Bottom

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Richie: Why can't we ever bloody win anything?
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...

The Britcom, stripped down to its absolute minimum requirements: two idiots, sharing living space, passing the Idiot Ball back and forth so fast that you can't distinguish between the two.

Richie Richard—a sex-starved, sadistic, physically repugnant loser with delusions of sophistication—takes out his frustrations at life upon Eddie Hitler, his boozy, slightly more intelligent, equally 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 before transferring to Theatre as a series of two-man shows.

Came forty-fifth in Britain's Best Sitcom.


Tropes used in Bottom include:
  • The Alleged Steed: Sad Ken, a three-legged, blind racehorse.
  • Amusing Injuries: They push this one into areas even The Three Stooges wouldn't touch. But what do you expect from characters like these?
  • Anything That Moves: Richie. He's not gay, he's just that desperate to get laid.
  • 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 the next-door flat.
  • 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 a baby gets left on the doorstep during the Christmas party. It's the landlord's grandkid, not Baby Jesus.
  • 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".
  • Bolivian Army Ending thanks to Richie finding a porn film involving the PM.
  • Bottle Episode: Series 3's "Hole", which takes place solely on a ferris wheel car, which they manage to completely destroy.
    • Season 1's "Contest" also takes place entirely within the confines of the 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.
  • British Footy Teams: Eddie is mentioned several times as being a fan of Queens Park Rangers. Dick Head also played for them for a brief period, which ended in disaster after he turned out not to know such basic things as which goal to aim for.
  • British Pubs: The Lamb and Flag, in which Richie and Eddie have made themselves obnoxious more than once, and not always by being drunk.
  • Calvin Ball: 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.
  • Christmas Episode: "Holy"
    • Bizarrely though, this was actually originally broadcast in October.
  • 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.
  • Completely Missing the Point: One episode 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.
    • 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.
    • However in this case Napoleon's phrase has been treated as Insult Backfire by many British politicians anyway, who praise the tradition of small business in the UK, so Richie wasn't exactly alone in drawing this interpretation.
    • This qoute;

richie: Take it easy ya bitch, I mean your bitchness, I mean lady... Oh Eddie what do you call em?
eddie: Jugs, what do you call em?

  • 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.
    • London's most prolific forger shows up at the end of the episode, and his counterfeits are nearly as bad as Eddie's. However, 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.
      • To be fair, 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.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Every episode features about three jokes like this.
  • Dead Baby Comedy
  • 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!"?

Eddie: ...we don't actually believe in God, do we?
Richie: (disappointed) Tch. No.
Richie & Eddie: (to the camera) Shit.
*hand disappears*

  • The Ditz: both of them.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything??: Eddie and Richie are often referred to as being a married couple; Richie is Eddie's 'wife', they call each other 'darling' and 'dreamboat' in front of strangers, and they are keeping some liqueur chocolates for their anniversary.
    • Also 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.
  • Double Entendre: Richie frequently misunderstands innocent questions like "How's your sausage?" and "May I drink your juice?", and Eddie lampshades it in the last episode.

Richie, no time for cheap dooble-entendres! The window of Curry's has just blown!

    • Eddie has a similar problem. Innocent questions from Richie are repeatedly interpreted as references to ill-fitting underpants or something similar.

"Have you got the crackers?"
"No, it's just the way my trousers are rucked up."

  • Double Triple Take: In the above 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?!

  • Drunk with Power: One episode 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 doctor who's just trying to buy champagne for his daughter's birthday, and making Eddie wear his suit jacket back-to-front.
    • Another shows the two catching a burglar in their flat who they sit on, tie to chair with sellotape and try to poison. It completly backfires.

Richie: Where have these mousetraps come from? Oh god dont move!
Eddie: Theres a note sellotaped to my knee. it says Sue Carpenter
Both: (make an raunchy noise and mousetraps catch their balls)

Eddie: Who left this pot of cress in the fridge?
Richie: That's not cress, that's that yogurt 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 mexicain."
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: In one episode, the TV rental money got spent elsewhere and Richie and Eddie had to resort to playing chess.
  • Friends Rent Control: Despite having lived on the dole since 1979, they're in no danger of being kicked out for nonpayment. Even a flat as God-awful as theirs wouldn't drop the rent that low.
    • Richie's Auntie Mabel is the one who pays the rent (quick, hide the fags).
  • Gainax Ending: Surprisingly this is how the "canon" of Bottom 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. Eddy 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 wind up combining Pernod and ouzo, with a spoonful of marmalade (since they don't have any glace 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Richie and Eddie. Oh, so much (except that Richie is arguably pansexual suicidally desperate). And they've been at it for decades, too.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: Made from 7 raw eggs, washing up liquid, Domestos and ant spray, and apparently intended to be ingested through the nose.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: On Wimbledon Common, no less.
  • I Want You To Meet An Old Housemate Of Mine—Christopher Ryan, who starred alongside Edmondson and Mayall as the suave Mike in The Young Ones, turns up every so often as Eddie's decidedly-less-suave mate Dave Hedgehog. If they'd just gotten Nigel Planer to play Spudgun we'd have had a whole cast reunion.
  • Immune to Drugs: Or alcohol, in Eddie's case. Technically, he's only been drunk once—for about 17 years and counting.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: There's a joke like this in practically every episode.
  • 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. Vodka margarine - with a couple of cans of hairspray for flammability.
  • Meaningful Name: In the second live show Eddie is looking after it for Jeffrey Nasty. To make things worse, Jeffrey's nickname is simply Ooh Fuck.
  • 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.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Eddie has only been drunk once, but he never sobered up. He is thus immune to inebriation.
  • 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. 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: In as much 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 and wearing inside-out dressing gowns when summoning the Devil) are, in fact, quite stupid.
  • 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.
  • Overly Long Name: (from DIGGER) Lady Natasha Latisha Sarah Jane Wellsley Estronski Ponsonski Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Oblamov Boblamov Dob.
  • 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.
  • Phony Veteran: Richie, most notably (and disastrously) in "Parade."
  • Puff of Logic: 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: Micheal McHooligan, Patricia O'Violence and Pat O'Cake.
  • Repetitive Name: Technically a Running Gag; this is not the only time Rik Mayall has played a character named Richard Richard.
  • Shout-Out / Take That: 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.
  • A Simple Plan: Example from an early episode: Richie and Eddie have been stealing from the neighbor's gas line; now they have to come up with a way to disconnect it without getting caught...the kitchen explodes in the process.

Richie: What the bloody hell are you doing?
Eddie: Just thought I'd burn it off.
Richie: What, your face?

    • Another 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.
    • Averted when Richie get an apparant death curse from a fortune teller, which he believes was a plot by Eddie to steal the other half of his inheritence 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.
  • Spiritual Successor (Successor to The Young Ones and Filthy Rich & Catflap)
  • 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 thier meter which is empty since they've been stealling from the nieghbours

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.
  • Stock Yuck: The traditional British joke about Brussels Sprouts for 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, Jeff Micro liquid and ant spray.
    • In the third live show Richie offers Eddie some cocktails made of the most disguisting ingredients.
      • 1)Gin,blood and porcupine shit (without the gin)
      • 2)Coconut milk and napalm
      • 3)tree bark, sea water and porcupine urine
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:

Eddie: All right, two down... "Fish", four letters, now begins with "x".
Richie: X? Xylophone, xylophone fish. (Beat)
Both simultaneously: Nah, it'd sink, wouldn't it.

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?

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!

  • 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."
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Both of them.
  • 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.
  • With Friends Like These...
  • Xanatos Gambit: 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, except that his own innate stupidity and inability to predict what people will do usually scuttle them.