Back Talk

"Back Talk" is the tenth episode in season 7 of American sitcom Frasier. It is the first part of a storyline that spans two episodes, including the following, The Fight Before Christmas.

Cast and characters

Main cast and characters

Plot outline

It is Frasier's birthday, and he is not in a particularly celebratory mood, being surprisingly snappy towards Daphne concerning her living arrangements with her fiancé, Donny. The day is further strained when Frasier, leaning over to blow the candle out from a cupcake as a joke, pulls a muscle in his back, thus seizing himself up. He is thus forced the indignity of wearing a girdle, but is nevertheless determined to do his radio show. He manages to get through five seconds before a sneezing fit brought on by a birthday gift of some flowers, coupled with his bad back, sees him collapse in pain, and he is forced to enlist Niles' help in getting him home.

Finding a seat is the first hurdle, and to the horror of both brothers, the only one comfortable enough is Martin's battered old recliner. Niles suggests that Frasier undertake a mental exercise; as there is seemingly nothing physically wrong with him, the problem may be emotional, so it may help if he expresses his worries out loud. Frasier thus finds himself talking about his problems with Eddie, and realises that the reason he's been so sharp with Daphne lately is because she will soon be leaving his life. He determines to make amends for his behaviour and ensure that Daphne feels loved before she leaves.

Unfortunately, Daphne has been home all the time, and finally emerges, unnoticed, to hear Frasier confess that he loves her. She does not realise that his feelings are Platonic, and is horrified and embarrassed. Her interpretation is further supported when Martin, hearing that "Dr. Crane" has confessed his feelings for Daphne, assumes she referring to Niles. Frasier soon realises that, as Niles has not been present to confess anything, Daphne has misinterpreted. He takes the opportunity to assure her of this. Daphne is relieved, and gives Frasier a massage as his strong medication begins to work. Unfortunately, in his drowsy state, his speech is unguarded, and when she revisits what Martin said, he reveals that it is Niles that has feelings for her. Daphne is shocked as Frasier explains that Niles is crazy about her and has been for years before falling asleep.

The next day, Frasier's back is better and he doesn't remember revealing Niles' secret.

Episode title cards

  • Edward Crane, Ph.D.

Memorable Quotations

This is a pivotal moment
Daphne, relieved that she misunderstood Frasier's musings earlier, is giving him a massage. He is very drowsy after taking the tranquilisers
Daphne: When I said to your father, "Dr. Crane's in love with me", he said it's been going on for six years now. What did he mean by that?
Frasier: (half-asleep) Oh, that…he meant Niles.
Daphne: What?
Frasier: Niles…he's crazy about you.


  • This episode marks the beginning of an arc examining Daphne's feelings towards Niles, which will be resolved in 'Something Borrowed, Someone Blue (Episode 2)'.

See also

List of Frasier episodes

Search another word or see back-talkon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature