Follow TV Tropes


Series / Broad City

Go To

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:

  • Abandoned Warehouse: In "Working Girls," the distribution center where Abbi tries to pick up a package for Jeremy turns out to be a run-down warehouse on North Brother Island, staffed solely by an old woman named Garol who sits at a desk in the middle of the warehouse eating yogurt.
  • Adam Westing: Kelly Ripa does this in "Coat Check."
  • Afraid of Needles: Ilana. In "Co-op," her doctor has to distract her by saying her parents are getting divorced in order to give her a shot.
  • Air Quotes:
    • Kelly Ripa makes these with one hand in "Coat Check" when she says, "A lot of people think that because I'm on the 'Morning Show' that I have to be, like, America's 'good girl.'"
    • In "Twaining Day":
    Trey: But before I knew it, you quit 'cause you "won Powerball."
    Abbi: I didn't win Powerball.
    Trey: Yeah, I know, that's why I did "this." They're called "air quotes."
    Abbi: Does everybody know?
    Trey: I think so. Air quotes are pretty big now.
  • Alliterative Family: Siblings Matthew and Marla Bevers, as well as Morgan and Mitchell from "Destination: Wedding."
  • All Jews Are Cheapskates: Referenced a few times, usually in a Self-Deprecation context since both Abbi and Ilana are Jewish.
    • In "2016," when Abbi and Ilana are coming up with ideas for inventions:
    Abbi: Boots that have magnets on the bottom, so when you walk around, you're just picking up change. You never need to bend over.
    Ilana: I love that. Then I could be the Jewish stereotype that I am without being known for it.
    • In "Jews on a Plane," when Abbi gets excited about a free movie on their plane trip to Israel, Ilana remarks, "Maybe you are a Jew," after having previously questioned her Jewishness due to Abbi not knowing what a mohel is.
    • In "Lost and Found," when they lose Saul, a Holocaust survivor who is distantly related to Ilana, one of the places Abbi and Ilana search when looking for him is a store that's having a sale. They both then proceed to get distracted by said sale.
    Abbi: A sale!
    Ilana: Genius. Jew magnet!
  • All Part of the Show: In "Sleep No More," Ilana does not take it well when Abbi, during a visit to the titular theater experience, tells her that she's leaving New York in two weeks to go to art school in Boulder. Ilana throws a loud screaming fit while onstage at one of the tableaus, ending it by throwing herself into a Christmas tree. The other theatergoers clap at the end.
  • 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.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: In "Abbi's Mom," Abbi's mom gets drunk at a restaurant, stands on a table, and shouts, "My daughter fucked thirty-two men!"
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Ilana finds Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs extremely hot.
  • Basement-Dweller: "St. Marks" has a 34-year-old man who lives with his mother after dropping out of graduate school and kills time by pretending to be homeless.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Abbi and Ilana commiserate at the end of "Burning Bridges" by sharing a joint while sharing a tub and exchanging self-disclosure.
  • Batter Up!: In "B&B-NYC," Trey brings a baseball bat to Abbi's apartment after she's robbed.
  • "Before" and "After" Pictures: Referenced in "Mochalatta Chills." When Bevers joins Abbi's gym, Trey says, "He is the perfect before picture. A lump of clay we're gonna sculpt together."
  • Big "NO!": Ilana does this in "Bedbugs" when she realizes her mattress is infested with bedbugs.
  • 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.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • In "The Last Supper," Abbi and Ilana go to a fancy restaurant to celebrate Abbi's twenty-sixth birthday.
    • In "St. Marks," they try to go to another restaurant for Ilana's twenty-third birthday, but they end up being seated next to annoying acquaintances and leaving early.
  • Blackmail: In "Kirk Steele," Abbi finds out that Trey used to work as the titular porn star and blackmails him into letting her teach a class.
  • 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.
    • Trey's fridge is stocked full of Thinny Chicks wine, a parody of Skinnygirl.
    • In "Jews on a Plane, Abbi and Ilana take a Birthmarc trip, a parody of Birthright Israel.
  • Blindfolded Trip: In "Knockoffs," Ilana and her mother buy shady counterfeit purses from dealers who insist on driving them in a van with boarded-up windows while they wear Sleep Masks. They bring their own masks because they once got pink eye from the blindfolds provided by the dealer.
