The phrase “cult hit” gets thrown around a lot nowadays; if any show has a small, dedicated following it’s labeled a “cult hit.” While this is accurate in many cases, there is no denying that the Canadian mockumentary show Trailer Park Boys is a cult hit. Before The Office, before Parks and Recreation, there was Trailer Park Boys. Since it seems so long ago, not many people realize that this show was the first to adopt the TV mockumentary format that is now so popular. They created a genre and dominated it for nearly a decade, picking up right where they left off seven years after the cameras first shut off.
Trailer Park Boys is now entering its eleventh season, and the fanbase is larger than ever. The boys never stopped creating content for their fans; even when they were out of the Trailer Park Boys characters in Swearnet. Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles never seem to get old, and their cast of characters like Randy and Lahey add to the hilarity in their own perfect ways. There is so much to love about the show, but even the most rabid fans don’t know everything.
Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Trailer Park Boys.
15. The Theme Music Is Called “Breeze”
The theme song for Trailer Park Boys is just perfect. It’s understated and mellow – everything that the characters in the show are not. The juxtaposition of the usual pre-credit chaos followed by the soothing tones of the theme song work perfectly together, but not many people know the origin of the tune.
The song was written by Blain Morris, and was heavily influenced by the piano in Frank Sinatra’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” He wrote it after the birth of his first child, which fits much better with this music than the nonsense that usually occurs on Trailer Park Boys before the song is played.
The original title for it was “Breeze,” but since the success of the TV show Morris has embraced what fans have been calling it for years, “The Trailer Park Boys Theme.” You can now find thousands of parodies, remixes, and original versions of the song all over the internet.
14. Lucy Left Over Mike Smith’s (Bubbles) Abuse Allegations
In April of 2016 it was revealed that Lucy DeCoutere would not be returning to the newest season of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix. Her reasoning behind this was stated in a tweet, as she cited the fact that Mike Smith (Bubbles) was recently arrested on abuse allegations. Mike Smith has since refuted the claims, as has the alleged victim in the situation, saying that she would have called the police herself if she felt as though she was in danger. However, the show’s producers reported that DeCoutere told them she was leaving before this incident occurred.
DeCoutere, for her part, was one of 8 women who sued radio personality Jian Ghomeshi for sexual assault. She was one of the first women to publically give her name in the case. It is clear that she has personal experience in this area, but the timing of her departure does not seem to correlate with Smith’s arrest.
13. Barrie Dunn (Ray) is a Producer on the Show
There’s a lot of folks to love in Trailer Park Boys, with favorite characters ranging from random cameos to main characters like Bubbles. One of the more underrated characters in the series, though, is Ricky’s dad Ray. Barrie Dunn is the actor who played the character, but not many people know that it was his producing role that got the show rolling in the first place.
Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles had already made Cart Boy, along with another mockumentary-style film that would later turn into Trailer Park Boys. Barrie Dunn was one of the people to see initial promise in the show, and signed on as a producer. It wasn’t until later that he was incorporated as a character, but it looks like we have Ray to thank for the years of hilarity that the show has given us. Without his involvement, it’s unlikely that the low-budget, ahead-of-its-time comedy show would have made it to where it is today.
12. Trailer Park Boys is Meant to be Episodic
Not many people realize this, as the majority of Trailer Park Boys fans are of the diehard variety, but the show is meant to be episodic in nature. This means that you should be able to watch any given episode and understand what’s going on.
Admittedly, the jokes land a lot better if you’re familiar with the characters, but you don’t need to start from the beginning to appreciate the comedy. If you’re trying to get your friend into the show, you don’t need to start at the under-produced season one, episode one; you can jump right into season three or four. There are a fair number of running jokes on the series, such as Caveman Sam, the boys getting arrested, and treating Cory and Trevor like dogs, but missing a few points here and there is no problem. If you have a friend that you think will like the show, just fire up your favorite episode and see what they think.
11. Bubbles Mansion
Bubbles Mansion was a bar in Halifax that Mike Smith opened in 2006, centering on his character from the hit TV show. The bar was decked-out with Trailer Park Boys and Bubbles specific gear, complete with shopping carts holding up the sign for the place. The bar and restaurant worked out for a while, and when it was at its peak it was serving $1 beers.
In classic Trailer Park Boys fashion, a city ordinance made them change their policy, as they deemed it too cheap for someone to get drunk for only a few dollars. Smith was forced to change the price to $2.50 to reflect the decision, which tanked the bar and eventually led Smith to close it down in 2010.
10. Ricky Wears the Same Shirt for the Entire Season
There are multiple running jokes on Trailer Park Boys – so many, in fact, that it’s often difficult to catch them all while they’re happening. The show throws so many laughs at us that it’s easy to miss motifs and themes that are right in front of our faces. It’s no secret that Ricky is poor, just as it is no secret that he has a limited wardrobe. He’s openly stated that he only has a few shirts, but many people don’t realize how dire his clothing situation is.
In fact, he doesn’t change his shirt for entire seasons at a time. Every season he wears the same shirt, in every episode, until the season finale. Sometimes this ends with a ripped and/or destroyed top by the end of the season, sometimes even duct-taped to keep it together.
Ricky’s shirts aren’t the only repeating themes that fly under the radar. Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” is always playing in Lucy’s trailer, and the song “I’m Old (You’re Young)” by Rick Jeffery is playing every time Cyrus makes an entrance.
9. Disappearing Babies
Quite a few bits of plot were left on the cutting room floor after the seven year hiatus the show took between seasons seven and eight, including the existence of three babies. Lucy and Randy had a baby, which was completely neglected when the show picked up in its eighth season. T and J-Roc also had babies that they planned to be co-daddies to.
The latter two babies had no explanation whatsoever, but the show eventually gave us answers in regards to Randy’s child. Fans of the show were clamoring to know what happened, and were eventually vindicated by a Facebook post from the official Trailer Park Boys page. It stated that Randy and Lucy sent the kid away to live with family so that Ricky wouldn’t influence him as he got older. Randy confirms this in season 10 while reading a fan letter (as he shaves his chest in the bathtub).
8. Ellen Page Began Her Acting Career on the Show
It’s rare that we meet the extended family of any character in the show, but Jim Layhey’s lovable daughter Treena was an exception. She was suspicious when she entered the show, with many of the characters thinking she had ulterior motives, but Ricky soon developed a fondness for her which made both characters more endearing.
Ellen Page was only 15 when she made an appearance on the second season of the show, and this was a big break for her. The show was not as popular at the time of her cameo, but the explosion of the show paved the way for starring roles in movies like Juno and Inception. While we never see her character again after the season concludes, and the arrangement of her living situation is still confusing, her appearance in the show gave her career a nice little jump-start that it otherwise might not have had.
7. Swearnet 1.0
No one ever criticized Trailer Park Boys for being too PC or kid-friendly, so it should come as no surprise as to how many times “f–k” and “s—” are said throughout the series. The word “f–k” is said 1,284 times through season 7, with the word “s—” coming in a close second at 967 times. That’s s— ton of “f–ks!” These totals equate to an average of 46 “f–ks” and 31 “s—-” per episode. The boy’s aren’t the smartest guys in the world, and their limited vocabulary is evidence of that.
Out of all the “f–ks” and “s—-” uttered throughout the series, 74% of them are said by Ricky. That shouldn’t be a surprise, though we ‘re pretty confident Lahey’s s— analogies take up a fair amount of the percentages as well. The creators of the show clearly have an affinity for swear-words, as can be seen on their more recent film, Swearnet.
6. Most of the Characters Don’t Have Last Names
One thing that you may come to realize while you laugh your way through seasons of Trailer Park Boys is that many of the characters are never given a last name. Apart from people who are referenced by their full name, virtually no characters have both a first and a last name. Some notable members of the no-last-name club include Ricky, Julian, Bubbles, Trinity, J-Rock, Tyrone, Ray, Lucy, Cyrus, and Sarah. That’s the main core of the cast.
There’s no coherent reason for not including last names, but they aren’t the only show on television to do it. The Big Bang Theory, which couldn’t be more different from Trailer Park Boys, has a main character, Penny, with no last name. At some point it becomes intentional, and having a character with only a simple first name is enough for a cult hit like Trailer Park Boys. There’s no need to get all fancy with the family lines.
