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Series / Broad City

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Broad City is a half-hour comedy television series created by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. It aired from 2014 until 2019 on Comedy Central.

Broad City began as a webseries on YouTube in 2009 and continued until 2011. The webseries ran for two seasons, with the second receiving a noticeable increase in budget. It began with 1 to 3 minutes shorts which increased in length by the second season. While the first season focused on humorous interactions between Abbi and Ilana, the second season is built on tastefully edited vignettes woven around short comedic sequences and an exploration of Abbi and Ilana's relationship. The second season also boasts appearances from many mainstream and established comedians, including Amy Poehler, who would later executive produce the television version on Comedy Central.


Broad City provides examples of:

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    Webseries (2009-2011) 

    TV Series (2014-2019) 
  • Adam Westing: Kelly Ripa does this in "Coat Check."
  • All Women Are Lustful: Abbi and Ilana both are, and their sexual interests are treated as unremarkable in the context of the series.
  • Alone Among the Couples: In "Stories" Abbi feels this way at her birthday lunch, with Ilana and Lincoln and Jaime and his boyfriend attending.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Abbi and Ilana commiserate at the end of "Burning Bridges" by sharing a joint while sharing a tub and exchanging self-disclosure.
  • Big Storm Episode: In "Hurricane Wanda," Abbi, Ilana, Jaimé, Lincoln, Bevers, and his sister Marla wait out the titular storm in Ilana's apartment. After the storm cuts off their electricity, they play games to pass the time.
  • Binge Montage: "P*$$Y Weed" features one of Abbi smoking pot in a dentist's office bathroom.
  • Bi the Way: Ilana constantly tries to get Abbi to have a threesome with her among other things, an idea Abbi is against and barely tolerates.
    • In an episode that reveals that Abbi has made out with a girl before, Ilana. Freaks. The. Fuck. Out. Then spends the rest of the episode acting like Abbi cheated on her.
    • In season 5 Abbi dates a woman.
  • Bland-Name Product: Abbi works at Soulstice, a parody of the New York-based and extremely yuppy-friendly Equinox gym chain.
    • Ilana's place of 'work', Deals Deals Deals, is based on a similar company called Lifebooker that Abbi, Ilana, and writer/director Lucia Aniello used to work at.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: In "Destination: Wedding", Morgan and her brother Mitchell are (at the very least) bathing together and likely having sex with each other.
  • Buses Are for Freaks: The Sei Wah bus in "Destination: Wedding".
  • Casual Kink: When Jeremy and Abbi hook up, he nonchalantly throws Abbi a strap-on. It turns out he has a thing for "pegging."
  • Catchphrase: In Season 2, 'Yas kween' or Ilana calling Abbi 'queen' as a term of affection.
  • Celebrity Lie: Abbi frequently makes excuses for why she doesn't train clients during the day (or at all) by saying that she trains celebrity clients at night, most often Shania Twain.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Defied in "Bitcoin & the Missing Girl", which features Mark Consuelos in a guest spot as a fictional character, despite being mentioned by his real-life wife Kelly Ripa a few seasons earlier.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: In "Destination: Wedding", Lincoln is said to resemble Idris Elba.
  • Censored for Comedy: Beginning in Season 4 and continuing with every episode after the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump's surname has been bleeped out every time it's uttered. Even with that, when characters say his name they do so as thought they're delivering an invective.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the show is still definitely a comedy, season 4 deals with more serious issues such as Ilana having seasonal affective disorder. The show also deals with the consequences of the 2016 election and abortion rights with Abbi buying a 4 year supply of Plan B and the Cold Open of one episode being Abbi and Ilana escorting a woman into an abortion clinic.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the episode "P*$$Y Weed", Abbi is disgusted when she finds out where Ilana stashes her weed. At the end of the episode, Abbi has to use the same method to get past the cops in the subway.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Both Ilana and her mother believe that Little Richard was a bisexual alien and Jay-Z and Beyoncé are in The Illuminati.
  • Continuity Nod: In "The Last Supper", Abbi mentions 'boring Ben', who she slept with in "Stolen Phone".
    • The White Power suit that gets stained, stays stained.
  • Dwindling Party: In one episode, Abbi, Ilana, and four others set out to a wedding. Over the course of the episodes' hijinks, they're separated, one by one, to just Abbi and Ilana. None make it to the wedding.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Abbi and Ilana are known to go out ogling guys together. In the "Last Supper" they are especially fond of gazing over men in the basketball court due to the tight basketball shorts they wear...
  • Finger-Forced Smile: In one episode, Abbi and Ilana both do this when a stranger on the street tells them to smile.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first episode of season 2 a random old lady calls Abbi 'Val'. Then, in episode 5 we find out that Abbi has a secret jazz-singing alternate persona, Val.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Even with a roommate, Abbi has a surprisingly nice apartment for someone with a low paying job in New York City.
  • The Ghost: Abbi has a female roommate who never actually appears, and seems to be out whenever Abbi is home. She does appear in a few photos when Ilana and Lincoln sneak into her room on one occasion, but even then, her face is obscured.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Abbi calls an old college buddy in order to buy pot, only for the woman to disapprovingly saying "Oh, Abbi, you still smoke pot?" Cut to the woman popping a bottle of prescription pills and taking a sip of wine.
  • Identical Stranger: Adele, who is played by Alia Shawkat, looks almost exactly like Ilana and happens to have the same erogenous zones as her. However, Ilana at first didn't realize that they looked alike.
  • The Illegal: A somewhat atypical example in Jaimé, a Guatemalan who deals drugs but constantly agonizes about imagined offenses against his friends.
  • Informed Judaism: Abbi and Ilana are both (as in real life) Jewish but not much is made of it usually.
  • Insistent Terminology: Bevers constantly calls himself Abbi's roommate, to which Abbi responds that he is not her roommate, he is her roommate's boyfriend.
  • In-Universe Camera: The season 5 premiere is entirely shot from the perspective of Ilana posting Abbi's birthday on Instagram.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the web series. For example, Ilana's bisexual urges toward Abbi are generally only played for comedy, whereas things would get extremely awkward or Abbi would get genuinely angry most of the time in the web series. Abbi is also much more sympathetic in the TV series, while in the web series she was only slightly less of a jerk than Ilana.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: Abbi is completely enamored with her neighbor Jeremy, but he doesn't seem to think of her as anything more than a neighbor. However, in Season 2, Jeremy agrees to go on a date with her. Things get a little crazier than Abbi anticipates.
  • Marijuana Is LSD: Abbi's breakdown in "P*$$Y Weed" is probably atypical of marijuana consumption.
  • Manchild: Abbi's "roommate", Bevers, is this mixed with elements of the Fat Slob, while his older sister is even worse. Ilana can count as a female version of this.
  • Mistaken for Gay / Romance: Happens to them somewhat frequently, though more in the web series. As mentioned above, Ilana isn't as averse to the idea.
  • Mistaken for Racist: In "Apartment Hunters" Abbi goes with Lincoln to find a new apartment and finds what seems to be the perfect place with an interracial (black and Indian) couple. She then points out the commercial that her art was used in, only for all of them to see that it's for a racist dating site.
  • Mushroom Samba: The Season 4 episode "Mushrooms" is one extended drug trip, complete with multiple Art Shifts and Deranged Animation to deliver the experience.
  • Nice Guy: Lincoln
  • Product Placement: Abbi is oddly passionate about Bed Bath & Beyond.
  • Running Gag: The guys Abbi dates tend to have dicks that are way too big.
    • Abbi answers her phone and talks to Ilana, usually something about the plot of the episode. In the following scene, Ilana is with someone else apologizing "Sorry, I had to take that". Then the person she's with will say "You made that call... in the middle of our conversation."
  • Self Cest: This comes up in "Coat Check", with Ilana and Adele, who immediately have a deep connection with each other. They have a lot of emotional and physical chemistry with each other, but when Abbi points out that Adele looks almost exactly like her, Ilana gets freaked out and has to leave, even hallucinating that she was making out with herself.
  • Shout-Out: "Burning Bridges" has Abbi at a restaurant, secretly splitting her time between two tables, which becomes an homage to Mrs. Doubtfire. Mara Wilson herself actually does a cameo as the waitress.
  • Split Screen: The opening sequence of "Working Girls" and "Two Chainz".
  • Split Timelines Plot: "Sliding Doors", appropriately enough, depicts two versions of the day Abbi and Ilana first met: one in which they miss a train and spend the day together, and one in which they catch the train and go about their separate lives. The audience is led to believe that the first timeline is the "real" one, but it ends with both characters getting hit by a bus, while in the second timeline the girls meet again by chance at the end of the day.
  • Squee!: Both the girls have this reaction near the end of Season 3 episode "2016" when they unexpectedly meet Hillary Rodham Clinton in person.
  • Stalker Shrine: One of Ilana's old fuck buddies has a very creepy one dedicated to her.
  • Stoners Are Funny: Both Abbi and Ilana.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: Inverted. Ilana sets out to interview some prospective interns, because she really hates working. The candidates are pretty adequate, but Ilana's questions are terrible.
  • Too Much Information: In "Apartment Hunters", when Bevers is trying to apologize for having A Date with Rosie Palms in the living room, and goes into quite a bit more detail of his routine than Abbi wants to hear, to the point that the show bleeps most of it out.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Ilana is a terrible employee for the sales firm Deals Deals Deals, sleeping at her desk, leaving the office at odd times with minimal heads-up, spending hours in the bathroom, irritating her coworkers, and may be part of the reason her manager has to see a therapist. Yet for all that, she keeps coming in and collecting a pay check for months on end, ignoring any signals she might be in a precarious position and running roughshod over any disciplinary attempts. By the Season 3 episode "Game Over" her boss has finally had enough of her antics and terminates her.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: A more disgusting example where the girls hide their pot up their vaginas to avoid getting caught.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: They can really get on each others nerves sometimes, but they do care about each other when it comes down to it.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Also present in the web series. Ilana is typically it, mainly because she drinks more and has a smaller frame than Abbi, so she can't hold it as well.
  • Webisode:
  • During the TV series, they run these, resembling the earlier series.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The season 4 premiere shows how Abbi and Ilana met (as well as when Abbi first met Bevers). Curiously enough, there's two alternate timelines shown. Although the basic premise is that they meet in the subway station, one timeline has them missing the train and spending the day together. The other one has them make it on the train and then go their separate ways and go about their day, only to meet again later at the end of the day. The episode at first has you thinking that the first one is how they met, but at the end of that timeline they get hit by the bus.


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