  • Blowing Smoke Rings: Abbi blows smoke rings as her secret alter ego, Val.
  • Book Safe: In "The Matrix," Ilana smuggles weed in a hollowed-out history book.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In "Citizen Ship," the characters are trapped in a store room. Ilana yells "Rape!" because she's heard that that's what you should yell in an emergency, then "Fire!" when Abbi corrects her. When no help arrives, she tries "Fire and rape! Rape and fire! Fire rape!"
  • Bridal Carry:
    • Trey carries an old woman he's training like this in "Working Girls."
    • In "The Last Supper," Abbi carries Ilana out of the restaurant when her shellfish allergy makes her throat close.
  • Bringing Running Shoes to a Car Chase: In "Destination: Wedding," Abbi's boyfriend Will dumps her because he doesn't want to go to Penn Station. As Abbi and the others leave in a taxi, Will changes his mind and runs after it, but to no avail.
  • 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".
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: In "Co-op," Abbi meets a handsome artist at the co-op while pretending to be Ilana and spends their whole conversation talking about how great Abbi is.
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: In "Game Over," Ilana uses one after Todd finally fires her.
  • 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.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: In "Apartment Hunters," Abbi comes home and is dismayed to find Bevers sitting on the living room couch, jerking off to Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife.
  • 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 "Working Girls," Lincoln nicknames one of Ilana's dogwalking clients Judith Light after his appearance.
    • 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.
  • Chase-Scene Obstacle Course: The thief in "St. Marks" runs through a store and knocks over displays to delay Abbi and Ilana.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: The thieving Basement-Dweller from "St. Marks" is the son of a psychiatrist.
    Mom: Timothy! What is wrong with you?
    Timothy: I don't know, Mom. Why don't you tell me? You're the psychiatrist. Or do I need to make an appointment?
    Mom: Maybe you should. But you can't afford me because you don't work.
  • Comfort Food: In "Stolen Phone," Lincoln thinks Abbi is missing. He's so worried about her that he bakes a cake, eats the whole thing, and is in the process of baking another when he finds out she's okay.
  • 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.
  • Creepy Twins: In "Working Girls," Abbi's journey to North Brother Island involves a boat ride with four pairs of identical twins.
  • Cry into Chest: In "Witches," Ilana cries into her sex therapist's chest over her inability to have an orgasm.
  • Cut-and-Paste Note: In "Friendiversary," the first clue in Ilana's scavenger hunt is a note made from words cut out of magazines.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: In "St. Marks," Abbi shouts after a thief, "When I catch you, I swear I'm going to rip out your disgusting little ball sack until you fucking throw up your own dick!"
  • Dating Service Disaster: In "Rat Pack," Abbi uses Tinder to find men to invite to Ilana's party, but she doesn't realize she can swipe left on people she isn't interested in. Guests include several unattractive men with flattering profile pictures, an old man using a black-and-white photo of himself at age 26, a neo-Nazi, and a man whose profile picture is of Denzel Washington.
  • Dirty Old Man: In "Game Over," an old man in Abbi's exercise class pretends to pass out in the water so she'll pull him out and give him CPR. When she yells at him, he says, "I know how to do it without popping your cherry. Your husband will never suspect on your wedding night."
  • Dirty Old Woman: When Trey tells his elderly client Gloria "All right, hit the showers," she says, "Join me in the showers. I'm not on my period."
  • Discouraging Concealment: Ilana has a pair of old blood stained period jeans she wears when hiding weed in a very private place, which works doubly as a deterrant for the police to check, and making drug sniffing dogs look like they're just reacting to her period.
  • Driver Faces Passenger: In "Destination: Wedding," Kevin is supposed to be driving the taxi, but he spends most of the trip facing the back seat, talking about all their college friends who OD'd. Unsurprisingly, they end up in an accident.
  • 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.
  • Easy Impersonation: In "Co-op," Abbi manages to impersonate Ilana to cover her shift at the co-op even though they look and act nothing alike.
  • 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...
  • Embarrassing Ad Gig: A variant in "Apartment Hunters." Abbi receives a large royalty check after selling one of her illustrations, which she uses to go apartment hunting with Ilana. When they finally find some nice people with a great apartment to share, the new commercial using Abbi's illustration comes on... and it turns out to be for a white supremacist dating service. Abbi, understandably, is mortified, and the owners of the apartment (who happen to be black) are no longer comfortable with her moving in.
