YMMV / Father Ted

  • Accidental Innuendo: From Mrs Doyle:
    "Oh, Father, Pat was wondering if he could put his massive tool in my box."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Dougal just extremely stupid, or does he have schizophrenia (or some other psychosis)? His behavior throughout the series is that of someone completely detached from the real world with Ted even having to draw him a chart describing the differences between fantasy and reality and moreover Dougal's thoughts and words do occasionally conform to reality and to varying degrees. In addition, many of his behaviors throughout the show are not outright stupid but just plain weird and nonsensical. He probably only became mentally ill sometime in his adult life, after becoming priest.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Which should also be a Crowning Music of Funny; "My Lovely Horse".
    • The Rugged Island priests' song "The Miracle Is Mine" from the same episode qualifies too. It is hammy and overblown (in the vein of many Eurovision entries), it has a vague religious lyric to it, and is backed up by a full choir and orchestra. This is a good Establishing Character Moment for Dick and Cyril, because they are shown to have a genuine musical talent and planning, whereas Ted and Dougal do not. However, due to the biased voting (again, which happens in Eurovision in real life), Ted and Dougal manage to win anyway.
  • Broken Base:
    • More like "broken periphery demographic." Catholic priests either think it is hilarious and harmless satire or insulting and poorly researched slander.
    • Between English and Irish fans, the debate rages over whether the show counts as Irish or not: All-Irish cast, including several iconic Irish comedians such as Pat Shortt, Tommy Tiernan, Graham Norton and Brendan Grace, Irish writers and a strongly Irish setting, versus an English broadcaster and a huge English fanbase.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: "Night of the Nearly Dead" essentially has Frank Kelly in black-face to show that Father Jack's condition is hardly unique.
  • Ending Fatigue:
    • The Christmas special. Even the show's creators complain about it in the DVD commentary.
    • To a lesser extent the two part episode "Escape From Victory" and "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse".
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Bishop Brennan, who gained legendary status after appearing in a total of three episodes ("The Passion of Saint Tibulus", "The Plague" and "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse".
  • Fandom Berserk Button: God help you if you call this show a "Britcom" around Irish people.
  • Fountain of Memes: Even two decades since the last episode aired, the show is still highly quoted in Ireland and many current events will have a Father Ted meme attached to them.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment
    • The flashbacks of Father Jack in his days teaching in a Parochial School during the first series episode "Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest" definitely qualify as a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment given the subsequent scandals in Ireland regarding exactly this sort of abuse in Irish Catholic Schools and Orphanages.
    • There's an episode where Ted angrily tells a cop about the good old days, when the police would cover up crimes committed by Catholic priests. The whole thing is Played for Laughs, but can come off as somewhat disturbing in light of the massive pedophilia scandal that rocked the church years later.
    • Likewise, the scene in another episode where Ted tries to assure Niamh Connolly that not all priests are pedophiles, and ends up suggesting there may be as many as 10 million priests who are pedophiles.
    • One of the Bishops dying of a massive heart attack as lead actor Dermot Morgan would later die from the same thing.
      • Even worse, Ted grabbing his chest in shock when Mrs. Doyle surprises him with a cup of tea when he turns on the light.
      • And the three 'Death' Tarot cards he chooses from the fortune teller's deck in the first episode.
    • Averted in the finale; the writers originally intended the series to end with Ted commiting suicide, but this was replaced with a clip montage when Dermot Morgan died.
    • Another cringeworthy one is Jack's P.E teaching.
      Teaching Nun: He's also asked me to remind you that it is very hot today, so there will be no need for your tracksuit tops.
      • The dancing priest dying from having a heart attack due to too much dancing. As seen in the Harsher in Hindsight example, Morgan's constant reshoots of his dance scene in "Going To America" exacerbated the heart problems he was feeling during filming, and prevented him getting treatment in time. So effectively, what was one of the most absurd and improbable deaths in Father Ted ended up coming true.
      • The titling of the penultimate episode "Night Of The Nearly Dead". Dermot Morgan died after the filming of the following (and last) episode "Going To America'".
  • Growing the Beard: While the first series isn't considered bad by a long shot, it's noticeably slower-paced than the two that follows, and has much more of a focus on cringe comedy than the surreal and absurd humour that the show would become known for. The second series is seen as when the really show found its footing.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Dermot Morgan was actually having heart problems during the filming of the Shaft scene of the last episode "Going To America". However, Tommy Tiernan (who played the suicidal priest) kept flubbing his lines, and the producers would not let Dermot go until it was finished. To make matters worse, Dermot had to do dance moves in this scene, and doing them repeatedly exacerbated his condition. He died less than 24 hours later. If the reshoots of the scene had been stopped and Dermot had gotten treatment, there is a chance he might have lived. However, there is equally a chance that he might have died whilst away and the rest of the episode would never have been filmed.
    • The set-up is that the Catholic church deals with miscreant priests by quietly shuffling them off to some out-of-the-way parish until it all blows over. Sadly, this turned out to be the case in real life too, and with worse offenders than Ted, Dougal and Jack.
    • The episode "Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest" had Father Jack's apparent death after drinking floor polish. Sadly, the episode is harder to watch now that Frank Kelly has passed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • On a meta level: having watched "Cigarettes, Alcohol and Rollerblading" will almost completely derail any serious use of Mozart's Rex Tremendae or Dies Irae.
    • The Priest Chatback hotline is advertised in much the same way that gay sex talk lines are. Fast forward to 2016, when a story broke about trainee priests using Grindr.
  • Hollywood Homely: Mrs. Doyle.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie: Ted, who's venal and self-serving but also has to put up Dougal's stupidity, Jack's own jerkassery, and things in general often going to hell.
  • Memetic Badass: Bishop Brennan and his cape.
  • Memetic Mutation: Loads in Ireland. All the catchphrases have become instantly recognisable, as well as a few other signature lines such as those quoted at the top of the page.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: As noted above, it's incredibly popular in Ireland. Yes, it was created by Irish writers, had an Irish cast, and was set in Ireland, but it was still intended for British audiences, making its popularity in Ireland an unintentional (or least secondarily intentional) byproduct.
    • On a similar note, you'd think Catholic clergy would hate this show. You'd be absolutely wrong.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
  • What an Idiot: Where does one begin with a show like this?
    • In "Think Fast, Father Ted", Ted damages the car Brennan gave him for the raffle so badly that they cannot possibly give away as a prize.
      You'd Expect: Ted would phone Brennan immediately and calmly explain himself. Brennan would then arrange a different car or some other prize.
      Instead: Ted freaks out in the night that Brennan was going to kill them for destroying the car and quickly borrows another priest's car. Things go horribly wrong from there.
    • In "A Song for Europe", Ted and Dougal are listening to a B-side from a previous EuroSong entrant, and realise that its music matches the lyrics of their song perfectly.
      You'd Expect: They would check up on the song's history to ensure that it is really as obscure as they think it is.
      Instead: They decide to plagiarise the song's music for their lyrics without checking its history. Cue Ted panicking when he realises that it is actually well known.
    • "Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading" contains a phone conversation with Ted and his rival Dick, in which Dick tells Ted that he is giving up alcohol for Lent, with his two companions also giving up their vices, and asks Ted to do the same.
      You'd Expect: Ted would quiz Dick on whatever he is telling the truth or not.
      Instead: He believes Dick's lie. Even when the truth is exposed in front of him.
    • When Niamh Connolly visits the house, Dougal is left by Ted to mind it and to try to control his uneasiness around women.
      You'd Expect: Dougal will do the proper host duties while Ted is gone.
      Instead: He sells Connolly the house.
    • In "A Christmassy Ted", Ted forgets about a funeral due to walking off around the island.
      You'd Expect: Dougal and everyone else in the parochial house to wait until Ted gets back, and then send him to do the funeral.
      Instead: Dougal does the funeral himself, and completely ruins it.
    • "Are You Right There, Father Ted?" has some Chinese people mistake Ted to be an outright racist due to one simple insult.
      You'd Expect: The non-Asian islanders would do one of two things. One is that they could help Ted to correct the mistake. The other, if they were to go along with the Chinese people's story, is that they could call him out for it.
      Instead: They congratulate Ted for a quality he doesn't have.
    • Then we have the third-last episode. In the previous episode, Dick beat Ted at a football game because Ted's team was accused of cheating. You would think Dick would make Ted wash his car or clean his house or something personally humiliating like that, but instead he demanded that Ted kick Bishop Brennan up the arse!
      You'd Expect: Ted would report Dick's demand to his superiors. If he hates Dick so much, then he could team up with Brennan to get Dick excommunicated or relocated as punishment, or something like that.
      Instead: Ted does as Dick had demanded, which leaves Brennan completely angry with him when he comes to his senses.