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Series / Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

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Linda (left), and Tom

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

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

Actually, maybe that isn't so different.

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

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

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

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

This show provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Su Pollard's character, Heidi Honeycomb, is greeted by everyone with: "Heidi, Hi!"
  • All the Good Men Are Gay:
    • In the first episode, Tom and Linda retrace their steps back to the night before when they went to a nightclub to celebrate their achievements, in which Tom tells Linda that it was a "gay-friendly" night when she claimed it was a gay bar. Linda is furious she wasn't told earlier.
    • Linda meets Ron in a factory and falls for his joke about "having a man in his life". Linda rages about being surrounded by homosexuals until Ron says that he was referring to being close with his father.
  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • Linda tries everything to make Jez cheat on Suze — even trying to impress him with her knowledge on black music artists.
    • Tom has a crush on his gay childhood friend Degsy. Ironically, Degsy doesn't feel the same way, and has feelings for a woman!!
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents:
    • Linda's entire family have shades of this, according to her frequent stories about them.
    • Tom's parents turned up in "Dirty 30". Tom claims that they're the dullest people in the world — even trying to say that they died in a car accident so that no one would try to meet them — but when trying to make them leave, Tom discovers a disturbing (at least, to him it is) side to his supposed-dull mother and father.
  • Aside Comment: Linda often looked directly at the viewer and made groans of annoyance or disdain. "Bugger!" was a common one.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: In the first episode, Linda suspects that the stranger in hers and Tom's flat slept with her instead of Tom because she's much more attractive, with her claim that "Miss Marple would have a field day" if she examined both rooms.
    Linda: She'll also take into account that Suspect A [points to herself] is far better looking than Suspect B [points at Tom]. It stands to reason, he's mine.
    Tom: [unimpressed] Oh, so I look like the back end of a bus, do I?
    Linda: If buses mince.
  • Baby-Doll Baby: Invoked. Suze and Jez keep a doll one episode in order to practice looking after children if they consider having any in the future. When Linda screws everything up (to the point of being in the local newspaper as a "mentally-challenged sibling of Sugar Walls"), they threaten to call the police for kidnapping when Linda refuses to give their "child" back.
  • Baby Talk: Whenever Linda talks about her family (in a possible attempt to seem cute), she occasionally lapses into a wistful babyish squeak, despite talking about how much her family enjoyed abusing her. When she calls her father for New Year's Eve, she starts hobbling about on her heels and talking with a lisp, as if she was a five year old.
  • The Beard: Tom becomes this to the American tourist Gloria because she wants to stay in the UK legally and be with her girlfriend India. They eventually marry, despite Linda's jealousy and attempts of sabotage.
  • Bedmate Reveal: Linda pulls back the covers in a season two episode to discovers the taxi driver in her underwear waking up next to her.
  • Beef Bandage: Linda and Suze give this to Tom after he was punched in the fifth episode.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Suze loathes when she's referred to as working-class.
      • When the newspapers call the apartment a council estate, she snaps at her husband that they should sue the editors.
      • The death of Beryl makes the residents assume that she committed suicide and wonder if she left a note in her apartment. Suze suggests that someone should break in, but doesn't volunteer herself because she's a middle-class citizen that "used to own ponies."
    • Tom hates to be called working-class as well, implying that he stereotypes working-class people as identical to the dim-witted Linda.
      • However, his claims of being middle-class could be false and just claims to be middle-class because he lived a better life than Linda by comparison. When Linda assumes that Tom is lying about his social class, Tom defends this by saying that he's worn jodhpurs, but fails to explain what they are when Linda's confused.
        Tom: Jodhpurs! They're a sort of upper-class shell suit.note 
    • Tom also gets rather annoyed whenever Linda teases him about his first TV role being an extra on EastEnders.
      Linda: At least I speak to people when I go out! At least I don't go wandering around Albert Square with a shopping bag! [smugly] Extra... extra...
