Rainbow episode review: Ace Ventura Pet Defective

This episode legitimately gives me the shits, because I keep having this dream where I own a cat, but I forget to feed it for a week, and when I remember, it’s been stuck in a box in the garage for a week. I do not own a cat. Or a garage.

Anyway, this episode seems to be the physical manifestation of my subconscious. Can you tell I’m writing this first thing in the morning?

In this episode, Zippy, George and Bungle decide they want a pet, despite being pets themselves. Maybe they want to move up the social ladder a bit, I don’t know.

Let’s start at the beginning. The gang have been to the zoo, and are celebrating by singing. When I say ‘singing’, imagine I’ve never heard the word ‘singing’ before and I don’t know what it means:

Eurovision quality.

The point is that they’ve been to the zoo. My question is this – how did they manage that? Especially Bungle. Zippy and George I can sort of understand, but Bungle?

Let’s set the scene. You are at the zoo, and there’s a fully grown, naked bear wandering round on two legs. What do you do?

1) Shit self

2) Shit self and call the man

3) Shit self and call the man, who will shoot Bungle with tranquilizer darts

I don’t care if he is holding a map of the zoo and singing like a bellend.

Zippy starts talking about elephants, which are his favourite animal this week.

“Geoffrey, why can’t I have an elephant?”

“Don’t be silly Zippy, it would kill us all!”


Note Geoffrey’s clever use of badges, which draws the viewers’ eyes towards the nipular area.

“Well just a baby elephant then?”

“No,” says Bungle. “Because a baby elephant would grow into a great big elephant!”

Not necessarily…


In all seriousness, Zippy comes out with an absolute zinger here –

Zippy: “It could live in our room!”

Bungle: “But what about the smell?”

Zippy: “Don’t worry Bungle, the elephant would soon get used to it!”

Ooh burn.

Once we’ve established that Zippy isn’t allowed an elephant, the conversation turns to what sort of pet they could have. The main criteria they come up with includes “something smaller than an elephant”. This leaves Geoffrey the task of going to the pet shop to buy them a mystery pet. I don’t know why he’s going along with this instead of just locking them all in the coal hole. That’s what I’d do.


The next day Geoffrey goes to the pet shop and returns with a pet, looking mightily pleased with himself.


Well, I’m assuming there’s a pet in there because it says “pet carrier” on it. I’m going to laugh so much if that pet carrier is just full of gravel.

“Come on lads, guess what animal I’ve bought you! If you can’t guess it’s just going to stay in this box for all eternity.”

“Hmm, give us a clue then Geoffrey. Does this animal fly?”

“No sorry Bungle, not unless you chuck it out the window. Don’t chuck it out the window Bungle.”

Over the next three fucking hours, we establish that the animal in the box is not a bird, a hamster, a rabbit, a giraffe, a lion, a pit bull, an okapi, a sea cucumber, or a horse. No word yet on whether it’s a pile of gravel.

I’ll put you out of your misery. It’s a guinea pig – a species of animal that seems to exist solely to be the pet of a small child.


Zippy thinks the animal’s called a “skinny big”. The others call him a twat. What fun.

The gang decides to call the guinea pig Gilbert. Gilbert decides to try to get the fuck out of there, especially when he sees Bungle’s enthusiastic face looming over him. Not to be deterred, Bungle interprets this as a sign of affection. Just for a split second, I wish they’d got a pit bull.


On to more pressing matters – who’s going to be in charge of looking after Gilbert? I mean, obviously the answer will end up being ‘Geoffrey and it serves him right’, but who’s going to be in charge of Gilbert until they all get bored with him in a week?

After much debate, a compromise is reached. Zippy, George and Bungle will each look after Gilbert for a week at a time. Sorry, but implying Gilbert is going to last three weeks. Poor doomed Gilbert, I can feel it in my water.

Before we get to that part, Geoffrey shows them how to look after Gilbert.


“Right guys, Gilbert needs food, which I shall prepare, and water, which I shall prepare, and bedding, which I shall prepare. Literally all you have to do is move three things from outside the hutch to inside the hutch. Can you handle that?”

“Yes,” says Zippy.

“Yes,” says George.

