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Hot in Cleveland is an American sitcom on TV Land starring Valerie Bertinelli (Melanie Moretti), Jane Leeves (Rejoyla "Joy" Scroggs), and Wendie Malick (Victoria Chase) as three past-their-prime entertainment industry veterans from Los Angeles. One day, their lives are changed when their Paris-bound plane makes an emergency landing in Cleveland, Ohio. Here, the group finds a welcoming community that is less shallow, youth-obsessed and weight-conscious than LA. Melanie falls in love with the place and leases a home with sassy caretaker Elka Ostrovsky, played by Betty White. It's essentially Golden Girls with a slightly younger cast. The series, which is TV Land's first original scripted series, premiered on June 16, 2010, and was the channel's highest rated telecast in the cable network's fourteen-year history.
The show is written by Suzanne Martin (Frasier, Ellen) and is produced by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner of Hazy Mills Productions. The series is taped in front of a live studio audience at CBS' Studio City in Los Angeles using a multi-camera format. Season 3 began airing in November 2011.
- Accidental Marriage: In the season two finale, Joy and Victoria wake up to discover that they got married the other night. It isn't until the end that they discover they married each other.
- Actor Allusion: Lots. Betty White's cellmate in the second season premiere is Mary Tyler Moore. The mother of Melanie's boyfriend is Bonnie Franklin. Peri Gilpin plays a friend of all three of the gals.
- Adam Westing: Susan Lucci seems to be getting a big kick out of playing an exaggerated version of herself as a mean, vindictive, spiteful rival and frenemy to Victoria.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys
- Ascended Extra: Elka was only supposed to appear in the pilot, but was so well-received by early viewers, she was made into a core cast member.
- Big "Shut Up!": Whenever Victoria's agent calls.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Joy's mum describes her as this.
- But for Me It Was Tuesday: In the second season premiere.
Elka: So, what are you in for?
- Brick Joke: That "Mommy Dearest" tell-all Victoria mentions one of her children as having threatened to write about her? Gets turned into a movie two seasons later...
- But We Used a Condom: Joy claims that she became pregnant even when using a condom.
- Butt Monkey: Joy to Elka
- Celebrity Star: Susan Lucci, Melanie Griffith, Jimmy Kimmel
- Cleveland Rocks
- Cool Old Lady: Elka.
- Deadpan Snarker: Joy and Elka. Especially Elka.
- December-December Romance
- Defictionalization: On 3/1/11 It was announced that the Scriptwriters are adding a plot in which Valerie Bertinelli's character takes a summer job as a columnist for Woman's Day — and a column "written" by Ms. Bertinelli's character will run in the real magazine.
- Did Not Do the Research: In one episode, after Melanie finds out her favorite singer is gay, they begin talking about some other singers they didn't know were gay. They mentioned Elton John, George Michael, and The Village People (all of them). In reality, only two members of The Village People were gay.
- Drop in Character: Rick was like this, and Artie seems to becoming one, too.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A lot of Victoria's Lifetime movies were titled like this.
Victoria: I once played a lady storm chaser in the Lifetime Original Movie Lady Storm Chaser.
- Expy: Elka is very similar to Sophia from The Golden Girls.
- In a very odd coincidence that can be considered creepy. Elka and Sophia followed very similar paths. Elka was originally a much smaller part, but Betty White's Popularity Power convinced the producers to expand her character. Interestingly, Elka's Golden Girls Expy Sophia follows a similar path. Originally conceived as a Drop in Character, Sophia responded so well with fans, the writers wrote out their original fourth character (Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy's gay cook, Coco) and wrote Sophia in.
- Let's keep this going. Victoria could be the show's Blanche, rather self-centered and vain. Joy is the second-in-command Deadpan Snarker, similar to Dorothy. Melanie is the hardest to compare, although she does tend to be a rather sweet and naive Rose-type at times. At one point, Jane Leeves actually said the show could be called The Silver Girls.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Elka is choleric, Victoria is sanguine, Joy is melancholic, and Melanie is phlegmatic.
- Going Commando: Melanie in "Duct Soup". It's implied that she's naked underneath a trash bag she wears as a substitute dress, though she slightly and inadvertently exposes herself to the others for a moment when she cheers "yay!" at Joy's daughter having a wedding soon, and raises her arms, causing her to hike up her trash bag-dress. She says it again less enthusiastically when she realizes she's revealing too much in her oops moment and tugs it back down quickly.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck: Melanie does this a lot, but she is able to curse out her ex-husband.
- Hair Flip: Victoria attempted to do one while on All My Children, but due to Susan Lucci's interference, was unable to complete it.
- Hey, It's That Gal: The show has Barbara Cooper (or Gloria) sharing a house with Daphne Moon and Nina Van Horn (or Principal Folsom), with Rose Nylund (or, if you like, Sue Ann Nivens) as their caretaker.
- Hollywood Homely: In-Universe - the entire premise of the show. The main women are seen this way in Los Angeles, but are pretty in Cleveland.
- Homage: The episode "Indecent Proposals" is basically one to Sex and the City.
- I Ate What?: Poor Melanie and her tapeworm...
- I Want Grandkids: Joy's mother reminds her about never having children every time they speak.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Elka
- Improvised Clothes: Melanie in "Duct Soup". Early in the episode, she's wearing a pale turquoise trash bag for a dress, due to not wearing anything when she went out the get the paper while staying at her boyfriend's place and the door closed and locked on her, as she explained to the others.
- Japandering: Victoria dreamed of the day that she build enough success, respect, and credibility as an actor to piss it all away for a boatload of cash. She didn't, however, expect it to be for "Lady Pants."
- Kavorka Man: Rick
- Large Ham: White Dwarf Starlet Victoria likes to pretend that she's still on a soap opera set.
- May-December Romance: Victoria and her Sugar Daddy, as well as Joy and Lou.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Joy's first plan whenever her friends are hurt is to kill the person.
Joy: I say we kill him.
- The Other Darrin: Chance the Dog
- Parents as People: Even though their children are grown & college aged, this is prominent with Victoria's character in her children's childhoods. She has even forgotten how many kids she has on multiple occassions.
Victoria: - It was like that for both of my pregnancies
- Granted, she could've had a multiple birth but it's always stated in a way that points to the otherwise.
- Place Worse Than Death: Cleveland.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: Victoria entered and LOST a look-a-like contest, as herself. She was supposed to be a drag queen look-a-like, but she still lost (to a Susan Lucci look-a-like.)
- Rich Bitch: Victoria can be considered an example, except her finances, or lack thereof are a recurring problem for her.
- Sitcom Arch Nemesis: Susan Lucci is Victoria's archnemesis.
- It's going to be interesting to see what happens next season, since Victoria has actively been trying to sabotage Susan Lucci and now All My Children is canceled.
- Sound Effect Bleep: Airport buzzers and metal detectors censor out swear words in "It's Not That Complicated".
- Spiritual Successor: To The Golden Girls. See Expy above.
- Squick: An In-Universe - example Victoria fills in for Juliet in the High School play and has to kiss a high school boy. The audience cringes. Lampshaded by Elka
- Stripper Cop Confusion:At Elka's bachelorette party.
- Take That: To Justin Bieber of all people. When it's discovered that Elka has him on her iPod:
"I love her! They keep saying she's a boy, but I'm not buying it."
- And to Glee, too:
"(Joy and Victoria are spying on Melanie and her ex-husband)"
- Joy's admirer Rick mentions that in the Battle of the Bands, a group of hot youngsters will perform and blames it on Glee.
- Teen Pregnancy: Joy was revealed to have given a child up for adoption in episode 2.
- Theme Naming: Meet Victoria's children: Emmy, Oscar, and Tony (She doesn't like Tony that much.)
- The Unfavorite: Victoria's third child, Tony
- White Dwarf Starlet:Victoria
- Whole-Plot Reference: "Elka's Big Day" for The Hangover".