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Film / Carry On Girls

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Sid: Just think of all those lovely 38's an' 40's bobblin' up an' down.
Peter: I am. Phwoarr.
Councillor Sid Fiddler convincing Peter Potter to help him with publicity for the Miss Fircombe Contest.

Carry On Girls is a 1973 film and the 25th in the Carry On series. It starred Sid James, Barbara Windsor, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Bernard Bresslaw, June Whitfield, and Guest Star Jimmy Logan. It was inspired through the news networks due to the raising issues of women's rights and sexism at the time, giving the production team enough material to create their own take of the subject.

The film is set in the rainy seaside town of Fircombe which is being pressured into taking drastic measures to make more money and gain tourism. Councillor Sid Fiddler (James) suggests to Lord Mayor Frederick Bumble (Connor) to set up a Miss Fircombe beauty contest, but Councillor Augusta Prodworthy (Whitfield) is strongly against it, stating that it would only excuse the men of the audience to objectify women in society.

In her absence, the decision is made, and Sid uses the Palace Hotel - owned by his long-suffering girlfriend Connie Philpotts (Sims) - to house the beauty queens, with help from twitchy hotel porter William (Jack Douglas). Sid also calls his publicist friend, Peter Potter (Bresslaw), down to Fircombe to help spread word of the event, while Mrs. Prodworthy's bashful son Larry (Robin Askwith) is ready with his camera in hand to catch some snaps of the proceedings for the paper.

Several beauty queens including the haughty Dawn Brakes (Margaret Nolan) and brassy Hope Springs (Windsor) join the contest, which upsets the jealous Connie (especially once she sees how close Sid and Hope are getting) and all her conservative hotel regulars - except for a randy old Admiral (Peter Butterworth) who tries to get close to all the young dolly birds.

To promote the event, Sid comes up with increasingly outlandish publicity stunts, culminating in Peter being Disguised in Drag during TV presenter Cecil Gaybody's (Logan) coverage of the contestants, resulting in Peter's frumpy fiancée Paula Perkins (Valerie Leon) taking the fall for him and turning herself into the beautiful Patricia Potter, leaving Peter seething with jealousy at the idea that she'll be leered at by other men. All of this leaves Mrs. Prodworthy and a group of outraged local women, including Mayor Bumble's unsatisfied wife Mildred (Patsy Rowlands), to try and sabotage the event as Hilarity Ensues.

Example of Tropes are:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The Admiral tries to fondle and grope the beauty queens when they start staying in the hotel. This gets turned on him when he unwisely does the same to Hope Springs whilst they're in the same elevator: she aggressively and shamelessly starts groping him, scaring him enough that he doesn't dare get touchy with her for the rest of the film.
  • Accidental Misnaming: While talking to him on the phone, Sid calls Mr. Gaybody "Mr. Gayboy".
  • Accidental Pervert: Peter wanders into the women's dressing room to look for Paula and gets a good view of the beauty queens in various states of undress:
    Hope: Enjoyin' the view?
    Peter: Oh, sorry.
  • A-Cup Angst: Dawn's breasts are uneven, so she has to wear a false breast:
    Hope: I mean its not her fault she has to wear a falsie.
    Sid: What do ya mean "a falsie"?
    Hope: She got one bigger than the other.
    Sid: Is that right?
    Hope: No, left.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Sid is fond of calling people by shortened versions of their names:
    • William becomes "Willy".
    • Peter becomes "Pete".
    • Connie becomes "Con".
    • Frederick becomes "Fred".
  • Agony of the Feet: Mayor Bumble accidentally kicks the vacuum cleaner on his way down the stairs and groans in pain.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Peter Potter, and when he pretends to be a woman he goes by Patricia Potter.
    • Gloria Grimes.
    • Cast lists reveal Paula's full name is Paula Perkins.
  • All There in the Script:
    • Cast lists reveal that Paula's last name is "Perkins", Mr. Gaybody's assistant's name is "Debra", and that one of the beauty queens is named "Julia Oates".
    • Also Averted, as Constable Cookson is only listed as "Constable".
    • Curiously, the cast lists call the black beauty queen "Gloria Winch", but in the film itself she's known as "Gloria Grimes".
  • All Women Are Prudes: Mrs. Prodworthy is on the verge of being accused as this by other men for being against the Miss Fircombe Contest featuring beauty queens in revealing outfits.
  • Alpha Bitch: Dawn's beauty gives her a low opinion of other women:
    Dawn: Excuse me, is this the train for the beauty contest?
    Peter: Yes, that's right.
    Dawn: Oh, good. Are you coming?
    Paula: Certainly not!
    Dawn: (Beat) Perhaps you're right.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Rosemary is implied to be a lesbian from the way she dresses like a man, to the way she seems disgusted at the idea of being involved with babies.
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: A few people attempt this during the sneezing powder attack during the Miss Fircombe Contest, to no avail.
  • Aside Glance: Sid looks directly into the camera after hearing the Beauty and the Beast themed photoshoot idea.
  • Ass Shove: Peter makes a sarcastic comment about the beauty queens sticking lilies up their asses for his funeral.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Peter as Patricia. Sid tries to cop a feel, the Admiral pinches his bottom in the lift, and even Peter himself thinks so:
    Peter: D'you know, it may sound kinky, but... I could fancy meself.
