List of Coupling episodes
Coupling is a BBC Television sitcom. Written by Steven Moffat, it was based on his relationship with Sue Vertue, the show's producer. Martin Dennis directed all 28 episodes for Hartswood Films. The first episode was transmitted on 12 May 2000, and the final transmitted on 14 June 2004. The first three series were first broadcast on BBC2, whereas the final series was broadcast on BBC Three.
The show centres on the dating and sexual adventures and mishaps of six friends in their thirties, often depicting the three women and the three men each talking amongst themselves about the same events, but in entirely different terms.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||12 May 2000||16 June 2000|
|2||9||3 September 2001||29 October 2001|
|3||7||23 September 2002||4 November 2002|
|4||6||10 May 2004||14 June 2004|
Series 1: 2000
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|1||1||"Flushed"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||12 May 2000||IPEA231F|
|Jane resists Steve's various attempts to break up with her. In the meantime, Susan and Patrick are also breaking up. Susan and Steve meet, and Steve asks her out. Steve intends to break up with Jane once and for all just before dinner with Susan. Jeff is on hand for reasons nobody is quite sure of and Susan arrives early, as her beautician friend Sally cancelled her facial appointment in order to have dinner with Patrick at the same restaurant.|
|2||2||"Size Matters"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||19 May 2000||IPEA232A|
|After an out of control pause during a phone call, Susan invites Steve to dinner, offering to cook. While discussing foreplay, Jeff warns Steve of the perils of falling into the Sock Gap and also to examine Susan’s remote controls. Sally tries to overcome her aversion to Patrick’s political views when informed by Susan of his personal endowment, and Jeff freaks out when Sally, Steve and Jane task him with verifying this prodigy.|
|3||3||"Sex, Death and Nudity"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||26 May 2000||IPEA233T|
|While giving Jeff advice on preparing for an interview, Patrick recommends imagining the panel naked, which Jeff begins to practice. Jeff introduces Patrick and Steve to the Giggle Loop, his name for difficulty of containing laughter at inappropriate times. Steve is persuaded to attend Jane’s Auntie’s funeral ... as Jane's boyfriend, as she hasn’t told her family they have split up. Susan won’t let Steve go alone, and Steve asks Jeff to pretend to be Susan’s boyfriend, beginning a chain of invitations that sees all six at the funeral, where the Giggle Loop strikes the least likely member of the group.|
|4||4||"Inferno"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||2 June 2000||IPEA234N|
|Whilst Patrick sports a new haircut, Susan discovers a porn film, Lesbian Spank Inferno, in Steve’s VCR. To avoid a confrontation, Steve tells Susan he loves her, which drives Jane to see her psychologist Jill, who is not interested in having her as her patient. Susan and Steve host a dinner party for Sally, Patrick, Jeff, Jane and a reluctant Jill. Before dinner, Jeff and Patrick let slip that they know about the Inferno tape and Sally gives away that Susan has told the girls too, making dinner a very uncomfortable occasion for all. Patrick believes Jill and Jane are a couple and tries to convert her; on the other hand, Jill thinks Patrick is gay (due to his new haircut) and tries to convert him, ending with the two in bed together. Finally, the tape comes into the conversation and Steve ends up giving a impassioned speech, inadvertently admitting that he sees himself spending his life with Susan.|
|5||5||"The Girl with Two Breasts"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||9 June 2000||IPEA235H|
|Jeff sees a beautiful woman alone in a pub. The attraction is mutual, but the girl in question only knows Hebrew and cannot communicate without the help of an interpreter. They chat and end up creating a huge confusion, with the viewer shown the conversation from both sides to illustrate just how the miscommunication occurs. The girls are just jealous of the Israeli girl, who is very beautiful. Steve and Patrick think of names for a porno film.|
|6||6||"The Cupboard of Patrick's Love"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||16 June 2000||IPEA236B|
|Jane visits Patrick at home to discuss the ‘walls’ between them and discovers a cupboard filled with video tapes Patrick made of his encounters with previous lovers. When Steve and Susan independently learn about the cupboard, both realize that, as Patrick’s ex, Susan will be in there too. Susan catches the guys and Sally watching the tape, and is offended to learn that: they went behind her back on this matter; Patrick was so unimpressed with her performance that he taped over her; and none of the viewers noticed this. She breaks up with Steve, but takes him back before the end of the episode.|
