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This is a frightened city. Over these streets, over these houses, lies a pall of fear. An ugly kind of violence is rife, stalking the town. Yes, gangs of vicious old ladies are attacking fit, defenceless young men.
~ The Hell's Grannies' introduction
We've been having a lot of trouble with these Grannies. Pensioner's Day's the worst. As soon as they get it, they blow the lot - on milk, tea, sugar, bit of meat for the cat.
~ Police officer describing the situation with his infamous "Make tea not war" sign


Hell's Grannies are an evil gang of old ladies in a parody crime documentary sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus. The cause chaos in Bolton by tormenting random young people, shoving people off of the pavement, making graffiti, stealing telephone boxes, and riding motorcycles.

Nature

They like causing as much chaos as possible, but are rivalled by other gangs, including the Baby Snatchers, and vicious gangs of keep-left signs. The Grannies, however, are the real threat and are known to have "no respect for race, creed, or sex. Theirs is a tough world, a world in which the surgical stockings are king."


Behaviour

When trying to find a reason for the Grannies' descent into violence (especially on Pension Day) a sociologist, played by Eric Idle, debates whether it is the Grannies witnessing their sons and daughters growing up to become accountants, solicitors, sociologists, even, is what is the whole crux of the problem. He then wonders if that makes the Grannies descend into violence through frustration and a general rage against the machine at human stupidity. He then falls screaming into a human shaped hole in the street the mischievous Grannies have left for him.


Rivalry with other gangs

The Grannies are under fire from other aforementioned gangs, but they nonetheless make up for it by being as menacing as they can. "Uh, sometimes there's four or five of them. It's not even safe to go out down to the shops any more," complains a Hell's Angel in one scene.

In their spare time, the Grannies give fake interviews to police about the reason for their crimes, citing "Oh, the violence. The prestige mainly. Getting free gifts, kicking the knee in the groin. We like pulling the heads off sheep...!" "And tea cakes," reminds another Granny, causing a general "Oh yes!" all round.

They are sucking Bolton dry by buying everyone else's much needed food supplies like tea and sugar. The authorities seem to be at a general loss of how to deal with the Grannies as featured in the documentary, and adding to the problem, the Grannies like abducting telephone boxes "a prime target for vandalism" in their spare time.


Reception

The uptight colonel complains that everything about the scene is stupid, as "his hair's too long for a vicar too. You can tell those aren't proper keep left signs, clear off, the lot of you!" He then takes the cameraman to his office, and rants about how the Granny threat made a good story but got overshadowed by pure Python ridiculousness. He then demands something "decent and military" which descends into homosexuality. The homophobic colonel abruptly calls off the "suspect" scene.