  • Baby Talk: Mr. Gaybody says goodbye to Sid over the phone in this manner:
    Mr. Gaybody: Byesy-wyesy.
    Sid: Oh, yes, and byesy-wyesy to you too.
  • Bait-and-Switch: An infuriated Mayor Bumble comes up behind Mildred with a rolling pin ready to strike her in the head... and then smashes the radio instead.
  • Bathtub Scene: Mrs. Prodworthy barges in on Mayor Bumble while he plays with his toy boats:
    Mayor Bumble: Mrs. Prodworthy, I refuse to discuss this with you in my bath!
    Mrs. Prodworthy: I am not in your bath, thank goodness.
  • Beast in the Building: Sid brings a donkey named Cleopatra into the hotel, making Connie scream when she sees it and later complain when it poops on her carpet.
  • Beautiful All Along: Paula Perkins, the uptight, fiercely jealous fiancée to Peter Potter who later on decides to enter the Miss Fircombe Contest. Surprise, surprise, once she's taken off her winged glasses and let her hair down, she's more than a match for any of other contenders. Of course when she's initially dressed like a frumpy fifties secretary she still looks like a badly-disguised supermodel.
  • Beauty Contest: The plot is based around a beauty contest in which a group of angry women try to stop it with hilarious consequences:
    Mrs. Prodworthy: Mr. Mayor, you are well aware on my views on women's rights, and there can never be anything proper in young women being shown off like cattle for the sexual gratification of a lot of drooling men.
  • Bedroom Adultery Scene: When Sid is alone in his room with Hope, his girlfriend Connie comes knocking at his door, causing Hope to try and hide in his wardrobe.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": After being humiliated at the unveiling of the Frederick Bumble Ward at the maternity hospital, Mayor Bumble begins Suddenly Shouting. This makes the sleeping babies cry, and so Mayor Bumble begins screaming at them instead:
  • Blowing a Raspberry: When Sid introduces Mr. Roger Tipson, the final judge of the Miss Fircombe Contest, Mayor Bumble blows a raspberry at him from off-stage.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: As the "The End" title card appears onscreen, Barbara Windsor breaks character and looks nervous about being on the motorbike while Sid James looks directly into the camera.
  • Brief Accent Imitation:
    • When Hope is stuffing Peter's bra to turn him into Patricia, he puts on a camp voice.
    • Peter also does a Mae West impression as gets into his Patricia persona:
      Peter: Come up an' see me some time.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: All the beauty queens have large breasts, to the delight of Sid and many others:
    • Sid makes note of Ida's when she prepares for the photoshoot:
      Sid: I bet you come from Beds.
      Ida: No, Bristol.
      Sid: I shoulda guessed.
    • Dawn makes a good first impression on Sid:
      Dawn: I was Miss Dairy Queen, you know.
      Sid: You still are in my book, darlin'. Haha!
    • Once Hope removes her biker jacket, Sid is astonished to see her bust:
      Sid: Excuse me, I thought that they always built the shock absorbers into the bikes.
  • Camera Fiend: Larry never stops taking pictures throughout the film, and always manages to catch Mayor Bumble in an embarrassing state.
  • Camp Gay: TV presenter Cecil Gaybody, who dresses gaudily and speaks with a stereotypical lisp. When he finds out one of the beauty queens is a man in disguise, his wrist goes limp and he gets all excited:
    Mr. Gaybody: Now come on girlsh, don't forget - teesh, pleashe, plenty of teesh! Come on, throw all yer wee thinga-me-bobbersh out. (Beat) Not right out darling, it'sh not an educashonal program.
  • Catfight: There's a major one over a stolen bikini between Hope Springs and Dawn Brakes:
    Hope: She nicked that from my dressin' room last year!
    Dawn: Darling, I wouldn't be seen dead in your old rag.
    Hope: Ooh, you'll be seen dead if you don't give it back to me!
  • The Chikan:
    • Dawn mistakes Peter for one when a bump on the train sends him into her cleavage and she asks him why he didn't wait until they were in the tunnel.
    • A city gent on the Tube is also mistaken for one when Paula complains about a "filthy, rotten beast", referring to a photo of Peter in the newspaper with the beauty queens.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Connie takes an instant dislike to Hope when she sees how close Sid gets to her:
    Sid: Connie, got a room for this young lady?
    Connie: Oh, well, of course, Sidney. I think you'll find that an ideal one.
    Sid: Thank you, Connie. Hey, just a minute. That's for the broom cupboard.
    Connie: That's right. Where we keep all the scrubbers!
  • Closet Shuffle: Sid hides Hope in a wardrobe to stop Connie from finding her in his room. It fails, and she opens the wardrobe door to find Hope grinning sheepishly with one of Sid's ties covering her breasts.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • The opening credits feature several funny cartoons of beauty queens; one shows "Miss Adventure" having her dress ripped by a dog and exposing her rear.
    • Peter accidentally rips Dawn's top when he falls onto her on the train.
    • Sid rips Hope's dressing gown when he tries to wear it to fool Connie that she wasn't in his room.
    • Peter's Lovers' Walk scheme would've involved a beauty queen having half of her clothes ripped off.
    • Peter's dress is torn off as he attempts to flee the TV broadcast disguised as Patricia.
