Mad About You

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Quite simply, a Dom Com about a married couple, with a Seinfeld-esque interest in meaningless conversations, and minor fiddling events over big important ones. Rather unusual in that the couple is composed of two intelligent, attractive, well-adjusted and financially well-off people who are deeply in love and rarely argue. Except over whether the floor is slanted.

The well of inspiration ran dry in the final season (Viagra overdoses and breast implant jokes abound), but the series managed to wrap up with a truly heart-rending finale.

Their dog, Murray, became an Ensemble Darkhorse due to his phenomenal acting talent.

Tropes used in Mad About You include:
  • Art Shift: The whole comic book portion during "My Boyfriend's Back". Jamie's ex-boyfriend Alan draws her as the evil Queen Talon in a comic book, causing her a world of trouble as everyone now recognizes her as such. The episode ends with a full comic version of everyone.
  • As Himself: Mark McGwire, post-Home Run record.
    • Jamie works for James Carville.
    • Bruce Willis.
    • John Astin played himself as still behaving like Gomez Addams even in Real Life.
      • Garth Brooks had a cameo in the same episode, telling Paul the bar tune whose performer Paul couldn't remember was by ... Garth Brooks. (Paul thought he must be mistaken.)
  • Birthday Hater: Paul always has terrible birthdays.

Paul: Ouch.
Jamie: What happened?
Paul: No, no, no, I'm just practicing.
Jamie: Fine. You're gonna fall in a well. Are you happy now?
Paul: You know, I fell in a well.
Jamie: You did not.
Paul: Birthday, 15. Amish country.
Jamie: You fell in a well?
Paul: While making a wish.
Jamie: Okay? My God.
Paul: No, no, no, this is the beauty--this is the beauty of the thing. See, I know it's gonna suck. I know there's some disaster coming and still I continue to have birthdays.
Jamie: Maybe this one will be better.
Paul: Oh, no, no, it will suck. It's just that I just don't know what form the disaster will take and therein lies the fascination.

  • Bottle Episode
  • Brother Chuck: Selby.
  • Brutal Honesty
  • The Bus Came Back: Mark.
  • Catapult Nightmare: The hilarious kind during the Dream Sequence episode.
  • Catch Phrase: For Paul listing things - "Ok first number 1 (first item) and then B (second item)."
  • Cool Old Guy: Mel Brooks guest-stars as Uncle Phil (no relation) in a few episodes.
    • Sid, Paul's editor, too.
  • Crossover: Sort of; early on, Lisa Kudrow played Ursula, a scatterbrained waitress at Riff's. After Kudrow landed the role of Phoebe on Friends, Ursula was revealed to be Phoebe's twin sister. Jamie and Fran have a cameo in one episode of the latter show, where they go to the coffee shop where Phoebe works and mistake her for Ursula. The fact that Phoebe, being a busker and not a waitress, doesn't take their order only further convinces them that she's Ursula.
    • It also turns out that Paul used to live in the apartment now inhabited by Seinfeld's Cosmo Kramer, which becomes weird when a later season finds that program's George and Susan in bed watching an episode of Mad About You!
      • Likewise, in one episode, Paul runs into real-life Jerry Seinfeld, and tells him that Jaime "loves your show".
    • NBC also liked to do cross over stunt nights when all the sitcoms in that night's line up would be self contained stories related to a larger arc (generally to boost ratings during sweep periods). In one such instance, Mad About You's Jamie tries to steal cable TV reception and manages to black out New York City. The characters of Friends and Madman Of The People then dealt with the blackout in their own shows. Somewhat typically, Seinfeld didn't participate in the gimmick, and just ran a regular episode.
    • Also with the classic Dick Van Dyke Show, when Carl Reiner guest stars as his DVDS character Alan Brady.
  • Disability as an Excuse For Jerkassery: Paul and Jamie were once harassed by a man in a wheelchair who used this. After punching Paul in the gut and subsequently receiving a black eye, he exaggerated the amount of pain he was in while others chastised Paul.
  • Doppelganger: In one episode, Lisa accidentally comes home with a well trained twin of Murray.

Jamie: Lisa, this is not Murray! It looks like Murray, but it isn't Murray. Murray has a white spot and vacant eyes. This dog KNOWS THINGS!

  • Dream Sequence: A whole episode of it after they eat Ostrich.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Uncle Phil's real name is Deuteronomy. Naturally, he waits to mention this until after guilt-tripping Paul into naming the baby after him.
  • Famous Last Words: Paul's uncle dying on-camera. "Hoooooooooooooo...Mooooooooooooooooooos!"
    • In a spoof of Citizen Kane, everybody spends the episode running around to find out what it means. It's the serial number on the camera. (Hoo-Moo5).
  • Fun with Acronyms: After a full episode of back-and-forth debate over the baby's name, Paul and Jamie are hit with inspiration when they hear this adage: Mothers Always Bring Extra Love. Bingo.
    • In the finale, a rebelling Mabel tells her parents she's changing her name to Sonya - Some Other Name You Ass-(Paul and Jamie cover the last last bit with their gasps).
  • Godwin's Law: Paul uses this in "The Glue People" as a reason to vote for a different Mayor than Jaimie.
  • Happily Married
  • Hank Azaria: Nat, the Dog Walker. His accent work is to die for!
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Jamie and Paul's old sex tape.
  • Kavorka Man: Ira. Lampshaded when he accidentally catches himself in a mirror while having intercourse, scarring him so deeply that he loses interest in sex (for about a week).
  • Lampshade Hanging: Usually in The Tag, which either breaks or leans on the fourth wall.
  • Last-Minute Baby-Naming: Paul and Jamie name the baby Mabel, after a remark by Jamie's mom: "Mothers always bring extra love."
  • Local Hangout: Riff's restaurant.
  • Make Up or Break Up: The series finale shows Paul and Jamie separating for a while. They reconcile at the screening of Mabel's Dada-esque indie film.
  • Meaningful Echo: In a flashback to Paul and Jamie's introduction to each other, Jamie's Forceful Kiss is followed by this non sequitur:

Paul: Did you just kiss me?
Jamie: (beat) No.
Paul: I didn't think so.

    • In the series finale, Paul and Jamie (now middle-aged and separated) have the exact same exchange. As Mabel's voiceover states, Paul then escorted Jamie back home, bought a pie, "and never left".
  • Meddling Parents
  • Mel Brooks: Played Paul's Uncle Phil. You can tell that most of his scenes are just him improvising most of his lines, the credit stingers actually have different takes with the cast cracking up.
  • Model Couple: Not quite models, but they're both good-looking enough to be an aversion of the Ugly Guy, Hot Wife trope that's so standard of many sitcoms.
  • My Own Private I Do: Though the series starts with them already married, it's revealed that Jamie and Paul did this - the Plan First, Elope Later type. It happens in the middle of the night, on the sidewalk, performed by a ConEd worker, while Jamie has toothpaste on her face. And it's adorable.
  • One We Prepared Earlier: The Thanksgiving Episode!
  • The Perry Mason Method: Uncle Phil is brought up on charges for illegally collecting old newspapers from the neighbors in his building, then amassing a fortune's worth of coupons. Phil calls the prosecutor to the stand, then proceeds to absolutely decimate his case by guilt-tripping the attorney about his parents, clipping coupons to pay for his law courses.

Phil: Judge, lemmie hear those magic words!
Judge: Case dismissed!