The Inbetweeners is a British sitcom which aired for three series from 2008 to 2010 on E4. Created and written by Damon Beesley and Iain Morris, the show follows the life of suburban teenager Will McKenzie (Simon Bird), and three of his friends at the fictional Rudge Park Comprehensive. The script for the show (as is most dialogue between adolescent boys) is of a very adult nature and includes frequent use of extreme expletives and derogatory terms of a sexual nature. There is a skilfully crafted environment for the show involving typical, almost cliched, situations of school bullying, broken family life, indifferent school staff and ridiculous (largely failed) sexual encounters. Most viewers will be able to immediately identify with at least some of the characters, situations and events as paralleling those from their own school year experiences.
The show has been nominated for ‘Best Situation Comedy’ at BAFTA twice, in 2009 and 2010. At the British Academy Television Awards 2010, it won the Audience Award, and in 2010 the show won the Best Sitcom award at the British Comedy Awards. In the 2011 British Comedy Awards, the show also won the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Comedy. The Inbetweeners Movie was released on 17 August 2011.
Four boys – Will McKenzie (also narrator in the film), Simon Cooper, Jay Cartwright and Neil Sutherland – have finished their A-levels and are about to leave Rudge Park Comprehensive, much to the relief of Mr. Gilbert, their sardonic, mean sixth form tutor. Within their final week of school, however, Jay’s grandfather dies, Simon is dumped by his girlfriend Carli and Will’s divorced father tells him he has married his much younger mistress. Feeling worthless, the boys decide to go on holiday together and Neil books them on a trip to Malia. Jay hates it that Simon talks about Carli all the time, and from now on hits him in the testicles every time he does that.
Their accommodation in Malia is awful. On the way to the bars, the boys encounter a strange youngster named Richard (Theo Barklem-Biggs) who came alone to Malia for a holiday. While walking past the bars, the boys are tricked into entering a bar which is really empty. The boys are disappointed at first, but soon four girls walk in – Alison, Lucy, Lisa and Jane. Their initial meeting goes less than smoothly – Will chats to Alison and pokes fun at her cliched “Greek waiter boyfriend”, Simon bores Lucy talking about Carli (it is a relief for Simon to be able to do that without being hit in the testicles), Neil has a non-conversation with Lisa, and Jay “gets stuck” with the bubbly, if somewhat overweight Jane. The girls go on their way after Neil seduces two older women, but arrange to meet the boys the next day.
Outside the bar, Simon sees Carli across the street; this is because Neil asked Carli where she was going and booked the same place. Simon then angrily tells Neil that the point of the holiday was to take his mind off Carli. He talks awkwardly with her before being knocked down by a quad-bike ridden by James, an abusive club rep and Carli’s new boyfriend. Carli reveals she is going to an all-day boat party later in the week, and Simon pledges to meet her there.
The next morning, Will and Simon awaken to the sound of Neil having sex with a middle-aged woman and find Jay sleeping face-down in an ants’ nest outside. After sobering up, they go to meet the girls by their hotel pool. While there, a local little boy pushes Jay into the pool and later pulls Jay’s shorts down, after which Jay throws him into the pool in retaliation, finding out that the boy did not lie when he said he can not swim. The boy is rescued by other hotel patrons. At the same time, a man shows up who had reserved poolside sun-loungers by putting towels on them. He is angry because the boys have thrown the towels in the pool and taken the chairs for themselves. Will points out that his daughter in a wheelchair does not even need another chair. Having publicly humiliated themselves, the boys are quickly ejected from the hotel.
Outside, Jay argues with Simon over his continuing obsession with Carli and they fight in the street. Will and Neil separate the pair and drag off Simon and Jay, respectively, in different directions. Desperate to buy a ticket for the boat party, Simon sells his clothes to James, including what he is wearing, but never gets paid for them and is left naked in the middle of the street. Meanwhile, Jay angrily tears up two boat party tickets he secretly bought for them as a surprise. He and Neil then go to a nightclub later that night hoping to meet more girls, only to witness a male stripper performing autofellatio on stage. The duo subsequently run into James and his friends. James threatens Jay that he will stick a piece of glass in his throat if he doesn’t leave. Jay and Neil leave the nightclub, with Jay in tears.
Later that evening, the four boys meet back at the bar and bury the hatchet. Before long, the girls turn up and suggest that they all go skinny dipping at the local beach. Jane attempts to kiss Jay, but he is embarrassed to be seen with her so she leaves him behind. Will has better luck with Alison until, when Alison takes off his glasses and throws them away in an intimate moment, with his pants and underwear at his ankles he falls onto Alison’s Greek boyfriend having sex with another woman; Alison then runs off in tears. Lucy and Simon appear to be growing closer until he sees Carli on the beach and leaves Lucy alone in the sea. Will contemplates suicide, but Neil cheers him up and the boys go out partying.
Eventually, the boys are able to obtain tickets for the boat party. On board, Carli kisses Simon passionately in order to make James jealous, and Simon realises he is being used, and leaves Carli. Jay apologises to Jane, and she takes him into the toilets to perform oral sex on him. After finishing, they encounter James, who mocks Jane’s weight and demands a banknote in order to snort drugs from Jay. Jay gives him a €20 note that had been concealed in his anus to be used as a bribe for ‘corrupt foreign police’ when necessary, resulting in James unknowingly walking around with faeces on the end of his nose for the rest of the day. (He does not seem to notice this as women he tries talking to move away from him.) Neil bumps into Richard during the boat party and is introduced to Richard’s parents (both senior citizens), who came over at Richard’s request to pick him up. When Neil is about to kiss the mother as a polite gesture, Lisa rushes over and tells her to back off as she thinks Neil is trying to make moves on her, after taking Jay’s tips on grinding and dry humping and performing sexual acts whilst dancing. After Neil tells Lisa that his girlfriend back home dumped him, and he did not want to tell the others as to not be embarrassed, they feel no longer limited in the kind of sex they have.
Meanwhile, Alison hunts out Will and asks to be his girlfriend, which he eagerly accepts. Simon finally realises that Lucy, who gave him her ticket so that he could attend the party, is more worthy of his attention than Carli. Knowing that he has been less than kind to her, and encouraged by everyone on the boat, he decides to swim all the way to shore to tell her how he feels, as a grand romantic gesture, and dives into the sea. However, he nearly drowns and has to be airlifted to shore. As paramedics load him into an ambulance, a concerned Lucy rushes forward and kisses him, and they reconcile whilst Simon tells her ‘It’s normally bigger, it’s just cold’.
After the boat party is over, the other boys and girls visit Simon in hospital, and once he recovers they all spend the rest of their holiday together as couples. Eventually, the four boys head home to the UK. As they meet their families at the airport, their girlfriends exit the same terminal and introduce themselves to the boys’ parents as the film ends. In a final scene before the credits, a drunken Mr. Gilbert is seen riding a quad bike through the streets of Malia in his underwear with a necktie round his head in a John Rambo style.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this television series: