Series / The Inbetweeners
. This is what being 16/17 in modern Britain is actually like.The Inbetweeners
(2008-2010) is a sitcom for E4 that focuses around the lives of four sixth form students in some nowhere suburb in southern England. Will Mckenzie, a briefcase carrying nerd
with a temper problem
; Simon Cooper, a Nice Guy
with perpetual lust
for his next-door neighbour
; Neil Sutherland, a total moron
with a (probably) gay
dad; and Jay Cartwright, a brash Casanova Wannabe
. Together these four mismatched teens get into the everyday problems accompanying all sixth form students, as they try to sway girls into their beds and be recognised as some of the cool kids. Along with a lot more problems not usually encountered by sixth form students. Lots more problems.
The show airs on BBC America
in the United States, even though it's not a BBC production. MTV
aired (and cancelled) a Transatlantic Equivalent
in 2012.The Inbetweeners Movie
was released in August 2011, followed by a second film
in August 2014.Not to be confused with
the people who do the in-between drawings for hand-drawn animation.
This show provides examples of:
- 555: Like many British shows, "Search-wise" and "Search-wise Messenger" are used instead of actual search engines and messengers.
- Abusive Parents: Jay's dad is clearly guilty of emotional abuse, constantly berating, deriding and humiliating his son at every chance he gets, just to provide simple conversation. This is in a pretty vicious cycle with Jay's boastful, overzealous character, as he seems desperate to impress his dad while his dad goes too far in trying to prick his son's apparently inflated ego.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: The American version has Will upgraded from plain old Nerd to Hollywood Nerd. Inverted with Jay, whose actor looks like he'd be more suited to playing Big John.
- Against My Religion: Will tries to get out of helping at the fashion show by telling Mr Gilbert that he has a "moral objection" to fashion shows as he thinks they're just an excuse for vain and popular kids to show off. Mr Gilbert agrees with him - then makes him to do it anyway.
- The Alleged Car: Simon's tiny yellow Fiat Cinquecento, complete with mismatched red door and tape deck. The thing gets trashed by a bus full of the mentally disabled, stained with Neil's cum and piss (don't ask) and spat on by Donovan, before being dumped in a lake with a smashed window and a "Honk If You Want a Blowjob" bumper sticker attached to it. It is derided as an embarrassing shitbox by pretty much every character throughout the entire series, but this doesn't stop everyone milking Simon for free rides in it.
- Look hard enough in the background in the movie, and you'll see it parked on the family drive, strewn with moss and dirt.
- The other boys also have shit cars that are embarrassing in different ways. Neil's Vauxhall Nova is nice but doesn't even have an engine, while Jay's Nissan Micra, aka the Minge Mobile, is actually his mum's.
- All Men Are Perverts
- All There in the Manual: The Inbetweeners yearbook adds more information about characters, particularly information such as Tara's last name and the fact that Big John develops something of an obsession with Jay.
- Alpha Bitch: Carli seems to be heading this way. Charlotte, on the other hand, has become slightly less of one than when she first appeared.
- The Movie takes this further with Carli only using Simon to make someone else jealous.
- Anatomically Impossible Sex: Jay's stories about sex get more and more dubious as time goes by. So much so, that he claims that a blowjob ends by pissing in a girl's mouth.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Jay's dad Terry Cartwright, a fat, balding, disgusting oaf with explosive farts and bowel movements. Almost all of Jay's father's lines call into question Jay's much vaunted sexual prowess or otherwise counter his bragging.
- Everyone's parents have their moments, especially Simon's, who are far too sexually active for their age, as well as far too open about that fact. Simon's mum in particular appears to be heavily disliked by all four of the inbetweeners solely due to her looks.
- Will's mum Polly often comes across as clueless and trying too hard to be hip, but gets away with it with everybody except her son due to her incredible good looks.
- Ambiguously Gay: Neil's dad Kevin, with his soft, plush voice, meticulously shaven head, passion for badminton and his habit of walking round the house half-naked with his bollocks out. Practically everyone on the estate assumes Kevin is gay from the moment they meet him, including parents.
- Both Neil and his dad strenuously deny it however.
- Artistic License - Geography: In show example. Neither Neil or Simon have ever heard of Swansea, let alone know where it is. Jay has heard of it, yet believes it to be in the north of England.
Neil: What is Swansea? Is it an animal?
- Which makes Simon helping Carli out with her Geography to be somewhat questionable. He didn't actually take Geography though, he was doing last minute revision for a subject he wasn't even taking on the slim chance he might get some, and in case that failed, well, he could always retake next year.
- Truth in Television. There's a lot more to studying A level Geography than just being a walking atlas.
- Also, he was pretty much just there to ask her questions from her textbook.
- Ass Shove: Neil used to stick Lego up his bum as a child.
- Asshole Victim: Alistair, an obnoxious wheelchair-bound student who recently survived kidney failure.
- Bait and Switch: Initially, Carli is presented as a nice Girl Next Door while Charlotte is an Alpha Bitch. It soon becomes clear that they're actually closer to being the other way around.
- Carli clearly strings along and torments Simon with the full knowledge that he's dying inside for her.
- Charlotte on the other hand maintains a cheerful, witty cameraderie with Will, even after his disaster in bed, and treats him much more as a real friend.
- Beach Episode: Or rather the waterfront, which is as close as the cheap school gets.
- The film is one very long beach episode, after three series of boring, nowhereville suburbia.
- Berserk Button: Jay has a massive one after an entire episode of the other three taking the piss out of him with their "Aww, football fweind!! *thumbs up*" impressions. He climbs onto his new friend's car and jumps up and down on the bonnet, screaming like a mad man in the hope he'll change their minds.
- Will being consistently refused alcohol in the first episode leads him to go off on a massive rant in the middle of a crowded pub that alienates him from the entire sixth form. On his first day.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Jane, proud of her body and kind-hearted as well.
- The Blind Leading the Blind: You'd think Jay would have learned to stop taking advice on girls from his dad by now, and Simon to have stopped taking sex advice from Jay.
- Blatant Lies: About 75% of what Jay says, the other 25% is insulting other people.
- Bowdlerize: The swearing in the US version has been toned down a lot, thus ruining most of the realism and humour of the show.
- Brick Joke: When he hears that she is internet dating, Mr Gilbert tells Will that he (like everyone else) is very much interested in his mother. In the second movie, they get together.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Will, thanks to stress and overindulgence in energy drinks, suffers explosive diarrhea and shits himself during his final exam.
- Leads to a Running Gag in series 3, where every new person Will meets instantly recognizes him as "the kid who shit himself in the exam."
- British Brevity: Three series, each consisting of only six half-hour episodes.
- The Bully: Mark Donovan. He's smart enough to be polite and friendly with most of the adults, which is probably part of the reason he never gets into trouble.
- Butt Monkey: Kevin Sutherland, who cannot convince anyone except his son Neil that he is in fact straight. The Four main Boys at any given time also fall into this territory (particularly Will).
- California Doubling: Watersides shopping centre, featured in Will's Dilemma, is actually The Chimes in Uxbridge.
- All of the harbour/river scenes in Swanage during "The Field Trip" are actually Littlehampton
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Will's random "FEISTY ONE YOU ARE!" Yoda impression elicits awkwardly blank faces from Lauren and Simon as they ponder whether he's some sort of madman.
- Carload of Cool Kids: The show made a classic sketch out of this phenomenon. The four teenage boys of the title, whilst driving down the street, come to grief after shouting "Bus Wankers!" at a waiting queue - then realize it's vitally important to have an escape route as they grind to a halt in a traffic jam. Thus enabling a very large and aggressive bus wanker to catch up with them and express his displeasure.
- Casanova Wannabe: Jay, with his farfetched stories of losing his virginity at age 12 to foreign mistresses, is probably the most pathetic example. The amount of action he gets is directly opposed to the amount of fictional sexual conquests he brags about.
- Jay the Casanova Wannabe is the direct opposite of Neil the Kavorka Man, and Simon and Will are somewhere in between. Ironically, Jay is the only one who does not manage to pursuade a girl/woman to have sex with him during the TV series.
- Catchphrase: The lads all quite like "Brilliant." as a snarky, quick comeback from an insult (or an attempted insult).
- Also, Simon tends to say "Hmmmmm" with a bemused look on his face at times.
- During the movie, Jay says "Fuck that" quite a lot, in the same tone of voice as well.
- During one episode, Neil starts randomly saying "No problemo!" in a shitty Spanish accent. Simon quickly becomes infuriated with the pointlessness after the fourth time.
Neil: I got a big problemo...
- Caught with Your Pants Down: In one episode, Jay is volunteering at an old folks home, where he constantly wanks in empty rooms (which is quite in character for him). At one point he ends up looking for ANYTHING to do the deed to and finds a picture of a young woman in a bikini, which is enough to get him going. As soon as he reaches the point of no return, an elderly woman - who turns out to be the woman in the picture and who was in the room the whole time without Jay realizing - sees him and calmly says that she's seen it all before. Then a nurse comes in with the woman's grown son, who shakes hands with him (only to realize that he has an unknown goo on his hand).
- With the follow-up line from the woman "He did that over me, he did!"
- And again in the movie, where Jay's mother walks in on him masturbating to a woman on a webcam. While wearing a massive glove and a snorkel.
- Don't forget the slices of ham.
- Dialogue from a scene later indicates that this wasn't the first time his parents have caught him.
- Character Filibuster: Will goes through several of these with hilarious results. Simon has one at the end of series three when Jay and Neil let his car roll into a lake.
- Chewing the Scenery: "OOH, FRIEND! FUCKING FRIEND!"
- The Chew Toy: All four of 'em.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Incredibly, Jay turned out to be one of these in the only episode where he was actually in a relationship. Unfortunately, his dad gave him some terrible advice that led to Jay acting in a rather possessive fashion, causing him to get dumped.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The only time Neil ever gets even vaguely upset is when the boys bag his dad for being gay, or his sister for being hot. Oh yeah, and when he cuts his cock on a beer can too.
- The Cloud Cuckoo Lander Was Right: When Alistair has a welcome back function after his illness, Neil reckons that there will be sausage rolls because he got them at a funeral once. Will tells Neil that Alistair isn't dead. Turns out there really are sausage rolls.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Part of the reason the show's dialogue is so realistic is because many of the characters - especially the leads - have potty mouths.
- Comedic Sociopathy: The show is riddled with it.
- Completely Missing the Point: Neil. Frequently.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Donovan over Charlotte. Jay got pretty obsessive and possessive over his girlfriend though he was quite gentle about it.
