[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FryandLaurie.jpg]]

'''''A Bit of Fry and Laurie''''', commonly known as ABOFAL or "Boffle", is a British television series starring former Cambridge Footlights members Creator/StephenFry and Creator/HughLaurie, broadcast on both Creator/{{BBC}}2 and also [=BBC1=] between 1989 and 1995. It ran for four series, and totalled 26 episodes, including a 35 minute pilot episode in 1987. Both Fry and Laurie have expressed interest in working together again, but this has not yet taken place, due to both men's busy schedules (the former with various projects, the latter with ''Series/{{House}}'').

The programme was a sketch show cast in a rather eccentric and at times high-brow mould. Elaborate wordplay and innuendo formed the cornerstone of its material; some sketches deliberately threatened to cross the line into vulgarity, but would always finish just before reaching that point.

It was a progressive show, playing with the audience's expectations. For example, it frequently broke the fourth wall; characters would revert into their real-life actors mid-sketch, or the camera would often pan off set into the studio. In addition, the show was punctuated with non-sequitur vox-pops in a similar style to those of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', often making irrelevant statements, heavily based on wordplay. Laurie was also seen playing piano and a wide variety of other instruments, and singing comical numbers.

The first three series were broadcast on Creator/{{BBC}}2 between 1989 and 1992, and were well-received. The fourth series was shown on [=BBC1=] in early 1995. It had been recorded whilst Stephen Fry was simultaneously preparing for his West End debut (in Simon Gray's ''Cell Mates''), and a combination of the extra workload and poor reviews for his stage performance led to Fry having a nervous breakdown and fleeing to Belgium. The series met with mixed reviews and the show was not renewed.

Currently, Fry and Laurie have started working together again on an adaptation of Creator/OscarWilde's ''Literature/TheCantervilleGhost''. Both have also recently stated that they are definitely considering making a fifth series. But both are, however, also reluctant to commit to any specific promises.
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!!''A Bit of Fry and Laurie'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AllNaturalSnakeOil: "Nature's own barbiturates and heroin"
** "It's a [[ExpospeakGag simple arsenous monoxid nicotinal preparation taken bronchially as an infumation.]]"
** "But it can't be natural, can it?" "It's a perfectly natural leaf." "Yes, but setting fire to it and inhaling it?" "Well, it's more natural than Baked Alaska or nylon socks."
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In the gameshow sketch "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26FKgGK84po Don't Be Dirty]]", players must carefully describe adult, risque topics, yet the final round's categories are rimming, genital torture and ''sports presenter [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Vine David Vine]]''. The contestant ends up losing for saying "...knowledge on the game" ([[spoiler:"on the game" is a British slang term for prostitution.]])
%% AuthorFilibuster
* AwesomeAnachronisticApparel: The politician and Tony from "Tony of Plymouth" are wearing suit jackets over Renaissance garb, as they reveal when they confront each other on stage.
* BigBallOfViolence: As close as can be achieved when doing so with live actors in the Strom Translation sketch. Most of it happens behind a convenient table when the translator attacks the Englishman, but the random and unlikely leaping and appearance of various limbs only needs the cartoon dust cloud to complete it.
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: "I dislike the word brothel, Mr. Jowett. I prefer to use the word brothels. Yes, this is a brothels".
* BrickJoke: [[Series/YesMinister Paul Eddington]] makes a cameo and is asked how he would rate his own comic timing. He pauses, frowns, responds "Good question, I'll have to think about that," and leaves. [[spoiler:Several sketches later, he interrupts the very last line of the show to respond: "Immaculate, I'd say." Roll credits.]]
* BritishRoyalGuards: The opening of the second season sees Fry and Laurie playing with a guard. The guard charges Laurie when he gets too close.
* ButtMonkey:
** Hugh gets punched, hit with a cricket bat, or otherwise beaten up with shocking regularity. It's even worse, as Hugh explained in a later interview that Creator/StephenFry had never been very good at "acting" hitting people, and so when the script called for him to hit Hugh, he would... well... actually hit him.
** His "out of character" persona is also routinely insulted and silenced by Stephen, particularly in the third and fourth series. He usually responds by just pulling an embarrassed face.
