Casting Gag: Sir Ian McKellen, one of the greatest theater and film actors today, playing a faded actor whose career peak was a minor character on Doctor Who. Both Jacobi and McKellen have had single-episode guest parts on Doctor Who.
Corrupt the Cutie: Freddie and Stuart considered this their end goal in regards to Ash. When he finally snaps and snarks about the Running Gag regarding him and Violet, Freddie's response was to give him a hug and say "About time, welcome to the family!" Mason lampshades it, saying it's sad they're going to turn the sweet Ash into a gargoyle like them.
The Cuckoolander Was Right: The normally dotty Penelope will have the occasional moment of clarity, often at the most inopportune time for somebody else. Lampshaded when people wonder why her memory is so vivid all of a sudden.
OOC Is Serious Business: In episode 3, Freddie has his minor role on Downton Abbey overshadowed by Ash getting a starring role in a small movie; as a result, he starts being nice to everyone, much to their horror.
Phrase Catcher: Stuart, re Violet every time she and Ash are in a scene together:
Ash: She never drinks, isn't that right Chloe? Chloe: It's true. And nothing could give me more of a high that being with Ash... Freddie: Have you tried cocaine?
Small Name, Big Ego: Freddie career consisted of "bit parts in Rep and one episode of Doctor Who", according to Stuart. That doesn't stop him from acting as though he had, well, Sir Ian McKellen's career.
Stepford Smiler: It's been hinted at that underneath Ash's cheerfulness there is a lot of emotional issues. He's mentioned offhand how he frequently wakes up screaming, and became so hysterical and self-loathing after messing up Christmas dinner that Violet had to slap him to calm him down.
The Stinger: The first season finalÚ ends with the reveal that Judi Dench wanted to attend the party, but since Freddie didn't leave a contact number or address, she got sick of waiting for a reply and decided she doesn't have time for his bullshit.
Freddie: So, who were you squawking on the phone to just now? Stuart: My mother, if you must know. She was very distraught. Freddie: Why, did you finally tell her about us? Stuart: I'm waiting for the right time. Freddie: It's been forty-eight years! Stuart: And there has not been a right time!
Violet: Has anybody said you remind them of Zac Efron? [whispering to Stuart] That's a person right? Or is it a place? [to Ash again] Well I'm certain I know you. Have you ever been to Zac Efron? [whispering to Stuart] I'm covered either way now.
White Dwarf Star: Freddie's acting career never really took off and his only claim to fame was playing a minor character on Doctor Who. He still sees himself as an award-winning actor with a trophy case.