- British Stuffiness
- The Chew Toy
- Deadpan Snarker: Probably one of the most sarcastic characters in history. Almost 80% of what he says is sarcastic and rude. There are a lot of deadpan snarkers in this comedy series, but Basil just takes it up to a whole new level.
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- Henpecked Husband: As bad as Basil can be, it's made very clear that being married to Sybil isn't particularly fun either.
- Jerkass: One of the most iconic in British (and possibly international) comedy.
- Large Ham
- Lean and Mean: His wife calls him an "an ageing, brilliantined stick insect".
- Motor Mouth: Has a tendency for fast-paced rants when he's upset.
- No Accounting for Taste: He and Sybil actively hate each other. Her mother has no idea how they even ended up together, suggesting black magic.Basil: Well she'd know, wouldn't she? Her and that cat.
- One Head Taller: Basil towers over Sybil, but hilariously, he still jumps a mile whenever she barks "BASIL!" at him.
- Psychopathic Man Child
- Sexless Marriage
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The standard by which all others are measured.
- Annoying Laugh: Basil compares it to "somebody machine-gunning a seal".
- Beehive Hairdo: Which Basil referes to as a "rat's maze" during a row.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Perhaps "brilliant" is too strong a word, but she's a far more competent hotelier than Basil on the rare occasions that she stops gossiping and actually does some work.
- Catch-Phrase: "Oh, I knooow!"
- Gossipy Hens: Fond of tying up the phone line chatting with best mate Audrey.
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- Hypocrite: Always quick to bollock Basil for apparent laziness, flirtatiousness, rudeness etc, but is certainly Not So Above It All herself.
- Jerkass: Nowhere near the same level of Jerkassery as Basil, but that's not saying much.
- Only Sane Woman: Along with Polly, one of the most reasonable members of the staff.
- Sexless Marriage
- The Tease: Some of the male guests (particularly Mr Johnson in "The Psychiatrist") definitely grab her attention, and she enjoys a spot of shameless flirting.
- Tsundere: Nice to guests, hostile to her husband (and Irish builders).
- Bumbling Sidekick
- Butt-Monkey: To an extent. Basil does slap him around a lot, but the way Manuel is treated seems quite tame in comparison to what Basil himself goes through.
- Catch-Phrase: "Qué?"
- Funny Foreigner
- Gratuitous Spanish: Being from Barcelona, he speaks an almost incomprehensible mixture of Spanish and English.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: In "The Wedding Party", he says he has five brothers and four sisters.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Both "The Germans" and "The Builders" imply that Manuel's English isn't actually quite as bad as he lets on, and that he pretends to speak barely any English so that Basil won't expect too much from him.
- Phrase-Catcher: "He's from Barcelona."
- You No Take Candle: Much of the humour in his character comes from his poor understanding of English.
- Butt-Monkey: While Manuel suffers the worst direct abuse from Basil, Polly, being more reliable, is always first to be Press-Ganged into some degrading and ill devised scheme to cover up his incompetence.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: She always manages to conjure up a career and livelihood-saving lie for Basil in the heat of the moment. She's still a pretty lousy waitress though.
- Ms. Fanservice: Polly is scorchingly hot, and spends a portion of "The Wedding Party" in her underwear. Even when in her regular uniform, her figure is fairly... noticeable.
- Only Sane Man / Only Sane Employee
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His last name is McGowan, but no one really uses it.
- Flanderization: He wasn't as much of a ditz in his first appearance as he was in the rest of the series.
- Racist Grandma: A non-grandparental example.
- Undying Loyalty: He leaps to Basil's defense when an American guest declares the hotel the worst in Great Britain...if only because "There's a place in Eastbourne."