A Sketch Comedy show (1991–2006) produced by and starring Canadian comic Steve Smith, centered around the members of Possum Lodge, a backwoods hunting camp somewhere in Northern Ontario. It loosely parodies "outdoor" TV shows generally, and the iconic Red Fisher Show (which ran in Canada from 1968 to 1989) in particular.
The show is hosted by the President of the lodge, philosopher, handyman, outdoorsman, and basically very average man Red Green (Smith), with technical direction provided by his painfully geeky nephew Harold (Patrick McKenna).
Episodes are usually framed by Red and Harold discussing some activity or event affecting the lodge or its members. This most often involves a wild scheme either to raise money or clean up some kind of environmental disaster before the authorities clamp down. Or, not infrequently, both. Red's updates — and the resulting arguments with Harold — are intercut throughout the show with various scenes of Red talking to lodge members about said issue.
Since the lodge members include such sterling intellects as Ranger Gord the (extremely) lonely forest ranger, Dougie Franklin the mechanic, Edgar Montrose the half-deaf explosives enthusiast, Arnie Dogen the injury-prone roofer and aspiring country singer, Winston Rothschild, III, the prissy sewage magnate, Mike Hammer the itinerant felon, Dalton Humphrey the avaricious storekeeper, Hap Shaughnessy the pathological liar, Buzz Sherwood the hippie pilot, and Ed Frid the hamster-phobic animal control officer...not a lot ever tends to get done, except by way of confusing the issue further.
The lodge members are often famous Canadian actors such as Graham Greene (Edgar), Gordon Pinsent (Hap), Colin Mochrie (in a small role as hotdog expert Frank Kepke) and Paul Gross (as naive yuppie Kevin Black).
Meanwhile they also carry on with the Show Within a Show that Red and Harold are producing, a local cable-access version of the standard Saturday-afternoon outdoor program. Various topics are touched on, but the actual quality of the information tends to be...well, the most elaborate segment is "Handyman's Corner", wherein Red somehow turns a simple DIY repair or project into a huge, awkward, Goldbergian task with the help of the "handyman's secret weapon", duct tape. And lots of it.
Another popular segment is "Adventures with Bill", featuring the title character's attempts (or more accurately, spectacular failures) to get a grip on the whole outdoorsman gig, in slapstick pantomime shown in black and white and narrated by Red. "The Possum Lodge Word Game" is a typically loose attempt at a Password-esque game show, with Red and Harold trying to get a lodge member to say a certain word for a prize.
Culture is not unknown here at the Lodge, either — it may be gravely wounded, but it sure isn't being ignored. Red is often seen in short transitional vignettes playing guitar and singing (accompanied by Harold on spoons or homemade drum), or reciting poetry. Occasionally he simply addresses his fellow middle-aged schlubs directly and rather poignantly, concluding with "Remember, I'm pulling for ya, we're all in this together."
The show always ends with the sounds of the lodge meeting beginning, in the basement. Red stays upstairs for a moment to deliver a quasi-Aesop and a message to his wife, Bernice.
Often the opening of the lodge meeting will run behind the closing credits, with the studio audience as the lodge members.
The entire series can be watched for free on the show's official Youtube channel.
This show provides examples of:
- Accidental Aiming Skills: In the black-and-white segment of "Guinness World Records", Red and Dalton are attempting to destroy a lamp by putting rocks and balls in slingshots, and thwarting Mike's attempts to just whack it with a board. After they build a supersized slingshot that accidentally launches Mike into a tree (instead of the bowling ball they intended to launch), Mike gets angry, picks up the board, and throws it... straight into the lamp.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: "Hi, I'm Winston Rothschild of Rothschild's Sewage and Septic Sucking Services!"
- Adorkable: Harold.
- Affectionate Parody: Both poking fun at, and celebrating, the foibles of middle-aged men.
- All There in the Manual:
- The Red Green Book, authored by the show's creators and published in 1995, contains lots of interesting trivia about the Lodge. For instance, Lodge membership is open to all genders, all races, religions and sexual orientations. To get in, you just need to have access to tools, trucks, building materials, explosives, medical supplies, legal services or cash.
- The names of some of the segments were revealed in the book too. The segment where two lodge members give the viewers advice on how to get out of a jam with their wives is called Buddy System, while the segment where Red gives a monologue to his fellow middle-aged men while sitting at a desk winding a fishing lure is called North of 40.
- The Alleged Car: Every motor vehicle used, seen or mentioned in the series. Including Buzz's seaplanes.
- One of the articles in Red Green Talks Cars: A Love Story told readers what their car indicated about them. Anyone who drives an "old car that barely runs" is a Lodge member. More specific examples include Stinky Peterson's Trabant, Moose Thompson's Gremlin, Douglas Hendrychuk's Nash, Harold's Pinto and Red's Possum Van.
- Red prodigiously uses Chrysler K Cars in the Handyman corner segments.
- Almost Famous Name: Harold tells Red that he's been asked to be in a magazine ad for Dodge. Red excitedly agrees when he hears that not only will he be depicted in a hot tub surrounded by bikini-clad girls, but he gets the product for free! He's a bit disappointed when it turns out he's just going to get his picture taken in front of a green screen and have it edited in later, but he's still excited to get a free Dodge truck. At the end of the episode Harold clarifies that the company is a Swedish company named "Doj"... that makes adult diapers... and there are dozens of crates full of them outside.
- Amusing Injuries: Present all over the place, no one is safe from this. Adventures With Bill turns it Up to Eleven.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Parodied in Ranger Gord's educational cartoons, in which a muscular version of Gord gives humorously inaccurate advice regarding forest life (e.g., that stones are really eggs). Often, the Funny Animal representations of Red and Harold would actually give correct information in response, but since these are Gord's cartoons, his explanations inevitably turn out to be true anyway.
- Animated Credits Opening:
- 1991, 1993 seasons: A paint-by-numbers of the lodge quickly getting colored in.
- 1994-1997 seasons: A flythrough of a cityscape, followed by a crash into the "New Red Green Show" logo and a 180-degree turn to reveal the lodge.
- Annoying Laugh: Harold.
- Anti-Role Model: In more than one "Handyman Corner", Red suggests one way to get the supplies you need is to steal them.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Non-sexual version. When the women of Possum Lake get together to chat, several Lodge members spy on them with a microphone to find out what their wives are saying about them, expecting lots of complaints. They're very insulted when none of the women even mention their husbands at all.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
- In one episode, Red advises teenagers against doing crime, saying, "Just say no to assault, break-and-enter, arson, murder, theft, drug trafficking, and... oh, yeah, real estate sales."
- Aside Glance: Red frequently looks at the camera in "Adventures With Bill".
- Attractive Bent-Gender:
- Harold in "Possum Lodge Provincial Park".
- In one episode, Red, Dalton, and Mike hurt themselves. Mike goes to a masseuse and feels better, and recommends Red and Dalton go as well, which they first refuse but change their minds once they find out she's attractive. It turns out she's a male undercover cop, and Red and Dalton are disgusted, but Mike doesn't care and plans to keep going, since he was the only one going there specifically for treatment and not just to get touched by a pretty girl (although you would think he'd at least be concerned about the cop part).
- Audience Participation: In later seasons, the studio audience would provide the "three little words men find so hard to say" in "The Experts" sketches. "New Member Night" would also have volunteers from the studio audience play the prospective new Lodge member.
- Author Appeal: Steve Smith is apparently something of a car buff in real life. Throughout the show there are hundreds of Shout Outs and Take Thats to various cars (the Chrysler K-Car is a favorite target) and at least half of all the Handyman Corner projects involved something to do with cars. A lot of gags also involve beer, something that Smith even Lampshades in his introduction to one of the episodes on the DVD collections.
- Badass Beard: Red.
- Bait-and-Switch: The prizes for the Possum Lodge Word Game are presented in this manner with whoever is hosting (usually Harold) exciting the contestant with something that sounds desirable but only to reveal that the prize is ridiculously cheap...and occasionally used.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Bonnie kisses Harold, hard, in the finale when the two are officially wed. Also counts as a Crowning Moment of Funny, since she does it before Red can even tell Harold, "You may now kiss the bride."
- Big Eater: Possum Lodge is full of these, by Red's own admission. Of course, when Big Eater is the norm, the guy they consider a Big Eater is Moose Thompson.Red: Moose would eat a garden shed if you put enough hot sauce on it.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Red discovers that Ranger Gord has some pictures of Bigfoot that are actually clear and in focus, proving Bigfoot really exists. He excitedly tells Gord that the two of them should sell the pictures to a major TV network and get rich. However, Gord insists that since he is the professional forest ranger, he should do all the talking to maintain credibility. Red promptly gives the pictures back, knowing that nothing could give them less credibility than letting Gord do the talking.
- In one of Gord's educational cartoons, he lectures on how to protect oneself against a sasquatch. Because of its eponymous big feet, Gord explains, the sasquatch usually attacks by kickboxing its opponent, so one should keep their arms in front of their face at all times.
