[[quoteright:333:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coupling_uk-show_3697.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:333: Clockwise from top left: Jeff, Sally, Patrick, Susan, Steve, Jane.]]

->''"Let me explain, Patrick. Here on Earth, there is a gap between seeing someone you like and having sex with them that we like to call conversation. In Jeff's case, it can last for up to ten years."''
-->-- '''Steve''', "The Man With Two Legs"

''Coupling'' was a British SitCom from 2000 to 2004 about a circle of friends and their complicated sex lives. Written by Creator/StevenMoffat, produced by his wife Sue Vertue, and based very loosely on their early relationship. (The WordOfGod is that Steve and Susan went on to make a sitcom about their lives, and Steve is now working on "[[Series/DoctorWho some old kids' show they recently pulled out of mothballs]]".)

The series was notable for its meticulously-crafted plots, revolving around lies and misunderstandings in the FawltyTowersPlot and ThreeIsCompany veins, and hilarious cases of DiggingYourselfDeeper. Each episode was very detailed and expansive on matters such as impotence, masturbation, pornography and lesbianism. It's different to other 'traditional' British comedy and certainly isn't anything like ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' or ''Series/FatherTed''.

The characters are intended to represent a spectrum of confidence and paranoia in relationships among men and women. They are:

* '''Steve Taylor''': A nice, if somewhat neurotic everyman, who starts dating Susan after breaking up with Jane.
* '''Susan Walker''': A snarky and practical blonde with the occasional mean streak, who starts dating Steve after breaking up with Patrick.
* '''Jeff Murdock''': Steve's best friend. A paranoid ManChild obsessed with women's bits who provides the show's most awkward moments.
* '''Sally Harper''': Susan's beauty-obsessed best friend. Although originally written as a one-note character, she gets plenty of serious character development after the first series.
* '''Patrick Maitland''': Susan's ex, a laid-back casanova who ''does'' have his heart in the right place on occasion. He is also very well-endowed (a "tripod", apparently). Although he's not too bright, he has his serious moments.
* '''Jane Christie''': Steve's ex. A walking mess of crazy with many hidden layers of even more crazy, although hidden underneath all of ''that'' crazy, she seems to be a very sweet, very scared woman.
* '''Oliver Morris''': The final series' replacement of Jeff. Owns a fantasy/sci-fi store and is worse with the opposite gender than the rest of the cast combined. Notably, even Jane thinks he's crazy.

It had a US remake that lasted about four episodes before being chased off the face of the Earth. (The Greek version ran for a whole series.)

Came fifty-fourth in ''Series/BritainsBestSitcom''.
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!!This show provides examples of:
* AbortedArc: Jeff and Jane were implied to have an interest in each other at the end of series 3, but Richard Coyle left the show and this was never mentioned again.
** This was, however, salvaged for [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Oliver]] in the fourth series.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Discussed several times, naturally.
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: We do not talk about [[TheLoinsSleepTonight the Melty Man]]!
--> '''Jeff:''' All of us, in our time, are visited by the Melty Man.\\
'''Patrick:''' The what?\\
'''Jeff:''' Don't say his name, Patrick! Don't even ''think'' his name! Or he will rise from the shadow dimensions to do his evil work inside your terrified pants.\\
'''Patrick:''' (''scoffing'') Terrified pants?!\\
'''Steve:''' (''gravely'') [[SeriousBusiness There's nothing funny about the Melty Man, Patrick!]]\\
'''Patrick:''' You know about the Melty Man, too?\\
'''Steve:''' We all know the Melty Man.\\
'''Patrick:''' Who is he?\\
'''Steve:''' The arch-enemy of trouser confidence.\\
'''Jeff:''' Professor Moriarty, in groin form.\\
'''Steve:''' Darth Vader.\\
'''Jeff:''' Without the helmet!
** We do talk about Captain {{Subtext}}, but only when we mean something else...
* AttentionWhore: Jane.
* AuthorAvatar: Steve. Susan is an example of that more rarely seen species, the Producer Avatar.
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:Steve and Susan.]]
* TheBabyTrap:
** Discussed by Jane in "Gotcha":
--> '''Jane:''' Where are we going wrong? Are we supposed to hang around bars, shag every man in sight, get ourselves pregnant and then trap some poor loser into a lifetime of misery and heartbreak?\\
'''Sally:''' Of course not.\\
'''Jane:''' Okay, you suggest something!
** [[spoiler: Susan attempts this with Steve]]:
--> "We never really got 'round to organizing a wedding. Thought maybe a whole human being would be easier."
* BadLiar: Patrick has this problem, leaving him unable to keep secret the fact that he slept with [[spoiler:Jane]].
* BaitAndSwitchComparison: Part of Susan's snarky repertoire.
** From "The Girl With Two Breasts":
--> '''Susan''': Jeff, Jeff! Listen to me! Women want someone with command, with confidence, someone who won't take no for an answer. We want somebody arrogant and gorgeous with a terrifying sexual appetite and an amazing range of sexual technique. But when it comes right down to it, d'you know what? We'll settle for a man!\\
'''Steve:''' (''after Jeff leaves'') So have you settled for me, then?\\
'''Susan:''' Oh, don't be paranoid, Steve. (''beat'') Of course I have!
** Susan even does this in Sally's head in "The Melty Man Cometh":
--> '''Sally:''' What am I doing?\\
(''Susan and Jane appear behind her'')\\
'''Jane:''' Well, you're about to attempt sex with a close friend.\\
'''Susan:''' He's ''so'' worried his erection will fail again.\\
'''Jane:''' Which will destroy one of the most important relationships in his life.\\
'''Susan:''' And his relationship with you!
** She gives a very mean-spirited one in "Gotcha", in response to Jane seemingly implying that she's better at turning Steve on than her. Even ''the audience'' reacts at her retort:
--> '''Jane:''' Oh, it's pretty easy to get a response out of Steve as long as you hit the right notes. It's like... snake-charming.\\
'''Susan:''' Well, personally speaking, I'm not in the habit of charming snakes... I just try to be polite to you. (''walks out of the salon'')\\
'''Jane:''' Well. I think I got out of that okay.
* BecomingTheMask: According to Jane, this is how she got [[CloudCuckooLander the way she is]]. She went on holiday, pretended to be her own imaginary insane twin sister, and eventually it just stuck.
--> '''Jane:''' D'you know, I could get away with anything when I was my crazy twin Jane.\\
'''Sally:''' But you ''are'' Jane.
* BetterThanSex: Jeff once said this in "The Cupboard of Patrick's Love" of a childhood activity that involved writing the word "naked" hundreds of times on a sheet of paper and rubbing his face in it.
* BigBrotherMentor: Jeff tries to be this to Steve, even though they're the same age and Jeff is presented as pretty incompetent in his encounters with women.
* BiggerIsBetterInBed: Patrick, so much so that a former girlfriend used him as a model for a sex aid--without his knowledge.
-->'''Steve:''' I think you may have been had, mate.\\
'''Jeff:''' And a lot more often than you realized!
