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File:Kitchen nightmares-show.jpg


 "I'm forty years of age, and I've gone to a lot of restaurants, but I've never, ever, ever, ever met someone I believe in as little as you."


A cooking-themed Reality Show in which chef Gordon Ramsay visits struggling restaurants and attempts to turn them around. Began as Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on Channel 4 before Fox adapted the series for American audiences.

Tropes used in Kitchen Nightmares include:
  • Analogy Backfire: In the Curry Lounge episode of the British version, Gordon makes a stubborn owner bat at cricket while being partially bound, to demonstrate what his stubbornness is doing to his restaurant. The owner still manages to hit the ball, on his first try.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the pilot episode Tim, the head chef of Bonaparte's, said that someday he'd like to have three restaurants; one in London, one in Paris, and one in...Leeds. Which, as Gordon showed us in the episode, is a good place to buy your supplies from, but isn't terribly likely to impress fellow chefs when discussing your establishments.
  • Beat:
    • In one of the American revisited episodes, Gordon asked one of the waiters (over food at the restaurant that replaced his) about his love life. The waiter then complained about how no one in New York is looking for a relationship, only for sex, which is okay for him as long as they don't string him along. There follows one of the most awkward pauses on the show, followed by Gordon asking "So, how about these sliders?"
    • From the Sebastian's episode:

 "So what do you do?"

"I'm an actress."

"Oh, do you play with Sebastion?"


"...cause he's an actor."

  • Berserk Button: Gordon has a bunch.
    • Chefs/owners who lie or make excuses for poor performance, making it harder for him to help.
    • Unsanitary kitchens; understandable, given that improperly-handled chicken (let alone more exotic fare) can be fatal.
    • Using frozen or canned food in a restaurant setting. The Restaurant Spin-a-yarn managed to do both. Gordon was not happy.
    • Using a microwave as the primary cooking medium. In the "El Greco" episode, the microwave was used so much that Gordon threw it out a second-story window.
    • In the "Peter's" American episode, the burly, eponymous part-owner gets enraged by a rude bill collector and chases him out into the street where he has to be restrained by Gordon and his staff.
    • Just about anything in the episode "Sebastian's" where the owner's batshit insane menu (pardon me, the batshit insane "concept") was challenged or threatened.
    • Questioning Gordon's integrity as a chef. At "Blackberry's", Gordon finds a dead mouse and confronts the owner, who accuses him of planting it for the benefit of the show. Gordon is so offended by this accusation that he threatens to leave right on the spot, and would have if the owner's mother didn't beg him to stay.
  • Better Than New: Ramsay and crew resurrect failing, insolvent restaurants, making them over into high-class fine dining establishments that are far Better Than New.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Gordon has a soft spot for younger cooks. He's even hired a couple of Nightmare alumni who had their restaurants close out from under them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Gordon Ramsay in a nutshell.
  • Blatant Lies: Whenever a chef claims that the disgusting kitchen had been cleaned recently.
    • If they show an owner promising that everything is fresh and homemade, you're virtually guaranteed to see the chefs pulling out the dish from a freezer and heating it in a microwave. Even more entertaining are those who try to claim that food is "fresh frozen," a term that has now cropped up at least thrice on the program. This is a term apparently used to excuse food that was originally cooked fresh, but has since been sitting for a week or more in a freezer.
    • In the British episode "D-Place", Head Chef Philip Blaze lied blatantly to Ramsay in one instance. Despite the oven not working properly, Philip tried to say that some clearly fried potatoes were baked after Gordon told Philip that he did not want him to rely so much on the fryer. He held on to this lie so tightly that even Ramsay was beginning to doubt himself. It was only after asking one of the chefs under Philip that he learned that he had, in fact, fried the potatoes.
    • One episode had Ramsay discover a mouse by the restaurant's door. Ramsay asked one of the staff members if an exterminator was ever hired, to which the staff member claims they hire one once a month and he had been there last week (and then the same guy says behind Ramsay's back that it reminds him of a rat they found under a table a few months back). The same guy then accuses Ramsay of planting the dead mouse for the sake of generating hits for the show. Ramsay was greatly offended and when the owner of the restaurant believes the lie, Ramsay lets everyone know that they can take the restaurant and shove it because he is not going to be accused of pulling a stunt for TV. After some drama happens with the owner, the guy who accused Ramsay of planting the mouse apologizes to him.
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: Plays for a rather phallic looking chicken dish in the Sandgate Hotel episode of the British series.
  • Brutal Honesty: Ramsay's MO.
  • Catch Phrase: Oh, fuck me. It's raw!!!
    • Gordon likes to remind people that "I'VE EATEN HERE!!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the two-parter "The Burger Kitchen", the father lends Gordon a copy of his memoir of his own paternal relative. When Gordon reads it, he finds that the father-son situation from the past was repeating itself in the current times. When he makes light of it with the entire family gathered around, it comes across as a pretty brutal slap on the head for the father. Manly Tears were shed at that moment, as well.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Daniel, the original head chef of Piccolo Teatro in the UK version.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Gordon fucking Ramsay.
  • Control Freak: Several owners and chefs.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Quite a few of the chefs when Gordon first arrives.
  • Didn't Think This Through: One of the recurring themes in both versions is the restaurant was recently bought by an owner or owners with little to no previous food service experience, with retirement or life savings. Ramsay is constantly exasperated that people think running a restaurant is easy and is something you do in retirement to pass the time.

  Gordon: A restaurant is a business, not a second home.

  • Downer Ending: Several. Originally, the biggest difference between the UK and US versions of the show was that the UK series is unafraid to admit when a Nightmares reboot hasn't succeeded in turning around a restaurant's fortunes.
    • Two restaurants in the UK version, D-Place and Piccolo Teatro, ended up closing even before the episode ended — the former because the financial damage had been done long before Ramsay arrived, the latter due to the laziness of its owner.
    • Bonaparte's at least lasted until the end of the episode, but Ramsay's attempt at a revamp proved a total failure, in no small part due to the useless head chef.
    • The Walnut Tree Inn survived until a "revisited" episode, but that episode ended with Ramsay storming out of the inn once it became obvious that the owner's stupidity and high prices had rendered his attempted changes irrelevant, and that the inn was hurtling towards bankruptcy.
    • The US version seems to be more willing to admit when a relaunch hasn't entirely worked as of Season 3; aside from the aforementioned incident with Bazzini's dessert chef, the episode featuring PJ's ended with the owners admitting they weren't up to the task of running a restaurant and subsequently selling it.
    • This sometimes happens after the fact, as well. A number of restaurants (such as Maggie's and Love's Fish Restaurant in the UK version, and Lela's and Peter's in the US version) pulled themselves together, followed Ramsay's instructions to the hilt, and enjoyed some initial success...only to go out of business anyway when their financial backers pulled the rug from underneath them during the credit crunch.
      • Nearly happened with the owners of the Fenwick Arms pub, who turned Gordon's "Campaign for Real Gravy" idea into even more of a success than he ever imagined and kept running in the face of some new competitors that sprung up nearby...only for the couple that owned the pub to be evicted after the brewery "disagreed" with the campaign. Averted in the end, though, as they bought a new pub near York and resurrected their campaign with much success.
      • A similar thing happened with J. Willy's. Although the restaurant itself didn't survive in the long run, the BBQ sauce that Ramsay helped them to create proved a big success, and the restaurant's owner focused his efforts on that instead.
    • The Cafe Tavolini episode had perhaps the biggest downer ending of any Kitchen Nightmares episode, with the possible exception of the UK pilot. At first it had the usual ending, with Ramsay telling the owners that they now had everything they needed to make the restaurant a success, and the owners appearing optimistic about the future. Immediately afterward, the epilogue revealed that the owners never got behind Ramsay's changes or tried to do a better job of managing the place — consequently, the restaurant closed, everyone lost their jobs, the owners lost their house, and their marriage collapsed.
    • The viewer can do this to him/herself.
    1. Watch the owner tearfully admit that if the restaurant doesn't work out, they'll lose everything they own and possibly be homeless.
    2. Watch Gordon turn it around.
    3. Watch the owners thank Gordon.
    4. Google the restaurant and find out that it closed since the episode aired. This is particularly jarring when, in one episode, Gordon pretty much strong-armed the chef into marrying his long-time girlfriend (whose parents helped finance the restaurant) and then the restaurant failed after airing. Awkward. [1]
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Mike, the chef at Mike & Nellie's, in order to cope with the death of his father. Not surprisingly, it was affecting the quality of the restaurant.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Oy.
    • The Burger Kitchen episode featured a family that treated their son like absolute crap. On top of that, they pretty much stole $250,000 from him to finance the restaurant in the first place.
    • The UK series has the family running The Dovecot. The father more or less spends the family's dwindling cash on things they do not need without his wife knowing, and has his adopted daughter take the fall for his inability to cook. When Ramsay gets there, they are on the razor's edge of breaking up completely.
