Schitt’s Creek left fans with plenty of memorable quotes during its six seasons, and Catherine O’Hara actually improvised Moira’s most famous line.
Schitt’s Creek has plenty of beloved quirks that are built right into the show, but here’s how Catherine O’Hara improvised what has become its arguably most famous line. The Canadian sitcom has generated so much buzz and amassed so many fans over the years that its fairly lengthy run certainly isn’t a shock. All of the show’s main characters bring their own entertainment value to the table, adding extra humorous absurdity to already ridiculous situations. Though Dan Levy’s David is a close second, Catherine O Haras Moira Rose is undoubtedly the show’s best character. Her dramatic, over the top reactions and razor sharp, dry sense of humor produce some of the most clever, laugh-out-loud moments throughout Schitt’s Creeks six seasons.
The fictional Rose family first entered the zeitgeist in 2015. The Canadian sitcom starts with law enforcement seizing everything the four family members own, forcing them to take up residence within their one possession that doesn’t have enough ostensible value to be confiscated: the small town of Schitt’s Creek. Once people of great wealth and lavish luxury, the Roses are put up in rundown motel rooms as they set about navigating their new, starkly different lives in a sleepy and rural community.
In addition to her signature brand of dry sarcastic humor and showy stereotypically aristocratic way of talking on Schitt’s Creek Moira’s extensive vocabulary and quirky pronunciations of certain words are recurring staples for her character. Her most famous pronunciation, which has also become one of the show’s most iconic catchphrases is how she tackles the word baby. Of course, Moira’s character says it in a way that phonetically sounds like bay bay. Interestingly, O’Hara improvised this distinctly funny articulation. She said about her now well known delivery of the word in a 2020 interview via Vulture saying I said bebe as a joke or a mistake the first time. Once I hit on bebe and got a laugh from the crew, that was it.
Moira keeps her outlandish bebe pronunciation consistent from season 4 on, and it becomes a sort of running gag. Its memorable nature ranks it among other fan favorite Schitt’s Creek lines, such as Alexis Ew, David. With today’s hindsight regarding how the goofy detail has gone over with viewers, it was clearly a smart inclusion. Additionally, one key element to what makes the way O’Hara says baby work is the hard-to-pin-down accent that Moira uses in Schitts Creek. According to the aforementioned Vulture piece, the idea of her character having a deliberate and heightened way of speaking was planned from the show’s very beginning. It feeds right into what co creator Dan Levy refers to in the article as her thirst for uniqueness in everything she does.
As with her other family members on the series, Moira Rose is a memorable character with her own quirks and peccadillos which are only magnified by the tribulations of adjusting to a new life in the show’s titular town. Its a fun gem of information to know that one of her well known speech peculiarities was, as with many other popular shows and movies like Schitt’s Creek actually just a sort of positive accident that ended up sticking and adding an extra layer of goofy lovability and humor to the project.