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Techniques and Trademarks in Swiss Miss (s2e1)


Helping Hand

Rule of 3[]

  • In three languages: Archer gets called a 'Schwein' by Herr Schlotz, then shortly after, a 'cochino' (which is Spanish for 'pig') by a Spanish kidnapper who has burst in to his room. Before roasting him by spraying his 'Maybe Musk' deodorant over a candelabra a candle, he says "and that is just it for today on people calling me a fricking' pig!". Then Herr Schlotz arrives and calls Archer a 'Schwein' again.
    • Anka says 'Wilhelm' 3 times
    • 3 stitches in Archer's 'Wilhelm'

Breaking the fourth wall (B4W)[]

Anka looks to camera naughtily as she walks off scene with a lollipop in her mouth.

Quick-cut / interstitial joke[]

Scene A:
Malory:  "That sounds like Shlotz, but [inhales], oh my God!...Pam must be getting naked!  
[looks at camera]  "All these idiots think about is having sex!" [B4W]
Scene B:
Archer:  [to Lana] "It's called nymphomania..."
Lana: [sighs heavily]

[looks at camera] "...and maybe mixed with borderline personality disorder..."

Archer:  "I mean, I don't know Lana, I'm not a developmental psychologist."


The above lines given by Malory and Archer across scenes A and B (interstitially) represent a combined meta-joke, in that:

  • Scene A:  Malory's first thought when hearing a distant scream was about sex, making her a nymphomaniac (which is already implied in the previous season).
  • Scene B:  Archer appears to follow on from Malory's context in order to explain that that is nymphomania and, following the context, maybe borderline personality disorder. After feigning ignorance he continues and it becomes apparent he is describing Anka in the new context, although he could just as easily be describing himself.


  • It is ambiguous at first to whom Archer is directly referring as a 'nymphomaniac with borderline personality disorder' in the new context - it is most likely Anka, and that he was trying to rationalise her behaviour to Lana. The mention of developmental psychology does narrow the context as Anka is younger, but the implied point is that the description could equally apply to Archer and Malory. The irony is that Archer is in fact innocent in this context - and the audience knows it - but are being given a chance to notice the connection in the behaviour of Anka, Archer and Malory. (situational irony).
  • Anka provides a mirror through which Archer has the potential to see himself and achieve self-awareness: their later exchange on the skidoo calls back this possibility, but Archer fails to achieve the insight alluded to. He is clearly aware of developmental psychology as applied to others, just not himself, which is another level of irony (tragic irony).