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Biggest Unanswered Questions From Frasier

On September 16, 1993, a sitcom about a single psychiatrist uprooting his life in Boston to start anew in Seattle premiered on NBC. "Frasier" garnered great success, receiving a total of 37 Emmy Awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series five years in a row. The show's many accolades are even more impressive when you take into account "Frasier" is a spin-off of the sitcom "Cheers." Spin-offs are notorious for failing for one reason or another, with a few exceptions. In fact, "Frasier" was a second attempt at a "Cheers" spin-off after the failure of "The Tortellis," a sitcom following "Cheers" characters Nick and Loretta Tortelli.

Frasier Crane wasn't particularly a fan favorite during his run on "Cheers." The pompous psychiatrist was introduced in Season 3 as Diane's love interest before she inevitably left him at the altar the following season. After some time, actor Kelsey Grammer won over the hearts of audiences and became a series regular. "Cheers" producers David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee took notice of Grammer's charm and approached Grammer with an unrelated show starring the actor (via Vanity Fair). This eventually led to Grammer reprising the role of Frasier, giving us the classic we know and love. The intention was to distance the spin-off as far from "Cheers" as possible, which proved to be the right move. 

With more than a decade on the air and significant changes from the source material, the following questions surrounding "Frasier" were left unanswered.

How does a radio psychiatrist afford such a lavish lifestyle?

Class structure plays a significant role in the premise of "Frasier." The Crane brothers enjoy the finer things in life. Their expensive taste and snobby behavior clash with their traditional working-class father. Similar disconnects are evident in Frasier's relationships with other working-class characters, such as his live-in aide Daphne and the producer of Frasier's radio show Roz. Frasier's lifestyle could be off-putting to the average viewer, but instead, it's often used as the butt of a joke, and nothing's more entertaining than laughing at the out-of-touch upper class.

Between Frasier's sprawling condo overlooking downtown Seattle, high-end interior design, frequent visits to the opera, live-in help, fine-dining experiences, and other spending habits, it's a wonder how Frasier can afford such a lavish lifestyle. When it comes to sitcom characters living above their means, there's a certain need to suspend disbelief. But with Frasier's finances being a recurring topic of discussion on the show, audiences start to wonder how a radio psychiatrist with no private practice can afford such things. Although this is never specifically addressed in the show, in an interview with GQ, writer Joe Keenan simply explains that Frasier has an investment income. "He made a fair amount of money in Boston as a private therapist and he lectured and he wrote articles and he just invested very well," Keenan says.

Does Daphne have real psychic powers?

In the pilot episode of "Frasier," titled "The Good Son," Frasier hires Daphne Moon, a live-in housekeeper and physical therapist, after his father moves in and becomes too much of a hassle for his busy schedule. Daphne is an eccentric, quirky character from Manchester who brings a down-to-earth comedic foil to the Crane brothers. One of her many quirks is her self-proclaimed psychic abilities. Her ambiguous, hit-or-miss visions are dismissed by the rest of the characters, but there are some instances when her premonitions come true. In Season 2, Episode 2, "The Unkindest Cut of All," Frasier and his father Martin go looking for their missing dog Eddie. Daphne has a vision of Frasier and Eddie sitting together, and what do you know, the next scene is Eddie sitting on a bench staring at Frasier's face on his radio ad. In Season 6, Episode 22, "Visions of Daphne," Daphne has a vision of the man of her dreams with a dragon. The following scene shows Niles with a statue of a dragon. 

However, Daphne gets it completely wrong most of the time. It's obvious why someone like Frasier, who prides himself on his logic, would take Daphne's powers for granted. But for the rest of the audience, it's up to interpretation whether this should be taken seriously or as one of the show's many running gags.

What disagreements caused Frasier to lie about his family in Cheers?

One of the biggest inconsistencies of Frasier's character with his transition from "Cheers" to "Frasier" is his backstory. In "Cheers," Frasier first appears as Diane's sophisticated romantic partner and develops into a bar regular, drinking beers along with the other series regulars like Norm and Cliff. In "Frasier," he ditches the beer for sherry and takes on a more pompous attitude as opposed to being "one of the boys." 

These changes are minor compared to how the shows portray his family. While his brother Niles is never even mentioned in "Cheers," Frasier reveals troubling news about his father. According to Frasier, he comes from a wealthy background, with his father working as a research scientist and dying in the field. However, this story changes in "Frasier." Turns out, Martin is alive, and no, he's not a wealthy research scientist, but rather a retired police officer. Why would Frasier lie about such a thing? Well, in Season 2, Episode 16, "The Show Where Sam Shows Up," Cheers bartender Sam Malone visits Seattle, giving Frasier a chance to explain himself. The simple explanation is that a disagreement between the two caused Frasier to lie out of anger. His reasoning is flawed, but it's played for laughs. 

