Eddie: Oh, don't be stupid, Richie. People like us aren't meant to win things.
Richie: Well, what are we meant to do, then?
Eddie: Look, you get born, you keep your head down, and then you die. If you're lucky.
Richie: Oh come on. There must be more to it than that.
Eddie: Well, there's the telly...
Richard "Richie" Richard [sic] (Rik Mayall) — a sex-starved, sadistic, physically repugnant loser with delusions of sophistication — takes out his frustrations at life upon Edward "Eddie" Elizabeth Hitler (Adrian Edmondson), his boozy, slightly more intelligent, equally perverted and sadistic flatmate. Frequently, this involves over-the-top violence that would make Itchy and Scratchy wince. Eddie, for his part, is quite willing to respond in kind.
The Spiritual Successor to The Young Ones and Filthy Rich & Catflap, inspired loosely by Waiting for Godot. It ran to three series on The BBC from 1991 to 1995 before transferring to Theatre as a series of two-man shows, as well as feature film adaptation Guest House Paradiso.
On 23rd August 2012, The BBC announced that after an eighteen year absence from TV screens, Richie and Eddie would be returning in 2013 for a new six-part series under the Hooligans' Island title used for one of their stage shows. Alas, just two months later, it was announced that the series was not going ahead after all. The only explanation forthcoming was from Adrian Edmondson, who said "We started working on something and we realised why we stopped working together (with the BBC)."
Provides examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: Spudgun was named for his ability to fire potatoes out of a certain part of his anatomy.Richie: Why do they call you Spudgun?
Spudgun: Give me a potato and I'll show you why.
Eddie: No-no, you don't want to see that, Rich!
Richie: And why do they call you Hedgehog?
Dave Hedgehog: Give me a hedgehog and I'll show you why!
- Added Alliterative Appeal: In "Smells", Richie cooks "Friday night fry-ups".
- Alcohol Hic: "Why'd it take so long? The bus station's only two streets away!" "Yeah, well -hic- the wind was against me..."
- The Alleged Steed: "Parade" revolves around A Simple Plan to raise £500 to place a bet at long odds on a three-legged blind horse called Sad Ken, after the bookie tricks them into thinking it's a dead cert. His performance is about as good as you'd expect, and the commentator informs us that they've had to shoot him (and his jockey).
- Amusing Injuries: Played up immensely. The main characters are thrown around and tormented with cartoon levels of injury with no major consequences except when it is required for the plot. For example in the first episode, Eddie tries to yank out one of Richie's nostril hairs with a pair of pliers, throwing him around the room before dislodging them from his nose. Richie retaliated by ripping a cabinet off the wall and smashing it over Eddie's head. He barely flinches before hitting Richie right through the door.
- One of the most far-fetched is definitely in "Gas" where they hit the gas-man over the head repeatedly with a frying pan and punch him, then (when they think he is dead) proceed to punch him some more, inflate him with a bicycle pump ("How does he look?" "Fatter."), electrocute him with wires, stick a fork in his groin after deciding to try eating him, jump up and down on top of him to flatten him down underneath the carpet and are then about to toss him out of the window on top of a bus when he wakes up, alive and well.
- One of the most cartoonish no-long-term-consequences moments is when Richie cuts both Eddie's legs off with a chainsaw. Eddie then sews them back on with an ordinary needle and thread, but gets them back to front. Richie then cuts them off with the chainsaw again and sews them back on the right way round himself. Apart from walking strangely for a few moments Eddie is unaffected.
- Analogy Backfire: When Richie and Eddie are on a camping holiday, and Richie is bemoaning the difficulties they're facing:Richie: Honestly! Alexander the Great never had this trouble!
Eddie: Yeah, well, he wasn't a complete dickhead, was he?
- Anti-Humor:Spudgun: Hey! My wife's gone to the West Indies!
Spudgun: Yeah, she went on Thursday! [Beat] ...It was funny in the pub.
- Anything That Moves: Richie. He's not gay, he's just that desperate to get laid. "Parade" involves a debate about Richie's sexuality:Richie: I'm not a homosexual, if that's what you think.
Eddie: Yeah, but you're not strictly heterosexual, are you?
Richie: Judas! I've never done it with a bloke!
Eddie: Yeah, but you've never done it with a bird either.
Richie: Well, I'm heterosexual in intent.
Eddie: The nearest you've come to being heterosexual is barricading yourself in a bedroom with a copy of Amateur Photographer and a jar of hand cream.
Richie: Well, I've done it mentally. Boy have I done it mentally.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When the duo are imprisoned in Bottom Live - The Big Number 2 Tour:Richie: What were the charges again?
Eddie: Attempted asphyxiation of the population of West London, detonating 400lbs of Semtex in contravention of the Anti-Terrorist act. Attempted regicide, Arson, causing an affray and... wiggling our todgers at the Queen.
- Aside Glance: Frequently used: Richie occasionally blurts out something so awkward that Eddie will shoot an Aside Glance at the camera. Granted, this is one of their more subtle instances of Breaking the Fourth Wall, but still...
- Ass Shove: Happens very frequently. Items include a pencil, a policeman's baton (complete with side-handle), barbed wire, a stick of dynamite and the entire contents of next-door's flat. Not to mention the entire contents of Richie's bowels (held in for two weeks) first vacuum-sucked out, then re-inserted in Bottom Live 5.
- Ate the Spoon: In "Terror", Eddie whips up a "home brew" that dissolves all the cups, forcing him and his friends to use metal containers to drink it with (It is also said to have taken the enamel off of the bath tub it was mixed in).
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Richie tries this method during a game of chess, much to Eddie's amusement.
- Attention Whore: Both, although Richie's far more insecure and therefore more insistent about it.
- Audience Participation:
- "Have a wank!"
- "Fuck him!"
