Title: Are you being served?
Genre: UK Sitcom
First Transmission: 1972-1985
The show follows the misadventures and mishaps of the staff of the retail ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothing departments at the London branch of a fictional chain called Grace Brothers.
Best Episode #17
German Week – Ordered to cooperate in the store’s German-themed week, the Grace Brothers’ staff try to find a way to get into the Teutonic spirit. (1975)
Episode characteristics & General Consensus:
The cast gets dressed up for German week. A well-remembered episode with some hugely funny lines and absolutely no political correctness.
Political correctness?? Not a hint of it.
An Amazing Study In the Harm and Clichéd Expectations of Political Correctness.
Worst Episode #49
Is it Catching? – Mr.Goldberg and Mr Lucas are replaced by Mr Grossman and Mr Spooner, and Young Mr Grace steps down, handing over the reins to his older brother, Old Mr Grace. Mr Humphries contracts a rare disease called “Marine’s Disease”, and the entire staff has to be quarantined in the basement to prevent spreading the infection. (1981)
Episode characteristics & General Consensus:
The first episode after a few cast changes. Considered a rather ridiculous episode and lacking in imagination.
Pains me to say it, but I hate this episode.
A series too far.
Full Episode Guide
Blue episodes rated above par.
Brown episodes rated below par.
#1 Are You Being Served? (1972) –
A store reorganisation means that the staff of the Gentlemen’s Ready-To-Wear Department have to share their floor space with the Ladies Department.
#2 Dear Sexy Knickers (1973) –
Mr Lucas tries to send a love note to Miss Brahms, whom he addresses as “Sexy Knickers,” but it gets sent to Mrs Slocombe instead.
#3 Our Figures Are Slipping (1973) –
Sales figures for the department are falling, and Mr Rumbold insists that the staff stay behind after the store closes to learn about sales technique.
#4 Camping In (1973) –
Due to a transport strike, the staff is forced to stay in the store overnight.
#5 His and Hers (1973) –
The sales staff are upset when Grace Brothers hires an attractive outside saleswoman to demonstrate a new unisex line of perfume.
#6 Diamonds Are a Man’s Best Friend (1973) –
The staff search frantically for a diamond lost in the store by a customer who is offering a hefty reward for its return.
#7 The Clock (1974) –
Mr Grainger celebrates his 65th birthday, and the staff wonders whether he’ll get the traditional cuckoo clock which indicates that he is being retired.
#8 Cold Comfort (1974) –
Due to the oil crisis, Grace Brothers’ central heating is turned off during the bitterly cold weather.
#9 The Think Tank (1974) –
Mr Rumbold forms a “think tank” to come up with ways to increase sales in the department
#10 Big Brother (1974) –
Shoplifting is on the increase, so Mr Rumbold decides to get CCTV installed.
#11 Hoorah for the Holidays (1974) –
Mr Grace decides to have the whole store redecorated, so it will close for two weeks in August.
#12 The Hand of Fate (1975) –
Promotions are at hand and everybody hopes that fate will be kind.
#13 Coffee Morning (1975) –
The staff revolts when their breaks are timed.
#14 Up Captain Peacock (1975) –
Captain Peacock is rewarded for his 20 years at Grace Brothers.
#15 Cold Store (1975) –
Everybody gets obsessed by the flu.
#16 Wedding Bells (1975) –
Rumours abound that young Mr Grace is about to propose to Mrs Slocombe.
#17 German Week (1975) –
The staff starts a promotion for German goods – they include lederhosen and wine.
#18 Shoulder to Shoulder (1975) –
As the shop is being redecorated, the female assistants have to share a counter with the male assistants.
#19 New Look (1975) –
Grace Brothers decides that it needs to change its image, so a suggestion box is set up.
#20 Christmas Crackers (1975) –
The staff is given orders to wear fancy dress in the run-up to Christmas.
#21 No Sale (1976) –
Because sales are down, the management decides that they open an hour early – the staff is not happy.
#22 Top Hat and Tails (1976) –
The staff combines to enter a ballroom dancing competition.
#23 Forward Mr. Grainger (1976) –
Mr Grainger is promoted to manager and he becomes very unpopular.
#24 Fire Practice (1976) –
A fire drill causes chaos in the department.
#25 Fifty Years On (1976) –
Mrs Slocombe’s fiftieth birthday is approaching.
#26 Oh What a Tangled Web (1976) –
Captain Peacock’s and Mr Rumbold’s secretary are reputed to be having an affair.
#27 The Father Christmas Affair (1976) –
Grace Brothers decides to have electric Father Christmas models, but this is soon cancelled when they go wrong.
