Josh Nichols:I don't know Drake, all this cheating makes me feel... dirty.
Drake Parker:Well, take a bath when you get home.
Over-the-top Nickelodeon sitcom created by Dan Schneider about two Odd Couple stepbrothers, Drake Parker (Drake Bell) is a popular, conceited, ladies man and dim musician who ends up getting a stepbrother in Josh Nichols (Josh Peck), a goofy, nerdy, affectionate, effeminate, unpopular geek (until Josh Peck lost the weight and became quite handsome that is, although Josh Nichols was still a geek.)The two barely even knew each other before their parents got married, but ended up being fairly close and balancing each other out. Drake taught Josh how to not be so uptight and Josh tends to bring out a nicer side of Drake. Many episodes are about Drake getting Josh to do something a little outrageous and not be so stiff, and it usually involves a plan to make money or get a girl.And then there is Drake's horrible sister, Megan (Miranda Cosgrove), who is several years younger and goes out of her way to torment the two whenever possible. She has no excuse for it, while their parents think she is an angel. The last season saw a reduction in her general mean-spiritedness (more harmless pranks than outright evil torture), but over the course of the series there is only one moment she shows genuine affection towards them.Like its fellow TeeNick programs, the show is aimed at preteens and young teenagers, but notable for many jokes aimed at adults. Homages to many classic sitcoms, innuendo and camp are the order of the day in many episodes. If there's a sitcom trope, Drake and Josh have probably covered it.The show had two TV movies, Go Hollywood (set during the series) is later referenced in its "sequel" via the series' near-end special Really Big Shrimp. About 18 months after the series ended, Merry Christmas Drake and Josh was aired, set about 2 months following the events of the 2nd movie.Drake Bell is an actual musician who wrote and sang the opening theme song.The producers and several cast members (namely Schneider and Cosgrove) have gone on to make the show iCarly which is very much in the same vein of comedy.Despite being the earliest part of the Nick Verse, it wasn't where it originated. Drake And Josh helped, but it started in Zoey 101.
Annoying Laugh: The main trait of Drake's girlfriend Kelly, which is enough grounds for him to break up with her. Things get complicated when Kelly is actually the daughter of his nemesis teacher Mrs. Hayfer.
Drake: Okay, that was not tight! (to one band member) You were two beats behind the whole song. (to another) You were playing an A minor, not an A7... (to Gary, their drummer) And you? Dude, you're wearing a woman's shirt!
Gary: It's called a blouse.
As Himself: Tony Hawk in Go Hollywood and Gary Coleman in The Gary Grill.
Biting-the-Hand Humor: When the brothers are stranded in the tree house, they can't contact their parents due to them having dinner with the Schneiders.
Josh: Stupid Schneiders!
Bland Name Product: This show is famous for this concept. This show replaces "Apple Inc." with "Pear Inc.", "iPod" with "iBot", "Ghost Busters" with "Ghost Monsters", "Nintendo DS" with "Pintendo GS", "Harry Houdini" with "Henry Doheny", "Chuck E. Cheese's" with "Chuck E. Cheddar's" and "Gamecube" with "Gamesphere". Also, Drake and Josh drink "Mountain Fizz", "Dr.Fizz" and "Mocha-Cola". The list is endless.
Book Ends: The Series Finale ends with the two title characters fighting over a piece a shrimp, then dissolves to a clip of the first skit the duo performed together on The Amanda Show where they did the same thing.
Bottle Episode: The Storm involved scenes within the Parker-Nichols household, with a lot of cameos and continuity characters stranded inside.
Brainsand Brawn: An interesting case where one character is both. While always paired with Drake, Josh is always the smarter one but the interesting part is how subtly it's portrayed that Josh is the stronger of the two, frequently lifting Drake off the ground for a Bear Hug as a Running Gag.
Brick Joke: Josh begins one episode by trying to make an egg disappear, in the process ruining Drake's chances with a cheerleader. Then at the end of the episode, he pulls the egg out from behind Drake's ear.
