[[quoteright:306:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/30Rock.jpg]]

''30 Rock'' is an Creator/{{NBC}} WorkCom starring TinaFey (also a writer and executive producer for the series), Creator/AlecBaldwin and Tracy Morgan. The show was launched in 2006, and ended in January 2013 after seven seasons -- not because of the suits, but because the showrunner wanted it to and Baldwin decided he wanted to do something else for a change.[[note]]Although, because this wouldn't be early-2010s NBC without at least one dickish executive decision, the seventh season is abbreviated--which neither Fey nor Baldwin wanted.[[/note]] Not bad, and a fitting run for a show that made out like a bandit at three consecutive Emmy Award ceremonies.

The series follows the life of the [[HollywoodHomely supposedly homely]] HollywoodNerd Liz Lemon (TinaFey [[AuthorAvatar more-or-less playing herself]]), who is head writer of a fictional ShowWithinAShow based on ''SaturdayNightLive''. "30 Rock" [[ThePlace refers to a nickname of 30 Rockefeller Plaza]], the address of NBC's New York headquarters where ''[=SNL=]'' is filmed, [[CaptainObvious which is where the series takes place]].

* Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) - is a [[StraightMan Straight Woman]] who often crosses over into DeadpanSnarker territory and sometimes becomes an UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist. This is pretty understandable considering that her job [[OnlySaneEmployee mainly involves dealing with]]:
* Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) - This guy may have started off as a [[PointyHairedBoss Pointy Haired]] [[BaitAndSwitchTyrant Tyrant]] fond of ExecutiveMeddling, and while he may have become [[CharacterDevelopment more obviously human over time]], he's also become a true MagnificentBastard. Don't cross him. When dealing with family he is occasionally a Fighting Irish.
* Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) - Has a [[SmallNameBigEgo Big Name and an Even Bigger Ego]]. Tracy seems to [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} live in his own world]] of stabbing robots and vampire golfers. He has UltimateJobSecurity due to his celebrity status.
* Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) - Liz's best friend, Jenna is an actress/singer, living on the verge of {{White Dwarf Starlet}}dom, who [[AttentionWhore craves attention]]. She's [[TheBrainlessBeauty not too bright]], but she gets through life [[FemmeFatale using her "sexuality"]].
* Pete Hornberger (Scott Adsit) - Implied to be a JadedWashout with his mostly unseen family, at work he's the OnlySaneMan and/or TheGenericGuy.
* Kenneth Ellen Parcell (Jack [=McBrayer=]) - [[TheDitz Dim-witted]] [[ThePollyanna Pollyanna]] from the DeepSouth, he's quickly become a BreakoutCharacter and often acts as a MoralityPet for the other characters. He's also [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld older]] [[OlderThanTheyLook than he looks]].
* Cerie Xerox (Katrina Bowden) - Airheaded ValleyGirl type, Cerie is attractive, privileged, and frequently a bit insensitive, though that seems to be because she's too naÔve to notice. As a gag, she [[HiddenDepths occasionally shows flashes of intellect]] like having an argument with her fiance about the Greek Orthodox Church's stand on Cyprus, or knowing the exact speed of light. Her role has increased through the seasons, though her last name is known only through WordOfGod.
* Frank Rossitano (Judah Friedlander) - Tracy's biggest fan on the writing staff. A slovenly and prankish ManChild with a dose of [[KavorkaMan kavorka]] workin'. Probably as much of a [[TheSlacker slacker]] as you can be while holding down a steady job. Has a passing resemblance with [[WaynesWorld Garth Algar]].
* Josh Girard (Lonny Ross) - A guileless, idiotic actor/writer/impressionist for ''[=TGS=]'' in the earlier seasons, often thought to have been based on Jimmy Fallon. He spent most of the third season OutOfFocus, to the point of appearing in only four episodes out of 22, and was put on a LongBusTrip in the fourth.
* Jack "Danny" Baker (Cheyenne Jackson) - Josh's replacement, more or less, and a walking CanadaEh joke. Meets the same OutOfFocus fate as his predecessor.
* Jonathan (Maulik Pancholy) - Jack's [[SycophanticServant worshipful]] assistant. At times, he's hinted to have a gay crush on Jack. Between seasons five and six, his actor became a regular on ''{{Whitney}}'' and Jonathan [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome disappeared without explanation]]. He returned for the seventh season, explaining that he'd been taking care of his ill grandmother in Salinas.

A sizable portion of fanbase [[{{Shipping}} ships]] Jack/Liz, enough that the show has since sort of taken to simultaneously teasing/parodying the pairing. In any case, Tina Fey [[WordOfGod always said]] it would [[NoHuggingNoKissing never happen]].
----
!!This show provides examples of:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: Wesley on Liz. An odd example in that Wesley feels the fact he and Liz ''aren't'' attracted to each other makes them the perfect couple.
* AbortedArc: Liz's plan to adopt, a major Season 3 arc that included an adoption case worker visiting the studio in "Do-Over". The abandonment of this arc was lampshaded in season 5's "Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning".
-->'''Kenneth''': I couldn't put the memo in your mailbox because it's full of unread adoption materials.
-->'''Liz''': ''[uninterested]'' Yeah.
** The show picks this back up in Season 6, when Liz and Criss consider adoption but decide to conceive in the natural way. However, in the 7th season Liz fails to get pregnant, and in "Florida" they adopt two children.
* AbsoluteCleavage: Prominently on display in the "Live Show" episode courtesy of Jenna.
* AccidentalMarriage: Jack and Liz in "Mrs. Donaghy"
* AccidentalMisnaming: Cooter Burger--both "Cooter" and "Burger" are nicknames given him by then-President Bush. His real name is James Riley.
--> '''Cooter''' ''(played by Matthew Broderick)'': Cooter Burger? What am I, a ''cartoon dog?'' The president gave me that name! 'Cooter' because I look like a turtle and 'Burger' because he saw me eating a burger ''one time!'' It wasn't even a burger... ''it was a sandwich''.
* AcidRefluxNightmare: Liz dreams she gave birth to a BlandNameProduct version of the Cheetos mascot after overeating Cheesy Blasters in "Verna".
* ActingForTwo:
** In "Generalissimo" Alec Baldwin plays a Mexican soap opera star who looks just like Jack Donaghy. In "100" Jack hallucinates a couple of alternate universe Jack Donaghys.
** In "Governor Dunston" Tracy Morgan also plays the titular buffoonish politician.
** In "There's No 'I' in America" Scott Adsit plays Pete's confident, not-bald alter ego, Pete Horn.
** In "Aunt Phatso vs. Jack Donaghy" Baldwin is an actor who plays "Jack Donaghy" in Tracy's movie.
** Baldwin yet again plays a sandwich delivery guy who looks just like Jack, causing GE's Indian engineers to wonder if they're racist.
** John Lutz plays both the writer JD Lutz and his mother.
* ActorAllusion:
** Liz references ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' (which Tina Fey starred in) by calling Lake City, FL "Lay-keh-ceh-dee" (as Megamind did with Metro City.)
** Creator/AlecBaldwin
*** Jack, to a priest during confession: "I once declared 'I am God' during a deposition." (Creator/AaronSorkin's ''Malice''.)
*** In the Season Five episode "College" Jack mentions that [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_and_Friends#Storytellers his voice was used]] for, among other things, ''ThomasTheTankEngine''.
*** "Always be talking, Jack!" (''GlengarryGlenRoss'')
*** In the 100th episode, Jack explains to Tracy that his movie star reputation will be immediately destroyed if he starts doing television again.
*** In the West Coast broadcast of the LiveEpisode, someone suggests they cut out a sketch based on Capital One credit cards. Alec Baldwin turns to the camera and repeats his pitch from those same commercials.
*** Doubled with HypocriticalHumor: Jack mocks Jenna for wanting a producer's credit, claiming its a cheap handout to shut actors up. This just before "Producer: Alec Baldwin" ticks across the screen.
*** In "Jack-Tor", Jack makes a particularly sly allusion:
---->'''Jack''': [[SaturdayNightLive This is LIVE television. I've never done anything like that before]].
*** Jack stifles a laugh when Haley Hooper mentions her boyfriend going to NYU to study acting. NYU is Alec Baldwin's alma mater, where he studied acting.
*** In the finale Jack rattles off a list of liberal foes he's vanquished, including Alec Baldwin.
** Guest star Carrie Fisher: "[[StarWars Help me, Liz Lemon, you're my only hope!]]"
** Guest star Alan Alda parodies his own star-making role on ''Series/{{Mash}}'' by asking, "A man crying about a chicken and a baby? [[SelfDeprecation I thought this was a comedy show!]]"
** Guest star MatthewBroderick's episode featured him and Jack searching government files for the worst plan ever, which was guaranteed to offend everyone, flop, and get them both fired. The [[SpringtimeForHitler plot]] and Broderick's mannerisms are very similar to his role in ''Film/TheProducers''.
** After dating Creator/MattDamon for half a season, Liz tries to remember who played the white guy in ''{{Invictus}}''.
** Elizabeth Banks [[Series/{{Scrubs}} playing The Veronica in a love triangle, and unexpectedly getting pregnant, only to leave the show after giving birth?]]
** A minor, possibly unintentional example: Liz refers to her ex, Dennis, as "the Terminator with cheaper glasses". Dennis is played by Dean Winters, who played Charley Dixon on ''{{Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles}}''.
** In the first episode of season 4, Steve Buscemi, who plays a private investigator, claims that he is called "The Chameleon". In Monsters Inc., Steve Buscemi voices Randall the chameleon.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Liz has a habit of conceding that jabs against her are pretty good.
** After an exchange with Jack, whom Liz has called old and compared to Tony Randall, she raves at his comeback comparing her to [[Theatre/TheOddCouple Jack Klugman]]:
-->'''Liz''': Damn, I'm a writer, I'm messy, I'm a lovable curmudgeon; that is solid! Advantage Donaghy!
* AdamWesting: [[http://youtu.be/DOhKrL5DB1Y There is a certain element of this to Tracy Morgan's character]].
** Most of the celebrity cameos also qualify, including one by the actual Creator/AdamWest.
--> '''Creator/AdamWest''': I was promised a meal.
* AdoredByTheNetwork: ''Series/TheBiggestLoser'', in-universe.
* AlmostKiss: "Black Tie" and "Do-Over".
* AlterEgoActing: Both Jane Krakowski and Tracy Morgan's recent commercials for Florida orange juice and Wheat Thins (respectively) almost seem like they were intended to be played by Jenna & Tracy Jordan.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese version features a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eh4-6Z-i5MU much different opening with much different music]].
* AluminumChristmasTrees: The "Gay Bomb" was an actual Pentagon project that was abandoned in the mid-nineties.
** Much of Tracy's insane behavior is patterned on actual Hollywood celebrity behavior; for example, Tracy has his Oscar claimed by a Native American...just like MarlonBrando. Of course, unlike Brando (who was protesting the unfair treatment of Native Americans in film), Tracy simply had ''a mouth full of Pop-Tarts''.
* AmazingFreakingGrace: Sung by Jenna in "Don Geiss, America, and Hope," but cut off by the opening credits.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Carmen Chao in "°Quť Sorpresa!". The actress, Vanessa Minnillo, is an appropriate mix of Italian, Irish, and Filipina. Lampshaded by Jack:
--> '''Jack''': She's very sneaky, which isn't racist since we don't know what she is.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Lutz, whose deep-in-the-closet status is a RunningGag. He at one point, for example, dreamily commented on Chris Evan's body in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''.
** In "Idiots Are People Two!", {{lampshaded}} when Liz is pointing out co-workers who are gay to Tracy ("Her, when she's drunk") and stumbles on Lutz.
--->'''Liz:''' ... I genuinely don't know.
--->'''Tracy:''' That one's a puzzler.
*** In the series finale, Lutz refers to himself as a 51 year old [[spoiler: bisexual]] virgin. Which is a bit confusing since he was said to sleep with a character played by Cristin Millioti in the 5th season.
** A much less ambiguous example ([[IfItsYouItsOkay if only towards Jack specifically]]) is Jonathan, who combines this trope with [[HeroWorshipper hero worship]].
---->'''Jack''': Jonathan, I want you to [[ItMakesSenseInContext cut off my pinkie]].\\
'''Jonathan''': But I can't do that, sir! Then you wouldn't be perfect anymore!
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle. Tracy's public service message about the importance of Japanese sex dolls.
-->'''Tracy's Sex Doll:''' You know a lot of people look down on sex dolls. But as you saw tonight they save lives and bring families together. How am I such an expert? Iím Tracy Jordanís sex doll!
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Liz gives one to her boyfriend in "St. Patrick's Day", to which he responds, "I know."
-->'''Liz''': [[TheEmpireStrikesBack You Solo'd me!]]
* AntiAdvice: Jack prepares some videotapes for his expected child, in case of his demise. One piece of advice: "In the unlikely event that you encounter something that isn't covered here, find a woman named Elizabeth Lemon. Get her advice, and then do the opposite."
* TheAnticipator: This trope was played for laughs by being subverted in-universe but played straight to the viewer. These are the lines:
** Liz approaches Jack from behind.
-->'''Jack:''' You've been avoiding me, Lemon.
-->'''Liz:''' How do you do that? Without turning around?
-->'''Jack:''' To be perfectly honest, the first couple of people I did that to, were ''not'' you... but, here we are.
* AnythingThatMoves / {{Hermaphrodite}}: Jenna claims that her boyfriend Paul is a "gender-dysmorphic bigenitalian pansexualle".
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
--> '''Tracy''': ...If Wall Street crashes, it'll be the 1970's all over again. People'll get mean, the streets won't be safe, it'll be graffiti everywhere, and the movies'll only cost three dollars.\\
'''[[AsHimself Larry King]]''': Tracy Jordan, [[LampshadeHanging saying three serious things, and then a joke]].
* TheArtifact:
** The initial concept was to have ''TGS with Tracy Jordan'' sketches figure more prominently. This was abandoned early in the first season, and the ''TGS'' sketches became 2-second cutaway jokes about [[StylisticSuck how terrible they were]], leaving characters such as Josh (''especially'' Josh) little to do.
** As Jack was initially envisioned to be a recurring villainous executive (much like WillArnett's eventual role), Pete was to be a stark contrast as the voice of reason, as well as Liz Lemon's confidant and support system. Once Jack, now a main character, evolved into the same function, Pete's role was reduced to getting stuck in vending machines and complaining about his sex life.
*** Pete has become this GenreSavvy ChewToy.
* ArtifactTitle: An in-show version. The TV show Liz writes for was originally called ''The Girlie Show'', meant to be a sketch-comedy show "by women, for women." Jack ended that in the pilot episode, adding Tracy to the cast and giving him top billing in ''TGS With Tracy Jordan''. Liz still has the original "Girlie Show" logo hanging in her office.
** Even more so in "TGS Hates Women"
* ArtisticLicense: The portrayal of Stone Mountain, Georgia in the episode "Stone Mountain" and throughout the series. It is portrayed as a super white, super country rural town with people living in caves and "hill people". Stone Mountain is a real place, and is actually 69% black and mostly suburban, being about a half-hour's drive from Atlanta.
** They lampshade this a bit in an episode where Kenneth has a flashback to his high school reunion and he's the only non-African-American there.
* AscendedExtra: In Season 3, Danny the "robot" street performer can be seen during a date montage with Jack and Elisa (SalmaHayek). In season 4, Jack hires him as a regular cast member. Doubles as a BrickJoke.
** Sue was a nameless ("Girl Writer") non speaking extra for the first two years of the show.
* AscendedFanboy: Kenneth.
* AsideComment: In the final episode, Jenna begins to talk about another strange encounter with Creator/MickeyRourke, when she sighs and addresses the camera, "Oh, I can't do this anymore. I've never ''met'' Mickey Rourke." Liz glances to look at who Jenna was talking to and doesn't see anyone.
* AsideGlance: "I love America."
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: The German translated as ďYeahĒ in ďBlack Tie.Ē The rest of the conversation is correct, though.
* AttentionWhore: JENNA. Yeah, in all caps.
** Hazel has managed to out-Attention Whore Jenna. Basically, she's Jenna with absolutely no talent.
* AudienceMurmurs: Parodied more than once--in "Let's Stay Together" Rob Reiner quite clearly says "Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, peas-and-carrots rhubarb" at a Congressional hearing.
* AuthorTract: an obvious parody of ''Studio 60'' in an early episode, ending with Lemon confusing herself and saying that she needs to read more.
* BackAlleyDoctor: "Dr." Leo Spaceman. He has a medical degree from the [[WorthlessForeignDegree Ho Chi Minh City School of Medicine]], is only allowed to practice in seven states and is legally required to put quotation marks around his "doctor" title.
* BadBadActing: Jenna's improv skills. Liz As ''SlingBlade'' and OprahWinfrey:
--> '''Liz:''' I do love me them french-fried potaters!\\
'''Jenna:''' No you don't, Oprah!
** The first rule of improv, of course, being "no negation."
* BadassBoast: Jenna, of all people, gets one in when she finds out that Hazel had been trying to scare her off the show by staging dangerous accidents.
-->'''Jenna:''' Nice try, but you should have killed me when you had the chance.
* BaldOfAwesome: Pete
* BalladOfX: Season 6 episode "The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell"
** They even got Steve Earle to sing the titular song over the closing credits!
* BatmanGambit : When Tracy's contract expires Jack uses Kenneth as leverage to get Tracy back, telling Kenneth not to assist Mr. Jordan thus luring Tracy back to the show. However knowing Kenneth will likely fail at his task, once Kenneth ruins plan A, Jack then fires Kenneth causing Tracy to agree to a new deal in order to save Kenneth's job.
** Jack does it again in "Game Over." In order to convince the CEO of Kabletown to make him the new CEO, he sends a private investigator to spy on Kaylee, teams up with Devon, and gets Jenna to get a DNA sample from Kaylee to prove she isn't the CEO's granddaughter. However, it turns out that Kaylee saw right through it and tricked Jack into sending her grandfather Jenna's DNA results to humiliate Jack. Then Jack reveals that he knew that everyone would either fail or backstab him, and it was a massive ploy to send the CEO a birthday card while distracting Kaylee from meeting with her grandfather.
* BeYourself: The {{Aesop}} of Season 7 episode ''Stride of Pride''.
* TheBeard: In "Klaus and Greta" Jenna is a Beard for James Franco and his love of a body pillow.
** In an early episode, Liz says that "If you're a gay guy looking for a beard, I don't do that [[OhNoNotAgain anymore]]."
* BedsheetGhost: In "The Return of Avery Jessup" Jack throws Avery a party combining all the holidays she missed, including Halloween, and New York City Mayor Bloomberg wears this as his costume.
--> Tonight, I'm Mayor ''[[IncrediblyLamePun Boo]]''mberg!
* BeforeMyTime: As the youngest character on the show, a DumbBlonde, and one of the only people in the writers' room who isn't a pop-culture junkie by professional necessity, Cerie continuously fails to recognize references to anything from earlier than last month.
* BerserkButton: You would do well never to steal Liz Lemon's food, or...
--> '''Liz:''' I'll cut your face up so bad, you'll have a chin. '''YOU'LL ALL HAVE CHINS!!'''
