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It's only Friday night dinner! What could go wrong?
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Friday Night Dinner (2011-) is a Channel 4 comedy television series. Once a week, the Goodman family meet up for a Sabbath meal on Friday night. The family consists of snappy mother Jackie, half-deaf hoarding father Martin, and twenty-something sons Adam and Jonny. Hilarity Ensues as the whole night is filled with the brothers' constant war of attrition, Martin's Oddball nature freaking everyone out, Jackie's constant barking to get everything (and everyone) ready to eat, as well as the regular intrusion of the neighbour Jim. All this combined into surprisingly elaborate Fawlty Towers Plots, which always collapse at the climax of the episode.

The series has had six series so far, of six episodes each.

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Not to be confused with Grandma's House, a similar show that aired around the same time, also part of the "dysfunctional Jewish family meets for a meal" genre of TV.


This show provides examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Horrible Grandma is always horrible to anyone and everyone she meets, including her family, to the point that she's openly hostile to everything short of Jim's singing in "Christmas". When she dies in the middle of a magic trick in "Dad's Birthday", Martins mournful crying turns into relieved cries of laughter.
  • The Alleged Car:
    • Jonny, a real estate agent, gains access to a company car... shaped like a miniature house.
    • Adam's car, which ends up in flames in the episode "The Surprise".
  • Accidental Marriage: Jonny in "Celebrations" gets married to an American girl while away in Vegas, and that episode deals with his family coming to terms with it, and Jackie being angry at not being informed of said marriage.
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  • All Jews Are Cheapskates: Martin eats out of the bin, spoons unused ketchup back into the bottle and saves back copies of New Scientist on the grounds that they'll be worth something someday as "collectibles". Averted with the rest of the family, though, who have their faults, but are not notably mean with money.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: The boys wince a lot at their parents, especially (understandably) at their father, but keep coming back for the free dinners and out of ingrained loyalty.
  • Angrish: Adam in "The Plastic Bag" refuses to say "I Love You" to Jackie, his mother (for context, Jackie is angry at Adam for not mentioning her mother in a local interview when he mentions other members of his family offhandedly). The refusal to say "I love you" gives Jackie a reason to go full-blown Jewish Mother on her son - aided by Auntie Val, on principle.
  • Animals Hate Him: Wilson seems to despise Jim, his owner, completely ignoring his commands and growling ominously whenever he touches him. Similarly, a cat Jim cat-sits in series 5 has him take the cat on a walk, while very visibly struggling to make it walk (a problem he also has with Wilson and Milson). Milson seems to be ignorant of Jim's commands.
  • Animal Lover: Jim likes Wilson and other animals....but all the animals he's come in contact with don't like him.
  • Annoying Laugh: The other Jackie in "The Other Jackie" laughs every time she finishes a sentence, or if there's a break in the conversation.
  • Author Catchphrase: Simon Bird brings the same deadpan "Brilliant" used by several characters in The Inbetweeners to this show, where both Adam and Jonny use it.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In "The New Car", Adam buys something for Adam, and Martin tells him to hide it. The audience only sees a nondescript package that's wrapped in a plastic bag, and are lead to believe it's something illegal. A few moments later, it's revealed that Martin is on a low-calorie diet, and the package in question is cheese (with Jonny bringing cakes later). Martin's behaviour mirrors exactly that of a drug addict. This is lampshaded by Jonny a minute later.
    • In "The Cage", Auntie Val is making dinner and greets the boys at the door with the exact vocal cadence of Jackie, with the camera being behind her shoulder for a few seconds. Her hair-style is also noticeably more like Jackie's too.
  • Birthday Episode: "Dad's Birthday" is all about Martin being grumpy because an online medical survey told him the exact day he would die.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • In "The Anniversary" Jonny gets a tattoo that reads "Vive Celer Aoulescens Florece", which apparently means "I love my family" in Latin. Adam quickly translates the phrase online and it actually means "Live Fast and Die Young."
