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Series 1 (2000)
The Serpent's Tooth
- 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
- 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
- Janey: Dad, I'm not a vir...er...y naive person!
The Last Resort
- [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: Mum'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
- 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!
- The phone rings in the surgery and Ben answers it. It's Nick, and there are muffled sounds from the other end of the line:
- Ben: Yes, Nick...
- There is a short pause for more muffled sounds:
- Ben: Even if I had a thong, I wouldn't let you borrow it... No, your mother hasn't got one either.
- In the night, Ben and Susan hear a noise from downstairs and Susan sends him down to inspect:
- Ben: (as he enters the kitchen) Janey? Micheal? Nick?
- Dave: Dave.
- Ben: (spins around) Dave? We haven't got a Dave who are you?
- The next morning where everyone except Dave is downstairs:
- Ben: Nick, would you like to tell me what the hell 'Dave' is doing in our house?
- Nick: Oh yeah, Dad. You know how you told me I needed a new job, well guess what! I'm a landlord!
Death and Ben Take a Policy
- 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
- 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
- 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)
All Roads Lead to Ramon
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
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?
- Susan Harper: For little girls get bigger every day...
- Ben Harper: Grow up then.
Trust Never Sleeps
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
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
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
The Age of Romance
- 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?
- 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
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
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
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)
Absent Vixen, Cheeky Monkey
- 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.
Desperately Squeaking Susan
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
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.
On camera, Susan refers to the rat obliquely as a "little visitor"
- Ben: Who?
- Susan: You know. Our guest. The one who eats all our food and is always bothering us?
- Ben: Oh, Abi.
- Susan: No, the hairy one.
- Ben: Nick.
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
- 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
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!
A Handful of Dust
- 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
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
- [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
- (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)
- Michael: I've got the training, I've got the equipment, all I need now is the collapse of western civilization.
They Shoot Harpers, Don't They?
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
- Susan: What happened?
- Ben: I'd just rather not talk about it right now.
- Susan: Okay. Good night.
- Ben: Susan, I very nearly had sexual intercourse with your mother.
- Susan: What?
- Ben: I didn't know she was there. I thought it was you.
- Susan: Oh... Ben, that's... that's... that's terrible! (begins laughing) And funny at the same time.
- Ben: It is not funny!
- Susan: Oh, come on, it's a little bit funny.
- Ben: Susan, I– we very nearly became a Greek tragedy!
- Susan: Look, look, I don't want her here any more than you do, but she's in great pain and can't move.
- Ben: Are you sure she's not faking it?
- Susan: I don't know, you tell me. (begins laughing again)
Return of the Prodigal Prat
- Nick: (pulling a container from the refrigerator) Is this lasagne or fish?
- Michael: What's it smell like?
- Nick: Fish.
- Michael: Then it's lasagne.
Owed to Susan
- Ben: Eh, poetry... I'm not that desperate, I can tell you!
- Abi: Then could you stop feeling up the grapefruit?
- (Ben flashbacks to Nick's birth. However, instead of a baby, he pictures a full grown Nick sticking out from between his mothers legs).
- Nick: Hello Dad! Could you lend me a fiver?
- Abi: Your mother's gone blind because she's seen the unseeable: your messy room! (whispers) She didn't see the girl you had up there, though.
- Susan: Yes I did, but, you know, I'm cool with that.
Friday the 31st
- (Susan has run out of treats.)
- Susan: And for you, something really special!
- Girl 1: A Biro with half an inch of ink in it?
- Susan: People will kill for one of those in Morocco.
- Girl 1: We're not in Morocco!
- Susan: More's the pity!
- Ben: (of Kenzo) Susan, the baby will wake up when he's good and ready.
- Susan: That is so old-fashioned! Haven't you read any of the latest baby care books?
- Ben: Have you?
- Susan: I don't need to; I've raised three children... and you.
- 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
- Susan: (speaking on telephone) Oh, hello. Yes, mi nombre es Senora Susan Harper. ¿cómo está usted?
- Ben: Susan, hello? You're phoning London.
- Susan: I know, but, you know, "when in Rome".
- Ben: We're not in Rome, we're in hell!
May the Best Man Win
- Abi: Hello Judith
- Ben: It's Judas!!!
It's a Window-Filled Life
- 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
- 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)
The Mummy Returns
You Don't Know Jack
What's Up, Docklands?
Luck be a Lady Tonight
First Past the Post
My Will Be Done
My Fair Charlady
The Mouth Trap
While You Weren't Sleeping
- Micheal had last night kissed his mother when she was asleep on the couch thinking she was his girlfriend...:
- Susan: We should have told you all not to worry about our relationship in the first place
- Micheal: Is that why you slept on the couch?
- Everyone stares at him judgingly:
- Micheal: I just.. know...
Dentist to the Stars
A Wife Less Ordinary
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
Glad Tidings We Bring
The Erroneous Storm
...And I'll Cry If I Want To
- (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)
Bliss for Idiots
- Ben: What is this masterpiece?
- Susan: "Shut Up and Be Happy"
- Ben: Too late; I'm married.
- Susan: How was it then? Your "society?"
- Ben: 2 words. Gay disco.
The Spokes Person
Living the Dream
An Embarrassment of Susans
And Other Animals
The Art of Being Susan
The Heart of Christmas
Series 7 (2007)
The Ego has Landed
Four Affairs and a Funeral
Once More with Feeling
Dutch Art and Dutch Courage
Susan of Troy
One of the Boys
Abi Ever After
Breaking Up Ain't Hard to Do
Life Begins at Fifty
Ho Ho No
Ben: Are we positioning a tree, or sizing a cruise missile.
Series 8 (2008)
The Parent Trap
Let's Not be Heisty
Cards on the Table
The Wax Job
Can't Get No Satisfaction
The Abi Habit
Have an Unhappy Christmas
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)
Bully for Ben
Bringing Up Janey
A Very Brief Encounter
- 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
A Difficult Undertaking
It's Training Men
2039: A Christmas Oddity
Series 10 (2010)
The Son'll Come Out
Desperately Stalking Susan
The Melbourne Identity
He's Just Not That Into Ben
Ben Behaving Badly
Harper vs. Harper
Series 11 (2011)
Labour Pains [11.2]
Germs of Endearment [11.4]
Relationship Happens [11.6]
A Decent Proposal [11.8]
Darts All, Folks [11.9]
Susan for a Bruisin' [11.10]
A Night Out [1.11]
- Kenzo: (Quoting his granddad) Oh Shut up...You're running the ambience
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