- Made even funnier in the final live show where Eddie encourages the whole audience to shout "have a wank" while Richie powers up the TURDIS (a time-travelling toilet) batteries.
- Away in a Manger: Parodied in "Holy", when Richie finds a baby left on the doorstep of the flat during their Christmas party. True to form, following a few similarities to the Nativity story he lets this go completely to his head. Convinced that he's the "Mother of God" and has maintained his virginity because he's "better than everyone else in the world", he threatens that the other characters will be sent to Hell by his 'husband'. It turns out it's the grandson of their landlord, who left him on the step because he couldn't be bothered dealing with the kid himself.
- Bad is Good and Good is Bad: In the second live show, Richie insults a fellow inmate while in prison, and the inmate becomes smitten with him, because it was the sweetest thing anyone ever said to him.
- Batter Up!: Subverted in that the bat is a cricket bat. The duo beat each other with one on several occasions
Richie: Bloody... good shot!. Eddie you've just saved my life!
- In the second live show Eddie explicitly asks a prison guard for one so he can continue hitting an unconscious Richie in the knackers.
- In the final live show Eddie freezes Richie in time moments before he drinks a violent poison and to stop him he smacks Richie in the face with, you guessed it, a cricket bat.
Eddie: Have I? (beat) Oh shit.
- Bawdy Song: Richie sings this version of The Sailor's Hornpipe:Do your balls hang low?
Can you swing 'em to and fro?
Can you tie 'em in a knot?
Can you tie 'em in a bow?
Do you get a funny feeling when they're hanging from the ceiling?
Oh you'll never be a sailor if your balls hang low!
- Big "NO!": Eddie after finding out Richie's decided not to commit suicide.Richie: I think I ought to call this suicide off until I've sired an heir.
Eddie: No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! (nervous laughter)
- Bilingual Bonus: When Eddie sets up their stolen VCR he reads the German installation instructions out loud. The first step he reads is "Stecken dein Kopf in deine Arsch", which roughly translates as "Stick your head up your arse".
- The chant Richie uses to for his rain dance ( Well... Summoning bird shit!) is him saying, over and over, "Man with the Butterfly" in French!
- Bolivian Army Ending: The series habitually goes one step further the punch is thrown, connects, freeze frame, roll credits. In the finale of the TV series, this is turned Up to Eleven by ...Go A Squad! - the pair are surrounded by an SAS squad, speak on the phone to the negotiators, repeat the line once quizzically, then again more confidently - and A Squad burst in, start firing, bullets connect...roll credits.
- Bottle Episode: "Contest" and "Culture" solely star Mayall and Edmondson in their flat. "Hole" and "'s out" feature only the two main characters and in one location outside of the flat (though briefly a non-speaking streaker runs into the scene in "'s out"). "Accident" and "Holy" feature other characters, but are also set entirely in the boys flat.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Richie's common lament, which his cultural illiteracy fails to back up. He thinks Shakespeare and the French Revolution were in the same century -- the 13th.
- British Brevity: The show ran for 18 episodes.
- Butt-Monkey: Both of them, but especially Richie, to cartoonishly extreme levels. At various times, Richie has managed to inadvertently drink urine, break both his legs during the same episode (to the point that both are bent the wrong way at about 90º), fall down the stairs and end up with his head jammed in their disgusting toilet, drink tea with pig semen in it, inhale a dart and get it stuck in the back of his head, hand and bottom, get a tent pole stuck in his eye socket, suffer the most extreme and prolonged projectile vomiting ever seen on stage - I could go on.
- Calvinball: Eddie's version is the card game 'One Card Slam' in which Eddie turns over a single card and demands twelve quid from Richie. Since Richie knows nothing about card games (to the extent of not spotting Eddie's five king poker hand) this works very well for Eddie.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Richie needs only one sip of scotch to either become drunk or begin thinking that he's drunk (which amounts to the same thing).
- In the fourth live show he doesn't even take a sip, but still believes he is drunk.
- One's tempted to conclude that it's all in his head. On one occasion, when he needed a stiff drink to settle his nerves, Eddie offered him a shot of Tizer (a soft drink, for non-Brits), which did the trick anyway.
- In another episode, Richie tries to take a swig from an empty bottle Eddie already filled himself with and suddenly believes he's fallen into a drunken stupor, though it doesn't last.
- Casanova Wannabe: Both characters. The only difference is that at least Eddie gets some tail once in a while. It was confirmed in "'s Up" that Eddie has had sex, and with someone Richie was trying to propose to.
- Chainsaw Good: Richie reacts poorly to Eddie's reassurance that "all the birds love a scar", and cuts him down to size by chainsawing his legs off at the knee.
- Characterization Marches On: Richie's penis size, and his resulting insecurity, are given scant mention in the TV show. The stage shows formally measured it at a 1/4 inch and applied the relevant jokes.
- Chess with Death: Parodied when Eddie as part of a ploy to trick Richie into letting him back into the flat after being kicked out plays on Richie's recent fortune-teller inspired paranoia about dying by dressing up as Death. Richie challenges him to the standard game of chess, which hits a snag when 'Death' admits he doesn't know the rules. Richie then suggests Cluedo, which hits a snag when 'Death' reveals that he knows perfectly well that Richie always cheats by looking at the mystery cards. They settle on I-Spy, which hits yet another snag when 'Death' betrays an inability to spell.
- Christmas Episode: "Holy". Bizarrely though, this was actually originally broadcast in October.
- City Shout Outs: In one of the Live stage shows, taped in Southend, Eddie claims to have been born in Southend. "Whyever did you leave?" cries Richie. "I found the railway station," replies Eddie. Later on during an ad-lib storm Rik Mayall drops out of character to say something along the lines of, "Let's hurry up and get back to the script or we'll never get out of fucking Southend!"
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In "Hole", Richie and Eddie are saved from a Ferris Wheel by the hand of God. When they remember that they don't believe in God, the hand vanishes and they fall to their doom.
