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Series / Please Like Me

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Please Like Me is an Australian television comedy-drama series airing on the ABC starring comedian Josh Thomas. The series revolves around Josh, a university student and his coming to terms with his sexuality, and the seemingly impossible search for love.

The first season began airing in Australia on ABC2 on 28 February 2013.

In July 2013, it was announced that the series would air in the United States as part of the launch programming of Pivot, a new digital cable and satellite television channel. On that same month they announced they had picked up the show for a second season. Season 2 premiered in the US on the 9th of August and on the 12th in Australia.

In July 2014, Pivot announced they had picked up the show for a third season.

In July 2016, it was announced that the show had been picked up for a fourth season.

In January 2017, Josh Thomas announced on his twitter that Season 4 was the last.

Tropes used in this series include:

  • Abortion Fallout Drama: Not only does Claire undergo an abortion, it receives almost an entire episode dedicated to showing her going through the process, dealing with her conflicted feelings about it and discussing them with Josh. All in all, it's an incredibly sensitive portrayal that doesn't diminish how significant a moment it is in her life, while never passing judgement on her for her choice.
  • Adoption Diss: Josh does this once to Arnold, jokingly. Arnold doesn't mind, though everyone else around them thinks Josh went too far.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: In Season 1, Geoffrey’s affections for Josh are mostly unrequited. In Season 2, Josh’s affections for Patrick are unrequited, despite some hinting at the opposite.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Twice, in ‘Portuguese Custard Tarts’:
    • When Alan first meets Geoffrey and learns he’s Josh’s boyfriend, he talks about using protection and HIV rates among gay men. Geoffrey cooperates and makes everything even worse.
    • When Rose meets him, she’s surprised Geoffrey is dating someone that less attractive.
    • In 'Skinny Latte' when Rose and Alan fight in front of Mae, Hannah, Josh, Arnold and Arnold's therapist.
  • Amicable Exes:
    • Josh and Claire break up at the beginning of the first episode and remain friends, much to Josh’s surprise. Josh and Geoffrey become this by the end of series 1, but later drift apart.
    • In ‘Truffled Mac and Cheese’, Claire tells Tom she was aiming for this relationship with him after they broke up, which is why she moved to Germany, while he was actually hoping to get back together with her.
  • Asian Hooker Stereotype: Alan gets angry when Rod implies that Mae (who is Thai) is just with him for his money. In fact, she speaks six languages and is quite successful in her own right.
    Rod: Hey, I’ve been to Thailand. They go, don’t they? You’re a lucky man. I was thinking of bringing a bar girl home myself, but I thought, no, people would judge.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Josh’s father and his girlfriend Mae. She constantly berates him, and apparently he’s quite snappy towards her offscreen, but in 'Horrible Sandwiches,' he is willing to fight Rod for insulting her.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Stuart, the man Rose sleeps with in the hospital reveals that he’s married, but that his wife is ‘a bitch’. When she comes to visit him, it turns out to be true.
  • Australian Brevity: The first and fourth series have 6 episodes, the second and third all of 10.
  • The Baby Trap: Niamh announces she’s pregnant shortly after having a fight with Tom. This causes him to become invested in their relationship and their future child... until it turns out she isn’t pregnant, having just gotten her period late and made a wild assumption. Claire calls her out on manipulating Tom, and he finally breaks up with her for good.
  • Bad Date:
    • Rose and Rod have a date at a buffet and Rod insists on one of them always staying by the table to watch their things while the other one gets food. They end up not eating together or even talking through the dinner.
    • Josh and Arnold's first date has to be chaperoned by Tom, because Arnold's therapist doesn't think he should be alone with Josh. Josh plans on taking them to a restaurant that specializes in a bunch of different meats, only to be reminded at the last second Arnold is a vegetarian. Josh hits a possum with his car, and it isn't dead but it isn't intact enough to be taken to a vet, so Josh has to run it over multiple times to kill it. After that, Arnold just wants to go home.
    • On Josh and Arnold's second date, they run into Patrick, who's high and needs them to babysit him. Patrick kisses Josh, causing Arnold to have a panic attack. At the end of the date, Arnold checks himself back into a mental hospital.
    • Josh goes on a date with a guy and drives him away before the food even reaches the table by relentlessly mocking his belief in reiki.
