The Goodies

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A groundbreaking 1970 British comedy series, not nearly as well-known outside of the UK as its contemporary, Monty Python's Flying Circus. (Some view it as The Monkees to the Pythons' Beatles -- while others view it as the Beatles to the Pythons' Rolling Stones.) Born from the same generation of comic talents that infused British TV in the 1960s and 1970s with such innovative work, The Goodies was far more plot-oriented than Python (it was nominally a Sitcom when it premiered), but at the same time it was also far more anarchic and surreal.

The Goodies starred Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie as three flatmates who run an agency that promises it can do "anything, anywhere, at any time". The BBC's own historical reference for the show describes it as a "live action version of a typical Warner Brothers cartoon", which is quite accurate, although sidestepping completely much of the thinly veiled social satire the show was inclined towards. Entire episodes were devoted to poking fun at topical subjects as diverse as TV censorship Nazis like Mary Whitehouse, nuclear testing, police brutality, Saturday Night Fever and the general crappiness of the British Post. Central to the show were the exaggerated versions of themselves that the leads played -- conservative royalist Tim, twisted gadgeteer Graeme, and Earth-child proto-hobbit Bill. The intersection of these three personalities generated as much comedy as the increasingly-bizarre situations that they found themselves in. Their trademark was the "Trandem" -- a bicycle-built-for-three which they invariably mounted and fell off of once per episode before riding to their next adventure.

More inclined to vaudeville-like humour than the Pythons, the Goodies never quite got the respect they deserved -- despite the fact that they lasted at least three times as long on the air. The series can be found -- albeit rarely -- on public television in the United States, as well as on YouTube; and some of their recordings (such as "The Funky Gibbon") can occasionally be heard on the Dr. Demento show.

Perceptive viewers will know Tim Brooke-Taylor from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where he played the computer operator trying to get the location of the golden tickets from a computer that refuses to tell him.

Notable for having someone die laughing whilst watching it.

Not to be confused with The Goonies.

Tropes used in The Goodies include:
  • Accidental Unfortunate Gesture: Tim, as Winston Churchill, gives the "two fingered salute" gesture when he was actually indicating that he wanted a cigar. Graeme then has the idea of turning his hand around to create the iconic "V for Victory" symbol.
  • Affably Evil: Played for Laughs with Dr. Wolfgang von Petal, a Mad Scientist who just wants to be liked. Unfortunately for him, he seems to have a bit of a skewed idea of how to actually go about getting people to like him.

"All I've ever done is tried to help people! I helped the Russians with their nerve gas, I helped the Americans with their H-Bomb, I helped the British with their anthrax — I even helped the Nazis! Now how generous can you get?"

  • Amusing Injuries
  • And Zoidberg: From "Frankenfido", when it's revealed Graeme has been gathering body parts from celebrities, following his "chopping list", to create the perfect dog:

Graeme: Look. Teeth. You wouldn't find teeth like these on a mere dog.
Tim: What are they? Horse, alligator, tiger...
Graeme: Look at them.
Tim: No! Not Donny Osmond!
Graeme: Yep.
Tim: You...you've been using people! ...And Donny Osmond!

Tim: You nasty, spotty, unpleasant little dwarf!
Graeme: Weirdo! ...Chelsea supporter!

  • Asbestos-Free Cereal: On "It Might as Well Be String" (a spoof of the advertising industry), their ad campaign for Sunbeam Sliced Bread claims that "nine out of ten doctors agree that people who eat Sunbeam Sliced Bread are less likely to be trampled to death by elephants". Graeme does mention that it was a struggle to find the right nine doctors, however. And the elephants.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever (Kitten Kong and later Dougal and Zebedee from The Magic Roundabout)
  • Baguette Beatdown: Kung-Fu Kapers has Tim briefly make use of a French martial art called Oh-Hon-Hee-Hon that involves hitting the opponent with a baguette... it has no effect whatsoever!
    • Ecky Thump: it's a "martial art" Bill learned when he was younger that basically revolves around hitting people with black pudding.
  • Banana Peel: In the episode Cunning Stunts, Bill is seen throwing several banana peels on the floor just so he can slip all over them as part of his entry in the Eurovision Loony Contest. Graeme and Tim also slip all over the skins.
    • And a mimed banana peel causes a nasty accident in "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express".
  • Bar Slide: Occurs in Bunfight at the O.K. Tearooms. The surly barmaid slides two dainty teacups down the bar to Tim and Bill, who fail to catch them.
  • Bawdy Song (in "Wacky Wales")
  • Big "Shut Up!": Graeme does one Kitten Kong, to quiet down Tim and Bill bickering Like an Old Married Couple.
  • Biting the Hand Humor: The Goodies contains numerous swipes at the BBC, most notably in the episodes Alternative Roots and The End, during which a service announcement warns of "cutbacks of a hundred percent" - and the screen immediately goes black!
    • And in one episode they blew up the BBC Television centre!
  • Bitter Almonds ("Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express")
  • Blackface: Tim in South Africa. A somewhat unusual example in that it was being used to criticise racism (the joke was that no actual black people would be in a pro-apartheid PSA).
  • Blood Sport ("2001 and a Bit")
  • Boomerang Comeback: In the infamous scene in Ecky Thump, where Bill is proving "Ecky Thump" is superior to other martial arts. Graeme misses with a boomerang, but later when Tim has disarmed Bill with some bagpipes, it comes back and clouts Tim from behind.
  • Bonnie Scotland ("Scotland" and "Alternative Roots")
    • Lampshaded somewhat by having the boys, in "Scotland", speak in ludicrous Scottish accents to avoid being discovered as being English. One amassment of slang and a song-and-dance number later, cue the tourist bureau owner saying "You must be English touristry".
  • Bottle Episode ("The End" and "Earthanasia" feature no special effects and no guest stars, and are performed entirely on the one set. The latter episode in fact consists of one real-time 25-minute scene, and both are regarded as among the series' best moments.)
  • Broke Episode (several occasions)
  • Buccaneer Broadcaster ("Radio Goodies")
  • Butt Monkey (Tim becomes this on occasion)
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: In the episode South Africa

Tim: Look at those stars. They look like hundreds of tiny little eyes.
Graeme: They are hundreds of tiny little eyes...

