Casanova Wannabe: Both Jemaine and Murray insist that Jemaine is the ladies' man of the group, while Brett is shown to have much more frequent on-screen success romantically than he does.
Even Mel seems to find Bret more attractive, at least in the episode "Bowie". Jemaine asks her to act like Bret's more attractive than him to build up his self-esteem. She manages to be too convincing, detailing almost every way Bret is more handsome than him.
Cloudcuckoolander: The entire main cast, as well as everyone from New Zealand, right up to Prime Minister Brian.
The Season 1 finale could apply. "The Crazy Dogggz", a band formed by Todd and Demetri (two musicians who quit the Conchords), has hit the big time with a song Bret and Jemaine refused to play. Their manager, who also manages the Dogggz, has almost totally stopped managing them. And, possibly worst of all, their former Loony Fan, Mel, has lost all interest in them. However, as this is the Conchords we're talking about, it's all played for laughs.
The Season 2 ending is a subversion: Murray, Bret and Jemaine are all deported and resume their careers as shepherds. However, they seem just as happy to play their music in the fields as in their apartment or in empty clubs.
Dull Surprise: A running gag. The band is so unfortunate that they no longer react to bad news with anything more than a small sad "Oh."
Eccentric Mentor: David Bowie, at least in Bret's dreams. He appears in various costumes, each time explaining, "Hello, Bret, it's 1973 David Bowie, from [as one example] the Ziggy Stardust tour!" Bret points out that he "looks a lot like Jemaine", but Bowie denies they are one and the same. Bowie does cop to the dreams being dreams, hoping Bret finds them sufficiently freaky.
Epic Rocking: Often parodied. For example, when the duo tries writing a jingle for a thirty second commercial for Femident Toothpaste, they come up with an eighteen minute long song. Another notable example is when Bret initially writes "Song For Coco" (which Jemaine helps him rewrite to "If You're Into It"), the song is two hours long.
"Friends" Rent Control: Dealt with in "Evicted", when the landlord realizes that he's been receiving checks in New Zealand dollars, not US dollars.
Funny Background Event: The New Zealand tourism poster in Murray's office changes every episode, usually saying something along the lines of "New Zealand: It's not Australia," or "New Zealand: Worth a visit."
Hammer Space: where Jemaine gets his instruments from, evidently. Since the show really blurs the lines of whether or not the musical numbers are really happening or not, instruments come and go fairly at random; the only time it's completely averted is at the beginning of "Boom", when Bret remarks that he needs his 1987 Casio electric guitar set to mandolin, and someone walking by hands it to him.
Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: The song "Bret, You've Got It Going On" is full to the brim with this, with such lines as "Why can't a heterosexual guy tell a heterosexual guy / That he thinks his booty is fly?" This leads to a discussion of the fact that, when Jemaine puts a wig on Bret while he is sleeping and spoons him, it's not gay because he's imagining he is a woman. Of course.
Mel: Those girls I don't trust them Bret. They have no interest in you as musicians. They just wanna...
Bret: Just wanna what?
Mel: They just wanna do it with you, Bret.
Mel: Yes, and I know your policy on sexual relations with fans, Bret.
Bret: I got to go to the bathroom.
Mel: Bret, I know...
(Bret goes to bathroom)
Mel: (opens bathroom door while he's still going) It's just that Bret, I just hope that they respect your boundaries.
Mel looks jealous again because Bret is watching a girl from the pet store. She responses by saying "Bret, if you really love someone, you have to get to know them as a person. You can't just watch them from afar." But it's later subverted when Mel uses the idea of "getting to know them better" to encourage them to invade her privacy.
Dave, though the guys are always seeking his advice anyway. Particularly impressive when he works on the tourist information point for New Zealand Town, which is odd because at no point during the series does he remember where New Zealand is...or what its name is.
Murray, whose misconceptions about the music business and American culture are largely responsible for the Conchords' lack of success.
Lampshade Hanging: An amazing number of first season episodes involved Bret quitting the band, and in a later season 1 episode Murray quits the band, prompting Jemaine to tell him, "You can't quit the band. Bret normally quits the band!"
Bret is a very shy and sensitive guy who usually feels uncomfortable around women, and if he gets laid is mainly because it's Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male. However, BEWARE if you are his fancy and he gets freak-ay: you may end bodypainted to match the wall, photographed with a goat on a boat, dressed as a squirrel in order to steal his nuts or performing foreplay with cardboard silhouettes of yourselves...
