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Series / The Red Green Show

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Red and Harold, ready to film another action-packed episode.

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Red Green

A Sitcom and Sketch Comedy show created by and starring Canadian comedian Steve Smith and centered around the members of Possum Lodge, a backwoods hunting camp and men's social club somewhere in Northern Ontario in the fictional town of Possum Lake. It loosely parodies "outdoor" TV shows generally, and was particularly inspired by The Red Fisher Show (which ran in Canada from 1968 to 1989). It ran for 15 seasons and exactly 300 episodes, from January 4, 1991 until April 7, 2006.

The show is hosted by lodge leader Red Green (played by Smith); a philosopher, handyman, outdoorsman, and basically very average man. Technical direction is provided in the first eight seasons by his painfully geeky nephew Harold (Patrick McKenna). Episodes are usually framed by Red and Harold standing around in the front room of the lodge, hosting a low-budget Show Within a Show 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 (with the former often being the cause of the latter). Red's updates are intercut throughout the show with various scenes of Red talking to lodge members about said issue, along with various recurring segments. The most well-known segment is "Handyman 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 trying to get a lodge member to say a certain word for a prize.

"Well, I'm not gonna be calling the U.S. Air Force, Harold. What do I say? We've got a missile? They take that as a threat, we're in real trouble."
"Well, then, contact the Canadian Air Force."
"Harold, it's after six; he's gone home."
— Typical exchange between Red and Harold

Red's recounting of the week's events—and the resulting arguments with Harold—usually mention various other lodge members who are only referred to and never seen or heard: generic guys Buster Hadfield and Junior Singleton, the extremely large Moose Thompson, the aptly-named Stinky Peterson, junkyard proprietor and mechanic Flinty McClintock, and the cranky and absurdly elderly Old Man Sedgewick.

Other members of the lodge that actually appear on camera include such sterling intellects as Ranger Gord the extremely lonely forest ranger (Peter Keleghan), Dougie Franklin the monster truck driver (Ian Thomas), Edgar K.B. Montrose the half-deaf explosives enthusiast (Graham Greene), Arnie Dogan the injury-prone roofer and aspiring country singer (Albert Schultz), Winston Rothschild III the prissy sewage magnate (Jeff Lumby), Mike Hamar the paroled ex-convict and handyman (Wayne Robson), Dalton Humphrey the avaricious junk store proprietor (Bob Bainborough), Hap Shaughnessy the water taxi captain and pathological liar (Gordon Pinsent), Buzz Sherwood the burnout hippie float plane pilot (Peter Wildman), and Ed Frid the animal-phobic animal control officer (Jerry Schaefer). Given their various eccentricities and incompetences, not a lot ever tends to get done, except by way of confusing the issue further. Guest actors have included Colin Mochrie in a small role as hotdog expert Frank Kepke, and Paul Gross as naïve yuppie Kevin Black.

"I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess."
— The Man's Prayer (Opening recitation of Men Anonymous)

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.

"And to the rest of you, thanks for watching. On behalf of myself and Harold and the whole gang up here at Possum Lodge, keep your stick on the ice."
— Red's closing line in every show.

The Red Green character was originally created by Smith for a recurring segment on he and his wife Morag's sketch comedy series Smith & Smith, which debuted on independent TV station CHCH in Hamilton, Ontario in 1979. He was originally a more straight-ahead parody of the aforementioned Red Fisher, telling stories about fishing trips while wearing a yellow plastic duck decoy on top of his hat. Red later appeared on the Smiths' family sitcom Me & Max (in which he was portrayed as the uncle of the titular character) and the couple's later sketch series The Comedy Mill, which ended around the same time The Red Green Show debuted. Though the show was originally conceived as low-budget "filler" for gaps in the CHCH lineup, it gradually attracted a small but dedicated fanbase. After CHCH cancelled the show after two seasons, Smith bought back the rights to the show and it was picked up for the third season by CFPL in London, Ontario with national distribution by YTV. Smith then rebranded the show as The New Red Green Show and brought it to the Global Television Network for seasons four through six; it found its permanent home on the CBC starting with season seven in 1997 and reverted to its original title the following year.

A feature film adaptation Duct Tape Forever was released in 2002, featuring most of the cast from that era of the show as well as a few new characters. In it, Possum Lodge is fined $10,000 after rich property developer Robert Stiles gets his limousine stuck in a sinkhole on the property. The lodge members have just 10 days to raise the money before the lodge becomes public property, after which Stiles plans to buy it and convert it into a resort. On a suggestion from Harold, they build a giant duct tape-based statue of a goose to enter it into a duct tape sculpture contest in the Twin Cities sponsored by Scotch tape manufacturer 3M. Determined to have his way, Stiles enlists the local sheriff and his deputy to sabotage Red and Harold's trip to the contest at all costs.

Although the show officially ended in 2006, Steve Smith reprised his role as Red every few years in stand-up comedy tours until 2019. On some tours his bits (framed as him leading a Lodge meeting) are interspersed with pre-recorded cameos from the rest of the cast discussing a sort of B-plot, such as Harold wrecking the Possum Van and the ensuing efforts to dislodge it from a tree, making them something of continuations of the show.

There have been several video releases over the years, and the entire series can be watched for free on the show's official Youtube channel and on free streaming service Tubi, in addition to a Roku channel that plays classic episodes 24/7.

In 2020, Steve Smith started a new Possum Lodge Podcast. The podcast features sketches reminiscent of the original TV series, and core cast members like Peter Keleghan and Patrick McKenna reprise their characters. Several new characters also appear, while characters like Junior Singleton and Moose Thompson who were previously The Ghost are Suddenly Voiced.

