending a whole episode worrying about a one in 10,000 chance he might have a heart condition (because he's been having things with equal or worse odds happen to him for several days), makes an appointment to see a doctor. He clearly expects to be told that he's been comically overreacting and is actually completely fine. He really does have a heart condition, making him Wrong Genre Savvy since he didn't know he was at the start of a set of drama episodes.
- Get Out!!!. Frasier is prone to outbursts of this when another character Deadpan Snarks after he suffers an Epic Fail.
(Frasier has been humiliated by radio pranksters -- again -- this time while in the bathtub.)
Niles: Now, now, it won't get you down for long. You've always had a thick skin. (giggles) Unless that Tahitian Vanilla softened you up a bit...
Frasier: GET OUT!
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Although Frasier was by no means a show for young audiences, there were certain jokes that were more sexual in nature. For example, there is an episode when Frasier speaks to the condo board of his apartment block and they (through a classic misunderstanding) believe him to be speaking of his father's penis.
Frasier: Don't look so shocked! Whom does it really harm if he unleashes Eddie once in a while? Come on, it's not as though he's alone in this beheviour. Mrs. Tortwurst, I've seen you do the same thing many times with your Fluffy. You know, if you ask me, not only is this behaviour harmless, it's laudable. Why, you should see the looks on the faces of the schoolchildren when he takes Eddie out to the playground!
- Girl of the Week: Pretty much every love interest Frasier has. Sometimes he gets lucky and they last the course of a short story arc.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Gil's wife, "Deb" - an Army reservist, owner of her own auto repair shop, and graduate of Sarah Lawrence.
- The Ghost:
- Maris is probably one of the most famous examples in TV history, along with Norm's wife Vera from Cheers.
- Many fans may mistake Martin's friend Duke for being this, but he does appear in two episodes ("Duke's, We Hardly Knew Ye" and "Where Every Bloke Knows Your Name"), played by John La Motta. In the latter, he's the only one in Martin's poker game not referred to by name, and is only identifiable if you've seen the actor's first appearance seasons earlier. Later in the series they seem to relegate him to off-screen roles. In "Cranes Go Caribbean" he's said to have come with them but spends the evening in the hotel room after getting a bad sunburn.
- Godwin's Law: In Kenny on the Couch, Frasier and Martin get into an argument at the end of the episode about the worth of psychology, with Martin thinking it's a bunch of hooey. This leads to this inevitable piece of dialog:
Frasier: So tell me, Dr. Party Hearty Marty, who, in your expert opinion, does need therapy!?
Martin: Well....... Hitler.
Martin: And that one with all the different personalities, um... Sybil.
Frasier: That's it? An entire science devoted to Hitler and Sybil?!
- Gold Digger:
- Frasier briefly becomes this for none other than Patrick Stewart, who gives him expensive watches and introduces him to celebrities. In turn, Frasier lets the guy kiss him and treat him like a boyfriend, constantly "forgetting" to tell Stewart's character he's straight.
- During a two part episode, Frasier dates famous lawyer Samantha Pierce. In the first episode, he's worried about being in the female role, but in the second, "Desperately Seeking Closure", he realizes he's only in love with Pierce for her celebrity friends. She's dumbstruck when Frasier admits this to her as the reason of his breaking up with her. Then Lesley Stahl walks in.
Frasier: (star struck) Lesley! Hello! Dr. Frasier Crane, we met this weekend.
Lesley: Oh, how are you?
Sam: (disbelief) What kind of sick bastard are you?!
- Niles gets asked if he married Maris for her money. He denies it, but adds that it's just "a delightful bonus."
- Then there's Bebe and her engagement to Big Willy, an octogenarian rich Texan, in Where There's Smoke, There's Fired.
Niles: Well, marrying money can have it's perils. Ten or fifteen years down the line, after you've adapted to a lifestyle now totally beyond your means, you can find yourself cast aside a hollow husk, penniless and crushed.
Frasier: Niles, Big Willy's eighty-five, he's on his third pacemaker.
Niles: Ah. (jealous) Mazel tov.
- Of course, Big Willy dies before they get married, but Frasier still cheers Bebe up:
Frasier: Well, you know, Bebe, there are other Big Willys out there, better ones! Richer, older... impotent!
Bebe: Oh dear, you always know what to say.
- Gone Horribly Right: In the episode Sweet Dreams, Frasier tries to get Mr. Martin to stop being a corporate stooge and rehire Kenny. It works, but Mr. Martin gets other ideas as well.
Mr. Martin: I'm going to march right in there and tell them that we're doing it my way! No more talk.
Frasier: Exactly, action!
Mr. Martin: No, no more talk radio. From this moment on, the station is all latino music, all the time.
Frasier: I beg your pardon?
- Kenny was rehired but Frasier and most of his coworkers were fired.
- Then from Dr. Nora. Frasier brings Dr. Nora's mother, thinking that her abrasiveness and hostility was due to a misunderstanding between her and her mother, disappointing Roz who wanted revenge, not seeking a peaceful reconcilliation. Little did he know, Mrs. Nulhearn was a shrill, grasping, moneygrubbing harpy whose first words to her daughter were "YOU LITTLE WHORE!"
Roz: (jumping for joy) I was wrong, Frasier! Your way IS better!
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Noel, who supposedly speaks Hebrew, tells Frasier that "yeshiva" is the word for school. It is not -- it means a full-time institute where Jewish law is studied. (The word for school is beit-sefer). While "yeshiva" is originally a Hebrew word, the way he pronounces it with the stress on the middle syllable is the pronunciation derived from its Yiddish importation, something no Hebrew language teacher would do.
- Halloween Episode: There are a number of episodes set at Halloween, usually focusing on the show's traditional madcap antics wrung though a themed costume party of some kind. A notable party at Niles' apartment where the guests all dress as classic literary characters centers around Roz being pregnant and many overheard conversations that lead to hilarious confusions about the situation.
The episode "A Room Full of Heroes" sees Frasier holding a Halloween party where each partygoer comes as their personal "hero" (for instance, Martin comes as Joe DiMaggio, Daphne as Elton John, Roz as Wonder Woman and Niles as his father); Frasier himself dresses as Sigmund Freud, and one of the main jokes revolves around all the children thinking he eats brains.
- Hand Signals: Roz plays charades on several occasions to communicate something to Frasier while he is taking a call on the show. On one occasion, she named a caller by pointing to her eye and leaning when her mouth was full.
- Have a Gay Old Time: In second season episode Retirement is Murder, Daphne once mentions to Frasier how Martin "knocked her up" that morning. When Frasier seems momentarily alarmed and asks her to repeat that, she clarifies that it means "woke her up."
Daphne: It's an English expression. What does it mean here?
Frasier: Oh, something else. You'd definitely be awake for it, though.
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: In-universe, Diane's Author Avatar "Mary Ann" in her play Rhapsody & Requiem. Her name couldn't have been just a coincidence.
- Frasier isn't immune, as he and Niles wrote The Crane Boys Mysteries in high school.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Bebe likes to portray herself as this. When Frasier fires her in "Roz's Turn":
Bebe: That's it, is it? I'm not virtuous enough for you, not noble. Fine, quit! Next time you need a deal made, call the Dalai Lama. A long time ago, I had to make a choice between being a good agent and a good person, because trust me, you can't be both! So forgive me if I don't have time to make everybody warm and fuzzy. I am just too busy spending every waking minute pouring any drink, pulling any shameless tricks I can to make my clients' dreams come true! I AM A STARMAKER!
- Heterosexual Life Partners:
- Frasier and Niles (besides also being brothers).
- Martin and Duke. They even unwittingly get married in San Francisco during a public rally.
- Hide Your Pregnancy: Jane Leeves got pregnant late in the show's run and it was written as Daphne becoming fat due to compulsive eating, complete with a Fat Suit; she left the series to have the baby, by having Daphne going away to a spa in order to lose the weight (with the in-joke that Niles went to see her there, and she had "just lost 9 pounds, 12 ounces".) In the final season, Leeves' second pregnancy was merely incorporated into the storyline.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Frasier's son Frederick is implied to have had one in "The Apparent Trap."
Lilith: If he wants something badly enough, he will figure out a way to get it. Remember when he was a baby? The bottle at the end of the maze?
Frasier: I kinda regret doing that.
- Hilarious in Flashback: A flashback shows Martin has a pet goldfish named Eddie. His partner tells him to consider a "real" pet like a dog, but Martin says he isn't a dog person.
- Hollywood Dateless: Played with. They yank Frasier's chain an awful lot, but he does get a lot of dates, but he's also a local celebrity with notable wealth who's got frequent dating problems.
- Honorary Uncle: Frasier, Niles, and Martin are all one for Roz's daughter Alice.
- Hot Men At Work: Daphne's boyfriend Joe. Also, Roz seems to be a fan of this - in one episode, she discusses her intention to spend her holiday getting her house renovated, in the company of hot, sweaty workmen. In another episode, after a bad date, she tells Frasier and Niles that she plans to go home, put on something slinky, rip out her sink and call building maintenance.
