Cheers Chats #12: One For The Road

We’re back! And with the last Cheers Chats of the year/series! We made it to the finale! Give us prizes for even making it this far!

Episode 11.26: One For The Road

Originally aired: May 20, 1993

Previously on Cheers

(Brief synopsis of what happened prior to this episode)

T: It’s been legit two episodes since November’s Cheers Chats went down, and not much has changed. Except continuity problems.

M: Two episodes, yet I struggled to catch up before this post as though we’d skipped two years. Remember how good the pilot was ? It has not been that good.

T: Woody is back as a bartender because the city council thing just never happened? And I guess his wife is still preggo? But also Rebecca continues to be an unapologetic gold digger, but after some convincing by Frasier, allows herself to go on a date with a plumber (Tom Berenger) and she thinks they’re going to get married now. But in the last episode, Sam admitted he had been thinking about settling down for real – again, these two continue to not be a romantic couple but act like it – and suggested Rebecca be his backup plan. She was insulted and shot back that he’s not the marrying kind and will always be seen as a playboy. This leads to Frasier suggesting he’s a sex addict and refers him to a “sexual compulsives” therapy group. Seriously. Frasier is putting out fires left and right. No wonder he got a spin-off.

M: The secondary characters (read: not “young” and “attractive” by Cheers standards) don’t have any development, which is a thing I didn’t realize I couldn’t stand about Cheers until I just wrote it down right now.

T: Carla is back to being a waitress because Woody is bartender again, Lillith and Frasier are together still, I guess, even though we haven’t seen her in a while, and Cliff and Norm continue to never change.

Chit-Chat Club

(Off-topic Cheers chatter.)

T: I must admit, even though I’ve had a tenuous relationship with this show over the past few seasons (aka few months), I’m looking forward to seeing how they wrap this whole thing up. I hope they circle back to season one writing and relationships instead of continuing down whatever hell path it was on the last 3 or 4 seasons. Also, Diane comes back, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO HER RETURN.

M: NO WAY, DIANE?! OK, I am back to wanting Sam and Diane to get together, if only because Sam was at his best when he was with her.

T: I just noticed Netflix wants to make sure we know that “This series won 28 Primetime Emmy Awards and was ranked by TV Guide as the 18th greatest series of all time”. Ok thanks, Netflix. Didn’t know how acclaimed Cheers was until now.

M: Which raises the question: why? and HOW? And was there other stuff on TV? I talk a lot of smack about the year 2016, but we truly live in a golden age of television. We both went into Cheers fully expecting to love it after the pilot, and got more and more disenchanted as the years went on. But you know what? It’s finally all over.

T: PS: The finale is a three-parter on Netflix. Like an hour and a half, which I’m assuming translated into a two-hour finale when it was broadcast back in ‘93??

M: Three. Freaking. Parts.

Netflix synopsis

Pt. 1: Sam and Diane reconnect after years apart, and they each attempt to convince each other that their love lives have gone well after their breakup.

Pt. 2: Woody hires Nor for a city job. Cliff gets a promotion. Plumber Don (LOL) asks Rebecca to marry him. Sam and Diane announce big news at the bar.

Pt. 3: Sam and Diane contemplate their future together. Sam returns to the bar for one of the most famous closing scenes in television history. (it got meta at the end of that)

What Had Happened Was

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

T: Ok, so Woody’s goodbye involves his last day at Cheers because they’re actually going through with his City Councilman plot.

M: Don proposes to Rebecca. How long has Don even been here? Anyway, Rebecca says no by accident.

T: As the Cheers gang is watching the Cable Ace Awards, it turns out Diane is not only nominated, but she wins for Best Writing of a Movie or Miniseries (LOL Diane WOULD win a Cable Ace Award) for something called The Heart Held Hostage. Frasier immediately noticed it’s THE Diane and Sam decides to get in contact with her to congratulate her. It turns into an invite for her to come back to Cheers so they can catch up.

T: Sam and Diane each pretend to be married with kids, but they’re both lying to each other. They end up back together again. Meanwhile, Woody’s getting ready to be City Councilman, Norm gets a job working for him, Cliff gets a promotion, and Carla blames herself for whatever Sam does with Diane.

The Luke Danes of the 1980s

Definition of Your Fave (Character and Show) Is Problematic:

Number of times Sam says “Sweetheart” to Rebecca: 5

Number of times Sam says “Honey” to Rebecca: 2

Number of times Sam says “Sweetheart” to Diane:

Number of times Sam says “Honey” to Diane: 1

Carla’s My Boo

T: Even though Rebecca is dating this plumber Don, Carla continues to hit on him, because he’s definitely her type and not Rebecca’s. She’s ruthless.

Rebecca: Come on, Carla, this happens to be my guy.

Carla: Yeah, well, I can fix that in ten minutes. Five- if I use jumper cables and a wet towel. (I honestly don’t even get this ‘joke’)

Carla: See, I was born with only one erogenous zone, and unfortunately, it covers my entire body.

M: I don’t remember Carla being the type to literally drape herself across a table from a man who is engagement-level involved with someone else, but that’s just how women are written on Cheers, I guess.

T: Carla notices Sam wasn’t at Woody’s swearing in, and realizes the last time she saw him, he was with “Miss Robin Deadbreast”. She then laments that she “let down my guard” and anything that happens between Sam and Diane is now her fault. I love you Carla, but give it a rest.

Carla: Lovely to see you.

Diane: Thank you.

Carla: When will you be leaving?

Shut Up, Diane

(RETURNING SEGMENT! We just have a feeling we’re going to be saying Shut Up, Diane at our screens KIND OF A LOT.)

Diane isn’t even physically in the bar for her return, only on TV, and she still manages to be annoying.

*While watching the Cable Ace Awards*

Frasier: Can it be? Is it really her?

Diane: Thank you all. And thank you, cable television, for allowing those of us who eschew the pap and pablum of commercial television to sing, to dance, to write and to listen to the whispers of our muses. Although sometimes the voices of Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania are too soft to be heard. Forgive me, gals, if I forgot someone.

Fraiser: God, is it her.

Diane, continuing her acceptance speech: “Thanks to my parents for conceiving and bearing me… Thanks to the Amazon Rain Forest for providing me and you, ladies and gentlemen, with 40% of our oxygen. The devastation must end!… Thanks to you, Sylvia Plath.Let me say this; your tragic story will be my next project. It was Dr. Wendell Burgoyne who was my creative writing teacher (orchestra plays her off) My entire script was written on recycled paper! ::she literally gets pulled off stage as music plays::

T: I can’t express how perfect that speech was for Diane. And her first monologue since she left the show!

M: As she’s getting dragged off stage she says “you have to be taught to hate!” AHAHAHAHA. Shelley Long is so great, and Diane is at her most hilarious when she’s a proto – Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party; the writers just never hit their stride with her. It made me realize how much I’ve missed Diane. I also loved the delicious irony in the Cheers gang only seeing Diane win because they’re ogling Kim Alexis.

Diane: “I’ve been asked to speak at almost all my alma maters.”

(Pt. 3) Diane, with Sam as they take off in a plane together (more on this later): Isn’t this the perfect beginning for our lives together? Taking flight. Speeding down the runway side by side, until we lift from the ground, leaving far beneath us the tedium of ordinary life, to soar into the bright, unlimited future.

“When I went away to finish my novel, I promised to come back to you in six months. And I meant to. But well once the book was finished, the publishers didn’t want it. I never figured out why exactly. But then my agent suggested that I trim a couple of thousand pages and make it a screenplay.” Edit, Diane. Edit.

Woody the Simpleton

To reiterate, Woody was elected to City Council. That’s a thing that happened. So imagine Diane’s surprise when she found out her simpleton friend had been elected to public office.

Diane: Hello, Woody.

Woody: Well, hi, Miss Chambers.

Diane: What’s new in your life?

Woody: Oh, well, you know, I, uh, got married, and I’m gonna have a kid.

Diane: Wonderful!

Woody: Yeah. Oh, also I just got elected to the Boston City Council.

Diane: How nice… And I’m next in line for the throne of England.

Honestly, that’s a fair response.

M: Between last Cheers Chats and this one I saw Edge of Seventeen, and now I’m a Woody Harrelson stan. Woody practices his speech: “I will make…. change.” Anyway he totally sounds like he can be an elected official in 2016, so I buy this plot device.

T: The good news is that Woody gets Norm a job at City Hall! And Woody is relishing in the fact that Norm is working for him now and it’s great.

Becky with the Good Hair

T: Apparently Rebecca is still dating plumber Don and she’s obsessed with him, but when he asks her, she says no, like it’s Tourette’s or something. To be fair they’ve been dating for approx 32 minutes in TV time.

Becky does NOT have the good hair

M: “This is the dress I lost my guy in. If you hear screaming inside, just keep drinking” – Rebecca instantly turns into the Miss Havisham of Cheers.

Pt. 2

T: Rebecca, in shambles and in lying mode for Sam, is killing me with her facts about their made up family. She’s a corporate lawyer for “Emerson, Lake and Palmer” (which is a rock band, you millennials) and she specializes in product liability cases. As for their kids, Sam has to give Rebecca hints, like holding up a fork to signify “Darby is four”, while Sam Jr. is 5, Newton is 3, and “ are “little two-year-old Chelsea, she’s one.” It’s the most poorly developed lie.

M: Don proposes while Rebecca is still being Sam’s fake wife. Diane is aghast. Rebecca: “oh, Sam, you don’t mind, do you?”

T: Rebecca and Plumber Don got married at City Hall. She immediately regrets “marrying a plumber”.

M: They run off to the justice of the peace “before we could change our minds,” uh oh.

Pt. 3

“I shoot for Donald Trump and I end up with Ed Norton.” Rebecca on husband/plumber Don. We can’t fucking get away from this guy.

M: Fun fact: Cheers is so old that they’re referencing Ed Norton the Honeymooners character not Edward Norton the actor, which for some reason is the moment it hits home for me how long ago this was. Either Ed Norton would be preferable to DT, anyway.

Little Ditty About Sam & Diane

T: If Diane’s back, you know she’s gonna have some quality scenes with Sam. It all starts after Sam sees Diane win a Cable Ace Award, he says he wants to send her a telegram. A TELEGRAM. It is 1993, not 1960.  

this is the first and only visual effect they've ever had on the show and it's jarring

this is the first and only visual effect they’ve ever had on the show and it’s jarring

T: Sam is trying to save face when he talks to Diane (Give me a ring sometime, much?), and tells her he’s married (because she ‘didn’t expect him to wait around for her’) and has kids too. Then Diane says she’s married to “Reed” and got children too – 3. Sam has “four”. I hope this is going where I think it is.

M: “I wanted to bring the children, but they’re at school […] I wanted to meet your wife, is she about?” First of all, how long has Diane been gone?! Second, she talks like a prim elderly piano teachers till. Third, I guess I really, really missed Sam and Diane.

Pt. 2

T:  Oh dear God. Sam pretends to be married to Rebecca, who is in shambles because she said no to Plumber Don’s proposal.

M: “After losing the only man I ever loved, lunch should hit the spot” – why couldn’t Rebecca have been this funny the whole time?

T: Diane’s “husband”, Reed Manchester shows up and I’m still not completely convinced he’s real.

T: Sam’s look when Don proposes to Rebecca and she says yes while they’re still keeping up the marriage ruse during lunch with Diane and Reed.

sam got caught and he knows there's nothing he can do about it

sam got caught and he knows there’s nothing he can do about it




T: Sam tells Diane they’re just a “mismatch” for each other, and I still don’t believe these idiots, who continue to lie to themselves. Also, it’s worth noting I truly have no idea if they end up together or not. I don’t even know a single thing that happens in this finale.

M: If Sam and Diane aren’t endgame I wasted a year watching this show – which granted, is better than watching 10 years if I watched it in real time.

T: Sam and Diane are back together again and they announce they’re getting married – much to the non-amusement of the Cheers gang. I get their doubts.

