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Series / The Vicar of Dibley

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Reverend Geraldine Granger
"I've just been visiting my new parishioners. Frankly I think that they would have been less surprised if the new vicar was Mr. Blobby."
—-Geraldine Granger in the first episode.

A British Sitcom, starring Dawn French as Geraldine Granger. Following the Ordination of Women into the Church of England, Geraldine replaces the old archetypal vicar in the sleepy and quirky country village of Dibley. The village has to get used to the laid back "babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom" being their new vicar, while Geraldine herself has to cope with a village full of lunatics and inbreds, as well as the corrupt machinations of councillor David Horton. Hilarity, as they say, ensues.

The show ran from 1994 to 2007. It began with two regular series, with two specials in between. The next series was four season-themed episodes. After three years off the air, the show did two more Christmas specials in 2004 and 05, then a two-part Grand Finale. The cast has also done numerous Comic Relief sketches since the show's beginning (usually running from ten to fifteen minutes), with the latest released in March 2015. After Emma Chambers, who played Alice, passed away in early 2018 it wasn't certain if any further sketches would be made but it returned for the April 2020 Comic Relief and in December 2020 it returned again for three shorts, "The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown".

Came third in Britains Best Sitcom.

This series provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: On occasion, Owen towards the Vicar.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Geraldine, who salivates at every attractive man she comes across; Letitia, who is described as a "nymphomaniac lurking in the hedgerows", and finally Alice, who cannot keep her hands off of Hugo once the two of them finally get together.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Telling a vicar "I want you to marry me" can be fraught. In one episode, Geraldine mistakes this as a proposal for her when she's being asked to perform the marriage. In the final series episode, Geraldine makes the mistake the other way around, thinking she is being asked to perform the service when she's being proposed to—which she doesn't pick up until she asks for the bride's name.
  • Away in a Manger: During a Christmas Episode, Alice gives birth on Christmas Eve in the middle of the village nativity play.
  • Baa-Bomb: A Noodle Incident about a sheep exploding.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Geraldine and David through much of the series, though it's decidedly one-sided. David was so used to arguing with people that he misinterpreted Geraldine's resistance to him as genuine affection. She does care about him in a weird way, just not in that way.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Owen, who seems unashamed of it.
    Jim: [on the topic of his radio show, "The Moral Maze] Is sex with poodles always wrong?
    Geraldine: And have you found someone to argue both sides of that issue?
    Owen: He certainly has!
  • Big Beautiful Woman: The village certainly seems to think Geraldine is, with constant references to her "lovely arse."
  • Big Damn Kiss: Between Alice and Hugo, which lasts for over four hours.
  • Big Eater:
    • While Dawn French is certainly not skinny, the degree with which she is occasionally shown to binge on chocolate (and occasionally other foodstuffs, such as icecream) would kill an entire team of sumo wrestlers. An entire human-sized freezer of Haagen-Daas in one sitting is beyond the appetites of most people, but not Geraldine.
    • And the binge to top them all: the Christmas lunches. Four of them. All Christmas dinner sized.
  • Big "NO!": Geraldine uses the "Short answer: No. Long answer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO." version long before Yahtzee and Strong Bad did, though Yahtzee is British and the right age to have grown up with the show, so he might have gotten it from here.
  • Boggles the Mind: Geraldine wants to go to bed with Simon, but they keep getting interrupted by everyone. David brings along a Scrabble set, and Geraldine manages to spell out "leave you remorseless bastards" on the board. Nobody gets it.
  • Book Ends: The first episode, "Arrival", and the final episode/special, "The Vicar In White", are the only episodes where Alice gets the joke Geraldine tells her at the end of every episode.
  • Book Safe: Geraldine has a hollowed-out Bible to hide her chocolate bars in.
  • Boring Religious Service: The first episode shows how the Reverend Pottle has driven away all the parishioners with his dull sermons, save for the parish council, who all struggle on through the service out of obligation. In the first of the seasonal specials, Geraldine falls into a funk after getting dumped, and it falls to Frank Pickle to be lay preacher. At least two older members of the congregation die of boredom, and another shoots themselves, driving the parish council to get the vicar back ASAP.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The human-sized puddle comes back to haunt Geraldine in the penultimate episode, after she specifically insists to Alice that she'll never fall for it again.