- Human Shield: Bulldog's deplorable behaviour in "Bad Dog" causes him to use a pregnant woman as a shield, and later on even his own mother. As Frasier was the only one who saw what really happened, he spends the episode trying to get Bulldog to own up and stop taking advantage of the adulation.
- Humiliation Conga: Many times, but one of the best might be what happens to Dr. Nora: she's exposed as a hypocrite on live radio by her mother, has a nervous breakdown, and flees screaming at the top of her lungs.
- Hurricane of Puns
- Hypocritical Humor: One of the many fuels this show runs on. Frasier suffers the worst of it, thanks to his massive ego:
"Can you believe the arrogance of that man? I'm God and he knows it!"
"I'll reveal him for the power-hungry dictator that he is! And then I'll take over."
- Hypocrisy Nod: This gem during one of his debates with Cam Winston, who drives an SUV.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: An episode centers around beluga caviar being used for this trope. Frasier and Niles get involved with the distributing and smuggling of the stuff (parodied when the U.S. Customs agents don't care about the caviar, but the DVDs for which the smugglers used the caviar as a front), and even consider cutting it with cheaper stuff, while Roz becomes a generally mellow caviar junkie who would attack Frasier because she thinks he's holding out on a fix.
Frasier: (after testing the caviar as one would test cocaine) Oh, yeah. That's the stuff.
- Bonus points for the Russian mafia controlling the beluga caviar trade, much as Columbian drug lords would control the price of cocaine.
- Identical Stranger: Rodney, a clone of Niles that Daphne dates after breaking up with Joe (and after Frasier suggested to Niles that he wait before asking her out himself). Everybody sees it except Daphne herself.
Martin: I can't talk right now, Duke... (whispers) I'm in the Twilight Zone.
- In Season 10 episode "Bristle While You Work", Niles is worried about a heart attack because of all the unlikely coincidences happening around him. One of the most bizarre is when a woman calls out "Niles!" Niles turns to look to see an African American version of himself greeting, "Hello, Daphne!" in his exact intonation -- to an African American version of Daphne.
Niles: (disturbed) Okay, that was weird.
- I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Both Frasier and Roz say it to each other.
- If I Can't Have You: Maris gets insanely jealous of women Niles dates - especially Mel. Late in the series, Maris is not opposed to Niles' relationship with Daphne, but still clings to Niles for support.
- Ignore the Disability: Played with spectacularly in the episode "Roz and the Schnoz" when Frasier plays host to a couple who have ridiculously large noses but are completely unaware of it. Neither is anyone else, until they're introduced one by one and must try to stifle their reactions. To make matters worse, the couple keeps inadvertently setting up nose-related puns: "Everyone who knows you knows you're the nosiest."
- I Have Just One Thing to Say: Frasier is the undisputed master of these.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Roz complaining about bridesmaid dresses. Daphne just proves her right.
- In Name Only: Seattle. Apart from the occasional name-dropping of local references, nothing about the series feels particularly like it's taking place in Seattle. Everything from the way the characters speak to the abundance of 'society' people with Old World high-culture interests to the puzzlingly large number of Britons floating about just doesn't feel like the Pacific Northwest. Of course Frasier was only retconned to have come from there -- everything about him suggests he made more sense in the Boston setting of Cheers.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Plenty.
- They tend to crop up when Frasier describing his sexual conquests. Lampshaded by Niles when he asks if Frasier actually ever says those lines in front of his dates. Frasier wisely admits he doesn't.
Frasier: "I guess someone wanted to rack up a few more frequent Frasier miles."
- Daphne asks Frasier if one particular romantic interest likes his bad puns, and comments, "She's a keeper!" when he tells her she actually likes them.
- In a convention in Aspen:
Frasier: "My fellow psychiatrists, as I watched you on the slopes today I realised I had never seen so many Freudians slip!"
- And occasionally a not-so-lame one, such after Daphne has a fall after becoming obese:
Martin: "I just thought of something funny: it took three Cranes to lift you."
- A notable one came from a title card reading "Sleepless in Seattle". The card humorously lampshades the groan-worthiness of this in parentheses with "(you knew we had to do it eventually)".
- The last straw.
- Inflation Negation:
Martin: Well, I got my black coffee -- of course, it was more expensive than a whole meal used to be. Time was, you could get two eggs, potatoes, choice of breakfast meats-
Frasier: (dripping with sarcasm) And still get change back from the nickel!
- Instrumental Theme Tune: The Opening Theme is notable as it changes frequently (a form of Couch Gag). There were more permutations introduced as the show ran longer and longer, all with a light jazz feel which set the tone nicely for the content of the episode.
- In the Original Klingon: In Star Mitzvah, Frasier is tricked by Noel into thinking his blessing at Freddy's bar mitzvah is being translated into Hebrew - it's actually Klingon. The Trope is invoked by a geeky boy after Frasier makes a fool of himself.
Jeremy: Well, roughly translated, it says, "My dearest son, each day you redeem me. May your journey be filled with the same joy, wisdom, and purpose you have given mine." It's a lot more beautiful in the original Klingon, but it's still really cool.
- Intoxication Ensues: Martin's accidental ingestion of a "special" brownie in "High Holidays", with hilarious results.
- Insufferable Genius: One thirteen year old caller to Frasier's show (played by Elijah Wood) calls about bullies picking on him for his smarts. After Frasier advises him that he'll get the last laugh later in life, the caller immediately turns into this, picking apart Frasier's advice and outright insulting him for it.
- Ironic Birthday: Frasier gets two, one in which he accidentally reveals half his sexual history to his hidden coworkers.
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Zora's reaction to Martin introducing Daphne as his physical therapist in "Beware Of Greeks".
- Is This Thing Still On?: This happens frequently on the show. Some notable examples include:
- "The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl":
Newscast: (on radio) In local news, Congressman Robert Gill was accused of accepting bribes from a waste treatment facility. Asked to comment, the congressman said-
Frasier: (cuts in orgasmically) Yes! YES!!! I am a bad boy, aren't I, you dirty girl! Come to your bad boy! Oh, yes... Oh, no! Is that the on-air light?
Kate: (on radio, whispering) Stop talking.
Frasier: You must have hit the switch with your elbow while we were...
Kate: Stop talking!
Frasier: We'd better hurry up and get dressed while we still...
Niles: (listening to them from his car radio) STOP TALKING! (Niles rear ends another car, causing the airbag to inflate in his face)
- "A New Position for Roz", when she is teaching Noel how to produce Frasier's show:
Roz: Now, let me give you some pointers on call screening. Your first priority are your leapers and jumpers. Next up, angry people, they're great energy and a welcome change from our largest group, the sad sacks. The trick of it is, you want to arrange these calls so that each segment is "can't miss" radio.
Noel: I thought it was just about Frasier doing good work.
Roz: Please, it's all about ratings! If the station had its way, every call would end in an auto-erotic suicide.
Frasier: (from the booth) Thank you, Roz, now that Seattle knows how we do things around here, perhaps you could let Noel know to keep his elbow off the mic button!
- A more minor one occurs when Frasier introduces one of the show's bloopers which involves Roz swearing violently at someone else while her mic was left on. Heavy on the "bleeps".
- I Surrender, Suckers: When Niles and Frasier attempt to collaborate on a book, they eventually start brawling and Niles gets Frasier in a headlock. "We're psychiatrists, not pugilists!"..."I can't believe you fell for that!"
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Partially in the episode "Oops":
Frasier: Bulldog heard me, that's why he came up here and started telling you that...
Ned Miller: That I'm a drunk. That I'm incompotent at my job. That my wife is a big, fat slut!
Frasier: That is indefensible! Your wife is not overweight! (Realizes what he's said}
- It's Been Done: Roz sells an idea for a children's book based on a bedstory that her mother used to tell her — which turns out to be Heidi. Furthermore, not only had she not heard of it, but the publisher to whom she sold the idea hadn't heard of it either.
- It's Like I Always Say
- Ivy League for Everyone
- The Jeeves: Ferguson. See British Stuffiness.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both Frasier and Niles are hideously snobby, elitist milquetoasts who are deep down rather caring, kind and (for most of the series) lonely men.
- Frasier's late season 10 and early season 11 love interest, Julia, seems this way at first. But it turns out she has only a very thin layer of gold, and really is a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
- Kavorka Man: He's sort-of good looking, in an offbeat way, and yes, he's very cultured. But come on: Tea Leoni, Sela Ward, Amy Brenneman, Virginia Madsen, Terri Hatcher, Jean Smart, Patricia Clarkson, Jennifer Tilly, Lisa Edelstein and Laura Linney just to name the memorable ones?
- He actually gets Jennifer Tilly twice, once in Frasier and once in Cheers, where they're briefly engaged.
