-->''Gory, ghastly, mean and cruel''
-->''Stuff they don't teach you at school''
-->''The past is no longer a mystery''
-->''Hope you enjoyed'' Horrible Histories!
-->--'''Theme'''

''Horrible Histories'' (2009-2013) is the hit live-action SketchComedy adaptation of Terry Deary's eponymous books. Now finished airing its fifth and final series, the half-hour show aired on CBBC in the UK and various affiliated cable channels overseas.

Lifting its premise, (most) content and general BlackComedy sensibilities directly from the books, ''HH'' the TV series is hosted by a puppet sewer rat and romps irreverently (but always with conscious accuracy) through all the strangest, silliest and most bodily-fluid-intensive moments on the road to Western Civilization. Live-action sketches -- which frequently parody current UK TV programs and personalities -- are intercut with quizzes, short animations, and at least one [[EducationalSong music video]] per episode, likewise usually a parody of a classic pop/rock genre or song.

Despite all the goofiness, the show has picked up a sizeable PeripheryDemographic, thanks both to increasingly sophisticated writing -- riffing largely off adult comedy classics like Creator/MontyPython and ''{{Blackadder}}'' -- and a core troupe of talented character comedians who also happen to be some of the most attractive {{Parental Bonus}}es on television today: [[Series/TheWrongMans Mathew Baynton]], [[PeepShow Jim Howick]], [[Series/TheThickOfIt Ben Willbond]], [[BunnyAndTheBull Simon Farnaby]], Laurence Rickard and Martha Howe-Douglas.

According to WordOfGod it had in fact been deliberately designed from the outset as a 'family show'; both writers and performers insisted throughout that they were 'just making a comedy series'. This became more obvious when the second series won not only three children's {{BAFTA}}s for writing, performing and Best Comedy, but a surprise British Comedy Award for Best Sketch Comedy. Followed the next year by a successful BBC Prom concert, another Best Comedy {{BAFTA}} and a (less surprising) Best Sketch Comedy BCA... and the next year by another {{BAFTA}} for Best Comedy.

As a result a six-part prime-time version was made for main adult channel [=BBC1=], which featured the best sketches as introduced by Creator/StephenFry. Back over in the original series, [[Series/MockTheWeek Chris Addison]], [[TheLeagueOfGentlemen Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton]] and Creator/MarkGatiss make special guest appearances as well.

While the show itself formally ended with the fifth series -- save for possible one-off specials based around important historical anniversaries -- the core performers plan to continue working together as a troupe for the forseeable future, writing and starring in both a new TV project (the family fantasy comedy ''Series/{{Yonderland}}'') and feature film (''Bill'', a spoof on the origins of William Shakespeare).

Not to be confused with [[WesternAnimation/HorribleHistories the 2001-2002 animated series also based on the books.]]
----------
!!Thanks to its sketch-based, genre-hopping nature, the series contains examples of many, many tropes, helpfully organized below:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Tropes A to H]]
* AbnormalAmmo: A real-life example in which Hannibal of Carthage had snakes thrown onto an enemy ship was used for a ''Film/SnakesOnAPlane'' parody called ''Snakes on a Ship.''
* AccidentalMisnaming: Neil Armstrong insists upon calling the ''second'' man on the moon [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbHD1rVCORE "Bazz Alldrains"]].
* AcePilot: In the RAF pilots' song, "The Few."
* ActionGirl: You do ''not'' want to mess with Boudicca. Or for that matter several of the other female characters. The show actually makes something of a point of celebrating this trope, as a way of compensating for the fact that most of their subject matter is male-oriented.
* AdaptationDistillation: Of the show itself, as per above.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: "World War II [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ0stWPc2FY finally finds a fittingly foul finale.]]"
* AdiposeRex: Henry VIII, George IV, and Victoria all have sketches highlighting their obesity.
* AffablyEvil: A favourite satirical approach, used with among others Blackbeard the pirate, Emperor Elagabalus and Henry VIII. Incan warlord Pachacuti takes it to the extreme in a chipper pop video celebrating ''exactly'' how viciously he mutilated his enemies' bodies... complete with little bouncy skulls following the lyrics.
** Becomes a specific plot point in the "Burke & Hare" song:
-->'''Dr. Knox:''' They seemed such cultured gentlemen, I never did suspect
-->That Burke and Hare were not so nice (I really should've checked!)
* AgentPeacock: The producers concede that as a general rule, their versions of historical figures tend to "somehow..." end up more camp than the reality, including {{badass}} men. Sometimes it's much more overtly played with, as in the course of recasting the greatest flying aces of the Battle of Britain as a boy band.
** Also by having barbarian warriors from the Burgundian, Frankish, and Alan tribes give fashion advice in ''Danke'' magazine.
* AGodAmI: In Alexander's song, he upgrades his monicker from "the Great" to "the Greatest", and ''then'' decides that's too boring, and opts for "the Living God".
** [[TheCaligula Caligula]] was planning on it in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZgzdg14b4U this sketch]]. His advisor talked him out of it.
* AlasPoorYorick: The lead Viking of "Literally!" dramatically sings to a skull for part of the song.
* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: Richard I's mother at the end of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdBQBg6XEUM this sketch]].
* AndStarring: Series One had two lead actresses, Martha Howe-Douglas and Sarah Hadland. Hadland left after the first series and Series' Two and Three had Howe-Douglas as the sole female lead with three or four supporting actresses. When Hadland returned for Series Four, she was given the 'And' position in the closing credits.
* AnachronismStew: Much of the humour comes from the mesh of historical characters/situations with modern attitudes.
* AnnoyingLaugh: Elagabalus has one of these to underscore his immaturity.
* AntiquatedLinguistics: Usually averted; no sense trying to educate the kiddies if they can't understand what you're saying, and besides which it's funnier that way.
* {{Antidisestablishmentarianism}}: In a segment on Victorian school punishments, one boy is punished for misspelling it.
* AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering: Used by the Victorian Historical Paramedics. "...That top hats are fabulous?" "No. (...They are!)"
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In the Joan of Arc song, Joan is pronouced "guilty of heresy - and wearing men's trousers!"
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Mostly (and impressively) averted -- there's apparently a production assistant on-set at all times whose sole charge is to ensure historical accuracy, and when they are made aware of a slip, they'll do their best to correct it in a later show (or in at least one case, the DVD release). On the other hand they're often deliberately trying to keep things simple to avoid confusing their young audience (they routinely modernise geographic references, for instance) and are always giving RuleOfFunny as much priority as they can. The net result, as one academic put it, is best thought of as a slightly more conscientious ''{{Blackadder}}''.
** Rattus claims that the Hundred Years' War lasted a hundred years; it did not, it lasted 116 years. There are other factual slips as well. But you generally do have to be a historian to notice them.
*** Sometimes this is obviously the result of their working off the generally-accepted legend, rather than the frequently less hilarious reality -- the Tudor and French Revolution segments especially do this a ''lot''. And while Horatio Nelson did say, "Kiss me, Hardy" while ''in extremis'', it's now [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Nelson#Nelson_is_hit generally conceded]] those weren't actually his LastWords.
** InUniverse, Shakespeare is notorious for it. "I'm William Shakespeare! I write plays and make stuff up! I never let facts get in the way of a good story!"
* AsideGlance: An amusing meta-example in the Stone Age ''Series/DragonsDen'' skit, when the inventor pitching the concept of 'beer' seems suddenly to [[MediumAwareness remember what show he's really on]]: "It grown-up drink. [[DontTryThisAtHome Not for children]]."
* AttackAttackRetreatRetreat: Used in the 'Plague Comes North' sketch, in which a raiding party from plague-free Scotland heads gleefully out to ransack the plague-weakened English, only to hastily backtrack -- too late -- when they realise the glaring flaw in this strategy.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Bob Hale goes off-topic very quickly. As when listing off the names of Roman emperors somehow turns into the Macarena...
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Jasper Maskelyne and General Peregrine Thoroughgood, in the same sketch. Bonus points for the former being [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasper_Maskelyne an actual name]].
* AxCrazy: Caligula, so much. Possibly also Mandy the assistant in the "Historical Dentist" sketches, although it's not clear whether she's an active participant in the orthodontic crazy or just obliviously going for an Employee of the Month plaque.
* BadNewsInAGoodWay: The point of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wZJ0k0BJGY a sketch]] in which Henry VIII's jester Will Somers desperately works the news of the Queen's infidelities into a comedy routine.
* BadNewsIrrelevantNews: In response to a Greek athlete's disappointment that his prize for winning the Isthmian Games is a crown of celery (not a 'salary').
--->'''Reporter:''' Well, the bad news is your prize is just a celery hat.
--->'''Athlete:''' Then what's the good news?
--->'''Reporter:''' The good news is that I just bought this delicious Greek dip. ''[Dips celery stick in said dip]'' [[{{Pun}} Now that is rich]]. ''[Athlete {{Death Glare}}s]''.
* BaldWomen: Series 5 contained several sketches featuring Sarah Hadland in a bald cap, notably [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk02qS4uC7E "Don't Tell the Spartan Bride."]]
* BankruptcyBarrel: Diogenes. Well, he's not so much bankrupt as voluntarily eschewing material possessions, and he's not so much wearing the barrel as living in it... but still, he's definitely penniless, naked, and in a barrel.
* BedsheetLadder: Making the ladder too short led to the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Oi2YCzGxO4 Stupid Death]] of Griffith Ap Llewelyn...
* BerserkButton: Do ''not'' play a sketch about killing rats! Rattus will be very cross.
** As will Richard III over references to his alleged villainy.
** Describing Elizabeth I as anything but an angelic, ravishing beauty routinely triggers tantrums.
** As does any attempt to deny a Roman emperor ''anything''. For instance, suggesting to Caligula that taking on Poseidon, god of the sea, might be just a ''teensy'' bit problematic.
*** Speaking of Caligula, you should also never imply that something might be more significant than him.
** Mentioning her dear deceased 'Albert' will instantly cause Queen Victoria to dissolve into floods of tears.
** As per above, there's an entire sketch based on how carefully courtiers were forced to tiptoe around Henry VIII re: his latest marital issues.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Played with in a sketch in which a softspoken monk manages to bring the Viking assault on his monastery to a dead halt simply by asking what on ''earth'' they're doing there, which completely baffles them -- for about a minute. "Oh yeah, 'cos violence is fun!". Cue the monk running for his life.
** Along similar lines, another monastery raid sketch features a literate monk who calmly convinces the Vikings to spare him so he can record their {{badass}}ery for all time. ("Write about my biceps!") Unfortunately for the monk, the raiders quickly start arguing over who's ''the'' bravest and most fearsome, and they're still carrying axes...
* BigBallOfViolence: Animated ones frequently appear to denote major battles in the background of Bob Hale's reports.
* BigEater: As per the usual cliches, the Tudors' diet was....very rich. "Do you want to have a body like King Henry VIII's? Now you can, thanks to the ''Henry VIII Tudor Diet Plan''! With just seven hours of dedicated feasting a day, you too can have a body to ''die'' for!"
* BigotVsBigot: Parodied in the "Historical Wife Swap" sketches, which tend to pit naturally antagonistic couples against one another (Cavaliers vs. Puritans, Athenians vs. Spartans, etc).
* BilingualBonus: In the "Le Survival Guide" sketch, we get this line from Mat Baynton's young soldier: "Vive Napoléon! Super cool!" The French accent, however, makes that last word really sound like [[ForeignCussWord something else]]. Later, "not cool!" is pronounced similarly when a French soldier is shot in "mon derrière", so the whole thing was probably intentional -- especially given that Baynton studied clowning in France.
* BlackComedy: Cheerfully dialed UpToEleven, although careful to stop short of DudeNotFunny.
* BlandNameProduct: The historical-character-uses-the-internet sketches incorporate historically-themed renames of familiar software and websites: [[VideoPhone Trype]], [[Website/{{Google}} Gargoyle]], [[Website/{{Facebook}} Macebook]], [[MicrosoftWindows Stained-Glass Windows]]...
* BloodKnight: William Wallace.
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: In the Pizarro sketch. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKeB82retLs "Easy peasy, squeeze de lemon."]] Also turns up in (of all things) Ivan the Terrible's Stupid Death, wherein the fearsome Russian Tartar Emperor signs off with "see you later, crocodile!"
* BoastfulRap: The "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFihfYDCByY&feature=relmfu Celtic Boast Battle]]". Charles II's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2kyNbZc7oc King of Bling]]" rap can also be considered this, as Charles brags about his popularity in general and having done "what was right and proper" during the Great Fire of London in particular ("Proved I'm more than a bopper -- I'm a ''fire-stopper!''"). He even lists the names of several women he, ah, "broke the wedding rules" with.
** More obviously, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKwxeTkTNpI I'm Minted]]" by Marcus Licinius Crassus is all about his incredible wealth... and we do mean ''all''. ("These Romans think they're minted/But they ain't rich like me/You can't call yourself loaded/Till you can buy an army...")
* BoomerangComeback: Of the "thrower gets hit" variety, when an Egyptian hunter tries to show off his cat's ability to fetch.
* BoyBand: Parodied twice, complete with angsty spotlights and precision dance moves. The '4 (King) Georges' sing "Born 2 Rule" in the first series and 'The Few' (WWII RAF pilots) specifically send up Music/TakeThat in the fourth.
* BraidsOfBarbarism: Vercingetorix sports these.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Used with Rattus (the rat puppet who hosts the series) between segments. More specifically, the Stone Age ''Dragon's Den'' example above.
* BringMyBrownPants: After being intimidated by a Viking warlord online, Ethelred the Unready decides he might as well go clothes shopping as well... and posts an order for brown leggings.
** Henry VIII bursts in on the matchmaking consultation of the Earl of Arran and the infant MaryQueenOfScots and declares war on Scotland. One of the dating agency employees notes that someone needs changing and she doesn't think it's the baby.
* BritishStuffiness: Played for laughs in the '[=WWII=] Codebreakers' sketch, among others.
* BritishTeeth: Used as a contrast between American and British soldiers in a WWII sketch. Also implied by a few Horrible toothpaste recipes, including one whose main ingredient is ''sugar-paste''.
* BumblingSidekick: Several, notably over-sharing Pedro in 'Francisco Pizarro's Very Rough Guide to Mexico': "...and then we steal all their gold!"
* BullyAndWimpPairing: Again, several, notably Caveman Art Show hosts Ug and Grunt. The clearly more advanced Ug enjoys clubbing his poor Neanderthal co-host, frequently just for the hell of it. ("Now, the next thing we do... is hit Grunt!")
* BunnyEarsLawyer: The Stonewall Jackson sketch is a succinct demonstration of this trope in action; quirks displayed, disbelief from the [[NaiveNewcomer newbie]] and competency proved.
* BurnTheWitch: The point of an advert for 'Witchfinders Direct'. "Had something bad happen to you? Wasn't ''your'' fault? We'll find an old woman and blame her for it!"
* TheCaligula: Many, including the trope namer himself.
* CallBack: In his second-series debut, Charles II raps "Is today my birthday, I can't recall/Let's have a party anyway, because I love a masked ball!" Cut to the final episode of the third season, in which his hungover majesty opens a sketch with "Easy, Southerby, I had a rather major un-birthday party last night..."
** In one early Bob Hale Report, he uses "except NOT helicopters" in his MadLibsCatchPhrase (see entry below). It became one of the character's most-quoted lines, leading to this in a fourth-series Report involving Leonardo da Vinci: "Except obviously NOT helicopters. But then -- hm? Oh... apparently he did invent a helicopter. Knew that one'd come back to bite me someday."
* TheCameo: A truly epic one in ''We're History,'' the final song of the series. [[spoiler: Almost every single historical figure that's ever appeared on the show, from Alexander the Great to Baynton's unnamed awkward peasant, shows up by the last chorus.]]
* CampGay: The host of the 'Fashion Fix' skits, a broad parody of popular UK fashion guru Gok Wan. The fashionable advice-giving barbarians of ''Danke'' magazine may also be counted.
* CampingACrapper: Edmund II's Stupid Death - killed by a sword up the rear from a Viking hiding ''in his toilet''.
* CanisLatinicus: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] by Rattus in the course of explaining that the Romans made sandwiches before Earl Sandwich ever did: "...so we should probably call it a ''sandwichus''! Hahahaha! 'Cause that's - [[DontExplainTheJoke if you put an ''-us'' on the ends of words]], it makes it sound Roman...?"
* CaptainColorbeard: One episode had Captain Saltybeard giving a weather forecast as dictated by pirate superstitions.
* CarefulWithThatAxe: During the Vikings' metal power ballad celebrating their invasion of England, one of them actually uses an axe as a guitar. The idea is used again in the William Wallace song.
* CatchPhrase: "HI, I'M A SHOUTY MAN!"
** "Good day!"
** "Hot sausage!"
** "Amazing!.."
** Rattus: "That's 100% accu-rat" and "The rat knows all!" To a lesser extent, "Ooh I'm imagining it, I'm imagining it..." and "Ahhh, suit yerself!" after one of his puns falls flat (again).
** Bob Hale has several (and yes, all delivered in capslock): "THANK YOU SAM!" "BUT NOT FOR LONG!" "WRONG!" "OR SO THEY THOUGHT!"
** Death (at least in the first season): "You're ''dead'' funny!" Later, "You're through to the afterlife!"
** Cliff Whiteley: "Whallop!"
** In-universe, in the course of French prankster Robert of Artois trying to develop his own reality series: "Wooo-OOO! You've been ''ARTOIS'D!''" It doesn't exactly catch on.
** King Charles II: "Big time!"
** SigningOffCatchPhrase: "Back to you, Sam!"
*** "This is Mike Peabody live from___ for HHTV News, ''really'' wishing he was somewhere else...!"
* CatFight: Not shown, but very much talked about in the Roman funeral sketch:
-->'''1st Roman dude:''' My uncle Centillus had it written into his will that he wanted a fight to the death [over his grave] between two beautiful women!
-->'''2nd Roman dude:''' That's disgusting!
-->'''1st Roman dude:''' His funeral's in ten minutes.
-->'''2nd Roman dude:''' ...can I come?
* CatsAreMean: Rattus, naturally, isn't a fan. Especially not in one segue when a loud and angry meow is heard, chasing him offscreen.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Occasionally, when a character goes from being a one-off sketch to a more recurring or at least, notable figure. For instance, in Richard III's first appearance (in a sketch where his ghost comes to edit Shakespeare's ''Richard III'') he is quite a bit angrier and [[OopNorth more northern]] than his later, more {{Woobie}}-ish portrayal.
* ChristmasEpisode: ''Horrible Christmas'', featuring among other things the WWI Christmas Day truce, weird Victorian holiday cards and the decidedly uninspiring truth behind various favourite carols.
* ClaspYourHandsIfYouDeceive: Taken UpToEleven by Cesare Borgia with his "I am the mostest powerfullest evilest of all!"
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Bob Hale, as revealed when discussing anything that isn't actual history.
* CombatPragmatist: Hannibal. He fights ''Carthaginian'' dirty, y'all.
* ConstantlyCurious: What the show uses to explain the Socratic method.
-->'''Socrates:''' ''(singing)'' People found me irritating
-->Thanks to my interrogating
-->Like a toddler, was always asking ''why''...
* ConsultingMisterPuppet: The show's version of Caligula makes this a trademark. Usually using his own hand with a face drawn on, but he's also chatted happily with a wooden mallet that he named Whackus Bonkus and which doubled as a murder weapon. The worm attached to the dead man's armour he was wearing may also count [[{{Squick}} although he ended up eating it]].
** Death's relationship with his two (literal) skeleton sidekicks -- joined by a mummy in the fourth series -- has definite overtones of this; they're supposed to be an [[XFactor X-Factor-esque]] judging panel, but Death's apparently the only one that can hear the others' opinions (and berates them loudly when he disagrees). He also occasionally holds staring contests with them.
* ContinuityNod: In the four King Georges' song, George III claims that he was as 'batty as a bonkers kangaroo'. In a later song (where George IV goes solo), a dead George III introduces himself as a kangaroo. Not to mention George III's first word in the second song is the same as his last word in the first - 'banana'.
** This example is actually also an aversion -- the show usually maintains strict continuity in re: who performs what historical character, but in this case George III from the first song (Simon Farnaby) wasn't available for the second so a replacement was brought on. The same situation led to another aversion in which Mat Baynton took over from Farnaby as Caligula.
** In one sketch, Jim Howick plays a Georgian army recruit whose CO berates him as "You horrible little man!" Cut to a sketch a few episodes later featuring Howick as a ''Roman'' army recruit whose similarly cranky CO uses the same epithet.
* CoveredInGunge: All the time. The gunge is usually meant to be poo, and it's almost always Rickard covered in it. The rule seems to be "You write a sketch about a man covered in poo, you have to play the man covered in poo."
* {{Cowboy}}: A musical number describes what the life of a working cowboy was really like.
* CrazyPrepared: Parodied in the 'Race to the South Pole' sketch, in which the proudly under-equipped British explorers believe the Norwegian team to be sissies for bringing along such luxuries as sled dogs and warm clothing.
* CreatorCameo: Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories books, quite often turns up in sketches when a kindly elder gent (usually monk) is concerned, notably playing the Bishop in [[http://youtu.be/1__I_looDNA The Monks' Song]].
** Production assistant (in charge of fact-finding) Greg Jenner often appears in the background of sketches, usually as the mute-but-loyal flunky. Notably, he's William the Conqueror's knight-assistant in both the "Kings & Queens Song" and the 'Mud & Matilda' sketch.
** Series producer Caroline Norris appears in Death's waiting room during the jingle as a housewife with a sooty face, presumably blown up by her gas oven.
* CurbStompBattle: Often showcased in the video game segments. These include Vikings slaughtering English monks or conquistadores crushing the Aztecs using their superior weapons.
* TheDeadCanDance: Death dances to the Stupid Deaths opening jingle, and, in the Scary Special song, even gets a team of Thriller-esque backup-dancing corpses.
* DeadpanSnarker: Apparently, history was full of 'em. The talking rat has his moments too: "It's true! William the Conqueror really did explode at his own funeral... try finding ''that'' on the Bayeux Tapestry."
* DeathAsComedy: More or less constantly (although BloodyHilarious is largely averted). They even have an entire recurring sketch devoted specifically to the concept.
* DelusionsOfDoghood: George III is frequently portrayed as believing he is a kangaroo.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Oh yeah. "The sugary paste in all new Tudor Sugar Paste Toothpaste is made up of sugar in a paste!"
* DidYouDie: A variation on this happens when Charles II meets Thomas Blood, the (unexpectedly goodnatured) man who stole the Crown Jewels:
-->'''Charles II:''' You must come 'round to the palace for tea! You can regale us with your funny stories!
-->'''Blood:''' I've got a fantastic one about the time I was plotting to kill you!
-->'''Charles II:''' Did you succeed? No no no, don't tell me, I'll wait until you come round!
* DidntThinkThisThrough: The sheepish conclusion (twice) of the aforementioned Scots whose raid on the disease-weakened English was responsible for a) giving the raiding party the plague and b) thereby introducing plague to Scotland.
** Also, the main reason why the French lost the battle of Agincourt.
-->'''1st French soldier:''' Okay... heavy armour, too many knights, too little room, lots of arrows and lots of mud.
-->'''2nd French soldier:''' We probably should have thought this through a little better...
** A Saxon farmer who's just burnt all his crops to the ground to ward off ghosts [[OhCrap comes to the same conclusion]] when his wife asks him what exactly he thinks they're going to eat now.
** This is also the reaction of General Pausanius when he tries to hide from the Spartan army in a temple to Athena, only to be bricked in.
** The whole point of the 'Dodgy War Inventions' animated sketches.
** Amateur scientist Robert Cocking designed a parachute, carefully calculating how big it would need to be to support him... but forgot to factor in the weight of the parachute itself. Needless to say, he ended up in a 'Stupid Deaths' sketch.
* DisguisedInDrag: Used in a 'Putrid Pirates' sketch about tricks they used to entice ships close enough to attack (since a shipful of women wouldn't be perceived as a threat).
-->'''Random pirate:''' ''(on seeing his bearded captain in drag)'' Right, I'll just put my eye-patch over my good eye...
* DisproportionateRetribution: Cesare Borgia will kill a man who dares to, like, invade his personal space.
* DistaffCounterpart: Inverted and played with in the 'Joan of Arc' sketch, in which the skeptical heroine suggests God's angel must mean to call her (fictional) neighbor ''John'' of Arc. Who immediately comes running up in chain mail -- why, yes, he ''has'' always wanted to lead the French to glorious victory and restore the rightful king to the throne! There's no arguing with the Divine will... so John ends up taking over Joan's domestic chores instead.
** Also played straight with the "Shouty Georgian Woman" - a one-shot Distaff Counterpart to the Shouty Man.
* DontExplainTheJoke: Death has a ''problem'' -- sometimes the corpses even call him out on it. Rattus is frequently guilty of it too.
* DontFearTheReaper: Although you may justifiably worry a bit if your death throes weren't sufficiently entertaining, as you then -- as per one Stupid Deaths sketch -- have to get back into the 'long and boring' Boring Deaths line.
* DontTryThisAtHome: Sometimes appended to sketches, apparently more because the writers thought it'd be funny than out of any actual desire to avoid lawsuits. Still, yes: drilling holes in your family's skulls, ''definitely'' a bad idea.
** Used with a surprising amount of seriousness in one sketch. Being that that sketch involves the Viking Historical Paramedics determining the seriousness of a wound by ''tasting the injured person's blood,'' it's fair enough that this has something to the effect of "do not do this, EVER, WE ARE SERIOUS, NEVER" plastered underneath it.
* DrillSergeantNasty: The knight preparing Crusaders for the monsters they'll be likely to meet on their way to the Holy Land (in a loose takeoff of the classic Creator/MontyPython "Self-Defense Against Fresh Fruit" sketch).
* DumbMuscle: A gladiator in one sketch, who keeps misunderstanding his trainer's motivational metaphors ("You want me to ''lick'' him?") until they're reduced to "Go - out - there - and - kill - him!". Also, unsurprisingly, the cause of a few Stupid Deaths: notably strongman Milo of Croton, trapped by a tree he was trying to split, and the unnamed Greek boxer who beat on his rival's statue until it toppled over on him.
* EarTrumpet: Type 2. At one point during the Prom special, famously deaf LudwigVanBeethoven is provided a literal trumpet by WolfgangAmadeusMozart, in order to more comfortably argue over which of them was the Greatest Composer Who Ever Lived.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first series is trying harder to be children's edutainment (onscreen song lyrics etc), on a much lower budget; by the second they've made comedic potential the priority over demographics, and they've clearly got much more to spend on it, a trend that intensified with each series. Originally, as well, skits were based pretty much entirely on stories from the books, and hence have a similarly cartoonish feel, featuring lots of over-the-top grossout gags and violence. As the show has progressed -- and, arguably, gained in sophistication -- a larger percentage of ideas are from more conventional sources, and based around more subtle limitations of human nature.
** Also, compare the simple song-and-dance routines with cardboard props of Series One to the green-screen and dry-ice filled music videos that came later.
** Death's makeup and set dressing get a ''major'' upgrade between the first and second series -- though, strangely, they went from giving him an actual scythe to using obviously tinfoil-wrapped cardboard ones as decorations in series two.
* EatTheDog: Or the horse named Dobbin. Or the goose filled with the Holy Spirit. Or the goat filled with the Holy Spirit. Or an actual dog, if you're Aztec.
* EconomyCast: Entire armies, angry mobs etc. tend to be played by about five-six people.
* EducationalSong: Yes, they are technically supposed to be this. At least one an episode.
* {{Egopolis}}: The settlers in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p-bWA1FOqs "Colonisation Colonisation Colonisation"]] have to give landmarks names that will please King James. Thus James River, Jamestown, etc etc. One man has the audacity to name a fort after himself... fortunately, his name happens to be James too.
** As per both history and ThisIsMyNameOnForeign below, Alexander the Great established cities named Alexandria pretty much ''everywhere'' in his conquered territories.
* ElmuhFuddSyndwome: Caligula (and occasionally Nero), mirroring the Roman belief that a lisp was a sure sign of an aristocrat.
* [[EvenEvilHasStandards Even Dirty Rats Have Standards]]: The host, Rattus Rattus, is, naturally, [[ShapedLikeItself a sewer rat]] who cultivates his (flatulent) fleas as pets, happily admits to eating filth and often laughs at the more gross elements of the show. However, even ''he'' is repulsed at the concept of "Mellified Man".[[note]]A medicine from Medieval Arabia that was literally made from [[{{Squick}} mummies that had been soaking in honey for 100 years.]][[/note]]
-->'''Rattus:''' ...Y.U.C.K: yuck! And that's not a word I use often.
* EvenTheSubtitlerIsStumped: "The News in Tudor Criminal Slang" begins with a translator accurately translating the slang, gradually getting confused, and finally giving up.
** In the "Aztec Priests' Song", two of the priests rattle off the gods they worship, with the third explaining who they are, until the first two get completely tongue-tied over the multi-syllable names -- to which the third hastily improvises "Erm... Some other gods' great lives!"**
* EverybodyHatesMathematics: Death invokes this after failing to wrap his head around the Pythagorean Theorem.
* EverythingsBetterWithLlamas: Literally in an Incan Home Shopping Channel sketch... and played with shortly after in a sketch that basically just repeats the jingle "Stay calmer when you want to harm a llama, call a llama farmer!" over and over and ''over'' until someone offscreen finally yells "OH, SHUT UP!"
* EverythingsLouderWithBagpipes: Emperor Nero, of all people.
* EvilEyebrows: Ivan the Terrible has some [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPDAxB38hWc truly magnificent ones.]]
* EvilIsHammy: Used frequently, largely as a way to get across truly irredeemable nastiness -- Emperor Nero, Hitler, the Borgias etc. -- without completely freaking out the kiddies.
* EvilerThanThou: The theme of the "Evil Emperors' Song" (a pastiche of MichaelJackson's "Bad") featuring Caligula, Elagabalus, Commodus and Nero. Nero handily proves himself the most evil of them all.
* ExcessiveEvilEyeshadow: Ivan the Terrible, so much. Dick Turpin's infamous GuyLiner also qualifies.
* ExcrementStatement: Diogenes urinates on people he doesn't like, "...and let's just say when I'm ''really'' offended, I switch to Plan B!"
* TheExitIsThatWay: Used at the end of both the Columbus sketch and King Canute's Movie Pitch.
* ExpositoryThemeTune: Presumably to ensure viewers know exactly what they're getting into.
* {{Fainting}}: A staple, used to especial comic effect in the segments on the Black Death.
* FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit: Turns up as the foil in a (not-particularly-subtle) sketch about the disguises Harriet Tubman used to lead slaves to freedom.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Invoked by Greek ruler Draco in sentencing a hapless apple-snatcher: "Guards! Take him away and make him dead! Oh, and if you can think of anything worse than death, do that too, OK? OK."
* FieryRedhead: Boudicca. To a certain extent, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
* FloweryInsults: The show's version of Creator/WilliamShakespeare, just like the real one, is a master of these. He manages to literally ''knock out'' an opponent in a battle of words, using a barrage of insults collected from the real Shakespeare's works:
-->'''Shakespeare:''' How can I respond to a beslubbered, pebbling, churlish clotpole, a beef-witted gleeking bum-bailey, a gorbellied, mewling, hedge-born, onion-eyed, fustilarian cob-loaf! Flappy-eared, knotty-pated measle, you ruttish, reeking coxcomb, you bugger-mugger moldwarp! Pottle-deep, maggot-pie lewdster! Yeasty, tickle-brained, whey-faced, nut-hook skainsmate!
* FollowTheBouncingBall: Both played straight and parodied, as per the bouncing skulls in the Pachacuti song referenced above.
