Lessons from ‘The Inbetweeners’ – Season 1

Since I first started watching TV nearly forty years ago I have been a passionate, and somewhat tragic, Fawlty Towers fanatic. There was no resultant slide into the Monty Python abyss for me, just a huge smile decades later when John Cleese popped up as Nearly-Headless Nick in the first Harry Potter movie.

Like countless Australians I have found myself constantly gravitating towards British TV comedies.

TheInbetweeners_GroupSchoolNeil, Carly, Jay, Will and Simon delivered priceless TV memories for three seasons. (Credit: ABC)

As amazing and eye-opening as it was growing up with the antics of Basil, Cybil, Manuel and Polly (probably my first ever crush) it must be said that in recent years the motherland has in no way dropped the ball when it comes to polished sitcoms capable of making me chuckle.

The Office, IT Crowd, Gavin & Stacey and The Inbetweeners are re-watch-able, quotable pommy TV gold, preserved and treasured in my heart and soul.

My main lingering takeaway from this masterclass in adolescent awkwardness is that Carly is still TV’s harshest ever villain.

As “relatable” as the resonating escapades of Will, Simon, Jay and Neil might seem to the young school boys in many of us, (regardless of their Young Ones similarities) the story lines are so bat-shit crazy they have to be fiction. However, because we all knew guys just like them when we were growing up, the gap from hilarity to reality is more narrow than first thought.

My main lingering takeaway from this masterclass in adolescent awkwardness is that Carly is still TV’s harshest ever villain. In my opinion, by my measurements her character is more evil than Joffrey, Amanda Woodward, Gus Fring, Monty Burns, Newman or Skeletor.


Episode One – First Day

  • The quest for friends can lead to you alienating the entire school.
  • Best to avoid being on the school nutter’s to-stab list, if he doesn’t shag your Mum first.
  • Maybe it’s best to just stick with the freaks.
  • At least sometimes, things can only get better… or they could just stay the same… or get worse.

Episode Two – Bunk Off

  • They say it’s the things you don’t do in life that you regret. Well that’s clearly not true, you could regret hitting a girl with a frisbee.
  • They say all’s well that ends well… sometimes things don’t even end well.

Episode Three – Thorpe Park

  • If there’s one thing to know about girls, and let’s face it there is only one thing to know about girls, it’s that boys who drive are a whole lot more attractive than those who don’t.
  • It’s true, girls do like cars. They just don’t like shitty little yellow cars that ruin funerals and don’t have all the doors they were made with.
  • Girls are also less keen on boys who wear Speedos, borderline sex pests and people who insult the disabled.

Episode Four – Girlfriend

  • Sometimes anyone who is in any way cool is somewhere else.
  • The Crazy Frog is not funny.
  • You can learn many things from your first heartbreak. You can learn a little about love, a bit about anatomy, a lot about friendship – and nothing at all about sex.

Episode Five – Caravan Club

  • First rule of Caravan Club is that everyone gets some. Second rule of Caravan Club is don’t tell anyone about the first rule, because it’s a massive lie.
  • When you are upset, don’t skid.

Episode Six – Xmas Party

  • Some things are “too jazzy!”
  • People don’t get fingered for a bet.
  • Two things make a prom successful, teamwork and exceptional leadership.
  • If you control the beer vouchers you get a pick of the birds, the drunk birds.
  • And that sounds just a little bit rapey.

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