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Series / Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere

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Max And Paddy's Road To Nowhere is Channel 4 Brit Com spun-off from the popular comedy Phoenix Nights that sees former Phoenix Club doormen Max (Peter Kay) and Paddy (Paddy McGuinness) aimlessly travelling around Britain in a motorhome that they bought with the proceeds from faking an assassination and pocketing the cash during the final episodes of Phoenix Nights.


This series contains examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Jerry and Ray Von do not appear in the Phoenix Nights sections of the show with Marc Park ['That Peter Kay Thing'] taking over as Les Alanos' singer.
  • Acceptable Targets: In-universe, when Max and Paddy pull up to cut down a speed camera, passers-by salute and cheer them.
  • Accidental Public Confession: Although it occurs in private; during an argument, Max's ex-girlfriend Tina frustratedly blurts out that they have a child together.
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  • Actor Allusion: Paddy's full name is revealed to be Patrick O'Shea. This joke is based around the rumour that Sunderland player John O'Shea is regularly teased by team-mates for his physical resemblance to Patrick McGuinness.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Big Bob's Beans". Or as Paddy calls them, "Big Bob's Bastard Beans".
  • Affably Evil: For a Depraved Homosexual Yardie who's literally named "The Bastard," Raymond the Bastard is pretty polite to Max and Paddy.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Billy the Butcher has a Yandere-like obsession with Max, but insists he doesn't want to be with him in "a gay way."
  • Amusing Injuries: Gypsy Joe's broken leg when Max and Paddy accidentally drop him from a TV screen(which they're using as a stretcher) from a great height.
  • Ass Shove: When Paddy was a child he used to frequently shove Star Wars action figures up his arse and once had to be taken to hospital after sticking an Obi-Wan Kenobi figure up there.
    • One can only guess what Paddy’s part in the porn film Willy Wanker And The Chocolate Factory entailed that makes him ask Max to drive over speed bumps more carefully. The room full of male bodybuilders is certainly a clue though.
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    • Upon being sent to prison for stealing a school bus full of children (see Big Damn Heroes), Max and Paddy face the unpleasant ordeal of a rectal examination to ensure they're not smuggling anything into the prison.
  • Ax-Crazy: Billy the Butcher, full stop.
  • Badass Longcoat: Billy the Butcher wears one of these. He also keeps a poster of Blade II in his bedroom, another Badass Longcoat wearer.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Max and Paddy posing as paramedics as part of their Zany Scheme to steal a plasma TV. Their disguises are far from convincing, their acting is terrible, and their "stretcher" is the stolen TV under a blanket. But by sheer confidence and the perceived urgency of the situation, they manage to pull it off.
  • Beard of Evil: One of Raymond the Bastard's men has a massive beard.
  • Beary Funny: Max and Paddy disguise themselves as dancing bears to obtain a TV screen from a supermarket. Paddy exploits his costume to feel up a little boy's mother.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Tina has an offscreen one in Episode Four that’s both intentional and accidental. She tells the Police why Max and Paddy stole a school bus full of children (Max was trying to meet his long lost son), which gets them released from prison but (more immediately) gets them pulled out of the exercise yard just as Raymond The Bastard and cronies are approaching them with the intention of savagely beating and quite possibly killing them.
    • A more straight example comes in the last episode. When Max’s psychotic friend Billy is about to murder him, Paddy (who had just been shot in the buttocks and was presumed by both Max and Billy to be dead or severely injured) knocks him out with a traffic cone.
  • Bland-Name Product: Paddy is frustrated that Max insists on buying cheap groceries like “Big Bob’s Beans” and water bottled in the mountains of Afghanistan.
  • British Brevity: Only six episodes were made.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gypsy Joe in the first episode. The entire male staff of the Phoenix Club in Episode 4, stripped nude and sprayed with disinfectant.
  • The Cameo: The cast of Phoenix Nights briefly reprise their roles in Episodes Two and Four.
  • Camp Gay: Pepe, Raymond The Bastard's (the kingpin of the prison wing where Max and Paddy end up) boyfriend.
  • Catchphrase: A few. Max has "How dare you" (delivered in a haughty tone) and "You only get a bucket and a half" (relating to the amount of semen a man can produce), and Paddy has "Paddy has needs" (relating to his sex drive).
    • Brian Potter squeezes a few indignant utterances of his signature phrase: "I don't know if you haven't noticed but I'm disabled" into his short cameo in Episode Four.
