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Birth, Death, Love and Rice is the first episode of Season 4 of Cheers. It originally aired on NBC in the United States on September 26, 1985.


Sam couldn't stop the wedding, but Frasier tells him that Diane left him at the altar and is now working at a convent. So Sam visits Diane to ask her to come back to Cheers. Meanwhile, Coach has passed away and Indiana farm boy Woody Boyd comes to Cheers to meet Coach only to learn he passed away a few months ago. He becomes Cheers's new assistant bartender.


Recurring/Guest Stars


  • This is Woody Harrelson's first appearance on the show and his joining the main cast, as well as the first episode where Nicholas Colasanto is not credited.
  • This is the first episode where the Cheers theme song is updated again, in which "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" is rerecorded by adding more vocals to it. This remained in use until the show's ending in 1993.
  • It is revealed that Coach and Woody were pen pals and today is the day they were supposed to meet.
  • This has, by far, the most story time between the hook and act 1, with five months passing. No other Cheers has more than one week pass during the opening credits.
  • Producers originally considered explaining Coach's permanent absence by saying he had retired and moved away. Ultimately it was determined that Coach would be too loyal to leave his job and friends behind, and that simply revealing he his passing was a proper way to acknowledge the real life death of Nicholas Colasanto.
  • This is one of the saddest episodes.