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Series / Time Gentlemen Please

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Time Gentlemen Please is a British sitcom that went out on Sky in September 2000 and lasted until May 2002 after two series, clocking in at 37 episodes altogether. It starred Al Murray as Guv, a politically incorrect pub landlord (not the same as The Pub Landlord, Murray's stand-up character) who is abusive to most people he serves drinks to. It was written by Richard Herring and Al Murray.

Not to be confused with Time, Gentlemen, Please!, the sequel to Ben There, Dan That!.


This series provides examples of:

  • Adult Child: Leslie. This is even brought up when he's off the hook for assault on the count of the fact he's mentally impaired. Lesley follows him, but to a lesser extent.
  • All Just a Dream: The Guv goes through this trope a couple of times.
    • He has a nightmare of mustachioed gay people (including the women) around the pub in "Never Confused".
    • "Wishing On A Bar" has the same thing, but with everyone including the main characters wearing green and doing stereotypical Irish things, with the Guv rendered same and being pissed on by an evil, demonic, talking, wish-granting leprechaun statue.
    • He has one in "The Slopranos". See Oedipus Complex below for more details.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Guv makes loud proclamations that he's not attracted to men but also shows interest in them and makes mentions of how desperate he is for physical intimacy since his wife left him.
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  • Anything That Moves: Terry, as indicated by his Catchphrase "A mouth's a mouth". Although season 2 shows him repeatedly stating that he isn't interested in Connie at all.
  • Ax-Crazy: Well, "Cleaver Crazy", but Greg Thompson's psychotic breakdown in "This Vale of Beers" shows he's ready to cut anyone up while proclaiming his A God Am I view.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Greg Thompson; he'll insult the women working for him, and trapped Steve in a cellar for 10 months working on making beer mats, only paying him in peanuts.
    • Guv can be this towards Steve, striking him out of sheer annoyance in multiple episodes.
  • Basement-Dweller: The Professor, who lives with his mum.
  • Berserk Button: Take note - if you want your soul to still be intact with your body, don't EVER try to touch, insult or swipe away Leslie's Tigger toy. Lesley will break you apart; Greg's nephew learnt this the hard way.
  • Big "NO!": Expect this a lot from the Guv, and expect it to be hammy.
  • Butt-Monkey: Steve to a tee in almost every episode.
  • Catchphrase: Similarly to Richard Herring's other work, the show quickly establishes a myriad of catchphrases, which continue to be heavily used throughout the series. Examples include "A mouth's a mouth", "I was never confused", "It's been a year", "Look at his face, it's a picture", "I'm cheeky me" amongst almost countless others. The frequency they recur is pretty impressive. To be more specific:
    • Guv (holding the title of Most Catchphrases Ever):
      • "Hold on a minute, Terry, aren't you barred?" / "It's been a year/two years" / "You're barred!" / "Crosby, that's coming out of your wages" / "I was never confused" / (referring to Australians being good at bar work) "It's instinct, innit? IN-STINCT" / "Dear God..." / "Beer for the fellas, white wine/fruit-based drink for the ladies" / "Oh dear, what a pity, never mind" / "We don't use the A-word (alcoholics) in here - we refer to them as..." / (whenever reminding himself of his Barman's Hand) "Look at me...Don't look at me! Look at me...Don't look at me!" / "Why do they leave me?! WHY?!" / "I miss my boy, that's all." / "Terry, you MASTER of disguise!" / "Magma?!" / "Back off, Brussels!"
    • Steve: "I'm cheeky, me!", "But that's impossible!", "Hel-looooo!" (responding to Ms. Jackson's catchphrase) / "But that's impossible!"
    • Terry: "A mouth's a mouth", "THAT is the woman I am gonna marry"
    • The Old Man: "Look at his face - it's a picture!" / "When will I die?" / "Ahhh! My old man's [insert body part]!"
    • The Prof: "Oh, how I wish you had not done that."
    • Anyone tired of the Professor's Nerd talk: "Oh, grow up!"
    • Ms. Jackson: "Hel-looooo!" / " you remember that [whatever was in the 90s]?"
    • Lesley: "Twat 'im, Leslie!"
    • Greg: "I'm implying I've got a massive cock." / "Oi, watch my fuckin' hair"
    • Connie: "No, listen to the sentence/question, the words in it..." / "I did [insert whatever subject humanely possible] last year..."