  • Epic Rocking: In "Fattest Asses," Abbi and Ilana go to a party whose music includes a church bell techno song that lasts at least 27 minutes.
  • Episode on a Plane: "Jews on a Plane," in which Abbi and Ilana take a Birthmarc trip to Israel, and Abbi gets her period mid-flight without access to tampons.
  • Erotic Dream: "Hurricane Wanda" opens with a nested one. Abbi invites Jeremy into her apartment to fix a fallen shelf. He takes his shirt off for no reason, rubs himself with oil, and kisses Abbi. Then he wakes up in his bed and says, "My neighbor Abbi is so sexy. Now I have this great big humongous boner." Then Abbi wakes up on the couch between Ilana and Bevers, punches Bevers in the face, and tells Ilana that she wants to masturbate with her. Then Ilana wakes up and says, "What a way to start the day!"
  • Exact Words: Bevers won't fix the clogged toilet in "What a Wonderful World," even though there's a plunger, because Abbi told him not to touch her stuff in the bathroom.
  • Extra Digits: Marla Bevers has an extra toe, although it's "not where you would expect it to be." It's on her side.
  • Failures on Ice: In "The Matrix," Abbi and Ilana try to rollerskate to the dog wedding, but Abbi loses control while going downhill, flies off the road, crashes into a pit, and injures her ankle so she can't climb out.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: In "Burning Bridges," Ilana walks past Abbi's table during her date with Trey. She grabs him and starts making out with him to stop Ilana from recognizing them.
  • Faux Yay: "Hashtag FOMO" has two straight guys making out.
  • Fetishes Are Weird: In the episode "What A Wonderful World", Abbi and Ilana try to raise money for concert tickets by fulfilling a Craigslist request to clean a man's apartment in their underwear while he leers at them. The overall creepy vibe of the man in question is compounded by the reveal that he's a diaper fetishist who insists on only speaking in Baby Talk with them and seemingly gets off to them destroying his apartment in rage.
  • Finger-Forced Smile: In one episode, Abbi and Ilana both do this with middle fingers when a stranger on the street tells them to smile.
  • Flatline: In "The Last Supper," Abbi and Ilana hear a man flatlining and then being declared dead in the hospital bed next to theirs.
  • Flipping the Bird: Abbi and Ilana's waiter in "The Last Supper" does this while fighting with his girlfriend in the kitchen.
  • 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.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: In "Jews on a Plane," everyone is seated on the Birthmarc flight according to match potential. One guy proposes to the girl next to him partway through the flight.
  • Fratbro: In "Citizen Ship," Jaimé says "I love hamburgers and I love DUIs!" in an exaggerated American accent. This catches the attention of an actual fratbro, who says "Do I know you from Michigan State? Were you Delta Sig?"
  • Free-Range Children: A young boy in "St. Marks" shouts "I'm alone!" as he scooters past Abbi and Ilana.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: When an intern in "Mochalatta Chills" addresses Ilana as Miss Wexler, she says, "Please, call me Ilana. Actually, call me Miss Wexler. That was dope."
  • "Friends" Rent Control:
    • Even with a roommate, Abbi has a surprisingly nice apartment for someone with a low paying job in New York City.
    • Referenced by Kelly Ripa in "Coat Check": "It's rent controlled. I only pay 600 bucks a month. Of course not! Prank!"
  • Funny Background Event: In the opening of "2016," Abbi and Ilana brainstorm invention ideas, completely oblivious to a woman behind them who falls down two flights of stairs and is rushed away on a gurney by paramedics.
  • Fun T-Shirt: In "St. Marks," Abbi and Ilana buy some from a stall in the episode. Ilana buys one that says "Female Body Inspector" while Abbi buys one that says "Challah back" with a picture of challah on it.
  • The Ghost: Zig-zagged. Melanie, Abbi's roommate, is frequently mentioned throughout the series. She gets a line of offscreen dialog in one episode, and in another episode a photo of her (wearing a snorkel) and Bevers at the beach is shown onscreen, but Melanie never actually has an onscreen role at any point in the series.
  • A Glass in the Hand: In "The Last Supper," Abbi shatters a wine glass she's holding, severely cutting up her palm, after she accidentally stabs herself with Ilana's EpiPen.