** Earlier in that episode in a flashback:
---> '''Liz: WHERE'S MY MAC AND CHEESE?!!''' *Flips writer's table over*
** Also, Jenna at the mention of anyone upstaging her.
--->'''Liz:''' Jack is hiring a new cast member.\\
'''Jenna:''' IF IT IS A BLONDE WOMAN, I WILL KILL MYSELF!
*** On picket line:
---->'''Jenna:''' ''(picketing)'' Jenna is great! No new cast member!\\
'''Tracy:''' ''New cast member?!'' [[CallBack If it is a blonde woman, I will kill myself!]]
** Don't insult RonaldReagan in front of Jack.
--->'''Jack:''' ''(to Liz)'' I appreciate it. Lemon, but if you ever speak ill of Reagan again, I'll smack those teeth straight.
* BetterAsFriends: Jack and Avery realize this at the end of Season 6.
* BetterThanABareBulb: A classic example, as everything about television was lampshaded all the time.
* BettyAndVeronica: Jack between Nancy and Avery. A very hard choice considering it's JulianneMoore and Creator/ElizabethBanks.
** Lampshaded in the season 4 finale when Nancy confronts him about loving two people at once. "Haven't you ever read ''Archie''?"
** Ultimately subverted from the usual outcome when Jack ends up with one of them.
* BikiniBar: Tracy drags Liz to one in the pilot--and the finale.
* BiTheWay: Sue (although the instances of this that we have seen may all have been IfItsYouItsOkay and/or FunnyForeigner)
** Sue is also often shown to have a strong element of LovableSexManiac being the only female running to download more porn in anticipation of a lack of Internet access and offering to have sex with cannibals as her skill AfterTheEnd.
-->"What lovely nostrils!"
** She also revealed she is a virgin... with white men.
* BigApplesauce: actually filmed there, though.
* BigEater: Liz Lemon. And Jack Donaghy, a stress eater.
* BilingualBonus:
** "Well, I don't know what to say to that except that in Puerto Rico a McFlurry is called a SeŮor Flurry."
** "Sabor de Soledad" (the name of the brand of Mexican cheese puffs that Liz Lemon is often seen eating) means "Flavor of Loneliness".
-->"Ahora con mŠs semen de toro!"
** A Japanese man is shown singing a Japanese version of "I've Been Working on the Railroad" at a karaoke bar in season 4. What he sings and what the prompt says are ''totally'' different, but they are both about railroads. What Jenna is doing on the screen is completely unrelated (from cavorting with a man in a field to strangling an old Japanese man, and so on.)
** In Season 3 Episode 14 "The Funcooker" the original name for the new portable microwave was the Bite Nuker. Unfortunately, as Jack pointed out, in a combination of Dutch and French it means [[spoiler: "Dick Fucker"]].
* BillyNeedsAnOrgan: "Kidney Now!"
* BitingTheHandHumor: A lot of it at NBC and GE's expense. When GE sold a majority stake of NBC to Comcast in real life, the show had a plot arc about being sold to "[[http://www.kabletown.com/ Kabletown]]". [[RunningGag With a "K"]]. Cue disses to UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}}.
* BlackBestFriend: After being repeatedly antagonized by Tracy for only granting freedom to white male land-owners, an actor playing John Hancock on Boston's Freedom Trail tries to pass off an actor playing Crispus Attucks as this, though Tracy points out that Attucks died six years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
* BlackComedyRape: Only used twice, the first instance being when Sue, one of Liz's writers, comes back to Tracy's entourage after going out with a man named Doug looking disheveled and says, "I don't remember what happened, Doug put something in my drink and..." and is cut off by Tracy. The second time is when Liz and Carol do a simultaneous confession and Carol says, "Touched by a priest." And Liz isn't sure if she heard him right.
** Four times. Tracy accidentally roofies himself, gasping, "Uh oh, here comes the roofies!" He then tells the gang while he's on the ground, helpless, "You can do anything you want to me." They all walk away. Later in the episode, Liz roofies her neighbor, who thinks she's trying to rape him.
** More than that actually. Jenna tries to seduce Kenneth, so she'll become pregnant and receive lots of attention and because he's the only one who thinks she'll be a good mother. He doesn't want to because they're not married. And then in response to that, she says this:
---> '''Jenna''': It's not rape if neither party wants it.
* BlackLikeMe: Parodied: in one episode Jenna and Tracy get into an argument whether it's harder to be black or be a woman. Let's just say the end results were less than [[WhiteChicks convincing]].
-->'''Tracy''': Liz, it's Becky! ''Your college roommate!''\\
''(later)''\\
'''Jenna''': ''(singing)'' [[TheWiz Ease on down, ease on down the road!]]
* BlandNameProduct: In "St. Patrick's Day" the writers (and later Jack) play a fantasy resource management board game called ''[[SettlersofCatan Colonizers of Malar]]''.
* TheBlank: On a show within a show episode, we see a manager whose face appeared to be blurred for the camera, but we learn he has "Blurry Face Syndrome."
* BlindIdiotTranslation: Jack finds a Chinese knock-off of Liz's ''Dealbreaker'' book--''Dealbreaker: The Book For You Man No Good''. by Lesbian Yellow-Sour-Fruit.
* BlondeRepublicanSexKitten: Avery, Avery, Avery.
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: Elisa loses all handling of English idioms after being in Puerto Rico and speaking no English for a while.
* BookEnds: Tracy and Liz meet in the same strip club in the first and last episodes.
* BrainBleach: Kenneth inspires a lot of this. In the episode "Floyd", Jenna and Tracy start having sex dreams about him.
-->'''Tracy:''' I had a dream that Kenneth and I got intimate in a portable Jacuzzi. It was crazy, glistening black and white skin. It looked like a close up of a killer whale being born.
** Later in the episode, Pete dreamed of Kenneth stripping into silver mylar underwear with the NBC logo emblazoned on his crotch and backside. Liz entered, and rubbed and spanked Kenneth while saying, in Jack Donaghy's voice, "Let's do this!" The screaming did not abate.
** Lutz is a source of much Brain Bleaching. For example, Lutz playing Kinect without a shirt on is a serious threat. Then Liz discovers Lutz is wearing a ''thong''.
--->'''Liz:''' UGH. LUTZ '''''WHY'''''?!
--->'''Lutz:''' I don't want tush lines.
* BrainlessBeauty: Drew, Liz's boyfriend for a few episodes. Played by Creator/JonHamm, one of the most strikingly handsome men on the planet, he's so hot that it takes Liz several episodes to realize that the poor sweet bastard is one of the dumbest human beings alive.
* BreakoutCharacter / EnsembleDarkHorse: Kenneth, big time.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick:
-->'''Kenneth:''' Even when things ''seem'' bad, there's someone else who's having a worse day. Like being stung by a bee, or getting a splinter, or being chained to a wall in someone's sex dungeon.
* BrickJoke: Liz's "sex nightmares" (about her grandma and Tom Jones respectively) each get Freudian explanations in later episodes.
** In an early episode Jack reads Kennethís file to see his potential as a threat, he seems deeply off-set by a number similarities between them but also randomly that Kennethís middle name is "Ellen". Four seasons latter Kenneth receives Jack's paycheck by accident and gleefully exclaims that Jack "Francis" Donaghy has a girl's middle name "Just like me!"
** Jack (in the ''third episode''): "In five years we'll all either be working for [Kenneth]... or be dead by his hand." Off by a few years, but...
** After Jack put on the "Kidney Now" telethon at the end of Season 3, the audience did not learn whether or not it was successful until the tenth episode of Season 5, in which Milton reappears and offhandedly mentions that he did get a kidney...from Elvis Costello.
* BriefAccentImitation: Liz does this occasionally. It impresses no one.
-->'''Liz:''' (''upset'') Call my assistant to set up a meeting.
-->'''Jack:''' And by "your assistant," you mean ''you'', with a British accent.
-->'''Liz:''' ({{beat}}) I have a new assistant. She's a cool, college student from...(''attempting a South African accent'') South Africa--yeah, she'll be British.
* BunnyEarsLawyer:
** Dr. Leo Spaceman.
*** As of the end of the series, [[spoiler:Bunny Ears Surgeon General of the United States]].
** Jenna's contract mandates that she be made a producer should ''TGS'' reach a fifth season; she turns out to be excellent at it and has the show's best interest at heart to the point of realizing that [[spoiler:under the current budget she's superfluous, and asks Pete to fire her]].
*** It doubles as a PetTheDog moment, as Jenna could (and for efficiency's sake, ''should'') have fired Pete, who was enjoying the fact he didn't have to do ''anything'' while Jenna was producing. Instead, she "fired" herself.
** Tracy. Everyone acknowledges that he's absolutely crazy, but he gets great ratings and arguably saved the show.
** Weirdly Tracy and Leo are both kept on simply for Their value. Leo is repeatedly shown as very incompotent (Not knowing where the heart is located) and few other people can tolerate Tracy for extended periods.
* TheBusCameBack:
** MatthewBroderick returns as Cooter Burger in "Governor Dunston" after a five-season absence.
** In a meta-example, after three seasons, Rachel Dratch resurfaces in "Live Show," playing a cleaning lady. She came back again in "100" in her former role of ''TGS'' animal wrangler.
** Josh comes back in "Audition Day", trying to get his old job. He's been doing gay porn.
** Jack's old girlfriends Nancy and Elisa pop back up in penultimate episode "Hogcock!" after long absences.
* ButtMonkey: Lutz and Jonathan.
** ''Everyone Shut up! Shut up, Lutz!''
* BuxomIsBetter: Jack's girlfriend Elisa, played by the patron saint of BuxomIsBetter, SalmaHayek. From "St. Valentine's Day":
--->'''Liz:''' If I had knockers like that, I'd be thanking God too.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Inverted: Tracy Jordan's freakout on the 405 (in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles) was actually filmed in New Jersey.
** Neerborne, Pennsylvania is really the area around a LIRR station in Queens, NY.
* CallBack: In a season one episode Liz goes to Cleveland, which seems like a paradise to her after living in New York. She calls it "The Cleve". Next season she turns in a neighbor she suspects to be a terrorist, only to learn from an audition video that he is merely trying out for ''Series/TheAmazingRace''. When listing the places he has gone, he mentions "The Cleve". Cue raised eyebrow from Liz.
** In the third episode of season one, long before any of Liz' love interests are introduced on-screen, Pete goes through a list of her former boyfriends. Two of the three later show up, including Conan O'Brien, and Dennis features in a few multi-episode arcs. The latter is notable for originally being "the guy who plays X-Box under the handle SlutBanger", which is completely appropriate for his character.
** In the second episode of Season 5, Grizz can be seen reading ''Urban Fervor'', which was mentioned as the sequel to ''The Rural Juror'' waaaay back in Season 1.
*** Colleen Donaghy was also reading ''Urban Fervor'' in Season 3's ''Christmas Special''.
** Jack's ability to have two conversations by giving responses that work for both pops back up in Season 6, when he gets mugged while on the phone with Liz and she misinterprets his responses to the mugger as responses to her talking about "Real Housewives of New York".
** Jack's seduction methods of styling his woman's hair and making her a Western omelette came up with Cece in Season 2 and then with Avery in Season 4.
* CallingYourAttacks: "Blacklight Attack!"
* CalvinBall: Kenneth's insane Secret Santa variant.
--> '''Kenneth:''' And then the person with the highest number gives the smallest gift to the tallest person. If they want to switch, they cannot. Unless they do; then everyone puts their head down, except the murderer. Oh wait, that's not right...
* TheCameo: [[WuTangClan Ghostface Killah]] twice, WhoopiGoldberg twice, JoyBehar, JerrySeinfield, Creator/ConanOBrien, Al Gore, former GE head Jack Welch, and many, many others.
** WillFerrell as the main character in ''[[SoapWithinAShow Bitch Hunter]]''.
** Comedienne Margaret Cho as Kim Jong-il.
** "Kidney Now" features a ridiculous amount of guest cameos: Clay Aiken, Sara Bareilles, the Beastie Boys (Mike D and Ad-Rock), Mary J. Blige, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Wyclef Jean, Norah Jones, Talib Kweli, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Levine, Michael [=McDonald=], Rhett Miller, Moby, Robert Randolph, and Rachael Yamagata.
** Brian Williams and Matt Lauer pop up every now and then.
** Aaron Sorkin competed with Liz for a job, doing the whole scene with his trademark WalkAndTalk.
** Tom Hanks appeared in "100". The song he sings while he knits is the theme song from Series/BosomBuddies.
** Throwaway gags about Jack dating Condoleeza Rice were redeemed in the fifth season when she played herself as Jack's PO'd ex.
** Buzz Aldrin was Liz's mother's old boyfriend
** JimCarrey playing himself in a role in ''Leap Dave Williams'', which is a cross between ''TheSantaClause'' and ''Film/LiarLiar''. His wife is played by Andie [=McDowell=].
* CampGay: ''All'' of the openly gay characters, especially Randy Lemon.
** Devon Banks is kind of a hard case. In primarily "business" plots, he's basically Jack, but 20 years younger (who happens to be gay); in primarily "personal" arcs, the Camp shows up fairly frequently. Call it a [[ZigZaggedTrope zig-zag]] with StraightGay, which has settled in the Camp...um...camp, at least for now (being forced out of the corporate game will do that to you, apparently).
* CanadaEh: New castmember Danny is from Canada, and the show goofs on Canadian stereotypes.
** In "Double-Edged Sword" Jack and Avery are horrified at the prospect their baby might be born in Canada.
* CaptainErsatz: Wesley is a big fan of ''[[{{Friends}} Chums]]'', following the romantic exploits of Russ and Rebecca.
-->'''Wesley:''' ''(singing)'' I'll be here always, while the rain falls in Wales.
* CaptainOblivious: Most of Kenneth's gags revolve around him being a sheltered southerner with a tenuous grasp on how society really works, but most of the major characters are so self-absorbed that they tend to pass around the Captain Oblivious hat throughout the series.
* TheCasanova: Jack has dated (or at least slept with) ''lots'' of women. Including Condoleezza Rice and Beyonce.
* CastingGag: The actors in Tracy's porn about Liz are the actual actors from the ''30 Rock'' porn spoof.
** In "Kidnapped by Danger", Alec Baldwin's brother William plays an actor playing Jack Donaghy in a TV movie.
* TheCastShowOff: The writers never miss an opportunity to put Jane Krakowski's singing abilities on display.
** Alec Baldwin (who produces) never misses an opportunity to show off his impersonation skills.
* CatapultNightmare / / DreamWithinADream: Tracy and Pete both have sex dreams about Kenneth in "Floyd".
** Liz also has one about the writers dying when [[spoiler: the show gets canceled in season 7]].
* CatchPhrase: "Shut it down!"; "Blerg"; "By the hammer of Thor!"; "I want to go to there"; "Nerds!"; "That's a dealbreaker, ladies!" [[http://tv.yahoo.com/blog/30-rock-a-glossary-of-the-shows-unique-slang--301 For a more complete glossary of the show's catchphrases, click here]].
** And Jack Donaghy's iconic "Good God Lemon".
** "I'm not doing that!"
** {{Lampshaded}} in "Queen of Jordan"
--->'''D'fwan:''' ... D'fwan forgot his catchphrase!
--->'''Portia:''' Portia reads the papers! ... I hate that that's my catchphrase!
** Jack's ExecutiveMeddling in his and Liz's television movie "Kidnapped by Danger" includes forcing the inclusion of an "awesome catchphrase!"
-->Jack: That suggestion was ''off the charts, kemosabe!''
* CelebrityParadox:
** Liz is a ''StarWars'' fan and sometimes quotes the movies, and even dressed up as Princess Leia to evade jury duty. However, when Carrie Fisher shows up in the Season 2 episode "Rosemary's Baby" as a writer whom Liz idolized, she doesn't recognize her as Princess Leia. Fisher even gets to do the requisite ShoutOut, yelling "Help me, Liz Lemon! You're my only hope!"
** Liz can't seem to remember who the white guy was in ''{{Invictus}}''. It was Creator/MattDamon, who played her pilot boyfriend, Carol, earlier in the season.
** There are references to ''{{Friends}}'', usually including mentions of its infamous Ross and Rachel storyline. Yet nobody recognized Greenzo or Liz's old college friend as David Schwimmer or Creator/JenniferAniston.
** Film/TheHungerGames is referenced in Season 6. Jack's ex-wife Avery is played by Creator/ElizabethBanks, who also played Effie Trinket.
** Tracy worries that without his CrazyAwesome persona, "I'm Wayne Brady!" A few episodes later Brady plays Stephen Black. [[invoked]]
** In the finale Jack Donaghy, lists liberals who hate him, and includes Creator/AlecBaldwin.
* CentipedesDilemma: "I'm a little busy, Kenneth, can you WalkAndTalk?" "...I thought so, but now you got me thinking about it..."
* ChangingClothesIsAFreeAction: When Liz announces to Jack that she [[spoiler:is getting married]] and wants him to meet her at town hall, he [[ShoutOut says]] [[Film/PulpFiction "It's thirty minutes away, I'll be there in ten"]], turns around...and is instantly [[SharpDressedMan wearing a tuxedo]].
* ChekhovsSkill:
** Who knew Jack's Tracy impersonation would actually solve a plot issue three seasons after it was used for a one-off joke?
** Josh's impressions of both Tracy and Jack solves their problems of talking to their loved ones over the phone.
* ChewToy: The entire cast. However, Pete gets the most abuse, even more than Lutz.
** Jonathan, increasingly as the show went on.
* ChickMagnet: Kenneth, who despite his naive persona, has kissed/seduced Jenna, Cerie, Hazel, an assortment of nameless women, a gay man (Devon,) and even a blind woman after saying only one line to her.
* ChivalrousPervert: Tracy, surprisingly. Despite being a pornography savant with a dedicated chair in every strip club in town, a tell-all book about Tracy reveals that he's never been unfaithful to his wife, whom he loves dearly.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome:
** Jonathan in season six, due to the fact that his actor now plays a RegularCharacter on ''{{Whitney}}''. {{Lampshaded}} in "The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell" when Jack mentions that Jenna is now "bigger than Maulik Pancholy on ''Whitney''."
* ChurchOfHappyology: The Church of Practicology, a pretty blatant CaptainErsatz version of Scientology--they love celebrities, use devices similar to e-meters, and have an equally bizarre creation story:
--> '''Jack:''' [The Church of Practicology?] You mean the cult that was invented by Stan Lee?\\
'''Devon:''' No, I mean the ''religion'' founded by the ''alien king'' living ''inside'' Stan Lee.
* CitizenshipMarriage: Danny asks one of Liz in Season 7 episode ''There's No I In America''. Liz reacts with shock since Danny was PutOnABus.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: In "100" Jenna somehow generates a baby bump by virtue of wanting to get pregnant hard enough. It immediately vanishes when Hank Hooper offers her a talk show deal.
** That is actually a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_pregnancy real medical condition]], according to TheOtherWiki, and it really is called a hysterical pregnancy. The absurd part is that Jenna goes from not-pregnant to ''[[RealLifeWritesThePlot nine months pregnant]]'' to not-pregnant again within a single day, and the changes occur instantly.
--> '''Dr. Spaceman:''' That's redundant, all pregnancies are hysterical - they're started by penises.
* ClassReunion: Where Liz learns she was the universally loathed high school bully, not the shy quiet bullied nerd, which is [[SelfServingMemory how she remembered it]].