    • After his break-up with Arnold in Season 4, Josh has a string of these, involving amongst others a podiatrist who is addicted to crystal meth and an Indigenous Australian who he keeps making unintentional racist remarks to. Surprisingly, he ends up having sex with all of them, but ends up with a hickey (just before a date with Arnold) and has to do a HIV test after his condom breaks.
  • Better as Friends: Josh and Claire. Averted with Josh and Geoffrey, who drift apart after their break-up. Tom and Claire fall somewhere in between the two extremes, as explained in series 2.
  • Birthday Episode: Four times:
    • 'Horrible Sandwiches' takes place on Josh's 21st birthday.
    • 'Ham' takes place during Patrick's birthday party.
    • 'Croquembouche' takes place during Arnold's birthday party.
    • 'Porridge' takes place during Hannah's birthday party.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Niamh. Jenny seems to be a borderline case, arguably triggered by Tom’s behaviour and/or the grief from Gavin’s death.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The season finales:
    • Season 1: Rose attempts suicide again, Geoffrey and Josh have broken up and Aunt Peg is dead, but Josh is there for Rose, Rose decided to cling to her will to live, Aunt Peg managed to reconcile with Josh and Rose before her death, Josh and Geoffrey are happy to just be friends and Rose and Mae have become friends.
    • Season 2: Josh and Arnold's date is ruined by a very drunk and high Patrick, which culminates in Arnold having another anxiety attack and checking himself back into the hospital. Mae rejects Alan's marriage proposal, and Tom is so desperate that he almost has sex with a prostitute. On the other hand, Rose and Hannah decide to check out of the hospital to start their lives anew, and Josh accepts that - for the moment - he and Arnold can just be friends and shows up at the hospital to support him.
    • Season 3: Subverted, tensions escalate over Christmas lunch, which leads to Arnold having another anxiety attack, declining Josh's offer to move in with him and leaving to spend Christmas with his own family. After delivering an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech to his friends and family, the episode ultimately ends with Josh eating the trifle in the park, alone.
    • Season 4: Rose committed suicide and her house is sold. Josh buys a nice apartment with the inheritance (although it has noisy neighbours). Hannah finds some peace with an old flame, Alan learns to grieve Rose but his relationship with Mae is better than ever and Grace is growing to be a beautiful girl. Ella breaks up with Tom just when they are finally moving in together. This leads to Josh and Tom living together again, both single, like they were at the beginning of the show.
  • Book Ends:
    • Rose’s suicide attempts in the first and last episodes of the first series.
    • In the Season 2 premiere, Josh goes clubbing and getting rejected by Patrick. In the Season 2 finale, he goes clubbing and rejects Patrick.
    • In the series finale Tom and Josh are both single and living together again at Josh's new apartment.
    • The series as a whole starts and ends with Rose's suicide attempt and then her completed suicide.
  • Bottle Episode: ‘Scroggin’, in a sense—Josh and Rose are hiking and are the only ones who have speaking parts.
  • Brainless Beauty: Geoffrey.
  • Brick Joke: Josh’s Auntie Peg asks out of the blue in ‘French Toast’ how big his testicles are, due to having read a study about people born with an extra chromosome having underdeveloped testicles, and that would explain his less-than-masculine characteristics. This is brought up again at the very end of the episode whilst Josh is making out with Geoffrey, when he asks him if he thinks his testicles are too small.
  • Bumbling Dad: Alan is a downplayed version: while he's clearly successful enough to afford a luxurious lifestyle while supporting Josh financially at the same time (until his early retirement), he’s fairly clueless and awkward in most social situations.
  • Camp Gay: Josh is a borderline case, in that his only real camp characteristic is that he can be a bit effeminate and wimpy. In ‘Portuguese Custard Tarts’, Alan is worried that he might have caused him to turn gay because he didn’t snip these behaviors in the bud.
    • Arnold, like Josh, is also somewhat effeminate (he's soft-spoken, dresses quite fashionably and is often seen wearing a large "manbag"). It is worth noting that when he's in the mental hospital he dresses far more casually - so the way he dresses could be related to his insecurities. He also used to be a choir singer, which is considered to be very camp by his dad.
    • Notably averted with Geoffrey, Patrick, Ben and several other gay characters.
  • The Cast Show Off: Keegan Joyce (Arnold) has a degree in Musicology and gets to show off his singing abilities on several occasions, most notably in 'Simple Carbohydrates'.
  • Childhood Friends: Josh and Tom have been friends since they were ten.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Niamh.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ella.
