10 Things From Cheers That Have Not Aged Well

Want to go where everybody knows your name? Head on down to Cheers! It's filled with Pixar-Esque characters (we're looking at you, Cliff) and unemployed alcoholics who can't stand their wives (Hi, Norm).  The Boston sitcom has everything you could possibly want from a TV series. A brilliant ensemble cast. A bubbling romance. Hilarious cold opens. Ted Danson's hair.

Cheers pretty much has everything going for it. At least, it did, back in the 80s. Although the series is still considered insanely clever and quick-witted, nothing seems to age quicker than comedy. Looking back at Cheers over thirty years later, how has the sitcom aged poorly by 2019 standards? Read on to find out!

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In this episode, Sam discovers that one of his old baseball teammates has come out of the closet. Sam sympathizes with his old friend's journey of discovery, and the rest of the bar-goers shun Sam's decision to openly support a gay man.

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They believe if he does, their favorite bar will become a "gay hangout". Classy, right? The worst is the fact that these characters who are making shamelessly homophobic remarks are supposed to be likable people. We are meant to relate to them and root for them which is what makes this episode so uncomfortable for modern audiences.


Sam and Diane brought the love/hate relationship dynamic to life. It is likely that if it wasn't for these two and their endless banter, there would be no Harry and Sally from When Harry Met Sally or Nick and Jess from New Girl. Sam and Diane delivered what was perhaps the steamiest chemistry in TV history, but of course, their unhealthy dynamic did not come without drawbacks.

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Diane would annoy Sam so much that he'd announce his desire to hurt her, and his list of physical threats against her only increased in length as the series progressed. These remarks from Sam were usually followed by a laugh track, making it all the more off-putting.


It is honestly incredible how lacking this show is when it comes to diversity. The bar itself is set in the middle of a city where you would expect to find people of all different backgrounds and walks of life, but this ceases to be the case. Every main character of the program is white.

Even the extras are pretty much exclusively caucasian. It would be one thing if the show was set in rural Indiana, but the fact that this bar is set in the middle of a popular city makes us scratch our heads in confusion.


In the extended version of one of the most classic theme songs of all time, there are lyrics in the song that can arguably be considered transphobic. Listening to the uncut version of the theme song, you will hear Gary Portnoy sing "Your husband wants to be a girl". In the tune, he is listing off all of the worst possible scenarios a person can possibly go through in order to drive them towards the bar where "everybody knows your name".

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Although this scenario would be truly challenging to go through, the motive behind it is definitely meant to derive laughs at the idea of a man deciding to transition. These jokes may have been a part of the norm in the 80s but now it is safe to say this lyric wouldn't fly in today's more progressive day and age.


The format of Cheers is multi-cam, meaning it uses multiple cameras on a set and that it is filmed in front of a live studio audience. Although this type of formatting can be fun when it comes to the studio's reactions, for the majority of people this type of formatting is considered outdated.

Most people don't want to hear a laugh track because many people feel as though these forced laughs take away from the quality while others claim laugh tracks are insulting towards one's intelligence. Whether or not you agree, you can't deny the fact that a good majority of folks nowadays prefer single-cam format as opposed to multi-cam.


Norm is most remembered on Cheers for his one-liners that announce his disgust towards his wife, Vera.

We never get to actually meet Vera or see her face (the one time we are introduced to her she receives a pie to the face) so we are unable to know whether or not she is actually this greatly unlikable person that he makes her out to be. Plus, the whole genre of "I hate my wife" jokes a-la Henny Youngman is pretty old school nowadays and feel rather dated as well.


During a heated scene that is intended to be fueled from passion, Diane slaps Sam. To Diane's shock and surprise, Sam slaps her right back. This is then followed by a slap fight that is completed with the live studio audience bursting with laughter.

Perhaps if the laugh track was taken away, this would seem less like a slapstick comedy (pun intended) and more like a soap opera. There is a strong chance this scene would not go over so well in 2019, especially with Sam slapping Diane back.


Carla, aka the snarky waitress on Cheers, desperately wants you to know that she is "not like other girls". This woman seems to feel as though she is superior to any female in sight because according to Carla's logic if you act like a woman, you are only degrading yourself.

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She accepts the blatant sexism of the male-driven sports bar, and worst of all, she actively participates in this behavior. In fact, it wouldn't be much of a long shot to consider Carla to be the most sexist character in the bar. When Sam claims he doesn't want to live the "player" lifestyle anymore by sleeping with as many women as possible, Carla gets extremely disappointed in him. Why, Carla? Who made you this way?


In a rather controversial statement (especially by 2019 standards) Carla offers some advice to Sam about what women really want. According to Carla, "every woman wants to be controlled." This is followed by Norm agreeing with Carla, saying his wife loved when he had to "get tough with her" and "lay down the law".

This advice thus encourages Sam to stride over to Diane's house and literally knock down her door in order to demand sex. Diane then has to sit him down and teach him that "violence and hostility has no place in a romantic relationship". This should be a given, but apparently not by 1980s standards.


Rebecca Howe played by Kirstie Alley originally started out with some promise. She seemed like a smart, goal-oriented businesswoman who wasn't afraid to clap back at all of the impossibly sexist remarks that were thrown at her from left to right by the series protagonists.

Yet as the sitcom progressed, her character slowly declined into a poorly written woman who only cared about frivolous matters. She became a gold-digger and an active complainer who was more cartoonish in nature as opposed to multi-dimensional. Poor Kirstie!

NEXT: 10 Classic Comedies That Have Aged Poorly

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