  • By Wall That Is Holey
  • Calvin Ball: "Spat", which seemed to be made of rules that led to Bill always losing and being injured.
    • Bill mentions in the commentary that he really didn't have any idea what the other two were doing.
  • The Cameo: Plenty of celebrities spoofed themselves, and the series virtually invented the Newscaster Cameo. Averted with Prince Charles who considered it but had to decline, and Rolf Harris who was never asked to appear in the episode spoofing him, much to his disappointment.[1]
    • In one episode, John Cleese cameos, deriding the Goodies as a "Kid's show." (In real life, the Pythons and the Goodies were (mostly) friendly rivals.)
  • Camping a Crapper: In "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express", the Shafts are killed when the lavatory on the train blows up while they're using it.
  • Captured by Cannibals: One episode had the lads placed in a native cooking-pot. They got out of it by encouraging the natives to cook "human clear soup" - the point being that when cooking clear soup you remove the meat before serving.
  • Cardboard Pal (The fake Graeme in Bunfight at the O.K. Tea Rooms.)
  • Cargo Ship: Graeme's relationship with his computer was a Running Gag that popped up occasionally, starting in Women's Lib. In 2001 And A Bit, it's mentioned that Graeme was put away for having an "unnatural relationship" with his computer -- also, this is scribbled on a note in The Goodies Book Of Records:

Dear Computer -- have gone out for an hour or so. Your programme is in the safe. Love you! Graeme
P.S. Hope your transistors are feeling better.

  • The Cast Showoff
  • Catapult Nightmare: In Kitten Kong, Tim returns home determined to wreck vengeance on Twinkles the kitten after his disasterous attempt to walk the over-active purrball. Graeme and Bill caution him that it's not a very good idea, then open the door to reveal that thanks to Graeme's growth formula the kitten has grown to enormous size. Tim screams hysterically, and then wakes up in bed crying: "Get it off me! Stop licking me!" (Bill: "I'm not licking you!") Unfortunately it's not All Just a Dream.
  • Cave Mouth: In "The Stone Age" The Goodies go caving. They find a remarkable Cave Mouth. They note the curving rows of stalagmites and stalactites and treat the odd red thing [2] like a punching bag. The giant dinosaur, naturally, closes its mouth on them.
  • Central Theme: While there is no real lesson to any episode, an overall antiauthoritian streak runs through the program. Antagonists are frequently characters who have let power go to their head, usually one of the trio.
  • Clown Car Base: In Skatty Safari the Rolf Harris plague has a take-off of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, which includes the Rolf Harris "attacking the babies in their cradles". Later when the Goodies draw them out of the city by playing "Waltzing Matilda" on didgeridoos, an endless stream of Rolfs are seen clambering out of the one baby carriage.
  • Clueless Aesop: Parodied in Gender Education with their Mary Whitehouse expy-approved sex education film, which avoids any mention of anything related to sex:

Narrator: This is a man. And this isn't.

  • Comic Trio: Played with -- usually someone would fill the roles, but no one character could or would have total claim to it.
  • Compliment Backfire: The show was once praised by well-known Moral Guardian Mary Whitehouse. The boys took it poorly, making an entire episode spoofing her and, when she didn't rise to the bait, inserting rude gags until they finally earned her public disapproval.
  • Computer Equals Tapedrive: Graeme's computer, naturally. Spoofed in the 2005 "Return of the Goodies" documentary where a now middle-aged Graeme tries to insert an enormous disk in his computer.

"I'll pop it on the laptop. Hang on, it's not compatible. I shall give it an upgrade. (hits it with a mallet)

  • Continuity Cavalcade: In Change Of Life, the Goodies feel old and useless, and decide to do a Goodies standard test. It's filled with references to classic episodes, including Ecky Thump, Kitten Kong and even the old gag of getting on the trandem and falling over.
  • Corpsing: Bill was especially prone to this, pointing it out on the commentary tracks.
  • Costume Inertia
  • Cowboy Episode: "Bunfight at the OK Tearooms"
  • Creator Provincialism
  • Credits Gag: It Might as Well be String ends with the camera looking through the backwards credits on the TV screen at the Goodies, who are sitting on a couch making snide remarks about the episode they've just watched.
  • Crossdresser: Tim in "Cecily".
  • Cruella to Animals: The Endngered Species Club from "Dodonuts". They only hunt endangered species because their small numbers make them hard to find. Common species of animals and birds are too abundant and therefore too easy to hunt.
  • Dance Sensation: Spoofed in The Music Lovers where they were being tasked — by a musical Mad Hatter, no less — with writing a hit song. They belted up a squaredance tune, and Bill improvised fairly ordinary squaredance lyrics which were being followed exactly by the Mad Hatter's goons, ending with this (paraphrased):

Back to the windows, turn about,
Are you ready, all jump out

    • In universe there is The Bounce from Goodies Rule - Ok?
    • And Dr. Demento listeners will remember "The Funky Gibbon".
  • The Danza
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bill and Graeme. Tim would snark occasionally, but he's usually playing it up too much for it to be deadpan.
  • Dem Bones: In one episode the Goodies are operating their own hospital. Graeme gets a patient to step behind an X-Ray screen, which naturally displays his skeleton. The skeleton then walks out from the other side of the screen, causing Graeme to flee in terror (this scene is included in The Goodies opening montage).
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Rather hilariously done in the original form in the episode "Come Dancing". Graeme has built a gadget controlling their "dancing suits", and a female leader of a dancing mafia is hassling him about the importance of the Goodies losing the dance competition they've entered. Distracted, he mumbles that he wasn't listening, and then this ensues:

Graeme: Look, I'm in a terrible hurry to set the control box...
Leader: Set the control box?
Graeme: Yes, the box that--the--uh--the suits, the settings, we--[makes vague hand gestures]--anyway, I must dash!
Leader: [catching on somehow] ...But this is cheating!
Graeme: Yeah, well, it is, a bit, but--[grinning]--long as nobody knows about it, eh? [thumbs up] See you later! [leaves]
Leader: [stunned silence]
Graeme: [just outside, stopping and staring into open space, realizing] ...WHAT'VE I DONE?!

