Teens are acting out Gavin and Stacey scenes word for word on TikTok and it’s hilarious

How did they even get into this?

With the Christmas special, Gavin and Stacey is kind of back. In a way, it never truly left after its final episode in 2010. Nobody can really say at which point its meme renaissance began, but Smithy’s bhunas, Pam’s ciggies, and Nessa’s celebrations – all iconic scenes –  have ascended to reaction meme status. Who among us doesn’t do Smithy’s weird hand motion when asking mates if they want to share a curry?

That’s all well and good, but how come there are loads of kids memorising and acting out Gavin and Stacey scenes to go viral on TikTok? On the app, the Gavin and Stacey hashtag is full, and 34 million people have watched the videos.

They’re fucking good too. Take this multi-person, choreographed TikTok of Smithy ordering a curry:

@jackhine1recreating best gavin and stacey scenes part 1, like for part 2?? #fyp #foryou #gavinandstacey #foru #xyzbca #xyzcba #theboys♬ original sound – fleur.roberts

It’s spot on. But there are over 3,000 videos of teens miming over the same sound.

@alicedelrio1Smithy is a whole mood #fyp #4u #gavinandstacey #smithy♬ original sound – alicedelrio1

Beyond the bhuna scene, hundreds of videos feature clout-chasing teens miming Pam having a ciggy.

@ieuanjones03as my other gavin and stacey one went viral i started the year off with another ? #foryoupage #fyp #foru #funny #gavinandstacey♬ pam wants a ciggy gavin and stacey – caitlin__heavisides

So how did these clips from a 10-year-old sitcom find new life? Miming over random clips is pretty much all TikTokkers do, granted.

But this is a bizarre fandom for TikTok teens to embrace. One person simply told me “not a clue” when I asked, which probably sums up the futility of trying to figure out how something goes viral.

For some, Gavin and Stacey’s moment in the sun has been a long time coming. Alice Del Rio is an 18-year-old doing her A Levels and riding the Gavin and Stacey wave. She’s old school. “My mum introduced me to Gavin and Stacey a few years ago,” Alice says.

@alicedelrio1Smithy is a whole mood #fyp #4u #gavinandstacey #smithy♬ original sound – alicedelrio1

Alice insists the Gavin and Stacey videos are a labour of love rather than a cynical play at likes. “I just do them cos they’re the best ones to act out like they’re the most fun,” she says. “When the Christmas episode came out they went more viral I guess.”

@emilybannermanx#fyp #gavinandstacey #viral♬ EVIEFENSOME – eviefensome

And it was the Christmas special which really made things take off. “After there was so much popularity with the Christmas special I saw a lot of other people making videos,” says Emily Bannerman, whose video of Nessa giving everyone celebrations for Christmas went huge. 

Emily got into Gavin and Stacey after she discovered it on Netflix and “after finding the audio I thought I might as well join in the trend as well”. The video is her biggest by a lot – its 477,000 views make it 10 times more successful than her second most-viewed TikTok. “I totally wasn’t expecting it to do as well as it did,” she says. 

It’s the same story with Alice: “My most viral one is a Gavin and Stacey one,” she says, telling me that although it got 493,00 views, other topics have done almost as well.

Frankly, Gavin and Stacey clips speak to something so deep in the British psyche they’ll probably never stop hitting home. In fact, this being the era we live in, Smithy wondering how many Nurofen it’d take to finish him off has inevitably become a depression meme.

@ivegotcriplingdepression#fyp #foryou #foryoupage #viral #uk #tiktokcreations #gavinandstacey♬ original sound – livisconfused

A sensible person might say that trying to explain the enduring cultural appeal of one of our best loved sitcoms is as pointless as attempting to unpick why a joke spreads. Sometimes it’s just there.

But annoyingly, one answer could explain what makes Gavin and Stacey relevant to kids nowadays. “I want James Corden to notice me,” says Alice.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Heartbroken teens are coping with Oxbridge rejection by making TikToks

These are the 101 best TikToks to fill the Vine-shaped hole in your heart

‘I really don’t even cook very much’: We spoke to *that* TikTok pasta guy