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[[caption-width-right:320: The WNYX staff (left to right): Catherine, Matthew, Jimmy, Bill, Dave, Lisa, Joe, and Beth.]]

An octopus-black satire and WorkCom airing on Creator/{{NBC}} from 199599, set at a New York news-talk radio station.

Dave Foley (''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'') starred as news director and OnlySaneMan Dave Nelson, whose co-workers included [[SmallNameBigEgo pompous anchorman]] Bill [=McNeil=] (Creator/PhilHartman), [[GoGetterGirl neurotic overachieving]] producer Lisa Miller (Maura Tierney),
[[TheDitz inept roving reporter]] Matthew Brock (Creator/AndyDick), SassySecretary Beth (Vicki Lewis), EccentricMillionaire station-owner Jimmy James (Creator/StephenRoot), ConspiracyTheorist electrician and HomemadeInventions producer Joe Garelli (Creator/JoeRogan), and, for the first three seasons, co-anchor SassyBlackWoman Catherine Duke (Khandi Alexander, who left for a bigger role on ''Series/{{ER}}''; Tierney joined her after ''[=NewsRadio=]'' was axed). After Hartman's death, Creator/JonLovitz signed on for the final season as Bill's SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Max Louis.

Though critically acclaimed, ''[=NewsRadio=]'' never got the recognition or UsefulNotes/{{Ratings}} it deserved, in part because NBC apparently scheduled it by rolling dice each week.

!!This show provides examples of:

* AbortedArc: Nearly all forced on the writers by the network.
* ACappella: The episode where Dave was visited by the other three members of his A capella group.
* AccidentalMisnaming:
** Max Louis is initially incapable of learning anyone's name; he repeatedly calls Dave "Doug" and everybody else by a summary phrase (such as "brown-haired journalism woman" for Lisa). The first time he does call Dave Dave, he soon thinks he's made a mistake and apologetically uncorrects himself back to Doug.
** One of the plotlines for the episode "Inappropriate" involves Matthew worrying about getting fired and landing WNYX in trouble with the FCC after committing this, ''repeatedly'', during an on-air "Where are They Now" segment about Joey Buttafuoco [[labelnote:explanation]] [[MoralGuardians For obvious reasons]], it is not said completely aloud, but it's implied that Matthew mispronounced his name as "[[FreudianSlip Butt-a-fuck-o]]", instead of "Butt-a-foo-co"[[/labelnote]]. Dave informs him of this blunder in this exchange:
-->'''Beth:''' Matthew, I think you mispronounced that guy's name a few times.
-->'''Matthew:''' What? It's Joey [[CurseCutShort Buttaf--]]
-->'''Dave:''' No it isn't, Matthew. It's "Buttafuoco". "''Buttafuoco''".
-->'''Matthew:''' What did I say?
-->'''Dave:''' Well, Matthew, of all the possible mispronunciations of that name, you seem to have stumbled upon absolutely the worst one.
* AddictionDisplacement: Bill tries to take up chewing tobacco in order to quit smoking.
* AdoringThePests: The gang befriends a rat that is roaming the station. Dave doesn't know about this and sets traps for it, which the others set off to keep the rat safe.
* AlienAutopsy: Joe, Beth, and Matthew once act out a fake alien autopsy (with Matthew as the alien) in front of a 24-hour webcam for the radio station's website. Joe also claims to possess a tape of a genuine alien autopsy. In the Halloween episode, his costume is "alien autopsy surgeon".
* TheAllegedBoss:
** Station owner Jimmy James is a type 2. While he occasionally comes down for serious business, most of the time he just hangs around and shoots the breeze.
** Dave, the news director, is a type 3. Try as he might, he just can't seem to rein in his subordinates, even when they're actively flouting the rules or simply ignoring what they're supposed to be doing.
* AlphabetArchitecture: Jimmy James planned to construct two J-shaped towers in a bid to have his name on something that will live on after he's gone.
* AprilFoolsPlot: "The Song Remains the Same" has Jimmy pulling April Fools' pranks on the staff...''in February''.