  • Epic Fail: During the Casa Roma episode, it took an hour for Gordon to get his starter, and another thirty minutes on top of that to get his main course. This would be bad enough if the restaurant was busy, but Gordon was the only customer there. Then, in the subsequent dinner service, they only served main courses to 3 tables out of a possible 25. Not surprisingly, Gordon demanded that they fire their head chef before he'd even consider going any further.
  • Follow the Leader: Food Network's Restaurant Impossible is point-for-point almost identical to this show, the only major difference being that Impossible is hosted by the much more compassionate (but still British) Robert Irvine.
    • Spike TV's Bar Rescue, where an expert bar manager comes to the aid of failing bars and does not hesitate to chew the owners or employees out. The only real differences between that show and Kitchen Nightmares is that he goes to bars rather than restaurants and that he's American, not British.
  • Genre Blindness: You would think that the owners of these restaurants would take Gordon's advice considering that they're in the red. Every episode, however, at least one person will think that Gordon is over exaggerating and/or trying to sabotage him/her.
    • Probably an Enforced Trope, since owners who respond thankfully and calmly wouldn't make for good drama.
    • Also, how these people literally ask Gordon for help, and even though they know he's coming, don't even make any modicum of effort to try and clean up their restaurants. They don't even organize their freezers, even though in every episode that is the first place Gordon checks.
    • It's staggering the number of owners/chefs who insist that the food being served is not the problem, and become shocked that Gordon would offer criticism against it. It makes one wonder how many people actually watch the show before they request that Gordon come to visit.
    • Gordon himself can have this at times. In particular, he would probably save himself a lot of gastrointestinal distress if he verified the cleanliness of the kitchen prior to eating, rather than eating and then discovering its unsanitary. Presumably, another Enforced Trope to make good TV.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Gordon taught Dean, the owner of the Sante La Brea, who was initially being treated as a Butt Monkey by his own staff to have more self-confidence. It worked a little too well, and he ended up firing his head chef in the middle of dinner service. Even Gordon was initially shocked by the severity of Dean's transformation.
    • Jake from El Greco. Originally, he was incredibly lazy, turned up to work late and used the microwave to cook everything. Ramsay managed to bring his passion for cooking back, but it worked too well - he turned into a Control Freak and ended up trying to do everything in the dinner service himself, to the point where one of his chefs threatened to walk out if he wasn't given something to do.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: In the D-Place episode, the head chef pointed to a piece of new kitchen equipment and said "I'm sleeping with that tonight; not Dave." Dave being his former rival and the restraunt's manager.
  • Head Desk: Ramsay has only this reaction when the cooks of Fiesta Sunrise manage to set flame to a plate of nachos.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Scott, who is Gordon's sous chef on Hell's Kitchen, occasionally shows up as an extra adviser on this show.
    • Gordon even loaned him to one restaurant (Lido di Manhattan Beach) for a month to help them reorganize their kitchen staff.
    • In the revisited episode for Casa Roma, Gordon was surprised to find out that their new head chef was the former pizza chef of Sebastian's. The owner of Casa Roma had actually watched that episode and was impressed with his pizza-making abilities, and offered him the head chef's job at her restaurant on finding out that Sebastian's had gone out of business.
    • In the Handlebar episode, one of the people that attended the reopening with Dee Snider was Mick Foley. He's even on camera a few times, though he isn't mentioned otherwise.
  • Heel Realization: Many of the chefs eventually realize that their behavior is the cause of their restaurant's failure. They almost always change themselves for the better, or at least until the end of the episode, anyways.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the episode The Burger Kitchen the owner criticizes the chef's burger, saying that it was cooked medium rather than medium-rare. However, the amount of blood seen leaking from the burger that the owner made shows that his burger was rare, at best.
  • I Call It Chef Mike: At El Greco, the chefs used the microwave so much the staff named it Chef Mike.
  • It Came From the Fridge
  • It Tastes Like Feet: This is a very common way in which Ramsay insults food he doesn't like, possibly to the point of at least Once an Episode. In one episode, for instance, he described certain food as tasting like "flypaper" and later on "It tastes like a leather belt." Knowing Ramsay and his hatred of lying, he's probably eaten some nasty stuff in his days for the sake of knowing.
  • Jerkass: At least one staff member in almost every episode. Gordon usually gets them to clean up their act by the end.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gordon initially comes off as brash and loud, but shows genuine concern for the well-being of the restaurant and its staff.
