BBC radio times TV critic John Naughton has come up with a Brit-centric list of 25 favourite putdown one-liners
1. Basil Fawlty
John Cleese, Fawlty Towers
Sybil: "Don't shout at me, I've had a difficult morning."
Basil: "Oh dear, what happened? Did you get entangled in the eiderdown again? Not enough cream in your éclair? Hmm? Or did you have to talk to all your friends for so long that you didn't have time to perm your ears?"
2. Mrs Merton
Caroline Aherne, The Mrs Merton Show
To Debbie McGee: "So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"
3. Edmund Blackadder
Rowan Atkinson, Blackadder II
To the unremittingly dim Lord Percy: "The eyes are open, the mouth moves, but Mr Brain has long since departed, hasn't he, Perce?"
4. Roseanne Conner
Roseanne Barr, Roseanne
To screen husband Dan (John Goodman): "Your idea of romance is popping the can away from my face."
5. Patsy Stone
Joanna Lumley, ABsolutely FABulous
"One more facelift on this one and she'll have a beard"
6. Father Jack Hackett
Frank Kelly, Father Ted
"Drink! Feck! Arse! Girls!"
7. Carla Tortelli Lebec
Rhea Perlman, Cheers
Barfly Cliff: "I'm ashamed God made me a man."
Carla: "I don't think God's doing a lot of bragging about it, either."
8. Jim Royle
Ricky Tomlinson, The Royle Family
His mother-in-law Norma: "Is this hat too far forward?"
Jim: "No. We can still see your face."
9. Malcolm Tucker
Peter Capaldi, The Thick of It
To a junior minister after his inept, blinking confrontation with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight: "All these hands all over the place! You were like a sweaty octopus trying to unhook a bra! It was like watching John Leslie at work!"
10. Statler and Waldorf
The old men, The Muppet Show
Statler: "Wake up you old fool, you slept through the show."
Waldorf: "Who's a fool? You watched it."
11. Inspector Monkfish
John Actor/Simon Day, The Fast Show
To a recently bereaved woman:
"I realise this must be a very difficult time for you, so put your knickers on and go and make me a cup of tea!"
12. No Offence
Arabella Weir, The Fast Show
To WPC: "I notice you're not wearing a wedding ring, which given your age means you're divorced or a lesbian".
13. Rupert Rigsby
Leonard Rossiter, Rising Damp
To Alan, his lazy student lodger, who complains his room is too cold for him to study in:
"The only thing you study is your navel. You even shave lying down."
Catherine Tate, The Catherine Tate Show
In hospital, describing to her grandson an encounter with an overweight volunteer:
"She said to me last time, 'You look bored, Mrs Taylor. I've got three words for you: Barbara Taylor Bradford.' So I said, 'Yeah? I've got three words for you, too: calorie-controlled diet.'"
15. The Professors
Rob Newman and David Baddiel, The Mary Whitehouse Experience
"I have here a copy of your book, Origins of the Crimean War. It smells of poo."
"That's because it's been inside your mum's bra."
16. Alf Garnett
Warren Mitchell, Till Death Us Do Part
"You Scouse git!"
17. Alexis Carrington
Joan Collins, Dynasty
"I'm glad to see your father had your teeth fixed - if not your mouth."
18. JR Ewing
Larry Hagman, Dallas
About his half-brother, Ray Krebbs:
"Ray never was comfortable eating with the family; we do use knives and forks."
19. Arnold Rimmer
Chris Barrie, Red Dwarf
"Look, we all have something to bring to this discussion. But I think from now on the thing you should bring is silence"
20. Dr Cox
John C McGinley, Scrubs
Dr Elliot Reid: "I don't think you understand the severity of the situation here. I am dangerously close to giving up men altogether!"
Dr Perry Cox: "Then on behalf of men everywhere - and I do mean everywhere, including the ones in the little mud huts - let me be the first to say thanks and hallelujah!"
21. Dr Gregory House
Hugh Laurie, House
"You can think I'm wrong, but that's no reason to stop thinking."
22. Gary Strang
Martin Clunes, Men Behaving Badly
Laddish knockabout as Gary rates flatmate Tony's chances with upstairs tenant Deborah:
"Let's face it, Tony, the only way you're gonna be in there is if you're both marooned on a desert island and she eats a poisonous berry or a nut which makes her temporarily deaf, dumb, stupid, forgetful and desperate for sex."
23. Larry David
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
"Switzerland is a place where they don't like to fight, so they get people to do their fighting for them while they ski and eat chocolate."
24. Sam Tyler
John Simm, Life on Mars
In an exchange with DCI Gene Hunt:
Gene: "I think you've forgotten who you're talking to."
Sam: "An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding?"
Gene: "You make that sound like a bad thing."
25. Captain Mainwaring
Arthur Lowe, Dad's Army
"You stupid boy"