Are You Being Served? (original episodes) Floor Displays
A comprehensive list and in-depth description of each of the humorous floor
displays, models, mannequins, and machines used in Are You Being Served?
Beauty Belle model
"Mash brings in the Beauty Belle point-of-sale model. This is a neck-to-waist
model wearing a bra. When turned on, the breasts light up. Slocombe complains
she doesn't want that common thing in her department; Mash quickly states that
she's just jealous because she can't light up like the model. Slocombe
instructs Brahms to hide it, but Peacock stops her, saying Grace Brothers has
sole concession over Beauty Belle and would she please display it somewhere
prominent or she will have trouble with the buying department. Slocombe tells
Brahms to find someplace "prominent" - in the mean time she will just shove it
under the counter. Later, when Peacock, Slocombe and Grainger exit Rumbold's
office, Grainger offers her a small "foot" on his display stand. Slocombe
accepts his gracious offer and states "I know the very thing." She pulls out
the Beauty Belle display, places it on top of the center stand, and turns it
on. Grainger promptly phones Rumbold."
"His and Hers"
Pushcart with "His and Hers" perfume advertising on it
"This is a pushcart with "His and Hers" perfume advertising on it. The staff
finds out that there is going to be a scent display set up where the gents and
ladies' central display is located. Slocombe and Grainger disapprove of this
from the start."
Dummy with microphone.
"The staff then makes plans to sabotage the "His and Hers"
display; Lucas comes up with a plan that he thinks will work. After lunch the
rest of the staff is waiting for Lucas to return from setting his plan into
motion. Lucas installs a microphone inside of a dummy's head wearing a hat.
Very soon after a customer approaches the "His and Hers" display stand and with
the hidden microphone Lucas overrides the tape recorder that is playing a
narration of an ad for "His and Hers" and says nasty remarks to chase away the
customer. The plan works and customers are driven away. Peacock quickly tries
to shut off the tape recorder but in the process ends up ruining the tape.
Later in Rumbold's office the staff finds out that their plan worked: the "His
and Hers" girl left the store. Rumbold then informs the staff that "His and
Hers" is a part of Grace Brothers and that Young Mr. Grace is coming down to
see how things are coming along. When Rumbold informs them that Mr. Grace will
not be happy to find out that the "His and Hers" girl left, the staff are left
having to run the "His and Hers" stand own their own."
"Mash brings out a promotional display for Pussy Boots, a line of women's fuzzy
slippers. The display is a fake cat (battery-operated), lying down on a box.
Mash activates the display and the cat's eyes light up. The mouth opens and
closes and the tail moves up and down while it purrs and meows. A woman's
voice can be heard stating smoothly: "Pussy Boots, Pussy Boots." When Mash
demonstrates for Peacock how it works, the display acts normal for a minute,
but then starts to go awry. The tail goes in a complete circle as the head
starts turning quickly and the voice speeds up. The animal explodes, and after
the smoke clears you can see that the front panel of the box has blown off and
that the cat's head is detached from the body, perched on a metal rod coming
out of the cat's neck. Peacock firmly instructs Mash to take it to the vet, who
replies: "Very amusing Captain, very amusing," as he removes it."
"Hoorah for the Holidays"
Firm-You-Up Fat Fighter Control Corset
"Mr. Mash brings out a display for the Firm-You-Up Fat Fighter Control Corset,
which is a dummy's torso wearing a pink corset. Mash has to go and get a piece
for the display to make it work; he returns with the piece and applies it to
the display. He then turns the display on, whereupon the stomach of the torso
dummy inflates and deflates as if breathing. Peacock replies that it would be
more acceptable if it did not inflate quite so much, and he pushes on the
stomach of the dummy while it deflates. Peacock continues to press down on the
stomach while it inflates, and instead of the stomach filling with air the
boobs do. Slocombe tells Peacock that he did not improve the matter; Peacock
tells Mash to remove the display."
"Up Captain Peacock"
Sensi-Touch Rubber Gloves
"This display is for the Sensi-Touch Rubber Gloves, which are gloved hands
(attached to a background) that move up and down as if playing a piano. Mash
activates the display for Slocombe, who immediately decides she doesn't like
it and beckons Peacock over to look at the display. Peacock informs her that
he has already seen the excellent display, approved it, and given authority for
it to be displayed on her counter. Slocombe says that she'll go over his head
about the matter; Peacock encourages her to bring the matter up with Rumbold
and adds that he does not like her using an argumentative tone with him in
front of a junior. Slocombe therefore asks Brahms to remove herself, and after
she has, Slocombe calls Peacock a pompous twit. Peacock goes to Rumbold, and
Brahms asks Slocombe what she's going to do if the display is approved by
Rumbold. Slocombe: "I'm not taking any chances. Pass me the scissors!"