- Blatant Lies:
- Basically everything that comes out of Hap's mouth. It's not that Hap is a Bad Liar in as much as his stories are so over the top that there's no way he could've done all of it.
- Same for Doc Render in the second season. There's speculation from the other members whether or not Doc is an actual doctor; well-deserved speculation given that Doc treats a bullet wound with several boxes of band-aids.
- Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Red mixes up a batch for a lodge barbecue. It consisted mostly of ketchup and mustard, with some various hot peppers thrown in and some other ingredients, including the "secret ingredient", which was some blue goop in an unlabelled container (Harold gets it analyzed, it's jet fuel). To demonstrate how hot it is, Dalton tastes a little bit on a toothpick and is clearly in serious pain. Then Harold tastes a big spoonful.
- Blind Without 'Em: Happens to Bill once when he does boxing with Harold. Red removes Bill's glasses for him, thinking that one shouldn't fight a guy with glasses, and sets them on top of a pail in a corner of the ring. He does not realize that Bill does have a vision problem. He squints at the glasses on the pail, thinking it's Harold and delivers an uppercut to it, only for it to fall down and hit him on the head, knocking him out and leading Harold to be the winner by default.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Harold says Red's "Keep your stick on the ice" speech in "The Catfish Project" when Red is in a traumatized daze.
- Harold also says "Keep your stick on the ice" (and imitating Red's gravelly voice in the process) in the final episode.
- One of the gifted children Harold invites to the Lodge in "Chainsaw Races" says "Keep your stick on the ice" with Red adding "what he said".
- Edgar combines this with Subverted Catch Phrase when he describes duct tape as "the explosives enthusiast's secret weapon".
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:Red: Well, yeah, I guess, I guess then, Harold, either I have a plan or I'm an idiot, huh?Harold: Oh, good, okay, yeah. 'Cause usually you have a plan and you're an idiot, but this time...
- But I Digress: In "Free Apricots", during the "Experts" sketch:Harold: "Dear experts, how are you?"
Ranger Gord: Well actually, I'm a little upset today, because I lost my favorite pair of sunglasses. (Gord is wearing said sunglasses on top of his head) But y'know, it's not the end of the world. No way. That doesn't happen until the year 2015, in November, on a Thursday, and it's after lunch. Okay? So you can't get too upset when you lose something. The thing is, you have to remember to replace the thing that you lost with something new, and the real tricky part is, you have to remember to replace the same thing with the same thing. In other words, you can't replace a pair of sunglasses by buying a waffle iron. Okay? There it is. (the sunglasses fall over his eyes) Excuse me, I think a fuse blew. (Red pulls his sunglasses off) Oh no, it's okay, someone's got it.
(after much audience laughter/applause)
Harold: ...Our letter continues....
- Butt-Monkey: Harold.
- Canada, Eh?: Often played straight, or exaggerated for laughs. Expect lots of references to curling and Tim Hortons.
- Canis Latinicus: Possum Lodge's motto is "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati". Which means, quite appropriately (and this being dog-Latin, approximately), "When all else fails, play dead." Rival Salamander Lodge (which was created by a disgruntled Possum Lodge member out of spite and didn't even manage to last the whole episode) adopted the motto "Quando Omni Flunkus Terra Retreatum" ("When all else fails, hide under a rock").
- Catch-Phrase: Several.
- "On behalf of myself, and Harold, and the whole gang up here at the Possum Lodge, keep your stick on the ice."
- "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
- After giving advice to fellow middle-aged men: "Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together." Inverted when Harold presented the North of 40 segment in Red's place and closed with "Remember, you're on your own. Don't push it."
- "...using the handyman's secret weapon: duct tape."
- The Man's Prayer: "I'm a man... but I can change... if I have to... I guess."
- Inverted at the very end of the show, on the very last episode, where the closing was changed to "I'm a man... but I've changed... 'cause I had to... Oh, well."
- In one episode the Lodge had to cater to a group of women, so the Man's Prayer is replaced with the Woman's Prayer: "I'm a woman... hear me roar... I'm in charge... Get over it!"
- "It's not smart, or correct, but it's one of the things that makes us what we are."
- "This is only temporary, unless it works."
- "If at first you don't succeed, switch to power tools."
- "If it ain't broke, you're not trying."
- "Big, big week at the Lodge this week."
- "You know my motto: safety forced."
- "Any tool can be the right tool."
- Edgar: "Kaboom!"
- Garth: "Another super day..."
- "I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that."
- In the intros to the 1996 episodes, Red would say, "What you're looking at here are some segments from this particular show, the main message being, 'For gosh sakes, don't even think about changing the channel.' I tell ya something: If you want to make sense of this program, you have to give it your undivided attention." In the same episodes, during the bumper leading into the first commercial break, which shows a clip of the show to follow, Red says, "Stay tuned. Whatever this is, we've got lots more of it."
- "Welcome to Harold's Handicrafts, where crafty hands make handy crafts!" used by Harold to start the "Harold's Handicrafts" segment that featured in several Season 5 episodes.
- Celebrity Paradox: Edgar (played by Graham Greene) mentions that "That native actor in Dances with Wolves was really good, they shoulda given him the Oscar."
- Censored for Comedy: In one opening segment, Red has "__CK OFF" written in duct tape on the back of his car, with everything before the CK blocked by a jacket. He lifts up the jacket to reveal that the missing letters are BA, and says something about how things aren't always as they seem.
- Chainsaw Good: Subverted in that Red never used chainsaws as weapons, but in handyman projects. One notable example involved his duct taping a chainsaw to a bicycle to create a moped. Also subverted by Bill, who occasionally tried to use chainsaws for what they were designed for, but his Lethal Klutz tendencies led to Epic Fails anyway.
- Character Development:
- Over the course of the series, Harold generally grew from an awkward, incompetent teenager into a less awkward, successful adult, with even Red acknowledging him as a man. Lampshaded by Red when Harold leaves the lodge for a job in the city: "Looks like Harold has finally matured and grown up, but I don't see it happening to me anytime soon."
- During the two seasons when Harold was absent, Dalton, Mike and Winston filled in for him, became more rounded characters and turned into regulars.
- The Chew Toy: Bill from the "Adventures with Bill" segments. He withstood a level of physical abuse that would put Wile E. Coyote to shame.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
- The second season of the show introduced a host of new characters, none of whom were ever seen again afterward, save for the odd reference here and there.
- There were also Garth Harble, the first animal control officer before Ed Frid; Glen Brachston, the lazy marina owner; Dwight Cardiff, the other lazy marina owner; Dougie Franklin's brother, Ben; Bob Stuyvesant, golfer/ministry of natural resources worker; Arnie Dogan, accident-prone roofer/aspiring country singer; Young Walter, Bill's replacement in the black-and-white segments after Rick Green temporarily left the show; Dale, a teenaged boy who worked at a local gas station; Kevin Black, Yuppie cottage owner; Jack, a doomsday-prepping survivalist who only appeared in season 1; etc. At least one was justified, as Red mentions in one segment that Garth got bit by a toad and "lost his nerve."
- A couple characters only appeared in two episodes in The '90s: Earl Battersby, a local bait shop owner who believed in the paranormal; and Kelly Cook (one of the first female characters on the show), a meddling network executive who only appears in two Season 10 episodes.
- Special mention goes to Sparky Hoover, a radio host/school bus driver who only appeared in "Big Guy Little Guy".
- Cloudcuckooland: The Lodge.
- Cloudcuckoolander: To be honest, most of the Lodge members could fit into this category, but Ranger Gord was undeniably the standout example. See Loners Are Freaks below.
- The Comically Serious: The audience members who played the prospective new members in the "New Member Night" segments always acted this way, and made things even funnier by raising their eyebrows or frowning as the cast member talks about them.
- Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: Invoked:Mike: How do you guys feel about how leading men are presented in today's movies?
Red: Well, I haven't seen any of them, but I'm sure they're all crap.
- Convenience Store Gift Shopping: Red tried to do this for Bernice for Christmas, then tried to justify it by saying that the Sunoco logo on the free gas station mugs matched their kitchen.
- Cool Car: In an odd sort of way, the Possum Van.
- Also any car that makes it out the other end of Handyman Corner.
- When Red replaced the Possum Van with a new Possum Van, he then turned the old Possum Van into an air boat.
- Dougie Franklin's monster trucks, also in an odd way.
- Winston Rothschild's sewage truck, also in an odd way.
- Cool, Clear Water: Subverted. With all the snowmobiles falling through the ice, run off from the lodge and the marina, the appropriately named Mercury Creek, and the proximity of "Stinky" Peterson, everyone knows how dirty Possum Lake is.
- Couch Gag:
- Up until the eighth season, Harold would start the show by introducing Red in some random (and sometimes true or untrue) way or another.
- Likewise, at the end of every episode, Red would always address his wife through, "If my wife is watching, I'll be coming straight home..." (from the second season onward, he addresses that he will be home after the Lodge Meeting), and then says some remark based on the events in the episode, before thanking the audience for watching and saying, "Keep your stick on the ice."
