Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "Bouquet") is the local social climber, and a terror to all who know her -- she views herself as the doyenne of good taste, artistry, morals, decorum, and class, and her perpetually in-debt son Sheridan as being the next Einstein.
She kisses up to the wealthy and aristocratic, and anyone who is closely associated with them, unaware of how much her self-promotion scares them. Her weary husband Richard (Clive Swift) and nervy neighbor Elizabeth (Josephine Tewson) dread whatever she has next.
She adores her sister Violet, who married a wealthy transvestite and has "a swimming pool, Mercedes, and room for a pony." But she'll do anything to hide her impoverished family members: her wacked-out father, sloppy romantic Daisy (Judy Cornwell) and skanky Rose (Mary Millar), who has a new boyfriend for every episode. Not to mention Daisy's couch potato hubby Onslow (Geoffrey Hughes).