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British Sitcom written by Graham Linehan (of Father Ted and Black Books fame), set in the fictitious Reynholm Industries, a prominent London-based corporation filled with "a lot of sexy people not doing much work and having affairs". Unfortunately for them, the "standard nerds" who make up the IT Department are not part of this glamorous world. Consigned to the squalid basement, they're looked down upon and disregarded by everyone else despite their skills keeping the entire place running smoothly.
The series debuted in 2006 and is still ongoing. It focuses on the team of Roy (Chris O'Dowd), the surly and slovenly comic book fan; Moss (Richard Ayoade), a naive, innocently tactless and stereotypically geeky mother's boy; and the new manager Jen (Katherine Parkinson), a twitchy career-woman who, despite her complete lack of technical understanding and computer know-how, almost possesses a valuable ability the two geeks sorely lack — social skills.
Frequent guests included Chris Morris as the aggressively eccentric (to the point of complete madness) company chairman Denholm Reynholm, Noel Fielding as reclusive Goth sysadmin Richmond Avenal, and Matt Berry as Douglas Reynholm, Denholm's extremely promiscuous son who takes over the business in series two.
The series is produced in the classic Britcom mode (as opposed to the more naturalistic style popularised by The Office and Extras), despite it going out of style in UK television. It has a loyal following and often did pretty well in the audience ratings. An American remake was commissioned with Joel Mc Hale as Roy and Richard Ayoade playing Moss again. It was leaked and can be found online. The German remake ran for exactly two episodes due to bad actors, badly translated puns and therefore bad viewer numbers.
Provides examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer:
- Judy. Not to be confused with Julie.
- Douglas is this to Jen and apparently the women who took him to court.
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Jen's pronunciation of "COMputers".
- Sometimes missed by American audiences who might not realize this isn't just the British way of pronouncing it. But listen to how Moss and Roy pronounce the word, and how Roy cringes every time Jen says it with the accent on the 1st syllable instead of the 2nd.
- In one episode, when recommended a restaurant called "Messy Joe's" to Jen, Moss pronounces it "Meh-SEE-joes", causing Jen to think it was an Italian restaurant.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Jen, on winning Employee of the Month.
- Acting Unnatural: Moss and Roy after Moss shoplifts the Grand Designs DVDs in "Bad Boys". Moss, Roy, and Richmond in "The Dinner Party" in a slightly different variation where Jen tells them to try and look normal to keep up appearances.
- All Women Love Shoes: Shoes that are actually three sizes too small for them, in fact.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: An entire episode is spent spoofing, lampshading and playing the trope entirely straight.
- Ambiguously Human: No one is quite sure what exactly Richmond is.
- Amusing Injuries: Roy endures quite a few.
- Combined with Groin Attack in Douglas' electric pants he has to wear as part of his sexual harassment suit settlement with Jen. They malfunction horribly, sending random jolts of electricity in his balls with increasing regularity.
Douglas: It's like being tazed in the balls, only painful.
- Anything That Moves: Subverted by Douglas, who is putting the moves on a woman when she reveals that she used to be a man. He shrugs and says he's doesn't care at all. However, it turns out that he misheard her. He completely loses interest when he realizes the truth.
- Artificial Limbs:
- Douglas gets a robot hand.
- A-Team Montage: The pilot episode uses this - with the A-Team music included as a Brick Joke since Denholm had mentioned the A-Team earlier when telling the IT Department how much he loved teams.
- Bad Liar: Moss. Any time he tries to lie on Jen's behalf, he freezes for a few seconds before blurting out "She's dead!"
- Bang Bang BANG: Averted when Douglas shoots himself in the leg - it's so loud the ensuing ringing noise drowns out the dialogue for a few seconds.
- Bait and Switch Comment: Roy and Moss are pranking Jen into believing she's holding onto The Internet so she can present it to the shareholders:
Moss: I spoke to the Elders of the Internet not one hour ago. I told them about Jen winning Employee of the Month, and they were so impressed that they wanted to do whatever they could to help.
- Bedmate Reveal: The end of Series One.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Douglas may seem like a harmless, if sexually crazed, moron, but his memories of his last moment with his dead wife involve her screaming for help because he was trying to kill her.
- Big Ham: Damn near everyone, though special mention deserves to be given the Reynholms, who deliver a good two thirds of their dialogue in energetic shouts.
- Black and Nerdy: Moss.
- Black Comedy Rape
- Bland-Name Product:
- Friendface! Friendface! FRIENDFACE!
- Cuke from the same episode. "It's like heaven in a can!" (oddly enough, later episodes just referenced Coke instead of Cuke).