* ClipShow:
** Subverted in season three's "The Bubble":
--->'''Liz:''' Has it been that long? Boy, we sure have done some crazy things with Tracy in the last three years.\\
'''Jack:''' We sure have.\\
'''Liz:''' I'm thinking of some of them now.\\
'''Jack:''' ...Me too.
** Played somewhat straight in "100". Hundredth episodes have commonly been clip shows in sitcoms; 30 Rock legitimizes the characters reminiscing because a gas leak has gotten into the air vents, and exposure to the gas causes, among other things, hallucinations and nostalgia. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshades]] abound, especially when Danny, while singing "These Are My Memories", flashes back to ''Josh's'' memories.
* ClosetGeek: Jack had a cookie jar collection, which he forced himself to get rid of in order to be able to climb the corporate ladder. He also still cherishes his childhood dream of being a marine biologist.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: While practically the entire cast is frequently portrayed as at least ''slightly'' nuts, Tracy Jordan often has zero connection to reality. One episode involves a mention of a Christmas song he recorded, which begins with the lines "''Imagine Christmas wishes / Shooting out of your eyes...''". Then there's "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah": "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah / Spooky, scary. / Boys becoming men, / men becoming wolves."
** Although Kenneth appears to have some understanding of what's going on around him (better than Tracy, at least), he also views the world as being populated with singing {{Muppets}}, considers hot to be 'the devil's temperature,' and is filled with rural southern wisdom/{{Non Sequitur}}s.
* ClumsyCopyrightCensorship: From time to time. The problem is that it's generally not reflected in the DVD subtitles. For example, "['Jaws' theme playing]" superimposed on a scene where said theme was replaced with a "sneaky" version of the main theme.
* ContinuityNod:
** Liz's "disgusting foot secret", and her preferred underwear, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanx Spanx]].
** ''From Peanut to President'', seen in episodes "Into the Crevasse" and "Stone Mountain" after Milton Greene mentions he's writing it.
** In "Live Show", Jack mentions that he agreed not to drink while Avery is pregnant ([[spoiler: although he ends up drinking with Liz at the end of the episode]]). In "Christmas Attack Zone," he is shown drinking water while Liz and Milton drink wine. In another episode, Jack is seen drinking throughout. A line in the epilogue mentions that Avery made him sleep on the couch for a week for breaking his promise.
** "100" had the blue dude, Dennis, "Pam the Overly Confident Morbidly Obese Woman", and a nod to ''Hard to Watch'', amongst others.
** Alternate Jack also wears a tuxedo noting that it's after 6:00, a nod to Jack's former habit.
** "Respawn" has Kenneth plead with Jacob for "more time", which he had done once already in a seemingly comic instance earlier in the season.
** One of the most long reaching in the history of TV. In the ''pilot episode'' it was mentioned that Tracy fell asleep on his neighbor's roof. In the latest season we got this from Angie:
--> I just want to wake up, look over, and see my husband asleep. On the neighbor's roof.
** In Season 5, Jenna, Kenneth and Kelsey Grammer formed "The Best Friends Gang". The next season, Kelsey mentions the Gang with Jenna.
** In the third episode, Jack stated that in five years, everyone would either be working for Kenneth, or be dead by his hand. In the penultimate episode, Kenneth is running NBC. (Two years late, but still.)
* ContinuityPorn: The final few episodes are basically a long string of [[CallBack Call Backs]], [[BrikeJoke Brick Jokes]], and [[MythologyGag Mythology Gags]].
* ContractualPurity: A wool company imposes a morality clause on Jenna after taking her on as a spokeswoman, which Paul takes ire with because it requires him to cover up his gender-dysmorphic bigenitalian pansexuality. [[invoked]]
* ContrivedCoincidence: Played for laughs in the episode "Sandwich Day", where Jenna is having trouble with a drinking competition, competing by herself - that is until everyone simultaneously realizes they can now drink alcohol (Tracy's monitoring bracelet deactivates, Kenneth realizes he grew up drinking the stuff etc), and help Jenna win.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Played with regarding Jack: though classist and greedy, he is arguably the most sympathetic character on the show, and undoubtedly a good human being. However, he ''starts'' as the prototypical amoral suit.
** On the other hand, Devon Banks is ''definitely'' corrupt...[[VillainDecay at first anyway]].
* CountryMatters: An episode titled "The C Word" centered around... you know.
** Kenneth provides a subversion in a different episode.
---> '''Kenneth:''' You are being a C-word! That's right, a Cranky Sue!
* CrazyJealousGuy: In order to convince her roommate to move out, Liz tries a scheme where Dotcom masquerades as one of these:
-->'''Dotcom:''' I'm going to be coming by all the time, getting jealous, taking things out of context! That dude, Brian, would be happier moving out!
* CreatorBreakdown: In-universe. Apparently Liz tried her hand at writing a novel once. Jenna opens to an early page to find "Liz stabbed Jenna repeatedly."
* CreditsGag: In "Subway Hero", the StanleyCup briefly appears. Come the closing credits:
--> ''And Introducing '''Lord Stanley Cup''' as Himself''.
* {{Crossdresser}} / CelebrityImpersonator: Jenna's Jenna-impersonating boyfriend, Paul.
* CrowdSong: [[NoTitle "Episode 210"]] ends with a memorable cast rendition of "Midnight Train to Georgia".
* CulturalPosturing: Jack can't take a company seriously if they're from Philadelphia, which causes Liz Lemon (from White Haven, PA) to stand up and defend it. Jack responds by defending Boston and they square off until the UsefulNotes/LosAngeles branch tries to interrupt, only for everyone to pile on ''them''.
* CureYourGays: Devon Banks claimed he was "cured" of his homosexuality. It didn't work, as Devon remains infatuated with men, especially Kenneth (and Jack, see FoeYay below).
** Inverted in "Cooter," when a "gay bomb" weapon malfunctions, causing Jack and Cooter to hit on each other. Later flashbacks reveal Jack was also involved with the generals in the room, and then-vice-president Dick Cheney. Later still in a confessional Jack claims to have sodomized Cheney.
--->'''Cooter:''' I feel weird.\\
'''Jack:''' ''(hungrily)'' Let's do this.
* CurseCutShort:
-->'''Sideways!Jack:''' What the hell is a Pwomp?
-->'''Normal!Jack:''' It's when two fat people-
* CurseOfBabel: Pete suffers a bout of aphasia due to the gas in "100".
* CutHimselfShaving:
-->'''Liz:''' Pete. You and Paula fight a lot...\\
'''Pete:''' No! I-I walked into a door, ah, I'm so clumsy...
* TheDanza:
** Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan; last names rhyme.
** John Lutz plays John Lutz.
** Tina Fey's real first name is Elizabeth ("Tina" coming from her middle name of [[EmbarrassingMiddleName Stamatina]]), of which "Liz" is a nickname.
** Grizz is both the character's and actor's first name.
** Sue LaRoche-Van der Hout is played by Sue Galloway.
* DarkReprise: A sinister cello version of "Muffin Top" is heard when Tracy or Jenna are up to something.
* DawsonCasting: Jenna seems to think she's up for an audition as a college freshman on ''GossipGirl'' in "Black Light Attack!". She was actually up for that character's crazy bitch of a mother - who dies of old age at age 42.
** Averted throughout as every actor is the same age as their character with Katrina Bowden possibly even younger than Cerie and every teenager played by an actual teen. Played straight in one instance with twenty-six year old Pheobe Strole as a teen.
** Tina Fey appears as a younger Liz Lemon in a number of flashbacks. In one of them she was ''nine''.
** A relatively minor example appears in "Cougars": Jamie is supposed to be seventeen years younger than Liz, but Val Emmich is only nine years younger than Tina Fey.
** Actually played straight with Kenneth, whose ([[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld apparent]]) age is probably meant to be in range close to Cerie's and who's supposed to pass as Liz's son at one point. Jack McBrayer is young-looking, but he's actually only three years younger than Tina Fey and sixteen years older than Katwina Bowden.
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: Invoked in "Jackie Jormp-Jomp"; Jack attempts to sell Jenna's awful [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed not-quite-about-Janis-Joplin]] biopic to distributors by milking an accidental report of her death. She proceeds to ruin everything for the sake of obscuring her real age (a memorial show would've revealed her birth year).
-->'''Jenna:''' Still alive not yet 32! WorthIt! Sorry, Jack.
* DecapitationPresentation: "Stone Mountain". Well, it's a dummy's head.
* DeepSouth: Where Kenneth is from. The episode "Stone Mountain" actually shows it, and he mentions it frequently.
* DemotedToExtra: Poor Josh Girard, from Jenna's male co-star in Season 1 to largely anonymous staff writer. Got PutOnABus in Season 4.
* DenserAndWackier: At the beginning, the weirdest thing was that Jack was Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming. A few seasons later, you have an immortal Kenneth and "Leap Day William" is real. Note that [[TropesAreNotBad this has been an improvement in the minds of many viewers and critics]].
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "New blood is the lifeblood of every company's blood."
** From the pilot: "This is the set of ''The Girlie Show'', it's a real fun ladies' comedy show for ladies."
* DepravedBisexual:
** Hazel, in spades.
** Abby Flynn in one episode. [[spoiler: Subverted in that it was all an act to disguise herself from her psychotic ex-husband, who saw ''Film/SleepingWithTheEnemy'' and ''{{Se7en}}'' while being electrocuted]].
* DepravedKidsShowHost: The Woggles are a group of Australian children's entertainers who are also white supremacists. One of them is a werewolf who's cheated on his wife with a whore, another one is a bridge fetishist/murderer who keeps his twin in a cage.
* DescendedCreator: TinaFey was not originally going to star in the show.
* TheDeterminator: Jack Donaghy's freakish willpower. Includes growing an inch and a half and defeating a peanut allergy.
--> I believe that when you have a problem you talk it over with your priest, or your tailor, or the mute elevator porter at your men's club. Then you take that problem and you [[MemeticMutation crush it with your mind-vise]]. But for lesser beings, like curly haired men, or people who need glasses, therapy can help.
** Avery as well. In fact, the reason their relationship lasted so long was ''due'' to their Determinator personalities, that blinded them to the fact they just didn't work all that well together as a couple.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: Leap Day William comes from the Mariana Trench, has gills, and offers candy for tears. [[spoiler: The end of ''Leap Day'' shows his true face, and he has a ''lot'' in common with Cthulhu]].
** Kenneth apparently told his mother ''when he was born'' that he was an immortal being using Kennethís body as a vessel.
* DifferentInEveryEpisode: The humorous message on Frank's trucker cap.
* DisneyAcidSequence: Liz in ''Dance Like Nobody's Watching'' envisions herself as a DisneyPrincess.
* DistaffCounterpart: Octavia Spencer ([[AsHimself As Herself]]) proves to be a female Tracy.
-->'''Octavia:''' ''(playing HarrietTubman)'' ... I don't like the last name Tubman. Sounds too much like a dude. Let's call her [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Tubgirl.]]
** Additionally her two entourage members, Mizz and Dot Gov to Grizz and Dot Com.
* DistantFinale: The series ends during TheStinger a year later, then jumps [[spoiler: an indeterminate amount of time into the future]] with Kenneth hearing a pitch from Liz[[spoiler:'s great-granddaughter about [[IShouldWriteABookAboutThis a show that talks place in 30 Rockefeller Plaza inspired by Liz's stories]]]].
* TheDitz: Kathy Geiss. She signs contracts with crayon, with the requisite flowers and rainbows, and do ''not'' interrupt her soaps (Administrivia/YouHaveBeenWarned). Her idea of sex is strange though, such as putting strawberry-flavored lipstick on her man to label him a "fancy boy".
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: During the live show, Jane Krakowski (East Coast) and Cheyenne Jackson (West Coast) sang along to the theme.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Once in a while the show pulls off enormous conceits, like using coaching a Little League team to comment on the war in Iraq or Liz acting like she's courting a man as she attempts to buy an apartment.
** A NYC-specific event occurs in season 4, episode 4, when Jack[[note]] due to his unfamiliarity with the subway system[[/note]] addresses the subway car for directions on how to transfer to the '4' train and everyone does their best to ignore him[[note]] As they would a homeless person[[/note]]. Jack is infested with bed bugs.
* DoorDumb: The scene that establishes the character of TheDitz Kathy Geiss has her pulling in desperation at a bathroom door printed clearly with the word "push".
* DoubleStandard:
** "Women are allowed to get angrier than men about double standards!"
** Jack and Liz try to smooth over a dispute between Tracy and Toofer by explaining NWordPrivileges to the latter. When he tries it out, they're all appalled, with Liz saying "it sounds so ''hateful'' when you say it!"
** DoubleSubverted after the rest of writers find out Frank had an affair with his registered sex offender teacher as an 8th grader.
--->'''Pete''': Guys, a teacher going after a student is wrong ''({{beat}})'' when the student is female and the teacher is male. What happened to Frank was awesome.
* DrinkingContest: "Sandwich Day"
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Don Geiss is killed off, off-screen and "weeks ago" in Season 4 and only Jack cares. Likely an unfortunate case of RealLifeWritesThePlot, Rip Torn's troubles with alcoholism made it unlikely they could count on him to reprise his role as Geiss.
* DuelingShows: ''Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip''. ''30 Rock'' won, as Creator/AaronSorkin acknowledges, bitterly, in a later cameo.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: At the end of the finale [[spoiler: Liz is happily working on a show with Dot Com starring Grizz and has a good relationship with her kids; Jack is president of GE and keeps in contact with Liz; Jenna is doing something that at least gets her invited to the Tonys; Tracy has been reunited with his father and also keeps in contact with Liz; and an immortal Kenneth is still president of NBC several generations into the future, listening to the great-granddaughter of Liz pitching the plot of the show to him]].
* EmbarrassingCoverUp: "I don't have alopecia... I'm very hairy."
* EndOfSeriesAwareness: Done in a typically meta, LeaningOnTheFourthWall-kind of way, as the final arc of the last season involves ''TGS'' getting cancelled.
* EngineeredPublicConfession
* EroticDream[=/=]HomoeroticDream: In "Floyd," Tracy and Jenna are forced into listening to Kenneth's stories for several hours. Tracy begins to have dreams about Kenneth trying to get it on with him. Subverted with Jenna; she states her dreams about Kenneth are very "graphic." Turns out they are very detailed about them getting married and having lots of kids. Pete also has one involving Kenneth and Liz during TheStinger.
* EscalatingWar: The set of pranks between Frank, Toofer, and Lutz against Danny and Jack in "Floyd."
** Also, the Frank/Toofer rivalry from "Secrets and Lies"
** Liz and Jack get into one of these in Season 5, after [[spoiler: they accidentally get married]].
* EskimosArentReal: Tracy believes that Diabetes is a white myth, "Like Larry Bird, or Colorado."
* EtTuBrute: Jack says "Et tu, Kenneth?" in "Audition Day".
** [[HiddenDepths He replies in flawless Latin]]
--> Kenneth: "You speak Latin? Then you understand. The safety of the people is the highest law."
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: It may have taken a polygraph to get Jack to admit it, but...
* EverybodyDidIt: Parodied in "It's Never Too Late For Now", complete with a ShoutOut to TropeMaker ''MurderOnTheOrientExpress'' - Liz is even watching the 1974 film. The "crime" is that there was a conspiracy to get her laid with a Canadian gigolo. Like Poirot, she rejects the complex (though true) answer that all of her co-workers felt bad for her and got her laid, but the simple explanation that she met a guy, and had a fun night.
* EveryoneOwnsAMac: "[[ProductPlacement Promotional considerations]] furnished by Apple"
* EverythingIsRacist: Wayne Brady's character in "The Source Awards" isn't a good match for Liz. Not because he's a prudish, boring, conspiracist weirdo--no, it's because he's black. Or, she's lesbian.
** Tracy is hyperparanoid about racism as well. He thinks ''everyone'' at TGS is racist, and has supposedly learned derogatory terms for blacks in every language throughout history - including ''dolphin''.
--->'''Liz:''' ''(to Toofer)'' Yeah, well, Tracy is a buffoon.
--->'''Tracy:''' ''(from the hallway)'' That's a fifteenth-century term for a black pirate. Racist!
** Another show had this exchange:
--->'''Tracy:''' I know ya'll are all secretly mad 'cause we finally have a black DisneyPrincess!
--->'''Jenna:''' You know, there hasn't actually been a ''white'' princess since 1991.
--->'''Pete:''' [[ThePrincessAndTheFrog Tiana]], {{Mulan}}, {{Pocahontas}}, [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} Jasmine]]... Wow, she's right!
* EvilLaugh: Jaden in "Audition Day".
-->'''Jaden:''' [[SanitySlippage Would a crazy person laugh like this?]] Hoo-hoo-haha-[=HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!=]
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Tracy's movie "Hard to Watch", which reduces everyone to tears.
* ExecutiveMeddling: Jack does this a lot, but since he's extremely GenreSavvy, he's often ''right''. Also happened in RealLife -- in Fey's original treatment the ShowWithinAShow was a newscast; they told her to go ahead and make it a sketch comedy because that's what she knows.
* ExplainingTheSoap: "Generalissimo" centers on Jack trying to figure out why Elisa's grandmother hates him so much. It turns out that it's because the villain in a ''telenovela'' she watches looks exactly like Jack and the scene where they figure this out--and several subsequent scenes--involve Elisa explaining the incredibly complicated plot of the ''telenovela'' to Jack.
-->'''Elisa:''' And then she gave birth to TheDevil. You know, sweeps week.
* FagHag:
** Jenna usually just hangs out with Liz, but when she gets her own entourage to [[ItMakesSenseInContext emulate Tracy and get her way]], every member of it is ''very'' [[CampGay gay]].
** Angie is also friends with a gay man and his "even gayer boyfriend".
** Liz used to be this. Kinda.
* FailOSuckyname: Jeffrey Weinerslav. Liz makes a valiant attempt to pronounce it as something other than the obvious.
-->'''Liz:''' Excuse me, Mr. Whiner-slahv--\\
'''Weinerslav:''' It's pronounced "Weiner-slave".\\
'''Liz:''' Okay, ''Jeffrey''...
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption / SpringtimeForHitler: Jack's strategy in Season 7 to get NBC sold to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paas_Easter_Egg_Dye Paas]]; believing that he's definitely blown his chances with NBC's owner Hank Hooper, Jack tries tanking the network in order to get Hank to sell it before he can pass Jack over for the promotion. Naturally, Jack's terrible shows are all hits, but SubvertedTrope in that his success puts him back in the running for CEO.
* FakeCharity: Jack's brother Eddie takes a collection for "Chicago All-Saints Hospital" (C.A.S.H.)
* FakeNationality: The Mexican Salma Hayek as the Puerto Rican Elisa.
* FakingTheDead: Pete does this in the finale, off camera. It lasts a year before his wife and kids find him.
* FandomBerserkButton: InUniverse: Liz even screams "Nerd rage!" when she sees Tracy's tweet claiming women aren't funny.
* FanDisservice:
** Dream!Kenneth stripping his clothes and dancing in nothing but his tie and underwear in "Floyd."
** Tracy's "trademark" move of removing his shirt. Also his attempt at seduction in "Don Geiss, America, and Hope."
** Some parodies of Liz Lemon's Hollywood Homeliness use some pretty horrific makeup/effects - for instance, see PoorMansPorn below.
* FanService: The episode "Brooklyn Without Limits" features an extraordinary amount of focus on Liz's butt.
