Only Fools and Horses Wiki
Big Brother
Series 01, Episode 01
Big Brother.jpg
Air Date September 8, 1981
Written by John Sullivan
Director Martin Shardlow
Length 30 minutes
Previous episode The Frog & The Pussycat (chronologically)
Next episode "Go West Young Man"
List of episode

"Big Brother" was the first ever episode of Only Fools and Horses. It was transmitted on the 8th September 1981 with a viewing figure of 9.2 million. It kicked off one of Britian's best loved comedy series. Rodney has become Del's business partner, and this leads to some tension, as he thinks Del is overbearing. Del has bought some briefcases, which end up dumped near Tilbury.


In the show's first episode, Del gives Rodney a job with Trotters Independent Traders.


Trigger's first appearance

Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, chairman of Trotters Independent Traders, employs his younger brother Rodney into his company. Later, at their local pub, The Nag's Head, Rodney meets Del's friend Trigger, in order to buy some briefcases. Del negotiates the price of the briefcases down from £25 to £8, and intends cheating his friend by claiming the price for the 25 is £175, when actually it is £200. Rodney however proves to Trigger, using his GCE in mathematics as proof of his credibility, that Del's figures are wrong. It soon emerges however that the cases have been stolen, having been rejects - the combination for them is on the inside. Rodney advises Del to throw them in the river.

Rodney then requests to Del that he be made the partnership's financial adviser, on the grounds of him having two GCE's (maths & art). Del however is not happy about this due to Rodney's behaviour regarding the briefcases. The row between the Trotter Brothers is soon made worse by the latter's buying a cheeseburger for Grandad instead of an Emperor burger due to lack of funds. Grandad gets angry with Rodney as well, and Rodney decides to leave the partnership and go to Hong Kong. He wishes to go there to see a girl "Shanghai Lil". She was at art college with Rodney but was deported after they were caught smoking cannabis, for which Rodney received a £300 fine and a suspended sentence.

The next day, Del trawls London, looking for Rodney and attempting to sell the briefcases, having already previously failed with his telephone contacts. Returning home in vain, having failed to achieve either goal, he is soon joined by Rodney, who only got as far as the Shangri-La doss house Stoke Newington due to running out of money and forgetting his passport. After they make up, Del informs Rodney that he took his advice and threw the briefcases in the "bleeding river".

Featured characters

Other notes

Story arc

  • The opening scene shows Rodney bookkeeping all the Trotters' business receipts. The receipt Rodney finds to legally prove the John Harrison watch is theirs, thus making them millionaires in "Time On Our Hands" was presumably amongst the receipts Rodney is leafing through.
  • Rodney's criminal conviction is mentioned here. In "As One Door Closes", it is revealed Del had high hopes for his defence, only to learn that Rodney pleaded guilty by post-three days before the trial.

Continuity errors

  • Del says that Rodney was caught smoking the reefer by the governors doing their annual inspection, yet in "May The Force Be With You", Roy Slater said that Rodney was caught smoking a Moroccan Woodbine when the police burst in.
  • Del says that Rodney had an 18-month suspended sentence for smoking cannabis in art college, but in "Wanted", Grandad says that Rodney had a two-year suspended sentence.
  • Del says to Rodney that he was born when Del was 13 years old, however in "A Losing Streak" Del said to Rodney that their father walked out on them on his 16th birthday, meaning Rodney would have been 3, but in "Thicker than Water", Del said that Reg walked out on them when Rodney was 5 years old. This is also retconned by Rock & Chips, which takes place in 1960, in which Del was aged 15, and Rodney was born on November of that year.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • While Del is looking for Rodney, the original theme tune can be heard, though in a different tempo.