Season 3 Episode 17

High Crane Drifter

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Mar 12, 1996 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A stressed Frasier resorts to physical force with a rude Cafe Nervosa patron. When this information goes to the local newspaper, Frasier tries to apologize to the man, but the man just wants to sue Frasier.

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  • Frasier loses it.

    This is a really great episode of Frasier. Frasier gets disillusioned with the rudeness and selfishness of the people all around them, and finally loses it on a jerk at cafe. It's hilarious to see Frasier caller's follow his lead of dealing with the inconsiderate by using their fists instead of their minds, and Niles' hilarious antics to get Frasier out of a lawsuit are classic. An all-around great installment.
John Cygan

John Cygan

Doug Harvey

Guest Star

Mark Benninghofen

Mark Benninghofen

Video Clerk

Guest Star



Woman in Video Store

Guest Star

Paul Cusimano

Paul Cusimano


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Frasier is in the video store trying to rent the movie "How Green Was My Valley," behind the clerk on the wall is a list of coming videos. "Coming" is spelled with two m's. What's more, the second video on the list is "Give Tawly," directly below "Get Shorty."

    • Niles says he has always avoided fights, but what about his fencing fight with Gunnar in Season 2's "An Affair to Forget"? (Although he was drunk at the time.)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Niles : Well, all right, I'm jealous. Why shouldn't I be? All my life I've backed out of fights and watching you leap into the fray like that, it made me think just once I'd like to experience what you felt, go nose to nose.
      Martin : Oh, your day will come, son.
      Niles: I don't know. I tried it this morning with my dry cleaner, Mr. Kim. I decided to give him a good tongue-lashing because he'd shattered the mother-of-pearl buttons on my best waistcoat. Unfortunately, due to his tenuous grasp of English and the fact that his mother's name is Pearl I was forced to flee his establishment amid a shower of coat hangers.

    • Waiter : Is the owner of a red Hatchback here? It's about to be towed.
      Fraiser : Niles, isn't that your car?
      Niles: Shh! Someone will hear you.
      Fraiser : Niles, It's about to be towed.
      Niles: I'm not owing up to that car. I don't care if it's careening toward a baby carriage.

    • Niles: The rental agency didn't have a single luxury car left. They stuck me with some vehicle I believe they call a hunchback.
      Frasier: No. I think that would be a hatchback, Niles.
      Niles: It's painted panic-button red, with a large rear window that pops open.
      Frasier: That would be the hatchback.
      Niles: Well, there's a novel idea: name the car after its most hideous feature. I presume it was a toss-up between "hatchback" and "what's that odor coming from the floor?"

  • NOTES (0)


    • The Caine Mutiny
      The article detailing Frasier's etiquette lesson is under "The Crane Mutiny." This is a pun on the title of the 1954 film The Caine Mutiny.

    • Niles says that Frasier is like a combination of Dirty Harry and Emily Post.

      Dirty Harry was the main character (played by Clint Eastwood) in 5 movies where he portrayed an unconventional, ruthless, tough cop.
      Emily Post, amongst other writings, wrote her book Etiquette (full title Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home) in 1922. It became a best seller and her name (in US) is synonymous with proper manners.

    • Niles: Ah, there he is, the man who floats like a lepidoptera and stings like a hymenoptera.

      Niles quotes Muhammad Ali who boasted that he could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

    • Episode Title: High Crane Drifter

      The title references the Clint Eastwood film High Plains Drifter.