To some Frasier fans, Martin Crane was the heart and soul of the series. With his blue-collar common sense and traditional charm, he was a perfect foil to his grandstanding sons Niles and Frasier, both psychiatrists and both obsessed with the finer things in life. Marty was a police officer in the Seattle Police Department before he was wounded in the line of duty and forced to retire. When his eldest son Frasier moved back to Seattle from Boston to begin his job as the host of a radio psychiatry program, he begrudgingly moved in with him while he recovered.
It wasn't an ideal arrangement, but Marty's gruff exterior slowly softened over the show's eleven seasons, and he grew closer to his sons and his physical therapist Daphne Moon by offering advice and counsel in the madcap adventures of their lives. While Martin may have had a penchant for truth, justice, and the American Way, he made some blunders that put the antics of his sophisticated sons to shame. Here are the 10 worst things Marty's done, ranked.
10 DYED HIS HAIR TO TRY TO LOOK YOUNGER
The men of the Crane family do some pretty radical alterations to their outward appearance to appeal to the ladies. Much like Niles growing a mustache to appear more "dashing", Marty once dyed his hair a dark brown to appear more youthful.
The traumatic moment came in Season 5, when Niles and Frasier decided to throw a singles party to end their romantic dry spell. Unfortunately, the hair dye that Marty used started to run without his knowledge when he sat too close to the fire, getting all over himself and the back of Niles' chair.
9 REFUSED TO MEET THE TELESCOPE WOMAN
Marty has been reluctant to start dating from Season 1, when Frasier bought him a telescope as a gift and encouraged him to embrace the outside world. He formed a relationship with a woman that lived in another apartment building he could see, and exchanged information with her on large posterboard before they agreed to exchange numbers.
After they began speaking on the phone, Frasier was certain they'd want to set up an occasion to meet in person. Marty was evasive, cavalierly explaining that she wasn't "his type". Eventually he did meet her face to face, but we as viewers never got to see what became of their meeting or if his mind was changed.
8 RAN FOR CONDO BOARD PRESIDENT FOR FRASIER'S BENEFIT
In the later seasons, after years of unsuccessfully being elected to Condo Board President against his arch nemesis Cam Winston, Frasier conceives of a nefarious way to win by proxy. He has his father run, knowing how likable he is to the tenants in his apartment building, and fully intending to get some of his own projects actualized from behind the scenes.
It's surprising that Martin agrees to do this on Frasier's behalf, considering his strict moral code where such matters are concerned, but he eventually wins and Frasier gets some of his items prioritized. Eventually it blows up in both of their faces, indicating Martin should have gone with his gut and talked Frasier out of another neurotic idea.
7 USED HIS POLICE INFLUENCE TO GET FAVORS
Martin Crane was a highly venerated member of the Seattle Police Department until he was shot in the line of duty and forced into early retirement by the time Frasier began. In later seasons, he resumes serving and protecting Seattle as a security officer.
Martin takes advantage of his police connections several times throughout the series, though he makes a great fuss about justice needing to be the same for everyone. One particularly egregious instance was when he flashed his old badge at a border patrol guard at the Canadian border to prevent Daphne from not being able to return to the US.
6 INSISTED ON "THE CHAIR" IN FRASIER'S APARTMENT
One of the biggest source of malcontent between Frasier and his father revolved around the obnoxious recliner Martin insisted on bringing into Frasier's apartment. While Frasier's decor style was "eclectic," the green, red, and white striped monstrosity didn't go with any of Frasier's antiques or prized objects d'art.
Martin wanted something of his own blue-collar taste amidst Frasier's refined pieces, and it helped him feel more like he was at "home". While that's an understandable sentiment to have, it was placed in the center of Frasier's living room, and drew the most attention out of anything Frasier possessed (save his spectacular view of Seattle).
5 JUDGED NILES AND FRASIER'S TASTE
One of the hallmarks of Martin Crane's sense of humor was centered on clever retorts about his sons' mutual appreciation for the finer things in life. As a more down-to-earth self-proclaimed "man's man", Marty could care less about gourmet food, opera, or foreign paintings.
This constant derision makes Frasier and Niles believe that their father doesn't care for them, making the fact that their mother is no longer living (whom they identified with most) particularly hard. Martin seldom reveals his true emotions to his sons, but he makes it known he's proud of them when he feels able.
4 RARELY TOLD NILES AND FRASIER HE LOVED THEM
Martin Crane isn't an emotionally available man. With his taciturn, gruff exterior, he often suppresses his feelings at the expense of the sort of real vulnerability that leads to emotional growth. In the entire time that Frasier and Niles have been alive, it's revealed he's only told the Crane Boys he loved them a handful of times.
Imagine their surprise when he easily administers the "L word" to Eddie and his best friend Duke. Wounded by his inability to convey affection for them, it takes his constant reassurance that even if he doesn't express his feelings, it doesn't mean he doesn't have them.
3 LET EDDIE RUIN FRASIER'S THINGS
Frasier has a love-hate relationship with his father's canine companion, Eddie.He hates the terrier tyrant himself, but loves that he brings so much obvious joy to his father. Since Marty and Eddie were a package deal, Frasier had to begrudgingly welcome Eddie into his apartment when his father moved in.
While Eddie responds with human-like understanding to him and Daphne, he seems to almost willfully misinterpret what Frasier commands. Instead, he simply stares blankly at him and tilts his head. Marty has been known to let Eddie have the run of Frasier's apartment when he isn't there, including jumping up on the table to eat, and play with Frasier's designer socks.
2 CHEATED ON HESTER
For years, Niles and Frasier were delusional about the nature of their father's infidelity while he was married to their mother. He maintained that it was only possible because their marriage was strained and they were "taking a break", but there was more to the story.
Martin begrudgingly reveals that it was actually Hester that had the affair with a friend of the family, and he blamed himself for her stepping outside their marriage. He lied to the boys for years to protect her reputation, a point that Frasier understands since his wife (Lilith) also cheated on him and he hasn't told his son Frederick.
1 BROKE UP WITH SHERRY OVER "I LOVE YOU"
Probably the worst thing that Martin ever did on Frasier was break up with his longtime girlfriend, Sherry Dempsey because he actually cared too much about her. She was ready to say she loved him and take their relationship to the next level, but he was worried it would mean he had forgotten Hester's memory.
While Sherry languished in heartache, he shut himself off from his feelings, even almost managing to convince himself he was better off. Frasier explained to him that his stubbornness shouldn't get in the way of his happiness, and that Hester would have wanted him to be with Sherry.