    • Despite being a one-shot character, Billy manages to get one by frequently adding the phrase "But not in a gay way" to anything that could be considered a Double Entendre.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Max accuses Paddy of this in the first episode but he contends that he must have been spiked. The revelation about the girls they took home means that this very likely was the case.
  • Car Fu: Max and Paddy accidentally kill a cow by ramming it. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In episode three, in the scene where The Wolfster writes his telephone number on a beermat and hands it to Max, it is clearly a Peter Kay beermat, tying in with Kay's TV adverts for John Smith's bitter.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: One episode starts with Paddy getting a job in a promo called Willy Walker's Chocolate Factory. He arrives to work to find a load of muscular black men in top hats. Paddy's limping the next time we see him.
  • Chekhov's Gunman / Early-Bird Cameo: Max’s ex-girlfriend Tina appears in flashbacks in Episode Two before playing an important role in Episodes Three and Four. Billy is also appears in said flashback before he returns as the main supporting character in Episode Six.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Paddy’s cellmate in Episode Four. He either thinks he actually is Cliff Richard or just has a disturbing love of him; looking like him, having a painting of him on the wall surrounded by candles, and singing Millennium Prayer to it all night.
    • Also, the farmer who sells Max and Paddy his pig. Or at least, the man they think is the farmer.
  • Coitus Interruptus: After Max and Paddy bring two girls back the motorhome, Paddy predictably has sex with one while Max prefers to have a drink and a civilised chat with the other. Then he switches on the engine to show off their new plasma television. Paddy is not happy.
  • Continuity Nod: When Young Kenny appears in Episode Four, he still has the impossible to remove tiger facepaint that he got at Brian’s fun day in Series 2 of Phoenix Nights.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: Averted in the case of Max and Paddy, along with some Lampshade Hanging from a guard. They still end up in cells next door to each other though.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Paddy tries to have one at the end of the first episode but the volume of the TV wakes up Max who is less than pleased. Elsewhere Paddy’s love of pornography is mentioned quite frequently.
    • In a deleted scene from the first episode, Paddy walks in on Max having some..."private time" in the toilet with his (Paddy’s) copy of Razzle.
      Max: Man has needs.
      Paddy: Man has lock on door.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Subverted by Max's dwarf girlfriend, Tina, who's very much one of the nicest characters in the series.
  • Depraved Homosexual: While Raymond The Bastard is more evil than depraved, his first scene features him in the shower being lathered up by two of his cronies and complementing Paddy's genitals.
  • Disabled Snarker: A woman with a Hook Hand flips Paddy off when he tries his Casanova Wannabe shtick on her. With her pincer.'
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Max and Paddy not paying the (admittedly extortionate) repair bill for their motorhome and instead stealing it back (see MacGyvering), and taking all of the keys to cars the mechanics were working on and tossing them out of the motorhome one by one while driving off seems like this until the reveal that the mechanics didn’t do any work on the motorhome yet still tried to charge them £500.
    • A straighter example is the end of Episode Four. Brian has been fronting a very public campaign to get Max and Paddy released from prison which destroys the persona of rich gangsters that they used to live an easy and safe life while inside. As soon as they’re released, they call in an anthrax threat at the Phoenix Club on the night of Jerry’s 60th birthday party. Although Brian’s actions were self-serving in that they helped to promote the Phoenix more than help Max and Paddy, there was no way he could have known that he was putting them in danger.
  • Do It Yourself Theme: The theme song was written by Toni Baker and Peter Kay, and borrowed heavily from the theme to B.J. and the Bear.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Max's bouncer friends making jokes about Tina's dwarfism. And Max going along with it until one of them goes too far. No wonder Tina left him.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: When he was a child, Paddy wore callipers and braces and was nicknamed "Spazzy Paddy".
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Pepe eats the cake that one of the friendlier inmates' daughter gave to him as a warning that he's due to pay collection money to Raymond the Bastard.
  • Enfante Terrible: Apparently, Billy the Butcher earned his nickname by stabbing his care worker 18 times, with a potato peeler, just because he didn't like jigsaw puzzles.
  • Epic Fail: Max’s attempt to gradually tunnel out of prison. He was tunnelling towards the next cell.
    • Also, his and Paddy's attempts to sell a pig to a Halal restaurant!
  • Establishing Character Moment: Billy the Butcher is introduced beating a pizza delivery man up with a bin for bringing him the wrong delivery. And this is after Max has mentioned him "softening up" in recent years.
  • Evil Former Friend: Billy the Butcher to Max. And he's also an Ax-Crazy Yandere.