  • Die Laughing: Kung Fu Kapers caused Alex Mitchell to laugh non-stop for nearly a half-hour. The strain on his body was too much and he suffered a fatal heart attack. His widow sent a letter to The Goodies thanking them for making her husband's last moments so happy.
  • Dodgy Toupee: Several appear in Scoutrageous when Graeme and Bill are trying to earn their Wig Spotter's Badge.
  • Dog Walks You: In Kitten Kong Tim gets dragged along by a kitten (and over some dog poo that happened to be there when they were filming the scene, what makes it worse is that that shot was filmed with stop motion, so Tim was dragged through the dog poo slowly).
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: This is played with in the very first episode, as the Crown Jewels have a sign placed by them reading "Please Do Not Steal". It doesn't do much good.
  • Don't Try This At Home: "We would like to point out that Ecky Thump is the ancient Lancastrian art of self defence. When practised by the untrained, it could be dangerous."
  • Dope Slap: Frequent -- often in the visual gag sequences, one or two characters will make a mistake with comedic results, stand around looking sheepish for a while, and get slapped or shoved (usually on the arm or shoulder) several times by whoever of them watched the mistake happen.
  • Double Entendre
  • Driving a Desk: Punky Business parodied this and then subverted it, the three Goodies are in the back of a van and we see the road in the vans back windows via backscreen projection, then it starts playing footage of punks. The subversion comes when Bill shoves Graeme and Tim out of the back of the van and we see a screen being watched by several policemen with the punk footage projected onto it.
  • Dropped a Bridget On Him

Bill: Tell you something, I'd rather have Edna Everage. At least she's a real woman.

  • Drop What You Are Doing: Parodied. Bill's not really shocked, he's just into loud noises.
  • Drunk with Power: In Radio Goodies Graeme's plan to set up a pirate radio station (and pirate post-office) and the resulting success soon turns him into a raging fascist dictator, complete with uniform and ranting Germanic accent, and he develops a mad plan to drag the entirety of Britain outside of the five-mile limit so that he can rule over it as a 'pirate state'. When Bill and Tim walk out on him in disgust, he eventually resorts to trying to tow Britain away single-handedly in a rowboat.
    • In fact this sort of thing happens rather a lot in The Goodies, for instance it happened to Bill in Kung-Fu Capers episode, Graeme AGAIN in Bunfight at the OK Tearooms and all three of them in the Movies.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Seasons 1 and 2 have a much different feel, with episodes revolving around the lads having to help someone in need, and most villains being played by guest stars. From season 3 onwards, they started working more for their own benefit, until Season 4, where the "Anything Anytime" agency had almost been completely faded out, and the boys simply did whatever took their fancy (or whatever was profitable).
  • Eek! A Mouse!: Referenced in Kitten Kong, where a black housekeeper (suspiciously similar to the one in Tom and Jerry, we even hear her shouting for "Thomas") jumps on the table and shrieks at the sight of the team dressed as mice.
  • Edible Ammunition: (The ketchup squeeze bottles in "Bunfight at the OK Tearooms".)
  • Egomaniac Hunter: "Dodonuts" has Tim and Graeme as leaders of the Endangered Species Club who hunt down endangered species, including a dodo protected by conservationist Bill Oddie.
  • Eleventy-Zillion: In the episode "Culture for the Masses" Tim buys a painting at an auction for "one million billion quintillion zillion pounds and two and a half new pence", which it goes without saying that he does not have. They leave thirteen pence as a deposit. By Contrived Coincidence, the National Gallery have all their paintings insured for exactly one million billion quintillion zillion pounds. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The End of the World as We Know It
  • Enemy Mime: "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express"
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The Funky Gibbon — the greatest novelty hit of The Goodies.
  • Expository Theme Tune (in the later seasons; the earlier ones had a Surreal Theme Tune instead)

G (Gee) You need a helping hand
O (Oh!) You know we understand
O -- We'll be there to the end
Everyone needs a friend!

  • Fable Remake
  • Facial Composite Failure: Lighthouse Keeping Loonies has two identikit pictures of suspects for some crime who resemble some high-up members of the Royal Family.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Parodied and Lampshaded: when one Nazi sentry starts showing his partner a photo of his girlfriend in Dusseldorf, the other starts telling him to put it away and ends up screaming at the top of the lungs to the British commandos he is certain are about to leap and murder them that he is not with this guy.
  • Fauxtastic Voyage: Daylight Robbery On The Orient Express.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Played for laughs with smell instead of taste.

Tim: Hang on a minute--(sniffs)--dang! That's certain substances, that is! How stupid...Graeme, have a sniff of that.
Graeme: Huh? Oh, that's--(sniffs -- collapses, then gets up, looking completely spaced out)--hooh! Where'd you get the stuff, man? Cool, baby, cool...