The "gangsta raps" of the Conchords try to be this... and fail miserably.
Eminem! Is not very good...
Fifty Cent! Is not very good...
But the Rhymenocerose is very very good!
(insert your facepalm here ______)
Also "Hurt Feelings", a rap about some times when their feelings were hurt: Jemaine cooked a meal for his friends and none of them said anything nice about it; Bret was told he should try on a women's size scuba-suit...
I'm not a lady—I'm a man! Bring me a small man's wetsuit, please!
Mundane Made Awesome: Reading the lyrics to the songs, or just hearing them described, you'd think they'd be terrible. But Bret and Jemaine put an awful lot of talent and brilliant homage into them, even their most ridiculous songs about the most trivial topics are great.
Mushroom Samba: "I'm the pretty Prince of Parties, you're a tasty piece of pastry!"
Musical World Hypotheses: One of those musicals that are not Alternate Universe. Some of the songs are diegetic, such as "Robots," "If You're Into It" and "Albi the Racist Dragon"; some of the songs are All In Their Heads like "Business Time" and "Prince of Parties", and some of the songs are musical adaptations of events that really do happen, such as "Foux da Fa Fa, "Most Beautiful Girl in the Room," "I Told You I Was Freekie" and "Hurt Feelings."
It looks like they actually perform "Fashion" in-universe, but are only confident enough to do so because of the hair gel.
Sometimes, it's not really clear what happened. After the two spend a few minutes doing a ridiculous performance of Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros in front of 2 muggers, the only response they get is,
"Were you guys dancing a little bit?"
My Nayme Is: "Her name is Barbara!" "No, it's Brahbrah" "There's no such name as Brahbrah!" - yeah, turns out her name really is Brahbrah.
Negative Continuity: The second season, where for instance the Conchords lose all their furniture in episode five and have it back without any mention of how in episode six, Bret dates an admittedly rather loony woman at the end of episode six who has vanished without a trace in episode seven, and Bret and Jemaine fall down to "strangers" on Murray's friendship graph in episode four with him even remarking that the next band meeting will be awkward because "you're strangers!", but in episode five communications between them and Murray are back to exactly how they were before. The first season at least had a couple of developing subplots and included Snap Backs to restore the status quo before the end of each episode.
Nice Hat: In episode one, Bret is working on a helmet that looks like his hair. He wears it on several occasions.
The band often introduces themselves in live performances as "formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo". (The third-most-popular is claimed to be "Like of the Conchords," a FotC tribute band.)
The song "Most Beautiful Girl in the Room" is filled with these, serenading the subject with the fact that she's the most beautiful girl in the whole wide room, and could become an airline stewardess or a part-time model.
Piss Take Rap: Pretty much any time the Conchords try to rap, it turns into this. Notably, "Hiphopapotamus vs. Rhymenocerous."
"There ain't no party like my nana's tea party Hey! ho!"
Poor Man's Substitute: In-Universe. at one point, Bret and Jemaine got a gig as replacement Simon & Garfunkel lookalikes. They look nothing like Simon and Garfunkel, but Murray claims they're practically identical to the Simon and Garfunkel lookalikes they were sitting in for.
Or woman's. After the show Jemaine is approached by a sexy mature woman who looks very interested on him and asks for a date, much for Jemaine's surprise. Turns out she was allured by him just because of the Garfunkel's jewfro wig. When he tells to his friends, they are justifiably shocked.
There's just a little bit of dust in my eye Dust from the path that you made when you said your goodbye I'm not weeping 'cause you won't be here to hold my hand For your information there's an inflammation in my tear gland
She's Got Legs: The titular girl from the song "Leggy Blonde". Murray even mentions one of the things he likes about her is her legs before singing the song.
Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Australians in general. In one episode, the guys become nemeses of a racist greengrocer, but it's discovered that he thought they were Australian. They unite against their common enemy.
Sliding Scale of Continuity: The second season had several episodes end with the guys having, say, lost all their furniture, or fallen below zero on Murray's friendship graph, with the next merrily restoring the status quo without so much as a mention. The first season, however, is level 2-3, making it an example of invertedContinuity Creep.
Small Name, Big Ego: Dave thinks that he's a cool ladies man, but really he's a pawn shop owner who lives with his parents.
Small Reference Pools: The show frequently references Lord of the Rings due to the fact that just about the only thing most Americans know about New Zealand is that the movie adaptations were filmed there. One of the promotional posters in Murray's office is a shot of a grassy rock formation with the words "New Zealand ... Like Lord of the Rings"
Snap Back: First ten minutes of the second season.
Spinning Paper: Used in the musical-within-a-show Bret and Jemaine perform in the last episode. To get this effect in real time, they just have Dave walk slowly to the front of the stage while spinning a newspaper around.
"Albi the racist dragon". The Aesop delivered ("racism is bad") is a perfectly good one, they just deliberately delivered it in the most ridiculous way possible.
The protest song "Think About It". Again, the Aesops themselves are perfectly reasonable ("sweatshops are bad ...") but the song misses the point completely ("... because they don't actually make their products cheaper").
The Stateroom Sketch: Jemaine moves into a new apartment, which is really just an empty cleaning supply closet. The first thing he does is invite over everyone he knows for a housewarming party, which naturally spills out into the hallway.
Status Quo Is God: Used straight and.... not. While the basic premise is always restored by the episode's end, some subplots (such as Bret and Coco's relationship) develop from episode to episode. The season 1 finale leaves some minor loose ends, most notably the fact that Mel, their one fan, has moved on and become obsessed with another band. This leads to a very quick Snap Back in season 2.
The Stinger: In the "Bowie" episode, the second half of the credits run alongside Bret and Jemaine performing an arrangement of the song based on Bowie's Let's Dance period, complete with matching pastel suits and funky dance moves.
Stylistic Suck: If you can't understand how Bret and Jemaine are so unknown in-universe, just listen to the songs they actually perform.
And arguably the songs they sing during the interludes. The Conchords mentioned in an interview that they think comedy songs only work if it sounds like the singer really believes it, so we get them really seriously singing a protest song that includes the line "man's lyin' in the street/some punk's chopped off his head/I'm the only one who stops to see if he's dead."
Jan met another man Liza got amnesia, just forgot who I am Felicity said there was no electricity Emily, no chemistry Fran, ran, Bruce turned out to be a man Flo had to go, I couldn't go with the flow Carol Brown just took the bus out of town
Technology Marches On: invoked New Zealand is shown to be completely behind the times, including their technology. Bret gets VHS cassette tapes of TV shows sent to him from his family. Brian the Prime Minister buys a VHS version of The Matrix. According to a commercial on Bret's tape, New Zealand is still in the process of adopting the telephone.
That Reminds Me of a Song: Used off and on in the TV show since it uses songs written years before. Some episodes were written specifically to avert the trope, like making epileptics dogs a major plot point just so that the song about them would fit. Other times they don't even try, like the Mermaid song. Other times, the songs coming from nowhere and not making any sense any sense actually works, like "Prince of Parties" (played when Bret takes drugs for the first time) and "Petrov, Yelyena, and Me" (played when Bret has a bad dream).
Only for the first season, all the songs in season 2 were written for the show.
Timey-Wimey Ball: This introduction to Bowie, they claimed to have gone back in time and taught David Bowie his own songs, using an Easy-to-Play Bowie songbook.
Training Montage: In "Drive By", when Dave attempts to train Bret and Jemaine in the art of extremely rude gestures. It takes a while.
Yoko Oh No: In-universe. Parodied and lampshaded when Bret dates Coco.
Did you just say Yoko?
Ohno, I was just coughing.
Zeerust: Their vision of a future in which robots become all-purpose laborers, achieve sentience, rebel against their masters and eventually exterminate the human race so that they can party. It's in the distant future of the year 2000.
For reference, they wrote the song back in the nineties. But they didn't change it for the 2000's TV show, thus expertly turning a parody of Exty Years from Now into an even better parody of I Want My Jetpack.
Some of their instruments look pretty technoriffic... for the eighties. Among them a Casio 1983 digital guitar, an Omnidrum and some old school synthezisers. They also are fond for those VHS Murrays gets back home though, granted, all that DVD craze seems still a little bit afar from New Zealand.
Those robot outfits would have been dissed as zeerusty even by Fritz Lang!
Who wanna rock the party?! Who wanna rock the party?!