  • Evil Is Petty: Billy the Butcher gets into childish arguments with Paddy over song titles.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Raymond The Bastard.
  • Expository Theme Tune: All together now:
    Don’t know where we’re going, got no way of knowing.
    Driving on the road to nowhere.
    Sponging for a living, checking out the women.
    Riding on the road to nowhere.
    And we don’t take shit from anyone, the only thing we wanna do is have some fun.
    We’re Max and Paddy. Paddy and Max.
    And best of all, we don’t pay council tax.
  • Fan Disservice: At the end of Episode Four, we see the male cast of Phoenix Nights (apart from Brian) naked when Max and Paddy call in an anthrax threat and they are forced to strip naked and get hosed down with some kind of chemical suppressant.. Thankfully when they turn around, the credits are used as a Scenery Censor.
  • Fat Bastard: Not Max, but one of Raymond the Bastard's hired thugs is pretty fat.
  • Fat and Skinny: Max and Paddy respectively.
  • Fat Idiot: Max is as much a Know-Nothing Know-It-All as he was back in Phoenix Nights.
  • Gag Penis: [[Gayngster Raymond the Bastard]] says Paddy has one of these, "like a young Burt Reynolds."
  • GassHole: The pig that Max and Paddy buy from a farmer impulsively ends up filling their motorhome with the stench of its farts. Max actually has to wear goggles to defend his eyes.
  • Gayngster: Raymond the Bastard is possibly a Yardie, definitely a scary convict, and definitely gay.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Billy the Butcher is murderously jealous of Paddy for replacing him as Max's bouncing partner.
  • Happily Married: Tina and Kevin Wolfson/"The Wolfster". At the very least, he doesn't make rude jokes about her dwarfism like her first love Max did.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tina is determined to keep the secret that Max is Daniel's father because it will destroy her family, despite that it means Max and Paddy being in prison because her going to the police and corroborating their story will reveal everything. Eventually, she goes to the Police and gets Max and Paddy released at the cost of keeping her secret, as well as finally letting Max meet Daniel after his release. Max in turn makes his own heroic sacrifice by not telling Daniel that he is his father, and letting Tina’s family remain intact.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Gypsy Joe’s shop is in the back of a lorry and everything is stolen. Also Mick Bustin', but he's a car repair man, not a salesman.
  • Honey Trap: Tracey and Sharon, the girls that Max and Paddy take home in Episode One after going out dressed as sailors. They’re better known as the Belgrano Sisters ( “on account of all the sailors that have gone down on them”) and their MO is to pick up sailors in nightclubs, drug them, and rob them blind.]]
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Taken to its absolute limit with Max (who is both tall and fairly large) and Tina (a woman with dwarfism)
  • Hypocrite: When Max reveals that their new TV has no speakers, Paddy angrily calls Gypsy Joe a “typical thieving gyppo” and is glad he’s eating the grapes they brought him for an injury they caused while heaving him off a bridge so they could escape with the TV he’d just helped them steal.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Max insists that there's a difference between "dwarfs"(he thinks they're people with dwarfism who specifically work at circuses) and "midgets"(which is what he defines his ex-girlfriend Tina as). When Paddy insists that there's not a difference, Max calls him "Mr. Politically Incorrect!"
  • Irish Travellers: Gypsy Joe is possibly an Irish Traveller, judging by his accent and the nationality of his actor, though as far as Max and Paddy are concerned, he's just a Roguish Romani.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: An example that is both romantic and non-romantic at the same time. Max decides not to tell his long lost son Daniel that he is his real father; allowing Daniel, Tina, and Kevin (Tina’s husband and an old friend of Max who believes he is Daniel’s father) to remain a happy family.
  • Jail Bake: Averted. Brian brings Max and Paddy a cake while they are in prison and they immediately assume it’s this trope. He points out how stupid it is to expect this.
    Max (Excited): And what’s in this cake?
    Brian: Sponge and a bit of jam. (Beat) What do you want, son? It’s real life, not the frigging Shawshank Redemption.
  • I am a Humanitarian: When pretending to be brutal gangsters, Paddy pretends to have eaten the last person who insulted him, with a perfectly serious face.
  • Innocently Insensitive: What Max thinks he was when he laughed along with his bouncing friends' jokes about Tina's dwarfism. She certainly doesn't agree with him.
  • It's All About Me: Both Max and Paddy are prone to this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Max and Paddy. They’re generally decent guys but not above stealing and conning people if it will benefit them.
  • Large Ham: Mix Bustin, as played by [[Music/Slade Noddy Holder]].
