While "Cheers" remains one of the most successful sitcoms, it wasn't the most groundbreaking or innovative. But despite departing and even dying cast members and a changing TV landscape, "Cheers" remained remarkably consistent for 11 seasons and a whopping 271 episodes. To quote a line from the "Cheers" finale "One for the Road," "I like things you can count on." So when "Cheers" ended on May 20, 1993, with a 98-minute special, 93.5 million Americans tuned in because this was one show you could always rely on. "Cheers" was always endearingly funny, it had one of the most compelling on-screen romances between Sam and Diane, and many episodes found a surprising sweet spot. "One for the Road" feels just the same. It's an episode with a lot going on, and it might be one of its best. Here are some of its most memorable moments:
"Yes, the Most Impressive Display of Female Flesh in the, uh, Tight Fitting Dress." - Cliff
"One for the Road" is a finale of change and moving past the comforts of this bar. Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) is about to be engaged. Woody (Woody Harrelson) is running for public office. Cliff (John Ratzenberger) is up for a job at the post office. And Sam, coming to terms with his life throughout the whole season, has been pushed to swear off flings with women and find something stable. And the whole bar is thrown into a whirl when they're watching an awards show on TV and see Diane accepting a prize (Shelley Long, returning to the show after leaving five seasons in), who Sam invites to visit the bar. But it still feels familiar with a cute cold open and Cliff's smarmy one-liners.
"After losing the only man I ever loved, lunch should hit the spot." - Rebecca
Rebecca is a basket case in this episode, having come a long way from being the most mature person in the room when she first joined the show to replace Diane. After a hilarious sequence where she can't bring herself to say yes to her boyfriend's marriage proposal, blurting out rejections despite her better judgment, she says this choice line as she's wallowing to Sam in despair.
"Oh just change it!" - Frasier
When Kelsey Grammer's Frasier initially joined "Cheers" during its third season, he played the outsider to the group of guys. He eventually started gelling with everyone, but he and Woody were like oil and water, with Frasier perpetually flustered and high-minded, and Woody a calm simpleton. When Woody asks Frasier to write his campaign speech, Frasier gets a little too clever for Woody. "In here you make change," Frasier says referring to Woody's work behind the bar. "There you make 'a' change. Oh, just change it!"
"When will you be leaving?" - Carla
After 11 seasons, you can easily forget that Carla (Rhea Perlman) and Diane started the show with a rivalry, with Carla always needling her and trying to get her out the door. Perlman delivers her line with the perfect blend of salty and sweet once she realizes Diane being back in the bar isn't her hallucination.
"Maybe we'll work together someday. Hammer out a treaty or something." - Woody
Diane, astonished that Woody is actually becoming a politician, makes one of her slightly condescending jokes saying that she's next in line for the throne. And Woody, being his innocent, gullible self, turns the tables on her. He even reveals that people used to call him "Huckleberry."
"Well you never hurt ME, did you?!?" - Frasier
It's almost hard to remember that Frasier and Diane were once a thing, and that Frasier never forgot about it either, even if the rest of the cast did. Grammer looks wonderfully flustered and irritated with Diane's flippant attitude that their whole relationship was basically just water under the bridge.
"I am a corporate attorney with the group Emerson ... Lake and Palmer." - Rebecca
"Cheers" saved one of its wackier situation moments for the finale, when Sam and Diane each try and convince the other they're happily married so as to make the other jealous. Sam recruits a miserable Rebecca who has this gem of a cover story, while Diane has recruited a gay man to serve as her phony husband.
"I gave that man the best years of my life." - Norm
Sam gets real during the second act of the "Cheers" finale, screaming at the bar that, "I should need more than this! You should need more than this." It's a cutting line and a great act break, but wouldn't be perfect without Norm lightening the mood.
"I won't pretend it's a modern day Athens." - Diane
Shelley Long didn't miss a beat when she returned to the finale. Diane is as aloof and just as snooty as ever. And this line singing the praises of Los Angeles as they're about to fly away together is just the tip off Sam and Diane need that maybe all is not right with this relationship. Even the pilot and flight attendant seem to know it. Another show would've forced these two back together in the end. "Cheers" was daring enough to make sure they didn't.
"I shoot for Donald Trump and I end up with Ed Norton." - Rebecca
Here's a line that hasn't aged well, for obvious reasons. Rebecca can't believe the man she ended up with is a plumber, but takes it in stride anyway.
"I don't think it matters what you love, so long as you love it totally, completely and without judgment." - Norm
Before Sam closes up, Norm, wise soul that he is, delivers this beautiful line about the meaning of life. George Wendt gives both a heavy-hearted and hilarious performance that truly anchors the "Cheers" finale. He even has a great line about his long-lost wife never glimpsed on the show. "My wife Vera. Remember her? That is her name, isn't it?"
"Boy, I'll tell you, I'm the luckiest son of a bitch on Earth." - Sam
There's no place like home. It's understandable that Sam wants more out of life, but the beauty of "Cheers" was that it never had to veer far from the bar to be funny. Everything they needed was right here.