Series / Gimme Gimme Gimme

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gimme_gimme_gimme_bbc_tv_series.jpg
Linda (left), and Tom

This is Will & Grace, on cocaine, in a parallel universe.
Amazon.co.uk's review of the first series boxset

A BritCom about Tom, a Camp Gay man, and Linda, a loud, overweight trashy straight woman, sharing a flat. Often compared with Will & Grace, which had a similar gay man/straight woman roommates idea, but the style and humour were a little different. Both leads were Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists...

Actually maybe that isn't so different.

The characters live in a grotty run down flat, that they rent from an ex-prostitute, rather than a plush apartment, and generally the characters were less middle class and the humour broader and more risqué. This is an example of a typical British reaction to those impossibly glossy and unlikely American sitcoms such as Will & Grace - stripping off the American gloss and deliberately replacing it with more familiar grot.

Tom and Linda were former clubbing fanatics in their youth, who met in a club one night absolutely stoned, and decided to be roommates. They appear to hate each other, but what bonds them is the fact that, pretty much, no-one else can stand either of them.

It was created by Beautiful Thing writer Jonathan Harvey, who developed the series with actress Kathy Burke, who played Linda.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme came 48th in Britain's Best Sitcom. Named after the ABBA song, "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man after Midnight)".

This show provides examples of:

  • invoked Actor Allusion: Su Pollard's character, Heidi Honeycomb, is greeted by Linda; "Heidi, Hi!"
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Tom has a crush on his old gay school friend Degsy. Unbeknown to him, Degsy doesn't feel the same way, and has feelings for a woman!!
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Tom's parents turned up in "Dirty 30". Tom claims that they're the most dull people in the world, but when trying to make them leave, Tom discovers a disturbing (at least, to him it is) side to his supposed-dull mother and father.
  • Baby-Doll Baby: Invoked. Suze and Jez keep a doll one episode in order to practice looking after children if they consider having any in the future. When Linda ballses everything up to the point of being in the local newspaper as a "mentally-challenged sibling of Sugar Walls", they threaten to call the police for kidnapping when Linda doesn't give the "child" back.
  • Baby Talk: A slightly disturbing version. When Linda talks about her family, she occasionally lapses into a wistful babyish squeak, despite talking about how much her family enjoyed abusing her. When she calls her father for New Year's Eve, she starts hobbling about on her heels and talking with a lisp, as if she was a five year old.
  • The Beard: Tom becomes this to the American tourist Gloria in the last episode of the first season because she wants to stay in the UK legally and be with her girlfriend India. They eventually marry, despite Linda's jealousy and attempts of sabotage.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Suze loathes when she's referred to as working-class.
      • When the newspapers call the apartment a council estate, she snaps at her husband that they should sue the editors.
      • The death of Beryl makes the residents assume that she committed suicide and wonder if she left a note in her apartment. Suze suggests that someone should break in, but doesn't volunteer herself because she's a middle-class citizen that "used to own ponies."
    • Tom gets rather annoyed whenever Linda teases him about his first TV role being an extra on EastEnders.
    Linda: At least I go out and speak to people! At least I don't go wandering around Albert Square with a shopping bag! [smugly] Extra... extra...
    Tom: OH, GO AND PUT YOUR BLOODY BRIDESMAID DRESS ON!!!!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: They did this a lot. One time Linda actually says to Tom, "Remember Sugar, you know, my sister from the last series?"
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Suze. She can prove to be really quite cruel towards Linda. Perhaps justified as vengeance after Linda's nastiness towards her.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Sugar was a mild version. While she hated her family (as well as the implied abuse that Linda got for being slow), she runs away from home and believes that she did the right thing, despite Linda stating that their mother had a mental breakdown because of it.
    • Not to mention, there's an implication that the parents began abusing Linda because of her little sister's disappearance.
  • Camp Gay: Tom.
  • Camp Straight: Lots of examples.
    • The hired bodyguard for Tom that his agent got is The Voiceless, but when he eventually speaks, he has a camp voice and puts the moves on Tom.
    • Vic Cheesecloth from the couch commercials, who prances around and talks with a stuffy, posh voice, making Tom fall in love with him. Then it's revealed that Vic's Happily Married to a woman.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: invoked Sugar Walls is preparing to appear in a new West End stage production called Toothache by Ben Elton. She says that it's been planned to be released as a stage production, a movie adaptation, a novelisation, a television series, a radio adaptation, and a Dance Sensation ... at the same time.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Stiff", where they find Beryl's body in a coffin in their living room, Beryl's boyfriend asks Linda whether she is Beryl's sister but then dismisses the idea because Linda is "too ugly". This seems like a throwaway joke at first, but the fact that Beryl has a sister comes back when Beryl turns up and announces it was her "bitch twin sister" who has died, not her.
  • Citizenship Marriage: In "I Do, I Do, I Do" Tom marries an American lesbian so she can stay in the country.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Jez to his wife Suze, who goes along with her beliefs, no matter how much everyone else finds them weird.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Linda's ideology about lesbians. In some meetings with lesbians, she thinks that they want to rape her and snaps at them. She sometimes has this view about gay men too, despite being friends with one.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Linda might as well be the poster child of this trope. Being an overweight frizzy-haired redhead woman who wears skimpy outfits and ugly glasses (when she removes them, she becomes Comically Cross-Eyed), she claims that she has the "body of an angel" and compares herself to slimmer and attractive celebrities (even saying that Marilyn Monroe was fatter than her and that she looks like a redheaded Catherine Zeta-Jones). It confuses her why she hasn't been successful with men and why no one can take her seriously; it's down to jealously, she thinks.
    Sugar Walls: Linda, I don't know what you see whenever you look in the mirror, but it ain't what the rest of the world sees.
    • This often leads to her lack of understanding mixed signals during her sexual encounters. She assumes that men like to have sex in the dark because they prefer it (when they actually don't want to look at her face), assumes that all men cry post-coitus because they're insecure about having a one-night stand (when they're traumatised by her looks), and assumes that being strangled is how men like to arouse women.
  • Downer Ending:
    • In the last episode, Tom gets a job on the soap opera Crossroads and leaves the flat. It manages to get a last laugh in, revealing that Linda's infamous red hair is actually a wig and she is completely bald, but it still ends on a very sad note with her sitting alone on her bed and turning the lights off.
    • The 1999 Christmas Special, where Tom and Linda have absolutely no invitations to any Year 2000 New Years party and get morosely drunk together, finally passing out with alcohol and missing the turn of the Millennium.
  • Dumb Blonde: Suze.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The LaHughes family.
    • Linda was the implied problem daughter who had to be sent to borstal, where she got abused more there than she did at home.
    • The family was the most hated residents on the street, to the point of being bombarded by bricks being thrown through the windows, and faeces being shoved through the letterbox. After the electrics went out (due to the family's failed Christmas decorations), it only got worse.
    • One of Linda's uncles was an enthused photographer.
      Linda: [to Sugar] D'you remember Uncle Ernie's photographs of me in my nappy? Clicking away for hours, he was. I was late for work.
    • Linda's mother was obese. She died after being electrocuted from her weight-loss equipment.
    • Linda's uncle was arrested for accidentally flashing schoolgirls.
      Linda: [My uncle] was absent-minded.
