This sitcom is set in a small hotel in Torquay. It is based on a real-life encounter John Cleese had in a similar hotel. Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) is the proprietor of the hotel. Whilst he makes a point of being exceptionally nice to female guests travelling alone, his manners when it comes to others are not always reproach. Particularly Manuel, the waiter from Barcelona, is often victim of his outburst of fury, which happen frequently mostly on account of his own mistakes.
The episodes titles ("Watery Fowls", "Fawty Tower", etc.) are anagrams and misspellings of "Fawlty Towers". The effect is acchieved by manipulation of the hotel sign shown in the opening scene of each episode. It is revealed in the second episode of the second series, that this is a prank played by the paperboy.