[[caption-width-right:350:Front L-R: Freddie, Stuart, and Penelope.[softreturn]Back L-R: Violet, Ash, and Mason.]]

->'''Ash''': I want to have the kind of love they do one day.\\
'''Freddie''': ''[Enters]'' Where is that miserable piece of shit?!\\
'''Stuart''': Right here, you walking corpse.

''Vicious'' ([[{{Bowdlerise}} originally]] ''[[NWordPrivileges Vicious Old Queens]]'') is a BritCom[=/=]DomCom that aired for two series on Creator/{{ITV}} in the UK and on Creator/{{PBS}} in the US. Starring ShakespearianActors[=/=]nerd icons [[Creator/IanMcKellen Sir Ian McKellen]] and [[Creator/DerekJacobi Sir Derek Jacobi]], the series follows a wealthy-albeit-bitter gay couple and their friends.

The starring couple consists of [[StraightGay Freddie]] ([=McKellen=]), who is [[CastingGag a failing yet egotistical actor]], and [[CampGay Stuart]] (Jacobi), who is still struggling [[TransparentCloset to come out to his mother]]. The cast also includes their old friends [[DirtyOldWoman Violet]], [[CloudCuckooLander Penelope]], and [[GrumpyOldMan Mason]], and their young neighbour [[TheWoobie Ash]].

Whilst the show is essentially about [[CaptainObvious vicious old homosexuals]] sniping and insulting one another, the presence of [=McKellen=] and Jacobi affirms that it's better than it sounds. Also, despite the pilot receiving a mixed critical response, [[CriticalDissonance the show currently has a strong fan following.]]

As with many British shows, it aired for two short series, along with a Christmas special and a GrandFinale, for a [[BritishBrevity total of 14 episodes]]. There was also a two-year gap between Series 1 and Series 2, due to the cast's [[AllStarCast obligations]] in [[Series/GameOfThrones other]] [[Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast high-profile]] [[Film/TheHobbit productions]].


!!This series provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: Violet to Ash. They eventually become friends.
* AccidentalAthlete: [[spoiler:In 2.1, Stuart and Violet keep insisting that Ash, who is pretending to be a trained gymnast, show off. As it turns out, Ash is quite good at backflips.]]
* AcquiredSituationalNarcissism: This happens several times with Freddie and Stuart both, who both enjoy being recognized as better than the other at everything or anything. Although Freddie is, in fact, a narcissist at all times.
** Inverted in 1.3, as Freddie becomes Ash's mentor, but becomes jealous when Ash lands his first role in a small movie. Ash winds up losing confidence instead.
** In 2.3, Freddie inverts the trope again while Stuart plays it straight.
* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: Parodied in 2.1, when Ash brings Jess to meet [[{{FamilyOfChoice}} "the most important people"]] in his life, only to be drawn into playing the part of Violet's stepson to impress Violet's sister. As part of the con, Violet pulls him into an awkward kiss, and makes up embarrassing infantilizing anecdotes about him. Then, she and Stuart egg him into performing a backflip, which [[{{AccidentalAthlete}} could have]] ended horribly.
* AnythingYouCanDoICanDoBetter:
** Freddie and Stuart.
** Violet and Lillian.
* AshesToCrashes: In "Ballroom", Freddie gives Ash his mother's wedding ring, the container for which doubles as the urn for her ashes, much to Ash's surprise.
-->'''Ash''': What's all that?\\
'''Freddie''': My mother.
* AwfulWeddedLife: The show demonstrates that this trope is not necessarily heteronormative, given how much Freddie and Stuart fight.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Though somewhat rare considering how bitter they are, Freddie and Stuart occasionally [[InvokedTrope invoke]] this to the extent they even act affectionate with each other on occasion.
** Also {{invoked}} during the first series finalé:
-->'''Freddie''': You do know we love you all very much, right?\\
[Everyone smiles]\\
'''Freddie''': '''''...RIGHT?!'''''\\
[They agree in fear]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Ash in 2.2 and 2.6.
* TheBigDamnKiss: [[spoiler:Episode 6 has a heartwarming scene where Ash is extremely nice to Violet, ''only for Violet to press him against the wall and make out with him.'']]