  • Food Slap: In The Goodies and the Bean Stalk, Bill has gone to sell the beloved trandem -- however, it's rated as worthless by the bike buyers, who jokingly buy it for a tin of beans. When he comes back, Tim and Graeme inspect it, surprisingly calm, before pouring all the beans over Bill's head.
    • Also, in "Punky Business", Graeme has gotten to work as a waiter in a punk restaurant. When Tim orders the sauce, he gets it all over his head.
    • Also also, in "Black And White Beauty", there's a literal food slap. Exposition: Graeme's running a place that takes care of old animals. Bill, after watching some of their behavior (nothing), starts doubting that they're alive. Bill watches a very unmoving cat, then this ensues:

Bill: Alright, Graeme. (produces a fish) I want to see that cat eat that kipper.
(nothing happens)
Graeme: Er--yes--oh, look! (points) The hamster's doing a handstand!
(Tim and Bill look away for a bit -- when they look back, the kipper bone is sticking out of Graeme's mouth. Tim slowly pulls it out)
Graeme: Er...(turns to the cat) I'm sorry, Kenneth, I was just so--(Tim slaps him with the kipper)

    • In "Punky Business", Graeme dumps Tim's spaghetti dinner over Tim's head as part of the punk experience at his restaurant "Trattoria Punk".
  • Football Hooligans: The Goodies had an episode about soccer hooliganism, in which ballet eventually replaced soccer as the national pastime but was then ruined by - yep - ballet hooligans.
    • This was quite probably a reference to The Rite of Spring, which actually did have hooligans beating each other and gendarmes called in to quell the riot on its premiere.
    • They also had a milder parody in one episode, where Tim and Graeme ran in, cheering, chanting, and dressed in red-white scarves and wooly hats.
  • Footprints of Muck: In Kitten Kong episode the Comic Trio follow the huge paw prints of Tinkles the Kitten across London on their three-seater bicycle, and keep running into things because the giant purrball can just step over objects they can't.
  • For the Evulz: A rather light example in Gender Education: Bill's just signed up to do a row of extremely violent shows for the BBC. Graeme and Tim, bewildered, simply ask why he'd join up for such 'immoral, gratuitous violence'.

Bill: Oh, don't worry, I have a perfectly good reason.
Graeme: Oh really? What's that?
Bill: I like violence! (jumps Graeme, beginning to strangle him)

  • Free Prize At the Bottom: One of the spoof ads was for Goodies Plastic Spacemen, which came in a cereal box with a free corn flake.
  • Friend to All Living Things: After Tim Brooke-Taylor becomes Bigfoot (his right foot has swollen from walking around the sides of mountains, looking for legendary creatures) he retreats to the wild (so people will stop laughing themselves to death over the sight of his enormous foot) and becomes friends to all the animals, who join him in a rendition of the "Bigfoot" theme song.
  • Funny Background Event: In U-Friend Or UFO, Tim and Graeme discuss their sensitive UFO sensing equipment. Meanwhile, Bill is abducted.
  • Gadgeteer Genius (Graeme. Sometimes verging into Mad Scientist territory as well.)
    • Lampshaded after a fashion in "The Race". (Granted, he makes more of a simulation, but still...)

Bill: There's still one problem. We don't have a car, do we?
Graeme: That's no problem -- get me a plate, a spoon, and a mirror.
Bill: This is no time for juggling.
Graeme: (annoyed) Get them.

  • Gaussian Girl: Parodied, Bill and a woman are in soft focus whilst kissing, when he suddenly stops, runs up to the camera and wipes the petroleum jelly off the lens.
  • Gay Cowboy (Tim as the Rhinestone Cowperson in "The Goodies Almost Live".)
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Played for comedy in an episode of The Goodies. Tim is in hysterics. Graeme lightly slaps him. Tim is silent for about two seconds...and then slaps back much harder, sending Graeme tumbling into a nearby pile of boxes.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping / Dead Line News: In Kitten Kong a newsreader is squashed by Kitten Kong's huge paw.
  • Gibberish of Love: The first time The Goodies meet their dancing partners in the episode "Come Dancing", this ensues. Simultaneously. To both trios. How else to explain this exchange?

Girls: We are Norma. We are a hair artiste.
Goodies: We are Cyril. We are a bank clerk.
Girls: That's interesting.
(Beat)
Girls: [awkwardly] Our vision is to own our own hair dressing salon.
Goodies: How interesting. Our ambition is to own our own bank.

  • The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: In "Punky Business", Graeme turns Tim into a punk by cutting his leg off. After reattaching it, he warns Tim that the catch won't last much past midnight. Tim goes to the Trensetter's Ball, where he loses his leg at midnight. Caroline Kook vows to marry the man whom the leg fits. Cue punks cutting off their own legs.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: Cilla Black's singing in "The Stolen Musicians".
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Tim's union jack boxers make several appearances in The Goodies, most notably in The End and Scoutrageous.
    • And in Saturday Night Grease he dons a pair of underpants that have a large carrot on them.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Included on the first DVD, showing several takes of the "breaking the record" scene from The End. Notable among them is the one where Bill takes the record off and smashes it against the desk, and...it doesn't break. He smashes it against the desk four more times, until Tim takes it from him...and attempts to smash it himself.
  • Hive Mind: In "Sex and Violence" all three Goodies disguise themselves as one person...all at once...and talk in synch. Something similar happens with both the Goodies and their dance partners in "Come Dancing".
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Frequent. In one episode, Tim and Graeme replace Bill with a robot, which they treat like a son, and end up acting like a dysfunctional married couple.
    • And lampshaded, notably in The End, when they're concreted into their office.

Tim: We shall make a new world...a better world for our children.
Bill: What d'you mean, children--we're not going to have any children, are we? I mean, think about it, y'know...face it, from now on we three are doomed to be bachelors gay! (puts his hand on Tim's shoulder while Graeme starts stroking his hair) That's, uh...that's an idea, innit?
Tim: (thoughtful pause) ...No! Get off!