- A list of people Frasier has slept with- 01. Claresse (The mature piano teacher he lost his virginity to, see Slow Tango In South Seattle), 02. Lilith Sternin, 03. Diane Chambers, 04. Nannet his first wife, 05. Roz Doyle, 06. Bebe Glazer his agent, 07. Kate Costas, station manager for a bit, 08. Sam's Fiance during a trip to Boston that we don't see, 09. Kelly Easterbrook the model who everyone else thinks is imaginary until the end, 10. Kaitlyn the artist who had nothing in common with Frasier but great sex, 11. Faye Moscowitz, 12. Cassandra Stone, 13. Lana/Lorna Lynnly, 14. Claire, 15. Charlotte, 16. Stephanie Walsh who we don't see but hear, when Frasier starts private practice again we meet her sister played by Sarah Silverman, 17. Samantha Pierce the lawyer with whom he ends up in the girl's role, 18. Elevator Ellie, when he meets Charlotte (season 11) he gets on the elevator with a woman he slept with but doesn't remember (she starts yelling at him showing he does need a matchmaker), 19. Duke's daughter Marie, and as I write this I remember 20. a woman at the station we see hiding in the booth with a bunch of other people for a little surprise party for Frasier. 21. Julia Wilcox For most people I struggle to get to ten.
- Plus he has any number of near misses, women he could have had but messed up with at the last minute.
- In one episode he has three dates on the same weekend, runs the same routine on all of them, but is rooster blocked by his father's girlfriend.
- Karma Houdini: Blaine, Lilith's brother. Established by Frasier early on as a con-man who has conned his way across several states and stolen from Frasier several times, he arrives in a wheelchair and is now a minister. After his followers give generously and Frasier finally trusts him enough to do the same, he escapes with the cash, leaving his empty wheelchair at Frasier's door as a final mocking sign that it had all been another con job.
- Kill'Em All: How Frasier's live radio drama ends in "Ham Radio" when an annoyed Niles highjacks the proceedings and kills off the entire cast in about 30 seconds.
- Kwyjibo: In "Goodnight, Seattle".
Charlotte: "Her grandmother's bed was warm and... quilty."
Frasier: "And why is she lying there? Because she's feeling all 'befevered' again?"
- Ladykiller in Love: Bulldog falls in love in the episode Love Bites Dog only to end up heartbroken when the woman dumps him on the phone like he himself does with many of his one-night stands.
- A few years later, Bulldog falls for Roz who also rejects him.
- Lampshade Hanging: "Out With Dad" where Frasier drags Martin to an opera. Martin complains about the unlikely farcical plot elements (escalating lies, staged entrances and exits), a critique which neatly encapsulates all that follows in the second act.
- Large Ham: Frasier is a quintessential example when discussing sitcoms. Agent Bebe Glazer is even worse.
- Best example: Jackson Headley in The Show Must Go Off, who delivers a performance so hammy Brian Blessed would be proud.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Often a last second phrase swap, used by all the main characters especially Frasier.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In one episode, Frasier drags Martin to see Rigoletto, and he spends most of his time lampshading the sillier tropes of the genre, such as GASP, Fawlty Towers Plot, The Beard and Love Dodecahedron. Frasier's well-timed GASP is the cue for an entire episode full of exactly that kind of Farce.
- Lecherous Licking: Implied.
Niles: Take my bumbershoot.
Daphne: Oh, isn't that nice, well at least someone appreciates my mother tongue. [Leaves.]
Niles: Yes, I've always had an ear for your tongue.
- Lethal Chef: Daphne
- Limited Social Circle: Martin appears have friends beyond the main characters (particularly Duke), and Roz, Daphne, and Niles are occasionally shown with friends too, but most of the time the main characters just hang with each other. This is particularly true with Frasier, who appears to have no close friends beyond his brother, his father, his producer, and his father's physiotherapist. This is Lampshaded in one episode, where none of the other main characters have the time to spend an evening with Frasier, and he realizes just how alone he is without them. Since Frasier moved back to Seattle after having lived for years in Boston, this is partly Justified, though one wonders why he didn't catch up with any old friends of his, or manage to make any new ones in 11 years?
- Local Hangout: Café Nervosa. Subverted in that the cast did not have a "regular" table they always sat at; they sat at different tables throughout the series.
- Loners Are Freaks: Subverted in the episode "Dark Victory", when Frasier delivers a rousing speech in defense of introverts everywhere.
- Played straight in The 200th Episode by Frasier's biggest fan who quit his job to devote his life to listening to, recording, and transcribing Frasier's show.
- Long Runner: While the show barely qualifies (11 seasons), more notable is the character of Dr. Frasier Crane, who was played for 20 years over two shows (and a guest appearance on Wings).
- Frasier's former wife Nanette, in regard to her in-show alter ego as Nanni G (A children's music celebrity), gives Kelsey Grammer an Actor Allusion with the remark: "Do you have any idea what it's like to the play the same character for 20 years!?"
- Loony Fan: With a Stalker Shrine, no less.
- Loophole Abuse: Frasier and Niles sometimes find themselves trapped by their professional codes of ethics, and bend over backwards to find ways around them.
- In one episode, they discover that Roz's newest boyfriend is one of Niles's patients, a compulsive womanizer who loves 'em and leaves 'em, and will surely break Roz's heart; but they can't tell her, as that would violate doctor-patient confidentiality. They spend the entire episode looking for a way out, and finally find it:
Niles: It would be so much easier if Roz were mentally incompetent.
Frasier: Go on...
Niles: Well, then there'd be some justification for protecting her. Is she irrational?
Frasier: She did attack a vending machine once, when a Twinkie came out of the Oreo chute.
Niles: Borderline, borderline. Does she ever act delusional?
Frasier: Well, she often claims that she is responsible for the success of our show.
Niles: Building, building. Does she display below-average intelligence?
Frasier: She once ordered a bottle of white Zinfandel!
Niles: Jackpot! Go to her, she's a threat to herself!
Frasier: It's amazing they even let the woman drive!
- Lysistrata Gambit: Maris was an expert at withholding sex from Niles, and used it to work to her advantage, always. He tried to turn the tables once, but didn't get very far.
Frasier: Now, now, now, Niles, withholding sex may be just as difficult on Maris! She may crumble first!
Niles: Are you serious? One hour of passion can sustain her for months. She stores it up like some sexual camel.
- Mad Artist: Caitlin in "Frasier Gotta Have It". She makes collages out of dead mice and stuffs pillows with human hair.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The above Caitlin. It doesn't work out though, as all they shared was sex.
- Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: Played with and played straight.
- May-December Romance: Deconstructed in one episode where a young woman in her early twenties (played by Sara Melson) is interested in dating Frasier, but he is worried that people would have bad impressions of him. Finally invoked near the end of the episode, but they decided that it won't work out.
- Mediation Backfire: Played with; Frasier sits Roz and Julia down in the cafe to try to get them to make nice, and when they find common ground insulting him, he graciously leaves them to it. The moment he's gone, though, they both get up to leave, and are bickering again before they reach the door.
- Memetic Badass: Invoked with Frasier's aunt Zora, a violent person with a hair-trigger temper that the entire family fears.
Frasier: I'm not afraid of her.
Niles: Everyone is. Have you forgotten the family legend that when Hitler invaded Greece she joined the partisans just so she could strangle Nazis?
Frasier: I have never believed that. She would have had to have been five years old at the time.
Niles: That's why the legend says they were strangled with jumpropes.
- Men Are Uncultured: Averted -- Frasier and Niles are very cultured, loving Opera and fine wines. Their father doesn't understand this at all, but he's not stupid, he just has more traditionally "manly" tastes.
"I still think a couple of years of military service would've done you two a world of good."
- Men Don't Cry: Averted for laughs in "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven": Martin's breakdown causes Frasier to start weeping as well, then Niles joins in shortly after.
Niles: (bawling) Nobody wants to come to my party!
- Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Played with. Sometimes played straight when Frasier breaks up with an otherwise lovely woman for a few minor flaws, but occasionally he realizes this and forces himself to overlook the flaws of his Girl of the Week, who then turns out to be completely bizarre but Frasier refuses to break up with her because he wants to kick his habit.
- Missing Mom: Hester Crane, although she appeared occasionally through flashbacks.
- Mistaken for Gay: The show specialises in these, and handles them with panache.
- Happened to Frasier in "The Matchmaker" and "The Doctor is Out". Leads to a hilarious "on-air outing" in the latter as he tries to explain why he was there:
Frasier: "All right, I am going to put an end to this discussion, because there is nothing to discuss. On my way home from the gym, I popped into Bad Billy's looking for a man I was hoping was in the bathroom. I had a quick sherry with my French polisher and then I left. As for how I got into another man's shorts, that is no one's business!"
Niles: This is my wife, Daphne.
Niles: We're expecting!
Alistair: Can't say I was!
- Bulldog was also accused of being homosexual by a lady who thought he was overcompensating by being so testosterone-driven.
- The joke being, of course, that Dan Butler (Bulldog), David Hyde Pierce (Niles) and John Mahoney (Martin) are all gay.
- Subverted in "Fathers and Sons": Martin is convinced Leland is the boys' actual father as he has so much in common with them, but as it turns out he only loved Hester as a friend and trusted her with the fact that he was homosexual at a time when that could have ruined his career.