- Cloudcuckoolander: All of the recurring cast to some degree (barring only Dick Head), though Dave Hedgehog seems to be the biggest example.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Probably the single best example since The Young Ones.
- Comically Missing the Point:
Richie: It's what makes us better than everyone else! Because we know... how to run a corner shop.
- "'s Up" has Richie and Eddie's landlord rope them into to minding his shop while he goes to a funeral, which naturally goes straight to Richie's head. He starts proudly going on about how England is "a nation of shopkeepers" and how that makes them better than countries like France and Italy, no doubt unaware that the saying was prominently used by Emperor Napoleon I. And he meant it derisively. While the phrase has been taken as Insult Backfire by Britons smarter than Richie since then, the original meaning is referred to when Eddie skeptically demands to know exactly what's so great about being a nation of shopkeepers in the first place:
(doorbell rings insistently)
- It's fair to say that whenever Richie claims expertise in a subject, applies his mental faculties to anything or infers some kind of noble role he has fulfilled in the past, he'll either get it completely wrong, fail miserably or be lying so feebly that practically nobody could buy his bullshit.
- This quote:
Richie: All right, all right! Take it easy, you bitch! I mean, Your Bitchness, I mean Lady Bi- (groans in frustration) Eddie, what do you call them?
Eddie: Jugs. What do you call 'em?
Eddie: When did you last go to church?
- Eddie and Richie talk about church in "'s Up":
Richie: Well I don't have to go — I'm Church of England. What are you, Eddie?
Eddie: I don't know.
Richie: Well, what was your mother?
Eddie: A wrestler.
Richie: Well, maybe that's enough general knowledge for one day.
Richie: (to his landlord) Oh, great. Come in, sit down. Eddie, a cup of tea!
- Another quote from "'s Up":
Eddie: Oh, yes please.
Eddie: [A]t least we got the duck.
- In "Carnival":
(Holds up a rubber duck)
Richie: The duck?
Eddie: Yeah, it's made out of plastic!
Richie: Eddie, what in the name of Greek buggery is the use of a plastic duck?
Eddie: It floats in the bath. ("Floats" duck in Richie's face) "Hello!"
Eddie: It's hollow!
Richie: (exasperated) Why the duck?!
Eddie: It came free with the telly.
Richie: Eddie, everything came free with the telly, we were looting! Why didn't you get a free telly with the telly?!
Eddie: Well, then it would sink in the bath!
- Continuity Nod: There are a couple:
- Corpsing: Rik Mayall and Ade Edmonson are infamous for their corpsing in the Bottom live shows.Richie: Eddie! What on Earth is that?!
Eddie: It's a Japanese army Second World War medical kit, in mint condition!
Richie: Wow! But Eddie, where on Earth did you—(turns back to see a door was left swinging open, sporting a Japanese WWII war flag)
(They both stammer, and after being prompted by Richie, Eddie runs over and slams the door shut while the crowd laughs and cheers. You can actually see tears on Rik's cheeks as he curls into a ball to cover his laughter.)
Eddie: (flipping off the crowd while Rik stammers over his next words) There was a little mistake there, wasn't there? Did you spot it? Fucking bastards...
- Counterfeit Cash: This doesn't work too well, since Eddie winds up creating triangular fake banknotes (he claims they're supposed to be Welsh), and others with pornographically detailed portraits. In a brief moment of lucidity (or further insanity) Eddie does mention that the pornographic notes are so barmen will be entranced with them long enough for him to get plastered. In fact it briefly works on Dick, until he comes to his senses and gets on the phone to Skullcrusher, London's most prolific forger. His counterfeits are nearly as bad as Eddie's, but it's not the quality of his counterfeits that makes him the biggest forger in London - more the fact that he crushes the skulls of any competing forger.
- Crapsack World: Practically everyone in Richie and Eddie's horrible universe seems to be an unspeakably violent sociopath and/or completely insane. Their alternate Hammersmith is full of kebab shops serving dog, nude vicars running around with guns, deathtrap ferris wheels and travel agents who'll kill you horribly for not paying for your holiday promptly. And everywhere we see them go is dirty, grimy, run-down and miserable.
- Crossword Puzzle: "Culture" begins with the main characters, deprived of the television which provides most of their usual entertainment, attempting to do a crossword. They are spectacularly bad at it; it's never revealed exactly what crossword they're doing, but since they're both exceptionally stupid it doesn't really matter anyway.
- Dancing Theme: The ending credits have silhouettes of Richie and Eddie dancing. Inevitably, violence ensues.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: There are constant jokes at Richard's expense to show how pathetic he is (he is, in fact, a wanker). He even called his autobiography: "Richard Richard: I Did it My Way. On My Own. Quite a Lot. Now I've got a Sore Hand."
- Deadpan Snarker: Eddie, when sober.Richie: A helicopter! Shout for help!
Eddie: Is this "Help, help, I'm trapped on a ferris wheel!" or, "Help, help, I'm burning to death!"?
- Deus ex Machina: When they're trapped on a disintegrating ferris wheel, the hand of God comes down to save them. Then Eddie issues a disclaimer on behalf of The BBC before pointing out:Eddie: ...we don't actually believe in God, do we?
Richie: (disappointed) Tch. No.
Richie & Eddie: (to the camera) Shit.
- Disposing of a Body: In "Gas", Richie and Eddie believe they've managed to kill the Gas inspector when they knocked him out with a frying pan (and hit him a few more times after he hit the floor for good measure). They decide to add an extra entry to his diary ("Left in high spirits, to indulge in my hobby of Bus surfing.") and post his body out of the window onto the roof of a double-decker bus.
- The Ditz: Both of them.
