Blandings Castle is the setting of a series of novels and stories by P. G. Wodehouse.Blandings, a castle which "has impostors the way other places have mice", is the home of the elderly and ineffectual Earl of Emsworth, which is routinely used by his many domineering sisters to imprison nieces or nephews intent on an unsuitable marriage. The would-be fiancé has to infiltrate the castle in disguise, often with help from the Earl's ne'er-do-well brother Galahad Threepwood, and capable, sporting butler Sebastian Beach, or less often his good friend Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, Earl of Ickenham, who aims always to spread sweetness and light, and persuade Emsworth to overrule his sister.The second Blandings novel, Leave It to Psmith, is also the last instalment of the Psmith series.The Blandings series has seen Clive Currie and Horace Hodges as Lord Emsworth in movie versions, and Fritz Schultz (in German), Sir Ralph Richardson, Peter O'Toole and Timothy Spall on television, although many regard the BBC radio Lord Emsworth, Richard Vernon (who also lent his voice to Slartibartfast), as definitive.
This series provides examples of:
Ambiguous Disorder: Timothy Spall, who plays Emsworth in the 2013 miniseries, said of the character that "nowadays he'd be diagnosed with some kind of condition."
Children Are Innocent: Subverted at every opportunity — if a child appears in a Wodehouse story, nine times out of ten he (it's usually a he) will be an obnoxious grubby little pest. The only children portrayed sympathetically are Gladys and her brother Ern, little Cockney children in "Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend" - even they are mischievous, but towards unsympathetic people.
Cloudcuckoolander: Lord Emsworth is a doddering old man who cares about nothing more than his pig (which he christened 'The Empress of Blandings'). Want to talk to Emsworth? Chances are he'll end up rambling about pigs, derail the conversation based on semantics, or just plain space out and not listen to you at all. Even if you're lucky enough to have a lucid conversation with him, ten minutes later he'll have forgotten about it (and quite possibly you) anyway.
Disposable Fiancé: Freddie to Aline in Something Fresh. They aren't really interested in each other to begin with, so the inevitable breakup doesn't hurt anyone.
Likewise, Gloria Salt is this to Parsloe-Parsloe and Lord Vosper is this to Penelope in Pigs Have Wings. Since Gloria and Vosper are formerly a couple who reunite at the end, Parsloe-Parslowe and Penelope are this trope as well, for them.
Evil Matriarch: The horrendous aunts. Or, in Lord Emsworth's case, the horrendous sisters. Although they're in turn aunts to some of the young persons.
Expy: Plenty. Freddie Threepwood is yet another example of Wodehouse's classic Upper-Class Twit. An interview also quoted Wodehouse as saying, "In a way my character Galahad is really Psmith grown up."
Fiery Redhead: Ricky Gilpin in Uncle Fred in the Springtime is a male example.
Forced Into Their Sunday Best: In the short story, "Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend"note in the collection Blandings Castle, the eponymous peer is forced by Lady Constance, over his strenuous objections, to put on a top hat, frock coat, and a stiff collar to preside at a public fête held on the grounds of Blandings Castle.
MacGuffin: This is very often a diamond or pearl necklace, though the Empress of Blandings herself often serves as a Living MacGuffin.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Despite not being particularly manic, Joan Valentine in Something Fresh undoubtedly plays this role for Ashe, shaking up his boring life (and instigating the wacky plot) by encouraging him to do something new.
Messy Pig: The Empress of Blandings and Sir Gregory's pig, The Pride of Matchingham.
Noodle Incident: Repeated references are made to the never-actually-recounted "Story of the Prawns" which relates a humiliatingly hilarious incident in the youth of stuffed shirt Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe. At the end of Summer Lightning, Galahad Threepwood starts telling the story, but the book ends before we would find out what it's about.
Parental Marriage Veto: A regularly-appearing plot development, to the point where Wodehouse himself had his own names for all the character tropes involved. The "parent" was always one of Lord Emsworth's governess sisters, and the resolution almost invariably ended with the Hon. Galahad Threepwood (or sometimes Uncle Fred) blackmailing said sister into letting the marriage through, generally using an element of the B-plot.
A Simple Plan: In contrast to Jeeves' elaborately plotted fixes, the Blandings invaders start here and go from there. It's common for Uncle Fred to come up with his ultimate solution while resting in his hammock at Blandings.
Talks like a Simile: Comedic similes are a staple of Wodehouse's writing. A particular good one comes when the narrator describes the silent calm at the castle being shattered "with a sound like G.K. Chesterton falling on a tin roof."
The Unfavorite: Freddie. Not only is he the youngest son (and therefore gratuitous), he tends to pile up debts and have to be exiled to Blandings, where he sulks around and longs to be back in London. Lord Emsworth can't stand him and would do anything to get him off his hands.
Upper-Class Twit: Lord Emsworth's sons, particularly Freddie Threepwood, are rather air-headed. As is Emsworth himself, really.