** In his personal opinion, he's also "got technique". His ex [[spoiler:Jane]] disagrees, advising him that, when kissing, he should stop considering the epiglottis at the back of the throat a target and that he should stop trying to make nipples revolve like the knobs on an etch-a-sketch.
* BigNo: In "Faithless", Jane lets one out when she realizes that the guy she likes is against premarital sex.
* BilingualBonus: "The Girl With Two Breasts" plays with this, the latter half showing the same conversation twice: once from Jeff's perspective, then again from his Israeli crush's.
* BirdsOfAFeather: As the pairing develops: OnlySaneMan Susan and Steve, shallow and vain Sally and Patrick, {{Cloudcuckoolander}} Jane and Jeff/Oliver.
* BirthdaySuitSurpriseParty: Happens in the aptly-titled episode "Naked". Oh, ''Jeffrey''.
* BiTheWay: Jane mentions early in the show that she's bisexual, and mentions it often, but Susan thinks [[BaitAndSwitchLesbians she isn't bisexual at all]]. At one point in "Size Matters" she claims that being bi means she can go out with gay men, and simply won't believe the gay man in question when he tries to [[IncrediblyLamePun put her straight]]. However, in the episode "Nine and a Half Minutes", when Susan snogs her in order to turn on Steve, Jane is very obviously affected by it.
** Later in the series though, in the episode "The Naked Living Room", Oliver points out to Jane how these claims are all part of her tendency to [[AttentionWhore do anything to get attention]]. When she denies it, [[SubvertedTrope he shows her a foldout from a lads mag and she squeals and turns away in horror]].
*** Played straight in the U.S. version, in one episode it's strongly implied that Jane slept with weather girl Connie.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Susan, Jane, Sally.
* BondageIsBad: Averted in the episode "The Freckle, the Key, and the Couple Who Weren't". Jeff and his girlfriend are shown to take part in bondage as part of their relationship and it is shown as part of a loving consensual relationship... or would be if Jeff weren't so bad at it.
* BrickJoke: In most episodes, there's often a particular joke that keeps coming up at the first half, and is then set aside until the near-end of the episode. Sometimes, jokes even reoccur in later episodes, and often when you least expect them.
** In "Size Matters", Jeff rambles on about celebrities hooking up because all the people who are currently having sex and fantasizing about each of them create a kind of psychic charge. At the end of the episode, when Susan sleeps with Steve, the scene cuts to Angus Deayton and Mariella Frostrup meeting each other, being the objects of both Susan's and Steve's fantasies respectively.
--> '''Susan:''' So is it absolutely necessary to think about somebody else?\\
'''Jeff:''' Well, everybody does. That's why there are so many celebrity marriages.\\
'''Sally:''' I'm sorry?\\
'''Jeff:''' Well you know, if you fantasize about someone else during sex, and so does your partner, and you know, those two people that you're fantasizing about happen to meet while you're still doing it, you know, they're bound to sense something, aren't they? Because, you know, they're connecting on like a virtual plane! So can you imagine what it was like when Posh first met Beckham? They were the epicenter of a non-stop, nationwide, virtual shag! I mean, it's no wonder she got pregnant!
** After Jeff explains the "unflushable" concept in "Flushed", it doesn't come up again until the season 1 finale, where Steve gets dumped and Jeff asks how he feels. He simply answers, "Flushed."
** In "Split", Susan constantly remarks that hearing Jane's voice makes her grind her teeth. At the end of the episode, she sees Steve asleep on her bed, and performs oral sex on him. Meanwhile, the phone rings, and as the answerphone picks up the call, Jane's voice plays, after which Steve immediately sits up and screams.
--> '''Susan:''' I'm sorry.\\
'''Steve:''' I'll be fine...\\
'''Susan:''' It's just Jane's voice... doesn't it set your teeth on edge?\\
'''Steve:''' It will now...
** "Faithless" has Jeff overreacting over saying "Hi" to a colleague at work, complaining that there are very few ways to end an "H" sound. The last word he can think of is "Hippo". Later in the episode, flustered by said colleague's casual admission that she's also in a relationship but still wants to date Jeff, he ends up saying "Hippo." In the season 3 finale, Steve says "Hippo" when he reacts awkwardly to [[spoiler: Susan's revelation that she's pregnant]].
* BritCom
* BritishBrevity: Four series, and a total of 28 episodes, just barely more than a single American season of 22.
* ButtMonkey: Steve and Jeff take turns in this role -- Oliver too, when Jeff leaves.
* CannotTalkToWomen: This is one of Jeff's defining characteristics.
* CantActPervertedTowardALoveInterest: In "The Melty Man Cometh", Patrick doesn't succeed getting an erection during a hookup with Sally because he was falling in love with her.
* TheCasanova: Patrick.
* CategoryTraitor: In "Size Matters", Sally accuses a gay man of being a traitor because he supports the Conservatives.
-->'''Howard:''' [[MargaretThatcher Maggie Thatcher]], in my opinion...\\
'''Sally:''' Now listen to this, Patrick, this is the voice of an oppressed minority!\\
'''Howard:''' Maggie Thatcher, in my opinion, is THE best Prime Minister we've ever had.\\
'''Sally:''' You can't say that! You're gay, you're on our side!
* CerebusSyndrome: Started rearing its head in series 3 with the increasing Patrick/Sally tension, but became more noticeable after Jeff left.
** Jeff himself was going through this just before he left, especially in his last conversation with Jane - it's filled with plenty of jokes but it slowly becomes clear just how lonely and deeply unhappy they both are, especially when they get onto talking about their love interests who are supposedly 'exploring their feelings' which as Jeff sadly points out means they are actually being dumped.
* CharacterFilibuster: Steve, about [[OnceAnEpisode Once A Series]] - topics include pornography ("Inferno"), the pointlessness of cushions ("Her Best Friend's Bottom"), and [[HappyPlace the sanctity of the toilet]] ("The Girl With One Heart").
** From "Inferno", when Steve is forced to justify owning a VCR tape of lesbian porn:
--> '''Jill:''' How could you possibly enjoy a film like that?\\
'''Steve:''' (''exasperated'') Oh, ''because it's got naked women in it!'' Look, I ''like'' naked women! I'm a bloke, we're supposed to like them, we're born like that! We like naked women as soon as we're pulled out of one! Halfway down the birth canal, we're already enjoying the view! Look, it is the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche; we like: naked women, stockings, lesbians and Sean Connery best as James Bond, because that is what being a boy is! And if you don't like it darling, join a film collective! I want to spend the rest of my life with the woman at the end of that table there (''gestures at Susan'') but that does not stop me wanting to see several thousand more naked bottoms before I die! Because that's what being a bloke is! When man invented fire, he didn't say, "Hey, let's cook!" He said, "Great! Now we can see naked bottoms in the dark!" As soon as Caxton invented the printing press, we were using it to make pictures of, hey, naked bottoms! We've turned the Internet into an enormous international database of... naked bottoms! So, you see, the story of male achievement through the ages, feeble though it may have been, has been the story of our struggle to get a better look at your bottoms. Frankly, girls, I'm not sure how insulted you really ought to be.