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Suze (although she has a mixture of Beware the Nice Ones, as well). She can prove to be really quite cruel towards Linda. Perhaps justified as vengeance after Linda's nastiness towards her.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Sugar was a mild version. While she hated her family (as well as the implied abuse that Linda got for being slow), she runs away from home and believes that she unselfishly did the right thing, despite Linda's claims of their mother having a mental breakdown because of it. There's also an implication that their parents began abusing Linda because of her little sister's disappearance.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: They did this a few times. One notable one was Linda saying to Tom as she gestures at a magazine, "Remember Sugar? My sister from the last series?"
  • Camp Gay: Tom, leading Linda to tease: "Ooh, you big fat homo."
  • Camp Straight: Vic Cheesecloth from the couch commercials, who prances around and talks with a stuffy, posh voice, making Tom fall in love with him. Then it's revealed that Vic's Happily Married to a woman.
  • Cash-Cow Franchise: invoked In season 2, Sugar Walls returns to the flat to prepare for an upcoming appearance in a new West End stage production called Toothache, written by Ben Elton. She says that the story will be released as a stage production, a movie adaptation, a novelisation, a television series, a radio adaptation, and a Dance Sensation ... at the same time.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Tom has, "big, fat, hairy bollocks!" when something doesn't go his way.
    • Linda has, "Bugger!"
  • Characterisation Marches On: Although flanderisation also ensues, characters manage to develop throughout the series.
    • Tom's acting career goes from strength to strength, the first episode mentioning he had just gained an agent (the reason he and Linda woke up hungover after partying the night before to celebrate) and the rest of season one is mostly him waiting around for something to happen. Season two has frequent mentions of him finding acting gigs (offscreen, at least) but he also goes through New Job as the Plot Demands as he contemplates whether he'd ever be successful. Season three becomes his big break as he gets hired in a heavily publicised stage play, meets his acting idol, and ends with him facing a dilemma that could make or break his friendships. However, all this also contributes to his attitude, making him become egotistical, arrogant, and snobbish to the other characters as the show progresses.
    • Suze being in the way of Linda's Imaginary Love Triangle led to her receiving many of Linda's snide comments and stealth insults. In season 3, it appears she knew all along that Linda disliked her and it's implied her bullying Linda when she becomes a catwalk agent is to invoke Linda's Karma Houdini Warranty.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In "Stiff", where they find Beryl's body in a coffin in their living room, Beryl's boyfriend asks Linda whether she is Beryl's sister but then dismisses the idea because Linda is "too ugly". This seems like a throwaway joke at first, but the fact that Beryl has a sister comes back when Beryl turns up and announces it was her "bitch twin sister" who has died, and not her.
    • When Jez and Suze make Linda (and Tom) look after a doll as they go out for the day, Tom orders Linda to take it out for fresh air when she's distracting him and her sister. Linda protests that she'll look like an idiot in the street, but Tom snaps that it might be a doll that explodes if it's not looked after like a baby.
      Tom: And if you kill their dolly, they will never be able to have children.
      Linda: GOOD!
  • Celebrity Resemblance: There's a running gag of Linda being compared to actress Su Pollard, and then Hilarity Ensues when Su (portraying Heidi Honeycomb) turns up as Tom's vocal coach.
  • Citizenship Marriage: In "I Do, I Do, I Do" Tom marries an American lesbian so she can stay in the country.
  • Classically-Trained Extra: Tom, who studied acting for four years at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He sometimes gets the chance to get important roles but he always hits an obstacle (one shown is him slipping on the floor and breaking his leg on the way to his audition for Crimewatch).
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Jez to his wife Suze, who goes along with her beliefs, no matter how much everyone else finds them weird.
  • Cool Old Lady: Beryl, the retired prostitute-turned-landlady.
  • Country Matters: Subverted, although it didn't stop the series from throwing in references to it through Spoonerisms.
    • In the last episode, Beryl announces that she has "a cunning stunt", which makes Tom and Linda smirk at each other.
    • There is a double subversion when Linda goes into a rant in episode two: "The slightest hint of a Cockney accent doesn't mean I go around coshing old ladies, you condescending runt!"
  • Delusions of Beauty: Linda seems to think that she's beautiful, despite being played by an actress whose livelihood depends on her rather homely looks (and not in the Hollywood Homely type). As her despairing sister says:
    Lindy, love, I don't know what you see when you look in the mirror, but it ain't what the rest of the world sees.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Linda's ideology about lesbians. When she meets some, she thinks that they want to rape her and goes out of her way to try and scare them away. She sometimes has this view about gay men too, despite being friends with one.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Tom has a couple of these, leading him to go on wild antics that get him into even more trouble, eventually making him appreciate Status Quo Is God by the end of the episode.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Often, when Tom is ranting, he reveals a memory (whether dark or just plain embarrassing) and then gets angry at himself for saying it. Gems include:
    • When talking about slumber parties with girls, he says that he loves how he was the centre of their attention as their Pet Homosexual: "They're always like, 'Tom! Tom! How's my haircut looking?' 'Tom! Tom! How come the boys don't dance with us at the school disco?' 'Tom! Tom! Why are you wearing Beverly's bra?' ... I mean, uh—"
      Linda: [scoffs] Silly git. You should've been on the playground, knocking a ball about and talking about wanking.
    • On imagining having parental issues in school: "Are you [Linda] happy now?! I'm from a broken home! If I was back at school, I'd have to have free school meals! [...] All the kids would come up to me and be like, 'Your parents are split!' Uh, 'You poo your pants!' ... 'You looked at [another boy's] willy in the school toilets! That's why he hit you! That's why he hits you!' Oh God! Why am I telling you this?!"
    • In fear of the garden turning into a holiday camp, Tom snaps at the council that if they don't take action, "Before you know it, they'll be knobbly knees contests, gardening on Geity Green, a bloke called Freddy standing in the toilets with his pecker out..."
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Linda might as well be the poster child of this trope.
    • Being an overweight, frizzy-haired, redheaded woman who wears skimpy outfits and ugly glasses (when she removes them, she becomes Comically Cross-Eyed), she claims that she has the "body of an angel" and compares herself to slimmer and attractive celebrities note . It confuses her why she hasn't been successful with men and why no one can take her seriously, believing it's down to jealousy.
      Sugar Walls: Linda, I don't know what you see whenever you look in the mirror, but it ain't what the rest of the world sees.
    • This often leads to her lack of understanding mixed signals during her sexual encounters. She assumes that men like to have sex in the dark because they prefer it (when they actually don't want to look at her face), assumes that all men cry post-coitus because they're insecure about having a one-night stand (when they're traumatised by her looks), and assumes that being strangled is how men like to arouse women.
  • Downer Ending:
    • In the last episode, Tom gets a job on the 2000s reboot of the soap opera Crossroads and leaves the flat. It manages to get a last laugh in, revealing that Linda's infamous red hair is actually a wig and she is completely bald, but it still ends on a very sad note with her sitting alone on her bed and turning the lights off.
    • The 1999 Christmas Special, where Tom and Linda have absolutely no invitations to any New Year's Eve parties, and get morosely drunk together, finally passing out with alcohol and missing the countdown to 2000.
  • Dumb Blonde: Suze is a downplayed version. She may have clueless moments, but she's apparently competent enough to get jobs like a catwalk agent. Although, her middle-class background might have something to do with it...
  • Dysfunctional Family: The LaHughes family.
    • Linda was the implied "problem daughter" who had to be sent to borstal, where she got abused more there than she did at home.
    • The family was the most hated residents on the street, to the point of being bombarded by bricks being thrown through the windows, and faeces being shoved through the letterbox. After the electrics went out (due to the family's failed Christmas decorations) in the neighbourhood, it only got worse.
    • One of Linda's uncles was an enthused photographer.
      Linda: [to Sugar] D'you remember Uncle Ernie's photographs of me in my nappy? Clicking away for hours, he was. I was late for work.
    • Linda's mother was obese. She died after being electrocuted from her weight-loss equipment.
    • Linda's uncle was arrested for "accidentally" flashing schoolgirls.
      Linda: [My uncle] was absent-minded.
      Tom: So absent-minded that he forgot to put his pants on?
      Linda: We've ALL done it!
    • Linda's father dressed as a teddy bear in his youth and was sent to a mental institution. When Linda's mother died, he was found in a ditch singing to himself with the woman's underwear on his face.
    • Linda's aunt got arrested for babysitting too long.
      Linda: [She had the baby] for six weeks, then she had to give it back. I mean, I said to her at the trial "you should've asked permission."
    • Sharon secretly planned to disown her childhood and ran away from home when she was young. When the family recognised her when she became famous as Sugar Walls, her mother had a mental breakdown, according to Linda.
  • Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: A lot of Tom's snide is directed at women and Linda is often the butt of it. Linda herself is just as misogynistic, and appears to be what the two of them have in common the most.
