You don't understand. It's not the same as Dad being wrong, or your being wrong. I have a degree from Harvard. Whenever I'm wrong, the world makes a little less sense
—Frasier to Daphne at Cafe Nervosa[src]

Dr. Frasier Crane is the protagonist of Frasier. He is portrayed by Kelsey Grammer.

Character

Frasier Crane is a pedantic, finicky, over-scrupulous and sometimes pontifical man. Growing up with a cultured mother and an "Average Joe" father, Frasier is sophisticated and pompous, yet still somewhat capable of enjoying more stereotypical blue-collar activities. During his time at Cheers, he began acting like "one of the boys", ignoring his cultural roots to fit in better but nevertheless attempting to bring a degree of class to the bar and his friend group even if he was shot down constantly. After returning to Seattle, he began embracing his more cultured background but developed a more snobbish and haughty personality, which could be because of him rekindling his relationship and frequently spending more time with Niles. Despite this pretentious demeanor though, Frasier still retained his heart of gold.

Described as a "pop psychiatrist", Frasier entered the fields of psychiatry to help people due to having his mother, who was also a psychiatrist as a role model. Frasier has done genuine good but but he can go from being a genuine healer to a shameless self-promoter. As displayed on his talk show, Frasier genuinely wishes to help people. However, the celebrity status that came with his radio show has allowed his ego to expand and almost abandon the original reasons he sought out psychiatry in favour of gaining fame instead. Indeed, Frasier is an "applause junkie" according to Niles as shown when he came very close to abandoning his radio job so he could instead co-star on a morning talk show (which he initially entered vowing bring a degree of sophistication opposed to the usual media ravel the show is based upon) but was fortunately persuaded not to by Niles just in time. On his radio show, Frasier gives the best advice he can but those who ignore him altogether, rebuff his advice or occasionally insult him, are treated to a response of sharp sarcasm. Due to the nature of his profession, Frasier finds it justifiable when he peers into his friends and families personal problems, even with their unwilling consent as he is ultimately driven for their best interests. However, this tends to always have negative affects for them as well as himself. 

As explained through the show and his backstory, Frasier is a victim of many unfortunate incidents from being bullied into childhood and finding himself into a multitude of embarrassing and farcical situations into adulthood, however most of these are unwillingly self-inflicted due to his own behaviour and neuroses. Both Niles and Frasier believe that the reason they were picked on was jealousy but Martin elaborates that the two of them came off as pompous and better than their childhood peers which is apparently the true reason behind the bullying. Many of his coworkers at KACL also concur that he comes off as a pretentious snob towards most of them, being the main reason why he was picked on by the KACL jokers like Bulldog and Carlos & The Chicken due to his serious demeanour. Also, as mentioned by a multitude of characters in Frasier's personal life, he is incapable of being happy. Although he does admit to being contented with his new life in Seattle near the end of Season 1, his perfectionism and belief that things, from a new home, city, girlfriend and even a door behind a spa might possibly be better, even be a slight have also caused him confusion and trouble in his life. Whilst his intelligence and dedication to psychiatry is commonly a gift, it also makes him impractical on seeing things simply and how they usually are. This and his tendency to overthink situations caused him to believe that finding a skull in his summer house was that the house-owner had murdered his wife whereas the easier solution would be that it was a prop form Niles and his childhood rendition of Macbeth.

Frasier's lifestyle revolves around the enjoyment of the opera, symphony, gourmet dining and general luxury. Despite an air of pretentiousness, he manages to be slightly more down to earth than his brother Niles. Though he blended in with the crowd at Cheers and is capable of enjoying mundane things such as his father's favorite beer, Balantine, Frasier utterly loathes most of Martin's possessions that he sees as beneath him, such as Martin's grungy BarcaLounger and dog, Eddie. Despite his arrogance, Frasier also proves himself to have a caring side and is willing to make a great deal of sacrifice for his loved ones, illustrated in the way he tolerates these presences due to his father's emotional attachment to them. He also has a high degree for disdain towards people who have PhD's yet are not official doctors such as a dog psychiatrist, psychic doctor and upon discovering a respected counselor received his doctorate from Vegas, both he and Niles mock him over this realization.

