Funny / The Thick of It

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: Who's the only gay in the village?
    Hugh: Eddie Grundy?
  • 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.
  • The scene when Malcolm interrupts Hugh's interview with Angela Heaney in the (supposedly) soundproofed office and takes him outside for a bollocking. Terri walks in and calmly asks Angela if she wants tea and biscuits, while Malcolm's torrent of abuse can be heard in the background.
    • Immediately beforehand, there's the sight of him running down the street as fast as his legs will carry him as he makes his way over there.
  • Malcolm's response to being asked not to swear is hysterical:
    Malcolm: I'm really sorry, you won't hear any more swearing from us, YOU MASSIVE GAY SHITE! Fuck off!"
  • The unnamed "piss woman" who plagues Hugh and Glenn during the factory visit. To wit, Hugh gets out of the car, says hello to the workers, and is suddenly confronted by an angry woman asking him "Do you know what it's like to clean up your own mother's piss?". And she will not go away.
    • Eventually, Glenn has enough.
    Glenn: CAN YOU PLEASE SHUT UP... for one fucking minute? I'm asking nicely.
    • Later, Malcolm and Jamie send Ollie over to ITN to influence the news order. Jamie decides to check up on him.
      Jamie: Hey, all right shitebag, you done it yet?
      Ollie: I'm just in the middle of doing it right now, but every time I —
      Jamie: WELL FUCKIN' HURRY UP! GET OFF THE FUCKIN' PHONE!
  • Ollie's visible glee while Malcolm is bollocking Phil: "You breathe a word of this to anyone, you mincing fucking CUNT, I will tear your fucking skin off, I will wear it to your mother's birthday party, and I will rub your nuts up and down her leg while whistling Bohemian fucking Rhapsody, alright?
    • And then Phil walks off looking like he might genuinely have soiled himself.
  • Three words: Catastrophic. Erectile. Dysfunction.
  • Jamie's ill-fated attempt to turn Cliff Lawton, who is clearly still bitter about being sacked by Malcolm, into a viable prime ministerial candidate. After a disheartening phone call from Malcolm ("Was the Cillit Bang guy not available?"), he gives up.
    Cliff: [reading from his notes] "To put it simply, I'm back."
    Jamie: Oh, fuck off, Cliff.
    Cliff: Sorry?
    Jamie: Fuck off! You're a busted flush. You're not gonna be prime minister, you're not gonna be anything so fuck off.
    Cliff: This your thing, isn't it? Everything has to be an absolute, everything has to be black and white. You know, "I love you, fuck off". There are lots of shades of grey, you know?
    Jamie: Oh, I know that, I'm looking at fifteen of them right now.
    • Really, the entire scene is full of zingers. Another highlight is Jamie dismissing Cliff's draft statement as "self-pity and shit" that "sucks cock so deep, the bell-end is wearing your appendix as a little hat".
    • "Are you a horse? Are you a fucking horse?"
  • The food fight that ensues when Jamie discovers Julius has been leaking information.
    Jamie: You, Julius Nicholson, being of sound mind, but with a body that looks like a giant sex toy, did knowingly do us up the shit hole by passing confidential information to the enemy!
    Jamie: EAT THE FUCKING CHEESE!
    • And Malcolm, of all people, is the one to instigate it.
      Julius: Don't be stupid...
      Malcolm: Eat another prawn.
      Julius: Stop it!
      Malcolm: Have some fucking chow mein!
      Jamie: Stuff it in his fucking head! Stuff it in his big baby head!
  • 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.
    Malcolm: NICOLA, NO!
  • Glenn's frustration upon being presented with four boxes' worth of crime statistics to be published, having already already fed a huge pile of stats into the system.
    Glenn: What the hell's this?
    Ollie: It appears to be a trolley full of crime stats.
    Glenn: Vandalism. Bicycle theft. Oh, this is ridiculous! [kicks over two of the boxes]
    Ollie: Well that's given us an unexpected head start, well done. I would kill you but I'd have to add you to the fucking figures.
    • From the same episode, there's Nicola suggesting alternative sportspeople (besides Andy Murray) to endorse the "Healthy Choices" campaign, and Malcolm dismissing each one of them as "a boring fuck".
  • 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's, 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!"
  • This exchange from "Spinners and Losers":
    Glenn: Actually, Malcolm, we still have no word on Dan Miller. I mean he's gone dark. He's not answering his phone...
    Malcolm: Maybe he's in a hotel with his own huddle. Ring around, try and find him.
    Glenn: What, ring every hotel in London and ask if Dan Miller's booked in?
    Malcolm: Yeah! Although he could be using an assumed name.
    Glenn: So you want me to ring round every hotel in London and ask if anyone, of any name, has booked in?
  • "EAT THE FUCKING CHEESE. EAT THE CHEESE, NICHOLSON!"
  • "Spinners and Losers" also provides this wonderful collection of words:
    Jamie: Union Neanderthals with brains the size of children's bogies couldn't take the heat of Hugh Abbott's ring-stinging, shit-hot public sector reforms, but he's flying back like Harrison Ford with a big whip in one hand and a skinny latte in the other and he's going to whip six shades of shit out of them and save the world.
  • 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.
  • When Peter is asked for a comment on the NHS worker's protest.
    Peter: "As we enter the third week, I find Mr Tickel's attention seeking tent based twattery even more annoying than weeks one and two."
  • 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.
    • Peter's dismissal of Stuart's interjections mid-series 4, delivered in the way only Roger Allam can;
    Peter: Shut the fuck up, you prancing shit.
    • When Mary Drake eventually announces to Stuart that the PM wants him out, Peter's reaction says it all.
  • Peter Mannion's disdain for children:
    Peter: I hate school children. They're volatile and stupid and they haven't got the vote. Might as well be talking to fucking geese.
  • 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 fucking age with a name like fucking TIM.
  • In 4.06 Robyn recognises Baroness Sureka as having been in the papers. The Baroness is absent for the next hearing.
  • Baroness Sureka reading out the jokes made about Mr. Tickel.
    Sureka: How do you turn Mr. Tickle into Mr. Happy? Lithium.
  • In 4.03, Fergus and Adam end up buying a bank with tax-payer money out of social embarrassment.
    Peter: I sometimes buy The Big Issue out of social embarrassment, I don't buy a fucking bank!
    • And then Adam uses the fact that it was bought with taxpayers' money as a defence. As if that makes it any better.
      Peter: Great, the triple. I'm a nurse-killer, a banker, and now I'm raising FUCKING TAXES!
  • Glenn's meltdown in 4.07 is this crossed with a Crowning Moment of Awesome as he roasts Fergus, Adam, Peter, Phil, Emma and Terri. And just when you think it can't get any better, he leaves with this:
    Glenn: (cheerfully) Fuck you all up the wrong 'un! Ta ta!

From Rise of the Nutters:
  • Ben Swain's Newsnight interview.
    • "The cameramen are laughing."
  • Malcolm and Jamie attempting to prep Ben for the aforementioned interview.
    Malcolm: Have you ever travelled, like, a hundred miles per hour, head first, down a tunnel full of pig shit? Because that's what's going to happen to you tonight with Paxman unless... unless you listen to us.
    Jamie: He will eat you up, sick you out and grout his fucking wet room with you.
    • And then:
      Jamie: Let's see you do your stuff, Mr. Television, huh? Immigration is in disarray. Now what are you going to do about it?
      Ben: Well, first of all, I would have to take issue with your contention that immigration is in disarray...
      Jamie: OH, ANSWER THE QUESTION, YOU FAT FUCK!
  • 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.
    Peter: I always tuck my shirt in, it's part of getting dressed. What, should I not do my flies up either? Let the old chap flop out? Is that modern enough for you?
  • Never mock Al Jolson in front of Jamie. Ever.
    • "You take the piss out of Jolson again, I will remove your iPod from its tiny nano-sheath, and push it up your cock! Then I'll plug some speakers up your arse and put it on to shuffle with my fucking fist! And every time I hear something I don't like, which will be every time that something comes on, I will skip to the next track by crushing *your* balls.

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?

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