An extended nightmare dreamt by Bob Hartley of The Bob Newhart Show.
Bob: Well, I was an innkeeper in this crazy little town in Vermont! Nothing made sense in this place. I mean, the maid was an heiress. Her husband talked in alliteration. The handyman kept missing the point of things. And then there were these three woodsmen, but only one of them talked!
- All Just a Dream: Brilliantly played with; after the completely out-there finale, having that episode revealed to be a dream wasn't unexpected. Finding out whose dream, now...
- This was done to parody the last episode of St. Elsewhere, where the entire series is revealed to be the daydream of an autistic boy.
- Alternatively, a parody of one of the most controversial uses of the trope: Dallas, in which a season was suddenly retconned as being a dream of a character.
- According to Newhart's memoir, it was simply a good idea by his real life wife Ginnie.
- As Himself: Johnny Carson, Tim Conway, Edwin Newman.
- Away in a Manger: Used in the Season 1 episode "No Room at the Inn".
- Big "Shut Up!": The Darryls to their wives in the finale (also their only line in the entire series; see The Voiceless, below).
- Breakout Characters: Larry, Darryl, and Darryl, to the point where their first appearance in a given episode would provoke a near-Fonzie-like reaction from the Studio Audience.
- Larry, Darryl and Darryl were locally very popular in real-world Vermont, culminating in the actors appearing in character for an all-lard Food Fight staged in Burlington as part of a local festival in the late 1980s. Sort of a live, in-person Non Sequitur Scene.
- Both Stephanie and Michael were also originally introduced as one-shot guest stars, and were popular enough to become regulars.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Dick, in at least one episode.
- Closer to Earth
- Comedy Series
- Consummate Liar: Kirk.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dick, on occasion.
- Drop-In Character: Larry and the Darryls.
- Eccentric Townsfolk: The show runs on this trope.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Larry Darryl and Darryl's first business - "Anything For a Buck". They'll do anything for a buck. If it's something cool like digging up an old
witchwoman's body from the cellar, they might even pay you the buck.
- Extremely Overdue Library Book: Averted. Larry, Darryl, and Darryl all decided to make a time capsule and asked for donations. One week later, they had to did it up, because one of the Darryls placed a library book.
- Grand Finale: "The Last Newhart", one of the most memorable sitcom finales among fans and critics, where we learn that the entire scenario of a mild-mannered, humble and genial innkeeper and TV show host driven to the brink of a nervous breakdown by crazy, loony caricatures of the town's residents was but a nightmare of Dr. Robert Hartley (of The Bob Newhart Show). The plot of this final show magnifies what the show had been doing progressively over its eight years: A Japanese tycoon buys the (unnamed) town where the Stratford Inn (which protagonists Dick and Joanna Loudon owned) was located, and after a farewell party (with Dick pretty much saying "good riddance"), the main characters—handyman George Uttley, yuppies Michael and Stephanie Harris, and Larry and his brothers Darryl and Darryl—leave. In the five years that pass, Dick has now been dealing with crazier loons than what populated the inn years earlier, and his wife (as a geisha girl) has even gotten nuts; he's also unable to get over a golf course being built around the inn without his permission. Then, the old folks all come back and drive Dick to the brink of a nervous breakdown. The Darryls speak for the only time in the series' history ("QUIET!!!" to shut their annoying girlfriends up). Finally, things become chaotic as the new Japanese folks become friends with their old counterparts, and Dick can take it no longer; he says he's going to leave, and just as he walks out the door is knocked out by a wayward golf ball. The screen goes black... and when a light comes back on, the scene shifts to Dr. Hartley's bedroom from The Bob Newhart Show, and his wife Emily (Suzanna Pleshette in a Cameo of her famous role) scolds him for eating too much Japanese food before bed (unlike Bob on The Bob Newhart Show, Dick was psychologically unable to deal with the eccentric folks in his town)! Whew!
- They went to great pains to make sure that the studio audience didn't see the bedroom set until they had started filming.
- Halloween Episode: "Take Me to Your Loudon".
- Hollywood New England
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Composed by Henry Mancini.
- Kind of a sadly-averted Crowning Music of Awesome because of the Mancini tie-in. The man who wrote the timeless jazz themes for The Pink Panther and Peter Gunn basically wrote pleasant-but-bland elevator music for this theme.
- It may be "Pleasant but bland", but it fit the mood of a series set in a sleepy Vermont town better then a jazz theme would (or the Remington Steele theme written the same year).
- I Want You to Meet An Old Friend of Mine
- Johnny Carson: Pays Larry and the Darryls' gas bill.
Larry: Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl. And heeeeeeere's Johnny!
- Last of His Kind: When Newhart premiered in 1982, it was pretty much the only show from MTM Productions that still aired on CBS, as the company pretty much began airing most of their product on NBC due to company co-founder and president Grant Tinker becoming chairman and CEO there. In addition, it was also pretty much MTM's last major sitcom, as by this time the company had pretty much shifted its focus to cranking out dramas instead.
- Logo Joke: "Meow."
- Mad Magazine: Not So New-Heart.
- Missing the Good Stuff
- Mistaken for Dying: Subversion.
- Motor Mouth: Michael.
- Mr. Fixit: George.
- Newhart Phonecall: Trope Namer. A common gag on the show.
- Interestingly in one episode, Dick has a phone conversation with one of the Darryls before it was established that they never spoke, even off screen.
- One Steve Limit: Averted hard with Larry's brothers.
- Only Sane Man: Dick.
- Put on a Bus: Leslie, Kirk.
- Quirky Town
- Retool: One of the most successful examples. During the second season, the show switched from videotape to film, added Stephanie as a regular, and opened up the show beyond the inn by giving Dick a job hosting a local TV show (which also brought Michael in as a new character). All these changes helped make the show more popular.
- Reunion Show: Subversion.
- Rich Bitch: Stephanie, with a little Servile Snarker thrown in.
- Running Gag: "Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl. And this is my other brother Darryl."
- Show Within a Show: Vermont Today.
- The Smart Guy: Dick, somewhat.
- Strange Syntax Speaker: Michael Harris speaks in alliteration.
- Stylistic Suck: Michael develops a truly awful sitcom called Seein' Double, best described as The Patty Duke Show meets Three's Company. We get to see footage from the "pilot".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Stephanie, for Leslie.
- Or inverted, depending on how you look at it. Stephanie and Leslie were not very alike, as Leslie was too bland to even exist as a sitcom character and Stephanie was actually funny.
- Sweater Girl: Joanna. Lampshaded in the All Just a Dream finale noted above, when Bob says to his "real" wife Emily, "You know, you really should wear more sweaters."
- Telethon: In one episode, Michael convinces Dick into hosting a 72-hour telethon for the station... even though it's a commercial station.
- Time Skip/Where Are They Now? Epilogue/Distant Finale: Employed, subverted, and inverted in the final episode.
- Twist Ending: Parodied, in one of the all-time great TV moments.
- The Voiceless: Larry's brothers Darryl and Darryl, at least until the grand finale.
- Work Com: With the twist that the Loudons' place of business also happened to be their home.
- Once Dick started hosting Vermont Today, much of the show took place behind the scenes at the TV station.
- Ye Goode Olde Days: Dick is a great history buff and bought the Inn for nostalgia's sake. The Inn is a very tastefully done building with antiques and paintings on display.
- You Look Familiar: Thomas Hill (Chester) and Julia Duffy (Stephanie) had played father and daughter in the short-lived 1983 CBS show Wizards and Warriors.
- In the finale, Dr. Hartley fails to notice that his best friend in college is his handyman.