He has a tendency to deliver long-drafted speeches, occasionally without even realising he is doing, like when he lectured the incompetent KACL assistant to do his job correctly, finishes with "I am this close to giving you a lecture". He speaks eloquently with a in a sophisticated manner he views as cultured and others view as pompous. Whenever he does give a speech, despite delivering with bravado and genuine emotion, is commonly ignored, especially by his family which tends to take him a comical amount of time before realising he is talking to himself. He requires constant affirmation of his intelligence and popularity, and will go to great lengths to provoke other to provide 'spontaneous' praise. Frasier believes that his mannerisms is a testaments to the sophistication of his own upbringing but he usually tends to come off as flamboyant and effeminate. In addition, the newly-rekindled relationship between Niles and Frasier has been misinterpreted as gay and even unusual due to the closeness between the two although this tends to remain unaffected by both of them except for the occasion they discovered they were similar to the brothers who, after one died and kept the corpse in the apartment, agreed to stop going out with each other so much.

A poetic irony of the show is that, even though he is a psychiatrist, Frasier suffers from a degree of mental health issues himself. Being left by Lilith caused severe depression, to the point of feigning suicide in an attempt to win her back. His Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can be displayed by the he fussily organises his apartment to match the diagram he created to exactly how it should look like and measuring most of his memorabilia and items, even if they are a hairline off the way they should be positioned. On one episode, after seeing who empty and unfulfilling his life has become, develops kleptomania to the point where he steals from an old woman. Frasier discovered the disturbing way that he harbours an Oedipus complex leftover from childhood but he was blinded to the fact that Mia was strikingly similar to his mother after seeing a video of Hester.

As a man of high ethical standards, Frasier has a psychosomatic response to whenever he breaches his morals. While Niles has a bloody nose, he gets a queasy stomach. On principle he refuses to do advertisements on his show unlike most on-air personalities.

Story

After leaving Boston, Frasier returns home to Seattle, hoping to rebuild his life and recuperate from his disastrous divorce with Lillith Sternin. He starts a new job at KACL as an on-air psychiatrist who helps people through their troubled lives, quickly gains a friend in his producer, Roz Doyle and decides to renew his relationship with his brother, Niles. In the first episode, Frasier meets Niles in Café Nervosa, where they have a coffee and talk for a while. Niles is worried about Martin Crane, their father, who was recently shot in an attempted robbery and can no longer live on his own. Frasier reluctantly offers to take his father in in hopes of renewing their father-son relationship.

When Martin moves in with Frasier, he brings his signature split-pea striped recliner and his dog, Eddie. The chair is emotionally significant to Martin, a reminder of happier times, and it serves as a fixture in the plot throughout the series (The Good Son (Pilot)). In a later episode, Frasier destroys the chair by allowing it to catch fire and accidentally knocking it off of the balcony. In addition to his chair, Martin's other sentimental attachment is to Eddie, his dog (The Good Son (Pilot)). Eddie and Frasier do not get along, and their animosity for one another serves as the storyline for several subplots. During the course of the following years, Frasier's and Martin's relationship goes through a series of trials and tribulations.

As Frasier rebuilds his life in Seattle, he also renews his relationship with his brother, Niles. They often spend time together, attending symphonies and operas, dining at the finest establishments, and frequenting art galleries and other soirees. In nearly every episode, the brothers are seen in Cafe Nervosa, their regular hangout. Over the years, Frasier has a variety of trysts, flings, and other short-term relationships with women. In one episode, Lilith says he has a self-destructive streak concerning relationships ("Cheers: Severe Crane Damage"). Frasier's notable romantic relationships include Samantha, the lawyer; Faye, the pastry chef; Cassandra, a KACL co-worker; Julia, the financial analyst; Kate, the KACL station manager; Lana, a high school crush; Claire, a cello player; and Charlotte, the matchmaker. In the final episode, Frasier makes the decision to pursue Charlotte to Chicago and continue their relationship, perhaps giving up show-business altogether.

Relationships

Nanette Guzman

Frasier and Nanette married in 1973. However, the marriage ends quickly due to the two being young and naïve. They reunite in 1992 on Cheers, by which time Frasier is now married to Lilith Sternin, where Nanette is now a successful children’s entertainer known as Nanny G. While at a birthday party for his son Frederick, Nanette sings a song implying romantic feelings towards Frasier, but Lilith ends up attacking her. A decade later, Frasier and Nanette reunite once more, during which she tries to start up a relationship with Frasier again, but he refuses.