      Tom: So absent-minded that he forgot to put his pants on?
      Linda: We've ALL done it!
    • Linda's father dressed as a teddy bear in his youth and was sent to a mental institution. When Linda's mother died, he was found in a ditch singing to himself with the woman's underwear on his face.
    • Linda's aunt got arrested for babysitting too long.
      Linda: [She had the baby] for six weeks, then she had to give it back. I mean, I said to her at the trial "you should've asked permission."
    • Sharon secretly planned to disown her childhood and ran away from home when she was young. When the family recognised her when she became famous as Sugar Walls, her mother had a mental breakdown, according to Linda.
  • Egg Sitting: Tom and Linda are given the neighbours' doll to look after while they're away because they're practising how to look after a baby for when they possibly have one in the future.
    • Linda grumpily takes it out for a walk much later, leading to members of the public being rather concerned about how aggressively she is treating her "child".
      Linda: [crossly, at the group of concerned women] Oh, calm down!! It ain't alive!!
  • Fatal Flaw: Being used to being a self-made orphan that ran away from her family problems, the moment Sugar Walls gets positive attention from her older sister, she sneaks away when no one is looking.
  • Flanderization: Unfortunately, by series 3, this had well and truly set in. Both Tom and Linda had become much, much more stupid than they were when the series started.
  • Foreshadowing: Surprising to some, a lot of this features in the series.
    • In the pilot, Tom and Linda try to remember why there's a stranger in their house, making Tom shiver in disgust at the thought of Linda sleeping with a man who was possibly their taxi driver the night before. Episodes later, she has a one-night stand with a taxi driver ... a female one, to her horror.
    • When Jez and Suze make Linda (and Tom) look after a doll as they go out for the day, Tom orders Linda to take it out for fresh air when she's distracting him and her sister. Linda protests that she'll look like an idiot in the street, but Tom snaps that it might be a doll that explodes if it's not looked after like a baby.
      Tom: And if you kill their dolly, they will never be able to have children.
      Linda: GOOD!
    • Tom is excited for his birthday, but Linda's supposed forgetfulness annoys him. He tries to hint at it by saying that 30 years before, his mother was rushed to hospital because "she had something in her tummy", making Linda remember when the same thing happened to her when she had constipation, and how she "pushed and pushed for five-and-a-half hours" and "gave birth to a gonk". In the third season, it is revealed that she has an estranged son that she forgot about... who is black!
  • "Friends" Rent Control: How Beryl hasn't chucked them out is a mystery.
    • Although Tom is an actor with an agent, he and Linda are rarely seen working, but Tom's recent appearances on television and on stage are usually mentioned whenever Tom wants to remind Linda that he does get employed.
    • Linda, meanwhile, claimed she had just got a job working at a call center in the pilot, but gets fired two episodes later. Then we don't see her working until the season finale of season 2, and then nothing after that.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: A variation. Tom and Linda hear an answering message from Tom's agent Norma, who says that he's got an acting role in Toothache as a worker at a petrol station that pays £5,000 a show. The two of them decide to go and celebrate, but Norma calls back once the front door closes. She tells Tom to ignore her last message because she mixed up the names with a famous comedian called Tom Marrow.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The majority of the jokes rely on innuendo and terrible sex gags. It makes a Carry On film look subtle.
  • Good in Bed: The female taxi driver claims this about Linda.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Linda has a drunken one-night stand with a female taxi driver. Tom has his fun by calling said driver "Linda's girlfriend" and assumes that this was why Linda made it very clear that she didn't like lesbians. Linda spends the rest of the episode bothering attractive men in the street, begging them for sex.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Linda usually mentions hers at least once an episode. Moments include:
    • Her mother gave birth to her on top of a crate of beers in Romford Market. Family members didn't know she was a female baby and kept calling her the name of the type of beer that her mother was lying on.
    • Her father tied her to the roof of the family car and sped around the island. Her mother also locked her in the trunk when the family went to a hot country for a two-week vacation.
    • When going to nursery (kindergarten), Linda was tied to a pole in the school garden during classes, and then thrown raw meat for lunch.
    • When she was eight, the family made her sleep in a dog kennel because she was a Motor Mouth at bedtime.
    • At borstal, the other girls attacked her, tied her to the back of a bus, and the leader of the most violent gang in the building broke her knees. One of Linda's roommates hung herself when she discovered who she was sharing her bedroom with.
  • It's All About Me: Tom and Linda. When Tom accuses Linda of this, it's a case of "pot calling kettle black".
    • Specifically, in one episode, Tom manages to get a date at the hospital. Still shaken by the suicide of an old boyfriend, the date cannot stop talking about how much he misses him, angering Tom. Stupidly, Tom starts throwing a tantrum and snaps that the date should get over his boyfriend's suicide because the boyfriend cannot come back. The date gets his revenge by making Tom humiliating things around the apartment.
  • LGBT Fanbase: invoked Sugar Walls is a gay icon, according to Tom. When Linda claims that she is as well, Tom points out that a gay icon and a Fag Hag are completely different things.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Linda and Tom. When they both try to change each other for the sake of understanding the struggles of the other's gender, it ends hilariously.
  • May–December Romance: Beryl has a much younger toyboy lover in "Stiff".
  • invoked Never Live It Down: Tom beginning his career in the television industry as an extra in EastEnders. Linda makes references to it, making Tom snap at her.
  • Never My Fault: Tom blames everyone but himself if a situation goes wrong. Linda is possibly an easy target because of her literal-mindedness and stupidity.
    • Shown mostly through the second episode of the third season. Tom is set to appear in a production that boasts acting appearances from Hollywood, and spends the entire episode boasting at Linda of getting an enormous part and how he'll prepare to set upon the stage. When it unsurprisingly fails, he sets upon the production team for greenlighting a shitty play (that he was praising moments before) and how shit the director was (despite calling her one of the best playwrights of all time), and then snapped at Linda for saying The Scottish Play (despite saying the word about three times, when she assumed it was Brigadoon, and walking under a ladder several times).