  • Egg Sitting: Tom and Linda are given the neighbours' doll to look after while they're away because they're practising how to look after a baby for the possible future.
  • Everybody Smokes: Only Tom and Linda smoke. One exercise routine shows them stepping on and off a coffin while moving their cigarette hand back and forth.
  • Exposition Party: The end of the first season celebrates the wedding of Tom and Gloria. Here, we learn that Tom has a crush on his gay friend Degsy (and through One Dialogue, Two Conversations, Tom believes Degsy confirmed his love for him too), and that Linda has been asked to appear in a bawdy upcoming TV show called Poor White Trash Gettin' It On, as well as other things.
  • Expospeak Gag: When Tom tries to explain his reasons for marrying an American lesbian to Linda, this occurs:
    Linda: But Tom, are you still gay?
    Tom: Given if I was to be trapped in a lift with Shirley Williams or Robbie Williams, I think I'd go for Robbie.
    Linda: [crossly] ANSWER THE BLOODY QUESTION!!
    Tom: YEEEEEEEEEEESS!! I'm still gay!
  • Fatal Flaw: Being used to being a self-made orphan that ran away from her family problems, Sugar Walls sneaks away when she feels smothered by anyone that gives her affection (even though she's a celebrity), which probably explains her ManEater status in the media.
  • Flanderization: Unfortunately, by series 3, this had well and truly set in. Both Tom and Linda had become much, much more stupid than they were when the series started.
  • Flowery Insults: Tom's insults are full of these, and there are probably enough to fill a book. Most are directed towards Linda, who he's called a "galumphing great Gibbon", "silly, fat tart" and "a ginger fag hag with enough cellulite to cover Japan", to name a few.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Both Tom and Linda have friends, but they are so repulsive to be around, the friends ditch them when they have the chance. The best example is the Christmas special, in which Linda is told that her friend's party was cancelled, and none of Tom's friends arrive at the flat as agreed weeks ago.
    Linda: You know, I think [my friend] must've got a new puppy, 'cause I could hear her [boyfriend] in the background [of the phone conversation] going, "I'm not having that dog back in my house," and then [my friend] said, "Oh... party's off."
  • "Friends" Rent Control: How Beryl hasn't chucked them out is a mystery.
    • Although Tom is an actor with an agent, he and Linda are rarely seen working, but Tom's recent appearances on television and on stage are usually mentioned whenever Tom wants to remind Linda that he does get employed.
    • Linda, meanwhile, claimed she had just got a job working at a call center in the pilot, but gets fired two episodes later. Then we don't see her going to work until the season finale of season 2, and then nothing after that.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: A variation. Tom and Linda hear an answering message from Tom's agent Norma, who announces he's got an acting role in Toothache as a worker at a petrol station that pays £5,000 a show. The two of them decide to go and celebrate, but Norma calls back once the front door closes. She tells Tom to ignore her last message because she mixed up the names with a famous comedian called Tom Marrow.
  • Gay Theater Geek: As well as being a Performance Artist, Tom proves how focused he is on acting by randomly throwing out trivia about stage shows, movies, or even actors to Linda when she never asked him to. He probably knows something about any actor that has ever existed, ranging from Hollywood to an extra in the background of a low-budgeted car commercial.
  • The Ghost: Both Tom and Linda's parents. Linda's parents are justified because her mother died prior to the series and her father refuses to see her, claiming that his "iron lung" ventilator prevents him to do so, however, we later meet Tom's parents on his 30th birthday.
  • Happily Married: Jez and Suze.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Linda has a drunken one-night stand with a female taxi driver. Tom has his fun by calling said driver "Linda's girlfriend" and playfully assumes that this was why Linda made it very clear that she didn't like lesbians. Linda spends the rest of the episode bothering attractive men in the street, begging them for sex.
  • Heroic BSoD: Tom has many. Linda, meanwhile, has an epic one when she realises that had a drunken lesbian experience with a taxi driver.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Linda tries to use this trope to get with men. It's unsuccessful.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Linda usually mentions hers at least Once an Episode. Moments include:
    • Her mother gave birth to her on top of a crate of beers in Romford Market. Family members didn't know she was a female baby and kept calling her the name of the type of beer that her mother was lying on.
    • Her father tied her to the roof of the family car and sped around the island. Her mother also locked her in the trunk when the family went to a hot country for a two-week vacation.
    • When going to nursery (kindergarten), Linda was tied to a pole in the school garden during classes, and then thrown raw meat for lunch.