    • Alice initially wants a wedding dress with all the different Doctors on it. By the time of Geraldine's wedding, Alice is the maid of honor dressed as David Tennant's incarnation of the Doctor, complete with Dalek bridesmaids.
    • In "The Christmas Lunch Incident", one-shot character Tristram Campbell, whom Geraldine has a crush on, comes back to ask her to marry him. She mistakes this as a proposal, but it is actually a request to officiate over Tristram's wedding to Aoife. Then, in "The Handsome Stranger", Harry asks Geraldine to marry him. This time, Geraldine mistakes it as another request to preside over a wedding, but it is actually a marriage proposal - which she doesn't realize until Harry replies with Geraldine's name when she asks who the bride-to-be is.
  • British Brevity: Twenty episodes and five specials were made. Over nineteen years.
    • This adds up to about thirteen and a half hours total, including every episode and special.
  • Butt-Monkey: Geraldine definitely is this in the Season 2 Christmas special. As well as having to go to four separate Christmas lunches, each huge in size and with extras specially put on for the vicar (such as the sprout-eating contest between her and David), Tristram (whom she had a crush on) reappears and asks her to marry him - to his new fiancee, Aoife. All the parish council then come round with various sandwiches for her to eat, and she ends up having a toilet emergency.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Just as many references to Geraldine's ample bosom are made as to her "lovely arse" by both Geraldine herself and her parishioners, as she found out when a few students have mentioned their fathers wanting to "give her one".
  • Calling the Old Man Out: When David tells Hugo that, if he marries Alice, then "you will no longer be welcome in this house, you will no longer be my son, and as this will attests, you will have nothing!" Hugo actually stands up to David (a rare feat for him), shoves the will back at him, and says, respectfully but coldly, "On the contrary, sir, I shall have everything in the world that I desire." In later episodes, it seems David was so surprised by this he gave up.
  • The Cameo: The series has featured some notable celebrity cameos, including Kylie Minogue, Sean Bean, and Johnny Depp.
  • The Cassandra: David during the episode Celebrity Vicar, when Geraldine temporarily gave up her status as Dibley's other Only Sane Man in believing that her moment in the media spotlight would end well. David insists throughout the episode (to the disbelief of everyone else) that she's headed for disaster. He's right, and the entire council are humiliated by the tabloid press.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Alice prefers the Only Fools and Horses Christmas episodes to Geraldine's Christmas sermon. Did Alice notice that a regular Only Fools character, Trigger (Roger Lloyd-Pack), has a striking resemblance to her fellow churchgoer Owen (Roger Lloyd-Pack)?
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • See Curse Cut Short below — the joke is set up subtly earlier on when the parish council receives an anonymous donation of an original King James Version. It is then enhanced when David discusses the writing style with Ruth when they see it on the gravestones. Then Alice steps up to the pulpit...
    • Also played in Love and Marriage where it is planted early on that there are two David Hortons as part of a minor joke and forgotten about. Much later Geraldine is caused much trauma when she finds out Alice's father is David Horton, so confides this in Owen, who responds brilliantly (on many levels) "Yes, what's the problem?"
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: The Christmas episode is pretty bad for this: Alice gives birth in the manger while playing Mary, and the kid that results comes out sparkling clean and almost a year old. She gets a little sweaty in the process.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The vast majority of the village have a strange detachment from reality, but Alice Tinker especially suffers from this (almost bordering on The Ditz territory).
    Alice: You know that stuff they're selling now at the local shop?
    Geraldine: Which stuff?
    Alice: I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.
    Geraldine: Oh, yes.
    Alice: Well, I can't believe it's not butter.
    Geraldine: Yeah, well I believe that is the idea, yeah.
    Alice: Then yesterday, I went to Crookenden and I bought this other stuff, like a sort of home-brand, you know?
    Geraldine: Yes...
    Alice: And you know, I can't believe it's not I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
    Geraldine: Mmm. I'm losing you now.
    Alice: Well, you know I Can't Believe It's Not Butter?
    Geraldine: Yeah, you think it is butter.
    Alice: No no, I mean you know the stuff that I can't believe is not butter is called I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.
    Geraldine: Probably, yeah, yeah.
    Alice: Well I can't believe the stuff that is not I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is not I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and I can't believe that both I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and the stuff that I can't believe is not I Can't Believe It's Not Butter are both, in fact, not butter. And I believe they both might be butter, in a cunning disguise. And in fact there's a lot more butter around than we all thought there was.