* FootballHooligans: Taken UpToEleven by the Tudor-era origins of the sport, in which the entire game was essentially two villages beating the living daylights out of each other... with an inflated pig's bladder somewhere on scene. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QekjU1j1RB8 sketch]], naturally, doesn't ''show'' the extent of the violence, but makes it clear that participants commonly ended up dead.
* ForeignQueasine: Another staple of the show, although "foreign" is usually more a matter of time than of geography. Pretty much the entire point of the Ready Steady Feast and Historical Masterchef bits, among others.
* ForgotToFeedTheMonster: Nigel the Historical Paramedic forgot to feed the spiders for the asthma cure ("Are you insane in ye brain? We can't feed her ''dead'' buttered spiders!") Earlier, a Viking navigator forgets to feed the navigation raven, putting a distinct crimp in plans to release it and follow it to land.
* ForTheEvulz: As per history, what tends to happen when Roman emperors get bored. Caligula randomly kills people, Elagabalus serves his dinner guests painted rocks and hands out dead dogs as lottery prizes, and Nero describes his persecution of Christians as "just a fun game I played, y'know..."
** Cesare Borgia as well. As per history, he gleefully explains in the 'Borgia Family Song' that he's ready to kill at [[DisproportionateRetribution the slightest provocation]] or for no reason at all.
* FreezeFrameBonus: Plenty in the "Historical Internet" sketches, among others. For example, Cleopatra getting an email from her sister and Henry VIII's mistress Bessie Blount being on his top 8 on "Yebo".
* FullyClothedNudity: The "naked man" in Elizabeth I's throne room is still wearing undergarments that cover him completely from the waist down. (And a woolly hat.)
* FundamentallyFunnyFruit: Bananas and pineapples are even funnier in the hands of seventeenth-century folk who've never seen them before. One man tries to eat a banana by biting into the side of it, unpeeled, and the Stuart-era Historical Masterchef contestant nearly panics at the suggestion that she serve a pineapple as food: "Are you out of your mind? You can't just ''eat pineapple!'' ...It's been on the lord of the manor's mantelpiece for weeks, he puts it there to show off how rich he is."
* TheFunInFuneral: Several sketches on ancient burial rites turn out to involve this, especially one in which it's revealed Romans sometimes had their favourite slaves -- male ''and'' female -- fight to the death over their graves, which evolved into the concept of gladiators.
* {{Gasshole}}: In the aforementioned 'Real Live Cowboys' number, one of them farts a solo because of all the beans they eat.
* {{Gesundheit}}: Augustus to Agrippa, the man never given credit for many accomplishments claimed by Augustus, or, apparently, for even having a name.
** Weirdly inverted in a sketch about the Persian army: "It doesn't even sound like a sneeze, it just sounds like you're saying 'Wazoo.'"
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Oh, lots -- that is, besides the gallons of ''actual'' crap (and urine, and blood, and vomit, and stomach bile...) routinely featured. Really, the whole show is a textbook example. See the sub-page: Radar.HorribleHistories.
* GildedCage: Passionately invoked by King John Balliol when his lawyer questions why the former Scottish King is so desperate to get out of the Tower of London despite the luxurious treatment he's getting. Balliol insists that his heart and soul belong in Scotland and he ''must'' get back home... until the lawyer offers to get him banished to France.
* GirlsWithMoustaches: A false beard finishes off Cleopatra's beauty regime, though it only appears for a moment in her song. Hatshepsut likes her beard so much she decides to keep it.
* GiverOfLameNames: The guy in Pilgrim Fathers who says "I'm from Newcastle, can we call this New Newcastle?"
* GladiatorGames: Multiple sketches about them, including a memorable one in which they run out of animals.
* GoodLuckGesture: In the "Queen for Nine Days" sketch, when sending a letter to Mary Tudor asking Mary to recognize her as Queen Lady Jane Grey does the classic 'Fingers crossed!' while holding them up.
* GratuitousDiscoSequence: The Aztec Priests song ("Ain't Stayin' Alive"), a bit.
* GratuitousFrench: In many sketches dealing with France, most noticably the Joan of Arc song.
* TheGrimReaper: He loves his job. He really does. Except during that one humongous backlog in afterlife applications caused by the 'Measly Middle Ages' (Crusades, floods, plague, Hundred Years' War, etc. etc...).
* HardHead: Turns up with surprising abandon in a supposed children's educational programme. Most notably in the 'Caveman Art Show' sketches, wherein Grunt takes multiple club bashings from his co-host without apparent injury -- of course, when he finally turns the tables, his co-host isn't so lucky.
* HereComesTheScience: Used in several mock-adverts. "Here's the sciency bit!"
* TheHighwayman: The dashing legend, and specifically the romanticisation of Dick Turpin, is [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]] in song... how well is debateable, given it's being performed by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KbXyALq7uA an eyeliner-wearing Baynton]], but still.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and played straight in one sketch about Richard III, in which his ghost gripes about how his Shakespearean portrayal is pure fiction. There's a continuation in a third series song, in which Richard III lists all the ways in which he's remembered and complains that he's a nice guy, really, and that Shakespeare made up the phrase "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse" out of whole cloth.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: At the end of the Greek Historical Wife Swap, the Athenian man suggests they vote on whose way of life is the best. The Spartan man votes Spartan. His wife votes Spartan. The Athenian man votes Athenian. ''His'' wife... doesn't get to vote, she's only a woman!
* HollywoodHistory: George IV gets a solo song complaining about how all anyone ever [[LampshadeHanging remembers about his reign is that he was really fat]]. Also falls into this in a few other areas.
* HomeGuard: Several sketches reference the British version in [=WWII=], notably one based on how they frequently contrived to injure themselves with their makeshift weapons.
* HookHand: In the pirate sketches. {{Lampshaded}} exasperatedly when one such character is offered a high-five: "Seriously, ''why'' would you do that?"
* HornyVikings: The show makes a point of not giving its Vikings horned helmets, and providing occasional reminders that they never really wore them (although Rattus does wear one from time to time). The trope is otherwise mostly played straight.
** ...And then completely subverted in a Series 5 [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqGJ1F63OhM song]], which portrays the Vikings as Simon-and-Garfunkel-esque flower children.
* HotScientist: The "Wonders of the Ancient Universe" host actually introduces himself as a "hot Egyptian scientist", "gorgeous Viking scientist" or "surprisingly handsome Anglo-Saxon scientist". Etc.
* HumanSacrifice: As the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqNHbrVsfVQ&feature=related "Aztec Priests' Song"]] makes clear (using, erm, [[ItMakesSenseInContext a Bee Gees pastiche]]), this was very much that empire's founding principle:
-->To win at war, make crops grow more, to cure our kids when ill,\\
The sun to shine, this song to rhyme, more victims we must kill!
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Occasionally invoked from Rattus' POV. According to him, rats think of Florence Nightingale as "The Lady with the ''Broom'', 'cos that's what she used to hit us with!"
* HumanShield: Not human, but same general principle: the Persian army uses [[EverythingsCuterWithKittens adorable little kitties]] to protect itself from the cat-worshipping Egyptians.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Not nearly as punny as the books overall, but used in some sketches, notably one involving Henry VIII's jester. Rattus sometimes indulges as well.
** Death also gets in on it during the "Stupid Deaths" sketches, and complains when his skeleton lackeys -- who, it should be noted again, are actual skeletons -- don't laugh.
* HypocriticalHumor:
** In the "Victorian Names" sketch, the substitute teacher expresses amazement at the bizarre names of the pupils... only to reveal that her name is "Miss Farting Clack".
** Similarly, the two confused peasants in the [[WhosOnFirst "Wat Tyler"]] sketch call "Wat" a silly name. However, it turns out that their names are "Who" and "When".
-->"Oh, whatever!" ''(offscreen)'' "Yes?"
** There's also the Newgate Prison guard who refuses to allow a pig in the prison on the grounds that they're "filthy animals" and then sticks his finger up his nose.
** The correspondent at the prom warns Charles II not to mention Victoria's late husband in her presence -- then, once she arrives, welcomes her to the Royal Albert Hall, causing her to rush off in tears.
** The "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UueAyDBCnig Tudor Sugar-Paste Toothpaste]]" commercial. Elizabeth I says, "As a famous monarch, I'm always being asked how I keep my teeth so bright, white and healthy," at which point she opens her mouth to reveal very yellowed teeth.
** When Mary Shelley mentions her friendship with Lord Byron, one of the Movie Executives tells her "I hate namedroppers, and so does my good friend Brad Pitt."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes I to P]]
* IAteWhat: One of Admiral Nelson's crew proposes a toast to the fallen admiral. He then does a SpitTake on being told that the body is pickling in the brandy they're drinking.
** Which is also a fairly common reaction from the host upon trying the historical 'delicacies' in the "Ready Steady Feast" sketches. Somehow, she never learns to ask what the ingredients are ''before'' trying them...
* ICallItVera: Caligula calls his hammer "Whackus Bonkus."
* IdenticalGrandson: Inevitable in a show with all the variously interrelated characters of history played by just a few actors, but particularly noticeable in the Stuart dynasty, with Baynton playing ''all'' the Jameses and Charleses yet shown (plus cousin Rupert).
* ImagineSpot: What if gladiator school was run like a modern junior high? Or if Henry VIII had access to the internet? Usually courtesy Rattus -- complete with 'imagine if...' and wavy dissolve cut ([[MediumAwareness "Ooh, I'm imaginin' it, I'm imaginin' it...!"]]).
* InherentlyFunnyWords: To show his insanity, George III is particularly fond of throwing them around at random, especially "kangaroo" and "[[FundamentallyFunnyFruit banana]]."
* InsufferableGenius: Creator/WilliamShakespeare achieves this in the prom special, just before finally being belted unconscious by the caveman he's been insulting. "Uggh! Talks too much!"
* InsultBackfire: From the Vlad the Impaler sketch:
--> '''Vlad:''' You know what the Ottomans will say when they see the bodies of 20,000 of my own people spiked on the border?\\
'''Interviewer:''' YoureInsane!\\
'''Vlad:''' Exactly!
* InsultToRocks: Rattus reveals that George IV's nickname was "Prince of Whales". Then hastily adds how unfair this was -- to the whales.
* InteractiveNarrator: Used occasionally, notably in the Hatshepsut sketch. Sometimes, as in "Love You to Death", the narrator appears to interact with the cameraman.
* InternalHomage: Bob Hale's "Fact, fact, fact, and amusing anachronism, except not the last one" MadLibsCatchPhrase is referenced, quite unexpectedly, in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9dhO0iCLww "Spartan Girl"]] mock-advertisement.
