Richie: Why can't we ever bloody win anything? Eddie: Oh, don't be stupid, Richie. People like us aren't meant to win things. Richie: Well, what are we meant to do, then? Eddie: Look, you get born, you keep your head down, and then you die. If you're lucky. Richie: Oh come on. There must be more to it than that. Eddie: Well, there's the telly...
The Brit Com, stripped down to its absolute minimum requirements: two idiots, sharing living space, passing the Idiot Ball back and forth so fast that you can't distinguish between the two.Richard "Richie" Richard [sic] — a sex-starved, sadistic, physically repugnant loser with delusions of sophistication — takes out his frustrations at life upon Eddie Hitler, his boozy, slightly more intelligent, equally perverted and sadistic flatmate. Frequently, this involves over-the-top violence that would make Itchy and Scratchy wince. Eddie, for his part, is quite willing to respond in kind.The Spiritual Successor to The Young Ones and Filthy Rich & Catflap, inspired loosely by Waiting for Godot. It ran to three series on The BBC before transferring to Theatre as a series of two-man shows, as well as feature film adaptation Guest House Paradiso.On 23rd August 2012, The BBCannounced that after an eighteen year absence from TV screens, Richie and Eddie would be returning in 2013 for a new six-part series under the Hooligans' Island title used for one of their stage shows. Alas, just two months later, it was announced that the series was not going ahead after all. The only explanation forthcoming was from Adrian Edmondson, who said "We started working on something and we realised why we stopped working together."Sadly a year later Rik Mayall died aged 56, thus putting an end to the show for good and leading to a great What Might Have Been moment in British comedy.Came forty-fifth in Britain's Best Sitcom. No relation to the donkey-headed character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Anything That Moves: Richie. He's not gay, he's just that desperate to get laid. "Parade" involves a debate about Richie's sexuality:
Richie: I'm not a homosexual, if that's what you think. Eddie: Yeah, but you're not strictly heterosexual, are you? Richie: Judas! I've never done it with a bloke! Eddie: Yeah, but you've never done it with a bird either. Richie: Well, I'm heterosexual in intent. Eddie: The nearest you've come to being heterosexual is barricading yourself in a bedroom with a copy of Amateur Photographer and a jar of hand cream. Richie Well I've done it mentally. Boy have I done it mentally.
Ass Shove: Happens very frequently. Items include a pencil, a policeman's baton (complete with side-handle), barbed wire, a stick of dynamite and the entire contents of next-door's flat. Not to mention the entire contents of Richie's bowels (held in for two weeks) first vacuum-sucked out, then re-inserted in Bottom Live 5.
Attention Whore: Both, although Richie's far more insecure and therefore more insistent about it.
Made even funnier in the final live show where Eddie encourages the whole audience to shout "have a wank" while Richie powers up the TURDIS (a time-travelling toilet) batteries.
Away In A Manger: Parodied in 'Holy' when a baby gets left on the doorstep during the Christmas party. It's the landlord's grandkid, not Baby Jesus.
Big "NO!": Eddie after finding out Richie's decided not to commit suicide.
Richie: I think I ought to call this suicide off until I've sired an heir. Eddie:No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! (nervous laughter)
Bilingual Bonus: When Eddie sets up their stolen VCR he reads the German installation instructions out loud. The first step he reads is "Stecken dein Kopf in deine Arsch", which roughly translates as "Stick your head up your arse".
Bottle Episode: "Contest" and "Culture" solely star Mayall and Edmondson in their flat. "Hole" and "'s out" feature only the two main characters and in one location outside of the flat (though briefly a non-speaking streaker runs into the scene in "'s out"). "Accident" and "Holy" feature other characters, but are also set entirely in the boys flat.
British Footy Teams: Eddie is mentioned several times as being a fan of Queens Park Rangers. Dick Head also played for them for a brief period, which ended in disaster after he turned out not to know such basic things as which goal to aim for.
British Pubs: The Lamb and Flag, in which Richie and Eddie have made themselves obnoxious more than once, and not always by being drunk.
Calvinball: Eddie's version is the card game 'One Card Slam' in which Eddie turns over a single card and demands twelve quid from Richie. Since Richie knows nothing about card games (to the extent of not spotting Eddie's five king poker hand) this works very well for Eddie.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Richie needs only one sip of scotch to either become drunk or begin thinking that he's drunk (which amounts to the same thing).
In the fourth live show he doesn't even take a sip, but still believes he is drunk.
One's tempted to conclude that it's all in his head. On one occasion, when he needed a stiff drink to settle his nerves, Eddie offered him a shot of Tizer (a soft drink, for non-Brits), which did the trick anyway.
In another episode, Richie tries to take a swig from an empty bottle Eddie already filled himself with and suddenly believes he's fallen into a drunken stupor, though it doesn't last.
Casanova Wannabe: Both characters. The only difference is that at least Eddie gets some tail once in a while. It was confirmed in "'s Up" that Eddie has had sex, and with someone Richie was trying to propose to.
Chainsaw Good: Richie reacts poorly to Eddie's reassurance that "all the birds love a scar", and cuts him down to size by chainsawing his legs off at the knee.
Characterization Marches On: Richie's penis size, and his resulting insecurity, are given scant mention in the TV show. The stage shows formally measured it at a 1/4 inch and applied the relevant jokes.
Christmas Episode: "Holy". Bizarrely though, this was actually originally broadcast in October.
Cloudcuckoolander: All of the recurring cast to some degree (barring only Dick Head), though Dave Hedgehog seems to be the biggest example.
One episode has Richie and Eddie's landlord rope them into to minding his shop while he goes to a funeral, which naturally goes straight to Richie's head. He starts proudly going on about how England is "a nation of shopkeepers" and how that makes them better than countries like France and Italy, no doubt unaware that the saying was prominently used by Emperor Napoleon I. And he meant it derisively.
It's fair to say that whenever Richie claims expertise in a subject, applies his mental faculties to anything or infers some kind of noble role he has fulfilled in the past, he'll either get it completely wrong, fail miserably or be lying so feebly that practically nobody could buy his bullshit.
However, in this case Napoleon's phrase has been treated as Insult Backfire by many British politicians anyway, who praise the tradition of small business in the UK, so Richie wasn't exactly alone in drawing this interpretation.
(doorbell rings insistently) Richie: All right, all right! Take it easy, you bitch! I mean, Your Bitchness, I mean Lady Bi- (groans in frustration) Eddie, what do you call them? Eddie: Jugs. What do you call 'em?
Counterfeit Cash: This doesn't work too well, since Eddie winds up creating triangular fake banknotes (he claims they're supposed to be Welsh), and others with pornographically detailed portraits. In a brief moment of lucidity (or further insanity) Eddie does mention that the pornographic notes are so barmen will be entranced with them long enough for him to get plastered. In fact it briefly works on Dick, until he comes to his senses and gets on the phone to Skullcrusher, London's most prolific forger. His counterfeits are nearly as bad as Eddie's, but it's not the quality of his counterfeits that makes him the biggest forger in London - more the fact that he crushes the skulls of any competing forger.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Eddie and Richie are often referred to as being a married couple; Richie is Eddie's 'wife', they call each other 'darling' and 'dreamboat' in front of strangers, and they are keeping some liqueur chocolates for their anniversary. In the first stage show, Eddie becomes Richie's legally adopted son and wife (the lawyer ran out of adoption papers) to get at £15,000, which turns out to be a debt from Richie's great uncle Norman.
Richie:[at camp site] Now, can we just get our equipment out? I mean get our tackle out? No, I mean, get our gear out. Oh God! You can't say anything without some dreadful double entendre lurking around the corner!
Richie frequently misunderstands innocent questions like "How's your sausage?" and "May I drink your juice?", and Eddie lampshades in the last episode.
Richie: Let's get the shopping list done. I'll just grab hold of my ballpoint. Both: Oo-er! Eddie:[explosion off screen] Oh no, Richie. No time for crap double-entendres now!
Eddie has a similar problem. Innocent questions from Richie are repeatedly interpreted as references to ill-fitting underpants or something similar.
Eddie: Have you got the crackers? Richie: No, it's just the way my trousers are rucked up.
Double Triple Take: In the above pic, Eddie's Reaction Shot is just ten seconds of him flicking his eyes up at Richie and down at Richie's new swimming trunks, trying to reconcile what he's seeing with the person it's attached to.
Eddie: ...Well, where are they? Richie: That's the thing! They're so tight you can't actually see them... Why did you make me buy a thong, Eddie?!
One episode sees Eddie and Richie put in charge of running their landlord's shop when he has to go to a funeral. Naturally, this goes straight to Richie's head, and as soon as he gets the white coat on he's threatening to punch old ladies, shouting abuse at a man who's just trying to buy champagne for his daughter's birthday and making Eddie wear his suit jacket back-to-front.
Another shows the two catching a burglar in their flat, who they sit on, tie to chair with Sellotape and try to poison. It completely backfires.
Dick Head is fond of these. In "Parade" he teams up with the local bookmaker and pawn merchant to scam the locals out of their cash and valuables. Then, in "Dough", he rats out Richie and Eddie's forgery operation to London's biggest forger, "Skullcrusher" Henderson, who demands a £5,000 tribute in order to avoid having to crush Richie and Eddie's skulls. Fortunately, Dick is running a pub quiz with the requisite £5,000 as a prize... unfortunately, it happens to be £5,000 of Skullcrusher's own forged cash, which turns out to be useless for paying off their debt. And they don't discover this until they've already given Dick £1,000 worth of gold teeth for their entry fee.
Richie often thinks he's come up with these, but few of them actually work because his own innate stupidity and inability to predict what people will do usually scuttle them.
Richie: You er.... haven't changed your material much have you?
Extreme Omnivore: Eddie has eaten lard, straight from the pack, and washed it down with cooking oil, as well as yoghurt that was so old it sprouted grass.
Eddie: Who left this pot of cress in the fridge?
Richie: That's not cress, that's that yoghurt you started during the Gulf War.
Eddie:[eats it anyway] ...Doesn't taste like banana and peach...
Fire-Breathing Diner: They turn this trope into Fire Farting Diner thanks to Richie's "sprouts mexicain."
Flat Earth Atheist: Eddie and Richie state their disbelief in God even when standing on His giant hand which materialised in response to their prayers. This, naturally, causes said hand to disappear in a Puff of Logic.
Forged Message: Richie receives birthday cards from himself every year - only he claims they are from grateful Soviet citizens, Sue Carpenter and the crew of the Ark Royal. Eddie barely manages to play along with the joke with his usual dripping sarcasm:
Eddie: ...and this one's from "The people of the Soviet Union, in grateful thanks to Comrade Richie." Richie: It's in Russian. Eddie: You just put the Rs the wrong way round. Richie: That's what Russian is!
In one episode, the TV rental money got spent elsewhere and Richie and Eddie had to resort to playing "put a piece of Sellotape on the fridge", "see how much custard you hold in your pants", and a rather violent game of chess.
Subverted in "Gas". Richie and Eddie have not forgotten to pay their gas bill; instead, they've been stealing from the neighbour's gas line so that they don't need to pay the bill.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: Richie (sanguine), Eddie (choleric), Spudgun (melancholic), and Dave Hedgehog (phlegmatic). Alternatively, Eddie could be seen as sanguine/choleric and Dave could be seen as phlegmatic/sanguine.
Fridge Logic: In——universe – Halfway through Contest Richie realises that… ₤11·80note Eddie’s savings, which the pair have live from for the following two months.–₤1·50note Cost of a porn mag/art pamphlet Eddie bought as investment.≠30pnote What Eddie claims is leftover, the missing ten pounds sterling apparently went on a 1000-1 bet on Miss China in the Miss World Contest. See I Lied for where the money really went.
"Friends" Rent Control: Despite having lived on the dole since 1978, they're in no danger of being kicked out for non-payment. Even a flat as God-awful as theirs wouldn't drop the rent that low. Of course, Richie's Auntie Mabel is the one who pays the rent (quick, hide the fags).
Gainax Ending: Surprisingly this is how the "canon" of Bottom ended in the final stage show. After traipsing through (an extremely minimalistic depiction of) history in Eddie's time travelling toilet (The TURDIS) for half the show, the boys are trapped at the dawn of creation itself, where they are beholden unto a colossal pair of Y-Fronts which Richie claims are the origin point of existence. Eddie declares he's too confused to even start processing what is occurring. They then break into a reiteration of the previous show's Pants song, close curtain.
Eddie's concoction of brandy, meths (methylated spirit or denatured alcohol), Pernod, paint stripper, Mr Sheen, brake fluid and Drambuie.
Weapons Grade Lager which is made of industrial strength cleaners and the entire contents of the medical cabinet.
On one occasion, they attempt to make a vodka Martini without having any of the necessary ingredients on hand; they end up combining Pernod and ouzo with a spoonful of marmalade (since they don't have any glacé cherries) and salt on the rim of each glass. Eddie suggests naming it the Bloody Awful, or perhaps the Esther Rantzen — "It pulls your gums back over your teeth".
In "Terror," Eddie creates some homebrew which has the appearance and consistency of roofing tar, and has a habit of dissolving enamel and porcelain, requiring them to drink it out of steel pans.
A God Am I: Richie has on occasion managed to convince himself that the fact that he's still a virgin means he's the new Messiah, because he's being kept 'pure' due to being 'better than everyone in the entire universe'. As opposed to the rather more likely explanation that he's just a completely repugnant and unlikeable creep who no one in their right mind would ever want to sleep with.