- Played straight and averted simultaneously in the same episode when Roy orders a "Bacardi and Cuke" at the bar.
- Jitter from series four.
- A lingerie catalog called Penelope's Fancies
- Blatant Lies: "I love that you used to be a man! It's your thing! I love thinking about that operation that you had!"
- Brick Joke: Several per episode, no reference ever seems to be wasted.
- "Calamity Jen" probably has the most obvious examples.
- In the third series, Jen sues Douglas for sexual harassment. During the settlement meeting Jen is wearing a large pair of sunglasses that cover her eyes entirely causing Douglas to accuse her of sleeping at one point which she immediately denies. In the last episode of series four when Douglas' wife is divorcing him, she wears a similar pair of sunglasses to the settlement meeting. During the meeting Douglas suggests she is wearing the glasses to hide her fear, but it's then revealed she's actually just asleep.
- The plot of The Haunting of Bill Crouse is briefly mentioned in the episode The Speech.
Jen: "I've won employee of the month."
- Brilliant but Lazy: Roy's entire work-ethic. In one episode he hooked up a tape-recorder to the phone with his side of the conversation pre-recorded, simply so he didn't have to bother answering the same old inane IT questions again and again.
- British Brevity: Like most UK comedy shows, only has six 30-minute episodes per season. It will end in 2012 after four seasons and a special.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer:
- Richmond, a little.
- Denholm, who is mad as a box of frogs yet runs a company so large that the takeover of ITV casts barely a ripple and was taking money from the pension fund.
- Douglas, who varies between Casanova, Casanova Wannabe and Kavorka Man, has a flair for the Dramatic, and is literally (as shown in one episode) Too Dumb to Live.
- Call Back: Douglas asks Moss to call 999 in Series 3, to which he responds that that isn't the number anymore, and starts to sing the jingle from Series 1, Episode 2. "0118 999 88199 9119 725... 3"
- Camp Gay: "A gay musical... called Gay. That's quite gay." Not to be confused with Horrible Camping Trip.
- Catch Phrase:
- Catchphrase Interruptus:
- "Hello, IT, have you tried turn- oh I'm sick of saying that..."
- "Hello, IT, have you - oh piss off I'm not in the mood."
- "Have you tried sticking it up your arse?" (Accidentally said by Roy to his own mother.)
- Ceiling Cling
- Check, Please!: Jen's "Taxi!" serves almost the exact same Screw This, I'm Outta Here purpose.
- Chekhov's Gun: At least one per episode, it's hard to find one where a comment or event will not return later to catastrophically affect the plotline. Bonus points for Douglas randomly looking into a drawer he never opened before and finding his grandfather's service revolver in it, making it a literal example of the trope.
- Chew Bubblegum: Naturally, Moss gets to say a suitably geeky variant.
I came here to drink milk...and kick ass. And I've just finished my milk.
- Chew Toy / Butt Monkey: Roy, who's arguably the most notoriously unlucky of the cast, qualifies as either of these, depending on how sympathetically he's portrayed in any of the episodes.
- Church of Happyology: Beth Gaga Shaggy and the Spaceologists, whose opposition to the massage industry parallels Scientology's hate of psychiatry. The show's Guy Fawkes mask is very prominently shown throughout the episode, of course.
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- Jen shouts a string of mostly profanity at a Japanese executive after he stomps on her injured foot by mistake. The executive is confused for a bit . . . until his interpreter begins to repeat the tirade for him in Japanese. Played for Laughs even more in that all the cursing by Jen was bleeped out - to the characters and not just the audience, as it is revealed one of Denholm's subordinates was slamming a big red "Profanity Button" on the wall at every cuss word. Denholm follows this up by immediately turning to Jen and shouting "You fucked up!" at her, which the subordinate is too late to bleep out.
- And in Series 2, Roy's outburst at Denholm's funeral when his phone vibrates so violently that he thinks he's having a heart attack.
- Comically Missing the Point: "Memory is RAM!"
- Continuity Nod: While most episodes are fully autonomous from each other, the amount of continuity nods and in-jokes increases throughout the seasons.
- Somewhere between this and Brick Joke is the new emergency services number. Brought up and used for jokes in the first season, then not referred to again for two whole seasons.
- The "Did you see that ludicrous display last night?" conversation makes a comeback in series 4.
- Moss trying to kiss Roy to get out of situations involving the police.
- A minor one, when Jen applies for a new job, she references that she knows and is a fan of Guided By Voices, a band she admits she wouldn't know if she wasn't at the IT. This is a nod to the song "Game of Pricks", by the same band, that appears at the end of The Dinner Party episode.