    • Janet: "...if ya get what I mean."
    • Uncle Barry: "Don't worry, Guv. Ya doing fine."
  • Christmas Episode: Two episodes; "Bar Humbug" and "It's A Wonderful Pint", obviously parodying Scrooge's 'bah humbug' in A Christmas Carol and the title of It's a Wonderful Life respectively.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Lesley, what with her Tigger toy and meekness.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: Connie is one to Janet. While Janet was outwardly abrasive, but kindhearted on the inside, Connie seems sweet and nice, but is actually quite callous and self-centred.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: Mr Jackson's response to someone irking him is to have that person (or his pub) blown up with high explosives, have the remains crushed into dust in a special crushing machine, then load the dust into a rocket, and fire the rocket into the heart of the sun. Steve lampshades this in season two, calling him a "one trick pony."
  • Death Seeker: The Old Man. He claims to have lived for so long that death would be a relief. Even his catchphrase, "When will I die?" shows how much he wishes to die. Whenever there's something that might look like it would kill him, he's happy that he'll kick the bucket, but it's usually shot down. Ironically, in a nightmare sequence near the end of the series' run, he gets shot by machine-gun-wielding giant mice, ending up with multiple bullet holes in his coat, but he's still not dead.
  • Deus ex Machina: After going through a bombardment of basically every hangover he's never had when the pub's temporarily run out of booze, Terry's temporarily dead. How does this get resolved? Simple: a pint's poured and sent down his throat —> instant resurrection. And they say beer's bad for you. Wait...
  • Dirty Old Man: The Old Man. Just add "Dirty" to his name, whenever he acts pervy and bingo!
  • Embarrassing First Name: Algernon, the Prof's real name.
  • Epic Fail: The result of Attack Pattern Alpha when the Bar Stewards try to take down Greg in "This Vale of Beers". First they run towards him, only for him to knock two of them down by raising his arms up, then Barry gets into a boxing pose and shuffles towards him. Not surprisingly, Greg sends him falling with one punch.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite all the bad stuff that Greg does, he has strong feelings for his pet snake Sampson.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Averted in the case of Marcel:
    Marcel: But do you not find my accent, how you say, sexy?
    Connie: No, how you say, you prat!
  • Fan Disservice: The photoshoot at the end of "Beer Necessities", featuring the Guv and the other male characters wearing nothing but pants, though YMMV on the Guv. Terry's pants are likely to be Nausea Fuel during this.
  • High Hopes, Zero Talent: Steve. He is easily enamored by any glamourous-seeming profession, and insists that he can do that, but his lack of skill and knowledge prove otherwise.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Steve falls for Connie in season 2, but she barely gives him the time of day.
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • Terry saying that Lesley's flatulence is "uncouth"; this coming from a man who regularly breaks wind himself.
    • Terry telling Dave to not be sexist...even though he always agrees with the Guv's misogynistic views. Everyone looks at him in bewilderment.
    • Connie often complains about how the Guv's claims of students being lazy aren't true... but then she turns around and admits to being just that, saying such things as sleeping in until 11:00 am.
  • Irony:
    • In one episode, the Guv mentions a forty storey "super-pub" known as the Titanic Arms that went bust after its disastrous first night. What made that night a disaster? They ran out of ice.
    • Throughout the second season, Terry usually expresses his disinterest in the new barmaid Connie, who feels the same way with Terry. In the final episode's Stinger, much to Terry's shock, the two had a one-night stand after the pub's celebration, and Connie now fancies him.
  • It's All About Me: One of Connie's main traits - it gets annoying, especially when whining about her "problems" in university despite her describing it as very lush.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Guv. Despite his abuse toward Steve, he really does care about him and the pub regulars. In the first season he decides to be incredibly kind towards Ms. Jackson, even though she's "never pulled a pint in her life", when he assumes she's going to die, and even when it's revealed she's pregnant instead, he stills acts kind to her. This can especially be demonstrated when Janet makes fun of Ms. Jackson's inability to know who the father of her unborn child is; the Guv defensively and angrily tells Janet to go to work.
  • Karma Houdini: Connie ended up stealing the Guv's mice because of her view that they shouldn't be 'trapped' despite being very personal to him. They end up getting squashed by Vicki Jackson accidentally, and not only is Connie's involvement never revealed, but she never feels guilt for it or receives some sort of punishment.