    • When she was eight, the family made her sleep in a dog kennel because she was a Motor Mouth at bedtime.
    • At borstal, the other girls attacked her, tied her to the back of a bus, and the leader of the most violent gang in the building broke her knees. One of Linda's roommates hanged herself when she discovered who she was sharing her bedroom with.
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • Linda: "I ain't "phobic" about homos; just can't stand the sight of them."
    • Tom's first quarter-life crisis in the series ends in one.
      Linda: You're gonna miss Casualty!
      Tom: SO?! D'you think I can't survive without my weekly dose of NHS drama?! You really don't know me at all, Linda La Hughes. (stomps out of the room)
      Linda: [unconvinced] I'll tape it for you.
      Tom: [beams appreciatively] Thanks.
    • Linda claims leaving a decorated Christmas tree up for a certain number of days is bad luck, which Tom dismisses as "superstitious claptrap". Two episodes later, he's yelling at Linda for not running home fast enough because he saw two nuns and didn't want any bad luck.
  • In Name Only: Despite the series being named after an ABBA song, ABBA isn't mentioned more than once when Tom calls Steps the new ABBA for The '90s.
  • Inter-Class Romance: The middle-class Suze and her (unspecified class) husband Jez. The fact that Suze claimed that her family owned horses yet she's living in a council flat, implies that she is Dating What Daddy Hates.
  • It's All About Me: Tom and Linda, who argue over which one is the most extreme version of this trope.
    • Specifically, in one episode, Tom manages to get a date at the hospital. Still shaken by the suicide of an old boyfriend, the date cannot stop talking about how much he misses him, angering Tom. Stupidly, Tom starts throwing a tantrum and snaps that the date should get over his boyfriend's suicide because the boyfriend cannot come back. The date gets his revenge by making Tom do humiliating things around the apartment.
  • The Lad-ette: Subverted and exploited with Linda. She thinks this is how to bag a man and heightens this trope around them, but she's aggressive and overly vulgar (as well as unattractive) to the point where it is an immediate turn-off (if she had a chance, anyway).
    Linda: Men love a bird who can make 'em laugh and get 'em all stiffed up! C'mon, Tom! "How big is it?" "Can I feel it?"!
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: How Daisy talks in the episode "Sofa Man".
  • LGBT Fanbase: invoked
    • Sugar Walls is a gay icon, according to Tom. When Linda claims that she is as well, Tom points out that a gay icon and a Fag Hag are completely different things.
    • Simon Shephard, Tom's acting idol, but it turns out that Shepard's legion of gay fans was the result of a (untrue) rumour from a rival actor which claimed that he was an Armored Closet Gay. When Tom finds out, his Broken Smile resembles someone who wants the ground to swallow him up at that moment.
    • For someone who is extremely homophobic about lesbians, Linda loves making jokes about one day being famous enough to have an army of fans like this.
  • LOL, 69: The door number of the flat is 69 Paradise Passage. Jez and Suze would live in apartment 69A and Linda and Tom would live in apartment 69B, with Beryl in 69C. This trope is very common for door numbers in many British sitcoms.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Linda and Tom. When they both try to change each other for the sake of understanding the struggles of the other's gender, it ends hilariously. One episode includes Tom trying to teach Linda etiquette when she's dating, only for Linda to criticise his gestures and effeminate behaviour.
  • May–December Romance: Beryl has a much younger toyboy lover in "Stiff", who she met on holiday in the Mediterranean.
  • Metaphorgotten: Linda, a few times.
    Tom: This is all your fault, Linda LaHughes.
    Linda: Don't look at me! I'm the monkey, not the organ donor!
  • The Musical: Tom appeared in a musical version of Silence of the Lambs. Linda confused it with the movie.
  • N-Word Privileges: There is a very clear realisation that only a gay scriptwriter could get away with some of the characterisation and dialogue - had this been written by a heterosexual it would have been strangled at birth as homophobic.
  • Never My Fault: Tom blames everyone but himself if a situation goes wrong. Linda is possibly an easy target because of her literal-mindedness and stupidity.
    • Shown mostly through the second episode of the third season. Tom is set to appear in a production that boasts acting appearances from Hollywood, and spends the entire episode boasting at Linda of getting an enormous part, sharing the stage with Tom Cruise, and how he'll prepare to walk the stage. When it unsurprisingly fails, he sets upon the production team for greenlighting a shitty play (that he was praising moments before) and how shit the director was (despite calling her one of the best playwrights of all time), and then snapped at Linda for saying The Scottish Play (despite saying the word about three times, when she assumed it was "Brigadoon", and walking under a ladder several times).