** However, the way the shots are done lampshades the show's use of a butt double for Liz in BWL jeans.
* FashionShopFashionShow: In the episode "Flu Shot" the trope is played straight for two seconds in a flashback sequence, with Tracy and Jenna.
-->'''Liz:''' Stop. I don't need [[{{Montages}} the montage]].\\
'''Jenna:''' Sometimes I was like this [shakes head no], but other times I was like this [gives thumbs up].
* FateDrivesUsTogether: the only reason Wesley Snipes (not [[NamesTheSame that]] one) made any appearances after his first.
* FemmeFatale: Hazel, who views herself as both this and a ''SingleWhiteFemale''-style stalker. She's also rock stupid.
* FetishRetardant: In-universe example: Tracy's "signature move" of taking off his shirt.
* FeudEpisode: "The Rural Juror"
* FictionalHoliday: Leap Day isn't strictly fictional, although it's not really a holiday in real life. The show develops it into a traditional, over-commercialized holiday with established traditions, a Santa Claus like figure (Leap Day William) and its own holiday movie starring JimCarrey.
* FightClubbing:
** Pete is seen in cutaways partaking in a Fight Club to get his aggression out
** Liz also [[spoiler: discovers that the group of rich unemployed women she's been hanging out with is in actuality a Fight Club]] in "Jackie Jormp Jomp".
* FinishDialogueInUnison: Jenna and Paul do this a few times, showing how they think alike.
* FiveStagesOfGrief: After Jack found out Don Geiss dies, he experienced all the stages in a matter of seconds.
* {{Flanderization}}: True to an extent with several characters, but most obviously Jenna, who went from Liz's old friend and confidante in Season 1--"You're my rock!"--to an insane AttentionWhore as well as being ridiculously slutty and perverted.
** FridgeBrilliance: In "Secrets and Lies" Jenna said to Liz the following:
-->'''Jenna''': Apparently the only way to get respect around here is to act like [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Tracy]]! And that's exactly what I'm gonna do...
* FreakyFridayFlip: Parodied. Kenneth has an enemy for the first time, and isn't really sure what to do, except . . .
-->"Pray for a body switch that allows us to see the world from each others' perspectives?"
* FlashbackCut: Frequently done, and most brilliantly executed in the LiveEpisode, when [[Creator/JuliaLouisDreyfus Julia Louis-Dreyfus]] plays Liz Lemon in the flashbacks.
-->'''Jack''': Why are you better-looking in your memory?
-->'''Liz''': My memory has Seinfeld money.
* FlippingTheTable: "''WHERE'S MY MAC AND CHEESE?''" (episode "Sandwich Day")
** Liz again in "Queen of Jordan".
** When Josh quits, he tries to flip the table, but thanks to his slender frame, he needs help - Liz encourages the other writers to help him.
--->'''Frank:''' You've got to use your lower back.
--->'''Liz:''' ''(calling over her shoulder as she walks into her office)'' That's incorrect! Lift with your legs!
* FoodPorn: No surprise that Liz being Liz, her office features a framed photo of a breakfast plate. In one episode, Jack sniffs it for motivation.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In "Respawn", Liz's Spanish lesson tape teaches her the phrase "disaster imminent" just before Tracy destroys her glass tabletop with a stray golfball.
** Future!Jack in ''100'' confirmed one thing to be right: [[spoiler:Jack didn't end up with Avery. He and Avery realized that they weren't meant to be together, and the only reason it took so long was that both were extreme {{Determinator}}s and tried to force it into working]].
* FreezeFrameBonus: Jenna's 'sexual walkabout list' in "Meet the Woggels", containing "cause an impeachment", "Supreme Court Justice, liberal", and "the Lorax".
* FreudianExcuse: Mostly PlayedForLaughs.
** The reason for Liz's sexual hang-ups? As a child her mother caught her on the ground under a Tom Jones poster with [[RefugeInAudacity her panties around her ankles because she fell while she was waiting for the bathroom wearing roller skates]]. Her mother reacted by taking all the posters of Liz's crushes out of her room, leading her to believe that "sex makes all the people go away."
** Why is Jenna such an AttentionWhore? Every Christmas her negligent mother made her sing as a distraction while Jenna's mother shoplifted. Those few minutes that people were actually paying attention were the best parts of her Christmases.
* FridayNightDeathSlot: ''TGS'' is on at 11:00 PM on Fridays, unless there's wrestling.
* FriendsRentControl: Averted--Liz's apartment is pretty nice, but quite modestly sized by the standards of anywhere in America but Manhattan. It ''is'' in Manhattan, and she ''is'' a network TV executive. In the DVD commentary for "Black Tie," Tina Fey points out how ludicrously expensive Liz's apartment would be. Then again, the high rent might explain why Liz makes {{showrunner}} money and yet her only assets are $12,000 in checking and a gas giant named in her honor.
* FullNameBasis: Tracy to Liz.
* FunWithAcronyms:
** Jack's swindler brother Eddie convinces everyone to make out checks to Chicago All Saints Hospital.
** LUNCH: {{Lego}} Utilization for Negating Crisis Hierarchies.
** CLASS: Consuming Lunch And Simple Socializing ("Now that just seems intentionally confusing.")
** When looking for a mentee, Jack looks for DIHC (read that out loud): Drive (and ambition to be worth Jack's time), Intelligence (to understand the challenges they're going to face), Humility (to accept Jack's help), and (a life that is a bottomless swamp of) Chaos.
** HEART: Hard Equations And Rational Thinking.
** In "Respawn" Dr. Spacemen tells Liz to get some "R&R--Rum & Ritalin."
** Subverted with Devon's gay rights organization PEEN. When Jack asks what it's an acronym for, Devon replies "Acronym?"
** In the last episode, Jack declares that he's setting off to find his bliss, "which, for once, is not an acronym for Beautiful Ladies In Short Shorts."
* FunWithSubtitles:
** "Black Tie" has the classic "overly long line translated as one word" gag.
** EvenTheSubtitlerIsStumped:
*** In "Episode 210", Liz can't keep up with the German TV executives' German, resulting in the subtitles being "Return Germany... Tell the... Time... Hubcap(?)".
*** In a season 3 episode, Jack and Drew both speak awful French, which is subtitled as a bunch of nonsense letters.
* FurryFandom: One guy Liz hits on claims to be a "plushie", specifically referring to furries who wear school mascot-style body suits.
* GainaxEnding: The Season Five finale.
* GameShowAppearance: In "When It Rains It Pours", Tracy Jordan hops into a cab to go to the hospital where his wife is in labor, only to find that it is the ''Series/CashCab''. [[spoiler:He wins]].
** "The Beginning of the End" features "Homonym", an utterly horrible and unfair game show that Jack had greenlit where contestants have to give the definition of a word's homonym ("It's ''always'' the other one!"). An ad in "Aunt Phatso vs. Jack Donaghy" says that it airs daily from "8:00 - Midnight", meaning that it's probably [[{{Padding}} padded]] just as badly (if not ''worse'') [[BitingTheHandHumor as every other NBC game show]].
* {{Gasshole}}: Liz.
* GeniusBruiser: Grizz and Dot Com.
-->'''Jack''': Dot Com, this need of yours to always be the smartest person in the room is very off-putting.
* GeniusDitz: Tracy is apparently an American history buff.
** FridgeBrilliance: In an early episode Tracy learned that he is a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, which could explain his fascination.
** He also figures out ways to avoid being featured in Angie's TV show (he always makes a point of being around stuff with expensive copyrights), and stages an elaborate ploy to get her to get in a fight with him...in order to raise her ratings and guarantee a new season (when she realizes what's going on, the fight is ''adorable'').
* GenreSavvy: Jack for the most part. Jenna veers wildly between GenreSavvy and [[GenreBlindness Genre Blind]].
* GeorgeJetsonJobSecurity: pretty much everyone but Tracy.
** And Jack, whose job security is certainly a plot point on occasion but typically is involved with actual corporate machinations instead of being in and out on a whim.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar
--> "It wouldn't be a [[ShockSite Lemon party]] without old Dick!"
** Jack belonged to a secret society called "The Twig and Plums".
** Jenna's transvestite boyfriend (and Jenna impersonator) Paul works at Tuck Wang's Noodle Bar.
** [[TheHelp Octavia Spencer]], while playing Harriet Tubman, decides the name is too masculine and should be changed to [[ShockSite Tubgirl]].
* GhostlyChill: After Kenneth suffered one induced allergic reaction too many.
-->'''Kenneth:''' I was technically dead for five minutes, but I'm all right. Though I think I brought something back with me. ''(exhales a cloud of condensation)''
* GilliganCut: Lampshaded by Pete when Tracy insists that he couldn't possibly get in trouble while going on a historical walking tour.
* GirlfriendInCanada: Liz's man-bashing comedy book causes serious damage to her male friends' relationships, including Lutz, who complains that his girlfriend in Canada is very upset.
** Lampshaded in "Alexis Goodlooking and the Case of the Missing Whiskey". Liz says that her boyfriend Criss is in Canada, and then insists that really, he ''actually is'' visiting Canada.
** Earlier, while dating Carol, she would mention how she has a boyfriend named [[GenderBlenderName Carol]] who is an airline pilot and therefore can't spend much time with her. "I know how it sounds!"
* GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave: Avery's mother and the grandmother to Jack's baby(played by Mary Steenburgen). Jack becomes attracted to her while Avery is still being held hostage in North Korea. Not that {{Squick}}-y because they are closer in age than Jack and Avery but still inappropriate and causes Jack to feel guilty.
* GrossUpCloseUp: "NO! NO HI DEF!"
* GlamourFailure
-->'''Kenneth:''' I've never been on TV before! I hope I photograph okay, because when I look into a mirror, there's just a white haze.
* GoodAngelBadAngel: parodied in "Black Tie".
* GratuitousGerman: Many characters on several occasions. Ranges from good (with an accent) by Liz & Kenneth to AsLongAsItSoundsForeign with Jack. One episode spoils a major plot point if you understand German.
* GutturalGrowler:
** Even among Alec Baldwin characters, Jack stands out.
** Jack's rival, Devon Banks, speaks in the same way. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Liz:
---> "If this turns into a showdown, you guys can settle it with a '''''talking-like-this contest'''''."
* HalfHourComedy
* {{Hammerspace}}
-->'''Jack:''' How did you even get a snowball?!
* HannibalLecture: The gas leak in "100" causes Jack to hallucinate an alternate GE CEO Jack, who delivers one to him to to persuade him into firing Liz.
** Leads to a ShutUpHannibal when the other Jacks tell CEO Jack that he's wrong.
* HappilyMarried: Tracy and Angela Jordan. GoodParents, too. Yet that very image is what Jordan fears will get out; his reputation is built on an UrbanLegendLoveLife and generally being "hard," so if those go, so do his CelebrityEndorsement checks. And, ironically, his financial stability. He is quite possibly the only man in history, real or fictional, who has ever been told to have a public and scandalous affair by his wife. To save their marriage.
** Jenna and Paul, who changes his name to Jenna Maroney.
** Liz and Criss.
* HasTwoThumbsAnd: "Succession"
--> '''Liz''': Hey, nerds! Guess who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today. (points to herself with both thumbs) This moi!
** Subverted by Jack: "Lemon, who thinks gesturing with one's thumbs is for poor people and is going to be the next CEO of Kabletown? [Points to self using both pinkies] This guy."
* HauntedHouse: {{Lampshaded}} by a GenreSavvy Liz Lemon.
-->'''Liz:''' Word of advice: if the will says you have to spend the night in a haunted house, [[SortingAlgorithmOfMortality you better hope]] that everybody else there is [[BlackDudeDiesFirst black guys]] and [[DeathBySex sluts]].
* HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday: Lutz does this. A ''lot''. No one is fooled.
* [[TheMirrorShowsYourTrueSelf The HDTV Shows Your True Self]]: Liz is a hag, Pete resembles Larry David, Kenneth is a Muppet, and Jack is [[Film/TheHuntForRedOctober Jack Ryan]].
* HesJustHiding:[[invoked]] Kim-Jong Il, apparently. This is probably due to Margaret Cho doing such a hilarious job as the now-deceased dictator, the show simply couldn't give the character up.
* HeadTiltinglyKinky: Liz's night with James Franco and his body pillow lover.
-->'''Liz:''' Randy, this is James Franco, and... friend.\\
'''James Franco:''' Randy. ''(Kimiko's head bows)'' \\
'''Randy:''' ''(disturbed)'' I should probably go.
** From "Black Light Attack!":
--->'''Jack:''' What did he do to the back of your ''knees''?\\
'''Liz:''' A lady never tells.
* HelloNurse: Cerie.
* HiddenDepths: Grizz and especially [[GeniusBruiser Dot Com]].
-->'''Dot Com:''' As soon as I'm vested, I'm outta here.
** Cerie also counts, knowing the exact speed of Light and appearing to be saner than some of the TGS Staff
* HideYourPregnancy: Jane Krakowski in Season 5. This is lampshaded in "100" when Jenna develops a hysterical pregnancy just to be an AttentionWhore, and the show briefly stops hiding Krakowski.
** In-universe: [[spoiler: Avery]] does this on her news show.
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood:
** Tracy in "Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land":
--->'''Tracy:''' It's all coming back to me. Oh my God! I slept on an old dog bed stuffed with wigs! I watched a prostitute stab a clown! Our basketball hoop was a rib cage - ''a rib cage''! Why did you bring me here? I blocked all this stuff out for a reason! Oh, Lord, some guy with dreads electrocuted my fish!\\
''(later)''\\
'''Tracy:''' All my life I've tried to forget the things I've seen -- a crackhead breastfeeding a rat, a homeless man licking a Hot Pocket off the third rail of the G train! ''[[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking The G Train]]''!\\
''(during the credits)''\\
'''Tracy:''' I've seen a blind guy bite a police horse! A puppy committed suicide after he saw our bathroom! I once bit into a burrito and there was a child's shoe in it! I've seen a hooker eat a tire! A pack of wild dogs took over and successfully ran a Wendy's! The sewer people stole my skateboard! The projects I lived in were named after Zachary Taylor, generally considered to be one of the worst presidents of all time! I once saw a baby give another baby a tattoo! They were very drunk!
** Jenna's past qualifies, with her white trash stage mom Verna. "Go stand closer to the alligator!"
* {{Hipster}}: Tracy encounters some when during an attempt to destroy his reputation in "100".
* HistoryMarchesOn: The end of "Unwindulax" features Jack and Tracy independently coming up the same prediction for how the 2012 election will play out. Perhaps inevitably, they ended up being wrong. In their prediction, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Colorado go for Romney, causing the election to come down to Florida. In the actual election, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Colorado all went for Obama, resulting in the election being called for Obama before the Florida votes were even counted. So even if Jack had gotten Jenna's followers to vote for Romney, it wouldn't have stopped Obama from winning.
** Wisconsin going to Romney was attributed to an in-universe event.
** In "Everything Sunny All the Time Always", Avery's imprisonment in North Korea culminates in her being forced to marry Kim Jong-un. At the time, no one knew that Kim Jong-un was already married to Ri Sol-ju. (Though they could have known that it would be extremely unlikely for the country's heir to marry a foreigner, let alone an ''American'', as North Korean propaganda is highly xenophobic.)
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Attempted by Liz in "Today You Are a Man" when she negotiates her new contract with Jack...by using his own negotiation coaching program.
** Subverted in that Jack recognizes it immediately, and begins to play ''both'' sides of the negotiation, so Jack hoists Jack by Jack's own petard.
* HolidayVolunteering: Tracy finds a $50,000 gift card for a chain of restaurants (that expires in a day) on Leap Day. After realizing he couldn't spend it all himself he invites everybody from the local Soup Kitchen to join him.
* HollywoodDateless: Liz, much of the time.
* HollywoodNerd: Again, Liz.
* HonestCorporateExecutive: Jack gradually gets closer over time as he becomes more sympathetic, but he's never quite there...and to be honest, most fans like it that way.
* HongKongDub: Used in "Future Husband". Tina Fey redubs her own line, replacing the on-screen "blah blah blah" motion with mention of Lindsey Vonn's gold medal for skiing, as the episode was shot before (but aired after) the 2010 Winter Olympics.
* HospitalHottie: Elisa, played by the luscious SalmaHayek.
* HotLibrarian: Liz. Jamie, a cute delivery boy, even uses that phrase to flirt with her.
* HowsYourBritishAccent / OohMeAccentsSlipping: Lampshaded/parodied. In the first season Jack has a posh English art-dealer girlfriend named Phoebe, played by Emily Mortimer. Liz is suspicious of Phoebe and they have a confrontation that ends with an angry Phoebe slipping into an American accent for exactly one line. Liz immediately figures out that Phoebe isn't English at all. (Of course the joke is that Emily Mortimer IS English.)
* HumanoidAbomination: Kenneth is implied to be one of these.
* HypnoFool: After seeing an R-rated hypnotist show, Liz will strip on hearing "nutmeg" and stop on "rodeo".
* HypocriticalHumor: See below, but also used in numerous other ways, typically with Liz decrying some trope before realizing it herself. For instance, she points out how shows will use sweeping scores and shots of people staring at each other in lieu of actual development, before an exaggerated staring session with Jack backed by dramatic music.
** The show really enjoys showing that Liz, despite her politics, can be fairly racist.
* HypocrisyNod: frequent, especially in the vicinity of ProductPlacement
* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat: From "The Tuxedo Begins"
--> '''Jack''': (to Liz) There's a war coming, and you're going to have to choose a side. I've always wanted to say that, and I can't believe I wasted it on you.
* IHaveThisFriend: Invoked a lot on the show.
-->'''Jack:''' Tracy, what building is right next to Penn Station?
-->'''Tracy:''' The Manhattan Center for Penis Enlargement? I know because my friend goes there. His name is Tracy.
* IfItsYouItsOkay: Frank discovers he's sexually attracted to Jamie, then discovers he's not gay--the ''only'' male he's sexually attracted to is Jamie.
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: The stalemating between Liz and Jack gets to ridiculous levels in "Today You Are a Man".
* ImagineSpot: An ''entire'' plot thread of "I Heart Connecticut" is about Pete imagining that he's an incredible arm-wrestler.
* ImpairmentShot: Jack in "Hiatus" after he has a heart attack.
* ImprobablyLowIQ: Hazel Wassername, Kenneth's replacement as the Page.
-->'''Hazel''': Why do I keep screwing things up? Is 70 NOT a good IQ?
* ImprobablyPredictable: Jack makes a joke, and Liz hands him an envelope predicting that joke. Then Jack hands ''her'' an envelope, predicting ''her'' prediction of ''his'' joke.
** Subverted and Averted in ''Dance Like Nobody's Watching'' when Jack flaunts his abilities to predict everything Liz does - and is absolutely ''gobsmacked'' when [[CliffHanger Liz meets a guy in a movie theater]] - something he didn't see coming.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Liz in "Christmas Attack Zone" downs the whole glass of white wine in one gulp after finding out exactly what Jack is going to do.
** Jack. Especially in the "Live Show" when he's not allowed to drink thanks to his promise to a pregnant Avery.
* INeedToGoIronMyDog: Apparently, saying the words "Twig and Plum" to a member of the secret society with that name causes them to have to do this.
-->'''Jack:''': I don't know who told you to say that, Rossitano, but you have no...
-->'''Frank''': Twig and Plums.