It's hard not to wonder what kind of disagreement would make Frasier so angry as to lie about the death of his father. I'm sure some psychoanalysis of the situation would clear the air.

How did Niles get through medical school?

The younger brother of Frasier, Niles Crane is even more snooty and meticulous than his older brother. An obsessive, yet sensitive intellectual, he enjoys classical music, fine wines, and climbing the social ladder. He may be rational, but his many phobias keep him on edge, including his fear of blood, which causes him to faint on sight. The validity of his long list of medical conditions and allergies is questionable, but psychosomatic conditions can be just as debilitating as the real thing. As a psychiatrist who went through medical school, it's a wonder how he made it through.

Niles received his M.D. and Ph.D. in psychiatry from the Yale School of Medicine. In addition to numerous classes on human anatomy and different medical treatments, this meant Niles would have had to go through at least four years of a residency program. If he can't even go into public spaces without feeling the need to wipe everything down, how could he make it through so many years of schooling? Good on him for pushing through, though.

What happened to Roz's baby?

In Season 5, Frasier's radio show producer, Roz Doyle, becomes pregnant with the child of a young college student after a casual hookup. Roz has always been an independent, sexually liberated character, so this fling is nothing out of the ordinary. However, with the birth of her daughter Alice, Roz goes through some major character development. She always stayed true to herself, but motherhood and single parenting gave her a new lease on life. 

At least, at first. As the series continues, the baby is sidelined, having little impact on the show as a whole. As a single working mother, where is Roz keeping Alice, and who is taking care of her? According to The Buffalo News, actor Kelsey Grammer was opposed to the baby storyline entirely, saying "I'll probably get in trouble for this. But for the same reasons that a woman who is unhappy should not try to solve her life by having a baby, when we can't actually figure out what to do with a character we should not solve it by having her have a baby." Grammer also went on to blame the network for this decision. That would make sense as to why the writers never took the time to continue the storyline.

What happened to Martin's gifted horse?

In Season 5, Episode 2, "The Gifted Horse," the Crane brothers are competing with each other once again, but this time it's for the love and appreciation of their father. To celebrate Martin's 65th birthday, the two brothers go back and forth to see who can buy him the best gift. Martin's good friend Sherry has a gift of her own that inspires Niles to go bigger than ever before. After finding a picture of Martin riding horseback back when he worked as a police officer, Sherry decides to make the photo reality. 

Frasier believes he's won the competition with his gift of a giant entertainment system, but Niles surprises everyone with Martin's old horse from the picture. This does, in fact, impress Martin, but while solemnly reflecting on his old age, Niles does the right thing and attributes Frasier to being a part of the gift-giving. It's a heartwarming family moment tied up in a neat bow, but it still begs the question: What happened to the horse? Martin never visits her again after this episode. So much for being a fond beloved animal.

Why doesn't Daphne face consequences for looking through a patient's confidential file?

In Season 9, Episode 2, "The First Temptation of Daphne," feelings of jealousy start to cloud Daphne's judgment after she learns one of Niles' patients, Heather, has a crush on him. Niles brushes this off as a common fluke that happens between patients and their therapists from time to time, but Daphne isn't convinced. Her skepticism worsens as everyone else picks up on the patient's obsession with Niles. Roz even encourages Daphne to look further into the woman to make sure she's not a threat. 

When Niles is called in by Heather on short notice, Daphne violates medical privacy ethics and looks into Heather's file. But it doesn't stop there. Daphne and Roz go a step further and sneak into her place of work to snoop around. When they're caught, Daphne is forced to come clean to Niles. Besides a small argument between the two, neither Daphne nor Niles faces any consequences for these illegal actions. Why? Maybe it's just the wealthy who can get away with stuff like this.

How do John Mahoney and Peri Gilpin appear as two different characters on Frasier and Cheers?

Kelsey Grammer wasn't the only one to first appear on "Cheers" before starring in "Frasier." Both John Mahoney and Peri Gilpin make appearances on "Cheers" before landing their roles on "Frasier." But instead of portraying Martin and Roz, their "Cheers" characters are completely different people. In Season 11, Episode 5, "Do Not Forsake Me O' My Postman," Mahoney plays Sy Flembeck, a jingle writer who uses the same tunes for all his advertisements. A few episodes later, in Season 11, Episode 21, "Woody Gets an Election," Gilpin plays a reporter interested in interviewing Woody Boyd. These single episodes are the only time the actors appear. But any "Cheers" fan would be rightfully confused seeing the stars introduced in "Frasier" as different characters considering both shows take place in the same universe. Since Mahoney and Gilpin only made brief guest appearances, writers probably didn't feel the need to explain their inconsistent identities. It's up to the viewer whether they want to ignore the casting overlap or pretend Martin and Roz live double lives. The latter seems like a much more fun theory.

