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Series / Phoenix Nights

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"Clubland will never die."

Phoenix Nights is a Brit Com starring Peter Kay. It revolves around the Phoenix Club, a run-down, scabby social club in Bolton. The owner is Brian Potter, a wheelchair-bound egomaniac currently on his third club (his first two closed down due to flooding and burning, respectively) but who is convinced that "Clubland will never die". Together with his hapless band of staff and regulars- most notably his long-suffering second-in-command Jerry St.Clair- Brian attempts to make the Phoenix Club the number one club in Bolton, despite rival club owner Den Perry, an extremely bad run of luck and their own ineptitude.

It later got a Spin-Off, Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere.

This series contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Ray Von accidentally suffocates the asthmatic Captain when his smoke machine malfunctions at a disco night.
  • Assassination Attempt: Paddy and Max are hired by a mysterious woman to murder her husband in exchange for £8000. They can't go through with it.
  • As Himself: TV presenter Roy Walker is the special guest for the club's opening.
  • Asian Airhead: The Chinese immigrants, Ant and Dec, don't seem that intelligent at the start of Series 2 (they try to stir-fry chips, for crying out loud!).
  • Baldness Angst: Paddy really doesn't like Max ribbing his apparently thin hair.
  • Bald of Evil: The Right Said Fred tribute act Right Said Frank are both bald, and initially they appear just to be harmless Trolls, but then Ray Von finds them breaking into cars in the car park and stealing their contents.
  • The Band Minus the Face: singing duo Park Drive. Minus Park, with Drive bravely attempting to perform duets solo. It doesn't end well.
  • Bar Brawl: In the 'Wild West night' episode, complete with all the traditional trappings.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Two men wander in off the street and steal the club's TV in broad daylight, and nobody stops them because they're wearing overalls and it's assumed that they're here to repair it.
  • Beast in the Building: Brian Potter is none too happy to find that Wild Bill, one of the entertainers at the Phoenix Club's Wild West night, has brought his horse Trigger into the cabaret suite (mainly because it leaves its droppings on the floor). He's even less happy when they leave the horse in the empty bar, and it goes behind the counter and gets drunk.
  • Berserk Button: Paddy throws Max through a window for suggesting he's going bald.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Keith Lard was acquitted from interfering with dogs. According to rumors, he re-offends.
  • Blatant Lies: Most of what Kenny Senior says. He even lies under oath in court.
  • Bottomless Magazines: “Where are they coming from⁉️ She only had four‼️”
  • The Bouncer: Max and Paddy are the not-very-good doormen.
  • Bowdlerise: In-universe. Brian Potter often tells people off for swearing (despite having a foul mouth himself) - once citing "there's a child's bike outside". This reaches peak Potter when he lists off a bunch of subjects that the alternative comedy acts are banned from, which is essentially a list of alternative comedy staples.
    "No filth, simple as. No smut. No swearing. No racism, right? No queer or lezzy stuff. Don't go there. It's a family club. The Queen's photo's there: As far as you are concerned, she may as well be here."
  • Bridal Carry: Seeing as Brian can't walk, he instead leads Beverly up the stairs by the hand, while he uses his stairlift.
  • British Brevity: Two series, with six half-hour episodes each.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jerry. It's not so bad at first, but in series 2 he takes the fall for pretty much all of Brian's antics.
  • Call-Back: Max's custom car alarm from the end of series 1 has been installed in his motorhome by the end of series 2.
  • Cassandra Truth: Hinted at. After mentioning he'd worked in Mexico, Keith Lard asks Kenny Senior (the consummate liar) what's the Mexican for "Let us out, we're burning! Aaah!". Kenny Senior then replies in fluent Spanish.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Max and Paddy casually discuss Paddy's funny hairstyle while beating up Right Said Frank.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Marion the barmaid disappears between series 1 and 2 without explanation to be replaced by Joyce.
  • Cigar Chomper: Den Perry loves his cigars. He even sets fire to the Phoenix with one.
