Series: Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps
L-R: Louise, Jonny, Janet, Gaz, Donna.Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps
(commonly shortened to Two Pints
or Two Pints of Lager
) is a BBC sitcom written by Susan Nickson. It is set in the town of Runcorn
in Cheshire, England,
and revolves around the lives, loves and assorted issues of five friends, consisting of the motherly
, caring, yet slobbish Janet Keogh (ne้ Smith), slacker
but sensitive and all-round nice guy Jonny Keogh, who is Janet's long-term boyfriend and later husband, the laddish Gaz Wilkinson, whose brain power definitely isn't his strong point
, the ambitious and hot-tempered Donna Wilkinson (ne้ Henshaw), who is Gaz's long-term girlfriend and later wife, and the narcissistic, insensitive and often rather bizarre
Louise Brooks. In later seasons, Timothy "Tim" Claypole, the Archer's bitchy and camp
new barman, and Donna's new boyfriend, the overly Cockney, initially unpleasant
but later rather friendly Wesley Presley, were added to the cast roster. The show was first broadcast in 2001, and ran for nine series over a decade, making it one of BBC Three's most popular shows.
While the first two seasons of the show consisted of a mere six episodes
each, the later seasons were much longer. There have also been four "special" episodes - a musical special, which was standalone, a horror special, which, while non-canon, was added on to the end of the sixth series, a live special, which was the seventh season opener, a Comic Relief special, and two specials that aired in 2009, consisting of another musical, and a Sliding Doors
Although Two Pints
is a comedy series, it has shown itself to be more dramatic and serious, usually towards the end of a season. The final episodes of each season tend to end on a bittersweet, and sometimes quite a sad
The show is mainly known for its adult, sometimes scatological humor, mostly involving references to sex and private bodily functions. The humor has also become rather surreal at times, most notably in the "special" episodes. The series is also known for rather naughty language. However, the word "fuck" is uttered only once in each series, and always in the final episode.
The show's ninth season aired in 2011, with two new characters, after Sheridan Smith (Janet) and Kathryn Drysdale (Louise) stated they would not be returning to their roles. This prompted... mixed reactions
, to say the least
. Despite the ninth series ending with the intention of the show continuing, the show was cancelled
a short while after it finished.
Came sixtieth in Britain's Best Sitcom
Provides Examples Of:
- Adorkable: Jonny.
- Affectionate Parody: 'When Jonny Met Sharky'. (See Parody Episode and Jumping the Shark below.) 'When Janet Killed Jonny' may also count, as it spoofs the horror genre.
- The Alcoholic: Brian, Louise's father. Louise later claims to have become one (or, rather, "tries too hard to become one"), thanks to the discovery that her father is one, but she doesn't keep it up for very long.
- Alien Lunch: Several people mistaking the pot pourri for crisps in the eighth season.
- The Alleged Car: Jonny's short-lived "chick magnet" car, Herbie.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Flo
- Angrish: Donna, on occasion. In one episode, she can't find the words to describe Louise (who was driving her absolutely crazy at that point), so she settles for unintelligible angry noises instead.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Donna tearfully blurts out "I love you" to Gaz when he is lying severely injured in hospital.
- Anyone Can Die: An unusual trope for a sitcom, but there you go: Jonny and Flo. Also, although it is obviously non-canonical, everyone in the horror special.
- Anything That Moves: Kelly the Barmaid. Also, Flo, Donna's sexually promiscuous mother, is a heterosexual example.
- Attention Whore: Louise fits this trope like a glove.
- Author Appeal: It's mentioned in one of the documentaries that the number of shirtless scenes involving Will Mellor is a conscious choice by Susan Nickson.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Jonny tries (and fails) to be one of these on one occasion.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: In one episode set when Gaz and Donna have broken up and Kelly is trying to win Gaz for herself, Donna, to get revenge against Gaz, informs Kelly of the one thing that will drive Gaz wild in the bedroom... a sheep. She is, of course, lying, and Gaz's reaction to the nasty surprise at the end of the episode is not one of joy, to say the least.
