My Family

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My Family (2000–2011) is a BBC sitcom created by Fred Barron and starring Robert Lindsay and Zoë Wanamaker.


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Series 1 (2000)[edit]

The Serpent's Tooth[edit]

Nick is chatting online to a girl who, in Janey's opinion, sounds too good to be true
Nick: She's French, she's called Isabelle, she's a swimwear model, and her father's the chairman of a major electronics business.
Janey: Does the phrase "pull the other one" mean anything to you?
Nick: (grins) Ah, you think she's got a sister?

Ben notices a repair in one of Susan's teeth
Ben: You've been seeing another dentist!

A Pain in the Class[edit]

Ben is trying to encourage Michael to stand up to the school bully
Ben: Come on! Scare me! Try and put me down!
Michael: You're losing your hair, you're getting turkey neck, and the only reason you're a dentist is you failed to get into medical school!

Susan: If you had been a more organised person, maybe you could've been a doctor by now!
Ben: If you'd have been five inches taller, blonde, with long legs, you could've been a doctor's wife by now!

Droit de Seigneur Ben[edit]

Janey: Dad, I'm not a naive person!

The Last Resort[edit]

[first lines]
Janey: Dad, I'm just curious. Are you planning to forget again this year?
Ben: Ah. A riddle. I love a riddle. Let's see, the answer is: I don't know what you're talking about so go away.
Janey: Mom's birthday.
Ben: Oh my God, not again.

Chloe: Those old people are swingers.
Susan: Swingers? As in Glenn Miller, or as in Glenn Miller, his wife and the rest of his band?

Farewell to Alarms[edit]

The new alarm system is causing too many problems
Susan: They say it's there for our protection.
Ben: Protection from what? I've almost broken my bloody neck on the staircase, I've got a son who's deaf, I've got a son in a coma, and a daughter as ugly as sin!

Death and Ben Take a Policy[edit]

Susan complains about how people are forced to lock up their true emotions
Ben: Susan, I'm a dentist. I spend all day listening to how people really feel, and it's usually "Ouch!" and after a long day of "Ouch!", I like to come home to a bit of "Aah..."

Ben: (talking to Michael about death) When I was younger, I thought people died because life was unfair. Then you and your brother and sister were born, and I realised life really was unfair. And expensive.

The Awkward Phase[edit]

Ben: Now, my dad... my dad loved to give advice. And I was going out with this girl and I remember he said... he said, "Ben, no matter how beautiful you think she is and no matter how much you're in love with her or perfect she is - if she eats a dodgy piece of fish, she'll end up chucking her guts up like the rest of us!"

Janey: I wish I was dead!
Susan: Janey! How can you say that? "I wish I *were* dead." The subjunctive. Boys are more impressed by good grammar than tight jeans, you know.

Much Ado about Ben[edit]

Susan: [identifying who has called her, crying] Oh, Doreen. My yoga teacher, poor thing. While she was becoming one with the universe, her husband was becoming one with an accounts manager from Croydon.

Series 2 (2001)[edit]

All Roads Lead to Ramon[edit]

Ben and Susan discuss Janey's habit of going out with boy after boy for her own benefit

Susan: She'll grow out of it.
Ben: I should hope so.
Susan: I did.
Ben: I should bloody hope so.

Nick appears at the house with a tour group

Nick: Here we have a typical English home, the family seat of the Harper dynasty. And here we have a typical English man. Hey, Dad! As you can see he's taken the day off to slob around in his dressing gown. There's the telly and there's his banana sandwich. Some of you may be interested to know that he's just had a big falling out with his daughter, after he called her a prostitute.

The Unkindest Cut[edit]

Susan announces that she may be pregnant

Ben: Well, at least that proves there is a God...and He hates me!

Ben's patient is pregnant. She and the new assistant are very excited

Patient: We're all ready for our little bundle of joy!
Ben: Bundle of joy. You two haven't a clue what you're talking about, have you?

Parisian Beauty[edit]

Susan Harper: For little girls get bigger every day...
Ben Harper: Grow up then.