** Even Susan has one in "Split":
--> '''Susan:''' Okay. You know what's really getting me mad? My boyfriend, my fiancÚ, the man who, against all my better judgment, I actually love, chatted up a woman in a bar. And on the very same day, ''the very same day'', I chatted up a man. Do you see? Do you get it? I'm equally at fault. How can I ever forgive him for that? Well, of course, I'm not going to forgive him, because men, and I don't mean to generalize, are crap! They're the human race's only failed gender! Who needs them? And why are they so difficult to keep hold of? Do you think they realize, that were it not for the genetic imperative to populate the earth, they wouldn't get a date? That's one hell of an inducement: "No pressure, girls, but shag one of these or it's curtains for all humankind!" That's harassment! But you know what? Do you know what's even more crap than men? ''We'' are more crap than men! All those stupid books you guys have, and... and these magazines! A hundred pages of "men are useless bastards" and an article about why you should wake him up with a blowjob! Am I alone in spotting the inconsistency here? And these places! (''referring to the salon'') Because, for God's sake, don't let them see what we really look like! Just let them enjoy the results, don't let them see how it all happens!\\
'''Jane:''' You know, I went out with Steve for six years, and--\\
'''Susan:''' No, you didn't! You went out with him for four years, I checked!\\
'''Jane:''' Oh. Well, it seemed longer.\\
'''Susan:''' Yeah. Yeah! Of course it seemed longer! I myself have been going out with him since the 12th century! Or possibly since last week, it's hard to keep track. Because how are you supposed to measure time with the one you want to spend the rest of your life with? What would make sense? Centuries? Nanoseconds?\\
'''Sally:''' Eggs.
* UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}: The setting of the U.S. version.
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: The finale of series 3 had [[spoiler:Patrick and Sally finally getting together]], and series 4 gave [[spoiler:Jane a love interest in the form of Jeff's SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Oliver]].
* {{Cliffhanger}}: Every series ends this way.
* CloudCuckoolander: Sally and Patrick have their moments when the RuleOfFunny demands, but Jeff and Jane have bought a 2-bedroom maisonette in Cloud Cuckoo Land and only return to reality once a month to collect their mail.
* ClusterFBomb: Sally's reaction to [[spoiler: discovering Patrick's engagement ring]] in the series finale.
--> '''Sally:''' Fuck... Fuck... Fuckity-fuck...\\
'''Patrick:''' Was that a yes?
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: A large part of Jane's character.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: From the episode "Gotcha": "Lesbians don't ''eat people'', Susan!"
* {{Corpsing}}: Thanks to Jeff introducing the concept of the Giggle Loop, the other guys start having this problem at Jane's aunt's funeral.
* CountryMatters: When Susan is in labor in the series finale, she wants to have a natural birth, but tells Steve to ask her three times if she wants the drugs. Midway through, though, she changes her mind about this:
-->'''Nurse:''' She said "you can't."\\
'''Steve:''' Yeah, trust me, the word wasn't "can't."
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Unsurprisingly discussed often, given the nature of the show.
** Lampshaded throughout the episode "My Dinner in Hell" with Steve's "whistling".
** Implied in "Dressed" with Jeff:
--> '''Jeff:''' What's wrong?\\
'''Steve:''' It's Jane. She's stuck naked in someone else's flat!\\
'''Jeff:''' Naked?\\
'''Steve:''' Yeah, she's only got her coat!\\
'''Jeff:''' Can I speak to her? (''Steve hands him the phone'') Hi Jane, it's Jeff!\\
'''Jane:''' Hi Jeff!\\
'''Jeff:''' (''returns the phone to Steve'') Thanks.\\
'''Jane:''' Jeff?\\
'''Steve:''' Oh, he's gone to the loo. Might be some time.
** Discussed in "Naked":
--> '''Jeff:''' I am a prison for sperms. Those poor little tadpoles have been sentenced to life in Jeff Murdock's groin. And let me tell you, that can be a pretty lonely place.\\
'''Steve:''' I'm sure you could always... "lend a hand".\\
'''Jeff:''' Yeah, there's that, but uh... you know, that's not what the boys are wanting, is it? See, they wanna think they're going somewhere when they go. I keep thinking about my brave lads all excited on the launch pad and suddenly it's, "Oh, no, daylight!"
* DepthDeception: Jeff being dragged up to the [[CrowningMomentOfFunny miniature]] [[GroinAttack guillotine]].
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud: Happens to Sally quite often.
** From "Flushed":
--> '''Sally:''' Facial - Wednesday evening.\\
'''Susan:''' Well, just don't count every time you find a wrinkle.\\
'''Sally:''' Do I do that out loud?\\
'''Susan:''' You have a running tally in my file!
** In "The Girl With Two Breasts", when the girls look jealously at the Israeli woman at the bar:
--> '''Sally:''' I bet she doesn't lie on her back and fill her armpits. Hah!\\
'''Susan:''' Sally. In case you didn't realize, you just said that out loud.\\
\\
'''Sally:''' No, not Jeff...\\
'''Susan:''' Yes.\\
'''Sally:''' But she's not meant for a guy like Jeff. He's supposed to have someone plump and organized. Healthy-looking, but mottled. Probably called Joan or Frieda, all chunky jackets and hill-walking and they'll get married and she'll age badly, and I'll just seem prettier and prettier.\\
'''Susan:''' Sally. Still out loud.
* DiggingYourselfDeeper: Jeff, in spades - the trope was formerly [[TropeNamer named]] for Jeff's epic "Bucket of Ears" speech in "The Girl With Two Breasts". Steve has his moments, too.
* DistractedByTheSexy: The reason for Steve's five failed attempts to break up with Jane.
* DramaBombFinale: A rare HappyEnding version of the trope.
* DramaticIrony: Used masterfully for comedic effect in "The Girl with Two Breasts."
* DramaQueen: Steve, with his hypochondria and his passionate speeches about everyday annoyances.
* EarpieceConversation: Jeff gets talked through a possibly-a-date with a co-worker in the consecutive episodes "Faithless" and "Unconditional Sex".
* EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench: In "The End of the Line", it's mentioned that Susan has a bad weakness for an Aussie accent. According to Sally, when they were visiting Australia, they always knew it was time to leave town when a new bar was named after her. As the episode plays out, it turns out that the French woman that Susan was talking to at the start of the episode was Julia invoking this trope on who she thought was Jeff.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The original pilot for the U.S. version was based off the episode "Inferno" and was more faithful to the original show, which confused NBC execs, so they gave showrunners Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont and original series director Martin Dennis the heave-ho, along with Kaplan's husband, Breckin Meyer (Melissa George had also been fired and replaced by Rena Sofer a month earlier) and Emily Rutherford, ''Cheers'' executive producer Phoef Sutton was subsequently brought in to redevelop the show.
