Frasier: Dad, we are talking about perjury! When is that ever acceptable?
Martin: Oh, you want an example? Fine! Let’s say, uh, what if there was a comet hurtling towards the earth—
Frasier: Oh, for God’s sake!
Martin: And you were the only person who could save the earth, but the only way to do it is by lying under oath. Would you do it then?
Frasier: Who am I lying to, the comet?
Martin: Oh, just answer the question!
Frasier: All right, I suppose in certain extreme cases—
Martin: So, then you’d lie?
Frasier: To save mankind from a talking comet, yes!
Martin: But you won’t lie for Niles.
Frasier: Oh, for God’s sake, you make me sound like some sort of insensitive lout who’s not aware that his brother’s out there in pain!
[Frasier takes a sip from the glass]
Martin: Isn’t that Niles’s water?
Frasier: I’m just checking to see it’s not too cold!
Frasier: You know, I can’t believe you’re being so casual about this! Do you realize you’re asking me to do something completely unethical?!
Martin: Oh, for God’s sake, nobody’s even going to know!
Frasier: Yes, but that’s the point! Ethics are what we do when no one else is looking! For heaven’s sake, I learned that from you! Are you saying you wouldn’t have any trouble with this?
Martin: Let me tell you something. One time when I was on the force, I saw a guy shoot somebody. When we caught him, I started to read him his rights, but he slipped out of his cuffs and he swung at me so I didn’t get a chance to finish. Two months later, I’m on the stand, and his lawyer asks me if I’d read his rights in full. Now, if I say no this guy walks, and this guy has been in and out of jail all his life, he could have read ME his rights! So I say, “yes, I did. I read them in full.” I lied under oath. Now you might think that I did an unethical thing but there’s not a doubt in my mind that I did the right thing.
– Rob Hanning: Frasier (1993-2004)