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Trivia / Father Ted

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  • Author Existence Failure: Lead actor Dermot Morgan's death was not the reason for the show ending, but the popular conception that it was the cause is a difficult one to refute. It did have an effect on the final episode "Going to America", in which the original ending had Father Ted committing suicide, which was then instead changed to a montage of clips from all the previous episodes as a farewell to the fans. Had Dermot not died there probably would have been a lot of pressure to continue.
  • Creator Backlash: Despite being two of the more popular episodes among fans, Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews admit in the series scriptbook to not being entirely happy with how "New Jack City" and "Night of the Nearly Dead" turned out; the former because they felt far too much of the episode was taken up with Father Stack just being a jerk, and the latter because they were running out of ideas and had to resort to several comedic devices they wouldn't normally use.
    • The DVD Commentary is interesting in this regard, as Linehan spends a lot of time pointing out things he thinks they could have done better. In particular, he is very critical of "A Chrismassy Ted"'s Ending Fatigue.
    • In another DVD Commentary Linehan and Mathews voice at lenght their dissatisfaction with the episode "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep", for relying too much on absurd jokes and situations just for the sake of it, and go as far as calling it a straight out bad episode. Mathews also isn't too happy with the whole concept of it revolving around taking care of a sheep, feeling it's too close to the Oirish stereotypes they were trying to play around with and make fun of in the series.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews named "Entertaining Father Stone" as their favourite episode.
  • Defictionalization: Signs with "Down With This Sort Of Thing!" and "Careful Now!" have become staples of just about any protesting crowd in Ireland and the UK.
    • The "All Priests Over-75 Indoor Football Challenge Match" is played each year between inhabitants of two islands which lay claim to being the real-world inspiration for Craggy Island. (Although the participants are neither priests nor over 75, and the match is not played indoors.)
  • I Am Not Spock: Severely affects the entire cast. If you were an extra in this show that's all you're ever going to be. Graham Norton averts it by simply carrying his persona to the talk-show circuit. Some of the cast who are in stand-up avert it (such as Ed Byrne).
    • Ardal O'Hanlon was primarily associated with Father Ted and Dougal for decades until Death in Paradise finally allowed him to create a new character to be known for.
    • This got so bad that Pauline McLynn (Mrs Doyle) refused to appear in the documentary about the show. She has however gone on to be a successful novelist.
    • Father Brian Eno got away with it.
    • In an In-Universe example, Richard Wilson plays himself in one episode, and is driven into a rage by Ted saying 'I don't believe it!' to him.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews have both said that "Entertaining Father Stone" is by far and away their favourite episode of the series. Among fans, the episode is a lot more divisive — some considering it to be a masterpiece of Cringe Comedy, but others criticizing it for being very slow-paced and relying on the same main joke over and over — with "Hell", "Are You Right There, Father Ted?" and "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse" being the more usual contenders for the show's best episode.
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  • Method Acting: While Dermot Morgan could jump from playing Father Ted to entertaining the studio audience between setups, Ardal O'Hanlon had to go off to a corner by himself because Dougal was so odd that it was hard for him to stay in character while shooting.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Played for Laughs in "A Song for Europe"; Ted's singing is done by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy (who wrote most of the music for the series), and is so completely different to Ted's voice it merely adds to the ridiculousness of the song.
  • Out of Order: Season 1. "Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest" was the pilot episode, but it aired 6th and last. "The Passion of Saint Tibulus" was supposed to be the first aired, but was moved to third, preceded by "Good Luck, Father Ted", which was felt to be a better introduction for viewers, and "Entertaining Father Stone" because of Mathews' fondness for that episode. This causes a continuity error whereby the VCR given to the priests by Father Hernandez is somehow already in the parochial house in previous episode.
    • "Think Fast, Father Ted" was filmed during series 1 but aired as part of series 2. You can see that the decor matches the other episodes in the first series rather than the second (e.g. - living room door is white as in series 1, instead of brown as in series 2 and 3). This creates a rather significant plot hole, as "Think Fast" is the episode where Ted receives his car, even though it appears in several prior episodes that were originally intended for airing after it (especially in the preceding "Hell").
    • On the DVD, the Christmas special, which was originally aired between series 2 and 3, is placed in the middle of series 2. This leads to continuity errors such as Dougal mentioning his pet rabbit, which, at the point the episode is shown in series 2, he hasn't yet acquired.
  • Referenced by...:
    • One Piece Abridged (not the one we have a page for, a different one) has Zorro voiced by Father Jack. Usually his Catchphrase, demands for "DRINK!," or insisting that something he has little interest in is "an ecumenical matter." He also responds to the nonsense around him by declaring it to be "arse biscuits" and Luffy to be "that gobshite."
    • The "Down With This Sort Of Thing" placard has been in everything from Grand Theft Auto V to Judge Dredd, generally in situations where the protest in question is equally absurd.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: A stage musical has been announced where Ted will become pope.
  • Star-Making Role: Dermot Morgan had been working in obscurity for decades before Father Ted turned him into a household name. His premature death prevented him from exploring the opportunities that were finally beginning to open up to him.
  • Technology Marches On: For the most part the show actually averts this trope pretty well, due to Ted and co. being stuck in a remote location with very limited access to technology. A few examples still crop up, however:
    • Some of the gags around Father Larry Duff's new cellphone in Season 2 wouldn't work as well (if at all) in the modern day, as they tend to rely on cellphones still being a novelty back then. Nowadays, most of the gags wouldn't happen simply because Larry would either be using a hands-free set, or would habitually silence his phone in important situations.
    • "A Song For Europe" is probably the biggest individual example, as the ability to research obscure bits of music online would likely have shut down Ted's plan to plagiarize the Norwegian song almost immediately, or at least forced him to acknowledge that he failed to carry out even the most basic research on the song. Though failing to do the research, or think things through at all, would hardly be out of character for these two.
    • The mess that Ted's and Dougal's protest turns into "The Passion of St. Tibulus" would likely have been even worse in the modern day. Whereas in the episode their protests only result in people coming from all over Europe to Craggy Island to watch the film, nowadays you can bet that they'd have attracted the attention of an enterprising movie pirate, meaning they'd end up causing the film to become available worldwide, thanks to online movie piracy now being so common.
    • The group are always seen listening to music on a record player, which in the mid to late 90s, was considered antiquated as the success of CDs and Cassettes meant most new music had ceased to be released on vinyl. This is even used as a gag when Dougal excitedly purchases BBC Sound Effects records he believes to be new (they are actually several decades old). Since the late 2000s, however, vinyl has experienced a revival and new vinyl is regularly released. As a consequence, it doesn't look so out of place for them.
  • Throw It In!:
    • When describing the Beast of Craggy Island, one of Dougal's lines was meant to reveal that "instead of a mouth, it's got two faces." Ardal O'Hanlon didn't think this was funny, and when filming was taking place, decided to change the line to "instead of a mouth, it's got four arses," getting an uproarious reaction from the audience which immediately convinced the producers that the altered line should be left in.
    • "'Ride me sideways' was another one!" was an ad lib by Pauline McLynn — you can see Dermot Morgan trying not to laugh.
  • Trolling Creator: A behind-the-scenes example: after finishing shooting the first season, Dermot Morgan approached Linehan and Mathews and sarcastically asked them what they were going to do to him next, jokingly mentioning being covered in slurry as an example. And so the very first scene for season two that they wrote down was the one in which Ted and Dougal are slathered in the contents of a septic tank truck, a scene whose shooting Ardal O'Hanlon described more than once as one of his worst experiences. In the documentary, Linehan admits that they did that because at the time him and Mathews "felt like smartasses".