* AscendedExtra: Creator/JonLovitz played two one-off characters before taking on a full time role as Max Louis. {{Lampshaded}} in that he eventually reveals that "Max Louis" isn't his real name and he takes on a new name/persona each time he changes jobs, suggesting that all three characters may be one and the same.
* AshFace: One time, Bill tries to escape down the stairwell when fire breaks out in the building, but the stairwell is full of smoke and he comes back covered in soot. Dave has a blackface quip ready:
-->'''Dave:''' [[Film/TheJazzSinger I think talking pictures are gonna ruin Hollywood!]]
* AsHimself:
** Bob Costas, James Caan, Jerry Series/{{Seinfeld}}, [[Series/TheAndyGriffithShow George "Goober" Lindsey]], Creator/AdamWest, [[Music/PublicEnemy Chuck D.]]
** Averted with Scott Adams. He does show up in an episode in which Matthew becomes obsessed with ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', but just as a surly guy in a crowd. The "Scott Adams" who Dave introduces to Matthew is an actor played by an actor.
* AttractiveBentGender: Dave, in the Halloween episode, laments that he looks better as a woman than a man. Lisa gets mad because she thinks he looks better in her dress than she does. This is also something of an ActorAllusion, as Dave frequently dressed in drag during his days with ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'', where general consensus was that he made the prettiest girl amongst all the troupe members.
* AuthorCatchPhrase:
** The producers found the word "gazizza" far funnier than the audience did.
** Variations on "That is the policy and it is enforced" are said by many different characters.
%%* BachelorAuction
* BadBadActing: Mr. James, when he knows he's being filmed by documentary crew.
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults: In "Bitch Session", Dave ducks under his desk for a moment to fix his phone cord. The others, seeing his office seemingly empty, decide to stage an impromptu gathering in his office to talk about him and make fun of him. This was based on a real incident among the writers.
* BatmanGambit: During the fifth season, Johnny Johnson manages to become CEO of Mr. James' company and doesn't intend to cede control back to him. Mr. James employs the BatmanGambit by convincing Johnny to let him take any ''one'' employee with him from the company. In the end, Mr. James announces his pick: Johnny, who he promptly fires.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor
* BenevolentBoss: Jimmy is a friendly and lovable guy who genuinely cares for his staff. He also has a zealous belief in business principles and corporate success. These aspects of his personality clash more than once.
* TheBigBoard: Only Matthew cares about it, however.
* BookEnds: To the entire series. The first episode features the OnlySaneMan Dave introduced to the ensemble of characters who will make his life miserable for the next five seasons; the last episode ends with all of those characters [[spoiler: (except Matthew)]] leaving after the station is sold.
* BullyingADragon: Defied in "Stupid Holiday Charity Talent Show" when the staff learns that Dave is a knife thrower. He expects to be made fun of for it like with all his other interests, but the staff is openly terrified of upsetting him.
* BurgerFool: Lisa in "Lucky Burger"
%%* CanadaEh
%%* ChristmasEpisode
* ClockDiscrepancy: Done in a episode when Jimmy decides to sell the station. He's supposed to contact the buyer at midnight to finalize the deal. The staff spends most of the night trying to convince him not to sell. Five minutes before midnight, Matthew reveals he had set the clock back ten minutes and it was actually five minutes after and Jimmy has missed his deadline. Of course since ThisIsReality, midnight was just a loose guideline and Jimmy can still go through with the deal.
-->'''Jimmy:''' I'm dealing with a corporation here, not magical fairies.
* ConverseWithTheUnconscious: Dave to Mr. James in "Sleeping"
* CrazyPrepared: Bill, in "Presence", always has his contract in an inside pocket of his suit, just in case.
-->'''Dave:''' Wait a minute. You carry around your contract with you?
-->'''Bill:''' At a time like this it doesn't seem so crazy, does it?
** During [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4ateyIFito "The Real Deal with Bill McNeil"]], Bill has a pre-recorded sound effects for any occasion, including "Hey, good question!", "Hey, don't mention it!" and "Well screw you too!", and keeps extras in his pocket in case the producer takes the loaded ones out.
** Also, [[http://youtu.be/C9SRViMujsw?t=11m4s in the episode "Security Door",]] Dave gets fed-up with everyone not following proper security door protocol. Calling a staff meeting, he has an easel and a huge pad of paper with drawings of what to do and not to do while he gives his speech, covering fires, thieving burglars, propping open the door, earthquakes (even explaining that they mainly happen in the 'ring of fire' in the Pacific rim) and... ''Matthew's'' questions. They fit EXACTLY what he is saying, and even predicts what the staff will ask him. To wit:
-->'''Dave:''' Any questions?
-->'''Matthew:''' Yeah, I have a very serious question.
-->'''Dave:''' Of course, Matthew. ''[Flips paper over, revealing a picture of a man riding a flying ''Unicorn''.]'' In the event that a ''wizard'' casts a spell on us...
* CrossReferencedTitles:
** Bored with coming up with titles for their episodes, the writers resorted to naming the last nine episodes of Season 2 after Music/LedZeppelin albums[[note]] Though they miss ''Led Zeppelin III'' [[/note]]. And then in Season 3, they randomly named one episode "Led Zeppelin Boxed Set". See also IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming.
** "Catherine Moves On" in Season Four and "Bill Moves On" in Season Five.
* CurseCutShort:
** From "The Trainer".
--->'''Matthew:''' Hey, what part of Africa are you from?
--->'''Catherine:''' Shut up.
--->'''Matthew:''' No, seriously! Say something in African.
--->'''Catherine:''' Shut the f- (''show cuts to the next scene'')
** Also happens in "Kids" when the teacher that Jimmy's dating insists he set a good example for a student to whom she's trying to teach good manners.
--->'''Teacher:''' Take your elbows off the table.
--->'''Jimmy:''' Oh. What the hell.
--->'''Teacher:''' And don't say "hell".
--->'''Jimmy:''' Damn.
--->'''Teacher:''' And don't say "damn".
--->'''Jimmy:''' All right, but what the f- (''show cuts to the next scene'')
* DistinctionWithoutADifference:
-->'''Dave''': Okay, listen up everyone. This door is to be kept closed at all times, all right? We have a security system for a good reason and I don't want people circumventing it.
-->'''Beth''': Dave, we're not circumventing it, we're just trying to get around it.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In "The Real Deal", Bill and Lisa try desperately to get Jerry Seinfeld to appear on their show so it won't get cancelled... which bears a suspicious resemblance to the real life situation that ''[=NewsRadio=]'' was in at the time.
* DownerEnding: Pretty much. [[spoiler: Dave refuses to join Lisa, Beth, Joe, Max, and Jimmy in New Hampshire, leaving Dave all alone in the WNYX studio... or so he thought. Turns out Matthew was hiding under his desk and surprised him. So while Dave isn't alone, he's stuck with Matthew as his assistant, a guy who can't do much of anything except play computer solitaire. The OhCrap look on Dave's face pretty much says it all.]] WordOfGod states that if the show had been renewed, [[spoiler:the entire cast would have been transplanted to the new station in New Hampshire, so if you accept that as canon, you could reason that Dave and Matthew did end up joining the others after all.]]
* DreamSequence: "Daydream."
* DrunkWithPower: Matthew's promotion.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Many traits of the characters and setting weren't established until Season Two, making the Season One episodes a strange viewing experience to those who came to the series later on.
** Jimmy was rather stern in manner during the first season. It wouldn't be until Season Two that his eccentric side would take over.
** Season One contains no mentions of Joe's homemade inventions or his belief in conspiracy theories.
** In the first season, the room behind Matthew's desk is a recording booth. In the Season Two premiere, it suddenly becomes the break room.
** Matthew is still a ditz, but hasn't yet become the slapstick magnet that he would become in Season Two. He also behaves normally toward Bill instead of the fawning admirer he is through most of the series. Heck, Matthew actually goes on the air and is a semi-competent reporter in season one. This is in contrast to how he is portrayed the rest of the series- a computer solitaire obsessed ManChild who can only be described by Mr. James by "The damage he does is pretty minimal in the long run..."
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Turns out Bill/William isn't Bill's first name; [[spoiler: it's Evelyn.]]
* ExactWords: In one Christmas episode, Matthew receives a set of recordings of the old ''Radio/FibberMcGeeAndMolly'' radio show. He is initially thrilled, but later gets pissed when he finds out that Jimmy gave everyone else cars. Then he finds out that Jimmy ''literally'' gave him ''Fibber [=McGee=] and Molly'', as in, he gave Matthew the rights to the series.
%%* EyeTake
* FemaleFelineMaleMutt: Beth insists (and Max agrees) that "all dogs are boys, all cats are girls." When Lisa complains that her dog Daisy is "obviously a girl", Max explains that that's just Daisy's sex, and they're talking about gender.
* {{Flanderization}}: Jimmy got goofier, Matthew got dumber, Bill got crazier, Dave got bitterer, Lisa got more neurotic, and Joe's fondness for inventions became ''[[Series/GilligansIsland Gilligan's Island]]''-esque in scope.
* FauxtasticVoyage: "Balloon"
* FengSchwing: Bill's apartment, but [[spoiler:later revealed to actually be his gigolo neighbor's place]]
* FiveFiveFive: Subverted, when Mr. James realizes he's been given a fake 555 number.
* FlatWhat: Jimmy's reaction when someone expresses their distaste for advertising, followed by a very emotional rant about the glories of advertising.
-->'''Jimmy James:''' Let me tell you something little miss. Advertising pays our bills, all right? Advertising pays your salary. Advertising is what made this country great!
-->'''Lisa:''' Well, ok, maybe I misspoke...
-->'''Jimmy James:''' What was the Constitution of the United States?
-->'''Lisa:''' A document...
-->'''Jimmy James:''' No! It is an advertisement! An advertisement for liberty! "When in the course of human events..." I'm telling ya, that's right up there with "Put a tiger in your tank," and "Where's the beef?"
* FlowersForAlgernonSyndrome: "[[LiteraryAllusionTitle Flowers for Matthew]]." A drug Joe made for him makes him so smart that he figures out it has no chemical effect and his increased intelligence is from the placebo effect. But now that he knows it's a placebo...
* {{Foil}}: Dave and Bill are an excellent example.
* FriendOrIdolDecision: Not quite a straight example, as Mr. James is already a billionaire, but when an excellent offer for the new station is made (it's at least ten times what Dave thought was a fair price), James is caught between how much he enjoys the station and its people, and his business principles.
* TheGadfly: Bill, particularly to Matthew. Jimmy also engages in it from time to time.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In one episode Joe (using a {{funny accent}}) managed to say shit by pronouncing it "chet."
** Also, in the episode "Physical Graffiti," Jimmy reveals Joe's PIN: 3825. On a phone keypad, that spells out "fuck."
** In one episode, Dave and Lisa are fighting after he called her a bitch:
--->'''Dave:''' I'm thinking of another word now.\\
'''Lisa:''' Does it start with a B?\\
'''Dave:''' No, I think we've [[CountryMatters moved a little past that]].
* GhostExtras: Prevalent in the first two seasons, before being largely reduced and eventually abandoned. The audio commentaries revealed creator Paul Simms's thoughts on the extras: While they ''did'' give the feeling of a bustling city radio station, he found the extras to be too distracting and wanted to focus solely on the main cast members.
* AGodAmI: Played for laughs. Mr. James bets Bill in a poker game with another radio station. Bill pulls out his contract and says there is no way he has the right to do that. Mr. James then tells him to check the extraordinary circumstances section, saying that the contract does not cover instances of sudden illness, acts of God, etc. Again, Bill protests. Mr. James finally tells him to read his Act of God clause.
-->'''Bill''' ''[Shocked]'': "Jimmy James shall be referred to here and in all future instances... as God."
* TheGreatWhodini: Dave was both the great Throwgalli and the Great Ventriloquodini.
* HalloweenEpisode: Wherein Bill falls in love with an elderly woman who [[spoiler:turns out to be a [[SuspensionOfDisbelief hot young woman in costume]]]].
* HeadsTailsEdge: Mr. James trying to pick the new news director.
* HeroicBSOD: Mr. James has one of these when he loses Bill in a poker game.
* HesJustHiding: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in-universe with Matthew's reaction to Bill's death. [[spoiler:Initially, at least. Later, Matthew admits that he knows Bill is truly dead, he's just using this trope so as not to alarm the others.]]
* HistoricalCharacterConfusion:
--> '''Bill:''' "Big Chief Custer? No, he scalped many palefaces that day."
* HistoricalInJoke: Mr. James' claim to be the informant Deep Throat, not to mention a three-episode arc in which James is accused of being notorious skyjacker D.B. Cooper, [[spoiler:who is ultimately revealed to be Adam West]].
* HomemadeInventions: Joe's forte. In fact it's implied that Joe doesn't use ANYTHING he didn't just make in his garage. This often times applies to the individual parts as well, although he has cobbled together several Frankenstein inventions.
* HumanPopsicle: "Space"
* HypnoFool: How Joe cures Mr. James of his fear of hippies.
* HypocriticalHumor: Bill complains about another broadcaster using the word "penis" on the air, saying that it's highly offensive and should not be allowed. But during his rant, he uses the word several times himself.
* IKnowKungFaux: Joe Garelli is an expert in "Joe-jitsu".
* ImAManICantHelpIt: What all of Beth's boyfriends told her. Not just that they are a slave to their sex drive, but that they get sick if they don't.
%%* IndulgentFantasySegue
* InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals: Creator/JonLovitz played three separate characters during the show - Fred (no last name given), Mike Johnson, and Max Louis. The first two were one-off extras, only present for a single episode each (the former was an air traffic controller who occasionally fakes insanity to get a free vacation in the local mental hospital, the latter a suicidal ex-employee of Jimmy James), while the latter served as Bill [=McNeal's=] replacement following Phil Hartman's death. {{Lampshaded}}, and possibly subverted, when Max reveals that "Max Louis" [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname isn't actually his real name.]] His true name is never revealed, but he explains that he takes on a new name and persona whenever he changes jobs, suggesting that all three characters might actually be the same in-universe person.
* InSpace: The episode "Space" is explictly introduced as "''[=NewsRadio=]'' IN SPACE!"
-->'''Bill:''' What if the show wasn't set in a news station... but a space station? And what if we didn't deliver the news but the... space news.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: In "Mistake", Dave in a magazine interview refers to Joe as "a so-called electrician who knows more about imaginary flying saucer technology than he does about a simple light switch". Joe is far less offended by the personal insult than by Dave referring to alien technology as "imaginary".
* IWantYouToMeetAnOldFriendOfMine: In "Stupid Holiday Charity Talent Show", Dave's knife-throwing nemesis Throwdini is played by Dave Foley's former ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'' colleague Kevin [=McDonald=]. And in "Goofy Ball", Bill's stalker is played by Phil Hartman's former ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' colleague Dennis Miller. Hartman was replaced by Creator/JonLovitz who was another former SNL acquaintace and who had interacted with Hartman playing guest spots on early shows of the series.
* JustOneMoreLevel: Dave retakes his [=SATs=] on a dare from Lisa, but unintentionally stays up all night before the exam playing an arcade game that was recently installed on the building (an old favourite, no less). When the results come in, he reveals he did the same thing when he originally took the tests.
* KickMePrank: Bill puts a "Spaz" sign on Matthew.
* KnifeThrowingAct: Dave Nelson was once a knifethrower named The Great Throwgalli.
* LampshadedDoubleEntendre: Oysters...
* LostHimInACardGame: Bill in "Presence"
* TheMainCharactersDoEverything: WNYX is supposed to be a busy New York City radio station, but the eight main characters seem to do every job. The electrician sits in on story meetings and sometimes goes on the air. The show originally had GhostExtras in the background to suggest that there were other employees, but eventually gave up on that.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and HandWaved in "Kids", when Dave calls Joe, Matthew, and Bill into his office to make them confess which one of them has been leaving porn magazines in the break room.
-->'''Dave:''' Look, guys, I'm asking you as friends. Please just tell me who it is.
-->'''Joe:''' Dave, did you ever stop to consider it might be one of the 15 or 20 other guys who work at this station?
-->'''Bill:''' Joe's right. How come every time there's a problem, you assume that it's one of us? What about them? What if it was... that guy whose name I don't know? Or the guy who sits by him? Or-
-->'''Dave:''' Because ''somebody'' gave those people the impression they're not allowed ''in'' the break room.
-->'''Bill:''' Well, Dave, I consider that room to be a private sanctuary where I can escape from all those horrid little people whose names I don't know!
** Something of a case of TruthInTelevision for people who have worked in radio. Most radio stations, especially those run by major conglomerates, tend to be understaffed. Assuming that the station ran a few syndicated programs (which, again, most radio stations would), the visible staff of WNYX would be an entirely reasonable, realistic workforce, missing only a few part-timers, one or two people on the production staff, and the sales people [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg who don't really count anyway]] (according to the first few minutes of the series, the "Business Offices" were across town, which is where sales people and the like would've been located anyway).
* MagicFeather: An interesting variation: When Matthew becomes smart enough to realize the drug he took was a placebo, the effect immediately wears off and he becomes a spaz again.
* MoonLandingHoax: The "Balloon" episode has Jimmy James pretending to fly a hot air balloon around the world, but he was filming the whole thing inside a TV studio. Lisa finds out and calls him out on it.
-->'''Jimmy:''' It's not like I was faking the Apollo Moon landings, now that was a big deal.
-->'''Lisa:''' What?
-->'''Jimmy:''' (Nervously) Nothing, I gotta go.
* NewJobEpisode: Matthew at the coffee shop. Also, when Matthew is revealed to be a rather talented dentist.
* NewYorkIsOnlyManhattan: Invoked when Bill gives an editorial.
-->'''Bill:''' Wake up, Manhattan! Wake up, Brooklyn! Wake up... the other three boroughs!
%%* NoseTapping
* NoThemeTune: The later seasons just had the title superimposed over the action.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Played with. Jimmy's already a billionaire, but lives by a zealous code of capitalism and business success that requires him to come out on top of any business transaction. He obsesses over losing twenty bucks in a came of three card monty just as much as losing millions in a corporate acquisition. He doesn't seem to care that much about money for its own sake, but is driven to succeed on principle.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Max Louis. Turns out "Max Louis" is just a pseudonym, since "Max" changes names and personas every time he takes a new job. Possibly meant to {{Lampshade}} two other characters that Creator/JonLovitz had played on the show up to Max's introduction.
* ParodyEpisode: "Sinking Ship"
* PersonalitySwap: When Matthew gets teased by Bill to the point of tears, it culminates with Matthew punching out Bill (after misinterpreting Dave's advice to stand up for himself). For the remainder of the episode, Matthew becomes a callous JerkAss while Bill becomes a shameless sycophant, effectively swapping their personalities. It ends when Bill accidentally hits Matthew in the face at the episode's conclusion.
* PopularSayingBut: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then throw it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you originally asked for.
* PreviouslyOn: Parodied in "Who's the Boss Part 2", where the only clip is Bill and Dave eating at the conference table.
* TheRashomon: "Catherine Moves On".
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: After Hartman was murdered, his character Bill was made to suffer a fatal heart attack.
* RecursiveTranslation: In "Super Karate Monkey Death Car", Jimmy has taken the fact that his autobiography, ''Jimmy James: Capitalist Lion Tamer'', is selling better in Japan than in the USA as a cue to have the Japanese edition translated back into English. The results have... lost something in translation, starting with the new title, ''[[IntentionalEngrishForFunny Jimmy James: Macho Business Donkey Wrestler]]''.
-->''[at a reading Jimmy is giving at a bookstore, where he is seeing the new edition of the book for the first time]''\\
'''Jimmy:''' ''[opens book to a bookmarked page and begins reading]'' "I had a small house of brokerage on Wall Street. Many days, no business comes to my hut. ''[confused]'' My... hut. But... Jimmy has fear? A thousand times no! I never doubted myself for a minute, for I knew that my... ''[even more confused]'' monkey strong bowels were... girded with strength, like the... loins of a dragon ribboned with fat and the opulence of buffalo... ''[turns page]'' dung."\\
''[later; the audience has dwindled to less than half its size, while Jimmy's face, tone of voice, and body language suggest he wants the ground to open up and swallow him]''\\
'''Jimmy:''' "Glorious sunset of my heart was fading. Soon, the... super karate monkey death car would... ''[Dave sighs]'' park in my space. ''[vainly attempts to sound energetic]'' But Jimmy has fancy plans!... And pants to match. ''[more audience members get up and leave]'' The monkey clown horrible karate... round and yummy, like a cute small baby chick, would... meet the donkey."
* ARiddleWrappedInAMysteryInsideAnEnigma: Jimmy James once referred to himself, saying "I am a cipher--a cipher, wrapped in an enigma, and smothered in secret sauce."
* RiskyBusinessDance: Jimmy James does it at Dave's parent's house, where he is hiding from the police.
* RunningGag: Whenever Joe's last name is mentioned, someone (usually Bill) looks perplexed and says "Your last name is Garrelli?"
** Joe's close personal relationship with the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski Unabomber]] (Before Ted Kacynski was caught in real life).
** Jimmy's attraction to Dave's mother could also be considered a running gag.
** Jimmy having a heated argument in Dave's office, wherein Dave asks if it's a tough business deal, to which Jimmy responds with something innocuous like 'No that was your mother, lovely lady,' or 'Nah, wrong number'.
** Beth's absurdly low salary.
** Joe's fondness for conspiracy theories.
** The phrase "Super Karate Monkey Death Car" comes up a few times in different contexts.
** Matthew getting hurt.
* SecretRelationship: Dave and Lisa
* SecretTestOfCharacter Jimmy is a fan of these. At one point, Lisa asks Jimmy if something is "one of your dumbass lessons".
** From the pilot:
-->'''Dave:''' I wanted to let you know that I understand now that what you put me through was a test.
-->'''Jimmy:''' Could be. Or it could be that I'm just making it all up as I go along.
-->'''Dave:''' Well, which is it?
-->'''Jimmy:''' You'll never know.
%%* SeriesFauxnale
* SetBehindTheScenes: of a 1990s UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity radio station.
* ShooOutTheNewGuy:
** Andrea, the meddling, overly perky efficiency expert played by Lauren Graham. When the character met with an extremely tepid reception from fans, she was quietly and hastily dropped from the show.
** Jimmy's nephew Walt also met with this fate. He was present for four episodes at the end of Season 4, and was intended to remain as a cast regular in Season 5, but he was never seen past the season's finale, "Sinking Ship".
* ShoutOut:
** ''Film/SoylentGreen'' in "Space". [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_and_Sheepdog Wolf and Sheepdog]] in "Twins".
** Dave gets addicted to the arcade game ''VideoGame/{{Defender}}'' in "Arcade" (there referred to as Stargate Defender, likely referring to the game's sequel, ''Stargate'').
** The last minute of "Daydream" parodies the infamous series ending to ''Series/StElsewhere'', as Jim peers into a snowglobe which contains the WNYX office.
* ShowWithinAShow: Multiple radio segments, including "The Real Deal with Bill [=McNeal=]" and "This Day in History"
* SitcomArchNemesis: Jimmy has off-screen rivalries with Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch, among others, and an onscreen rivalry with Johnny Johnson.
* SlapSlapKiss: Dave wryly mentions in one episode that rage is an aphrodisiac for Lisa.
** On "Led Zeppelin," Lisa tells Beth that she had to quit the debate team in high school because she was afraid she'd get pregnant.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: "Sinking Ship", "Space".
* SoundEffectBleep: In "Complaint Box", the eponymous complaint box outside Dave's office makes a buzzing noise whenever a complaint is filed, leading to the following exchange when he investigates a complaint that Lisa is getting preferential treatment because she is sleeping with him:
-->'''Lisa:''' Name one thing I get from you the rest of the staff doesn't.\\
'''Dave:''' Well, for starters, there's my- ''[buzz]''\\
'''Lisa:''' Besides that.
* SpyCam: Lisa has to win back Bill's contract in a poker game. Joe gives her a Boba Fett action figure for luck, but it actually has a camera that they use to spy on her to make sure she wins. In the end, Lisa throws the figure out the window, and we see Joe, who is seeing the video feed through glasses, screaming for his life.
* StandardOfficeSetting: It takes place in a New York news radio station. Manager Dave Nelson has his own office, while the others work in an open workroom with desks and a communal table for staff meetings. (One episode has anchorman Bill [=McNeill=] install a cubicle for himself, which doesn't last.) There's also a broadcast booth behind soundproof glass and a break room (which was a control room in the pilot).
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: ''Bitchcakes''
* SuckECheeses: Dave and Bill take Matthew to one in "The Secret of Management".
* SurroundedByIdiots: Dave being the sane man has this reaction a lot. Nicely summed up in "Lucky Burger":
-->"I want you to look around. Here we have Lisa, who today very nearly gave up a career in journalism for a life in the fast food industry. Over here we have Beth, who dresses like a barmaid from ''Film/BladeRunner''. Mr. James, a millionaire who has spent the entire day eating food he knows for a fact to be spoiled. Joe, who has earned upwards of eleven dollars working as an amateur surveillance expert - albeit half of that is Monopoly money." ''(Matthew peeks out from behind his desk)'' "And of course, Matthew, who appears to have taken the surveillance into his own hands."
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Max Louis for Bill [=McNeal=]. To be fair, Creator/JonLovitz agreed to join the cast because he had been very close with Creator/PhilHartman dating back into the early 80s and he wanted to pay tribute to his friend.
* TalentDouble: In "Mistake", that clearly isn't Dave Foley tap dancing (note that we don't see Dave's face).
* ThatsWhatSheSaid: In "Led Zeppelin" when the rest don't know Dave and Lisa have broken up:
-->'''Dave''': I know it's a crummy story but someone has to do a piece on the Williamsburg Bridge renovation.
-->'''Lisa''': Give it to me, Dave. I'll take it.
-->'''Joe''': That's not the first time Dave's heard Lisa say that.
-->'''Dave''': Give it a rest.
-->'''Bill''': I'll bet that's not the first time Lisa's heard Dave say that.
-->'''Lisa''': Look you really don't want to get into this.
-->'''Catherine''': I bet Dave's never heard that one before.
-->'''Dave''': Seriously, this is a very sensitive area.
-->'''Beth''': That's what she said.
-->'''Lisa''': Okay, I'm telling them.
-->'''Bill''': And I'll bet that's not... Actually that doesn't really work, does it?
%%* TotallyRadical: Parodied. "Gazizza, my dilznoofus!"
%%** "Seriously, everyone is totally bitchcakes today..."
* TrueCompanions: Sometimes less than obvious, sometimes almost brutally reinforced. Mr. James goes into a HeroicBSOD after he loses Bill in a poker game. Most notable in the episode where Mr. James gets an offer for the station. It's painfully obvious that James does not want to lose the station, or his friends, but it is against his principles to let his emotions guide his business. The end of the episode features the characters sitting around for hours trying to come up with excuses or alternative offers.
* TruncatedThemeTune: Many later episodes.
%%* ViewersAreMorons: Super Karate Monkey Death Car.
%%* VideoWills
* WackyMarriageProposal: Parodied in "Our 50th Episode", played straight in "Wino"
* WayPastTheExpirationDate: Bill buys stale sandwiches from an old sandwich vending machine, on purpose. He likes them because they remind him of his childhood.
* WelcomeEpisode: The pilot (Dave). Lovitz gets one too when he joins the cast.
* WhatIf: "Space" and "Sinking Ship"
* WhamEpisode: "Bill Moves On", describing Bill's death-by-heart-attack [[TheCharacterDiedWithHim following the real life death]] of actor Creator/PhilHartman.
* WhamShot: From that same episode, the final shot of Bill's empty chair, sitting in a darkened news room, is quite a gut punch.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Subverted; see WriterRevolt in the trivia section.
* WondrousLadiesRoom: Jimmy turns the men's room into a luxe club after the guys find out how nice the ladies room is. [[spoiler:Matthew ruins it by going to the bathroom.]]
* ZanyScheme: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Dave at one point: "Why is the solution to every problem around here some kind of covert plan?"
* ZeroGSpot: Dave's sexual fantasy is making love on the Space Shuttle...with a space prostitute. Although this may be true, he supposedly said this to make Lisa really mad, which is also one of his sexual fantasies.
* ZeroesAndOnes: Joe claims to know how to read binary code.