  • No Bisexuals: Zigzags with this trope. When Tom discovers Linda's one-night stand with a woman, he suggests that she's bisexual, but he accuses Vic Cheesecloth of hiding behind the hetero-normative ideology because he "cannot admit" that he's in love with Tom while he's married to a woman.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: When Linda is revealed in a newspaper as Sugar Walls' dysfunctional sister, Linda overhears Sugar snapping at the stalking paparazzi that she doesn't have siblings because she's an orphan, as she's stated in her autobiography. Linda sees this as Sharon being up to her old tricks of playing victim and disowning her family, and makes her leave the apartment without telling Tom. In hindsight, Linda should be grateful because it would save her from embarrassment, public shaming and being stalked by journalists.
  • Page Three Stunna: Sugar Walls. Tom and Linda make off-hand comments of her posing topless and underwear for magazines and newspapers.
    Tom: What's SHE doing?! Getting her tits out for Mencap again?! note 
  • Performance Artist: Tom is a struggling actor trying to make it in show business. His most "memorable" role was playing a member of the public in the marketplace of EastEnders in 1994.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Linda's bedroom is covered in her favourite pop stars that change every season. Season 1 was Liam Gallagher, the second season was Robbie Williams, and the third season was members of Hear'Say.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The theme tune is ABBA's "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight)", which the show was named after. The version used as the theme tune isn't the original however, but a version sung by Tom and Linda karaoke style.
    • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The final episode of the first season is called "I Do I Do I Do", which is also named after an ABBA song (although the original song title has 5 "I Do"-s and not 3 like the episode's.)
  • The Rival: Tom has a hatred for Robert Carlyle, who (apparently) wins all the roles he auditions for.
    Tom: Always gets my parts — the bastard. Day he retires, my career's going to soar.
  • Promoted Fanboy: invoked
    • Tom, of Sugar Walls (who he meets twice because she is Linda's sister) and Simon Shepherd (who he meets, along with Linda's borstal bully).
    • Linda, of Liam Gallagher from Oasis. Sugar Walls gave her his phone number.
  • Really Gets Around: Sugar Walls. Tom assumes that the media made up stories about being with movie stars and sports personalities for drama, but when Sugar confirms it, Tom cannot hide his shock.
  • Roommate Com: The show is about a Camp Gay man and his Fag Hag friend sharing a flat near in the Home Counties. They said that they've been roommates for years ever since they met up at a nightclub whilst intoxicated on drugs. For everybody else's sake, it's best that they stay together for the sake of their sanity.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Linda and Sharon (aka famous model Sugar Walls), to the point of Tom not even knowing that the two of them were related because of Linda's avoidance of the subject. Linda blames Sharon for tearing the family apart, and Sharon blames the family for being an embarrassment which led to her running away and disowning them.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: There are several moments of Tom and Linda slapping each other, pushing each other over, and even punching each other in the face. Although, Tom is on the receiving end much more than Linda, whereas violence towards Linda is hilariously-shocking because of how rare Tom gets the chance to do it.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Tom and Linda. This is probably why no one can bare to be around them.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Most of Linda and Tom's arguments.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Subverted; when they get to that part of the ceremony, everyone gasps and looks expectantly at Linda; who has been objecting to the whole thing. She doesn't object and just moans at them to get on with it.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Tom believes he's this, despite spending his youth going to cheap nightclubs and taking illegal street drugs, and befriending someone with a social status like Linda, which is something that a middle-class person wouldn't (stereotypically) do.
  • Take That: Many times about other (real-life) celebrities.
    • Tom convinces Linda having a close relationship with an cat isn't as strange as she assumes. Most people aren't immune to it.
      Tom: Look at Richard Gere.
      Linda: I know. Cindy Crawford was a right dog.
    • When Linda talks about how much she hates her sister, she says that "there's two names" that should never be said in a positive light: Sugar Walls (Linda's sister) and Cheryl Baker (former member of pop band Bucks Fizz).
    • When Tom hopes to move in with Vic, Linda is confused.
      Linda: You've only known him five minutes.
      Tom: Well, in gay years, that's a lifetime.
    • Tom makes Jez and Suze guess who is going to turn up to his apartment. When they fail to name her twice, Tom clues them with "dirty old slapper who's been on TV", making the couple say, "Ulrika Johnsson?" note 
  • Third-Person Person: Beryl, occasionally. It often happens whenever someone's being condescending.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Linda and Suze.
    • After being told that Beryl is the woman in the coffin, when Beryl is seen alive and kicking, Suze assumes that it's Beryl's ghost that's come to see her body off. Suze also believed that disguised Sugar Walls' was poet Pam Ayres after Walls tells them to not reveal her name to any paparazzo sneaking around, saying that they should call her Pam, leading to Suze wondering whether Pam was hiding in Tom and Linda's apartment when Sugar Walls was staying for the week.
    • Linda was convinced that the abuse she got from her parents was how a child is meant to be treated (although, this is a case for many abuse victims), as well as believing that the photograph of a sideboard was her father's lung that was transplanted. Not to mention, she takes Tom's snide comments as compliments.
  • Too Much Information: Tom reacts like this to some of Linda's comments. At one point, he actually vomits.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Being to busy bragging to Linda about going to act alongside Tom Cruise, Tom throws so much make-up on his face, making his face black with red eyes and lips, dusty hair, and a sink stuck to his bottom.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The only people in the show that have a pass on this are Jez and Beryl, whereas Suze has moments of being as nasty as Linda and Tom.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Although Tom and Linda seem to loathe each other as much as everyone else does, there are moments when they appear to genuinely show a strong friendship, such as Linda making an effort for Tom to have a good birthday, and the Millennium Special, in which Tom and Linda are the only characters to appear (dream sequences and the Big Lipped Alligator Moment notwithstanding), is full of them.
  • World of Snark: Every character has their moments, but mostly Tom towards Linda.

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