Series / The Royle Family

The Royle Family is an award-winning British sitcom. Famously minimalistic, the show almost entirely takes place in the house of the Royle family, usually in the living room in front of the television. The show lacks any form of laughter track and actual gags are rare, most of the humour instead coming from the characters themselves: Jim Royle, cynical and sarcastic couch potato; Barbara, his hard-working and long-suffering wife; Denise, their lazy daughter; Antony, their extremely put-upon son; Dave Best, Denise's dim-witted but well-meaning fiancé; Nana, Barbara's elderly mother; and next door neighbours Joe, who's very boring; Mary, who's a bit gone in the head; Cheryl, who's always gaining weight; Darren, Anthony's criminal friend and Twiggy, Jim's criminal friend.

The show gets most of its laughs through the various characters interactions with each other, often mirroring real English families extremely well. The writers, Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne, also play the couple Dave and Denise.

The show ran for three seasons from 1998-2000. A further five Christmas specials aired between 2006 and 2012. A special was planned for Christmas 2016, but Caroline Aherne passed away in July after her third battle with cancer.

Came 19th in Britain's Best Sitcom.

This show provides examples of:

  • Aside Glance: Much humour comes from Jim's reaction from when people say stupid, weird, or otherwise unusual things. Usually this will be from Dave, Denise, or one of the next door neighbours.
  • Away in a Manger: the season 2 Christmas Episode
  • Butt Monkey: Antony
  • Catchphrase: Jim's " arse".
  • Character Outlives Actor: Twiggy. He was said to be in prison following actor Geoffrey Hughes' death in 2012.
  • Christmas Episode: Though only two of the Christmas specials take place at Christmas.
  • The Couch: usually inhabited by Barbara, Dave and/or Denise, and occasionally Nana.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jim
  • Epunymous Title
  • Flanderization: Dave was not the brightest spark to begin with, but in later episodes he is portrayed as an utter moron.
  • Gargle Blaster: The "tropical punch".
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Jim is a more subtle example of this, especially towards Anthony. It is also heavily implied through dialogue that Denise is incredibly negligent to her kids.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Anytime Jim calls out anyone else for being lazy.
    • Denise is also prone this, only being marginally better than Jim. They naturally exchange insults over each other's selfish, idle and obnoxious habits on a regular basis.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jim will forever condemn everyone and everything as a swizz, too expensive, or just plain stupid. But when he knows he needs to say something (usually when it's his own fault), he will quietly reassure said character that he does indeed love them, and is there for Denise at her wedding and child's birth, and for Barbara at her mother's funeral. Although in the recent Christmas specials he seems to have moved firmly into Jerk Ass territory, saying cruel and spiteful things seemingly because the show demands it.
  • Kitchen Sink Drama
  • Nobody Poops: Averted by Jim, who loudly announces his visits to the toilet.
  • Oop North: Manchester
  • Put on a Bus: Emma, despite being Anthony's wife-to-be and mother of his child, she disappeared after the second Christmas Special with no explanation and has never been mentioned since. Anthony's friend Darren hasn't been around since then either.
  • Real Time: used in most episodes, with the exceptions of some of the specials.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Half The World Away" by Oasis.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation
  • Slice of Life
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Barbara and Denise both chain smoke, and it isn't glamorous.
  • Spot of Tea: it's a British show, after all.
  • Tearjerker:
    • Everyone cried at the end of The Queen of Sheba. No exceptions.
    • Jim comforting Denise when she's terrified after going into labour.
  • This Is My Chair:
    • Jim always sits in his armchair in front of the TV.
    • Anthony often has the other armchair.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The entire family. They spend most of their time bickering and making jibes at each other. But on times such as Denise's wedding or Norma's wake, they'll show that they really do love each other just like a family.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Jim always puts Anthony down, but when he knows he's gone too far he promises he'll be there if his son needs him.