Characters: Only Fools and Horses
Derek Edward "Del Boy" Trotter
- Anti-Hero: Type I, with some elements of Type III
- Big Brother Mentor: To Rodney.
- Brawn: To Rodney's Brains.
- Catchphrase: "He who dares, wins!" and "This time next year, we'll be millionaires."
- Crooked Contractor: He has been known to dabble in this when the market trading isn't going so well. In the episode "Who's A Pretty Boy Then?", after stealing the job of painting Denzil's flat from Brendan O'Shaughnessy, he then offers his services when Mike says the brewery want the pub painted. Mike says Brendan has already put in a bid of a thousand pounds. Del immediately offers a counterbid of two thousand pounds.Mike: Hang about, hang about. Why should I turn down an offer of £1000 and accept one of £2000?
Del Boy: 'Cos of all the advantages it has to offer, like my unique profit-sharing scheme. The two thousand pounds would be disbursed thus: Five hundred pounds for vous, and five hundred pounds for ve.
Mike: What, you mean I get five hundred quid?
Del Boy: Oh, yes.
Mike: And what about the thousand that's left over?
Del Boy: We give that to the Irishman and let him do the job!
- Also done in the famous episode "A Touch of Glass". Del and company offer to clean some chandeliers at a wealthy lord's mansion, and most obviously don't know a thing about how to do so. Cue Falling Chandelier and hasty retreat.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: If he didn't try to swindle and cut corners at every chance he got, he'd end up a lot richer.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Would-be yuppie Del Boy is in the habit of throwing French words into his sentences even though he doesn't know what they mean. A full list can be found here.
- Guile Hero: Del occasionally demonstrated enough savvy to come out on top after a whole episode of apparent failures.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Del Boy is self-centred, boorish, uneducated, a social climber (and a totally incompetent one at that) and a petty criminal, but he does genuinely care for the people he loves and has been shown to be quite sensitive at times.
- Loveable Rogue
- Never My Fault: Del always blames poor Rodney for his mistakes.
- Nice Hat: His market cap.
- Panicky Expectant Father: In "Three Men, a Woman, and a Baby".
- Papa Wolf: Del is not afraid to protect his family from any incoming jerkasses, as shown in "No Greater Love", "May the Force Be With You", and "Little Problems".
- Promotion to Parent: Del was forced to become the father-figure to Rodney, after their mother died and their father callously abandoned them.
- Time-Shifted Actor: Played by David Jason from 1981 to 2003, and by James Buckley in the Rock And Chips trilogy.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Even after her death, it's very clear that everything Del does is because he wants to make his Mum proud.
Rodney Charlton Trotter
- Anti-Hero: Type I
- Big Little Brother: To Del.
- Brains: To Del Boy's Brawn.
- Butt Monkey: Since Del both uses and teases him quite a lot.
- Chew Toy
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dogged Nice Guy
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Rodney Charlton Trotter. At his wedding, the audience can't stop laughing at it so it ends up being omitted from Cassandra's vows. Made all the more embarrassing by the fact that, despite Rodney's insistence that his middle name was inspired by Charlton Heston, it actually came about because his mother Joannie was a fan of football club Charlton Athletic.
- The Heart
- Heroic BSOD: Went through a fortnight-long one after Cassandra miscarried in the second episode of the 1996 Christmas trilogy, "Modern Men", until Del helped him get over it in the third chapter, "Time On Our Hands".
- Identical Son: In the 2003 OFAH Christmas special and final episode "Sleepless in Peckham", Rodney discovers through an old photograph of the 1960 Jolly Boys' Outing that his biological father is not Reg Trotter, but rather gentleman thief Freddie "The Frog" Robdal. Needless to say, he's "played" by Nicholas Lyndhurst, who took the role for real in Rock And Chips.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: When the story about Freddie the Frog first comes out, it's quite clear that Rodney suspects the truth. This is eventually confirmed later in the series.
- Phrase Catcher: Gets called a "plonker" by Del when he screws up.
- Straight Man: More pronounced in the first half of the show's run, where he was this to Del and Grandad (and later Uncle Albert), though occasionally his naivety would be contrasted with Del's experience and more streetwise nature. In latter episodes Raquel mostly took over the role, with Rodney becoming more bumbling and awkward, though he was still the saner one of him and Del.
- Token Good Teammate: Whereas Grandad and Albert were more willing to look the other way when it came to Del's hooky goods, and even Raquel could overlook it if it meant having food on the table, Rodney usually has issues. Not that Del ever pays the slightest bit of attention.
Edward Kitchener "Ted / Grandad" Trotter
- Butt Monkey
- The Character Died with Him: When Lennard Pearce died, they decided to kill off Grandad (off-screen, of course). Thus the first episode made after Pearce's death begins with Grandad's funeral.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: His habit of utterly carbonizing anything he cooks leads to Del and Rodney eating out as often as possible. After Grandad dies, it turns out that Del is actually a fairly competent (if rather limited) cook, but let Grandad handle the Trotters' cooking just so that he wouldn't feel useless.
