Saido Berahino was staying at West Brom (again) while Aston Villa were only confirming failed signings, rather than actual done deals.
Stoke's Peter Odemwingie had not appeared in Marseille's car park and Premier League managers were lining up to tell BBC Sport they would not be adding to their squads.
Despite a record £1bn being spent across the two transfer windows, deadline day was in danger of being overshadowed by Harry Styles' birthday.
Then Manchester City decided to save the day with the news Pep Guardiola would be taking over as manager from Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season.
Did City save transfer deadline day or has Pep ruined 1 February?
City's website crashed
Twitter changed Direction
As of 12:30 GMT, the most-used transfer deadline day hashtag of #deadlineday had only been tweeted 32,400 times in the UK since midnight.
In that same 12-hour period, it was dwarfed by the top hashtag in the UK - the 1.32 million tweets sending best wishes to Harry Styles of British boy band One Direction using the hashtag #happybirthdayharrystyles.
The Guardiola news broke just after 13:00 GMT and it took just one hour for 61,000 people to tweet about it.
The best deadline day signing of all time?
So Guardiola was big - anything else?
Stoke City look to be the only Premier League club close to breaking any transfer records on transfer deadline day, with chairman Peter Coates confirming talks with Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula.
The pace of September's deadline day was quickened only by the surprise £36m paid for Monaco teenager Anthony Martial by Manchester United, but this time around none of the top eight have made a last-minute move.
Despite all the hype around 'football's Christmas day', Falcao's shock arrival at Old Trafford and Chelsea's incredible £50m signing of Fernando Torres seem a long time ago.
With many of the bigger clubs looking to do business during the summer, it has been those fighting relegation - and the risk of losing a slice of next year's bumper £5.1bn TV rights deal - that have been more active.
It means clubs with prize assets - such as Berahino, and Everton's John Stones - do not have to sell to the first club that comes along.
Former Leicester City captain Matt Elliott told BBC Sport that clubs can benefit from a late bit of business, but added: "It is a bit of a circus at times, but it has been really quiet this year and the top players rarely become available."
Far flung football fans stay tuned
Major signings or not, there was an impressive effort from BBC Sport readers across the world.
Many of them were following our mammoth 17-hour live text from special places.