M: It’s just, why does everyone go from zero to marriage in this show?

Pt. 3

T:  Sam says he’s moving to California with Diane, who promised she’d help him get a job at the “juice bar in her health club.”

Frasier: Well, I had no idea you had such exciting prospects. By all means go for it, Sam! Here’s kiwi in your eye!

T:  So Sam is really gung ho about leaving Boston to start a new life with Diane, but everyone else is against it. Frasier is lit’rally yelling at him, saying, “The two of you had a relationship whose best moments were full of anguish and self-loathing. After ten hours with this woman, you want to give up your life, your livelihood, and move with her to California?!”

M: I don’t think Sam needs to stay to babysit everyone, I just have a lot of logistical questions about this move, is all.

T:  Sam defends himself by saying he’s always had everyone else’s back even when they made mistakes (even though he insists moving with Diane isn’t going to be a “mistake”) and shipping aside, I am on Sam’s side on this one. Norm asks, “What about us?” and lest we forget, after Sam and Diane broke up six years ago, he sold the bar and lived on his boat for months, which is how Rebecca took over. And everyone is still alive and at Cheers. They’ll survive.


CARLA: Sammy I can’t believe this is happening.

SAM: Yeah, I can’t either, Carla. Yeah, after all the cheer leading I’ve done for you guys, even when I knew you were making mistakes.

CARLA: Oh, so you want us to return the favor?

SAM: Yes, yes, I do And I’m not making a mistake.

NORM: Sammy what’s gonna happen to us?

SAM: Come on, you guys. I mean, all you fellas do is just sit there and watch the world go by. You don’t need me for that. I want to get off the bench, you know? I want to get in the game.

CARLA: So, you just gonna desert us? You gonna just walk out, like a traitor?

SAM: A traitor? I need more than this! You know, you should need more than this! I am not your mother! This is not your home! This is ridiculous. Come on, let’s just get out of here, you know? We got a plane to catch. Thank you very much for all your best wishes, fellas, and for making it clear that I’m doing the right thing.

T:  Sam and Diane on a plane delay bc of the electrical system is v Friends phalange. Sam hallucinates the pilot is telling him to reconsider his choice of leaving with Diane, while Diane hallucinates the flight attendant makes her question the same thing.

The plane’s Captain, speaking directly to Diane’s current problem: I’m sorry folks, but I’m afraid we’re gonna be returning to the terminal. We’ll have you disembark and arrange for you to take an alternate flight. Maybe we’re being a little overcautious, but we don’t want to make a mistake about something this important. Sorry.

T:  When Sam comes back to the bar, no one wants to hang out and smoke Cuban cigars with him, seemingly because of the harsh words he said before leaving with Diane. But they all come back and admit they were joking with him. Diane called the bar before he got there to tell them what happened, and they’re all there to support him and *cheer* him up. It is tender.

“Here you are a washed-up ballplayer, alcohol problem…. Sex problem… Lost your one true love… Twice…No apology necessary.”


The moments that made us literally laugh out loud

T: Carla hears Diane’s voice on the TV and immediately stops in her tracks. Instead of telling her that she really did hear Diane’s voice on the TV, the gang convinces Carla it’s a hallucination. Pt. 2 But when Diane shows up later, Carla let’s out a bloodcurdling scream *Sam stifles it then passes her off to Woody*

Diane: How did you find me?

Sam: Uh, Frasier, uh, you know, has a colleague who’s kind of a shrink to the stars in L.A.

Diane: Oh, well, I’d hardly call myself a star.

Sam: Well, I didn’t say you were.


Norm: Sammy Why did you invite her here when you’re lying about being married?

Sam: You kidding me? She’ll never show up here. Besides, she’s the one who’s lying about being married.

Norm: How do you know?

Sam: Because I know the woman. I know she’s lying. Fortunately, I also know that she knows that I know she’s lying, which is why she’ll never dare show her face in Boston.

Norm: She’s coming.

This is the prequel to:

Pt. 2

Frasier: Hello, Diane.

Diane: Hello, Frasier. You’re looking well.

Frasier: I’m feeling well. I’m happily married with a bright young son and a successful practice. But, you know, what’s most important and I just realized it this moment is I’m over you.

Diane: I’m glad.

Frasier: There’s absolutely nothing here anymore. I’m over you. You could be a total stranger for all I’m feeling. You could be ugly and gnarled and toothless without that shining hair, those dancing eyes, these graceful, supple limbs. Thank God I’m free.

Diane: Frasier, you’re hurting me.

Frasier: Well, you never hurt me, did you?! Anyway, good to see you.

*Stay pressed, Fras.*

M: For some reason the exchange below made me laugh out loud, at least in part for Diane’s wide-eyed, Dorothy Gale-style delivery:

Diane: Norman, Clifford. You’re exactly the way I remember you.

Cliff: Well, uh, looks can be deceiving there, Diane. I mean, our-our lives have changed in innumerable ways.

Diane: How so?

Cliff: Well, uh, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

T:  I wouldn’t say it’s a true LLOL, but the classic sitcom trope of ridiculous things happening when someone leaves a room and things happen without them:

Barfly Paul notes he’s never around when the good stuff happens. He goes to the bathroom.

*Plumber Don carrying Rebecca down the stairs and proclaiming his love for her before they go make out on the swan boats in the Garden.

*Reed chases Kevin down the stairs and tries to convince him he’s not cheating on him with Rebecca (although it seems like Reed has had his own fair share of legit affairs)

Pt. 3

Woody: Well, for one thing, none of you call me Huckleberry. I hate being called Huckleberry.

Norm: That’s your nickname, Wood?

Woody: No, Woody is.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

T: Frasier on Woody starting his job as city councilman: Oh, yes, the beginning of your political career. It started out as a small joke and turned into an enormous one.

Sam: This week I’m not gonna think about sex at all or even hear about or talk about anything remotely sexual.

Rebecca: Sam, it’s about my love life.

Sam: Yeah, that should be safe.

Pt. 3

Frasier: You know, no one wants to be the first to say it, but I’m not ashamed to admit what I think we’re all feeling. Time goes by so fast. People move in and out of your life. You must never miss an opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you. Well, I I I I

Norm:… I keep coming back to that shoe thing.

Norm: Sammy, I didn’t want to say this in front of the others, but you know what I think the most important thing in life is? It’s love. You want to know what I love?… I don’t think it matters what you love, Sammy. Could be a person, could be a thing. As long as you love it totally, completely, without judgment…. I knew you’d come back. You can never be unfaithful to your one true love. You always come back to her. Who is that? Think about it, Sam.

T: HONESTLY NORM has been the low key hero and wise sage of this entire show


#TheFutureIsFemale (Sexist examples)

(Frasier walks in to everyone watching the National Cable Ace Awards)

Frasier: Are you watching for any particular category?

Cliff: Yes, the most impressive display of female flesh in the, uh, tight-fitting dress.

Frasier: You’re watching for cleavage.

Norm: Living for cleavage.

Kim Alexis, the “female flesh” they’re waiting to see present on the Cable Ace Awards: “You know, I think it’s unfair. I think that they should do an (Sports Illustrated) issue featuring swimsuits for men.

Da Bears coach Mike Ditka: Great idea. The only thing is, the ladies have to model the suits.

:: Guys in Cheers hoot and holler ::

Kim Alexis: Coach, you’re incorrigible.

Mike Ditka: I don’t write it, I just say it.

:: Guys in Cheers continue to hoot and holler ::


Pt. 3

Carla: Good night, ladies. Thanks again… Do you believe those three? In here every night trying to trap guys.

Cliff: Yeah, yeah yeah, you’d never see any wife of mine showing her face in some bar.

Carla: Yeah. She’d make more money in a sideshow.

Barfly Fashion

Pt. 1

Carla’s high heel (?) shirt and earringsscreenshot-2016-12-20-22-25-03
P sure I have a black and white version of Woody’s blousescreenshot-2016-12-20-22-30-57
Everything is all very mint green and yes Sam is physically harming Carlascreenshot-2016-12-20-22-32-19

Pt. 2

Frasier looks dapper in this suitscreenshot-2016-12-20-22-35-32
Kelly’s suit. But also, she’s supposed to be pregnant? Did I miss the part where she had her baby?


Rebecca’s “wedding suit” it’s a floor length skirt


Pt. 3

Forget Carla’s shirt – she’s wearing human baby earrings? Is that a Kewpie doll? Either way, WTF?
Also, she’s wearing human baby earrings when talking about how great it is to have human babies. 


Cheers Queries

T: Are the Cheers folks watching the Cable Ace Awards because of a special marketing tie-in or something? Also am I the only one who doesn’t know who supermodel Kim Alexis is?

M: Why does being on city council mean Woody can’t go to Cheers anymore??

T: Norm got laid off seasons ago, and has only picked up a few random jobs here and there. How is he paying for all this beer? Although I guess he attempts to freeload a lot.

T: Every time they give an extra some screen time, I can’t help but think it’s like a crew member like in wardrobe or casting, getting some face time as the show ends for good.

T: Pt. 2 ends with Sam and Diane walking into Cheers hand-in-hand announcing they’re back together and engaged. But I follow along with a script and there’s whole sections cut out from the Netflix episode!

Sam: Fellas, I just said we’re getting married. I think a little reaction’s in order, don’t you think?

Carla: I knew it. I knew it the minute- the second I laid eyes on her, all those years ago, that it was the worst moment of my life. I knew that she was gonna ruin everything someday! This is it.

Sam: Hey, Carla, don’t you think it’s time to give that up?

Carla: Never.

Diane: Carla I wasn’t going to tell you this, but maybe you should hear it. The screenplay for which I was so extravagantly honoured was based on your life. You were my inspiration.

Carla: Really?

Diane: Yes. It’s the story of a resilient, hard working mother, bucking all odds to raise her six children.

Carla: Six? I got eight.

Diane: Good God! You breed like a fly!

Carla: Well, uh, this movie- people liked it?

Diane: They loved it, Carla. People were inspired by the plight of my heroine.

Carla: Yeah? Well, what happens to me? I mean, you know, to her, in the end.

Diane: Well out of the despair and frustration of her unmanageable life, she goes berserk and takes out a few people with an Uzi. That cost me the Humanitas Award.

Carla: Diane you know, I’ve said a lot of horrible and hateful things to you over the years Well, if I said something nice now, would you get all yucky? You have my word I won’t. Well Diane, I Nah. Life’s too short.

After Sam tells the gang he’s moving to California:

Norm: Sammy California?! Riots, smog, earthquakes?

Sam: Don’t make me laugh, now. There’s no earthquakes in California.

M: I just have a whole lot of logistical questions about how Sam is up and going to California on zero notice. They act like he’s moving away forever but surely he has an apartment, and stuff, and bills due?

T: Sam fixes the Native American picture The final credits are in white and not yellow and it’s a piano version of the theme and I’m crying a little?

Final Thoughts

T: Do I regret watching Cheers from beginning to end? No. Did I enjoy every episode? No. Were there a lot of problematic issues that probably weren’t that big when the show aired? Yes. So I get it. I get why this is considered one of the best TV sitcoms ever made. But from a female perspective in 2016, I don’t care for it. The first few seasons were fine, but after that, no thank you.

M: Yeah. I could appreciate what was good about Cheers, and there are a lot of classic sitcoms and movies that I do enjoy, but I couldn’t get in the headspace to really LOVE it because you can’t go back in time. There were some great characters, the writing could be funny at times, and I understand how the concept made viewers in the 80s and 90s feel like they were regulars at the neighborhood bar along with all of these guys.


Cheers Chats #11: It’s Lonely at the Top

Welcome back to Cheers Chats! We are still doing this! It only gets harder!

Episode 11.22: It’s Lonely at the Top

Originally aired:

Previously on Cheers

(Brief synopsis of what happened prior to this episode)

T: Two whole seasons have passed since our last Cheers Chats and that should tell you something. Let us remind you that we’re following the AV Club’s list of basically the top 10 Cheers episodes and none from seasons nine or 10 made the cut. And I totally get why. It’s just not as good as the first couple of seasons were, much like many shows that manage to go on for this long. Also, the sexism and misogyny continues, so there’s that.

