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dinnerladies (1998–2000) was a British television sitcom set entirely in the canteen of a factory in Manchester.

Season 1

Monday [1.01]

Norman: I fell off a diving board in Guernsey!

Philippa: Would this be a good moment to talk about Scottish country dancing?
Jean: No it wouldn't!

Bren: Twink, what's the soup?
Twinkle: Minestrone
Bren: Well why's it not on the menu?
Twinkle: Can't spell it!

Tony: I quite like women in a sad, baffled sort of way! But can we get a grip? Out of a workforce of five, at any given moment one will have pre-menstrual tension, one's panicking because she's not, someone's having a hot flush and someone else is having a nervous breakdown because her HRT patch has fallen in the minestrone!
Jean: [Annoyed] That was a one off!

Philippa Morcroft: Pressure at work can affect your sex life, they did a questionnaire [reading] "Are you to busy to have an orgasm?"
Jean: Orgasm? I've not blown my nose since Wednesday!

Jean: (to the Stripper) Can you play the accordion?
Stripper: Well, you could see what a liability that could be naked, might trap a nipple.

Jean: Last big wedding Keith's Auntie ate a coaster.
Dolly: What?
Jean: Keith's Auntie Margo ate a raffia drinks coaster. She thought it was a high fibre biscuit. She had to be held back from moving down the table and buttering two more.

Jean: I thought about trailing greenery for the reception, but Keith's anti-ivy.
Bren: I didn't know Keith had an Auntie Ivy.

Royals [1.02]

Royal: (to Anita) Are you an immigrant?
Philippa: No, Anita's British!
Royal: Oh, good. So you don't find it too cold here?

Anita: [crying] I SAID NIPPLES!

Royal: How do you feel about wearing a uniform?
Anita: I think we can all see the sense in it, for hygiene. And it protects your nipples!

Scandal [1.03]

Sheila: Where's my Clint?
Sheila: I've got high blood pressure and water retention. Do you know what that gives you?
Bren: Boiling water?

Moods [1.04]

Enid: Did you get that skirt from a catalogue?
Philippa: No.
Enid: Pity. You could have sent it back.

Party [1.05]

Petula: What did Edith Piaf use to say?
Bren: A handbag?
Petula: No, that was Edith Evans! No, it was - non, je ne regrette rien. Rien regriette...

Bren: Who is Babs?
Petula: Babs? She's from Urmston!

Jean: (to Tony) Breathe in! Can you smell my Charlie?

Dolly: I hadn't budgeted for chips calorie-wise!

Petula: Do excuse me, I man a helpline at midnight.

Babs: I've come from Urmston.
Tony: Have you?
Babs: There's two ways to get there.

Nightshift [1.06]

Jean: (while looking in the newspaper for a new job) Something like cleaning, light housework, housekeeping. Here's one, light house-keeper wanted.
Bren: (Bren leans over to look at the paper) Lighthouse. Keeper.

Nicola Bodeux: What would happen if I asked for a herbal tea?
Jean: Nothing.
Nicola Bodeux: You mean you wouldn't be fazed by such a request?
Jean: No, I mean you wouldn't get one.

Nicola Bodeux: I'm warning you, I don't mince my punches.

Season 2

Catering [2.01]

Stan: Men and women have different brains.
Dolly: Yes, it was in the Daily Mail. Women can't fold maps, and men can't get interested in headboards.

Jean: It's like taking Telly Savalas for a shampoo and set.

Trouble [2.02]

Jean: Well we can't all stand around lobbing toast about. Some of us have personal problems.
Jane: I know we do! But we don't bring them to work! I lost 8 tropical fish last week in a power cut!

Holidays [2.03]

Babs: Do you remember where I'm from?
Bren: Urmston.
Babs: No, I'm from Urmston!

Petula: I'm just saving some oxygen for the foetus. (to "foetus") Alright, baba?

Customer: Do you have that yogurt for your intestines?
Dolly: No.
Customer: It's advertised with singing bacteria.
Dolly: Where was this?
Customer: Well, this was in Carlisle.
Dolly: Well, Carlisle! That's a much more gullible part of the country!

Fog [2.04]

Bren: I thought you said he looked like Richard Madeley!
Jean: I meant Richard Whiteley!

Tony: So, you're not pregnant, then?
Bren: Not unless sperm can get through a sash window.