    • In "Christmas", everyone hates Jackie's turkey because it's dry, and Adam, Jonny and Martin spend a good portion of the episode mouthwatering over the turkey "Horrible Grandma" brought over.
  • Brain Bleach: Used as the last joke of "The Other Jackie" after seeing Jim naked in their hot tub.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In "Congratulations", when asked by Jackie what he knows about his new wife, Jonny struggles to come up with an answer and says "she likes apples". Near the end of the episode, Jonny asks Lisa:
      Jonny: By the way, do you like apples?
      Lisa: Apples make me heave.
      Jonny: Oh... cool.
    • In “The Other Jackie” one is built around both Jackies having names for their private parts; Nip Nips and Fu Fu respectively.
    • In "The Plastic Bag", Martin mentions getting pie all over him when he falls over into some bins, and later on the thing that breaks Adam's car windscreen is him slipping on the pie while getting a plastic bag from a tree.
    • In "The Au Pair", Gibby off-handedly metions she likes wolves to Jim, who recoils with some confusion and fear. The thing that makes Jim deathly afraid of Gibby is her wolf shirt, in which Jim runs out of the house petrified.
  • British Brevity: The show only has six episodes a series, which even by British sitcom standards is quite a low number. The exception is series 2, which has its final episode be a Christmas Episode, aptly title "Christmas".
  • Catchphrase: Jackie affectionately calls Adam "bobble", while any girlfriends Adam and Jonny may (or may not) have will be called "females" by Martin. Horrible Grandma seems to like calling people "prostitutes". As for the others:
    • Martin:
    "Hello bambinos."
    "It's boiling!"
    "Lovely bit of squirrel, Jackie."
    "Shit on it!"
    • Jim:
    "Hello, Jackie, you look nice..." or variations thereof, also "That smells nice", when he turns up just before dinner and then peers expectantly down the hallway as if expecting to be invited in.
    "Wilson! Remain..."
    "ShalooOoOom!" whenever the family mention they're in the middle of a Jewish tradition.
    • Jonny:
    "Alright, pusface!" when greeting Adam
    • Adam:
    "Alright, pissface!" when greeting Jonny
    • Jackie:
    "MARTIN!" whenever Martin says or does something particularly annoying.
  • Captain Obvious: Martin often says words like this, replacing certain words, such as "girlfriends" with "females".
  • Character Development: At the beginning of the series Jim is genuinely creepy, but as the show progresses his Stalker with a Crush tendencies are downplayed and he becomes merely eccentric (most of the time, at least).
  • Chekhov's Armoury: This show loves using this trope. If something is mentioned, be it a throwaway phrase, a joke, or someone being talked about, it will appear in the episode again, no matter how mundane it may seem when you first see or hear it.
  • Christmas Episode: In the aptly titled episode "Christmas", Adam points out to Jackie how strange it is that they, a Jewish family, have a Christmas dinner every year, which leads to a small argument between the two about why Jackie insists on it. When Martin and Jonny comes through the hallway with a Christmas tree, Jackie protests that "it isn't right", which Adam chimes up and points out that her previous argument of "it's tradition" is an Immediate Self-Contradiction. A Running Gag in the episode also has "Horrible Grandma" pointing out the same thing.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Martin in "The Mouse" repeatedly says the word "bugger" and its variants a good 15 times in the course of about one minute as the builders they'd hired had "buggered up the house" in various ways. He also uses the less-nice literal definition of the word during the timeframe.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Jim has a habit of throwing non-sequiturs into conversation. In one episode, he decides to pop round to their house to tell them that their doorbell is broken (he knows because there's a sign on it), and when his dog runs away, he panics "What if someone's raped him?"
    • Martin’s tendency to have small but annoying eccentricities, to the point of Flanderization in later series.