Peacock returns later with Rumbold to review the display, which is now covered
with a cloth. When Slocombe uncovers it, it is apparent that she rigged the
display so that instead of the hands bobbing up and down and playing the piano,
the hands were bobbing up and down giving the two-finger salute (the British
version of an obscene gesture)."
with goldfish swimming in it
"A new display stand has been placed center floor; it consists of a fountain
with goldfish swimming in it. Mash tells Peacock not to lean over the
fountain, as he'd frighten the fish; as he says this, a fish jumps out of the
fountain. Mrs. Slocombe comments that she can't stand the sight of running
water, as it always makes her "want to go." She ends up making a mad dash for
the bathroom, and Lucas tries to do the same, but Peacock forbids him to.
Humphries assists Lucas by stepping on the hose that feeds the water into the
fountain, causing the water to spurt out spasmodically. Peacock, watching the
spurting, ends up having to "go" himself, and he runs off to the bathroom. In
the absence of Peacock, Lucas is free to go off and use the bathroom himself."
"Later, Mash wheels in a display for the Cami Shirt, consisting of two dummies
on a stand. One sports the Cami Shirt while the other has a regular shirt.
When Mash activates this display, the dummy with the regular shirt has his
shirt ride up as if walking. Grainger says that this should boost their sales;
right after his statement, the boxer shorts on the dummy without the Cami Shirt
fall down, exposing the dummy's butt. Humphries adds: "Either that or it will
knock the bottom out of it." Mash takes it away to be fixed, but as he's
leaving Slocombe stops him to complain about him being on the floor after
opening hours. "I've only got one thing to say to you, Mrs. Slocombe!" he
states, and Slocombe interrupts him, saying she doesn't want to hear another
word. Mash simply says: "All right then," and activates the Cami Shirt
display. The boxers fall, leaving Slocombe speechless."
"Mash delivers a point-of-display model for Everlasting Tights. It's the lower
half of a mannequin that has a motor in the base that plays "a lovely drop of
ballet music." While the music plays, one of the legs kicks in time to it; the
display is on a timer to start the music and kicking. Mrs. Slocombe doesn't
like the display and promptly complains to Peacock, who replies that he has
already had it approved with Rumbold. She replies that it is not staying in
her department and begins to move it away, but Peacock warns her to leave it
where it is. Humphries then distracts Peacock with a question, and Slocombe
triggers the display while they converse. While the music plays, Humphries
mentions to Peacock that they were trying to figure out which ballet the tune
came from. Peacock states that he thinks its Tchaikovsky just as the display
plants a kick in Peacock's backside. Humphries chimes to Grainger: 'You're
right Mr. Grainger, it's The Nutcracker Suite.'"
"Top Hat and Tails"
"Fifty Years On"
Upper half of a mannequin for "get a hat week." Dummy repeats the phrase: "I like it!"
"Harman rolls out the upper half of a mannequin on a stand for "If you want to
get ahead, get a hat week." The dummy sports a hat, a shirt, and a tie. As
Harman turns on the display, the hat, being attached to a rod, starts moving up
and down as the dummy keeps repeating the phrase: "I like it!" Harman finds it
funny that the eyes of the dummy don't light up like they're supposed to."
"Peacock instructs Harman to remove himself from the floor, but Harman says that
he has another display, for Slocombe, called the Flexi-Girdle, which will
contain a figure that is out of control. The Flexi-Girdle is the bottom half
of a full model, wearing a girdle and stockings, and Grainger comments that he
hopes that it won't distract attention from his hat display. Peacock points
out that they're all working for the same store, and when Slocombe complains
that Grainger's model is animated while hers does nothing, Harman comforts her
by saying: "Don't underestimate the Flexi-Girdle Corporation." He turns the
display on, and the legs split wide apart to demonstrate the girdle's
flexibility; seeing this, the eyes of the hat display finally light up, and it
says wholeheartedly: 'I like it! I like it!'"
"Oh What a Tangled Web"
Beauty Bounce-new washable party wig
"Harman brings out an upper torso model wearing a wig - a hairdo model from
Beauty Bounce. "The new washable party wig. You can wash it, crush it, screw
it, boil it, and it still comes out bamboxed fresh." Harman pulls on a wire
hanging behind the model and flaps of hair on either side of the wig stand
straight up, demonstrating the type of hairstyle that Beauty Bounce would help
a customer avoid."