* CampGay: Simbold Cleobury of the "My Dear Boy" sketch, who opens the door with that enthusiastic greeting--he's theoretically a painter who wears a dressing-gown, dyes his hair lavender, fills his house with louche art and tigerskin rugs, and boasts that his "Moroccan Sunrise" cocktail has caused ''many'' a son of Morocco to rise. And also places adverts for (nude male) models in an magazine about (plastic aeroplane) models.
* CannotTellAJoke:
** The "Hedge Sketch" seems to be a very basic scene at a store, but consists of them continuously getting their lines in the wrong order, or speaking the lines of the wrong character, which leads to them starting all over from the start several times. In the end, they both [[ShaggyDogStory can't remember the final punchline]].
** There is a similar one in which Laurie keeps interrupting the whole time to turn to the camera and tell the audience that this is his favorite gag, and it will be hilarious when they get to the punchline.
* {{Catchphrase}}:
** "Please, Mr. Music, will you play?"; "Soupy twist"; "m'colleague"
** "...if you'll pardon the pun." "What pun?" "Oh, wasn't there one? I'm sorry."
** "I wouldn't suck it."
* ChewbaccaDefense: A deliberately ridiculous example in the sketch "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVRODdXVI3Q Judge Not]]". It starts:
-->'''Lawyer:''' So, Miss Talliot, you expect the court to believe that on the evening of the fourteenth of November last year, the very year, I would remind the court, on which the crime that my client is accused of committing took place, you just happened to be walking in the park?\\
'''Witness:''' That is correct.\\
'''Lawyer:''' That is what? \\
'''Witness:''' Correct.\\
'''Lawyer:''' Oh it's correct, is it? I see. I wonder, Miss Talliot, whether you were aware that the American novelist Gertrude Stein was a self-confessed lesbian?
** ...And only gets more absurd from there.
** Best part? [[spoiler:She turns out to be ''his mother''!]]
* TheChosenOne: Parodied in "A Word, Timothy".
* [[ClusterFBomb Cluster Bollocks-Bomb]]: "Oh, double balls and bollocks!"
* CloudCuckooLander: Oh so many, but perhaps the most notable example is Mr. Dalliard's Friend.
--> "I opened my television last night only to find that nice gentleman with the legs advancing the prediction that it might be rather 'good evening' today, but looking out through the window that the previous owners thoughtfully installed for the purpose, I find that it has, as you athletically observed, turned out to be rather 'hello'."
* CompensatingForSomething: One character whose genitals have been removed is offered a doberman, a combat jacket, a subscription to ''Guns and Ammo'' and a rusty white van, for the dual purpose of restoring his manhood and...
-->'''Doctor (Laurie):''' Oh don't worry, that's the beauty of the system. When people see you wearing a combat jacket and driving round in a white van with Killer, [[{{Pun}} the piss will be taken out of you constantly.]]
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment
* CrazyPrepared: One sketch features Hugh Laurie (in drag) running a greetings card with a range of highly specific messages even down to Stephen Fry's request for a joint birthday and get-well card (as his wife is liable to jealous spasms every time his daughter has a birthday). Sadly, the name on the card is wrong, but fortunately Laurie stocks a sympathy card especially for people who can't get the card they want.
* CrosscastRole: Both Fry and Laurie frequently wear drag to act out a part.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: During [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME77DsLu2wI this sketch]] that involves a speech on education and discipline:
-->Basically, the simple purpose of education must be to teach children, young people, to not, ''I repeat not'', '''''break into my car'''''. There will be other aspects to education, I'm sure. But the most fundamental principle of decent, civilized behavior, is: '''''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis Don't. Break into. My car.]]'''''
* DoubleEntendre: Or just smut.
* DriverOfABlackCab:
** One of the stock characters in the VoxPops, played by Stephen Fry with a mustache.
** Cab drivers being friendly, polite and helpful is a symptom of Rupert Murdoch's absence from the world in the ItsAWonderfulPlot sketch.
* DropTheCow: A method used a few times was for the characters to segue into WhoWritesThisCrap, for example accusing each other of having no idea how to properly end the sketch.
* DuelToTheDeath: Except that when their intermediary offers the choice of "sword or pistol", what he meant is that the second man will get the weapon not chosen-so Hugh has a pointy metal stick while Stephen gets a firearm. After trying to work out a way to make it fair, they settle on something they do have two of and are left to try and kill each other with the intermediary's two ''handkerchiefs'', until they realize he doesn't have anything left to signal with.
