[[caption-width-right:300:The Royal Navy's finest]]

->''"Ladies and Gentlemen, we present... the Navy Lark."''

A radio comedy produced by Creator/TheBBC which ran from 1959 to 1977 starring Creator/LesliePhillips, Stephen Murray, Creator/JonPertwee, Richard Caldicott, Ronnie Barker, Heather Chasen, Tenniel Evans and loads of others. ''The Navy Lark'' followed the adventures of the Royal Navy's least wanted crew on HMS ''Troutbridge'' [[note]]A Type 15 Frigate, a take off of the real life H.M.S. Troubridge with whom it shared its pennant number, F09[[/note]] as scheming Commander (promoted over the course of the series to Commodore) Povey tried to dump them overboard and they tried to avoid life on civvy street. Generally these were interspersed with CPO Pertwee's doomed-to-failure get-rich-quick schemes and Sub-Lieutenant Phillips' equally doomed attempts to chase down WRN Chasen.


* AnnoyingLaugh:
** Commander Bracewell, who typically delivered bad news to Captain Povey, had a variety of annoying laughs, ranging from the tauntingly mocking to the loud and goofy.
** In-show at least: people have this reaction to Mr. Murray's laugh, too
%% * ApronMatron: Povey's wife, Ramona.
* ArmedFarces: Set in the UK's Royal Navy, and occasionally featuring other branches of the British military and even foreign services. Leslie Phillips famously claims that his character caused more damage to military equipment than UsefulNotes/WorldWar2.
* BanditClan: The Pertwee Clan has been selling Naval stores ever since the Battle of Trafalgar. It's a tradition.
* TheBaroness: A LighterAndSofter version in the form of [[CommieLand Forbodian]] spy Natasha Snogitoff, who would occasionally show up to be either a sultry voiced seductress or a leather catsuited whip-cracking antagonist.
* BreakingBadNewsGently: During a very confusing conversation with Sub-Lt. Phillips, the ship's chaplain had to sit down, stand up, and sit down again.
* CantHoldHisLiquor: Sub-Lieutenant Phillips, half a lemonade shandy (a drink that is 50/50 lemonade and mild beer) and he is anyone's.
* CaptainCrash: Sub-Lieutenant Phillips. He's cause more damage to Royal Naval property than both World Wars.
* CatchPhrase :
** Sub-Lieutenant Phillips' "Left hand down a bit", CPO Pertwee's "'''''Everybody down!!'''''", and Able/Leading Seaman Goldstein's "Starboard lookout here, Able Seaman Goldstein chatting".
** In series one, there's Lieutenant-Commander Price's drawled and slightly gloating "graaand morning/day/evening, isn't it?" when he's got one over on CPO Pertwee.
** Able Seaman Johnson's "I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all"
** Birwasher, after long rambling external dialogue, 'good morning!' And then after more of the same '... how d'you do?', at which point someone will say 'can we dispense with the formalities sir?'. Also, 'hullo! Hullo, hullo. Hullo?' Whenever startled by new information.
* CeilingBanger: The thin bedroom walls (and the requisite banging) were one of the reasons Commander Murray was so keen to move out of his parents-in-law house
* [[ChronicallyCrashedCar Chronically Crashed Frigate]]: Poor old HMS Troutbridge, the only ship in the Royal Navy with a corrugated iron-effect hull.
* TheClan: There are Pertwees in every branch of the UK services, all dedicated to running it for their own profit.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}:
** Sub-Lieutenant Phillips. Was only rarely on the same plane of reality as the rest of the cast, and likely to go off on the most bizarre tangents.
** When it comes to this trope, Vice-Admiral 'Burbly' Burwasher takes the biscuit, the set of chunky tumblers and the collection of World Cup Winners' medals with three Bobby Charltons and still no Bobby Moore. They are, of course, kindred spirits:
---> '''Birwasher''': Hello, I like this fellow with the blond rinse. Yes... he doesn't know what the hell's going on either!
** Lt Cmdr Bell, during his time as the mostly-absent captain of Troutbridge, also counts.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Phillips is prone to this, what with his being a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} and all.
* CompanionCube: ''Troutbridge'' herself is treated like this.
* CorruptQuartermaster: Pertwee, and his entire family. In the first couple of seasons Pertwee was running a shop out of the Navy stores, even when Troutbridge put to sea he managed to continue his wheeling and dealing.
* CryptidEpisode: In one episode, the ''Troutbridge'' crew is reassigned to find the Loch Ness Monster.
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud: Vice-Admiral 'Burbly' Burwasher who used to deliver all of his stream-of-consciousness internal monologues out loud, apparently completely unaware that he was doing it.
* DrillSergeantNasty: C.P.O. Bull in the episode set during Phillip's naval training. Well at least according to Phillip's recollection anyway..
* TheDrunkenSailor: Several, but star example is Vice-Admiral Prout whose liver can be used to sole and heel boots.
* {{Eagleland}}: Any visiting American character ended up here. Usually with only barely authentic American accents.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: "The Lad", the only member of ''Troutbridge'''s engineering crew who actually knows how the ship runs.
* FakingEngineTrouble: In one episode Commodore Povey orders the crew of HMS ''Troutbridge'' to fake various problems with the ship so he can get out of dinner with his mother-in-law, a variety of SpringtimeForHitler plot complications soon take place though.
* FatIdiot: Able Seaman "Fatso" Johnson, CPO Pertwee's perennial fall guy for when a scheme falls through. Fatso is also prone to get into trouble at the mention of food too.
* HappilyMarried: Commander Murray and his wife.
* HandsomeLech: Sub-Lieutenant Phillips, playing off Leslie Phillips' common screen persona. He was very dashing in a thin moustached sort of way, but very prone to chasing the ladies.
%% * HaveAGayOldTime: Tying in with ValuesDissonance.
* HenpeckedHusband: Povey, completely under the thumb of his overbearing wife Ramona.
* HonestJohnsDealership: CPO Pertwee can sell anything from a can of beans to a battleship. Often without the previous owner knowing. Would have had a minor SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome by requisitioning all the Royal Navy's higher-class chairs to resell -- if Povey hadn't caught on.
* InsaneAdmiral: Too many to count, although resident Admiral Ffontbittocks can be disturbingly sane on occasion.
* InsaneTrollLogic: Sub-Lieutenant Phillips had a Ph.D in Insane Troll Logic. Later in the show's run, a RunningGag would be that Phillips would take a word said by the announcer or another character and craft an insanely tortured etemology around it based on the sounds of the word's syllables. Pertwee would then chime in, trying to knit the thought together in some sort of coherence.
--> '''Phillips:''' "Sacrosanct". Now, that's an interesting word. Funnily enough, they gave the derivation of that word in my comic last week.
--> '''Murray:''' Oh, dear, Noddy's off again!
--> '''The Master:''' In my opinion, he's a raving nut!
--> '''Phillips:''' No, no, this is jolly interesting. "Sacrosanct". "Sack", as in "race", or "the thing you fill up with coal", [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} if you've got any, that is,]] "rose", as in "cod" or "to smell as sweet as...", unless you happen to be sitting on two thorns at the time, and finally "sanked", which is the past tense of "sink", as in "washing up" or "where you do your smalls."
--> '''[[Creator/JonPertwee The Master]]:''' Now, let me see if I've got this right, clever boy. According to you, the word "sacrosanct" means that somebody called "Rose" is sitting in the sink with a sweet-smelling cod, who's just delivered a sack of coal in her smalls.
--> '''Phillips:''' [[WhatAnIdiot Exactly.]] Now, that's another interesting word, "Exactly"...
--> '''Murray:''' Oh, shut up!
* InteractiveNarrator: The cast would often interact with the Narrator at the top of the show.
** LemonyNarrator: in one episode having the cast abandon the story to go look at the narrator's saucy calendar, starring an attractive actress.
%% * TheKlutz: Lt. Commander Bell.
* LamePunReaction: Number One was a frequent dealer of these. It was a RunningGag that he'd laugh at his own joke, and in everyone else there'd be an awkward silence.
* LargeHam: Everyone, frequently leading to HamToHamCombat.
* LastSecondWordSwap: While stranded in a lifeboat on Loch Ness, CPO Pertwee attempts to keep everyone's spirits up by singing a (presumably) BawdySong, only to be forced into a last second word swap by a threatening interjection from Commander Murray.
-->'''Pertwee:''' (singing) Oh, there once was a sailor named Kelly\\
Who, when not reading poems by Shelley,\\
Would slide on the grass\\
On the seat of his...\\
'''Murray:''' CHIEF!\\
'''Pertwee:''' ...shovel\\
Shouting "Look what's tattooed on my belly!"
* LaughingAtYourOwnJokes: Commander Murray made a habit of this and he was usually the only one laughing.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Frequently. The characters often interacted at the beginning of the show, with the show's announcer, interrupting him during the show's introduction. One episode has the characters engage in an OverlyLongGag wondering if they can pick up ''The Navy Lark'' on the radio, with Sub-Lieutenant Phillips and CPO Pertwee remarking on the quality of the characters of "The silly-ass Sub-Lieutenant" and scheming CPO, respectively.
* LethalChef: Johnson's attempt at pie making produced some very convincing substitutes for limpet mines.
* LighthousePoint: One episode had Pertwee becoming a lighthouse keeper to try and become a wrecker[[note]]Someone who either shows a false light by making it seem dimmer and farther away than it is, or fails to show a light at all, in order to lure ships onto rocks and loot them[[/note]] after he and Johnson accidentally got stranded on a storm isolated lighthouse.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Later in the run, they nearly all turned up OncePerEpisode.
* LongRunner: 1959-1977, eighteen years.
* TheMaster:
** A recurring oriental[=/=]Literature/FuManchu villain. Funnily enough, The Master was played by Jon Pertwee, who would star in [[Series/DoctorWho another show]] with an archvillain called "The Master"...
** Of course TheMaster had a DistaffCounterpart in the form of the imaginatively named TheMistress (played by Heather Chasen with an equally OTT accent), although the character was actually a case of The DragonLady.
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: CPO Pertwee's less-than-helpful Chinsese phrasebook.
* NoisyShutUp:
** A bickering meeting of MadBrass is brought to silence by the shout of "SHUT UP or I'll lock up the Gin".
** Any time Fatso Johnson is about to let the cat out of the bag on Pertwee's latest scheme, he is shut up with a very loud and rapid fire "''BELT UP!!''" from the panicked CPO.
* NoSenseOfDirection: Sub-Lieutenant Phillips, once mistook Shanklin (Isle Of Wight, just off England) for Shanghai amongst other blunders. Yes, he is the navigation officer.
-->'''Sub-Lieutenant Phillips''': Assuming we're not going down a one-way channel, and allowing for a nor'easterly up our Faroes -- they're the people who live next door to the Cromarties, they often play whist together. [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Not the Egyptian Pharaohs, because they're dead anyway.]] Now, if we hoist over our fast nets, I reckon that Portsmouth should be that way, or that way, or that way, but definitely not ''that'' way, because that's where we just come from. So what we need now is a little touch of the old -- left hand down a bit...
-->'''CPO Pertwee''': Left hand down a bit -- eventually -- it is, Sir!
-->'''Commander Murray''': The awful thing is, he calls this "navigation".
-->'''Sub-Lieutenant Phillips''': If you think you can do better, sail on! See if I care!
-->'''Commander Murray''': [[SarcasmMode Oh, no, no, no! I hate to interfere!]] The only thing that baffles me is how you know Sardinia is behind us, and why we're not sailing ''that'' way?
-->'''Sub-Lieutenant Phillips''': [[BlatantLies I'm not a fool, you know.]] [[InsaneTrollLogic I've checked my charts. The moon is in the right quarter, Capricorn is in the ascendancy to Virgo, and in any case, if Portsmouth was that way, we'd be steaming backwards, and that can't possibly be right!]]
-->'''CPO Pertwee''': [[ServileSnarker Why not, Sir? We usually do...]]
** To show how bad his navigation is, in one episode, Povey needed Troutbridge to "accidentally" ram another ship so he'd have an excuse to escape his domineering mother-in-law and join everyone at a pub. He put Phillips in charge, thinking it would be a guaranteed crash. [[SpringtimeForHitler Troutbridge ends up accidentally circling the target ship 42 times without hitting it once -- the only time that Phillips can actually avoid doing any sort of damage to Navy property.]] [[GoneHorriblyRight Then, as soon as Povey's Mother-in-law gets laid up with the flu, and he doesn't need the flimsy excuse anymore, THEN Phillips manages to crash the ship but good.]]
* NumberOne: Commanders Price and Murray who are, well, Number One.
%% * PointyHairedBoss and StupidBoss: Commodore Povey.
* PorkyPigPronunciation:
** Commander Weatherby from Intelligence.
-->'''Cmdr Weatherby''' (trying to buy an airline ticket to the Digital Islands):"''"I'd like a return ticket-t-t-t-t-t-ticket-t-t-t-t-t to the Digital-Digital-Digital I-mbrI-mbrI-mbrI-tidley-I-tidley-I, the Digital-mbrDigital-mbr-Digital-mbrI-tidley-tidley-mbro-mbro-mbro to hell with the Digital Islands, I'll go to Jersey''".
