Top TV comebacks: These are the best one-liners from UK comedy favourites such as Only Fools and Horses, One Foot in the Grave and Ab Fab

 
Caitlin Morrison
Follow Caitlin
'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie' - World Premiere - Red Carpet
Absolutely Fabulous provided some of the top one-liners (Source: Getty)

Have you ever seethed in a meeting after a colleague got the last word? We've all been there, unable to come up with a pithy riposte, only to think of the perfect comeback a few hours later.

The struggle to find your words could be a thing of the past, however, as a new list of the 20 best comedy putdowns, according to a poll of 2,000 Britons, has been published today.


Some of the UK's most beloved sitcoms feature in the list (Source: UKTV)

While some of these are very context-specific, we're sure there are a few one-liners you could use. Take a look and never be outdone in a war of words again:

  1. Mrs Merton, to Debbie McGee (The Mrs Merton Show): “But what first, Debbie, attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?” (37 per cent)
  2. Del Boy (Only Fools and Horses): “Dear old grandad, bless him. He was about as useful as a pair of sunglasses on a bloke with one ear” (32 per cent)
  3. Edmund Blackadder (Blackadder): "Your brain, for example, is so minute Baldrick, that if a hungry cannibal cracked your head open, there wouldn't be enough to cover a small water biscuit." (31 per cent)
  4. Captain Mainwaring (Dad's Army): “You stupid boy!” (29 per cent)
  5. Basil Fawlty (Fawlty Towers): "Oh dear, what happened? Did you get entangled in the eiderdown again? Not enough cream in youréclair? Hmm? Or did you have to talk to all your friends for so long that you didn't have time to perm your ears?" (28 per cent)
  6. Patsy Stone (Absolutely Fabulous): “I told her the only thing she looked good in was a body bag” (26 per cent)
  7. Del Boy (Only Fools and Horses): “Look at grandad. His brain went years ago, now his legs have gone. There’s only the middle bit of him left!” (24 per cent)
  8. Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock): “Don’t talk out loud, you lower the IQ of the whole street” (23 per cent)
  9. Father Ted (Father Ted): “Dougal, is there anything on your mind? Let me rephrase that…” (23 per cent)
  10. Margaret Meldrew (One Foot in the Grave): [On Victor] “He’s the most sensitive person I’ve ever met, and that’s why I love him and why I constantly want to ram his head through a television screen.” (21 per cent)
  11. Edmund Blackadder (Blackadder): “The eyes are open, the mouth moves but Mr Brain has long since departed, hasn’t he, Percy?” (19 per cent)
  12. Jim Royle (The Royle Family): Norma: “Is this hat too far forward? Jim: “No, we can still see your face” (17 per cent)
  13. Patsy Stone (Absolutely Fabulous): “One more facelift on this one and she’ll have a beard” (17 per cent)
  14. Alan Partridge (I’m Alan Partridge): “Would it be terribly rude to stop listening to you and go and speak to somebody else?” (16 per cent)
  15. Edmund Blackadder (Blackadder): “Right, now; the sort of person we’re looking for is an aggressive drunken lout with the intelligence of a four year old and the sexual sophistication of a donkey” (13 per cent)
  16. Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey): [To Lady Cora about her American mother] “I’m so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I’m with her, I’m reminded of the virtues of the English” (10 per cent)
  17. Will (The Inbetweeners): “A few years ago I went to see King Kong at the cinema, now I’m on a date with her” (nine per cent)
  18. Edmund Blackadder (Blackadder): “Even when we were babies, I had to show you which bit of your mother was serving the drinks” (eight per cent)
  19. Maurice Moss (IT Crowd): “I can see why she’s divorced, she’s very divorceable. As soon as you meet her you can’t wait to take her to court to get rid of her” (eight per cent)
  20. Victor Meldrew (One Foot in the Grave): “It’s like hiring a man-eating a shark as your children’s swimming instructor” (seven per cent)

The survey was carried out for TV catch-up service UKTVPlay as it prepares to release all four Blackadder series.

Related articles