"The Father Christmas Affair"
Christmas Display Unit (CDU)-mannequin dressed as Santa
"The Christmas Display Unit (CDU) is a mannequin dressed as Santa. When you
drop fifty pence in the cash box it exclaims, "Ho ho ho, little boy! Have I
got a surprise for you!" The Santa (which has its arms crossed) should then
opens his arms out as if welcoming the child - what's missing is a tub in front
of the display where the children are supposed to "put their sticky little
mitts in and pull out a magnicifant [sic] plastic toy that's made in Hong Kong
that costs about four p," as Harman put it. However, when the display is
activated it doesn't open its arms, and Brahms asks about that. Harman adjusts
the display, and when he drops another fifty pence in the box the Santa says
its piece and the arms finally open up. However, the sleeves of the red robe
had been sewn to the front panels of the robe, so when the arms opened up it
looked like the dummy was flashing. Humphries, who had been previously absent
for the scene, then walks in and inquires if he has missed anything. Rumbold
instructs Harman to play the Santa again for Humphries, and when the display
flashes Humphries, he passes out and falls into Lucas' arms."
"The Old Order Changes"
"Smoking" mannequin-Mr. Lucas exhales cigarette smoke into mannequin by kissing it.
"In the beginning of this episode, Lucas is smoking, and when Humphries warns
him that Peacock is approaching, Lucas throws away the cigarette and exhales
the smoke in his mouth into a male mannequin by kissing it. When Peacock comes
up to Lucas and Humphries and says he won't tolerate smoking during working
hours, smoke begins to pour out of the ears of the mannequin Lucas kissed, and
when Lucas tells the mannequin that it's in trouble, Peacock tells Lucas that
he will see him later."
Full mannequin looking like Young Mr. Grace says "Welcome
to my store!"
"A full mannequin modeled after Young Mr. Grace is
brought in; it wears a hat and suit and welcomes customers by stating, "Welcome
to my store!" After stating this, the dummy should raise its hat. As Harman
appears with this display, Rumbold yells at him to hurry because it is already
a week late in arriving and all the other floors already have gotten their Mr.
Grace dummies. Harman replies that they had certain teething problems - the
teeth kept falling out. As Harman demonstrates it, Peacock notes that it did
not raise its hat, and Rumbold demands to know what's wrong with it. After an
explanation, Harman adjusts it and reactivates it; this time when the dummy
raises its hat, the head goes with it. Rumbold tells Harman to remove the
dummy and bring it back when it's fixed."
"It Pays to Advertise"
Lifelike dummies of Mrs. Slocombe and Mr. Humphries
"Harman brings in lifelike dummies of Slocombe and Humphries; the former wears a
red wig and a blue dress suit while the latter has a three-piece suit and
stands with one hand on its hip (the other hand is in the air as if waving).
Slocombe says that she refuses to be displayed with a fifty-inch bust, as her
measurement is thirty-eight. Harman obliges by unstuffing the dummy's bra and
tells her the trouble is that she's been overstuffed. Slocombe tells Peacock
to stop Harman, as she will not have rough workman's hands inside her bra.
Harmon replies: "It could be your last chance." Grainger steps forward,
mistaking the dummy for the real Slocombe, and compliments her by saying how
nice her hair looks. When there is no reply, he mutters: "All right, ignore
me, you bad-tempered old cow," and walks off. Harman's assistant then brings
out the Humphries dummy, and Humphries tells the man to be careful where he
puts his hands. "You're making my eyes water!" Humphries approaches his dummy
and holds its arm, saying, "Good afternoon, do you come here often?" Asked by
Peacock for an opinion on the dummy, he says: "Well, it's all right in here,
but standing like that I wouldn't give much for his chances in a transport cafe
on the A-1." Humphries adds that the dummy looks too posed, and Lucas folds
the waving hand down to signify a limp wrist. Humphries becomes irritated but
makes some more adjustments, asking, "Think that's more normal?" Lucas:
"That's as normal as you're gonna get." Brahms comments that she doesn't like
the angle of the dummy's head, and when Humphries attempts to right it, he
pulls the head right off. As Harman takes it the mannequin away to fix it,
Rumbold appears to inspect the dummies; worried about breaking store property,
Humphries stands motionless on the stand where his dummy had been. Rumbold
informs them that the dummies were made for an underwear display, and Harman
proceeds to rip off the Slocombe dummy's clothes, causing the real Slocombe to
stagger in shock. Peacock asks about the Humpries dummy and Rumbold tells them
to strip it off. Peacock, who had been off the floor with Mr. Rumbold and knew
nothing of the broken dummy, orders Lucas to undress the "fake" Humphries.