- "Reynholm vs. Reynholm" has a bunch, including a reference to Douglas's fight with his transsexual ex-girlfriend, Roy testifying about getting kissed on the bottom, and the return of Richmond.
- Countdown: Moss wins Countdown and joins 8+, a swanky, exclusive club of Countdown winners, where he participates in the illegal, unlicensed and highly dangerous Street Countdown.
- Courtroom Antics: Including a fake heart attack from Douglas, a jury of The Comically Serious, and a sex tape based on Star Trek also from Douglas.
- Crazy Prepared: Denholm creates a tape that predicts his son Douglas dramatically gatecrashing his own funeral and chatting up a random woman during the process, which of course, happens to a tee.
- Creator Cameo
- Graham Linehan appears in the chaos at the end of Jen's Employee of the Month speech, as a member of the Mariachi band in the episode "Fifty-Fifty," and the "Blind Irish Sorcerer" from "Men Without Women."
- The producer makes a cameo at the beginning of series 2 as the gay, disabled man who comes on to Roy. Bonus points because of the fact that he actually IS disabled.
- Damned By Faint Praise: The reviews for Gay! A Gay Musical: "The audience applauded" "More than tolerable" "Not as long as some musicals"
- A Day in the Limelight: The season 4 finale "Reynholm vs Reynholm" focuses primarily on Douglas - while Jen is still heavily featured, Roy and Moss have only very brief appearances.
- Delayed Reaction
- Department of Redundancy Department: "You stole it? But that's stealing!"
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Roy tells the psychiatrist she looks like his mother, and it's all downhill from there. Waaaaay downhill.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: An anti-piracy ad compares digital piracy to stealing a handbag, a car, a baby, killing a policeman, then stealing his helmet to defecate in, then sending it to his grieving widow, and re-stealing it from her. The ad ends with an FBI agent shooting a young girl in the head after catching her downloading a film from the internet.
- Disability as an Excuse For Jerkassery:
- In "The Work Outing", Roy pretends to be disabled in order to cover up a series of lies.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Roy and Moss' 'married' life, and Jen and the smokers being banished to increasingly desolate places in "Moss and the German".
- Also in "Italian for Beginners", Moss giving birth to an iPhone.
- Double Standard Rape (Male on Male): Jen summarily dismisses the trauma of Roy having his butt kissed by a masseur and Moss being kissed against his will by Douglas.
- Dropped a Bridget On Him: Double Subverted when, in a B-plot, Douglas embarks on a successful relationship with a post-op Transsexual — but it comes crashing down when he realises that she was saying "I used to be a man," not "I'm from Iran."
- Embarrassing Cover Up
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Richmond Felicity Avenal.
- Epic Fail: Moss points a fire extinguisher at a fire. The extinguisher catches alight. And why? Because it was made in Britain.
- Establishing Character Moment: Douglas Reynholm makes his grand entrance by gatecrashing his father's funeral, screaming out loud in fake emotional pain, starting a fight with the priest and chatting up Jen.
- Even Nerds Have Standards:
- Even Moss and Roy look down on Richmond the goth.
- And even horndog Roy doesn't want anything to do with Judy
- The Face: Jen is the socially capable Nerd Nanny for the IT Department. She has no computer skills but unlike the rest of the cast, she has social skills.
- Fail O'Suckyname: Peter File. Say it outloud. Now say it outloud with a strong british accent.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: See also, Crowning Moment of Funny
- Fashion Hurts: Jen demonstrates this with a pair of too-small shoes.
- Fawlty Towers Plot: Roy uses a handicapped toilet and accidentally yanks an emergency signal. When the cinema crew kick the door down to get to him, he pretends to be disabled. This snowballs into him getting loaded onto a bus on a wheelchair, bound for Manchester with lots of other disabled people.
- Jen tells Moss to tell a man she had a bad date with that she's busy in order to avoid him. He tries, but when that doesn't work he tells the man that that Jen is dead. This snowballs until the entire office thinks she's dead. Jen mistakes the monuments and grievances as celebrations for her winning Employee of the Month.
- Fiery Redhead: Jen has her moments.
- Five-Finger Fillet: Done by Moss.
- Five Man Band
- Flashback Stares: Richmond does these when telling his story.
- Subverted after a while as everyone else stares in the same direction: "What? What IS it??"
- Foot Focus: Jen after trying on shoes that are several sizes too small. Body Horror ensues.
- The Fun in Funeral - Douglas burst into his father's funeral, ran up the aisle screaming "FATHERRRRRRRRR!" and got into a slap fight with The Vicar. This was after Roy's phone went off in his pocket making him think he'd had a heart attack, and Moss had compared the death to losing a pen.