--->'''The Admiral'''(explaining Weatherby's job): "''No wonder he's head of security. By the time he finished telling secrets to a foreign power they'd be out of date!''"
** Then, there was [[TalkingToHimself CPO Pertwee]] doing a spot-on impression of Weatherby singing in the tub. After attempting to get, repeatedly through the first few words of 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles," he ends with "oh, to Hell with it -- I've lost the soap!"[[invoked]]
* PutOnABus:
** The first NumberOne Lieutenant Price is put on loan to the US Navy at the end of series one.
** Later in the run they would try to do the same with Mister Phillips, in-universe, but he accidentally got on a Forbodian ship and was kidnapped leading to a PityTheKidnapper plot as he managed to sink half their fleet with his navigation and Troutbridge was forced to accept him back.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: How Povey ended up in charge of the ''Troutbridge'' mob to start with, and it almost happens to all of the cast at some point.
%% * RefugeInAudacity: How Pertwee usually ends up explaining things.
* TheRemnant: See ThoseWackyNazis below.
* RightThroughTheWall: When Commander Murray and his wife are sharing a house with her parents, she refuses to have sex because the bed squeaks and her parents will hear them. Murray's frustration levels are not helped when he puts his back out attempting to fix the bed, and his crew assume he put it out indulging in a different bedroom activity.
* RunningGag: Multiple for each character.
** In the episode where they all take part in a TV Documentary, there's a repeated message for "Leading Seaman Riddle to report to the Bridge" with the messages getting more and more upset and angry over the episode - to the point where everybody's forgotten why he had been called in the first place. It pays off during the climax when [[spoiler:the messenger reveals that he is Riddle]].
* UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}}: At one point ''Troutbridge'' is assigned to hunt for the Loch Ness monster.
* SeaMine: ''HMS Troutbridge'' once thought they had salvaged a missing American satellite. What they had actually found was a World War II era sea mine. HilarityEnsues.
* ServileSnarker: Goldstein towards the bridge crew and WRN Chasen towards nearly anyone of higher rank than her.
* ShoutOut:
** After Jon Pertwee hit it even bigger [[Series/DoctorWho on television]] jokes like the following appeared:
--> '''Phillips:''' I've got the solution. I saw it in a film once. There was this doctor...
--> '''The Master''' (played by Pertwee): [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall Who?]]
--> (pause for laughter and applause)
--> '''Phillips:''' No, no, not Series/DoctorWho, ... No, no, no, [[TakeThat this chap was a]] ''[[TakeThat good]]'' [[TakeThat actor]]. Film/{{D|rNo}}octor ''[[Film/DrNo No...]]''
--> '''The Master:''' [[MinorInsultMeltdown You watch it, clever boy. Just you watch it, if you want to live.]]
** Toward the beginning, they would refer to having seen the latest ''Film/CarryOn'' movie (e.g. ''Carry On Caveman'') with that stupid blond with the mustache.
* SickeninglySweethearts: Sub-Lieutenant Phillips and WRN Chasen when they finally make up. Pertwee responds with audible retching.
* SignatureLaugh: Sub-Lieutenant Phillips' 'silly-ass' laugh (usually at his own jokes). Most of the other characters find it irritating, especially Captain Povey.
* SoldiersAtTheRear: C.P.O. Pertwee dreads the spectre of active service, mainly because he's making a very good living selling navy stores on the black market. Despite his best efforts HMS Troutbridge eventually does put to sea.
* SoundToScreenAdaptation: There was a movie, but it replaced virtually all the voice-actors with more telegenic cinema-actors and is pretty much an InNameOnly adaptation.
** According to [[Creator/JonPertwee Jon Pertwee's]] autobiography, the film production company wouldn't employ Dennis Price for the film because of his {{s|traightGay}}exuality. Because of this, [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments Pertwee refused to do the film without Price]].
* SpinOff: ''The Big Business Lark'' and ''The Embassy Lark'' were spin-offs, of the "concepts" rather than "characters" type. ''The Embassy Lark'' had two RequiredSpinOffCrossover episodes called "National Grumpshog Week" and "Sub-Lt Phillips Drops In".
* StaircaseTumble: When Pertwee and Johnson get stuck on a lighthouse, this is how poor Able Seaman Johnson always ends up getting down from the top. Pertwee of course, taking an inordinate delight in sending him up there for various reasons.