* {{Eagleland}}:
** The "Kickin' Ass" song, and American army general; "Get your ass in here!"
** ''America. America. America, America, America, America. Americaaaa-aa-AAA-aAa. America, America, America, America. The States. The States. The States, the States... the States. America. AMERICAAAA... [[GroinAttack (thud)]]''
** The "Bishop and the Warlord" trial is also a parody of American litigiousness, with a lawsuit brought by a LiteralMinded woman who obeyed song lyrics to 'set yourself on fire', fought by lawyers who are transparently in in for cash, and with the witness' oath including a disclosure agreement for adaptation into show, film, or stage musical.
* ExcuseQuestion: {{Parodied}}.
-->Who was the first man to run the four-minute mile? Was it: A) the Battle of Crecy; B) ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'', or C) the athlete and fast record-breaking fast miler Sir Roger "Four-Minute" Bannister, the famous runner?
* FalseReassurance:
-->'''Stephen''': I think we'd better have a word with this son of yours, Mrs. Popey, if it's all the same to you.\\
'''Mrs. Popey''': Only if you promise to leave as soon as you've finished.\\
'''Stephen''': Of course Mrs. Popey. We'll leave [[ShapedLikeItself just as soon as we've finished being here.]]
* FelonyMisdemeanor: "I've written a savage, angry song about jars that get separated from their lids."
* FingerlessGloves: The "light-metal" rocker "The Bishop" wears just one, with his pontifical vestments.
* FlairBartending: In the ending cocktail of series 3 and 4 (see GargleBlaster below), Stephen dances, gyrates, and twirls arhythmically as he prepares whatever drink (or not-drink) he or the guests have chosen. His performances get more and more absurd, occasionally resulting in a spill, stuffing the shaker down his trousers and hopping around, or on one occasion ''swinging it like a yo-yo.''
* {{Flynning}}: In the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrOx24-7ytg Tony of Plymouth]] sketch.
* FunWithSubtitles: Subtitles pop up in the Strom Translation sketch when all the characters storm off after the misunderstandings. The subtitler suggests watching things on the other BBC channels, pans from side to side to demonstrate how small the set is, ruminates on the nature of rooms, and then zooms in on a random audience member to zoom up his nostrils. The commentary continues even when the sketch resumes and devolves into a brawl.
* GargleBlaster: In seasons 3 and 4, the show would end with a cocktail being picked and chosen. These started at the season with the relatively reasonable, such as the Whiskey Thunder, involving whiskey, angostura bitters, lemon juice, a pint of oh-so-fresh dairy cream, two olives, and a peanut.[[note]]This would in fact be pretty disgusting: the whisky would be heavily diluted by all that cream, which in turn would be curdled by the lemon juice, so you'd end up with salty, bitter, mildly alcoholic sour cream.[[/note]] They would then range up to the increasingly absurd, such as the mug of Horlicks (a hot malted milk drink, notably nonalcoholic) all the way up the the finale, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F_gYLLK-Yo which cannot be described in fewer than two paragraphs]].
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** The premise of a GameShow called "Don't Be Dirty!", the show that shows that you don't ''have'' to be dirty. Basically, it involves contestants trying to talk about potentially risque subjects (or if not risque, involving the possibility of {{double entendre}}s, such as "Preservation of [[BiggerIsBetterInBed Hardwoods]]") without "being dirty".
** In the ProductPlacement episode about Tidyman's Carpets, Hugh refers to the titular carpets as [[DoubleEntendre "the deep shag that really satisfies"]]
* TheGhost: Mr. Dalliard, and Valerie from the Tony & Control sketches. Marjorie is ''almost'' TheGhost, but does make one appearance.
* GoodOldWays: A duke and duchess wax poetic about how many responsibilities they have for the village, like "the Taking" ceremony at the village festival where the duke selects a pretty young girl to honor... and then takes her to the garden shed to [[BlackComedyRape violate her]].
* HaveAGayOldTime: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtaPaQwSQPA Parodied]] in a sketch where Stephen and Hugh complain that "gay" used to be such a lovely word, but it's now ruined... then say the same about other words like "poofy", "arse bandit" and even "homosexual".