“Yes,” lies Bungle.

“Some other ground rules. Don’t try to ride him like a small horse, it’s not ‘hilarious’ to give him beer, and for God’s sake, if he needs surgery, let a proper vet do it.”

“Yes Geoffrey.”


Things start off smoothly enough. Zippy’s in charge of Gilbert for the first week, leaving George and Bungle to run round jizzing themselves at the thought of changing soiled newspaper once a day.

Zippy is as devoted an owner as anyone could wish for:


He remembers to feed him, and change his bedding, and read him articles from the Times Colour Supplement. For about three days. Then Zippy goes back to being Zippy.

Thinking about it, I was a bit hard on Bungle earlier. It’s actually Zippy who’s shit at looking after pets. It’s just force of habit, what with Bungle being shit at everything else ever.

Anyway, Zippy starts neglecting poor doomed Gilbert.

“No, I haven’t got time to feed Gilbert, I’ve been too busy watching a car chase on TV. Also, I can’t take his food to the hutch because I don’t have any legs, although the script forgot to mention that this week.”

Meanwhile, Bungle reads the paper.


Bungle and George dob Zippy in. Geoffrey, understandably, is going to bring vengeance down upon Zippy, and smite him. Look at him – like Samuel L Jackson but for guinea pigs.


So, what’s Geoffrey’s master plan? Is he going to lock Zippy in a cage with no food or water for three days? I would, whether he’d fed Gilbert or not. I’d do it for that time he tried to sell my best jacket to Rod at the jumble sale.

Geoffrey’s plan is fiendishly simple – he decides to starve Zippy until he learns the error of his ways.


This takes about four minutes, and once Zippy realises what’s going on, Geoffrey lets him have it with both barrels.



A repentant Zippy immediately goes to sort Gilbert out, and peace is restored. Geoffrey just has time to read them a boring story about a boy who has a pet.

“That gives me an idea Geoffrey – we could get some more animals, and I could look after them!”

“Oh Zippy, you are a psychopathic knobhead!” they all laugh.


And that’s the end of today’s lesson packed episode. We’ve learned that guinea pigs are a thing, and that you should feed your pets in order for them to not die. And that if you do not feed your pet, Geoffrey will fuck your shit up. BOTH BARRELS.

The end.

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3 thoughts on “Rainbow episode review: Ace Ventura Pet Defective

  1. I’ve been reading these Rainbow reviews for a while now, so thought I’d finally chip in with a comment.

    A great Rainbow episode with some top-notch Zippy moments (and his classic put-down to Bungle about ‘the smell’). Poor old Gilbert didn’t have much of a life with those three demented tosspots looking after him really. He was roughly manhandled (well guineapighandled) like fuck, Zippy forgot to feed the poor bastard… all it needed after that was for Rod, Jane and Freddy to burst in and start singing a song about a spacerocket or something and Gilbert would have have been fashioning a noose from anything he could get his paws on.

    Saying that, maybe he needn’t have bothered planning his own demise – the way Bungle grabs hold of him a few times, I literally thought he was gonna go all ‘Of Mice and Men’ on Gilbert’s ass (It’s a literary reference, look it up!)

    We’re left at the end of the episode to wonder whatever happens to Gilbert as we never see him again. Continuity was never Rainbow’s strong point – several times we’ve been left to speculate at the end of an episode that Jane’s “free and easy ways” might have got her up the duff, only for this potential plot point to be glossed over by her next appearance; and that three-part story arc about that weird club Geoffrey had been some coming out of at all hours was sadly never resolved – but even so we never get a clue what became of Gilbert.
    Part of me wishes the series had gone all dark and shown a small mound of earth and a cross the next episode we saw the Rainbow garden in, but knowing Bungle he’d only have gone all feral and dug it up again anyway. Bloody Bungle.

    Unfunny sarcasm aside, this is a really good Rainbow episode, probably one of my favourite I’ve revisited thus far on yoochube. It comes from later in Rainbow’s run where things were more comedy-story based, whereas many of the earlier ’70s episodes revolved around gritty melodramas, such as teaching George which way round to hold a fucking crayon correctly.

    Liked by 1 person


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