Series 2, Episode 2
Cash Title small
Air date 15 May 1984
Written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer
Directed by Geoff Posner
Episode Guide

The quartet are so poor that they are burning their clothes and belongings just to keep warm, while Neil is being forced into preparing meals of snow, passed off as Risotto, from outside and Vyvyan is forced to go around the neighbourhood to find winter fuel. Eventually they decide that someone - Rick - needs to get a job to bring money into the house, but when the only vacancy advertised in the local paper is for the Army, Rick and Mike both rule themselves out on medical grounds ("perforated eardrum" and "flat feet," respectively), while Vyvyan, after Neil demands to know why he can't join up, declares he is pregnant. After a poor haircut and a quick loan of Mike's suit, Neil goes to join up, but, having been told not to mention it, is rejected for being a pacifist. After spotting a recruitment poster, the other three throw Neil into the police station next door, where he meets Alexei Sayle's character, a Mussolini lookalike. While the others get lucky when a lorry full of food and expensive furnishings crashes through the front window, Neil takes to his new job - arresting a bunch of his drugged-up hippie friends. Arriving home, Neil tries to arrest his flatmates, assuming they had stolen all of the luxury items. His harsh use of the truncheon forces Vyvyan into labour. Mike leaves the room, being afraid of the sight of childbirth. Instead, Vyvyan actually ends up loudly passing wind. Rick and Neil frantically try to escape the smell, having been handcuffed together with Vyvyan, but Neil is unable to find the key. Unaware, Mike comes back in, and tries to light a celebratory cigar. The flame reacts with the gas, causing the house to explode, thus sending all their new-found riches up in smoke.

Basic InformationEdit

Cash was the eighth episode of British sitcom The Young Ones. It was written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer, and directed by Geoff Posner. It was first aired on BBC2 on 15 May 1984.


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  • The episode features a performance from Ken Bishop's Nice Twelve, a one-off conglomerate of high-profile rock musicians and theme writers, including Jools Holland, Stewart Copeland and Chris Difford performing "Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Bob Dylan. For contractual reasons, this has been edited out of DVD releases in the past, but has been reinstated for the 25th Anniversary edition.
  • On the original release DVD's, to go with the edit, the scenes of the main cast are cut, all bar the scene where they take Neil to the job centre. The band's name is also edited out of the credits, but rather than simply erase the name, the portion of credits with the group name is cut, with the credits before and after that intersected by a thick orange line, which also shows two sets of footage playing.
  • This particular episode is unusual in that it is filmed to enable the wall with the fireplace, which would usually be 'behind camera,' to be in view during internal scenes. In this case, the wall with the living room window becomes the 'fourth wall.'