5. Donny, the Off-Screen Shouter, is Voiced by Mike Smith (Bubbles)
The character who is often heard and never seen goes by the name of Donnie. He plays an increased role as the series goes on, screaming about the use of guns, his cable cutting out, and general ruckus around the park. Not many people know this, but the voice behind the camera in these moments is none other than Mike Smith, AKA Bubbles himself. Once you know that this is the case, it becomes much easier to place that screaming voice telling the boys to “f–k off with the guns.”
This fact is perfect for the show, which is impeccably low-budget and close-knit. Donnie is one of the classic characters of the show, but fair-weather fans might not even know he exists. He plays a crucial role as the voice of all of the residents in the park. They just want to live their lives and have no investment in these shenanigans going on with Lahey and the boys– Donnie expresses what they’re all thinking.
4. Sarah is Lahey’s Real Life Daughter
John Dunsworth plays one of the most iconic characters on Trailer Park Boys, but not many people realize that another key cast member is actually his daughter. Sarah, one of the most Canadian people Americans will ever see, is one of John Dunsworth’s two daughters. The next time you load up a Trailer Park Boys episode on Netflix, take a look at the intro credits. It’s been right in front of our eyes the entire time; Sarah’s last name is Dunsworth!
The show keeps a tight-knit cast, with many of the people involved having worked together in the past, or having other outside relationships with others involved. It should come as no surprise, then, that one of the stars of the series has his daughter making appearances on the show as well. Sarah’s character has been part of the show since the early episodes, and has been part of the boys’ journey. Who can forget the season when she was banging Ricky out of nowhere?
3. John Dunsworth is a Classically Trained Actor
One of the more popular fun-facts in Trailer Park Boys lore is that the actor who plays Jim Lahey, John Dunsworth, is actually a bona fide actor. He got his start acting on the stage, unlike much of the cast, who started making sketches and went from there. His onscreen persona is actually nothing like what his real life personality, as the alcoholic Jim Lahey could not be further from the buttoned-up John Dunsworth.
Dunsworth rarely drinks alcohol, and his onscreen drunken behavior can be attributed to his acting history rather than personal experiences. Many people speculate that Dunsworth is actually drunk while he’s in character, but the real guy is only drinking iced tea most of the time. Dunsworth does admit to having had a bit of a gambling problem in the past, and has focused his efforts on eliminating the video poker machines in local corner stores in Canada.
2. Own the Park
Not many people are aware of this, but the first four seasons of Trailer Park Boys were all shot at different trailer parks around Canada. The locations of the parks were in Spryfield, Lower Sackville, Truro, Dartmouth, and Lakeside, in Nova Scotia. You can tell if you look closely, as when the boys come back from prison, the scenery seems to be a bit different.
Eventually, the boys got fed up with moving the set and rearranging everything. There were also a fair number of noise complaints associated with filming a ruckus TV show, so they decided to buy some property and create their own park. They drew from seasons past, as well as memories from their own hometowns, to create the park that would hold the Trailer Park Boys for seasons to come, even serving as the setting for their Netflix series after they were picked up for season 11.
1. Cory and Trevor’s Departure
The Cory and Trevor disappearance was never fully addressed on the show. They made a few references to it, and when Cory returned he gave a brief canon explanation, but the fans were left wondering what happened. That was until Michael Jackson, the actor who played Trevor, wrote about the situation in a blog post.
The two actors felt they were playing important roles in the show, but were still seeing the payment of second-rate characters. They didn’t feel that their time was valued as much as some of the other actors, and their on-set responsibilities usually went much farther than just acting. They would have to move set pieces and fix things that broke, and eventually Jackson fell out of love with the series.
Perhaps the more comical reason for their departure involved the fans of the show. Jackson was sick and tired of being treated like Trevor by fans. The boys have a tendency to stay in character while they make appearances, but Cory and Trevor would get harassed and abused when they would meet fans of the show.
Trailer Park Boys season 11 will debut on Netflix March 23, 2017.