    • Mayor Bumble's trousers are ripped off by a fire engine's lifeline.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Sid brings Cleopatra the donkey into Connie's hotel:
      Connie: AAGH! What's that?!
      Sid: S'all right, Con. S'only a donkey.
      Connie: I know it's a donkey, what's it doing in my lounge?!
    • And when Connie tries to get rid of it by telling Sid of her no-pet policy:
      Connie: I don't even allow dogs in here!
      Sid: It's not a dog.
    • When William completely misses Connie's venomous tone as they talk about Sid:
      Connie: Where's Mr. Fiddler?
      William: Oh, he's still up in his room. He's just sent down for some more coffee.
      Connie: Hm, I'll give him coffee!
      William: Oh, good. Save me a trip.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure:
    • When the train sends Peter head first into Dawn's cleavage, he accidentally rips her top and her bra is made visible.
    • Twice to Mayor Bumble:
      • At the end of Hope and Dawn's Catfight, Dawn tries to get back to her feet but pulls down Mayor Bumble's trousers in the process. Larry manages to snap a photo and the incident becomes front page news.
      • When visiting a fire station, Mayor Bumble attaches the fire engine's lifeline to himself for a photo shoot. However, the fire engine has to speed off in an emergency and tears his trousers off, leaving him standing in his boxers in front of his important guests.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Peter, whose fiancée Paula is one of the beauty queens. He tells her off for wearing an outfit that "showed off her button":
    Peter: I can't stand the thought of all those people out there leering at you and mentally undressing you.
  • Crossdresser: The opening credits feature several funny cartoons of beauty queens; one shows "Miss Represent" with stubble, arm hair and trainers as judges look on and whisper "It's a feller".
  • Curse Cut Short: Hope stops Peter before he can say "arse":
    Peter: We could 'ave all the other girls as coffin bearers with top hats and black armbands and a lily stuck up their-
    Hope: There!
  • Cute Bruiser: Hope is small and pretty, yet when she has a Catfight with the much taller Dawn, Dawn doesn't stand a chance against her.
  • D-Cup Distress: Hope makes sure that Peter has large breasts when becoming Patricia:
    Peter: This is silly, I carn even see my feet now.
    Hope: You should worry, I haven't seen mine since I was thirteen!
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Mildred's total apathy towards her husband has her spit out line after line of snark and thinly veiled contempt in every scene she shares with him:
      Mayor Bumble: Are you aware that it is now five past nine?
      Mildred: Am I missin' somethin' then?
      Mayor Bumble: My tea. I ordered it for eight-thirty.
      Mildred: Better late than never, I always say.
    • Peter slowly becomes one as he gets more and more entwined in Sid's foolish schemes:
      Hope: Stop wriggling!
      Peter: I can't help it. I can hardly breathe in this damn thing.
      Hope: Then don't breathe.
      Peter: Oh, that's fine! Don't move, stop breathing - why don't you just bury me and have done with it?
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Sid in a way, seeing how he suggested the idea of the Miss Fircombe Contest, but he shows care in making his town popular with tourists:
      Connie: Chaperone?! You and a bunch of beauty queens? It's like asking Dracula to be in charge of a blood bank!
    • Several of Connie's hotel regulars enjoy the company of the beauty queens, but none more than the randy, bottom-pinching Admiral, who spends most of his time watching the beauty queens in various stages of undress and touching them without consent.
  • Disguised in Drag: Peter is forced by Sid and Hope to become Patricia and enter the Miss Fircombe Contest for a publicity stunt where it is discovered that one of the beauty queens is actually a drag beauty queen:
    Hope: Well, Sid, what do ya think?
    Sid: He's absolutely perfect. Look at that. He'd fool anybody.
    Peter: Until I open my big mouth.
  • Does Not Like Men: All the women in the Women's Lib movement, but especially Rosemary and Mrs. Prodworthy.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Throughout the film, Sid treats Connie poorly by cheating on her and making her lose loads of money from her hotel due to his schemes. Connie gets her revenge at the end though, as she steals the money earned from the Miss Fircombe Contest and leaves a note for Sid that mocks him:
    Sid: "Thanks, Sid. This will pay for all my hotel damages. Connie. Love". Love?! The crooked old cow!
  • Dogged Nice Girl: Connie is crazy about Sid, but he only uses her for her hotel and would rather be with Hope.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Rainfall discussions lead to a raunchy comment from Sid:
      Mayor Bumble: Ah, I-I do feel, that you know that, Councillor Fiddler does have a point... there you know, considering our very high seasonal rainfall figure.
      Mrs. Prodworthy: Oh, really, Mr. Mayor? Personally, I think it is quite an average one.
      Sid: If you think nine inches is an average one, you've been spoilt.
    • Sid has some fun when listening to Connie's complaints about the beauty queens:
      Connie: I've heard them - all night long, doors banging!
      Sid: Oh, blimey, when you get a bunch of young dollies you've got to expect a bit of banging.
      Connie: Well I expect you to get them all into bed at a reasonable hour.
      Sid: I promise you, I'll do my very best.
    • Sid takes Larry's next job the wrong way:
      Larry: Yes, I know, but I'm supposed to be covering the Mayor's opening this afternoon.
      Sid: You do get some unpleasant jobs, don't cha?