- Big "NO!": Parodied, when Gaz discovers that Donna has done away with his monumental Porn Stash. (He gets it back later.)
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
- Louise shows signs of this, although all of her friends know very well just how bitchy she can be.
- Then there's Jonny's temporary girlfriend Kate. At first, she comes across as nice if a little dim and very cheerful, but later she is frequently shown giving Janet backhanded compliments and thinly veiled insults (while still in her cheerful demeanor) and at one point gives Janet a gift... which happens to be Janet's own ironing board, that Kate and Jonny broke while having sex on it, and seems to enjoy rubbing her relationship with Jonny in Janet's face. YMMV on whether Kate is being genuinely nasty or is just too ditzy to realise that she's being hurtful. The very last episode with Kate, however, shows that she definitely has a nasty side, outright insulting all of Jonny's friends in front of them and demanding that Jonny make a choice - her or his friends. He chooses the latter.
- Black Comedy: "When Janet Killed Jonny" runs on this.
- Black Dude Dies First: Lampshaded and spoofed by Louise (who is, of course, black) in the horror special:
(Everyone stares at her)
- Amusingly, Louise is, of course, the first one to die.
- Louise loves this.
- Also, when Jonny blackmails Janet's dad in order to convince him to allow Jonny to marry her.
- Bloody Hilarious: The horror episode has some examples of this, most notably with Donna's reanimated (and bisected) corpse asking Gaz for sex.
Gaz (regarding Donna's exposed intestines): "There's no way I'm gonna slip it in that. It'd be like shagging mince."
- A Bloody Mess: When Jonny is feeling unwell and vomits into a fruit bowl, Gaz takes a look at the mess and sees a red substance in it. He panics, believing it to be blood, until Jonny tells him that is is simply tomato ketchup that he drank when he was feeling delirious.
- Bondage Is Bad: Averted — Donna is initially disgusted when Gaz tries out BDSM, but, in the following episode, she decides to give it a try herself. She's weirded out at first, but, just as she's starting to get into her role as "the Donnanatrix", Munch walks in. Hilarity Ensues.
- The Brainless Beauty: Louise, especially in the earlier seasons.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The live and Comic Relief specials have several fourth wall-breaking moments.
- Breathless Non Sequitur: Louise loves this trope.
- Brit Com
- Brutal Honesty
- Buffy Speak: Jonny does this fairly often.
- But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Well, sort of. Corinthian is initially believed to be Jonny's child, after Gaz discovers that he has a low sperm count. However, Jonny was obviously still unsure, and arranged a DNA test without telling anybody. It is later discovered that Gaz is actually the father, although he decides not to tell Janet, as she sees Corinthian as the only thing she has left of Jonny after he dies.
- But We Used a Condom: Averted when Gaz and Janet have a one-night stand - they are so caught up with each other that they forget to use the condom, something they deeply regret afterwards. Of course, it does have a consequence, and that consequence is named Corinthian.
- Butt Monkey: Pretty much the entire cast achieves this status at some point or another, but it tends to happen to Jonny on more occasions.
- As of the seventh and eighth seasons, both Tim and Wesley have their moments.
- Louise is also a Butt Monkey on several occasions, but mainly in the earlier seasons.
- Camp Gay:
- Camp Straight: Louise's (brief) fashion designer boyfriend. ("Feerrrrrrreaaaak!")
- Comically Missing the Point: Gaz does this. A lot.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Janet. Her questionable impression of Trevor McDonald also fails to impress the other characters.
- The Cast Show Off: Everybody in the live episode. Natalie Casey (Donna) really did once sing a song called "Chick Chick Chicken", which made her the record holder for the youngest person to ever hit the UK Singles Charts. (She was 3.)
- Caught with Your Pants Down
- Chained to a Bed: Gaz does this to himself.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Gaz has his moments.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
- Kelly completely disappears after the end of the sixth season with no explanation as to where she's gone (although, according to some fans who were in the studio audience when some episodes were being filmed, her disappearance was explained, but the scene was deleted from the finished episode). Munch also disappeared completely during season 5 with no explanation, only to return for season 7. However, he did not appear in season 8, and, again, no explanation has been given as to his disappearance.
- Louise's birth parents. Her birth mother and her husband appear in one episode, and, in the following episode, her father, Brian, turns up. They disappear after their respective episodes and are never seen from (and rarely mentioned) again.
- Kate is also never seen or heard from after Jonny breaks up with her, although she is mentioned a few times.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Louise, although this is more emphasised in the earlier seasons. Munch also definitely qualifies (as well as being a full-blown idiot).
- Clingy Jealous Girl / Yandere: Louise shows a few signs of this on the occasions where she's in a relationship: especially during her time with David.
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Comically Missing the Point: Gaz does this. A lot.
- Companion Cube: Jonny's Action Man, which he named Corinthian (and later named his son after it).
- Janet has a mannequin named Jonny 2, which she has dressed exactly like Jonny. This is only featured in one episode, in which she uses it as a source of comfort when she's in labour.
- Cross Over: The Comic Relief special 'When Janet Met Michelle' features characters from Grownups and Coming Of Age. The fact that Sheridan Smith plays both Janet and Grownups' Michelle is a source of major awe and confusion for some of the other characters.
- Curse Cut Short: Visual example. In Borry, Donna scratches the letters 'CUN' onto Gaz's car as revenge for him having an affair. Gaz arrives before she can finish the word, and asks what a 'cun' is.
- Cuteness Proximity: Played with in one episode. Donna greatly resents that she and Gaz have to babysit for Corinthian, due to the possibility that Gaz may be Corinthian's biological father, but, as soon as she witnesses Corinthian's first smile...
- A Date with Rosie Palms
- Deadpan Snarker: Kelly definitely has her moments, as does Donna (when she's not ranting, anyway).
- Delivery Guy: When Louise gives birth in the seventh series, Munch is there to assist her in his own... unique way. After the child is born, Louise claims that she will name the baby "Louise Munch Brooks" after him. It turns out that she was lying, and names the baby "Louise Louise Brooks" instead.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "He just smiled at me with his mouth."
- Disappeared Dad: Dion is the father of Little Louise, but wants nothing whatsoever to do with her.
- Dirty Old Man: Arthur, and pretty much all of the other male elderly pub regulars.
- The Ditz: Louise, Gaz, Munch and Kate.
- Doomed New Clothes: Janet's original wedding dress choice.
- Double Entendre
- Drink Order: Right there in the title.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Jonny is killed off-screen after he is eaten by a shark in Hawaii, as Ralf Little wanted to leave the show to pursue a career in movies and other TV shows. Flo, Donna's mother, also suffered a similar fate when she is hit by a truck off-screen, as Beverley Callard wished to leave the show to return to her role on Coronation Street.
- Embarrassing First Name: Wesley seems like a perfectly unassuming name (although Gaz finds it funny at first)... until you learn that his surname is Presley.
- Embarrassing Middle Name:
- Corinthian McVitie Keogh. (Arguably, also a case of Embarrassing First Name.)
- Louise's baby daughter, Louise Louise Brooks, may also count (she's sometimes referred to as Little Louise, to avoid confusion).
- Enforced Method Acting: Happens most notably in the live episode. There is a scene in which Janet downs a pint of lager in one sip (in real life, a trick glass was used, so that Sheridan Smith didn't actually have to drink an entire pint) and as a result belches twice. The second belch was completely by accident, and the surprised/amused expression on Sheridan Smith's face is genuine. Natalie Casey (Donna), standing right next to Smith at the time, is also clearly struggling to contain her laughter.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: When Jonny reads a letter written to Janet from her ex-boyfriend, Andy, he imagines it being said in a French accent.
- Fag Hag: Louise tries to be one in the first season, because she thinks it will make her "cool".