  • Going Commando: In "Apartment Hunters," Ilana says that she does this a lot because her underwear keeps going missing.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: In "Kirk Steele," a boy Ilana is babysitting says, "My mom's stuff is fancy as fork. Take it back to Beacon's and sell the shoot out of it."
  • Groin Attack: In "Twaining Day," Trey suffers a penile fracture when he's startled while having sex with Abbi.
  • Handshake Refusal: In "Twaining Day," Abbi reaches out her hand to Shania Twain, who is too absorbed in her phone to notice.
  • Hanukkah Episode: Downplayed since it's a 3-minute long web short as opposed to a full 22-minute episode, but one of the episodes of the accompanying web series Hack Into Broad City is Hanukkah themed, showing Abbi and Ilana wishing each other a happy Hanukkah via videochat and them opening the Hanukkah presents they gave each other. They both even have crude, makeshift menorahs visible in each of their rooms. There's also a Yom Kippur themed web short, where they videochat with each other to try to give each other support for their Yom Kippur fast.
  • Happy Place: In "The Matrix," Abbi is trapped in a hole in the ground with an injured ankle. She smokes weed and imagines going on dates with various celebrities.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Ilana's coworker wears earplugs under headphones to try to block her out.
  • Heat Wave: The main plot of "In Heat" involves Abbi and Ilana's efforts to find an AC in 100-degree weather.
  • High-School Hustler: In "Pu$$y Weed," Abbi buys pot from an adolescent boy who sells a wide variety of drugs and offers to sell her three pages of his dad's Oxycodone prescription for $500.
  • Home Nudist:
    • In "Working Girls," Bevers walks through the apartment naked, to Abbi's horror.
    • In another episode, Abbi comes home to find that Bevers is out and she has the apartment to herself for once. She celebrates by dancing around naked.
  • Huddle Power: In "Destination: Wedding," Abbi forms a two-woman huddle with Ilana so they can discuss what to do about the incredibly expensive rental car. Abbi seems like she's going to try to concoct a Zany Scheme revolving around the fact that she's over 25 but has an expired license, but Lincoln pays for the car before she can finish.
  • Hyperventilation Bag: Ilana uses one in "Destination: Wedding" to cope with the revelation that Abbi made out with another woman before they met.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Abbi calls an old college buddy in order to buy pot, only for the woman to disapprovingly say "Oh, Abbi, you still smoke pot?" Cut to the woman popping a bottle of prescription pills and taking a sip of wine.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: In "B&B-NYC," Trey checks Abbi's apartment for intruders and says "Clear!" after he finishes each room. Afterwards he says, "I always wanted to do that. You know, 'Clear!'?"
  • I Call Him "Mister Happy": "Witches" reveals that Ilana has named her vagina after Abbi.
  • 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipe: A silhouette of a foot in a high heel steps across the screen in "Fattest Asses" to transition to a scene of Abbi and Ilana going dress shopping.
  • I Have a Family: Attempted by Trey in "Kirk Steele":
    Trey: Please, Abbi, I have a kid.
    Abbi: What? You do?
    Trey: Probably! I mean, a paternity suit could pop up at any time.
  • The Illegal: A somewhat atypical example in Jaimé, a Guatemalan who deals drugs but constantly agonizes about imagined offenses against his friends.
  • I'm Your Worst Nightmare: Abbi says this to a man in "Coat Check" after she has to threaten him to get him to give her Kelly Ripa's coat.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: In "Hashtag FOMO," Abbi gets out of Trey's boring party by claiming to have a tapeworm in her butt.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "Kirk Steele," Abbi addresses Trey as "Kirk." He takes her aside and says, "Abbi, when you said 'Kirk Steele: A Man on a Mission, A Cum Mission,' what did you mean?" Abbi replies, "Well, I just said 'Kirk,' but you have now confirmed that you are a porn star."
  • 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.
  • Internet Stalking: Ilana discusses stalking Jaime's boyfriend on social media.
  • In-Universe Camera: The season 5 premiere is entirely shot from the perspective of Ilana posting Abbi's birthday on Instagram.
  • "Jar of Jellybeans" Contest: The temping agency where Ilana briefly works in "Working Girls" has a large jar of candies with the label "Guess how many and win!" Ilana doesn't see the label and eats dozens of the candies, forcing her boss to count them again.
  • Jumping the Shark: The Hillary Clinton cameo for a lot a people.