  • Dragged into Drag: Peter is forced to drag up and enter the Miss Fircombe Contest as Patricia for a publicity stunt where one of the beauty queens is revealed to be a man:
    Peter: None of our girls are men.
    Sid: How do you know?
    Peter: Oh, don't be ridiculous, Sid.
    Sid: Well, all right, we'll get a man to do it.
    Peter: Oh. yes, I'm sure the Mayor would only be too willing to oblige.
    Sid: I don't know. I don't think we'd have to look very far, do you?
  • Drives Like Crazy: Hope nearly runs over William and Mrs. Dukes as she drives up to Connie's hotel.
  • Dub Name Change: Hope Springs becomes "Spring Hopes" and "Sunshine" in the Hungarian dubs.
  • Fanservice: Well, it's a film about beauty contest with young attractive women. Highlights include Hope ripping off Dawn's bikini during their Catfight, Paula's transformation from drab to glam, and Dawn's swimsuit popping open during the Miss Fircombe Contest.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Many of the beauty queens wear outfits that show their midriff. When Paula wears one after changing her style, Peter gets defensive that other men will be able to see her "button":
    Peter: An' when people meet my wife, I'm not gonna have them say "There's the woman with the well-known button"!
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: Sid gives a few to Ida Downs after she asks him for help.
  • Forgot to Mind Their Head:
    • When Sid rings the bell on the reception desk, William jumps up in surprise and bangs his head.
    • William later does the same thing when closing a car boot.
  • Get Out!: Connie kicks Sid out of her office after he implies she isn't beautiful:
    Sid: You know I don't go for beautiful women. I like you.
    Connie: That does it. Get out! Go on!
    Sid: All right, I'm going.
    Connie: You lecherous so-and-so!
    Sid: All right!
    Connie: Get out!
  • Gilligan Cut: Peter goes on a long tirade refusing to be Dragged into Drag, followed by a smash cut to Hope helping dress him up:
    Peter: I'm not changing my sex for you or for anybody else and that's flat. No, no, definitely no!
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Subverted during the Catfight between Hope and Dawn. None of the men in the room are aroused or excited about it (even the randy Admiral is speechless in terror), and Sid tries desperately to break them up. Ultimately played straight in that Hope's goal was publicity:
    Hope: Well the donkey wasn' really a bad idea, but there's nothing like a really good punch-up, particularly amongst women.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Paula ditches her glasses when she disguises herself as Patricia Potter to enter the Miss Fircombe Contest.
  • Going Commando:
    • After her knickers are stolen, Mrs. Dukes tells Connie it isn't safe for her to walk around with nothing on under her skirt.
    • Hope doesn't wear a bra under her dressing gown, which causes issues for Sid when she loses it and has to hide in his wardrobe where Connie finds her.
    • After Mayor Bumble gripes about his trousers coming down and revealing his underpants, Sid tells him it would've been worse with no underpants.
  • Gold Digger: Aside from sex, the one thing Sid looks for in a woman is money.
  • Groin Attack: Implied in a comment by Rosemary:
    Rosemary: That would hit 'em where it hurts, wouldn't it?
    Mrs. Prodworthy: Oh, please, Rosemary. You know I don't like any reference to that area of their so-called superiority.
  • Handbag of Hurt: Paula whacks Peter in the face with her handbag after she sees him crash face-first into Dawn's cleavage.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Mayor Bumble uses a bath sponge to (unsuccessfully) cover his groin when Mrs. Prodworthy barges in on him bathing.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: When Dawn goes for a nude photoshoot with Larry, the Admiral tries to spy on her from above. This ends with him falling on top of her and trapping her under an umbrella.
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street: William tries to help Mrs. Dukes across the road to get back to the hotel, only for Hope to tear through on her motorbike and nearly run the pair down.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Sid escapes the pier on a go-kart that he found lying around the area.
  • High-Class Glass: The Admiral wears a monocle that often drops off in shock.
  • Home-Early Surprise: While Sid is chatting in his room with Hope, his jealous girlfriend Connie comes knocking on the door. When Hope's nightie gets caught on the mattress spring, she has to slip out of it and hide in his wardrobe in the semi-nude.
  • I Will Show You X!: When Connie is in a bad mood and looking for Sid, she asks William where he is, and he lets her know that he's in his room and has just sent down for some coffee. When Connie angrily remarks that she'll give him coffee, William doesn't realise that she's upset and happily tells her that it'll save him a trip.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: The DVD subititles alternate between using "Brakes" and "Breaks" for Dawn's surname. The prior spelling is more commonly used.
  • Inconvenient Itch: The first stage of sabotage against the Miss Fircombe Concert involves itching power being sprinkled into the beauty queens' clothes. Dawn, Paula, and Hope all begin to feel the effects once they're on stage and become laughingstocks as they try (and fail) to resist the urge to scratch:
    Sid: What's the matter with 'er? Has she got fleas or summin'?
    Mayor Bumble: They all have.
  • Incredibly Conspicuous Drag: Peter is forced to drag up by Sid and Hope to become Patricia as part of a publicity stunt. Despite his giant height, hairy arms and legs, and a dress that does nothing to make him look good, no one realises he is a man until his dress is ripped off.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Peter likes playing "Spot the Boobs" with Paula, a game about finding errors on cornflake packets.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Invoked by Hope and Peter to get the police to leave their room out of embarrassment so Peter could hide out from the police.