- Cringe Comedy: Every episode contains definitive examples, best example is Will's Yoda-inspired "Feisty one you are!", although there are a lot more.
- Jay impersonating Crazy Frog in a pathetic attempt to impress Charlotte.
- The cock-wig as well is a bit difficult to watch at points, because it's just so embarrassing to Will.
- Simon's Wardrobe Malfunction at the fashion show is probably one of the best examples, or any scene where he's talking to a girl.
- Will cockblocking Simon with Lauren.
- Simon trying to get Tara to put a condom on with her teeth. Not to mention screaming at and manically punching his penis in a bizarre attempt to make it erect, which only succeeds in reducing Tara to tears.
- Will's explosive reaction to a group of people getting to go on the front row of a ride in Thorpe Park without queueing. And then realising that they all have severe Down's Syndrome.
- Cultural Translation: The US remake gets off a few of them:
- The pilot episode's pub crawl is replaced with getting drunk by the football field.
- Original!Will is one of a tiny handful at Rudge Park who wear the school blazer (Simon's brother Andrew is the only other named character who does, beyond that there's only the two other new kids who started when Will did and the occasional background extra). American!Will wears a navy blazer with no badge. Both invoking while technically avoiding Transfer Student Uniforms.
- Action that takes place in the sixth form common room is moved to the cafeteria. Even if Grove High School has a seniors' lounge, the guys are juniors.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Jay needs to "release the valves" a couple of times a day. Gets him into trouble at the old folks' home. Seemingly the only thing capable of putting him off is if the dog is watching.
- Deadpan Snarker: Will. Mr. Gilbert also counts.
- Death Glare: Mr. Gilbert looks genuinely evil when he gives dirty looks to the students. Donovan also does this from time to time due to his insatiable urge to torture and murder Will.
- Deconstruction: Simon is essentially this for every Dogged Nice Guy male lead from high school romcoms ever.
- Decoy Protagonist / Supporting Protagonist: While Will is the narrator, most of the plots revolve around Simon.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Played painfully straight in the series 2 finale with Simon. He finally gets to share a passionate kiss with Carli, but before the episode is even over, she decides to reunite with her jerkass rugby player boyfriend instead and pretends that nothing happened.
- Also at the beginning of series 3, just as Will and Charlotte are getting on better than ever, she brings him crashing back down to Earth.
Charlotte: Seriously, all I want is a boyfriend like you. You're funny and you're sweet and you're kind. I would be happy if I had someone in my life just like you.
Will: ...What about me?
Charlotte: No, not you! Someone LIKE you! You're so funny. Not you, obviously!
- And all the more crushing considering they nearly nailed once. Some people...
- Didn't Think This Through: Jay organises a stripper for Will's birthday, only to realise on the night that the five of them (the foursome plus Patrice) don't have enough to go round to pay for having her. Oops.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Will in general, really. He's just incapable of realizing that the moment where he should probably just shut up and let things drop until he cools down has been and gone. And then even if he does realize it, he's just so stubborn, pompous, humourless and pig-headed about things that he can't back down and admit he's wrong without somehow making things worse.
- Will does this in the garage on work experience; if he'd just kept his mouth shut and not gone on and on about how he was too 'clever' to work there, he probably would've survived the two weeks without being hazed.
- In "Thorpe Park", there's the scene where the boys queue for the front-row seats but (apart from Will) lose out at the last minute. Despite being told to by both his friends and the attendant to shut up and sit down, he continues to loudly complain about the "inconsiderate arseholes" who pushed in front. He then sits down next to them, only to find out that he's just insulted two kids with Down's Syndrome. Oops.
- In "Will's Dilemna", while he started out more or less in the right about the Girl of the Week's overreaction to his fairly gentle rebuff, his righteous indignation leads him to outright verbally abusing her in front of a room full of people, and continuing to play the victim even after he finds out her dad had just died.
- Also, Will loudly protests against the reserving of poolside loungers in the movie, and then finds out that one of the owners is disabled. However, rather than backing down, he cringingly points out that the disabled girl doesn't even need a lounger (in contrast to a similar incident in the Thorpe Park episode, where Will offended a special needs bus, but at least showed remorse for his mistake)
- Dirty Coward: Jay to a tee. One of his more dishonourable examples is allowing Simon to get strangled by a Scary Black Man for something he did, then laughing at him about it afterwards.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Alistair was a Jerk Ass before his kidney transplant left him in a wheelchair and his illness didn't humble him at all. It's made funnier because the people around them see him as Inspirationally Disadvantaged (which of course he exploits to get attention from hot girls). Jay and Will seem to be the only people who see through him.
Jay: "He's a dick! I never liked him when he was well, I never liked him when he was ill and don't like him now he's getting better... He was a complete bell-end. He was worse than Briefcase... He's not going to have got more interesting in a hospital bed attached to a drip for a year... and he used to stink."
- The group of people with intellectual disabilities trash Simon's car simply because Will called them arseholes.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Simon is the most abhorrent example, volunteering to assist Carli with her A-level Geography revision mere days before his exams, despite the fact he doesn't study it.
- Simon spends all three series with a hopeless and scary crush on her - even when he lands a date with pretty Irish lass Lauren, he decides to toss her onto the backburner as soon as Carli decides she wants to hang out with him.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Mentioned In-Universe at one point
Simon: Yeah, it made me really want a Big Mac.
