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Series / PhoneShop

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PhoneShop is a British sitcom first broadcast on Channel 4 as part of the channel's 2009 Comedy Showcase season of comedy pilots. This was followed by a six-episode series on E4 that started on 7 October 2010.

The show is set in a mobile phone shop, filmed in Sutton, London and follows a graduate called Christopher (played by Tom Bennett) during a one-day trial and his subsequent employment. PhoneShop is created and written by Phil Bowker, comedy editor at the production company behind the show, TalkBack Thames. It was script edited by Ricky Gervais. The programme had been commissioned as a full series on digital channel E4 before the pilot was broadcast.


Tropes present in this series include;

  • Ambulance Cut: After the "meet & greet" guy goes out to beat up the Sax Man. Combined with a Gilligan Cut, since it turns out that Sax Man won the fight.
  • Ax-Crazy: Little Gary Patel
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: In one episode, Christopher has to don the mascot costume to drum up sales.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Amanda ultimately turns out to be the both of the Psycho Ex Girlfriends the guys had mentioned earlier in the episode - she just keeps changing her name.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Janine spends most of her time as an Extreme Doormat, but is quietly extremely ambitious, and pulls out the occasional Let's Get Dangerous! moment.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: "Now we know why man's called 'Lance'..."
  • Binge Montage: Showing the effects of Klatchian Coffee, with flashes of Caffeine Bullet Time, and people drinking espresso like tequila slammers.
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  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Christopher pulls the classic sitcom asking-your-mates-for-dating-advice error, which goes predictably badly. Subverted when it turns out that by their own admission, that strategy doesn't work on girls from a particular "aspirational demographic" ... and he didn't tell them she works in Waterstones.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Don doesn't like people imitating his Scottish accent, and Jez doesn't like people doing an Irish accent. The latter mostly because he's actually Welsh.
  • Call-Back:
    • "What did I tell you about running?"
    • "A hour?" "A hour."
  • Chekhov's Gun: The one-touch voice recorder on Christopher's phone.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: After a teenager tries and fails to rob the shop, Jerwayne strips him to his underwear and puts him in the cage in the back room. Apparently, Little Gary used to do this a lot.
  • Country Matters/Curse Cut Short: Almost once an episode, someone gets called a "cunnnn-"
  • Cringe Comedy: has its moments.
  • Discriminate and Switch: Janine isn't eligible for Salesman of the Month. It's not because she's a woman — it's because she sells Pay As You Go.
    • The company's come a long way since 2008.
  • Facecam: Christopher' coffee-fuelled Freak Out.
  • Fish out of Water: Christopher, when he starts working for the Phone Shop Group.
  • The Ghost: Little Gary Patel, salesman extraordinaire, is unseen because he's in prison — although we do see a picture of him in the Shrine to the Fallen on the break room wall.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Super Sales Wednesday, fuelled by Klatchian Coffee.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Christopher makes a Rousing Speech entreating the other salespeople to stop using underhanded lies and confidence tricks to make sales ... at the end of which, a little old lady comes along and congratulates him, saying he'll make a fine human rights lawyer once he finishes his exams.
  • Klatchian Coffee: As consumed to gee everyone up for Super Sales Wednesday.
    Jerwayne: "What we're working with is under-the-counter quad-shot ristretto. This shit here? Banned in Milan. It killed a priest"
  • The Napoleon: "Little" Gary Patel, Ax-Crazy super-salesman.
  • New Man: Christopher, or "New Man" as he is called by Ashley and Jerwayne.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That - "Not being gay myself but simultaneously not having a problem with the lifestyle choices of others..."
  • Only Sane Man: Poor, poor Christopher.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Lance, literally so.
  • Shown Their Work: The way that Jerwayne and Ashley speak is accurate, up-to-date London street slang.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: To Little Gary, although he's not dead — just in prison.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Pretty much every character has one, mostly competitors whose business rivalry has been inflated in their heads into a blood feud. The shop as a whole has the Croydon Branch.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Lance's bike shorts certainly have an effect on Shelley.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Is this about the hoax call earlier? B-because there wasn't one and it wasn't me"
  • Take a Third Option: When the staff need to buckle down and get things done, they get a ludicrous amount of extra-strong coffee. Christopher asks how they could afford it all, and Ashley explains about the loyalty cards in coffee shops, which get ink-stamped eight times before you get a free coffee. Christopher assumes they just have a load of loyalty cards saved up, but Ashley explains the secret — they've got the stamp.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Janine gets drunk with Shelley.
  • You Didn't Ask: Lance to his wife, on his ... revealing bike shorts.


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