  • Hospital Hottie: Spoofed in Hospital For Hire, where the nurse turns out to be a bearded man. Then they're informed she's not a man.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin! (Bill's 'lemon sherbet' in the early seasons)
  • Identical Grandson: In 2001 And A Bit, and done with an uncle in Hunting Pink.
  • I Know Kung Faux: Ecky-Thump, the ancient Lancastrian art of self-defence. It involved the use of black puddings as weapons.
  • Implausible Deniability: In "Scoutrageous", Graeme and Bill have been terrorising the country as 'the Lone Scout, Plus One'. When they are finally cornered by Tim and the Salvation Army, Tim orders them to take off their masks. Upon seeing their faces, Tim lets out a shocked "It was you all along!". Graeme and Bill look sheepish and Bill mutters "No". Tim then says "Oh well, that's alright then" and starts to leave.
  • Inept Talent Show Contestants: In Hype Pressure Graeme and Bill form a folk duo called 'the Twofolk'. They appear on Tim's cruel talent show 'New Faeces' and perform a hideous song called "The World Is Full Of Women and Men". Despite being booed by the audience, they are a hit with the supposedly unscrupulous panelists, who admire the song's naivety and purity. Tim's theatre of cruelty series is cancelled as a result.
  • Institutional Apparel: The arrow variation uniform can be seen in the episode Goodies in the Nick.*
  • Instrument of Murder ("The Stolen Musicians")
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: In the episode Scoutrageous, the two renegade Scouts whittle Tim's staves until he relents (they also damage his hat).
  • ISophagus
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Used, albeit not with the exact phrasing.

American Officer: Well, I'll be hornswoggled!
Graeme: Your personal life is no concern of ours.

Ms. Heffer: He doesn't want you! You're fat and old and ugly!
"Mitzi": Fat and old I may be, but ugly--(hissing)--ugly... ...you're absolutely right, that's why he loves me. C'mere...

  • It Makes Sense in Context: Graeme pulls this in The Clown Virus due to his less-than-helpful explanation of what's going on.

Bill: (seeing the first signs of Tim's transformation into a clown) Hey, Gray, Gray...he looks like Coco the Clown!
Graeme: Good grief, of course...that's it!
Tim & Bill: What?
Graeme: Wh--can't you see--Coco the Clown! The Americans! The tomato soup! Nerve gas! It all makes sense!
Tim & Bill: ...No, it doesn't.

  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Less than half the total number of episodes have been released on DVD in the UK, allegedly due to the controller of the BBC not liking the show.
    • Due to ABC in Australia pretty much playing the episodes on constant repeat, most of the material is now obtained from Aussie pirates, where the show has a HUGE following.
  • Kill the Poor: An annual cull of the poor was one of Tim's policies when running for Prime Minister.
  • Larynx Dissonance: Tim in "Cecily", talking on the phone. It might not be convincing, but, credit where its due, he slips into the voice like an evening gown.
  • Last Breath Bullet ("Bunfight at the OK Tearooms")
  • Le Film Artistique: Parodied in "The Movies". The film of a nun stripping to a frenzied cello accompaniment, but revealing a whiteface mime, is especially bizarre.
    • It was a parody of Ken Russell's films, specially Mahler.
  • Left the Background Music On: Tim's habit of giving inspirational speeches to a background of patriotic music -- which he is seen starting up himself on a tape deck before beginning his speech.
  • Lighthouse Point ("A Little Light Housekeeping")
  • Like an Old Married Couple: In Kitten Kong Tim and Bill bicker about dinner in this fashion, complete with snarky hissing and turning their backs on one another. Context: Bill was giving a gourmet meal to a guinea pig (It Makes Sense In...uh...further...contexty...things...)

Tim: ...Ruddy 'ell!
Bill: Surely you're not resentful toward a little kindness for one of our dumb friends?
Tim: The only dumb friend I've got is you!
Bill: Well, thank you, after I make supper for you--
Tim: Look, we can hardly afford to feed ourselves, and you start giving four-course meals to flaming guinea pigs!
Bill: [turns his back] Temper, temper...
Tim: Well, since when have we eaten that well!
Bill: Since when indeed, yes...what did we get last time you cooked supper, eh? [Tim turns his back as well] A bowl of corn flakes! Yes, and they were burnt...
Tim: Well, better than your soggy lettuce and potato peelings...
Bill: [turns back around, snapping] On the money you give me you're very lucky to get anything at all, I can tell you! [turning his back, hands on hips] Oh, I've a good urge to go back to mother's...
Tim: Well go.
Bill: I shall.
Graeme: Now listen!
Bill and Tim: AND YOU KEEP OUT OF THIS!
Graeme: Tim, you are being very, very silly!
Tim: Oh, you always take sides with him, don't you...