* TheInternetIsForPorn: Yes, it's a kids' show. No, they didn't have the Internet during most of history. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDVgUvkVLEg Yes, it still manages this trope.]]
* IResembleThatRemark: The motivation behind Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plot:
--> "Because you're a Catholic and I'm a Catholic, and the king hates Catholics! He seems to think we're always plotting something."
* {{Irony}}: Often, as a byproduct of the concept. On the Historical Masterchef sketches, for instance, the most sophisticated food is served by a caveman named Nug.
* IsThisThingStillOn: After discussing her marital prospects on a Skype equivalent with William Cecil, Elizabeth I announces that she is married to England. Cecil says goodbye and then mutters "She's finally lost it", prompting Elizabeth to respond "I'm still here, Cecil!".
** Also used at the end of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRWq5Nn5KDk HHTV Sport report]] on Emma Sharp, who ran one thousand miles in a thousand hours. "I mean, she must have cheated, there's no way a ''woman'' - ah, we're not still on air, are we, Pete?"
* ItIsPronouncedTropay: Cliff Whitely always has to remind people that his name is pronounced White-LEE rather than White-LIE. In fact, his own theme song doesn't get it right.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn:
** In one sketch, a monk is called a crackpot for believing that the Earth is round and the Moon causes tides.
** In another, a Georgian sports presenter claims football is just a fad, and that long after people have gotten over football they'll still be into pinching matches and greased goose grabbing.
** On scientific exploration into the causes of illness: "A microscope? What do you expect to find, tiny little creatures?!"
** Another sketch revolves around cavemen studying plans for an ambitious new invention: the 'city'. The idea guy is mocked for coming up with pointlessly 'fancy-pants' concepts like "streets" and "trade".
** In another, a Parliamentary aide is laughed at for citing research that suggests dumping raw sewage into the Thames ''might'' not be the best idea, and that the subsequent traces of sewage in the drinking water are probably the cause of the current cholera epidemic.
** A Stuart merchant who encourages his friends to try tea is laughed off at first. "Dead leaves in water? Like a puddle in Autumn?"
** One of the guests in the Georgian Come Dine With Me sketch believes this about the first Indian restaurant in Britain. The future George IV promptly asks if he's going to finish his curry.
* IWantMyMommy: Invoked by a young student warrior in the "Spartan High School Musical" song, and by a fully-grown Spartan warrior in a sketch involving preparation for [[ThreeHundred the battle of Thermopylae]]. Made even funnier when you realise that, as per what the show has already established, 'mommy' would most likely have just clocked them upside the ear and thrown them right back out into the battle.
** At the end of the "Celtic Boast Battle Rap" the Celt who was stabbed runs out of the tent yelling "MUM!"
** The general cry of "Mummy!" is used again in a Historical Hospital episode. Only this one makes total sense, considering that the speaker is from Ancient Egypt, is being chased out the door, and has just nearly run into a patient covered head to toe in bandages.
* IWasBeatenByAGirl: Used nearly word-for-word by a Roman soldier in the Boudicca song.
* TheJester: Based on real-life Tudor court clown Will Somers. He's the only one who can speak honestly to HenryVIII about his wife cheating on him.
* JustAStupidAccent: Most sketches set somewhere other than England use this. The usual exceptions to this rule are [[TheQueensLatin Ancient Rome]], Ancient Greece, the Aztecs and Incas.
* KavorkaMan: George IV.
* KentBrockmanNews: What inevitably happens when a sleek modern news crew (on the 'News at When' broadcast) tries to report on messy historical events. And that's not even ''mentioning'' poor Bob Hale, who was apparently originally meant to be the weatherman. "Our forecast is for lots of Vikings heading down from the north -- but look! The Saxons are fighting back! Wait, here come the Vikings again..."
* KickTheDog: Shows up a lot, historical class divisions being what they were among other things. A high point of sorts is reached during the Georgian Wife Swap sketch, in which wealthy Lord Posh, ''deeply'' moved by Mrs. Peasant's complaining over her lot at dinner, summons his personal orchestra to play sad music while she tells him all about it... then informs the whole Peasant family that he's razing their cottage... then summons the orchestra ''again'' when they get upset about it.
** Earlier in that particular skit, Lady Posh, annoyed that Mr and Mrs Peasant's starving little girl has possibly stolen an apple ''out of her ridiculously elaborate hairstyle,'' concludes with a sigh that she'll just have to have the child hanged.
** Similarly, the Victorian Wife Swap's ending has the Tombleby-Pumblechooks informing the Smikes that the latter will be moving out of the slum... only to be thrown in jail for stealing a lump of coal. To add insult to injury, the T-P's throw the lump away because it was touched by poor people.
* TheKnightsWhoSaySquee: Death is very excited to meet "''the'' Draco," and keeps a collection of autographs from some of history's most famous baddies.
* LargeHam: Several of the historical figures, of whom Henry VIII, Charles II and Caligula are unsurprisingly foremost. The SHOUTY MAN and Death have their moments as well. Really, watch any sketch with members of the core troupe in the background and you'll see some fairly shameless scene-stealing going on.
* LastSecondWordSwap: This exchange from the Starbucks -- er, ''Stuart-era'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbYHs3x0gCk coffeehouse sketch]]:
-->'''Customer:''' Well, tell the king that he's very smart, and in no way at all a silly old -
--> '''Frank:''' Don't push your luck.
--> '''Customer:''' ...farmer.
* LaughablyEvil: Where to even start. The entire show seems to be made of these guys.
* LiteralMetaphor: The core concept of "Literally", the Viking invasion anthem. "We're gonna set this sleepy town alight/Literally!"
** Also lampshaded by the Crusader who has just spent hours trying to find the Holy Land by following a goose "filled with the holy spirit": "I never thought I'd be part of a walking metaphor, but that was ''literally'' a wild goose chase."
* LuxuryPrisonSuite: Newgate, as long as you can afford it. King John Balliol of Scotland also gets one of these in the Tower of London, and ''hates'' it ("You wouldn't keep an animal like this! It's inhumane!") He cheers up noticeably, though, when his lawyer offers to get him banished to France instead.
* LyricalDissonance: "Work, Terrible Work", an upbeat, catchy song about the horrors of child labor in Victorian England. Based loosely on "Food, Glorious Food", itself an upbeat, catchy song about the horrors of workhouses in Victorian England, from the musical ''{{Theatre/Oliver}}''.
** As noted above, "Do the Pachacuti" is probably the most relentlessly cheerful, upbeat song about mutilating dead enemies you will ever hear.
* MadArtist: Their [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DCcPLNdUuI portrayal]] of medieval French troubadour Bertran de Born shows shades of this.
* MadLibsCatchPhrase: Bob Hale has a tendency to give lists in the form of "X, and Y, and Z, except ''not'' Y," where X and Z are historical facts and Y is a humorous anachronism. Usually helicopters. Or mutant sea monsters...
** Also, HHTV's war correspondent invariably signs off with "This is Mike Peabody, reporting for HHTV News live from [historical event], ''really'' wishing he were somewhere else...!"
** Anchorwoman Sam does her own version of this to introduce Bob's reports: "Hello, and welcome to the News at When. When? [Time period], when [description of important event]. To tell us more, here's Bob Hale, with the [Subject] Report."
* MakeupIsEvil: Oliver Cromwell certainly thinks so. ("Especially that eyeshadow with that top.")
* MarriedToTheJob: Elizabeth I.
* {{Mayincatec}}: Refreshingly averted. The Aztecs and the Incas are appropriately treated as two distinct cultures; the Mayans have yet to be featured at all.
* MeaningfulName: Oh yeah. Notables include Abigail Tight-Corset and Matilda Never-Wash. There are a couple of names that are meaningful but more likely to sail over kid's heads; one character, a Victorian drunk, is named Florence Guttersnipe.
* MediumAwareness: Frequent. At one point, Cliff Whiteley asks Mary Seacole if she'd like to appear on a "historical sketch show for the BBC". When she sceptically asks him "It any good?" he turns and [[BreakingTheFourthWall grins into the camera]]: "It ain't bad!"
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: A Saxon farmer giving his neighbor advice regarding his barren field reminds him that "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence - unless you're me, 'cause ''that'''s not!"
* MilkingTheGiantCow: Used as a dance move and referred to by name in a behind-the-scenes vid.
* MistakenForAliens: One [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtOCb2Pck_E Scary Story]] tells the tale of the Green Children of Woolpit, a mysterious, otherworldly-green pair of siblings from the far-off planet of.... ''Belgium.''
* MoodWhiplash: After sketches, Rattus will sometimes become a bit sombre when describing the reality behind the funny, especially in re: the First & Second World Wars. ("Well, what do you expect? [[MediumAwareness It is 'Horrible' Histories, after all."]]) They manage to pull it off with impressive tact and taste... to the point where the rat's finally moved to protest after an especially horrible scene: "Do you know, if I'm honest, I'd rather just do the funnies. Couldn't we get [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail a badger or something]] in for the sad bits?"
* MoralGuardians: A feature of the 'Slimy Stuarts' sketches especially, thanks to the Cavalier/Roundhead conflict. The show is characteristically unsubtle about which side it's on, as per a sketch in which Oliver Cromwell has his relatives arrested for simply showing up at his door to wish him Happy Christmas.
-->'''Charles II:''' ''(rapping)'' Old Ollie wasn't jolly, he was glum and he was proud
-->Would be miserable as sin, only ''sinning's not allowed!''
* MotorMouth: Bob Hale's Reports are essentially very extended, very detailed and ''very'' enthusiastic monologues.
* MrFanservice: None of the characters specifically -- but the combination of extremely attractive actors and frequent shirtlessness is much too obvious to be entirely coincidental.
* MummiesAtTheDinnerTable: One sketch features an unlucky couple enduring dinner at the Raleighs' after Sir Walter's been executed for treason... and thus having to make conversation with his preserved head, in order to avoid upsetting his wife.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: "If the pirate captain really wanted to kill you, [[MarkedToDie he'd send you...]] '''[[BlackSpot A LITTLE NOTE!]]'''"
* MyLittlePhony: One sketch in a fifth season episode included the Victorian My Little Pit Pony. This doll described what life was like for horses that worked in coal mines, including breathing coal dust and getting stuck in tunnels. They only came in one color: black.
* MyLocal: [[TheGrimReaper Death's]] (so he claims) is called "The King's Head Being Chopped Off".
* MysteryBox: The prizes in Elagabalus's Romo Lottery Millions. Could be a slave or a new house, could be a dead dog, or could be [[EverythingsWorseWithBees a swarm of angry bees]]...
* NamesakeGag: One sketch showed the Earl of Sandwich inventing the sandwich. This was then followed by the culinary creations of of his friends Baron Hotdog (silly) and Lord Turkey of Twizzler (very silly).