* BlackComedy: The show utilizes this trope often, as it is a BritCom.
** Freddie and Stuart enjoy [[{{DomesticAbuse}} insulting and degrading]] each other, as well as their close friends. Freddie is especially sadistic regarding this.
** It is implied that Ash suffered [[{{AbusiveParents}} parental neglect/abuse]]. His trauma is often exposed set to LaughTrack.
** [[spoiler:Stuart's mother dies before his wedding, and Ash and friends try to hide it until after the ceremony.]]
** Violet's abusive, disappearing husband Jasper is originally PlayedForLaughs. However, when Jasper goes too far, and it enters the realm of drama, he is [[spoiler:PunchedAcrossTheRoom by Ash to defend Violet's honor, and the [[{{Slapstick}} cake is destroyed]].]]
* BlackComedyRape: Several rape jokes in the first episode.
-->'''[[HollywoodHomely Violet]]''': You let a stranger use your loo? ''What if he comes out and rapes me?!''\\
'''Freddie''': ({{beat}}) Let's cross that bridge when we come to it.
** Violet sexually harassing or assaulting Ash becomes a RunningGag.
** Violet tricks Ash into getting drunk, resulting in a BedmateReveal. Violet spends the next episode [[{{DidTheyOrDidntThey}} taunting an amnesia-inflicted]] Ash about it, only to invert the trope by revealing she was lying and nothing happened between them. His horrified reactions and trauma are PlayedForLaughs.
* BlatantLies: Frequently PlayedForLaughs.
-->'''Freddie''': I'm quite certain I'm old enough to be your father.\\
'''Stuart''': [muttering] ''Yes, I'm quite certain too.''\\
'''Ash''': My father's forty-six.\\
'''Freddie''': Ah! And so am I!
* BookEnds: In the first episode, when Ash accidentally opens the curtains to the massive window in their living room, Freddie and Stuart both run back into the kitchen away from the bright light. In the last episode, after some (slight) defrosting and Stuart [[spoiler:finally revealing to his mother he's gay,]] they're in such a good mood at their anniversary they decide to open the curtains again.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: Due to the somewhat risky title of ''Vicious Old Queens'', the show title was later changed to the shorter and milder ''Vicious''.
* BrainlessBeauty: Ash has moments of this, such as not knowing how Freddie and Stuart can tell that he just came back in from the rain (as he's soaking wet).
** Also Chloe.
* ButNotTooGay: Surprisingly {{Averted|Trope}}; despite having the excuse that Freddie and Stuart [[AwfulWeddedLife borderline hate one another]], the writers still have them [[DefrostingIceQueen occasionally displaying affection]] (and even sharing the occasional kiss).
* TheCameo: [[spoiler:Dame Judi Dench as herself.]] See TheStinger.
* CampGay[=/=]StraightGay: Stuart and Freddie respectively.
* CarryingACake: Mason and Penelope in 2.6.
* CloudCuckoolander: Penelope isn't all quite there and is often forgetful due to her dementia.
* TheComicallySerious: Mason.
* CorruptTheCutie: Freddie and Stuart considered this their end goal in regards to Ash. When he finally snaps and snarks about the RunningGag regarding him and Violet, Freddie's response was to give him a hug and say "About time, welcome to the family!" Mason lampshades it, saying it's sad they're going to turn the sweet Ash into a gargoyle like them.
* TheCouch
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: The normally dotty Penelope will have the occasional moment of clarity, often at the most inopportune time for somebody else. Lampshaded when people wonder why her memory is so vivid all of a sudden.
* DeadpanSnarker: [[WorldOfSnark Everyone but Ash.]] And even him, by the finale.
** SnarkToSnarkCombat: Between Freddie and Stuart.
* DinnerAndAShow: This is the plot of the Christmas special.
* DirtyOldMan: Freddie and Stuart only first invite Ash in because he's handsome and young.
* DirtyOldWoman: Violet takes this UpToEleven, and is downright sleazy towards Ash.
** Violet's sister also puts the moves on Ash, proving ItRunsInTheFamily.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: When Ash comes into the nightclub soaking wet, a girl at the nightclub as well as the camera, Freddie, and Stuart spend a few moments staring at him.
