Gavin and Stacey was a British sitcom written by James Corden and Ruth Jones. First aired in 2007, the show ran for three seasons spanning 19 episodes with two Christmas specials in 2008 and 2019. The show focuses on two families: Gavin’s family is from in Billericay, Essex and Stacey’s family is from Barry, in Wales. The show entertained fans and reached high levels of popularity with the 2019 Christmas special being watched by over 18 million people.
The story revolves around the development in the relationship of Gavin (Mathew Horne) and Stacey (Joanna Page). Gavin lives at home with his parents Mick and Pam (Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb) and is always seen with his best friend Smithy (James Corden). Stacey lives with her mother Gwen (Melanie Walters) and they are often visited by Stacey’s Uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon). Stacey spends most of her time with her best friend Nessa (Ruth Jones).
We see how Gavin and Stacey move from flirting on the phone in work to being married, with all the ups and downs of modern relationships. Despite obviously being a fictional show, it seems the show attracted so many fans because of how real it felt. People could relate to the characters and the situations they found themselves in. Now, let’s list the best episodes of the show.
10. S2, E4
In this episode, Gavin and Stacey go house hunting but are disappointed with the results. This leads to the pair becoming angry with each other as Stacey becomes disappointed with the houses they are viewing and tension boils over during a game of bowling between the two newlyweds and Nessa. Mick also appears on the news and Pam is disappointed with his lack of airtime. This episode features some good writing and memorable moments.
9. S1, E4
This episode sees the characters at a wedding fair with Smithy completely gobsmacked by a stag organiser. Gavin has to decide between his preferred Bentley or Stacey’s dream for a horse and carriage. A big revelation in this episode is the first mention of Nessa’s feared pregnancy. This episode is once again well written and funny but isn’t the most memorable episodes of the show.
8. S3, E1
This is the first episode after Nessa moved in with her new fiancé Dave Coaches. Seeing her adjust to life in a caravan is also juxtaposed with Smithy missing Gavin after he moved in with Stacey in Barry. This episode brings everyone together for Smithy and Nessa’s baby Neil’s christening. Nessa’s father also makes his first appearance. Viewers are given a hopeful episode following the more depressing parts of the final episode of season two and the Christmas special.
7. S1, E5
This episode features both Gavin and Stacey’s stag and hen nights. We see Smithy argue with Gavin and reconcile the next day. The comedy is ramped up when Bryn is told that Gavin did not have a stag do and Gavin and Smithy are forced to go out with him. They run into one of Stacey’s exes and Stacey’s five past engagements are revealed, possibly ruining the wedding. This episode creates laughs for the audience and is the first truly great episode on the list.
6. S3, E3
In this episode, Gavin and his friends have a night out in Wales after all meeting at Bryn’s house. Seeing Bryn on a night out after stating “There’s no way you’re getting me out in Cardiff tonight” and subsequently throwing up outside the club is a highlight of the third season. Stacey also has a big moment in this episode when she fears she may be unable to have children. The comedy is perfectly balanced with the more emotional moments in this episode.
5. Special (2019)
Hype and expectations for this episode cannot be understated. Over 18 million viewers who watched the episode live were likely not disappointed either. Fans saw the characters they had come to know and love ten years on after the last episode. Neil, still referred to as “Neil the baby”, has turned 11 and we also see Smithy’s new girlfriend who the rest of the family do not fully approve of. We also see Mick and Pam getting high with Pete and Dawn in a scene which was quite original for the show. This was a very good and appropriate send off for the show, with a great cliff-hanger to boot.
4. S1, E6
Gavin and Stacey’s wedding episode is a great way to end the first season and makes for great viewing. Firstly, after a very tense ending to the previous episode, it’s nice to know that both characters have reconciled, and the wedding is going ahead. Smithy’s best man speech, or rather lack thereof, is a great moment where his love for Gavin is truly displayed as he can’t come to terms with losing his best friend. Nessa also can’t bring herself to reveal her pregnancy to Smithy, leaving fans waiting for big revelations in the next season.
3. S2, E1
Gavin and Stacey are back from their honeymoon and are greeted by Mick and Pam at the airport. Stacey’s family meet at Gavin’s house with Smithy arriving in a sour mood having missed his best friend. After Gavin gives him his gift, they all decide to go out to an Italian restaurant. Here, Nessa’s pregnancy is revealed to everyone is Smithy goes AWOL after hearing the news. It is a great episode with particular comedic moments including Pete being totally drunk after a threesome gone wrong. Another great episode in the series.
2. S1, E1
The first episode is hard to beat in this series. The night out where Gavin and Stacey first meet is absolutely brilliant with an abundance of visual gags and jokes. This episode is so significant as it started it all. It does a brilliant job of engaging the viewer into both the episode itself and the story. The characters were unique and they actually felt like real people. It introduces every character brilliantly, especially Nessa who is quite possibly the funniest character in the show.
1. Christmas Special (2008)
To top the list we have the first Christmas special. This is a fantastic episode of British comedy where every actor is on top form. We see Gavin getting a promotion at work which will force him to move to Wales. He tells his dad but is worried about how Pam and Smithy will feel. They don’t take the news well and leads to an argument in which Pete punches Dave Coaches. On Christmas Day however, the family all comes together again over Mick’s turkey. He plays everyone a song on his new keyboard and the episode ends on a very heart-warming moment. Overall, by far the most entertaining and most enjoyable episode of the series.