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Series / Lip Service

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Lip Service (2010-2012) is a BBC drama series about a group of lesbian friends in Glasgow.


  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: Played straight with Frankie; most of the other gay characters, however, are looking for something more long-term and substantial.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In episode 4, Frankie suggests to Ed "you should stay. The state [Tess] is in, you won't even need Rohypnol." Ed's response is to give her a look that says Dude, Not Funny!.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Both Frankie and Sam, the two butch lesbians, sport this (in the latter's case it's actually bob, though she frequently pulls it back). Fin is also an example.
  • British Brevity: Both seasons have only six episodes.
  • Butch Lesbian:
    • Sam and Frankie are both prone to wearing pretty masculine attire, along with short hair although the latter swings both ways.
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    • Fin also has this style, along with her football team.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tess. Flitting between soul-crushing temp jobs, cheated on by her girlfriends, and surrounded by more successful friends.
  • The Casanova: Jay appears to have been one of these, but is now trying to go monogamous.
  • Cast Full of Gay: It's a lesbian show, what do you expect?
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Both Cat and Tess.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ed.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Cat is abruptly killed off with a random car accident.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: There's at least one sex scene each episode (often multiple ones). As you'd except, they're nearly all lesbian ones.
  • Fair Cop: Sam.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Frankie's "uncle" is really her father. He blackmailed her into giving up Frankie because he'd got evidence she was involved with a murder (her friend really did it, but that couldn't easily be shown). Then after the deaths of his brother, sister-in law and their child, he passed Frankie off as his niece.
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  • Five-Finger Discount: Sadie's preferred method of acquiring possessions.
  • Friends with Benefits: Lexy has this relationship with Bea, a fellow nurse at the hospital.
  • Gaydar: Funeral homes, bookshops, random street corners — Frankie can find lesbians anywhere.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Sam, Frankie, Jay, Fin. Frankie tried to make use of this to pass herself off as Jay, which would have worked better if it weren't for his Embarrassing Middle Name.
  • Het Is Ew: Tess's reaction to Frankie's having sex with Jay.
  • Hospital Hottie: Lexy.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Sadie brings home an Italian tourist named Gabriella who's very loud when they're having sex, much to Tess's annoyance while being kept awake by it near there.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: In the fourth episode when the interruptor turns out to be the husband of one of the women who is hoping to watch his wife and Tess have sex.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Ed fits this trope very well. Despite his long-standing crush on Tess (which is doomed to failure because of her Incompatible Orientation), he actively tries to help her love life: in the opening episode, he made a feeble excuse for not joining Tess and Lou for a drink, so that it would have some chance of turning into a date.
    • Frankie says she wants Cat to be happy in episode 3, but it's undoubtedly an inversion- since as Cat points out all Frankie cares about is herself.
  • Killed Off for Real: Cat in the second episode of series 2.
  • The Lad-ette: Frankie.
  • Lesbian Jock: Fin, who's on a whole football team with many more examples.
  • Lez Bro: Jay.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Tess and Cat, though Tess is a bit more "chapstick".
  • Look Both Ways: Cat is texting Frankie when she steps into the street without looking. She's immediately struck by a car.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • In the funeral parlor, close to the corpse? It's an unusual location, to say the least.
    • In a police station? Really?
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The driver who struck Cat accidentally had this reaction, becoming so distraught the hospital staff had to sedate him.
  • Neat Freak: Cat.
  • Nice Guy: Ed.
  • No Bisexuals: Frankie doesn't mind sleeping with guys but she doesn't consider herself bi, as she says "men are only when women are not around".
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Most of the actors are English, even those playing supposed Glasgow natives. They don't even attempt a Glaswegian or any other kind of Scottish accent.
  • Odd Couple: Cat and Tess.
  • Oblivious to Love: Tess has no idea that Ed has feelings for her. Frankie, however, does.
  • Polyamory: Bea is in an open relationship, so when her girlfriend leaves town she sees Lexy. This turns out to be a lie. She's actually married-to a man. He is not okay about it.
  • Put on a Bus: Frankie returns to the US early in Season Two and isn't seen again.
  • Really Gets Around: Frankie, who's the most sexually active of all the characters. She has casual sex frequently.
  • Right Through the Wall: Tess can't sleep when Sadie is having sex with an Italian tourist named Gabriella (who is quite loud). Lexy, meanwhile, is also getting it on with a woman at the same time (not so loudly, but still to a degree she can hear). The next morning, she lets them all have it.
  • Shrinking Violet: Cat.
  • Switched at Birth: Frankie. Or rather, switched at age three.
  • Tomboy And Girly Girl: This seems to be Cat's preferred relationship model, as she was with tomboys Frankie and Sam in succession. Fin and Tess are an example as well.
  • Tomboyish Name: Frankie, which is short for Francesca, Sam (which may or may not be short for Samantha) and Fin.
  • The Un Favourite: Frankie's family seem to pretty much hate her, apparently just because she's a lesbian (although given how she behaves, there may be other reasons).
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Cat finally snaps and gives Frankie a lecture on how selfish she is in episode 2. It seems to have been a long time coming.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jay cheats on his girlfriend by sleeping with Frankie. Then Cat cheats on Sam with her too. Bea cheats on her husband with Lexy. Lauren cheats on Jo with Sadie.


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