* TheFaceless: Balthazar the dog is constantly sleeping in his basket under a blanket, but he's purportedly balding and teetering on the brink of death.
* FamousLastWords: In "Wedding":
-->'''[[spoiler:Mrs. Bixby]]''': Can I have a hug first?
* FlyingUnderTheGaydar: Stuart's mother still has no idea that her son and Freddie are partners. Stuart has been telling her that Freddie is his "flatmate" for the last 48 years.
* FriendsAreChosenFamilyArent:
** Stuart, when his mother comes to visit. Also Freddie to a degree.
** Violet, when her sister comes to visit. She subverts the trope by pretending to be happier and better off during the visit.
** It only takes a reminder of his mother to put Ash in a bad mood.
* TheGhost: Stuart's mother. [[spoiler:Until the finalé, when she attends their party.]]
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: Freddie ends up giving a speech to Stuart's mother that makes it very clear that, since he loves Stuart so much, only ''he'' is allowed to verbally abuse him.
* HypocriticalHumor: Episode 5 concludes with [[spoiler:Ash and his new girlfriend arguing and tearing into one another]], to which Freddie and Stuart comment:
-->'''Stuart''': [[spoiler:Do you hear how they talk to each other?!]]\\
'''Freddie''': ''[[spoiler:Kill me if that's ever us.]]''
** Also, from the same episode:
-->'''Chloe''': I just don't see how two people in love can ever say cruel things to each other.\\
'''Freddie''': I was saying the same thing the other day to the piece of shit down there.
* InsistentTerminology: In episode five, when discussing Violet:
-->'''Freddie''': You're lucky you're straight Ash, otherwise you get one of these women who latch on to you for decades and never let go.\\
'''Ash''': But you love her?\\
'''Freddie''': Yes. We '''like''' her.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Ash is Freddie and Stuart's much younger neighbor who befriends them after he moves into the flat above them.
* LargeHam: Expected when the two leads are Sir Ian [=McKellen=] and Sir Derek Jacobi.
** WorldOfHam: Except for Ash, though he can have his moments. Freddie takes it UpToEleven by being something of a Ham-within-a-Ham. While everybody on the show is hammy, Freddie's theatrical mannerisms means he's over-dramatic even by everybody else's standards.
* LastEpisodeNewCharacter: Oliver appears during the final quarter of the series finale and provides a lot of {{Call Back}}s to classic moments, including the infamous "You remember our friend Violet?" gag and Freddie's appearance as a villain on ''Series/DoctorWho'' being mentioned.
* ManlyTears: Stuart in the last episode of series 2 when [[spoiler: he goes to phone his mother, only to remember that she died earlier in the episode. His open sobs are devastatingly sad to watch, made even sadder by Freddie hugging, kissing and reassuring Stuart]].
* MayDecemberRomance: Violet attempts to invoke this on Ash, but the much younger man is clearly not interested in her.
-->[Freddie and Stuart discuss Ash]\\
'''Violet''': The one who was flirting with me shamelessly?\\
'''Freddie''': No, this is a person who exists.
** or:
-->'''Violet:''' You're sitting very far from me, Ash.
-->'''Ash:''' (wide-eyed with apprehension) I know.
* MistakenForGay: Freddie and Stuart spend the pilot discussing if Ash is gay, straight or even bisexual. He ''says'' he's straight, but that doesn't stop them assuming he's ArmouredClosetGay.
** And again in episode 5:
-->'''Ash''': I wanted you to be the first to know. I think I might be--\\
'''Freddie''': I KNEW IT!\\
'''Ash''': ...in love with my girlfriend!\\
'''Freddie''': ({{beat}}) Oh.
** Eventually they get the message, sort of:
-->'''Stuart''': ''[after Chloe crashes their dinner party]'' Poor Ash.
-->'''Freddie''': Well he wanted to be straight, that what he gets!
* MonochromeCasting
* MrsRobinson: Violet to Ash.
* NaiveNewcomer: Ash, relatively speaking, in comparison to Freddie, Violet, and Stuart.