  • Comic Role Play: Alan helps Arnold practice coming out to his dad by role-playing the scenario with him.
  • Coming of Age Story
  • Coming-Out Story:
    • The first series is one for Josh. Series 3 moreso for Arnold.
    • Parodied. Josh orchestrates a role play of Arnold coming out to his dad, which involves Arnold singing while Alan pretends to be the disappointed dad who's so moved by his son's performance that he gradually comes around and accepts him.
  • Common Hollywood Sex Traits: Josh is clueless about gay relationships, and equates ‘gay sex’ with ‘anal sex’ before Geoffrey informs him that there are other options.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Geoffrey and Claire aren’t part of the main cast after Season 1, but Geoffrey returns for a guest role in Seasons 2 and 4, and Claire returns for several episodes in Seasons 2 and 4, and most of Season 3.
  • Cooldown Hug: Subverted. In the Season 2 finale, Josh wants to give Arnold one of those when he’s having a panic attack, but Arnold tells him to just stay away and say nothing until it’s over.
  • Couch Gag: The title sequence for episodes 2 to 6 of the first season features Josh (or, in the first series finale, his mum) preparing the food named in the episode title. This was abandoned in the second season, although it returns in ‘Truffled Mac and Cheese’.
  • Country Matters: Rose calls Josh for help because she is trying to write 'the c-word' on Stuart's lawn, but she only got as far as 'cun' before running out of paint. Josh pretends not to know what word she means in an attempt to get her to say it.
  • Cringe Comedy: Mostly has to do with Josh.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mae, on occasion. A good example from ‘Portuguese Custard Tarts’:
    Mae: Oh, excuse me. I am velly solly, sir, for speaking out of turn, sir. I was momentarily distracted by my uterus and I forgot my manners. (Giggles in mock modesty)
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Claire's quiet ‘but you’re so pretty’, to Geoffrey.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Oh boy. Pretty much everybody.
    • Josh, Tom, and Claire all have some serious co-dependency, self-esteem, and relationship issues.
    • Alan has trouble moving on after Rose and maintaining his relationship with Mae.
    • Ella is a textbook definition of a Cloudcuckoolander, gets anxious while alone (even for short periods) and is terribly insecure about herself and her relationships.
    • Rose, Hannah, Arnold and Ginger are mentally ill, and spend large parts of the series at a mental hospital.
    • Geoffrey’s father is an alcoholic who dies in Season 2.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Rose attempts suicide more or less spontaneously at the very start of the series, although she survives. She has another attempt at the end of the first series, but changes her mind and survives again.
    • Ginger, successfully, in the middle of the second series.
    • Rose attempts suicide again during the fourth series, and succeeds this time. It's implied this attempt was not spontaneous like the first two, as she is seen holding a note for Josh.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Auntie Peg.
  • Drugs Are Good: On a camping trip Rose talks Josh into smoking marijuana with her, and despite the potential problems Josh points out (like how it might mix badly with Rose's medications, and they might eat all their food,) nothing bad actually happens and Rose has a good time.
    • Averted twice: In 'Margherita' Patrick walks in the ocean naked at night while high and could quite possibly have drowned if Josh didn't save him. In 'Natural Spring Water' Josh, Tom and Arnold take MDMA. While Josh and Arnold are just very affectionate towards each other and don't experience any negative effects, they all get overconfident which leads to Tom breaking his arm.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe example. Josh and his friends are playing beer pong with some guests at Patrick’s birthday party. Josh and Arnold tease each other, and after Arnold mentions Josh’s mentally ill mother, Josh calls Arnold an ‘orphan’ for being adopted, and everyone, especially Arnold’s non-adopted brother, find it distasteful, the only exception being Arnold himself.
  • The Eeyore: Hannah is thoroughly depressed, and is "tenderising" herself (ie. beating herself with blunt objects, especially her feet) when she is not on pills.
  • Embarrassing Cover Up: When Tom gets chlamydia and doesn't want to admit it to his girlfriend Ella, Josh helps by claiming to have worms and telling his friends they probably have them too, so they can give Ella amoxicillin while telling her it's medicine for worms.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: When Arnold was young his dad told him to quit choir, warning otherwise Arnold's peers would think he was gay and beat him up.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Geoffrey outs Josh to his dad, Peg outs Josh to his mom (and later Peg's whole church). Both outings are treated as a nonissue, as Josh doesn't really seem to mind.
  • Foreshadowing: From ‘Ham’:
    Ginger: If I was trying to kill myself, I’d be dead.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Niamh. She only hangs out with the group because she's Tom's girlfriend, and that's only because Tom is too afraid to break up with her. Josh and Claire openly despise her and even Geoffrey rejects her attempts at friendship. After Tom and Niamh break up, she shows up at Peg's wake, but is bluntly told by Rose that it's really not appropriate for her to be there, and is asked to leave.
  • Friends with Benefits: Niamh and Tom in Season 2.
  • The Fundamentalist: Auntie Peg is a subversion; originally portrayed as homophobic due to her fierce adherence to religion, she warms up to Rose and Josh and delivers a speech re-affirming her dedication to Josh despite his homosexuality. In the season finale, Josh reads at the funeral the note she left behind, which says she was actually going to church mostly out of inertia after a while.
  • Gold Digger: In the first season finale, Rod implies Mae is this, prompting a very angry reaction from Alan. In ‘Skinny Latte’, Rose implies Mae is this when she steps in to break an argument between her and Alan, but quickly takes it back when confronted and says she said it out of frustration with Alan.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: Ginger leaves a brief note for Rose, who is hesitant to read it. Josh reveals that he wrote one too when he was 19, but he can’t recall what it said. Rose didn’t write any because her two attempts were spontaneous. At the end of the episode, they read Ginger’s note and burn it to move on.
    Rose, you fat bitch,
    Thanks for keeping me company.
    Take care of yourself.
    • Rose leaves a note for Josh when she successfully attempts suicide for the third time. It's never revealed what's in it though, since Season 4 was the last for the show.
  • Gossipy Hens: Rose thinks (correctly) that Ginger is this and tries to avoid telling her she slept with a married man (without knowing he was married) in the hospital. Ginger overhears her anyway, but doesn’t tell anyone.
  • Hates Being Alone: Ella. She accompanies Tom to the dentist even though it makes her anxious, saying "You know I can't be by myself."
  • Hates Being Touched: Arnold, particularly during anxiety attacks.
    Josh: No, you can't touch him while he's freaking out!
    Tom: Can't touch him when he's relaxed, can't touch him when he's freaking out. When can I touch him?
  • I Am Not Pretty: The first episode starts with a monologue where Josh laments his "rubbish face," which is a recurring worry for him. His body issues reach an all-time low when Patrick rejects him on the basis of not finding him sexually attractive.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Josh openly wonders why a guy as handsome as Geoffrey would be interested in him.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the episodes are named after food: ‘Rhubarb and Custard’, ‘French Toast’, ‘Portuguese Custard Tarts’, ‘All You Can Eat’, ‘Spanish Eggs’, ‘Horrible Sandwiches’, etc.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Josh was like this with Geoffrey and Patrick. Less so with Arnold, who is himself Josh's Insecure Love Interest. It goes full circle in Season 4 when Josh goes back to the insecure love interest role when the guy they invited for their threesome is clearly more interested in Arnold than in Josh, and Arnold pretty much forgets about Josh's existence.
  • Insult Backfire: This exchange between Tom and Josh in 'All You Can Eat:'
    Josh: You just spent 20 minutes Photoshopping a picture of me sucking your penis and it's supposed to make me look weird? Tom, I'm gay. You know, I quite like sucking penis. You hitting on me?
    Tom: No, I'm not hitting on you.
    Josh: Tom, I'm not going to suck your penis.
    Tom: I don't want you to suck my penis! It was just...I just...
    Josh: You just did not think this through.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Alan with Geoffrey and Tom. Rose and Hannah. Josh and Mae.
  • In Vino Veritas:
    • In ‘Milk’, Rose inverts this when she's off her meds by telling a lot of embarrassing truths to everyone, including her expressed surprise at Niamh still being a part of the group (‘I admire your tenacity!’) and that Josh has a crush on Patrick.
    • In ‘Sausage Sizzle’, Claire gets drunk at Jenny’s play and tells her that they saw her menstrual pad’s wings during the play when they meet up after.
    • In 'Eggplant', Arnold tells Josh he loves him for the first time while drunk. Overall, Arnold is more honest when drunk, lampshading how his feelings for Josh are deteriorating regularly during Season 4, and his issues with him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Josh can be really snarky, if not outright mean to people, for petty reasons, including his close friends. Still, he cares about them and about his family, although he has trouble showing it.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Geoffrey.