- Divine Intervention: Parodied in "Hole". Richie and Eddie end up trapped on a condemned ferris wheel and end up hanging by their fingers as their car slowly disintegrates. They pray for a miracle; God's hand appears miraculously. However, once safely on the divine hand, then they both start commenting how they don't actually want to cause offense or anything, but they don't believe in God. Accordingly, the hand disappears....
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Eddie and Richie are referred to as being a married couple; Hedgehog refers to Richie as Eddie's 'wife', they call each other 'darling' and 'dreamboat' in front of strangers, and they are keeping some liqueur chocolates for their anniversary. In the first stage show, Eddie becomes Richie's legally adopted son and wife (the lawyer ran out of adoption papers) to get at £15,000, which turns out to be a debt from Richie's great uncle Norman.
- Do You Want to Haggle?: In "Parade", Eddie tries to sell a hand carved wooden leg to a pawnshop for money to place on a betting horse, he tries to haggle with Harry the pawn broker with mixed results:Harry: Must be worth at least two and a half grand, I'll give you one pound fifty for it.
Eddie: Um, let's haggle.
Harry: Alright, a quid.
Eddie: No, let's haggle upwards.
Harry: ALRIGHT, Fifty pence.
Eddie: Blimey, they don't call you "Harry the Bastard" for nothing, do they?
- Doorstop Baby: Eddie claims to have been left on a doorstep by his mother with her old service revolver and a note saying "Please look after my baby... I can't be bothered."
- Double Entendre:
Richie: [at camp site] Now, can we just get our equipment out? I mean get our tackle out? No, I mean, get our gear out. Oh God! You can't say anything without some dreadful double entendre lurking around the corner!
- Frequently, in every episode.
Richie: Let's get the shopping list done. I'll just grab hold of my ballpoint.
- Richie frequently misunderstands innocent questions like "How's your sausage?" and "May I drink your juice?", and Eddie lampshades in the last episode.
Eddie: [explosion off screen] Oh no, Richie. No time for crap double-entendres now!
Eddie: Have you got the crackers?
- Eddie has a similar problem. Innocent questions from Richie are repeatedly interpreted as references to ill-fitting underpants or something similar.
Richie: No, it's just the way my trousers are rucked up.
- Double Triple Take: In the old page pic, Eddie's Reaction Shot is just ten seconds of him flicking his eyes up at Richie and down at Richie's new swimming trunks, trying to reconcile what he's seeing with the person it's attached to.Eddie: ...Well, where are they?
Richie: That's the thing! They're so tight you can't actually see them... Why did you make me buy a thong, Eddie?!
- The Dreaded: "Skullcrusher" Henderson from "Dough". For obvious reasons.
- Dreaming of a White Christmas: Naturally doesn't happen in "Holy", leaving Richie to wonder, "Why doesn't it ever snow? You can't build a drizzle man, can you? Or play drizzle balls?"
- Drunk on Milk: In one episode, Richie needs a quick shot of booze to settle his nerves. Eddie gives him a shot of Tizer (a soft drink), which does the trick anyway.
- Drunk with Power:
- "'s Up" sees Eddie and Richie put in charge of running their landlord's shop when he has to go to a funeral. Naturally, this goes straight to Richie's head, and as soon as he gets the white coat on he's threatening to punch old ladies, shouting abuse at a man who's just trying to buy champagne for his daughter's birthday and making Eddie wear his suit jacket back-to-front.
- "Burglary" shows the two catching a burglar in their flat, who they sit on, tie to chair with Sellotape and try to poison. It completely backfires.
- Evil Plan:
- Dick Head is fond of these. In "Parade" he teams up with the local bookmaker and pawn merchant to scam the locals out of their cash and valuables. Then, in "Dough", he rats out Richie and Eddie's forgery operation to London's biggest forger, "Skullcrusher" Henderson, who demands a £5,000 tribute in order to avoid having to crush Richie and Eddie's skulls. Fortunately, Dick is running a pub quiz with the requisite £5,000 as a prize... unfortunately, it happens to be £5,000 of Skullcrusher's own forged cash, which turns out to be useless for paying off their debt. And they don't discover this until they've already given Dick £1,000 worth of gold teeth for their entry fee.
- Richie often thinks he's come up with these, but few of them actually work because his own innate stupidity and inability to predict what people will do usually scuttle them.
- Expy: Of the characters they played in Filthy Rich & Catflap. Also pretty similar to the characters they played in The Comic Strip Presents: Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door, The Young Ones and their "Dangerous Brothers" stage act. Lampshaded in "Weapons Grade Y-fronts".Richie: You, er.... haven't changed your material much, have you, Eddie?
Eddie: (Brief struggle to avoid laughing) Stick with what works, that's my motto!
- Extreme Omnivore: Eddie has eaten lard, straight from the pack, and washed it down with cooking oil, as well as yoghurt that was so old it sprouted grass.Eddie: Who left this pot of cress in the fridge?
Richie: That's not cress, that's that yoghurt you started during the Gulf War.
Eddie: [eats it anyway] ...Doesn't taste like banana and peach...
- Fire-Breathing Diner: They turn this trope into Fire Farting Diner thanks to Richie's "sprouts (of evil) mexicain."
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Eddie and Richie state their disbelief in God even when standing on His giant hand which materialised in response to their prayers. This, naturally, causes said hand to disappear in a Puff of Logic.
- Forged Message: Richie receives birthday cards from himself every year — only he claims they are from grateful Soviet citizens, Sue Carpenter and the crew of the Ark Royal. Eddie barely manages to play along with the joke with his usual dripping sarcasm:Eddie: ...and this one's from "The people of the Soviet Union, in grateful thanks to Comrade Richie."
Richie: It's in Russian.
Eddie: You just put the Rs the wrong way round.
Richie: That's what Russian is!
- Forgot to Pay the Bill:
- In "Culture", the TV rental money got spent elsewhere and Richie and Eddie had to resort to playing "put a piece of Sellotape on the fridge", "see how much custard you hold in your pants", and a rather violent game of chess.