  • It Is Dehumanising: Patricia Potter is referred to as "it" or "a thing" after she is discovered to be a man.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mrs. Prodworthy may have taken it too far, but her complaints about no new toilet block for the women when a new one just for men is built are perfectly valid.
  • Just Friends: Hope sees nothing wrong with a man and a woman being able to be friends without any attraction to each other. Sid thinks differently:
    Hope: I like to think a man can have a relationship with a woman, which isn't just based on sex.
    Sid: I fully agree. (Beat) She should 'ave money as well.
  • Kinky Spanking: Connie makes a joke about the randy old Admiral spanking the beauty queens:
    Admiral: Cheeky little thing. I'd like to put her across me knee.
    Connie: I'm sure you would, Admiral.
  • Laughing Mad: Connie has a minor breakdown after she has to let yet another room for free because of Sid's schemes:
    Connie: Our terms are £7 a day or £40 a week all in.
    Peter: Ah yeah, Mr. Fiddler said it had all been arranged. You see, we're in the beauty contest.
    Connie: Yes, er, so I see. Oh, well, ha-ha-ha, in that case, take your pick! Take the lot! Go on! Move all happily in! Aha-ha-ha! Be my guest, room with a view and all that sort of thing, yes! Righto then, have a good time!
  • Lazy Bum: Mayor Bumble's wife Mildred, who can't be bothered to do housework and hates having to accompany her husband to official events:
    Mayor Bumble: At ten o'clock, we have an official visit to the maternity hospital.
    Mildred: Oh! Do I 'ave to go?
    Mayor Bumble: Of course you do! They're expecting you!
    Mildred: I don't really feel up to it, Frederick.
    Mayor Bumble: You've got to. You are the Mayor's wife, God help him! You have a duty to do. And that doesn't mean sitting around here all day like an old compost heap!
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Paula lets down her hair to become Patricia Potter when she decides to enter the Miss Fircombe Contest.
  • Living Prop: The photographer was meant to be one, but the role was built up to become Larry Prodworthy after Robin Askwith was cast.
  • Logo Joke: There is an in-house joke at The Rank Organisation when Connie crashes into a gong.
  • Loud Sleeper Gag: When Mayor Bumble asks Mildred to remember what he said to her last night, her first thought was that he told her to stop snoring.
  • Marshmallow Hell: A sudden movement on the train sends Peter face-first into Dawn's cleavage, while his fiancée Paula watches with disapproval.
  • May–December Romance: Although initially Sid and Connie are implied to have a history of attraction, Sid finds much more of a kindred spirit with Hope Springs. At the film's ending, she rescues him from the angry mob, and they leave Fircombe together.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Mayor Bumble, who is shown to be rather inept at his duties and often ends up in humiliating situations.
    • Cecil Gaybody, a flamboyant Camp Gay TV presentor.
  • "Miss X" Pun: The film opens with an animated sequence showing the opening credits against a backdrop of cartoons of bikini-clad girls with titles such as Miss Conduct, Miss Represent, Miss Conception, Miss Hap, Miss Fortune, Miss Used, Miss Shaped, Miss Trust, Miss Handled, Miss Manage, Miss Placed, Miss Spent, Miss Stake, Miss Demeanour and Miss Adventure.
  • Mistaken Identity: Paula is initially mistaken for Patricia when the police go looking for her.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: After the feminists sabotage the Miss Fircombe Contest, Sid informally resigns his position by escaping the town on a kids' go-kart.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Mayor Bumble has one after Mrs. Prodworthy walks in on him bathing, and covers his groin with a sponge:
    Mayor Bumble: Mrs. Prodworthy, I hardly think that this is the time or the place to discuss matters.
    Mrs. Prodworthy: Poppycock!
    Mayor Bumble: Ahh-oh!
    Mrs. Prodworthy: I've seen men naked before, you know.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: How Peter introduces Dawn to Sid:
    Peter: And this is Miss Brakes. Dawn Brakes.
  • Nasal Trauma: Sid walks into a door trying to chase after Connie and hurts his nose.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Councillor Augusta Prodworthy was a parody of infamous moral crusader Mary Whitehouse, right down to her hairstyle and vocal mannerisms.
  • No Full Name Given:
    • We don't get to know William, Rosemary, or Cyril's last names.
    • The same can be said for Mrs. Dukes, Miss Drew, Alderman Pratt, Miss Bangor, and Constable Cookson's first names.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: While the Admiral loves staring hungrily at the beauty queens, he is frightened out of the elevator he was sharing with Hope after she begins to grope him to get back at him for pinching her bottom.
  • No Name Given: Despite Peter Butterworth being a regular cast member and his character having several scenes to himself, he is only known as the Admiral.
  • Noodle Incident: According to Paula, whatever the last job Sid had for Peter entailed, it ended with Peter needing to be bailed out of prison.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Sid is incredibly dismissive of Hope when he first meets her and condescendingly pats her on the head. It's only when she takes of her jacket and reveals her large breasts that he takes notice of her.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Just as Peter kisses Hope for helping him escape the police, his fiancée Paula walks in on the two in horror. It isn't helped that the two were also in a state of undress.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: The diminutive (4'10'') Hope Springs is shown chasing after Sid's go-kart in her motorbike. This would have been more effective if it wasn't so obviously a burly stuntman (Nick Hobbs) in a headscarf and mini-skirt rather than Barbara Windsor. In a series of films renowned for their cheapness and consequent tendency to print and use the first take, this was a low point.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: Larry's name is actually "Lawrence", but only his mother calls him that once.
