Worst & Best Fawlty Towers Episodes/List

Title: Fawlty Towers
Genre: British Sitcom
: 2
Episodes: 12
Runtime: 30 min
First Transmission: 1975-1979
Channel: BBC

Basil Fawlty is the most incompetent hotel owner in Torquay, perhaps the world!


Episode Rankings

Use your mouse to hover to see the corresponding episode title –
[Updated July 2020]


Best Episode #6

The Germans – Sybil is in hospital having an ingrowing toenail removed and that, of course, means that Basil is in charge of the hotel all on his own – so what could possibly go wrong! A moose head to be hung, a fire drill to be conducted, and German guests send the concussed Basil into a total manic breakdown. (1975)

Episode characteristics & General Consensus:
The Germans is one of the most iconic pieces of British television and the best-remembered episode of Fawlty Towers. It is a unique entry in the series in that the title sequence does not contain the mixed up hotel sign and it is almost an episode in three parts, the hospital, the fire drill and the Germans. Non-stop laughs from the beginning and John Cleese even reprises his silly walk for good measure.


Worst Episode #3

The Builders – Against his wife’s wishes, Basil hires a bunch of incompetent builders to do some renovation work in the hotel lobby.  Basil and Sybil out for the afternoon, so  Manuel and Polly are left in charge. Unfortunately, Polly is tired so she leaves the hapless Manuel to direct the builders. When Basil returns he finds the hotel renovations have been disastrously botched. Now, he must correct everything before Sybil has him strung up. (1975)

Episode characteristics & General Consensus:
The least popular episode is still very funny and takes aim at bad Irish builders. It’s not a particularly complex plot and the premise of dodgy Irish builders is a bit of a weak stereotype. John Cleese thought that this was the weakest entry in the series, but the worst Fawlty Towers episode is still far and away better than most sitcom episodes.


Full Episode Guide

Blue episodes rated above par.
Brown episodes rated below par.

Series One

#1 A Touch Of Class (1975) –
Lord Melbury comes to visit and Basil is fawning all over him.
#2 The Builders (1975) –
Basil hires some incompetent builders.
#3 The Wedding Party (1975) –
A wedding party has arrived and Basil misconstrues absolutely everything.
#4 The Hotel Inspectors (1975) –
Three hotel inspectors are in the area and Basil is scared to death!
#5 Gourmet Night (1975) –
Basil host a gourmet night – no riff-raff allowed!
#6 The Germans (1975) –
Some Germans visit and Basil is very unwell – oh dear!

Series Two

#7 Communication Problems (1979) –
A dotty old deaf woman arrives at the hotel.
#8 The Psychiatrist (1979) –
A psychiatrist comes to stay and Basil is really worried!
#9 Waldorf Salad (1979) –
An obnoxious American visitor wants a Waldorf salad.
#10 The Kipper And The Corpse (1979) –
Someone dies at the hotel and the team need to remove the body without anyone noticing.
#11 The Anniversary (1979) –
Basil has seemingly forgotten their wedding anniversary – again!
#12 Basil The Rat (1979) –
A hygiene inspector visits, but there is a rat loose!