Series: Only Fools And Horses aka: Only Foolsand Horses
"Stick a pony in me pocket, I'll fetch the suitcase from the van. 'Cause if you want the best 'uns, and you don't ask questions then, Brother, I'm your man!"
British Sitcom running from 1981-1991, with a series of Christmas specials afterward. The series followed the adventures of the Trotter family, who aimed to try and get out of their council flat in Nelson Mandela House, a tower block in Peckham, London. They drove a yellow "Robin Reliant" (actually a Reliant Supervan III).These schemes frequently involved selling useless goods that had "fallen off the back of a lorry" (a British euphemism for "stolen").The family was made up of:
Del Boy (Derek Edward Trotter): A Loveable Rogue who always came up with daft schemes to try and make money. Famous for awful attempts at French (namely confusing "Bonjour" and "Au revoir"). Pretty much Sir David Jason's defining role, to the point that "Arise Sir Del Boy" was the joke made by several newspapers when his knighthood was announced.
Rodney Charlton Trotter: Brother of Del Boy, he was the smarter of the two. He would generally spot the flaw in his brother's plans, but be unable to get Del to listen until it was too late. Began as an idealistic Soap Box Sadie counterpoint to the older, more cynical and picaresqueish Del, and later became, of all things, a Deadpan Snarker. Nicholas Lyndhurst's most famous role, although he has done other things.
Grandad (Edward Kitchener "Ted" Trotter): Appeared in the early series until Lennard Pearce died. This carried over into the series, with the Trotters attending Grandad's funeral in "Strained Relations".
Uncle Albert (Albert Gladstone Trotter): Actually Great-Uncle Albert, he had a penchant for reminscing about life During the War. (Uncle Albert was a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for for his big brother Grandad.) Buster Merryfield died in 1999, his death also being written into the show.
Rachel "Raquel" Turner: First appeared in the 1988 Christmas special "Dates" as Del's girlfriend. She then left for the Middle East and wasn't seen until a year later in the 1989 Christmas special "The Jolly Boys Outing". From "Rodney Come Home" onward, Raquel has been living with Del and Albert, serving as the Team Mom.
Cassandra Louise Parry: An Uptown Girl who Rodney first met at evening school (and then later married) in the sixth season. The two then had a daughter, Joan, whom Rodney named after his and Del's late mother.
Damien Trotter: Del and Raquel's son, who Rodney suspects of being the Antichrist (his name was a sarcastic suggestion by Rodney that Del didn't pick up the significance of). A Mouthy Kid.
Marlene: Boycie's wife. Originally The Ghost, only referred to in the pub ("all the boys remember Marlene"), she started appearing in the fourth season from "Sleeping Dogs Lie" onward.
Denzil Tulser: The Everyman, relied upon to get caught up in Del's schemes because he's just too nice a guy not to help. Originally a Jive Turkey, but this got toned down quite quickly.
Mike Fisher: The landlord of the Trotter's favourite pub, The Nag's Head, and also a pretty sensible guy.
Mickey Pearce: Rodney's best friend, who first appeared in the third season.
DCI Roy Slater: "Slater the Slag", a Dirty Cop determined to arrest Del for something. He was at school with Del, Trig, Denzil and Boycie, and no-one liked him then either. He was eventually arrested himself for diamond smuggling. In "The Class of '62", it is revealed that Slater was Raquel's husband.
In 1996, the series ended when the brothers discovered a rare watch which was auctioned for £6 million pounds. After a five-year hiatus, it returned.It seemed like they'd finally become wealthy, but by 2001, a dodgy investment led to them losing everything. Over the course of three Christmas specials, they tried to earn enough to pay the Inland Revenue before Uncle Albert's will came through with enough money to pay the taxes and a bit extra.Famous moments:
Trope namer for During the War.The show remains the BBC's choice of things to stick on at times when they haven't got a chance of winning the timeslot, or if there's the potential that the football will overrun (meaning that the show won't get aired if the football goes into extra time). Re-runs turn up all the time on the digital channels, especially G.O.L.D. (formerly UKTV Gold) which is almost guaranteed to show at least one episode on any given day.Won Britain's Best Sitcom, edging out Blackadder.
This series contains examples of:
Accidental Misnaming: Trigger always calls Rodney "Dave". The show had endless fun with what one might think would be a repetitive gag by coming up with variations such as:
Trigger: [Del might name his son] Rodney, after Dave over there.
The Ace: Freddie "The Frog" Robdal. 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 sucessful 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.
Acronym and Abbreviation Overload At one point, Del Boy insists that "Modern businesspeople only speak in initials!" He initializes everything—examples include the GLC: "General 'Lectric Company" and PMA: "Positive Mental Attitude". He also tries to initialize "Trotter's Independent Trader's" and Rodney's "Diploma In Computerization", the results of which are duly pointed out.
Actor Allusion: In a Comic Relief episode Rodney says how stupid the idea of walking through a portal to the 1940's would be after Uncle Albert starts talking about the war followed by Raquel saying she's going to bed only for Del to reply "Goodnight Sweetheart." followed by a shocked look from Rodney. Del goes on to say that he is not a chief inspector.
This was also done the other way around—in Goodnight Sweetheart Gary (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) is about to lean back and fall through an open bar door like Del Boy famously did, but notices in time and gives an Aside Glance wink to the audience—accompanied by uproarious laughter that must seem inexplicable and random to anyone unfamiliar with the Only Fools scene in question.
The Alleged Car: The Reliant Regal three-wheeled van owned by the main characters of Only Fools And Horses is a famous example, the So Bad, It's Good of the car world. It's popular enough that more than one Real Life Reliant Regal owner has painted his vehicle to look like it, and it came second only to the General Lee in a poll of the best-ever TV cars. Also the Ford Capri driven by Del in later seasons, known to Rodney as "the Pratmobile". The vast majority of cars that Boycie sells also qualify.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the 1989 Christmas Special "The Jolly Boys' Outing", after the Jolly Boys are stranded in Margate following the destruction of their coach, Boycie complains that he might miss the christening of his son, Mike and Sid complain that they have to run their pub and cafe respectively, Jevon complains that he's going to miss out on a date he had arranged for that night... and then Trigger chimes in and complains that his inflatable dolphin got blown up with their coach.
Also while on holiday in Spain, Del and Rodney get a call from Grandad that he has been arrested. They visit him in his cell and he tells them that during the Spanish Civil War he was a mercenary who used to smuggle guns for both sides (or in his words 'the ones that paid us the most'). He believes that they are going to put him on trial for these past crimes so Del bribes the guard to turn a blind eye and let them walk out. After taking Del's money, the guard tells Del that the charges have been dropped and Grandad is free to go. Flabbergasted, Del points out Grandad's past to which the guard replies that Grandad was actually arrested for... jaywalking.
Ashes to Crashes: The show had an episode where Del and Rodney are trying to dispose of a relative's ashes. The ashes end up being sucked up by a streetsweeper. Made funnier when it turns out that the guy was actually a street cleaner himself. They eventually conclude that this was the best possible funeral for him.
Batman Gambit: Del defeats Slater the first time by exploiting the latter's desire to have Del under his thumb for all time - he gets himself immunity from prosecution if he reveals who stole a microwave. It was him.
Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie: In the episode "Ashes to Ashes", Del Boy and Rodney spend the entire episode trying to find an appropriate way to dispose of the ashes of Trigger's grandfather (so they can flog off the urn he is in). After all of their attempts are thwarted, the ashes are accidentally sucked up by a road sweeper. They decide this is appropriate as Trigger's grandfather had been a street sweeper.
In the Prequel, Rock and Chips, Freddie the Frog tells Joan about a friend of his whose dying wish was to be scattered on his favourite football pitch, and how this got them in trouble with the authorities.
Joan: Did they say you needed permission?
Freddie: Nah, they said he should have been cremated.
Butt Monkey: Denzil, who is 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. Trigger is arguably a subversion of the trope, 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.
Rodney, since Del both uses and teases him quite a lot.
Slater in the first chapter of Rock And Chips was one, being eternally victimised by Del and all his friends, hence giving him a good reason to join the police force after leaving school.
Grandad and Uncle Albert also qualifie.
Canon Discontinuity: The show's writer, John Sullivan usually liked to pretend that the 1986 Christmas Special, "A Royal Flush" never happened, due to Del being absolutely cruel to Rodney by ruining his chances with the daughter of an aristocrat. Sullivan only allowed the episode to be released on video and DVD due to demand from the fans, and even then it was in the form of a severely edited version in which Del is a lot less mean.
Character Outlives Actor: After his actor died, Mike was written out as has having been jailed abroad for embezzlement in "If They Could See Us Now". This was done at the request of Kenneth MacDonald who did not want his character to die with him. Corine, Denzil's wife, also Character Outlives Actor, with the character being considered to divorce Denzil after she died following a single appearance. The character was intended to have been recurring. Interestingly, she wasn't stated to have finally left him until quite a way into the series, despite no possibility of a reappearance after the third series.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Jevon, who was Mickey Pearce's trading partner in the sixth season, vanished without a trace after "The Jolly Boys' Outing". Unlike most of the other semi-regular characters that left the series, he was never mentioned again after his disappearance.
Closer to Earth: Rodney, Mike, Denzil, Raquel, and Cassandra are the only sensible characters in the series.
Del and Roddney's mother Joan can also be considered this in Rock And Chips.
Completely Missing the Point: In "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Uncle", Uncle Albert laments that his place of birth (a marina where ships from all over the world used to dock) which, when he was young, was filled with rough but good people has since been utterly cleared away so as to build luxury flats, Del states that is in fact terrific as the flats happen to be worth a lot of money.
Del also never quite seems to catch on to the fact that "Yuppie" is an insult.
Cordon Bleugh Chef: Grandad, whose 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.
Sid, he 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.
Cosplay: As well as the famous "Batman and Robin" scene in "Heroes and Villains, outside the show there are a number of grown men who have acquired Robin Reliants and been Del Boy for various purposes, usually charity-related.
Criminal Doppelgänger: The show had a two-part special where Del and Rodney go to Miami, where a Mafia boss who looks identical to Del is facing life imprisonment. The guy's son hatches a plot to fake his death by getting the brothers to stay with them (not introducing them to his father) and have Del dress in his clothes (achieved by arranging for their camper van with all their possessions inside to be stolen), then having Del killed in public. After a few failed attempts, Del manages to work out what's happening, and they are able to escape.
The Ditz: Trigger's stupidity is an extreme version of this trope.
The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: In "Sickness and Wealth," Del is worried that he might be suffering from a certain disease, and subsequent dialogue makes it obvious that he's talking about AIDS. The disease was still pretty taboo in 1989, hence why it isn't mentioned by name, but the episode shows quite a surprising degree of AIDS awareness, most notably the fact that it isn't—as was widely considered to be the case at the time—something that only gay men contract.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The Trotters started out from day one wishing to become millionares one day. They did - twice.
Happy Ending One was in Time On Our Hands (which was originally the series finale). Del and Rodney discover a 18th century watch in the garage and manage to auction it for £6,200,000. They proceeded to start new lifestyles with their friends and family, but ended up losing all the money in a Central American stock market crash.
Happy Ending Two was in Sleepless in Peckham. The Trotters have had a year to raise £48,754 to pay off the stock market crash. They do so, with £290,000 left over, thanks to Uncle Albert's will, and Rodney finally gets a child with Cassandra after a miscarriage previously.
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 Charlton Athletic F.C.
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 spin off, it's treated as though it were his first name (although this is rather inconsistant).
Damien's 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?
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Del's idea for a film; "There is a Rhino Loose in the City". His explanation of the plot, unsurprisingly, makes no sense whatsoever, and by the end, "There is a Rhino Out Where No Sod Lives" better describes it.
There's a entire bunch of gags on Sexual Roleplay in one of the Christmas Special episodes.
"Danger UXD" revolves around blow-up dolls which have a tendency to blow up as they've been filled with propane instead of air.
Fun with Acronyms: Del buys some headed notepaper for the business. He initializes everything, because "Modern businesspeople only speak in initials." Their company is Trotter's Independent Traders, and Rodney has a Diploma In Computerization. Lampshaded when Rodney comments:
Rodney: Del, thanks to your high profile, we now have a company called "Tit" and a director with "Dic" after his name.
Another episode has Del's talk that he dreams to one day walk out onto a balcony with their company's initials in giant letters above him. Rodney snarks how appropriate it is that he dreams about being under a 20ft sign calling him a "Tit".
In-universe example with Lennox Gilbey in the fifth season's third episode "The Longest Night", whose plan to rob the supermarket omits basic things such as a means of escape and turning up at the correct time.
Also done in-universe in "Video Nasty" with Del's film idea, "There's a Rhino Loose in the City", which makes no sense on any level.
Gallows Humour: Most of "The Russians Are Coming", where Rodney convinces them to build a nuclear fallout shelter after Del unknowingly buys a kit along with a shipment of lead. Most of the episode highlights just how unprepared the average person in 1981 was to cope with the possibility of nuclear war and life afterwards, particularly with only a "four minute warning" to seek shelter.
Del: By the way, how are we doing?