Series 2: 2001
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|7||1||"The Man with Two Legs"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||3 September 2001||IPEA352J|
|Jeff falls in love with a woman who commutes on the train with him (Alison King), of whom he has only seen her leg. In making conversation with her, he claims that he has a wooden leg; she reveals that her brother is also an amputee, and introduces Jeff to him and his disability support group. Meanwhile, Sally can’t stop bragging about her perfect new boyfriend, but he soon turns out not to be everything Sally’s made him out to be.|
|8||2||"My Dinner in Hell"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||10 September 2001||IPEA351P|
|At the pub, the guys discuss celebrities they are infatuated with. Steve's is news presenter Mariella Frostrup, whom he then runs into on the way to the loo. As he leaves for a dinner with Susan and her parents, he accidentally drops his phone. Jane has been telling the girls about meeting celebrities by slipping one's phone into their pockets; believing the dropped phone to be Sally's, Jane puts it Frostrup's pocket with the intention of reclaiming the "lost" phone. This causes confusion when Susan calls the number during the dinner. Additionally, a misunderstanding over the term 'whistling alone,' which Steve assumes to be a euphemism for masturbation, causes him to order Susan's parents out of the flat. Meanwhile, Jeff and Patrick learn that one of Patrick's former lovers made a cast of his endowment, which is now a best-selling sex toy called the "Junior Patrick." Steve is enlisted to procure a specimen, which he accidentally gifts to Susan's parents. They love the gift.|
|9||3||"Her Best Friend's Bottom"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||17 September 2001||IPEA355R|
|Steve sees Sally naked by mistake after she uses Susan's shower. Patrick has "car trouble," while Steve and Sally are trying to figure out how to tell Susan that Steve saw Sally naked. Steve is additionally stressed as Susan is attempting to learn his opinions on cushions and fabrics. Finally, the source of Patrick's "car trouble" and Sally's showering escapades are revealed to be a tryst, in which the two of them attempted to have sex at Susan's place.|
|10||4||"The Melty Man Cometh"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||24 September 2001||IPEA356K|
|In between flashbacks revealing how Sally and Patrick came to be in Susan's apartment, the guys and girls both analyse Patrick's "car troubles." Sally believes it to be her fault, but Jeff and Steve blame it on "The Melty Man," their Darth Vader-esque personification of erectile dysfunction. Patrick and Sally agree to give things another try, with both independently realizing that they harbor genuine feelings for each other. However, while this firms Patrick's resolve (and erection), it convinces Sally to back out.|
|11||5||"Jane and the Truth Snake"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||1 October 2001||IPEA359S|
|Jane is sacked due to her eccentricities, and, after an "overdose" that consists of the appropriate dosage of painkillers, decides to become a children's TV presenter. She shows Sally, Steve, and Susan her new creation: Jake the Snake, a truth-telling sock puppet. However, she loses control of Jake, who expresses her honest opinions of everyone, including her boss (Shaughan Seymour), lately arrived to offer her job back to her. In the end, she retains her job due to popular opinion, with her boss fired instead. Meanwhile, Patrick break ups with his latest girl Lynda (Susan Earl) by leaving her an answerphone message, only to discover that she has a genuine interest in a threesome. While he breaks into her flat and deletes the offending message, Lynda fetches her ideal third party: Jeff.|
|12||6||"Gotcha"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||8 October 2001||IPEA353D|
