3rd Rock from the Sun/Trivia

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  • Actor Allusion: John Lithgow has so very, very many...
    • He redid his entire anti-music speech from Footloose resulting in giant amounts of hilarity.
    • His first time riding in a plane, Dick panics after seeing "something on the wing." Mary informs him that that's the engine.
      • Double Allusion: When the Big Giant Head (William Shatner) visits Earth, upon disembarking from a plane, he tells Dick that he had to be sedated (with something wonderful called "alcohol") after also seeing "something on the wing." Dick exclaims, "Same thing happened to me!" The character Lithgow played in The Movie was portrayed in the original Twilight Zone episode by Shatner.
    • The tie-in book 3rd Rock from the Sun: The Official Report (written as the report of the Solomon's stay on Earth) features a foreword by John Lithgow with a post-it note attached "written" by Dick Solomon claiming he doesn't know why the foreword is there and referring to Lithgow as an Earth actor who appeared in "some helicopter movie".
    • Roseanne Barr plays the Big Giant Head's niece, Janet, who was supposed to be Dick's wife. At first, she's totally devoted to being a good wife, and enjoys cooking and cleaning. Then Dick finds out that she was under the belief that she "had" to love him since she was his wife and those were "the rules". Dick informs her that there are no rules to marriage and she's free to be with whoever she wants. Janet then drops everything and reveals that she really hates cooking, cleaning, being with Dick, and his family, and then decides to explore the world. Up until Janet's declaration of her hatred of being a housewife, Roseanne's role was an inversion to her former glory as Roseanne Conners from Roseanne. Upon admitting how she really felt it turned into a shout out to her former role.
  • Actor Existence Failure: Season three ended with a Cliff Hanger in which Harry had been kidnapped by Vicki's old boyfriend Randy. Phil Hartman, who played Randy, was dead by the time the show resumed for the next season, so the storyline had to be resolved without him. Randy gets a Karma Houdini as a result.
  • Creator Couple: The opening titles end with the credit "Created by Bonnie Turner & Terry Turner". They are a married couple. Incidentally, the show is set in Ohio because Bonnie is an Ohio native.
  • Edited for Syndication: The syndicated versions removed the pre-opening credits sequence of James Earl Jones narrating about the four main characters; they were cut for time. These were unfortunately the versions included on the initial Anchor Bay releases, but luckily these intros were restored for the Mill Creek Entertainment re-releases.
  • Executive Meddling: The reason for the generally despised Super Bowl episode centered on beautiful aliens (played by models) trying to Take Over the World. Even the people who worked on the show badmouth it in the DVD commentary.
    • Kristen Johnston, when discussing the finale, says that network decisions compromised the show's long term potential, indicating that she felt the show might have ended too soon.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: A number of these happen in retrospect.
    • It's a wee young Brendan Frye. Or possibly Arthur.
    • John Lithgow's later roles include Farquaad and Arthur Mitchell. The latter was especially jarring to any younger viewers who didn't know that he's an AMAZING dramatic actor.
    • Newman, Nedry and Al all appear in here as well
      • Don't forget Zurg too.
    • Harry was kidnapped by Troy McClure/Lionel Hutz
    • One episode has Col. Potter guest starring.
    • In one episode, Dick and Mary go out with Commander Riker and his wife Laura Spencer. (Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis are married in real life.)
    • The boy with the Frisbee from "Y2dicK" is Lizzie McGuire's little brother.
    • And, of course, some may know Mary better as "Jane, you ignorant slut".
    • Some of it retroactive:
      • Dick's fake long-lost cousin is Red Forman.
      • Tommy's goth love interest is Lindsay Weir.
      • The Solomons face off in a poetry contest against Lilly from Hannah Montana.
      • Harry's smarmy insurance salesman is Sarah Silverman's manager.
      • The maid Dick steals from Mary is the social worker assigned to Dawn Summers.
      • The Doublemeat Palace lady runs a bed-and-breakfast.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Coop is failing Professor Solomon's Physics class!
  • Name's the Same: In "See Dick Run", evil Dick re-names Harry, Sally, and Tommy to all being named Tommy.
  • Playing Against Type: Before landing the part of Dick, John Lithgow tended to be most visible in movies as Ax Crazy Psychos For Hire.
    • And after that, he decided to become a children songs artist.
  • Real Life Relative:
    • "Auto Eurodicka" sees members of Bug's family played by David DeLuise's father Dom and brothers Michael and Peter.
    • Leon is played by John Lithgow's son, Ian.
  • Screwed by the Network: Do you know how many times NBC changed the series' timeslot? Fifteen times... at least. Coupled with often being scheduled against stiff competition, making it to six seasons was quite an accomplishment. NBC particularly hurt the show with its scheduling choices in Season 6 - with ratings taking such a hit that production knew they wouldn't be back for a seventh.
  • This show and Thirty Rock share more than similar titles:
    • Tracy Morgan appeared in a 3rd Rock episode ("Dick'll Take Manhattan") and John Lithgow appeared in a 30 Rock episode ("Goodbye, My Friend"). Both were playing themselves.
    • Their connections to Saturday Night Live are inverted. 3rd Rock was created by two SNL alums and has one SNL alum in the main cast. 30 Rock was created by one SNL alum and has two SNL alums in the main cast.
    • Elaine Stritch plays the overbearing mother of a main character on both shows. Jan Hooks has a Recurring Character on both shows as well.
    • In the film The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas, Wilma is played by a 3rd Rock regular (Kristen Johnston) and Betty is played by a (future) 30 Rock regular (Jane Krakowski).
    • When 30 Rock first premiered, it aired alongside John Lithgow's short-lived sitcom Twenty Good Years.