Rodney: We're dead. We died 45 seconds ago.
The final reveal makes it even more poignant, revealing that the "Safe as houses" location that they decided to build their shelter was on top of Nelson Mandela House.
Gay Bar Reveal: In the episode "Go West, Young Man", Del and Rodney go to a wine bar, and while Rodney has his drink, Del tries to chat up two characters in dresses we only see from the back. He quickly returns.
Del: Drink up, we're leaving. Rodney: Yeah? Are they a couple of ravers? Del: No, they're a couple of geezers!
Genre Blind: Lennox has absolutely no clue whatsoever how to be an armed robber. Rodney in the same episode taking his cigarettes when he could have had the gun beside him is equally blind.
Genre Shift: Happened most notably with Rock and Chips (see below), but it did occasionally happen within the series itself.
The 1985 Christmas special "To Hull and Back" was treated more like a crime caper film than a sitcom
The series finale "Sleepless in Peckham," while still having plenty of comedic moments, had a far more serious atmosphere than most of the series.
Grail in the Garbage: The Trotter's become millionaires after the missing John Harrison Watch (which in real life, exists only as plans and may never have been built), ends up being found in their garage. Del likewise mentions he got it from an old woman who paid him to clear an attic.
Gratuitous French: Subverted, wherein Del Boy tries to use French to seem intelligent, but constantly, CONSTANTLY gets it wrong... to the point of saying bonjour to mean "goodbye" and au revoir to mean "hello".
Lampshaded in one of the last specials in which they actually go to France:
Del: One of my favourite French dishes is duck à l'orange. [...] How do they say "duck" in French? Rodney: It's "canard". Del: You can say that again, bruv.
Lampshaded in an earlier episode
Rodney: Del, you can't speak French. You're still struggling with English.
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.
Identical Grandson: In the final episode, "Sleepless in Peckham", we see a picture of Freddie "the Frog" Robdal, previously hinted to be Rodney's real father, and he's played by Nicholas Lyndhurst with a moustache. (Even Del, who believes his mum to be a saint, can't ignore the resemblance.) Lyndhurst reprises the role in the Prequel series Rock And Chips.
Inflationary Dialogue: In the episode "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Uncle", Uncle Albert 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.
Informed Attractiveness: In Rock and Chips, while Joannie is decent looking, the sheer amount of gushing she gets over her looks, from pretty much everybody, is somewhat disproportionate.
I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Most people tend to look back on what they wore during the 80's with embarrassment. Mickey Pierce on the other hand, averts this by never changing his look at all... leaving his wardrobe stuck Two Decades Behind by the end of the series.
Jerk Ass: Del Boy during the 1986 Christmas special "A Royal Flush". See Canon Discontinuity above for what happened when the writer realised this. Boycie is this more generally, though obviously it's played for comedic value.
Reg Trotter, who just packed his bags and left his family to fend for themselves after his wife Joan died.
Mickey Pearce to a lesser extent.
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.
Jive Turkey: Denzil in his first appearance only, as it was immediately realised what a bad idea this was.
Kick the Dog: Slater 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.
Lampshade Hanging: With the aforementioned Fun with Acronyms, Rodney is quick to point out the acronym for Trotters' Independant Traders and also notices the "DDT" acronym. ("Del, thanks to your high profile, we now have a company called "TIT" and a director with "DIC" after his name.")
Laser-Guided Karma: One episode has Del become romantically involved with an antiques dealer named Miranda. It's obvious to the audience she was only interested in a painting that hung in the Trotters flat, which they apparently don't know the value of. She manages to coerce Del into giving her it for a birthday present, assuring him that she just want to hang it in her home. At the end of the episode Del goes to meet her at an auction house, and finds the painting up for sale. Miranda smugly tells him she's registered the painting to show that it has been in her family for years. Turns out Del knew how valuable it was all along; his grandmother stole it from an art dealer she had been a cleaner for, and Miranda is going to be in a lot of trouble.
Luke, I Am Your Father: In the 1987 Christmas special "The Frog's Legacy", Del and Albert hinted that Freddie the Frog, a gentleman safecracker had an affair with Del and Rodney's mum Joannie before Rodney was born. This rumor was confirmed to be true in the 2003 Christmas special "Sleepless in Peckham", when Rodney looks at a old photograph of the 1960 Jolly Boys' Outing and finds out that Freddie bears an uncanny resemblence to him.
Never My Fault: The Trotters have a nasty habit of blaming each other when things go pear-shaped. However, the person being blamed always calls the accuser out on it. One example, in one of the TV specials, quite similar to the Scrooge McDuck example above: after Cassandra kicks Rodney out for seemingly taking another woman out to the pictures, Rodney worries that Cassandra's father is going to fire him, as he's left a message saying that there's something important they need to talk about. Uncle Albert tells one of his war stories about an officer who was facing a court-martial and handed in his resignation. In those days, only commissioned officers were allowed to control the radio room. Because he was the only commisioned communications officer on the ship the ship, they couldn't sail without him. So, they had to refuse his resignation and cancel his court-martial. Rodney follows suit, thinking that Cassandra's father will turn down the resignation, since it's so close to Christmas and more orders are coming in. When Rodney meets him, it turns out he just wanted to talk about the extra workload. Then he finds Rodney's resignation and accepts it. Rodney blames Albert.
Not Rare Over There: One episode uses this as the punchline to a Violin Scam: the boys raise a huge amount of money to buy a rare Hindu statue from one man, intending to sell it to another. Both men then disappear leaving them with the statue ... and then they find an identical statue in an Indian restaurant, and the manager tells them he got it for a couple of pounds at a Portobello Road stall filled with them.
Restaurant Manager: It's amazing the bargains you can find if you shop around.
Oh Crap: After Granddad learns Slater is in the police, his jaw drops for about thirty seconds. A couple of minutes later in the same episode, the whole family gets one when Slater arrests them, and Slater himself has one when Del's Batman Gambit pays off.
The episode called "Tea For Three" gives Del an epic one when he realises that Rodney has set him up in front of the handgliders.
Only Sane Man: Varies depending on the episode in question. Prior to the seventh season it was usually Rodney, though occasionally Uncle Albert would step into the role. Starting with the 1990 Christmas special "Rodney Come Home" however, Raquel would invariably prove to be the only fully sane member of the Trotter family.
Oop North: For part of one episode, set in Hull in, whatisname:
Del Boy: Just get me back to Peckham or I'll be saying "Eh-up!" and breeding whippets before I'm much older!
Papa Wolf: Derek Trotter; a womanizing, chain smoking, gambling, borderline alcoholic who has at various points in his life bribed officials, sold both stolen and smuggled goods and is guilty of both tax and VAT fraud on a massive scale. But if you ever try and threaten his family - Del will be unhappy.
Parental Abandonment: The Trotters' mother Joan died when they were young, while their Jerk Ass father Reg abandoned them. They were not happy when he returned in "Thicker than Water". Del frequently speaks of his mother with great fondness.
Pocket Protector: Parodied. Grandad launches into the story about the cigarette case belonging to his grandfather, which deflected the bullet aimed at his heart, saving his life... at least, until it went up his nose and blew his brains out.
Grandad: I want you to have it. My grandmother always said it was lucky.
Rodney: Lucky? It went up his nose and blew his bloody brains out!
Real Life Writes the Plot: The deaths of the actors who played Grandad and Uncle Albert were followed by the deaths of the characters in the show.
Re Tool: Happened with the 1988 Christmas special, "Dates"—prior to that episode the series had focused almost exclusively on Del's get rich quick schemes, but in subsequent episodes the series would start to involve Del and Rodney's personal lives much more, aided by the episodes being doubled in length.
Running Gag: Albert's "During the war..." in the later series, especially the specials - in which any mention is automatically followed by groaning from everyone else in the vicinity. "Mum said to me on her death bed..." from Del is another gag from start to finish - to believe Del, Joannie spent her last three weeks doing nothing but saying anecdotes that Del could use through the rest of his life. It's unclear what she actually said at that time. Both are Lampshaded increasingly often as time goes on - causing the former to be subverted when Del threatens Albert with violence if he says it, so... "During the 1939-1945 conflict with Germany..." in "Time On Our Hands". Strangely enough, this moment by itself may qualify as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Albert, if only because he gets so few of them.
As for the latter, in "It's Only Rock and Roll", Rodney reminds 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."
Trigger calling Rodney Dave, various others come up in individual episodes.
Series Fauxnale: The December 1996 trilogy of Heroes and Villains, Modern Men, and Time On Our Hands were originally intended to be the Grand Finale for the show (the final episode pulling 24.1 million viewers), but another trilogy broadcast between 2001 and 2003 soon came.
Screaming Birth Mostly averted. Despite having a detailed birth episode for the arrival of Damien, the portrayal is pretty realistic- Raquel yells a few times but doesn't scream, and it's made very clear that they're in the birth suite for several hours before he arrives. Joan's birth, more than ten years later, is off camera and by caesarean.
