"We're going to have a FLATSHARE SLAMDOWN!"
- —Intro to each episode
Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown is a comedy Panel Show podcast created by and starring British sketch troupe Pappy's. Matthew Crosby takes on the role as host/landlord, and the two team captains/tenants are Tom Parry and Ben Clark. Each team has a guest contestant/house guest.
The premise of each episode is introduced in an opening sketch. Matthew, Tom, and Ben share a flat, but a problem arises which neither Tom nor Ben will take responsibility for. Matthew then forces them to play Flatshare Slamdown with their house guests, and the losing team is tasked with fixing the problem.
The podcast was first published in 2011. There have been 5 series, and 5 specials. From 2016 onwards, a new episode is due to be released on the first of each month.
The podcast's rounds are:
- Round One: the only round which changes according to the episode's theme.
- Flat Games: originally called Flat Olympics, the title was changed in series 2. In this round, an existing game is played but with a twist.Matthew: This week, we are playing our version of a classic game from our childhoods. It's our take on Mallett's Mallet [...] we're using marshmallows in a game we call Marsh Mallet Mallet. Here is how we play. It's a word association game where you musn't pause, you musn't hesitate, but to make it harder, for every correct word you say, you have to put a marshmallow in your mouth.
- Beef Brothers: Matthew reads out a problem submitted from an audience member, and assigns one team as the defence, and the other as the prosecution. Each panellist is given a minute to make their case, and the winner of the round is decided by which team receives the loudest cheer.
- Quick-Fire Round: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It's more or less a Hurricane of Puns round.
Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown contains examples of:
- Alter-Ego Acting: Tom always plays the Beef Brothers round as Fanshawe Standon.Matthew: Thomas, to conclude the case for the defence, are you going to be doing it as yourself?
Tom: No, I'm going to be be defending in the style of a John Grisham, deep southern American lawyer, Mr Fanshawe Standon.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Tom and Ben are prone to this trope.Tom: [During a round of Flat Games] I was about to sing "I Vow To Thee My Cunt D" and I got so distracted I lost track of the letters.
- Audience Participation Song: Done at the end of the Flat Games jingle, when the audience repeat back "gold, gold, gold, gold, gold..." etc.
- Berserk Button: Constantly insulting the other team in childish voices will trigger this in Matthew. He cleared both teams' scores after round two in "Cellar".
- Big Eater: Tom, on two accounts:
- Discussed in the 2011 Christmas special, when Tom mentions that one Christmas, while he was asleep, he started eating a bowl of food his family placed next to him.
- Played straight during the Flat Games round in "Bath", when the contestants had to go through the alphabet and eat Cream Eggs everytime they landed on a letter that either teammate had in their names. Tom's teammate, Josie Long, couldn't eat Cream Eggs on medical grounds, leaving Tom to eat Josie's share of the chocolate as well. He ends up eating about 7 altogether, and then keeps on eating for the rest of that episode.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Tom (big), Ben (thin), and Matthew (short).
- British Brevity: The first two series had 6 episodes; and series 3-5 only had 4 episodes. Averted with series six, which has 12 episodes due to the monthly releases.
- Call-Back: When Joe Wilkinson turns up drunk in "Stained Carpet", Matthew jokes about asking Rufus Houndnote to replace Joe on the panel.
- Christmas Episode: There have been four Christmas specials; 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016.
- Holly Burn, when she guested in "Music Festival".
- Lou Sanders also had shades of this in "Recycling".
- Collective Groan: A more extreme example happened in "Council Tax", when the audience booed one of the puns.
- Comically Missing the Point:Matthew: So, apparently, Humphrey Ker, tight writing... [audience laughs] ... writing of shows, sloppy everywhere else. So... [speech drowned out by more laughter] Oh, sorry, Humphrey's a first name, I better drink.
- Contrived Coincidence: In "Leaky Roof", Round One involved Rufus Hound making three distinct noises to form an unusual scenario. Felicity Ward suggests a lot of answers, including the noise of a dog, and dial-up internet. Later, when it's her's and Ben's turn to make noises for Rufus to guess, they are given "a terrier on a trampoline dialling up old school broadband". As Matthew puts it:Matthew: Unbelievable, you couldn't have planned it.
- Crossover: Pappy's also have their own sitcom, Badults, so they held a crossover episode. The guests were Jack Doherty, who plays Matthew's boss Carabine, and Gemma Wheelan, who guest stars in one episode.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Tom and Ben sing the theme tune.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Tom tries to make a Stealth Pun in "Wash The Car", but ends up explaining the punchline anyway.
- Drinking Game: "Party" has one.Matthew: Any time you hear a pun, drink [...] It's also surnames only, so it's [Nick] Helm, it's [Sara] Pascoe, it's Parry, it's Crosby, it's Clark. Any time you hear the title of a Beatles song, you have to drink.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- There's a few examples in series 1:
- Matthew (jokingly) shows notable anger at the length of the Quick-Fire Round jingle, even once going as far as throwing water over Tom because of it. He has since mellowed, but sometimes still makes the odd joke that there's no time left for the actual round.
- At the end of the Beef Brothers round, whoever had their argument read out would win "a chequebook and Ben", and have a chance to do some strange activity with Tom related to that episode's theme.
- The longest surviving example of this trope is a jingle advertising the show's hashtag, #flatslam, which was pulled at the end of series 3. In newer episodes, Matthew just mentions the hashtag as part of the closing credits.
- There's a few examples in series 1:
- Embarrassing Nickname: The podcast's official Twitter hashtag is #flatslam. In "Freezer", Tom jokingly suggests #benders, which has since become the podcast's unofficial second hashtag, much to Matthew's chagrin.Matthew: I'm not comfortable with #benders, because if you search it [Beat] it doesn't matter.
- Exact Words: Done in Flat Games in "Caravan Holiday".Ben: Might I suggest you mention a lounge?
James Acaster: We can do that. [...] When we're in the lounge, they're not polite either.
- Genre Blindness: In "Gas", the Flat Olympics round involved guests Richard Herring and Andy Zaltzman throwing ham at Tom and Ben. Listeners complained the round was too visual for a podcast. That said, it hasn't stopped them from doing visual things, such as being fed biscuits non-stop for 30 seconds, or hoovering each other's faces.
- Genre Savvy: In the introduction to "Recycling", Matthew lampshades that Tom and Ben are performing a visual sketch on a podcast.
- G.I.R.L.: Done in the introduction to "Internet".Matthew: The router! Oh, how am I going to make cyber love to my online girlfriend LeatherVixen69?
Tom: Wait, you're not SexySpecy1998, are you?
Matthew: Yes. How do you know that?
Tom: ...No reason.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: The Quick-Fire Round jingle in "Make The Bed" is sung, non-fluently, in various languages.
- Helium Speech: The Flat Games round in "Thermostat" revolves around this trope. Nearly all the panellists ended up speaking in squeaky voices (see What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? below).
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It
- Incredibly Long Note:
- The long, drawn-out note is a staple of the Quick-Fire Round jingles, bar most of the series 2 ones. This was taken to extremes in "Rubbish", when they invited a trained opera singer to participate in that jingle.
- Aside from the Quick-Fire Round, some of the rounds do occasionally involve the panelists having to hold out notes to secure a win. A notable example happened in "Mouse", when Olly Mann held his note for so long that afterwards he pointed out nobody needed to question who won that round.
- Innocent Innuendo: The idea behind Flat Games in "Leaky Roof". The panellists were given more points if they managed to make clean words sound dirty.
- Jingle: Each round has its own jingle. One of the jingles, I Wikipedia-ed Windows, even has an accompanying video.
- Lamp Shade Hanging:
- The opening sketch for "Council Tax". Tom and Ben complain that they always have to fix the problems, and threaten to revolt unless Matthew does something. It's short-lived, as Matthew proceeds to hypnotise them, summarises the structure of all their opening sketches, and subdues them into never revolting again before snapping them out of hypnotism.
- Also in "Council Tax", during the Quick-Fire Round jingle, Tom points out that he always does the singing and forces Ben to swap places with him. Bearing in mind that Tom is the only member of Pappy's who can't play the guitar, you can imagine how that jingle ended.
- Large Ham: Tom, at times. Taken Up to Eleven with Fanshawe Standon.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Most of their guests have only made one appearance over the entirety of the podcast's run. So far, there have been over 55 guests in total to appear on the podcast.
- Loophole Abuse: Used by Barry from Watford in "Wash The Car", when that episode's Round One is a timed version of Twenty Questions about famous Bens. Matthew states the rule that the panellists can ask as many questions as they want to work out which Ben they are guessing, and the first question Barry asks is:Barry: Is it Ben Elton?
Matthew: Alright, stop the game very quickly. Just very quickly, I'm just—
Barry: I just had a feeling. Is that wrong?
Matthew: You sort of bent the rules ever so slightly.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The jingle for Round One in "Sweep The Chimney" is a parody of Blur's "Parklife". The spoken verses are about the history of the chimney and the terrible conditions that chimney sweeps used to face, all spoken over upbeat music. Even the "chimney" interjections are spoken with less enthusiasm the longer the song goes on.
- Mythology Gag: Rufus Hound says one in "Milk", after he jokingly takes apart how the podcast works:Tom: Rufus, do you want to join the sketch team?
Rufus: No, I saw what happened to the fourth member.
- No Indoor Voice: Fanshawe Standon.
- Non-Nude Bathing: Ben in the introduction to "Bath". Played with for Matthew in the same introduction; he apparently has so much body hair that Tom and Ben think he's wearing a shirt.
- Noodle Incident: According to the introduction for "Lightbulb", the toilet can no longer be used.
- Not So Above It All: Matthew has participated in several Quick-Fire Round jingles before:
- In "Rubbish", he tells Tom and Ben that they would no longer be allowed to get away with the lengthy jingles. How does he tell them? By also singing along to the tune.
- Matthew sings along again to the live Quick-Fire Round jingle in "Stained Carpet".
- One Steve Limit: Averted when Tom Allen appeared on Tom Parry's team in episodes "TV Remote" and "Bleed the Radiator".
- Only One Name: Barry from Watford in "Wash The Car".
- Overly Long Gag: The whole point of the Quick-Fire Round jingle. It is generally so long that panellists have been known to use it as a toilet break. This was averted for most of series 2, when Matthew imposed a 20 second length limit, though he later removed the limit for episode 6.
- Overly Pre-Prepared Gag: Tom tells one in "Washing Up".Tom: I'm not going to do the washing up, Matthew, because I used to work in a seafood restaurant, and I used to do the washing up with a German fellow by the name of Hans. Now, in that seafood restaurant, there was a Hungarian waitress who went by the name of Yourface. Now, Yourface was very fond of the fish that were in the tank in that sea restaurant. There was one piece of seafood in particular. It was a little squid. It was a bright green squid, and it wasn't a very clever squid, and oh, Yourface loved that squid. No-one would eat it because it looked so silly, and it looked so green, and looked so stupid. But one day, a man came in and said, "I want to order that squid"; and Yourface said, "no, not the squid". He said, "yes, kill that squid and I will eat it". So she got the squid, she went back into the kitchen, she picked up the knife, she said, "I can't do it. I just can't do it". The manager said, "unless you kill that squid, you're fired". She said, "I just can't do it". So, they got the washer upper - the German washer upper - Hans, he came over, picked up the knife and said, "I'll do this". He picked it up and said, "I can't do it. I just can't do it". The manager said, "oh no - Hans that does dishes is as soft as Yourface with the mild green fairly thick squid". note
- Pinball Scoring: Occurs in "Put Up The Wallpaper", when the scores for that episode go into triple figures.
- Product Placement: Done in the Beef Brothers round in "Leaky Roof". After mentioning various times that Samsonite make good cases, Matthew then draws attention to their sponsors for that episode, Slazenger Sport.
- Pungeon Master:
- Matthew, Tom, and Ben all fall into this trope at times.
- Tim Vine when he made a guest appearance in "Shed". So much so that at the start of the episode, Matthew told a joke with the exact same punchline as Tim's, and had to watch his jokes for the rest of the episode.
- Averted in "Window", when guest Norman Lovett revealed he hates puns.
- Punny Name: The names given for Round One and Flat Games usually fall into this category.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rob Beckett (red) and Romesh Ranganathan (blue) had shades of this in their appearances in "Cellar".
- Running Gag:
- Tom always introduces his guest as helping him out with an on-going jamboree he is in charge of.
- Any attempt to pun on Cuba Gooding, Jnr.'s name.
- Self-Deprecation:Matthew: [Josh Widdicombe's] DVD is being recorded in September. We're doing a podcast.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story:
- Tom (as Fanshawe Standon) and Ben occasionally do this in the Beef Brothers round.Ben: Well, this is genuinely true, right? I've got a bit of a weird house, where my room isn't connected with the main house, so I have to go outside to get into my bedroom. True story. And I went for a shower, and realise I'd lost - left my towel, didn't loose it - so I went back into my room to get my towel. I'd left my door open, and there was a cat in my room, and it scared the shit out of me, um...
Tom: You had a go at Matt [Edmondson] for his long anecdotes.
Ben: I've got a minute, mate.
Matthew: Well, you've got fifteen seconds.
Ben: Oh, in that case, the cat ran back out of the room...
Matthew: That is your time, Clarky, that is your time. Oh dear. Oh no. Oh, what a shocker. Cat ran back out of the room. Oh my god.
Tom: You're going to be such a good dad. "Goodnight, kids." "Is that it? Dad, you are shit at stories."
- Guest Josh Widdicombe had one in "Thermostat", when he talked about a former housemate. It was also averted in the same episode with the other guest, Brian Gittins.Matthew: I already don't know which housemate I prefer now; Josh, who just tells endless stories, or Brian, who doesn't talk at all.
- Tom (as Fanshawe Standon) and Ben occasionally do this in the Beef Brothers round.
- Shirtless Scene: "Make The Bed" has all five male panellists doing this very early on in the episode.
- Shout-Out: Most of the musical styles in the jingles are based on a specific genre of music, or a band or solo artist.
- Small Reference Pools: Played straight by Suzi Ruffell in "Answer The Door", when she makes Ben guess that he's Charlie Chaplin by asking if it ever bothered him that he had the same moustache as Hitler. Subverted by Ben when he answers that he's Richard Herring.
- Sound-Effect Bleep: The Badults special, when things took a very libellous turn thanks to Jack.
- Suspect Is Hatless: In "Wash The Car", Barry from Watford fails to guess the famous Ben, so Matthew gives Tom and Liam Williams a chance to have a guess ... with the only solid clue that the famous Ben is alive.
- Take That!: In "Flatpack Furniture", Tom adopts a Greek accent for the Quick-Fire Round jingle, and has a go at guest Marcel Lucont about how easy it is to pretend to be another nationality.
- That Came Out Wrong: Adam Buxton has one in "Council Tax" during Round One, when he has to say the opposite of what he means.Adam: I love talking to therapists. I love opening up in all kinds of ways. [Beat] That came out right.
- The Napoleon: Matthew, although this is less prominent in later episodes. See the above Berserk Button example.
- The Stoic: Romesh Ranganathan, to an extent. That said, he amusingly breaks his persona in Round One with rapping that really needs to be heard to be believed.Matthew: I can't stop smiling, because [Romesh] can't smile.
- True Companions: Matthew, Tom, and Ben.
- Twisted Christmas: Discussed in the 2015 Christmas special, when Joel Dommett mentions his sister-in-law was cheating on his brother, and how excited he was to film his brother catching his wife out.
- Verbal Tic: "Shocker" gets thrown around quite a bit by Tom and Matthew, usually as a reaction to a terrible joke, or an anecdote that doesn't really go anywhere.
- "We've peaked too early".
- Vitriolic Best Buds:Ben: [to Tom] You've got the confidence of a very funny person.
- Vocal Dissonance: In "Make The Bed", John Robins impersonates Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark by speaking in a brash American accent.
- What Could Have Been: In-Universe example. In "Caravan Holiday", it's discussed that Round One was almost called "You're So Caravain You Probably Think This Song Is About You". Tom and his teammate James Acaster then briefly play out that round, which is then constantly lampshaded as the better Round One instead of "Caravantiques Roadshow".
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Played with in "Thermostat", when that episode's Flat Games required the panelists to inhale helium. Josh Widdicombe's voice stayed the same, no matter how much he inhaled, leading him to joke that "when you discover your superpowers, sometimes, it's disappointing".
- What the Hell Is That Accent?:
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: According to Fanshawe in the 2016 Christmas special, the animal equivalent of this trope is calling a dog John.
- Your Mom: One of the joke Round Ones suggested in "Thermostat" involves the panellists making temperature-based insults about each others' mums.