|Steve gets a wedding invitation and begins to freak out, as he believes this will plant dreams of wedding bells in Susan's head, especially since they are celebrating their own one-year anniversary that evening. Jane and Sally, invited to the same wedding, fret over the fact that the bride is younger than they are. At the pub, Patrick trips over the mother of an old flame, who seduced him, and attempts to sneak past her; however, when she doesn't notice him, he charges back in to restore his (perceptions of) virility. She later tells him she remembers him. He apologises to her - but she is horrified that he thinks she was the mother, as she is actually the daughter. Susan consults Jane for tips on keeping Steve's interest, but mostly learns that Jane likes to prank-call him in silence. Steve makes arrangements for Jeff to call him during the date with claims of familial disaster. However, the disruptive phone call actually comes from Susan, who, by pretending to be a silent Jane, gets Steve to confess that he wants to marry her. With a triumphant smile, she declares, "Gotcha--in every sense of the word."|
|13||7||"Dressed"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||15 October 2001||IPEA354X|
|Jane meets a handsome man in the bar who invites him to go to his flat. She attends wearing nothing but her coat and shoes, but upon arrival discovers that it is a dinner party which has several guests. Patrick, meeting a competitive co-worker at the bar, wants Sally to pretend to be his wife, but ends up introducing Susan instead when the co-worker's wife turns out to also be blonde. Sally, in revenge, makes Steve her pretend husband. Not able to take all this, Steve proposes to Susan on the spot. She accepts, and the two race off together. (Patrick, with total aplomb, asks Sally to be his next date.)|
|14||8||"Naked"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||22 October 2001||IPEA357E|
|Jeff has a flirty encounter with Julia (Lou Gish), a new senior partner at the firm where he and Susan work. Both have difficulty expressing their attraction, but are ultimately able to tell each other and kiss. It's Jeff's 30th birthday and his friends are organising a surprise party, to which Julia takes him - blindfolded with a tie. However, her ambiguous promises of "birthday fun" give him the wrong idea, and Jeff ends up stripping in front of them when he expects that she's leading them to a room where they will have sex together. Jeff takes off everything but the tie, in front of the staff and his parents. Julia then sends everyone home so that she can seduce him in private.|
|15||9||"The End of the Line"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||29 October 2001||IPEA358Y|
Susan and Steve's relationship has become complacent; whenever she asks for an opinion, he answers, "It's up to you," and whenever he gets up to go anywhere, she asks, "Where are you going?" Meanwhile, Susan is having issues with her new French client, Giselle, referred to her by Julia. After chewing out Giselle in fluent French, a man starts hitting on her, mistaking her nationality, and Susan goes along with it instead of setting him straight. She then discovers her mobile phone has lost all its numbers. Attempting to phone Steve in her French accent, she accidentally calls Bruce's Bar and Grill, run by the Australian Dick Darlington. He informs her that his establishment is located next to "Susan's Bar," named after an Englishwoman who slept her way across the continent due to her great love of Australians. Susan, believing herself to be said woman, is mortified. The episode then flashes back to view Steve's day, in which he gives his number to a girl at the bar by mistake. To avoid her, he fabricates "Bruce's Bar and Grill" and his identity as Dick Darlington, and is completely fooled by Susan's accent.The episode then flashes back again to earlier that morning, with Julia complaining about Giselle to Jeff, and then calling his mobile in a flirty French accent. However, she accidentally reaches Susan - she and Jeff have identical mobile phones, and they swapped without knowing it at some prior point (thus Susan's missing contacts) - and presents herself as Giselle, leading to Susan's furious rant and the encounter with the other man. After Susan has returned to Steve's place, Steve begs Jeff to claim to be Dick Darlington, while Julia arrives and proclaims herself Giselle. The chain of mistaken identity is broken only when the girl from the bar calls. Everybody hears her conversation with Steve on speakerphone, and Susan, realizing that both she and Steve feel trapped by their life together, decides to leave. "Where are you going," Steve asks her; she replies, "It's up to you."
Series 3: 2002
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|16||1||"Split"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||23 September 2002||ICEC002S|
The episode picks up immediately after the events of the previous series, with Susan leaving Steve's apartment. Though he chases after her, she announces their relationship over. The remainder of the episode takes place in split screen, with dialogue timed to not overlap.