This show provides examples of:

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  • A-Team Firing: A paintball Adventures With Bill segment demonstrates a conspicuous lack of marksmanship.
  • Aborted Arc: For the first two seasons after Harold returned to the show, he served as a director of promotions for the Possum Lake area with a number of plots being about his attempts to generate tourist revenue involving the lodge. After that, he merely became a regular and there was no mention of his job. The general lack of success and the indication that he'd sabotaged one effort he found distasteful suggests he may have been fired, but this is never indicated in the show.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: In Ranger Gord's segments, the possum and beaver (representing Red and Harold, respectively), wear a hat and a pair of glasses accordingly.
  • 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.
  • Accidental Dance Craze: The Campfire Song in "Father and Son Banquet" details one of these originating from a stubbed toe.
  • Acting for Two: Invoked with Ranger Gord's educational cartoons.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Harold occasionally mentions watching Traders, a show where Patrick McKenna played the role of Marty.
    • One of Edgar K.B. Montrose's first appearances had him talking about the film Dances with Wolves, talking about how the "Native guy" (the role played by actor Graham Greene) should have gotten the Oscar.
    • Wayne Robson played a down-and-out man in One Magic Christmas, who is so desperate for some money that he robs a bank — and accidentally commits murder! Not to mention hijacks a car with some kids in it!
    • Hap Shaughnessy always wears a cap bearing the crest of the Royal Canadian Regiment. Gordon Pinsent served for four years in that unit.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Hi, I'm Winston Rothschild of Rothschild's Sewage and Septic Sucking Services!"
  • Adult Adoptee: "Foster Child" has the plot of discovering that the lodge effectively has adopted a child, as Old Man Sedgewick has donated the lodge's emergency fund to a home for unwed mothers. The reveal shows the "child" to be a woman in her early twenties. Justified in this case, however, as the donation had been made about 20 years ago.
  • An Aesop: A subtle lesson throughout Season 15 is the neccessity of change, almost a Central Theme. The main plot is Harold preparing to get married with several subplots resolving the stories of the cast, concluding with the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue showing the cast finding new jobs and taking chances to achieve happiness. Red gives it more directly in the final episode's North by 40 segment where he says that we all have to move from one phase of life to another and nobody is meant to do one thing their entire life.
  • Affectionate Parody: Both poking fun at, and celebrating, the foibles of middle-aged men.
    • One "Adventures With Bill" segment parodies The Birds with model airplanes.
  • Affectionate Pickpocket: Bill affects this to demonstrate how to avoid pickpockets in one Adventures segment.
  • Afraid of Blood: Harold pricked his finger and Red became visibly sickened, much to Harold's amusement.
  • Afraid of Needles: Red Green is reluctant to get a DNA test taken because of this trope in "DNA All the Way."
  • Age-Inappropriate Art: Inverted, one running theme is Harold and other teenagers happily consuming violent and sexually explicit material that most of the older men find off-putting.
  • Agony of the Feet: About every third "Adventures With Bill" segment will feature either Red or Bill (or both, or a third lodge member) getting a foot smashed by something heavy. Bill has also driven an axe into his foot and shot himself in the foot.
  • 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, Buster Hatfield's Pacer, Harold's Pinto and Red's Possum Van.
    • Red prodigiously uses Chrysler K Cars in the Handyman corner segments.
    • At least until the episode "Red's Hot Sauce", Dalton drove a 1982 Plymouth Reliant.
  • 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.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Edgar Montrose uses the phrase to describe shotgun weddings.
  • Animals Hate Him: Both animal control officers, Garth Harble and Ed Frid, suffer from unfortunate cases of this.
  • Animated Credits Opening:
    • 1991, 1993 seasons: A paint-by-numbers of the lodge quickly getting colored in.
    • 1994-1997 seasons: A fly-through of a cityscape, which then pans upward and crashes through the show's logo before rotating 180 degrees to reveal the lodge.
  • Anime Hair: In later seasons Dalton Humphrey sports a hairstyle not unlike a bird nest.
  • 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."
  • Artistic License – Awards: In-Universe when Hap, being The Münchausen, claims that he invented Christmas lights in World War II to confuse the Germans, for which General Montgomery awarded him the Medal of Honor. Red immediately calls bullshit.
    Red: Now, that's incredible, Hap. A Canadian soldier receiving an American award from a British General.
  • Artistic License – Cars: In "The Rustproofing Project," attempts to scrape the rust off of Stinky Peterson's Trabant cause the entire car to dissolve. The Trabant was famously made out of Duroplast, better known as "cotton and resin," and did not rust.
    • In another episode Red suggested donating a '73 K-car to charity; the K-car wasn't introduced until 1981.
    • In the penultimate episode, Red Green claims to have had the car he was working on for thirty years, but the vehicle in question is a third generation Chrysler LeBaron that would have been no more than 20 years old at the time the episode was filmed.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: In "The Hydrogen Project," Red Green ignites some hydrogen in his hat, which flares up with a bright red flame. In fact, hydrogen burns with an invisible flame.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Played for Laughs and frequently.
  • Aside Comment: Harold occasionally delivers a snarky comment about something Red just said to the camera.
  • Aside Glance: Red frequently looks at the camera in "Adventures With Bill".
  • A-Team Firing: Red is stated to have terrible eyesight, and makes up for this by using a semi-automatic, implying that his hunting is like this.
  • 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.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the Handyman Corner projects that work out will often become this, such as his variable-wheelbase car and his homemade all-wheel drive sedan.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Much of the humor centers around playing with this trope. In general, Dalton and Ann-Marie play this trope straight, while Red and Berenice mostly subvert it.
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: "Father and Son Banquet."
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The middle and late seasons at least. Red and Harold, for all their butting heads, often show genuine affection for each other. Even much of their head-butting comes from Red trying to make Harold into a man, while Harold is usually trying to prevent Red from causing a catastrophe of some nature.
    • In "The Baseball Tryouts," Red beat up the rival team's mascot after he insulted Harold.
  • Babies Ever After: The epilogue reveals this to be the case for Harold and Bonnie.
  • Bachelor Auction: In the aptly-titled "The Bachelor Auction," Harold, Winston and Mike enter one of these.
  • Back for the Finale: Edgar didn't appear in the finale, but Graham Greene was on set for the taping and appeared, out of costume, with the cast for the final bow at the end.
  • Bad Liar: For all the crimes he's committed, you'd think Mike would have gotten better at disguising his true intentions.
  • 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.