  • Comically Small Bribe:
    • In "The Jingle" Martin (and eventually the rest of the family) wants Adam to look at girls on dating sites with Martin. Adam refuses profusely, until Martin offers him £20, to which he then bluntly agrees to go on the dating sites with him.
    • In "Wilson", Jonny and Adam are goaded into building a shelf in the garage, with Jackie bribing them with the promise of crumble that they later learn Martin made.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "The Plastic Bag", Martin hurts his back after falling over when trying to climb on bins to get a plastic bag down from a tree. As punishment for this stupidity, Jackie not only won't let him back inside, but he won't get any crumble, the latter of which he's really not happy about.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Jonny's awful skull tattoo can be seen when he is forced to take his shirt off in Series 4.
    • Martin and Jackie's name for sex; "nippy nippy" gets mentioned in Series 6.
  • Cringe Comedy: A lot of it, particularly any scene involving Jim.
  • Doomed New Clothes: The new dress Val shows to Jackie is burned in a bonfire by complete accident by Martin.
  • Dissimile: Being on a low-calorie diet is equivalent to Nazi Germany, according to Martin.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Jim's new dog in Series 6 is called Milson, a one-letter difference from his previous dog Wilson. Jim claims they are two totally separate names because the genders associated with both names are the opposite.
  • The Door Slams You: Jackie's mother, while trying on her bikini, finds the front door open. She walks over to check why... and is promptly thrown through it when Martin unknowingly knocks the door shut.
  • Drop-In Character: Jim. He knocks on the door of the family Once an Episode for increasingly specific and bizarre reasons.
  • Epic Fail: Martin is so bad at painting that his attempt to paint Jackie for her birthday present has everyone who's seen it hate it.
  • Escalating War: Between Jonny and Adam. Much of the time, it's adding salt to each other's drinks in increasingly elaborate ways. Generally leads to people getting caught up in the crossfire.
    Grieving guest: My dad's just died, why are you putting salt in everything?!
  • Extraverted Nerd: Jim acts like this, to the point of going on a date with a similarly socially awkward woman.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Jim may a weird, obnoxious, rude man with No Social Skills, but he feels genuinely bad and apologises when he unknowingly invites a Nazi into their home.
  • Expy: Two examples with characters played by the same actors. Jim is precisely the same twitchy, asocial pervert that Mark Heap played in Green Wing, Dr Alan Statham, though minus the ego that came with being a consulting radiologist, and the excuse that he may have some Ambiguous Disorder. Adam meanwhile is Will from The Inbetweeners five years later.
  • Fanservice: An in-universe example. Adam looks away from his mother in lingerie in "The Anniversary".
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Martin being shirtless, which is (unfortunately) most of the time. Justified in "The Anniversary", as Martin and Jackie were in the middle of romancing each other.
    • Mr. Morris wrestles with his shirt off.
    • Jackie's mother was at one point seen in a bikini.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Featuring, among other things, Martin reading out the coroner's report in place of the eulogy, and Wilson trying to eat the deceased's corpse.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Jonny's supposed girlfriend does exist... but she's going out with someone else.
  • Hate Sink: Cynthia is called "Horrible Grandma", and is loathed by everyone, insulting their looks, and she keeps pointing out flaws that don't exist, such as making tea "badly" because it was too hot. Even as early as Series 2's "Christmas" Jonny says he's waiting for her death, which Jackie also jokes about.
    • They don't seem hugely bothered when it actually happens.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Jim apparently knows Chinese, which he learned while in Japan. He is also quite a good singer, singing some Christmas carols in Series 2's "Christmas" episode. He's such a nice singer everyone in the room is in tears by the end of it (even "Horrible Grandma!").
  • Idiot Houdini: Jim's eccentric tendencies allow him a fair amount of leeway with the Goodman family. Although they don't consider him a friend, they are generally too nice to outright throw him out or shoo him away.
  • Idiot Ball: Martin holds the ball the most; in one case he somehow made apple crumble, but forgot to put the apples in.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    Mr Morris: Well, aren't you going to pay the man?
