25 Years of Father Ted: The Episodes Ranked

10. Going To America (S03 E08)

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After preventing a suicide attempt by Father Kevin, Ted is hailed as a hero and catches the attention of American priest, Father Buzz Cagney (Jeff Harding). Cagney offers Ted the chance of a lifetime to move to America and carry on his priesthood there. Ted excitedly takes up Cagney on his offer and tries to figure out a way of telling Dougal, Mrs. Doyle and Father Jack. Unfortunately his explanation doesn’t go down as he had hoped with the rest of the household believing they are coming to America with him. Ted is left in a tricky situation which a fitting end to one of the best comedy shows.

9. The Passion Of Saint Tibulus (S01 E03)

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Bishop Brennan orders Ted and Dougal to protest against the playing of the play ‘The Passion Of St. Tibulus’ which has been banned in all cinemas besides Craggy Island. The film is blasphemous and to show the Catholic Church has made a stand, Bishop Brennan wants Ted and Dougal to chain themselves to a railing in protest. Their protest however doesn’t go the way the hoped and ends up drawing more attention to the film itself. Bishop Brennan plans to banish the priests to terrible parishes, but lets just say the Bishop hasn’t been following Catholicism very well.

8. Hell (S02 E01)

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It’s July 19th on Craggy Island which means it is holiday time (and also the day the ice caps melted). This year Ted, Dougal and Father Jack will be staying at Killkelly Caravan Park in a caravan that has been lent to them. All they know is that the caravan is bigger than last year’s and the first one they see is so luxurious they can’t wait to get inside. Unfortunately this is not the right one as a stark naked man steps out of a shower he’s been sharing with his wife. After talking to the police, the priests find out their caravan is a tiny one. There is basically nothing to do, no games, no sights and to make matters worse Noel Furlong shows up. Ted and Dougal hilariously keep getting themselves into trouble with the police and who said holidays were about relaxing?

7. Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep (S03 E02)

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Ted has bet the entire Winter heating allowance on Chris the sheep for the annual ‘King of the Sheep’ competition. However, there are rumours of a beast on Craggy Island that howls into the night and is scaring sheep. Dougal recites a long list of hilarious descriptions about the beast including the fact that instead of a mouth it has “four arses.” Fargo, Chris’ owner is in despair because he believes Chris is spooked by the beast. It is up to Ted and Dougal to put Chris through rigorous therapy to put him right again. The beast may not be a beast after all, and the competition itself might not seem as fair as once thought.

6. A Christmassy Ted (S02 E11)

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This episode could be number one just for its endless humour, but with it being a special and longer than the other episodes I wanted to restrict it. To break it down simply, whilst shopping for Christmas presents Ted and Dougal end up being stuck in the lingerie department in a clothing store (the largest in Ireland). They bump into six other priests and it is now Ted’s job to become some kind of Vietnam general and get those priests out of there before the Catholic church has another scandal. Ted’s bravery earns him the golden cleric award which he happily and ruthlessly accepts. A priest at the ceremony we’ve never seen before, Father Todd Unctious, claims to be an old chum of Ted’s… or is he? A brilliant episode and one of the best Christmas specials of any show.

5. The Mainland (S03 E04)

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Ted, Dougal and Father Jack take a trip to the mainland where Jack is left to get his eyes tested following a mysterious disappearance of his glasses. Ted and Dougal decide to visit the caves to which they bump into Richard Wilson of One Foot In The Grave after the two had previously mentioned the show earlier. Ted screams the popular “I don’t believe it” catchphrase at Wilson to which he receives an hilarious thrashing. After accidentally saying it around him again inside the caves, the two run off and get lost. Dougal is slowly going mad from hunger as he forgot to eat breakfast and to make matters worse they bump into Father Noel Furlong.

4. A Song For Europe (S02 E05)

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It’s the annual ‘Song For Ireland’ competition where winner gets a chance to perform their song at Eurovision. Father Ted and Father Dick Byrne wager a bet to beat each other, but neither Ted nor Dougal have much song writing experience. They decide to write a song about a lovely horse which causes an Oasis-like feud in the writing process. After hearing a song on Dougal’s record, they learn that the artist and everyone involved died in a plane crash. Using their track instead isn’t such a bad thing right? Once you hear “My Lovely Horse” (composed by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy) you will struggle to forget it.

3. Old Grey Whistle Theft (S02 E04)

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Ted is making plans for a picnic, but Dougal who has taken a shine to the rebellious priest, Father Damien ‘Damo’ Lennon makes up an excuse not to go. Damo is like a moody teenager and the two play football together. Ted reluctantly takes Father Jack who drinks all of the alcohol in a second and can recognise the precise alcohol by the clinking of the bottle. Ted is accosted by two regulars at the picnic area where he is apparently in their spot. This results in groundskeeper Benson and his precious whistle to run out and keep the peace. Later that night, someone steals the whistle which ends up in Dougal and Ted’s possession. How is Ted going to get out of this one? Great characters and story in this one!

2. Are You Right There Father Ted? (S03 E01)

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Father Ted is kicked out of a luxurious new parish and ends up back on Craggy Island. The house is in a total mess and Ted informs Dougal they have to clean up the place. Dougal passes Ted a lamp head which looks like a rice-picker’s hat and Ted does a racist impression of a Chinese man. To Ted’s dismay he turns to the window where a Chinese family are looking at him through the window. Whilst away, Ted had missed out on the new Chinatown that had developed in Craggy Island and it is now his job to convince everyone he is not a racist. An hilarious episode that almost made the top stop with Ted’s constant failings at proving he isn’t some kind of fascist.

1. Speed 3 (S03 E03)

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Here it is, number one and a classic episode it is indeed. Each scene in Speed 3 stands out for its acting and humour and hilarious parody of ‘Speed’. Mrs. Doyle is obsessed with stud milkman Pat Mustard and stocks way more milk than is needed just to see him. Ted takes a distaste to Mustard and after looking at pictures of the ‘Annual Baby Of The Year’ competition, he notices a trend in their facial hair details that resemble parts of Pat Mustard’s.

Ted and Dougal decide to go and investigate Mustard’s milk rounds and find out he is sleeping with most women, especially when he leaves one house without his trousers. After getting Mustard fired, Dougal decides to become a milkman to help supply Craggy Island with a huge delivery. Unfortunately for Dougal, Mustard plants a bomb under the milk float that will go off if he hits four miles an hour and drops below that (the milk float has a speed of about 5mph). Mustard informs Ted of this and it is Ted’s aim to save Dougal.

There’s so many hilarious gags in this episode such as Mustard’s float sign ‘Shit Happens’, Father Jack’s pet brick and Dougal delivering milk to scantily clad women who were expecting Pat Mustard. If you watch only one episode in this list, make it this one. If you’re a fan of the show, let me know if you agree or disagree with the list in the comments below!

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