* ExtremeDoormat: Steve "It's up to you" Taylor, at least where women are concerned. Can't say no to girls in bars, can't stand up to his girlfriend, and couldn't break up with his ex without assistance.
* FawltyTowersPlot
* FidelityTest
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Jane is Steve's ex; Susan seems to genuinely loathe her, Steve is uncomfortable around her and no-one else seems to particularly ''like'' her, but she continues to hang out with them apparently out of sheer obliviousness to how they feel.
* FreudianExcuse: Jeff's mental stability is largely a result of the way his mother raised him.
* FreudianSlip: Lampshaded with Captain Subtext in "Her Best Friend's Bottom".
** From "Size Matters", after a discussion about when "dinner" really means "sex";
--> '''Susan:''' When I say "dinner", I mean dinner.\\
'''Steve:''' I know that, absolutely.\\
'''Susan:''' Plain, ordinary cooking.\\
'''Steve:''' Well, I wasn't expecting a fish course. (''Jeff cracks up'')
** Occurs frequently in "Gotcha":
--> '''Susan:''' (''noticing the wedding invitation'') What's that?\\
'''Steve:''' Ah, just a final demand-- I mean, a wedding invitation!\\
\\
'''Susan:''' Sorry I'm late.\\
'''Steve:''' That's okay...\\
'''Susan:''' Should've called.\\
'''Steve:''' They took my phone away. It's at the front desk.\\
'''Susan:''' Oh, really?\\
'''Steve:''' Well, you know, phones can be a bit irritating when you're trying to eat a bra-- A meal! Not a bra, a meal! Did I say "bra"?
** Susan makes one in "The End of the Line":
--> '''Jane:''' So what's the guy like?\\
'''Susan:''' I'm with Steve now.\\
'''Jane:''' Yeah, but if you had a night off from Steve, is he the kind of guy you'd go for?\\
'''Susan:''' There's nobody I'd go for. Absolutely nobody. Nobody at all. Or an Australian.\\
'''Jane:''' Australian?\\
'''Susan:''' (''embarrassed'') Sorry... I don't know where that came from.\\
'''Sally:''' Australians are her weakness.
* FreudianSlipperySlope:
** Patrick gets stuck in one in the episode "Her Best Friend's Bottom":
--> '''Steve:''' Okay. Anyone want another drink?\\
'''Patrick:''' Better not. Came in my penis. I'm taking it to the garage; been having a lot of trouble with it lately, it just won't start.\\
'''Steve:''' Your car?\\
'''Patrick:''' I said "penis" there, didn't I?\\
'''Jeff:''' So. Having a bit of "car" trouble, are we?\\
'''Steve:''' Anything you wanna share with us?\\
'''Jeff:''' Any of your "motoring" difficulties?\\
'''Patrick:''' Hey, hey! Now look, you guys, you two may have subconsciouses but let me tell you, there's nothing going on in my head!\\
'''Jeff:''' All right, only joking...\\
'''Steve:''' Just kidding, Patrick!\\
'''Patrick:''' Anyway, it was your fault. You started talking about traitors in the first place. Penises! Not traitors, penises!
** Happens to Jane in "Faithless":
-->'''Jane:''' I do not say "penis" when I mean penis! I mean, penis! Penis, car, penis, car...
* FullNameUltimatum: Jeff's mother's reaction to the (very many) times she [[CaughtWithYourPantsDown caught him doing something embarrassing]] was always "Oh, ''Geoffrey''..."
* TheFunInFuneral: The "Giggle Loop"; also the memorable "Will you three stop playing ''Film/ReservoirDogs''?" As well as Jane's very snarky (living) aunt.
* GayConservative: Howard, Jane's "date" in "Size Matters".
* GenderEqualEnsemble: Three guys (Steve, Patrick and Jeff) and three gals (Sally, Susan and Jane).
* GenreSavvy: Steve is already so familiar with Jeff that in the first episode, the first time the audience ever hears a 'Jeffism', he's appropriately wary of them:
--> ''Is this going to be something disgusting? Am I going to be embarrassed to be your friend?''
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Noted by ''every'' main male character, Steve in particular.
** So crucial is lesbianism to Steve's (ahem) solo sex life that he finds himself unable to give a sample at a clinic until Jeff fetches some porn from home to supplement the material provided.
** In "Nine and a Half Minutes", when Susan complains that Steve doesn't find her attractive anymore after [[spoiler:becoming pregnant]], she kisses Jane in front of him.
--> '''Susan:''' Told you I could fix anything with one snog.
* AGodAmI: Jane has a strange moment like this in "Faithless" in discussing her job as a morning traffic reporter riding a helicopter.
* GranolaGirl: Jane.
** It's debatable though in how far this is just another mask she uses to manipulate the people around her.
*** TwoWords: "Bi-Vegetarian".
* HairTodayGoneTomorrow: As shown in "Remember This", Jeff is clean-shaven in the present, but in a flashback to about two years earlier he has a goatee and shorter hair. He also has 5000 fewer synonyms for 'breasts' in his collection.
* HandsomeLech: Patrick. [[CharacterDevelopment He gets better.]]
* HappyPlace: In "Circus of the Epidurals", when Susan tries to talk to her birth partner Sally about the possibility of the doctors having to make "an incision", we cut to Sally sipping champagne in a white room, looking serene as a string quartet play Theatre/MadameButterfly. Susan's voice calling her then starts to fade in, then the scene cuts back to Susan shaking her awake. "Sorry... I went to my safe place."
* HiddenDepths: [[spoiler:Jane. Compared to Susan she's still pretty shallow but she's actually [[CloudCuckooLander less insane]] and more sensitive to others' feelings than she appears to be. She is, however, still an AttentionWhore.]]
** Susan, on the other hand, is actually ''more'' shallow than she appears to be.
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: Jeff.
* HypocriticalHumor: Sally's punchline to this speech in "Size Matters":
-->'''Jeff:''' If you're gay, see... if you're gay, masturbation is practice. Y'know, you can have a good old practice on your own, and then later, when you're ready, when you've got the hang of it, you have a go on someone else's. It's a piece of piss... See, it's different... it's different when you're a straight bloke. When we finally get our hands on the gear, let me tell you, it's not a drill. Gays have their own practice kit, but you don't get any practice women. We're supposed to fly those babies the first time we get in 'em!\\
'''Howard:''' That's a very good point, actually.\\
'''Sally:''' No it's not, it's homophobic, you stupid queen!
* IAmSpartacus: From "The End of the Line": "I'm Giselle!"
** "In that case, ''I'm'' Dick Darlington!"
* ICallHimMisterHappy: In "My Dinner in Hell", he calls it "Junior Patrick".
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: There were several episodes titled "The [Man/Girl] With [X] [Body part]"
* IfYouDieICallYourStuff: According to Jeff in "Flushed", "porn buddies" are a variation in which the surviving buddy has to retrieve all the porn from the dead one's flat before their family [[PersonalEffectsReveal goes through their effects]], to spare the dead man's post-mortem embarrassment and help the survivor through the grieving process.