  • Colbert Bump: Brian schemes to boost the profile of the club by allowing 'Crimetime' to feature the burning down of the club on its show. It's implied to have worked at the end of the episode, when a couple stop off to check out the club specifically because it was on TV.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Paddy is willing to kill someone for his paltry cut of £8000.
    • "A thousand pounds? I'll blow his 'ead off!"
  • Crappy Carnival: The 'family fun day' in episode 8, complete with a questionably shaped bouncy castle, a children's 'play area' (actually a Portaloo full of scaffolding and footballs scavenged from the roof) and face paint which is apparently permanent.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The consummate liar is put on the stand in court as a character witness. Unbelievably, not only does he get away with it, but the judge reduces Brian's sentence based on, among other things his "glittering boxing career".
  • Crossdresser: When the staff are forced to be the last-minute stars of the Talent Trek contest, they make costumes out of whatever they can get their hands on. As Kenny Senior appears on stage in a Britney Spears schoolgirl outfit, Spencer remarks that outfit "wasn't in the hamper".
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Max and Paddy, at least in the season one finale.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When Ray Von goes up against Right Said Frank upon finding them breaking into the customers' cars, the two big bald men overpower him and pin him against Max's car. Max and Paddy then flip this around by pinning the thieves to the road. They are trained bouncers, after all.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the cast, but primarily Brian and Jerry whenever they're interacting with one another.
  • Demoted to Extra: Young Mary, Holy Mary's daughter and Paddy's love interest in series one, played by Sian Gibson from Car Share, has a wordless cameo in series 2 episode 1.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Max and Paddy face a whole stag party of Football Hooligans who have dwarfism. They wipe the floor with the two bouncers once they get riled.
  • Destination Defenestration: Inverted. Paddy throws Max into the Phoenix Club through a window by shaking his ladder repeatedly until he falls off.
  • Disabled Snarker: Brian.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: BRIAN.
  • Dodgy Toupee: Frank Cartwright, owner of Le Ponderosa. When Brian meets him for the first time since his accident:
    Frank: "What happened to your legs?"
    Brian: "What happened to your head? You were bald last time I saw you!"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: After Brian talks of an upcoming night of passion with his beau, she's shown from a POV view bouncing up and down on top... of the edge of his new water bed.
    • Similarly, when Brian is talking excitedly on the phone, hands under the desk... turns out he's polishing his glasses while giving a visitor directions to the club.
  • Engineered Public Confession: How Den Perry gets his come-uppance at the end of the second season.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In their initial appearance in That Peter Kay Thing, Max and Paddy talk about security gigs and solider of fortune type antics. In episode one of Phoenix Nights, Max mentions serving in the Falklands and both are implied to have kids [Max describes a fight, Paddy 'That's why I don't go to parent's evenings']. None of this is mentioned again and Peter Kay mentions Creator Backlash to these early appearances on the DVD commentaries.
    • The mild mannered Jerry winding up the cowboys and instigating a fight in episode two could also count.
  • Escape Artist: One of the auditioning acts. It goes terribly.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: After setting fire to the Phoenix Club, Den Perry shows up to taunt Brian, "Will you pop inside, see if me jacket potato's done?"
    • And again in Series 2 Episode 2, when he finds Brian holding a funfair to reopen the club.
    Den Perry: A family fun day? In November? I thought you'd have preferred a bonfire, a bonfire, Brian. Oh, Wait!, I've forgot- you've already had one.
  • Evil Is Petty: Den Perry's perfectly happy to needle Brian's past mistakes made at the Phoenix Club.
    Den Perry: Killed many pensioners this week, Brian? If you like your folk music classy, with a touch of racism, Brian's your man.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Den Perry has a considerably deeper voice than Brian.
  • Eye Scream: The Captain had one of his eyes blown out by a German sniper in World War II. His friend behind him caught the eye, and the Captain remarked, "I thought you were supposed to be keeping an eye out for me!"
  • Fake Irish: In-Universe, Kenny Senior thinks Roy Walker's pretending to be Irish. He's not, and neither is Gerry Adams.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Involving feeding the ducks, being rude to rose sellers, paintball, and karaoke.