-->'''Hugh:''' But now, of course...\\
'''Stephen:''' Nowadays...\\
'''Hugh:''' People think you mean homosexual.\\
'''Stephen:''' Right! And there's another one.\\
'''Hugh:''' Yeah.\\
'''Stephen:''' When was the last time you could use the word homosexual in its proper context?\\
'''Hugh:''' Right, and it's such a lovely word.\\
'''Stephen:''' Oh, it's one of the great words.\\
'''Hugh:''' "My word, Jane," I used to say to my wife, "the garden's looking very homosexual this morning."
* HilariousOuttakes: Parodied.
* HurricaneOfPuns: There is some truly groan-worthy wordplay ("The boy lives with his mother because I emptied a bowl of trifle over her; she got custardy") if you'll pardon the pun... what pun? Wasn't there one? Sorry.
* HypocriticalHumor: In the third and fourth series, Hugh tries to add his words to Stephen's send-off only to be insulted into silence. On the one occasion ''Hugh'' tries to tell Stephen to just shut up already, he receives a rather menacing DeathGlare in reply.
* IKEAErotica: A fourth-series sketch has Stephen narrating an "improve your lovemaking" cassette. First off, it's Stephen Fry at his mildest, and the lovers take the instructions ''really'' literally and robotically.
* ImAHumanitarian: The "Tahitian" cooking show, where Fry's Julia Child {{expy}} advises the best way to prepare ears, fingers, Welsh toes, and footballers' testicles.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPay: Parodied in the sketch featuring "Mister (drops an object onto a tabletop). It's as it sounds." (Turns out, it's spelled [[spoiler:N-I-P-P-L-hyphen-E, but he's very offended when referred to as "Mr. Nipple."]])
* ItsAWonderfulPlot: A media mogul (a clear AnonymousRinger for UsefulNotes/RupertMurdoch) gets this treatment. It turns out that if he had never lived, the world would be a much better place where everyone would live in peace and harmony without the influence of his violent media. This makes him decide to turn his life around--because the peaceful world is ripe to be exploited by manipulative media. At this point, his guardian angel, realizing that he is a lost cause that who will never improve, pushes him off the bridge. And calls him a twat.
* KillItWithFire: A pair of monks soundly denounce and prepare to immolate an object they say to be an instrument of Satan, with all the gravity and drama you'd expect from medieval clerics, and solemnly prepare the "chasting dish" for the offensive item--a plastic creamer cup whose cap tore and spilled on the bishop's vestments.
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: Stuart (Laurie) in the "Gordon and Stuart" sketches, who talks as though he's an expert and puts down his dining partners for "ignorance" when they respond with bemusement--meanwhile, Gordon is demonstrating a mild-mannered but much firmer grasp of the topic, to Stuart's embarassment.
* JustLikeRobinHood: Tony of Plymouth, who heckles politicians for bleeding the poor people of England while disguised under a lightweight traveling hat. Of course, he freely admits that you could just ''write your [=MP=]''.
* LawEnforcementInc: They had a sketch about this in their very first episode: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLfghLQE3F4 Welcome to the Private Police Force]]. It was a humorous take on privatizations then recently conducted by the Thatcher government, as the episode states not only the police but the UK high roads and ''even the royal family'' have been privatized. ''And'' it implies the police force is now owned by Americans.
* LoveAtFirstSight: British officer Major Eric Donaldson falls immediately for his interrogator Friedrich von Stoltz. He calls him beautiful and his gorgeous darling with the deepest bluest eyes, and his accent is dreamy...
* LiteralMinded: Often, and often combined with the puns.
-->'''Critic Hugh:''' Just wasn't your cup of tea.\\
'''Critic Stephen:''' No, no. [points] That's my cup of tea.
* LukeNounverber:
** "Peter Comeinmyear"
** [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "Ted Cunterblast"]]
* MeaninglessMeaningfulWords: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttjOqTW-8CA "Young Conservatives"]] sketch. "I thought at one point he was going to say something which made sense..." "Yes, he ''just'' avoided it."
* MixedMetaphor:
** Hugh's chat-show-host character in the "beauty of language" sketch has trouble keeping up with Stephen's progress from metaphor to metaphor: "[[FourthWallGreeting Hello!]] We're talking about language... we're talking about things ringing false in our ears... we're talking about chickens, we're talking about eggs... we've moved on to chess... [[KnowWhenToFoldEm ner-night]]."
** There's also where Stephen says "A unique child delivered of a unique mother" and Hugh looks at the camera as if he's about to say another "We're talking about..." line, then thinks better of it.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpzbcuvJOW8 "Berwhale the Avenger"]], which appears to be a small Leatherman knife.