In the show's fourth episode, Josh is hanging from a ledge and becomes hysterical over his dead pet turtle Sheldon. What exactly happened to the turtle isn't addressed again until the episode "Playing the Field", two seasons later.
Dan Schneider and his wife Lisa Lillien in the Christmas special as the brothers are browsing TV channels.
The Cast Showoff: Drake Bell. It's as if the audience needs to be constantly reminded that Drake Bell has a music career.
Cassandra Truth: Audrey and Walter are nigh oblivious about Megan's regular torment of her brothers.
Believe Me, Brother. Drake's girlfriend Susan is continuously hitting on Josh while framing up Josh for hitting on her. It was due to an accidental camera recording on Drake's band project that Drake learns the truth.
Same with Eric Punches Drake. Eric plays along the rumors that he punched Drake for insulting his sister (instead of just accidentally), elevating him to cool guy status. Feeling abandoned, his Heterosexual Life Partner Craig reveals Eric's weak point for Drake to exploit.
Criminal Doppelgänger: An episode had Josh be repeatedly mistaken for a wanted criminal after playing one in a dramatization on TV, whose name was the "Theater Thug". This results in him getting beaten up and arrested repeatedly, to the point where he's in the same theater as the actual Theater Thug and is beaten up and arrested while the real guy makes off with the theater's money.
Cross Over: Drake & Josh had a crossover with Zoey 101 and Unfabulous in which a hurricane strikes the shows' respective towns - San Diego, Malibu and Santa Barbara. The three-part special was originally scheduled to air in May 2006, but due to the massive tornado outbreak happening at that time, it ultimately didn't air until October of that year.
Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: The entire plot of The Bet. Drake and Josh bet that whoever caves in from eating junk food and playing video games respectively must dye his hair pink. Megan secretly suggested to each of them to sabotage the other in order to win. In their sadistic attempt for the other to cave in, Josh sets up their room into a Willy Wonka-style candy land while Drake plays Josh's Gamesphere right before his eyes. It ended up both of them caving in and losing the bet. But Drake manages to weasel out of it by wearing a wig.
Crapsaccharine World: The expys and celebrity parodies encountered by the main characters are usually bizarre or just... evil.
Even Evil Has Standards: When Drake & Josh were arrested for stealing Grill/MP3 hybrids endorsed by Gary Coleman (They had merely been selling them, and had no idea the grills were stolen), they each got a phone call. When Drake made his call, he phoned home & told Megan he was in jail, who laughed it off as a prank, but when Josh phoned seconds later, there was a noticable look of concern on her face when she realised that they really were in jail, and helped the FBI arrest the real thieves.
There was also the time when Mindy framed Drake for putting their teacher's car in her classroom. Drake was likely going to lose until Megan decided to help. She even said she couldn't stand to see him sad, scared and upset like he was unless she caused it.
In "Josh Runs into Oprah," she bakes Josh a birthday cake, which Josh believes is poisoned. Megan sincerely counters that she wouldn't give him something that would make him sick on his birthday. She didn't say it wouldn't explode.
Fluffy the Terrible: Human version. Ashley Blake's huge bodyguard is named Citrus. He is only there to intimidate the brothers, but he's more like a Gentle Giant as Freight Train. And the end of the episode shows that even he himself hates his bratty boss by placing her back in the trash bin.
Forgotten First Meeting: In one episode Drake And Josh discover that they met when they were nine (rather than in high school as they previously thought).
Freudian Excuse: Officer Gilbert's excuse for wanting to keep Drake and Josh from satisfying Mary Alice and her foster family is due to an incident he had when he got a monkey for Christmas like he wanted, but then it destroyed their tree and presents and escaped. He hated Christmas ever since.
As Josh points out in the letter, the monkey was an adult and obviously too much for the then young Gilbert to handle. The one Drake and Josh send him is a baby and is much more passive.
