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Series / The Day Today

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"The headlines tonight: Portillo's Teeth Removed to Boost Pound, Exploded Cardinal Preaches Sermon from Fishtank - and 'Where Now' For Man Raised by Puffins?"

The brainchild of a number of British comedians including Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci, The Day Today was a critically-acclaimed satire of every aspect of British TV news shows. Adapted from the 1991-92 radio program On the Hour and featuring many of the same writers, The Day Today was broadcasted as a series of six half-hour episodes from January to February 1994, on BBC2. The show's M.O. was to present meaningless reports such as the London Underground infested with horses, or the IRA planting bombs inside stray dogs, in an absolutely deadpan style so that anyone channel-hopping would not be sure for a split second if what they were watching was real.

While the subjects of the stories were absurd, the methods used to tell them were dead-on parodies of British news tropes at the time, from nonsensical graphs and pointless computer animations to newscasters creating torturous metaphors and wordplay to add credibility to their stories. It still holds up surprisingly well today, partly because they had five months to create six episodes and so could really go overboard on creating pompous and overlong computer animations for the most trivial of reasons, which years later real news programmes would begin to do every day as computer power increased.

Especially memorable characters included acerbic anchor "Chris Morris", who had an unquenchable lust for News with a capital "N" and a sneering demeanour that was blatantly ripped off of British journo Jeremy Paxman; Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan, who made up for in tenacity what he lacked in... everything else; Alan Partridge, inept sportscaster; and American correspondent Barbara Wintergreen, who was forever reporting on the multiple executions of killer Chapman Baxter.

Occasionally the show would break for a parody of MTV, sensationalist American news or tedious British soap operas, but its primary focus was on skewering the news media.

Despite its acclaim, the show is still best known for bringing Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge, the socially inept sports presenter, to TV; he later appeared in a number of spin-off projects, the most well-known of which are Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge and I'm Alan Partridge. It was followed by Brass Eye, a pseudo-spinoff written entirely by Morris that used some of the same characters but this time punctured the Prime Time News format.


  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: John Fashanu.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Chris likes to hit on travel correspondent Valerie Sinatra every chance he gets, to which she's either totally oblivious about or too professional to deal with on camera.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Played for Laughs. War breaks out between Australia and Hong Kong, with the initial fighting happening in Eastmanstown in the Upper Cataracts on the Australio-Hong Kong Bordernote .
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan is forced into this when asked about the details of a conversation he supposedly had with a German finance minister in his native language. ("Ich...nichten lichten...")
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Morris as Sukie Bapswent in RokTV.
  • Backseat Driver: Alan Partridge, in the bit where he's being driven around a course by rally driver Susie Herper (Rebecca Front), with a big helping of patronising chauvinism. Her driving soon reduces him to pants-wetting terror.
  • Big "YES!": an almost-authoritarian "Yes!" by Chris Morris right after the headlines of Episode 2.
  • Black Comedy:
    • For reasons left unexplained, Chris despises business correspondent Collaterlie Sisters with a passion.
      Chris Morris: That's an incredible coincidence Alan, because last week Collaterlie Sisters, you were involved in a car crash in which you were the only survivor! Only because you landed in somebody's stomach.
    • "Sorted", in which two insufferable young presenters demonstrate how to give a corpse a DIY burial, certainly qualifies.
    • The report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks, mentioned below under Blatant Lies.
  • Blatant Lies: Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan often tries this in order to avoid admitting that he has no idea what he's talking about. The most egregious example is when he's pretending he's in the World Trade Centre on 9/11, without realising that the terrorist attack has happened until Chris tells him to switch on the television.
    Peter: The tower I'm in is collapsing, I'm collapsing Chris, under the sheer ... wait, I've managed ... I'm out! I'm very ... run! I'm not there.
  • B-Roll Rebus: Click Ting Stamps.
  • Breakout Character: Alan Partridge, a character who would Spin-Off into several television series, books, and even a feature film.
