Follow TV Tropes


Series / My Left Nut

Go To

My Left Nut is a 2020 Northern Irish Dramedy miniseries by The BBC. It was written by Michael Patrick and Oisin Kearney based on a stage play by the same name that they also wrote.

The story follows 15-year-old Michael "Mick" Campbell (Nathan Quinn O'Rawe) whose tumultuous teenage life is drastically changed when he discovers a swelling on his left testicle. Fearing it to be cancer, he struggles with plucking up the courage to tell his mother Patricia (Sinead Keenan) and sister Lucy (Lola Petticrew) about his problem, due to his father having died of motor neurone disease a few years ago. Meanwhile, he tries to keep his swollen testicle a secret at school, even from his best friends Tommy (Oliver Anthony) and Conor (Levi O'Sullivan), but this becomes difficult when his crush Rachael (Jessica Reynolds) starts making advances on him.

My Left Nut provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Afraid of Doctors: Justified. Patricia hates hospitals and doctors due to the trauma of having to spend a long time doing futile exams and treatments while her husband slowly died.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Lucy's boyfriend Danny is a typical rude and violent bad boy who acts rude to her and her family. She only dumps him when he crosses the line by cheating on her and punching her little brother.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: When the rumor spreads around school that Mick's bulge is actually because he's incredibly well endowed, he gets the attention of several female students. Conor and Tommy also call him a "legend" for it and are both excited at the prospect of having a friend with a huge dick.
    Tommy: Every group gotta have a lad with a big dick in it. Gives us prestige.
  • Big Sister Instinct: When Lucy finds out her boyfriend punched her little boyfriend, she dumps him on the spot and knees him in the groin.
  • Black Comedy: The show is a Dramedy about a teenager thinking he has testicular cancer.
  • Blackmail: When Mick finds out Lucy got a tattoo without telling their mom, he blackmails her into taking him to Tommy's Wild Teen Party.
  • British Brevity: The series only has 3 episodes.
  • Bromantic Foil: Tommy serves as Mick's romantic foil, being a confident Casanova Wannabe who is abhorred by Siobhan to contrast with Mick's shy but wholesome behavior that endears him to Rachael.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mick's constantly being put into awkward and embarrassing situations is a constant source of Cringe Comedy, starting with the very premise of the story with his left testicle becoming incredibly swollen.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Tommy acts like he's a player and a Chick Magnet, but his perverted way of acting only repulses girls. Siobhan later explicitly says she only went out with him on a Double Date because Rachael wanted to go out with Mick, and she doesn't actually like Tommy at all.
  • Coming of Age Story: The story deals with Mick's puberty and transition to maturity with the added "bonus" added 'bonus' of facing a potentially life-threatening illness and dealing with the loss of a parent.
  • Commonality Connection: Mick and Rachael have their first bonding moment when they share their experiences about having fights with their parents.
  • Dead Person Conversation: After the surgery to fix his testicle, the comatose Mick has a dreamlike conversation with his deceased father.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Mick's deceased father is only ever spoken of as a great parent and husband.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: Patricia dislikes doctors because she claims they act enigmatically about diagnosis until they're 100% certain, which can make families suffer needlessly.
    Patricia: We'd been in and out of here for months. Doing tests and tests and more tests. And they never said what was wrong. So one day your dad just says to them: "Is it motor neurone disease" 'cos I think he kinda knew. But the doctor wouldn't say. So Jimmy plagued him and plagued him and the doctor still wouldn't say even though it was pretty obvious because the junior doctor was sitting crying. And eventually Jimmy turned around and says, in your opinion, is it motor neurone disease, and the doctor says yes.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mick's dad died of motor neurone disease when he was very young, so Mick struggles with many of the things that fathers teach their sons while growing up, such as not knowing how to shave properly.
  • Disease-Prevention Aesop: The show has an Aesop about not putting off going to the doctor when you have an embarrassing ailment, such as Mick's swollen testicle.
  • Double Date: Mick and Tommy go on a double date with Rachael and Siobhan. Later Siobhan reveals she set it up because Rachael was too chicken to ask Mick on her own.
  • Dr. Jerk: Downplayed. The doctor who sees Mick acts friendly to him, but it's obviously either uncaring or clueless to the obvious discomfort Mick has in being used as a guinea pig to his medical students. And when he seemingly acts supportive and respectful at the end of the exam, the moment Patricia and Mick leave his office, he calls a colleague to gossip about Mick's comical problem.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Mick ends up drinking a lot in the Wild Teen Party, due to his fear of having cancer and fumbling his relationship with Rachael.
  • Extreme Doormat: Mick finds himself unable to say no to the doctor when he asks Mick if he's comfortable showing his swollen testicle to the medical students.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Lucy gets a tattoo with the name of her boyfriend on it. She obviously regrets it when she has to dump him for being a massive Jerkass.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: The attractive medical student has this reaction followed by a teasing Meaningful Look upon noticing Mick's shrinkage, much to his horror.
  • Gag Penis: Rachael mistakes the bulge in Mick's pants (caused by his swollen testicles) for him having a massive penis.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Conor constantly talks about his girlfriend Niamh, but the fact Mick and Tommy never met her because she lives in another city and is constantly busy makes them both think she's an Invented Individual.But this gets Subverted in the very last scene, where she shows up with Conor when visiting Mick in the hospital, much to Mick's shock.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Danny is portrayed as a major Jerkass when he cheats on Lucy with Siobhan, who is a minor. When Mick tries to confront him about it, he acts dismissive and even punches Mick in the face for it, and later when Rachael and Mick snitch on him, he attempts to gaslight Lucy into not believing it.
  • Gossip Evolution: When Mick and Conor are wondering about how the rumor that Rachael gave Mick a blowjob got spread, Conor (correctly) assumes it was a case of gossip evolving. Rachael told Siobhan that Mick has a Gag Penis, and Siobhan (who's a Gossipy Hens) told a bunch of other people until the truth got twisted. Rachael herself admits this is likely true, and is miffed that her Best Friend ended up being the one behind her Slut-Shaming rumors.
  • Gossipy Hens: Siobhan is a massive gossip, so when Rachael tells her she thinks Mick has a Gag Penis, by the next day everyone in school already knows. Unfortunately, this also causes a Gossip Evolution that ends up getting Rachael Slut Shamed.
  • Groin Attack: When Lucy finds out Danny cheated on her and punched her little brother, she punches him in the face and then knees him in the groin.
  • Jerkass: Lucy's boyfriend Danny, who not only cheats on her (with a minor, no less) but punches her brother when he threatens to tell on him.
  • Jumping-to-Conclusions Diagnosis: Mick becomes convinced he has testicular cancer after the first few exams and thinks his days are numbered, which causes a great negative impact on his social life.
  • Hospital Hottie: When getting his testicles examined, Mick worries about the doctor being a hot woman who will accidentally give him a Raging Stiffie, thus humiliating him. To his horror, his fears seem to come true when an attractive woman calls him to the doctor's office, but then she reveals she's only a medical student and the actual doctor is a man, and Mick is audibly relieved. But then he ends up naked in front of her anyway when the doctor calls in all the students to check on his swelling, prompting him to Think Unsexy Thoughts through the examination.
  • Internal Reveal: It's only in the last episode that Mick confesses (while having a nervous breakdown) that he might have cancer to his school friends, who are all promptly horrified.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Mick walks in on his sister's boyfriend Danny having sex with Siobhan during the Wild Teen Party.
  • Invented Individual: Mick and Tommy are pretty convinced Conor's girlfriend Niamh doesn't actually exist due to her never being able to meet them. But this gets Subverted in the very last scene of the series where Mick's shocked to find out she's indeed real.
  • Holding Hands: Discussed when Conor is giving Mick advice about the "rules" of hand-holding before Mick's date with Rachael.
    Conor: Right. You’re in the cinema, she's sitting next to you. The film starts up. Your hands are very close together. You probably should reach out and hold it?
    Mick: Right yeah.
    Conor: How long do you hold it for?
    Mick: Oh um... Just like a while?
    Conor: Well, you can’t let go. She’ll be offended. So now you're stuck holding her hand for the whole film. 120 minutes of your hand getting sweatier and sweatier and sweatier, until she thinks you’ve got some kind of sweatin' disease, and that it’s contagious and she never holds your hand again!
    Mick: Ummm... So how long should I hold her hand for?
    Conor: On average, I'd say you tease it for the first half-hour. Then hold it for the next half-hour, then finally you start kissing. You should be doing that for the final half-hour of the film.
  • The Irish Mob: Tommy is frequently teased for his dad supposedly being a member of the IRA.
  • Layman's Terms: When the doctor reveals Mick's diagnosis as a case of hydrocele, Mick and his mother are so terrified that they can't understand any of the medical jargon, prompting the doctor to just say it's harmless liquid.
  • Love Interest: Rachael is the prospective girlfriend of The Protagonist Mick.
  • Mistaken for Disease: The premise of the story is Mick believing he has testicular cancer after his left nut becomes incredibly swollen, but in the end, it's revealed to be a case of hydrocele, which is a fairly harmless ailment.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: Mick's mother walks in while he is checking his testicles and assumes he was masturbating.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: Shy Mick gets a surge of courage in his relationship with Rachael when he believes he has cancer, and decides to have sex with her so he won't die a virgin.
    Mick: Fuck it. Everyone dies. They just don’t think about it. So I'll just put it out of my mind. This is gonna be a big night. My last party with the lads. My last chance to get with Rachael. I’m not gonna die a virgin. Giant ball or no giant ball.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Mick's embarrassment in having to show his penis and testicle to a group of medical interns is Played for Laughs.
  • One Head Taller: Mick is very tall for his age, towering over his Love Interest Rachael, who needs to stand on her toes to kiss him.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Rachael mistakes the bulge in Mick's pants with him having a Raging Stiffie, and because it's so big she also thinks he has Gag Penis. The real reason is because his testicle is swollen.
  • Parents as People: Mick's mother Patricia is a Struggling Single Mother who misses her husband just as much as Mick misses his dad, and she struggles to bond with her son, especially with things that a father usually teaches his son, such as shaving or dating.
  • Raging Stiffie
    • During their first date, Rachael mistakes the huge bulge in Mick's pants as a Gag Penis erection, but it's actually his swollen left testicle.
    • During the medical exam, Mick gets extremely paranoid about having an erection in the middle of it.
    Mick: I hope I don’t get an erection. What if the doctor is a really hot woman, and she’s touching my balls? I'll definitely pop a root. Or what if it's a creepy auld man and I still get a boner?! Please. Please God. Please don't give me an erection.
  • Shoddy Shindig: When Mick first gets into Tommy's Wild Teen Party, he's distressed to find out Tommy and Conor just playing board games. The party only really starts once Conor's cousin arrives with beer.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: Whenever Mick or the doctors are checking his testicle, we only see him from the waist up.
  • Slut-Shaming: Alongside the rumors that Mick has a Gag Penis comes the one Rachael found out by giving him a blowjob in the parking lot during the Double Date, which didn't happen. Rachael gets shamed by the other studies for being an "easy whore" and is terribly hurt because she thinks it was Mick who spread the rumors. She ends up forgiving him later when she realizes it was probably a case of Gossip Evolution caused by Siobhan.
  • Smash Cut: When the doctor asks Mick if he's comfortable showing his swollen testicles to the medical students, Mick thinks to himself "Just say no, just say no". Cue a sudden cut to a pantless and distressed Mick's testicle is getting examined by the doctor and all the students.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Mick's mother Patricia became one after her husband died. It's implied she's only overworked, but struggling to raise Mick properly due to her inability to teach or bond with him about male puberty issues.
  • Take Our Word for It: Given the miniseries rating, there's no actual shot of Mick's unclothed swollen testicle. Every time he's "exposed" we only see people's reactions to it while he's only shown from the waist up.
  • Teeny Weenie: When Mick is having his testicles examined by the doctors, he's scared of getting an erection so he Think Unsexy Thoughts... unfortunately he does it too well and experiences shrinkage instead. The Hospital Hottie student even gives him a amused look when their eyes meet, much to his horror.
  • Their First Time: Because he thinks he's going to die, Mick tries to rush his relationship with Rachael because he doesn't want to die a virgin. But in rushing things he ends up screwing things up alienating Rachael just as they're about to have sex. But by the end he also ends up not having cancer and patches things up with her and they have a Relationship Upgrade, but now taking the relationship slow since he no longer has to worry about dying.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: When the doctor is showing Mick's swollen testicle to the medical students, Mick is busy worrying about not getting a Raging Stiffie, especially since the attractive medical student is also there. He keeps thinking about cold water to keep himself in control... but amusingly ends up having shrinkage instead of an erection.
    Mick: Jumping in the sea in Donegal. Jumping in the freezing cold Atlantic ocean in Donegal. The absolutely baltic freezing cold ocean covering my balls.
    [Mick sneaks a glance down at his penis]
    Mick: Shite! Not that cold. Warm. Warm. Warm thoughts.
  • The Topic of Cancer: Mick and his mother and both terrified that the swollen testicle he has means he has cancer, and even though it turns out not to be in the end, the story as a Disease-Prevention Aesop about how important it is to deal with this issue early, even with it's embarrassing to do so.
  • Twice Shy: Both Rachael and Mick are awkward and shy around each other, despite their obvious attraction, prompting Siobhan to get into a Double Date with Tommy in order to help out her friend.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When the drunk Mick gets sick in the Wild Teen Party, he vomits all over the inside of Tommy's front door, though we don't see it.
  • Wild Teen Party: Tommy throws a party at his house in episode 3 when his dad's away. Mick, who fears he's dying of cancer, plans to use the opportunity to party hard and lose his virginity to Rachael.
  • Wrong Assumption:
    • Rachael thinks the bulge in Mick's pants means he has a giant dick but it's actually his swollen testicle.
    • Mick and his mother, both traumatized by the death of Mick's father, become convinced his swollen testicle is cancer, but it turns out to be a relatively harmless case of hydrocele.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Due to trauma about his father's slow death by motor neurone disease, Mick becomes convinced his swollen testicle means he's got cancer and he's going to die soon, which ends up with him acting more and more neurotic, which damages his social life. He ends up finding out its not cancer by the end and his friends ultimately forgive him for his neurotic behavior.