Every Woman Niles Dated In Frasier (Before Daphne)

Every Woman Niles Dated In Frasier (Before Daphne)

After divorcing Maris, Niles Crane faces the turbulence of the dating world several times before marrying Daphne – here is every woman he dated.

The fickle brother of Frasier Crane, Niles Crane, is unlucky in love more than once on the sitcom Frasier. After divorcing Maris, Niles dates a hand full of women over the course of the series, though they never live up to his ultimate true love Daphne Moon who he ends up marrying. A notable character Niles dates after Maris is Mel, his eventual second wife, and the last woman Niles Crane dates in his string of relationships in Frasier before Daphne.

When Niles Crane is introduced on Frasier, he is married to an unseen woman named Maris. Maris becomes Frasier’s biggest running joke as she is never shown but her odd appearance and personality are constantly commented on. Encouraged by his friends and family, Niles stands up to Maris when she ridicules him and this sparks a two-year-long separation. She eventually cheats on him with their marriage counselor, Dr. Bernard Shenkman. From then on, Niles dates women who are more often his polar opposites to satiate a long-time desire to be with Daphne. On a whim, he marries Mel Karnofsky in season 7 but their romance dissolves after he and Daphne finally get together before she marries the lawyer Donny Douglas.

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The Crane brothers are often foils of each other but they are also similar in more ways than one. Both Niles and Frasier Crane struggle with finding the right woman for them. Niles deals with an unrequited crush on Daphne Moon while Frasier faces various misunderstandings on the dates he goes on. After Maris, Niles struggles to move on because he has little experience being with a woman who accepts him. Frasier develops Niles Crane by highlighting why his romances often fail after his first marriage. Every person Niles is shown in a relationship with helps him understand his self-worth in a way that ultimately makes his last marriage successful. Here is a collection of every woman Niles Crane dates on the sitcom Frasier before marrying Daphne.

Kit – Season 6

Kit from Frasier

In Frasier season 6 episode 23 “Shutout In Seattle: Part I” nearly every character is seen entering a relationship that is neither healthy nor sustainable for them. Niles Crane, out of desperation to be loved, starts dating a woman named Kit. The only problem is that he changes his personality and appearance to be more compatible with her. Kit is played by Legally Blonde actress Jessica Cauffiel and appears in a two-parter Frasier episode. Niles Crane ends his marriage with Maris for good in Frasier season 5 and ends up sharing an awkward affair with Frasier’s ex-wife Lilith. By dating Kit the next season, Niles Crane is attempting to break free of the bad habits that prevent him from finding true love. However, their precarious dynamic proves to Niles that he cannot be who he is not in a relationship and be satisfied. Niles breaks up with Kit in “Shutout In Seattle: Part II.”

Sabrina – Season 7

Sabrina on Frasier

In Frasier season 7, episode 2 “Father of the Bride,” Niles Crane joins what he believes to be an executive dating agency but is actually an escort service. The agency sets him up with a woman named Sabrina who he starts dating despite Niles’ brother Frasier warning him that she is a sex worker. The scenario is used for laughs but Niles’ experience with Sabrina paints a bigger picture of his dating life following his dissolved marriage with Maris. Sabrina’s devotion to him is a sham because of her occupation, a fact that is understood by everyone other than Niles. Their dynamic represents his romantic naivete. Their breakup in “Father of the Bride” is eye-opening for Niles as he decides there is no such thing as a perfect relationship.

Poppy – Season 7

Poppy on Frasier

Poppy Delafield (played by Katie Finneran) appears in Frasier season 7 episodes 4 and 6. She is the spoiled daughter of KACL’s station owner. During her appearance in “Everyone’s A Critic” Frasier Crane manipulates her into becoming a critic at his radio station because of his jealousy towards Niles’ new job writing for a pretentious magazine. Poppy returns for Frasier season 7 episode 6 “Rivals” where she and Niles become infatuated with each other. With her outgoing attitude and heedless chatting, she can be described as another foil of Niles. After several misunderstandings, both Frasier’s love interest and Poppy effectively break things off with the brothers by ditching a ball they attend together.

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Mel – Season 7

Mel on Frasier

Mel Karnofsky is introduced in Frasier season 7 episode 8 “The Late Dr. Crane” and is portrayed by actress Jane Adams. The plastic surgeon quickly becomes the second wife of Niles Crane. Mel is compatible with Niles in many ways yet thrives on the control she has over him. Her dominant personality is at its most extreme when she drags out her separation with Niles by holding his and Daphne’s affair over his head. Marrying Mel is a negligent choice Niles makes because he worries life is passing him by, but their ensuing breakup remains a huge stepping stone in his character development. Their relationship helps him to finally shed his insecurities and also break his pattern of being a pushover for the sake of receiving love.

It took a lot of trial and error for Niles Crane to overcome the obstacles preventing him from professing his love to Daphne Moon. A majority of the relationships Niles initiates after separating from Maris required him to change his personality or ignore his own needs which is why getting together with Daphne is his best resolution, as she wants him to be himself. Every woman Niles Crane dates on Frasier ends up being integral to his character development.

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Zoe Jordan
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Zoe Jordan is a young freelance Movie/TV Features Writer for Screen Rant. She has become well-versed in Film and Television from the various cinema study classes she attended at SUNY Purchase in NY. She has key knowledge in film subjects and genres such as Italian Neo-Realism, Film Noir, and the history of horror. Miss Jordan has experience writing for theater and won a semi-finalist placement for short horror screenplay in the New York City Horror Film Festival in 2021.

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