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Welcome to Royston Vasey. You'll never leave.

British Sketch Comedy/Sitcom, with a very dark tone of humour, and plenty of horror trappings.

Set in the town of Royston Vasey (or Spent, in the original radio version), the show focuses on the very strange lives of the inhabitants: their warped obsessions, quirks and relationships. Also notable in that almost all characters are played by one of only three actors: Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, and Mark Gatiss.

Came forty-first in Britain's Best Sitcom.

Not to be confused with;

Tropes used in The League of Gentlemen (TV series) include:
  • Actor Allusion - the Mayor is played by Refuge in Vulgarity standup Roy "Chubby" Brown, whose real name is... Royston Vasey.
  • Aerith and Bob: Chloe & Radclyffe.
  • Affably Evil - Hilary Briss
  • All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks - Parodied with Mr. Lisgoe and his incompetent collectors.
  • And I Must Scream - The animals in Papa Lazarou's circus, who are really his human victims. They do scream, actually, but no one can hear them...
  • Animal Motifs - Harvey Denton is obsessed with toads, and collects them. He also greatly resembles one, and the interior of the Denton home has a sort of a dull green colour scheme, like a lily pond.
    • Similiarly, Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup (pictured above) both have piggy noses and live in filth. Tubbs has also been seen breastfeeding a piglet.
  • Attractive Bent Gender - Reece actually looks pretty good as Judee Levinson.
    • Not to mention Mr Gatiss as Mrs Denton.
  • Brother Chuck - None of the Dentons appear in Season 3. We can assume that Benjamin finally escaped from Royston Vasey, but the fate of Val and Harvey is left vague.
  • The Butcher - Hilary Briss, a literal butcher who sells some kind of very illegal and hideously immoral "special stuff".
  • Bilingual Bonus - Dialogue between Herr Lipp, Lotte and Justin at the climax of Lipp's attempts to seduce the schoolboy. Lotte tries to warn Justin about Lipp in German:

 Herr Lipp "Er konnt kein Deutsch. Er ist meine junge."[1]

Lotte "Denn Gott hilfe ihn."[2]

  • Buried Alive - The fate of Justin Smart, although he is given a funnel through which to breathe.
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday - The Book of Wives
  • Call Back - Pop's line about wanting a daughter as well as sons can be seen as a callback to Chloe and Radclyffe's line about Val. Given the twins' implied psychic abilities, and the similar context of both lines, however, it may be that the girls were making deliberate reference to something that hadn't happened yet.
  • Calvin Ball - "Go Johnny Go Go Go Go"
  • Camp Gay - Herr Lip, Keith Drop.
  • Casanova Wannabe - Pop
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Tubbs: "Are you local?"
    • Edward "Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting? We'll have no trouble here!"
      • Both of the above: "This is a local shop, for local people. There's nothing for you here!"
    • Papa Lazarou: "You're my wife now!" and "Hello Dave!" The former has been subject to Catchphrase Interruptus.
    • Pauline Campbell-Jones: "Okey-cokey! Pig in a pokey!"
    • Geoff: "You knew I had this gun!"
    • Pop: "Call me Pop!"
    • Les: "It's a shit business. Glad I'm out of it."
    • Ernest Foot: "Was it something I said?"
    • Christopher Frost: "Chalk 'em up!"
    • Alvin: "Home is the hunter!"
  • Cats Are Mean - Cat enthusiast Dougall Siepp is a scary guy.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down - Parodied and inverted. Harvey Denton has a peculiar paranoia about walking in on his nephew, Benjamin, and has an entire, Spit Take-inducing collection of Unusual Euphemisms ready. There has never been any concrete evidence of Benjamin actually masturbating.
  • Celebrity Paradox - Mick McNamara claims that an episode of Tom Baker-era Doctor Who was filmed at the Stump Hole caverns. So why does Mick, and approximately one third of the town, look exactly like that guy who played Dr. Lazarus in "The Lazarus Experiment" and wrote the episode "The Idiot's Lantern"? And why does another third of the town so greatly resemble the guy who played Strackman Lux in "Silence in the Library" and "Forest of the Dead?" And why does Dougal Siepp so greatly resemble the Ninth Doctor?
  • Characterization Marches On - In Series 2, Herr Lipp was essentially a creep and a sociopath; in the Christmas Special, though still a nasty pederast, he at least shows some compassion and sacrifices himself to save Matthew. By the time we get to the Movie, he is a kind and caring guy (even his turn to violence is intended to save the locals from what he believes to be endless misery) who is incidentally campy, a far cry from the selfish date-rapist he originally was.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin - Hilary Briss gives these a lot.
  • Chess with Death - The stage show has a man gambling his soul against an ambiguously diabolical figure. However, the devil figure doesn't want to play chess; he wants to play "Go Johnny Go Go Go Go".
  • Christmas Special, complete with Bad Santa
  • Corpsing - Shearsmith, with Pauline, during the live show.
  • Creepy Twins - Chloe and Radclyffe Denton, who also fulfil...
  • Cringe Comedy
  • Comic Trio - Most of the characters are divided into groups of three, mirroring the actors themselves.
  • Continuity Nod - At the end of Season 2 Hilary Briss escapes to the Caribbean. During Season 3, a newspaper headline can be seen declaring "Mysterious Nosebleed Outbreak In Carribean!"
  • Corrupt Hick - Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup who also supply some Brother-Sister Incest
  • Cult - Solutions, Inc. in the Christmas Special.
  • A Day in the Limelight - Most episodes of Season 3 focus on previously-minor characters.
  • Dirty Old Man - Pop
  • The Ditz - Mickey, who is clearly mentally handicapped.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything? - In the Christmas Special, Matthew Parker's denouncement of Herr Lip as a vampire uses the phrase "I know what you are! You're trying to turn me into one of you!" Lip, who isn't a vampire ("I am just a queen!"), is understandably hurt by this.
  • Dumb Is Good - Tubbs is shown to be not entirely responsible for the crimes she commits with Edward, because she is obviously mentally unsound. It's probably genetic.
  • Easily Forgiven - In the stage show, Tubbs is forgiven by God and welcomed into the Kingdom of Swansea (long story), but Edward has to go to Hell.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied - Harvey Denton refuses to say "The F word", which is, of course, "frog".
  • Erotic Asphyxiation - Goes horribly wrong and everybody involved dies.
  • Evil Hand - Turns out to be good.
  • Exposition of Immortality: When Papa Lazarou is going through his Book of Wives in Season Three, some of the photos are clearly old, sepia ones that heavily imply that he's a lot older than he appears. There are more on the wall of his room, too.
  • Eye Scream - Hilary Briss is seen scaring children with a pair of sheep's eyes, which he then eats.
  • Fag Hag - Deconstructed with Tish, who unintentionally offends the hell out of all her fairly Straight Gay friends. Mark Gatiss (who is gay) was probably very angry when he wrote her scenes.
  • Fan Disservice - Tubbs torturing the construction men while dancing around nude "The Road to Royston Vasey."
  • Fat Idiot - Barry Baggs, the debt collector. Also a Big Eater. In the live show "The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You", his idiot status is subverted--and may even have been Obfuscating Stupidity--when he outwits and (in the epilogue) replaces his boss.
  • Freudian Excuse - The Christmas Special reveals that Rev. Bernice is so cynical and hateful because when she was a little girl, Papa Lazarou kidnapped her mother while dressed as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
  • Freudian Slip - Ollie Plimsoles' wife, Linda, has left him for another woman. And he will never let you forget it, no matter how he tries.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Subverted with kindly, accident-prone vet Mr. Chinnery.
  • Full Name Ultimatum - "Don't you do it, Hilary Briss!"
  • Generation Xerox - In The Christmas Special, we see a bit of Royston Vasey in the 1890s, including Victorian versions of Harvey, Barbara, Chinnery, Pauline, Mickey, and Ross
  • Gender Bender - Barbara the transgendered cab driver.

 Barbara: Have you heard what they're saying about the Beast of Royston Vasey?

Mrs. Levinson: Now, Barbara, people can be very cruel.

  • Grotesque Gallery - Because almost all of the characters are played by the same three actors, a variety of prosthetics are used, some of which are profoundly hideous. Of particular note are Edward, Tubbs, Iris, Harvey, Bernice, Mickey, Stella, Vinnie & Reenie, Ally, and Herr Lipp.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else? - Subverted in the Job Center storyline, when Ross admits no one else knows about his report on Pauline, even adding that all the information is within a single folder he has right there--but Pauline accepts defeat anyway.
    • In the original radio series, this trope was played straight, but the writers gave it a more creative spin for the TV version.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen - "that Merrill." Frequently mentioned by Vinnie and Reenie, but never actually appears.
    • David Tattsyrup becomes a The Voice variant after Tubbs and Edward take him back in.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard - Harvey--or rather hoist by his own pet toad.
  • Homage - Edward frequently references The Wicker Man, and Chloe & Radclyffe obviously parody The Shining. Papa Lazarou's introductory episode features a few quotes from Freaks, and Geoff's subplot in Season 2 parodied Deliverance. In fact, at least one horror Movie gets referenced per episode.
  • Hospital Hottie - One of the few times an actual woman appeared on the show was when Al brought home a nurse named Patricia as a date. Unfortunately, Pop ruined everything by loudly talking about how great the film version of Watership Down is, discussing porn, and trying to steal Patricia.
  • Human Resources - The obvious assumption as to the identity of Hilary's "special stuff", although the creators have Jossed this, pointing out they would never come up with something so unoriginal. It's something even worse...
  • Hypocritical Humour - Ollie tells an audience that he is not going to patronize them, because they aren't children. He then proceeds to explain what "patronizing" means in very... uh, condescending tones.
    • Also, after Chris Frost outlines his Knight Templar security guard policies to a group of recruits, a lot of merchandise falls out of his sleeve.
  • I Love the Dead - Mortician Owen Fallowfield puts a bit too much of himself into his work.
  • Incoming Ham - Both Edward and Pauline must announce their presence every time they enter a room.
  • Innocent Innuendo - One scene starts as though Benjamin is being forced to perform oral sex on Harvey. It turns out he's just cleaning a scrub-brush.
    • Another episode has one woman afraid that her doctor is trying to extort sex out of her in exchange for treatment. It turns out that he instead wants to force her to play party games. In a creepy way, though.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One - When Pauline is described as a "psychotic fifty year-old lesbian," she only objects to one of those accusations. ("I'm forty-eight!") Although it turns out she's bisexual.
  • Jerkass - Ollie Plimsoles
  • Karma Houdini - Papa Lazarou. Hilary Briss escapes, but is eventually killed in The Movie, though for different reasons.
  • Killed Off for Real - Doubly subverted with the Tattsyrups, who appear to be killed at the end of Season 2, but are revealed to have survived at the beginning of Season 3, only to die again, for real this time.
    • Triply! They return for the movie as well, and presumably survive (it's not made clear)
  • Kubrick Stare - Both Hilary and Papa Lazarou give these a lot.
  • Lamarck Was Right - Mr. Chinnery inherits his ancestor's curse.
  • Laser-Guided Karma - after awful restart officer Pauline is sacked, she has to sit through restart sessions of her own, with an even worse one.

 Mickey: Pauline... she's worse than you!

Also see the 2005 film, The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, which contains examples of:


  1. "He knows no German. He is my boy."
  2. "Then God help him."
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