  • British Brevity: The show launched the television careers of Chris Morris, Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci. It was a paradigm shift in British television comedy that influenced almost everything that followed - the "dark" comedy movement grew directly from it - and it introduced a host of comedy actors who would become ubiquitous in subsequent years. All in just six thirty-minute episodes (plus an unbroadcast pilot and six five-minute mini-episodes).
  • Broken Record: At the end of a few episodes, the final note of the show's closing theme music starts skipping.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Chris Morris is irascible, caustic, misanthropic, preening, narcissistic, temperamental and a bully but nevertheless a highly intelligent and competent news reporter whose eccentricities don't (usually) get in the way of him doing his job.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nice but hapless economics correspondent Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan, who is repeatedly shamed and humiliated by Chris Morris live on air for his incompetence and lying.
    Chris Morris: Peter, you're lying in a news grave, do you know what's written on your headstone?
    Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan: News.
  • The Bully: Chris Morris can slip into this sometimes, as shown with his completely unwarranted take-down of Janet Breen and his repeated humiliations of Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan, although Peter could probably avoid this if he tried to do his job a bit better. He's just as prone to shredding Alan Partridge.
  • Canon Discontinuity: American serial killer Chapman Baxter, sitting on Death Row, who reappears in new reports from The Day Today's affiliate station in America in almost every episode with an ever increasing body count to his name, despite being repeatedly executed. Assuming it isn't a case of him coming back every time.
  • Catchphrase: Alan's forced, wooden and utterly unconvincing "I'm Alan Partridge!" which of course went onto become the title of his own spin-off show.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Everyone on the show, everyone.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Alan is commentating on the Tour de France when a team car enters the frame with spare bikes strapped to the roof.
    Alan Partridge: And I don't know what this man is playing at! No way! Surely the judges must come down like a ton of bricks on that. Carrying bikes on the top of a car is not a sportsmanlike way to run this race.
  • Couch Gag: Each episode ends with a pan out as the studio lights dim on Chris. Instead of sitting there awkwardly shuffling his papers like most contemporary news anchormen, Chris embarks on a variety of strange activities each episode, such as:
    • Rolling up his sleeve to inject heroin into his arm.
    • Prostrating himself in front of the newsdesk as if it was a religious altar.
    • Taking off his wig to reveal a massive mane of long, blond hair.
  • Could This Happen to You?: The "Chopper of Doom" incident of 1992, where Lindsey the sheepdog successfully pilots an out-of-control helicopter away from a field of small children, with the aid of a shepherd at the control tower.
    Reporter: If this happened to you, would you know what to do? Your chances would be considerably improved if you made sure someone on the ground had one of these. It's a pocket shepherd, it costs just £59. A small price to pay for the gift of a functioning body that works properly.
  • Crapsack World: Set in contemporary Britain, where bombdogs are set off by the IRA, dentists are forced into illegal, backdoor operations on the streets, motorways collide with each other and the Queen and the Prime Minister have a massive fight at Buckingham Palacenote . Subverted in episode 3 during the fight between John Major and the Queen, when the Government interrupts all TV channels to play a special crisis propaganda video. The video depicts lawyers and businessmen skipping and playing hide and seek, police officers smoking marijuana with the general public and small children with lighters rushing to a man's aid to light his cigarette, effectively portraying Britain as Cloud Cuckoo Land.
    Narrator: This, is Britain, and everything's alright. Everything's alright. It's okay. It's fine.
  • Crawl: The ticker during one of the business reports is chock full of 4s.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The only possible explanation for the existence of the Pocket Shepherd, a small device which can be used to command a sheepdog to fly a helicopter in the event of the pilot having collapsed after looking at his watch.
  • Credits Gag: A few — for example, "Bootsie Collins" [sic] randomly appears in the first episode's credits. In the second episode, George Clinton was apparently the "thrift funnel".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Chris has a very low tolerance threshold for the buffoonery of those around him which is completely understandable considering Alan Partridge isn't even the least competent member of his news team.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: RokTV presenter Harfynn Teuport's description of the controversy sparked by a gangsta rapper Fur-Q and his performances of his song "Uzi Lover",
    Harfynn Teuport: During the stage version of the song, in the live show, he kills five people on the stage, during the stage show, live, as it's performed!
