The Mighty Boosh

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Come with us now on a journey through time and space... to the world of the Mighty Boosh.

The Mighty Boosh is a zany British comedy series about two friends, Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and Vince Noir (Noel Fielding), who have bizarre adventures together. Howard is a humorless braggart with a love for jazz and a penchant for getting into trouble, and Vince -- the "King of the Mods", the "Mayor of Camden", and the face of Cheekbone magazine -- ends up saving Howard Once an Episode, which tends to involve him talking to animals and wearing silly outfits. They eventually have to fight a Monster of the Week (usually in song) while meeting a range of strange characters, many of whom are also played by Barratt and Fielding.

The two live together with the Deadpan Snarker stoner shaman Naboo (played by Michael Fielding, Noel's brother, whose hair the show was incidentally named for) and Bollo, Naboo's gorilla familiar. Most episodes focus on Howard and Vince leaving the zoo (first series), their flat (second series), or their second-hand goods shop (third series), for a number of distant locations (including the Arctic tundra, Monkey Hell, and the planet Xooberon).

The humor of the show is based on a combination of non sequiturs, pop culture references, psychedelic visuals, and musical interludes, along with the clearly low budget -- but nonetheless very creative -- settings and costumes. The humor ranges from the silly to the surreal, but always stays happy and sweet: very much like a children's show, only with balls jokes.

Also part of the show's appeal is the home-made feel it has. Fielding designs many of the visual elements (including the artwork featured in the animation) while Barratt composes all of the music (and plays a mean guitar), and many of the extras are Barratt's and Fielding's friends and family.

The Mighty Boosh was originally a stage act, and then a radio series, before it became a TV show. It then returned to the stage between series one and two, and another live tour took place between 2008 and 2009.

If you've ever wondered what would happen if the characters of Bob Fossil and Dixon Bainbridge got their own show, see Snuff Box.

Tropes used in The Mighty Boosh include:
  • Aerith and Bob: Lampshaded with the Shaman Tony Harrison.
  • All Just a Dream, Or Was It a Dream? "The Nightmare of Milky Joe"
  • Almost Kiss: Howard and Vince have come close to this a couple of times. They've also, you know, kissed.
  • Always Someone Better: Lance Dior and Harold Boon in "The Power of the Crimp".
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: More than once. No wonder the shippers love this show so much.
  • Anything That Moves: Vince Noir. Pandas, Yetis, Polar Bears, Monsters, anything, although he usually just gives them cuddles.
    • Considering Vince's reputation, it may be pretty telling that the only person we have seen him kiss has been Howard.
  • Ascended Extra: Bollo. Also, Rudi was initially a one-shot character but had almost a whole episode dedicated to him after series one.
  • Asexuality: Naboo "doesn't really do anything". Considering his Barbie Doll Anatomy, it's not like he has a choice...
  • Aside Glance
  • At Arm's Length
  • Attractive Bent Gender: Vince proudly claims this status. While he doesn't usually dress like a woman, he's frequently mistaken for one. Sometimes he's considered attractive, while other times he's called Howard's ugly wife.

Vince Noir: I'm the great confuser! 'Is it a man? Is it a woman? Oh, I don't think I mind...'

  • Ambiguously Gay: before Vince was outed as a Bisexual, he certainly seemed very.... camp for a straight man. He was never shown to be seriously interested in women, was ludicrously flamboyant and fashion orientated, was once caught licking a picture of his favourite male actor, and seemed to have a suspiciously good idea of what made one gay:

Vince Noir: You can't just go gay. It's not like buying a ladder.

  • Badass Bookworm: Dixon Bainbridge, man of action. Dude goes to the Arctic Tundra, alone, survives falling off a cliff (his fall was broken by a wolf, which he then killed with a gun hidden in his mustache, but still), then makes his way back to England, goes off to the Tundra alone again, and somehow finds the fake Egg of Mantumbi, survives being frozen by the terrible "Icy Bastard", who he attempted to fist-fight, thaws himself out with heat hidden in his mustache, goes back to England using a whale's jawbone (he killed the whale, somehow) as a raft to get to another continent, then goes back to England, back to the Tundra, where he finds the real Egg of Mantumbi, and is celebrated as the best explorer and man of action who ever lived. Oh, and he's apparently smart enough to splice together man and snake. Bad. Ass.
  • Bamboo Technology: literally, out of bamboo
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Naboo the Enigma has a crotch "as smooth as the bonnet of a Porsche"
  • Beware of Hitch-Hiking Ghosts
  • Berserk Button: Don't criticize Howard's work. Also, if you are in the presence of one of Vince's stalkers and attempt to harm him, you will die. Always.
  • Biting the Hand Humor: A scene from "The Chokes" pokes fun at BBC Three's sister, BBC Four, basically saying it's all documentaries which are boring and intellectualist. And they actually got to use the real BBC Four symbol.
  • Bi the Way: Vince's bisexuality has never really affected his actions at all
  • Black Comedy Rape:
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: Tommy Nooka, the cheese priest
  • Brainless Beauty: Vince, almost literally: he has one brain cell.
    • In "Nanageddon":

Howard: Old Comanche Indian saying: the best way to hide a leaf is in the forest.
Vince: You think [Nanatoo] is in the forest?

  • Brainwashed: Howard, Vince, Naboo and Bollo in "The Call of the Yeti"
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Bob Fossil's monologues
  • Breathless Non-Sequitur: Both verbal and visual
  • Brick Joke: "Student loans" in "Eels", among others.
    • "That flute is worth over 35 euros."
    • "Big Leg" in Boosh Live.
    • "Howard Moon, Colon, Explorer". Seasons apart, even.
  • The Cameo: Roger Daltrey, Gary Numan, the bands Razorlight and the Horrors
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Hitcher
    • The Crack Fox pretty much had no reason for wanting to become all-powerful. (Do you need a reason for that?)
  • Catch Phrase: Might need a page of its own.
  • Celibate Hero: Rudi in "The Priest and the Beast." Assuming you don't count his guitar.
    • Is it so wrong for a man to love his guitar?!
      • YES, when he puts his balls in it and strums himself to ecstasy!
  • Chekhov's Gun: about once an episode. For example- Vince's overstuffed suitcase, which kills the Queen Yeti in "Call of the Yeti".
  • The Chew Toy: Howard
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Many characters would qualify, but none as much as the Moon.
    • "Some people go awwww, look at the moon up there with his milky white face... he's all gentle. And others go UGH, he's a vanilla rapist, get 'im away from my kids."
  • Cloudcuckooland: The place Howard and Vince live in is supposed to be London, but instead of British currency they use euros, all people everywhere go on bizarre rants without police interference, animals attempt to get busy with humans and no one finds it odd, time travel is as simple as hailing a taxi, and strange, immortal green witches inhabit the streets.
    • It would seem this extends to the rest of the solar system, as the Moon is something of an Eldritch Abomination (apparently having driven a man who looked up to the Moon to "[Have] a shit on a salad."), is completely and utterly batshit insane, and often mentions other planets as living beings, with Jupiter showing up to eat a fake moon that inexplicably appeared from nowhere.
  • Continuity Nod: Inverted, in numerous moments in all three series, reference is made to the age difference between Howard and Vince; sometimes they are the same age, sometimes they are up to 10 years apart. These moments are invariably followed with a musical cue and pointed looks into the camera.
  • Crowd Song: Everybody join in! "Bouncy bouncy/Oh such a good time/Bouncy bouncy/Shoes all in a line..."
    • Bob Fossil attempts this and fails in the radio series with the "Nicey nicey zoo zoo" song, partly because no-one joins in, partly because, in his excitement, he hurls a small child into the lion enclosure.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Montgomery Flange in "The Chokes." Could also possible apply to Howard in "Bollo" when he calls Vince from Limbo, though he does come Back From the Dead.
  • Deal with the Devil: Howard sold his soul to the Spirit of Jazz in exchange for musical talent.
  • Death Is Cheap: The episode "Bollo" is almost entirely based around the death of the titular gorilla. He becomes a major character in Series 2, and even makes a brief cameo later on in series 1, wherein the fact that he died a few episodes ago is not mentioned. Also, Saboo and (presumably) Tony Harrison die in Series 2 only to return in Series 3. Not to mention the Hitcher, who was liquefied in Series 2 but returned in the next series perfectly intact.
    • Actually, Howard and Vince just believe the Hitcher melted, but he actually escaped. "I ain't melted, you onion, I'm over here. You'll never catch me, I'm off."
      • That was a Series 1 episode; in Series 2 he is liquefied when the gang flush the toilet whilst The Hitcher's taking a shower in the Fountain of Youth. He would appear to be dead by the episode's end.
  • Decapitation Presentation: The Hitcher does this with Vince and Howard in the live show. He doesn't just hold them up.
  • Deranged Animation
  • Did They Or Didn't They: Or, to be more specific, are Vince and Howard, or aren't they.
  • The Ditz: Bob Fossil, zoo manager doesn't know the names of any of the animals in the zoo, calling them such things as "grey leg-faced man" (elephant), and "black-and-white Chinese person who eats sticks" (panda). Here's his description of a kangaroo:

"Oh. You know those guys, with the little hands? You know, with the big pockets? You know, with the little version of themselves in the front pocket?"

Party Guest 1: Who is he? he's amazing!
Party Guest 2: Is he christ?

  • Everything's Better with Llamas: "Calm a Llama down..."
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Bollo.
  • Cute Kitten: Naboo gives Howard a picture of kittens in a barrel to look at, as a form of Anger Management therapy.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Ivan the hairy Russian carpet-guy, who saves Howard and Vince from an encounter with the Hitcher.
  • Evil Laugh: The hitcher, especially in the live show
  • Evil Twin: Played with - the 'Flighty Zeus', consisting of Lance Dior and Harold Boon, who copy Vince and Howard and essentially try to steal their lives.
    • They also have evil copies of Naboo and Bollo to round out their troupe.
  • Fake Band: The Black Tubes, Kraftwork Orange, Orange Work-Kraft.
    • Also Pete Neon, half-flamingo, half-pop star.
      • And The Ladder Coins from the radio series.
      • And Terminal Margaret.
      • The Bongo Brothers from "The Priest and the Beast".
    • Though many of the fake bands are composed of members of real bands.
      • In particular, the Horrors as the Black Tubes.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out
  • Fan Nickname: The Pencil Case girl.
  • Fartillery: The Crack Fox uses his bad diet against Vince to render him unconscious.
  • Fantastic Voyage: "Journey to the Center of the Punk"
  • Flash Back
  • Flashback Cut
  • Fish People: Old Gregg.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Hello, mirrorball suit!
  • Foreshadowing: Howard and Vince's conversations throughout Party set up the episode's little "birthday surprise" and its aftermath in several ways: Howard practically falls in love with a girl he'd only spoke to once and states that if he doesn't get with a woman soon, he's "going gay". Vince tries to explain that it's not that simple and that Howard is the least gay person he knows. Howard also says he doesn't fancy Vince, but Vince egotistically insists that all men do. Later, Howard is revealed to be a virgin who's never even kissed anyone. He declares that when he finally does "make that leap across the physical boundary, it'll be forever".
  • Fountain of Youth
    • It's all Ikea now, boy!
  • Friend to All Living Things: Vince can communicate with animals.
  • Gilligan Cut
  • The Ghost: Vince's friend Leroy.
  • Ghost in the Machine: "Journey to the Center of the Punk".
  • The Grim Reaper: "Bollo".
  • Groin Attack: How you gets to kill a 'roo.
    • Let's not forget the Cockney Cockpuncher.
      • "Oof, m'nuts!"
      • Also, Dixon Bainbridge's habit of kicking Bob Fossil in the crotch.
  • Grotesque Gallery: "Mutants".
  • Dying Declaration of Love: In the episode "Tundra", Howard declares his love for Vince because he thinks they are about to die. It's not a platonic declaration it's a full out I love you marry me kind of declaration
  • Heel Face Turn: The Hitcher, after deciding that kids these days don't like eels and Victorian imagery.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Howard and Vince. They're basically Bert and Ernie for the new millennium.
    • With a more obvious attaction between them than Bert and Ernie ever had
  • Hermaphrodite: Old Gregg. He's got a manginaaaa!
    • Howard as well apparently. According to Old Gregg he has a "Shenis"
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Todd Rivers/Dr. Lucien Sanchez as Dixon Bainbridge, and Dean Lerner/Thornton Reed as Saboo. You have to be a BBC fan or an Adult Swim fan to notice and/or care. The same two are also in The IT Crowd as Douglas Reynholm and Maurice Moss respectively, if that helps any.
    • Dixon Bainbridge (i.e. Matt Berry) is also the voice of the volcano on the Volvic Revive advert.
    • The Head Shaman's wife, Methuselah the extreme sports calendar model, is Jill Tyrrell of Nighty Night on the BBC.
  • Historical In-Joke: In the episode where they get lost in the zoo, Howard's mentor sees Vince and shouts "A Mod! I am a Rocker, he is a Mod. We are mortal enemies!" This is a reference to the two eponymous subcultures which clashed in England during the early to mid 60's.
  • Ho Yay: Between almost all of the characters at one point or another, most prolifically Howard and Vince. It's all intentional, and has its own page.
  • I Have Many Names: Rudi van DiSarzio: "I go by many names..."
  • I Lick Your Hand
  • Improbable Hairstyle: well, Vince's hair is always improbable, but it's exceptionally so in "The Nightmare of Milky Joe"
    • Not to mention "Journey to the Centre of the Punk."
    • Inverted briefly in "The Power of the Crimp", when Vince temporarily has a... er... "probable" haircut, and it's an enormous shock to the system for everyone involved (the audience included).
    • Then there's a mullet on a 68-year-old sailor.
    • And a perm on the Ape of Death. Not that there's a specific hairstyle you'd expect the "Ape of Death" to have. But if there were, it probably wouldn't be a perm.
  • Interspecies Romance: Howard Moon, Fox Bummer.
    • That's just a rumor!
    • Also Vince and his Panda, the same Panda who eventually steals Miss Gideon away from Howard.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Tommy Nookah and his "cheese dreams".
  • Jerkass: Dixon Bainbridge tops a long list.
    • Saboo is definitely a close second.
  • Just Friends: Hinted at consistently between Howard and Vince
  • Kill'Em All: (In the stage show) The Hitcher murders the entire main cast, including the off-stage decapitation of Howard and Vince.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Party," which has some fun with the age difference between Howard and Vince (and actors Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding).
  • Large Ham: Dixon Bainbridge, in particular. The Hitcher also qualifies here, and the other characters have their moments.
  • Lecherous Licking: Both Alan and Kodiac Jack (both played by Rich Fulcher) greet Vince by licking his hand.
  • Le Film Artistique: The Doctor and the Pencil in "The Chokes".
    • And yet, it is playful and comedic as well...
  • Leitmotif: Naboo's theme
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Spirit of Jazz to Howard in "Journey to the Centre of the Punk". First he's his father, then his uncle, then his second cousin twice removed on his sister's side.
  • Magical Realism: though Your Mileage May Vary, the Boosh could definitely qualify as magical realism, as it involves elements of magic that the characters generally take in stride and pay little mind to.
  • The Man in the Moon
    • ... Is completely insane.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Parodied in "The Nightmare of Milky Joe"

Vince: Hey, Howard, why don't we eat this guy? He's made of eggs and sausages.

  • Metaphorgotten
  • Miles Gloriosus: "Howard Moon: Man of Action... Don't kill me! I've got so much to give!"
  • Mind Rape: Again, the Hitcher, in "Eels".
  • Mobile Shrubbery: Parodied brilliantly in "Mutants".
  • Modern Minstrelsy: White dudes in blackface and brownface (and playing very broad racial stereotypes).
    • Comedian Lenny Henry talked about this in the Boosh documentary. He said he was OK with it, because he found characters like Rudi too crazy to be offensive.
  • Moment Killer: Many, many times, but (usually) not in a romantic way; Howard and Vince are best friends, but since both are stubborn, they find it very hard to admit their affection for each other and it usually takes a near-death experience for them to say they need one another. Vince's distraught speech to Howard in the episode "The Power of the Crimp" seemed to shock them both. It was probably a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Monster of the Week
  • Mr. Fanservice: Noel Fielding, who has won a 'Sexiest Man' NME, and is also just pretty.
    • Julian Barratt has his own dedicated fandom.
  • The Munchausen: Howard makes unbelievable boasts all the time, but they're occasionally shown to be true, like his job offer from Walt Disney, or the sale of his soul to the Spirit of Jazz.
  • My Card: Old Gregg and Eleanor
  • Nice Hat: Howlin' Jimmy Jefferson, a.k.a, the Spirit of Jazz, and no, the hat being on fire is not part of his look
    • "OW! Man, my hat's on fire! What's wrong with you, you blind?! Why didn't you tell me?!"
    • Also, Jonny Two-Hats, named thus because he wears...two hats. When his confidence is rattled, he wears about five.
    • Saboo's hat is really something else.
    • The Polynesian feathered headdress Howard gives Vince in The Power of the Crimp. Also, Vince's hair is "virtually a hat", apparently meaning by extension that "all hats suit [him]".
    • A mugger wants to borrow Dennis the Head Shaman's hat for his mate Ricky. Ricky's got one of those faces...
  • Nice Shoes: Black Frost's cowboy boots.
  • Nobody Poops: Dear god, subverted in "The Hitcher".
    • Taken further in the first stage show, where he pisses on the audience members.
  • Non-Action Guy: Vince. He mostly sits around and looks beautiful, although he sometimes goes to rescue Howard
  • No Name Given: The Pencil Case Girl and Vince's love interest at the end of "Party".
    • She was revealed to be Old Gregg wearing a disguise in a deleted scene.
  • No Fourth Wall
  • No Indoor Voice: Bob Fossil and Dixon Bainbridge.
  • Noodle Incident: Many many. But, the Incident With The Binoculars. It was in The Guardian.
  • The Obi-Wan: Tommy Nookah in "Jungle," Montgomery Flange in "The Chokes".
  • Odd Couple: Howard and Vince, and Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding, for that matter.
  • Official Couple: If you count the Live show, then it's Howard and Old Gregg.
  • Ominous Fog: Heralds the appearance of Old Gregg.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting
  • Once an Episode: The Moon, the musical numbers... it's got a couple of Once an Episode bits.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Old Gregg.
  • Perky Goth: Vince, temporarily, in "Nanageddon".

Vince: You're going to have to get a bit dark, like me.
Howard: Like you? You're the least dark person I've ever met. You're like candy floss.

Howard: I can't be hemmed in. People try to put me in a box.
Vince: Who's trying to put you in a box?
Howard: Oh, people, you know. The man.
Vince: Have you contacted the police about this??

  • The Power of Rock: Highlighted in "The Priest and the Beast".
  • Real Life Relative: Noel Fielding (Vince) and Michael Fielding (Naboo) are brothers, and the cast often uses family and friends as extras.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted through copious improvisation.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Temporarily for Howard and Vince in Party. May have happened earlier off screen: Vince states that Howard throws women he's interested in into a wheelbarrow:

Howard: I was drunk
Vince: I know. So was I. I was in the wheelbarrow.

  • Running Gag: Howard's tiny eyes, Vince being mistaken for Howard's wife.
    • Anytime someone says "gather round" a person dressed up like an inanimate object gathers around as well.

Not you, naan bread!

  • Romantic False Lead: The Pencil-Case girl
  • Salt and Pepper: Aversion once with Rudi and Spider. Twice if you count Saboo and Tony Harrison, the latter being more fuschia than white.
  • Scary Black Man: Saboo, kind of.
    • Lester Corncrake is certainly disturbing and he THINKS he's black.
  • Secret Test of Character: "Jungle," the live show, etc.
  • Selective Obliviousness: done by Howard. His obstinate refusal to understand that Mrs Gideon has no idea he exists, his denying that he is a vain and shallow man (he thinks himself dark and artistic) and he refuses to accept that fact that people find him and his interest/anecdotes/jokes boring. See John Coltrane, the "Pencil Case" story, and everything else Howard enjoys. His way of wooing women? Trumpets and bookmarks.
    • Which apparently could've worked on Mrs Gideon... if it weren't for that meddling panda... and the fact that Howard had just punched her in the face.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Sort of, between Howard and Vince. More like Insult-Insult-Impromptu makeout session
  • Ship Tease: Every. Single. Episode
  • Shout-Out: In the episode "Party", one of the guests on the dance floor looks suspiciously like Faust from Guilty Gear.
  • Sorry I Left the BGM On: "Lester, will you put that trombone down?"
    • Happened at least one on the radio show. In "Jungle", the swelling music behind Howard's dramatic scene cuts out when he stops the cassette tape he was playing it on. May have also happened twice with the mood music in "Mutants."
  • Show Within a Show: The Pieface Showcase features in the second series, while the Colobos the Crab appears in the radio variation.
    • Peacock Dreams could also be an example, though the show itself is only described rather than shown.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Vince is not Howard's wife
    • Neither Howard nor Vince ever specifically denies that Vince is Howard's wife/girlfriend.

Ape of Death: Now you shall burn. You and your wife with the ridiculous hair.
Vince: Ridiculous hair?

      • Howard did deny, once that he was Vince's wife. A little too strongly, I should add.

Howard: I'm not his wife, am I!
Lance Dior: Word on the street is you are his wife. You cook him his meals, straighten his hair, bake him little cakes.

Saboo: Kirk, is it true you are still an erotic adventurer of the most deranged kind?
Kirk: Yes.