#28 Mrs. Slocombe Expects (1977) –
Mr Grace decides to sell goods using psychology.
#29 A Change Is as Good as a Rest (1977) –
The staff believe that they are all about to be replaced.
#30 Founder’s Day (1977) –
Young Mr Grace’s 80th birthday is celebrated.
#31 The Old Order Changes (1977) –
Young Mr Grace decides on the new idea of American informality in the hope of increasing sales.
#32 Take-Over (1977) –
The staff tries to defeat a takeover bid.
#33 Goodbye Mr. Grainger (1977) –
Mr Grainger is becoming extremely bad-tempered and the staff believe that it is time for him to go.
#34 It Pays to Advertise (1977) –
Grace Brothers decides to make an advertisement, set in a cocktail bar, to increase sales.
#35 By Appointment (1978) –
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh may be making a visit to Grace Brothers.
#36 The Club (1978) –
The staff are offered a room in the basement that they can turn into a social club.
#37 Do You Take This Man? (1978) –
Mrs Slocombe becomes engaged to a Greek man.
#38 Shedding the Load (1978) –
The staff have to decide which of them will be made redundant.
#39 A Bliss Girl (1978) –
Mr Humphries has to sell “Bliss” perfume.
#40 Happy Returns (1978) –
It is Young Mr Grace’s birthday.
#41 The Junior (1979) –
There is a vacancy in the menswear department.
#42 Strong Stuff, This Insurance (1979) –
The staff have to take physical exams to qualify for an insurance scheme.
#43 The Apartment (1979) –
Mrs Slocombe is rendered homeless after squatters invade her new flat.
#44 Mrs. Slocombe, Senior Person (1979) –
Mrs Slocombe takes Mr Runbold’s place after he comes down with food poisoning.
#45 The Hero (1979) –
Captain Peacock develops a boil in a sensitive place.
#46 Anything You Can Do (1979) –
The staff are fed up with the awful canteen food.
#47 The Agent (1979) –
When Mr Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe receive offers for the job of their dreams, Mr Rumbold and Captain Peacock struggle to find a way to make them stay.
#48 The Punch and Judy Affair (1979) –
The Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ departments become pariahs when they choose not to take part in a company-wide strike.
#49 Is It Catching? (1981) –
Mr Humphries contracts a rare tropical malady known as “Marine’s Disease”, and the entire staff are quarantined in the basement.
#50 A Personal Problem (1981) –
Captain Peacock’s marriage is in trouble due to his infidelities.
#51 Front Page Story (1981) –
Mr Humphries becomes the editor of the store’s in-house magazine.
#52 Sit Out (1981) –
The staff go on a rooftop protest after being asked to take a pay cut.
#53 Heir Apparent (1981) –
Old Mr Grace thinks that Mr Humphries may be his long lost son and heir to the store.
#54 Closed Circuit (1981) –
A peer of the realm takes a shine to Miss Brahms.
#55 The Erotic Dreams of Mrs. Slocombe (1981) –
Mrs Slocombe is repeatedly having erotic dreams about Mr Humphries.
#56 Roots? (1981) –
It is Old Mr Grace’s birthday, and the department wants to bring a musical tribute to the Grace family.
#57 The Sweet Smell of Success (1983) –
Mrs Slocombe invents a perfume to increase sales and it has powerful aphrodisiac qualities.
#58 Conduct Unbecoming (1983) –
Money goes missing and Mr Humphries is accused of theft.
#59 Memories Are Made of This (1983) –
Mrs Slocombe loses her memory after being hit on the head with a golf ball.
#60 Calling All Customers (1983) –
Grace Brothers decides to advertise on CB radio.
#61 Monkey Business (1983) –
The staff try to get themselves fired when they are denied a pay increase.
#62 Lost and Found (1983) –
Mrs Slocombe’s pet cat, Tiddles, goes missing.
#63 Goodbye Mrs. Slocombe (1985) –
It has been decided that staff above a certain age are to be made redundant.
#64 Grounds for Divorce (1985) –
Captain Peacock has serious marital trouble.
#65 The Hold Up (1985) –
The staff stay in for stocktaking and the store gets held up.
#66 Gambling Fever (1985) –
The staff bet their bonuses on a horse.
#67 The Night Club (1985) –
The staff set up a nightclub in the store to make more money.
#68 Friends and Neighbours (1985) –
In response to the staff’s complaints about rising transportation costs, Mr Grace offers the overnight use of some penthouse apartments.
#69 The Pop Star (1985) –
Mr Spooner is offered a music contract after a brilliant performance at the Department Store Annual Concert.