‘Frasier’: Wild Fan Theory Links Show to Iconic ’90s Movie

by Taylor Cunningham

We already know that Frasier lives in the same universe as the classic TV series Cheers, but is it also a part of the Clueless world? Some people seem to think so, and it’s thanks to a strange guest appearance by Brittany Murphy.

By Clueless, we mean the 1995 cult classic that stars Alicia Silverstone as Cher, a well-meaning and well-to-do high school student who can’t help but meddle in people’s romantic lives. The story is based on Jane Austen’s Emma. And it also stars Paul Rudd, Stacy Dash, and, of course, Brittany Murphy.

While it sounds strange to connect the film with a series about a high-brow talk show psychiatrist, there is an uncanny connection between the two.

The year before Clueless premiered, Murphy held a guest role in Frasier. At the time, she was still an unknown actress. And her small part in the series went largely unnoticed for years. But when fans started reaching back, they realized that the character in Seattle was nearly identical to her character in Beverly Hills.

Murphy starred in the Season 1 Frasier episode titled Give Him the Chair! The story found Frasier Crane desperately trying to reclaim his father’s hideous recliner after he tried replacing it with a more eye-pleasing model.

The chair ended up being given to a school’s theater program. And it was there that Brittany Murphy made her appearance. The late actress played a student who didn’t want to give up the recliner. Ultimately, Marty did get his chair back. And it spent the remainder of the series being an eyesore in Frasier’s perfectly styled home. But the therapist had to go through the standard comedic schtick to get it back.

Did Brittany Murphy’s Character Transfer to ‘Clueless’ From ‘Frasier’?

Murphy’s character dressed and acted exactly like her Clueless persona, Tai, did before Cher and Dionne gave her a famous makeover. And to fuel a fan theory, when she met her two affluent friends, she shared that she was a transfer student, and she noted that she was part of the art scene, just like her Frasier character.

While Tai never said that she moved from Seattle, her accent and style matched those of the city in the 90s. And with the timing of her television appearance, the possibility that she lived in the Crane’s universe made sense. So some fans are certain that she had moved from that Emerald City high school. Interestingly, Tai’s last name was even Frasier, which just gives the theory more fuel.

Unfortunately, there is one glaring problem with the idea. In Frasier, Murphy’s character wasn’t named Tai—it was Olsen. However, with all the other similarities, there could be a way to explain the problem. Because her role was so minor in the series, Olsen could’ve been a nickname. Or maybe it ruins the whole concept. But either way, it’s an interesting take on the two classic hits.