We all know them. We all say them. Here they are: the ten best one-liners in Father Ted, ranked.
The hit Irish comedy aired between 1995 and 1998, and it was filled with witty quips. Here are the best one-liners in Father Ted.
Following the lives of three priests and their devoted housekeeper on the fictional Craggy Island off the coast of Ireland, this sitcom is nothing short of spectacular.
As iconic as the day these statements first were broadcast, here are the top ten best one-liners in Father Ted, ranked.
10. Season 3, Episode 7 – “Eoin McLove has a happy face”
Entitled ‘Night of the Nearly Dead’, this episode centres around Mrs Doyle’s obsession with TV-heartthrob Eoin McLove.
Her one-liner, “Eoin McLove has a happy face”, conjures memories of the object of her affection clad in brightly coloured knits as a mob of menopausal women surround the parochial house, seeking McLove, who resides inside. Pure comedy gold.
9. Season 2, Episode 1 – “feck off!”
It may be one of the more obvious one-liners in Father Ted, yet this quote is as evergreen as they come.
‘Entertaining Father Stone’ is the first time the viewer sees Jack telling Ted to “feck off”. And as Ted flies backwards through a plate glass window, it is safe to say this moment is more than memorable.
8. Season 3, Episode 3 – “well, Ted, I’m very cynical, as you know”
‘Speed 3’ is a genuinely unforgettable episode from Father Ted. Its association with Hollywood blockbuster, Speed, and frequent re-runs testify to its sheer brilliance, keeping its one-liners on the lips of Ted fans everywhere.
One of the best one-liners in Father Ted has to be when Dougal’s eyes glaze over when Ted asks for his opinion of Pat Mustard, “Well Ted, I’m very cynical, as you know.”
7. Season 1, Episode 1 – “you’re right there, Ted”
“You’re right there, Ted” is undoubtedly one of the best one-liners in Father Ted and mimicked to this very day.
This phrase has entered the Irish vernacular and can be used to indicate complete agreement in any given situation, for example:
Statement: “I’d love a pint.”
Answer: “You’re right there, Ted.”
6. Season 2, Episode 3 – “that would be an ecumenical matter”
There are no words to convey the gravitas of the statement, “that would be an ecumenical matter” in this episode named ‘Tentacles of Doom’.
Although most Irish people still do not know the true meaning of the word ‘ecumenical’, it matters not a jot. This iconic phrase is forever etched into the Irish consciousness and can be used to diffuse any sticky situation.
5. Season 2, Episode 7 – “they all have lovely bottoms”
‘Rock a Hula Ted’ has a couple of crackers you will no doubt have heard throughout the years.
It’s a hard choice to choose just one, as this episode offers some of the best one-liners in Father Ted. “They all have lovely bottoms” may just take the crown, but “Cowboys, Ted!” comes in a close second, or perhaps even a tied first.
4. Season 2, Episode 9 – “we’re all going to heaven, lads! Waaaheeey!”
‘New Jack City’ deserves an 11/10 in the one-liners department. There are so many iconic sayings spouted in this episode that it’s hard to keep up.
Father Fintan Stack gets most of them, but it would be a mistake to omit Dougal’s inebriated exclamation, “We’re all going to heaven, lads! Rayyyy!”, which remains, to this day, one of the most quoted of the entire series.
3. Season 2, Episode 10 – “I think I should get the parachute because I am great…”
The Irish are usually a modest bunch. Unable until now to take the smallest of compliment, Father Joe Briefly’s triumphalist display of self-worth has made a lot of people feel more comfortable about speaking up for themselves in life or death situations.
Entitled ‘Flight into Terror’, this episode features one of the best one-liners in Father Ted by Briefly with, “I think I should get the parachute because I am great. In fact, I think I think I should get both parachutes in case one of them doesn’t work.”
“A Christmassy Ted” – the sitcom’s only holiday special – is the gift that keeps on giving in the one-liners department.
There are tonnes to choose from, but it’s Jack’s outburst, “a pair of feckin’ women’s knickers”, that earns itself the title of one of the best one-liners in Father Ted.
1. Season 1, Episode 3 – “that money was just resting in my account”
The plotline in ‘The Passion of Saint Tibulus’ takes aim at the Catholic Church, its failed attempts at censorship, and its cavorting clergy.
The episode is also home to three of the top one-liners in the entire show. The one that gets a special mention is “that money was just resting in my account”.
Although we must include a shoutout to “careful now” and “down with that sort of thing” – both of which are also considered to be cream of the crop when it comes to quotes from Father Ted.
You can get an even deeper analysis in our full guide. The guide, which was developed by our very own Father Ted TV Critic Louise Kiernan, is free to download.
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