  • Fan Disservice: Jerry St. Clair's exposed arse, centre frame.
    • Also, Jerry drunk out of his mind and dressed in the outfit of one of his Free and Easy Night acts- a female one, at that! And then he falls over and starts urinating.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: In the first episode of season two, Brian rounds up his former employees. Jerry and Alan are singing salesmen at Asda, Les is a butcher, Ray Von works at a fairground, Kenny Senior is a lollipop man and Max and Paddy are bus drivers.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: In-series, Les only considers The Karate Kid (1984) to be canon. "Forget 2 and 3, they were crap."
  • Fat Bastard: Brian partially qualifies as this, on account of his Good Is Not Nice personality, but Den Perry even more so. Also Keith Lard.
  • Fat Idiot: Young Kenny's not always on the same wavelength as Brian.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Den Perry can be quite polite and friendly at times, but he always sours it by insulting and threatening Brian.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Crimetime is a homage to Crimewatch. The theme tune is a pastiche, and the presenter even says "don't have bad dreams" (instead of "don't have nightmares") at the end.
  • Football Hooligans: A stag party of Bolton football hooligans shows up outside the Phoenix and starts causing trouble with Max and Paddy. To make it funnier, they're all dwarfs.
  • Foreshadowing: Done quite well with the fire inspector's visit, which foreshadows the club being burned down at the end of series 1. It also explains why there were no smoke alarms when the club was set on fire.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Keith Lard, the bespectacled Obstructive Bureaucrat and dog interferer.
  • Friend to All Children: Les, whatever his flaws, knows how to relate to the young actors he works with.
  • Freezeframe Bonus: Beverly's return address includes her second name, which is a Shout-Out to a particular Eddie Murphy sequel.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Armchair Super Store.
  • Gag Penis: "Sammy the Snake", a Dutch bouncy castle with a massive inflatable willy(and matching testicles), which causes problems for Brian at the family fun day. Kenny Senior says that "It's almost as big as mine", but we all know he's not a reliable informant.
  • Get Out!: Brian's response to a Fat Bastard uni student heckling Jerry and going too far.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Everyone.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Paddy spies on the Ladies' Night to learn all about their kinky sexual interests, and eventually joins them as sexy dancer "Lord Love Rocket". Then he gets pinned to the wall and scratched up by the lust-crazed women, and only drives them off by farting.
  • Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: Max intends to reverse the box van, but actually drives forward into a wall.
  • Handsome Lech: Paddy.
  • The Heckler: Stu the Fat Bastard uni student to Jerry. Eventually, Jerry loses patience and fires back at him.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: 'Next!'
  • Honest John's Dealership: Eric's 'Games sans Frontiers', responsible for Sammy the Snake, a Das Boot fruit machine (responsible for a hilarious scene in which someone wins "Achtung! Das Jackpot!" complete with a synthesised chorus of Deutschland uber Alles... during the wake of the Captain, a World War II veteran) and a 6-foot Ker-plunk set among others.
  • Horsing Around: Trigger, Wild Bill's horse. After being put in one of the vacant suites, he goes behind the bar, gets drunk, and then starts trying to have sex with the bucking bronco.
  • Hypochondria: Jerry St Clair. He sometimes make things worse by taking a heap of pills and herbal supplements.
    Brian: "You're a bloody hypodermic Jerry!"
    Jerry: "A what?"
    Brian: "Well, y'are! Worried about this and worried about that. You wanna try walking a mile in my shoes."
  • Hypocritical Humor: Brian Potter repeatedly makes insulting comments about Den Perry's weight. Brian's pretty fat himself.
    • Also, he calls out Den Perry for bringing ringers to a pub quiz, but he's encouraging his own pub team to cheat. Of course, we then find out that he's not supporting his pub team in the first place.
  • I Banged Your Mom: Stu, the Fat Bastard uni student, when heckling Jerry.
    Stu: Hey, granddad, your jokes are as old as you!