  • Kinda Busy Here: In "Just the Tips," Abbi calls her paramedic boyfriend to break up with him while he's giving someone CPR.
  • Kinky Role-Playing: In the first episode, Abbi and Ilana accept a Craigslist request to clean a man's apartment in their underwear for money. The man dresses and speaks like a baby (diaper included). He refuses to pay them, insisting he's "just a baby," so they destroy his apartment and steal his alcohol, hat, and fur coat because babies also don't drink or wear fur. As soon as they leave, he answers his phone and speaks like a normal businessman, implying the "baby" thing was just part of his strange fetish.
  • Knee-High Perspective: The opening of "Rat Pack" is shot from a rat's perspective as it goes about its day, stealing food and scaring the humans.
  • The Lad-ette: Marla Bevers is almost exactly like her brother.
  • Lame Comeback: In "Sliding Doors," a man shoots Abbi with a bubble gun and says, "Whoops! Now you're all wet! Even though I know you were already!" In the timeline where Abbi is without Ilana, she says awkwardly, "No, sir, 'cause I... I never get wet!"
  • Latex Perfection: In "Friendiversary," Ilana disguises herself as a Dirty Old Man using a mask that seems to change her voice as well as her face.
  • 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.
  • "L" Is for "Dyslexia": In "Rat Pack," a dyslexic delivery man delivers a gift basket to Ilana at 215 10th Street when he was supposed to deliver it to 210 15th street.
  • 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.
  • Locked in a Room: Abbi, Ilana, and Bevers get locked in a storage room in "Citizen Ship." When their attempts at summoning help and ramming the door fail, they pass the time by playing "would you rather."
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: In "The Matrix," the invitation to the dog wedding is soundtracked by the Wedding March as sung by barking dogs.
  • Look Both Ways: At the end of the second timeline in "Sliding Doors," Abbi and Ilana are both hit by a bus while running away from the police.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Ilana had a Friends with Benefits relationship with her old roommate Dale, and she mentions he was really bad at sex, by far the worst she's ever had. He's also really creepy and obsessed with her, keeping a Stalker Shrine of her and stealing her underwear over the years.
  • Ma'am Shock: In "Sliding Doors," Ilana calls Abbi "ma'am" shortly after their first meeting, which Abbi finds offputting enough that they end up spending the day apart.
  • Make-Out Kids: In "Coat Check," Ilana and Adele make out within seconds of meeting each other and at every opportunity afterwards.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: In "Citizen Ship," Ilana and Lincoln search the boat for a place where they can have sex, but every nook and cranny is already occupied.
    Woman: Hey! There are people fucking in here! Rude!
  • Malaproper: In "Hurricane Wanda," Abbi tells Jeremy that a "felf shell."
  • 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.
  • Man Hug: In "St. Marks," two men hug over a breakup one of them had. Ilana gets so distracted watching them that she forgets to buy a wig, like she meant to.
  • Marijuana Is LSD: Abbi's breakdown in "P*$$Y Weed" is probably atypical of marijuana consumption.
  • Married Animals: In "The Matrix," Ilana's brother Elliot hosts an elaborate wedding for his dog, complete with a gown and veil for the bride, a yarmulke for the groom, and wedding rings. He takes it very seriously and panics every time anything goes wrong.
  • Matrix Raining Code: Used in "The Matrix" when Abbi and Ilana get so caught up browsing the internet they forget they're in the same room.
  • Mile-High Club: In "Jews on a Plane," turbulence is caused by the pilots giving each other blowjobs.
  • Mistaken for Dying: In "Fattest Asses," Abbi has an opportunity to be a trainer, but gives it up to a skinny, coughing, bald woman who always wanted to teach a class. It turns out she doesn't really have cancer - she shaved her head to raise awareness of her band.
  • 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 Junkie: In "Game Over," Abbi becomes so aggressively competitive during Soulstice Games Day that Trey takes her aside and tells her she doesn't need to take steroids to be cool.
  • Mistaken for Murderer:
    • In "Jews on a Plane," Abbi gets her period during a flight and is unable to get tampons from any of the other passengers. She tells Ilana, "Everyone is gonna be sorry they turned their backs on their sisters. Time is of the essence. Any second, there's gonna be an explosion and then there's gonna be blood, like, everywhere." Two flight attendants overhear their conversation and set about trying to foil the impending "terrorist attack."
