Series / Hey Dad..!

Hey Dad..! is an Australian Sitcom from The '80s, about a widower dad of three kids.

The characters:
  • Martin Kelly, an architect
  • Betty: His cousin from the countryside, became his secretary (not a very good one)
  • Simon: His son
  • Debbie: His teenage daughter, often goes on dates
  • Jenny: His little daughter (who grows from preteen to teen then reverts to preteen when they Other Darrin her)
  • Nudge: Simon's best mate


  • All Girls Like Ponies: Jenny definitely wants one.
  • Big Eater: Nudge. Regularly plundering Martin's fridge.
  • Birthday Hater: One episode revolves around Betty refusing to reveal the date of her birthday, and even claiming that she doesn't have a birthday. It's eventually explained that she once knew a dying child who wasn't going to live to see his next birthday, so she gave him hers.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Martin did this during the early episodes, but stopped soon. The entire cast did so at the end of the series finale to take a bow.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Nudge's disappearance from the series was never explained. So much for being Simon's best friend.
  • Country Mouse: Betty, from Walgett
  • Cousin Oliver: Arthur McArthur, a.k.a. "the little fat kid"
  • Credit Card Plot: Done multiple times.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Martin tries to be this. His kids still don't think he's cool.
  • Disappeared Dad: Towards the end of the series, Martin Kelly goes to Saudi Arabia for a highly-paid job, and a friend of the family will play the father's role instead.
  • The Ditz: Nudge.
  • Ditzy Secretary: Martin's secretary Betty. The running gag about her being an architect's secretary despite not even being able to pronounce "architect" is only the start of it. In one episode, she has a long conversation with an answering machine message despite knowing perfectly well it's an answering machine. She keeps her job because she's a family friend and Martin doesn't have the heart to fire her.
  • Drop-In Character: Had several drop in characters over the years, most famously "Nudge". Inexplicably, one of the drop in characters, Ben, ended up moving into the family proper.
  • Everybody Dies: The bizarre finale in which the family is taken hostage by a bank robber who blows up their house. The "dad" of the show's title lived on by virtue of having been absent from the show for some time by then.
  • Gag Dub: The Mr Doodleburger are a series of extremely offensive gag dubs of the show.
  • Groucho Glasses: In one episode where Debbie dated the famous triathlete Craig Ridlington (As Himself). Everyone who knew about her date followed them while wearing these.
  • The Heart: Betty, since the family lacks a mother.
  • Literal-Minded: Once Nudge wore a baseball cap with "Press" on it. Jenny used this as an excuse to press the cap on his head (he was sitting down).
  • Missing Mom: Martin Kelly is a widower. In the first episodes, this is sometimes mentioned; later, not so much.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Nudge's real name is Gerald Noritis, but probably even he doesn't remember.
  • Royal "We": Nudge used it, when he became convinced that he was long-lost royalty.
    Nudge: I'm doing the Royal We here.
    Martin: Well, don't do it on the carpet!
  • Spin-Off: Hampton Court was only linked to its parent show through the Betty character. It was critically panned and cancelled after 13 episodes.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: by contrast, is set in what appears to be a realistic Australian house. Certainly, most Australian houses will have a separate lounge room (or living room) and kitchen, and many lounge rooms will have more than one comfy chair.
  • Stealth Insult / Insult Backfire: Martin often does this to Betty, who never gets it.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Continued for a 13th and 14th season after the titular character left, with a family friend serving as an unofficial father figure. Over its long lifespan, the show had a nearly complete changeover of cast, with replacements alternating between thinly-disguised substitutes and unexplained Other Darrins.
  • 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: One episode about a diet, or a hunger strike, or something, that ended with the starving characters giving up and ordering pizza - which then never arrives, because one of the other characters deliberately misdirects the delivery guy in an attempt to get the pizza free.
  • Women Drivers: Debbie