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"...and keep your stick on the ice!"

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
Red Green

A Sketch Comedy show produced by and starring Canadian comic Steve Smith, centered around the members of Possum Lodge, a backwoods hunting camp somewhere in Northern Ontario. It loosely parodies 'outdoor' TV shows generally, and the iconic Red Fisher Show (which ran in Canada from 1968-1989) in particular.

The show is hosted by the President of the lodge, the philosopher, handyman, outdoorsman and basically very average man Red Green (Smith), with technical direction provided by his painfully geeky nephew Harold (Patrick McKenna).

Episodes are usually framed by Red and Harold discussing some activity or event affecting the lodge or its members. This most often involves a wild scheme either to raise money, or clean up some kind of environmental disaster before the authorities clamp down. Or, not infrequently, both. Red's updates — and the resulting arguments with Harold — are intercut throughout the show with various scenes of Red talking to lodge members about said issue.


"Well, I'm not gonna be calling the U.S. Air Force, Harold. What do I say? We've got a missile? They take that as a threat, we're in real trouble."

"Well, then, contact the Canadian Air Force."

"Harold, it's after six; he's gone home."
—Typical exchange between Red and Harold

Since the lodge members include such sterling intellects as Ranger Gord the (extremely) lonely forest ranger, Dougie Franklin the mechanic, Edgar Montrose the inept explosives enthusiast, Arnie Dogen the injury-prone roofer, Winston Rothschild III the prissy sewage magnate, Mike Hammer the itinerant felon, Dalton Humphrey the avaricious storekeeper, Hap Shaughnessy the pathological liar, Buzz Sherwood the hippie pilot, and Ed Frid the hamster-phobic animal control officer...not a lot ever tends to get done, except by way of confusing the issue further.

The lodge members are often famous Canadian actors such as Graham Greene (Edgar, who comments at one point that "That native actor in Dances with Wolves was really good, they shoulda given him the Oscar"), Gordon Pinsent (Hap), Colin Mochrie (in a small role as hotdog expert Frank Kepke) and Paul Gross.

"I'm a man, but I can change if I have to, I guess."
—The Man's Prayer (Opening recitation of Men Anonymous)

Meanwhile they also carry on with the Show Within a Show that Red and Harold are producing, a local cable-access version of the standard Saturday-afternoon outdoor program. Various topics are touched on, but the actual quality of the information tends to be...well, the most elaborate segment is "Handyman's Corner", wherein Red somehow turns a simple DIY repair or project into a huge, awkward, Goldbergian task with the help of the "handyman's secret weapon", duct tape. And lots of it.

Another popular segment is "Adventures with Bill", featuring the title character's attempts (or more accurately, spectacular failures) to get a grip on the whole outdoorsman gig, in slapstick pantomime shot in black and white and narrated by Red. "The Possum Lodge Word Game" is a typically loose attempt at a Password-esque game show, with Red and Harold trying to get a lodge member to say a certain word for a prize.

Culture is not unknown here at the Lodge, either - it may be gravely wounded, but it sure isn't being ignored. Red is often seen in short transitional vignettes playing spoons and singing, or reciting poetry. Occasionally he simply addresses his fellow middle-aged schlubs directly and rather poignantly, concluding with "Remember, I'm pulling for ya, we're all in this together."

The show always ends with the sounds of the lodge meeting beginning, in the basement. Red stays upstairs for a moment to deliver a quasi-Aesop and a message to his wife, Bernice.

Often the opening of the lodge meeting will run behind the closing credits, with the studio audience as the lodge members.

"And to the rest of you, thanks for watching. On behalf of myself and Harold and the whole gang up here at Possum Lodge, keep your stick on the ice."
—Red's closing line in every show.

Tropes used in The Red Green Show include:
  • Actor Allusion: Harold occasionally mentions watching Traders, a show where Patrick McKenna played the role of Marty. Edgar K.B. Montrose's first appearance had him talking about the film Dances with Wolves, talking about how the "Native guy" (the role played by actor Graham Greene), should have gotten the Oscar.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Hi, I'm Winston Rothschild of Rothschild's Sewage and Septic Sucking Services!"
  • Adorkable: Harold.
  • All There in the Manual: The Red Green Book, authored by the show's creators and published in 1995, contains lots of interesting trivia about the Lodge. For instance, Lodge membership is open to all genders, all races, religions and sexual orientations. To get in, you just need to have access to tools, trucks, building materials, explosives, medical supplies, legal services or cash.
    • The names of some of the segments were revealed in the book too. The segment where two lodge members give the viewers advice on how to get out of a jam with their wives is called Buddy System, while the segment where Red gives a monologue to his fellow middle-aged men while sitting at a desk winding a fishing lure is called North of 40.
  • An Aesop: Subverted many times.
  • Affectionate Parody: Both poking fun at, and celebrating, the foibles of middle-aged men.
  • The Alleged Car: Every motor vehicle used, seen or mentioned in the series.
    • One of the articles in Red Green Talks Cars: A Love Story told readers what their car indicated about them. Anyone who drives an "old car that barely runs" is a Lodge member. More specific examples include Stinky Peterson's Trabant, Moose Thompson's Gremlin, Douglas Hendrychuk's Nash, Harold's Pinto and Red's Possum Van.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Parodied in Ranger Gord's educational cartoons, in which a muscular version of Gord gives humorously inaccurate advice regarding forest life (e.g., that stones are really eggs).
  • Annoying Laugh: Harold.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Arguably, Mike Hamar must fall under this trope, given the way he is.
    • In one episode, Red advises teenagers against doing crime, saying, "Just say no to assault, break-and-enter, arson, murder, theft, drug trafficking, and... oh, yeah, real estate sales."
  • Attractive Bent Gender: Harold in “Possum Lodge Provincial Park”.
  • Author Appeal: Steve Smith is apparently something of a car buff in real life. Throughout the show there are hundreds of Shout Outs and Take Thats to various cars (the Chrysler K-Car is a favorite target) and at least half of all the Handyman Corner projects involved something to do with cars. A lot of gags also involve beer, something that Smith even Lampshades in his introduction to one of the episodes on the DVD collections.
  • Badass Beard: Red.
  • Blatant Lies: Basically everything that comes out of Hap's mouth. It's not that Hap is a Bad Liar in as much as his stories are so over the top that there's no way he could've done all of it.
  • Butt Monkey: Harold.
  • Canada, Eh?: Played straight and subverted. For example, soft drinks are called "pop," and references to everything from Tim Horton's to curling have been made.
  • Canis Latinicus: Possum Lodge's motto is 'Quando Omni Flunkus Mortati'. Which means, quite appropriately (and this being dog-Latin, approximately), "When all else fails, play dead."
    • Rival Salamander Lodge adopted the motto "Quando Omni Flunkus Terra Retreatum" ("When all else fails, hide under a rock").
  • Catch Phrase: Several.
    • "On behalf of myself, and Harold, and the whole gang up here at the Possum Lodge, keep your stick on the ice."
    • "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
    • After giving advice to fellow middle-aged men: "Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together."
      • Inverted when Harold presented the North of 40 segment in Red's place and closed with "Remember, you're on your own. Don't push it."
    • "...using the handyman's secret weapon: duct tape."
    • "I'm a man... but I can change... if I have to... I guess."
      • Inverted at the very end of the show, on the very last episode, where the closing was changed to "I'm a man... but I've changed... 'cause I had to... Oh, well."
    • The 1994 episodes featured Red giving a short Cold Open monologue about certain personality traits common among men, oftentimes comparing them to what women do in the same situation, that always ended with "It's not smart, or correct, but it's one of the things that makes us what we are."
    • "This is only temporary, unless it works."
    • "If at first you don't succeed, switch to power tools."
    • "If it ain't broke, you're not trying."
    • "Big, big week at the Lodge this week."
    • "You know my motto: safety forced."
    • "Any tool can be the right tool."
    • Edgar: "Kaboom!"
    • Garth: "Another super day..."
    • In the intros to the 1996 episodes, Red would say, "If you want to make sense of this program, you have to give it your undivided attention."
      • In the same episodes, during the bumper leading into the first commercial break, which shows a clip of the show to follow, Red says, "Stay tuned. Whatever this is, we've got lots more of it."
  • Character Development: Over the course of the series, Harold generally grew from an awkward, incompetent teenager into a less awkward, successful adult, with even Red acknowledging him as a man.
    • During the two seasons when Harold was absent, Dalton, Mike and Winston filled in for him, became more rounded characters and turned into regulars.
  • The Chew Toy: Bill from the "Adventures with Bill" segments. He withstood a level of physical abuse that would put Wile E. Coyote to shame.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The second season of the show introduced a host of new characters, none of whom were ever seen again afterward, save for the odd reference here and there.
    • There were also Garth Harble, the first animal control officer before Ed Frid; Earl Battersby, the bait shop owner; Glen Brachston, the lazy marina owner; Dwight Cardiff, the other lazy marina owner; Dougie Franklin's brother, Ben; Bob Stuyvesant, golfer/ministry of natural resources worker; Arnie Dogan, accident-prone roofer/aspiring country singer; Young Walter, Bill's replacement in the black-and-white segments after Rick Green temporarily left the show; Dale, a teenaged boy who worked at a local gas station; Kevin Black, Yuppie cottage owner; Sparky Hoover, a radio deejay; etc. At least one was justified, as Red mentions in one segment that Garth got bit by a toad and "lost his nerve."
      • Glen actually came back for the last season, but no explanation was given as to where he was or what happened to Dwight.
      • Given what happened to Kevin Black in his appearances, the obvious conclusion is he finally realized that it wasn't going to work, he'd been taken on the land deal, and he just gave up and went home. This is given credence by a seventh-season episode in which Kevin's house is bought by Werner Klemperer, alias Colonel Klink. Needless to say, the Lodge members are thrilled.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: To be honest, most of the Lodge members could fit into this category, but Ranger Gord was undeniably the standout example. See Loners Are Freaks below.
  • Cold Open: The 1994 episodes, where Red would comment on a personality quirk common among most men, ending with "It's not smart or correct, but it's one of the things that makes us what we are."
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: Red tried to do this for Bernice for Christmas, then tried to justify it by saying that the Sunoco logo on the free gas station mugs matched their kitchen.
  • Cool Car: In an odd sort of way, the Possum Van.
    • Also any car that makes it out the other end of Handyman Corner.
    • When Red replaced the Possum Van with a new Possum Van, he then turned the old Possum Van into a glass bottom boat.
    • Dougie Franklin's monster truck, also in an odd way.
    • Winston Rothschild's sewage truck, also in an odd way.
  • Cool, Clear Water: Subverted Trope. With all the snowmobiles falling through the ice, run off from the lodge and the marina, the appropriately named Mercury Creek, and the proximity of "Stinky" Peterson, everyone knows how dirty Possum Lake is.
  • Cowardly Lion: Ed Frid was afraid of every animal, but he sometimes pulls through just fine.
  • Crossover: With the Royal Canadian Air Farce
  • Dawson Casting: Patrick McKenna was 31 when he started playing teen-aged Harold. Somewhat averted in the later episodes, which portrayed Harold as being an adult.
    • The kids who appeared in the earliest episodes of the show were an aversion, as they were played by Steve Smith's actual sons.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Red, on occasion. Harold also gets this role too.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Rick Green directed dozens of episodes.
  • Directionless Driver: Referenced in "The Science Fair" episode:

 Red Green: "We're out there in our own vehicles, burning gas, got the sunglasses on, looking good. People seeing us going by would have no idea we don't know where we are. And we're not really excited about sharing that information. A man does not embrace the concept of going up to total strangers and saying, 'You may not know this, but I'm a moron,' whereas the woman he's with is only too happy to share that information." Red concludes this word of wisdom by saying, "Men aren't lost. They're just going the long way."

    • It also served as the plot for a fourth-season episode when Buster Hadfield and his wife went on a trip to visit their relatives. Unfortunately, since Buster hates to stop and ask for directions when he gets lost, he ends up driving all over North America.
  • Dirty Old Man: Alluded to.

 Red Green: "Old Man Sedgewick's moved into the Lodge, so now he's got the bunch of us running around fetching things for him. Bran muffins, hot water bottles...and of course the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition."

  • Disco Dan: Buzz Sherwood, who is still a New Age Retro Hippie.
  • DIY Disaster: Pretty much every episode.
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?: Red talks about the dangers of this question in several episodes.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: You know it. Played with in the episode "No Duct Tape," where the lodge runs out of duct tape--only to find loads of it in the attic, where it was being used to fix the ductwork. This leads to a comment from Mike, who says, "I didn't know you could use it for that!"
    • Ironic, because duct tape cannot be used to seal ducts.
    • A lampshaded subversion appeared in one episode where tape was needed to do duct work... Scouring through the rolls of duct tape uncovered what he as looking for - adhesive tape.
  • Dumb Muscle: Moose Thompson is heavily implied to be this trope, only without the muscle.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Red's first name is not "Red"; Harold finds out what it really is and understands why he uses his nickname.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Harold Dortmund Spooner Mepps Green.
  • Epic Fail: Most of the Lodge members' schemes are made of this trope.
    • Any Possum Lake project described by Red in the main storyline of an episode inevitably leads to this.
    • Adventures with Bill. A good 90 percent of the episodes have Bill screw up what should be a rather simple task in a monumental way.
  • The Eponymous Show
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Helmut Wintergarden isn't really a bad guy, but you definitely don't want to piss him off. And he loves his mother very much.
  • Explosive Stupidity: Edgar Montrose, the local explosives "expert" who qualifies his use of dynamite in any given situation as "explosives enthusiasm". It doesn't matter what your problem is, Edgar can use dynamite to "fix" that. This is quite obvious from his smoking and torn overalls, his missing fingers and his soot stained face. He has also lost most of his hearing.
  • Extreme Omni Goat: In one episode Red receives payment for something in the form of a snowmobile and a goat. The goat eats the snowmobile and then instantly drops dead from it, making Red lose both parts of the payment.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: When the money making scheme of extracting silver from old film negatives produced only a small blob of silver, Harold points out how much time and money Red and the other lodge members wasted; while Red points out that they had fun, they learned something, and they weren't out in their cars and boats doing any real damage. Red says that at his age you stop trying to win, and "just try to lose as slowly as possible".
  • Framing Device
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Even though it was rated G, the show slipped in quite a large number of "damn"s, "hell"s and sexual references. To say nothing of this exchange:

 Ed: Watch out! [The cobra] is gonna spit!

Red: So am I! (Beat) Or--or--or did you say spit?

    • Or how about the episode where Red was suggesting where you could find batteries, including those devices Bernice kept in the bedside drawer?
    • There is also one episode whose segment of The Possum Lodge Word Game shows Dalton having to say the word "Sensitive":

 Red: Dalton, you would never say to your wife that she's picky, overweight or weepy, because...

Dalton: *puzzled* Castration...?

  • The Ghost: Old Man Sedgewick, Moose Thompson, Buster Hatfield, Stinky Peterson, Bernice.
    • Ann-Marie was usually this, although once or twice viewers heard her voice.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Bill found this out the hard way on multiple occasions. Arnie Dogen too, but his cases are only hinted at.
  • Henpecked Husband: Dalton Humphrey. Several episodes imply that Red is one of these too:

 Red: Harold, you have a woman boss!

Harold: Well, so do you-Aunt Bernice.

Red: Come on, that's different.

Harold: I know, I get paid.

  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Ranger Gord's "educational cartoons," which portray him as a large, muscular man whom all the ladies love, and the lodge members as ignorant buffoons.
    • On the other hand, the lodge members kinda are... including Gord, though.
  • He Man Woman Haters Club: Hilariously Lampshaded and subverted at the same time. When Red and Harold are trying to sell the show to a major network, the network expresses concern about the lack of women on the show. Red explains that Possum Lodge is open to all races, genders, colors and creeds, but for some strange reason very few women are interested in things like packing their hipwaders full of dry ice and seeing how big the wearer can inflate them before they explode. Go figure.
    • Ironically, that same episode was the first time a woman appeared as a one-shot character, and several women would appear in later seasons in crowd scenes. Harold's girlfriend Bonnie would also become a recurring cast member in the last few years of the show.
  • High Hopes, Zero Talent: Second-season character Eddie Johnson served as the Lodge chef. He dreams of either being a world-famous cook or a star Broadway performer, but the other Lodge members have a hard time deciding whether he's worse at cooking or acting.
  • Homemade Inventions: The Handyman Corner segments. It's amazing what you can do with some rusted K-Cars and a few hundred rolls of duct tape.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Murray Woolworth is owner of the only convenience store in the area, so he gouges people on everything; and often offers cheap substitute products, such as selling a four-man raft, sight-unseen, and then delivering a large inner-tube with a tackle box duct taped to it.
  • Hurricane of Puns: "The Red Green Show was duct taped live before a studio audience." Plenty more of that ilk.
    • A particularly Incredibly Lame Pun came from a Handyman's Corner where Red made a coffee grinder out of a lawnmower, then said that when serving your guests, you can ask "who wants mower coffee?"
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: How Bill manages to fit all that stuff into his overalls is one of the great mysteries of our time.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of Season 4's episodes are titled "The (something) Project".
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: A still picture of the lodge, and one of several things happens. A chainsaw saws through the picture and it falls away; a gas can plunks into the middle of the screen then explodes, etc.
    • Other wipes included Harold's face, a lantern turning on, or anything that would fit a lodge-like theme.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The Winter of Our Discount Tent
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Bill suffers injuries that would kill Wile E. Coyote. But no matter what happens to him, by next week's show he's good as new and ready for yet another zany adventure. That said, there are occasional references to the number of bandages Bill wears at any given time, and in one second-season episode when the Lodge members are trying to deal with an audit, one of them suggests using Bill's medical expenses and all the stuff he damages as "business expenses" for the Lodge.
    • Red is a lesser example, considering how he'd sometimes get hurt by Bill's screwups. The other lodge members would also get in on this when the Adventure segment no longer focused just on Red and Bill.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: As a known felon, Mike was especially prone to this and Red certainly wasn't above snitching stuff for his construction projects.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: What every guest turns into in the segment where they examine the three little words that men find impossible to say: "I DON'T KNOW!"
  • Known Only By Their Nickname: Stinky Peterson and Old Man Sedgewick.
    • Also Junior Singleton and (hopefully) Moose Thompson.
  • Lethal Chef: Eddie Johnson, the Lodge cook who only appeared in the second season, was one of these. Not that the other Lodge members were any better, as references abound to the different varieties of chili made by everyone from Moose Thompson to Stinky Peterson to Buster Hadfield. A couple of Handyman Corner segments also featured Red either cooking his own variety of Lodge chili, or showing the viewers how they can cook dinner when their wives aren't home.
    • Ironically subverted by Douglas Hendrychuk, the Lodge treasurer and another second-season-only character, who briefly offered to do the cooking after Eddie quit. His cookies were surprisingly good, but since Status Quo Is God Eddie threw a fit and insisted on taking back the job.
  • Like a Son to Me: Subverted with Red and Harold. After working with Harold on the show, Red doesn't really regret not having a son. It's also Gender Flipped in an episode when Red's niece to visit him and Bernice, after which Red states that he doesn't really regret not having a daughter, either.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Poor Ranger Gord. He was posted to Fire Watch Tower #13 in 1979, and then head office forgot about him. After spending the next 11-12 years living all alone in the woods, Gord's pretty much lost his marbles by the time Red finds him. This is continually Lampshaded by Red on multiple occasions.
  • Long Runners: Fifteen years and more than 300 episodes. As Red himself noted:

 Red: Is it possible to do anything with crap? Obviously yes, since we're in our fifteenth season.

  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Ranger Gord was a virgin when he was first assigned to Fire Watch Tower #13, and then spent 11 or 12 years living alone in the woods before Red finds him. You can imagine what that's done for his sanity.
  • Men Are Uncultured: One of the main themes of the show, though both genders were equally (and affectionately) targeted.
  • Mistaken for Gay: This happened to Red and Winston at least twice. It eventually became a Running Gag that Dalton would walk in on an ambiguous scene between Red and Harold, get a freaked out look on his face and then leave immediately.
  • The Munchausen: Hap is practically the poster boy for this trope.
  • My Car Hates Me:

 Harold: Red, you have to think about your impact on the environment. Take the van for example...

Red: Harold, it takes 45 minutes to start the Possum Van. I'm not about to turn it off.

  • The Movie: Duct Tape Forever.
  • Nerd Glasses: Harold.
  • New Age Retro Hippie: Buzz Sherwood is/was one who hasn't moved on.
  • Nice Hat: Red's fishing hat. To a lesser extent, Winston's helmet.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Possum Lake is a fictional stand-in for any number of smaller towns located across Canada.
  • No Fourth Wall: Characters frequently address the audience.
  • Not in Front of the Parrot: Happens when Ed Frid brings his girlfriend’s parrot to the animal segment.
  • Not So Different: In one episode, the Lodge members decide to trade place with a group of Iowans, all of whom look and act like Expys of the Lodge members. Even Red.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Doc Render is the lodge's medical officer, but no one is sure if he really is a doctor, let alone an MD.
  • Only Sane Man: Depending on your point of view, either Red or Harold. Red is the most normal of the Possum Lodge members; Harold is an outsider, but he's got his own quirks.
  • Parody Sue: Gord's muscular, all-knowing, girl-attracting self in the educational cartoons.
  • The Pig Pen: Possibly Winston Rothschild, given his occupation of sucking sewage, of which he is proud.
    • Also Stinky Peterson. It's his name, after all.
  • Product Placement: 3M became a sponsor of the show, and Red a spokesman, after they saw how much Scotch duct tape (a 3M brand) the show used.
  • Punny Name: Mike creates a fake candidate to nominate for Man of the Year so that the Lodge can get the prize (a fishing boat). He names the guy Bernie Goodyear, after the tire fire.
  • Put on a Bus: After the show's eighth season, Patrick McKenna began having personal difficulties and decided to leave the show. Harold was shown getting a job in the city and was phased out of the show over the next two seasons. Once McKenna got his issues sorted out, Harold returned, having been explained as being named his company's community liaison to Possum Lake.
    • Co-creator Rick Green, who plays Bill, also left the show for a few years to focus on his educational comedy show History Bites. Unlike with Patrick McKenna and Harold, Bill's disappearance was never explained, with the rest of the cast joining Red in the Adventure segments. When History Bites ended and Green came back, Bill returned as if nothing had ever happened.
  • Real Life Relative: Dougie Franklin's brother Benjamin was played by Ian Thomas' older brother Dave Thomas.
  • Rearrange the Song: Starting with the 1994 episodes, the show got a few changes in instrumentation to the theme song, adding a sax and some new flourishes. The show also got a new intro to accompany this. This lasted until after the 1997 episodes.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Moose Thompson becomes fed up with Lethal Chef Eddie Johnson's bad cooking and worse performing skills, he apparently gives Eddie one of these.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In one of the Handyman Corner segments, Red, tired of getting passed on the right by faster-moving vehicles, attaches a paintbrush to the bottom of the Possum Van. With a continuous supply of white paint, he paints over the dotted white line indicating that passing is okay, changing it to the solid line indicating "no passing."
  • Repetitive Name: Winston frequently quotes a self-help guru named Anthony Anthony.
    • At one point we find out Ranger Gord's full name is Gord Ranger. He doesn't like people calling him "Ranger Ranger".
  • Running Gag: In the "Adventures With Bill" segment, some object flying through the air and breaking the driver's side mirror off of Red's van.
  • Sand in My Eyes: Red uses this excuse when many of the members start crying uncontrollably in “School Demo”.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Old Man Sedgewick. Take this exchange:

 Harold: Old Man Sedgewick's always so rude to tourists!

Red: Well, he figures they're probably lost, so he tells them where to go.

    • Or this one:

 Harold: We got a report that Old Man Sedgewick was up by the main highway kicking stones at passing cars, so we went to check it out.

Red: What did you find?

Harold: Old Man Sedgewick kicking stones at passing cars!

    • Or this one:

 Harold: (talking about both Old Man Sedgewick and his 97-year-old son) Talk about two old, crabby guys! I'm walking by, they yell, "Hey, dork! Pick a gender!"

Red: (laughing) Boy, that's cruel.

  • Second Place Is for Winners: In Duct Tape Forever, in order to pay off a $10,000 fine, Harold suggests the lodge enter a duct tape sculpture contest to win the money. The lodge members are skeptical, but when Harold tells them the $10,000 is the third-place prize, they figure it's within their abilities.
  • Self-Deprecation: The quote at Long Runners is but one example. Red took several digs at himself and the show as a whole.
  • Shout-Out: There are a few of these to the state of Iowa, which is the American state that's been the most supportive of the show in terms of both general viewership and dollars contributed to PBS pledge drives. Steve Smith once joked that he could probably have been elected governor of Iowa if he wanted to.
  • Show Within a Show
  • Sketch Comedy: Recurring segments included Handyman Corner, Adventures With Bill, The Experts, Talking Animals, North of 40 (Red's speeches to other middle-aged men), Buddy System (when Red and another lodge member give husbands advice on how to get out of a jam with their wives), The Possum Lodge Word Game (when Red tries to get a lodge member to say a certain word to win a strange prize), Red reading poetry, Possum 911, boating tips with Glenn Brackston, and one-on-one interviews with everyone from Dougie Franklin to Jimmy McVeigh to Jack Davidson. Some of these segments were eventually dropped from the show when the writers couldn't come up with anything else they felt was really worth shooting, although Buddy System eventually reappeared later in the show's run.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Glen's last name is either Brackston, Braxton or Brachston; the Red Green wiki uses Brachston.
  • Squirrels in My Pants: The plot of "The Badger Project": "Old Man Sedgewick Gets A Badger Caught In His Pants." What do you think happened in that episode?
  • Studio Audience: Season 3 only.
  • Stylistic Suck: Ranger Gord's cartoons, which are given jerky animation and bad voice acting (see below) on purpose.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Lazy, RV-owning, marina operator Glen Brachston was replaced by Dwight Cardiff, an even lazier marina owner than Glen.
    • Averted with Ed Frid, who replaced Garth Harble. They are both animal control officers with completely opposite presonas; Garth loves animals, Ed is terrified of them.
  • Take Our Word for It: The various hijinks of the Possum Lodge community are never shown on-screen, only discussed afterward when Red, Harold, and any other relevant characters get back to the lodge. Their adventures are apparently hilarious and oftentimes epic.
  • Talking to Himself: Invoked with Ranger Gord's educational cartoons.
  • Theme Naming: Red Green, played by Steve Smith, and Bill Smith, played by Rick Green.
  • Thirty Minutes or It's Free: Red sets up a number of roadblocks in order to get the pizzas he ordered for free; unbeknownst to him, the pizza guy called back and got directions from Harold on how to avoid all of the Lodge's debris.

  Harold: Right across the lake, in a boat!