    • In "Friendiversary," Abbi and Ilana see a man having sex with a woman on a balcony before throwing her off. She's his sex doll, and she fell by accident.
  • 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.
  • Modesty Towel: Bevers is wearing one when Abbi first meets him. He's considerably slimmer and more muscular than he is in every other episode.
  • Money to Throw Away: In "Just the Tips," Ilana has made so much money as a waitress at a fancy restaurant that she rents a limo and throws money from the skylight.
  • Mushroom Samba: The Season 4 episode "Mushrooms" is one extended drug trip, complete with multiple Art Shifts and Deranged Animation to deliver the experience.
  • Music Video Syndrome: "Apartment Hunters" opens with a scene of Abbi and Ilana dressed like Missy Elliott and Nicki Minaj, dancing to "Started from the Bottom" as they go to deposit Abbi's $8,000 check.
  • Naughty Birdwatching: In "Friendiversary," Abbi and Ilana use the binoculars on the Empire State Building to watch people in the surrounding buildings have sex and masturbate.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In "What a Wonderful World," Ilana says, "Can I talk to the Abbi who stole a van?"
    • In "Working Girls," Ilana gets a phone call from a temp agency that begins, "Look, um, I know we haven't called you in since that whole Popsicle incident."
    • In "2016," Ilana goes back to the temp agency.
    Linda: Every time I try to help you, it turns into a disaster. The Chinese food?
    Ilana: I was hungry.
    Linda: The plane tickets?
    Ilana: I was thirsty.
    Linda: The door?
    Ilana: I did not know it was a door. That shape.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: In "Hashtag FOMO," Trey calls Abbi asking about her tapeworm. She gives the phone to Lincoln, saying he's her doctor, but he doesn't leave a very good impression on Trey. Afterwards, he says, "I'm a dentist, not a doctor. I don't know how to deal with high-pressure situations."
  • No, You: In "St. Marks," Timothy tells his mother, "Chill out!" She screams, "You chill out! CHILL OUT!"
  • Once More, with Clarity: In "Hurricane Wanda," Abbi can't get the toilet to flush, but Ilana promises to take care of the poop for her. Later, Marla discovers poop in her shoe, and Abbi assumes Ilana put her poop there, but Ilana denies everything. The last scene reveals that Ilana created a makeshift container for the poop, smuggled it out while the other characters were talking, dumped it down the trash chute at the end of the hall, and snuck back in while Bevers loudly took a dump in his sister's shoe.
  • On One Condition: "Jews on a Plane" has a proudly and openly gay man who's looking for a nice Jewish girl to marry so he can have access to his trust fund.
  • Opening Shout-Out: The Teaser of "The Matrix" ends with Abbi and Ilana both shouting "Four!" which leads directly into the theme song: "...and three and two and one-one."
  • Painful Body Waxing: Abbi undergoes one at the beginning of "Fattest Asses."
  • Pants-Free: In the opening of "Apartment Hunters," the camera pans down to reveal that one of the dancers is in his underwear.
  • Le Parkour:
    • In "The Lockout," Abbi has red eyes from being maced, but tells Trey it was a parkour injury. He makes her go outside and practice while he watches, ruining her opportunity to shower in the locker room.
    • The purse thief in "St. Marks" effortlessly climbs between two walls to avoid Abbi and Ilana.
  • Parrot Pet Position: In "St. Marks," Abbi and Ilana see a man who walks around with a small parrot tethered to his shoulder.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Played for Laughs in "The Last Supper," when Abbi, high on epinephrine that she accidentally injected into her thigh, carries a passed out Ilana in this pose while "Ave Maria" plays in the background.
  • Playing Sick: Abbi calls in sick in "Working Girls" so she can sign for a package for Jeremy.
  • Police Lineup: In "Mochalatta Chills," Todd suffers some kind of attack by a woman who says, "Nice razor scooter, pencil dick. You aborted Macklemore motherfucker. You fucking look-alike Albert Nobbs." Todd is forced to take the day off work to look at a line-up of six women who all repeat the insults to him.
    Todd: I wish I hadn't reported this.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: When Abbi compares the teenage drug dealer in "Pu$$y Weed" to Alex P. Keaton, he says, "I have no idea what you're talking about."
  • Post-Treatment Lollipop: In "Co-op," Ilana's doctor gives her one after giving her three shots. Ilana asks for a red lollipop instead of a green one.