M: I distinctly remember my parents talking about how it was going to be the last season of Cheers, and the outcry was so great that the show kept going for another year or two. These years must have been seasons 10-11, so I have no clue why the plug wasn’t pulled. It has not been great. It also feels like they’ve gone to increasingly more soap opera-ish plotlines instead of the chummy jokiness of the early seasons.

T: Let’s see… Rebecca’s rich boyfriend Robin Colcord turns out to be a money launderer or something and ends up in jail. He proposes to her just before he’s released from prison, and struggles with wanting to marry him for his money. Luckily, Sam knocks some sense into her and she doesn’t go through with the wedding, and Robin ends up poor as dirt. At the end of season 9, Sam and Rebecca (who are not a romantic couple) decide they want to have a baby together because their biological clocks are ticking. By mid season 10 they decide against it since they realize they’re not ready to become real parents.

Meanwhile, Woody gets married to his longtime girlfriend Kelly, Carla has a purely sexual relationship with the pretentious owner of Melville’s the restaurant above Cheers, her oldest daughter, played by Leah Remini, gets knocked up, and Cliff and Norm are pretty much the same.

The dramz comes from Lilith and Frasier, who continue to be parents to a young tot, Frederick, and they also decide to renew their vows. However, in season 11, Rebecca catches Lilith cheating on Frasier, and they split for a few episodes (and he almost sleeps with lonely Rebecca) before Frasier decides to take her back. Ugh.  

In the episode right before this one, a semi-serious experiment on voting conducted by Frasier results in Woody running for city council and he ends up winning. And Kelly reveals she’s preggo.

M: If you can’t remember everything Traci just wrote, just assume that every female character has been pregnant or almost-pregnant since we last wrote. Except, somehow, Carla.

Netflix synopsis

Carla and the gang at the bar drink too much after Sam makes her a bartender, and she confesses to Sam that she slept with one of the guys.

What Had Happened Was

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

T: Woody didn’t realize being a City Council member is a full-time job, so and Sam (who owns the bar again) and Rebecca (Cheers’ manager) have to replace him. They agree to let Carla take over, but she gets everyone super drunk. They spend the rest of the episode figuring out what happened last night.

This ep felt like a regular bottle ep from the early seasons, and while it may be the classic trope of solving a mystery in which all the suspects were drunk, it worked.

M: It kind of reminded me of Sunday brunches in college spent reconstructing everything that happened the night before. It was a pretty good episode, until the Paul reveal anyway.

The Luke Danes of the 1980s

Definition of Your Fave (Character and Show) Is Problematic:

Sam: Yeah, uh, listen I know what you want to do is run out there and tell the guys, but I’ve got to remind you here, Paul, a gentleman does not kiss and tell. It’s just not cool.

Paul: But you do it, Sam.

Sam: True. True. But I’m Sam Malone, and by definition, everything I do is cool.

Paul: Sam, you just don’t get it. This kind of thing has never happened to me before. And now, with the one time it does happen, I can’t even crow about it just a little?

Sam: Yeah, I know. I know how you feel. All right, I tell you what. Why don’t you crow in here with me and get it out of your system.

Paul: Well, okay. It won’t be quite the same, but Yes! High five, Sammy! The Paul Monster! (hissing) Give me a P! Give me an A! Give me a U! Give me an L! P-A-U-L! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Ah.

Even though it’s Paul and not like, Carla bragging about the sex, this double standard is still ridic. Why does anybody need to be bragging at all?

Sam tries to comfort Carla by telling him nobody is perfect, and confesses he has a toupee of sorts aka a Hair Replacement System.


Is this one of the series’ big mysteries they needed to answer before the show ended? Like finding out who A is in PLL?

Woody the Simpleton

T: Woody’s hangover cure: “First, put on your pyjamas. Then, take an aspirin with a glass of cold water. And then, you vomit till your nose bleeds and heave until you see the angels. Wake up in the morning, you feel brand-new.”

M: Woody is dressed like a preschool boy on picture day in 1993.

T: Protect Woody At All Costs.

Becky with the Good Hair

T: When Sam tells Rebecca to call the agency to hire a waitress to replace Carla, Rebecca makes the excuse, “But could you dial, I just had my nails done.” This is a throwaway joke that is v unnecessary to the storytelling.

M: Also unnecessary to the storytelling at this juncture: Rebecca.


The moments that made us literally laugh out loud

The day after Carla makes her “signature” drink consisting of pure alcohol, all the regulars aren’t there at their usual time the next day, and the place is a mess. Norm, who is basically a functioning alcoholic at this point, walks in all hungover, and Rebecca and Sam are the only ones to greet him with the usual NORM!, causing him to keel over.

Everybody’s slow, stunned, disheveled entrances into the bar the next day were A+++.

Recap of Cliff & Norm’s Drunken Night:

  • Pizza
  • Bowling
  • Tattoo parlor
  • Donuts

Norm: “I’ll tell you what’s on your butt if you tell me what’s on mine.”

And they couldn’t even do tattoos right:

Cliff’s Tattoo: “I love Vera”

Norm’s Tattoo: A big American flag with the motto “God Bless the U.S. Post Office.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

Frasier: “All right, let’s review. Last night I got, knee-walking drunk, and now I am back in this bar, a mere seven-and-a-half hours later, hung over. Well, it’s official. I have a problem.” Frasier, who seems to be the only sane person at this bar

Woody: “Hey everybody, sorry I’m late. I was on my Nordic Track.” REMEMBER NORDIC TRACK

Norm: “What was that?”

Cliff: “That was either Carla or the grim reaper.”

Fraisier: “Dear Lord, let it be the reaper.

Cheers Queries

This episode is one of the handful of eps written by a woman. A woman who happens to be Rhea Pearlman’s sister. So why do these lines continue to be problematic?

  • Carla: Hey, Sammy… You don’t think any less of me, do you? Well, let’s see who it is first.
  • Paul: Well, guys, guess who scaled Mount Paulie last night… You know, it was wild, Sammy. All that screaming and scratching. You should see the nail marks that are all up and down her back.
  • Sam: I mean, you, you, you’ve gone to bed with a lot of guys before.

Carla: Not really, Sam. I mean, I talk a lot, you know, but when it comes right down to it, I’m more talk than action. But even when I did fool around, I, I always knew their names. I was always in control, you know. Last night was the first time I ever lost control. I stepped over the line. I am now officially a slut.

(Okay, also I just felt really sad for Carla after the above speech, so I didn’t expect “I am now officially a slut” to be a laugh line. It felt like more of a moment of self-loathing?)

Cliff calls the bar hangover and confused as to where he is. Turns out he passed out in the office. In what world is his first inclination to call Cheers (a number he not only memorized but remembers while being hungover)? THESE PEOPLE HANG OUT AT THE BAR TOO MUCH.

Why does Sam’s hair look exactly the same pre- and post- rug removal?

Oh It’s Brandon Tartikoff, the former CEO of NBC and also frequent guest star on hit TV shows like Saved by the Bell #TheresNoHopeWithDope!


Overall, this was a better episode than most. Season 11 has stepped up its game.

Carla’s My Boo

“I’m gonna make you one pitcher of a little drink my grandfather taught me. It’s called, “I Know My Redeemer Liveth.”

Drunken Carla sleeps with a Cheers dude but she can’t remember who it is. I really hope it’s Cliff. Only because she hates him so much.

Carla: “Oh, Sammy, Sammy, please! Please, tell me it was you!

Sam: I’m sorry, sweetheart, it wasn’t me.

Carla: Oh, God! Oh, God, the options that leaves are so horrible!

Carla: Well, I guess there’s nobody else.

Sam: Well, what about Cli-

Carla: There’s nobody else, Sam!


Cliff: What do you want to know, Carla? It was F-U-N Fun!


Cut to a prolonged scream from Carla echoing above the Boston skyline.

I truly love Sam and Carla’s relationship and I’m glad it’s never gone romantic (bar that one time they kissed but they were like ew). 

Also, they are the first two characters we fell in love with and I wish more had been done with them as a friend duo instead of so much focus on Sam’s relationships.

Carla: You are a terrific, sweet guy. I mean, anybody who would do what you just did to make someone feel better is the best friend in the world.

Carla: Sammy, you don’t think any less of me, do you?

Sam: Well, let’s see who it is first.

Barfly Fashion

Carla’s Purple daisy shirt is way more cheery than Carla ever has been or will be.


Rebecca is sporting a sensible seafoam green blazer, which is fine, I guess, but just very 1993.


The day after the night everyone got drunk, Carla shows up to work in a “Grim Reaper” jacket and hat. Because that’s less suspicious. 


Carla’s got a Hey Dude fringe shirt underneath the disguise, and the best part is that there’s a mirror image of the black fringe on the back. OH she’s also wearing neon green earrings shaped like a shovel and a saw. This is some straight up Claudia Kishi business right there.


Woody’s shirt just brings me right back to the 1990s.


Final Thoughts

T: I’m so glad this is almost over. Hopefully the series finale is as good as people say it is.

M: Real talk: Traci had to do all the heavy lifting on this one because I watched the whole episode and just … didn’t have anything to say. Come on, finale!

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss the series finale, One For The Road

Cheers Chats #10: Indoor Fun With Sammy And Robby

Welcome back to Cheers Chats! We’re almost to the end of the series (and that is a good thing for both of us), but we have a couple more before we get to the finale. Here’s a stop in season eight, when we definitely are wondering why we are still doing this.

Episode 8.19: Indoor Fun with Sammy and Robby

Originally aired: February 22nd, 1990

Previously on Cheers

(Brief synopsis of what happened prior to this episode)

T: I’m not gonna lie to y’all – I have NOT been enjoying this season. It’s probably because this show aired in 1990 and society has shifted since then, but BOY is this show not friendly towards women. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but in the 11 seasons of Cheers, only 10 or so of the writers were women. Plus, there are only 2 main female characters, and Carla tends to side with the guys in general (or is always pregnant). The blatant misogyny and lack of respect for women in the show has bugged me so much that if I wasn’t *doing it for the blog* I would stop watching.

M: We have hashed out the idea of doing a full post dedicated to this particular frustration, and stay tuned because it’s coming as soon as I can distill my thoughts into something more than an angry rant punctuated with the sentence “DIANE DOESN’T EXIST.” It’s almost as if, in addition to containing almost no women, the writer’s room of Cheers had also never met one.

Like Traci, I’ve been surprised to find that things got worse as we entered the 90s. Or maybe we’re just tired.

T: Rebecca finally sleeps with her forever crush and boss Robin Colcord in a two-parter called “Finally”. Sam (who’s still trying to get in Becky’s pants) finds out Robin is seeing another woman. Robin, in an effort to prevent Becky from finding out about his infidelity, offers to sell Sam the bar back if he doesn’t tell her. Being the semi-good guy he is, Sam decides to tell her anyways. She confronts Robin but apparently they’re still together?


Netflix synopsis

Robin takes a day off work to spend some romantic time with Rebecca, but he ends up getting into a competition with Sam that takes all day.

What Had Happened Was

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

Rebecca – Rebecca has big plans for Robin’s rare day off- they’re going to live out every “fantasy” she’s ever had, which includes walking on the beach, having a picnic in the park, paddleboating, going to the zoo, and seeing Phantom.

Cliff – A pool ball ricochets off Cliff’s head and he may or may not have a concussion.

Frasier –  Frasier keeps playing darts and wants someone to beat him.

Little Ditty About Sam and Becky

Sam fuels the Robin fire by continuing to engage in bar games with him as he continues to put off going out with Rebecca. Part of this includes a game of chess, which Sam does NOT know how to play. So he gets the assist from Norm, who is talking to him through a headset while he plays it out via a game on the computer. So much masculinity.

