Now that the third and final season of Derry Girls has come to an end, we’re taking a look back to rank the show’s very best episodes.
When the pilot episode first hit our screens back in 2018, fans around the world fell in love with the witty script and hilarious characters of Derry Girls.
The hugely successful comedy grew to become one of the biggest series’ on Channel 4, with over one million viewers tuning in to watch the final bonus episode.
Set in 1990s Derry City, the Irish sitcomfollows the lives of a group of five friends who attend a girls’ convent secondary school.
The coming-of-age series is set against the background of the Troubles and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland.
Thus, while it is side-splittingly funny, it also struck a chord with those who lived through that time in Northern Ireland’s history.
To mark the ending of Derry Girls, we are taking a look back through the entire series to reveal the ten best Derry Girls episodes of all time.
- Now that the third and final season of Derry Girls has come to an end, we’re taking a look back to rank the show’s very best episodes.
- Meanwhile In Ireland’s fun facts about Derry Girls:
- 10. Season 1, Episode 1 – setting the tone
- 9. The Concert (S2 E3) – Take That!
- 8. Stranger on the Train (S3 E3) – one of the best Derry Girls episodes
- 7. Season 1, Episode 2 – not the way to get a job
- 6. Season 1, Episode 3 – season one is absolutely hilarious
- 5. Across the Barricade (S2 E1) – some of the most quotable lines
- 4. The Curse (S2 E4) – not your typical Irish wake
- 3. The President (S2 E6) – a great end to a season
- 2. Season 1, Episode 6 – dedicated to step aerobics
- 1. The Agreement (S3 E7) – a poignant special episode about the peace process
- Notable mentions
- Your questions answered about the best Derry Girls episodes
Meanwhile In Ireland’s fun facts about Derry Girls:
- The show was inspired by creator Lisa McGee’s experience growing up in Derry during the Troubles.
- Erin’s father, Gerry, is played by revered Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan.
- Our Lady Immaculate College is based on Thornhill College, though many of the school scenes were actually shot in St Mary’s University College and Hunterhouse College in Belfast.
- Galway native Nicola Coughlan did an impression of Nadine Coyle for her Derry Girls audition to prove she could do the accent.
10. Season 1, Episode 1 – setting the tone
This episode introduces us to the main characters, Erin Quinn (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), and Clare Devlin (Nicola Coughlan).
The girls head off to school, and we’re introduced to Michelle’s English cousin, James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn). James enrols at school with the girls, becoming the only boy at a Catholic girls’ school.
The show wastes no time in getting right to the action as the friends are placed in detention by Sister Michael for bullying a younger student.
During detention, madness ensues, setting the tone for what’s to come.
9. The Concert (S2 E3) – Take That!
The girls want to go to a Take That concert in Belfast. However, the parents refuse because a polar bear has escaped from Belfast Zoo.
We never actually get to see the concert. However, the journey there and all the chaos it involves is a truly memorable watch.
8. Stranger on the Train (S3 E3) – one of the best Derry Girls episodes
One of the funniest episodes of season three sees the Quinns take the gang on a trip to Portrush.
Most of the episode takes place on the train, when Aunt Sarah, Granda Joe, Ma Mary, and Da Gerry Quinn encounter an old acquaintance that none of them can remember.
7. Season 1, Episode 2 – not the way to get a job
The friends want to go on a school trip to Paris. However, they’re told they’ll have to find the money for it themselves.
They decide to do this by getting jobs. However, they don’t go by the most conventional route, stealing an advertisement board from the local chip shop. Let’s just say it all goes downhill from here…
This is also the first time we meet Uncle Colm, one of the funniest characters in the series.
6. Season 1, Episode 3 – season one is absolutely hilarious
Episode three of the first season plays on the religious background of Northern Ireland.
To get out of a school history exam, they come up with an elaborate ruse that the Virgin Mary statue in their local church ‘smirked’ at them.
CONTROVERSIAL: Five reasons why Derry Girls is better than Father Ted.
5. Across the Barricade (S2 E1) – some of the most quotable lines
Undoubtedly one of the best Derry Girls episodes is the opening episode of season two, which sees the Catholic girls’ school brought together with a Protestant boys’ school.
The teens are asked to name their differences and similarities, and some of their answers are hilarious. The question is, though, where do you keep your toaster?
4. The Curse (S2 E4) – not your typical Irish wake
After an argument at a family wedding, Mary is accused of having the power to curse people when, minutes after she tells Aunt Bridie to “drop dead”, she dies.
We then see the family attend the wake. Michelle produces a batch of hash-infused scones, and, needless to say, the gang lose track of the drugged sweet treats.
3. The President (S2 E6) – a great end to a season
Another one of the most poignant yet funny episodes of Derry Girls is the final episode of season two. There is a huge commotion in Derry leading up to the arrival of President Clinton.
Putting a dampener on the occasion, James reveals he is moving back to London with his mother. The gang are heartbroken at the news, but everything turns out well in the end.
2. Season 1, Episode 6 – dedicated to step aerobics
The final episode of season one leads up to a school talent show, in which Orla performs a step aerobics routine.
The most poignant moment of this episode is the ending when we see the parents watching the TV in horror as news comes in about a fatal bombing.
This heartbreaking scene is broken up by the joy of the friends dancing together on stage and having fun together, oblivious to what is going on outside.
1. The Agreement (S3 E7) – a poignant special episode about the peace process
The final hour-long episode of the hit show is undeniably the best Derry Girls episode of all time.
Bringing together the two things the show does best – wacky humour and a poignant message – ‘The Agreement’ takes us back to 1998 when voters in Northern Ireland were asked to vote on the Good Friday Agreement.
The gang are all just turning 18 and moving into a new era of life, just as Northern Ireland is, too. The episode portrays a sense of both fear and hope for the future while emphasising that we are better together.
Perhaps the most memorable moment in this episode is when Erin Quinn is speaking to Granda Joe about how to vote. She asks, “What if we vote yes and it doesn’t work?” To which he replies, “But what if it does?”.
We see the characters vote. Then, the episode skips ten years into the future with Chelsea Clinton receiving a letter written by the gang in 1998.
Ms De Brún and the Child of Prague (S2, E2): The school gets a charismatic new English teacher who inspires the gang to work hard in school and go for their dreams.
The Prom (S2 E5): The girls attend their school prom and decide to humiliate Jenny Joyce, who has been voted prom queen. At the last second, they change their minds.
Halloween (S3 E6): The biggest night of the year in Derry is the Derry Halloween festival. Internationally renowned artist Fat Boy Slim is performing, and the gang are desperate to attend.
Your questions answered about the best Derry Girls episodes
In this section, we answer some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions about the best Derry Girls episodes, along with some that regularly appear in online searches.
How many episodes of Derry Girls are there?
There are 19 episodes of Derry Girls across three seasons.
Is Derry Girls coming back?
Currently, there are no plans for future Derry Girls episodes.
When is Derry Girls set?
Derry Girls is set in the 1990s.