One Day at a Time‘s second season offers up two Schneiders in one scene. Sort of.
In the sixth episode of the critically acclaimed remake‘s second season, a gag toward the end of the half hour pays tribute to the original sitcom’s Schneider. Elena (Isabella Gomez), the older Alvarez child, has been hired by the new Schneider (Todd Grinnell) to be his assistant, and decides to dress accordingly — to the surprise of the rest of the family and (potentially) to the delight of fans of the original, Valerie Bertinelli-starring series.
After all, her look matches Pat Harrington Jr.’s original Schneider’s get-up, down to the denim vest, the tool belt, the blue jeans, and the box of cigarettes rolled in the sleeve of a white T-shirt. All she’s missing is the iconic mustache.
Check out the look in the video above, and compare the two below:
The joke works not just as an Easter egg for original One Day at a Time fans, but also as a way for the series to point out just how different the reimagined Schneider is from Harrington’s version. Though Grinnell’s new Schneider remains a regular visitor of the family’s apartment, his 21st-century Schneider is a younger, more clueless super who tries hard to understand how his background as a wealthy white man makes him very different from the Cuban-American, lower-middle-class Alvarez family. As showrunners Mike Royce and Gloria Calderon Kellett explained in an interview with Uproxx‘s Alan Sepinwall ahead of the first season, “We had to rethink Schneider in bulk. That’s an iconic character that you don’t want anyone to try and emulate in a behavioral sense.”
In other words, one sight gag courtesy of Elena is enough. (Though if you need one more throwback to original Schneider, the series premiere saw new Schneider trying out an aggressive handlebar mustache. Harrington’s Schneider would probably have… disapproved.)
One Day at a Time season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.