- Possibly Gil Chesterton, if it is true that he's happily married to a woman nobody ever sees.
- Bulldog was also accused of being homosexual by a lady who thought he was overcompensating by being so testosterone-driven.
"She is Mrs. Gilbert Leslie Chesterton, a Sarah Lawrence graduate, and the owner of a very successful auto body repair shop. Honestly, the conclusions people make, just because a man dresses well and knows how to use a pastry bag." ... "Well, that's the first time I've ever seen a man "IN" himself!"
- However, he comes out in Season 10. First he's sneaking into Bad Billy's, then reveals he's gay in Season 11.
- One episode opens with Frasier, Niles, and Martin shopping for Daphne's engagement ring. A series of accidents and coincidences culminates in the entire store thinking that Frasier is proposing to Niles.
(After the store clerk assumes they're there to get a ring for each other)
Niles: Where did that come from?
Frasier: I mean really, to just assume something like that out of the blue.
Niles and Frasier: Latent.
- Mistaken Identity: An interesting twist in "Secret Admirer'; Frasier mistakes himself for the object of Maris' affections when it is actually Niles who is supposed to receive the gifts.
- Monumental View: The apartment has a lovely shot of the Space Needle that is unfortunately possessed by no actual building.
- Motor Mouth: Poppy, who's treated as The Scrappy by the other characters.
- My Beloved Smother: Mrs. Mulhern to Dr. Nora.
Mrs. Mulhern: So, you thought you could get away from me, did you? Thought you could leave me to rot in that dump without barely enough cash for a bottle of Mateus?! You'll pay for that, missy!
Frasier: Thank you, Niles. You're a good brother and a credit to the psychiatric profession.
Niles: You're a good brother, too.
- My Name Is Not Durwood
- My Own Private I Do: Niles and Daphne of the Elope First, Plan Later variety. It got really silly when they ended up having two fake ceremonies, before eventually spilling the beans.
- Mythology Gag: The Dr. Frasier Crane Show debuted on KACL on May 21, 1993, the airdate of the Cheers finale.
- The season 11 episode "Caught in the Act" has a gag about Kelsey Grammer having played the character of Frasier Crane for 20 years (first in Cheers, then in Frasier). In the episode Frasier meets his ex-wife, who's had a long career as the children's entertainer "Nanny G":
Nanny G: Frasier, if you knew how bored I am, being "Nanny Gee." How trapped I feel.
Frasier: You have a wonderful career.
Nanny G: But nothing ever changes! Do you have any idea what it's like to play the same character for twenty years?
- Naked People Trapped Outside
- Bulldog, in the episode "The Dog That Rocked The Cradle".
- Frasier, in the episode "Caught in the Act", though he's saved by wearing a baby bonnet and diaper - in front of a live show.
- Nested Story Reveal: In one episode, Frasier is seriously doubting whether he should help strangers in need. While driving his car, he sees a woman standing in the rain, and decides to give her a ride. The woman turns out to be a transgendered prostitute, and Frasier soon gets arrested by the police, who mistakenly think he's soliciting for her services. The whole event ends up being publicized in the media, making Frasier a laughing stock. Just before the episode ends, it cuts back to the scene with Frasier in the car and the woman standing in the rain. Turns out everything that happened was just a worst-case scenario Frasier had been considering in his head. He gives the woman a ride anyway.
- Never My Fault: Plenty of examples throughout the series. Usually with Niles pointing the finger. He even has "Well I hope you're happy!" as his catchphrase.
- New Old Flame
- New Years Resolution
- No Accounting for Taste: It's a wonder what Niles ever saw in Maris to begin with.
Niles: "You've been wanting to ask me this for years: 'Did I marry Maris for the money?' I resent that. I did not marry Maris for the money...it's just a delightful bonus."
- Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Averted;
- In Out With Dad, Emily tries to set Martin up with her uncle, Edward.
- In The Doctor Is Out, Frasier becomes the "boyfriend" of 60ish opera director Alistair Burke.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Nora, an unusually thin parody of Dr. Laura and the small controversy about her qualifications. Dr. Nora's advice mostly consisted of telling her callers that they're sinners who are going to hell, and Frasier eventually learns her doctorate is in P.E. The station keeps her on because her polarizing personality is attracting listeners, until an attempt at goodwill by Frasier drives her away.
- No Indoor Voice: Chopper Dave got a little too used to reporting from a helicopter.
- Noodle Incident: The failed party at the beginning of "Daphne Does Dinner". All we know is it involved Martin impersonating an Italian count, a flaming kebab igniting a man's toupee, Frasier pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome, and goats in the kitchen.
- Noodle Implements
- "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"
Sam: Hey listen... if you want to really put a smile on Maris's face let me tell you what you do.
[He whispers into Niles' ear.]
Niles: Exactly where am I supposed to find whipped cream and a car battery at this hour?
- "Liar! Liar!"
Bulldog: All right Doc, I'm going to need a blindfold, whipped cream and a glass coffee table.
[Everyone looks mystified]
Bulldog: What? Nobody went to camp?
- No Sympathy: Daphne tries to defy this one in "Daphne Does Dinner"; after trying to throw a normal dinner party without the Cranes screwing it up as usual, she of course manages to screw it up, but when the offended guests start to collect their coats, she gives an impassioned speech about trying to salvage a nice, civilised dinner despite all the hijinks. Just as she's talked them round, a bed falls through the ceiling.
- Not in Front of the Parrot: Niles gets a cockatoo just before holding a housewarming dinner party for his new neighbours. Just as the primary problem (it's been clutching tightly onto his scalp all episode and he's been hiding in the kitchen) is being painlessly resolved, the bird starts quoting random insults it's overheard over the course of the evening in front of all the guests.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: In "Frasier's Imaginary Friend", Frasier is dating a supermodel studying to be a zoologist. His family seems to think he's off his rocker and making it all up.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Aversion because both Frasier and Niles are psychiatrists. Sometimes the boys themselves forget this though, as when Frasier tries to give advice to the heart surgeon about to operate on Niles.
- Not What It Looks Like: Interesting variation - Frasier often walks in on Niles and Daphne doing something completely innocent, unaware that out of context it looks like flirting.
- In several cases however, in Niles' mind at least, it is flirting.
- No, You Hang Up First
- Obfuscating Disability: Subverted in "Wheel of Fortune", with Lilith's con-man half-brother Blaine Sternin (played by Michael Keaton in a hilarious role).
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Especially with Frasier. The amount of times he's done something dishonorable and tried to cover it up...
- Oblivious to Love: Daphne to Niles in the first six in a half seasons. The roles are reversed in the second half of season seven.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Everyone related to Daphne. No wonder she moved to America.
- Offstage Villainy: In one episode, Niles assures Daphne that Maris will never come between them again. That's only half-true. Maris did famously cause a lot of problems for Niles, but she barely touched Daphne. Plus it was because of Maris's outrageous antics that Daphne met Donny. Mel, on the other hand...
- Oh, Cisco: The silent gag that runs over the credits at the end of each episode.
- Oop North: Daphne. All of her family members had different accents.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: A Sorry I Left the BGM On variation when Frasier goes to Bebe's hotel room and there's a choir singing outside the window. While she tries to seduce him, he throws open the window to get some air just as the choir hits a particularly ominous crescendo, accompanied by sweeping red floodlights.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The Cranes (and later Daphne) have the most excellent method of sneaking full conversations under people's noses in this manner.
- One Steve Limit: For a while, Daphne knew the men on the show as Dr. Crane, Dr. Crane and Mr. Crane. The Running Gag of this confusion culminated in one episode, when she overhears Frasier admit that he loves her (platonically) and would miss her if she moved out and Martin confirms that he's in love with her, thinking that by 'Dr. Crane' she meant Niles.
A more typical variation might go like this:
Daphne: "Thank you Dr. Crane. Shame on you, Dr. Crane, why can't you be more like Dr. Crane?"
Marta (Maris' housekeeper): "Missy Crane say, no you Dr. Crane, no other Dr. Crane, and no Crane with a cane!"
- After Daphne finds out from Frasier that Niles loves her:
Daphne: "Yeah, but he doesn't know it...I can't very well discuss it with Dr. Crane. He's so close to Dr. Crane. If I told him, he might tell Dr. Crane and Dr. Crane might feel embarrassed."
Roz: "Yeah, why confuse things?"
- The Other Darrin: Frederick Crane was played by two different child actors on this show (not counting the twins who took turns playing him on Cheers.
- Not to mention Frasier's first wife, Nanny G, played by Laurie Metcalf in an episode of this show after having been played by Emma Thompson in a Cheers episode.
- Painting the Fourth Wall: Scene titles in different episodes included "No Actors Were Harmed In The Making Of This Scene" and "In Case You're Wondering, It's A Sensory Deprivation Tank".
- Pensieve Flashback: Within "Daphne Returns" Frasier and Niles discuss how Niles puts Daphne on a pedestal.