  • Bait-and-Switch Time Skip: In an early episode, Red's Handyman Corner involved cutting X's in the bottoms of empty plastic containers with a utility knife, and Red starts by demonstrating on one container. He has a large pile of containers on one side of him before the cut, and then after the cut, the pile is on the other side, making you think he's made X's in all of them during the cut. By the end of the cut, he's working on another container, and when he finishes making an X with his knife, and then says to the camera, "Okay... that's two!"
  • Balloonacy: Bill accidentally gets hoisted dozens of feet off the ground by some balloons tied to a chair.
  • Bamboo Technology: Most of the Handyman Corner projects are made up of junk found around the lodge.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A Season 2 episode features the men being trapped inside the lodge by a bear after one of them accidentally sprayed the surroundings with bear musk instead of bear repellent.
  • Behavioral Conditioning: Mike became a spelling prodigy whenever he hears the sound of a chainsaw running, apparently because his old cellmate "Chainsaw" would punch him whenever he misspelled his graffiti.
  • Big Budget Beef-Up: When the CBC picked up the show, they gave it a much bigger budget. As Steve Smith said on one of the DVD intros, they could "really go nuts" with everything from the Idiosyncratic Wipes to the Handyman Corner segments.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Bonnie kisses Harold, hard, in the finale when the two are officially wed. Also counts as a Funny Moment, since she does it before Red can even tell Harold, "You may now kiss the bride."
  • Big Damn Movie: Duct Tape Forever.
  • 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.
  • Big Storm Episode:
    • An early one is not caught by the weather forecasters and the men are only alerted because Old Man Sedgewick's arthritic hip locked up from the change in barometric pressure.
    • A later episode saw the town hit by a blizzard with temperatures of -60 and a windchill of -73.
    Red: "Is that Celsius or Fahrenheit?"
    Harold: "Who cares?"
  • 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.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Buzz Sherwood has an unfortunate habit of greeting friends with a punch in the arm.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: An offscreen version occurs when they try to host church services on Possum Lake so they can sit in their boats and fish as well.
  • Bond Gun Barrel: Parodied in an "Adventures with Bill" skit involving a paintball match and an empty paper towel roll.
  • 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 Catchphrase when he describes duct tape as "the explosives enthusiast's secret weapon".
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Harold often demands lodge members to just pay a professional to fix problems they have, while Red insists on doing things himself and chastises Harold on at least one occasion for relying too much on professionals. While it's a good idea to know basic DIY so you aren't helpless every time you have a clogged toilet or a flat tire, it's also important to know when something is just beyond your capabilities before you try to build your own brewery.
  • 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...
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: Possum Lodge itself is one of these; being just a group of local rednecks never meaning no harm.
  • Bug Buzz: Appears in one "Adventures" segment when a swarm of mosquitos pester some of the guys when they are camping.
  • Bungling Inventor: Red Green usually becomes this in the Handyman Corner segments (though in later seasons more and more of his projects surprisingly seem to actually work).
  • 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....
  • But Now I Must Go: In the final episode Bill leaves the lodge to marry a nurse.
  • Butt-Monkey: Harold.
  • Canada, Eh?: Often played straight, or exaggerated for laughs. Expect lots of references to curling, forest rangers, hockey, and Tim Hortons.
    • Becomes a plot point in "The Network Deal" when an American network interested in buying out the show wants to tailor Red's vocabulary and use of the metric system to suit American audiences.
  • 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").
  • Captain Crash: Buzz Sherwood is known to crash his plane on a fairly regular basis, and he is often seen pulling tree branches out of his pontoons or propeller.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Harold and Winston both have track records best described as abysmal.
  • Cassandra Truth: The main plot of the episode usually progresses as such. 1: Red and the guys either want to save money by doing something themselves or some sort of emergency has developed that they need to resolve. 2: They come up with an idea that is either illegal or dangerous without specialized training and equipment. 3: Harold tries to prevent them from performing said task. 4: Red and the guys blow off Harold's warnings. 5: Calamity ensues.
  • Catchphrase: 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 in the series finale "Do As I Do", where the closing was changed to "I'm a man...but I changed...because I had to...Oh, well."
      • In "The Big Retreat", 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, Red."
    • 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.
  • The Catfish: Season Four's "The Catfish Project" has the Lodge hold its annual "Catch A Catfish For Confirmation" fishing derby. Old Man Sedgwick wins the derby by catching a catfish that's somehow forty-seven feet long. note  The Lodge members come up with all sorts of money-making ideas for it, but the catfish wasn't really that big. Moose Thompson accidentally let his still-going propane tank fall into Possum Lake, where a three-foot catfish swallowed it. The propane kept going, inflating the catfish and filling it with propane gas. When Moose tried to cut the catfish with a chainsaw, a spark ignited the propane and blew up the catfish. The resulting Earth-Shattering Kaboom caused bits of catfish to rain over Possum Lake for over 30 minutes. Red was dazed from the explosion, but Moose's chainsaw, overalls, body hair and future family were all gone for good.
  • 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.
    • A black-and-white segment begins with Red and Walter installing a banner. As Red starts unrolling it, the letters "k Off" show; he tells the viewers "don't panic, it's just a chili cook off" (the full banner indeed reads that).
  • Chain Letter: "The Chain Letter" begins with Harold receiving one of these. Despite Red pointing out that these never pay off, he eventually starts sending them out en masse with the help of Dalton and Winston when Dalton points out that Harold received a $100 bill after sending his letters. At the end, Harold reveals that he didn't get a $100 bill, but a bill for $100 from the library. He then finds out that the others have been dipping into his cash box to pay for the letters...
  • 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.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Sure, it's just a goofy backwoods men's lodge, but Red still suffers from this from time to time. In one episode, he hands his duties over to Harold, resulting in a cheerful carefree Red and a raging Harold.
  • Character Development:
    • Red undergoes a bit of defrosting and becomes slightly more tolerant of others. This is best seen in his relationship with Harold, which starts with Red being unable to remember Harold's name at the end of the first episode to genuinely wishing him a happy marriage and willing embracing him by the finale.
    • 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.
    • Ed Frid Grew a Spine in his later appearances, being a little less irrationally fearful and more willing to jab back at Red when the latter poked too much fun at his expense.
  • 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.
  • Chromosome Casting: Being set in a fraternal lodge, the cast was overwhelmingly male. On-camera female roles were fleetingly rare and the only female character to gain any prominence was Bonnie, Harold's girlfriend, introduced at the very end of the show's TV run.