* NobodyOver50IsGay: Averted. The gay couple is over 70 and there was only one young, handsome gay man in the first series, briefly.
* NoodleImplements: The only explanation to Clive's death is that he suffered horribly and lost a foot.
* NWordPrivileges: This show probably would have been considered massively offensive were Ian Mckellan and Derek Jacobi not well known for being openly gay.
* OfCorpseHesAlive: Done in "Wedding" to cover up the death of [[spoiler:Stuart's mother]].
* OnceAnEpisode: Every episode opens with Stuart talking to his mother on the phone, except for episode 6, where Ash answers instead.
* OnlySaneMan: Ash. Mason thinks he is this, but he's nearly as bad as Freddie and Stuart.
** Averted sometimes, e.g Series 2, Episode 2: Stuart and Freddy start spending more time with another young man, and Ash goes full psycho.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: In episode 3, Freddie has his minor role on ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' overshadowed by Ash getting a starring role in a small movie; as a result, he starts being nice to everyone, much to their horror.
* ParentalSubstitute: Ash outright states that he considers Stuart and Freddie to be his parental figures rather than his birth parents (who are in prison).
* PhraseCatcher: Stuart, re Violet every time she and Ash are in a scene together:
-->You remember our friend, Violet?
* PrecisionFStrike: [[spoiler: Dame Judi Dench]] lands one on Freddie in the first series finale.
** Freddie lands one on Stuart (causing the studio audience to burst into applause) as both are fawning over their handsome personal trainer.
** A brilliant one in Series 2 Episode 1: The whole gang spends the episode conducting an elaborate façade to fool Violet's sister, and when Ash's girlfriend finds out she loves it, rather than being freaked out. For a moment it seems no one is going to {{Lampshade}} the crazy, and then Mason steps up:
---> '''Mason''': You people are all fucking insane.
** In "Wedding", Freddie asks of the dress Violet chose for the occasion, "What the fuck is she wearing?"
** A rare application of the L subrating to the show's TV-14 rating happened to the finale, which includes an unbleeped instance of "dick" spoken by Freddie to Mason for his smart-alecky remark about his arm's appearance in a second ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' episode.
* RealSongThemeTune: The Communards - [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNCVvJfHrbg Never Can Say Goodbye]]
* RunningGag:
** Every episode has one or two instances of Stuart taking a dreadful phonecall, and a WalkInChimeIn or two from Freddie.
** Freddie and Stuart being insistent [[TransparentCloset that Ash is gay.]]
** 'You remember our friend Violet?' (to Ash.) Lampshaded in episode 6.
* SanitySlippage: All characters seem immune to the shenanigans of the show, except for Ash, who subverts this trope by always coming back to sanity by the end of the episode. It's all PlayedForLaughs.
** Lampshaded by Stuart in 2.5 when he asks why Ash is acting oddly following a [[{{BlackComedyRape}} traumatic event]].
-->'''Ash''': I'm not acting oddly! (Nervous giggling)
* SelectiveObliviousness: Stuart's mother is still totally unaware that Stuart is gay, despite the fact that Stuart is in his early seventies:
-->'''Stuart''': Well, I hoped she'd have figured out our situation by now. I have been dropping little clues.\\
'''Freddie''': Yes. Like living with a man for 48 years.
** Violet tends to ignore the obvious signs that Ash is not interested in her.
* ShoutOut: Many to ''Series/DoctorWho'', especially since Derek Jacobi played the Master and Ian [=McKellen=] was the voice of the Great Intelligence.
** Also to several other British series, such as ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' and ''Series/CallTheMidwife''.
** Also, due to the theatre background of [[ActorAllusion the actors and characters]], plays such as ''Theatre/TheMousetrap'' occasionally receive mention.[[invoked]]
* SickeninglySweethearts: Ash and his new girlfriend, Chloe:
-->'''Ash''': She never drinks, isn't that right Chloe?\\
'''Chloe''': It's true. And nothing could give me more of a high that being with Ash...\\
'''Freddie''': ''Have you tried cocaine?''
* SlapStick: Although there are elements of this in many episodes, in 2.3 Ash finds himself repeatedly getting hurt by Jess on accident, while trying to talk to her.
** Ash [[{{PunchedAcrossTheRoom}} punches]] [[spoiler:Jasper]] in 2.6
* SmallNameBigEgo: Freddie career consisted of "bit parts in Rep and one episode of ''Doctor Who''", according to Stuart. That doesn't stop him from acting as though he had, well, Sir Ian [=McKellen=]'s career.
* SoundEffectBleep: The PBS broadcast version does this every so often, bleeping out the stronger examples of PrecisionFStrike among other things.
* StepfordSmiler: It's been hinted at that underneath Ash's cheerfulness there is a '''lot''' of emotional issues. This may be due to his parents, as he's quick to replace them with Stuart and Freddie.
** In 1.3, it only takes a few comments to convince Ash he's "a monster" after getting cast in a film. He becomes so self-conscious that he forgets his natural walk. He then later falls into a depression about it all.
** In 1.5, Ash mentions that his new girlfriend doesn't mind him waking up in the middle of the night screaming.
** In the Christmas Special, Ash becomes so hysterical and self-loathing after messing up Christmas dinner that Violet [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan slaps him]] to calm him down. He also stops while describing his last Christmas with his family and how drunk his mother was to say with great anguish "Why wasn't I enough for you, Mum?" before immediately regaining his composure.
** In 2.2, Ash appears hurt when Freddie and Stuart would rather train with the smooth talking fitness instructor instead of him. These feelings cause Ash to [[{{BewareTheNiceOnes}} confront the fitness instructor and threaten him]]. Ash later asks Freddie and Stuart if they preferred the fitness instructor because he was also gay, and is visibly relieved when they tell him they like him.
* TheStinger: [[spoiler:The first season finalé ends with the reveal that Judi Dench wanted to attend the party, but since Freddie didn't leave a contact number or address, she got sick of waiting for a reply and decided she doesn't have time for his bullshit.]]
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: In episode 5:
-->'''Stuart''': Freddie's scared he's never going to work again. There, how does that feel?\\
'''Freddie''': I never said such a thing, ''and you swore you'd never mention it!''
* TakeThatAudience: Towards [=McKellen=]'s nerd following:
-->'''Violet''': Will there be a lot of single men?\\
'''Freddie''': It's a science fiction fan club event; they'll be single but they'll be disgusting.
* ThickerThanWater: Defied by Freddie, who makes Ash his best man, even though Mason is his brother. A fact that upsets Mason.
* TimeshiftedActor: In a flashback in episode 5 of series two, younger versions of Stuart and Freddie are played by [[http://41.media.tumblr.com/cbd83cc59d75cdedd497659323ef8f6c/tumblr_nqelazyx2g1rekaslo1_1280.jpg Samuel Barnett and Luke Treadaway]].
* TransparentCloset: Despite [[CampGay his mannerisms]] and being in his 70s, Stuart has yet to come out to his mother.
-->'''Freddie''': So, who were you squawking on the phone to just now?\\
'''Stuart''': My mother, if you must know. She was very distraught.\\
'''Freddie''': Why, did you finally tell her about us?\\
'''Stuart''': I'm waiting for the right time.\\
'''Freddie''': It's been forty-eight years!\\
'''Stuart''': And there has not been a right time!
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: In grand British comedy tradition, Freddie and Stuart are both self-absorbed, sarcastic, waspish grumps.
* WardrobeMalfunction: Happens to Ash in "Ballroom".
-->'''Ash''': Something feels wrong back there!
* WhenIWasYourAge: Occasionally {{Invoked|Trope}} towards Ash by others due to the large age gap:
-->'''Violet''': Has anybody said you remind them of Creator/ZacEfron? [whispering to Stuart] ''That's a person right? Or is it a place?'' [to Ash again] Well I'm certain I know you. Have you ever been to Zac Efron? [whispering to Stuart] ''I'm covered either way now.''
* [[VitriolicBestBuds Vitriolic Husbands]]: With the occasional AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther.
* [[WhiteDwarfStarlet White Dwarf Star]]: Freddie's acting career never really took off and his only claim to fame was playing a minor character on ''Series/DoctorWho''. He still sees himself as an award-winning actor with a trophy case.