Barbara's Old Ring is the twenty fifth and final episode of The Royle Family.
In the Royle household, Barbara is busy decorating the Christmas tree which is bent under the ceiling. Jim is throwing nuts at a bauble with Nana's face on it. Barbara then goes to the bureau and opens a draw. She searches for her wedding ring but she cannot find it. She then goes to look down the back of the sofa. She finds a dummy which was Antony's when he was little, she puts it back. She then finds a scratchcard that hasn't been scratched, she puts it on the table. Jim goes to pick it up and places it on the arm of his chair. She then pulls out a drill which was Joe's. Jim tells her to put it back because he might want to use it. The doorbell rings in which Barbara goes to answer it. Jim goes to throw a nut at the bauble and nearly hits Barbara. She answers the door and it is Denise without Dave. Barbara asks Denise where Dave is and she tells them that he is at a conference. Denise heads into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. She asks Barbara where the mugs are, where the milk is and how much milk to put in the mugs. Barbara goes to help her and shows her how much milk to put in them. Whilst Barbara is doing that, Jim gets a coin and scratches the scratchcard to see if he has won any money. He has, so he makes funny gestures. Barbara asks Denise what's wrong and she tells her that her and Dave have been having problems in the bedroom. Barbara asks what kind of problems and Denise tells her that Dave's dickie is broken, in other words, he has erectile dysfunction. She also tells Barbara that he has gone to the doctors, not the conference. She reveals that Dave took a picture of it on his phone because he doesn't want to show it to the doctor. Barbara tells Denise that Jim might have some advice on the situation because he can sometimes be really understanding. Jim starts to laugh when Barbara has told him. Denise comes in with the mugs of tea and Barbara tells Jim that he would handle it sensibly. Jim keeps making fun of Dave. The doorbell rings in which Barbara goes to answer it. She answers the door and it is Dave. He goes to sit down next to Denise. Barbara goes to make a cup of tea for Dave. She then shouts to Jim, "Who's is this fiver on the table?" which makes Jim get up and go to the kitchen. Barbara then tells him that there is no fiver and that they need their privacy. Denise asks Dave how it went at the doctors and he tells her that he sees this problem often in the north-west. Next, we see Jim counting the money he has won. Barbara then opens the door in which Jim shoves the money down his y-fronts. She comes into the living room with her hands full with bags telling Jim that she was two hours in Poundland spending money on Christmas presents. Jim tells her that Cadging Carol came round earlier to borrow a toilet roll and he told her to use both sides in which Barbara is disgusted. She puts all the presents on the table and sits on the sofa. The next door neighbour Joe then walks in with a card for Dave's dickie from Cheryl. Barbara tells him to keep it as Dave wants to keep it private. Joe then tells Barbara that that's what he was telling some people in The Feathers last night. Jim then says that he made the newsagent laugh about it. Barbara also says that the hairdresser was laughing about it too. Joe tells Barbara and Jim that he has put an advert in the newspaper in the Lonely Hearts section for a girlfriend. Joe goes back to get the newspaper to read it to them. He comes back forgetting that he had already been. He reads them the advert in which this makes Barbara and Jim laugh. We next see all the family sat watching Dragons Den. Dave asks them what the best invention has been. They all say the telly. Barbara said she would have liked to invent the George Foreman grill in which Jim tells him that there's a clue in the name who invented it. Dave reveals his invention which are keys that you can never lose. He hasn't thought of how it works but that's why he wants to get the Dragons involved so they can think of it. Jim announces he is going to the toilet. Barbara tells Denise that when she went in the newsagents this morning, the newsagent said "I bet your having a good time, what with Jim's winnings". She tells her that it only turns out that he has won £100 on the scratchcard she found down the back of the sofa. Denise then repeats this to Dave and then Dave then repeats this. Jim then comes back down and tells Barbara next time she goes up, she should open the bathroom window. The doorbell rings. They ignore it. The doorbell rings again and new neighbour Cadging Carol shouts through the letterbox. They pretend they're not in. She then knocks on the window to tell them to let her in because she is freezing. She tells Barbara, she is only the borrow for some Christmas dinner. Barbara gives it all to Carol and she says that she can not eat all of it by herself, so she invites herself round for Christmas dinner at their house. She then leaves the house. Jim blames Barbara for inviting her when she hadn't. Denise and Dave have forgotten to pick the kids up from school so they go. They then come back and say they have forgotten their keys. Next, Barbara is seen fiddling with the u-bend under the sink. Joe walks in and asks her what she is doing. She then empties it and finds a variety of things such as a cotton bud with Nana's earwax on it. Joe then tells Barbara that he has made a checklist with things on for his vacant ladies. He goes through it with her. He then tells Barbara his idea for his first date. Next, we then see a variety of women with Joe for his date. None of them go to plan at all. Barbara has all the names of the women on a checklist so after every one, we see her put a cross on the page. Jim then tells Joe and Barbara, that they need to up their game. We see Jim, Barbara, Denise and Dave marching down the stairs to give Joe a makeover. After that, he has a date with an Irish women called Philomena who is just like his dead wife Mary. They talk about starsigns, hobbies, etc. Joe then starts to sing to her and they begin to dance. Jim, Barbara, Denise and Dave then come out the kitchen to watch them and they see that Philomena has the back of her skirt tucked in her knickers. It's Christmas Eve, and Barbara is busy wrapping the last of the presents up. We see that she has been crying because of all the stress ready for the 25th. Jim then comes up carrying a pot of chips and a carrier bag, drunk. Barbara then argues to Jim that she has done everything as it is the same every Christmas Eve. He tells her that he has bought two Christmas puddings for her and she chucks them on the floor. She then tells Jim to get to bed in which Jim takes this the wrong way. When he walks off, Barbara asks him if he won anything on the scratchcard and he says he hasn't won anything. He then goes upstairs and Barbara starts crying. It's Christmas Day, and all the family including Carol, Joe and Philomena are sat round the table. They all raise their glasses to absent friends, meaning Mary, Cheryl, Antony and Saskia. Joe and Philomena thank Barbara for their Christmas presents. Jim then goes to get his Christmas puddings and places them on the table. Dave then tells Denise that "it's" happening, so they have to go the the bedroom. They then come back saying "it's gone again". Jim then cuts the Christmas puddings up and hands the first piece to Barbara. He says this is the highlight of the day but Barbara disagrees telling him that she has been up since seven o'clock cleaning the house, setting the table and cooking the dinner whilst he has been in bed nursing a hangover. She then starts to cry on how he is a liar for not saying he won any money on the scratchcard. It then all goes quiet as they eat the puddings. Barbara cuts hers open and finds a ring. Jim then goes over to put it on her wedding finger and they kiss. Finally, they all say "Merry Christmas" and the last shot is of Jim and Barbara hugging.