The Quote Collection: Frasier, Season 1
There are two kinds of people in this world: the type that find the sitcom Frasier to be laugh-out-loud funny and ingeniously clever, and the type that find it “so pretentious.”
Before I ever actually watched Frasier, I would catch a glimpse of the opening titles and immediately scoff, “Boring!” before changing the channel as fast as my remote control finger would let me. A few months ago, while doing some cleaning, I had the television on in the background when Frasier came on. By the first commercial break, I found myself sitting rapt in front of the television, cleanly house forgotten.
Here, I have included some of my favorite quotes from the first season.
Frasier follows the life of the eponymous Fraiser Crane (Kelsey Grammer) after his move from Boston to his native Seattle. A snobby-yet-endearing radio psychologist, Frasier lives with his blue collar, ex-cop father, Martin (John Mahoney), his father’s English physical therapist, Daphne (Jane Leeves), and his father’s adorable Jack Russell Terrier, Eddie. Other very notable regulars on the show include Frasier’s equally snobby-yet-endearing younger brother, Niles (played by the incomparable David Hyde Pierce), and Frasier’s radio producer, Roz (Peri Gilpin).
A spin-off of Cheers, Frasier is one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, with a total of 264 episodes over eleven seasons. In my opinion, this show has everything. It is unique in its ability to make a sitcom witty and interesting, rather than formulated and predictable. Even though a lot of the humor is derived from the Crane brothers’ intellectual tastes and interests, it is all presented in a very relatable and satirical way; the jokes are never lost on those of us who have no outside knowledge of the operas, wines, or musical pieces mentioned. Despite Frasier’s and Niles’s lofty pursuits, wackiness inevitably seems to ensue, and there is an unexpected amount of physical, slapstick comedy.
Roz: “We have Ethan on line three, and he’s having a little problem at school.”
Frasier: “Hello, Ethan. I’m listening.”
Ethan: “Hi, Dr. Crane.”
Frasier: “How old are you?”
Ethan: “I’m thirteen.”
Frasier: “Well, what can I do for you?”
Ethan: “Well, I’m having a lot of problems with the other kids at school. They’re always beating me up.”
Frasier: “Why do you think that’s so?”
Ethan: “Probably because I’m smart. I have a 160 IQ. I’m in the astronomy club, and I hate sports.”
Frasier: “Well, Ethan, you know, the other children are just acting out of jealousy and immaturity. I know it doesn’t help right now, but a day will come in the next few years when you will have the last laugh.”
Ethan: “...That’s it?”
Ethan: “Frankly, Dr. Crane, I find that advice patronizing, simplistic—in all candor, uninspired. The real surprise here is that they pay you to dole out this balloon juice.”
Frasier: “Ethan, where are you calling from?”
Frasier: “Well, if any of Ethan’s classmates are listening, you know where he is, and he can’t stay in there forever. Thank you for your call."
- Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast
Daphne: “I suppose I just fall in love too fast. The minute I feel that spark, I just give my heart away.”
Niles: “Daphne, you must stop being so hard on yourself. What you see as a fault is mostly your greatest gift, to be so open, warm, loving.”
- A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream
“Hello, Claire. I’m listening.”
Claire: “I’m, um… Well, I’m a mess. Eight months ago, my boyfriend and I broke up, and I just can’t get over it. The pain isn’t going away. It’s almost like I’m in mourning or something.”
Frasier: “Claire, you are in mourning. But you’re not mourning the loss of your boyfriend; you’re mourning the loss of what you thought your life was going to be. Let it go. Things don’t always work out how you plan. That’s not necessarily bad. Things have a way of working out anyway.”
- The Good Son
Daphne: “Now, what do you think Mrs. Crane would like for dinner?”
Niles: “Oh, you have free reign. Just bear in mind she can’t have shellfish…poultry, red meat, saturated fats, nitrates, wheat, starch, sulfites, MSG, or dairy. Did I say nuts?”
Frasier: “Oh, I think that’s implied!”
- A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream
“All right, that’s it. I had enough of you two jackasses. I spent the whole night listening to you make cracks about the food and the help. Well, I got news for you: people like this place. I like this place. And when you insult this restaurant, you insult me. You know, I used to think you two took after your mother, liking the ballet and all that. But your mother liked a good ballgame, too. She even had a hotdog once in a while. She may have had fancy tastes, but she had too much class to ever make me or anybody else feel second-rate. She saw the way you two behaved tonight, she’d be ashamed. I know I am.” – Martin, Dinner at Eight
Daphne: “I don’t know why I’m being silly. We weren’t together long enough for anything toreally happen.”
Niles: “Sometimes the most powerful feelings can come from the promise of what might happen. Just the anticipation is enough to make all the little hairs on your neck stand on end.”
- A Mid-Winter’s Night Dream
“Well, I had a really good year. I decide that, hey, why not reward myself? So
I bought what I really wanted: a 48-foot cabin cruiser. Know how much it cost
me? I’ll tell you how much it cost me: 300 grand, not to mention the 20,000 in
custom teak decking. Now here’s my problem: the wife wants to call this incredible vessel LuLuBelle after her
mother. LuLuBelle! So I say, no, we call it the Intrepid. So what do you think
it should be called, LuLuBelle, or the Intrepid?"
Frasier: “Roger, at Cornell University, they have an incredible piece of scientific equipment known as the Tunneling Electron Microscope. Now, this microscope is so powerful that by firing electrons you can actually see images of the atom, the infinitesimally minute building block of our universe. Roger, if I were using that microscope right now, I still wouldn’t be able to locate my interest in your problem. Thank you for your call.”
- Selling Out
“God, it’s a recipe for disaster! You’ve got a vulnerable woman and an unstable man in a Gothic mansion on a rainy night. The only thing missing is someone shouting ‘Heathcliff!’ across the moors!” – Frasier, A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream
Frasier: “Niles, listen, listen, if Dad and I get into a Winnebago together, only one of us will come out alive. You’ve got to come with us."
Niles: “Frasier, you’re my brother. That entitles you to my bone marrow and one of my kidneys, but this is an imposition.”
- Travels with Martin
“Love is a funny thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s exciting and passionate, and sometimes it’s something else—something comfortable and familiar. That newly-exfoliated little facing staring up at you from across the breakfast table, sharing a laugh together when you see someone wearing white after Labor Day…” – Niles, A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream
“I’m sorry, Frasier. I am not a Winnebago person. Whenever I see one on the highway, I look into the driver’s eyes, hoping to see something that would explain why in God’s name he would ever want to do something like this. All I see is a death stare under the brim of a hat made out of Miller Lite cans.” – Niles, Travels with Martin