Hesitantly, Lucas unbuttons the "dummy's" vest. When Lucas questions why
they have to strip the dummy completely, Rumbold says they're having a special
event in Y-fronts. Lucas agrees, and he and Peacock finish stripping the
"dummy." Brahms takes a look at the stripped Humphries, and says: "They're
getting very thorough in display, aren't they?" - which causes the "dummy's"
lips to quiver in horror."
"As Harmon sets up a unisex dummy's and puts its hands in place, he sings: "You
need hands to hold someone what loves you..." This is a full dummy that can
transform from a man to a woman, or vice-versa. Harmon explains this to the
cleaning lady what it is and sticks two plastic boobs onto the formerly flat-
chested dummy. One of the two is smaller than the other, and the cleaning lady
mentions that it doesn't look right. Harman replies, "You're right! I got my
Raquel Welch mixed up with me Twiggies," and the cleaning lady scolds him
playfully. Rumbold enters and tells Harman to get the model off the floor
until it's fully clothed, and Harman leads it the model away by the hand,
singing: 'Hold my hand, I'm a stranger in paradise...'"
"Harman brings in a point-of-sale model for the Flexi-Bra, a full-sized dummy
wearing only the Flexi-Bra and a pair of pantyhose. No matter how wayward your
figure, Flexi-Bra will cling to it and control it like a second skin. When
Harman demonstrates the display, disks inside the bra cups rotate in circles,
causing everyone to stand and stare. As Harman deactivates it, Mrs. Slocombe
tells Peacock she doesn't think there'll be a call for that at Grace Brothers.
Brahms says: "Oh I dunno, I could have with one of 'em last night, at the
disco." Slocombe says Harman should "take it back to where from whence it came
from," but Peacock says that if Rumbold wishes them to sell the garment, he
thinks they should try it out. Peacock then beckons two people over to view
the display and tells them about it, but the female customer says: "I know all
about them, thank you. In fact, I wear one!" She proudly turns on her
rotating disks. The male customer accompanying her pipes in, "And I have the
matching pants!" as he turns around to show off the rotating cheeks in his
underwear. Humphries faints into Lucas' arms."
"Shedding The Load"
The New Ironclad Hosiery model
"Harman pushes in a two-piece point-of-sale model for The New Ironclad Hosiery.
The first piece is a female mannequin wearing the hosiery; the second piece is
a box set behind the mannequin. At random intervals, a hand clutching steel
wool comes out of the box and rubs the backside of the mannequin back and
forth. Harman takes the dummy away upon Slocombe's orders, as she despises it,
and he tells Peacock he'll return for the other half. A little later, Peacock
beckons Humphries to him when Humphries requests him to authenticate his
commission for six pairs of Y-fronts. While signing his slip, Peacock requests
Humphries to "stay behind tonight" after work, neglecting to mention that it
was for an after-hours staff meeting. Humphries, who is standing in front of
the second piece of the display, can feel a hand rubbing his backside, and he
thinks it's Peacock's hand. Humphries is reluctant to stay behind at first and
offers excuses, but as the rubbing continues he wholeheartedly agrees to stay,
adding a comment about Peacock's penetrating eyes."
"A Bliss Girl"
The Bliss Pushcart
with bottles of Bliss Perfume for sale
"Harman arrives on the floor with "The Bliss Pong Shop." This is a pushcart
with bottles of Bliss Perfume for sale. The Bliss salesgirl couldn't make it
to the store because of the fog, so Humphries has to (wo)man the display
himself. While he stands around waiting for customers, he sees a mannequin
bust displaying a bra, and he pokes at the bra in boredom. Noting the
unimpressive size of the mannequin's cleavage, he stuffs the bra with rolled-up
scarves until the bra is filled to bursting, and burst it does, causing the bra
to go flying and leaving a very naked bust on the counter. Humphries quickly
covers up the bare breasts with his hands and finds a scarf to cover up the
bust. With the help of some tape, he arranges the scarf so that the ends of it
cover the nipple area of the breasts, while the rest of the scarf is twined
around the mannequin's neck."
