14 thoughts on “What Was the Worst Recurring Bit on an Otherwise Good TV Series?

  1. Never seeing a recurring character’s face – Howard’s mom on Big Bang Theory and Maris on Frasier are both annoying, but Wilson from Home Improvement was the worst.

    Also, all the kids’ catchphrases on Full House. Actually, all the catchphrases on Full House. Actually, all catchphrases ever. Also actually, Full House in general.

  2. You left out Norm’s wife (her name is escaping me) Maris was burroughs punting the same gag over to Frazier from Cheers.

  3. Maris was planned to be cast, but they had described her so oddly within a few episodes that they had written themselves into a corner and couldn’t find anyone that fit the description

  4. I thought about Vera, but I decided to leave her out because of her being the first example of this trope I remember and because of being unwilling to admit any flaw in Cheers. (Although I did think of one for Cheers. In one of the Gary’s Olde Town Tavern prank episodes, the gang thinks a fire marshal is a plant, so they pull a lot of pranks on him. He keeps repeating, “what are you doing?” It really made an already funny situation much funnier with his delivery. Cut to many episodes later, the same guy comes back and says the same thing, again and again, and it really fell flat.)

  5. Jack Tripper constantly having to flirt with his landlords so they would think he was gay and let him stay in the apartment.

  6. Just thought of a another one from Murphy Brown: Everyone in Phil’s bar yelling “CLOSE THE DOOR!” whenever somebody walked in, because the sun shone directly into the bar whenever the door opened. They had the sense to realize the gag wasn’t working and drop it quickly, even though it made no sense that suddenly the sun WASN’T shinning into the bar when they opened the door. Did somebody build a new high rise across the street or something?

  7. Any joke that the entire show had to stop for 5 seconds or more because the actors knew that the studio audience was going to hoot and holler. It always looked so awkward for the actors to stand there and have to wait to continue on.

    The one that really bugged me was the Larry, Darryl, and Darryl joke on Newhart. It was funny the first couple times, but c’mon. They milked that joke for years.

    Lenny and Squiggy’s entrances on Laverne & Shirley runs a close second for me.

  8. “Yeah, that was definitely sunlight. So you’re right, it was sunlight!”

    Now you’ve got me wondering if they did a variation on the gag during an episode set in winter where cold air was blowing in that I’m forgetting. I’m not about to rewatch a ton of first season Murphy Brown episodes to confirm, but that certainly seems possible. That clip above was the only thing I found when I did a Google search on “Murphy Brown close the door”, though.

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