    • Some owners/chefs have initially been abrasive towards Gordon and their own staff, but typically they come around and change their ways, becoming more polite/reliable/cooperative. Several have shown that it was a personal matter affecting their behavior, not an inherent personality trait.
      • One owner, originally appearing to be nothing but a jerk who had watched too much Sopranos who buts heads with Gordon, at first merely sullenly agrees when Gordon says he's there to help. However, when a rude bill collector insults Gordon, the owner has to be physically held back from attacking him. Afterwards he's almost in tears. "He shouldn't say that to you! Not with what you're doing for us!"
  • Lethal Chef: Gordon runs into a few of these, and got food poisoning at least once. The first incident of this was in the pilot, where he flat-out said that Bonaparte's scallops could've killed him.
    • Some, such as Erick from Casa Roma, Damon from Oceana, and Casimiro from Charlie's, even had to be fired during the episode because Gordon and the owners could see the restaurant couldn't move on with them. Pinto from Cafe 36 at least managed to stay until the end of the episode, but never improved as a chef even under Gordon's tuition, and quit the day after the final dinner service anyway.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Many of the failing restaurants have very slow service. On the flipside, attempting to push food out too quickly can create just as bad of a problem.
  • Man in a Kilt: In the La Riviera episode, Gordon put the entire male staff of a restaurant in kilts and wore one himself for the first dinner service of the restaurant after redesigning it.
  • The Mean Scot: What part of "Gordon Ramsay" don't you understand?
  • Missing Episode: The US episode with Campania was removed from rotation following the owner's suicide.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailer for Ramsay's visit to the Curry Lounge in the UK version heavily implied that the restaurant's problem was an incompetent head chef who was past his best. In the actual episode, though, Ramsay quickly proclaimed the chef in question to be one of the best curry chefs he'd ever met, and quickly identified the real problem as being the gimmicky, ridiculous menu the owner had designed.
    • A particularly egregious instance of this happened in the US episode featuring the Flamango restaurant, the trailer of which implied that the restaurant burnt down during the episode. Needless to say, this didn't actually happen; all that was going on was that they were burning the restaurant's horrible, tacky décor on a bonfire. The building itself was untouched.
    • Another episode had a preview which showed the restaurant boarded up and apparently foreclosed on. Frustrated with the lack of care from the owners, Gordon had put up boards with sentences and phrases such as "We Quit" in an attempt to make the owners care about saving their restaurant. In a subversion, the restaurant in question actually did close -- albeit not in the manner shown in the trailer -- as revealed by the epilogue.
    • Sante La Brea's seemed to indicate that the owner, Dean, would be arrested. It was actually Gordon having the owner handcuffed as part of an exercise to show him how well the restaurant ran without his constant interference.
  • Once an Episode: Each episode of the US version follows a particular pattern.
    1. Gordon arrives and is appalled by the poor quality of the food.
    2. Gordon investigates the kitchen, discovers it's a hellhole, and orders the restaurant shut down.
      • Subverted a couple of times on the UK version, where the kitchen is spotless and the ingredients are in good shape...but they're expensive imports or frozen foods. Gordon then points out how to find local produce ("Fresh!! Local!! PRAH-deuce!!") that will save the restaurant money, earn local goodwill (and thus customers), and will be tastier since it's fresher.
    1. Before the dinner service that night, Gordon will introduce some new dish or variation of one of the restaurant's menu items that's tastier/fresher/easier to make. He will also give some initial advice and inspire the owners and staff toward better performance. Despite all this, the dinner service will be a disaster, necessitating a deeper examination of the restaurant's problems.
    2. After cleaning up, Gordon reinvigorates the staff with a new direction for the restaurant, as well as redecorating the decor and an all-new menu to fit the new theme. This usually involves replacing an overly-elaborate or exotic menu and interior design with something that's simple but effective.
    3. The staff struggles a bit with the new changes, but ultimately pulls through.
    4. The grateful staff waves goodbye as Gordon rides into the sunset.
    • Brilliantly parodied in this BBC America trailer: 6 FAAA 18 B 9149 EE
      • As sure as Gordon is Scottish, at least one staff member will be rude and antagonistic, not wanting the help and thinking everything is fine.
      • Step 5 has been subverted several times, as Ramsay will frequently return to the restaurants he's helped after a month (or longer in Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares Revisited). In some cases he can't, because the restaurant has shut down due to A) returning to their appalling service, B) simply not getting the point behind Ramsay's changes, or C) circumstances beyond their control (see Downer Ending, above).