Goshdang It To Heck: Despite regularly swearing like a trooper, Richie sporadically uses polite alternatives, presumably because he thinks it sounds posher.
Groin Attack: Inevitably shows up during the knock-down-drag-out fistfights.
Halloween Episode: "Terror". And fitting in with the unusual scheduling of their Christmas episode, this one was originally broadcast in January.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Richie and Eddie. Oh, so much (except that Richie is arguably suicidally desperate). And they've been at it for decades, too.
Hideous Hangover Cure: Made from 7 raw eggs, washing up liquid, Domestos and ant spray, and apparently intended to be ingested through the nose.
I Want You To Meet An Old Housemate Of Mine — Christopher Ryan, who starred alongside Edmondson and Mayall as the suave Mike in The Young Ones, turns up every so often as Eddie's decidedly-less-suave mate Dave Hedgehog. If they'd just got Nigel Planer to play Spudgun we'd have had a whole cast reunion.
Immune to Drugs: Or alcohol, in Eddie's case. Technically, he's only been drunk once — for about 17 years and counting. Then again, Eddie does imply he might already be dead, and thus, unable to get drunk.
I Lied: The missing ₤10 in Contest went on Eddie’s having tea elsewhere after noticing Richie foragging through the window box.note He just said the missing money went on a 1000-1 bet just said that so Richie would allow Miss World on the television.]]
Just to show that there is no start to Richie's talents, he cooked Christmas dinner. His roast potatoes were carbonised, and broke the plate when he served them; the sprouts were closer to mash and he cremated the turkey. And the less said about his 'slap up grill for two' (with all the ingredients grown, found or foraged), the better. And whatever you do, don't try his sprouts Mexicain, a mix of sprouts, various spices and gunpowder.
Eddie isn't much better. Vodka margarine - with a couple of cans of hairspray for flammability.
In the second live show Eddie pretends to be looking after a tortoise for Geoffrey Nasty. To make things worse for Richie who had presumably killed the tortoise, he points out that Geoffrey is a psychopathic penis remover and his nickname is simply "Ooh Fuck". He later admits he was joking to make Richie shit himself, which worked. Also it wasn't a tortoise at all.
Another in the second show is Mr. Big whom Eddie believes should be called "Mr. Absolutely Fucking Enormous, Violent, Ugly Psychopath and Surrounded by the Dead and Dying".
Mood Whiplash: At the end of the first live show Richie thanks Eddie for being his friend. Eddie looks at the audience with a touched expression on his face but then immediately brushes it off.
The Movie: The two main characters were transplanted into Guest House Paradiso, slapstick, simple plans and all. When it came out on DVD it was advertised as "The Bottom Movie", just to drive the point home.
Never Gets Drunk: Eddie has only been drunk once, but he never sobered up. He is thus immune to inebriation.
No Communities Were Harmed: An unusual subversion, since Richie and Eddie are mentioned several times as living in the Hammersmith district of London. However, the district is constantly implied to be extremely run-down and violent, whereas the real-life Hammersmith is actually one of London's more affluent areas. Which is probably the reason Richie thinks he's part of the middle class. (Their road, sometimes called Mafeking Terrace and sometimes Mafeking Parade, doesn't exist in Hammersmith, London. There are a couple of Mafeking Terraces elsewhere in the country.)
No Fourth Wall: Instances of this go from the occasional Aside Glance to lengthy monologues addressing the audience. It's even more blatant in the live shows; Richie and Eddie are completely aware that they're fictional characters on a stage, and have no problem insulting the audience's hometowns, threatening to fire crew members, and complaining that all their troubles are the fault of those fat ugly bastards who play them.
Once an Episode: Planned, but not carried out. The original plan was for every episode of the third series to end with Richie and/or Eddie loudly exclaiming "SHIT!!" — for whatever reason this only ended up being done in two out of the six episodes, but the setups for the gag are still there in the remaining episodes (Richie standing next right next to a box of highly explosive carrots as it detonates; Richie and Eddie being confronted by "Skullcrusher" Henderson and unable to pay him; Richie and Eddie being knocked out by the crazy Welsh cricketer whose honeymoon they've stolen).
Only Sane Man: Inasmuch as this show can be said to have one, it's Spudgun, oddly enough; he's an idiot, but he's also often the only one who ever points out that some of the insane things that Richie has them do (such as drinking gravy instead of sherry for Christmas and wearing inside-out dressing gowns when summoning the Devil) are, in fact, quite stupid.
