The Best British Sitcoms of All Time TV Programs

The Best British Sitcoms of All Time

original ranker
49,946 views 71 items 9,391 votes 1,054 voters 29 followers 21reranks
Funniest British TV shows ever produced, ranked by worldwide comedy fans. British sitcoms - or "Britcoms" as they are sometimes called in the US - are known for their crisp dialogue, biting wit and sardonic look at modern life in the UK. Shows like "The Office" (which inspired the US series), "Are You Being Served" and "Absolutely Fabulous" present traditional settings and scenes, but populated by outlandish, even demented, eccentrics, some of whom have become among the nation's most iconic characters. (Both David Brent of "The Office" and Basil Fawlty of "Fawlty Towers" have been voted near the top of Ranker's "Funniest TV Characters of All Time" list.)

Additionally, though US sitcoms tend to take one of a few reliable formats - a traditional three-camera set-up in front of a studio audience, say, or the "mockumentary" style of shows like "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation" - British sitcoms tend towards the more experimental and daring. "Blackadder," for example, sets each new season in a different time period, with relations of the original two characters: Blackadder and Baldrick. "Peep Show" as well tells a rather familiar story about two wacky roommates, but through a unique POV perspective, with the actors performing largely in voice-over.

What are the best British comedy series? Numerous British shows on this list - as from the obvious "The Office" - have inspired American remakes, though the vast majority of these - such as the US versions of "Fawlty Towers" and "Men Behaving Badly" - have not met with similar success across the pond.

List Criteria: Episodic comedy shows that initially debuted on British television

< >
  • the crowd
  • 21 reranks
  • comments
  • </> embed
Rerank This List
View as a Ranked by
Rank
loading your
votes…
 
  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 360
    Down 80

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Fawlty Towers

    1975 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 330
    Down 77
    1983 More
    95
  3. 3
    Up 219
    Down 116
    1972 More
    81
  4. 4
    Up 230
    Down 42
    1969 More
    81
  5. 5
    Up 196
    Down 107
    1992 More
    80
  6. 6
    Up 183
    Down 97
    1995 More
    79
  7. 7
    Up 207
    Down 106
    1990 More
    78
  8. 8
    Up 225
    Down 85

    ranked low on reranks
    The IT Crowd

    2006 More
    76
  9. 9
    Up 196
    Down 106
    2001 More
    76
  10. 10
    Up 183
    Down 71
    1988 More
    75
  11. 11
    Up 153
    Down 64
    1981 More
    74
  12. 12
    Up 150
    Down 75
    1994 More
    72
  13. 13
    Up 117
    Down 57
    1982 More
    70
  14. 14
    Up 112
    Down 67
    1980 More
    67
  15. 15
    Up 117
    Down 78
    2003 More
    66
  16. 16
    Up 137
    Down 66
    2000 More
    64
  17. 17
    Up 74
    Down 74

    often listed
    I'm Alan Partridge

    1997 More
    63
  18. 18
    Up 126
    Down 75
    2008 More
    63
  19. 19
    Up 106
    Down 45
    1988-12-23 More
    58
  20. 20
    Up 109
    Down 52
    1982 More
    58
  21. 21
    Up 76
    Down 57
    1973 More
    57
  22. 22
    Up 71
    Down 42
    1999 More
    57
    added by: PeteBoyle
  23. 23
    Up 75
    Down 63
    1968 More
    55
  24. 24
    Up 73
    Down 67

    controversial
    Men Behaving Badly

    1992 More
    55
  25. 25
    Up 65
    Down 34
    1989 More
    55
  26. 26
    Up 68
    Down 32

    ranked low on reranks
    Jeeves and Wooster

    1990 More
    54
  27. 27
    Up 63
    Down 50
    2005 More
    53
  28. 28
    Up 50
    Down 62
    1973 More
    51
  29. 29
    Up 63
    Down 62

    controversial
    Bottom

    1991 More
    50
  30. 30
    Up 85
    Down 57
    2000 More
    50
  31. 31
    Up 63
    Down 55
    1974 More
    50
  32. 32
    Up 54
    Down 66
    2000 More
    49
  33. 33
    Up 51
    Down 43
    1975 More
    49
    added by: Leslie2
    British sitcom produced by the BBC that ran from 1975 to 1978. It was written by Bob Larbey ... more
  34. 34
    Up 70
    Down 52
    1990 More
    48
  35. 35
    Up 54
    Down 41
    1987 More
    47
  36. 36
    Up 60
    Down 59
    2009 More
    47
  37. 37
    Up 58
    Down 47
    2011 More
    46
  38. 38
    Up 58
    Down 55
    1979 More
    46
  39. 39
    Up 47
    Down 60
    1998 More
    46
  40. 40
    Up 43
    Down 57
    2004 More
    45
  41. 41
    Up 52
    Down 58
    2007 More
    45
  42. 42
    Up 34
    Down 44
    2004 More
    45
  43. 43
    Up 22
    Down 34
    2010 More
    45
    added by: PeteBoyle
  44. 44
    Up 38
    Down 42
    1969 More
    44
  45. 45
    Up 44
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    Mr. Bean

    1990 More
    40
    added by: VanessaHawelu
  46. 46
    Up 32
    Down 47
    1974 More
    39
  47. 47
    Up 28
    Down 40
    1993 More
    39
  48. 48
    Up 30
    Down 57

    controversial
    Phoenix Nights

    2001 More
    38
  49. 49
    Up 26
    Down 41
    2002 More
    38
  50. 50
    Up 27
    Down 48
    2006 More
    38
  51. +Add New Item

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 50 of 71

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

    more popular lists