- The Ditz: Neil, although it's less of a disadvantage than you might think. His chosen A-levels (Physical Education and Technical Design) also speak volumes about his intellectual capacity.
- Don't Think, Feel: Neil is pretty much the most successful one out of the four when it comes to the ladies, and he's the only one who doesn't massively overanalyse it. It's even implied he fingered Charlotte and by the finale is the only one to have lost his virginity.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Will concedes that Neil is right when he says to him that he's happier that he doesn't worry about things.
- Dumb Is Good: Neil, the dumbest of the four, is also the most genuinely nice one, and seemingly the most happy.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Neil's is Lyndsey.
- Ephebophile: Mr. Kennedy, a perverted geography teacher who's openly made advances towards Neil twice so far in the series. How he's still employed is a mystery to all the pupils at the school.
- The teachers are clearly well aware of it, as at least two of them have covered for him or steered him away from openly courting students on school premises. Either he's a bloody good teacher, or, more likely, the school prefers to cover it up rather than fire him and reveal it to the public.
- Gilbert subtly lampshades this in the last episode, noting that police checks on teachers have become a lot more relaxed in recent years.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Jay won't masturbate with his dog present.
- Evil Head of Sixth Form: Albeit an unusually sympathetic one.
- ...until in the last few episodes he proves just what a wanker he really is.
: Mckenzie? Did you just say your mother is internet dating? Will
: Erm...sort of? Mr. Gilbert
: Ahh, interesting! I'm single at the moment and she is very much my type! Will
: ...Okay... Mr. Gilbert
: Maybe you could set me up with her and then who knows! If things go well, you could end up calling me Daddy! Will
: ...Was this what you wanted to see me about sir?
- Failure Is the Only Option: Virtually every attempt by the group to look cool or get laid will inevitably end in some kind of humiliating disaster by the end of the episode.
- Fan Disservice: Simon having a wardrobe malfunction during The Fashion Show, with his left bollock hanging out of his speedos at full-on eye-level for pretty much the entire audience. Word of God says Joe Thomas really did get his balls out for that scene.
- Fanservice: Carli and Charlotte's choice of outfits, most notably in The Fashion Show, which counterbalances Simon's accident.
- Alison in the movie when she goes skinnydipping.
- The whole point of Neil's sister.
- Fat Idiot: John, the big lad who eats too much and only ever discusses food. He's part of the blazer gang of noobies along with Will at the beginning of the series, and appears to be below the Inbetweeners in social status.
- Subverted when the boys witness John present at a closed house party that they were rejected from, with his hand firmly placed on an attractive girl's boob.
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: It's all part and parcel of being an adolescent in this case.
- French Jerk: French exchange student Patrice, who gets into a closed house party and shags Charlotte with no effort whatsoever, despite knowing absolutely nobody and speaking very poor, broken English. He also appears to be a racist, at one point spontaneously announcing that he doesn't like Arabs. Will is not impressed. Also a Handsome Lech.
- Freudian Excuse: Both subverted and played straight. In the film, Will says that he wishes he could blame all his personality defects on his parents splitting up, but he can't as it only happened recently. On the other hand, it seems pretty clear that Jay's abusive father is a big factor behind his neuroses.
- Fish out of Water: Will transferring to a comprehensive school. Also a literal fish out of water in the first episode of series 2.
- Friendship Moment: Both season finales have this. The moment where the rest of the gang show up to comfort Will after he loses Charlotte also counts.
- Four-Man Band: While Only Sane Man and Butt Monkey are rotating roles — and all four are perverts by the standards of anyone else — the basic character types are:
- The Smart One: Will, formerly privately educated, a geek, and at least in his own mind smarter than the other guys;
- The Only Sane Man: Simon, the everyman, constantly embarrassed by the others;
- The Pervert: Jay, Casanova Wannabe with a self-created Urban Legend Love Life;
- The Butt Monkey: Neil is the one who gets the piss taken by the others more than anyone else... although karma has it that he gets more action than anyone else and seems like the happiest of the lot.
- Five-Man Band
- The Hero: Will
- The Lancer: Simon
- The Smart Guy: Jay, but his ideas just keep getting him and the others into trouble. Will doubles as a more clear cut example.
- The Big Guy: Neil
- The Chick: Tara (Briefly in Series 3), plus a few one-shot guest chicks like Lauren from Northern Ireland.
- Foreshadowing: Regarding the power drinks Will has been taken during revision - "Think of your stomach though. Even one of those drinks makes my shits come out too fast."
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Dogged Nice Guy Simon is Melancholic/Phlegmatic, loudmouth Jay is Sanguine/Choleric, control freak Will is Choleric/Melancholic, and cloud cuckoolander Neil is Phlegmatic/Sanguine.
- Genre Blindness: Neil often encourages Jay when he talks BS, leading to some hilariously inaccurate information about the opposite sex.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Jay claims to have had tons of sex with the girls at Caravan Club. When his friends call his bluff and agree to accompany him to Caravan Club, their suspicions that he has been lying are quickly confirmed.
- Girl Next Door: Simon's on-off (OK, mostly off) love interest, at least geographically - personality-wise she's more of an Alpha Bitch. But of course Simon can't see that.
