Season 11 Episode 27

One for the Road

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 20, 1993 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
88 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The gang finally finds out what has happened to Diane Chambers when they see her winning an award on television. Sam calls Diane to congratulate her and ends up inviting her back to Boston where they reunite one last time. Meanwhile, Don the plumber pops the question to Rebecca and gets an unexpected answer.moreless

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  • Parts of the Finale I really loved and it rang true, other parts not so much

    I thought the finale stayed true to who the characters were and it made sense . That is, except for Sam in one respect. The finale made it appear like Sam did not love Diane , maybe he no longer loved her like he did in Season 5 season finale but that needed more clarification for me. If you go back to that episode, he loved Diane enough to let her go to puruse her dreams when he really wanted to marry her. He knew she would not return but yet he was apparently so upset about her depature as we see in Seaon 6 that he sold his beloved Bar and set sail around the world. He only returned when his boat sank and he was out of cash and needed a job. That shows the man was clearly torn about losing Diane. Granted maybe he grew and changed in 6 years but then why bring Diane back at all in the Finale to have them just break up again? And some critics have said the one character who did not seem to mesh with the Diane that viewers knew and loved or hated was the Diane of the finale. She was almost unrecognizable except for her speech at the award ceremony. She had few interactions with anyone but Sam even though during her time on the show, Diane was always concerned about the other patrons and employees and was always reaching out to them and trying to help them. She seemed disconnected from them plus they were all very cold and not just Carla. Carla stayed true to form. But Woody had adored Miss Chambers but in the finale but was very matter of fact and he did not seem all that happy to see her. Norm and Cliff ignored her when she tried to talk to them.

    I often wonder if some of this was done on purpose by the writers because they had begged Shelly to stay on the show and I read where they even offered her a half million dollar raise to stay but she wanted to move on. Interestingly during the 30th reunion party , Ted and Shelly were the ones doing the long interviews together. Ted said Shelly carried the show the first few seasons. He said there was never a character like Diane on TV before her. Most o what people remember from that show that are not ardent fans but more casual fans, after all these years is Sam and Diane. But Diane's role on the finale was over before the finale 20 minutes. Again, why bring back Shelly for this, I found little meaning in her return. I had waited six years for her return and I was disappointed. She and Sam did not need to stay together but once again, show that clip from Season 5 of Sam and Diane as old people dancing together to give us a hint that maybe these two find their way back to each other when elderly as many Sam and Diane fans I have talked to the past 20 years are very disappointed in anyway, I thought they wasted Shelly in the finale and that ending for them was lame. I wanted Diane to move back to Boston and leave it open ended for Sam and her but she could have said she was returning to get more inspiration and work there for a few years to get some story ideas as Carla inspired her award winning work. I wanted the entire cast in the bar at the end and then Sam part was fitting. But it seemed so off that Rebecca and Diane were not in the bar near the end where we saw both ladies first in Cheers.

    But the scenes with Frasier, Carla, Woody, Cliff, Norm were perfection.

    I think of Cheers as two separate Part Diane years and Cheers Part Rebecca years. I was also disappointed that Lilith was not in the was one of the only reasnos I watched once Diane for Lilith or Norm.moreless
  • Gave us one more "One for the Road" Great ending.

    Ater 11 year 275 episodes, Cheers really had to be the best ending for all. Some thought he should haved gotten the girl. But, they gave us a since that Love for something you Babied for years. Can be good enough. Can trully be fullfilling. They gave all the Viewers "One for the Road" . Something to think about for years. If you can not take care of what you have been given, why should you deserve anything else. So for me they all gave us 11 years of somegthing that was trully babied, Thanks to the cast, writters, directors and prodoction companies. He got what he really Loved. Thank youmoreless
  • Not a horrible wrap-up but squandering a lot of potential, especially given the length of the episode. Feels empty to me.

    The ending of the main story line for "Cheers", not a large number of resolutions or clever insertions.

    When "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" set a standard for the "great finale", tons of shows later rushed into the fray to be "significant" at their close. The "Cheers" installment falls a little short for me.

    To me, it's a little too bad as I really liked this program as a high mark for ensemble comedy. In the final analysis, too much happens early here, and not enough happens late. Diane is back, but the scenes on the airplane are pat, the "voices" heard over the intercom echo something fans have heard and heard and heard before. Rebecca could have been a great wild card in this story, but she is packed off with a new fiance without much treatment. But to me, where the episode is most weak is the final 20 minutes - despite some mediocre wrap-ups, a LOT of time is spent on Cliff's "history is made by men in comfortable shoes" bit, not terrible but not much of a final send-off all-in-all. If Norm, Carla, Cliff, Frasier, and Sam are really smoking cigars and wondering about the meaning of life - there could have been something more on the mark to wind it up.