- Fanservice: Donna in a whip-wielding, dominatrix nurse outfit? Check. Janet dressing up in a bikini made entirely out of pasties? Check. Gaz getting his shirt off in several episodes (complete with cheers and whistles from the studio audience)? Check. Donna's Stripperific outfit from the live special? Check...
- First Girl Wins: Donna
- Five-Man Band
- Flanderisation: Donna, Louise and Jonny especially suffer from this in the later seasons. Some are annoyed by it; others either don't mind or love it. It depends on who you ask.
- The Fool: Gaz
- Friendship Moment: Lots and lots, usually between Gaz and Jonny and Donna and Janet.
- Gene Hunting: Louise, when she discovers that she is adopted. She manages to find her birth parents, but the relationships don't work out (especially since her birth father, Brian, turns out to be an alcoholic conman), and learns to accept the fact that she is adopted.
- Genre Savvy: Louise in the horror special.
- The Ghost: Louise's mentally unstable adoptive mother, and her late "Auntie Nigel" are mentioned frequently, but are never seen. The same goes for Donna's father (although she is seen having a phone conversation with him in one episode, but his voice is never heard), and Janet's mother.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Courtesy of Louise:
Bad dude. Gangstery motherflipper.
- Granola Girl: Louise has some elements of this.
- Groin Attack: Poor, poor Gaz.
- Half The Woman She Used To Be: Donna in the horror special.
- Happily Married: Janet and Jonny, to an extent.
- Hard Work Montage: Used... interestingly in the episode 'Fat', featuring Gaz's... um, unique method of losing weight. It's even set to an instrumental version of Eye of the Tiger. (The entire sequence is most likely a Parody of this trope.)
- Hello, Nurse!: Donna's whip-holding alter-ego, the Donnanatrix.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gaz and Jonny.
- Hey, It's That Guy!:
- Hilarious Outtakes: There is an entire Companion Show dedicated to the show's outtakes, titled Two Pints Outtakes. The show also features interviews with the cast and creators, and behind-the-scenes footage.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Louise.
- Historical In-Joke: Janet is scouted as a cruise ship singer while performing at the pub. She sang My Heart Will Go On, the Titanic theme song.
- I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Gaz names his penis "Mr. Nudge".
- I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: Louise attempts to avoid giving any indication that Gaz is Corinthian's father. She eventually encounters Gaz and says she's not going to tell him he himself is the father.
- I'm a Humanitarian: In the horror special, Jonny seems remarkably keen on the idea of feasting on Louise's flesh after she dies.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The 'special' episodes: 'When Janet Met Jonny', 'When Janet Killed Jonny', 'When Jonny Met Sharky', and 'When Janet Met Michelle'.
- Innocently Insensitive: Kate towards Janet, although her level of innocence is debatable.
- Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Kelly does this in one episode, when she decides to start dressing and acting exactly like Donna.
- Instant Birth, Just Add Water
- It's Not Porn, It's Art: Gaz claims this in the very first episode.
- Jerkass: Although all of the characters have their moments, Louise fits this trope most often. Also, when he's introduced, Wesley starts off as one - he takes utter delight in deriding Donna's friends, and is constantly showing off his iPhone to lord it over them that he has a lot more money than they do. However, as the series progressed, he spends a lot of time trying to improve himself, and becomes very friendly with Gaz and Janet.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Again, most of the cast from time to time, although Gaz seems to fit the trope better.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks: Louise is usually saddled with keeping sordid secrets from the rest of the group — such as Janet sleeping with Gaz, and the fact that Gaz is Corinthian's father. She's generally very bad at it. She comes close to spilling the beans on the first secret (until Jonny eventually finds out for himself), but she's downright useless at keeping the second one.
- Kill 'em All: The horror special.
- Killed Off for Real: Jonny and Flo.
- The Lad-ette: Janet has many elements of this.
