TV & Movies

18 Nessa From Gavin & Stacey Quotes That Are Bang Tidy & Funny AF

Barry Island's best-known arcade worker has a very special brand of savagery.

by Alice Broster
Originally Published: 
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There are a small number of TV shows that have done such an epic job in creating memorable characters and catchphrases that they actually end up becoming common vernacular. Gavin and Stacey is one such show. I mean, am I the only one who takes every opportunity to exclaim, “Oh my christ!”? I think not. I mean, we all see some of our own families and friends in the Wests and the Shipmans, right? And although Nessa may not be a title character, there’s no denying she had some of the best lines in the whole show. Ruth Jones’ fictional anti-heroine is outrageous and straight to the point. I won’t lie to you, we could do with Nessa’s unique brand of savagery right now.

With three seasons and a couple of explosive Christmas specials under its belt, the show is one you can revisit again and again. Fans proved the love is still strong when, after a nine year break, 18.5 million people tuned in to the Christmas special in 2019. Some speculated whether it was a sign that Ruth Jones and James Corden would be joining forces once again to give fans the season four they’ve been dying to see. However, as Corden is settled stateside and Jones has resumed her post in Cardiff as a true Welsh icon, it isn’t looking likely.

So, if you need another nudge to watch Gavin and Stacey all over again here are some of Nessa’s best comebacks. Tidy.

*The* Catchphrase

Where better to start than with Nessa’s most iconic catchphrase, “Oh, what’s occurring?”

... And The Other One

“I won’t lie to you.” Another go-to Nessa-ism.

No Second Chances

BBC iPlayer / Gavin & Stacey

Season 1, Episode 1: Dave Coaches may think asking Nessa over for a takeaway is harmless. She doesn’t think so when she responds, “oh. Dave, when are you gonna learn? You can buy me all the chocolates, all the chow mein you like but it won’t wash and you knows why. Now, back off, or I’ll tell everyone about my trip to the doctor’s. Is that what you really want?”

Oh, The Drama

Season 1, Episode 3: There’s no denying that Nessa has a...past. However, when Stacey comes to her for advice about whether to open up to Gavin about her previous engagements Nessa has some unique insight. After revealing it reminded her of a situation with an ex, Clive, she explains why they aren’t together anymore. “He died. Firing squad. Terrible way to go, Stace and I wouldn't like to see it happen to you. Smugglers, we were,” she said. “And if it weren't for my relationship with John Prescott, I'd still be in that jail right now. So yeah, in answer to your question, I'd say no, don't tell him.”

TBF, Same

Season 1, Episode 5: “I’ll have a pint. Of wine.” Nessa proving there’s only one acceptable drinks order at Stacey’s hen do (and in life.)

Meeting The Family

BBC iPlayer / Gavin & Stacey

Season 1, Episode 3: Meeting the family can be awkward and involves a lot of small talk but in their first meeting when Mick asks if Nessa drives she responds, “I don't Mick, which is a shame, cos I loves a good ride.” Cue red faces all round.

Drunk DMC

Season 1, Episode 5: When Nessa has a deep and meaningful chat with Stacey at her hen do she re-enacts every 3 a.m. heart to heart you’ve had with your bestie, “at the end of the day…when all’s said and done…d’ya know what I mean?”

Connections In High Places

Season 1, Episode 6: The disappointment when Nessa finds out she’s having a baby with Smithy is felt on many levels. “I just can’t believe this, Stace. Of all the people I’ve slept with it’s him gets me pregnant. Not Nigel Havers, not John Prescott, not any of Goldie Lookin Chain. No, some kn*bhead from Essex.”

On-Brand Pals

Series 1, Episode 5: When Nessa asks Gavin to look out for her old work colleague she gives some fairly explicit descriptives as to how to spot him. “I used to work down The Dolphin, as it goes. If you see Carl, tell him I says alright...He’s got a tattoo that says ‘I’m Carl’. On his chin.”

A Translation, Please

BBC iPlayer / Gavin & Stacey

Season 1, Episode 6: “Where to she now then?” This sentence shouldn’t make sense but for all of us who love Nessa know she’s only asking where Smithy’s girlfriend is.

Straight Up About Smithy

Series 2, Episode 2: Nessa never really hides how she feels 90% of the time about Smithy. When she can’t have a drink with Pam, Stacey, and Gwen she disappears to make her own cup of tea. Pam tells her to sit down but Nessa replies, “I need to take my mind off the fact that I’m pregnant by a man I can’t stand.”

Great Customer Service

Season 2, Episode 3: While some say the customer is always right Nessa takes a different approach. To get one man off the slot machines she announces “now sling your hook or I'll break your face.”

Relationship Gold

Season 2, Episode 7: When Stacey reveals it could be all over between her and Gavin, Nessa drops a pearl of wisdom, “you'd be a fool to let that one go. He's cracking. Even if he is a bit short.”

Nuanced Political Analysis

Series 3, Episode 5: Like any responsible parent, Nessa wanted to ensure that Neil the baby is clued up on politics from day one. And she had a pretty big differentiation to make. “This is O-Bama alright? Not to be confused with O-Sama. O-Bama. O-Sama. Very different people, with very different ideas.”

No Pressure

Series 3, Episode 6: Gwen generously offers to make Nessa’s wedding dress but she lays it on thick that this will be no small task. After turning down the offer to try the dress on, Nessa says, “If you’ve got the measurements right it’ll be fine. If not you’ll ruin my day, simple as.”

A Twist On Santa

Christmas Special 2019: “Oh. Oh. Oh. Merry Christmas.” Out with Santa and in with Nessa.

Christmas Rules Are Rules

Christmas Special 2019: When Gavin comes to visit Nessa at Santa’s Grotto she’s pretty explicit about her rules as Santa. “Oh, Gav, I’m not being funny, but you gotta sit on my knee. It’s the rules. Don’t worry, I’ve been checked. I’m not on the register,” she says.

The Ultimate Cliffhanger

Christmas Special 2019: Few Gavin and Stacey fans will ever forget the cliffhanger at the end of the Christmas Special in 2019. After messing about, having a baby, and almost marrying other people, Nessa admitted to Smithy, “I won’t lie, you’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but at the end of the day when all’s said and done, you’re tidy. And I know it’s been complicated, you and me. All this like. But I loves it. And if truth be told… I loves you.”

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