* IronicEcho:
** From "The Girl With Two Breasts":
--> '''Susan:''' Go!\\
'''Jeff:''' But she won't understand a word I'm saying!\\
'''Susan:''' Yeah, but on the plus side, ''she won't understand a word you're saying!''\\
'''Jeff:''' I hadn't thought of that...
** "Where are you going" and "up to you" in Season 2's finale, "The End of the Line." Steve feels like he's constantly being asked, "Where are you going?" while Susan is annoyed at Steve's indecisiveness, answering "It's up to you" whenever he's asked to express an opinion. This is PlayedForLaughs [[spoiler:until the end of the episode, where Susan is left uncertain of their commitment to one another and leaves Steve's apartment. Steve asks her, "Where are you going?" to which she replies, "It's up to you."]]
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Patrick, in the series 3 finale. It's '''epic'''. [[spoiler:And a subversion.]]
-->'''Patrick''': Sally, you need someone who'll love you forever, properly. You're my friend, Sally, and I wanna see you with the best. You need Mister Amazing, Mister Incredibly-Superbly-Fantastic[[BuffySpeak ... ness]]. And in your heart, I'm sure you know I'm right.\\
'''Sally''': I don't want Mister Incredibly-Superbly-Fantastic-ness, you stupid, stupid arse. I want you.\\
'''Patrick''': Oh, for God's sake, Sally...\\
'''Sally''': What?\\
'''Patrick''': [[spoiler:...I was ''talking'' about me!]]
* KavorkaMan: Plenty of women have slept with Patrick despite finding him intellectually, politically and/or personally repellent, if not physically unattractive, apparently just because he's so well hung. He's even described as not being great in bed.
* LadykillerInLove: [[spoiler: Patrick with Sally.]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: In the episode "Split", during Steve's unsuccessful attempts to call Susan after they broke up, the characters realize that they can confirm that Steve is the one phoning Susan by dialing 1471. Before they come to that realization, Sally asks, "Shall we say it together?", after which even the men say it with Sally and Susan.
* LeftHanging: The finale of season 2.
* LifeEmbellished: Moffat calls the series "my life as told by a drunk".
** In a specific example, he says that he wrote "Inferno" based on a similar situation where he was caught with porn in his VCR; however, he admits to adding the "spanking" part because it made the whole things just a little more twisted.
* LivingInAFurnitureStore: Averted so many times by RuleOfFunny.
* TheLoinsSleepTonight: The [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Melty Man]].
* MagneticGirlfriend: When Jeff gets a girlfriend, he is offered a hookup on a silver platter.
* MarsAndVenusGenderContrast: Plot and humour both tend to rely heavily on this, particularly Steve's {{Character Filibuster}}s.
* MasterOfTheMixedMessage: Played with; one episode revolves around Jeff, who has a girlfriend, being convinced a work colleague is one of these, when she's really very up-front about the fact that she wants to have an affair with him. Gets to the point where the whole gang, sitting on the other end of an EarpieceConversation (with the women there to "translate"), hear the following;
-->'''Wilma:''' OK, before we go any further it's cards-on-the-table time. I fancy you like mad, and I ''think'' you fancy me. Am I right?\\
'''Susan:''' ''[listening in]'' Need any help translating that one?
* MenCantKeepHouse
* MessyHair: Jeff. Lampshaded in "The Cupboard of Patrick's Love", when Jeff reminisces about his obsession with the television:
--> '''Jeff:''' One day, I lost control in front of my whole family during ''Songs of Praise''!\\
'''Steve:''' Lost control?\\
'''Jeff:''' Completely wrote off the television!\\
'''Steve:''' So you're telling us that as a young child, and despite the obvious electrical dangers, you sexually assaulted the television set? During ''Songs of Praise''?\\
'''Patrick:''' Is... is that what happened to your hair?
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Some of the humorous bits of the show are of this nature.
** From "Size Matters":
--> '''Steve:''' This pause is just expanding and expanding like, this out-of-control... ''thing!''\\
'''Jeff:''' Yeah, like in The Blob!\\
'''Steve:''' Yes, like in-- What?\\
'''Jeff:''' The Blob! Fifties horror movie. This Blob comes from outer space and just keeps growing and growing.\\
'''Steve:''' Right, thanks...\\
'''Jeff:''' It eats people. And in the end they kill it by electrocution. (''beat'') But that bit really doesn't apply here.
** Steve himself gives one in "My Dinner in Hell":
--> '''Steve:''' Well, if music be the food of love, then masturbation is just a snack between meals!
** Happens twice in "Her Best Friend's Bottom" after Steve inadvertently sees Sally naked, and she insists he stop thinking about her bottom:
--> '''Steve:''' You keep bringing it up! I can't get it out of my head... it's expanding!\\
'''Sally:''' Expanding!?\\
'''Steve:''' Like... space jelly!\\
'''Sally:''' What's space jelly?\\
'''Steve:''' I don't know!\\
'''Sally:''' My bottom is not expanding space jelly! I'm just big-boned! (''shows Steve her breasts'')\\
'''Steve:''' Oh, great! Now I've got breasts!\\
** Later in the same conversation:
--> '''Sally:''' As Susan's best friend, I am, to you, a bit like Australia.\\
'''Steve:''' Australia?\\
'''Sally:''' Very distant, largely uninhabitable, and with areas of great danger.\\
'''Steve:''' Oh, right! I see!\\
'''Sally:''' Good.\\
'''Steve:''' I thought it was about having a lot of convicts. ''[[[DidIJustSayThatOutLoud winces]]]''\\
'''Sally:''' I was trying to say, Steve, that there are very few areas of me where you can go in safety.\\
'''Steve:''' Right, good, yes. Very delicate way of putting it.\\
'''Sally:''' Thank you.\\
'''Steve:''' You mean, I can visit your Sydney, or your Melbourne...\\
'''Sally:''' Exactly.\\
'''Steve:''' But I'm not welcome in your bush.
** Patrick makes a strange one in "Dressed":
--> '''Patrick:''' Thing is, Ivan, I don't share my woman. It's like finding the right tennis racket. Once you've got one you really like using, you keep on using it until it falls apart and you have to get a new one... only more emotional.
** Sally gives one in "Split":
--> '''Susan:''' It just seems like a needy thing to do. I don't do needy.\\
'''Sally:''' You're a woman. Needy is our golf!\\
'''Susan:''' What does that mean?\\
'''Sally:''' I don't know. I didn't think it through...
* MissConception: Jane apparently believed that you couldn't get pregnant 'if you didn't really know the man'
* MissingEpisode: Only four out of ten episodes of the U.S. version aired on NBC before the show was cancelled. Though the remaining episodes did air in Europe, the original pilot for the U.S. version (which featured Melissa George as Susan) has never aired.
* MistakenForGay: Sally, by Patrick's girlfriend, probably because Patrick told her "that Sally is the sort of woman who...is a lesbian." She is oblivious to this, however, and it leads to a wacky misunderstanding, of course. See OneDialogueTwoConversations.
