A series of 39 short British TV comedy films, mostly produced in the 1980s and early 1990s but running intermittently until 2011. A retrospective was produced in 2005. The programmes were originally shown on Channel 4 (the first aired on the channel's opening night), though one season aired on Creator/TheBBC and the most recent episode appeared on Gold.

Most episodes are standalone shorts, although some are connected, such as the two Famous Five parodies, and ''Bad News Tour'' / ''More Bad News''. Many episodes are pastiches of one or more standard genres, for example [[AwfulBritishSexComedy British sex comedies]] (''Dirty Movie''), spaghetti westerns (''A Fistful Of Travellers' Cheques'', about British holidaymakers in Spain) or post-apocalyptic dramas (''The Slags''). As such, a lot of the humour is of the "clever" variety rather than the laugh-out-loud funny variety. Other episodes, such as ''Five Go Mad In Dorset'' and ''Five Go Mad On Mescalin'' are more direct parodies. Yet others, such as ''Bad News Tour'' and ''Eddie Monsoon, A Life'' are mockumentaries. The episodes are usually well shot in a cinematic, artistic style that echoes that of the genre in question.

The core cast was a group of alternative comedians including Creator/RikMayall, Adrian Edmonson, Nigel Planer, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Peter Richardson, Robbie Coltrane, and Keith Allen. As a result, a lot of the episodes were heavily satirical in nature.

Led to the feature film ''Eat The Rich'' about, well, [[EatTheRich eating the rich]].

Many of the tropes used in pastiche episodes are exaggerated and parodied.

By the way, not related to the 1987 ''WesternAnimation/TheComicStrip'' animated series.
!!Includes examples of:

* AffectionateParody -- ''Detectives on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown'' is a mostly loving parody of the various cliches of 1970s detective shows (mainly the meandering plots interspersed with lots of pointless car chases, shooting and people shouting "Guv!" at each other). It's [[TakeThat less affectionate]] towards 1990s detective shows; the 1970s shows might be hokey, but they don't put people to sleep.
* AuthorAppeal -- several episodes written by Adrian Edmondson feature his long-term work partner Rik Mayall in various stages of makeup and femininity, a trope often seen in their other works.
* BiasSteamroller: ''Bad News Tour'' was well-reviewed in the UK press but one magazine in particular, ''Smash Hits'', compared it favourably to another Rock {{Mockumentary}} which had come out the same year, which the magazine criticised as an over-hyped Hollywood mess which relied on an "outdated idea of what bands like this are like". However, the reputation of ''Film/ThisIsSpinalTap'' has [[VindicatedByHistory survived]] the anti-Hollywood bias of the reviewer from ''Smash Hits''.
* BlackComedyRape -- Specifically, DoubleStandardRapeMaleOnMale.
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord -- In ''Space Virgins From The Planet Sex'' the kidnapped earthmen are informed that they will not be referred to as sex slaves, although until every woman aboard the ship is pregnant they will be forced to have sex with those who have yet to conceive.
* BlahBlahBlah -- ''Five Go Mad In Dorset''
* BolivianArmyEnding -- ''A Fistful of Travellers' Cheques''
* CardboardBoxes -- spoofed in ''The Bullshitters''
* CensorshipBySpelling -- In ''The Beat Generation'':
-->'''Girl''': I'm having my P-E-R-I-O-D.\\
'''Boy''': Pernod?
* ContrivedCoincidence / ShaggySearchTechnique
** A brilliant lampshading in ''Five Go Mad in Dorset'', when the Five see the villains must have vanished into a secret passage and are wondering how to open it. "I'll try tugging this branch three times!" says Julian, selecting a random branch and doing so, which of course works.
** In ''Detectives on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown'' the most effective detective turns out to be the Series/JasonKing expy, whose technique is to drive around at random sipping claret, yet always manages to end up in exactly the right place to solve the mystery.
* TheDanza
* DealWithTheDevil -- in ''Demonella'' the devil (Jennifer Saunders) offers a record producer success, power and fame in exchange for [[spoiler: his mother's recipe for chicken soup]].
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: ''The Beat Generation'', ''The Hunt for Tony Blair''
* DyingDream -- [[spoiler: ''Les Dogs'']]
* ExactEavesdropping -- ''Five Go Mad In Dorset''
* FakeOutFadeOut -- ''Consuela''
* FluffyTheTerrible -- Jayne and Mr Lovebucket in ''Mr Jolly Lives Next Door''
* FruitOfTheLoon -- "Meryl Streep" in ''The Strike''
* HistoricalRecreation -- ''Summer School'' is an early send-up of the genre.
* HotAsHell
* HoYay -- Bonehead and Foyle in ''The Bullshitters''
** Colin Grigson and Vim Fuego in ''Bad News Tour/More Bad News''
* [[IllTakeTwoBeersToo I'll Take Two Beers Too]] -- with steaks in ''A Fistful of Travellers' Checks''
* ImprobableAimingSkills -- Spoofed in ''Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown'', when the Seventies TV detective's aiming skills stop working because he's shooting at a Nineties TV detective who uses different conventions.
* LeftItIn -- In ''More Bad News'', Vim/Alan breaks the fourth wall and threatens to sue the producers if they leave in a particularly embarrassing item about him. Unfortunately for him he later gets beaten up and left in a coma, so the item stays in.
* MarsNeedsWomen -- The premise behind ''Space Virgins From The Planet Sex'' is that the last man on an alien world is too old to procreate but they have been lucky enough to find the voyager probe with its illustration of what naked human look like and it seems their men will suffice.
* MistakenMessage -- ''Mr Jolly Lives Next Door''
* {{Mockumentary}}
* MysteryMagnet -- Complained about in ''Five Go Mad in Dorset''
* PrettyBoy / {{Bishonen}} -- Adrian Edmondson, and consequently, many of his characters.
* ThisIsReality -- Lampshaded in ''Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown''
* ShirtlessScene -- ''The Bullshitters'', ''Five Go Mad In Dorset''
* SoundtrackDissonance
* TakeThat: Lots.
** The ''Five Go Mad...'' episodes aren't particularly kind to the works of Creator/EnidBlyton.
** ''Strike'' parodies Hollywood in general by featuring a writer's gritty KitchenSinkDrama about the 1984 Miner's Strike gradually become an over-the-top melodrama starring Al Pacino and Meryl Streep when Hollywood adapts it.
** While ''Detectives on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown'' is more of an AffectionateParody to the 1970s cop show it riffs on, it's less affectionate towards the 1990s cop shows it spoofs. In particular, the dour [[OopNorth Northern]] copper who's constantly {{Wangst}}ing about the fact that "there's no more ships on the Tyne" is an overt piss-take of ''Series/{{Spender}}'', a contemporary cop show which starred Jimmy Nail pretty much doing exactly the same thing, except played entirely seriously.
** ''Gregory: Diary of a Nutcase'' parodies ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'', as well as other psychological thrillers based around insane serial killers, by contrasting the flashy, glamourised Hollywood take on a serial killer with the squalid reality of a deeply disturbed man who genuinely needs help.
** ''The Hunt for Tony Blair'' is pretty [[AffectionateParody affectionate]] to the old 1950s-1960s style {{Film Noir}}s it parodies, but is not particularly affectionate towards Tony Blair himself.
* TheMovie -- ''The Supergrass'', ''Eat the Rich''
* TransformationTrauma
* VomitIndiscretionShot -- many episodes. Not a good programme for emetophobes.
* XMeetsY -- ''Detectives On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown'': Series/TheSweeney Teams up with Series/DepartmentS, Series/{{Spender}} and Series/TheProfessionals to find out who is killing TV Cops.