  • No Bisexuals: Zigzags with this trope. When Tom discovers Linda's one-night stand with a woman, he suggests that she's bisexual, but he accuses Vic Cheesecloth of hiding behind the hetero-normative ideology because he "cannot admit" that he's in love with Tom while he's married to a woman.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Many of Tom's recent acting jobs. Many episodes focus on Tom struggling to find work between jobs, constantly reminding Linda that he does get work. He'll talk about being in Silent Witness and mentions being in the musical version of Silence of the Lambs as Linda either pretends to listen or is too focused on her own woes to pay attention.
    • Some of Linda's stories about her family. Tom either ignores her or treats it as a Non Sequitur.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Linda and Suze both try and impress Jez and Tom with their knowledge on race and sexuality.
    • At a dinner party, Suze asks Tom if he knows any gay strangers that she's spoken to. Tom angrily snaps that just because he's gay it doesn't mean he knows a lot of gay men.
    • Linda tries to seduce Jez by talking about her favourite black musicians. Jez sees through it and leaves.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Tom began his acting career in the television industry as an extra in EastEnders. Linda makes references to it, making Tom snap at her.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The frequent source of jokes, due to the giant egos of Tom and Linda, which stretch to the point of them basically monologing to each other instead of having a simple conversation. Tom usually drifts off about his acting career/celebrity he is reminded of/the current situation, just as Linda is simultaneously talking about her family or a strange sexual encounter she had once. Somewhat lampshaded in the episode "Stiff".
    Linda: Shock's a funny thing, y'know. When Mummy died, Daddy was found in a skip with a pair of her pants on his face singing "I (Who Have Nothing)". It brought shame to the family.
    Tom: What I want to know is why.
    Linda: Well, he was tone deaf—
    Tom: [passive-aggressively] No-no-no-no-no... (gestures at coffin) "Why..."
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: When Linda is revealed in a newspaper as Sugar Walls' dysfunctional sister, Linda overhears Sugar snapping at the stalking paparazzi that she doesn't have siblings because she's an orphan, as she's stated in her autobiography. Linda sees this as Sharon being up to her old tricks of playing victim and disowning her family, and makes her leave the apartment without telling Tom.
  • Page Three Stunna: Sugar Walls. Tom and Linda make off-hand comments of her posing topless and underwear for magazines and newspapers.
    Tom: What's SHE doing?! Getting her tits out for Mencap again?! note 
  • Performance Artist: Tom is a struggling actor trying to make it in show business. His most "memorable" role was playing a member of the public in the marketplace of EastEnders in 1994.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Linda often goes on tirades about loathing lesbians and doesn't hide her prejudices whenever she's around one. She also doesn't hold back on calling Tom homophobic slurs in order to mock him during his many rants. Although a Rule of Funny as Just For Pun, it could be misinterpreted as offensive these days.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The final episode of the first season is called "I Do I Do I Do", which is also named after an ABBA song (although the original song title has 5 "I Do"-s and not 3 like the episode's.)
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Linda's bedroom is covered in her favourite pop stars that change every season. Season 1 was Liam Gallagher, the second season was Robbie Williams, and the third season was members of Hear'Say.
  • Precision F-Strike: Quite a few, often being the only time in the episode that "fuck" and "wanker" is said in the episode.
  • Promoted Fanboy: invoked
    • Tom, of Sugar Walls (who he meets twice because she is Linda's sister) and Simon Shepherd (who he meets, along with Linda's borstal bully).
    • Linda, of Liam Gallagher from Oasis. Sugar Walls gave her his phone number.
  • Really Gets Around: Sugar Walls. Tom assumes that the media made up stories about her dating several movie stars and sports personalities for controversy, but when Sugar confirms it, Tom cannot hide his shock.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Played with in the Citizenship Marriage episode. The viewer might sympathise with Linda acting confused as Tom condescendingly tells her about his friend Gloria as if this is the hundredth time he's mentioned it, considering this is the first time she's been mentioned in the series.
  • Rich Bitch: Most of Tom and Linda's fights include Tom spitting ad hominem about Linda's underclass background. Although part of the reason he lives with Linda is to escape animosity between him and his parents, he often acts like living in a council estate is worse than Hell. When he speculates the rich and successful Vic Cheesecloth is planning to move him into the Cheesecloth mansion, Tom can't hide his brown-nosing, which comes off like he can't wait for Vic to adopt him, at times.
  • Right Through the Wall: Much of Jez and Suze's intimacy is heard through Linda and Tom's floor. Amusingly, Linda briefly uses a cup to eavesdrop, even though it's loud enough to hear if she attached herself to the ceiling.
