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Dinnerladies contains many running jokes and is part of the reason for why the show has become so loved by the audience.

  • Twinkle has two catchphrases. The first is when Tony, her manager, tells her off for being late and for coming in with her overall on and sees her saying something similar to "Alright, keep your scrotum on." or "Who rattled your scrotum?" After Tony makes fun of her, she normally responds with "Ha ha..." followed by a random phrase of something she assumes is funny, such as "Ha ha, League of Gentleman."
  • Norman is constantly saying "I'm agoraphobic- I fell of a diving board in Guernsey." Sometimes, other characters have been seen mentioning it for him. The last time we see him, he has developed a new fear of bread, which isn't very good news as he is the bread deliverer.
  • When the ladies are talking about ladies' things, Tony usually uses a cigarette break to escape and says "I'm having a fag."
    • Everytime somebody uses the fire escape- normally Tony for a cigarette- it's followed by many of the co-workers shouting "Shut the door!"
  • Stan constantly refers to his dad being a desert rat and normally retells events of him surviving on very little food or with very little supplies.
  • Bren's mother, Petula, always tells elorate events that happened between her and celebrities and shows her turn to Bren and ask "Do you remember?" closely followed by "Oh no, you weren't there!".
    • This joke was further played upon when she asked Bren "I had a baby once, do you remember?", which was then followed by "Oh yes- it was you!"
  • When Bren is stuck for a word she normally thinks about it for two or three seconds and then says a totally unrelated word before remembering it, such as "What are those things like cucumbers... suffragettes".
  • Dolly is always referring to some piece of information that she read in the Daily Mail.
  • Jean is seen reading things without her reading glasses as she forgets to bring them. She ends up reading the story wrong and having to be corrected.
  • Dolly is forever blaming random events on Tony Blair. She would start rants with "Tony Blair!"