    • Also Beverley Smax talking about bullying in the Church of England:
      Beverley Smax: If you mention the Church of England to most people, they immediately think of the sacraments and the holy blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But to many within the Church, there is another ritual: the ritual of the Bullying Ritual.
    • Once Chris starts to provoke Australia and Hong Kong into declaring war against each other, the word "war" is dropped almost every second.
      Martin Craste: Very well. I-it's war.
      Gavin Hautrey: War it is.
      Donald Bethl'hem: (visibly shaken from explosions behind him) That's it, Chris! It's war! War has broken out! (audio cuts out momentarily) This is war!
      Chris: (with a slight smirk on his face) That's it; yes, it's war! (a Scare Chord, which also happens to be a Dark Reprise of the show's musical Leitmotif, plays as the camera cuts to a wider view of the newsroom to reveal giant letters reading "WAR" in all caps illuminated in red)
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Alan Partridge interviews an attractive female showjumper in her changing room and she behaves as though she isn't on camera, even casually taking off her bra while discussing her own performance. Alan is paying attention, but...not to what she's actually saying.
    Alan Partridge: When, when, when you, how do you ride a horse?
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The DVD includes the pilot episode, which was filmed in a very different style to the show proper. The lighting and set dressing resembled a generic television sketch comedy of the period, and the "Chris Morris" character was over-enthusiastic but likeable rather than the satanic monster that he became. Ultimately the production team overhauled almost everything between the pilot and the first episode, although a few of the filmed inserts were used in the series.
  • Feigning Intelligence: Sports commentator Alan Partridge never has any clue about anything he ever reports on, but nobody else ever appears to notice, as he is good at mincing his words. On the other hand, economics correspondent Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan is just as inept but is incapable of concealing it, so he's constantly torn to pieces for it by Chris, live on air.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Type 3, when UK prime minister John Major and Queen Elizabeth II have a fight. Chris summons Crisis Correspondent Spartacus Mills (Steve Coogan):
    Chris: Spartacus, this is huge history happening, isn't it?
    Spartacus: It's bigger than that, Chris, it's large. I mean, if you've got a history book at home, take it out, throw it in the bin, it's worthless. The history books, now, will have to be rewritten.
    Chris: What will they say?
    Spartacus: They'll quite simply say "John Major punched the Queen". Everything else will be a footnote.
    Chris: We're pushed for time, can you sum it up in a word?
    Spartacus: No.
    Chris: A sound?
    Spartacus: Wooaaaaauuuuhh.
    Chris: Spartacus, thank you.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan can be seen getting knocked unconscious by a single punch in the background of a live-scene news report.
    • The Day Today Newsdancer.
    • In Episode 5, after a clip of an episode of The Bureau showing the cast and their Bureau de Change traveling on the back of a flatbed truck, the same vehicle can be seen passing through in the background of a following news segment on "clamping" homeless people.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Susanna Gekkaloys, reporting live from the war zone, says "We're under strict instructions not to leave the vehicle, but to drive on through." She then immediately stops her jeep, gets out, runs over to a nearby house, kicks the door down, shoots the first person she sees and interviews everyone else.
  • Guy on Guy Is Hot: Alan seems to be susceptible to this, judging from his bizarre attempt at boxing commentary.
    Alan Partridge: Thank goodness actually they're wearing gloves, because I've witnessed bare knuckle boxing in a barn in Somerset about three years ago, and it was a sorry sight to see men goading them on in such a barbaric fashion. And I'm rather ashamed to say I was party to that goading, two men fighting as I saw in the barn that night, naked as the day they were born and fighting the way God intended. Wrestling at points - I don't know if you've seen Women In Love, that marvellous scene by the fire. It kind of resembled that.
  • Helium Speech: In a parody of the IRA broadcast ban during The Troubles, a Sinn Féin member is required to inhale helium when being interviewed on-air.
  • Immoral Journalist: Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan, an aggressively incompetent journalist who either makes up or bungles stories so frequently (during 9/11, live from New York, he reported on WTC "negotiations") that he often elicits an angry rant from the newsreader. Downplayed in that he's less immoral and more incompetent and lazy.
  • Inherently Funny Words:
    • The UK crisis propaganda video, which showcases the quintessentially British towns of Wabznasm and Manford Thirty-Sixborough.
    • Alan Partridge gives the results for such lower division football sides as Hull Paragraph, Portsmouth Bubblejet, Sheffield Hysterical, Chunky Norwich, Richmond Arithmetic and Nottingham Marjorie.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Parodied with war correspondent Susanna Gekkaloys, who's so intrepid that she not only carries a gun but shoots a random civilian with it.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Morris can occasionally be overheard making cutting remarks about the other presenters during their reports, especially Collaterlie Sisters.
    Chris: Take her off the monitor, I don't want to see her face.
  • Jerkass: Chris Morris, who uses unnecessarily hardcore Paxman-type interview tactics (normally reserved for shady politicians) on good-natured jam-festival organizer Janet Breen, slaughtering her and reducing her to tears live on set.
    Chris Morris: How dare you come on this programme and say "Hey look at me, I'm raising fifteen hundred pounds for the homeless"!? You could make more money sitting outside a tube station with your hat on the ground, even if you were twice as ugly as you are which is very ugly indeed!
  • Kent Brockman News: Pretty much every example from that trope write-up.
  • Kill the Poor: One segment focuses on how London police are clamping down on homelessness - literally - with tyre clamps. Any homeless person found asleep or motionless after 9pm is clamped and forced to stay where they are upon waking up. They are later prosecuted and punished.
  • Metaphorgotten: The dialogue is written almost entirely in this.
    Donald Bethl'hem: Tension here is very high, Chris - the stretched twig of peace is at melting point. People here are literally bursting with war. This is very much a country that's going to blow up in its face.
    • And from the World Cup review:
      Alan Partridge: The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding, in this case, is a football.
  • Mood-Swinger:
    • Chris Morris in particular is very capricious, going from genial to vicious, to gentle to casual in the space of a single interview with Janet Breen and in one radio episode, he has a mood swing and randomly cancels the news, deciding instead to phone a news agent as though they're a curry house and just have them read out the headlines and for local news, describe what's going on in the shop.
    • In the clips from the 1953 BBC televised live hanging, the host Condublasney (pronounced "Corin") Piper goes from a serious reporter tone as they prepare for the hanging, to a more casual sports announcer-type tone once the hanging happens, then closes things out in full Smarmy Host mode.
      Piper: It's a good clean drop. There's the hanging! Well done...well done. They'll be pleased with that. And to play us out, we have Johnny Stoppard. Johnny, what are you gonna play for us tonight?
      Stoppard: "Fancy Lady".
      Piper: "Fancy Lady"...well, fancy that!
  • Mood Whiplash: "IT'S WAR! ... but first the weather..."
  • Mundane Afterlife: According to the report on near-death experiences, Heaven is an open plan office, where God has a "You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps" sign.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: the title credits, theme tune and inter-story "stings" are massively overblown for comedy effect. The theme tune got more and more overblown as the series progressed.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Rosie May, bearded host of the "Enviromation" segment, dresses like a cult member and usually claims to have a special link to nature in her sign-off (e.g., "my milk is green").
  • News Parody: Faux News variation.
  • Noodle Implements: A small turtle and a plastic tube are alleged to "have a range of fifty feet and can bring down a helicopter".
  • Overly Long Gag: "In 1980, someone died."
    • "In 1986... I mean, I could go on."
  • The Philosopher: Parodied by Jaques-'Jaques' Liverot, the French commentator. He sits in a dark corner of the studio, chain-smoking, and never offers any insights at all. At best we get a one-line pseudo-profundity. At worst he will ask a potentially interesting question and then stop. Basically, he's a Take That! to modern French postmodernism.
  • P.O.V. Cam: Parodied. The premise of a documentary special called "Cam Fam" involves a family which agreed to have cameras "implanted into their faces to give us a unique view of British family life."
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Chris Morris as grotesque gangster rapper (and Ice T parody) Fur-Q and his chart-smashing single "Uzi Lover".
    Fur-Q: Uzi like a metal dick in my hand / Magazine like a big testicle gland / Bitch wanna try it / I said 'Keep her quiet!' / Shove it up her motherfuckin' ass and fry it.
  • Prisoner's Last Meal: The first of multiple unorthodox executions of death row inmate Chapman Baxter incorporates Baxter's last meal with the method of execution. Since Baxter wants to "die like Elvis Presley did," he is going to gorge on cheeseburgers and drugs until he weighs as much as "The King," thereby triggering an electric toilet seat that he would sit on, thus killing him. Moreover, the skit's general premise that an American Serial Killer gets to choose his own method of execution is itself a surreal parody based on the practice behind death row prisoners choosing their last meals.
  • Pungeon Master: Barbara Wintergreen's reports from America are absolutely rammed with them, in typical American newscaster style.
    Barbara Wintergreen: At this fallopian factory, people come for a credit card conception. The price includes labour and delivery, and there's a hefty surcharge, on the discharge.
    Barbara Wintergreen: Meanwhile, Baxter's fried-to-be is making the last minute preparations for her impending ending.
  • The Quiet One: David Schneider's facial expressions can be so funny that he doesn't need to say much to go with them, particularly evident in the shows Soap Within a Show "The Bureau". This was probably the reason why he plays a mime in an episode of Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Chris Morris subjects Janet Breen to a nasty one of these and dolls them out like dog-biscuits to Peter O'Hanra-Hanrahan.
  • Renaissance Man: Chris Morris is not only a news anchor but also knows German, history, politics and economics. Justified as his actor is the same.
  • Running Gag: Lots of repeated sketches:
    • Weatherman Sylvester Stuart and his vague, confusing weather reports.
    • Travel correspondent Valerie Sinatra's reports always make mention of an on-going traffic jam on the M11.
    • Sports correspondent Alan Partridge's totally abject lack of knowledge of even basic sports.
      Alan Partridge: This is Sportsdesk, I'm Alan Partridge. And it's a special desk of sport now, as we look back, on some of the sporting highlights, of the last sporting season. So lie down, relax, and let the sports commence!
    • American correspondent Barbara Wintergreen's constant reports on serial killer Chapman Baxter, who is executed at least four times throughout the series and whose kill count somehow increases between each execution.
    • Business correspondent Collaterlie Sisters and her endlessly unhelpful currency-exchange graphics, including the Currency Cat, the Currency Kidney, the Currency Susan and the International Financial Arse.
    • Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan and his terrible attempts at news reporting getting shredded by Chris.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In the pilot, upon seeing a news story where soldiers on both sides of a war stop fighting upon encountering a Cute Kitten, Chris Morris believes it is a sign that the war has peaked, and promptly makes his way back to London, no longer interested in covering the war if it means dealing with "the inevitable plague of refugee and human interest stories that tend to spew out in the wake of such conflicts". He announces that a skeleton staff will be left to cover the war.
  • Serial Killer: Chapman Baxter.
  • Shout-Out: The "Attitudes Night" sequence, highlighting questionable moments in TV history, includes a clip of the gratuitously offensive sitcom Them Next Door, which is a very direct swipe at Love Thy Neighbour, with the rampant racism turned up to eleven. In the same sketch, the BBC journalist getting a blow job on camera and describing the sensation in a calm, clinical manner is a take-off on the infamous unaired 1955 Panorama segment in which Christopher Mayhew was filmed taking mescaline and trying to describe the effects, and KiddyStare is a savage, absurdist satire on Minipops, the 1983 series where preteens performed age-inappropriate songs in Age-Inappropriate Dress.
  • Sinister Minister: Reverend Bobby Sky, a Catholic priest and reformed bully from Coventry, who speaks out on bullying within the Catholic Church.
    Bobby Sky: A young deacon was being inordinated, then during the inordination ceremony, we would hum during his sermon, so we would be going "Mmmmmmmmmmmm" and he would be trying to speak, not knowing who was humming.
    Beverly Smax: How many of you were humming?
    Bobby Sky: About two hundred of us.