- To be fair to Moss, he contrasted rather than compared.
- Roy telling the widow that he is sorry and to move on.
- A flashback in Richmond's introductory episode shows Richmond attending Reynholm's father's funeral in full makeup (Reminiscent of Alice Cooper) and giving Reynholm's elderly mother a Cradle of Filth album to cheer her up
- Fun T-Shirt: Roy has a wardrobe full of them.
- Gag Sub: The official DVDs of the show have an option for 'l33t' subtitles, which vary from Leet Lingo to ROT13 to Base-64 encoding depending on the episode.
- Geeks and Nerds. Standard ones.
- Genius Ditz: Moss demonstrates extraordinary intelligence, memory and mathematical ability... it's a shame he's a Cloudcuckoolander too.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In 4x1 ("Jen the Fredo"), the visiting out-of-town businessmen say "Eiffel Tower" a few times while high-fiving. "Eiffel Tower" can mean a high five in a different context.
- Gilligan Cut: In "Are We Not Men?" Roy promises Moss he won't go in too deep pretending to be a football fan. Cut to them attending a match.
- In "Jen the Fredo", Jen assures Roy that businessmen are different from what they were in the seventies. Cut to Reynholm laughing with a pack of visiting businessmen, apparently having just finished a discussion about their balls.
- Girlfriend in Canada: In "Jen The Fredo", Moss talks about a girlfriend he had "on holiday", causing Roy to snap "They're always on holiday, aren't they Moss?".
- Go Look At the Distraction: The entire plot where Roy is stuck under an employee's desk. Moss fails at this completely because what he says isn't much better than actually using the phrase "Go Look At The Distraction."
- A God Am I:
Denholm Reynholm: "Gentleman, when I first started Reynholm Industries, I had just two things in my possession: a simple dream, and six million pounds. Today, I have a business empire the like of which the world has never seen the like of which. I hope it doesn't sound arrogant when I say, that I am the greatest man in the world."
- Gretzky Has the Ball: "Did you see that ludicrous display last night?"
- Hacker Cave: the office basement where the IT department is located.
- Subverted, as most of the equipment is simply being stored there and is not in use or working in any way.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Denholm is normally very friendly with his staff, even the shunned IT department. Just make sure you aren't STRESSED and can work as a TEAM.
- TEAM, TEAM, TEAM, TEAM, TEAM, TEAM, TEAM, TEAM...
- Expanded upon even more in this series of phone conversations:
"Hello? What? Well if you can't work as a team you're all fired. That's it, you heard me, FIRED! Get your things and go."
- Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: Moss does this when he has to pretend to be married, several times going out of his way to mention all the frequent and amazing sex that goes on in his marriage.
- Have You Tried Turning It Off And On Again?: or, if you prefer, Have You Tried Forcing An Unexpected Reboot?
- Ho Yay: More often than you'd think. Roy and Moss even kiss, twice.
- You're my wife Roy!
- Played for laughs in the episode 'Moss And The German'.
- Hollywood Nerd: Averted; Roy and Moss are more like the reality than usual.
- Roy is at least. Moss and the friends he brings to the photo shoot for the charity calender are all very stereotypical nerds. However...
- Homemade Inventions: Moss has a knack for these, from his own Stress Machine to the perfect bra to the Moth Bath Ladder.
- Hypocritical Humor: Jen frequently chides Roy for not being honest and telling the truth to the girls he dates but she is shown through the entire series to weave one enormous ball of lies after another. And she's not even good at it.
- I Am Not Shazam: To quote Douglas: "Well, I'm the boss, head honcho, el numero uno, Mr. Big, The Godfather, Lord of the Rings, The Bourne Identity, er... Taxi Driver, Jaws... Forgot the question a while ago."
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Well, Series Naming at least: Versions 1.0, 2.0, 3.0...
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Done by Jen (without words, she just rapidly gulps down her glass) in Friendface while Delena is going on about how awesome her life is and how perfect her marriage is.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Jen frequently claims an "office RAM emergency" to skip the boring staff meetings.
- I Like My X Like I Like My Y: "I like my women like I like my toast. Hot..." "And consumable with butter, you don't have to remind me."
- I'm a Humanitarian: An ad reading "I want to cook with you" is not what it seems.
- Incoming Ham: the very first time we see Douglas is his throwing open the doors of a church in the middle of a funeral, Milking the Giant Cow and Skyward Screaming "FATHERRRRRR!"
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Or perhaps that should be brie-liant."
- It's a Small Net After All: It's just a small black box.
- Well duh, the internet doesn't weigh anything.
