Gavin and Stacey: What happened on the fishing trip?

"That bloody fishing trip, Bryn! When's it going to end, eh?"

Gavin and Stacey, Jason and Uncle Bryn

Much to the delight of fans, Gavin & Stacey is returning to screens this Christmas and with it a mystery that has puzzled audiences for over a decade.

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What happened on the fishing trip? There’s every chance we’ll never find out, with some speculating that even series creators Ruth Jones and James Corden don’t know, but that won’t stop the internet from speculating wildly.

Here’s our investigation based on what we know so far…

The original theory

The fishing trip became harder to decode as the series progressed, with the information from season one alone suggesting a fairly simple explanation.

At Gavin and Stacey’s wedding reception, Jason met Bryn outside the venue and attempted to clear the air.

He said: “I never told anyone, you know. And besides, it wasn’t a big deal. Lots of people do it, it’s not against the law.”

Bryn replies: “Jason please, how can I ever forget that look on your face?”

This short interaction suggests that perhaps Jason simply walked in on Bryn at a private moment, more than enough to cause serious awkwardness between an uncle and his nephew.

However, the information in series two complicates matters a lot – no doubt a conscious move by Jones and Corden to throw people off the scent.

“It defies gravity”

Dave Coaches
The fishing trip story haunts Dave Coaches

Towards the end of the second series, Bryn revealed to Jason that he told Dave Coaches what happened six months after the incident when he was feeling particularly low.

“Oh, why did I tell him every damn thing?” he asked.

To which Jason replied: “Even about–”

Bryn interrupted and shouted: “Yes, everything!

While Dave was “sickened by the whole thing,” Jason reassured Bryn by pointing out that what happened is “perfectly legal in this country.”

In the final episode of the series, Dave and Bryn have a moment alone as Nessa prepares to give birth.

The following interaction is arguably the most perplexing part of this entire case, as Dave has two lines that throw the original theory into disarray.

“You know what? I wish I didn’t know either but I do,” he said. “But it’s difficult for me as well, seeing you standing there with a soup. It sets my mind racing, you know?

“Even if I wanted to tell anyone, I wouldn’t know where to start because in my mind it’s a physical impossibility. It defies gravity.”

This clue seems to suggest that soup was involved in whatever happened on the trip. As for gravity-defying phenomena, for simplicity’s sake it could be assumed that this is an exaggeration on Dave’s part, otherwise theories start getting far too weird.

Jason was actively involved

The final nail for the original theory comes in the 2008 Christmas special, where a reconciled Bryn and Jason discuss Dave’s knowledge of the incident.

Bryn said: “There’s the occasional comment. The odd look. Times when I know that he’s wondering how a man and his nephew could…”

Jason cut him off saying: “Yeah, yeah, I know.”

When Dave walked in on the pair of them talking, Jason dressed only in his underwear, he looked visibly uncomfortable with the situation.

Bryn went on the defensive: “David, it is not what you think.”

Dave replied: “Listen, it’s none of my… you can do whatever you like.”

These two exchanges suggest that whatever happened was something that both Bryn and Jason were actively involved in, rather than a mere accidental encounter.

So, what happened on the fishing trip?

Gavin and Stacey, Bryn and Jason, fishing trip

It seems likely that somewhere between the end of the first series and the beginning of the second, Corden and Jones changed the fishing trip incident to confuse fans trying to figure out what happened.

Where the first series discusses it like an unfortunate mistake, later episodes allude to something that seems altogether more complex and disturbing.

Several fan theories present elaborate stories about Bryn and Jason stripping off and getting close to stay warm, but the incident could actually be something far less extreme.

Think about it: Bryn has lived a very sheltered life in Barry, often being amazed by the simplest of things (“is that what you would call a power shower?”), so conversely he could well be horrified by something that most people would find fairly innocuous.

Of course, that wouldn’t explain why Dave and Jason are so traumatised as well, but it’s a strong possibility nonetheless.

After all, Gavin & Stacey is a series that devotes so much time to mundane scenes – eating fish and chips, ordering a curry and talking about oven gloves – that it would be in-keeping with the show’s sense of humour if its one huge mystery is revealed to be something quite ordinary.

It’s so easy to imagine the disappointing truth finally being revealed, only for Pam to shout: “IS THAT IT?”

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Gavin and Stacey returns to BBC One on Christmas Day