Frasier did what most spin-offs never do - improved upon its predecessor. Dr. Frasier Crane was introduced as a character on the popular series Cheers, where he was a sophisticated psychiatrist endeavoring to blend in with a gang of working-class regulars at a local bar. He received his own series in 1993, and for eleven seasons, Frasier dazzled with its farcical humor, biting wit, and sensational ensemble acting. It received 37 Emmy Award nominations and many wins for Best Outstanding Comedy Series.
By the end of Frasier's first season, audiences were very aware that the character they'd loved on Cheers was going through some pretty radical changes. He not only no longer liked to drink beer, he lived with his father who he'd told all of his friends was dead. The changes didn't seem to affect the ratings, however, and Frasier remains even now (thanks to a revival on streaming services) one of the most popular series of all time. Below are 10 of its inconsistencies compared to Cheers.
10 FRASIER WAS MORE LAID BACK
One of the reasons Frasier is so amusing to watch on his series is because he's incredibly fastidious. His tastes include gourmet food, fine wine, and the opera, giving him a haughty air around those that enjoy more basic fare, like beer and corn nuts.
On Cheers, Frasier had no problem drinking beer. He enjoyed being considered "one of the guys", and he didn't get as worked up by over-analyzing situations to the point of physical paroxysm. He was more laid back and welcomed the friendship of people completely different than him like Sam, Woody, Norm, and the rest of the gang.
9 FRASIER LIKED SPORTS
While it might be shocking for Frasier viewers to think of a time when Frasier ever liked sports, but on Cheers, he watched them consistently. He would analyze plays in a game, even to the point of getting into heated arguments over referee calls.
By contrast, on Frasier, not only does he ridicule his father for enjoying sports games, but he also makes a point to declare how physically inept he is. Both he and his brother Niles aren't skilled athletes, except when it comes to their weekly games of squash.
8 FRASIER LOVED HORROR AND SCI-FI MOVIES
Frasier's analysis wasn't confined to opera and the theater on Cheers. He often offered deep analysis of popular science-fiction and horror films to the gang as they drank their beer. Films like E.T. and Invasion of the Body Snatchers were rife with psychiatric meanings for him to explore in-depth. He also considered the Star Wars films on par with Citizen Kane.
By contrast on Frasier, he's derisive of anything to do with science-fiction. He patronizes his co-worker Noel for wanting to get William Shatner's autograph and generally equates the Star Trek franchise to the drivel that has neither complexity nor appeal.
7 MARTIN CRANE
In Cheers, Martin Crane is never seen but mentioned to be a research scientist who died in the field. Frasier refers to him on occasion when he mentions that he came from a wealthy family, and used to go hunting with his father, who also had a pet owl.
In Frasier, not only is Martin alive and well, but he's a retired police detective, and not particularly affluent. Frasier claims that he made up his father was dead because he was angry with him at the time. It's referenced in a few inside jokes.
6 HIS APARTMENT
To look at the main set of Frasier, which is Frasier's tastefully decorated apartment, you'd never guess that he lived anywhere lacking interior design. Yet his apartment in Cheers didn't indicate he had any interest putting together a posh living space.
He also loved dogs, even going so far as to have one as a pet in Season 3. This made it especially strange on Frasier when he dislikes his father's terrier, Eddie. In general, he tends to find dogs unhygienic, noisy, and more trouble than they're worth.
5 NILES CRANE
The only family member of Frasier's that we meet on Cheers is Frasier's mother. She's a cold woman, who Frasier implies might be mentally unstable. He declares his father is dead, and he never mentions that he has a younger brother.
The character of Niles was created for Frasier, to create a contrast between who Frasier was at the beginning of Cheers (much more like Niles) and who he was by the end of it (when he moves back to Seattle). Niles is also a psychiatrist, as fussy as his older brother, and even more concerned with image and social climbing.
4 FRASIER CAN'T TAKE PRACTICAL JOKES
On Cheers, though it took a little time, Frasier warmed up to the idea of practical jokes because it made him one of the guys. In Season 3 on the snipe hunt, he falls victim to one himself, and eventually gets back other members of the gang, like the time he pretended to be the ghost of Carla's dead husband.
On Frasier, his father tries to explain to him that practical jokes are done to form bonds, but he refuses to see his father's perspective. He hates practical jokes because he finds them mean-spirited and juvenile. On his radio show he's the victim of several prank calls, and his co-worker Bulldog Brisco frequently makes him the butt of pranks.
3 FRASIER'S ETHICS
On Cheers, Frasier rarely seemed to care about his professional responsibilities to his patients or the morality of his ethics. He frequently regaled the gang with stories of some of his patients, revealing to them sensitive information for a few laughs.
On Frasier, entire episodes are devoted to his crisis of ethics. Whenever he has a breach of them, he begins to feel nauseated. His conscience never allows him to break the confidentiality of his patients, even though in some cases it would benefit him.
2 FRASIER'S RELATIONSHIPS
When Frasier Crane falls for a woman, he falls hard. In Cheers, he was only ever in a serious relationship with two women; Lilith and Diane. This was because if they ever threatened to leave him, he would become so desperate to make them stay that he'd demean them, threaten physical harm, or suicide.
By contrast in Frasier, he has few serious relationships because even if a woman is perfect for him, he picks her apart to find one minor flaw that will give him the validation to stop seeing her. It allows him to hurt her before she can be permitted to hurt him.
On Cheers, Frasier is married to Lilith, and although her personality is similar in Frasier, the nature of their relationship has changed. On Cheers, they each had different personalities, and she was clearly the more dominant one in their marriage, but they were very close.
In Frasier, there are constant references to Frasier's horrible marriage to Lilith, to the point where her arrival is compared to an ensuing apocalyptic plague. He often tells Niles that if he can have survived being married to Lilith, he can survive anything.