** Happens earlier in "Inferno" when the gang mistakes Jane's therapist for her lesbian lover and the therapist mistakes Patrick for gay due to his haircut.
* MoodWhiplash: Pretty much Susan's specialty. She frequently goes from faking outrage (as an impish prank) to genuine outrage, which is especially awkward when the thing that she's now actually angry about turns out not to be the case and she's angry for no reason, but stays angry. Several of the series finales end with one of the couples seeming to break up for real (killing the comedic atmosphere) only to have them come back together with such speed and ferocity that it can make your head spin.
* MushroomSamba: Jane on the "paracetamol" in ''Jane & The Truth Snake''.
* MustMakeAmends: Steve does this a ''lot''. He's actually pretty good at it; even while ''drunk'', as seen in "Split".
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: Jeff. To a lesser extent, Oliver.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: The Melty Man, who holds his EvilGloating speech to Patrick, not knowing that Patrick hasn't realized his feelings for Sally yet.
* NoodleIncident: Jane's "long story" about her crazy twin in the season 2 finale.
* OneDialogueTwoConversations: Moffat ''loves'' this trope. There's dozens of little tidbits in this and other scribblings that rely on OneDialogueTwoConversations; here it's used to cement the FawltyTowersPlot.
** The award-winning episode "The Girl With Two Breasts" is a variation, showing Jeff's cross-linguistic conversation with an Israeli woman from each of their perspectives.
** Occurs somewhat literally with Jeff in "Faithless" when his co-worker asks him if he fancies her, while Julia asks him on the phone if he loves her. He simply answers, "Yes."
** Happens in "The Girl with One Heart" to Sally with Patrick's GirlOfTheWeek Jennifer - Sally thinks Jennifer was fooling around with Jeff, but that she's aware that Sally is in love with Patrick. Jennifer thinks Sally is a lesbian and is coming on to her. [[BiTheWay Which is something she's totally okay with.]]
* OneHourWorkWeek: Neatly averted, as most episodes either take place in the pub where the characters meet in the evening after work, or (more rarely) in one of their workplaces.
* OpenMouthInsertFoot: Jeff when he talks to any woman always inserts two feet and then some.
* OverAndUnderTheTop: Steve and Susan are an {{Everyman}} couple, and their relationship is the focus of the series. Jeff and Sally are far too neurotic about relationships while Jane and Patrick are overly casual.
* PersonAsVerb:
** From "The Cupboard of Patrick's Love", when Sally complains about being the only woman who hasn't slept with Patrick yet:
--> '''Sally:''' This isn't fair! I was gonna have Patrick!\\
'''Susan:''' Sally, please--\\
'''Sally:''' (''to Jane'') Now you're having Patrick! (''gesturing to Susan'') And she's had Patrick lots of times! I'll be the only one who hasn't been Patricked!\\
'''Jane:''' You're the only one who hasn't been Steved!\\
'''Sally:''' Oh, Jane. Steve's nice. But Patrick's enormous!
** Jeff does this in "My Dinner in Hell", and Patrick follows suit after Jeff explains:
--> '''Jeff:''' Did she ask? You know, ask...\\
'''Patrick:''' If you still... you know...\\
'''Jeff:''' [[ADateWithRosiePalms Frostrup]].\\
'''Patrick:''' Frostrup?\\
'''Jeff:''' Yeah, Steve's whole fantasy life revolves around Mariella Frostrup.\\
'''Steve:''' Jeff, please...\\
'''Jeff:''' If he ever meets Mariella Frostrup in person, his right hand will shout, "Mother!"\\
'''Steve:''' Jeff!\\
'''Jeff:''' It'd be like, you know, the end of ''E.T.'' when he saw the spaceship. There'll be organ music, you know...\\
'''Steve:''' Thank you for clearing that up, Jeff.\\
'''Jeff:''' Hey! ''Organ'' music!\\
'''Steve:''' Yes, Jeff...\\
'''Patrick:''' (''to Steve'') So did she ask, about your, you know, um... Frostrupping?
* PizzaBoySpecialDelivery: In the season 3 finale, Jane does this in Jeff's flat.
-->'''Jane''': He works in pizza delivery, which just answers all your prayers, doesn't it? Man, motorbike, has own food.
* PlugNPlayFriends: Oliver.
* PornWithoutPlot: Discussed at length in "Inferno" when Steve is grilled by the women over the discovery of a tape of lesbian porn in his possession.
* {{Powerwalk}}: Parodied in "Sex, Death and Nudity": "Stop playing ''Film/ReservoirDogs''!"
* PutOnABus: Jeff is Put On A Plane... to Lesbos.
* QuoteOverdosed: Case in point: this very page.
* RantComedy: When Steve is allowed to break out of DeadpanSnarker mode, get ready to PassThePopcorn.
* RantInducingSlight: Steve has at least one of these per series. See CharacterFilibuster.
-->'''Susan:''' ''[following Steve's rant]'' ...would you like me to put the lock back on the bathroom door, dear?\\
'''Steve:''' Would you mind?
* TheRashomon: Several times.
** "The End of the Line" is divided into several sections: "The End of the Line", where Susan tells off her French client Giselle and hears that there's a bar named after her owned by an Australian; "The Other End of the Line", where the Australian that Susan talks to is revealed to be Steve; "The Beginning of the Line", where it turns out that the Frenchwoman Susan was talking to in the beginning was actually Jeff's girlfriend Julia; and "The End", where all the misunderstandings of the episode are finally clarified for everyone.
** "Remember This" elaborates on the story of Patrick and Sally's first meeting (and first kiss) at a party in Susan's office.
-->''From Patrick's recollection of the story:''\\
'''Sally''': How did you get to the party, then?\\
'''Patrick''': BMW M3. Midnight blue. Nought to 60 in five seconds, on to 100 in another six. Sequential semiautomatic gear box, traction control, and black leather seats.

-->''From Sally's recollection of the story:''\\
'''Sally''': How did you get to the party, then?\\
'''Patrick''': Car.
** "Nine and a Half Minutes" tells [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a nine-and-a-half-minute-long story]] from three different perspectives: Sally and Patrick, Susan and Steve, and Jane and Oliver.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: The girls react this way when they nitpick at the appearance of the Israeli woman in "The Girl With Two Breasts":
--> '''Susan:''' (''referring to the woman's breasts'') Yeah, but the point is, are they fake?\\
'''Sally:''' Of course they're fake; they're so realistic.\\
'''Jane:''' Yeah, they're so pert and firm. Are we supposed to believe that?
* RealPersonCameo: Mariella Frostrup and Angus Deayton appear in a weird, possibly [[ImagineSpot imaginary]] sequence in "Size Matters"; Mariella appears in a later episode ("My Dinner in Hell") for real. Later, Mariella reappears in another dream of Steve's in "Split".
* RealSongThemeTune: ''Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps''.