    Geraldine: Yeah. You see, I don't know what you're talking about.
    • In fact Dibley itself qualifies as a Cloud Cuckoo Land. Regarding the council meetings, Geraldine at one point says: "We're getting a little close to the outskirts of Looney Land here." Later... "Ding ding, everybody off, Looney Land city centre."
      • Some context: That last quote is in response to Hugo saying that the old (broken) church window depicted Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount... from a boat. Or, he says, perhaps just a huge boat-shaped cigarnote .
  • Cluster F-Bomb: David dropped one off-screen when Hugo told him he was in love with Alice. When Hugo relayed the incident to Geraldine, it played out like this:
    Geraldine: So what did he say?
    Hugo: Well, I can't tell you what he actually said because, because you're the vicar. But let's say a certain word is represented by another word that, that sounds a little like that word, like, uh... like... "duck," for instance. (Beat) He asked me what the duck I was playing at. He said he didn't give a flying duck if I ducking loved Alice ducking Tinker, and if I ducking kissed her again, he'd make sure that I was well and truly ducked.
    Geraldine: Well, duck me.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: The first Easter special, where everyone has to give up something for Lent. David suggests that Geraldine give up chocolate, which she reluctantly does. Of course, David then basically waves chocolate under Geraldine's nose at the parish council meeting. Curiously, all the others are allowed the option of paying £1 into the charity box every time they breach their Lent abstention (Hugo's attempt to give up lustful thoughts is a lucrative source of funds); Geraldine alone is made to rigidly keep her vow.
  • Comedic Spanking: Hinted at in the Easter Bunny episode, when Alice is adamant the Easter Bunny is real.
    Geraldine: If you keep this up, I'll have to punish you; this hairbrush will feature very prominently in the punishment, and your pants won't.
  • The Comically Serious: Alice's reaction to some of Geraldine's jokes at the end of each episode.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Letitia Cropley is known as the "Queen of Cordon Bleugh" for her penchant for making disgusting-looking (not to mention tasting) recipes such as Marmite cake, peanut butter and anchovy sandwiches, tripe salad, chocolate coated cod roe and parsnip brownies, thus making her the Trope Namer. She also bred her own snails, apparently for Bread and Butter Pudding Surprise.
  • Couch Gag: Most of the episodes feature some of the funny things happening around Dibley just after the theme song and opening credits end, but before the episode proper. And then there's the joke after the ending credits, which on one occasion was shown before the opening credits.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Alice covers the baby's ears so that she wouldn't hear Owen swear. Except they are all writing on paper at the time.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Alice and Hugo, wanting to play Joseph and Mary in the Nativity play, met with objection from Geraldine on the grounds that A. Hugo wasn't a carpenter and B. neither of them spoke Hebrew. Hugo then brings in some furniture he had made earlier, and both he and Alice then proceed to speak Hebrew to each other and Geraldine. Geraldine should have known that Joseph and Mary's native tongue was actually Aramaic.
  • Crossover: Dibley did one with Ballykissangel ("Ballykissdibley") for Comic Relief.
  • Curse Cut Short: And He shall be thy fuccour, due to the whole S=F thing.
    • The children carol singers.
      Children:(singing) While shepherds watched their flocks by night all sitting on a bank...
      Geraldine: Oh, God...
      Children: An angel who was bored came down and taught them how to w--
    • And in the episode with the 'Great Storm', when Hugo unexpectedly shows up in Geraldine's living room.
      Geraldine: OH, FU- crying out loud, Hugo!
  • Cut a Slice, Take the Rest:
    • Geraldine does this with a chocolate Christmas log in one episode.
    • Another episode has a drinks variant, where she starts pouring into a glass and then just glugs right from the bottle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: David. Geraldine does this too, but she isn't as much of a jerk about it.
    • Owen has his moments too.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "It's just a question of being mature, and grown up, and adult, and mature."
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?:
    Geraldine: Oh for Heaven's sake, JUST KISS YOU MORONS!
  • Dirty Old Man: Jim.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Letitia has her moments.
  • Dissimile: Courtesy of Letitia: "I've got a memory like an elephant that's lost its memory!"
  • The Ditz: Alice. The episode "The Christmas Lunch Incident", which feature's Alice's mother and sister, reveals that it runs in the family.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: The end of every episode, often one of the funniest moments of the night. Geraldine tells Alice a joke. Alice doesn't get it and has to have it explained (or starts picking it apart). Lampshaded when, after Hugo and Alice's wedding, she tells the joke to David instead, he gets it immediately and bursts out laughing, then catches her when she starts to explain it out of habit.
