20 cringeworthy Peep Show moments

They're not sick, but they're not well...

When you boil it down, what's at the very core of Peep Show? Slapstick? Long profanity-fuelled rants? Humor that threatens to undermine your self-assurances that thinking something isn't the same as doing it? It's all of them. The foolish exploits of flatmates Mark and Jez (who dub themselves the El Dude Brothers, for that added patina of cool) are perhaps better summed up by the cringe in their comedy. So to ring in the final season that starts November 11 on Channel 4, we've brought together 20 hilarious and facepalming moments from the show's eight seasons. Naturally, there's a lot of spoilers.

20. Smashing teacups

As seen in: "Funeral" (Season 1, Episode 6)

The moment: After a brief passionate liaise with Sophie after Jez's uncle's funeral, Mark sneaks up on her in the breakroom at work to fire things up again. Keen to slow things down she rewinds their 'relationship', claiming that they're moving too fast and leaves Mark alone. He smashes a teacup in rage.

Why it's cringeworthy: Because Sophie walks back in almost immediately, spies the broken mug as she collects her reports and knows exactly what's happened.

19. Jeremy's turkey

As seen in: "Seasonal Beatings" (Season 7, Episode 5)

The moment: Jeremy has forgotten to buy a Christmas turkey. Mark bombards him with a stream of invective based around numerous variants of "fucker", slowly getting redder and redder with each slur.

Why it's cringeworthy: Because Jez confesses that it was a 'Christmas joke' and he's in fact prepared an organic, free-range turkey in the fridge. Leaving Mark struggling to apologise for his outburst.

18. School reunion

As seen in: "Handyman" (Season 4, Episode 4)

The moment: Reminiscing at a school reunion with a former crush, Mark digs himself a bit of a hole when inquiring about her children.

Why it's cringeworthy: He flat-out refuses to shake the subject of pedophiles, in a half-baked attempt to make himself less creepy. When in fact, it results in the exact opposite. "I'm not on the Child Protection Register... yet. Which proves I'm not a pedo! .... Either that or I'm an incredibly hard-to-detect pedo!"

17. Jez's life coaching tactics

As seen in: "Big Mad Andy" (Season 8, Episode 4)

The moment: Jez's new career as a life coach goes down the pan when his client, Mark's decorator friend, threatens to drink paint and kill himself unless Jez punches him in the face as therapy.

Why it's cringeworthy: Jez obliges, and proceeds to beat the crap out of the guy, as if truly grasping the core of his new-found career path when really he's "just kicking a man in the bollocks" as Mark so astutely narrates.

16. Captain Corrigan

As seen in: "Spin War" (Season 5, Episode 2)

The moment: Embracing a moment alone with Mark in the stationery cupboard, Dobby jumps him and begins to grind her behind against Mark's crotch. Afternoon delight? Err...

Why it's cringeworthy: "Captain Corrigan is flying without his license!" Mark cries, unable to quite harness his lust. His hasty exit to ensure Dobby remains clueless falls apart, when his entire workforce see the "soggy" stain on his trousers. Including his ex Sophie and her bosom buddy Jeff, to whom he confesses, "Yeah, I did a little bit of wee on myself."

15. Jalapeno surprise

As seen in: "Jeremy Therapised" (Season 8, Episode 1)

The moment: Sick of pandering to the insults of plebs and yobbos, Mark takes matters into his own hands at work. Teetering on an old delivery crate he urinates into a giant, bubbling pot of jalapeno sauce.

Why it's cringeworthy: It takes him so long to pee, that his manager trots in and catches him in the act.

14. Big Suze's pillow talk

As seen in: "Sistering" (Season 3, Episode 4)

The moment: Finally Mark is alone with Big Suze, in the bedroom! His gentlemanly insistence to rough it on the floor is cast aside as soon as she offers to let him sleep in the bed with her. Might this be his chance to make a move?

Why it's cringeworthy: No, it's not his chance, as Big Suze playfully refers to him as a big, cuddly grouchball, followed by an observation that he's "kind of like a modern-day eunuch."

13. Gastric blow-out

As seen in: "Shrooming" (Season 3, Episode 3)

The moment: Jez locks a very ill Mark in his room so he won't ruin his magic mushroom party. Mark texts Johnson who comes to his aid and sets the poor chap free. He legs it straight to the bathroom to relieve himself.

Why it's cringeworthy: The bathroom has no door: the entire party watches Mark empty his gastric flu-ridden bowels... and judges him on its horrific odour.

12. The hat game

As seen in: "The Love Bunker" (Season 8, Episode 3)

The moment: During a weekend away with Dobby's friends, Mark's trepidation over his popular music prowess rears its head during 'the hat game.' He hopes that every question he's asked is about either Snow Patrol or The Beatles... and they're not.

Why it's cringeworthy: Shouting "hot potato, hot potato.... T'pau!" when the answer is Hot Chip, Dobby's ex Simon tells him that he must know who it is. Mark doesn't. Instead of graciously laughing along at his limited knowledge, he barks at Simon and tells him to fuck off.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.
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