Fun with Acronyms: In Helicopter, Drake learns from the instructor that in skydiving, you must Squat, Pray, Leap, "Aaaaaah!", and Touchdown!
Generation Xerox: Walter is an awkward and usually clumsy man, clearly inherited by his son Josh.
The Parkers' "attractiveness" seem to run in the blood. A few episodes deal with men (like Gavin) calling Audreyhot. Corey and Toplin (Thornton's little brother) are two boys who "had a thing" for Megan. And as for Drake Parker...
Don't forget about their concerns about going to prison:
Josh: I don't wanna go to jail!
Drake: How do you think I feel, being all good-looking?
This was also the first Nickelodeon show to use "Oh my god". There are also a lot of jokes about death and dying, for a kid's show.
In an episode where they think their father is cheating on their mom:
Drake I think Dad has a problem.
Josh I got him that dandruff shampoo.
Drake Not a dandruff problem, a woman problem.
Josh Dad has cramps?
A scene features Josh following instructions over a salsa recipe over a radio cooking show. The announcer speaks with a cliche Latin-lover accent.] Cut to Josh holding a pepper in each of his hands.The announcer instructs to "Handle the ingredients as if they were a fine woman" and Josh quickly drops the peppers with an embarrassed expression, saying "Sorry, ma'am!"
In Drake & Josh Go Hollywood, Megan angrily exclaims "Those dumb boobs!" after finding out that her brothers put her on the wrong airline flight. A nearby flight attendant reproachfully looks at her chest before walking away.
In Battle of Panthatar, Princess Oblongata's "Robe of Curiosity" anyone?
In The storm Josh walks into his and Drake's room, where the four members of Drake's band are. The moment he sees the drummer, Gary, wearing a blouse and with his face and chest all covered in sunblock, he stops what he's saying, halts in place and asks "'Kay, what's all over his face...?" with a disturbed expression.
In "The Tree House" Josh is trying to help Drake climb through a window. We see Drake's head sticking out the window and he gets an annoyed expression on his face and says "Don't touch me there!"
In "The Great Doheny", Drake's fascination with his date being able to fit her whole fist in her mouth.
Gilligan Cut: At the end of My Dinner With Bobo, Megan refuses to let the boys out of the closet unless they not only return Bobo to the car dealer, but buys the yellow beetle that she wants with the flowery stickers on the bumper. They refuse. Cut to the boys and Megan driving in it.
Another one in Megan's First Kiss, Drake and Josh threaten to rough up Corey after his two-timing nature had been exposed to Megan. Cue scene later in their residence, Megan is seen propping up her brothers who all badly bruised and beaten up, both pummeled down by Corey who happened to be well-versed in martial arts.
Humor Dissonance: A deliberate In-Universe example. In "Josh is Done" Craig and Eric are telling a story about how they were at a pool party once...and one of them accidentally left his socks on! Josh and the other person with him are cracking up at this story.
Humiliating Wager: Drake and Josh are addicted to eating junk food/playing videogames, respectively, and each contractually make a bet that they could go without their respective addictions longer than the other one, with their parents getting in on the betting action. The loser would have to die... their hairpink. Both Drake and Josh crack at the same moment, meaning they both lost (along with both parents), so all of them end up with pink hair.
Hustling The Mark: In Pool Shark, Megan hustles Drake in a dart game, which triggers Drake to rip-off others in the Premiere upon learning of Josh's innate talent in billiards.
Hypocritical Humor: One notable example is in the episode "Dr. Phyllis Show", where Drake and Josh both appear on the said fictional show (a parody of Dr. Phil) as the subjects for "bickering brothers". At one point, Dr. Phyllis scolds Drake and Josh having to resort to physical confrontations as she apparently doesn't seem to tolerate it. However, the boys later get into a physical fight with her for insulting her daughter, Liza Tupper.
In Steered Straight, Walter became Audrey's mannequin for a huge girl's prom dress, making him the subject of ridicule throughout the scene.
Walter: (in a prom dress) You boys are getting in a lot of trouble lately. About time you guys act like a man!
