Introducing Derry Girls: The Four Girls You Definitely Knew At Secondary School

Oh to be sixteen and living in the 1990s, again…

Introducing Derry Girls: The Four Girls You Definitely Knew At Secondary School

by Jazmin Kopotsha |
Updated on

Remember the television? No, not Netflix. Actual television as previously provided on a big shiny box in your living room. There’s good stuff over there at the moment, you know? Namely Channel 4s new comedy offering Derry Girls, and I promise it’s worth sitting down to watch at the actual time of broadcast(but also, if you’ve missed loads you can go catch up on 4OD for free too).

Allow me to take you back to your teenage years. You were 16 years old and struggling to balance secretly wanting to ace your GCSEs with also allocating an adequate amount of time to super important things like sneaking out to house parties, playing it cool while at the same time desperately crying out for the attention of your crush and navigating a hormonally charged relationship with your out of touch mother.

Those were the days. This is the point in life we’re introduced to Erin and her mates who are living in Derry, Northern Ireland during The Troubles of the 1990s. It's nostalgia overload - it features the soundtrack of dreams with tracks from the likes of East 17, Madonna and The Cranberries, and takes us back to a digitally simpler time when house phones were the norm not the exception.

Have a watch of the Derry Girls Trailer

Erin and her pals go to an single sex Catholic school and between the four girls (and one unfortunate English guy, but we’ll get to that in a minute) they effectively make up the key personalities you probably encountered in secondary school. Let us introduce you.

Erin Quinn (played by Saoire-Monica Jackson)

We’ve all been an Erin. She wants to be part of a world that exceeds her life in little old boring Derry, is hopelessly in love with a guy who’s a bit older, in a band and has hair that falls in a purposeful mess across his forehead. Erin isn’t ‘cool’, but she secretly wants to be. Erin us all of us. We love Erin.

Clare Devlin (played by Nicola Coughlan)

Our heart swells for Clare. She’s the sensible one of the group. And when we say sensible we mean relatively level headed about everything that doesn’t jeopardise how well she’s doing at school She’s the brains, you see, and she cares about all the things quite a lot. Clare loses her shit a bit around exam season (stay away from energy drinks, kids) and is prone to accidently snitching on her BFFs. Not cool, no, but you can’t help but forgive her desperation.

Orla McCool (played by Louisa Harland)

Orla is to Derry Girls what Phoebe is to Friends. In the first few episodes of Friends Phoebe wasn’t given nearly enough credit or screen time for how clearly brilliant (and funny) she was. The same goes for Erin’s cousin Orla. She and her mum live next door to Erin and her parents and she kind of does her own thing. She’s on a different wave to everyone else but you’d be surprised by how often she’s the one to be making sense while the others have all lost their heads.

Michelle Mallon (played by Jaime Lee O’Donnell)

Now Michelle is the rebellious ‘give a fuck’ type of friend we all had who was secretly really nice on the inside but wouldn’t dare let anyone else know it. She’s the first to answer back, first have sex, first to get hold of alcohol, first to steal a notice board from the local chippy all in the name of, well, why not?

James Maguire (played by Dylan Llewellyn)

Poor English games is Michele’s cousin. He's shipped over to Derry to live with her and somehow ends up being enrolled in their all-girl school. The girls don't think he's hot and can't get their heads around the possibility that anyone would find him attractive, quickly making him the male mate you used to hang around with who you were unexplainably protective of. Well, until you both leave school, cross paths again at uni only to realise that it was *him *you were in love with the whole time, not the dickhead, leather jacket-wearing guy in the band.

READ MORE: 25 TV Shows You’ll Remember If You’re A True 90s Kid


90s TV Shows

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air1 of 25
CREDIT: Youtube

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Who can forget Will Smith and Carlton Banks in this American sitcom ... "Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned up-side down"...

Buffy the Vampire slayer2 of 25

Buffy the Vampire slayer

American drama series based on the life of Buffy Summers, who slays vampires and demons

Sabrina the Teenage Witch3 of 25

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina the Teenage Witch and her magical talking cat Salem

RUGRATS4 of 25


Who can forget Tommy, Chuckie, Lil & Phil (and Dil)? The Nickelodeon show already had four seasons, three movies and a spin-off, and in 2018 it was revealed another series was in the works. Until then, I'm just going to sit munching on my Reptar Bar and rewatch episodes on Amazon Prime.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S5 of 25


F.R.I.E.N.D.S. - Joey, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe

Saved by the Bell6 of 25
CREDIT: Digital Spy

Saved by the Bell

American sitcom based on high school students Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, A .C . Slater, Jessie Spano and Screech Power

Boy meets World7 of 25

Boy meets World

American sitcom based on the every-day life of Cory Matthews.

The X-Files8 of 25
CREDIT: Itunes

The X-Files

Long-running sci-fi based on FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

The Simpsons9 of 25

The Simpsons

Animated American sitcom based on the Simpson family - Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie who live in Springfield

Dawson's Creek10 of 25
CREDIT: Itunes

Dawson's Creek

Teen drama series based on college friends including Dawson Leery

Will & Grace11 of 25

Will & Grace

American sitcom based in New York, based on the relationship between Will, a gay lawyer, and Grace, an interior designer

Arthur12 of 25


American animated series based on the life of aardvark Arthur Read

Dexter's Laboratory13 of 25
CREDIT: Youtube

Dexter's Laboratory

American animated series based on Dexter, genius inventor of a laboratory in the basement of his house, and his sister Dee Dee

The Powerpuff Girls14 of 25

The Powerpuff Girls

American animated series based on super-powered trio Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup

Kenen and Kel15 of 25

Kenen and Kel

American sitcom based on Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell... "Who loves orange Soda? KEL LOVES ORANGE SODA"

Bear in the Big Blue House16 of 25
CREDIT: Playbuzz

Bear in the Big Blue House

American TV series based on Bear and friends Ojo, Tutter, Treelo, Pip, Pop, and Shadow

Animaniacs17 of 25
CREDIT: Google


American animated series based on siblings Yakko and Wakko, and their sister Dot

Seinfield18 of 25
CREDIT: Google


American sitcom based on Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elaine Benes and Cosmo Kramer

Freaks and Geeks19 of 25
CREDIT: Youtube

Freaks and Geeks

American comedy series and teen drama based on high schooler Lindsay Weir and friends

Frasier20 of 25
CREDIT: Amazon


American sitcom based on Dr. Frasier Crane

Full House21 of 25
CREDIT: Itunes

Full House

American sitcom based on the events of widowed father, Danny Tanner, who has to raise three daughters

Recess22 of 25
CREDIT: Recess Wikia


American animated series based on Third Street School fourth-graders T.J, Ashley, Vince, Gus, Gretchen and Mikey

Hey Arnold!23 of 25

Hey Arnold!

Charmed24 of 25
CREDIT: Amazon


Series based on three sisters Prue, Pipper and Phoebe who are all witches with individual magical powers

That 70's Show25 of 25

That 70's Show

American sitcom based on the lives of teenager friends living in 'Point Place', with Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher as part of the cast!

Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us