  • Large Ham: Usually the Guv, especially in moments of panic. Since it's Al Murray, it's no surprise. Others include Greg with his constant boasting and whenever he's angry, and Leslie whenever he roars (just to note, that's 95% of his dialogue).
  • The Lad-ette: Janet. She has a fondness for lewd jokes, and isn't shy about getting rough with the regulars.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Averted but also subverted. The man the Guv thought was his father isn't his real dad, which the pub regulars muse to themselves, with the Guv none the wiser. Uncle Barry isn't exactly subtle in hiding the fact that he's the Guv's real father, though, and again, the Guv never catches on, not even when Barry says things like, "Guv, I just want you to know, I'm - your father would be very proud." It's also a Running Gag.
  • Malaproper: Several. Including Steve's insistence on pronouncing 'Skeleton' as 'Skelington' because it's "more correcter" (a joke used previously by the writer Richard Herring in his double act with Stewart Lee.
  • Manchild:
    • Steve. He's naive and child-like, as well as seeing the Guv as a father figure and mentor in the ways of the pub. He fully believes that "Ken Tucky", the cartoon half-man, half-chicken mascot of a fast food restaurant, is an actual person.
    • Lesley. He's been described as having "the mind of a child" several times.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The talking leprechaun statue from "Wishing on A Bar" which insults the Guv (and only him) repeatedly, and even tries to get him to make the pub more Irish. Whether it is truly enchanted, or just some kind of sophisticated machine, is never adequately explained.
  • Name's the Same: In-Universe with Lesley and Leslie.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In "This Vale of Beers", Terry experiences spider-like attributes like eating flies and seeing things in multi-vision due to some genetic tampering. He ends up using his abilities to encase Axe-Crazy Greg Thompson in a large web via farting. Yes, you read that correctly - web-farting. It's gone by the next episode, never mentioned again.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Greg Thompson doesn't like having his hair messed with.
  • No Name Given: The Guv, as well as The Old Man. The closest the series gives us to a name for the Old Man is the affectionate name "Pops", but otherwise everyone just calls him "Old Man". This is even lampshaded in the "It's A Wonderful Pint", when in a telephone call he addresses himself as "The Old Man With No Name". The reason why is because he prefers that it's best for some things not to be said.
  • Oedipus Complex: Played with for laughs. When the Guv goes to see Ms Jackson's identical twin, a psychiatrist, he immediately refers to this trope, claiming that everything always ties in with having sex with the mother, and his attitude/disgust towards it makes the psychiatrist wonder about him. Eventually there's a Dream Within a Dream where Ms. Jackson's twin get on her knees before the Guv while he's sitting on a chair...and then he's met with the twin replaced by his mum. Cut to Big "NO!" while he wakes up.
  • Only Sane Man: A female version in Connie, who's more eager to point out the ridiculousness, the obvious, the overlooked, the flaws...well, everything in the daily lives and problems of the Guv and everyone else. In fact, she even calls them "not normal" just to rub in how much she's aware of the stupidity and weirdness in the show's universe. She could easily qualify as a character taken from another genre.
  • Opinion Flip Flop: In the second season finale, Connie talks to her "cool" fellow student Stella about how difficult their end of year exam was, and her worry that she might have failed. Stella scoffs, stating that she doesn't care, and Connie immediately agrees with her.
  • Phrase Catcher: Whenever the Prof brings up something from a sci-fi show or movie, he will invariably be responded to with an annoyed "Oh, grow up!"
  • Precision F-Strike: Nearly everyone in the show says "fuck" at some point. For example, whenever the Prof's angry, as in very angry, he'll tend to blast off "fuck", which is pretty impressive given how he normally tends to replace it with "twat" or "cock", i.e. "I need a 'FUCKING DRINK!'". Barry usually calls Greg a "fucker".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: One episode featured the characters trying to figure out the name of the pub, then later come up with a name for it. They call it "The Cowshed"; this is actually a meta-reference to how the pub used for filming the series is actually called "The Cowshed".
  • Really Gets Around: The Guv's mum cheated on her husband with many men, including his brother, Gary.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The old man claims to have lived for an extremely long time. In one episode, a treasured memory of his involves burning suspected witches.
  • Running Gag: Normally linked in with characters' catchphrases.
    • Terry being barred off-screen between episodes for using Gary the dog as part of bizarre off-screen antics.