The guys gather at Steve's apartment, and the girls at Susan's. Steve attempts to phone Susan several times, but always hangs up on the first ring. Susan, meanwhile, attempts unsuccessfully to pretend she is not waiting for him to call. She also expresses the fatuity of glamour magazines' sexual advice - "A hundred pages of 'Men are useless bastards' and an article on why you should wake them up with a blow job!" - and how much Jane's voice makes her grind her teeth. Finally the trios head out - the boys to a strip club, and the girls to drink wine at the beauty parlour where Sally works.At the end, both Steve and Susan stagger in the door... the same door. While Steve arrived at 12:30 AM, left a drunken answerphone message for Susan asking her to return, and passed out in his bed, Susan arrives at 1:30, hears the message, and enters his room to follow the magazine's advice to the letter, dissolving the split screen and causing the narratives to re-unite. Unbeknown to them, though, a drunk Jeff and Patrick are curled up in the corner... and, even worse, Jane phones, setting Susan's teeth on edge at just the wrong time.
|17||2||"Faithless"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||30 September 2002||ICEC003L|
|Jeff accepts a date with Wilma, a girl from his office. The others try to guide him through the date remotely, but Wilma's cunning ways prove too much for Jeff—and Steve. Jane wants to date James, a religious man, but when she attends one of his meetings, and ridicules all their beliefs in the process, she is shocked to learn that James does not believe in pre-marital sex.|
|18||3||"Unconditional Sex"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||7 October 2002||ICEC004F|
|After an accidental tongue slip inspired by Jane, Jeff manages to worm his way out of Wilma's charm by telling her his girlfriend is dead and that he is not ready to move on yet. But she comes to his apartment to continue to try to seduce him. Julia, who was leaving town for a business meeting, has instead stayed at his apartment as she was too sick to travel. Wilma discovers the truth and leaves in a fury. Sally and Jane tell Susan about the "Man Test" where a sexy woman is sent on purpose to seduce a committed man to check how faithful he is. Steve is shocked to learn that Susan intends to use the service.|
|19||4||"Remember This"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||14 October 2002||ICEC005A|
|After Patrick shows up at Sally's apartment to "save" her from an imaginary spider at three in the morning, they both remember how they first met at a Susan's office party. Their versions differ slightly, as Sally's memory ends with her in Patrick's arms and Patrick's memory ending with a drunk Sally and him kissing to the Spiderman theme. At the end, Sally and Patrick decide to stop spending so much time together, as nothing will come of it.|
|20||5||"The Freckle, the Key, and the Couple Who Weren't"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||21 October 2002||ICEC006T|
|The episode begins with Jeff and Julia trying something kinky while Steve and Susan fight because Steve finds a suspicious looking freckle on his bottom and is upset that Susan hasn't noticed it. Jane introduces her new celibate boyfriend, James, to the group, when Jeff rushes in, still wearing a black, leather mask (from his and Julia's kinky role-playing), to ask the group how long "intestines take", meaning how long does it take for something to pass through the body. Jeff soon runs out when he realizes that he's wearing the mask back to Julia, who's still tied to the bed. It turns out that Jeff swallowed the key to the handcuffs and as Jeff is talking to Julia about why he ran off, the doorbell rings. As Julia realizes that Jeff's lost the key, her ex-boyfriend, Joe (who has just returned from Iraq) turns up and demands to see her. As the group talks, where Jane relaxes Steve by telling him that he's always had that mole, James discovers that Susan was his girlfriend in college. At the end of the episode, James tells Jane that he is going to Germany for a few months.|
|21||6||"The Girl with One Heart"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||28 October 2002||ICEC007N|
|Susan redecorates the bathroom and removes the lock on the bathroom door, which Steve freaks out over. Susan and Steve have the gang over for dinner which creates problems for Sally as Patrick brings his girlfriend, Jennifer (Emma Pierson), with him. Sally isn't able to be cool with Jennifer as she struggles with her feelings over Patrick. After some misunderstandings, which leaves Jennifer to believe that Sally is a lesbian (which Patrick had told Jennifer) and is interested in her, Sally yells that she's in love with Patrick and quickly leaves.|
|22||7||"Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||4 November 2002||ICEC008H|
|Worried that she is pregnant, Sally asks all of the girls to take a pregnancy test so that she knows what a negative test looks like. One of the tests is positive, but, as the tests has been mixed up due to Sally's anxiety, there is confusion over who really is pregnant. Susan is quickly ruled out as being pregnant as she and Steve are trying to have a baby, but there's a problem: it would be a miracle if Susan could conceive. Sally and Jane could still be the ones pregnant as Jane slept with a pizza delivery guy a few weeks earlier when she was feeling "desperate". A week after Sally confessed her love to Patrick, he finally tells her that he loves her as well, as Jane bursts through and shouts that although she's "shagged and shagged and shagged...all the lil bastards missed". At that moment, James returns from Germany and Sally realizes that she must be the one that's pregnant. Just as Patrick realizes that Sally is pregnant, Susan walks into the bar and tells everybody that Sally isn't pregnant, but she is.|
