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Series / The Young Offenders

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Best friends Conor and Jock do everything together. From various petty crimes to school to their love lives, they're inseparable.

Following on from the success of the film of the same name, the series focuses on the two lads during their Junior Cert year, making this a Prequel of sorts. Before the first season's run was even complete, a second season was confirmed.

This show provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Jock's last name is changed from Murphy to O'Keefe, presumably because Billy's last name is also Murphy.
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  • Adam Westing: Robert Sheehan appears as himself shooting a movie, where his Mr. Fanservice qualities are Played for Laughs and he attempts to drum up publicity by joining in a blockade.
  • The Alleged Car: Mairead's battered Opel Corsa. The bodywork is badly aged, the engine sounds clapped out, and internal bits like the rear view mirror are easily broken.
  • Anti-Villain: Billy becomes this in the first season finale when he's given some Character Development and focus. He might be an Axe-Crazy thug, but the guy is so likeable that the bus passengers he has ostensibly taken hostage actually feel sorry for him and help him escape.
  • Artistic License – History: In the Christmas Special, Mairead claims to have never seen a white Christmas. In reality, Cork experienced one in 2004.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Conor and Jock end up as extras on Robert Sheehan's film because they're the weirdest looking people. They proceed to balls up several takes, frustrating Sheehan to tears. It does sort of work for Sheehan, because his frustration works perfectly for the scene being shot, but the two lads are hilariously clueless.
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  • Big Damn Kiss: After six episodes of being unable to pluck up the courage to do so, Conor and Linda finally have their first kiss on the bus during the hostage situation.
  • Broad Strokes: Certain aspects of continuity between the film and the series don't quite line up - the series nominally takes place before the movie, but most of the character interaction is based on things that happened in it, and some events, like Jock moving in with Mairead and Conor, happen slightly differently.
  • Broke Episode: Episode 5 in series 1 has money tight, especially since Mairead has taken Jock in from his abusive father. The lads decide to steal a rare blue fin tuna to sell to help her out, but end up stealing the wrong fish and losing it. At the end of the episode, they end up donating the money they earn from their work experience to Mairead to help out.
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  • City of Weirdos: The people of Cork are an odd bunch, to say the least. Local extras play up to their own eccentricities, especially when they barricade themselves into Conor and Jock's estate for mundane reasons.
  • Continuity Nod: A couple of scenes from the movie make it in, as well as allusions to certain events:
    • Billy's Establishing Character Moment where he mugs Conor and Jock creates Fake Billy to get back at him shows up.
    • Conor's father's death is shown again.
    • Conor and Jock dancing at the end of Carey's Lane is recreated at the end of the first episode 1.
    • The lads do work experience at the fishmongers in the English Market, where they were actually employed during the movie.
    • Mairead taking Jock in from his abusive father, though the circumstances are different.
  • Christmas Episode: The 2018 Christmas Special, which focuses on Conor and Jock's attempts to arrange a white Christmas for an ill Mairead.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: When Conor, Jock, Linda, and Siobhan are interviewed by RTE about the whales that have swam into the city, they all excitedly describe it while cursing. Since it's for the news it's bleeped out. Jock appears to have said nothing but swear words.
  • Dating Catwoman: Everyone treats Mairead's eventual relationship with Sergeant Healy as this.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Conor and Jock start seeing Siobhan and Linda Walsh, the daughters of their school principal, Barry Walsh. He is clearly uncomfortable at the idea of this and ends up getting into a fight with Conor when the two lads have been invited to the house for a barbecue.
  • I Am Spartacus: How Jock and Conor manage to end the hostage situation. They get all the passengers to don the Fake Billy mask and leave the bus one by one. The real Billy is last off and walks off into the woods when the guards stop taking notice.
  • Knife Nut: Billy tends to carry a large combat knife around with him, which he uses to throw at his friend and to later hijack a bus.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Conor and Jock are petty thieves, but they'll often perform acts of extreme kindness, such as attempting to get more money for Mairead or comforting patients stuck in the hospital at Christmas.
    • Billy Murphy develops into one. He might be an Axe-Crazy nutcase, but he eventually helps Mairead by bringing a snow machine to give her a white Christmas.
  • Mood Whiplash: The show can go from hilarious to heartwarming and even tearjerking, often within the same scene.
  • Sadist: Conor notes that inflicting pain is the only thing that gives Billy Murphy any kind of pleasure.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Conor and Jock complain about work, one of the other employees at the fishmongers tells them "Welcome to The Matrix, lads."
    • At one point, Conor describes Sergeant Healy as "a shit Irish Terminator".
  • A Simple Plan: Stealing a rare blue fin tuna from a wholesalers seems like an easy score, especially when Jock changes the lock on the freezer so he can open it. From there, it's a variety of disasters, starting with the lads' difficulty getting the tuna into the trolley they've brought and then dealing with patrolling Gardaí, dogs and other gangs while getting it through the city. This leads to them stealing a lifering and attaching it to the tuna to drag it through the river based on a plan they saw in an old movie. When Jock and Conor have a disagreement, the lifering accidentally falls in the river and Jock has to jump in the river to get it out. Upon retrieving the tuna, they find that the tail they tied the line to has broken off, leaving the rest of the fish floating in the river. This all becomes pointless, as it turns out they stole the wrong fish.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: When Billy takes a busload of passengers hostage in order to find Fake Billy, they eventually take pity on him leading to every hostage getting off the bus don the Fake Billy mask to cover his escape.
  • Stupid Crooks: Conor and Jock, of course. Sergeant Healy shows them the CCTV footage from their attempt to steal the blue fin tuna telling them that they were the stupidest thieves he ever saw. Their lack of foresight meant that getting a large tuna into a shopping trolley was incredibly difficult.
  • Toilet Humor: Jock's idea of a prank involves taking a shit inside a hand dryer and waiting for someone to use it. Conor ends up being the unfortunate victim.

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