Culture (Bottom)

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Bottom episode
Episode no. Series Two
Episode 002
Directed by Ed Bye
Written by Ade Edmondson & Rik Mayall
Produced by Ed Bye
Original air date 8 October 1992
Episode chronology
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"Culture" is the second episode of the second series of British TV sitcom Bottom. It was first broadcast on 8 October 1992.[1] It is the second episode to feature only the two main characters.


After falling behind with the rent, Richie and Eddie desperately try to find ways to entertain themselves after their television is taken back to Rumbelows.[2]


This episode begins with the pair doing a crossword. They get bored so Eddie tears up the paper. They then argue about whose fault it is that the television has been repossessed. Richie said that Eddie went to Rumbelows with the money to pay the rent, but instead gave the money to a strange and wizened old man in return for five magic beans. Eddie responds that Richie was going to the rental shop every month but instead going five doors down to Dr. O'Grady's personal organ enhancement clinic, which turned out to be a scam.

Richie complains about his boredom, and then suggests playing "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". However, since there is nothing in the flat to play with, they end up playing "Put a bit of Sellotape on the Fridge", in which Eddie wins. After this, Eddie suggests that they have a "see how much custard you can fit in your underpants" competition, in which Richie wins after Eddie sits down, splattering his custard all over the room.

After cleaning up, they try to play with Richie's antique chess set that his Great Aunt Dorothy left him. Richie puts on a smoking jacket, which is actually his Mac, turned inside out. Richie tells Eddie that the chess set is the one that Wellington played with on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. Here, it is made clear that Eddie has been stealing the valuable ivory chess pieces and selling them. Because there's only five pieces left, they have to play chess with different objects as the missing pieces such as frozen prawns (in place of pawns), a potted cactus, a tomato ketchup bottle, a large Spider-Man figurine and a toy skeleton. They also create cocktails using Pernod, Ouzo, marmalade and salt as ingredients, naming their creation the Esther Rantzen, as it "Pulls your gums over your teeth". Just as they are about to start playing, Richie tells Eddie he does not know the rules of chess.

The episode then cuts to a few hours later; it is now 5 am and Eddie has been up since 10pm telling Richie the rules of chess 124 times. They have been through the Ouzo, Pernod, Old Spice and all three litres of the industrial strength floor cleaner. By now Eddie's nerves are frayed and furiously forces Richie to begin the game. Richie, having learned nothing over the previous seven hours, acts out a war situation with his pieces, destroying half of them in the process and Eddie, realising that Richie still does not have a clue about the rules, moves his Queen around the board several times in one go to confuse Richie, and then drags Richie's pieces over to his side, then declares checkmate. Richie retaliates with a punch and they have a massive fight, in which Richie gets his feet crushed with a table, has a chair broken over his head and his head slammed in the fridge, but not before ramming the spike of an umbrella into Eddie's groin. The episode ends with Richie pulling the television from behind the fridge whilst Eddie talks to the viewer about how "they say television encourages violence, well I'm smashing his face in and we haven't got one!". Richie explains that it hadn't been taken; he had hidden it to see what a night without television would be like. He also hopes it would "get a bit of interaction going". Eddie obliges by smashing the TV set over Richie's head.


  1. ^ "Bottom: Culture -". Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  2. ^ Bottom Series Two (DVD). BBC Worldwide. 2004.