Trust Never Sleeps[edit]

Janey is holding a house party in her parents' absence. Ben has returned to check up on them

Ben: (To Susan) Come on, don't fight it. This could be your only chance to find out what your kids get up to when you're not there. What's the harm in one little look? You know you want to...

Death and Ben Take a Holiday[edit]

Ben knocks on Nick's hotel room

Nick: I was expecting someone else.
Ben: So was I, but your mother swears you're ours.

Driving Miss Crazy[edit]

Ben is moaning about his neighbour, who recently lost his wife, and his new dog

Ben: I mean, if I popped my clogs, would you replace me with a pet?
Susan: No pet could replace you. Except perhaps a bad-tempered ferret.

No one thinks Ben is the right person to take Janey driving

Ben: What a splendid family. I've got a daughter who thinks I'm a joke, a son who thinks I'm demented, a wife who doesn't support me and a...(looks at Nick) pillock.
Nick: Look on the bright side, Dad. At least it took your mind off Mr Casey.
Ben: Oh, yes. Mr Casey! Mr Casey! (exit)
Susan: (looks at Nick) You pillock!

I Second That Emulsion[edit]

The Age of Romance[edit]

Nick: Dad, have you seen the car keys lately?
Ben: No.
Nick: (holds up the keys and jingles them in his face) Well, take a good look. I won't be back till late!

Ben: Don't even bother to try and make love to me tonight!

Ben switches light out and turns his back on Susan. She sits there patiently

Ben: ...You're not gonna bother, are you?

Get Cartier[edit]

Susan: Don't eat that! You'll ruin your dinner.
Ben: I thought that was your job.
Susan: No, my job is to ruin your life.

'Tis a Pity She's a Whore[edit]

Whose turn is it to visit Susan's mother?

Michael: I went to see her last time she was dying.
Nick: I'll go next time.
Janey: And what happens if she really is dying?
Nick: (grins) Then I win!

Susan: The motto on your family crest should read: "Mediocrity or Death".
Ben: Well, it's better than "For a Good Time, Call"!

The Last Supper[edit]

Susan's new boss, the rotund American Scott Taylor, has come round for dinner. Ben and Susan have to cater for his every need

Ben: Coffee. To make you feel at home, Scott, yours has been stewed, reheated and served in a plastic cup.
Scott: No coffee for me. I feel sick. Your wife has triggered my acid reflux.
Ben: I know, I know. Isn't she marvellous?

Susan is in a confessional talking to a priest about her boss's death

Reverend: You can't argue someone to death.
Susan: Yes you can.
Reverend: No you can't.
Susan: Well, that's your opinion.
Reverend: Yes it is.
Susan: Well you're wrong.
Reverend: (exhausted) In God's eyes, you're not guilty.
Susan: Oh, what does He know?

Ben Wants to be a Millionaire[edit]

Nick has abandoned the plan to sell his organs online, in favour of a new one

Nick: I get to set my own hours, get to work from home, and talk about job satisfaction!
Susan: What exactly is this new job?
Nick: Sperm donor.


Series 3 (2002)[edit]

Absent Vixen, Cheeky Monkey[edit]

Nick: Dad, now Janey's going, can I have a pay rise?

Nick: Who'd have thought it, eh? Our little girl flying the nest. Before you know it, Michael will be gone too. Then it will just be the three of us, the way it was meant to be.

Shrink Rap[edit]

Desperately Squeaking Susan[edit]

Michael reads to Ben a text message from Nick

Michael: "Tesco's out of Brie, so gn to Paris."
Ben: "Gn?"
Michael: "Prices 2 high, so gn to Nice for chse."
Ben: Mm-hmm.
Michael: "Don't worry about money. I have Dad's bnk card." Any reply?
Ben: Yep, yep.

Michael types as Ben dictates

Ben: "Dr Nk, u r f'd."

Of Mice and Ben[edit]

Abi wants to feature Ben and Susan in her film project

Ben: I am not having people witness my life. It's bad enough that I have to see it.

Ben: (on camera) I know you might not want to use this in your little film, but I just want to put the record straight...she asked me to marry her.