- Subverted in "Gas". Richie and Eddie have not forgotten to pay their gas bill; instead, they've been stealing from the neighbour's gas line so that they don't need to pay the bill.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Richie (sanguine), Eddie (choleric), Spudgun (melancholic), and Dave Hedgehog (phlegmatic). Alternatively, Eddie could be seen as sanguine/choleric and Dave could be seen as phlegmatic/sanguine.
- Fridge Logic: In-universe Halfway through Contest Richie realises that ₤11·80note - ₤1·50note ≠ 30pnote
- "Friends" Rent Control: Despite having lived on the dole since 1978, they're in no danger of being kicked out for non-payment. Even a flat as God-awful as theirs wouldn't drop the rent that low. Of course, Richie's Auntie Mabel is the one who pays the rent (quick, hide the fags).
- Gainax Ending: Surprisingly this is how the "canon" ended in the final stage show. After traipsing through (an extremely minimalistic depiction of) history in Eddie's time travelling toilet (The TURDIS) for half the show, the boys are trapped at the dawn of creation itself, where they are beholden unto a colossal pair of Y-Fronts which Richie claims are the origin point of existence. Eddie declares he's too confused to even start processing what is occurring. They then break into a reiteration of the previous show's Pants song, close curtain.
- Gargle Blaster:
- Eddie's concoction of brandy, meths (methylated spirit or denatured alcohol), Pernod, paint stripper, Mr Sheen, brake fluid and Drambuie.
- Weapons Grade Lager which is made of industrial strength cleaners and the entire contents of the medical cabinet.
- On one occasion, they attempt to make a vodka Martini without having any of the necessary ingredients on hand; they end up combining Pernod and ouzo with a spoonful of marmalade (since they don't have any glacé cherries) and salt on the rim of each glass. Eddie suggests naming it the Bloody Awful, or perhaps the Esther Rantzen — "It pulls your gums back over your teeth".
- In "Terror," Eddie creates some homebrew which has the appearance and consistency of roofing tar, and has a habit of dissolving enamel and porcelain, requiring them to drink it out of steel pans.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Possibly subverted with the live shows since they are able to get away with it.
- A God Am I: Richie has on occasion managed to convince himself that the fact that he's still a virgin means he's the new Messiah, because he's being kept 'pure' due to being 'better than everyone in the entire universe'. As opposed to the rather more likely explanation that he's just a completely repugnant and unlikeable creep who no one in their right mind would ever want to sleep with.
- Goshdang It To Heck: Despite regularly swearing like a trooper, Richie sporadically uses polite alternatives, presumably because he thinks it sounds posher.
- Groin Attack: Inevitably shows up during the knock-down-drag-out fistfights.
- Halloween Episode: "Terror". And fitting in with the unusual scheduling of their Christmas episode, this one was originally broadcast in January.
- Hammer Space: Eddie's overcoat is capable of storing a seemingly unlimited variety of alcoholic beverages. Including a pint glass full of bitter.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Richie and Eddie. Oh, so much (except that Richie is arguably suicidally desperate). And they've been at it for decades, too.
- Hidden Depths: Richie and Eddie can barely function from day to day but Eddie can play the piano and recognise Vivaldi when Richie sings it. Richie has read War and Peace many times (even if he hates it) and at least knows about Toulouse-Lautrec. Eddie can also build elaborate Rube-Goldberg traps and seems to be a crack shot with an air rifle, taking out a carny's eye at a good ten paces.
- Hideous Hangover Cure: Made from 7 raw eggs, washing-up liquid, Domestos and ant spray, and apparently intended to be ingested through the nose.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Fluff, a straight-to-video compilation.
- Horrible Camping Trip: "[Bottom]'s Out", where Eddie remembers to bring the can opener but Richie forgets the canned food; they attempt to go blowpipe hunting with a tentpole and darts, and Richie is repeatedly injured; Eddie almost burns his own face off while trying to light the gas stove (he forgot to put the valve in); and since Wimbledon Common is technically just a giant public park, they're harassed in the middle of the night by a flasher. Also, they appear to have set up camp in an area labelled 'dog toilet', meaning there's dogshit all over the place.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Richie. Several episodes show him bemoaning his lonely life, and he does try to be sociable at times... however, his repugnant personality always drives people away.
- I Lied: The missing ₤10 in "Contest" went on Eddies having tea elsewhere after noticing Richie foraging through the window box.note
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Christopher Ryan who played the suave Mike alongside Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall in The Young Ones occasionally shows up as Dave Hedgehog. Sadly, Nigel Planer turned down the role of Spudgun, thus denying us a whole cast reunion. (Not to mention reuniting the cast of Filthy Rich & Catflap).
- Immune to Drugs: Or alcohol, in Eddie's case. Technically, he's only been drunk once — for about 17 years and counting. Then again, Eddie does imply he might already be dead, and thus, unable to get drunk.
- Informed Ability: We never see the thing that Spudgun can do with a potato which gave him his nickname.
- Intentionally Awkward Title: Obviously, the creators wanted to force people to talk about seeing Bottom on the telly. Would have been even worse if the BBC had allowed them to go with their original idea and call it Your Bottom.
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?: There's a joke like this in practically every episode.
- It's All About Me: Dear lord, Richie will turn ANY situation into something about him, be it his inheritance from his recently-deceased aunt, or being more concerned about his safety than the poor sod he (albeit accidentally) pushed down an open elevator shaft.
- Jerkass: Richie and Eddie.
- Large Ham: Richie.
- Lethal Chef:
- Just to show that there is no start to Richie's talents, he cooked Christmas dinner. His roast potatoes were carbonised, and broke the plate when he served them; the sprouts were closer to mash and he cremated the turkey. And the less said about his 'slap-up grill for two' (with all the ingredients grown, found or foraged), the better. And whatever you do, don't try his sprouts Mexicain, a mix of sprouts, various spices and gunpowder.