  • This Trope Is Bleep: In one opening segment, Red has "__CK OFF" written in duct tape on the back of his car, with everything before the CK blocked by a jacket. He lifts up the jacket to reveal that the missing letters are BA, and says something about how things aren't always as they seem.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Red's Handyman's Corner segments are made up of these. Most of them look like something Tim himself would have come up with, if he were having a particularly common sense-lacking day.
  • Title Please: For every season except the 1995 episodes, where the title does appear on screen.
  • Toilet Humor: Done often with Winston Rothschild, who would often recite slogans for his Sewage and Septic Sucking Services, such as "We're Number One in Number Two", "If your eyes are stinging, my phone should be ringing!" or "We put the P.U. in 'pump'!"
  • Token Minority: Impressively subverted by Edgar, played by an Aboriginal actor whose ethnicity is otherwise a complete non-issue.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The entire cast, really. Except maybe Red and Harold. But then, they voluntarily hang out with these guys...
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Ranger Gord in the cartoon segment, with an exaggerated Heroic Build.
  • Totally Radical: Subverted, as Harold's attempts to look cool and represent youth culture just confirmed how much of a dork he was.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Subverted. Ed Frid once shot himself in the foot with a tranquilizer dart and remained conscious long enough to calculate how long he would sleep, give Red instructions on how to deal with the animal they'd captured and lay down comfortably.
    • Also, Young Walter accidentally shoots himself with a dart when he tries to capture a runaway groundhog with a dart in a blow gun but it bounces off a tree branch and hits him instead.
  • Trouser Space: Bill's overalls. He tends to fit everything in there, including a tandem bicycle.
    • While getting the tandem bike out was impressive, the storage capacity involved in his collection of ladders, poles, and beams is much more impressive.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Red's position as leader of Possum Lodge isn't set in stone, it's just that no one else wants the job. One 14th-season episode featured Mike, Dalton and Winston all running against Red for the leadership, but Red won again anyway.
    • In a season two episode, the treasurer, Douglas Hendrychuk tries to use the lodge charter to overthrow Red; Red couldn't care less and lets him take over. Doug screws up, and the lodge votes to put Red back in charge.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: Done in the Winston Rothschild segment on "Who Wants To Be a Smart Guy".
  • The Un-Reveal: Red's real name; Harold finds out what it is, but Red bargains with him to keep it secret.
  • Vendor Trash: Buster Hadfield and his brother plan to use a giant conveyor belt to make a monorail, and they sell the metal parts to Dalton Humphrey. He originally plans to sell the parts for between $5-$10 to a couple of collectors, but Red advises him to sell them to the scrap dealer. Dalton scoffs at the idea, but Red points out that the parts have a lot of steel, nickel axles and what's probably five or six miles of copper wire, which could probably be worth up to $10,000. Dalton is so thrilled by this that it takes all his effort to stay calm on camera. He then runs outside, presumably to let out his excitement.
  • Verbal Tic: Harold is this trope personified. A good 20% of his dialogue is composed of strange vocalizations or nervous, stuttering repetition. A perfect example can be seen here, starting around 0:45.
  • Visual Pun: A subtle one: the words "Red" and "Green" are in the opposite colors in the show's logo.
  • The Voiceless: Bill. Justified as Steve Smith said that the camera used on the Bill segments has a poor mic. Nonetheless, you can sometimes hear Bill talking on some of his segments.

  Red: Bill doesn't say much, and when he does it's usually something important, like "that's a cop."

    • Inverted in a behind-the-scenes special, where Rick Green, as Bill, starts chattering away like crazy.
    • Also inverted in one of the books. In the transcripts of a lodge meeting, Bill is shown to be a Motor Mouth, and goes on for pages.
    • This is because Bill is actually a character named 'Bill from Bala' that Rick Green originated when he was a member of The Frantics. His shtick was that sooner or later, he'd end up directing any conversation towards a long-winded discussion of his hometown of Bala, Ontario; this is the real reason that Red didn't bother getting a good mike for his camera.
  • Vocal Evolution: Steve Smith's gravelly Red Green voice started out fairly deadpan and monotone, but over time he came to put much more force and range behind it.
  • Wafer-Thin Mint: During the Handyman Corner's project to create your own tow-truck in season 7: Red has loaded down the vehicle with tires, barrels, and at least two lawn mowers, and then adds a key-sized object from his pocket onto the pile. You can guess the result.
  • We Buy Anything: To keep the Town Council off his back about all the junk around the Lodge, Red gets 10 acres of Lodge property zoned as a public landfill site. Red didn't quite know what he was getting into, as Harold pointed out that anyone could now dump their garbage around the Lodge. This is one of the few episodes where everything actually worked out, as the Lodge members began scavenging most of the garbage for their own personal projects. Harold then invokes this trope, telling the viewers that the Lodge's garbage dump takes anything and everything anyone can bring them.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: The result of Handyman Corner is either Epic Fail or this.
    • Sometimes both at once.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue
  • Word Association Test: The Possum Lodge Word Game. Playing for a cheap gift certificate from a Possum Lake questionable business, Red has a minute to make another character guess a specific word. That word will always be something essential to describing the guessing character who will be physically incapable of saying it, such as Dalton repeatedly avoiding to say the word "cheap". Red will always win at the wire by finding a way of having them spit it out indirectly.
  • Written by Cast Member: Taken to its literal conclusion. Steve Smith co-wrote all 300 episodes. Rick Green co-wrote every episode for the first eight seasons and the last two or three seasons. Later cast members like Peter Wildman and Bob Bainborough would also contribute to dozens of episodes in their own right.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Red and Harold are such opposites in personality that they're both typically ashamed when one of them tells the other that he's proud of him.

Keep your stick on the ice.