Peep Show: Life Lessons

As Peep Show airs its final series, Rhian Hunter looks back at what important lessons the cult comedy has taught her over the years

16th November 2015

I should probably start by explaining a little bit about the premise of the show, otherwise those of you who haven’t seen an episode of Peep Show – do you live under a rock? – might be a bit perplexed/mortified by the following lessons. The show, written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain and starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb, follows flatmates Mark Corrigan and Jeremy Usborne as they attempt to navigate the adult world, often with hysterical results. As well as giving us the joy of watching others crumble in cripplingly embarrassing social situations, Mark and Jez’s inner thought processes are simultaneously spoken in voiceover – with inevitably quotable results. Here are a few of my personal favourites moulded into the essential life lessons – Peep Show edition.


1.Cereal-inspired analogies are perfect for describing the dynamics of life. As hilariously demonstrated by Mark’s witty comeback to Jez’s sarcastic remark:

‘Crunchy Nut Cornflakes are just Frosties for wankers.’

‘Yeah well Frosties are just Cornflakes for people who can’t face reality.’


2.Letterboxes are the ultimate enemies of efficient pizza delivery. Well, obviously you’d open the door with a key first, but it’s good to know, just in case you’re ever stuck in a scenario where pizza is necessary but you’re locked in. The more you know.

‘What happens if you eat letterbox hair?’

‘Strangely, there’s been very little research into that scenario…’


3.Crack is bad. Super Hans, Jez’ eccentric, drug-addled ‘rockstar’ friend, reminds us of this pretty often. Whether it’s his careful reminder of the dangers of crack addiction – ‘tell you what, this crack is really moreish’ – or his careful reminder that ‘necking fucking salt from the shaker’ is not an acceptable substitute for olives, Super Hans is always lurking about ready to provide some classic Peep Show life lessons.


4.The ‘yardies’ can’t solve all your problems. When Jez is faced with the ultimatum of murdering his stepfather with ‘gunny’ or forfeiting his inheritance from Aunt Gwen, Mark reminds him that the ‘yardies’ aren’t the answer to all his problems. Prompting Jez’s golden thought:

‘The yardies will help me. I just need to get a number for the yardies.’



5.LIFE ISN’T FAIR. To be fair, Mark’s entire catalogue of interactions with love interest Sophie could be used as an example of how life isn’t fair. Although Mark kind of brings it on himself by being a self-proclaimed ‘social freak’ who needs to ‘stay in [his] compound.’ But perhaps the best example is when Jez provides Mark with the means to break up Sophie’s relationship with the insufferable man-child Jeff by telling him Jeff cheated on Sophie. Mark’s response is quite possibly the best quotation on TV. EVER.

‘No Mark. I only told you for a laugh. You promised not to tell!’

‘Hitler promised not to invade Czechoslovakia Jeremy. Welcome to the REAL world!’

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