Becky with the Good Hair

T: Despite knowing that Robin has another girl in his life, Rebecca “doesn’t care” because she is “winning” and “not jealous” because he “prefers” her to “Jeanne Marie”. WOOF.

Rebecca, going through a rack of different outfits for the day: “This is for the beach walking hand in hand, picnic in the park, paddle boats, zoo, seventh row Phantom of the Opera, and this is for the end of a romantic evening…” holds this up:


M: Oh, Bex. By the way, Outfit To Wear To Phantom was a staple in the wardrobe of every fine woman of 1990.

T: Robin gets caught up with the darts tourney and Rebecca ends up going to the beach with Woody. Robin continues to face-off with Sam in bar games. Rebecca continues her day of fun with Woody instead of Robin. I don’t get why she is continuing her day. Besides the Phantom tix, she can do everything else with Robin at another time.

M: Except that Robin NEVER TAKES A DAY OFF, a fact that is very emphatically repeated at the beginning of the episode for no real reason.


The moments that made us literally laugh out loud

T: Literally did not laugh one bit of this episode.

M: Not even a chuckle. We’ve fallen so far since the pilot.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

Rebecca: “That chick is in Paris.”

Carla: “Oh, I thought Robin was in charge of that.”

“Being a progressive couple…” Fraiser and Lillith are splitting time waking up in the middle of the night to feed their baby. Which is a thing that happened.

“Hey, no one calls me ‘adroit’” Sam. Bless.

Frasier: So, where did you get all this expensive listening equipment, anyway?SO, WHERE DID YOU GET ALL THIS EXPENSIVE LISTENING EQUIPMENT, ANYWAY?

Norm: Oh, this is Pete’s stuff. He uses this all the time. 

Frasier: Pete, are you a surveillance expert?

Pete: No. My wife sleeps around a lot. 

Sam: You shouldn’t have moved your cardinal, bub!

Robin: Bishop. It’s called bishop. 

Sam: I never like to nail a guy twice in one afternoon.

Carla: You haven’t LIVED. [This feels like a very 1990 joke right?]

Cheers Queries

Woody irons all of Rebecca’s clothes for her multiple dates. Why does he keep agreeing to do personal work for her?! He’s the bartender.


How long did it take Norm to boot up that computer? It was always like the first entire 15 minutes of computer class in the early 90s.

Do people sing “na na nana, na na nana, hey hey-ey, goo-oodbye” to taunt people anymore? They do in this episode, and it happened in my childhood, but I can’t say I’ve heard it for years.

Have they always had this room with a giant rococo computer table? Heck. Have they always had a computer? All you could do with it at this point was play minesweeper.

Carla’s My Boo

Bless Carla for at least calling out that Robin’s got a side chick. Or maybe Rebecca’s the side chick.

Barfly Fashion

Rebecca’s mint green pant suit is a lot


This is exactly the type of sweater Frasier would wear.


Rebecca gives Robin “beachcombing” wear aka a matching sweater and yellow bucket hat. WHAT IS WRONG WITH

Sam on his headphones, pretending he’s listening to a basketball game on his walkman


Carla’s shirt with… fruit?


Also, Rebecca’s outfit to wear walking on the beach is a big Aran sweater. Presumably they will meet a golden retriever and take part in a Land’s End shoot.

Final Thoughts

T: Is it season 11 yet?

M: I totally would have tagged along for Rebecca’s day of yuppie fun, but I don’t think the Cheers writers know that female friendship is a thing.

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss season eleven, episode 22, It’s Lonely at the Top.

Cheers Chats #9: How To Win Friends And Electrocute People

Welcome back to Cheers Chats! We’re more than halfway through the series at season 7 of 11, and at the moment, we couldn’t be happier! Luckily, this episode wasn’t as frustrating as some of the other recent ones, so read on to see what made this one so special.

Episode 7.7: How To Win Friends And Electrocute People

Originally aired: December 15th, 1988

Previously on Cheers

(Brief synopsis of what happened prior to this episode)

The CEO of the company that bought Cheers, Evan Drake aka Rebecca’s boss aka the man she is obsessed with, moves to Japan, leaving Rebecca with a new boss. This dude fires her and rehires Sam as the manager so he’s back in charge. Sam agrees to let Rebecca work there under a bunch of different conditions, but she’s basically back co-managing with Sam. 

Meanwhile, Norm’s picking up random jobs by painting, including for Lilith and Frasier, Carla gets jealous her husband is hanging with a beautiful East German ice skater, and Woody buys a bee hive.

M: You have Traci to thank for that synopsis, because I have fallen out of love with this show (and time to watch it) and have only been able to bring myself to watch our assigned episodes. I think I can call this project a failure.


This is the first time I have ever failed a project.

Netflix synopsis

Cliff decides to change his personality when nobody visits him in the hospital. Lilith asks Sam to help her learn how to drive.

What Had Happened Was

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

Cliff has appendicitis and natch gets dramatic about it and even plans his funeral/memorial. But when no one goes to visit him, he realizes it’s because he’s “insensitive” to other people’s problems. To solve this, Cliff decides to hire a doctor to give him shock aversion treatment (he presses a button and Cliff gets shocked) anytime he’s insensitive to the folks at Cheers. This isn’t going to go well.

“Sam’s giving Dr. Sternin driving lessons.” Woody
“Should be giving her personality lessons.” Cliff

Meanwhile, Lilith and Frasier are going on a cross-country road trip, but she doesn’t know how to drive, so she asks Sam to teach her. Apparently she’s a bit of a crazy driver and Sam is frazzled by their lesson.


Carla’s My Boo


Carla continues to be a savage, especially to Cliff: “Come on, it’s just an appendectomy. They’re taking out a useless organ. He’s chock-full of those.”

Becky with the Good Hair

This hair accessory tho:


Carla’s bangs – as everything else in this show – have very much entered the late ’80s.


The moments that made us literally laugh out loud

This scene is just cheap laughs but Cliff getting in a fight w the doctor over shock aversion therapy is genuinely making me laugh


Lilith Flair

In this episode, Lilith wears a big tweed suit and a chignon like it’s fox hunting day at Downton Abbey.

Sometimes I think they didn’t know what to do after Diane left so they split her into Lilith and Rebecca.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

“I need someone to whom I have no emotional attachment whatsoever. So as a friend, would you do me this favor?” Lilith asking Sam to teach her how to drive.

Norm: Yeah, well, why Grandpa Munster never won an Emmy, I’ll never know.

Barfly: Come on, maybe it’s because he stole his whole character from Uncle Fester.

Frasier: Oh, Lord, is this still going on?! This has got to be one of the stupidest arguments I’ve ever heard since I started coming to this bar.

Barfly: Hey, we resent that.

Norm: Yeah, why wasn’t it THE stupidest?

“Hello, blossom bottom, how was your lesson?” I don’t want to know how Frasier came up with that name for Lilith

“I like driving. It’s a wonderful feeling. Total control of woman over machine. The speed, the power, the ecstasy– I was jazzed.” Lilith, who has never truly been ‘jazzed’ in her life.

Cheers Queries

Cold open: Woody calling a late night phone sex line commercial – why this show has gotten increasingly raunchy over the past season?

[Also people had to call phone sex lines in the 80s. Well not HAD to, had to. You know what I mean.]

Fraisier gets a Trip Tik from AAA – remember doing that? Actually I do I did that for my 2009 cross-country road trip. But remember a life without GPS and iPhones?

Did they faux-paint the walls of the bar sometime lately? They’re distressed. As am I.

“I forgot I married a madcap” Fraisier about Lillith. I think I missed the ep where they got married? Or maybe they just didn’t show it?

“They found the time to visit Sammy when he was in the hospital. And Carla when she had the twin. Normie, when he went in for the butt tuck I know why they didn’t visit.” Cliff … Norm had a “butt tuck”???

I don’t think we’ve ever seen the space just outside the door of Cheers where the stairs end before. A couple episodes, Carla had sex with her husband there.




Barfly Fashion

Rebecca’s red power suit is for the ages
It was like Designing Women meets Sloane Ranger.

Carla’s jungle shirt isn’t even the craziest thing she’s worn over the past couple of seasons. She’s been turned into this quirky lady who wears unusual shirts and earring and no one says a damn thing about it.


I’m almost certain we’ve talked about a jungle-print outfit on her before.

Lilith in her aviators and riding gloves is the hottest she’s ever been.


Rebecca looks like an FLDS member in this green dress


Cliff is in his mailman’s uniform for every episode, so it’s rare we get to even include him in our fashion section. Here he is acting a fool, but still wearing the same color scheme as his work uniform.


Finally, Sam continues to sport his signature look of striped shirts with pockets large enough to smuggle a handful of decorative autumn gourds.

Final Thoughts

This was a great spotlight on John Ratzenberger’s comedic physical abilities, and one of his best so far. Overall this is just a very silly episode. And I think I’m OK with that. – T

It was pretty cute! Cute isn’t my highest bar for television but sometimes it’s all right. I always like when they give a major plot to someone outside the Sam/Rebecca/Diane trio.

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss season eight, episode 19, Indoor Fun With Sammy and Robby.

Cheers Chats #8: Bar Wars

Welcome back to Cheers Chats! It’s now been a full year since we fell in love with the Cheers pilot and realized that we’d need to turn this into something more long-term. We’ve made it through six seasons of adoration (usually) for Sam Malone Dream Man, bemusement at Diane, and love for our best boo, Carla. But things sure have changed since Season 5, so let’s look at what’s happening at our favorite Boston dive bar, c. 1988:

Episode 6.23: Bar Wars

Originally aired: March 31st, 1988

Previously on Cheers

We’ve fast forwarded through an entire season again, including Sam and Diane getting engaged (because Diane basically sued Sam and forced him to marry her) in season five. And then almost getting married. Literally about to say their I Dos when they don’t. Diane’s ex-fiance Sumner shows up again and tells her he gave her manuscript to a publisher and now she has the opportunity to really pursue her writing “career”. Sam insists she should follow her dreams and lets her go so she can focus on her book. IRL, Shelley Long wanted to focus on her movie “career” and also motherhood.

Sam decided to take a sabbatical of his own and sells Cheers and goes off on a boat trip. Months later, he returns to find Cheers has gone all corporate and the person running the place is Rebecca Howe, played by Kirstie Alley. And just like Woody replaced Coach, we see Rebecca replace Diane as the object of all of Sam’s advances. BTW, Sam gets a job as a bartender again.

Elsewhere, Carla gets engaged to professional hockey player Eddie LeBec, Frasier gets engaged to Lilith, Norm fluctuates between jobs, Cliff continues to strike out with the ladies, and Woody is still a small-town simpleton at heart.

Netflix synopsis

The gang celebrates their second anniversary of beating Gary’s Olde Town Tavern in bowling, but Gary reignites their war by stealing the trophy.

What Had Happened Was

The gang has had a bowling rivalry with Gary’s Old Town Tavern and their record is 173 to 1.  Whilst celebrating the anniversary of their first (and only) win, someone steals the trophy and breaks it in half. Now Cheers wants to get revenge.

Sam and Carla show up to Gary’s and it’s already jarring because as I think I mentioned earlier in the Cheers Chats series, most of these are bottle episodes aka they take place within the confine of Cheers, and nowhere else. Anytime we’re brought out of that setting, it feels odd to me. They’ve been doing it more over the past couple of seasons, but it’s still weird.

Not to mention, since the show focuses on the characters’ lives AT CHEERS, it’s always weird how they have to bring up a plot point that’s been “happening all along” (like having a bowling team) but that somehow hasn’t come up.

Sam and Carla obviously are there to get back at them, and pretend they’re giving a peace offering with champagne but it turns out they hand out trick glasses and everyone spills it down their shirts. This is not a good prank.

“You know what gets me about this, Malone? It’s how weenie this stunt was. This is the best you could come up with? I am embarrassed, all right. Not for me, but for you.” Gary, speaking the truth.

Al: Pretty weenie.

Sam: Now I’m humiliated.