  • Lost Food Grievance:
    • Tom eats some truffled macaroni and cheese he finds in the fridge, not knowing it has sentimental significance to Josh. Josh gets revenge by barricading Tom in his room and turning off the wifi.
    • The whole main cast, aside from Josh and Hannah, get seriously upset with Arnold when he accidentally spills all the gravy that was meant for their Christmas lunch. They berate Arnold until his anxiety overwhelms him and he has to leave.
  • Love Confession:
    • Geoffrey confesses his love to Josh very soon after meeting him. Josh half-heartedly reciprocates the confession out of obligation.
    • Arnold shows up drunk in the middle of the night, after disappearing for eight days without explanation, and confesses his love to Josh, who pretends to be asleep. Josh later decides he's ready to reciprocate, only for Arnold to say he's not ready to say it back. Josh tries to call him out on his earlier confession, but Arnold either doesn't remember or pretends not to. Later Arnold apologizes and tells Josh he loves him with placards in an homage to Love Actually.
  • Love Triangle: There was a brief one between Niamh, Tom and Claire. Later in the show there is one between Ella, Tom and Claire.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A lot of naked men in the show. In series one, Geoffery is nearly naked in almost every scene. Josh could also be considered Mr. Fanservice, as could Tom.
  • Meat Versus Veggies: In ‘Skinny Latte’, Josh wants to take Arnold and Tom out to a Portuguese place that offers all-you-can-eat meat and seafood, only to be reminded that Arnold’s a vegetarian.
    • When Arnold accidentally spills the gravy at Christmas, Mae thinks he did it on purpose because he's a vegetarian.
  • Men Don't Cry: Discussed.
    Arnold: Do you know that up until the age of nine or ten, boys cry the same amount as girls? And then society teaches them not to cry. We're taught not to cry. You don't have to be resilient. It's OK to break.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Averted. Rose, as well as the rest of the mental patients at the hospital she stays in Season 2, are portrayed very sympathetically.
  • Mid-Life Crisis Car: Alan buys one, despite Mae and Josh mocking him for it.
  • Mistaken for Racist: When Rose hears Alan’s new girlfriend is from Thailand and came to Australia for him, she jokes that she must have poor eyesight. Josh’s father reprimands her, thinking she was making a racist joke about Asians’ eyes, but she was actually implying that he was ugly as a jab at him. (Although she does act like somewhat of an Innocent Bigot when she meets her.)
  • Mood Whiplash: Twice, fairly quickly, in ‘Ham’. When the last chocolate is left from the box Josh brought to the hospital, he, Rose, Ginger, and Hannah compete for the saddest virginity loss story, à la Notting Hill, the prize being the last chocolate. They all tell hilariously embarrassing stories, and when they get to Hannah, she tells them she was raped. They all feel very awkward about it, but she says it’s fine, because she just knew she would get the last chocolate all along. Ginger protests and says she was raped too, but didn’t know it counted, and after a short argument she just grabs the chocolate and eats it, and Hannah tells Josh he owes her a chocolate.
  • Motor Mouth: Rose in Season 2, after going off her meds.
  • NEET: Josh is essentially this, continuing his studies indefinitely while changing his courses frequently, never getting around to graduate. His father finally sets him straight and tells him to go get a job when he wants to retire to be with his girlfriend Mae and their daughter Grace, and doesn’t want to pay for all his expenses anymore.
  • N-Word Privileges:
    • Subverted in 'Spanish Eggs.' At a football match, a security guard tells Geoffrey and Josh they have to leave after Geoffrey loudly calls the players faggots. Geoffrey tries to invoke this trope by kissing Josh, to prove he's gay and not homophobic, but they still get kicked out.
    • While discussing dirty-talk, Josh says it's okay for him to say 'suck it, fag boy' because he's reappropriating the slur. Tom is skeptical that there's anything empowering about that phrase, and when he repeats it Josh tells him he's not allowed to say it.
    • Alan asks if he's allowed to say 'pansy' and Geoffrey gives his blessing.
  • Newer Than They Think: In-universe example. A man Josh is dating extols the virtues of reiki and claims it’s ‘thousands of years old’, and Josh claims that it’s only 80 years old. They argue briefly, and Josh Googles it to prove that he was (mostly) right—it was invented in 1922.