  • 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 Garth's replacement Ed Frid mentions in his debut 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".
  • Clip Show: The "Adventures With Bill" segment from the very last episode ends up being one to many previous adventures with Bill.
  • 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.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: One "Buddy System" is on damage control after letting one out in the presence of someone else's children.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Drift: Lots of them:
    • Red Green seems to vacillate between explicitly stating he was never in the military and making off-handed references to having served in the military in his youth. There are also many inconsistent jokes about how old he was when he graduated from school
    • Depending on which episode you're watching, Winston's father was either a lawyer, worked for the railroad, or was "the happiest drunken gambling gigolo you ever met."
    • The distance between Possum Lake and the nearby town of Port Asbestos has been given as anything from 18 to 125 miles.
    • Possum Lake's exact location in Ontario is also unclear. The show is supposedly set in Ontario's Muskoka region, but Port Asbestos's name implies that it's set on Hudson Bay. That would put Possum Lake much farther north than Muskoka.
    • Stinky Peterson's real name has been described as everything from Stephen to George to Frank.
    • Moose Thompson is either the World's Strongest Man, or simply a Fat Idiot in extremely poor shape.
    • The exact length of Dalton's marriage to Anne-Marie varies depending on the episode, as does the age and name of their daughter.
    • Harold's exact age varies between episodes. He mentions in the first season that he's nineteen, and says the exact same thing in the fifth season.
    • Possum Lake is usually described as so polluted it's devoid of life, but several episodes mention the Lodge members either successfully or accidentally catching catfish.
  • Control Freak: Douglas from Season 2 is one big time. Red occasionally displays signs of this as well.
  • 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. Apparently she'll run as well on apple cider as on gasoline.
    • 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, runoff from the lodge and the marina, junk being thrown in, the appropriately named Mercury Creek, and the proximity of "Stinky" Peterson, Possum Lake has become an environmental nightmare. In a season nine episode, the water is tested and it’s found that it isn’t technically water at all: it’s 40% methyl alcohol with lots of dissolved manganese and sulfates. Near the end of the series, Harold complains that the lake has turned into a giant blob of jelly.
  • Copiously Credited Creator: invoked Parodied with Ranger Gord's Educational Films, which stated that they were written, drawn, animated, voiced by and starring Ranger Gord.
  • Costume Evolution: Red (and, for the first eight seasons, Harold) always wore a plaid shirt with suspenders and khaki pants, but the specifics of the outfit evolved over the years:
    • From seasons 1-3, the shirt was a mainly maroon-and-tan tartan (replicas of this shirt were later produced by the Dixxon company for the 2022 Christmas season). For the first two seasons, the suspenders were red on both sides and Red and Harold wore large “Red Green Show” badges over the left breast pocket. Starting with season 3, the badges disappeared and the suspenders became red on one side and green on the other, which they would remain for the rest of the series’ run.
    • From seasons 4-6, the pattern on the shirt became mainly dark blue with red and white stripes. (This is the one seen at the top of the page.)
    • For season 7 only, the shirts were a red, green and blue plaid which looked brown from a distance.
    • From seasons 8-11 and in *Duct Tape Forever*, the shirt was a red, light blue and dark blue (or black) pattern that looked light purple from a distance.
    • From season 12 onward, Red’s *main* shirt switched to a blue, white and black pattern. But starting the following year, Red began wearing different shirts in different segments; scenes shot in the studio would usually have him in the blue, white and black shirt, while scenes shot on location would often have him switching to one of his older shirts or entirely different ones.
  • 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.
    • Charlie Farquharson, a charter member of the Possum Lodge, was of Canadian origin (having been invented by his actor, Don Harron, in 1952), but had famously played the character on another rural comedy show, Hee Haw.
  • Crossword Puzzle: Red discusses trying to work on one while cooking dinner because he'd heard crosswords can prevent memory loss.
    Red: Crosswords don't prevent memory loss, they confirm it.
  • 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. At the end, the men show off their real DNA test results: Dalton's shows a graph with dollar signs, Mike's shows prison bars and Red's shows a possum playing dead.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Red, on occasion. Harold also gets this role.
  • Denser and Wackier: A downplayed example, since the show was always pretty bizarre. The increased budget the show got in later seasons, particularly after its move to the CBC, allowed the writers to do increasingly cartoonish Handyman Corner and Adventure segments, and have some plot developments happen onscreen instead of just being narrated after the fact.
  • 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?
  • Did You Die?: The "Floating Church" episode started with Red walking in soaking wet. He tells the audience he was out in a boat fishing and passed by the sewer outlet just as it discharged, sending him into Possum Lake.
    Harold: Wow, were you killed?
    Red: Do I look like I was killed, Harold?
    Harold: Yeah.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Red and the guys often find themselves in the middle of a DIY project that's best left to professional engineers/mechanics or even government agencies. When they invariably go wrong, the consequences veer into complete absurdity. (Example: Red decides to end the local drought by building a cannon to seed the clouds. When Harold accidentally sets it off, the chemical payload falls into Possum Lake and vaporizes it in a huge cloud of foam. The blast touches off a thunderstorm to end the drought, the foam puts out several nearby forest fires, and it'll take so long for the lake to refill itself that the guys can retrieve all the junk they've thrown into it.)
  • 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.
  • 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."
    "Harold, reading magazines doesn't make you an expert. If it did, Old Man Sedgewick would be a gynecologist!"
  • Disco Dan: Buzz Sherwood, who is still a New-Age Retro Hippie.
  • Disgusting Vegetarian Food: Red once claims the most disgusting food he'd ever eaten was "vegetables." At least one "Buddy System" segment is about how to get out of eating healthier food with little or no meat.
  • 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 had eaten as much homework as I said he did, he'd be passing firelogs.
  • Doom It Yourself: At least once an episode.
  • 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.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Several Lodge members are guilty of this.
    • Red once passed Buster in a ditch because he was going "only" a little over 80 in a 60 kmh zone.
    • Dougie Franklin is in a car accident on a roughly monthly basis. His brother and father aren't much better.
    • Buzz Sherwood flies like crazy.
  • 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.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Mike's mother and a nigh-endless parade of "dads," along with various siblings, half-siblings, and step-siblings. Like Mike himself, virtually all of them were small-time crooks.

