Without the money to throw at expensive panic acquisitions, most of the player moves are usually completed well in advance, leaving only the finalisation of paper work and lots of unfounded speculation.
Last September, for instance, the biggest moves - Ryan Kent to Rangers and Greg Taylor to Celtic - had bubbled along for weeks beforehand.
Yesterday's deadline day was a break from the norm.
From big name moves, to dramatic about-turns, to returning heroes, the 31st of January, 2020, had it all:
Hibs' wheeling and dealing
If there was one team to keep an eye on all of yesterday, it was Hibs. Not only did they manage to ship Florian Kamberi to Rangers in return for Greg Docherty, they brought Marc McNulty back to the club after last season's successful spell, landed a McGinn and also tried - and ultimately failed - to sign Dunfermline's in-form striker Kevin Nisbet.
Having already brought in Stephane Omeonga, boss Jack Ross looks in a better position to mount a challenge for a European spot in the second half of the season.
Hagi signs for Rangers
Scottish football is no stranger to some of world football's most famous names. We've had Seedorf's, Schmeichel's, Sneijder's, Hasselbaink's, Ferdinand's, Pogba's and Djorkaeff's, amongst others. Unfortunately, the relations of great players who've signed on at Scottish clubs have generally disappointed; once the novelty of the name has worn off, the reality is something altogether more sobering.
We can add Hagi to the list of famous names, but there is perhaps more hope that he can live up to the reputation. Son of Romania's greatest ever player, Gheorghe, Ianis signed on a six-month loan for Rangers yesterday. While playing down the comparisons with his Dad, Steven Gerrard was not afraid to label Hagi as "one of the best talents at Under-21 level".
Time will tell if he can rise above those who've come before him, but he certainly added a dose of glamour to the transfer proceedings.
Berra's squad number horror
Christophe Berra's move to Dundee is a fascinating one. Can the experienced defender re-capture the form he showed when he first arrived at Hearts or is a Berraissance (go with me, here) beyond him, even at the level below?
What caught the eye immediately though was the upsetting sight of a central defender being given the number seven jersey. These days it shouldn't really matter, but numbers one to 11 still seem positionally sacred. Hopefully, for his and Dundee's sake, it is the low point of the move.
Hibs weren't the only club to bring a fan favourite back to the club yesterday. Livingston recalled Dolly Menga from his loan at Angolan side Atletico Petroleos de Luanda and, most interestingly, David Templeton moved back to Hamilton after a two-year spell at Burton Albion.
The moves made for happy fans but it will be intriguing to see if both players can re-capture the form that marked their first spells.
Kirk Broadfoot's shock Kilmarnock move
If you'd asked a Kilmarnock fan on Friday morning what they'd have hoped for as deadline day wound down, it's unlikely you'd have found anyone pining for the return of Kirk Broadfoot.
Fast forward a few hours though and there Kirk Broadfoot was, posing with a Kilmarnock shirt, having engineered a move back to the Rugby Park club.
It seemed the most unlikely of moves given the defender's comments upon escaping to St Mirren at the end of the last transfer window. Having criticised the training regime under former Killie boss Angelo Alessio, he suggested he would end his career at the Paisley club. Only a few months later, he's back in Ayrshire.
It's not a signing Kilmarnock fans expected and, judging by social media reaction, not one they wanted either. The hard sell for Broadfoot and the club begins now.
Scottish football is never short of storylines, but sometimes it's nice to freshen things up and the Kirk Broadfoot saga wasn't the only tale that should spice up 2020.
Having signed for Rangers, Florian Kamberi was quick to admit that he'd wanted to play for the Ibrox club ever since joining Hibs, which is sure to add a few decibels to the volume when the sides meet midweek.
At Celtic, the lack of any business despite Mikey Johnston's injury has the potential to come back to haunt Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell, especially if the Parkhead club lose their grip on the Premiership lead.
Meanwhile, Lydon Dykes (Livingston), Kevin Nisbet (Dunfermline) and Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United), remained at their current clubs despite interest. Have their heads been turned, or will their good form continue for the rest of the season?
Young talent earning big fees
Raith Rovers' teenage striker Kieron Bowie had already agreed to a reported £150,000 move to Fulham at the end of this season, but he was followed down south yesterday by Motherwell forward James Scott.
The Fir Park club called Scott's move to Hull City the "third highest guaranteed transfer fee" received in its history and it's a sign of the youngster's progression under Stephen Robinson this season. Both transfers are encouraging signs that Scottish clubs can still earn good money from English clubs for talent they've developed.