    • Connie asking someone to use common sense and focus on the words of whatever odd or stupid sentence it is they said.
  • Sanity Slippage: Happens to the Guv between series one and two thanks to firing Steve and Janet leaving England; by "It's A Wonderful Pint", he's locked himself up in his room for 10 months, resulting in him getting long hair and a beard. In this state, he deconstructs his whole character, even his catchphrases. Luckily, the arrival of Uncle Barry and Ms. Jackson with their baby is enough for the Guv to snap out of it and regain his self-esteem by the end of the episode.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "The Return of Martin Greer", Steve, believing Martin to be an alien, tries to rip off his "alien skin". When that fails, Steve notes that alien skin has come a long way since V..
    • "It's A Wonderful Pint" - the whole sequence with the Barstewards trying to get Guv better parodies The Exorcist, including the famous vomiting scene and parodies the line "Your mother sucks cocks in Hell!" with "Your mother drinks pints in Hell!"
    • Terry's spider powers in "This Vale of Beers" is a shout out to not only Spider-Man, but also the movie that came out at the time of the episode, which gets referenced as the reason why Terry wanted spider powers in the first place.
    • The Rival Professor Baker in "Day of the Trivheads" stars Colin Baker, obviously playing on his role as the Doctor in Doctor Who. A Shout-Out to this is played when the Prof (our Prof) describes what his field in sci-fi shows and almost says "Doctor Who" when Professor Baker cuts him off, also a reference to the Executive Meddling that got Colin fired from his role.
  • Special Guest:
    • "Day of the Trivheads" guest stars Colin Baker as the rival team's own intellectual, known as "Professor Baker".
    • David Walliams appears in the final episode as the French pub landlord who ran off with the Guv's wife.
  • Stealing from the Till: Janet frequently does this behind the Guv's back (though to be fair, the Guv never actually pays her wages).
  • Stinger: There's bound to be some after the credits of some episodes.
  • Story Arc: Quite a few.
    • The first was a two-parter in the the seventh and eighth episodes "Get Diggy With It"/"The Pub That Time Forgot" about archaeologists digging up the back of the pub.
    • The first season's main arc has the Guv attempts to be kind to Ms Jackson for the next six months after it's supposed that she may be dying, though it turns out she's actually pregnant after sexual contact with one of the other main characters, but she can't remember who. It's suggested it's Terry, so her father forces Terry to marry her. However, it's revealed the child is Uncle Barry's, and it all ends on a happy note with Uncle Barry intending to look after his child.
    • The second series' main arc has a looser arc starting from the end of the first season through till the series finale. The Guv can't pull a pint due to "Barman's Hand", a psychological trauma due to constant abandonment. The Guv realizes it's due to an abandonment complex and is resolved in the series finale.
    • The second series had it's own two-parter involving Irish painters in "Got The Painters In"/"Wishing on A Bar".
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Connie's attitude towards everyone in the pub.
  • Tearjerker: Janet's abrupt leaving at the end of the first season. There are jokes, though it's mostly before the Guv finding out she's going. The Guv's cries of "Janet" make the whole thing sad and dramatic, even worse when it actually affects his ability to do his job as pint-puller.
    • The Guv barring Gary from the pub, and the poor little fella sadly walking out. Hell, even the audience have to "Awwwww" at the sight of a dog being told to go away.
  • Teeny Weenie: Greg Thompson is implied to have one, despite his claims of possessing a "massive cock." His nickname back at Landlord Academy was even "Acorn."
  • Theme Naming: In this series, landlords name their children after the drink they had when the child was conceived; Guv's son is named "Carlsberg" ("Carl" for short), and the baby Barry had with Ms Jackson is named "Campari."
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: In her debut episode, Connie initially believes that Steve is a handsome prince who is being held captive by Greg Thompson. She is greatly disappointed to find out who he really is.
  • Under the Mistletoe: Terry takes full advantage of this in "Bar Humbug," wearing a Santa hat with mistletoe hanging from it (and hanging some mistletoe over his crotch, too).
  • Wishplosion: The Guv utilizes this in "Wishing on A Bar"; He makes a wish that the leprechaun statue will do the opposite of what he says. The ensuing Logic Bomb (namely that if the statue grants the wish, then it won't be doing the opposite of what the Guv says) causes the leprechaun to blow up.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Old Man's reason why immortality isn't such a good thing.