  • Left the Background Music On: Episode Three contains a montage of Max following his long lost son to school and trying to deal with the news that he’s a father set to the Boyzone cover of "Father & Son". Then Paddy walks in, switches off the radio, and wearily asks “How many times are you going to play that song?”
  • Look Behind You: Paddy does this to distract Billy the Butcher and escape into the motorhome, when Billy realises Paddy rifled through his duffle bag.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Implied in the case of the weird farmer's wife, who got killed by a combine harvester.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Averted. Max decides not to tell his son that he is his real father, allowing the family to get on with their lives without him interfering.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Max and Paddy get one complete with duvets, a box of Terry’s All Gold chocolates, and satellite TV after making out that they are rich gangsters and promising Raymond The Bastard 60% of their non-existent loot.
  • MacGyvering: When Max and Paddy refuse to pay an extortionate repair fee for the motorhome; they break into the garage where it's being held, build a battering ram out of ladders and oil drums, fix it to the roof of the motorhome, and bust their way out of the garage.
  • Messy Pig: Played with by the pig Max and Paddy end up buying from a mad farmer. It doesn't leave that much poo on the floor of their motorhome, but it farts. A lot. Doesn't take long before they try selling it.
  • Mistaken for Gay: A running gag in the first episode is an African family camped near the motorhome catching Max and Paddy in seemingly compromising positions. The first few while Paddy is teaching Max to dance and pick up women; and the last when they hear an angry rant from Max after Paddy accidentally wakes up him while having A Date with Rosie Palms.
    • And again when Max and Paddy are meeting up with the Wolfster's friends at his 40th birthday party, thanks to Max's poor wording.
    Max: Me and him, when we're living together, we're kings of the road.
    Bobster: Don't you mean queens?!
    Max: How dare you?! Let's get one thing straight, and I mean straight. I don't drink from both pipes and that lad definitely does not!
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Raymond the Bastard, obviously.
    • And Billy the Butcher.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Granted, Brian Potter's only a "hero" by loose definition, but he ends up outing Max and Paddy as harmless bouncers instead of hardcore gangsters by appealing for their release from prison on TV.
  • Noisy Sex Next Door: In the first episode, Max and Paddy pull two girls at a nightclub and bring them back to the motorhome. Paddy is steaming drunk and has very loud sex in his bedroom while Max tries to have a drink and a chat with the other girl in the living room.
    • A variant of this happens at the end of the same episode after Max and Paddy finally get some speakers for their TV and Paddy puts on his “Charlie’s Anals” DVD. Though Paddy doesn’t get very far before the volume wakes Max up.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Zahid Patel, a friend of Max's friend the Wolfster. You'd think by his name he'd be Indian, right? He's not. He's a bog-standard white man.
  • Not My Driver: Max and Paddy try to hijack the school bus that Max's son goes on like this, only to find themselves on the wrong bus.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Raymond makes one with Max and Paddy for his share of the (fictitious) treasure they're pretending to have stolen.
  • Oh, Crap!: Replace "crap" with "fuck" and you've got Mick Bustin’s exact reaction when he sees that Max and Paddy have stolen the keys to all of his clients' cars.
    • Also Max and Paddy in Episode Four when a news report about them set up by Brian is seen one of the prison's TV; blowing their persona of rich gangsters and revealing to Raymond The Bastard that they have been lying to him.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: When Max sings "That’s Why They Call It The Blues" in Episode Three, Peter Kay’s natural voice slips through more than usual.
  • Oop North: Traditionally Lancashire, but there are a few characters from other parts of Northern England, such as Mick Bustin' (played by Birmingham native Noddy Holder) and Billy the Butcher (Newcastle).
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Max and Paddy’s paramedic disguises during the TV theft in Episode One. Amazingly, no one calls them on it.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Paddy owns a DVD of Charlie's Anals and later appears in a film called Willy Wanker and the Chocolate Factory.
  • The Pigpen: Paddy considers Max to be this. Max’s counter that he “has a good stand-up wash in the sink once a week” doesn't exactly help his case.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "'Ave it!" spoken by Paddy to Billy the Butcher when knocking him out with a traffic cone.
  • Precision F-Strike: Mick Bustin's Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Prison Episode: Episode Four after being set up at the end of Episode Three.
  • Prison Rape: Mentioned a number of times by Paddy when he and Max are in prison. They do get cornered by local Depraved Homosexual Raymond the Bastard in the showers, after dropping soap, but he doesn't rape them. He just forces Max to shake his hand. [[Squick The same hand he's just lathered shampoo onto his groin with.]]
