In Season 2 Episode 6

  • Larry thinks Acupuncturist is gay for sending him Orchids
  • Japanese waiter offended when asked about Japanese custom about Orchids when sent by a man to a man in a professional sense
  • Acupuncturist says in the end "Ancient Japanese Custom" and gives a weird look
  • Someone guide/ explain please?

2 Answers 2


I agree that the episode didn't make this 100% clear, but if memory serves: When Larry asks Jeff what the orchids are all about, Jeff theorizes that:

I think it's some sort of Japanese gay thing.

Larry supposes it might be some ancient Japanese custom and asks the waiter. The waiter, however, is very grumpy and doesn't like Larry from the get-go. It's possible he's simply offended by questions about his culture, and it's also possible he's offended by Larry's question because men sending orchids to men is a 'Japanese gay thing'. This possibility is further supported by the acupuncturist's reaction in the end. He unconvincingy claims it's an ancient custom after all, but the ending heavily suggests that the acupuncturist was interested in Larry all along.

As for Larry's question, according to a post on Japan-Guide.com:

Growing orchids only started around 250 years ago in Japan, and became common practices among commoners much later during the turn of the 20th century when Japan got the accesses to the mountain of Taiwan and the southern China. It's never been an ancient tradition, and the presenting [of] orchid[s] doesn’t mean anything particular.


Regarding the waiter's choleric disposition toward Larry, I think he's just a little off-kilter and does not like LD from the get-go, without more reason than that Larry just rubs him the wrong way.

However, with regards to the acupuncturist's weird look to Larry, I may be wrong, but it has always been my understanding that this was the smug, satisfied look of victory, following the fruition of his master plan.

He was confident, given the little he knew about our hero, that if he were to send flowers to Larry after their session that Larry would be confused and put-off by the gesture, and may or may not interpret it as some "Japanese gay thing". But either way, he would not be comfortable returning for a follow-up visit. The doctor strategically has his receptionist solicit a reason for cancellation when she calls Larry to confirm his next appointment, and he tells her he's "better", thereby executing the final stage of the acupuncturist's design, and securing him the five thousand dollar prize.

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