Wooden play horse
"Harman brings in a wooden play horse for the production the staff are
rehearsing for Young Mr. Grace's birthday party. This is a wooden horse (from
"the Display Department") on wheels for Peacock to ride on dressed as the toy
soldier. The horse was too high off the ground for Peacock to straddle it
comfortably, and therefore trotting on the horse was "not without irreversible
consequences." When Peacock follows Harman's instructions to pull the reins on
the horse, its stiff wooden tail jerks up, and Lucas, who just happens to be
standing behind the horse, gets hit in the crotch."
"Strong Stuff This Insurance"
Ting-a-Ling Knickers ("every
pair has a different note")
"Slocombe tries to interest a customer in a pair of Ting-a-Ling Knickers ("every
pair has a different note") by switching on the display unit on her counter,
which consists of a pair of mannequin's hips and thighs clad in red satin
knickers that has bells on them. When the display is switched on, the hips
shake, causing the knickers to jingle. Mrs. Slocombe has a pair, as does Young
Mr. Grace's secretary, and Young Mr. Grace's nurse. Mr. Humphries also
confesses to wearing a pair himself ("I use it as a burglar alarm"), and when
Lucas tells him to shake it about, he does so, but no sound emerges from his
pants. Lucas comments on this, and Humphries asks: 'Do you think someone broke
in when I wasn't looking?'"
"In accordance to new rules set by the insurance company, staff wages are now
given out via a machine known as the security dispenser. Every staff member
has an identity photograph in the machine, and in order to get one's wages, the
staff member must stand in front of the machine. The machine scans you, takes
a picture of you and compares it to the identity photograph, and if you are in
fact who you claim to be, you salary is duly deposited in the payout tray.
Peacock is the first to try out the machine, but after scanning Peacock the
machine cries out "WILL NOT PAY OUT, WILL NOT PAY OUT!" in the manner of a
Dalek from British sci-fi series Dr. Who. Mr. Patel, Head of Accounts, checks
Peacock's identity photograph to see why the machine has not paid out, and it
turns out that the identity photo is of Peacock dressed in a pirate costume,
complete with red bandanna and black eyepatch, for Grace Brothers' much-
acclaimed production of the Pirates of Penzance (Peacock played the part of
Frederick). Mr. Patel says that if Peacock just wore an eyepatch and something
red on his head, he would get his salary; Peacock points out that his pirate
costume is not with him. Brahms takes a small black bra off a model and tells
Peacock to use it as an eyepatch, and Slocombe finds a pair of red knickers.
Peacock protests at first, but then puts the garments on his head and waits for
"The Punch and Judy Affair"
"In the beginning of the episode, Humphries uncovers a model wrapped in paper,
only to find that it's nude. In order to remedy the situation, he tries to
paste bits of the paper over the breasts, but they fall off, and so he takes
two hats joined together by a string and drapes the hats over the breasts; the
string wraps around the dummy's neck."
"Later, Harman brings out a point-of-display model for Bikee Briefs
(which is just a mannequin wearing the briefs and posed riding on a bicycle).
"The cycling shorts with the magic long-life
gusset. Guaranteed for one hundred
thousand grueling miles." The seat on the
bicycle is made of sandpaper to
demonstrate that the briefs can stand up to the
roughest of wear. When
Harman activates the display, the briefs begin to smoke
from too much friction.
Lucas exclaims, "Oh look, it's got a fifth gear!" and
puts the display on a higher
speed. The display then goes berserk as it speeds
up and begins to smoke profusely
as the staff observe in amazement. With
sparks and smoke, the display gives out
with a huge bang."
"Is It Catching?"
Winter Wonder Weatherworthy
"Harman rolls out a point-of-sale display for the Winter Wonder Weatherworthy
Wellies. It consists of a stand on which is a bit of simulated British
countryside, i.e. mud. The wellies (galoshes) stand on top of the mud. Harman
explains that when a customer approaches the stand, one turns on the switch to
demonstrate, and he does just that. The wellies begin moving up and down in
the mud, making a ghastly sucking/slurping noise, and Slocombe says to Peacock
that she hopes he doesn't expect her to sell Honeymoon Nighties with that noise
going on. As they watch, the boots continue walking in place and progressively
sink deeper and deeper into the mud of the display, staggering to a stop when
they are nearly completely submerged.
"Harman delivers a front door (with lights around the border) from Display for
the filming of the commercial for Grace Brothers' new night club. During the
filming of the commercial, Harman tries to open the door, but the knob pulls
off in his hand. Humphries, who is directing the shooting of the commercial,
becomes flustered and ends up demanding that the door be removed, and the
hinges get taken off and the door taken away."
(Descriptions compiled by John and Liza Hotchkiss; corrections, revisions, and
updates by James Han).