The Best Episodes of Black Books

The Grapes of Wrath

#1 - The Grapes of Wrath 8.23

Season 1 - Episode 3

Bernard and Manny accept a house-sitting job to get away from their new cleaner. They also drink some wine.

Directors: Graham Linehan
The Blackout

#2 - The Blackout 8.15

Season 1 - Episode 4

A hyper, coffee fueled Manny is mistaken for a policeman.

Directors: Nick Wood, Graham Linehan
The Big Lock-Out

#3 - The Big Lock-Out 8.13

Season 1 - Episode 5

The shop gets a new security system that no-one can work.

Directors: Nick Wood, Graham Linehan

#4 - Party 8.12

Season 3 - Episode 6

Fed up with being stuck in the dusty old bookshop on a Friday night, and with the hopes of meeting a delectable young lady at a party, Manny and Fran persuaded Bernard to attend a party. After a night of heavy drinking, a very sloshed Bernard has a nasty surprise waiting for him.

Directors: Martin Dennis
The Entertainer

#5 - The Entertainer 8.09

Season 2 - Episode 1

Fran buys a piano and starts taking lessons, discovering she has no talent whatsoever - meanwhile Bernard falls in love and tries desperately to impress her. Between them, they con Manny into throwing away a hard-earned break to help them out.

Directors: Martin Dennis
Cooking the Books

#6 - Cooking the Books 8.09

Season 1 - Episode 1

Bernard’s dodgy accountant has to go on the run, leaving him ill prepared to fill out his own tax return. In fact Bernard would rather do anything than fill it out.

Directors: Nick Wood, Graham Linehan
Elephants and Hens

#7 - Elephants and Hens 7.97

Season 3 - Episode 2

It is International Children's Book Week, and Bernard and Manny decide to write their own kids' classic and retire on the proceeds. Fran is off on a hen weekend, but still finds a way to fall out with Bernard and Manny.

Directors: Martin Dennis

#8 - Blood 7.97

Season 2 - Episode 4

When Manny is drawn into a competing bookstore by its customer-friendly atmosphere, he convinces Bernard the shop needs an overhaul. Fran makes use of the shop's improved facilities to track down her relatives, but is not entirely happy with what she finds.

Directors: Martin Dennis
Manny’s First Day

#9 - Manny’s First Day 7.95

Season 1 - Episode 2

After Manny’s help with the tax return Bernard is persuaded to hire him in the shop. Unfortunately he actually sells some books, much to Bernard’s annoyance.

Directors: Graham Linehan, Nick Wood
A Little Flutter

#10 - A Little Flutter 7.92

Season 3 - Episode 4

Manny places a bet on the Grand National for Bernard who immediately becomes addicted to the thrill of gambling having previously expressed no interest. But his losses mount, and he starts borrowing gambling funds from increasingly scary people.

Directors: Martin Dennis
Manny Come Home

#11 - Manny Come Home 7.90

Season 3 - Episode 1

Fran returns from a vacation in Cornwall to discover Manny has resigned and Bernard is living amongst piles of his own filth and dead badgers. Manny has taken up work at the new bookstore next to Black Books, where he must contend with a new, and possibly even more demanding manager, played by Simon Pegg.

Directors: Martin Dennis
A Nice Change

#12 - A Nice Change 7.88

Season 2 - Episode 6

Bernard and Manny can't hear themselves argue because the shop next door is undergoing some round-the-clock construction. The noise drives Bernard, Manny and Fran up the wall. So Fran suggests a holiday. Bernard and Manny find baggage in her luggage. There's nothing in the crisp packet and Manny's pants aren't that easy to fold. Will the customer crack the system? What happens on the riverboat? Just how many monkeys are missing in Canada?

Directors: Martin Dennis

#13 - Fever 7.88

Season 2 - Episode 2

As the temperature creeps slowly towards 88 degrees, Manny desperately seeks out new ways to stay cool, lest he trigger his "Dave syndrome." Meanwhile an unsympathetic Bernard falls hopelessly in love with Fran's new neighbour, who is unknowingly taking over Fran's apartment.

Directors: Martin Dennis
The Fixer

#14 - The Fixer 7.87

Season 2 - Episode 3

Bernard and Manny need to teach a psychotic ex-con to read in three days after agreeing to host his reading and book-signing in the shop. Fran gets a new job and all seems to be going well until some miscommunication when Manny calls in a favour...

Directors: Martin Dennis, Arthur Mathews
Moo-ma and Moo-pa

#15 - Moo-ma and Moo-pa 7.84

Season 3 - Episode 3

Manny is panicking about the impending visit of his parents - Fran blackmails Bernard into letting them stay by threatening to tell Manny Bernard has been screening his calls to keep him from going anywhere. When Manny's parents arrive however, the duo are forced to corroborate some slightly embellished details from Manny's letters home.

Directors: Martin Dennis
Hello Sun

#16 - Hello Sun 7.80

Season 2 - Episode 5

Fran starts spending time with a new-age friend to try and wind down while Bernard and Manny are having another fight. Bernard believes Manny is a psychopath and sends him to a therapist, where he unlocks a confidence he never knew he had.

Directors: Martin Dennis
He's Leaving Home

#17 - He's Leaving Home 7.72

Season 1 - Episode 6

Manny runs away from the bookshop into the arms of a beard loving photographer.

Directors: Nick Wood, Graham Linehan
Travel Writer

#18 - Travel Writer 7.60

Season 3 - Episode 5

Manny organises a travel-writing festival and invites a charming explorer to talk about his adventures. Fran soon falls for his twinkling eyes and lavish hair, leaving Manny ragingly jealous. Meanwhile, Bernard hires an assassin to solve a financial problem with his neighbour.

Directors: Martin Dennis