    Jerry: So, what are you into?
    Stu: Your mother!
    Jerry: My mother's dead.
    Stu: Did she hear your act?
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Paddy and Max are practicing shooting for the night they're supposed to murder a woman's husband on a country wall with glass bottles set up on the wall by Max' brother. Max is already skirting the line by shooting the bottles as soon as his brother sets them up, but then Paddy accidentally shoots his brother in the leg.
  • The Illegal: The two Chinese men from the duty free shop in Calais literally stow away in Max and Paddy's van. They're put to work in the club's kitchens.
  • Immediate Sequel: Series 2 starts where series 1 finished... then has a small Time Skip.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Holy Mary, after popping some "Love Eggs" up herself before Ladies' Night, can't do more than a few minutes bartending before she falls over gasping and screaming "Sweet Jesus!" Makes sense, since she's a middle-aged woman who presumably has never had that much sex outside of begetting her two children, so naturally she's overwhelmed.
  • Implausible Deniability: Brian's showing his date his holiday video, when the fireworks display suddenly cuts to porn. He immediately launches into "It's Jerry's tape".
  • Implied Death Threat:
    Brian: You're making a big mistake, Denzel!
    Den Perry: The only mistake I made... was setting fire to this place... while you weren't inside.
    • And again with Max and Paddy and the unnamed woman who hired them to (unsuccessfully) murder her husband:
    Max: I've told you, love, killing him's not the answer!
    Mysterious Woman: Who said anything about killing him?
  • Incase You Forgot Who Wrote It: Channel 4 used to list this show as Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights.
  • Inflationary Dialogue: When the horse relieves itself all over the club's cork floor, Brian complains to Jerry that the floor cost 30 grand (£30,000). Talking to Wild Bill (the horse's handler), it's suddenly 40 grand. Talking to the police at the end, the floor's now worth 45 grand.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Not at all the case with Brian, whose struggles to get around and get things done aren't glossed over but who's rude, abrasive and only ever mentions his disability to get his way or derail an argument.
  • Instant Home Delivery: Armchair Super Store. Not quite instant, but the timeline of series 1 episode 3 suggests that people can order and receive goods from the shopping channel within hours.
  • Japanese Ranguage: The English cast of 'Karate Kid the Musical', and the Japanese Kamikaze Lager salespeople.
  • Jar Potty: Being paralyzed from the waist down, Brian uses a drinks bottle to save getting out of bed at night.
  • Jerkass: Brian himself, but compared with the bullying, swaggering, loutish Den Perry he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Jerkass Ball: Jerry, when they have a Wild West-themed night between two gunslinger teams, a Lancashire team and a Yorkshire team. He repeatedly insults the Yorkshire team and awards points to the Lancashire team, even when Yorkshire shoots first, until one of the Yorkshire gunslingers finally loses patience with him and punches him hard. In his defense, the Yorkshire-Lancashire teams are heavily prone to violently attacking one another anyway. That's why Den Perry got rid of them after just one night.
    • And again when he ends up drunk on stage at Free And Easy Night, he becomes unnaturally assertive and shouting towards both audience and Les and Alan.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Callous though he is in his attempts to get the Phoenix Club closed (setting fire to Les' bonsai tree just to prove it's flammable stands out), Keith Lard's suspicions about the club's fire safety regulations are confirmed in the Series 1 finale when Den Perry sets fire to the place with a dropped cigar in the bathroom.
  • Kick the Dog: Keith Lard setting fire to Les' bonsai tree.
    Les: This here's the bonsai, the rickle tree of rife. Focus on its wisdom, focus on its strength.
    Keith Lard(sets fire to bonsai with a lighter): Focus on the fact that it's highly flammable.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Max, and nowhere is this more clear than when he's on the same quiz team as Paddy and getting all the answers wrong.
  • Lack of Empathy: Brian to Jerry's problems, most of the time.