* NeverLiveItDown: {{In-universe}}. King George IV complains that he's most known for his obesity, rather than his achievements or interesting life.
* NeverNeedsSharpening: Paul Revere's All-American Toothpaste. You'll never need to use another toothpaste, because once the formula of sugar, butter, breadcrumbs, and gunpowder have done their trick, you won't have any teeth left! (Warning: [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment new gunpowder formula may contain gunpowder]])
** Also a stone age bed guaranteed never to sag... because it's made of stone.
* TheNicknamer: There's a sketch about Elizabeth I being this, including her most well-known nickname of "Pygmy" for one of her ministers.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The 'hot Egyptian' (or 'gorgeous Viking', or 'surprisingly handsome Anglo-Saxon') scientist host of the Wonders of the Universe skits is named Brian, looks like him and speaks like him but is totally ''not'' UK pop-science presenter Brian Cox. Totally.
** Also, the 'angry, shouty' chef host of "Roman Kitchen Nightmares" is so completely ''not'' [[Series/HellsKitchen Gordon Ramsey]].
** The Shouty Man totally doesn't sound almost identical to infomercial reader Barry Scott, never mind how one sketch about chimney sweeps happens to include a parody of the tagline from his Cilit Bang infomercial.
* NoIndoorVoice: Bob Hale and The Shouty Man. Other notable sketches include one with Caligula: "THINK YOU'RE BIGGER THAN ME?!".
** The show's version of Greg Wallace on the Historical Masterchef segments. After an Aztec chef tells him what a howler monkey is, this ensues:
--> '''Greg''': That must be the LOUDEST CREATURE ON EARTH!
--> '''Aztec''': [[DeadpanSnarker It's one of them]].
* NoKillLikeOverkill: Again, the SHOUTY MAN. Also, the conclusion to a song about Victorian inventions... did you know they invented dynamite during that era?
* NonverbalMiscommunication: In a segment on the sign language of Saxon monks, a monk's attempt to tell his brothers that the Vikings are attacking is first interpreted as "the gorillas are making clay pots" and then "the gorillas are ringing the bells".
* NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer: Signs pop up during sketches, to the effect that they're not making up certain historical details... or that they are. (The sign that they are usually says "Silly" or, at least once, "Very Very Silly".)
** The '[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMp_xGeQ2v0 Victorian Names]]' sketch includes a pop up after ''every single name'' just to reassure us that they're real, and given that they include names like "Never" and "Baboon" this is entirely justified.
* OhCrap: Several times per episode, although the most spectacular is probably Emperor Elagabalus' dinner guests upon finding a live lion in the powder room.
* OldTimeyBathingSuit: The sketch "Victorian Beach Watch" demonstrates some problems with these, namely that they are hard to swim in as well as hard to put on, leading to lifeguards not being able to save someone before he shows up and clocks them upside the ear.
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Real-life Aristotle was the original, and the show's version sings it thus: "I took all their theories higher / Discovered water, ether, earth, air, and fire / Mastered every science, I'm Mister Know-It-All!"
* OneSteveLimit: Deliberately -- not to say enthusiastically -- averted by writer Rickard, who [[https://twitter.com/#!/Lazbotron/status/139464859321503744 has admitted]] to shoehorning 'Geoff's into his sketches wherever possible. Most noticeable with the various Historical Paramedics, who regardless of era are invariably named Geoff and Nigel (Rickard's father's name).
** Every horse is named Dobbin (or in the Roman chariot racing sketch, 'Dobbinus').
* OnlySaneWoman: Anchorwoman Sam is appropriately perturbed by Bob Hale's weirdness... which doesn't stop her from taking advantage of it from time-to-time in the service of a good punchline, as in the Human (Evolution) Report.
* OnTheNext: "Historical Wife Swap" sketches generally end with one of these, as does 'My Big Fat (Medieval Scottish) Wedding'.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Played with to heighten the absurdity of historical cliches -- most notably during the 'Savage Stone Age' segments, in which the performers routinely switch from subliterate grunts to perfect English without missing a beat.
** Also used to great effect during a 'Putrid Pirates' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn5K89dE5c sketch]] featuring the notorious Captain Black Bart listing off his rules to the new recruits. He starts off in bog-standard 'Arrr, me mateys!' mode... right up until "Rule One: Fighting!":
-->'''Black Bart''' (abruptly switching to modern 'posh' accent): "''No fighting''. It's antisocial, and it's a good way to lose an eye, isn't it Mulligan?"
** During the Dick Turpin song, sung otherwise with an assumed accent, the words "that's lame" are in the actor's normal voice.
* OopNorth: The 'Home Guard Injuries' sketch is taken specifically from the accident reports of the Durham division. The attempts at the accent are almost as hilarious as the intended comedy.
* PaintTheTownRed: "We're gonna paint the whole town red / Literally! / With the blood of the dead / Literally!"
* ParentalBonus: Basically the entire thing, although see of course ParentService.
* ParentService: Go on, just try to find one clip on Website/YouTube with [[PrettyBoy Mathew Baynton]] in it that doesn't have comments gushing over how 'fit' (British for 'gorgeous') Mat is. Seriously, they're even on the one in which he plays an eighty-year-old Charles Darwin.
** Larry Rickard, one of the writers/performers, has also referred to costar [[SilverFox Ben Willbond]] as 'mum candy' in [[http://fuckyeahhorriblehistories.tumblr.com/post/2992581549/montague-foselpeck-witchfindersdirect-omg one of his tweets]] -- and of course, Rickard himself and Jim Howick get their share of this as well. It's all become something of a behind-the-scenes RunningGag.
** Which was in turn lampshaded during a 2011 pre-{{BAFTA}} ceremony interview with the cast. "What's the secret to your tremendous success?" Rickard (completely deadpan): "Mat's eyes." Rickard also referred the 'why does the show appeal to adults?' question to Willbond the mum candy.
* PervertedSniffing: Alexander the Great takes an ominously casual sniff of his general Hephaestion's hair, in the [[HoYay notorious]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvRWUCfAPs0 "Alexandria" sketch.]] According to Ben Willbond's [[https://twitter.com/221Bea/statuses/262459948225683456 Twitter]], this was a ThrowItIn by Willbond himself.
* PieInTheFace: A sketch on Victorian manners, in which almost everything a gentleman does whilst on a picnic results in him being slapped by his lady, ends with him oh-so-politely ascertaining that there's nothing ''at all'' improper about an apple pie... then shoving it into her face. "Just be grateful I forgot the cream!"
* PleaseShootTheMessenger: Pausanius's messenger is GenreSavvy enough to read the message and survive.
* PoirotSpeak: Sometimes. For example, the sketch at a German supply store during the Battle of Stalingrad -- the whole thing is in English, except for the words ''Herr'' and ''Auf Wiedersehn''.
* PokeThePoodle: When the Goths take over Rome, they plan to destroy it... only to decide against destroying the arenas, the aqueduct, the houses, and the art. They eventually content themselves with smashing a few jugs, before heading off to tidy up in the Roman baths.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Averting this is pretty much the entire point.
* PortmanteauCoupleName: Spoofed in Victoria & Albert's love ballad: "The press watched every smile and flirt/Called us Alboria, but I preferred Vicbert!"
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: For the Victorian ''DragonsDen'' segment, all of the new labour saving inventions being presented consist of a street child. Something of a running theme in the 'Vile Victorians' segments generally; see also the "Work, Terrible Work!" song, an advertisement for New! Victorian Child (ie. chimney sweeps) and a sketch in which among a kid's fifth birthday presents is a job in the factory alongside his dad -- who then implies that they thus won't have to worry about a ''sixth'' birthday present.
* PublicExecution: Several.
* PuffOfLogic: Merlin disappears upon being told that he's not real in the "It's Not True!" song.
* {{Pun}}: Not quite as bad as the books, but still manages to get off some ''serious'' groaners. "At night, the Vikings navigated by the stars. Take a right at Britney Spears, then a left at Angelina Jolie! Hahaha!"
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: In one of the Fashion Fix segments, a Celtic warrior reacts badly to his makeover and starts to work himself into a berserker frenzy. The Gok Wan {{Expy}} presenter cuts him off with [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "Not. On. My. Show.]] ''Sister''."
* PungeonMaster: Death quite fancies himself as one, as does Rattus. Also a favourite tactic of Tudor jester Will Somers, though in his case it's justified somewhat as he's frantically trying to keep Henry VIII happy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes Q to Z]]
* TheQueensLatin: Standard in the 'Rotten Romans' sketches.
* ARareSentence: In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07cCre_iwxw this sketch]]: "This is Dom Duckworth, in Stuart England, covered in the remains of an ancient Egyptian mummy - a sentence I thought I'd never hear myself say."
* ReadingsBlewUpTheScale: Bob Hale's [[ThingOMeter Thing-O-Meters]] frequently get broken by the sheer magnitude of whatever they're measuring, whether it be the number of heads cut off in the French Revolution or the drama level of World War II.
* RealityEnsues: One "Historical Masterchef" sketch focuses on a Stuart era head cook... who has no idea how to use a modern stove.
* RealJokeName: The point of the "Real Victorian Names" sketch (as for instance 'Minty Badger' and 'Princess Cheese').
* RealMenWearPink: Vercingetorix - "a man so deadly, he can wear pigtails and still look hard."
** Death uses a fluffy pink pen.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: Inherent in the premise.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: As per FloweryInsults above, Creator/WilliamShakespeare wins a fight with a tavern patron by giving him an ''epic'' version of this.
* ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated: As per history, a distinctly premature obituary is Alfred Nobel's inspiration for establishing his eponymous prizes (as it revealed that otherwise he would be remembered solely as the 'Merchant of Death', ie the inventor of dynamite). "And I will call them... Prizemite!"
* RhetoricalRequestBlunder: A sketch involves Henry II explaining to HHTV's ''Royalty Today'' correspondent how he accidentally murdered his friend Thomas Becket in one of history's most famous examples of this trope. Thing is, Henry's still being followed by the three "idiot knights" whose over-literal interpretation of "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!?" led to Becket's death. This becomes a new and immediate problem when, pressed for more details, Henry jokingly asks if no one will rid him of this troublesome interviewer...
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: As his song says, William Wallace's rebel career possibly began as this, depending on the veracity of stories of English forces harassing his family and killing his wife.
* RogerRabbitEffect: Happens a few times early in Series 1, as when the cartoon Roman from the era introductions walks in on a Shouty Man advertisement to inform a disgusted audience that Romans used urine for mouthwash.
* RoyalBrat: Emperor Elagabalus. Also George IV, in all but actual age.
* RoyallyScrewedUp: Lots of fun had with this one.
* RumpRoast: In one sketch a Victorian man's trousers have caught fire. The funny part isn't only that his bottom is on fire, it's that any of the words another Victorian man is trying to use to inform him of this, even "trousers" and "legs", are considered too rude, so all the man who's on fire is doing is reprimanding the other man for his language. At the end, he finally realizes what's happening and yells "My trousers! My legs! My BOTTOM!"
* RunningGag: The numerous [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer Not Making This Up Disclaimers]].
* SadistTeacher: A carryover from the books, and even less subtle. One sketch on Stone Age burial rituals fades out to Rattus and a single tiny pea on a plate: "Here's a brain I've prepared myself. As you can see, from a PE teacher! Hah!"
** When a fed-up Death decides to quit in one Stupid Deaths sketch, the queue of corpses asks what other job a 'miserable, sick-looking' Grim Reaper could possibly do. He suggests becoming a school headmaster. Everyone nods thoughtfully.
** Then there's this doozy from Elagabalus in the "Evil Emperors' Song":
-->''You'd think to children, I'd be cuter
-->No, I was their biggest executor
-->Used their guts to read the future
-->Says here I should get a job as a school tutor!''
** Also the 'Historical Headmasters', who threaten to beat/cane students for arriving at school after dawn, wearing shoes and being caught stealing (it should be clarified that it's not the student stealing that's the problem, it's his getting ''caught'').
* ScarpiaUltimatum: ''Yes'', still a children's show. King George I still manages to heavily imply this in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtYmq5qFVA Born 2 Rule]]:
-->I was a hunk, girls adored me, ladies all swooned before me
-->They would do ''anything'' for me, or I'd have their husbands killed...
* SceneryCensor: Used on two different naked Celtic warriors - one on Historical Fashion Fix and one in the "Celtic Boast Battle" song.
* ScoutOut: "The Hitler Youth. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzhgAtA_1Y0 It is just like ze Scouts... only EVIL!]]"
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: Cesare Borgia gleefully invokes this in "The Borgia Family Song": it's no problem being a violent, power-hungry sociopath when your dad's the Pope!
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: As per history, King Charles I tries this tactic on Parliament in the "English Civil War Song". Also as per history, it doesn't go over at all well.
** Also applied to Nero's, erm, "contributions" to the 67 AD Olympics:
--> Crashed my racing chariot, but still awarded gold\\
Hey, my Olympics, my rules, to argue would be bold!
** Pope Alexander VI -- ''aka'' Rodrigo Borgia -- uses this to get away with his decadence and corruption.
*** ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: He became Pope via bribery.
* SelfDeprecation: A few people on the Stupid Deaths sketches find their deaths just as funny as TheGrimReaper does.
* SerkisFolk: The video-game advertisement sketches ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2DBfEHodDY "Warrior"]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27UdLzEqUCY "Duat"]], et cetera) all star video-game animation versions of the main cast.
* ShirtlessScene: Quite a few for a [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar supposed kids' show]], to the point where it may overall be second only to Literature/{{Twilight}} for shirtless FanService. One sketch about the Greek Olympics, where most games were played naked, had a sports presenter cover up the Greek athlete with his clipboard, followed by a report on the Greek wrestling, featuring a Greek athlete in a loincloth.
** Often {{lampshaded}} by said shirtless men covering up their chests rather obviously. Most obviously of all in the aforementioned 'preparation for Thermopylae' sketch, in which the warrior complains outright that the shield he's been given "won't even cover my nipples!"
* ShoutOut: ''So many.'' The songs in particular, featuring references to artists such as TheBeeGees, MichaelJackson, TheMonkees, LadyGaga and Adam and the Ants. Recognisable personalities include [[Series/HellsKitchen Gordon Ramsay]] ("Hello, I'm an angry shouty Roman chef!") and UK newscaster Peter Snow (as sent up by Bob Hale). A lot of the sketches are more-or-less direct takeoffs of Creator/MontyPython (especially the ones set in Rome) or ''{{Blackadder}}'' (the Tudors). Entire segments are based off various types of reality shows, eg. Masterchef, Wife Swap, Come Dine With Me, etc.
** Bonus points in actually getting Dave Lamb to narrate the Come Dine With Me sketches, and to host the [[{{Spinoff}} game show]].
** Many of the songs include a direct ShoutOut to the original inspiration:
--> "Mary Seacole" (parody of {{Beyonce}}'s "Single Ladies"): "And I think it my [[Music/DestinysChild destiny, child]] / To be a war medic!"
-->"The Few (RAF Pilots)" (parody of [[Music/TakeThat Take That]]'s "Relight My Fire"): "Take ''that'', Hitler!"
-->"Ra Ra Cleopatra" (parody of LadyGaga): "That [[BadRomance bad romance]] led to an overcrowded throne..."
-->"Aztec Priests' Song" (parody of TheBeeGees): "Ain't [[SaturdayNightFever stayin' alive]], ain't stayin' alive!"
-->"Dick Turpin Highwayman" (parody of Adam Ant's "Stand and Deliver"): "No more ''stand and deliver''.."
-->"Australia" (parody of KylieMinogue's "I Should Be So Lucky"): "And that is when your ''{{Neighbours}}'' don't become good friends."
** Special points have to go to "Norman Family Tree" for managing to name drop no less than ''nine'' {{ABBA}} songs.
** The song "I'm a Knight" is a deliberate Creator/MontyPython pastiche (complete with uncanny Eric Idle lookalike ''aka'' show writer Steve Punt). See also the Historical Paramedics' retreating cry as the modern-day EMS approach: [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail "Run away! Run away!"]]
** In the "Greek Thinkers" song, which is [[http://goryghastlymeanandcruel.tumblr.com/post/39208855784/the-genius-that-is-horrible-histories-and-british already a pastiche]] of both TheMonkees and Music/TheBeatles film ''AHardDaysNight'', there's a quick shot that is the exact same as the opening of the famous Python "Upper Class Twit of the Year" race, with the philosophers taking the place of the Twits.
** The Dick Turpin song mentioned above is a direct homage to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B2a6l6wM2k&ob=av2e the Adam Ant song (and music video) "Stand and Deliver".]]
** While the song where Charles Darwin sings about the Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection is a homage to the DavidBowie song [[http://youtu.be/Pt2gHpqfZNA ''Changes'']]. Including a direct reference to "Ch-ch-changes".
*** There's also a nod to the drumming gorilla from the [[http://youtu.be/DHyF39Vs-i4 Cadbury's Dairy Milk ad]].
** Even before you see the distinctive font, the inspiration for the Olympic song is obvious: "''[[Film/{{Fame}} Flame!]]'' It's gonna burn fore-e-ever...!"
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2kyNbZc7oc "Charles II: King of Bling" rap]] is a G-rated but otherwise unapologetic takeoff of {{Eminem}}'s distinctive style. "My name is/My name is/My name is Charles the Second!"
** The [[http://youtu.be/yIAc6BiD3y0 "God Compare!"]] sketch is blatantly based on the equally... ''offbeat'' "Go Compare" adverts.
** The 'Prisoner of War' sketch is another fairly obvious parody, of the American show ''HogansHeroes''. The musical ''motif'', the characters of incompetent Commandant Klinzman (for Colonel Klink) and cheeky Squadron Leader Higgins (for Colonel Hogan), and the constant escape attempts are all very familiar.
** A cute one in the Series Four song special episode, which introduces Rattus' feisty, googly-eyed young nephew [[ScoobyDoo Scrappus]]. Naturally, by only the second intermission, Uncle Rattus has been driven to lock him in a cage 'for his own good'.
** Their portrayal of Pope Alexander VI is clearly a nod to [[Film/TheGodfather Vito Corleone]].
** ''[[{{Twilight}} Twit Light]]'' features dark, brooding Lord Byron turning on the lights to reveal he's ''not'' a vampire -- merely "an incredibly pretentious poet."
** The "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2WTcJolLf4 Georgian Crimefighting]] sketch is an obvious parody of ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', complete with the white text showing important details. It also includes a 'Dr. Mottson' and the Holmes character wearing a dark longcoat.
** The Vercingetorix vs. Caesar sketch uses gag noses, overhead shots of a cartoon diagram of Gaul with a standard shoved in it, and scenes of Caesar raving in his room about 'the impudent Gauls', which all together make it vaguely resemble an ''{{Asterix}}'' comic (which features a small Gallic village still holding out after Vercingetorix's defeat). A later sketch involving Roman legionaries being paid in salt makes the {{Asterix}} parallels even more obvious: [[CatchPhrase "Join the Roman Army, they said..."]]
** "The Borgia Family" is a pastiche of ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' theme song, complete with a scene of Lucrezia trimming roses that's nearly identical to a famous one of Morticia.
* SignatureLaugh: Rattus punctuates his stories with a distinctive "Hahahah!" and excited little paws.
** Elagabalus' delightfully obnoxious laugh.
* SoUnfunnyItsFunny: Used in the aforementioned 'stay calmer when you want to harm a llama' sketch.
* SpecialEffectFailure: InUniverse examples when Jasper Maskelyne -- and later, in the Renaissance Report, Bob Hale -- fail to dramatically disappear in a puff of smoke. Bob at least is sanguine about this. "Yep, didn't work in rehearsal, either."
** Occasionally happens simply because the show can't afford CGI elephants or snakes. They do a valiant job with two stagehands and some grey felt though.
* SpeciesSurname: Actually, Species Full Name. Rattus Rattus is also the scientific name for the black rat.
* {{Spinoff}}: ''Horrible Histories: Gory Games''.
* SpitTake: A frequent reaction.
* SpringtimeForHitler: After having his ship fouled up by [[ItMakesSenseInContext seasick cattle]], pirate Basil Hood tries to get himself arrested by the Royal Navy. However, the captain finds the ship so disgusting that he lets the pirates go.
* StealthPun: The Owain Glyndwr song is a pastiche of "Delilah" by TomJones -- however, when Owain mentions being given the title of Prince... of Wales, it segues into a pastiche of "Kiss", which was also performed by Jones, but originally by Prince.
* StockFootage: Used in the Monarchs song, including some footage from earlier HH episodes. The Neil Armstrong sketch also features footage from the Apollo landings.
** Used liberally throughout ''We're History,'' the final song of the series.
* StockYuck: Sprouts. Also, Turkey Twizzlers.
* StupidCrooks: How Guy Fawkes and his band of conspirators are portrayed.
* StylisticSuck: The awkward but earwormy jingles, acting and singing in many of the parodies -- notably "Stay Calmer When You Want a Harm a Llama" -- are 110% deliberate and meant to evoke cheap adverts and infomercials.
* SuddenlyShouting: Before the [=aBook=] came out, the only way to get your poetry to the masses was by writing it on long, ''awkward'' scrolls, OR BY SHOUTING REALLY LOUD!
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Francis Walsingham's new postal service ''definitely isn't'' having your mail read by spies. ("Wait -- by denying we're using spies, [[DiscussedTrope it's pretty clear that we ''are'' using spies]], isn't it...")
* TakeThat (possibly more TakeThatCritics): Simon Cowell... for some reason, the only person this show has it in for more than teachers. They're not too fond of [[Series/MasterChef Greg Wallace]], either.
** "A ''three-hour'' poem? Still, I suppose it's better than some of the acts on ''Series/BritainsGotTalent'', ha ha!"
* TalkingAnimal: Rattus Rattus (named for his species) -- a puppet {{Expy}} of a similar rat character from the books -- hosts the original series, explaining and clarifying the historical information presented in each sketch... in his own inimitable fashion (describing the cause of TheBlackDeath: "So that's Rats 1, Humans 0.") Despite the tiny swords and top hats, he appears to be quite content merely to snigger at the horrible humans from beneath their floorboards... at least until the behind-the-scenes vid that reveals he's moved to Hollywood to become a Star, or barring that become a historical consultant to Creator/StevenSpielberg.
* TangledFamilyTree: The poor "This is Your Reign" presenter gets very confused (and {{squick}}ed) by Cleopatra's family tree -- including her marrying [[BrotherSisterIncest two of her brothers]] [[ParentalIncest and her father]] -- when she appears on his show. Also comes up in the "Norman Family Tree" song (which covers the medieval battle for the English throne between Henry, Stephen and two would-be Empress Matildas), to the extent that at one point they resort to an onscreen diagram.
* TeensAreMonsters: Elagabalus was quite possibly the original... something the show plays up for all it's worth. "I'm so random! Huhuhuhuhuhuh!"
* TemptingFate: At one point in the "Court of Historical Law" sketch featuring Tsar Peter III's case against a rat (or possibly 'a mouse, with delusions of grandeur') that he found nibbling his toy soldiers:
-->'''Judge:''' Well, this certainly can't get any weirder...
-->'''Peter:''' ''(triumphantly produces a teeny little gallows)''
-->'''Judge:''' ...Yes it could. It could get weirder.
** Used again in the Borgias' song:
--> '''Cesare:''' I am the mostest powerfulest, evilest of all\\
As long as Dad's alive, there's not a single chance I'll fall!
--> '''Rodrigo:''' ''(Dies)''
--> '''Cesare:''' [[OhCrap Aw, no...]]
** And earlier, in a 'Fashion Fix' segment making over a Georgian peasant into a nobleman:
-->'''Host:''' Now, the next thing we need to do is get you out of those filthy clothes!
-->'''Peasant:''' ''(staring at himself wearing white makeup and rouge)'' Well, I certainly can't look any more ridiculous...
-->''(GilliganCut to peasant in full lordly costume, complete with brocaded satin, rhinestones and high heels)''
-->'''Peasant:'''... I stand corrected.
** In the "English Civil War" song:
-->'''King Charles I''': Your pathetic war will finish even before it's begun!
-->'''The Roundheads''': We've taken Charles prisoner, THE ROUNDHEADS HAVE WON!
-->'''King Charles I''': [[OhCrap Oh.]]
* ThickerThanWater: Namechecked in the Borgia Family song.
* ThingOMeter: Bob Hale is fond of them. The "French Revolution Report" has a Head-Cutting-Off-O-Meter and a [[BlackAdder Cunning-Plan]]-O-Meter, for example.
* ThisIsMyNameOnForeign: Alexander the Great decides to name one of his cities something other than Alexandria for once. He'll name this one Iskenderun. "Why Iskenderun?" "It's Turkish." "...is it Turkish for ''Alexandria''?" "'''[[CrowningMomentOfFunny YES]]'''."
* ThoseWackyNazis: The particular version of EvilIsHammy (see above) used in the WWII sketches. "Join the Hitler Youth: Just like the Scouts... only EVIL!"
-->'''Small boy:''' But I'm only 10...
-->'''Hitler:''' ''(gives Nazi salute)'' Talk to ze hand, 'cos ze face ain't listening.
** And from a later sketch, detailing how the German response to D-Day was delayed thanks to his guards' reluctance to disturb 'Mr. Grumpy Pants' at his nap:
--> '''SS Guard 1:''' But if we wake ze Fuhrer, he will... why, he will... get in ''such'' a paddy!
--> '''SS Guard 2:''' Ooh, such a paddy he will get in!
* ToiletHumour: Up to and including a couple sketches actually set in the Roman communal toilets.
* TooDumbToLive: Fittingly, a number of people in the Stupid Deaths sketches. Perhaps most notably Hannah Twynnoy, who, when a travelling circus came to her small Georgian village, thought it would be hilarious to ''repeatedly poke the tiger with a stick.''
* TotallyRadical: In-universe, as used by the title character in the ''"You've Been Artois'd!''" sketch. "I know these words, you see? I am 'street', yes?"
* {{Tsundere}}: Elizabeth I was one of the originals.
* TwinkleSmile: Elizabeth I's disgustingly rotten teeth twinkle yellow in the "Tudor Sugar-Paste Toothpaste" sketch.
* UndignifiedDeath: Showcasing these is the point of the Stupid Deaths skits.
* UnfortunateNames: According to "King of Bling," ''Hortense Mancini''~!
* {{Unishment}}: In one Historical Masterchef sketch, starving Saxon peasant Eidbert is arrested for trading his son for a chicken. Upon being told the jail has food, he's thrilled.
* UniversalAdaptorCast: The core troupe tend to fit into this, playing the same basic types across all historical eras.
* UnknownRival: Arguably, Mary Seacole to Florence Nightingale.
* UnusualEuphemism: As noted above, the Charles II rap covers his legendary libido thusly: "As King, I must admit I broke the wedding rules..."
** "Carthaginian" is used as an Unusual Euphemism during "Snakes on a Ship." Specifically, they're [[ShoutOut tired of these Carthaginian snakes.]]
* UnwantedRescue: Socrates explains it thus: "Look, no real philosopher fears death. If you rescue me, people will still find me ''really annoying''; I'll end up in prison again."
* UpperClassTwit: A staple, as exemplified by Blenkinsop & Maltravers in the 'Causes of [=WWI=]' sketch. Mike Peabody narrowly escapes lynching over being mistaken for one in the 'Fall of the Bastille' sketch.
* VillainSong: Several. Henry VIII's especially is deliberately styled in the traditional Disney manner: "I'm Henry the Eighth, I had six sorry wives/Some might say I ruined their lives..."
** Dick Turpin, Blackbeard, Cleopatra and Pachacuti also have their own villain songs, albeit much less traditional versions.
*** The Pachacuti song in particular, considering it's styled as an annoyingly catchy summer novelty song.
** The Borgia Family also gets its own villain song.
** The most {{Egregious}} villain song is probably the aforementioned 'Evil Emperors Song' by Caligula, Elagabalus, Commodus and Nero.
** There's also "Ain't Staying Alive", sung by the Aztec priests.
** Don't forget "Literally" by the Viking raiders. ''Vikingland'' [[InvertedTrope inverts this]] by explaining how the Vikings built nice villages, set up trade routes, and in general improved life in England and Northern Scotland.
** There's also an [[InvertedTrope inversion]] by legendary royal villain Richard III, who sings about how he was in reality ''not'' evil.
** 'Bloody' Mary Tudor also gets a musical chance to explain that she really was ''trying'' to be good (yes, back then that could easily include burning 'heretics' at the stake) and wasn't so much unsuccessful as pathetically naive and unfortunate.
* VomitDiscretionShot: Standard... and odd, considering they then have no problem showing the actual vomit afterwards.
* WarriorPoet: [[DiscussedTrope Invoked by,]] of all people, [[Creator/DrSeuss Erik the Viking]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrBnIoONit0 Who speaks only in rhyme]].
* WeMeetAgain: Spoofed relentlessly in the aforementioned WWII POW sketch. It starts with [[ThoseWackyNazis Commandant Klinsman]] admitting that he and Squadron Leader Higgins haven't actually met before, "I just like ze vay I sound vhen I say zat." Higgins then proceeds to disappear every time the commandant looks away, getting dragged back in each time:
-->'''Higgins:''' ''(cheerily)'' So, we meet again!
-->'''Klinsman:''' Don't say zat, ''I'' say zat!
* WhoWritesThisCrap: Combined with MediumAwareness:
-->'''Tudor Executioner''' ''(walking down a row of gibbets)'': Now, [[IncrediblyLamePun this is your seven o'clock noose... this is the nine o'clock noose... this is the noose at ten...]]
-->''(stops at a body in modern dress sprawled on a chopping block)''
-->...and this is the person that wrote that joke.
* WhosOnFirst: Deployed shamelessly in a sketch about rebel leader Wat Tyler. "So, what's our leader's name?" "Yes."
** Also in the Victorian names sketch.
--->'''Ms. Farting Clack''': Toilet and Baboon? Your parents must be evil.
--->'''Toilet''': No, that's Evil over there.
** And by the medieval Historical Paramedics:
--->'''Geoff:''' Nigel, treacle!
--->'''Nigel:''' ''(puts hand on his shoulder, tenderly)'' Yes, honey?
--->'''Geoff:''' No, no, ''get the treacle.''
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: Justified in the WWII POW sketch:
--> '''Commandant Klinsman:''' You gif me one good reason vhy I shouldn't just shoot you right here on ze spot.
--> '''Squadron Leader Higgins:''' Because the Geneva Convention means you can't shoot officers.
--> '''Klinsman:''' ''(disappointedly)'' Yes... forgot about zat.
* TheWonka: MotorMouth Bob Hale seems like your typical CloudCuckooLander if it wasn't for the fact that everything he says is true.
* {{Workaholic}}: Winston Churchill, much to the dismay of his secretary and a general.
* WorstAid: As administered by various past-time physicians in the recurring Historical Hospital sketch. As you might imagine, it's not uncommon for a patient to come in with a blister and be dead ten minutes later.
** Similarly, the Historical Paramedics sketches, although their patients rarely die -- presumably because the [=HPs=] are forced to flee the scene too quickly to avoid the present-day EMS.
** Subverted by the Arabian healer, who pleasantly surprises his apprehensive patients with his thoroughly reasonable remedies and ends up chasing away a far less knowledgeable Crusader doctor with his own bone saw.
** Also, unsurprisingly, comes up in Stupid Deaths from time to time.
* WouldHurtAChild: Emperor Elagabalus is the only one to openly boast of it, but several of the other historical figures the show mentions were guilty as well.
** Depending on your definition of 'hurt', the "Work, Terrible Work!" song could also be considered an excellent example.
* XRaySparks: When Bob Hale pulls the plug on the buzzer in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvNZ209UyLw Mary, Queen of Scots report.]]
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