Follow TV Tropes


Series / Stromberg

Go To

"An office is like... riding a roller-coaster. Constant ups and downs. If you have to do it for eight hours, every day, sooner or later you will throw up."
Stromberg, in the very first lines of the series

Stromberg is a German Mockumentary Work Com, on air since 2004. There are currently five seasons and one movie. Stromberg is a Foreign Remake of Gervais' and Merchant's Brit Com The Office, although it took a lost lawsuit for the makers to acknowledge this. Like Ein Herz und eine Seele three decades before, this is one of the very few German sitcom remakes that are actually good.

The main setting is an office of the fictional insurance company Capitol Versicherung AG, more precisely the Department of Damage Adjustment M to Z, presided over by Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist Bernd Stromberg. Like in the British original, the characters are very aware of the cameras being on them, all the time. Stromberg in particular can often be seen cracking jokes and showing off for the camera.


This show provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Herr Becker becomes one in season five.
  • Aside Glance: Stromberg, whenever he has just cracked one of his unfunny jokes.
  • Back for the Finale: At least if you consider The Movie to be the Grand Finale, wherein both Tatjana Berkel and Sinan Turçulu are back. And at the very end, there are also cameos of some other characters.
  • Bald of Evil: Bernd Stromberg. Yeah okay, more like Sparse Hair Of Being A Jerkass. Stromberg also tries to make out Möllers, the bald-headed and somewhat gruff canteen chef, as a villain, even though his long-standing enmity with Stromberg is entirely the latter's fault.
  • Berserk Button:
    • For Stromberg, it's anyone making any reference about his "age".
    • For Berthold, it's anyone calling him "Ernie", although this is downplayed in later seasons.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The In-Universe Camera rarely has any influence on the plot, with two exceptions:
    • Ernie improvising a lonely hearts ad into the camera - and being successful with it!
    • Advertisement:
    • After Stromberg has been accused of sexual harassment, Becker watches the footage from earlier that day, in order to find proof of this.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Stromberg shows signs of this in episode three of season two.
  • Break the Cutie: Tanja Seifert in the fourth season, utterly failing in her new position as assistant department chief.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ernie may be a social outcast, but he's still the most competent worker in his department.
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: Near the end of the film, Stromberg gets fired from his job at the insurance company and can be seen leaving the office with a bankers box holding a globe, a trophy and an honorary certificate.
  • Character Tics: Two of Stromberg's personal tics is to groom his beard and tug his tie.
  • Character Title
  • Cold Opening
  • Convenient Miscarriage: In season five, when Jennifer got pregnant.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In the movie, where the Capitol directors plan massive job cuts, yet have a sex orgy in a luxury brothel.
  • Creator Cameo: Series creator Ralf Husmann has made four brief appearances as co-worker Hans Schmelzer throughout the first three seasons.
  • Cringe Comedy: Especially Stromberg has to suffer in this regard.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: During the first few episodes of Season Two, Ernie is often having phone conversations with - he claims - his new girlfriend. Ulf naturally thinks that he's just faking it. Nope! The gal is real.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The new system on the flip chart in Season 4:
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: When Jennifer gets pregnant with Stromberg's child, she seriously considers having an abortion. Only after persuasion by Ernie does she decide against it.
  • Half-Arc Season: Most noticeable in season four, with Stromberg's new position in Finsdorf.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ernie, after his girlfriend leaves him and his mother dies, falls into a serious depression, and even attempts suicide.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Happens often to Stromberg when he has a plan e.g. for how he can suck up to his superiors.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Whenever Stromberg gives a statement directly contradictory to something he has said just one or two scenes earlier.
  • Incompetence, Inc.
  • The Inspector Is Coming: In the episode "Lulu" from season 3, where the Capitol headquarter sends an inspector, in order to have him investigate the proceedings in their departments (In particular Stromberg's). Stromberg's department actually gets praised, whereas the others departments get a bad rating.
  • In-Universe Camera: Also, In Universe Interviews.
  • Jerk Jock: Football fan Ulf is this towards Ernie.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: While Tanja and Ulf are trying to have a baby and it turns out that Ulf is infertile, Jennifer gets pregnant even though she did not plan to.
  • Mean Boss: Guess who.
  • The Nicknamer: Bernd Stromberg. Constantly. He could easily be considered one of the best examples of this trope. A short selection of the nicknames he gives to people:
    • Bert(hold) Heisterkamp: Ernie
    • Herr Becker: Uncle Detlef, Mecker(=nagging)becker
    • Sabine Buhrer: Sabbel
    • Frau Berkel: Tuberkel (tubercle), Eva Braun, Die Führerin
    • Lars Lehnhoff: Blockflötengesicht (recorder face)
    • Frank Montenbruck: Monte, Aktenmongo (filing mong)
    • Rita Klüver: Lumpen-Erna (Rags-Erna)
    • Herr Möllers: Nazi cook
    • Vanessa Schubert (Ernie's black girlfriend): Roberta Blanca, choco crossie
    • Birgit (his wife): Biggie
Rarely, Ulf falls under this habit too, e.g. when he calls Lars Lehnhoff "Grinsekatze" (Cheshire Cat).