* StoppedReadingTooSoon: In one episode Povey's scheme to drum the HMS Troutbridge crew out of the navy falls apart because he only read the front of the orders sheet, there was information on how they could get out of it on the back. Even worse The Admiral admits that he makes the same mistake constantly, and only noticed some important stuff when he turned some paper over to use as a drink's coaster.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: The lead officer was changed from Lieutenant Price to Lieutenant Murray after season 1.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Whenever the crew and Povey are forced to work together.
* ThemeTuneCameo: Sub-Lieutenant Phillips whistling the show's theme music as a "Ditty" he'd picked up somewhere. He's promptly told to stop it by the rest of the cast as it [[BitingTheHandHumor sounds silly and annoying]].
* ThoseWackyNazis: Literally, in one episode, as ''Troutbridge'' manages to capture a straggler U-Boat from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, with {{hi|larityEnsues}}jinks and [[GratuitousGerman poor German]] {{a|sLongAsItsoundsForeign}}ccents abounding. Please note, the episode was set in and aired in 1960...
** They'd been convinced the war was still on and were being resupplied by (what they thought was) a Dutch Nazi-Sympathiser...called [[TheClan Pertwee]].
** The gag was even an InJoke -- the member of the Pertwee clan outfitting the U-Boat was named "Ingeborg"... which just happened to be the name of Pertwee's real-life wife.
* TrueCompanions: Once Murray joined they started hanging together no matter what Povey and the Admiralty threw at them, Price was more willing to let Phillips and Pertwee take the fall for their misdeeds.
** It's telling that it was during Price's time as Number One that the four words most dreaded by CPO Pertwee were "The Unit Comfort Fund" -- which was Price's way of relieving Pertwee of his ill-gotten gains or otherwise punishing him for his latest scheme. Pertwee thought he had buried those logbooks pretty deep, and it wasn't for a couple of seasons till Murray started to use it, albeit more sparingly, as a club to keep Pertwee in line.
* VerbalTic: CPO Pertwee had a habit-t-t-t of ''rolling'' his 't's, either when nervous or mocking.
** Also, there was Commander Ignatius Aloysius Atchuson, who suffered from a tendency to sneeze himself through his sentences.
--->'''Atchuson:''' ''Atch''ually, I ''sh''uffer from a ''vitch''us attack of...of...of...haychfever!
--->'''Phillips:''' It's more than an attack, man...you're a one-man epidemic!
* UsefulNotes/{{Wales}}: The homeland of Goldstein, who joined the Royal Navy to work his passage to Swansea. In one episode, Goldstein is accidentally promoted to Admiral. His first official act is to take the ship to Wales to show off to his family and friends -- at least till Pertwee and Murray tire of parading around Swansea and let slip that the ship runs on oil burners, not coal burners. [[FelonyMisdemeanor His fiercely proud-of-the-coal-industry Welsh family nearly disowns him.]]
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: ''Mr Phillips At Dartmouth'' recounts how Navigation Officer Phillips got lost on his way to Sandhurst and landed up at Dartmouth Naval College.
* WireDilemma: The Troutbridge was once sent to retrieve a lost American satellite. After they think they found it, an American expert read them a ludicrously complicated set of instructions on how to disarm the device. The crew got hopelessly lost, but it turned out not to be really the satellite after all. However, they later found the real satellite and found they couldn't remember the instructions at all.
* WorldOfHam: It had to be a radio comedy, Creator/TheBBC would never have been able to stand the [[ChewingTheScenery scenery costs]] of a live action series.
* WrongWire: Happens when the crew of ''HMS Troutbridge'' is attempting to defuse the self-destruct mechanism on an American satellite. Fortunately, the first time this happens it turns out that what they have retrieved is not the satellite but a marker buoy. The second time, however...
* YellowPeril: The Master, a steotypical Fu-Manchu style villain, who would show up from time to time to theatrically threaten the crew.
* ZanyScheme: Almost every episode involved either; a Get Rich Quick scheme by [[HonestJohnsDealership CPO Pertwee]], an attempt by [[StupidBoss Commodore Povey]] to drum the crew out of the navy, [[ChivalrousPervert Sub-Lieutenant Phillips]] trying to woo [[SassySecretary WRN. Chasen]], [[OnlySaneMan Cmdr. Murray]] trying to save his career from the lot of them, or [[GambitPileup all at once]].