  • Operation: [Blank]: When Mrs. Prodworthy and her Women's Lib group sabotage the Miss Fircombe Contest, the codename for their plan is "Operation Spoilsport", while the part of the plan that involves sneaking itching powder into the beauty queen's bikinis is "Operation Knobble".
  • Panty Thief: Someone (implied to have been the Admiral) steals Mrs. Dukes' knickers and has them flown up a flagpole.
  • The Peeping Tom:
    • The Admiral tries to spy on Dawn's nude photoshoot.
    • When Hope strips off her dressing gown, she tells Sid not to look, but he still sneaks a peak as she dashes for the wardrobe.
  • Popping Buttons: Busty Dawn is wearing a skimpy swimsuit held together in front by two buttons. She sneezes, and both buttons pop loose, revealing most of her cleavage.
  • Potty Failure: Mayor Bumble's outburst at the maternity hospital makes all the babies wet themselves.
  • Punny Name:
    • Fircombe, or "Firk 'em". In early drafts, Fircombe was instead Bungcope, or "Bunk up" and the current name came from Mayor Bumble's original name, Mayor Firkin.
    • Sid Fiddler, who is described in the trailer as "a big knob on the council".
    • Augusta Prodworthy, funny as she would be the type to take offense to a joke like that.
    • Alderman Pratt, which is slang for a stupid person.
    • Miss Bangor, which is slang for intercourse.
    • Ida Downs, or "eiderdown", a type of bedding.
    • Dawn Brakes, or "dawn breaks".
    • Hope Springs, who has won the title Miss Easy Rider.
  • Repeat After Me: Mildred repeats an extra line she shouldn't during her initiation into the Fircombe Women's Lib Movement:
    Mrs. Prodworthy: And by this action...
    Mildred: "And by this action...".
    Mrs. Prodworthy: I, Mildred Bumble...
    Mildred: "I, Mildred Bumble...".
    Mrs. Prodworthy: Publicly proclaim my equality to man...
    Mildred: "Publicly proclaim my equality to man...".
    Mrs. Prodworthy: And hereby cast aside the bonds of womanhood.
    Mildred: "And hereby cast aside the bonds of womanhood".
    Mrs. Prodworthy: Proceed.
    Mildred: "Proceed".
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The Admiral does so when helping "Patricia" escape the police:
    Admiral: This way, m'dear. Over here.
  • Rigged Contest: Sid tries to fix the Miss Fircombe Contest so that Hope wins, but she refuses to go through with it and tells him if he wants to help her out, all he has to do is wish her luck.
  • Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!: Mayor Bumble, annoyed with Mildred's non-stop listening to the radio, decides to shut it up by smashing it with a rolling pin:
  • The Rival: Dawn and Hope have clashed during beauty contests several times in the past:
    Hope: I'm not sayin' anythin' against her, but if this was a dog contest, we'd none of us stand a chance!
    Sid: If it was a cat show, you'd do alright though, wouldn'cha?
  • Road Apples:
    • A dog frequently urinates on things around Fircombe.
    • Cleopatra the donkey makes quite a mess in Connie's lobby:
      Connie: I know it's not a dog, but these carpets are very expensive! William!
      William: I'm afraid it's too late.
      Sid: Well don't just stand there, get a shovel!
      William: Yes.
      Sid: It'll be very good for the potted palms.
  • Running Gag: Mildred making frequent trips to the toilet:
    Mildred: Only I've got to go to the lav and someone starts knocking at the door. It's almost as if they knew. Ha. Mind you, I must admit, I do go rather a lot, hm.
    Mrs. Prodworthy: Well, I'm not here to take a census on toilet habits, Mrs. Bumble.
  • Same Language Dub: Paula Perkins is played by Valerie Leon but dubbed over by co-star June Whitfield, although no one involved with the making of the film seems to remember why.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Sleepy Alderman Pratt, the oldest (and most useless) man on the Fircombe council:
    Mayor Bumble: Poor old Pratt. He really will have to go.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • The audience after the feminists' sabotage.
    • Sid, when the audience threatens his life for being "cheated" out of their money.
    • Connie gives out tickets to the Miss Fircombe Contest and then escapes with the money the audience paid her to invest it into repairing her hotel.
  • Senior Sleep-Cycle: Alderman Pratt nods off several times during the town council's meeting, much to the annoyance of Mayor Bumble.
  • Serial Spouse: Mrs. Prodworthy is a three-time widow:
    Mrs. Prodworthy: Damn it, I've buried three husbands.
    Mayor Bumble: I'm not surprised to 'ear it!
  • Sexless Marriage: Mayor Bumble doesn't satisfy his wife Mildred's needs, which in turn makes her lazy and slack around the house and stop caring about his mayoral duties to get back at him:
    Mayor Bumble: Didn't you hear me calling?
    Mildred: No, I 'ad the radio on.
    Mayor Bumble: I know you had it on. I can't remember the last time you had it off.