  • No Medication for Me: Rose does this in the Season 2 premiere. She doesn’t try to kill herself or harm anyone, but she does say a lot of uncomfortable truths to everyone around her in a state of mania (she’s bi-polar), which gets her committed.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Josh plugs in his dead phone and starts brushing his teeth in Episode 1 and he receives many messages from Alan about Rose’s attempted suicide. The first you hear is ‘She’s been moved to a ward’ which degrades to ‘Fuck, Josh, Fuck, Mum, Call me’.
  • Only Friend: Geoffrey admits that Josh is his best (and only) friend. Josh finds this supremely odd.
  • On the Rebound: Josh starts dating Geoffrey right after being dumped by Claire and gets involved with Arnold soon after being rejected by Patrick.
  • Open-Minded Parent:
    • Arnold's mom, Donna. When he comes out, her response is "Be as gay as you like. Shower yourself in dick and glitter.”
    • Despite all their faults and quirks, Alan and Rose don't seem to mind at all that Josh is gay. Alan is somewhat shocked by the news, but quickly bonds with Geoffrey later.
  • Picky Eater: Geoffrey, although he becomes less picky by Season 2.
  • Potty Failure: While stuck in traffic, Josh really needs to pee and tries to go in a fastfood cup, but it's full of ice and he accidentally pees on himself.
  • Post-Stress Overeating: Josh, after venting a lot of pent-up frustration at his family and friends, takes a whole Christmas trifle and leaves to eat it by himself.
  • Precision F-Strike: After Claire breaks up with Josh in the first episode.
    Josh: This $19 sundae is suddenly pretty fucking humiliating.
  • Really Gets Around: ‘Rhubarb and Custard’ seems to showcase Patrick as this. He manages to hook up with someone at the party he attends with Josh and Tom, and later his mobile gets frequent Grindr messages with an audible tone, finally bringing home the man he was chatting with.
    • Despite describing himself as plain looking and undateable, Josh is still a minor example of this. He gets hit on by Geoffrey on the day he comes out, and is seen hooking up with several other men after that. In Season 4, he has three Grindr hookups in one episode. He also says he had sex with at least 15 men during the last year, whilst having an open relationship with Arnold for most of that period.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Niamh delivers one to Tom when she’s the last to find out that he has a new girlfriend, pointing out that he’s being very insensitive towards her as a human being and a friend, and pointing out all of his flaws.
    • In 'Christmas Trifle', Josh delivers an epic one to pretty much all of his family and friends after they humiliate Arnold, then leaves before they can reply.
    • Arnold delivers a scathing one to Josh when the latter breaks up with him in "Porridge", pointing out all of Josh's flaws and his inability to be happy.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Alan says "I mean, what does MDMA even bloody stand for?" while lecturing Josh and friends on the dangers of doing ecstasy. His point is undermined when Arnold immediately rattles off the correct answer (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine.)
  • Sad Clown: Josh is largely flippant in the face of personal tragedies and major life changes.
  • Self-Deprecation: Josh does this often. Works in a meta-sense too, as Josh Thomas writes the series as well.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In ‘Spanish Eggs’, Josh references Degrassi Junior High.
    • In ‘Scroggin’, Josh asks Rose to give him some peace and quiet and not be ‘the donkey to [his] Shrek’.
    • Throughout the second season, speaking to Arnold gives Josh an excuse to say Hey Arnold! four or five times an episode.
    • In 'Eggplant', Josh points out how the setting for his and Arnold's first time looks like where a 16-year-old girl imagines she will lose her virginity, and begins singing Kiss Me, followed by the song soundtracking the scene. Later, Arnold tells Josh he loves him by recreating the placard scene from Love Actually.
    • In 'French Toast', Niamh, Claire and Tom are briefly shown to be watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
    • A janitor catches Josh drawing on a bathroom stall and calls him Bart Simpson.
  • Show Within a Show: Jenny's school musical in series 2.
  • Shower of Love: Tom and Claire.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Arnold and Steve. Arnold is timid and anxious while Steve is brash and uninhibited.
  • Sit Comic
  • Source Music: In ‘French Toast’, Geoffrey selects Prokofiev’s ‘Dance of the Knights’ as the background music for his and Josh’s first lovemaking session. Naturally, this unnerves the already-terrified Josh.
  • Speed Sex: In ‘Lapin la Cocotte’, Tom and Jenny have sex without a condom after Gavin’s impromptu funeral, which Tom doesn’t last in for long.
  • Spiteful Spit: Niamh once spat on Tom, though he attempts to downplay it by saying she only did it one time.
