The Full Monty: What Do Big Baps and Le Grand Pain Mean?

Image Credit: Ben Blackall / FX

Created by Simon Beaufoy (also the screenwriter of the original film) and Alice Nutter, ‘The Full Monty’ is a sequel series to the iconic 1997 film of the same name. In the original movie, a group of former steel mills employees face a dire financial situation and decide to set up a striptease team modeled after the popular Chippendales. 25-26 years later, the failures of successive governments have left the situation as bleak as ever. This is when we catch up with the Full Monty group, all of whom are now a quarter century older. The Big Baps and Le Grand Pain refer to the café that Lomper (Steve Huison) runs with his husband, Dennis (Paul Clayton). Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.

What Do Big Baps and Le Grand Pain Mean?

In the original film, Lomper starts a relationship with Guy, one of the other members of the group. It is revealed in the show that they have parted ways since then. Guy is bisexual and now engaged to a woman named Yvonne, whereas Lomper and his spouse Dennis have been married for years. In an interview with The Guardian, Beaufoy explained that he and Nutter wanted to capture both the good and bad parts of the 2020s society in the series. 

“I thought a Full Monty TV series would be a great vehicle to not only see what’s still going wrong with the country, but also how things are changing in a good way,” he explained. “The shift in gender and sexuality expectations has completely changed since the original film. In the movie we had to cut away just before the two gay characters kiss and now we have these two gay characters married so long they’re sick of each other. How great is that? We’re not interested in their sexuality, so much as the fact that one of them has secretly spent 50 grand out of the joint account on a racing pigeon!”

When the series begins, their cafe is called The Big Baps. In the UK, baps are generally the bread bun made with butter or lard, softer than regular buns. Sometimes, they are filled with savory ingredients such as bacon and cheese. However, as Lomper starts advertising the big baps they serve at the cafe, one of the students from the local comprehensive school (we later learn her name is Tabani) asks him whether he knows how offensive that is. Clueless and confused, Lomper goes inside and asks Dennis and their patrons about it. In response, the others chuckle at him, and Dennis promises that they will have a chat later. 

The word baps is also one of the British slang terms for breasts. Lomper isn’t aware of this, but most people in the town are. Realizing that the word has become quite inappropriate to be used as a name for their café, Dennis decides to change it to Le Grand Pain, French for the big loaf. But that comes with its own set of problems as people in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, interpret the phrase by its English meaning, and Lomper and Dennis’ friends use the opportunity to make fun of them.

Later in the series, the couple nearly loses the caféafter Lomper mortgages the place to acquire a racing pigeon, hoping to sell the egg it might lay. Fortunately for them, things work out, and they sell the egg to a South Korean billionaire, who comes to consider them family and starts working for them at the café. 

Read more: The Full Monty: Do Darren and Silvan End Up Together?