Allo Allo Wiki
Officer Crabtree
Series S2E03 - S9E06
Aliases {{{aliases}}}
First appearance The Policeman Cometh (S2E03)
Last appearance

A Winkle In Time (S9E06)

Job/Position Secret Agent & French Policeman
Nationality British
Affiliation de Gaulle Resistance
Portrayed by Arthur Bostrum

Officer Crabtree is a fictional character in the BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, which ran from 1982 to 1992; he was played by actor Arthur Bostrom.

In The Return of 'Allo 'Allo!, it was revealed that the character was partly based upon Edward Heath, who spoke fluent French, but with an obviously English accent.

Crabtree is a British policeman who is posted in France. An associate of the French Resistance, he frequently appears in sketches. He is known for his bicycle and terrible French, despite this he thinks he is fluent. Ironically he was portrayed by Arthur Bostrom who is fluent in French.

Character overview[]

The character is an undercover British agent masquerading as a gendarme. His grasp of French is limited however, and this is represented on screen by his mangling of vowels for comic effect. Crabtree is occasionally heard speaking his maternal English, mostly when speaking to Fairfax and Carstairs. His bad French also seems to be contagious as several French characters (particularly Madame Edith) end up speaking like him without realising it after hearing him talk. It is also of note that others, especially lead character René, will use his mangled French to insult him, such as in "Pass off" (for "Piss off").

A running gag throughout the series is that, when any of the other characters meet British officers (even Fairfax and Carstairs on one occasion, when they were to be disguised as gendarmes) their French is just the same as Crabtree's.

After the character's introduction, various episodes were named in this talking manners (e.g. "Up the Crick Without a Piddle" for "Up the Creek without a Paddle" in Season 7). ==[edit]


Out of all the Allo Allo characters, Crabtree is one with the smallest ego. He is shown to be very patriotic and extremely loyal to England. He is cunning and very intelligent, as well as being selfless and yet sarcastic. He is on incredibly good terms with the British Airmen and often lends them a few coins for them to go to the cinema (He once commented Go easy on the popcorn!). He is frequently rumoured by Lieutenant Gruber to speak Latin because he makes no sense at all. He has a habit of being sceptical and unusually perceptive.

"Urgent Grace"[]

Crabtree had a girlfriend, another British agent (or "Brotish urgent") also dropped by parachute. He entered the cafe and asked for a "tible for two by the winedow". "Grace" then entered and said "Good moaning!" She also, it seemed, spoke appalling French. They had both trained at the British school of intelligence.

Examples of language[]

  • "Good Moaning" for "Good Morning" (his catchphrase);
  • "I was pissing by the door, when I heard two shats. You are holding in your hand a smoking goon; you are clearly the guilty potty." for "I was passing by the door, when I heard two shots. You are holding in your hand a smoking gun; you are clearly the guilty party.";
  • "Do you have the lung-dostance dick?" for "Do you have the long-distance duck?";
  • "And who is peeing for the ponsoir?" for "And who is paying for the pissoire?" after it was damaged by an overriding tank;
  • "Your mither-in-loo does not look very well. She is more wronkled and higgerd than usual!" to Madame Edith, mistaking her for Madame Fanny.
  • "It is a dick night" for "It is a dark night";
  • "Half pissed sox" for "Half past six" ;
  • "Will you please stop bonging the bill" for "Will you please stop banging the bell";
  • "I have good nose" for "I have good news";
  • "I will go out the bock pissage" for "I will go out the back passage";
  • "I have my dirty to do" for "I have my duty to do";
  • "In my bog I have a kak" for "In my bag I have a cake";
  • "I thonk it would be woose if we all left tin" for "I think it would be wise if we all left town";
  • "Too loot, the bummer is already on the wee" for "Too late, the bomber is already on the way";
  • "I have a mop if you would like to take a leak" for "I have a map if you would like to take a look";
  • "I have the two British earmen in the sill at the poloce station, I will return them to you as soon as pissable" for "I have the two British airmen in the cell at the police station, I will return them to you as soon as possible";
  • "Do not weary, Ronnie" for "Do not worry, René";
  • "I have come to collect my bersicle - René asks "What bersicle?" - "The bersicle that produces the electrocity for the roodio when you piddle in your wife's mothers' bedroom" for "I have come to collect my bicycle. The bicycle that produces the electricity for the radio when you pedal in your wife's mothers' bedroom";
  • She's as possed as a newt" meaning "She's as pissed as a newt" Referring to René's mother-in-law.
  • "I was raised in Nipples. As they say - see Nipples and do." while explaining to Herr Flick his strange accent, standing for: "I was raised in Naples. As they say - see Naples and die."

One of his only lines that received almost no garbling produced one of his longest laughs:

  • "They will take this spinner (spanner) and unscrew their nuts.";
  • "I was wonking at you!" for "I was winking at you!";
  • "The British Air Farce have dropped their bums on the water works..They have scored a direct hot on the pimps" for "...a direct hit on the pumps";
  • "You must get your hands on some girls' knockers" (knickers);
  • "There's obviously no piss for the wicked".
  • "Outside you coffee under the limp post are a couple of tits" for "Outside you cafe under the lamp post are a couple of tarts"