Derek Edward "Del Boy" Trotter
- Anti-Hero: Type I, with some elements of Type III
- Big Brother Instinct: He may tease Rodney to no end, but he looks out for him.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Rodney.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: His favourite cocktails include Baileys and cherryade, Tia Maria and Lucozade and blackcurrant & Pernod.
- Book Dumb: He was always more interested in making money down the market than school, which for him was mostly a way to hang out with his friends. He has a shockingly poor grasp of just about every academic subject, save for maths where his decades of wheeling and dealing have left him with fantastic mental arithmetic. Despite all this he is an excellent Guile Hero, able to outwit people much better educated and successful than himself. One memorable instance involved him confessing to a crime moments after receiving a legally binding declaration that he couldn't be arrested for his involvement with it. His Book Dumb nature means that he is so frequently wrong about things that when he is secretly acting out one of his brilliant plans, even the audience is fooled.
- 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.
- Delusions of Eloquence: He uses French words and phrases, and sometimes long English words, in an effort to sound sophisticated, knowledgeable and/or upper-class. He fails.
- 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.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Bad is perhaps pushing it, but he is absolutely devoted to the memory of his now-deceased mother Joannie. He sees her as truly Too Good for This Sinful Earth, never allowing a single bad word to be said about her in earshot and completely obliviously ignoring several details suggesting she really wasn't all he cracks her up to be - like the fact she was the first woman on the estate to smoke menthol cigs, and that she was often seen in the pub hanging with shady looking men. And in Rock and Chips where Joan is the main character, you find out she was every bit as devious and cunning as Del is now, though also Closer to Earth and quite a bit more kindhearted. She has an affair with Reg (though Reg's neglectful, crude, lazy and at times abusive attitude allows Joan to be painted sympathetically for it) and uses the resulting pregnancy (Rodney) to secure the family a better home at Nelson Mandela House.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French/Gratuitous 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.
- Karma Houdini: Zig-zagged throughout the series. Sometimes his schemes pay off, sometimes they fail but Del manages to avoid any ill-effects, and sometimes they blow up spectacularly in his face. On a larger scale, he spends nearly the entire run of the series avoiding paying any income tax or VAT. Reality Ensues when his empire collapses between the 1996 and 2001—2003 trilogies, resulting in the taxman coming down on him like a ton of bricks, and Del ending up with a suspended prison sentence. He ultimately ends up being saved from this fate thanks to an inheritance from Uncle Albert, though has to use the lion's share of it to keep himself out of prison.
- 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".
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Del is occasionally quite homophobic, though this aspect of his character is always Played for Laughs, and usually contrasted with Rodney mocking him for it.
- 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.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Averted. He has many of the common traits of the typical UCP, including ambition that far exceeds his ability, criminal tendencies, substance abuse (of the cigarettes and alcohol variety), is a Jerk Ass and has a complete shopping list of personality flaws. However, his unflappable optimism, highly protective attitude to his friends and family and the occasional glimpse that under the surface he can actually be quite sensitive make him a very sympathetic character for all his failings.
- "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
- Author Avatar: To John Sullivan, who was also a dreamer and idealist in his youth, as well as had an older sibling
- Big Little Brother: To Del.
- Brains: To Del Boy's Brawn.
- Butt-Monkey: Since Del both uses and teases him quite a lot.
- The Chew Toy
- Closer to Earth
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dogged Nice Guy
- Dumbass Has a Point: He is painfully naive next to Del, but is often the first to point out the cracks in Del's hair-brained schemes from either an ethical standpoint, a practical standpoint or both and he's usually right at the end. Subverted, in that he often willingly goes along with Del's schemes and suffers the consequences accordingly.
- 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 B.S.O.D.: 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".
- Hypocrite: Played for laughs, in that he'll often criticise Del's schemes but go along with them anyway.
- 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.
- Not So Above It All: Doesn't like Del's plans, but often shows himself willing to take part in them. Well-demonstrated in "Friday the 14th" where he tells Del how immoral Salmon-poaching is, then when Del says he and Grandad will split the money between them, Rodney replies "Now I didn't say I wouldn't come."
- Only Sane Man
- Phrase-Catcher: Gets called a "plonker" by Del when he screws up.
- Soapbox Sadie: He's often going on about social issues to the interest of absolutely no-one.
- 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
- 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
- Captain Crash: It's a running joke that every ship he ever served on has sunk, including peacetime.
- 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
- Only Sane Man: He steps into this role sometimes.
- Really Gets Around: In "Strangers on the Shore" its mentioned that while hiding in a village during the war he had numerous affairs, leading to the French Resistance betraying the sailors to the Germans. Del and Rodney then notice a lot of men in the village bear a resemblance to Albert.
- Sanity Ball: He was occasionally capable of acting as the voice of reason, most notably in "Tea for Three."
- Seadog Beard: His appearances led to many comparisons with Captain Birdseye.
- 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
- Closer to Earth
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: In the 1988 Christmas special "Dates", she 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.
- Only Sane Man: She filled this role starting with "Rodney Come Home".
- 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: She became this by the later seasons.
- Women Are Wiser: To the extent where she's the only consistently sane character from around "Rodney Come Home" onwards.
Cassandra Louise Parry Trotter
- Closer to Earth
- Ms. Fanservice: Cassandra often wears outfits which call attention to Gwyneth Strong's long, slender legs.
- 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
- Embarrassing Middle Name: His middle name is Derek, making his initials DDT, the same as a well-known insecticide. Subverted, since Uncle Albert points out straight away the effect this would have on Damien's initials, but Del and Raquel don't care about it.Del Boy: Well, there'll be no flies on him, then, will there?
- 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.
- Jive Turkey: In the final three episodes, he speaks almost exclusively in Ali G gangsta language.
