Top 10 Fawlty Towers Moments
Script written by Max Lett. Get ready for a stay in the Fawlty Towers hotel, where the staff is courteous but the manager is someone to steer clear of! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 “Fawlty Towers” moments. Special thanks to our users Emily Carlstrom and Ids Hofman for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.com/suggest
Get ready for a stay in the Fawlty Towers hotel, where the staff is courteous but the manager is someone to steer clear of! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 “Fawlty Towers” moments.
#10: The English Lord
When a Lord comes to visit his hotel, Basil Fawlty does all he can to make his stay perfect, including ignoring the other guests. One such patron waits the entire episode for a drink that hilariously never comes – right up until the bitter end! Of course, the real comedy here is Basil’s attempt to endear himself to the Lord, and he falls hard when he discovers Melbury was a con artist all along!
“A Touch of Class” (1975)
#9: The Hidden Door
Manuel is left to oversee a group of builders when Mr. and Mrs. Fawlty leave on holiday. Being the bumbling non-speaking English sidekick character, Manuel is rarely in charge as he mostly serves as a foil for Basil’s abuse. This time, however, he’s attempting to communicate with the builders while taking calls from guests, both of which are hampered by his failure to master the English language. Ultimately, Basil returns to find that the renovations have been cocked up, naturally!
“The Builders” (1975)
#8: The Health Inspection
In the final episode of the series, the future of the dysfunctional and sub-par Fawlty Towers is threatened by a health inspection. In attempt to make the place spotless, Basil forces Manuel to get rid of his pet rat, but it ends up scurrying about the hotel instead. In hot pursuit of the vermin, Basil ruffles under a guest’s table and through her purse, which puts him into conflict with a furious husband. It’s impossible not to laugh while watching the tall and imposing John Cleese trying to sneak around to save his own tail!
“Basil the Rat” (1979)
#7: The Lie
Basil has a bad track record for remembering anniversaries, so in the past Sybil has had to remind him quite *ahem* forcefully. But this year, the grumpy hotel manager has something planned; however he lets his wife stew in the certainty that he has once again forgotten. Things of course backfire and she runs off right before the party guests arrive to help them celebrate. Instead of fessing up, Mr. Fawlty concocts some fiction about her being terribly sick – and as per usual that quickly gets out of hand.
“The Anniversary” (1979)
#6: Basil Feels Exposed
A hotel owner that is a little too pre-occupied with the business of his patrons, Basil becomes obsessed with proving that an unmarried man has snuck a woman into his room. In true Fawlty Towers tradition, this leads Basil to nothing but trouble: he uses a ladder to spy from the second story, only to accidentally catch a glimpse of a different couple, which is quite the surprise for our favorite hotelier. This situation isn’t just awkward, it also causes his wife to think he’s a pervert – with a little help from Manuel’s less-than-perfect English, of course!
“The Psychiatrist” (1979)
#5: Preferential Treatment
Hotel inspectors have come to town and Basil is trying to ferret out which of his guests could be one of them. After a few cases of mistaken identity, he finally settles on the most obvious candidate and attempts to make good. Unfortunately, one of the more rambunctious customers is complaining out-loud, which leads Basil to use his signature charm to silence him. At one point, Mr. Fawlty even attempts to render the man unconscious. Best part is that his sucking up to the assumed inspectors was all for naught.
“The Hotel Inspectors” (1975)
#4: Car Troubles
After a usual series of mishaps at the Fawlty Towers hotel, Basil is forced to dispense with his pre-planned, high-end menu, and can only offer his group of high profile guests various variations of duck. He decides to go looking for other food items, but his car stalls. And in one of the series’ best-known scenes, Basil verbally attacks his car and proceeds to hit it repeatedly with a tree branch. It’s Cleese at his finest, using his physical comedy to deliver a sound beating.
“Gourmet Night” (1975)
#3: The Dead Guest
John Cleese has described Basil Fawlty as pretentious, paranoid and constantly yearning for a higher social status. So instead of doing what any normal person would after finding a corpse in his establishment, Basil does his best to hide the body and avoid the blame. But not without first accidentally serving the dead guy breakfast and then trying to dispose of the body with as few of his guests noticing as possible.
“The Kipper and the Corpse” (1979)
#2: Imaginary Chef
When a wealthy American guest comes to stay late in the evening and demands a Waldorf Salad, Basil is distraught when he chooses to prepare the meal himself rather than pay his chef the demanded overtime. When his scheme, which involves pretending there’s a chef working the kitchen, is discovered, the American and other guests take him to task over his hotel’s sub-par service. This leads to one of Basil’s most hysterical breakdowns and a short-lived walk-off.
“Waldorf Salad” (1979)
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Misunderstandings “The Wedding Party” (1975)
- The Deaf Guest “Communication Problems” (1979)
#1: Hitler Walk
When his wife Sybil is in the hospital, Basil struggles to manage FawltyTowers by himself. And between the hanging of decorative moose heads, the visiting Germans, the fires and the frying pans, Basil ends up in the hospital with a concussion. An impossible man, he returns to the hotel, only to offend the group of Germans at every turn. Despite his pleas to the staff to avoid any mention of the war, he consistently brings it up himself. Most shockingly, this results in an off-color imitation of Adolf Hitler’s walk that drives the guests over the edge, and is reminiscent of “The Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch from Cleese’s “Monty Python” days.
“The Germans” (1975)
Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite “Fawlty Towers” moment? For more hilarious Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.