- Lamaze Class: Played with - both Gaz and Jonny attend a class similar to this, with a toy monkey and a baby doll (in really bad condition) respectively. While Gaz surprisingly does a good job of it, Jonny completely screws it up.
- Large Ham: Wesley has his moments, as does Tim. Louise's father, Brian, also counts.
- Licensed Sexist: Gaz certainly has his moments.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The show generally avoids this, but the 2009 special had the cast of three programmes.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: Gaz becomes impotent in a few episodes, leaving him very disheartened, until he manages to get it up again after Donna's smug, slimy tutor Phillip makes him fly into a rage. When he experiences the same problem a few episodes later, Donna tries to make him angry again by wearing a mask of Phillip, and by getting him to leave a message on the answering machine so that Gaz can listen to it. It doesn't work.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Gaz
- Love Triangle: Donna/Gaz/Janet, Jonny/Gaz/Janet, Janet/Jonny/Kate, Janet/Jonny/Andy.
- The Donna/Gaz/Janet triangle is a big plot point of the seventh and eighth seasons.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Happens in 'When Janet Killed Jonny':
Louise (after partially sawing through her own thigh): "Oh, would you look at that."
- Make Me Wanna Shout:
- Played with in a few episodes - naturally, given her infamously squeaky voice, Louise gets these moments. In one episode, her screams can be heard all the way across Runcorn, rendering Kelly partially deaf for a short while, and, in another, her squealing manages to shatter a glass in the Archer.
- In Season 8, Donna's yelling renders Gaz deaf for a short while after she catches him having A Date with Rosie Palms in the middle of the Archer.
- Masochist's Meal: In one episode, Gaz eats an omlette made out of slugs (or, as he likes to call it, a "sluglette").
- Mistaken for Gay: Jonny is mistaken to be gay by Louise's dad, Brian, who spends much of the episode in which he appears trying to come on to him.
- Mistaken for Pregnant: Janet, at the end of the first season, and Donna, at the beginning of the second season (the latter episode is set immediately after the former). In a mild subversion, both girls also mistakenly believe themselves to be pregnant, until Janet takes a pregnancy test and Donna gets her period. Both Jonny and Gaz freak out accordingly.
- The Modest Orgasm: Taken Up to Eleven with Kelly, whose orgasms are completely deadpan (and she gets them when she isn't even doing anything remotely sexual).
Janet: (in disbelief) "You're having an orgasm?"
Kelly: (indignant) "Of course not!" (a beat; deadpan) "Now I am."
- Money, Dear Boy: Ralf Little, according to his appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
- Montages: Each season tends to end with a montage depicting flashbacks to earlier events in the season. Some, but not all, are Tear Jerkers.
- Mood Whiplash:
- The horror episode is the very definition of this trope — although several moments in it are clearly played for laughs, the episode as a whole is a lot darker and is considered to be quite shocking and disturbing in places, especially to those who are used to the show's usual formula. Not only is the humour far darker, but there is a surprising amount of gore and features all of the lead characters getting killed off in assorted gruesome ways.
- The show's more dramatic and tearjerking moments also count, most notably the end of the seventh season opener, in which it is revealed that Jonny has died. Although the very end of the episode throws in some humour to lighten the mood a little, it is still an unexpectedly shocking and heartbreaking moment.
- Also, the very end of the eighth season finale, Keep On Running. Again, the last few minutes do have some moments of humour thrown in, but overall it is a quiet, romantic, and heartwarming moment, combined with a good healthy dosage of Wham Episode. In the very same episode (and a few minutes before the "Wham" moment), the once a season Precision F-Strike isn't played for laughs, as is usually the case, but is used in a much more serious context.
- Mouthy Kid: Dion.
- Musical Episode
- My Local: The Archer.
- Negative Continuity: The first episode shows Donna practically begging Janet to set her up on a date with Gaz, after they briefly met at a football match. Conversely, "When Janet Met Johnny" depicts them meeting for the first time at a nightclub, and Donna being utterly repulsed by him.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Subverted in the horror episode, after Louise (supposedly) dies:
Jonny: "Although, how much did we really like her, anyway?"