- Cowardly Lion: Ed Frid was afraid of every animal, but he sometimes pulls through just fine.
- Crawl: The subject of one "Handyman Corner". Red rigged a ruler to cover the crawl so it didn't distract his viewing of Gilligan's Island.
- Crossover: With Royal Canadian Air Farce.
- Daddy DNA Test: In one episode, an old rich guy dies, and since he amassed his fortune by donating to the local sperm bank, everyone in town gets DNA tested hoping to get a match, and therefore be entitled to the inheritance. Shockingly, all of the DNA tests turn out to be exactly the same. Incestuous implications aside, this unfortunately only entitles everyone to a few bucks each since the inheritance has to be split so many ways. It turns out that this was because Mike stole all the test tubes, so the testers had to use the lids off pickle jars, and simply ended up testing the chemical composition of pickle juice. The reason this matched the old guy's DNA was because he was always pickled himself.
- Deadpan Snarker: Red, on occasion. Harold also gets this role.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Explicitly said by Red in one episode.
- Non-word example: Starting in season 7, a Once an Episode gag during the end credits was Harold (or another character like Dalton or Mike) telling the Possum Lodge members to sit down so the meeting can start. Then they immediately say, "All rise!", the group performs the chant, and sit back down again. What was the point of sitting down the first time again?
- Directionless Driver:
- Referenced in "The Science Fair" episode:Red Green: "We're out there in our own vehicles, burning gas, got the sunglasses on, looking good. People seeing us going by would have no idea we don't know where we are. And we're not really excited about sharing that information. A man does not embrace the concept of going up to total strangers and saying, 'You may not know this, but I'm a moron,' whereas the woman he's with is only too happy to share that information[…]Men aren't lost. They're just going the long way."
- It also served as the plot for a fourth-season episode when Buster Hadfield and his wife went on a trip to visit their relatives. Unfortunately, since Buster hates to stop and ask for directions when he gets lost, he ends up driving all over North America.
- Referenced in "The Science Fair" episode:
- Dirty Old Man: Alluded to.Red Green: Old Man Sedgewick's moved into the Lodge, so now he's got the bunch of us running around fetching things for him. Bran muffins, hot water bottles...and of course the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition."Old Man Sedgewick will be playing the field until they plow him under."
- Disco Dan: Buzz Sherwood, who is still a New-Age Retro Hippie.
- D.I.Y. Disaster: Pretty much every episode.
- Does This Make Me Look Fat?: Red talks about the dangers of this question in several episodes.
- A Dog Ate My Homework: Red once mentioned that he used this excuse on a regular basis during his school days.Red: If my dog ate as much homework as I said he did, he'd be passing firelogs.
- Double Entendre: Red usually slips one into his closing message to Bernice. It's usually relevant to the plot of the episode in some way and its message is always essentially "Hope you're up for some sex tonight."
- Double Meaning: After Harold gets a chain letter and passes it on, he gets a $100 bill in the mail, causing the whole Lodge to go chain-letter-crazy hoping to receive the same good fortune. It's not until the end of the episode that Harold clarifies that he received a bill for $100.
- Driving Test: After an incident involving the Possum van and a speed bump, Red has his driver's license revoked and has to get retested to get it back. When it seems that Red is doomed to fail the written portion, he sends Harold in his place, who gets into an accident on the driving portion.
- Duct Tape for Everything: You know it. Played with in the episode "No Duct Tape," where the lodge runs out of duct tape—only to find loads of it in the attic, where it was being used to fix the ductwork. This leads to a comment from Mike, who says, "I didn't know you could use it for that!"
- Ironic, because duct tape cannot be used to seal ducts.
- A lampshaded subversion appeared in one episode where tape was needed to do duct work... Scouring through the rolls of duct tape uncovered what he was looking for - adhesive tape.
- Dumb Muscle: Moose Thompson is heavily implied to be this trope, or a Fat Idiot Depending on the Writer. The DVD bios for the show indicate that Moose isn't in very good physical condition, but several episodes and book comments indicate that Moose is actually really strong. All the source material pretty much agrees on his intelligence level, of course.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first two seasons: In season 1, Red is incredibly low-key, and Harold frequently interrupts his stories with scene transitions. It also lacked the "Possum Lodge meeting" which ended every episode from season 2 onwards. Season 2 had a bunch of characters that were never seen in any other season. Neither season had the Expert segment, which would debut in season 3. Also, Harold's intros of Red in the first few seasons were much longer, and accompanied by the camera panning across various parts of the set.
- Edible Ammunition: A "Handyman Corner" features Red building a cannon to shoot whole-grain muffins.
- El Spanish "-o": On one "Adventures with Bill" segment, Red refers to the choke on a lawnmower as the "choké", and claims that it's a French word.
- Embarrassing First Name: Red's first name is not "Red"; Harold finds out what it really is and understands why he uses his nickname.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Harold Dortmund Spooner Mepps Green.
- Empathy Pet: The extremely lazy Dwight Cardiff proves that this trope has its limits.Red: You ever have any pets, Dwight?
Dwight: Used to have a snail.
Red: What happened?
Dwight: He ran away on me.
- Epic Fail: Most of the Lodge members' schemes are made of this trope.
Red: Crime doesn't pay, does it, Mike?
- Any Possum Lake project described by Red in the main storyline of an episode inevitably leads to this.
- Adventures with Bill. A good 90 percent of the episodes have Bill screw up what should be a rather simple task in a monumental way.
- Special mention also goes to Mike for his attempt to rob a bank through the drive-through window. First, he sent in his hold-up note...and then he sent his gun in after it.
Mike: Not when I do it.
- The Eponymous Show
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Helmut Wintergarden isn't really a bad guy, but you definitely don't want to piss him off. And he loves his mother very much.
- Excuse Plot: In earlier seasons of the program, there was generally an over-reaching plot that they tried to work into every segment of the show in some manner or another. In latter seasons, this practice was dropped, with the main plot of the episode only appearing in a few segments and otherwise being kept out of the recurring sketches like "North of 40" or "Handyman Corner." One of the most notable instances was the "No Duct Tape" episode, in which Red was still seen using duct tape in such segments, even though the plot of the episode was that Possum Lodge had run out of duct tape.
- Executive Meddling: In-universe example. Two sketches in season 10 involved Red being called in to meet with a representative of the network (Kelly Cook, a college-aged girl who is most definitely not the target audience of either the real or the in-universe show), who demands that certain changes be made to the show. Red always finds some way to get out of it.
- There was a full episode devoted to this, "The Network Deal", where the show was trying to get bought by a major network (which actually had some Reality Subtext at the time) but Red wasn't happy with all the stupid changes that were being forced upon it.
- And "Reality Television" had Harold wanting to change the format of the show to add more conflict, as that's what apparently drives reality TV shows to be popular.
- Explosive Stupidity: Edgar Montrose, the local explosives "expert" (or "enthusiast", depending on the episode) who qualifies his use of dynamite in any given situation as "explosives enthusiasm". It doesn't matter what your problem is, Edgar can use dynamite to "fix" that. This is quite obvious from his smoking and torn overalls, his missing fingers and his soot stained face. He has also lost most of his hearing. In the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, it's revealed that Edgar finally managed to get himself killed when he tried to make a self-heating recliner out of C4.
- Express Lane Limit: In "Harold's One and Only," Red complains about getting stuck in a supermarket express lane behind an old guy with 97 items (who then realized he forgot to buy a watermelon and wandered back into the store to get it, thereby holding up the line even more). Red doesn't say what the store's actual item limit is, but it's clearly a much lower number than 97.
- Expy: Five guys from Iowa are lookalikes to Red, Dalton, Edgar, Mike, and Winston in "Twinning".
- Extreme Omni-Goat: In one episode Red receives payment for something in the form of a snowmobile and a goat. The goat eats the snowmobile and then instantly drops dead from doing so, causing Red to lose both parts of his payment.
- Failure Is the Only Option: When the money making scheme of extracting silver from old film negatives produced only a small blob of silver, Harold points out how much time and money Red and the other lodge members wasted; while Red points out that they had fun, they learned something, and they weren't out in their cars and boats doing any real damage. Red says that at his age you stop trying to win, and "just try to lose as slowly as possible".
- Farts on Fire: Alluded to by Red after the Lodge's giant length of sausages explodes when they try to cook it.Red: Apparently, we didn't get the interior of the sausage as sterile as it needs to be, gettin' a methane buildup in there... Those of you in a college fraternity know that methane is flammable...
- Framing Device
- Funny Background Event: The "siren" that calls people to the Possum Lodge.
- Fun with Acronyms:Winston: Winston Rothschild: PHB, LLX, SOL, IOU, DOA, VCR, PDQ, QT, and of course, T&A.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Red: Dalton, you would never say to your wife that she's picky, overweight or weepy, because...
