In the best traditions of farce and satire, The Thick of It
relies on situations characterized by ever-aggregating absurdity, making it difficult to point to exact time codes that turn the funny Up to Eleven
. But there are a few unforgettable moments:
From The Thick of It proper:
- Any time we get to witness Malcolm's Girly Run.
- Malcolm trying to gauge Hugh's pop culture awareness:
- Malcolm's cake iced with "Happy Birthday C*nt", and the serious way he muses, "This could be from anyone." It's from the Prime Minister.
- Malcolm's response to being asked not to swear is hysterical: "I'm really sorry, you won't hear any more swearing from us, YOU MASSIVE GAY SHITE! Fuck off!"
- "You take the piss out of Al Jolson again and I will remove your iPod from its tiny nano-sheath and push it up your cock! Then I'll put some speakers up your arse and put it on shuffle with my fucking fist. And every time I hear something that I don't like, which will be every time that something comes on, I will skip to the next track by crushing your balls!"
- Three words: Catastrophic. Erectile. Dysfunction.
- The food fight that ensues when Jamie discovers Julius has been leaking information.
Jamie: "EAT THE FUCKING CHEESE!"
- S02E06, the Diary Fiasco and Hugh lying to a Select Committee:
Hugh: "Well, I lied to the Select Committee. It's like lying to the House."
Malcolm: "Yeah, I know, but if she doesn't know then it doesn't matter, Hugh."
Terri: "Excuse me, but I really can't be fielding calls right now. I have got a lot of lines to learn. It's Claire Ballentine's office—they want departmental diaries from the last twelve weeks."
Malcolm: "Hugh, go and get Ollie and Glenn in here! This is really serious. You have lied to a Select Committee."
Hugh: "I told you that!"
Malcolm: "But that's like lying to the House!"
Hugh: "That's what I said."
Malcolm: "Yeah, but they're on to you!"
- Nicola making a break for the Fourth Sector launch that Ben is bombing, and Malcolm girly-running after her screaming at the top of his lungs.
- The entirety of the 'Quiet Bat People' debacle in the second episode of Series 4.
- Particularly as, in the scene where Olly finds Malcolm in the cafe, the magazine under Olly's arm has a picture of Batman and "The Dark Knight Rises" on the cover.
- And in the first episode, Peter Mannion's press conference about App-Britain. Cringe Comedy at its finest.
- Malcolm forming an analogy from a popular film franchise:
Malcolm: "What's that film you love?"
Ollie: "What film?"
Malcolm: "The one about the hairdresser. The space hairdresser and the cowboy...the guy, he's got a tinfoil pal and a pedalbin... his father's a robot and he's fucking fucked his sister...Lego, they're all made of fucking Lego."
Ollie: "...Star Wars?"
Malcolm: "That's the one!"
- The way Ollie praises Ben ("Ben Swain, Benny, Big Ben, The Prodigal Swain, Bentally ill, Ben Kenobi, Ben Laden") when Ben is probably the dullest man alive.
- Regarding the almost empty press conference in 4.05: "Is that it? It looks like a paedophile's funeral!"
- "EAT THE FUCKING CHEESE. EAT THE CHEESE, NICHOLSON!"
- Malcolm's telling Ben Swain off, ripping a keyboard from a desk for him to play with, and screaming at him to stand in a corner in a manner akin to overly enraged school teacher.
- In 3.03, Malcolm interrupts himself in mid-rant to Glenn to comment in astonishment on the tiny hotel room kettle that Glenn is holding.
- Peter Mannion's endless disdain for Stuart:
Peter: "I'd like to use his mouth as an ashtray—it doesn't mean I'd actually do it."
- When Mary Drake eventually announces to Stuart that the PM wants him out, Peter's reaction says it all.
- Malcolm's fury in 3.05 during the debate between Nicola and Peter Mannion—after it's pointed out that Mannion's party has been dealing with a shady sweatshop company, it is pointed out in a text from a listener called Tim in Ruislip that the sweatshop in fact donates twice as much to Nicola's side.
Malcolm: "You're fucking dead. And those three little words, "Tim in Ruislip", are the fucking nails in your coffin, dear. Tim. In. Ruislip! Tim in fucking Ruislip. And as for Tim, in—"
Janice: "Can you stop FUCKING saying that please!?"
Malcolm: "—FUCKING Ruislip, he's fucking dead as well! That fucking texting coward! Give me his number. What's his fucking number?! Give me the fucking number of Tim in Ruislip! If you don't give me his fucking number, do you know what I'm going to have to do? I'm gonna have to go to fucking Ruislip, and fucking snap the thumb and forefinger of every single person I see, who I think resembles the find of wanker that walks around in this day and age with a name like fucking TIM."
From Rise of the Nutters:
- Ben Swain's Newsnight interview.
- "The cameramen are laughing."
- Jamie sitting next to Nicholson in the meeting and spending the next five minutes fellating his pen for Malcolm's amusement.
- Pearson making Peter Mannion try on a suit and the horror that is Peter's un-tucked shirt.
From The Missing DoSAC Files:
- The picture from Jamie's "Summer of Shame".
- And the emails from Malcolm making fun of him for it.
- Ollie's smear campaign against Peter Mannion, which is so piss-poor that Malcolm asks Mannion himself for some contributions. Responses include "Got pissed with Black Rod and took a slash on the Queen's tiara (not a euphemism)".
- Malcolm soliciting a hack to write a self-insert thriller called Ticker Time. The sample the man sends him.
- "Tucker took in the pleading eyes of the PM. He scanned the room. He wasn't one for mucking about. Ever. His big brain made the decision in superfast time and before he knew it his lips were saying the words he knew they were going to say."
- And Malcolm's reply, scribbled on the manuscript while apparently drunk: "We need to feel Mike's pain more. He should drill the druggie with regret. With a noble sadness for the greater good of the people. Remember, later on we're going to find out the drug head was working for the CIA and Mike has his Hour of Darkness."
- "This is all fine, up to a point. Not as good as what I said, but it'll do. But I reckon it needs something arty up top. Something about a cloud? Cloud's look like—butter? Or sheep? 'The clouds that morning looked like buttery sheep and Mike had a bone-on like a yew tree.'"
- And Malcolm's reply while sober: "Robbie you're fired. I've read this all back sober and it's fucking pish. You never wrote as good as I talked. Goodbye, forever. M"
- The photo spread featuring Malcolm shooting lasers from his eyes and his head 'shopped on the body of James Bond, and the "10 Facts About Malcolm Tucker", are both hilarious and practically Memetic Badass ascended.
- Malcolm's (obviously) obscenity-laden responses to various emails that annoy him, and his PA's subsequent cleaned versions.
- Even better, when one of his profane emails is given a lookover, his PA replies "Seems fine to me".
- The end of the book, with Malcolm being blackmailed with the titular missing files by the mysterious 'Paul.' Within a few days 'Paul' has been found, set up, arrested, and later convicted for "gross indecency" mainly focusing on doing disgusting things with lost property. Don't fuck with Tuck...er.
- Malcolm describing Adam Boulton as a "male Sandi Toksvig with a glandular complaint".
From The Webisodes:
- Ollie's merciless yet hilarious verbal abuse of Glenn.
Nicola: "Should I have read the...you know..." (pantomimes the official Whitehall document box that theoretically contains important governmental information)
Ollie: "Oh, those. No, don't worry. They're purely ornamental, much like Glenn's balls."
Glenn: "You don't hang around in this business for as long as I have without making a few contacts."
Ollie: "Yes, Glenn, but Disraeli is dead. He died in the Crimea. Did you not hear the town crier announce it?"