** John and Peter, who discuss the fortunes of a small health club corporation as if the fate of the free world depends on it. A parody of UK business soaps of the period like ''Series/HowardsWay'', which really wanted to be ''Series/{{Dallas}}'' but just didn't have the scale for it.
* MurderSimulators: One sketch involves the conclusion that, since people are mimicking Stephen punching Hugh (by punching Hugh themselves) it would be a good idea for Stephen to give Hugh money on screen. Turns into an OverlyLongGag.
* NeverSayThatAgain: The "annoying guy at the vet" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znZuH2BU0FE sketch]].
-->'''Fry:''' ...and I make myself a cheese and tommy-toe toastie.\\
'''Laurie:''' A ''what''? A cheese and ''what''?\\
'''Fry:''' Tommy-toe! Tommy-toe! Tommy-toe!\\
'''Laurie:''' ''TOMATO''.\\
'''Fry:''' Tommy-toe! Tommy-t--\\
'''Laurie:''' Don't say it again!
* NoFourthWall: Fry and Laurie will sometimes break character during sketches to comment on them or apply to the audience. Sometimes the sketch is interrupted by someone ''in'' the audience, like the man (played by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Whitrow Benjamin Whitrow]]) who claims that they've plagiarized his sketches.
* NoLongerWithUs: On learning that Charlotte Bronte is, "I can hardly say I'm surprised. Where can I get in touch with her?"
* NoodleImplements: The interviews between sketches abuse this:
-->[given a line to read] I can't read that, ''I'm a Methodist.''
** One sketch has Stephen and Hugh explaining they've cancelled a script due to complaints about excessive violence and sex, forcing them to give a vague summary:
-->'''Hugh''': During the course of the sketch, Stephen hits me several times with a golf club.\\
'''Stephen''': Which, ordinarily, in the course of events, wouldn't matter, ''but I do it very sexily.'' [...] And the sketch ends with us going to bed together.\\
({{beat}})\\
'''Hugh''': Violently.\\
'''Stephen''': Very violently.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: {{Played with}} in the Michael Jackson sketch. Although he is a skilled mimic, Stephen Fry decided to play "Michael Jackson" in his own accent...and indeed his own clothes with not a single attempt at impersonation... with hilarious results.
* OneDialogueTwoConversations: In "My Dear Boy," Nigel the geeky aeroplane enthusiast answers "Simbold Cleobury's" advert for 'models' (which had indeed been placed in an airfix enthusiast magazine). Simbold grows more excited and lascivious over Nigel's description of owning a "camel" and starting on modeling at age four and getting covered in glue, and then asks for a photo of his "jumbo" only to be handed a picture of a jet. [[SubvertedTrope And Nigel realizes his mistake and takes out another photo]], after which he cheerfully agrees to be painted nude.
* OurSloganIsTerrible: "Tidyman's Carpets: [[DoubleEntendre The deep shag that really satisfies.]]"
* OverlyLongGag: "I was standing here, and this guy came 'round the corner..."
* OvertRendezvous: In the unaired sketch "[[http://abitoffryandlaurie.co.uk/sketches/spies_five Spies Five]]", Tony and Control meet on a park bench because there's a mole in their department.
* {{Oxbridge}}
* {{Parody}}
** The "Gelliant Gutfright" sketches parody ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' and its genre, featuring [[ArtifactOfDoom Artifacts of Doom]], TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday, and many subverted cliches. ("Goodnight... if you can.")
** The "John and Peter" sketches parody [[TheEighties eighties]] "boardroom" dramas, featuring {{Large Ham}}s talking SeriousBusiness, with [[QuickNip copious drinking]] and [[GoshDangItToHeck mild language]]. ("Damn it three times round the carpark and back in for another DAMN!")
** The "Control and Tony" sketches parody spy dramas, with both characters acting ridiculously stilted and polite, almost childlike, about matters of national security.
** The "Tony Inchpractice" sketches, as well as several one-offs, parody talk shows.
** The "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbGFrIkLEMs Tony of Plymouth]]" sketch parodies {{Swashbuckler}}s with {{Flynning}}, big shirts, [[YouFightLikeACow dueling insults]], and a soundtrack[[note]]later overlaid for copyright reasons[[/note]] lifted directly from an Creator/ErrolFlynn movie... over cigarette tax and means-testing.
** Nearly all of the songs parody something: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__DrJI7mTHQ Sammy Davis, Jr.]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raRQilFcriw Noel Coward]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AvMUR_XMlg blues]], etc.
* PageThreeStunna: Referenced in two sketches.
** In the ''It's a Wonderful Life'' parody, the Rupert Murdoch expy proclaims "You gotta have tits to sell a newspaper!" after discovering that page 3 was simply more news in a world where he was never born.
** The song "Little Girl" is about the life of one such model (with appropriate backdrop): discovery, celebrity, marriage, the photographer asking if her daughter would be willing to pose for page 3.
* PainfulRhyme: [[invoked]] The entire joke behind Hugh's song ''Mystery''.
* PatrioticFervor: Frequently mocked. There are the cricket commentators who have a positive Englandgasm over the thought of Garboldisham and strawberries with cream, librarians who cut out ''entire books'' until it's left with a bare sentence about how England is great, deriding people for acting un-English... it culminates in the final episode's cocktail, "A Modern Britain", where Stephen adds low-calorie sweetener and "diluted good values" to Jersey cream, Islay malt whiskey etc and then sobbing "IT'S RUINED! BRITAIN IS RUINED!" as he mixes.
* PerfumeCommercial: Parodied in the fourth-series opening credits ("''Pretension'', by Fry and Laurie").
* PhonyPsychic: One sketch features a man who claims to bend spoons using the amazing power of...his hands. He is quite offended when called on this.
* {{Pluralses}}: In the Shoe Shop sketch. "[[BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord I dislike the word 'brothel', Mr. Jowett.]] I prefer the word 'brothels'. Yes, this is a brothels."
* PreciousPuppies: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZToV6JTujfk Puppy Appeal]]
* PrecisionFStrike: At the end of the "fusking clothprunker" sketch mentioned below.
-->'''Judge''': And what did you say to that?
-->'''Hugh''': I told him to mind his [beep]ing language, m'lud.
* ProductPlacement: Spoofed with the episode sponsored by "Tidyman's Carpets".
* ProtestSong: 'All we gotta to do is ... ''(mumblemumble)''' Hugh notably [[http://vimeo.com/44962330 reprised this]] when he hosted ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''.
* {{Punchline}}: Frequently avoided. Sometimes Fry or Laurie will end the sketch by complaining that it's gone on too long or killed the joke.
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder: In "Scumbag", Stephen and Hugh are ineptly interrogating a woman about her husband, despite her repeated claims that she doesn't have a husband.
-->'''Stephen''': To business, Mrs Popey. Your husband has ...\\
'''Mrs. Popey''': For heaven's sake. How many times do I have to tell you? I haven't got a husband.\\
'''Hugh''': Twenty-five.\\
'''Stephen''': ''(to Hugh)'' ... What?\\
'''Hugh''': She's got to tell us twenty-five times that she hasn't got a husband.\\
'''Stephen''': Why?\\
'''Hugh''': Once for every day in the week.\\
'''Stephen''': Yeah, that doesn't quite work.
* RunningGag: The woman who left her iron on.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: One of the best. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivVb8YUR7Lc See an example.]]
* ShapedLikeItself:
** In a tribute to Hugh (whom he has just {{mercy kill}}ed), Stephen says that Hugh Laurie's real name was Hugh Laurie, though he was more commonly known by his stage name, Hugh Laurie.
** "You leave the boy out of this; he's just a boy!"
* SketchComedy
* SmarmyHost: Frequently mocked, including various real-life targets such as Noel Edmonds.
* SoapWithinAShow: The [[{{Neighbours}} suspiciously familiar]] Australian [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV3tfauw3vQ&feature=related soap opera]]. While it starts as a standard parody of daytime soaps with bad acting, overwrought plots and confusing relationships between the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, it quickly evolves into something downright surreal.
* SophisticatedAsHell
* SpySpeak:
** Thoroughly averted in the "Tony and CONTROL" sketches, discussing matters of international espionage as if explaining them to a 3-year-old.
** Also parodied in one of the "Mr. Dalliard" sketches where the secret code phrase is "Good morning." This ends in embarrassment.