Imperfect Strangers[edit]

Susan and Ben are in a hotel bar, pretending to be strangers

Susan: (under her breath) You're late.
Ben: (under his breath) How do you know? You've not met me yet.

Susan has caught the attention of an older man

Susan: You don't understand. I don't want to!
Raymond: Ah, but your eyes say "Yes".
Susan: Yours will be saying "Ow" in a minute.

The Second Greatest Story Ever Told[edit]

Artistic differences

Susan: Your line sounds dated.
Director: Well, it is set two thousand years ago!
Susan: So is Jesus Christ Superstar, but it didn't stop Lloyd Webber from adding guitars!
Director: For the fifth time, you're not going to sing!

Waiting to Inhale[edit]

Susan has found a joint in Michael's room

Susan: I'm going to confront him with this and give him a piece of my mind!
Ben: I think you've lost enough of it already...which means: let me talk to him.
Susan: You?!
Ben: Yeah. Let's at least let him grow some goolies before you lop 'em off.

Michael: I'm going to be a Tory Prime Minister. I don't need any hippy baggage in my past.
Ben: So what were you doing at that girl's house, then?
Michael: I didn't go for illicit drugs; I went for illicit sex.
Ben: You are a Tory!


Auto Erotica[edit]

A Handful of Dust[edit]

Ben and Susan are discussing Janey's new friend, Kate, who is a lesbian
Susan: There are many notable lesbians in history. Catherine the Great.
Ben: Name says it all.
Susan: k.d. lang.
Ben: Wonderful voice. Sharon Simpson.
Susan: Who's she?
Ben: One of my patients. Lovely teeth.

Nick: Oh, no! My worst nightmare: two lesbians sharing a bed in my house, and one of them's my sister!

Janey: I'm not gay.
Ben: Well that about takes the biscuit doesn't it? How dare you not be gay. Good God! You put us through anxiety, anger, confusion, doubt, anger...
Susan: You said anger.
Ben: I was angry twice. Until we finally reach tolerance and acceptance, and you tell us you're not gay. My own daughter! I feel betrayed!

The Lost Weekend[edit]


Nick wants to be a taxi driver

Nick: I'm doing The Knowledge.
Ben: You haven't even passed The Ignorance.

Michael and Abi have just finished dinner when Ben walks in

Michael: There might be some burnt cheese stuck to the lid. You snooze, you lose.
Ben: No, I win! (holds up bag) Yes, it's Chinese Takeaway time! Oh yes! Oh, look at this! Chicken with cashew nuts, spring rolls, capital spare ribs. My favourite. And it's followed closely by the ever-loved rice. It's alright, Michael; you can lick the lids.
Michael: You mean to say you got takeaway and you didn't even consult your kids.
Ben: (smiling broadly) Yeah.
Abi: Don't you feel guilty?
Ben: (still smiling) No.

Nick: Is that Chinese takeaway?
Ben: No, it's Chinese keep-away.

Nick arrives dressed as an exorcist, and sees Ben asleep on the sofa

Nick: What putrefaction is this? Michael, holy water. (takes a spray bottle) Music. (plays Tubular Bells) Be thou not afraid! (sprays Ben)

Ben: (to Abi) You, you're unhinged! (to Michael) You, you're demented! (to Nick) You, you're just... you!

Ben wants to know which cinema Nick drove Susan to

Nick: Sorry, Dad. I can't betray a confidence. A cab driver's like a priest.
Ben: Twenty quid?
Nick: Bless you, my son!

One Flew out of the Cuckoo's Nest[edit]

[Ben discovers his Barry White record is broken]
Susan: I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.
Ben: Yes there is. Nick!
Susan: How do you know?
Ben: It's a fact of life that my property plus broken always equals, NICK!