  • Limited Wardrobe: Played straight with Tim and Graeme but averted with Bill, who had the same outfit for the first two seasons but went through several groovy outfits after that.
  • Lipstick and Load Montage (Tim getting ready for the disco in "Saturday Night Grease")
  • Locked in a Room: The End
  • Martial Arts and Crafts ("Kung Fu Kapers")
  • May Contain Evil (The 'tomato soup' in "Clown Virus")
  • Meadow Run: Done between Bill Oddie and his new gal. Then done in the same meadow between Graeme Garden and...his computer. He also tries to push it on a swing, which...doesn't work so well.
  • Media Watchdogs (Parodied in the form of Mrs Desiree Carthorse, an obvious No Celebrities Were Harmed Mary Whitehouse, in the episode "Sex and Violence". The real Mrs Whitehouse had said how much she liked the show, and the boys took offense.)
  • Mega Neko (Kitten Kong)
  • Merit Badges for Everything: The Scoutrageous! episode of The Goodies features the World Domination badge (up to that point only ever awarded to Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and David Frost. But Frost stole his.).
  • Miracle-Gro Monster (Kitten Kong)
  • Monumental Damage (The episode Sex and Violence concludes with the Crosses the Line Twice climax of Bill (accidentally) blowing up the BBC Television Centre.)
    • Legend Stories have it that this scene was repeatedly screened at BBC parties, where it attracted huge cheers every time.
    • Kitten Kong took down the Post Office Tower (now known as the BT Tower) in a clip that ended up in the Title Sequence of later seasons.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain (In one episode, the Goodies ran a pirate radio station inside a submarine attached to a rowboat. The rowboat itself had a sign saying 'Not A Pirate Radio Station'.)
    • And earlier on, in "The Greenies", there was a military base with a sign saying (paraphrased): "Not A Germ Warfare Station Or A Nuclear Weapon Testing Site Or A Place Where People Are Hurt In Any Way". And below it, a small sign saying "So There".
  • Mushroom Samba: In some of the early episodes Bill Oddie's hallucinations are crucial plot points. They are induced by

Graeme: LEMON SHERBET?
Whenever the sherbet comes up, it's often mentioned that his grandmother sends him it. It's also described as "Not dangerous, but it turns him on".

  • Musical Assassin (Cilla Black at the end of "The Stolen Musicians".)
    • Everyone at the end of "The Stolen Musicians". Don't forget the organ cannon. Or the orchestra using their violins as bows.
      • And their bows as arrows.
      • Ohh.
  • Newscaster Cameo: BBC News presenter Richard Baker made some appearances in The Goodies, along with Michael Aspel and others.
    • Regulars of note were Corbet Woodall and Michael Barratt (who hosted Nationwide).
  • Nice Hat: In "Kung Fu Kapers", mastery in the Lancastrian martial art of Ecky-Thump is shown by the size of the flat cap worn by the fighter.
  • Nine Out of Ten Doctors Agree: Parodied when The Goodies go into the advertising business in It Might As Well Be String.

Tim: Look at this! Nine out of every ten doctors agree that people who don't eat Sunbeam sliced bread will get squashed by elephants!
Graeme: That's right. Mind you, it did take us a long time to find the right nine doctors, woo hoo hoo (makes loony signal) ... and the elephants!

  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: There were several thinly-disguised parodies of media personalities, usually with punny names such as Bill Grumpy, Michael Aspirin, and so forth.
  • No More for Me: In Frankenfido a man walking out of an optometrist takes off his new glasses after seeing the giant mutant pup...and promptly walks into a lamppost.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party ("The End")
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Bunfight at the OK Tea Room has an Overly Long Gag about the pronunciation of the word "scone". The joke is that both the long-O and short-O pronunciations are correct, and it's slightly region-dependent which one is favoured.
    • Also done in The Clown Virus when they're meeting with an American general.

General: Gentlemen, we want to employ you to dispose of this small canister of harmless substance.
Graeme: Oh, no, no, no. We're not dumping your...poison gas or whatever it is.
General: Poison gas!? This is not poison gas, this is...tomayto soup!
Goodies: (incredulous) Tomato soup!?
General: Yes, tomayto soup! (points to the label)
Bill: Oh, tomato soup...

  • Orgy of Evidence: "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express" where the evidence left behind by the murderers includes a Union jack waistcoat, a pair of glasses and a beard...which Bill proceeds to put on.
  • Overly Long Name: When The Goodies travel to Wales via train, the name of the station is seen outside the window continuing for the entire journey to their destination. This is a parody of the railway station at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (usually abbreviated to Llanfair PG), which is the longest train station name in the world.
  • Painted Tunnel, Real Train: Taken to a truly manic extent in The Movies: Characters jump in and out of the cinema screen, then in and out of the cinema screen which is on another cinema screen, then running off screen, appearing in the cinema screen inside the cinema screen, then jumping through all the cinema screens. The amazing thing is that they avoid Special Effect Failure despite the episode being from 1975, and live action television.
    • Done earlier in Invasion Of The Moon Creatures, when Bill, dressed as a rabbit (It Makes Sense in Context, promise) runs next to a hole and jumps down the rabbit hole to get rid of Graeme, who is chasing him. Graeme attempts to jump in also, but hits the ground. Confused, he touches the hole, and manages to pick it up -- it's just a piece of round, black paper. Frustrated, he throws the hole away as he stomps off-screen. When the hole lands, Bill crawls out of it again.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: At one point, all three Goodies disguise themselves as one man. No, they aren't wearing identical disguises -- they're wearing one very large mustache and speaking all at the same time. When they take it off:

Man: Good Lord! There are three of you in there!