- It's Not You, It's Me: "No actually, it is you"
- Juggling Loaded Guns: Douglas opens a random drawer and finds a unloaded revolver. Whilst attempting to conceal it, he accidentally shoots himself in the leg after putting bullets in it, and spends the rest of the episode trying to hide his injury from his staff. Amusingly, that happens after he checks if it's loaded by putting the gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger five times. He is supposed to be Too Dumb to Live, but damn.
- Kavorka Man:
- Douglas, a fat, hairy oaf with mild mental retardation, has a pretty good record with hot women, with Jen and a few rumours and court cases being the exceptions.
- Roy manages to snag dates, hook-ups and even relationships with some seriously hot, model-calibre women throughout the series, despite his dead-end job, scruffy appearance and geeky demeanour. However, his relationships never last.
- Large Ham: Both Reynholms. "FATHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" Douglas comes across extremely unintelligent and oafish at first, but becomes more eccentric like his father in series 4.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Through an improbable series of events, Roy ends up walking the streets dressed as a tramp begging for 50p for a phone call to allow him to get back into the building. Then he meets the very tramp he'd heckled earlier for their improbable story.
- Last Het Romance: Jen to a guy with mysterious sexuality.
- Last-Name Basis: Moss.
- Left the Background Music On: Twice in "The Haunting of Bill Crouse" Moss seems to have a dramatic epiphany accompanied by a DUN-DUN-DUUUN!, only for the music to turn out to be his mobile phone's ringtone.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Jen. Roy and Moss fall apart when she's not around.
- Roy loses his shirt and jacket, gets thrown out of the building and becomes a wandering tramp living in a cardboard box. Jen had been gone for 2 hours.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: Roy suffers this when he can't get some disturbing images out of his mind.
- Love Potion: Subverted, in that the "potion" is actually just Rohypnol, and lampshaded in The Previously on a later episode, where the narrators point out that Rohypnol doesn't cause arousal - just tiredness. Pre-lampshaded (and possibly making the later example a Hypocrisy Nod) when Moss asked Jen if she was drinking it because she was having trouble sleeping.
- Mathematician's Answer:
Roy: What was that name, was it Julie or Judy?
- And another one: "Is it a PC or a Mac?" "...Yes!"
- Menstrual Menace: Jen transforms into some sort of demon women when she gets angry during PMS / PMT.
- Metaphorgotten: The boss' speech in Calamity Jen
Denholm: I am declaring war... what am I declaring war on? Stress. Stress is a disease people, and I am the cure. ...I'm a doctor with a cure. No! I'm a general, and it's still a war! ...a war on disease!
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Richmond, despite wearing over-the-top makeup, obsessing over Cradle of Filth and being banished to the server room by Moss and Roy, is actually quite sweet and friendly. However, more than a few minutes of his company still tends to have a depressing effect on people.
- My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Jen cannot speak italian, despite her misguided belief that she sounds like she does which is sort of the same. Moss reminds her that italians and people who speak italian would strongly disagree.
- Nerd Nanny: Jen.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Moss's ability to smell individual ingredients in drinks.
- Nice Guys Finish Last: Which Roy attempts to prove. See All Girls Want Bad Boys.
- No Periods, Period: Heavily averted; an episode from Season 1.0 focuses on Jen experiencing an angry period, with Roy and Moss discovering the male period and that theirs are psynching up with Jen, demonstrating sympathy symptoms and eventually culminating in worldwide computer technician riots.
- Noodle Incident: In the second episode of the first series Moss and Roy reference an incident in which a unattended soldering iron caused a golf... I mean fire.
- One of Roy's girlfriends told him, in detail, how her parents were killed in a fire. At a Seaparks, while watching a sea lion show, in an outdoor ampitheatre with at least a dozen exits. Roy spends most of the episode trying to figure out how it's possible. Eventually he does, after building a scale model of the ampitheatre - but before he can tell anyone, the model burns out of control, putting him in hospital, and he refuses to talk about it.
- That time Moss lost his glasses in Amsterdam.
- "Eiffel tower!" *high fives*
- Obfuscating Disability: Roy in 2.1 does this to avoid getting in trouble for using the handicapped toilet.
- Otaku Surrogate: Jen may be building up to be a subtle or soon-to-be uncloseted example, judging by the decorations in her office (the most obvious being the poster on the wall to the right of Jen starting in late Series 3, but a Freeze-Frame Bonus shows a few significant examples on her shelf).
- Out of Order: Series 3's episodes were changed in broadcast order; especially noticeable when the episode resolving the series 2 cliffhanger that opened with a recap of said cliffhanger was broadcast third in the run.
- Overly Long Gag: 0118 999 881 999 119 725... 3.
- "Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure?..."
- Roy's introduction, ignoring the phone as he eats.
- Reynholm eating an apple... on the end of the video he has made to be played at his funeral.
- The Fake-Out Make-Out and the police cars.
- "Hello. Hello computer. Hello. Hello. Hello computer." 
- "Your name is Maurice Moss, is it not?"
- Perky Goth: Richmond.
- The Peter Principle: Jen is the poster girl for this. Not only is she not competent for the job she does have (she became head of IT by lying on her nonexistant computer skills) but she keeps applying for jobs she is even less capable of handling, Hilarity Ensues of course!
- It's even lampshaded by multiple characters in one episode: "It's not for you, Jen."
- Phone Number Jingle: Parodied: the new emergency number is 0118 999 881 999 199 7253.
- Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure: A rare case of Moss getting a sci-fi reference wrong. When Roy suggests skipping off work after a suspicious package prevents him and Moss from returning to the office, Moss becomes excited at the thought of doing somehting he'd always dreamed off, like an exciting adventure and that it's "like taking the blue pill in the Matrix." The exciting adventure would in fact be the red pill, while the blue (which puts you back asleep inside the illusion) would rather be simply waiting patiently to return to work like a good employee.
- Power Walk: Moss introducing Roy to the 8+ club.
- Precision F-Strike: Douglas to the inter-faith tour.
- Public Exposure: In the third season finale, the company decide to do a sexy calendar to raise money for a charity for the "boss-eyed". Roy's original attempt to use the ladies from Floor 7 is stopped by Jen, the attempt to do grannies fails and the "geek" calendar produces unattractive male geeks, instead of the Tina Fey sort.
- Pun-Based Title
- Put on a Bus: Richmond, after filming clashed with the tour of The Mighty Boosh. Would be Brother Chuck were it not for one throwaway reference. He got scurvy, apparently.
- The Bus Came Back: He returned for the series 4 finale.
- Reckless Gun Usage: see Juggling Loaded Guns entry.
- Refuge in Audacity: Douglas' fight with his transgender girlfriend, which takes the Unfortunate Implications inherent in a man beating up a transwoman and turns it into a knuckle down action movie brawl in which both smash up a laboratory in an effort to completely knock the shit out of each other.
- Reset Button: If it wasn't for Richmond's later appearances, "The Red Door" would be a textbook example. Jen finds Richmond in a room off the IT office, to where he had been banished from the office mainstream a few years before. She encourages him to rejoin the office; Reynholm reinstates him, then capriciously changes his mind and sends him back to IT. Moss has taken Jen's suggestion to clean the basement's window and let the daylight in, which makes Richmond retreat back behind the red door.
- Ripped from the Headlines:
- RPG Episode: Very surprisingly given the the setting but the one time an RPG is a major plot element it is an old fashioned 'pencil and dice' Tabletop Game (implied to be Dungeons and Dragons itself) rather than a computer game.
- The packaging for the limited edition Season 1-4 DVD boxset is designed to look like an RPG rulebook.
- Rule Number One: The Fight Club Shout-Out that is Street Countdown starts as...
Prime: "The first rule of Street Countdown is... that you really must try to tell as many people as possible about it! It’s a rather fun game and the more people we tell about it, the better."
- Rule of Funny: When it comes to Jen's towering ignorance about computers.
- Rule of Three: Played straight, as Linehan's other series all feature three main characters. Averted, as it's the first of his Channel 4 sitcoms to make it to a fourth series. But it's his third sitcom for the channel! My head hurts.
- Running Gag: It is never made explicitly clear exactly what Reynholm Industries does.
- Sadist Show: Arguably. A lot of the series's best moments come from this aspect of it.
- Sanity Ball: Depending on the episode, it can be held by either Roy or Jen, and in some very specific situations, even Moss. Generally speaking, Roy and Moss tend to lose it over geeky things or matters of social interaction they are ill-equipped to handle, while Jen will go completely crazy over something which is seemingly more 'normal' but which she just goes way overboard in taking seriously.
- Scrabble Babble: Moss plays the word "TNETENNBA" during a game of Countdown and wins.
- Shaped Like Itself: A fair few of these from Moss.
Moss: You stole it?
- Ship Tease: Roy and Jen on occasion, particularly in the first series.
- Shout-Out: With real geeks involved with the show, the list of things in the office that aren't a Shout-Out to classic computer geekery, nerdly in jokes, and memetic mutations would be shorter. To wit:
- Every piece of British 80s computer gaming nostalgia ever. The range runs from an Underwurlde poster on the wall to huge piles of Spectrum ZX81s to the menus from the DVD release being ripped off from Head Over Heels.