- Girl of the Week: Several show up in various episodes to cause Will pain, humiliation and embarrassment, only to never be seen again afterwards, including Lauren, Kerry and Punk Girl.
- Also Jay's bird Chloe, who serves the same purpose as the others above.
- Girly Run: Will is mocked for this by Daisy and is left bemusingly upset.
- The Good Old British Comp: Rudge Park Comprehensive is a pretty accurate depiction of one.
- Hero Antagonist: Tom, Carly's rubgy player boyfriend, whilst at times neglectful, is generally pleasant to Simon, and certainly much less of a jerkass than the likes of Donovan and James in the movie.
- Hidden Depths: Jay again, as revealed during the first season finale, again in the second season finale, and once more when he is distraught at finding his dog put down.
- And again in the movie when he hooks up with Jane, despite initially being embarrassed to be seen with a fat girl.
- Neil and Jay are surprisingly artistic, if crude in their rearranging of some flowers from "Welcome to our village" to "We cum tit village".
- High School Is Hell: Well, sixth form at least.
- Hollywood Dateless: Will's supposed to be the geek who can't get a girlfriend yet over the course of the series he's got a chance to have sex with one of the hottest and most popular girls in school, had a complete stranger kiss him and offer him sex, almost had sex with an attractive older nurse, had a girl offer to give him a blow job cause she's desperate to make him her boyfriend and in the movie he gets a drop dead gorgeous girlfriend. Most teenage boys who aren't geeks would be lucky to have even 1 of those things happen, never mind all 5.
- It actually goes for all of the four main characters - even though the show is supposed to be about some semi-losers who are completely below most girls' league, they have managed to pick up a fair amount of girls during all the episodes. Often, their problem is not that they cannot charm the girls, but that they screw up at crucial moments which leaves them virgins. Even Jay who is supposed to be the ultimate Casanova Wannabe is much better with the girls than someone with his personality would probably be in Real Life - his problem is that he prefers to brag to his friends about his fictional conquests instead of actually trying to talk to girls. In the movie, he even has the best grasp of the unwritten rules for meeting girls at a club, but prefers to sit alone at the bar instead.
- Hong Kong Dub: The guy who throttles Simon in "A Night Out in London" has clearly had his dialogue dubbed over. The acoustics of his dialogue don't match the rest of the characters, and he speaks without moving his mouth.
- Horrible Camping Trip: The Season 3 finale. Jay and Neil burn all of Will's possessions and Simon's car ends up rolling into the lake (after which a confused Neil smashes the back window with a rock). Finally, the lads projectile-vomit all over each other inside the tent after eating some badly-undercooked sausages, courtesy of Neil.
- Hot for Teacher: Neil to his unfortunate biology teacher.
- Hypocrite: Will spends most of The Fashion Show protesting against his involvement in the show itself, right up until the moment Charlotte flashes him a smile and asks him to join her on the catwalk.
- The Internet Is for Porn: From series 2 episode 6.
Jay: He's probably on the internet looking up the answers to the exam questions.
Neil: And then having a wank.
Neil: Well, it's impossible, innit? I don't think I've ever been on the internet and not ended up having a wank.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: After shitting his pants in the middle of an exam and probably failing, Will rocks up at the pub and quickly downs four pints of lager in quick succession, content that his life cannot get any worse.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Fashionable: Simon discovers he's not just Tara's boyfriend, but also "her new project" when she gets him to buy a ridiculous but fashionable outfit.
- Jar Potty: During the lad's trip to London, Neil uses a beer can to urinate in, sticking his penis right in. Unfortunately, he ends up cutting his helmet on the ring, leaving him spending the rest of the episode complaining about how much it stings.
- Jerkass: Mr Gilbert, Donovan, Rachel, Jay's dad and Patrice. All four protagonists have their moments.
- James, the rep from Carli's resort in The Movie is perhaps the biggest Jerkass to date. He runs Simon down on a quadbike and cons him out of his clothes. He also makes Jay cry at one point and openly insults Jane for being fat.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Jay refers to Carli as "Little-Miss-Stuck-up-Cocktease" at one point and generally gives Simon abuse about his feelings for her and constantly telling him that she's not interested. He's completely right.
- Will was rude to Kerry for shallow reasons, but the fact that her father died recently still doesn't obligate him to date her, or even pretend to date her. Not that anyone sympathizes with this, given the extremely bad timing of his assertion.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mark Donovan (well, he has his moments), and Jay.
- Karma Houdini: Mark Donovan.
- Jay often manages to escape punishment or embarrassment due to being a Dirty Coward.
- Kavorka Man: How the mildly-retarded Neil ends up with all the booty he gets on this show is beyond mind-boggling. He takes nearly all of Will's leftovers, including Charlotte, with far more success than Will ever had with any of them, and also loses his virginity to a single mother at the cheese counter in the local Asda.
- Although, the movie shows that he has no standards whatsoever.
- Will has shades of this too, although he is never able to beat his 5 seconds of robot sex with Charlotte.
- Kids Are Cruel: Everybody under the age of fourteen are at best incredibly annoying or at worst downright psychotic.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Jay, regarding all things sexual. Will is almost certain he makes it all up, Simon falls for it every time, and Neil is perfectly happy to believe it because unlike the others he actually does have a sex life.
- Ladykiller in Love: Jay at one point becomes a Casanova Wannabe In Love, and repeatedly tells Neil off for saying the kind of crude things about her that Jay is always saying about his fake conquests (you know he's serious about her when he doesn't even pretend they've had sex). Tragically he gets so worried that she's seeing other guys he manages to blow his chance with her.
- Lame Comeback: Frequently, usually lampshaded with a deadpan "Brilliant."
- Last Name Basis: Mr. Gilbert refers to all the students by their last names only, treating them like army conscripts.
- Likes Older Women: Neil, who makes a shockingly embarrassing pass at biology teacher Miss Timms during the school prom, swiftly taking the spotlight off of Simon who was making just as big a dick of himself with Carli.
- Not to mention that he got off with a woman who was at least three times his age on holiday in the movie. Later on, the other lads have to physically restrain him from going off with another.
- Jay's attempt to find a "sexy housewife" in Swanage is the only reason he studies Geography.
- Will, too; his most successful romances, if you can call them that, have been with his former babysitter, a girl in the year above (Charlotte) and the more mature Alison.
- Although interestingly, both Emily Atack (Charlotte) and Laura Haddock (Alison) are younger than Simon Bird.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Carli has this effect on Simon.
Carli: Can I come to yours and revise Sociology with you?
Simon: Yes! God, yes! Come over anytime! Come over now!
Carli: I can't come over now...
Simon: No, of course not.
- Arguably this also happens to Tara. She goes from a reasonably down-to-earth Deadpan Snarker to a goofy lovestruck teenager that dresses Simon likes a mannequin.
- Marijuana Is LSD: Will's experiences after consuming dope in Season 3. He's possibly demonstrating psychosomatic reactions (especially the random twitching), behaving the way he thinks dope affects you, but on the other hand he did eat a whole lump of resin. What he describes are not hallucinations, but very unusual sensations - 'everything is flat'; 'I think I might be dead' - which is exactly what happens when most people take marijuana, even when they're smoking it: just to a lesser extent, because the amount he ate was ridiculous.
- It should be noted that marijuana has different effects on different characters. Simon and Tara just seem to act like they've been drinking (though Tara may have been concussed). Jay gets extremely paranoid about being arrested, even fleeing when an ambulance turns up. Donovan seems to be more aggressive on dope.
- May-December Romance: Will tries to start one of these with his former babysitter, but thanks to Jay and Neil it ends up going a little wrong.
- Will's dad, who left Will's mum for someone not much older than Will.
- Mercy Kill: After the lads accidentally catch a fish, Neil says that it'll never survive if they put it back in the water and that the kindest thing to do is kill it. Neil's solution? Punching it to death.
- Missing Mum: Neil's mother is the only parent who doesn't appear in the series. She divorced his dad for "unknown" reasons.
- Mood Whiplash: At the start of the movie, just after Carli dumps Simon, Simon whistles and walks home happily. Once he lies down on his bed, he bursts out crying.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Neil's sister when she opens the door to his friends in a bathrobe.
- My God, What Have I Done?: More or less Jay's reaction when he hears that his dad's had his dog put down after believing his lies about it crapping indoors in the third series. To make matters worse, all he wanted to do was get it out of the way for a bit so he could have some... time to himself.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Neil's sister is second only to Will's mum in the amount of perving she gets from the others. Leads to a scene where the boys are debating which of the two is hotter, and despite being offended at them talking about his sister Neil still enthusiastically joins in the discussion of Will's mum.
- Naked People Are Funny: Each of the lads have wound up naked at some point in a situation played for laughs, particularly Simon, who seems to have this happen at least once per series.
- The Napoleon: This one guy. He has brothers.
- Nerd: Will is widely assumed to be a nerd, due to his appearance, his private school background and the fact he seems be more level-headed than his peers. But he isn't shown to be academically gifted, and he struggles with exams.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: The blazer Will wears is part of the Rudge Park uniform, it's just apparently optional and no-one else wears one, barring "the freaks" and some of the lower years. Gives the same effect as Transfer Student Uniforms (presumably Will's old school had everyone in blazers). To a lesser extent is the blue jumper that Neil and Simon wear, but Jay never really bothers with.
- Not So Above It All: Will is frequently shown to be just as stupid, callous and inept as the rest of them.
- Simon lampshades this in his rant in the last episode, pointing out that Will is just as stupid and as much of a prat as Neil and Jay and the only reason people think he's the clever one is because he has a posh accent.
- Of Course I'm Not A Virgin: Will blunders this one badly with Charlotte, claiming to have slept with an eleven year old when he was thirteen. When it's clear he has no idea what he's doing when it comes to sex, Charlotte dumps him. Thankfully, he learns his lesson by the movie and is honest with Alison. It worked.
- Once a Season: Simon finds himself naked quite frequently played for laughs.
- Only Sane Man: At first it seems like Will is, but Simon probably fits the role more often, when he isn't wearing piss-filled tramp's shoes. Mr. Gilbert counts too, although he's often a bit of an ass about it.
- One Steve Limit: Averted with Ben, the major antagonist of the second movie, and Benji, Jay's dog. There's also Chris Groves (Jay's year 13 friend who tells him about the "nympho" in Swanage) Chris Warton (A guy Jay claims got his head stuck in the recycling bin and arse-raped 18 times),Christ D'Amato, Carli's younger brother, and Chris Yates, a person ejected from Carli's fasion show for having "A really hairy back". (Athough, knowing Jay, the existence of the first two isn't guaranteed...)
- Opposites Attract: Nobody ever truly understood how the gorgeous and popular blonde Charlotte came to hook up with the briefcase wanker.
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: Will, in the middle of a drunken tirade against Neil's Ambiguously Gay dad, calls him a "bumder," later explaining that it's a cross between "bummer" and "bender" (both slang terms in the UK for a homosexual man).
- Poor Man's Porn: Jay uses the problem pages from women's magazines as masturbation material. When he uses those up, having even wanked over Fearne Britton, he uses a photograph of an old woman who is staying in the retirement home from her younger days.
- Precision Bumder Strike: Will's misguided attempt to create a new insult, which he uses on Neil's dad before hurtling out of the house.
- Protagonist Centred Morality:
- Put on a Bus: Charlotte who is one year above the main characters and thus graduates sixth form after the second series. She makes a return in the first episode of the third series as a guest star at the fashion show, but afterwards she is the only one of the regulars to not appear for the rest of the series nor the movie.
- Most characters except for the four protagonists and possibly their parents (Jay's dad is on the IMDb cast list) seem to be put on the bus for the second movie. At least their actors haven't been confirmed, not even mentioned, to appear in the movie. It makes sense as it has been some time since the boys graduated sixth form, and there is no logical reason as to why they'd keep the contact to people like Big John and Donovan (and Gilbert explicitly ordered the students to not contact him again now that he's not their teacher anymore). Simon also made a point of cutting his ties to Carli at the end of the first movie. Alison and Lisa are absent from the second movie, whilst the other two are Demoted to Extra.
- Raging Stiffie: Simon gets one in the first episode when Carli leans over in front of him and he gets a look at her cleavage. Jay calls him out on it and tells everybody. This earns him the nickname Boner for the rest of the series until Neil attempts to kiss Miss Timms and then gets one himself.
- Rape as Comedy: Considering how sex-driven the show is, it generally does a pretty good job of averting this, apart from the Mr Kennedy Running Gag; but in the last episode of season 3, there's an implication that Jay was molested by his neighbour that's played for laughs.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Gone Up in Flames" by Morning Runner.
- Reality Ensues: Simon prepares to swim from a yacht to shore as a big romantic gesture, to massive, raging cheers and applause from all on board. Minutes later, the whole boat is silent as Simon begins to drown, and winds up being airlifted to hospital by the coast-guard.
- Refuge in Audacity: After shitting himself in the exam and finishing several hours late, Will, who is at this point still seventeen, rocks up to the pub wearing his school blazer and a replacement tracksuit pants from lost property while carrying his soiled clothes in a plastic bag. He orders a pint and is pleasantly surprised to actually be served. Being wary, he tests this further by ordering three more pints and downing them in quick succession.
- Right Behind Me: First episode.
- Running Gag: Simon changes his appearance and entire personality in order to impress a girl he fancies.
- Neil has a tendency to go for Will's sloppy seconds and get further with them than Will ever did.
- Sadist Show: Makes The Office seem tame by comparison.
- Selective Enforcement: When Will responds to one of Jay's characteristic tirades of insults and innuendo with a snide remark about his bursting into tears when his girlfriend dumped him, the other three respond with Dude, Not Funny!
- Sex as Rite-of-Passage: The main characters all seem to share this view, though their chances of actually being successful at losing their virginity seem far lower than in most plots with this theme. Except for Neil, who manages to get laid by the end of the series without really trying. They do all finally seem to manage it in The Movie, though.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: More accurately, he is not my friend.
Aww, football fwiend? *thumbs up*
- More literally with Will and Kerri.
- A Simple Plan: So many of the schemes dreamt up by the boys end up an unmitigated disaster, where everything goes wrong and then some.
- Snipe Hunt: Will nearly embarks on one of these whilst on work experience at a car garage. However, the know-it-all way he reacts to seeing through the prank results in a much worse hazing by the mechanics, with Will being abducted, locked into a car boot, stripped and thrown into a freezing lake.
Jimmy: Didn't think of that one did you, Mastermind?
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Despite taking place in a Crapsack World, the series is surprisingly idealistic. Whilst the four main characters suffer enourmously, they bring most of it on themselves by either being dishonest, jerks, or too spineless to stand up for themselves. On the rare occasions when they act honestly and selflessly, things start going their way.
- Spiritual Predecessor: can be seen as such to [[Series/Drifters]], with two of the girls from The Inbetweeners Movie as main characters in the former.
- Stacy's Mom: All the guys with regard to Will's mum, to his considerable displeasure. Jay brings it up the most, Neil seems the most serious about it, and Simon pretty much just goes along with the joke.
- Stereotype Reaction Gag: When the boys approach a black man they believe is a drug dealer in a club, he gets offended and accuses them of racial stereotyping. Of course, he is a drug dealer, but "that's not the point."
- Stop Saying That!: Neil randomly starts saying "No problemo!" in a terrible pseudo-Mexican accent, for the duration of one episode for no reason. Simon gets more and more agitated and annoyed with it each time.
- The Movie: Released to the general public August 19th, 2011.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: On many occasions when one of the boys starts making some form of progress, the others team up to bring him back down to their level. Examples of this include the time Jay's football friend and Will's attempted romance with Daisy.
- Take That: "You've got until Monday to find out, otherwise it's goodbye first rate education, hello University of Lincoln." Ouch.
- Technical Virgin: Each of the lads is this to a certain degree. Jay gets a handjob "outside the trousers" in the series 1 finale (Though he may be lying about it. He did initially say it was a blowjob). Simon receives unfinished handjobs in at least two episodes and unsuccessfully attempts sex with Tara. Will spends about ten seconds incompetently writhing around on top of Charlotte before she tells him to stop (Will actually has to ask her if he's technically lost his virginity or not). Neil fingers a couple of girls over the course of the series and actually loses his virginity during series 3.
- Technology Marches On: Simon complains that his car has a tape deck. His mother reckons that's good until Simon replies, "You can't even buy tapes anymore!"
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Simon delivers an epic one in the last episode after Jay and Neil let his car roll into the lake.
- This Loser Is You: The main cast. We have Will, the socially inept posh twit, Simon, the hopeless romantic, Neil, the village idiot and Jay, the self-proclaimed ladies man.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Any episode that ends with the protagonists reasonably content, especially the end of the first season with Will actually winning some respect from the others at school.
- The ending of The Movie where all of the lads end up with a girl.
- Toilet Humour: As to be expected, a LOT of the references and situations are based on this.
- Training from Hell: Will is subject to institutionalized bullying on his work experience at a car garage, after being a bit too cocky and brash about his intellectual abilities.
- Truth in Television: And how; it's almost as painful to watch as it was to go through the same shit in secondary school. Basically, if you went to school in the past decade or so, there will be at least a couple of moments per episode where you can relate perfectly to something that has been said or done.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Will and Jay. Simon skirts the line.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: All the protagonists to each other. Questioning each others' sexuality, openly doubting each others' ability to win over women and generally insulting each other is commonplace, but they're good friends and nothing is going to change that. They've shown a particular tendency to rally round after bad breakups.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: A drunken and heartbroken Simon engages in this all over Carli's kitchen counter. And little brother.
- There is also a Vomit Discretion Shot when Simon pukes in her sink.
- In series 3, Simon first kisses his new girlfriend Tara mere seconds after she throws up over his shoes - orange vomit is still trickling down her chin. Eww...
- The final episode has Simon, Jay and Neil projectile vomiting all over each other inside a tent.
- In one episode, they're also watching the infamous "Two Girls One Cup" video...
- Plus Will for most of the last half hour of The Movie after a heavy night on the town.
- The Unreveal: The details of Carli's response to Jay's text from Simon's phone are never revealed.
- Though, considering that they are together at the start of the movie, it's probably positive.
- Ultimate Job Security: Mr Kennedy, however, this is lampshaded.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Clunge" is quite a popular one, and has since become embedded in the common British vernacular. Others such as "bellend" note and "wank bank" note were already staples of British student slang but further popularised by the series.
- Up to Eleven: Will describes Jay as the most disgusting human being he has ever met... before the boys meet Jay's dad.
- Wardrobe Malfunction: Simon is convinced by Carli to take to the catwalk with her in a speedo and ends up with his left testicle on display.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Used on Will after he brings up Jay's girlfriend making him cry after too many insults. Treated as serious business and completely ignoring all the other insults Jay uses against Will. Possibly justified, in that while the guys humour Jay's Blatant Lies, Simon and Will at least seem pretty aware that she was probably the only girl he'd ever been with, and certainly the only one he'd ever had real feelings for.
- It seems to be an unwritten moral norm (more or less the only norm) in the group that bad break-ups are serious business and the victim should be respected. When Will was dumped somewhat cruelly by Charlotte, Simon and Jay were quick to try to cheer him up, and they avoid bringing up his short relationship with her unless Will himself mentions it. So when Will points out Jay's break-up in a rather blunt way, he breaks the norm even though Jay has complied with it to him. That way, it actually makes sense, though Will (who is not always good with unwritten norms) finds it weird.
- Will They or Won't They?: The essence of Carli and Simon's relationship.
- Wimp Fight: Jay and Simon's fight in The Movie is more like agressive hugging. Will, Neil and some passersby watch idly.
Will: We should do something.
Neil: Yeah, do you want to go and get Subway?
- With Friends Like These...: One of the only complaints by actual schoolchildren about the show is that the gang are total dickheads to each other most of the time, generally for Rule of Funny.
- Who Writes This Crap?!: Mr. Gilbert's opinion on the fashion show speeches. He even starts correcting the spelling errors out loud, while reading them out to the audience.
Mr. Gilbert: "Christ, who wrote this?"
- Would Hurt a Child: Jay pushes a kid who can't swim into a pool for making fun of (and de-pantsing) him in The Movie.
- Simon claims he would have battered Danny Moore if it wasn't for Northwood backing him up... and, in all fairness, he totally deserves it.
- Your Mum: Frequently towards Will's mum.
Will: Great. Now even the Head of Sixth Form is making jokes about my mum. At least I hope he was joking...
- WTH, Costuming Department?: In universe is the outfit Simon has to wear for the fashion show's sexy finale. Lampshaded by Will.
Will: Why'd you even agree to wear it in the first place?
Simon: Carli told me to.
Will: Even with your whole sack covered, you'd look ridiculous. Speedos, DMs, Top Hat and a Leash? What Maniac designed that and thought "I know what's fashionable; dressing up as an upper class mental patient!"?