Cheers TV Poster Image




Laughs are on tap in this classic sitcom.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series highlights the value of friendship and community. It also treats drinking as a natural and acceptable part of creating community.

Positive role models

The characters all have good hearts, but many have serious character flaws. Sam is a womanizer. Diane is pretentious. Rebecca is a gold digger, etc. Some stereotyping.

Not applicable

Non-stop sexual innuendo. One of the main characters is a loveable womanizer. Some kissing, etc.


Nothing beyond "hell" and "damn."


The owner of the real Cheers bar made lots of money selling branded merchandise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The show is set in a bar, and alcohol is constantly consumed, though characters don't ever seem drunk. Sam is a recovering alcoholic.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this classic 1980s bar-set sitcom is chock-full of sexual innuendo and sarcastic put-downs. The main character is a womanizer who talks constantly about getting women into bed, albeit through euphemisms only. The central joke is that he wants sex but doesn't want a commitment. Characters drink constantly, though rarely get drunk (Sam is a recovering alcoholic). All characters, though women a bit more frequently, are on the receiving end of biting insults.

What's the story?

Set in a Boston bar, CHEERS is one of the 1980s' best-loved sitcoms. Well-drawn characters and funny writing made the show a huge hit, and it spawned several spin-offs, most notably Frasier. Bar owner Sam "Mayday" Malone (Ted Danson), a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, is a good-hearted womanizer who's a little on the dim side. Through the first half of the series' 11-year run, Sam and Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) engage in a love-hate relationship bolstered by snippy remarks and short-lived tender moments. When Long left the cast, Kirstie Alley stepped in as Rebecca Howe, the bar's new manager and Sam's new female sparring partner. The ensemble cast includes several memorable and much-loved characters, like Norm (George Wendt) the hen-pecked, mostly unemployed accountant who regularly occupies the corner bar stool; Cliff (John Ratzenberger), the mailman and bar know-it-all; Woody (Woody Harrelson), the innocent, dull-witted bartender from the Midwest; and Carla (Rhea Perlman) the caustic, kid-saddled waitress.

Is it any good?


Cheers' humor, while expertly executed, is aimed squarely at adults. Not only does almost all of the action take place in a bar, with characters who drink constantly (though they never seem drunk), but sexual innuendo and sarcastic put-downs make up the bulk of the jokes. For example, Sam, talking about his hard-earned date for the evening, says she's "a tough nut to crack," and says she'll be going on "all the rides in Sammy's Magic Kingdom" later that night.

Jokes at the expense of women are common, from Norm's constant complaints about his unseen wife, Vera, to comments about Cliff's mother ("a hyena on bennies"). And Woody and Coach (Nicholas Colasanto) get their share of ribbing for being less than bright. Some viewers may find some of the humor offensive, like when Sam talks about a waiter at an Indian restaurant as a "300 pound Hindu with a goiter," but most of the jokes fly by so quickly that it's hard to stay focused on a single incident.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about alcohol. How would the scenes be different if the customers were drinking real alcohol? Or if they were set somewhere besides a bar? Would Cheers be as funny in an office setting? Do you think Norm and Cliff are alcoholics? What's your family's relationship with alcohol? Also, why is Diane interested in Sam? Do you think opposites attract? When they do, is the relationship viable in the long run?

TV details

Premiere date:September 30, 1982
Cast:Kirstie Alley, Shelley Long, Ted Danson
Networks:Syndicated, TV Land
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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Teen, 14 years old Written byPrincessNoriBori August 28, 2011


Cheers is hysterically funny! I love this show! It's really funny, though there is a lot of innuendo. But definitely a great show, teenagers will love this!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old August 8, 2011

not good

It's OK. I watch Frasier, so I assumed I would like Cheers. This show gets a little boring. A lot of characters have major character flaws. Carla has a bad temper and is always getting accidentally pregnant. Sam is a womanizer. Norm drinks beer every day for hours. Diane is pretty snobby. Overall, I love the theme song, but don't like the show.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written by606201186 April 9, 2008

cheers sucks

This was the most boring,unfunniest show in the history of television.Nothing but a bunch of lonely drunks looking for acceptance.