- Eddie isn't much better. Unable to prepare brandy butter for the Christmas pudding, he instead concocts vodka margarine — with a couple of cans of hairspray for extra flammability.
- Lethally Stupid: Especially Eddie to Richie.
- Master Forger: Parodied in "Dough" when Eddie makes extremely unconvincing (some notes are triangular) and highly pornographic pound notes, which results in him running afoul of "Skullcrusher", London's real master counterfeiter (whose forged pound notes aren't much better than Eddie's, featuring Danny La Rue instead of the Queen).
- Meaningful Name:
- In the second live show Eddie pretends to be looking after a tortoise for Geoffrey Nasty. To make things worse for Richie who had presumably killed the tortoise, he points out that Geoffrey is a psychopathic penis remover and his nickname is simply "Ooh Fuck". He later admits he was joking to make Richie shit himself, which worked. Also it wasn't a tortoise at all.
- Another in the second show is Mr. Big whom Eddie believes should be called "Mr. Absolutely Fucking Enormous, Violent, Ugly Psychopath and Surrounded by the Dead and Dying".
- Skullcrusher Henderson, named after his favorite way of dealing with those who irk him.
- Spudgun claims to have one. Give him a potato and he'll show you.
- Mood Whiplash: At the end of the first live show Richie thanks Eddie for being his friend. Eddie looks at the audience with a touched expression on his face but then immediately brushes it off.
- The Movie: The two main characters were transplanted into Guest House Paradiso, slapstick, simple plans and all. When it came out on DVD it was advertised as "The Bottom Movie", just to drive the point home.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Skullcrusher.
- Never Gets Drunk: Eddie has only been drunk once, but he never sobered up. He is thus immune to inebriation.
- Nobody Poops: Averted numerous times, not least in the live show where Richie manages to have the "jappy-crappies" for three years and spends a good portion of the show with his back from knees to shoulders covered in explosive diarrhoea.Richie: Is my skid mark showing?
Eddie: Not so much a skid mark, more a half-mile stretch of the Maginot Line. Alright: an emergency runway. In Bosnia. In winter. That's covered in shit.
- No Communities Were Harmed: An unusual subversion, since Richie and Eddie are mentioned several times as living in the Hammersmith district of London. However, the district is constantly implied to be extremely run-down and violent, whereas the real-life Hammersmith is actually one of London's more affluent areas. Which is probably the reason Richie thinks he's part of the middle class. (Their road, sometimes called Mafeking Terrace and sometimes Mafeking Parade, doesn't exist in Hammersmith, London. There are a couple of Mafeking Terraces elsewhere in the country.)
- No Fourth Wall: Instances of this go from the occasional Aside Glance to lengthy monologues addressing the audience. It's even more blatant in the live shows; Richie and Eddie are completely aware that they're fictional characters on a stage, and have no problem insulting the audience's hometowns, threatening to fire crew members, and complaining that all their troubles are the fault of those fat ugly bastards who play them.
- Noodle Incident: Constantly.
- Oh My Gods!: "What in the name of Satan's portion..."
- Once an Episode: Planned, but not carried out. The original plan was for every episode of the third series to end with Richie and/or Eddie loudly exclaiming "SHIT!!" — for whatever reason this only ended up being done in two out of the six episodes, but the setups for the gag are still there in the remaining episodes (Richie standing next right next to a box of highly explosive carrots as it detonates; Richie and Eddie being confronted by "Skullcrusher" Henderson and unable to pay him; Richie and Eddie being knocked out by the crazy Welsh cricketer whose honeymoon they've stolen).
- Only Sane Man: Inasmuch as this show can be said to have one, it's Spudgun, oddly enough; he's an idiot, but he's also often the only one who ever points out that some of the insane things that Richie has them do (such as drinking gravy instead of sherry for Christmas, using bleach to clean a baby, and wearing inside-out dressing gowns when summoning the Devil) are, in fact, quite stupid. Eddie's too used to Richie's eccentricities, and Dave Hedgehog is usually too intoxicated to object to anything.
- Ontological Mystery: The second half of one Bottom live show involves the characters suddenly finding themselves inside a mostly featureless steel dome. Neither of them can quite recall how they got there, as they were trying trying to beat the audience to the bar before interval.
- Overly Long Name: "Digger" has Lady Natasha Leticia Sarah Jane Wellesley Estronski Ponsonski Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Oblomov Boblomov Dob (third viscountess of Moldavia).
- Perpetual Poverty: Neither of the characters has a steady income. In fact, they're only allowed to buy anything when there's a punchline to be had in it. Their poverty is rather strange, Richie particularly because it seems he comes from a somewhat aristocratic, or at least a bit rich, family, since one aunt pays the rent and the other leaves them £600 in her will. Though given that Richie is, well, Richie, it can be assumed that this is the bare minimum that his family is willing to support or generally interact with him.
- Phony Veteran: Richie frequently tries to pass himself off as a war veteran, but is inevitably undone by his own stupidity and Eddie.
- In "Apocalypse", he claims to have "Hurt my leg in the Falklands Conflict".Man: Did he?
Eddie: Oh yeah, he tripped over the coffee table trying to switch channels.
- In "Parade", his attempt to cop off with a barmaid by using his Falklands story is ruined by Eddie ("This is all a load of bollocks") and an I Am One of Those, Too encounter with a real disabled Falklands veteran ("I don't believe a word of this. In fact I don't believe it so much I'm gonna smash your face in!")
- In the second Bottom Live stage show, he claims in a letter to the Queen to be an "Old soldier who during the war fought a desperate rearguard action in Burma."Eddie: Ah, yes by 'war' I assume you mean Operation Desert Storm, by 'Burma', the Star of Burma kebab and peep show on the Uxbridge Road in which you spent the entire conflict, and by 'desperate rearguard action' I take it you are referring to the time you accidentally went into the same cubicle as Mad Quentin Trousers-Down Pervy O'Blimey.