  • 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.
    • Season 1 Harold was egotistical, money-driven and overall not very likable (while still being as nerdy and awkward as ever). In fact, most of Red's insults toward Harold are comebacks for something Harold said to him!
    • Early appearances of Dalton Humphrey gave his last name as "Humphries" and his store was "The Humphries Everything Store" instead of "Humphrey's Everything Store".
    • The early seasons had a more sitcom-esque feel to it compared to the skit format of later seasons. The overarching plot of the episode was given much more focus and the skits were comparatively rarer, with a much greater focus on character interactions among the cast.
  • Eat My Dust: When Red is turning a pair of dryers into a lawn roller, he keeps the exhaust ducts from both dryers because...
    '''Red: Nothing says 'power' like dual exhausts. Just screams "Eat my lint!"
  • 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.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Harold finds one of Red. We never see it, but it's implied Red used to look a lot like Harold...
  • 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.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: The Season 8 episode "Mad About You" has Harold help Red try to manage his anger issues. One of the steps Red takes is to delegate more of his Lodge duties to Harold. Soon he's in a happy, cheerful mood, and Harold is the one with the Hair-Trigger Temper. It's shown that their anger stems from the frustration of having to deal with the idiocy of the other Lodge members.
  • Epic Fail: Most of the Lodge members' schemes are made of this trope.
    • 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.
    Red: Crime doesn't pay, does it, Mike?
    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: invoked 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 possibly 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.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In "The New Doctor," Red accidentally knocked over Bill's barbeque grill with his van. Bill dumped an entire bag of charcoal through the open window, squirted lighter fluid into the cab of the van, lit it, and was well on his way to adding the hot dogs before he realized.
  • 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...
  • Finale Season: Season 15 was intended to be this by star and writer Steve Smith to prevent Seasonal Rot. Its main focus was setting up the Wedding Finale between Harold and Bonnie while quietly resolving the stories of several background characters.
  • Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower: Red Green designs a Rube Goldberg device that invokes this to stop houseguests from spending too much time in the shower.
  • Flyover Country: The town of Possum Lake is the Canadian equivalent. Steve Smith has also repeatedly talked about how much of the show's humor and its fanbase also come from more rural parts of both Canada and the U.S.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Hap claims he suggested this idea to Walt Disney.
    • Edgar Montrose is also missing a finger on one hand.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    Winston: Winston Rothschild: PHB, LLX, SOL, IOU, DOA, VCR, PDQ, QT, and of course, T&A.
  • Gambit Pileup: A minor one occurs in "Man of the Year". The local paper holds a contest to award a fishing boat to a "Man of the Year" in Possum Lake, so Red decides to submit a fake candidate named Bernie Goodyear. Rival Caribou Lodge attempts to thwart this by spreading negative words about supposed misdeeds from "Bernie Goodyear" and ends up winning the boat instead. Red confesses to them that "Bernie Goodyear" was a made-up name, but no one at the rival lodge believes him. The episode ends with Dalton revealing that Caribou Lodge has reported that the fishing boat has gone missing, so they decide to blame the theft on... Bernie Goodyear.
  • Game Show Appearance: "Who Wants to Be a Smart Guy" has Dalton appearing on the titular show, an obvious parody of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Before going on the show, he gives the lodge members encyclopedia volumes so he can call them and have them look up the info he needs if he gets stuck on a question, just like how the real show's "Phone-a-Friend" lifeline effectively became "Phone-a-Google". Winston even brought in his own computer as an extra source of information, but Red believes he was only showing it off. Said computer used a dial-up connection, which used up the phone line and prevented Dalton from phoning the lodge, making him lose the million and his sanity; he came back to the lodge by ambulance in a straitjacket.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Glen returns from an arranged date with someone named Leslie, which did not go well. Red realizes that "Leslie" is also a man's name. Leslie had the same problem because "Glen" is another gender neutral name, so he thought Glen was a woman.
  • The Generation Gap: Played with. While Red does offer the stereotypical "old man rants" about "kids these days" committing petty crimes, disrespecting their elders, and listening to bad music, he also at times acknowledges that in a lot of ways they act not so differently than he did when he was young, and on numerous occasions even (in an admittedly humorous way) sincerely offers good life advice to teenagers and young adults. It also provides part of the reason for the personality clashes between Red and Harold and Dalton and his daughter.
  • 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!
  • Gift Shake: One Christmas episode has Harold attempt to demonstrate proper package-shaking technique, and of course send the (breakable) present flying.
  • 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.
    • A group of anti-logging activists chain themselves to trees to keep them from being cut down. The problem is that they trusted Ranger Gord to unlock them after the loggers left. Gord is so desperate for company he leaves them chained up for days. He's especially thrilled that two of them are women. When Red visits Gord and finds out what's happening, Gord promises to unlock them...and then "accidentally" throws the keys into the woods.
  • 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!
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: Harold once couldn't decide if he wanted to watch one of these or a teen comedy called "Trash My Parent's House" in one segment.
  • 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.
  • Groin Attack: The local hockey team has an MMVVPP trophy for "major maiming of a vulnerable victim's private parts."
  • Grumpy Old Man: Old Man Sedgewick is frequently alluded to being a nasty, spiteful old crank who nobody can stand. When he's Suddenly Voiced on the Possum Lodge Podcast, he's even arguably even worse than what Red and Harold describe.
  • 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 comments this to Harold a lot, and off-screen when Winston and Red was an Equality Rally.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: 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 given by Cartoon!Red and Cartoon!Harold is actually true in real life. But in Gord's cartoons, all of his bizarre theories and ideas are true instead.
  • Heroic Blue Screen of Death: Shall we just say, Red has a hard time coping in the episode where the lodge runs out of duct tape.
  • 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.
  • Hunting "Accident": An after-the-fact variation: Buzz's plane was about to be inspected, and it had bullet-holes in the tail. He told Red he was going to blame that on a hunting accident, but it's never stated how they really got there.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Red and the crew loved their puns, so much that many episodes opened with "The Red Green Show was duct taped live before a studio audience."
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: How Bill manages to fit all that stuff into his overalls is one of the great mysteries of our time.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "X Marks The Spot", Harold goes off on a rant about how the Lodge members turn everything into a competition and how much money they waste betting on professional sports.
    Red: You lost again, eh?
    Harold: Twenty straight weeks in a row!

