Little Britain

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"Britain, Britain, Britain. Land of technological achievement. We've had running water for over ten years, an underground tunnel that links us to Peru, and we invented the cat."


Cult British Sketch Comedy show with an array of bizarre characters. Performed by Matt Lucas and David Walliams, with narration by former Doctor Who star Tom Baker. It began life as a radio series, and the TV version ran between 2003 and 2005. There was also a two-part Christmas special in 2006. A US version began broadcasting on HBO and the BBC in 2008, featuring a number of new characters along with familiar faces from the original show.

Noted for its excessive use of the Catch Phrase and various stereotypes.

Best-known sketches:

  • Vicky Pollard, chavvy teenage mother, is visited at home by a social worker and admits that she swapped the baby for a Westlife CD. The horrified social worker exclaims "How could you do such a thing?" and Vicky says "I know. They're rubbish!"
  • Lou and Andy visit a swimming pool.
  • A man discovers that his mail-order Thai bride is in fact a "ladyboy".
  • Sebastian, in love with the Prime Minister of England (who is his boss), serenades him in the House of Commons with "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera.

Features tropes galore, including:
  • Adam Westing: The Narrator occasionally hints at his true identity: "With nothing to watch but repeats on the telly of Doctor Who, Medics and that episode of Blackadder II I was on..." The Narrator character is something of an exaggeration of Tom Baker's Real Life eccentric personality (albeit as "an old fascist", according to the creators).
  • Back for the Finale: All the students Linda insulted (even ones from deleted scenes) show up in the Series 3 finale.
  • Bland-Name Product: The "vomiting ladies" sketches received complaints from the Women's Institute, who did not want their logo associated with a character portrayed as a right-wing bigot (and her put upon friend). From then on, the characters belonged to the fictional "Women's Association".
  • Born in the Wrong Century: The transvestites attempt to dress and act as Victorian "ladies".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The narrator occasionally does this, the most notable moment being when he encourages upset viewers to write down the names on the credits as they play (even pointing out his own) and make obscene phone-calls to them, someone does.
  • British Accents
  • British Brevity Three series and a two-part Christmas special, 22 episodes altogether.
  • British Stuffiness
  • Camp Gay: Dafydd Thomas is a caricature of this.
  • Catch Phrase: By the truckload. "Yeah, but, no, but ...", "I am the only gay in the village", "But I'm a lady!", "I want that one", "What a kerfuffle!", "Computer says no", "Look into my eyes ...", "Write the feem toon, sing the feem toon ...", "Bitty", "Margaret? Margaret?"
  • Christmas Episode: Though it showed all the characters in foreign locations, and made no reference to Christmas.
  • Couch Gag: The Narrator's opening and closing spiels are different in every show (and in the third season, many of the opening spiels quote rap lyrics).
  • Dead Baby Comedy
  • Did Not Do the Research: A guide at the aquarium corrects Lou regarding the plural of octopus, saying it's octopi rather than octopuses. In truth, this is hyper-correction: octopus originates from Greek, so if you want to use an "authentic" plural form, it would be octopodes.
    • It still functioned as a vagina joke.
  • Different for Girls: Emily/Eddie Howard.
  • Disaster Dominoes
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune: Dennis Waterman.
  • Everyone Is Gay: Seemingly the entire population of Llandewi Breffi, much to the chagrin of Daffydd.
  • Expy: Marjorie actually originated as one of Matt Lucas's characters on Shooting Stars - she was George Dawes's mum.
  • Extreme Doormat: Lou.
  • Flanderization
  • Funny Foreigner
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: Dafydd will have to remind you that he's the only gay in the village.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: The Sir Norman Fry MP sketches from Series 3 involved the aforementioned Fry meeting a group of journalists outside his house and telling them how he "accidentally" fell into other gentleman.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Lou and Andy.
  • Hidden Depths: Andy makes some very poetic statements off screen.
  • I Have Brothers: Parodied in an Emily sketch.
  • Lower Class Lout: Vicky Pollard plays the chav stereotype for laughs.
  • May-December Romance: Jason and Nan.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Type A. Marjorie frequently mangles the names of people in her slimming class - Meera ("Moira", "Mary",) Dave ("Johansen") and Jenny ("Julie"). Andy has occasionally addressed Lou as "Len".
  • Narrator
  • Nice Guy: Lou, who is arguably the only truly nice character in the show.
  • Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Subverted with Llandewi Breffi, where Everyone Is Gay.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Andy.
  • Odd Couple: Lou and Andy.
  • Overly Long Gag: Later Mr. Mann sketches would drag on and on with the gap between "Margaret? Margaret?" and "Yes?"
  • Refuge in Vulgarity: In spades. In fact, the show would be a lot less funny if the characters were not all played by Lucas and Walliams in makeup.
  • Running Gag: Sometimes criticized as Overused Running Gag.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Daffydd simply refuses to acknowledge that Everyone Is Gay in Llandewi Breffi.
  • Shout-Out: Several to classic Doctor Who - one character was named Matthew Waterhouse (after the actor who played Adric), Andy once flew into a rage when some bullies called him Davros, and, naturally, there's a reference or two in Tom Baker's narration.
    • Godzilla and Godzooky, of all things, gets one in Series 3.
  • Sound to Screen Adaptation
  • Special Guest: Included Peter Kay, Dawn French, Ruth Madoc, Nigel Havers, Kate Moss and Robbie Willaims in roles on the show or in the live stage show. David Soul, Les Mackeown, Mollie Sugden, Elton John, Cat Deeley, Vanessa Feltz, Paul McKenna, George Michael, Ronnie Corbett, Jonathan Ross and Trisha Goddard have all appeared as themselves.
  • Stage Mum: Sandra Patterson; with her son Ralph being the child she wants to be famous at any length.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Sebastian.
  • Stealth Pun: Dennis Waterman's size-related gimmick may seem inexplicable until the remember the old adage: there are no small parts, only small actors - Dennis in a nutshell.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "I did not steal your red dress, take it home and wear it while hoovering."
    • A large portion of what Vicky Pollard says.
  • Transvestite: Emily Howard and her friend Florence.
  • The Unintelligible: Inverted in the Fat Fighters sketches. Meera speaks perfect English with an Indian accent, despite Marjorie pretending not to understand her.

Marjorie: Do it again?