Dark but clever British sitcom about a drug dealer and his assortment of customers. Based in Salford, it follows the exploits of Moz (played by Johnny Vegas) and a large bunch of strange characters (played by a surprisingly great cast). The series has shifted through many a Story Arc, involving everything from fidelity and heartbreak in relationships to gang violence, with a good helping of surreal and cleverly blended characters and situations.
- Alliterative Name: Psycho Paul. It works on paper, but when spoken the P in "Psycho" is not pronounced.
- Balloon Belly: In "The Guest", while Moz is on magic mushrooms, he briefly imagines Nicki getting a massive Balloon Belly after drinking a glass of water.
- British Brevity: Each series consists of 8 episodes, aside from the first which had a 9th Christmas special episode, and series 5 and 7 both only have 6 episodes.
- The Cameo: Even in a show with a spectacular array of characters, Mark E. Smith as Jesus stands out particularly.
- Several, usually their greeting when they arrive at the flat.Brian: Hi hi! Aww, ain't he scrummy?
Colin: I'm on probation.
Jenny: Y'alright? I'm alright.
- Psycho Paul gets a physical variation where he'll lightly slap Moz's cheek twice before leaving the flat.
- Several, usually their greeting when they arrive at the flat.
- Dirty Cop: P.C. is implied to do plenty of standard police work outside of the flat, given that he regularly confiscates drug stashes from dealers he busts. However this is all in aid of supplying Moz with stock to deal.
- Also implied that other cops are openly knowing and also partake in such activites, notably when someone tries to make contact with P.C. on his radio, but call him a jammy git when he explains he's "in the middle of a 10-99."
- The Ditz: Jenny, who often spaces out, leaves behind children and confuses their genders, including her own baby.
- Eye Scream: Psycho Paul's way of welcoming Steve back to the lower ranks of the hierarchy.
- Followed up by Stemroach's death - involving the same eye, in his skull.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The police constable's name is not mentioned for the first three series, and the end credits simply list him as "P.C." In The Past, it's finally revealed that his name is Phil Collins.
- The Faceless: Cartoon Head, whose real face is never seen.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode title starts with "The" (except the 2005 special) and typically has only two words.
- Jerkass: Psycho Paul is a tough guy. His persona falls apart, squeaking into a laughable falsetto, when ordered around by Stemroach, Fist, or (occasionally) the Lo Triad.
- Meaningful Name: PC (those are his initials; he did indeed become a Police Constable).
- Mood Whiplash: The show can go from silly to dramatic to gory violence in a snap.
- Mushroom Samba: Brian after eating a drug-laden pizza in The Future, Cartoonhead shooting Craig while on acid and then getting rid of the body with Psycho Paul (also on acid), Moz hallucinating Craig's body sitting next to him, asking many of the questions Steve has about Craig's disappearance...
- In "The Guest", Moz eats biscuits Judith left for him, only to later discover they were full of magic mushrooms. In the next few minutes, Judith and Cad's faces rapidly change expressions, virtually everyone dons a rat mask, Nicki's stomach balloons to ridiculous proportions when she drinks Moz's glass of water, and P.C shows up at the door and utters gibberish.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Several characters. This is most notably [Lampshaded Trope lampshaded]] for Cartoon Head, which appears to be the character's real name (although later revealed to be from his original Russian "Golova Sharzh", Russian for "Cartoon Head").
- Replacement Goldfish: Sort of. After the shooting of Craig, his identical twin Steve - played by the same actor - arrives.
- Room 101: the red bag. Its contents are never revealed, but it makes Psycho Paul 'cry like a little girl', reduces a Russian gangster to incoherence, and scares even Cartoon Head.
- Belongs to Fist, who is also Jenny's uncle and apparently she's known whatever it was since she was a child.
- Shrouded in Myth: The Red Mist, a terrible group said to be all manner of things ranging from aliens, to savage murders and so on. Actually a mafia type organisation based around ginger haired people.
- The Problem with Pen Island: Played straight with the title ("Ideal" = "I deal").
- The Voiceless: Cartoon Head, who never makes a sound apart from a wheezy chuckle. He can talk on the phone, though, but the audience doesn't get to hear him.
- Lampshaded in (among other places) the 7th series when Moz walks in on Colin and Cartoon Head apparently discussing something interesting, Colin saying "do you want to tell him or shall I?"
- Wham Episode: Cartoon Head killing Craig by mistake and Steve's assault on Stemroach.
- You ALL Look Familiar: Spoofed in The Red Bag with Tony's claiming Marco and his brother look the same.