(Photos: Channel 4)
This is not ranked. This is definitely not ranked.
When it comes to Peep Show, the task of whittling down episodes into a "best" category is a tricky one. How do you single out moments from a show that has so many of them?
So we won't be doing that. There is no best or favourite episode.
But there are clear front-runners, and episodes that are absolutely laden with classic moments that they simply stand out.
"Oh my god, this has got to be a dream, nothing this bad could ever happen in reality!"
Everything has built up to the big day, and watching Mark desperately search for a reason to put a stop to the wedding is pure Corrigan magic.
- Superhans continued wetties in Mark's wedding attire (not the dry-heaves)
- Mark trying to get run over and impossibly obscure insults
- Jeremy giving Mark a "reason"
- Mark wrestling with the decision on the church balcony
- Jeremy pissing himself
- Mark finally poking his head out
Jeremy Makes It (S2E2)
"You remember the theme tune from Jaws? Well, I don't want anything like that, obviously. I want something completely different. I want something that, when people hear it, they'll immediately go "Yeah."
If we were to select a "favourite", this is a very strong contender, featuring two of the greatest one-off characters ever. Gog and Daryl, for very different reasons.
Gog, revelling in his newfound superiority - from his team of guys pulling lateys, to his forthcoming Honda edit - is hilarious in his mesmerising delivery. An icon was born in this episode, and yet we never saw him again (which given how it ended, is probably for the best).
Then there was Daryl. Let's be clear - we don't like Daryl. Daryl is a fucking Nazi, so good riddance. But Daryl (and his cor anglais) set the tone and cadence for some of the most jarring and outrageous Peep Show moments on this list.
So while the substance of Daryl might be very, very not-OK, the episode "Jeremy Makes It" absolutely is.
- These are my guys, pulling a latey.
- Remember the tune from Jaws? Well, nothing like that.
- Are you pretending to write?
- Four Naan? That's insane.
- Daryl's Cor Anglais
- A powerful sense of dread.
- Good riddance, you fucking Nazi.
- Pretty expensive as I recall (tips the Crunchy Nut).
- What if it's Honda? It could be Honda? It's not going to be Honda.
"Look guys. You've had your fun with the sectioning. There's going to be no more sectioning today."
The third series of most comedy shows is often the game-changer. By this point it knows itself, and the quality of output feels so natural to be almost effortless. Peep Show is clearly representative of this theory.
"Sectioning" is the second episode of the acclaimed third series, and brings with it ideas of such invention that the writing couldn't help but be sublime (that's not true of course - it could have easily been useless).
- You can't trust people
- It might surprise you to hear nobody's ever said that to me before
- I'm just tucked up so tight.
- I could try the number?
- Somebody tried to get me sectioned
- If you try to section me you will have crossed a line and I will section you, so help me God.
- You've had your fun with the sectioning
"Is that normal pooing you're doing?"
Shrooming brings in the big guns: Alan Johnson, and the idea of normal pooing. Raucously funny stuff.
As soon as Super Hans kicks down the bathroom door, there's no way this episode can end well for Mark. However, nobody could have ever predicted it to culminate in a scene dominated by his endless pooing.
Big Mad Andy's cameo is sweet as, Johnson gets his big day-saving moment by releasing a falsely-imprisoned Mark, and Big Suze balances the lot with her unrelenting levels of poshness. Amazingly this is not the final time she's forced to engage with Mark in poo dialogue.
- Is that normal pooing you're doing?
- This is bullshit *kicks door down*
- This is bollocks Mark. Illness equals weakness
- Don't give me mottos, I want figures, data
University Challenge (S2E4)
"The secret ingredient is crime."
Mark is an oddball. So the chances of others finding him sexy always appear slim. And yet, in spite of this, he manages (on a semi-regular basis) to attract a selection of pretty darn interesting and attractive women.
April was close to being perfect. Awkward, uncomfortable, and yet not weird enough to be unaware of these failings. Unfortunately she was a student at a university many miles away. In normal life, the passing connection in the shoe store would have been just that.
But no. Not for Mark. Of course he heads to Darty with Jez for some education (and confectionary) thieving, bollock-pulling, fourth-wall crossing, move-making, lunacy.
Naturally, it all goes ridiculously and hysterically wrong.
- Do a Columbo...
- The secret ingredient is crime
- Mark explaining his missing the move, prior to making the move
- Leaving a tenner and a note
- I'm mature - I went to Coventry in error
- You're pulling on my bollock
Seasonal Beatings (S7E5)
"Mind out boys, Father Spliffmas coming through."
Christmas specials are important, but they're not always good, especially when they try to be too "Christmassy". Fortunately, a festive day with the Corrigans was never at risk of that.
Salad Nicoise, Cauliflower, and no fucking turkey - none of it was Christmassy. Or traditional.
Dan Corrigan (technically our second viewing of the character after a fleeting glimpse from the balcony at Mark's wedding) is the killjoy, spoiling the day at every turn. We hate his snarky bigotry, his pretentious charades, and how he doesn't allow them to bring the MG into it because Carl Ingis was going to sell it for scrap.
- No turkey!
- Fair play, it is fucking good
- Christmas smoothie
- It's quite a specimen
- Agressive generosity
- Yes, but you know him. You shouldn't know him.
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