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The Best Character On Cheers Was Also The Meanest: Ms. Carla Tortelli

Couldn't disagree more. Carla had affection for the regulars, and to a degree even Diane (maybe not Diane). It was the nature of her personality to razz, but that was just the way she did things -- she was different than Louie Dipalma or whatever character David Spade has ever played, because those guys did have actual contempt for their co-characters. Carla didn't. She was abrasive, she took shots, but she never took the meanest shots she had available, and that's the difference.

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While she is not my favorite character, and I tune out any rerun where she is central to the plot, Carla has more layers than being hateful. Her most vulnerable side always came down to either her feelings for Nick Tortelli, or for Sam. Deep down, she always wanted to be with Sam, he was her dream guy, and her disdain for Diane only came from the fact that Sam was crazy about Diane. There is a great moment in season one where she asks Sam why not her, and he very wisely says, "I always thought you'd be too much woman for me." Great show all around, Cheers writers really were the best.

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Best Carla zinger ever:

Cliff: If I were a woman, I'd be crying.
Carla: What would you do if you were a man?

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On 7/7/2016 at 10:19 AM, cpcathy said:

There is a great moment in season one where she asks Sam why not her, and he very wisely says, "I always thought you'd be too much woman for me."

I believe that comes in Ep. 2-13, Battle of the Exes, when Sam and Carla are alone at the bar after Nick's wedding to Loh-ret-ta.  But I agree that it's a great moment!

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Question: How many times was Carla pregnant on the show? I think it was only once, but I'm not sure.

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It was three. To write in all of Rhea Perlman's real life pregnancies. 

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Funny, I know all the names of the fictional children she had but not her real kids' names.

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And pregnancy No. 2 coincided with Shelley Long's lone pregnancy (season 3), but they did not write that into the show.  What's a little weird is that Carla's youngest, Gino, was 7 at the start of S1, so she'd gone a long time without getting knocked up.

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Just watched the episode where she tries to trick Diane into believing Sam is Gino's father.

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Loved it when Carla's oldest child, Ant-ny comes into the bar with his sassy girlfriend who addresses Carla as Mother Tortelli. And, of course, I always loved it when Carla and her ex husband had scenes together.  Great writing (where did all the wonderful writers of these old classic sitcoms go?)

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Spellbound really is a funny episode, the on and off violinist playing "As Time Goes by" just slays me!

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Carla was legit mean to Cliff. I don't think she ever said a kind word to or about him. And Cliff was my favorite, so Carla can suck it.

Also, there's not one thing the least bit appealing about Nick Tortelli. So I guess that's why he and Carla were perfect for each other.

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I kind of hate Carla now. She really is awful, she says awful things to everyone, then cries because her life has always been so hard.  I find it hard to feel sorry for her in any way.

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I agree.  I think we were supposed to see Carla as tough/mean on the outside but human and maybe even soft(er) on the inside.  And even that those barbs were "all in good fun".  But I never did see it that way and still don't.  Yes, she was always just outright mean to Cliff.  With some of the others, if I squinted sideways, I could maybe see it was kidding around, but never with him.  Yes, he was annoying, but that didn't warrant her vitriol. 

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Ditto with Diane. She didn't deserve it either, no matter how annoying she could be.

Carla had her moments, though. One of my favorite things she did was in the early seasons when Norm and Vera were separated. Norm had called to check up on her, only to find she had a date, so he said he had one too, which she didn't believe. So then Carla gets on the phone with this sultry, hot voice and tells Vera about how Norm makes her quiver and it's just hilarious.

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10 hours ago, kariyaki said:

Ditto with Diane. She didn't deserve it either, no matter how annoying she could be.

Carla had her moments, though. One of my favorite things she did was in the early seasons when Norm and Vera were separated. Norm had called to check up on her, only to find she had a date, so he said he had one too, which she didn't believe. So then Carla gets on the phone with this sultry, hot voice and tells Vera about how Norm makes her quiver and it's just hilarious.

I do remember that, and then didn't Norm try to ask her out? And she was like "In your dreams!" 

I'll give her that one, lol. The problem was that those situations were very few and very far between. 

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Generally not a big fan of Carla's storylines, but I really like S1's Truce or Consequences, with Diane and Carla "bonding" over an Open Grave...

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"No one in my family lives past 43!"

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On 3/15/2018 at 3:20 PM, kariyaki said:

Ditto with Diane. She didn't deserve it either, no matter how annoying she could be.

Carla had her moments, though. One of my favorite things she did was in the early seasons when Norm and Vera were separated. Norm had called to check up on her, only to find she had a date, so he said he had one too, which she didn't believe. So then Carla gets on the phone with this sultry, hot voice and tells Vera about how Norm makes her quiver and it's just hilarious.

Yes, Carla had her moments, but when it came to her exes or her spiels with Diane and Cliff over the series. It did get very old after awhile. I know writing her Rehl Pearlman's real life pregnancies was in character for Carla. However, it really pointed out at times with: "Why don't you not sleep with your exes and you would have a happier life." Carla at times I think wanted to punish herself when her life was going right with the: "I might as do it myself, since I know it's going to come to an end anyhow." Even in the Cheers reunion on Frasier years later when he asked how her life was. She basically said half her kids were all gone or in prison and was happy because no one was draining her anymore. 

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