  • Large Ham: Brian Potter gets pretty loud when he's emphasizing his points to Jerry.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Perry burning the club down was genuinely evil, but to say that Brian brought it on himself is an understatement. He lied about Jerry being terminally ill to get sympathy points, and it was his corner-cutting when it came to health and safety which indirectly caused the mishap. Jerry more or less says all this word-for-word after the court case, which Brian assumed he’d get off with a slap on the wrist because of his disability.
  • Malaproper: Brian Potter frequently, e.g. "St. Paul on the road to Domestos".
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Parodied in a Crimetime robbery reenactment, where the robbers wear gigantic ugly masks(one of which is literally a rugby ball with a grinning face on it!). This is based off one of Peter Kay's stand-up jokes about Series/Crimewatch reenactments featuring criminals so ugly they don't look human.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Brian, especially when he gets around his newly-imposed ban on running the club by manipulating Jerry into doing it.
  • The Mole: Beverly was sent to investigate Brian Potter for possible fraudulent benefit claims... and falls for him, Becoming the Mask.
  • Mr. Fanservice: We get to see Paddy nude in a sarolium with his backside facing up, and later on, he poses as a sexy dancer in a thong for the Ladies' Night, that... doesn't go so well for him.
  • Never My Fault: When Brian has a powercut in the first episode, and Ray Von reveals that the club's using too many bulbs, Brian tells Jerry "I said we had too many bulbs!" Jerry, who knows that Brian specifically insisted on having countless bulbs, calls him out for it.
  • Nice Girl: Holy Mary, as you'd expect from someone with a name like that.
  • Not a Mask: Young Kenny gets face-painted as a tiger at the family fun day... the artist uses spray paint and a cardboard template. It doesn't come off. For the rest of the series, Kenny has to cover it with make-up.
  • Obfuscating Disability: It's implied that Brian is faking his disability in his dialogue in episode 3, after he and Jerry get pulled over by the police for speeding, and again later on by Clinton Baptiste's supposed clairvoyance. The next episode, it turns out his love interest Beverly is a DSS officer investigating the authenticity of his disability claim. Heavily implied in the first episode when he gets into his wheelchair from the mobility scooter between a camera switch, all confirmed at the end of That Peter Kay Thing episode "In the Club"
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat / Knight Templar Keith Lard.
  • Oh, Crap!: Den Perry in the last episode of season two when he realizes he's been manipulated into an Engineered Public Confession by Brian. He tries giving the audience his typical smug smirk, but it's looking very watery at that point.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Den Perry in an attempt to regain public favor after being unmasked as the arsonist of the Phoenix Club.
  • Once an Episode: In the first series, something gets stolen from the club in every episode.
    • Also, at the end of 10 of the episodes [not the final episode of either series] there's an audition by an appallingly bad or inappropriate act, which is dismissed with a loud 'Next!'. Only two who are successfully booked (both because they were So Bad, It's Good), and one auditionee shows up twice.
  • One-Steve Limit: Played with. Two club regulars are Kenny Senior and Young Kenny. They're not suggested to be related.
    • Also Holy Mary and her daughter Young Mary.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The woman who hires Max and Paddy to kill her husband is wearing a Ladies' Night sexual name badge reading "Fanny Tickler", so Max thinks that's her actual name(it was either that or "Brenda Blowjob").
  • Oop North: The show is set in Bolton, Lancashire.
    • Also, the leader of the Half A Shilling folk band is played by Tim Healy, from Newcastle, and Brian's brief Love Interest Beverly is from Warrington.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Attempted by Jerry at Brian's request, when the latter is trapped in his own home.
  • Overly Stereotypical Disguise: Max and Paddy dress as priests "bringing in alter wine" to smuggle booze through customs, complete with hat, gown and rosary beads. Meanwhile, some real priests are being arrested for something ahead of them, wearing dog collars, but otherwise in dark tops and blue jeans.
  • The Pawn: While Jerry is made the licensee, Brian is still very much in charge. Subverted when Jerry starts to use his position as a bartering chip.
  • Pedo Hunt: When the Phoenix Club is attracting customers with a bucking bronco, Jerry says "I've not seen them this excited since they printed that pedophile's address in t'paper."