-->'''Jack:''': I have to go to... an... intervention... for my... travel agent. ''(turns and walks away)''
* InformedEmotion: Grizz in "Argus".
* InherentlyFunnyWords:
** [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Liz in ''The Shower Principle''. Later, it becomes a RunningGag in the episode.
--->'''Liz:''' Last year, Jenna accused me of trying to destroy her because her lines didnít have any ĎKí sounds, which she thinks is the funniest sound.
*** {{Lampshaded}} when Liz giggles after Pete says, "Oh my God. My cousin Carl crashed his car, and now heís in a coma at the Kendall Clinic."
** Played straight earlier in the series:
--->'''Milton:''' Without a kidney Iím going to die.
--->'''Dr. Spaceman:''' ''(giggling)'' I think itís the hard K sound thatís making me giggle. Kidney!
** Also played straight with Tracy, who loves to use the word "booby".
* InitialismTitle: The ShowWithinAShow T.G.S.
* InsaneTrollLogic: In ''Hogcock!'', Liz gets this when trying to get advice from other moms on a message board.
-->"So what? Our 2-yo is supergay and we love him more than a str8 child '''BC HE DOESN'T RAPE!'''"
** From 5x09 when Liz is using Kenneth as her therapist.
-->'''Kenneth:''' Miss Lemon, there's a reason God gave us two ears and only one mouth; listening is twice as important as talking. (beat) But He gave us 10 fingers...He must ''really'' want us to poke things!
* InstantBookDeal: Liz's ''Dealbreakers'' book. Naturally, it helps that she had the network's backing in promoting it.
* InsultBackfire: from "The Problem Solvers":
-->'''Liz''': God, Jack, why are you being such a wang about this?\\
'''Jack''': I'll take that as a compliment. An Wang, the founder of Wang computers, is one of the greatest businessmen of the twentieth century.
* InterspeciesRomance: Geiss's peacock Argus attempts to woo Liz.
* {{Irony}}: In the competition for Don Geiss's CEO position, the head of the stress ball division cracked under pressure and, uh...hanged himself.
** The kids whom Liz adopts are Tracy and Jenna as little kids. Liz doesn't mind, for her it's continuity.
* IronyAsSheIsCast: In the ShowWithinAShow, Danny's workaround when inserted into a Christmas duet with Jenna. As Christmas Vengeance.
* IsThisThingStillOn
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: In "Idiots are People Three!" Liz is forced to read a pre-written apology to an idiot anti-defamation league. She has to credit them with such great achievements like the Birther movement, intelligent design, and water parks, but stops reading from the apology because water parks are the worst item on that list.
* ItIsPronouncedTropay:
** The quack celebrity doctor for the cast (and other celebrities) name is Dr. Spaceman, as Liz learns when Tracy identifies his doctor as such. Initially considering it part of his ramblings, she admits she owes him an apology when she finds it written down. Although apparently it's pronounced "Spah-cheh-min".
** Then there's sexual harassment specialist Dr. Weinerslav. That's "weiner-slave", not "whiner-slav".
* ItTastesLikeFeet: Jack's wine apparently tastes like Satan's urine after a large portion of asparagus.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Pretty much. Jack went to Princeton and Harvard Business School, Liz to Bryn Mawr, Jenna to Northwestern, Toofer to Harvard. Milton Greene teaches at Bennington.(Justified, though: this ''is'' the highly competitive corporate end of the entertainment industry we're talking about. And Kenneth studied TV theory at Kentucky Mountain Bible College.)
** It's never actually stated that Liz went to Bryn Mawr; she says she went to the University of Maryland (on a partial competitive jazz dance scholarship). Jack associates her with Bryn Mawr because of her politics and because of his assumption of her sexuality...
*** Bryn Mawr alumnae have pointed out that her declared major doesn't exist at the school, also no one from Bryn Mawr would have such a shocked and confused reaction to having someone assume they were attracted to women.
**** Further averted with Liz in that her Theater Tech program was unaccredited.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: The reason Kim Jong-Il does not raise objections to Avery and Jack's marriage vow renewals.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Jack describes his younger self this way when telling Liz about how extremely attractive people like her boyfriend Drew live in a bubble that affects their ability to genuinely accomplish things in life without having everything handed to them. He proves this by showing Liz a photo of his younger self which causes her to gush over its attractiveness. Justified in that Alec Baldwin really was that astonishingly good-looking as a young man; in another episode, in front of the HDTV, Jack is depicted as his handsome younger self [[Film/TheHuntForRedOctober in the role of Jack Ryan]].
* {{Jerkass}}: Tracy and Jenna don't seem to be able to understand the concept of other people being in the universe aside from them.
* JerkAssHasAPoint: As much as Liz's father was revealed to be a bit of a jerk in the first Christmas special, Liz never offered to pay for a meal when they visited and he is on a fixed income.
* JumpTheShark: An in-universe discussion: in the episode "The One with the Cast of ''Series/NightCourt''," Jenna Maroney was blamed by Harry Anderson, Markie Post, and Charles Johnson for making ''Series/NightCourt'' "jump the shark" for her three part episode as werewolf lawyer Sparky Monroe.
-->'''Harry''': ''You'' made us jump the shark! ''You're'' the reason we didn't have a tenth season!\\
'''Markie''': I had just bought my second home when they brought that idiot werewolf lawyer in!\\
'''Jenna''': ''(insulted)'' Uh, that "idiot werewolf" paid for my hand reduction surgery, okay?
* JuryDuty: Liz Lemon wears a Princess Leia costume in an attempt to get out of it. It works in Chicago; not so much in New York.
* JustEatGilligan: Okay, so Tracy is too valuable to the show's ratings to fire, but what about Jenna? Half the antics on the damn show could be avoided/eased by simply firing Jenna, and ''TGS'' wouldn't take that bad a hit with ratings.
** In the first episode, Liz only agreed to hire Tracy in the first place in return for a guarantee that Jenna's job was safe. One wonders if she regrets that now. And now that Jenna is a genuine star for her role on the hit show "America's Kidz Got Singing", she's probably quite valuable to TGS.
* KarmaHoudini: After winning his Oscar, Tracy thinks he's garnered too much of the public's respect for him to be able to pull off his usual antics. In "100" he goes on several talk shows in an attempt to re-ruin his reputation, but people love him too much to take it as anything but admirable honesty or being "real".
** Jack's mother.
* KavorkaMan: Frank. Somehow. However, the only conquests of his we're shown are Jenna and two decidedly unattractive staffers.
** In "Queen of Jordan" we find that when he was in junior high school he had a Mary Kay Letourneau-style affair with his teacher, played by Creator/SusanSarandon.
* KeepingTheEnemyClose: As quoted by Jack Donaghy:
-->'''Jack''': The Italians have a saying, Lemon: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." And although they've never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this area they are correct.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Colleen, shockingly]].
* LampshadeHanging: SO MUCH. In fact the constant lampshading of television tropes is one of the running themes of ''30 Rock''.
* LastSecondWordSwap: The janitor in "100":
-->"I'm getting too old for this ''ssssshhhhhhh'' sound that comes from this gas pipe."
* LawOfInverseFertility: Subverted. Though Liz has a pregnancy scare near the end of Season Two, it turns out to be the cheese puffs she's been eating[[note]] They contain evaporated bull semen[[/note]].
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: ''30 Rock'' was never shy about breaking right through the fourth wall, but they do quite a bit leaning as well, such as in the season 7 episode "Florida" when Jack tells Liz that their mentor/mentee relationship was "more interesting" than them dating. The season 4 premier also opens with the camera fixed squarely on Jack's face (as if he were actually addressing the camera) as he welcomes "you all" to "Season Four"; then it turns out Season Four is the name of the restaurant, and Jack was welcoming Liz, Tracy, and Jenna.
** One of the earliest examples opens the third episode, where Liz accosts Frank for spending too much on a sketch: "You can't spend a bunch of money on bear suits that are only gonna be seen for like, 25 seconds!" Guess how long the bears appear on screen for.
** See also EndOfSeriesAwareness above.
* [[PoliticallyIncorrectHero Licensed Sexist]]: Dennis Duffy.
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: Liz and Jack's bickering often causes observers to wonder if they aren't already married - including when they technically ''are'' married.
* LineOfSightName: In "Standards and Practices" Liz's pseudonym while hiding (and talking to Kenneth) in the men's bathroom was Kenneth.....Toilethole. She later uses a WigDressAccent to make the InventedIndividual real for a meeting in TheStinger.
** The same thing happens with Kailey Hooper at the end of the episode. In Jack's office, she invents a girl named Jack...ie...Officecouch.
* LiteralMetaphor: Liz's boyfriend Floyd, upset over being passed up for a promotion, complains that he's sick of the rat race. It turns out his neighbors race rats in his apartment hallway late at night. Sometimes he places bets.
* LiveButDelayed: Averted, impressively.
* LiveEpisode:
** The fifth season episode [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Live Show"]]. Two performances were aired live, one for the Eastern and Central time zones and one for the Mountain and Pacific time zones.
** Again with season six episode "Live from Studio 6H".
* LivingBodysuit: According to Kenneth's mother, Kenneth is this.
* LivingProp: Lampshaded when one of the nameless writers cries out "I did it! I spoke!" in astonishment after finally delivering a throwaway line in "Respawn".
* LostWeddingRing: Pete loses his wedding ring in a game of poker in "Blind Date", and later admits he still had money!
** [[ButtMonkey Pete again]] in "MILF Island" when he throws his wedding ring at a phone. In this case, Pete's arm was stuck in a vending machine and he would presumably be freed if he only managed to dial the four digit extension of anyone in the building. He succeeds [[spoiler: in dialing his own extension]].
* LyricalDissonance: Jenna and her mother's "Do It to Me One More Time" duet.
--> '''Liz:''' How are you not moved by this?
--> '''Jack:''' Because I'm listening to the words.
* MaamShock: Liz simply purses her lips and shakes her head at no one in particular when a judge calls her "Miss, I mean ma'am" in "Respawn."
* TheMagicPokerEquation: Subverted in "First Date," when Jack's pair of 2s beat Kenneth's King-High.
* MagicRealism: As the series has gotten DenserAndWackier over the seasons, events that stretch one's suspension of disbelief have started to show up. While still rare, the RunningGag of Kenneth's immortality is a fairly clear case.
* MaleGaze: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] by Liz in "Grandmentor" when crazy page Hazel makes some very inaccurate accusations about Kenneth.
** Played straight in "Brooklyn Without Limits" where Jack (and even Jenna) are mesmerized by how fantastic Liz's butt looks in her new jeans.
--->'''Jenna:''' ''(watching Liz walk away)'' I'd hit that.
--->'''Tracy:''' ''(critically)'' Too small.
* ManChild: Kathy Geiss, who is also TheDitz.
** Also Liz's brother, who due to a ski injury still thinks it's 1985.
** Jack and Devon's fights from Season Four started getting more and more childlike. In one episode, Devon bragged he was firing an imaginary laser gun at Jack. Jack pantomimed a laser shield the next time he fired it.
--->'''Jack:''' That wasn't supposed to be a public hearing.\\
'''Devon:''' Awwww, I guess somebody weaked it.\\
'''Jack:''' ''You'' did! ''You'' weaked it!
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Claire Harper, played by Creator/JenniferAniston in season 3.
-->'''Liz''': Yep. Fun, craaaazy Claire.
-->'''Jenna:''' Oh man! Do you remember that night we all danced in front of that open fire hydrant?
-->'''Liz:''' Haha yeah. Her roof parties.
-->'''Jenna:''' Karaoke and boys talk.
-->'''Liz:''' The all night scavenger hunt.
-->'''Jenna:''' Do you remember when we crashed that Polish wedding?
-->''(both laugh a little nervously)''
-->'''Liz:''' Yeah, she's exhausting.
-->'''Jenna:''' Oh, I know. She's going to make us buy more of her homemade jewelry. Birds always attack me when I wear it.
** And true to form, she [[spoiler: also steals a police officer's gun and lets Jack take the blame. PlayedForLaughs of course]]
* ManipulativeEditing: Angie's ShowWithinAShow ''Queen of Jordan'' does this. Tracy avoids it by surrounding himself with copyrighted material so the producer can't use the footage without paying for the rights and the show makes Jack look clumsy, gay, and flatulent.
* MarriedToTheJob: A motif of the series is the question of whether Jack and Liz can "have it all"--have a successful family life in addition to their devotion to their careers.
* MayDecemberRomance:
** At one point Liz romances a 20 year-old. It ends badly when Liz discovers that [[OedipusComplex she looks exactly like his mother]].
** Jack and Avery.
** Frank and all of the cleaning ladies at 30 Rock.
*** Frank and his former elementary school teacher.
**** Kenneth and Hazel, given Kenneth's true age.
* MeaningfulEcho: In "MILF Island," Liz and a cutthroat Reality TV contestant say the same line simultaneously.
* MeaningfulName:
** Kenneth's last name is Parcell. As a page, he would obviously be handling a lot of parcels.
** [[TheDon Don]] Geiss, CEO and patriarch of GE.
** Cerie's last name, though never spoken on screen, is "Xerox". In the series finale, Jenna leaves New York for Los Angeles, only to discover upon arriving at the airport that the entire city is apparently populated with young, attractive women who look exactly like Cerie.
** Liz Lemon herself is portrayed as a sour, bitter person at many points in the series.
* MedalOfDishonor: Liz's "Followship Award".
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: From "The Natural Order":
-->"Dear racist Liz Lemon. This is how you treat me: like a white-whiskered gibbon put on this earth to do nothing but dance around for your amusement and reduce the insect population of Malaysia."
* MicDrop: Liz Lemon at the end of her high school reunion.
-->'''Liz:''' Liz Lemon out!
* MilestoneCelebration: The 100th episode "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin 100]]", a one-hour episode with clips from past shows and special guest stars MichaelKeaton, Creator/TomHanks, Brian Williams and Rachel Dratch.
* MistakenForGay: Jack does this to Liz in Season 1, setting her up on a blind date with a lesbian.
-->'''Liz:''' What made you think I was gay?\\
'''Jack:''' Your shoes. [Lowtop Converse sneakers]\\
'''Liz:''' Well I'm straight!\\
'''Jack:''' Those shoes are definitely bi-curious.
** Liz doesn't help herself, though, constantly making herself to be a bit mannish. For example:
--->'''Elisa:''' I have a terrible secret. Please don't ask me what it is.\\
'''Liz:''' I don't want to know what it is! ''(pause)'' Are you a man?\\
'''Elisa:''' ...''Really'', Lemon? That's your guess? You want to see me naked?\\
'''Liz:''' Kind of.
** Also:
--->'''Liz''': I have a new life philosophy that I call Lizbeanism...I'm Liz and obviously my philosophy is simple like a bean. Lizbeanism means that I am a dike... [[CueCardPause against]] the rising waters of mediocrity.
* MinorFlawMajorBreakup: The blind girl Kenneth is smitten with in one episode seems to love it...until she feels his face. Then her chin. Then his chin. She probably was expecting a beard.
** It's possible given the ensuing comments about her attractiveness and her knowing that she's good looking that she realized Kenneth wasn't good looking enough for her.
*** It's the fact that he doesn't have a chin at all, as the show likes to joke about (It's technically a neck ridge; I'll cut you up so bad you'll have a chin).
** The reason Liz is terrible at dating, as pointed out by Jenna.
* MistakenForPedophile: Criss, Liz's boyfriend. He gets in trouble with a cop when he tries to invite a kid into his van for a hot dog. He's actually a hot dog vendor selling out of his van.
* MistakenForRacist: The whole of NBC during Congresswoman Regina Bookman's (played by Music/QueenLatifah) visit to 30 Rock in "Let's Stay Together." Namely:
** Tracy eating from the production staff's food while Lutz calls him out on it: "Our food is separate!" Tracy responds by throwing a donut, calling Lutz a "white devil", and chasing him down the hallway.
*** Later, Tracy growls "I'm going to kill that cracker!", chasing Lutz with a sword. Lutz screams, "I'm half-Inuit! Hate crime!"
** The maintenance people remove the paper recycling bins, conveniently located between two unisex bathrooms, just before Jack and Bookman pass by. The bins are marked "White" and "Colored" with paper posted above them on the wall. When the bins are gone, it looks like the bathrooms are segregated.
** Then Jeffrey Wienerslav comes out of the "White" bathroom (or so Bookman thinks) and complains about having to hire Kenneth over some mega-diverse person; Bookman hasn't been told that Kenneth is all but indispensable.
** Jenna constantly tap dancing in front of her doesn't help matters.
** Regina is, however, impressed that Liz is the head writer, since the fact that ''women'' are a minority in the business world is often overlooked.
* MistakenForTerrorist: Two of Liz's Arabic neighbors. They were actually getting ready to audition for NBC's ''The Amazing Race''.
* ModernMajorGeneral: Jack, early on. He was promoted to TV programming executive despite his most notable previous achievements coming while the executive of the Microwave division.
* MsFanservice: lampshaded with Cerie in season one; Elisa in season 3.
* MummiesAtTheDinnerTable: Subverted. Kenneth is shown talking to his mother, of whom we only see the back (ŗ la Psycho). The camera rotates and we see Kenneth is talking to a skeleton in mother-style shawl and wig (ŗ la Psycho). ...Then we hear Kenneth's mom respond- Kenneth's been talking to his mom "via speakerphone." She asks if he's gotten the fake skeleton she sent him for Halloween.
* MushroomSamba: The gas leak in "100" causes hallucinations, [[ClipShow flashbacks, and nostalgia]].
* MusicVideoSyndrome: Parodied in the finale of season 4, where Jack and Avery [[SorryILeftTheBGMOn can't hear each other]] over the song.
* MyBelovedSmother: Colleen.
* MyBiologicalClockIsTicking: Liz, big time, but even [[GenderFlip Jack]] gets in on the fun sometimes.
* MyBreastsAreDownHere: In "The Shower Principle", Hazel the crazy page says "Eyes down here!" after showing up to work at 30 Rock wearing only a bra under her page jacket.
-->'''Hazel:''' Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer. ''(proceeds to hand out headshots of herself with her jacket open and bra exposed.)''
* MythologyGag: "Governor Dunston" is a reference to Tina Fey's run playing Sarah Palin on ''SaturdayNightLive''.
* NWordPrivileges:
** Toofer has apparently lost them, by virtue of his educated demeanor.
--->'''Liz''': It just sounds so hateful coming from you.
** Subverted when Grizz makes Liz read a message to Tracy and Dotcom. Stumbling over the ending, she says that there's a word she can't, as a white person, say: "homie".
*** That scene can just as easily be interpreted as Liz replacing the N-word with the word "homie."
** Jack and Liz are convinced that other races don't even have the privilege to say "Puerto Rican."
---> '''Jack:''' I'm sorry, what do you call yourself?\\
'''Elisa:''' A Puerto Rican.\\
'''Jack:''' No, I know you can say that but what do I call you?\\
'''Elisa:''' A Puerto Rican!\\
'''Jack:''' Wow, that does ''not'' sound right...
** Tracy is slightly confused by his. During his attempt to make people lose respect for him:
-->'''Tracy:''' ''(plaintively)'' [[DonImus I even called a basketball team a bunch of nappy-headed hoes]], but apparently I'm allowed to do that? ''Why?''
* NamesTheSame: Liz briefly dated men named Wesley Snipes, Carol Burnett and is currently dating Criss Chros.