Two “pest control” workers show up to Cheers saying someone reported rats and obviously it’s payback from Gary. Come on. You should always be on the lookout if you’re dealing with pranksters. It’s like if you’re working with George Clooney (as you do) don’t be surprised if he lists your real phone number on a billboard on Sunset. EVERYONE IS SUSPICIOUS (Until a real customer is a real customer and not a prank).

Like the guy who just came and left the bar after explaining his wife is at the hospital and just had a double by-pass.

More people than could have possibly been at Cheers flee the bar wearing tweed suits because of rats. It never really struck me as the sort of joint where the clientele was terrified of rodents?

“Wait till he finds the prune juice in his Kahlua.” “Yeah, what about the sneezing powder in the ventilation system, huh?” “Yeah, Gary’s messed around with the wrong guys.” Ugh you barflies are idiots.

What next, a fake ice cube with a plastic fly in their drinks? A handshake buzzer? These pranks are elementary at best.

Gary shows up and calls another truce, this time with Rebecca. He asks her out for coffee. Just say no.

Sam calls Gary a rat. More tweed people exit.

Rebecca’s office is now full of sheep.

Carla goes undercover and rigs the big screen at Gary’s, where a bunch of folks are gathered to watch some big boxing match. Instead, a video of Cliff and Norm reading poetry shows up and for some reason it reminds me of Christopher Walken’s The Continental sketch on SNL (brilliant behind-the-scenes footage of this!)

Remember that episode of Saved by the Bell featuring the annual prank war between Bayside and Valley? Yeah, that was better than this. 

The “largest big-screen tv in the greater Boston metropolitan area” that they’re watching the fight (/poetry) on is literally smaller than the TV in my living room. The future is now.

Gary says he’s sending over Red Sox player Wade Boggs and the Cheers crew doesn’t believe him. They ran Wade down and pants him. It was the real Wade Boggs. They all feel humiliated. Except now they have Wade Boggs’ pants. They are ok to settle with this.

Carla’s My Boo

Cold open: “Eddie’s never going to cheat!” cue Carla saying they’re seeing Fatal Attraction. I fear their marriage won’t end well.

“I told you we should have fixed his brakes.” Carla ‘DGAF’ Tortelli, re: a failed prank

I know we usually address this in our fashion section – and we will – but the late 80s are here and Carla has the outfits to prove it. Her sassy jacket looks like something a comedian would wear in their instagram as a joke, or a fashion blogger would wear in their instagram as a plea for attention.

Little Ditty ‘Bout Sam and Becky

Diane’s Gone Now But We Committed To This Mellencamp Thing

Rebecca: I’m gonna get him. I’m going to rip his head off.

Sam: Aw, but he’s so cute.

Rebecca: And then I’m going to tie him up, and I’m going to take a lighter, and I’m going to torch him from the tip of his toes to the top of his head.

Sam: How come you never do stuff like that to me?

Becky with the Good Hair

Rebecca’s hair is at max 1988 with all this crimped hair

“There is one thing you can beat Gary’s Olde Town Tavern at – maturity.” Everyone starts making farting noises and sticking on their tongues and Cliff even scratches at his armpits like a monkey. Honestly I am more Rebecca than anyone in this bar how does she put up with this?

Woody the Simpleton

Sam tells Norm he shouldn’t go beat up Gary, says he’d rather take Woody instead – Woody in his acid wash jeans can barely jump over bar. It’s pathetic.

“Hey I thought it smelled like home” SIMPLETON/COACH


The moments that made us literally laugh out loud

Carla: Yeah, I’d like to do something to Gary and make him really miserable.

Norm: Why don’t you marry him?

Sam: Cute?! You think Gary’s cute?

Rebecca: Yeah, he’s got a real cool face and a nice body. He looks kind of like an athlete.

Sam: Hey, what am I?

Woody: Jealous.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

“Two years ago tonight, we waxed your heiny in bowling!” Sam on beating Gary + co. in bowling last year

“Hey Al! Why aren’t you at Cheers?” Carla

“Holy mackerel! This isn’t Cheers?” Old guy Al (previously convinced Woody’s dad to make him stay in Boston :08

“Oh, so you’re the manager. Finally something in this place worth looking at.” Gary meeting Rebecca. MEN. UGH.

“Why don’t we sleep in tomorrow and have eggs benedict?” Not actually funny, but this sounds like a very 1988 thing to do, doesn’t it?

Cheers Queries

Why has the transition music turned more rock? Because it’s 1988? -T (Note: before I saw Traci wrote this, I was scrolling to this section to ask what TF happened to the background music. It sounds like it’s from an off-brand 80s cartoon about a mouse trying to make it in New York City. -M)

About 80% of the patrons at Gary’s are men. And there are two female waitresses. What is this place? -T (THE WRITER’S ROOM OF CHEERS, BASICALLY. -M)

Did Cheers always use words like “weenie” or “heinie” like the baddest boy in Sr. Mary Alma’s 5th grade class in 1962? -M

Barfly Fashion

Cold open: Carla’s leopard shirt, panda bear jacket & bow WOW

Rebecca’s oversized rose jacket is what I think all businesswomen in the 1980s looked like.


Rebecca’s honeycomb jacket

Woody’s suspenders are v simpleton and also, he’s grown his hair out a bit. It’s not very nice.

Not pictured: Carla’s undercover outfit includes black ski mask.

Gary’s popped collar(s).  I get why they want to prank him.

Sam’s ENORMOUS POCKETS on his shirt. Each could fit a full mini-ipad or a few kittens old enough to be separated from their mother.

Final Thoughts

The rest of this series is going to be struggle bus. – T

I’d quit now if we hadn’t committed to this. -M

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss season seven, episode seven, How To Win Friends And Electrocute People.

Cheers Chats #7: Thanksgiving Orphans

It’s Thanksgiving in July! We’re back for more Cheers and we’re chatting turkey and food fights and possibly the show’s best episode ever.

Episode 5.9: Thanksgiving Orphans

Originally aired: November 27th, 1986

Netflix synopsis: Diane is among a select few graduate students one of her professors has asked to spend Thanksgiving with his family, in the pilgrim tradition.

Previously, on Cheers

T: We’ve skipped an entire season and it happens to be Coach’s last season. Nicholas Colasanto passed away in real life from a heart attack, but in the show, they didn’t really explain how he died. Woody Harrelson comes in to replace him and he not only replaces Coach as another bartender, but as the one to tell all the stupid jokes now. For some reason I can tolerate it way more than Coach?  

Case in point, the first joke in the cold open:

“Boy, it seems like Christmas comes earlier every year, doesn’t it?” Sam

“I think if you check, Sam, it always comes on the 25th of December.” Woody

M: “This is my first Thanksgiving away from home. I mean, unless you count last year” – my boo, Woody.

I kind of feel bad that I said before that Coach was the character they kept around in case they needed something bad to happen to somebody but also … accurate?

T: Sam and Diane aren’t back together but still mackin’ on each other. At the end of season 4, when Sam is dating Kate Mulgrew, the finale ends with a cliffhanger in which he calls someone and asks the person on the other end to marry him. However, it wasn’t until the S5 premiere that we find out it’s Diane. She makes him propose again in a more romantic way, but then she says no because she feels like she’s his rebound from Kate Mulgrew, making Diane even more annoying. Ever since, they’ve been on and off and it’s like fahkin get it together people.

M: Carla, I think, had another baby, right? And I now have a theory that Cheers is to blame for show runners thinking audiences love “will they/won’t they” romances.

T: Oh and Frasier stuck around. Probs because he has a spin-off to look forward to.

So What Had Happened Was…

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

T: Diane’s professor invites select guests to a Thanksgiving dinner much like Professor Slughorn’s Slug Club Christmas party. But she ends up at Carla’s with the rest of the gang after she showed up at the Slug Club only to find out she had only been invited to serve as a waitress.

M: I got so excited when I saw we were writing about a Thanksgiving episode – usually some of my favorite sitcom eps!

Did we even know that Diane was still in school? I thought she was like 30. By the way, Diane is an 80s Muggle Hermione Granger what with all her sucking up to the professor. Except, you know, not written by JK Rowling.

T: Carla holds Thanksgiving at her new place (right next to the airport), but everyone’s got their own problems. Norm, who brought a frozen turkey to Thanksgiving, has a big fight with Vera, Sam’s date doesn’t show up, while Fraiser is annoyed with the guys constantly moving the TV.

M: It’s neither here nor there, but Carla’s apartment set is where the change in aspect ratio for Netflix really stood out. There were just like 3 feet of plain white wall above her wallpaper and paneling.

T: The tension in the room is so palpable but it’s finally broken with a food fight, resulting in the best scene to date.

T: Plus they cheered for Coach, which was almost enough for me to cry.

M: So far, this is the first of our Cheers Chats episodes that I would recommend to someone who had never seen the show so they’d understand how great it is.

T: Sidenote: I love Woody’s friendship with Diane it’s so tender.

Carla’s My Boo

T: Woody says he’s thankful he can do  a weird thing with his tongue, and everyone’s response is to do weird shit too. Sam licks his plate for some reason and Carla has her leg wrapped around her head which explains why she has 8 children.

Shut Up, Diane

T: Perfect example of Diane needing to shut up is when she makes everyone go around and say what they’re thankful for. She gets up and says:

“…But on this very special occasion, my mind goes back over the years to the people who have influenced me. And I would like to name some of them for you. Teilhard Chardin, George Sand, Caravaggio. Oh, Emily Dickinson, the Buddha, Frank Lloyd Wright [time jump cut] Jean d’Arc, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop.”

M: I was picturing Lisa Simpson’s Thanksgiving centerpiece the whole time:

It featured Georgia O’Keefe and Susan B Anthony.


M: I do feel a little sorry for Diane in her Pilgrim outfit grumbling that serving as waitstaff for her professor might be okay when you’re a “wide-eyed 19 year old, but not when you’re… not.” Which I guess answered my question about whether she’s a mature student.

T: Diane has to be a party pooper and attempt to end the food night and she gets all Red Ross like when Ross’ angry side comes out when he plays rugby on Friends. 

Little Ditty About Sam & Diane

T: Diane gets jealous and whines about Sam having a date for Thanksgiving.

“Besides, I know that we’ll have many holidays together when you and I are one.” Diane

“You already are one, Diane.” Sam

M: “I’m thankful that I have a super car and a cool stereo and I’m not wearing a pilgrim outfit” – SAMUEL. Just make out with her.

T: Diane is all cutesy with Sam after his date ends up spending TGives with her sister instead of going to TGives at Carla’s

No, I’m serious. I had a date and it fell through. Sam

Oh, you don’t have to convince me, Sam. I believe you. Diane

I’m telling you the truth. Sam

And I love you for it. Diane

T: Sam is the first to throw beets? And at Diane, no less.


(Literal Laugh Loud Loud moments from the episode)

There’s a scene where the guys are sitting around the TV watching a WWF match featuring Hulk Hogan. The actual scene wasn’t necessarily funny but LOL at Hulk Hogan

Just sort of generally everything Woody said was great. Not the words, but the delivery.

“The little pop thing has a name, can we all say thermometer” – Frasier. Then everyone says “thermometer,” but angrily.

“Please, please! We are not here to be thankful for strange things we can do with our bodies.” Diane

Diane tries to get back at Sam and she attempts to throw a pie at him, but lands right on the face of Vera, who decides to come after all. WE ALMOST SAW VERA’S FACE. Is she like Mr. Kim or Wilson from Home Improvement. And apparently this is the only time we “see” Vera in the whole series.

M: When the food fight starts in earnest, Diane tries to break it up with a guttural yell like she’s Leslie Knope v. Eagleton.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

 “This time of year is filled with arguments, suicides, murders. Yeah, I guess it’s the seasonal happiness of others tends to throw a glaring light on the flaws in our own interpersonal relationships. But see, of course, that’s no problem for me. I’m alone.” Fraiser

“Are you kiddin’? I did my part this year. I was in “Hands Across America,” remember?” Cliff refusing to volunteer at the soup kitchen for TGives with his mom

“Oh, who the hell do we think we’re kidding? We’re all a bunch of pathetic dropouts. Scorned by our loved ones, as if anybody ever loved us at all.” Fraiser

Cheers Queries

T: What ever happened to Woody’s hometown girlfriend? I don’t think they ever explained that.

