Nostalgic Fawlty Towers Moments You Forgot Existed

By Kirsty 3 months ago

1. Sybil's ongoing phone calls



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Sybil garnered many viewer's sympathy for dealing with her husband, Basil, and though she was seen as the 'better' hotelier, she still spent a lot of time on the phone gossiping with her friend, Audrey, which ended up being a series of hilarious exchanges over the duration of the show.

2. I think we're out of Waldorfs!



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This particular episode saw the culture clash between a loud American guest and the very British Basil. After sending the chef home to save money, Basil is faced with trying to whip up a Waldorf salad for the demanding guest, which of course escalates into the two butting heads, to say the least.

3. The saga of the moose's head



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When Sybil asks Basil to hang a moose's head on the wall, he keeps getting distracted and does everything but. While the moose's head is stuck lying on the reception desk, Major Gowen - the veteran guest - mistakes Basil's voice for coming from the moose itself.

4. Basil gives his car a thrashing!



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When Basil tries to tempt in more upper class guests, the resultant menu is three options of duck after the chef passes out drunk. But this wasn't even the most memorable scene of the episode... what ensued was Basil thrashing his car with a tree branch after it breaks down on the way to get the meat!

5. The anniversary that Basil 'forgot'



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We're sure it's not the only one Basil forgot, but in this particular episode, it's his 15th wedding anniversary. But as it turned out, he hadn't actually forgot and had planned a surprise - but got so stuck in pretending, he had Sybil convinced he couldn't remember at all. Needless to say, hilarity and miscommunication ensued.

6. The hotel inspector and the rat named Basil



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The last episode of the show saw more than one hygiene issue at Fawlty Towers - including dead pigeons in the water tank, and a rat named Basil. The episode then showcases vermin on the loose, resulting in a rodent hunt, the Major trying to shoot it with his rifle, and a concluding peek out of the biscuit tin by the rat itself. Comedy gold!

7. The guest who dies in his sleep



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This wouldn't have been too much of a problem if Basil hadn't mistakenly believed he'd killed him by serving the man out-of-date kippers. Basil then tries to hide the dead body so that other guests don't panic, resulting in Basil hiding it in a variety of places, including wardrobes and behind hat stands.

8. The infamous jumbled hotel sign



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One of the best moments of every Fawlty Towers episode had to be wondering what the hotel sign was going to say this time! The anagrammed hotel sign always spelled out anything but 'Fawlty Towers' - including Watery Fowls, Fatty Owls and Warty Towels.

9. He's from Barcelona!



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One of the key comedy points of the show was the way Basil treated his hapless Spanish waiter, Manuel, and the amount of mistakes Manuel makes due to his not-very-good English. The excuse from Basil was always the same - "he's from Barcelona" - leaving us to watch as Basil bullied him and made regular swipes with a frying pan.

10. Basil tries to catch a non-paying guest



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When Basil believes there's a guest being smuggled in and tries to catch them in the act, Sybil wrongly believes he's spying on female guests. This is one of the best episodes to watch the hilarity of Manuel's bad communication, which only further leads Sybil to believe what she first suspected.

11. The chips that are wrongly shaped



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A chip is a chip when you're hungry - but not for this particularly rude guest, who happened to be a spoiled child - Basil's worst nightmare! When Basil tries to serve more 'gourmet' food to his guests, the child only wants chips - and properly shaped chips, at that. Cue Basil's frustration.

12. The missing dining room door



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When the hotel's construction workers remove the door to the dining room, Basil blames everyone but himself - while Polly is quick to tell him it's his own fault for hiring the wrong company. In a moment of peak physical comedy from the show, Basil then freaks out, starts hitting himself, and is calmed down by Polly slapping him instead.

13. The fire drill versus the burglar alarm



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As many good hotels should, Basil decides to run a fire drill - but accidentally sets off the burglar alarm instead. In a classic case of confused 'boy who cries wolf', Basil tells the evacuating guests it's not the real one - so when a real fire actually starts a little later, nobody tries to evacuate.

14. Mrs Richard's room with a view



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When Mrs Richards stays at the hotel and complains about everything, including the lack of interesting view from her room, Basil rightly responds that the view is the view, and she's not going to see the Sydney Opera House. To make matters worse (and more hilarious) Mrs Richards is hard of hearing, leading to further problems and miscommunications in true Fawlty style!

15. An English 'lord' comes to stay



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When a Lord comes to stay at the hotel, Basil decides to ignore the needs of every other guest to impress the man - including one poor bloke who waited the entire episode for a drink he'd ordered. To add to the hilarity, it turns out the man was never a lord all along - just a con artist!

16. Manuel and the builders



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If you want to go on holiday and leave someone in charge of your hotel renovations, don't choose your Spanish waiter who can barely speak English. Poor Manuel is left to multi-task guest phone calls as well as instructions to the builders, all while getting it wrong, of course!

17. Every conversation between Basil and Manuel



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Let's be honest, one of the funniest ongoing gags of the whole show is how stupid Basil thinks Manuel is, and how much Manuel is genuinely trying! In the episode Communication Problems, we see this at its best, when Basil dismisses Manuel as a nitwit who knows nothing, while Manuel declares, "I get better"!

18. The briefcase of "valuables"



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In the same episode where Basil tries to impress the lord, he's also tasked with taking care of his briefcase of "valuables" - which, of course, turn out to be anything but. Basil is then faced with a visit from a detective inspector - as well as going on a tantrum when someone dares suggesting opening the case!

19. All of Major Gowen's scenes!



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A character who could easily have been one of the main cast was Major Gowen, a permanent resident and guest at the hotel after serving in the war. The war veteran gets into just as many mix ups as Manuel and Basil, due mainly to the fact that he's completely lost the plot.

20. Don't mention the war



image source: telegraph.co.uk

One of the most controversially iconic moments from this show has to be Basil's goose step - and "don't mention the war"! With Sybil in hospital, Basil was left to entertain some German guests, which escalated into many non-PC conversations and one of the most memorable episodes of Fawlty Towers.

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