* StiffUpperLip: this is the other element of the "Tony and Control" sketches, as both characters are utterly unflappable, even when, for instance, Control announces he's actually a Soviet agent or when he falls out a window
* StrawCritic: The show with the two TV critics has them sprawling further and further down in their chairs, speaking in whining nasal voices and increasingly pretentious language to criticize the previous sketch. By the end they've slid onto the floor and are complaining about ''that'', as well as themselves. (Also an AuthorTract, since Fry and Laurie aren't fond of caustic critics.)
* StronglyWordedLetter:
** Hugh plays a man angrily demanding treatment for his "madness", but the psychiatrist views his problem as rather minor... until Hugh complains that he's going to write a letter to the Daily Mail. Stephen immediately verifies that several of Hugh's letters have actually been ''published'', and proceeds to order a straitjacket.
** The conservative woman (Hugh) refers to this in two Vox Pops. In one she says that she's been Sectioned by default for having two letters read out on a radio programme. In another she interrupts as the crew attempts to interview another woman (Stephen) to rant about the waste of her license fees and how she's going to write a very stiff letter... [[LiteralMetaphor on cardboard]].
* SucksAtDancing: Stephen's attempts to move to a rhythm are truly painful to behold. Just look at the "dancersise" sketch.
* SurrealHumor: Part of the humor are the bizarre, not quite right words or elements that have little to do with the actual sketch. E.g., a man eating cornflkes with a knife and fork, or Tony of Plymouth decrying a politician for lining his ''bathroom'' with venison and other fine delicacies.
* TableSpace: "Pass The Marmalade!" ("Arse the Parlor Maid?") sketch. The table extends from one room to the other; the wife has to ''walk through a door'' to get the marmalade herself.
* TalkativeLoon: The shop assistant in the Mr Dalliard sketches (the same one who prefers the word 'Brothels')
* TakeThat: Take that, MargaretThatcher, John Major, Rupert Murdoch, MoralGuardians, estate agents, {{Eagleland}}, yuppie culture, critics, psychics, Series/TopGear, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and Noel Edmonds]]!
* TastesLikeDiabetes: [[invoked]] The awful dog owner in the vet sketch is disgustingly twee in all his speech patterns (he's the tommy-toe guy). When Hugh's character tries to shut up his inane prattle by saying he's there to have his cat put down due to liver cancer, Stephen only takes a beat before baby-talking to the cat about ''cancie-wancie''. [[spoiler:No wonder his dog is there to have him put down.]]
* TheEndOrIsIt: Parodied with the Gelliant Gutfright sketches. "It couldn't happen... or could it? Or could it? [[SubvertedTrope Perhaps it couldn't.]] ...''or could it?''"
* ToiletHumor: As if the sight of Stephen Fry hooked up to a never-leave-the-couch device called "Comfi-Pee" wasn't bad enough, the commercial immediately goes on to herald the new Comfi-''Poo''. Two tanks of sewage bubbling away in the living room.
* TotallyRadical: "The young and hip-trendy."
* TranslationYes: The entire "Strom" sketch is based on variants of this joke.
* TwoOfYourEarthMinutes: "Twenty of your Earth pounds". Yes, Mr. Dalliard's friend again.
* UniversalDriversLicense: Spoofed with the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klZ2suVUL7Q Flying a Light Aeroplane Without Having Had Any Formal Training]] sketch.
* UnusualEuphemism: "Ram it up your pimhole, you fusking clothprunker!"
* UnwittingPawn: Neddy/Teddy in the "Jack and Neddy" sketches. Poor chap is too earnest and good-natured to realize that his friend with the eyepatch is a dangerous revolutionary and possibly a Nazi. Jack manages to pressure him into bombing a restaurant and later installs him as a puppet Prime Minister. Then stabs him with the Stanley knife that Neddy had so obligingly lent him.
* VoxPops: One of the classic comedy uses, several times in each episode between sketches. Featured either Fry or Laurie [[HollywoodDressCode dressed as an easily recognizable British stereotype]] and saying something dirty ("Well, I'm aroused every morning by a very insistent cock"), satirical ("I was beaten as a child and it didn't do me any harm!" ''[slaps self]'') a play on words ("So I just told him to stuff it!... but he said it had been dead too long"), or just a non-sequitur ("They've got hotter pavements, I know that").
* YourCheatingHeart: In the Australian Soap, Stephen's character confesses, to Hugh, that he's been having an affair with Hugh for some time.
--> "You mean you've been sleeping with me ''behind my back!''"
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-> [[TheStinger Soupy twist!]]
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