Series 4: 2004
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|23||1||"Nine and a Half Minutes"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||10 May 2004||ICEC898P|
|This episode is told from the perspective of the three different couples, all within nine and half minutes. Jane is on blind date with Oliver Morris (Richard Mylan), an owner of a science-fiction bookshop. Through Susan and Steve, who are arguing about the similarities between the "John Hurt" moment and birth, mistake him for a gynaecologist. Meanwhile Sally, now Patrick's girlfriend, is tempting Patrick between a last minute golfing trip and sex.|
|24||2||"Nightlines"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||17 May 2004||ICEC899J|
|After a five way phone call between Steve, Susan, Patrick, Sally and Jane, some wild opinions and shocking secrets are revealed within the group. Meanwhile, Oliver is trying to find out if his girlfriend Tamsin is pregnant.|
|25||3||"Bed Time"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||24 May 2004||ICEC900S|
|Patrick tries to find a way to go home after his sexcapades with Sally. When he asks Steve for help, Steve tells Patrick that it can't be done, especially since that night is the first dinner party Sally is hosting. Meanwhile, Jane has invited Oliver over to Sally's dinner party, but Oliver is worried as his nipples are rather large. When it becomes obvious that Patrick will be going home after the party, Sally starts drinking and when everybody is about to leave Sally, clad in a blonde wig and red oven mitts, sings a song about Susan entitled "Susan: The Happy Trotting Elf". The episode ends with Patrick and Sally ending up in bed, Patrick saying "bugger" that he wasn't able to go home.|
|26||4||"Circus of the Epidurals"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||31 May 2004||ICEC901L|
|After Susan asks Sally to be her birth partner, each friend in turn gets asked to come to an antenatal class as 'backup'. Susan mulls not using epidural during her delivery. At the antenatal class (led by Jill, first introduced in the episode 'Inferno'), the boys and the girls discuss attitudes to pain relief during birth in separate groups.|
|27||5||"The Naked Living Room"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||7 June 2004||ICEC902F|
|Oliver and Jane run into each other at the shop, and begin to feel each other out. Jane asks to come into Oliver's flat, and Oliver realises that he hasn't bothered to hide his pornography any more. They expose each other emotionally, and when Oliver tells Jane that she "makes up any old rubbish just to get attention", Jane exposes herself physically. At the end of the episode, Susan's water breaks and she goes into labour.|
|28||6||"Nine and a Half Months"||Martin Dennis||Steven Moffat||14 June 2004||ICEC903A|
|Jeff returns in female form to comfort Steve as he awaits for Susan to give birth. After discovering Patrick actually did sleep with Jane, Sally looks through his cupboard to find something else...an engagement ring. Oliver and Jane try their best to have sex, but are constantly interrupted. Steve and Susan have a baby boy.|
- Sternbergh, Adam (2003-09-07). "Selling Your Sex Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- "BBC – Coupling – Flushed Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Nine and a Half Months Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Size Matters Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Sex, Death and Nudity Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Inferno Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – The Girl with Two Breasts Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – The Cupboard of Patrick's Love Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – The Man With Two Legs Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – My Dinner In Hell Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Her Best Friend's Bottom Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – The Melty Man Cometh Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Jane and the Truth Snake Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Gotcha Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Dressed Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Naked Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – The End of the Line Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Split Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Faithless Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Unconditional Sex Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Remember This Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – The Freckle The Key And The Couple Who Weren't Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – The Girl With One Heart Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Nine and a Half Minutes Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Night Lines Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Bed Time Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – Circus of the Epidurals Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "BBC – Coupling – The Naked Living Room Episode Guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-21.