    • Averted somewhat in the final episode, where Harry's explaining of the joke to Alice means she finally gets one of them and bursts into hysterical laughter.
  • Doomed New Clothes: Geraldine's wedding dress.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: One of the jokes that Geraldine tells Alice is the one in which Superman sees Wonder Woman lying naked on a rooftop and attempts to have sex with her in the shortest time possible. Wonder Woman asks what happened, and then the Invisible Man climbs off her and says "I don't know, but it hurt a lot." Alice doesn't laugh, pointing out that this joke besmirches Superman's reputation by implying that he committed homosexual rape on the Invisible Man, which she doesn't consider funny.
    Alice: And quite frankly I think you should be ashamed of yourself.
    (Alice leaves) (beat)
    Geraldine: ...Prude!
  • Easter Episode: The episode "The Easter Bunny" is set during the run-up to Easter and features the cast giving up something for Lent. It also comes complete with Geraldine promising to become the Dibley Easter Bunny, which comes with dressing up as a bunny.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In The Tag of the very first episode Geraldine tells Alice a joke (a Running Gag that lasts the entire series) and is surprised by how Alice's over-the-top reaction to how hilarious she finds it. Obviously the writers realized that this type of reaction would not remain funny over the course of the entire show, and from then on Alice never understands any of Geraldine's jokes (until Harry explains it to her in the final episode).
    • To clarify slightly, Alice does "get" quite a few of the jokes over the series, it's just that it is only the first episode where she "gets" it straight away. Even in the last episode it took some explaining for her to understand it.
    • Jim's wife Doris is introduced in an early episode, but is quickly forgotten as Jim steadily becomes a Dirty Old Man often talking smut and boasting of sexual escapades. In a later episode Jim wanted to marry Geraldine, so presumably by that point Doris had died (or divorced him for his sexual adventurism).
    • The first series focused mostly on village life, which Geraldine would attempt to improve. From the beginning of the first Christmas special, the series began to focus more on the personal lives of the main characters.
  • Earth Mother: Geraldine is called upon to provide love, sympathy, understanding and support to her flock twenty-four and seven, and dispenses this generously and unstintingly. However, the crankier side of the Earth Mother comes out when she is jilted by her lover, and she barricades herself into the vicarage for several weeks with only a ton of chocolate for company. Who nurtures the Earth Mother when she is hurt? Alice does.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Alice's full name is Alice Springs Tinker. Subverted, in that she completely fails to understand why her middle name might be slightly embarrassing.
  • Erotic Eating: Alice sure can work a chocolate finger, much to Hugo's shock/delight.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The second scene of the first episode (the first parish council meeting) was designed as this for the entire main cast, save Geraldine (who isn't present at this point) and Alice (who isn't on the council. They get their moments a couple of scenes later, at Geraldine's welcoming party.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Wildly subverted with Alice's ridiculous suggestions/designs, including one made out of linoleum, one with a train that is literally a train (Thomas the Tank Engine, specifically), and one with lots of hearts with a different Doctor Who in each one. She finally settles on one with "I Love Hugo" emblazoned on it, and a light-up headdress.
    • In Geraldine's case, the same insane suggestions from Alice come out, but it is ultimately averted when the dress turns out to be a rather simple gown. Which promptly gets ruined.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Parodied, with the famous puddle scene.
  • Fan Disservice: Naked dancing Jim, recreating the scene from The Full Monty during a talent show. Although it seemed to be Fanservice to some in the audience...
    • A thankful aversion, in that we were spared from actually seeing Letitia's Lady Godiva act. Hearing about it was quite bad enough.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Geraldine and Harry.
  • Flanderization: In the first episode, Alice is shy and, while not terribly bright, was smart enough to switch the communion wine with a non-alcoholic version and quote Pilate in John's gospel. By the last episode, she thinks she's a direct descendent of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: The last episode ends with Geraldine flying into the air and towards the camera.
  • George Washington Slept Here: Frank says that Elizabeth I once stayed in Dibley when Geraldine asks for stories about famous people in the village. She's excited until Frank adds that Good Queen Bess only stopped because she'd come down with a nasty case of food poisoning.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Alice tries several times to make a very drunk Geraldine sober up so she can do the midnight Christmas mass. She apologizes before slapping Geraldine in the face, which seems to work... for all of three seconds.
  • Good Shepherd: Geraldine.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first part of the episode "Summer" deals with the people of Dibley suffering a severe water shortage during a heatwave, with barely enough water to drink and certainly not enough to wash; one scene shows Geraldine and Alice wearing old Halloween costumes because they're the only clean outfits they have left. Halfway through, though, we learn that the local council's solution to this problem is to flood Dibley for a water reservoir, and the rest of the episode deals with the fight to save the village, with no further mention of the problem that led to this in the first place — indeed, all evidence of the shortage disappears after this point.
  • Hidden Depths: In the episode "Songs of Praise", Owen applies for the church choir — and everybody is absolutely stunned when he shows that he has an amazing singing voice.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Geraldine, when Simon leaves her, finishes an entire freezer full of ice cream. Geraldine being Geraldine, she then proceeds to polish off an entire cupboard of chocolate afterwards.
  • Horrorscope: In anticipation of Hugo's wedding, Frank reads out Hugo's horoscope at a council meeting, which predicts a very happy and romantically-fulfilling day... until Geraldine points out he's got the wrong month. Hugo's actual horoscope predicts doom and disaster.
  • Hot for Preacher: Frequently, and in both directions. Naturally though, most of the guys who are interested in Geraldine are nothing like the guys she's interested in herself.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Geraldine on at least two occasions. When thinking of a reason to refuse Owen's marriage proposal, and Tristram turning up on Christmas night asking Geraldine to marry him and his fiance as a vicar rather than he marry Geraldine.
  • Idyllic English Village: Dibley is located in Oxfordshire and largely conforms to the image of a gentle rural community populated by benign eccentrics.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Frank's idea of an enjoyable birthday treat? Seeing an exhibition of train timetables from the 1920's.
  • Innocent Innuendo: From "The Easter Bunny":
    Alice: (on chocolate fingers) I love sticking them in my mouth, and sucking and sucking 'til all the chocolate comes right off... (she proceeds to do just that, in front of Hugo)
  • Insult Backfire: Geraldine describes Owen's inclusion of a Page Three Stunna in the village newsletter as "Possibly the most disturbing things [she] has ever seen," due to the woman in question being (a) in her 90s and (b) dead. He thanks her as though it were a complement.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: In "Dibley Live," David calls the vicarage to cancel his interview with "that Alice moron" and insults Jim, Frank, and Owen while he's at it, ignoring Geraldine's attempts to tell him he's live on the Dibley Phone-In. Geraldine decides to get revenge by asking after his hemorrhoids (which he describes in very frank terms) and then thanks him for calling in and broadcasting that to the whole village. He covers by claiming to be Rory Bremner.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Mrs. Cropley:
    (advising a young woman) "In my youth, I was what you call a 'corker.' Can I give you a bit of advice? Play the field. Snog everyone—sleep with most! I didn't, and I've been regretting it ever since."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: David, although he does have his outright Jerkass tendencies.
  • Killed Off for Real: Letitia.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • Hugo and Alice, who's revealed — at least to Geraldine, everyone else apparently already knew — to be the daughter of his grandfather's cousin who, like his father, was named David.
    • Owen's cousin Sally had three children by different fathers, one of them being Owen himself (the other two were Jim and Frank).
    • Jim's marriage broke up after he learned that his wife was having an affair with her cousin, Brenda. Not that he was particularly bothered.
  • Last Request: As Letitia lies on her deathbed, her dying request to Geraldine was that she take over from her as the Easter Bunny, taking chocolate eggs around the village each Easter. Hilariously, it was subsequently discovered that Letitia had made the same request of every member of the parish council.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Geraldine is blindsided by someone who came into the room without knocking.
    Geraldine: Oh, fuc...rying out loud!
  • Les Yay: In-Universe, In "Merry Christmas", first between Geraldine and Alice, and then between Geraldine and model Rachel Hunter. Alice misinterpreting the latter scenario causes the council to briefly think that the two are having a fling, which raises eyebrows.
  • Likes Older Women: Owen is happy to take anything he can get, including his own farm animals, but the 65 year old Page Three Stunna he includes in the village newsletter indicates this trope among his preferences.
  • Long Speech Tea Time:
    • Frank suffers through this quite a lot. His distinguishing characteristic is that he is extremely long-winded, pedantic, and boring. However, a subversion occurs in "Merry Christmas": when he starts his speech about Geraldine everyone finds either a book to read or a nice place to sit down for a nap, but it turns out his speech is only a few sentences long. Everyone is grateful.
    • This happens to Geraldine in "The Christmas Lunch Incident": despairing because her Christmas sermon isn't done yet, she ropes Alice as an audience, but she gets distracted by a magazine. When she asks Owen to listen, he would rather clean up his manure-encrusted cowshed than stay.
    • Geraldine does actually get herself a cup of tea (and some biscuits) when Jim is rehearsing a speech that includes the Abba song "Knowing Me, Knowing You." Kno-kno-kno-knowing Jim's Verbal Tic, it takes quite a while.
  • Lost in Transmission: During the 2020 "In Lockdown" mini-series, there is some interference while Geraldine is broadcasting some words of reassurance.
    Geraldine: Let me begin by saying... [garbled] ...this is the end of the world. I can absolutely promise you that... [garbled] ... you are going to inevitably catch this terrible virus and die. There, I hope that's put your minds at rest.
  • Lost Wedding Ring: Jim loses Hugo and Alice's wedding rings, so the pair have to make do with a couple of ring-shaped potato snacks.
  • Love at First Sight: Harry claims to have had this for Geraldine. Considering his behaviour in their first scene together, he's probably being honest, too.
  • Miss Conception: The first episode where Alice is pregnant with her and Hugo's first child, she mentions that she can't be pregnant because "the hamster didn't turn blue". Geraldine has a moment of Sarcasm Failure , "I don't think I'm familiar with that particular pregnancy test."note 
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Geraldine believes that Harry is cheating with her on another woman, because that is exactly what happened with David's brother Simon when he and Geraldine had their fling. It turns out that the woman, Rosie, is actually Harry's sister.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Geraldine herself, no thanks to Alice.
    • David, by Tristram, the Songs of Praise producer. Geraldine "confirms" it thanks to the disparaging (and homophobic) things David was saying about the show's selection of Dibley.
    • David was concerned Hugo was when the latter shut his eyes when the two were watching a sex scene on television, but this turned out to be because Hugo had given up lustful thoughts for Lent.
  • Mirror Routine: In "Celebrity Vicar", this happens as part of a ballet performance. Rather slim prima ballerina Darcy Bussell in a famous cameo is reflected by not-at-all slim Geraldine.
  • Mood Whiplash: Letitia's death in "The Easter Bunny".
  • Mythology Gag: There's a little one in "Celebrity Vicar" where Geraldine, who had just recently done a radio talk show, was mistaken for singer Alison Moyet. Moyet was previously the guest star in an episode of French and Saunders, where while waiting for her to arrive Dawn French went on stage singing a Yazoo song pretending to be her. She was semi-successfully pulling it off to an audience of mostly senior citizens.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Hugo and Geraldine discuss Hugo's father's reaction to the news that he is dating Alice:
    Hugo: Well, I can't actually tell you what he said, because... because you're the vicar. But, well, let's say a certain word is represented by another word that sounds like a little like that word, like, um, like duck, for instance. He asked me what the duck I was playing at, said he didn’t give a flying duck if I ducking loved Alice ducking Tinker, and if I ducking kissed her again, he'd make sure I was well and truly ducked.
    Geraldine: Well, duck me!
  • No Indoor Voice: The Bishop of Mulbury, who inadvertently wakes up baby Geraldine while everyone is taking pains not to.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Jim thinks he's having one, but he actually is completely naked in one of the council meetings. He doesn't bother to cover up when he finds out.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Geraldine whenever the council generally have a plan, since she knows it will be anything but sane.
    • Geraldine when Alice's Sunday School class start singing an alternative version of "When Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night", once she realises it's a risque version.
    • David cries "Oh God" out loud early into the "This Is Your Life" event in the final episode of the main series, when it becomes clear that none of the facts save Geraldine's birthday are correct.
  • One-Steve Limit: Invoked when Geraldine learns that Alice's father is David Horton on the eve of Alice's wedding, assuming that this means that Alice is actually her fiancé's half-sister, until Owen clarifies that the David Horton Alice is referring to is actually the older cousin of the one Geraldine knows.
  • Only Sane Man: David and Geraldine are well aware that they are the only people in the village with more than two braincells. Before Geraldine arrived, David pretty much anchored the entire village on his own. In the final two episodes, Harry makes up the final portion of the sane trio.