  • Potty Failure: In "Just the Tips," Ilana craps her leotard at a party due to a combination of cheese, champagne, and cocaine.
  • Previously on…: "Jews on a Plane" opens with a recap of "Getting There."
  • Product Placement: Abbi is oddly passionate about Bed Bath & Beyond.
  • Prosthetic Limb Reveal: In "Burning Bridges," Abbi sees a man who's seemingly hogging two chairs in the park by resting his leg on one of them. Abbi tries to take the second chair, only for his prosthetic leg to come off when she pulls on it.
  • Public Exposure: Ilana poses nude for Abbi's art class in The Teaser of "Wisdom Teeth." She keeps trying to talk to Abbi and being shushed by the teacher.
  • Put Off Their Food:
    • In "Hashtag FOMO," Ilana tells Lincoln that his cornichons look like micropenises, "all lumpy and shit." Lincoln says, "Come on, don't ruin cornichons for me." Ilana says, "Okay, don't ruin micropenises for me."
    • In "Jews on a Plane," Ilana asks a man for his pita so Abbi can use it as a makeshift tampon. He's so disgusted by Ilana's description that he gives her the pita.
  • Right Behind Me: In "Burning Bridges," Ilana asks Abbi why she kept her relationship with Trey a secret. Abbi says, "I don't know, I was embarrassed, and dude, he does not mean anything to me. He is a guilty pleasure. He's like a joke." Trey walks up behind Abbi in time to hear her and says, "I'm not a joke, Abbi. I thought we were having fun."
  • Right on Queue: In "Fattest Asses," Abbi can't wait for the long line outside the women's room at a party, uses the men's room instead, and ends up doing cocaine with a guy in a stall.
  • Right Through His Pants: Jeremy and Abbi both wear their underwear when they have sex.
  • 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."
  • Saw It in a Movie Once: Lincoln took up trapeze flying because he saw it in an episode of Sex and the City.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: As a child, Abbi discovered a beehive under a tree and was stung over 300 times.
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: During the first rewind in "Sliding Doors," a homeless man slurring unintelligibly is revealed to be saying, "Donald Trump will be president!"
  • Secret Handshake:
    • Abbi has a very long and elaborate one with every Bed Bath & Beyond employee.
    • The fratbro from "Citizen Ship" does one with Jaimé.
    • Abbi does one with her dad in "Philadelphia."
  • Security Blanket: Abbi's stuffed toy, Bingo Bronson, which she and Ilana both use for comfort during unpleasant medical procedures.
  • Security Cling: Bevers grabs onto Marla in a panic when the power goes out in "Hurricane Wanda."
  • 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.
  • Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: In "The Last Supper," Ilana gorges herself on shellfish while her face swells up. She plans to have Abbi use the EpiPen when her throat starts to close.
  • Sexiness Score: "The Last Supper" starts with Abbi and Ilana checking out some guys while they play basketball and rating them... but they get confused because Abbi was rating them on overall hotness while Ilana was rating the size of their penises.
    Abbi: He's a 10. I mean, look at him.
    Ilana: Eww, dude, a 10?! Like, get away! I can't believe you're into that. I hope he's, like, seven inches max.
    Abbi: Inches? I thought we were rating them on hotness?
    Ilana: I thought we were rating them on dick size.
    Abbi: Why would we be rating them on dick size?
    Ilana: Abbi, why wouldn't we be rating them on dick size? It's all I can see. Those b-ball shorts are God's gift. If you train your eyes, you can see their religion.
  • 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.
  • Shower of Love:
    • In "Fattest Asses," two hot-but-douchey DJs both get Abbi and Ilana to take one, without mentioning that they'll all be using the same bathroom because the DJs want a foursome.
    • In "Burning Bridges," Abbi takes one with Trey.
  • Shower Shy: Abbi changes in the locker room with a Modesty Towel wrapped around herself, even while everyone else casually gets naked.
  • Shy Bladder: In "Hurricane Wanda," Abbi can't bring herself to poop with so many people in the apartment until Ilana distracts them all by throwing shopping bags in the air.
  • Skyward Scream: Three examples in "Working Girls": Ilana when she thinks the dog she was supposed to walk is dead, then Bevers when Abbi kicks his rotisserie chicken, then a dog owner when he realizes Ilana took his dog to the wrong address.
