It does say 'hotel' outside. Maybe I should be more precise, 'Hotel for people who have more than 50% chance of making it through the night
~ Basil after one of his guests die

Basil Fawlty is the main character of the infamous British sitcom, Fawlty Towers. Basil is flustered, sarcastic, arrogant and short-tempered but also dominated by his wife and extremely neurotic. Basil longs to bring in a higher, better but most importantly richer and sophisticated kind of class into his hotel which normally results in him being humiliated.

He is portrayed by John Cleese.

Season 1

Basil was first seen when his wife, Sybill was nagging him to hang up the picture frame but he kept getting distracted by a couple who forgot thier wake-up call. Sybill later chastises Basil for spending 40 pounds on an advertisement in the high society which he defends as a mean to attracts a high society class as to ward off the "riff-raff". Sybill says as long as they pay the bills they should not attempt to attract more customers than they should. Basil is later encountered by a high-society figure, Lord Melbury whom he later treats rudely but practically worships when he discovers his background. During dinner he moves a family while they were still eating and comes close to attacking Melbury with a chair. It's also revealed later on, with the help of his waitress Polly the Lord Melbury was in reality an imposter who tried to scam him out of nearly 200 pounds and when he discovers he actually attacks Melbury, embarrassing himself in front of two high society classes who drive away in a fury. At the climax when he is about to put up the picture frame that Sybill nagged him to do, when the father of the family he moved asks for his drinks, Basil smashes the painting and angrily prepares if for them.


Basil's sardonic, pompous and snobbish nature is the cause of many of his antics and personal problems. He obviously loathes most of his customers, especially low-class ones and more specifically favours them in comparison to high-society classes who are sophisticated but what he prefers more richer. Ironically if he is pushed to agitation enough he will even treat upper-classes with an equal level of contempt. An example is during "A Touch of Class", when the Lord and Lady left Fawlty Towers in a rage after how they saw how he treated the fake Lord Melbury. Once they drove away Basil viciously insulted them; "you snobs! You stupid, stuck-up, half-witted, toffee-nosed, upper-class piles of pus!" ignroing the fact they had a right mind to leave given the situation.

As mentioned earlier Basil severely despises the "riff-raff" as he likes to call the regulars. In comparison to the higher society's whose ground they walk on he seems to worship. An example on how differently he treats the upper and lower classes was when he was fooled by an imposter pretending to be Lord Melbury and carried his bags to his upper room (with a normal customer he would've complained or sarcastically mock him all the way) and later moved a family during their own dinner as Melbury wanted the seat they were sitting in. Despite being a hotel manager he actually hates waiting on people hand and foot, something which he expresses to his entire guests at the end of "Waldorf Salad".

Basil lives a celibate, steadfast and asexual lifestyle. He has an estranged relationship with his wife, Sybill and it's also revealed they sleep in separate beds. Basil also has extremly traditionalist lifestyles and opinions, he was visibly disgusted by a free-spirited German couple who had an active sex life and was prepared to kick them out of his hotel when he believed they were turning his hotel into a brothel.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+