T: Why is Norm the only one in charge of the turkey? Why don’t they try to help?

M: Couldn’t they have at least started with the sides when they were warm?

Barfly Fashion

Diane’s Thanksgiving Outfit

She describes this as “An absolutely authentic example of feminine colonial headwear.”

Carla’s leopard print shirt

Carla’s got a new stylist and it’s called the effects of the ’80s.

Sam’s plaid jacket

It’s Thanksgiving, not Easter, Sam. But also it might not be clear in this pic, but he is V tan.

Woody’s red sweater

More specifically the napkin. It’s to do with the napkin.

Final Thoughts

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss season six, episode 23, Bar Wars.


Cheers Chats #6: The Heart is a Lonely Snipe Hunter

Episode 3.14: The Heart is a Lonely Snipe Hunter

Originally aired: January 10th, 1985

Netflix synopsis: Diane gets mad at the guys when they take Fraiser on a “snipe hunt”. But she also doesn’t want Fraiser to know they played a trick on him.

Previously, on Cheers

Guys. Things have happened. In our last Cheers Chats, Sam & Diane seemed like there were on the verge of breaking up, but it was unclear whether they actually did. By the end of season 2, they have a literal slap flight, and they break up for good. In the beginning of season 3, we find out the split has made recovering alcoholic Sam revert back to drinking and Diane has been gone for a while at some retreat in the wilderness, where she meets Dr. Fraiser Crane – her now-boyfriend (no idea they dated). Sam eventually stops drinking, convinces Diane to come back to Cheers and the three of them have to act cordially. Meanwhile, Coach fell in love with a random woman, proposed to her, she wins the lottery, she dumps him. All in one ep. Cliff, Carla and Norm are all still there.

So What Had Happened Was…

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

T: Norm, Sam, Cliff and a bunch of the regular barflies are heading out on a fishing trip and it seems as if they all hadn’t planned it more than 3 hours in advance. Frasier goes with them, specifically on a “snipe hunt” What’s a “snipe hunt”, you say?”

“It’s an age-old custom wherein we take an uninitiated hunter like Dr. Crane, put him in a clearing with a gunnysack* and we beat out the snipe to him.”

T: What’s a “gunnysnack”

M: Gunnysacks = a brand of 70s dresses like in the Virgin Suicides at prom, is what I thought.

OK, it’s “gunne sax” per google.

T: Gunnysack sounds like the tiny leather tie-up satchel folks used to use to keep their sixpence. Anyways, The guys basically abandoned Frasier in the woods as a sort of hazing.

T: After Diane uses a lot of big words to scold the guys for leaving Fraiser in the woods, Sam (who obviously still cares for Diane) agrees to go find him after she pleads that he is not going to be happy about being left in the woods alone. By people he’s not even really friends with.

T: As soon as Sam agrees to go find him, Fraiser bursts through the door looking extremely disheveled and furious. But he’s just fake angry that they introduced him to that “positively intoxicating sport” and does some sort of psychotic bird call which doesn’t make sense because they went fishing, not bird watching.

T: The guys are going back out fishing and Sam tells diane they plan to ditch him again wtf is wrong with men

M: I really can’t overstate how many times during this episode Traci and I both commented “men are the worst” or “WTF men.” It’s like the theme of the episode.

Carla’s My Boo

T: Carla is preggo again by some dude who willingly agreed not to be a part of the kid’s life but eager to pay whatever she wants to help raise the baby. This is Carla’s sixth kid.

“You have to be a certain kind of guy”

Carla: “Yeah a kind of dink”

Shut Up, Diane

(We just have a feeling we’re going to be saying Shut Up, Diane at our screens KIND OF A LOT.)

Diane:  You’re obviously bored with lip diddling.

Compared to the dumbass guys in this episode, Diane seems like a freaking angel.

Little Ditty About Sam & Diane

At one point, Diane tells Sam that Frasier refers to him as one of his dearest friends, which is still a weird dynamic because of the Diane of it all.

Diane also asks Sam to “take care of her fella” on the trip because he’s “a tenderfoot” and is this a slang term popular in 1983? Or 1938?

Fancy Frasier

(Because Frasier Crane is a doctor and uses big words like he’s fancy)

M: Has Frasier been outdoors before? Literally would not surprise me if he hadn’t.

Actually, I could really see Frasier as one of those fancy fox hunters who has special dogs and horses.

Some Frasier shit right there.


(Literal Laugh Loud Loud moments from the episode)

None. This was not a quality ep.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

Frasier: “This time of the year is murder for the psychiatric profession.” … Why tho?

Carla: How come you’re not going?
Coach: I don’t like to smell them.
Carla: Yeah, fish stink.
Coach: No, the guys.

Frasier: “It’s what guys do darling. We screw each other to the wall.” Frasier tells Diane he fully knows it was all a prank, continues to prove men are the worst.

Cheers Queries

T: In the cold open, a guy starts singing song (songs?) i’ve never heard of in my life and it starts a chain reaction with Carla, Diane and other barflies pick up – someone leaves and the person comes in starts singing and ends with coach – but it’s really a sign of the times that I know none of these tunes. Except *I’ve got spurs that jingle jangle*.  Seriously what is this.

M: TRACI IT WAS SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET JESUS. Jazz standard, lady. (It’s not really an “everyone sing it at the bar song,” Traci’s right. Also I don’t know the spurs that jingle jangle tune, so really both of us need to get the heck with it.)

T: Coach comes in smoking a cigar that smells like “boiling tar” according to Sam. Why in the world is Coach just starting to smoke a cigar now. WHILE he’s working? For the record, cigars are one of my most hated smells in the world.

M: Agreed. I smoked a cigar with friends once or twice – WHY?! Because I used to be fun in college impressionable – and it was like… imagine grabbing a cigar, taking a big bite, and chewing it. Then turn that chewed cigar glob into vapor somehow and put it in your lungs.

T: The guys are bringing a TV with them for their *day-long* fishing trip, and Norm even brings his portable VCR player with “Porky’s II and Splash”. ok.

T: ALSO if it’s a day-long fishing trip, they’re gathering at the bar in the morning, I’m assuming – why are there so many people at Cheers during the waking hours??

M: And like, do they fish a lot? Because they have those dedicated khaki vests with the big pockets, which I feel like you only would own if you were really into fishing. But that doesn’t feel like a Boston barfly activity?

Barfly Fashion

Sam and Norm’s fishing outfits

Sam looks good in hunter green.

Sam’s mom jeans




Frasier looks like a dirty Land’s End catalog page

Final Thoughts

T: I did NOT enjoy this ep.

M: If I had only seen this ep, I would hate Cheers. Not so confident in AV Club’s episode list, to be honest.

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss season five, episode 9, Thanksgiving Orphans.

Cheers Chats #5: Fortune and Men’s Weights

Annddd we’re back.

Episode 2.17: Fortune and Men’s Weights

Originally aired: February 2nd, 1984

Netflix synopsis: Coach purchases an antique scale that also delivers fortunes, and the Cheers clan begins to attribute supernatural powers to the scale.

Previously, on Cheers

Sam and Diane are still together. That weird actor who maybe wanted to kill Diane was never seen again. Coach coaches, Carla brings her baby to work. Roughly eight episodes feature a “is Sam going to do it with someone who’s not Diane” plot (he doesn’t). Sam and Diane say I love you, finally.

One Hit Wonders

(Characters we don’t expect to be seeing again)

This scale. scale

So What Had Happened Was…

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

Coach buys a scale from a weird man with an accent and it causes a ruckus in the bar. The scale, spits out a fortune on a piece of paper when you stand on it, is now a staple in the bar because they can’t return it to the janky salesman. Also the bill went to Sam and not Coach? Coach straight up buying luxuries without telling Sam. Rude.

“It’s gotta be some kind of mistake. Why would I buy a crate?” – Coach, when the scale he purchased came in a large wooden crate.

Everyone is really into the fortune telling scale, so now there’s a line at the scale of barflies because it’s apparently the Duck Hunt of Cheers. (Or the Naked Lady Find The Difference Game, but let’s go with Duck Hunt). Despite the scale giving out weird fortunes.

T: I finally figured Coach out and why I’m constantly annoyed with him – he is a walking “Who’s on third?” joke. Now that I have about a season and a half under my belt, I’ve gotten increasingly irritated with the corny “jokes” and how they dumb him down. It’s not my type of humor at all.

M: I agree and also think that’s why I skip a lot of older sitcoms – because some shows are Cheers, with Sam and Diane and our boo Carla to balance out Coach, but a lot of pre-2000s sitcoms are just… all Coaches. All Coach, no Carla – that’s my summary of bad 80s TV.

(I also stand by my theory that Coach is the one who is just there in case they need something serious to happen to someone, e.g. wife with cancer, house fire).

T: The B story involves Norm going on a blind date… and it turns out the blind date was Norm’s ex-wife (estranged?) Vera. And now they’re back together.

M: I have a feeling that Vera is Norm’s Tammy Two.

Carla’s My Boo

Carla’s convinced it’s telling the actual truth, so as a way to reverse the curse, if you will, Carla wards off the evil spirits by doing this:

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Carla also blames the curse on someone not praying before leaving the house. Love when they throw in these weird “Carla’s superstitious/ very Catholic” asides.

Shut Up, Diane

(We just have a feeling we’re going to be saying Shut Up, Diane at our screens KIND OF A LOT.)

Diane gets a fortune and it says: “Deception in romance proves costly” she is hiding something.

And she has resorted to copying whatever Carla does. 

Little Ditty About Sam & Diane

Sam was all ready to buy Diane make-up flowers because he didn’t go to some art show she wanted him to go to, but she comes in and is all lovey-dovey? Something is afoot.

“I just missed ya so, ya big lug” Diane to Sam – why doesn’t anyone call people “lug” anymore?

Diane asks for a big “smooch-a-roo” which I think nobody called those in the first place.

DIANE TOOK ANOTHER MAN TO THE ART SHOW (performance?) SAM SKIPPED OUT ON! This explains why she she was acting shady after getting that fortune from the scale.

“The only battles I ever won in life, I won on my own.” Sam

“That was brilliantly put.” Diane

“You said that to me a few days ago.” Sam

“But you remembered it and used it in the proper context.” Diane

So basically Diane invited this classmate male friend to her apartment after the show and she feels guilty she was able to talk about all her interests with someone who gave a shit, and Sam’s reaction is – “I’m grateful. This makes sense. We should break up.” HEH???

And then Sam & Diane attempt to break up, and in pure Sam & Diane fashion… it’s ridiculous to say the least.

“We can’t break up because a pile of metal springs said we were going to.There’s too much at stake here.” Diane

“Forgive me.” Sam

“Tell me you didn’t break up with me.” Diane

“Of course I didn’t break up with you.” Sam

“Then I’m first. You are history!” Diane

Angry Sam kicks the scale and a fortune comes out – “Machine empty order more fortunes today” except they can’t because the company doesn’t exist.

The Luke Danes of 1980s Boston

(In which we gush over dreamy yet often grumpy bartender Sam Malone)

Sam’s stance on this bar is fire:

Sam, who doesn’t give a shit about this fortune telling scale, taunts Carla with jazz hands after reading her (fake) fortune: “You will grow lips on your forehead”


(Literal Laugh Loud Loud moments from the episode)

Cliff explains to Norm where the fulcrum is on the large crate to open it and the wooden panel falls on his head. Honestly the physical comedy makes me laugh more than Coach’s jokes. He did have one quip that made me chortle in episode nine:

Sam: Coach, we don’t want to be bothered.

Coach: Who does?

Also, Coach’s description of the antique scale salesman (?) as a cross between Abraham Lincoln and Hitler was ALMOST funny.