- Even though it was rated G, the show slipped in quite a large number of "damn"s, "hell"s and sexual references. To say nothing of this exchange:Ed: Watch out! [The cobra] is gonna spit!
Red: So am I! (Beat) Or—or—or did you say spit?
- Or how about the episode where Red was suggesting where you could find batteries, including those devices Bernice kept in the bedside drawer?
- There is also one episode whose segment of The Possum Lodge Word Game shows Dalton having to say the word "Sensitive":
Dalton: (puzzled) Castration...?
Red: That's enough of those iceholes.
- After the "Adventures With Bill" about ice fishing:
- Even though it was rated G, the show slipped in quite a large number of "damn"s, "hell"s and sexual references. To say nothing of this exchange:
- The Ghost:
- Characters who were regularly referenced but never seen included Old Man Sedgewick, Moose Thompson, Buster Hadfield, Stinky Peterson, and Red's wife Bernice.note
- Ann-Marie was usually this, although later episodes featured a recurring segment in which Red is either dropping Dalton off at his house or picking him up from his house and we hear Ann-Marie's voice.
- This was lampshaded with regards to Bernice when Red is Mistaken for Gay by Winston:Winston: You say you've got a wife, but nobody's ever seen her!
- Gone Horribly Wrong/Gone Horribly Right:
- The Handyman Corner projects almost always turn out one of these two ways. It's not always clear which.
- The plot of "Mike Goes Straight" is a perfect example of Gone Horribly Right, in which Mike becomes a bylaw police officer as a way to control his sticky fingers. He is a little too successful, ridding the world of hardened criminals — like Dalton and Winston!Red: I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who said, "The law is an ass." I guess he knew Mike.
- Goofy Print Underwear: In the Handyman Corner segment of "Maxi Golf", Red (tries to) use an electric lathe to create new legs for a coffee table. At one point, Red leans over too close to the running lathe to pick up his tools, which causes his pants to catch into it and reveal Red's heart print underwear:Red: ...yeah, that was the other thing I forgot to mention: don't wear loose clothing!
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Bill found this out the hard way on multiple occasions. Arnie Dogen too, but his cases are only hinted at.
- Guys Are Slobs: Plenty of the comedy is derived from this trope. Hell, just look at how cluttered with junk the Lodge is. Also, there's this quote from Red:Red: If there were no more women in the world, men would eventually decide that taking out the garbage is more work than just getting used to the smell.
- Hammerspace: Bill's overalls.
- Hates Being Touched: Red Green, comments this to Harold a lot, and off-screen when Winston and Red was an Equality Rally.
- He Man Woman Haters Club: Hilariously Lampshaded and subverted at the same time. When Red and Harold are trying to sell the show to a major network, the network expresses concern about the lack of women on the show. Red explains that Possum Lodge is open to all races, genders, colors, creeds and sexes, but for some strange reason very few women are interested in things like packing their hipwaders full of dry ice and seeing how big the wearer can inflate them before they explode. Go figure. Ironically, that same episode was the first time a woman appeared as a one-shot character, and several women would appear in later seasons in crowd scenes. Harold's girlfriend Bonnie would also become a recurring cast member in the last few years of the show.
- Henpecked Husband:
- Dalton Humphrey is very much under the thumb of his wife Ann-Marie.
- Several episodes imply that Red is one of these too:Red: (visiting Harold at his job) Harold, you have a woman boss!
Harold: Well, so do you — Aunt Bernice.
Red: Come on, that's different.
Harold: (smugly) I know, I get paid.
- Hell, several episodes imply that all husbands are this by definition.[Red and Dalton are arguing over the existence of angels]
Dalton: You don't believe that there are beings keeping an eye on where we are and what we're doing, and know exactly what we're thinking?
Red: Yeah, but they're called "wives", Dalton.
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Ranger Gord's "educational cartoons," which portray him as a large, muscular man whom all the ladies love, and the lodge members as ignorant buffoons.
- On the other hand, the lodge members kinda are... it's just that Gord is, too.
- Humorously, a lot of the information that Funny Animal Red and Harold give in Gord's cartoons is actually true in real life. But in Gord's cartoons, all of his bizarre theories and ideas are true instead.
- High Hopes, Zero Talent: Second-season character Eddie Johnson served as the Lodge chef. He dreams of either being a world-famous cook or a star Broadway performer, but the other Lodge members have a hard time deciding whether he's worse at cooking or acting.
- Homemade Inventions: The Handyman Corner segments. It's amazing what you can do with some rusted K-Cars and a few hundred rolls of duct tape.
- Honest John's Dealership:
- Murray Woolworth is owner of the only convenience store in the area, so he gouges people on everything, and often offers cheap substitute products, such as selling a four-man raft, sight-unseen, and then delivering a large inner-tube with a tackle box duct taped to it.
- The same could also be said for Humphrey's Everything Store. Dalton has been known to BS his way into making customers pay a few dollars extra by making them think they're buying a priceless antique, when it's really just junk.
- Hurricane of Puns:
- "The Red Green Show was duct taped live before a studio audience." Plenty more of that ilk.
- A particularly Incredibly Lame Pun came from a Handyman's Corner where Red made a coffee grinder out of a lawnmower, then said that when serving your guests, you can ask "who wants mower coffee?"
- Hyperspace Arsenal: How Bill manages to fit all that stuff into his overalls is one of the great mysteries of our time.
- I Ate WHAT?!:
- In one episode, Harold is complaining about a lack of sleep due to all the noise, and how it's giving him a headache. Red roots around in a pile of junk and produces a couple of pill-shaped objects which Harold promptly swallows.Harold: Wow, these aspirin are huge!
Red: Those were earplugs.
- Another episode has Red, Mike, and Dalton trying to raise money by selling candy door-to-door. Dalton, being the penny-pinching cheap bastard he is, gets a bulk order of discounted candy imported from China. Red and Mike think they taste horrible, but Dalton actually likes them and eats at least one whole box over the course of the episode. At the end of the episode, Mike comes in after just having tried to sell the candy at Buster Hadfield's house. Buster happens to be hosting a Chinese exchange student who points out that the writing on the box says "earrings". Upon hearing this, Dalton suddenly isn't feeling well.
- In yet another episode, Red and the others thought they were brewing their own alcoholic beverage (it was either sparkling wine or light beer, Red says) in a bathtub, although Red was curious as to why this beverage had olives. Harold tells him that's actually his project for the school science fair: he is pickling polliwogs, which is what Red had mistaken for the aforementioned olives. Red suddenly keels over and feels sick.
- In one episode, Harold is complaining about a lack of sleep due to all the noise, and how it's giving him a headache. Red roots around in a pile of junk and produces a couple of pill-shaped objects which Harold promptly swallows.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of Season 4's episodes are titled "The (something) Project".
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: A still picture of the lodge, and one of several things happens. A chainsaw saws through the picture and it falls away; a gas can plunks into the middle of the screen then explodes, etc. Other wipes included Harold's grinning face sliding past the screen, a lantern turning on, or anything that would fit a lodge-like theme.
- Ignored Epiphany: One fine day, Ranger Gord decided to rejoin the human race after eighteen years up at his fire tower when he'd finally learned that he'd been replaced by an electronic sensor a year after being hired. Red was all about telling Harold to go easy on Gord for wasting his life when Gord came in sympathizing with Red and the gang at the Lodge because no one else had done anything with their lives in the intervening time either. Just before he went down to the lodge meeting, Red talked about how sad it was when people wasted their lives without even realizing it. When he suggested that it was because they didn't want to look, he had a brief and quickly suppressed realization that he'd just described himself, Harold and the whole gang up at Possum Lodge.
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: Ranger Gord presents - Ranger Gord in: Ranger Gord's Educational Films. Written, drawn, animated, and voiced by: Ranger Gord. Starring Ranger Gord!
- Incredibly Lame Pun: The Winter of Our Discount Tent.
- The Internet Is for Porn: Discussed in one "Experts" segment; Harold loves the internet but doesn't care for all the pornography on it. Dalton "agrees" but keeps Digging Himself Deeper by claiming he was searching for "pantries" but misspelled it. When informed that web browsers have a history of web sites visited, Dalton nervously runs out to delete it before his wife finds it.
- Iron Butt Monkey:
- Bill suffers injuries that would kill Wile E. Coyote. But no matter what happens to him, by next week's show he's good as new and ready for yet another zany adventure. That said, there are occasional references to the number of bandages Bill wears at any given time, and in one second-season episode when the Lodge members are trying to deal with an audit, one of them suggests using Bill's medical expenses and all the stuff he damages as "business expenses" for the Lodge.
- Red is a lesser example, considering how he'd sometimes get hurt by Bill's screwups. The other lodge members would also get in on this when the Adventure segment no longer focused just on Red and Bill.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: In "The Splinter Lodge," Red wants to talk to Harold about the swamp-skiing competition, but Harold is preoccupied and not listening.Red: Yeah. Uh, so I'm– I'm gonna add a special event to it. Harold is gonna do a cannonball off the top of Rock Reef Point, singing the national anthem, butt-naked, with his hair on fire. That okay with you, Harold?Harold: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, whatever... Hey, wait a minute, I don't know the national anthem!