      • The epilogue only happened in the UK version at first, although beginning with US Season 3 the narrator details the restaurant's actual fate after Gordon showed up.
    • On occasion subverted, but it happens more often than not; the head chef/owner will be interviewed saying some form of "I am a good cook/we cook good food, I am sure Gordon will like it". Cut to Gordon hating whatever is in front of him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ramsay frequently gives these to chefs and owners alike, but the most scathing was probably to the eponymous owner of "Sebastian's", part of which is excerpted in the page quote.
  • Shirtless Scene: Ramsay changing into/out of his chef jacket happens on several episodes.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Oy.
    • The eponymous owner of Sebastian's pizza parlor went on local culinary websites and posted anonymously to badmouth Ramsay after his restaurant failed. The other posters immediately realized it was him and called him on it. Lesson: When trashing somebody and trying to stay anonymous, don't mention bad breath.
    • David from the Black Pearl episode. If his ego were any bigger, it would have its own orbit.
    • Allan Love, sub-Z-list actor, from the episode "Ruby Tate's" (renamed to "Love's Fish Restaurant"). Slightly less obscure to a British audience, but nobody was exactly clamoring to find out whatever happened to Steve from Pop Pirates.
    • Chef Michel of The Secret Garden. He was frustrated with just about everything Ramsay did and challenged him on all of the attempted changes. At several points, he and Ramsay engaged in shouting matches with each other. At one point, Gordon was so angry at Michel that he seriously considered just walking away from saving the restaurant.
    • From Sabatiello's, the owner Sammy is rude to his employees, insists on freezing food up to a week after cooking it, stores food improperly, lies to Gordon's face, and at one point ridicules a lady for saying that her food was microwaved when it was just microwaved in front of her. All the while Sammy tells Gordon that he is the best chef in town and that Gordon has no idea what he's talking about.
    • In Burger Kitchen, owner Alan is convinced that Yelp reviewers are actually part of a larger conspiracy to deliberately ruin the reputations of restaurants like his.
  • Serial Escalation: In nearly every episode, Gordon will denounce a restaurant's food, kitchen, owner, chef, decor, etc. as the worst he's ever seen. He must be visiting restaurants in order of increasing badness.
    • In the first Mama Cheri's episode, Gordon actually cleaned his plate. He had nothing bad to say about the food, only that they were freezing it.
    • Everything about The Burger Kitchen. A place so messed up that it couldn't be dealt with in one 40-minute episode, but made into a two-parter. One of the few times "The most <adjective> episode of Kitchen Nightmares ever" hasn't been any kind of hyperbole.
    • Gordon initially believed this about saving the Piccolo Teatro, a vegetarian restraunt in Paris, where less than 2% of the population is vegetarian. It turns out that he managed to get the restraunt turned around, only for the lazy owner to destroy it herself less than a month later.
  • Stealth Insult: When Gordon decides to train the staff of Sebastian's in making and tossing fresh pizza dough, you get the feeling that he's enjoying calling all of them "great tossers".
  • Tempting Fate: When talking about the pretentious food served at La Riviera, Ramsay said "I suppose next they'll be telling me how to eat it." Cut to a waitress giving instructions on the order and way to eat the desserts in the dessert sampler.
  • The Swear Jar: In the UK version, there was an episode where Ramsay challenged a chef to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking during service. To be fair, Ramsay set a challenge for himself to not swear during service. If either broke their promise, that person had to put a pound into a piggy bank; Ramsay, for his part, put quite a few pounds in.
  • Title Drop: Inverted. During filming of the pilot episode, the producers didn't have a specific title in mind for the series. When Ramsay returned to Bonaparte's to find the restaurant in a worse state than ever, he branded the situation "a living fucking nightmare", which gave the inspiration for the show's title.
    • The owner of Charlie's also does this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Many, many times.
    • Many of the owners in the American version are clueless, but Moe from Oceana is truly something special. One example among many: After Moe reveals that he refuses to write down his recipes because he's afraid of other restaurants stealing them, Gordon calls him a "busy idiot" -- somebody who spends all his time worrying about the wrong things. Moe is so upset by this that he basically refuses to do anything. To get things back on track, his brother claims that in England, "busy idiot" is actually a compliment. Moe believes him.
    • A couple of said antagonistic owners undid all of Gordon's changes the moment he left. They both closed several months later.
    • On the UK version, both Piccolo Teatro and Bonaparte's closed within a short time after Ramsay's visit. The owner of the latter threatened to sue Ramsay, claiming she had been "set up".