  • I Ate WHAT?!:
    • 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.
  • 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 of X, Break Glass: The "No Duct Tape" episode features an emergency supply of duct tape in a windowed box, complete with sign "in case of emergency break glass". Unfortunately, when Red breaks the glass, the 50-year-old roll of duct tape crumbles in his hands.
  • 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.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: In "The Hydrogen Project", Red and other Lodge members try to carbonate Possum Lake.
    Red: Well, we figured we'd drop one of them high-tension wires down into the lake, y'know? Just for an hour or so. Carbonate her right up!
    Harold: Won't that kill all the electricity around here?
    Red: (very confidently) No.
    (after a loud zapping sound, every light in the Lodge shorts out)
  • 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.
    • Alluded to in "Expropriation" (1997) when Harold is answering questions about the forthcoming "information highway" during the Lodge meeting:
    Harold: Yes, I do know there's offensive material on the internet. And for ten dollars, I'll show you how to find 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.
    • Everyone in the town is to an extent considering how despite most of the episodes containing either a natural or man-made calamity fit for an episode of Seconds from Disaster, nobody suffers anything worse than Amusing Injuries.
  • 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!
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Lampshaded a few times.
    Harold: "Come on Uncle Red, if you want to see any of that money you better get those clothes off.
    Red: "Harold, could you imagine somebody just tuning in right now, what would they think?"
  • 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...!"
  • Klatchian Coffee: In "Guinness World Records," Winston drinks several hundred cups of coffee and by the end meeting, manages to recite the entire men's prayer before the rest of the men have even started to say it.
  • 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.
    • Red's narration during "Adventures With Bill" implied this in the early seasons. Red would constantly talk about how Bill is supposedly the big outdoor expert, even though Bill is constantly screwing up and Red figures out the right way to do things.
  • 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.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Each character has their own distinctive outfit, such as Red and Harold's plaid shirt, khaki pants and red-green suspenders, Winston's waders and hard hat, Ranger Gord's forest ranger uniform, Bill's overalls, etc. In "The New Shirt/Casino", Harold freaks out when Red walks in with a different plaid shirt due to the regular one being in the laundry (though strangely the other segments has Red wear his usual shirt). Harold himself would avert this after The Bus Came Back, wearing a different outfit each episode.
  • Literal Metaphor: In "The Painted Leaves Project", Red says that it's been a really colorful week at the Lodge, because several paint cans have exploded and the contents are splattered everywhere.
  • 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)
  • Live-Action Cartoon:
  • 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.
    • In "The Guard Dog Project", Red tells Harold that Buster Hadfield's lawn ornaments have been stolen.
      Harold: All of them — the fat lady bent over, Snow White and the seven pink flamingoes, the goat, the cow, and bambi with the ear shot off?!
      Red: Yep, and the oversized mushrooms,and the fiberglass fluorescent Santa Claus, and the motorized sheep, and even the big United Way thermometer.
      Harold: Wow — Mary and her little plywood lamb, the neon James Dean, the entire cast of The Wizard of Oz?
      Red: Yep, but all the stuff up on the walls of the house, too, Harold — the butterflies, the Halloween pumpkins, and that nativity scene with the three wise Smurfs.
      Harold: Wow! Whew! So, what's Buster gonna do now?
      Red: Well, he's gonna need a new lawn, for starters, he's got nothing but holes there now.
    • From "Bottled Water":
      Red: We may have downplayed the danger of manufacturing a flammable liquid in an enclosed space under primitive conditions near an open flame in a wooden building on a shaky stove.
  • 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.
  • Low Count Gag: The crew discover a missile has been abandoned on the territory of Possum Lodge. When Harold suggests contacting the Canadian Air Force, Red suggests that the one member went home at 6 PM.
    Harold: What about the Canadian air force?
    Red: It's after six, he's gone home.

