Tim: Doing what?
The Examiner: What do you think? As an agent of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service?
Tim: Shut up!
Tim has a rather crappy life. He has an ex-wife who hates him, a dead-end job and has a son who doesn't respect him. He applies for a job as a civil servant doing data entry, but discovers during the job interview that he has been offered a job as a trainee spy for MI-5.
Not to be confused with the 2019 miniseries about real-life Israeli spy Eli Cohen, The Spy
This show contains examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Paula to Tim, Philip to Tim, The Examiner to Tim, Owen to Judith...
- Adults Are Useless: Marcus certainly thinks so, and he's more or less right. Tim's driving motivation is trying to prove this is isn't the case.
- Ax-Crazy: Elaine, who initially seems like a smoking hottie, but eventually gets to the point where she demands that Tim marry her... or else.
- Betty and Veronica: Gender reversed, with Tim as the Betty and Portis as the Veronica.
- Breathless Non Sequitur: The Examiner is prone to these, as is the social worker.
- Butt-Monkey: Tim's life is, for all purposes, crap. His son hates him, his ex wife hates him, almost everyone he comes across torture him, he's stalked by a mentally deranged counselor who wants to blackmail him into loving her, and the only people who like him is his borderline insane boss, his crazy best friend, his slightly strange love interest, and his ex wife's new husband.
- About the only good thing is that he has a steady job (he was unemployed for some time at the start of the series). And even this is debatable since, as competent as he is, his boss is well... borderline insane with a man-crush on him as big as the MI-5 building.
- So, he's a secret agent and getting paid god knows how much, his boss loves him so much he can literally do no wrong in his eyes, the girl he likes likes him, Portis likes him, the social worker (originally) overseeing his custody loves him and his ex-wife's boyfriend loves him. His life is fantastic. He just only cares about the opinion of the one person who can't stand him. Marcus.
- Moritz also counts.
- The Chessmaster: Marcus, until he's shown up by Nick.
- Comedic Sociopathy: The Examiner, Chris and Owen.
- Cursed with Awesome: When Marcus ends up going with Tim to the office, Tim has to hide what he does or he'll get fired. It's a curse because Marcus thinks very little of him to begin with so Tim's attempts come off as just him being embarrassed about what he does. Ends up being a Moment of Awesome when Tim uses his skills to subdue an MI6 agent and help Marcus get to his cello lesson... but again, he has to have Marcus close his eyes in order not to reveal what he does.
- Evil Genius: Marcus. Chris is as well, to some extent. He even has the Evil Laugh.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Tim and Chris, especially now they live together, following the Season Two finale.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Codename (something)
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Averted; despite the comedic nature of the show, the mere act of handling a gun is almost always treated as a dangerous situation and everyone practices good habits... except for when it's part of a joke.
- Lampshade Hanging: A different actor plays the role of Tim's ex-wife's boyfriend in series 2 than in series 1. He immediately lampshades it:Philip: I know, I look different, don't I? It's the hair...
- Love Triangle: Tim, Caitlin and Portis.
- Manipulative Bastard: Marcus, surprisingly, considering he's 10 years old.
- Mr. Fanservice: Mathew Baynton, who has a large internet fan base, is shown in nothing but a pair of briefs, half-way through the pilot.
Caitlin: Are those your nipples?
- Darren Boyd is also shown in a see through top, when he mistakenly thinks Caitlin is seducing him.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Portis threatens to murder the hypotenuse's (i.e. Tim's) son. Unfortunately, that son is Marcus, the Evil Genius. It doesn't exactly to go to plan...
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Tim. He might come across as a guy who stumbled across his job and, to an extent, it's true. But that doesn't mean he doesn't take his job - or the skills he's learned - seriously. When he needs to, such as in "Codename: Lie Hard", he'll drop the act. In the mentioned episode, he has to subdue an MI6 agent and does so in a few seconds.
- Only Sane Man: This is pretty much Tim's role, considering how out there everybody else is.
- Perverted Sniffing: A woman sniffs Tim's clothes after Paula forces him to strip at a drug intervention.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: The Examiner, in a nutshell.
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: Done very well.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Examiner. Mainly when it comes to Tim, not so much with his assistant.
- Except for when he has him framed for being a drug addict, landing him in a self help course where he's sexually harassed by Paula once more and harassed by the liar-hating cop who doesn't believe him. It was a real ass-move for the Examiner.
- "Codename: Family Bonds" shows that while he might be highly biased towards Tim (who, in his defense, it actually really good at his job), he still recognizes his other agents. In that episode, he trusts Kaitlyn with a task and tells her he thinks she's his best (other than Tim) because she's fair rather than ruthless.
- Sadist Teacher: Marcus's temporary new Headmistress. That is, until he gets her arrested for fraud...
- Shout-Out: There's a hilarious parody of Deep Throat's scenes from All the President's Men.
- Trigger-Happy: The Examiner again."The first rule of guns is...Have fun"
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Other than his obsession with Hannah Montana, Marcus is the king of this.
- Weird Aside: Constantly, from the Examiner, but also from the social worker - both, as well as Philip, and even Chris.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Inverted. Tim is constantly trying to gain Marcus's approval, who just doesn't care. Ironically, the only aspect of Tim's life that would impress Marcus is the part that Tim has to keep secret.
- Will They or Won't They?: Tim and Caitlin. Up until the end of season 2.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Examiner, although only to make Marcus's 'death' quick and painless.