  • Soap Within a Show: The Bureau, a cheesy, overly-dramatic soap opera set in a bureau-de-change, focused around the bureau's cashiers and their evil boss, the Essex wide-boy Jack Hennety. Various clips of the drama are reported on in The Day Today, as the soap apparently goes from being the most popular programme in Europe, to plummeting out of the ratings and being forced to tour Outer England on the back of a truck. It is generally accepted that it's a spoof of Eldorado, an extremely lame, failed BBC soap opera set on the Costa del Sol. It manages to spoof all of the following soap opera clichés (such as the ridiculous emphasis on relationships) despite being set in a single, very small room and only having six minutes of airtime over the entire series:
    • Back from the Dead: Angie somehow comes back to The Bureau after committing suicide in episode 2.
    • Bad Boss: Hennety.
    • Crazy Jealous Girl: Maria, who assaults Angie after sussing out that she's sleeping with Maria's boyfriend Alex.
    • Driven to Suicide: Angie deliberately overdoses on pills and blames it on Hennety.
    • Drugs Are Bad: Angie takes an overdose of some drug and dies in episode 2, in her bureau booth no less, blaming Hennety in her suicide note. Also a variation of Murder the Hypotenuse.
      Hennety: I never thought I'd say this, but...pull down the blinds! I'm closing the bureau! For an hour.
    • Dysfunction Junction: All the characters are screwed up in some way or another.
    • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: Guy never tires of reminding everybody that he's gay. This trope takes off in episode 3, when Guy is beaten to a pulp in the street for being gay, and then fired from The Bureau afterwards, also for being gay.
      Guy: Why did they do this to me? Just because I'm gay! I'm gay! I'm gay...
      Hennety: WHAT!?
      Maria: It's Guy, Mr. Hennety, he's been attacked!
      Hennety: Yeah I know, what did you say?
      Guy: ...I said I'm gay.
      Hennety: ...You're fired!
    • Jerkass: Hennety, who fires Maria in episode 1 for fighting with Angie, and then fires Guy in episode 3 simply for being gay.
    • London Gangster: Big Boss Jack Hennety, with his evil, heartless businessman demeanour and ridiculously exaggerated southern Essex accent. Also a Large Ham.
      Hennety: This is supposed to be a high-class bureau-de-change, not some two-bit Punch and Judy show on the seafront at Margate!
      Guy: It's alright Mr. Hennety, it's okay now, it was just a little misunderstand-
      Hennety: Shaaaat it!
    • Long Runner: Chris Morris reports that the show has magically reached its 2000th episode, which equates to seven and a half years of airtime.
    • Love Triangle: Alex cheats on Maria with Angie at first, then the show hints Hennety and Maria have something going on, then finally, Angie cheats on Alex with Hennety, effectively creating a Love Square. Guy also confesses his True Love for Maria in the same final episode, despite being gay.
    • Manipulative Bastard: Hennety somehow manages to shag Angie, after she blames him for her suicide attempt in episode 2.
    • Prime Time Soap: Replaced the BBC's 9 o'clock news.
    • Recurring Riff: Awesomely-lame theme tune!
    • Recycled Script: invoked Episode 4 is a rehash of Episode 1, just different characters cheating on each other. Hennety even has almost identical lines:
      Hennety: I'm trying to run a high-class bureau-de-change, not some two-bit nipple peep show in Rio de Janeiro!
    • Say My Name: Hennety's awkward, unexplained cries to Maria after she storms out in the wake of Guy's sacking.
      Hennety: Maria! Mariaaa-aa-aa-aa!
    • Take This Job and Shove It: The staff walk out after Hennety pisses them off once too many times.
      Alex: Me too, and I don't even work here!
  • The Sociopath: Chapman Baxter who has killed a lot of people and is only concerned with being executed in the most overly complicated manner possible.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: In Episode 4, while Peter Goodwright rants about bombdogs, one goes off each time he swears. Fur-Q's Cluster F-Bomb lyrics are papered over with musical stings.
  • Sound-to-Screen Adaptation: Of On the Hour on BBC Radio Four, with the same cast, many of the same characters and writers, and the same basic structure.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • In-universe as a lively organ tune is used to end the televising of a live hanging.
