Episode Number


Series Number


Written by

Victoria Wood

Executive Producers

Philip McIntyre
David Tyler


Victoria Wood
Geoff Posner


Geoff Posner

Previous Episode


Following Episode


Moods (broadcast 3rd December 1998) was the fourth episode of Dinnerladies.

Synopsis Edit

Most of the ladies are in foul moods over silly things whilst Philippa Moorcroft decides to cheer everybody up with a "Bring Your Mother to Work Day". This, however, does not go to plan...

Plot Edit

The day starts with Bren bumping into Tony after turning the lights on in the Canteen. Tony reveals that he has had some good news but Bren hurls straight into conversation with the things that men like to receive as gifts. Tony then goes to tell her that he has had a good result on his hospital tests. He tells her that he didn't like the idea that he could die without seeing her in her bra.

Then the Veg Man comes in followed closely by a furious Stan who fails to says hello and who rushes straight into the bathrooms. Dolly then comes in complaining about a piece of metal art outside of the library and once Jean comes in, an argument unfolds about Dolly having not waited for Jean. After signing for the vegetables, the Veg Man leaves and that leaves the argument to move onto Jean's gawping at his buttocks.

Twinkle then trundles in and after Tony tries to listen to her problems, he has to go for a smoke, leaving Bren to listen. Twinkle reckons she might be pregnant due to her late period. Anita then comes in and after Bren says how much she likes her hair- which is different than usual- Anita starts to cry, claiming to look like Fatima Whitbread. She cries and runs into the bathroom before screaming and running back out again. Stan is furious that she had blundered in and Anita runs away. He walks back in ensuring that they spot his cone this time.

Later in the day and Dolly is trying to persuade Bren to go in and talk to Stan. Tony reveals that Phillippa is coming down to have a word with him. Meanwhile, Jane orders her twelve rounds of white but when Tony jokingly asks her whether she would prefer a bottle of wine and a night of sex, she reveals she has cystitis and her usual order goes through. Philippa comes down to try to call Stan out but he just tells her to shove it. The argument between Jean and Dolly changes subject to pelvic floors and Dolly chooses this moment to mention Jean's ex-husband. Philippa then decides that she is going in but then decides otherwise.

Jane is continuously asking about her toast but she keeps getting hushed. Eventually, Anita is told to do it. She says she will soon whilst the argument between Jean and Dolly continues about whose sex life is better. Anita gets to the toast but when Jane compliments Anita on her hair, she starts to crying. Twinkle then tells her to shut up. Meanwhile, Stan throws Philippa out of the bathroom before she decides to keep trying to talk sense to him. Jane is still asking for her toast and the arguments continue to get heated.

Philippa then drags Stan out, Twinkle tells Anita that her hair looks stupid and as Anita runs off, she knocks a pan onto Jean's foot, needing her to get first aid. Finally, Bren does the toast.

Later that day, and Bren and Tony are sitting down, filling out the accident book. Bren tells Tony that she reckons that the girls are stressed due to the time of the year. Stan comes in and apologises for his behaviour. As they discuss Twinkle's baby situation and Anita's lack of one, Bren's Mum comes in handcuffed to a policewoman. Apparently, a friend of hers accepted illegal sexual favours from a police officer in disguise. She is then escorted out.

Philippa comes in rather taken aback from passing Bren's mum in the corridor but they then realise that breaking the daily routine would cheer everyone up. Philippa asks whether they should have a tea party for all of their mothers and after asking Stan, he is furious with her due to his mother having run away with a piano tuner when he was young. After telling her that she is in the wrong job, she agrees and they both storm out.

Later that day and dinner is being served. Philippa comes in and tells Bren that the only address that she hasn't got is her mother's. Bren is adamant that her mum doesn't come but Philippa isn't impressed with her attitude. They leave it and Bren goes to ask Twinkle if she has had her period yet but she says that there hasn't. A lady then complains that her tuna and sweetcorn are mixed together but Bren tells her to deal with it and the woman leaves. And so the day continues.

The new days dawns and the workers are setting the canteen up for the Bring Your Mother to Work Day. Philippa stresses about whether Anita's mum is a forced labourer but Bren tells her than she is, in fact, an estate agent. Bren then goes to Twinkle to see how she feels but Twinkle reveals that she is too scared to tell her mum. She asks Bren whether she could tell her mum instead and Bren agrees.

Later that day, Philippa wheels in Dolly's mother, Enid, who immediately starts to offend people. Then Tony brings Jean's mum, Connie, and Stan's father Jim. Connie and Enid don't start on a good note. Tony decides to try to start a conversation with Jim, who decides to drink his tea rather than waste time chatting. Dolly seems to like Connie who delves deep into discussion about Jean's sex life. Connie then tries to flirt with Tony before they started to talk about how vinegar stops you getting pregnant.

Later on and they start the tour of the premises, which doesn't impress Anita's mum. She then walks off to answer her phone. Philippa goes to meet Twinkle's mum who starts to embarrass her daughter when her own mother walks on in and starts to say how surprised she was when her black taxi driver spoke with a Lancashire accent.

The day progresses with Stan and his father talking about the toaster. Jim bangs it and is angry when Stan tells him to "watch it!" due to him having been a desert rat and thus having to always be alert. After Bren asks a silly question, he starts a rant regarding a headless man. Meanwhile, Connie continues to flirt with Tony but with a rubbish excuse, he leaves.

Enid and Philippa's mum enjoy having a talk about the state of the government whilst, in the kitchen, Connie is telling Jean that she's not cleaning hard enough, saying that, similar to sex, you have to try harder. Twinkle's mum cheers up Anita with the promise that she will reset her hair. Before Bren tries to tell Twinkle's mum about the pregnancy, Bren's mum walks on in. Petula has misunderstood the whole day and has brought in, who they assume to be, Bren's grandmother although Bren is doubtful. Twinkle then gets Bren's notice from the distance and indicates that she has just had her period and after Twinkle's mum asks for the issue with Twinkle, Bren just says that it is just about her wearing her overall to work.