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Series / Hey Dad..!

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Hey Dad..! is an Australian Sitcom from The '80s, about a widower dad of three kids.

The characters:

  • Martin Kelly, an architect
  • Betty: His cousin from the countryside, became his secretary (not a very good one)
  • Simon: His son
  • Debbie: His teenage daughter, often goes on dates
  • Jenny: His little daughter (who grows from preteen to teen then reverts to preteen when they Other Darrin her)
  • Nudge: Simon's best mate


  • All Girls Like Ponies: Jenny definitely wants one.
  • Artifact Title: The show retained its title after Robert Hughes left.
  • Big Eater: Nudge. Regularly plundering Martin's fridge.
  • Birthday Hater: One episode revolves around Betty refusing to reveal the date of her birthday, and even claiming that she doesn't have a birthday. It's eventually explained that she once knew a dying child who wasn't going to live to see his next birthday, so she gave him hers.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Martin did this during the early episodes, but stopped soon. The entire cast did so at the end of the series finale to take a bow.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Nudge's disappearance from the series was never explained. So much for being Simon's best friend.
  • Country Mouse: Betty, from Walgett
  • Cousin Oliver: Arthur McArthur, a.k.a. "the little fat kid"
  • Credit Card Plot: Done multiple times.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Martin tries to be this. His kids still don't think he's cool.
  • Disappeared Dad: Towards the end of the series, Martin Kelly goes to Saudi Arabia for a highly-paid job, and a friend of the family will play the father's role instead.
  • The Ditz: Nudge.
  • Ditzy Secretary: Martin's secretary Betty. The running gag about her being an architect's secretary despite not even being able to pronounce "architect" is only the start of it. In one episode, she has a long conversation with an answering machine message despite knowing perfectly well it's an answering machine. She keeps her job because she's a family friend and Martin doesn't have the heart to fire her.
  • Drop-In Character: Had several drop in characters over the years, most famously "Nudge". Inexplicably, one of the drop in characters, Ben, ended up moving into the family proper.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: The bizarre finale in which the family is taken hostage by a bank robber who blows up their house. The "dad" of the show's title lived on by virtue of having been absent from the show for some time by then.
  • Gag Dub: The Mr Doodleburger are a series of extremely offensive gag dubs of the show.
  • The Heart: Betty, since the family lacks a mother.
  • Literal-Minded: Once Nudge wore a baseball cap with "Press" on it. Jenny used this as an excuse to press the cap on his head (he was sitting down).
  • Minor with Fake I.D.: In one episode, Debbie borrows Nudge's driver's licence so she can get into a nightclub. Interestingly, this plot worked when the episode was originally aired as at the time New South Wales licences did not have a photo and could have only the driver's initials: in this case 'G. Noritas', allowing Debbie to claim to be 'Geraldine'. Not long afterwards, the law changed in New South Wales requiring the licence to have the driver's full name and photo.
  • Missing Mom: Martin Kelly is a widower. In the first episodes, this is sometimes mentioned; later, not so much.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Nudge's real name is Gerald Noritis, but probably even he doesn't remember.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In one episode where Debbie dated the famous triathlete Craig Ridlington (As Himself). Everyone who knew about her date followed them while wearing these.
  • Royal "We": Nudge used it, when he became convinced that he was long-lost royalty.
    Nudge: I'm doing the Royal We here.
    Martin: Well, don't do it on the carpet!
  • Spin-Off: Hampton Court was only linked to its parent show through the Betty character. It was critically panned and cancelled after 13 episodes.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: Averted. The front door location is opposite to the regular location, being located to the actor's right not left, and opens into a living room with multiple chairs that backs out into a hallway. The house doesn't have a second storey which is uncommon for American sitcom houses set in similar middle class areas, but is common in comparable Australian suburban housing. There are walls and doors in the right places, and while the kitchen area is directly connected to the living room, it's never shot in the 'open plan' style common in American sitcom houses. It's also very small and realistically sized, with the door to the backyard in the same place it often is in many Australian homes.
  • Stealth Insult / Insult Backfire: Martin often does this to Betty, who never gets it.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Continued for a 13th and 14th season after the titular character left, with a family friend serving as an unofficial father figure. Over its long lifespan, the show had a nearly complete changeover of cast, with replacements alternating between thinly-disguised substitutes and unexplained Other Darrins.
  • 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: One episode about a diet, or a hunger strike, or something, that ended with the starving characters giving up and ordering pizza - which then never arrives, because one of the other characters deliberately misdirects the delivery guy in an attempt to get the pizza free.
  • Women Drivers: Debbie