    • The in-universe video This Is Our War, a compilation of clips from the war instigated by The Day Today itself, seems to be full of war clips set to entirely inappropriate music. For instance, the shooting of reporter is set to You Really Got Me by The Kinks.
  • Spin-Off: The show spawned two direct spin-offs, Brass Eye and Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, starring Chris Morris and Alan Partridge respectively. Both shows feature other minor news reporters reappearing from The Day Today (such as Ted Maul who shows up in Brass Eye). KMKYWAP features the entire cast of TDT minus Morris, but Brass Eye is by far the more closely related spin-off and Spiritual Successor.
    • KMKYWAP retains in-universe continuity, with Alan Partridge somehow ascending from sports correspondent to prime-time chatshow host.
    • KMKYWAP remained on the BBC, while Morris took Brass Eye over to Channel 4 to bite their hands instead. Morris eventually turned up in KMKYWAP's own spin-off, I'm Alan Partridge, as posh twat Peter Baxendale-Thomas.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: A headline story at the beginning of Episode 4 is introduced, "'I'm so sorry', yells exploding cleaner."
  • Stepford Smiler: Collaterlie Sisters maintains a poised, dignified manner in her segments, even as its clear she's going through some sort of Sanity Slippage. Besides the Non Sequitur nature of her reports, she's also seen collapsing onto the desk after one report, and constantly asking "Chris?" during another.
  • Stylistic Suck: The live-action editorial cartoons by "Brant", which are all unbelievably bad.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Chris feels this way and with good reason.
  • Surveillance Station Slacker: Keith Mandemant, the pool supervisor, who seems to spend most shifts solving word puzzles instead of watching the monitors.
  • Talking Heads: Weatherman Sylvester Stuart, who we never ever see below the neck for a variety of reasons. In one episode, he hints that he's actually dead.
  • Time Dilation: In the "War" episode, reporter Susanna Gekkaloys runs out of the studio to go and report "from inside the fight"note  and a few minutes later she's already filed her first report about an entire day of events on the battlefield. Also, even though war is declared live on an evening news programme, Donald Bethl'hem reports that one side claimed victory on the morning of the same day.
  • Understatement:
    Chris Morris: This is huge history happening, isn't it?
    Spartacus Mills: Oh it's bigger than that Chris, it's large!
  • The Unintelligible: Business correspondent Collaterlie Sisters, whose reports on the state of the economy make as much sense as the business reports on any given news channel.
    Collaterlie Sisters: On now to the money markets, and the international finance arse. And there you can see that the U.S. and Japanese cheeks started off with a gap of 2.4, but increased trading forced the two together to form a unified arse at around lunchtime, which held for the rest of the day. In summary then— [calmly] Oh NO. ... Chris?
  • Vox Pops: Morris goes around questioning hapless members of the public on topics such as, "What should the letter of the law be?" (The person chose the letter "J".)
  • Weather Report: Presented by Sylvester Stuart, usually at inappropriate moments in an episode. Stuart always appears as a floating head and describes his forecasts completely in confusingly drawn-out metaphors and similes:
    Sylvester Stuart: Starting in the south-east...Devon and Cornwall should have some fairly heavy and prolonged showers, a bit like jagged metal piercing old flesh. The Midlands'll be warm at first but turning cocky later, at around twelve, and there should be some cloud around in the shape of a whore. In Scotland now...thunderstorms in the evening but the sun should come through later, so it'll be a bit like being woken up in the night by strange men shining powerful torches in your eyes. In summary then? Dispassionate. And that's all the weather.
  • Witty Banter: Chris is very witty and Alan tries to be. Unsuccessfully.
  • Zany Scheme: One way of looking at Janet Breen's jam festival.
    • Alan Partridge's soccermeter, an intensely confusing device causing Partridge to make a fool of himself trying to demonstrate how it works.
    • Sylvester Stuart's intensely confusing weather reports, the tour-de-force being episode six, where Sylvester's head is the ball inside a pinball machine with a weather map of the United Kingdom inside it.