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Series / Miranda (2009)

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Miranda was a Britcom created, written by & starring Miranda Hart that aired on The BBC from 2009 to 2015.

Derived from her earlier radio comedy Miranda Hart's Joke Shop, it follows Miranda as she stumbles through life from one "Fawlty Towers" Plot to another, much to the embarrassment of herself and her loved ones, which include her mother Penny (Patricia Hodge), best friend and workmate Stevie (Sarah Hadland), love interest Gary (Tom Ellis), and old frenemy Tilly (Sally Phillips), while other recurring characters include Gary's boss Clive (James Holmes), Miranda's eventual new boyfriend Mike (Bo Poraj), and an unnamed customer who keeps getting involved in Miranda's schemes (Dominic Coleman).

The series ran for three seasons and a two-part finale special, ending with Miranda and Gary finally getting married. At the height of its popularity, it became one of the few shows to jump from BBC Two to BBC One, and received new attention from American viewers when it began streaming on Hulu in the US.

In 2020, Call Me Kat, an American counterpart, premiered on FOX. Hart is a producer of this remake alongside The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons.

If you want to know about your right to remain silent, you want Miranda Rights instead.

This show provides examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Tilly among her friend group of Miranda and Fanny.
    • Stinke Von Tusse seems to have been this when she was Head Girl at Miranda's Boarding School when they were teenagers, and still is when she meets Tilly and Miranda as adults.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Penny has an active sex life with her husband, Charles, much to the horror and disgust of Miranda. Though when Miranda pretends to be a lesbian to avoid marriage to wealthy, eccentric country men, Penny also mentions that she and her best friend (and worst enemy) Belinda "had a fun time at school".
    • Stevie agrees to pretend to be a lesbian with Miranda so they can get married, and then Miranda can live life without Penny trying to pressure her into marriage. However, Stevie gets very into character and becomes offended when Miranda reminds her that they aren't actually in love or about to get married. Stevie's obsession with Heather Small, even cutting out her head from a cardboard model of her, could be seen as this.
    • Gary is of course Miranda's love interest. Like her, he's from a rich background with a mother constantly trying to get him married. Gary has a mutual crush on Miranda, but when the attractive Doctor comes he seems just taken with him as the girls are.
  • Artistic License – Biology: When Miranda has the flu, Stevie describes her as "literally riddled with bacteria". Not only is everyone constantly covered with harmless bacteria, including Stevie, flu is caused by a virus, not by bacteria.
  • Ascended Extra: In Series 3 there's a man who repeatedly shows up at Miranda's shop at the worst of times, getting dragged into ridiculous situations by Miranda. He ends up playing an important part in the finale, as it's his wedding that Gary is best man at.
  • Aside Glance: A trademark of the show.
  • Back for the Finale: Pretty much everyone. Even Clive.
  • Beta Bitch: Fanny is this to Tilly. Fanny was supposed to be a Series Regular for Series Two, but her actress couldn’t be this because she had to return to another series. During the final episode of Series One, when Tilly becomes half-naked accidentally at a party, Fanny is mortified and rushes off. Seeing as she doesn’t appear again, it’s most likely Fanny ended her friendship with Tilly.
  • Big Eater: Miranda eats a lot. So much so that Gary sincerely says that the restaurant entered into financial trouble when she goes on a diet.
  • Blatant Lies: All the time.
  • Bottle Episode: Series 2 Episode 5 takes place entirely in one room (A Psychiatrist's office). As does Series 3 Episode 4 (Miranda's main room of her flat).
  • Breakout Character: Tilly.
  • Brick Joke: There's at least one brick joke per episode which comes back somehow at the end, no matter how contrived.
  • British Brevity: Three series, each containing 6 episodes, followed by a two-part finale.
  • Call-Back: Many jokes from earlier episodes are mentioned again in later episodes, or even the next season. For example, Miranda's friend Gordon ... who is made from an orange. Come the third series, she has moved on from making fruit friends to adding vegeta-pals.