  • Sleep Mask: In "Burning Bridges," Bevers advises Abbi on what to wear during a date. She has him wear a sleep mask while she changes.
  • Sleeps with Both Eyes Open: In "Working Girls," Ilana falls asleep at her desk with her eyes open.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: In "Coat Check," Ilana and Adele share a cannoli by biting opposite ends of it.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Just as the dog wedding in "The Matrix" is getting to this point, Ilana appears, shouting "Stop the wedding!" She has everyone put the wedding on hold while they look for Abbi, who has the wedding rings.
  • Special Guest: "Twaining Day" has Shania Twain, who finally shows up at Soulstice after years of Abbi falsely claiming she's training there.
  • Spit Take: In "Philadelphia," Ilana spits orange juice on Abbi's dad when he tells them that Alice Ackerman bought her mansion from Will Smith's mom.
  • 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.
  • Staring Contest: In "Rat Pack," Jaimé and Ilana get in one with the exterminator over his $400 fee. The exterminator wins.
  • Street Performer:
    • In "What a Wonderful World," Abbi and Ilana drum on buckets and rap in the hopes of making enough money to buy Lil Wayne tickets. They don't make any money, but a woman who starts breakdancing to their drumming makes lots of money. When Abbi and Ilana quit in frustration, everyone boos.
    • In "2016," Ilana takes up tap dancing on the train after she's fired from Deals Deals Deals.
  • Stripperiffic: Ilana seems fond of tops that do this.
    Nicole: (about Ilana) Five hours late, wearing a napkin as a shirt, violently high.
  • Surprise Party: In "The Last Supper," Abbi mentions that she tried to throw herself one for her twenty-fifth birthday. She considers it a mistake.
  • Tap on the Head: In "Working Girls," someone accidentally punches Ilana in the face while dancing. She immediately passes out.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: In "House-Sitting," Abbi goes on a date with her high school English teacher. She becomes increasingly creeped out as the evening continues - he admits that he jerked off to her while she was his student, asks her to roleplay as a 17-year-old, and even pushes back the skin on her face to make her look younger.
  • The Teaser: Used in every episode.
  • 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.
  • That's What She Said: Twice in "Rat Pack." First Trey says it in response to "It's kind of spunky, right?" Then the deliveryman says it in response to Ilana describing some baby rats as "wrinkly, but soft and firm too."
  • To Be Continued: "Getting There" ends with Abbi and Ilana whispering, "To be continued."
  • The Tonsillitis Episode: "Wisdom Teeth," in which a combination of Vicodin and pot causes Abbi to hallucinate a giant version of Bingo Bronson. With Bingo's encouragement, she leaves the apartment and spends $1,487.56 at Whole Foods.
  • Too Much Information: In "Apartment Hunters", when Bevers is trying to apologize for masturbating 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.
  • Train Escape: In "Getting There," Abbi and Ilana hop a turnstile at the subway and are chased by a security guard. They run onto a train right before the doors close.
  • Trans Chaser: In "Citizen Ship," Ilana predicts that everyone on the boat is into women with penises because "Lawyers love 'em."
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Ilana does this while suffering from seasonal affective disorder in "Abbi's Mom."
  • Trouser Space:
    • In "What a Wonderful World," a creepy guy who tricks Abbi and Ilana into cleaning his apartment in their underwear stores his cell phone in his diaper.
    • Ilana stores weed in her vagina.
  • TV Telephone Etiquette: Lincoln lampshades this in "Stolen Phone": "She didn't even say 'Bye, Lincoln.' That takes one more second. People have no phone etiquette these days."
  • Twin Switch: Trey's younger twin sisters are middle school teachers who pretend to be each other.
  • Two-Timer Date: In "Burning Bridges," Abbi's date with Trey turns out to be in the same restaurant as Ilana's parents' anniversary celebration. Ilana recognizes Abbi, who is trying to keep her relationship with Trey a secret, as she's going to the bathroom. She spends much of the evening rushing back and forth between their tables.
  • 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.
  • Vertigo Effect: Used while Ilana is smoking weed in "Apartment Hunters."
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment:
    • A more disgusting example where the girls hide their pot up their vaginas to avoid getting caught.
    • In "Getting There," Ilana stores a hundred dollar bill in her bra.
  • 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.
  • Zipping Up the Bodybag: Happens to someone who drops dead while waiting in line at the DMV in "2016."