    Mildred: Neither can I.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely:
    • Mildred abandons her usual dressing gown for the Mayoral visit to the maternity hospital and wears a fancy outfit complete with a nice hat.
    • Hope helps make frumpy Paula into a beauty queen so she can enter the Miss Fircombe Contest.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Mayor Bumble during his Bathtub Scene with Mrs. Prodworthy.
    • Peter is shirtless when he pretends that he was just about to have sex with Hope.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A boy sheltering from the rain at the bus stop in the opening shot is wearing a Star Trek: The Original Series shirt.
    • The most popular game in Sid's arcade is a What the Butler Saw machine.
    • Connie compares Sid around beauty queens to Dracula in a blood bank.
    • Mayor Bumble plays Mutiny on the Bounty with his toy boat in the bath, and mentions Mr. Christian by name.
    • Hope's title of Miss Easy Rider references the film Easy Rider.
    • A poster for Hitler: The Last Ten Days is visible at the train station.
    • The donkey brought for the Beauty and the Beast photoshoot is called Cleopatra.
    • An instrumental version of "I'll Do Anything" plays during Dawn's nude photoshoot.
    • Peter does an impression of Mae West to get into character as Patricia.
    • Mr. Gaybody compares Connie's hotel to Bleak House.
    • The sight of Dawn in a skimpy swimsuit reminds the Admiral of HMS Bristol.
  • The Show Must Go Wrong: The Miss Fircombe Contest goes horribly wrong when Mrs. Prodworthy sets Operation Spoilsport into motion. The beauty queens have itching powder sprinkled in their clothes, oil is sprayed on the ramp the beauty queens have to walk down, the sprinkler systems are set off, the beauty queens have soil thrown at them, and Mayor Bumble is dropped down a Trap Door.
  • Show Within a Show: Woman's Things, the program hosted by Mr. Gaybody that comes down to Fircombe to do a piece on the Miss Fircombe Contest.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Paula gives one to Peter to stop him from complaining about her exposed "button".
  • Silent Treatment: After the Patricia Potter TV fiasco, Connie refuses to speak to Sid.
  • Slippery Skid: The feminists' trap makes the beauty queens slip on their introductory catwalk and fall to the ground.
  • Slut-Shaming: Connie takes an instant dislike to Hope, and calls her a scrubber.
  • Special Guest: Jimmy Logan as Cecil Gaybody (a role first intended for Carry On regular Charles Hawtrey, and later other Carry On regular Kenneth Williams).
  • Stage Names: Hope's real name is Muriel Bloggs.
  • Sticky Fingers: Dawn wears a silver bikini during a photoshoot that she had stolen from Hope last year, leading to a giant Catfight.
  • Stealth Insult: Mayor Bumble gives one to Mrs. Prodworthy as she storms out of the council meeting:
    Mrs. Prodworthy: We've heard quite enough rubbish spoken here today.
    Mayor Bumble: Oh, but we still wish to hear yours, Mrs. Prodworthy.
  • Stood Up: Connie is annoyed after Sid skips their lunch they had planned.
  • Straw Feminist:
    • The feminists in the movie are a mild version and not as misandrist as typical characters of this trope. It should also be noted that even Mildred Bumble, the Mayor's wife, is one too, even though these typical characters would be unlikely to get married.
    • Subtly averted with Hope Springs; rather than acting the stereotypical humorless prig like the other feminists, she revels in her sexuality and gives as good as she gets, using confidence and aggressive assertiveness to make men respect her rather than simply demanding it.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Mayor Bumble begins shouting at everyone after the photo of him with his underwear exposed is presented at the maternity hospital over his plaque.
  • Suggestive Collision: A sudden movement on the train sends Peter crashing face-first into Dawn's cleavage:
    Dawn: Why didn't you wait until we were in the tunnel?
    Peter: I thought I was. Sorry.
  • Tagline: "When it comes to Beauty Queens- it's Carry On and bust!".
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Hope rips off Dawn's bikini top and tries to remove her bottoms during their Catfight.
  • Teeny Weenie: Mrs. Prodworthy doesn't think Mayor Bumble has a very impressive penis when she catches him in the bath:
    Mrs. Prodworthy: As far as I can see, you are as poorly equipped to carry out your civic duties as your domestic ones.
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    • When Sid tries to assure Connie that he won't get involved with the beauty queens, he tells her that he doesn't like beautiful women, but rather her instead. This infuriates Connie and she kicks him out of her office.
    • When Dawn asks Larry to take nude photos of her, she uses the phrase "have a bash", which causes an already-flustered Larry to become even more nervous.
  • Time Skip: After Mayor Bumble loses his trousers at the fire station, the film jumps ahead just over a week to the day of the Miss Fircombe Contest.
  • Title Theme Drop: The film's theme plays at several moments in the film, most notably a dramatic version during Hope and Dawn's Catfight, and the regular version during the Miss Fircombe Contest.
  • Toilet Humour: Mildred has a weak bladder, and so has to constantly take trips to the toilet:
    Mildred: Sorry to keep you all waiting. It's a weakness o' mine, you know.
    Matron: That's quite alright, m'Lady Mayoress.
    Mildred: Frederick could tell you I 'ave to get up four or five times during the night, don't I?