    • This is inverted in another episode when they attempt to bluff a villain's henchman by pretending to be the villain disguising himself as all three of them at once.
  • Parodies -- Too many to list, so I'll list Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World
  • Parody Commercial: From the start of season 1 to the end of season 4, episodes were split into two parts, divided by parody commercials. They made a return in the season 6 episode It Might As Well Be String, which was a parody of the advertisement industry in general.
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth (In reference to this trope, while on a desert island Graeme bites the top off a pineapple which then explodes for no apparent reason.
  • Pixilation
  • Poke the Poodle (When the end of the world is nigh, Tim panics, worrying about his sins and the possibility he may go to hell. His sins, in the order he confessed them to Bill and Graeme: Forgetting to put the turkey in for Christmas, tucking his shirt inside his underpants, and making little bubbles in the bath between his knees. When he has a Freak-Out and tries to be sinful, he wears a t-shirt showing-off his belly button (and mocks Bill and knees him in the groin, which actually is pretty douchey.)
  • Political Stereotype: Not a major part of their characters, but the three Goodies each had elements of being stereotypical members of the three main political parties in the UK at the time: Bill for Labour, Tim for the Conservatives and Graeme for the Liberals.
  • Pressure Point: Spoofed in Kung Fu Capers: Reading from a book of martial arts instructions, Graham delivers a large number of light taps and pokes to various spots on Tim's body. After several seconds of nothing happening, Tim suddenly spasms and jerks back and forth before collapsing unconscious.
  • Ridiculympics: "A Kick in the Arts had Tim converting the Olympics from sports alone to a combination of sports and arts, leading to such events as the 'Snatch and Limerick' (combining poetry and weightlifting).
  • Ring Ring CRUNCH: Hilariously spoofed in Lighthouse Loonies. Seeing the fog closing in around the Jolly Rock lighthouse Graeme switches on the foghorn, startling an over-sensitive Tim who yells at him to turn it off. Graeme does so but the foghorn continues to blare, even after they repeatedly flick the switch, pull out the power cord, rip the foghorn to bits and jump up and down on it. Finally in desperation Graeme swallows the part emitting the most noise, whereupon silence ensues. Until he opens his mouth to speak.
    • Also present in the second episode, Snooze, with a radio. It seems that Graeme has built a hammer into his wall for the primary purpose of smashing his radio.
  • River of Insanity ("The Lost Tribe")
  • Running Gag: Many. Bill's "lemon sherbet" in early episodes, for example. They also had several that only lasted for one episode, such as Graeme always adding a deadpan 'boom' to their radio station's theme song (It Makes Sense in Context...ah...sort of...) in "Radio Goodies".
    • The Heenz Meenz Beenz add, featuring Tim as a Butt Monkey boy who keeps messing up an add for baked beans.
  • The Runt At the End

Head Dwarf: Sleepy. Happy. Grumpy. Soppy. Grotty. And Tim.

  • Sad Clown: Years after the show had ended, Bill Oddie revealed that he had a lifelong battle with depression.
  • Screwed by the Network (Apparently the controller of the BBC hated the series, but was unable to kill the show off due to its popularity. So while it had a good long run, there have been very, very few repeats of the show on British TV, even in recent years, this changed in December 2010. And Tim, Bill and Graeme had to take matters into their own hands to get the show out on DVD.)
    • The BBC eventually did cancel the series (or rather, failed to continue it; there was never a formal contract), and it moved to ITV, where it was subjected to Executive Meddling and died. Ironically, this is the season that Comedy Central UK is allowed to show.
      • Apparently the show was canceled so that the special effects budget for The Goodies could be reallocated to the effects heavy and very expensive TV version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy.
    • Although then BBC controller Jane Root is on record as saying she would allow no more episodes to be made and would permit repeat screenings only over my dead body. Something of a hate figure among Goodies afficionados, fans are patiently waiting for news of her funeral.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: In UF-Friend or UFO Bill is being chased by what he thinks is an alien, but Tim won't let him in the door, so he orders Graham's robot to open it. The robot promptly disintegrates the door, so Bill can't lock it after him.
  • Shout-Out: In "Invasion Of The Moon Creatures", there's a shout out to Doctor Who ("(while in space) I'll just step outside to the telephone booth." "What telephone booth?" "That one! (points to the TARDIS)"), Star Trek (Spock shows up on their screen briefly, and Graeme records his thoughts in a captain's log á la Kirk), and Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Graeme: Captain's log...stardate, February 18th...time, 10:15...It is with deep regret that I--10:15?! Hey! [turns TV on, the opening titles to Flying Circus roll] Ah, blast! ...Missed Maura Anderson.

Graeme: My friends, this here bottle contains a guaranteed all-purpose remedy for prostration, inflation and frustration! Pneumonia and old monia! Distemper, dat temper and bad temper! Sunburn, heartburn, and Tony Blackburn!

    • Tony Blackburn, in fact, portrays one of the onlookers.
  • Something That Begins With Boring: (While encased in concrete)
  • Spin-Off: At the height of their fame, they had a comic series in Cor!! magazine -- although it wasn't penned by them, it got their yea or nay as the 'final test' before publishing. A well-known fansite has some scans.
  • Spiritual Successor (I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, to some extent, especially the earlier episodes where Bill was a regular along with Tim and Graeme)
    • Which, in turn, would make The Goodies itself a Spiritual Successor to I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again.
  • Spot the Imposter: In The Baddies, where robot doubles of the lads were made by someone trying to give them a bad image. Tim eventually yells that they should try and unscrew the doubles' heads, to which the inventor of the doubles panicked, revealing them, The Goodies then begin to chase the duplicates. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Start My Own: The basis for several episodes, including "Radio Goodies" and "Hospital for Hire".
  • Stop Motion: The Goodies often used the live action version of this effect during the action scenes.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: In "Radio Goodies":

Graeme: (enraged) How can I create a new world when I'm surrounded by fools?!
Tim & Bill: ...He's flipped. He's flipped, he's gone, he's completely gone...

  • Surreal Humor: On occasion, the most notable occasions being the endings of certain episodes -- "The Movies" (which ended with Tim, Bill and Graeme running back and forth between movie sets and into television screens in an epic battle between an epic, a silent comedy, and a western), "Daylight Robbery On The Orient Express" (which ended with Evil Twin Goodies entering the French Le Boring competition, and using the power of mime to stop the Goodies from interfering), and "It Might As Well Be String" (which ended with switches to several different commercials in which Bill and Graeme tried to stop Tim from telling the world that string was evil). None of these endings offered any attempt at closure, even for a show with Negative Continuity, all of them make just as much sense in context, and it was even lampshaded in the credits of "It Might As Well Be String", with Tim, Bill and Graeme looking at a television screen.