  • The Rival: Tom has a hatred for Robert Carlyle, who (apparently) wins all the roles he auditions for.
    Tom: Always gets my parts — the bastard. Day he retires, my career's going to soar.
    Linda: [nods] You'd've been good as Hamish Macbeth.
  • Roommate Com: The show is about a Camp Gay man and his Fag Hag friend sharing a flat near in the Home Counties. They said that they've been roommates for years ever since they met up at a nightclub whilst intoxicated on drugs.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Linda, who takes a lot of Tom's insults as compliments.
    Linda: I'll love you 'til the cows come home. In fact, that's what Daddy used to say to me. I'd come home from school and he'd say, "Oh, look! The cow's come home."
  • Screwball Comedy: A non-romantic, but subtle example. Tom and Linda are completely different opposite sides of the British social spectrum who live together in a flat, but the only things they have in common is that they're sexually attracted to men and enjoy going to nightclubs at the weekend (that's even how they became friends in the first place.) There are occasions when one of them has to have the haughty broken out of them by the other, though, especially when it comes to fighting over men.
  • Sex Goddess: The female taxi driver claims this about Linda.
  • Ship Tease: Bizarrely between Linda and Tom, despite Tom's homosexuality. There are several moments when their relationship gets very close to Will They or Won't They? territory.
    • The New Year's Eve kiss. Linda claimed that she was only doing that because she felt sorry for Tom, but they were both drunk and on the onset of depression. They also wanted the night to be special with the possibility of getting laid at their planned parties.
    • In season 2 finale, Tom and Linda act out dating scenarios to practise their flirting skills. This ends with Linda (pretending to be a builder who's asked Tom out) escorting Tom out of the room. And then the end credits roll before the audience can make any assumptions.
    • There are also questionable decisions, such as willingly sharing a bed with each other and Tom agrees to sleep with Linda in order to share her campsite earnings.
  • Shout-Out: Several, whether obvious or subtle.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Linda and Sharon (aka famous model Sugar Walls), to the point of Tom not even knowing the two of them were related because of Linda's avoidance of the subject. Linda blames Sharon for tearing the family apart, and Sharon blames the family for being an embarrassment which led to her running away and disowning them.
  • Slapstick: There are several moments of Tom and Linda slapping each other, pushing each other over, and even punching each other in the face. However, Tom is on the receiving end much more than Linda, whereas violence towards Linda is hilariously-shocking because of how rare Tom gets the chance to do it.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Both Tom and Linda, which is probably why no one can bear to be around them.
  • Smoking Hot Sex:
    • After his one-night stand with his "Italian" nightclub friend in episode 5, Tom is seen in bed gazing lovingly at the stranger with a cigarette in his mouth.
    • After a one-night stand with Linda, the female taxi driver asks for a cigarette, but Linda refuses to give her one.
    • Tom and Linda have a (very unattractive) kiss before the new year, and both light a cigarette when they're finished. Linda compares the kiss to the accidental one she had with a horse, claiming that Tom was worse.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Most of Linda and Tom's arguments.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Subverted; when they get to that part of the ceremony, everyone gasps and looks expectantly at Linda; who has been objecting to the whole thing. She doesn't object and just moans at them to get on with it.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Tom is this, and goes out of his way to make Linda believe that he's the poster child of this, despite spending his youth going to cheap nightclubs and taking illegal street drugs, and befriending someone with a social status like Linda, which is something that a middle-class person wouldn't (stereotypically) do.
  • Stern Nun: The nuns at Linda's Catholic school. Sister Contraception was an alleged pervert and Sister Brian May seemingly relished in bullying Linda, due to how awful her mother had been decades before.
  • Straight Gay: The hired bodyguard for Tom that his agent got is The Voiceless, but when he eventually speaks, he has a camp voice and puts the moves on Tom.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Sometimes, Tom's snarks about Linda's life turn out to be accurate.
    Tom: [scornfully] Oh, shut up. As if you went to nursery — I mean, as if! I bet the just tied you to a pole in the school garden and chucked raw meat at you every day!
    Linda: Well, a girl's gotta eat!
  • Suicide by Pills: Played for Laughs in "Dirty 30". Tom, realizing that he drove away his parents after they did something really nice for him, tries to kill himself by swallowing some of Beryl's pills. Beryl quickly points out that said pills are multivitamins.
  • Take That!:
