[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/menbehavingbadly.jpg]]
Classic British sitcom written by Simon Nye, very loosely adapted from a not-particularly-successful novel he wrote in the late 80s. The main cast consists of Martin Clunes as Gary, Caroline Quentin as Dorothy and Leslie Ash as Deborah; the first season had Harry Enfield playing Dermot as secondary lead, while all the subsequent ones replaced him with Neil Morrissey as Tony. It's generally acknowledged that this second season was the moment when the show [[GrowingTheBeard grew its beard]]. There are several reasons for this - Tony was a more interesting character than Dermot, the show moved from ITV to [=BBC1=] and the lack of adverts meant that Nye had a few more minutes to play with, and it hit a moment of zeitgeist as the late 80s/early 90s New Man was being brushed aside by a resurgence of laddish masculinity.

Along with HaveIGotNewsForYou, it is probably the single most-referenced show title for British newspaper headline writers and has been shamelessly ripped off for the titles of countless documentaries.

The show lasted six seasons, with a follow-up trilogy of three extra-long episodes.

Came sixteenth in ''Series/BritainsBestSitcom''.

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!!Contains examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation - The US version lasted roughly thirty seconds.
* AllMenArePerverts - Well, Gary and Tony without question but there are so many variations that they're worth mentioning too. Averted with minor characters like Ken and Les, inverted every so often with Deborah and Dorothy but the big inversion is with George; he and his wife, [[SheWhoMustNotBeSeen Marjorie]], have a jar in which they must put 10p every time one of them has an unfaithful thought. In his several decades of marriage, George has only blown 50p while Marjorie has spent 2386.
--> '''George''': ...Sometimes I feel I should say something, but it ''has'' paid for three caravanning holidays.
* BeardOfEvil - A variation, Tony grows a moustache as part of his transformation into a boring postman in the last episode, and shaves it off again at the end when he returns to normal.
* CardboardPal - When Tony and Gary have fallen out, Gary makes a fake Tony out of a sex doll and Tony's clothes so they can continue having their lager-fuelled conversations on the sofa.
* TheCasanova - Tony, until he falls for Deborah, having slept with fifty women and at one point having three girlfriends at once. Gary wants to be one, but is more of a CasanovaWannabe.
* {{Catchphrase}}: In the script book, Simon Nye grumbles that he was never able to come up with a good one, his attempts including Tony's "Sod you, then" and "I feel like a king".
* ChristmasSpecial - Interpolated Dorothy's idyllic-perfect-Christmas fantasy ImagineSpot with the grittier reality.
* CloudCuckooLander - Ken. Simon Nye notes he was written as an over-promoted, incompetent PointyHairedBoss, but John Thompson played him as being borderline mentally ill.
* CompanionCube: In "Your Mate V Your Bird", when it looks like Gary will be left living alone in the flat, he temporarily fashions his own "Tony" out of a blow-up sex doll, with a string to make it drink beer.
* ContinuityNod - Quite a few in the ''Sofa'' episode, all of them in flashbacks. Gary having shorter hair, teenage Tony having longer hair, Gary wearing "the suit" on one of his three unsuccessful dates and Gary wearing his trousers on his head when meeting Dorothy for the first time.
* TheCouch - or rather sofa
* CrazyJealousGuy: Played for laughs with Tony over Debra
* DirectionlessDriver - Gary navigating in "Cardigan".
--> '''Gary''': Hold on, this is a map of ''Dieppe!''
* DirtyCoward - Gary in the thematically titled episode "Cowardice". After failing to stand up for Dorothy to a road-rager, he hires a company to send an actor to insult her in the bar and he can then pretend to beat up to regain his image. However, HilarityEnsues when an ''actual'' thug corresponding to the description insults Dorothy and Gary manages to beat him up without realising he's not the actor.
* EmbarrassingNickname: In the last episode, all the postmen have nicknames - Tony's is "Nobby No-Mates". Another has one produced by a chain of logical connections:
--> '''Tony:''' He's been bitten by so many dogs, they call him Costello.
--> '''Gary:''' Er...why?
--> '''Tony:''' Abbott and Costello. Russ Abbott. Russ. Jack Russell, little dog.
* ForeignRemake: ''It's A Man's World'', starring RobSchneider.
* FriendVersusLover - The central focus of the show. One episode uses it as the title - "Your Mate V Your Bird".
* GilliganCut - Averted due to Simon Nye disliking them, save for a single example in the episode ''The Good Pub Guide''.
* TheGhost - Clive, "Gary's Only Other Friend". Often referred to, but never seen save for a brief glimpse in "Wedding" (where he's played by the writer Simon Nye in a cameo).
** Also, George's wife Marjorie.
* HeyItsThatGuy - Deborah's friend Stewart in the season 2 episode ''How to dump your girlfriend'' is Robin Hood from ''Series/MaidMarianAndHerMerryMen''.
** One of the people trying to buy Deborah's flat is Creator/CatherineTate. Possibly RetroactiveRecognition.
* HoYay -[[invoked]] There always seemed to be ''something'' between Tony and Gary, for all they talked about girls. WordOfGod [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2002/oct/21/broadcasting.tvandradio confirms it]] saying "Men Behaving Badly was about a same-sex relationship. Everyone latched on to the lad thing, but to me there was always a significant homoerotic content in the relationship between Gary and Tony. You always got the impression that they'd rather be left alone together, but that was something that they could never admit to themselves."