Bill: ...Huh, I didn't quite get that.
Graeme: Surrealism.
Bill: Suh--what?
Tim: 'Suh lot of rubbish.
Bill: Oh.

  • Take That: Frequently to Rolf Harris. In "The Stolen Musicians", being locked into a cell with Rolf Harris is considered a Fate Worse Than Death. (Also, they took a few playful shots at Monty Python.)
    • DJ Tony Blackburn was also a frequent target, as was Margaret Thatcher.
    • They even devoted a whole episode to mocking Rolf Harris - in "Scatty Safari", they capture Rolf Harris, who becomes the star attraction at the Goodies' celebrity safari park. Unfortunately, their captive breeding program works a little too well, and Great Britain is soon overrun by a plague of Rolf Harrises.
      • The episode also includes a swipe at Tony Blackburn, the safari park's former main attraction. Tony (who appears as himself) doesn't do well in captivity, and after Tim can't bring himself to put the poor fellow out of his misery ("I couldn't do it! Those big brown eyes looking up at me. I swear he could understand every word I said!"), they decide to release him into the wild, and he makes his glorious run for freedom... at which point he is promptly shot dead by a hunter.
    • Other favourite targets: singers Max Bygraves and Des O'Connor, journalist/comedian David Frost (fondly[3]), "Clean Up TV" and "Festival of Light" campaigner Mary Whitehouse, actress and political activist Vanessa Redgrave, and television presenter Nicholas Parsons.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That (Practically a Characteristic Trope. Every time something is being read out or listened to, somebody (usually Bill) will pass a smartarse or confused comment, for which the tape, record, TV show or piece of paper will have a response. The height of the trope is reached when the characters are learning kung fu -- Graeme is reading aloud from the book, Tim is trying what it says.)

Graeme: Now lift up your index and middle finger and make a V.
Tim makes the rude V sign.
Graeme: No, not like that.
Tim flips his hand around to a less rude gesture
Graeme: Yes, like that.

  • Trandem Parasite: The Trandem is a three-man variation of a Tandem. The original version was an ordinary (sic) tandem with an extra seat at the back. Tim and Graeme pedalled, Bill being shortest was at the back in the non-pedalling seat. Later on the BBC prop department actually built a version with three sets of pedals.
  • Team Title
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: Parodied in Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express
  • Ten Paces and Turn
  • Thief Bag ("Alternative Roots")
  • This Is No Time to Panic: Usually Graeme will say calmly, "Who votes that we should panic now?" followed by everyone putting up their hands, then Bill and Graeme start running about shouting hysterically while Tim pretends he's a Teapot.
  • Thriller on the Express: ("Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express")
  • Title Montage: Updated almost every series with new clips from the preceding series, or with a new theme tune (or version of the existing one).
  • Today X, Tomorrow the World!: Played chillingly straight by Graeme in "Radio Goodies", after he went Drunk with Power.

Graeme: Today...the post office...tomorrow...the worrrld.

  • Totem Pole Trench: In South Africa with a mannequin.
  • To the Batpole: (The Quick Change Cabinet)
  • Trouser Space: (Tim in "Scoutrageous")
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Mocked in "The Goodies and the Movies", where Tim eventually fires all the film directors for making films of this type.
    • Specifically, he says 50% of them are either "very boring or extremely pretentious", and the rest are unnecessarily violent or sexy.
  • Uncanceled
  • Universal Adaptor Cast: In those episodes inexplicably set in alternate times or places, where the trio play different characters.
  • Visual Pun (All the time.)

Graeme: They'll probably send us a message on the drums.
Promptly has a drum thrown at him with a message written on it.

  • Waxing Lyrical: Scoutrageous started off by quoting the White Rabbit's song from Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland. Bill and Graeme are sitting around the office:

Graeme: He's late.
Tim: (walking in) I'm late.
Bill: For a very important date.
Graeme: No time to say hello.
Tim: (leaving) Goodbye.
Graeme and Bill: (together) He's late, he's late, he's late, eeh eeh!

    • And from an early season episode comes this exchange:

Graeme: Well, that's love. Who can explain it? Who can tell you why?
Bill: (singing) Fools give you reasons...
All: Wise men never try!
Tim: Some enchaaaanted evening--don't change the subject!

    • And all the time in "Saturday Night Grease"!
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Tim's Union Jack waistcoat and boxers.
  • We Help the Helpless
  • What Do You Mean It's Not for Kids?: A source of great fustration for the team. The concentration of cartoon-like visual humour led the BBC to label The Goodies as a children's show, and then getting uptight about any "unsuitable" material.
  • Widget Series (or, more accurately, Widbrit Series)
  • William Telling: (The boys are challenged to a medieval battle by a team of black knights. One of them successfully shoots a melon off of Graeme's head, nailing it to the tree behind him. Bill then has to one-up them by shooting an olive off Tim's head — he does, but nails most of Tim's hair to the tree as well.)
  • Write Who You Know: Averted, despite all three characters being Danzas, their real personalities had little similarity to the characters on the show. Bill the character was a Heroic Sociopath, Bill the guy was an Actual Pacifist, for example.
    • Both Bills were keen ornithologists, though, because that was something he was known for. Tim would later say that the characters were exaggerations of how the public percieved them; so Bill's passionate outspokenness became heroic sociopathy, Graeme's medical degree made him a Mad Scientist, and Tim's posh accent and name made him an Upper Class Twit.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Moral Guardian Mary Whitehouse praised the show, they retaliated by making an episode mocking her.
  • Zany Scheme: What the boys do when there's no helpless to help!

Notes

  1. Bill Oddie, whose personal contempt for Harris was part of the motivation behind the frequent mockery of him on the programme, assumed Harris would refuse if asked to appear in the episode, and so didn't bother to ask.
  2. uvula
  3. Frost having given the Goodies some of their first breaks as television writers