Characters: Fawlty Towers
- 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 is a lot of deadpan snarkers in this comedy series, but Basil just takes it up to a whole new level.
- Henpecked Husband
- Jerkass Woobie: He may be a rude, self-centered elitist who abuses his employees both verbally and physically... but the people he's forced to deal with are so stupid, obnoxious, and demanding that it's impossible not to feel at least a little sorry for him. Especially when he makes a huge effort for his and Sybil's anniversary and she still thinks he's screwed up.
- 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.
- One Head Taller: Basil towers over Sybil, but hilariously, he still jumps a mile whenever she barks "BASIL!" at him.
- 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.
- 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: "Que?"
- 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.
- 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.
- Only Sane Man / Only Sane Employee
- 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.
- 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."