- Poor Man's Porn: Frasier talks about sharing a room with Niles and being kept up all night by him looking at National Geographics under the bedcovers - Niles asserts he was looking at the maps, but Frasier insists that this is what made it so weird. This trope is used a lot.
Niles: Well, I've got a crisis. Tomorrow's Mel's birthday and I'm planning a very romantic evening but my Gagino is on the fritz.
Martin: (disgusted) Oh jeez, I don't need to hear this!
Frasier: Dad! It's a stove!
Martin: I know! Six burners and a griddle. Don't you guys ever talk about cars?
- A lot.
(Frasier and Niles are peeping through a telescope into someone's apartment.)
Frasier: Oh my God... breathtaking.
Niles: (impatient) Well, don't be greedy! Your turn was over forty seconds ago!
Frasier: All right, all right, Niles, all right. [steps away] It's the penthouse unit, fourth from the left.
Niles: (swooning) Oh, mama!
Martin: You two know that what you're doing isn't right, don't you?
Frasier: We're simply admiring a very rare Brancusi armchair, not a naked woman.
Martin: (sighing) That's what I'm talking about.
- Kenny Daly suffers from lowered expectations. When he asks Roz to buy "man and wife stuff" for him.
Kenny: I'm supposed to stop on the way home and pick up some new... underthings for my wife.
Kenny: So? Every time I'm in one of those places I start thinking about... you know... man-and-wife stuff. I turn all red, I start to sweat, I hyperventilate. Try getting somebody to wait on you when you look like that.
Roz: Well, sorry, Kenny, but I am not going to Victoria's Secret for you.
Kenny: Victoria's Secret? Whoa, whoa, Rockefeller, I'm talking Kmart!
Kenny: Fine. I'll go myself. Why do they have those mannequins so damn sexy?
- Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: Which includes "*bleep* off."
- Pretty in Mink: Not shown, but it's mentioned that Maris has an ermine lap robe, and her sister has an ermine muff (that she used to smuggle a chihuahua into an opera).
- Prophetic Names: Lilith. If you have a little information on that name, a lot of jokes about the character become a lot more understandable.
- Punch Line: Not just the typical sitcom kind, but on a large scale as well. Many episodes are built entirely to set up the last scene as one big payoff, typically in the form of Frasier's grandiose speeches coming out all wrong.
- Punny Name: The Shout-Out to the creators in the station's name (KACL) is an inadvertant pun (cackle).
- Put on a Bus: Kate Costas (Mercedes Ruehl was uncomfortable with the routine of doing a weekly sitcom), and Julia Wilcox (the writers were not happy with the Season 10 romantic triangle between Frasier, Julia, and Roz.)
- Queer As Tropes: The show pioneered the use of homosexual characters portrayed as acting in an ordinary, non-stereotyped manner, and treated homosexuality regularly, part of normal life.
- In fact, The Matchmaker won a GLAAD Award.
- Radio Drama: In Ham Radio, Frasier takes the reins and drives the cast to distraction.
- Radio Voice: All the callers to Frasier's show, which is quite logical. Interesting in that some of the dialogue for those scenes is written, some is ad-libbed to give it a more believable feeling of sponteneity.
- Rashomon Style: "Perspectives On Christmas". In this example, the characters' perspectives differed mainly in what they were able to see and how they interpreted certain lines of dialogue (as is the norm for misunderstandings on this show), rather than blatantly skewing things in their favor as in most comedic examples.
- Shrink Rap, in which both brothers undergo 'couples' counseling and outline the events which have led to their most recent relationship collapse. In general, they have a tendency to present themselves as being a bit more wise, thoughtful and put-upon than they probably would be in the real situation -- and the other immediately calls them on it. There's also a rather amusing bit where Niles recounts a story Daphne told about a couple who would frequently experience The Immodest Orgasm right next to her bedroom wall at night, and her over-the-top efforts to show them up, culminating in this exchange:
Frasier: Hold it! Niles, you know full well that Daphne merely told us that story, she did not act it out!
Niles: (genuinely confused) ... Didn't she?
- In Coots and Ladders:
Niles: (holding Daphe peacefully) Our lives are so complete.
Martin: (holding Ronee contentedly) We really are lucky.
(back to current time)
Frasier: (annoyed) Oh, please, that's not how it happened at all!
Niles: (taunting Frasier with Daphne) Our lives are so complete!
Martin: (taunting Frasier with Ronee) We really are lucky!
- Ready for Lovemaking
- Reality Subtext
- Kelsey Grammer has said that his favourite episode was "The Show Where Diane Comes Back" (the plot of which was Diane Chambers of Cheers and Frasier Crane's eventual reconciliation), because it gave him the opportunity to finally reconcile with Shelley Long, the actress who portrayed Diane. Also-
Frasier: You have a wonderful career.
Nanny G: But nothing ever changes! Do you have any idea what it's like to play the same character for twenty years?
- And the episode with Sir Derek Jacobi, who essentially plays Patrick Stewart playing Data doing Shakespeare. Frasier is upset over the man he idolized being a Classically-Trained Extra (which Jacobi actually is, and he won a Guest Actor Emmy for the episode), but it turns out he really is a terrible actor. And to top that off, take into account Kelsey Grammar's guest stint on TNG. And now that Jacobi himself has played The Master... let's just say this episode lives on Reality Subtext.
- Niles and Daphne have a son named David in the series finale, named after producer David Angell who died in the 9/11 attacks.
- Real Life Relative: Kelsey Grammer's then-wife Camille (whom Kelsey divorced in February 2011) makes a cameo as a partygoer dressed as Eve in Halloween. Frasier hits on her, but she leaves with another man... dressed as Satan no less.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: In Head Game, Niles helps a basketball player with his problems. Originally, it was Frasier who was going to help him, but Kelsey Grammer got into rehab and was unable to perform the role for that episode.
- Real Time: Twice; in Season 1's "My Coffee With Niles" and Season 6's "Dinner Party".
- Really Gets Around: Roz.
"Even the best birth control is only effective ninety-nine out of a hundred times. I can't beat those odds!"
- Recycled Set: Using Frasier's apartment to represent the apartment of his new boss Todd Peterson (Alan Tudyk), whom he mentors in the matters of style and sophistication during "The Great Crane Robbery".
- Removed From the Picture: A portrait of Niles and Maris (unseen, of course). Following their separation, Niles hits the roof when he discovers he's been painted out.
- Well, technically not. Frasier, wincing, tells Niles not to look at the face of the skunk in the picture.
- Replacement Flat Character: former Trope Namer, The Niles.
- Lampshaded by Sam Malone.
Sam: (to Frasier) Wow... man, this is freaky. He looks just like you did when I met you. What happened, huh?
Frasier: (smiling) Wasn't exactly a health club you were running there, Sam.
- Reset Button: In "Taking Liberties", the family being spoiled rotten by Frasier's new butler doesn't teach them any lessons, and nor does it fail spectacularly; he just quits, having had a quiet Blithe Spirit experience of his own.
- Retcon: Back on Cheers, the only family Frasier ever mentioned were his mother and dead father, both scientists. Awkwardness ensues for Frasier when Sam meets his brother and father in season 2, at which point the issue is hand waved by a claim that he and Martin were fighting when he said that. It leads to this memorable quote, after Martin is first offended to learn he was "dead" but also a "scientist" as if Frasier were ashamed of his working-class job (cop) and Frasier retorts: "You were dead-what did it matter?"
- Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense: The Cranes, but especially Maris.
- Right Through the Wall: At least twice; once when Daphne is talking about how she shut up her loud neighbours by faking sex noises, and once when Frasier thinks Lilith is having sex in the next room, so moans and jumps on the bed so she thinks his sex is hotter than hers.
- Ripped from the Headlines: When driving home from work, Frasier notices a statuesque woman standing on a street corner. Being the gentleman he is, he offers her a lift. The moment she gets in his car, police lights flash, and he's arrested for soliciting a prostitute. In jail, he asserts that he was just giving her a ride, but the cops don't believe him. When Niles & Martin come to bail him out (disgusted that he would be so immoral) the prostitute is lead out of the other interrogation room, no longer wearing "her" wig, and apologizes (in a now more masculine voice) for getting Frasier in trouble. The look on all three of their faces is priceless.
Martin: (to Frasier) You're my son and I love you.
- This comes from an incident when Eddie Murphy was caught picking up a transexual hooker, and insisted that he was just giving her a ride home.
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies. In Ham Radio, Niles got so upset at Frasier's over-directing a radio play, he decided to take action.
Niles: Okay, that's it. Never mind all that. I'm just going to take this gun off the table. (fake gunshot) So long, O'Toole; I guess we'll never get to hear your fascinating piece of the puzzle. (two fake gunshots) Or yours, Kragan and Peppo! Could the McCallister sisters stand back to back? I'm a little short on bullets. (fake gunshot) Thank you. (to Roz) What was your name again, dear?
Roz: Mithuth Thorndyke. (fake gunshot)
Niles: Thank you. Oh, and also Mr. Wing. (fake gunshot, and sound of muted bell on Mr. Wing's hat) And, of course, one final bullet for myself, so the mystery will die with me. (fake gunshot. Niles taunts Frasier) HA.
- Romantic False Lead: A recurring scenario is Frasier having a romantic misadventure, so there are plenty of these. Donny and Mel, who were actually developed characters; plus numerous other minor characters such as Julia Wilcox.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: This ends up happening to an ad Niles places in the paper. Great Hilarity Ensues. Because of one simple typo resulting in one word being a different word than was intended ("hung" instead of "Jung"), the ad reads: "Niles Crane. Hung specialist. Servicing individuals, couples, groups. Satisfaction guaranteed. 'Tell me where it hurts.'"
Frasier: Any calls?
Niles: It's a telethon.
- Rousing Speech: In Frasier's mind EVERY speech and piece of advice he has given fits, but often other chracters will just tell him to be quiet. Sometimes played straight.
- It's played especially straight in the last episode.
- Rule of Funny: There is no "Daphne Lane" in Seattle where Niles could find a street sign to steal (nor Maple Street, the intersection where he tries), but obviously you'd lose this plot if it were realistic.
- Runaway Bride: Daphne, who abandons Donny and exits with Niles in a Winnebago during the second part of the two-part episode Something Borrowed, Someone Blue. However, they are decent enough to face up the their jilted lovers in the episodes that follow.
- Running Gag: Numerous.
- When Niles wants to leave a scene, he'll mention a seminar or group that he's got to visit, usually one that pertains to the very awkward situation he wants to leave, and wrapped up with some ironic remark. He's invariably lying, and starts running out of ideas after several seasons.
"I have to go, or my compulsive gamblers will start betting the passive aggressives that they can't make... the overeaters....... cry."
- Eddie staring at Frasier, especially when he's depressed or something in his life has gone horribly wrong.
- Daphne and Niles being caught in compromising positions.
- Frasier giving terrible advice on his show because he has been distracted, like falling asleep while listening to an insomniac, then waking up and telling her to sleep on her problem, or sprinting late into the studio and breathing heavily at a woman being frightened by harassing phone calls.
- The distaste the two brothers have for Martin's tatty but beloved easy chair.
- The possibility that Bebe is pure evil, if not actually the Devil incarnate.
Frasier: "She has no scruples, no ethics, and no reflection!"
Bebe: If things don't work out, you know my number.
Frasier: Still 666, is it?
- In The Devil And Dr Phil, Bebe's room number is 666.
- In the final episode "Goodbye, Seattle":
- In The Devil And Dr Phil, Bebe's room number is 666.
Frasier: I can't say I blame you, it's like the Ninth Circle of Hell out there!
(Bebe breezes in.)
Bebe: (cheerful) Don't you love this weather or what?
- In Roz's Turn, when Roz considers taking Bebe on as an agent:
Roz: It's not like she worships the Devil or anything.
Frasier: She doesn't have to! He worships her!
- Lilith's being cold and unemotional; even by Frasier.
Niles: I learned that if you kiss her too quickly, you get an ice cream headache.
- References to how thin and delicate Maris is.
Roz: I don't see her, maybe she went back out. Oh, wait. I see her coat on a hat rack.
Frasier: Look closer... is the hatrack moving?
Roz: Oh my GOD!
- Cheap shots at how "easy" Roz is, usually by Niles.
Roz: I'm helping Frasier find a man for Daphne.
Roz: Here we go! He's a tennis instructor, and his name is Brick.
Niles: Dear God, Frasier - Sven, Gunther, Brick? Why not just lather Daphne up with baby oil and hurl her over the wall of a prison yard?
Roz: Excuse me, but I've dated all these guys.
Niles: Well, where do you think I came up with the imagery?
- Martin's (often unexpected) references to his time in the Korean War.
- Also his incessant overexplaining of things that everyone already understands, even after they keep insisting that they already get it.
- Frasier's son Frederick's infatuation with Daphne, much to Niles' (hilarious) jealousy.
- Dinner parties thrown by the Cranes fail miserably and without exception. After season ten's Noodle Incident mentioned above, Daphne tries to buck the trend by planning one instead of Niles. Her party ends with her mother and a famous artist crashing through the ceiling on Niles' and Daphne's bed, proving that she married into the family curse.
- Martin's (often unexpected) references to his time in the Korean War.
Frasier: Congratulations, Daphne. You're now officially a Crane.
- Niles' nose bleeds when he tells a blatant lie.
- Sadly Mythtaken: a rare case of Frasier fudging (or at least not being characteristically pedantic about) a classical reference; he refers to a hot day as "like the "Ninth Circle of Hell". This is a reference to Dante's Inferno, where the Ninth Circle is described as being incredibly cold.
- Sassy Black Woman: Frasier's complete opposite "Doctor" Mary, who falls into the "pleasant" version of this trope. Frasier's impersonation of her for a role-playing exercise is such an offensive caricature of this trope it Crosses the Line Twice.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Something of a Recycled Script; seems the Cranes had no shortage of bullies.
- In one episode, Niles recognises the plumber who comes round to fix his toilet as a guy who bullied him at school, and Frasier advises him to settle the matter peacefully. He gives the affable ex-bully Epiphany Therapy that reveals his Freudian Excuse and elicits a tearful apology. Meanwhile, Frasier recognises the plumber's assistant as the guy who bullied him, and as the guy obliviously recounts all the prnaks he played on his personal Butt Monkey at school, Frasier gets angrier and angrier until he eventually dunks the guy's head down the toilet.
- Played with in another episode, where they find out a bully who they falsely accused of setting off a fire alarm got expelled as a result, and he's now in prison.
- Screaming Birth: The cabdriver in "Flour Child", Daphne in "Goodnight Seattle".
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Both Frasier and Niles scream like a girl.
- In the episode Boo!:
Frasier: That is not funny! You don't sneak up on someone and startle them!
Martin: First of all, it's very funny. And secondly, I only did it to prove a point.
Ronee: And you called it: he does scream like a woman.
Frasier: I do not scream like a woman. It was a manly throaty wail.
(Niles comes in the front door.)
Niles: Frasier, you may want to call security. As I got off the elevator, I heard a woman screaming hysterically.
- In the episode "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", after a womanly high pitched scream was heard.
Daphne: Are you all right?
Niles: Yes. I just jumped into bed with your mother.
Daphne: Oh, dear. No wonder she screamed.
Niles: That wasn't her.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Tobor, Jackson Headley's science-fiction character in The Show Must Go Off.
- Separated by a Common Language: There are plenty of "British Inherently Funny Words" jokes at Daphne's expense, some of them more accurate than others. "Bumbershoot", for example, is an old American slang term that would baffle anyone you tried it on in the UK. What's wrong with "brolly"?
- Serious Business: If Frasier or Niles are unhappy with something, no matter how insignificant and petty, they will go to any lengths to change it to suit their tastes.
- When Fredrick goes to the national spelling bee, they train him on posture, endurance and breathing, there are accusations of cheating, and it spills out into the streets.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: A lot of humor comes from Niles and especially Frasier speaking very formally:
Frasier: What is my offense? What egregious sin have I committed, that I should be so maligned? Was I to just sit idly by and watch these two misguided souls embark on doomed relationships? Would they have thanked me for that? Not very likely, I dare say.
Martin: Who moved the mustard?
- Seven Minute Lull: Used whenever there was a party, or other gathering of some sort.
- Share the Male Pain: In one episode, Martin, Frasier, and Niles take Eddie to the vet to get fixed. During the procedure, all three can be seen cradling their crotches.
- Ship Tease: Frasier and Roz get this during a later episode, the scene card is titled 'Like Two Ships Sinking In The Night' Which becomes relevant after Kenny intrudes on them, making them realize it was all a mistake just before they made it.
- Shout-Out: A subtle one in "Flour Child"--the cab the cabbie gives birth in is number 804, the same number as the one in the Taxi titles and that crashes and burns in the first season finale. The creators of Taxi also created Frasier progenitor Cheers.
- The Show Must Go On: The "Ham Radio" episode.
- Show Within a Show: Many, most notably The Frasier Crane Show, The Gonzo Sports Show (Bulldog's show), and Restaurant Beat (Gil's show), but also several unnamed others featuring other KACL presenters, like Ray the Greengrocer and Trudy the Story Lady.
- The Shrink: Frasier, of course. And Niles.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: First kiss of Niles and Daphne.
- Frasier's explanation of his passionate kiss of KACL station manager Kate Costas in The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl.
Frasier: You just kept talking and talking and talking, and I guess that mouth of yours just ticked me off so much I just had to have it!
- Lampshaded by Frasier in "Analyzed Kiss" when kissed by Julia.
Frasier: What was that?
Frasier: You kissed me.
Julia: I was trying to shut you up.
Frasier: Oh, no. I've been kissed to shut me up before. This was not that.
- Later in the episode:
Frasier: Take your time, work things out. I’m not going anywhere. I realize that you’re in a vulnerable place right now, and that...
(Julia puts one arm around his neck and gives him a quick peck on the lips.)
Frasier: Oh, I recognize that one. That was to shut me up.
- Sibling Rivalry: Niles and Frasier, 'and HOW.
- Sibling Team: Especially common in the earlier seasons, Frasier and Niles would often pool their knowledge and resources in a joint venture such as a restaurant or investment opportunity, that would then backfire with farcical results. They even wrote a series of crime novels as children, in the style of Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys.
Roz: "... The Nancy Boys?"
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Inverted - Frasier and Niles are very similiar. It's their dad they clash with.
- Side Bet - Niles and Martin, after finding out Lilith's husband has left her... for a man.
- Significant Reference Date: The date of the pilot is subtly referenced throughout the series. For example, in the fifth season, Martin says he hasn't seen his brother in five years.
- A Simple Plan: That often backfires because Frasier and Niles build up hundreds of assumptions without resolving the entire issue by simply asking questions of the people involved.
- Daphne defied that once or twice by directly asking the people in question when she realized what Frasier and Niles were going to do.
- Also double subverted on occasion where Daphne would suggest this course of action to Frasier or Niles and be ridiculed and dismissed.
- Daphne defied that once or twice by directly asking the people in question when she realized what Frasier and Niles were going to do.
- Sitcom Arch Nemesis: Cam Winston. They eventually sign a truce, which is less complex than peace treaties signed by some warring nations.
- Sleeping Single: Niles and Maris.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: A lot of the friction between Martin and his sons comes from his down-to-earth demeanour contrasted with their haughty, status-seeking attitudes. Over time some of their differences were resolved.
- Slow No: Frasier provides a hilarious example at the end of season six when his latest Snowball Lie is exposed.
- Small Reference Pools: Inverted with gusto.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter!: At points of great dispair both Frasier and Niles have resorted to cursing the heavens.
(a cricket keeps chirping in Frasier's apartment)
Frasier: Dear God, can't you make him shut up?!
Martin: (muttering) That prayer doesn't get answered around here.
- Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: The newsvendor in "The Focus Group". Frasier just has to know why.
- Something Else Also Rises: All the time with Niles and Daphne. Such as when he spilled cream all over one of the tables at Cafe Nervosa.
- In Daphne Hates Sherry, Daphne is staying over at Niles' apartment, and he walks over to his stereo to turn on some music when Daphne mentions that she needs to get out of her hot, sweaty clothes. Cue Niles hitting the Eject Disc button.
- "Doctor Crane! Your glockenspiel has sprung to life!"
- Sophisticated As Hell: Niles, often.
Niles: Look, I know I don't have your total support in this, but -- how shall I put this?
Frasier: You don't care?
Niles: If you could work the phrase "rat's ass" into there, you'd have it.
- Frasier gets in on this as well.
Frasier: Bebe, throughout our relationship, I have put up with a lot, but I never doubted for an instant your devotion to my career. Apparently, that is at an end and so, therefore, is my association with this agency. And screw, may I add, you!
- Spoiled Brat: Maris.
- Spin-Off: Arguably the most successful in TV history, running longer and receiving even more acclaim than Cheers, which itself was already one of the most popular sitcoms ever.
- Status Quo Is God: The series has flipped between playing the trope straight and inverting it. For example, the end of Season Five has the radio personalities getting fired. Frasier, however, is never able to find a permanent girlfriend so he can remain a bachelor. Ditto Martin, until the end of the series when it doesn't matter anymore.
- Stop Being Stereotypical: This occasionally happens to Frasier and Niles, when they're around people even more snooty than themselves. Emphasis on the occasionally, and it should be mentioned that they're not so much bothered by extreme snobbishness as much as stereotypically insincere snobbishness -- they have a genuine passion for all things high-cultured, intellectual, and ultra-refined, from academia to literature and the arts to proper ettiquette to haute cuisine, and are disgusted by people who fake it.
- Straight Gay: Short-term station manager Tom Duran, leading to a classic misunderstanding when Frasier invites him over to meet Daphne.
- Stripper Cop Confusion: Officer Nasty in "To Thine Old Self Be True", where Frasier attempts to organize a saucy bachelor party for Donny.
- Stunt Casting: Parodied. The people who call in to Frasier's radio show are usually famous celebrities, but you'd never know unless you tune in to the closing credits.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Frasier accidentally walking in on his old professor wearing a pink satin robe, scarring him for days. Although when he gives it some serious thought he decides it's more down to seeing a respected mentor in a sexual context than latent homosexuality.
- Such a Phony: Roz in "Shut Out In Seattle", Frasier in "Hot Ticket", many, many others.
- Suddenly Shouting: Frasier does this a lot.
Frasier: This morning you said you two met on a double date.
Roz: Oh that's right, we did meet on a double date!
Frasier: THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!!!
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: A mainstay throughout the series's run.
- Roz swears that she did not use Frasier's opera glasses to peep on a muscular neighbor, which leads to this hilarious pun from Frasier:
Frasier: I refuse to squint through Pagliacci while you're trying to watch The Magic Flute!
- Roz: "Going to a wedding with your boss is like going to the prom with your brother." Frasier: "Niles and I did NOT go to the prom together!"
- Often, while the Cranes are talking about something in the apartment, Daphne tosses out her own opinions, speculations and stories while going about her duty... a lot of which give the impression that this happened in her childhood. Sometimes she even finishes with a line like "Oh, I miss <insert family member>."
- Sweater Girl: One of Frasier's girlfriends was said to really fill out a mohair sweater in high school.
- Take Our Word for It: Maris, when it became clear that no actual appearance of her could match the stories.
- "The Show Where Woody Shows Up": In an homage to The Taming of the Shrew, Frasier describes the karaoke night with Gil, Noel and Woody ending in a rousing number of "Anything You Can Do." Subverted during the credits gag, when we see (but not hear) Gil and Noel's drunken duet.
- Hilariously subverted with the painting of Niles as a satyr. For most of the episode, the face of the painting is kept away from the viewer - only to have the state trooper reveal it at the end when he seizes it as evidence since Maris used it as part of a gambit to flee the US to avoid her trial.
- Talk About the Weather
- The Tell: Niles' nose bleeds when he's broken his ethical code. Likewise, when Frasier has knowingly broken his ethical code, he starts having attacks of nausea.
- Temporary Substitute: Ties in with A Day in the Limelight.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Perfectly understandable in a show featuring two psychiatrists. Frasier's declarations can become particularly epic.
- That One Case: The Weeping Lotus Case. Solved by Martin, with "help" from Frasier and Daphne, during Season 2.
- That Was Not a Dream. "Frasier Crane's Day Off". Daphne inverts, subverts and Lampshades the Trope after Frasier raced to the studio in a fever and drug induced mania and made an utter fool of himself on the air (Roz: "Captain Kirk's got control of the bridge and he's gone insane.") When Frasier wakes up, Daphne reassures him it didn't happen and it was all a dream.
- This Is Sparta: In the episode "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon", after being insulted by Niles, Frasier declares, "I. AM. WOUNDED!"
- Three Is Company
- Too Awesome to Use: Played straight, then touchingly subverted with the 1945 Château Pétrus in "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue".
- Touche: "Well played, God."
- Totally Radical: Whenever Frasier or Niles try to be "cool," this is inevitably the result.
- Tsundere: Lana
- TV Genius: Depending on who wrote the episode, can be subverted, averted or played straight.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: The majority of the episodes have this structure. Typically, there's the main A plot and the secondary B plot, one of them focusing on Frasier and the other on one of the four other major characters. The main plot isn't necessarily about Frasier, though: Niles especially gets plenty of A plots as his character becomes more rounded.
- Uncle Frasier Wants You: Frasier was dressed as Uncle Sam in Crock Tales.
Frasier: Dad, I bought you these headphones, so that I wouldn't be subjected to your sports drivel. Please put them on.
Martin: All right, I will. But only if you say it.
(Frasier sighs and points his finger at Martin.)
Frasier: I WANT YOU... to wear those headphones!
- Underdressed for the Occasion: Martin is rejected from a restaurant for failing to wear a tie. He gets even.
- The Unfettered: Bebe Glazer. She will do anything to see Frasier's career thrive. Risk falling off a window ledge, kill a crane via a jawbreaker, manipulate Frasier and any one else, she'll do it. Only when Bebe has to quit smoking does she temporarily stop being unfettered.
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Niles, Daphne, and Mel.
- The Un-Reveal: A season 4 episode has Frasier worrying about whether he should advise Niles to reconcile with Maris. He decides that if he wants to know what Maris thinks he's going to have to "go to the source". Cut to him in Cafe Nervosa, apparently waving hello to a thin, well-dressed blonde woman... who walks straight past him. He's actually there to meet Maris's housekeeper, Marta.
- Unusual Euphemism: Done straight on occasion, usually with Frasier and Niles' expansive vocabulary and literary wit. Sometimes played with, as seen in with the Gagino reference in Poor Man's Porn above.
Frasier: Truth be told, it’s been a while since, I, uh... (covers Alice’s ears) romped with abandon through the perfumed gardens of Eros.
Roz: Next time you say something like that, cover my ears.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: Frasier often does this on his show.
- Vignette Episode: At least once
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Both Frasier and Niles and Frasier and Roz. Though obviously close, the characters were certainly not above needling each other about their foibles.
- Volleying Insults: Tying in with the above, both pairings aren't afraid to have polite slinging matches with each other when sufficiently riled. Then there's Niles and Roz, who do it sincerely at first, then make a sport of it long after they've warmed up to each other.
- Roz and Julia during the tenth season, including one hysterical scene in which they try complimenting each other and end up hurling insults - and loving it.
Julia: Well, you certainly made an impression on me. I remember, I kept thinking: "Who did she sleep with to get this job?" And then I found out. Everybody!
Roz: That's a good one! [they laugh] You know, there's a plunger in the bathroom, what do you say we go look for your career?
Julia: Great! While we're in there I can get your phone number.
Roz: Don't bother, it's 1-800-BITE ME.
Julia: "Bite me," that's the best that you've got?
Roz: Oh, I could spend half an hour on your hair.
Julia: Well, you should have spent half an hour on your hair.
Roz: Oh, really? (They laugh.)
Waitress: It's closing time, ladies, I'm afraid you'll have to leave.
Roz: But we're just warming up.
Julia: You know, there's a place down the street that, uh, is open all night.
Roz: Just like your mouth?
Julia: Just like your legs? (Julia leaves.)
Roz: Hey, wait up!
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: Initially it appears this trope is to be used, but it is later subverted.
- Weapon for Intimidation: In one episode, Niles needs to get Maris a gun for protection. After not being able to procure one, he buys a starter's pistol since having any kind of gun would make her feel safe.
- Wedding Day: Several.
- Wham! Line: Frasier is high on painkillers as Daphne gives him a massage in Back Talk. The following lines even shocked the studio audience, who gave out a loud GASP
- What makes Frasier's line particularly whammy is that it comes in the middle of a comedy of misunderstandings plot (Daphne overhears Frasier saying he loves her, not realizing he didn't mean it in a romantic sense), which were very typical of Frasier, and which were usually resolved by the end of the episode so that status quo could return. The viewers most likely didn't predict that a simple line in a seemingly throwaway scene in a seemingly generic episode would finally lead to resolving the UST between Niles and Daphne that had been going on for over six seasons.
- Later, after Frasier tells Niles that Daphne is in love with him in the second part of Something Borrowed, Someone Blue, another wham line caused the studio audience to GASP! again, even more shocked. After Daphne told Niles how upset she was that Frasier told him how she felt about him, Niles responded, "No, Daphne, I'm glad he told me - because I love you."
- In Halloween, when everyone is speculating on who Roz's father is, after Frasier blows the secret that Roz might be pregnant.
Frasier: No! Listen, everybody, I am not the father of Roz's baby! In fact, we don't even know for sure if there is a baby!
Roz: (appearing) We do now.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In one episode, Roz says she accidentally ran her car into a limousine that happened to have four high-powered lawyers in it, and that she'll be paying for the damages for a very long time. It never gets brought up again after that.
- In another episode, it's revealed that Martin regularly goes to to the parole hearings of the man who shot him. The episode ends on an unusually somber note, when Martin is asked if he wants to make a statement, he stands up and says, "I've got nothing to say," then leaves. He does this even though both the man and his mother had told Martin he's changed his ways and now repents his criminal actions. This subplot is never followed in later episodes, and Martin is never shown going to the parole hearing again.
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The wonderfully named Bad Billy's in "The Doctor Is Out".
Niles: (reading the suggestively shaped sign) Bad Billy's. What sort of place do you think that is?
Frasier: (reading a poster on the wall) Well, let's see; Tuesday is leather night, so it's probably some sort of shoe outlet. It's a gay bar you idiot!
[Niles mouths "I know that".]
- Where There's a Will, There's a Sticky Note - in one episode, Frasier asks Niles and Martin to label any possessions of his they'd like to inherit in the event of his death.
- Frasier finds a sticky note on his expensive bathrobe, labeled "Niles". He mutters, "The vultures are circling."
- Whole-Episode Flashback: A popular narrative technique which was used often. Most notably in the penultimate episode Crock Tales where an inanimate object is the basis for multiple flashbacks in different time periods of the show.
- Will They or Won't They?: Niles and Daphne.
- Wine Is Classy: Shows up often. Frasier and Niles are even part of a wine club.
- Word Salad Lyrics: The Ending Theme, and some of its variations make it even more so. Amusingly, said Word Salad Lyrics involve an actual salad.
- The meaning of the lyrics, though whimsical, could be applied to Frasier's profession. Tossed salad can't be un-tossed and scambled eggs can't be un-scrambled, just like some neurotic people can't be cured -- even by a psychiatrist.
- Word of God, by the way, is that the "tossed salad and scrambled eggs" really is meant to be a relatively nice way of referring to some of his patients.
- Worthless Foreign Degree: After Dr. Schachter gives the Crane brothers a virulent "The Reason You Suck" Speech regarding their Sibling Rivalry ("That is it! That is it! In thirty years as a couples therapist, I've never said what I'm about to say: Give up! It's hopeless! You are pathologically mistrustful of each another, competitive to the point of madness! So, trust me, just meet each other at weddings and funerals, and the rest of the time, stay the hell away from each other!"), they seize upon the fact that he went to the Universities of Grenada and Aruba ("An all-Caribbean schooling...well tally me banana!") as an excuse to ignore his advice, since they don't want to admit they love each other too much to stay apart.
- X Called. They Want Their Y Back.: Frasier's comment to the teenage daughter of one of his dates in "Can't Buy Me Love".
- You Look Familiar: John Mahoney appeared as hack songwriter Sy Flemback in the canonically related Cheers, Peri Gilpin (Roz) appeared in Cheers as a reporter and in Wings (where Frasier once appeared) as a blind date. A number of one-shot guest stars from Cheers, Wings, and The Tortellis (the other Cheers spinoff) showed up on Frasier as well.
- Wings regulars Tony Shalhoub and Rebecca Schull show up as unrelated one-shot characters in "The Focus Group" and "The Winnebago Show", respectively.
- Jennifer Tilly appeared as a sweet, bouncy nympho with a heart of gold in Cheers, then appeared as a sweet, bouncy nympho with a heart of gold in Frasier.
- Wings regulars Tony Shalhoub and Rebecca Schull show up as unrelated one-shot characters in "The Focus Group" and "The Winnebago Show", respectively.
- You Need to Get Laid: This strikes all of the cast members at least once in the series.
- Frasier tends to suffer this the entire series. In the appropriately named episode "Frasier Gotta Have It", when he earns a sexual fling with nutty artist Caitlin, Roz asks him an important question:
Roz: For as long as I've known you, you've been complaining about your lack of a sex life. Suddenly, you have one. So why are you still complaining?
- Niles in "Look Before You Leap" is tantalized by Maris' rare offer of sex that he starts hitting on every female he sees, including Roz.
Frasier: It’s high time you and Maris sat down and talked through your problems.
Niles: (excited) She doesn’t want to talk. When she says “get together” she means in the “You wear the crème fraiche, I’ll lick it off” sense. She’s cleared her schedule from seven till seven-thirty, that means foreplay AND cuddling!
- Roz in Crock Tales bemoans her lack of a sex life.
Roz: Used to be I’d go out and get a little wild on my birthday. Now I go out and get a little dinner.
Frasier: There’s nothing wrong with dinner.
Roz: I know, but it used to come with sex.
Daphne: Oh, come on, Roz, sounds like you need a drink.
Roz: Oh, that used to come with sex, too.
- Daphne has a ton of dry spells; once it was the plot to "The Matchmaker", in which Frasier connives to introduce her to the new KACL station owner, who, unbeknownst to Frasier or Daphne, is gay.
- Inverted in one episode where Frasier has for once cheerfully accepted being single and just decided to roll with it for a while... prompting everyone else to decide they need to set him up out of concern. Their efforts inevitably just make things worse, but he ends up meeting a nice lady completely by accident.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame. Every time Bulldog expresses pride in any one of Frasier's embarrassing public sex scandals.
- In The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl, Frasier has just had sex live on the air, making the papers ("I Won't Fink Says Kinky Shrink").
Bulldog: Doc? I got one thing to say to you.
Frasier: Go ahead, take your best shot.
Bulldog: (admiration) I am so proud of you man.
(Bulldog hugs Frasier warmly.)
Frasier: (dripping with sarcasm) Well, doesn't that just put the cherry on the parfait.
- In The Harrassed:
Roz: Hey, Frasier! Thanks for ruining my weekend.
Frasier: Oh, Roz... come on, you know it was just a mistake. What do you think I am, some kind of disgusting Lothario?
Bulldog: Hey, there's my man!
(Frasier has a priceless look of despair on his face.)
- When Niles covered for Frasier:
Bulldog: Hey, Dr. Doolittle. I heard your show. It didn't suck!
Niles: Ah. "Dear diary..."
- ↑ The caller's name was Eileen, if you didn't figure it out.