    • When Ramsay revisited the Walnut Tree Inn, he found the business still failing due to the sky-high prices the owner was charging, and stormed out after the owner bluntly told him that he'd rather see the inn go out of business than look like a cheap restaurant. Guess what happened? Then, for an encore, some more sensible businessmen bought the inn shortly afterwards, set up a menu that was more along Ramsay's guidelines, and made it into a success once more.
    • The Glasgow episode saw Ramsay encouraging a simpler-yet-still-upscale menu, which the owner used in a new restaurant next door to his existing one. The new restaurant made a lot of money, while the old continued along the same lines. What's worse, when they revisited, the owner was about to set up a new restaurant...using the concept of the first one, which was still empty.
    • One pair of owners, on the confession cam, complain about Ramsay and state that he doesn't know what he's talking about and until Ramsay's name is on the lease, Ramsay doesn't know what it's like. Let's see...failing restaurant versus five 3-Michelin (out of 3) star restaurants. Sure, Ramsay knows nothing about how to make a restaurant successful...
    • Tim Gray, head chef of Bonaparte's. It's hard to tell if he's arrogant or brain dead. After being drilled for a week into becoming a half-competent chef, he manages to forget it all within the span of a few months by the time Ramsay comes back. This results in him being fired. The best part of it all? Ramsay, after the episode, offered Tim the chance to learn on the job at one of his restaurants. Tim refused. Then, despite being exposed as possibly the worst "chef" in Britain, he tried to get his own TV show. Unsurprisingly, it was denied. He's still getting into kitchens, and still getting fired.
  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: Ho, boy.
    • Ramsay's problems with the food sometimes come across as this. For example, when he eats kourambiethes (Greek shortbread cookies coated in powdered sugar) in the Seascape episode, he inhales some of the sugar and/or crumbs and then makes a melodramatic comment about how the other customers are lucky to be alive. Because not knowing how not to inhale while you're chewing is clearly the cookie's fault.
      • This was less about the dish itself than the amount of powdered sugar used. When Ramsey blew on it, a literal cloud of powdered sugar took off into the air.
    • The staff of the restaurant "La Parra de Burriana". The 26-year-old head chef either completely butchers traditional meals or makes dishes that are simply mind-bogglingly bad (Chicken stuffed with banana, anyone?), the barbecue chef Norm poaches kebabs for tomorrow's customers and the manager Alex at one (low) point begins sending food to tables nobody is sitting at.
  • Transformation Sequence: In the UK version, nearly every episode in Series 1-2 had "civilian" Gordon Ramsay shedding his street duds (aka "stripping") and buttoning up a brand-new chef's coat, usually between him sampling the restaurant's food and witnessing their first dinner service.
  • The Unfavourite: This came up on "La Frite" — the son, Alex, was part-owner of the restaurant and resented it when his younger sister, Celine, joined the restaurant and was also made a part-owner. He felt that his father preferred her to him.
  • Very Special Episode: The episode with Oscar's in the UK version unwittingly became one of these. Halfway through filming, the restaurant's head chef collapsed mid-service, and it turned out that his alcoholism had become so bad that he had developed early-stage cirrhosis. This led to Ramsay having a discussion with an ex-chef and charity founder about just how bad alcoholism is in the culinary world (pretty damn bad, as it turns out). As for the chef with cirrhosis? He got better.
    • If you've seen this episode, it can lead to a major Funny Aneurysm Moment in Ramsay's The F Word, where James May takes part in the cooking challenge and taunts Ramsay for not drinking enough alcohol while he's cooking.
  • Viewers are Morons: The American version seems to think that the audience needs to be reminded of what's going to happen before the ad break, and what has just happened after the ad break. In microscopic detail.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Of the "Angry Scotsman" variety. Gordon was born in Renfrewshire. The viewers are reminded of this in the revisit section of the Ruby Tate's/Love's Fish Restaurant episode, as he puts on his original Glaswegian accent to disguise the fact that he's ordering some food from them.
  • Viral Marketing: Ramsay encourages events that will spread positive word of mouth for the restaurant, like food samples and community days. None have been more successful than the Campaign For Real Gravy, an attempt to appeal to an eccentric owner with a penchant for overreduced sauces. The Campaign's website received tens of thousands of hits a month at its height.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: If Gordon rushes to the men's room and you hear retching, you know the place is in trouble.
    • In another episode, Gordon threw up before he could even get up from the table. How bad is that?!
    • In another, he ran out of a filthy bathroom and threw up in the kitchen. Yikes!
  1. (Rumor has it that they only changed locales.)