- Mouthy Kid
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name leads to lots of references to The Omen (1976).
- Peeping Tom: He looks through the keyhole when Cassandra is taking a shower in "If They Could See Us Now"
- Tagalong Kid
Joan Mavis "Joannie" Trotter, Sr. (née Hollins)
- Closer to Earth
- 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
- Accidental Misnaming: Always called Rodney Dave.
- Breakout Character: He started out as a minor supporting character and became one of the show's most beloved characters.
- Butt-Monkey: A downplayed example because he's a victim of Del just as often but doesn't appear to realise he's being messed about, happily (though unwittingly) acting to his own detriment in the interests of "helping out a friend". Moreover, Trigger's sporadic attempts at trading usually result in Del somehow getting screwed over, so they're probably pretty even on that count.
- 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.
- Flanderization: He started out as merely a bit slow and a bit dim - he called Rodney Dave, he could be caught out in negotiations, he was socially awkward etc - really basic stuff. He was also considered by those who knew him as a man that you shouldn't mess with; in "The Frog's Legacy" even Boycie backed off when Rodney cracked a rude joke about Trigger's aunt Rene. By the end of the final Christmas trilogy he had become so dumb that he was literally confused by his own blinking.
- Theseus' Ship Paradox: Trigger is given a medal for owning the same broom for 20 years, although it has had 17 new heads and 14 new handles. When asked how can it be the same broom, Trigger produces a picture of himself and his broom and asks, "What more proof do you need?"
- Time-Shifted Actor: Played by Roger Lloyd Pack from 1981 to 2003, and by Lewis Osborne in the Rock And Chips trilogy.
- Black Best Friend
- Butt-Monkey: He's a perpetual victim of Del's schemes. As with every other Running Gag on the show, this is lampshaded no end, with Rodney frequently sympathising with his plight and Denzil himself trying hard to stop it happening.
- Closer to Earth
- The Everyman
- Henpecked Husband: He was one, before his wife Corrine left him.
- Jive Turkey: In his first appearance only, as it was immediately realised what a bad idea this was.
- Nice Guy
- Oop North: He's from Liverpool.
- 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
- Annoying Laugh: He has the machine gun rattle down to a fine art.
- 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 inconsistent).
- Friendly Enemy: To Del.
- Honest John's Dealership: He's offered Trigger's car as part of a poker bet. His response: "You must be joking, I sold it to him!"
- Jerkass: A comedic version.
- Lovable Rogue: He became this in his own series.
- Self-Made Man: He went to school with Del and managed to make himself a millionaire years before Del did.
- Signature Laugh
- Sitcom Archnemesis: To Del, sometimes.
- 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.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: He's sleazy and smug and there really isn't an awful lot to like about him. Also his moustache is stupid. He became slightly more sympathetic once he had his own turn in the spotlight. His attempts (and eventual success) to conceive a son were also something a small redeeming aspect.
- Your Cheating Heart: In two episodes, it is alluded to that he's had at least two extramarital affairs. In "Go West Young Man", he reveals he has a 'bit on the side', whom he buys a E type Jaguar for, but Del Boy later crashes it. In "Dates", Del blackmails Boycie into doing a favour for him by threatening to inform Marlene of an encounter Boycie had with a woman in Sheffield.
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!"
- Butt-Monkey: Amongst other things, Del sold him a hairdryer that was actually a paint stripper (with predictable results), a deep fat fryer (which exploded) and a fax machine that didn't work.
- Character Outlives Actor: After Kenneth McDonald's death, Mike was revealed to be doing time for embezzlement.
- Closer to Earth
- Deadpan Snarker
- 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.
- False Friend
- Jerkass: 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
- Those Two Guys: With Jevon before the latter's disappearance.
- 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: The second episode of Rock and Chips, "Five Gold Rings", shows us that after leaving school, Slater immediately joined the police force and started abusing his position to go after Del.Del: Now listen here, Slater, I know a lot of coppers and they're all good blokes. I mean, I don't like 'em, but they play a fair game. And then there's you...
- The Dog Bites Back: Is antagonistic towards the others due to being bullied by them as a child.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the first scene he appears in you might be forgiven for thinking he's a normal, if slightly sneaky cop. The first real hint of what a slimeball he is comes when he's talking to Del, and reveals that he's no longer on speaking terms with his father due to an incident where Slater arrested him for having a broken light on his bicycle. A bicycle which Slater lent him, by the way.
- Faux Affably Evil: In each of his appearances, particularly towards Del.
- 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!
- Kick the Dog: In every other scene in which he appears, from petty crimes like sending his assistant on his break just as the police station canteen closes, to serious offences like blackmail and extortion. Perhaps the biggest moment comes in his first appearance, after Del tells him that he'd rather go to prison than reveal who gave him a stolen microwave. Slater tells him that if he does that, he'll also make sure that Rodney gets convicted on made-up charges of drug possession and ends up with a sentence at least as long as Del's, and to really put the boot in he also says that he'll use his contacts on the street to make sure the local criminals know that Grandad would be alone and vulnerable.
- 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.
- Kubrick Stare: Sports a genuinely unnerving one whenever he interrogates the Trotters.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He ends up being sent to prison for diamond smuggling after stealing the diamonds from Del and Boycie.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Averted. He's presented in the context of this trope, but is genuinely villainous. He's a Dirty Cop, a borderline-abusive husband, and a sociopath.
- 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 Ace: A debonair, gentleman thief who was a charming, generous and very clever man, who had a fondness and talent for art, was a hit with the ladies, and whose last job was the successful theft of half a million pounds worth of gold bullion, which he hid by burying it at sea under one of his pseudonyms (which he planned to retrieve using his skills as a diver). The image is slightly ruined by the fact that he died by sitting on a detonator during a later job.
- 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