* RealityHasNoSubtitles: PlayedWith in the episode "The Woman with Two Breasts". The Israeli woman that Jeff is talking to speaks no English, and no subtitles are provided because he, like we, has no real idea what she's saying. Then, in the second half, when the whole sequence is run again with her speaking English and Jeff speaking nonsense, we again get no subtitles, and have to rely on our memories of what his side of the conversation was. Plus, we get to find out that some of his assumptions about what she was saying were... less than accurate. "I was looking for Shadayim."
* RightThroughTheWall: From "Her Best Friend's Bottom":
--> '''Sally:''' I hate having sex at home. I've got a listening flatmate.\\
'''Jane:''' Oh no, I hate those. Do you have to be really quiet for her?\\
'''Sally:''' No. I have to be really loud, we're very competitive.
* SadistShow: And how!
* SceneryCensor: Used by Steve in "Sex, Death and Nudity" to hide his erection when Jane starts talking suggestively about threesomes during her aunt's funeral.
* SeriousBusiness: The Sock Gap, as explained by Jeff in "Size Matters":
--> '''Jeff:''' Okay. Have you thought through your foreplay yet?\\
'''Sally:''' (''overhearing, to Susan'') They know about that?\\
(''Susan and Sally hide from the men'')\\
'''Steve:''' What do you mean, foreplay?\\
'''Jeff:''' What do you think I mean? I mean, when exactly do you take your socks off? My advice is to get them off right after your shoes, and before your trousers. That's the Sock Gap! Miss it... and suddenly you're a naked man in socks. No self-respecting woman will ever let a naked man in socks do the [[UnusualEuphemism squelchy]] with her!\\
(''Susan and Sally nod to each other'')\\
'''Patrick:''' That's your foreplay tip? Socks?\\
'''Jeff:''' (''turning to Patrick with a grave expression'') Many men have fallen through the Sock Gap, Patrick. Under the sexual arena of earthly delight, there lurks a deadly pit of socks.
* ShirtlessScene: Every male lead gets at least one, though Steve's are rather conservative.
* ShoutOut:
** Steve Taylor almost shares a name with Steven Taylor, a companion on ''Series/DoctorWho''. Oliver also has ''Doctor Who'' merchandise in his bookshop, and when going to a dinner with the gang in "Bed Time", wears a sweater reading "Bring Back Doctor Who" on the back.
*** Which became hilarious in hindsight after Creator/StevenMoffat started working for the Series/DoctorWho TV series (although he was already involved in its ExpandedUniverse) and eventually became its ShowRunner.
** From "Her Best Friend's Bottom":
-->'''Steve''': But Susan, Sally, Jane, this... is a sofa. It is designed by clever scientists in such a way so is to shield the unprotected user from the way of skin abrasions, serious head trauma, and of course - [he collapses behind the sofa and reemerges] - [[Series/DoctorWho Daleks!]]
** The Melty Man in "The Melty Man Cometh" is referred to as "Darth Vader without the helmet." In an imaginary scene with Patrick, another more specific Star Wars reference turns up:
--> '''Patrick:''' Melty Man!\\
'''Melty Man:''' Join me.\\
'''Patrick:''' Never! You killed my erection!\\
'''Melty Man:''' No, Patrick. I ''am'' your erection!\\
'''Patrick:''' [[BigNo No!!!]]
** The whole show is laden with these, all highlighting Moffat's geeky nature: Steve describing the deep meaning of Alien to men everywhere, the Melty Man being shown as a Darth Vader parody, as well as various references to comic book superheroes.
* SingleMaltVision: Subtly done in one of the many sequences involving a PerspectiveFlip; Sally is at a party and some people, especially Patrick, are acting in an odd or annoying fashion. However, it's eventually revealed that Sally is actually ''completely'' trolleyed and Patrick and his friend are actually the same person.
* SitCom
* SixStudentClique:
** The main character: Steve
** The Muscle: Patrick
** The Quirk: Jeff/Oliver
** The Pretty One: Sally
** The Smart One: Susan
** The Wild One: Jane
* SnarkToSnarkCombat: In "Sex, Death and Nudity", Sally gets into this with an old woman who claims that Sally looked like her when she got married:
--> '''Sally:''' And look at my neck. Look at the under-hang of my jaw. No way is that a forty-year-old under-hang.\\
'''Old lady:''' It's getting a bit... segmented.\\
'''Sally:''' What do you mean?\\
'''Old lady:''' That's how it starts, you know. (''reaches out to touch Sally's neck'')\\
'''Sally:''' (''recoils in terror'') Don't touch me! I'm full of moisturizer, you might drain it all off!\\
'''Old lady:''' What?\\
'''Sally:''' It'd be like rain on a desert; it would all get sucked away. You'd probably reflate.\\
'''Old lady:''' Forty-five.\\
'''Sally:''' What?\\
'''Old lady:''' I was forty-five when I got married, when I looked just like you.\\
'''Sally:''' And what age are you now?\\
'''Old lady:''' Ninety-two.\\
'''Sally:''' You must be pretty nervous then.\\
'''Old lady:''' Nervous?\\
'''Sally:''' Let's be honest. This has got to be your last funeral standing up.\\
'''Old lady:''' You use a lot of face cream, don't you?\\
'''Sally:''' Yes.\\
'''Old lady:''' So did I.
* SpitTake: Both the women and the men in "The Naked Living Room" when Jane/Oliver tells them Jane and Oliver were taking a stroll toward Oliver's apartment and Jane asked: "Can I come up?"
* SplashOfColor: In "Faithless", Jane has a black-and-white {{flashback}} to the first time she saw James, in which he's driving a bright red, very phallic convertible into a very tight parking space. FreudWasRight; Jane intends her ice-breaker to refer to his car, but instead, this happens:
--> '''Jane:''' You've got a fantastic [[FreudianSlip penis]].
* SplitScreen: Done beautifully in the episode titled, well, "Split". The two screens follow the women and the men, managing to keep the conversation and the story going on both sides even while focusing on only one group at a time. In the latter part of the episode, the split screens follow Steve and Susan an hour apart at the same place.
* StopBeingStereotypical: In "Size Matters", Sally gets mad when Howard, a gay friend (whom Jane believes to be her boyfriend) agrees with Jeff's bizarre views on homosexuality, and exclaims [[HypocriticalHumor "That's homophobic, you stupid queen!"]]
** In fairness, the above alluded view on homosexuality was Jeff suggesting that: (paraphrased) "Sex is easier for gay men, because all of the masturbating men do in their lives turns out to be practice. All the while they have a 'practice kit' for the real thing, but straight men don't get any practice women". While this certainly IS a somewhat bizarre view, its perhaps not as offensive as it seems without details. It's also worth noting that this was supposed to be a drunken conversation, after a dozen pints very late in the evening and both of the guys are visibly drunk acting. Howard may well have been winding Sally up anyway, because she got really snarky about him being a Tory earlier in the scene.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial:
** Jeff has many, the funniest of which is:
--> '''Steve:''' I don't know, Patrick - I don't keep some sort of self-abuse diary.
--> '''Jeff:''' ''Well, neither do I.''
** A non-verbal variant is explained by Jeff in "Her Best Friend's Bottom" with "the prickles, the blurts, and the head laugh".