Prequel: Rock and Chips (originally announced as Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Chips), which is set in 1960, and tells the story of Joan and Freddie the Frog. It's a bit of a Genre Shift, being a rather downbeat drama with some laughs rather than the traditional sitcom of the original (and The Green Green Grass).
Springtime for Hitler: In the 1985 Christmas special "To Hull and Back," the owner of a boat rental company agrees to let the Trotters hire one of his boats, thinking that they're certain to sink or otherwise badly damage it, which will result in a hefty insurance payout. The boat in question ends up being the only ship which Uncle Albert ever failed to sink—though the owner's scheme doesn't backfire on him, and he presumably still ends up with the rental fee that Del paid, plus the boat itself to foist off on some other unsuspecting fool.
Stalker with a Crush: In the 1993 Christmas special "Fatal Extraction", during a brief split from Raquel, Del sets up a date with Beverly, the receptionist of his local dentist, but calls it off after Rodney manages to talk him out of it. In the following days, Del sees Beverly wherever he goes, and starts to believe that she's stalking him. In a subversion, it turns out that their meetings were coincidental, and Beverly actually believes that Del is stalking her. She thought the date was a bad idea to begin with and didn't mind it being called off, but Del's threatening behaviour when he confronts her actually motivates Beverly into taking revenge by selling Raquel an answering machine which had Del's message about cancelling the date on it.
Story Arc: First done due to Real Life Writes the Plot in series 4, the first three episodes of which saw Grandad's death and Uncle Albert's introduction to the family. The show started doing full story arcs after the the Re Tool, with series 6 encompassing Rodney and Cassandra's relationship and marriage, series 7 featuring the troubles of the same relationship alongside Raquel's re-introduction and subsequent pregnancy, and the 1996 and 2001-2003 trilogies both containing their own Story Arcs.
Team Mom: Raquel by the later stages has become this.
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.
Toxic Friend Influence: Del to Denzil. When Corrine listed a number of times that Del had screwed him over and conned him into joining one of his failed get-rich-quick schemes, Denzil's simple reply?
Denzil: Yeah I know, but he's a mate!
In some ways, Del Boy is this to his brother Rodney. At one point, Rodney is trying to defend his brother to his wife by saying, "Look, I agree that Del can get a bit out of hand, but I think it's unfair to say that everything he touches goes wrong." At this point the bus behind him promptly explodes due to a faulty radio Del installed over the main fuel line. Some of his more notable exploits have been things like convincing Rodney that he is the 'man of the house,' causing him to break his wife's boss's nose, and convincing Rodney to stay on a trip with him despite the fact that Rodney, 26, will have to pretend he's 14 the entire time he's there.
Translation Trainwreck: An in-universe example of this occurred in the Christmas 2010 episode of Rock and Chips, "Five Gold Rings". Freddie Robdal told Joanie Trotter a French phrase roughly meaning "I am enjoying this food" while driving her home. Joanie then repeats this at the Trotters' dinner, and while it remains vaguely recognisable, she totally butchers the grammar and syntax of the phrase. The young Del Boy overhears this and thinks he'll impress his new girlfriend's parents by telling them the phrase, but mangles it even more and instead ends up telling them about how he enjoys a certain sexual position.
Two-Headed Coin: In one episode, Grandad gives Del Boy a two-headed coin, which he tries to use to win bets with Boycie. Unfortunately, because he tosses, Boycie gets to call and keeps calling heads. At the end, after Del's beaten Boycie at poker, he offers Boycie double or nothing on the coin, but because Boycie thinks the law of averages means he's bound to lose this time, Del suggests that instead Rodney could call it as Del's representative. He spins the coin...and Rodney calls tails.
Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Averted with Del Boy. 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.
Boycie plays this trope straight, he's sleazy and smug and there really isn't an awful lot to like about him. Also his moustache is stupid.
Walking Into The Sunset: The ending of "Time On Our Hands", which John Sullivan wanted to be the last-ever episode, before it was renewed for another set of Christmas episodes; the idea was that during this sequence, Del, Rodney and Albert would be replaced by cartoon versions of themselves.
Wealthy Ever After: This would have been the ending to Only Fools And Horses, if it hadn't been brought back five years later. But at least it allowed Rodney to find out who his real father is, and become a father himself.
Vanilla Edition: The entire series has been completely released on DVD, but with no bonus features and several scenes and music cues cut.