    Sam's final closing words, "we're closed" is pretty appropriate, but in a lot of ways this installment closed far earlier.moreless
  • Good ending...not great. I was glad to see Sam make the right choice, and the last minutes with Norm and Sam are a perfect way to end it.... "Sorry, we're closed"moreless

    Great show, and a satisfactory ending for a great show.... The last couple minutes with Norm and Sam really impressed me as a way to send off a show... with Norms piece of advice really hitting home with Sam. It for the most part tied up loose ends, but we are still wondering what happens to Sam, but thats the way the writers intended it to be. "Sorry, we're closed." pricelessmoreless

    This series finale was all anyone could ever expect from a television sitcom. Diane returns, Rebecca finally finds her man (in a plumber), Norm gets a job, Cliff gets a promotion, and the series ends in the most fantastic of all fashions. This episode had me laughing until I cried, then crying because the show I've most adored was ending. I have never (nor will ever love) a show as I have 'Cheers.' This finale had anything and everything anyone could have ever expected from a show. The scene, at the end, when the main character from the cast were all sitting around and talking about 'the meaning of life' is incomparable. Without a doubt, the most wonderful series finale in the history of television.moreless
Rhea Perlman

Rhea Perlman

Carla Lozupone Tortelli LeBec

George Wendt

George Wendt

Hilary Norman "Norm" Peterson

Ted Danson

Ted Danson

Sam "Mayday" Malone

Bebe Neuwirth

Bebe Neuwirth

Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane (1986-1993)

Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley

Rebecca Howe (1987-1993)

John Ratzenberger

John Ratzenberger

Clifford C "Cliff" Clavin, Jr

Tom Berenger

Tom Berenger

Don Santry

Guest Star

Mike Ditka

Mike Ditka


Guest Star

Kim Alexis

Kim Alexis


Guest Star

Jackie Swanson

Jackie Swanson

Kelly Boyd

Recurring Role

Paul Willson

Paul Willson

Paul Krapence

Recurring Role

Tim Cunningham

Tim Cunningham


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • This is Shelley Long's first appearance in character as Diane Chambers since May 7, 1987 when she left to write her book. Shelley appeared in the 200th episode celebration, but not in character.

    • The uncredited man who knocks on the door and to whom Sam delivers the classic last line "Sorry, we're closed." is James Burrows, one of the show's creators.

    • Just before Diane walks into the bar for the first time, Woody is seen in the background toward the area Steve and Alan sit with Sam and Carla in the forground. The next shot, when Diane walks in and no one notices her, Woody is up front standing very still dirictly behind Sam. When Diane says "Hello everyone", Woody is immediately back to where he was when the scene started.

    • When the gang is watching the awards, the shot of them watching the TV from above is a little too high: a catwalk can be seen above the set, along with stage lights, and a microphone.

  • QUOTES (38)

    • Sam: You know I think you should go home, wake Vera, and do whatever comes naturally.
      Norm: Wake her up so she can watch me eat a bucket of Buffalo Wings?

    • Norm: It doesn't matter what you love. Could be a person, could be a thing - as long as you love it totally, completely, and without judgement.

    • Sam: Well, at least I didn't fly across the country to make an ass out of myself.
      Diane: Why bother when you do it so brilliantly right here?

    • Paul: Dammit all! Everything neat happens when I'm not here. I always miss everything!

    • [Frasier is referring to Diane's husband, Reed]
      Frasier: If she's left him a shred of manhood it's only because she's waiting for the right moment to flick it away like the last shriveled pea on her plate. Thank God I'm over her. Hit me, Woody! Four fingers of the meanest swill you got!

    • Woody: Well, Mrs. Chamber's husband seemed like a nice guy.
      Frasier: [Angrily] She'll make him pay for it.

    • Reed: Well, awkward silences always make me hungry.
      [Diane is the only one to laugh]
      Sam: Yeah, me too. Why don't we go up to Melville's for lunch?

    • Frasier: Hello, Diane.
      Diane: Hello Frasier, you're looking well!
      Frasier: I'm feeling well! I'm happily married with a bright young son and a successful practice. But, you know, what's most important, and I just realized it this moment, is that, I'm over you.
      Diane: I'm glad.
      Frasier: There is absolutely nothing here anymore. I'm over you. You could be a total stranger for all I'm feeling. You could be ugly and gnarled and toothless, without that shining hair, those dancing eyes and these graceful, subtle limbs. Thank God I'm free.
      Diane: Frasier, you're hurting me!
      Frasier: Well, you never hurt me, did you?!

    • Rebecca: If you hear a scream and a thud, just keep drinking.

    • Rebecca: I should form a club of losers. That's something I could win - "President of the Losers Club."