  • The Cameo: The final episode features cameos from Gary Barlow and the real Heather Small.
  • Cardboard Pal: Miranda has one of Gary made from a mop.
  • Catchphrase: Several, including Tilly's "Bear with, bear with" whenever she's reading a text, Penny's "Such fun!", and her habit of using the phrase "what I call" inappropriately. (Such as, "She's having it on a, what I call, weekday.")
    • There's also Stevie's super-positive conversations with her Heather Small cutout - 'Whurt hev ya dun toodeeehh to mek yer feeeeel prooaarroroad?!'
    • Miranda's "Rude!" and "Good word, isn't it?" also get repeated often.
    • Less noticeable is Gary's awkward "Hi." when he walks in, inevitably, at the worst possible moment.
      • But these are all lampshaded beyond all proportion.
    • In later episodes Charlie says "soz" very frequently. His other catchphrase is "I bloody love crisps!"
  • Cliffhanger: Season 3 ends with both Gary and Mike proposing to Miranda simultaneously.
  • Clothing Damage: Miranda seems to end up in her underwear at some point in several episodes. This happens so often that other people start using it as an excuse to not invite her to posh events since she'll "just end up semi-naked in public and embarrass everyone again".
  • Companion Cube: Miranda's "fruit friends".
  • Contrived Coincidence: The worst possible person always seem to walk in at the worst possible moment.
  • Convenient Slow Dance: Zig-zagged. Miranda has a plan in case this happens and makes things awkward. But when it does happen, Stevie averts it...much to Miranda's dismay.
  • Cutaway Gag: The pre-credits, "Miranda talking to the camera" bit of each episode has two or three of these, as explanations of embarrassing incidents Miranda has become involved in.
    • "Good lord that's moist!"
  • Dance Party Ending: Most episodes end with them, and the series finale ends with everyone dancing to Take That (Band)'s "Greatest Day".
  • Downer Ending: The 2014 Christmas special ends with Gary deciding he can't commit to his relationship with Miranda and walking out on her.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Gary
  • Even the Guys Want Him: In a recent episode, everyone was enthusing over how attractive Dr. Gail is - including Gary.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The customer.
    Miranda: I'm calling you "customer" because I think it would be weirder if I knew your real name.
  • Failed Dramatic Exit: Happens to Miranda a lot, especially with the coat rack in the restaurant.
  • Fallback Marriage Pact: Miranda and Gary make one in the first series. Like Chris & Allison, they wound up not needing it.
  • Fanservice: Gary. Especially when he goes shirtless or dresses in his "Alpha Male" outfit.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Every episode has this in some form.
  • First Gray Hair: Miranda frantically colors hers in with a marker.
  • Flanderization: Miranda started off as a hilariously clumsy and socially awkward character, whose social mishaps were mostly natural. However by the third series she is deliberately going out her way to be anti-social, sociopathic and cause trouble as a way to appear funny, even when there's no real call for it, including damaging property/items on purpose, such as hitting wine glasses with a tennis racket at her mother's tennis social, as well as cutting a boy's earphones off on the train, and getting right in a yoga instructor's face. This applies for other characters too, such as Gary appearing to make her jealous and being unpleasant and insensitive to Mike when his dog was dying (even if he was his love rival) whereas previously he was more considerate and pleasant. All the other characters also appear more over the top in their behaviours.
  • Fully Automatic Clip Show: The two-part finale features several, including supercuts of all the times Miranda knocked Stevie off her stool, and of times when Miranda and Penny actually got along.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Miranda has to give a eulogy without knowing which relative it is that's died.
  • Gonky Femme: Miranda is six feet tall in a world of women who are a foot shorter. Known as "Queen Kong" to her friends, she is socially and physically awkward and this drives a lot of the comedy.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Miranda and her best friend Stevie both love a man in any uniform and they both squee and compete for his attention whenever any such man happens to come to their store. They include cops, firemen, pilots, Navy men etc. They like even costume versions of the uniform.
  • Height Angst: Miranda sometimes displays this concerning awkwardly towering over just about everyone else in the cast. It doesn't help that her mother is a petite five-foot-five and her best friend Stevie is barely five foot two. She also has gloomy bouts of No Guy Wants an Amazon.
  • Hot Potato: When Miranda hosts a dinner party, she winds up flinging the main course out the window.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Obviously no longer, but still surrounded by schoolfriends who call her 'Queen Kong'.
  • Inherently Funny Words: A Running Gag is for Miranda to point them out whenever they are said and then repeat them several times.
  • Just Friends: Gary and Miranda. Off and on. Sometimes.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Played for Laughs on several occasions. It's a running joke of the series that Miranda is mistaken for a man, especially due to her height and build.
    Delivery Man: Here you go, sir.
    (cue audience laughter and an annoyed Aside Glance from Miranda)
    • In one episode, Miranda's attempt to buy a nice dress results in an inadvertent visit to a cross-dresser shop where the owner plays along with the fiction that she's a woman. Later, dolled up, she's oblivious to the fact that a guy hitting on her thinks she's cross-dressing, until her (and his) bubble is finally burst by Stevie's astonished:
    Miranda! Why are you dressed as a transvestite?!!
  • Left the Background Music On: Clive regularly plays plot appropriate songs in the restaurant, to Miranda's annoyance.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Gary ends up with his shirt (or more) off on several occasions.
  • Mouthing the Profanity: This is a recurring gag for Miranda, who will especially mouth "sex", "breasts", and "moist". This is then played with when Miranda's mum (it all runs in the family) does something similar, but mouths the innocent words around the profanity instead, notably in such an embarrassing way as: "I'd say she was company, but she looks like a HOOKER!"
  • No Fourth Wall: Miranda frequently turns toward the camera to make jokes to the viewers and to actually talk to them as if it were a conversation, except this is only done in short bursts, usually to raise a quizzical eyebrow or to completely contradict what she's just said.
    • To the psychiatrist: "You haven't got us pegged!" - to the audience: "He has totally got us pegged!"
    • Lampshaded when Penny is doing an impression of Miranda, and ends it with an Aside Glance at the audience. Then cut to Miranda also looking at the audience, confused. (Which can be seen here)
    • Hart has herself said this was inspired very heavily by the old sketches of Morecambe and Wise.
  • No Name Given: The man who turns up at the shop repeatedly during Series 3 (credited as "the customer"). A Running Gag is that nobody knows who he is.
    Psychiatrist: I'm sorry, who is this?
    Everyone Else: We don't know.
  • Non Sequitur:
    • "When I'm naked in bed and roll over my breasts clap."
    • "When my thighs are sweaty and I stand up it sounds like a fart."
  • No Social Skills: Much of the show's humour is based on Miranda's serious yet hilarious lack of social skills, such as saying the most inappropriate things to the strangers and formal people.
  • Obsessed with Food: Miranda
  • {{O.O.C. Is Serious Business}}: Miranda's friends and mother are all in total shock and show serious concern when she offers a snack that she "forgot to eat" as well as when she goes against her natural instinct of pushing Stevie down and actually eats one of her fruit friends in the Grand Finale.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Stevie. And Miranda's forceful mother.
  • Put on a Bus: Clive disappeared in the third series without explanation.
    • The Bus Came Back: Reappears at the end of the series as the groom of that one guy who keeps showing up randomly.
  • Road Trip Across the Street: Instead of going to Thailand, Miranda checks in to the hotel around the corner.
  • Running Gag: Someone, or even Miranda herself, unknowingly quotes a line from a song and Miranda then proceeds to sing the song the line is from.
  • Self-Deprecation: The show is written by Miranda herself, and contains a lot of jokes about her general appearance, so it counts.
  • Ship Tease: Miranda and Gary.
  • Shipper on Deck: Stevie and Clive plot to get Miranda and Gary together.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Played for Laughs when Miranda panics as her taxi driver is about to reveal that she is going on holiday to the Hamilton Lodge and not, as she has told her assembled friends, Thailand.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Gary's friends Chris and Allison.
    • Subverted; the penultimate episode reveals them to be very unsatisfied and resentful of each other.
  • Slapstick: A lot of the sight gags revolve around "Queen Kong", ie the six-foot tall Miranda among petite family and friends, or else Miranda getting into increasingly unflattering situations and embarrassing physical comedy often resulting in her outer clothing being torn off. A recurring gag involves Miranda wittingly or unknowingly swiping her tiny friend Stevie so hard she is bowled over.
  • Stepford Smiler: As mentioned previously, Chris and Allison; it is also revealed in the last episode that Penny has been stuck in a loveless marriage for years, and her Head-Tiltingly Kinky adventures with Miranda's father were in fact efforts at trying to regain his interest.
  • Sound-to-Screen Adaptation: The show originally started as a radio show called Miranda Hart's Joke Shop.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Zig-zagged. In the final episode, Miranda and Stevie hear that Gary is at a wedding, believe he's marrying Jacinta and rush to the venue to stop the ceremony. Miranda gets there just in time... only to discover that Gary is merely the best man. He does, however, agree to marry her right then and there, as per the usual trope.
  • Stealth Pun: When Gary Barlow makes a cameo appearance (S3E5), Penny turns to Raymont Blanc and says...well...
  • Sticky Situation: Miranda gets stuck to the bathtub while waxing. Even better is that Queen starts playing on the radio, making for some good humour.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: Miranda freaks out in a kayak that's not even in the water.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Too many to count. Tilly and Stinky stand out as the worst offenders, though.
  • Strawman Political: Penny in S3 E2: "What a Surprise". Played for laughs.
  • Stripping Snag: Happens to Miranda on a crowded street in London, leaving her racing after the car in her underwear trying to get her dress back. An arresting sight on a six-foot comedienne whose shtick relies a lot on the visual humor inherent in her height and build.
  • Studio Audience
    • You can easily tell this especially when Gary comes in the psychiatrist office where Miranda and her mum are in and confesses his love for Miranda, kisses her, and goes down on one knee to propose. Half of the audience members are screaming like twelve-year-old girls. Then, you can hear them "aww'ing" at sheer disappointment when we find out it was just Miranda daydreaming.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Miranda's painting instructor has a vocal tic in which she oscillates between indoor and outdoor voice mid-sentence. Happily for her, she's evidently blissfully unaware of the tic.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "This is not a hoover pretending to be a man!"
  • Technologically Blind Elders: Penny calls remote controls 'doobries' and screams when her mobile rings.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Whenever Miranda and Charlie are onscreen together.
  • Too Much Information: Miranda is traumatized by Penny's over-sharing.
    • Chris and Allison are very open about the anatomical details of her pregnancy.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Charlie bloody loves crisps!
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: The American remake, Call Me Kat
  • Uncool Undies: Adding to Miranda's humilation when her outer clothing is torn off, she is invariably wearing "sensible and serviceable" underwear.
  • Unseen Character: Penny's tennis partner and Arch-Enemy Belinda.
    • Miranda's father was this until the season two finale.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Miranda and Stevie are this. On more than one occasion they have had a massive argument and seemingly broken off their friendship only to go back to being best friends by the end of the episode.
  • Weddings for Everyone: The series ends with Miranda marrying Gary, Clive's wedding to The Customer, and Tilly engaged to Charlie.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: The third series introduces Jacinta, a worker at the café and a rival for Gary's affections. In the final episode, as Miranda frantically tries to track down Gary, she hears he's at a wedding and that Jacinta isn't at the café and puts two and two together. She and Stevie quickly rush to the wedding venue, only to find Gary is merely the best man. Jacinta isn't even present, and her whereabouts are never actually explained.

Alternative Title(s): Miranda