Billy Hague, standing in for the absent summiteers Cameron and Clegg, and Hattie Harman, replacing Red Ed, began by blowing bubbles at each other over the warming subject of Aung San Suu Kyi.
The billiard ball Foreign Secretary praised the Burmese opposition leader as an "inspirational figure" while the big H hailed her courage and bravery.
But the love-in was never going to last and the domestic ding-dong was revived on the old political chestnut of the NHS.
Hattie, puffing out her cheeks, denounced rationing of treatment because of nasty Tory cuts. But the substitute premier cooly replied the only criteria about medical decisions should be clinical and not financial.
As the comradely barbs slid off the Yorkshire armour, Hattie tried again to blood the Foreign Sec, who, once more, calmly pointed out that arbitrarily restricting operations was actually allowed under the previous Labour government. Tory voices rose in disbelief.
Mr H, noticing that Ed Balls was another absentee, congratulated Hattie on her long-winded question, noting how the absence of the Shadow Chancellor helped everybody concentrate.
When Labour voices asked where was George Osborne, the Foreign Sec replied niftily he was at the G20 summit. "The Shadow Chancellor's presumably doing another opinion poll on what people think of it."
Hattie sought to wound her opponent with a pun, but it backfired because it just wasn't funny.
"The Prime Minister once said he could sum up his priorities in three letters – NHS. Isn't it more like LoL?"
Momentarily there was silence as the tumbleweed wheeled through the Commons chamber.
The comrades tried to laugh but found it difficult and the Tories shook their heads and groaned.
Tory right-winger Peter Bone – aghast at the LibDems abstaining on a vote to support Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt over his handling of the BSkyB bid – urged his "preferred deputy prime minister" to arrange a "divorce from the yellow peril so we can govern with Conservative policies as a minority government".
Needless to say, the Foreign Sec declined but later the yellow peril materialised in the form of Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes.
He referred to Mr H as the "Deputy Prime..." before correcting himself.
Billy replied to Tory cheers: "I won't mention to the Deputy Prime Minister your slip. It's entirely between ourselves, within these four walls."