- Jerkass: Ranger Gord in his so-called educational films, where more often than not, he torments animal versions of Red and Harold, who usually end up either killed or, in some other way, disposed of, thanks to Gord.
- Jitter Cam: "Buddy System", since its camera is handheld.
- Keet: Harold. Also, Mike, especially when he hosts the Possum Lodge Word Game.
- Kinda Busy Here: A Played for Laughs variation of this involving an intercom system rather than a cell phone showed up in one Handyman Corner segment, where Red was building the intercom system using PVC piping and used toilets. At the end of the segment, Red tried to use one of these toilets to contact Harold, and at first, all he heard was a trickle. Then Harold answered, "Don't talk to me now, Uncle Red, I'm...kinda busy...!"
- Kleptomaniac Hero: As a known felon, Mike was especially prone to this and Red certainly wasn't above snitching stuff for his construction projects.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All:
- What every guest turns into in the segment where they examine the three little words that men find impossible to say: "I DON'T KNOW!"
- Also, this is Hap Shaughnessy's main shtick: he makes a wild and unbelievable claim to have done something extraordinary or to have some special status in the world, no matter how blatantly impossible or improbable the claim.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Stinky Peterson, Old Man Sedgewick, Junior Singleton, and Moose Thompson. Ironically, the Stuffed and Mounted DVDs do mention that they have real names: Stinky's real name is Stephen Riechen Puanteur Peterson (his middle names being German and French for "smell"), Old Man Sedgewick's real name is Orville Lloyd Dutton Manly Alvin Norbert Sedgewick (notice what the initials spell), and Moose's real name is Mooseworth Hugo Largess Thompson.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Red and Dalton discuss what to do if they get pulled over by cops while towing a flatbed trailer carrying an enormous length of sausage links.Dalton: You know what we could say? [snickering] "I bet you never sausage a thing!"
Red: ...Don't make me kill you, Dalton.
- The Last Straw: During the Handyman Corner's project to create your own tow-truck in season 7: Red has loaded down the vehicle with tires, barrels, and at least two lawn mowers, and then adds a key-sized object from his pocket onto the pile. You can guess the result.
- Lemony Narrator: Red, in the "Adventures With Bill" segments.
- Lethal Chef:
- Eddie Johnson, the Lodge cook who only appeared in the second season, was one of these. Not that the other Lodge members were any better, as references abound to the different varieties of chili made by everyone from Moose Thompson to Stinky Peterson to Buster Hadfield. A couple of Handyman Corner segments also featured Red either cooking his own variety of Lodge chili, or showing the viewers how they can cook dinner when their wives aren't home.
- Ironically subverted by Douglas Hendrychuk, the Lodge treasurer and another second-season-only character, who briefly offered to do the cooking after Eddie quit. His cookies were surprisingly good, but since Status Quo Is God Eddie threw a fit and insisted on taking back the job.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Red and Dalton in "Survivor" when the two have to stay in the lodge when a toxic cloud is outside.
- Like a Son to Me: Subverted with Red and Harold. After working with Harold on the show, Red doesn't really regret not having a son. It's also Gender Flipped in an episode when Red's niece visits him and Bernice, after which Red states that he doesn't really regret not having a daughter, either.
- Limited Animation: Done deliberately for the "Ranger Gord" cartoons, as, in-universe, Ranger Gord animated the cartoons himself.
- Literal-Minded: Harold, during one episode intro: "And now, the man that needs no introduction..." (Red Green walks in with no more words from Harold)
- Loners Are Freaks: Poor Ranger Gord. He was posted to Fire Watch Tower #13 in 1979, and then head office forgot about him. After spending the next 11-12 years living all alone in the woods, Gord's pretty much lost his marbles by the time Red finds him. This is continually Lampshaded by Red on multiple occasions, in which Red urges him to come back to civilization and get help, only to be turned down.
- Long List / Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: In "Red Green Insurance":Announcer: Caution: Winston Rothschild is not for everyone. Small children, the elderly, pregnant or nursing mothers, household pets, people on heart medication, and anyone with a reasonable sense of smell should not come within 100 metres of a Rothschild's truck. Side-Effects Include...: Nausea, dizziness, stomach cramps, dry mouth, headache, skin rash, tremors, watery eyes, blurred vision, profuse sweating, diminished appetite, palpitations, agitation, asphyxiation, gland trouble, permanent sinusitus, indigestion, constipation, temporary blindness, vertigo, stuttering, dementia, depression, property devaluation, divorce, third degree embarrassment, foul language, sexual dysfunction, and actual loss of the will to live. Check with your doctor, zoning officer, building inspector, environmental protection agencies and disaster relief organizations to see if Winston is right for you.
- Long-Runners: Fifteen years and more than 300 episodes. As Red himself noted:Red: Is it possible to do anything with crap? Obviously yes, since we're in our fifteenth season.
- The character of Red Green and setting of Possum Lodge had previously appeared on Smith's other sketch comedy shows, Smith & Smith and The Comedy Mill, meaning that Red Green had been on TV in some form for over 25 years.
- Loony Fan: After Kevin Black left Possum Lake, his house was bought by Werner Klemperer. The Lodge members drive him nuts stalking him and he moves out as quickly as he moved in.
- Magic Feather: Inverted when part-time civil servant/full time golfer Bob Stuyvesant buys a new set of golf clubs from Murray Woolworth. The right-handed Bob's new clubs turn out to be a set of left-handed drivers with a goalie stick for a putter. Bob is furious, but then Murray convinces him to take the clubs out for a game. He ends up shooting six under par, when he's otherwise the world's worst golfer. Go figure.
- A Man Is Always Eager: Averted by Red in a "Buddy System" segment, where Red is trying to give advice on how to deal with your wife when she wants sex and you don't, until Dougie invokes this trope by implying that Red is less of a man for not wanting sex at all times, pressuring him into changing his advice to "have sex with her anyway".
- Married to the Job: A literal example when Ranger Gord tells Red that he got married to the forest. Red doesn't stick around long after Gord shows off his wedding ring.
- Men Are Uncultured: One of the main themes of the show, though both genders were equally (and affectionately) targeted.
- Messy Hair: Dalton, though he didn't start out that way. He originally had flat hair which got bushier and frizzier with each passing season.
- Mistaken for Gay: This happened to Red and Winston at least twice. It eventually became a Running Gag that Dalton would walk in on an ambiguous scene between Red and Harold, get a freaked out look on his face and then leave immediately.
- An episode centered around Red and Dalton mistaking Winston for gay because he had an earring (it turned out to be a piece of a little girl's toy that was flushed down the toilet and got caught there accidentally after the toilet exploded). They sit him down and awkwardly try to ask him if he is gay, which he mistakes as Red trying to come out of the closet himself. Even after the misunderstanding is cleared up, Winston still thinks Red is gay, just not ready to come out yet.
- In one Possum Lodge Word Game, Red is trying to get Ed Frid to guess the word "Fuzzy", and gives a hint saying that the word describes his beard. Ed guesses "Gay?". Red wasn't amused.
- In another Word Game, Red tries to get Dougie Franklin to guess the word "Romantic":Red: When a guy is very sensitive, lavishes gifts, and is very considerate and very feeling, he's obviously...
Dougie: (crossing arms, smugly) Gay.
- Mood-Swinger: Ranger Gord, who starts sobbing at the drop of a hat.
- Motor Mouth: What Winston becomes in "Guinness World Records" when he tries to beat the record for most coffee drank.Red: All right, men, bow your heads for the Man's Prayer.
Everyone else: I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.
- The Movie: Duct Tape Forever.
- Multiple Demographic Appeal: The show's sheer variety of humour, as well as the high quality of the writing, means that people of just about every generation and lifestyle can find something to enjoy.
- The Munchausen: Hap is practically the poster boy for this trope.
- My Car Hates Me:Harold: Red, you have to think about your impact on the environment. Take the van for example...
Red: Harold, it takes 45 minutes to start the Possum Van. I'm not about to turn it off.
- Mystery Meat: The "Not Chicken" episode had Red starting a restaurant called "I Can't Believe it's Not Chicken"; it was a hit until a passing zoologist guessed what the "Not Chicken" really was and the health inspector shut it down.
- One campfire song posed (and answered) the question of what hot dogs are made from.
- Naked People Are Funny: One episode had Harold rent the Lodge out to what he thought were senior naturalists. However, this was a typo. They were senior naturists... as in senior citizen naturists. Most of the Lodge members end up needing Brain Bleach.Mike: [horrified] You didn't see what I saw!
Red: ...Lawn mowing?
Mike: Worse! Trampoline!
- Narrator: Used a few times in season 3 when Red would visit various characters.
- Nerd Glasses: Harold.
- Never Bareheaded: Red wears the same hat virtually all the time. One of the only times we see him without it is in "The Hydrogen Project," where his hat gets filled with hydrogen and floats up towards the ceiling.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Buzz Sherwood is/was one who hasn't moved on.