** Wesley complains that "Wesley Snipes" should belong on a white British gentlemen. When you think about it, yes, it does.
* NeverLearnedToRead: In "Jack-Tor" Liz comes to the mistaken conclusion that Tracy can't read, and Tracy uses this as an excuse to goof off.
* NerdGlasses: Liz Lemon.
** Jenna: She doesn't even need those glasses!
* NietzscheWannabe: Kenneth briefly becomes a parody of one in the season 4 episode "Secret Santa."
** Liz becomes one in "The Tuxedo Begins," even going so far as dressing like [[Film/TheDarkKnight Heath Ledger's version]] of SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker.
* NoHuggingNoKissing: [[WordOfGod Fey's]] stance on the show in general, and specifically on Liz and Jack getting together. [[spoiler: They've even been ''married'' without doing any of this]].
** Late Season Six, and they finally do as part of a FakeoutMakeout to protect one of Jack's secrets. It's . . . ''horrifying''. NoSparks is putting mildly. It's portrayed as a great sacrifice for both parties.
** [[spoiler: Jack and Liz only admit to platonic love in the series finale]].
* NoBisexuals: Apparently it was just invented in the 90s to sell hair products.
* NoodleIncident: The unsolved crew death; the Angela Lansbury lawsuit.
* NoTitle: The tenth episode of the second season of was written immediately before the writer's strike of 2007-2008, and apparently nobody "wrote" a title for the episode before the strike started. Therefore NBC never came up with a title for the episode before it aired and it is still referred to only as "Episode 210".
* NotListeningToMeAreYou:
** "I think we need to change this Donald Trump joke... because he was eaten by a lion this morning on the International Space Station."
** "You're not listening to a word I'm saying. Poop! Monkey butt!"
*** "Thanks! Just portion control and exercise!"
* NotSoDifferent:
** Jack about himself and Liz in "Hiatus".
** Spoken aloud by Generalissimo to Jack in "Generalissimo": "We're not so different, you and I..."
** And spoken again by Jack in "Season 4".
* NotSoGreatEscape: lampshaded; Liz says, "This would've worked on ''UglyBetty''."
* NotSoHarmless: Hazel's sexual harassment lawsuit [[spoiler: gets TGS canceled]].
* TheObiWan: Invoked by Jack on his relationship with Liz. Explored in episode "Gentleman's Intermission".
* ObsoleteMentor: Rosemary Howard.
* TheOneWhoMadeItOut: Parodied with Tracy.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Subverted when Jack threatens RobertDeNiro with revealing he was actually from England.
-->'''[=DeNiro=]:''' ''(thick, convincing Cockney accent)'' But I'm so identified with New York, you bloody tosser!
** When Liz impersonates "Nurse Jamacaya" in "Future husband," her Jamaican accent starts to turn Irish.
** In the final episode, Jack has a threesome with Nancy Donovan and Elisa - and the sex is apparently so good for both of them, they have lost their respective Boston and Puerto Rican accents and adopted posh British ones.
* OlderThanTheyLook / RunningGag: Kenneth is, at the very least, over 40. Depending on how many other one-off jokes you consider "canon", he's also owned a parrot for 60 years and is trying to hide the fact that he's [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld been alive forever]]. Lampshaded in season 4: Frank's iPhone plays an irritating tone that can be heard only by those under 25, and a separate irritating tone that can only be heard by those over 40. Kenneth staggers by, holding his ears in agony and we're not sure which tone he's reacting to, if not both.
** When his page uniform is changed:
-->'''Kenneth''': I've worn this old jacket since nineteen-(''incomprehensible mumble'') and now they've just thrown it away.
** In a recent episode, a concerned Kenneth asked Jack how the Kabletown buyout would change page rules like age restrictions for "a friend."
** In "Luda-Christmas", a flashback shows Kenneth working at a video store just after ''WallStreet'' was released. He looks exactly the same, despite twenty years having passed in the meantime.
** In Season Five's "When It Rains, It Pours", Kenneth packs away a framed photograph of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Allen Fred Allen]] with a "To Kenneth" autograph from Allen dated 1947. He puts it away in a box labeled "NBC Memories 1947-1965".
** After seeing a pre-taped obituary for Tracy Jordan in the season 5 episode "Gentleman's Intermission":
--->'''Kenneth''': No! NO! I'm not done with him, [[Series/{{Lost}} Jacob]]! He stays on this side!
** In "TGS Hates Women", while giving a tour, Kenneth says he started working at NBC when Shirley Temple was eight years old (1936).
** In "Que Sorpresa" Kenneth is pitching an idea to Jack about censoring inappropriate images on TV, and points to himself when he says that some things may not be appropriate for "the elderly".
** In Season Four's "Into the Crevasse" there is a short scene depicting a 50's styled music video about microwaves. Jack [=McBrayer=] can be seen dancing.
** An ImagineSpot of the future in "100" gives Kenneth's birth year as [[spoiler:''1781'']].
** In early Season 4, Kenneth reassures Jenna during a crisis with an analogy from TheBradyBrunch. Jenna says she doesn't remember the show, as she was too young, then looks confusedly at Kenneth. There follows a brief awkward pause, then both laugh nervously and change the topic.
*** Not a Kenneth example. Following the the Brady Bunch analogy Jenna does state that she was too young to have watched the show and then looks at Kenneth as though challenging him to point out that she's lying. There is a pause and he does not point it out, and then she laughs awkwardly while he is sincere.
** At the very end of the Season 5 finale, Jenna, Paul, Tracy, Liz and Jack are all looking down at baby Liddy and smiling in Central Park. Cut to a scene of Kenneth on a nearby hill:
--->(''collapsing a telescope'') You see how much good is in them? How much capacity for love? (A pause.) Yes, I know, but I need more time. Give me more time, Jacob!
** In the final scene of the final episode, Liz's great-grandaughter is pitching Kenneth, who looks exactly the same, a new version of ''30 Rock''.
*** Or, more likely, the version of 30 Rock we've been seeing all along.
* OldNewBorrowedAndBlue: When Liz agrees to be a bridesmaid at Cerie's wedding:
-->(''Smiling, hugging Liz'') Now I have my something old!
* OnceASeason: Typically, Liz has a new multi-episode boyfriend usually played by a special guest star (Dean Winters, Jason Sudeikis, Jon Hamm, Michael Sheen, and Creator/MattDamon among them) every season.
** Also, Dennis Duffy and Devon Banks usually make one, if not two, appearances per season.
* OneSteveLimit: Hilariously [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] when Jack essentially orders new cast member Jack Baker to go by the name Danny. The fact that Danny's actual name is Jack is never brought up again.
** Jack has this done to him by RealLife GE CEO Jack Welch in "Future Husband". LaserGuidedKarma, anyone?
--->'''Jack Welch:''' Please, John, call me Jack.\\
'''Jack Donaghy:''' I actually go by Jack as well. \\
'''Jack Welch:''' I don't think so.
* OnlySaneEmployee: Former TropeNamer as "Liz Lemon Job".
* OnlySaneMan: Grizz and Dot Com do their best to fulfill this role for Tracy.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: In ''Kidnapped by Danger'', Jack tells Kenneth he has no idea how Kenneth is able to be cheerful with all of the issues in ''his'' life.
-->'''Kenneth:''' Well, Iíll tell you my secret, sir. ''(leans in close, deathly serious)'' I lie to myself. Every morning, when I wake up, I say everythingís going to be okay, but Iím lying, and I donít know how much longer I can do it. ''(To top if off, Kenneth gives a strained version of his usual squeal that sounds suspiciously like being strangulated.)''
* OrbitalShot: "The Problem Solvers", "It's Never Too Late For Now"
* OscarBait: Tracy's film ''Hard to Watch'', which actually earns him the Oscar.
* TheOtherDarrin: In an early episode, Tracy's wife Angie was played by Sharon Wilkins in a non-speaking cameo. In all subsequent episodes, Angie is played by Sherri Shepherd.
** The street performing robot hired as a new actor in Season 4's audition day may be covered in silver paint, but it's still obvious enough that he is not Cheyenne Jackson.
** During the fifth season live show, Julia Louis-Dreyfus also played Liz Lemon, alongside Tina Fey.
--> '''Jack:''' Why are you better-looking in your memory?
--> '''Liz:''' My memory has "{{Seinfeld}}" money.
** During the sixth season live show, Amy Poehler played Liz Lemon as a young girl.
*** Jimmy Fallon played young Jack in the same flashback of this episode.
* TheOtherMarty: Rachel Dratch as Jenna, though they kept her for the first season and gave her a number of cameos.
* OutOfFocus:
** Josh, who was eventually replaced with Danny. Lampshaded in "100" where Danny is assigned flashbacks of ''Josh'''s. Then Danny fades Out Of Focus in turn.
** This has happened to Cerie more recently.
** By Season 7 most characters other than the core five (Liz, Jack, Tracy, Jenna, Kenneth) have faded Out Of Focus. Frank, Toofer, and even Pete have little to do.
* OvertRendezvous: Subverted. Jack meets Lenny along the banks of the river, in view of the Queensborough Bridge. Lenny thanks Jack for driving out there, Jack says he doesn't mind because discretion is important. Lenny replies, "Also, my gym is right over there."
* OutdatedOutfit: in season 6 when Kenneth works in the standards and practices department all his suits are from the 70s, a nod to his implied ReallySevenHundredYearsOld status.
* PaintingTheMedium: The nature of the show allows them to paint regularly.
** It's very clear that Jack (at least) can see into Liz's flashbacks and fantasies, and frequently comments on them. Liz also comments on Jack's on occasion, though usually there it's [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] as him "describing in detail."
--->''Tracy (after a flashback from Liz)'': Was describing your sandwich in detail necessary to our understanding of what happened?
** Arguably, some lines in the pilot; the first two lines are roughly "Hey, there's a line here!" "Now there's two lines."
** The Trivection Oven is described as being able to cook a turkey in 22 minutes (the length of a half-hour comedy, minus commercials).
** An annoyed Tracy is walking slowly down the stairs, and Liz yells at him, claiming they don't have time for him to be moving so slowly. Suddenly he's right in front of her and she lets out a surprised "Time jump!"
** From the second "green" episode, "Sun Tea":
---> '''Kenneth:''' Miss Lemon, as I'm sure you know, it is "Green Week", and NBC...\\
'''Liz:''' Oh brother, are they actually gonna do something this year, or are they just gonna put that stupid green peacock in the corner of the screen?\\
'''Kenneth:''' ''(glances at the corner of the screen, [[NoExportForYou where the NBC logo is placed]])'' Actually...
*** Kenneth seems to be able to see credits and graphics. When one episode ended '''ToBeContinued''', Kenneth looked at the graphic, then asked directly at the screen, "Really?"
** "Yeah, I get it, you went shopping. I don't need [[ShoppingMontage the montage]]."
** Season four begins with Jack addressing the camera and welcoming everyone to season four. Of course, it turns out that he's talking to the other characters, and Season Four is the name of the restaurant they are at.
** An early episode of season 4 begins with Pete and Liz talking in her office about the people Jack is going to see audition. As Pete gives the following line, Liz quickly and briefly smiles and nods at the camera:
---> '''Pete:''' Assuming nothing goes wrong in the next 8 hours...
** The season five cold open ends with Liz saying, "Okay, season five. Here we go..."
** In "Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning" Liz tries to tell Jack what a [[http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=snart "snart"]] is because it's past [[{{Watershed}} 10:00]]...AM.
** "Flashback, please!"
** In ''Grandmentor'':
--->'''Kenneth:''' Tracy needs at least 14 hours of sleep a night or he begins to go crazy!
--->'''Tracy:''' ''(screaming from inside his dressing room)'' We're in a ShowWithinAShow! My name is Tracy Morgan!
** In the finale episode, ''Last Lunch'', Grizz he'll be finding himself in a FishOutOfWater situation as the owner of an inn in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A ''Grizz & Herz'' promo pops up on the bottom of the frame. Liz exclaims, "What is this?! Did you see that?!"
** ''Mazel Tov, Dummies!'' has this little gem:
--->'''Jack (to Liz):''' I told him [Tony Bennett] you're Italian, so he might call you "Tina".
* TheParagon: Kenneth, of course, may just be without sin.
* ParallelPornTitles: In "Don Geiss, America, and Hope" the Kabletown executive reveals that their highest revenues come from porn. Cue the porn movie titles.
** ''[[Film/{{Avatar}} Assatar]]''
** ''[[Film/TheLovelyBones The Lovely Boners]]''
** ''[[TheBlindSide The Hind Side]]''
** ''[[Literature/{{Push}} Fresh-Ass: Based on the Novel Tush By Assfire]]''
*** {{Lampshaded}} when Tracy watches pay-per-view porn, Liz reads off ''[[TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton The Curious Case of Benjamin Butt]]'' but is confused by ''I'm-a Do Us''.
---->'''Tracy:''' That's ''{{Amadeus}}''!
* ParalysisByAnalysis: Pete gets "the yips" the '80s at the Olympics, which allows him to help Jenna when it happens to her.
* ParentalSubstitute / LikeASonToMe: Liz and Jack often act like father and daughter. He's constantly pushing her out into the world and wants to see her take over his position when he moves up the ladder. She in turn worries about his health. This also explains the moments of {{Squick}} that can be seen on their faces whenever a romantic relationship is implied.
* ThePeterPrinciple: Both Jack who was transferred from management in the manufacturing sector to content creation and Liz who is a comedy writer by training and inclination but finds herself in a job that's more management than comedy fit this trope at times.
* PhonyDegree: "Dr" Spaceman. (Don't forget the ScareQuotes, he's legally required to use them.)
* PhraseCatcher: Cerie with, "Thank you, Cerie!" (Usually said by Liz in an annoyed tone to Cerie after she says something unintentionally offensive).
* PieInTheFace: "Flu Shot"
* PlayingAgainstType:
** Creator/JenniferAniston as a StalkerWithACrush. Though arguably matching her portrayal in certain tabloids.
** Jason Sudeikis as NiceGuy Floyd, which is quite a contrast from the loudmouthed idiots he normally plays.
** In the show itself, Tracy Jordan was known to do this. In the movie, ''Black Cop/White Cop'', Tracy played the white cop. According to Tracy, he was set to star in the movie ''RushHour'' until being replaced by JackieChan. He also starred in a movie with Creator/BettyWhite about a [[PissTakeRap rapping grandma]]. Betty remarked about how well Tracy played the grandma. And there's a constant tension between his normal persona, his [[HappilyMarried happy home life]], and his efforts towards critical success.
*** Tracy played both the black cop and the white cop.
* PluckyOfficeGirl: Despite being the head writer on a very successful TV show, and despite technically being lower-level management, Liz Lemon fits this trope to a T.
* PointyHairedBoss: Jack Donaghy in earlier episodes. Funnier because he actually does have pointy spiked hair in earlier episodes ("Hair like a Viking, God bless ya!").
* PoorMansPorn: Liz starred in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dpV-xOY2EY a phone sex ad]] for 1-900-OK-FACE.
-->'''Frank:''' [[FiveFiveFive That's not even enough numbers!]]
* PortmanteauCoupleName:[[invoked]]
** Parodied when Jenna is made TheBeard for James Franco. They get the portmanteau "James."
** Liz calls Jack and Avery "Javery."
** Jack and Elisa are "Jalisa".
--->'Jonathan:' What about Jackonathan?
** Tracy calls Kenneth and Liz "Klemon."
* PreemptiveDeclaration: In "Succession", Devon Banks is plotting to usurp Jack's place as the next chairman of GE after Don Geiss retires. After he extracts incriminating information from Liz in an elevator, Liz asks "Has he seen the security footage of you cheating on his daughter yet?". Liz then promptly jumps on Devon and kisses him forcefully, for the benefit of the security camera.
* ProductPlacement: Integrated surprisingly well into the show, either for laughs (like the examples below) or for plot purposes (like in "Leap Day", when Tracy has to spend his $50,000 Benihana gift card he forgot to use in one sitting; the episode was paid for in part by Benihana.)
** Parodied and [[DoubleSubversion doubly subverted]] in the first episode. Tina Fey put in a plug for the Trivection Oven (allegedly created by Jack) just because she thought it sounded funny (though GE rushed to throw in a commercial so the audience would know it's a real product).
** Later episodes [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] real product placements, including Snapple, Soyjoy, etc.
** The gratuitous [=McFlurry/McDonalds=] references in "Saint Valentine's Day" actually [[SubvertedTrope weren't for pay]]. Fey and the writers just like [=McFlurries=].
** The situation was parodied in a later episode involving Liz's new Slanket. She's asleep at her desk, and when suddenly awoken, yells "It's not product placement, I just like them!"
** "Quick Lemon, to the Kia Sorento!"
** An episode has them talking about the wonders of a Verizon phone and then Liz turns to the camera and says "Can we have our money now?"
** Jack: (to Liz) "There's nothing wrong with being fun and popular and just giving people what they want." (to camera) "Ladies and gentlemen, JayLeno."
*** It was a major TakeThat / BitingTheHandHumor. As Slate [[http://www.slate.com/id/2232744/ noted]].
** Jamba Juice:
---> '''James Franco:''' Five dates a week, one fight a month, and because of a product placement deal with Jamba Juice, the fight will take place in a Jamba Juice.\\
'''Jenna:''' I love Jamba Juice!
** In the episode with JerrySeinfeld, ''BeeMovie'' is heavily plugged, with a [[BreakingTheFourthWall look to the audience]], telling them the release date.
** The painting in Jack's office changes periodically, always showing and glorifying a real GE product.
** The following conversation:
---> '''Jonathan:''' Itís Cisco equipment sir. Itís almost better than being there.\\
'''Breckman:''' You like the Cisco equipment?\\
'''Jack:''' Of course. It continues to be the gold standard by which all business technology is judged. Cisco: The Human Network...Did you just mute me!? Did you just use Ciscoís cutting-edge sure-mute technology to mute me!?
** Played straight with Apple computers and laptops, the logo displayed prominently on any shots involving a computer.
* {{Pseudolympics}}: Olympic Tetherball, amongst others.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: "Dance Like Nobody's Watching" features the offensively frugal "Public Domain Week" on ''America's Kidz Got Singing'', which uses songs like "The Muffin Man" and "The Turkey in the Straw".
* PygmalionPlot: Jack often casts himself as Liz's mentor. Their relationship has grown more symbiotic as the series has gone on, but Jack still gives Liz fatherly advice. Jack has relied on Liz emotionally later in the series as well.
** Jack is depressed over Don Geiss' death. He moans he hears himself being erased from contact lists around the country.
--->'''Liz:''' I hear something else. It's the hug plane coming in for a landing.
--->'''Jack:''' ''(near tears)'' You're cleared for approach!
* QueerPeopleAreFunny: Uses this a lot for every side character.
* RaisedCatholic: Jack was, but he also doesn't let it get in the way of anything. His mother, on the other hand...
* TheRashomon: "The Rural Juror"; "Reunion".
* RatingsStunt: Discussed by Elisa in "Generalissimo".
-->'''Elisa:''' He drugged her champagne and had his way with her. Later, she gave birth to the devil. You know, sweeps week.
* RealLifeRelative: John Lutz (who plays [[TheDanza John Lutz]]) and Sue Galloway (who plays [[TheDanza Sue LaRoche-]][[TheVonTropeFamily van der Hout]]) are married in real life.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot:
** NBC is sold to 'Kabletown', a Philadelphia-based cable company. This may or may not have something to do with the announced sale of NBC Universal to Comcast, a Philadelphia-based cable company.