(Everyone stares at Walter)
Walter: What? It's a prom dress!
Policeman: Yes, ma'am.
Walter: (annoyed) Sir!
Hypocritical Heartwarming: Megan may torment Drake & Josh, taking great pride in making them miserable... But she also doesn't want other people making her brothers miserable.
The "I Love You" Stigma: In a sweet parting moment at the door Mindy tells Josh that she loves him, which causes all sorts of awkwardness between them. Josh talks to Drake about it and implies he might love her back, causing Drake to slap him across the face. Josh and Mindy discuss it later on and realize that they are too young to understand what "I Love You" means and decide to break up so they can better understand their feelings for each other. They get back together in the Grand Finale.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Drake. One episode in particular involved Josh and Mindy working on a project and discovering they have feelings for each other, but after a short time together she breaks up with him because Josh didn't tell Drake about it since he HATES Mindy. After learning about the whole ordeal, Drake is not only supportive of the relationship but actively helps Josh to get her back, saying if he likes the girl it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.
Karma Houdini: Both Parker siblings. In terms of wrongdoings, Drake is almost never caught (as lampshaded by Josh in Dune Buggy), while Megan is NEVER caught.
The theater thug is also this, due to everybody thinking Josh is the theater thug, and beat him up. In the end of the episode the real thug shows up, but get's knocked out. When the police arrive, they arrest Josh thinking he's the thug, while the real one gets away.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: This seems to be largely the source of Megan's popularity with the production, as Miranda Cosgrove is a very charming young actress and everyone has remained close friends after the show has ended.
Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, subverted in the episode Josh Runs Into Oprah, when Josh tells Drake that he has crossed this by leaving him to have an involuntary chemical bath...but then Drake gets the rest of the people at the Premiere to throw Josh a surprise party to make it up to him. Which it does.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Peggy Sherman is talking about Walter's "secret" (an offer to be a top network's weather forecaster) being kept from his family, while the boys misunderstood it to be her desire for married men and destroying their family.
Only Sane Man: Believe it or not, Megan and Mindy. Both have a share of cunning, extremely snarky, and dangerously Genre Savvy. They can basically outprank anyone with convoluted schemes.
In Alien Invasion, Drake and Josh manages to trick Megan in the majority of the episode that she had seen "real" aliens. They go as far as dressing up into alien costumes just to get revenge on Megan. However, as the brothers do a victory dance, a REAL alien shows up behind Drake and Josh, terrifying the brothers even more. It turns out the alien is one of Megan's friends who helped her reverse the prank.
Paranoia Gambit: In Megan's Revenge, Drake and Josh are freaking out because they think they killed Megan's hamster (it later turns out that he was just stunned), and Megan claims that she's not mad and isn't going to do anything to them... and then doesn't. However, they're so guarded against the revenge that they just know is coming that they can't sleep, turn down a double date because they're afraid the girls have been sent by Megan, and generally ruin their own lives in fear.
Pac Man Fever: Helen's Groove Machine is Dance Dance Revolution built into the TV like a home console. The most glaring part is that there are 3 dance pads and Josh joins in with Helen and Drake whereas the screen only has room for 2 players. Their dancing is also more choreographed and the footwork barely matches the on-screen directions.
Rashomon Style: Foam Finger. Drake and Josh recount their first fight differently on who is the instigator. Turns out that it was a toddler-aged Megan.
Rearrange the Song: In "Really Big Shrimp", Drake gets a record deal and records his song for the producers. They change it to a very overprocessed electronic song, and Drake and Josh are very bothered by this.
Josh: We spent like a hundred hours on that dune buggy trying to fix it up and you ruined it! And you're hurt! But all you can think about is "getting away with it". (imitates Drake) "Ooh, I'm Drake! I'm so cool I get away with everything!" (normal voice) Fine, I'll just stay grounded and I'll fix the dune buggy again! So you just keep worrying about yourself. It's what you're best at.