  • STD Immunity: Averted. Tom gets chlamydia, multiple times.
  • Starts with a Suicide: Of the attempted variety.
  • Straight Gay: Geoffrey, who is a rabid Collingwood supporter, and Patrick.
  • The Stoner: Tom.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Happens during a conversation about Josh meeting a guy for casual sex:
    Claire: Nervous about having bad breath?
    Josh: Well, I am now.
    Claire: Well, you don't.
    Tom: Not yet.
    Claire and Josh: Gross!
    Tom: Not from sex! Just if you, like, maybe eat some cured meats or...
  • There Are No Coincidences: When Alan confides in Geoffrey that he still hasn’t moved on from Rose in ‘Portuguese Custard Tarts’, Geoffrey argues this and points out that’s why Alan now has a ‘cool car’. Alan seems to like this reasoning and tells him he thinks he’ll be good for Josh.
  • Time Skip: Season 2 starts a year after Season 1 ended.
  • Transparent Closet: What apparently Josh was in according to Claire and his friends.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Arnold, in Season 2.
  • Tsundere: Josh, with Patrick.
    Josh: Too much, yeah? Too much telling him that he smells horrible.
    Tom: You are overcompensating very hard to hide your love.
    Josh: Yeah.
    Tom: Remember when you told him to fuck off?
    Josh: Shut up, okay?
    Tom: Twice.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Boyfriend: Josh is certainly not ugly, but definitely plain looking (Josh mentions this repeatedly - in his own words, he looks ‘like a fifty-year-old baby’) and doesn't meet the same level of conventional attractiveness that Claire, Geoffrey and Arnold (and several of his other dates) have. Especially Geoffrey is considered above his league, as noted by Claire, Rose and Josh himself.
    • It's implied that his personality makes up for his looks. He's a good friend to Claire (which explains why they were together for so long despite the confirmed lack of sexual activity, and remain good friends after their break up), he comforts Geoffrey while he barely knows him, and he shows genuine love and support for Arnold and is willing to look past his psychological issues. The moment he acts like a jerkass (with his reiki date) or his love interest is superficial (Patrick), it won't work out.
    • Alan and Mae, similarly. Rose, Josh, Mae and her mother have all invoked this—and that’s just in the first series.
  • Unable to Cry: Josh is unable to cry for a time after Auntie Peg dies. Eventually, he breaks down.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Partial example with Josh and Geoffrey. After Josh has had trouble feeling close and affectionate with Geoffrey for most of Season 1, he tries to get back together with him in the season finale, only to be rejected because Geoffrey realises they don’t really have this kind of connection, and Josh just wants him close because he’s grieving Auntie Peg’s death.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Josh, Tom and Claire.
    • Rose and Ginger.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Josh vomits out of the hot air balloon that Alan proposes to Mae in after a night of some drinking in the Season 2 finale.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Alan proposes to Mae in a hot air balloon in the Season 2 finale. She appreciates the gesture but rejects the proposal, and Josh, who is also in the hot air balloon, vomits out of the balloon. It becomes very awkward when it turns out her parents were invited and they chastise her for rejecting the proposal to ‘live in sin’ with Alan.
  • Weakness Turns Him On: In 'Champagne,' Josh and Tom are both accused of being attracted to 'victims.'
  • Wham Line:
    • The last line of ‘Portuguese Custard Tarts’:
    Tom: Niamh is pregnant.
    • The last line of ‘Lapin la Cocotte’:
    Rose: It’s Ginger. We shouldn’t have left her. She killed herself.
  • What Does He See In Him: Even Josh’s mother can’t understand why someone like Geoffrey would be attracted to Josh.
    • In 'Christmas Trifle:'
    Tom: How are so many guys interested in [Josh]? What do they see in you?
    Josh: Personality?
    Tom. No. No, no, no.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Alan wants to avert this with his and Mae’s daughter Grace and retires early, forcing Josh (who's been living on his fathers financial support up to that moment) to earn his own income.
  • You Are Fat: When Arnold is upset with Tom, he tends to lash out by saying Tom has fat cheeks. Tom is sensitive about his cheeks, which Arnold knows because Josh told him.
    • Josh was bullied in high school by kids who would call him fat while pelting him with coins.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Josh and Tom get three pet chicks (named Shakira, Beyonce and Adele) thinking they're all female. When Adele grows up, it turns out that she's actually a rooster.