  • MacGuffin: The only things known about the Big Thing from the episode "The Big Thing" is it's "Big" and it's a "Thing". At the end of the episode, everyone except Harold just used it as an excuse to throw a big tailgate party, and didn't care what the Big Thing was.
  • 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.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: At least one of the men does this at least once an episode, usually fueling the episode's central plot.
  • 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.
    • In "Something in the Heir", Winston and Red went to a protest under the impression that it was for adoption rights. Red walks in carrying a Gay Pride sign instead. Cue Harold walking in, seeing the two of them there, and backing out.
      Winston: Y'know, we're all just people, Red. Y'know, I-I just thought it was good to show our solidarity.
      Red: Yeah, I know, I was fine with that, but did you have to put your arm around me, Winston?
    • 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.
    Winston: I'mamanbutIcanchangeifIhavetoIguess!!!
    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 Münchausen: 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 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."
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: In "Snowed In", Red, Harold and Mike are stuck in the lodge due to heavy snowfall. Mike mentions seeing a movie where people were standed in a snowstorm and had to survive by eating each other. He makes plans to eat Harold, squeezing his arm to check for tenderness and making him drink marinade, until Red tells him to knock it off.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Discussed and utterly deconstructed in "The Real Estate Project."
    Red: Oh, I know a quarter million people showed up at Woodstock, but a lot more than that went off to fight.
  • 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 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.
  • Oddball in the Series: Season 2 contained characters not featured in any other season.
  • 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 Known by Their Nickname: A second-season episode revealed that Junior Singleton's real first name is "Brutus", but everybody calls him Junior both before and after this.
  • Only Sane Man: Either Red or Harold, but the Sanity Ball got tossed around a bit. Red is the most normal of the Possum Lodge members; Harold is an outsider, but he's got his own quirks. At times, Dalton would be tossed the ball.
  • Only Shop in Town: Humphrey's Everything Store is suggested to be this.
  • Our Slogan Is Terrible: Dalton Humphrey's "We got stuff...Maybe buy some" pitch for the Everything Store.
  • Parody Sue: Gord's muscular, all-knowing, girl-attracting Author Avatar in the educational cartoons.
  • Percussive Maintenance: In "Magnetic Lake", when Harold's video effects unit goes on the fritz due to Possum Lake becoming magnetized, Red tries to fix it the same way he fixes his TV at home: by kicking its horizontal hold. All he manages to do is give Harold a Groin Attack. Later on, when the scene transition takes a while to appear, he tries again with the exact same results.
    Red: I always wanted to direct!
  • 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!"
    • In "The Drive-Thru", Harold puts together a drive-thru speaker box that malfunctions and keeps repeating the same phrase over and over. Harold tries to shut it off by pressing various buttons, but this doesn't work, so he knocks it to the floor with a baseball bat.
  • 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.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Downplayed. Red Green and many of the men of the lodge can act fairly homophobic at times, and they keep some conservative views on gender roles, much to the frustration of the younger and more progressive Harold. However, they rarely if ever cross the line into outright bigotry, the Native American characters (Joshua Twofeathers in Season 3 and Edgar Montrose from Season 4 onward) are treated as equals, while they view women as being fundamentally different than men, they definitely don't view women as inferiors, and it is explicitly stated that the Lodge is open to anyone regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
  • 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.
    • One letter sent into the Experts was from the Chez family: Pete Chez, Matt Chez, Rhett Chez, and Belle Chez.
  • 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 (although the animated version in Ranger Gord's cartoon stayed, due to being voiced by Ranger Gord's actor Peter Keleghan). 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.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In one installment, we witness Red's foolproof plan for getting drivers to stop passing up the slow-moving Possum Van. So what exactly is this plan? Nothing less than making a giant ballpoint pen using an old traffic cone and paint cans, filling it with white paint, and using it to paint over the dotted line that indicates that it's okay to pass.
  • 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".
  • Retool: 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.
  • The Reveal: Done In-Universe a few times with the Word Game when Dalton was the contestant. He would be confused when he won the game by accident, and Red would show him what the word actually was.
  • 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's 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.
    • Red and Harold have a habit of ending up in awkward situations, only for Dalton to walk in and react in shock before rushing out before being noticed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • From Ep. 84, "The Marine Show Project"
Harold: "Well how are you going to do a show without talent? You can't do a show in front of the camera without talent.
Red: *shrugs* "We have for years."
Harold: "Did I say can't? I meant shouldn't."
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Take a look at the young Steve Smith. He looks almost exactly like Harold, which adds another layer of how Red, as explained in Duct Tape Forever, was basically just like Harold when he was young and how his behavior towards his nephew is designed to help him grow a spine.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Played for laughs when Red accidentally chops down a beech tree and asks Natural Resources government employee Bob Stuyvesant on what might happen. Bob then blackmails Red into golfing with him by saying Red could face all kinds of punishments for what he did unless Bob helps him out.
  • 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".
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: Red talking to Junior Singleton over the CB in "Possum Lodge Radio."
    Red: Yeah, okay Junior. No, it's not raining here either. Junior, you're not that far away, for heaven's sake. I can see you right out the window. No, I'm not gonna wave, I gotta go.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
    • No Canadian show would be complete without a few references to one of the most famous Canadians of all time. After throwing a huge collection of scrap metal out the window and observing it piling up on the hill below, Red remarks, "That looks like a Neil Young CD."note  On another occasion Red was showing how to use vinyl records as shingles and commented: "Albums don't rust. I don't care what Neil Young said."note 
  • 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.
    • Though on occasion they will show the effects of the current situation affecting the area. Like when hydrogen starts flooding the area, and Red’s hat starts floating in mid-air due to said hydrogen. Sometimes they will outright show the current problem, such as when Possum Lodge was haunted by a real ghost. Showing that for all the plausible deniability of their zany adventures, they do in fact happen.