- Newscaster Cameo: The episode "Dead" had North West Tonight's Gordon Burns as himself.
- Nice Guy: Wesley slowly becomes this over the course of season eight.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Nobody believes that Louise has managed to get herself a fashion designer boyfriend, when, in fact, she has. This trope is subverted at the end of the episode when the guy finally gets sick of her, as no-one else (except Kelly) sees him before he leaves.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Janet's father really doesn't like Jonny and is a total asshole towards him.
- Obvious Pregnancy: Louise gets a huge bump pretty quickly, although the episode in which her bump becomes prominent is set several months after the previous episode. Being a complete Cloudcuckoo Lander, she doesn't think that her bump is that obvious. Everyone else begs to differ.
- Off with His Head!: Louise does this to herself in the horror special.
- One Drink Will Kill the Baby: Jonny is outraged at Janet still trying to drink during pregnancy - she even cracks open a beer when she starts to go into labour (which, naturally, outrages him even more). Donna later makes an insulting comment about Corinthian, claiming that "(he) looks like (Janet) drank heavily during pregnancy".
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Munch's real first name has yet to revealed. Also, very few people refer to Gaz by his full name of Gary. The same goes with Flo (her full name is Floella).
- Only Sane Man: Donna takes this role on occasion.
- Oop North
- Or Was It a Dream?: The ending of the horror special.
- Orphaned Punchline: Inverted in an episode which sees Janet trying to be funny by telling (in the other characters' opinion, awful) jokes - the viewer hears the beginning of some of the jokes, but not the punchlines.
- Overprotective Dad: Janet's father.
- Parental Issues: Donna does not get on with her father at all, and takes the fact that he didn't even attend Flo's funeral especially hard.
- Parody Episode: Sort of. 'When Jonny Met Sharky' is a parody of the Jumping the Shark trope.
- Porn Stash: Gaz loves his porn, oh yes he does.
- Precision F-Strike: As mentioned above, the word "fuck" is only uttered once per season, and always in the season finale. While it is usually played for comic effect, however, it is used in a dramatic context in the eighth season finale.
- Punny Name: The R-Soles, and a more family-friendly example is their member, Scott Chegg.
- Ready for Lovemaking
- Recurring Character: Munch, Kelly, Tim, Flo, David...
- Remember the New Guy: Dion, Donna's unpleasant younger brother. He only appears in the sixth season finale. (Although an early season episode showed a young boy sitting at the dinner table in Donna's mother's house — it is never explained who he is, so it is quite possible that this is a younger Dion.)
- Right Behind Me: Used in one episode, in which a rather insecure Gaz is ranting to Janet about Donna's decision to start college (he feels as though she's abandoned him), then, without missing a single beat, ends it with "...and she's in the kitchen, isn't she?". The next few moments make it quite clear that Donna did indeed hear every word.
- Romantic False Lead: Kate
- Running Gag: Several, notably Louise's "Auntie Nigel" who is only mentioned and never shown and Gaz's sheep phobia.
- The Scream: Happens in one episode with Louise's extremely loud squealing.
- Screaming Birth:
- When Janet gives birth to Corinthian. She compares the sensation of labour to "someone opening an umbrella in (her) arse". This trope is initially subverted during the beginning of her labour, though. When her water first breaks, she is generally very calm and not in pain, which freaks Jonny out somewhat. When the pains suddenly start, Jonny is pleased that Janet is now "sticking to the rules".
- Subverted when Louise gives birth to Little Louise - the most noise she makes consists of grunting and groaning. Somewhat surprising, given her habit of squealing.
- Sex Equals Love - Donna and Gaz's relationship starts out based purely on sex (she even admits in one episode that she only started dating him because she liked the way he looked), but, as their relationship develops, they later realise that they love each other.
- Also, in a plotline that is considered by many to be fairly bad, Gaz and Janet suddenly fall in love, years after they had a one-night stand.