** The death of Don Geiss probably is due to actor Rip Torn breaking into a bank in the middle of the night while armed and drunk.
** In "Khonani", the subplot of two janitors fighting over the late shift paralleled the JayLeno[=/=]Creator/ConanOBrien drama. It was also a TakeThat aimed at NBC by the show.
** Season 6 episode "Idiots Are People Two!" addresses Tracy Morgan's homophobic ranting during the summer after Season 5.
** Finally, Season 7 episode "Florida" reveals that ''TGS'' will be canceled, just like ''30 Rock''.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Kenneth. Or is he?
-->'''Kenneth''': Who said I've been alive forever?
** In the final show, Kenneth is still president of NBC, but he's listening to show pitches from Liz Lemon's ''granddaughter'', with flying cars outside - and he's ''the same age''.
* RecordNeedleScratch: In "Queen of Jordan 2: The Mystery of the Phantom Pooper", when the cameras catch Jack and Avery's mother Diana kissing.
* RegentForLife: Variation in Jack's attempts to steer Kaylie into following her parents' generation into "[[UpperCLassTwit Trust Fund Kid Syndrome]]" so that he can become CEO of Kabletown.
* RetconningTheWiki: Jenna was set to play Janis Joplin on a movie, so the guys vandalized the Wikipedia article on her to mess with Jenna and get her to do silly stuff.
* {{Retirony}}: One of the maintenance guys is on his last day in "100". There's also a gas leak... [[spoiler:[[TheSixthSense He ends up getting shot in the abdomen]]]].
* RichBitch: Bianca.
* RidingIntoTheSunset: [[spoiler: Attempted by Jack in the Finale - but then he gets an epiphany: see-through dishwashers! He finds himself back where he's happiest: innovating for GE]].
* RightBehindMe: Liz overhears Lutz using a [[CountryMatters bad word]] to describe her.
* RomanticFalseLead: "Other Liz", played by Anna Chlumsky.
* RuleOfThree
-->'''Liz:''' I found Tracy, I saved the show, I always think of a third thing when I'm listing stuff...
** In "Stone Mountain", after two celebrities die Tracy is convinced he will be the third.
** In "Hey Baby, What's Wrong", Kenneth actually [[DiscussedTrope calls out "It's the rule of threes"]] as Jenna is listing times that she's been under pressure.
** "Jack Donaghy...he's the only guy out there with the programming experience, business savvy, and piercing blue eyes of a Siberian Husky that the job requires." -Avery Jessup
* RuleThirtyFour: Invoked occasionally, usually by Frank.
* RunningGag: Jenna's many references to her twisted, violent relationship with Mickey Rourke. In the final episode she says "I can't do this", [[BreakingTheFourthWall looks straight at the camera]], and says "I've never met Mickey Rourke."
* RuthlessModernPirates: Cerie's wedding is delayed by several months because her fiancťe is captured by Somali pirates. Due to StockholmSyndrome, some of them end up as groomsmen at the wedding.
* SanitySlippage: The pressure of running General Electric gets to Devon Banks in "Do Over".
-->'''Jack:''' Are you insane? Think about the jobs, the economy! This is G.E.!
-->'''Devon:''' It's just G now, Jack, I sold the E, to Samsung, they're Samesung now!
* SassyBlackWoman: Tracy's wife, Angie.
-->'''Angie:''' Oh, you lookin' for a sassy black friend?
-->'''Liz:''' Oh no, I didn't mean...
-->'''Angie:''' Well you got one now, girlfriend, go on!
* TheScottishTrope: In "The Shower Principle" Jenna freaks out when asked to perform a TGS sketch that mentions Shakespeare's play ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}''.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: In "The Funcooker", when Tracy finds out how cheap an FCC fine is for guys like him who have $300 million, he starts cursing on TV for fun. When advertisers start yanking their commercials from TGS in response, Tracy buys the ad time.
* ScrewYourself:
** Jenna attempts this with a drag queen who impersonates her.
** Jack's hallucinatory alternate, past, and future selves decide to pull a threesome once the real one runs off.
* SecretOtherFamily: Don Geiss is revealed to have had a secret Canadian family ''and'' a secret attic family.
** FridgeHorror sets in when you look at Kathy and Bertram and assume they're the "best" of his kids.
* SelfDeprecation:
** In-show examples:
*** Being [[CloudCuckooLander who he is]], Tracy might not have realized it, but:
---->'''Tracy:''' I hope the new dude isn't impossible to work with like ''some people I know''. ''(jabs thumbs at self)''
*** Kenneth calls himself a "chinless piece of human garbage" while role-playing Avery in "Respawn".
** Meta examples:
*** Every baby name Jack suggests to Liz is put down in spectacular fashion, especially "Christina, 'cause then everyone calls her Tina, and every Tina I've known is a real judgmental bitch."
*** Jack instructing Tracy on how to lose the image of being a serious actor: go back to doing television shows.
* SelfInducedAllergicReaction: Kenneth intentionally eats strawberries so Jenna can have an excuse to see an EMT she likes.
* SempaiKohai: Called by name by Jack with respect to himself and Don Geiss.
* SendingStuffToSaveTheShow: In universe, Kenneth tries to save TGS by sending sugar cubes to say that fans are "Sweet on TGS." The problem with this is that the sugar cubes would end up crushed during the mailing process, and, well, Kenneth gets tackled by a SWAT team for seemingly mailing anthrax around.
* SeriesContinuityError: In the pilot, it is clear that ''The Girlie Show'' has been around for some time--new GE television executive Jack Donaghy hires Tracy Jordan to save an already established show. But by Season 5 of ''30 Rock'' we are told that ''TGS with Tracy Jordan'' is also starting its fifth season.
** FridgeBrilliance The Girlie Show was well established. TGS with Tracy Jordan only began when Tracy Jordan joined TGS.
* SetBehindTheScenes: Set backstage of [[ShowWithinAShow The Girlie Show]].
* SevenDirtyWords: Tracy Jordan in an episode decided to exploit the fact that he could easily pay the $50,000 fine for every time he swore on TV.
-->'''Tracy:''' I'm off to appear on Martha Stewart Live. Oh, it's gonna be ''raunchy!''
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Jack in "Black Tie".
* ShipTease: Tina Fey is just toying with us.
** One episode contrived to have Jack claim to be in love with Liz so that her current boy-toy would break up with her. She finds out and confronts him about it.
-->'''Liz:''' What did you say made you fall in love with me? Was it my body? My dancing? It started off as a joke ''but now it's becoming real!''
* ShoutOut:
** Liz's boyfriend Floyd is named [[TheAndyGriffithShow Floyd [=DeBarber=]]].
** To ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Classic}}'', with the repeated use of the "word" [[UnusualEuphemism frak]].
** Liz's mother spoke about how she went to secretary school and worked at [[MadMen Sterling Cooper]].
** There's another ShoutOut to ''MadMen'' in an earlier episode, where Jenna puts strawberries (which Kenneth has a severe allergy to) in Kenneth's cheese sandwich. As he's starting to go into anaphylactic shock, he literally shouts out, "My real name is [[spoiler:Dick Whitman]]!"
** In a new microwave model being developed by GE is the [[StarWars TK-421]].
** Don Geiss is [[TheEmpireStrikesBack encased in carbonite in the same pose as Han Solo]] at his funeral.
** While "...goes to Dinosaurland" isn't an actual film, the "Emmanuelle" series is a very famous series of french softcore porn movies.
** A couple for ''Series/{{Lost}}''
--->'''Tracy''': Every crazy A-lister has their own island: Nicholas Cage, Celine Dion, Charles Widmore.\\
'''Kenneth''': You see all the good that is in them? All the capacity for love? Give me more time Jacob, I BEG OF YOU!
** In one episode, Liz ends up in front of a judge named Gregory L. [[JudgeDredd Dredd]].
** Condoleezza's favorite movie is ''MarsAttacks''.
** Kim Jong-Il's speech is peppered with completely non sequitur references of various Western films like "[[StarWars Luke I am your father!]] Film/{{Ghostbusters}}!"
** "[[Theatre/{{Annie}} Three bucks, two bags, one meeeee!]] Say, where does a young prostitute get started in this town?"
** In "Christmas Attack Zone", Tracy has the same epiphany as John Sullivan in ''SullivansTravels'' when showing a comedy instead of a tragedy to a woman's shelter.
** Liz's recap for Avery upon her return from North Korea is done as a rap song much like Skillz' "Year In Review" raps which drop every New Years Day.
*** "It's the 12 month rap rap wrap up!"
** Hazel and Jenna in one episode actually reference the plot to Creator/DarioArgento's ''Film/{{Opera}}''. Talk about a GeniusBonus.
** A quite obscure one unless you were a Fire Joe Morgan reader; in "Stride of Pride" one of Jack's romantic rivals has the email address of "[[Series/ParksAndRecreation kentremendous@fremulon.biz]]".
** Jack is trying to find a new CEO for NBC and he has Kenneth lead the final candidates on a tour. Kenneth remarks that it is like Willy Wonka. Later on you see the top candidates are similar to the children from Willy Wonka.
** The final show makes reference to the finale of ''StElsewhere'' as Kenneth is holding a ''30 Rock'' snow globe.
* ShowWithinAShow: The primary one is ''TGS With Tracy Jordan'' (originally ''The Girlie Show''). But since the series takes place at NBC headquarters, there are hundreds more which pop up throughout the series.
** 30 Rock is a rare case where many of the Shows Within a Show are actual shows in real life.
-->'''Tracy''': We're on a [[LampshadeHanging show within a show!]] My real name is Tracy Morgan! (episode "Grandmentor")
** Grizz has his own show by the Finale, which Liz is producing.
* ShownTheirWork: During Tracy Jordan's attempt to get his biopic of Thomas Jefferson off the ground, he casually mentions the horse in his dressing room will play Caractacus. This is the one thing that's actually historically accurate.
* SickAndWrong: Hazel claims she's naturally blond, but dyes her hair dark brown. Jenna finds this disgusting.
* SimilarlyNamedWorks: Jack quotes the poem "Invictus", prompting Liz to wonder who the white guy from ''{{Invictus}}'' was.
* SitcomArchNemesis: Jack considers teenaged Kaylie Hooper (Creator/ChloeMoretz), the granddaughter of his boss this and even calls her his "nemesis".
** Devon Banks (Will Arnett) also fills this role. Or at least he used to before he [[VillainDecay became a joke]].
** In "Game Over", Kaylie and Devon [[VillainTeamUp unite against Jack]].
* SkywardScream: '''"[[RougeAnglesOfSatin FRAJER!!!]]"'''
* SmallNameBigEgo: Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney. They even refer to non-actors as "normals" and "non-specials".
* SoapWithinAShow: ''Los Amantes Clandestinos'' ("The Secret Lovers"), a ''telenovela'' Elisa's ''abuela'' Yenque watches. Jack takes it over in the episode "GeneralŪssimo" for reasons almost as complex as the plot of the soap.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: "Queen of Jordan", in which an entire episode was made into a fake [[RealityTV reality show]] starring Tracy's wife, and the follow-up episode "Queen of Jordan 2: The Mystery of the Phantom Pooper".
* SoundtrackDissonance: A beautifully simple rendition of "Ave Maria" played on a trumpet during [[spoiler: Don Geiss' funeral-slash-freezing]] continues to play in the background while Jack pitches his horrifically stereotypical "porn for women" idea to Kabletown executives.
* TheSouthpaw: Tina Fey. The show doesn't draw attention to Liz being left-handed, but you can tell her left hand is dominant if you pay close enough attention. However, Jack does refer to her "left-handedness" in one episode.
* SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace: Parodied in Season 6 finale "What Will Happen To The Gang Next Year?", in which no one objects at the crucial moment when Jack and Avery are renewing their vows...causing Jack and Avery to angrily demand why no one's objecting, thus acknowledging the end of their relationship.
* SpecialGuest: Jerry Seinfeld and others; [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in "[=SeinfeldVision=]", but usually played straight.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: There are spelling inconsistencies within the subtitles, such as Donaghy vs. Donagee, Cerie vs. Suri, and Devon vs. Devin.
* SpitTake: "100".
--> '''Liz''': "And I wasn't even drinking anything."
** In "The Problem Solvers", to express astonishment, Liz actually' ''says the words'' "spit take".
* SplitScreenPhoneCall: "Somebody to Love"
* SpotlightStealingTitle: the ShowWithinAShow ''The Girlie Show'' becomes ''[=TGS=] with Tracy Jordan'' thanks to Jack's ExecutiveMeddling.
* {{Squee}}: Kenneth does this ''a lot'', especially when he sees a television celebrity.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Jack can never keep a steady relationship for a length of time. There always has to be some excuse to get his latest love interest out of the picture/dueling for his attention with another woman once he is done chasing them. Often the writers will try to lampshade this by having the characters departing from the show for incredibly random out-of-character moments, including being kidnapped and held in North Korea for a whole season, or being suddenly revealed as a psychopathic black widow murderer.
* StoryArc
* TheStraightWillAndGrace: Jack and Liz realize they're closer than most ''actual'' married couples as they try to [[spoiler:annul their accidental St. Esclavage wedding]].
* StepfordSmiler: Hinted at with Kenneth. Confirmed when Jack asks how he can possibly be so happy when his life sucks so badly. Kenneth beams, leans in, and suddenly becomes [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness deadly serious]], saying that he lies to himself each morning, saying things will be okay, but he knows it's a lie.
-->Kenneth: ...Iím lying, and I donít know how much longer I can do it.
* StockFootage: The show often reuses {{Establishing Shot}}s of 30 Rock. One shot is particularly recognizable due to the presence of a helicopter in the sky. That helicopter's pilot must ''really love'' to fly the exact same route over 30 Rock over and over again.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: The former TropeNamer ("Did A Korean Person Die"). Happens frequently, especially between Tracy and Jenna.
** In an early episode, Jack is trying to come up with a joke to open an executive dinner speech with, and comes up with "Jack Welch is so great, they named Welch's grape juice after him, because he squeezes the sweetest juice from his worker's mind grapes." In the next scene, Tracy is in the writer's room brainstorming ideas for his appearance on ''Conan'', and he says, "What else? What else is on my mind grapes?"
** In "Stone Mountain", Tracy is convinced that because two celebrities have just died, he's going to be the third (see RuleOfThree above). Though everyone else thinks he's crazy, both Creator/BettyWhite and Creator/JimmyFallon understand exactly what he's doing [[spoiler:when he tries to make sure they die first. Fallon even does the same thing to Tracy.]]
** In "Gentlemen's Intermission," Tracy and Jenna separately conclude that saving a hero cat makes someone a double hero.
* StrawmanPolitical:
** Very much averted with the strong Republican Jack--highly non-stereotypical, he seems to be more of an Establishment corporate-type member of the GOP, accepting of homosexuality and what religious conservatives might call "loose morals", and whose views seem mostly based around his belief in capitalism. He has an admittedly dim view of anything liberal. Liz, a self-described Democrat, admits to supporting Obama out of white guilt. She also has a bit of a racist streak, which the show uses to hilarious effect.
** In "Respawn" Liz spouts a bunch of strawman liberal catchphrases to try and "cheer up" Jack back into his usual cutthroat self.
* StylisticSuck:
** Any asides of supposed ''TGS'' sketches. Or any other supposed shows (''MILF Island'': "25 super hot moms. 50 [[JuniorHigh eighth-grade]] boys. [[{{Squick}} No rules]].")
** Any reference to Tracy Jordan's projects (''Honky Grandma Be Trippin''', ''Fat Bitch'', ''Fat Bitch 2'', and his adaptation of ''An Affair to Remember'': ''A Blaffair to Rememblack'').
*** Don't forget ''Samurai I Am Awry'', ''Black Cop/White Cop'' and ''Who Dat Ninja''.
*** ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Hard to Watch]]'', Tracy's attempt to be seen as a serious actor. He succeeded, but it didn't last long. The film's dramatic impact was a definite InformedAbility.
** Anything Jenna Maroney stars in, including ''The Jackie Jormp-Jomp Story'' (which mutated from being a biopic about JanisJoplin), ''Film/MysticPizza: The Musical'', and ''The Rural Juror'', which took several ''episodes'' for the rest of the cast (and the audience!) to figure out what Jenna said when she mentioned the title.
*** And the sequel to ''Rural Juror'' being ''Urban Fervor''.
*** The final episode (and final TGS) ended with Jenna singing the almost unintelligible TitleThemeSong to ''Rural Juror''.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Jenna does this incessantly, but the rest of the cast is susceptible too.
-->'''Kenneth:''' Ms. Maroney, I'm afraid I have some bad news.\\
'''Jenna:''' Jenny [=McCarthy=] died? But who could've been slowly poisoning her? Was she poisoned? I have no way of knowing because I'm just hearing about it.
** Also:
-->Jenna: This is not a rage stroke!!
** Then there's this:
--->'''Jack:''' Now, take off that bald cap, Kenneth. We have a lot of work to do.
--->'''Kenneth:''' Of course... take off my bald cap... not... put on my wig.
** In the episode where Avery is kidnapped by North Korea:
--->'''Kim Jong-il''': Another American reporter has come to North Korea because it's awesome and we have enough food.
* SycophanticServant: Jonathan.
* TakeThat: In addition to their parent network NBC, many jabs are taken at everything from the obscure to the popular.
** When Jack is showing off a voice-controlled TV to the Kabletown president, Jack mutters [[OhCrap "Crap"]]. Behind him, the television changes channels to ''KeepingUpWithTheKardashians''.
** Aaron Sorkin makes a cameo on "Plan B":
--->'''Sorkin''': I'm Aaron Sorkin. ''[[TheWestWing West Wing]]'', ''AFewGoodMen'', ''[[TheSocialNetwork Social Network]]''--\\
'''Liz''': ''[[DuelingShows Studio 60]]''?\\
'''Sorkin''': Shut up.
** In "Idiots Are People Two!", Tracy rallies the idiot community into protesting NBC. Included in the movement are the [[YouCanPanicNow anti-vaccination crusaders]] and Denise Richards.
*** The networks covering Liz Lemon's apology to idiots in the next episode include Cinemax, Spike TV, Yahoo Answers, The Today Show (an additional jab at NBC), and Fox News.
** "Queen of Jordan" and "Queen of Jordan 2: Mystery of the Phantom Pooper" are presented as "episodes" of Tracy's wife Angie's reality show, ''Queen of Jordan''. The show is basically a parody of the ''Real Houswives'' franchises.
** In "Mazel Tov, Dummies!", the ColdOpen ends with Dennis Duffy pushing his equally-loutish wife and Afro-clad black adopted son [[CrossesTheLineTwice Black Dennis]] through a diner, screaming "[[Series/ModernFamily 21st-century family]] coming through! This is Series/TheNewNormal!"
* TalkingToThemself: When Liz gets a "Dealbreakers" talk show, she cracks under the pressure and develops a split personality "performer Liz" that bears a strong resemblance to neurotic Jenna.
* TastesLikePurple: Said word-for-word by Jack while lying in his hospital bed after his heart attack.
** During the LiveShow, Jack states he feels like he's in a Mexican soap opera (thanks to the live video feed, instead of the show being filmed as usual.)