Ontological Mystery: The second half of one Bottom live show involves the characters suddenly finding themselves inside a mostly featureless steel dome. Neither of them can quite recall how they got there.
Overly Long Name: "Digger" has Lady Natasha Latisha Sarah Jane Wellsley Estronski Ponsonski Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Oblamov Boblamov Dob.[[note]]Third viscountess of Moldavia!
Perpetual Poverty: Neither of the characters has a steady income. In fact, they're only allowed to buy anything when there's a punchline to be had in it. Their poverty is rather strange, Richie particularly because it seems he comes from a somewhat aristocratic, or at least a bit rich, family, since one aunt pays the rent and the other leaves them £600 in her will.
Puff of Logic: They're trapped on a Ferris wheel that's due to be demolished. The Hand of God Himself appears to offer them a lift, but disappears when they realize they're both atheists and must therefore be hallucinating.
Punny Name: There's about 3 in the second live show: Micheal McHooligan, Patricia O'Violence and Pat O'Cake.
Example from an early episode: Richie and Eddie have been stealing from the neighbour's gas line; now they have to come up with a way to disconnect it without getting caught... the kitchen explodes into a fireball in the process.
Richie: What the bloody hell are you doing!?
Eddie: ...Just thought I'd burn it off.
Richie: What, your face?
Another when they try to steal a Falklands War veteran's leg to put the money on a three-legged, blind race horse whose jockey gets shot. The following plan of mugging people in the toilets to buy the leg back is foiled by the first victim - a police officer.
Averted when Richie get an apparent death curse from a fortune teller, which he believes was a plot by Eddie to steal the other half of his inheritance from auntie Olga.
In general, Richie and Eddie will inevitably let their fundamental stupidity, lack of foresight and inability to solve problems without violence bollocks up any kind of plan they make, no matter how seemingly straightforward and simple it should be.
Richie: No, I don't get paid. It's not me, it's that wretch of an actor who plays me. What's his name? You know, that tosser who fell off the quad bike? Eddie: If only I'd fixed those brakes properly. Richie: What did you say? Eddie: I know the one. He's... sort of balding and getting a tummy? Richie: Yeah, he's getting far too old to play me... Who's that awful actor who plays you? Eddie: Oh, erm, he's got a girl's name... is it Julie Goodyear?
Teeny Weenie: Richie is infamously under-endowed. His junk actually purportedly got smaller as the show went on, with the live shows repeatedly suggesting that he had to use a magnifying glass to find it.
Those Wacky Nazis: Played with. Eddie doesn't seem to see anything unusual in having the surname Hitler.
Lily: Hello, gentlemen, sorry to have kept you waiting. Which one of you is Mr. Hitler?
Eddie: Oh, that'll be me.
Lily: Ooh. Any relation?
Eddie: [puzzled] Well... I've got a mother.
Lily: No, no no no, I meant to Adolf Hitler.
Eddie: Yes! That's her!
Richie's father, Oswald (as in Oswald Moseley) Richard, is all but stated to have been a Nazi sympathizer and traitor to Britain. Richie is, of course, far too stupid to realise this.
Tim Taylor Technology: If you compare a real-life cattle prodnote (which are generally about the size of a rolled-up newspaper and are powered by batteries about equivalent to those found on a cordless drill) to Richie and Eddie's cattle prod from "Terror"note (which is about four feet long, has to be carried via a shoulder strap and has enough batteries and wiring to power a medium-sized street), it's no wonder Richie keeps crapping his pants whenever he gets zapped by it.
Time Skip: Several in a row in "Carnival". Eddie proudly tells Richie that he knows how to hook up the video players he stole that morning. Cut to a week later, and Eddie has nearly finished unwrapping the components. Cut to the following Christmas, and Eddie is ready to open the instruction manual. Cut to Richie returning from his holiday the following summer, and Eddie is finally ready to fire up the VCR... except it doesn't so much fire up as blow up.
Too Soon: The camping episode ("'s Out") was omitted from the original 1992 run completely due to a then recent murder on Wimbledon Common; it was eventually aired in 1995.
Trouser Space: Richie manages to steal a BBC camera this way. "There's plenty of space in my trousers... sadly."
The Unseen: Richie's relatives including at least two aunties and a sister, who is just like him (only with smaller jugs), and Ethel Cardew, Eddie's ostensible girlfriend who hasn't spoken to Eddie since the superglue incident. (Nor to anyone else either.)
There's also Fatty Amal who apparently owns the kebab shop across the street.
Vitriolic Best Buds: For two people who spend most of their time beating the living crap out of each other, Eddie and Richie certainly are very inseparable. This is almost certainly because no one but the other would put up with them though.