    Adam: Why do we have to pay?
    Mr Morris: Because if your grandmother had never existed, your house wouldn't have destroyed my headlamp.
    Adam: And that's actual logic?
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: In "Christmas" Jonny has a hangover, and when he claims he feels better to the family, he lets out a sickly noise, at which Adam immediately names the trope.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Jim pretty much always acts like this, while Martin sometimes comes off the same way.
  • In-Series Nickname: Jonny and Adam call each other "Pissface" and "Pusface" respectively. Their dad's ex-girlfriend, Sheila Bloom, is known universally as "Bitchface", and Martin's Mother, Cynthia, is named "Horrible Grandma" by everyone. Adam, for reasons unknown, is affectionately called "Bobble" by Jackie.
  • Insistent Terminology: Martin keeps nagging Adam about the lack of "females" in Adam's life.
  • Jerkass:
    • Mr. Morris, Grandma's terrifying 84-year-old boyfriend.
    • Mr. Greencock, the piano tuner. Unfortunately a Karma Houdini too.
  • It's All About Me: Sheila Bloom, better known as "Bitchface", has some serious vanity problems, and only talks about herself and her lifestyle in conversations with other people.
  • Jewish Mother: Jackie fits the stereotype. As do grandmothers Cynthia and Nellie when relating to their adult children Martin and Jackie.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: This occurs in two scenes in the episode "The Fox".
    • The first is Jackie questioning why Martin is lending money to Jim, and Martin replies with "for mirrors", which she then lampshades.
    • Then later in the episode Martin question Val what "surprise" she is getting for Jackie, and Val says "Bicycle" and "this house" as to where she'd get such an item so late at night.
    • Jonny gets asked by Adam and Jackie about a fact about his newly-wedded wife to prove he knows something about her. He looks briefly at the nearby fruit bowl and says that she likes apples. Becomes a Brick Joke later on, as when he asks about it out of curiosity, she says they make her heave.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: In series one and two, Jim has a poorly disguised crush on Jackie, and turns up constantly at their door, always giving a weak excuse to see her. This aspect of his personality is toned down in later series, but his excuses get increasingly more bizarre as the show goes on.
  • Love at First Sight: Jim and Gibby. Jim is infatuated with Gibby, to the point of barging into the Goodmans' residence just to see her, something he notably never did with Jackie. When Gibby frisks Jim's legs, Jackie is horrified to learn that they are in love.
  • Male Gaze: In "The Date", Martin remarks twice about Tanya Green that "She has a nice bum."
  • Meddling Parents: These two can rarely resist poking their noses into their adult sons’ affairs.
  • Moebius Neighbourhood: Jim is the only recurring neighbor we meet in the show, Once an Episode too. We also get to meet Ralf, a man who has an obsession with chicken in the Series 5 episode "The Surprise".
  • Mood Whiplash: In "Wilson", both Jonny and Adam stop fighting as soon as they hear that Wilson isn't moving and appears to be dead. The entire episode after that point is taken dead seriously.
  • Noodle Incident: How Jim's dog ate his keys.
    We were playing a little game. (Beat) It went wrong.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Martin’s caravan, as it's a fire hazard, as well as it not being stabilized properly.
  • No Social Skills:
    • Jim, to quite a worrying extent.
    • Martin, in a way that’s rather flanderized in the later series to make him more dumb.
  • Ominously Open Door: The very first scene parodies this. The two boys arrive at their parents to find the door hanging open. Nervously, they approach it... and find their next door neighbour stepping out of the downstairs loo.
  • Once an Episode: Any given episode structure is pretty much the same, with very few exceptions. Jonny and Adam always arrive at the house, Martin almost always his shirt off (often because he's “boiling”), Jackie is cooking dinner or yelling at someone, Adam and Jonny pull a prank on each other (salt in their water, attempts to hurt one another), Jim always knocks on their door at an inopportune time for increasingly odd reasons, and the episode will always end when the night falls apart in a magnificent way.