Ding Dong Merrily[edit]

(Ben's anti-Yuletide sentiments)
Susan: Why are you always convinced that Christmas is going to be a disaster?
Ben: Because it always is. It's traditional.
Susan: No it isn't.
Ben: There you go, always looking to the negative. You know I'm right; look at last year.
Susan: We all had a lovely time.
Ben: Oh yeah, you did. I got beaten up by carol singers...
Susan: Ah, yes...lovely voices.
Ben: The year before that there was the turkey.
Susan: OK, so it needed to stay in for a bit longer.
Ben: Susan, it was still alive. I'm trying to forget the year of the puppy.
Susan: Oh, the puppy...yes, that was sad, wasn't it? But those aren't reasons to hate Christmas.
Ben: Alright, try these: you have to jolly up to people you normally wouldn't bother to rescue from drowning; you get drunken men in suits vomiting in your flowerbeds; you're effectively trapped in the house with the central heating on full blast; and then someone throws a log on the fire because they think it's festive!

Susan Harper: Don't be defeatist!
Ben Harper: I'm not defeatist; I'm defeated.

Ben: What's that?
Susan: Chocolate Raisin Turkey with Caramel.
Ben: Excuse me?
Susan: It's Moroccan.
Ben: (looks at her cookbook) Ah, I see. Several pages of your cookbook are stuck together. Yeah, you've moved from Poultry to Dessert.
Susan: That's how great discoveries are made. Luddite.

Susan has given everyone revolting ties

Ben: (cringing) It's the thought that counts.
Michael: Shame it's such a horrible thought.
Nick: Nice tie!

Ben: Ignorance is bliss.
Susan: Then you must be the happiest man in the world.
Ben: (under his breath) I was until I married you.
Susan: I heard that!

Michael attempts to follow Nick and Janey to the pub

Ben: Hey, you're not allowed in pubs.
Michael: I am if I have a plated meal in a clearly designated restaurant area.

Series 4 (2003)[edit]

Fitting Punishment[edit]

They Shoot Harpers, Don't They?[edit]

Ben's regular dance partner is feeling neglected

Mrs Gleaves: You're a user, just like my husband!
Ben: You're a nutcase, just like my wife!

The Great Escape[edit]

Return of the Prodigal Prat[edit]

Owed to Susan[edit]


Blind Justice[edit]

Friday the 31st[edit]

Sitting Targets[edit]

Loco Parentis[edit]

Ben: Susan, admit it. All these years, you have been screwing up the kids. It's me, I've been the perfect parent.

The Canary Cage[edit]

May the Best Man Win[edit]

It's a Window-Filled Life[edit]

Ben: (subdued) I've just seen what my family's life would be like, had I never been born. They'd be no different. No difference at all. I've had no effect on anything.
Clarence: Wow, that's depressing.
Ben: No, it's not. (grins) It's wonderful! Don't you see? They're the crazy ones! I'm off the hook!

Sixty Feet Under[edit]

Delays on the Tube
Ben: Oh, for crying out loud...
Susan: Ben, calm down. It's only been five minutes.
Nick: (staring at a nervous, elderly couple) That's how it always starts. With five minutes. Then ten. Then half an hour. Then an hour. Then two hours... and then a month.
Ben: Nick.
Nick: Then two months.
Ben: Nick!
Nick: Then a year!
Ben: Nick, please!
Barry Hall: Could you please get your son to be quiet?
Ben: No, but you have a go, by all means.
Barry: He's making my wife nervous.
Ben: You'll get used to it.
Barry: That's right. Nothing to do with you. Wash your hands of it.
Susan: Don't worry. He has.

Susan: The glass is always half-empty with you, isn't it?
Ben: Half-empty. Cracked. Chipped. Dirty. Smeared with toxic, germ-ridden, radioactive s-
Susan: Anyway...

Series 5 (2004-5)[edit]


The Mummy Returns[edit]

You Don't Know Jack[edit]

What's Up, Docklands?[edit]

Luck be a Lady Tonight[edit]

First Past the Post[edit]

My Will Be Done[edit]

My Fair Charlady[edit]

The Mouth Trap[edit]

While You Weren't Sleeping[edit]

Dentist to the Stars[edit]

A Wife Less Ordinary[edit]

Susan concludes the recreation of her first date with Ben

Susan: We just got married!
Ben: I still don't want kids.