  • Overly Long Name: The vicar's full name in the series final is Geraldine Julie Andrews Dick Van Dyke Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Chim Chiminey Chim Chiminey Chim Chim Cher-ee Granger. Unsurprisingly, she's horribly embarrassed by it.
    • An earlier episode reveals her name as Bodicea Geraldine Granger.
    David: May I call you Bodicea?
    Geraldine: ABSOLUTELY NOT.
  • Page Three Stunna: Owen photographs Brenda the barmaid as one for the village newsletter. She's 65. Exaggerated Trope as he also includes a "Page 4 girl" (her mother) and a "Page 5 girl" (her aunt's mother, who has recently died).
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: Everyone in "Merry Christmas", except Dawn French and Gary Waldhorn. They were named in the opening credits from the start.
  • Protest By Obstruction: In the episode "Summer", Geraldine protests an attempt by the water company to turn Dibley's valley into a reservoir by chaining herself to her church. Once the media picks up on it, the main cast (except for Owen, who has a different plan) join her. Including Alice and Hugo's baby daughter, who is put in a bouncy chair chained to the church.
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Letitia Cropley, apparently, especially when she was younger.
    • Jim too, who has apparently visited many red light districts in his time and once got involved in a Citizenship Marriage with another man.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The documentary, Story of Dibley, reveals that once the writers realised they could get away with a bit of filth, they could use this trope to include absolutely anything they wanted. Owen being openly stated as having sexual relations with animals is just one example of this.
  • Relative Error: Geraldine is intensely jealous when she spots Harry hanging around a lot with another woman, Rosie. It later turns out that Rosie is, in fact, Harry's sister.
    • Geraldine almost calls off Hugo and Alice's wedding after learning that David Horton was Alice's father, making Hugo and Alice half-siblings. Actually, it was a relative of the show's David who had the same name, which makes Hugo and Alice Kissing Cousins instead.
  • Right Behind Me:
    • David mentions his candidacy for the upcoming election at a part and Geraldine says she hopes he beats the current Councilor, who must be "Mr. Do-Nothing of the Sod-All" party... cue awkward silence.
    "David. It's David, isn't it?"
    • From The Christmas Lunch Incident:
    Owen: Sorry I'm late. I was just leaving when that daft girl and her horrible gang of talentless dwarfs came round. I haven't heard a racket like it since I caught that cow in the shredder.
    (Geraldine motions behind him.)
    Owen: Hello Alice. Hello dear little children.
  • Road Trip Across the Street: After having too much to eat, Geraldine hires a taxi to take her from the Tinker house back to the vicarage. Which is just around the corner.
  • Running Gag: In the earlier episodes, Owen was often late to the parish council meetings due to either a) problems with his bowels ("It's like the big ride at Alton Towers in my innards"), or b) problems with his animals ("Sorry I'm late. Sheep exploded").
    • Whenever Geraldine called the Archbishop, she would send her love to the Archbishop's Guy Of The Week.
  • Screaming Birth: Averted when Alice gives birth to baby Geraldine - she's certainly not quiet, but she isn't exactly screaming either.
  • Second Place Is for Winners /Second Prize: Geraldine tries to win second place in a chocolate contest. She fails.
    • Not that she isn't very happy with first prize, though.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "I've gone all goose-pimply like a great big pimply goose!"
    • "All you have to do is create the right social situation, and love will flower. Like... a flower. Flowering in the right social situation."
  • Shipper on Deck: Geraldine for Hugo and Alice, and it takes a fair bit of work.
    Houston, we have kiss-off!
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Owen. This causes him immense frustration when he tries to give it up for Lent.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Invoked: After Geraldine and Simon chase off everyone so the two of them can finally go to bed together, Jim comes back and brings two lit cigarettes, "for later".
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: After Simon Horton dumps her, Geraldine blows her stack at a parish council meeting and cusses out everyone involved. Most of it is drowned out by a jackhammer from a nearby construction crew.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: A woman interrupts Alice and Hugo's wedding because she was already married to the groom. But it turns out that she had the wrong church.
    • After accepting David's proposal Geraldine has a dream where their wedding is interupted by Sean Bean who declares his love for her.
    • Geraldine also dreams about being on the other side of this trope and breaking up Harry's wedding to another woman with a performance of "It Should've Been Me". The dream ends with her punching both Harry and the bride on her way out of the church.
