Cheers (1982–1993)
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Bar Wars III: The Return of Tecumseh 

The gang thinks that since it's St. Patrick's Day - one of the busiest bar days of the year - Gary of Gary's Olde Towne Tavern is about ready to strike on Cheers despite Rebecca and Gary ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Tim Donoghue ...
Peter Schreiner ...
Alan Koss ...
Phil Therrien ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Perlman ...


The gang thinks that since it's St. Patrick's Day - one of the busiest bar days of the year - Gary of Gary's Olde Towne Tavern is about ready to strike on Cheers despite Rebecca and Gary having previously drawn an agreement to stop the pranks against each other. But Tecumseh, the Indian statue standing at the entrance of the bar, is missing, and the gang think that it's Gary who stole it. After Sam, Norm and Cliff close down Gary's bar with padlocks, toxic warning signs and police tape, they find out that Rebecca sent Tecumseh out solely to be varnished. Thus, the gang await the wrath of Gary. When the fire marshal arrives for the bar's six month inspection, the gang thinks he is Gary's revenge, which he isn't. Their collective nerves are so frayed waiting for Gary to hit, that Cliff suggests they, as an act of peace and good faith to Gary, sabotage themselves before Gary can. They finally learn what Gary's St. Patrick's Day plan is, which they believe is the worse thing he's ever ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

15 March 1990 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Frasier says, "I would ask my parents... but they are both dead." But in Frasier (1993) his father is alive and living with him. This was addressed in a "Frasier" second-season episode, "The Show Where Sam Shows Up", where Frasier admits he made up that story because he was embarrassed by his father. See more »


Frasier says that St. Patrick's Day is the day Saint Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. According to tradition, the patron saint died on March 17 and the holiday is actually an observance of the his death. See more »


Dr. Frasier Crane: [about himself and Lilith] We're having a devil of a time trying to find a babysitter. Geesh, what we wouldn't give to get away together.
Carla LeBec: Oh, me too. I live for that.
Dr. Frasier Crane: Really? You could use a vacation?
Carla LeBec: No. I want you guys to go away.
See more »


References Fail-Safe (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

People Will Be Expecting It
7 May 2011 | by (New York, NY USA) – See all my reviews

Another round of pranks between the Cheers gang and rival bar-owner Gary... but this one goes over like a punch to the stomach. It's awful. The writers seem to feel they can do no wrong in this episode, they seem especially cocky and patronizing towards the audience. The entire idea that the Cheers gang can be at war with someone who isn't even fighting back- and not realize it- requires a load of deftly-worded exposition and immaculate assumptions galore:

  • Tecumseh is missing, therefore Gary must have taken him.

  • CARLA: "Gary always retaliates, and always within 24 hours!" (Really?

How convenient!)

  • Neither Norm, Cliff or Sam notices Gary's bar is closed when they're

shutting it down. (Did they or did they not notice the lights were off and there was no one inside when they were busy padlocking the doors and putting up police tape?)

  • The Fire Marshall must surely be a plant, because there's no better

prank than a phony fire inspection

  • The gang deciding to sabotage themselves to avoid sabotage by Gary

(?) What?!?

This episode contains the Worst Un-Joke in the show's entire run. An Un-Joke is a comic slipknot, a black hole of humor that contradicts itself as it's being told. It's a bad punchline built on a faulty premise and it's never funny- only infuriating. Sam, Norm and Cliff come bouncing into the bar dressed in orange jumpsuits, arrogant and wallowing in their own stupidity, listing what they've done to sabotage Gary's bar. Cliff states that Norm ordered 38 pizzas to be delivered to Gary's house. Norm says, "Actually I had them sent to MY house, so if anyone wants to come over we've got to get to them before Vera- otherwise there won't be anything left but the crust."

Hah? I mean, huh? What the hell does that line mean? Did they or did they not send pizzas to Gary's house? If they didn't- as Norm just claimed- what was the point of mentioning it? And why would Norm send 38 pizzas to his own house instead? If he wanted pizza wouldn't he order it to the bar? Are we to believe that Vera is such a gluttonous pig that she's going to pay for 38 pizzas she never ordered and eat all three dozen of them herself? Did Norm actually just invite total strangers from the bar to come back to his house to eat pizza? Did half the bar patrons actually take him up on his offer and follow him home? Do you accompany obese alcoholic strangers to their homes for free pie following open invitations in public places? Was this joke even slightly funny in the least to justify all these impossible leaps in logic and common sense? Note to writers: if you can't think of something funny to say, shut your mouths before you humiliate yourself for all eternity.

This is a corny, contrived, painful mess of an episode. By the time the gang starts hitting Woody for insisting that "Gary made it snow," you can understand their frustration. This is a sloppy cartoon acid trip and the worst of what Cheers' later years had to offer. By the time the Fire Marshall leaves with a hatful of foam and Sam sprays seltzer into the air while throating the theme from "The Magnificent Seven" it becomes clear that this steaming pile of crocodile droppings should never have made it onto the airwaves at all.

There's a line of dialogue deleted from this episode as a result of 9/11. When the gang is making plans Cliff mentions "Fail-Safe," the 1964 film, as a reference. He then says:

"In the movie the United States accidentally launches a nuclear attack on Russia- not that those godless Communists didn't deserve it. In an attempt to avoid retaliation on America the President- played by Henry Fonda- decided to launch his own nuclear attack on New York- not that those arrogant loudmouths didn't deserve it."

The powers that be thought the line would be too harsh following the implosion of the World Trade Center- so it was censored from the DVD's and all repeats airing on television. Ain't America grand?

But back to the show- we're still not done with the humiliation! The gang hasn't yet figured out that they're fighting themselves, so they come up with the brilliant plan to shave their heads into the letters of Gary's name and have themselves photographed for the Sunday paper because the Sunday paper always features a Revenge section for local bar-owners trying to humiliate each other publicly... well, at least mine does. Turns out it was all for nothing as Gary has been out of town the whole time!

Gee. Who could have seen that coming?

Sam reveals his skullcap and the gang promises to shave him which we know of course they won't. This is hot garbage.


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