  • Only Sane Man: Adam usually takes this role. Jonny also has his moments.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in two episodes.
    • In "The Other Jackie" there are two Jackies; Jim has a date with a Jackie, who, after a series of events, meets the other Jackie (Jonny and Adam's mum).
    • In "The Caravan", Jonny and Adam are both dating separate girls called Lucy. (Adam and Jonny are not particularly pleased about this coincidence.) When they come to dinner in the Series Finale, Jim comes to believe they are two halves of the same person.
    • Enforced by Jim when he gets a new dog to replace Wilson; Jim calls her Milson instead.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Mr Morris had "the biggest button-sewing business in the Hertfordshire area... until Rutherford's came along".
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: "Schmoigel", apparently.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Bitchface's Mercedes. She always talks about it as if it were a child of hers, and gets really peeved when Martin reverses into it by mistake.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: As part of the show's Chekhov's Armoury, any object that is established to be of significance to someone will likely either end up damaged or destroyed by the end of the episode. See: the Dress, the Mercedes, "Buggy" the toy rabbit, the apple crumble, the caravan...
  • Plumber's Crack: Adam is a subversion. He never wears a belt so whenever he bends over, the rim of his boxers peek out. Jonny sometimes gives him wedgies because of it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jonny and Adam.
  • Replacement Goldfish: After Wilson's death, Jim gets a new dog and gives her a new name: Milson.
  • Running Gag: Much of the show's humour comes from the quantity of running gags and Chekhovs Guns any given episode has going on at any given time, a fair few showing up Once an Episode, in increasingly roundabout ways:
    • Martin is shirtless, pantsless, or otherwise semi-naked, invariably because he's "boiling".
    • Adam and Jonny try to sit on each other on one of the sofas.
    • In-universe, Martin always jokingly compliments Jackie's cooking by calling it "a lovely bit of squirrel" (which no one else seems to find all that funny).
    • Either Adam or Jonny (usually the latter) putting salt into the other's glass of water (in one case, a water bottle, which Adam was not pleased about).
    • Martin referring to women as "females" (particularly towards Adam whenever he's trying to give him The Talk or advising him about dating, feeling he doesn't have to do the same to Jonny because Jonny talks about his girlfriend a lot).
    • "Crimble crumble!" (Jim and the Goodmans' family named for crumble.).
    • Jim can't tell Adam and Jonny apart, though this trait is dropped after the third series.
    • Martin's mother, "Horrible Grandma", insulting Jackie's hair.
    • Jonny going in the cupboards to fill his mouth with whipped cream, straight from the can, and almost always being called out on it.
    • The episode "Congratulations" has Martin count the amount of money wasted on using expensive wine "per gulp", to the point of having a calculator and giving updates on the price a few minutes later.
    • In "Wilson", Jonny keeps using various people's phones to prank call Adam, who is patiently waiting for a call from an American client who may want to use one of his songs.
    • In "The Dress", Val looks and dresses exactly like Jackie, but neither ever notice. It's constantly lampshaded by everyone else, to the point Martin was the person to notice it.
    • In "The Funeral", Jonny wants to watch the Monaco Grand Prix after the funeral, and everyone replies with "who's playing?", much to his increasing irritation.
    • In "The Other Jackie", "nippy nippy" gets mentioned, and is used by the boys as a name for Wilson as proof it isn't Jim's in front of "other Jackie".
    • In "The Plastic Bag" Jim, Martin and Val all get distracted by a plastic bag in a tree near their house, while Martin attempts to remove it. Jim postulates doing so, but doesn't.
    • In "The Au Pair", Gibby (pronounced Jibby) keeps asking for cream tea, something she used to have when she was the boy's au pair twenty years ago.