** When Gary is soon to be married (later called off):
--> '''Tony''': Gary...if ''I'' was a girl...with a girl's bottom and everything...would you marry me?
--> '''Gary''': ''(stares at him for a moment in an awkward silence, then answers instantly)'': Course mate!
--> '''Tony''': Cheers mate!
* ICouldaBeenAContender - Meta version: writer Simon Nye grumbled in the published script book that he inadvertently invented ''TheRoyleFamily'' ahead of its time with the episode ''Watching TV''.
* InherentlyFunnyWords: Simon Nye thought this about words such as "shed" and "cheese", inserting them wherever he could. Also the names of the foreign beers in "The Good Pub Guide":
--> '''Gary''': What's this Indonesian one called?
--> '''Tony''': Er..."Binky".
--> '''Gary''': It's not as good as Sod, but it's better than that Russian one, what was it?
--> '''Tony''': Er..."Plop".
* JerkAss - All of the main characters have their moments. Dorothy being the most prolific.
* MediumAwareness: In ''Sofa'', Gary and Tony seem to be very aware of the flashbacks and knowingly trigger them by looking upwards towards the ceiling.
* MyLocal - The Crown.
* NonSequitur - One of the main sources of humour.
--> (Gary and Tony have been discussing Dorothy's new boyfriend Jamie
--> '''Tony:''' What a bastard
-->'''Gary:''' Who, Jamie? Yeah!
--> '''Tony:''' No
-->'''Gary:''' My mate Clive? Yeah!
--> '''Tony:''' No
-->'''Gary:''' Les?
--> '''Tony:''' No - Tony Blackburn!
* PornStash - at least three separate episodes (and possibly more) -
** Once in season 4 when Tony's girlfriend dumps him when she finds it. The episode is even ''called'' [[VulgarHumor "Pornography"]].
** Once in the "Last Orders" trilogy where Gary and Dorothy are trying for a baby and Gary trying to overcome his impotence when trying to perform on demand is used as an excuse to "get a picture of the whole genre".
** In the last episode Dorothy, probably in a [[ShoutOut throwback]] to the season 4 episode, finds Tony's old stash. Then, in the absolutely last scene...
--> '''Dorothy (to her newborn baby)''': This is Tony...you're going to have his old room where he's had lots of adventures...most of them involving ''Razzle'' magazine!
* SeinfeldianConversation - A lot of the sofa conversations at the end of the episode are like this.
* SexyWhateverOutfit - Gary and Dorothy [[EpicFail attempted]] this kind of roleplaying, but...
--> '''Gary:''' I asked Dorothy to dress up as ''(sniggers)'' [[NaughtyNurseOutfit a nurse]].
--> '''Tony:''' ...[[ShapedLikeItself She]] ''[[ShapedLikeItself is]]'' [[ShapedLikeItself a nurse]].
--> '''Gary:''' ...Yeah, it didn't work really. And she asked me to dress up as a farmer and come and rescue her.
--> '''Tony:''' ...Are you sure she didn't say "fireman"?
--> '''Gary:''' ...Yes, she did actually. Quite embarrassing really. [[NoodleIncident I've still got the smock]]...
* StalkerWithACrush - Tony towards Deborah.
* SurroundedByIdiots - Gary towards George and Anthea.
** Dorothy towards Gary and Tony
*** Deborah towards Gary and Tony
**** Well, ANYONE towards Gary and Tony.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute - Averted when Ken replaced Les as the landlord of the Crown; they devoted an episode to the shift, and Ken was written as a very different character.
** Tony himself is an aversion as the replacement for Dermot.
* TerribleIntervieweesMontage - In the first episode of the second series, where Gary's looking for a new flatmate. The interviewees include an incomprehensible Geordie, a catatonic man (played by writer Simon Nye) and a seemingly normal man who turns out to have a disturbing fetish.
* TheUnfairSex - Diminished in the later series but very frequent early on. One particular episode has Tony mending the fence in the back garden three times and Gary fetching something from the chemist to cure Dorothy's indigestion twice -- ''in the middle of the night in their pyjamas'' -- while the girls ignore their partners' devotion and sit on Deborah's bed to discuss how the prospect of marrying an elderly millionaire is looking more and more attractive.
* ThrowItIn - Most of the really juvenile parts of the show's humour were ad-libbed by the cast, such as the "Wanker Song", and Gary's line when Tony complains about "why does Debs like (her latest boyfriend) when he's got a face like an arse?" Gary: "Maybe he's got a huge knob?" Also at one point Gary has spent the night watching porn in bed, and Dorothy then comes home, climbs in and settles down, oblivious. The actress decided that she would then raise her head to reveal a tissue stuck to the side of her face.
* UnwantedGlassesPlot - Not only does Tony refuse to wear them, due to mockery from everyone else, but he has equally huge problems with contact lenses. In the end he simply decides to go without.
* WaxingLyrical - When Tony is persuading Gary he should get back together with Dorothy.
--> '''Tony''': She loves you, mate. [[Music/TheBeatles And with a love like that, you know you should be glad]].
* WeirdnessCensor - Gary's office workers George and Anthea in the last episode. "No, I can't see that happening", constantly repeated when he tells them the office is closing down, in a faintly creepy, unthinking way.
* VulgarHumor - in the second installment of "Last Orders", the hotel is the... Groyne View.
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