“Then we split some clams casino and a little Chateaubriand, her favorite wine. Next thing, we went back to what used to be our place and we kind of made love.” Norm

“You can’t ‘kind of’ make love.” Sam

“You don’t know Vera.” Norm

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

“It’s a sad world we live in when Sam Malone becomes the voice of reason.” Sam speaking the truth about himself. Everyone is getting out of hand with this scale’s fortunes,

“She’s losing what’s left of her grey matter and I don’t mean her underwear.” Diane about Carla

“You’re crackers, you know that?” Sam to Diane. Crackers, y’all. (TBH, sounds like more of a Diane term. Her influence is showing.)

Cheers Queries

Cliff fell down the stairs and is now all unconscious and has no idea what is going on. In the last episode, Cliff comes face to face with a bully, and proves that he’s not a wuss by showing off his karate skills. He breaks a 4×4 and cement block. Only problem is that he doesn’t know karate and has to secretly ask Diane to take him to the hospital because he probably has a concussion. I’m starting to think this was some sort of continuity thing but maybe not? Does any of this even matter?

I guess I also have a general question about Sam and Diane’s relationship. I definitely ship Sam/Diane but I wish the tactic wasn’t always to up the conflict between them. Like introducing girls Sam’s going to be into (oh lord, I almost wrote Luke instead of Sam there), or having Diane’s “highbrow” interests get in the way. So my query is just… do we have to? I want a solid 5 episode streak where Sam and Diane are good and the conflict comes from Coach’s house burning down or Carla not knowing who her baby is or something.

Barfly Fashion

Sam’s green sweater is so fresh and so clean

For some reason, Norm’s blue cardi just screams 1984 to me. 

Also very 1984, Carla’s pink velour long sleeved shirt and complementing maroon velour pants. (I also feel like velour doesn’t breathe and she’s going to be trapped in a sweat-shell and that it’s going to absorb spilled beer from the counter like a bar mop.)

Sam’s velour pants. So hot. Diane’s blue peasant blouse + green velour skirt. Not as hot. Just classy af.

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss season three, episode 14, The Heart is a Lonely Snipe Hunter.

Cheers Chats #4: Homicidal Ham

Annddd we’re back. And in season two, no less! We’ve been going through some classic episodes of Cheers since the beginning of this year (you can find the rest here) and we’ve moved on to season two, in which Sam and Diane are finally together and the rest of the crew has to deal with it. This particular episode has a storyline that seemingly comes out of nowhere, but provides for quite an entertaining show. Here we go with Homicidal Ham!

Episode 2.04: Homicidal Ham

Originally aired: October 27, 1983

Netflix synopsis: Against Sam’s better judgement, Diane tries to help her former homicidal blind date, Andy, become an actor.

T: No matter how many times I read the episode title, I still picture a honeyglazed ham holding a knife. I’m sure this says something about my pscyhe.

M: I’ve been staring at the title in our post queue for weeks, and every single time I read Cheers Chats #4: Homicidal Ham as “Homicidal 4 Ham,” which I imagine would be a Hunger Games-y Hamilton lotto that a lot of people would be into.

Previously, on Cheers

(Brief synopsis of what happened prior to this episode)

T: Carla gave birth to her baby in the second episode, but instead of showing up as Carla, Rhea Perlman pulls a Tatiana Maslany and plays Carla’s sestra who seems like an uptight gal and totally opposite from her sibling. It was a fun ep. Also, Rhea Perlman was pregnant IRL in 1989, but I think by the time they shot season 2, she had her daughter already, so I think she’s wearing a fake belly for the first episode?

M: Also was the sister even the same one that Carla said “gets everything” because she was a cosmetologist and like 5’1?

One Hit Wonders

(Characters we don’t expect to be seeing again)

In full disclosure, this entire episode is based on a character I don’t think we’re ever going to see again. But who knows.

T: The ex-convict Sam paid to date Diane shows up at Cheers. He allegedly murdered a waitress? How is he an “ex-convict” if he murdered someone? Unless it’s just hearsay on the streets of Boston.

M: Wait, you’re right! If his conviction is on unsexy tax stuff or whatever, that doesn’t make him a waitress-murderer.

M: Maybe the world has changed a lot since the early 80s (OK, the world has changed a lot since 2 weeks ago and I need like 3 memes explained to me), but this plotline would maybe never fly now? Surely some sort of group would launch some kind of Twitter thing?

T: Yeah, this would definitely not go over well in 2016. Anti-gun groups, Pro-pig groups, Actors Equity Association…

So What Had Happened Was…

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

T: Holy shit Andy is STILL crazy and pulls out a gun because he’s holding up this entire bar. This is v jarring to me, as I don’t expect a gun-wielding nutjob to be walking into America’s Favorite Bar™. Is this going to be an Orange is the New Black/Making a Murderer type of life lesson in this episode? This show keeps surprising me.

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M: Yeah, definitely wouldn’t happen now, unless it was a Very Special Gun Episode like that Family Matters one where everyone turned in their guns. I feel like in the 80s a rando pulling a gun in a bar was still sort of a wacky tv plot, and from the sunny shores of 2016 we’re nodding along like ‘yeah, that IS a thing that sometimes happens in our public spaces. As you were, Cheers.”

T: He def wants to get caught because he hates life in the real world and has no skills wants to go back to prison. His dream is to become an actor. In fact, he sounds like an actor, which makes sense because this show isn’t real and he’s legit an actor. Diane agrees to help him become an actor by running lines with him, and sets him up with a potential job by having him audition for Fake James Lipton.

“Prison is my home.” Andy, who I’ve deemed Crazy Andy.

M: Doesn’t Crazy Andy have a creepy face? He has beady Ted Cruz eyes and emotes like a community theater actor.

T: Diane is friends with “America’s foremost drama coach” because of course she is. This dude has “contacts with every theater on the Cape.” As someone who worked at a theater in Boston, I am offended she’s not looking for a job for Crazy Andy within Boston proper.

M: I think maybe she’s trying to get him into summer stock. Anyway, I’m going to be a lot of not fun for a moment, but I left my last fuck behind in around 2013 and I don’t have any left to give.


I’m’a send Diane a copy of The Gift Of Fear from the future, and the writers a manual on how to write believable female characters who would have made it to their 30s (?) without getting serial killed, also from the future.

Okay we can have fun now.


T: Diane’s mission to save Crazy Andy has turned into her being his acting sensei and she’s a) taking advantage of boyfriend Sam being her boss and just taking a break whenever and b) forgetting that 5 minutes ago she thought he was an insane killer and now she’s offering to go out alone with him to help him with scene work.

M: Diane = a less murderous Alison Hendrix, sometimes. Of course she loves amateur theatre.

T: Plot Twist – After spending time together running the Othello scene, Crazy Andy thinks Diane is into him romantically. He says I love you to her and she says it back, but clearly not in the same way he means it. Ruh roh.

M: Didn’t this happen in a Full House episode? Or some kind of 80s-90s family sitcom.

T: Or nearly all 80s-90s sitcoms.

T: So when Crazy Andy walks out in his Shakespearean garb and sees Diane kissing Sam, he has CRAZY EYES.

T: He’s using his anger towards Diane for the scene and surprise, surprise, his lines involve love, jealousy, and murder. I know it’s not going to happen but, sincerely concerned Crazy Andy is going to actually kill Diane during this scene and everyone’s going to think he’s just a really good actor. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t kill her.

Shut Up, Diane

(We just have a feeling we’re going to be saying Shut Up, Diane at our screens KIND OF A LOT.)

T: “He stands here as an embodiment of the failure of our penal system. This man doesn’t belong in prison. We, mostly I, can save this man’s life.” In regard to this quote, I actually don’t want Diane to shut up because she’s spitting the truth but stays humble at the same time. 

M: Okay. I actually really hated what they did with Diane this episode. Someone waving a gun around for attention – even unloaded – may not need prison, but they probably need more help than Diane DeWitt-Bukater. Sam called the police and then Diane had him call the police back and tell them not to come which a) isn’t a thing police do; and b) is probably preventing a sorely needed mental hygiene hold.

“One murder does not a murderer make.” Diane? Shut up.

Little Ditty About Sam & Diane

T: Diane secretly carved her and Sam’s initials into the actual bar wood, because apparently she’s a 13 year old girl who likes to deface property. (ugh I’m old)

“If you want romantic, we should have our buns tattooed.” Sam, who is a reasonable adult and is annoyed Diane carved into his bar.

M: Which also doesn’t even feel like a Diane thing? Diane would calligraphy their names with an 18th century replica quill on recycled parchment, if anything.

The Luke Danes of 1980s Boston

(In which we gush over dreamy yet often grumpy bartender Sam Malone)

T: CA assures Sam his murder was a “terrible moment of temporary insanity”, and that he doesn’t hear the voices in his head anymore. SAM MALONE. DO NOT LET YOUR WOMAN GO TO A SECOND LOCATION WITH THIS MAN.

M: Sam is surprisingly cavalier about this Crazy Andy’s waitress-killing predilections. But since he’s Sam Malone, Dream Man I’m just going to focus on how he lets Diane live her life (stupidly) the way she wants to (which is like an idiot).

T: Sam apologizes for thinking Crazy Andy was still crazy – which is a sure sign he’s still right about this in the sitcom world. (otp)


Carla’s My Boo

T: After Crazy Andy pulls out his gun, Carla makes a run for it and is a freaking bad ass by grabbing his arms, and Sam takes the gun away while Coach takes the money back Crazy Andy attempted to steal. Beavis and Butt-Head (Norm and Cliff) take action 5 seconds later. Diane is…. who cares.

M: Carla’s first suggestion was that Diane run around flapping her arms to draw his fire. I feel you, boo boo.

T: During Crazy Andy and Diane’s “audition” in the bar, Carla sits in the front row and asks, “What time’s the second show?” with sandwich in hand.

M: Diane’s background work in this scene was the very definition of ‘giving me life.’


(Literal Laugh Loud Loud moments from the episode)

When CA holds up his gun, these fools are *whispering* and trying to come with a plan to take Crazy Andy over, but they’re speaking at full volume.

M: I mostly LLOLed here because it felt like this was neither the first or the last time Carla has had someone waving a gun around at her.

T: This is brilliant- the barflies are deeply engrossed in the boxing match on TV and when it goes to commercial, Sam has already set up a conveyor belt of sorts for full glasses of beer. This is NOT what the real Cheers does. Or any bar does, for that matter. Norm goes up like four times.

T: Diane realizes she actually might die in a sec and tries to put off the scene, and when Sam tries to calm her down, she yells, “DON’T TOUCH ME, I BARELY KNOW YOU” as to not anger Crazy Andy more and oh my GOD I just think Shelley Long’s delivery is so perfect I am laughing so hard and had to watch it multiple times.

M: I rewound it too! To be clear, I sometimes don’t like how Diane is written, but Shelley Long is one of the best things to happen to this show or any show. She was killing it like Crazy Andy this whole ep. Too soon?

T: Cliff and Norm holding down CA after he chokes Diane is solid gold.

Are you going to be OK? – Sam

I’m having a little trouble breathing. – Diane

No, I meant for tonight. – Sam

OH MY GOD I LEGIT LOLED hahahaha you crazy horny kids

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

T: Carla comes back from maternity leave in this episode, and she’s pretending to still be pregnant because she says she’ll get better tips this way.

Coach is not advocating this, and says to Sam, “Maybe you should tell her to get rid of it.” To which Sam replies, “I can’t coach, she’s Catholic.” Abortion jokes, what a riot!

M: When Crazy Andy is choking her, Diane says “help, he’s trying to kill me” which Coach calls “the only line of Shakespeare I’ve ever understood.”

T: Coach, still problematic, legit tells Crazy Andy to not call him by his real name Ernie and says, “Please, call me Coach”, as he takes the money out of the register. You are being held hostage have some emotion.

“You know what they say, “Use a gun, go to Cape Cod.’” – Sam, basically ripping off motivational signs you find at Michaels

Cheers Queries

T: Why are they doing CA’s acting audition in the bar??

M: And where did they got these medieval costumes? I could see Diane going to Ren Faires sometimes TBH.

T: Is this episode titled Homicidal “Ham” because Crazy Andy is a first-class over actor??

M: Crazy Andy seems relatively young, so exactly how long was he in prison for killing that waitress?

T: Does this episode remind anyone else of the Saved by the Bell ep where they do Snow White and the Seven Dorks, and Kelly and Slater essentially sabotage the show because they think Zack and Jessie have a thing for each other after catching them kissing (as practice for the show)?

M: The hip-hop musical has come so far.

Barfly Fashion

Diane’s outfit looks more modern than usual?

Her hair wings also seem to be going a different way than they used to.

Crazy Andy in a 12 year old hardy boy’s outfit

Everyone in this picture

  • Diane in her RenFaire dress
  • The acting coach and his cane
  • Crazy Andy’s little league uniform

Sam looks exceptionally tall in these pants.

When I first saw it I thought “Sam should wear more blue,” so there’s a note for wardrobe, I guess.

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss Season two, episode 17, Fortune and Men’s Weight.

Cheers Chats #3: Showdown Part, 2

Hey there chums! Welcome to the third part of our Cheers Chats series, where we breakdown 12 of the best episodes over the course of Cheers’ 11 seasons. Today we’re at the home stretch of the first season, and delving into the second part of the two part season one finale. Things are really heating up in the bar, so let’s check in with our current favorite TV Bostonians and see what the haps is as we wrap season one.

(BTW, we’re going by this list from AV Club if you’re wondering what our plan of attack is).

Episode 1.22: Showdown, Part 2

Originally aired: March 31, 1983

Netflix synopsis: Sam’s brother, whom he feels inferior to, shows up at the bar and sweeps Diane off her feet. Sam doesn’t have the guts to admit he wants Diane.

Previously, on Cheers

(Brief synopsis of what happened prior to this episode)

T: Boy oh boy was Part One of the finale great. Sam’s brother Derek is in town (face not seen for some artistic reason I guess?) which Sam is not happy about. Derek ends up hitting on Diane and Sam is totally jealous. At one point, Carla points out that ever since Diane walked into the bar, Sam hasn’t been as much of a ladies man like he used to be, which is also something I noticed over the past few episodes, and I appreciate that it’s been a slow realization of his affinity towards Diane instead of all at once. Anyways, Derek invites Diane to jet off to Martha’s Vineyard with him, but she’s torn because she knows in her heart Sam feels the same way she feels about him, and it results in one of my favorite scenes to date:

Sam: Whatever you and my brother Derek want to do is OK with me. I don’t care.

Diane: Fine.

Sam: (under his breath) Please don’t go.

Diane: What? What did you say?

Sam: I said I have no feelings about this.

Diane: No, after that. You said something. It sounded like ”Please don’t go.”

Sam: Please don’t go? Are you crazy? You gotta get over this egotism of yours. Go, with my blessings. Have a good time, really. (under his breath) Please stay here.

Diane: Wait a minute. What was that? There at the end you said something.

Sam: You’re hallucinating. Get outta here and have a good time. Go on.

Diane: OK, l’m glad you understand.

Sam: (under his breath) If you go, l’ll die.

Diane: What? l heard you say something.

Sam: You’re coming unglued. Please go. Have fun.

Diane: OK, l’ll go. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go freshen up. (under her breath) I’d rather stay with you.

Sam: What? What did you say?

Diane: I didn’t hear anything.

Carla’s My Boo

T: I’m pretty sure this is the first time it’s happened, but in a voiceover, Carla (not Rhea Perlman – Carla the character) recaps what happened in the previous episode. She says: “Last week on Cheers – is Diane about to fall for Sam’s brother? Will Sam’s heart be broken? Will Norm find happiness in his new job? (Norm got fired and hired somewhere else) Will Coach return to coaching in Venezuela? (he got an offer to coach for a baseball team there) Will Carl Yastremski please call Cheers and ask for ‘The Spitfire’?” This whole thing is odd but endearing because Carla says it?

M: It is so weird to hear a “previously on” for Cheers. Especially since I just watched 5 episodes in a row. (BTW, the full previously segment was just reasons Sam and Diane should do it already.)

M: Carla calls Diane Lady Di Job. STOP IT CARLA. Stop it, my boo. You’re too much.

T: Carla’s so so preggo. I researched it and Rhea Pearlman was also so so preggo with her first kid, daughter Lucy, who is also an actress.

M: Several episodes ago, Carla went from zero to very, very pregnant in, like, a minute. But as Carla said in part one of this episode, she always falls for “the wrong man, at the wrong time, in the wrong place, with the wrong birth control device.”

By the way, like Sam, Carla has a sister who “got everything” (read: she’s 5’2. And a beautician.)

Shut Up, Diane

(We just have a feeling we’re going to be saying Shut Up, Diane at our screens KIND OF A LOT.)

T: Diane’s in the bar on her day off and she’s bummed bc Derek is flying off to Paris and she doesn’t know what to do.

M: How about Sam?

M: Sam refers to Diane as Carla’s “skinny coworker,” so I guess we were still going with skinny being an insult in the early ‘80s.

T: “Well, l, Diane Chambers, bred and educated to walk with kings, once offered a full scholarship at the Sorbonne, have become attracted to a six-foot-three-inch bubble-gum card.”


T: At one point during her fight with Sam, she goes into his office with a blackboard and scrapes her nails on it and I legit said out loud “OH NO. OH NO NO NO NO NO.”
Photo Mar 23, 10 58 13 PM

M: Know who’s got a lot in common with nails on a blackboard? DIANE.

(On the serious, I am somewhat warming to Diane, am v much a Diane/Sam shipper, but just have some problems with how the character is written.)

Little Ditty About Sam & Diane

T: The tension between Sam and Diane that has been building up the entire season explodes in this episode, so a lot of the plot centers around these two maybe lovebirds. Diane ended up going to the Vineyard with Derek and when she comes back a week later, Diane tells Sam that Derek also asked her to go to Paris with him so she’s saying goodbye. His solution to this is to fire her and tells her good riddance. Obviously. Carla is happy about this.

M: As I brought up in our Gilbert Blythe post, if you hate somebody, it’s not because you secretly love him. This is a harmful trope that makes people think someone who antagonizes them does it because they really like them. But in the case of Sam and Diane, sorry, they clearly hate each other because they secretly love each other.

T: But before Diane bids adieu to Sam, she basically attempts to make him jealous (read: secretly get him to stop her from going).

“We’ll be Diane and Derek Malone. We’ll buy a spread somewhere and call it the Double-D. It’ll make a nice brand.”

T: In full disclosure, they are really stretching this out and it’s killing me. Just get together already. However, I will commend them for making the entire scene between Sam and Diane feel like a Sorkin-esque scene or a really good tennis match. It’s such great writing and acting on their part. For example, instead of just going in for the smooch, they’re talking through their first kiss and fighting on how it should happen, which makes so much sense for their characters and potential relationship. In another line, Sam says this whole thing might be a mistake. They’re breaking up and they literally haven’t even started dating.

M: Do not Dawson and Joey this, Cheers. Do NOT. (To be clear, I’m Pacey/Joey all the way, but the way they set up the audience to want Dawson/Joey to happen, then broke them up after a few episodes, was low).

T: The phrases “phoniest fruitcake”, “shut your fat mouth”, and “I always wanted to pop you one (possibly domestic violence inspired?)” are all said during this heated exchange. (Diane also threatens Sam that he’s going to be “walking funny tomorrow”). Finally it happens.

Sam: You disgust me.

Diane: I hate you.

Sam: Are you as turned on as I am?

Diane: More.

*they go in for a kiss. pause. then kiss.*

::Roll credits::

Sam: I’m gonna nibble on your ear.

Diane: Don’t tell me.

M: They have such good chemistry, and they go back and forth like they work in a newspaper office in a 1930s detective movie.

T: I get why it’s one of the most memorable first kisses in TV history. Because of James Burrows tribute last month, Entertainment Weekly did a article about the kiss in a recent issue, and I was v excited to see some behind-the-scenes secrets from a show that was on 33 years ago.

Pour It Up, Pour It Up

(Drinks at the bar)

T: There are two ladies who Carla waits on who can’t make up their damn minds. They legit start with orders of hot tea and sherry, and it goes to white wine then beer then a shot of whiskey then boilermakers (which is apparently a glass of beer AND a shot of whiskey) featuring Wild Turkey and a Budweiser. It’s taxing.

M: Those women are like two Dianes in 20 years.

The Luke Danes of 1980s Boston

(In which we gush over dreamy yet often grumpy bartender Sam Malone)

T: Cold open Sam has his leg up on the counter in such a precarious way it’s distracting. 

Photo Mar 23, 10 45 49 PM

M: You ever notice how in older shows (70s – 90s) men used to always sit weird ways and act casual about it? See: A.C. Slater, always backwards on his chair.

T: It’s also worth noting that I just noticed you can see the lights at the top of the photo, as seen in the screenshot above. Apparently this is a thing that happens often with shows not made in the past few years (you can see lights, etc. in the Netflix versions of the early seasons of Gilmore Girls) because the show was originally shot in (get ready nerds) an aspect ratio of 4:3, but when transferred to streaming services like Netflix, they use 16:9 – basically means a larger version that was meant to be cropped out when originally aired. Nerd time over.

how it aired on the teevee

M: Sam apologizes to a woman for “shrieking the wrong name.” With God as my witness, that name better have been Diane.


(Literal Laugh Loud Loud moments from the episode)


Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

  • Sam: It took my mind off my brother and your skinny co-worker. I don’t even care where they are any more… Where are they? Carla: Well Bobby and Susie saw them at the drive-in sharing a Cherry Coke and fries.
  • Norm: Those are rich people cheating on taxes. And who has to foot the bill? Honest folks. Like me and you, and all you nice people at the bar that l’ve listed as my dependents.
  • Coach: “It’s a damn sure bet that if he’s not expressing himself to you, he’s nuts about you… Or he couldn’t care less.”

Cheers Queries

T: Am I the only one who doesn’t care for Coach? I don’t really care for his character. I mean he’s sweet and all, but some/all of the jokes they write for him aren’t that funny.

M: Like when Coach says “crazy, Carla?! Crazy like a doorknob.” What is the joke? I assume it’s just that doorknobs aren’t crazy but I wonder if it was culturally relevant at the time, maybe?

To your point, I sort of feel like Coach is the character they keep around in case they need something poignant to happen to someone. Like, if someone has to get cancer or lose their house, it’ll be Coach.

T: James Burrows won a directing Emmy for this ep but there were a few weird zoom-ins that felt weird to me, did it feel that way to you?

M: There were a lot more times where I watched it and went “oh, Cheers is definitely trying something here.” Even the opening shot of the street outside the bar looked different. But ultimately Sam and Diane are finally doing it and that’s a little ditty I’ll always be about.

T: Speaking of James Burrows, he directed 243 of the 270 episodes of Cheers, including the pilot. One of the reasons why James is such a successful director is because he’s directed a ton of classic sitcoms, including more than 60 pilots of TV shows. And he’s def rolling in the dough because if a director helms a pilot and that pilot gets picked up to series, the director will get royalties on every episodes that airs thereafter, even if they never direct another episode again. For example, he lucked out when he directed only the pilot of The Big Bang Theory, but maybe not so much with the pilot of S#!t My Dad Says.

Barfly Fashion

T: Diane’s pale pink suit seems like a more mature? look for her? Or more upscale librarian? And  also is her hair is straighter?

T: Carla’s plaid shirt that reminds me of an azn woman selling fish at an outdoor market in Thailand.

M: You’ll also notice that Carla has started wearing her hair in a ponytail with some barrettes. Barrettes were huge in the ’80s. I feel like either she’s growing it out or can’t perm it during pregnancy.

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss Season two, episode 4, Homicidal Ham.