The Book of Love[edit]

Going Dental[edit]

Glad Tidings We Bring[edit]

The Erroneous Storm[edit]

...And I'll Cry If I Want To[edit]

(Ben arrives home to find Susan auditioning numerous clowns for Kenzo's third birthday party)
Ben Harper: Susan, I though we had a deal that you'd warn me when the inlaws were coming?
Susan Harper: Oh, I'm glad your here. I'd like to introduce you to Cheerful Charlie Chortle, Uncle Morris, and The Amazing Beppo.
Ben Harper: Well if they're here, who's running the country?

Ben Harper: Good God! No wonder Charlie Chortle's chortling, look how much Charlie Chortles charging!
Susan Harper: Actually we're not having Charlie Chortle. He's having gall bladder surgery.
Ben Harper: Can't the kids watch that? It'll be cheaper and funnier.

Series 6 (2006)[edit]

Bliss for Idiots[edit]

Ben: What is this masterpiece?
Susan: "Shut Up and Be Happy"
Ben: Too late; I'm married.

The Spokes Person[edit]

Dentally Unstable[edit]

Living the Dream[edit]

An Embarrassment of Susans[edit]

And Other Animals[edit]

The Art of Being Susan[edit]

The Heart of Christmas[edit]

Series 7 (2007)[edit]

The Ego has Landed[edit]

Four Affairs and a Funeral[edit]

Once More with Feeling[edit]

Dutch Art and Dutch Courage[edit]

Susan of Troy[edit]

One of the Boys[edit]

Abi Ever After[edit]

Breaking Up Ain't Hard to Do[edit]

Life Begins at Fifty[edit]

Ho Ho No[edit]

Series 8 (2008)[edit]

The Parent Trap[edit]

Let's Not be Heisty[edit]

Cards on the Table[edit]

The Wax Job[edit]

Neighbours War[edit]

Can't Get No Satisfaction[edit]

The Abi Habit[edit]

Have an Unhappy Christmas[edit]

Susan explains New Year's resolutions to her grandson

Susan: They're like promises, where people try and give up their bad habits.
Kenzo: Does Grandpa know about this?

Who will get Ben and Susan's free holiday to Mauritius?

Janey: I think it should be me, because I'm not tragic like you two, and I already have a friend to take: Kenzo.
Michael: That's the only way you can get friends; by giving birth to them?

Ben is not going to Buckingham Palace with Susan

Susan: All I'm asking from you is one lousy day!
Ben: I've given you lots of lousy days!

Series 9 (2009)[edit]

Bully for Ben[edit]

Bringing Up Janey[edit]

A Very Brief Encounter[edit]

Alfie: When I was a boy, I had an imaginary friend. I was devastated when I found out I had made him up.

The Psyche of Mikey[edit]

A Difficult Undertaking[edit]

Dog Dazed[edit]

It's Training Men[edit]

The Guru[edit]

Kenzo's Project[edit]

2039: A Christmas Oddity[edit]

Series 10 (2010)[edit]

Wheelie Ben[edit]

The Son'll Come Out[edit]

Desperately Stalking Susan[edit]

The Melbourne Identity[edit]

He's Just Not That Into Ben[edit]


Ben Behaving Badly[edit]

Harper vs. Harper[edit]

Janey's Choice[edit]

Mary Christmas[edit]

Series 11 (2011)[edit]

Labour Pains[edit]

Accusin' Susan[edit]

Germs of Endearment[edit]

Relationship Happens[edit]


A Decent Proposal[edit]

Darts All, Folks[edit]

Susan for a Bruisin'[edit]

A Night Out[edit]

Kenzo: (Quoting his granddad) Oh Shut up...You're running the ambience

Unknown Episode[edit]

Ben Harper[edit]

Ben: Who invented Christmas anyway? The sparkly lights, the happy carolers, the rosey cheeked children. Oh, hand me my spit bowl.

Ben: Don't worry, I've got a way out of this... (pulls out a bottle of wine from inside his coat) Drink!

Ben: Look, your mother's sweet and everything, and we love her, but there's something wrong with her brain!

[after he goes unconscious from a hangover and Nick revives him with the kiss of life]
Ben: I'm not dead, Nick!!! I'm drunk!!!

(To Susan after talking about bonding with Michael by watching football)
Ben: It's the bonding that I never had with Janie, or the ....the thing.