* TeamMom: Toofer outright says that Liz is that, using it as an explanation as to why Liz isn't invited to the writers' parties: "You don't wanna go drinking with your mom." Of course, [[spoiler:he was trying to convince an angry Liz to save them from a rabid dog at the time]]. True in the sense that Liz is usually the one keeping the writers and cast from killing each others or themselves.
** Unless they mess with her food.
* TheTetrisEffect: Liz complains that she's out of whack in "Winter Madness" because she'd been playing online ''Boggle'' all night.
-->'''Liz:''' Okay, this is my stop. STOP. POTS. TOPS. OPTS. POST...
* ThatCameOutWrong
-->'''Devon''': I'm honestly not trying to make this [[FoeYay sound]] [[HoYay gay]].\\
'''Jack''': No one is; it's just happening.
* ThatOtherWiki: When Jenna is doing method acting preparation to play a CaptainErsatz of Janis Joplin, the writers mess with her by adding ridiculous lies to her {{Wikipedia}} page so that Jenna will emulate them.
* TheTwink: Just about every background gay character in the series.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: ''Bitch Hunter'', of course.
-->'''Bitch Hunter:''' Put ''down'' the mimosas, '''''bitch'''''!
* ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman: {{Lampshaded}} on ''30 Rock'' episode "I Heart Connecticut", with the fictional NBC show "''Who Nose?''" about an investigative reporter who must compensate for a lack of ''smell''.
-->'''Reporter:''' You under estimated me, Congressman, because I canít smell. But you made one mistake: You let me ''see'' the documents.
* ThreeWaySex: In his last act of awesomeness, Jack pulls this off with Nancy and Elisa in penultimate episode "Hogcock!".
* ThrowItIn: The CreditsGag of "Black Light Attack!" has Lutz dancing energetically, with the rest of the cast chanting, "Go Lutz! Go Lutz! Go Lutz!" It was actually completely unscripted, as [[TheDanza the actor Lutz]] was grooving to the generic techno music. It was such a fun moment that the scene was left in.
* TitleDrop: Frequently with episode titles.
* TooDumbToLive: After Jenna has a messy break-up with a sniper, a laser sight appears on her forehead in Liz's office. Jenna decides to run up to the window and mock him for his mother issues.
* TookALevelInJerkAss: Pops up quite a bit in the series, especially with Liz and the writing staff.
* TooSoon: The reason Tracy was banned from {{Twitter}} was for something he said after [[TheAndyGriffithShow Andy Griffith's]] death. He whispers what he said to Kenneth.
-->'''Kenneth:''' ''(in horror)'' [[BrainBleach I can't unhear it!]] ''[[BrainBleach I can't unhear it!]]''
* TotallyRadical:
-->'''Randy Lemon:''' But I'm not going home until I give my cool cousin a ''makeover!''\\
'''Liz:''' ''(giggles)'' Is it gonna be fierce?\\
'''Randy:''' It would be if it was 2006!
** Jenna has problems with this.
--->'''Jenna:''' No more making fun of me when I misuse dated cultural references, okay? Are we cowabunga on this?
** --->'''Liz:''' This party has to be off the hook!\\
'''Tracy:''' People don't say that anymore...they say Surf Party USA!
* {{Transsexual}}: Jeffrey Weinerslav. [[spoiler: And possibly Liz. But that doctor was a quack]].
* TrustMeImAnX: From "Christmas Attack Zone".
-->'''Milton''': "Listen to me, dammit, I'm a doctor."
-->'''Jack''': "Of history! In what emergency would you be necessary? If someone wanted to know whether the 60s were awesome or not?"
-->'''Milton''': "They were!"
* TurnInYourBadge: When Kenneth is fired in the final episode of Season 4, he hands in his NBC page badge - and his gun, which disturbs Pete.
* TwoferTokenMinority: James Spurlock, both "a Black guy and a Harvard guy", is nicknamed "Toofer."
** When he demands that he no longer be called "Toofer" as a condition of his returning to the show (they need him for diversity credits), which causes great delight with the writers. Understandably, by the time Pete suggests something he just gives up and lets them call him "Toofer":
--->'''Toofer:''' As a condition, I have requested that I no longer be called Toofer.\\
'''Frank:''' Great! New nickname suggestions. Go!\\
'''Liz:''' Victoria Q. Nerdballs.\\
'''Jenna:''' Kanye East.\\
'''Frank:''' Super Virgin.\\
'''Tracy:''' Splock. Short for "Black Spock".\\
'''Pete:''' Threefer, cause youíre also gay.
* UltimateJobSecurity: Tracy Jordan. Jack claims that the only thing he can't get away with is dog fighting. So he does ''that'' just because he can't. And ''still'' gets off the hook after one therapy session.
** Mitigated by the fact that he never ''succeeded'' in setting up a dog fight, and was as disgusted by it as anyone else. He only tried because he was told he couldn't, and probably never did after the session.
* UncannyValley: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] as a difficulty in combining pornography and video games. Frank uses ''StarWars'' and ''The Polar Express'' to explain the concept to Tracy. [[invoked]]
** Strangely Frank's explanation is fairly accurate, even though DVD commentary suggests the episode's writers didn't exactly get the concept (they didn't understand why zombies/animate corpses were in the depths of the valley).
* UniquePilotTitleSequence: The opening credits of the first episode feature Liz in a ''ThatGirl'' / ''TheMaryTylerMooreShow''-type opening, but this ends up as a LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn gag and actually they're singing about the ShowWithinTheShow character "Pam, the Overly-Confident Morbidly Obese Woman". The second episode introduces the regular opening credits (although the Pam tune is frequently heard as background music during the series, when Liz is on-screen.)
* UnluckyEverydude(tte): Liz Lemon
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Much of the cast, but especially Liz and Jack.
* UnusualEuphemism:
** "Here comes the Funcooker!"
** "Lizzing," a [[PottyFailure combination of laughing and whizzing]].
** "Convenience store owner" is apparently Kenneth's slur of choice for Koreans.
** Liz will often exclaim things like:
-->(on seeing a peacock) "Gasp! Living dinosaur!"
-->"Gasp! Puerto Rican!"
-->"Gasp! Skinny arm havers!"
-->"Gasp! Albino Ninja!"
** Jack will sometimes say things like:
-->(seeing Lemon in an ugly overalls outfit) "Lesbian Mario Brothers!"
* UrbanLegendLoveLife: Tracy. He has to ''seem'' like a Casanova to keep his street cred...but when Angie ''demands'' that he have an affair to save their marriage (yes, to ''save'' the marriage; their income depends on his street cred!), he just can't bring himself to do it.
* ValentinesDayEpisodes: Liz Lemon does not have the best of luck on Valentine's Day.
** In the series' first Valentine's Day episode, "Up All Night", Lix tries to figure out who sent her flowers.
** In "St. Valentine's Day" Liz goes on a disastrous first date with Dr Drew Baird. Meanwhile, Jack and Elisa spend the evening in church.
** "Anna Howard Shaw Day" in the fourth season had Liz boycotting Valentine's Day, choosing to celebrate the birthday of suffragist Anna Howard Shaw instead, and scheduling a root canal for that very day. Naturally, things don't go according to plan.
** "Double Edged Sword", the fifth season's Valentine's Day episode, looks at the effects of being a relationship with someone very similar in personality.
** "Hey Baby, What's Wrong?" Liz and Criss' relationship is put to the IKEA test, while Frank and Tracy teach Lutz their dirtbag knowledge on how to pick up women.
* ValuesDissonance: Invoked with "Bucky", a 1950s child star on NBC.
* TheVamp: Phoebe.
* VampireTropes: When Liz was desperately trying to avoid anyone with a flu, she used a pocket mirror to see if anyone was around a corner and saw nothing. When she walks around the corner, she bumps right into Kenneth.
** Kenneth: "When I look in the mirror, all I see is a white haze."
* VengefulVendingMachine: Pete Hornburger once spends an entire episode with his hand trapped in a vending machine.
* VerbalTic: Subtle, but throughout the show characters have a tendency to use "it" instead of "she". This is likely another reference to German, as most female pronouns are grammatically neuter in German.
* VertigoEffect:
** "Flu Shot", when the flu hits the ''TGS'' set and Liz becomes terrified of catching it from her coworkers.
** "Greenzo" when Liz realizes with horror that Kenneth is inviting people to one of his parties.
** "The Beginning of the End" when Liz (again) realizes that Jack is deliberately tanking NBC.
** "Florida" when Liz (yes! again!) realizes that Jack's late mother Colleen had entered into a lesbian relationship in her later years.
* VideoWills
* WakeUpFighting: Lutz, with a golf club, when the writers dare Kenneth to wake him up wearing an ape mask and roaring.
* WalkAndTalk: Subverted and lampshaded.
* [[LeParkour Wall Run]]: Liz achieves one in ''There's No I In America''.
* WardrobeMalfunction: Invoked by Jenna in "Live Show", in which she warned that if Tracy didn't stop disrupting the show by breaking character (and stealing attention from her), she was going to "slip a nip."
** In the final episode, WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue, Jenna pulls her top down during an awards show after trying to steal a Tony she didn't win.
* WaxingLyrical: In "What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?", after Criss sells his hotdog van named "[[PunnyName Van Der Beek]]", he says "[[DawsonsCreek I don't wanna wait for our lives to be over]]." Part of joke was that earlier in the episode Criss mentioned that he had never actually seen ''DawsonsCreek''.
* WeddingDay: Liz finally finds Mr. Right in Season 6, and gets married to Criss in Season 7's "Mazel Tov, Dummies!".
* WeirdnessCensor: Kenneth suddenly realizes how odd the whole TV industry is.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Creator/BlakeLively and Leighton Meester were set to appear as themselves, but the timing couldn't be sorted out with fellow CaliforniaDoubling-averter ''GossipGirl''. (Blake did, however, host the 12/5/09 episode of [[SaturdayNightLive another show from the same producers]].)
** Among aspects to have changed from the initial draft of the "Untitled Tina Fey Project" script (later to become the basis of the Pilot episode), Liz Lemon was named ''Lisa'' Lemon, Tracy Jordan (presumably not yet cast) was ''Lawrence'' Jordan, and the [=SNL=]-like show Jenna initially appears in is called "''Friday Night Bits''" (set to be retooled by Jack into an ArtifactTitle-free "''The Lawrence Jordan Show''").
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: Invoked when Jenna asks Kenneth to find her a new light bulb for her dressing room.
-->'''Kenneth:''' Easy as pie, Miss Maroney! What could go wrong? ''(beat)'' Why would I even ''say'' that?
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The episode where Tracy became a Republican suddenly ends with him being a Republican and nothing in the show references it again.
** Angie: We support Kucinich.
* WhatIsThisFeeling: Tracy and Jenna react this way to feeling guilt in "Florida".
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Parodied at the end of "College".
** Guess where's it's played straight.
* WhiteMansBurden: Parodied in the fictional films that Tracy is supposedly an expert in starring in.
-->"I may not know nuthin' about that fancy book learnin', but I do know one thing fo' ''certain''--this film was written by white ''nerds!''
** Parodied in one episode where, after a misunderstanding, Liz thinks Tracy is illiterate. She bends over backwards trying to make things easier for him, and at the end it's revealed that Tracy has been screwing with Liz for his own amusement. When she asks why, he points out that her smug white savior attitude is quite racist.
* WholePlotReference: The B-plot of "Succession" is one for ''{{Amadeus}}'', with Tracy as master porn-composer.
** In the penultimate episode ''Hogcock!'', Jack deciding who will run NBC is a direct reference to ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', complete with {{Expy}} adult versions of the kids. Subverted when the Charlie Bucket Expy turns out to be a corporate raider -- Kenneth himself becomes Charlie Bucket.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: Jenna hopes to garner press buzz with her future child's crazy name.
-->"Right now it's between Frisbeeface and Glock, gender irrelevant."
** Cerie considers naming her daughter "Bookcase", "Sandstorm" or "Hat", but thinks that Hat is more of a boy's name.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Jack and Liz. Although Alec and Tina have acknowledged the existence of sexual tension between the characters, WordOfGod has rejected the idea of a romantic relationship. Flat-out ''parodied'', according to WordOfGod. Played deadly straight, according to [[FanDumb some]]. Example: after learning [[spoiler:Danny]] is dating Liz, Jack, who thinks this relationship is bad for the show, tells him, "My secret is: I'm in love with Liz Lemon." Meanwhile, [[http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_kwa7robSH91qzmvhdo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=0RYTHV9YYQ4W5Q3HQMG2&Expires=1293751634&Signature=qLY5zT%2BGboroa4ZA/vkFrrQ4phU%3D Liz does a series]] of gross {{Sight Gag}}s, and he winces almost to the point of, well, [[IncrediblyLamePun gagging]].
-->'''Jack:''' I've never told this to anyone... [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not because it's a lie]], but because it's a ''secret''... Hereís my secret. My secret is... Iím in love with Liz Lemon.\\
'''Danny:''' What?\\
'''Jack:''' Itís true. It was love at first sight. I ache for her sexually. How could I not? Iím entranced by those mud-colored eyes set back in that skin. And her laugh. Her walk, that splay-footed walk, and that... whole situation... right there. And... oh... mustache? ''(aside)'' '''''[[BrainBleach Good GOD, Lemon!]]'''''
** Jeffrey Wienerslav lampshaded this trope ''by name'' in Season 5, when [[spoiler: Jack and Liz accidentally got married]].
*** In ''What Will Happen Next Year'', Kim Jong-Il gets exasperated and ''demands'' Jack and Liz become a couple in Season 7, citing shows like ''{{Moonlighting}}'', telling the writers not to overthink it and just do it.
** In "Hey Baby, What's Wrong", Lutz accidentally hits on Liz (ItMakesSenseInContext), leading to this line from Tracy:
--->'''Tracy:''' 'bout time! After six years, it's been like watching ''{{Moonlighting}}''!
** [[spoiler: They didn't. They did, however, tell each other that they loved each other]].
* WithLyrics: In the pilot, the "Pam, The Overly-Confident Morbidly Obese Woman" song is sung with lyrics. While the tune features the background music to practically every episode, the lyrics are not heard again until episode 100.
** In "Live Show", Jenna sings the opening theme with lyrics, as the credits are displayed on a monitor behind her.
** In "Kidnapped by Danger", Music/WeirdAlYankovic adds lyrics to the closing credits theme.
* WolverinePublicity: "Seinfeld-Vision".
* WontTakeYesForAnAnswer:
-->'''Pete''': I said you could do it.\\
'''Jenna''': Why not?! Oh... I mean, thank you.
* WordOfGod: We know of Cerie's last name (Xerox) from executive producer Robert Carlock. We know of Liz and Jack's lack of a romantic future from Tina Fey.
* WorkCom
* WorthIt: Lutz, after pissing everyone off by choosing Blimpie's when it's his turn to pick where the staff eats.
* WorthlessForeignDegree: One of the doormen at Liz's apartment building used to be a doctor in Poland.
** Dr. Spaceman's Vietnamese medical degree.
* WoundThatWillNotHeal: In "Argus" Pete reveals where Jenna bit him.
* WriterRevolt: When forced to write an environmental-themed episode for NBC's Green Week, the writers instead wrote a brutal satire of NBC's own environmental greenwashing, and then did it again the following year, and brought back former VPOTUS AlGore to "re-cycle" a joke. Also the one episode broadcast during the WGA writer's strike in season 2 (the un-named episode 210) has no writers in it, implying that they are on strike. During the Writer's Strike, the cast of ''30 Rock'' performed a live episode on-stage off-Broadway to raise money for the strikers.
** ExecutiveMeddling during initial development of the show [[TheOtherDarrin changed the actor playing Jenna]] from Rachel Dratch--Tina Fey's friend and long-time collaborator. Dratch was nonetheless retained throughout season 1 to perform many miscellaneous roles, [[PaperThinDisguise often without significantly changing her appearance between characters]].
* XanatosSpeedChess: Jack engages in this a lot. Jack and Colleen attack each other with one each, calling it their "Christmas Attack Zone".
** Jack on his relationship with Avery: "Playing psychosexual mind games IS our normal, Lemon."
* {{Yandere}}: [[spoiler:Elisa]] turns out to be crazy enough to murder her husband for cheating.
* YesMan: Tracy is upset to discover that his entourage is made up of yes men.
* YokoOhNo: Not YMMV, as it happens in universe.
** Breaks up Frank and Pete's band in "It's Never Too Late For Now".
** In "Cleveland" Phoebe says she wants to be Jack's Yoko, much to Liz's horror.
** In "Meet the Woggels!" Jenna sets out to "Yoko" a band.
*** "Are you afraid my sexuality might tear this band apart?"
* YouCanSeeThatRight: "We can all see the little black boy in the corner, right?"--Dr. Spaceman when Tracy brings his son to the office (episode "Sun Tea").
* YouGetWhatYouPayFor: Liz's discount eye surgery.
* YouLookFamiliar:
** Rachel Dratch in several different guest roles.
** Prior to his recurring role as Paul in the fourth season, Will Forte played Prince Gerhardt's valet in a first season episode.
** The [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3719644/ same actor]] has played Liz's imaginary boyfriend Astronaut Mike Dexter, her mother's real boyfriend [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzz_Aldrin Buzz Aldrin]], an actor on the "porn for women" channel that Jack Donaghy invents, and a guest at Floyd's wedding who tells Liz he's a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plushophilia "plushie"]].
** Jeff Hiller played both the hotel desk clerk at Liz's high school reunion and Stuart the flight attendant in a later episode. Since the hotel desk clerk was never named, it's ''possible'' they're both Stuart, but the way the show re-uses actors for bit parts, they probably are different characters.
*** Not the same character. Freeze-frame the reunion episode and the hotel clerk's name is Shawn.
* YouMonster: Liz says this to Jack when he reveals who gets kicked out of Top Chef.
* YourCostumeNeedsWork: Jenna met her boyfriend Paul at a Jenna Maroney impersonator contest. He came in first place; she came in fourth.
* YoureInsane: This gets invoked quite a bit on the show.
-->'''Devon:''' You know, revenge is a dish best served cold, Jack. Like sashimi, or pizza.
-->'''Jack''' You prefer cold pizza?
-->'''Devon:''' The morning after? It's the best.
-->'''Jack:''' Better than hot pizza? That's insane.
-->'''Devon:''' [[BerserkButton You don't tell me what kind of pizza to like!]]
* YourMom: Frank, Toofer and Lutz engage in a prank war against Jack. Jack responds by sending them a tape of himself in Frank's mom's bedroom. He tells them he's been a perfect gentleman, but if the pranks don't stop, he won't be next time. Then he reminds Toofer and Lutz that they also have mothers.
** Jack tells Devon in "Into the Crevasse" that tomorrow's newspaper will read: "Donaghy Saves GE, Marries Your Mom".
** Liz gets one in on a rude flower shop employee in "Up All Night."
-->'''Liz:''' Oh well you know what? I found the card, and actually, they're from your mom, so tell your gay mom I said thanks.
** Josh and Liz also engage in the Dozens, which is casually won by a visiting Jack.
* YouSayTomato: Jenna does this a lot. For example, she pronounces camera as "cahmerah". When Liz gets her own ''Dealbreakers'' show, she begins to behave like Jenna and starts pronouncing stuff like her as well.
** Also:
--->'''Dr. Spaceman:''' This is always hard to say: You have die-AB-uh-dees?
----
''[[TheStinger Shut it down!]]''