  • Phony Psychic: Clinton Baptiste. Watch him fudge people's names and change his "messages" repeatedly.
    • Oddly, one of his wild suggestions is that Brian can walk... which was an abandoned plot line.
  • The Plan: The pub quiz which backfires when the prize of a year's supply of Japanese "Kamikaze" lager turns out to be non-alcoholic.
  • Playing Sick: Potter forces his compere to pretend that he's dying - it's the only way he could win the contract to host the talent contest. He even makes him wear a baseball cap, to 'look more ill'.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: Sort Of. Notice how the last 2 episodes of Series 2 feature Max & Paddy much more heavily than the rest of the series. Fast forward 2 years and the duo get their own Spin-Off in Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere which revolves around travelling in the motorhome Max buys at the end of Phoenix Nights.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Den Perry is suave, charming, and puts on a charming air unless he's interacting with Brian, which makes him a Villain with Good Publicity. Brian Potter, meanwhile, is a foul-mouthed, cantankerous, tight-fisted Opportunistic Bastard, who rarely bothers to soften his opinions of things he doesn't like.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Brian, and Max and Paddy, don't have a high opinion of travellers, like Ray Von.
  • Potty Failure: Brian is stuck in his stairlift overnight due to a power failure. When rescued, he tells a questioning Jerry to ignore the smell... it's made clear what the smell was later on.
    Brian: "Don't you think I'm traumatised enough with what I've been through?"
    Ray: "I heard about that. Are you all right? You must have shit yourself."
    Brian (to Jerry): "...Thank you, big mouth! Didn't take long, did it?"
  • Precision F-Strike: The F-word only comes up once in each series. In series 1, when Brian's on a date and a waiter asks him to buy a "flower for the lady" he replies "fuck off".note . In series 2, he says the same thing to an auditioning act.
  • Prison Rape:
    Den: "Ah, but what's your motivation?"
    Brian: "I've got plenty of motivation, fat boy. Seeing you in jail. Biting a pillow on D Wing."
  • Punny Name: A lot of the acts, and Ray Von (R-r-r-rave on!)
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The start of the second series, after the Phoenix Club is burned down.
  • Raging Stiffie: Exaggerated with Sammy the Snake.
  • Rapid Hair Growth: Fed up of all the 'going bald' jabs, Paddy tries some "spray-on hair" from the shopping channel. He gains jheri curls in seconds.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Den Perry offering to star in a Crimetime recreation of the Phoenix Club fire, when he's the one who set fire to it in the first place.
  • Rigged Contest: The "Phoenix Corral" quick-draw contest: Even when Lancashire fires a full second after (neighboring) Yorkshire, Lancashire is declared the winner.note 
  • Roguish Romani: Ray Von is a carnival gypsy who Brian hires as his new DJ after he fixes the Phoenix's powercut. Afterwards, he finds out that Ray "fixed" the power by connecting it to a lamp post, so when Max accidentally pulls the cord, the power goes off again. Additionally, Les and Alan tell Brian that Ray killed his former girlfriend Tracey Burns and left her head in a wheely bin. That and Ray's apparent Nightmare Fetishist interest in murderous things(such as Hannibal Lecter) make Brian deeply suspicious of Ray, until he finds out that Tracey is in fact still alive, and those rumors of murder were just that, rumors, because Les and Alan were trolling him.
    • Also, Ray's friends, The Gypsy Kings, one of whom serves as a face painter at the family fun day, and ends up applying tiger-themed face paint that never comes off. The rest of them compete in the pub quiz for a year's supply of Kamikaze lager, and end up winning, though they're never confirmed to have cheated. No wonder Brian backed them instead of the inept Team Phoenix.
  • Running Gag: Bob Carolgees, continued from That Peter Kay Thing.
  • The Scrooge: Brian Potter. He loves to cut corners at every turn to save a bit of money, and wring as much money out of customers as possible.