Other Dialogue[edit]

(Susan's alcoholic mother, Grace, is staying for Christmas)
Ben Harper: (turns a corner and finds Grace standing in his way) Nosferatu! Oh, Grace. Uh, as much as I hate to ask, I need you to do a favour for me.
Grace: (eagerly) You want me to feed the hose through the window while you start the engine?
Ben Harper: Let's save something for the new year, Grace. I was just wondering if you might have a suggestion for Susan's Christmas present?
Grace: A divorce?
Ben Harper: I wasn't thinking of spending that much.

(Ben is trying to reach the top of the Christmas tree to put the fairy on top)
Grace: Oh, higher, Ben! The fairy goes on the top.
Ben Harper: I know where to stick the fairy! I also know where I would like to stick the fairy.

Grace: (drunk) Anyone want an aspirin? I do!
Ben Harper: Why don't you swallow the whole bottle, ya bat.

(Nick is watching bull baiting on Spanish TV)
Nick Harper: Wow, man. This is fantastic!
Michael Harper: What do you mean?
Nick Harper: Well, this. The special effects. It really does look like that bull is gettin' skewered.
Michael Harper: It is.
Nick Harper: (chuckles) Michael, you're so naive. I mean, that is a special blend of animatronics and CGI. I mean, did you think Jurassic Park was real?
Michael Harper: No.
Nick Harper: Well, there you are. Do you seriously think that grown up people would spend three hours in a hot, dusty arena, tormenting a fellow creature to death?
Michael Harper: Yes.
Nick Harper: Oh, come on, the whole country would be up in arms!

Rodger Bailey: Ho, ho, ho, Ben!
Ben Harper: Go, go, go, Rodger!
Rodger Bailey: Don't be such a grumpy old Scrooge!
Ben Harper: For your information, Scrooge was very much the misunderstood hero of that book. Until the end where Dickens copped out and made him nice.
Rodger Bailey: You're like this every year.
Ben Harper: I believe in tradition.

Susan Harper: (hears someone knocking on the door) Who could that be at this hour?
Ben Harper: It'll be carol singers. Scum.

(Alfie, a scruffy yet well-mannered friend of Nick, arrives on the Harpers doorstep. Susan invites him in, much to Ben's dismay)
Susan Harper: Come on, Ben. Alfie is like the Christmas traveller, looking for shelter. Like Mary and Joseph?
Ben Harper: Yes, but no one was worried Mary and Joseph were gonna nick their video.

Rodger Bailey: I've closed the surgery early, for Christmas!
Ben Harper: Are you totally insane? This is our busiest time of the year, all the cracked teeth from the nuts, the smashed mouths from all the office party punch ups. Yes, this is the dentist's season to be jolly.

Ben: Let's get one thing straight: who wears the trousers in this house?
Susan: You do, only I get to choose which ones you wear.

Susan: (about Roger and Abi) You see that, he fancies her. It's so sweet.
Ben: It is not sweet, it's dangerous!
Susan: Why? I think they'd make a nice couple.
Ben: Two wrongs do not make a right.

Susan: Oh, I worry about Abi, I feel that Craig is using her.
Ben: Thank God someone's found a use for her.

Susan: We have three children. Nick, Janey and Michael.
Ben: Or in our hearts: Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Susan: Michael is my rock.
[Flashback of Susan hugging Michael]
Michael: I can't breath.
Susan: Janey is lovely.
[Flashback of Janey in a tantrum]
Janey: I HATE you!
Susan: Nick is... our eldest.
[Various flashbacks of Nick telling of his latest jobs]
Nick: I'm an astronaut.
Nick: I'm forming a motorcycle stunt display team.
Nick: Sperm donor.
Ben: He's a pillock.


Abi Harper - Siobhan Hayes
Roger Bailey - Keiron Self
Ben Harper - Robert Lindsay
Janey Harper - Daniela Denby-Ashe
Michael Harper - Gabriel Thomson
Nick Harper - Kris Marshall
Susan Harper - Zoë Wanamaker
Kenzo Harper - Tayler Marshall

External links[edit]

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