** Patrick and Sally once spent over a minute explaining to Jane's boyfriend how they weren't a couple. The comment that prompted this? 'Hello'.
** Also this, from "Unconditional Sex":
-->'''Susan:''' How exactly did you pass your driving test?\\
'''Jane:''' Morally.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Oliver replaced Jeff.
* SwallowTheKey: Done accidentally in "The Freckle, The Key, and The Couple Who Weren't", when Jeff Murdock holds the key to his girlfriend's handcuffs in his mouth and then does his best Darth Vader impression. He spends the episode trying to find a way to get it out before she realizes what's gone wrong.
-->'''Jeff:''' (''on laxatives'') If I take all of them at once, [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} do you think there's a danger of liftoff?]]
* ThatCameOutWrong: Some of the humor in the series comes from the characters falling into this trope.
** From "The Cupboard of Patrick's Love":
--> '''Susan:''' God! What is it with you lot? Why do you all have this desperate desire to see me naked?\\
'''Steve:''' Oh Susan, no one wants to see you naked! (''beat'') Okay, that came out wrong.
** Happens to Sally in "Her Best Friend's Bottom":
--> '''Susan:''' Okay. So Steve saw your bottom, so what?\\
'''Sally:''' So? My relationship with your boyfriend has been thrown completely off-balance by the weight of my bottom! (''beat'') Can I please rephrase that?
* TheCastShowOff: In the U.S. version, Chris Moynihan showcases his juggling and balancing talents in one episode.
* TheTell:
** Steve, to Susan; "You only say 'apparently' when you're annoyed about something."
-->'''Susan:''' Well, there's a useful clue!
** In "Her Best Friend's Bottom", Jeff discusses the pattern when someone is lying; "The prickles, the blurts, and the head laugh."
* ThreeIsCompany
* ThreeWaySex
* ThrowTheDogABone: see Crowning Moment of Funny
* TwiceShy: Jeff and Julia in "Naked".
* UnexpectedPositive: In the season 3 finale, Sally buys three pregnancy tests because she doesn't know what a negative test looks like and asks Susan and Jane to take one each. The entire episode builds up to the reveal of whose test is positive.
* UnexplainedAccent: Richard Coyle (Jeff) doesn't have a Welsh accent, and he was never asked to do one for the show. His mother has a very RP English accent, though we never meet his father. According to Steve Moffat in one of the commentaries, Coyle simply showed up on set doing the accent, and since he wasn't a well known actor no-one noticed for ages until they got to know him better, by which point the first episode had been filmed and there was nothing they could do. Most likely RuleOfFunny - while it's pretty authentic and so isn't really a 'comedy accent', there is no denying it gives a certain something to Jeff's bizarre sexual metaphors.
* UnusualEuphemism: Jeff has one for everything sex-related. In the first episode ("Flushed") he introduces "The Boyfriend Zone"[[note]]the stage of a relationship where the man is entitled to certain sexual favors from the woman[[/note]] and "Unflushable"[[note]]a person who just can't seem to be dumped[[/note]] in the opening five minutes.
** There's also the Sock Gap[[note]]the point where a man who's undressing has to deal with removing his socks lest he end up naked except for them[[/note]], the Nudity Buffer[[note]]the time period between seeing a woman for the first time and getting stuck with the mental image of them naked[[/note]] and the (non-sex-related) Giggle Loop[[note]]a thought during a mandated silence where you contemplate the awkwardness of you laughing in the midst of the silence, and every time you suppress that thought, the laugh you're holding back gets bigger and bigger[[/note]].
** The others got in on it, too. Susan explains "The Fuck-me Fork"[[note]]a man's dilemma of either agreeing to sleep with a woman he isn't supposed to or implying to her that he doesn't find her attractive[[/note]] in the episode "Unconditional Sex".
** In "My Dinner in Hell", due to Steve's very awkward reaction to a BBC show explaining how men continue masturbating even while in a relationship, the characters refer to his habit as "whistling".
* WakingNonSequitur: In "Circus of the Epidurals", when Susan attempts to have a frank conversation with Sally about how the doctors may need to make an incision to facilitate her giving birth, Sally tries to retreat to her HappyPlace. A giant scalpel intrudes on her serenity, and she snaps out of it screaming, "Mummy, I'll be good!"
* WordOfGod: Responding to a message board request, ''Coupling'' creator (and sole writer) Steven Moffat wrote a breakdown of the characters' lives several years after the fourth and final series. This gave Moffat the chance to write an "ending" for the character of Jeff, despite actor Richard Coyle leaving the previous year. Unfortunately, because the primary source (an old Series/DoctorWho forum called Outpost Gallifrey) has closed, TheOtherWiki wouldn't keep it on the show's page anymore because of lack of citation, so if it pleases the crowds, here is the text to be preserved for everyone to read:
--> "Sally said yes to Patrick, they got married and are very happy... especially as Sally beat Susan to the altar, and finally did something first. Patrick is now a completely devoted husband, who lives in total denial that he was anything other an upstanding member of the community. Or possibly he's actually forgotten. He doesn't like remembering things because it's a bit like thinking.

-->Jane and Oliver never actually did have sex, but they did become very good friends. They often rejoice together that their friendship is uncomplicated by any kind of sexual attraction - but they both get murderously jealous when the other is dating. Jane has a job at Oliver's science fiction book shop now - and since Oliver has that one moment of Naked Jane burnt on the inside of his eyelids, he now loses the place in one in every three sentences. People who know them well think something's gotta give - and they're right. Especially as Jane comes to work in a metal bikini.

-->Steve and Susan have two children now, and have [[IShouldWriteABookAboutThis recently completed work on a sitcom about their early lives together]]. They're developing a new television project, but it keeps getting delayed as he insists on writing episodes of some old kids show they recently pulled out of mothballs. She gets very cross about this, and if he says "Yeah but check out the season poll!" one more time, he will not live to write another word.

-->Jeff is still abroad. He lives a life of complete peace and serenity now, having taken the precaution of not learning a word of the local language and therefore protecting himself from the consequences of his own special brand of communication. If any English speakers turn up, he pretends he only speaks Hebrew. He is, at this very moment, staring out to sea, and sighing happily every thirty-eight seconds.

-->What he doesn't know, of course, is that even now a beautiful Israeli girl he once met in a bar, is heading towards his apartment, having been directed to the only Hebrew speaker on the island. What he also doesn't know is that she is being driven by a young ex-pat English woman, who is still grieving the loss of a charming, one-legged Welshman she once met on a train. And he cannot possibly suspect that (owing to a laundry mix-up, and a stag party the previous night in the same block) he is wearing heat-dissolving trunks.

-->As the doorbell rings, it is best that we draw a veil."
* WriteWhoYouKnow: As implied in WordOfGod above, Steve and Susan are based on Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue.
* YourLittleDismissiveDiminutive: Sally has a tendency to use this a lot.
** Susan does this a few times, usually when annoyed at Steve talking about something with his friends.
----
->''Ha! I love this bar.''