Gamble [2.05]

Christmas [2.06]

(Twinkle gets a horse figurine from Dolly for Christmas)

Jean: I got you that two years ago!
Dolly: Did you?! I suppose if I'd been on HRT I would have remembered!
Twinkle: How many "n"s in Bren?

(We see later that the sign is spelled "Happy Birthday Brenn")

Anita: (after Bren telling Bob she's just doing some bacon) You know you were asking about bacon? We haven't got any at the moment but Bren's just doing some.
Bob: What are you on, a two minute delay?

"(Stan sees Dolly and Jean about to move one of the tables)"

Stan: Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay!
Jean: Is the bus reversing?

Minnellium [2.07]

"'Dolly: And it would be nice if we could all spare a thought for the coming of our Lord.
Twinkle: Oh, not him again. We'll be back on Ragtag and flipping Bobtail in a minute! Can I just finish my coffee?
Philippa: Never mind your bloody coffee. Get in the bloody bloody bloody frigging car!

Anita: I don't like 'fart face'. Even after 9:00.

Stan: A little baby. What a stupid thing to leave on a fire escape!

Bren: That's what it is. I wish I'd met you before.
Tony: Before I had chemo?
Bren: Before I married an alcoholic? I dunno. Twenty years ago? No, not twenty years ago, I had a perm!
Tony: Twenty years ago, I think I did!

Tony: Any baby of Petula's would look like something out of the Beano!

Tony: Did you drive in Anita? How was the traffic?
Anita: The traffic?
Tony: Yeah, you know, cars on the road, passing each other?
Anita: Didn't come that way.
Tony: Yeah, of course you didn't.

Phillipa: Oh, is it going again? No, it's okay. Contact lenses.
Dolly: No, I liked you in glasses.
Phillipa: Oh, did you?
Dolly: Hm, they diminished your nostrils.

Jean: I'll tell you about the time Keith's Auntie Betty from Cockermouth found two albino gerbils under the spare bed.
Phillipa: Aww. Did they mate?
Jean: Well they didn't, what with them being two angora bed socks.

Christine [2.08]

Dolly: (about Christine) She's fascinated with what she calls "The City Beyond the Water".
Jean: Halifax?

Twinkle: (to Tony) Oh ha ha, Jeremy Somebody!
Bren: Jeremy who?
Twinkle: I dunno, I didn't get to bed until five!

Anita: Who's that?
Bren: That's Christine.
Anita: And what's that smell?
Bren: That's Christine as well.

Bren: (about the smell) Have a whiff of raw bacon, it takes the edge off it.
Twinkle: Who was it? Christine?
Bren: Yeah. Might be nerves.
Twinkle: Might be mushy peas!

Christine: (to Dolly) Your aura is amethyst. Mine's white, the next one up, we have a bond.
Tony: And this is Jean.
Christine: (to Jean) No there's no spark there. You're hardly showing an aura at all.

Christine: This is the old country way - whisking towards the heart.
Jean: Which silly old country person told you that?

Tony: At the moment we're stuck with Niffy Nora the Aura Explorer.

Christine: You're quite shallow, aren't you Brenda. No offense meant!
Bren: No, but lots taken.

Christine: I wonder if this would be a good time for me to leave.
Twinkle: Yeah. Push off and take your bum with you.

Gravy [2.09]

Petula: What ward am I on?
Paramedic: 8.
Petula: It's mixed isn't it?
Paramedic: Yes.
Petula: Oh, might have a bit of sex. Though after Richard E Grant you don't really want to bother with a load of shagged-out pensioners.

Tony: Anita, have you got your yogurts out?
Anita: Sorry?
Tony: Let me rephrase that, 'can' you get your yogurts out?
Anita: Do you mean yogurts as in breasts?
Tony: No, I mean little pots of milky stuff with fruit in, this being a canteen.
Anita: That's okay. I have no objection to doing that.

Tony: Anita?
Anita: Yeah?
Tony: Feel free to get your breasts out.

Toast [2.10]

Petula: I'm sorry I haven't been a very good mother. You can't be good at everything and I was A1 with a hula hoop.

Tony:: Your not too upset, are you, Bren?
Bren: (shakes head quickly)
Tony: Then why are you smoking?
Bren: God, sorry! Haven't done that in awhile.
Tony: You're not turning into your mother, are you?
Bren: Maybe I'm possessed. [Mimicking her mother, 'Petula'] Alright, everybody?


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