- The Ditz
- Nice Hat
- No Name Given: Grandad's first name "Ted" was only revealed in the OFAH book series The Bible of Peckham and the pilot episode of Rock And Chips.
- Retired Badass: "badass" is probably pushing it but he was a gunrunner and mercenary during the Spanish civil war.
- Time-Shifted Actor: Played by Lennard Pearce from 1981 to 1984, and by Phil Daniels in the Rock And Chips trilogy.
Uncle Albert Gladstone Trotter
- Butt Monkey
- Catchphrase: "During the war..."
- The Character Died with Him: Like Grandad, Albert was killed off after his actor Buster Merryfield died. Although Albert died during the episode, with the first scene explaining that he hadn't joined them in the Caribbean because it had turned out the great sailor didn't have a passport.
- Dreadful Musician: He certainly isn't the best pianist around, but Mike tolerates his piano playing on the grounds that it prevents people from noticing that the Nag's Head's jukebox has been broken for years.
- Flopsy: In the episode "Hole in One" he used a variant; using his parachute training to fall safely down open pub cellars.
- Inflationary Dialogue: In the episode "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Uncle", he arrives at the flat with a black eye and no money. He says he's been mugged by a gang of youths, but the number increases every time he tells the story. It turns out he lost the money playing dominoes, and then got in a punch-up with his opponent Knock-Knock over Marlene's mother.
- In-Series Nickname: "Boomerang Trotter," for his ability to come back from any ship sinking. Rodney, on the other hand, thinks "Jonah" would be more appropriate.note
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Albert's sunk every ship he ever sailed on.
- Nice Hat
- Sanity Ball: He was occasionally capable of acting as the voice of reason, most notably in "Tea for Three."
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Grandad. More blatant in his first few appearances, in which he was literally filling Lennard Pierce's role. His very first episode even involved reshooting a scene Pierce had already shot. (Notable for introducing some Fridge Logic too - Grandad had been in the RAF, but Albert somehow got parachute training in the Navy.) He soon started to be portrayed as being more physically capable and less of a Cloud Cuckoolander than Grandad, along with his navy background playing a more important part in episodes.
Rachel "Raquel" Turner
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: In the 1988 Christmas special "Dates", Raquel Turner was introduced as one of these. She wanted to be an actress, but could only get not-real-acting jobs like stripogram or (in her second appearance) magician's assistant. After meeting Del, she gave up this profession after a Stripper/Cop Confusion at Albert's birthday party.
- Straw Feminist: While generally not too obnoxious about it, she does have a habit of ranting about how all men have it easy in life, and how only women ever truly suffer (though after watching her give birth, Del does kind of see where she's coming from on the second point).
- Team Mom
- Women Are Wiser: To the extent where she's the only consistently sane character from around "Rodney Come Home" onwards.
Cassandra Louise Parry Trotter
- Ms. Fanservice: She had a nice bod...
- Spoiled Sweet
- Uptown Girl
- Women Are Wiser: To much less of an extent than Raquel, though. She's definitely the more sensible one out of her and Rodney, but Rodney is himself generally more sensible compared to Del Boy, and Cassandra is both insanely career driven and prone to acting like a spoiled brat at times.
Damien Derek Trotter
- Enfant Terrible: Parodied — Rodney is convinced that his nephew Damien (the name is not coincidental) is one of these, and acts as if he's with the Anti-Christ anytime he's in the same room as him. The boy's just a normal child, but try telling Rodney that.
- One particular scene highlights this; Damien wants to show off a conjuring trick he's learnt, and chooses Rodney to show it to. From Damien's point of view, he's just happily playing with his uncle. Rodney, however, looks as if he's being forced to participate in some kind of satanic ritual.
- Mouthy Kid
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Peeping Tom: He looks through the keyhole when Cassandra is taking a shower in "If They Could See Us Now"
- The Other Darrin
- Tagalong Kid
Joan Mavis "Joannie" Trotter, Sr.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Changed her hairstyle four times: the first time was in the pilot episode of Rock And Chips, modelled after Marilyn Monroe; the second time was in the second episode "Five Gold Rings", modelled after Elizabeth Taylor; and the third and fourth times were in the third episode "The Frog and the Pussycat", modelled after Audrey Hepburn and Jane Fonda.
- Informed Attractiveness: While Joannie is decent looking, the sheer amount of gushing she gets over her looks, from pretty much everybody, is somewhat disproportionate.
- Running Gag: Whenever Del wants Rodney to do something for him, he always brings up what Joannie said to Del on her death bed. This was lampshaded in the fourth season OFAH episode "It's Only Rock and Roll" when Rodney tells Del about a row they had on whose turn it was to go and get the fish and chips, and Del claimed that Joannie said on her death bed, "Send Rodney for the fish."