Recurring Extra: Gavin the mullet guy and Crazy Steve showed up more often as their popularity rose.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Played with. Drake does things without thinking, and is cool and collected, while Josh plans things, but is clumsy and often loud.
Reunion Show: The Christmas Special, as stated 18 months after the show ended (but occurred 2 months after Really Big Shrimp), reuniting the cast for one last spin. One could tell a lot of the actors were getting too old for the roles but it was class of them to do the movie anyway.
Ruritania: Drake ends up accidentally marrying a girl from the country of 'Yudonia'.
Running Gag: Gavin's "I got it"; Josh repeating words for emphasis (emphasis!); Drake mixing up Craig and Eric; Ms. Hayfer hating Drake; Josh being mocked for his big head; Drake and Josh's slowly escalating fighting... the list goes on and on...
Screams Like a Little Girl: Both brothers, when they were stranded in Mrs. Hayfer's bathroom by her Rottweiler. The neighbors mistook them for "screaming girls" so they called for pet control (who also ends up stranded and using the same trope).
Schedule Slip: Drake Bell's December 2005 car accident caused production of the fourth season to be postponed for three months, with three episodes short before hand.
In Really Big Shrimp, one of the "Now Showing" movies in the Premiere Galleria is titled Now She's Carly, a blatant call on Miranda's upcoming show iCarly.
The last scene in Really Big Shrimp involved Drake and Josh fighting over a shrimp that fell on the floor, which is a deja-vu scene between the same actors in one skit of The Amanda Show.
The episode I Love Sushi contains a scene directly mimicking a similar scene in the I Love Lucy episode Job Switching. The title of the episode is no coincidence. The sushi company is even called "Ball and Vance Corp".
Dan Schneider's wife cooking show titled Hungry Girl is featured on the marquee of the movie theater.
One episode opens with Drake and Josh reminiscing on an old gym teacher... named Bilbo. And later on, they debate on whether Clay Aiken or Frodo would win in a slap fight.
Status Quo Is God: Drake will never have a girlfriend for more then an episode (unless one counts Carly, but even then only for two), despite multiple episodes dedicated to him trying to learn how to woo a particular girl he likes.
On the other hand, Josh's status as the Chew Toy / Butt Monkey / Cosmic Plaything was gradually dropped as Josh Peck himself lost a lot of weight and they couldn't use the same "fat people are funny" gag. And he eventually got a hot girlfriend and was in general not too much different from Drake.
The Teaser: Each episode opens with a minute-long No Fourth Wall skit of Drake and Josh conversing with the audience in separate locations of their residence, which may or may not be related to the main plot of the episode. Said skit also highlights the Sibling Yin-Yang aspect between the brothers.
Theme Tune Cameo: The episode Blues Brothers features Drake entering a talent show with his band, with it becoming apparent in the episode they intend to perform "I Found a Way". Doubles as an Actor Allusion, since Drake Parker writes the song in the show, which Drake Bell wrote & performed to serve as the theme song for Drake & Josh in real life.
Title Drop: Played around with in the Christmas special, where Josh addresses themselves as "Josh and Drake" in a signed letter to their parole officer, only to have Drake interrupt by saying that it sounds weird "the other way." Josh begrudgingly changes it to the title proper.
You Say Tomato: Walter constantly mispronouncing "touché" and "capice" was made into a running gag.
Zonk: Parodied in Peruvian Puff Pepper, where Megan orders the eponymous condiment for her salsa which she will enter in a salsa-making contest where Drake and Josh are one of her rival competitors. This pepper "ensures" her victory in the contest. The brothers manage to steal the pepper from her, much to her anger for being unable to retrieve it from her denying brothers. When the brothers had used the pepper for their salsa and won the contest, Megan tricks them to reveal the "secret ingredient" of their salsa. It is then revealed that the pepper had adverse side effects and is illegal, thus disqualifying the brothers' salsa. Since Megan is in second-place, she gets the first prize plasma TV instead.