- Nice Hat: Red's Canadian military field maneuvers hat. To a lesser extent, Winston's helmet.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It seems like local gas station owner Ralphie closed his station down because the Lodge members kept stealing gas from him. Harold suggests that the Lodge members confess their thefts to Ralphie, and offer to pay him back to open up his shop again. We then learn that Ralphie didn't actually close his station down, he just added a new shopping area which made his pumps hard to find. So now the Lodge members have to pay for everything they've stolen without needing to. When the Lodge meeting starts, Red tells Harold that "the men are waiting for you." Harold reacts appropriately.
- No Bisexuals: Averted by Red in the Possum Lodge Word Game. When trying to get Mike to guess the word "buy", he said that "There are people who can be intimate with both men and women. Those people are 'blank'-sexual." (Mike's answer was "Very.")
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Silver Wasp.
- No Communities Were Harmed: Possum Lake is a fictional stand-in for any number of smaller towns located across Canada.
- No Fourth Wall: Characters frequently address the audience. Justified, since this is their TV show too.
- No Longer with Us:Red: Well, there's no real nice way to put this, Harold, but, uh, Junior's no longer with us. He's gone.Harold: Junior Singleton's dead?Red: No, Harold, it's worse. He's in love.
- Non-Indicative Name: Men Anonymous is not actually anonymous because all of the men are Lodge members who know each other.
- Noodle Incident: In the first scene of "The Stuck Truck Project," Red says that he prefers to solve his own problems rather than "suffer the embarrassment of having to explain to a total stranger why the barbecue lid is on the roof of the church."
- Not in Front of the Parrot: Happens when Ed Frid brings his girlfriend’s parrot to the animal segment.
- Not Me This Time: Mike gets a great deal on a barbecue and asks the Lodge members to chip in and buy it as a birthday present for Dalton. Meanwhile Dalton is complaining that an identical barbecue was stolen from his store, and declaring that whoever took it is going to pay big time. Red of course jumps to the logical conclusion that Mike stole it, even though he insists he didn't. Red doesn't believe him and ends up painting the barbecue a hideous shade of yellow trying to disguise it. At the end of the episode, they give the barbecue to Dalton, but he says he doesn't need it because Anne-Marie took the barbecue from his store and gave it to him as a birthday present. Cue Mike giving Red a Death Glare that lasts well into the lodge meeting during the ending credits.Red: I'm sorry, okay?!
- Not So Different: In one episode, the Lodge members decide to trade place with a group of Iowans, all of whom look and act like Expys of the Lodge members. Even Red.Red: (addressing his wife at the end about the Red Expy) That man is NOT me! When I hop into bed tonight, you better check my personal ID, and I think you know what I mean by that!
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Doc Render is the lodge's medical officer, but no one is sure if he really is a doctor, let alone an MD.
- Offscreen Crash: At the end of "Bye Bye Bonnie," Harold leaves to go to the Lodge Meeting, walking very stiffly because he's wearing leather pants:Red: Oh, Harold, Harold, Harold, be careful on the, um— (several loud crashing noises) —stairs.
- Oh, the Humanity!: Said by several characters in different episodes.
- Buzz says this in "The Hydrogen Project", when an airborne canoe explodes.
- Dalton says this in "Sausage Envy", when during the sausage cook-off, pressure built up inside the sausage and he poked a sausage with a fork, causing it to explode.
- In the opening scene of "Snowed In", Red shows a way to cheat through a physical exam: by reducing weight with helium inflated in a floating pool toy inside your clothes. But the pool toy explodes as soon as Red gets in the van, after which he exclaims this phrase in a helium voice.
- Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: The rhyme is referenced in the Handyman's Corner segment of "Bernice's Birthday", where Red attempts to repaint the Possum Van by filling up its tires with paint and air, then connecting them to a soda gun:Red: So, out of my four tires, let's see... one is old, one is new, one is borrowed, so this one I'll make blue!
- Only Sane Man: Either Red or Harold. Red is the most normal of the Possum Lodge members; Harold is an outsider, but he's got his own quirks.
- Parody Sue: Gord's muscular, all-knowing, girl-attracting self in the educational cartoons.
- Percussive Shutdown: At the beginning of "Possum Lodge Radio," the phone lines at the Lodge have been accidentally fused together so everyone gets every call. The first time Red is interrupted by a ringing phone, he answers it, snaps, "Stop usin' the phone!" and hangs up. The second time the phone interrupts him, he smashes it with a sledgehammer and says, "Wrong number!"
- Perpetual Motion Machine: Red makes one as his very last Handyman Corner project on the very last episode of the show.
- The Pigpen:
- Possibly Winston, given his profession of sucking sewage, of which he is proud.
- Also Stinky Peterson. It's his name, after all.
- Porn Stash: A "North of 40" segment addressed the women watching, saying that they shouldn't make their husbands get rid of their porn, because there are far worse magazines for men that their husbands will just start looking at instead: namely the ones full of used cars, trucks, fishing boats, RVs, etc. It's all just as tempting as porn for the average man, and there is a far greater danger of your husband bringing something from those magazines home.
- Product Placement: 3M became a sponsor of the show, and Red a spokesman, after they saw how much Scotch duct tape (a 3M brand) the show used.
- Punny Name: Mike creates a fake candidate to nominate for Man of the Year so that the Lodge can get the prize (a fishing boat). He names the guy Bernie Goodyear, after the tire fire.
- Put on a Bus:
- After the show's eighth season, Patrick McKenna began having personal difficulties Note and decided to leave the show. Harold was shown getting a job in the city and was phased out of the show over the next two seasons. Once McKenna got his issues sorted out, Harold returned, having been explained as being named his company's community liaison to Possum Lake.
- Co-creator Rick Green, who plays Bill, also left the show for a few years to focus on his educational comedy show History Bites. Unlike with Patrick McKenna and Harold, Bill's disappearance was never explained, with the rest of the cast joining Red in the Adventure segments; Walter became a more or less full-time replacement for several seasons. When History Bites ended and Green came back, Bill returned as if nothing had ever happened.
- Rearrange the Song: Starting with the 1994 episodes, the show got a few changes in instrumentation to the theme song, adding a sax and some new flourishes. The show also got a new intro to accompany this. This lasted until after the 1997 episodes.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Moose Thompson becomes fed up with Lethal Chef Eddie Johnson's bad cooking and worse performing skills, he apparently gives Eddie one of these.
- Repetitive Name:
- Winston frequently quotes a self-help guru named Anthony Anthony.
- At one point we find out Ranger Gord's full name is Gord Ranger. He doesn't like people calling him "Ranger Ranger".
- Re Tool: The second season, which still had the skits (Adventures With Bill, Handyman Corner, Experts, Mail Call), but also had plotlines with a bunch of new characters (many of whom solely appeared in this season). Unlike every other season of the show, these plots weren't told to the viewer by Red, but shown, much like a standard sitcom.
- Rube Goldberg Device: An accidental one occurs in "The Chainsaw Races": Dalton shoots staples at Red, who retaliates by shooting caulk at Dalton; the caulk lands in Winston's coffee. When he drinks it and spits it out, he chucks the rest of the coffee at Walter, who's on a ladder. When Walter falls to the ground, his staple gun fires at a kiddie pool, which causes it to flood the ground, and hitting the cord, shocking the saw out of Winston's hands.
- Rule of Three: In one of Red's "Handyman Corner" segments, Red admits to stealing a hose reel from the fire department, but says they probably won't mind because it's rainy season. Then he admits to stealing all of his neighbor' garden hoses, but says they probably won't mind because it's rainy season. Then he admits to stealing Bernice's clothesline, but says she probably won't mind, "because, well, you know."
- Running Gag:
- In the "Adventures With Bill" segment, some object flying through the air and breaking the driver's side mirror off of Red's van.
- Red almost always resorts to hitting something with a sledge hammer during "Handyman Corner".
- Harold's solo segments invariably end with Red barging in and saying something insulting.
- Sand In My Eyes: Red uses this excuse when many of the members start crying uncontrollably in "School Demo".
- Science Fair: One whole episode, appropriately titled "The Science Fair", revolved around this, with Red insisting on "helping" Harold with his science fair project(s), against Harold's objections. This show being the way it is, (what's left of) Red and Harold stagger back into the Possum Lodge and report it all ended with multiple explosions, Harold (unsurprisingly) not winning the fair, and the first-prize trophy embedded in Stinky Peterson's body (Harold said the doctors could get it removed). The real winner of the fair had a project on fire extinguishers, which proved handy in putting out the fire from the explosions.
- Scout Out: Surprisingly averted; the troop is referred to as the Boy Scouts in "No Church".
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Old Man Sedgewick.
- Take this exchange:Harold: Old Man Sedgewick's always so rude to tourists!
Red: Well, he figures they're probably lost, so he tells them where to go.