    • The vicar at Geraldine's own wedding, Jeremy Ogilvy, is in love with Geraldine himself and tries quite hard to get someone to speak now - it needn't be a big thing, and he'll give you time to think. And was then Death Glared into continuing by Geraldine.
  • Suddenly Bilingual: Alice and Hugo speak Hebrew for a gag. It is hilarious.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The Reverend Pottle was dead for the singing of The day thou gave us, Lord, has ended.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Geraldine denies being interested in Tristram:
    'I haven't thought once about him licking me up the legs.'
  • Sweet Tooth: Geraldine. Yes, she's already a Big Eater, but she absolutely demolishes sweets. Having four different sets of Christmas lunch was so hard for her that she had to be delivered back to the vicarage by a bulldozer, but she has no problem finishing an entire freezer full of ice cream and a large cupboard full of chocolate bars.
  • The Swear Jar: In 'The Easter Bunny', everyone on the parish council gives up a common habit of theirs, or else put a pound in the "Lent Fines Box" (used to raise money for a movie club) every time they succumb to it. In Owen's case, this means giving up swearing. As soon as Lent is over, he launches into a Cluster F-Bomb to make up for lost time.
  • The Tag: Each episode would end with Geraldine telling Alice a joke, which Alice would then completely misinterpret.
    • One episode broke this trend by having her tell the joke to David Horton, (Alice was on her honeymoon), who did get it and thought it was hilarious. The real joke was that Geraldine starts explaining it to him out of habit.
    • Another episode has Alice understand the joke, but she gets offended and says it's not funny and that Geraldine should feel ashamed for telling the joke.
    • Another episode had her find the joke hilarious and laugh excessively.
    • Broken again at the end of the last Christmas special, where her new husband explains the joke to Alice... and Alice gets it.
  • Talking with Signs: Everyone is walking on eggshells around sleeping baby Geraldine, so they have an entirely written conversation. Hugo asks "Have you seen ''EastEnders?" and Jim replies with the sign "no no no no no", then flips it to say "yes". When Owen is admonished for written swearing around the baby, he replies with "I'll swear if I fu(covered with hand)ing want to".
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: In "Songs Of Praise", where Geraldine has to assemble a choir and initially has no takers, but then adds the little bit about appearing on TV, and half the village lines up. Most of them are horrible, naturally, and even the ones who aren't universally pick John Denver's Annie's Song as their audition piece.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Geraldine and chocolate. She has bars stashed everywhere, including her robes and her Bibles.
  • Unusual Pop Culture Name: Geraldine's middle names are 'Julie Andrews Dick Van Dyke Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious Chim Chimeny Chim Chimeney Chim Chim Cher-ee'. She explains that her mother was a huge fan of Mary Poppins. And insane.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Sizzle my sausage!"
    • "Hide the purple parsnip" and "Parking the purple Porsche"
  • Verbal Tic: "No no no no...Yes," said by Jim. This caused him to lose in the last round of Deal or No Deal.
    • His wife tends to answer every question with a dismissive "Yes yes yes yes..." before pondering the question for a moment and realizing "No".
  • The Vicar: Geraldine is notably a major subversion, shagging the brother of the parish council's chair, and being generally very laid back.
    • Ironically, Dawn French and Richard Curtis developed many character traits after interviewing one of the first real life female vicars.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Alice talks in various Police song lyrics to Sting when he comes to live with Geraldine for a little while as part of "Celebrity Non-Entity Wife Swap".
  • Welcome Episode: The first episode has Geraldine arriving in her new parish and meeting everyone.
  • Wham Line: “The groom [Hugo] is already married!”
    • A line that follows is equally hard hitting… “Sorry… Wrong church.”
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The village church has a very old Bible, which comes out when Songs of Praise comes to the village. Unfortunately no-one told Alice that the ſ characters are pronounced as s rather than f, which requires Geraldine to stage an urgent intervention when the word 'ſuccor' is reached.


Video Example(s):


Alice and Hugo's First Kiss

"Engagement". Geraldine finally manages to talk Alice and Hugo into trying to be together and coaxes them into their first kiss. The kiss goes on for over four hours, enough time for Geraldine to go to the grocery store and back and then run into Owen, and leaves them unable to speak intelligibly afterwards.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheBigDamnKiss

Media sources: