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YMMV / The Young Ones

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  • Acceptable Targets: Hippies, Margaret Thatcher, the police, racists, the upper classes... virtually everyone is ripe for scrutiny on this show.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The show just loves these. Doesn't matter what episode you pick, there will be one in there. For example, 'Summer Holiday' has a pair of ants discussing the idea that humans can build bridges, and asking how they can get them into the disco. Another moment has a garden gnome coming to life, saying that it wasn't a gnome Rick just killed, but a hippie. In some ways, this show is one long B.L.A.M.
  • Crosses the Line Twice - Vyvyan's Amusing Injuries and violent exploits, several times over:
    • Loses his head after sticking it out of a train window. He later has an altercation with his headless body after it comes to find him.
    • This trope is essentially what makes the cricket bat scene funny.
    Rick: Ha! Missed both my legs!
    • Vyvyan's "row of collies" tries for this, but doesn't impress Mike.
    • Going outside and pushing the entire left wall of the house inwards by several feet in a fit of frustration after finding out that the VCR's cord is too short to reach the plug (and then smashing the window to get back inside).
    • Mike hitting a golf ball into the toilet while Neil's sitting on it, and Rick inadvertently catching it after he throws it back.
      • That....wasn't the ball he caught....
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Vyvyan often gets this treatment in the existing fandom. As far as fanfiction goes, expanding on his hinted Dark and Troubled Past is a popular focus.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Vyvyan is often what people remember most about this show, due to his fairly explosive nature and vivid appearance.
    • Among Alexei Sayle's various roles, the South African Driving Instructor Vampire (a.k.a. Harry the Bastard) for not only being funny in his own right, but also central to the episode's storyline.
  • Foe Yay: Obviously, Rick and Vyvyan.
    Rick: Oh, so you've been going through my Y-fronts have you, Vyvyan? I suppose you fancy me, is that it?
    Vyvyan: (pause) Yes! As a matter of fact I do, Rick. I really really fancy you, and I want to give you a big girly kiss on the bottom!
    Rick: Urgh, Mike, Vyvyan's gone all funny! He says he wants to kiss my bottom!
    Vyvyan: Oh! Did I say kiss you on the bottom? I'm very sorry, what I meant was, stick a pickaxe through your spinal column!!
    • In the Bachelor Boys book, Rick writes a spy story in which he emphasises that the hot air hostess who wants to shag him is "a real girly, don't forget, not Vyvyan in a dress."
    • Not as blatant as Rick and Vyvyan, but there's some Foe Yay with Rick and Neil, particularly the way Rick seems to have No Sense of Personal Space with Neil at all.
  • Genius Bonus: In "Nasty", Vyvyan threatens to kill Rick, to which Rick sarcastically responds "What devastating repartee! Talk about Oscar Wilde!" Oscar Wilde named the younger of his two sons Vyvyan. Yes, that same spelling.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Rick is dead! The People's Poet is dead!" Depressing after Rik Mayall's death.
    • From "Nasty", after Rick falls into an open grave:
    Vyvyan: Brilliant! Let's fill it in!
    Neil: No, we can't just bury Rick alive!
    Vyvyan: That's absolutely correct, Neil...We better kill him first!
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: While it's not a home that's become a shrine to Rik Mayall, an area in Hammersmith, London which has been used to film Bottom has become a shrine for Mayall, with people leaving memorials for The Peoples' Poet, and having him be celebrated for his work in both The Young Ones AND Bottom.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • While Neil was intended to be a hippy, nowadays he feels like a prediction of the emo subculture.
    • In "Boring", Billy Balowksi impersonates a Dalek. Alexei Sayle would later guest star in "Revelation of the Daleks".
    • In "Summer Holiday" God appears and says "You wouldn't expect me to be a woman now, would you?". 15 years later, Dogma is released.
    • Vyvyan's tirade against The Good Life was meant to mirror series writer Ben Elton's own affected disdain for the programme. Several years later, the Elton-penned pilot episode of Mr. Bean would guest feature Richard Briers, the star of The Good Life!
  • Misaimed Fandom: According to Ed Bye, the series was popular with the police, a fact which upset Rik Mayall greatly.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Jerzei Balowski as a homicidal axe-wielding maniac.
    • The "fifth housemate" seen in the backgrounds at certain points was intended to be this, but it doesn't stop it from being creepy nonetheless. Seeing moments of the series and then noticing a sitting person with incredibly long hair doing nothing comes off as if there's something from The Ring.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Yes, really. A game appeared in 1984 that was boring and unintuitive to say the least. Being an Unwinnable Obvious Beta didn't help.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • A very young Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Ben Elton as the Upper-Class Twit team in "Bambi". Elton also appeared in the pilot episode as the host of Nozin' Aroun'.
    • Hale & Pace as the grave-diggers.
    • Lenny Henry as the fascist postman in the last episode, "Summer Holiday".
    • Jennifer Saunders as Helen Mucus ("Time") and again in "Interesting" as Sue, and Dawn French as the Easter Bunny, the Christian who barges into the house before getting squashed by a giant sandwich and Satan.
    • Paul Merton makes a very brief appearance as a yokel in "Time".
    • Robbie Coltrane as a bouncer in the second episode, "Oil", and a Victorian scientist in "Bambi".
      • He's also the pirate Captain Blood, in "Time".
    • Tony Robinson (Baldrick from Blackadder) as Dr Not-the-nine-o-clock-news.
    • From that show we have Griff Rhys Jones alongside Mel Smith as 'Bambi' Gascogine and the front-desk guard respectively.
    • Norman Lovett (the first Holly in Red Dwarf) owned the penny arcade across the road. Chris Barrie appeared as a Napoleonic sailor in an animated painting.
    • The list goes on. It was chock-full of cameos, all of which are listed in the end credits of the last episode.
      • In fairness very few of them were cameos as such because with a few exceptions (Terry Jones, Smith and Jones, Lenny Henry) all of the extras/one-shot characters were then-unknown fellow comedians from the London alternative comedy scene, in particular the Comedy Store. It says something for the ridiculous fertility of that late-70s early-80s scene that it germinated so many television and film careers that in retrospect this has one of the most ridiculously star studded-casts in television history.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Mike isn't anywhere near as popular as Rick, Vyvyan, or Neil, but Alexei Sayle's various roles appear to be most disliked, possibly because of how they come out of nowhere and proceed to interrupt the episode for several minutes. It's telling that "Bambi" is considered to be the funniest episode and has Sayle's role shorter than usual.note 
    • Rick is probably this in-universe, as well as Neil to some extent.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The show was considered anarchic and subversive in the early 1980s. In comparison with their successor Bottom many of the violent scenes (Vyvyan destroying something or hitting Rick over the head) can seem rather tame today.
  • Wangst: Parodied.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?
  • The Woobie: He might be whiny and a bit dim, but it's easy to feel bad for Neil, especially when the other lads react with utter indifference when he tells them it's his birthday.
    • Jerkass Woobie: A case can be made for Vyvyan. His mother treats him like shit and he doesn't have a dad.


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