Gavin and Stacey
is a comedic British Series
(2007-2009) about Gavin, a man from Essex, and Stacey, a woman from Barry, Wales. The programme follows their developing relationship and eventual marriage. Most of the humour is character driven, with the central couple playing the Straight Man
to their eccentric families and friends.
Seriously popular too. It moved from BBC3
and an audience of 500,000 to BBC1
where the final two episodes had an audience in excess of 10,000,000.
The show's creators, James Corden and Ruth Jones, star as the Beta Couple
, Smithy and Nessa. Supporting characters include Gavin's parents, Mick and Pamela; Stacey's mum, Gwen, and her uncle Bryn.
This show provides examples of:
- Almighty Janitor: Nessa, given her somewhat eventful stories...
- Ambiguously Gay: Bryn.
- Beach Episode: The 2009 Christmas special.
- Also, the series 3 episode where the characters go to the beach.
- Beauty Inversion: Look for a clip of Ruth Jones when she's not playing Nessa, and then quietly marvel at how much effort must have gone into making her look that rough.
- Beta Couple: Inverted - while Smithy and Nessa do play this role to Gavin and Stacey, their relationship is far less stable at any given time in the series. In many ways, despite the show's title, they become the primary couple in series two and three.
- Big Eater: Smithy.
- British Accents: Ah, the inherent comedy of the Welsh accent...
- The Cameo: Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott (who Nessa has claimed to have slept with) appeared at Nessa and Dave's wedding.
- Cast Incest: James Corden and Sheridan Smith (who play brother and sister Smithy and Rudi) used to date in real life.
- "O!, what's occurrin'?"; "Truth be told..."
- "I won't lie to you"
- "Oh my Christ!"
- Chinese Alan's "Did someone order a Chinese?!"
- Celebrity Paradox: In the Christmas special, Mick asks when Eastenders is on - which the actor has also starred in.
- Cerebus Syndrome: A mild case in series two, but there's still plenty of comedy.
- Children Raise You: With a dash of Coming-of-Age Story for Smithy... eventually.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Jesus and Luggy, two of Gavin and Smithy's friends. Jesus never appears again after the stag episode, but given he's The Friend Nobody Likes it's likely he was just kicked out of the group. As for Luggy, he appears in the first two seasons yet doesn't turn up in the third.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Smithy's ditzy friend and fellow builder Deano sometimes strays into this, as when he refuses to go bowling as he's 'scared of the shoes.'
- Also the Welsh Nationalist friend of Bryn's who will only speak Welsh, despite Barry Island being 98% monoglot English-speaking.
- Death by Irony: One of Nessa's former lovers died while faking his own death.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "Little Baby Neil, the baby..."
- Dirty Old Woman: Doris.
- Drama Bomb: Lampshaded thusly: "It's like living in Hollyoaks!"
- Expansion Pack Past: Nessa. Her father and husband-of-sorts Dave both appear to have escaped from Shameless and it's far from clear at times, to what extent the other characters really know anything about her.
- Everybody Knew Already: In the Christmas Episode it is revealed that everyone except for Gwen knew that Pam isn't really a vegetarian.
- Fan Disservice: Smithy, frequently. The gag involving Nessa's missing thong is probably the worst.
- Pete and Dawn's never-quite-successful threesome, involving a young black man recruited from the internet at one point and ending as part of the general Reveal in the pub toilets, probably falls under this heading as well.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Jesus, who never shows up again after the stag episode.
- The Ghost: Smithy's girlfriend Lucy.
- Gilligan Cut: "There's no way you're getting me out in Cardiff tonight!" "I never thought you'd get me out in Cardiff tonight!"
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Smithy frequently flirts with Pamela. It's not entirely clear how much he's kidding...
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gavin and Smithy. Smithy is the neediest of the two, to the point where Gavin's moving away to Cardiff is treated like a custody battle.
- I Object: No less than quadruple-subverted in the third season finale.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Smithy. While he's an over-emotional and somewhat irritating fellow, you know his heart's in the right place most of the time and he just has trouble expressing himself.
- Nessa to a lesser extent. Her behaviour fluctuates between being a good friend and being a cheapskate who has no problem using scams to gain money.
- The Lad-ette: Rudi, Smithy's sister, who wears Heelys.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Played both ways. When Stacey fails to get pregnant, Gavin is told that due to his low sperm count, it's going to be very hard for him and Stacey to conceive naturally. Of course Stacey ends up pregnant when they're not even trying.
- Also, Nessa gets pregnant from a one night stand.
- Living Prop: Gavin and Smithy's friends Luggy, Swede and Gary 'n Simon.
- Long Distance Relationship: By UK standards, at least..
- Malaproper: Pam.
- Named After Somebody Famous: The Wests, the Shipmans, and the Sutcliffes. See a pattern?
- Noodle Incident: The unspecified (but heavily hinted at) incident between Bryn and Jason during a fishing trip.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The writers clearly hate these because they show up a lot, including Gavin's overzealous line manager who (inadvertently) nearly splits the title couple up, an overzealous platform guard at Paddington Station who ends up siccing armed police on Gavin when he goes onto the platform to propose to Stacey, and an overzealous tollbooth attendant at the Severn Bridge who Gavin and Smithy get a Crowning Moment of Awesome by lifting the ticket barrier and driving past when they get fed up of arguing about 10p.
- One Steve Limit: Subverted. Both Smithy and his little sister Rudi are known as Smithy, which can get confusing.
- Played with in the naming of Nessa and Smithy's baby: she wants to name him after her father, Smithy wants to name him after himself (and by extension his own father and grandfather and so on - it's a family name). The situation is diffused when it turns out they're both called Neil.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Smithy. His real first name is Neil.
- Gavin and Smithy's friends Budgie and Dirtbox.
- There's also mention of two Margarets, so "Japanese Margaret" is used to differentiate.
- Only Sane Man: Gavin, and possibly Mick.
- Punny Name: Owain Hughes. Partially subverted in that the joke isn't immediately obvious to the English characters, yet several Welsh characters find it funny, as he replies 'No, I do not.'
- The joke is (supposedly) that Owain sounds a bit like 'owing', as in owing money to someone. Arguably a lot funnier as an Orphaned Punchline...
- Series Continuity Error: In an early episode of the first series, Nessa and Mick have this exchange:
Mick: Do you drive, Nessa?
Nessa: I don't Mick, which is a pity. I loves a good ride.
- Then, in the second series, she's seen driving lorries and has apparently been doing so for some time. This could just be Nessa being Nessa, though.
- Shirtless Scene: Gavin and Smithy. Subverted with massive Fan Disservice in another scene involving Bryn and Smithy working out
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Stacey and Nat. Also, Gwen and Jean.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Smithy and Nessa.
- Slow Clap: Bryn starts doing this after Smithy vows to support Nessa and their baby. He stops when everyone else just stares at him.
- Straight Man: Gavin and Stacey are an ordinary young couple with no particularly interesting quirks. Their family and friends provide all the comedy.
- Theme Naming: The three main families are named after serial killers.
- Twin Telepathy: Smithy and his sister aren't twins, but their minds work on an almost creepily similar wavelength.
- Two Words: Obvious Trope: The stag party organiser.
- Unfortunate Names: Three families share a surname with an infamous serial killer, a fact which gets the inevitable lampshade hung on it in the series 1 finale.
- Unusual Euphemism: Quite probably the only time in popular culture that sex has been referred to by the phrase "corn on the cob".
- What the Hell, Hero?: Stacey not only neglects to mention her previous engagements to Gavin, but two seasons later is revealed to have gone off the pill in hopes of getting pregnant so that it will force Gavin to move to Barry with her.