- The menus of the DVDs are also shout outs in their own right:
- Season 1.0 menus have animations of the cast in ZX Spectrum graphics.
- Season 2.0 has menus including Tetris, Lemmings, Mortal Kombat and even a parody of the intro of Zero Wing, complete with Engrish!
- Season 3.0's Episode Selection menu has a Grow Cube-style, IT Crowd themed animation.
- Season 4.0's menus feature "levels" identical in design and gameplay to Vectorpark's Windosill.
- In one episode, Roy tries to break up with an old girlfriend who wears a lot of make up which melts when she cries making her look like The Joker. The episode ends with Douglas hitting on her in the same manner as Heath Ledger's Joker hitting on Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight Saga, scars and all.
- Peter File's unfortunate name is a call back to a similarly named person in the infamous Brass Eye Paedogeddon special.
- The IT department's set is decorated with various Alternative Comics and their related merchandise:
- Moss says that Johann is a fine young cannibal.
- Roy has a framed Axe Cop poster prominently displayed in his flat.
- There's a poster of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the wall somewhere behind Moss' desk.
- Slow Clap: Moss starts one in response to Roy's impassioned speech at the end of Something Happened in Series 4.
- Slow-Loading Internet Image: Lampshaded, with Roy harking back to the days of dialup.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Judging by Denholm and Douglas, this is a Renholm family trait.
- Jen also displays some qualities from this trope, being neither quite as competent, upwardly mobile or deserving of being such as she seems to believe she is. It particularly kicks in after she wins Employee Of The Month in "The Speech", however.
- Snap Back: The cliffhanger of Series 1 (which even ended with "To Be Continued...") was never continued in Series 2.
- Snowball Lie: Moss telling an unwanted suitor of Jen's that she was dead to keep him away from her.
- Also seen when Roy says that he's disabled, and Moss' circumstances in the same episode
- Snub By Omission: An Overly Long Gag during a company meeting where the Boss goes around thanking all the departments, such as the lawyers and the accountants and even the janitors, but not our titular heroes. Upon each announcement, he describes something that could potentially describe IT, only for it to be another department.
- Taken to extremes when he's filling the champagne glasses of Roy, Moss and Jen while talking about "these three people," - and then turns to the toilet cleaners. One wonders if he really had been trying to praise them while messing with them. He later sincerely thanks Roy in the corridor later in the episode, so it's possible.
- Inverted at the end of the episode, when the three unexpectedly show up at a work party at a glitzy nightclub, and the boss immediately ditches who he's with in order to hang out with them.
- Sophisticated As Hell: "Jorg... such fire! I am too tired for revolution. And we've walked f***ing miles!"
- Sound Effect Bleep: Subverted mercilessly. A character's vitriolic tirade is full of bleeped-out swear words... then Denholm congratulates an employee on "being so quick on the Profanity Buzzer", which we see is a labelled button mounted on Denholm's wall. Later in the episode, another F-bomb is dropped, and the employee is a second too late on the buzzer.
- Springtime for Hitler: Moss and Roy feed Jen a bunch of ridiculously nonsensical IT 'facts' to use in her Employee of the Month speech, in an attempt to utterly embarrass her. Too bad that nobody in attendance at the speech is computer-literate enough to notice anything remotely wrong. It ends up working out for them when she breaks 'the Internet' and sparks a major panic, however.
- Stage Magician: Jen breaks up with her driving instructor boyfriend because of his uncanny resemblance to a stage magician, looking like an expy of David Blaine.
- Stand in Portrait: Moss and Roy do this, not to hide a person behind a picture frame, but to hide a fire behind a monitor frame.
"Nice screen saver!"
- Status Quo Is God: The three will never escape their basement office ghetto or get any respect from the rest of the company.
- Despite reporting catastrophic losses nearly every episode in addition to the embezzling of Denholm and squandering of Douglas, Reynholm Industries is still very much in business.
- Stock Sound Effect: There's a surreally justified version in one episode, where Moss has a concussion and has lost his memory. When he knocks his head again and regains it, there's a close-up on his eyes opening, accompanied by the most hilarious possible choice of music: the Windows XP log-on tone...
- Straw Feminist: Jen in "Calendar Geeks", who convinces the girls on seventh to make a nude calender featuring unemployed men or grannies instead of them, arguing it's "oppressive" and "sexist". Of course, when Douglas tells her she'll be accountable if it's not a success, she immediately tells Roy to use them, calling it "empowering". It appears to be a combination of jealousy, and screwing Roy over by forcing him to photograph old women until she is made responsible for it.