- Sympathetic Adulterer: Reg is neglectful, crude, abusive, and all too happy to sit at home, watch Joan bring home the bacon and then waste her meagre wages down the pub. Is it any wonder she jumps into bed with Freddie Robdal - debonair and attentive, if somewhat unreliable and immoral - the first chance she gets?
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Del considers his mother Joan as having been an example of this. Subverted big-time in Rock and Chips where it's revealed that Joan was nearly as devious as her son—if a bit more kind-hearted—and not only did she have an affair which resulted in her becoming pregnant and giving birth to Rodney, she used Rodney's birth to secure the family a better home in Nelson Mandela House.
- Even before Rock and Chips, it was obvious just how oblivious Del was to what type of lady she was. Such as how Joannie was the first woman in Peckham to smoke menthol cigarettes, how she was often to be found in the corner of a pub with two geezers and of how she used to buy her school aged son alcohol in pubs.
Reginald "Reg" Trotter
- Bullying The Dragon: One story speaks of Reg abusing Del when he was old enough to fight back. It landed him in hospital.
- Domestic Abuse
- Knight of Cerebus: While he has his humerous moments, his solo appearance causes serious tension within the Trotter household.
- Miles Gloriosus: Del describes him as "a bit of a hard nut" with women and children, but not much bottle when it comes to other men.
- Time-Shifted Actor: Played by Peter Woodthorpe in the 1983 OFAH Christmas special "Thicker than Water", and by Shaun Dingwall in the Rock And Chips trilogy.
Colin "Trigger" Ball
- Characterization Marches On: Trigger initially started as a small time criminal/trader along the same lines as the Trotters before evolving into the Cloud Cuckoo Lander he's famous for being.
- The Ditz: Almost to the point of Flanderization.
- Time-Shifted Actor: Played by Roger Lloyd Pack from 1981 to 2003, and by Lewis Osborne in the Rock And Chips trilogy.
- The Everyman
- Jive Turkey: In his first appearance only, as it was immediately realised what a bad idea this was.
- Time-Shifted Actor: Played by Paul Barber from 1983 to 2005, and by Ashley Gerlach in the Rock And Chips trilogy.
Terrance Aubrey "Boycie" Boyce
- Breakout Character: Following The Green Green Grass.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Boycie's middle name is revealed to be Aubrey, and he says that his father always used to call him by it. For some reason, in The Green Green Grass, it's treated as though it were his first name (although this is rather inconsistant).
- Smug Snake
- Spin-Off: The Green Green Grass.
- Time-Shifted Actor: Played by John Challis since 1981 to 2009, and by Stephen Lloyd in the Rock And Chips trilogy.
Marlene Lane Boyce
- The Ghost: Marlene Boyce for the first three seasons. She was frequently mentioned by the characters, usually to wind up her husband Boycie by implying she'd really got around, but made her first appearance in Season 4, episode 5. Luckily they hadn't quite built her up to the point where no-one could play her.
- Really Gets Around: Implied"We all remember Marlene!"
- Character Outlives Actor: After Kenneth McDonald's death, Mike was revealed to be doing time for embezzlement.
- Not So Above It All: The first time we see him he agrees on a scheme with Del to, for all intents and purposes, embezzle the brewery. He also indirectly admits more than once to watering down his beer, and is also seen selling Denzil a plate of stew for £1, and then selling a yuppie the exact same meal for £2.50.
- Straight Man: Comparatively speaking he's this to the collection of characters who frequent the Nag's Head, though he has more than a few foibles of his own.
- Jerk Ass: Not to Reg's extreme though.
- Nice Hat: Wears a pork pie hat as part of a 2 Tone ensemble.
- Smug Snake
- Small Name, Big Ego
- With Friends Like These...
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Sid himself admits that his food is borderline inedible, and that most of his trade comes from a combination of low prices and a good location next to the Peckham market.
- I Was Quite a Looker: As claimed to have been in the 2003 OFAH Christmas special "Sleepless in Peckham" when looking at himself in the photograph of the 1960 Jolly Boys' Outing.
- Only One Name
DCI Roy "The Slag" Slater
- Butt Monkey: In the first and second episodes of Rock And Chips.
- Dirty Cop
- From Nobody to Nightmare
- He Who Fights Monsters: A very unpleasant example of the aftermath of childhood bullying.
- Inspector Javert: He will nick for anything you've done! In fact he will nick you for anything you haven't done and he won't let a little thing like "Innocence" get in his way!
- Knight of Cerebus: While he is still a humorous character, the lengths he'll go to get one over on Del is portrayed with absolute seriousness.
- Smug Snake
- Time-Shifted Actor: Played by Jim Broadbent in "May The Force Be With You", the 1985 OFAH Christmas special "To Hull and Back", and "The Class of '62", and by Calum MacNab in the first two episodes of the Rock And Chips trilogy.
Freddie "The Frog" Robdal
- The Charmer
- Explosive Stupidity: Happened off-screen to him, when he sat on his own detonator during a post office heist.
- London Gangster
- Meaningful Name
- Smug Snake