- Or this one:Harold: We got a report that Old Man Sedgewick was up by the main highway kicking stones at passing cars, so we went to check it out.
Red: What did you find?
Harold: Old Man Sedgewick kicking stones at passing cars!
- Or this one:Harold: (talking about both Old Man Sedgewick and his 97-year-old son) Talk about two old, crabby guys! I'm walking by, they yell, "Hey, dork! Pick a gender!"
Red: (laughing) Boy, that's cruel.
- Take this exchange:
- The Scrooge: Dalton, and proud of it.
- Second Place Is for Winners: In Duct Tape Forever, in order to pay off a $10,000 fine, Harold suggests the lodge enter a duct tape sculpture contest to win the money. The lodge members are skeptical, but when Harold tells them the $10,000 is the third-place prize, they figure it's within their abilities.
- Self-Deprecation: The quote at Long-Runners is but one example. Red took several digs at himself and the show as a whole.
- Shoddy Knockoff Product: The old video camera Harold uses to film a video for a dating service.Red: (blows the dust off an old video tape) "Thetamax Video Tape: Made in Portuguese Macau".
- There are a few of these to the state of Iowa, which is the American state that's been the most supportive of the show in terms of both general viewership and dollars contributed to PBS pledge drives. Steve Smith once joked that he could probably have been elected governor of Iowa if he wanted to.
- Mike Hammer's character gets his name from a Mickey Spillane character.
- One Adventures segment features a funeral for Ed Frid's pet python, Monty.
- Show, Don't Tell: The 300-episode series as a whole is possibly the most successful example of averting this trope as practically every episode featured segments of Red relating his off-screen adventures to the audience. See the Take Our Word for It entry - the events are so over-the-top that by letting you imagine the specifics, it's always going to be funnier than anything they could show.
- Show The Folks At Home: At the start of every Possum Lodge Word Game, Harold shows the word of the day and says it a la Password. The lodge member who has to guess the word plugs their ears to avoid spoiling the game.
- Show Within a Show: The whole show is the show within the show, if that makes any sense. Steve Smith plays Red Green in a fictional TV show about Red Green making a non-fictional TV show As Himself.
- Signing-Off Catchphrase:
- "Keep your stick on the ice."
- Individual segments do this too: North of 40 always ends with "Remember, I'm pullin' for ya... we're all in this together", and Handyman Corner had "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy," though it was rarely the very last thing he'd say since he had yet to turn on whatever it was he had just made. Heads up!
- Signs of Disrepair:
- Red brings a boat he bought second-hand to Dwight Cardiff, asking him to take the name "THELMA'S TINKERBELL" off of it. Dwight, as lazy as he is, does a half-assed job with his fishing rod without even getting out of his chair. He doesn't remove all the letters, and now the boat says "THE STINKER".
- In one "Adventures" segment, Red and Walter are having a chili cook-off. Walter's apron reads "I MASH MORE ONIONS" - until he falls over the fire they are using to cook the chili, burning holes in the apron so that it instead reads "I'M A MORON".
- Simple Country Lawyer: Red Green Talks Cars: A Love Story featured an advertisement promoting Stinky Peterson's services as an "amateur lawyer for hire" in traffic court. In it, Stinky plays up his hundreds of hours of experience in traffic court as a defendant, as well as his knowledge of every episode of Perry Mason, Matlock, and most of the first season of Murder One. He also notes that he saw most of the O.J. trial, and knows full well that facts and justice should not stand in the way of a favorable verdict.
- Sketch Comedy: Recurring segments included Handyman Corner, Adventures With Bill, The Experts, Talking Animals, North of 40 (Red's speeches to other middle-aged men), Buddy System (when Red and another lodge member give husbands advice on how to get out of a jam with their wives), The Possum Lodge Word Game (when Red tries to get a lodge member to say a certain word to win a strange prize), The Winter Of Our Discount Tent (Red reading poetry), Possum 911, "Harold's Hobby House" (where Harold and another lodge member discuss the lodge member's hobbies), "Harold's Handicrafts" (where Harold tries and fails to create handicrafts such as country clocks, wool blankets and duck decoys), boating tips with Glenn Brackston, and one-on-one interviews with everyone from Dougie Franklin to Jimmy McVeigh to Jack Davidson. Some of these segments were eventually dropped from the show when the writers couldn't come up with anything else they felt was really worth shooting, although Buddy System eventually reappeared later in the show's run.
- Something Completely Different:
- "The House Raising" had Harold deliver the "North of 40" segment instead of Red.
- One "Handyman Corner" had Red making crafts and cooking instead of building something out of scraps, since he got complaints from the female viewers.
- Sound-Effect Bleep: In "Survivor", Kelly Cook tells Red to spice up his show by cursing, and demonstrates.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The serene, nature-esque guitar/flute piece used for "Adventures With Bill" contrasts to the craziness that unfolds.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Glen's last name is either Brackston, Braxton or Brachston; the Red Green wiki uses Brachston.
- Squirrels in My Pants:
- The plot of "The Badger Project": "Old Man Sedgewick Gets A Badger Caught In His Pants." What do you think happened in that episode? In this same episode's Handyman Corner, Red shows how to trap animals using a pair of men's pants. Bill, meanwhile, tries to trap a snake, only to get it caught in his pants.
- One of Red's campfire songs is about how you should never wrap a snake around your head or drop a snake into your shorts.
- Stealth Pun: Red mistakenly goes to a gay pride rally and comes back to the lodge with a "GAY PRIDE" sign. He has a stuffed bear hold it.
- Stout Strength: Moose Thompson is often referred to as being enormously fat, but some episodes suggest that he's also very strong.
- Studio Audience: Except the first two seasons.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Likely to happen at least once in any segment involving Edgar.
- Better than average chance of happening in any given Adventure with Bill.
- Stylistic Suck: Ranger Gord's cartoons, which are given jerky animation and bad voice acting (see below) on purpose.
- Subverted Catchphrase: In "30 Minutes or Free", Red is so despondent about having to pay over $300 for a bunch of pizzas he ordered (despite his best efforts to stall the pizza man so his pizza would be free if delivered in over 30 minutes), that he can't even finish his sign-off catchphrase.Red: Everyone else... see ya.
Red: Keep your check on the ice.
- In "Expropriation", Red ends the "Handyman Corner" sketch with "Remember, if the women don't find you handsome... get a convertible."
- In one episode, Red closes the "Sage Advice" segment with, "Remember: I'm pullin' for ya, we're all getting old together." "Guinness World Records" has has "Remember: I'm pullin' for ya, we're all getting even together."
- In "Cheap Jeep": "Remember: If the women don't find you a craftsman, they should at least find you crafty."
- At the end of "Fishy Canusa Games", after Red gets a check:
Red: If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you in a fancy car.
- In the second-to-last episode:
Red: Well, that's it for this fish, so thanks for watching, and on behalf of fish, keep your fish on the...
- At the end of "The Catfish Project", while dazed and stunned from an exploding catfish incident:
Harold: Remember, you're on your own. Don't push it.
- In one episode, Harold is the one who appears in the "North Of 40" segment instead of Red:
- In one episode, Harold called duct tape "the handyteen's secret weapon." In another episode, Edgar called it "the explosive enthusiast's secret weapon." Also doubles as Borrowed Catchphrase.
- Super Spit: In one segment, Edgar Montrose prepares for a date by using some mouthwash, which he realizes too late is actually nitroglycerin. It causes his spit to explode wherever it lands. Red recommends that he go see a doctor, but he refuses on the grounds that his new ability might impress his date.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
- Lazy, RV-owning, marina operator Glen Brachston was replaced by Dwight Cardiff, an even lazier marina owner than Glen.
- Averted with Ed Frid, who replaced Garth Harble. They are both animal control officers with completely opposite presonas; Garth loves animals, Ed is terrified of them.
- Walter eventually became the star of what used to be Adventures with Bill.
- Doc Render replaced Hap Shaughnessy as the local tall tale teller for season 2.
- Take Our Word for It: The various hijinks of the Possum Lodge community are never shown on-screen, only discussed afterward when Red, Harold, and any other relevant characters get back to the lodge. Their adventures are apparently hilarious and oftentimes epic.
- Talking to Himself: Invoked with Ranger Gord's educational cartoons.
- The Teaser: The 1994 episodes, where Red would comment on a personality quirk common among most men, ending with "It's not smart or correct, but it's one of the things that makes us what we are." Various other episodes would also open with Red either telling a joke to the audience, or making a quick Handyman Corner-type project.
- Theme Naming: Red Green, played by Steve Smith, and Bill Smith, played by Rick Green.
- That's All, Folks!: Starting with season 2, the lodge meeting signals the end of the show.
- 30 Minutes, or It's Free!:
- Red sets up a number of roadblocks in order to get the pizzas he ordered for free; unbeknownst to him, the pizza guy called back and got directions from Harold on how to avoid all of the Lodge's debris.Harold: Right across the lake, in a boat!
- Referenced by Harold in a lodge meeting in Season 6; he announces that the "30 minutes or it's free" offer will no longer apply to customers in mobile homes.