Richie: I was doing my bit, Eddie. I was doing my bit.
- In "Apocalypse", he claims to have "Hurt my leg in the Falklands Conflict".
- Puff of Logic: In "Hole", they're trapped on a Ferris wheel that's due to be demolished. The Hand of God Himself appears to offer them a lift, but disappears when they realize they're both atheists and must therefore be hallucinating.
- Punny Name: There's about 3 in the second live show: Michael McHooligan, Patricia O'Violence and Pat O'Cake.
- Razor Apples: Richie and Eddie receive some of these from an old lady in "Terror" while out trick or treating. When Eddie questions the presence of razor blades, Richie claims it's a "Halloween tradition."
- Repetitive Name: Technically a Running Gag; this is not the only time Rik Mayall has played a character named Richard Richard.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Quite a few, especially in deleted scenes. Most of Richie and Eddie's backstories comes from their conversations.
- A lot of guest characters and minor characters share names with various well-known footballers of the day (Lineker, Grobbelaar, etc). The references are not always flattering.
- Richie and Eddie sometimes watch Emmerdale and mention the series in their conversations.
- Richie reads War and Peace in "Apocalypse" and finishes it in "Dough". Eddie, Spudgun and Hedgehog watch the film version in "Accident".
- A Simple Plan:
Richie: What the bloody hell are you doing!?
- Example from "Gas": Richie and Eddie have been stealing from the neighbour's gas line; now they have to come up with a way to disconnect it without getting caught... the kitchen explodes into a fireball in the process.
Eddie: ...Just thought I'd burn it off.
Richie: What, your face?
- Another in "Parade" when they try to steal a Falklands War veteran's leg to put the money on a three-legged, blind race horse whose jockey gets shot. The following plan of mugging people in the toilets to buy the leg back is foiled by the first victim — a police officer.
- Averted in "Apocalypse" when Richie gets an apparent death curse from a fortune teller, which he believes was a plot by Eddie to steal the other half of his inheritance from auntie Olga.
- In general, Richie and Eddie will inevitably let their fundamental stupidity, lack of foresight and inability to solve problems without violence bollocks up any kind of plan they make, no matter how seemingly straightforward and simple it should be.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Richie. He's convinced he's better than everyone else, and on one occasion, he almost deluded himself into thinking he was "the new messiah."
- The Sociopath: Both protagonists:
- Apart from being very quick to anger and violent, Richie is also a compulsive liar who makes up stories about himself whenever there's a chance that he could stand to benefit from it (most notably in "Digger" and "Parade" where he claims to be the Duke of Kidderminster and a Falklands war veteran, both times so that he could convince a woman to have sex with him, engages in various criminal acts such as stealing gas from his nextdoor neighbor, has seemingly no empathy for anyone at all and never accepts any responsibility for his mistakes.
- The only thing that really makes Eddie more stable than Richie is that he actually has friends, other than that he ticks pretty much all of the same boxes. One thing that does make him worse than Richie, however, is how he seemingly takes pleasure in causing pain to others such as in "Culture" where he looks completely content while smashing Richie's head with the fridge door. He also says that he continued hitting the gas man with a frying in "Gas" "for fun".
- Spiritual Successor: To The Young Ones and Filthy Rich & Catflap. It was also inspired by their West End production of Waiting for Godot.
- Spot of Tea: A Running Gag with several disgusting variations, such as coagulated three-month-old tea, or elm tea.Richie: The gypsies swear by it.
Eddie: I bet they do; I bet they say "What the bloody hell is this?"
- Another when the gas man comes to read their meter which is empty since they've been stealing from the neighbours:Richie: You must, you must, you must drink our tea! It's the best tea in London! Sit down and drink it! For about twelve minutes!
- Also in the first live show, Eddie tries to kill Richie with a concoction of tea and goat poison.
- Another when the gas man comes to read their meter which is empty since they've been stealing from the neighbours:
- Stock "Yuck!": The traditional British joke about Brussels Sprouts for Christmas.Eddie: Oh not sprouts! I hate sprouts.Richie: Oh will you stop whinging, Eddie. Nobody likes sprouts.Eddie: Why are we having them, then?Richie: Because it's Christmas!
- Made worse by the fact that the sprouts in question are being served in October. The following October.Richie: Yes, they were a bit... frisky...
- And the hangover cure made of 7 raw eggs, washing up liquid, Domestos, Jif and ant spray.
- In the third live show Richie offers Eddie some cocktails made of the most disgusting ingredients.
Richie: How about a nice, slow, comfortable....fist up the arse?
- Gin, blood and porcupine shit (without the gin)
- Coconut milk and napalm
- Tree bark, sea water and porcupine urine
- Made worse by the fact that the sprouts in question are being served in October. The following October.
- Strange Minds Think Alike:
- Stylistic Suck: The stage shows feature deliberately terrible plots, stages and props, with both actors often (apparently) forgetting their cues and lines, Corpsing and Breaking the Fourth Wall to insult each other and the audience. These often form some of the funniest moments in the production.
- Tae Kwon Door: During one of the many violent altercations between Richie and Eddie, Eddie repeatedly slams a refrigerator door against Richie's head to an accompanying Laugh Track.Eddie: You know, it's funny; they say television encourages violence. I'm smashing his face in, and we haven't got [a television]!
- Take That!:
Richie: Eddie, I bring good news and bad. There is some yoghurt, but if you want to eat it you're gonna have to shave it first. Er, there's also a sausage, but it appears to have already been digested... twice. And there's also a rather unpleasant and completely useless piece of human excrement in there, but I think it might just be Graham Taylor.
- Richie tells Eddie that he's funnier than Jonathan Ross. Eddie replies, "But Jonathan Ross isn't funny."
- In "Dough", Richie explains to Spudgun that there is no Welsh money, prompting to him say, "No wonder they all vote Labour".
- From Bottom Live:
- Take That Me: They both do this in the fourth live show.Richie: No, I don't get paid. It's not me, it's that wretch of an actor who plays me. What's his name? You know, that tosser who fell off the quad bike?
Eddie: If only I'd fixed those brakes properly.
Richie: What did you say?
Eddie: I know the one. He's... sort of balding and getting a tummy?
Richie: Yeah, he's getting far too old to play me... Who's that awful actor who plays you?
Eddie: Oh, erm, he's got a girl's name... is it Julie Goodyear?
- Take You Aside Talk: Richie wishes Eddie to join him in the pub toilets to purchase condoms. Eddie doesn't immediately follow along. So Richie's brilliant idea for alerting him is to shout "Edward Hitler, will you please join me in the lavatory this instant!" — in front of everyone in the pub. Naturally, this has got everyone's attention, so Richie's brilliant excuse to explain his eagerness to see Eddie in the toilets? "We're toilet inspectors."
- Talkative Loon: Richie.
- Teeny Weenie: Richie is infamously under-endowed. His junk actually purportedly got smaller as the show went on, with the live shows repeatedly suggesting that he had to use a magnifying glass to find it.
- That Came Out Wrong: A lot of the jokes are the result of this.
- Those Two Guys: Spudgun and Dave Hedgehog.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Played with. Eddie doesn't seem to see anything unusual in having the surname Hitler.Lily: Hello, gentlemen, sorry to have kept you waiting. Which one of you is Mr. Hitler?
Eddie: Oh, that'll be me.
Lily: Ooh. Any relation?
Eddie: [puzzled] Well... I've got a mother.
Lily: No, no no no, I meant to Adolf Hitler.
Eddie: Yes! That's her!
Eddie: (reading from a Luftwaffe exercise book owned by Richie's father.) For all ze good vork you are doing for ze cause. Keep it up, Mum's ze vord. -Adolf.
- Richie's father, Oswald (as in Oswald Moseley) Richard, is all but stated to have been a Nazi sympathizer and traitor to Britain. Richie is, of course, far too stupid to realise this.
- Tim Taylor Technology: If you compare a real-life cattle prod to Richie and Eddie's cattle prod from "Terror" (which is about four feet long, has to be carried via a shoulder strap and has enough batteries and wiring to power a medium-sized street), it's no wonder Richie keeps crapping his pants whenever he gets zapped by it.
- Time Skip: Several in a row in "Carnival". Eddie proudly tells Richie that he knows how to hook up the video players he stole that morning. Cut to a week later, and Eddie has nearly finished unwrapping the components. Cut to the following Christmas, and Eddie is ready to open the instruction manual. Cut to Richie returning from his holiday the following summer, and Eddie is finally ready to fire up the VCR... except it doesn't so much fire up as blow up. In the end it took them just over a year to get it working.
- Toilet Humour:
Richie: You bastard, Eddie! Why do you never flush the toilet?
- There's a Running Gag in the series that Richie and Eddie shit themselves when they get in trouble.
- In "Dough", Richie hides some encyclopaedias in a toilet cubicle and puts an "Out of Order" sign on the door. When he comes back, somebody is occupying the cubicle. Richie asks him if he didn't see the sign, and the man in the cubicle says he did but is out of order as well. This is followed by a series of loud fart and diarrhoea sounds. The man also thinks the books are in fact "posh loo paper".
- In "Carnival", Richie trips on stairs and falls head first into the toilet. When he gets out, his head and face have brown stains everywhere.
- Hooligan's Island's first act has Richie fall into a latrine and spends the entire show with a skid-mark all the way up his back.
- Too Dumb to Live: Obviously.
- Trouser Space: Richie manages to steal a BBC camera this way. "There's plenty of space in my trousers. Sadly."
- The Unseen: Richie's relatives including at least two aunties and a sister, who is just like him (only with smaller jugs), and Ethel Cardew, Eddie's ostensible girlfriend who hasn't spoken to Eddie since the superglue incident. (Nor to anyone else either.)
- There's also Fatty Amal who owns the kebab shop across the street, Slick Digby the organist, the Hussein brothers, Cannonball Taffy O'Jones, Skullcrusher Henderson the forger, Doctor Wildthroat, Dodgy Mad Bob McMayday the violent travel agent, Keith and Deirdre from the Lamb & Flag mixed doubles nudie tag mud wrestling team and Harold the ironmonger.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Both of them. The fact that Eddie, a deranged hyper-violent lecherous alcoholic known to drink brake fluid and Domestos, is actually the (marginally) less unsympathetic one gives you an idea what Richie is like.
- Vehicle-Roof Body Disposal: In "Gas", Richie and Eddie believe they've managed to kill the Gas inspector when they knocked him out with a frying pan (and hit him a few more times after he hit the floor for good measure). They decide to add an extra entry to his diary ("Left in high spirits, to indulge in my hobby of bus surfing.") and post his body out of the window onto the roof of a double decker bus.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: For two people who spend most of their time beating the living crap out of each other, Eddie and Richie certainly are very inseparable. This is almost certainly because no one but the other would put up with them though.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The Movie Guest House Paradiso has one of the most revolting examples in the history of cinema.
- With Friends Like These...: The Series.
- Wire Dilemma (variant):Q: Which mug has the poison in?
A: The yellow one!
- Worst Aid: In Holy, Richie accidentally chops his own finger off. Eddie's solution? Stapling it back on. When that fails, Richie bandages it back together off-screen, the tip of his finger sitting at 45 degree angle from the rest of it.
- Would Hit a Girl: Eddie, at least, doesn't seem to have any qualms about hitting women. An example of this is when Eddie lashes at a woman who turns out to be someone collecting money for a charity against domestic violence.