  • Underage Casting:
    • Pauline McLynn was 33 when the show started. She almost didn't get the part, because she was too pretty for Mrs. Doyle.
    • Frank Kelly was 58 when the show started; Father Jack is supposed to be fifteen to twenty years older.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • In addition to technology (like a party line in "A Christmassy Ted") and references to then-current Eurovision Song Contest and Catholic Church scandals, it'd be basically impossible to make a sitcom about corrupt and dysfunctional priests which portrayed them mostly as harmless grotesques rather than outright sinister after the news of the Church suppressing child abuse broke in the 00s. Graham Linehan has gone on record as saying the series' innocence is disturbing from a modern perspective.
    • When the show was made Ireland was still using the Irish pound, hence why prices in the show are stated in pounds. Ireland has used the Euro since 2002.
    • The show mined some black comedy out of The Troubles and the tensions that existed at the time of the show's production. Since then, a peace agreement was achieved and most overt violence disappeared from the region.
  • What Could Have Been: The series' script book reveals that quite a few of the episodes, particularly in the third series, would have gone off in different directions:
    • Mrs. Doyle's first name was mentioned to be Joan in the script for one of the early episodes. The line was cut for timing reasons, and subsequent episodes made the non-reveal of her first name a Running Gag.
    • "The Mainland" had a deleted subplot involving Ted being falsely accused of stealing a briefcase. Near the end of the story, he only needed to use half of his betting money to pay the bail for Father Jack, Mrs. Doyle and Mrs. Dineen... and then had to use the other half to bail himself out when he was arrested for his "theft."
    • "Escape from Victory" would have ended not only with Ted's cheating being exposed, but it being revealed that Dick Byrne had bribed the Craggy Island team to throw the match (which they forgot to actually do, thanks to their advanced ages). The two are forced to undergo each other's forfeits, and Dick actually has to go through with kissing Cyril... which he does in a nonchalant way that suggests he (and possibly also Cyril) is actually a closeted Straight Gay. This then leads into the cliffhanger ending and Ted being told he has to kick Bishop Brennan up the arse — which in this version was Dick's forfeit from the off, instead of him doing it as a response to Ted's cheating.
    • "Night of the Nearly Dead" gave a different explanation for Eoin McLove's Manchild behaviour, namely that he was so used to being mothered that he had mentally regressed to childhood. This was changed to the brief reference to his Barbie Doll Anatomy that appears in the finished episode.
    • Originally Mrs Doyle was going to be a love interest for Father Ted but this was ultimately scrapped, however most of the dialogue is still the same.
    • The series finale ended, as mentioned previously, with Ted joining the suicidal priest on the window ledge at the priests' convention.
    • According to the DVD Commentary, originally Ted was supposed to be more of a sexually repressed and Ambiguously Bi kind of character, to the point that watching "The Passion of Saint Tibulus" would have caused him to experience a surreal and heavily sexually charged dream revolving around the homoerotic content of the movie. As they went on writing the rest of the first series and fleshed out the characters, Linehan and Mathews decided to scrap that idea, in part due to a series of sexual scandals involving priests actually going on in Ireland at the time, which made Jack and Bishop Brennan more fitting for jokes on the matter. Eventually, they decided to get out of their system all jokes they had about Ted in the episode "And God created woman", only toned down compared to their original intentions and with more of a sentimental side to it.
    • Father Ted was originally conceived for an unmade Mockumentary series called Irish Lives and would only have appeared in one episode, which was rewritten into Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest.
  • The Wiki Rule: Father Ted Wiki
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Irish comedian Jon Kenny played a cinema owner in "The Passion of St Tibulus" and a Eurosong MC in "Song for Europe" (in the latter role, he was filling in for Steve Coogan who pulled out at the last minute).
    • Pauline McLynn played Mrs Doyle in every episode, but as she only had a few lines in "Flight Into Terror" they also let her play one of the nuns throwing paper at Ted.


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