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Why Are All the Mean Ladies on TV Named Tammy?

Folks, we’ve realized a silly trend in recent comedy TV — the minor bitch characters are always named Tammy. Now, before you get your Dillon Panthers jerseys in a bundle, we’re not counting Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights; she’s a “Tami,” not a “Tammy,” and guidance counselors named Tami are clearly sweethearts. Anyway, we came to this revelation while watching an episode of Parks and Recreation (featuring Tammy Two) and mumbling to ourselves, “This is classic Tammy,” appropriating Charlie Kelly’s short-lived catchphrase from season one of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Do you know a girl named Tammy? Is she “the eye of Satan’s butthole” like the second Tammy Swanson? Or is she “the cold, distant mother [April] never had” like the first? Does she exploit gangly bartenders like the teenage Tammy of Paddy’s Pub? As it turns out, Ron Swanson and Dennis Reynolds aren’t the only suckers to have coped with saucy Tammys — check out our gatherings after the jump. We call this “The Tammy Theory,” or a roundup of coincidentally treacherous TV Tammys. P.S. If your name is Tammy, we’re sure you’re a very, very nice person.

Tammy Zero, Tammy One, and Tammy Two, Parks and Recreation

“My first ex-wife’s name is Tammy, my second ex-wife’s name is Tammy. My mom’s name is Tamara… she goes by Tammy.”

— Ron Swanson

Here we have a flawless triumvirate of terrible Tammys, otherwise known as the ladies of Ron Swanson’s past and occasional present. First, there’s Tammy Zero (Paula Pell), Ron’s mom, whose brief debut in “Ron & Tammys” revealed her sassy side. As soon as the eldest Tammy barked, “I don’t have to answer stupid questions while standing on my own property” in response to Leslie’s question about guns, we knew she meant business. Then, of course, there’s Tammy One (Patricia Clarkson), who is harsh to the point that she somehow gains the respect of a generally disrespectful April. Last but not least, there’s Tammy Two (Megan Mullally), who, according to Leslie, “seems scary, but really she’s just a manipulative, psychotic, library-book-peddling, sex-crazed she-demon.” Ah, the Tammys. Whenever they’re around, we know there’s an incredible Ron-filled episode in store.

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