    • In "The Cage", the "woman's procedure" Jackie has had has Adam, Valerie and Jonny guess if it was a "higher or lower" job. Even Jim, of all people, says the phrase when he learns of it.
      • The episode also had blue masking tape being used to tape various thing around the house.
    • In "The Females", Martin has managed to get glass shards in both the soup and chicken. The former is explained as Martin broke the ventilator light on top of the oven, while the latter is never explained at all, with the driving conflict of the episode being that nobody should tell Jackie, and thus everybody should keep causing distractions to keep her from eating her food.
  • Series Fauxnale: Series 6's final episode; "The Females", was written to act as one, just in case the show never got renewed by Channel 4 (as of writing, it hasn't). However, the writer and show's producer; Robert Popper, has gone on record that the show may not end.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: A very passive-aggressive variation between Jackie and "Bitchface".
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Jonny.
  • Spoiler Title: Played With: The title of an episode generally correlates to the primary Running Gag of said episode, such as in "The Mercedes", where there it was that Sheila "Bitchface" Bloom adores her Mercedes.
  • Status Quo Is God: None of the romantic interests on the series seem to last beyond an episode or two.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: When the Goodmans are burgled, Jim describes the thief thus: "He was a man, very manly, probably had a winky."
  • Tacky Tuxedo: Jim wears one in "The Mouse" after being invited to dinner.
  • Technologically Blind Elders: Martin is a bit younger than most examples of this trope, but he still qualifies. He can't get the computer mouse to work, until it is pointed out to him that it is actually a stapler. In another episode he gives up the computer to buy a fax machine, which he believes is "the future". Similarly, he also tried online shopping for the first time and had bought items in huge quantities (100 tomatoes, 100 bleach bottles, 100 ketchup bottles).
  • Title Drop: Happens on the odd occasion (it is a common descriptor, after all):
    Jim: Friday Night Dinner with you! And...the others.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In "The Caravan", Adam and Jonny agree not to tell their parents about having girlfriends at the same time because it will make their mother insufferably happy. It takes Jackie drinking gin (something she does when depressed) and being lonely at dinnertime for Jonny to reveal all.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Horrible Grandma was always horrible, but became even more openly vile in series six during her final appearance in "Dad's Birthday," which ended with her surprising death.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: An American pilot was shot in 2011, featuring Tony Shalhoub and Allison Janney, but it wasn't picked up.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Martin has a fondness for ketchup, while Jonny eats whipped cream straight from the can.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • Jim calls Wilson's dog excrement "dollops" in "Wilson".
    • Valorie, Adam, Jonny and Martin call Jackie's delicate surgery a "woman's procedure".
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Adam and Jonny fight A LOT but it's pretty clear it's not out of malice so much as sibling rivalry they never grew out of.
  • Vocal Evolution: Jim has a more ditzy tone of voice from series 2 onwards, generally being higher-pitched. In series one, he actually speaks quite normally to everyone except Wilson.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
    • Martin is a Fan Disservice variation on the trope.
    • The eighty-four-year-old Mr Morris manages to top him by wrestling bare-chested.
  • Walkie-Talkie Gag, Over: In "The Caravan" Martin has Jackie use a walkie talkie to converse with him, much to Jackie's very clear annoyance. Jackie, in response, deliberately messes up the speaking code by not adding "Over" to the end of each sentence, which Martin gets annoyed by and which becomes a Running Gag for the episode. Later on in the episode Jim has some chicken in the Caravan and uses the walkie talkie with the correct sign-off code, which angers Martin for the exact opposite reason (Jim keeps calling him for trivial reasons while maintaining the long code of use, which eventually gets on his nerves).
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Largely averted, but to troll Jim, Jonny claims that "pusface" is a traditional Jewish nickname and that the eldest son should receive a basket of green fruit (but not pears) called a "schmoygle". Jim dutifully turns up at the end of the episode singing "Happy birthday pusface" clutching his schmoygle.

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