    • [Frasier storms out of Cheers after he tries to explain something to Woody]
      Woody: Well I think I see why Doctor Crane never cures anybody.

    • Sam: How's it going, Cliffy?
      Cliff: I'm in no mood to talk.
      [Everyone applauds]

    • [Sam notices Kim Alexis on the television, but doesn't, at first, notice Diane]
      Sam: Oh boy, I'll tell you, that Kim Alexis is hot.
      Frasier: her right.

    • Don: Frankly Carla, I'm not sure I could satisfy you. I'm not sure the members of Desert Storm could satisfy you.

    • Woody: I was wondering if you would maybe help me out with the speech I'm giving.
      Frasier: Of course, I'll take a look at it, Woody. Where is it?
      Woody: Well, I was wondering if you would write it for me.
      Frasier: Alright, I'll be your speech writer, Woody. What ideas would you like to incorporate?
      Woody: OK, looks like I'm going to need one more favor.

    • Woody: Hey, Doctor Crane, you know, tomorrow's the big day. I'm getting sworn in Boston City Council.
      Frasier: Yes, the beginning of your political career. Started out as a small joke and turned into an enormous one.

    • Alan: Are you sure dazzling supermodel Kim Alexis is gonna be on this thing?
      Paul: She has to be. I've moved my whole schedule around for this.

    • Sam: Boy, I tell you, I'm the luckiest son of a bitch on Earth.

    • Cliff: Whatever guy follows you, Sam, will have pretty big shoes to fill.

    • (Frasier stands up to make a statement about how the people in Cheers have affected his life)
      Frasier: You know I know no one wants to be the first to say it, but I'm not ashamed to admit what I think we're all feeling. Time goes by so fast, people move in and out of your life, you must never miss an opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you. Well, I... I.... I..
      (Sits back down on his chair)

    • Carla: (to departing customers) Goodnight, ladies. Thanks again. (to Norm and Cliff) Do you believe those three? In here every night tryin' to trap guys.
      Cliff: Yeah, you'd never see any wife of mine showin' her face in some bar.
      Carla: Yeah. She'd make more money in a side show.

    • Diane: (to Woody) What's new in your life?
      Woody: Oh, well, you know, I, uh, got married and I'm gonna have a kid.
      Diane: Wonderful.
      Woody: Yeah. Oh, I just got elected to the Boston City Council.
      Diane: (amazed, in disbelief) How nice. And I'm next in line for the throne of England.
      Woody: Well, you know, maybe we'll work together someday... hammer out a treaty or somethin'.

    • Norm: You can never be unfaithful to your one true love. You always come back to her.
      Sam: Who is that?
      Norm: Think about it, Sam.

    • (Sam, Rebecca, Diane and Reed are having lunch)
      Diane: So, Rebecca, tell us about yourself. Sam never mentioned what you do.
      Rebecca: He didn't?
      Sam: Well, it never came up.
      Rebecca: Well, uh, hm, I am a corporate attorney with the firm Emerson... Lake and Palmer.
      Reed Manchester: That sounds familiar.
      Rebecca: Yeah, they're a pretty famous group.

    • (After both Sam and Diane are exposed as having "faked" spouses)
      Diane: I came back on a quest for the truth.
      Sam: Ah. And you just brought along your one-man "Warren Commission" there, huh?

    • Rebecca: [to the gang as she starts to leave] Hey, by the way. Did I tell ya? Don got a job offer with the sewer department. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Can you believe that? I shoot for Donald Trump - and I end up with Ed Norton.
      Frasier: But you did good, Rebecca.
      Rebecca: I did, didn't I? [she heads out the door] Bye.
      Sam: See ya, Trixie.

    • [everybody has left the bar except Norm and Sam]
      Norm: Sammy, I didn't want to say this in front of the others, but... you know what I think the most important think in life is? It's love. You wanna know what I love?
      Sam: Beer, Norm?
      Norm: Yeah, I'll have a quick one.

    • Sam: I keep askin' myself: what is the point to life?
      Woody: Whew. That's a tough question.
      Cliff: Ehh. Well, I got the answer.
      Frasier: Somehow I knew you would.
      Cliff: Comfortable shoes.
      Frasier: Shoes?
      Cliff: Yeah. If you're not wearin' comfortable shoes, life is just chaos. I mean the greatest accomplishments in history have been made by men wearin' accomodating shoes. Uh, Frasier, tell me, who do you think is the greatest thinker in all mankind?
      Frasier: I don't know, uh... Aristotle.
      Cliff: There you go: sandals. Perhaps the most comfortable shoe there is. You hardly even know you have them on. I mean Confucius: thongs. Einstein: loose loafers.

    • [Diane is giving acceptance speech for script award]
      Norm: Guess we better go tell Sammy the romance of his life is on national TV.
      Frasier: Yeah, well, she was once the romance of my life, too, Norm... or are you forgetting?
      Norm: She dropped you like a bad habit. Sorry I didn't bring THAT up.

    • [Sam enters the bar]
      Rebecca: Sam, come here, you're just the guy I want to talk to. Come here. Where've you been?
      Sam: Uh, the sex compulsion therapy group thing.
      Rebecca: We're all real proud of you with that. How's that thing goin'?
      Sam: Slow... but painful. Anyway, this week I'm not gonna think about sex at all; or even hear about or talk about anything remotely sexual.
      Rebecca: Sam, it's about my love life.
      Sam: Yeah, that should be safe.
      Rebecca: Listen, I think the most important thing in my life is about to happen. Don is gonna propose to me.
      Sam: OOhhh.
      Rebecca: No, ssshhh. But he's having a little bit of a hard time - he's sort of shy - he can't really spit it out, so I'm gonna coax him along by giving him a little champagne. Do you think that's a good idea?
      Sam: Oh, heck, that's the best idea I've ever heard. Listen, uh, let me buy the champagne. The best stuff I got.
      Rebecca: The best stuff. Wait, wait, which is the best stuff?
      Sam: Uh, it's the bottle with "The Flintstones" on it.

    • [The gang is watching the National Cable ACE Awards]
      Frasier: Are you watching for any particular category?
      Cliff: Yes, he, uh, most impressive display of female flesh in the, uh, tight fitting dress.
      Frasier: You're watching for cleavage.
      Norm: We're LIVING for cleavage.
      Paul: Stunning super-model, Kim Alexis, is listed as a presenter.
      Cliff: Yeah, ah, Kim Alexis. Boy, how - how often her lovely form has graced the pages of the "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue", huh?
      Norm: Yeah.
      Cliff: And how often some youngster'd slip underneath the blankets with a flashlight and look at the same issue while their mother pounds on the door and says, "It's past your bedtime, Clifford"... heh - heh... oh, or whatever the lad's name happens to be.

    • Carla: I'm sorry Diane, I got a little carried away when I first saw you. I'm all right now. Lovely to see you.
      Diane: Thank you.
      Carla: When will you be leaving?

    • [The last scene. A customer knocks on the door to the bar:]
      Sam: Sorry, we're closed.
      [Sam then walks into the pool room. Cue credits.]

    • Reed Manchester: [to Kevin] Muffin, come back!

    • [Frasier is talking to Woody.]
      Frasier: Oh yes, the beginning of your political career, that started out as a small joke and turned into an enormous one.

    • [Cliff enters the bar]
      Sam: How's it goin', Cliffy?
      Cliff: Aah. I'm in no mood to talk. [everyone in the bar applauds loudly] Ah, guys, thanks for cheerin' me up with your humor. Oh, okay, uh, I'll tell you what's botherin' me.
      Carla: [looks to heaven] Oh, please, dear God, let this be a story about the post office.
      Cliff: There's this, uh, there's this guy down at work, Marty Furman...
      Carla: [looks to heaven] Don't you people know from sarcasm?

    • [Woody is rehearsing his swearing-in speech]
      Woody: "I believe I was elected to the city council as an agent of change, and I fully intend to live up to that pledge. I will make change."
      Frasier: No, change "change" to "a change."
      Woody: What?
      Frasier: No, see in here, you make change. There you make a change, so just make the change - change "make change" to "make a change" - OH, JUST CHANGE IT!!
      [storms out of the bar]
      Woody: I think I see why Dr. Crane never cures anybody.

    • [Diane has arrived in Boston to meet Sam's "wife"; Sam talks to Rebecca, on the office floor crying because she said no to Don]
      Sam: Please, you gotta be my wife just for lunch.
      Rebecca: No, I don't know.
      Sam: Oh, please, please, please... I'll owe you a big one, please.
      Rebecca: Alright. After losing the only man I ever loved... lunch should hit the spot.

  • NOTES (22)


    • Sam: And you just brought along your one-man Warren Commission there, huh?
      The U.S. Commission to Report upon the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, set up Nov. 29, 1963 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, is commonly known as "The Warren Commission". This is because it was chaired by Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States. Investigation began Dec. 3, 1963, and the final report was issued on Sept. 24, 1964. The report concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald , acted alone in the shooting from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. The commission's findings have always been derided as a "cover-up" by many people.

    • Rebecca: I shoot for Donald Trump - and I end up with Ed Norton.
      Ed Norton, played by Art Carney, was the sewer worker friend of Ralph Kramden, played by Jackie Gleason, in the classic 1950's sitcom, "The Honeymooners". When Sam says, "See ya, Trixie", to Rebecca as she leaves, the reference is to Norton's wife, Trixie, played by Joyce Randolph.