    • When pitching the Crappy Carnival for the charity fun day, he says "Whatever you'd normally charge, double it. Today's about money." (Jerry replies, "I thought this was about raising the club's profile?")
    • He also sells "memorabilia" from when the club burnt down... not only items like the burnt ashtrays cost £4 each, they're being freshly 'cooked' in the back yard.
    • The club has a colour photocopy of a fire safety certificate. Their crooked inspector is fired, leading to Keith Lard.
    • Even the jukebox in Brian's front room still needs money inserting to play. He asks his girlfriend for change.
    • Potter's excuse is that his insurance premiums are through the roof, due to the Phoenix being his third club (and this is before it burnt down at the end of series 1). Although since Jerry took over as licensee, the premiums should be more reasonable.
    • All the staff conspire to keep the expensive stage lights that belonged to the Crimetime production crew.
      • The staff also try to use a crime reconstruction programme as free advertising for the club.
    "Thank you, that is a lovely, silky-smooth pint."
    "Here is your change, madam."
    "Oh, no, that's too much [change]!"
  • Seinfeldian Conversation Max and Paddy fill most of their nights with inane but hilarious ramblings about 'classic' films.
  • Self-Deprecation: When Den Perry pretends to be Jerry in order to cancel the Stars In Your Eyes night, he "agrees" with the man on the phone that Den Perry is a Fat Bastard.
  • Sequel Hook: When the club catches on fire at the end of series 1.
  • Serious Business: Talent Trek, and the quiz night.
  • Shared Universe: Set in the same universe as Coronation Street, if the floral tribute to Alan Bradley on the Promenade at Blackpool is anything to go by.
    • As long as you ignore Ray Von's girlfriend and Shelly Unwin being played by the same person, although Peter Kay plays three visiblenote  roles in Phoenix Nights and had two in Coronation Street so it works out in a way.
  • Shout-Out: Series 2 has a few shout outs to Peter Kay's own stand-up material.
    • "Garlic Bread?"
    • Max and Paddy are delighted to find 'Les Cadbury's Fingres' in France.
    • The robbers on Crimetime reconstructions using family-friendly language and hilariously ugly masks.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Paddy talking about personal hygiene:
    Paddy: "Prostitutes are rough in Amsterdam. One made me wash my old man in't sink."
    Max: " took your dad?!"
  • Silver Fox: Jerry St. Clair is played by attractive older man Dave Spikey.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Den Perry, as the owner of rival club Banana Grove. Though he becomes much more than this when he burns down the Phoenix Club at the end of the first series.
  • Smug Snake: Den Perry, all the time.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Brian and Jerry, whenever they grate on one another.
    Jerry: If you must know, Brian, these tablets are for stress.
    Brian: Stress? What do you know about stress? You want to try and walk a mile in my shoes, son.
    Jerry: Yeah, well, so do you.
    Brian: Ooh, that were a low blow, Jerry.
    Jerry: Well, you wouldn't have felt it, then, would you?
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny: After sitting through the alternative comedy, Jerry's barrage of corny jokes go down a storm with the audience.
  • Song Parody: Jerry's job as supermarket promoter involves a couple of these. 'Men in Black' becomes 'black bin bags', and 'Call Me' turns into 'corned beef'.
  • Spin-Off: This is a spin-off of That Peter Kay Thing, and got its own spin-off/sequel later on.
  • Stage Names: It's Jerry "The Saint" St Clair for his prestigious position of Phoenix Club compere. Otherwise, he's Mr Jerry Dignan.
    Alternative Comedian: "Who's The Saint?"
    Brian: "Him, out there, trying to sing. Watch and learn, he's forgotten more than you lot know."
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: 'The Whole Of The Moon' plays on the radio while Jerry lies on the table for his colonscopy... with his backside on full display through his backless medical gown.
  • Take That!: For the Stars In Your Eyes night, Spencer goes on stage as Gary Glitter, and after failing to get the audience to sing along with him, he loses his balance in his clumsy platform boots and falls off the stage, hurting himself. At that point, everyone stands up and cheers.
  • Tall Tale: Kenny Senior is a pathological liar. The majority of the anecdotes he tells are so ridiculous - Sleeping with Bonnie Langford, collecting paint cans from Jackie Chan, being friendly with the SAS - that nobody believes a word he says.
  • That Liar Lies: Kenny Senior isn't called out often, but at one point Potter runs out of patience.
    Kenny: "I'm very friendly with the SAS."
    Brian: "But you see, you're not, Kenny!"
  • To the Tune of...: In the first episode of season two, Brian finds Jerry working as a singing salesman at Asda, singing songs such as "Black Binbags" to "Forget Me Nots" by Patrice Rushen and "Corned Beef" to "Call Me" by Petula Clark.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Keith Lard, if you want to be seen as a professional fire safety instructor, don't keep having sex with dogs in the backs of cars. It'll give a desperate nightclub manager content to extort you with.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: It's heavily implied that Paddy's perversion has rubbed off on the younger Chinese immigrant when he and his friend replace Max and Paddy as bouncers in the finale.
  • Tranquil Fury: Brian when he sees Trigger the horse on stage.
    Brian: There is a horse in my cabaret suite.
    Young Kenny: Oh! Is it real?
    Brian: (noticing the massive mound of poo the horse has left on his cork floor) Oh, it's real, my friend! It's real, you'd better believe it!
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Brian acts like this towards Jerry, a lot.
  • Unperson: Marion vanishes before the end of series one, and come series two she's been replaced by Joyce and the rest of the cast act like she was always there. To hammer this trope home even more, Brian is shown holding a framed version of the page image where Joyce's face has been photoshopped over Marion's. Basically, for whatever reason, Marion never existed as far as series two is concerned.
  • Villain in a White Suit: Den Perry.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Den Perry, when confronted with the fact that the public knows he's the one who set fire to the Phoenix Club, is left helplessly trying to maintain his "Oh, Crap!" Smile, and eventually is reduced to tears as the police escort him onto the van.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Beverly claims that she really did grow to care for Brian after being sent to investigate him. Brian turns her away.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Gavin "The Captain" Gladstone, an elderly bouncer introduced in the premiere, dies in the following episode after Ray Von's smoke machine malfunctions and sets off a lethal asthma attack.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happened to the mysterious woman who hired Max and Paddy to kill her husband in the sequel series.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Kenny Senior makes a surprisingly attractive Britney Spears cosplayer, if a talent agent's response is anything to go by.
    Kenny Senior: Does he (the talent agent) want to book me?
    Brian: Well, it sounded like "book". Cross your legs, you little slut.
  • Woken Up at an Ungodly Hour: Brian Potter is woken up at "'alf three in the pissin' mornin'!" by his bouncers Max and Paddy prank-calling him to tell him that his nightclub, the Phoenix, has burnt down, and his compere Jerry was caught in the blaze. Brian is initially distraught at the idea that Jerry was killed, but as soon as Max asks him whether Jerry had false teeth (at which point he and Paddy can't keep themselves from laughing anymore), a furious Brian realizes they've pranked him and hangs up. Just seconds later, he's woken up again by another caller: this time, it's the police, telling him that someone's broken into his club and stolen a TV. Brian, however, just thinks this is another prank call and openly insults the police, farts down the phone at them, and tries to go back to sleep. Minutes later, he's outside the club, apologizing to the police for not believing them.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Attractions are often poorly matched to their audience, such as Ray Von's blasting hardcore dance music at a roomful of pensioners.
  • You Have Failed Me: The mysterious woman decides to hire a bunch of professional hitmen to kill Max and Paddy after they fail to kill her husband, forcing them to leave the Phoenix Club behind.
  • Younger Than They Look: Jerry gets out of a speeding ticket by claiming that Brian is his Dad. Despite both looking around the same age (and both having grey hair), the policemen doesn't bat an eyelid. In real life, Dave Spikey is older than Peter Kay.
  • Zerg Rush: Max and Paddy vs. all-dwarfism Football Hooligans stag party.