- And when she ropes in Roy into not quitting the project because of the old ladies fiasco, she quickly shift it away from using attractive women to nerdy male geeks. The project fails as badly as you would think.
- Stupid Crooks: The bank robbers dupe Roy into being their getaway driver by keeping him completely oblivious to their motives, and are surprised when he calls the police on what he assumes to be an unrelated robbery.
- Stylistic Suck: Douglas's Star Trek-inspired sex tape; the acting is bad, "female Spock" puts on her ears just as she comes into frame, and the boom mic is briefly visible in a shot.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Douglas Renholm will often ask someone out of the blue if they heard the rumor that he murdered his first wife and deny it in the same breath.
- Take Off Your Clothes
Moss: Take your top off, Jen.
- Take That: In the bomb disposal robot scene:
- Talk About That Thing
- Team Mom: Jen. Roy is offended at Jen's suggestion that he and Moss need her to take care of them, but when she leaves for a job interview at another company, Moss goes amnesiac and gets his hair singed while Roy becomes homeless and starts sleeping in an old box on the street. All in the span of merely two hours.
- Techno Babble: The very first time we meet Moss he gives us an earload ("You see, the driver hooks the function by patching the system call table..."), which is an accurate description of how a driver works in Windows.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Would you expect anything less at the funeral of a character played by Chris Morris?
- Later on, his son finds a posthumous letter from him that somehow managed to correctly name his cause of death, even when his funeral tape couldn't. Seems he was aware that he had to jump out a window that day. Despite having the service revolver in his desk explicitly because he wasn't planning to jump out the window.
- Played straight with the recorded phone response of "Have you tried turning it off and on again?", even in cases where the problem is slightly more complicated.
- Three Amigos
- This Isn't Heaven: In one episode Douglas has a near death experience. His father is welcoming him towards a big white door, and it's all very white and glowy. Then Hitler pokes his head out, and Renholm tries to explain that "we're having a fancy dress party in Heaven".
- Token Trio: Defied Trope. One of the Male characters is black and the other is Irish, but, aside from a few token mentions of the latter, ethnicity never really comes into play. Unless Nerd is an ethnicity. Jen often tries to be The Chick but fails miserably.
- Too Dumb to Fool: Why Roy and Moss's plan to humiliate Jen backfires - none of the senior staff know anything about computers either.
- Some of them do know a bit more then Jen (or at least are less gullible), as none of them bought that when you type Google into Google, it breaks the internet.
- Training From Hell: Nerd-style. In series three, Moss is having trouble with some bullies in the park he walks through to get to the office. Roy tries to help him with some roleplay, upon which Moss bursts into tears as it was "too realistic". He eventually solves the problem when he finds Douglas's grandfather's old service revolver...
- Transhuman Treachery: Douglas experiences a humorous small scale version of this when he starts destroying his office with his new robot hand and laughs maniacally.
Moss: I would have used my robot hand for good!
- TV Genius: Averted with Roy, played straight with Moss.
- Unfortunate Names: "Yes, I'm a Peter File!"
- The Unintelligible:
- Window Washing Willy from West Gibberish.
Jen: Why'd you let him in?
- The laptop company's phone support agent. Merely asking Jen to hit delete was a two minute ordeal.
- Unusual Euphemism: "I've got a motherflipping gun!" and "I had to walk all the way down the motherfudging stairs."
- Verbal Backspace
Roy: "Every man has a story like this."
- Also happens with Douglas: "Deleting incriminating files ... haha, I just mean files."
- Video Wills: Denholm.
- Wall Crawl: Richmond occasionally does this. He has magic goth powers or something.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Street Countdown!
- Douglas has a Star Trek inspired sex-tape.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Jen will often laugh at a situation usually Played for Laughs while everyone else treats it a Serious Business. She is called a monster for laughing at a man's crossed eyes and for a masseur kissing Roy's ass.
- What Exactly Is His Job?: Richmond has no idea what his job is. He learned the pattern of blinking lights on the servers, but he doesn't know what any of it means, and pretty much everybody had forgotten he was even there aside from Roy and Moss who did everything they could to prevent him from leaving his room to depress everyone.
- What Happened To The Moss?: He's still stuck in the grabber game, of course.
- Wicked Cultured
- You Say Tomato:
- Jen pronounces "computer" with the emphasis on the first and third syllables (rather than as more commonly on the second syllable). This serves to highlight her lack of expertise and interest in the area.
- In series two, when discussing Jen's boyfriend Peter File's unfortunate name, Moss mentions the US pronunciation "peh-duh-fahyl" in comparison to the UK's "pee-duh-fahyl".
- "Is it definitely plugged in?"
- Unless you dress up warm for the chilly air. Then you're probably fine.