Scene: a friend's living room
Friend and I are watching Frazier.
Niles enters, in a swish of trench coat and long scarf.
Frazier greets him. "Ah, Niles, how was La Traviata?"
"Terrible," replies Niles. "The soprano couldn't hit the E-flat to save her life."
I sit bolt-upright and exclaim, outraged, "That E-flat is completely optional."
When my friend stopped laughing and picked himself up off the floor, he explained that the point of the character of Niles was to be geekier and more particular than any human being could possibly be, and that I had just out-Nilesed him.
funny how defining moments sneak up on you like that.