  • Prisons Are Gymnasiums: Episode Four includes a scene set in the prison's exercise yard and at the start of the episode, Paddy's cellmate challenges him and Max to a game of tennis.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Apart from being murderously violent, Billy the Butcher spends time engaging in trivial debates with Paddy over correctly guessing the theme tunes to popular TV shows, where Paddy insists on going by Exact Words including the creators as well as the show titles. Apparently, he wasn't much better as an actual child, stabbing his careworker 18 times with a potato peeler for making him play with a jigsaw puzzle that he didn't like.
  • Reality Ensues: Paddy survives Billy the Butcher shooting him in the backside, but he's still bleeding profusely afterwards.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Max and Paddy are of this opinion at the start of Episode 5. They end up changing their minds by the end of the episode when they see a pig- possibly the same pig they bought from the farmer and ended up caring for- roast and served at a pub, and order two nut cutlets instead.
  • The Real Spoofbusters: Parodied with Mick Bustin', a Brummie car repairman with a Ghostbusters-themed garage shop, played by Noddie Holder of Music/Slade.
  • Roguish Romani: Gypsy Joe, played by Mrs. Brown's Boys actor Brendan O'Caroll. Supports the lads in stealing a widescreen TV from a supermarket centre.
  • Scary Black Man: Raymond The Bastard.
  • Scenery Censor: At the end of Episode Four. See Fan Disservice.
  • Schmuck Bait: Raymond the Bastard telling Paddy to bend over and pick the soap up. Paddy doesn't oblige, pulling the soap over with his foot while resting his hands on Max's shoulders.
  • Second Love: The Wolfster for Tina.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Max and Paddy.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Max and Paddy have these fairly regularly. Especially when they’re on the road.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Raymond The Bastard is, as you'd expect, a bastard.
  • Shot in the Ass: Where Billy the Butcher's bullet ends up hitting Paddy. Paddy is still bleeding profusely when he walks away afterwards.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: A literal version is discussed in Episode Four. Max and Paddy get stuck with the job of shovelling coal into a furnace while in prison, and Max says that there’ll be two kitchen jobs available once Raymond The Bastard arranges for two inmates to get locked in the freezer. Paddy notes that they’re likely to suffer the same fate when their lies (pretending to be rich gangsters and promising Raymond 60% of their loot in exchange for an easy life) are uncovered.
  • Straight Gay: Raymond The Bastard, compared to his boyfriend Pepe.
  • Theme Naming: Max and his school friends all have nicknames derived from their names that end in "–ster": Max-ster, Wolf-ster, Patel-ster, and... Foster-ster
  • Third-Person Person: Paddy is this fairly frequently. As is Raymond The Bastard.
  • To Be Continued: Episode Three ends on the cliffhanger of Max and Paddy stealing a school bus full of children in an attempt for Max to see his son.
  • Tunnel King: Max's attempts at this leave a lot to be desired. See Epic Fail.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Billy the Butcher is from Newcastle, not Scotland, but otherwise he qualifies as this.
  • Vocal Evolution: Max’s voice is different than in Phoenix Nights because continuing it would have risked long-term damage to Peter Kay’s voice.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Max finally meets his long lost son Daniel, he attempts to give him some meaningful advice and ends up accidentally quoting Father & Son to him. Daniel lampshades this.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the last episode of Phoenix Nights, Max and Paddy take off in the motorhome because the woman who paid to carry out the murder they faked has discovered the truth and will be sending people after them. She doesn't appear to be doing that anymore.
  • The Yardies: Raymond the Bastard is black, a convicted criminal, and speaks with a Jamaican accent, so it's safe to say he qualifies as a Yardie. Ironically, he's also gay, and Jamaica, where the original Yardies started out, is a country with a reputation for homophobia.
  • You Can Keep Your Hat On: Non-sexy variant, when the Phoenix Club staff (the male half, anyway) is forced to strip nude and get sprayed with disinfectant, Young Kenny is still wearing his hat.
  • Zany Scheme: Max, Paddy, and Gypsy Joe's plan to steal a plasma TV from a shopping centre. Max and Paddy pose as members of staff, and Joe pretends to faint so an ambulance will be called while Max and Paddy steal the TV from the stockroom. Max and Paddy then dress as paramedics and use the TV under a blanket as a stretcher to get all three out of the building. They carry out a similar robbery at the end of the same episode, except this time the Belgrano Sisters are doing it for them.

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