Why didn't Frasier and Roz end up together?

Throughout the series, the concern of still being single at the age of 40 looms over Frasier's head. Time and again, Frasier fails to keep a steady relationship with the many women he encounters. While Frasier dreams of settling down, Roz, on the other hand, is happily content in her single life of adventurous sexcapades. Frasier and Roz may be coworkers, but the two complement each other in ways unlike any other characters on the show. Many fans believe they should've ended up together, but this never came to pass.   

If anything, they valued their friendship above anything else. They likely didn't want to jeopardize their relationship with a romance gone wrong. The chemistry was undeniable, and every once in a while the two played around with the idea, only for it to end in a joke. In Season 9, Episode 23, "The Guilt Trippers," Frasier and Roz go as far as sleeping with each other. In the episode, Roz is too embarrassed to admit to her family that she lost another potential husband after a bad breakup. Frasier poses as Roz's boyfriend during a family gathering to help her out, which escalates into an intimate moment between the two. In the end, they decide to let it go and remain friends.

Why does Frasier have so much trouble with women?

Frasier is a perfectionist, so it's hard for him to stay committed to a woman despite his desperate search for "the one." Frasier has no problem picking up women, but the smallest flaw will leave him questioning his entire relationship. Even when he can't find anything wrong, he might make up a nonexistent problem in his head. Is it a curse? Self-sabotage? Maybe it all started with his relationship with Diane back in "Cheers." After being left at the altar, Frasier went from madly in love to despising Diane. The same can be said for his ex-wife and mother to his child, Lilith. The failure of this relationship seemed to set him off, with him going as far as to threaten suicide to guilt her into staying together. Lilith calls him out in Season 8, Episode 18 of "Cheers," "Severe Crane Damage," saying he has a self-destructive streak concerning relationships.

Among his many flings and short-term relationships, Frasier's romantic relationships include a lawyer named Samantha, a pastry chef named Faye, a KACL co-worker named Cassandra, the KACL station manager named Kate, a financial analyst named Julia, a high school crush named Lana, a cello player named Laura, and a matchmaker named Charlotte. Even by the end of the series, there's still no telling whether Frasier's love life is forever doomed.  

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​

Does Frasier spend enough time with his son?

Frasier's previous marriage not only brought on heartache and suffering but also a child. Frederick Gaylord Crane (Freddie for short) first appears in "Cheers" as a baby when Frasier and Lilith are still together. Even with their divorce, Frasier's decision to move across the country to Seattle with a son back in Boston seems slightly irresponsible. Despite the distance, viewers are fed the narrative that Frasier still deeply cares about Freddie. There are a few phone calls here and there, but not enough to form a solid father-son relationship. Hasn't Frasier learned anything from his rocky relationship with his own father? 

Freddy makes more appearances in "Frasier" later on, sparking a feud between him and Niles for the heart of Daphne. As Freddie gets older, Frasier and Lilith's traits start to shine through. His stuck-up attitude must be genetically inherited because it's not like Frasier was present enough to pass it down to him. However, Frasier deserves some credit after the sweet moment he and his son shared in the final season. In the episode titled "High Holidays," Frasier helps Freddy work through some teenage rebellion and girl problems. Like father, like son.

Do Frasier and Charlotte end up together?

Seven episodes before the series finale, Frasier pursues one final woman named Charlotte, a matchmaker whom Frasier goes to for help regarding his dating prospects. Their first encounter isn't exactly a meet-cute. Charlotte scams Frasier out of $10,000 using her faulty matchmaking service, but all is forgiven in the end. In fact, Frasier even starts developing feelings for Charlotte, only for him to find out she has a boyfriend. Her boyfriend eventually leaves the picture, and the two become closer — until Charlotte reveals she's moving to Chicago. 

The two spend her last three weeks together, and it's the happiest Frasier has ever been. In the series finale titled "Goodnight, Seattle," Frasier prepares to say goodbye to Charlotte for good and takes a new job offer in San Francisco. As Frasier recounts the final episode aboard his supposed flight to San Francisco, it's revealed the flight was actually destined for Chicago, leaving viewers to assume he's gone after Charlotte. With a fade to black, we might always wonder if Frasier and Charlotte get their happily ever after.