Cheers Wiki

The Tortelli Tort is the third episode of Season 1 of Cheers. It was written by Tom Reeder and directed by James Burrows. It was written by Tom Reeder, and directed by James Burrows. It originally aired on NBC on October 14, 1982.


Carla attacks a New York Yankees fan in the bar, because he was mocking Sam.



Guest Starring[]


Cold open[]

Sam enters the bar, saying it’s a great day. He goes behind the bar to find Coach laughing at a napkin. Coach shows Sam a big box of napkins that he let a salesmen sell to him. Sam points out that each napkin is the same, all showing two hunters saying “did I hear a buck snort.” Coach still finds them funny and tells Sam they are conversation starters, Cliff and Tom then mention how they stink. Coach acts as if he has proven Sam wrong on them being conversation starters. Cold opening ends, and the opening credits roll.

Act one[]

After the opening credits, the guys are in the bar watching the home team Red Sox play the New York Yankees. Carla is mixing up her drink orders because she is too busy watching the game, Diane Chambers tells on Carla to Sam. Norm then comes through the door, claiming that his boss chewed him out again. Carla then tells Norm that the Sox still have a chance to win the game. After the Sox lose, Carla gets on top of a stool and says she is no longer a Red Sox fan, the rest of the patrons mock her, saying the same exact thing she says, at the same exact time, showing that Carla has said she was done being a Red Sox fan many times before.


The guys are watching a clip from the Red Sox game.

An old man named Fred comes through the door and tells Sam to give everyone a drink, because his sister Louise died. Sam then explains to Diane that every time one of Fred’s siblings dies, he inherits a load of money from them, Diane believes that it’s ghoulish, Norm says they thought it was too the first few times. Fred then explains he never cared for any of them.

A man comes through the door and begins to mock the Red Sox fans in the bar after the loss. He claims that he is a Yankee fan and in the big city of New York they call him Big Eddy. Carla tells him that the Sox aren’t doing that bad, Eddy proves her wrong. Diane then comes over and says that Boston has many more poets and artists, nobody seems to care what Diane has to say.

Fred then leaves the bar, claiming that he’ll be back shortly because his other brother is hooked up to so many wires that you could get the Superstation hooked up to him. The patrons seem delighted. Carla gives Eddy his drinks in a rude way, then Diane tries to tell Eddy that he should expect this in a bar full of Red Sox fans. Coach tells everyone to sit back, relax and read one of his napkins, as he laughs at one of them.


Carla argues with Ed about baseball.

Eddy then notices Sam behind the bar, claiming that he used to see him pitching at Fenway. He offers to buy Sam a drink, but Coach tells him that Sam doesn’t drink anymore. He begins to mock Sam for his drinking problem, when Carla runs down the bar steps and jumps on the Eddy’s back. The bar removes Carla away from him, he then tells Sam he is going to get his attorney for this. Sam tells Carla to apologize, after she refuses to do so, Eddy says that unless Sam fires Carla, he will take everything Sam has. Eddy leaves and Sam says happy hour is over.

Act two[]

After the commercial break, Diane tells Carla what she did was reprehensible. She responds with, “you do what you can.” Coach then asks Sam what his lawyer said, Diane jumps in and tells Coach exactly what Sam heard from his lawyer. Sam asked how she knows what will happen; Diane says she picked it up in school. Carla then tells Sam that something like this won’t happen again. Sam says she can be abusive with customers, Carla says the guy was insulting him. Sam says he doesn’t really care, he was a professional athlete. Sam says his lawyer wanted him to fire Carla, because he could lose the bar. Carla tells Sam that she needs the job, because if she didn’t have it, she’d have to stay home with her kids. Diane then suggests seeing a very close friend of hers, who is a clinical psychiatrist. Carla originally disagrees, Diane says normal people do seek help; she even has consulted the guy himself. Carla says she grew up tough, but Sam says she only gets one more chance. Carla agrees to see Diane’s shrink, as long as she is able to keep her job. Coach says he now feels wonderful, Sam says now all he has to worry about is Eddy taking his bar away. Coach begins to get uneasy again.


Diane suggests therapy.

A few weeks later, Sam hangs up the phone and tells the guys that Eddy is coming over. Sam says he’s going to tell Eddy that Carla is in therapy and that she won’t do anything like that again. Coach then says that he thinks Eddy is a wimp, claiming that he played through a lot of pain himself. Coach then says it became a specialty of his to get hit by pitches when hitting in baseball. Coach then explains to Diane how he made it his specialty. He then asks Diane to throw a ball at him from the bar into the pool room, and try not to hit him. Diane says she won’t get it anywhere near him. She then throws the bar into the pool room and hits Coach right in the head (not shown), Coach then comes out of the pool room and says that he really had to dive for that one.


Norm reacts to Diane hitting Coach in the head.

Just then, Carla comes through the door with here shrink to meet everyone at the bar. After introducing Dr. Graham to her co-workers, Big Eddy comes through the door asking what Carla is doing there. Sam sends Eddy to the other side of the bar, while explaining to Eddy that Carla Is seeing a therapist and she has made a lot of process. Eddy doesn’t believe it, so begins to taunt Carla about some of the Boston sports teams and Cheers bar itself. Carla stands there, staying quiet, while absorbing all the insults that Eddy Is throwing at her. Eddy then begins to insult the Boston Bruins, with Sam claiming not to go there because it’s a soft spot with Carla. He says that the Boston Bruins are a bunch of sissy’s, but Carla still doesn’t budge.

Eddy then says he’s going to drop the whole thing because working at Cheers is punishment enough. As Eddy begins to leave, a Boston Bruin is sitting at a chair by the door. He says that he really wishes he didn’t say that about the Bruins, then he offers to walk Eddy to his car, to show him some of the things he got suspended for.

The pre-credits scene at the end has Carla and the rest of the guys at the bar begin to celebrate. Carla then tells them that she just imagined a small point, way off in the distance. A voice from the pool room yells out asking for a beer, Carla then throws a beer down to the pool room, yelling at the guy that she’s celebrating. She then continues telling her story, as the other characters look on.

The closing credits roll.

Trivia & Notes[]


  • NBC rebroadcasted this episode on May 19, 1983.
  • This episode marks the first time, the bar's TV is seen.
  • This episode marked the first of eleven appearances by Tom Babson.
  • This episode marked the first of ten appearances by Paul Vaughn.
  • The part where Carla attacks Eddie. References The Big Valley Target, where Nick Barkley attacks Josh. Unlike Nick, Carla doesn't punch him in the jaw, like Josh, Ed threatens to press charges, and unlike Josh, he stops the charges. Unlike Josh, Ed insults Carla.


  • While talking to Carla, the Yankee Fan states that since 1918 the Yankees have won 23 World Championships. The Yankees had only won 22 World Championships throughout the entire run of Cheers. They won their 23rd in 1996.
  • At the end of the episode a man asks Carla for a beer he had ordered but Carla had just arrived and not taken any order yet in the day.