''The Dish'' is an Australian comedy set in the rural town of Parkes in 1969. In the middle of a sheep farm sits its main claim to fame: A large satellite dish, over which Australia and the United States are joining forces so that the Moon landing can be relayed to eager viewers across the world.
''The Dish'' explores 1960s culture, specifically the cultural differences between Americans and Australians, whilst casting a comical eye over the people of the rural town.
Not to be confused with the spin-off of ''Series/TheSoup'' that ran on the Style channel.
* BerserkButton: Cliff's wife, although the button invokes a touching portrayal of quiet grief rather than rage.
* CallBack: Pieces of advice given earlier come back to give the boys the courage to go far beyond the call of duty (and the design tolerances of the dish) to make sure the signal goes through.
* CantSpitItOut: [[EveryoneCanSeeIt It's obvious to everyone that Glenn and Jeanine like each other]], but he has trouble admitting it. [[spoiler: Towards the end of the film, he finally summons up the courage to ask her out.]]
* CulturalCringe: Tensions between the natives and the visiting Americans.
* DeadpanSnarker: Mitch under pressure.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: "Cliff, that's bullshit. You just bullshitted NASA!"
* DistinguishedGentlemansPipe: Cliff.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Janine.
* EagleLand: Interesting subversion. The main American character is a fairly quiet, unassuming, rather nerdy but obviously quite decent person. Mitch takes exception to him, however, purely because he's American and assumes he'll live up to the stereotypes he has of them, even though he doesn't in any way whatsoever.
** The moody teenage daughter of the Mayor, Marie, calls America "cultural imperialists", keeps going on about Vietnam, calls the moon landing chauvinistic, and sneeringly asks if all the people in India will be watching it. She also thinks the mission is... well, her words:
---> '''Marie:''' (Defiantly) Is this mission being funded by the CIA?
---> '''Al:''' Not entirely.
---> '''Marie:''' (Uncertainly) Really?
---> '''Al:''' No.
--> Al plays this so charmingly that when he says goodbye at the end of the meal, it's quite clear Marie has been won over.
* EscalatingWar: Played subtly.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The Prime Minister, odd given that a quick glance at the history books reveals the PM of the time to be John Gorton of the [[NoPartyGiven Liberal Party]].
* AFatherToHisMen: Cliff.
* FrothyMugsOfWater: Played in-story. "More tea, Prime Minister?"
* GeniusDitz: Glenn.
* HypocriticalHumor: Mitch protesting "We're a professional unit!" while in the middle of a cricket match played in the bowl of the Dish.
** The Prime Minister wondering why the titular Dish is in the middle of a sheep paddock whilst standing in (Old) Parliament House. Old Parliament House was built in the middle of a sheep paddock.
* InsistentTerminology: A RunningGag with the mayor's wife.
* IronicEcho: Cliff's advice comes back to bite him twice.
* LandDownUnder: Mostly averted, though Al's lack of understanding of Australian slang is played for laughs in places.
-->'''Mitch:''' "You treat us like a pack of galahs!"
-->''(Al looks confused)''
-->'''Glenn:''' ''(explaining)'' "That's a type of parrot."
* NationalAnthem: Subverted. Bob announces the US NationalAnthem, but the clueless band plays the 'Theme from ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'''.
* NerdGlasses: Glen has a pair of hornrimmed ones. Al sports the chunky black-framed type.
* PrecisionFStrike: Delivered by the ''Prime Minister''.
-->'''PM:''' "Bob, we have a saying in [[NoPartyGiven the Party]]: you don't fuck up..."
-->'''PM:''' "That's it."
* RefugeInAudacity: Arguably, the aforementioned cricket match and bullshitting of NASA.
* SchizoTech: Despite being based on a true story, the juxtaposition of the most powerful telescope in the world with rural Australian life qualifies. It is both [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] ("What's it doing in the middle of a sheep paddock?") and [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] (Parkes' weather, or lack thereof).
* SickeninglySweethearts: the mayor. "What do I care if some big-wig Yank sees that I love my wife?"
* TheSpaceRace: Alluded to at the beginning with a montage showing [[JohnFKennedy President Kennedy]]'s 'We choose to go to the moon!' speech.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: There is a radio telescope at Parkes, and it did transmit the broadcast of Armstrong walking on the moon, and high winds did pose a concern. Much of the rest of the movie, including the power failure, is made up for RuleOfDrama and RuleOfFunny.
-->'''Al:''' "The prime receiving station has no idea where ''Apollo XI'' is?"
-->'''Glenn:''' "Yeah, it's on its way to the Moon."
** [[spoiler: Later, they realise that this is the correct answer: if the spaceship was on its way to the Moon, with only a few thousand miles to go, it would be within a few degrees of the Moon in the sky.]]
* YouHave48Hours: Used almost word-for-word by Mrs Spears when ordering the band to learn the American National Anthem