- Red sets up a number of roadblocks in order to get the pizzas he ordered for free; unbeknownst to him, the pizza guy called back and got directions from Harold on how to avoid all of the Lodge's debris.
- Time Abyss: Old Man Sedgewick is so old that he was alive when the Lodge was first built and has a son who is over 90 years old. Not only that, but his parents are somehow still alive.
- Tim Taylor Technology: Red's Handyman's Corner segments are made up of these. Most of them look like something Tim himself would have come up with, if he were having a particularly common sense-lacking day. One project is a coffee grinder made out of a lawnmower. Another is an accordion made out of a van (On the grounds that Heavy Metal instruments don't need to be played well, just loud.)
- Title-Only Opening: In the later half of the series. And for every episode from 2002 to the end, The Red Green Show doesn't even appear on-screen until right before "The Possum Lodge Word Game".
- Title, Please!: For every season except the 1995 episodes, where the title does appear on screen.
- Toilet Humor: Done often with Winston Rothschild, who would often recite slogans for his Sewage and Septic Sucking Services, such as "We're Number One in Number Two", "If your eyes are stinging, my phone should be ringing!" or "We put the P.U. in 'pump'!"
- The name of the Possum Lodge newspaper is "The Daily Movement".
- Token Minority: Impressively subverted by Edgar, played by an Aboriginal actor whose ethnicity is otherwise a complete non-issue.
- Too Dumb to Live: The entire cast, really. Except maybe Red and Harold. But then, they voluntarily hang out with these guys...
- Top-Heavy Guy: Ranger Gord in the cartoon segment, with an exaggerated Heroic Build.
- Totally Radical: Subverted, as Harold's attempts to look cool and represent youth culture just confirmed how much of a dork he was.
- Tranquillizer Dart:
- Subverted. Ed Frid once shot himself in the foot with a tranquilizer dart and remained conscious long enough to calculate how long he would sleep, give Red instructions on how to deal with the animal they'd captured and lie down comfortably.
- Also, Young Walter accidentally shoots himself with a dart when he tries to capture a runaway groundhog with a dart in a blow gun but it bounces off a tree branch and hits him instead.
- Also, in the episode "Who Wants to be a Smart Guy" when Dalton Humphrey freaks out during a game show after not being able to answer a question, he returns to the Lodge in a straightjacket and reveals he has been shot in the butt with a tranquilizer dart.
- Trouser Space: Bill's overalls. He tends to fit everything in there, including a tandem bicycle. While getting the tandem bike out was impressive, the storage capacity involved in his collection of ladders, poles, and beams is much more impressive. Red said on at least one occasion that he fears any large tool Bill pulls out of his pants.
- Ultimate Job Security: Red's position as leader of Possum Lodge isn't set in stone, it's just that no one else wants the job. One 14th-season episode featured Mike, Dalton and Winston all running against Red for the leadership, but Red won again anyway.
- In a season two episode, the treasurer, Douglas Hendrychuk tries to use the lodge charter to overthrow Red; Red couldn't care less and lets him take over. Doug screws up, and the lodge votes to put Red back in charge.
- Ranger Gord has a terrible job: Not only does he have to live in the fire watch tower 24/7 (which has made him Go Mad from the Isolation), but he doesn't even get paid. Red tries to persuade him to get a new job but Gord decides to stick with it on the grounds that his job is so terrible nobody else would ever want to do it, thus he has job security.
- Undesirable Prize: The gag in the Possum Lodge Word Game; it's always a really crappy prize, but is initially teased to be something much more expensive.
- Unreadably Fast Text: Done in the Winston Rothschild segment on "Who Wants To Be a Smart Guy".
- The Unreveal: Red's real name; Harold finds out what it is, but Red bargains with him to keep it secret.
- Vendor Trash: Buster Hadfield and his brother plan to use a giant conveyor belt to make a monorail, and they sell the metal parts to Dalton Humphrey. He originally plans to sell the parts for between $5-$10 to a couple of collectors, but Red advises him to sell them to the scrap dealer. Dalton scoffs at the idea, but Red points out that the parts have a lot of steel, nickel axles and what's probably five or six miles of copper wire, which could probably be worth up to $10,000. Dalton is so thrilled by this that it takes all his effort to stay calm on camera. He then runs outside, presumably to let out his excitement.
- Verbal Tic: Harold is this trope personified. A good 20% of his dialogue is composed of strange vocalizations or nervous, stuttering repetition. A perfect example can be seen here, starting around 0:45.
- Visual Pun: A subtle one: the words "Red" and "Green" are in the opposite colors in the show's logo.
- Vocal Evolution: Steve Smith's gravelly Red Green voice started out fairly deadpan and monotone, but over time he came to put much more force and range behind it.
- The Voiceless: Bill. Justified as Steve Smith said that the camera used on the Bill segments has a poor mic. Nonetheless, you can sometimes hear Bill talking on some of his segments.Red: Bill doesn't say much, and when he does it's usually something important, like "that's a cop."
- Inverted in a behind-the-scenes special, where Rick Green, as Bill, starts chattering away like crazy.
- Also inverted in one of the books. In the transcripts of a lodge meeting, Bill is shown to be a Motor Mouth, and goes on for pages.
- This is because Bill is actually a character named 'Bill from Bala' that Rick Green originated when he was a member of The Frantics. His shtick was that sooner or later, he'd end up directing any conversation towards a long-winded discussion of his hometown of Bala, Ontario; this is the real reason that Red didn't bother getting a good mike for his camera.
- The new potential Lodge members who appear in "New Member Night" segments (and played by volunteers from the studio audience) never speak.
- We Buy Anything: To keep the Town Council off his back about all the junk around the Lodge, Red gets 10 acres of Lodge property zoned as a public landfill site. Red didn't quite know what he was getting into, as Harold pointed out that anyone could now dump their garbage around the Lodge. This is one of the few episodes where everything actually worked out, as the Lodge members began scavenging most of the garbage for their own personal projects. Harold then invokes this trope, telling the viewers that the Lodge's garbage dump takes anything and everything anyone can bring them.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Winston's dad always wanted him to be a lawyer, and the two still haven't worked things out. Winston explains why he never became a lawyer in a speech he makes about his sewage business:Winston: Dad, if God had meant for me to be a lawyer, He would've given me more brains and a way better sense of smell.
- Although in other episodes, Winston says that he took over the business from his father. Of course, his father may not have enjoyed the profession as much as Winston himself does.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Over the closing credits of the series finale, Red narrates what happened to the various major characters in the years that followed. Mike became Possum Lake's Chief of Police (and since he was the town's only criminal, the crime rate dropped to zero), Winston got a job investigating government corruption (he knew the territory), Dalton and Anne-Marie renewed their wedding vows (Anne-Marie wore black), Ed became leader of the local animal rights group, Edgar tried to make a heated recliner using dynamite and hasn't been seen since, Hap became ambassador to Guam (or so he claimed), Harold and Bonnie had two children (who are just as geeky as their parents)... in fact, according to Red, everyone changed except him (although the final shot of a well-dressed Red sitting in an armchair by a fireplace suggests otherwise).
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: In "Possum Lodge Radio", the lodge members' CB radios have been converted to a local radio station. At one point, Red enters and complains about the current broadcast:(Red's CB radio is playing tuneless zither music)
Red: Oh, man. Can't take any more of that. (turns his radio off) "The Buster Hadfield Hour". Sixty minutes of zither music. You'd have to be an idiot to listen to that!
(we see Harold listening to his radio and dancing along to the zither music; Red looks at the camera and gestures as if to say "See what I mean?")
- Wicked Weasel: Ed Frid's segment in "Guinness World Records" has him and Red dealing with one, which chooses to latch onto Ed's hand instead of the food in said hand.
- Word Association Test: The Possum Lodge Word Game. Red has 30 seconds to make another character guess a specific word for that character to win a cheap gift certificate from a questionable Possum Lake business, a piece of junk, or another humorous prize. The word will always be something essential to describing the guessing character, who will often be incapable of saying it, such as when Dalton repeatedly avoids saying the word "cheap". Red will (almost) always get the character to win at the wire by tricking them into saying the word, or something that sounds close to the word, indirectly. On rare occasions the roles are reversed, and another character has to make Red guess the word, but the formula remains the same.
- World's Strongest Man: One of the black-and-white "Adventures" segments had several Lodge members competing with each other for this title. When Mike wins due to his bizarre tricks, Red makes an alteration to the plaque, giving Mike the more fitting title of "World's Strangest Man", which he doesn't seem to disagree with.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Red and Harold are such opposites in personality that they're both typically ashamed when one of them tells the other that he's proud of him. Like this exchange, when Red and the other Lodge members can't bring themselves to slaughter a cow using power tools:Red: This is a dark day for the image of Possum Lodge.Harold: Well, I for one am very proud of you, Uncle Red!Red: Don't make it worse, Harold!
"Keep your stick on the ice".