Diane Chambers

Frasier meets Diane in mid-1984 after she checked herslef into when counselling her a sanitarium following a horrible break-up with Sam Malone. They fall in love and later travel to Europe and get engaged with plans to marry immediately. However, Frasier informs Sam that Diane left him at the altar and that she subsequently joined a convent, noting that Sam was the one she loved all along. Soon after this, Frasier’s personality begins to decline, causing Diane and Sam to feel guilty. They come up with a plan to have Sam feign symptoms that Frasier can cure. Sam and Diane pretend to be in love again, but the plan ends up backfiring when they start arguing, resulting in Sam admitting that the entire thing was a set-up. Furious, Frasier tells Sam and Diane that they still love each other and hate each other for loving each other. Frasier then declares that he wants no part of their relationship and vows to rebuild his life and move on.

In 1987, Diane leaves Boston altogether to pursue a writing career and does not cross paths with Frasier until 1996, by which time he has relocated to his hometown of Seattle. It is revealed that Diane is in town for a performance of one of her plays and Frasier is still resentful about being left at the altar. Despite this, Frasier decides to invite Diane over for dinner and show her how much he has moved on from his life. When Diane arrives, she talks about her own success only for her face to begin twitching and revealing that she is not doing as well as she claimed. Out of sympathy, Frasier decides to support her play, which turns out to be based on her experiences at Cheers. While attending the rehearsal, Frasier angrily confronts Diane about being left at the altar and storms out. Frasier and Diane later reconcile, and she apologizes for jilting him at the altar in Europe. Diane then decides to cancel the play and move back to Los Angeles as she and Frasier part ways on good terms.

Lilith Sternin

Following Frasier's failed romance with Diane, he meets fellow psychiatrist, Lilith Sternin. After a rough start, Frasier and Lilith eventually move in together and get married. Together, they have a son Fredrick who is born in 1989. In 1992, Lilith finds out that Frasier was previously married to Nanette Guzman (now known as the popular children's entertainer Nanny G). Nanette is then invited to perform at Frederick's second birthday party but when she sings a song implying her possible feelings for Frasier (despite being fully aware he's remarried), Lilith attacks her. Later that year, Lilith admits her affair with another man Dr. Louis Pascal, dooming their marriage. Lilith soon leaves Frasier altogether, which drives him to the point of suicide until he's eventually talked down. Still distraught, Frasier nearly has an affair with Rebecca Howe until Lilith unexpectedly returns. Although reluctant at first, Frasier ultimately decides to take Lilith back after her pathetic sobbing wins him over, suggesting a reconciliation can occur. However, sometime between the Cheers finale and The Good Son, Frasier and Lilith divorce off-screen with Lilith being awarded custody of their son Frederick, while Frasier was granted with visitation rights.

Quotes

Cupid and his arrow have declared me an endangered species
—A Valentine
But, what do I know? I'm just a magic eight ball with a Harvard and Oxford degree
—Frasier to Julia Wilcox

Trivia

  • Frasier has a 129 IQ[2]
  • He has gone on a date with Maris' sister, Bree, who only has one nostril.[3]
  • Frasier's final spoken line is "Wish me luck"
  • As a psychiatrist, Frasier follows the Freudian school of thought and psychoanalysis.
  • In prep school, he wrote a society column under the pseudonym "Alistair Mulberry". (IQ)
  • At a bar, away from his sherry, Frasier's drink of preference is a martini, straight up, two olives, a taste he shares with Claire French.
  • Grammer portrayed the character for twenty years, tying the record for the longest-running live-action character on prime-time American television, which was set by James Arness, who played Marshal Matt Dillon on the show Gunsmoke.
  • Grammer received Emmy Award nominations for portraying Crane on three different NBC shows, including a 1992 guest appearance on Wings
  • Frasier is referenced in the Video game Infamous: Second Son, which takes place in Seattle. His first name can be found on a crane atop a multi story car park. 
  • He and Niles cannot ride the bicycle as Martin gave up on teaching them as kids after they made him and the social service to pay too much for hospital bills for injuries they suffered from practicing cycling. 

Notes and references

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