  • Trap Door: Mayor Bumble falls through one when his wife Mildred notices that he's standing on one to get back at him for not satisfying her needs.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: Peter gets on a train to Fircombe, leaving his girlfriend Paula, who's worried that he's going to cheat on her after seeing attractive young women boarding the same train. After reassuring her that he was going to be faithful, the train suddenly moves and he lands face-first into Dawn's cleavage.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: Mildred burns her bra to join the Fircombe Women's Lib Movement, but the flame gets out of control. Things go from bad to worse when Mrs. Prodworthy drops the burning bra into a wastepaper bin and the fire department has to be called.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Mayor Bumble does so when complaining to Sid about his "wrrretched beauty contest".
  • Tyop on the Cover: On the back of the original VHS, Mrs. Prodworthy's first name is incorrectly given as "Angela" rather than "Augusta".
  • Underwear Flag: Mrs. Dukes' knickers are stolen and sent up a flagpole across the road from the Palace Hotel:
    Mrs. Dukes: Well, I want you to take my knickers down.
    William: Pardon?!
    Mrs. Dukes: Well, they're on the pole, over there.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Sid's opinion of Fircombe by the end of the film, after having been driven off by an angry mob after Mrs. Prodworthy's feminists ruin the Miss Fircombe Contest. It's worth noting his last line in the film is to retort "Not bloody likely!" after seeing the cheery goodbye message on the exit road from Fircombe exhorting visitors to return.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: One of Sid's publicity stunts for the Miss Fircombe Contest is to disguise Peter as late entrant Patricia Potter and reveal "her" as a man during the Women's Things TV coverage. It shocks everyone, and especially frightens the Admiral when he tries to get frisky with Patricia in the lift.
  • Verbal Backspace: Peter does so during his farewell to Paula:
    Peter: Well, I couldn't trust myself to ask you to come with me. I'd only burst into your bedroom and try to make love to you or something.
    Paula: You know I wouldn't let that happen.
    Peter: Exactly, that's why I didn't. (Beat) Didn't want the temptation!
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: For lack of a better trope, this describes Sid's fate after Mrs. Prodworthy and her feminists sabotage the Miss Fircombe Contest; with the attendees blaming him for it, Sid grabs a nearby go-kart and scoots off, stopping only to try and steal the money from the contest (Connie Philpotts beat him to it) before zooming off again. Hope Springs catches up to him on her bike and the two drive off together, with his last words being to tell a "YOU ARE LEAVING FIRCOMBE DO COME AGAIN" sign a heartily disgusted "Not bloody likely!"
  • Villain Has a Point: Although it's arguable whether it's Sid Fiddler or Mrs. Prodworthy who's supposed to be the villain of the film, either way, they have a point. Mrs. Prodworthy isn't exactly wrong in pointing out that beauty contests can easily be degrading for the female participants, although her point is undercut by the fact all the women who partake are confident, calm and professional - Hope Springs in particular is very much not some meek little piece of fluff being exploited by the men. Sid, meanwhile, may have his own lecherous ulterior motives, but he's very right in that Fircombe needs to do something to bolster its flagging status as a tourist attraction, given its lackluster supply of amnesties and implicit tendency to awful, unattractive weather.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction:
    • The opening credits feature several funny cartoons of beauty queens; some include "Miss Hap" having her bikini fall off, "Miss Fortune" having her skirt slip off and "Miss Adventure" getting the back of her dress ripped off by a dog.
    • Dawn accidentally pulls Mayor Bumble's trousers down during her Catfight with Hope.
    • Peter's Lovers' Walk scheme would have involved a beauty queen having half her clothes ripped off.
    • Peter's dress is ripped off during his escape from the police disguised as Patricia.
    • Mayor Bumble loses his trousers again when they are ripped off by a fire engine's lifeline.
    • Dawn's bikini pops open during her sneezing fit.
  • Waving Signs Around: The Fircombe Women's Lib Movement protest the Miss Fircombe Contest outside Connie's hotel in this manner with signs reading things such as "BEAUTY QUEENS GO HOME!" and "WOMENS LIB EQUALITY or BUST":
    William: I'll take bust anytime. Ha-hey! Bust!
  • Wedding Finale: An early draft ended with Sid and Hope getting married.
  • "Which Restroom?" Dilemma:
    • The opening credits feature several funny cartoons of beauty queens; one shows "Miss Stake" going into the gents' toilets.
    • Sid and Hope have a kiss in the ladies' toilets, much to the disgust of the cloakroom attendant:
      Sid: Do you mind? This is private.
      Cloakroom Attendant: And this is the ladies' cloakroom!
      Sid: Oh, Gawd!
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Rosemary wears men's clothes to show her equality to them as a feminist.
  • Zany Scheme:
    • Peter has an idea where Mayor Bumble and Mildred go down Lovers' Walk together, where Mayor Bumble can rescue a beauty queen getting half her clothes ripped off. Mayor Bumble thinks it's disgraceful and refuses to take part.
    • Sid has Peter dragged up to expose him on live TV to gain more publicity for the Miss Fircombe Contest.

"Not bloody likely!"


Video Example(s):


Sabotage at the Beauty Contest

The first Miss Fircombe beauty contest goes horribly wrong when Augusta Prodworthy and her women's lib group set out to ruin everyone's fun via Operation Spoilsport.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheShowMustGoWrong

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