  • 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. Harold would originally show the audience the word silently, but he started saying it after a blind viewer told Steve Smith that not knowing the word immediately diminished his enjoyment of the segment.
  • 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!
  • Signature Headgear: Red's Canadian military field maneuvers hat. To a lesser extent, Winston's helmet. Hap's Royal Canadian Regiment hat also qualifies.
  • 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".
    • In "Red Green Does New Years", Red assembles a light-up sign using heating elements from toasters. The sign reads "TOAST YOURSELF AT NEW YEARS EVE" at first, but most of the letters burn out, making it "YOU FAT ARSE".
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In "The Running Of The Bulls", the Lodge members try to do the "running of the minks." They go right up Junior Singleton's pant legs to try and get at the food he always keeps in his pockets.
  • Start My Own: Junior Singleton becomes sick of Red's bossy leadership style in "The Splinter Lodge." He decides to start his own Salamander Lodge, saying he won't be as controlling as Red and promising fancy new jackets and reflective membership cards. He even offers Harold a new digital studio. A bunch of the other guys are interested, but then Junior talks about how much the jackets and cards will cost, all the rules the Salamander Lodge has, the schedule for cleaning the Lodge's facility, etc. As Harold put it, by that point the guys all said Screw This, I'm Outta Here and were pretty much out the door. The Salamander Lodge collapses and everybody comes back to Possum Lodge, even Junior.
  • 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.
  • Steel Ear Drums: At least one episode ended with Red and Harold shouting at each other due to temporary explosion-induced hearing loss. Also somewhat averted with Edgar K. B. Montrose, whose passion for explosives have left him permanantly hard of hearing.
  • 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.
    • In "The Painted Leaves Project", Junior Singleton has 200 cans of paint explode out of his paint shop because he neglected to read the "Do Not Store Near Heat" warning on the cans and tried to prop up his stove with them.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The show's on-screen effects are done as crudely as possible due to it being an in-universe public access show with no budget and the graphics being whatever Harold can create with his homemade control board.
    • 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.
    • 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: Keep your check on the ice.
    • In the second-to-last episode:
    Red: If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you in a fancy car.
    • At the end of "The Catfish Project", while dazed and stunned from an exploding catfish incident:
    Red: Well, that's it for this fish, so thanks for watching, and on behalf of fish, keep your fish on the...
    • In one episode, Harold is the one who appears in the "North Of 40" segment instead of Red:
    Harold: Remember, you're on your own. Don't push it.
    • 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 personas; 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.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: From "The Ghost Of Possum Lodge":
    Red: (about a fishing lure) It's around the Lodge somewhere.
    Mike: Uh — well — no. I actually believe that that lure somehow found its way to my place. Now, I don't know how that could've happened. I mean, it's not like I slipped it home in my toolbox after last week's meeting or anything.
  • Swapped Roles:
    • The episode "Mad About You" has Harold helping Red with his anger issues. Red feels a lot better when he delegates more of his Lodge duties to Harold, but soon Harold's the one with the anger problems. The reason they both get so angry is from the stress of dealing with the other Lodge members' idiocy.
    • In the first season, Harold constantly interrupted Red's stories by starting the next segment, claiming that Red was The Bore and driving off viewers. "The Water Tower" switches their roles. The Lodge members get the idea to build a water tower, which turned out to be a giant garbage bag tied to two trees to catch the rain. Stinky Peterson got the bright idea to tried to release the water from the tower by throwing a lawn dart at it, causing a huge flood. Harold is the one who wants to tell the audience about the disaster, while a mortified Red keeps telling him to bring up the next segment.
    • Red was usually the person trying to get someone to say a word in the Possum Lodge Word Game. A few early segments switched it around so someone else tried to get Red to say the word.
  • Sweeping the Table: On one episode, Red informs the viewer that "a good handyman knows to start each new project with a clean workspace." He then proceeds to upend a table filled to overflowing with tools and other junk, and then sets it back down and proclaims, "Done!"
  • 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.
  • Take That!: "The Network Deal" is a pretty scathing one against American television shows.
  • Take That, Audience!: When talking about reality TV with Red and Mike out on a fishing boat, Dalton remarks, "People don't want to see real; they want to see a bunch of attractive, smart, young people wearing skimpy clothing! Real reality television would show a bunch of ugly middle aged guys in flannel sitting around complaining about stuff! Who'd want to watch that?"
  • 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.
  • 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 latter 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:
    • 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.
  • Trapped in the Past: Discussed in an "Experts" segment where Red said time travel wouldn't make sense because he wouldn't want to travel through time. This trope was his reason for not wanting to travel back in time; his reasons for not travelling forward in time is because he couldn't even figure out the gadgets he had now, and didn't want to pit his wits against the future's gadgets.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • Wedding Finale: The very last episode climaxed with Harold and Bonnie's wedding.
  • "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).
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The show is supposedly set in the Muskoka region of Ontario, but there are numerous references to the nearby town of "Port Asbestos", whose name implies that it would be on Hudson Bay. Different episodes describe Possum Lake as being between 18 to 125 miles from Port Asbestos, which would set it much farther north than the Muskoka region.
  • 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.
    • Some of the jokes about Moose Thompson and second-season character Helmut Wintergarden showed them as this.
  • 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!
    • When Werner Klemperer bought a cottage in Possum Lake, the Lodge members all started hassling him. They told him he was "one of us." According to Harold, that hurt him deeply.

"Keep your stick on the ice".


Video Example(s):


You Fat Arse

In the New Year's special, Red attempts a lighting project that spells out "Toast Yourself At New Years Eve". Unfortunately, a short causes some of the lights blow out, resulting in it saying something more insulting.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / SignsOfDisrepair

Media sources: