The Dal-List: 31 Things That Happen When You Watch ‘Dallas’

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, TNT

Mr. Cool

What happens when “Dallas” fans watch the show? Here are 31 experiences we all share when we tune in to TNT on Monday nights.

1. You settle into your comfiest chair with a pint of ice cream and/or a tall glass of wine and think, “It’s ‘Dallas’ night. Life is good.”

2. The teaser scene starts. If it features Josh Henderson, you reach for something to fan yourself.

3. The theme song begins and you get chills because it’s biologically impossible to not get excited when you hear this music.

4. You see the three-way split-screen opening credits. You feel joy.

5. Before the first commercial break, someone blackmails someone else. (Note: This will happen at least six more times before the episode ends.)

6. Sex!

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

How does she do it?

7. Linda Gray appears and looks fantastic. You turn to the spouse/roommate/cat sitting next to you and say, “How does she manage to get more beautiful each week?”

8. The spouse/roommate/cat doesn’t make a peep because you’ve trained him/her/it to be completely silent when “Dallas” is on.

9. Is Sue Ellen blackmailing someone? Putting John Ross in his place? It doesn’t matter. Whatever she’s doing, you think, “Gray is totally crushing this scene.”

10. Someone mentions J.R. You smile and feel thankful for all the wonderful performances Larry Hagman gave us over the years.

11. Bobby (Patrick Duffy) calls John Ross “boy.” You realize you never get tired of hearing him do this.

12. Brenda Strong appears and you can’t help but wonder: Is Ann is going to shoot someone tonight?

13. Something happens in the storyline that doesn’t quite add up but you decide not to dwell on it because the rest of the show is So. Damn. Good.

14. You suddenly get a hankering for a Miller Lite. You’re not sure why.

15. You hop onto Twitter, read the cast’s tweets and feel impressed by how cool the actors are.

16. “Maybe I should buy a Microsoft Surface,” you think.

17. You notice how fantastic Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo’s hair looks and wish Charles Yusko could style your hair too.

18. You see everyone’s amazing clothes and wonder if Rachel Sage Kunin would be willing to go shopping with you.

19. Nicolas appears. It occurs to you: Juan Pablo Di Pace is wearing too much clothing.

Dallas, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland, TNT

Love to hate

20. Emma (Emma Bell) does something scandalous and you love it even though you pretend to hate her.

21. Harris (Mitch Pileggi) does something mean and you love it even though you pretend to hate him.

22. Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) doesn’t smile until Heather (AnnaLynne McCord) shows up but it’s OK because it’s the best smile ever and it’s always worth the wait.

23. Fracking!

24. Also: “Heritage!” “Tradition!” “Legacy!”

25. More sex.

26. Judith Light does something nuts.

27. The episode ends with a twist. You exclaim, “How did I not see that coming?!” followed by, “How is the show over already?!”

28. Once again, your spouse/roommate/cat knows better than to answer.

29. You think, “I can’t wait to read Dallas Decoder’s critique of this episode, which will probably be posted on Wednesday unless he’s busy in which case I’ll have to wait until Thursday.”

30. TNT plays the previews for next week’s show. You look at the nearest calendar and curse it because you have to wait seven whole days for another episode.

31. The closing credits end and TNT starts replaying the episode. You grab another pint of ice cream and/or refill your wineglass and start all over.

What did I overlook? Share your comments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”


  1. Great job Chris, I’m nearly on the floor rolling because many of these occur in my household, especially hearing the theme song, and yes, I have trained my wife not to speak when the show is running. Homerun on this, way too accurate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Every time Brenda shows up, I wish it was Pam.

  3. This is great, and most all apply when I am watching the show. Now I have to get some ice cream for next week. Great job, Dallas Decoder!!!!!

  4. Garnet McGee says:

    I really hope the writers don’t disappoint me. I need to know what happens with Pamela, John Ross and Emma! I’ll be happy as long as whatever it is gives Pam here mojo back.

  5. 32. When I start watching DALLAS I immediately start scheming & plotting 4 all sides. After all, 1 side would be honest. Can a leopard change his spots, in this case: NO?!

  6. 8. The spouse/roommate/cat doesn’t make a peep because you’ve trained him/her/it to be completely silent when “Dallas” is on.

    The wife takes the children upstairs and keeps them upstairs. It is well known that seeking my attention during “Dallas Time” is not a good idea.

  7. Is it just me or does John Henderson say “fracking” with special relish?

  8. Mary Ann says:

    I do not think it should be renewed because it started out promising and then declined rapidly. It is not the Dallas we know and without JR, Pam, Lucy Ray, Donna and some other original in the cast or make guest appearances is just not Dallas. What they did with Cliff’s character is horrible and alone is a turn off. I never watched all 3 Seasons just one and two and stopped because they killed off Pam, JR/Larry Hagman died and the drug cartel crap!!! The original had it’s flaws but it was a classic and they did not recreate that or continued with it, also did not like Ann or the actress prefer it should have been Pam, prefer Bobby single.

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