    • To impossibly glossy American sitcom Will & Grace, which is also about an unconventional red-haired woman sharing life with a gay man. But seen through an inverting lens...
    • Many times about other (real-life) celebrities.
      • Tom convinces Linda that being a Kindhearted Cat Lover isn't as strange as she assumes. Most people aren't immune to befriending "fluffy animals".
        Tom: Look at Richard Gere.
        Linda: I know. Cindy Crawford was a right dog.
      • When Linda talks about how much she hates her sister, she says that "there's two names" that should never be said in a positive light: Sugar Walls (Linda's sister) and Cheryl Baker (member of pop band Bucks Fizz).
      • Tom makes Jez and Suze guess who is going to turn up to his apartment. When they fail to name her twice, Tom clues them with "dirty old slapper who's been on TV", making the couple say, "Ulrika Johnsson?" note 
    • When Tom hopes to move in with Vic, Linda is confused.
      Linda: You've only known him five minutes.
      Tom: Well, in gay years, that's a lifetime.
    • Much of the humour is co-written by Kathy Burke (Linda's actress), so who knows whether she was the one that constantly wrote in Tom's crude insults towards Linda...
  • Third-Person Person: Beryl, occasionally. It often happens whenever someone's being condescending.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Linda and Suze.
    • After being told that Beryl is the woman in the coffin, when Beryl is seen alive and kicking, Suze assumes it's Beryl's ghost that's come to see her body off. Suze also believed that disguised Sugar Walls' was poet Pam Ayres after Walls tells them to not reveal her name to any paparazzo sneaking around, saying that they should call her Pam, leading to Suze wondering whether Pam was hiding in Tom and Linda's apartment when Sugar Walls was staying for the week.
    • Linda was convinced that the abuse she got from her parents was how a child is meant to be treated note , as well as believing that the photograph of a sideboard was her father's lung that was transplanted, and taking Tom's snide, conspicuous insults as compliments. In the pilot, she takes Tom's suggestion that someone behind the locked bathroom door is deaf and asks "Are you deaf?" and waits for a response.
  • Too Much Information:
    • Tom reacts like this to some of Linda's comments. At one point, he actually vomits.
    • In the Millennium Special, Tom is outraged that Linda has been banned from going to her party, in fear that she will unintentionally sabotage his. He tries to defy this by warning her not to talk about the thrilling tales of the "LaHughes family history".
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Being too busy bragging to Linda about going to act alongside Tom Cruise, Tom throws so much make-up on his face, making his face black with red eyes and lips, dusty hair, and a sink stuck to his bottom.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The only people in the show that have a pass on this are Jez and Beryl, whereas Suze has moments of being as nasty as Linda and Tom.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Plenty, from Heidi Honeycomb saying "I need lubrication" instead of "I'm thirsty", to Linda calling pooping "parking your breakfast".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Tom and Linda discover that their front door has been unlocked while they were out, Tom panics and believes that they might've been robbed. Then this happens:
    Tom: [off-screen, with relief] The bedrooms are okay. How's the lounge/diner?
    Linda: [blankly] Fine, apart from the great big coffin in the middle of the room. Wonder how that got there.
    (Tom walks in and starts panicking again)
  • Upper-Class Twit: Although middle-class, both Tom and Suze have their moments.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:invoked Although Tom and Linda seem to loathe each other as much as everyone else does, there are moments when they appear to genuinely show a strong friendship, such as Linda making an effort for Tom to have a good birthday, and the Millennium Special, in which Tom and Linda are the only characters to appear (dream sequences and the Big-Lipped Alligator Moment notwithstanding), is full of them.
  • Voodoo Doll: In the first season, Linda is obsessed over Liam Gallagher and has his posters all over her room. She also has a Barbie doll that she's named Patsy (the name of Gallagher's spouse at the time) that she often sticks pins in. Later, she makes one of Suze after discovering that Jez is married.
  • World of Snark: Every character has their moments, but mostly Tom towards Linda.
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: This gem from the first episode:
    Tom: Are you gonna miss me?
    Linda: [grumpily] Like a cat with no neck misses licking its own arsehole.
    Tom: [frowns] ... Is that a "yes" or "no"?


Video Example(s):


Gimme Gimme Gimme

Here is a montage of Linda preening over her "beauty", from comparing herself to other celebrities, competing over other celebrities, mistaking builders catcalling someone else for being aimed at her, to accusing her famous sister for envying her looks.

How well does it match the trope?

4 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DistractedByMyOwnSexy

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